Sunday, June 27, 2010

A few words on writing technique for everyone...

Writing can sometimes be something so personal that we don't want to share it with anyone until it reads perfect to us. If you've ever written anything, then shared the piece with others, you know it's like opening yourself up to let them see a part of you that you don't share often with anyone.

Years ago when I started writing, that's exactly how I felt, too. Belonging to a critique group is such a great experience but one has to be ready to accept all criticism and know that it's meant in the best way possible so you can become a better writer. You must be ready to read what is said about your writing, then take a deep breath and think about what the critique means. They aren't bashing what you wrote but trying to help you become better. This is exactly what happened to me years ago and it is one of the best pieces of advise I received; no, two, of the best pieces. I don't remember who it was, just that they belonged to our group and every two weeks we'd mail a packet to the next person in our group, who then mailed it to the next member after adding their comments. That description alone tells you how long ago that was!!

I'm going to share those bits of advice with you and hope it helps even one writer out there or an aspiring writer. Let me begin by saying that I had already completed a novel and with these bits of advise, I had to go back to the beginning and edit all 500 pages but it was sooooo worth it!! OMG - the difference the changes made changed the way the story read and made it a faster read. When I'm finished, I think you'll understand because this opened my eyes as to why, sometimes, one book seemed easier to read than another.

Think back on some of the books you've read that may have been a struggle to read, you might have had to re-read sentences or go back to re-read a paragraph or worse yet, thumbed back through the pages because you thought you'd missed something about a character or an event.

The first bit of advice:  watch how your character describes themselves!!
Let's say your character sees her dinner date coming toward her and it's their first meeting. Your character CANNOT SEE that her own eyes twinkle or her cheeks and neck may turn pink or red or that her hair is beautiful. Read that sentence again....

Which leads me to the next point - be sure you're in the Point Of View you need to be in.  Know which character you want to describe to the reader because a character can't explain how or what they look like to the reader unless they're looking in the mirror.

Another thing about point of view - DO NOT HEAD HOP! Don't be in one character's head for two paragraphs then be in another head and yet another. This is what makes a reader have to go back and re-read what you wrote, so they can keep up with who's head you're in. Don't do this to your readers or after too many times, they will just close the book and never open it again. I've done this, I know. Some authors will stay in ONE character's head for an entire chapter while others will be in one POV for only a scene or two. But stay consistent so your reader doesn't have to go back and re-read your work. If you want to describe a character to your reader, you must be in another character's head to do this or at least should be. We don't like to read about people who stand in front of mirrors all the time either.

Perhaps a third bit of advice also told to me - avoid author intrusion. This is when we describe the characters as they did this or they did that. If you're in a character POV, the character doesn't describe themselves as 'they' so keep an eye out in your writing for this. Use your find and search setting in your word processor to find 'they' or 'them'.

I hope I've given you a few points that will help improve your own writing. Feel free to leave a comment or perhaps you might want to leave a pointer that improved your writing. We'd love you to share with us.

Thank you for stopping in, for reading my article and mostly, if you share a comment, thank you for sharing!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Author Interview - Patricia A Rasey

 Congratulations to the Winner:


...Officer, please let them through, they're part of our investigation team. Thank you...Sorry about all that. I'm glad you could make it, Ms. Rasey is right over here and anxious to meet you.

I want to thank all of you for joining us today. Oops, watch the evidence tags, they're everywhere. I'd like to introduce Ms. Patricia A. Rasey, suspense author and today, our investigative lead. She and I have been friends for many years and though we don't live close anymore, we stay in touch with each other. Pat, thank you so much for joining us today, it's a pleasure to have such a talented author here.

A bit about Ms. Rasey: 

Ms. Rasey is a three-time recipient of the Word Weaving Award for Literary Excellence and a three-time winner of the prestigious RIO Award of Excellence. She is also a three-time EPPIE finalist and was a 2001 nominee for Romantic Times Magazine's Best Electronic Book. Additionally, Twilight Obsessions and Twilight Visions, two anthologies she was a part of, was nominated for the PEARL, the Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature, in the Best Anthology category. Her short story, In The Mind of Darkness won the P and E 2002 Horror short story category. 

Ms. Rasey's work includes the novels... 

-- Deadly Obsession (currently not available).
-- Kiss of Deceit.
-- Facade.
-- The Hour Before Dawn, sequel to the best-selling Deadly Obsession (currently not available).
-- Eyes Of Betrayal, sequel to the best-selling Kiss Of Deceit.
-- Love You to Pieces (not yet published).
-- Lawfully Yours, her first historical romance.
-- Eternally Yours, sequel to Lawfully yours.
-- Dark Savior.
...As well as the novellas and award winning short story...
-- Fear the Dark
-- Sanitarium
-- In the Mind of Darkness

Deanna: Way back when we were critiquing together, I loved the way you wrote from the killer's point of view. It immediately drew the reader in. For those who haven't read Pat's books, you're definitely missing a good read. Pat, tell us a bit about YOU as a person, something that your readers might not know.

Patricia:  I’ve been writing since 1992, and finally saw my first publication in 1999. I wrote short stories in school and had always hoped to one day see my stories in print. I have been actively writing ever since, but I do work full time as well. It’s hard some days to juggle writing, working and the home life, but someday I do hope to make enough money at writing to quit the day job.

While in school, I was always the kid that got picked last in gym class, not real popular…and pretty darn quiet until I hit my junior and senior years when I started breaking out of my shell. After school, I got married and started a family right away. My oldest son, like me, lacked confidence in himself and was also the last kid picked in gym. I decided to get him confidence and enrolled him in Karate taught by my cousin. After he took it a few years, his confidence rose tremendously, and my cousin talked me into taking it myself…I am now a third degree black belt, but unfortunately I no longer teach. It became too hard to fit it all in. Now I am a huge fan of MMA fighting and the UFC.

Deanna:  Did anything happen in your life that made you want to become a writer?

Patricia:  I can’t say that anything happened to make me decide to write. My earliest memory is a neighbor and I decided to create a story. We bought a notebook and we would each take turns writing part of the story, then give it to the other person. I can still remember the basis of that story today. It was a great outlet for my daydreams, so it seemed natural when after discovering reading that I thought: ‘I can do this.’ I started my first historical romance and the rest is history. By the way…no one will ever see that first written novel. We will call it my trial period.

Deanna:   Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Patricia:  Believe it or not, I enjoy writing the alpha males and the villains. For some reason, it seems natural to be in their heads. A while back, I had a published friend who told me I should try my hand at suspense. She was correct…I never turned back after writing my first romantic suspense. Comedic characters? Now there is a character type I don’t find easy to write…but I love to read those types of books.

Deanna:   Do you read in the same genre you write?

Patricia:  Yes and no. I tend to read contemporary romance books and love the ones with humor. As I said above, I likely could never pull that off myself. I do read some romantic suspense. But because my head lives in a dark world, I love to read outside that genre to lighten things up for me. Some of my favorite authors, though, are romantic suspense such as Sandra Brown, Tami Hoag, Lisa Jackson and I could go on.

Officer to the crowd beyond the taped area:  PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE CRIME SCENE!

Deanna:   You’ve written a few books that seem to be part of a series: Deadly Obsession and The Hour Before Dawn, Kiss of Deceit and Eyes of Betrayal, even Façade was left open to possibly pursue a sequel. Any future plans for these books?

Patricia:  Deadly Obsession is the first suspense I ever wrote.  A few years later I revisited that book and added more of the vampirism into it and thoroughly enjoyed creating that world. I would love to revisit that series and create a third book giving the character Damien his own book and bring back some of those beloved characters.

The same with Kiss of Deceit and Eyes of Betrayal. The world of outlaw motorcycle clubs is a huge fascination for me. I cannot get enough of the research. I do intend to write a third book and have an undercover agent infiltrate the biker gang I created in Eyes called the Lords of Lucifer. So yes, I do intend a third book in that series as well.

As for Façade, I recently finished a book entitled Love You to Pieces that is not connected to Façade, but the sequel to it, will also be the sequel to Charred Remains which I am currently writing. Shar and KC from Façade return as the hero/heroine in the new book. Love You to Pieces is a pretty dark world of sexual fetishes and I am still looking to seek publication for that work.

So yes, I do have plenty of ideas in the works for those books you mentioned.

Deanna:  Speaking of Deadly Obsession and The Hour Before Dawn, these books are not currently available. Any news that your readers might be able to purchase this series again?

Patricia:  I am hoping to find a new press for both of these works. I am actively seeking representation for them, but no news yet. Stay tuned on my website: I’ll post any news about those re-releases there. I am definitely hopeful that they will be released again someday.

Deanna:   I see that you have also published in the historical romance genre. Any chance you’ll revisit that market?

Patricia:  Never say never, but at this point I don’t anticipate writing in the historical market again. I had fun writing those three books: Dark Savior, Lawfully Yours, and Eternally Yours, and I definitely loved some of those characters. But at this time, I don’t foresee me returning to that type of writing. I think my voice is much stronger in the suspense/thriller side of things.

Deanna:   Yes, you have a very strong voice for those books. Who was your favorite hero to write and why?

Patricia:  I loved writing Egan ‘Villian’ Tate in Eyes of Betrayal. Not that I didn’t like all my heroes, but I think the whole outlaw biker thing makes for the ultimate bad boy. And who doesn’t want a bad boy, right? Bikers have their own code of justice.

It’s up to Dr. Whit Montgomery to tame him. But their two worlds are extreme opposites…her job is to save people and he’s killed before. Whitney has a lot or prejudice to overcome before settling in with her bad boy.

Officer:  Ms. Rasey, we need to you to move your team back just a bit, please. We need more room here. Thank you!

Deanna:   This is exciting to be able to be on the scene of an investigation. Once we all get moved out of their way, do you have any advice for the novice writer?

Patricia:  Never give up. I was once told by a friend that so many people have success waiting just around the corner, but they never realize it because they give up before ever realizing it. My fear is to quit the business because of the extreme work load placed on my shoulders, and losing my opportunity waiting around the bend.

There are all levels of success, too. The first and foremost…finishing that novel to begin with. Anyone can start a book. Not everyone will finish it. Then don’t stop there…while searching for that contract, start another novel. I had six full completed manuscripts written before I ever sold my first book. When I finally got that contract, I was able to sell the rest. Well, except for that first one we talked about earlier. That’s one for my eyes only.

And at each level of success, there is always a next step. Never stop learning, growing, and moving forward. Somewhere, someone is going to like your work.

Deanna:   So what’s next for Patricia A. Rasey?

Patricia:  As I said, I am currently writing Charred Remains. I stalled on it…dallied with the idea of writing a paranormal vampire book/series, and now I think I may just return to Charred Remains. Not that I don’t like the vampire idea…but I just think my voice is stronger in the thriller genre. I had a good friend read the open to both books and she agreed…stick with what I know.

I’d really like to get an agent, so I am working hard on that angle. I’m hoping to catch a bigger publisher’s eye. That’s the dream of every author, right? Cross your fingers…

Deanna:  Pat, thank you so much for being here today. I miss you and wish we had more time to spend chatting but though the miles separate us, I'm so glad we stay in touch.

Readers, feel free to leave a comment for Pat, chat with her a bit and for those who do leave a comment, she will draw a winner Saturday morning for a signed copy of Facade! Thank you all for stopping by. Officers may need to question a few of you before you leave so please cooperate with them. Thanks again. Pat, they're all yours...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Upcoming Author Interview - Patricia Rasey

Thursday's Interview - Patricia A. Rasey

Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday - We'll be sharing another author interview with you so you can get to know Patricia Rasey! She writes intense suspense novels. You won't be disappointed in her books and according to some, she's been compared to Patricia Cornwall.

I hope you come back on Thursday for more info on Patricia Rasey.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Laura's Winner is:


We're on location today! For those o' you just now joinin' us aboard the deck o' this huge frigate, please grab yerself a mug o' refreshment from the pirate at the bar there. Ah peeking under his patch, then come have a seat with us on one of these here half barrels. Don’t trip over the coiled rope; they need those for tying us to the wharf when we come back ashore and be careful ye don't fall into the hold mates. Oops...did I say they would tie US to the wharf?  So sorry!  They'll tie the ship to the wharf! Oh my, and we've only just gotten started.

 Laura Hogg is with us today and she’s celebrating the upcoming release of the print copy of her novel, Descent into Darkness, which is already in e-book format. Laura lives in Colorado so thank you for joining us aboard the ship today. Maybe Duncan will join us later, who knows.

Laura:  Thank you for inviting me to spend time with your readers today.

Deanna:   Tell us a bit about YOU as a person that your readers might not know.

Laura:   Oh, good question. I’m trying to think of something I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned before. But not something common like I’m the oldest of all girls (but I am). Hmm, oh, I ran away when I was two-years old. My babysitter had fallen asleep, and I walked right out of the apartment. After calling the police, my parents found me, having wandered around downtown, talking with some teenagers. (That seems so out of character for me! I was painfully shy growing up.) Also, I was originally from Kentucky, though my parents weren’t. My parents were friends with the colonel’s daughter. ;)

But about me as a person...besides being on the quiet side...well, I never got my driver’s license. I married as a teenager to my younger boyfriend, and my new husband had a car. My family was struggling, so it wasn’t like I could have afforded anything to do with a car. But, as a young bride, I was lucky my husband drove me around. Then in my twenties, I took the bus to work and campus. I had gotten a job with a daycare, so I could bring my daughter along. I was home schooling her and wanted her to make friends. The daycare let me bring her for free. I taught my daughter to read at a young age, and during my college classes, she’d sit behind me with her little pink backpack, read the lesson plan I had put together for her the night before, take out her books, and do her work quietly. She’d write down any questions she had and we’d go over them together after my classes. After school, we’d hop on the bus and go to the daycare where I worked, and she’d play with her friends. She’s in college now, going to the school I got my degree from, and I’m still married to her dad. :)

Deanna:  You should be proud that she’s going to the same college you went to, congratulations. What happened in your life that made you want to become a writer?

Laura:   I was first a musician, but when I was seven, we lived in a large, very old house. We had a chapel in there. The piano rested in the chapel, and I’d practice on it every day. I would write stacks of poetry and keep them on top of the piano. In high school, even though deeply spiritual, I was quite the rock and roller, as shy as I was. I wrote songs for my rock band. In my twenties, I started writing stories, then in my thirties, dared to submit them for publication. My mom was a writer, having been a journalist and a folk singer in the sixties. She inspired me my whole life. She was a poetry whiz as a child, having won contests and was working on a spiritual book when I lost her.

Deanna:    Do you write under a pen name?

Laura:   No, Laura Hogg is my real name. My husband’s family is from Scotland, so we pronounce Hogg with an accent. It comes out rhyming with rogue. parents actually named me Lara, after a character in a movie, but somebody screwed up on my birth certificate and put a  “u” in my name. So I guess Laura is my legal name even if my name is really Lara. I go by both.

Deanna:    Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Laura:   Yes, the gentler ones. I’m a gentle soul and though I go for the alpha male, my hubby being an alpha type, I sometimes find it a challenge to write them and have to think about that. Strange, I know.

Deanna:    Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Laura:   Yes, and more.

Deanna:   What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever written about?

Laura:   My novella Double Vision is set partially on the astral plane. That’s where my characters fall in love.

Deanna:   Has anyone ever given you strange advice concerning your writing that you followed?

Laura:   Yes. A psychic asked me if I wrote screenplays. I said no. She said I needed to learn how because my story Romeo vs. Juliet would make a great movie and be very successful. I was intrigued, but then to my horror, I lost my mother suddenly and didn’t write much or even touch my guitar for over a year. Then one day, I was in a large library, just browsing down a long, dusty row of books. I got a strong urge to go down a certain aisle of books. There were many that covered how to write a screenplay. It’s almost as if I sensed my mother urging me to check them out. I took a few, spent some time reading and studying them. Then I took on the difficult task of converting my novel Romeo vs. Juliet into a screenplay, condensed the book and added new scenes. That book involves a chase through different eras in history, so I had fun writing in brand new scenes, for example, a sock hop in the 1950s, and others. I only submitted to a few big agents and heard nothing then just set the screenplay aside. When I get the urge to submit again, I will.

Deanna:   Good luck with that, I hope someday you do resubmit it. What is your favorite genre to write in?

Laura:   Historical and paranormal, especially time travel. I’ve read a lot of time travel books by many authors. From science fiction authors, the stories I read tended to end negatively, as good as the stories were—sad endings more often than not. From romance writers, I could count on happy endings—yeah! I love happy endings. Most of my work is romantic, but my time travel series are not set up the same way as any book I’ve ever read, neither sci-fi, nor romance. My characters travel to several eras usually, in one book. Romeo vs. Juliet is a series.

Deanna:   What was the most fun job you’ve ever had, and did it have an impact on your writing?

Laura:   I was on the opening staff for Denver’s Hard Rock Café. At that time, I wasn’t writing fiction, but I wrote songs and guitar or piano parts for my band. Some of my work shows my great love of music though.

Deanna:   What do writing and music have in common?

Laura:   Have you ever heard this one? Q: What do you say to a musician (or you could sub for writer) who knocks on your door? A: How much do I owe you for the pizza?  No, seriously, you starve for a while, years, unless you have a day job. But it will happen with persistence, I truly believe. However...writing and music both require the same great love to pursue for years on end with little financial returns in most cases, at least in the beginning. Do it for love or not at all. The money will happen later. That’s what I told my daughter, also a writer and a musician. I told her to pursue her writing dream but to get a good day job while she waits the years it will take to make it. I have a lot of respect for other writers (and musicians) knowing how hard they work, and I adore readers. :)

Deanna:  Finish this sentence - Wouldn’t it be cool if....

Laura:   …someone on the bus was reading my book! On my ride home from work every night, I glance at the titles in people’s hands hoping for the day.

Deanna:   A funny writing coincidence?

Laura:   I found out recently that my historical novel Descent Into Darkness, set during the Napoleonic Wars era (I was a French major in college) has the same name as a vampire novel.
Deanna:   What’s the weirdest thing anyone has said to you concerning your art?

Laura:    In music...after a gig, a guy approached me at the stage, looked at me for a long pause and said merely, “You have great hair.” I almost fell off the stage, shocked.  As for writing, I had a stranger contact me via email, having seen my author’s page, and ask for help breaking in with a genre I knew absolutely nothing about. I’m mainly a romance writer, and he wrote technical manuals. I have no connections in that area. When I told him so, he asked for money; that creeped me out.

Deanna:  Please share your book links with us and an excerpt so we have a hint of what your book is about.

Laura:  Here’s a blurb for my latest release, Descent Into Darkness, out with Moongypsy Press: 


Blurb: Duncan Amberley has come back from war after fighting Napoleon’s men on a ship. Clarissa Hale is a lovely shopkeeper with a great sense of humor; a heroic heart rests inside this insecure, intelligent beauty, and she will be called on to prove it. Clarissa and her love are pitted against each other for the sake of their families and there are some terrible accusations. She will be in constant peril as she gathers evidence to convict Duncan’s dangerous brother of a harrowing crime and his heart breaks when he discovers something about Clarissa’s sister. Can their love survive the results of their investigations? They devise a dangerous plan to get to the truth, which brings them into the heart of Napoleon’s camp in 1812 Russia as spies. Risking everything, they must get to the truth.

Laura, Descent into Darkness sounds like an exciting read. I wish you luck with all your sales and in writing your upcoming novels as well.

Readers - Laura is giving away a copy of her novel to one lucky person drawn from those who leave her a comment today or Friday. She'll be around for those who want to ask questions or just chat with her. Leave your comment  and she'll post her reply here.

Good luck to all and thank you so much for joining us today! Please feel free to refill yer mugs, maties! Arggghh! There be shrimp and lobster off the barby and lots of other refreshments so stick around awhile and enjoy the party!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New ads out this week...

Hi everyone!

This week is exciting for me! Actually, the next two weeks are exciting with a few ads getting posted on the internet highway. As you surf around in you shiny mousemobile, here are a few more stops you can make to check out my ads. Let me know what you think of them.

I also will be having a five day newsletter done by Eye on Romance that will highlight No Turning Back. The newsletter is set to start on Monday, June 21st so get signed up if you want to read more! In order to view the five day Newsletter, you can sign up at Eye On Romance, just click her newsletter link on the left. Also at the bottom of her page are links to the first two sites below. 

Historical Romance Writers   -  started 6/15 and is up for 4 weeks!

Time Travel Romance   -  started 6/15 and is up for 4 weeks!

Coffee Time Romance  -  started 6/15 and is up for 4 weeks! This is for my book mark, YOU can print your copy!

June Jubilee (click the banner on the left) - I will be posting in the special interests section, garden section, weed beds, throughout the month of June. On June 24th, I will be there in my Author Corner site, look for Deanna and will be there all day to chat with readers. I have a give away that will be pulled at the end of the month for a gift card, go get in the drawing!

Thanks for stopping by, link to me if you aren't already.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jennie's Winner

Marti M

      Welcome to another author interview. We sit here today in oh-so-comfortable Adirondack chairs on the expansive porch of a local lodge pole resort surrounded by tall pines and gaze out over the snow peaked mountains of Colorado. Mmmm....the fresh air smells so wonderful! I'd like you to meet Jennie Marsland, author of a western romance that is sure to tug at your heart strings as she puts a new twist on the mail order bride story. She brings her characters to life and makes them unforgettable, which is what we all strive for as writers.

Deanna:  Jennie, welcome and thank you for joining us today. I look forward to learning more about this tough hero of yours but first, tell us a bit about YOU as a person that your readers might not know.

Jennie:  I appreciate you having me here today, thank you. I remember, at the age of five or six, hearing my grandmother describe me as an old soul. I think she was right. I’ve always been a retrospective person. That’s why I write historicals. Glimpses of the past spark my imagination. I also have a dry sense of humor. Mark Twain is right up my alley. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, then to speak up and remove all doubt.”

 Deanna:  That saying says more than we know! What happened in your life that made you want to become a writer?

Jennie:  Nothing specific. I grew up listening to my parents and grandparents tell stories, and I was born with a vivid imagination.

Deanna:    Do you write under a pen name?

Jennie:  Yes. I also write for children, and when I get published in that field I want to use my real name to avoid confusion.

 Deanna:   Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Jennie:  Not for me. Unless a character comes to life in my mind I can’t write about them, and once they do, they write themselves.

Deanna:  Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Jennie:  Yes. I’ve always loved historical fiction, and Westerns in particular. I grew up on Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour. I also read historical romance by authors like Deborah Hale, Julianne MacLean, Anna Campbell and Pamela Clare.

Deanna:   Tell us about McShannon’s Chance and where it's available.

Jennie:  McShannon’s Chance, my first novel, is now available as an e-book and in print from Bluewood Publishing, and in print from Amazon and Barnes&Noble. The book is an historical Western, set in the Colorado Territory in 1871.

The hero, Trey McShannon, is a Civil War veteran, a Georgia boy who fought for the Union and decided it would be smart to make tracks for the West afterwards. After spending a few years getting his homestead up and running, Trey realizes he’s overworked and lonely and sends for a mail-order bride. He gets Beth Underhill, a watercolor artist from a once-affluent Eastern family, now in reduced circumstances. Trey needs a wife and Beth needs a home, it’s as simple as that…until the sparks of attraction start flying between them. Trey is still haunted by his wartime experiences, and Beth has been hurt by a man she thought she loved, so they have a lot of work to do before they can find happiness together.

Deanna:   May we please sample an excerpt (PG-13 or lower) from McShannon's Chance?  Please provide a taste and a link to read the rest.

Jennie:  With pleasure.  Here’s the first meeting between Trey and Beth:  

Beth turned to the store window and watched the man she’d agreed to marry walk toward her. Twenty-seven years old, six feet tall, dark hair and eyes. She’d described herself to him in similar meaningless terms. She supposed he’d find them as inadequate as she did. His rangy frame could have carried more weight, but he had the muscle of a man who did physical work. His long, quick stride suggested latent energy. The way he wore his faded denim work pants, collarless homespun shirt and battered cloth cap made her think he rarely dressed any other way. She would have guessed him to be over thirty; there wasn’t much of youth about him.

That impression didn’t change when he stepped into the store. Long, thick dark lashes shadowed his molasses-colored eyes, set deep under heavy brows. His straight, wayward, near-black hair needed a trim. The stubble on his angular jaw didn’t make him any less intimidating.

“Excuse me, Miss, are you Beth Underhill?” He spoke coolly, almost to the point of curtness, with a bare hint of a drawl.

Beth’s stomach jolted when their eyes met. She swallowed and caught hold of the edge of a shelf to stop herself from stepping back. Idiot, say something. When she found her voice, it sounded odd and distant to her ears.“Yes. You must be Trey McShannon.”

It helped that he looked as uncomfortable as she felt. Beth held out her hand. Warm, callused fingers closed around hers and released.

“I am. How was the trip out? The road can be bad in the spring.”

“It wasn’t too bad.”

The clerk stood behind the counter looking from one to the other, avidly curious. The corners of Trey’s mouth tugged upward with subtle amusement as he handed her a list. “Could you put this together for me, June? We’ll pick it up in twenty minutes or so.” Without saying anything more, he picked up Beth’s bags and walked out.

With a glimmer of mischief, Beth turned to the counter. Since June was bound to talk, why not give her something to talk about? “Will you please add something to that order? A couple of pairs of waist overalls. My size.”

June nodded. Beth turned and followed Trey, leaving the woman staring after her.

If this tastes like more, here’s a link to the book at Bluewood Publishing’s bookstore:


  BlueWood Publishing

Deanna:   That tugs on my interest. I enjoy the mail order bride stories too! I understand you’re a high school science teacher.  How would you describe your job?

Jennie:  Rewarding, stressful at times, and above all, never boring. For example, in my first year as a teacher I was doing a lab on acids and bases with my Grade Nine class. Each group of students had two flasks of clear liquid, one marked Acid and the other marked Base. I gave them a big safety spiel before we started, and one boy was determined not to take me seriously. He held up the flask marked Acid and said “If I drink this will it kill me?” I thought he was joking, so I just shrugged and said “Yeah, right.” HE DRANK IT. It was only vinegar in water, but he didn’t know that.

Deanna:  So you have to watch out for some of the kids who don't take precautions seriously! Big responsibility. On to lighter things, let's pretend you're out with friends at a bar, and it's Karaoke Night. Would you be in the spotlight, blasting out tune after tune; watching everyone else take the stage with an amused grin; or somewhere in the middle?

Jennie:  Probably somewhere in the middle.  I like to sing and play guitar and I’ve done some performing, but in front of a rowdy bar crowd…I’d need a little priming with alcohol first.

Deanna: Please share with me your favorite reader review quote for McShannon's Chance, and tell me why it is so special to you.

Jennie:  I recently had a wonderful review from Julia Smith, a fellow RWA member who writes a very smart blog, ‘A Piece of My Mind’ (and I’m not just saying that because she liked my book!) Here’s my favorite comment:  “Where this novel excels as a romance are the scenes between Beth and Trey as they begin their relationship with an endpoint - an arranged partnership - and work backwards through their courtship. Jennie has written a 3D-High Definition cowboy in Trey McShannon. No mistaking who's talking when he and Beth are together. He's a man of few words, of unwavering gazes that size Beth up. And Beth, true to form as a woman ahead of her time, is not feisty so much as sassy as she teases Trey with delightful zingers.”  I  love this quote because for me, there’s nothing better than hearing that my characters really came to life for a reader. 

Deanna:  As authors, our reader comments and letters to us are so important for feedback. Do you have a favorite ethnic food dish?  If so, how did it become your favorite?

Jennie:  Sushi is my favorite ethnic dish, bar none. I was introduced to it about twenty years ago by a friend, and it was love at first taste. Living on the coast we get wonderful fresh fish, and sushi restaurants have sprouted like weeds here over the last few years. 

Deanna:   Tell us about your next project.

Jennie:  My next book is a prequel to Chance, McShannon’s Heart. It’s contracted to Bluewood and will be released this summer, no firm date as yet. Heart tells the story of Trey McShannon’s twin sister, Rochelle, who accompanies her father to his old home in the Yorkshire Dales at the outbreak of the Civil War. Unable to choose between the man she expected to marry and loyalty to her family, Chelle thinks she’s leaving love behind her. Martin Rainnie, a widowed Dales farmer who happens to be a talented fiddle player, has turned his back on his music and his baby daughter. He wants nothing to do with love, but Chelle’s relatives are fostering his little girl and the little one gradually draws Martin and Chelle together. I enjoyed putting some of my own love of music into this story, and I fell in love with the Yorkshire Dales years ago through James Herriot’s stories. As for Martin, he’s a tough nut to crack but I love him.

Deanna:  Jennie, it sounds like another winner coming up for you. I wish you the best of luck with both of them. Readers, if you'd like to be in the drawing for an e-book of McShannon's Chance, leave Jennie a comment here. She'll be around today to comment back for those who might have a question or two for her. This will be up through Friday so tell your friends to come take a peek at Jennie's interview and... good luck to all of you. I also want to thank each of you for popping in today and spending time with us. Jennie, again...thank you so much! I've enjoyed our time together. Hey, is that Trey on that horse out there, coming toward us??

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June Jubilee at CoffeTimeRomance!

June is a special month this year at Coffee Time Romance. Each day there will be a guest author or two and in the specialty section there are many areas of conversation happening. Click the icon on the left for June Jubilee and it will take you to the specialty section of Coffee Time Romance. Explore as many areas as you can because many contests and giveaways are going on this month. Don't miss out!

Here is a glimpse into one corner of our backyard. I just love how peaceful  it is and the cobblestone walks meander into different areas back there.  Scroll down about three posts and you'll see our deck where it's also nice to write. We have 17 birdhouses between the front and back yards so birds are always chirping in the morning as they beg for their feeders or baths to be filled.

Oh, we were discussing Coffee Time Romance weren't we?  Find me in the gardening area chatting about my weed beds (of which I didn't take pictures!) and see what I'm giving away at the end of the month. Be sure to get yourself into that drawing, too! There are so many authors involved in June Jubilee and it's one more place to have a great time and it's free! Don't forget - the icon over there on the left for June Jubilee. Come chat with me!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

As we sit here in the dark, gathered just inside the cemetery at midnight, our guest of honor joins us from a misty area at the edge of the woods, making her way around the headstones to come sit beside me on the cement bench outside one of the large family tombs. “I’d like to thank all of you for joining us here in the cemetery to meet Shiloh Darke who writes paranormal romance. Shiloh, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us, although this isn’t my first choice to hold an interview with you.

“I’d also like to let everyone know about one of your books I’ve recently started titled Magic’s Reflection. Since I don’t normally read paranormal, it intrigued me as I kept turning the pages. The main character’s father has had a spell cast on him and he is forced to live inside an antique mirror for years before someone with special powers finds out that he is living inside the mirror. I haven’t gotten far in the book but I will continue to read it and let everyone know to come back later and read my review of it for you.”

Shiloh:  Deanna, thank you for doing that for me. I appreciate that since you don’t normally read that genre.

Deanna:  I look forward to the review. Tell us a bit about YOU as a person that your readers might not know.

Shiloh:  I’m so glad you agreed to meet me here in the cemetery, and at midnight no less, but it makes for a better atmosphere for what I write. Gosh, I am so much better at talking about my characters than I am myself. Honestly, is there ANYONE out there more boring? I work in Healthcare. I’m married with two children. Or, scratch that… One child, and one teenager who already knows everything(sound familiar to anyone?)

 I died once in a car accident when I was a teenager myself, and went through a summer of hell while I was in and out of the hospital too many times to count with a broken back.

 Honestly, my life is a case of melodrama, and I much prefer to talk about the lives of my characters.

Deanna: *dodging a bat that swooped to close*  What happened in your life that made you want to become a writer?

Shiloh:  Well, as I hinted above, I have gone through many things in my life. Some of it is sad, some of it is good, and all of it is a part of LIFE.

There are so many things going on in this world and so much of it is depressing. When I write, I want my readers to be able to use my stories as a kind of escape. Think of it as a short vacation from all the hassles of the everyday world.
We all have our stresses. My stories are meant to relieve some of that stress.
Deanna:  Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Shiloh:  LOL… Yes. Characters are all different. Just like real people. Some are like open books. They open up and give you a full view of who they are and what they believe in.

Others are more secretive. The bad guys in my books are harder to get into. I have trouble making someone completely ruthless. I guess it’s because I am a true believer in the idea that there is good in everyone, even though I do believe Evil is in this world.

 Deanna: *wolves howl in the distance and I peek behind me*   Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Shiloh:  (Giggling like crazy!) YES!!! And no… Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my favorites, along with Christine Feehan and Stephanie Meyer. I believe it is wise to keep informed of what other writers in your genre are doing so that you can keep your stories different from theirs.

But, I am also a fan of JK Rowling, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, Charlotte Bronte, and Brahm Stoker, just to name a few. I like to think I am well rounded as both a reader and a writer.

Deanna:  How do you come up with your story ideas?

Shiloh:  Well, my Eternals series came from a mixture of dreams I had when I was a teenager. Actually, it was amazing. For several years, my dreams were filled with stories that were full of adventure, romance, comedy and drama, all tied together because the heroes and heroines I dreamt of were all a part of a group. I wrote these dreams down. Almost like a journal, if you will. The result is quite extensive.

Other stories come to me in different ways. An idea I may get when I am watching a movie, or reading a book. Almost like an idea of, what if this happened instead, or what if they did this instead of that? And what if the character was Werewolf, Spirit, Angel, Vampire, or Magical instead of human?

Sometimes my ideas can even come from the weather. A thunderstorm, the way the lightening streaks across the sky or the beauty of the stars on a clear night. My ideas come in endless ways.

Deanna:  Do you listen to specific music when you write?

Shiloh:  Yes. I use hard rock/heavy metal when I write fight scenes. I use easy listening/love songs for love scenes. And music like Enya and Yanni and others that are similar for just overall writing.

Deanna:  *the moon slips out into the open sky from behind a cloud and illuminates our area, though now we can see more bats as they flutter in the trees around us*   Did you always want to be a writer?

Shiloh:  Actually, when I was younger, I wanted to be a singer. I took voice lessons and I still love to sing. But, I have seen the lives of such Stars these days. I am too private a person to go through what they do. I would prefer for the characters in my stories to be the stars. I’ll just write about them.

Deanna:  Why did you choose the genre you did?

Shiloh: *peeking over her shoulder for orbs floating around*  I have always been fascinated with the paranormal. Ghost stories, gargoyles, vampires, things that go bump in the night excite me. I enjoy stories that get your pulse up and racing, almost like sitting here with all of you! I know your hearts are racing too, hoping we get out of this interview safely. Don’t worry, my Eternals are watching out for us.

 I also love romance. Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite story. What better elements of Beauty and the Beast can you find than with a vampire cursed to live forever alone, or a Ghost that can be seen, but never touched?
Deanna:  If you were to offer any advice to anyone out there who wants to be a writer as well, what would you say?

Shiloh:  First off, carry a journal/notebook with you everywhere. Keep it by your bed. Whenever an idea strikes, jot it down. Sometimes it isn’t ONE specific idea, but a group of ideas that fit together to make a story.

Next, If you really want to write, PRACTICE. Pay attention to the Authors you enjoy reading. Watch their styles as you work to build your own.

Then, if you love to write, don’t let anyone sway you. Once you are happy with what you are writing, stick to it. Believe in yourself and you will succeed.

Deanna:  Where can readers find you and your books?

Shiloh:  I have my main website at and my blog is at I can also be found on Facebook and MySpace. I love to hear from readers, as any author does, so I look forward to hearing from those who read me.

Deanna:  Shiloh, thank you so much for spending this time with us. Please stick around in case some of the readers have any questions.