Category Archives: Interview

Adam Mann takes the Round Pen with Calisa Rhose #Tuesdayroundup #mfrwauthor #interview

Osiyo~

Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.

I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Adam Mann, who is sharing his book, Love in the Boondocks with us!

Please show Adam some real Ranch love!

Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you. What made you decide to write romantic fiction and do you find it difficult as a man in a woman’s world so-to-speak?

I have been married four times, as my previous work made it difficult for my wives to live with me.  My first wife died, my second could not face the remoteness, my third had to get the marriage annulled as she had forgotten to get divorced, but for the last 20 years I’ve been happily married to a widow with three children, to add to four of my own, and now we have five grandchildren.

My goodness! Now I’m curious what you used to do for a living. 😉

Okay, moving on. I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.

My writing area at the moment is a cozy chair in the corner of my living room, though I do have a lovely new office hubby remodeled just for me. What does your writing space look like?

I have a large chunk of my bedroom as my office, and in here I control internet WiFi, printer and scanner for the rest of the house.  I am not a tidy worker, and tend to have reference books and peppermints scattered in any free space.

I’ve had a couple of “bedroom offices” over the years. For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?

Not life-shattering.  I like writing and usually write 3,000 words a day, so about ten days for a novel, but not every day, say once a month.  It also takes a week or two to edit and rewrite the novel, and another few days to decide on and design a cover.

What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

Just put your head down and write.  Avoid distractions like children and animals, and even wives who come to clean around you!  Granddaughters only excepted from this rule.

Yes, it’s hard to ignore those little ones. LOL The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?

I have to spend a lot of my time promoting my books, mainly on Twitter and FaceBook, but also as a guest on blogs like this.

Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

J K Rawlings – her imagination!

It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word.

Favorite animal?  Large dog

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?  Spring

Favorite food?  Cheese, toasted mainly

Well done! 🙂

Okay, what are you working on now?

The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo – a thriller.

What are you sharing today?

Love in the Boondocks:

litb_adammann11-22-16Kim is divorced by her uncaring husband when she is working in a remote area, but she meets an attractive man and immediately her divorce is finalized she plans to make herself available hopefully for a long term relationship.  Fair enough until you consider her working environment, the living conditions, and emotions, not to mention raging hormones!

Where can we find you and your books?

My website: http://www.adammannauthor.com/

Twitter: @adammannauthor

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/676005

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M72IO4W

I live and work in Vietnam.  I used to be a specialist in sustainable development working with farmer families in remote areas, but now I’ve retired.

I would be very pleased to give any reader a FREE pdf copy of any of my books, in exchange for an honest review, at either Amazon or Smashwords.  Readers can find my author pages on:

https://www.amazon.com/author/adammannauthor.com

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/adammannauthor.com

Thank you so much for playing along Adam! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come and visit again one day.

You’d be very welcome, but I should warn you that I live in a mountainous area in Vietnam, not too far from the Red River, although our roads are improving.

The scenery there must be amazing! Thank you for sharing Love in the Boondocks with us.

Dodadagohvi~

 Note: This book may be slightly more than a level four heat rating, so you might want to buckle up before reading. 😀

 

Tuesday Round-Up welcomes Barbara Barrett with Keeping it Casual #mfrwauthor #romance

Osiyo~

Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.

I’m thrilled to welcome my talented guest today, Barbara Barrett, who is sharing Keeping It Casual with us!

Please show Barbara­­­­­­­­­ some real Ranch love!

Before I get to the questions, please, tell us a bit about you.

Thank you, Calisa, for the warm welcome to the Ranch.  

B_Barrett08.23A little bit about me. I lived most of my life in Iowa, and since I’ve retired, I now spend my winters in Florida just outside the Disney Parks and my summers in Iowa. I started my college career majoring in anthropology, but when I realized I’d have to do field work to gain higher degrees in this area—you know, tents, bugs, no air conditioning, no Diet Coke—I switched my major to American History. My plan was to teach at the community college level once I received my Masters Degree, but when I could only get hired on a part-time basis, I took a job in human resources management with Iowa State government, although we called it Personnel Administration back then. My husband and I were both floor counselors in the dorm system our senior year in college. I met him in sensitivity training.  The class focused on non-verbal communication. The thought freaked my future husband, so he spent his time making faces. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed at that point. It took running into him a few more times to convince me this was the guy for me. We now have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

When I’m not working in my lovely new office upstairs, my writing area is my easy chair in the living room. What does your writing space look like?

My writing space is my own private retreat in both locations. Both are comfy with either a loveseat or sofa for relaxing when breaks are needed. The walls of both are filled with pictures and items that are special to me. Framed photos of three of my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard and Janet Evanovich, stare down at me and provide motivation in my Florida office. I gaze out on six palm trees in the courtyard below. In Iowa, I look out on a boulevard. All day I see people walking their dogs, parents and grandparents with strollers and kids and adults on bikes, roller skates and skateboards. I love to watch all the activity. Some of the teapots and teacups I’ve collected over the years adorn two sets of wall shelves. Since it is just my husband and me, I enjoy long periods of uninterrupted writing time, which I cherish. But if I have to, I can be mobile with my writing space, since I use a laptop.    

For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?

Most of my books have experienced more than one title prior to publication. I needed to get into the book, maybe even finish the first draft, before the essence I wanted to convey in the title came to me. I struggled naming the first book in my “Sullivan’s Creek” series. It features two architects with very different approaches to design who are forced to work together. At first, I focused too much on their occupation; I kept trying to find catchy ways to use “Blueprint.” Finally, I realized what really brings them together is the Salsa dancing class they teach together so they can learn more about their target audience, baby boomers. Once I came up with Saved by the Salsa, I’d set my course for the next two books in the series. I had my two titles before I had any stories for them. Tough Enough to Tango was released last year and Not Your Mama’s Mambo should be released later this year. But here’s a caveat: as much as I love those titles, finding covers has been a challenge.

My latest release, Keeping It Casual, just came to me, because that’s the whole point of the story, until the H/H realize what they have with each other is much more than casual. It was originally going to be titled The Escape Clause, because the first book in the series was titled The Sleepover Clause and I wanted “clause” to be in each title. But that just didn’t work for the second book. I wanted something “sexy” but not overtly sensational. After much thought, I finally arrived at Seduction on Wheels rather than The Travel Clause. I probably agonized over that one and Salsa the most.

What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

From others, never stop learning. With yourself, never stop analyzing your own work.

I recently attended a Michael Hauge workshop at the RWA Annual Conference in San Diego. I’ve heard him speak before on more than one occasion, but this time his words and writing advice struck me differently because I had more writing experience under my belt. When I returned home, I reread my current work in progress and, thanks to his class, realized why this manuscript wasn’t resonating with me. I didn’t need to rewrite the story, but I did need to add more depth to my characters. His advice was invaluable.

The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?

Don’t I wish I knew, but I’ll give this a shot. First, every writer needs to determine for herself what “success” means to her: having a bestseller, making lots of money, getting published, seeing your name online somewhere. I’m still at the point in my career when a heartfelt fan letter is much appreciated. I don’t need to know that I changed someone’s life, but it’s wonderful to learn that for the space of time it took them to read one of my books, they learned something or applied something I wrote to their own life or, and this is my favorite, I made them laugh.

I write because I have to write…for myself. It gives me great joy to bring my imagination to life on the computer screen. Every book is a journey that starts with a protagonist desiring something they don’t have or cannot do without overcoming what at the start appears to be an insurmountable challenge, and it’s up to me to guide them to a satisfactory end.

Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

For romance novels, I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet Kathleen Woodiwiss. I never imagined myself writing a romance novel until I read Shana and then The Flame and the Flower. Yes, she wrote of damsels in distress who needed the strong alpha male to help them save themselves, but she also conveyed deep emotion that touched the heart and made you want to root for the heroine up until the last page. And to be frank, her sex scenes struck another kind of note that made you keep reading long after midnight.

For mystery novels, I would have liked to meet Dame Agatha Christie. Where Woodiwiss focused on emotion, Christie highlighted the cerebral. Figuring out whodunit before the end of one of her mysteries was a favorite pastime, because her heroes, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, in particular, used their “little gray cells” to discern motive and then apply it to means and opportunity to solve the case. I’m more a fan of the mystery than the suspense or thriller.  

It’s time for some fun! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆

Favorite animal? cat

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? spring

Favorite food? pizza

Well done! J So let’s share a bit.

What are you working on now?

Not Your Mama’s Mambo is currently in galley stage and hopefully will be out before Christmas because it ends on that holiday. I’m also working on a new series, yet to be named, that features different types of cable interest shows.

What are you sharing today?

Today I’m sharing from Keeping It Casual.KeepingitCasual_BarbaraBarrett08.23.16

Talent manager Alex Appleby needs Geoff McKenna’s help. Her vicious client is threatening the reputation of Alex’s television-star father if Alex can’t convince her stepsister to go along with the client’s demand.  Alex turns to Geoff to make the case to her sister.

Geoff has his own proposition for Alex. Thus far, his case of multiple sclerosis has been mild, but he’s unsure of his future. When his girlfriend pushes for a stronger commitment, he enlists Alex as his new pretend love interest so his girlfriend will break things off. 

When they discover they actually are attracted to each other, they agree to keep things casual, since Alex is only in town briefly and Geoff isn’t interested in anything serious. But fate intervenes as their feelings deepen. Alex must decide whether to relocate to Iowa from LA, and Geoff must place faith in his future. 

Excerpt:

Around a hundred miles, he turned onto I-29 to go north.

He pulled off at the first exit and headed for a fast food place. This had been fun. Best time he’d had in days. He sat back and slapped his thighs.

            Alex returned an “I-told-you-so” look.

            In response, without giving it further thought, he gripped her shoulders, brought her toward him, and kissed her. 

            When he released her, she breathed out, “That was unexpected.”

            “For me, too. But not at all unpleasant.”

            She remained only inches away, her breath grazing his face. Her eyes didn’t leave his. Without uttering a word, she invited him to return to the scene of the crime. So he did. Big time.

            When she didn’t back away, he increased the pressure on her mouth, drew her closer, his arms encasing her, his right hand massaging her back. His left hand remained at her waist, awaiting its destination.

            Though spontaneous—yeah, there’d been some kind of vibes going on since Pella, but it wasn’t like they’d been flirting or engaged in more serous sexual byplay—neither seemed shocked nor turned off by their actions. It was like they’d both been waiting for some sign from the other since the day they first met.

            When had he last made out in a car? Not since college. Maybe even high school. Forgotten how the intimacy of front seat lip lock could give a guy such guilty pleasure. Could send his insides into overdrive, even in broad daylight.

            Broad daylight. Right. Get control of yourself, man.

Where can we find you and your books?

www.barbarabarrettbooks.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2aXZvG9  (This is new and could use your likes.)

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bbarrettbooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/barbarabarrett7/

Buylinks:

The Wild Rose Press (digital)

The Wild Rose Press (paperback)  

Amazon (digital)    Amazon (paperback)

All Romance Ebooks (digital)

Barnes and Noble (Nook)

Kobo (digital)

Where will you be next?

August 31, www.zarawestsuspense.com/blog

September 9, Nancy Fraser Blog, “Reading Other Genres

September 12, Burlington Community Library, 3-4 p.m.

November 17, Authors Bare All, www.casimclean.com

Here’s a question from me to your readers: For a romance novel (steamy but not high heat) what grabs your attention on the cover that gets you to read the book?

Thank you so much for playing along, Barbara! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.

Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose presents ~ Shatterproof by KK Weil #mfrwauthor #tuesdayroundup

Osiyo~

Welcome KK Weil to the round pen today! She’s sharing her new book, Shatterproof, and I’m asking her a few random questions. KK also has a special offer at the end.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m very excited to be here.

I’m thrilled to have you! Let’s get started.

What is your writing routine?

As soon as my kids leave for school, my computer goes on. My coffee sits next to me and if the weather is nice, I either work outside or open all my windows. Fresh air inspires me. Usually, I take care of any “business” first, like social media or communications with other authors. After that, I dive into writing. What that means depends on the day. It might be picking up where I left off and spewing out tons of words or maybe I just go over what I did the day before and tweak it. Of course I find the days when I get more pages out to be more productive, but both kinds of days are necessary. I work until the kids come home, which often means losing track of time and neglecting everything else that needs to be done. And then my computer goes back on when they go to sleep.

Which comes first for you—plot or characters?

It depends. For my first book, At This Stage, I knew the premise of the plot before anything else. I developed my characters around what I wanted to happen in the story. In my new release, Shatterproof, my hero, Griffin is a character from the first book. I fell in love with him while I was writing At This Stage, and I knew I wanted to give him his own story. Shatterproof developed entirely around Griffin, so in that case, character definitely came first. In the book I’m working on now, I started with a general idea of the plot, but was having some trouble with my heroine. Then I used a character sketch to get to know her better and then everything started flowing like magic.

What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult?

For me, the most natural part of writing is the story development. I absolutely love creating something from nothing and every time plots come together in ways I didn’t initially expect, I get very excited. I tend to write about sensitive subjects, so I guess I’d have to say the hardest part is how to handle them. For example, a large part of Shatterproof is about how Griffin deals with his anger towards his mother for staying in an abusive relationship for years. I really wanted to capture what he was going through, while making it clear that the feelings were his as a product of that household, and not mine as a writer. It can be tricky.

What was your first writing piece and where is it now?

I’ve always written, so I couldn’t name my first piece. But my first “full length book” – which would have to be judged by how many pages it took up in a marble composition notebook – was about twin girls. One good, one, bad, naturally. And the trouble they got into. I think I wrote it in Junior High. I still have it, tucked away in my basement, in a duffle bag filled with old stories I’ve written.

Where in the world would you want to visit (all in the name of research, of course) and why?

My number-one dream destination is, without a doubt, Australia. I’ve actually had my itinerary planned for years, because one day, it will happen. There are so many things I want to see there. The opera house and the beautiful Great Barrier Reef are at the top of my list. But above all, I want to visit the outback, Ayer’s Rock and learn about the Aborigines. I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful place to take my family. And imagine the stories it would inspire!

Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry and why?

Margaret Atwood. (https://twitter.com/MargaretAtwood1) To me, she is the queen of dystopian fiction, one of my favorite genres. I’d do anything to pick her brain.

Favorite movie and why?

I have so many, and they truly change with my mood. But two of my all-time favorites are Bullworth and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, because I love satire.

Salty, sweet, or both?

Salty, salty salty. Except if you’re offering me a peanut butter cup.

Shatterproof Blurb

Griffin Stone knows the stats. Sons of abusers become abusers. This is his single fear.

After witnessing firsthand his parents’ tumultuous marriage, Griffin worries that he, too, harbors an explosive dark side. Can he escape from his father’s rage-fueled ways or is he destined to become part of the cycle?

Unable to persuade his mother to leave and wrestling with his resentment towards her for staying, Griffin volunteers at Holly’s House, a safe haven for abused women. Through sculpture, Griffin gives these women pieces of themselves they’ve long forgotten. Holly’s House is the only place where Griffin finds peace and purpose.

Until he meets Frankie Moore.

Frankie is an aspiring photographer, finding beauty in things most people miss, including Griffin. Griffin is attracted to her free-spirited, sassy attitude but fears Frankie will trigger the most intense part of him, the one he must keep buried.

Frankie’s got to get her act together. Her anything-goes behavior is leading nowhere fast. She’s hopeful that her latest hobby will be a building block for the future. But when a stranger appears on the other end of her camera, looking as complex as he is handsome, Frankie thinks this might be just the change she needs.

Shatterproof_w9927_750

Shatterproof Excerpt

“You need to grow up, Griffin,” my father spat at me. “Life isn’t perfect. You need to get over it and move on. Your mother can. She’s happy with me and whatever we have between us is our business, not yours. Grow the hell up, and start acting like a man instead of a petulant child.”

Heat shot through my body at lightning speed. “Act like a man—like you?” I shouted. “What should I do, go pick some amazing woman who’s full of life and beat it out of her until she can’t even recognize herself any more, until she can’t even differentiate between love and pain? Is that what a man does, Dad? Is that what I should do?”

My father broke into a smile. An evil, condescending, terrifying smile. “You think you’re so different from me?” He hovered over me. His tone was sinister, as if he was trying to cut through my skin with nothing but his voice. “Get up.” He yanked my arm and pulled me by the elbow into the bathroom. He grabbed the back of my head and forced me to face the mirror. “Look at yourself, Griffin. And look at me. Everything about you comes from me. You may deny it now. You may put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you’re above being human, but just know that the fire inside you, that’s my fire. That passion, it’s mine. And when you have an uncontrollable desire to love, to hurt, to possess a woman, it’s from me. Nothing is yours alone. Even this face.” He snagged my chin between his strong fingers. I tried to yank it away from his grasp, but he held on too tight. “It’s mine. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try to mask it in this mess of hair and clothes and tattoos you have going on, but know that every time a woman falls in love with that face, every time she says she can’t resist you because of it, every time she can’t walk away from you…it’s because of me. It’s because you are me. We. Are. The. Same.” He released my chin with a shove and left the bathroom.

Author Bio:

Instead of telling you how I’ve always loved to write (which is true) or how I dabbled in different genres for years while I was a teacher, before I took it up full-time (also true), I’d like to let you get to know me a little.

KKWeil11.24.14I love trying all different foods. I enjoy everything from street meat to decadent delicacies. When I travel, I pester the locals for restaurant recommendations, off the beaten path. Having said that, I am a savory fan. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I’d much rather have another bite of dinner and one more glass of wine that save room for dessert. There is one exception to this rule. Reese’s peanut butter cups. Sometimes I think I love those more than I love my children. I’m kidding. Maybe.

I’m left handed. I blame my horrendous handwriting on this, even though I don’t really believe they’re related. Everything in this world is built for and by righties. (Ever try using a can opener with your left hand?) So when I meet another left-handed person, I feel an immediate bond to her, like we’re in this special club. A club founded on being inconvenienced. When I was young, I was desperate for my sister to be a leftie like me. So even though she grabbed things with her right hand, I’d quickly switch them to her left. Now she’s ambidextrous.

I always save the best of everything for last. It’s a compulsion. I don’t like pizza crust very much, so I eat it first. I tear it off, piece by piece (I don’t bite the slice backwards. I’m not a Neanderthal, for God’s sake), until there’s just a little bit left in the center. I use this as a handle.

I have an irrational fear of lice, bedbugs and any other insect that can become an infestation.

I prefer beaches over grass, heels over flats, dramas over comedies, coffee over tea, night over morning and fall over spring.

She sounds interesting, doesn’t she? Check out:

Shatterproof, a New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Amazon http://amzn.com/B015UESACU
Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shatterproof-k-…/1122695550…
Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/shatterproof
The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v1…/index.php…

Follow Me

Website: http://www.kkweil.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KKWeilAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KK_WEIL

Blog: KKWeil.blogspot.com

I have one leftie (of my three girls) and teaching her was a challenge in a lot of ways as she grew up, since I’m a rightie. She’s ambidextrous also, mostly because she was right handed until a nine foot fall when she was almost 2 that rewired her brain some. Thank you for visiting the Ranch and sharing your work and yourself, KK!

For a chance to win a copy of one of her books, tell KK if you are a rightie, or a leftie. 🙂

Dodadagohvi~

 

Calisa Rhose presents ~ A Demon’s Witch by Tena Stetler

Osiyo~

Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.

I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Tena Stetler, who is sharing her book, A Demon’s Witch with us! Don’t you think the cover is YUMMY?

Please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tena some real Ranch love!

Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.

tena7 300-2Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance author with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance at the age of twelve, to the delight of her friends and the chagrin of her mother. Tena finds stories in the strangest places, while camping, kayaking, or hiking in the mountains. So far, she’s only found one dead body (imagined not real) during a camping trip, turned it into an exciting paranormal romantic suspense that’s nearly complete.

For many years Tena worked as a paralegal for a criminal law firm. Talk about dry uncreative writing. You won’t believe the tales she can tell! Then she tried her hand at IT and Office Management for an electrical contracting firm. She’d honed her writing skills throughout her careers, and finally, the stories just wouldn’t wait. Tena dusted off and polished up one of her WIP, A Demon’s Witch and at a friend’s insistence she submitted it to The Wild Rose Press, the rest is history.

Colorado is her home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. She loves the adventure of a road trip. Together with her husband and their companion animals, they have logged thousands of miles in their RV visiting over 3/4 of the United States. The great northeast and Alaska are still on the bucket list.

Any winter evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.

Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones. My writing area at the moment is a corner of the living room. What does your writing space look like?

Tena's officeI have a small office in my home, pictured below. It has all my stuff where I need it. I have a table top computer, but sometimes just use my little pink laptop, so I can carry it out to the sunroom when the mood strikes. I love to hear the birds singing and the fresh air wafting through all the open windows.

So organized! I love it. 🙂 For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?

So far my characters have introduced themselves to me with their name. The titles seem to come to me in the middle of the night, so I keep a pen and paper on the nightstand. Stories come to me like that too sometimes. Makes for a rough night’s sleep. <grin>

What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

Hone your craft. Attend writers conferences, try your hand at Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO), check out workshops offered through RWA, Pikes Peak Writers and other online venues.

The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?

Heaven only knows, and their not telling. Writing the best book possible, submit, write and then do it all over again. I do think luck has a hand in it too. Also networking with authors both self-published and traditionally, publishers, agents, etc. Above all, keep writing. Check out all avenues available to you. Remember if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.  

Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

Nora Roberts, I grew up reading her books. And James Patterson. He built a publishing empire. I’ve read articles about how he did it, but I’ve still got questions.

It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆

Favorite animal? Moose

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Fall

Favorite food? Pizza!

Well done! 🙂 Haven’t had anyone choose moose as a fave animal. Cool!

Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now?

Polishing the next book in the Demon’s Witch series, A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance, getting it ready to submit.

What are you sharing today?

A Demon’s Witch

ADemonsWitch_w9470_750

Blurb:

Keeping a lid on all the paranormal beings inhabiting Washington D.C. is a daunting job. Bruce, a six hundred year old demon and the Territory Overlord of the Western Hemisphere, keeps his finger on the pulse of DC’s power players through the activities at his highly successful Wycked Hair Salon. His movie star good looks and body builder physique keeps his dance card full and the rumor mills running. Within these walls, his anonymity is safe, mostly.
Bruce’s world spins out of control when Angelique, a pint size, gorgeous witch, with an attitude breezes through the doors of his salon. She is the younger sister of Tristian, Bruce’s long time trusted enforcer, whose professional skills are second to none. Tristian is furious at the relationship between Bruce and Angelique, a dangerous situation. The undeniable attraction between demon and witch promises to tear apart both their professional and personal worlds.

Excerpt:

     Suddenly, he felt the magic aura shift and switched his attention to the front door. She breezed in, hair like spun gold flowing to her waist, with a seductive yet regal body and a sway to her hips that should be illegal even in DC. She wore a snug rose and cream colored sweater, cut low enough he could see the swells of her rounded breasts, tailored black slacks that fit her cute ass like a glove and four-inch spike heels. She paused in the center of the salon, wet from the sudden spring storm, and lowered the briefcase she’d used as an umbrella. Her sparkling violet eyes glanced up to the mezzanine where Bruce stood watching. Blatantly her gaze wandered over his well-muscled body, undressing him piece by piece, until he felt naked. He shook his head slightly and smoothed his shirt and slacks with his hand, just to make sure he was still wearing them.

On the first floor, Owen, a stocky well-muscled man of slightly over six foot, with thick silver hair that fell to his shoulders, smiled and stepped toward her holding out a large towel. “Mother Nature frown on you?” His dark amber eyes twinkled as he watched water pool at her feet.

“It would seem so.” She grinned and took the towel, dried off then knelt down to wipe up the puddle.

       “Don’t worry about it.” Owen snapped his fingers. Mia came from the back room with a wheeled bucket and a mop. “It’s been one of those mornings.” He reached out, took the towel from her, and handed it to Mia. “Now, what can I do for you?”

Where can we find you and your books?

Website: http://www.tenastetler.com/

Buy links for A Demon’s Witch.

Amazon – http://amzn.com/B014BVSZIC

The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1264

 Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-demon-s-witch

 Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-demons-witch-tena-stetler/1122560853?ean=2940151032469
Where will you be next?

Casi Mclean’s Author’s Bare All. http://casimclean.com/authors-bare-all/   and I am participating in The Romance Review’s Year End Splash where a reader can win an e-book of A Demon’s Witch http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php

On December 8th, I have an interview with Abigail Owen on her blog http://abigailowen.com/blog/

Finally, I’d like to know what makes readers pick a certain book. Is it the author, the cover or what?

Thank you so much for playing along, Tena! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.

Dodadagohvi~

Friday Fanfare welcomes J.J. DiBenedetto #DreamWedding #MFRWauthor

DreamWeddingInvitationimgJDB11.13.15Osiyo~

Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men or women. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! For today’s guest, I’ve invited some special lovelies to join us. 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.

coloreditI’m thrilled to welcome my guest today, J.J. DiBenedetto. James is a prolific and wonderfully talented indie artist and sharing his latest book, DREAM WEDDING with us!

Please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­J.J. some real Ranch love!

Please, tell us a bit about you. What made you decide to write romantic fiction and do you find it difficult as a man in a woman’s world so-to-speak?

Honestly, this was just the story that came to me. The Dream Series began as a mystery idea, and the romance just developed as the first book went along.

I haven’t had any difficulty as a man in a woman’s world. It might seem weird, but it’s been easy for me to write in Sara (my heroine)’s voice. The books are all in first person, so we’re in her head the whole time, and I’ve found writing her to be very natural.

That’s great, J.J. Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones. My writing area at the moment a recliner in my living room. What does your writing space look like?

A computer desk in my bedroom, sometimes also occupied by our cat!

The remodel of my office/craft room is almost finished after four years without. I can’t wait! For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?

The character names were easy. That’s just who they were – for the most part, the names just came to me along with the idea of who they were. Titles were harder. I didn’t come up with the title for the first book of the series (DREAM STUDENT) until the second book was halfway finished!

What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

The work doesn’t end when you get to “the end”. That’s when it starts. Selling your books (whether as a self-published author, or to an agent/publisher) is insanely hard, and it never ends.

The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?

Adaptability. Things are changing so fast, I think of it like surfing (not that I’ve ever surfed myself!). You have to catch the wave at the right moment, ride it as long as you can, and then you have to find the next one. Over and over again.

Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

It’s a tough question.  Maybe Frank Herbert, so I could ask him what he really intended for the end of the Dune chronicles, because I refuse to believe that what his son wrote is what Frank was going to do had he lived to finish the books.

It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆

Favorite animal? Cat

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Winter!

Favorite food? Fondue

Well done! Fondue…really? Interesting, I’ve never tried it. 🙂

Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now?

An adventure/romance story following an archaeology student who finds herself way out of her depth. The working title at the moment is “Queen of the Idiots” (a title the heroine gives herself at one point in the story) but that’ll probably change.

What are you sharing today?

I’ve got an excerpt from DREAM WEDDING, book ten of the Dream Series. Our heroine has a visitor – her daughter’s boyfriend…

DreamWeddingJDB11.13.15

Seth Taylor is a senior at Crewe University, and he lives in the building next to her, just a few hundred feet away. He’s also been her on-and-off boyfriend for most of her three and a half years at college, and to hear Lizzie tell it it’s been a lot more on than off since their senior year began in September. If he weren’t smiling – although the smile is becoming more nervous with each passing second – I’d wonder if he was here to deliver bad news about my daughter.

“No, Dr. Alderson. She doesn’t know I’m here. It’s – it’s a surprise.” Yes, it is. Especially because Lizzie isn’t flying home until Wednesday, two days from now.  

I let that pass. I also let it pass that it’s a little bit presumptuous to show up unannounced on our doorstep and expect me to find a spare bed for him for two nights. Not that I have any problem with him visiting, or sleeping in Ben’s room for a couple of nights. He’s done it enough times the last four years he’s known Lizzie, after all.   Still, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect some advance notice.

I put all that aside. “It’s Sara. Please. How many times do I have to tell you that?” I gesture for him to sit, and he does, but he can’t quite meet my eyes.

“I’m sorry I didn’t call ahead, Doctor.” I’ve never known him to be this nervous. Granted, I don’t know him that well, but he’s always struck me as a very confident young man. “I didn’t want – I mean, it’s not the kind of thing you do over the phone. And I didn’t want her sister to find out and tell her. I want it to be a surprise.”

I have no idea what he’s…

Yes, I do. What was I just saying to myself? More on than off? I think he’s about to tell me that it’s about as “on” as you can get.

“Oh! You’re – Seth, you knew perfectly well that Lizzie won’t be here until Wednesday, don’t you?” He nods. “You expected to catch me alone. You probably went to the hospital first, didn’t you?” Another nod. “You came here to ask me…” I can’t say the words out loud, but he nods just the same.

How is this possible? She’s not even twenty-one yet! She doesn’t graduate for another six months, and then she’ll be going on to medical school. How can he possibly think that I would approve…

Where can we find you and your books?

My website – http://www.writingdreams.net

My Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/DreamSeriesBooks

My Amazon author page – http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JJDiBenedetto

Where will you be next?

I’m always at my website – you can follow me there anytime!

Thank you so much for playing along J.J! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.

Dodadagohvi~

AND THE WINNER IS!!! ~ Calisa Rhose and Tuesday RoundUp welcomes ~ Starr Gardinier #mfrwauthor #winner

Osiyo~

Congratulations Mae Clair!!!!!! WOOT!!!!!! You’ll be contacted shortly by Starr ti deliver your copy of The Other Side- Melinda’s Story!

We thank everyone who visited and commented! 😀

##########################

Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice and something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.

I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Starr Gardinier, who is sharing their book, The Other Side: Melinda’s Story with us!

Please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Starr some real Ranch love!

Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.

StarrGardinier09.29.15A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story “Cut,” Starr Gardinier has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich series and now her Other Side series.

Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found her unique style and is known for her works’ distinctive voice, making every character stand out.

She’s the founder and owner of Editing by Starr. She’s also the former executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work. She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.

Starr is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged weekend-long events to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. Starr has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.

Please see more on her editing service at www.editing.queenwriter.com, read more about her at www.QueenWriter.com, and/or visit her blog at www.qw-blog.blogspot.com.

Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.

My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like? Wow. Most of the time, pretty much the same place. On the chaise part of our sofa with my dog next to me (or on top of my keyboard). I actually do have an office, but rarely use it.

I have an office, too, but it’s not set up yet. Don’t you love-hate remodeling? 😆 For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you? Titles for me aren’t a problem. Names however, are. In my newest release, the protagonist is Melinda James and her supporting character is Trent Miller. I look at the names now and think, ‘My gosh, I could have done better than that!’

I like those names and I’m sure readers will too. What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers? Never, ever give up. If writing is your passion, then keep doing it. Don’t let anyone tell you to give up.

Popular advice and I agree with you. The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment? At the moment? I’d say it’s the same for any moment. And that is, write what you feel. The industry has a tendency to rock one way or the other as to what genres readers are after. But it all circles back around. Let’s say, romance is in. By the time you start your novel and it gets published, readers have changed their minds and now it’s fantasy. Again, I say, write what you feel.

Great advice. Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why? Tough question. There are many. Edgar Allen Poe because I’d love to know what drove him, what in his life called out to him to be a poet. Another is Stephen King; I’d like to know what honest impact his major accident had on his writing career.

Interesting choice and I actually saw an interview years ago where he answered that question. Sorry, I don’t remember who interviewed him or his answer. ;). Okay, it’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆

Favorite animal? Dog

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Fall

Favorite food? Pizza

Well done! 🙂 I’m a dog person too. Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now? The third in the Other Side series: Ben’s Story. The first, Melinda’s Story is out on September 18, 2015 and the second, Trent’s Story is done and with the copy editor.

Congrats on the second contract! What are you sharing today? The Other Side: Melinda’s Story

Melinda’s family is dead, killed for information that is hidden deep within her mind. Her father tries to warn her from the ‘Other Side’ that she is in danger from the killers who want what only she can give them. Committed to Skyview Haven, she must determine if the ‘Other Side’ truly exists or if it is a trick of her heart and mind. With time running out Melinda must determine who she can trust. Is it the ghosts of her family, a boy who may not be who he appears to be, or the doctor who is determined to cure her? Can she figure out the truth before it is too late?

TheOtherSideStarrGardinier09.29.15Excerpt:

I walked to my window and just as I’d done so many times in the past, looked down, hoping to spot Beth. And suddenly, she was there. She was waving up at me to come down. I could see her forming the words, Come on. I smiled like I haven’t smiled in a long time. I knew it. I knew she was alive. I put my index finger up to tell her I’d be there in a minute. I quickly stuck my feet into some shoes and grabbed a jacket. I tiptoed all the way downstairs and through the kitchen to the back door. I looked out the window first to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Nope. She was there! Right there at the foot of our path. I smiled again, quietly opened the door, and slipped out. I hugged her hard and she pulled away.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“What do you mean? I’ve missed you. Where the hell have you been? They said you were dead. I didn’t believe them,” it all came out in a rush, in one long sentence, hardly a breath in between words.

“I’m right here. Remember? We promised to be in each other’s lives for always.”

“I know, but…”

“Ssshhh,” she cautioned. “We have to be quiet. Come on,” she tugged at my arm.

We walked a short way down the path. Before we got to her backyard, she suddenly stopped and I ran smack into the back end of her.

“What the hell?”

“Shit! I can’t…”

She looked at me with a frown on her face then smiled. “Let’s go to our place!”

“Okay, but you do know it’s the middle of the night. We’ll get into trouble if they know we’re out here.”

“Everyone’s sleeping. They won’t know.”

She grabbed my arm and tugged at me when I hesitated.

“Beth…”

“What?”

I smiled and said, “Nothing. Let’s go!”

I was happy and nothing was going to spoil it for me. I knew Beth wasn’t dead. I knew it!

‘Our place’ was a fort that we constructed in the woods. Well, not a real fort. We found some wood and leaned them all around a tree, sort of forming a teepee. Then I brought some old curtains my mom didn’t use anymore and we draped it over top of the wood. The inside was small, but it was ours. We sat huddled under old blankets she brought from her house a while ago. It was dark in our fort, but we had a flashlight if we needed it.

We chatted for a while. I told her all about how everyone thinks she’s dead, that she’d drowned. After I told her they had a funeral for her and everything, she giggled.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Because it’s funny. I’m not dead, I’m right here.”

She laughed again as she pinched my arm.

“Ow! Damn it!”

“If I was dead, I couldn’t do that, could I?”

I laughed with her, but it felt wrong. Something was not right. Then it hit me. If Beth was alive, that meant my dad was dead.

“Beth, you’re alive.”

“Yes, silly, I know that.”

“But then what about my dad?”

“What about him?”

“Beth, I think he’s dead.”

“What?”

Tears started trickling down my face again.

“What are you talking about? You’re dad’s fine. I saw him earlier today.”

“Where?”

I knew the answer. Deep inside, I knew the answer and I can’t tell you how I knew.

“I saw him on the bridge. At least I think it was him. It was raining pretty hard. But I know it was your car. Hey! Where are you going?”

As she talked, I got up and left the fort. It started raining, but I didn’t care. Beth was here, which meant Dad was dead. The little pleasure I got seeing Beth again didn’t last long. I couldn’t win. I felt like I had to choose between Beth and my dad. It wasn’t fair.

“Melinda, what’s wrong?” she pleaded. “Aren’t you happy we’re together?”

“Yes, but my dad…” I said, standing there in the rain.

“He’s fine. Can we go back under now? I’m getting freakin’ soaked.”

“I have to go.”

I turned abruptly and began running back home. The rain made everything slick and I fell a few times, getting branches stuck in my hair and plastered with mud. In my backyard, I stopped and looked at our house. Every light seemed to be on. I saw Kyle pass by the kitchen window. I stood rooted to the spot. Do I go back to Beth? Somehow knowing if I did, it meant my dad would be dead. Or do I go in the house and accept the fact Beth was gone?

***

Chilling excerpt, Starr! I love the cover, too. Where can we find your book?

Amazon ~ KOBO ~ B&N ~ All Romance Ebooks ~ Book Strand ~ Wild Rose Press

Where will you be next? I have several blogs who are hosting me. Here is the information:

9-14-2015 – Alicia Dean’s blog

9-17-2015 – QueenWriter blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

9-18-2015 – L.A. Kelley’s blog

9-19-2015 – Peggy Jaeger’s blog

9-21-2015 – Marie Tuhart’s blog

9-22-2015 – Abigail Owen’s blog

9-23-2015 – Debra Doggett’s blog

9-24-2015 – Sandra Dailey’s blog

9-25-2015 – Judy Reynold’s blog

9-28-2015 – Isla Grey’s blog

9-29-2015 – Calisa Rhose’s blog  That’s today! Thanks for visiting!!!

10-6-2015 – Mary Morgan’s blog

Feel free to go back and check out any you missed. Plus, on October 3, 2015, along with several other authors, I am hosting and participating in a FB Launch Party. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1204016436282600/. I hope to see you all there! Authors are offering FREEBIES!

That’s a great lineup, Starr. I’ll be sure to try to stop by the FB Party!

I hope to see you all there! Today I’ll gift one copy of the digital version of The Other Side: Melinda’s Story to the 1st person who can answer this question [hint: you can find the answer on my website at www.QueenWriter.com] What is the name of the other series I’ve written in the past and what genre is it?

I know!! I went to find out, but I’ll let others guess. It’s just a click away, so go get your answer.

Thank you so much for playing along Starr! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.

It was great being here, Calisa, and I would love to return. Thank you for the fun day on your Ranch!

Visitors- Don’t forget!!! Leave your email address in a comment so we can contact the winner of Starr’s ebook. 🙂

Dodadagohvi~

Brenda Novak interview– winner announced! #HanoverHouse #MFRWorg

Robin Dricoll email me, please so Brenda can send *your copy of HANOVER HOUSE to you girl!!!!! Thank you for commenting. Congrats on getting picked by Random.org!

*Robin has 48 hours to contact me before I choose another winner. Thank you all for visiting, and a special thank you to Brenda!! 😀

Osiyo~

I’m thrilled beyond belief, truly, to be able to welcome one of my favorite-of-all-times authors to the Ranch today! Have you ever read the “Perfect”suspense trilogy? In case that hint isn’t enough, I’ll shout share who…

BRENDA-NOVAKPlease welcome the lovely and uber-talented bestselling author and all around wonderful woman, MS. BRENDA NOVAK to the Round Pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oy. Was that as loud as it sounded in my head? I think I spooked Sonny and Apple. :/ Sorry, my horse darlins. Now to get the Chihuahuas to shush so I can think. 😆

So, a couple of weeks ago I happened across a Twitter notice in my email that Brenda Novak was following me. What? My favorite writer, Brenda Novak? Me? Doubting Thomasina that I am, I checked and, sure enough, it really was her. Did I mention I’m a HUGE fan? 😀

I’ve admired her writing—and live vicariously through her as a suspense writer (since I can’t write the genre to save my life, and she does it so splendidly)—for a very long time. After fangirl faded, I turned strictly Ranch owner (well, maybe still a little fangirlish) and invited Brenda to join me in the Round Pen and she graciously agreed. What a wonderful treat, I tell ya, folks! I’m all fangirl again here. She’s sharing her newest release, the one I just grabbed, here today with all of you, too! I’ll let her tell you all about HANOVER HOUSE as part of our visit today. (For convenience’s sake, I hyperlinked her name above directly to this book for you to check out, along with all her other books. You’ll be glad you did, I promise. 😉 )

We tried to keep this short, but Brenda agreed to let me interview her, and I came up with some things to ask her about.

So, Brenda, you are a NYT and USA TODAY bestselling author multiple times over, with many, many books in various genres; historical, contemporary and, my favorite, your suspense. First off, congratulations on your exciting achievements. But—

1) When you first realized you were a success—something we all dream of, but are secretly afraid might actually happen—how did you handle it in the beginning and move forward?

I don’t think there’s ever been a point where I’ve decided I’m a success. Like most people, once I hit one goal, another one appears right behind it, so my career is more of a journey than a destination. That’s why I think it’s so imperative to enjoy the process. Success to me isn’t necessarily hitting the big lists (although that’s always nice!). It’s turning out work I’m proud of—and having my readers be excited about each new story.

I think all authors need your perspective. That’s a great way to look at success!

2) Not all books are easy to write. Some stories are what one author refers to as pineapple babies—they hurt coming out. Which of your works or genre gave you the most difficult time, either with the writing or editing, and how did you get through it?

The most difficult book I’ve ever written was probably A BABY OF HER OWN. I was still a relatively new writer and, when I finished the story, I could tell something was wrong with it, but I wasn’t experienced enough to identify what needed to be changed. I turned it in, hoping for the best. I’ll never forget meeting with my editor at the RWA conference (which was coming up). She told me that I had a subplot in the book that was warring with the main story–and overtaking it. Fortunately, she was so kind about the way she shared this news that it didn’t crush my confidence. As I flew home, I was trying to figure out how to solve the problem. Taking out that subplot would mean losing 25% – 30% of the book. I wasn’t eager to do that. In the end, I knew that was the right path, however. I made myself remove that subplot, focused on the main story and finished that book. Then I used the subplot to start a new story that was related to the first. So that mistake actually spawned my first series! If I hadn’t screwed up in that way, and if my editor hadn’t been sharp enough to catch it, I probably never would’ve written the Dundee series. I would’ve continued writing stand-alone novels. As you can imagine, I’m now very happy that I had to go through that exercise! The Dundee books are some of my readers’ favorites.

How awesome for you to get an editor to walk you through that at such an early stage of your career.

3) I keep Dr. Pepper (or coffee) at hand, and chocolate when times get rough, listen to music and I have a little stuffed Captain Jack Sparrow doll that cheers me on in that swooningly sexy voice only Johnny Depp can master…ok, maybe that’s just in my head. What is your go-to ‘thing’ while writing, if anything?

I don’t keep anything on hand (other than some trail mix since I don’t like to interrupt my work to eat), but there are certain things I do to kick-start my muse, or to remind me of how much I love what I do. Usually, if I want to be inspired, I listen to the soundtrack for LES MIS or PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Or I watch LAST OF THE MOHICANS. There’s just something about those works that really get my imagination going. Also, reading a really good book will get me excited to create again.

While writing my current release I was forced (by my heroine) to listen to an Opera CD while working. Apparently Viv liked Opera. Who knew? 🙂

4) Where do you draw from for the intensely deep, emotional impact your books all seem to be packed with?

I’m not sure where that comes from, to be honest. I think I’ve always been a student of human behavior, so I have a pretty good grasp on human motivation. That definitely helps. And I tend to like big, dramatic books, movies and music. I think those preferences just bleed into my work. (And thank you for the compliment. I want my books to resonate emotionally, so this is really great to hear. :))

They definitely resonate with me, so you’re welcome!

5) Since I began writing I hear that we should celebrate each finished manuscript, each sale, etc. What do you do to celebrate new accomplishments? Following that, what do you do for fun when not working on a book?

I don’t really do anything to celebrate. I think I’ve been in the business too long to worry about those rewards! LOL Finishing seems to be reward enough. I do love the relief, the letdown of the pressure, however. When I finish a book, especially if I’m really proud of it, I feel as if I’m walking on air for the next couple of weeks. That emotional high is a wonderful thing! As far as what I do for fun, I love to travel, read, shop, play volleyball, ride bikes and just hang out with my adult kids.

*Sigh* I still grab cheesecake and wine to pat my own back. LOL

6) I love that you’re not just a writer, but an advocate of a great cause. Can you tell us about the juvenile diabetes auction you created, why you did it and how/where can we get involved in the cure for this awful disease?

My youngest son has Type 1. He was diagnosed at just five years old. I’ll never forget hearing the list of side-effects he will likely suffer in his lifetime. That made me want to fight back, to do everything possible to protect my child. So I started Brenda Novak’s Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research, which I ran for ten years. Then, a year ago, I shut down the auction and changed up my fundraising efforts by procuring a digital boxed set containing stories from some of today’s most popular authors, which I sold to raise money. So far, with everything combined, I’ve managed to raise $2.5 million (thanks to the generosity of all those who have been so good to support me), and I hope to keep adding to that total. Keep an eye on my website for next year’s boxed set! Anyone who’d like to get involved or learn more can visit www.brendanovakforthecure.org.

I can only imagine the heartbreak of learning your little one is ill, and those are both extremely wonderful causes you’ve created. $2.5 million? That is incredible, and amazing to hear of the generosity of others. I hope putting this out will help bring that number up even more for juvenile diabetes research.

###

Now for a sneak peek at Hanover House and the eerie cover, which I love!

Welcome to Hanover House…

Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has established a research facility in remote Alaska where she studies serial killers. She’s determined to solve the mysteries of the psychopathic mind. But dealing with so many twisted killers means she has to be careful. Terrible things could happen if only one thing goes wrong…HanoverHouse_800x1200

Here’s an excerpt:

To hide the fear that slithered, snake-like, just below her skin, making the hair on her arms stand up, Evelyn paced across one end of the small, concrete cell, pretending to be absorbed in her notes. It’d taken a few days, but she was back at San Quentin, and they were bringing Hugo Evanski to meet with her. Only this time she was prepared for anything he might do—and so were they. The warden had told her Evanski would be escorted by two correctional officers instead of one, and he wouldn’t be allowed to get out of control again.

When he didn’t appear as soon as she’d expected, however, she set her notes aside and leaned on the desk to haul in a deep breath. She’d only been released from the hospital two days ago, still had a bandage covering her stitches and a black eye to show for that earlier incident—embarrassing proof that she’d allowed herself to be hurt by someone she’d known was dangerous. There was no excuse for that, especially because her detractors wouldn’t hesitate to use what Hugo had done to undermine her efforts, if word ever got out. She had to be careful about what showed up in the press, couldn’t allow Hugo Evanski to jeopardize a program that was still in its infancy and needed time and support in order to grow.

A clang signaled she’d soon have company. She snatched up her notepad so that no one would be able to tell that her hands were shaking. Although she told herself the same thing wouldn’t happen twice, no amount of self-talk could overcome the emotional response that welled up whenever the slightest sound, smell or other trigger reminded her of what Jasper Moore had done twenty years ago. And Hugo’s attack definitely reminded her of Jasper. Just about any violence did.

She watched as the heavy metal door slid open and two hulk-like correctional officers walked their charge into the room. They tried to seat him in the steel chair bolted to the floor, probably so that he couldn’t launch himself at her again, and, when he stiffened instead of bending, forced him into it.

“Sit your ass down,” one of the guards growled.

Hugo gave his chains a rebellious jerk but eventually complied, lifting his nose in the air and smiling at her as if he was too preoccupied with and delighted by what he’d done to her face to be bothered by correctional officers who were determined to show him they were in charge. “Looks like you’ve had an accident,” he said to her.

She fingered the tender spot near her temple. “It’s nothing. Someone of your reputation…I would’ve expected you to be able to do a lot more than simply knock me into a table.”

When the two officers on either side of him barked out a laugh, obviously surprised by her response, the smile disappeared from Hugo’s clean-shaven face. “Maybe it won’t go quite so well for you the next time.”

###

 Hanover House- http://brendanovak.com/books/posts/hanover-house/

You are an inspiration to so many with your fundraising and your writing. I’ll definitely check out the link and the boxed set! Thank you so much for hanging out on the. I hope you’ll visit again.

Welcome visitors. Leave a comment to Brenda for the chance to win an ecopy of Brenda’s Hanover House only here on the Ranch!! 😀

Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose welcomes Alicia Dean on Friday FanFare! #mfrwauthor #fridayfanfare #ruined

Friday Fanfare Welcomes:

Alicia Dean – Ruined: Martini Club 4 – The 1920s

How did the writer’s journey begin for you?

I’ve wanted to write all my life, and I wrote my first romance at age 11. I put writing aside when I married and raised my three children, but in 2001, I took a writing class with Mel Odom, and my inspiration and drive was renewed. I published my first novel in 2007, and I now have 24 published works.

Alicia DeanBIO

Award-winning, multi-published author Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who happened to share the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.

  1. I always use celebrities as the model/inspiration on which to base my main characters.
  2. My first few drafts are always a hellacious mess, and it takes several passes to polish my work before it’s ready to share.
  3. Each time I begin a story, and several times while I’m writing it, I am racked with self-doubt and I often struggle to get even a sentence down, let alone an entire scene.

It all began when…

When my three writer friends and I, who gather each week at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma, decided to write stories centered around a place like the ML.

Where did you get the premise for this book?

I knew that each of our heroines were running from something in England, and I decided my girl was running from a lecherous Earl. My mind went to the irony of her escaping his lechery, only to end up a prostitute.

What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?

Mainly that it was in the 1920s. I had never written anything other than contemporary (well, about the same time, I wrote a 1957 short story, but other than that, all my books are contemporary). I really had a blast researching the time period. I love the colorful terminology, the spirit of independence and change, and the creative ways people managed to skirt the whole prohibition thing.

Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?

It was difficult to not only write my heroine as British, but to keep the 1920s feel and accuracy. I ran across some fascinating stories during my research, a few of them ended up in the book.

What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?

I think the uniqueness of my heroine being a prostitute would be compelling. But, also, the fact that I wrote this as part of a series with my three writer friend, and it’s fun to see how our stories are separate, yet interconnect from time to time.

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I want them to feel as though they stepped back in time and were thoroughly entertained.

Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?

I used Robert Redford as my inspiration for Vince Taggart, and I used an actress unknown to me, Jamie Alexander, who seemed perfect for Eliza. When I finished the story, I was kind of sad it ended. I really loved visiting that time period, and I wanted to do more.

Blurb:

She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans… 

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped. 

When Vince Taggart ’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing friend. 

Ruined_MC4_AliciaDean04.06.15Ruined Excerpt:

The ballroom was magnificent. Sparkling chandeliers hung from the ceiling like diamonds dripping from the sky. Grecian columns with golden draperies strung between them bordered the entire room. Paul Whiteman’s orchestra was performing on a platform stage set within a rectangular alcove at the western end of the room. Meggie would be joining them soon. What a fabulous opportunity for her. All her dreams were coming true.

Why her, and not me? Why can’t my dreams come true?

She nearly gasped in horror at the unbidden thought. Her cheeks warmed with shame. How could she be envious of Meggie? She deserved every happiness in the world. Just because Eliza had made poor decisions and ruined her life, it didn’t mean she couldn’t be happy for her friends. She blinked back tears. She was happy for her friends. Really, she was.

She clutched a champagne flute in her damp palms, praying she could get through the evening without being forced on a ‘date.’ Across the enormous dance floor, Oscar stood conversing with two men. Please don’t let either of them choose me…

***

Where can readers find you and your books?

Website: www.aliciadean.com/

Blog: www.aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Is there anything else you want to share or add?

The four of us have a fun blog where we post every Sunday, and all four books are currently on sale for 99 cents. You can find the blog and the books on Amazon here:

www.martiniclub4.wordpress.com/

Please check out and ‘like’ our Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/martiniclub4

The entire series can be found at this link on Amazon:

www.amazon.com/s/ref=series_rw_dp_labf?_encoding=UTF8&field-keywords=Martini%20Club%204%20Series%20-%20The%201920s&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text

There you have it. Check out Ruined by Alicia Dean!

Thank you for visiting the Ranch.

Calisa Rhose welcomes Erin Fanning to the Round Pen #mfrwauthor #guest #pnromance

Osiyo~

Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.

AuthorPhotoFanningErinI’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Erin Fanning, who is sharing their book, Blood Stitches with us!

Please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Erin some real Ranch love!

Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.

I split my time between the mountains of central Idaho and the lakes and woods of northern Michigan. When not writing and reading, I can be found kayaking, hiking, skiing, biking or knitting and sometimes working on my bowling game, which has to be the most frustrating activity ever created.

I’m jealous! You have two places to inspire you, I have one. 🙂 Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones. My writing area at the moment is a recliner in my living room. What does your writing space look like?

I like to take my laptop and crawl into a big comfy chair, which is more conducive to reading (and napping) than writing. But I definitely get my best writing done when I’m confined to a place (like a library), where I have no distractions and can’t procrastinate by doing the dishes or laundry.

I’m a procrastinator for sure. For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?

I would say it’s probably the former—I don’t really find any of the writing process to be as easy as breathing. It’s a lot of work and coming up with titles and character names is usually a long process of brain storming and elimination.

Mine typically come easy, but lately I’ve been challenged on every one I need. LOL What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

Never give up: the publishing world rewards hard work and dedication. Sometimes I think success in writing has more to do with patience, perseverance, and the ability to revise than raw talent.

Very true. The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?

I think you have to be willing to promote yourself through all available avenues—social media, blogging, and reaching out to readers. But I also believe that many things always remain the same, which includes the time and hard work that writing requires.

I completely agree, Erin. Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

I admire so many authors that’s it’s hard to narrow it down, but I think it would be lovely to have tea with Rosamunde Pilcher at her home in Scotland. I love her ability to capture the setting of her books, particularly in Winter Solstice, and it would be wonderful to ask her about her writing process.

It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆

Favorite animal?

Snow leopard

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?

Summer

Favorite food?

Key lime pie

Snow leopard, cool answer! Well done! 🙂

Okay, Flash four. Ready?

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a sequel to Blood Stitches. It begins about a year after the events in Blood Stitches and continues the adventures of Gabby and her friends.

What are you sharing today?

Blood StitchesBlood Stitches-highres

It’s called El Toque de la Luna–The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving–or devastating–the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head–until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters–and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.

Where can we find you and your books?

At my website/blog— erinfanning.com

You can find Blood Stitches on Amazon– www.amazon.com/Blood-Stitches-Erin-Fanning-ebook/dp/B00ONTR8I6

Barnes & Noble– www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-stitches-erin-fanning/1121044500?ean=9781616506735

and other retail outlets.

Where will you be next?

I’m heading over to Christa Maurice’s website tomorrow— christamaurice.com

What a cool coincidence, Christa will be visiting me in July. Thank you so much for playing along , Erin! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.

Dodadagohvi~