Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My interviews on other sites this week...

     I have the honor of being interviewed on two sites this week and hope you're able to hop over and join me. The links are there on the left under MY INTERVIEWS. Both interviews are offering contest prizes so come join us for some fun and leave a comment to be in the drawing!

     I talk about my current books plus the new one coming in September, Whispers at Ghost Point. I've posted Ch 1 at Bookbuzzr if you're interested in reading that!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My E-book prices have been slashed!

New e-book price - $2.99 each!

There has been no better time to try my books if you've not read my work yet and you can't beat the price for a full novel. What a great buy! I hope after reading these two books that you'll feel moved enough to tell your friends about my books so they can grab their own copies.*

I'd love to hear from you or better yet, I invite you to leave a review at B & N, Amazon, Smashwords, or wherever your favorite online store is. Thank you so much!

Don't forget to visit my contest links on my main website for the April contests that are available. Good luck and have a great time!

*Sharing e-books is copyright infringement and is illegal. All rights reserved by the authors.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Author Interview - Charmaine Gordon - Romance Author

Deanna:  Thank you for joining us on location! We at a small cabin hidden in the woods with a gazebo filled with rocking chairs for our guests. Please grab a warm drink and a blanket from the railing if you need one. Come rock with us as we chat once again with the talented Charmaine Gordon! Thank you for inviting us to relax here with you! Tell us a little about your books.

Charmaine:  I’m so glad to be back here with you and your readers, thank you! My stories have been called Survive and Thrive by several reviewers. At first the phrase made me laugh until I realized that’s what my women do. Each one suffers a loss; death, abandonment, maybe divorce and must find courage she doesn’t know she has to begin again.

Deanna:  Your latest book just released follows that same pattern.  

Charmaine:  My latest release, RECONSTRUCTING CHARLIE, is a bit different. She came to me in the night. A fifteen year old girl this time not a woman and didn’t let me go until I began her story. Demanding, possessive of my time, Charlie took over, forced me to do a lot of research and many times I held my head and said this is too much work…and continued to write. Four months later, I typed The End and cried. I edit as I write. And I don’t like to be disturbed.

Deanna:  So many of us pour ourselves into our books as we write but they’re also a part of us and I think sometimes that makes it hard to get onto paper. Do you find it hard to name your characters?

Charmaine:  Names come easily. They appear in my head like sign posts and I continue to type. Visualization is natural for me. After years of acting, you learn to see the characters. I never dreamed of writing when I was in daytime drama, movies, commercials, on stage. It was a time of learning lines other writers wrote and auditioning. Always auditioning. I read enough scripts to learn about dialogue and sets and when I finally decided to write, ideas flew on the page.

Deanna:  How exciting to have been a part of that world. Although it makes writing a little easier, do you still need to do outlines or synopsis?

Charmaine:  I don’t outline and usually know only the beginning and end of a story. With Reconstructing Charlie, I didn’t know quite where she was going so I let her guide me.

Deanna:  I don’t outline either. I write by the seat of my pants with only a few details in my head. My characters usually fill in the scenes for me. What is a writing day like for you?

Charmaine:  First thing after a quick breakfast is writing time. Back to my desk early afternoon after exercise and life and then at night after a good movie, fill in quiet time at the computer. I care for my three year old granddaughter quite a bit and have to make up the lost time when I can. And of course, there’s time spent on promotion. No one prepared me for that prior to becoming published. Surprise.

Deanna:  Promotion is a huge time-consumer for sure, but I do love it. That’s how most of my mornings are spent. Is it hard for you to decide on story locations?

Charmaine:  Locations are places I’m familiar with. RC takes place in Chicago, my hometown, life on Lake Shore Drive in a beautiful home, Northwestern University, meanders to a fictional northern town with a mysterious house in the woods. Charlie - as a woman of 25 - arranges to buy the house and names it The Haven, where women and children can come to heal and recover from trauma. She’s a whiz at construction and now is CEO of a construction company.
Deanna:  Like your other main characters in past stories, Charlie sounds like a wonderful, caring woman. Let’s read on to the excerpt you’ve brought along! 


In 1996 I killed my father.
Dear old Dad was great with a belt. A belt of whiskey. A belt from around his waist unbuckled when you least expected it and later I knew when it was coming and some of us escaped. Not me, not Mom. Never Mom. I’m the oldest. I didn’t want the little ones to see the okay dad turn into a monster on payday. Every payday.

Chapter 1
I heard the television turned up loud before I opened the door. Mom always hoped for a distraction. Maybe this time instead of beating up on us, he’d watch the Minnesota Twins beat the hell out of the Boston Red Sox. Rant over every play, curse the umpires, yell that the Hubert H. Humphrey Stadium wasn’t good enough. 1996. Not a great year so far for the Twins. On this payday, after I dropped the kids off, I raced home just in time to be with Mom.
The front door banged open hard enough to rattle dishes in the cabinet. Mom’s treasure—a painted porcelain egg—rolled to the edge, teetered for a second and fell end over end to the hardwood floor. The small egg cracked with the force of a bomb. Mom stared at broken pieces from a life she had long ago. Her face turned white, every freckle showing, and my fists clenched.
He staggered around waving a tire iron in the air; muscled from working a jackhammer for the city all his sorry life and ugly drunk. Flowers flew off the table with sprays of water and shattered glass. Cursing, he went after Mom. This time I was ready. I wrestled it out of his filthy hands and hit him good. He lay torn up, didn’t move, blood everywhere on Mom’s clean kitchen floor. I stood there looking down at my father and thought how hard it was going to be for Mom to get the blood up. And how come he was the worst father in the world scaring all of us, hurting Mom and me. I breathed too fast and almost threw up. We were safe now because I’d done this terrible thing and I didn’t know how I could live with it.
Mom’s thick auburn hair came loose from her bun and she looked so pretty bending over him, a finger pressed to his neck as if she was a cop. On tiptoes, she pulled the ceiling fan chain and her sleeve rolled back. Black and blue marks covered her arm. I counted them. Mom had a lot more than I did. The breeze felt good. Then she wiped my fingerprints off the tire iron and replaced them with hers.
I watched Mom change from quiet refined Liz Costigan to someone I didn’t know.
“No more sweltering in my house,” she said.
She reached in his pants like a pickpocket and came up with a handful of dollars and coins. Handing me the money, Mom said, “I guess he drank the rest of his pay. Sorry it’s not more. Let’s get you packed.”
She was in charge, this new mother, and I didn’t question her. Icy cold inside myself, Mom dragged me along to my bedroom. I kept looking back expecting him to come after us.
“Reach up high on the top shelf, Charlie. Bring the suitcase down.”
Mom’s hands caressed the leather case I’d never seen.
“I packed my clothes and ran away sixteen years ago,” she said. “I was wild, out-of-control.”
“Were you ever sorry, Mom?”
“I have you and Jimmy, and my little girls. Take a shower. I have things to do.” She pushed me toward the hall.
I heard Mom opening and closing drawers, knew she’d be too busy to worry about me for a while and crept back to the bloody mess to make sure he really was dead. His dark eyes had turned to an empty stare. Shivering, I ran for the bathroom. Even a hot shower couldn’t warm me and blood refused to wash off. Words spun around in my head. ‘Out, out, damned spot.’ I scrubbed ‘til it hurt. Lady Macbeth, that’s me.
Wrapped in a towel, I watched Mom empty my clothes into her suitcase. I couldn’t move. He’s dead in the house and she packed my clothes for what? Mom added a dress hanging at the back of the closet, folded and placed it on top. The sound of the zipper closing on the suitcase startled me into action. I pried up the board in the closet, removed my money, and secured it into a money belt I’d bought in a second hand shop. Mom nodded approval.
“Wear this,” she said, handing me jeans and a long sleeved tee shirt. I dug some underwear out of the suitcase and dressed. “Take a windbreaker. Air conditioning on the bus.”
Unfastening a gold locket on a long chain she wore around her neck, she said, “Hold up your hair, my girl.”
We stood face to face, her hazel eyes looking into mine. I heard a tiny click when the clasp was in place around my neck. She kissed the locket and let it slide under my shirt.
“What’s in the locket, Mom?”
 “Two sisters, my dear Charlie. One wise. One foolish.” Mom smiled the saddest smile. She held my face in both hands.  “Yes, I have a sister, your aunt Eleanor. Now listen hard. Money and education. Most important.  And one more thing, precious girl, don’t let boys catch your scent. Keep clean. That’s something I forgot.”
Scared and bewildered, I wasn’t used to her making fast decisions. Any decisions.
“I’ll call the police after you’re gone. It was self defense. There are hospital records of abuse for years. The Union will take financial care of us. Your job is to make a new life. Catch a bus to Chicago. My sister is there.”
She pulled a box out from a drawer in my small desk and opened it. Fancy stationery paper, the old fashioned kind with the scent of flowers. Taking a deep breath, mom wrote in her perfect handwriting. I always believed mom had a lot of secrets. Now I got a peek at some just before I was leaving. Not fair and I felt like my little sisters when they stamped their feet against the world. I didn’t want to leave. She tucked two sheets of paper in a matching envelope and added an address.
“Don’t lose this, Charlie. It’s your passport to a new life.”
I couldn’t speak. Somehow words got stuck in my throat so I read the name Mom had written. Mrs. Stuart Alfred. I unzipped a side pocket on my backpack and placed the envelope in with care.
“Don’t let her turn you away. She’s my older sister. She hated your father.”
I never saw her cry before and when tears fell, she brushed them away.
Panic set in. “What if she’s not there?”
“She’ll be there, same as always. I’ve kept in touch with her. Not often. Just enough.”
So sure of herself, this new mother.
 “Charlie,” Mom looked in my eyes so deep as if she was taking a picture, “don’t call. I’ll call you when I have something to say. Now hurry. It’s not too late to catch the bus.”
Mom hugged me and I ran.

Deanna:  Wow! I have goose bumps! What a chilling first chapter; that was amazing! Charmaine, I so enjoyed having you back for an interview and to introduce your new book, Reconstructing Charlie, to our readers. I hear you have a contest and great prize package. Tell us more about that! I’m excited!

Charmaine:  On Saturday, April 15th, I will choose two winners from those who leave comments that are from the heart and who are interested in my stories. They will win e-books from my four books: To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What? and Reconstructing Charlie AND a gift basket as a grand prize with everything plus two anthologies with my short stories included.

Deanna:  Readers, Charmaine will be around for comments and questions. If you’ve not read any of her books, be sure to read them. They all tell a story of strong females who help others. Thank you all for stopping in!
     Here are a few of Charmaine's links:

Publisher Site:  Vanilla Heart Books

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Character Interview - Kate from Never Surrender

      Kate Bradach is my green-eyed heroine from my novel Never Surrender. She is a vibrant, strong woman who knows what she wants in life. Kate is pulled back in time and is forced to realize that her soul mate through time is someone she was destined to meet! Read on to find out more about this feisty woman!

Deanna:  Kate, I’m excited to introduce you to my readers! Thanks for being here! Can you tell us a bit about what it was like landing back in time in the middle of an Indian raid?           

Kate:  Thanks for having me here, Deanna!  One reads about time travel but to actually have it happen to you…is kind of strange. You know things are different but maybe it’s just a dream! Then too many things happen that ARE real and you start to wonder. After a bit, you realize it’s not a dream because you would have awakened after time goes by. So, yes, it was really weird. HOW it happened, I still have no idea but…you must know…it CAN happen to anyone if you’re near a portal!

Deanna:  When you were in the general store and Brandon spoke, how did that ‘feeling’ hit you?

Kate:  OMG! That was so strange. His voice drew my immediate attention, though I’d never heard a voice in my dreams, and it was like we both stood inside my dream. Somehow I knew the dream involved him, I just didn’t know how and I HAD to find out! Brandon is a sweetheart but then he also has blue eyes! *wink* And that long dark hair is meant for a woman’s fingers….mmm.

Deanna:  You and Taima really didn’t get along in the beginning but the language barrier was there. Did that truly make the relationship harder?

Kate:  Taima is a very stubborn individual with set beliefs of how women should be and I refused to be categorized that way. Though you may be unable to communicate with words, eyes have a language all their own and when I allowed my heart to hear his words……what can I say?

Deanna:  So YOU are stubborn to a point?

Kate: LOL - I wouldn’t say I was but he does, even now he tells me all the time how hard I can be to get along with. Imagine! I just don’t like being ordered around!

Deanna:  How did you find life among his tribe? It had to be hard to fit in.

Kate:  The women of that time period followed orders men gave them. That’s just how it was. I hated it, having to be bossed around and told what to do but life was easier for me when I just obeyed. Sorry, that goes against my grain! Ahanu understood me! But it wasn’t Ahanu I was becoming attracted to. *wink* My heart held out longer that I could have imagined but that happens when walls have been built so high. Taima and I both had built up walls around our hearts because we’d been hurt when we lost the love of our life. Neither of us planned for what happened between us, it just happened. I’m still not sure how he tore down my wall but he did.

Deanna:  Can you tell us what it was that attracted you to Taima?

Kate:  First, I’m a sucker for blue eyes and to see an Indian warrior with blue eyes…OMG…just one look from him could melt my heart and weaken my knees. Granted, in the beginning, his look nearly struck me down where I stood but I refused to be brow beaten. Maybe that’s what piqued his interest; I’m not quite sure. Personally, I know what I want in life and WILL strive until it’s mine!

Deanna:  There are a few times that your life was in real danger. Can you tell us about them?

Kate:  The incident that sticks out most in my mind is when Aiyana held her knife at my throat and I felt the tip prick my skin! I hadn’t gotten to know her well nor that she had many secrets, but she definitely knew what she was doing at the time and she knew the desired results would happen! They did! I won’t go into detail here; it would ruin the story, but I think that was the first break through for all of us.

Deanna:  Tell us about your thoughts on men. What makes a man attractive to you?

Kate:  Being attractive doesn’t always mean physically attractive. The way a man looks at me can tell me a whole lot about him. I’m pretty good at reading eyes…they’re the windows to the soul, you know. I have the ability to see further into a person’s inner beauty when I look them directly in the eyes. If I can hold that look for a minute or more, I learn whether they’re shy or more extroverted. If they look away before I do, it makes me want to talk with them. Just me!
     Sorry, got off on a tangent there, but eyes are my main attraction! Charisma and magnetism are something not all men have but those who do seem to know how to use it to sweep a woman off her feet. I love broad shoulders and a well chiseled jaw line! *squirming in her chair, taking a deep breath* Now if he knows how to hold me when that first kiss happens…mmmm….Taima shocked me the first time because I was so caught off guard when our first kiss happened! Perhaps it’s true that anger provokes lust! *wicked laugh*

Deanna: I loved the sexual tension between the two of you. It’s such a page turner.

Kate:  Taima could search me out across the village, no matter where I was among his people. Even if I wasn’t looking at him, I could feel his eyes touch my soul and it made me turn around. When our eyes connected, I could tell what type of mood he was in and if he was only making sure that I worked and not goofing off. He’s a firm leader and expects his people to work as hard as he does. His authority was never questioned by his people, only by me! *laughing* He quickly learned that I hated taking orders from anyone!

Deanna:  Can you put your finger on what it was about Taima that softened your heart?

Kate:  Oh geesh, that’s a tough one. He is so multi-faceted as a person.  I guess he is everything I looked for in a man, once I realized I was actually looking! When his fingers curl beneath my chin to bring my face up so he can look into my eyes when he talks to me….mmmm…..kinda curls my toes! Looking into his eyes makes me forget what I’m mad about, or what I planned to say next…and then he’ll lean in for a kiss and….wow….he pulls me close, takes me in his arms and my knees cave in!

Deanna:  *laughing* Maybe that’s a good stopping point for us; it’s getting a bit warm in here! Readers, I hope learning a bit more about Kate has your curiosity piqued enough that you want Never Surrender on your own bookshelf or Kindle. I’ve been allowed to lower the price of both my books and they are now available for only $2.99 if you can believe that!

How about an excerpt from Never Surrender?

       Kate’s faint moans radiated a passionate message to every muscle in Taima’s taut body. Just knowing his gentle caress or tender kiss could cause such a reaction within her made his heart swell with a feeling he thought had died years ago. Yet those feelings made themselves known as he moved to lay atop Kate, careful to brace most of his weight on his elbows. He molded her soft curves to the contours of his body.
        He kissed the slender column of her neck. Her racing heartbeat fluttered beneath his lips. Desire welled within him, refusing to ebb, and his mouth claimed hers in a passionate kiss. Her eagerness reached his soul.
        Kate intertwined her fingers with his, and Taima stretched their arms over her head. Their breathing came in short, ragged puffs as he slipped his knee between hers. He half expected an objection, but none came, only a demanding response as Kate squeezed his fingers, arching her body against him. Her tongue enticingly slipped past his lips.
        Taima let go of one of her hands to caress a full breast, a slim waist, and the warmer curves of her body. She arched against the palm of his hand as he continued the caresses until she writhed beneath him.
       He broke from the kiss. “You’re sure this is what you want? I’ll not have you accusing me of anything once it’s finished.”
       She cupped his face in her small hands, her breathing warm against his cheek. “Know this is what I want, or I wouldn’t still be here.”
      Unable to hold back a moment longer, Taima entered her. When her moist lips and tongue touched his, he kissed her, thrusting deeply at the same time. Blood surged through his veins, heating his flesh even more as Kate’s hands caressed his chest, then moved down his sides to his hips, where she pulled him tightly against her.
      Withdrawing from the kiss, Taima cradled her head in the palms of his hands to bury his face in her silky, sage-scented hair. Excitement shot through his body like a wavering arrow, begging for a release that had been too long restrained. He wanted to wait for the right moment, but her quivering inner muscles tightened around him as she kept pace with his every move.
      The heat of her body made it impossible for him to hold back any longer. He thrust deep and she accepted him. Together, they found the tempo that bound their bodies as one. Then his world exploded like the rush of white-water over rocky rapids. Torrential waves of ecstasy pulsed through him until he lay spent, reveling in the aftermath of what he hadn’t felt in years for any woman. Drawing in a slow, even breath, he waited for his racing heart to slow.
      Slight tremors shivered through Kate as he held her tightly. He felt as though he never wanted to be separated from the warmth of her body. Crushing her to him, he pressed his mouth to hers. She responded passionately, nearly making his heart burst.
      Taima brushed her hair away from her face, and rose onto his elbows. He had finally made love without thoughts of Witashnah, nor feelings of guilt. Though he may have fulfilled a physical need for Kate, he had allowed her to tear apart his soul, to make him aware of feelings for her he hadn’t wanted to admit yet.
      Kate rose up to touch her lips to his. A soft, tender caress. “I’ll not have you accuse me of anything now that we’re finished,” she teased.
      “You don’t regret what we’ve just done?”
      “How could I regret something so beautiful?”

Happy reading and thank you so much for stopping in to meet Kate! The rings do have a significance to the story!