Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Blogmania Sponsor

For those not aware yet, Cowgirl Chocolates located, in Moscow Idaho, is my Blogmania sponsor! I want to thank them for adding their gift item to my four drawings I will be giving away the morning of Sept 17th. They would love it if you visit their site to check out all their amazing flavors. My favorite is their 'spicy' chocolates and caramels! Oh my, you have got to try them; you can order right from their website!

Remember, come back to see what the rest of my giveaway consists of because the chocolates are only part of it! To enter my Blogmania Giveaway, come back here on Sept 15 and 16 to get your entry in before moving on to the other 175+ blog sites!  Good luck to everyone and remember to have fun. This is going to be a fantastic event!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Author Interview - Tracy Krauss

 Tracy's winner is:

Sue B!! Congrats!!!

Welcome to yet another interview and a great on-site archeological dig in Zimbabwe, Africa!! How kewl is this? Here, first let me set down my brushes and small hand shovel. Whew...the sweltering heat doesn't let up either. Now, if this sand would just quit blowing long enough to allow our guest to do the interview. Tracy, come over and sit beneath the awning in the shade. We have a few visitors who would like to get to know you.

Thank you all for stopping in! It's a much needed break today. Please grab a tall, ice cold drink and get comfortable. You are about to meet a woman who doesn't know the meaning of 'taking a break' but we'll give it a try! I'd like you to meet author Tracy Krauss!  *her co-diggers give her a big hand from the inside the digging site*

Tracy: *brushing off the sand from her safari shirt and pants then taking  seat* Thank you for joining us today ; I'm glad each of you took the time to be here. Deanna, thank you for coming all the way here for the interview.

Deanna:  So, tell us a bit about you that our readers might not know.

Tracy:  I am a mother of four grown children, and a High School teacher of Art, Drama and English. I am very passionate about the arts and the creative process in general. I keep myself overly busy with my career, writing, and directing an amateur theatre group called the “KodiActs”.  I’m also an artist (a printmaker, painter and illustrator) and I play the piano and lead worship at our church.  You could say I’m one of those people who don’t sit down much. Sometimes I think I need to slow down, but it’s difficult to know what to give up …
Deanna:  Wow, that is staying busy, but they say busy people are who get things done. You have a lot to be proud of with that schedule. What happened in your life that made you want to become a writer?

Tracy:  I have always been a writer.  I know that sounds silly, but I feel that if I had to choose just one role – one title for myself, ‘writer’ would be it.  For me, it’s all about story telling. I have these characters and scenes in my head that need to have an outlet, and as far back as I can remember, I have been finding ways to get them on paper.  When I was very young, I spent hours drawing. (And I used many pads of paper!) Most of these sketches were actually characters or scenes from the stories themselves. Later in high school, I had a teacher who encouraged me to pursue creative writing as a career.  At the time I was more interested in Art, so I went to the University and got my degree in Art Education.  (I also come from four generations of teachers, so education seemed logical …) It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first child that I really sat down and started writing. That was 25 years ago, and I haven’t looked back. 

Deanna:  What life experiences do you draw on when writing? 

Tracy:  Our family has moved A LOT since my husband and I married almost 28 years ago.  He is a very adventurous sort – the kind of person who is not afraid to try anything (and I mean anything… whale riding anyone??!!) I am more content to stay at home and have adventures ‘in my head’, but he has dragged me to many interesting places over the years, many of which have been very remote and in the far north. So I know all about what it means to feel isolated. (I mean really isolated – five hours to the nearest town, or places with no way in except by train, and that took twenty hours…) I’ve lived in the polar bear capital of the world (Churchill, MB), the Yukon (next door to Alaska), and the North West Territories, to name just a few. Each place has given me new fodder for my imagination, however, so I am grateful for all the first hand experience I’ve been subjected to!

One of my husband’s ‘adventures’ was to go into ministry about 12 years ago.  I never saw myself as ‘Pastor’s wife’ material (I’m probably a little to unconventional and ‘artsy’ for that) so this new role was a real stretch for me in many ways. Somehow I managed to maintain my individuality and probably shocked a few people along the way. Don’t get me wrong – I am a Christian, but as my husband affectionately puts it, I’m more “Shades of Gray” than black and white when it comes to many issues.  Being a Pastor’s wife can be a very isolating experience, however, because it is difficult to make close personal friends when you are always meeting other people’s needs – being ‘strong’ and available for them – and getting too close to anyone in particular is often seen as playing ‘favorites’. It’s a bit of a fish bowl existence that is at the same time quite lonely. 

Deanna:  You have many sides to you, Tracy. The work you do must also must help with writing. Do you write under a pen name?

Tracy:  No I don’t. I had considered it a few times back in the early days, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I was ready for anyone to read what I had written and know it was me.  I think it is an issue many writers struggle with at first.  Writing is a very personal act. It is like baring your soul and you always run the risk of ridicule.  I have since decided that it’s worth the risk.  I feel I have something valuable to say and I might as well just let people know straight up who is saying it. You can’t please everyone, so you need to be true to yourself. 

Deanna:  Is there a certain type of character you find easier to write than another?

Tracy:  I have not found that to be the case so far.  I love all of my characters. They are like personal friends to me and I get to know them very, very well over the course of writing an entire novel.  I suppose the trick is to write dialogue etc. that sounds authentic for each individual.  I am told that I do that quite well, so I really haven’t experienced any blockages in that area yet.  Naturally, villains are always fun! I suppose if I run into a character that I am having trouble with I might just drop him/her or change them up enough to fix whatever the problem is.  That’s the great thing about writing fiction. You are the master of your own universe!

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

Tracy:  I love Science Fiction, Fantasy and supernatural thrillers. I was a Trekkie way back when all my girlie friends had the latest hot boy posters on their walls – I had Mr. Spock. J My writing thus far has been more along the Romantic Suspense line. I do like a twist, that’s for sure, and I try to incorporate that element in my writing. However, I have not attempted to write Sci-fi per se, or fantasy or supernatural thrillers either.  This is a very good question, and one that I will be pondering for awhile.  Maybe I love reading those genres so much that I’m not sure I could do them justice.  In any case, I write what is ‘in my head’, as I said before.

I do enjoy a variety of other literature as well. I really enjoy the classics on occasion and when I’m in the mood - Jane Austin, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood … and of course Shakespeare.  As a playwright as well, I couldn’t forget about him!

Deanna:  Who are your favorite authors and whose writing has inspired you?

Tracy:  My favorite author, without even the blink of an eye, is Frank Peretti.  I love his writing and I have all of his adult books. Another one of my favorites is a book called Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. It is a very twisted ‘apocalyptic’ novel which I truly love. Also, I have found Francine Rivers to be very inspiring because of the way she deals with ‘taboo’ subjects within a Christian context.  I am not much for what I call ‘sappy’ romances, and although my writing contains romance, I try not to make it ‘sappy’.

Deanna:  Tell us more about your latest book And The Beat Goes On.

Tracy:  This is the story of an archeologist who discovers Pterodactyl and giant human remains buried together at the site of an ancient temple in Zimbabwe, Africa.  The find causes a lot of controversy and leads to sabotage, betrayal and even murder as he and his team try to discover the truth behind the find. The book raises a lot of questions about scientific practices and delves into the whole creation vs. evolution debate. I have tried not to make it preachy or too scholarly, though, because that, for me, is a turn off. I wanted it to raise questions, but not necessarily give all the answers.  I don’t believe anyone can really know all the answers to some of these questions, and so I have left the story open to interpretation to some degree.  It is written from a Christian worldview, but as I said, things don’t wrap up all nice and neat like some Christians might want. Instead, the focus for me was on the story – the mystery and suspense that surround the find and the consequences afterwards. Of course, there is a healthy dose of romance as well, but not, perhaps in the way that is expected.

Deanna:  I’ve always found archeology to be interesting with a bit of haunting thrown in for what once was. What gave you the idea for writing this book?

Tracy:  I have always been fascinated by the apparent discrepancy between the Biblical account of Creation and the evolutionary theory being taught in most schools and supported by the scientific community.  At one point I home-schooled our children (for nine years) and we were able to delve into the topic. 

I had also written a novel called Play It Again about an ex rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant whose lives are turned upside down after a ‘rendezvous’ (one night stand) and the redemptive journey that they faced afterward.  In that book, the main character has an eleven year old son named Mark who is a bit of a strange kid and who likes arrowheads and hanging out with adults etc. When I first got the idea for And The Beat Goes On I decided to make Mark the main character, only all grown up and now a successful archeologist. It worked well since the original novel was set in the 80’s, so the time-line fit.

So, technically, And The Beat Goes On is the sequel to Play It Again, although ironically the first book is not yet in print and they are both totally ‘stand alone’.

Deanna:  Where did you get the idea for writing about the Nephilim?

Tracy:  As you may know, the Nephilim are a pre-flood race of giants mentioned briefly in the Bible. Not a lot is said, but depending on how you interpret it, they potentially have supernatural origins. This has been another topic of interest (my Fantasy/Sci-fi/Supernatural Thriller fetish?) so I found a way to incorporate them into the story.  As well, during my research, I came across some ancient legends in Zimbabwe about Pterodactyl sightings even as recently as 100 years ago.  All of this combined to get my imagination going and thus the connections within the story.

Deanna:  I’ll be adding these to my ‘To Be Read’ also. Are you working on any other projects?

Tracy:  To date I have finished four novels.  Play It Again is currently under review with a major romance publisher, and another book My Mother the Man Eater is in the production phase and should hopefully be released in time for Christmas.  This one is another Romantic suspense, but also has some strong elements of comedy as well. It is about a forty something ‘cougar’ whose romantic escapades get her into trouble with her grown up daughters.  What happens is, all of her ‘boyfriends’ keep falling for one of her daughters instead.  Also in the mix is her ex jail bird husband who is back for revenge. There is a fair bit of ‘edgy’ content, but I think it’s a great read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final chapter.

Naturally, I am also working on several other manuscripts (I always like to have more than one project on the go at once – it keeps me fresh!) and I am currently seeking publication for the many full length plays that I have written and directed over my many years as a Drama teacher and director.

Let’s see… did I miss anything?  Oh yes, I’m also working on an illustrated children’s book based on a lullaby my mother used to sing.

Deanna:  You definitely can be called a woman who doesn’t slow down! Who or what is your greatest inspiration?

Tracy:  I’d have to say that my late mother has always been my greatest inspiration. She was a rather ‘eccentric’ person who was also an artist, teacher, story-teller, musician, dramatist and general all around ‘wing nut’. (And I mean that in a nice way!) She was never afraid to be different and she was very expressive in everything she did.  She was the kind of mom who actually played with her kids and made up all kinds of imaginary adventures and worlds for us (and her grandchildren) to enjoy.  Her creativity and fearlessness in the face of ridicule has always made me want to emulate her. She was also a woman of strong faith, and I credit her with having ‘prayed’ me into becoming a Christian.

Deanna:  Tell us a bit about a day in your shoes. How long do you spend writing each day?

Tracy:  Unfortunately, I go in spurts. Naturally, when I am working, that has to come first.  Then, around production dates for my drama performances, those take precedent.  I generally take the summers and all holidays as my writing time. (My ‘sanity’ time, I call it.)  I have also noticed recently how marketing and promoting oneself has taken over much of my valuable creative writing time, but that is par for the course, or so I am told… Some day I hope to write full time, but so far it can’t pay the bills.

Deanna:  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Tracy:  I’m kind of new at the whole promotions thing so I really appreciate the opportunity to appear on your site. Thanks, Deanna, for having me and all the best in your endeavors!

Deanna:  Thank you, Tracy. It’s been a pleasure introducing you to our readers. How can they get in contact with you?

Tracy:  I currently keep two blogs.  My main blog is

They will find links for my book if they wish to purchase it as well as other interesting stuff. Naturally, they can also be purchased online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Chapters/Indigo.

Deanna:  Tracy, thank you so much for spending time with us today! Do you have any last minute comments for our readers?

Tracy:  Deanna, once again, thank you for having me here. I’ve totally enjoyed this. Readers, I would love it if you would leave a comment for me and you’ll be in the drawing to win an e-book copy of my novel; that’s all you have to do. Feel free to chat with me. We’ll both be around for comments. Thank you to each one of you for stopping in today and sharing this with us.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monthly Contest - two chances to win a gift card!

     If you've not entered my contest yet, I run one monthly on my main website. You're eligible to enter each month. This month I'm giving away a gift card to two winners plus the first place winner also receives one of my tee shirts, pen, sticky notes and a goody bag filled with book marks and post cards from many of my author friends! You don't want to miss out on winning so be sure to enter HERE!

Readers:  Want to get your OWN goody bag? On the above contest link page, I've posted a note on how to get your own bag ordered!

Fellow Authors:  I'd be happy to included your promo items with the others in the bags. If you'd like me to add YOUR book marks or post cards or promo item to these goody bags, please send them to me at:  PO Box 536, Lewiston Idaho   83501

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Author Interview - Mike Dolan

      Today, we’re on location in Hawaii because this is Mike’s favorite place. We’ve leaned his surf board against one the trees and he’s come to sit and chat with us for a bit. Grab yourself a coconut cup filled with an icy refreshment and make yourself comfortable. Mike, I want to thank you for allowing us this time with you. How gracious of you to share a bit of Hawaii with us!

Mike:  Deanna, I’m pleased to be here. I hope our readers enjoy a glimpse inside my book.

Deanna:  Readers, Mike Dolan was born in the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado 43 years ago. He has lived all around this beautiful world of ours, from Europe to Alaska, to his current home in the Middle East. His education is that of the experiences life gives and school is far from being out for him. He is a lover of life, a life adventurist. He loves to travel, meet new people, and experience new cultures. He has been given a great opportunity to see life in a different light and wishes to share this with you. Mike, you’ve traveled extensively and stay very busy. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know?

Mike:  Most readers know about my past and my travels.  They know that those experiences shaped my writing.  However, they don't know about my love of Hawaii and surfing.  I love the Hawaiian life so much that I have a website that feeds my passion.  Come and visit it at

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Mike:  For the last 10 years, I have kept journals about my travels and my experiences all over the world.  Over time, I realized that the things I have learned through my experiences could help other people.  My journals were my research and the idea for a book was born. My purpose is to have the best life I can possibly have and to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest so they too can have a rich life, A Pecunious Life.

Deanna:  As authors, most of us read in the same genre we write but you write non-fiction. Do you read in the same genre?

Mike:  Yes, I primarily read non-fiction.  I've always been an avid reader, but I've always preferred reading to learn something as opposed to just reading for entertainment. In this pursuit I started to read about Leonardo DaVinci, Nikola Tesla, Steven Hawking, and others. I was reading Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Wayne Dryer, Deepak Copra.  Right now I am reading: David Hawkins Power Vs. Force.

Deanna:  That's a bit of deep reading, Mike. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Mike:  For me writing early in the morning in a sun drenched window is the best place to be. The house is quiet and most of the time my mind is still empty of “other” distracting thoughts which allows me to let the writing flow. I get my pot of coffee going, gather my pad of paper and half dozen different colored pens and I just start with what comes to mind and go from there.

Genre: Self-Help
Publisher: Infinity Publishing

Deanna:  Tell us a bit about what we’ll find in your book.

Mike:  When I learned a lesson that helped me live my life to the fullest, I take that lesson and share it in my writing. The losses we suffer are of zero consequence if we have never lived in the moments that we are given. This life is filled with everything we know and everything we don’t know. It is our journey in life to live, to live every moment as if it was our last. I don’t want to waste one moment I have here.

      I want to tell the world that a better way to live is out there. A more successful life is out there for all of us, if we will just stop and realize life is a gift. The people in our lives, even the ones we have yet to know, are all important to us. We need to stop and appreciate, love, respect, and fill our lives with them. We have no time to be lifeless, no time to be self-centered, no time to hoard our thoughts and feelings for all those around us. We need to give more of ourselves before it’s too late. From the friends we have as children to the clerk at the gas station, we need to let everyone in our lives know that it’s okay, that we remember and cherish the moments we share.

      This doesn’t mean you have to walk into the gas station and tell the clerk behind the counter all these thoughts, but you do need to come from a position of love and respect for all that you come in contact with, including that clerk. How much time have we lost? How much of this life will we have to lose before we realize that this life is fragile, that in a moment it can be gone, that the people dearest in your life can and are taken before we know it.

Here is more of Mike in his own words: 

      Beliefs come from our past experiences and the culmination of past generations’ experiences. Believing gives us the capacity to make our lives more organized so that we don’t have to continuously try to understand our surroundings. Not all our beliefs, however, are positive in nature. In fact, the majority of our beliefs limit our own abilities to understand more of the world around us. Any belief that is limiting that defines someone or a group of people will limit our ability to open ourselves up for more experiences that could lead to a greater cooperation, a greater understanding, a more peaceful existence, and perhaps even new budding relationships. To understand an example of this you need only look inside yourself. What belief do you have that might be limiting? I could come up with examples, but each life experience is different and therefore the beliefs we each hold are different. The challenge, then, is to examine your own beliefs and find reasons to change them into something that will lend to a better understanding of this life.

      Limiting beliefs can be ingrained in other areas of our lives as well. It was thought for the longest time that we would never be able to fly, we do. It was thought for the longest time that it was impossible for the human to run a mile in under four minute, we have. The examples of our defeatist beliefs being dissolved exist all around us. Some of our beliefs limit our experiences and lend our thoughts to be more narrow minded and less capable of greater accomplishments.

“You as the master of your thoughts can change the ideas you believe in.” MLD

Review of A Pecunious Life - How to Have a Life Abounding in True Wealth

      The book A Pecunious Life written by Author Mike Dolan has great advice for improving ones life, not only does the author write details of how to become more wealthy, but he incorporates his own experiences which are woven into lessons of life quality. Learning from the past, learning from mistakes, learning from beliefs or mis-beliefs, life-altering events, and exercises where the author asks you to sit in a quiet place and reflect on the lessons given.

      The book is not really about becoming wealthy in the money sense, but wealthy in the spiritual and happiness sense. Could we be happy with less? Happiness is a state of mind.

      I found this educational and easy to read and recommend it to adults in need of self-help, spiritual guides, and for people who need a better life than they have right now.

Reviewed by: Ami Blackwelder

A Pecunious Life can be purchased on Mike's website or at Amazon:

Deanna:  You seem very sincere in your wish to help all of us to enrich our own lives a little more. Thank you so much, Mike. I hope this isn't the last interview stop for you. I look forward to seeing your name a lot more out there. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Mike:  Deanna, Thank you for the opportunity to share my book - A Pecunious Life on your blog. Yes, I would like to offer a book give away to three of the readers out there. They need to do a few things to be eligible:

 - Comment on this interview here on your blog.
 - Mention the interview on their Facebook page and give me
the link in the comment.
 - Follow me on Twitter and leave a private message for me mentioning the

Deanna:  You heard it, readers! For those who want in on this, hop to those sites, copy the links and come back here to post your comments! On your mark, get set.....GO!!! See you back here in a few! I'll refresh your drinks and have them ready for you when you return!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thank you authors!

     I want to thank all of the authors who have blogged with me here and those who will be blogging with me. There have been so many great interviews, but I'm not finished yet, nor will I be for quite a while. I have interviews scheduled to mid October and I'm scheduling more every week. If you'd like to schedule an interview to introduce your book to our readers, please email me to get it set up! Visit often so you don't miss a single interview. Many of the interviews also run a contest for the readers who drop in to leave a comment.

     As you read through the past interviews in my blog, I hope you find more than a few new authors to add to your TBR pile. There are some awesome stories out there - some contemporary, some historical, a few time travels and one or two self-help books. Please enjoy yourself as you roam through my blog. I hope you decide to follow me here, also on my FB Fan Page and my website has lots to do.

     I invite you to leave comments on this post as well as any other post you read here.

     Again, I want to give out a huge thank you to the authors who took/are taking the time to do the interviews with me! You are all awesome! Visit their websites and blogs, too!

     Have YOU enjoyed the interviews so far?!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Author Interview - Renee Vincent

 Renee's Winner is......
Tammy Morse....Congratulations!!!

Thank you so much for joining us for the launch party for the much acclaimed Renee Vincent...and the release of Raeliksen! We are taking you back to the 10th century, Ireland to be exact, and thank you for dressing appropriately! Please, carefully make your way up the stairs and our hero will guide you out  to the garden overlooking the ocean for our party! 

Deanna:  Renee, I'm so excited that you're here today. I know you are very busy with the release of this book. Our readers are anxious to get acquainted. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Renee:  I was born and raised in Kentucky and couldn’t think of living anywhere else—well, maybe Ireland. I have no trouble imagining me writing in a summer cottage off Ireland’s west coast, but only through the months of May, June, and July. Beyond that, I’d be too cold.

I have two beautiful daughters who keep me very busy, but I wouldn’t change being their mother for the world. They are honestly the light of my life. Like myself, they enjoy horseback riding and we often go trail riding as a family.

I live on a hundred acre farm with my wonderful husband of almost seventeen years and it is a great place to find inspiration. Most mornings, you can find me on the shore of our lake just outside our home—with a cup of hot coffee in hand for sure.

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Renee:  I have always wanted to be a writer, but once I got to college, things changed and somehow, I found myself taking a different path. I acquired a degree in Radiologic Technology and worked at Children’s Hospital for three years on the night shift, which was mostly trauma and surgery given it was a Level 1 Trauma Center.

Once I worked with kids, I knew I wanted to remain in a career that involved children, but a job that was more family friendly. Night shift in x-ray had its perks, but not if you wanted to start a family of your own. At least not for me, anyway. So, I left the medical field and tried my hand in education—teaching pre-school children, that is.

I taught for nine years during which I had my first child. Once my second was born, I became a stay-home mommy. And at that moment I realized this was the perfect time for me to finish a love story I had been working on since I first got married.

Now realize, this story had many versions and many deletions before I sat down to write on it again. In the past, I couldn’t get past a few chapters before I ripped the paper out of the typewriter (yes, that’s right, a typewriter) and threw it in the trash. Later on, it was the delete button as I wrote and saved to a floppy disk.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my little sister was the only one who read the first chapter and she told me to finish it. I never really paid much attention to those words until a few months later when she died in a tragic car accident on the way to college. What made it worse, was she passed on my daughter’s birthday.

We had a difficult time getting through those first few months, but I must say, I did better than most as I had a place for my pain and anguish. I poured all of that into the book as I remembered my sister’s words—finish the love story!

After a year it was complete, but I never submitted to a publisher or agent. It was not about making a writing career for myself. It was about finishing the story and making it available to everyone in the world who just might want to read it.

So I self-published it—Ræliksen—and amazingly, it took off. I have my sister to credit for that. She had lit a spark within me which didn’t fizzle out. I designed a website, blog, and hit all the social networking sites I could, working hard at creating a name for myself in the big sea of authors.

And finally, my hard work paid off. This year I signed a 3-book deal with Turquoise Morning Press which included the re-release of Ræliksen (with a hot new cover), its sequel, Mac Liam, and the third book in the Emerald Isle Trilogy. I couldn’t be happier with this opportunity! And I have my dearest sister, Lindsey, to thank for it.

Deanna:  What an amazing series of events. I’m sorry to hear about your sister, but what an inspiration to finish your novel. I’m sure our readers are glad you finished it also. For privacy issues, some author write under a different name. Do you write under a pen name?

Renee:  Yes, my pen name is Renee Vincent. I took my middle name and my husband’s middle name to form it.

Deanna:  Your characters seem so real, especially your hero, Dægan. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Renee:  Great question, Deanna. For me, I love to write the Alpha Male hero and for some reason, it is easier for me to write that point of view than any other. I guess it’s because I prefer heroes over heroines when I read romances. I can always remember the heroes’ names and rarely the heroines. That’s just me.

In general, I find men to be more interesting—the way they think, react, and the way they love a woman, especially when they are trying hard not to. I love how they stick to a decision and always retain a sense of honor within that choice. And let’s not forget the great physical aspects of the male—their hard muscular bodies. I mean what romance fan doesn’t like a flat, rippled stomach, broad shoulders, and a hard-walled male chest?

Hmm…did I just digress from the question?

Deanna:  Some have said an author shouldn’t read in their own genre for fear of writing like someone else. Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Renee:  If it’s romance, I read it. Now, I used to only read historical romances since I preferred the sword-wielding, horse-riding, roguish warrior heroes. But lately, I’ve read some really great contemporaries and honestly, I’m suddenly taking a liking to the modern day hero. So much, in fact, that I’m working on a contemporary romance myself. It’s a work-in-progress, but I hope to release it next year sometime with Turquoise Morning Press.

Deanna:  As an author, have you ever experienced writer's block?

Renee:  Many times! But I don’t let it discourage me. I stop writing for a while, whether it is hours, days, or even weeks, and eventually the descriptions or dialogue come to me. I'm never at a loss for words, just sometimes at a loss for the perfect words.

Deanna:  Have you ever given thought to writing in another genre besides romance? 

Renee:  Yes, I have actually—a Children's Chapter Book. My 12 year old daughter has asked on several occasions if I'd write a book she could read. I haven't made any promises, but I'd love to surprise her one day.

Places to find Renee Vincent:
     (opening these links will take you away from this interview. Open in a new tab)

Romance Books “R” Us -  (Blogs on the 21st of every month)

Yahoo! Groups:

Deanna:  I love the story line, the characters and the way you write. OK, I love everything about the book! LOL Without spoiling too much of the story, can you tell us a bit about Ræliksen?

Renee:  I’d love to.

Ræliksen is a romance novel, but we’ve categorized it as Historical Fiction With Strong Romantic Elements simply because it has a surprise ending. As a historical author, I take great pride in my research and wanted to depict the true way of life back in the 10th Century. I wanted to present the brutal yet romantic aspects of European history, while giving my readers a story they would long remember, even after another book is opened.

I strongly encourage my fans to read the new published version of Ræliksen because it has been re-edited in order to tighten the POV within it. Plus, it will contain the first chapter of Mac Liam—which I must admit is very steamy!

For those who have not read the first version of Ræliksen, there are two men who love Mara, my Irish maiden. One, being Dægan Ræliksen, a Norse warrior who saves her life from a group of warring Vikings hell-bent on fighting the Irish kings for control over Dublin’s port. The other is an Irishman, Breandán Mac Liam.

Ræliksen is a love story featuring the Norse hero’s struggle to love and protect Mara, while Mac Liam is the Irishman’s account, only seven years later.

Here is the blurb to Ræliksen:

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens - murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place - the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.

However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil - when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?


The door of the bathhouse flung open and the two staggered in from under Dægan’s cloak, locked in each other’s arms. Once inside, Dægan kicked the door closed while still delving into her eager kiss and fumbling to find the cursed lock on the door.

Mara already started feeling the warmth of the wood and stone room soak through her, grateful for the oddity of the Norse’s bathing habits as they had put a stagnant, sweltering atmosphere to good use.

Unable to leave her kiss, Dægan whipped his sodden cloak across the room and removed his boots and kirtle, heavy, too, with rain, dropping them carelessly on the bench behind him. The slapping collapse of his wet garment seemed to slow his wild spontaneity to an attentive act of seduction. The glow of the amber flame, in the corner of the room softened the rigid bones of his face, but it did nothing to ease the callousness of his smile as he circled her.

Her braid, he moved to the side and breathed in carefully the smell of her body, the way the oils from yesterday’s bath harmoniously mixed with the nostalgia of the Erin rain. His breath came soft and hot behind her ear, while his hands snaked tenderly around her throat and down below her chin to undo the two brooches at her chest.

Without her realizing, he had released the jeweled clasp and chain, and let the drenched fine cloak fall heavily to the ground, and then he went to work, undoing the laces of her dress. He was talented with his hands, being able to trace the thin vertical line of her spine that connected her slender neck to her finely widened hips with one, while stripping her from her gown with the other, letting it too, fall to the floor.

He slowly turned her around to face him, not shy in dropping his eyes to her glistening chest. There was another smile on his face, one of kinder birth than before, as he intimately seemed to memorize each curve of her blushing body.

Likewise, Mara let her eyes plummet to his waist, seeing his arousal as visible as a winter moon. But her innocent glance must have become an inseparable stare, for he stepped closer, asking, “Do I frighten you?”

Mara lugged her eyes from his midriff to his face. “Nay, Dægan…”

Her voice trailed as he slowly neared her face, eye to eye, mouth to mouth, until suddenly his lips pressed so gingerly against hers, endearing at first, then greedily as the kiss lengthened. He coiled his arm around her back as his other hand slid over the silken skin of her buttocks, pulling her close enough to nestle his hardened body against the soft of hers.

Dægan fell away from her lips. “May I?”

Mara lifted her brows in wonder. “May you what?”

Without taking his eyes from her, he dragged a bucket of water across the floor with his foot. “May I show you how sufficient a few buckets of water can be?”

Mara hesitated at the thought of him bathing her. It was quite a personal thing to bathe another, more so between lovers, and how difficult it would be to stand there and let it happen. “Dægan…”

He dropped to his knees, sliding his hands down the back of her legs, tarrying around her thighs. “Please?”

A nervous smile crept in slowly. “You make it very hard for me to forbid you of anything.”

Dægan’s reaction to those words nearly sent her heart to slam out of beat as his eyes befit well the scoundrel smile he flashed in response. Before she could even think to change her mind, he dunked the soap into the bucket and lifted her foot to his knee, rubbing her calf and shins with the bubbly lather. After cleaning her entire right leg, he wasted no time in doing the left, and then stood to lather her stomach, breasts and arms, taking great care to be gentle.

And overly thorough.

Nervously, Mara lifted her chin as he crept up her neck and around her shoulders, finding it amazingly difficult to look him in the eye, for having a man actually cleaning and caressing every part of her body without a cause for shame was more than she expected this night. Every sweep and slippery stroke of his hands coerced a desire low in her stomach, an aching that consumed her every thought. She closed her eyes, following the enjoyable play of his hands as he left no part of her untouched.

All too soon, she found him pressed against her soapy body, whisking her near-orgasmic daydream away with one wolfish smile.

“My turn.”

Mara couldn’t breathe, but the lack of oxygen hardly inhibited her mind from inventing an excuse. “Have you not already had your bath this evening?”

“Not by the pleasure of your hands.”

Dægan gathered them, along with the soap, and placed them on his chest. “Come now, love. Touch me.”

Deanna:  Um.....ah....whew! Renee, that was a beautiful piece to share with us. I'm hooked and yes, that took MY breath away. Is it just me or is it getting warm here in the garden? Now, where were we.....(another deep breath) Uumm....Is there something you’d like to ask your readers as you promote this new re-release of Ræliksen?

Renee:  Indeed! I would like to know what makes a book stand out from all the rest in your mind? Is it the hot steamy sex scenes? The plot? The cover? The writer’s attention to detail? You tell me. What makes you, as a reader, remember a book long after it is closed and another is opened?

Deanna:  Readers, there you have it - ask and respond to Renee's request. We want to know your thoughts!

I’m breathless with anticipation to read this book to the end. I love the historical novels from Ireland, Scotland and England! You’ve been commended on the amount of research you’ve done for this series; I also like the way you sprinkle sexual tension throughout your writings. I’m so proud to be your friend and fan, Renee! Thank you so much for being with us these two days.

Renee:  Deanna, I'm honored to be here and share this time with our readers. So many have stopped in to be with us and I want to thank each and every one of you!

Deanna:  Readers, this launch party would not have been a success without your attendance, so both of us thank you for stopping in. We hope you’ve enjoyed your time here. Below are Renee’s instructions for her contest that you will NOT want to miss entering. Here is what’s in store for the winner:

 - signed copy of the old version of Raeliksen
- winner’s choice of the format of the NEW Realiksen
- book plates and book marks
- a Turquoise bracelet specially handmade by Kristy's Kreations for this occasion


- click and you’ll be taken to her website where you will complete the entry form for her contest. Be sure to put ‘blog contest’ in the subject line.