Romance Lives Forever, RLFBlog, Kayelle Allen, Romance, Authors Romance Lives Forever ]
Back to Top

  • First Slide


  • Second Slide


  • Third Slide

Romance Lives Forever welcomes Storm Moon Press to the blog! Today and the next two days, we’ll host authors and anthologies from this publisher. Grab something to drink and make yourself comfortable. Here we go!
Anthologies are a great way for authors to get a taste of working with a new publisher, or for readers to try out several authors who are new to them. They’re a grab bag of fiction with a strong binding theme between the stories, and it can also give authors and readers a chance to try themes they usually avoid. Anthologies have so much potential, and I think they tend to be overlooked in favor of longer, broader works.
There are unique challenges to editing and producing anthologies. Usually, the publisher themselves takes a financial hit when producing them. Many readers wait for the individual shorts to be released, and while a publisher could refuse to do this and try to force readers to buy the anthology itself, I think this alienates readers and loses authors potential revenue. Still, selling an anthology to readers is a hard task, but we don’t give up. Anthologies are fun, creative endeavors that are great opportunities for publishers, authors, and readers.
But, because there isn’t a lot of money to be made in anthologies, a lot of authors shun submitting to them. This makes it hard to drum up the numbers a publisher needs in order to create a solid offering for readers. Authors—both established and new—should see anthologies as chances to connect with publishers and readers without having to commit whole novels. Anthologies are opportunities to connect with new readers, and since readers are the bread and butter of the book industry, reaching even one new reader should make the investment in a short story worth it.
I’ll be honest; promoting anthologies is hard as hell. A lot of reviewers don’t want to review anthologies, waiting instead until individual stories are released. There aren’t many venues to gush about anthologies. The key is to have themes that are either broad enough to appeal to a lot of people, or so niche that the only place readers will find stories of that kind are in the press’ anthology. Storm Moon Press tries to work from both angles, appealing to both wide tastes and narrow fetishes.
In the end, anthologies are singular opportunities for authors and readers to reach each other with minimal expense, effort, and time. They’re full of quick reads, all sharing a singular theme, and—usually—for a minimal cost. So, go out and pick up an anthology, give a new theme or group of authors a chance, and authors? Check out anthology calls and give a new press a try with a short story. You might just find yourselves with new favorite authors or a new press to submit regularly to.
Where you can find Storm Moon Press:
Share
Posted in Anthology| Tagged |
Ground Zero

Do you remember what book or story you were writing when 9/11 occurred? Were you published then? Did the events of that day shape what you wrote later?

I was working at home then, and was alone that day. My son called me from his work and said a plane had hit the Twin Towers. I remember asking him if it was foggy. It never occurred to me that this could possibly be something done on purpose. At that point, I didn’t turn on the TV because I had work to do and couldn’t deal with the distraction. He called me not long afterward and said another plane had hit the other tower. Again, my thought was that something screwy was up with radar, or there was some kind of glitch in navigation. Even that aliens were involved. Hey — I write science fiction, you know? Still could not fathom that anyone in their right mind would do such a horrible thing on purpose.


When he called the third time and said “You are NOT going to believe this” and told me the Pentagon had been hit, chills ran over me. I thought “We’re at war.” I put together my carryall for work and drove to the office. We lived in the country and didn’t have cable, and there was no way I was wasting time trying to see through the buggy, snowy connection of live broadcast. I listened to the radio on the way in and heard details as they were unfolding.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I sat and listened as the DJ on the radio was talking to a woman whose son was in the second tower. She had called the radio station hoping they might have some contact with authorities, and be able to help her find out news about her son. I remember thinking she must be desperate if she was resorting to this. Surely someone in NYC could get through by phone. I had no idea the towers themselves were the sources of the telecommunications equipment in the area, even though the company I worked for owned and operated that very equipment. While they were talking, the second tower fell. I can still hear the DJ’s voice as he said it. Gives me shivers even now.

I wasn’t published until three years later. It took losing my job after 9/11 for me to realize I had to grab control of my life and steer it in the direction I wanted it to go. 9/11 didn’t directly influence me to write. I’d always wanted to do that. But being one of thousands laid off from a company did make me reconsider my priorities. My next job brought me in touch with a literary agent who was getting out of the business. Through her influence, I set about redirecting my goals. Seven books later, here I am.

Share your story as we remember 9/11/2001.

Share
Posted in Author Interviews| Tagged |

My guest today is author Toni Noel, author of Temp to Permanent, and also Lawbreakers and Love Makers. Interesting titles, Toni!
Tell us about your latest book.
In Temp to Permanent the harried owner of an advertising agency calls for help on the busiest day of her career and the agency send a male temp with no apparent business skills on his resume. His looks are a different story entirely, and as he puts his excellent office skills to work, Carina Carrington can think of only one thing, Getting Greg Lawless into her bed.   
It’s not until later, when strange things start happening at work, like the petty cash disappearing, and Carina suspecting Greg that his true skills come into play and he saves Carina’s life.
 
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Writing about two characters who both want the same thing, but the governing sexual harassment in the work place prevent either of them from acting on their desires was fun. Finding new ways to put them together and turn up the heat made my writing day.
A temp I had the privilege of interviewing and hiring for the accounting department’s busy time of the year inspired this novel. He had a degree and the experience needed, besides good looks and such a likeable personality even the married women hung out of their cubicles every time he walked by. ,  
Do you live in the mountains, desert, forest, lakeshore, city, or _____?
I live in the city, not far from a five acre recreational reservoir. I take my two mile daily walk there at least once a week, where I can watch white swans, ibis and blue herons ply the shoreline where fishermen line the banks.

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
I like mysteries, so John Grisham and Lisa Gardner top my list. Nicholas Sparks is another favorite, and I’m a sucker for a happy ending, so romances by Debbie Macomber, Elizabeth Lowell, Sharon Sala and Judith Ivory never disappoint me.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, personality, name, etc?  
I have a fascination with eyes, the color, the sparkle, their ever-changing depths, but find these the hardest physical characteristic to describe well. I’m very observant, and when I see eyes that interest me I store the image in the back of my mind to use at some future time. The eyes of a five-year-old boy inspired the temp’s eyes in Temp To Permanent, scheduled for release by Desert Breeze on June first, That boy will be a lady-killer when he grows up.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I’d recommend Law Breakers and Love Makers, because it was the most fun to write. I’ve heard that when your characters take over the writing the novel is usually first rate. I don’t know about that, but my book is certainly a fun read, and a reviewer at The Romance Store gave it five hearts..

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I write novels about finding safe havens for the heart and hope my readers enjoy the satisfying resolution to their conflict my characters achieve.

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be (in six words or less)?
Why Not Me? Actually that’s the title of the memoir I wrote for my daughters, telling them about my life through age 18.

What song would best describe your life?
You Are My Sunshine, I guess. I try to always stay upbeat, and not let things get me down.
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Friends describe me as a tactful southern lady, always looking for ways to smooth out the bumps in other people’s lives, so I’d be a power sander handled with a gentle touch.
You can erase one experience from your past. What will it be?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I have very few regrets. A car accident I had in Las Vegas years ago, I guess.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
“Caution..Do not inflame.” I have my father’s temper. His coworkers nicknamed him Fire Ball. I’m slow to anger, but when really riled I get hopping mad, which leaves me sick for days.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
A true romantic, I’d be a Victoria’s Secret store, surround myself with smooth satin and fine lace, and when there were no customers, I’d simply stand around and touch.
What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
To whom do you give the credit for your writing success? That of course would be my husband Jim, who has never lost faith in me.
Here’s a link to a five heart review of Law Breakers and Love Makers
Here’s the buy link for both books:
Share

My guest today is author Joyee Flynn, author of the Resistant Omegas series. Omegas and Alphas are both favorites with me. Let’s get started! (Thank you Dawn Roberto for helping put this together)
Joyee, why don’t you start with telling us a little about yourself?
 
I’m a born and raised Chicago girl. I graduated from University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign with Finance and Political Science degrees. I’m currently in the process of finding a place in CO and working to move there. I traveled there recently and really liked the area. I’m actually kinda boring, lol. I work 80-90 hr work weeks, I’m pretty much attached to my laptop. My pup Marius and I live alone, no kids, not currently dating. We like calm and quiet. I rarely get it, but it’s a goal in life!
You write solo and with Stormy Glenn. How did you meet Stormy and decide to write together?
I emailed her with an outline of idea for the Delta Wolf series, some of my own works in progress, and pretty much just begged she give me a chance. Luckily she liked the idea.
Who has been the most delightful character to write about? The most challenging to write about?
That’s hard to answer… it’s kinda like picking a favorite family member. All of my main characters, have at least a little bit of me in their personalities in some form or another. Riley from the Marius Brothers is one that’s a LOT like me I think because if I could do college over again in an alternative universe I would have gone to medical school so he’s my vicarious living. Reed in Lust and Vamp was challenging because it was a way for me to work some things. The way he dances, what it means to him is how writing is for me. So it was very challenging to get it just right for my perfectionist personality.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
Isaac Dragos: Beyond the Marius Brothers #1 was actually a demand from Stormy Glenn’s and my own Yahoo Group. Isaac plays a vital role in Remus: Marius Brothers #2 and after #3 came out, they started talking because I said I was going to work on Victor #4 that was released last month and holy crap did everyone just jump in and beg for his story. Which was a trip for me because I’d never thought to give him one. I promised I’d think about it… and when I did I sat down and just cranked out 17k words the first day I worked on it. It was CRAZY and just took a life of its own. It’s chronologically after Victor #4, but since he’s not a Marius Brother I gave him a spin off series name in case I come along other characters in that world that need a story as well.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
Both. I have my books in a loose outline, most times I stick to it, adding some developments that pop up as the story progresses.

Did your book require a lot of research?

There was a lot of back story to retell, not so much research beyond re-reading and getting back into the books I wrote months and months ago. And while that might sound like an easy write, it’s not. There’s already established timelines, and plot advances that I ended up spending so much time trying to fit Isaac’s story and side of things into the timeline. There was a lot of notes, a lot, lol.

Have you ever experience weird cravings while you write? If so, what kind?

Besides chocolate… Alana, the brat, got me addicted to Cheryl’s frosted sugar cookies.

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
I have a HUGE project coming up that’s super secret but there will be an announcement/unveiling of it around September. I’m really excited about it because I know it’s like nothing anyone’s done before, at least that I’ve ever seen or heard of. And one was just announced as a joint project with Stormy and Gabrielle Evans. We’re doing something very different and unique. We’ve been having a blast working on it and we think everyone’s really going to love it. http://www.midnightmatings.com

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

I normally work on one writing project in a day. But I’m always involved with other projects at the same time. Right now I’m holding a fundraiser in my Yahoo Group for the Braille Institute that helps blind kids learn to read and gets them access to books. I’m also working on a bar crawl for the Gay Romance Lit Retreat in New Orleans in October.
Which authors works do you enjoy reading and do you have any other authors that you bounce ideas of?
I’m a very eclectic reader, I read a little of everything. I bounce ideas off Stormy Glenn and Gabrielle Evans when I need to work through the plot monkeys. Working with them have made us become very close and they are great friends
What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?

My dreams or nightmares, believe it or not. A lot of times I have some crazy dream that develops into something I can use in a story and I just run with it after I mull it over.
If someone hasn’t read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?
I would say Micah: Marius Brothers #1. It’s one of my first books that had two spin off series come of it and over all I’ve gotten the most positive feedback on.

Which of your characters would you most likely fall for if they were real?

That’s hard to answer… it’s kinda like picking a favorite family member. All of my main characters, I have at least a little bit of a crush on since they are my type of man in one way or another.

Where can we find you on the net?
http://www.joyeeflynn.com; Facebook and I have a Yahoo Group.
—————
Available now at Siren Publishing!

Blurb:

When Carson’s old inner circle is challenged and overthrown he knows that he will become the Omega for the new Alpha and his Betas. After all he barely survived the abuse dished out by his last circle and he knows that, as defective as he is, he can only hope to keep the punishments at bay for so long.

Declan, Ian, and Taylor have never wanted to run a pack, but after seeing Carson and realizing how he was being treated at the hands of certain members of the pack, they couldn’t stand by and let him suffer. But while they may have won their dreamed of Omega they quickly find it becoming a nightmare.

Can they help their Omega realize his worth or will he forever be an Omega without hope?
Available now at Siren Publishing!

http://www.bookstrand.com/carson

Share
Welcome Raine! Tell us about your latest book.
Answer: Hi Kayelle, first thanks for having me here today. I
have a few things in the pipeline right now coming in the next several months.
March 2011: From Shadowfire Press~Fantasies Unbound
(Fae/Fantasy Romance) *this is a re-release and was formally titled Fairy
Kisses and Magical Dreams*
Can destiny lead a Fae Prince to the one woman who can
complete him mind, body and soul?
June 2011: From Secret Cravings Publishing~the fifth book in
the Devon Falls series comes out, Moonlight and Magic (Were-tiger/Paranormal
Erotic Romance).
Can a were-tiger convince one stubborn woman that she is his
for all time and show her that falling in love is just as sinful as a chocolate
kiss?
Plus I have a few previous released books out to a publisher
that I am waiting to hear about. If you keep an eye on my facebook page, blog
and website, I try to update weekly on those projects.
What is the genre, and does it cross over to other genres?
If so, what are they?
Answer: I primarily write erotic romance, paranormal/fantasy
but I am branching out into MM, science fiction/futuristic but always return to
paranormal. There is something about that genre that calls to me.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Answer: I fell in love with writing Michael Barnes from
Moonlight and Magic. He was a lonely man who didn’t want to believe there was
someone out there for him. Complex yet vulnerable….I loved writing it. Next I
am embroiled in my two heroes from Space Pirates. Throw in Firefly, mix in a
dash of Capt. Jack Sparrow from POTC series and stir well. That is what I am
aiming for anyways. LOL
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
live?
Answer: Oh man…skies the limit huh? Well any where with my
honey and kids of course but some place warm and sunny would be nice…maybe
Texas or Arizona or I would love to live in the wilds of Scotland. J Something
about the moors there calls to me.
What genres and authors would we find you reading when
taking a break from your own writing?
Answer: Paranormal, urban fantasy, fantasy, historical
romance books. I jump all over depending on my mood in what I read.
What feature do you start with when writing a description of
your hero/ine? Eyes, age, hair color, personality, name, etc?
Answer: Well sometimes I get a name and a description from
the character in question; other times I find out when I am half way through
the book. It all depends if I can “see” the character in my mind or not.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would
you recommend I start with and why?
Answer: Well currently I am with a brand new publisher so
many of my books are no longer available. If you like paranormal, then take a
look at my Devon Falls series-shifters, dream walkers, sex mages and more in
this little fictional town I created. J You don’t have to read it in order but
some things that happen in past books, end up being mentioned in upcoming
books.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of
your stories?
Answer: That love and romance is universal and can transcend
the barriors.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be (in six words or less)?
Answer: Oh man…making me think here.um……Lived a full life.
What song would best describe your life?
Answer: dang…no clue on this at all. Maybe a bon jovi song
or something. J
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Answer: *blinks* Does this mean I have to be PG or can I get
in the gutter with this one? *laughs*
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Answer: Maybe new age items or food…or candles..Um all
three. J
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Answer: Open at your own risk!
What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask
you?
Answer: What it is like being a cougar in this day and age?
:-P
==================
Here is the list of upcoming new and re-releases coming so
far in 2011:
Re-Releases:
March 2011: Fantasies Unbound (formally titled Fairy Kisses
and Magical Dreams)~Shadowfire Press (www.shoadowfirepress.com)
Devon Falls Series Re-Releases
Secret Cravings publishing~ Release Dates to come
Fiery Magic (Book 3) (Paranormal/Dragon shifter)
Haunting Magic (Book 4) (Paranormal/Wolf Shifter)
New Book Releases:
Moonlight and Magic (Devon Falls 5)
(Paranormal/Were-Tiger)~Secret Cravings Publishing (Release date TBA)
Space Pirates: Bounty (Sci-Fi/Futuristic Menage Erotic
Romance)~ Shadowfire Press Publishing (Release date TBA)
Contests
One lucky commenter will win a $10 gift card to All Romance
Ebook store. Contest will run till noon EST on the 9th and answer this
question:
Go to my website and give me one of the works in progress
(WIP) books on my working on page. http://authorrainedelight.com
Contacts

Share

Welcome Elaine! I’m glad to have you here today. Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is titled Return Engagement.  I had the plot in my head and wanted to write it a long time before I finally did, mostly because I was afraid I couldn’t do it justice.  I had fallen in love with my characters and wanted to the best job possible telling their story.  I wrote the book during a four month period and spent the better part of several years revising it.  I finally got it into a form that pleased me and sent it off to Whiskey Creek Press.  I was scared to death when I got an email from their editor.  I prepared myself for bad news, but to my great relief and delight she loved the book and wanted me to sign a contract.  Truly, it was one of the happiest writing moments of my life.  Here’s a short blurb to tell you about the story.
Elizabeth Lane has heard the call of the four most seductive words in the entire English language: what might have been.  Would you risk everything you hold dear to find out what might have been?  That’s the choice which Elizabeth has to make.
Elizabeth is lucky, for she has it all, money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancé.  Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard.  Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he’ll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side.  Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won’t be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she’ll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Without a doubt it was creating my characters.  They’d been bugging me to tell their story for a long time.  My hero Richard is an alpha male who has a soft spot for his Elizabeth, the love of his life.  He’s exactly what I think a hero ought to be: a one woman man, handsome, passionate, and romantic.  He has no use for pretension and snobbery, but he isn’t a saint.  Richard is hot tempered and impulsive, a combination that gets him hot water on more than one occasion.
Elizabeth my heroine is a nice foil for Richard.  She has a peaceful center so she tempers his reckless behavior.  The thing I like best about Elizabeth is her courage.  She’s willing to risk everything she ever worked for to follow her heart.
Do you live in the mountains, desert, forest, lakeshore, city, or _____?
I live in South Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I can drive to the mountains in thirty minutes or the ocean in four hours.  Our little town is a bedroom community of Greenville, a mid size city in the upstate which offers a lot of cultural advantages including art, music, drama, and fine dining.  We live in a midcentury blue split level that was supposed to be gray.  I left for work one morning expecting to return to a gray house only to find that the painter had selected the wrong shade of paint.  My husband and I sat outside staring at the paint for a long time that night before we decided that blue looked pretty good.  Our house has been blue ever since. 
What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
I like ghost stories.  Give me a haunted house and I’m hooked.  One of my favorite authors is Karen White.  She’s written two ghost stories that I especially enjoyed.  One was The House On Tradd Street, and the other was The Girl on Legare Street.  I also enjoy Barbara Michaels’ paranormal stories as well as her Amelia Peabody series which she writes as Elizabeth Peters.  They’re set in Egypt during the early 1900’s and are funny with a touch of mystery and romance.
When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, personality, name, etc?  
I always start with a name, and then I go on to the personality and age.  After that eyes, hair color and height.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I’d start with Return Engagement because I think it’s some of my best work.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I want them to feel happy when they finish the book.  I want them to believe that they too can find true love and romance.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be (in six words or less)?
Writing Her Heart Out is the sanitized version, but the real deal is Doing the Best I Darn Can.
What song would best describe your life?
Since so much of my life has been in a classroom, I teach social studies, I suppose that old song School Days pretty much sums it up professionally speaking.  On a personal level, A Great Day To Be Alive by Travis Tritt works well.  In spite of some tragedies and health concerns, I’ve been incredibly blessed in my life.
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
I’m a basket used to contain clutter.  I can’t stand things to be messy.
You can erase one experience from your past. What will it be?
I’d erase the time a lady in the community gave a reception for me, and I dropped a cracker in the punch bowl.  It was awful.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Caution: Contents Under Pressure  ( I’m a wife and mother, and I teach teenagers.  Need I say more?)
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Books, books, and more books.  And some nice Swiss chocolate.
What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
Do you mind if I refer you to my agent?  Go on someone; ask me!
Where to find me:
Coming in 2011: Kara’s Change of Heart
 BOOKLIST
 
Return Engagement
Genre: contemporary romance
Title: Return Engagement
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Buy Link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=819
Author Website: www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN:978-1-60313-999-1
Format: print and ebook
A New Leaf
Genre: contemporary romance
Heat rating: PG13
Title: A New Leaf
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Oak Tree Press
Buy link: http://www.oaktreebooks.com
Author website: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: 1-892343-36-3
Format: print
Grandfather’s Legacy
Genre: Contemporary romance
Heat Rating: PG13
Title: Grandfather’s Legacy
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: All Romance Books
Buy Link: due to the death of the publisher the book is only available from the author at elainecsc@aol.com
Author Website: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: 1-933548-02-9
Format: ebook PDF
Purple Heart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat rating: G
Title Purple Heart
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Buy Link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/purple-heart-p-404.html
Author Web site: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: print 1-60154-133-3
Format: print and ebook-Adobe, MS Reader, Web Html
The Welcome Inn 
Genre: Romantic suspense
Heat Rating: R
Title: The Welcome Inn
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Wings ePress
Buy link: http://www.wingsepress.com/Bookstore/The%20Welcome%20Inn.htm
Author website: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: print ISBN 978-1-59705-776-9; ebook ISBN 978-1-59705-252-8
Book format: print and ebook-PDF, HTML, MSR, Mobipocket
The Best Selling Toy Of The Season
Genre: Contemporary romance
Heat rating: PG
Title: The Best Selling Toy Of The Season
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Midnight Showcase
Buy Link: http://www.midnightshowcase.com/BestToy.htm
Author Web site: http://www.elainecantell.com
ISBN: print /555-5488 Vol. 118-16SE
Book format: print, ebook-PDF, HTML
Share
Holiday Spirits can mean a multitude of things.
For some, getting in the holiday spirit means shunning the materialism and commercialism of the season and embracing the “true meaning” of Christmas (i.e., Christ’s birth in Bethlehem).
For others, holiday spirits means all the fantastic “spirits” that can be found behind the shelves of your local bar or liquor store. They look forward to toasting the season with spiked eggnog, Irish cream, or perhaps a lovely holiday mojito.
For Dickens, holiday spirits were the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. Each one had a message to deliver to Scrooge, enabling him to discard his signature “bah-humbug” for a large helping of Christmas cheer.
Although holiday spirits can mean all those things, there is an often unrecognized portion of the population for whom the holidays don’t hearken in joy and goodwill, but depression and desperation. The lonely, the homeless, the ill, people struggling with addictions, and those who’ve lost loved ones and are having a hard time coping with life — let alone celebrating. Even the most normal-appearing folk often have trouble reconciling their high expectations of the season with reality. Holidays often aren’t perfect and can often be more full of stress and strife than peace and joy.
In my latest short story, A Christmas Curse, published in ‘Twas a Dark & Delicious Christmas anthology, Frank Moran, a paramedic, runs across a long-running string of suicides. Every Christmas Eve, someone leaps six floors to their death from the same apartment. He’s shocked to find out that the deaths have been occurring for the last 20 years with only one survivor, Amanda Spaulding, who was only 5 years old when she endeavored to jump to her death. He tries to get the police to investigate but there is nothing to point to foul play, in fact, the police think the apartment is just the venue the people choose to use to take their own lives. When Frank’s wife dies, he’s pitched into his own sea of despair. The only thing keeping him sane is investigating the suicides. To do so, he rents apartment 666 and camps out on Christmas Eve, determined to break the trend or to die trying. When Amanda Spaulding shows up at his door, Frank is suspicious of her and her motives. Has he finally discovered a diabolical serial killer or is she truly the innocent victim she appears to be?
Although my story is pure fiction, it touches upon a subject often swathed in silence and not often discussed during this time of rejoicing. Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year. So, show your holiday spirit, go out to SAVE.Org, know the warning signs of suicide, and make this a more joyous season for everyone!
Merry Christmas –

Ericka Scott

===========
Ericka Scott is a multi-published, bestselling author of seductive suspense. She’s written stories for as long as she can remember and reads anything under the sun (including the back of cereal boxes in a pinch). She got hooked on romantic suspense in her college days, when reading anything but a textbook was a guilty pleasure. Now, when she’s not chauffeuring children around, wishing she had more than 24 hours in a day, or lurking at the library, she’s spinning her own web of fantasy and penning tales of seduction and suspense. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.

She also loves friends, so come friend her at http://myspace.com/erickascott  

She’s also on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ericka.scott  and Twitter http://twitter.com/ErickaScott
You can find out more about her books at http://www.erickascott.com
Share
Battlesong by Allison Knight (Medieval Romance set in 13th century England) Rating PG 13

This is the second of a series of medieval romances involving the ab Brynn Ffrydd family. The first book, “Heartsong” was Rhianna’s story. She’s the only girl in a family of six. Arthur is the youngest in the family. I’m working on “Windsong” now, the second oldest brother. Meet Arthur and his wife, Laren.
—–

Award winning author Allison Knight began her writing career like many other authors. She read a book she didn’t like and knew she could do a better job. She grabbed paper and typewriter (computers were not available back then) and announced she was going to write a book. Her children hooted with laughter.
“Yeh, Mom, when cows fly,” her daughter declared.
She took classes, joined a critique group and wrote, rewrote and wrote some more.
When her first book sold, she came home from her teaching job to find a stuffed toy cow rotating from the ceiling fan in the family room. It seemed – “Cows did fly!”
Since that time, Allison has written and published seventeen romances with her latest medieval romance released in August. She has a valentine novella coming out in February. Because she loves to share her knowledge and her love of romance novels she often blogs with other authors. She also loves to talk about the growing digital market.
You can find her at:
or on her blog:
Share
Writers are not born
Forty years ago, I enrolled in a report-writing class in our Adult Education system and found it cancelled by lack of numbers. I was offered instead, a fiction writing class conducted by a writer of pulp detective stories and my sense of humor prompted me to accept the alternative. Other than it leading to my first published story in a long defunct men’s magazine, I remember only a few highlights of the course, none of which I use today.
It did prompt me to write my first novel, using a portable typewriter perched on my knee during engine room watches at sea, and led to me using fiction writing as a form of stress relief from a twenty-four/seven technical career in the offshore oil industry some years afterwards. I still have some of my early manuscripts and they are, quite frankly, atrocious.
I’m not sure what prompted me to put aside the dubious pleasure of writing for myself and start writing for other readers to enjoy, but the habits of success ensured that I began by a detailed analysis of the process and a plan to succeed. Fifteen published books and several magazine shorts later, I’m still working on it.
Its central tenet lies in the understanding that my task as a writer is to disappear from the reader’s consciousness, leaving them caught up in a smoothly advancing story “now”, unaware that they are reading as they experience the story unfolding around them. Supporting this tenet are twenty-three pillars of acquired skill, none of them original, but all functional.
(1)             Punctuation: Keep it simple, tailored to the needs of your targeted readers;
(2)             Use simple words vividly rather than trying to impress with your erudition;
(3)             Imprecise words: – “He picked up something heavy and hit the man on the head” is much better as “David snatched a fist-sized rock from the pile and slammed it into the back of John’s head.”;
(4)             Unnecessary words, phrases, adjectives: – The morning sun’s silent rays burned Julia’s skin as she walked from the grassy open field into the deeply forested woods. Immediately, the late spring air felt cooler. She sat down on a grey rock, took off her Cordura nylon backpack, pulled open the sticky Velcro fastener of the side pocket and took out a plastic bottle of soda water. She opened the blue screw-type top and drank thirstily. Her green and gold speckled kerchief felt scratchy against her sweaty skin, so she loosened it. Crows cackled wickedly from somewhere in the dark woods. A small ladybug with one wing torn off was crawling on the rock’s rough surface.;
(5)             Space fillers: About; Actually; Almost; Like; Already; Appears; Approximately; Basically; Close to; Even; Eventually; Exactly; Finally; Here; Just; Just Then; Kind of; Nearly; Now; Practically; Really; Seems; Simply; Somehow; Somewhat; Somewhat like; Sort of; Suddenly; Then; There; Truly; Utterly
(6)             Overuse of adverbs; A well chosen adverb can create vivid images, but many of them are simply unnecessary. Take “she slammed the door forcibly” and ask yourself how else do you slam a door? Add to this the repeated “ly” that most of them end in creates a clickerty-clack rhythm in your writing that palls very rapidly.
(7)             Overuse of past tense: – Differentiate between the immediate past of “Harold lied” and the more distant past of “Harold had lied.”;
(8)            Overuse of participle phrases: – “This is a really boring movie,” she said, fidgeting in her seat. “You said it,” he agreed, handing her the popcorn.” Considering for a moment, she took a handful. “I really shouldn’t be doing this,” she said, her voice dropping.;
(9)             Illogical use of “as” and “while”: – “Hey, Jim. How about another drink for this guy and give me a refill of my usual,” while she said this, Anna leaned forward and dropped one leg to the floor. Jennifer’s head shot up as she looked around.  “Damn coasters,” the barman said, as one fell to the floor. ;
(10)         Run on prepositional phrases: – “He won the race in the rain, under record time, with new shoes …… etc.;
(11)         Repetitious words or phrases; These sneak into our writing like thieves.  Consider the following: “By the time he reached the party, there were a collection of his friends there before him. Now the MC was there, it was time to start. There was an air of excitement already.”
(12)         Convoluted phrasing: – “The place turned out to be a Laundromat” is better as “It was a Laundromat.”  “She launched herself forward at him.” Is better as “She jumped at him.” And “He raised himself from his chair and came to stand by the bar.” Is better as “He stood and came to the bar.”;
(13)         Weak sentence structure: – “Harold clenched his fist outside Henderson’s door” is weaker than “At Henderson’s door, Harold’s fists clenched.” because the significant action comes at the end. Just as “Harold saw Henderson in the car park when he glanced out the window.”, is weaker than “Harold glanced out the window and saw Henderson in the car park.”;
(14)         Dialogue tags: Don’t leave them hanging out to dry at the end of speech. Use alternative attributions where possible;
(15)         Over-inflated imagery: – “His doubts assailed him, a swarm of wasps buzzing around inside his head, ready to sting in an instant.”, is patently ridiculous;
(16)         Unnecessary phrases of realisation or discernment: – “He saw there were three men coming over the hill” is better as “Three men came over the hill.”  “He discovered he was not alone in the room.” is better as “He was not alone.” and “Barbara realised a sound was coming from the closet.” is better as “A sound came from the closet.”;
(17)         Too much passive voice: “Harold found himself trembling.” is both passive and weaker than “Harold trembled.”;
(18)         Over-telling: – “Harold looked at Henderson’s door.  He could storm in there, expose Henderson as incompetent, as venal, as the womanizer he was … and Ruth need never know how their future had been threatened. He was fantasizing.”
(19)         Monotonous sentence rhythm: – “Harold looked at Henderson’s office. It was three o’clock. He looked around. The rest of the office was empty. It was very quiet. He rubbed his chin. An office girl returned. He sighed, bending over his work.”
(20)         Continuity: Don’t leave gaps in the action;
(21)         Reader orientation. Keep control of the way the reader experiences the story;
(22)         Show, not tell! Don’t say that you’re angry, sad, or happy. Prove it by your choice of words, the tempo of your sentences. Let the reader experience the events: and
(23)         Use effective images: 3000 people can die in Turkey as the result of an earthquake and few take notice unless it affects them directly, while the death of a beloved pet is heart-rending.
If you want to see how these are applied, check out my last two books as Amy Gallow, “A Fair Trader” at Whiskey Creek Press and “A Soldier’s Woman” at Eternal Press, and “The First-Born” a science fiction romantic adventure will be released by Eternal Press on October 7th.
Share
KyAnn, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us a little about yourself, please.
I live in Utah with my husband, two children, and two dogs. I spend my days writing and evenings with my family. I love sporting events on the television, thrillers on the big screen, and hot sex between the pages of my books.

How about a peek at your booklist?

Delicious Darkness – Paranormal – The Wild Rose Press
The Cougar Meets Her Master – Contemporary BDSM – The Wild Rose Press
Hot Blooded – Vampire – The Wild Rose Press
Executive Positions – Contemporary – The Wild Rose Press
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down – Contemporary Cowboy BDSM – The Wild Rose Press
Johnny Loves Krissy – Contemporary – The Wild Rose Press (April 30, 2010)
Cinderella Undercover – Contemporary Romantic Suspense – Siren Publishing (June 2010)

KyAnn Waters – links

www.facebook.com/kyannwaters

What song would best describe your life?
Little Wonders by Rob Thomas. Everyone has to go through rough periods in order to appreciate the good times.

To quote
“Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder

Don’t you know

The hardest part is over…”

If you were a tool, what would people use you for?

I’d say I’m a widget. Widget = An unnamed device – a little device or mechanism, especially one whose name is unknown or forgotten. So either I’m a useless tool, or as I like to think I just haven’t figured out my purpose.

You can erase one embarrassing experience from your past. What will it be?

Just one? I’d need an eraser the size of Texas. However, I do regret forgetting the rings for my wedding. I should have known rings were going to be the bane of my marriage. Marriage yes, wearing rings, no.

16 years married – three lost rings
A husband who can find the humor in it – my real life hero. (but it’s strictly zirconium for me now)

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
I’m told I’m distracted when I’m writing so….
Don’t buy her nice jewelry, she’ll lose it.
Don’t get her a cell phone, she’ll lose it.
Don’t let her have the remote or the cordless phone, she’ll misplace them. (I will say that after a 6 month MIA, the cordless phone has been recovered. I’ve given up hope on the pink cell phone.)

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

I read everything except YA and inspirational. I like adult books with sex. I love a good historical – Susan Johnson and Nicole Jordan are at the top of my list.
Paranormal – Sherrilyn Kenyon and I recently read Larissa Ione
Contemporary – Susan Johnson again. I love you, Susan.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, etc?

Physical traits come last for me. I see my hero and heroine and their conflict first. Then the sexual chemistry. Once I have the “feel” of who they are, I can finally “see” what they look like. Often times, I’m changing hair and eye color in the middle of a book. The other issue I have is naming my characters. I don’t think I’ve written a single story where at least one character didn’t get a name change.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

Wow, great question. My personal favorite is Hard Ride Home but that might not be the right pick for everyone since it is m/m. A choice for a nice simple love story without a lot of kink is With or Without You. Rough Justice is kinky, funny and I think would appeal to most readers of erotic romance.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

Hopefully I’ve penned a stories that titillate as well as entertain. But also that makes you laugh at the some of the situations of the characters.

You created a highly useful Yahoo Group, Promotion_Loop_Schedule to help authors track promotion days on the various loops. Tell us how it works and what inspired you to create it. (please provide the link as well)
 
I started it because I was going to each group when I’d want to do a promotion and that was very time consuming. Minutes spent on promotion take away from minutes that could be spent writing. I also know it’s frustrating for loops to have drive by promoters, especially on days when an author is a guest host. This loop makes it easy for me to hop from loop to loop, see what is happening, do a bit of chat and promotion and then get back to my stories. Once I’d started the loop, I invited my friends and critique partners to use it. Anyone who can benefit is welcome to join. There is no chatter, just calendar reminders. It was a crazy summer and I didn’t have a lot of time to do updates, but I do try to keep the information accurate. Here is the link.
www.groups.yahoo.com/group/Promotion_loop_Schedule

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

What’s for lunch? Today it is a big juicy cheeseburger and a Diet Pepsi.

Thank you, KyAnn, for being with us today!

Share