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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bess hooked on historical time travel

 Hi Bess, thank you for joining me today. Please get comfortable and tell us something about your writing adventure.

What books have most influenced your life most?

All the books on writing have inspired me. I’ve read and purchased so many. Some that come to mind. Stephen King’s “On Writing.” Ralph Keyes’s “The Courage to Write” and “The Writer’s Book of Hope,” Mary Pipher’s “Writing to Change the World.”

And Jude Devereaux’s “A Knight in Shining Armor.” I loved the time travel romance in that book.
Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do now, as of January 2013. For the first six years of my writing career, I did not, and in fact could not think of it as a career as I made very little money with a small press, but I recently dived into independent publishing (once a bad word), and I am making a small, but attractive profit from it, such that I finally feel like I’m being paid for writing and not just paying someone to let me write.

I hope I’ll write forever!
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve written twelve books since I began writing in 2006. Time travel romances are my favorite.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I love writing time travel romances. Like all folks who read time travel romances, I enjoy the juxtaposition of one person dropped into another era. The most common is to have the lead character enter a historical era, but I’ve had my heroes come forward in time in ACROSS THE WINDS OF TIME and TOGETHER FOREVER IN TIME. While I do love bringing them forward in time, I “sense” readers prefer to enjoy the historical aspect of most time travel romances from their comments. I don’t write futuristic, so I can’t say if that’s a popular time for time travels.

Have you ever travelled to a place and come away with a story unexpectedly?

Always! Most of my books are set in locations where I’ve travelled...most, but not all. I’ve travelled extensively, and in my contemporaries, romantic suspenses and to some extent my time travel romances, I’ve been to all the locations...albeit in modern day. J Readers of my books know that I treat my locations and settings as a character.

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

All the time. I’m a crier. I also cry during some commercials, even if they’re not particularly meant to be sentimental. Gee, which movie did I last cry at would be an easier question? I actually shed some tears at the recent movie “Olympus Has Fallen.” In this case, there were scenes of the Pentagon (where I once worked) and the White House and the National Monument being attacked by planes, and that was just very, very difficult for me to take for obvious reasons.

I cry during a lot of Nicholas Sparks’ movies. In fact, my daughter hates to go to them because she says they’re always unhappy endings. That’s not accurate, but there you go!

I can’t think of any specific romantic movies I’ve cried at because I think I’ve cried at all of them, but I will say that the music is absolutely key to my emotion. The characters could be doing almost anything, but if the music is beautiful, then I’m sobbing. Anna and the King makes me cry. The music is spectacular on that one.

BLURB:

Stephen Sadler reluctantly attends the Seattle wedding of Robert Chamberlain to Ellie Standish, the woman who had captured his interest. There he says goodbye to the woman he thought he had fallen for. Only a few weeks later while traveling on a train, Stephen is confronted by the vision of a strange wild-haired woman in a pair of snug-fitting trousers called “jeans” who claims she doesn’t know where she is or how she came to be on his train—until she sees the date on the newspaper, that is.

Dani Douglas cannot travel through time! Her mother in Montana is ill, and she has to get back to her. But the crystal clear blue eyes of handsome Stephen Sadler hold her captive in 1901, and she doesn’t know how to leave him...perhaps forever.

Stephen realizes that Dani and Ellie have much in common, but where Ellie simply captured his interest, Dani has captured his imagination and his heart. Unlike Ellie though, Dani cannot stay, her mother is ill. Stephen doesn’t know how he can let her leave him...perhaps forever. As the train hurtles back and forth across the rails, Stephen and Dani struggle to find a way to be together forever across time.

EXCERPT from TOGETHER FOREVER ACROSS TIME

   “I thought I might have to rescue you,” Stephen said dryly when Dani emerged from the restroom. “Your hair, while quite beautiful, is very wild, isn’t it? I see you have made efforts to bring it under control.”
   Dani leaned against the wall for balance while the train rocked. She put a hand to her hair.
   “Does it look dumb?” she asked. “If I’m really in 1901, most women are wearing their hair up, aren’t they? Lucinda is.”
   Stephen nodded with a sigh. “That they are. I take it you are able to wear your hair down in your time.”
   Dani chuckled. “My time. That sounds so funny when you say it. But yes, we can wear it any which way we want. Even purple if we want.”
   Stephen surveyed her for a moment and looked toward the front of the compartment.
   “Shall we brave this again? I can walk in front of you.”
   “You know, Stephen, I’m not the one who is ashamed of my jeans. I’m quite comfortable in them, and I don’t mind if Lucinda sees them one little bit.”
   “Yes, I can see that,” Stephen said with a quirked eyebrow. “However, the scandal would be long lasting. I may not have met Mrs. Davies until today, but I am not unaware of who she is. I could not place the name when they first introduced themselves as I was understandably distracted.” His eyes dropped to her legs again before returning to her face. “But I remembered too late. She is a socialite, well known in Seattle, and her reach is far. I do not wish to immerse myself in such notoriety, nor do I wish you to become the fodder for gossip.”
Dani, her head swimming along with the movement of the train, grasped his jacket lapels and shook them.
   “Then why, for Pete’s sake, did you say I was your wife? How are you going to get out of that? Divorce? Murder?” She giggled foolishly. “You could have said I was your cousin or something.”
   “Miss Douglas, please try to control your chortling. It would not be acceptable for you to travel alone with me as my cousin. No one would believe that charade.”
   The train shifted again, and Dani, her hands still on his lapels, jerked for balance, bringing his face close to hers. Their eyes locked, and Stephen covered her hands with his own.
   No one, Miss Douglas, would believe you are anything to me other than a woman who has captured my imagination...much as you have my coat.”

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jean uses symbol and theme lift the most basic plot


Hi Jean, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Pull up a chair, get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Way back when I first learned C-A-T spelled a word.  Writing’s magic ability to world build has grown in me since then and shows no sign of stopping.  I consider that great good luck!

What books have influenced your life most?   
Jane Eyre with its indomitable heroine and moody masochistic Mr. Rochester had a profound influence on me in my teens.  The fact that Jane was a feminist and resisted Rochester’s attempt to make her his mistress escaped me on first youthful reading.  A good reason to revisit old favorites.

By analyzing fairy tales in The Uses of Enchantment, Bruno Bettelheim provided me with multiple examples of how symbol and theme can hide within the most basic of stories.  Enchantment was both a revelation and an education in how to pack meaning into plot and characters without ever letting the effort be obvious.

For sheer fun, I’m hooked on Nelson DeMille’s sassy character John Corey.  His wit and humor makes DeMille one of my all-time favorites.  I even got to shake his hand at a reading festival last year.  What a thrill!

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release?
Yes and yes!  I am currently writing a contemporary murder mystery series and having a ball with my amateur sleuth, Deva Dunne.  A young widow, she needs a change of scene and moves to sunny Florida.  In Killer Kitchens, the latest book in the series, her interior design business is thriving; she’s even snagged her first commercial design project, the La Cucina Restaurant.  Then disaster strikes, and the kitchen explodes.  As Deva says, “Just because the restaurant had Dynamite Shrimp on the menu is that any reason for the place to blow up?”

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
When I’m not writing, I really am writing.  Oh not with pen in hand or fingers on the mouse, but in my mind.  The characters, once released, refuse to go away.  So during
3 a.m. insomnia breaks, or while on the exercise bike, or out driving around town, I find Deva and Rossi and the killer all reappear.  And that’s great, that’s what keeps the plot moving forward.

What historical person would you want to meet and why?
Elizabeth I of England.  What a charismatic, brilliant old girl she was.  Walking through that minefield of intrigue and power grabbing that was the Tudor court of her day and not just surviving but prevailing.  She must have been both fascinating and impossible.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
Three fun facts? Oh my gosh.
  1. Well, I’d love to stretch out on top of a piano and belt out a torch song.
  2. I met my husband on a street car.
  3. Just as Australia has elected a woman prime minister, I’d like to see a woman elected president of the USA.
BLURB


Interior designer Deva Dunne just may have hit the jackpot.  Sure, her new client, Francesco Grandese, talks tough and has strange business connections, but he has the eye of a connoisseur, and a huge, empty mansion he wants her to decorate.

Deva’s boyfriend, police lieutenant Victor Rossi, has misgivings about her promising job—especially when he accompanies her to one of Francesco’s dinner parties.  After Francesco returns a dish to the kitchen untasted, the chauffeur promptly scarfs it down and drops dead from cyanide poisoning.

Has the killer made a terrible mistake and murdered the wrong person?  Or was the dead man the intended victim?  The only thing Deva knows for certain is someone present that night committed murder.  And it seems everyone—from the dinner guests to the kitchen help—has a motive.
EXCERPT

   “How about a little Pavarotti while we eat?” Francesco asked.
   “I wouldn’t advise it,” Rossi replied, smiling.
   “Yeah. Don’t want the cops here twice in one night. Just shows what kind of neighbors I got to put up with.”
   I shot a quick glance in Francesco’s direction. Did that mean he wanted to leave, wouldn’t go through with the restoration?
   He caught my glance and read my thought. “Not to worry, Deva. I’m nuts about this place. When Jewels and I are under air, I’ll blast the hell out of the sound system. Get the kids used to good music.”
   Cookie returned from her visit to the powder room and sat down rather gingerly. Then, rigid in her seat as if she feared contamination from some source close by, she sucked on her bourbon and ignored her shrimp.
   “You don’t care for shrimp?” I asked.
   “I’m enjoying my pre-dinner cocktail at the moment.”
   “I see. Well, when you’re ready, they’re delicious.”
   Like the shrimp, I was ignored. The woman sat sipping in silence until Norm whispered something in her ear.
   “You did what?” she asked, slurring her words ever so slightly.
   “Shh.”
   “You going to eat that shrimp?” Donny asked suddenly. The first full sentence I’d ever heard him utter.
   “Are you speaking to me?” Cookie asked.
   “Yes. You want the shrimp or not?”
   “I beg your pardon.”
   “That a yes or a no?”
   When she didn’t answer him, Donny shrugged. “I guess that’s a no.”
   While Donny found solace in his beer, Norman again whispered in Cookie’s ear. For Brahmins who worshipped correct behavior, wasn’t that rather rude?
   Cookie didn’t say a word but took something Norm handed her and concealed it on her lap. What on earth was that all about?
   Oh well. I turned to my shrimp, enjoying every morsel as well as Rossi’s hand on my knee, caressing me secretly, giving me bad boy glances from under those hooded lids.
   A few minutes later, though he hadn’t even touched his shrimp, Francesco announced,      “Time for the antipasto.”
   “These shrimp are scrumptious,” I said. “You don’t like yours either?”
   “I been eatin’ them all afternoon. I’m ready for some provolone and salami and a couple slices of tomato.” He tore off a chunk of warm bread and dipped it in a saucer of oil.
   What about his delicate stomach? I wondered as Chip and AudreyAnn cleared away the first course dishes. Donny must have taken his boss’s impatience as marching orders, for he stood too and, picking up his dish and Francesco’s, carried them out to the kitchen.
   As we waited for the antipasto to be served, Cookie and Norm sat in glum silence, draining their drinks. She had both hands on the tabletop, so whatever Norm had given her she’d put down somewhere. Her purse probably.
   “The party’s dying,” Francesco declared, jumping up. At the bar, he uncorked a bottle of Chianti, and poured some for everyone.  He returned to his seat and raised his wine on high. “Cin cin!” A ray of late-day sun struck his glass, and the Chianti glowed ruby red in the fading light. “Great color, huh?” he said to me and laughed.
   My glass halfway to my lips, I smiled. There was definitely something about Francesco that—
   A scream straight out of a horror movie rent the air.

Jean's Murder by Design Mystery Series is published in e-book and audio format, and will be due out in paper in July.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rue inspired by Chaucer and Dante

Welcome to Rue Allyn. Thank you Rue for joining me today. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Thank you so very much Jean for inviting me to visit your blog and readers. Since I’m still a relatively unknown author, I opted to answer your interview questions. It wasn’t easy. You asked some really tough and insightful questions. Nonetheless, I gave it my best shot. I hope everyone will leave a comment. Hearing from readers is this author’s greatest reward.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t remember. I have always ‘written.’ Even before I learned how to form letters, I told stories. If you mean when did I begin to think of myself as a professional author, the answer is 1995.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ll re-interpret the question, if I may. I was inspired to write my first commercially viable romance when I completed my doctoral work in English Literature. Partly, I was inspired by the first ‘modern’ romances I read—Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodiwiss, et al. However, the tipping point that caused me to actually try my hand at writing commercial fiction was my doctoral dissertation. I had produced a very dry (and in my eyes pretty boring) 300-plus page tome on Middle English dream vision stories.  After years in pursuit of this degree, I was somewhat dis-enchanted with the study of literature. I liked reading stories much more than I liked writing about them. Every author is the first reader of his or her story. So I figured if I could write a dry as dust dissertation (because the conventions of that form tend to produce that kind of writing), I could write something much more fun and interesting. The logic isn’t very strong, but it turned out I was right.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Authors influence me more than specific books, and most of those wrote prior to 1500 AD. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante, Petrarch. . . . I could go on, but I’d rather answer another question.

What book are you reading now?

I’m about to start the third book of my Wildfire Love series, ONE DAY’S LOVING. So I’m reading a bunch of research books about Boston in 1870.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. Do I recommend it for everyone? No. You need a skin of steel not to break under the constant rejection of your work. You need to be independently wealthy unless your name is Nora Roberts. You need an education in the publishing and commercial writing business that is rarely offered at colleges and universities.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I think you can tell from the list of authors who have inspired me that I prefer historical. One of the appeals of historical romance is that in certain periods and locations (medieval British Isles, and the American west from about 1865 to 1880) cultural rules and conventions were much more fluid. Another reason that I love historicals is that I read and write escapist fiction. I don’t want to spend my time with the things I see and hear about every day.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I said earlier that I have always written. I cannot see my life without writing. However, when I was six, my grandfather (from whom I learned storytelling) introduced me to opera and music in general. For about a year, I desperately wanted to be a diva, specifically a coloratura soprano. Sadly, I did not then or any time since have the voice for such an ambition.

Have you ever travelled to a place and come away with a story unexpectedly?

Unexpected story? The concept is completely alien to me. I expect stories, ideas, concepts to occur everywhere and everywhen.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?

Work hard (very hard) and be persistent or don’t bother.

Have you ever cried during a movie?

Oh yes, absolutely. You mean there are people who don’t cry at movies? There are so many films that moved me to tears. The two that come to mind immediately are Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, and ET. Oh darn, that’s three. Sigh! There is a very good reason I did not go into accounting as a profession.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

I’m a gleek. I’m more interested in similarities than I am in differences. If I could take only one more trip outside the continental US it would be to the land down under: Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania with a short stop in the Hawaiian Islands.

My next book and first western historical, ONE MOMENT’S PLEASURE ~ Wildfire Love # 1 is due out March 18, 2013. Today Yippee!!! You may pre-order today at Amazon.com.

Now, here’s the blurb for ONE MOMENT’S PLEASURE for you to enjoy.

BLURB: ONE MOMENT’S PLEASURE will become a lifetime’s passion when spinster, Edith Alden, embarks on a search for her missing sister.  Pretending to be a rich bored woman looking for an interlude with an anonymous male Edith enters the San Francisco bordello where her sister was last seen. She escapes the bordello almost too easily, but she can’t escape the passion ignited by a stranger’s kiss. 

Born and raised in the brothels of the California gold rush, Dutch Trahern worked for years to erase a childhood spent committing petty crimes and worse in order to survive. That past comes back to haunt him in the form of a woman he rescues from prostitution. Now his hard won respectability is threatened by an irresistible desire for a woman he shouldn’t want.

Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Loreen hooked on historicals


Hi Loreen, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Jean.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I loved reading historical romances, and one day, I decided I could write one. When my youngest started school, I began my first book to see if I could finish. I did and started the second and then the third. The problem was I enjoyed the writing and creating aspect, and I never went back to edit the manuscripts. Around the fourth book, I decided if I was ever going to be published I had to edit. It is not my favorite part of writing.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading “One Good Earl Deserves A Lover” by Sarah MacLean. I like her books because her heroines are just a little bit different and her heroes are tormented by a previous event in their lives. Her books are filled with emotion.
 
In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I love to read and write historical romance. Life was simpler and slower.  Since historical romances take place before World War II, the plot can be set in the fifteenth century for one book and the eighteenth century the next. I also enjoy learning about different time periods and events in history while researching.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

I love Johanna Lindsey’s and Catherine Coulter’s earlier historical romances. I also like Brenda Joyce, Sabrina Jeffries, Candace Camp, Shannon Drake, Teresa Medeiros, Joanna Bourne, and Pamela Clare.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure? 

To never give up. I wrote for ten years before I had a story published. If you don’t continue to write and send your manuscripts to publishers, it will never happen.
Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

I cry at any movie where the hero or heroine dies. That is why I read historical romances. The hero and heroine have to struggle through trials and tribulations but there is always a happy ending.

Can you tell us a little about your latest writing adventure, LOST HONOR?
  
Captain Morgan Danvers sets sail to rescue his brother, kidnapped by pirates. Fearing he will become like his father who abandoned him, he has cut himself off from his emotions. Then a willful stowaway crashes into his life, awakening dormant feelings and firing his lust. Soon he finds his all-important honor threatened, for even though he is betrothed to another, he is drawn to her against his will.

Arianna Pemberton hides in a barrel she thinks will be loaded on her brother's ship but lands on Morgan's brig. Her father has forbidden her to sail, and this is her only course of action. Unwilling to allow a man to control her, she is determined to make her way as a seaman, a profession she knows and loves. But when Captain Danvers discovers her deception, he refuses to permit her to prove herself. As she struggles to convince him, unwanted passion emerges, jeopardizing her plans for independence.
EXCERPT
   Shoved by powerful hands, she fell to her knees before booted feet. “Found her in the hold, Cap’n. Thought she was a boy at first, her wearin’ pants and a cap, but she has tits.”
    “I can see that, Jurgens.”
    Arianna followed the shiny boots up to tight-fitting, brown breeches hugging muscular thighs, and slim hips. A loose, white shirt covering broad shoulders next met her gaze, then a corded neck, square jaw, stern lips, crooked nose, and cold, dark eyes that stared down at her. “Where’s my brother? Who are you?”
    “I will be asking the questions. Who are you, and why are you on my ship?” The deep voice thundered through the cabin.
    Her stomach flip-flopped. Dizziness swamped her. Swallowing convulsively, she battled to contain the contents of her queasy stomach. Hiding in that empty molasses barrel hadn’t been the brightest idea of her twenty-one years. “I’m not talking to anyone but my brother.”
    Jurgens’s forceful hands yanked her to a standing position. “You answer the cap’n.”
    The abrupt movement snapped the fragile control she clung to. Spasms seized her throat. Arianna struggled to turn away, but the fingers digging into her arms held her in place. The contents of her stomach erupted.
    All over Captain Danvers’s boots.
    Her captor released her and jumped back in horror.

Lost Honor is available in e-book and paperback. You can view my books with buy links on my website www.loreenaugeri.com


Buy links

Amazon e-book

Amazon paperback

The Wild Rose Press paperback


The Wild Rose Press e-book


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kris's latest novel features romance writers




Hi Kris, welcome to Adventures in Authorland.  Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Thank you for inviting me here today, Jean. It’s always fun sharing news and views.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I wrote for many years before that happened. I was one of those kids who sent book reviews to the children’s session on the local radio station. I wrote my autobiography at twelve – for something to do during a school holiday. I produced a book of poems for my mother’s birthday one year. My first job was as an advertising copywriter at the radio station where I’d sent the book reviews. I went on to work for Television New Zealand, several large advertising agencies, and eventually became the advertising manager for a chain of large furnishing stores. Despite all of that, I didn’t really consider myself a writer.

But about nine years ago I injured a knee. I had an operation on a tendon, and was confined to bed for seven days. What was I going to do? To occupy myself, I wrote a novel, longhand, balanced on my lap. I got about half of it done, scribbling feverishly all that week. It was a terrible story, and will never see the light of day, but I became utterly hooked. The moment I finished that book I considered myself a writer – finally able to please myself after many years spent writing things to order for other people.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, absolutely, and I’m very surprised about this. I’d assumed my novel writing would be ‘a nice little extra’ to my other work, but I didn’t manage to sell to Harlequin, no matter what I sent them. My voice was admired, but my stories were never quite what they wanted.

Then it became possible to self-publish, and late in 2011 fellow author Diana Holmes launched a couple of her books under the name Diana Fraser. She persuaded me to put some of my novels on Amazon.com with her, and after a very stringent re-edit I uploaded THE WRONG SISTER that December, and TAKEN BY THE SHEIKH in January 2012. It was fascinating watching the sales—very slow to start with, and then in February I added SEDUCTION ON THE CARDS and an anthology of short stories and things really took off. Wow—2036 sales for the month.
Since then, I’ve also published THE BOAT BUILDER’S BED, OUT OF BOUNDS, RESISTING NICK, a novella called RAVISHING ROSE, and most recently THE BONK SQUAD. They don’t all sell at the same rates, and the sales go up and down over time. But over-all – yes, it’s now a paying career, and I’m very grateful Harlequin didn’t buy me.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I can see why my stories weren’t what they were looking for, but they do seem to be enjoyable reading for many people. They slot into a space between romance and single title. There’s enough romance for those who want it—and not too much deep emotion for people who don’t. I’ve unwittingly landed in a very useful place.

 In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

All my novels are contemporaries, and on the sexy side. I’ve never really been attracted by the past. I’m lazy – I freely admit it. If there’s an easy, efficient way through a job, I’ll take it. Therefore I write contemporary fiction because it’s happening all around me and I don’t have to do a heap of research. As for the sex, hmmmm.... my people just seem to go to bed enthusiastically without asking my permission!

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

I’ll tell you about the recent one first, THE BONK SQUAD, because it features a group of romance writers, and it’s fun. It had its beginnings in author Ellie Huse’s sitting room. Ellie was for some years the co-ordinator of the Wellington/Kapiti Chapter of Romance Writers of New Zealand, and one day I asked the members present, ‘How would you all feel if I wrote a novel about a group like us?’

One of the girls promptly said, ‘I want to be called Liz,’ and that was the start of it. I’d better add that I didn’t steal anything except her wonderful hair. All the other characters rampaged into my brain, and then their writing began entering the story, and the cast got huge and the laughs started arriving, and before I knew it I had a comedy on my hands.

Because it really defies description, I had no idea where I could sell it. Various friends who’d read it kept asking what had happened to it, so in the end I dug it out, improved it considerably, designed a cover similar to my others but different enough to set it apart a little, and uploaded it to Amazon and Smashwords. It has been available for about a month now and is picking up speed and good reviews.

I’m currently editing Her Man with Iceberg Eyes which is set in Queenstown, an alpine resort deep in our South Island. It was a Clendon Award finalist. I also have another anthology of short stories almost ready to go, two new Sheikh novels started, and a sequel to The Bonk Squad as well. I doubt I’ll get them all done this year, but miracles do happen.

Do you hear from readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I have an email link on my website, and surprising messages arrive through that. I think my favourite so far (in a very large font) reads in part, “Thank you so much for your lovely, truly, fantastic stories. I got a free one then bought the lot on kindle. Please Kris make us wait a bit longer and extend the stories so much by making your books longer, prolong the pain for us!! Please!!! Please write quick too as I am on my next to last book!”

One of the most moving messages I received was from a breast cancer survivor commenting on THE WRONG SISTER. I thought I knew all I needed to, having a sister who survived it and a mother who got it very late in her life. But this reader added interesting facts to my knowledge and I’ve recently slipped them in to the story and will upload the amended version in the next few days. You never know what will be lurking in the inbox.

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

I fervently wanted to be a helicopter pilot. When I was a teenager, helicopters were very new, and I was fascinated by them. I had an amazing Dad. Somehow, although he was born in 1900, he wasn’t an old-fashioned man who thought girls should be kept in their place. (Actually, I think his scary mother had a bit to do with that. Despite having six children, she employed a nanny and continued working as a school-teacher.)

Anyway, Dad was most encouraging. When I said I’d love a helicopter, instead of telling me not to be silly, he assured me I could have one if I saved my pocket money for quite a long time. He also made me promise to land it on the back lawn because the power lines out the front would be dangerous. He gave me the priceless gift of optimism, and the certainty that if I planned well and worked hard then anything was possible. And he was like that until he was ninety.

I’ve flown in three helicopters now; one out to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, one in Hawaii where we hovered over amazing waterfalls in Maui, and one in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. I’m still saving my pocket money.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
Eavesdrop! People say the most brilliant things. You’ll hear wonderful quotable remarks on buses and in shops and on street corners. Scribble the best lines down and work them in to your writing somewhere. They might inspire whole new plots. At the very least, they’ll give your writing touches of absolute reality—and sometimes hilarity.

See all my books with links to them at http://www.krispearson.com

THE BONK SQUAD by Kris Pearson http://amzn.com/B00B0D9ESK for Kindle.

Here’s what to expect. It’s a romantic comedy. Kiwi romance-writers plot hot juicy novels—and their real lives sizzle right along with their storylines. They're seeking publication and love with equal intensity. Some get luckier than they dreamed. Some...don't.

THE BONK SQUAD is a quirky romp with three 'real-life' romances spanning the length of the book. There are also many shorter imaginary ones—all paying affectionate homage to the many faces of romance writing.

You'll meet hopeful Meg—librarian by day, writer by night—and her seventeen-year- old son, Ben, who provides the inspiration for nubile Tigger's self-published sexcapades. There's shy garden centre owner Ian, glamorous and bitchy divorcee Liz, handsome Al who wants a playmate, elderly Vi who certainly doesn't, and Nurse Mandy who has the medical jargon but very little more. Actress Eloise tries to write historical novels like her published friend Romy, and vegetarian virgin Bobbie has heard there's money in erotica...

Step inside the characters' fertile minds and you'll spot the authors who are never going to sell.

Excerpt:

Tigger breezed out amongst the others, sending Ian a cheeky grin. “I like hairy men,” she said. “I’m not hairy, so it seems right that men are. Lions and lionesses for instance...and he’s got the hair. I am so not into waxed chests.”
“I saw a documentary about that recently,” Vi contributed. “And not just chests, either,” she added with a dark expression. She clammed up, and Liz took over.
“You mean the old back, sac and crack? The Bastard had that done for his new girlfriend. I hope it hurt heaps. He never bothered for me.”
“So you do prefer smooth men?” Ian persisted.
“No—I’m just glad he went through some really intense pain as well. Because he insisted I had a Brazilian.”
Beads of sweat popped out across Ian’s forehead. His face flushed a sudden deep pink.
“A what, Liz?” Vi asked.
“It’s called a Brazilian. When they deal to your…er…hair down there.” Liz nodded at her crotch.
Vi’s mouth became a perfect ‘O’ of surprise as the full implication hit home. Far worse than a Batman tattoo!
“With those wax strips you see on telly?” Ian asked, plainly fascinated.
“Well not with tweezers, hair by hair, that’s for sure,” she snapped, grabbing her coffee mug and turning for the kitchen to escape further interrogation.
It took about five seconds for Ian to join her.
“Refill?” she asked in a crisp tone to make it clear the subject of her pubic hair was now closed.
He tipped the dregs of his tea away and switched the kettle on again. Liz tweaked a teabag out of Meg’s pottery caddy and tossed it into his damp mug. It lay there looking dejected until he drowned it with boiling water. They both watched the color flood out of the bag.
Damn, I shouldn’t have mentioned the Brazilian. I’ve shocked Vi and got Ian off the subject of him. How do we get back there?
“So—clothes,” she continued, as though there’d been no fascinating diversion in the conversation. “You dress so conservatively, Ian. That’s a rather awful shirt, if you don’t mind me saying so, and your jeans are far too big. We can’t tell if you’ve got a tight little butt or a saggy fat one inside all that fabric. Look at the folds around your waist, for heaven’s sake. All gathered in on that belt.”
“Not a saggy fat one,” he said with a hint of pride.
“Good. So show it off. Women like men’s butts.”
“Men like women’s butts,” he shot back.
“See,” she said, slapping her own trim bottom. “It works both ways. Flaunt yourself.”
She passed him the sugar basin. He was one of those maddening people who took three sugars and stirred forever. She gritted her teeth and waited. Finally he set the spoon down.
“We could do a shopping trip together, if you like?” she offered. “Book the suntan sessions and get you some decent trousers and T-shirts to show off the tan and the butt. Are you up for it?”
Ian sipped his scalding tea and nodded with slow deliberation.

Thank you for visiting today Kris. Here’s wishing you many more sales.

Jean