Friday, November 28, 2014

Author Interview with Barbara Edwards

Barbara Edwards is here to tell us about her series, Finding Rhodes End and her newest release, Ancient Curse

Please tell us about your series, Barbara.

Ancient Curse is the 3rd book in my Rhodes End Series.

Welcome to Rhodes End.

On the surface, nothing distinguishes Rhodes End from a thousand other small towns. More than half the population works at regular jobs, have normal families and lives. Farmers, shopkeepers, teachers and other townspeople are unaware of the ‘different’ ones. The dark undercurrents never touch them.

An ordinary tourist tooling up the scenic road may tell friends of the charming village, but only the harmless or the expected find it easily. The basic rules of space and time seem the same, but magic can occur along with paranormal activity. In fact, those with paranormal senses find them stronger, more reliable.

Rhodes End is located on a confluence of magnetic ley lines that draws magic and paranormal activity. Rhodes End dog-legs the Northeastern corner of Connecticut, the hip pressing against Massachusetts while the paw scratches into Rhode Island.

Rhodes End rarely appears on maps due to boundary and settlement disputes. Less than an hour from Hartford, Boston or Providence, major highways cut through the hills less than a mile away.

The ley lines are the same lines that pass under Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid, Machu Pichu and Anasazi ruins in Arizona. Their mystical power is recognized by ancient religions. The power existed before the Caucasian influx chased away the small tribes who used the site to call their spirits. Nothing is noted of the even older pictographs in the deep caves.

Quote from Ancient Awakening: This stretch of woodland and water along River Road was her favorite. Moonlight sent slivers of silver across the rippling water. A raccoon washed a bit of food from a perch on a fallen tree. The frost had emptied the footpath of joggers. “I’m near the North Bridge and heading back through the center. The moon’s barely risen, but the starlight’s so bright I can see frost along the riverbanks. I expect to hear a wolf howling.”

Title: Ancient Curse (Book Three)
Series: Finding Rhodes End
Author: Barbara Edwards
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: November 5th 2014
Page Count: 238
Rating: Spicy (PG13)

BOOK LINKS:

Ancient Awakening (Book One):

Ancient Blood (Book Two):

1. What inspired you to write this book?

The entire series started with a nightmare about the cemetery next to the house I grew up in. I love all the quirkiness of New England and its inhabitants.

2. Dreams/nightmares often inspire me as well. How did you come up with the names for your hero and heroine?
In Ancient Blood, Cole was easy since his hair is an inky black and I wanted him to be dark and mysterious. Of course, I named her Lily as in Lily white, his opposite.
3. What would women find irresistible about your hero?
All my heroes have a flaw and need help to heal inner wounds. Steve Zoriak, from Ancient Awakening, fears the mutation caused by his exposure during a lab accident will keep him from ever consummating his love for Mel. In Ancient curse, Cole can’t get over the death of his first wife and his guilt. Thomas from Ancient Curse won’t risk Rainie’s life when he can’t escape his past. What woman can resist?
4. A flawed man is the best man. If you have a pen name, can you explain how you came up with it?

I use a pen name to please my husband. When I started writing, stalkers were active with many authors. Since he is a retired police sergeant he was concerned with my safety.

5. Smart thinking! What are a few things we would find in or on your desk?

A lump of coal. My husband gave it to me as a joke about diamonds. I keep it to remind me that if you want something, sometimes you need to create it yourself.

6. I thought the coal might’ve meant you were naughty. I like what it really stands for more. Is there a teacher you would like to personally thank for his/her influence?

Hazel Robinson, from Prospect Street School, posted poetry for us to memorize every week. It gave me a love for the flow of words that has kept me writing and hoping to achieve that level of skill.

7. If you could give your book to anyone in the world to read who would it be and why?

My sister, Patricia, would love to read anything I write. She passed away from diabetic complications before I was published. She always kept hope alive and shared love like it was endless.

I’m sorry for your loss, Barbara! I bet your sister is proud.

8. Share three random facts about you.

I have a Belgian Malinois that we adopted from a shelter.
I love to garden and have several antique roses.
My home is a small Gothic Victorian built in 1872. We restored the inside and left the original wraparound porch. I cut the gingerbread to restore it.

9. What lessons did you learn early on in your writing career?

The only way to finish a book is to ignore life and write.

10. If you could write anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

 I love Hawaii. I could sit on the beach and inhale the scent of ocean a frangipani forever

AUTHOR BIO:

I’m Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.

I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America.

When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years. I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success. Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk. 
                          
AUTHOR LINKS:


Thanks for telling us about your series, Barbara!

Please leave a comment for her!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Exclamation Point Limit

We all know an exclamation point is this nifty little symbol: ! Exclamation points are used at the end of a sentence to indicate enthusiasm, surprise, urgency, or other strong feelings such as happiness and anger.

In dialogue it can be used when a character is cheering or shouting. A single word can also be followed by an exclamation point like: Oh! Congratulations! Hurry! Help!

Exclamation points don’t have to be used all the time to express exciting emotions, though. Vivid descriptions can be just as effective. You can show your characters in a fight, tell your readers that their voices are growing louder. Using detailed dialogue tags is another option. 


With that said, someone once told me a rule she heard: Only use 10 exclamation points per manuscript. One writer actually said not to use them AT ALL because they add nothing. I've even read in a grammar book that they should be avoided wherever possible.

Exclamation points shouldn’t be used haphazardly. However, I personally find it limiting to reduce the exclamation points in our books to 10 or less. First, who has the time to count them? Not I! Second, if they are spaced out, a reader won’t even notice them if they are warranted. Third, 10 seems like an awfully small number when you consider a full manuscript complete with action scenes and dialogue. And not use them at all? Then why do they exist, I wonder?




Some writers may not use exclamation points, but I do. All I can say is to follow the rules that make sense to you and ignore the ones that don’t. You have that right! (Exclamation point.) *wink*


QUESTIONS: Do you count your exclamation points? Do you remember this episode of Seinfeld?


Friday, November 21, 2014

Author Interview with Vicki Batman

Today I have another fabulous rose from The Wild Rose Press. Vicki Batman is here to tell us all about her newest romantic-comedy Temporarily Employed, and to share an excerpt.


Please tell us about your current release, Vicki.

Thank you, Chrys, for hostessing me today. My latest book is a romantic comedy mystery, Temporarily Employed. Here’s a bit about it:

New Job. New Love. And Murder. Hattie Cook's dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite Insurance Company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee--the very one she replaced. 

Detective Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life. When the police determine there's more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.

Can the killer be found before Hattie's time is up?

Title: Temporarily Employed
Author: Vicki Batman
Genre: Romantic-Comedy (Mystery)
Formats: Paperback and eBook
Page Count: 314
Published: The Wild Rose Press

Book Links:

1.    What books would you compare to Temporarily Employed?

Temporarily Employed is a funny mystery with some romance tossed it to heat it up. I’d say Janet E.

2.     I enjoy reading books by Janet Evanovich. Why did you choose the setting for Temporarily Employed?

They say write what you know and I know my town. Many areas operate like a community of its own.

3.    Did you do special research for Temporarily Employed?

      Lots of police and detective research. My friend is a former deputy sheriff and she read it for details.

4. How lucky! What would women find irresistible about your hero?

      Detective Allan Charles Wellborn is a gentleman. Great manners. Nothing icky about him anymore. He improved greatly from high school. There’s that twinkle in his eye...

5.  Gotta love a twinkle in a man's eye. ;) Are any of your characters based on real people? 

      Yes, some resemble people I have known because life is strange and why not use it?

6.  Is the hero a bad boy or a gentleman?

      My hero is a gentleman; however, because he is so dedicated to his job, he hurts the one he loves.

7.    If you have a pen name, can you explain how you came up with it?

My name really is Vicki Batman. I married a superhero.

8.    I bet many people love your last name. How old were you when you read your first romance book? What was it?

I was nearly fourteen, bored to death and my mom didn’t have time to take us to the library. I whined a bit and she handed me an Emilie Loring romance. I love them so much, I have all in hardback.

9.    What’s on your bucket list?

I’d like to go to Machu Pichu, do more ziplining, raft down the Grand Canyon, go on a Rhine River Cruise.

10.  Share three random facts about you.

     I am the oldest of four girls and don’t resemble the other 3 at all. I love cats. My favorite writing tool is a Papermate #2 sharpwriter.

***
Excerpt:

“Yuck.”

Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.

A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I'd commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”

My Bad Day checklist included:

- Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.

- Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.

- A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.

I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.

How embarrassing.

After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I'm too exhausted to care.

A litany of:  "No, not hiring." "Just filled the position." "You're over qualified." "You're under qualified…" tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.

Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.

I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.

Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.


Author Bio:

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless, giving her plenty of crazy material for her writing.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

AUTHOR LINKS:


Thank you for stopping by Write with Fey, Vicki! I hope you’ll come here again! :)

Please show Vicki some comment love.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Writing About: Marriage Proposals


SIGN UP FOR THE NEW BLOG BLITZ HERE!

A message from the creator, DL Hammon: "Sign up on the linky list below, making sure to record your email address, and you’ll instantly become a member of the Blog Blitz Team.  Then from time to time, I will select a deserving blog (that must be part of the Blitz Team) and a specific date.  I will then email the team members that information and on that date we all will go out of our way to visit that blog and leave an encouraging comment on their most recent post.  I'm talking about hopefully 100+ comments appearing out of the blue in one day!"

NOTE: I was blitzed on Halloween and enjoyed seeing so many bloggers coming to my blog to leave a comment. However,  this is not a way for you to gain new followers, so if that's what you're hoping for, this isn't the blog hop for you. 



Now onto today's post:

I have written a few marriage proposals in my books.

30 Seconds Spoiler: The one in 30 Seconds is definitely not your traditional proposal, but it was perfect for my characters and their situation.

Marriage proposals make great scenes for romances or any kind of story with a bit of romance in it. Here are 8 things to keep in mind when you write your characters' proposal.

1.    Who is doing the asking?

You know, it is the 21st Century. Men don’t have to be the only ones to propose marriage. Remember Monica on FRIENDS getting down on her knees to propose to Chandler? It was the sweetest and best moment of the show! Don’t be afraid to mix things up.

2.    Setting

Where does the proposal take place? Think about the plot of your story and your characters. Both will influence the setting of the proposal.

3.    How does the asker propose marriage?

Does the guy create a romantic dinner complete with a ring on top of a dessert? Does he get down on one knee? Does the woman get frustrated and ask her man over breakfast? Your characters’ personalities will influence this.

4.    Reaction

Reveal the woman’s (or man’s) reaction to the proposal. If you’re in the other character’s perspective, you can describe his/her face. Do his/her eyes widen? Does his/her jaw drop? Does all the color drain from his/her face?


5.    Thoughts

For whichever character’s perspective you’re in, highlight his/her thoughts. If this character is asking, is he/she nervous? If this character is answering, is he/she scared or happy? Create thoughts to go with their feelings.

6.    The Answer

Of course, you have to reveal the answer. It’s never good to leave your readers hanging. Is the answer a yes or a no?

7.    If the answer is yes . . .

How does the couple celebrate? Do they share a kiss? Do onlookers applaud? Create a scene so your readers can celebrate, too. And don’t forget to show the moment when the ring goes on the finger, as well as the asker’s relief. 

See: Writing About: Weddings for what you can write next.

8.    If the answer is no . . .

Are there tears, a fight, or a breakup? Delve into why the answer is a no. Is it because he/she is afraid or not ready for marriage? Are their deeper issues at play? Let your readers know, even if the other character finds out much later.


SHARE: Your marriage proposal story.


QUESTIONS: Have you written a proposal scene in one of your stories? If you could have the proposal of your dreams (or create one for someone special) what would it be like?


Friday, November 14, 2014

The Cat Who Chose Us and Other Stories

I had an author interview scheduled for today, but the author never got back to me, so I'm sharing the details about the anthology, The Cat Who Chose Us and Other Stories.

This collection was put together by Kyra Lennon. I contributed "The Great Kitty Rescue," a true-story about how I came to own my four cats. My mom, Elaine Kaye, also contributed a mystery titled "Here, Kitty, Kitty." Many other authors from our blogosphere also participated.

Here's a full list of authors:

Annalisa Crawford
Kyra Lennon
M.J. Fifield
Laura Sheridan
Jennifer Bird
Laura Clipson
Chrys Fey
Elizabeth Seckman
Nick Wilford
Sarah Foster
Elaine Kaye
D.R. Cartwright
C. Lee McKenzie
Carrie-Anne Brownian
Gwen Tolios
Clare Dugmore
Crystal Collier


BLURB:
 

The Cat Who Chose Us and other Cat Stories is a collection of short stories, true life stories, and poetry put together by a group of successful, cat-loving authors from all over the world. Slip between the pages and you'll find a variety of feline tales to amuse, entertain, and warm your heart. From grand rescues, to special surprises, there is a story for every kitty fan. All profits from the sale of The Cat Who Chose Us and other Cat Stories will be donated directly to your local branch of Cats Protection to help needy cats across the UK.

GET YOUR PAPERBACK COPY FOR $9.72!

BOOK LINKS:

Help us help cats! Spread the word!

***

And for a little fun, here's a few pictures of my boys:

Cole makes every box into a bed. That's his blankie
 he's sleeping with. It used to be a lace curtain until he
kept tearing it down. haha


Otis is so cute when he sleeps.


Milo likes to hide.


Clover looks like he passed out while reading.


Have a furry day! :D


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Family and Friends Inspire Writers

Writers use what they know in their stories. If you grew up with a bunch of brothers, you might write a book with a cast of male characters, or a YA story about a girl living in a house full of boys. You could let your characters do similar things that your brothers did. If you experienced it, you’d be able to write it convincingly.

People inspire writers all the time, from strangers to loved ones, and even people we don’t like. We may borrow a personality trait from our best friend or give our mom’s cooking skills to our protagonist’s mother. We may let out heroine live out our sister’s nasty divorce, or give a minor character a friend’s cool tattoo. Doing this doesn’t mean our characters are based after people we know, though. Inspiration is different.


So if you’re a family member or friend of a writer, you can rest assured that the character in their book, who has a trait similar to you, is not actually you. The writer just thought that trait would be perfect for a character. That’s all. The only time you have to be worried about this is if he/she is writing a memoir, or if a fictional story sounds awfully reminiscent of their/your life.

A few of the characters in my unpublished series were originally inspired by my family and close friends. I gave one of my female characters my best friend’s caring, medical side of her personality, and another character her feisty, no BS side. But neither of them are my best friend, and while I wrote my books, the characters told me what kind of women they wanted to be, not the other way around.

So I’m curious . . .


QUESTIONS: Has your family and/or friends inspired any of your characters? How much of yourself do you give your characters? Have your loved ones ever read your work and asked if they were this character or that character? If so, how did you deal with it?


Friday, November 7, 2014

Author Interview with Crystal Collier + Giveaway

Today I am featuring Crystal Collier for her Soulless blog tour. I was thrilled to be able to sign up, as I loved Moonless (which is FREE today, Nov. 7th!), and I am happy to bring her first author interview on Write with Fey to all of you. Welcome, Crystal!



Please tell us about your current release, Crystal.

The Soulless are coming.

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

SOULLESS is book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy.

Title: SOULLESS
Author: Crystal Collier
Publisher: Raybourne Publishing
Series: Maiden of Time, #2
Publication: October 13th, 2014
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Genre: Paranormal Historical

BOOK LINKS:


1.    What books would you compare to SOULLESS?

A Great and Terrible Beauty, A Season of Witches, The Clockwork Angel (series), Jane Eyre + Supernatural, The Faerie Ring. Think one part scary, one part romance, one part action, one part history, and one part fantasy.

2.    Those are ALL great books! How did you pick the title for your book?

During Pitch Wars 2012, I was blessed with the most wonderful writing coach (and marketing guru), Sharon Johnston, who caught the vision of where I’m going with my series. We tossed back and forth several potential titles, but when she threw out the progression of MOONLESS followed by two other titles ending in “less,” we knew we had gold. Soulless not only represents the moral dilemma Alexia faces, but is the name of the predators who threaten everything Alexia holds dear.

3.    I think the titles ending with "less" was a brilliant idea! If your book had a soundtrack, give us a list of a few songs that would be on it.

Have you ever heard of Two Step From Hell? Any author who is serious about writing action or fantasy should totally check them out. Their songs that influenced this book:

Also:


4. What would women find irresistible about your hero?
     
      Kiren is mysterious, brooding, hopelessly romantic and self-sacrificing. He’s tortured but compassionate and extremely moral. Oh, and let’s not forget those tantalizing blue eyes.

5.  I know I find Kiren irresistible! What would we find in your heroine’s purse if we went snooping?

      Alexia doesn’t carry a purse, but if she did you might find her favorite book hiding in there, along with a tattered calling card (once bestowed upon her father by Kiren), a hairpin that belonged to her long-dead mother, and a time-box (often mistaken for a puzzle box).

6.    How old were you when you read your fantasy book? What was it?

     The Windrose Chronicles (Aka The Dark Mage) series by Barbara Hambly… I’d actually read a TON before this, but in 7th grade this was my first 700+ page book, which was actually 3 books smashed together. (And my first adult novel.) It made a lasting impression and is a story I love to this day.

7.    Share three random facts about you.

I wrote a musical called IMMORTAL.
My nickname in high school was Chicken, and it was totally cool.
I’m more comfortable in front of an audience of thousands than one on one. 


 Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time 

Author Bio:

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

AUTHOR LINKS:


Thank you for telling us about your much-anticipated sequel to Moonless, Crystal. I hope to read Soulless soon!

Please leave Crystal a comment, and show your love for this awesome trilogy! Oh, and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway!


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