Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Allison Merritt


I am getting back in the groove and have some great authors lined up for the next several weeks. We are kicking of the Author Spotlight 2015 with a recurring author, Allison Merritt. Last we visited with Allison, she introduced us to Wynstan. This time she brings us a more modern cowboy Good Ride from the boxed set -  COWBOY UP2.

Before we get into the story, I asked Allison five writing-related questions. She offers up some great tips!

Welcome, Allison Merritt!


1) Why do you write?
Because I'm bad at math. No, really, I think the main reason is because it gets me away from the day-to-day problems like gas is high or groceries are expensive or the world can be a terrible place. In fiction, I can create anything from horrible problems for the characters to solutions that end in happily-ever-afters.

2)  What is your ‘Daily Mantra’ for writing? What gets you to your keyboard above other activities? “They are waiting.” I try to leave off at a chapter end so I can propel myself forward into the next scene, but sometimes that's not possible. Sometimes I have no idea where the story is going, but it's important to remember these characters—who often take over everything in my brain—are waiting for me to sit down so they can tell me where they're going next.


3) What is the best writing advice you ever received?
Penmonkeys love to write, not to get published. That's Chuck Wendig. He's extremely foul-mouthed, so take care when you're reading his blog, but the man is a writer encouraging genius. Erm, and I am published, but he has a point. The writing thing isn't about what comes after I've finished the story, it's about the build up while I'm writing it and the satisfaction when I can close a document and say, I finished something I thought I'd never get through.

4) What is your favorite genre to write and why?
Romance, over everything else. I need that happily-ever-after. There's nothing more satisfying to me than knowing two characters can overcome serious odds and make it through. It gives me hope, not just in my own love life, but in everything.

5) What is the one key career you remember from your childhood of wanting to be when you grew up? I seriously wanted to be an oil baron. I don't know how I thought I was going to get an oil field, but I was thinking, gee, you could make a lot of money doing that. On a more realistic note, I wanted to be a writer from the time I was 12, and that's worked out pretty well. Not quite as lucrative as an oil baron, perhaps, but definitely satisfying.


Here's the blurb for the box set, Cowboy Up 2, coming March 1, 2015.

Saddle Up with the best-selling authors who brought you Cowboy Up... And fall for six more Cowboys ready to steal your heart!
Authors in this box set: Allison Merritt, Leslie P. Garcia, Melissa Keir, Autumn Piper, Sara Walter Ellwood and D’Ann Lindun

And from Good Ride, Cowboy:
Thanks to her ex-boyfriend, Sommer Allen's life is in shambles. She's headed home to Courtland, Texas for her sister's wedding, but when a quick stop at a gas station ruins her plans, she's left stranded and at the mercy of a handsome cowboy.

Perry Glidewell is on his way back to Texas after winning another championship in the arena versus a bull. When he finds Sommer having a meltdown in the middle of a parking lot, he knows he can't leave her alone. Since her hometown is near his, it makes sense to hit the road together.

Sommer never imagined falling for a cowboy. His manners and gallant attitude win her over quickly, but with her future uncertain, she's not quite willing to give her whole heart to Perry. He'll do whatever it takes to break the walls around Sommer's heart, because beneath her tough-talking exterior, he sees she's the type of Texas girl he's always dreamed of.

Excerpt:
Perry opened the door. “What the hell are you doing? Are you trying to steal my truck?”

She glowered. “Of course not. You snore. I thought I'd be able to sleep out here. I was asleep, until I  turned a little and set off the alarm. I'm so sorry.” She handed him the keys and knocked something off the dash.

A lacy bra landed on his bare feet. His gaze shot straight to her chest. Sommer's t-shirt was tight around her breasts and her nipples made perky bumps in the material.

Perry clenched his teeth. Of all the damn things to notice. He bent down and picked the bra up by the strap. “Think you lost something.”

She snatched the bra out of his hand. “You try sleeping in one of these.”

“Not really my style, sweetheart.”

You can follow Allison Merritt through her:







Thursday, January 29, 2015

FINDING NORMAL - This Author's Journey


Every January first, most of us make resolutions or set GOALS we want to accomplish in the new year.  For me, I just want to enjoy the journey. I don't want to miss anything, I want to learn new things, experience new adventures... I want to do it ALL!

Well, I learned in November that I can not do it all. Most of you do not know I was out for the count for about six weeks beginning the first week in November. I had a sinus infection, ear infection in both ears and for the first time in my life I understood that vertigo is real. Okay.. so maybe I don't want to experience EVERYTHING. 

While this was happening, contractors were in and out of my house every day for twenty three days. All but three of those days I cooked for the crew. I LOVE to cook and miss cooking for a group of appreciative eaters. Not that my husband doesn't enjoy my cooking - he does - but he is only one. I was taught to cook for groups of 10-21. So aside from being sick, watching hungry men wolf down food was probably one of the high points of the build. 

What were they building? 

My new office space/ art studio!

The drawing is a bit off scale (was a quick sketch to show my MIL layout in relationship to the house) but shows my 480 square feet soon to be known as CREATIVE DREAMS. I've been showing progress (going back to the build in November but only posting this month) on my art blog (You can search Tag: Building to see all the posts)

I will have space for all of my books, including getting my Keepers out of storage. I will have a designated place to write where I can shut out the cats and the rest of the world. I will have a place to create art - and leave stuff out to dry rather than having to shuffle stuff out of the way to put dinner on the table. 

This addition is above ground. So no more 'dungeon' basement. I will have actual windows and air flow. Whoo Hooo!

So November was kind of a blur. LOL 
December, I took the entire month off to spend with my hubby. He is not always home for the holidays and this year I was blessed to have him home for Christmas AND New Years. Rather than write about heroes, I enjoyed time with my own.

January has found me struggling to get back into the swing of things. I've kept up the day job - to an extent. Just enough to get buy. I've already started the year off published in a magazine. Polymer Cafe is an art magazine designated for artists in the polymer clay industry. I am a regular contributor there. I should be in one of the next upcoming issues. I've also signed a contract for an article for the 2016 Songwriter's Market.

As if that were not enough to kick me in the fanny, I am participating in JANO.. our Sleuth's Ink group version of NanoWriMo. Two bonuses are that we can work on an existing project without being considered a 'rebel' and January has an extra day in the month. 

So with 31 days in the month of January, I am out to beat my record. I wrote Somewhere Down the Line in 18 days. I'm determined to write the rough (and I do mean rough) draft of How Do You Like Me Now? in 10 days.  

Three more days to go. I just might make it! I feel like the little engine that could.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

And we all know you can do anything you set your mind to.  I'll be back on Monday with regular blogging schedule and let you know how I did.

Creative Blessings!
~Angela

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sparkling Happy New Year animation banner with rose beside brandy snifter
courtesy of netanimations.net

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Selena Blake!




I am thrilled to shine the spotlight on today's guest - Selena Blake. Selena and I have been buddies on YIM for about seven years. Talk about a power writer! This woman can dump more words in a ten minute sprint than most of us can do in a 30 or 45 min. time frame. She is an amazing talent with multiple appearances on Best Seller lists to prove it. You can find out more about Selena by checking out her WEBSITE.

In the mean time, let's find out a bit about her newest release - 1 day old!

1 – The new website looks fabulous! What prompted the redo and what were key points you kept in mind through the redesign process?
Thanks so much for the website kudos and for having me over. The website redo was inspired by a shift in my writing. I wanted something that encompasses everything I'm writing these days (paranormal AND contemporary.) So it's got a somewhat contemporary, feminine feel but I kept the wolf and a bit of the moodiness of my paranormals. The other major component was escape. My books are an escape from everyday life. That's what I want to remind readers of each time they visit. One other area I focused on was having really organized, completely detailed book pages.

2 – Go For It releases today! This is the second book in the series. Does the sexuality amp up with each new title? What makes them similar yet different?
Woo hoo. Happy book birthday, Go for It! The sensuality of each book is completely unique. Of the Girls' Night Trilogy, Go For It is the sweetest. I write what's true to the story and characters and this story has amazeballs sexual tension, but for various reasons there aren't as many sexy times as in Ask For It. And Beg For It is just smokin hot. That one will come with a warning label.

3 – Are you still using a promotions assistant? If so, what were some of the things you felt you could hand over to someone else and what did you feel you needed to retain control of?
 I'm not using an assistant right now. I took several months off earlier in the year and without having a release out, it didn't make sense to me to keep an assistant.

4 – Your titles have appeared on some very impressive Best Seller lists. What do you feel is the key to hitting those high marks?
 I think the key to hitting the lists is building an audience over time, engaging with that audience in a genuine way, writing great books, writing in a popular genre, being prolific, and then promote, promote, promote. Easy peasy. ;)

5 – If you could write your next series, from beginning to end, at any locale where would you go?

Oh, good question! I'd have to say Jackson Hole. Incredibly beautiful and inspiring. I'm a sucker for an amazing view.

Blurb:
This one is for anyone who’s ever quietly loved another. For anyone who needs to be reminded of their innate self worth. Go For It reminds us to tell our loved ones we love them as frequently as we can because you never know what tomorrow will bring. This is the novel that make you believe in happily ever after, again.

Gretchen Mascoe has had a ‘thing’ for Greg Fairchild for years but the timing has never been right. So she's sat on the sidelines watching him date woman after woman. But the time has finally come for her to tell him how she feels or move on. But how do you move on when you know in your bones he's the one?

When a freak accident leaves Greg dependent on Gretchen's generosity and nursing skills he sees a whole new side to his sister's usually quiet and laced up friend. She's funny and even a little sassy. She bakes incredible cookies and she mends his wounds while healing his soul. He's falling hard but guilt is eating him alive. Can he get his foot out of his mouth long enough to win the girl?

Pick up your copy of GO FOR IT! Visit AMAZON

To catch up with Selena, please use the links below:




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Selena Blake - TOMORROW!


GO FOR IT by Selena Blake releases TODAY!
Due to some conflicts on my part, we are scheduling our chat with Selena for tomorrow. So Please come back and say hello..

In the mean time, here's a bit about GO FOR IT

This one is for anyone who’s ever quietly loved another. For anyone who needs to be reminded of their innate self worth. Go For It reminds us to tell our loved ones we love them as frequently as we can because you never know what tomorrow will bring. This is the novel that make you believe in happily ever after, again.

Gretchen Mascoe has had a ‘thing’ for Greg Fairchild for years but the timing has never been right. So she's sat on the sidelines watching him date woman after woman. But the time has finally come for her to tell him how she feels or move on. But how do you move on when you know in your bones he's the one?

When a freak accident leaves Greg dependent on Gretchen's generosity and nursing skills he sees a whole new side to his sister's usually quiet and laced up friend. She's funny and even a little sassy. She bakes incredible cookies and she mends his wounds while healing his soul. He's falling hard but guilt is eating him alive. Can he get his foot out of his mouth long enough to win the girl?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CURRENT PROJECT - October 13- 19


Although this is a morgue file pic, you could just as easily be looking at my morning routine. However, today my desk location is the oversized lapboard with the built in mouse pad. I'm comfy on the couch with my feet up on the hassock and toes tucked into the fleece Pooh Bear blankie for warmth. But the laptop and the coffee mug are a matched set. Especially when I am behind on work as I am today. I doubt I'll catch up until hubby has gone back to work a week from today. I have two routines - one for when Bob is home and one for the twenty-one days he is gone.

Aside from him being home the past two weeks, I have been gone both of those weekends. The first for a ORA writer's meeting in Springfield then the OCW conference last weekend. This weekend Bob and I will scoot away for a couple days to celebrate our birthdays. He was gone for mine in September and will be gone for his next week.

After Bob leaves on Tuesday morning, my life will become 10-hr work days subsidized by 2-hr fiction shifts. At least until Nov. 1st. Then I strive to do a 6 and 6 shift on Fridays and full Nano days on the weekend.

While I had hoped for 1K per day, I fell horribly short. Between the travel schedule and a story that refused to move forward like a stubborn mule I just could not get a handle on four pages a day. There is hope for a fresh start on Nov. 1.

Are you Nanoing? Don't have any clue what I'm talking about? Check out NanoWriMo for a full 30 days of abandonment. A community where you are given license to spew a story that may or may not make sense. The point is to get the story out of your head and into a format that can be edited into a publishable story - like Somewhere Down the Line. Or L.A. Cinderella by Amanda Berry.

How is your week shaping up?

Monday, October 6, 2014

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - A Review

 Note: I offer an apology to Allison Merritt for my oversight last week. This review was suppose to run on Wednesday of last week. I dove into a deep cleaning frenzy around the house before my husband got home (he'd been gone 21 days) and I totally spaced doing any computer work last week.



WYSTAN Book 1 of The Heckmasters

The cool thing about reviewing books is often times you will be asked (or in this case offer) to review books out of your normal genre or comfort zone. WYSTAN was one of those books for me. While I read Western Historicals and Romance, I am not a demon kind of girl. Okay.. I did make the exception for the reaper series by Lisa Medley. What I have found out in both instances is that if the author gives you a well-crafted story, genre may not be an issue. After all, aren't we all just looking for a GREAT READ?

Author, Allison Merritt gives the reader everything they could want in a story. From the Heroine with a problem and the Hero with issues to overcome. There are secondary characters that while not the focal point of the story, do play key roles in how the Hero and Heroine find their way to one another. In this case, even if it means stepping over the remains of a barghest (you'll have to read the book to find out what that is) or living in close proximity to half-demons. 

I found the story a book I could not put down until the very last word. I am waiting anxiously for Tell and Eban's stories... and by the time you've finished WYSTAN, you will too. 

You can purchase your copy at:


Allison loves to hear from readers:
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