Category Archives: Interview

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! 😀

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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.

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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.”

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 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~

Calisa Rhose~Tuesday RoundUp presents~ Chrys Fey #ghosts #mfrwauthor

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, Chrys Fey, who is sharing her eBook, Ghost of Death with us!

chrysfeypicPlease show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Chrys some real Ranch love!

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

My name is Chrys Fey and in case you’re wondering…that is a pen name. Chrys came from a nickname that my oldest friends call me, but I changed the spelling to make it more mystical. And Fey is a nickname used for a person thought to have supernatural qualities. Since the books I’ve been writing half my life all have supernatural elements, I thought Fey was perfect. And that is how “Chrys Fey” was born.

I love how you came up with your name! 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?

It’s a lot better since I was last at the Ranch and answered this question. It’s in a corner of my bedroom now next to a window with a lovely view of the tree in the front yard of my new house.

I love new houses. I’ll be moving into a new office soon too. 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?

It’s usually easy for me, but the title of “Ghost of Death” was originally Diary of a Dead Girl. Since I didn’t write it in the form of a diary and I’m also publishing “Witch of Death” later this month, I changed it. As for my characters’ names, the characters in “Ghost of Death” are named after people, so that was easy. *wink*

What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

Keep writing.

Keep dreaming.

Keep believing.

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?

Do not overwhelm yourself. Stick with a few social media sites you like and stay active on

them, do a little marketing every day or at least a few times a week, and write no matter

what obstacles this ever-changing industry throws your way.

Oh, that’s good advice. Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

J.K. Rowling. I’d like to have tea and biscuits with her and to talk about writing, books, and life in general.

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

Favorite animal?

TOO MANY!

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?

Fall

Favorite food?

Italian

Well done! 🙂

Okay, Flash four. Ready?

What are you working on now?

Well, I’m going to be sending my publisher the sequel to Hurricane Crimes (with fingers crossed) very soon and I am working on book three! 😀

I have my copy of both these books and can’t wait to read them (some day). LOL What are you sharing today?

Ghost of Death!

GhostofDeath05.05.15

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can…by stalking the lead detective on the case.

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.

I love her name. Where can we find you and your books?

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

www.chrysfey.com/

www.facebook.com/chrysfey

www.writewithfey.blogspot.com/

Where will you be next?

Tomorrow I am visiting Julie Flanders. On Thursday, I’ll be stopping by Christine Rains’

blog. And Friday I’ll have fun posts at the blogs of Marlow Kelly, Medeia Sharif, and Kelly Hashway.

WitchofDeath-CFWitch of Death is also available for PRE-ORDER! 🙂

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK

VOTE: Which do you prefer? Ghosts or witches.

I’ll go with ghosts. 🙂

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

Thank you, Calisa! I love visiting the Ranch! 😀

And the Ranch loves having you, Chrys!

Don’t forget to place your vote of witch or ghost in comments.

Have a lovely day!

Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose~ Tuesday RoundUp with Joyce Holmes #MFRWAuthor #romance #interview

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, Joyce M. Holmes, who is sharing her book, Dare to Risk All with us! She’s a new Wild Rose Press sister, too, so congrats for that Joyce!

Please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Joyce some real Ranch love!

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

I live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, in British Columbia’s interior, with my husband and very tiny, very spoiled dog, Roxy. I have three grown boys, two are married, and my oldest has blessed me with two little grandsons. Besides writing, I love photography. The best of all worlds is when I can travel, take tons of photos, then write about where I’ve been on my blog.

Haha We just got a new dog last month (not so tiny shepherd/boxer) whose already spoiled. Granddaughter named her Roxy!

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?

I’m lucky to have an actual office with a desk, cabinets and bookshelves. It’s the smallest room in the house, but I’m happy it’s all mine. I work on a laptop with an attached keyboard and mouse. Although the laptop is connected wirelessly, I rarely go on the internet while I’m writing to avoid distractions. I keep chocolate or other sweets tucked away in the desk drawers (shhh, don’t tell my hubby) and occasionally reach in for a nibble.

I have an actual office, too, but it’s being used as storage at the moment—hence the recliner. Lol 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’ve never had a problem coming up with names for my main characters, but do sometimes draw a blank with secondary ones. I try to choose those names carefully, because you never know when they might ask for a story of their own. As for titles, a working one usually comes to mind immediately, but on occasional I change it once the story is finished. In the case of Dare to Risk All, I was asked to change the title because the publisher already had a book with my original title, and I’m pleased that this one is even better suited to the storyline.

So true about secondary characters, Joyce. I’ve actually had a few start nudging me before I finish the story, so I have to go back and give them better/more fitting names. What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

Write. Write and read. And learn the craft. Take courses, workshops, go to conferences if possible. Learn all you can, but most importantly, write. Make sure your work is as strong as it can be before you submit. It’s not an easy career choice and the real hard work comes after the book has been written. But if writing is your love, then write.

Good advice. 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?

If I knew the answer to that, I’d be the next big thing, lol. The absolute most important thing is to write an outstanding story people will want to read. But in today’s industry, you need an edge beyond being a good writer. Part of that might be luck—getting noticed by someone big—and part of that is writing something out of the ordinary. And having a strong marketing strategy is paramount as well. I really do need to take my own advice.

LOL We all could benefit from this advice I think. Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

There’s so many, but if I can only pick one, I’d like to meet Mark Twain. Not only was he such a talented writer, I think he’d have been an interesting and knowledgeable man to chat with.

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

Favorite animal?

Dog

Season?

Spring

Favorite food?

Brownies

Mmm Brownies! I need to rethink my own answer to that one. Lol Well done! 🙂

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

I’ve just finished a project, so I’m in the brainstorming stage. I’m hoping to do a third story connected to the first two books I published, but it’s being a little elusive at the moment.

What are you sharing today?

Blurb:

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Dare to Risk All

Tessa Caldwell’s carefully structured world is thrown into chaos when the handsome stranger she had an uncharacteristic fling with reappears in her life. Ben not only gets the promotion she thought was hers, but is also intent on resuming their physical relationship. Although Tessa’s rational mind insists on a professional association, both her heart and her traitorous body have other ideas. Can her sensible nature possibly win against such temptation?

Memories of the petite blonde with large, blue eyes have haunted Ben Dunham for months. When he transfers to her branch, he anticipates picking up where they left off. Reality doesn’t match memory when the cool and collected lady wants no part of him. If he intends to pursue Tessa, he has to earn her trust. The problem is, Ben carries a dark and dangerous secret. How does he get Tessa to trust him when he can’t trust himself?

***

Where can we find you and your books?

Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Joyce-M.-Holmes/e/B008H5HTV8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1402703325&sr=8-1

Goodreads page:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6431862.Joyce_M_Holmes

Blog:

http://JoyceHolmes.wordpress.com

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/Joyce.M.Holmes

https://twitter.com/Joyce_Holmes

Publisher:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=6123

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Dare-Risk-All-Joyce-Holmes-ebook/dp/B00TBVQEG8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424381008&sr=8-1&keywords=dare+to+risk+all

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dare-to-risk-all-joyce-m-holmes/1121218050?ean=2940150071254

Where will you be next?

At the moment I don’t have any other engagements scheduled (I hope to be buried deep in the writing cave), but readers can always find me on my website. I post all my updates there and list my books on the bookshelf.

http://JoyceHolmes.wordpress.com

That is one beautiful cover, as I’ve said before! Love Tina Lynn Stout’s work. Who remembers it was Tina who did the cover for my first novella, Home?

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

Thanks for having me. I enjoyed chatting about my writing with you.

Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose invites Cate Masters to the Round Pen #MFRWAuthor #interview

Osiyo~
It’s the month of green so I’m all in for St. Patrick’s Day, being part Irish. Let’s kick off the green month, 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, Cate Masters, who is sharing her book, The Griffin’s Secret with us! I think those who can take a regular fairy tale we grew up with and turn it into their own are super talented. I’ve never done it, but maybe I’ll give it a try some day. 😀
For now, please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Cate some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
Cate: Thanks so much for having me at the Ranch, Calisa! I’ve been married to my best friend for 37 years. I’m a lucky grandma of three wonderful boys, all of whom live with us! Our home is very lively, lol
CR: Ours too! We have five granddaughters and, though they all don’t, the oldest one lives with us. Hmm, all boys, all girls…could be a story there. 😆 I’m right behind ya’ll at 32 years this September, Cate. Congratulations on the time! 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 in my recliner in a corner of my living room. What does your writing space look like?
Cate: Wherever I carry my laptop, lol. Sometimes the dining room table, where I can catch some sunshine to chase away the winter blahs, and sometimes in bed at night. When I need to break out of my routine (or escape the grandboys’ chaos, lol), I go to the library or a coffee shop.
CR: 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?
Cate: Rarely is either a natural occurrence. The name has to fit the character or I keep changing it till it does. Only once have I begun with a title (for my paranormal, Death Is A Bitch).
CR: What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
Cate: The most important thing is persistence. If you love to write, just keep writing what you love.
CR: 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?
Cate: I’m still scratching my head! Sometimes stories seem to just take off with readers. I think word of mouth is a powerful thing, and it’s a strike of lightning that either happens or doesn’t.
CR: I completely agree. If anyone finds the secret, don’t forget to share! Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
Cate: Neil Gaiman has been an inspiration for a long time. I love his stories.
CR: I admit, I have no idea who he is. Guess what I’ll be Googling? LOL 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?
Coffee 🙂
CR: Me too on the food choice. 🙂 Well done!
Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now?
Cate: I’m working on several WIPs, but nothing even close to being finished at the moment.
CR: What are you sharing today?
Cate: My fantasy novella, The Griffin’s Secret, is a re-imagined Grimm’s fairy tale in a magical, rock and roll setting in current day.
The Griffin’s Secret
Reimagined fairy tale/fantasy romance novella
ISBN: 9781616507053
Publish Date: 5/12/2015
About 33,000 words
Jackson Grant had it all—the girl he loved, his Harley, and his guitar. Until a tragic accident stole it all away. Now, more than scars and a tattoo remain. Jackson has a secret. Cursed by his dead girlfriend’s mother, he can never fall in love again or his beloved will die. With his heart on lockdown, he keeps to himself—until a roadie gig with Malcontent, the world’s most popular band, entwines his fate with sweet, wounded Layla’s…
Music is what Layla lives for. She has no choice. She’s bound by magic to serve Malcontent, cursed to propel them to stardom with her musical powers. Then Jackson appears and gives her hope that he’s the hero who will save her. A reluctant hero, yet one she can’t resist. But freedom will come at price—and who will pay…?
Cate: Kensington’s Lyrical Press will release it on May 12. It’s available for preorder now:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kensington

Griffin'sSecret-CateMasters
Excerpt
The faint scent of an exotic flower on an ocean breeze hit him the second the girl walked in. Every part of his body stood at attention, taking in the way she moved. The curve of her slender hips. Those long legs…they’d wrap around the back seat of his Harley perfectly. Wrap around him perfectly, too.
A flip of her onyx-silk hair sent it behind her shoulder as she sat opposite. “Who are you?”
Good question. He’d been seeking the same answer for too long. “Jackson Grant.”
Her eyes darkened, deep brown to charcoal diamonds. “Why are you here?”
“For the roadie job.” Was she the first gatekeeper? A gate she kept locked, he’d bet. Or maybe she was another test. Kev had warned him there’d be tricky questions and to answer straight. Something told him she asked out of curiosity.
“You think you’re up for such a demanding job?”
Again, the impression hit him she was making these questions up as she went along, ad-libbing off his replies.
He’d play. “I’m strong. Dependable. I follow orders, keep my head down, and stay out of trouble.” And he liked his privacy.
Her features smoothed, hard as porcelain. “Do you.” Not a question.
He’d answer anyway. “Yes.”
Did disappointment curl her lip? Or boredom? Why did he care? If he could, he’d blast out of there before his own curiosity got the better of him. Already, she’d gotten under his skin. Crazy how the tat no longer singed him, but now twisted like a trapped animal.
With a plastic smile, she batted her eyes, and the false flirtation didn’t suit her. “So. You’re a yes-man.”
The way she said it, he’d be no different than any other roadie serving the great rock star, Malcolm Fetterman. Fine by Jackson. The less he stood out, the better. Except for her. He hated to think of her glossing over his presence, but that would be better, too.
He drummed his fingers on the table. “I need the job.” Where the hell was Malcolm anyway? The longer he stayed with her, the more he wanted to. Definitely couldn’t afford that kind of trouble. He glanced at the open door, hoping he wouldn’t have to go through the same interrogation again.
She tapped the table. “You’d have to travel constantly.”
“Perfect.” No different than his usual way of life. Except this time, his paycheck would remain steady.
“You wouldn’t miss your family?” She dipped her head. “Your girlfriend?”
He curled his lip this time. No one’s business but his. He shifted in his seat. “They’re better off.”
Her brows knit, and then her expression became unreadable as the Sphinx. “The hours are long, and the equipment’s heavy. Everything has to be exactly as Mal orders.”
Did he imagine it, or had she winced at her own words?
He shrugged. “It’s his show.” Someday, Jackson would have his own roadies. And would treat them much better than Malcolm Fetterman did, if the stories proved true.
Her steely focus cut into him. “Mal doesn’t hire musicians except for those in the band. And there aren’t any openings in Malcontent.”
He didn’t allow himself to blink. “No problem.”
“But you play, don’t you?” Her gaze dropped to his callused fingertips drumming the tabletop.
He drew his hand down. “No.” A necessary lie. She might suspect, but couldn’t possibly know the truth. Almost like leaving one of his limbs behind, he’d locked his Fender in storage in New Jersey with his paltry possessions for six months. By then, he’d know whether this gig worked out.

***

About the Author
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at www.catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.
CR: Where can we find you and your books?
Cate: I’d love to connect with you on any of these sites:
Blog: www.catemasters.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CateMasters
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Cate-Masters/e/B002OBQ98A/ref=sr_tc_ep?qid=1331753999
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/2944596.Cate_Masters
Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CateMasters
Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/user/CateMasters
CR: Where will you be next?
Cate: I’m waiting on details for the blog tour, but I’ll post info on my blog when I have it. 🙂
I’d love to hear from readers – what genre of stories do you love best?
CR: Thank you so much for playing along, Cate! Great question. I prefer contemporary, but there are some awesome fantasy and paranormal writers out there who seem determined to convert me. LOL
Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.
Cate: Thanks again for having me, Calisa. Until we meet again…
CR: Which should be soon, since we are publishing sisters at two ePress houses!
Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose Presents ~ The Romantical Groom by Suz deMello

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.

SuzdeMello_headshotI’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Suz deMello, who is sharing her book, The Romantical Groom, with us!

Please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Suzie some real Ranch love!

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

Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones. (Hey, no one liners please. try to answer these with complete responses :-})

My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like?

SuzdeMellooffice01.27.15I live with my mother in her nice, large home, and I have an entire room dedicated to my work. I have bookshelves, a desk, and filing cabinets as well as knickknacks and memorabilia scattered about.

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?

Hmm…sometimes a character name springs into existence easily. Other times, I find myself researching names and their meanings. Every book is different.

What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

Read a lot, and not only in the genre you’re writing. Read good books, not junk. Find a list on the internet of the best books written in the last fifty years, and read them. Absorb story structure, sentence structure, grammar.

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?

(sighing) I wish I knew. I have noticed that the most successful among us often have a background in business or marketing. I think it takes quite a lot of business savvy these days to adapt to a changing market.

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

Gutenberg. I think that meeting someone from centuries ago would be fascinating. I love to write historicals, and doing the research is a big part of that love.

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

Favorite animal?

Dogs

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?

Summer

Favorite food?

peaches

Peaches? 🙂 Haven’t heard that yet. Well done! 🙂

Okay, Flash four. Ready?

What are you working on now?

A story for a spring anthology and my last Highland Vampires novel, set in Victorian England.

What are you sharing today?

The Romantical Groom, Being a Satyre

A gentle send-up of the classic Regency romance by master storyteller Suz deMello, who turns the genre upside down and on its head. Marlene, Earl of Maybegood, subjects gentleboy Georgie Longjohn to her own brand of rough wooing on the eve of his first Season.

TheRomanticalGroom_SuedeMello01.27.15Excerpt:

Marlene, Earl of Maybegood, looked down the country lane to the spectacle presenting itself to her interested eyes. “By George,” she exclaimed to her companion, “I do see the most priceless piece of manflesh thither on yon nag!”

            Carolina d’Arvon, her friend from Eton and Oxford, brought her mare alongside Marlene’s. “You name your quarry aright, Maybegood,” she said. “‘Tis Georgie, the gentleboy and heir of the local squire, Longjohn. The laddie is quite admired hereabouts, not only for his form and grace, but for his five thousand pounds per year.”

            Maybegood scowled. “I’ll teach those country bumpkins a lesson!” she declared. “I’ll have him before his first come-out.”

            George, quite unaware of their distant scrutiny, serenely rode on, accompanied by his father and a groom. As befitted a gentleboy, he was securely mounted on his sweet old gelding, Muffin. He rode side-saddle, his skirts gracefully arrayed around him; gentleboys ride side-saddle to protect their tender parts from the chafing of the leathern seat.

   He was eighteen years old and perfect, from the top of his guinea-gold curls to the bottom of his superbly fitted boots. The zephyr blue of his graceful, skirted riding habit complemented his celestial eyes. The low-cut jacket accentuated without revealing his lovely form.

            Marlene turned to d’Arvon. “Caro, introduce me to the laddie,” she wheedled.

            “‘Tis naught to me, Marlene, but you might wish to wait until you are not so rough from riding,” she pointed out. “The gentleboy might want grace and deportment—in short, a dandy.”

            Maybegood snorted. A noted sportswoman, she wore riding breeches and a fitted hacking jacket. Her topboots were muddy.   The raiment was suitable for her current activity but not for a drawing room or even for an informal introduction to a gentleboy. However, Maybegood was known for her carelessness in the matter of fashion, avoiding fancy dress whenever possible and never, ever sullying the Queen’s Court or any ballroom with her graceless presence.

            Nevertheless she was desired, courted, and invited. The Earl of Maybegood owned and managed several estates of prime, productive land; as a very wealthy member of the peerage, Marlene was considered to be a Catch, and scores of scheming daddies dreamed of marrying off their sons to her. From her graduation from Oxford four years earlier, and her entry into the Polite World, Marlene had been the target of considerable masculine interest. The experience had left her somewhat arrogant in regard to the gentler sex.

            “Believe me, Caro, he’ll take me as I am,” Marlene growled.

 ***

I love your hero’s name! Maybegood. 😆 Where can we find you and your books?

Buy here: http://tinyurl.com/RegencySatire

http://www.suzdemello.com

http://www.TheVelvetLair.com (blog)

Where will you be next?

Find me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/SuzDeMello

Send me a PM and mention this blog for a FREE ebook!

Thank you so much for playing along, Suzie! And you brought a FREEE book! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day. Don’t forget to leave Suz a comment here to thank her for your free book! 🙂

Thanks for having me!

Dodadagohvi~