Milady’s Book Club Welcomes S.L.Stacy


Shehanne Moore’s creation, the fiesty Lady Fury, interviewed mine, Siobhan Elliot…and it was adorable!

Furious Unravelings

Well, Valentine’s Day is over, thank goodness. You have no idea  how tiresome it was seeing the men’s offerings. I mean things like….  
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was  tiresome when some of them don’t have an eye. As for Tibbs threatening to capture the hearts of some of the local wenches, well, that resulted in him ending in jail.
However, we meet again today with the lovely Siobhan, the fictional creation of S.L. Stacy, whose name is already causing some trouble for the gentlemen but there.
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you can see that they are all agog. So, without further ado, I just think we should get going before the jail gets filled and we have to leave here in disgrace… Already last week’s offering from the lovely Milady Donahue resulted in the men holding the cover upside down in a bid to see up her heroine’s skirt… I am sure, had Milady Stacy known that, she…

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My Interview on Freshly Booked


“As soon as Jasper and I go inside his apartment, his lips find mine again, and he picks me up and carries me to his bed with ease. He sits on the edge of it with me straddling him, rocking myself against his erection. Breathing hard, he reluctantly breaks our kiss to ask me, “Are you sure you want to do this?…”

Want to hear the rest of this steamy excerpt? Then tune in to my interview on the internet radio show Freshly Booked. And hopefully, I’ll be able to read it without giggling. 😉

Every Wednesday, authors Tricia Andersen and Heidi Sieverding interview newly published authors who have turned their dream of becoming published into reality. I’m super excited and honored to be their guest tomorrow at 8 pm CST/9 pm EST. We’ll talk writing, influences, inspiration, and about my debut novel, Reborn. If you have a question for us, you can call in: (917)889-8080.

In the meantime, give them a like on Facebook!

Checking back in with H. N. Sieverding


HN SieverdingBack in April of this year, I posted my first ever author interview with H. N. Sieverding. Well, a lot of exciting things have happened since that interview, so I thought it was about time to check back in with her! Now a Secret Cravings author, Ms. Sieverding has published the first two books in her delectable Christina’s Kisses series, Initiation and Seed of the Master. (Follow the links to purchase them on  the publisher’s web site. You can also find them on Amazon, Bookstrand, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.) They were bestsellers on Bookstrand and the publisher’s web site. I’m also especially excited for the release of her paranormal romance The Bloodlust Prince. I was a beta reader for it and loved it! The ebook comes out in December, the print version in June 2014.

Ms. Sieverding’s stories have strong themes of dark fantasy, paranormal romance and sexy horror. Right now she’s jumping between edits for her upcoming releases and working on Black Hawke, a Paranormal Romance about a photographer and her secret bad boy boyfriend.  (Throughout the book she is trying to figure out his real identity…or if he’s married…) She’s also one of the hosts of Freshly Booked.

Check out our interview below, followed by an excerpt from Initiation and a list of all of her upcoming releases!

Her blog: Inside the Mind of a Fantasy Writer

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

***

“What you produce as a writer is art.  A voice that opens a vein and leaves the reader lapping at the blood that’s been drawn.”  

-H. N. Sieverding

***

christain_header_quote6SL: When did you first start writing stories?

HN: When I was in grade school, I used to write about a family of alligators that I named the Ellers. I wrote my first novel, Alexandria, my junior year of high school. I decided to write a novel and I sat down on the desktop in our crowded kitchen (I come from a family of seven) and did just that. I was so proud of it (though now it makes me cringe to read through it) and to me that was a huge feat that most people would never accomplish. From that day on it was my dream to become a published author and now I am.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

HN: I get inspired by things around me but it’s not always people or stories. It might be a line I heard someone say or facial expression that sparks a character/story idea. I find the most inspiration when I’m alone listening to music or during a nice drive in the countryside.

SL: Do you listen to music while you write, or do you need peace and quiet?

HN: I write in front of the TV or while cuddling with my son and his ipad, so I can write anywhere. My ideal writing place is sitting on the bed donning a pair of earphones without any distractions. Whenever I get a moment to myself where I can do that, I will take it. Music drowns out the world and helps me concentrate better, giving me that escape I need to write. I’m a big fan of hard rock so on my playlist is Darkest Days, Hollywood Undead, Disturbed and Saliva. The song in my head right now-Levitate (damn it’s catchy).

SL: Which of your stories is your favorite?

HN: Ooo…hard question. If I absolutely had to choose, I’d say The Bloodlust Prince. I could read that story a million times and never get bored. I’m also a big cat person and I love that they are both Cat Demons (more like anime Cat Demons/vampires than real cats) and have lots of cat-like qualities that make their courting both unique and super cute.

Coming in second would be Nero, even though most people ignore that one. I think the whole description of the ‘zombie army’ throws people off. It’s actually a love story about Nero coming to terms with the tragic death of his love (who isn’t really dead-sshhh) and his father’s insanity. My favorite thing about it-the character of Nero. He’s by far my greatest creation-I love em 😀

SL: Who is your favorite author?

HN: Myself. I write all the stories I would love to read. Beyond editing and reading others writing on blogs, I don’t read (unless some asks me to read something of theirs). The last book I read was Paula’s, Queen of Ages, which was pretty sexy by the way. I could say Reverend Wilbert Awdry is my favorite author but not many people would get that reference 😉

SL: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

HN: If you’re serious about becoming published, make sure you have a thick skin and can take bad reviews. Know in advance you will most likely be met with A LOT of disappointment-whether it be having no fans/readers, bad reviews, no reviews and having your awesome novel be ignored and blend into the woodwork. Remember that writing is something you do because you love it, not to get rich or popular. Most authors don’t make much money (if any), so don’t expect to get rich off this career path.

Below is a sexy excerpt from Christian’s Kisses Book 1, Initiation. Happy reading!

***

Her eyes wandered over to the table where the elites sat near the back of the room. She tried to avoid eye contact with them but soon Inititiation_MEDfound herself trapped by a pair of curious eyes. Her brow rose when her eyes grew wider, her baby blues reflecting the innocent fear of child as she returned Christian’s relentless gaze.

Although she knew how dangerous this man was, she couldn’t break the stare, her dazed expression showing her intense fear of him. She watched him take a slow drink from his glass, a devilish smile gracing his lips as he took in this angel that would soon meet the fate he would create for her.

He was drinking what appeared to be blood, the rings on his tanned fingers sparkling under the lights. He was surrounded by beautiful women, all of them fighting to sit next to him and get as close as possible. Addison took a few steps backward, the intensity and promise of sin in Christian’s gaze terrifying her. Even though the sight of her pleased him, he didn’t appear to be in a good mood, his mind seeming distracted.

Swallowing the lump building in her throat, Addison decided she should leave instead of seeing what more could come from this silent staring contest with Christian. She quickly turned around and started toward the large double doors. She wanted to get out of the room as fast as she could, her lower lip quivering as fear overtook her body. Then, someone grabbed her hand, making her turn around and halting her retreat.

One of the elite vampires, Samson, was holding her fingers, his large fangs kissing his bottom lip as he smiled at her. “Come join us.”

Addison nodded, her fear of him silencing her voice. Samson put a loose arm around her shoulders, leading her over to their table.

Samson laughed when he felt Addison tremble under his hands. He ignored her uneasiness and maneuvered her through the crowd gathered around the table. She kept her head down as she passed people so she didn’t see Christian motioning to the girls around him to leave.

Samson placed her next to Christian, and Addison slowly sank down in the chair. She tried not to look over at all the women that were staring at her angrily, but she could still feel their eyes on her.

Christian sat up a little straighter, pushing a glass of champagne in front of her, “What’s your name?”

“Addison.” She forced a smile, glancing up at him briefly then back down at the drink in front of her.

Addison knew who Christian was, her nervousness about being around such an important person wearing thick on her gentle features. She had seen him a few times at swanky functions held for museum fundraisers and auctions, but their only interactions had been a small smile or a wave in passing.

She worked in the preservation department at the CartwrightMuseum, one of the largest in the country. As a member of the staff, she was allowed to attend the events, but mostly as another body to fill the room. The museum employees weren’t allowed to converse with the donors, like Christian, unless they had reason or were approached by them.

He eyed her curiously, licking his lips as he set down his half-empty cup. Addison studied the contents, noticing it wasn’t blood, but some kind of unidentifiable brownish red drink. Her shaky hands picked up the glass in front of her, and she purposefully took a sip, her long fingers wrapping tightly around the stem.

“Are you enjoying my club?” Like a cat, Christian’s eyes scanned the room quickly, watching a few people that walked by their table.

Addison’s voice was soft and inaudible over the voices of the crowd around them, “Yes. It’s great.”

“What?” Even though he had heard her, Christian pretended like he hadn’t. “I cannot hear you over the music.” He scooted his chair closer to her, his hips banging against hers and making her jump a little. A sly smile appeared on his face as he caught her in his gaze. He knew he was making her nervous.

Addison laughed, her light blue eyes darting all over Christian’s handsome face, “I said it’s great.”

Christian picked up his drink again and took an unhurried swallow, the shifting of his stare smooth as he once again scanned the crowd in front of them. Christian’s poise was unfailing. He was extremely attractive, his firm build and striking eyes enough to cause Addison’s heart to race and make her slightly dizzy.

Even though she knew he was a killer, being in his presence was intoxicating. His good looks were a sin against nature, and sitting next to someone so inhumanly flawless carried an indescribable feeling. This was the lure of the devil that made any woman bow to his every whim.

A beautiful girl with platinum blonde hair and perfect breasts sat down next to Christian, rubbing his shoulder and making him turn to her. However, his attention didn’t stay on her and quickly switched back to Addison. He placed his hand on Addison’s knee for a few seconds before letting it slide up her dress. Then, he rubbed her inner thigh, his touch soft and light. Addison jumped at his action, a fearful expression on her face as she choked a little on the champagne she was drinking.

He looked over at her and chuckled, his devilish eyes settling on hers before he spoke softly into her ear, “Relax sweetheart.” He moved her hair behind her shoulder, gazing at her neck for a few seconds. Leaning even closer, Christian continued to brush his fingers up and down the inside of her leg. “I am not going to bite.”

Christian felt her body shake a little at his comment, which ignited a small chuckle from his lips, “Yet.”

*****

Upcoming release dates (the links take you to the book trailers):

  • Initiation (Christian’s Kisses Book 1) releases in print January 2014.
  • Seed of the Master (Christian’s Kisses Book 2) releases in print May 2014.
  • Secret Scarlet releases in ebook September/October 2013 and in print April 2014.
  • Blood Kisses (Nightwalkers Book 1) releases in ebook November 2013 and in print May 2014.
  • The Bloodlust Prince releases in ebook December 2013 and in print June 2014.
  • Forever Black (Nightwalkers Book 2) releases in ebook January 2014 and in print July 2014.
  • Blood War (Nightwalkers Book 3) releases in ebook March 2014 and in print September 2014.
  • Forever Mine releases in ebook May 2014 and in print November 2014.

 

Friday Featured Blogger: H. D. Lynn


I am extra super excited for today’s interview because Heather is not just a fellow writer, but also my sorority sister and good friend! We are both scientists who love writing fiction. In her spare time Heather enjoys hiking, and she’s a Harry Potter and Dr. Who fan as well. Check out an excerpt from her novel GOD’S PLAY at the end of the interview – it definitely left me wanting to read more!

Her blog: Throw This Book At Me

Follow her on Twitter.

***

SL: When did you first start writing stories?

HD: For as long as I can remember. I’d buy cheap notebooks in elementary school and write down cheesy stories about magical animals — then I got a computer and upgraded to floppy disks. With the internet came fanfiction, writing contests, and better critiques. Taking rhetoric classes cleaned up my style. I don’t think I’ll ever be done reinventing my stories and the ways I write them. But the best way to start writing is to grab a dollar store notebook and see what happens.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

HD: Extraordinary places and everyday life — the sense of wonder that this world exists is why I write fantasy. Because the manic energy in my brain refuses to let go of certain stories. It’s like I’ve got a book in my brain, and I’m constantly transcribing it — getting it as close to the one in my head as possible.

SL: On a similar note (pun intended), what music (genre, artist, etc.) most inspires your writing?

HD: I love folk and indie rock music. Sound tracks and classical music are great when I don’t want to hear a specific voice in my head, though.

SL: Which of your own stories is your favorite?

HD: The one I’m currently writing, of course.

SL: Who is your favorite author?

HD: I should never try to answer this question — I love too many books! I suppose the authors that influenced my early writing were Garth Nix, Robin McKinley, and JK Rowling (not so much her style but getting involved in the HP fan community). Currently? It’s everything from ancient history documentaries to Shakespeare to Monty Python. I have a very active GoodReads page.

SL: If you could be bffs (best friends forever) with any fictional character, who would it be?

HD: If I was one of the Doctor’s companions, I could theoretically travel to all the fantasy worlds I’ve read about and meet my favorite characters. But of course, traveling with Bill and Ted might be less dangerous. (I’m also under the opinion Hermione and I would get along famously.)

SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer?

HD: To sell my work — and give a bit of it away for free. I want to share my stories in a way that ensures they’re read. Some money and success would be nice, too.

SL: If you could be anything you wanted (besides a writer lol), what would you be and why?

HD: I’m already a scientist, which is one of the best jobs ever because I get to discover new things in the world. I get paid to use my brain, read papers, listen to other people’s discoveries, and talk to people about their research. I also love to hike, so I’m always scraping out as much time as possible to travel and explore nature. (With an audiobook or two, of course!)

SL: Tell me about your current work-in-progress and what your plans are for it.

HD: I’m currently shopping GODS’ PLAY around — so it’s in limbo. Here’s the ‘official’ blurb and an excerpt:

***

With a touch of his hand, Toby can lift the magical protection shape-shifters use to disguise themselves as human. It’s an unusual skill for a hunter, and he prefers to kill monsters the old-fashioned way: with a blade. Because of his special skill, Toby suspects he may be a monster himself. His suspicions deepen when William, a jackal-headed shape-shifter, saves him from an ambush where Toby’s the only survivor. And Toby doubts William helped him for purely altruistic reasons. With his list of allies running thin, Toby must reconcile his hatred of shifters and the damning truth that one saved his life. It’ll take both of them to track down the monster who ordered the ambush.

***

My mother has this butterfly knife, silver ends capping a well-worn pearl enamel grip. She grew up learning its feel, doing tricks with it like some girls do with batons. She never uses it in the kitchen, never to cook, but when she’s thinking — her brow knit up and her eyes hard — the knife materializes in her hands, and she palms it like rosary beads before flicking it open. Some people bob their legs, pace the room, or pull their hair. My mum twirls her knife.

“You know why we train with knives?” my mum asks one day, when I cut my palm pulling the knife from a target. “Knives, not guns?”

I wipe the blood stains on my track pants, another smear to add to the collection. “Henry is teaching me how to shoot,” I remind her.

She holds up the hunting knife and turns it in her palm, the steel glinting in the afternoon sun. “Monsters have claws, they’re quiet, deadly. They get close to you, slit you open with their own nails. You need your knives because, when they pull their claws, you have yours. We can be just as silent and stealthy. With our claws, we’re deadly, too.”

She’s an artist when she flings the knife into the target, burying it to the hilt. Her eyes are sharper than that blade when she glances at me. “Being a hunter and being the hunted is a fine line.”

*****

That afternoon, sitting on the Northern line heading into town, my mother palms her knife. She doesn’t take it out of her pocket, not on the train, but she caresses the pearl handles, clutching it like her safety blanket. I tap my own pocket; my wooden handled knife presses against my leg. Sheathed in leather, it was a gift for my sixteenth birthday. I know its balance, the feel of it in my hand, how to make it stick in a mark. Every time the knife sinks into the wood or Styrofoam target, I feel like I’ve pierced it with a piece of myself; my will made into steel.

The train lurches to a halt, the conductor announces a stop, and I follow my mother onto the platform. We merge with the people streaming towards the WAY OUT signs and ride the escalator to the exit gates. Ascending a last set of grime-stained stairs, we reach the surface. In our travel across the city, the fog rolls off the river, bringing a premature darkness. We cross the street, but instead of going over the bridge with the crowd, we descend the sloping path leading below the bridge, down to the water’s edge. The fog squats on our heads, keeping out any last rays of sun. Not that we want light. It’s better for the predators — us — to lurk in shadows. When you’re on a hunt, the best cloak is a silent footstep and a steady heartbeat.

Three figures, two large and one small, emerge around the corner of the capillary sized lane. The short man is only a few years older than me and compactly built. “You’ll be the sister, Sharron, with her boy. That’s it then.”

The woman is the oldest of the three, but she’s tall, even if her face looks doughy and round. The other man with the dark eyes and salt-and-pepper hair I know: he’s my uncle Henry. He nods to my mum, but they don’t embrace, not on a business night like this. Henry pulls a folded piece of paper from his coat, flattening it with his palm. He hands it to my mother. I glance down at the address. It’s not far, maybe only a ten minute walk.

The other man pulls off a black back pack, unloading several more knives made for hunting. There are two guns, both with silencers. He hands one to the doughy-faced woman and keeps one for himself. I take a small pocket knife, slip it into my hand, and strap a Bowie knife at my waist; my hoodie covers it. My mother does the same, making sure her black trench hangs down over her sheath. Clad in black coats, denim, and trainers, we’re not a stealth squad, but we blend well as poor urbanites.

I mouth, How many? Henry holds up a single finger. Five to one: good odds.

Henry takes the lead, and my mother follows him. The other boy and I go next, and the big woman takes the rear. I pull my black baseball cap lower on my head, tugging the sweater’s hood over top. The other man tilts his head, the black hood obscuring his features and making him look like a sinister wizard. I pad over the concrete, light on my feet, my treads soft and soundless. I palm the pocket knife, planning to throw it first before I pull either of the larger blades.

We stick close to the river, keeping it on our left. I step over a puddle, not wanting to leave tracks. My mother’s black hat bobs in front of me. She’s tucked her usual ginger pony tail into it, not wanting to be a neon sign in the washed-out twilight. We approach a warehouse, fronted by a furniture store. A sign in neon green reads END OF SUMMER CLEARANCE! BEST DEALS, 50% OFF BEDS, DESKS, SOFAS! 70% OFF LAWN FURNITURE! Two of the windows are boarded up, and a third one is cracked, glass spider-webbing out from the impact point. In the final display, a metal patio table with black lattice work is already rusted around the edge.

Henry circles around back, and at the side entrance, he takes out a key and swipes through the security code. The pad flashes red. Henry hits some numbers, and it turns green. He presses on the handle, and we queue up behind him. My mother takes out her knife in one hand, a flashlight in the other. Henry darts in, and my mother and the other man rush in after, weapons raised. I flick my knife out, ready to throw. The woman covers the rear, shutting the door quietly behind us. We fan in a semi-circle, pressing into the warehouse; it’s dank, carpet muffles our steps, and the only sound is a pair of rats padding away from the flashlight beam.

Empty. I mouth the word to my mum. She shakes her head, twirling the knife in her left hand, keeping the flashlight steady in her right. The other man pulls out his flashlight, scanning the other side of the wall. We don’t want to turn on the store lights and get a call put out on us; the cops consider this breaking and entering, even if there’s nothing worth stealing. I grab my light, shining it around, checking inside of the wardrobes near me.

“Bad lead,” the man says. I meet his eyes and nod. We were both hoping for a kill, the first since winter. It’s been a slow year for hunting monsters.

Motioning with the barrel of her gun, the tall woman takes the man and goes to search the back. My mother shakes her head, but she’s examining the beds with a sharp gaze worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Henry and I fan out around her, and I check behind a stack of mattresses double my height. My mum continues to comb through the place with practiced eyes. “No sign of habitation. Bad tip, brother.”

Henry shakes his head, still scanning with his flashlight. He turns to her and mouths one word. Father. My mum frowns, the shadowed creases in her forehead half-lit by the dual beams. Henry treads without so much as a shoe squeak towards the front of the store; mum and I sweep out, moving like a single pair of headlights.

A door shuts. I jerk my head up. A thump from the back of the warehouse, and something crashes over. The woman shouts. There’s a gun shot.

There’s more than one.

***

Thanks again to Heather for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Until next time, check out my past interviews here!

By day a PHD student……But by night…..


Today smexy historical romance author Shehanne Moore featured me on her wonderful blog…you can check us out below!…and thanks again to her for letting me babble about my upcoming book “Reborn.”

Friday Featured Author: Renee Miller


This week’s Friday Featured Author is Renee Miller! Check out her books The Legend of Jackson Murphy and In the Bones on Amazon, and stay tuned for a teaser from The Legend of Jackson Murphy at the end of the interview!

Blog: Dangling on the Edge of (In)Sanitybio pic

Website: On Fiction Writing

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter

***

SL: What inspired you to start your blog?

RM: Honestly, I started it because I was advised to do so as part of my “platform” when I decided to try to publish my writing. Now, I don’t think I’d give it up. It’s too much fun having my own corner of the Internet to just be “me.” Even if it’s a tiny corner.

SL: When did you first start writing stories?

RM: I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t making up a story of some kind. From the time I could spell, I scribbled stories. Now they make a little more sense.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

RM: I’m inspired by a lot of things. I guess it’s mostly people, since most of my stories are character driven. Sadly, it’s not usually the people who should inspire me. I’m inspired by people whose actions I can’t figure out.

ebook coverSL: On a similar note (pun intended), what music (genre, artist, etc.) most inspires your writing?

RM: It depends on what I’m writing. I listen to practically every genre of music. It depends on the lyrics or the melody. If something strikes the right note inside me, I’ll write to that song or genre for the duration of a book.

SL: Which of your own stories is your favorite?

RM: That’s like asking me which of my kids I love most. 😉 However, I will say that THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY was the most fun to write. But I really do love them all. Well, except for the first couple. I try not to think about them.

SL: Who is your favorite author?

RM: My favorite author changes constantly. I love George R.R. Martin, Stephen King, John Irving, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Moore, and Chuck Palahniuk. I also love some less “famous” authors, like Maria Zannini, Chris Rothe, Lauren B. Davis and Les Edgerton. I don’t think the latter get the recognition they deserve. So…that didn’t answer the question at all. I have too many favorites.

SL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

RM: Writing shouldn’t be easy. If it is, then you’re probably doing it wrong. And also, if you want to write, you’ll write. It doesn’t matter if you never publish. You’ll write because you love to. It’s that simple.

SL: If you could be bffs (best friends forever) with any fictional character, who would it be?

RM: Eric Northman. (Sookie Stackhouse series) Friends with benefits, preferably.

SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer? (To write for pleasure? To be a best-selling author? Something else?)

RM: I already write for pleasure, and while I certainly wouldn’t turn down best-seller status, I’d be happy with the books earning enough that all of my time could be devoted to them. My day job is writing articles, so I have half of what I want already.

SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?

RM: Terrible Minds http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/(I sometimes disagree with Chuck Wendig—although it’s rare—but he’s honest, smart and funny. Can’t go wrong there.)

Katrina Monroe http://authorkatrinamonroe.wordpress.com/(Kat is refreshingly blunt and bold.)

Maria Zannini http://mariazannini.blogspot.ca/(Maria is an author I admire both as a writer and a human being. I’m rarely bored by her blog posts.)

Record of a Baffled Spirit http://baffledspirit.blogspot.ca/ (Mike Keyton teaches me something every time I visit his blog and his writing voice is just so damn easy to fall into.)

Darke Conteur http://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/(Another author I admire, Darke likes to change things up, offering a mixed bag of writing tips, general commentary, amusing bits and pieces, and fiction. Plus, she’s Canadian, so what’s not to love?)

To name just a few. I follow a lot of blogs, but according to my feed reader, these are the most frequent stops for me.

SL: If you could be anything you wanted (besides a writer lol), what would you be and why?

RM: Batman. But seriously, this is going to sound cliché and nauseating, but I’m everything I wanted to be. I’m the mother to fantastic kids, doing what I’ve always wanted to do for a living, and I have the most amazing friends and family ever. Really, I’m very lucky.

SL: That’s awesome. 🙂 Anything else you care to divulge. 😉

RM: Like secrets? Sometimes instead of writing, I watch Netflix. Everyone here thinks I’m working, but I’m not. In my defense, though, sometimes ideas and characters need to marinate a while. If I read, I get lost in someone else’s world. When I watch movies or television, my brain is free to wander. I come up with my best stuff when I’m “not writing”.

***

So there they sat him and Jenny, two miserable people in a happy little kitchen. Why wasn’t she trying to be nice to him? If she wanted him on Jack promo coverthis cruise so bad, why not suck up a little to seal the deal? Yeah, something smelled wrong.

She looked up, as though feeling his gaze on her as he stared over his paper. “What?” she asked.

“Nothing. Just thinking,”

“Stop it, you’re creeping me out.”

Jack hid a grin behind the sports page and his mind revisited the idea of tampering with her car. Cutting the brake lines was too cliché. He mulled the idea over, shifting his gaze as Jenny stood to get more coffee. She smoked, usually only in her car. Jack enjoyed forcing her to hide it. Perhaps he could do something with the gas line. The thought of blowing Jenny up had a nice ring to it.

Jenny stared from the counter.

He grinned. “What?”

“Are you okay?”

“Fine. Why?”

“You’re acting…odd.”

“Sorry, it’s just nice to have a peaceful morning with my wife. I like not fighting.” Oh, yeah. He was brilliant.

Jenny’s face reddened. She sipped her coffee before joining him at the table. “See? I told you we could make things work. But stop staring, you’re making me nervous.”

“Sorry.”

Jack went back to his paper and Jenny flipped the page of her magazine, shaking her head. Really, if they could get along like this for longer than a minute, he’d have reconsidered the whole thing. Sadly, they couldn’t. His acting skills were the only barrier to another fight.

Late the night before, listening to her soft snore across the bed while he pondered possible murder scenarios, it crossed Jack’s mind that he should see a therapist. His thoughts couldn’t be healthy. But crazy or not, Jack didn’t want anyone to talk him out of the plan. Jenny had to die.

His brain ached from the cruise’s ticking clock as he struggled to solve his dilemma. Christ, he’d never make a serial killer, too many things to think about. Too many possibilities. Staring at his empty coffee cup, his headache subsided. I’m thinking too small. Every report on the news about the ones that got caught, involved tampering with cars or some stupid, amateur shit like that. Jack could do better. He had to do better. Something that had never done before.

Then, as Jenny delicately dug a booger from her nose—sniffing most unattractively—the solution hit him like a runaway truck barreling through his front door.

Bees.

***

Thanks again to Ms. Miller for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Until next time, check out my past interviews here!

Friday Featured Author: Sara E. Santana


Sara profile pictureAs I announced last week, I’ve started a new weekly feature: the Friday Featured Author. I’ve seen my blogger friends run similar features on their blogs (so if some of these questions look familiar to you, I may have borrowed some of them…) and decided it would be a great way to introduce my followers to some amazing people.

This week I’m super excited to bring you blogger and contemporary YA author Sara E. Santana, author of Another Chance for Summer and A Little Less Than Famous. You can find her at any of the links below, and check out an excerpt from her work-in-progress, revealed here for the first time!

Blog: WhatANerdGirlSays.com

Co-Blog: iFandomsCollide.com

You can also find her on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Goodreads, Facebook

***

SL: What inspired you to start your blog?

SES: I love writing and I love talking about books. I read more books than anyone I know and I constantly want to talk to them and I startedSara Another Chance for Summer Book Cover noticing that my friends’ and boyfriend’s eyes starting to glaze over when I talked about books. I also had met my friend Jackie, who runs Seeking Bazinga, and I loved her blog and I thought “well, I could do that!” and I started my blog soon after that.

SL: When did you first start writing stories?

SES: I think I always kind of had a wild imagination. I have five younger siblings and I was always making up stories. I think I really realized that I was nine years old and I wrote a story in about a half hour for some assignment. I remember my teacher being alternately impressed that I accomplished and skeptical because I had accomplished. She showed all the teachers that were in the same building as us and I remember thinking, maybe I could be good at writing, because obviously sports were not working in my favor haha.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

SES: My life inspires it a lot, or the people in my life. I see things that happen and I take a twist. I also daydream a LOT, and my curiosity on things is ALL over the place and I’ll wonder to myself, does this make a great story, could someone be as interested in this story as me? I also get inspired by various different authors that I read.

SL: On a similar note (pun intended), what music (genre, artist, etc.) most inspires your writing?

SES: Depends on the book. When I wrote A Little Less than Famous, I was listening to so much NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, I think my family was starting to get embarrassed. When I write my blog, I usually have Netflix going on in the background or just my ipod on shuffle. Right now, I’m working on my third novel and I’m listen to a mix of Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, Grizzly Bear, Tame Impala, Imagine Dragons and the Cab.

Sara and Cassandra Clare
Sara and The Mortal Instruments’ author Cassandra Clare

SL: Who is your favorite author?

SES: Oh I have so many: J.K Rowling, Tamora Pierce, Cassandra Clare, Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Morgan Matson, Rick Riordan, Libba Bray, and so many more.

SL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

SES: I have met so many authors and I have asked them for advice every single time. I like hearing the different advice that comes from authors but you do tend to hear the same things over and over again, which shows how important they are. One thing that sticks out in my mind is to write write write, and to just FINISH something. I’ve also heard so many times that its okay to have a crappy first draft, its okay to write crap because you can work with that and make it better.

SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer? (To write for pleasure? To be a best-selling author? Something else?)

SES: I want to be comfortable. I want my JOB, my CAREER, to be a writer. I want to publish novels and hopefully keep up with my blog. I Sara A Little Less than Famous Book Coverdon’t necessarily have to be a best-seller with my books being adapted for the big screen. I just want to be successful enough that it can be my every day job because all I want to do alllllll day is write.

SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?

SES: Some of my fave blogs are: Seeking Bazinga, The Urge to Write, The Nerdy Girlie, The Perpetual Page Turner, City of Shadowhunters, FanGirlFeeels and Novel Reality.

SL: Tell me about your work-in-progress:

SES: I am currently working on a new novel, which follows the story of Evie Brennan, who lives in a baseball obsessed town. She lives for the game of baseball until something changes when she’s eighteen. Fast forward a few years, and she’s still in baseball town, playing assistant to Alex Young, a struggling but VERY hot shortshop. Evie has the potential to start a relationship with Alex, but her past continually gets in her way. Enjoy this small snippet that I haven’t released anywhere else!

***

I walked into the ballroom at the Worthington Hotel, Macon’s pride and joy, and immediately knew it was going to be a long night. Lucy spotted me as soon as I walked in and zeroed in on me as if I were a target and her the speeding arrow. A smile was spread across her face but her eyes spoke it all; she was on a mission and I would be a fool to resist her. I smiled back at her, amazed at how differently we had become, even in just looks, in the past few years.

“There are so many people I want you to meet,” she gushed, slipping her arm in mine and practically dragging me to the other side of the room. “The rookies this year? So delicious. You need to meet Simon Kennedy.”

“Simon Kennedy is nineteen years old,” I hissed at her, between my teeth, trying to keep my smile plastered on my face. I spotted Simon already and even though he was cute and a nice addition to the team, I wasn’t interested and I didn’t want to hurt any feelings either. I was looking for a personal assistant’s job, and I didn’t want to piss off anyone that could be a potential employer. I was tired of being my sister’s assistant.

“How do you even know who he is?” she asked, her eyes wide, hands planted on her hips as if she were still sixteen years old and not a twenty-two year old mom and wife of a famous baseball player.

***

Thanks again to Ms. Santana for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Until next time, check out my past interviews  with H. N. Sieverding and Shehanne Moore!

New! Friday Featured Author: Shehanne Moore


First off, I hope everyone here in the U. S. had a lovely Fourth of July, and Happy Friday to all of you! I’m very excited to bring you this new weekly feature I’ve christened the Friday Featured Author. I’ve seen my blogger friends run similar features on their blogs (so if some of these questions look familiar to you, I may have borrowed some of them…) and decided it would be a great way to introduce my followers to some amazing people.

This week I’m super excited to bring you historical romance writer Shehanne Moore, author of The Unraveling of Lady Fury (which you can find on Amazon here). You can find her at any of the links below, and stay tuned for a teaser from Lady Fury at the end of the interview!

Blogs: Furious Unravelings, Where Worlds Collide, Shehanne Moore

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,

***

SL: What inspired you to start your blog?

s.mooreSM: That having Social Media was 30 percent of Etopia Press’s decision to sign an author and I had just been signed. That was a pretty big inspiration. A sharp learning curve too. But authors do need social media these days if they want to sell and it’s been fantastic getting to know so many people.

SL: When did you first start writing stories?

SM: At the age of seven. I designed this lovely cover for my book, The Hoare House Mystery. Of course I had no idea of places of ill-repute. This was a perfectly respectable house.  Very useful for firelighters too—the paper it was written on anyway, as was a lot of other paper I wrote on. I was always writing. When I was about sixteen my friends started reading some of my—what were probably long historical novellas—and they liked them, which was very encouraging. I still have these stories. I managed to save them from the flames.  But what was nice even then was it gave me an idea of what worked, what didn’t, what kind of characters tended to be the biggest draw.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

SM: You mean what hottie? Seriously, I’m often attracted to places. I tend to start the story because of  flashed idea but after that places are important to me. Often when I am visiting somewhere I can’t help imagining the kind of people who would have lived there, that the place is speaking to me in some way. My forthcoming book is inspired by Glencoe one of the most beautiful places in Scotland and the scene of a massacre in 1692. It has such rugged beauty.

Lady FurySL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

SM: Firstly be prepared for a hard journey. The rejection rate, even for people with a book out there, is enough to make you never put pen to paper. Behind every ‘overnight’ success story lurks years of fixing your teeth up to get the next kicking. But it is possible to get there, so secondly, study your market, study what publishers are looking for. I am not talking here about the next big thing. No-one can predict that. I am talking basics, for example, if the publisher says the word length is 75 thousand. That’s it.  Don’t go sending them your twice that tome just because you spent five years labouring and crafting every one of these words.  You will be in for a disappointment. I get into rows here about whether writing can be taught. Certainly you have to study the type of writing, the type of prose you are using for the type of book. You wouldn’t write a genre romance without a HEA, no matter how enticing, how different that may seem, not to mention, you’ve read some publisher’s blurb where they say they are looking for something new, something different. It’s not that kind of different they want.  Do you know what Goal, Motivation Conflict is? A lot of talented aspiring writers fall down on that one, painting beautifully crafted word pictures, going nowhere. Do you know about head-hopping?  That’s the kind of honing of the craft you need to do.  But my biggest piece of advice is never ever give up. To succeed you need to believe in yourself.

SL: Tell me about your current work-in-progress and what your plans are for it.

SM: I’m writing another historical romance, this one set in England in 1809 which I see as part of a series.  I have finished it but am just trying to make sure it is entirely in Etopia’s House Style. My editor may have already requested it off the pitch, I have been told that Etopia still reject 7 out of 10 manuscripts that have passed that first test, been pulled from the slush pile or are recommended by your assigned editor.  So I don’t assume anything. My editor still has to like it enough to send it up the line with a recommendation.

SL: If you could be bffs (best friends forever) with any fictional character, who would it be?

SM: Lol. Rhett Butler. Scarlett was bad to him!

SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer?

SM: Probably to be able to keep having ideas, keep writing, keep selling. In some ways, getting that first book out is hard but knowing the one after and the one after are in the bag, so to speak, is what counts.

SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?

SM: Ottoman Dandy (this is actually a very unusual fashion blog), Lady or Not, a brilliantly funny blog, so is A Day in the Life of Shareen A., while Catherine Cavendish is always interesting.

But I also love those of certain authors who give a lot back to other bloggers and authors, Susan Arden, Noelle Clark, Charley Descoteaux and Antonia Van Zandt.  While I accept that branding is all important, I don’t personally want clobbered with it.  So, for me, a turn off is an author or blogger who just wants to shout themselves. You see… I admire this generous thing you are doing here! It is something to thank you for.

SL: Why, thank you and your welcome, I’m happy to have you on here! 😛

SL: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

SM: Lying on a beach sipping marguerites…….not!

SL: If you could be anything you wanted (besides a writer lol), what would you be and why?

SM: I have never wanted to be anything else. There you go.

***

Fury sat down and dipped the quill into the ink. She detected the faintest trace of nerves. It must be the fact Thomas lay in the cellar. Why else would a man, so great, so stalwart, so worldly as Captain Flint be nervous of her?

“Well, yes,” she said, listening to the pleasing scratch of the nib on the soft paper. “Babies are not always made in a night. Of course, you wouldn’t know that, being you. It will take time.”

“All the more reason then to just get going. After all this time, sweetheart, you don’t know how eager I am.”

He strode across the tiled floor and the ink trailed a long dark path across the paper as he dragged her to her feet. Had it blobbed it might have been something to worry about. But she was very set on this. And calm. As calm as one could be having this man in her bedroom, knowing what was coming next out of dire necessity, her husband in a box in the cellar and her cast off, potential lovers on their way out the door.

“No, James.” She held a hand up between their lips. “There will be no kissing.”

“No kissing? Why in hell not?”

It displaced her calm to see him grin. She would have preferred that he was indignant. Especially as he was a man who thought he could settle all his arguments—with women anyway—with a kiss. But she kept her face cold, blank.

“Because.” In some ways she was cold. Cold with rage.

“Aw, come on Fury, didn’t you like my kissing? Hmm?” His breath, hot and male, brushed her fingertips. He wrapped his arms around her, splaying his hands across her back, so her hand might as well not have been there for all the protection it was.

But she was calm. Didn’t she have to get into bed with him after all? So, even the impulse to squirm was one she would squash. When she thought of all he had done to her, she would give him nothing. Not even the knowledge she found his proximity so unsettling that she sought to pull away.

“Your kissing was fine, in its way, I suppose. But kissing is a sign of affection.”

“How do you make that out?”

She knew exactly why he scratched his head. Their love-making had been torrid. It had been sensual. It had been shaming. And it had been absent of any affection. Certainly on his part. So, why on earth would a kiss be a sign of anything? To him anyway. She was the damn fool who had thought it had. Who even now was forced to concede the pleasure it would be to take her hand across his face to assist his understanding of her feelings. The impertinence of the damn man, the stinging ignorance.

“It just is.” She eased the distance between them a whisper. “So there will be none. Not now. Not at all.”

“All right then. Saves time. It means—”

“Rule two.” She saw his eyes freeze as he readied himself to yank off his shirt. She persisted anyway. Why not? In many ways she walked a tightrope here. If she paused it might be to her detriment. “You will be fully dressed at all times.”

“What? How the hell am I meant to—”

“James, I am sure you will manage. You managed plenty before. But I do not desire to look at your body before, during, or after. Nor in any shape or form wandering about this house in just your breeches. Is that understood?”

He dropped his hands from his shirt and glared, so he must have. “You wanted to look at it plenty before. In fact, it makes my head spin, just how often you—”

True. But that was then. “Rule three.” Clasping her fingers around the cool edge of the dressing table to create another inch of distance, she continued.

“Rule three? You mean there’s more?”

“I will not touch you in any place, intimate or otherwise. I will lie. You will perform.”

***

Thanks again to Ms. Moore for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Come back next week for my interview with another one of my favorite people, Sara over at WhatANerdGirlSays. In the meantime, you can check out my interview from a while back with H. N. Sieverding, author and blogger over at Inside the Mind of a Fantasy Writer.