Thursday, April 16, 2015
Kristi and I both have worked for Romantic Times Book Reviews and now as published authors, we also have a connection. Kristi is awesome and such a wonderful and unique person. So pull up a chair, and let's see what she has to say, shall we?
Have you always wanted to be a writer? If so, why?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was younger, growing up, I’d re-write the stories endings to the books I’d read that I thought hadn’t produced the right amount of “drama.” J I was all about being caught up in the fantasy of the story and would tweak things to my satisfaction.
you come up with the characters you do?
To be honest they come to me fully
formed and yammering at me. I’ve yet to set out and craft a character
purposely. I prefer it when they come to me, their background all ready sorted
and my knowing exactly who they are and why. Makes it easier to tell their
story and for me makes the character seem a little more realistic.
Do you plot out your books or fly by the seat of your pants?
Up until my recent full on
suspense, I was a pantser for sure. I knew how the story started, how it ended
and what the big dramatic challenge would be. I’ve only recently started
storyboarding and that’s been an immense help in keeping all the story elements
sorted out and clear for me. I’ve also used this method for my latest project
that is a three book series set pre WWI.
any one person influenced your writing career?
Heather Graham and Patricia
Grasso and Brenda Joyce have all three influenced me in one-way or another.
They have all been super supportive and Brenda even gave me a cover quote for
my historical romance Gabrielle.
Do you have a favorite genre to write and to read?
I’ll read just about anything. Love the classics like Les
Miserable. I read it every year, such an amazing collection of dynamic
characters. I’m also very partial to romance and the happy ending. As for my
writing life, I try to write every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words.
I get my chores done, so I don’t feel guilty…lol…and then I sit down with my
coffee or tea and dive in for a few hours. I love writing historic
fiction/romance the most. Although I find writing suspense to be a challenge from
the other stories I’ve written in the past.
time you were a Romantic Times Book reviewer, what did you find to be the
hardest part of that job?
Honestly, being given a book I wouldn’t have naturally gravitated to. At the same time it did open my mind to different stories and genres. I also HATED not liking a book. I know what goes into the writing and heart and effort it takes to start and finish a book. This is why I always made sure I found something positive to say even as I gave a low rating.
could live in any time and any place, when and where would it be?
I love the
Edwardian era, or Downton Abbey time frame, in England. I’ve always wanted to
write a series during this time period but have constantly been told no one
would read it. Well I’m working on something now so we shall see. There is something about this time period
that just calls to me.
is coming next for you an author?
I’m currently finishing Her Highlander’s Kiss, which is book 3 in my Clan Ross series. After that I’m working on a three book series set prior to the outbreak of WWI. Three strong women, facing life’s impossible choices during a wartime situation. I’ve had an incredibly great time researching the series and I’m really excited to start writing it.
Do you have any sage advice for aspiring authors?
DON’T GIVE UP! If telling a story is your passion, something you want to do, don’t let anyone get in your way, make it happen. Only person standing in your way is you.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
THANK YOU SO MUCH! If it wasn’t for my readers, I wouldn’t be doing this. I love hearing how much they love my characters and my stories. I’m so glad I’ve been able to touch lives and give a little downtime to a stranger through my own fantasies.D
Sunday, March 29, 2015
For those who have been asking for print books for two of my time-travels, you will have your chance on April 29th. "Viking, Go Home" which was released back in 2010 and "Semper Fi Magick" in 2011 will be out in print form. My awesome publishing house "The Wild Rose Press" has combined both these previously only ebooks into one book under the title of "Soul Of A Warrior."
Two warriors, one from the past, one from the present, are blindsided by magick and given a second chance at love.
Viking, Go Home
Wulgar Thorrason's inability to control his desires earns him the ire of a faery princess. Sent forward in time to modern-day Michigan, he will have to learn the difference between lust and love. The petite beauty, Raven Harrison piques his interest, but how can he prove his feelings are more than lust when she scoffs at his advances and does not believe his tale of being a time-traveling Viking?
Semper Fi Magick
After a failed mission, Special Ops Marine Derek Harrison wants peace and quiet as he recuperates at his cousin's home. What he gets is a sex-on-heels woman with a snooty attitude. Not only does she remind him of his ex-fiancée, but she claims she's a faery princess of the Seelie Court. Now she's not only getting under his skin, she's getting into his head and delving into his nightmares. Maybe there is more to Catriona than he first realized.
Two couples battle time and destiny. Will they discover love before it's too late?
This book and "Tiernan's Punishment" for those who know who Tiernan is from the second book will be with me in Dallas at the RT Booklovers Convention. I will also have copies of "Immortal Justice."
And just so you know, I am diligently working on a fantasy trilogy that my
editor believes will rock your socks off, or maybe snap your wands?
Anyway, glad to be back with you!
Thursday, March 19, 2015
I have been a fan of Amanda's for several years. Not only is she an awesome author, but a fantastic friend. I am so pleased she was able to stop by my blog for some insight into what she is like and what is coming up next when comes to her books!
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My dad, as it
happens was a regional rep for a large magazine publisher, so I grew up
perusing such classics as Vampirella and Monsters, Inc. magazine. I love Alfred
Hitchcock stories as well as Poe, so it’s a wonder that I don’t write more
paranormal I suppose.
My reading tastes, like my music has always been
eclectic. But the one aspect of my writing that I attribute to my formative
years is the delight I take in investigating the darker side of my storytelling,
with lots of twists and turns added in;)
How did you fall into writing and becoming a published author ?
I think I’ve
evolved into a storyteller. I am an artist and my dream was to be an cartoonist
for Disney, but life happens (as it often does) and I like to think that I now
paint pictures with words.
I was the last person
in our house to think we needed a computer. (Ha!) I started out writing a
weekly newspaper column on the importance of the Fine Arts in schools…from
there, I found Lori Soard, then president of the online chapter of RWA (Romance
Writers of America)and she was a wonderful tutor. I took some writing classes,
and eventually did some reviewing of many genres before the writing bug bit me.
That was about 14 years ago and the journey has been amazing.
Is writing something you’ve always wanted to do?
Not at all. I loved to read. I loved to express my storytelling by way of my sketches and painting. I think having kids also gave me greater incentive to write. We surrounded our kids with books—fiction and non-fiction—when they were growing up and too the newspaper column opened my eyes more to what was out there. Once I began to let my imagination run free, I began to pen stories as though painting a picture. I’m still a very visual writer.
Out of all the books you’ve written, do you
have a favorite and why?
I don’t have a
favorite. Each one is like a literary tattoo on my soul of where I was in my
life at that time.
If you could go back and rewrite the ending for one of your books which book would it be?
None of them. LOL Is
Where do you get your plots and your
line in a song, observing people in real life, a news clip…its often said
authors are like sponges absorbing the emotions around them…so true.
I know you’re one busy lady, so tell me what
you do when you have some downtime.
I love spending
time with family and friends. Getting back to nature, walking, traveling the
backroads of this country, being near the Great Lakes-(yes, any of them, I’m
Do have any particular authors who are your
As far as reading, I have many. As far as who they are as people, there, too, I have many. I do make it a rule not to read in the genre that I’m currently writing and actually researching is one of my favorite reads!
My current WIP is RENEGADE HEARTS, Book III in the Kinnison Legacy series. I also have another series in the wings and a possible few more books to spin-off from the Kinnison books. I will be releasing my time-travel duet—Tales of the Sweet Magnolia-Wild & Unruly, Book I and Fallen Angel, Book II—on March 20(first day of spring!) as a boxed set! There may yet be more tales from the Sweet Magnolia as well!
And is there any type of advice you could give aspiring authors?
tons of advice out there. Learn your craft. Nurture your imagination. Be kind.
Be tenacious. Understand there will be hills and valleys, it’s about doing what
And is there anything you would like to say
to your fans? My heart is
full of gratitude when I hear that someone has enjoyed one of my stories. My
readers are my greatest inspiration!
Three men. One legacy.Meet the Kinnsions and the women who will tame them!
Amanda has been
referred to as a "true artist in the writing realm' and her zest for life
inspires her "character-driven" stories. Her passion is to take
ordinary people and place them in extraordinary situations, delving into the
realm of potential and possibility as she watches them become the heroes and
heroines of their own stories. She counts herself fortunate to be able to do
what she loves, aspires to stay fresh and unique to her voice and listen to her
Thursday, February 12, 2015
I had the pleasure of meeting Desiree back in 2007 at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Houston, Texas. We shared some small talk and she was so kind to an unpublished author. I have never forgotten how she encouraged me to keep trying! Now, lets chat with one sweetheart of a lady!
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Texas, in the Hill Country which of course is why cowboys are so prominent among my heroes!). I live in a typical small Texas town and you’ll find snippets of it in a lot of my books. I’m a voracious reader and own more than 2,000 titles. I’m also an avid football fan. Oh, maybe rabid would be a better word, especially where my Michigan Wolverines are concerned. Maybe because my first writing job was as the first female sports reports at The Michigan Daily. I love to watch movies, either action/adventure or a good love story, and I love hanging out with my kids, all of whom are adults making their own lives.
Have you always wanted to write?
Yes, but I didn’t really get the chance until I finally retired. I did some newspaper work, writing s a stringer for several local weeklies, and for the magazine at both universities where I worked. I also did a lot of public relations copy, but not much fiction. But I kept notebooks with ideas scribbled in them, and as soon as I was retired I went to work on them and haven’t stopped!
Was it hard to write erotica?
Not as much as I expected. When the opportunity presented itself my husband suggested I buy a few books, read them and see if I felt comfortable. And I did, more than I expected. I think it’s because all my stories are character-driven, and sex is a natural progression of the development of a relationship. I don’t believe in gratuitous sex just for the sake of sex. It has to be meaningful and part of the story. So if I concentrate on my characters it’s a lot easier than you might think.
And do you have a favorite genre you like to read?
Two,actually-contemporary romance and action/adventure.
What can you tell us about how you felt when your first book was contracted?
I was so excited I could hardly stand it. The word came through an email from the publisher. I oriented it out and sat staring at it for so long my daughter, who was at my house at the time, said, “Mom, it won’t disappear. I promise.”
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I love all my readers. They are the people I write for. I love hearing from them, talking to them, meeting them and getting feedback. Even not for them, writing would be a very solitary, unrewarding occupation. I want them to know I am always accessible and always listen to them. I have actually written books based solely on requests from my readers so keep those emails coming.
And what advice would you care to give to aspiring authors?
Learn your craft. Join a critique group and soak up the feedback. Search on line for any sites that give hints on the do’s and don'ts of writing. Love what you do and do what you love. But above all, stick to it, even if you only write a page a day. This is a very competitive business and it’s very easy to get discourage. But if you stay with it, set goals and keep to a schedule, success can be yours.
What is the one book you feel the closest to?
I’d say Do You Trust Me. It’s set in San Antonio and uses a lot of background from the city. It also has some great scenes in Maine, where I grew up, so I was able to combine two of my favorite places. Plus I was able to combine my favorite genres—action/adventure, romance, erotic romance. And I am still in love with my hero, Connor McCall. I keep hoping he’ll show up at my front door.
And just in case you didn't know this about Desiree...
Referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published erotic romance author. A graduate of the University of Michigan her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.
She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Ellora’s Cave Golden Ankh and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.
She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. Currently she has signed on as a blogger for The Huffington Post. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.
And here are just a few reviews about her work...
“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)“
“Well-written erotica filled with modern-day cowboys.—John Rodzilla, Emerson Univ., Boston The Library Journal
“Desiree Holt delivers smoking hot alpha heroes and red hot romances.” Lea Franczak, USA Today Happy Ever After blog.
“I have read many stories by this author and she never disappoints. She knows how to bring out the best in her characters that help you connect with them.”
Romancing the Book
“Ride the Mustang by Desiree Holt is everything you come to expect from Ms. Holt.”
Sizzling Hot Reads
Learn more about her and her novels here:
Monday, February 2, 2015
Friday, January 30, 2015
Theme Parks: Fun or Fright?
Do you love theme parks, or do you consider them scary places? Some people view these tourist traps with distaste, similar to circuses with their creepy clowns, dangerous acrobatic acts, and animal abuse. Others love the fantasy presented in their rides, familiar characters, and whimsical scenery. I’m one of the latter, although I am a fan mainly of the Orlando parks and not others. I view the neighborhood carnival through the same wary lens as I do the circus.
The bigger theme parks, however, hold an attraction for me. They can be fascinating places, magically transporting you to a realm of happiness, peace and joy. I’ve gone to Walt Disney World to celebrate my engagement, the release of my first published book, and recently our thirty-eighth anniversary. We’ve brought our kids there every year almost since they born.
Because these places elicit strong emotional responses, I’ve gravitated to using theme parks as a major element in my romantic fantasy Drift Lords series. But here I have turned them to a dark purpose, sort of like Ridley Pearson’s “Disney After Dark” books.
In my stories, the evil Trolleks—invaders from another dimension via a rift in the Bermuda Triangle—have turned theme parks and other tourist attractions to a nefarious purpose. Each of my three installments that are currently available uses this innate fear to create a sinister atmosphere in a place we look to for fun and frivolity.
Warrior Prince contains Drift World, an adult role-playing theme park in Orlando where you can live out your dream job. Nira, our heroine, visits the attraction while on an information-gathering mission. She hears an odd buzzing in her head in the presence of her guide, a lovely blonde woman named Algie, whose secrets Nira means to unravel.
Her ears tuned in to the buzzing noise in her brain. Beyond the omnipresent sound rose the splash of water, the droning of an airplane overhead, the flap of a flag in the breeze. Absent were the happy chatter and laughter of families like at other theme parks. Why this struck her as odd, she didn’t know. But something wasn’t right about this place.
In Warrior Rogue, the action takes place in Hong Kong at an attraction called Dragon Balm Gardens. What’s our hero’s quest? Why, to find the dragon, of course. This place is even less appealing than the one above. Drift Lord Paz Hadar and his lady friend, Jen, visit the park.
“What’s inside that place?” He stopped beside a mural featuring an azure sky and fluffy white clouds. Against this placid background, two dragons spewed cords at each other. The cords made a symbol in the center that looked a bit like the mansion on the hilltop.
Jen perused the pamphlet. “The pagoda contains Buddhist relics and the ashes of monks.”
Further along, they came to a scary statue of a husky man with big eyeballs, a wide sneer, and a muscular body. He carried a curved blade and looked as though he could come to life in an instant. The next path wasn’t much better. Paz glanced in horrified fascination at ancient punishments depicted by grind stones to press a person to death, body stretchers to pull limbs apart, and tools to cut out tongues from gossipers and to sever hands from thieves.
Ugh. Can it get any worse? In Warrior Lord, we’re back to a happy land called Jolheim Gardens in Copenhagen. Our heroes, Magnor and Erika, are searching for a clue to the fabled Book of Odin. They enter the Grote Mine ride, which seems innocuous. Or is it?
Short fellows with big eyes and funnel-like ears waved at them on their journey along the track. The small folk, busy digging for glowing rocks, wore friendly smiles under their miner’s helmets.
They got so close to one that she could see its eyelashes. Admiring the detail, she noted the sad look in his eyes, the smile that appeared more like a grimace, and the tear that streamed down one cheek. A tear? Water must be leaking from somewhere above.
Was it? Or were these people more real than visitors were led to believe?
So what about you? Do you adore theme parks or hate them with a passion? Which one is your favorite?
All commenters will be entered into a drawing for a free ebook copy of Warrior Prince.
To Buy the Drift Lords Series, go here: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=831
Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore. Several of these titles have made the IMBA bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. Her titles in this genre have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at conferences, libraries, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.
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