Friday, November 21, 2014

Q&A with Diana Stevan!!!!

1.  Tell us about your release.
 My debut novel, A CRY FROM THE DEEP,  a romantic mystery/adventure was released on Oct. 15th, 2014. I officially launched it at the Vancouver Island Regional Library, Campbell River branch on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, on Oct. 21st with a book reading and signing.

2.  What makes your story special to you?
 
What's special about A CRY FROM THE DEEP is that this romance is genre bending, something uber agent, Donald Maass, says is what writing is about in the 21st century.

Not only is my novel about Catherine Fitzgerald's struggle to find true love as a single parent with child, it's also about her assignment as an underwater photographer to cover a hunt for one of the lost ships of the Spanish Armada. And if that adventure isn't enough, there's also the mystery about the antique Claddagh ring that Catherine buys before she leaves for the hunt. The ring seems to trigger nightmares and visions about a woman caught in a storm on an old sailing ship. 

When I look back on my journey of writing this book, I'm not surprised it took over 6 years to write. There were so many elements that required extensive research. 

I guess I could've written a simpler story, and written four books instead of one, but that's not who I am. 

3.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
 I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was in my early twenties. I was married then, and had two small children. I joined the Manitoba Authors Association and tried writing a short story. I did publish a few newspaper articles on fitness and travel for major city newspapers, but being a practical person, I couldn’t see how I could help support the family by being a writer. So, I put my dream of writing on a back burner, got my Master of Social Work degree and worked as a family therapist for over 25 years. Over time, my writing filled dozens of journals, but publication waited until now.
4. What is a typical writing day like?
 I don’t have a typical writing day. What is typical though is the fact I hit the computer first thing in the morning armed with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. I’ll check my social media accounts and my mail and then, if I have time, I’ll write something fresh or do revisions on something I’ve been working on. Because of family responsibilities over the years, I’ve learned to grab time when I can, so no day is typical.
5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
 As for any interesting writing quirk, I seem to be constantly writing notes to myself and filing them in piles which I review from time to time, often forgetting why I wrote the note in the first place. I guess that’s pretty quirky.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?

One of the most surprising things I learned as a published author, is the fact that I got some great reviews. What I had hoped to achieve in the telling of my story actually worked. One of my reviewers is a professional with Kindle Book Review, and he totally got it. And he was a male, which was another lovely surprise. I had hoped that my story would appeal to both sexes and it seems it does.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
 I’ve been helped immeasurably by my writers’ critique group. Published authors—Kristin Butcher, Jocelyn Reekie, Shari Green, and Janet Smith—have read my bimonthly submissions and their comments have helped me become a better writer.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
 My family is thrilled about my career as a published author. Even my teen grandkids have said they are proud of me. What more can I ask for?
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
 Besides writing, I love painting in watercolors, acrylic and oil. I’m also an avid gardener and find much solace in my plants. I am fortunate that I live in a beautiful part of the world, where I have access to hiking trails, which my husband and I both enjoy. To take breaks from the computer, I also go swimming, play pickle ball and cycle. And a few times a year, my husband and I travel to see family and to places we’ve never been.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
 Next, is a long short story, which I hope to publish in January. It’s called THE BLUE NIGHTGOWN. I’m also looking for a publisher for a historical fiction I wrote, NO TIME FOR TEARS, a story inspired by my grandmother’s time in what is now Ukraine, during the Czar’s rule, WWI, the Bolshevik revolution and the Polish occupation between 1915 and 1929.
11. How can readers connect with you online?
Readers can connect with me at http://www.dianastevan.com and my Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/dianastevan.author

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spotlight on... HORSE OF BELLS by Pelaam!

Blurb
A legendary horse, magic, and a man shrouded in mystery. Who can he trust? Caolan risks both his heart and his life to uncover the truth.


When his life is saved by a stranger, Prince Caolan feels an immediate connection to the man, and promises to meet him again. Forced to break that promise to protect his brother Donal, Caolan waits for the day he can return to the forest.
On their trip home, almost a year later, he and Donal are tricked by their step-mother into attempting to steal the legendary Horse of Bells from the infamous Dark Prince Tuathal. Honor-bound to accept the geis she set them, the brothers leave their castle to complete the quest.
During their journey, they meet the enigmatic Traveler. Caolan is confused and troubled by his reaction to the man. Is he a friend, or are his intentions darker and more deadly?


Excerpt
The morning came without further event, and Caolan consigned his fear to simple nervousness regarding his brother's challenge. They rebuilt the fire and set some water to boil while they washed at the stream. Laughing together, they returned to their camp and stopped abruptly. A stranger sat at their fire, roasting a couple of skinned rabbits as if he had been expected for breakfast.
Caolan stared at him. He felt as if he should know the man, and yet he knew no one with such unruly sandy-brown hair. The newcomer's beard seemed better maintained; it was but a light coating of slightly redder hair. He couldn't stop his blush as the man's gaze locked with his as if he had been caught. They were the same frigid blue-grey the sea had been the day they had left for the Isles—cold, uninviting, and daunting.
"If I were a spy for the dark prince, I would by now be on my way there, laughing at how two young idiots were going to walk straight into the arms of waiting soldiers the minute they set foot in Prince Tuathal's kingdom. It would probably be the only thing that would save you from his wrath, to know that you sat and openly discussed an attempt to steal the Horse of Bells."
"Then you are clearly not a spy." Caolan observed.
"Bravo. You have a modicum of brains to offset your beauty," the stranger retorted.
The words, cold as the look in the man's eyes, would normally have made Caolan bristle with anger. However he found himself inexplicably wishing the stranger was less hostile toward him.
"What do you want?" Donal asked. Caolan recognized the brusque, assertive tones as his brother sought to take control of the situation.
"I would travel with you. These are lonely and dangerous parts. I gain company and you gain someone well-versed in the treacherous swampland through which you must pass."The stranger spoke as if his offer was the most natural thing in the world.
"I cannot believe you would do so out of generosity." Caolan felt unable to resist the jibe.
"That surprises me not," the stranger countered. "Perhaps our hearts are alike. For payment...He paused as if considering what would be suitable, yet Caolan was certain the man already knew exactly what he wanted. "Payment will be my asking the truth of you on your honor at a time of my own choosing."
Caolan stood and stared with his mouth open but unable to formulate a reply. As if from a distance he heard Donal answer for him.
"It's agreed." Donal winked at him, but Caolan was certain there would be no way of telling a falsehood to this man.
"Good. Then let us break our fast. I already know your names. You may call me Traveler," he said.
With a sinking heart Caolan sat next to Donal and accepted a plate holding a generous piece of roasted rabbit.
While his brother sat and ate his serving with gusto, Caolan's attention was more focused on the man who now sat with his head bowed. He knew he'd never seen Traveler before, and yet there was a familiarity that made Caolan ill at ease. A niggling feeling, that Traveler was more than he seemed, made Caolan's stomach twist into knots. Who are you really, and why do you make me feel I should know you?

Bio
Pelaam lives in clean, green New Zealand. She is a multi-published author of gay male romance and erotica across time and space. When not writing, she indulges in her other passionsof cookery and wine appreciationShe can be found on Facebook, and a full list of her published works are on Lazy Beagle Entertainment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Perfect 10:

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE – Beth Ciotta 
A Perfect 10 
A Cupcake Lovers Novel , Book 4 
St. Martin's Press 
ISBN: 978-1-250-00135-1 
July 2014 
Contemporary Romance 

Sugar Creek, Vermont – Present Day 

Sam McCloud is a widowed father of two children, and getting involved in the Cupcake Lovers club seems out of place for the former military man. He is now thinking of dropping out because several of the women in the group are pregnant, and talking about babies and families reminds Sam of how much he misses his late wife. A few months ago he had a fling with the club's PR person, Harper Day, but she has ended it. For Sam that is okay, except he can't forget about the hot sex—or Harper. But one night she cancels an appearance at the club meeting, and Sam senses something isn't right, so heads to her place. 

Harper's world is crashing around her and she doesn't know what to do, so she is holed up in her home in Sugar Creek feeling paralyzed. When Sam arrives, at first she pushes him away, but finally admits the truth: she's been fired from her job and faces deportation back to Canada. Sam suggests a solution that could change both their lives…they get married. Sam gains a bed partner and mother for his children. Harper gets her green card. But getting married isn't that simple, especially as Harper hasn't revealed to Sam the real reason she doesn't want to return to Canada. Her sanity—and life—may be in danger 

Readers who have read ANYTHING BUT LOVE will no doubt recognize Harper and Sam—and their hot fling—and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE focuses on their tantalizing story. As the lone male in the cupcake lovers, Sam sticks out, which hasn't bothered him…until now, as the meetings turn to more about babies than baking a great cupcake.  Besides, the less interaction he has with Harper is for the best, because all he wants to do is ravish her. But she is all wrong for him as she is a high-powered public relations expert who thrives on solving problems and dealing with eccentric celebs as she commutes back and forth between California and Vermont. All Sam wants is a down-to-earth mother for his children, plus someone he can enjoy a healthy sex life with. So why does he propose marriage—literally—to Harper when she should be the last person who would make his perfect wife? Could love have a lot to with it? 

Harper isn't telling Sam everything, because she wants to control and manage things for herself. Yet, not telling him about her real fear could possibly jeopardize Sam and his children's lives. While Harper doesn't see herself as the mothering type, she must admit his kids are adorable, and there's no denying the sexual chemistry between Sam and her. But marriage? She finally agrees to his proposition of marriage for two years, then a clean break. Will the trip to the altar be an uneventful one? 

I really enjoyed IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE because their offbeat chemistry just clicks. Sam is laid back and a devoted father. Harper prefers the bright lights (or so she tells herself) of Hollywood and high-powered activities. Spending time in Sugar Creek was all about relaxing and helping out the Cupcake Lovers club, not falling for Sam. Harper can be kind of pushy, but Sam isn't afraid to push her right back. He will do whatever it takes to protect her, even if he doesn't yet know what it is he's protecting her from. Harper didn't ask Sam to be her island, but she's soon ready to pitch a tent. Sam's honorable attributes make him a keeper for me and is a big reason I'm giving IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE a Perfect Ten from Romance Reviews Today. 

As a side story, readers who have followed Daisy Monroe, the elderly grandmother who has appeared in all the books, will likely recall she was living in sin with a male friend. Their relationship deepens, but does it mean a trip to the altar? Will Daisy get her first great grandchild? These questions—and more—are answered while reading IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. 

Sexy hijinks and a boatload of fun highlight IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and make it one of my best reads for summer. Grab a copy and find out for yourself. 

Patti Fischer

A Perfect 10:

THE BOOK OF LIFE – Deborah Harkness 
All Souls Trilogy, Book 3 
A Perfect 10 
Viking Adult 
ISBN: 978-0-698-16347-8 
July 2014 
Paranormal 

New York, England, France, and the Continent – The Present 

Background: Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, she a witch, he a vampire, are married, against all odds. They have time traveled to the past to search for Ashmole 782 in the hopes that this elusive book can answer many questions for the daemons, witches, and vampires of the world. But others want the book, too, and a few will do vicious, violent deeds to obtain it – and to capture Diana. Why? Diana is a weaver, a very rare witch who, it seems, can also be impregnated by a vampire. For while they are in the past, Diana conceives, and the twins she carries are in just as much danger as their mother. 

The de Clermont vampire family is about to get bigger with the upcoming births of Diana and Matthew's twins. This sets off a feud within the family when it is discovered that Matthew has blood rage, inherited from his mother, Ysabeau, when she made him a vampire. Vampires with this sickness are usually unable to control themselves when it bubbles to the surface, which makes them too dangerous to be around. While Matthew is able to control his with much effort, those he made into vampires may not have such resistance. And one in particular, Benjamin, is known for his cold-blooded and horrific killings of vampires, witches, and warm bloods. Benjamin wants Diana, and her children, to populate the world with his blood raging offspring. 

Diana's trip to the past not only resulted in her pregnancy, but also in her new found confidence in her abilities. She has managed to find some pages of Ashmole 782, and is determined to retrieve the entire book. But it will take a group effort among their friends of daemons, witches, vampires, and warm bloods. All of this must be done secretly so that Benjamin and his minions do not discover what they find. 

Completing the All Souls Trilogy, THE BOOK OF LIFE is nonstop adventure as Matthew and Diana work feverishly to find the book, to keep their family safe, and to simply stay alive, as Benjamin and others try to thwart their every move. There is danger around every bend, but the strength that the couple derives from their love for one another must prevail. Whom to trust? How will the community they are a part of react when or if they find Ashmole 782? And how will finding this manuscript affect Diana and Matthew? 

Amazing, brilliantly researched writing will grab readers from the first page and keep those pages turning right up until the satisfying and exciting conclusion. You must read the trilogy from the beginning, though, in order to understand all of the nuances of this book. A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES begins with Matthew and Diana meeting, SHADOW OF NIGHT takes the pair to Elizabethan England where Diana comes into her powers, and THE BOOK OF LIFE will answer so many questions from the first two books.  Powerful, emotional, and at times humorous The All Souls Trilogy deserves my vote for A Perfect 10. 

Jani Brooks

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Q & A with Pippa Jay!






1.  Tell us about your newest release.

When Dark Falls is an alternative 1920s decopunk superhero romance. Think Catwoman meets X-Men.
Blurb:
In a city where Dark Technologies Inc. now runs the show, Kadie Williams has more immediate concerns than the fall of Blaze, their guardian superhero. Almost every morning for the last few months she’s woken up with cuts and bruises on her body, and no idea how she got them. There are no nightmares. No evidence that she sleepwalks, or any sign of a break in. And nothing to tell her who’s been cleaning up after her. As just one of thousands of civilians conscripted to slave away in the labs of Professor Dark, she knew there'd be trouble ahead. But  she never expected it to be so bad, or so personal.

Desperate for answers, Kadie looks to the new defender of the night, the only person who can hinder the total domination of Professor Dark—Nocturnelle. The mysterious vigilante superhero came from nowhere with her cybernetic sidekick Shadow, set on putting an end to the brutality of Dark's regime. But as his laboratories work on a new secret super-weapon, Nocturnelle and Shadow may not be enough to save Nephopolis...or to save Kadie either.


2.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?  

I found it could be classified as one of the lesser known scifi subgenres, that of dieselpunk or decopunk. I didn’t even know these existed!

3.  Do you have any interesting or quirks or rituals? 

I hate to walk on cracks or gaps in the pavement, floor or footpaths. I don’t think it’s bad luck or anything, it just doesn’t seem right.

4.  What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?  

The list is pretty long, but my main influences are Anne McCaffrey, Jaine Fenn, Neal Asher and Isaac Marion.

5.  What does your family think about your career as a published author? 

Mostly they think I’m crazy! They could be right. But as I’ve had more titles released, they take it more seriously, to the point where when I said I was off to a one day SFF convention in Bristol last month to promote my books, my husband barely blinked. :P

6.  Besides writing, what other interests do you have? 

I do a bit of drawing, I like creating my own graphics for my website using my book covers and stock images, I love to listen to music and watch scifi shows and films, do some freestyle streetdance to keep fit, have five chickens and a leopard gecko to look after, sewing (especially scifi outfits), walking, and of course reading.

7.  Can you tell us what is coming up next for you? 

I have a futuristic urban fantasy short - No Angel - releasing on the 19th December, and a YA dystopia romance  - Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened - releasing April 2015

8.  How can readers connect with you online?

Twitter:  @pippajaygreen


Blurb:


When Dark Falls...she rises...

 
In a city where Dark Technologies Inc. now runs the show, Kadie Williams has more immediate concerns than the fall of Blaze, their guardian superhero. Almost every morning for the last few months she’s woken up with cuts and bruises on her body and no idea how she got them. There are no nightmares. No evidence that she sleepwalks or any sign of a break in. And nothing to tell her who’s been cleaning up after her. As just one of thousands of civilians conscripted to slave away in the labs of Professor Dark, she knew there'd be trouble ahead. But she never expected it to be so bad, or so personal.
Desperate for answers, Kadie looks to the new defender of the night, the only person who can hinder the total domination of Professor Dark—Nocturnelle. The mysterious vigilante superhero came from nowhere with her cybernetic sidekick Shadow, set on putting an end to the brutality of Dark's regime. But as his laboratories work on a new secret super-weapon, Nocturnelle and Shadow may not be enough to save Nephopolis...or to save Kadie either.



Excerpt:


Nocturnelle perched on the carved griffin statue decorating the tower's cornerstone, with hundreds of feet of empty space between her and the ground below. Her second skin felt tight. It was a familiar sensation and yet always the first thing she noticed on waking, as if her body needed to remind her of the fact. She stretched and her outer skin crackled like leather. She flexed her fingers, the delicate oh-so-white digits a stark contrast to her black arms. Silver lines marked her left forearm, and she frowned at them. She was meant to be impervious to blades and bullets, and yet somehow, not too long ago, she must have injured herself.
As she rose, her skin creaked. She stretched again, and then tugged her hands through her hair, pulling the thick swathe of black silk from her face and knotting it at the back. Darkest Night forbid it should get in her way. The second skin pressed tight against her forehead, running around her eyes and mouth, cradling her chin. She ran her fingers around the edges, tracing the outline. Perfect. Her body tingled as though electricity danced in her veins, and she smiled. Breathed in the evening air. This was her time.
Viscous and reeking, the night sky hung over the city of Art Deco towers and buildings like an oil-slick. Behind her, the metallic chinking of the cloudburner cooling after a day spent scorching the sky ticked away the seconds like a clock.
"Nelle?"
The deep male voice sent a shiver down her back, and she turned. "Ah, my faithful Shadow. Ready for another night-time jaunt?"
A figure stepped out of the shadows to join her. He matched her for height; his whipcord frame clad in a charcoal-colored armor vest, black combats, and a hip-length military jacket. When the rooftop lights hit his face, the chiseled jawline showed; his skin a dark tan. He wore a mask over his eyes, but his teeth gleamed white when he smiled. And when he smiled, something inside Nelle set her heart racing.
"Ready and set, Nelle."
"Excellent." She nodded to him. As one they yanked grapple hooks with lines from their belts and tossed them toward the spire of girders that surmounted every tower run by Dark. The auto-clamps engaged on contact, grasping the metal post tight in unrelenting jaws. Nelle jumped from the rooftop first, and gravity snatched the air from her chest.
Floor after floor of lit apartment windows rushed by her, as dizzying as the wind whipping through her hair. The jolt as she hit the cable's end made her laugh. She let loose an exultant cry as she swung in a graceful arc around the edges of the tower and the rotund shape of one of Dark's airships cruised toward her.



About the author:
 

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), a scifi romance novella—Tethered—published by Breathless Press, a YA paranormal romance—Restless In Peaceville—published by Lycaon Press, four self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, Reboot and Hallow’s Eve), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Wattpad