Monday, September 26, 2011

Teric Darken - Suspense Author

 For those looking for the Blog Hop,
Please scroll down one post, after you've read
the interview with Teric Darken, Suspense Author!

     As many of you know, I’m married to a retired captain of our local corporate fire department so it’s an honor for me to introduce you to my guest author this week! Teric Darken is a lieutenant and firefighter,  as well as a prolific author who’s writing has been compared to C.S. Lewis meets Stephen King!

     Grab your favorite beverage, bundle up warm and collect a flashlight from one of our guides at the top of the steps as we venture deep into the labyrinth. Let’s stay together and on the path as we’re led deeper inside where our guest is waiting for us. Watch out for the bats! Grab a seat when you get there and let’s get started!

Deanna:  Teric, thank you for being with us this week and sharing your tales here in such a cold dark place. *my eyes peer into the darkness, on guard for more bats, pulling up the collar of my jacket* Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Teric:  Thank you all for joining me here and being brave enough to venture in. As Deanna said, let’s get started. I’ve often been asked, “Is Teric Darken your real name?”  My response: “Would you believe that Teric Darken is my real pseudonym?” I initially chose a pseudonym to maintain a certain degree of privacy.  I’m a bit of a private person society-wise.  My pseudonym stems from two words: Teric from “esoteric,” meaning “designed or understood for the initiated alone,” and the last name from the word “darken,” meaning “to become obscured.”  The intent was that only those closest to me would know who Teric Darken really was.
     I am a firefighter by profession, and I was trying to avoid a good ribbing around the firehouse for being known as “the firefighter who wrote books.”  I wasn’t sure how macho that would be around the station- thus another reason for the pseudonym.  The funny thing is: in my very first interview for a local magazine, the interviewer encouraged me to disclose my given name.  “Why?” I asked.  “Because people already know you around here, and it would probably generate more publicity for your endeavors locally.”  I gave in, so my given name has never really been a big secret from day one. 
Deanna:  Readers, HERE is a video that will tell you a bit more about his books, but come back and rejoin us! Teric, what do you do to relax?
Teric:  I ride my Harley, lift weights, and jog.  I also listen to music and, naturally, write and read books!
Deanna:  Do you have to split your writing time between a day job?
Teric:  *poking the small fire with a stick as he stirs the embers* Yes.  As previously mentioned, I am a firefighter by profession.  Thankfully my job allows me a generous amount of free time when I’m not on the clock.
Deanna:  As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?
Teric:  Well Teric Darken is my main character that I slip into- he’s the author, not me.  Teric is like a role or a mode that I slip into.  I often write about dark things: the supernatural… a societal or moral wrong… the people in life who choose to travel down an unsavory or evil path… Though I never script those issues and characters to be gratuitous or to glorify them- in fact, my purpose is quite the opposite- the fact remains that the material is still dark.  So Teric Darken is allowed to address those issues via fictive form, and at the end of the day, he gets to retire for the night.  That’s when I step back into domestic mode and carry on with life.
     As far as other personalities: Teric becomes each and every individual he scripts.  He gets into character.  He not only writes about those characters, but he feels their emotions and acts upon the images he sees the characters going through in his mind.  Teric writes down all that he sees before his imaginative eyes.  In my opinion, I believe that’s a mark of good authorship: getting into character.  One might say that writing is a lot like acting.

Deanna: Being able to slip into character makes it easier to write them, for sure. What type of hero do you like best?
Teric:  One that has been through the ringer a bit.  One who is good but who still struggles within his/her humanity.  We’re all trapped in a mortal coil at the present.  The issues of struggles, trials, temptations, what have you… keeps it all realistic in my opinion.  There’s only one perfect person who ever walked the face of this earth, and even he met up with struggles, trials, and temptations.
Deanna:  I don’t think a book can have too many plots. As a reader, I like and am able to follow several in the books I read. How many plots do you include in one of your books?
Teric:  As many as it takes!
Deanna:  *rubbing my hands together, hoping to ward off the damp chill* Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer because all of go about it differently.
Teric:  *carefully laying another piece of wood onto the fire* The typical is typically atypical- a bit like nothing is the same except change.  Case in point: with KILL FM 100, my first novella- which by the way is being re-released through TreasureLine Publishing in the form of a full-length novel- the premise came first:  Every chapter, save the new prologue, begins with a song title as the book takes place inside a radio station.  The reason for the song titles beginning the chapters is because, well… let’s just say that one can discover a few subliminal sentences in the book if they know the right trick!  Certain words spell out those hidden sentences with a meaning that coincides with the book.  I started out beginning each chapter with the song titles I selected then built the whole story around those titles.
     With my second dark thriller, U-TURN KiLLuR, I had a specific plot in mind and scripted the novel to build up to the point I was trying to make with the book: the underlying meaning of the whole story.
     Wickflicker is my latest supernatural thriller, and I simply sat down in front of the computer and typed freestyle, meaning I didn’t have a specific goal or point in mind.  I began typing simply with images that came to my head, thus the very descriptive beginning that lent itself to the autumn season.  That season gave birth to an event, which was an end-of-semester college bash.  Two wayward souls were born out of that, giving way to the antagonist: one very diabolical Nicklaus Scratch.  And then the struggle ensued: the wayward sons against Ol’ Scratch in a race against time down a dead end road.
    I currently have around twenty story treatments in my arsenal.  Periodically an idea will pop into my head, and I have to get it down or else simply thinking about it will drive me crazy. HERE is the book trailer for Wickflicker.
Deanna:  I can’t wait to read Wickflicker! It sounds spooky yet deep and interesting. Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Teric:  They are different in theme but contain common threads.  Warning: theme spoilers!
     The theme of KILL FM 100 proposes that though we all come from many different walks of life- perhaps different sides of the track- every human is in need of one common necessity: Genuine Love.
     U-TURN KiLLuR shows, in a most grave manner, what we are doing to our loved ones when we fail to spend quality time with them.  As Author C.S. Lewis once wrote (and I’m paraphrasing), “All we have is now.”
     The theme of Wickflicker… perhaps there are many… among a few of them: the grass isn’t greener on the other side; you reap what you sow; and you dance with the one who brought you. 
     As for the common threads: one will find certain characters popping up from my other books in each of them, although the books stand alone just fine, allowing the reader to pick up any book and begin where they may.  All of the books make perfect sense on their own standing.
Deanna:  I like that you include previous characters so the reader gets to know them. I think one would enjoy knowing a past character will show up in the stories. Tell us about your latest book and the type of reader it may appeal to.
Teric:  My latest book released is Wickflicker.  It is a dark thriller, perhaps horror.  Now when I say horror, I don’t mean “slasher.”  I mean horror as in walking hand-in-hand with an angel of light, only to discover that he’s the Devil.  I think the book overview sums it up best:
     They were two college freshmen, simply searching for that higher high along life’s journey.  They found it in the devil’s den.
     Best friends since childhood, college freshmen Gat O’Malley and Caleb Jackson stumble into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:  Finding themselves the life of the party at semester’s end, it’s up to them to keep the crowd pumped, the ladies intrigued, and the liquor freely flowing.
     To keep spirits flying high, Gat and Cay venture into their friend’s cellar to retrieve a fresh keg.  They soon hit rock bottom when failing to locate any source of light, becoming lost in the endless labyrinth below.  Lurking about the shadows, they encounter their friend’s eccentric Uncle and begin to realize they’re getting more than they bargained for. 
      By showing them the mystic ways of an ancient, arcane society- the Olde Order- Nicklaus Scratch entices the freshmen with all the power, prestige, and prominence they would dare to dream up at the onslaught of the new age.  The world is theirs for the taking.  All can be possessed through the Olde Order- the way of the Wickflicker.
       Money.  Sex.  Power.
      Each awaits in exchange for something never even seen...
      Would you gain the whole world in exchange for your soul?
     As far as appeal: I think anyone who enjoys a rich, dark, supernatural thriller with a moral compass will appreciate it.  I am fortunate in that Eric Wilson (Fireproof, Haunt of Jackals, Valley of Bones, Field of Blood) recently messaged me with plenty of positive things to say about it.  Fans of Ted Dekker, Robert Liparulo, and Frank Peretti should enjoy it.  Author Ellen Maze told me after reading the initial script: “It reads like C.S. Lewis meets Stephen King!”  I am very fortunate to have merited that statement, and I don’t believe that I can add to that.
My future endeavors: 
    As I alluded to earlier: KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition) is in the process of being (re)released through TreasureLine Publishing.  When I initially scripted the book, I thought I had written an epic saga!  Keep in mind: I used to be a rock musician who was used to creating lyrics on a single sheet of paper.  So when I finished scripting KILL FM (the original version), I thought I had scripted a monster.  When the proof copy came back to me, it wound up being a ninety page novella.  I was floored, a little embarrassed, and I gained a whole new respect for authors who turn out book after four hundred page book!  I must also say that the original version of KILL FM 100 was self-published as was my second thriller, U-TURN KiLLuR. 
    I have been very fortunate though with KILL FM 100: it has been reviewed favorably by many, even earning a top three finalist position in the 2010 Grace Awards for favorite thriller.  So what’s new with the upcoming Night Shift Edition through TreasureLine Publishing?  How about a complete novel!  I’ve added five additional thrill-packed chapters to the book, giving a bit more insight into the characters and why they’re in the fix they’re in.  The dialogue and unrestrained action sequences have also been fleshed out.  The core of the original is there, but it reads like a brand new full-throttle, high octane thriller!  There’s a lot more to love!  Linda Boulanger has designed a killer thriller cover for the novel, and I couldn’t be more excited!
     U-TURN KiLLuR has also been revamped, and plans are in the works for a future re-release.  It was a more fully developed novel at the onset, and I’d honed my craft a bit since releasing my first novella.  I’ve added an additional chapter to the book and have scrubbed up a few scripting errors found in the initial version.  When the time comes, it will be re-released as U-TURN KiLLuR (Death Row Edition).  Fans of dark thrillers and horror will eat it up!
     And finally, I’ve completed a children’s book which will be released under my given name.  The title: The Sisterly Shenanigans of Doopie Piper and Sissy Pants (and Other Zany Yarns).  The book contains stories that children from ages 5 to 55 will love!  Each chapter is based upon true-to-life personal experiences I’ve had when I was younger.  I retell the tales through the characters, Doopie and Sissy Pants, in honor of my daughters. 
      Those are my stories, and I’m sticking to them!
     Thank you for your time, Deanna!  I genuinely appreciate your giving me the time of day!
     As iron sharpens iron…
Deanna: *warming my hands at the fire* Teric, thank you so much for sharing with us! Readers, if you have comments or questions, Teric will be around to answer them. He’ll also be picking a winner on Saturday, Oct 1 and that commenter will win a PDF of Wickflicker!! Please show Teric some love and visit his website where you can find his buy links! Thank you all for stopping in. Please be careful on your way out and follow our guides who will take your flashlights once you are back outside. Watch your step!

Monday, September 19, 2011

 Presented by
Enchanted Muse Blog Hop Tours
Autumn Hop - Fall Between The Pages

And the winners are:

1st - ThrouTheHaze
2nd - Lori Z
3rd - TinaBuriedUnderBooks

Congratulations to all!

Sept 19 - 26th

      I hope you have a great time during the hop. Book mark sites you want to return to, then head out to enter on all the other hops so you get your contest entries in on all the blogs! Good luck everyone!

First Place - $20 Gift Card!
(Amazon, B & N, All Romance book bucks)
Second Place - Bath Gel & Body Lotion Package
(I'll contact winner for snail mail addy)
Third Place - Digital copies of my books

MY Contest Rules - 4 things to do:

  1. Leave a comment 
  2. Include your email addy (deanna.jewel at yahoo dot com)
  3. FOLLOW my blog in Google or Networked
  4. Tell me where you want your GC to
  5. You're done!
      Nothing too difficult, nor a bunch of hoops to jump through. (I don't like it when I have to visit other sites to enter ONE contest either!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Busy Fall Already!

     Okay, I'm going to stop my merry-go-round for a bit and chat with all of you. Things have been hectic lately and I just need to stop and smell the flowers before they're gone. My summer went by too fast, as I'm sure yours did. My daughters and their families came out to Idaho for a visit from back east and we had a wonderful time. They didn't visit at the same time, which is a good thing!

     The first week of July my youngest came out with her hubby and daughter who will be a year old in November. My oldest daughter came out the second week in July, with her hubby and daughter who will be three in November, and the weather was still a tolerable 85 - 90 degrees. Now back in Michigan, the humidity is about 80 - 90% in the summer and one can hardly breathe! I much prefer our nearly single digit humidity here in Northern Idaho.

     We took the girls to the Lochsa Mountains and spent the night in a cabin and ate on the sunny deck of the lodgepole restaurant. They loved the drive along the Clearwater River and the drive up through Lolo. We also took a drive to the top of Elk point where we were greeted by several patches of snow still two feet deep! In July!

     Hubby also took son-in-law #2 on a fishing trip and they were both lucky enough to snag a sturgeon! Both got sunburned bad but had a wonderful time!

     Another trip took us on a tour down the Snake River to Hell's Canyon where my oldest and her family got to see the wild life along the river. It was good to see them again but now I already miss the immensely. I'm lucky to be able to talk with them on the phone every week and Skype online with the grandbabies so they don't forget us!

     I hope your summer was filled with lots of family fun, packed with memories you can hold in your hearts. With fall quickly approaching, I've been updating websites and blogs. Please click on the links to visit and roam around to see the changes. I'll be adding more authors to my friends list so you can add a few new authors to your shelves. I've tried to include a few blog hops and contest links for those of you who enjoy being on line, reading and wining free books and gift cards.

      Thank you all for coming back consistently to see what might be new here or keeping tabs on my calendar for new author interviews. I had to slow down on those so that I could get some writing done on Whispers at Ghost Point. I have to share something funny that happened the other day. Now, I don't normally write spooky stuff but there is a ghost in the next book! He was causing a few problems and I had to write them out since he insisted on making a scene at that point in the book. My lawn guy had just cut the grass and I'd thought he left so I continued writing, my ghost continued being insistent and then.....a dark shadow walked past my office window at the same time! My heart leapt into my throat and I thought it would beat right outta my chest.

     Now how silly is that? Is that a good sign...meaning that it will be a good part in the book? If it scared me, it will probably scare you! LOL...I still laugh at myself about that! I've let too many things get in the way of my writing but I'm going to buckle down these next few months and get it written. My characters are heckling me to write their story so that will help.

     How about you? Do you have any questions or comments or stories you'd like to share with us about your summer? How about plans for the fall? The kids are back to school, so is the house quiet now? Thank you all for stopping in and thank you for the short break. I've enjoyed our time together but my characters are nagging at me! Talk to you soon!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cover Contest...need your help, pls!

Never Surrender
Native American Time Travel

Cover Contest
 Sept 7 - winner announced

     Teralyn Rose Pilgrim is hosting a fantastic fun contest over at her blog. Voters will help choose the winner by 'liking' the covers so I'm asking for your help in this. Below this post, down by the comment area, is MY LIKE button! The contest takes place at:

where you'll find the links to all the other covers taking part. All you have to do is click on 'LIKE' on the three covers you like the best.  Of course I hope mine will be one of them, but please cast your votes anyway, as the more people who vote, the more fun it will be.

Excerpt from Never Surrender:

“Your struggle will only bring you closer to me...but then, perhaps that’s your intention, White Woman. I’m not accustomed to fighting females, but with you, I might make an exception.”
Kate thrashed her head back and forth. Her hands escaped his to claw at his arms as he struggled to confine her. She screamed, but he finally secured her wrists within his grasp.
Taima pulled her wrists and twisted her around to face him, bringing her against his chest, their noses mere inches apart as he looked down at her. Her eyes glistened with rage even in the dark. Her breasts rose against the back of his hand as she still tried to pull away.
He tugged her against his chest again. “I will tame you, White Woman.”
Kate’s lips parted slightly as he held her tight. Such tender lips. Quick, warm breaths caressed his cheek; inter-twining with his own ragged breathing. She would be easy to love had she not felt such a hatred toward the Indian, but he knew those thoughts were as dangerous as her escape.
She continued to pull against his hold. “I will never surrender to your savage touch!”
“You will have little choice in the end.”
“I will always have a choice.”
“Not with me,” Taima replied in a slow, precise tone, the warm glow of her skin reminding him of another woman. He pressed his fingers into her soft upper arms, still holding her against him. “Not another word. Since you detest my touch, consider that your punishment should you decide to disobey me again. And should you attempt another escape, you will regret it when I bare your white flesh for my pleasure, having only yourself to blame.”
Her eyes rounded, her lips parted, but she said nothing.
“I’m beginning to think you enjoy being humiliated. Next, I’ll gag you, should you continue to anger me.” He scrutinized the defiance in her delicate features. “I should strip you naked and march you before my people to show them I have truly mastered you.” Taima knew he could never do such a thing to her, but she need never know that.
Kate only glared at him.
“You may be learning after all.” Taima couldn’t keep the smile from forming on his lips, or resist the temptation to taunt her. She was beautiful when she was angry. “Perhaps I’ll begin taming you tonight, right here.” He weighed the opportunity. “There is no one around to hear your objections.”
“You wouldn’t dare!”
He tightened his grasp on her wrists again. “I thrive on dares, so don’t tempt me. We will sleep in my lean-to tonight.”
Her cold stare covered him like an icy breeze.
Taima slowly exhaled in a sarcastic chuckle. “Do you think after this little escapade of yours that I would allow you to sleep apart from me? Perhaps this high altitude is affecting your mind...or are you always so naive?”
Though darkness shrouded them, he allowed his gaze to travel the length of her doe-skin-covered body. Her nearness heated his blood. He knew this wasn’t a good idea, but proceeded anyway. “Though it would be easier to kill you, I will receive more pleasure by keeping you alive, knowing you will hate every day of your life from this point on whenever I decide to touch you.”

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Labor Day Weekend!!

I hope all of you are enjoying family time and fun with friends! For those who enjoy free time on the internet and love roaming websites and contests, there are many blog hops going on with prize giveaways. Click on my Reader Fun tab and start visiting some of the author blogs there. You just may find a few NEW authors you've not read before. I have several categories so take your pick.

I've also joined in on an upcoming blog hop that begins on Sept 19th - 26th so mark your calendars. This will be a full ten days to enter the giveaways. You'll have to wait until then to see what MY package will include.

Contests:  Don't forget that my monthly contest is now open for can hop over to my website and enter or just send me an email with CONTEST in the subject line. My website also has links to other sites offering MANY other contests to enter. Book mark the contest page at Fresh Fiction, CoffeeTimeRomance, and WritiersSpace. Good luck to everyone!

Have a SAFE weekend!

The Boardwalk in Wilmington NC!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Author Interview - Charmaine Gordon - Contemporary Romance Author

      I have another wonderful author for you today. This is a special treat for me because this is the third visit for Charmaine here at my blog. She's a sweetheart of a friend whom I met here on the net and we keep in touch as often as we can even though we live 2500 miles apart. I knooow! That's a long way! I'm sure you'll agree how sweet she is after you 'meet' her, too!
     This beautiful, busy woman not only runs her own business and still finds time to write, she used to be on daytime television - a wonderful talent that helps in her writing, I'm sure! Please get comfy and join me in welcoming Charmaine Gordon!

Deanna:  Do you mentor any other authors who look up to you?

 Charmaine:  I belong to a critique group as well as Hudson ValleyRWA. We mentor each other. I’ve learned more from them than they have from me.
Deanna:  What would you say is important for upcoming/aspiring authors to do?
Charmaine:  Writing is a solitary business. If you can hook up with a small supportive critique group, you can find a feeling of community working together.
Deanna:  What has been your biggest help in becoming the writer you are today?
Charmaine:  Once upon a time I knew nothing about writing. I wrote a book and it was published. Now here’s the good part. Barnes & Noble invited me to a book signing where I met Chelle Cordero who bought my book. She contacted her publisher, Vanilla Heart and soon I was under contract with them. The response is that each subsequent book is better written than the previous one. Evidently practice helps a lot. Keep writing and don’t be afraid to let your emotions fly.
Deanna:  How has your life helped in creating your own characters?
Charmaine:  I didn’t realize how much of myself slips into the story but there it is on the page and in the voice. ..and why not? So personal and intimate many times.
Deanna:  What is the first thing you do when starting a new book - outline, synopsis, or just begin writing?
Charmaine:  A story comes unbidden in the night - a beginning and end. In the morning, I write, rewrite, edit, and add color as I go.
Deanna:  I’m sure all writers wish each story came that way. What is your strongest trait as a writer - dialogue, POV, characterization, etc?
Charmaine:  Dialogue comes easy, probably from my acting background. I picture characters and setting and use the senses. Very important to make the story live.
Deanna:  That’s one of the important things I learned long ago…all five senses must be used so the reader can step right into the story with our characters. What does your favorite male character look like?
Charmaine:  Rugged is what I’m attracted to. Imperfect features, ruddy complexion, strong build, not a muscle man but comfortable in his own skin and graceful.
Deanna:  I can see him, Charmaine! What, in your opinion, is the reason readers will return to read the next book in a series?
Charmaine: Haven - my latest release and first novella, is a sequel to RECONSTRUCTING CHARLIE. If you create a cast of interesting characters in the first story, hopefully readers will want to know what happens next.
Deanna:  How true that is! I love it when a character sticks in my mind and I want to know what happens next for them. Now we’re dying to know more about your newest book.
Charmaine:  My newest is titled Haven - it’s an old house in the woods with a gazebo complete with 2 rocking chairs from previous owners. Their ashes are scattered there. I would love to share a bit of it with our readers…

Jimmy Costigan gets more than he expected when his sister Charlie asks him to make a delivery to her new project, Haven. Her best friend Shelley Jackson is now a psychiatric social worker about to handle the first case to arrive at this respite. A mother and three children held hostage by a strange assailant have just come in and Shelley is alone, in need of another pair of hands.

One look at the amazing woman he's admired from a distance and Jimmy is a goner. He has no hope of a relationship with the brilliant Shelley but stays to help out. Just for a night. Until the children reveal that the bad man disappeared and is on the loose. The family is in danger. The police are called but Jimmy, a sucker for anyone in peril, is compelled to stay and protect those he cares for.
Deanna:  Wow…quite a different story line; I love it! Thank you! Readers, I hope you’re taking notes here. Now for fun questions - What would you do for fun if you took off a day from writing?
Charmaine:  Hands down, I head for the beach-palm trees, water lapping at the shore, endless lined of waves gently breaking, dolphins at play, and somewhere, Latin music playing. Recently, daughter, grandest granddaughter age 3+ and I were at Cape May, NJ. I settled in a beach chair, spiral notebook in hand and began a sequel to HAVEN. A woman sat near me, Kindle in hand and we talked. Before long, I handed her 4 bookmarks and on the spot, she bought 4 of my books. You never know.
Deanna:  We always have to be ready for those unexpectd moments! A sequel to Haven, hhhmmm....another visit in the future for you! What is your favorite meal?
Charmaine:  Favorite meal. Hmm. Broiled salmon, broccoli, baked potato and crème brulee OR filet mignon, steamed spinach, roasted red potatoes and crème brulee. Join me.
Deanna:  If you could have a dinner party with anyone you wanted, who would we see there?
Charmaine:  A dinner table with anyone. Mom who passed too young and my first husband who died suddenly  and w e still had so much to say after 37 good years, My daughter and granddaughter. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sid Caesar, Gandhi, Paul Newman, Mozart, Beethoven, Anthony Hopkins. Patrick Swayze, We need another table, please waiter. Kimberlee Williams, Chelle Cordero, and. . .
Deanna:  That’s a guest list I’d love to be included in! Charmaine, as always, it’s been a pleasure chatting and finding out more about you! Thank you for being here with us. Tell our readers about your contest.
Charmaine:  I’m looking forward to giving the gift of a book for the most insightful comment so come on boys and girls.
     Thank you, Deanna, for once again inviting me for tea and a chat. Below are my website and email addy for those who want to visit me. I love hearing from readers!

 Deanna:  Readers, thank you for stopping in to meet Charmaine and I hope her books will find their way to your ereader or book shelf! Here are a few of her other books: