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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Meet Secret Cravings author Jan Graham


Hi Jan, and welcome. Please tell us something about your writing adventure

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think it was when I was offered my first publishing contract. Up until then, I wrote but didn’t really know if I was just fooling myself or not. Once I got offered a contract I thought, Okay, someone in the book world thinks I’m good enough to do this. Now I’m a writer.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was at home recuperating from an illness and decided it was a good time to start writing again. I’d had the idea for Finding Angel roaming around my head for a while but it was only when I found myself with free time that I decided to write it and see if I could get it published.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I prefer to write contemporary romances. I find there is so much flexibility within that genre, it allows me to add lots of different themes to the story like BDSM, suspense, and I also like to make reference to current popular culture which I think helps readers relate to the story and characters.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?

I’m currently working on two new books, Switching Mercedes is the third book in my
Wylde Shore Series which fans have been asking me about, so I’m trying to get that finished as soon as possible. The second book is my first paranormal romance called Garden of Stone. I’m hoping to have both of them ready for release early 2013.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love paranormal books so most of my favorite authors come from that genre, I really enjoy reading JR Ward, Nalini Singh, Gena Showalter…there just too many to name.

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

I’m torn between wanting to have super human strength and being able to fly, I think I’d like both. J

 Excerpt from Playing Jax


Steve watched Rhia thoughtfully. This was the penguin? Surely not. She was too shapely, too young, and too pretty. Hell, she was too damn sexy to have ever been a nun. He couldn’t decide if the fact he was growing hard under his jeans meant he was destined to go to hell. A smile edged at his lips as Rhia adjusted her top so he couldn’t see her stomach, the downward pull of the shirt revealing tightly budded nipples beneath the fabric. Maybe he wasn’t the only one in this conversation having impure thoughts. His cock pulsed harder as he thought of a befitting punishment for a nun with impure thoughts.
His black, heavy-weighted leather flogger sprang to mind. He imagined her cuffed to the St. Andrew’s cross he kept stored in his garage, him behind her, wielding the first lash of leather tails against her skin.
His cock stiffened and pressed uncomfortably against his tight denims. Steve needed to get his mind under control. If he didn’t, Rhia would be in all sorts of trouble. Besides, he got the distinct impression she was a little uncomfortable being this close to him. She fidgeted with her clothing some more. Maybe she simply felt a little exposed in that snug little PJ set…that damn-fine, hug-her-body-like-a-glove, little PJ set.
Stop it, you Neanderthal, she used to be a nun.
Steve cleared his throat and addressed the issue at hand. Well, one of them. There was nothing he could do about his erection at this moment in time.
“So…did you bring a key out with you, or do you need help to get back inside?” Steve removed his leather jacket and handed it to her. “So you don’t feel as exposed.”
He watched as she took his jacket and quickly shrugged it on, wrapping it firmly around her body. Well that did nothing to ease the throb in his pants. Now she looked even sexier. The jacket completely covered her. The arms were way too long, and the leather kissed against her bare thighs as she tried to adjust the sleeves so her hands were exposed. Jesus, now she looked like she had nothing on, except the jacket. The sound of her voice snapped him back to reality.
“Thank you, Steve, and yes, I do need help to get back in.”
He dipped his hand into his jean pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He could feel her watching him but knew he couldn’t afford to look at her. If he got any harder, he might bust the zip in his pants. Then there’d be no hiding what he felt about her. His beast of lust was trying to break its leash, and he was not going to let that happen. Well, not tonight anyway.
Not any night, you idiot. She’s Meg and Barry’s sister…and she used to be a nun.
He moved to the front door and sensed her step up behind him. He didn’t expect her to be so close when he turned around. Oh, dear God in heaven, she smelt too delicious. Hints of fresh citrus invaded his nostrils, a summer scent that he adored. She looked innocent and sexy at the same time. How could that be, innocently sexy? His cock pulsed. She was nothing like he expected. He nearly groaned at the realization she was going to drive him insane. Living across the road from her would test his control more than it had ever been tested before. She looked up at him curiously as he flicked through the keys. The sweet innocence reflected in her eyes convinced him that she had no idea the effect being this close to her was having on him.
“I helped the owners renovate the interior, and I haven’t given Angel the key back yet.” He unlocked the door, held it ajar and ushered her back inside. When she brushed against him, a jolt of arousal rushed through his body. He was a dead man. Steve made a mental note to return the key to Angel on his way to work in the morning. Despite what his body was telling him, he didn’t need easy access to Rhia or her home.
“Angel must really trust you if she gave you a key to one of her houses.” Steve heard relief in Rhia’s voice. He wasn’t sure if it stemmed from being back inside, or the fact that Angel had given him a key. Whatever the reason, it appeared to calm her. Her expression no longer held a wary edge. “Would you like a coffee, or do you need to go home?”
Steve needed to go home. He needed to leave before he tried to kiss his new neighbor and drag her off to bed.
“Sure, coffee sounds great, black and five.”
You idiot! Talk about being a glutton for punishment.


I have enjoyed writing throughout different periods of my life, but it is only now that I have the ability to work on it in a full time capacity. I love the imagery the written word creates in one’s mind and therefore I am an avid reader as well as an author.

At the end of 2010, after many years of working in the “real” world, I finally decided to make writing my career. I currently have books under contract with Siren Publishing and Secret Cravings Publishing.

Even though all of my writing falls under the erotic romance banner I write a variety of genres including BDSM, contemporary romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance. Something for everyone.

I am pleased that I’m finally able to give the characters that swirl around my head on a constant basis the opportunity to put themselves down on paper, and hopefully entertain others as much as they amuse me. More information about what I’m up to, competitions and general nonsense can be uncovered if you visit my website http://www.jangraham.com.au or my blog at http://jangraham.blogspot.com

You can buy Playing Jax at http://www.bookstrand.com/playing-jax

Thank for visiting us, Jan. Wishing you many sales for Playing Jax.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Meet Babs Mountjoy - mullti-published author

Hi Babs and welcome to Adventures in Authorland.

Tell us a little about your personal adventure.  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was about eight, I sat at our living room window and wrote down, word for bloody word, the story of how my cat killed and ate a rabbit. My mother was so impressed, she shared it with my principal, who read it to the whole school. The response I got from that was really inspiring, and probably led to my work as a journalist later on. I wrote my first full novel when I was fourteen, and I’ve been writing ever since.

Do you see writing as a career?
 
I’ve had a couple of periods in my life where I’ve thought that was possible. When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor at The South Dade News Leader, a daily paper in south Florida, so I actually earned my daily bread by the written word.

Then there was that pesky middle period where I went to law school and then I had a day job as a lawyer and raising a couple of families, and I had to squeeze writing in around the edges. But now I’ve got a comfy part-time salaried legal gig, which has really given me permission to open up the writing box and let my imagination out. Which is kind of a dangerous thing. J

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve written twenty-two novels. Nine are currently in print, including the urban fantasy Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series set in western Montana—THE ELF QUEEN, THE ELF CHILD, THE ELF MAGE, and 2013’s THE ELF GUARDIAN. I have a science fiction/space opera TRIAD that’s out, and a contract for the HORIZON trilogy with Dragonfly Publishing, beginning in 2013, HORIZON SHIFT, HORIZON STRIFE and HORIZON DYNASTY.  In August, my supernatural mystery book LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME was released by Hydra Publications.

On the romance end, The Wild Rose Press has released SECRETS IN THE SAND, CONVICTION OF THE HEART and THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE; the first two are romantic suspense (my favourite as I was growing up) and the last a contemporary.  CONVICTION OF THE HEART is the first book in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series, which was followed by Zumaya Publications’ SECOND CHANCES. I’m currently working on the third in that series.

So far for next year I have scheduled/contracted for publication the romance BY ANY OTHER NAME, the two books listed above, the science fiction romance A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, and finally THE COLOR OF FEAR—PLAGUE , the first in a young adult post-apocalyptic trilogy that has always been my very favorite story that I’ve written. I can’t wait to see it in print. The story explores what happens after a terrorist bioattack takes out most of the world’s Caucasian population (among others) and changes the political situation and the infrastructure of America, seen through the eyes of  some young people of color who’ve managed to survive.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I guess I don’t really have a preference. As you can see, I’ve written in a lot of different genres, the women’s fiction/romances as Alana Lorens and the fantasy/sci-fi/supernatural stories as Lyndi Alexander.

The pen names are important to me, because the elf stories were the first to get published, and as a lawyer I thought people wouldn’t take me seriously in my day job if I was writing elf stories, you know? When I started having romances published, though, I thought my elf readers wouldn’t necessarily expect the kind of stories I was writing now, so I created a second pseudonym.  Hopefully I won’t start writing literary fiction or cozies, because I’ll have to think of a new name!!

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

For the last twelve years I’ve spent an awful lot of time dealing with the special needs of my husband’s children, who I adopted when they were very young. All three have an autism spectrum diagnosis. At one point there were several years where we had as much as 70 hours of therapies a week among the three—speech, occupational, physical, ABA, all kinds of stuff. Fortunately, our early intervention for at least two of the three has really paid off, in that they attend school with their peers and function reasonably well, if a little differently, every day. The third is still a work in progress, but we really hold on to that term “progress.”

When I have extra time, which isn’t often, I also like to quilt and make doll clothes for the many grandchildren, and we try to put in a garden and can fresh vegetables each summer to stay as healthy as possible.

If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?

My mother and I were estranged for a long time, and she became ill with a mystery disease, that was finally diagnosed as hepatitis C, back in the early days of that disease’s discovery. She made up with all of her daughters before she passed away, and when I went out to visit her, she asked me to take care of her final arrangements, disposing of her furnishings and so on.

When she went into the hospital for the final time, her friends called me and asked me to come to Arizona to close up her apartment, as she would not be able to return home, because she was very ill.  I dropped everything and went out, handling the distribution part without a lot of emotion, just getting through it. I went to the hospital with her friends to pick up some final papers, but I couldn’t bring myself to go in and see my mother, because I knew she’d know I was closing up her place and that meant she wasn’t going to make it.

I’ve regretted that missed opportunity to say goodbye so many times over the years. If I could do that over, it would really put my conscience to rest.

(As a postscript, I received a call from the hospital just as we finished cleaning the apartment that my mother had passed. It was almost as if she knew she could let go because her affairs were handled. So I believe she forgave me. But I’d rather it had been different.)

 EXCERPT from LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME:
Of all the corpses I’d seen in six years as a news reporter, Lily Kimball’s hit me the hardest. Found in a drainage ditch along Route 24, two inches deep in snow, she wore only a shabby pair of Banana Republic jeans and a red jersey shirt, a dried clot of blood on her forehead where she’d taken a header into a discarded bottle.
            In the half-light before dawn, two CSI-types crouched in front of the body taking pictures and samples, thick parka vests protecting them against the thirty degree early March chill. Each breath left their cold lips as a mist of water vapor.
            “Damnedest thing I ever saw,” the lead investigator said to the waiting medic from the volunteer ambulance service, “Why the hell would some girl be out here in the middle of a snowstorm without shoes, without a coat?”
            Good question as far as I was concerned. I was freezing my butt off, despite a hoodie under my jacket, black sweat pants and fur-lined boots. I couldn’t return to the office until I had some answers. So far, all I had was her name, thanks to the CSI techs.
                They hadn’t disturbed the body much, other than to rule out major trauma. Lily’s skin was icy white, her black hair patchy, so thin it lay atop the snow. Bony stick fingers and toes were dark red, almost violet, from frostbite at the bare tips. It seemed like she’d just fallen over into the ditch. Just let go, dead.
            Satisfied with their photos, the techs turned over the stiff body. The girl’s pale, sightless eyes stared into the gray miasma of the late winter sky. Nausea crept from my stomach toward my throat. She had to be about my age, twenty-something; about my size too, although those fingers were wickedly thin. What would have compelled me to leave home in a blizzard, half-dressed, ending in a frozen ditch with my life sucked out?
            I didn’t know what could cause such desperation.
            But the goosebumps that rippled across my skin told me it was still out there, lurking.  
Babs Mountjoy dreamed for many years  of being a spaceship captain, but settled instead for inspired excursions  into fictional places with fascinating companions from her imagination that  she likes to share with others. She has been a published writer for over  thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper  in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications is eclectic, from science  fiction to romance to horror, from tech reporting to television reviews.  Babs is married to an absent-minded computer geek. Together, they have a  dozen computers, seven children and a full house in northwestern  Pennsylvania.

Babs Mountjoy writer site: http://barbaramountjoy.blogspot.com

Alana Lorens site:  http://alanalorens.com

Lyndi Alexander site: http://lyndialexander.wordpress.com

for buy links and more on LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME, see http://lyndialexander.wordpress.com/love-me-kiss-me-kill-me/

Thanks for sharing with us today, Babs. Looks like you're having a full on adventure.

Jean

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meet Andrea Downing, Wild Rose Press author

Today I’d like to introduce Andrea Downing, a fellow Wild Rose Press author.

Hello Andrea, and welcome. Tell us a little about your writing adventure

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely.  I may have come late to it, but I am positively dedicated to it.  You can’t take writing as a hobby; there is too much involved, too many people relying on your keeping your deadlines to play around with this.  I had to laugh at my brother, a lawyer.  I was discussing with him whether the IRS would consider my writing a hobby, as Loveland is my first published book, and I told him about the various items I had to have to show it as a profession. He said, “who the hell sits down and writes a book as a hobby?”  You may have to do it part-time, you may have things that get in the way—and believe me, if you work at home, they do get in the way—but you still have to be dedicated to it.  I certainly am.

Introducing Loveland


When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...
Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.
Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

Loveland excerpt


     As the round-up wound down, the Reps took their stock back to their outfits, and soon the men were back at headquarters or at the camps.
     Alex knew word had more or less got out and found the punchers were gentler now around her, had a sort of quiet respect for her, and she hated it. She tried to bully them a bit to show them she was still the same girl, jolly them into joshing with her as they had before. It was slow work. At the same time, she yearned to see Jesse, to speak with him, to try to get life back to the way it was before the argument at the corral, and before he saw the scars.
     The opportunity didn’t present itself. She would see him from a distance some days, riding with the herd, sitting his horse with that peculiar grace he had, throwing his lariat out with an ease that reminded her of people on a dock waving their hankies in farewell. Hoping to just be near him, she slid into one of the corrals one evening to practice her roping.
     The light was failing and the birds were settling with their evening calls. Somewhere in the pasture a horse nickered. She sensed Jesse was there, watching, but she never turned as he stood at the fence. She heard him climb over and ease up behind her. He took the coiled rope from her in his left hand and slid his right hand over hers on the swing end, almost forcing her backward into his arms.
     She thought of paintings and statues she had seen, imagining his naked arms now, how the muscles would form them into long oblique curves, how he probably had soft downy fair hair on his forearms, how his muscle would slightly bulge as he bent his arm. His voice was soft in her ear, and she could feel his breath on her neck like a whispered
secret.
     “Gentle-like, right to left, right to left to widen the noose, keep your eye on the post—are you watchin’ where we’re goin’?” He made the throw and pulled in the rope to
tighten the noose.
     Alex stood there, his hand still entwined with hers and, for a moment, she wished they could stand like that forever. Then she took her hand away and faced him. For a second he rested his chin on the top of her head, then straightened again and went to get the noose off the post while coiling in the rope. She looked up at him in the fading light and saw nothing but kindness in his face, simplicity and gentleness that was most inviting.
     A smile spread across her face as he handed her the coiled rope and sauntered away, turning once to look back at her before he opened the gate. Emptiness filled her like a poisoned vapor seeking every corner of her being, and she stood with the rope in her hand listening to the ring of his spurs as his footsteps retreated.

****

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

I love traveling.  My parents were great travellers and I guess I’ve inherited it from them, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do that.  Living in Europe for so long was a privilege because you have all those different countries, those different cultures, within such easy reach.  But I also lived in Africa for a bit, and then I am originally from the states so travel here a great deal.  I think at last count I’ve done 30 states.  My daughter is very involved with Latin America so I’ve also been down there to several countries either to visit her or traveling with her.  Aside from that, I’m absolutely passionate about the American west and its culture.  Horses, rodeo, native American arts, you name it, I love it. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?

Actually, I was torn between acting and writing.  I had voice lessons and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts summer school and, of course, took part in every school play I could. At the same time I was also taking every creative writing class available. I wanted to go on to RADA in London but got side tracked for various reasons and went back to the writing, ended up co-editing a poetry magazine and working in publishing. 

What historical person would you want to meet and why?

I would love to meet Elizabeth, or Libby, Custer.  The daughter of a doting father who was a judge, she came from a very privileged background and married George Armstrong Custer who was basically a nobody at the time.  She followed him all over, during the American Civil War, and later on his assignments out west, giving up the luxuries to which she was accustomed for quite a hard life.  They had a very passionate relationship—apparently their letters are really sexually charged—and Libby spent her life as a widow writing and lecturing about her husband, trying to revive his reputation after he had been blamed for the Little Big Horn massacre by President Grant.  She proved very successful at this and actually died a wealthy woman on the proceeds of her books and lectures.  But I wonder how she would see Custer’s pursuit of the Native Americans with the benefit of hindsight, and I wonder what fuelled such passion in her.

If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?

Wow, is that a difficult one!  You know, someone once told me that I’d been born in the wrong century, and I love the idea of going back to the 19th century and living during the golden age of the cowboy between the end of the Civil War and 1887.  But lately, I’ve thought I would really like to see what the world will be like in the 22nd Century.  I fear for this planet tremendously.  The weather the last few years has proven to me that we are headed for real disaster and all the forest fires we’ve had in the US this summer might just be the start of something really big—and bad!  I’d love to know what happens, whether all our technology finally comes in to save the day or whether we’re beyond repair.  Sorry to be so morose but you did ask!

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

Considering what I’ve just said it has to be something that will change life for all of us for the better.  Can I have the power to change the weather?  I’d bring rain to Texas and the southwest, put out those forest fires, stop hurricanes, lessen wind which seems to be increasing, get the snowfalls right (I love snow but there has to be a point at which it stops!) and make bright, sunny days without too high temperatures!  For the most part, we need more water in some places and less in others.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Oh, please:  I cry at the end of just about every film I’ve ever watched.  I’m the biggest cry-baby ever.  Name a film, I’ve cried—I’ll leave you with that!

Thanks so much for having me, Jean.  New Zealand was on my list to visit and this has been a great visit with you.  Thanks so much for letting me stop by here!

Andrea Downing has spent most of her life in the UK where she developed a penchant for tea drinking, a tolerance for rainy days, and a deep knowledge of the London Underground system.  In 2008 she returned to live in the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide-open spaces of the West.  Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing.  Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, is her first book.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Visit Andrea at
Loveland is available at


Thank you for joining me today Andrea. Wishing LOVELAND many sales.

Jean