Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meet Danielle Ravencraft -

 Welcome to the Party!!

Meet Danielle Ravencraft
Erotic Romance Author

     Thank you for stopping in at the House of Blues to join our release party for erotic author Danielle Ravencraft! This is her debut book, with more on the way! I hope you grabbed your party hat at the door - the bar is over there then come join us down front and center over there! Hurry! Today is party day - we only have Danielle here for one day so we have to make it great! Let me tell you a bit about her before we jump into her interview.
    Danielle Ravencraft graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, her writing is influenced by the multi-cultural urban society of her youth which she continues to visit each summer.
Deanna:  Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Danielle:  Something the readers don’t know? Hmm. Well I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’m half Hispanic yet. I am, on my mother’s side, but you’d never guess from looking at me. Most people think I’m white or even Irish. I have a lot of freckles and often color my hair red (though my hair has been every color of the rainbow). I love my heritage. And I really love Mexican food, haha.
Deanna:  What do you do to relax?

Danielle:  I read. Reading has always been a mode of escape for me and I like it more than watching T.V. I also enjoy music, sunbathing by the lake, boating, and walking or training my dogs.
Deanna:  As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?

Danielle:  Oh gosh, probably more than I can count. I have enough ideas on the back-burner to last me ten years. It’s a real party in my head with all those fictional characters.
Deanna:  What type of hero do you like best?

Danielle:  I love men who are a little dark and mysterious but that also take charge and protect their lover.

Deanna:  How many plots do you include in one of your books?

Danielle:  Usually one, though if it’s a long novel, I’ll have several subplots going. “A Trace of Love” is a short story and pretty much only has one plot arch.

Deanna:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Danielle:  Ah, I don’t have much of a life to speak of. LOL. I pretty much lock myself in my writing cave all day and work. I check email, update my social networks, promote, blog, write (which can really be anything from plotting to actual writing to editing).

Deanna:  Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Danielle:  So far they all take place on modern-day Earth and center around every-day issues that are threatening to the heroine. Disease, trouble baring a child, old love gone stale, etc. Even if there is magic or paranormal elements, I like writing about every-day struggles because we can all relate to them.

Deanna:  Tell us a bit about your release, where the idea came from, how long it took to write.

Danielle:  My debut short story, A Trace of Love, is an Erotic Romance about a young woman with a secret. She bumps into her old high school crush and decides to have a one-night-stand with him. The problem is they end up falling for each other. She knows she has to break it off before he finds out about her secret.
      A Trace of Love is the first part of the three-part mini-series. The idea for the story came from a dream I had. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and the more I thought, the more the idea grew. It took me about a month to write, edit, and submit it. My publisher wrote me back asking if I could change the ending a bit and I did. So, in all, it took a couple months.

Deanna:  Give me three words that best describe your book.

Danielle:  Romantic, Emotional, and Fun.

Deanna:  If you had a chance to go back in time which era would you pick as the perfect time to begin your writing career and why?

Danielle:  Oh, I wouldn’t go back very far, maybe just a few years back so I can let myself know that I do, indeed, get published, and that I should start sooner! I can’t imagine going back to a different decade and having to write or edit before wide-spread use of the computer or the internet. I admire those who did! If anything, I would rather go into the future just so I can use faster, more efficient technology that, hopefully, doesn’t break down as much!

Deanna:  How would you describe your editing process while writing and also during the process with your editors?

Danielle:  Self-editing is a necessary evil. It’s right up there with getting your teeth drilled, lol. On the other hand, I absolutely love working with my editors! I’ll take editing with the editors over self-editing any day of the week.

Deanna:  Tell our readers how your book differs from others in the same genre.

Danielle:  I write stories that I like to read. I wouldn’t publish anything I didn’t feel passionate about. That being said, my books don’t always have a happily-ever-after ending. I like twists and cliffhangers. I love that “oh-my-god!” feeling you get when you’re so engrossed with a book and then get to the cliff-hanger end. It’s frustrating when you have to wait a year to buy the sequel, but you can bet that I’ll be the first in line for it.
      But more importantly, I like my books to be a little more realistic than most. The reason I’m not a huge fan of happily-ever-after endings is that it seems to me that some authors can’t pull it off without sounding like everything was a huge coincidence. I make my characters fight tooth and nail for their H.E.A.

Deanna:  What advice would you give new writers?

Danielle:  First, learn as a much as you can about writing and the industry. If your grammar is bad, take a class. If there is an area of writing you’re unfamiliar with, find a workshop for it. Know your genre inside and out, read as many books as you can that are similar to what you write. And keep on learning! Trends change, the market changes, and the industry changes. So you are never done learning.
     Second, write! Every day, every spare hour you get. Just sit down and type! Writing is a skill that gets better with practice, so keep writing.

Deanna:  Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?

Danielle:  Yes, I will giveaway one PDF copy of “A Trace of Love” to a lucky commenter. Please include Name and Email address in the comment. 
     Thank you so much for having me, Deanna. Also, readers, you can find me at the following websites:

Deanna: Readers, thank you for taking the time to read about Danielle and her new release. Don't forget to leave a comment with your email addy so Danielle can contact the winner! Good luck everyone!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ten days left....

Love to Win??

      That's ten days left to get into my August contest! Are you in yet? There are two ways to enter: Hop over to my website contest page and click the 'Email Me' button or send an email to deanna.jewel at yahoo.com with CONTEST in the subject line. One entry per person per month. Please note that my contest is monthly so be sure to get in your monthly entry.

      There are also other links to more contest websites out there so you can win numerous gift cards and books if you enter all the contests! Some sites have blog hops to enter even more contests. There is another blog hop in mid-September - BittenByParanormalRomance - click the link and find out more.

MORE NEWS:  I've just gotten in my new extra rich hand/body lotions! They come in three different scents: Spa, Lemon, and CK-1 and are in 2-oz bottles. For those who'd like to order them, they are $3/each and because I'll be shipping priority mail for $5.35, with every order...I will send my goodie bag of author book marks! So...the total package is $8.35 to help me cover postage and $3/each should you want additional bottles or scents. To order:  send your PAYPAL payment to butterfly55_55 at yahoo.com and in the shipper comments, let me know what scents you'd like! I'm excited to be able to offer these to those who love lotions!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winner:  Amber M

Congratulations, Amber!!

      Welcome to my interview with Lisa Carroll, who has invited us INSIDE the world of Lor Mandela! Wow! We have a treat up ahead for you so let’s get started. Lisa is particularly fond of a place called the "Anaria". It’s a special hideaway for the Ator (queen) of Lor Mandela.
      The Anaria is a huge, angular tree with big, rustling bluish- black leaves, which grows alone in the middle of a vast, grassy meadow outside Mandela Palace. The hidden cave entrance in the tree's massive trunk can only be opened and/or sealed by the Ator herself and she has graciously let us in this week.
     Inside, a dark tunnel twists and turns further and further into the heart of the tree, until after a particularly sharp curve, it opens into a spacious, elegant hall. Lush chairs and settees upholstered in rich tones of green, gold, coral and purple furnish the exquisite space. Beautiful dark wood book cases stand straight and solid along the back wall, despite the weight of hundreds of thick leather-bound books bearing down on their shelves. The remaining walls are covered in long, thick, globs of amber sap. At least twenty feet above the center of the floor, a magnificent chandelier, which seems constructed of hundreds of glistening icicles, illuminates the sap drips, giving the walls the appearance of bubbled glass, and the whole room a warm, tawny glow.

L. Carroll: Thank you so much, Deanna, for taking the time out to interview me. I am truly honored!

Deanna:  *looking around at the beautiful surroundings* Thank you for bringing us into the lavish hall! Readers, look around a bit, then make yourself comfortable and let’s begin our chat. Lisa, tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

L. Carroll: Well, I've been married to my best bud for almost 22 years, and we have five pretty cool kids.
      I write fantasy because if I pretend to travel to magical worlds, make up wild tales, and carry on conversations with the voices in my head, it's considered mental illness. BUT, if I pretend to travel to magical worlds, make up wild tales, carry on conversations with the voices in my head, AND write it all down, it's a perfectly normal "novelist" thing to do.
      I am the author of the YA fantasy series "Lor Mandela". Book #1, "Destruction from Twins" released in February 2010, and the second book, "Four Hundred Days" made its debut last month.

Deanna:  I love the covers of both books! They’re great! What do you do to relax?

L. Carroll: Lots of stuff! I'm a huge fan of relaxing! I love to read (of course).  Prior to becoming an author, the bulk in my career was spent in retail home d├ęcor and landscape design. Decorating and designing landscapes are still activities that I thoroughly enjoy. I also like to chill with my family. We're all crazy enough that when we're together, we're usually laughing like a bunch of maniacs.

Deanna:  Being out in my yard is one way I relax, too. It helps the muse! As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?

L. Carroll:  Oh, Heavens! I've lost count! Sometimes I don't even know who I am from one minute to the next…especially when I'm writing!

Deanna: What type of hero do you like best?

L. Carroll: I really enjoy the normal, average, everyday person who somehow realizes that they possess some great skill or power. I get a little giddy when, figuratively speaking, the butterfly emerges from its cocoon.

Deanna:  How many plots do you include in one of your books?

L. Carroll: What a fantastic question! My first book, "Destruction from Twins" has two very distinctive main plots that -- about two-thirds of the way into the book -- start twisting together until they become one. Beyond that, in both of the Lor Mandela books, there are several sub-plots spinning around. Sometimes I curse myself for having so much going on at one time, (especially when I have to get those plots to line up and play nicely together), but I think it makes for a more entertaining read in the end.

Deanna:  Readers love to peek in and see what we do everyday. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

L. Carroll: Hmm…I actually discovered long ago that, for some reason, there's no such thing as a typical day in my world! I am an impossible night owl, so if I'm up by nine in the morning, it's too early! I may or may not eat breakfast…depends on how anxious I am to get to writing. I may or may not change out of my pajamas…depends on how anxious I am to get to writing. I usually spend the next few hours checking & responding to my emails, checking my social networking accounts, blogging, etc…trying to increase the number of people who've at least heard of Lor Mandela or L. Carroll. Then it's time to write. (Or eat, if I anxiously missed breakfast). This is when I slip into--if not psychotic--at least really weird mode. I shut myself up in my office and read the last chapter I wrote before jumping up and acting out the next scene, (badly). I can't sit there and just try to "visualize" it. I'm too easily distracted. I have to act it out so that I can make sure it flows properly, and so I don't start thinking about stuff like bills, fashion trends, the dog's dental hygiene…  See, distracted!  I typically write until most people are going to bed, eat a little dinner, and then read until I crash--sometime in the wee hours. Occasionally, I'll work in bathing, grooming and saying a quick "Hi!" to my family.

Deanna:  I’ve not heard of actually getting up to act out a scene, but that’s pretty interesting! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

L. Carroll: Well, since the books that I've completed so far are part of a trilogy, yes, I'd have to say they have a common theme. However, without giving too much away, I can tell you that the protagonist faces a challenge in "Four Hundred Days" that is EXACTLY the opposite challenge that she faced in "Destruction from Twins."

Deanna:  What was your favorite chapter to write and why?

L. Carroll: I'd have to say that my personal fave is Chapter 12 in FOUR HUNDRED DAYS "Teedee Venilworth". This chapter introduces a new character, (always fun), who holds a very special place in my heart.
     When I was growing up, I had a great-aunt that everyone called Aunt Tee Tee. She was one of the dearest people in the world to me. I would spend weeks at her house--even though we lived only 30 minutes apart--and she always made me feel like a princess. While she was never NEARLY as eccentric as the crazy little old lady, (Teedee), in my book, her house was decorated almost entirely in pink and red, she collected dolls, and would (along with my grandma) throw amazing dinner parties, with fine china, polished silver and place cards. She passed away when I was fourteen, but she's never left me. She was my inspiration for Teedee Venilworth. In this chapter, Aunt Teetee lives on.

Deanna:  Do you have any future projects in the works?

L. Carroll:  Right now, I'm busting my way through the third and final book of the Lor Mandela Series. After that is finished, my next project will be …ready…a paranormal romance thriller called "The Sleeper's Secret". I'm not sure whether it's going to be two books or just one, but I'm pretty excited about the possibilities! I also have an idea for another fantasy novel which I plan to tackle after that.

Deanna:  Those ideas should keep you busy for a while. Who is your favorite character to write about and why?

L. Carroll: I know I should be a good "mom" and not pick favorites, but I'd have to say that I have the most fun with a character called Lortu of the Shadows. He's creepy, mysterious, and can disappear and reappear in shadow. Plus, he has traits that make him more animalistic than human; he rules a massive clan of nearly lawless Shadow Dwellers; and you never quite know whether he's the good guy, or the bad guy. Sometimes I even wonder myself!

Deanna:  Lisa, thank you so much for letting us into your world of Lor Mandela! What a great fantasy world to become lost in! Readers, Lisa will be around all week. Feel free to leave a question or two for her or just a comment. Also please include your email addy IN the comment so we can easily notify the winner on Saturday morning and tell us where you’d like the gift card from - Amazon or B& N!

CONTEST:  One lucky commenter will be drawn to receive a signed copy of Destruction From Twins and a $15 gift card.

Let's show Lisa some love!! Hop over to her website
roam around and see everything she has there. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Author Interview - L. Carroll - Young Adult

Winner:  Amber M

Congratulations, Amber!!

     Thank you for stopping in today for a special interview treat. I have the pleasure of introducing all of you to Lisa Carroll, the self-published author of a wonderful young adult series that will take fantasy lovers on quite an adventure. Not only do the books sound exciting, the colorful covers will pull you in! Today you get to view the covers, check out the reviews and grab YOUR copy of book one in the series. Be sure to return tomorrow to learn about this creative writer!

      Through the selfish acts of a twin enchantress, the world of Lor Mandela is sentenced to its untimely death. Only one can save it--the appointed Child of Balance, Audril Borloc. All hope seems lost, however, when shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears without a trace. Audril Borloc must be found! When a group of Lor Mandelan spies travel to Earth in search of the little girl with black hair and bright blue eyes--traits that on Lor Mandela are exclusive to the ruling Borloc family--they instead find sixteen-year-old Maggie Baker. While the age difference between the girls is obvious, Maggie has the Borloc traits--evidence enough for the desperate spies. Suddenly, Maggie's mundane existence is transformed into a thrill ride of twists and turns as she begins bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the strange and diverse lands of Lor Mandela. Amid battling a ferocious two-headed beast, being abducted by a lawless clan of Shadow Dwellers and falling head over heels for the son of an evil warlord, Maggie soon discovers that her blase reality could be the REAL fantasy, and that the fate of Lor Mandela may depend entirely on her.

 * * * * *

        As a special promotion to help celebrate the release of Book #2 in the Lor Mandela Series, "Four Hundred Days", Lisa Carroll is offering the first book "Destruction from Twins" for FREE!!! (ebook on Smashwords)

      To claim your free ebook, go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/55880 and enter coupon code NK49M at checkout! But hurry!!! 
This offer absolutely ends Aug. 31, 2011!

* * * * *

      Although the day was hot and humid in central Iowa, the billowing charcoal clouds that tumbled in from the southwest brought with them a ferocious and chilling wind. Sharp daggers of flashing silver, originating from every corner of the sky, sliced through the swollen canopy, and were followed by rolling booms which boisterously announced the arrival of the massive summer storm. In the distance, the haunting wail of tornado sirens stirred anxiousness in the mind of one unfamiliar with the weather and routines of the Midwestern United States. Mikil Tu Shadow crouched among the black skeletons of burnt plants, the tangled piles of splintered homes, and the acres of dusty gray ash in Glenhill, alert...on edge...and waiting.

      Learn more about Lisa Carroll and her continuing series by visiting her website and blog. Don't forget to return tomorrow for the interview I had with her! Get your questions ready because she will be here with us all week long! Thank you for stopping in - please let your friends know about this wonderful fantasy adventure series and send them over! Share buttons are listed below. Now head for Smashwords to grab your copy of book one!

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Welcome to Blog Jog Day!!

Welcome to Blog Jog Day!

Winner is:  Christopher H!!
Congratulations, Chris!

     Please enjoy my site then click over to http://www.outskirtspress.com/womenforallseasons to see what the next Blog has to offer! Lost in the links? You can always go back to the main Blog Jog Day Blog at http://blogjogday.blogspot.com and find a new link to jog from. Thank you for stopping by my site!

 $30 Gift Card - Winner's Choice!
(Amazon, B & N, All Romance/OmniLit - book bucks, Bath & Body Works!)

Prize is International! 

CONTEST:  Leave a comment with your email so I can contact the winner (ex: Deanna.jewel at yahoo.com) AND follow my blog. That's all I ask to get you into the contest. I will pull a winner on Monday morning and email the winner, by way of your posted addy, and will post the winner's name here. Good luck on entering all contests today, have fun, and thank you so much for stopping by mine!  Now go follow, then leave a comment!

 Have fun!!