Guest Author Renee Leigh with You Should Smile

Hi all,

Can you believe we’re into December already? Christmassyness can officially start lol. Today though Im thrilled to have the fab Renee Leigh visiting, she’s going to chat about her re-release You Should Smile.

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

img_3273My name is Renee Leigh. I write contemporary, stand-alone erotic romance novels. I’ve always been a sucker for a good romance movie or novel – a happy ending, everything tied up neatly into a bow!

In my “spare” time, I’m also an attorney, wife and mom. I enjoy reading, researching, writing, and college basketball.

I live in the South with my husband, children and dogs.

Sounds like you’re definitely kept busy! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Words have always been my outlet. I began writing erotic romance scenes with quirky characters for myself – to make ME smile. I wrote my first book, You Should Smile, three years ago. My husband told me that I should publish it. I thought maybe I could make others smile, too, so I decided to publish it last year. I’m glad I did!

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I am a binge-writer. If I’m in the mood to write, I can write through the night without stopping. If I’m not in the mood, nothing sounds right that I put down on paper. I just have to wait to be ‘in the mood’ I’ve realized!

Lol, always a tricky balance to find. Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

As an attorney, I read all day – usually boring and very legalistic books. At the end of the day, all I want to do is turn that part of my mind off and just have fun reading. I’ve found that contemporary romance does that for me. I enjoy light-hearted and comedic romances the best – books that don’t cause too much emotional turmoil or analytical thinking. Just sit back with a glass of wine and have fun! I suppose that is now my target audience – those who don’t take themselves (like me!) or their books too seriously. They just want to sit back with a fun, yet sexy, read at the end of long day.

That is the aim at the end of the day, right? To entertain and give people that bit of escapism and destress 🙂 Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I adore Alice Clayton. Her books have always made me laugh, yet they’re sweet and hot at the same time. I also love Mia Sheridan. Her writing! Oh my gosh! She can’t write a bad book. It’s impossible! And I JUST finished Priest by Sierra Simone and I was speechless. I was absolutely speechless with the beauty and imagery of her words…and the HEAT. (I’m blushing just thinking about it. Lol.) She’s my new favorite!

Ooh, shall have to look out for her. What five things could you never do without?

1. My family

2. Coffee

3. Wine

4. My kindle

5. Words

Hehe, first time I think anyone has said ‘words’ – but where would we be without them? Speaking of… tell us a bit about your new release.

I’m re-releasing the first book, You Should Smile, for .99 beginning on November 21st to promote the Smile series and my second release, Sunlit Smile. You Should Smile is a professor-student love story. It features quirky characters and tongue-in- cheek writing. Though, like its author, the book doesn’t take itself too seriously, it does try to focus on serious themes and relationship issues in a way that maintains a fun atmosphere. In the end, I want to make readers finish the book with a smile.

Where did your inspiration for it come from?

Almost all of my writing evolves from a single phrase that sticks in my head and won’t go away. This time, it was: “‘You Should Smile’ I heard him say” …. That became the opening line of the book and Thad’s opening line to Shay in the book. He sees her standing at the gas station, looking sad and something just makes him want to see her smile. She teases him that telling women to smile can be offensive – and their banter and chemistry just take off from there. Little do either of them know, of course, that he’s about to become her professor.

Sounds like a fun start! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Getting to know my characters as they came to life. I fell in love with them as individuals, including all of their imperfections. Even the side characters (like Grant) became a part of me. Grant is the best friend that everyone wants and deserves. I am still jealous that Shay has him for one. 🙂

Aww, it’s always the way, I fall a little bit in love with all my chars 🙂 What was the hardest part about writing it?

Sharing it with others and hoping that people could see that it is a tongue-in- cheek poke of fun at the romance ‘formula’. Yes, the nickname Shay gives Thad IS stupid. She’s awkward. She knows it’s dumb. She knows her movie obsession is dumb. That’s the point. Some readers get it and some don’t.
Those who do ‘get’ it tend to love it – and those are the readers I’m trying to reach!

Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!).

Oh gosh! I sympathize with Shay because I created her and she’s a lot like me in
 a very awkward, quirky way…Of course, I love Thad because he’s all sorts of intelligence in a big heated package…and I just finished my book on Chris, who is an emotional and uncontrolled Alpha mess underneath his calm demeanor…but I think Grant might be my favorite character to WRITE even though he’s not even part of the actual book series. He’s just a good-hearted and funny guy. He’s probably the one I most wish existed in real life because I want to hang out and drink with him. Haha.

Why should we run out and buy it right now? 🙂

Because the Smile series books are fun, sexy reads! They will make you smile – and blush – at the same time! 🙂

Check out the details here:

img_3091Blurb

You should smile,” I heard him say.
Unsure, I squinted my eyes from the sun, used my hand as a shade, and turned toward his voice. “I’m sorry?”
“You should smile,” he stated louder. “It’s a beautiful fall day. Summer’s wrath is left behind. So smile.” He stepped out from the shadows and into the sun where I could see him clearly. My lord. I’d heard the phrase ‘sex on a stick’ before, but never knew what it really meant. I did then.
A smile slowly crept across my lips. “You’re not supposed to tell women to smile. It can be offensive,” I said, teasing him.
“But you are smiling now, aren’t you?” he teased back.
“True. Any more advice for me?” I met his eyes. They were deep blue.
He nodded his head slowly. “Yes. Ditch that guy and come with me….”

Graduate student Shay Elliott gets hit on by a sexy stranger in a gas station parking lot – and the sparks fly immediately. She’s there with her boyfriend, though, so she declines the man’s invitation to leave with him. She thinks she’ll never see him again….

She was wrong.

He’s just been hired as a professor at her university – and she’s about to become his student.

 

You can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

You can follow Renee on social media here:

Renee Leigh Author Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/reneeleighauthor/

Renee Leigh Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/reneeleighsmile

Renee Leigh Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Renee-Leigh/e/B00T4HV590

 

Take care x

Tuesday Catch Up

Hi all,

We’re heading into December this week! Hope you’re all getting organised with your holiday 12321110_1494645387506651_7099576762286536610_nplans (wish I was lol!). It’s all Christmassy here in Edinburgh – the markets are selling, the fair is going, the pretty lights are twinkling away. Of course, I may not see them again as I have much too much work to get done this month to ever venture into the centre again 😉

My Christmas angel story is finally finished – woot! It’s currently with some of my wonderful beta readers, which I will be honest always make me nervous, but I’m aiming for a release date of next Friday 9th December. Of course, that gives me a week and a half to make a cover, retweak a couple of bits that aren’t quite working, do final edits, format, get onto the sites. Sleep is over-rated, right?

wolvesHopefully it will all be done in time, then I can get onto edits for my next one (my wolfie one is finally back so looking at a Jan release now!). I have decided I will give myself a few off over Christmas though – I know, I’m too nice to me! Being self-employed though it’s rare for me to actually take time off, so it will be nice 🙂

 

Hope you’re all having a less stressful week! Take care x

Sunday Teaser – Christmas Angel Romance

Hi all,

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend – and if you’re out shopping then you’ve managed to bag some bargins! I may have given in and treated myself to an Amazon Fire – at that prize it’s almost silly not to, right? 😉 Had a lovely meander round the Christmas markets as well so feeling nice and relaxed and all-set to get work to work lol! Speaking of Christmassy, I’m sharing a wee excerpt from my nw Christmas story, which will be out very soon. I’m still finishing off and editing though, so please excuse any mistakes! Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

 

Jeremiah glared at the glass contraption. Why did these humans insist on having strange mechanical things to do everything for them. No wonder they were slipping into darkness. How were people supposed to concentrate on what was important in life when everything they had and did was designed to save time and cut corners. Still, Holly had wanted coffee, she had in fact seemed extremely set on the idea and he knew this was the weird machine that apparently made it.  

d632891b93e42d44292c7b22f223f958There were a lot of buttons though. He pressed one, then another, then three at once. Not a damn thing. Seriously? Why was it he had seen the conception of the universe, he knew truths that would make the human mind implode with their complexity, yet he couldn’t work some stupid bit of metal and glass. He glanced quickly around for Holly, no sign of her. Okay, then, just a little, tiny, cheat.  

He forced power into the machine. It instantly started to buzz and hum, the water bubbling frantically inside. Too much? How could it be – coffee was hot water with beans in it. Hot was a necessary function. He pushed a bit more and a sharp crack echoed through the kitchen. Okay, maybe that didn’t sound good. 

The crack rapidly expanded all the way down the glass container part and water began creeping out, bringing streams of steam with it. Bah. He waved a hand again and the water disappeared. Fine. Why was he doing this the hard way. Glaring he put a cup on the worktop, waved a hand over it and it filled with a dark liquid. Stupid machines for everything. What was wrong with doing things by hand? 

“Is that a huge crack in my coffee machine?” 

He jumped at Holly’s soft voice behind him, spinning round guiltily. 

“Er, yeah. I just switched it on and it broke. Sorry. I’ll get you a new one. I got your coffee here though.” 

He handed the mug over. She gave him a small smile. “Don’t be silly, it was old anyway – though that’s really a huge crack. You didn’t burn yourself did you?” 

Her voice was laced with concern and he simply shook his head. A low laugh escaped her.  

“It’s probably cracking in sympathy for my poor head.” She wrapped her hands around the mug and took a small sip. Her face crinkled. “And it took the last of the good coffee with it. Could you pass me the cream out of the fridge?” 

christmas_tree_by_jacqchristiaan-d5o6lblHe automatically did so, his mind whirring. He did bad coffee? He was good at everything he tried. Everything. 

“Erm, are you sure it’s that bad. Maybe you’re just still feeling off.” 

She added a large pour of the cream and then gingerly sipped again. “Nope, it’s definitely only one step from bilge-water.” She suddenly paused, those huge eyes fixing on him. “I’m sorry, that was very ungrateful of me. I appreciate you making it, just the damn machine I guess.” 

Jeremiah managed to nod. Bilge-water indeed! He would master this coffee trick just like he mastered everything else he ever came across. 

 

Take care x

Guest Author Tami Veldura with Learning to Want

Hi all,

Yay, it’s Friday – and Black Friday at that, so if you’re out shopping I hope you manage to grab some bargains 🙂 It seems to have got even colder here – the canal outside my house has frozen over and am huddled over my teeny work fire. Still, can’t be all bad, my parents are coming up to visit this weekend – plus I have the fab Tami Veldura dropping by. She’s chatting about her new release, Learning to Want – a sci-fi LGBT romance with elements of D/S and a full POC cast (I’m slightly in awe of someone who can fit all that into one novel – could you really ask for anything more?)

blog-header

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

I’m a gemini, I enjoy long walks on the beac–wait, wrong bio. Let’s see: I’m a full time writer with a dragon obsession and this persistent idea that if I insist hard enough, my whole life will look like the happily ever after in my favorite romance books. I’m easily distracted by small kittens and have a book buying problem. So many more people know me as Tami than my legal name that I may just change it one day.

Nothing wrong with a dragon or book buying obsession *whistles innocently* Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was eight I was just starting school for the year and my mother took me to target for supplies. At the time, Lisa Frank was the brand to have and I came home with a pile of rainbow folders. Inside each folder, on the flap for your papers, was a two or three sentence paragraph about that Lisa Frank character: the unicorn, the puppies, the kittens.

I copied that paragraph from each of my folders onto a piece of paper and brought it to my mother. My first story. She put it on the fridge.

At the time I didn’t know writing was a thing, all I knew was the stories I was reading and the worlds I was living in were amazing and I needed more. Faster. So I’d start writing them myself.

Do you have a particular writing routine or any special rituals?

I tend to have ideas pop into my head throughout the day, especially when I’m out and about on the weekends encountering people and places.

But the average workday starts with a breakfast of grits or oatmeal, tea, and some time snuggling my pet rats while I wake up. I always keep a water bottle on my side table, but sometimes I’ll add a bottle of gatorade if I’m feeling dehydrated. I review my social sites and writing forum, just catching up on the world, but by 8AM I sit down on my corner of the couch and start writing. I try to write for at least 3 hours every day, but sometimes editing or a book release can skew the schedule. The rest of my day is filled with all the administration work that comes with hybrid publishing. Some of my books are self published and managed, while others are through small presses.

I’d like to add copywork to my morning routine before I start writing. Copywork is a technique that’s been used for generations to teach kids how to write and by authors to study their betters. Regular copywork can improve handwriting, but it’s also very meditative, can improve vocabulary and technique, and act as a mental trigger for an artist to enter that flow state where creativity and intent align into perfect productivity.

Sounds interesting, may need to have a look into! Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

Initially, my writing was traditional high and low fantasy coming of age stories, since that’s what I grew up reading. But in high school I transitioned into fanfiction, specifically the slash corner of the fanfic world where I discovered all kinds of story types that I hadn’t ever seen before.

Now, I write romance, science fiction, and fantasy with LGBT+ characters and themes. I’ve been publishing regularly in the genre since 2010, but in 2015 I discovered asexuality and realized that I belonged in this subgroup as well. It’s not a surprise I was drawn to the people and themes in these stories since I was living them myself. It’s been a much more personal journey since then.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

Oh there is a list of people who are constantly impressing me with their ability to craft a world or pivot their business. Amelia Faulkner, Cecil Wilde, and E. Davis off the top of my head. My focus lately has been developing stories that appeal to a mainstream audience to attract a more stable income stream. I’m learning immense things from these established authors and I can’t wait to see how my readership grows.

What four things could you never do without?

My phone: you might be surprised how much business I manage on a daily basis through my smartphone. Twitter, email, google hangouts–I’m constantly on my phone communicating with editors, readers, coworkers and more. I have all of my work saved in the cloud, so phone access is possible on any file or book I could ever need to reference. A day without my phone puts me far behind!

The chromebook: A few years ago my life situation was a lot different than it is now. I had a day job with a decent commute and spent much of my time on the road outside of work, too. I needed a laptop that could go everywhere with me. I’ve written books on my phone, but that is a tough process I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. The chromebook was the solution I decided on. With all my work in google’s cloud I could access it anywhere I could find wifi (hello Starbucks and Panera) but I could also sit in the car and write on a draft on a full keyboard.

The chromebook is several years old now but still as zippy as ever. It’s my primary computer and sitting down to write anywhere and everywhere is easy. And it was only 200$ 😉

Internet: While I could survive for a long time without the internet, ultimately my entire business requires it to function. I contact editors and artists through email. I connect with other authors on forums. I interact with my fans on social media. I even save my stories on the cloud.

My Fiance: Is this a cliche? I’m supposed to avoid those 😉 Seriously, Fiance is critical to the success of my work. He supports me financially while I get this career underway which is both heartwarming and a heavy expectation. He knows I will be a famous author someday. That unconditional support is invaluable. He helps in smaller ways too, from traveling with me for research to reminding me to eat lunch. That second one happens more often than it should XD

Tell us a bit about your new release.

bannerLearning To Want is my latest novella and features a 100% POC cast. It’s a science fiction story set on an alien world where the ruling class uses sexual dominance and submission shows as political power. Atash is stuck at the bottom of the class system and hopes to teach Khoram how to submit. Khoram, meanwhile, is trying to avoid being killed by a mercenary clan boss: his former employer!

Ooh, sounds intriguing! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

The initial story was only five thousand words long and spawned from a call for submissions for an anthology about BDSM with a small press. I didn’t end up in the anthology, but when Nine Star accepted the story for publication, they asked me to expand it into a novella. Much of the world and action/adventure plot developed out of that expansion process and took me several months!

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I loved imagining the details of an alien world and bringing that vision to life. Dulia has a native species called the Frea that are well-adapted to their desert planet, but half a dozen other alien species make appearances in the story as well.

That sounds like so much fun! I love the world-building side of things. What was the hardest part about writing it?

The hardest part, but also fun, was definitely the details of Frea culture. I wanted to develop an alien race that was interesting and complex, not just window dressing for a story, but only the readers can tell me if I succeeded.

Who’s your favorite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Oh this one is easy: Madam Zoya! (That’s right I love my antagonist). Without Zoya, this book would have turned out much differently. When I first started writing she was just a convenient backstory name, but as the story evolved and grew her role expanded as well and became a critical driving force for not one, but both protagonists.

Hehe, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves my villains! Why should we run out and buy it right now?

You should run out and buy it right now because there’s a bonus sexy scene in my newsletter for readers to enjoy and you’re going to want to know all the details!

 

Check out the book details 🙂

coverBlurb

Khoram is an enforcer, a bodyguard, but his boss has just betrayed him. Now he’s stranded on a desert planet he’s never heard of, chained to the only other human around.

Atash grew up in the cracks of Dulia’s complex social structure, where dominance and submission are a man’s worth. He’s struggled for years on a lower caste but Khoram could be his ticket to a better life if they can find common ground.

Atash wants to teach Khoram the art of submitting by choice and maybe make a name for himself along the way. Khoram, however, isn’t here to play Atash’s political games. He’s going to escape, if his former employer doesn’t see him killed first.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

Ninestar Press

Take care x

Thursday Teaser – Paranormal Romance Angels

Hi all,

Hope you’re having a good week – and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers – piccies of yummy food have been flooding my social media all day so I’m already feeling a wee bit jealous sat here at work 😉 Since we don’t have Thanksgiving here I hope you’ll forgive me for skipping ahead to Christmas – and today I’m sharing a teaser from my upcoming Christmassy story. It hasn’t been fully edited yet – so do excuse any mistakes. I should have a cover and release date for you next week – but for now, I really hope you enjoy!

 “Jeremiah, you have been summoned before the Council of Archangels to answer for your recent actions.” 

angelJeremiah stood straight and tall in front of them. He was not going to beg for mercy or plead for his life. He was aware that he had… slipped. Where he had once loved his work, lived for it, been willing to believe in anyone or anything, then centuries of watching the selfishness and greed of humans had left him bitter, cynical even. These were no kind of emotions for an angel. The council would be well within their rights to end his existence, there was a part of him that would almost welcome it. The emptiness and peace of eternal oblivion, there was an appeal to that.  

He eyed up the solemn line of archangels. All tall, blond, well-built, ethereally beautiful, pure yet stern. He knew them all, had been friends with some of them once. It seemed a long time ago. When you lived forever then time started to lose all meaning.  

Their leader stepped forward. Rafael looked at him solemnly.  

“We have discussed the matter and reached a decision.” 

Jeremiah held his breath. This was it. They were going to pronounce sentence, end him. There was little mercy for one of his kind, there couldn’t be with the powers they possessed. 

“We have assigned you a job. A task, the outcome of which will decide your ultimate fate.” 

Jeremiah blinked at the taller angel in surprise. A task? After the way his recent tasks had gone this was the last thing he’d been expecting.  

“Why would you give me another task?” He asked them in complete bewilderment.  

“This task has come from above, we have it on the highest authority that it is meant for you and you alone.” 

Instant denial shot through him. He didn’t want the responsibility any more, he didn’t want any of it.  

“I think there must be some mistake.” 

Rafael smiled at him. “You know as well as the rest of us, there are no mistakes. This task is for you, and the council has agreed that we will suspend our judgement on your previous actions pending the outcome of it. The matter has been decided.” 

Resignation sagged through him. Fine, let them give him some new task. It would only end up going the same way as the others. Then they would judge him and he could finally be done with it all.  

“What is this task?”

 

Take care x

My Sexy Saturday – My Sexy Holidays

Hi all,

Weekend is finally here, hope you’ve all got a fun one lined up! I’m thrilled to be joining in the My Sexy Saturday blog hop. The theme this week is My Sexy Holidays – damn, I guess we’re going to have to admit they are creeping up fast! Still, one of the bright sides is lots of fun holiday stories – and I thought I’d share a wee snippet from my upcoming one. Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

christmas_tree_by_jacqchristiaan-d5o6lbl“I said, I’m really sorry but I can’t seem to figure out the shower. Could you possibly show me?”

“Erm, yeah, course, no worries.” God, she sounded like a mumbling idiot. Her brain seemed to have turned to mush.

She followed him back to the tiny bathroom and managed to talk him through the shower controls without gaping too much. Really, it wasn’t fair for one guy to be that damn hot. When she leaned across to switch on the dial, she ended up losing her balance, one hand going out to catch herself and landing up on the expanse of golden skin on his chest. He was warm, so warm, and the skin beneath her fingers felt satin smooth over the rock hard muscles. Holly felt herself freeze, her eyes shooting up to meet his, seeing the blue darken and heat.

“Sorry,” she squeaked, but she couldn’t seem to make her hand move.

His own hand reached out, running down her cheek before gently tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. Holly held her breath, a trail of heat left in the wake of his touch. She wanted him to touch her more, to run her hands over all that golden skin, to follow that trail of hair down to…

He took a step back, her hand falling away, and Holly’s face burned. What the fuck was she thinking? There was no way he would want someone like her. Whirling on her heel she fled the suddenly claustrophobic bathroom, shutting the door behind her. Idiot!

d632891b93e42d44292c7b22f223f958Jeremiah cursed under his breath. What the hell? He had never been affected by a human before, yet his body was rock hard and he actually ached with the effort it had required not to reach out and drag her to him. To cover her lush lips, to shape every inch of those delectable curves, to bury himself deep inside her. Fuck, what was he thinking? His past transgressions were nothing compared to the trouble he would be in for sleeping with a human, especially one he’d been sent to judge. He turned on the water and fiddled with the temperature dial she’d shown him until it felt like there should be ice particles in the spray. Then he stood under it until he was chilled to the bone and his body finally decided to behave itself. Nothing was going to happen with Holly.

He frowned, there was a catch somewhere, he just had to find it. These days no humans were kind and sweet for the sake of it, there was always an ulterior motive. He would find it, and then he would be done with her.

Resolved, he turned off the water, quickly dried himself off and headed to the large, soft, freshly-made bed she’d provided for him. Yup, there had to be a catch somewhere.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the fab authors taking part here:

 

Take care x

Guest Author – Brantwijn Serah with The Pact

Hi all,

How’s your Sunday going? I’m off to a vintage fair this afternoon, which should be fun, but before that I’m thrilled to have the fab Brantwijn Serah dropping in. Brantwijn is a wonderfully talented author, who I’m very jealous of because she seems to be able to do multiple genres effortlessly 🙂 She’s going to chat to us about her brand new release, The Pact, which is wild west with a definite twist! Read on to find out more 😉

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

brantwijn-serrahI’m a SoCal girl who loves rain more than sun, author of supernatural fantasy and fiction (as well as steamy romance), and the proud mother of five crazy furbabies. I take part in National Novel Writing Month every year, which is how The Pact came to be. Every book in the series – there are 8 total – started out as a National Novel Writing Month novel. When I’m not writing, I like to work on art including drawing, painting, digital art, and unique crafts like custom My Little Ponies.

Wow, that should give me a kick for my own Nano this month 🙂 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

My earliest memory of writing is from when I was six. Our class was taught how to use basic shapes to draw three simple characters: an owl, a frog, and a pig. Then the teacher asked us to write a story about them. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I incorporated literary device into my little tale, things like suspense and dramatic irony. I had no idea what they were; I wrote it that way because that’s how the books I read were written. I wouldn’t have even realized I’d done anything unique except my teacher pulled me aside and pointed it out. It was she told me that I wrote “like a writer”. I think I’ve wanted to be a storyteller, more than anything else, ever since.

Aww, that’s lovely. Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

Lately I’ll find a YouTube video with and hour or two of instrumental music (nothing with words), pop on my headphones, and just write. I’ve saved hour-long videos of Celtic music, “Epic” music, “Spooky” music. Whatever is appropriate for what I’m currently writing, I’ll pop a similar video on and just go with it. It’s not really the same as using music as inspiration…I don’t really incorporate anything from the music into the work. It’s more like just white noise, blocking out distraction and centering my brain in the tone of the work.

I’m with you, I need very specific things on in the background when I’m writing – I can’t stand quiet but it can’t be anything too distracting either! Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write across many genres. Up until now all of my published works have been part of the erotica genre, spanning dark erotica, fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. The Pact, besides being my first non-romance release, is part of a genre known as “weird west”. It’s your typical style of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Tombstone-style Western story, but with a dash of something—just about anything—weird. In this series, it’s ancient world magic.

I have never heard that term before lol – but, hey who doesn’t love a bit of ‘weird’ thrown in? Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I have a lot of favorites who have inspired me. I think my all-around favorite is JK Rowling, however. I think her talent for storytelling is amazing on many, many levels, and in fact I’m not sure she gets quite as much credit as she deserves. Other favorites are Stephen King, Jim Butcher, and lately Sarah Waters.

Yay, huge Potterhead here as well 🙂 What five things could you never do without?

Such a complex question! There are so many things, but for sake of time I’ll stick to five I could never do without in my writing career. First off, my laptop, since basically my whole life and every book I’ve ever worked on is on there, along with production notes, murdered darlings, and research. Second would have to be my iPod mini, where most of my writing music currently resides. When I get stuck I set that thing on shuffle and let the random selection of music speak to me. Thirdly is #SchalaMyMuse, the living beanie baby of a cat who flops down on my legs anytime I’m writing, to loan me her advice and expertise on the creative process. Fourth is an ice-cold unsweetened tea to mull over while I work. And fifth is my husband, who provides me a sounding board, a critical ear, and expert advice when I get stuck on some portion of the story. Mind you, those are in no particular order of importance…take any one of them away and I’m going to be throwing a fit!

Tell us a bit about your new release.

The Pact was my first-ever NaNoWriMo novel, written in November of 2006. It’s a supernatural weird west adventure, great for teens and adults who enjoy fantasy, urban fantasy, and sci-fi. It takes place in the fictional world of Geiral and follows a lady bounty hunter and hexslinger. She’s on the trail of her ultimate prey, the man who changed everything for her, with one goal. Whether that goal is justice or vengeance, well…that all depends on how you see things.

Oooh, sounds intriguing! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

When I started The Pact, I had also just started playing a weird west roleplaying game called Deadlands. I loved the setting and the style so much, I had to write a story rooted in it. The Pact isn’t a literal re-telling of any of my actual role-playing games or even a role-playing character…but it definitely takes a lot of inspiration from them.

I do love gaming for a bit of inspiration. What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Certainly the setting was enjoyable to me, but Serenity—the main character—was a ton of fun to write. To me, she’s like Malcolm Reynolds, Harry Dresden, Roland Deschain, and Catwoman all rolled into one.

Lol, that’s quite a combination 😉 What was the hardest part about writing it?

The story’s setting is roughly based on the American West in the 1860’s. So that means I have to do a lot of research as to the kinds of technology, medical knowledge, and cultures of that time. From time to time I find the research doesn’t play out in my favor, to do the things I want to do in the story. I do get a little leeway, of course, because it is actually a fictional world…but I walk a pretty close line between legit poetic license and cheating.

Hehe, yup, I always like having a purely fictional ‘country’ as I can base it on certain places but have the wee bit of a buffer against people who call me out on my ‘inaccuracies’! Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

My favorite character doesn’t actually show up until the third book in the series. But for sake of answering the question, I’ll say that, in this book, my favorite character is actually Nathara, a developmentally disabled non-verbal character introduced in the second half. That will probably seem very strange to people, once they read the book, but Nathara has always touched a particular part of me. I don’t necessarily identify with her, personally. But she has a charm and an innocence to her that makes her a real joy to have along with me for the adventure.

Why should we run out and buy it right now? J

I’m told one of my strongest talents is building a world and a story readers can really immerse themselves in. You should run out and buy The Pact because you won’t want to miss the adventure inside.

 

Check out the book details here:

Blurb

cover-the-pactFleshlings and darklings… Rune-weavers and demons… When you walk in the land of the Reaper, who will survive?

Serenity Walker has cast runes for as long as she can remember. Her teachers call her a prodigy, and her secret studies hold the key to unlimited potential. Once an orphan left on an old woman’s doorstep, Serenity finally belongs. But when her mentor is murdered right in front of her, her hopes of a home die with him.

Her quest for vengeance leads her into a dangerous deal with a demon. Armed with its dark power and her own talent with the runes, she blazes a trail across the lands where ranchers and railroad men are kings, where the prevailing law is the law of the gun. To find the man who reshaped her past, Serenity offers up her future. She’ll face a world where weavers are hunted down to be hanged, whipped, or burned alive…but she won’t face it alone.

As Serenity’s mission takes her farther than most weavers are willing to go, she’ll have to decide who her true enemy is: the wicked men of the world, or the powerful demon inside her.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Buy Links:

Amazon

Champagne Books

Don’t forget to follow Brantwijn on social media to get all her latest news 🙂

Website

Google+

YouTube Channel

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Twitter @Brantwijn

 

Take care x

Guest Author – A.E.Decker with The Meddlers of Moonshine

Hi all,

It’s Halloween weekend so I hope you’re all having a fun (and not too scary) one. I’m thrilled to have the fab A.E.Decker visiting to chat about her new release, The Meddlers of Moonshine, part of her Moonfall Mayhem series. It sounds like some perfect Halloween reading to me, but I’ll let A.E. convince you of that herself 🙂

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

author-photo-ae-deckerCurrently, I live in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I’ve worked as an ESL tutor and tai chi instructor. I studied both English literature and Colonial American history, with an added interest in the French Revolution and maritime history. So, naturally, with that background, I went on to become a doll-maker. I worked at a Renaissance Faire, and as a vendor at several conventions. One day, I made a bat-winged cat out of alpaca wool to sell, but the moment he was finished, I knew he had a story to tell. The bat-winged cat became Moony, and his story grew into the Moonfall Mayhem series.

I am loving this already! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was five, I think! I learned to read very early. Telling myself stories was my way of combatting boredom on long car trips. I first tried writing a book when I was maybe six, but I didn’t have the attention span to finish any.

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I get my breakfast and take it to my writing space, eat and putter about the internet. Once I finish my coffee, I take my dishes to the sink. That’s my cue that it’s time to start working. Sometimes it takes a little while for the coffee to hit my system fully, but usually my brain settles in pretty quickly.

Lol, yes I must admit I’m fairly useless until the caffeine kicks in. Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write in the fantasy genre. I like its freedom. Anything you can imagine, you can write about. You get to set your own rules. Plus, it mixes very well with every other genre out there. Fantasy isn’t snobbish. It’s particularly suited to my method of twisting logic into illogic and back again.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

Terry Pratchett is the author I keep going back to. His wit, insight, humor, and heart are an inspiration. I don’t try to mimic his style, but I do try to light my torch from his, in a manner of speaking.

I do love Pratchett, just the humour he puts into things and his way of looking at the world leave me in awe 🙂 What five things could you never do without?

Cats, chocolate, warm blankets, amusing video games, and Daleks.

To be honest, I think I could probably – at a push – live without Daleks. But the rest, am right with you 🙂 Tell us a bit about your new release.

firstmoony1The Meddlers of Moonshine is the second book in the Moonfall Mayhem series published by World Weaver Press. While the first book, The Falling of the Moon, poked fun at fairy tale tropes, Meddlers takes aim at the ones found in Gothic literature, particularly The Turn of the Screw and Frankenstein. It’s action and humor, mixed up with mystery, spookiness, a touch of steampunk, and a dollop of romance.

Ooh, that sounds like an interesting mix. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

Really, the core of the story derived from reading The Turn of the Screw. I don’t scare easily, but that story really disturbed me. I think it’s not only that the Governess is an unreliable narrator, but that whether the ghosts are real are not, the children in her care end up victims to her ego. I knew Meddlers was going to be my take on Gothic tropes, so Screw served as a touchpoint. I wanted to reexamine the story and give the children a voice and perspective. They became Kay and Lindsay Ashuren in Meddlers.

I actually don’t think I’ve read that, which is odd when I’m a huge fan of Frankenstein and many of the other gothics around that time – shall have to look for it! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I actually enjoy the revision process the most. All the pieces are in place, and it’s more about smoothing out the plot threads and adding in missed opportunities for humor. I really like the atmosphere in Meddlers. It’s more serious than Falling, but it keeps its humor and wit.

What was the hardest part about writing it?

Having to trim out some ideas I really liked. I usually start out with too many ideas and have to do a lot of snipping and trimming of the ends that don’t fit. Curiously, I don’t end up with “deleted scenes,” however. It all sort of melts into the finished piece.

True, it’s always so hard to cut down your babies! Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Ooh, that’s such an unfair question! I feel I have to clap my hands over some characters’ ears so their feelings won’t be hurt. But of the new characters introduced in Meddlers, I’d probably pick Kay Ashuren. He’s someone who was lurking in my head for quite a while until I found a place for him in Meddlers.

Why should we run out and buy it right now? J

Because I guarantee that there are things in my story that you won’t see anywhere else! A half-vampire exorcist, an avocado-loving vagabond, a Big Bad Wolf who reads Dostoyevsky, a Smilodon-shifter with a coffee addiction, and of course a bat-winged kitty with a penchant for mischief. I’d tell you to just imagine what sort of trouble such a crew could get up to in a prim-and-proper steampunk town with an unfortunate ghosts problem—but you don’t have to imagine it! Buy The Meddlers of Moonshine and find out!

 

Well, I think I’m definitely convinced (think you had me at bat-winged kitty lol)! Check out the book details here:

cover-meddlers-of-moonshineBlurb

Something is rotten in the town of Widget, and Rags-n-Bones knows it’s all his fault. Ever since he snitched that avocado from Miss Ascot’s pack, things have been going wrong. Armed with a handful of memories he never realized he had, Rags-n-Bones searches for a way to put right whatever he did to Widget in the past. If only he knew what it was! Unfortunately, the only person who seems to have answers is a half-mad youth that only Rags can see.

Widget is also suffering from a ghost infestation that has the townsfolk almost as spooked of outsiders as they are of actual spooks. While Rags-n-Bones seeks answers in the past, Ascot offers the town leaders her service as an exorcist, only to be handed an ultimatum: banish the ghosts or be banished herself!

Who’s meddling with Widget? To catch the culprit, Ascot and Rags-n-Bones must match wits with a shifty sorcerer, a prissy ex-governess, and a troublingly attractive captain before the town consigns itself to the graveyard of history.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iTunes

World Weaver Press

Don’t forget to follow her on social media here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoonfallMayhem

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6461875.A_E_Decker

Have a great Sunday – take care x

Wednesday Snippet – Wolf Shifter Romance

Hi all,

Hope you’re all having a fun week (and of course, a spooky Halloween-themed one!). I’m very excited as off to see Doctor Strange this afternoon – I do love me some Cumberbatch 😉 Hopefully it will be good, or I’ll only end up seeing it half a dozen times instead of the usual full dozen lol.

In the meantime though… I’m sharing an excerpt from my upcoming release. This is the next in my wolves series and should be coming out next month, so I really hope you’ll all like it!

bfsgraywolf1Katya stood there for a long moment. She should head back to the high street, she really should. She had no business staying here with a man she’d never even met and knew nothing about. But he’d apparently saved her niece’s life. That was what she told herself as she slowly crossed back to the bed. There was a chair by the wall and she carefully pulled it up to the bed, and taking a seat gently reached out to take the man’s hand in hers. What the hell was she doing? Yet there was an odd rightness to it and she didn’t pull her hand back.

She studied his face, calm and relaxed as though he was merely sleeping, yet she had the feeling that when awake calm was not a word that would describe him.

“Where have you gone?” She whispered softly. “And why don’t you want to come back?”

With an odd sense of clarity, she suddenly knew that was the case. He didn’t want to come back from wherever his mind has taken him.

“It can’t be so bad here,” she told him. “You obviously have people who care about you.” To her shock tears stung her eyes. “It’s more than I have.”

The wave of loneliness washed over her. She had grown comfortable in the last few days but this was just a stop gap. Natalia had her own life, and while she might be welcome for a visit then she really had no proper place in it. Soon she would

have to leave, get back to her own task, and she would alone again. The way she always was. Blood was rushing in her ears and her eyes burned with tears. Abruptly the walls seemed to be closing in on her and she frantically tried to get up, tugging her hand back from the heavy weight of the man’s hand on top of it.

cottageTo her shock and horror it wouldn’t release her. Panic ran through her as she tugged harder. A small part of her knew she was being irrational, it was probably an automatic reflex in him that he had gripped on to her, but she was pretty sure a full blown anxiety attack was coming on and she needed to get the hell out of here.

“Let go of me!” She half sobbed, half shouted.

Two things happened almost at once. A wiry man in a white coat appeared in the doorway. Glancing from her tear-streaked face to their clasped hands his face drew into a frown.

“What on earth is going on here?”

Just as she was trying to answer, the grip on her hand increased even more and her attention swung to the man on the bed, who was gazing at her with deep amber eyes.

“Iyana?”

 

Don’t forget, I’m running a Halloween giveaway. Just leave a comment and sign up for my newsletter to get a free copy of my zombie-theme paranormal romance, Love Reawakened – perfect Halloween reading 🙂

Free Paranormal Romance Ebook for Halloween

Take care x

Guest Author Sheri Velarde with Our Last Salvation

Hi all,

Apologies for being a bit missing in action this week – have had a few website issues, technology definitely hates me lol! Anyway, we seem to be running again at least, so please excuse any minor blips while the site gets tweaked a bit. Still, moving on, it’s October, time for dark nights and scary stories – and I have the fab Sheri Velarde dropping by to chat about her new zombie-themed romance, Our Last Salvation. Scary and steamy, what more can you ask for? 🙂

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself (bio).

I live in New Mexico, US, with my husband and my two dogs Eowyn and Charlie. In addition to being an author I also make jewelry, paint, and craft. However I am happiest when I am either curled up with my dogs reading a book or snuggling with the hubby and watching a movie.

I have been writing professionally for a little over five years. People often ask why I write, the answer is simple, my mind won’t let me not write. I always have stories in my head and I have to get them out or go crazy. Writing is my therapy and I can’t imagine my life without it.

People can keep up with my writing and other shenanigans on my website: sherivelarde.weebly.com.

Ooh, another multi-talented person 🙂 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was little I loved to read. I think the idea of telling stories, especially paranormal stories, was after I fell in love with Bunnicula. I started making up my own stories then. I probably started actually writing stories when I was in fourth or fifth grade.

I seem to have missed out on Bunnicula, I’ve heard a few people mention it but don’t think it made it over the pond 🙁 Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

Well I am not a get straight out of bed and start writing writer. My husband works late and we sleep in, mornings are dedicated to errands and household stuff. I do my freelance work after my husband leaves and then sit down to work on my writing after a late lunch. I work then until a late dinner. After dinner I usually try to do some edits and then start writing again until my husband gets home from work. I just feel more creative at night. I also always have either music or a tv show that I know well. I live in an apartment complex and I need noise that I like to block out the noise I don’t want. Other than that, I try to write every day. That’s the most important ritual.

I’m a night owl as well, always annoying when EDJ makes me have to get up early *sighs* Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I primarily write a lot of paranormal romance, though I have been moving into horror and mystery a tiny bit as well. Mostly I like things that go bump in the night, in more ways than one 😉

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I would say Anne Rice and Stephen King. I know I am dating myself, but I grew up on both of them. Anne Rice in particular combined the paranormal and romance in a way that I can only wish I could.

What five things could you never do without?

My husband, my dogs, books, art and pasta! Lol

Lol, yup to the pasta! Tell us a bit about your new release.

salvationKol’s living her dream. Her gorgeous neighbor, Nick, promised to make her life brighter yet, until something from her past threatens the entire world.

Kol is trying to outrun her troubled past and start anew. She is finally living the life she always wanted in NYC, where she has met the man of her dreams, Nick. Just when her future is looking bright, an infection takes hold of the country, sending her and Nick on a race for their lives. Now Kol must face the pain she wanted to leave behind forever, in order for anyone to have a future.

Ooh, definitely sounds interesting. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

Seriously? It was while I was visiting a friend in NYC. We were on the roof of his building when some military helicopters flew over in formation. He wondered aloud what that was all about. I of course said zombie apocalypse. Seems reasonable to me. Lol That was the beginning of an idea. On a said note, we later found out it was Prince Harry being flown somewhere.

Hehe, not quite as dramatic, but yeah that would probably have been my first thought as well. What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I loved writing my heroine. She is fragile from past issues, but also one of the strongest characters I have ever written. Kol faces things that would make most people break, but she keeps going and going. She never loses all of her hope. I love that about her.

What was the hardest part about writing it?

For me love scenes are always the hardest to write. This one was no different. I always say that this book is going to have closed door love scenes, but that never happens. My characters are just too darn frisky.

Lol, I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about… 😉 Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

It’s a tough one, but I am going to go with Nick. Most heroes in romance are uber alpha male (and I do like that and write that) but Nick is the softer, caring and supportive hero that makes our heroine a stronger and happier woman. That can be pretty sexy too.

Aww, and yup, very sexy! Why should we run out and buy it right now?

It’s a short and super sexy read that will be sure to heat up your weekend! Running from zombies has never been so hot!

Well, I know I’m convinced 😉 If you want to get your hands on a copy of Our Last Salvation the link is here:

Buy Link:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2cqXyxH

Have a great weekend. Take care x