Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Writing Updates: My Mind is Never Idle #amwriting

This has been a hectic week. The people renting our house moved out and we're getting to ready for sale. I have been spackling holes and dings, wiping down doors and baseboards. Peeling off stickers they had left on the walls. I ache everywhere. This sedentary body isn't used to all this manual labor.

The one good thing about this busy work it allows my mind to have the freedom to do what it wants. I've written ten books in the Vespian Way with each book pushing at me to write it before I was finished with the one before it. There were times when I was working on three different books in different stages of writing or editing at the same time. This last book though started out of necessity. I knew I needed to write to keep me sane. As I've been working on it I thought maybe I was done with the series for a while and I would have time to work on something else.

Nope.

While I've been working on getting my old house ready for sale I was slapped with an idea.

Now understand I'm one of those authors that doesn't care for a series where the hero and heroine are constantly pulled apart. I don't want to do that with Heather and Storm, but I need to keep it interesting which is why there is always something for them to fight.

We, as authors are told to do the worst thing to our characters. The worst thing I can think of is killing one of them off, but I don't want to do that so what can I do? That's when it hit me. What if I create an environment where it looks like I've killed them off - I know I did that in Stolen Desire but this is different - what if I use one of the computers Heather is searching for to cause her and Storm to fall into a coma? What if I have Heather's mind jump into another person's body? What if Storm wakes up from his coma but Heather doesn't because her mind is in another body and he has to deal with the fact that his mate is not there for him or this war they're fighting?

One little thought will grow into a book. I just need a little more time.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Welcome My Latest Guest: Barbara Meyers! #amwriting

I want to welcome Barbara Meyers.  First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thanks, Barbara. I write contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing. When I’m not writing I put on a green apron and work part-time as a barista for a global coffee company. My son and daughter are grown and they both went off and found romance and got married and are living their own versions of happily ever after. Currently I reside in central Florida with my almost-perfect husband Bill and my almost-perfect black Lab mix, Pepper.

Tell us about your latest release.

Fantasy Man was great fun to write and even more fun to edit. It’s a mix of romantic comedy and light suspense.

One lie of omission could turn her wildest dream into a world of hurt.

Quinn Fontana never thought witnessing two murders would lead to her first taste of freedom. But when her overprotective brother puts her on a plane for L.A. to hide until it’s time to testify, she can’t stop the shiver of anticipation.

If her life is going to be cut short, she plans to live it to the fullest. And that includes seducing her intended protector—her brother’s best friend and star of her private fantasies.

When security consultant Reif Callaghan awakens after a rowdy night out with his coworkers to find a warm, willing woman in his bed, he’s almost past the point of no return when he realizes it’s Quinn. And he’s come way too close to debauching his best friend’s little sister.

Her enticing offer—one night, no holding back, no regrets—is a temptation he can’t resist. Until he realizes she’s been hiding a piece of vital information that could cost not only their one chance to turn fantasy into reality, but their lives.

Warning: Contains fantasy-come-true sex, get-it-out-of-their-system sex, angry-as-hell sex, and on-the-run sex. Also, accidental ferret-napping. Asthmatics are advised to load up on antihistamines before reading.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

The first villain that came to mind was Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs. He was just fascinating. I loved how he got into the minds of his victims. He was twisted and sick yet he loved beauty. Gave you the chills yet you couldn’t look away. Anthony Hopkins was brilliant in that role, wasn’t he?

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

As an author you hate to say your favorite character is the one you just wrote, but I’m going to say it anyway. Quinn, the heroine in Fantasy Man. I actually started writing this story a long time ago and I like to think my writing grew along with her. It was so much fun to see her evolve from this rather irresponsible, live-for-the-moment girl who accidentally on purpose put herself in harm’s way, into a more responsible individual who realized she wasn’t just risking her life any more, but the hero’s as well. I loved watching her “grow up” without losing her spontaneity.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Contemporary romance. I hate to say this but the reason I write contemporary is that I don’t really like doing the kind of research you have to do to write convincing historical romance. J And I prefer to read fiction in a contemporary setting.

4.) What are you working on now?

Something with the working title “Those Who Can, Date.” It’s about a dating expert who’s horrible at dating and a playboy-type mega movie star (ala George Clooney) who’s sick of dating.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Again, I hate to admit this, but it was reading one too many poorly written romance novels. I just knew I could write better. (And I do! Tee hee) You are making me admit to a lot of things today!

6.) Where do you get your ideas?

Absolutely everywhere. The dating book arose from a comment a friend’s daughter made about using up all of her dating talking points when her date lasted longer than expected. I thought that was hilarious. Often I get ideas from a comment someone makes or a situation or a setting. It just depends.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

Honestly, I think people would be surprised to find out how old many authors whose work they enjoy actually are and they’d probably be surprised to find that out about me. At one of the first professional writer’s conferences I went to, even I was surprised at the amount of gray hair in the room! We usually write about characters who are much younger than we are, but trust me, we still remember what it’s like to fall in love, to find that zing with a man, to want the happy ending. And some of us started writing when we were the ages of our heroines.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

No. Unless being right 99.9% of the time counts as a special talent. I used to be able to touch the tip of my tongue to my nose, but either my tongue doesn’t stretch as far or my nose relocated itself because I can’t do it any longer. I can also come up with poems with Dr. Seuss-like rhyming schemes on the fly.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you?

“Want-to-be writers admit defeat easily. Successful writers never give up.” Why? This isn’t really advice. It’s something I read in a copy of Writer’s Digest years ago and cut out and stuck on my desk. For most of us it takes a long time to get good at writing. Quality writing is very important to me. I had all these stories I wanted to tell, but my ability to execute wasn’t there early on. Persistence, however, often outweighs education and talent. I simply refused to give up. My writing got better with every manuscript I finished and eventually I found editors who like my work enough to offer me contracts.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Wow. That is a good question. Eve maybe. I’d like to ask her why she felt so compelled to take a bite out of that apple. Was the serpent really that convincing?

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Happy (from “Despicable Me 2”) by Pharrell Williams.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

I’d be a tortoise. Because slow and steady always wins the race.





Excerpt:

He focused over her shoulder for a moment. “I thought,” he repeated, “you’d be angry with me. That you were angry. Upset. You know…earlier.” He felt himself reddening in embarrassment. This wasn’t coming out right. He ran his fingers through his hair. “Hell. I’m sorry, okay? I’m so goddammed sorry about what happened—that you—that I…” Words failed him. She appeared to be amused at his inability to adequately express how he felt.
“It’s okay—”
“It’s not okay. I took advantage of you—”
“Oh, please! You did not!” she replied. “I’m to blame—”
He shook his head, having no problem holding her gaze now. “No. Don’t even go there.
You are not to blame. I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t even awake. I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Her grin widened. “Really?”
“Look, I have this condition,” Reif began.
Quinn raised an eyebrow. “Out of control libido?”
“No. Jesus. No. I can control myself, okay?”
“Rats.”
“It’s similar to sleepwalking. Sometimes it is sleepwalking. Alcohol, and I had a lot of it last night, aggravates the symptoms.”
“What are you saying?”
“That it might seem like I’m awake to someone else. I might act like I know what I’m doing. I could even carry on a conversation, but—”
“You’re actually asleep,” Quinn finished for him.
“Basically, yes.”
“And that’s what happened this morning.”
Reif nodded.
“Then I can’t wait for a repeat performance when you are thinking and awake and know exactly what you’re doing.”
His mouth dropped open. “Dammit, Quinn—”
“Oh, so you remembered who I am. Just for the record, Tony was supposed to call.”
“He did.” Her eyebrow shot up in question. He waved a hand. “I just got the message now. Messages, actually. About five minutes ago.”
“Oh.” She considered this new information. “Well, you see? You didn’t know. I’m the one who showed up unannounced, the one who raided your fridge—you’re out of Corona Light, by the way, and next time I’d appreciate it if you’d stock up on limes—who crawled into your bed and fell asleep.”
Reif groaned. “Tony’s going to kill me.”
“Oh, please. Tony doesn’t have to know. I’m certainly not going to tell him.”
“He’ll know.”
“How?” Quinn scoffed. “He’s two thousand miles away. So is my dad, thank God. You’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“Oh, yeah?” Reif fixed her with what he hoped was a piercing look. “What if you’re pregnant?”
“Excuse me?”
“Unprotected sex,” Reif reminded her. “Unless you’re taking precautions?” He couldn’t help the hopeful note that crept into the end of the question.





FANTASY MAN BUY LINKS



Goodreads Link:


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Updates and Ideas @barbbradley #amwriting

Okay, I know I have really sucked at posting every Tuesday but 2015 has been a rough one. For those of you who haven't seen my post at the MFRW website I'm putting the link here so you can see what I've been though.

http://mfrw.blogspot.com/2015/10/writing-through-adversity-barbbradley.html

Writing that was very cathartic and has helped me moved past the issues, but it has made me realize that maybe I should blog about how I write. Over the years people have always asked me how I find the time to write. I never thought I was a very busy person until the end of October. I always felt it just sounded like it.

I mean I worked, had a small child to raise, and wrote. What aspiring author didn't have a schedule like mine? I became the president of my local RWA chapter during that time as well so was very active in the chapter. I also belonged to a critique group.

I always make time for my writing. If I don't my characters will beat me up.It;s also an escape for me. With everything going on I need that. I think it's one of the reasons I've been focusing on my writing instead of trying to promote my work.

So what I hope to do is add - I know - I can't keep up with what I already try to do with this blog...
But I thought I should give a little insight into my life as well as my writing.

On a good week you'll get a blog on the handouts I have, a blog on what I'm working on that week, and my interviews. I'm hoping this will help me post more often or at least twice a week which is my basic goal right now. We'll see how it goes...


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Welcome My Latest Guest Jessie Clever! @jessieclever #amreading

I want to welcome Jessie Clever.  First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thank you for having me today!  I’m a storyteller at heart and love to give readers a moment of escape from the day to day.  I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, and it’s my absolute dream to share my stories with readers.

Tell us about your latest release.

When She Knows came about when I said goodbye to my 20s and reflected on what I had learned.  There’s a lot of me in this book, and I don’t often get a chance to write about things I’ve encountered personally.  I hope some of the aspects of the heroine’s character will help other women in similar situations and going through a similar time in their life.  I believe there is a lot of pressure on young women to do it all, and I hope they find in this book that they only need to do those things that are worthy of them.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

My favorite villains are always the one that makes you wonder whether or not they are really a villain.  I love the show The Good Wife for this.  Sometimes you think they’re good, and then they turn around and stab their friends in the back.  That shows real human characteristics and not just black and white characters that fit nicely into a plot.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

I don’t play favorites.  No, I really do.  Jane, the Duchess of Lofton from my Spy Series, is my absolute favorite, because she simply popped into my head one day fully formed.  Now she feels like an old friend.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I read voraciously as a child, and only when I began to understand how much books costs did I realize the predicament I put my parents in.  I grew up in the sticks without a handy public library, so my dad’s solution was to buy boxes of books at auctions for $1. The boxes were always filled with romance novels, historical and contemporary.  I fell in love with the books that I had available to me, and that was what determined what genres I’d write in.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m working on the next book in the Franconia Notch Trilogy, When She Falls.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I always say writers are born, not made, and at the very ripe age of 7, I knew I was going to be a writer.  I had just received a picture book based on my current movie obsession, Dick Tracy. It was the first picture book I read all on my own.  That was the beginning of the end for me.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere!  I warn people to be careful around me, because what they say could end up in a book.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I’m afraid of stairs and swamps.  Stairs because I don’t have depth perception, so I can’t see them at all.  I can only imagine myself tumbling right down them.  Swamps because seriously.  Swamps are freaking scary!

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’m a classically trained pianist.  (Against my will and at the directive of my mother!)

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Keep writing.  I read an interview with Lynn Kurland who said while she was submitting her manuscripts she kept writing, so in case an agent/editor came back saying the manuscript wasn’t the right fit, she would be able to say, well I have three more.  No matter what, I keep my hands moving on the next manuscript.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Audrey Hepburn.  There’s so much I would like to ask her about surviving hardships, finding beauty in harshness, and persevering.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon.  I use dance as of way of stress relief, and there are moments when I throw up my hands and say just dance!

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

Dog.  Specifically one of my writing partners, Lady Barks-a-lot or Captain Licky.  They are extremely lazy Basset hounds.





Title:

When She Knows: Franconia Notch Trilogy Book One 
by 
Jessie Clever


Blurb:

His latest problem is her newest assignment.

Shannon Wynter has it all figured it. Abandoned by her mother and left to care for her agoraphobic father, Shannon focuses on building her career as a journalist to the detriment of all else including her love life.

Ian Darke has his own problems. Battling past failures, Ian sets his eyes on launching a new factory for his father’s defense firm. But it’s the very father he failed that will do anything to sabotage Ian’s progress.

And when Shannon follows an anonymous tip that leads her to Ian’s factory door, the last thing she expects to discover is what she already knows.


Goodreads Link:

Purchase links:

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1SWp4R9
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1M6StJw
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1IHyZsj


 
About the Author:

In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring.  Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found.  And Jessie has been writing ever since.

Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.

Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds.  For more, visit her website at jessieclever.com.




Social Media Links:



Excerpt:
"But fraud for a defense contractor is serious.  You don't want to defend your reputation as a provider to our armed forces?"
It took him a minute to realize that clicking noise was her following him over the pavement.  He spun around, his arms coming up once more to gesture his acquiescence, only she was standing too close, and instead of gesturing with authority, he ran into her, his arms striking her shoulders and knocking her against him.
He froze, feeling the length of her body collide with his, the scent of her shampoo invade his senses, her breath fall across the exposed skin above his shirt collar.  He felt her hesitation, the hitch in her breath, before she shoved against him, pushing herself away.
"I'm very sorry," he said, his hands moving uselessly in front of him as if to help her regain her balance.
She stood with her pad held against her chest like some sort of shield, and he felt his anger drain into annoyance.
"I'm sorry," he repeated, much more carefully, "I don't have a comment, and I need to get back to work.  Please excuse me."
He turned slowly this time, resuming his walk to the loading dock door.
"What is it that you're using this factory for, Mr. Darke?"
He didn't answer.  No matter how much he wanted to turn around and rail about his stupid brother's stupid decisions, he did not.  He kept walking.
"Fraud, I mean, come on, that's-"
And then he did turn.
"If you want a comment, you can call our PR department."
"Great!" she said, and he almost smiled at her enthusiasm as she pulled up a clean page of her notebook.  "What's the phone number?"
He shook his head at her and let his feet carry him back to where she stood on the pavement, notebook poised for the phone number.
"Shannon, was it?" he said when he was close.
He had felt her breath hitch when she had bumped into him, and now he dared to step a little closer than politeness would have dictated.  He saw it again, the slight hitch in her chest, and he felt a smile spread over his face.  He leaned in, dropping his voice to a soft, rich level.
"Have you heard of the Internet, Shannon?"
"Yes," she whispered softly, her eyes locked on his.
"Use it," he said and walked away, leaving her standing in the parking lot, her pen completely still.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Writing Down the Bones: Story Construction and Evaluation Pt 15 Sensual and General #editing

Sorry I didn't post this last week - I even had it written up but totally spaced when Tuesday rolled around, This is the last part of this particular handout. I'm going to combine the last two together because there is only a few question in each category. Enjoy.

First we're going to cover the sensual aspect of your book:

1.) Have you used all six senses?

2.) Have you described color, taste, smells, sounds, spatial relationships, mood, humor, deja vu, and tension?

Now we're going to look at the general things you should make sure are there:

1.) Have you shown instead of told?

2.) Have you removed any unnecessary words or phrases?

3.) Have you switched your view points as little as possible?


That's it for this handout. I hope what I posted has helped you.

New handout next week.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Welcome My latest Guest Ann Raina! #amwriting

I want to welcome Ann Raina. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m way beyond forty and currently I live in Germany with five cats and a horse (not in the same apartment; he just didn’t fit). I’ve been writing novels for years and I still love creating plots, finding characters and putting them together. My muse is always with me. We talk about ideas and how to get them into a story every week. My creativity wouldn’t be so fulfilling without her additions, comments and questions, especially about the logic in plot twists.

Tell us about your latest release.

This fall three novels will be released, the first one’s The Secretary’s Bodyguard. The story is about Jazmin, who’s married to the bodyguard of the Secretary of State. On an official visit to Colombia the secretary and his entourage are attacked by terrorists and have to flee through the forest, hunted by men out to kill them all.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

From a movie I’d choose Hans Gruber, portrayed by Alan Rickman, in Die Hard 1. He’s cynical, bad without remorse and yet in his way so funny you can laugh. Okay, I’m guilty of liking this movie anyway… In my opinion the bad guys always get the best roles, the more challenging performance. If the bad guys are well played they make the good guys look handsome and well-behaved, but without the edges.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

I tend to write one book with a set of characters and then let go. This time I wrote three novels in a row because Ethan Mahoney and his wife make such a lovely couple I couldn’t part with them. And, yes, if I come up with another plot there will be a forth book. He’s dedicated to his wife and also his job. He’s straightforward and reliable and a wild tiger if anyone dares getting close to his wife. He has a way to cheer her up and still respect her. In the second book he’s confronted with a villain he can’t truly beat and to write that confrontation was a real challenge. I guess, with Ethan I wrote a character I would very much like to meet. I confess I’m still a girl with dreams when it comes to that.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I write contemporary romance and Science Fiction. I like SciFi because of the never ending possibilities to create new worlds and venture onto other planets where our rules don’t apply. But recently the ideas were more earth-bound. While writing a story that plays here and now I have to stick to historical facts and it’s very interesting to do research before the first paragraph is written.

4.) What are you working on now?

Another SciFi story which I started between book two and three of the series. Yes, sometimes I can’t get enough. At first I wanted to take down notes and do nothing else. I tried to focus on the plot I was writing at that time, but it just didn’t work. The first ten pages were written before I blinked. Then I tried for discipline and finished book three (A Bodyguard’s Vacation) to return to the SciFi plot. Right now I’m in the middle somewhere and try to wrap up and not forget where I was heading. Getting distracted by side plots is one of my problems…

5.) What got you to start writing?

I honestly can’t tell. I suppose it was Han Solo. I loved the character so much I started writing fan fiction when no one knew that word. All of my early stories were hand-written and only some friends got them for reading. I stuck with fan fiction for quite a long time, but then made the turn to my own worlds and own characters.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Dreams. Taking a shower. Working in the garden. When an idea hits me I take down notes, play around with it and present it to my muse for duly dissection. After that brainstorming sets in, decorated with coffee and cookies. (I understand all FB posts about the essentials of coffee for authors…) If we can’t get any further on one day we postpone. I take down more notes and the full plot will take about two or three weeks for creation. Again, every movie I watch or book I read can become a source for ideas.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I think I can only write books, which deal with so much trouble, action, suspense and else because my real life is very orderly. I’m happy with my life. I can put all these imaginary problems in my books because my day-to-day life is enjoyable.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’ve learned riding years ago and finally bought a horse, a chestnut colored gelding. He’s nine years old by now and a very good partner in the woods. So I spent a lot of time outdoors.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Know the character and its language. I was told by my teacher in high school that my writing is nice (okay, at that time), but I lack the ability to write narrative according to the man’s or woman’s upbringing. People from different social places talk differently. I try to keep that in mind every time I create a new character.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I would’ve loved to meet Sir Peter Ustinov. He was such an intelligent man.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Michael Buble’s It’s a Beautiful Day.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

I prefer to be a cat in a large home. Maybe a writer’s cat. Mine tend to look intently at the screen and I guess they were critics in their first lives…




Excerpt:

“You would’ve slapped him?” His voice tripped over the last word. Ethan tried to imagine his wife hitting Walter Coleman, the incarnation of a strict, very conservative and always serious chief of security. It was funny. Reconsidering that she had brought down Ryan, the image lost some of its entertainment value. He frowned as he watched her very nice butt on a westbound trail that only she saw. There was that little idea in the back of his head he’d better ignore.

“He insinuated I might be in a setup with the terrorists following us. It’s completely stupid, I know, but that’s the way he thinks.” She stopped on the way up and turned until Ethan reached her. Her frown was deep and she looked tired. “He’s doing his job, and he was right to remind you to do yours. We’re not here because of some weekend trip gone wonky. You have to work and probably risk your life saving the secretary.”

He put his hands on her hips. “Princess, can you imagine that I’d put his life over yours? It’s not gonna happen. I’m very proud that you’re so brave. So tough. It might come out all wrong, but it’s not. I didn’t expect you to be like this. Not even with the police training and all.”

“I panic on the inside, Ethan.” She caressed his stubbly cheek and ran her thumb over the cleft in his chin. He saw her fight off emotions that would lead to tears. “I’m so afraid you’ll get hurt. And that those men will catch up to us and kill us all in cold blood. I can’t stand the thought that you’ll throw yourself in the line of fire and that those bastards might finally end what they began.” She combed his hair with her fingers. “I can’t think of a life without you.”

“I’ll work hard so no one gets killed. Would that be okay?”

She trembled as he took her in his arms. “They’re still coming after us, and they’ve got the larger firepower, don’t they? Please, Ethan, tell me that we stand a chance.”

He let go and smiled at her. “Well, we’ve got you with us. And if I got the secretary right, he’ll hire you as recruitment. Wait an hour and he’ll order Walter to hand you a gun.”

She turned and walked on. “I can fire a gun. I was a police officer.”

Ethan, his eyes already back on her derrière, opened his mouth for a reply, rethought the argument and kept silent until she turned with a frown.

“Do you doubt I can shoot?”

Again, Ethan knew he was in trouble, no matter how he answered the question. “Walter…won’t hand a weapon to anyone he hasn’t personally trained. He’s…nuts when it comes to weapons and shooting. He wouldn’t let you touch—”

“He’d reject my help even if Ryan can’t shoot anymore?”

Ethan heard the outrage in her voice and called himself stupid to have brought up the subject. His mind juggled the possible ways to end the discussion. “Ryan’s fine, even with his left hand. I saw him train.”


Book information:
The Secretary’s Bodyguard
Copyright © 2015 Ann Raina
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0518-2
Cover art by Carmen Waters

Buying information:


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Welcome My Latest Guest Kimberly Dean! @kdean_writer #amwriting

I want to welcome Kimberly Dean.  First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hello, I’m Kimberly Dean.  I write paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and erotica. 

Tell us about your latest release.

Dream Walker is the story of a Dream Weaver who falls in love with a beautiful scientist plagued by sleepwalking.  It’s the second book in my Dream Weavers series, which is based on the Greek legend of the Oneiroi.  The Oneiroi are deamons who bestow dreams upon sleeping humans.  In this particular story, the heroine is being possessed by a Somnambulist, and it’s up to her Dream Weaver to save her.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

I’d have to go with CatWoman.  She’s cool, clever, sexy, and not totally evil.  She wears great clothes, gets away with mischief, and has Batman panting after her.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

I really liked Jason Sloan from Courting Trouble.  He’s a former hockey player turned businessman, yet he still approaches life with the same aggressiveness that got him thrown in the penalty box more often than not.  Roxie from my Triple X series is my favorite heroine.  She grew up in the foster care system and is wild and independent.  For both characters, I like their layers.  They say and do what they want to do, not caring what others think, yet they have such good hearts.  I’d love to take the leaps that they do, but I’m too cautious.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I write paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and erotica (that always ends  up being a romance, too.)  I like variety, and most of my story ideas are in the contemporary and paranormal genres.  I started off writing erotica.  That’s where I was able to enter the marketplace, so it still holds a special place in my heart.

4.) What are you working on now?

I have more ideas for the Dream Weavers, so I’m plotting the next book, which is titled Riveting Dreams.  I’m also working on my Courting series, which is contemporary erotic romance. The series is about Luxxor Limited, a high-end escort service that specializes in love matches.  The next book is Courting Danger.  It’s a thriller, and it releases just in time for Halloween.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Years ago, I went through a spate where all I was reading were disappointing books.  I thought to myself, “I could do better.”  That led to “Why don’t you?”  It was a pretty big claim for somebody who’d never written anything creative, beyond what was assigned as homework in school.  So I sat down and gave it a try.  That was eleven years ago, and I haven’t stopped writing since.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Ideas can come from anywhere – songs, television shows, movies, news, myths, just driving, etc.  The important part is to pay attention when my mind starts to wander.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I’m not English.  I’ve written a lot of books for British publishers.  When they edit, they change everything into England’s English.  Readers assume that I live there because of that, but I’m an American.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’m a good volleyball setter.  A coach once challenged me to set a ball and have it land on the top of his head. Nailed it. Won a Coke.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

I published before I found out about writing organizations, critique groups, etc.  This was before the Internet was prevalent.  I jumped into the deep end without knowing any other writers.  I wish I’d had advice.  It could have saved me some wrong turns.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Kim Russo, the psychic medium.  I’d be interested to hear who would come through in a reading.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

I don’t know if it describes my life, but Rachel Platten’s Fight Song resonates with me.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A tiger, because they’re beautiful and fierce.





Bio:

When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica.  She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock ‘n’ roll, and a good book make for a perfect day.

Blurb:

Research scientist Shea Caldwell has always had a thing for security consultant, Derek Oneiros. He’s smart, handsome, and built like a Greek god. As attracted as she is to him, though, she’s afraid to let him into her bed – because she’s dangerous when she sleeps.

Derek is known among his brothers as “The Machine,” yet his carefully cultivated control is put to the test whenever he’s around Shea. The woman is as beautiful as she is intelligent, but they’ve always kept things professional – until Derek learns why. Shea is sleepwalking again, but what she doesn’t know is that he may be the only one who can help her. For he is a Greek daemon, and he’s charged with protecting her dreams.

With Shea threatened, Derek makes things personal, and their nights together turn steamy and intimate. He’s ready to battle against the Somnambulist that’s been controlling his lover in her sleep, yet is the night creature really causing all the harm? When Shea’s groundbreaking research notes are stolen, it’s clear that other evil forces may be at work.

Dream Walker Buy links:

Available at:  AmazonNookGoogle PlayKoboiBooks

Social Media:

Twitter @KDean_writer.
Kimberly’s Goodreads Author Page
Kimberly’s Amazon Author Page

Dream Walker Excerpt:

He’d let her fall asleep.

It was the first clear thought that ran through Shea’s mind when she opened her eyes. That and the fact that Derek was still with her. His heat pressed against her back, and his arm draped heavily across her waist. They were lying side by side on her bed, her body tucked up close against his.

Yet even as she responded in pleasure, she tensed.

Darkness was falling. They’d spent the day making love, and now the sun was setting. Night was creeping in. She stared at the oil painting that hung on the wall until her nerves began to crawl. Even the littlest thing could set her Somnambulist off—and today had been anything but normal—yet she’d let herself be lulled into sleep.

What had she been thinking?

“There you are,” a deep voice rumbled. The hand against her stomach flexed, and she was pulled more tightly against the big male form behind her.

A muscled thigh slipped between her legs, and Shea arched as a soft kiss was placed on the side of her neck. The intimate embrace had her groaning. Obviously, she hadn’t been thinking. Her brain had been shorted out, disconnected, and thrown right into the bathwater.

How could she have let her guard down like that? The freedom had been fantastic, arousing and intoxicating as fine wine, but how could she have forgotten what had been happening to her? What had happened just this morning?

Had she… Oh, God. Had she done anything in her sleep? With Derek here?

“How long have I been out?” she asked in a rush.

“Not long.”

That rumbling voice was too disconcerting, too sexy. She had to look into his eyes. Tucking the sheet up high under her arms, she rolled over to face him. When she did, her breath caught in her chest. His short hair was mussed, and dark shadows lined his jaw. The bad boy look didn’t fit his character, but it was so incredibly hot she had to press her legs together.

Unable to help herself, she let her gaze drop. She took in the well-drawn lines of his body, his muscled chest and rippling abs, but the sheet sitting low on his hips wasn’t what made her look up again. It was the relaxed look on his face. She’d never seen him so calm, so relaxed, so at ease in the moment. It made her belly warm.

Relaxed had to be good, right? If she’d gotten up and danced zombie pirouettes around the bedroom, he wouldn’t be relaxed.

Or so obviously ready to make love to her again.




Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Writing Down the Bones: Story Construction and Evaluation Pt 14 Word Choice #editing

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this year is good for all of us.

So let's get back to the handout I've been working from. Janice Bennett's Writing the Popular Novel - Story construction and Evaluation The Romance Novel. This week we're looking at word choices. As usual I tried to write it in my own words.

1.) Have you used active verbs instead of the passive verb? Instead saying was walking have you changed ti to walked?

2.) Can you replace adverbs with vivid verbs?

3.) Can you replace adjectives with vivid nouns?

4.) Have you checked to make sure you're not using the same words over and over?

5.) Have you used the best or strongest word to convey what you want?

6.) Are your words specific or concrete and not vague or generalized? The example Janice uses is what kind of tree?

7.) Have you removed the qualifiers like very, rather, quite and really and replaced them with metaphors or similes.

8.) Are there any redundancies that need to removed? Janice uses and example for this too - the background behind him.

9.) Have you avoided multiple adverbs and adjectives.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone! #christmas

Christmas is coming....



I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I plan on taking the next two weekends off. No guests or regular posts.

This season is time for family and friends and I plan on enjoying my time with them. I hope you do too.

I hope you enjoy the holidays. May you get everything you wish for.

Barb:)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Welcome G.D. Ogan back to my Blog! @thecarphotoguy #amwriting

I want to welcome G.D. Ogan back to my blog! First I’d love you to re-introduce yourself. 

Tell us about your latest release. 


The third in my unique series about good vampires who safeguard humans is "Immortal Relations Coming Out" and as the title implies they discuss the benefits versus the risks in allowing humans to know that they are more than fiction, myth and legend. They saved mankind from a potential thermonuclear war as well as two ecological disasters in book two, "Immortal Relations, Love and War" so it seems timely to discuss the possibility of forming a strong bond between the species. Human fears, born of the actions of ancient bloodthirsty vampires argue against coming out to humans. However, seeing human governments sliding back toward the abyss of dictatorships, something must be done, so a coven is established in Southern-Canada to monitor the situation in the not so "united" United States.   

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers. 

1.) Who is your favorite author? Do you feel you write like them? 


The late Tom Clancy was, in my eyes, the ultimate writer of military-political action novels. He also joined with several other authors to publish similar books who continue to develop those stories. My works are in the paranormal-romance genre' but they have military and political components as my vampires do operate in the modern world to safeguard mankind, often from the efforts of evil politicians to enslave those people they should be serving. I'd love to have my stories compared to Clancy's; however, I fear no one can equal the depth of his writing style! 

2.) What was your favorite book growing up? 

J. R. R. Tolkin's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The details in the story of "Middle Earth" about the forces of good versus evil was so intriguing to my young mind that I read each novel and the prequel, "The Hobbit" many times - 'til dog-eared pages fell from their bindings.  

3.) Are you a plotter or a pantser and why did you choose that method? 

The stories develop in my mind while I'm in a dreaming sleep and while I'm actually writing, so I'd say pantser. As far as "choosing" the method, it feels more like the method chose me. 

4.) Do you consider writing a career or a hobby? Why?

 Hmmm...how about a duty? I've seen and done a lot during my military career and later working in psychology so I feel I have a responsibility to present some of what I learned, hopefully in engaging storylines. 

5.) What are you working on now? 


I'm researching for a novel about time-travel back to the age of dinosaurs. I'm writing it because my granddaughter LOVES dinosaurs and I want to write it for her.  

6.) What one piece of advice would you like to pass on to an up and coming author? 

Write what you are interested in not what you think others want to read...not everyone is going to like what you write, but as long as you like it don't be deterred.  

7.) If you had the ability to time travel and your first visit was to see a younger version of yourself what would you say to that younger self?

 Spend more time with your wife and children rather than so much over-time in the military. 

8.) You just got a million dollars, whether it’s from an inheritance, the lottery, or a sweet book deal doesn’t matter. What would be the first thing you would buy for yourself? 

About 120 acres of land where I and the children and grandchildren could build houses and be close enough to help each other (plus we'd get to babysit more often)! 

9.) If you could un-invent one thing in the world what would it be? 


Methamphetamines - they have ruined far too many young lives! 

10.) What is your favorite movie/TV Show? Why? 

The Vampire Dairies. Because it shows that there is hope that some vampires can become good! 





Blurb

Immortal Relations Coming Out, third in the series by G. D. Ogan continues to rock the foundation upon which typical vampire novels are based. Such stories, where vampires safeguard humans are rare indeed. These vampires do their utmost to save humans and animals from not only evil vampires but evil humans.
Ogan's insights into the powers of the immortal vampires, along with fresh takes on the complex inner workings of their existence provide an intriguing experience for readers. In this story a novice shape-shifter wolf meets a beautiful hybrid vampire. Good vampires set up a new coven in Southern Canada to monitor a regime intent on changing American into a dictatorship. Marxist thugs, not realizing who they are dealing with, still believe the group was partly responsible for the defeat of Communists intent on stealing oil, gold and mineral reserves from Russia, so Washington retaliates with violence. A great deal of effort is required by the vampires to keep Canadian citizens safe. There is a vampire wedding with a handsome human; then dangers from outer-space suddenly appear to threaten the entire earth - can such threats be stopped?
A reader of Immortal Relations said: "Being a bit of a vampire-phile, I find myself constantly searching for the next vampire series to reach out and grab, or, more appropriately, bite me. I believe I have found my holy grail of vampire novels..." 

Excerpt (from pages 147-149): Vlad Dracula is talking with one of his newest vampire friends, Gary Logan. Vlad has explained how he and other of the oldest vampires have progressed to the point where they need little if any blood. Gary has asked why the out-of-control vampires continue to attack humans. 



Vlad replies (through thought transference) “They get a thrill from the hunt and then, as the life drains from their victims, it provides a rush from the feeling of power over the living.”
 
Gary: “If I may be so bold, have you had such feelings in the past?”


Vlad smiled and nodded slowly, "It was a very, very long time ago Gary. We were fighting what you would call 'an asymmetrical war' against Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and his Muslim invaders who outnumbered us at least three to one. I was looking for anything to slow them down. I guess you would say I used psychological warfare by building the 'forest' of impaled enemy soldiers we had defeated in previous battles. While we had numerous successes against units of the invaders we unfortunately were unable to hold off so large an invading army. It was about this time I was changed into what I am today. I was always in the front lines of battle and routinely soaked in blood. Perhaps that is what changed me into a vampire. One of my own Generals saw me surrounded by enemies and saw blood spurting up in the air. Thinking it was my blood he sent word that I'd been killed. My dear wife was distraught and threw herself from the heights of our Poenari Castle into the Arges River below.

Then my second cousin, Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, from whom I had sought help in prosecuting the war, imprisoned me. Locked away, I soon became crazed with the desire for blood I would have otherwise found on the battlefield. Many fellow prisoners died because of it and after my escape I was a plague on the land. It took all too long before I regained some sense of my lost humanity.”

With downcast eyes Vlad thought, “Which is where the myths, legends and stories about me started – I’m afraid I earned them all.”


I reached over and patted him on the arm saying, “I’m sorry I brought up a topic that has induced clearly painful memories for you.”


Vlad smiled at me, “No, it is alright. If you haven’t heard the story before I think you need to know the type of vampire you follow. I hope it won’t detract from our relationship.”


“Never fear of my continued admiration and respect for you. You were a great leader fighting to free your people from an oppressive invader. Since you had no one to guide you after you were changed, as a ‘newborn’ vampire you did what came naturally. However, it begs the question, how did you stop?”


“I married again and she helped me overcome the constant thirst, giving me some of her own blood, and she brought me back to God.”


With tears in my eyes I thought, in reply to Vlad, “Women are clearly the superior gender, without them we men would be little better than wild beasts. “


Buy Links (PRINT AND DIGITAL VERSIONS):



Book one, Immortal Relations  
http://amzn.com/B006ZCBT6G

Book two, Immortal Relations, Love and War 
http://amzn.com/B00A4IEHL6 

Book three, "Immortal Relations Coming Out" 
http://amzn.com/B00G5BQS18 



Bio

Born in Washington D.C. during WW-II, I attended Washington and Lee High among other schools in the area before my parents moved us to Northern California where I ran track and cross-country. I received an Associates degree from Foothill J.C. then transferred to Texas Christian University where I received my Bachelors and commission in the USAF. I did a lot of writing while in the service, was stationed in many parts of the world and received a Masters from Ball State University's European Campus. After retiring, I finished a second Masters at Hardin-Simmons University (none of these were in English or Literature as my novels will attest). I then worked in the field of psychology both in a clinical setting and with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I live in West Texas with my wife of 47 years and our three Pomeranians. Writing and reading are a passion along with a few antique automobiles and  muscle cars.