#WriterWednesday- Interview with Stacy-Deanne!

Welcome back to another #WriterWednesday! Today I’d like to introduce you to Stacy-Deanne as she drops by today on her blog tour to share her reasons for writing. Read the sneak peak at an excerpt from her novel, The Wild Life, and be sure to check out the contest listed below!

Stacy_Hot_Like_Fire_Blog_Tour

Welcome, Stacy!

What inspired you to write?

I write simply because I enjoy it. I’ve always had an active imagination so making up stories and characters comes natural to me. I also write because it’s therapeutic for me mentally. It keeps me sane and grounded. It helps me not to be so stressed. I have anxiety disorder so anything that can relax me is a wonderful thing. When I’m writing I forget about the world around me and all the problems in it so that in itself is inspiration to write.

 

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

My primary genre is mystery and suspense with romantic elements (primarily interracial). I guess we found each other. I’m a true mystery buff and I grew up loving mysteries. I am a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan and he inspired me to become a mystery writer. I write interracial stories because I’ve always been interested in interracial relationships.

 

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I don’t put myself under pressure in terms of scheduling, etc. I just use my time wisely when it comes to writing. I write when the mood hits me. If that’s everyday then that’s every day, but if it’s not then it’s not. I take a more relaxing approach to my writing now. I’ve been in this business since 1997 and I used to write constantly and I had no room to do anything else. I realized through the years that I can get my work done without killing myself to do it. It’s not how often your write, but write what counts when you write. That’s what’s important. Writers should work at their own pace and at a “schedule” that works for them. We’re all different and that should be respected.

MJ: Great advice!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Well, I’ve always been one that kinda talked to myself. LOL! That’s only because I have a good imagination and I am an only child. When I was a kid I made up brothers and sisters and I talked to them. This translated into me even now talking to myself sometimes as if someone else is with me. Sometimes I imagine myself as one of my characters and I’ll talk to other characters in the book as if I’m right there in the scene. LOL!

MJ: Stacy-Deanne, you and I have that in common! Only child giving ‘life’ to others to keep entertained….lol!

 

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I like to jump into a story the minute I get my idea. I jot down ideas for scenes as I go, but I don’t outline an entire book or anything. No way. To me the fun part about writing is the surprising journey the story and characters take you. Plus I don’t think you can really plan everything in a mystery because the story relies on twists that come to you as things unfold. I also think you should not force a story to go a certain way. You might start out with an outline, but any writer knows that it’s the story and characters that dictates a story when it comes down to it. Eventually things will shift in a direction the author didn’t count on and to me that’s the fun part!

 

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

Nope my stories are not based on me, my experiences, or anyone I know. I write fiction that comes straight out of my head. I think that’s another thing that makes writing fun. I like to learn about new people (characters) and have new adventures. I wanna be taken on new journeys through my work.

 

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

The biggest thing I see these days is that some new writers are very impatient. I also see that for some reason new writers think they are entitled to publication without putting in the work. I am seeing a lot of coattail riders and shortcut chasers. As my publisher Elissa Gabrielle says, “Publication is a privilege, not a right.” This is true because being published is not something we are owed, but something we are supposed to work hard for. It’s not supposed to be easy. I always tell new writers to research the business before jumping into it. They won’t get anywhere if they don’t know how things work. They also should be patient because too many people out here are rushing to publish and the outcome only hurts the author if the work is not up to par. Newbies need to take time to actually learn how to write. Anyone can write a first draft, but not anyone can write a novel of publishable quality. That takes skill, patience, discipline, and years of learning. Anyone who says it doesn’t take time to be able to write well is mistaken.

MJ: Well said, very true, and amen! 

 

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I’m traded published. I was with Simon and Schuster and now I’m with Peace in the Storm Publishing, which is a traditional independent house.

 

What are your current projects?

I have a lot of things coming up. First off, I’ve started three new short story serials. The beginning installments of these serials will be released soon by my publisher, Peace in the Storm Publishing. I am very excited. I never wrote shorts before but now I got the hang of it and I really enjoy writing serials. I’m excited to embark on this new venture. I also have two novels coming up in 2014. One, The Ultimate Rush, is a standalone. The other, Harm a Fly, is the fourth installment of the Bree and Steven series. So you’ll be seeing a lot from me.

I’d like to thank you for having me and I want everyone to remember to answer the giveaway question below so they have a chance to win a copy of my current release, The Wild Life!

MJ: Your more than welcome! Thank you for stopping by! 

 

The Wild Life

When Albany Detective Brianna “Bree” Morris learns that Cuban crime lord Milan Varela wants her estranged father dead, she heads off to Miami to find out why. With Homicide Detective Jayce Matthews and her ex-lover Detective Steven Kemp she devises a plot to get close to the Varela organization.

Brianna finds herself attracted to the older Milan and falls deep into his web of seduction while fighting to keep her mind on her mission. Milan is equally drawn to Brianna and vows to win her trust and her heart.

Is Milan really the villain when it comes to Brianna’s father? Or is he the victim?

Is Brianna’s father really in danger or is there more to the story than anyone could ever imagine?

Brianna risks her life to save her father’s but will she end up losing her own?

The steamy, explosive, and super-hot new installment in the Bree and Steven Series!

Amazon     Barnes & Nobel   

Excerpt: 

“What do you expect me to say, Steve?” Brianna sat beside Jayce. “I don’t even know what’s going on.”

He bent over her. “Can’t anything go well for you, woman? Why do you keep getting yourself in these predicaments?”

“Oh excuse me for coming home and finding a man in my kitchen!”

Jersey tugged on her ears. “I have a huge headache and one of my officers has just been attacked. The last thing I need is for you two to argue.”

Steven and Brianna made faces at each other.

“We’re worried about you, Morris. Tell us what’s going on so we can help.”

“I don’t know if you can help.”

Davis slunk into the room and rested at Brianna’s feet. She scooped up the brown feline.

“The guy that tried to kill me…” She scratched Davis’ ear. “Well he worked for Milan Varela.”

Steven gaped. “What the f*** did you just say?”

Brianna shrugged.

“Are you f***** kidding me? A man who worked for the head of the Southern Cuban Mafia was here? Here?”

“I was telling Bree that a friend of mine in the FBI might be able to help her,” Jayce said. “It’s about her father. They’re looking for him.”

“George?” Jersey’s green eyes beamed from behind her glasses. “What the hell would the Cuban Mafia want with George?”

“No telling. You know the life my father lives. It’s full of risks and he makes no apologies for it.”

Jersey touched the back of her neck. “How the hell could he even get close to Milan Varela in the first place?”

“So this is the type of stuff your father’s always into?”

“Jayce my father has never been a father to me. He stays gone for decades at a time and pops up probably once every ten or fifteen years when he wants something. I wonder if he even remembers he has a

daughter half the time.” She kissed Davis’ head. “Right now what’s important is this mess he’s got going with Milan. Why would he want my dad dead?”

“I just can’t believe this. I mean your dad has been involved in some shady things during his life but nothing like this. What are you gonna do, Morris?”

“As much as I hate him, I can’t let anything happen to him. I gotta find out where he is.”

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****CONTEST****

Giveaway question:

What are THREE qualities the perfect main character must have?

Five people who provide the most interesting answer to this question will each win an ebook copy of The Wild Life.

Giveaway ends at 8 pm Central Time. Ebook copies will be emailed to participants by Stacy-Deanne. Commenters must leave email address with comment to be eligible.

 

About the Author: 

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning novelist of crime, mysteries, and interracial romantic suspense. She’s been writing professionally since 19-years-old, and her work includes Divas of the New Millennium, Everlasting, Melody, Giving up the Ghost, The Season of Sin, When the Mouse Chases the Cat, and The Wild Life. Stacy is profiled along with notable authors in the NAACP-nominated 2006 book, Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African-American Women in Writing. She is a 2011 and 2012 African-American Literary Award nominee. The Season of Sin and The Wild Life were both reviewed and highly recommended by USA Today. Stacy was born, raised, and resides in Houston, Texas.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#FeatureFriday- New Release: The Book of Joshua 1- Trust by Iris Bolling

joshua

 

CIA Operative Joshua Lassiter is always in the midst of danger. When an international incident requires his attention, the journey begins. In foreign territory with a ruthless King at the helm, Joshua finds himself rescuing royalty and a mysterious woman.

Akande Ambree has a mission: kill the man who dishonored her family. Ready to give her life in honor of her country, it is Joshua that crosses her path. Life takes on a different meaning under the tutelage of a Lassiter in more ways than one.

Love for your country or the sweet love of a man…..

The choice comes with trust.

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Goodreads 

 

iris bolling 2About the Author: 

Iris s Bolling was born in Richmond, Virginia, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management. S is currently a Workforce Development Trainer with the Commonwealth of Virginia, providing management training and professional development consultation for the state workforce.

In an effort to combine the areas in her life she enjoys the most, education, politics and romance, she penned her first manuscript, Once You’ve Touched the Heart, which was release in March 2008.  Since that time she has released books 2-5 of what has become The Heart Series which includes, The Heart of Him, Look Into My Heart, A Heart Divided, A Lost Heart and her latest release, The Heart.  In May of 2011, Iris introduced her new novel, Night of Seduction/Heaven’s Gate.

In April of 2010 Iris was named Debut Author the Year, at the Romance Slam Jam conference. Her novel, Once You’ve Touched the Heart was voted the Readers Choice Award with Shades of Romance Magazine for, Romance Book of the Year. Iris was voted Romance Author of the Year and Author of the Year. Her novel A Lost Heart was nominated Romantic Suspense Novel of the Year, at the 2011 Romance Slam Jam. In 2012 her book Teach Me, was awarded Heroine of the Year-Diamond Lassiter

Twitter     Facebook     Website     Email

 

 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

 

MJ

 

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#FeatureFriday- New Release: Life Sentence, a Romantic Suspense, by Carolyn Arnold

Life Sentence Cover Kindle

“If I pay with my life, you will pay with yours.”

 

Defense Attorney Bryan Lexan may have just taken on the case which will cost him his life. When his client, a Russian mafia boss, is convicted of first-degree murder, he vows to make Bryan pay.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pratt has always prided herself on being a modern woman–you know, the kind who doesn’t need a man to make her feel complete. So when she finds herself torn between two, she realizes that not all decisions are based on facts. If they were, her boyfriend, Bryan, would be the logical choice. He has the family name, wealth, and a stake in a successful law firm. Only thing is, when she meets Mason Freeman, the chemistry between them is irrefutable and he won’t take no for an answer.

With both of them caught up in a struggle for survival, and a powerful enemy on their heels, they’ll need to decide where their loyalties lie.

 

What reviewers are saying:

“Carolyn Arnold…continues the trend of writing exciting stories that keep your attention throughout…Life Sentence is a thriller all the way…Arnold never disappoints.”

—Barb, The Reading Cafe

 

“Though unique in her own right, author Carolyn Arnold is a masterful blend of such greats as Shirley Jackson (horror), Joseph Finder (thrills), and Janet Evanovich (humor and romance). Life Sentence is powerful and gripping, with so many twists and turns it left me gasping…”

—Betty Dravis, Award-winning Author and Journalist

 

 Get your copy now at one of these fine retailers.

Available in E-Book or Print formats.

 

Amazon      Barnes & Noble      Apple      Kobo      Smashwords

Sony & Diesel to follow

Carolyn Author Photo 2013 Color About the Author:

CAROLYN ARNOLD’s writing career was born when a co-worker said “tell me a story”.  From there what had started off as a few paragraphs grew into her first length novel—LIFE SENTENCE. Her writing has been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more.  She is the author of the best-selling Madison Knight series, and Brandon Fisher FBI series.  Carolyn was born in 1976 in Picton, Ontario but currently lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband and two beagles.

 

Website     Twitter     Facebook Fan Page

 

 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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New Romantic-Suspense SPLIT DECISIONS by bestselling author Carmen DeSousa is now available!

Split Decisions is a follow-up novel to the romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me. While you do not have to read the first book to enjoy the second, we believe you should have the option, so click here to avoid spoilers.

 If you’re still here, read on for a first peek at Split Decisions and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Split Decisions - Final Cover

Sometimes you want something so badly you are willing to abandon everything you’ve ever known—including yourself.

Eighteen years ago, Jaynee Monroe married the man of her dreams, became the mother of four, and fulfilled her career goals. About to turn forty, she senses something is missing from her idyllic life. While Googling her name in an attempt to find herself, she unearths something so impossible, she contemplates her own sanity. Seeking answers, she embarks on a journey to discover the truth, only to end up abducted by a deranged stranger who insists on calling her Caycee.

Caycee took the road less traveled. Rejecting a marriage proposal from the only decent man she ever knew, she ventures to California to become famous. Eighteen years later, success has left her alone and miserable. Attempting to locate her lost love on Facebook, she discovers his infatuation with her. Not only does his presumed-dead wife have Caycee’s uncommon middle name, it appears he has photo-shopped her face over hers.

Never could Caycee and Jaynee have imagined decisions they made years earlier would threaten not only their lives but also their loved ones. Caycee must now reunite with the southern gent she dismissed eighteen years ago and convince him to accompany her to New York to locate his wife, the most important person in both their lives.

 Download Split Decisions here:

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Barnes & Noble     iTunes

 Now all you have to do to register to win the $10 Amazon Gift Card is share this page via Raffle Copter. Contest ends 7/1/13 at 12:00 a.m. EST and you can share daily if you want. Good luck!

  Click her to go to the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Deciding what genre you write should not be this difficult!!!!

Finding the Correct Genre For Your ProseOkay, admit it, we’ve all been there. You get an idea; invest time, tears, aggravation, and determination to write it all down. Then you struggle with letting it go long enough for a friend or relative to read it. You gird yourself emotionally (or at least you try to) while you listen to their feedback, then cry when in private. Despite however many edits it takes to tell your tale, one of the first questions asked by your reader is, “What genre do you write?”

You would think it would be easy to say, (fill in the blank), but not these days. Genres no longer carry the simple tags of Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Drama, and Sci-Fi. There are sub-genres to these popular book categories that muddy the waters when it comes to deciding exactly where your manuscript fits in. Not to mention, new categories seem to pop up every day. Ever heard of Science Fiction/Alternative History? Me neither, but it is out there!

So, how do you find out if your manuscript fits into one, or more, of these sub-genres?

Well let’s start with defining what a fiction genre is. Visit this link, Exploring Different Types of Genre, which is found on the For Dummies website.

To summarize, here are the two main types of literal and commercial fiction:

Commercial fiction: Attracts a broad audience and may also fall into any sub-genre such as mystery, romance, legal thriller, western, science fiction, and more. (Example: The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. Popular authors in this genre include John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steele, and Jackie Collins.)

Literary fiction: Appeals to a smaller, more intellectual audience. Works in this genre can fall into the above listed genres. The difference is the qualities it contains: excellent writing, originality of thought and style. These qualities raise it above the level of ordinary written works. (Examples: Cold Mountain by Frazier. Popular authors in this genre include Toni Morrison, Barbara Kingsover, John LeCarre, and Saul Bellow. )

The article goes on to describe the main genres, as well as list the sub-genres and its most popular authors. Visiting this link provides valuable information to help you discover where you fit in, as well as where to best promote your work when it’s published.  The site also provides links to the Writers of America website for each genre for more detailed descriptions and the accepted rules.

For those of you on a time crunch who don’t have time to read the full article, but want to find our more information about your genre, here are the links:

Mystery Writers of America        Romance Writers of America

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America      Western Writers of America

So, where does my writing fit in? While I writer Romance, because I ‘break the rules’, the stories I tell fall into several categories.

The settings are modern day which puts me in Contemporary Romance.

Though I write from the female and male point of view, the stores are mostly about women’s issues and the ability to overcome, which places me in Women’s Fiction.

My characters are not all from one race. The heroines in the first three novels of The Butterfly Memoirs are an African-American, Caucasian-African-American, and Caucasian. The heroes are Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic. This puts me in the Interracial Romance category. Unfortunately, this is a relatively new category that is just now being acknowledged by the publishing industry. (Here’s a great blog post written by a fellow author on this topic: Interracial Romance: The Most Popular Genre No One’s Heard About.)

And last but not least, because I am an African-American author, anything I write, regardless of the topics, writing style, or genre, I am automatically placed in the African-American genre before anything else is considered.

So, where does YOUR story fit? Good luck with figuring it out!

MJ

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Christopher Bynum!

I crossed paths with author Christopher Bynum in one of the Facebook book clubs I belong to.  We first conversed when he dropped by for an author chat about my first book. I was floored when I learned he wrote Erotica. I have not ran across many male authors (I know they exist!) who write Romance, much less Erotica…and man is he good at it! But Romance and Erotica are not the only genres he  has explored.  He goes by the pen name, The Black, and has an extensive catalog of stories to read on his website. You have to check them out!

Chris Author pic

Welcome, Christopher!

What inspired you to write?

 I think I’ve always had stories in my head. Early on I wanted to be an artist. I was always good at illustration, and I thought that I’d tell my stories that way. Then one day it dawned on me that I could tell my stories more efficiently with the written word than with a series of illustrations or paintings.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write everything. My back up hard drive is loaded with stories of every genre – Action/Adventure, Romance, Erotica, even Science Fiction, Fantasy and Old West tales. Most of my published works are erotica, a genre I kind of fell into. The year before I retired from the Air Force the IT guy at my headquarters asked me what I was going to do after I retired. I told him the same job I did in the Air Force, but that what I really wanted to do one day was to pursue my passion, which was writing fiction. I also commented that I thought that reading books on computers would be the wave of the future. He agreed. He told me that in every new technology, sex always leads the way, whether it be VCRs, video on CD, and the new technology (at that time), DVDs. He suggested that I write about sex. So that’s how I started with erotica. I made my bones on a certain adult web site, and over about a decade became quite popular there writing serialized erotica. Many of those stories became published books.  

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I’m usually up by 7:00, and the first thing I do is sit down with a cup of coffee at my laptop. I try to do no less than four hours of writing a day. It usually works out to be many more hours – sometimes eight or ten on a given day because if inspiration strikes, I’ll usually stop whatever I’m doing and go fire up my laptop.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I come up with some of my best stuff in the shower. I’m talking about specific narrative and dialogue. Then by the time I’m dry I’ve lost over half of it. If someone ever invents a waterproof laptop I’m going to rule the world. Okay, maybe that’s not interesting; just strange.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I plot. Mentally. I can’t sit down in front of a blank Word document with no idea and just start writing and hope it turns out okay. Today I wrote the first 2,000 words of a story that’s been in my head for weeks. The crazy thing is that until a couple of days ago it hadn’t occurred to me to write it at all. It was just something bouncing around in my imagination while I was doing other things. That being said, I rarely create a written outline before starting a story or novel. Usually the story plays out in my head, including character dialogue. If I get stuck, I get up and walk around and let the characters talk to me. Lately however, I’m finding that I need to lay out at least a rough overview of the primary elements of a story, because my new stuff is more complex. Right now I have pages of bullet statements for a book project I’m working on taped to the wall behind my laptop. 

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

Many of my stories are based on my experiences or are inspired by the experiences of others that I’ve observed. Some come to me out of thin air. An example of a story inspired by real life would be one I started about five years ago. I had an idea for a story about a man who was in a marriage that ended suddenly, catching him by surprise. My thought was that after his marriage ended, the character would go on something of a sexual rampage, having many physical relationships without allowing himself to become emotionally involved with any of the women and be hurt again as a result. I was going to call the story Insatiable. I was married at that time, and all of a sudden real life events started to look like they would mirror my story idea. My fictional story became emotionally too close to reality, and I wasn’t able to finish it. Fast-forward to my post-marriage life: I met someone who was externally the (stereotypical) model of the strong, independent, successful black woman. You step to her wrong and she would verbally crush you. But we discovered that beneath her strong exterior, she was a submissive at heart. Boom – a new story idea. I created a character based on that woman. I needed a male costar for her story, so I dug up the character I’d put aside – the man who’d experienced the failed marriage – made him a writer named Simon Bishop, and wrote a story titled, Elle. I posted Elle on the adult web site, and I was surprised at all the positive email feedback I received from women readers. They wrote that they could relate to Elle’s character – not necessarily her sexual submissiveness, but her desire to have a man she could trust enough to allow her to let down her guard, to not always have to be in control. The emails highlighted to me that many women don’t want to be controlling or in always control of every aspect of their lives, but feel that they have to be because they haven’t found a man they could trust enough to hand over the reins to. Based on that feedback, I knew that Elle would have to become a published novel. I published it as Elle (Insatiable: Book One). I still have plans to publish Simon Bishop’s story (the story I put aside), probably as the fourth book in the Insatiable series.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they? Read a lot. Read works by your favorite authors. As you read, think about what makes you enjoy that author’s work. From a technical perspective, examine the way they lay out a story and draw you into it. Then sit down and write, but don’t try to imitate those other authors. Instead, find your own voice and run with it. Don’t worry about how bad you think it might be. That’s what editing is for. For instructional/reference material I suggest Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and J.A. Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. Grab a copy of Writer’s Digest Magazine every now and then. I always find good tips or motivation there.  Also pick up a copy of Gone With the Wind. Even if you don’t like the subject matter and some of the character portrayals, the novel is a classic for a reason. Author Margaret Mitchell laid out a blueprint for character and plot development that’s as good as any you’ll ever read. One thousand pages fly by. Most important, write! Writing is like exercising a muscle. You won’t get better at it unless you work that muscle and make it stronger.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I’m self-published.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on three projects currently: A vampire novel titled Nightwalkers, which will be much different than any vampire tale ever written, a romance drama titled Anything Worth Having, and I’m compiling the many short stories that make up The Hitman Chronicles. The one is long overdue for publishing, but it’s my pet project and I want to get it just right.

Connect with Christopher on the following links:

Twitter     Facebook     Google+     Goodreads     Blog/Website     Amazon     Email

#WriterWednesday- Check Out What 5 Prince Publishing Has to Offer!

In celebration of the release of the next novel in The Butterfly Memoirs series Jaded, I am sharing the latest releases of my fellow 5 Prince Publishing authors. Click each photo to find out more about the story. No matter what genre you prefer, I promise you’ll find a great read to match!

Christina OW - Contemporary Romance

Christina OW – African Contemporary Fiction/Multicultural/ African American Romance

HeartLikeAnOcean-Cover

Christine Steendam- Historical Romance

Book Review: When Noonday Ends by Carmen DeSousa

When Noonday Ends coverFor all of you Carmen DeSousa fans who have read Land of the Noonday Sun, you’ve already meet and fallen in love with one of the supporting characters, Tom Turner, the best friend of Chad Wilkinson. As you know, Tom was not left in a happy place.  Per fan request , Carmen wrote another novel, just for him, and the fans!

In Land of the Noonday Sun, readers we meet several secondary characters that leave you guessing as to ‘whodunit’.  The writing is so masterful that it’s hard to decide who’s the real bad guy. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, some plot twist pops up sending you in another direction, or the character you thought was the bad guy ends up being saving the day. In this case, that was Tom (okay, that was a mini spoiler, but believe me, there’s enough unmentioned characters to keep you guessing!). Saving the day left him with a broken heart and alone. Not to mention a memory that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Which brings us to When Noonday Ends, the second book in the Nantahala Series.

Tom Turner is an attorney just out of law school and in the process of getting his feet wet. He doesn’t have a long list of winning major cases under his belt, and quite frankly, would rather be doing something else than be an attorney. But as most of us have done in our lives, we follow the dreams our parents set before us and  look longingly at the job or dream that would make us happy. For Tom, it’s getting back to nature and doing the one thing he did as a college student in the summer: be a white water rafting guide at his best friend, Chad’s business, or better yet, hike the Appalachian Trail. Anything to get away from the memory that haunts him.

Who knew the opportunity to escape his life and find love with come with representing a beautiful woman who’s charged with attempted murder?

Weird, huh?

Once again, Carmen has written a story filled with colorful characters mixed with a beautiful back drop marred only by murder, mystery, longing, desperate decisions, and family secrets. If you love suspense, romance, and happy endings a character has to work for, pick up a copy today. You’ll be glad you did!

My rating: *****

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Heat Level: ***(Just enough to get the heart racing and stir your imagination!)

Violence: PG

*** SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven’t read Land of the Noonday Sun, you may want to stop here, buy it, then come back. You have been warned! *insert evil laugh here… 🙂 ***

Prologue

Sitting at the rear of the courtroom, Tom Turner’s mind wandered. One person after another approached the judge, claiming their innocence. He hated doing this, but the law firm where he worked required all new attorneys to accept hardship cases. To get your feet wet, they’d said.

Like his father before him, he’d chosen a career as an attorney. And for once in his life, his parents were actually proud of him.

Still, most attorneys spent their days off golfing. He couldn’t stand golf, but he’d give anything to be kayaking right now. Often he thought of changing careers, as his best friend Chad had done. He had thrown away four years of medical school to manage an outdoor store he’d inherited from his parents. Tom had always thought that it had been a stupid decision, but now he wondered. His best friend was married to a beautiful woman, had a son, and could kayak every day if he wanted.

What Tom really wanted was to take a few months off from life and hike the Appalachian Trail. After the year he’d had, he needed some time away from life—all life. But then, his parents would be disappointed, and he’d miss his niece, Samantha. His sister had been one of the wildest women he’d ever known. But since she’d had Sam, she’d finally settled down and was trying to be a good mother. Being a single mother wasn’t easy, and Michelle needed him. If only to give her at least one night a week to unwind.

Tom threw his head back and closed his eyes. Just the smell of the courthouse was grating on him today. The oil they’d used on the old wooden floors was giving him a migraine.

“No contest, Your Honor.” A soft country voice roused him from his brooding.

Tom forced his eyes to focus on the woman standing in front of the judge. It couldn’t be. The smooth blond hair, that beautiful country voice. Brandy? He shook his head to clear it. Brandy was dead; he’d shot her more than a year ago.

####

Yep, you read that right, he killed someone!!! To find out what happened, read Land of the Noonday Sun. If you’d rather get straight to Tom,  buy When Noonday Ends.  But I tell you, both stories go hand in hand. Happy reading!!!

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3 Books

***For more information about When Noonday Ends, Land of the Noonday Sun, and other books bestselling books by Carmen DeSousa, visit her blog!***

New Release by Carmen DeSousa!

While Carmen does not write “Christian” books, she does share her characters’ Christian beliefs. Her characters are real people who come with real flaws; no perfect people allowed.

 She characterizes her stories as modern-day fairytales, as they are overflowing with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a fairytale be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of her novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will hopefully make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.

Her first two novels, She Belongs to Me and Land of the Noonday Sun, have reached bestseller status right alongside Nicholas Sparks, J.D. Robb, and other great authors. Her third novel, Entangled Dreams, is now available.

All of her novels are standalones; however, she does link each of her stories with a little surprise. If you read out of order, you’ll never notice. But if you read in order, it’s fun.

Carmen loves talking about all things books, so please connect with her via one of the links below.

Website

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Goodreads

Interview with Denise Moncrief!

Today I welcome another talented author with 5 Prince Publishing, Denise Moncrief, as she shares a bit about herself, her writing process, and wonderful advice for aspiring authors!

Denise Moncrief author pic

 Welcome, Denise!

What inspired you to write?

I began devouring every book I could get my hands on in high school. I’ve been a prolific reader ever since. All of that reading has fed my imagination. For years my daydreaming made me feel somewhat guilty. I had no problem imagining myself in other places, with other people, doing other things. One day I got the idea of channeling all my daydreaming into a manuscript. That was nine, maybe ten years ago, and since then I’ve been writing practically non-stop with only a few short sabbaticals due to a recalcitrant muse refusing to cooperate and give me a fresh spurt of inspiration.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I started writing romance, but I found an element of suspense slipped into the plot line every single time no matter how I manipulated my characters and their actions, so the suspense genre grabbed my imagination and wouldn’t let me go. I love suspense and that’s what I write.

I bend and blend genres. My stories are usually suspense and _________. My daughter tells me I can’t write anything without including at least one dead body in the story line. Well, I don’t know, maybe that’s true. Aside from traditional suspense plot lines, I find there’s an element of suspense in any conflict, a moment when the breath catches. I strive to portray that one thing in any situation that will affect the heart rate, tug at emotions, and make the reader anxiously turn the page to read what happens next.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I have a part time accounting position, so my weekday mornings are spent crunching numbers, but once I get home I divide my time between taking care of my family and pursuing my career as a writer and editor. My evenings are split between writing, editing, and marketing. Lately, it’s been difficult to squeeze working on my current work in process between editing and promotion deadlines, but thankfully, the new manuscript is within 5,000 words of being complete. I’ve never been a scheduled writer, writing for a certain amount of time at the same time every day. Now, that I’ve also been hired as an editor, I’ve had to schedule chunks of time to get alone and write for several hours at a time. If I don’t do that, the editing and marketing pursuits will swallow all my free time. So it’s definitely become a balancing act.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hum…A writing quirk? Am I quirky? I’m not sure about that. Well, I don’t write in my polka dot pajamas, sip herbal tea, or listen to any particular style of music. I don’t have to have the house quiet either. I put on a pot of coffee and slip into my most comfortable jeans and a t-shirt. I might write on my bed or at my desk or on the sofa in the living room. Perhaps my biggest quirk is that I don’t do rough drafts. I’m probably obsessive compulsive or a raving perfectionist or something. I edit as I go because I can’t stand the thought of overlooking something that needs a tweak. I’ll write a few chapters and then edit. Write a few more and reread from the beginning, editing as I go. I find this gives me a greater sense of continuity and helps me fine-tune my plot and my characterization.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I imagine the opening scene of the story and decide how the story will end. Between the beginning and the ending, I am a certified pantser. I let the plot evolve as it goes along, letting my characters and their developing personalities decide what to say and how to react in any given situation, as long as they get to the end of the story right where I want them to go.

Are your stories based on experiences of someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share an example?

No, I can’t think of any instance where I’ve based a plotline on my own experiences or the experiences of anyone I know personally. However, the underlying theme of all my stories is forgiveness and reconciliation. I heard someone say one time that unforgiveness is the poison one drinks with the hopes of injuring someone else. I believe this to be very true. I’ve experienced personally how destructive unforgiveness can be, not only to the offender, but to the offended.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I remember well my first rejection. I submitted a series of four stories to a publisher. He very kindly suggested I should continue to hone my skills by perhaps going to a writer’s workshop. It was an excellent piece of advice, because I did as he advised and realized how much I didn’t know about the craft of writing. That was years ago. An author should never believe he or she has learned all there is to know about the art and craft of writing.

Commonly accepted style evolves and changes over the years. Be aware of trends. The trends readers preferred ten years ago might not be what keeps a reader’s interest today. For instance, a common trend is to use as few he said/she said type dialogue tags as possible, replacing the tag with action beats.

When you finish writing your baby, after pouring all your heart and soul into plot and characterization, put the manuscript aside for a few days and then come back to it. Read it aloud with the critical ear of a reader, not the emotionally attached heart of a writer. The exercise often reveals glitches in the flow of the narrative.

There is an abundance of information and guidance available to aspiring writers on how to hone writing skills. Not all suggestions work for every writer. Research editing and writing. Read blogs and books on the subject of writing. Build relationships with other writers. A writer should test different approaches and find out what works best for her. For instance, I’ve read more than once that a writer should write straight through a rough draft, then go back and edit. This approach clearly doesn’t work for me.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I have been published or have been contracted by three wonderful indie publishers, Still Moments Publishing, 5 Prince Publishing, and Crooked Cat Publishing.

What are your current projects?

My last single tile release was Deceptions of the Heart, a full-length paranormal romance suspense novel from Still Moments Publishing. Crisis of Identity is romance suspense with a humorous bite, scheduled for release this week from 5 Prince Publishing. My current work in process is paranormal romance suspense set in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with the working title The Memory Catcher.

My full library at Still Moments Publishing, including Deceptions of the Heart, can be purchased at http://www.stillmomentspublishing.com/p/ebook-store.html, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook, Create Space, or Smashwords. My new release, Crisis of Identity, when it becomes available this week, can be purchased at http://www.5princebooks.com/buy.htm and Amazon.

CrisisOfIdentity

Tess Copeland is an operator. Her motto? Necessity is the mother of a good a con. When Hurricane Irving slams into the Texas Gulf coast, Tess seizes the opportunity to escape her past by hijacking a dead woman’s life, but Shelby Coleman’s was the wrong identity to steal. And the cop that trails her? He’s a U.S. Marshall with the Fugitive Task Force for the northern district of Illinois. Tess left Chicago because the criminal justice system gave her no choice. Now she’s on the run from ghosts of misdeeds past—both hers and Shelby’s.

Enter Trevor Smith, a pseudo-cowboy from Houston, Texas, with good looks, a quick tongue, and testosterone poisoning. Will Tess succumb to his questionable charms and become his damsel in distress? She doesn’t have to faint at his feet—she’s capable of handling just about anything. But will she choose to let Trevor be the man? When Tess kidnaps her niece, her life changes. She must make some hard decisions. Does she trust the lawman that promises her redemption, or does she trust the cowboy that promises her nothing but himself?

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Author Bio:

Denise wrote her first story when she was in high school—seventeen hand-written pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she read. She earned a degree in accounting, giving her some nice skills to earn a little money, but her passion has always been writing. She has written numerous short stories and more than a few full-length novels. Her favorite pastimes when she’s not writing are spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, two children, and one very chubby dog.

Connect with Denise on the following links:

Twitter   Facebook    Google+    Goodreads    Blog/Website   Amazon   Email   SmashWords

Book Review: Entangled Dreams by Carmen DeSousa

First of all, I love the title….it makes me think of the twists and turns a story can take. One minute your happy, the next your sad. Confusion and mistrust, fear and anger are the images that come to my mind when I think of an entangled dream. Not to mention, the shattered image on the cover says it all.

For Alexandra, life used to be a fairy tale..full of the hopes and promises of youth. But sadly, events beyond her control quickly kill the dream, forcing her into a reality where she finds herself trapped in a relationship that is going nowhere, working hard to pay her bills, and unsure of what she should do next.

Until she meets Cameron. Polar opposites, neither of them are able to ignore the instant attraction. When exactly does a ‘good boy’ cross the line? What is it about Alexandra that draws him to her even while his mind is telling him to stay away?

A chance meeting, motorcycle ride, and a icy mixed with alcohol lead to an unexpected encounter that leaves them both wanting more. For Alexandra, it’s realizing her worth; for Cameron, a second chance at finding love.

What could possibly happen to entangle their new found dream?

Gotta read it to find out!

I am a big fan of Carmen’s books, not only because she is a friend, but because she has a masterful way of weaving a tale of suspense and mystery in the guise of romance! You’ll forget what type of story you’re reading until she reminds you with a scene that makes you go, “WHAT???”

If you haven’t read any of Carmen’s books, you don’t know what you’re missing! Mystery, Romance, Suspense, and so much more!

My Rating: *****
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Level: Just the right amount of heat to send your imagination soaring!
Violence: PG13
Language: PG13

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