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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Paranormal Romance. Drain Me by Ellie Gray.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Lana Sky, author of Drain Me, Book One in the Ellie Gray 
Chronicles.

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication:  November 28th 2014

ISBN:  150275438X
ASIN: B00OW46BD0

Number of pages:  550
Word Count: 38k

Cover Artist:  Imogenary Designs

Book Description


When diagnosed with a fatal illness at the age of twenty six, Eleanor Gray is resigned to her fate—at least until the enigmatic Dublin Helos appears and makes her an offer she knows she should refuse:

Life or Death?

With a decision as harmless as checking the wrong box on a mysterious questionnaire, Ellie is plunged into a dangerous world where souls are sold to the highest bidder and pleasure is fueled by pain.

The rules of this new life are simple: submit everything—mind, body and soul. But the further Ellie falls under Dublin’s control, the more she comes to realize that it’s not just her sanity at stake, but her heart and a whole lot of blood too.

Available at Amazon

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of five mobi copies of Drained.

Interview Time!


What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always loved Gothic romance, and I jumped at the chance to write one similar to my favorites—but with my own little twists.  In the end, I wound up with a story that I love, and while it may not be 100% perfect, I think that it still achieves what I sought out to do. 

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

The book cover was designed by one of my good friends, Imogen Isles at Imogenary Designs.  I LOVE how she captured the essence of the story in such a simple layout: a bit of darkness, a bit of light and a tiny drop of blood. 

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

The conflict is mainly between Ellie and…herself.  She’s spent her whole life living as someone who the world expects her to be, and Dublin forces her to shed that mask and just be herself—which is a rather terrifying realization to come to if you have someone else’s fangs in your neck. 

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

Drain Me doesn’t actually have a definitive setting—or at least, it’s not mentioned in the novel.  I prefer reading stories that allow the reader to imagine it taking place anywhere, so I was deliberately vague on the setting. 

What sort of personality does your hero have?

Dublin Helos is a bit sarcastic, brooding, and maybe grumpy.  You never really quite know what he’s thinking.  Even I don’t sometimes! 

What sort of personality does your heroine have?

On the other hand, Ellie Gray is very naive and a little bit stubborn.  Okay, she’s incredibly stubborn.  Watching her pig-headedness play against Dublin’s need for control was hilarious to witness as a writer. 

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

I’ve been writing for over a decade now.  In that time I’ve written a little under ten full length novels and hundreds of snippets and dabbles.  However, I’ve only been published for little under three months. 

Excerpt


The fact that he knew my name didn’t alarm me.

My family owned half the city, including a good portion of this very hospital. Considering that my sister’s escapades were constant fodder for the tabloids, I would have been more insulted if he didn’t know who I was.

But once again …it was that look in his eyes. It chilled me right down to the bone; I know you, Eleanor Gray, it said. Way more than just a face from the Society Pages.

Before I could choke out a reply, he smiled—for real this time—and my poor brain struggled to find the right words to describe it. Dazzling. Magnificent ...

The flash of pearly white teeth nearly knocked me senseless. I lost my grip on the handkerchief for a split second, sparking the taste of copper over my tongue. 

“Word travels fast around here,” he said, voice traveling down my spine.

I felt my nose wrinkle as I frowned. Apparently news of my terminal illness had spread before I’d even left the damn hospital. How long before my picture ended up splattered over the front of some tabloid beneath the headline, Heiress given weeks to live?

I didn’t answer. Instead, I willed my nose to stop bleeding, though I had a feeling that I was quickly becoming in danger of needing transfusion number four.

I felt so dizzy all of a sudden. As if, at any moment, I could pass out. Faint.

 “What do you see?”

“Huh?”

The question threw me off and had me turning to face him before I could help it. Wordlessly, he inclined his head and my eyes automatically followed.

The hall we were in opened onto a causeway, where patients and visitors alike wandered the pristine floor.

The sight reminded me of a hotel—albeit minus the IV poles some people sported instead of suitcases. The air was the same: that busy, ‘places to go, people to see, get the hell out of my way’ vibe that made everyone seem closed off, further away.

Without meaning to, I found my gaze settling over a young girl who had her head wrapped in a polka dot headscarf. Beside her, a man I guessed to be her father pushed an IV pole that rattled over the floor.

She was almost as pale as I was, with dark, bruise-like circles underneath her eyes—but that wasn’t what stood out to me the most.

She was smiling. Walking, talking and …smiling. Despite the obvious physical signs, if you went off that expression alone, you would have never guessed she was sick at all. My gaze remained glued to her, even as the mysterious doctor spoke up again.

“Mortality,” he said grimly. “It’s the most precious commodity in the world, don’t you agree?”
I nodded. I may have not been that invested in my own life, but I could read the fervent desire on all the other faces—from the new mother carrying her infant in a car seat, to the elderly man clutching a newspaper to his chest.

The lust to live was always the same.

“There are some who would do anything for another chance at life, for more time.”

He spoke so matter-of-factly that it wasn’t until my mind processed what he was really saying that his morbid tone struck me like a blow. 

“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I sounded like I was under water.  My nose was still dripping. Even the pressure of my hand wasn’t enough to staunch the blood flow. 

 “You wouldn’t,” Mr. Gray Eyes said with a shrug. “Immortality doesn’t interest you, does it, Eleanor?”

Alarm raced down my spine—no longer was I convinced that this was just a random chat with a stranger. It was all in his tone.

“I have to go.”  I clutched the now bloody handkerchief and tried to stand. My legs felt as flaccid as limp noodles. Sweat poured down the back of my neck, and the erratic beat of my heart quickened and then faltered. Thump, thump, th-ump.

“You’re not afraid of death,” the man—though I was now seriously doubting that he was a doctor—continued. “You welcome it; or so you tell yourself. But, I’m here to offer you a choice—”

“I think …I need a real doctor.”

I was through humoring him. Without bothering to be polite, I attempted to stagger in the direction of the activity, grasping onto anything to steady me. My hands were slippery and my once-burgundy peacoat was now soaked scarlet. 

Hemohemorrahgia kept haunting me in Doctor Wallis’ curt tones. 90% fatality!

“Mortality can be a hindrance of sorts.”

The man was still talking, only I had no idea just what he was getting at. More importantly, why hadn’t he gotten a doctor or flagged down a nurse? I clung to the wall and scanned the crowd of blurring faces, desperate to catch sight of another white lab coat.

“I think I …need …help.”

It took all my strength just to get the words out. And he only ignored me.

“I’m here to offer you a choice, Eleanor: accept your impending death, or …something else.”

What else? I struggled to ask but was only greeted with silence. It stretched on for a good five minutes before I realized that he had finally left. That strange vibe was gone at least, but so was any sensation or feeling in my limbs. Or sound. My vision was an inky shade of gray, nearly black, but …
When I finally gave into the darkness, I swore I could hear him whisper one last time, “It’s your decision, but if you’re smart, you will make the right one.”  

About the Author


Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and legless cats. She writes mostly paranormal romance, in between watching reruns of Ab Fab and drinking iced tea. Only iced tea.


Website  


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Is She Really Ready To Become A Cougar? Man Candy by Jewel Quinlan.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Jewel Quinlan, author of Man Candy, The Cougar Journals, Book 1.

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Date of Publication: January 9, 2015

Word Count: 13692

Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of the following: 5 copies of Stealing Cupid’s Bow (print version open to US Shipping), 5 e-copies of Man Candy, 2 audio copies of Rock Star Ex, 2 audio copies Surrender Sweet Succubus, 2 audio copies of Extreme Heat

Book Description


Commercial real estate agent, Ava Baldassari, is done with being a good girl. Recently having revamped her self-image, home and wardrobe she finds there is one thing left that needs updating; her sex life.

She runs into her friend and running partner, Cole, one night when she is out with a friend. A bit drunk she flirts with him and is surprised by the enthusiastic response he gives back.

Things reach a point where she has to make a decision whether or not to cross a line she never has before.

Ava is forty and Cole is twenty-five, is she really ready to become a cougar?

Where you can buy Man Candy:


Let’s Interview!


What inspired you to write this book?

Definitely my own experience in the dating world. As soon as I hit forty there was a noticeable shrinking and ickifying (not a real word) of my dating pool. When you get to this age it gets a lot tougher to find a good catch. And I started to think about the phenomenon of cougars and the feelings and reasons behind making the decision to hook up with a younger man. Of course that also led to the question of what it would be like the first time. For women, there are so many boundaries, emotions and thoughts entangled in intimacy…it just was really interesting to me to explore that scenario. And that’s what this book is all about. It is Ava’s first time with a man fifteen years younger than she is.

If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

I would love to spend time with Ava! I think she and I would be best friends and go shopping together. I love women who have come into their own and aren’t afraid to explore life and take risks. Heck, if we got drunk together there’s no doubt we’d somehow end up in Switzerland the next morning and not remember how we got there.

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

The conflict in this story is really between Ava and all the boundaries, limitations and rules of society that woman are raised with. While these things have changed a lot during my lifetime I am of the opinion that they haven’t changed fast enough. It was really fun to outline Ava’s internal thought process as each of them came up.

What sources do you use for research?

Aw man, you caught me. My name is Jewel Quinlan and I use Wikipedia. Yes, I really do, lol. But I also love Google Maps so I can get right down on the street and walk around in a city I’ve never been to. And YouTube is great for the most random sh**. Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to swear on the blog. But it really is great! I’ve looked up kiteboarding videos on there (Extreme Heat), videos on celebrity motorhomes (Rock Star Ex) and clips of what it looks like when you are standing on Syndey Harbour Bridge (Surrender Sweet Succubus). I also once looked at Madonna and Lenny Kravitz’s websites for when I was trying to figure out what a tour route looks like for big name musicians (Rock Star Ex). The internet is so completely awesome for us authors! We don’t have to leave home or flip through the card catalogue in the library — yes, I am that old — to get the details we need anymore.

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

I get those questions a lot. I dabbled in writing since I was a kid. After having the life sucked out of me in college I finally came back to myself when I was hitting the verge of forty (yes, years old) and took myself seriously. My first book, Rock Star Ex, came out in October of 2013. It wasn’t the first one I finished, that was Stealing Cupid’s Bow. They kind of got published in the reverse order from which I wrote them….

Anyway, since then I’ve written six more, two of which I am waiting to hear back from publishers on. The other four are published already. All of my work is also in audiobook version, available on Amazon, ACX and iTunes. I drive a lot for my day job and audiobooks really help me keep my sanity while on the road. Who’s with me on that?

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

My preference is paranormal and fantasy but I somehow keep getting caught up in contemporary, which has been fun actually. And I got myself entangled with a suspense recently. That all started when I set out to write a story based on a fairytale for one of my publishers but the fairytale I was given was clearly a suspense. But I am not one to walk away from a challenge, it was really fun to write the action scenes in that one. In the future I will be writing a post-apocalyptic series. Still plotting how I will destroy the world and then what comes after. There are so many options!

Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

I’m one of those wacky authors who writes whatever I want and for however long it takes me. I have stories in all of the lengths you mentioned (short story, novella and novel). However I do find short stories the most challenging. I mean, there’s just so much to say when people are falling in love, so many thoughts and feelings that need to be described, that I tend to find myself drifting toward novel length. I just finished up a story that was supposed to be a short (a side project, if you will) but it ended up being over 40,000 words. Oh well, it’s been a while since I heard someone complain that a story was too long. Not since the TV series Lost wrapped up, as a matter of fact. Lol.

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

Man Candy is book one of a series titled The Cougar Journals. It is the first series I am writing and I am looking forward to seeing what Ava will put me through as I try to detail her experiences as a cougar. I have high hopes that she will find love in the end. Book two is tentatively titled Boy Toy. I’ve also been wanting to write a post-apocalyptic series so I am writing down the bones of the ideas for that as I work on The Cougar Journals.


 Excerpt


“I’ve been wanting to do this for a while,” he whispered in my ear, still pressed against me as he unzipped my dress.

Me too, I wanted to say. But I didn’t. I was adrift in the onslaught of sensation as he slid the fabric from me, trailing kisses down my back as it went. Making me aware as I never had been of how sensitive the skin there could be. When he reached the small of my back, he lingered, kneading my skin with his tongue and teeth. His hands ran down my legs and then back up to my breasts, and I savored the feel of his fingers. My breaths came heavier. I had been needing this for too long.

He rose and turned me toward him, towering over me. His cap was gone and his dark hair was askew, as though he had run his fingers through it, giving him that sexy just-woke-up look. I slid my fingers from the waist of his jeans, underneath his shirt, to his muscled back. The ridges of strength there were too tempting beneath my fingertips. How did he find the time to work out that much? I had to see with my own eyes. Fisting the hem of his shirt in my hands, I pulled his t-shirt up to remove it. Why should I be the only one standing here naked? With a chuckle, he complied, lifting the shirt over his head and flinging it away in the casual manner of an underwear model on TV.

Sure, I had imagined what he looked like with his shirt off, but the reality was ten times better. He had a runner build, but that was filled out with muscle. The planes of his chest were topped by strong shoulders and arms, which seemed to blossom over the lean ridges of his abdominals, creating a definite contrast. I couldn’t help reaching out and touching him. I ran my hands over his skin, tracing my way upward to the light coating of black hair on his pectorals. He leaned his pelvis into me, forehead on mine, his erection pressing into me, making me shiver with anticipation.

We were on the brink of something oh-so-good, and I was dying to plunge ahead. Yet, I hesitated.

Questions burned in my mind. I tried to hold them back, knowing serious talk would ruin the moment. That lasted about two seconds before I gave in.

“Um…” I said.

He lifted his head from mine and looked at me.

I cocked my head at him. “Did you just say you’ve been wanting to do this for a while?” Had he been scoping me out all this time, as I had him?

He nodded. “Who wouldn’t? Look at you. You’re gorgeous.”

I glanced down at myself. My ample buxom looked perfect in the black, lace push-up bra I wore, and the matching thong sat just right, low on my hips. I still had on my red heels, which added a lady-killer effect.

Then I glanced at him. The smoldering look he gave me trumped anything I observed on the physical plane. The messages coming from him on a subliminal level promised pleasure that made me squirm with heat.

“You know it’s going to be good between us, Ava,” Cole said.


Jewel will be attending RomCon in Denver CO September 25-27.

Readers can get tickets to sit with her at the luncheon event, she would love to meet you!

About the Author



Jewel Quinlan had an abundant imagination and a strong desire to write novels from a young age. She particularly enjoys writing paranormal and fantasy romance but also writes contemporary as well.

An avid traveler, she has visited fifteen countries so far (which she enjoys using as settings in her novels) and has plans to see more of the world. She has a particular fondness for Bavaria and studies the German language as one of her hobbies.

During the day, she works as a pharmaceutical sales representative and, at night, she writes romance. She currently lives in Orange County, California with her dog Penny.

For more information about Jewel Quinlan


Or join Jewel’s newsletter if you just want to get the most important updates


Friday, January 16, 2015

Ready For Passion In 9'th Century Scandinavia? Viking King- The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors.



Happy 2015! I hope everyone's year is starting off great. Since finishing Plight of the Highlander, I've kept busy researching and writing about Vikings. After spending the better part of a decade in medieval Scotland, I definitely had my work cut out for me learning about an entirely different culture. But I've loved every minute of it. Naturally, my Viking men are considerably different than my Highlanders, yet it's been a fascinating change of pace. Funny that I initially met the Viking King ten years ago in the MacLomain's great hall tapestry and had no idea he'd eventually pull me into a whole new world.

I kept true to some of the traits of my MacLomain men when developing the king and his brothers. After all, those sexy Scotsmen descend from them. So of course they’re all tall, well-muscled warriors. *grins* The difference? This time instead of wizardry, I further explored what it’s like to possess dragon blood. To be part male dragon. Totally awesome. Not only because I love dragons, but because I was able to embrace the alpha side of these Viking men. Strong, dominant, steely, yet still respectful of their women. And yes, as you might imagine, they're definitely a lusty lot.

So are you ready for some Vikings? Some King Naðr Véurr? Then let's head to ninth century Scandinavia...

Description


Determined to take a break from her past, Megan cozies down in her million dollar Winter Harbor Maine home and focuses less on money and more on dreams. Building boats was a childhood desire she’s determined to pursue. With a love for Viking shipwright skills, she constructs a small scale longship. What she doesn’t anticipate is an unexpected call from the past.

Of dragon blood, Viking King, Naðr Véurr Sigdir ‘the bold’ knew that the bargain he struck with the seers would likely lead to an unpredictable outcome. What he didn’t foresee is a beautiful, headstrong woman from the future washing up on his shores.

Caught between twenty-first century America and ninth century Scandinavia, two souls connect. Both determined and willful, their battle soon becomes not one made of the eras separating them but all the unexpected moments that drive them closer together.

Anger. Need. Distrust. Hope. Never-ending desire. All merge, warring and passionate, when a modern day woman and a Viking king surge forward together to conquer not only their enemies but what lies within their hearts.

Excerpt


When a roar came from the ship, a louder roar echoed all around her. Excitement crackled in the air as three men left the boat and started down the dock. Megan narrowed her eyes as they drew closer.

Oh hell.

Tall, muscled, all were too damned good looking no matter the century. But only one gave her an acute case of tunnel vision. The one in the middle. A black fur cloak stretched over his broad shoulders. With a black, leather jerkin and long leather encased legs that led down to heavy boots, he had a confident, easy swagger that ignited hot heat between her thighs.

A searing burn broke over every inch of her skin and she dug her nails into her palms as he drew closer. Wind-blown, shoulder-length black hair brushed the nape of his strong neck and a light beard did nothing to hide his well-sculpted face. Her body started to tremble when he was only halfway down the dock. Clenching her teeth, Megan breathed deeply through her nose. Her need to smell his skin was so strong she put her hand on Guardian’s head to ground herself.

When had she ever wanted to smell a man?

Valan pulled Megan aside as several women were allowed to pass. There was never a more torturous moment than watching the young, beautiful women swarm around him. Like any ‘normal’ red-blooded pirate, sailor, or Viking, who had been out to sea for days would do, all three men linked arms with the women so that they each had one on either side. Megan barely comprehended that the low growl she heard was coming from her own throat until Valan looked at her and shook his head.

Megan cleared her throat and continued to stare at the man approaching.

To look away was impossible.

Suddenly, he stopped. When he did the girls on either arm purred and leaned closer. But it didn’t much matter. It almost seemed that he caught a scent on the wind because he leaned his head back slowly, closed his eyes and inhaled.

All went silent.

Megan watched, enthralled by the display. How did one man make so many people go silent in a moment? But somehow she knew deep down inside. A simple man couldn’t.

But a king could.

It felt almost like the shock wave she’d felt eighty feet beneath the Atlantic once more hit her when his eyes turned her way. Megan dug her hands further into Guardian’s fur as he untangled from his women and approached. His eyes flickered to Valan then back to her before he stopped.

Holy mother of any god listening was he gorgeous.

Skin darkened by the sun, his face was a masterpiece up close. A little over a foot taller than her, his lips curved so well they’d make a woman stare forever. His jaw line was a fraction off from being square and his eyebrows arched slashes. But none of that compared to his eyes.

They were his everything.

A light but bright cobalt blue framed by a bizarre circle of dark blue with flecks of silver, they were so unusual that it almost seemed a mirror was behind them. In fact, one nearly got the impression they were looking back at themselves when they looked into this man’s eyes. Megan was tempted to look away from his unusual gaze but knew she couldn’t…that she never would. He’d captained that Viking longship. Desire pounded through her blood so harshly it took years of dealing with powerful men to keep her body tremble-free and eyes locked with his. Because there could be no doubt…

He was her Viking king.

“Naðr Véurr,” she whispered.

And she knew she was right.

Of course he wasn’t fazed by his name on a stranger’s lips. He’d likely dealt with it before. And unlike most men, he wasn’t put off by her unnatural eye color in the least. Rather, he seemed to spend an overly long moment holding her gaze, so much so that she had to work at keeping a neutral face. No easy task considering the ever increasing burn between her thighs that nearly made her bite her lower lip. One thing was for sure, she’d never had such a strong sexual reaction to a man.

He smelled of sea and storms, of dark nights and even darker pleasures.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Heck, was her heart going to beat out of her chest?

Megan worked at breathing evenly as though she was diving and never let go of his gaze. For a split second, she thought he sensed her nervousness. And it seemed she might be right.







Join Viking King on book tour.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Interactive Pick-Your-Path Contemporary Erotica. Painted, Lady by Skyler White.



Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Skyler White, author of Painted, Lady, an interactive, pick-your-path romance.

Genre: Contemporary Erotica

Publisher: SilkWords

SilkWords is the go-to source for interactive romance and erotic fiction.

With gorgeous custom covers and a clean, sophisticated design, the SilkWords site offers a secure, upscale reading environment. In addition to content on their web site, they offer stories for purchase in the standard e-book formats.

SilkWords is owned and operated by a full-time mom with a background in genetics and an RWA RITA-nominated, multi-published sci-fi romance author.

Their technology guy and site designer was the founder of Microsoft Xbox Live.

SilkWords features two formats that allow readers to choose how the stories will proceed.


Date of Publication: January 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-941847-41-1

Word Count:  Reader Vote story

 Cover Artist: Indie Designz

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of five ecopies of Painted, Lady or an ebox set of The Harem Club, Storm at SEA and Fetish Fair.

Pick Your Path:


Will she or won't she? With which man (or woman) in which location? With Pick Your Path romance, you decide. Romance and branched fiction are made for each other, like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream...positions, partners, and paraphernalia, oh my!

Reader Vote: Readers vote at choice points and decide how the story will continue. These stories are a great way for readers and authors to connect. It’s exciting to be part of a developing story!

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of five eCopies of Painted, Lady.

Book Description


When even the month’s rent spent on new brushes isn’t enough to inspire the painter she loves, Sadie offers her body as bait for his muse. 

But modeling is more revealing and more pleasurable, riskier and more erotic than she ever expected. And muses can be monstrous.

Interview Time!


Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

I love this cover!  Sadie looks almost exactly like she does in my mind.  She’s a poet, but she’s lost her voice, so the hair covering her eyes works beautifully, and she’s canvas-pale, which is important when you’re in love with a painter.  It works on a couple of other levels too, but I can’t really talk about those because which ones become relevant depends entirely on where readers take the story. I like them all as possibilities. 

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

The setting for “Painted, Lady” is a hybrid of my memories of living in Back Bay Boston in a house full of ballet dancers, and of Patti Smith’s descriptions of her life in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe in her book “Just Kids” (which is wonderful, by the way).

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

Where I want to write depends on what I’m writing and how it’s going.  Home is an amplifier for me.  If my work is going well, it’s the best place to work. I have all my research books nearby and coffee, a kneeling chair, a yoga ball, and a standing desk.  If my work is not going well, home is the worse place.  I have the dishes to do, the laundry to fold, magazines to read, and my bed, the sofa or The Big Red Chair to nap in.  

The only thing I’m precious about in terms of writing environment is sound.  I can edit pretty much anywhere, but I can’t write new words if there’s music or conversation around me.  I end up following its path instead of my own.  I plug in my earbuds and play an hour-long loop of white noise – thunderstorms – to drown out any ambient noise.  It also serves as an “Occupied” sign for my head, that folks in coffee shops and my husband and kids (mostly) tend to respect.

Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.

Only one of my books is available on audio, but the making of it was a lot of fun.  It’s a book I co-wrote with fantasy author Steven Brust and Audible.com let us request actors for the voices.  Mary Robinette Kowal who writes gorgeous Jane-Austen-With-Magic fantasy novels reads the female lead, and Ray Porter, an old college friend of mine from my theater days, and the man responsible for the best Merchant of Venice I’ve ever seen, reads the male lead.  It was such a cool collaborative process, and so much fun to be able to rope in friends! 

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

I seem to have trouble writing anything, particularly erotica, without some element of magic or the supernatural, but I’m never really sure what genre to call what I write. I prefer Speculative Fiction/SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal/Whatever you want to call it, because its readers tend to be more generous and deliberately open-minded.  As a writer, if you want to experiment with genre, with form, with language, with worlds or ideas, there really is no other space you can mix and match with so much freedom, and I am both challenged and inspired by that.

 Although it doesn’t really have enough currency to be useful, I love the phrase “speculative fiction.” I love that even in naming this weird little sub-splinter of the writing world, we tip our own hands.  “Speculative” isn’t a short, clean word like “mystery,” nor does it answer any questions about subject like “science fiction” does.  It doesn’t make any claims about its pedigree like “literary fiction,” or about its audience like “women’s fiction.”  It describes, but does not explain, and I like that. 

I like that the word itself is a little obscure.  It could have been Questioning Fiction, or Pondering Fiction, but it’s not.  It’s Speculative Fiction.  We speculate.  There’s even something vaguely sinister about the word now, curtsey of our Wall Street cousins.

I like that Speculative Fiction readers expect writers to build complicated worlds, write complex prose, and create a challenging game. Beyond their open minds and their willingness to work hard at having fun, the Speculative Fiction reader will take their interaction with the writer out of the writer’s world and into their own.  They tend to see a book not as a finished piece, but as an invitation to come play, to question and wonder.  To speculate. Which is also what I love about writing interactive fiction for SilkWords.  It puts the speculation on both sides – author and readers.  I spend a lot of time wondering what they’ll do next.

Excerpt


The sales dude at the art supply store looks down the front of my shirt, then into my basket. 

“Dragon’s Blood Crimson," he sneers.  He knows no artist looks like me -- to punk and eager.  "You know that’s almost a hundred bucks a tube?”

“Yeah.” I did know that, but James loves this paint.  He shows me every time.  See how deep the color is, he says.  The red of death, not bleeding.

 The clerk looks at me, I don’t know if it’s new respect or envy. 

“It’s mixed from real cinnabar," he says. "Toxic as hell. Local guy grinds the pigments himself, and tubes a few for us.”

“Yeah.” I didn’t know that. Oh, well. James will be careful, right? “What about brushes?”

“He’ll want one of these.” A brush with a teardrop of bristles drops into my basket. “And one of these.”

“I’ve got another two-eighty to spend,” I say, adding the price of the brushes to the total in my head.

The thing that sucks about being poor is it never stops being what you are.

“Do you  model? The art school is always looking for girls, if you need money.” He drops another three brushes in my basket. James says I could try hooking for cash. Paint my face like the girls next door. Short skirt. He says I’ve got the legs. He means it sweet. He says I’m horny enough, but it’s only with him my pussy goes all hot and so slippery I don’t even know if it feels good to fuck me.

“I’m not the kind of girl you paint.”

He looks at me like he’s plotting a run through traffic. “You’d be okay in charcoal. Or quit bleaching your hair. Do your tattoos obscure the contours of your back?

“I don’t know. It’s my back.”
  

About the Author



The child of two college professors, I left high school to pursue a career in ballet. Since then, I’ve worked in theater and advertising, earned a Master’s degree and appeared on reality TV, and if you can find a “career path” in that, you have a better eye for pattern than I do.

My debut novel, ‘and Falling, Fly‘ was named one of the top sci-fi/fantasy books of 2010 by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble’s Sci-Fi Blog, and Dear Author.  My follow-up, ‘In Dreams Begin‘ was accorded the same honor by Fantasy Literature. ‘The Incrementalists,’ co-written with Steven Brust, was one Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy titles for Fall 2013, and recently, I've started exploring indie publishing with "Offerings," a serialized sacred erotica. 

I write angels and scientists, demons, faeries and revolutionaries, secret societies and sacred sex because I’m interested in the places where myth and modernity tangle. I’m a mother and a rebel, a wife and a romantic.  I’m a liberal living in Texas, an existentialist witch, and a sucker for paradox – lucky thing, right?

Visit Skyler White 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Paranormal Romance. Haunt My Heart by Lisa Medley.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Lisa Medley, author of Haunt My Heart, a Paranormal Romance.

Publisher: Big Cedar

Date of Publication: January 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9908856-03

Word Count: 68K

Cover Artist: Sweet ‘n Spicy Designs


Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card. 

Book Description


A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

Interview Time!


What inspired you to write this book?

This story idea germinated from the first real-life ghost hunt I participated in a couple of years ago. My husband was reluctant about the idea of me going ghost hunting. He worried, “What if something follows you home?” Of course, that only made me start asking, “What if it did?!” I went on the ghost hunt and came home with a story.

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted to make it clear the story was about a ghost and had romance. It just seemed perfect!

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

I was researching ghost hunting online and stumbled across a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor and it all fell into place after that. Very fortuitous!

If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

“You’re such a goody two-shoes.”

“No. Thanks to you, I’m a rule breaker. Or did you not notice the entire ghost-hunting debacle tonight? Oh, wait. You probably didn’t notice because you got to keep your Anomaly Detector. Your eyes were glued to it the entire night. When you weren’t kissing Allen’s ass, that is.”

“Fat lot of good it did. After you turned off your phone, neither of them went off the rest of the night. Turned out to be a cold walk through the park, not a ghost hunt. Although…Allen was kind of hot, right?”

“He was old.” Sarah gripped the ring and stared into the dark parking lot.

“He wasn’t that old. You need to broaden your horizons. There are a lot of fish out there, you know. You don’t have to keep the barracuda you currently have.”

“Jason isn’t a barracuda. He’s…complicated.”

Ellie snorted. “He’s an asshole. Nothing complicated about that. He’s a smarmy real estate agent with his face on twelve billboards in Fredericksburg. Like everyone in town doesn’t already know him. He’s in a bar every night. He’s a drunk, Sarah. A mean one and you can’t fix him. He’s unfixable. You can’t fix asshole.”

Sarah fidgeted. “He takes out clients. It’s part of his job.”

“He takes out people who are looking for homes? To bars? Is that what he tells you? You’re smarter than that.”

“Thank you for the insightful psychological analysis.”

 “All right, but admit it. Allen was hot in that Captain Mal sort of way.” Ellie poked Sarah in the shoulder for emphasis and smiled.

“Captain who? Speaking of hot. How about some heat in here?”

“You had better be kidding me. Captain Malcom Reynolds? Firefly? Best show in the history of television, prematurely canceled after its first season? Mal? That’s so not shiny.” Ellie turned the key in the ignition. When the motor didn’t turn over immediately, Sarah sighed.

“Seriously? When are you going to get this thing worked on?” Sarah asked.

“When I have the money. Where’s that screwdriver?”

Sarah handed the tool to her. Ellie hopped out of the car again and said, “Give her some gas when I tell you.”

Sarah straddled the console and put her left foot on the gas pedal as Ellie popped the hood and fiddled around with the motor.

“Turn the key and give it a tap of gas.”

Sarah did as told and the car roared to life. Ellie slammed down the hood, then climbed back in as Sarah repositioned herself.

“Sometimes the carburetor gets stuck,” Ellie said, ducking her head. “My brother showed me what to do when it won’t start.”

“Can we just get home now? We both have to work tomorrow, and it’s already after midnight.”

“As you wish.”

What sources do you use for research?

I do most of my research online. I also peruse B&N and Amazon for books related to the particular beastie or paranormal activity I’m basing my story on. When I can, I do more active travel and in person research.

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

I have a soft spot for monsters because monsters need love too. It’s urban fantasy and paranormal romance for me all the way!

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

I have two books out now in the Reaping Series, which is about…well…reapers :D Reap & Repent and Reap & Redeem. The third, Reap & Reveal, will come out this summer. I’m just in the beginning stages of book four, Reap & Reckon.

Here’s the series blurb.

A small group of reapers and supernatural beings in Meridian, Arkansas are all that stands between humanity and the apocalypse when a fallen angel stages a demonic invasion. In their battle to save the world, each will meet his or her match, discovering the power of love…and the importance of risking everything to protect it.

The only thing worse than having nothing to live for…is having everything to live for.

Excerpt: Chapter One


“Hurry up, Sarah. We’re going to miss the ghost!”

Sarah Knight rolled her eyes in the cold December darkness, but trotted after Ellie’s bouncing flashlight beam. Sarah’s heels crunched through the frozen topsoil as she crossed the lawn, and she worried about the damage being done to her only pair of sensible work shoes. Ellie had failed to mention this would be on an outdoor excursion.

Ellie had been dragging her out on girls’ nights against her better judgment since they graduated from college. Last month, they’d gone to a mixed martial arts fight, complete with blood, screaming and more than one missing tooth. And that had been the spectators.

It was only in the car on the way over that Sarah had learned tonight’s adventure would be a ghost hunt. Ellie had a strange idea of fun.

Sarah and Ellie caught up to the tour group as the leader, a tall dark-haired man in his mid-forties, wrapped up his ghost-hunting protocol explanation. She’d missed the rules. Ellie wouldn’t care about missing that part. She hated following the rules, but Sarah was a little miffed. If she was going ghost hunting, she wanted to know exactly what the boundaries were.

“Great,” Sarah whispered. “We missed the rules.”

“At least we didn’t miss the ghost,” Ellie pointed out. “And they haven’t doled out the equipment yet.” Ellie’s mouth split into a mischievous smile, and she angled up closer to the group leader.

“Again, my name is Allen, if you have any questions during the tour. Since we have such a large group tonight, we’ll split into two teams. Carla will take this half.” Allen sliced an imaginary line through the group of twenty or so ghost-hunters. “And the rest of you will go with me.”

Relieved she and Ellie were on the same side of the line, Sarah snuggled up closer to her friend and surveyed the rest of their team. A middle-aged couple, a grandmotherly woman, and a group of ten sorority girls—exactly the type of girls she’d avoided in college—made up Team Allen. The girls sported matching Greek-lettered sweatshirts, scarves and mittens and tittered incessantly. Sarah was fairly sure their chance of seeing a ghost with this group was nil. Fine with her. Ellie was the one who went for the paranormal stuff.

“We’ll walk the path where the Lady in White has typically been spotted. Carla’s team will cover the grounds around the house,” Allen said. He nodded to Carla, and she gave him a little salute, then led her team around to the side of the building. Allen’s group stayed put in the doorway.

“First, I’ll need a couple of volunteers,” Allen announced.

Ellie’s hand shot up before Sarah could register what was happening. “We’ll do it.”

Classic Ellie, leaping before she looked. She didn’t even know what she was volunteering for. It could be anything. If Allen wanted virgins to sacrifice, however, he was out of luck.

Allen pulled two little handheld meter devices out of his messenger bag. His brows lowered a bit as he studied Ellie, cast his eyes around the group, then settled back to her. Ellie’s enthusiasm won out and Allen handed one device to her and the other to Sarah.

“This is the Anomaly Detector,” Allen said with all the reverence of presenting the sword Excalibur. 

“It measures EMP and temperature. If these lights change, it’s your job to let us know. I’ll be taking photos and interacting with the ghost, trying to draw her out. I can’t keep my eyes on all of the devices at once. Can you manage this?”

“Absolutely,” Ellie squealed.

Sarah resisted rolling her eyes again. She accepted the detector and did her best to reduce her scowl.

“It’s okay to be skeptical,” Allen said. “It makes it all the more exciting when we convert you to a believer.” His smile warmed and Sarah realized he was actually handsome. Old, but handsome. What an otherwise normal and attractive man—who was way old enough to know better—was doing leading a bunch of ghost hunters, she had no idea. People were strange. She supposed she’d have to include herself in that judgment, considering she now held a ghost detector.

About the Author




Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters, and now she writes about them, because monsters need love too.

She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig.

She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.