Monday, February 27, 2012

Tracy Krauss - Romance Author

Tracy Krauss
Romance Author

'Play It Again'

     Thank you for stopping by to join us as we listen to jazz and to Tracy as she tells us a bit about her newest release. The music is easy listening here at the club this week and they've told us we can stay here as long as we like. The drinks are on the house and they have a special brew of coffee for those who like the stronger taste. Tracy, thank you so much for being here all week to chat with our readers and answer their questions. Get comfy everyone and we'll get started!

Deanna: What is the first thing you do when starting a new book - outline, synopsis, or just begin writing?

 Tracy: It all starts with an idea, obviously, which I usually write as a short synopsis. Then I make fairly detailed character bios and an outline. Of course, all of this changes as I begin to actually write, but I like having a framework to begin with.

Do you find a character photo first or wait until you’re further into the book to fill in those details?

Tracy: I’ve never actually bothered finding a photo at all for any of my characters. I can see them very clearly in my mind and I’ve never seen a photo yet that quite measures up. Of course, the art department does a good job of translating the character into a photo or whatever, in the end.

 What traits do you give a hero to make him stand out from the other characters?

Tracy:  I like quirks and I also like a bit of the ‘rebel’ in my protags – male or female.

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

Tracy:  I like a lot of subplots. There will be at least two if not more, as in my book MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, which has about seven. I love it when all the complexities are woven together in the end. That, for me, is a really satisfying book, movie, or play.

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

Tracy:  So far, redemption is a very strong theme in all of my books - that and the idea that God specializes in using the most unlikely people for His purposes.

Deanna:  How do you go about naming characters?

Tracy:  Names seem to pop into my head almost instantly when thinking about my characters, as if they were meant to be. I’ve never had to think this through very much.

Deanna: What is your strongest trait as a writer - dialogue, POV, characterization, etc?

Tracy:  I think I am very strong in terms of my characterization, and I’ve also been told that my dialogue is strong and very believable. I strive for authenticity in both areas.

Deanna: How many times do you proof-read and edit before you’re satisfied with the manuscript?

Tracy: Is gazillion a number? Seriously, I tend to revise to the point of death. I find distancing myself for a while works wonders and helps me to see it with fresh eyes. At some point, however, you just have to hand it over to someone else to take a look at.

Deanna:  How do you pick locations for your stories?

Tracy:  The location usually comes with the initial idea. It might be a location that inspired me in the first place, or when I thought of the story I immediately see it in a certain location.

Deanna:  We’re dying to hear about your newest release and the characters we’ll meet!

Tracy:  PLAY IT AGAIN is the story of a very unlikely couple whose one night stand turns into much more than they bargained for. Deanie Burton is an ex rock and roll junkie and Russ Graham is an older, rather stuffy accountant. Their worlds are eons apart and yet they are inexplicably drawn together, despite their better judgment. Each has a lot of baggage – Deanie from an abusive relationship and unorthodox lifestyle, and Russ because of a failed marriage and what he sees as hypocrisy in the church. It takes place amid the 1980s music scene.

Here’s the book cover copy:

     “Sparks fly when an ex-rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional entanglements, family complications, and threat from the past that unexpectedly resurfaces. Set in the 1980s, this story brings two opposing forces together in a clash of romance and danger, while its musical undertones highlight the theme that God can turn anything into beautiful music. Play It Again is the much anticipated prequel to Tracy’s debut novel And the Beat Goes On. Find out where Mark Graham’s journey began in this, the story of his parents.”

CONTEST:  I'd love to give away a signed print copy of Play It Again to one lucky comment who also leaves their email addy in the comment so I can easily reach you! Thank you for stopping by!

Tracy's Links:


Buy Links:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whispers at Ghost Point - New Cover!!

      Thank you for stopping in to take a peek and chat with me a bit about you thoughts on the cover, the story, the characters...and the eerie feelings at the lighthouse! I'm having a great time with the story line so far and will be back writing again in May so I can get this book out as soon as possible. I'm aiming for late August 2012.

      The characters are from my English historical romance, No Turning Back and are reincarnated into the present time, bringing them together in Wilmington NC. The abandoned lighthouse has drawn Dana close and she is dying to get inside so she can refurbish the place and bring it back to life. In the process, an evil spirit follows her home and won't leave. Is it possible that a ghost from her past could destroy her future?

     If you've not read Chapter One of Whispers yet, hop over to Freado and read the beginning! I hope it whets your reading-buds and makes you want more! I'd love to hear that all of you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Whispers in August! Thank you all for hanging in there while this story comes to life so that I can share it with you. I promise a great release month of fun and prizes when Whispers hits the e-stores!

Again...thank you all for your support!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Danielle Ravencraft - Romance Author

Danielle Ravencraft
Romance Author

     Thank you for stopping in! We're on location in Chicago where Danielle's heroine is from so we wanted to stop back here for her. Come on in, we're all gathered here in the cozy cafe away from the noisy streets. Grab a chair and coffee and dessert is on the way. I hear their desserts are to die for! Ah, here comes Danielle so let's get started!

Deanna: Hi Danielle! Chicago is great and I love this little cafe! Our readers are anxious to know all about you. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Danielle: First, thank you for joining me in Chicago! Hmm, well, I’m a licensed dog trainer and used to work at a veterinary clinic before I became a full-time writer. Though training is now mostly done with my own dogs as a hobby, I still occasionally give advice to friends and family when they are having problems with their fur-babies. When I was in high school, I want to be a wolf biologist. Obedience training for domestic dogs was the closest I ever got to that dream, but I find writing suits me better than field work.

Deanna: I have a soft spot for wolves too! What do you do to relax when you aren’t writing?

Danielle: When I’m not writing, I’m reading something. My love for writing steamed from my love for reading. All my life I’ve had my nose stuck in a book and I won’t stop reading until my eyes fall off. I get to wrapped up in the characters and their magical worlds, it’s a better vacation than Disney Land.

Deanna: Do you have to split your writing time between a day job?

Danielle: Right now, no - and I’m very lucky I can write full-time. It wasn’t always that way. When I did work, my hours were crazy, but I was devoted to finishing my manuscript and I would wake up an hour early so I could write for an hour before work. When I got home, I’d go straight to my computer and write some more until I passed out on key bored at three o’clock in the morning.

Deanna: As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?

Danielle: More than I count on my fingers and toes! My family thinks I’m absent minded because I’m always starring into space, but they don’t hear the conversations going on in my head. Haha.

Deanna: *accepting a coffee refill and a dessert* How many plots do you include in one of your books?

Danielle: I don’t decide this ahead of time, I leave it up to the characters. But there are always at least a few subplots going on. I’m very character driven and my characters wear many faces just like people do in real life. We don’t always see how things connect in real life, but in books it becomes more clear how circumstances shape the story.

Deanna: I love it when our characters jump in and write a scene or two for us! Readers love to know how writers spend their day. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Danielle: Oh gosh, it’s really boring! I spend all day in my room in front of my computer. I don’t have kiddies to worry about so I only ever have to step away from the screen to feed myself or use the bathroom, LOL. My social life is almost entirely online because my business is entirely online - but hey, I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for anything.

Deanna: I love being online with my readers. What one thing would you pass on to new writers?

Danielle: Writing is more important than promoting. I don’t care what anyone else tells you. You need to develop a back list and keep producing new books because the one-hit-wonder lives a very short shelf life and promo will leave you feeling burned out before you know it.

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

Danielle: They have a theme. I write erotic romance, but more than that, I try to touch on life issues, specifically on issues that concern women. You’ll never find my books in a breast cancer support shop or anything like that, but there is, I think, that underlining message of hope and inspiration in all my stories.

Deanna: What are the physical characteristics that you admire in a man?

Danielle: Physical? Oh gosh…the eyes, the smile, the abs, the ass, the biceps, the hips and everything else in that general area…I just really love men…lol.

Deanna: Let's do a few questions for fun. For an evening out, would it be dinner or a movie? What would the dinner be? What might the movie be?

Danielle: It would be BOTH dinner AND a movie. LOL. My boyfriend and I have wide tastes in movies so it can be anything from a romantic comedy to action to horror, though he prefers the horror and I prefer the romantic comedy! We both love ethnic food so we usually hit the local Asian or Mexican restaurants for dinner, or sometimes we’ll grab coffee from Starbucks.

Deanna: Do you prefer wine, whiskey, scotch, or ice tea?

Danielle: Try margaritas or Captain and Coke. LOL. Okay, I’ll go with ice tea.

Deanna: I love the cover of your new book! Tell us about it and the type of reader if may appeal to.

Danielle: My newest book is a short story called “A Trace of Passion”. It’s the sequel to my first short story title “A Trace of Love”. In TOL, a young woman named Ophelia gets a rare chance to fraternize with a rock star - but he’s not just any rock star, he actually a guy she used to know and crush on in high school. When he doesn’t recognize her, she decides to take the risk thinking there won’t be any consequences. Of course there is…Trace the rock star falls in love with her and won’t take ’no’ for an answer.

“A Trace of Passion” continues the story as Trace tries desperately to win Ophelia over, but there’s a twist at the end that makes Trace question everything.

Deanna: Tell us about Trace, the hero of your latest book.

Danielle: Trace is a rock star who’s been feeling hallow and lonely ever since the death of his father. Despite the fame and fortune that surrounds him, he feels disposable. He’s truly a sweetheart at his core, though. Stubborn, yet gentlemanly.

Deanna: Tell us about Ophelia, the heroine of your latest book.

Danielle: Ophelia is a young woman with the weight of the world pressing down on her shoulders. She’s given up on life and waiting to die. She thought she had come to terms with her fate, that she regretted nothing, until Trace comes back into her life.

Here's an Excerpt:

Ophelia rushed into the first stall. Her nose wrinkled. She never understood how other women managed to pee on the rim of the toilet…or the floor for that matter. She was about to try the next stall when the restroom door opened, followed by a cloud of shouting and the click of high heels. Ophelia yanked the stall lock home and backed into the corner between the drippy toilet and the metal frame.
She managed to avoid the House of Blues for eleven months, twenty-three days, ten hours and forty-five minutes. But fate twisted a knife in her back one week ago when her friends surprised her with tickets to a Molten Silk concert for her birthday.
They didn’t know. She hadn’t told anyone. Now she wished she had.
This morning, her mind stooped so low as to consider telling her friends she was ill. But she couldn’t disappoint them. Molten Silk tickets were expensive and the girls had pooled their money together to make sure she had a great birthday.
Once the door swung closed, the tile amplified the click of the woman’s heels as she neared. “Ophelia, are you in here?”
Her breath hitched as she debated her next move. This is stupid. I can’t hide in the women’s bathroom all night. But she could try.
She squeezed her eyes shut. “I’m in here.” Damn it.
Ophelia glanced at the space between the stall and the floor as a pair of black stilettos came into view.
“The show’s about to start. Are you all right?”
She sighed and unlocked the stall door. It swung open to reveal the tall brunette. “I’m fine,” Ophelia smiled. “Just using the bathroom.”
“Well hurry up,” Alana urged.
Ophelia strolled to the sink and washed her hands. He won’t recognize me. It’s been almost a year. He probably has a real girlfriend now. Her chest constricted and she winced. How could she still have feelings for him after all this time?
Alana rolled her eyes. “Ophelia, I love you but if you move any slower I’m going to have to hurt you. Now let’s go!” She grabbed Ophelia’s hand and flung her out of the restroom into the crowd chanting “Mol-ten Silk! Mol-ten Silk!” The venue was packed to the brim, muggy, and smelled like B.O. She wouldn’t have minded expect her friends had their hearts set on standing in the middle of B.O. central. The pair squeezed through the crowed until they caught up with the bubbly blonde standing alone in the center. “Oh good, you found the birthday girl,” Lizzy yelled over the demanding horde. She clapped her hands in excitement. Ophelia managed a small smile. Alana stretched her neck and glanced around. “Did I miss anything?”
Ophelia looked too, taking note of the obese gentleman on the left. She could always duck behind him. She doubted anyone would notice. Although, with an energetic crowd of rough rock’n’roll fans, ducking of any sort could be suicide.
Lizzy leaned toward Alana and opened her mouth to speak, but the lights dimmed and the crowd erupted in cheers. Ophelia winced as her stomach did a flip-flop. She touched her fingers to her lips. I hope I don’t vomit. Smoke spilled from the stage like a waterfall as the curtain lifted. Five male silhouettes stood in the dark. The one on the right strummed his guitar, earning shrill applause from the audience. Lights of every color illuminated the stage as the rest of the band joined in the performance. Ophelia’s gasp went unnoticed as her friends cheered.
Trace Curtis stood center stage, microphone in hand. His voice flowed in harmony with the guitar riffs. His black, unbuttoned vest accentuated his flawless chest and chiseled abs. His black curls were a bit longer than she remembered and hung over his baby-blue eyes. Ophelia’s throat dried and she struggled to swallow. “I’m going to get a drink,” she said to herself. She backed away from her star-struck friends.
Ophelia didn’t breathe until she reached the bar at the very back. Her breath rushed past her lips in a heavy sigh as she sat on the worn leather stool and ordered a beer. The bar tender winked at her as he handed her selection. Ophelia bit her lip. The old man remembers me after all this time…
The lyrics stopped. The microphone gave a squeal amplified to a glass-shattering pitch. Ophelia cupped her hands over her ears and turned in her seat without thinking. Everyone stared at Trace. His eyes were so wide, she saw the whites despite the distance and crowd. Everyone slowly turned to face her. Heat rushed to her cheeks. She faced the bar and pressed the neck of the beer bottle to her lips. Just keep singing, Trace. Please, just keep singing.

Deanna: Tell us about the third book in the series?

Danielle: “A Trace of Hope” is the title of the third and final installment of the series and will be out sometime at the end of this year or the beginning of 2013. All I can say about A Trace of Hope is that Trace and Ophelia are trying to tie the knot - but there are number of complications and trials still in the way.

Deanna: Where can readers buy your books?

Danielle: Both books are available from the MuseItHot Publishing book store in eBook format.
A Trace of Love is also available at the Amazon Kindle and Barnes&Noble Nook stores.

Deanna: Thank you so much for being here this week. I hope the cafe has great desserts all week. Where can readers find you?

My website, facebook fan page, and twitter profile. Fans can also email me at
Contest: Yes, I will giveaway one ebook copy of either A Trace of Lover OR A Trace of Passion (winner’s choice). Please leave your email address so I can contact the winner on Saturday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

GoodReads Giveaway!

If you don't already have a signed copy of Never Surrender, check the giveaway box on the left panel over there. The contest is going on through March 14th so click to sign up if you're interested. Five copies will be given away! I would so appreciate a review after you finish reading but it's not a requirement to win. If you've already won and would like to post a review for others, they can be left at All Romance e-Books, Amazon, B & N, GoodReads, Smashwords or in my Guestbook. I will also post them on a separate page labeled Reader Reviews on my website.

Check out the Poll Questions I have listed on the left also. I want to know what you'd like to see in my newsletters so I can give you more of what you want! Thank you!

I appreciate all the support you give me by stopping by my web sites, subscribing to my newsletters and commenting on my blog posts. It lets me know that all of you are still out there surfing around in search of new books and new authors.

I will be back more often after tax season is over and hope you'll hang in there with me as I continue writing Whispers at Ghost Point! I'm glad many of you are as excited as I am for the release. I'm still aiming at late August 2012!


Thank you for being out there!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Blog Hop

Winners Listed Below
at prize packages

      Thank you for stopping in and I hope you're having fun peeking at all the great prize packages out there for the holiday! Love is in the air and I hope you're grabbing some for yourself. To be in the drawing for my prizes, follow the rules below! I'm giving away THREE prizes so send your friends over, too!
My Prizes:

1st Place - Spa Package with Spicy Truffles
Winner:  Library Pat
2nd Place - $15 Gift Card
Winner:  Ingeborg
3rd Place - Signed copy of Never Surrender
Winner:  WakeAngel 


Blog Hop Rules

  •  Follow my blog, either way
  •  Leave a comment WITH your email addy included
  •  Let me know where you'd like your gift card to: All Romance E-Bucks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
  • Head over to the other blogs listed below. Keep my post open then right click the other blogs and open in a new tab to enter on their site.

**Before you leave, please answer my Newsletter poll and subscribe if you don't already receive my newsletter! (I pick one subscriber a month to win a $10 gift card!!)