20.12.11

Bring on the Romance!

Today is the launch of Cheri Colyer's debut Young Adult Paranormal Romance, Embrace. To celebrate, she's throwing and Embracing Change launch party and has written a fabulous guest post for my place.  Take it away, Cherie...

Bring on the Romance
by Cheri Colyer

I love falling in love. That weak in the knees feeling you get when you meet that special someone. The wondering if he likes you too. Discovering everything there is to know about each other.  Romance novels let us do this over and over again.

I’m not a big believer in love at first site. I think it’s more accurate to say that two people were instantly attracted to each other. It might be the way his lips tugged upward into a half smile when he was trying not to laugh or the hint of something untold when he glanced your way. Maybe it’s the way he is with other people or simply his Irish accent. Sometimes you aren’t even sure why you’re drawn to this person.

In Embrace, Madison Riley feels a strong pull toward the new guy, but if this pull is good or bad is yet to be discovered. Being able to learn just what it is that attracts two people is part of what makes a good romance novel hard to put down. Not knowing if this attraction is a good thing or a bad thing is part of what keeps me glued to the pages.

Another part of great romance (in books and in life) is the kiss. There’s the kiss that builds slowly: his lips brush yours softly – a taste – your breath catches, but before you can tell yourself to breathe his mouth covers yours and you’re lost in the moment. And the passionate kiss, the one neither party can wait for. Desire takes over and you just can’t get close enough. Sometimes the anticipation of a kiss is all it takes to get your heart fluttering and your mind whirling. And then there’s the kiss that ends too quickly, but gives you just enough to know you want to stick around and find out what that long passionate kiss will be like. Madison knows this feeling all too well...

He leaned in closer to me. His eyes were a shimmering, deep brown, but there was a speck of ocean blue at the edge of his right iris. I couldn’t remember what I was about to say. My heart did a pirouette in my chest, and my breath caught in my throat. I closed the distance between us. His lips were firm and warm, and I wanted to kiss him forever.
Until my stomach interrupted with a loud rumble, protesting that I hadn’t fed it anything that day. I cursed its timing.

Only time will tell if his kisses are worth the wait.

So, I’m dying to know what gets your heart pumping?

**************************
Embrace Launch Party Guest Posts!

Embrace Launch Party Posts!
Kim Winters, Kat's Eye Journal          
           
**************************
Embrace
a novel by Cherie Colyer

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. 

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. 

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. 

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. 

AUTHOR INFO

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Prizes: To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Cherie is giving away an eCopy of EMBRACE and 5-Embrace Hemp Bracelets today. There are three ways to win:

1) Leave a comment here or at any of the Party Posts.
2) Tweet about the Virtual Party or any of the Party Posts with tag #EMBRACEnovels
Example: 
Nothing could have prepared her for what she’s about to discover. #EMBRACEnovels @CherieColyer #YA avail NOW www.cheriecolyer.blogspot.com
Example: 
Celebrate the launch of EMBRACE by @CherieColyer #EMBRACEnovels #paranormal #YA avail NOW www.cheriecolyer.blogspot.com
3) Facebook (tag Cherie Colyer, author) about the Virtual Party.
Example: 
Celebrate the launch of teen paranormal thriller/romance novel EMBRACE by Cherie Colyer, author and enter for a chance to win Embrace prizes! http://www.cheriecolyer.blogspot.com

Do all three and you will have three times the chances to win! Leave a comment at each stop of the tour for a chance to win the Grand Prize.

If you haven’t already, remember to stop back by Cherie’s blog or click here to fill out the form to ensure your entry is counted.

16.12.11

DeJa Vu: Should I Have Faded to Black?

Yahoo, it's time for the much anticipated DeJa Vu blogfest!  Hosted by D.L. Hammons, Katie Mills, Lydia Kang, and Nicole Ducleroir.  I look forward to reading lots of great posts today. :)

For the fest, I decided to dust off the very first blog post I ever wrote.  I still stand by everything I said in it, and I've noticed that the topic of sex in writing comes up a lot in the blogosphere---particularly during Insecure Writer's Group.

So here you have my musings on the matter:


 Should I Have Faded to Black?
Originally posted March 6, 2010


My mother read the sexy chapters in my book.  She is less than happy.

I s'pose I could end this particular blog right there; I mean, it's no big shock that a mother would have trouble with her daughter writing such a thing, right?  But what really bothers me about it is that those few chapters seem to have skewed her overall view of the story.  The message that I hoped to convey has been lost amidst her shock and horror at the admittedly graphic depictions.

But it isn't only my mother's reactions that have me bothered. Most readers don't seem to mind those particular chapters one little bit, far from it, and yet I've become concerned that what they'll remember most when it's all said and done is the sex rather than the themes from the book that were my driving force to write it in the first place.

And so I have to ask: was I wrong to include such descriptive scenes?  Should I have faded to black?  Did I sabotage my own message by distracting readers with sex?

To be fair, the overriding theme of  "Three Daves" is sex.  But not necessarily the carnal act of it, more like when to have it, when not to have it, who to have it with, who not to have it with, and what are the emotional repercussion of having it?  Those are the kinds of things I hope readers will think about.  But I guess if I'm being honest with myself, I didn't need to inform the readers of whether or not Jen swallowed to tell those parts of the story. So why did I do it? 

Because another goal of mine was to keep "Three Daves" feeling real.  And in reality, sexual intimacy doesn't fade to black.  Neither does eating a meal, you may argue, nor attending an economics class, and I certainly didn't bore my readers with those details. But the story isn't about fine cuisine or university studies.  It's about sex, and so I need the reader to feel it, to understand the emotions and thoughts that pass through the characters when they are having it.  I need them to see it as more than just a kiss or a caress.  I want the experience engraved on their consciousness so they realize that it isn't something easily forgotten when the lights flick back on.  It's real.

This story is also about relationships.  And sexual intimacy leaves marks on a relationship, sometimes good, sometimes bad.  I want readers to know what the characters said to each other just before, during, and right after. I want them to see which guy kisses her forehead and which one pulls on his boxers and promptly falls asleep.  I couldn't depict the whole relationships without depicting those intimate moments that show the very different dynamic between Jen and each of the three Daves.     
 
So that's why I did it, and now you can feel good about yourselves for enjoying those particular scenes so much. ;) 

13.12.11

Christmas Cards

I've got the stack o' pain-in-the-arse Christmas cards (almost) ready to go, so I'm rewarding myself and sharing with you a Christmas card of sorts that I actually enjoyed putting together. My college roomie recorded this song in the 80s and it's still the one I most look forward to hearing again when the season rolls around.



So tell me the truth---what's your position on Christmas cards? If you send them, do you do it because you want to or because you feel like you have to? And if you don't---rock on, and for how many years have you been card-free?

~.~.~

 Aaand, now it's time for the weekly Author! Author! Blog Bounce.

Check out the Omnific Publising blog for lots of fun announcements, including a contest in which you can win a $100 Amazon gift card (ends really, really soon!), the December 99 cent Sale, aaaand the introduction of Omnific merchandise---T-shirts, mugs, whatnot of Omni titles.  

7.12.11

Please Fill in My Blanks

I'm just going to be up front:  I want to take advantage of you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Group brings so many talented writers to my place, and since the purpose of the group is to help each other out, I'm asking you to give it to me.  Help, that is. 

I'm writing a short story for a friend, and I'm stuck on a line---that's where you come in.  Please read and consider the following and let me know in the comments how you'd fill in these blanks:

"For the last ever-since-I’ve-been-here years, the holiday parties have sucked harder than (a) __________ on a teat full of __________."

The more innocent and less political the connotation, the funnier I'll find it.  Also, I want it to be fabulous.  No pressure...

Thank you for your participation. :)



Haha!  I am having so much fun reading your creative thoughts.  Just as witty as I expected.

It's Thursday now, so I'm going to piggy back this post onto the Author! Author! Blog Bounce, hosted by Omnific Publishing and open to ALL authors.
Happy Bouncing!

2.12.11

Talking to Tara Tyler


Hey, grab a mug o' whatever and please join me at Tara Tyler Talks where I fess up to which parts of Three Daves are based on my reality.  I'm dying to see what you think of my alternate title. ;)

30.11.11

Sex and Psalms...Pseriously?

Hey, I'm over at Fabulosity Reads today 'splaining myself and my unexpected use of scripture in my Chick Lit/Romance novel Three Daves.  Wendy posted her review on Monday. :)

Congratulations to Wendy on opening the brand new on-line bookstore, Fabulosity Galore!  Lots of great books and honest, insightful reviews.
 

It's Thursday, so please join along on the Author! Author! Blog Bounce 

23.11.11

Thanks

I'm about to dive into preparing my meager contributions to tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast (cranberry jello and artichoke dip) but before I do, I'd like to say Thank You to all of you for making this year of blogging a pleasurable endeavor. :)

I imagine most of us will be slowing down in Blogville between now and the new year, but if you're looking for a couple of fun and easy prompts for December, allow me to suggest these two supercool blog parties:


December 16



Resurrect an old post that either didn't get the attention it deserved or simply bears repeating.  



  December 20



Tell your tale of embracing change and why you're glad you did.   




Next week I'm excited to answer the two most frequently asked questions about Three Daves:

22.11.11

An Unlikely Pair

Congratulations to Deborah Anastasia on the release of her second novel, Poughkeepsie. The Omnific Publishing library just keeps growing!

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.


Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?

Debra shares teasers at her blog.  Poughkeepsie is now available in paperback, eBook, ePub, Kindle, Nook.  And here's awesome the trailer:


16.11.11

The Lady's Fate

A personal note before I begin---thank you all so, so very much for your kind words about Oreo bunny.  My kids have read your comments, and all of us are touched by your caring words.  Thanks. :)


Now, who am I calling "Lady"?  Why, the lovely Anne Gallagher, who was fated to bring the world her authentic and entertaining brand of Regency Romance.

Her debut novel, The Lady's Fate, is available at Amazon and Smashwords.  Her short story, A Wife for Winsbarren, is also available at Amazon


Amid all she's got going on, Anne let me bug her with a few questions about her writing, her "Reluctant Grooms" series, and publishing, but before we get to that, here's my review of The Lady's Fate.   


Review - The Lady's Fate:

I felt like I was reading one of the classics. Gallagher has done her research and The Lady's fate reads just as if it were written back in Austen's day. But she gives us a new set of characters to examine, and even though they're playing by the same set of Regency rules, the plot takes fresh, unpredictable turns.

The relationship between Violet and Haverlane takes time to develop, but their electricity is immediate, even before things get physical. Patience is rewarded with some of the steamiest kisses I've ever read---you know, the kind where you go back to read them again...and again, just to make sure you didn't miss anything. I think the attraction's even more intriguing because up until the very end, it's unclear if/how it can progress.

The characters are all well-defined and interesting, even those who are infuriating. My favorite is Lady Olivia in all her obstinate, noble, cane-thumping glory. I finished this book knowing I'd like to spend more time with them, so I look forward to more from this author---particularly in the "Reluctant Grooms" series.


Mini-Interview with Anne Gallagher

From reading your blog, I know you're a romantic devil so it's not surprising you write romance.  But why did you choose Regency Romance? 

When I was a kid, I read all kinds of historicals, but there was something about the Regency and the era of classes and manners that really stuck with me.  Perhaps it had to do with my upbringing in New England.  We're such Puritans, and manners are extremely important.

Reading Jane Austen also proved to be enlightening in that she could engage her readers so completely without once resorting to sex, or innuendo.  I wanted to achieve that in my writing, even though we live in a different time.  Sex sells, even in deoderant commercials, so I wanted to prove that it wasn't necessary to a good romance.

I also love a good corset. Keeps the muffin top from spilling over, and the girls nice and high.

Win-win situation, right there. ;)  I love your overlapping series concept, wherein the time frames of your stories overlap. I see that your schedule for publication of each story isn't in chronological order---how did you decide on the order of publication?


The series starts with THE LADY'S MASQUERADE, but as it was my "first" book, I found it wasn't as fabulous as I'd like and I'm still tearing that apart and putting it back together .  I decided to publish THE LADY'S FATE because it was ready.  I also wrote a short story A WIFE FOR WINSBARREN as a sort of accompaniment to it.  I couldn't just put one book out. I wanted something else.

I've been working steadily on THE DUKE'S DIVORCE and THE LADY'S MASQUERADE to get them out, hopefully before Christmas.  There really is no  reason why I'm publishing this way other than whatever is ready goes out.  When the series is complete, the way they appear on the blog post is the order in which they should be read. 

My contemporary romance/women's fiction REMEMBERING YOU will hopefully be out on Kindle by December 1.  (Genna and Tony and Pete for those who remember.)

You've eloquently described your reasons for self publishing, but what would you say was the most surprising thing you learned about self publishing after diving into the process?

That I could do it.  If you don't know anything about uploading, downloading, formatting, editing, it's really hard.  And I didn't know Jack about any of that.  So it was REALLY REALLY hard.  But I found that people will help you.  All you have to do is ask.


Okay, last question: if you had to pick one song that captures the essence of The Lady's Fate, what would it be? 

This was a tough one and I had to think long and hard about it because I have to have absolute silence when I write.  However, I do remember humming Linda Ronstadt's Heart Like a Wheel over and over again.  (Back to my 80's roots, just for you!)

Some say the heart is just like a wheel
When you bend it, you can't mend it
But my love for you is like a sinking ship
And my heart is like a ship out in mid-ocean

Such a sad beautiful song, and when Violet thinks she's lost Haverlane for good, I couldn't help think of it.




Thanks for the insight, Anne...and for the 80s. ;)




The weekly Author! Author! Blog Bounce is open to all authors every Thursday.  The Linky thingy is below, so please hop on or simply bounce around. 


10.11.11

Pet Sematary

I'm not sure this is post-worthy material, but many of you so sweetly commented on the cuteness of my bunny last month, and on the prettiness of my new garden in September, so it seems only right to report that the two have been combined. :(

On the 28th of October in the year 2011, dear, sweet bunny succumbed to oldness and died in my husband's arms on the way home from the pet clinic...just as I was explaining that the vet probably didn't know what he was talking about and we'd have many more happy months with our darling Oreo.  I knew it wasn't true, but I thought he'd at least survive long enough for the kids to come home from school and say good bye.


The burial was complete with holy water and a St. Francis medal, and on Saturday we went to the statuary to pick out this statue---it reminded us of the way he used to kick out his little back legs when he was at maximum relaxation.

He does have a tiny bit to do with writing.  You see, when I first started writing, I didn't tell any humans. Bunny became my confidant.  He even got a role in the story.  But whatever loss I feel, I know my kids feel it ten times worse, because they went to him with all those growing up things that you just can't relay to another person the way you can to a little friend who'll simply listen, and not try to solve your problems for you, and not judge or worry. 

I wonder how long it'll be before I stop setting Romaine aside for him whenever I make a salad, and peeking in to see what he's up to every single damn time I turn the corner by his room. *sigh* C'est la mort.







And now it's probably a good idea to skip off to a less morose blog.  

Allow me to suggest any of the fine authors participating in this week's
Author! Author! Blog Bounce

7.11.11

A Nikki, a Dave, and the 1980’s by M. Pax

You may already know about Semper Audacia, the exciting debut space opera novelette by M. Pax---but I'll be you had NO idea her new release could possibly have anything at all to do with Three Daves.  Well, think again...here is M. Pax's unexpected tale, complete w/ retro pics:

The U.N.  (M.Pax worked in the black bldg)
In the spring of 1986, I moved to New York City with dreams of ‘making it there’, a couple of suitcases and $500 in my pocket. Fresh out of college, I envisioned writing the great American novel.

My friend Nikki, who I met at freshman orientation, was kind enough to let me stay with her the first six months. When I saved enough money, I moved to Staten Island to share a house with a bunch of roommates. Taking a boat to work was fun, at first. The novelty wore off pretty quick though.

My first job was in Midtown near the UN. I saw mob shootings, Keith Richards, shared a cab with a Chippendales dancer, lived through bomb threats [there were a lot of embassies in our building], experienced the NYC club scene and stood behind Kurt Vonnegut in the lobby news stand one morning. He lived nearby. I read every one of his books, so it was a thrill to stare at his back for a few minutes.

I wrote when I could. Longhand back then. PC’s were barely a glint in anybody’s eye and no one had one. Typewriters were still the norm for home use. I didn’t have one of those either. My dilemma that fall was buy a new pair of sneakers [there were holes in them and I had to put baggies on my feet to keep my stockings from getting torn and my feet from getting wet] or eat for two weeks. I ended up with a boyfriend instead. He made sure I kept eating, so I could get those shoes. His name was Dave. He turned out to be a jerk, but I remain grateful he didn’t let me starve.

Nikki, M.Pax & friends at Phoebe's in the Village
At any rate, Nikki and I would often meet in the Village on Saturday nights. I let her read the first chapters of my great masterpiece.

She said, “You wrote about being alone a lot.”

Yes. I was in my early 20’s and had a flare for the melodramatic. I still do, but it’s mellowed some. All these years, we remained in touch, as I left NYC for DC then left the east coast for the west coast. Every once in awhile she would ask me how “Alone” was going. It was one of several started novels I never finished. Life kept butting in. I wrote in stops and starts.

A few years ago, I picked up writing again in earnest. I finished a novel and two rough draft sequels, a second novel and now I’m working on a third and fourth. It was inevitable Nikki would ask me about “Alone”, because she loves to tease me about it. So when she did two years ago I answered that I was rewriting “Alone” in space. I did. That story became Semper Audacia. It bears little resemblance to the great American novel begun in NYC, but echoes the feel of the piece in many ways, the most obvious, Leda’s loneliness. There were more splashes of inspiration for the piece. Most of my stories are a conglomeration of several sources of inspiration. For some reason, I’m never satisfied with just one. How about you?

So there we have it, my little space opera did have a connection to a Nikki, a Dave and the 1980’s.


Details: 99 cents. Space Opera. Novelette. 13,200 words 

Description: Alone. Leda is the last living member of the brigade, the sole defender of her world. War took everyone she knew, leaving her in the company of memories and ghosts. Or is it madness?

The siren blares. The enemy is coming. Or is it? The approaching vessel isn't a friendly design, but it answers with the correct code. Leda must figure out whether the arrival is reinforcements or the final assault. In an aging flyer, she ventures out to meet her world's fate, the last stand.

About M. Pax: Inspiring the words I write, I spend my summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where I live with the husband unit and two loving cats. I write speculative fiction mostly and have a slight obsession with giant, man-eating reptiles and Jane Austen. I know, they don’t really go together, but it’d be interesting to insert Godzilla in the middle of Pride & Prejudice.









2.11.11

Writer's Insecurity #3: Time

Don't you just love it when stars align?  When pondering which of my many insecurities to post about this month, it hit me---my guest yesterday, Susan Kaye Quinn, addressed one of my biggest writing issues: Making the time to do it (I almost said "finding the time" but let's face it, a big ol' bucket full o' mythical extra time is NEVER going to materialize) and then Enforcing that time.  

This mostly sounds like a discipline thing, but for me, discipline isn't the problem.  It's insecurity---the insecurity that adhering to my writing schedule isn't a good enough reason to say no to...well, just about anything else that wants my time.  Susan provided a marvelous and validating pep talk for those of us struggling with this issue in her guest post yesterday, so please scroll down for a  little reinforcement.
  
Goodness, did I almost forget to thank our illustrious host?
Thanks Alex!!!


Well, well, look at that, it's Thurday already and time for the 
Author! Author! Blog Bounce.  

You can get more info. here, and also link in and/or follow along w/ the marvelous authors on the list. 

1.11.11

Keeping Writing Time Sacred with Susan Kaye Quinn



Today is the launch of Susan Kaye Quinn's 
(book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) 


The book has already garnered fantastic reviews, and Susan is throwing a virtual launch party (#keepingOpenMinds)!  I'm thrilled to be a part of it.  


In her post at my place, Susan lets us in on how exactly she manages to accomplish more than seems humanly possible:





Keeping Writing Time Sacred
by
Susan Kaye Quinn


I’m lucky to live near Nicki Elson in real-life, and as fellow Omnific authors (her Three Daves and my Life, Liberty, and Pursuit), we’ve had a couple of occasions to get together. Most recently, we had tea and a flurry of conversation while ostensibly signing an anthology (Summer Breeze) that we had both penned a short fiction for.
As we were making arrangements, she suggested meeting during a weekday, when my kids were in school. School time is my writing time, something I’ve been trying to hold very sacred, even as I’m getting ready to launch Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy). I very much wanted to sit and have tea and catch up, but I asked if we could move our meet-up to Saturday, taking time out of both our busy weekend schedules instead. She was awesome and understood.

Keeping writing time sacred is tough to do, even more so when the other things competing for your time aren’t laundry or doing the dishes, but meeting with friends or spending time with your kids. Things you want to do, maybe even as much as writing. (Although I’m so seriously addicted to writing, there’s not many things I would rather do.)

For me, keeping writing time sacred means literally holding periods of time clear of any other obligations. I’m a stay-at-home mom, but I cut way back on my volunteer work to concentrate on my writing, including choosing not to run for re-election (for the last four years, I’ve been an elected board member of the third largest K-8 school district in Illinois). When my stay-at-home friends suggest getting together while the kids are in school, I say no. It’s not because I’m a hermit; it’s because I’m working (even though it may not seem so, as I stare out the window in an attempt to dream up a solution to the next plot point).

I’m just sure my real life friends think I’m slightly crazed, as I shuffle to the school drop off with my hair still wet, or dash to pick up the kids after school before they think I’ve abandoned them. I knew that Nicki would understand, because she’s a writer too (and she’s awesome), but I doubt my local friends have any idea of the commitment it takes to be a novelist. (BTW, I really like that word. Novelist. Isn’t it pretty?)
But then I’ll stop in at my kid’s school for some (rare) volunteer work at the Book Fair and see some familiar faces. They’ll ask, “How’s the writing going?” I’ll say, “Great! I have a novel coming out next month.” And they’re amazed. They say, “Wow, you’re so prolific! How do you do so much?”

I don’t remind them that it’s been over a year since my first novel was published. I don’t talk about how I’ve been working on this novel for two years and it seems like an eternity to me. I just smile and nod and say, “I’m a writer. It’s what I do.” Then I go back to my cave and do it some more.

*********************
See more guest posts about Open Minds at the Virtual Launch Party!

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) by Susan Kaye Quinn is available for $2.99 in e-book (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords) and $9.99 in print (Amazon, Createspace).
*********************
PRIZES!
Susan Kaye Quinn is giving away an Open Books/Open Minds t-shirt, mug, and some fun wristbands to celebrate the Virtual Launch Party of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)! (Check out the prizes here.)
Three ways to enter (you can have multiple entries):
1)      Leave a comment here or at the Virtual Launch Party post
2)      Tweet (with tag #keepingOPENMINDS)
Example: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. #keepingOPENMINDS @susankayequinn #SF #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/psX1Hh
Example: Celebrate the launch of OPEN MINDS by @susankayequinn #keepingOPENMINDS #SciFi #paranormal #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds
3)       Facebook (tag @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn)
Example: Celebrate the launch of paranormal/SF novel OPEN MINDS by @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn for a chance to win Open Books/Open Minds prizes!

31.10.11

Haunted Drabble/Darkspell Spookafest

If any holiday is made for not one but TWO blogfests, it's Halloween!  First up is Tara Tyler's Haunted Drabble.  You can enter your own 100 word spooky story by leaving a link to your post in a comment at Tara's.

The Dangers of Twilight

This wasn’t like the books. He didn’t sparkle in the sunlight. He told her he loved her—that part of the fable was true—but he was lying.

All tenderness ended the moment she entered his chamber; her screams weren’t those of the ecstasy she’d anticipated.

Her agony pleased him.

He chained her to his bed, her throat unblemished, and whispered, “You’re mine.”

Hours later, the click of approaching boots indicated his return. She gripped the splintered post in her cuffed, but now free hands, praying Meyers was also wrong about the effect of a stake through a vampire’s heart.

~.~.~.~.~

Today is also the super-exciting launch of Elizabeth Mueller's novel, Darkspell, and she's hosting a Spookafest, in which we reveal what we'd do if we had all the magic in the world. 

My first order of business would be to parse up the magical abilities and bequeath them to others I trust to use them responsibly.  We'd form our own Order of the Phoenix/Justice League type of thing to fight evil.

What I'd keep for myself would be teleportation ability.  I always say I love to travel, but that's not entirely truthful.  What I like is being other places---traveling there, not so much.  I'd also like to be able to teleport objects, like food from Feed My Starving Children, directly to orphanages and poverty stricken areas, bypassing hefty freight charges and corrupt governments. KAPOW!

Darkspell:
Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . .until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold. As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her. Violently thrust into a magical realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own. Will love prove thicker than magic?

Now available at Amazon, or check out how to order your very own signed copy at Elizabeth's website



Happy Halloween!

24.10.11

80s Fun with the Charming Elliot Grace

If you haven't heard, Elliot Grace is on tour all month long talking about his newly released novel, South of Charm.

"Many will relate to the book's themes of faith and loyalty, and Danny's frustration that no matter how good he is at baseball, it won't help him save his family."   -Akron Beacon Journal

I've got the book and it's next in line on my to-be-read list, but every review I read makes me more anxious to get to it.   It promises to be a modern classic. Also, it's set in the 1980s!  So, for Elliot's stop at my place guess what I asked him about...

Thirteen tour stops in all, headed in four directions and across the border into foreign lands, and from the onset, I knew without a doubt that you'd be the one to ask me about my chosen setting for "South of Charm."  (Which of course explains my enthusiasm for being here :)

In order to pen an emotional drama, something capable of coaxing tears during one chapter, while causing one's belly to bounce with joy upon the turn of a page, a writer must take comfort in two very important elements...one's home life surrounding the keyboard, and the setting of their story.  My goal was to arm the novel with the heart of a lion, but in order to do that, the setting and time frame had to resonate from a place that meant something to me, during a time when magic remained just out of reach.

Like yourself, Nicki, I grew up during the booming eighties. Ten years' worth of aerosol hair spray and leg warmers.  Of microwave ovens the size of compact cars, and hair bands strutting about in spandex.  It was the age of break dancing along city streets, and staying up on Friday nights to watch The Dukes of Hazzard.  And anything bearing rotary dials was frowned upon, as the age of push-buttons and digital displays packed the shelves at the local Big Wheel.

The eighties were about being cool.  Growing up as fast as possible while saving every last penny for that candy-apple Iroc-Z28 parked at the local dealership.  MTV still played music back then, and everywhere you looked, some poor soul was desperately trying to master the art of the moonwalk.

It took less than the amount of time needed to primp one's mullet for me to decide on the eighties for the setting of "South of Charm."  As my teenage son often reminds me, "You gotta get with the times, Dad!"

Perhaps someday...but not just yet ;)

Hehehe.  Thanks for stopping by, Elliot!
Check him out at his blog, Goodreads, Wooster, Amazon

21.10.11

Breathless blogfest

This is my entry for Brenda Drake's "Can You Leave Us Breathless" blogfest.  It's a brief excerpt from chapter 11 of my as-of-yet-untitled WIP.  I hope you like (and critiques are welcome).

Excerpt 

“It’s true that angels are less prone to temptation,” he said. “But when we give in, the betrayal is at a higher magnitude. It’s nearly unforgivable because it’s not in our nature, so it isn’t weakness we demonstrate.  It’s willfulness, which is much worse. But as with humans, the love of the Lord can save us---if we let it.”

His fingertips roved Maggie’s face, tracing her cheekbones, over the bridge of her nose, across her lips.  She closed her eyes as he glided over her eyelids while the sound of his smooth voice rolled over her.

“When we overcome the lure to sin,” he continued, “we’re strengthened tenfold by the Holy Spirit and made able to face our temptations more easily.”

Maggie thought of how different the calming sensations he now sent into her were from those she’d felt the last time he’d touched her. There had been an urgency then, something on the verge of losing control. He'd clearly mastered whatever had afflicted him then.

“We can come closer to that which tempts us than we previously would have dared,” he murmured.

Something tickled Maggie's lips, but it wasn’t his hands. His warm breath drifted in through the slight part in her lips as his mouth passed gently over hers, scarcely brushing against it.

He dropped one hand to caress the side of her throat as he rested his forehead on hers and concluded, “And resist without effort.”

His tone carried not a hint of smugness, and Maggie wondered how he didn’t feel the throbbing vein in her neck as it pulsed in time with her thundering heart.

20.10.11

Meet Feather Stone

So many bloggers made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when they hosted me and commented on my posts during my blog blitz last month, and now I'm thrilled to be able to return the love by hosting some amazing blogger/authors who have exciting things to tell us.  Elliot Grace will be here next Monday, Susan Kaye Quinn on Nov. 1, and M. Pax on Nov. 7.

To start out the lovefest, I introduce you to an inspiring, wonderful person---Feather Stone.  She's brand new to blogging and has just had her first novel published, The Guardian's Wildchild.  I feel blessed to have been the editor on this visually and spiritually beautiful story. 

Honestly, she had me at the first and last paragraphs of her acknowledgments:

How does a ship thank the ocean? The relationship is fraught with dangers of sinking or being shredded over a reef. And yet, the ship, if guided by wisdom and dogged determination, discovers its journey exceeds the joy in arriving at the destination. And so it is with the writing of this story. The experience was an intense journey of self-discovery.

And dear reader, as Sidney said, “I am grateful for the love and guidance of the Guardians, for all the trials and tribulations that taught me tolerance and courage, and for all the events that led me to you.”

Here's my three-question interview with Feather Stone:

1. What's been the most surprising thing to you about the publishing process? 

The publishing process has been an education.  I thought that if a publisher agreed to accept a manuscript for publication my work was done.  Instead, I learned that I was included in the editing process.  I then worried that pieces, large or small might be altered or deleted.  Not so, but areas that required clarification were brought to my attention, including errors in time sequence, inconsistencies in names, etc.  I was actually delighted that my input was still valued.  I began to feel a part of a large team of professionals who were focused in ensuring The Guardian's Wild Child was a 'good read' for the public.

During the years working on my manuscript I had envisioned it on the shelves of book stores.  However, the world changed during those years, embracing electronic devices called ipads, ebooks, etc.  It took me a while to make the switch to see that it was in my best interest to promote my novel electronically.  So the setup of websites, blogs, twitter, facebook has been a real, almost painful, stretch for me.


2.  Which character was the most fun to write and why? 

I truly loved all my characters, even Butchart who was a truly sick and wicked man.  I had completed a biography of all my main characters in the begining of the writing process.  As a result I felt I knew each one intimately, even beyond what was revealed in the story.  The one that would make me smile the most was Danik Davenport.  He was seldom in the scenes but how I would've liked to have been his girlfriend.  Danik was devoted to being a Guardian, but his sense of humor kept him 'human' in so many ways that the rest of us can identify with.  His love was genuine and fierce.  I could feel him look at me with those warm puppy brown eyes, see all my warts and still love me.  His heart was so open, more than any of the other characters in the story.

3. If you had to pick one song that captures the essence of The Guardian's Wildchild, what would it be? 

I always play music when I'm writing.  Enya, Sarah McLachlan, and Loreena McKennitt were almost always the singers with their soft haunting voices during these long writing sessions.  Over and over and over again I played their CD's.  However, if I had to pick one song - I can't; but two songs would be Loreena McKennitt's Dante's Prayer and Sarah McLachaln's I Love You. I'll let you pick one.

I'll give you both, Feather. ;)




Please check Feather Stone out 
at her Website, Blog, Omnific, and/or Goodreads