Tuesday, November 12, 2013

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Cara Bristol - Putting Romance into Science Fiction

Today I am pleased to have Cara Bristol with me in the Writer's Studio. Author of the famed 'Spanking' series, Cara brings us a wonderful read in BREEDER, an erotic Sci-Fi tale of another world where men are the Alpha species - or are they? Hmm

Rather than the traditional Q & A, I asked Cara to share a bit of her expertise with us. Please welcome Cara Bristol.


What comes to mind when you hear science fiction?
Sky labs, space ships, strange alien creatures, explosions, and light shows?
That’s a common perception of sci-fi, and people love that stuff—or they don’t. But science fiction is so much more than spaceships and aliens, more than Star Trek and Star Wars. It’s Jurassic Park, 1984, Andromeda Strain, A Handmaid’s Tale, Blade Runner, Logan’s Run, the Terminator, and Twilight Zone.

Sci-fi can be set far in the future or just a few years ahead. It can be set on Earth or in space or on another world. Serious or funny. Dystopian or utopian.  It can be almost indistinguishable from a contemporary story, or it can blend into fantasy and paranormal.
Most of all, it can be a love story. Science fiction romance is a subgenre that turns the futuristic into the setting for the romance.

When I started writing Breeder, I ventured into a “brave new world” of unchartered territory for me and my readers. But Breeder, a story of forbidden love, couldn’t be told any other way than as a sci-fi romance. However, I feared losing my contemporary romance readership base.
Emotion, I thought. Emotion is the key to success. Make readers feel what the characters feel. Make them gasp in shock, rail in outrage, cringe in dread, and weep in despair. Make them vested in the outcome. But let them finish the novel feeling good.

I set the stakes high every step of the way. I didn’t shy away from anything—not violence, not sex, not love. It’s all there in vivid detail. Show, don’t tell, became the mantra as I wrote the story.
I strove to avoid the elements that often bump me in sci-fi. I can accept strange aliens as secondary characters, but I want to fall in love with the hero. And spotted blue men with three eyes don’t do it for me. So the “aliens” of planet Parseon in Breeder are humanoid in appearance. Because reading sci-fi sometimes is like trying to decipher a foreign language, I created character names (and “foreign terms”) that were easy to pronounce: Omra, Dak, Corren, Sival, Marlix.
I tried to make the alien world relatable by making comparisons to earth.

Most of all, I offered story. Breeder can be read on two levels. The first level is the romance: a man and a woman triumphing against the odds to be together. But Breeder has a deeper message, which I never overtly state, but “show” throughout the book. I trust that readers will see it.


Dak, a ruling Alpha of Parseon, purchases Omra, a breeder slave. He intends to impregnate her and hand her off to his partner. As Dak and Omra discover a sexual bliss banned by law, he begins to question the ways of his people, jeopardizing his command and her life.


If not for the sneeze, Dak would have exited the musty, dank corridor. But the muffled sound caught his attention. When he squinted into the darkened cell, he spotted a female crouched on a straw mat in the corner. He hadn’t noticed her on his way into the Breeder Containment Facility; the habitation unit had appeared empty.

Dak turned to the BCF director and sighed. “What about her?”
The beta’s already crooked mouth drooped farther in distaste. “My apologies, Commander. You don’t want that one.”

Sival’s disparagement piqued Dak’s interest. The director’s opinion had proven worthless; none of the breeders he’d preselected for inspection had rated close to satisfactory.
“I would like to see her,” Dak insisted.
“Very well, Commander.” Sival saluted and opened the habitation cell with a master entry card. Dak stepped into the small enclosure. The director followed, and the metal gate clanked shut.


About Cara Bristol:
Cara Bristol has written everything from mainstream long and short fiction to nonfiction magazine and newspaper articles. She sold her first erotic romance in 2009. Now multi-published, she has ten erotic romances and two anthologies to her name. The author of the popular Rod and Cane Society domestic discipline series, Cara writes spanking fiction most often, but her published works also include contemporary and paranormal erotic romances. Breeder is her first science fiction novel and the start of a series. She lives in the Midwest  United States with her husband. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and watching reality TV shows.

Author website: http://carabristol.com/
Twitter  @CaraBristol
Facebook
Email: carabristol50@yahoo.com
Breeder Buy LinkAmazon
Breeder Buy Link - ARe



Monday, November 11, 2013

THE WEEK AHEAD - November 11 Coming out on top

Last week was pretty much a wash for me. Though we had a couple of mild pre-winter days I did not feel up to anything except taking cold meds and snuggling on the couch. 'Tis the season for the ABC Family Channel 'Countdown to Christmas'. They always have an amazing line-up of heartwarming stories of love and family during the holidays. 'Scrooge' is always thwarted in the end. And though predictable is not always something we like in a story, when there is potential for cold medicine to knock you out part way through the movie, you know there is going to be a HEA so it's all good.

I read the new book in the 'Hannah's Daughters' series by Emma Miller. Rebecca's Christmas Gift tells the story of another of the widow Hannah's daughters, Rebecca. I have loved this series set in an Amish community from the very first one, 'Courting Ruth'. There are several other books by Ms Miller and I look forward to reading them all.

As you can see by the sidebar, my Nano total is not so great. I wrote approx 900 words while we were in Nashville, which is where I caught this silly cold. So I did almost not writing on Heart on the Line until yesterday when I rocked out about 5000 words! Although I knew this was a story I could love, I wasn't feeling the passion for the characters like I did Trey and Ali in Somewhere Down the Line. But while trying to get a few words in Saturday I found my muse... my late stepmother, Grammy. She is Granny Pearl and in many ways, I am Kassandra Ewards. Not in the relationship with the hero, Bo Peterson, but in Kassandra's love of Granny Pearl and all the things Grammy taught me. Once I made that connection, the words began to flow. But then it was time for the Broncos vs Chargers game and life became the couch and a crochet hook for the next three hours.

I have been a Broncos fan since John Elway's first year on the team when I met him at a backyard BBQ. I don't care what people say about John. I met him off the field, away from press, just hangin' out and he is a good and decent man. I have a poster of John that my daughter gave me for my birthday one year. Though I have almost no wall space in my office, that poster hangs prominently next to my computer. Beneath the picture is the word DEDICATION - and the dictionary meaning of the word. John has dedicated the majority of his life to the Denver Broncos in some form to this day as VP of the organization. Some might think him an odd example to follow, but I think he's done okay for himself. May we all be half as blessed in doing what we love.

As a side note for all you John Elway fans, Stanford University will retire his #7 Jersey in a ceremony on Thursday, November 14th. He will join Jim Plunkett (No. 16) and Ernie Nevers (No. 1) as the only players whose jerseys have been enshrined by the program. Congratulations, John!

Monday, November 4, 2013

THE WEEK AHEAD - Nano Week 1

And We're Off!

Well, some more than others. Off to a good start, I mean. Not in an 'off' way, though maybe those of us who take on this crazy challenge are a bit 'off'. But knowing we are not alone is what makes the journey so much FUN!

I don't have much of a word count yet but I knew I would be slow out of the gate. Spending time with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters (Adrian and Abigail) is so much more important to me. I know they will not always live close enough for me to visit whenever I need those precious hugs so I take all the opportunities I can now.

Amid the chaos of Abigail (2) pretending to be a puppy (something she learned from her big sister) and Adrian (6) playing Candy Land at the other end of the table with Grandpa (they are quite competitive LOL), I did manage almost 900 words.

Now we are home. This is Day 4. I've been getting some business stuff caught up while the washing machine gets a workout. But I'm almost through with the 'have to' projects for the day and ready to open up the manuscript. I left Cassie gathering up the band's personal items from the concert hall dressing room, making sure everything is back on the bus before they pull out to the next town on the tour. Soon Cassie's phone will ring with sad news and then the fun begins.

How's your Nano projecting going?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CONTESTS & CONFERENCES - Just checking in

As we approach the holidays, the contests and conferences have dropped off. I am positive the flood gates will open again about February. I'll be on the look out for new opportunities to share with you in 2014.

The only CONTEST is NanoWriMo. And while nano really isn't a contest, it is a challenge for us to push our boundaries. Like contests, Nano is an opportunity for us to try something new. Maybe you've had a story idea that is not in your usual genre parameters. NanoWriMo is the perfect opportunity to PLAY!

And who knows, you might just come away with something contest or submission worthy in the new year!

Enjoy your holidays!

Monday, October 28, 2013

THE WEEK AHEAD - Nano Looms!

Happy Monday, Everyone!

There's a nip in the air, the leaves are changing colors, the birds are feasting heavily at my feeders. Those are all sure signs of.....

NANOWRIMO!

You thought I was going to say fall, didn't you? Until ten years ago, I would have. But then I got bit by the Nano bug and my autumn's have never been the same.

Have no clue what I'm talking about? The greatest writing challenge EVER!
National Novel Writing Month  aka NanoWriMo challenges you to write 50,000 words of a NEW novel in 30 days. To sit down and write that book you've always said you wanted to write but never made time to do. November IS THE TIME!

Yeah, November is crazy with holiday preparations, mid-terms looming... blah blah blah But when else are you going to find so many like minds in one place to cheer you on - or commiserate with? Okay, there are other times (I'll be telling you about those as they become available) but nothing like NANO!

I've made some amazing friends through NanoWriMo and my novella under contract with Boroughs Publishing Grp, Somewhere Down the Line, was written during the 2012 challenge.

This week I'll take time to put together my SMASH book for my Nano2013 Project, Heart on the Line. I do better with more than an idea to play with. I need to know who my characters are, what they want and what's going to get in their way. That's all I started with last year and I wrote the rough in 18 days! I have no notion of doing that this year, but I do plan to get the rough written.

So come on! Join the FUN!

Friday, October 25, 2013

NETWORKING - Not for the Faint of Heart Part 2 -

LET'S GET SOCIAL!

IF you missed Part 1 of this discussion, you can go HERE

I know I promised this part of our social media discussion several weeks agon, but I have a valid excuse. I’ve had to totally strip out my bedroom and everything from there is in the living room while we remodel from a flea infestation. Nothing is where it should be and I’m a bit out of sorts. I’ve also been practicing this week’s topic. NETWORKING.

I will admit that most of my networking has been for the freelance side of my writing. By day I spend my time making connections in the music industry. I promote artists and where they are playing. After several months of friending artists, promoters, managers and music publication editors on Facebook and tweeting/ following the same people on Twitter, my name is finally getting passed around. More artists are friending me first, instead of the other way around. They are favoriting my tweets, and tweeting back thank you’s. Well, that’s great that these people all know who I am, but what is the purpose? I want them to know who I am so when I approach their people about an interview, I am more likely to get a YES than a no. That’s where the money will come from.

Networking is laying the groundwork for bigger things. Networking is important in ANY business but I think even more so for independents like authors, musicians, artists, etc. People who do not have the backing of a corporation to promote them.

But as in any business, there are rules to follow. Nothing aggravates me more in this business than SPAM on Twitter and Facebook. They call these two formats ‘social media’ for a reason. Before I go there, let’s talk about SPAM.

SPAM is when someone only posts lines from their books with a ‘buy’ link.
SPAM is only posting to your wall or twitter when you have something to sell.
SPAM is all about ME ME ME.

I've heard people say, "I don't see the purpose. They don't work for me."
There's an old addage in the business world - "XYZ Works, when you work the program."
You have to put in some time. TIME is a post for next week (promise)

Be SOCIAL!
Talk to people you follow, and who follow you. If you've not seen a post from them on Facebook for awhile, drop a note on their wall and ask how things are going? If they tweet something personal – not related to their book – comment back. Have a conversation.

Some people post horoscopes or quotes. While these avenues get your face on the ticker, they also become something people glaze over so you’re wasting your time. The best way to make these places work for you is to hook up with authors you admire or who write in your genre. Talk about your character. If you’re book is set someplace you've never been, search for people in that area and ask questions. Writing a historical? Follow or friend historical societies, museum curators, weapons experts, etc.  Make connections. Get to know these people.

One of the coolest gals I know on twitter (outside of my local peeps) is Amber Lee Easton aka @mtnmoxiegirl  She is from my home state of Colorado. She talks about her day and fitting writing in amongst everyday life. She posts pictures from her deck that make me homesick. We have common ground. We began tweeting back and forth and now it’s an almost every day occurrence.  Because we've built a relationship, Amber knows she can count on me for retweets of the important things and vice verse.  That’s how this Social Media thing is suppose to work. Work it! You meet some really cool people and expand your network at the same time.

The bonus is that READERS will follow their favorite authors on FB and Twitter. So when I tweet to Amber, using her @mtnmoxigirl in the tweet, my name goes out to her followers too. Over time, this will expand my reader base.

Key Points for TWITTER: 

  • Follow people you would network with at a real life conference
  • Write reviews and post links. Make sure to include the author’s name and #TITLE
  • Blog posts or Blog guests: Tweet the link but use a tag line. Don’t just ask them to click. That won’t happen. Leave a cookie crumb they’ll want to follow!
  • Comment on someone’s tweet. When you do, your name goes out to their followers too! 
  • Those ripples just keep spreading with every tweet
  • Don’t SPAM. Quickest way for me to unfollow you. 

Do better understand how Twitter works, I recommend Get Twitterpated by Jen Nipps
      PRINT                    KINDLE

For a collection of blog posts on Twitter, check out my friend S.D. Keeling. Her tips are AWESOME!                                       Part 1                         Part 2                        Part 3

Key Points for FACEBOOK:

  • Be active (This one is hard for me because most of what I do is on Twitter)
  • Join groups that will benefit your business AND that you can CONTRIBUTE 

The other question I'm asked all the time is 'How do you have time?"
That's next week!




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR - Bernadette Marie




A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of a FREE read from Amazon by Bernadette Marie entitled The Executive’s Decision. Although I found some mechanic issues in the writing, I fell in love with Zachary Benson, Regan Keller and her family. The Keller’s are a family that comes to the aid of one another no matter what and are fiercely protective of each other. Sometimes, you just want a feel-good story and Bernadette Marie has written an entire series.


Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of thirteen when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.

   In 2007—after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children—Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released her own contemporary titles. She also quickly began the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events—usually hockey. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. An avid reader, she enjoys contemporary romances with humor and happily ever afters.

Bernadette Marie is here today to share the latest in the Keller family saga. Love Songs brings a second generation Keller to the forefront with Clara Keller.



BLURB:
Warner Wright is looking for that big break into country music, but the reputation of his ex-stepmother is getting doors slammed in his face. But when he hears the angelic voice of Clara Keller—he knows she’ll be his ticket.

When the talented Clara Keller and the sometimes awkward Warner Wright get together there is a spark even bigger than Nashville. Opportunity is going to knock on their door, but fame can be a tricky bedfellow. 

Making beautiful music will be the easy part. Facing Warner’s past might corrupt them both.


EXCERPT:
Could the sun possibly be any hotter, or brighter, or…
Warner’s brakes screeched as he came to a stop at the stoplight he’d nearly run though. The glare from the hood of his Ford was blinding. The sweat on his neck was annoying. And the fact that he’d just been told he had no talent, well that was pissing him off.
He had talent. He had a butt-load of talent. Warner Wright had performed on every stage in Nashville. Oh, he’d performed with some of the biggest names when they were begging for a job. 
He let out a breath. So why had he been passed up?
Oh he knew why!
The reputation of his family came long before he started trying to sell his songs. One thing about being the ex-stepson of Patricia Little, was all of Nashville knew she was trouble. 

I hope you'll pick up one - or all - of the Keller stories and become one of the family.

www.bernadettemarie.com
www.facebook.com/authorbernadettemarie
www.authorbernadettemarie.blogspot.com
@writesromance on Twitter
info@bernadettemarie.com



Thursday, September 26, 2013

HENNESSEE ANDREWS - Tattoos and Cupcakes

This is our final day of the Sunset Point Beach Hop here at The Writers Studio. I've enjoyed getting to know each of these talented ladies. Make sure you've hit all of the blogs for your chance to WIN!

Remember to look for the CODE word. You will need it when you register for your chance to WIN the complete 5-book Sunset Point series.

AND to encourage each of you to come back and meet all five of the authors, I'm giving away a Care Package you'll want to pack on your next romantic getaway! Just leave a comment on my blog for each of the five Sunset Point authors. 

Cocoa Butter lotion, Peaceful Waters candle, Blindfold and Tickle Feather!
After you've left LOVE for Erika and filled out your Rafflecopter, head on over to the Inner Goddess for a complete list of ALL the stops on the tour: INNER GODDESS BLOG TOURS

HENNESSEE ANDREWS - Tattoos and Cupcakes

Welcome to The Writer’s Studio, Hennessee. I’m looking forward to having each of you ladies from the Sunset Point series. Because I want to focus on your new release, TATTOOS AND CUPCAKES (9/19) and the AWESOME giveaway, I’m going to give you what I call my Fast Five. Are you ready?

1. You mention the varied personalities in your family. You’ve chosen distinct personalities for Dane and Bannock. What do you like best about each of these men?
Bannock Garrison, my sexy Sunset Point police officer, is the strong and brooding type. He is honest and cares deeply about protecting Sunset Point. What I like most about him is that although he is strong, he possesses a tender heart that has been hurt. He has issues about women and ménage relationships in general and has to overcome the obstacles that keep him from love.

Dane is the hot tattoo artist that came to Sunset Point from Texas. He is cocky, witty, and goes after what he wants. Above all, he is honest and speaks his mind. His most admirable quality is that fact he doesn’t give up.  As an artist he is a natural and applies his talent in an area he loves.

2.  FBI? Witness to a murder? Tattoos? Menage? How much research did you do for this fun mix of professions?
To be honest I didn’t need to do a lot of research except for in the cupcake area. I did spend a lot of time coming up with ingredients and titles for exotic cupcakes. Too much fun. As far as my men, well, I looked at oodles of hot pics in order to find the perfect match to the image I conjured. I studied tattoos so that I could describe Dane’s gorgeous ink. There was some research into WITSEC since my heroine falls under their protection. With the murder, I had to dig deep and put myself at the scene in order to describe what Lane witnessed and try to accurately explain how she felt. By far though, the most difficult part of this adventure was learning about all the characters in all the books so I could help tie the series together with fun cameos.

3.  What attracts you to writing Menage?
 For me, the attraction to writing ménage was the challenge. I love the dynamics of such a relationship and how different personalities collide and scorch the bedroom with heat. The very idea of two men and one woman is just off the scales hot!

4.  Who would portray each of your three characters in a movie?
Wow, this is fun. Hmmm, for Dane Hutchinson I’d say Jensen Ackles He is the closest match to Dane’s character I imagined. As for Bannock Garrison there is a toss up between Chris Pine or Jake Gyllenhaal. Lane Erikson, my heroine, would have to be portrayed by Rachelle Lefevre. 

5.  Best writing advice you ever received?
Best advice ever, “Not everyone will like your writing.”  This is the truest statement I’ve ever heard. I find that it is an impossible task to please every reader even though I’d love it if I could. 


CODE WORD:
HAMMOCK


BLURB:
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, bondage, spanking, food play, sex toys, HEA]

Being sequestered on Sunset Point Island is the least of Lane Erikson’s worries. Being a witness to a murder may be her demise. What does one do when a network of FBI wanted criminals are looking to kill you? You run like hell, even it’s to a place you’ve never heard of.

Dane Hutchinson, local tattoo artist, sets his sights on winning Lane’s affection and sharing her with Bannock Garrison, Sunset Point police officer. Bannock never wanted a ménage relationship, even though his parents have lived a happy life in one. The idea of sharing a woman bothers him, but losing Dane’s friendship bothers him more.

As the relationship begins to soar with possibilities, Lane is faced with her world crashing down again, and her life hangs in the balance. Can Bannock and his colleagues save the day? More importantly, can Bannock overcome his distrust for women and allow Lane into his heart and share her with his best friend?

EXCERPT:
Lane didn’t waste any time. She tossed off her apron, not needing to be told twice. “I’ll be back in a little bit,” she called over her shoulder and bounded out the front door. Bannock may have a past that still hurt, but damn it, she did, too. Realistically, Lane felt she shouldn’t be able to trust men again, but Dane had made her believe in love and the pursuit of love again. If she was putting her heart out there, so could Bannock. Underneath his gruff and uncaring attitude, Lane knew Bannock had feelings for her, too. One stupid woman who couldn’t see what an amazing man he is shouldn’t still have a hold on him, she decided. He is lucky, his ex isn’t trying to kill him or have him killed. Big baby. 


GRAB YOUR COPY!
Purchase:

Purchase the ENTIRE Series:


About Hennessee Andrews:
I reside in southwestern Missouri but I call Oklahoma home; it's where my family and I are from. I'm blessed to have two older brothers, an older sister and a younger brother. Each is as different as day and night and all have unique personalities that are easy to love. My mother has been my inspiration and the first to set me straight when I wanted to give up. She always would say, "Can't never could do anything." I believed her and I have tried on many different hats trying to find my niche in life, and there have been many. Thank goodness I finally found a personal passion and it only took thirty-seven years--not too shabby.

Outside of writing, working, being a mom and wife. I love genealogy and have researched extensively over the years. History is fascinating to me as well as mythology and ancient religions. I'm a firm believer in karma and that everyone has a special talent. Sometimes they ignore it while others embrace it. As for me, well, I'm embracing mine and learning something new every step of the way.

CATCH UP WITH HENNESSEE!

TWITTER: 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SUSAN HAYES - Breaking Point

We are not through yet! Today's guest from the Sunset Point Beach Hop is Susan Hayes. There is still time for you to hop back to the other blogs and catch up. You do not want to miss a stop for your chance to WIN the complete 5-book series that will have you packing your bags for your own getaway!

Remember to look for the CODE word. You will need it when you register for your chance to WIN the complete 5-book Sunset Point series.

AND to encourage each of you to come back and meet all five of the authors, I'm giving away a Care Package you'll want to pack on your next romantic getaway! To Win, you must leave a comment on each of the 5 blog posts by the Sunset Point guest authors - on my blog. 

Cocoa Butter lotion, Peaceful Waters candle, Blindfold and Tickle Feather!
After you've left LOVE for Erika and filled out your Rafflecopter, head on over to the Inner Goddess for a complete list of ALL the stops on the tour: INNER GODDESS BLOG TOURS


SUSAN HAYES - Breaking Point

Welcome to The Writer’s Studio, Susan. I’m looking forward to having each of you ladies from the Sunset Point series. Because I want to focus on your new release, BREAKING POINT(9/18) and the AWESOME giveaway, I’m going to give you what I call my Fast Five. Are you ready?

1. I’ve heard it said ‘our life begins not the day we are born but the moment we connect with our other half’. How do you think you know when you’ve found The One? Or in Lexa’s case, The Two?
For some people love is a lightning bolt, for others it’s a whisper that grows louder with the passage of time, but there’s always a moment when you realize that the person you are looking at is the one.  The one you’ve been waiting to find.

For Lexa, reconnecting with Beau and Diego was not just a lightning bolt, it was a full on tropical storm. They were already in her heart, she just needed to remember them and the life she had forced herself to forget. Accepting that she could love two men and live a life of joy and laughter… that took a little longer.

2.  You’ve jumped out of airplanes. Have or will any of your characters become part of the Mile  High Club?
I will absolutely add a few fictional members to the Mile High Club at some point, but it hasn’t happened just yet.  At least not unless you count smoking hot sex in outer space, but that’s in another book entirely.

3.  Strawberries and Champagne or Whipped Cream and Chocolate Syrup?
 Whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Why sip champagne and nibble on fruit when you could be getting sweet ‘n sticky instead? There’s a scene in Breaking Point that echoes that sentiment perfectly. It involves cupcakes, frosting, broken furniture and a round of applause from Beau and Diego’s fellow officers.

4.   Can you ‘go home again?’
I still live on the same island I grew up on, so in many ways I never really left home. The truth of the matter is, I wouldn’t want to go back to an earlier part of my life. I am just hitting my stride! I am finally writing professionally, I have dear friends and a life that puts a smile on my face every morning. Why would I want to go back?

 5. Best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Write what you love. That is the best, and possibly the shortest bit of advice I’ve been given. It’s also the one I pass along most often. If you are passionate about your topic, if it makes you happy, then that will show in your words and your story telling. If you try and copy what’s popular, or someone else’s voice, you will never reach your full potential.



CODE WORD:
MOONLIGHT


BLURB:
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, public exhibition, spanking, sex toys, HEA]

Lexa Fox lost her childhood the day her mother took her and fled Sunset Point. Twenty-three years later, she’s returning to claim her inheritance from a father she barely remembers, in a place she doesn’t belong.

Detectives Beau Rivers and Diego Mendez grew up in ménage families and always knew they’d be a trio if they could find the right woman. They’d found her once, but fate took her out of their lives long before they were old enough to stake their claim. No woman since has ever managed to live up to their memories of Lexa, so when fate brings their childhood sweetheart back into their lives, they do everything they can to convince their gray-eyed, world-weary beauty to stay.

There are dangers to be faced and enemies to overcome, but in the end it’s up to her men to show her that some hearts never give up hope, and some loves have no Breaking Point.

EXCERPT:
       “Just a taste, please?” Diego murmured and lowered his head until their breath mingled and she could feel the heat of his skin shimmering against hers. 
       “Whoa, Dig! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Diego’s childhood nickname tumbled out of Lexa’s mouth as she tugged her head back and away from him. She tried to move away but Diego’s hand spanned the back of her neck, making it impossible to step backward more than a few inches. 
     “I’m saying hello to an old friend,” Diego stated and then kissed her, his lips gentle as they lingered over hers. Before she could muster the brainpower to react he withdrew, leaving her heart pounding and her legs shaking in response to his touch. 
     “Hell, if you get to say hello with a kiss, so do I,” Beau said and moved in behind her so that her small body was tucked up against his. 

GRAB YOUR COPY!
Purchase:

Purchase the ENTIRE Series:



ABOUT Susan Hayes:
Susan lives out on the Canadian west coast surrounded by open water, dear family and good friends. She's jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and had lunch next to royalty by accident. She's passionately in love with the written word (and a few of her more hunky creations.)

Writing is her joy, her escape from reality and the only way she knows of to quiet the nagging harridan of a muse she claims the universe assigned to her.

CATCH UP WITH SUSAN!





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LORI KING - Point of Seduction

We kick off this week's Sunset Point Blog Hop series with Lori King. Only three ladies from the Sunset Point Blog Hop left for you to meet. Are you packed yet?

Remember to look for the CODE word. You will need it when you register for your chance to WIN the complete 5-book Sunset Point series.

AND to encourage each of you to come back and meet all five of the authors, I'm giving away a Care Package you'll want to pack on your next romantic getaway! To WIN - just leave a comment on all 5 of the Sunset Point posts on my blog.

Cocoa Butter lotion, Peaceful Waters candle, Blindfold and Tickle Feather!
After you've left LOVE for Erika and filled out your Rafflecopter, head on over to the Inner Goddess for a complete list of ALL the stops on the tour: INNER GODDESS BLOG TOURS


LORI KING - Point of Seduction

Welcome to The Writer’s Studio, Lori. I’m looking forward to having each of you ladies from the Sunset Point series. Because I want to focus on your new release on 9/16), POINT OF SEDUCTION and the AWESOME giveaway, I’m going to give you what I call my Fast Five. Are you ready?

1)   Three very enticing men in this new book. What makes each of them unique?
One of my favorite parts about writing ménage is giving each hero a unique personality. Austin Curtis is the strong silent type with a heart of gold. He's a born leader, but when he meets Gaby he finds himself awestruck and tongue tied. Michael Curtis is Austin's younger brother, and he is an easy going free thinker who loves to make Gaby laugh. The Curtis brothers find a unique harmony with their best friend Kendrick McClure. Kendrick was raised by a single mom, and has always wished for a large family. He can't pass up the chance to share a woman with his two best friends.

2)   Fabric is very sensuous. What drove you to create Gaby’s profession?
When Gaby's character formed in my mind I saw her dressed in a white cotton dress that was soft and sensual and cupped her curves perfectly. The best way to ensure that she would be wearing clothes fitted her body was to have them created for her. And who better to create them, then Gaby herself? Gaby is a woman with drive and determination, and a rocky relationship with her parents has left her feeling the need to prove herself with her career. Building a business from the ground up and having her product be handmade just fit her perfectly. Designs by Lark is the premier women's clothier on Sunset Point. 

3)   You consider yourself the ‘average woman’ but every woman is special. What would your husband say makes you ‘special’?
Besides my dirty mind? LOL My husband tells me that one of my most attractive qualities is my drive and determination to make myself better and achieve more. I'm never quite content with "good enough," and I'm always planning my next move. We met after my first marriage ended and I was a single mom working two jobs to take care of two toddlers. He said he never thought he wanted kids until he found the perfect mom for his children. And just for the record, I feel pretty damn lucky to have him too. 

4)   Hero or Heroine.. which do you come up with first?
I almost always meet my heroes first. It's rare that I find a heroine and have to learn about her heroes. Usually I'm looking for the right woman to fit into a grouping of men. Austin, Michael, and Kendrick needed a woman who could love them all three for their individualities and Gaby is perfect for them.

5)   Best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Sophie Oak told me once that the most important thing about being a full time author was to take yourself and your career seriously. This means treating it like a business. Make yourself write every single day, and don't let other things take away from the importance of your writing. 


CODE WORD:
SKINNY DIPPING


BLURB:
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Ménage a Quatre Romance, M/F/M/M, spanking, HEA]

Built around the premise that love can be found with multiple partners, the island of Sunset Point has always been Gabriella Larkin’s home. She respects the open-minded community, but her own past relationships have left her burned, and she can't overcome her doubts about love. Throwing herself into her clothing boutique, Designs By Lark, she makes it her number one focus, until she meets Austin, Michael, and Kendrick.

Brothers Austin and Michael Curtis, along with their best friend Kendrick McClure, are new to the island, but not to the idea of ménage. A chance meeting with the gorgeous Gaby has sparks flying and the men planning on seduction. Enthralled by the intense sexual attraction between the four of them, Gaby embarks on a tumultuous and passionate relationship with the trio, but reaching the point of seduction will mean facing off with her past…

EXCERPT:
“I’ve never experienced a ménage, so I can’t say if it’s better or worse than the shitty
relationships I have experienced. I don’t honestly know if I could handle that kind of relationship.” Austin’s nostrils flared, and his jaw clenched at the mention of her previous relationships, and she wanted to laugh. Could he really be feeling protective of her? It seemed unlikely considering he had only known for about eighteen hours, and had grimaced at every turn while she talked about herself.

“The question is, are you brave enough to try?” Kendrick asked as he reached out and ran his
finger tip down her cheek to her throat. Electricity seemed to zip from the point of contact directly to her dripping cunt, and she shivered.

GRAB YOUR COPY!
Purchase:

Purchase the ENTIRE Series:



About Lori King:
I’m your average woman that juggles three kids, a husband and a full time career as an author. Over the years I have used writing to ease my stress, clear my head, and ingite my passion. I love romance stories, and I look for a Happily Ever After (HEA) in every story, so it seemed only natural that when I finally sat down to write a book that I pick Erotic Romance as my genre.

I love to hear from fans, and even from people who aren’t fans. I appreciate all feedback that is respectful in tone. Don’t forget to Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance!

CATCH UP WITH LORI!





Wednesday, September 18, 2013

LAURIE ROMA - Cross Point

Next on our list of guests from the Sunset Point Blog Hop is Laurie Roma. Over the next two weeks we'll have the opportunity to visit with all five of these talented ladies from Siren publishing. Their new Sunset Point series is enough to make any woman want to pack her bags for a memorable getaway.

Remember to look for the CODE word. You'll need it when you register for your chance to win the complete 5-book Sunset Point series.

AND to encourage each of you to come back and meet all five of the authors, I'm giving away a Care Package you'll want to pack on your next romantic getaway!
Cocoa Butter Lotion, Peaceful Waters candle, Blindfold and Tickle Feather!
After you've left LOVE for Erika and filled out your Rafflecopter, head on over to the Inner Goddess for a complete list of ALL the stops on the tour: INNER GODDESS BLOG TOURS



LAURIE ROMA - Cross Point
Welcome to The Writer’s Studio, Laurie. I’m looking forward to having each of you ladies from the Sunset Point series. Because I want to focus on your new release, Cross Point out today, and the AWESOME giveaway, I’m going to give you what I call my Fast Five. Are you ready?

1)  Love that Trinity may have to choose between two very different men – both with one goal on their mind. If you were Trinity and HAD to choose only one, would you choose Jackson or Maxwell?
LOL Nope. If I was Trinity, I wouldn’t choose between Jackson and Maxwell. Trinity
is bold, brash and beautiful, and doesn’t take orders well at all. If you tried to make her choose, it might get you shot…or at least smacked around a little. *wink wink*

The truth is that Trinity needs more than one man to keep up with her. Maxwell King’s quiet strength and extreme confidence makes him a good balance for the adventurous side of Trinity.  His love helps to heal a part of her that needs a steady foundation. And then there is Jackson Stone. He is Trinity’s match in every way. They are both wounded souls, looking for the love and acceptance they have been denied for most of their lives. When the three of them come together it is a perfect balance. Each of them gives something to the relationship that makes them a strong, cohesive unit. Plus, both men are wicked HOT!

2)  Most difficult thing for you about writing ménage?
Balance! For me, balance is the key to making a good ménage relationship work. It’s difficult enough having two people come together, both bringing their own baggage, but adding more people into the mix is just asking for trouble. Any successful ménage relationship needs to be based on trust, and knowing that each person is valued in the group. Hence, the balance, but sometimes that’s a bitch to get down on paper…

3)  Fruit: Strawberries or Melon
Strawberries…preferably in a flute with champagne poured over it or dipped in chocolate ;)

4)  Love at first sight? Or Lust at first sight?
Lust. I believe love happens over time. You can’t have love without respect and trust, and those need to be earned.

5)  Best writing advice you have received?
Don’t give up. Seriously, don’t ever stop writing. If you have a passion for it, follow your dreams and keep working at it. Success may not happen overnight, but it will never happen if you just sit on your ass and don’t
even try.

CODE WORD:
BIKINIS


BLURB:
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romantic Suspense, M/F/M, public exhibition, sex toys, HEA]

Former IAD agent Katrina “Trinity” Cross is in desperate need of a vacation. When a friend asks for a personal favor, Trinity agrees to fly to the island of Sunset Point, only to find that things in paradise aren’t what they seem…

Jackson Stone is a man who likes regulation and order, but when Katrina Cross arrives on his island, life as he knows it'll never be the same.

Falling behind schedule is not allowed in Maxwell King’s orderly world. Missing money, cheap materials, and a dead foreman top of the list of his problems, but nothing shakes him more than the sexy siren that sets his body on fire…

As the investigation heats up, Maxwell and Jackson both fall for Trinity, but she can’t choose between the uptight corporate mogul and the rough and ready police lieutenant. Can she find a way to keep them both, or will their love become a casualty at the Cross Point?

EXCERPT:
   Around six-three and built like a golden god, the man was wickedly good looking. Built like a prized fighter, he was packing some serious muscle and had a fierce aura about him that all but screamed cop! He had an almost shaved head that only showed a hint of dark hair that matched the five o’clock shadow covering his chiseled jaw. Intense green eyes seared into hers as the man pulled his own weapon, approaching her slowly.
   “SPPD, put your weapon down.”
   Damn, she was good. She’d called it right. Trinity cocked her head to the side, intrigued by the easy command in his deep voice. Never one to pass up an opportunity to poke at authority, she couldn’t help it. “Badge me.”
   He froze. “What?”
   Trinity grinned. “Badge me, baby, ‘cause I ain’t putting this down ‘til I see your brass.”

GRAB YOUR COPY!
Purchase:

Purchase the ENTIRE Series:



About Laurie Roma:
Laurie Roma lives in Chicago and is the author of the IAD Agency and Arcadian series. She has always loved immersing herself in a good book and now enjoys the pleasure of creating her own. She can usually be found tapping away on her keyboard, creating worlds for her characters while she listens to music. Of course her playlist depends on her mood…but then again, so does her writing.

An avid reader of the romance genre, nothing bothers her more than annoying characters. Seriously, who wants a happy ending for someone that pisses you off? She loves tough alpha-male heroes and strong heroines that have brains as well as beauty. Her novels are filled with both passionate romance and down and dirty lust-driven interludes, as she believes both are essential to a good love story. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at laurieromabooks@gmail.com.

CATCH UP WITH LAURIE!
Siren Author Page:  www.bookstrand.com/laurie-roma
Twitter:  @laurieromabooks
Facebook Profile:   www.facebook.com/Laurie.Roma.90
Amazon Author Page:  
Email:   laurieromabooks@gmail.com





Tuesday, September 17, 2013

UPDATE - Barb Bettis & Silverhawk

We did not get this through in time yesterday to share. You can pick up SILVERHAWK today on Amazon FREE -http://tinyurl.com/m49lzkq

ERIKA REED - Hearts and Handcuffs

Today's guest is the first on our Sunset Point Blog Hop. Over the next two weeks, we'll have the opportunity to visit with five fabulous authors from Siren publishing. Their new Sunset Point series is enough to make any woman want to pack her bags!

Remember to look for the CODE word. You will need it when you register for your chance to WIN the complete 5-book Sunset Point series.

AND to encourage each of you to come back and meet all five of the authors, I'm giving away a Care Package you'll want to pack on your next romantic getaway!
Coco Butter, Peaceful Waters candle,Blindfold and Tickle Feather!
After you've left LOVE for Erika and filled out your Rafflecopter, head on over to the Inner Goddess for a complete list of ALL the stops on the tour: INNER GODDESS: Blog Tours


ERIKA REED - Hearts and Handcuffs

Welcome to The Writer’s Studio, Erika. I’m looking forward to having each of you ladies from the Sunset Point series. Because I want to focus on your new release (tomorrow), HEARTS AND HANDCUFFS and the AWESOME giveaway, I’m going to give you what I call my Fast Five. Are you ready?

1) Handcuffs. Metal or Fuzzy? 
      I prefer fuzzy ;)

2) Amber, Reid and Dante – Which actors would portray them in the movie version? 
    Dante-Bradley Cooper, Reid-Josh Duhmel and Amber-Amy Adams

3)   What attracts you to the Menage genre?
    I find that it is a fantasy for many women what it would be like to be pleasures by two men at  
    the same time.

4) Favorite scent  
     My favorite scent is the smell of Victoria's Secret Pure Seduction body spray.

5)  Most helpful piece of writing advice you’ve received. 
     Never trust the editors to find mistakes for you. Always double check your work for yourself.

CODE WORD:
Nude Beach


BLURB:
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romantic Suspense, M/F/M, light bondage, spanking, sex toys, HEA]

When Amber Green is offered a new job and a chance to move to a tropical paradise, she says yes and packs her bags, leaving her old life behind. Or so she thinks…

Millionaire Reid Sullivan is a widower who is immediately intrigued by Amber, and offers the beautiful woman a job to work for him as his live-in housekeeper after hearing she needs a place to stay.

Dante DeSoto is a hard-ass detective from Chicago whose investigation leads him to Sunset Point after the sudden death of Amber’s ex-boyfriend. Upon meeting the gentle beauty, he is convinced of Amber's innocence. Dante decides to stay on the island so that he and Reid can help protect her.

Both men want Amber, but they’re going to have to find a way to share. With old demons and new dangers dogging them every step of the way, the three lovers will have to fight for the happily ever after they long to share.

EXCERPT:
     Amber already had a strong connection with Reid the first time she met him. Now that she had been introduced to Dante, she feared that her attraction to the two men may get complicated for her. How could she be attracted to two men at the same time?
     Amber had heard numerous stories of the ménage relationships on Sunset Point. It wasn’t an uncommon lifestyle to lead here on the island. Maybe it was just the island that enticed her with the sudden attraction to Reid and Dante. Ever since Amber stepped foot on Sunset, she had never felt more free or happy in her entire life. There was something magical and seductive
about the haven she now called home. It was like living in nirvana. And now she was going to be living under the same roof with two of the most sinful and panty-wetting men she had ever encountered.


GRAB YOUR COPY!
Purchase:

Purchase the ENTIRE Series:






About Erika Reed:
Erika Reed lives with her husband and two daughter's in Southern California. She enjoys writing when she can find the time between being a wife and mother. When she has a chance, she enjoys reading the latest book on her Kindle Fire. You can also find her at Facebook. Erikareedauthor






Monday, September 16, 2013

BARBARA BETTIS - Guest Author

I have a lovely surprise for you today. Barbara Bettis is a member of Ozarks Romance Authors in Springfield MO. I've known her for several years. I find her to be delightful, generous and fun. She pours her heart and soul into her writing and her debut novel, SILVERHAWK, is a shining example. I hope you'll enjoy our visit today. Then scoot on over to AMAZON to get your copy.

 Hi Angela,
Thanks so much for hosting me today.
My pleasure, Miss Barbara. I've compiled a list of questions for both readers and writers. A little something for everyone. Let's get started!


Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write new words is at my desk, where I can be alone. I edit at the dining room table when there’s no one else in the house. Otherwise, it’s back in my office.

Do you have a writing routine?
Yes. It’s bad.  Actually, I do have to work on getting social media and promotion in balance with writing.

Which comes first – Characters or Plot?
Character. Sometimes character and plot come together, but usually I see the people in my mind first.

Which of the following do you struggle with the most: Characterization, Plot, Emotions, Passive Voice  And do you work through the challenge?
I think the one thing I have to really work on is emotion. I always have to go back and layer it in. But the positive thing is, I’ve realized that it’s okay to do that. I don’t have to have everything there the first time through.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received?
Don’t worry about making it perfect the first time through. For years I thought I had to have the first part just right, and the rest would flow from there. I took me awhile to see for myself that no matter how ‘right’ I thought the chapters, they’ll probably be changed when I go back for the edits.

If you could travel forwards or backwards in time, which direction would you go and what would you most like to experience when you arrived?
No doubt—back in time to the Regency period or the Middle Ages.  Although I’d love to see my knight and live in a castle,  in actuality, early castles could be cold and damp and uncomfortable and smelly. Life, even for most nobles, was hard compared to what we have today. Although I might want to visit, I don’t think I’d want to remain there, because—no pain meds and the sanitary conditions were appalling.

Tell us something that can make you smile, even on your worst day.
Of course, my grandchildren. But they’re not always around. If I want a guaranteed smile, I read the back pages of my Columbia Journalism Review for all the headline and wording errors from newspapers and magazines. I remember making some of my own. But they weren’t nearly as funny. LOL

Most romantic thing a guy has ever done for you?
My husband was wonderful to do little, unexpected things for me and his support was absolutely phenomenal. One of the things I recall is his surprising me by moving with me for six months to Fayetteville, Ark., while I was doing my resident status for my doctorate. I’d thought I’d have to take a room somewhere for the week and drive home on weekends, or drive back and forth every night. He treated the months as a ‘vacation.’ We closed up the house and took an apartment in Fayetteville.  It turned out to be among the most wonderful experiences we shared. To me that was more romantic that all the flowers, etc., that he ever brought me. (Oh how sweet!)

Favorite Comfort food?
Anything chocolate. I absolutely believe in its calming effects. LOL. However, after hugely stressful and traumatic events—ice cream. I don’t have a favorite flavor. But I do love hot fudge. 

Favorite thing to do to relax?
I actually like to talk to friends. Otherwise, a good book, especially one by an author I know and like. I have a keeper bookcase and if my TBR pile is down, I go for a book I’ve already read and that I love. It’s like revisiting old friends.

Tell us a little about SILVERHAWK
He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.




Would you share an excerpt with us?
This scene is taken from the Lady's Garden. 

Lady Emelin knelt at a patch of straggly flowers. As Giles advanced, the bright moonlight cast his shoulders as a darker shadow on the ground ahead. By the rigid set of her back, he knew she heard him. He couldn’t explain what had prompted him to veer off course, to seek her out.

Now he stood in the midst of a dead garden, in the heart of Lincolnshire, unsure of his intent.

Emelin sat back on her heels with an exaggerated sigh. “Would you move your shoulders, Sir Knight? They block what meager light I’ve found.” If a tone could cross its arms and tap its toe, hers did. A lightness inside him felt shockingly like a smile.

That’s why he was here. She amused him.

“Where would you like me to move them, my lady?”

“London, I should think.

You show her attitude well and I love her candor as to where she'd like him to move. That line always makes me smile.

So where can our visitors purchase your book?
SILVERHAWK is available at Amazon -  http://tinyurl.com/m49lzkq


SILVERHAWK will be in wide release in November 2013

That's wonderful, Miss Barb. Thank you!  And thank you for being with us today. 
Here's a little bit more about Barbara Bettis:
Award winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.

She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.

Visit her at: http://barbarabettis.com and www.barbarbbettis.blogspot.com

You will also find Barbara:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/BarbaraBettis



Thursday, September 12, 2013

NETWORKING - Not for the faint at heart - Part 1

Several years ago I was part of The Writers forum on AOL. I was HOSTWRTRRmAngel and hosted a workshop on Wednesday nights called The Writers Zone. We had topics for new and seasoned authors. I was blessed to have veteran authors like Vicki Lewis Thompson, Shirley Jump, Stella Cameron and the late Charlotte Maclay share their wisdom from the trenches. With all of their experience the one thing hard for some of our workshop participants to grasp was dealing with the act of selling their book to readers.

Apparently, many of these want-to-be authors wrote then assumed someone else would do all the publicity work. They could hide away in their jammies and write. Um... NO! Even back then, the author still needed to do some jaw work. With the dwindling number of hard publishers and the explosion of eBook, the ability to market yourself and your book is even more important. So how do we do this?

First off, in the words shared to me by Boroughs Publishing CEO, Chris Keesler (years ago when he was with Dorchester), "Don't be nervous." I equate that statement to "don't be afraid." Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. You have to let your DESIRE to live your dream to override your FEAR of rejection.

People do not bite. Really? What bites us in the ass is our own fear of rejection. But more on that later.

In today's publishing world, our marketing begins long before we ever sell a book.
In real life, you have to attend writer functions such as local groups, workshops and conferences. You have to put your hand out and introduce yourself. Be prepared with a very short blurb about what you write.
"Hi, I'm Angela Drake. I write sub-genres of romance. My characters tell me what they're up to. What do you write?"

Then be prepared to LISTEN. Show them the same courtesy you expect. Have business cards handy that will direct them to your website/ blog. You might even choose to have the QR Code Graphic on your business card they can just scan if they choose that will take them directly to your website/ blog. The one below is from a blog called 'Readers are Leaders'. The link will take you to an post Kara wrote on QR Codes.


Another blog full of information, including apps for creating your own in 4 easy steps, is from BlogHubspot 

I plan to redo my business cards with a QR code link to my blog. That will never change. When my book, Somewhere Down the Line, is released in a few months, I'll create the QR code that will link to my Amazon author page. 

So now, I have you meeting people in person. Next Thursday we'll talk about networking opportunities on the net - and I'm NOT talking about social media... okay a little bit. But that is not the focus.. just one of the avenues. 

Until next week!
Keep taking the dictation! 
Angela



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

JUDY NICKELS - The Bogus Biker

Good morning, everyone! I haven't had a guest here in awhile so when my friend Judy Nickels contacted me about her new book I knew I had to have her. I hope you enjoy our visit.

Get to know Judy:
Judy Nickles (also writing as Gwyneth Greer) is a retired teacher and ‘Mimi’ of three. She has four  published full-length novels with The Wild Rose Press and one with Champagne Books, as well as several short stories and articles in online and print magazine and anthologies. Her newest project is the Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series for Kindle. Books 1 – 4 have been released. The final two books will be available by September 15. She finds story ideas in travel experiences, genealogical research, newspaper articles, and sometimes just through a chance conversation or people-watching. She shares her empty nest with one very large dog and is having her adolescent rebellion 50 years late. Her favorite possession is her Kindle, and her favorite recent memory is taking a ride in a WW II B-24 bomber built the same year she was born.

Thank you for visiting with us today, Judy. Let's let everyone else in on our conversation.

You always said “someday you would write with purpose”. When did you make the leap from hobby to professional?
I suppose it happened when I received my first contract from The Wild Rose Press in 2008. It’s difficult to distinguish between “writer” and “professional writer”—the latter sounds a bit daunting.

How do you balance promotional time with writing time?
I keep my websites updated and use social media sparingly. I have also found a paid source which is both reasonable and rewarding. Another writer who has done quite well with indie publishing shared with me that she gets the word out there and is then done with promotion. What she said made sense and took the pressure off, because I wasn’t really sure that non-stop hardball promo really paid off.

Time travel…would you go forward or backward in time, and what would you most like to experience?
I’d like to go back to the eras of the Great Depression and World War II—not that they were happy times, but they were challenging and character-building. I’d just like to be part of a generation who worked together toward an important goal. We seem to have lost sight of the idea of being united these days.

Some of your books have a recurring theme of WW II. Are you drawn to that time period? And if so, what is the attraction for you?
Well, I was born during WW II and grew up in its aftermath. Most of my friends’ fathers went off to war, and some didn’t come back. (Mine did.) It wasn’t history for us—it was real life. I listened to my parents talk about it—not the war so much as how it was to live day-to-day during those uncertain times. I knew people who endured long separations because of the war, appreciated each other more because of it, and lived totally in the present. The war, though I don’t remember it, is part of me because it affected how I grew up and who I grew up to be.

I know your granddaughter is one of your best friends (mine is, too. Hehe) What do you hope is the most important thing she remembers about time with grandma?
Hanna just turned six. I suppose I want her to remember that I shared myself with her—read her the books/stories I loved as a child, sang the old songs my grandfather (born 1873) taught me to love, took time to talk to her and answer her questions, provided the same structure she has at home (and thus made her secure), and hopefully, built her interest in writing. (I have to have someone to leave my file of ideas for all the stories I’ll never have time to write.) I hope she thinks of me and remembers working alongside of me in my study, her wee desk nestled close to mine, classical music playing, the sun streaming through the windows…and sharing a smile—no words were necessary.

You and your granddaughter enjoy the classics. Which one would you like to see made into a movie and why?
I think they’ve already been made into movies, and I’m just waiting until she’s old enough to truly enjoy them. This summer I read several to her: The Secret Garden and Heidi. Next up is Little Lord Fauntleroy. All of those are already on film. However, I also read to her from a set of 1939 Childcraft (which will be hers someday), and she particularly enjoyed an old Persian tale, “The Crow Peri”. That would make a nice movie. She also loves The Legend of the Bluebonnet, which could be spun off into a good children’s film.

If you could trade places with one of your characters, which one would it be and why?
Jean Kingston in The Showboat Affair. She got knocked down, picked herself up (with encouragement from a friend), and went on to find a happiness she never dreamed existed.  She discovered she was stronger than she thought and courageous enough to give life a second chance.

What is the best writing advice you ever received, and how have you put that advice into practice?
Just write. Get the words down. Worry about ‘cleaning them up’ later. First drafts stink.  I write, revise, write more, revise more…it works.

What form of promotion seems to have worked best for you so far, and why do you think it’s worked?
Probably offering the first book of the Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series free on Kindle for two days. It got 894 downloads, so I thought it wouldn’t really sell but would spur the purchase of the other 5 books. As of today, it’s SOLD 1,371 copies!
Also, I think pricing is important promo. I could earn higher royalties on a higher-priced book, but people are buying the lesser-priced copies, so it may be a wash.

Your books have real ‘heart’, Judy. What do you hope your readers come away with?
Today more than ever, people need to take away a feeling of peace and hope from what they read, and I’d like to think I can provide that. The themes of forgiveness and reconciliation run through my books. We need those things, too. I don’t target my books as Christian fiction, because that’s ‘preaching to the choir’. But I’d like to subtly share the deeply-held beliefs which have helped me survive.



Tell us a little about The Bogus Biker and Penelope Pembroke
Penelope Pembroke is the owner of the best (only) B&B in Amaryllis, Arkansas (pop. 5492) who’s
flirting with 50, divorced (Travis Pembroke, had a wandering eye'), mother of Amaryllis PD Detective Bradley Pembroke, apple of her father Jake Kelley's eye, best friend of Mary Lynn Hargrove, the mayor's wife, and the only human creature tolerated by Abijah, the 18-pound orange tabby who stalks the family home-turned B&B.

Penelope keeps her ear to the ground, her eyes open, and her battered heart in solitary confinement. Then one night, while having a beer and a Reuben at the seedy-though-popular Sit-n-Swill, she meets Tiny aka Sam who is about as much of a biker as she is a belly dancer.

She insists on dabbling in danger and disaster despite Sam's best efforts to discourage her. The fireworks begin in Book 1, light up the skies in Books 2,3,4, and 5, and end in one spectacularly explosive display in Book 6.

Book 1: The Bogus Biker
A police raid on the Sit-n-Swill, a devastating fire at her ex-husband's historic home, and a game of cat-and-mouse with Tiny aka Sam turns Penelope's placid life upside down.

EXCERPT:
“I know what I heard.” Penelope Pembroke leaned across the table in the kitchen of the Amaryllis Bed and Breakfast, of which she was proprietor, and tapped the woven placemat with a well-manicured, unpolished nail. Blowing away the strand of honey-blonde hair falling across her nose, she readjusted the narrow tortoise-shell glasses perched on the end of that appendage, and leaned closer to her best friend Mary Lynn Hargrove, wife of the town’s longtime mayor. “I’m not senile, you know.”
            “No one said you were.” Mary Lynn placated Penelope as she’d done since the first day they’d met in high school some thirty years earlier.
            “You implied it.” Penelope reached down for the orange tabby nosing around her sneaker-clad feet and lifted him into her lap. “Abijah heard it, too.”
            Mary Lynn rolled her dark eyes
 toward the hairline of close-cropped black curls. “The only thing that blob hears is the sound of the can opener signaling dinner.”
            “He’s not a blob.”
            “He’s obese. He’s going to keel over one of these days. Death by Feline Feast.”
            “Oh, shut up.” Penelope stroked the cat, whose ample hindquarters hung over the edge of her lap. “Anyway, I heard what I heard.” The strand of hair drifted across one lens again, and she blew it away and tucked it firmly behind her ear, which set the long silver and turquoise earring swaying. “They specifically said the word ‘shipment’ and mentioned the Sit-n-Swill.”
            “Roger Sitton gets shipments all the time. It’s a bar and grill you know. He doesn’t make moonshine in his bathtub or slaughter his barbecue out back.”
            Penelope sat back and shifted the cat to distribute his weight more evenly. “These guys weren’t blessed salesmen, I’m telling you. They were, well, Mafia types.”
            Mary Lynn snorted. “Mafioso? Then by all means call the police. Call the FBI. Call out the National Guard or maybe the Marines.”
            The smirk on her friend’s face rankled Penelope, but she kept her cool. “I thought about calling Bradley, but he’s worse than you are. He’s convinced I lost it when I divorced his father.”
            “He was fifteen then, and it got you a better settlement than if you’d waited on Travis to divorce you.”
            “That’s true. I wasn’t so dumb, and I guess he knows that now. He just can’t admit I was right to dump his father, but the man couldn’t keep his blessed pants zipped. I put up with it as long as I could.”
            Mary Lynn shook her head. “That’s a dead mule. So tell Brad about the men.”
            “Since he got that fancy new title at the police department, he’s not that easy to talk to.”
            “CID. Criminal Investigation. Detective Sergeant Bradley Pembroke. You know you’re proud of him, Pen.”
            “Just so proud I can’t stand myself.” Penelope’s generous mouth parted in a wide smile. “So’s Daddy. I just wish his grandmother could’ve lived to see what he’s done.”
            “Your mother would’ve been proud. So would old Mrs. Pembroke. She was crazy about him as I remember.”
            “I think she knew Bradley wasn’t going to turn out like his father.” Penelope frowned. “You’re changing the subject. I know what I heard.”
            “Then tell Roger.”

            “Roger Sitton has lace on his drawers, for Heaven’s sake. He’d no more be involved in a drug deal than I would.”

I love your description of Roger Sitton. I can't wait to meet him and I'm sure my fans can't either. Where can they purchase your book?

They can find The Bogus Biker as well as my other books through Amazon  for ebook and print or CreateSpace for print.

Where can your fans find you?
I'm on Facebook, Twitter, my Blog as well as my website: http://www.judynickles.com/