Please help me welcome Jrinka Jelic to my blog today. Zrinka is giving away a $4 Amazon gift card to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave her a comment.
Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
Many, I’ve worked as a waitress, a nanny, I’ve been a day care teacher, in accounting and finance, credit and collection, cosmetic store, and found myself in writing.
Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
I’ve been a full time writer, but unfortunately had to go out and find a day job. I don’t like not having the energy at the end of the day to work on my wip, but I try to at least get as many words on the page as I can and it’s hard with my eyes closing on me.
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I have two that are published, one that is submitted to various publishers and awaiting on its fate. I’m working on the fourth one that’s planned to be a short novella, will see about that, and I have a prequel to my debut novel, “Bonded by Crimson” that I’m about five chapters in, but keep putting it on the back burner as new ideas keep disrupting me. Oh, and I must not forget my “training wheels” novel, where I learned about writing and made all of the beginner’s mistakes. I’m planning to go back to it one day and edit it.
What inspired your latest book?
It was all the ladies I encountered through the various work places. Those single ones, who devoted their lives to corporations and have nothing to show for in the end. I felt their disapproving stares on my back as I dashed out at 5 pm sharp to pick up my kids from day cares or babysitters. I wanted to convey there’s a lot more life out there than working.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Just from everyday life, it does write novels. What is your favorite part of writing? Brainstorming and coming up with new twists, what if I do this or change that character to that. It’s quite interesting and challenging because it doesn’t always work out the way I imagine it.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
Writing a dreaded synopsis, it seems if there’s a limit of words I have to put in, I have nothing to say.
How does your family feel about your writing career?
I hope they’re proud of my achievement, but you know how families are, just as all people they seem to see the value of it through the money not the satisfaction of written story other enjoy.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Very likely, not necessarily as themselves, but I may “steal” something from the person like a name, or physical appearance or a personality quirk or something that strikes me.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a punster. But I do try to plot or at least map out the story. I most likely never refer back to it, but at least if I put something down, not in the great detail, just to keep me on track.
How far do you plan ahead?
My next book, as soon as I write THE END of one book, I start working on my next one.
What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Not even close! I wanted to be many things, and although I always liked to write, I never realized that until recently. It was just easier to express my feelings and thoughts through writing. I kept journals and diaries and jotted things all the time. Writing as a career was far from my mind. But I gave it a shot and what to my surprised I’ve got published.
Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
Raving reviews of course. It’s great when a reader really connects with me and understands what I wanted to relay.
Zrinka Jelic lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two children. A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal, as well as Savvy Authors, she writes contemporary fiction—which leans toward the paranormal—and adds a pinch of history. Her characters come from all walks of life, and although she prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given Jelic’s love for her native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, her characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but that’s about the only break they get. “Alas,” Jelic says, with a grin. “Some rain must fall in everyone’s life.”
As a prize for reading my current installment, I’m giving away a copy of Capital Bride, the first book in the Matchmaker & Co series to one lucky commentor, so please leave me a comment.
He followed her eyes to the bed. “What would that be?”
“I, uh, I think we should get to know each other before we, us, you know.”
Nathan knew exactly what she was talking about. It had been on his mind since he’d kissed her that morning. That kiss had been the sweetest in recent memory. His new wife was many things, including, if he wasn’t mistaken, a virgin. He hadn’t expected that. He didn’t know why, but he’d thought that anyone who’d sign up to be a mail order bride would be experienced. But there was no hiding the blush that rose from her neck clear to the top of her head.
“What would that be?”
“You know. I don’t think we should be,” she stopped and whispered, “intimate yet. Not until we get to know each other better.”
Grasping his chin by the thumb and forefinger as though he was contemplating it, he said, “No. I don’t think we should put it off.”
To go see the rest of this weeks blogs click here http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/
Please help me welcome Kara Ashley Dey to my blog today. She’s given me a great interview which I think you’ll find interesting. She’s also giving away a pair of fabulous ruby colored stone earrings. Here is a picture. Now if you want a chance to win those fabulous earrings, leave her a comment.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?
KARA: I love living in the US, but if I lived outside of the US again, I’d choose Barcelona. I had never even thought to visit Spain until my husband suggested it a few years ago. Since then, a stop in Barcelona is a must whenever we go to Europe. I love the medieval section of the city. I enjoy walking down its narrow streets, observing the artists, taking in the pleasurable scents that come from the many cafes, and I enjoy meandering down to the beach and eating paella and sampling tapas.
Q: Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
KARA: Yes. I started out as an opera singer–a dramatic or spinto soprano back then–not much demand for this where I lived. And I did Music Theatre, too. Learning how to belt was the bomb. After this I went back to school for animation and worked many years in TV and film as a lighting lead, compositor and texture artist. That career was a pleasure and fulfilling, in its own way. My life has been a lazy Susan, of sorts. I spin the tray and see what treat comes up for me. What’s next? Ah! Writing again. Yay!
Between those careers, I worked as a shoe saleswoman at different stores. I loved that job while I was in school, too! I worked in a cute little Birkenstock store. Laid-back earth-loving people are so kind and appreciate good service and good shoes. I still consider working at that little shoe store one of my favorite jobs ever. Working at Neimans? (Shudder) One of my least favorite…
Q: Do you have other talents? Or is there a talent you don’t have that you wish you did?
KARA: Well, it sure would be awesome to snorkel admirably, but I’m like a rock and panic if I kick coral. Other than that, I got pretty lucky when they handed out talents. I’ve been able to do almost anything I set my heart to do–maybe not perfectly, but I get by. “Jack of all trades, Master of none” can turn into “Master of quite a few” if one lives long enough. But this also depends on sheer stubbornness. A “do or die” mentality.
Q: What is your next project and when will it be released?
KARA: I’m returning to a book I finished a few years ago but put off some final decisions. I needed to distance my mind from some advice that didn’t quite settle with my gut feelings. With the help of my original beta readers and my editor, I’ve gotten back to the original structure of the story. It’s an urban fantasy about a vampire and a psychic. I especially love this one because part of it takes place in Barcelona. After that I will return to Cassie and Skai’s world. Captain Alexxus has a few more things to take care of.
Q: Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
KARA: Almost always from dreams: either from dreams while I am asleep or from daydreams. I have thoroughly entertained and coddled that “character flaw.” Long ago this drove my teachers nuts–thank goodness I didn’t care. It’s my life, and in it, I love to sleep and I love to dream, and when I cannot sleep, I will daydream. That’s all there is to it. I watch a lot of science channels so my brain files everything and creates some pretty intense “what if” nightmares in the process. Those are my favorite. It’s scary fun! I love my brain when it does that. (Brain Hug).
Q: How does your family feel about your writing career?
KARA: Very supportive. Thank goodness! It helps I do all the housework…for now…
Q: How much time do you spend promoting your books? What works best for you?
KARA: Ugh…Too much time! Lol. Don’t we all? I don’t know when to pull away. In a ten hour day, I will spend well over half of it on marketing or working on my web stuff. I have found Twitter indispensable, which is funny since it took me forever to get on board.
Q: How has your experience with self-publishing been?
KARA: Slow but steady.
Q: What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
KARA: I got really good advice early on. The most important? This is a marathon, not a sprint. With embracing self-publishing and selling ebooks, we just have to remember to keep on “keeping on.” It takes a while to be discovered. And to write our next books as soon as possible. That’s what I am focused on now.
Q: What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)?
KARA: Control. That’s the easy answer. If I’m brutally honest… It came down to trust. It’s a hard enough journey, without tricksters gnawing away at that feeling in your bones or scoffing at your common sense. I hate to say it, but saboteurs are out there and sometimes they wear the biggest of smiles. I decided to find an excellent editor and trust myself. I can always improve as long as I can trust the instruction/advice given.
Q: Where can readers find you?
KARA: I’m on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kara.ashley.dey
Twitter as @KaraAshleyDey
And I have a couple websites:
http://karaashleydey.blogspot.com (I especially love my blog, and hang around here most often.)
Q: Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
KARA: Print will be out soon, by the end of next month. My ebook is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Sky-ebook/dp/B00ARQSJLY
Keep checking back on my FB Page as I expand to other retail sites. And I do enjoy the occasional giveaway, like today. One lucky reader who leaves a comment will win a Stealing Sky bracelet. It is inspired by the ruby earrings Cassie’s mother gave to her.
Thank you so much for having me here today, Cynthia! You are a precious jewel.
They maneuvered around the red light’s edge. A hulky black shadow stood in the middle of the glowing red. In disbelief, Cassie lifted her eyes to the ominous shadow’s source and nearly lost her footing.
“Mech!” she shouted, pointing. No denying, it was a beauty. On the intramural field, she might have whistled appreciatively, but at that moment, the sight of that perfect machine of sleek metal and recent design made her want to scream in pure terror.
“Go!” Skai pushed her forward. “Run!”
But the top of the water tower shuddered as the Mech landed upon the surface. Cassie fell to her knees from the force. She pushed forward, scrambling on hands and knees, while the sound of hydraulic legs whined above the ricocheting din.
She regained her footing and glanced back over her shoulder to Skai. He was approaching the Mech that stood over twice his size, his hand reaching to a gun holster, which he no longer wore—a military habit. He cursed. For a brief moment, she saw the surprised anger in his eyes, before he glanced back at the machine.
The Mech turned its attention from her to him. Taking two jolting steps forward, it covered Skai in shadow. A long metallic arm swung up, the arm’s mechanism twirling circularly, purring and clicking, while metal tiles smoothly pulled backward. The arm’s inner working pushed forward with a hiss, revealing a gun barrel.
“Oh! For Mau’s sake,” she moaned, terrified, as the arm shot once. Skai jerked backward. Cassie covered her mouth to keep from screaming. A second shot hit him in the stomach, and he doubled over.
Skai fell to his knees, then upon his stomach, and lay still. The Mech stomped toward him and lifted his limp body.
Was he dead? She stood, frozen, staring at his dangling arms and legs. Her stomach twisted painfully. Gran’s heavy meal surged up her throat.
Choking, she staggered away and moved toward the ladder. She was but ten paces to it, when she felt the Mech’s feet stomping, charging toward her. It paused. She calculated the distance. She wouldn’t make it.
Cassie braced for its aim. A thin whistle grew louder and louder, until she felt a sharp prick of pain at her shoulder. The tower pitched, as she fell onto her stomach, losing her breath and her supper. Then all went black.
Please help me welcome Lynn Cahoon to my blog today. She has done a wonderful post and is giving away an ecopy of her book Temporary Roommates to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave her a comment.
Why do I love happy ever after’s? I blame fairy tales. Handsome princes are always arriving to sweep the undiscovered diamond in the rough heroine off her feet. I’ve learned a lot about life through the pages of a fairy tale book.
Lesson #1 – Your true love will see beyond the dirt and grime and, probably grumpiness, to see the true princess underneath. If they can’t see you when you’re less than perfect, they aren’t your one true love. Case in point, when I was undergoing chemo – my true love shaved his head to show solidarity. And he LOVED his hair.
Lesson #2 – Fairy godmothers exist. You just have to accept their help. Throw your wishes to the wind and you’ll find they are granted.
Lesson #3 – Love must be won in a hard fought battle – think of the prince in Sleeping Beauty and his fight with the dragon and the thorn vines growing around the castle. What if he’d said, “Oh, screw it.” The girl would still be sleeping her life away.
Lesson #4 – Speaking of sleeping your life away, you have to take a chance to fall in love. If Cinderella had hidden in the kitchen when her fairy godmother arrived, she’d be warm, dry, and still single. I have friends who whine about not dating but when opportunities come up, they are either too busy or just not willing to take the risk.
Lesson #5 – The end of your story is up to you. I love the old, Grimm Fairy Tale of the woman who married a man she didn’t know well. He gave her a set of keys and an egg, telling her she could go everywhere in the castle, except one room. Being a smart woman, she set the egg in a safe place rather than carry it around as he checked the egg every evening when he returned. One day, she opened the forbidden door. His last few wives were there, chopped to pieces. Now, she could have gone running out of the castle and he would have probably found her and added her to the mix, but instead, she put the body pieces back together. The woman came back to life and the crowd attacked their ‘husband’ when he returned. A happy ever after of sorts.
Grimm? Yes. But even though it’s farfetched as a true crime story, the fact that the woman fought back and won has always stayed with me. And probably gave me the strength to leave an abusive relationship even though I didn’t fear the ax.
So, what fairy tale did you love as a child? And what real life lesson, has it taught you?
When a determined nurse and a hot intern find the perfect apartment, the same perfect apartment, they must find a way to share it for ninety days, without killing each other.
Blurb – Annie Baxter has her dream job. Now, all she needs is a cheap apartment close to the hospital. Troy Saunders knows his life as an intern is all about the long hours. He doesn’t have time to play doctor to some Nurse Barbie. So when his sister finds a great apartment walking distance to work and next to the best running paths in the city, he’s sold. Two leasing agents, two prospective renters, one apartment. Can they co-exist without fireworks?
Buy Link – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CGK23EI
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
website – http://lynncahoon.wordpress.com/
e -Book -
Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
BIO – Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters, modern cowboys, or hot doctors, sexy in scrubs. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want. She blogs at her website www.lynncahoon.wordpress.com
Please help me welcome Patricia La Barbera to my blog today. Patricia will be giving away a copy of her book, The Wolf’s Daughter, to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave her a comment.
I wanted to put a twist on the subject of werewolves.
In my world, I decided there’d be various types. For example, in the first book in The Tala Chronicles, The Wolf’s Daughter, released by World Castle Publishing, Tala and Matt have what I call strains from centuries of their ancestors’ intermarriage with humans. So although they don’t actually change into werewolves in this book, Tala and Matt suffer from the strains that carry their own special and deadly challenges. The only hope for even a partial solution is for Tala to travel through wolf country to a remote cabin in the woods, where a relative, who also has one of the strains, might be able to help her…
If he doesn’t kill her first.
In the second book, The Wolf’s Revenge, which has an upcoming release date, I introduce readers to a werewolf pack who can shape-shift to become fully wolf. This pack faces constant opposition from rival wolves. The members also share some distinctive emotions regarding how they feel about being werewolves. Tala must turn to them because of the dire circumstances she and Matt still face.
If the werewolves can’t help them, Tala and Matt can have no future together or apart. In addition, Tala must face the challenge of a Superwolf. In the second book I also introduce a Wolf Slayer, Michael. And what develops is an intriguing dynamic of half-hearted cooperation between him and Jeremiah, the pack alpha, alternating with tendencies toward murderous competition.
What Are Your Plans for Future Books in The Tala Chronicles?
Besides the second book, I’ve already written the following two books in the series, and they document how the survivors meet ever-escalating challenges. Some of the intriguing elements include time travel, other types of shape-shifters and monsters, a Mongolian journey, and a cult hell-bent on procuring a sacrifice victim to usher in the New Earth.
And as for how many more books? That depends. Authors like to think they’re responsible for their books.
But the characters are really in charge.
Be sure to view the book trailer.
Bio: Patricia La Barbera, MFA, is an author and editor, who specializes in genre categories. She’s an active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of Mystery Writers of America. Various magazines and anthologies have featured her work. She’s also the organizer of the Sarasota Editors Association. She lives in the Sarasota, Florida, area with her husband.
The Wolf’s Daughter on Amazon
Patricia La Barbera’s Website
Patricia La Barbera’s Blog where you can view the trailer
Here is the next installment of my current release, Heiress Bride. Hope you enjoy.
“Now you’ve got me thoroughly confused. Maybe later you can explain it all to me.”
“We’ll have plenty of time for that.”
Ella turned to Martha. “Please don’t let me interrupt your routine. I want to learn all I can. We had a cook, housekeeper and maids in New York, so I’m woefully ignorant, but I want to learn to do things myself. I know I’ll need your help so don’t worry about me taking over all your duties. That won’t ever happen, but I want to learn. Will you teach me?”
“Sure. I’ll teach ya. Looks like ya got a keeper, Nathan.”
“Thank you, Martha. I think so, too.” He placed his hand on Ella’s waist. “Let’s go drop off your valise and then I’ll show you the rest of the property.”
Go here for the rest of the Sneak Peek Sunday blogs. http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/
Please help me welcom A.H. De Carrasco to my blog today. She’s written a great post for us today and is giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to one reader who answers the question below. Be sure and leave her the answer in your comments in order to be entered.
My answer? As long as it has to take. No more. No less.
And I mean every word of that answer above. As long as it has to take. One does not rush an epic tale. It took me a very long time to understand that each story has different needs. If I could tell the old me what the present me knows about these things, I would pat her on the back and say, “Trust in your instincts.”
What works for one book’s fermentation, might be lethally poisonous to another. And fussing about that won’t help any, either. Anxiety only adds to all the troubles ahead. So don’t apologize for the long weeks, months–yikes!–years of curing. Understand they are sometimes necessities of the process.
Think I know what I am talking about? I’ve been working on my Teller of Destiny™ Series for twenty-six years. Yes. Twenty-six years. I have well over half a million words devoted to that world and that world needs every single one of them. Every single one. Plus I’ve made maps, charts, lineages, glossaries, floor plans–you name it–I got it.
I had the series arch in my head, and the climaxes and points of no return scribbled on napkins and office scrap paper when I began to put it all together and write it out longhand, then on computer. When I read through the three-book trilogy (at that time), I wept. It was terrible. Not the story, but my writing. I should have known this was what writers call a first draft–the draft we are allowed to write as almost pure shi@t. But I knew my writing had to improve greatly to honor the story I wanted to tell. I let the books gather dust, while I took classes. Three years later, I wrote through it again. Then I waited another five. Then wrote and revised again. Much like a hair artist checks the bleach’s progress. All the time, adding subplots and supporting characters, I knew where I was going–I knew my destination–as a gut feeling.
I work this same way in animation. Doing compositing, and lighting, and rendering. Problem solving. It’s a feeling I get when it is all put together–the finishing touch– just exactly as it is supposed to be. Only I can really know when that moment has been reached. Of course, in the daily grind of commercial animation that means extra hours out of my own time, because there are deadlines that cannot be avoided. I enjoy much more the game developers’ philosophy. ‘It will get done when it gets done.’ But if, like me, this is your philosophy, then your epic creation better well be completely created before you talk about deadlines for “upcoming” books.
In fact, if anyone were to ask me for advice on writing an epic series, I would tell them not to publish the first book until the last word of the last book was written down. Sure revisions will come. I’m still editing and tweaking. But I have heard many readers will not start on a series until it is complete. They have been burned too many times with series than did not finish. That’s a sad thing–hopefully a sad thing of the past now that we have indie-publishing. A writer can always finish up her series, even if a publisher withdraws support. We owe it to our readers. I’m serious. My husband knows where my keys and codes are, so in the terrible occasion of my untimely demise, the story can go on.
How do you know when your stories are ready? Answer in comments to be entered into a $5 Amazon GC giveaway. Thank you for stopping by! And thank you, Cynthia, for having me here today.
-A.H. De Carrasco
From Continue Blurb:
“I saw the dead king…burn,” Raphere whispered to the voices. She lifted her chin. “Why would I see such a thing, if not to prevent it?”
“There are many kings in the land, and all kings die eventually. You are more important than any.”
Did they think to keep her here, forever? In the Pikestan? But she was not safe. And she could do nothing for anyone. But as a wanderer…
Ever since spilling her blood before the Teller of Destiny, Raphere has spent her life trying to prove she is not like her mother, a dark sorceress. And though she yearns to be, she is not a white wanderer either. She is the Jivasivar, the first grey soul born into the land since sin and the Changing. Some call her savior; others, assassin. One thing is clear: everyone has a plan for Raphere. Few seem to care about what is best for her–only what she might gain or cost them.
To the visitors in the Pikestan, she is a target for their cruelty. To the voices of the weald, she is a precious angel and a last chance at life. To the Dark Lord Verisa, she is a spoiled girl and an unwanted burden. To the mercenary Rant Pae, she is a comely maiden and a promised bounty. To the Highland witch Rumara, she is a puzzle to decipher from afar. To the Teller of Destiny, which revealed the grey of Raphere’s soul, she is the Great All’s long awaited Sword and Shield. Amidst such judgment, can a young woman with young girl’s dreams choose her own path correctly?
Searching for her purpose Raphere embarks upon a journey to find the white wanderer Tranquia and the Jivan Tome–the Divine Poem which promised Raphere’s emergence, centuries ago. She must discern friend from foe as all strive to manipulate her for their own designs. Does she have the conviction to be the Jivasivar or is she merely a pawn in a fight for the survival of both ancients and kings? With the Jivan Tome out of reach, and her destiny as clouded as her grey blood, will she bend to the manipulations of others and take a path that leads to the destruction of all?
readers age 15+
The Teller of Destiny™ Series:
Read the books. Play trivia. Unlock extras.
Trivia updated weekly and occasional giveaways
Please help me welcome Lauri Haley-McNeil to my blog today. Laura is generously giving away a $10 ebook card to one lucky commentor that she will chose. So be sure and leave her a comment to be entered.
As writers, we all know how important it is to capture the emotions of our characters. The question I always ask myself is: How does my character feel?
Writing on the computer is miraculous because when I have a question, I can easily look up the answer on the internet. So how did I find the answer to how my character(s) feel? YouTube.
There are a couple of television shows I like to watch. One is The Good Wife. Two characters from the show intrigue me: Cary and Kalinda. (Never mind that Kalinda is bi.)
I was searching YouTube for facial expressions and typed in Cary’s name. Bumcrackmosh182 and others have compiled excerpts of the scenes with Cary and Kalinda together with background music. Kalinda is cool toward Cary, but Cary is so over the top in love with her it drives me crazy. http://youtu.be/GSmogQQPPyw
Two other characters I like to view on YouTube are Mary and Matthew from Downton Abbey. Lolilie has compiled excerpts of their scenes. http://youtu.be/dGPAYL5MQT4
When I look at these videos, I’m analyzing everything I see: the eyes, the mouth, the tilt of the character’s chin, their posture. Are the characters standing close together? Is there distance emotionally and physically? Is there longing? Have the characters given up? Will they walk away from each other? Have they realized this love was never meant to be but they can still love from afar? As you can see, my questions never stop.
As viewers, we can interpret anything we want in what we view. As actors, it’s important to them that they portray the correct emotion and so they work hard to make sure that we the viewer feel what they project. As writers, we struggle with the precise word that will convey what we want the reader to feel.
If you’re looking for emotions besides love, YouTube has thousands of videos depicting a broad range of emotion from fear to hate to joy to depression.
Have you found others? I’d love to hear about them. I’ll have a drawing and send a $10 ebook gift card to one lucky commenter.
Olivia St. Claire accomplishes her dream to become a pianist, but didn’t count on falling in love with the man she can never have.
“Liam Wallace?” Panic burst through me as I forced confidence into my voice, lifted my chin, and looked at the towering figure filling the doorway. My clammy hands gripped a briefcase weighted with ancient piano books. It knocked against my knees as I stood on his terraced front porch in the fading sunlight of a cool, Denver afternoon.
Though his eyes never left mine, I knew he was making the observations everyone makes about me: small, timid, weak.
“Yes.” His lean physique bore an oxford shirt and soft wool trousers, but my gaze was immediately drawn to the mass of salt and pepper curls.
“I’m Olivia St. Claire. I had called about the piano lessons.”
“Of course.” He opened the door.
I stepped into the tiled foyer paneled in dark wood. Through the arched doorway, I caught a glimpse of cathedral windows overlooking a pristine lawn. Light drifting through leaded glass splashed across a Persian carpet.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” His voice carried a sense of authority, yet was gentle. He extended his hand and I started when his cuff lifted to reveal a thin scar that crossed his palm.
Cool strength closed around my fingers and unintelligible words tumbled from my mouth that would have said I was glad to meet him.
“You brought your music, I see.” His hand released mine, which reluctantly floated to the briefcase.
Unwanted sensations rushed through me, but I reminded myself a male piano teacher would have little interest in women.
Please help me welcome Jean Murray to my blog today. As a thank you to those who comment, Jean is giving away an ecopy of her book, Soul Reborn, to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave her a comment.
Living in a palatial mansion on an island with white sandy beaches and warm blue water. I’m not sure where in the world that would be, maybe the Caribbean or Hawaii. One can only dream
Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
A year and half ago, I retired from the military after twenty years of service, as a Navy Nurse. Retirement is a misnomer. I still work full-time as an Infection Preventionist. Writing is somewhat of a second career for me that I fit in between work-children-life.
What inspired your latest book?
My latest release, Soul Awakened, was a labor of love. The last ten years of my military career, I care for military personnel with all sorts of injuries – both physical and psychological from the war and subsequent deployments. So many had PTSD – acute and chronic. Suicide was at its highest in the last few years, despite the military’s efforts to make services easily accessible. I’ll never forget the desperation and pain. Bakari’s world is very much the same for different reasons of course, but his struggles are a culmination of all the sad stories over the years. I dedicated the book to our American heroes.
What is your next project and when will it be released?
I’m working on the third book in the series, Soul Unbound. At the end of Soul Awakened, Bomani soul is broken. He has lost the woman he loves and his faith in honor, a quality that defined him. He escapes to the human realm under a cloud of shame, leaving everything he knows and loves behind. In exchange for hiding in the human realm, Bomani agrees to track an exiled goddess. He is given strict orders to keep his distance. One look at the Goddess of War and he is doomed. She is his every dream and nightmare.
Soul Unbound is due out in the fall of this year.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Escapism, I guess. I can leave the chaos of my life/work behind and get lost in the characters and plot.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
Not having enough time to write. I have too many stories bouncing around in my head and not enough time to write them all down.
How does your family feel about your writing career?
To be honest, I think I shocked everyone, including myself. I didn’t start writing until 2009. I’ve always loved to read, but in my mind’s eye at the time, it didn’t mean that I could write. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had these stories bouncing around in my head. Never once did I think to write them down until 2009. I’m not sure why the change, but I was doing a lot of traveling for work. I woke up one morning with a story fresh on my mind and I just had to write it down. It started with a pen and paper until I could get a hold of my computer. I haven’t stopped since. It was my husband that encouraged me to submit my work. I was buckled down for a hard long journey, but I did not have long to wait. Turns out—I can write. My debut novel, Soul Reborn released in May 2011.
Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have they helped you with your writing? How?
I belong to RWA, FF&P chapter and ROMVETS. I don’t know what I would have done without these loops, especially FF&P. These organizations provide a forum of authors with an amazing amount of experience and expertise and workshops and networking opportunities that are essential for writers/authors. It is also a support group for when you are down or having trouble with a manuscript. It was during FF&P’s push to PRO that I had venue to pitch to editors. Crescent Moon Press was one of those opportunities that resulted in my contract. If I had not belonged to that chapter, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet my editor and land a contract for my series.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to combat it?
I did an interview about two months ago and flat out said, “no” to writer’s block. I think I jinxed myself. I’m writing the third book in the series, Soul Unbound. The heroine, Siya, is fabulous. She has an amazing backstory that just sings across the pages. My hero, Bomani, who I love by the way, is coming into the book with a broken heart. He has lost the woman he loves to his brother, someone he despises. Needless to say, he is fighting me, dragging his feet. But, often what I think is trouble ends up being exactly what he is and needs to be, so I continue to push through writing. I can always go back and negotiate with him. LOL.
Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
I think the best advice I can pass on is don’t give up. There are so many publishing options out there. I know small press and indie authors that have been become best sellers. Writing takes time and often times I get impatient, but I have to let things run their course. If you do decide to go the route of self-publishing, I strongly recommend hiring an experienced editor. This is your opportunity to hook future publishers and readers. You want that book to shine.
Lastly, enjoy yourself and write about things you love. It will come across in your writing and translate to the reader or editor. This is a wonderfully supportive community, turn to those you trust for help.
I have two more books in the Key to the Cursed series to write and release – Soul Unbound and Soul Unleashed. I’m considering self-publishing my next novel or revising one I have sitting on my shelf.
Where can readers find you?
Web Address: www.jean-murray.com ; www.keytothecursed.com
Blog Address: www.wickedromance.wordpress.com
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJeanMurray
Soul Reborn: http://www.youtube.com/user/KeytotheCursed?ob=5#p/u/0/smSJsJp5o74
Soul Awakened: http://youtu.be/S3IlOKhBZoY
Bio: In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.
Author Jean Murray brings a wonderful new spin to the paranormal world with her Egyptian Underworld gods. She broke ground in the paranormal romance genre with Soul Reborn and now continues the Key to the Cursed journey with Soul Awakened. See what readers and reviewers are saying about her new book ~ http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16484518-soul-awakened?auto_login_attempted=true
BOOK I: Soul Reborn
Amazon Purchase Links:
THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD.
Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.
DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.”>DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.
Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.
TAGLINE “Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”
BOOK II: Soul Awakened
Books –A – Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Soul-Awakened/Jean-Murray/9781937254971?id=5602792319200
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/soul-awakened-jean-murray/1114128757?ean=9781937254971
LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR
Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.
HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST
Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most– his Parvana. His butterfly.
For today’s giveaway, I’m giving an ecopy of Capital Bride, the first in the Matchmaker & Co series. Heiress Bride is book 2 in the series.
Today I’m going to start by giving you the blurb from the back of the book.
Heiress Ella Davenport survived a carriage accident that killed her father. Her life saved in exchange for savage scars marring her beautiful face. Her friends, socialites, showed their true colors, casting Ella aside like damaged goods and leaving her a social pariah. Even her wealth can’t buy her the kind of marriage she wants. Desperate to find a husband who can accept her despite her scars and, without knowing about her money, she seeks to become a mail order bride. Matchmaker & Co. is her one chance to start over and leave the pain and betrayal far behind her.
Nathan Ravenclaw was run out of town by the father of the girl he was courting once he discovered Nathan’s Arapaho heritage. It didn’t matter that Nathan was a successful rancher, businessman, and a positive member of society. The white community suddenly saw only a half-breed. Even his money couldn’t buy him a wife. That was ten years ago. He moved and rebuilt everything that cold rancher once took from him. He has it all…except a wife. Matchmaker & Company promises to send him a woman willing to start a new life with him. But Nathan’s battered heart lacks the ability to trust. He longs for children, not romance. His new bride, scarred and cast aside like himself, promises to be perfect for him. Until he meets his mail order bride. Fierce desire and an even more dangerous hope roar back to life within him. Two things he swore never to indulge in again.
And love? For these two battered souls, that’s the biggest risk of all
Now that you’ve got some background on to today’s six paragraphs.
As they got close, she saw that the ranch house was one story and sprawling. Shaped like a “U” with a courtyard in the center. Nathan pulled up in front of the open center courtyard. They walked through the courtyard straight to the door in the center of the middle side and entered into a foyer there.
“To the right are the parlor, dining room, kitchen and Martha’s bedroom,” said Nathan. “And to the left are the family bedrooms.”
“Let me introduce you to Martha. She’s the one who keeps the place running smoothly. I’m sure you’ll want to take over some of her duties, but I leave that up to the two of you.”
They headed to the kitchen where Ella saw a short, middle-aged woman with beautiful black hair and sparkling brown eyes.
“Ah, you are the missus for my Nathan.”
“Your Nathan?” Ella looked back and forth between Nathan and Martha. “Are you his mother?”
Hope you liked the excerpt. Click here to go to the rest of the delightful blogs for Sneak Peek Sunday http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/