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Piper Denna

Today on the blog, I’m thrilled to welcome Piper Denna, who not only is a fantastic editor—okay, I’m biased—but also an author. Her latest book, Victoria’s Secret Wish releases this month.

Tell us a little about yourself.  When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?

I started writing seriously (in hopes of publishing) in the summer of 2005, and had completed 5 books by the next summer. My first book was published in August of 2008. The editing process, marketing, and promotion, all slow down the writing considerably, but I try to get another book or two out each year. I write erotic romance as Piper Denna, and contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Autumn Piper.

Ironically, I started writing again since taking a fifteen-year break in 2005, too… I’m glad I’m on the only one who writes under two names.

What can you tell us about Victoria’s Secret Wish that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?  Was it an easy write?  How long did it take you to write it?

Victoria’s Secret Wish is a sequel (hopefully part of an ongoing series) based around a fictional company, Fantasies, Inc, which specializes in making adult fantasies come true. In this book, the hero and heroine from the first book are married, and out for a little…experimenting. And coincidentally (I didn’t realize the Olympics would be on it when it released, I swear!) they end up experimenting with one very hot Olympic swimmer.

Yes, this story was an easy write. I really click with Victoria and Britt (her nickname for Brett, since he’s British). Adding David to the mix was no problem at all. I’d say it took me 3-4 months to write…hard to tell these days, since I also edit and sometimes can’t sit down to my WIP for weeks at a time.

Sounds interesting… Fantasy Mountain is still on my TBR pile from when you were on D’Ann Lindun’s blog. I honestly don’t know how you manage it all. I’d think editing would be a full-time job and then some. I know I have a hard time finding time to write on my WIP when edits are sent back to me…*grin*

Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process?

Oh, lord have I tried to be a plotter. But after spending way too much time dragging an uninspired plot out of my brain, I always end up deviating from what I planned anyway. So I’m definitely a pantser.

I know what you mean! The first book I tried to plot is a book you know as well as I do. *wink* After wasting my time writing out a 40 page outline, I ended up tossing it anyway. The funny thing is, for as long as I’ve been doing these interviews, I think the pantsers out-number the plotters.

If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?

Such a question. At first it seems like many fictional characters have great lives, but when you start thinking about them, most are pretty tortured after all. LOL. But I’ve answered a similar question this week, and I’ll stick with my answer: Victoria, the owner/heroine in the Fantasies, Inc series. She’s had some baggage, and has trouble relinquishing control, but dang. She does have a really fantastic guy in Brett. He really takes care of her (and has a sexy accent too), and is willing to go to great lengths to see all—and I do mean all—her dreams fulfilled.

Sounds like a great character to want to be…

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

My answer here will surely give away my reply to the next question as well: My favorite movie is Pure Country. I have a real George Strait “thing” and it’s such an awesome romance. Gets my heart beating fast every time I think of it! TV Show? Either Bones, or Big Bang Theory. If I can’t have a wrenching romance, give me comedy. 😉

Oh, God… I LOVE Pure Country.  And mercy, George Strait surely looked great in those jeans…

Okay, since I write both vamps and cowboys, I want to know, which is sexier:  Vampires or Cowboys?

Cowboys. No competition.

LOL…

Victoria’s Secret Wish

Maybe three isn’t   always a crowd.

“Erotica’s   Sweethearts”, Brett and Victoria Grant, are launching the Fantasies, Inc.   Aphrodite–a cruiseliner dedicated to carnal pleasures. Since the voyage is   all about fantasies coming true, Brett is determined to see Victoria realize   her own wildest dream: being pleasured by two men at once.

Victoria can hardly   keep her eyes–or hands–off gold medal swimmer David Roman when he boards   the Aphrodite. And when Brett propositions David, she can’t say no. But Brett   doesn’t know the extent of her fantasy. She wants him as into her other guy   as she is. Will his adventurous spirit stretch that far?

David knows it’s a bad   idea to get in the middle of the Grants’ marriage. He doesn’t have a kinky   bone in his body–or so he thought before this trip–but the romps keep   getting wilder and he keeps imagining more. And he really likes them   both…as much in bed as out. If the paparazzi discovers he’s involved with   such a high-profile couple, his career is over. Is he willing to risk   everything to continue?

WARNING: Adult   sensuality and language, ménage a la two men bent on arousing their woman   beyond all control, voyeurism, foot and hair fetish scenes, same sex   situations, betrayal, and industrial espionage.

Excerpt:

“Just like at the Mountain, initially we’ll attract the more confident, oversexed types,” Victoria said. “But by the third or fourth voyage, your average libidos will start showing up. And stay away from those cougars if you know what’s good for you, laddie.”

His warm lips nibbled her ear lobe. “I keep telling you. Laddie is an Irish term. No self-respecting Londoner would use it.”Crowds of singles and clusters of couples filed onto the deck below, checking in with attendants for directions to their rooms.

“Yeah, well. You’re no Londoner now, anyway. You’re mine, all American. Oh! Look who it is!”

“Who’s that, love?”

“He registered as Bo Davidson. See him down there in the red ball cap?”

Britt nodded against her neck.

“That’s David Roman, Olympic gold-medal swimmer.”

“Incognito, is he? Why didn’t he opt for the helipad arrival, if he’s here in secret?”

“I’m dying to know. Unlike other celebrities, he’s not traveling under his real name. Remember all that trouble he had last year at the summer Olympics, when he got busted for underage drinking?”

“Two days before his twenty-first, yeah?”

“Poor kid can’t get out of the media lights for a second. They tail him no matter where he goes, and twist everything into trouble.”

“And yet, I don’t see any paps in his wake.” Photographers followed lots of action from the dock. Several trained their cameras on her and Britt, as usual, but none seemed particularly interested in the guy with the ball cap. “How’d he manage to get on a sex cruise without them knowing?”

“I’m dying to know that, too.” She watched David–Bo–unfold a map of the ship and look up for signs. Damn, he was beautiful, even with that incognito stubble. Like a model for one of those Roman god statues, blond, tanned, and buff to the max.

“Vic? How’d you know so much about this bloke?”

“Hmm? Mm. Google.”

“You’re breathing fast.”

“You’ve been nibbling my neck for ten minutes.” She was breathing fast, though. And much as she should look away before Britt noticed her staring, she couldn’t. It appeared David–Bo–had found his bearing. He started off to the right, but then paused and looked directly up at her. Good Lord, those blue, blue eyes. Almost as sink-into-able as Britt’s.

His head tilted to one side. Did he recognize her? Possibly. Her picture seemed to be everywhere these days, and it had been widely publicized that she’d be on this cruise.

Where was her professional demeanor? She lifted a hand and waved.

“Your pulse is racing.” Britt’s voice was husky. “We’re going to meet this David, straightaway.” He waved down too.

David lifted his hand in greeting, then hefted his pack onto his shoulder and went off toward the passenger suites.

“You’ve got to be the most unorthodox husband ever.” How could Britt possibly want to introduce his wife to a man who turned her on with a look?

“Every man wants to see his woman aroused, Vic. Just get used to the idea that I’m going to see your fantasy fulfilled on this trip.”

Should she ask him if he felt attracted to David too? Britt hadn’t guessed all of her fantasy. She didn’t just want to be with two men at once. She wanted the men actively participating with each other. To see Britt fondle another man. Hoo, boy. She got hot just thinking about it. But maybe she’d spring that part of the fantasy on him later.

Bio:

Piper Denna bases her writing on one belief: Romance is sexy. With few exceptions, romantic love affairs share one common trait – the parties involved at least fantasize about consummating their love. Conversely, sex is romantic. Two people finding each another irresistible, even if it’s just for one interlude? Definitely romantic.

Piper has lived in several states as an adult, but always seems to come “home” to Colorado, where she currently lives with her husband and kids. She has always dabbled in poetry and short stories, but during a long, awful time away from Colorado, she started seriously writing a novel in the summer of 2005. Since then, she has completed six novels and started three more. When she’s not writing, she’s probably working at her day job (which will be history as soon as possible), performing mom-type tasks around the house, or reading. Piper considers herself an Equal Opportunity Reader (EOR). As long as the novel has characters she really likes (or hates!), a plot to hold her attention, and believable dialogue, she’ll like it. No genre prejudices.

Things she loves: sunny days, cheesecake in most any form, her iPod full of 80’s music, that fluttery feeling she gets at the first spark of romance in a great book or movie, hot baths, power walking, and laughter (anyone else’s or her own).

Visit Piper Denna at http://www.piperdenna.com

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G.M. Trust

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Today on the blog, I welcome G.M. Trust as she talks about her journey and her book Love on the Edge of Tomorrow.  So, tell us a little about yourself.  When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?

I used to make up stories featuring my favorite TV heroes and heroines (fan fiction) and tell them to my classmates over lunch, but I didn’t start writing until I was 39. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing until I joined my local chapter of Romance Writers of America in 2001.  I’ve written poetry and songs, and several different kinds of novels: an unpublished mythological allegory and sociological commentary set in the early ‘70s that illuminates a mystical theme alluded to in the psychedelic rock of the era. Although the more you know about symbolism, the more you’ll find to appreciate, it reads like a hybrid of “Dallas” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.” My novel LOVE ON THE EDGE OF TOMORROW is classified as an upper-end young-adult time-travel romance. I’ve several unfinished manuscripts, and am currently working on a gothic romance set in 1880s Maryland with a nod to Edgar Allen Poe. 

As most people who know me know, I started out as a fanfiction writer myself… My fandom of choice was Star Wars, though…

What can you tell us about LOVE ON THE EDGE OF TOMORROW that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?  Was it an easy write?  How long did it take you to write it?

  1. Gosh, I hate to give away surprises–like the secret of why Cambria is a matriarchy–but it’s not just some ordinary teen romance. The heroine must figure out which prince truly loves her, and which one only wants her for a throne.  She faces a real moral dilemma and invents a clever way to save the rebel leader from being executed. And, when it looks like the heroine and hero will surely die, the hero comes up with an ingenious escape at the end.
  2. It wasn’t easy, especially when it came to figuring out the great save at the end.
  3. It took about two years worth of 40 hour weeks to write. I’m dyslexic and a terrible typist.

I can emphasize with the dyslexia bit… Though, I don’t have a problem with typing, I’m a terribly slow reader….

Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I’m a panster. I’ll get the original idea–maybe just see a character in a scene in my head–and then start writing.  However, the story will often morph into something a bit different than what I first envisioned.

Me too…

If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?

Nancy Drew. I love solving mysteries. 

LOL!

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

My favorite romantic movie was a TV movie production of “IVANHOE “with Sam Neil and Olivia Hussey. Hollywood movie: Gladiator with Russell Crowe.

I like Gladiator, but I never saw the other one…

Okay, since I write both vamps and cowboys, I want to know, which is sexier:  Vampires or Cowboys?

Cowboys: there’s just something about a guy on a horse.

Well, I can’t argue with that…LOL!

Love on The Edge of Tomorrow

A coed discovers she’s the missing crown princess of a planet in the far-flung future, mired in the past.

Up to now, Alexandra Marshall’s biggest worry was winning Grand Champion at the next horse show, but on Cambria she faces a brew of intrigue, seduction, and political rebellion. Two handsome princes vie for her hand; but when she’s abducted by the rebels, she learns of the sinister conspiracy that ended democracy and oppressed the people.

When the prince she loves finds out she’s aiding the rebels, will he stand with her or against her?

Excerpt:

Prologue: Cambria 3130 C.E.

Obscured by the dappled shade of the forest, the archer tensed at the sound of hoof beats and rattle of wheels. The sweet laughter of children and the bell-like voices of women echoed above the jingle of harness as the queen’s open carriage came into view on the woodland trail.

Sweat prickled the archer’s forehead. She lifted the crossbow, took aim and fired. Death hummed through the air. The near horse squealed in pain and lunged into the off horse, then they bolted along the steep trail. The coachman sawed at the reins in a desperate struggle to slow the panicked team before the sharp bend looming ahead. Behind him, the pregnant queen held her toddler to her breast. The queen’s sister-in-law grabbed her own toddler and threw the crying boy from the carriage just before it jack-knifed, pulling the squealing horses and screaming occupants over the ridge.

*    *    *

Alex had never been out riding this late before. It was much darker under the tree canopy than she expected. Without light to define things, the woods began to seem creepy. Alien even. She told herself to cool it.

A hideous screech ricocheted through the trees. Alex recoiled, stomach lurching. Orion jigged sideways. Only an owl, Alex thought, it has to be. A low, eerie moan began to pulsate through the darkness. The gloom grew denser, almost palpable.

Alex’s throat constricted. Her breath clogged in her chest. She strained for air, but couldn’t get enough oxygen into her lungs. Digging her fingers into Orion’s mane, she kicked him into a mad gallop. Abruptly, Orion broke through the turgid darkness into a valley vaulted with stars. Gasping for breath, Alex slowed him to a walk and sucked in long deep draughts of cool evening air. She was so grateful to be out in the open that, at first, the nature of her surroundings didn’t fully register. Confused, she reined to a halt and stared.

She didn’t recognize anything.

They traveled on for some distance without any sigh of habitation. Then, faintly, Alex heard the mellow notes of a flute drifting on the wind. Orion rounded a hillock. Just ahead, a guy sat in the grass playing a pipe. The soft notes of pipe ceased and the young man stood. His finely sculpted features were so handsome Alex’s heart did a little flip.

He was dressed in a dark-green, gold-embroidered tunic. His broad-shouldered torso tapered into a trim waist encircled by a wide leather belt. Moccasins that laced to his knees accentuated his long muscular legs.

“Good evening,” he said, in a rich tenor, and slid the flute through his belt.

Amazon  |  Kindle  |  Barnes and Noble  |   Smashwords

GM Trust’s Web site: http://gmtrustbooks.wordpress.com/

Bio:

I am an avid reader and lover of books. My fondest memories from childhood often include books and my favorite horses. Oftentimes, you will see my love of each entwined into my stories.

My favorite authors include Mary Stewart, Sharon Kay Penman, and Dean Koontz. Throughout my life, I have dabbled in writing; however, over the last ten years, I have dedicated myself wholeheartedly to my passion of penning books and novels.

I am a former professional racehorse groom and a stay-at-home mom. I am blessed with five wonderful children and have been married to my extremely patient husband for 33 years. I am a member of Romance Writers of America, Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers and Pennwriters, Inc.

I hope that you will join me on my journey and check back from time to time to read the latest information on my upcoming book releases.

 

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Babette James

I’m thrilled to have here today fellow The Wild Rose Press author Babette James as she shares a bit about her wonderful book Clear As Day….

Wow, it just seems like we just did this but it was me in the hot seat… So, tell us a little about yourself.  When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?

I’ve always loved writing and making up stories, beginning back when I used to act out epic fantasy tales with my dolls. (My Barbies had swords and knew how to use them.) I even have a degree in Literature, but it wasn’t until 2004 that I wrote my first full rough draft of romance novel and began gathering up my nerve to pursue publication. I fell in love with writing romance and have focused on contemporary and fantasy romance ever since. I enjoy reading romance and I want that guarantee of a happy ending. I’m also a teacher, and I enjoy encouraging young readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. My class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! When not writing, teaching or reading, I dabble with bread baking and painting, and try to keep up on weeding the garden beds. I live in New Jersey with my wonderfully patient husband and our three extremely spoiled cats.

LOL… Loved that your Barbies loved swordplay… 

What can you tell us about Clear As Day that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?  Was it an easy write?  How long did it take you to write it?

Clear As Day is my debut from The Wild Rose Press and it’s a sweetly scorching contemporary romance about two friends “with benefits” facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship. I loved writing Clear As Day. It’s been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing this story bloom and come to life as a full-length published novel and being able to hold my book in my hands has been a dream come true. It’s been receiving some wonderful reviews, including 4 1/2 stars from RT Book Reviews and 5 Stars Top Pick at The Romance Reviews.

Clear As Day started life years ago as that little “story under the bed you love but can’t do anything with.” I had originally written it as a short story back when I was in college, as an exercise featuring the desert setting of Lake Mohave, which is a stretch of the Colorado River below the Hoover Dam, and the little story was born that would eventually grow into Clear As Day. I grew up in Southern California and I’ve always had a love of the deserts of the Southwest, particularly the areas of Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave, and even took a college class on desert biology. I loved the juxtaposition of the stark, hot landscape with the cool waters and wanted to play with that particular setting. I’m delighted with my cover and how it shares some of the area’s unique beauty.

I never found a place for it in its short story form. Too sexy, not sexy enough. Too long, not long enough. I’d take it out every now and ponder what to do with it, only to file it back away. There were many times I felt like giving up, but I kept on writing new stories and improving my craft.

In January of 2010, I took the story out once more, thinking to expand it into a small novella for a publisher’s call. That did not work out, but taking that step pushed me forward to really write Nate and Kay’s story, and the once short story bloomed into a sweet and sexy novel and even germinated several ideas for sequels. I enjoyed exploring how Kay was the one resistant to commitment and how sweet and certain Nate was in his love for her. It was a delight to see their love story evolve. I adore Nate, his loyalty and his humor, and had so much fun writing him. I love Kay and all her caution and uptight habits she uses to hide her vulnerability and that she’s never chosen the expected routes in her life but made her own. And the fun part is I don’t have to say goodbye to them just yet. I’m currently working hard to finish and submit the next story featuring a couple from Nate and Kay’s circle of friends, tentatively titled Love Burns. I love this couple, and I’ve enjoyed seeing their story come to life as they work through their personal trials and find their own happily ever after together.

That is some story… Congrats on the fantastic reviews… This book is on my TBR pile. I think a lot of writers, me included, have stories that we can’t let go. For me, it was my first contemporary Western, Heartstrings (formally titled “The Long Road Home”).  I rewrote that story so many times it’s not funny, but it paid off just as it did for you.  It was picked up by Lyrical Press and comes out next May.

Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I’m definitely a pantser. The only plot goal I have in the beginning is that my hero and heroine will reach their happily ever after at the end. I start with a scene and a character and the story grows like Topsy in every direction until I discover how it all works out. I do create an outline as I go deeper into the story to keep track of scenes and start to build the synopsis, but the story comes first and outline second. I’m often as surprised as my characters are along the way. Plotting would be much more efficient, I’m sure, but I’ve given into the fact my mind doesn’t work that way and now I enjoy the unexpected on the journey to The End.

I love writing the first draft, I enjoy the surprises of storytelling. The first draft is all happiness, seeing that word count grow, finding favorite passages, fun lines.  I enjoy seeing a story grow out of a little idea, plots twist and turn, expand and shift, how one story can spawn into a series, and how the characters grow and reveal their lives and find their happily ever after. I love seeing characters emerge and reveal their stories. Creating characters is like making new friends and rediscovering old friends—always full of surprises.

I try to write and/or edit every day. I like to write very early in the morning before work and at night. I usually write while in an online chat with my critique group and other writing friends. We’ll often do timed challenges to work on writing or editing and share snips of our work.

It sounds like this is a process that works for you. I know I’m a panser, too, and the one time I tried plotting, the story that I wrote had very little in common with the massive forty pages of plotting I had done.

If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?

Hmm, this question is harder than it first seemed. Too many choices, lol. I’ll simplify by choosing my heroine, Kay.  She loves her careers as painter and teacher and she has the freedom to travel, explore, and devote guilt–free time to her art

Sounds like a great choice to me.

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

My favorite current television show is Once Upon a Time. My favorite movie would be The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I love Once Upon a Time… And The Lord of the Rings…I’m very much looking forward to the Hobbit.

Okay, since I write both vamps and cowboys, I want to know, which is sexier:  Vampires or Cowboys?

I’ll have to go with cowboys. I’ve loved cowboy heroes longer than vampire heroes thanks to reading Louis L’Amour stories back when I was young.

Louis L’Amour had some awesome heroes; I won’t argue there.

Clear As Day

Blurb:

What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?

Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.

The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.

Excerpt:

With a splash, she erased the frustrating daydream. This wishful imagining fixed nothing. Her sheltered little camp would still be empty. Should she give in, pack up the camp, and hit the road north to Lake Mead instead? Just break her routine for once.

No, but it was definitely past time to get her tush out of the water and do something constructive. This lonely gnawing in her bones and brain was unacceptable. Kay pushed to her feet, facing out to the scenic lake created out of a stretch of the Colorado River and the rugged land beyond shimmering with heat.

Work, right, but it was too early in the day for the hard afternoon light she needed for the Coyote Point painting. She was too restless to read or fish and not in the mood to take the boat over to the marina, chat with George, and buy ice.

She rolled her shoulders and stretched, enjoying the hot air licking over her wet skin. As she wiggled her feet in the sand and gravel-bottomed shallows, a flurry of minnows darted past her ankles, and her silver toe ring glinted beneath the clear water. She paused, caught by the possibilities in the sparkling sun on water and the intricate, shifting reflections over gravel.

Yes! Exactly the distracting challenge she needed. Shaking the water from her ears, she pivoted toward camp.

“Kay!” That male voice was not her imagination.

“Oh, shit!” She twisted and dropped into the water, sinking neck-deep.

Mother always said, among other things, that a lady never goes skinny-dipping and must always wear a proper hat. Kay was only half skinny-dipping, but she fervently wished she’d worn something a bit more substantial than a baseball cap and the bottom half of the quintessential teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

Shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. She so hated when Mother was right.

Okay, time to find out who’d just gotten an eyeful. The guy had called her name, so she should know him. Oh boy, if she’d flashed old George…

She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.

Nate.

She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.

Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean—

“Hey, babe. Now that I’ve finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?” He opened his arms. “Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?” Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.

“Nate! What…” Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?

The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.

Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.

Wow. Whoa.

Website | Twitter | Facebook Page | Goodreads | Book Trailer 

Clear As Day can be found at:

The Wild Rose Press – Paperback & eBook | Amazon.com – Paperback & Kindle | Barnes & Noble – Nook | iTunes 

Come fall in love at the river.

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Laurel O’Donnell

Welcome Laurel O’Donnell as she talks about her book Angel’s Assassin.

Open with a little about yourself.  When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?

Hi.  I’m Laurel O’Donnell and I write medieval romance, paranormal romance and urban fantasy.  I started writing in junior high school.  So long ago!  J  I used to write myself into my favorite television shows as the love interest.  In particular, I remember it was Starsky and Hutch.  From there, it was natural to develop my own characters.  There is always a part of me in each character I write. 

Think a lot of authors can say they share a bit of themselves in their characters.

What can you tell us about Angel’s Assassin that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?  Was it an easy write?  How long did it take you to write it?

Angel’s Assassin is the book of my heart.  The story is exactly what I meant to write.  I know this sounds strange, but sometimes my characters take me off the path I thought I was writing when I started the story.  This story stuck to it.  Damien is a great, troubled hero.  His story is very strong.

I started writing Angel’s Assassin in 2006.  It took me about a year, but the first ending I wrote wasn’t right.  It didn’t seem to me to be the correct ending for Damien and Aurora.  So I rewrote it.  I ended up writing four endings before I got it right.  I know this is the ending I wanted, that this ending is the perfect ending for my characters.  I can feel it in my heart.  It is their happy ending.

LOL… My characters take me for a ride for my money all the time. That’s one reason I don’t really waste time plotting. The few times I did, I didn’t follow the plot anyway.

Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I think you can tell by my answers above that I am a pantser.  For Angel’s Assassin, I really let the characters tell me where they wanted the story to go.  I knew what I wanted to happen in each scene, but beyond that it was really all up to Damien and Aurora.

If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?

I would want to be Aurora.  She is so kind and tries really hard to do right by her people.  I like that she is so giving.

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

I love, absolutely love, Supernatural.  Sam and Dean are just so gallant and they battle evil.  Oh, and they’re not bad to look at either!  J

Supernatural is one show I regret never having seen.

Okay, since I write both vamps and cowboys, I want to know, which is sexier:  Vampires or Cowboys?

Vampires.  Shrug.  I write vamps, too.

LOL… There’s just something about a vamp. But then I say the same thing about a cowboy…LOL

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Thank you for coming by!

Angel’s Assassin

Brutal Assassin

Trained to kill swiftly and emotionlessly, Damien has lived his life in darkness, desiring only one thing, to be free.  When his master offers him his freedom for the completion of one last mission, Damien doesn’t hesitate.  He has no doubt that he will be free.  Until he sees the woman he is to kill.  She is his…

Beautiful Angel

Compassionate and kind, Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of goodness.  She lives her life trying to atone for her mother’s cruelty by being fair and just to her people.  But when she is attacked by an assassin, she fears her mother’s killer has returned for her.

Will Damien find redemption in Aurora’s kindness or will his darkness consume her?

Excerpt:

Damien moved up beside Aurora as she stood looking out over the dark waters.  He had accompanied her as she retreated from the grisly sight of her slain friend to the comfortable confines of the tower.

She stared out at the ocean.  Tendrils of her golden hair whipped about her face like a cape.  When lightning speared the sky, it threw a turbulence of light and dark shadows across her face.  He saw the vulnerability in her eyes, saw the rippling of unshed tears.  And then the streak of lightning disappeared, plunging her features again into blackness.  Thunder rumbled above them.

“Why did you kiss me?” she wondered.

The abrupt question seemed out of place, but he knew she was trying to force her mind away from the gruesome scene she had just witnessed.

Lightning flashed in the distance, growing closer every second.  The wind picked up around her, snapping her hair behind her.  Damien watched the strands fly about her face, the face that sent his dark intentions soaring toward a bright light, toward a radiance that offered a shimmering ray of hope.  She had a face that was simply mesmerizing to look at.  The delicate, yet strong and regal, line of her jaw.  The cheekbones of a Greek goddess.  The lips that created the most sensual mouth any man could ever imagine.  A mouth that created a voice that would humble any Siren.

“Was it to punish me?  Was it to teach me something?” she asked

“To tempt you.”

“Tempt me?” she echoed, confused.

“I wanted you to be like me,” he answered truthfully.  She deserved to know the truth in her last moments.  “I wanted you to be flawed, weak.  I wanted you to be like everyone else.”

She faced him and Damien was shocked to find vulnerability in her large eyes, a deep sadness.  “You are my weakness.”

Shock speared through Damien.  Me? he silently questioned.  Why on earth would I be her weakness?  But her words rang true.  He remembered the look of concern in her eyes when she realized the arrow had poisoned him.  He recalled the way she lifted her lips to his when he tempted her.  Could it be?  Could she truly mean what she said?  Damien lifted his hand to brush one of those golden tendrils from her cheek.  It encircled his hand.  No.  It couldn’t be.  It was her grief talking.  She needed someone, anyone to distract her from her pain.  “You don’t know what you’re saying.”  He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him.

For a moment, she stiffened, but then she relaxed against his body.  The tight expression on her face melted into one of anguish.

Damien’s heart twisted at her pain.  He wanted to relieve her agony, to reassure her.  He bent his head to her lips.

Bio:

Laurel O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her husband, four children and five cats.  She has always enjoyed escaping into the medieval era, including spending a summer interning at the renaissance faire in Wisconsin where she learned to sword fight and recite Shakespeare.  Now, she spends her time reading a good book, watching Sam and Dean on Supernatural, or working on her next novel…

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Clare McKay

Welcome Clare McKay as she talks writing and her book Laramie Moon.

Open with a little about yourself.  When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I grew up in a house full of readers, and it wasn’t unusual to get up in the middle of the night to get a glass of milk and find several people still up, sitting around the table and talking about the books they were reading. We went to the library every week, and when I’d read  through the children’s section of the library, my mother let me graduate to the fiction stacks. Her favorites were historical novels and romances, so it was natural for me to pick them up. 

When I was about 12, I started a correspondence with the British author Rosemary Sutcliff. She wrote YA and adult historicals about King Arthur and the Romans in Britain, and she was kind enough to answer all my questions and encourage me to pursue writing. In college I majored in history and literature and became a fiction snob, so after college, I tried to write literary fiction. I was determined to write the next “great American novel.”  I worked on my masterpiece off and on for years, but I never got around to finishing it. I didn’t particularly like my characters, and my heart wasn’t in it.

My daughter actually re-introduced me to romance. She loves paranormal romance and fantasy, and her books were always lying around. I got hooked on Anita Blake and the Black Dagger Brotherhood and then just devoured romances – paranormal, historical, suspense. It took me a long time to figure it out, but it finally dawned on me to write what I loved. After that, writing came easy.

I write urban fantasy and paranormal romances where the paranormal elements operate alongside the real world, mostly hidden but crossing over and involving characters from both worlds. Right now I’m writing a contemporary Western Alphas series – cowboys and werewolves, what’s not to love!  

I was something of a romance snob for years too.  I swore up and down I’d never write it…Well, best laid plans and all that…LOL Every book I ever came up with has always been a romance.  And I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I hadn’t read it until this spring when it was suggested I read it to possibly attract that audience during my blog tour…Great stuff!

What can you tell us about Blue Mountain Magick that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?  Was it an easy write?  How long did it take you to write it?

Blue Mountain Magick was my first book, and it literally flowed out of me. The story came to me almost complete, and I plotted it in one sitting. It’s my longest book at 108,000 words, but I finished it in three months.

Don’t you love when a story flows like that? I’ve had a few, but lately I’ve been struggling.

Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I am definitely a plotter. I have to know where I’m going although I may change directions along the way. I always begin with a character, and my character is usually intrinsically linked to a setting. I rough plot the whole book and write up character lists. I will also do some preliminary research, especially on the settings or occupations/background of the characters.

Jim Winter, my hero in Laramie Moon, is ex-military, and I needed him to fly a helicopter, so with a little research, I discovered the Night Stalkers, the US Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment. They were a perfect fit. In the book, it’s just a bit of backstory that provides some motivation, but it was essential for me to know his whole history to write him convincingly.

Once I begin drafting, I usually write straight through to the end, revising a little as I go along.  My biggest help has been finding a compatible critique partner. If I could give any advice to beginning writers it would be to search out a critique partner or group and not give up if it doesn’t work out. I tried several times before I found my perfect fit.

Now as a panster, I don’t do research unless and until I need to while I’m writing…Then I fix what I screwed up until I did the research….LOL

If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?

I have lots of favorite characters, from David Copperfield to Antigone, but I wouldn’t particularly want to be most of them. If I could be a fictional character, I think I’d want to be Claire Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books. I can think of worse things than traveling through time and being married to Jamie.

All great characters!

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

Currently, my favorite TV show is probably The Walking Dead, although zombies are not sexy! I’m also a big fan of True Blood, Supernatural, Lost Girl, Criminal Minds, and Bones. I love my DVR. When I have time, I can sit down and have a marathon of all the shows I’ve missed.

I like Lost Girl… I only allow myself two TV shows a season…

Okay, since I write both vamps and cowboys, I want to know, which is sexier:  Vampires or Cowboys?

Vampires are sexy with their ageless beauty and experience. I fell in love with Lestat.  But I’m a Texas gal at heart, and I’d have to go with cowboys.  I grew up thinking nothing was sexier than broad shoulders in a clean white shirt, a tight butt in dress jeans, and long legs ending in boots, and I still feel that way.  

Of course, you could write a vampire cowboy…. I did.  Austin in A Hunter’s Blade is one (releasing this winter).

Laramie Moon

Alpha werewolf Jim Winter has it all – a pack that respects him, a successful ranch, and his choice of willing females – but he only woman he wants is the one he can’t have. A guilty secret and a promise keep him from claiming Sissy as his mate.

Sissy Hunt has always loved Jim, but she’s tired of being the only 25 year old virgin werewolf in Wyoming. Frustrated and ready to get on with her life, she gladly accepts an invitation to join a neighboring pack, but she runs from heartbreak straight into the arms of danger.

Jim and Sissy will have to face the specters of their past if they want to survive and have a future together.

Excerpt:

Laramie Moon excerpt

 

Jim Winter strolled back to his spot against the long, polished bar. With a beer in his hand, he casually acknowledged friends and neighbors as they moved past him, but his eyes swept the big, open room. It was a typical Friday night, loud and crowded.

 

One end of the barroom had long picnic style tables filled with noisy groups who celebrated just because it was the weekend. At the other end of the room, a band banged out a mix of country and rock tunes for the enthusiastic dancers. If trouble erupted, it would come from that end of the room. The pounding rhythm and close press of bodies created a perfect storm of hormonal aggression that could quickly turn violent, especially considering the circumstances.

Jim felt the moon’s pull in his bones and on his skin. It set him on edge, but he’d learned to ride it out. As Alpha of the Laramie Pack, he had a lot of control, and a lot of responsibility. Some of his pack, younger Werewolves, were in the bar, and he was there to keep an eye on them. He didn’t always shepherd them this closely, but it was the night before the full moon.

 

Fights between pack members were inevitable. It was only normal for shifters to feel prickly and irritable as the full moon approached. It was like being over-caffeinated and having the hives at the same time, so Jim was there to referee and see that they didn’t get out of hand or spill over into the human population. Tomorrow night’s run would ease a lot of tension. Then they’d all settle down for another month, but they had to get through tonight first.

 

Jim’s senses sparked and his muscles tensed as he turned to watch two of his pack enter the bar. Randi Harris led the way in a skintight dress and stilettos. Not really appropriate for this venue, but Randi could pull it off. Randi attracted attention wherever she went, but it was the one who came in next that had him holding his breath – Sissy Hunt, his foreman Daniel’s daughter.

 

Sissy was tall for a female at just under six feet, and Jim took in every inch. Her body was lean and trim and she moved with a fluid grace. Unlike Randi, who was decked out in one of her Friday night “Make ‘em drool” outfits, Sissy was dressed like most of the men in the room, in dark jeans and boots. But there was nothing masculine about Sissy. The clinging fit of her jeans cupped her very feminine behind, and the burgundy western cut shirt hugged her compact breasts. Her sun-streaked blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail the way she usually wore it, and her hazel eyes glinted in the low light with luminous streaks of brown, gold, and green. Jim’s eyes came to rest on pouty rose-colored lips that lately seemed to be permanently drawn into a scowl whenever he was around.

 

Daniel joined Jim at the bar in time to greet the women. “Good evening, ladies.”

 

“Hi, Daddy,” Sissy rose up on her tiptoes to give Daniel’s cheek a quick kiss. She acknowledged her Alpha with a curt “Jim” and a nod.

 

Jim was busy watching Sissy walk away from him when Daniel’s elbow caught him in his ribs. Before he could wheel on his friend, Daniel was already headed across the room. Jim spotted the trouble. Two guys had squared off on the dance floor. If it was a wolf on wolf problem, Jim could just order them to back down, but a wolf versus human conflict could get ugly fast.

 

A small crowd ringed the pair. One of the young, unmated wolves from the pack had apparently challenged a drunk college student for rights to a girl, a pretty Werewolf female named Julie. He’d pulled the girl out of the college boy’s grasp, and the boy wanted her back and, stupidly, didn’t look like he was going to back down. There was no doubt who’d win in a physical contest. Even in human form, shifters had extraordinary strength and speed.

 

Jim wasn’t surprised to see who was making the trouble. It was a cocky young alpha named Adam. He was big and muscular and he’d earned a reputation as a hothead, always trying to challenge for rank. Jim had called him down before for bullying those below him in pack standing.

 

Jim broke into the ring just as Adam dropped the college boy with one punch. The big Were followed the dazed boy to the ground intending to drive his point home. Jim pulled Adam off the boy while Daniel handled crowd control.

 

Daniel shooed away the crowd of onlookers. “There’s nothing to see here. Show’s over.”  Daniel pulled the college boy to a semi-upright position and propelled him toward a group of his friends. He flashed them some cash. “Why don’t y’all go on and have a drink?” he suggested. They took the money and dragged their friend to the bar.

 

Jim used his powerful body to block Adam from following his opponent. In his heightened state of arousal, the Were would consider the retreating student as prey, and his instinct would be to give chase and take him down.  Not a good situation.

 

Adam hadn’t noticed who was holding him and took a swing, but Jim caught his arm in mid-swing and uttered a growl so low only Adam could hear it. Adam’s head popped up, and he boldly matched Jim’s stare for a few tense seconds before he dropped his gaze to the ground in submission to the dominant alpha.

 

“Daniel, take Adam home.” Jim never took his eyes off of the wolf in front of him. Adam’s head was bowed, but he was shaking in pent up fury at being so publically dominated.

 

After the run-in with Adam, Jim didn’t think there’d be any more trouble. He could hand things off to one of his more level-headed wranglers and head back to the ranch. He’d just check on Sissy before he left.

 

Oomph.  He turned directly into the arms of a curvy platinum blonde.  She pressed against him with both hands flat on his chest. “Hmm, you’re very forceful,” she purred. Her hands skimmed up his chest to his neck.

 

Jim caught both of her wrists. His senses were firing off signals to the more responsive parts of his body. Her scent was all heat, and his skin burned where they came together. He could hear her heart racing in anticipation, and his heartbeat sped up in response. As he brought her hands down and released them, he stepped back to put a little distance between them.

 

“Excuse me, miss.”

 

“No problem. It was nice bumping into you. Maybe we can try it again sometime.” The woman flashed him a sexy smile and headed for the dance floor.

 

Jim took a few deep breaths, trying to bring his heart rate, and other physical reactions, under control, but it wasn’t working. His whole body was lit up like a Christmas tree. Almost involuntarily his eyes sought out the blond among the dancers. She wasn’t hard to spot.

 

Her ‘barely there’ dress left little to the imagination, and neither did her dance moves as she ground her pelvis against a lanky cowboy. She looked back over her shoulder to see if Jim was watching. Satisfied that she had her audience, she turned her back to her partner to give Jim the full view, showing off round breasts barely contained in a skimpy halter top. Her cowboy partner threw his head back and held on to her hips for dear life as she rocked her behind sensuously into his hard body. But her eyes were locked on Jim.

 

Jim’s attention was riveted on the show. His jeans strained uncomfortably, and he shifted his weight to relieve his discomfort.

 

“Somebody’s gonna get lucky tonight.” Jim reluctantly tore his gaze away from the dancer and turned to see his foreman Daniel grinning at him.
“Well, it’s not going to be me.”

 

“Aw, come on. She’s a hot one, and she sure wants you. I can watch the boys while you have some fun.”

 

Jim shook his head. “She’s not my type.”

 

“She’s female, isn’t she? What other type is there?”

 

“How’re you gonna find a mate if you don’t even try?” Daniel goaded.

 

“If my mate’s out there, she’ll have to find me.”

 

“Well, I think that one there’s trying. I guess she’s gonna have to come over here and grab you by that hard on to get your attention.”

 

“Yeah, she’s not the one. She’s human anyway.”

 

“That doesn’t mean you can’t scratch a little itch, you know.”

 

Jim just shook his head. Daniel was always trying to set him up.  That was nothing new, but he was bothered that he’d become so aroused by just watching the dancer. She really wasn’t his type. Too obvious. He never had trouble attracting female attention, but he liked to be the aggressor. This one was coming on too strong.

 

With pack business and the ranch, he didn’t have the time or the inclination to properly woo a female, but as

Daniel had said, this female didn’t need any wooing, and she was a human, so he wouldn’t have to worry about the mate issue.  A smile crept across Jim’s face as he watched the gyrating dancer.  It wouldn’t hurt to blow off some steam, and she’s definitely interested.

 

Sissy Hunt watched the bleached blonde dancer put on her show for Jim. She’d seen it before, but she didn’t have to like it.

 

Women were always coming on to Jim, and it wasn’t hard to guess why. He was the epitome of alpha maleness. At six and a half feet, he was the largest man in the room. His broad shoulders filled out his western cut shirt, and his upper body was all muscle. Crisp jeans hugged his long, corded legs all the way down to well-worn boots.

 

He was handsome in a rugged way. His deeply tanned skin and his short haircut screamed no-nonsense. Jim’s deep brown eyes dominated his face. Hooded by dark brows, his intense stare could command a man or animal or melt a woman to her core. And he knew it. As Alpha of his pack, that was part of the job.

 

His mouth was often drawn into a hard, thin line, but on occasion, a wide smile softened his face. He was smiling now.

 

Sissy couldn’t hold back a threatening growl.

 

“Your wolf is showing.” Sissy’s friend Randi shoved a beer across the table. “You need to chill out.”

 

“What I need is for our fearless leader over there to keep his dick in his pants.” She jerked her head toward Jim.

 

“I wouldn’t mind if he took it out for me. I bet you wouldn’t either.” Randi smiled, enjoying a quick fantasy.

 

“Yeah, well that’s not going to happen. He seems to prefer human sluts. When’s the last time he looked at you like that?”

 

“Never.”

 

“That’s what I mean. He never pairs up with anybody in the pack.”

 

“I’m sure he hooks up every now and then.”

 

“It seems like he only goes with humans.”

 

“I hear he likes the chase, but he doesn’t want to get caught by a mate.” Randi gave her friend a slow once over look. “Seriously, you’d have a better chance if you dressed like you were interested.”

 

Sissy’s anger showed in her ramrod straight back and her tight shoulders. She turned her back on the display. “Ugh. I can’t watch anymore.” She took a long drink of beer. “What’s he doing now?”

 

“Still watching and maybe drooling just a little.”

 

“That’s disgusting. I’m getting out of here.” Sissy hated the way things were with Jim. They used to be close when she was younger, but now that she was grown up, he practically ignored her. He couldn’t take his eyes off a trashy little human, but he hadn’t even given her a second look.

 

“Isn’t he a little old for you? I know he was your brother’s best friend, but he’s like forty.”

 

“Not hardly, but it doesn’t matter,” Sissy said. Under her breath she added, “It doesn’t matter to him what I do at all.” She turned away from her friend, afraid that the other girl would see the tears that she was barely managing to hold back. “I’ll see you later,” she said, already moving toward the door.

Social links and website:

Visit my website www.claremckay.com for my blog and more excerpts and info about my other books.

Follow me on Twitter @Clare_McKay

Facebook – Clare McKay – Seattle, WA

www.facebook.com/clare.mckay.94

My books are not out yet, but I plan to put Laramie Moon, Missoula Moon, and Jackson Moon up on Amazon and Smashwords by Nov 2012.

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Sarah M. Anderson

Welcome Harlequin Desire author Sarah M. Anderson to the blog as she talks about writing and her upcoming release, A Man of Privilege. 

First, I must say that I LOVED Sarah’s debut HQ Desire, A Man of His Word, and can’t wait to read this book! 

Tell us a little about yourself.  When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?

I started writing when my son was 2 1/2 and had started sleeping through the night. I took him and my then 92-year-old grandmother on a weekend road trip. On the drive home, my son fell asleep and my grandma ‘rested her eyes.’ I think you can understand how important it was to me to have everyone rested. So I didn’t even turn on the radio. But I had to do something to keep from falling asleep myself. I found myself imaging a scene where two people were arguing in the rain about how they didn’t love each other, but they really did. It fascinated me—who were they? Why were they arguing? They kept talking to me for a week, driving me to the point of distraction. Finally, I decided to write down what they were saying, just to get them out of my head. That turned into my first book, which clocked in at over 500 pages. It was terrible—I have a backstory problem—but it taught me a lot about writing a novel. And rather than get out of my head, those people opened up a whole bunch of other stories that also demanded to be written. My son is seven now, so I’ve been writing for five years. I write modern-day cowboys and Indians, where the cowboys often are the Indians. I like to mix it up!

I love this!  I think my first novel way back when I was only in high school started out the same way…LOL

What can you tell us about A Man of Privilege that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?  Was it an easy write?  How long did it take you to write it?

The thing you won’t find in the blurb is that it took me seven weeks to write Privilege. But before you start cursing me, let me say that it took eight weeks to rewrite it. Basically, we kept the first four chapters. Everything else underwent some significant-to-major changes. My first novel, A Man of His Word, was something of a lucky fluke. A Man of Privilege is where I really learned how to write a Harlequin Desire. Luckily, my agent and editor stuck with me, pushed me through the rough parts, and we all came out on the other side. Whew!

I understand this!! I’m going through a similar thing with my first Lyrical book…

Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I’m a mister. I plot way more than a traditional pantser, but far, far less than a true plotter. I usually know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there…for a little while. Some times, I truly have no idea. Other times, everything’s pretty clear. It’s a lot like driving through a fog, a mist. Some times, you can see the road. Other times, it’s almost impossible to know where you’re going.

LOL! I’m something of a hybrid too…

If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be a fictional character, but I’ve imagined myself in other lives, other places. Always have. I think that’s one of the things that really helps me write—it’s not difficult to imagine other people living other lives.

Good point…

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

Oh, this a sad, sad answer, but my favorite shows right now are Phineas and Ferb and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I watch those shows a lot with my son, I enjoy them, and I’m thankful that I’m watching them instead of some weird show where everyone turns into monsters to battle for a never-ending quest designed to make my boy buy 300 different toy monster cards. (Cough, cough, looking at you, Pokemon.)

LOL…

Okay, since I write both vamps and cowboys, I want to know, which is sexier:  Vampires or Cowboys?

Hands down, Cowboys. First off, in no reality do cowboys ever sparkle. Second off, they’re good with their hands, and third off, they’re just all-around awesome. Was it even a contest?

Real vampires don’t sparkle either…LOL!

A Man of Privilege

She isn’t what he expected.

Blue-blood lawyer James Carlson is working on the case of his life.  After winning this trial, his career will be set.  He won’t let anything…or anyone… alter his course.  Then he meets his witness.

Maggie Eagle Heart makes him question everything–his family, his goals, his future. Because she’s the one woman he wants, and she’s the one woman who is completely off limits. Yet even as he struggles to keep their relationship all about business, he can’t deny the attraction is mutual–and irresistible.

James has always done what is expected of him…until now.

A Man of Privilege is available for pre-order! Visit your favorite bookseller, at Amazon or for the Nook  .

Bio:

Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. With a lifelong love of horses and two history teachers for parents, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves out in South Dakota among the Lakota Sioux.  She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go.

When not helping out at school or walking her rescue dogs, Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and American Indians, all of which is surprisingly well-tolerated by her wonderful husband and son.

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This post is brought to you as part of the A Man of Privilege Blog Tour.  For a complete tour schedule and rules, visit http://www.sarahmanderson.com. Comments on this blog will be entered to win a signed copy of A Man of Privilege.

Next tour stop is Harlequin Desire Authors Blog on June 25th.

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Katherine Grey

Today, I welcome Katherine Grey as she talks about writing and her latest release The Muse

When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?

I’ve written for as long as I remember.  English was my favorite subject in school.  I started writing seriously (pursuing publication) in 1998 but due to a major change in my life stopped writing pretty much completely from 2001 until 2010.   I had a rough 2010 and found solace in writing where I could create my own world and be in control of it.   I’ve always written historical romance but am now trying my hand at contemporary romance.

Good that you stuck with it.

What can you tell us about The Muse that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?  Was it an easy write?  How long did it take you to write it?

The hero in The Muse was a secondary character in my debut novel.  He intrigued me so much I knew I wanted to write his story.   It wasn’t an easy write.  It was only my second attempt at writing a short story. I kept wanting to add subplots and description and more characters which would have put me over the maximum word count required.  It took me about 2 months to write the first draft and about 1 month to write the final draft.  I was recovering from knee surgery while trying to write the final draft and quickly learned pain killers and sentences that make sense don’t go too well together.

I think we all have had those secondary characters that scream to have their own stories written.  I’m writing two series for that very reason…LOL

Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I write 2 to 3 sentence for each chapter and that’s the extent of my plotting, so I’m a pantser for the most part.   I listen to classical music while I write, mostly anything by YoYo Ma.  I start out by reading over the last couple of pages I wrote the day before and then just start typing.  By reading those few pages, it helps put me back in the scene and makes it easier to pick up where I left off.  I try not to do a lot of self editing at this time because then I start worrying about grammar, adverbs, tags, etc.  If I focus too much on making it perfect, I have a hard time actually getting the words on the page.  I tell myself, “just get it down, you can make it better later.” 

I do this too… well, not listening to classical music, but rereading to get back into the story flow.  But I’m terrible for self-editing as I go. I’m too much of a perfectionist to let stuff go.

If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?

Wow, this is a hard question.  So many characters popped into my head for so many good reasons but since I write romance I’ll choose Cinderella.  She didn’t have an easy life — she suffered at the hands of her step-mother and step-sisters, but by remaining true to her self, she found her prince, her happiness, and her happily ever after.

Cinderella is a good choice!

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

I don’t watch a lot of television but made sure never to miss Person Of Interest on Thursday nights.  My favorite movie is Conspiracy Theory with Julia Roberts and Mel Gibson (whom I’ve never been a big fan of but this is a great movie.)

Funny, I don’t watch much TV either. I’m finding a lot of writers don’t.

Okay, since I write both vamps and cowboys, I want to know, which is sexier:  Vampires or Cowboys?

Cowboys, hands down.    There’s just something about a cowboy…I’m not even sure I can put it into words.

Oh… I totally agree!

Blurb:

Noted poet Blaine Hobson counts the Prince Regent among his patrons. But ever since the socialite he wished to marry took her life, he has been unable to compose a single line of poetry. With a sonnet commissioned by the Regent due in a few weeks,Blainespends his time alternating between trying to write…and wishing he had the courage to join his beloved in the grave.

Raised in an orphanage with her sister, seamstress Emma Tompkins lives with the guilt of her sibling’s death. Accidently finding a suicide note penned byBlaine, she resolves to keep him alive at all costs. Vigilant, she returns each day, pushing her way into his home–and losing her heart.

Can Blaine forget his beloved and return the affections of the seamstress? Or once finished with his work, will he cast Emma out of his life forever?

 

Excerpt:

Blaine threw down his quill in frustration,  spraying ink across the leather blotter. He wadded up the wasted piece of parchment into a hard ball and threw it toward the fireplace where it landed among the dozens of others lying there.

Jerking out of his chair, he stood at the window overlooking the garden. This late in autumn, there wasn’t much to see in the way of flowers, but the hedges had been pruned, the grass clipped. He sighed and rested his forehead against the glass. When had he ever cared if the lawn and gardens had been tended to? Never. They’d always just been taken care of without his knowledge, much the same way they still were. He’d always been too busy writing his latest sonnet, poem, or ode to beauty, to Collette.

Collette. His muse. He needed to be able to write again, to come up with something more than the trite drivel he did now. Not only did Prinny expect a new sonnet within the next two months, but if he could no longer compose the words that danced in his soul into the artistry of a poem, the commissions would cease, and his only source of income, the means to help his mother, gone. Even more importantly, what would he become?

“How could you leave me?” he asked the empty room. He stared at the lifeless garden a moment longer, releasing a long sigh, and left the window.

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