Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Christmas through the years...

A long time ago, well, not that long ago, I remember being in elementary school, barley containing myself with excitement of the upcoming holidays, being on break from school, spending time with family and friends, and of course, ripping off the wrapping paper from the presents that Santa magically delivered under my parents' tree with the reflection of the lights shining brightly against the gold and silver garland.

Now that I have my own home, Christmas tree, and being the one to magically deliver little one's items on their wish lists, I have a true understanding of the hard work that my parents went through every single holiday season - as they had five children to prepare for.

My post today is to honor all the moms and dads out there who go without sleep, brave the chaotic world of shoppers and trying to find the best deals, and making sacrifices to make sure that their little ones receive that special gift and enjoy the laborious meal their parents prepared.

Merry Christmas everyone! Have a safe and happy holiday season :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman - Bella Notte - YA Paranormal Romance

Author Interview: Jesse Kimmel-Freeman

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I never knew I wanted to be a writer. It just sort of happened. I decided to write the book I wanted to read- the rest is history.

2.) What type of genre do you write in?
I write young adult paranormal romance, as well as illustrate and write children's books.

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?
I love to read YA books. If there was one genre I could read for the rest of my life it would be YA. So I decided to write what I enjoyed. As for the children's books, that has everything to do with my kids.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?
I let the world give them to me. Everything and anything has the potential for being put into a book- the blessing and curse of being a writer. What do you allow into your stories and what do you keep out because it reminds within that small area of your life that is meant to stay personal and private? Or is it all free game as long as it's presented as fiction? I blend reality with fantasy.
5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?
Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening. I fell in love with this book. Something about it sparked a fire inside of me that never went out. It is one of the few books that I have read several times- which speaks volumes because I almost never re-read a book. Marge Percy wrote He, She, and It. I had to read this for a robotics/computer science class during my undergraduate years and when I read the story, it touched my heart. It spoke to the place inside me that can see passed boundaries and limitations. Both of these women inspired and filled me with awe.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
The characters are by far the most important part of a story. They're the ones that bring it alive for the readers and that connection is what makes a story stay with a reader or be forgotten.

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?
Just going through my day. Listening to what's going on around me. Remembering a dream. Hearing a song on the radio. Overhearing a conversation while in line at the grocery store. Some of the best inspiration comes from the things around you that you wouldn't expect to inspire you.

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?
I belong to several network groups, but nothing specifically aimed at critiquing or the techniques of writing.

9.) Do you have a day job?
My day job is being a mom. Writing gets worked in as I can. Right now, all of my writing time is going to editing the second book in my series and promoting my first book.

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?
I might not go through three years of submitting to agents and publishers. I feel like I spent a lot of time trying to find the right agent/publisher when I could've been writing or doing something more productive with my time.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
Bella Notte was released November 21st, 2011. Bella Vita will be released early next year- it looks like late January. Bella Notte can be found at, Barnes and Noble online, All Romance eBooks online, Smashwords, and CreateSpace. This will be the same for Bella Vita. Also, in honor of Christmas coming up, there's a short story available for free on Smashwords titled, “A Bella Notte Christmas Story.” It is basically two of the main characters from Bella Notte having their first Christmas together.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ann Montclair - The Billionare's Bauble - New Release

Interview with David Grant, hero of The Billionaire’s Bauble by Ann Montclair

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is David Grant, and I’m the owner and CEO of Grant Oil in Fairbanks, Alaska. I’m in my mid thirties, never been married, have no kids. I’m 6’3” tall and enjoy excellent health and wealth.
So, why Alaska? Wouldn’t you rather live in Texas where the typical rich oil baron resides?
Grant Oil is family owned and operated. True, I am presently the only surviving family member, but my late father started the company in Alaska, and I have a fondness for the land and its magnificent natural resources. I enjoy hobbies like mountain climbing and hunting, and I admire the purity of Alaska’s environment and the opportunities it provides me for outdoor recreation. Does Texas have mountains? Perhaps small hills… Also, the weather is just harsh enough in Alaska to keep out wannabe wildcatters. Not to say I won’t expand my business to Texas, but for the moment, Alaska is the only home Grant Oil knows.
What occupies most of your time?
Making money, of course. I work seven days a week finding, extracting, and refining oil. I try to get in a brisk workout every day, and I eat well. I do make time to recreate as I have already disclosed.
Do you go out and party like many young singles?
(Shakes his head vigorously) Absolutely not. I’ve no time for parties and even less time for drinking, though I’m no hermit. I occasionally have dinner and drink a few beers or glasses of wine at my best friend’s home. He is also in the oil business and is happily married to a medical doctor.
If you had a motto what would it be?
Trust your gut. March to your own tune.
You sound like a self-reliant man? Is there room in your life for love?
(He chuckles). I am confident that I know myself best. I think everyone does if they just listen to what they want, set goals, and work to achieve them. As for love, I do enjoy the company of females. I like women who are savvy and independent. Big butts are a plus. But I wouldn’t name love a high priority. I leave that to the folks who need it.
What do you need, Mr. Grant?
(He shifts uncomfortably in his seat. Frowns in thought.) I never give much thought to what I need. I guess I have everything: money, friends, a home, a great job. Can you think of anything I’m missing?
Hmmmm. Sounds almost perfect.
Almost? Can you be specific as to what you see lacking in the lifestyle I’ve described?

Oops. We’re out of time! It was a pleasure speaking with you, Mr. Grant.
Likewise. Good luck with this writing thing you’re pursuing, ma’am. Sounds like risky business to me. If you ever need a real job, Grant Oil might be hiring.

For more information about Ann Montclair go to
To purchase The Billionaire’s Bauble or other fine romance titles visit

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meggan Connors - The Marker

I want to welcome Meggan Connors to my blog today! Her exciting new release, The Marker is now available. Read her interview to find out what makes her tick as a writer and what her release is about!

Author Interview

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I was in fifth grade when I first realized I wanted to write. I wrote my first "book" (3 spiral binders of a disjointed fantasy) when I was in sixth grade. Over the years, I've written a scene here, a scene there. About two years ago, I woke up and thought, "I think I'm finally going to write that novel that's been running around in my head."
I thought it might be a passing fancy, but four months later, I had that novel completed. And ideas for six more floating around in my head. So far, I've gotten through four of them. J

2.) What type of genre do you write in?
My debut novel is an historical, set in California in the years after the gold rush, but I have to admit, I still haven’t really "picked" a genre. I read across genres, and I write across them as well. So, for completed manuscripts, I have two historical westerns, one western steampunk, and one urban fantasy. And I love them all!

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?
I live in the west, so I'm familiar with it. The first romance novels I ever read were historicals, so they will always have a special place in my heart. I love men in kilts, but when I decided to write a romance novel, I realized how much I wanted to see something different. So while The Marker could be set just about anywhere, I picked Sacramento.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?
My ideas come from the craziest places. Sometimes, the ideas spring from a TV show, another time, I was inspired by an old map. The Marker was inspired by The World Series of Poker and a trip to the Sacramento Train museum. Sounds crazy, but it's totally true.

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?
It's so hard to pick just one, and it depends on what I'm reading. I love Karen Marie Moning and Kresley Cole for their dark heroes and interesting story lines. In terms of contemporaries, I really enjoyed Natasha Tate's An Inconvenient Obsession, and Candis Terry's Second Chance at the Sugar Shack. A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner had beautiful prose. Thinking of the classics, I've read everything written by the Bronte sisters (though Wuthering Heights was my favorite. I loved Heathcliff. He was the original, brooding antihero).

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
I think voice is what makes a story great. A new, inspired voice will suck me into a story and won't let me go.

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?
It usually depends on what I'm writing, but often, I'll head up into the mountains or into the desert and go for a hike (in the appropriate seasons). Sometimes, I'll load the kids up in the car and go for a drive to someplace we haven't been. We'll go for a walk, hang out a park, get some lunch, and head on home. Watching the passing landscape always seems to make the muse wake up (though she doesn't always obey my command to focus).

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?
I belong to RWA and the nearest local chapter, Sacramento Valley Rose. I also belong to an informal group of writers in my area, Sierra Romance Writers. They are a wonderfully supportive group!

9.) Do you have a day job?

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?
Maybe I would have joined RWA before I finished that first book rather than after, but that's about it. I don't think I would change anything else. I've learned something from each of my rejections and missteps, and they were lessons well learned. All that disappointment was necessary to truly savor the sweetness of seeing my work in print.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
My novel is called The Marker, and it can be found on the Soul Mate website ( and at Amazon ( and Barnes and Noble.
Also, I would love to hear from fans! You can visit my website at or on Facebook (

When her father loses her in a poker game, Lexie Markland is sent to work in the household of Nicholas Wetherby for one year to pay off the debt. Innocent, but not naïve, she is savvy enough to know she must maintain her distance from this man, who frustrates her with his relentless teasing but whose kisses bring her to her knees. Because although she may be just another conquest to him, it’s not just her heart in jeopardy should she succumb to Nicholas’ considerable charms.

Since his brother's death almost a year before, nothing has held Nicholas’ attention for long—not women, not booze, not even an excellent hand at cards. Nothing, that is, until he meets the woman he won in a drunken night of poker. Intrigued by his prize and her chilly reserve, he makes it his mission to crack Lexie’s cool demeanor. But even as passion explodes between them, the question remains: will Nicholas be able to take the ultimate risk...and gamble on love?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Power cords and other gadgets

It is quite amazing how I've become so dependant upon electronic gadgets. My power cord for my laptop that I use for all of my writing endeavors was frayed, and finally the tiny section that was bent over and over again became weak and the exposed wires started to fray, and of course no matter how I tried to position the cable, it just wouldn't charge my laptop, which has my current WIP and the outline for the next. Needless to say, I can't do without my laptop, and my laptop can't do without a functioning power cord.

As a writer, what items in your arsenal are so crucial that you just can't do without?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gerald Griffin Author Interview

We have Gerald Griffin here today telling us about him and his writing!

What inspired you to become a writer?
> There is no simple answer. I feel I was born with the inspiration already in my DNA, set loose by reading novels. This seemed to coalesce in the 9th grade. At the time I reading about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I decided then that I wanted to write a similar adventure book, so I did, chapters and all, entitled, Sir Griffin And The Fair Princess Velva (Velva a girl in my class that I had a crush on). My teacher found out about the book and read it chapter by chapter to the class, a different chapter each day. Naturally the book was never published, but it unleashed the inspiration to write, the "writing bug", that remained with me until this day.
> What type of genre do you write in?
> Mostly suspense thrillers, with mystery and a dose of the paranormal.
> How many books have you had published?
> Five. One non-fiction book, The Silent Misery--Why Marriages Fail (based upon my experience and perceptions as a Ph.D. psychologist in private practice), and four novels: The Corruptors, The Death Disciple, The Last Coming and Of Good And Evil.
> Can you tell us about your current release?
> Of Good And Evil is a timely, spellbinding suspense thriller of nobility and humanity in an unusual battle of spirit versus tyranny. A page-turner story of harrowing action, with vivid and vibrant characters, it spits out fire like a Gatling gun. Crisp, clean and clear, the novel is a hard-charging tale of a gifted Green Beret, Ron Sheffield, discharged from the service for going "crazy," and from there the fireworks begin. Falling in love, initiating a captivating romance, Ron and his gifted beloved, Amber Ash, are thrust into perilous ventures, among them: being sought out for death by an unsavory government cell because of secret documents Ron possesses; battles with the Mafia and terrorists; conflicts with a secret society with powers beyond imagination; discovering plans of the 9/11 terrorist attacks beforehand, but their warnings ignored, resulting in chaos; Ron having no choice but to become a special hit man for the Mafia to save his sanity; and Ron facing an impossible confrontation with a covert Khalid Sheikh Mohammed terrorist cell at the moment it is about to bring off the nuclear obliteration of a major American city. The reader is engrossed in humanity, villains, hate, love, friendship and sorrow, all intermixed in one enticing conflict keeping the reader on edge.
> What do you think makes a good story?
> That's a complex question, the answer varying with the genre and the intent of the author. But basically, for a thriller, and briefly, hit hard, hit fast, and keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Outside of this, and in addition to being crisp, clean and clear, a good story should have vibrant and believable characters resonating perfectly with an innovative galloping plot without a dull moment that keeps the reader glued to the book from start to finish.
> What inspired you to write Of Good And Evil?
> A mixture of things. A different and remarkable approach to good and evil. The world and internal events affecting our country's national security. Presenting in an innovative way the unresolved psyche trauma --- represented through the protagonist, affecting our service men and women returning to civilian life from military fighting overseas. Using the Mafia, the paranormal, unusual romance, action and mystery, among other things, to give this theme impact. All of these were intermixed to give me inspiration to write the story.
> Can you tell us about the best fan letter you have received?
> Regarding Of Good And Evil, this would be a close call. But one which comes to mind is from Meg Collins in Maryland, as follows:
> "I am elated to read a brilliant mastermind in this writing genre, as yourself, and being thrilled and enthralled in a novel of this outstanding caliber."
> Tell us why we should read your book?
> To spare myself from sounding like a carnival barker promoting his novel, I'll let my reviewers, below, tell you why you should read Of Good And Evil:
> "An absolute must read! It's not your typical fight between good and evil and the suspense will grab hold of you and keep you turning the pages."
> Starr Reina, Suspense Magazine
> "Of Good And Evil is a novel that is so finely written, so well plotted and paced, that the reader is immediately drawn into the book from the first page. In creating the character of Ron Sheffield, Gerald Griffin has proven himself to be a writer of extraordinary skills. That Mr. Griffin is able to use mere words to introduce the reader to Ron Sheffield is nothing short of breathtaking --- it is not often that a writer can make so complex a character, a person with such internal torments and external gifts, resonate so perfectly with a plot and locations that keep the reader glued to the book from start to finish."
> Rick Friedman, Founder, The James Mason Community Book Club
> "Of Good And Evil is the very embodiment of what a paranormal thriller should be....A perfectly paced accomplished mystery. In reading his relatable concept of good and evil, it is almost as if you are reading the thoughts of a great philosopher, someone who can show you such a concept in a light that you never would have thought of. It truly boggles my mind the sheer caliber of talent this author (Gerald G. Griffin) possesses. It is extremely rare to find such a skilled writer. Of Good And Evil is not only the best paranormal thriller I have read period, it is also one of the best books I have ever read. Of Good and Evil is such a marvelous tale that you don't even have to be a fan of its specific genre to enjoy it, and to me that is the mark of a brilliant story."
> Shane Porteous, author (Rasciss, Grave Caller, How Gods Bleed)
> "Gerald G.Griffin is an author with a special kind of talent. In his brilliant thriller "Of Good And Evil" he takes the reader on a wild ride with the real world as his background and makes the reader believe in his plot and characters. Gerald has given his audience a well-conceived story and delivered it with the talent of a born writer. He's also gone that step further which separates writers from great writers. He's worked hard at the mechanics of the novel so that the plot flows smoothly, the characters are believable and the reader is able to sit back and enjoy this page-turning thriller. Ron Sheffield, Gerald's gifted but tormented main character, has everything a great writer needs to engage a reader on an emotional level. This is one of the gifts of a truly great story-teller. I am humbled to be able to tell you a little about Gerald and his novel."
> Tracey Alley, literary adviser and author (Erich's Plea, Ursula's Quest)
> Do you have a website or blog?
> Both. Blog: Website:
> Where can we find your book?
> Of Good And Evil can be found and purchased online at:
> Amazon: ; ;

Barnes & Noble:


Thanks so much Gerald for taking the time to be a guest on my blog, happy writing!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wind A Free Kindle For Christmas!


Our contest is well under way and the comments are coming in daily. But we want to hear from YOU!

Stop by our blog at from now until Dec 21st and leave a comment on our contest page or one of the daily blogs for a chance to win a KINDLE TOUCH!!!! What a great way to celebrate Christmas.

Leave a comment and YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS and be entered to win!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's a Widget?

In all honesty, I'm not very computer savvy, but I've managed to incorporate widgets into my blog. What's a widget? Well, just look to the right of this post, and you will see my very first widget. It allows me to promote author's novel covers and include links for visitors to find out more of what the novels are about and how to purchase them. I'm finding that widgets are a crucial part to every author's blog site :) Happy writing!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Author Interview - Lisa V. Proulx - PUNCTURE

Author Interview

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first horror story when I was about 8 years old. It was about a family of witches and I called it, "Lily Was A Witch". I then went on to write sc-fi and more horror, poems, songs, you name it! In 9th grade, I wrote a horror poem called "Screams of No Repy" which my English teacher had published in the newspaper. I had a lot of calls about it and I felt like a celebrity. That was the first time that I realized that not only my parents thought I was talented.

2.) What type of genre do you write in?

I mainly stick with horror but I have recently written a memoir about a woman growing up in the mountains of Applachia during the Depression. I am shopping for an agent now. I have also written some comedy, sci-fi and tried my hand at romance. :) But horror is what I know and love.

I also write serious pieces about pain and heartache. In fact, I wrote a short story about my mother as she lay dying back in 2006, and it was recently published in The Barefoot Review magazine.

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?

My fears inspire me. I have always been afraid of people/things coming back from the dead, losing my mind and being committed, things like that. I have also been inspired by my nightmares to write a lot of stories. Pain, heartache, loss, sadness...People ask me all the time where I come up with these ideas. Well, that's where they originate.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?

Well, like I said, my fears and nightmares plus every day things that occur. I can make a toaster scare the heck out of you! :) In my stories you will usually find an evil man and a strong woman. It's like in life, good vs evil...Heaven vs vs hate. If I am sad or hurting, I seem to write the best work.

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?

I love Jeanne Kalogridis who wrote The Covenant of the Vampire about the true story of the family Dracul (Dracula). I simply could not put that book down! I wrote her and told her and was almost afraid to write again, how could I ever be that good? She laughed and said that she felt that way after reading The Vampire Tapestries but we all have our own voice and no two people write alike. That really inspired me!

I also like Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat,Pray,Love...I just love that book and could really relate. It made me laugh out loud and say, 'that sounds just like me!'

I also like Mary Shelley who wrote a kid when I found out that it was written by a woman, that to me was so awesome and made me realize that I could write scary stuff too.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

If it is believable. I cannot stand to read something that starts off real and might possibly happen then turns silly or just plain dumb. Some movies are like that too.

When you write about what you know, I think it must ring true. Your emotions are bound to float to the surface and that can only be a good thing.

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?

I am a total homebody! I love to cook, bake and take care of my family. I have also raised Rottweilers for over 13 years and used Kurgan and Lucy in PUNCTURE. As far as inspiration goes, ideas just pop into my head at any given moment. Wait, I think I hear one now...

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?

No, I have never belonged to any groups except the ones on FaceBook. I would entertain the idea though if there were some in my area.

9.) Do you have a day job?

Yes, I am a feature writer and columnist for my hometown newspaper, The Brunswick Citizen and a freelance writer and play critic for The Frederick Gazette. I am also a belly dancer!

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?

Get my act together! What I mean by that is, have your ducks in a row, know your genre and your audience, and put together a polished book and proposal. Also be proactive and promote, promote, promote!!! Some people think, hey I wrote a book, now I can sit back and watch the money roll in...Wrong! You need to get out there and put your name and book out into The Universe. I look at it this way, if I knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, I am going to wake up somebody!

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

PUNCTURE is my baby! I wrote this vampire novel back in 2004 but have since "re-vamped" it and rewrote some scenes. I love the new cover and am so happy that it is now available on and many other sites. It is available now in eBook and will be out in paperback in January 2012. After the holidays, I will be going on a book tour to promote PUNCTURE and my other books.

You can also buy them on and Barnes & Noble Nook.

Thanks so much Lisa for taking to time to be a guest on my blog! I love your cover, and I can't wait to read PUNCTURE :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November contest - win fab prizes!!!!

Nov contest update!
Posted on November 29, 2011 by
Only two days left to get in on our great Thanks Giving Giveaway!
Stop by the SMPauthor blog and leave a comment under contests or comment on the daily blog to be eligible to win. The list of prizes has mounted. The winner will recieve over $100 worth of gifts. Prizes include:
$25 gift Soul Mate Publishing gift card, Stainless travel mug, ceramic coffee mug, mouse pad, book thong, book marks, ornament, pens, bookmarks, a starbucks gift card… And the following e- book downloads:
Highland Legacy by BJ Scott
The Swan Cove Murders by Donna Shields
The Bizzare life of Sydney Sedrick by Mandi Casey
The Secrets on Forest Bend by Susan C Muller
A Run for Love by Callie Hutton
Promises to Keep by Char Chaffin
Love by the Book by Angela Scavone
Protecting Rose by Cheryl Yeko(Dec Release)
When Hearts Collide by Kendr James(Dec Release)
WINNER will be drawn on NOV 30th 2011 and the Winner announce on DEC 1st. Winner’s name will be posted on the blog and they will be contacted via email so be sure we have your email addy!
Good luck! BTW you can enter once a day to increase your chances to win!

Here's the link:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Author Interview - Dax Tucker

Welcome Dax! Here's Dax's author interview, I can't wait to read his exciting new trilogy of epic poetry!

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? As early as nine years old I enjoyed writing; I would make my own homemade books and volunteer to read them in front of the class. Later, during the tumultuous adolescent years, writing saw me through times of depression and frustration. But it wasn’t until about a year ago that I decided to take this lifelong interest and turn it into a professional endeavor.
2.) What type of genre do you write in? The genre I have chosen to write in is the seemingly lost art of epic poetry. Epic poetry is an entire story written in verse form. Some famous examples are Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and Virgil’s Aeneid.
3.) What inspires you to write in this genre? The challenge or writing in this style is what inspired me. When you write an epic poem, not only do you have to write a compelling story, but you also have to stay true to the verse form. In the case of my epic poem trilogy, I write in terza rima style which means every other line ending must rhyme, and I also chose to make every line perfectly ten syllables! Additionally, you will note that I have placed a question in every 4th stanza. So as you can see there are quite a lot of requirements to remain true to the form as I also remain true to telling the story. On average I would just be able to craft 14 lines a day. But many times, a challenging as it was, writing in this style would also guide me to find a unique way of telling the story that I may not have considered if I wrote in prose style.
4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing? Ideas come to me in epiphanies throughout the day at any time, and so I always make sure to keep a pen and paper with me wherever I go. Too many times I have had a great idea for the story I was writing and I would think, this is such a good idea there is no way I will forget that before I can get home and write it down …wrong! If I could only give one helpful suggestion to aspiring writers, it would be to always have a pen with you, even by your bedside at night. Great ideas have a way of hitting you out of the blue, and you want to be prepared to capture them when they do.
5.) Who are your favorite authors and why? Like many authors I have read hundreds of books and I have such an eclectic interest that there are too many favorite authors of mine to name. But just off of the top of my head I would say Douglas Adam’s for his ingenious humor in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series; Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games was a captivating dystopia read and I hope the upcoming movie will do it justice; I have tremendous respect for J.K. Rowling, an inspiration to all authors who are struggling, and her Harry Potter series which sparked a whole new generation of readers; Markus Zusak is a master of poetic prose as evidenced in his novel, The Book Thief; I love the down to earth story telling of both Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees. I know I am leaving many more out but I think that that is a testament to the wonderful world of books as there are so many one could never run out of good reading material in their lifetime.
6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great? The thing I most admire in a story is the ability of a writer to tie seemingly random events and people together into a final climactic whole. And the icing on the cake is if they can convey these people and events with skillful metaphors and witty humor. A great story does not have to be long in word count, but it needs to make every word count. I like the anonymous quote about how long a paragraph should be, “A paragraph is like a woman’s skirt, it should be long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep your interest.”
7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration? I really enjoy weightlifting and playing chess, both of these activities I find generate great blood flow to the brain and I get some of my best ideas during these times.
8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups? I have an extensive writing community I interact with on Twitter and Facebook. Social media is a great blessing for authors in that there are so many helpful people and resources available right at your fingertips 24/7. Sometimes I wonder if the great authors of the past could have been even better if they had the same resources available to them then as we do now.
9.) Do you have a day job? Yes, and thankful to have one in these economically troubled times, but I would love to make writing my day job!
10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published? I don’t think I would change much in the way of the writing/submission process, but I am learning more everyday about the promotion process. Effective promotions seems to be the most important aspect as you could write the best book in the world, but if you can’t get the word out about it and get people to read it, then it won’t matter.
11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it? The Leaf Catcher is the first volume in the Traveling Box Trilogy and is available at and in both paperback and e-book formats. This first book takes place in a late 16th century European village. The second book will take place in a near future prison system, and the final book takes place in the distant future when the world is dominated by viruses and AI. There is something for everyone in this trilogy, a timeless tale that explores the human condition and our will to survive.
Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Soul Mate Publishing, November Releases

Congrats to everyone over at Soul Mate Publishing with the wonderful new November releases! The new novels sound fascinating and I can't wait to read them. Great job on all your hard work, if anyone else in interested, they can be found at

Monday, November 14, 2011

Commas galore, or not so much?

Okay, so I've been going over my favorite reads, and I go back and forth with the rules on how to appropriately use a comma. What I see from my favorite authors and many different publishers is that no one really uses the same rules, and when they use them, it is not always applied even within the same writing! Yes, I'm still a knowledge thirsty noob for correct grammer, and what I'm realizing is that these rules are to be used, but not all the time, and it doesn't always make sense to me when these 'sometime rules' are applied.

For instance, and I'd like to take a vote on this simple example, feel free to comment, and please do!

Commas in a list, simple, right? Not so much!

The boy went down the windy road, saw a black crow, and threw a rock at it.

So do you use the last comma before 'and'? Even in the official grammer rule books, and online, I've found that the answer is: not always. Hmm... This is so not helpful, lol.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Author Interveiw - Callie Hutton

Hi Everyone,

Come join me in getting to know Callie, why she writes in the Romance genre, and find out when her releases will be available!

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I first learned to type in high school and realized I could now write all the stories I’d been making up in my head most of my life.
2.) What type of genre do you write in?
Romance. I’ve written both historical and contemp. Always with some humor
3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?
It’s my favorite genre to read—right now, anyway. I’ve gone through periods where I only read biographies, or biographical fiction, or mystery, or thrillers.
4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?
They just pop into my head. Sometimes I’ll hear a name and start a story about someone with that name, or I’ll think of a situation, and make up a story about that.
5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?
Wow, the list is sooooo long. Let’s see: Janet Evonovich, Stephanie Laurens, Jude Devereaux, Lynsay Sands, Judith Mc Naught, Sandra Brown, Jodi Thomas, Eloise James, Georgina Gentry, Catherine Coulter, Leigh Greenwood, Linda Leigh Miller, Dorothy Garlock, Debbie Macromber. That’s for starters. The list can go on much longer.
6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
The characters. The richness of their personalities, their flaws, and virtues. How they relate to life and each other.
7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?
People watch
8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?
I have a critique group that my long time CP and I started; I also belong to the Pro branch of RWA, and my local chapter of RWA, the Okie Outlaws.
9.) Do you have a day job?
I work as a substitute teacher.
10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?
Hmm. Nothing really.
11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
A Run For Love, available on Soul Mate Publishing in November 23, 2011.
My website:
Don't forget to check out her book trailer at:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Drink Deep Review

Once in a while I'll post a review of one of my fav authors, and Chloe Neill is one of them. I love her Chicagoland Vampire series. The writing is tight, and she keeps you on your toes. I have spent many a night turning page after page wanting more, looking at the clock and making that final decision to make it a late night, again, because I'll just read a few more pages, and a few more always ends up being a lot more, lol.

Drink Deep is her latest in the series, and I'm already looking forward to the next installment.

Feel free to share your reviews and comment :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Blogger Krista Holle on Selkies ~ vs ~ Vampires

Welcome Krista! Thanks for visiting my blog today. Everyone, enjoy Krista's post on Selkies ~ vs ~ Vampires :)

Selkies ~vs~ Vampires

This one thing I’ll admit. I wrote a story about selkies because I figured everybody else was getting tired of vampires. But to my chagrin, I’m learning that most people don’t have a clue as to what a selkie is. Hello? Anybody ever seen The Secret of Roan Inish, or how about Ondine with Colin Farrell? Okay, so that last one was a disappointing flop. In light of these two poorly publicized movies, I’m on a campaign to raise selkie awareness.

The word “selkie” is the Orcaidian dialect for the word “seal”. The selkies traditionally are beautiful seal people that shed their seal skins when they slip from the North Sea, to either bask in the sun or cause a bit of mischief. The males might strangle a sheep or two or seduce the blacksmith’s daughter. In my novel, The Lure of Shapinsay, the selkies are quite a bit more dangerous than the ones from the old fairy tales. Kait Swanney, a fiery blonde who lives on the tiny island of Shapinsay, discovers this when she is blamed for the murder of a half selkie infant. Like sirens of old, Kait becomes dangerously besotted by the very selkie who’d like to have her dead. It’s quite a pickle.

Both selkies and vampires have a penchant for killing humans, so let’s compare these two legendary creatures:

· Selkies are so very cute and cuddly in their seal form (watch out for their claws) and in their human form they are the most beguiling creatures on earth. Vampires, though admittedly pleasant to look at are missing that raw animal instinct.

· Vampires will always lust for blood more than they love you. While it’s true that a selkie’s heart will always belong to the sea, hemorrhaging is a lot less sexy than being drowned in the sea.

· Selkies smell like the beach and vampires…well they have no scent at all unless they’ve been hunting, and then they have blood breath.

· In the winter, selkies come with their own warm blanket, while vampires are ice cold and offer no warmth at all.

· Selkies may roam the land naked, but they don’t know this is indecent. Vampires on the other hand, are proud of their evil deeds.

There’s really no contest as you’ll discover in The Lure of Shapinsay—the selkies come out on top. My new book will be released on Amazon towards the end of the year. If you’d like to keep updated with the cover art and release dates, please visit my blog at I’d also love to chat with you on twitter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Connect Your Reader With The Bad Guy

Connet Your Reader With The Bad Guy
Posted on October 26, 2011 by mandicasey
When I write my novels, there is always a bad guy. In my latest release, Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick, I actually have a few. But in the end, there is always the baddest of the bad. I think to have readers fully connect with your writing, you need to have them experience and feel what the bad guy is feeling, why they do what they do – even though we don’t like it – what perspective they are coming from, and what their background is.

There is a reason the bad guy is bad, and it’s not just because he’s bad. Maybe something happened to them in their past? Maybe someone did something to someone they cared about? Regardless of the fact that they are bad, show the reader how the bad guy feels, make them feel it too.

There is usually some driving factor that causes the bad guy to do bad things, and a lot of the time it’s not just because they like enjoy inflicting pain onto the main characters of the story. Well, most of the time.

Just like the main character, know everything about the bad guy and sprinkle details throughout the story. Another great way for the reader to emotionally connect with your story is make them afraid of the bad guy, make them feel empathy towards the main character and feel happy that they themselves don’t have to meet the bad guy in a dark alley or have the bad guy slither out from under their beds during the middle of the night.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Writing - the process

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” - E.L. Doctorow

These words couldn't be more true. I always knew I wanted to write romance novels with paranormal twists creatively woven in the plot to make my stories fantastical, enjoyable, and able to take the reader away from their current locale, situation, and stresses of daily life. Well, you can't achieve that goal as a writer - it is my personal ultimate goal with my stories - without first knowing how to write. Punctuation, grammer, the use of a comma? I couldn't believe there are entire books out there dedicated in how to correctly use a comma! Oh yes, I bit that one, and I chewed vigorously. Do I have a handle on correct comma use? Probably not. But I'm trying :)

Feel free to comment your funny stories on how punctuation may have landed you hot water. I'd love to hear them :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Check out my guest spot on Brinda Berry's Blog

Check out the fabulous Brinda Berry's blog where I'm her author guest :) You can also check out the first 15 pages of Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sydney Sedrick Interview Coming on 10/20/11

Go on over to, blog of the fabuous Ella Gray, and meet Sydney Sedrick, the newly bitten Selected who everyone either wants to have her on their side, or hunt her down and do away with her. Oh, and then there's Blake, the werewolf that just won't quit. How can you say no to the sexiest man you've ever met? And why the heck would you? You'll have to check out her interview 10/20/11 to find out!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Author Interview: Jami Gray!

Please come and join me while getting to know a great new author, Jami Gray, as we learn what makes her tick as a writer, what inspires her, and how we can find her upcoming releases!

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was eight and had just returned from watching Star Wars at the drive-in theater (yes, the one where you park the car and the clumsy speaker hangs on your window). When I went to bed that night, I spent a couple of hours re-writing the story so Han Solo would have a kick ass female to be with instead of the whiny Princess Leia. Years later, my parents got an electric typewriter so the six teenagers who were in typing class could practice their emerging skills. Needless to say, I took it over and we became inseparable.

2.) What type of genre do you write in?

Urban fantasy—with a dark edge.

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?

I grew up on stories of magic in everyday life. For the longest time I really believed my freckles were directly related to the brownies who were sneaking in kisses while I slept. I grew up on Disney stories, then moved on to Star Trek and other sci-fi books. I hit high school and started sneaking my mom’s romance novels out of the house (sorry, mom!) to help supplement my book habit in-between the fantasy and murder-mysteries I was able to snag from the school library. I headed out into the big bad world at 18, and as I stumbled through the maze of life, I discovered my characters were suddenly becoming harder to hurt (emotionally and physically). I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with this, but needless to say my reading needs changed as well. I started hunting down books where the heroine didn’t always need the hero to ride to her rescue. Sometimes it was more satisfying if she rumbled up to his rescue on her Harley.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?

I wish I could share some profound inspiration, but yeah…no. I always knew magic would be a key component of my world crafting. One of the greatest mind benders for me has always been how would our world react to the existence of magic? How well could the everyday populace handle the reality of werewolves, vamps, necromancers, demons, witches, and every other story ever told? And because life has a darker side and the Grimm Brothers never met Walt Disney, what would those in power do to harness such abilities for their own advantages? So I knew Raine McCord, my main character for Shadow’s Edge, had to be intimately acquainted with the pros and cons of the reality of magic. She’s part of the magical world, but thanks to some human scientists who just couldn’t resist playing god, she’s a bit more than even she expects. I was adopted at 14, so I find my main characters tend to come with some baggage and Raine’s not any different. Since I firmly believe that you have two choices when life starts putting you through the wringer, stand up or fall down, my women (and men) tend to stand up, even if they’re weaving on their feet, faces bruised and battered, they’re up, so bring it.

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?

Okay this question isn’t fair, because let’s be honest, most writers are avid readers. I have hundreds of books. Depending on what life is tossing my way, will determine whose world I’m escaping into that day. Alright…let me think how to narrow this down…
JR Ward, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and her Angel’s series are both fantastic. She has such a depth of reality to her books, you really could walk down some dark alley and believe tall, dark, sexy-scary is a vamp with emotional scars only the strongest, most determined woman can handle.
CE Murphy, The Walker Papers series. She manages to weave mythology effortlessly with the modern world and Joanne is great! Seanan McGuire is another writer who does the same thing with her October Daye series.
Christine Feehan (Carpathian, Ghostwalker and Leopard series) and Nalini Singh (Psy/Changling series and Guild series). These two women are fantastic. Their worlds suck you in and you don’t want to leave. I think for me it’s their ideas—secret government experiments, ancient races, what if the psychic experiments of the 60’s actually accomplished something or angels really lived among us—that’s why I can’t wait for the next book in each series and find myself re-reading them often.
I can’t leave without mention Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels are my heroes. I adore the way both authors merge magic with reality and give their strong woman some hidden soft parts, even they don’t seem to catch. Besides, their relationships with their men are hilarious.
Just so you know, I’m an equal opportunity reader. Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) and Kevin Hearn (Iron Druid series) are at the top of my list as well. Come on, how can you not fall in love with a geeky wizard who makes hard choices for those he loves, or the older druid (1000 yrs and counting) who manages to keep his youthful outlook while taking on various pantheons in hilariously scary ways?

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

I’ve heard a hundred times that every story ever written has already been set to paper. My response, meh! Maybe the basic story outline—hero vs. evil, boy meets girl—but you set a strong, multi-layered character, complete with flaws and strengths in a well crafted universe and that story will leave others in the dust.

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?

Music—I love music. My taste in music ranges from Enya to Nine Inch Nails. I’ve always been amazed at the stories a well written line can spark. The melodies convey emotions and depending on how you’re hearing that emotion, the lyrics can take on their own meaning. Music and stories have always been deeply intertwined for me.
Reading—I know it sounds strange, but reading, especially when I discover new authors, it’s like a brain storming session for me. Something about getting caught up in someone’s world is a magic all its own. Plus it makes me start to brainstorm, because if someone came up with this twist, what would happen if you tweaked this? And then you’re off.

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?

Oh yes! Besides Savvy Authors and ARe Café, I am a proud member of the 7 Evil Dwarves ( The 7ED emerged from the Swamp a few years back when the seven of us were picking our way through the harrowing world of critique groups. We had been treading water in various romance/literary/mystery groups trying to find similarly warped minds. Then the villagers started chasing us out with pitchforks and flaming torches, so we somehow found ourselves hiding in the same creepy swamp of Speculative Fiction, aka Sci-Fi/Fantasy. My fellow dwarves are instrumental in Shadow’s Edge finally seeing the light of day. If there’s one piece of advice I’d ever give a new writer it’s this: find yourself a critique group. Not just any critique group, but one that will be brutally honest with you because they love you enough to know your story needs to be savaged before it can finally rise stronger than ever.

9.) Do you have a day job?

Unfortunately those pesky bills need to be paid and until my writing can compensate for that paycheck, or we win the lottery, a day job will have to remain.

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?

The submission process is rough no matter what I do. For me, I think I finally figured out how to pitch my book once I was able to sum it up in one to three sentences. Unfortunately, you can’t cull it down that far unless you truly understand your characters and their stories. Once I had that golden kernel, query letters were tighter and somewhat easier to craft.
Writing wise, I’m a pantser—writing by the seat of my pants. I have a general story idea, my main characters are fairly fleshed out, but once I start setting it to paper, I find my characters change the story’s journey. It’s frighteningly exciting, but it’s not something I’d recommend for the faint of heart. I tend to do a little more world crafting before I start my books now, because if I understand the world my characters live in, it helps keep them real.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

Shadow’s Edge is my first book in the Kyn Kronicles and it’s coming out in early November 2011 from Black Opal books. You can find it at or

Happy writing,
Mandi Casey
Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick is set to be released in October through Soul Mate Publishing, and will be available at:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Blog Look, check it out!

Yay, I've now changed the look of my blog, let me know how I did! I am soooo not tech savvy, but this stuff is kind of fun :)
Happy Writing

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Day Before Release - What to do?

So today is the day before the release of Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick. What do authors typically do the day before their big release? I've decided to keep writing on book number two in the series, a lame effort to quell the butterflies swirling around in my exstatic head and the cheerleaders jumping around my chest cheering YAY!!! Okay, I can barely think of anything else. If anyone has ideas on how to productively spend the night before release day, feel free to comment :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Soul Mate Publishing Blog Hop!

Here is the link for everyone to visit for Soul Mate Publishing's Blog Hop Launch Party! Check out the blog of some amazing and talented authors!

Here is the link:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick - book trailer

Hi All,
Here is the official link to my new book trailer, I think I previously post the draft version, tee hee :) Take a look, I'm hoping for 50 views in the next 24 hours!

Only 4 more days until book release!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soul Mate Publishing Launch Party!

Soul Mate Publishing Launch Party is happening October 12th!!! Come by our blog hop, to be posted on launch day, and check out the fabulous authors and their new releases. Great reads to be had! P.S. 6 more days until Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick's release, YAY!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Release Countdown begins!!!

Just got the release date for Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick, coming out on October 12, 2011! Yeah :) Fun and FREE stuff to come. The first 10 people to post on my blog on release day will recieve FREE SWAG!!! Come on, you know you love swag :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First stop on my blog tour!

Hey Everyone, check out my interview on the first stop on my blog tour! Whoot whoot :) Please feel free to comment and share your own answers.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Elise VanCise - Author Interview

Check out this great author's answers about what she does for inspiration!
Author Interview of Elise VanCise

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2006. I set out just to see what would happen and finished In the Dark in 24 days. I sat back and thought…. Wow, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m a writer! Since then I’ve lived by my pen.

2.) What type of genre do you write in?
I don’t really have a specific genre though most of my books/ stories have a paranormal element

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?
I’ve always been fascinated by the unexplained. I still devour a good ghost story every chance I get.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?
My ideas come from everywhere. My Sister-in –heart Rose Wade and I will be talking next thing you know we’re plotting a story lol. I’ve been inspired by people, places, objects, I love looking though photos and finding an image that just starts telling me a story.

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?
Poe, he knew how to get to his reader. Probe the darkest parts of the mind and put them on paper to give you a fright. Mark Twain, he was a true character both on and off the page.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
Strong characters are important, I fall in love with characters and get very involved when reading a story. I’ve been known to talk to my books. “Don’t … Leave that alone.. Noo go back to her stupid!” lol

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?
When my Muse needs a charge I head out to a museum. Walking though displays of history and art can be very inspiring. I am also a photographer so I get a lot of inspiration though my lens.

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?
I do, writing can become very solitary if you allow it. I belong to Lake Writers, a group that meets monthly in Lake County Florida. And I am the Lake County, Florida Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo.

9.) Do you have a day job?
Right now I’m living by my pen. It can be tight sometimes but I do love it.

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?
I’m not really sure I would change anything. Maybe finding ways to get more knowledge before I plunged ahead.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
I have a work in progress, Red Tape. I’m hoping it will be released soon. My first three books In the Dark, Don’t Touch, and HALF are all available at most online retailers and though my shop at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Beginnings of a Writer

The beginnings of a writer.

I’ve done a lot of research on writing, the craft, what makes for a great romance novel, what sells, what doesn’t, how to get published, and how to create a great query letter. One specific sentence struck me, and stuck with me, through all my research. It takes, on average, seven years for a writer to become published.

Seven years is a very long time, in my opinion. I’ve learned a lot in the last four years on my adventures in writing. If a writer has a game plan, then they hopefully won’t need to take that long to get published. Start back with the basics. Take a few classes. Savvy Authors has a great variety of classes offered on a regular basis and are priced quite reasonably. When they say that you can literally punctuate yourself to a contract, I believe that to be absolutely true. At the very least, the agent or publisher will really read what you submit as long as your submission content is grammar and spelling free.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Soul Mate Publishing

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to let you know that I'll also be blogging on the Soul Mate Publishing blog at: so come on over and check it out :)

Author Interview: Jennifer Conner

Here we go, here's another great author's responses to my interview questions. Jennifer shares her insites on what makes a story great, how she finds inspiration for her writing, and her lastest releases!

Author Interview
1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I wanted to find something I felt passionate about that didn’t cost tons of money to do. Shopping every minute was out, so writing it is. Writing is more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

2.) What type of genre do you write in? Right now I’m writing Historical Romance in two times, Victorian England 1855 and the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. I also write contemporary romance, paranormal romance and erotica.

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre? What I would hope inspires all writers. You get an idea that you can’t get out of you head.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing? With the Regimental Heroes series, I centered it around the Charge of the Light Brigade poem. It was a battle where the English were wiped out by the Russians. That led me to wonder how Post Traumatic Stress in the 1850’s would be dealt with and treated by the young noblemen who suffered.
In the Gold Rush series, I saw a TV show. I live in the Seattle area. There is an old part of Seattle that burned and the newer part was built above it. It’s referred to as Underground Seattle. The TV show was about a rumored ghost of a young prospector, looking for his gold, who still haunts the underground. A dead- unsexy ghost guy wasn’t going to work for a romance, so I used the idea; what if a young man hit a big gold strike only to lose it?

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why? Diana Gabaldon who writes the Outlander series. She is brilliant in forming her characters that are imbedded in your memory forever. DV Berkom who writes the Kate Jones Adventures for a great, exciting page turner. Chris Karlsen with her Knights in Time, sexy ghosts and knights. Darlene Panzera for her sweet short romances and characters.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great? The author has to put me in the middle of the story. I read every genre. Even if you write romance, I think you need to read everything to round out your writing. I am always about the hero. I usually write hero driven stories and read them too. I love a good angst hero that goes though so much to find love! Ahhhh

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration? I like to help new writers with their craft- it teaches me along the journey. I write a news column on Careers in Writing to pass on tips and tricks of the trade from and for other writers

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups? Yes, my local RWA chapter. My critique group is one of the most important things I am involved in. If you are a writer, I think it is imperative to be in a strong critique group. The million seller authors I know personally are still in critique groups.

9.) Do you have a day job? Yes… it’s every writers dream to be able to give that up, right? It just means I need to be more focused other times and I have given up TV. Not movies, I’m still a junkie.

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published? I wouldn’t have spent so much energy to get published by a big house. I love writing for an indie publisher. I love love (pardon the pun) and will probably continue writing romance, but with an indie publisher, I can write a historical romance, then a paranormal, then a contemporary without the pressures of being pigeonholed into a genre.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it? The Reluctant Heir is the second in the Regimental Heroes series, Rush of Love and Fields of Gold are the Klondike Gold romances and in November I will have a fun contemporary Christmas romance, Christmas with Carol (out in November). All are available though Books to Go Now, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Android Marketplace, AllRomance, and Overdrive (your local library ebook system on request).
Watch the book trailers here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Author Interview - P.I. Barrington

First of all, I want to thank P.I. Barrington for participating in this author interview on my blog. Throughout my writing and publishing career, I have met so many wonderful people who all have their own stories to tell. Each writer's experience is quite unique and fascinating. My goal is to share their inspirational highlights, what makes them tick, and their current WIP's.

On to the questions:

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Well, I didn't really want to. I won contests and things in grade school and my first real job was as a cub reporter for my local newspaper (oh, yeah, and I was my college paper's editor) and pretty much everything related to that. But that was not what I wanted to do; I wanted to work in music. It was the only thing I ever really wanted to do and I directed all my energy toward it until I ended up in radio and from there to a major record label with other aspects of entertainment tossed into the mix. It was only several years ago that I thought I'd try my hand at writing again and this time I only focused on fiction writing instead of journalism. Seems to be going well, lol!

2.) What type of genre do you write in?
I write in several genre' and a couple of mixed genre' as well. My first trilogy Future Imperfect is a futuristic crime thriller w/ romantic elements; I also write paranormal crime thrillers, short stories in urban fantasy and some horror-ish, one cozy mystery, sci fi w/romantic elements, and my latest baby, Isadora DayStar a dark, quasi-military, sci-fi adventure…I mix 'em up a lot! (One note: Most of my work is co-written with my sister Loni Emmert, another author in her own right)

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?

For the futuristic sci fi stuff, I love it because I get to play fast and loose with the rules and I can make up my own as well as my fascination with military science fiction. I've never been enlisted but it just entrances me. The cozy my sister talked me into co-writing, it's not something I write at all really. The crime thrillers are my main genre they're what I normally write and the urban fantasy were my first published work—very tongue-in-cheek attitude—though recently I've had some horror-ish shorts published. I love anything where I can break the rules and make my own! I think you get more creative leeway that way.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?

Wow from everywhere. There is one secret place I do physically go to get inspired but I will never give it up, not even upon pain of death, lol. Inspiration can come from snippets of conversations I've had, song lyrics, television, commercials, playing what if (though I'm not good at that.) In fact Isadora DayStar came about from both an interview I'd read and from watching CreationScapes on the Daystar television network! I thought DayStar would make a great last name for a female sci-fi character and Isadora just popped into my head. It was perfect!

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?

Oh! There are so many! I've read everything from Shakespeare to Mad Magazine (my favorite) and everything in between. Currently I love Colleen McCullough & her Masters of Rome series. I love James Michener, Tom Clancy but since I've started writing in earnest, I really don't have time to read anything, other than blurbs on the backs of novels and their cover art. Of course the sci-fi and fantasy masters as well: Tolkien, Bradbury, Ellison, Mary Stewart's Merlin series was a HUGE influence on me. Evangeline Walton's version of the Welsh mythology of The Mabinogion was big too. And Shakespeare—he blew me away as a child when I read MacBeth! The theme of guilt and self-punishment is prevalent in nearly ALL my stories—it's such a universal human experience. Everyone (excepting sociopaths) experiences guilt in their lives regardless of beliefs and much of human behavior is a result of it. Isadora DayStar is all about guilt and redemption. In Future Imperfect, my two main characters carry around enormous guilt just as she does.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

Plot, characterization and conflict are the cornerstones of a great story. So is a magnificent villain! Pacing and style play a major part and just a great overall story! Plus a twist in there someplace ratchets things up as well!

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?

Other than forcing myself to watch television or movies, there really isn't any activity that I perform or engage in aside from my secret place. I love movies like the old black and white films and classic spectacle movies like Gone with the Wind and The Ten Commandments. Oh and my two favorite sci fi movies, Alien/Aliens and BladeRunner! I've never been a big TV fan, most of what I know about television I learned from reruns, except classics like Dragnet, Twilight Zone, Star Trek. I do watch NCIS now—Loni hooked me on it—and reality shows about cops and forensics.

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?

No critique groups but both Loni and I belong to Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America (I'm rejoining soon) that are major non-profit writing associations. There are others, sci fi and mystery organizations that we need to join as well and plan to in the future.

9.) Do you have a day job?

I do not so I concentrate on writing and the never ending promotion that comes with it, lol! Loni still works in the entertainment industry so I'm still in the loop in a roundabout way—I get the gossip!

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?

You know, I’m old enough to remember the days when authors typed out their novels on manual typewriters and snail mailed them in then waited ages to find out if they'd been accepted so I am unbelievably thankful that today we send them in almost instantaneously! And we get responses almost as fast! I think that I re-entered the publishing industry at the most advantageous time!

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

My latest novel, Isadora DayStar, a dark sci-fi adventure, is available through at this link:

Here's the short blurb:
When drug addled assassin Isadora DayStar finally snags a major interplanetary killing job, she thinks it will both support her habit and revise her status as the laughingstock of her profession. Instead, she embarks on a journey that brings her face to face with her tortured past.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick

Hi All,

I wanted to let everyone know that Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick is set to be released in October through Soul Mate Publishing. This full length paranormal romance will be available at:;; and The novel is set to come out in print soon after.

Here is the upcoming back cover blurb, let me know what you think:

After a rogue werewolf attack triggers her latent powers as the Selected, Sydney Sedrick is reluctantly dragged into a war of vampires and werewolves, both battling for total species domination. Each try to use her as their pawn and are willing to use any force necessary to gain control of her special gifts. For her protection, Sydney is armed only with only her grandmother’s journal and Blake, the sexy werewolf who insists they are meant to be together.

In order to succeed, Sydney must embrace her destiny and join the battle to protect both sides from genocide. Caught between two very different worlds, belonging to neither, Sydney is forced to risk it all, or lose everything and everyone she holds dear.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Paranormal book series

I'm hoping to find new anthologies of paranormal romance. Does anyone have anything for suggestions?

I've read the big names: Karen Marie Moning, Charlaine Harris, Katie Macalister...

Movie Releases

If anyone is a fan of vampires, and I know most are, watch out for the new release of Fright Night! Can't wait, loved the first one. This one's coming out on 8/19/11.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Has anyone seen the new Harry Potter movie? I'm curious to know how close they kept to the last novels?Let me know!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I just finished the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel. Totally loved it. I won't give any spoilers but I loved the twists and long awaited info in this one. Well done.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vampire romance book reviews

For those who love vampire romance novels, check out, they offer great reviews on the books we love to read and write, plus contests to win great prizes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The power of workshops

I've recently undertaken a few workshops on editing, plotting, and character development. It's becoming more and more clear that successful writing is a learned craft... Savvy Authors definitely offers some great workshops on these areas of the craft. Feel free to list worthwhile classes/workshops here, share what works, and what doesn't.
Happy Writing!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Freelance Editors

Does anyone use freelance editors to polish their ms? Also does anyone know the legalities if you use an editor do they have any ownership to the work?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Query with multiple POVs

On Savvy there has been a lot of discussion about POVs. Check out Query Sharks post #199. Great example on how to submit a query with multiple POVs and catch an agents attention.
Happy writing.

Revisions completed

Well, the revisions are completed that were suggested by a publisher and the manuscript is in their hands... How long does everyone go before they start their next ms? Truth be told, I have the first chapter and the whole outline completed for the next book though. Any thoughts?
Happy writing :)
And don't forget, there is a pitching opportunity on Savvy 3/25/11

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Daily Grind 1

I have been working on chapters 9 and 10 for 2 days now. I think there should be a time limit saying it's good if you put the time in. Lol