Winter Blog Hop, Day 17 – Judy McDonough’s Cajun Christmas and a Giveaway!

Today’s hop guest is my friend Judy McDonough, a recent transplant to northeast Ohio from Texas. So far she seems to be taking our crazy winters in stride! Judy loves to talk, but I’m always happy to hear what she has to say, and I hope you will be too. 🙂  Comment below for a chance to win an ecopy of all three of Judy’s books, and be sure to get to the end of the post, where you’ll find a fun Cajun version of “The Night Before Christmas.”

mcdonough-23Hi there! I’m Judy McDonough and I’m the author of a southern paranormal romance series called The Bayou Secrets Saga: Deadline, Lifeline, and Flatline. It is a ghost mystery with romantic elements that takes place in the Louisiana bayou with visits to New Orleans. More on that in a bit. I’ve always been fascinated with the supernatural or paranormal phenomenons, mostly ghosts, and my series stems from an actual experience I had while living in a barracks which was a renovated WW2 Navy hospital. I am a U.S. Navy veteran, and I met my husband, Mike, when I was stationed in New Orleans. He was a civilian local who showed me that there was more to his city than the tourist traps around Bourbon Street, and introduced me to the magic, history, and overall essence of New Orleans. Little did I know that it would latch on to me and eventually become a passion of mine. I’ve always loved Parisian architecture, and New Orleans is full of the ornate French influences. While living there I fell in love with the Cajun accent and culture. It’s not like anything you’ve ever experienced anywhere else. I promise you.

laura-plantation-440345_1280-1If I could move back to any place in the Big Easy I wanted and money wasn’t an issue, you would find me on the balcony of a lovely historic home in the Garden District drinking my coffee and chicory while watching the Spanish moss draping from the oak trees sway in the warm breeze. I would have citrus and magnolia trees in my yard, a pool (especially after living in the cool North for a while), a wrought iron fence surrounding my property, and majestic white columns flanking my front door. Sweet tea in the fridge, crawfish étouffée or red beans and rice (if it’s a Monday) on the stove, and soft jazz emanating through the open windows of my home. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

I’m new to NE Ohio. Actually, I’ve never lived above the Mason-Dixon line. I’m a southern girl, so all this beautiful white snow y’all have up here is a novelty for me. I love it. My husband got a new job with a great company up here, so we packed up and left Houston, Texas in March of 2015. Much to the dismay of my new friends and neighbors, after almost two years of living up here, I still love the snow. I play in it more than my boys (ages 7, 9, and 10) do. Well, more often, but not for quite as long. They’re young so the cold doesn’t bother them as much as it does me. After about thirty minutes I’ve had my fill and rush back to the fireplace to warm my numb piggies.

img_1904-1Last year I asked them to help me build a snowman, and all three of them said no because they wanted to stay inside and play video games. So, I built my snow man all by myself, only I gave her boobs, an hourglass figure, and put a wig and one of my stretchy dresses on her. I also put a toy rifle in her twiggy arms, a cherry Twizzlers for her red lips, and a cowgirl hat on her head. My eldest was mortified because our snow girl had cleavage, so I told him he should’ve helped me build it. I did eventually add a scarf to hide the cleavage since the bus passed right in front of our house and he was still technically a new kid, but he learned his lesson. 😉

So, about my participation in Marin’s awesome Christmas blog hop. Thanks, Marin, for the opportunity, by the way. The Bayou Secrets Saga consists of three books that follow the same three characters, Caroline, Trevor, and Cade, throughout the series. I will give you the inside scoop and avoid spoilers as much as possible.

Soon after accepting a marriage proposal from Trevor Callahan, her sexy boyfriend of two years, Caroline Fontenot has recurring crazy, realistic, and sometimes frightening dreams of the same young girl searching for something while running from a dangerous man. The details of each disturbing dream stick with Caroline, and, while she doesn’t believe in ghosts, she cannot deny the creepy, unusual things happening in her life. Persuasive Trevor, eager to finally have naïve and innocent Caroline in his bed, puts a rush order on the nuptials and insists she face the one unresolved issue in her life to clear any conflicts that may rise before their wedding. He wants her to confront her father who left her and her mother when Caroline was only a toddler, forgive him and develop a relationship so there won’t be any “Daddy issues” in their marriage. Not an unreasonable request except that she hates her dad for what he did to her mom, and has no desire to meet him, much less bond with him. But she is and has always been curious about him.

The story begins in Golden Meadow, Louisiana as Caroline pulls up in her estranged father, Eddie Fontenot’s driveway during a torrential downpour like she’s never seen before, wondering what in the world she’s supposed to say, how he’ll react, how she’ll react to his reaction, whether or not she can control her temper, and all the while hating Trevor for making her do this, and cursing her raging curiosity for not letting her just blow it off and tell Trevor no ring or nuptials were worth it.

She swallows her pride, pulls up her big girl britches, and follows through with the plan only to realize the house her father lives in is the very one from her dreams. There was more to this story that she ever imagined, crazy coincidences, goosebumps, initials scratched into the window of her room, and the tale of her great, great, great grandmother, Rachel Fontenot including her mysterious death. Caroline decides to stick around to do some research at the library and town hall, but she wasn’t prepared for the library worker to be a charming, incredibly handsome Cajun stud named Cade Beauregard. pic_8258

Cade, playful and sweet, captivates her attention, renders her speechless—not an easy feat–and challenges her. And, more importantly, their unmistakable chemistry has Caroline questioning everything she ever thought she wanted. But she made a promise to Trevor, and she never makes a promise she can’t keep.

The plot thickens when Caroline meets her conniving step mother, April, and things she’d only ever heard of in the movies start making their way into her life. Stranded spirits, voodoo, mafia threats, and attempts on her family’s lives are her new normal.

Cade does his best to convince Caroline he’s better than Trevor, but the savvy Chicago architect doesn’t bend to intimidation, nor does he appreciate some meddling redneck trying to steal his woman. He fights back and things get tense.

I won’t risk spoilers by revealing any more details, but you get the idea, and the story only gets better and deeper with each book.

Thank you for joining me today! I am randomly picking commenters for two giveaway prizes related to my Bayou Secrets Saga. Up for grabs is:

judymcdonough_bayousecretssaga3dboxset_hr1) A digital copy of the boxed set of all three full-length novels.

2) A candle tin that smells like Cade. It’s an outdoorsy blend of juniper, cedar, balsam and musk. This fragrance is the essence of a sexy, outdoorsy man, and Cade’s character fits that description. He’s also mysterious and the guy who’s always there when you need him. If you love the scent of the woods and a touch of musk, you will love this candle.

For Christmas fun, I’d like to share with you the Cajun version of The Night Before Christmas by Written by: Trosclair.

Twas the night before Christmas an’ all t’ru de house,
Dey don’t a ting pass Not even a mouse.
De chirren been nezzle good snug on de flo’,
An’ Mama pass de pepper t’ru de crack on de do’. 

De Mama in de fireplace done roas’ up de ham,
Sit up de gumbo an’ make de bake yam.
Den out on de by-you dey got such a clatter,
Make soun’ like old Boudreau done fall off his ladder. 

I run like a rabbit to got to de do’,
Trip over de dorg an’ fall on de flo’.
As I look out de do’in de light o’ de moon,
I t’ink, “Mahn, you crazy or got ol’ too soon.” 

Cux dere on de by-you w’en I stretch ma’neck stiff,
Dere’s eight alligator a pullin’ de skiff.
An’ a little fat drover wit’ a long pole-ing stick,
I know r’at away got to be ole St.Nick. 

Mo’ fas’er an’ fas’er de’ gator dey came
He whistle an’ holler an’ call dem by name:
“Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an’ Alcee’!
Gee, Ninette! Gee, Suzette! Celeste an’Renee’! 

home-1080272_1280To de top o’ de porch to de top o’ de wall,
Make crawl, alligator, an’ be sho’ you don’ fall.”
Like Tante Flo’s cat t’ru de treetop he fly,
W’en de big ole houn’ dorg come a run hisse’s by.

Like dat up de porch dem ole ‘gator clim!
Wit’ de skiff full o’ toy an’ St. Nicklus behin’.
Den on top de porch roof it soun’ like de hail,
W’en all dem big gator, done sot down dey tail.

Den down de chimney I yell wit’ a bam,
An’ St.Nicklus fall an’ sit on de yam.
“Sacre!” he axclaim, “Ma pant got a hole
I done sot ma’se’f on dem red hot coal.”

He got on his foots an’ jump like de cat
Out to de flo’ where he lan’ wit’ a SPLAT!
He was dress in musk-rat from his head to his foot,
An’ his clothes is all dirty wit’ ashes an’ soot.

A sack full o’ playt’ing he t’row on his back,
He look like a burglar an’ dass fo’ a fack.
His eyes how dey shine his dimple, how merry!
Maybe he been drink de wine from de blackberry.

His cheek was like a rose his nose a cherry,
On secon’ t’ought maybe he lap up de sherry.
Wit’ snow-white chin whisker an’ quiverin’ belly,
He shook w’en he laugh like de stromberry jelly!

But a wink in his eye an’ a shook o’ his head,
Make my confi-dence dat I don’t got to be scared.
He don’ do no talkin’ gone strit to hi work,
Put a playt’ing in sock an’ den turn wit’ a jerk.

 He put bot’ his han’ dere on top o’ his head,
Cas’ an eye on de chimney an’ den he done said:
“Wit’ all o’ dat fire an’ dem burnin’ hot flame,
Me I ain’ goin’ back by de way dat I came.”

 So he run out de do’ an, he clim’ to de roof,
He ain’ no fool, him for to make one more goof.
He jump in his skiff an’ crack his big whip,
De’ gator move down, An don’ make one slip.

 An’ I hear him shout loud as a splashin’ he go,
“Merry Christmas to all ’til I saw you some mo’!”

For more fun with Judy, check out her website (www.Judy-McDonough.com) or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Winter Blog Hop, Day 14 – Lynn Crain’s Holiday Magic

Hello all! Today’s guest is my friend Lynn Crain, who’s part of a new anthology of Christmas stories. Holiday Magic is the work of several members of the World Romance Writers.

wrwholidaymagic-3-d-resizedThe World Romance Writers wish you joy and love this holiday season with a collection of heartwarming romances filled with Holiday Magic. This anthology features stories, from far and wide, includes contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched with magic by Award-Winning and Multi-Published Authors: Rose Anderson, Lynn Crain, Gemma Juliana, Cara Marsi, and Jenny Twist.

Come enjoy the many flavors and flavours of our English language.

Holiday Magic is on sale now for 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo, and features these stories:

The Angel of the West Side
By Madeline Archer*

During the Great Depression, newspaper reporter Jack Kennelly went to the streets of Chicago hoping to find proof that good still existed in the world. What he discovered was the West Side had its own angel, and her name was Ruthie.

*Rose Anderson writing as Madeline Archer
Genre: Period Romance

Her Magical Vienna Christmas
By Lynn Crain

Cryptographer Elizabeth “Lizzie” Camden is more in tune with numbers, cyphers and puzzles than she is with the real world. When her job takes her back in time to 1874 Vienna, she’s more than surprised to find Michael Sondervan there as well. She hadn’t seen him since college when he broke her heart. 

Michael has always regretted the way things turned out between him and Lizzie. When he needs someone to figure out the cryptic warning, he knows he needs the best. And Lizzie is the best. Giving her a magical Vienna Christmas in the bargain, he hopes will bring them together and prove his love to the only woman for him.

Genre: Time Travel Romance

To Kiss a Prince
By Gemma Juliana

Princess Isabelle de Lily knows no life beyond the seclusion of Chateau de Lily. The family castle was frozen in time, frosted over with ice and snow just before her birth. The witch who placed the 99 year curse on her family left only one loophole. The curse will fizzle and ‘melt’ if one from the royal enemy clan miraculously finds his way to her castle and professes his true love for her on Christmas Day. Citizens of Chateau de Lily hold little hope of that happening since everyone who tries to cross the ice floes dies. Only the resident, ever-loyal, royal wizard Zoltar, who has been in service to Isabelle’s family since long before the curse was cast, believes miracles of this magnitude are possible. Twenty-five years have passed, but as Zoltar continues experimenting in his dungeon laboratory, he believes this will be their final Christmas spent in icy isolation.

Genre: Fantasy-Time Travel Romance

A Very Vegas Christmas
By Cara Marsi

Can things get any worse for Las Vegas event planner Amanda Moreau? Her boyfriend dumped her for a stripper; she’s arranging a Christmas wedding for a Bridezilla; and her mother is playing matchmaker from 2000 miles away. When she meets hunky and ever-so-sweet Erik, who’s in town for a conference, she begins to hope her luck is changing. But Erik has a secret that threatens to split them apart. 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Marion
By Jenny Twist

Jim Durrant, university don at Oxford, is trapped in the memory of his lost, beloved wife. When his family comes to stay with him for Christmas, he and his grandson write their letters to Santa Claus and Jim asks for the impossible – the return of his dead love.

Genre: Historical Romance

Thanks for joining me today, ladies! To read more about the authors, hop over to Lynn’s blog today at http://lynncrain.blogspot.com/ for bios and links.

 

 

 

Author Interview: Katie O’Sullivan

Katie_OSullivanWelcome to a special Wednesday edition of the blog, as I am joined by fellow Wild Rose Press author Katie O’Sullivan to the blog. Katie has one recent release and another coming out November 11. Welcome, Katie! 

Hi, Marin, and thanks for inviting me to visit!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live on the shores of Cape Cod with my teens, husband and two big, demanding dogs who think they still fit in my lap. (Can a Saint Bernard really fit in anyone’s lap? I don’t think so.) I’ve wanted to be a “real author” since third grade when my aunt “published” my first novel, The Mystery of the Haunted House, in a limited run of 50 copies at the printer where she worked. I was hooked and earned my BA in English, determined to find a job in publishing, but ended up in advertising, public relations, and then journalism for years. When my youngest went to full-day kindergarten, a friend dragged me to his novel writing class and I finally started writing fiction.

I love Cape Cod. It’s so pretty up there! What inspires you to write your books?

Living so close to the Atlantic Ocean inspires almost everything I write, from my YA series about the mermaids who summer in Nantucket Sound, to the Cape Cod romances like Crazy About You that I’ve published with The Wild Rose Press. My newest book, Ghosts Don’t Lie (coming November 11!), is the only one so far that doesn’t take place on the Cape, but in the small New Jersey town where I grew up.

What does your writing process look like?

I’m a pantser, but I admit I do best when I have a rough outline to start from. For the novella I wrote for an upcoming Valentine series, I actually plotted out the whole thing and finished the first draft in two weeks. Which tells me I should do that more often!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I used to be the typical soccer mom, but my soccer player is off in college, and my middle child drives so we finally ditched the mini-van. My high school students are more into the drama department than sports, so I see a lot of plays (both with them and with them on stage), walk on the beach with the dogs, bake with my daughter… and then there’s the day job as a technical writer. I keep busy.

What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing the first round of edits for my next YA mermaid book (Defiance, scheduled for a December release from Wicked Whale Publishing) and am ready to start on another Cape Cod romance. I’ve got the main characters figured out and am trying this new “outline” method that worked so well with the novella. I’m also kicking around ideas for a sequel to Ghosts Don’t Lie.

Sounds great! Neat freak or not so much?

Oh, I wish! I tend to forget about cleaning until it NEEDS to be done. When the kids were small (like, crawling size) I scrubbed floors and wiped things down more religiously, but living with a Saint Bernard has totally lowered my standards of what’s “clean.”

LOL. I know what you mean! What’s first on your bucket list?

I really want to visit the Fiji islands and stay in one of those guest huts that’s built over the water on stilts, where you have to walk out on a rickety boardwalk to reach the hut and there’s a patch of glass built into the floor to watch the sea life swim by and a porch to sit on aimed straight at the sunset. Maybe I’ll let my husband tag along for the trip. No phones, no work. Doesn’t that sound awesome? And totally do-able….except for the airfare. And the total cost, with college expenses looming. And finding the time to get away. Other than that, I’m there.

That does sound awesome! Tell us a little about your latest releases.

perf5.000x8.000.inddCrazy About You:

Climate scientist Chase Anderson races from one project to the next, unwilling to slow down in his quest to save the world’s oceans. He has no time for family or relationships until he crashes into an impetuous blonde with a quirky sense of humor. One sizzling kiss makes him seriously reevaluate his priorities. And his sanity.

Emma Maguire left her small Cape Cod hometown years ago, seeking the fast pace and anonymity of New York City. She’s not sure what she’s searching for, but when a family crisis brings her home to Provincetown she’s caught in a crazy tangle of half-truths and mistaken identity… and falls for the handsome stranger who broke her cell phone.

Will untangling the web of lies drive them crazy, or lead to something even crazier – like love?

perf5.000x8.000.inddGhosts Don’t Lie (coming November 11):

Jillian Rogers Greene worked hard to close the doors on the psychic abilities that defined her youth. For years she pretended to be normal, ignoring the ghosts who whisper to her. When a car crash sets her on a collision course with the past, ugly secrets about her family and marriage come to light. She’s forced to reevaluate what she thought she knew…and exactly what the future holds.

Connor Sanderson might be the key to unlocking that future. The grey-eyed artist knows ghosts aren’t real, but his attraction to the beautiful psychic makes him question those beliefs. With her husband plotting to kill her, can Jillian make Connor see the truth before it’s too late?

Here’s an excerpt:

In the corner of the mirror, she saw a glitter of light. She realized Jasper was sitting on the bed, watching. “What?” she asked him, not turning around.

“Is it fun being a grown-up?” The spirit swung his legs back and forth.

Jillian fished a hair elastic from the jar on the dresser. “Fun isn’t really the word for it.”

His legs stopped swinging. “So being a grown-up stinks?”

“It doesn’t stink either, Jasper. It’s complicated. As you get older there are more choices to make and a lot more to worry about.” She was still looking at his reflection in the mirror, not turning to face him. “Some parts are really great, but there are lots of times when you wonder if you’ve made the right decision.”

“I’m glad I don’t have to find out. It sounds hard.”

Jillian took a deep breath. “What happened to you?”

“Me?” Jasper laughed. “That’s easy, I died.”

Love it! You can find information about Katie and links to her books at:

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

And join me today on Katie’s blog , where she has a great giveaway going on!

Author Interview: Lily Vega

Today’s guest is my good friend, Lily Vega. Lily writes *very* steamy paranormal & contemporary romance. Her latest, Devil in a Blue Dress, was released in May by Changeling Press. Welcome, Lily!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing? I live in the Midwest. I’ve shuffled around several different states. I’ve been writing consistently for about 5 years.

LV_DevilBlueDress_largeWhat inspired you to write Devil in A Blue Dress? (I adore the cover!) I enjoy creating characters with a dark side. When I pitched the Devil May Care series, I didn’t know much more than the third installment would wrap up the series and either the hero or heroine would first appear in the second story. After book two, I had the heroine, heroes, and the theme – when you get what you want, things don’t always turn out like you’d expect. While I wrote the book, Ray’s struggle with addiction became key to the story.

What does your writing process look like? I write my short steamy books by the seat of my pants. At some point, I stop and determine which key events need to happen to complete the storyline and get to happy ever after. I note these and any other thoughts I want to incorporate into the story. I also keep a loose series bible to keep track of character attributes.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Drink.  Actually, I sometimes drink while I write. I love trying new craft beers, beer cocktails, and Guinness mixes (e.g. Guinness and Strongbow).

I’ve been known to drink wine while I write–keeps the creative juices flowing! What are you working on now? The Devil May Care series was planned as a trilogy. While the story was wrapped up at the end of book three, one of the minor characters, a fallen angel, needs his happy ever after, so I am working on his story, Falling for Her.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day? Too many to count! The triage process can be gut wrenching, but I plan to resurrect as many as possible. Going All In (1Night Stand), which was published in May by Decadent Publishing, was one of those under the bed books and I was thrilled with the end result. I’ve begun CPR on several other stories.

I tend to work through story ideas when I’m driving or in the shower, both of which are, of course, places I can’t write anything down. Do you have any strange writing habits? Post-It Notes. My workspace looks like an office supply store exploded. Cryptic notes like “Guy from set up = Guy #1” are scrawled on them. When the cats steal them, I usually find them under the couch or stuffed inside a shoe.

How do you come up with character names? First names just seem to come to me. Last names are harder. I’ve had to change names before too, Natalie was originally Anita, but the name was too similar to Arianna.

Name one thing about you that most people don’t know. I am crazy addicted to Plants versus Zombies. The main reason I bought an iPad was to play the game.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? I am in awe of exceptionally productive authors. My dream would be to consistently crank out large quantities of publishable prose. Heck, I’d be happy just to win NaNoWriMo.

Ah, wouldn’t that be nice? I won NaNoWriMo once–with a book that will probably never see the light of day–but never again. I do wish I could write faster! Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author? Share your knowledge with your writer friends. Find a great craft book, tool, or submission call? Let them know. They’ll reciprocate.

What book are you reading now? Open All Hours by Eden Royce. I’m a big fan of her Carnival Magic series. The heroine shifts into a black cat. How cool is that?

To find out more about Lily and her books, visit:
Website: http://lilyvega.com/
Facebook: Lily Vega
Twitter: @LV_Writer
Amazon Author Page: Lily Vega
Goodreads: LilyVegaWriter

Devil in a Blue Dress (Devil May Care #3) by Lily Vega

What’s a lust demon to do?

All of Xanthe’s heart’s desires are coming true. She’s a bridesmaid in her cousin’s wedding and in charge of the bachelorette party. Her boyfriend, True, is extra limber and up for sex whenever and wherever she wants. Everything is just too perfect — on the surface, anyway.

She suspects her sexual appetites are taking their toll on True. And the wedding festivities just aren’t as festive as she imagined. Enter Ray Perry, a bad boy with a dark past. He’s every bit as dominant as True is submissive, but an evil imp with a penchant for porn has a contract out on him.

When she discovers a vile plot to sabotage the wedding, Xanthe fights to save the day and her sexy men — one of whom holds her heart and the other her soul.

Excerpt:

True’s name suited his easygoing personality. Xanthe ran her gaze over his lithe body, starting with his long, shaggy, sun-highlighted blond hair to his sandals. Natalie referred to him as a crunchy-granola guy with a chocolate-candy heart. Xanthe couldn’t tell if it was a compliment or an insult.

He looked up then, seeming to feel Xanthe’s gaze, and his face lit up with a smile that made his light blue eyes sparkle. His warm touch ignited her libido. If she wasn’t hell bent on winning a damned bingo prize, she’d drag him under the table for a quick romp.

Available on Amazon.

 

Author Interview: Lynn Crain

I am very pleased to welcome one of my talented critique partners, Lynn Crain. Lynn’s latest release is an erotic, paranormal romance, Night of the Blue Moon. Given this weekend’s blue moon, it’s quite apropos. Welcome, Lynn!Headshot-180x227

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

Right now, I live in Vienna, Austria. I’ve been here four and a half years while my husband works his dream job. Normally, I’m from the hot Southwest.

I’ve been writing since I was twelve. My first book was going to rival Gone With The Wind. Yeah, right…LOL!

Hey, you never know. 🙂 What inspired you to write this book?

A friend of mine asked me to critique her work and I said yes. As I worked through her story, it called to me. I then asked a lot of questions then sent her and the other two authors a proposal for a fourth book. This one would be about a brother the three sisters had no clue they had.

What does your writing process look like? 

I’m a total pantser though in reality, it totally depends upon the book. Anything over 50K and I’m writing down things to make sure I don’t forget something. If it’s over 75K, I really try to have a Bible for that book or series as I don’t want to make any dumb mistakes.

I’d be lost without Writeway Pro. I’m always forgetting secondary character names and eye color, but I can look them up with just one or two clicks. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I take walks, go to museums, hike or watch movies. They finally got Netflix over on this side of the world and I get to see all the BBC stuff first hand. It’s awesome!

I am totally addicted to Netflix–I might need to cut myself off. What are you working on now?

I always seem to have five or so projects going. My big one right now is called The MacKenzie Series and is again about siblings in a very rich family. The first book is done and with my agents but now I’ve got to complete the next two.

I’ve also got a short story series going and am preparing a few proposals for my agent in the fantasy romance realm.

Five? Wow! I thought I was crazy for having two or three.  So, many authors do detailed character sketches before writing, even if some of the details never appear in the book. Name one thing about either your hero, heroine (or both) that didn’t make it into your book, but is important to who s/he is.

When developing my hero, I got the weird sense he didn’t like creepy crawly things. That never shows up in the book.

Who is your favorite literary hero? Heroine? Villain?

I have so many but I’ll go with Rhett Butler as he was my first. Heroine…wow…that’s a little harder. I think right now it’s Katherine “Kitty” Katt from Gini Koch’s Touched by An Alien series. She’s pretty awesome. And the villains would have to be from those books as well. She has a new one with each book and one big guy that I haven’t seen yet who’s a real ass.

How do you come up with character names?

Sometimes, they come to me without thought. Other times, I have to do a little research, try a few names on until I finally come up with the right fit.

Me too. Name one thing about you that most people don’t know.

Garlic dill pickles and green olives with pimentos are two of my favorite foods.

Not at the same time, I hope! 😉 What’s first on your bucket list?

Live in Scotland for at least a year.

I love Scotland! Such a beautiful country. Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

It comes from a movie: ‘Never give up, never surrender.’ As writers, we always need to keep writing no matter what.

Excellent advice, and something I’ve tended to forget lately. What book are you reading now?

Bound to Secrets by Nina Croft. It’s a really great series.

Thanks for hanging out on my blog, Lynn!

Thanks right back…I really appreciate it!

Night of the Blue Moon, Blue Moon Magic Series, Book 4NightOfTheBlueMoon_LoRes
By Lynn Crain
Released: April 29, 2015

One father.
Two mothers.
Four siblings.
One incredible story about that special night which changes them all. Forever.

All his life Connor Angus hadn’t belonged. Finding out he was the long thought dead son of an Elite pack leader didn’t help matters. With that knowledge comes a family full of sisters, mystery and longing for things he’s not sure he has any right to obtain. One of those things is Cordelia Sinclair.

Excerpt:

Falling back into the kitchen cabinets, he briefly clutched his side. “Damn it, you’re just not going to give up easily, are you?”

“Why should I?” She eyed him cautiously.

“Because I could seriously hurt you.”

“Now why don’t you just give it your best shot then we’ll see just who gets hurt.”

The man slowly shook his head. “All right, now remember, you asked for it.” He threw a punch that landed squarely on the left side of her head.

Cordelia shook it off but it still left her ear ringing. Grabbing his other arm, she charged into his stomach with her head and flipped him over her back. He landed with a resounding thud on the floor next to the table and on top of the broken china. She was only able to stand there a moment, her sides heaving, when she was knocked off balance by his leg making a wide sweep. It almost knocked the air completely out of her but she managed to throw another punch on her way down.

He grabbed her fist and twisted her arm, picking her up and shoving her facedown once again on the table.

“You have no right being on top of me, so get the fuck off.” She gasped for breath, his added weight making it hard to even move a centimeter.

“You know, I think you’re a little bit sexy when you’re pissed like this. I can smell your pheromones. You want me.”

You can find Night of the Blue Moon at these retailers:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo
Smashwords
Inktera
Scribd

Bio: Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest though her latest adventure has taken her to Vienna, Austria with her husband of many years as he works his dream job. You can find her on the web at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

 

Author Interview: AE Jones

Today I am honored to welcome NEORWA chapter sister, 2013 Golden Heart winner, and two-time 2015 RITA Finalist AE Jones. Thanks so much for visiting, AE!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

AE JonesThanks for having me here today, Marin! I live in Northeast Ohio in a small town. I have been reading since I was able to hold a book in my hands and I have been writing since my twenties. I got serious about writing paranormal romances and urban fantasies about six years ago.

What inspired you to write your Mind Sweeper series?

Believe it or not, my Mind Sweeper series stemmed from a joke. I wanted to write about a woman who worked with supernatural and I flippantly thought to myself one day “An angel, a demon, and a vampire walked into a bar…ha, ha, ha.” But what if it wasn’t a joke? What if it really happened? How would someone deal with the aftermath? That is the first line of Mind Sweeper and that’s how my series came to be.

The humor and sarcasm interwoven in the stories are because I love, love, love the whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel universe that Joss Whedon created. To me humor makes the sad and scary parts of the story that much more. It’s a great foil.

That is the best first line. I love the Buffy universe too–I’ve been binge watching Buffy and Angel on Netflix, since I never watched it when it originally aired. 

What does your writing process look like?

I am a total pantser. Which can be difficult because I write mysteries in my stories and so there are plot threads that need to be tied up. I do normally have a general idea of the ending, but then as I write the story I’ll have these ‘OMG’ moments where something will come to me and it goes into the story. I also write my chapters out of order too. When a scene comes to me I have to write it down even if it’s at the back of the book.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Sleep. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. I have a day job and then I have my writing job in the evenings. When I’m in relaxation mode I’ll usually read or go out to dinner with friends. And a special treat for me is taking a nap (and now I’ve gone full circle back to the beginning of this answer).

What are you working on now?

I am currently in edits for Sentinel Lost, the fifth book in my Mind Sweeper series. That novel should be coming out in September and I am also working on the first book of a new series that should come out late fall.

Great! I know I am looking forward to new books from you. 🙂

I tend to work through story ideas when I’m driving or in the shower, both of which are, of course, places I can’t write anything down. Do you have any strange writing habits?

I do a lot of ‘book thinking’ in the shower too! I’ve had to put a notebook by my bed since I have a tendency to come up with things as I drift to sleep or am just waking up in the morning. I think it’s because my subconscious is free to roam! I also walk two miles every day and I think through my plot and ideas when I’m walking too. Although I sometimes have to stop and type an idea in my phone so I don’t lose it!

Share a photo of your writing space.

?

Here is a picture of my office and yes, more often than not Dillon, my cat, is perched right next to my laptop. I have to stop and pet him periodically or he moves in front of the keyboard. And that is a magic wand hanging on the wall and a tiara sitting on my lamp. The magic wand is because I need all the help I can get and the tiara I wear on release days for my books. I call release days my ‘kick butt princess’ days. I usually will post a tiara picture on my blog as part of the celebration too!

LOL. Dillon looks very serious.

How do you come up with character names?

This is a hard one for me. Character names can be tricky. Oftentimes I’ll name a character and then as he or she develops I realize that the name I chose for them is not right. And since my series has somewhat of a supernatural UN vibe, I have to look for Russian names and French names and Irish names, etc. I spend a lot of time on the internet on baby name sites!

In one of my books I changed the hero’s name three times and the heroine’s name twice. Thank goodness for the find and replace feature!

novellas 3d boxset copyThe Mind Sweeper Novellas (Box Set)

Discover the Mind Sweeper series through the eyes of Jean Luc and Talia in these two novellas.

The Fledgling – A Novella

Vampire Jean Luc Delacroix has been alive for nearly four hundred years. Alive, but not really living. This changes when he meets newly turned vampire, Talia. Feisty and beautiful, Talia is the first female Jean Luc has been attracted to in centuries. But when he finds out she is also a bounty hunter who is interfering with his investigation of a supernatural serial killer, he pushes her away for her and his own good.

Bitten and thrust into the supernatural world against her will, Talia wants nothing more than to do her job. She doesn’t have time to deal with an overbearing, ridiculously sexy vampire. But Jean Luc and Talia butt heads on their single-minded crusade to stop a murderer. And unless they can set aside their troubled pasts and learn to trust each other, they may never have an opportunity to explore their true feelings. Especially when they face off with the killer.

The Pursuit – A Novella

Thirty years after their initial meeting, Jean Luc Delacroix and Talia Walker once again cross paths. After seeing Talia again, Jean Luc’s feelings reignite. This time he will do whatever it takes to make her a permanent part of his life. Talia learned everything she knows about love—and about being a vampire—from Jean Luc. And when she comes face to face with Jean Luc again, she wonders if her continued independence is as important as being with the vampire she still loves.

Before either can acknowledge their feelings, they are embroiled in a deadly case of a vampire draining humans. In the midst of an investigation that threatens the very foundation of the vampire nation, can Jean Luc and Talia finally find the courage to follow their hearts? Or will the killer destroy them first?

EXCERPT: Jean Luc is teaching Talia how to be a vampire. In this excerpt, they are just starting to explore but yet fight their attraction to each other. I like it because it is an interesting interplay of tension with a splash of humor.

It had been seven days since the killer last struck. Seven days of little to no headway. Seven days of spending every moment with Talia and her lavender essence, rich skin, and chocolate eyes. Jean Luc stared at her until she turned toward him, her eyes widening under his heated scrutiny.

After a moment, her mouth quirked and she took a step closer to him. “Can I help you with something?”

“Yes. Tell me how you would fight someone much larger than yourself.”

“I would avoid it.”

“And if you cannot?” he pushed.

“Carry a big gun?”

Buy the Mind Sweeper novella box set here: 
Amazon
iTunes
Kobo

You can find out more about AE Jones here:
Website: aejonesauthor.com
Twitter: @aejonesauthor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/aejones.author1

 

Author Interview: Abigail Owen

Today I welcome author Abigail Owen, whose novel, Andromeda’s Fall, was released by The Wild Rose Press in December 2014. Me

Thanks for visiting, Abigail!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

My name is Abigail Owen. I was raised in Texas but now live in northern California. I’ve been writing all my life. I finished my first book in 2009, but didn’t do much with it until 2012. Since then I’ve been on a non-stop journey and loving every second.

What inspired you to write Andromeda’s Fall (fabulous title, by the way!)?

I LOVE shifters in just about every form. Being from an area where mountain lions have been sighted in my neighborhood, I find them beautiful and fascinating. This book started with a single scene in my head of a mountain lioness perched on a stone outcropping. She’s on patrol and above her is a male mountain lion who’s observing her behavior. That was it.

What does your writing process look like? 

I am mostly a pantser with a little plotter thrown in. I typically start with one scene in my head as the starting point (not necessarily the start of the book). I do a character breakdown and attempt a very, very brief bulleted “key plot points” list. Then I start writing. My first draft is fast and often takes me in unexpected directions. Once the bulk is on paper, then I “officially” plot it out. 2nd (and so on) drafts I go fill in the gaps and smooth it all out.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Until this past May, I was a business analyst for Intel. (Yes I love numbers and words. Weird, right?) Now I’m a full-time author and mother, which is a dream come true.

 What are you working on now?

The second book in the Shadowcat Nation series, Sarai’s Fortune, is currently in the editing process at The Wild Rose Press. It should be out this year (date TBD – fingers crossed for late spring). I have another book, Blue Violet, the 1st book of my Svatura series, also in the editing process at Wild Rose. Release date on that is also TBD 2015. I am writing the third book in the Shadowcat Nation series, Tieryn’s Fury, now and am hoping to have it to my editor by end of April. After that, who knows!

Who is your favorite literary hero? Heroine? Villain?

Hero: Aragorn (though Mr. Darcy is a close 2nd). I love that Aragorn turned his back on his fate and even on love, that he has this great character arc of growth from the beginning of the series where he’s a bad ass to the end of the series where he’s king.

Heroine: Elizabeth Bennett – smart, sassy, funny, kind, a good friend and sister, willing to admit her own faults (eventually). Love her.

Villain: Snape. I know he’s not exactly a villain, but he is. This is another character arc I love – from jerk to murderer (we think) to lost and lonely little boy to hero and namesake. I love characters who develop like that.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

I have probably 20 books started that were never finished. I won’t go back and finish them either because I cannibalize them. I’ll take my own previously written scenes and pull them into a book I will finish now. I’ve used up most of them by this point, so they’ve all seen the light of day, just in unexpected ways. 🙂

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Very cool to be able to move stuff with your mind. (Or maybe I’m just really lazy. LOL)

AndromedasFall_w9277_750 (1) (1)Andromeda’s Fall (Shadowcat Nation #1)

Andromeda Reynolds is being hunted. After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of a pack of wolf shifters, Andie has devoted her life to protecting her community of cougar shifters from a similar fate. But now, a greater threat lies within her own dare, and she must run. If she stays, Kyle Carstairs will force their mating, seeking the added political power their union would provide.

Andie would rather chew off her own foot than end up with Kyle. Though, knowing him, she won’t live long either way. Andie’s only hope of survival is to mate Jaxon Keller, the Alpha of the Keller Dare with which she is seeking asylum. But before she can get to him, Andie must first go through A.J., one of the Alpha’s Protectors.

What Andie doesn’t realize is that A.J. has secrets of his own. All Andie knows is that the incredibly frustrating shifter insists on challenging her story, her skills, her trust… and her heart.

Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo | The Wild Rose Press

ANDROMEDA’S FALL is one book that you need to have mapped out time to read because it will not let you put it down. From the first page when the injured Andie jumps through the window into the Keller home to the fantastic (I didn’t want it to end) ending, you will be enthralled. –Fresh Fiction

Excerpt:

The stranger said nothing for several long moments, holding eerily still, his eyes taking in every detail. Andie didn’t move or speak. She knew he was sizing her up just as she was assessing him. She also knew what he’d see—a slip of a girl who’d inherited her mother’s bronzed Brazilian beauty. Male cougar shifters rarely saw what she really was and frequently underestimated her.

“I’m not going to ask how you got in here. Clearly, our security needs reviewing.”

Andie didn’t betray her satisfaction at his comment. “I’m sure it’s fine. Very few measures would work to keep me out. Or in.”

I found you.”

Andie merely shrugged. “Off night.” In more ways than one.

The Shadowcat Nation Pinterest Board

Award-winning author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley, Colorado, and raised in Austin, Texas. She now resides in Northern California with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe.

Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.

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