Tag Archives: the wild rose press

Interview with a Villain by Olive Balla

I’m happy to have Olive Balla back on my blog. Today’s article is entertaining and informative…

Interview with a Villain       

Grinning as if I’d just won something, which I never do, I push my office chair back from the desk and toss another ball of wadded paper toward the trash can. Whoosh, it falls through the opening without touching the sides. A good omen; one which cannot be ignored.

“Woo-hoo!” I pump my fist up and down. My pulse quickens, and I glance at my watch.

Today’s the day. In precisely six minutes, I will interview a murderer.

I couldn’t do such a thing on just any day, you understand. It must be a day filled with good omens, a day in which I feel physically energized and psychologically pumped.

A day like today.

In preparation for the interview, I drag a woven, cane-bottomed dining room chair into my office and situate it directly across from my seat. The straight, ladder back should prove uncomfortable enough to keep my guest off balance, thereby ensuring more spontaneous responses to my questions. The distance of five feet between chairs, give or take a few inches, will allow unimpeded eye contact.

I take a deep breath and blow it out through puckered lips then drop into my chair. With less than two minutes to go I peer at the screen of my laptop. My mouth goes dry as I consider the questions that seemed insightful minutes earlier but now appear insipid and pointless.

Do they zero in on the villain’s motivation like a professor’s laser pointer, or are they so ambiguous as to allow room for sloppy evasion? Are any of them redundant? Will they elicit responses that help my Readers to understand human nature while chilling their bones?

I chew my thumbnail and shoot a look toward the office door. A shadowy figure stands in the opening, backlit by the hallway light.

“You’re early,” I say.

“Insightful,” the murderer says. “Anything else, or is that it?”

“Thanks for showing up.” I point to the chair opposite me. “Have a seat.”

The villain saunters to the rattan chair. She stares down at it, snorts then grins and shakes her head. “Such an obvious ploy. Contrived. Best be careful or I’ll disappear before you have what you need.”

“Sorry.” I hold my hand up, palm out as if to stop a charging rhino. “Is there anything you’d like to tell me?”

“No, no, no.” My murderer moves her index finger back and forth imitating a clock’s pendulum. “That’s not how this works. While allowing me freedom of expression is important, it’s up to you to ask the right questions. Otherwise, you risk making me predictable, or worse, cliché. When I have something unexpected to say, as I most assuredly will if you do this right, I’ll jump in and it’ll be up to you to keep up.”

“Okay.” I take a deep breath.

For the next hour or so, I shoot questions at my murderer, furiously typing her responses into my laptop. I’ve just finished memorializing her umpteenth impromptu stream-of-consciousness monologue when she falls silent. I glance in her direction just as her shadowy form retreats through the office door.

“Thanks,” I call out.

Wordlessly, she waves an arm over her head then is gone.

My pulse pumps like race car pistons as I review the transcribed pages that will set the stage for my suspense novel.

“Not at all what I expected,” I murmur.

The fragrance of lilacs suddenly fills the room. I breathe deeply, sensing another presence.

“My turn,” says my Protagonist.

“So it is,” I say. “Please, have a seat.”

 

Thank you, Olive. Love this! It’s a great idea for writers to interview their villains, and main characters, before writing their stories. 

Now, here’s Olive’s latest release, chock full of villains…

 

Blurb:
Eleven-year-old Jillie Ross escapes the vicious relatives threatening to flush away her beloved sister’s ashes if she doesn’t lead them to her dead father’s rumored treasure.
Determined to find her sibling’s ashes and honor them along with their parents’ remains, the feisty orphan must endure harsh weather, escape a stalker, and hide from the police. But how long can she survive when at least one family member wants her dead?
Excerpt:

Jillie dropped the metal lid as if it were red hot..Her stomach heaved, and something sour shot up her throat. She pounded against the locked, unyielding door until the muscles in her arms cramped.  She  fell to her knees and clawed at the floor, ignoring the pain radiating up her arms from torn fingernails...   

The sound of approaching footsteps made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck move. She snatched up the broken shovel handle and stood behind the door. With her legs slightly bent, she gripped the pole with both hands as if it were a sword, aimed its broken, pointed end at the door and waited.  

Bio:
A retired educator, Olive Balla began writing in her sixties. Her first mystery/suspense novel, An Arm And A Leg, was published just after her sixty-fifth birthday, and her second, Jillie, was recently published. Ms. Balla is a mother of three, grandmother to eleven, and great grandmother of seven. When she isn’t writing, she can be found making sawdust in her wood shop near Albuquerque New Mexico.

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Author Interview with Jayne York ~ New Release: If Wishes Were Horses

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jayne York…

Good morning, Jayne. Thank you for joining me today.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I’m a professional jeweler specializing in custom design and manufacturing. Writing is my second career, and just like my first, it fills all those gaping holes yearning for productive creativity.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Distraction, I’m easily led astray.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read If Wishes Were Horses?

This is a story of lessons learned and the strength they bring. My main characters are both at turning points in their lives. How they handle the changes and the challenges is the crux of the story.

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

Debra Messing and Hugh Jackman.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

My WIP is a fast-paced heist enmeshed in a love story. Tentatively titled, “Midnight Acquisition”, I hope it will be out this time next year. After that, maybe a sequel to “If Wishes Were Horses.”

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I was advised to put the MS under the bed and move on. But I believed in the story and kept at it until I had it the way I wanted it. The message there—trust your gut and listen to people with experience and a keen eye. The flip side compliment—another author called me a “Unicorn” because not only is this my first book, but my first pitch and was picked up by the first publisher I queried. Incredible luck all around, I know. Hope it holds going forward.

How did you come up with the title?

It was something my mother used to say to me all the time. Usually when I was whining about not having what I wanted.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

If I had to put a finger on the message; Remember to forgive yourself for doing the best you could when you fail. Life is a long road, and it’s full of potholes. So try to stay out of the weedy ditches.

 

BLURB:
Emily Converse never expected to return to Tamarack, Colorado. But she’s determined to rescue her drug-addicted brother and start a new life. Standing in her way, she finds her stepfather, a powerful US senator, looming over her future like the ever-present monster he’d been during their childhood. Meeting wounded retired Navy SEAL, Michael McCandlis, is a steamy surprise in her homecoming, though he’s adrift in civilian life. Together can they find a way to transform from victims to survivors?

EXCERPT:
Once upon a time, she’d run away from Tamarack like her heels were on fire, and now here she was volunteering to step back into the furnace. What was the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome. Like if she managed to change, be stronger, be smarter, things would turn out better—different. It wouldn’t be that simple. She downshifted the Jeep to slow for the last of the S-shaped turns on the narrow ribbon of asphalt. The road led her past the pretentious granite columns that marked her stepfather’s compound. She wasn’t consciously holding her breath, but a trickle of fear dribbled down her spine just the same. Her molars ground together in determination. The past wouldn’t decide her present, not ever again. In spite of herself, images of her last day on his estate flashed through her mind like the herky-jerky frames of a child’s flip deck animation. Fear sharpened every visual, clarified every word, enhanced every touch. She’d run down the steps, racing for her car. He’d charged after her, smelling of alcohol and fury when he tried to stop her headlong rush toward an unknown future. They’d screamed out their mutual hatred, all the bitter dregs of their time together. She smirked when she remembered getting in the lucky shove that had landed him in a heap on the ground. It had been her first glimpse that Senator Ray Domenico was not the invincible, all-powerful monster she’d known him to be.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’ve been an avid reader and sometime writer all of my life. I’ve never been able to resist the draw of a good story, and that has been true in my professional life as well. I was raised as the third of three children in the Colorado high country. Early on I discovered the joy of creating handcrafted jewelry, which led to a forty-five-year career as a professional jeweler. Every customer, every piece has its own story. I’ve collected them like pearls in a strand, and I often use them as a jumping-off point for the tales I tell. If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the shores of a northern lake, hammering away on my latest story of love and life in the modern world. ~*~ Find Jayne online at: http://www.JayneYork.com

Website: JayneYork.com

Blog: JayneYork.com/What’sOnMyMind/

Email: Jayne@JayneYork.com

Twitter: @JayneYorkAuthor

Facebook: JayneYorkAuthor

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Author Interview with ML Erdahl ~ New Release: Winter Takes All

I am very pleased to host today’s guest. I had the pleasure of editing this fabulous book, and of meeting the author face to face at a conference in Seattle. He’s funny and personable and very talented. Please help me welcome ML Erdahl.

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

My family were early homesteaders of Gig Harbor, WA.  They witnessed the city go from dirt roads and pristine forests, to the medium sized city that it is today.  I grew up there and attended college at the University of Washington in Seattle. Today, I live in Renton with my wife and a houseful of neurotic rescue pets.

Where did you get the idea for Winter Takes All?

 My writing story for Winter Takes All began with a genre swap suggested by my wife. Her favorite fiction genres are Mysteries and Thrillers, while mine is Fantasy.  She gave me Nevada Barr, Janet Evanovich, and Mary Daheim novels to read, and I gave her Robert Jordan. I loved the stories I was given, which were so different from the long epic adventures I was used to. I enjoyed the wit of the genre, as well as the concept of a ordinary person being forced out of their comfort zone to the point where they find themselves investigating a crime.

During the long bus rides to-and-fro work, I must have been inspired, because an idea for a cozy mystery percolated in my head. I began writing it down over the next year. After I’d finished my book, I read it back.  I’m not going to lie, it was pretty mediocre, but I could see the elements of a great story.  I began to study how to write fiction, and applying what I’d learned, re-wrote the entire book to its present incarnation.

The moral of this particular story for aspiring writers is to learn how to write, and then begin writing. I still believe that the best learning tool is to practice, but having an idea where you’re going will help you get there faster. Trust me on this.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

By day, I’m an environmental chemist. My company specializes in analyzing fuel spills. We’ve received samples from the Exxon Valdez to the Deepwater Horizon gulf spill. It’s a satisfying job in that I know I leave the world a cleaner place with my work.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Being from the Pacific Northwest and of Norwegian descent, you’d think I’d like seafood, but I can’t stand the stuff.  Whenever I eat it, my wife accuses me of “making the face.”

What was your first job?

Mowing lawns.  I still like yard work, but I remember one old lady’s yard I mowed had so very many snakes. Harmless garter snakes, but they still gave me the heebie-jeebies.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

A favorite book is a tough one since I love two genres, cozy mystery and fantasy. Therefore I’m going to cheat and pick two, Janet Evanovich’s “One for the Money”, and Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn”. Both of those authors know how to write the most memorable characters.  My favorite childhood book was Shel Silverstein’s delightful poetry in “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Winter Takes All?

I want people to read my novel and feel like they escaped on a wild ride. I want a reader to turn the last page and immediately download my next book to continue the adventure.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Someday I’d like to take a crack at my other favorite genre, Fantasy. All of the advice to authors is to stay in your lane and not switch genres, because you’ll lose your audience. However, I don’t think I want to let life pass me by without taking a shot at it.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

For the most part, they are made up, but after I was done writing, I discovered my brain had also frankensteined bits and pieces of various people in my life. I recognized different attributes of friends and family in my characters.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

They are my biggest cheerleaders.  My wife spends hours every day either helping me directly or doing more around the house to give me more time to write.  Furthermore, many of my family and friends were my beta-readers, who took time to not only read the earlier drafts, but give me valuable feedback. I couldn’t ask for a better support system.

How did your interest in writing originate?

In middle school, our English teacher had us free write for an hour once a week and I was hooked. After moving on from that grade, I continued writing short stories to amuse myself and my friends. However, it wasn’t until the last few years that I began to take writing seriously.  Reading books on writing from KM Weiland, Jane Friedman, and Stephen King has shown me how much effort needs to go into each and every sentence to make a compelling story. Instead of being intimidating, it has inspired me.

Your favorite…

Movie Shawshank Redemption

Music Eclectic

Place you’ve visited Venice

Place you’d like to visit Greece

TV show from childhood Night Court

TV show from adulthood Game of Thrones

Food Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Sports team Seahawks

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Board Games/Card games

Great interview, it was fun getting to know more about you, ML. Now, please tell us about your book…

 

Blurb:

Crystal Rainey is aghast when she realizes her new year’s resolutions haven’t changed one whit from the previous year. Wanting to escape a future as dreary as a Pacific Northwest winter, she walks out on her dead-end office job, despite her tenuous savings account.

Stumbling across a job opening posted by a wilderness guide outfit, an intrigued Crystal bluffs her way into the position. With handsome fellow guide, the stalwart Conner Oakes, she leads a corporate retreat on a snowshoe hike to a majestic alpine chalet.

But when the company’s detestable owner turns up dead in the snow, she fears her new life and budding romance slipping away. She finally has something worth fighting for and is determined to solve the murder and grab her chance at happiness before it’s too late.

Excerpt:

Not the most auspicious start to my guiding career, Crystal admitted to herself.

Conner sat back down, took a grateful swig of the coffee and sighed. “This could have gone better,” he said stating the obvious.

“What happens next?” Crystal asked.

“We wait until dawn, see if he turns up, and escort everyone out of here. Hopefully, Philip is waiting for us at the lodge, and we can drive this whole miserable lot back to the city a day early. In the meantime, I suggest we follow everyone’s lead and try to get a little shuteye.”

Conner’s radio crackled with Sam’s voice, “We’ve found the missing man from your group, Conner. He’s at the bottom of a cliff. I’m sorry to say this search and rescue operation has become a search and recover.”

Conner paled at the news.

“What does ‘search and recover’ mean?” Crystal asked.

“It means he’s dead.”

*************************

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple Books

Biography:

ML Erdahl lives amidst the trees of the Pacific Northwest, where he pens humorous cozy mystery novels set in the wilderness he has spent his lifetime exploring. The only thing slowing him down is when his adorable rescue dogs, Skip and Daisy, demand to be petted and cuddled on his lap while he types. When he’s not wandering the mountains, you can find him gardening, reading, or searching for the best coffee in Seattle with his wife, Emily.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Goodreads

Bookbub

Pinterest

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Author Interview with Amber Daulton ~ New Release: Arresting Mason

Please help me welcome Amber Daulton with an author interview and her new release…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I live in the foothills of North Carolina, and it’s absolutely beautiful here, especially in the morning when it’s misty. I’ve been married for nine years, and Greg is my biggest fan. He reads all my novels and loves helping me out of plot holes. We have three cats—Darby, Pepper, and Sox—and my writing day is never complete until Darby knocks the computer mouse on the floor. He’s a mischievous little boy!

Where did you get the idea for Arresting Mason?

I originally wrote this book for a bad boy anthology call, but by the time I was done, I had exceeded the maximum word count and still wanted to add more scenes. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising this story until I was finally happy with it. It’s now book one in the Arresting Onyx series.

For how I came up with the plot, I must thank my subconscious since I dreamed about it. For days after, I kept thinking about the hero, the heroine, and her brother, and those characters wouldn’t leave me in peace until I wrote out a rough plotline. Though I changed quite a bit as I put the dream down on paper (or rather computer), the main premise remained the same.

The hero, Mason Harding, appeals to me more than any other character in the book because I love redemption stories. Just because someone makes a mistake (depending on the mistake, really), I don’t think they should be ostracized from society, especially if they’re trying to live a better life and trying to make amends.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Arresting Mason?

That everyone is worth a second chance.

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

That’s a tough one. Perhaps Evangeline Lily for Mia (heroine) and Theo James for Mason (hero).

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

I read most sub-genres of romance, but I’ve never written sci/fi or alien romance, which I’d love to do someday. Unfortunately, I don’t have any ideas for a story, at least one that hasn’t already been done a zillion times, but maybe inspiration will strike someday.

What is your favorite quote?

A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty. — Rudyard Kipling

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have eleven books published, and I’m currently revising the next one. There are several more manuscripts collecting digital dust on my computer. I definitely plan on pubbing them in the future.

How did your interest in writing originate?

I read my first romance book when I was 12 after I snuck a Harlequin paperback out of my mom’s bedroom. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I wanted to create my own story about two people having an adventure and falling in love. I wrote with pencil in a spiral-bound notebook and finished that 200-plus page story in about six months.

Your favorite…

Movie – Die Hard

Music – anything by Aerosmith

Places you’ve visited – Washington DC; Indianapolis, IN; St. Augustine, FL; Wilmington, NC and lots of other beaches in NC

Places you’d like to visit – my dream vacation is two weeks in Italy and Greece, one week in each.

TV show from childhood – The Simpsons

TV show from adulthood – Star Trek: TNG

Food – Lasagna

Sports team – You kidding? Don’t watch sports, but ice hockey is interesting.

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? – Games, all the way. I rock at Canasta, Life, and UNO.

Giveaway!!!

Please join my Street Team on Facebook. Then comment on this post to let me know you’ve sent a request. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/572204316296198/

One lucky entrant will receive any ebook from my reading list, which can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B00ALQITWY (Anthologies not included.)

Blurb for Arresting Mason

Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

Excerpt

“Which one is your car?” She glanced around the crowded parking lot. A few streetlights pushed back the darkness and shadows. The restaurant served customers until midnight on the weekends, but no one loitered in the lot, at least from what Mia could see.

“Don’t have one at the moment.” Mason hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. “I took the bus. It stopped a few blocks from here.”

“Would you like a ride?” She pulled the car keys from her purse. “I feel a little ridiculous we met here tonight. I just wasn’t sure if you were some kind of freak.”

His eyebrow lifted, and he closed the distance between them as a tiger would zero in on its mate. A sexy, masculine smile curled his lips. “Have you made up your mind yet?”

“I’ll let you know in the morning.” Desire trickled down her spine. Mia nodded toward the passenger side of the car for him to hop in.

He confiscated her keys instead to unlock and open the driver’s side door for her like a gentleman. Then he leaned closer and nuzzled her temple with his nose.

Not sure if he planned to seduce her in the parking lot or if he merely wanted to tease her, Mia pressed her hand to his chest and tried to think straight. “You’re the first guy I’ve gone on a date with since my divorce. I haven’t slept with anyone since Evan.”

He tunneled his fingers through her wavy, chestnut-brown hair. “I haven’t dated anyone in a long time either. We’ll take it slow or fast, whatever you want, but I promise you one thing. After I’m done with you, you won’t even remember that bastard’s name.”

Oh, God. She almost melted right then and there. “Fast. I want you, Mason.”

“Take me to your place and you can have me.”

**************

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason

Buy Links

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ppcmEJ

Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2uOj90J

iTunes – https://apple.co/2FVAQMP

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arresting-mason

Google Play – https://bit.ly/2Izu3cZ

The Wild Rose Press store – https://bit.ly/2VDUTXI

Books2Read – https://books2read.com/u/m2vvY7

Audio Buy Links

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2Nbwr03

Audible – https://adbl.co/2CV6oVU

iTunes – https://apple.co/2NHwMqA

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com.

Social Media Links

Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Street Team – https://www.facebook.com/groups/572204316296198/

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/14JoZff

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor/

Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amber-daulton

Book Gorilla – https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B00ALQITWY/amber-daulton/kcc

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368

Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AmberDaulton

The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

 

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Why Do We Do That Voodoo We Do? by Olive Balla

Please help me welcome Olive Balla, an author with whom I had the pleasure of working with at The Wild Rose Press on a few books, the most recent being her fantastic suspense novel, Jillie.

WHY DO WE DO THAT VOODOO WE DO?

I tap the screen of my laptop and find a writer’s blog entitled Why Do You Write? Since the process of establishing a “motive” is central to my Suspense/Mystery genre, this gives me pause. I chew on the question, a frown creasing my forehead.

Other authors seem to have no problem defining their motivation, so why can’t I? It’s not a trick question – it’s something I should probably know.

Did my inability to name a consistent tune to which my Writer Spirit dances signify a lack of imagination? Was it a death knell to my aspirations to write something worth a few hours of someone’s life?

One blogger claims his raison d’etre is a drive for pure creative expression. His stories offer the perfect venue for building other worlds peopled with folk of his conjuring.

Yup, I say to myself, that’s a cool reason to write. Maybe I just feel the need to do me some creating.

Another writer vows she has no choice but to obey a powerful Inner Command to write. I consider the implied nobility of that statement. Maybe that’s why I write. I DO sometimes feel compelled. No, really.

What might happen to a writer who ignores such a command; would she expire? Would she explode into unfulfilled bits of gelatinous non-writer? I sigh.

With a grateful heart, I find one blogger who admits to purely mercenary motives. Time to get new carpet for the living room? No problem, just whip out a blockbuster. If only.

As a retiree living on a clenched-butt fixed income, that thought sets off a responsive gong. Perhaps paving a pathway to a gratifying payday is my true motivation after all.

Yet another blogger says his writings are borne of angst. His words, a therapeutic outlet, offer catharsis to his existential pain.

Then there is the writer who believes he has important information for the world, words of wisdom, answers to the mysteries of the human condition. And there are indeed those writers whose words change the course of history.

But alas, pleased to un-dangle participles and duct-tape split infinitives, I don’t have anything of such magnitude to say. One writer’s nuggets of gold are another’s horse puckie.

Then my hard-nosed Internal Editor sends up snarky questions on the quality of my own writing. Was my plot tight enough? Did my dialogue sing? Should I have included at least one scene of graphic sex? Or horror of horrors, did my characters behave uncharacteristically?

Perhaps I write to justify my mother’s never-flagging faith in my abilities, while jabbing a finger in my dad’s eye for suggesting I get a real job.

By the time the self-doubt and reflection are said and done, I arrive at a near-epiphany: Sometimes I write for all the above reasons but sometimes I write for none of them.

Mostly I write because I want to. If someone escapes a less-than-perfect reality for a nano-second by reading something I’ve written – that’s just plain cool.

My Internal Writer sighs. The tightness in my neck relaxes, and I bang out another scene.

 

Blurb:
Eleven-year-old Jillie Ross escapes the vicious relatives threatening to flush away her beloved sister’s ashes if she doesn’t lead them to her dead father’s rumored treasure.
Determined to find her sibling’s ashes and honor them along with their parents’ remains, the feisty orphan must endure harsh weather, escape a stalker, and hide from the police. But how long can she survive when at least one family member wants her dead?
Excerpt:

Jillie dropped the metal lid as if it were red hot..Her stomach heaved, and something sour shot up her throat. She pounded against the locked, unyielding door until the muscles in her arms cramped.  She  fell to her knees and clawed at the floor, ignoring the pain radiating up her arms from torn fingernails...   

The sound of approaching footsteps made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck move. She snatched up the broken shovel handle and stood behind the door. With her legs slightly bent, she gripped the pole with both hands as if it were a sword, aimed its broken, pointed end at the door and waited.  

Bio:
A retired educator, Olive Balla began writing in her sixties. Her first mystery/suspense novel, An Arm And A Leg, was published just after her sixty-fifth birthday, and her second, Jillie, was recently published. Ms. Balla is a mother of three, grandmother to eleven, and great grandmother of seven. When she isn’t writing, she can be found making sawdust in her wood shop near Albuquerque New Mexico.

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Author Interview & The Keys: Voice of the Turtle by Karen Hulene Bartell

Please help me welcome Wild Rose Press Author Karen Hulene Bartell…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Alicia! I was born in Jersey City, NJ, to rolling-stone parents who moved annually. My earliest playmates were fictional friends in books. Paperbacks were my portable pals. Ghost stories kept me up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was my passion. Wanderlust inherent, I enjoyed traveling, although I loathed changing schools—seven schools by the time I entered ninth grade.

Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, I began my first novel at nine, but stopped after several days. (Said I needed to learn more first.) Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, I live in the Texas Hill Country with my husband Peter and my mews—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.

Where did you get the idea for THE KEYS: VOICE OF THE TURTLE?

The idea for THE KEYS: VOICE OF THE TURTLE came to me as my husband and I drove Highway 1 through the Keys all the way to Key West. (Something about travel always spurs my imagination.) Key West itself is so chock-full of history and ghosts, the two apparitions almost wrote themselves into this Mainstream Fantasy. Even Key West’s original name evokes mystery. The Spaniards called it Cayo Hueso, meaning Island of Bones, because they found human bones scattered across the island’s white beaches when they first arrived. Since I love turtles, the underlying  message of this novel is saving one of the few remaining sea-turtle nesting beaches from being developed into a hotel and lost forever to the turtles.

Why did you choose the Mainstream Fantasy genre?

I like to read stories that include mystery, romance, nature, and the supernatural.  As a result, I write stories that include those four elements. Although a romance develops between Keya and a dashing sailor, this is not a “Romance,” even though a budding love develops between a thirty-something man and woman.

A body washes up on the beach and begins a whodunnit mystery, but two other mysteries also crop up. Though Keya finds buried treasure and love, can she save the beach? Can Ruth find the body’s murderer or help Bart solve his 400-year-old mystery? Despite all these mysteries to solve and resolve, this is not a “Mystery.”

I chose the Mainstream Fantasy genre because where else can readers join the characters’ adventures as they fall in love, mingle with ghosts, and talk with turtles?

Was there any anecdote about THE KEYS: VOICE OF THE TURTLE you’d like to share?

Yes, finding the name Keya for one of the main characters—who is Native American and a turtle aficionado—was kismet.

In the Lakota Sioux language, Keya means Turtle. The setting of the Mainstream Fantasy novel is the Florida Keys, and the premise is protecting sea turtles and their nesting beaches. The title is The Keys: Voice of the Turtle.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

The only writing “tricks” I have are these two:

  1. I can only write in the morning when I’m fresh—which often means getting up at 3:30, so I can write before my day begins, and
  2. I write every day, which keeps the story going. Even afternoons, when I’m busy with other obligations, my mind continues thinking about what the characters will do next.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

I love researching my books and going on “Tory n’ Mom” trips with my dog—for instance, going on Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail and getting cornered by a bobcat or walking through the Wetland Walkway and meeting an alligator. I love nature and enjoy going on rock hunts near the Rio Grande in Terlingua’s mountains, or walking barefoot through White Sands, New Mexico, or climbing the Franklin Mountains, or sitting in an open cattle trailer at dawn, waiting for Nebraska’s Prairie Chickens to begin their “dance.”

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have. My Master’s Thesis was my first unpublished book—although, I plan to rewrite it at some later time. I also began a book and could not find enough material or inspiration to finish it. However, I “cannibalized” what I wrote, reusing bits of it in several other books 😉

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Completely, yet not at all. Let me explain 😉 I take pieces of people—facial or other physical features, mannerisms, unusual speech inflections, or temperaments. Then, I combines these qualities into a wholly new character. Once in Taipei, Taiwan, I followed a man into a bookstore because he absolutely looked like the mental picture I carried of one of my characters.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, in THE KEYS: VOICE OF THE TURTLE, the underlying message is to save one of the Keys’ few remaining sea-turtle nesting beaches from being developed into a hotel complex and lost forever to the turtles.

How much of the book is realistic?

All of it, yet none of it. Let me explain 😉 Like I “piece together” characters, I merge real places (and sometimes events) with total fiction. Hopefully the result is a seamlessly “realistic” amalgamation that is plausible and could happen yet is rooted from my imagination.

How did your interest in writing originate?

Characters in books were my earliest playmates. Paperbacks were my portable pals. Ghost stories kept me up at night—reading feverishly. My mother didn’t care how late I stayed up—if I read. The result? Writing—it’s the natural extension of reading. Besides, what reader can resist creating her own ending?

Your favorite…

Movie ~ Gone With the Wind

Music ~ Classic oldies

Place you’d like to visit ~ Ireland

Food  ~ Any new ethnic dish

Thank you, Karen. Great interview. Gone with the Wind is my favorite movie too!

Now, Karen has a question for you…

Question for readers ~ If you could write a book, what would be its theme?

THE KEYS: VOICE OF THE TURTLE Blurb:

Finding buried treasure and love, Keya moves forward, but can she save the beach? Can Ruth find Maita’s murderer or help Bart solve his 400-year-old mystery? Join their adventures as they mingle with ghosts and talk with turtles.

THE KEYS: VOICE OF THE TURTLE Excerpt:

“These nesting grounds are the reason I’ve fought to keep this property intact. If this beach is developed, the impact will destroy it, but fighting the lawsuit is expensive. I’d hate to sell this place to pay court costs.”

“But you said keeping the nesting grounds intact is only part of the reason you stay.” Ruth gave her a sympathetic smile. “What’s the rest of it?”

“Call it my legacy.” Keya stood up straight. “When I’m gone, I’d like this beach to remain as nature intended it…for the turtles. Since I’ve never had children—”

Earnestine meowed.

Keya grinned. “That is, except for my furry, four-legged kids, I’ve never had children. I have no one to leave it to other than who or what will make the best use of it. Conveying this land to the turtles would be my way of leaving the world a better place.” She turned toward Ruth. “Does that make sense?”

Ruth nodded. Her cousin’s intentions were clear. “But legally, how can you will the property to the turtles?”

“Easy. I leave it to the Turtle Refuge.” Keya chuckled as they meandered along the beach. “And this is where you come in. When you’re writing the brochure, add a few paragraphs about planned giving and charitable bequests…” Keya stared as if in a trance.

“What’s wrong?”

Her hand shaking, Keya pointed to a shady patch of beach half hidden by sand dunes. A lifeless hand lay tangled in seaweed, its fingernails broken and bloodied.

THE KEYS: VOICE OF THE TURTLE Buy Links:

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2XV2wO1

Paperback: https://amzn.to/316xbWM

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH KAREN HULENE BARTELL:

Newsletter: info@karenhulenebartell.com

Web Page: http://www.karenhulenebartell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenHuleneBartell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenHuleneBart

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Author Interview & His Magic Touch by Debby Grahl

Please help me welcome Wild Rose Press Author Debby Grahl…

Hello Debby…so happy to host you today. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from?  Where do you live now?

I’m originally from Lincoln Park Michigan. This is a little south of Detroit. Now I live on Hilton Head Island, SC. My husband and I decided we were tired of cold weather, so after living in Dayton, Ohio, for twenty years, we headed south when he retired.

I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes gradual vision loss. I lost the ability to read in my early twenties, but even when I had sight, seeing the printed word was always difficult for me. Reading a book would take me twice as long as  a person with normal sight. I became frustrated with this and began to make up my own stories. It wasn’t until the invention of screen reading software that I was able to put my stories into print.

Family? Pets? 

I have family spread all over the US, but most of them are in Michigan.

I lost my cat Tigger last year. We took him in as a stray and had him for ten years. I still miss him.

Where did you get the idea for your book?

His Magic Touch is a paranormal romance set in new Orleans which is one of my favorite cities to visit and write about. From my first visit, I was intrigued by the magic, mystery, and legends that surround you. All you have to do is walk the streets of the French Quarter to feel the history of the city. People claim witches and ghosts also walk the streets, and I have to admit I believe it might be true. It was while touring St. Louis #1, the oldest above ground cemetery in the city, standing in front of the tomb of the Voodoo  queen Marie Laveau, that the idea for His Magic Touch began. I swear she zapped me because I started feeling faint and had to leave the tour. Now, my husband will tell you it was due to the heat, but I felt fine until we approached  her tomb. I think my version is more interesting, and  I began my research into local witchcraft and hauntings.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I’ve always enjoyed reading books with ghost and witches.  I like using them in my writing because they’re so versatile. You can have a nice or a mean ghost.  You can have  ghosts that are visible and those that aren’t. I also enjoy using ghosts of historical characters. My witches are normal people with different stages of power.

Do you collect anything?

I love cranberry glass. I have some ruby flash glass lamps which are from the twenties and what is known as thumbprint glasses. I also have have a number of pieces from the Avon Cape Cod collection.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

This would be everyday distractions. I wish I could close myself up in a room and ignore laundry, cleaning the house, answering the phone, and doing errands.

The other would be marketing my books. I understand this is necessary, but the time I have to spend on social media makes me crazy.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

My favorite childhood books are the Pippi Longstockings series.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I love reviews! Although I hold my breath each time there’s a new one. Being an author, you have to learn quickly not to take bad reviews to heart. Even though  your book is your baby, and you want to challenge anyone who doesn’t love it as much as you do, you have to ignore those that are nasty and move on.

What is your favorite quote?

Murder is always a mistake. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner. ATTRIBUTION: Oscar Wilde (1854–1900),

What do you want your tombstone to say?

She never gave up.

If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?

This would be Caterine Doucette  from my contemporary  romance Rue Toulouse. When Caterine meets sexy  x-cop Remi Michaud, her life of pampered privilege turns into one of hot sex and danger.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I’m working on a series which takes place in the Carolinas. Mountain Blaze is the first and is under consideration by The Wild Rose Press.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

My first mistake in writing was thinking that you just write the book, send it to a publisher or agent, and away you go. Not! I sent the first twenty-five pages to a publisher who was offering a free critique. She wrote back and said I had a good idea for a story if I could write it. She said she marked all my writing mistakes in red. Well, most of the page was in red.

The biggest thrill in my life is when a reader tells me how much they enjoyed my books. The thought that what I write brings someone a little pleasure, still amazes me.

 

Thank you, Debby. I enjoyed the interview. I was a huge Pippi fan when I was a child. Loved to read those book! Now, please tell us about your book.

New Orleans, known as the Crescent City or the Big Easy, just celebrated its three-hundredth anniversary. It was first settled by the French, then taken over by the Spanish, sold back to the French, who then sold it to the United States.

The city’s historic past includes such characters as the famous pirate, Jean Lafitte, and the infamous Delphine LaLaurie who in 1834 was run out of New Orleans when her mansion caught fire and tortured slaves were discovered. And such locales as the notorious Storyville red light district, the iconic riverboat gamblers, and everyone’s favorite party, Mardi Gras.

My husband David and I first visited New Orleans in 1989 and fell in love with the city. I’m a history buff by heart so I found the old Spanish architecture with its wrought iron balconies enchanting. All you have to do is walk the streets of the French Quarter to feel the magic.

There’s a saying, “Only in New Orleans.” And this is so true. As I sat on our hotel balcony sipping a glass of wine and munching on a bag of voodoo chips, I could  see a musician setting up on the corner. Soon the clear sounds of his saxophone filled the night. The smell of spicy gumbo from the restaurant across the street wafted through the air.  The clip clop of a horse- drawn carriage passed beneath me, its driver thrilling his passengers with tales of the ghosts who haunt the city. A man, painted silver, walked along juggling oranges, while a bicycle cab pedaled by. On Bourbon Street, a second line band marched past. A group of laughing tourists carrying red go cups went into a bar, and the long low whistle of a paddle wheeler on the river could be heard.

As I sat there taking it all in, I thought what a wonderful place to set a story. From its diverse people and cultures to its incredible food, such as hot sugary beignets, po boy sandwiches, and crawfish etouffee; every kind of music from funky blues to jazz, rock ‘n roll to country; and Voodoo shops, haunted houses, and above-ground cemeteries.

People claim witches and ghosts walk the streets, and I have to admit sometimes I believe it’s true. It was while touring St. Louis #1, the oldest above-ground cemetery in the city, standing in front of the tomb of the Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, that the idea for His Magic Touch began. I swear she zapped me. I started feeling faint and had to leave the tour. Now, my husband will tell you it was because of the heat, but I felt fine until we approached her tomb. I think my version is more interesting. I began my research into local witchcraft and hauntings.

The Hotel Monteleone, on Royal Street, is one of the settings I use in the book. Not only known for its Carousel Bar, it’s also one of the most haunted hotels in the city.

I hope His Magic Touch brings a little of New Orleans to life for you, and you’ll get a chance to visit this unique city on the Mississippi.

The night before Jared Dupre’s wedding, a specter warns him the demonic witch, Adam Montief, has kidnapped his brother in a centuries-old vendetta unknown to Jared. A powerful witch himself, Jared tracks Adam from New Orleans to a remote island off the coast of Connecticut where he’s given no choice. He must rescue his brother and break his engagement to Kendra O’Connell, or they both die. After complying, Jared engages in a sword fight and believes he has vanquished his foe, but when he returns to New Orleans, he finds evil still threatens all he loves. Kendra, not knowing why Jared broke their engagement, devastated, finds solace in another’s arms. With help from an ancestor’s spirit, can Jared defeat the dark magic descending over the Big Easy while winning back the woman he loves?

Excerpt:

In the stifling heat, Angelique Montief flicked her wrist and set the bamboo ceiling fan spinning. Kneeling on a woven mat with sweat coating her body, she lifted a small wooden brass-bound casket from the bottom of a large trunk, inserted a gold key, and opened the lid. Inside two objects lay wrapped in thick cloth. She carefully unwrapped the smaller bundle to reveal a pentagonal mirror, a gift handed down to her by her grandmother, its ancient oak frame carved with tiny pentacles. She glanced over her shoulder at her locked bedroom door, then stared into the mirror and whispered, “Show him to me.”

When the glass remained blank, fear clutched at her chest. Again, she said the words, and the image of a plantation house engulfed in flames appeared. “No, please, he can’t be dead.” Tears blurred her vision. The fiery image changed to reveal a human form lying beneath flowering bougainvillea.

Hope rising, Angelique peered closer.

“Show me his face.”

She saw his indigo blue eyes blink open.

“I’m coming, my love.”

He couldn’t hear her, but she hoped in his heart that he knew she would find a way to get to him.

As the smoke in the room thickened, she knew her time was running out. She rewrapped the mirror and placed it into the smaller casket among cloth bags of herbs and potion-filled vials. Relocking the lid, she hung the key on a chain around her neck, dropped a jeweled dagger into her pocket, and tucked the casket under her arm.

Crouched beneath the smoke, she considered the quickest way to reach her son and escape.

Augustus had locked her in, placing what he thought would be an impenetrable shield across both doors. Angelique coughed, choked by the smoke. Her husband’s biggest mistake was underestimating her power.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debby Grahl lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David. Besides writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach and a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida, the Cotswolds of England, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and, of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books.

Her first published book, The Silver Crescent, won the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice award. Her second book, Rue Toulouse, a contemporary romance set in New Orleans, was a finalist in the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award and was selected as a May, 2016, ‘local read’ by Hilton Head Monthly.

Decorated to Death is a holiday mystery cozy. She also has stories in three anthologies, The Haunted West, Never Fear/Christmas Terrors; and Ebb and Flow from the local Island Writers’ Network.

Debby was featured in the January, 2016, Hilton Head Monthly article ‘Intriguing People of the Lowcountry’. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Florida Romance Writers, and First Coast Romance Writers.

Her latest book, His Magic Touch, was released December 5, 2018, by Wild Rose Press.

 

Amazon / Kindle Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Debby-Grahl/e/B00B34HM26/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1539281994&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble / Nook

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/debby+grahl?_requestid=8071309

Bookbub

https://www.bookbub.com/search/authors?search=debby%20grahl

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/his-magic-touch-5

author website

www.debbygrahl.com

author Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/debbygrahlauthor?ref=br_rs

https://twitter.com/DebbyGrahl

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862089.Debby_Grahl

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Author Interview & New Release: If Wishes Were Horses by Jayne York

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jayne York…

So glad to have you here, Jayne!

 

  1. Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I’m a professional jeweler specializing in custom design and manufacturing. Writing is my second career, and just like my first, it fills all those gaping holes yearning for productive creativity.

  1. What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Distraction, I’m easily led astray.

  1. What do you want readers to come away with after they read “If Wishes Were Horses”?

This is a story of lessons learned and the strength they bring. My main characters are both at turning points in their lives. How they handle the changes and the challenges is the crux of the story.

  1. What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

Debra Messing and Hugh Jackman.

  1. Have you written any other books that are not published?

My WIP is a fast-paced heist enmeshed in a love story. Tentatively titled, “Midnight Acquisition”, I hope it will be out this time next year. After that, maybe a sequel to “If Wishes Were Horses.”

  1. What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I was advised to put the MS under the bed and move on. But I believed in the story and kept at it until I had it the way I wanted it. The message there—trust your gut and listen to people with experience and a keen eye. The flip side compliment—another author called me a “Unicorn” because not only is this my first book, but my first pitch and was picked up by the first publisher I queried. Incredible luck all around, I know. Hope it holds going forward.

  1. How did you come up with the title?

It was something my mother used to say to me all the time. Usually when I was whining about not having what I wanted.

  1. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

If I had to put a finger on the message; Remember to forgive yourself for doing the best you could when you fail. Life is a long road, and it’s full of potholes. So try to stay out of the weedy ditches.

 

 

BLURB:

Emily Converse never expected to return to Tamarack, Colorado. But she’s determined to rescue her drug-addicted brother and start a new life. Standing in her way, she finds her stepfather, a powerful US senator, looming over her future like the ever-present monster he’d been during their childhood. Meeting wounded retired Navy SEAL, Michael McCandlis, is a steamy surprise in her homecoming, though he’s adrift in civilian life. Together can they find a way to transform from victims to survivors?

 

EXCERPT:

Once upon a time, she’d run away from Tamarack like her heels were on fire, and now here she was volunteering to step back into the furnace. What was the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome. Like if she managed to change, be stronger, be smarter, things would turn out better—different. It wouldn’t be that simple. She downshifted the Jeep to slow for the last of the S-shaped turns on the narrow ribbon of asphalt. The road led her past the pretentious granite columns that marked her stepfather’s compound. She wasn’t consciously holding her breath, but a trickle of fear dribbled down her spine just the same. Her molars ground together in determination. The past wouldn’t decide her present, not ever again. In spite of herself, images of her last day on his estate flashed through her mind like the herky-jerky frames of a child’s flip deck animation. Fear sharpened every visual, clarified every word, enhanced every touch. She’d run down the steps, racing for her car. He’d charged after her, smelling of alcohol and fury when he tried to stop her headlong rush toward an unknown future. They’d screamed out their mutual hatred, all the bitter dregs of their time together. She smirked when she remembered getting in the lucky shove that had landed him in a heap on the ground. It had been her first glimpse that Senator Ray Domenico was not the invincible, all-powerful monster she’d known him to be.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’ve been an avid reader and sometime writer all of my life. I’ve never been able to resist the draw of a good story, and that has been true in my professional life as well. I was raised as the third of three children in the Colorado high country. Early on I discovered the joy of creating handcrafted jewelry, which led to a forty-five-year career as a professional jeweler. Every customer, every piece has its own story. I’ve collected them like pearls in a strand, and I often use them as a jumping-off point for the tales I tell. If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the shores of a northern lake, hammering away on my latest story of love and life in the modern world. ~*~ Find Jayne online at: http://www.JayneYork.com

Website: JayneYork.com

Blog: JayneYork.com/What’sOnMyMind/

Email: Jayne@JayneYork.com

Twitter: @JayneYorkAuthor

Facebook: JayneYorkAuthor

 

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Diana Rubino’s Bootleg Broadway

Please help me welcome Diana Rubino with a fun new release…

BOOTLEG BROADWAY
Booze, music, sex, murder, Prohibition New York. What a time to be alive!
Now on audio with the expressive voice of Nina Price.

After FROM HERE TO 14TH STREET, set in 1894, I needed to set this a generation later, which happened to be the 1930s-­with Prohibition and the Great Depression as the backdrop. This is the first book I ever wrote where I created the characters first, with nothing to do yet. The plot developed the way it did because of who they are. My goal was to get the protagonist Billy McGlory into one mess after another. This era couldn’t have been more suited to Billy’s adventures, a few of which he barely escaped with his life.

Fun Fact:
As in FROM HERE TO 14th STREET, a lot of characters have nicknames like Piggy Balls and Dirty Neck Bruiso. I sat around the table with my surviving aunts and uncles who were then in their 80s and 90s, and they rattled off these nicknames from ‘the old days’ in Jersey City like they made them up yesterday. That was a standard Italian neighborhood custom, everybody had a nickname. Some were more descriptive than others. But you didn’t just ’get’ a nickname. You had to earn it.   
 
Some more nicknames from the old neighborhood:
 
Bruno Chicken Body
Butta Jeans
Charlie Burp
Chick a la zoo
Dirty Dicky
Dirty Neck Bruiso
Floody
Frankie Butch Butch
Gravel Gertie
Hoo Hoo
Jazzy Lou
Jijji Balls
Jinji
Vigi-Leak

My fav passage from BOOTLEG BROADWAY (which made my aunt cringe):
 
Pru had kept closemouthed all day about what she was giving him for his birthday. He badgered and hounded her, but she wouldn’t give in.
As Ma began divvying up the rum cake, the doorbell rang, and Da came back with a long box. “This thing’s heavy. What’s in here, Pru? Billy’s tombstone?”
Billy cut the ribbon with the cake knife and slid the lid off. Wads of tissue paper filled the box. As he removed the last layer of covering and revealed what was inside, they all gasped­-a sculpture of a naked man, in all his masculine glory ­and fully aroused. He had one hand on his hip and one foot upon a pedestal on which was inscribed in bold letters,
BILLY.
“Oh, crap.” His face turned red hot.

About Me

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod. 

Contact Links

My Website
www.dianarubino.com
 

My Blog
www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com
 

Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/DianaRubinoAuthor/?ref=hl

Twitter
https://twitter.com/DianaLRubino

Goodreads
http://bit.ly/1V3GCgt

Amazon Author Page
http://amzn.to/1EQWdfJ
 

Chat and Promote … Fans of Historical Fiction and Nonfiction
http://bit.ly/2HrCOEQ

Purchase BOOTLEG BROADWAY
getbook.at/NewYorkSagaBookTwo

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Author Interview with Kayden Clarement & New Release: She Came First

I am happy to welcome author friend Kayden Claremont to my blog…

Kayden, please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

Hi everyone. I’m Kayden Claremont and I’m married to my high-school sweetheart. I have two married kids, love their spouses, so I usually tell everyone I have four kids and one grandson. I live in the greater Toronto area in Ontario, Canada. I’ve always lived in Ontario, but have traveled all over the US.

Right now, I’m between pets, but I usually have a dog and a cat, who I spoil rotten. From time to time I have my grand dog for a week. He helps me write by throwing his toys on my lap. I’ve shared he’s my employee of the week on several occasions.

Where did you get the idea for SHE CAME FIRST?

My Daughter bought the family tickets to the Charlotte Speedway. I love watching car races on the TV but this was the first time I’d been to a track. We had such a wonderful time checking everything out. Then we did the tour and I was amazed there were three types of tracks in one complex.

We all climbed into van and a woman climbed into the driver’s seat. She told us she’d come with the dirt then she drove us on the track. She’d driven a pace car, so she put her foot on the gas. I’m never had such a great time. I could imagine what it would be like in a car racing around the track and the idea for SHE CAME FIRST came to me.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

I wanted to make the heroine a blue-collar person, so she became a mechanic. I had so much fun letting this woman dressed in coveralls reveal her sexy wild side when she has a second chance for love.

Do you collect anything?

I collect beads. Lots and lots of them. I love making jewelry. I don’t sell it, but I love to have a new necklace or earrings to wear. When I go to the bead shops in Toronto, I spend hours picking out each item. I have more beads than I’ll ever make into jewelry but that’s the fun.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

I know most people expect me to say ‘my husband’ (grins) but he teaches at college and is busy. But I should get rid of my TV. I watch way too much, but I tell myself I’m watching story, so I’m doing research. Now if only I could say that with a straight face. I can watch the same movies over and over again, so I really should restrict myself to only watching them five times each.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read SHE CAME FIRST?

I want them to believe in love. I want them to experience falling with love with the hero and living a happy for now ending. Isn’t that why we all read romance?

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

What I want is an honest review. If you loved the characters and their story, terrific. If you couldn’t relate to either the characters or their situation, terrific. I know not everyone will love each story I write and I will respect their honest opinion.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Ha ha ha. I think most authors will say tones of them. Not all ideas will work up into a book. Sometimes a piece of an old manuscript will be a catalyst for a new manuscript, but the story goes in a different direction.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My friends think I can write a first draft worthy of publication, but this isn’t true. I struggle to the best story I can written for the readers. Believe it or not, sometimes the characters don’t like my ideas an won’t do what I think they should. (grins) This causes me to go through several drafts before I should the manuscript to my critique partners. Then I go through it a few more times before I send it to my editor. I love her and we go through the manuscript one more time. When I tell people this is my process they are amazed and shocked that writing isn’t as easy as reading is.

How did you come up with the title?

SHE CAME FIRST was an easy title to come up with. The story is about racing cars and is an erotic romance. Easy peasy.

Your favorite…

Music – smooth jazz for writing. If there are lyrics I tend to them as a sing along. I also listen to country, and pop when I’m not writing.

Place you’ve visited – Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Place you’d like to visit- Hawaii is the top of my bucket list.

TV show from adulthood – there are too many to list. I really do have to cut back on my TV time.

Food – chocolate anything.

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Board games.

 

Thank you, I enjoyed getting to know you better. Now, please tell us about your book!

Blurb: As head mechanic for her family’s stock car team, Tracy Hyland is making sure her car is ready for tomorrow’s race. If the car comes in first, she can claim her rightful place in the business. She can’t afford distractions, especially an ex high school sweetheart, one who broke her heart but still makes her engine purr.

Racecar driver Delaney P. Jones comes home to drive the Hyland’s car and to win back the girl he left behind. To break the iciness between them, he tempts his sexy mechanic into a smoldering dance of passion. His ultimate goal might prove more difficult—getting her across a private finish line.

Excerpt: Tracy Hyland slipped into the garage of the family motorsport business and smiled as she glanced at her 1989 Camaro. Her baby’s new blue and white paint glistened in the overhead light. Tomorrow was the car’s first race. Her hopes of standing in the number one spot on the podium depended on their performance.

She walked to the radio and cranked her music. Music and racing—pure heaven.

While the male mechanics would be at their favorite watering hole, hoping to hook up with pit bunnies for a night, she planned a quiet evening ensuring her car was tuned perfectly. Who was she kidding? She was just tinkering. Better here alone than in a noisy bar with strangers.

Tracy had become the head mechanic only after her dad died in a fiery crash. Women belonged in the office, not the track, or so he thought. She should go home and get a good night’s sleep—alone. She liked a good fuck. Actually, a great night in the sack helped her relax before a race, but she’d make do with a hot shower and Dilly the dildo to relieve her tension. What more could she want?

Tracy let the music take hold of her and boogied toward the car, twirling around and shimmying her breasts.

The side door opened, and she froze mid-step and turned.

Delaney P. Jones leaned against the jamb, filling the doorway. Her pulse quickened at the sight of her high school sweetheart.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Uk92YM

B&N, https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1131094833?ean=2940161234532

Bookstrand: https://www.bookstrand.com/she-came-first

 

Kayden Claremont’s Bio

Kayden’s sensuous writing style drives the characters in lustful romps. She loves reading stories of lust and love.  When she is not crafting erotic romantic stories, she loves to make jewelry and travel.

Kayden is a member of Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime.

She hopes you enjoy her other books, Hell’s Bounty, Heaven’s Watcher, Timeless Passion, Red Hot, and Tartan Temptation, all published by The Wild Rose Press.

Author Media Links:

Website: www.KaydenClaremont.com

Blog: https://kaydenclaremont.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kayden.claremont/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaydenclaremont

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/9136748.Kayden_Claremont

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/search?search=Kayden+Claremont

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTlCs84dLR5D3MJw25yrBQ

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kayden-Claremont/e/B015BMVN4I

 

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