July 31, 2013

Fantasy vs Reality: Weighting for Mr Right @pawf1067 #RLFblog

Weighting for Mr Right 
Article by author Patricia W Fisher, RN.
I don't want a size two ass. I never have.
In my romantic comedy, Weighting for Mr. Right, I didn't want my heroine, Megan Sayla, to end up with one either.
I will confess. Initially, I planned for her to lose a ton of weight to find her happily ever after. Problem with that scenario is we've all seen it enough times to count and I knew the majority of my readers wouldn't be able to relate and probably lose interest in her. She wouldn't be relatable nor likeable and would fall out of the fantasy of the romance and honestly, it's not very realistic.
By the end of the book, I wanted readers to cheer for Megan's success and think, "I like this girl. We could out and drink margaritas all weekend."
Don't get me wrong, regaining or keeping your health takes work and I've lost and gained and lost enough times to make my head spin.
Problem is, I love to eat and I've had more than my share of temper tantrums in dressing rooms of major department stores, just ask my husband or my mom. But with the growing epidemic of obesity in our country and the world, I wanted to be responsible and address how all of us who hate the size of our thighs, might have gotten where we are and how to get healthier. I wanted to write a realistic heroine in a romantic comedy (fantasy) where I gave a good message.
So how would I weave fantasy with reality so people didn't think they'd been preached to, but still liked the characters (and me) by the time I wrote The End?
As a former ICU nurse, I'd seen my share of what poor health habits can do to a body. I remember one family all out in the waiting room eating tubs of BBQ and potato salad while they each took turns visiting grandma in the ICU after her heart attack and open heart surgery. As much as I wanted to shake them and say, "Look at what you're doing," I also understood it. Food is as much of a nutritional necessity as it is comfort.
In Weighting for Mr. Right, Megan Sayla has comforted herself with food far too long and just by saying the word No at the most inopportune time (her wedding), she's thrown down a path of self-discovery and given the potential to eat a big ass pile of Krispy Kreme donuts. (Remember, when the marquis light's on, you get a free donut.)
That's when the story really begins because what Megan discovers is that sometimes what you want may not be what's best for those in your life. I'd witnessed it enough to see that change causes major chaos, even if the change is a good thing. That was the reality of Weighting for Mr. Right.
Now here's the fantasy. There's a very hot guy in it named Jacob Dante who thinks Megan is amazing from the moment he meets her. To be clear, the guy is the fantasy, not the fact he likes her.
He looks a lot like this guy, my friend Warren. Check out his Facebook page here: https://facebook.com/modelwarren
You're welcome!
And that's the simple version of how I mixed fantasy and reality in my book.

Excerpt

In Weighting for Mr. Right, multilingual nurse Megan Sayla has said no at the most inopportune time, he wedding day. In her confusion to get out and clear her mind, she decides to get "Just Married" cleaned off her car, but as soon as she reaches the carwash, she gets flustered and ends up in the men's bathroom.
There, she meets, Jacob Dante, who finds her not only cute, but intreging.
This is an excerpt of him realizing she'd spoken more than just English to her family when they called her, asking her to come back to the church.
Enjoy!

"Wait, you said merde." He pointed. "I've heard that before. You speak what?"
"It's 'shit' in French."
"You speak French?"
I nodded.
"But you didn't just speak French did you?"
"No. I spoke a couple languages."
"Why French?"
"Because 'oh shit', or really 'damn', in Danish is for hevelde and it doesn't flow as nicely across the lips as merde."
He shot me a look that made me wonderfully uncomfortable. "You're multilingual?"
"Yes, but it's not a big deal, really. No one thinks it's a big deal." I bit my lip. "No one."
"I do." Adonis moved toward me. "What languages do you speak?"
I wrung my hands. "Oh, okay. Um, English, of course, Danish, Russian, German, French, Spanish, and Italian."
Those green eyes sparkled. "You speak Italian?"
What was that look? "Yes. Si."
He took a step closer to me. "Say something in Italian."
Say something sexy, something clever.
"Okay." I took a deep breath. "Ho bisogno di verso lavaggio mio vestiti."
You're such a moron.
Adonis got a look on his face that wanted me to, well, do naughty, naughty things to him. "What did you say?"
Lie to him. He'll never know you said something stupid. "I said, 'I need to do laundry'."
Dufus.
The intensity of his eyes softened. "Who thought doing laundry could sound so ... appealing?"
"You should hear 'my car is clean'. That's la mia automobile è pulita. That's very sexy."
As he stared at me for a moment, a slow smirk spread across his face. "Right. Speaking of cars, I bet mine is finished." He shifted his feet, not moving any farther from me. "You good?"
I nodded, as I felt a little high, but couldn't determine if it was the lemon cleaner fumes or my endorphins. "I'm pretty sure I'll be fine."
"Nice to know." Turning to leave, he pivoted on his heels before disappointment set in my mind. "I'm sorry, but I've got to know your name."
"My name? Why?" His sudden request had me almost speechless.
"Gotta have a name to go with the story, because no one will believe me. No one will believe me when I tell them about a woman who had the guts to leave a man at the altar."
I raised an eyebrow. "Are you going to put this on your Facebook page?"
"No, no, nothing like that."
"Twitter?"
"Nope."
"My Space? Write a paper, an article, or a blog about it?"
"Not at all." He cleared his throat as he stepped toward me, leaving little room between us. "Just need a name ... call me curious."
"All right, Curious." I inhaled the mint of his breath. "I guess it isn't every day you meet a woman in the men's bathroom."
"At least not a woman willing to take such chances in life like you are. And ..." He took a deep breath.
"And what?" I felt my body leaning into him.
"You speak Italian."
"Oh." It finally dawned on me why this guy had me so flustered. For the first time, in however many years, someone noticed me.
He saw me through all the white, fluffed, marshmallow—cream of a wedding dress, pound of makeup and gallon of hair spray. He asked me something only I could answer, focused on one of my strengths, and he didn't tell me what I thought or needed or feel.
"Sì, parlo l'italiano." I smiled when his eyes sparkled again.
"Say something else," he whispered.
"E terrò a parlare esso se lei tiene sorridere come ciò." I'll keep speaking it if you keep smiling like that.
I tried to convince myself that no man, who looked like him, would be even remotely attracted to a lumpy, boring, made–up bride-on-the-run. That he was high, drunk, mentally impaired, or he needed a green card.
The problem with that theory? As each moment passed between us, and with every word of Italian I spoke, his green eyes became more vivid.
His undivided attention had me thinking of things I shouldn't when–
"Omigod, Megan!" Two of my bridesmaids, Lydia and Sam, barged in.
Buy links:

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July 25, 2013

Character Interview: Shane from Desire Unleashed @Layne_Macadam #RLFblog

Desire Unleashed 
Layne Macadam, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Shane Jackson aka Ice, from the book, Desire Unleashed.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Cover artist: Lyn A Taylor
Length: 105K words
Heat rating: Spicy Hot
Tagline: Find out what happens when a career-driven, cocky Navy SEAL meets an old-fashioned good girl looking for love in all the wrong places. Intrigue, kidnapping, and danger await you in this explosive tale of desire unleashed.
Blurb:
When schoolteacher Kathy Bellamy moved from Louisiana to Coronado, she didn't expect her secret dream, or her worst nightmare, to become a reality.
Confirmed bachelor and relationship cynic, Shane Jackson has no room in his life for a permanent woman. Temporary liaisons are all he is up for. Cocky and self-assured, he believes he can pick a like-minded player at a glance. So when he discovers Kathy is the complete antithesis of what he believed her to be, he is thrown into a tailspin. Before long, and way out of his comfort zone, he finds himself knee deep in a relationship he can't quite seem to end.
Kathy longs for a fairytale romance, an old-fashioned girl saving herself for the right guy. But, after one date with Navy SEAL Shane Jackson, she trashes her values and willingly tumbles into the sack without a thought for the consequences. Now, Kathy's love life will soon become the catalyst of a nightmare. When she throws caution to the wind and acts out of character, her actions are seen as a betrayal by her stalker, a betrayal that demands retribution in blood. Abducted at knifepoint and taken to a secret location, it's up to Shane, the ultimate predator, to find and rescue her before it's too late!
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
The main characters are Shane *Ice* Jackson, he's a Navy SEAL and is 34 years old. Kathy Bellamy is 24, and she is a first grade teacher. Kathy has moved from Louisiana to Coronado and that is where Shane and Kathy meet.

Interview with Shane Jackson

Tell us about yourself.
Up until recently I was a Navy SEAL, that's where I got the name Ice, but after getting wounded in Cambodia, I was medically retired from fieldwork. Now I co-own a private security business with my old SEAL team. The guys and me will take on any job *grins* as long as it's legal.
Tell us about Kathy Bellamy.
What can I say? The moment I laid eyes on her I was smitten. My wife is one of those rare creatures who is as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. She's feisty when the situation calls for it, and she's as sexy as hell! She opened my eyes and made me see there was more to life than work, and she taught me to trust again. I adore her.
What do you think is your strongest point?
Loyalty. I will hang in there till the end, no matter what, and I will fight for what I believe in.
What would Kathy say is your strongest point?
Well, I think she would probably say my stamina. LOL! Nah, seriously, she calls me her rock. It's funny hearing her say that because I have always thought of her as my rock, my anchor.
What was it like where you grew up?
I had a rough childhood. I don't talk about it much, but my mother's parents disowned her when they learned I was on the way. Long story short, she ended up on the street and died young. I was in and out of foster care until I was about fourteen when a Marine and his wife took me in and turned my life around. They were amazing and kind, and I will always be grateful for their love and support.
What do you wish was different about your life?
My life is perfect now, but if I could change one thing it would be that I discovered the identity of Kathy's stalker before he got to her. I give thanks every day that Frosty, and I arrived when we did, thirty minutes later and we would have been too late. Only for Frosty, I would have finished that sucker when I had the chance.

About the Author

I live with my husband, two dogs and a cat on the beautiful east coast of Australia. I have a full-time job with a degree in history. I've always been an avid reader, and I love a happy ending, so writing romance seemed a natural progression for me. But as I sat at my computer staring at a blank screen it all seemed rather daunting. Once I started tapping on the keys though, the words kept flowing and before I knew it I had written my first book.
Layne Macadam 
I write contemporary romance and sci-fi. I am currently working on Desire Denied book 2 in the Desire Series. I have ideas for an historical romance in the future, and with thoughts of a wolf shifter germinating in my head a paranormal romance is not outside the realms of possibility either.
When I'm not writing you might find me in the kitchen creating culinary delights, but of course some dishes work out better than others!
I guess my love of history has fueled my other passion which is travel. I have been fortunate enough to have seen lots of this wonderful world we live in and on my web page you can share some of my experiences and pictures.

Books Coming Soon

Desire Denied, Book 2 in the Desire Series

Contest

For a chance to win a copy of Desire Unleashed please leave your email address with your comment.

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July 23, 2013

Surfeit for the Senses | Interview @TalyaAndor #RLFblog

Talya Andor, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Surfeit for the Senses.
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover artist: Aisha Akeju
Length: 66,000
Heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Tagline: Where the recipe for love mixes up equal parts rivalry and the determination to come out on top!
Blurb: With the buzz and drama of competition behind them, Alex is determined to focus on the one thing that matters most: his budding relationship with Nik. All the pieces seem to be finally falling into place, as he settles into his new living arrangements and gets back into the rhythm of the kitchen, while he and Nik spend all their precious free time together.
Life never stays smooth for long, however. The combined weight of family tragedy, television fame, and new, unexpected responsibilities strain the bonds of Alex and Nik's partnership, and conflict between them demands they settle the question of equality once and for all. Pulled in so many directions, it may be more than a new relationship can take.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Alex Koch is twenty-two, and a chef who has been graduated for nearly a year from the Culinary Institute of America. Nik Schulze is the same age, and also a chef.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
Around the time my grandfather died, I made a blog entry about how he had always, always encouraged me in my writing, and every time he saw me he asked how that was coming and whether he'd get to read something I'd published, and one of my regrets was not having gotten to that point before he passed away. I was invited by Less Than Three Press to submit manuscripts for their consideration—so I took the chance! I submitted three, and happily they were accepted. I'm proud to say that one of my first novels was dedicated to my grandfather and his memory.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
Put myself out there, really. Before, I was always afraid to submit anything, because I feared rejection. Now, I think I could take that to move forward and become stronger. I wrote several novel-length manuscripts before I ever had the courage to send anything out for submission—about nine? Maybe more? The most important thing was to stop holding onto those for "some day" and make now that day. Finish, work with my own pre-readers to get them as polished as possible, and submit for publisher consideration, then go from there.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I get really focused, sometimes to the point where my friends will urge me to take things easy, take a day off once in a while. From my perspective, I take too much time off—there's so many projects, I want to write everything while the ideas are fresh and flowing! I tend to shoot for a goal of 2,000 – 3,000 words a day, putting it in consistently, and that gives me decent turnout without sacrificing quality. That allows me to pace myself and still have good output. Even then, sometimes I feel like I'm going too slow. It took me about three months to finish my latest novel, and I feel like I should have had it done in a month and a half, tops. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to relax and take things as they occur. I have burned out before, overreaching myself.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Sangria o'clock! Just kidding. Speaking candidly, I try to pace myself. It's important to strike a work/life balance. In my case, I basically have two jobs: the day job, and the author job. I make sure to keep up with my hobbies as well, and my exercise regimen, and that keeps me not only grounded, but prevents me from sinking too far into one manuscript or another. It can get really hectic at times—this week I had to put together a blog tour, I got a print copy to approve, there was a daily word count to meet, I got feedback on a manuscript, and things were super busy both at home and at work—but I also made time for down time. I watched a couple of my favorite shows, exercised daily, and had date night on Friday. It's a juggling act! And I seize every moment of it.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
I think it's impossible not to be influenced by that, for sure, but I don't think my friends or family would recognize themselves in any of my characters. I don't build my characters with my own friends or family in mind, either—I construct them to their own individual specifications.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
Appetite, for starters! I know it may not necessarily be everyone's cup of tea, with such an intense focus on food and fine dining, but Alex goes through a character arc that I really enjoyed constructing, and seeing Nik through his eyes was challenging and rewarding.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
M/m fiction primarily, though I currently have some books on my pile by Brandon Sanderson and Melanie Rawn. I'm a bit eclectic, I read everything from contemporary to high fantasy to sci fi, and I tend to follow writers across genres. That reflects a bit in my own writing; I always love to try new things.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
My dream vacation would be a tour through Europe, culminating in a Mediterranean cruise, ideally with a flight to Japan at the end that would give me some time in Tokyo before I returned to the States. I could be ready to go in an hour! I'd throw a variety of clothes in a suitcase, stuff my laptop in its case, and I've already got international calling enabled on my cell phone and my passport in my purse. I'd take my Kindle and iPod for the airplane, and bring it on.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
This is a rare state for me! I am really busy on a fairly regular basis, between writing projects, that work/life balance, and being as lazy as possible at every possible opportunity. I keep myself so occupied I can't remember the last time I had leisure to be bored. I'll bet I played Sudoku, or read a book, or started up a video game I hadn't played in a long time. Even now, I'm itching to finish my second playthrough of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword but I haven't had the time.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Drew Barrymore, for sure. Because she's wacky enough, but also tough, smart, and all-around fun, yet she's got a serious work ethic. She's well-rounded and (possibly only in my head) we bear a passing resemblance to one another.

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July 22, 2013

Contemporary: There Goes the Groom @JanaRichards_ #RLFblog

There Goes the Groom
Jana Richards, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, There Goes the Groom.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Uncial Press
Cover artist: Judith B. Glad
Length: 52,500 words
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: Tony is given a second chance when fate throws him back together with Olivia, the woman he left at the altar eight years ago.
Blurb:
Eight years ago Tony left Olivia at the altar. He was sure she didn't really want to marry him. Now he's back, and they're forced to work together.
Coming home isn't easy for Tony, because his father wanted him to work at a trade instead of going off to college. Their relationship is still unsteady. Even before Tony's return, Olivia began questioning the depth of her love for her fiancé, a man she chose because he was safe and reliable. The last thing she wants is a loveless, faithless marriage like the one her parents suffered through.
When Tony, who never stopped loving her, insists her fiancé is the wrong man for her, Olivia sets out to prove him wrong. But the sexual chemistry between them is still strong, and so are her feelings for him. Even so, how can she break her engagement, hurt her fiancé as she was once hurt? And how can she trust Tony not to abandon her like he did before?
If anyone does the jilting this time, she will.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Tony DiPietro is a thirty-one year old archeologist. He specializes in studying the artifacts and cultures of the aboriginal peoples of the Americas. Aside from his work in the field, he is a visiting professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.
Olivia Taylor is twenty-eight years old and is the Director of Public Relations for the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
You might say I had rather a slow start. For several years, I wrote and submitted stories to print publishers like Harlequin and Silhouette, and received enough rejection letters to paper my walls. I know now I got those rejection letters because my writing wasn't ready, but that didn't make it any less painful. I was on the verge of quitting writing when a friend urged me to submit to her publisher, www.uncialpress.com. I sent "Her Best Man" to Uncial Press and was thrilled and amazed when it was accepted. Publishing with them gave me the confidence boost I needed to keep writing and to continue submitting. I currently have ten works of romance published or under contract with three different epublishers.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
My first published book, "Her Best Man", was always meant to be the first in a series that I called my "Left at the Altar" series. If I could change anything about this book, it would be that I wouldn't wait six years before finishing and publishing the second book in the series! When I wrote the second book, I submitted it for critique to a published writer who was visiting my writing group. Her vision for the book totally differed from mine, but since she was multi-published, I figured she must know what she was talking about. Using her suggestions, I re-wrote the book, but I didn't like the result, so I left it languishing on my harddrive while I worked on other projects. I finally took a second look at the book in 2012, and in the middle of trying to re-write the book yet again, I had an epiphany. The revision I was trying to do, based on the published writer's suggestion, was ripping the beating heart of out this story. This was my book, no one else's. So I went back to my original concept, and I'm glad I did. I'm definitely not against critiques and critique groups, but I learned that I have to be true to the story I want to write.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Creating characters, I think. I love creating real people with real problems, and I love putting their personalities together, one layer at a time. And since I'm a romance writer, I enjoy showing them that love can make their lives better and happier.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I would tell my younger writer self that it's okay to fail. All those rejection letters served as a wonderful apprenticeship. It's how I learned my craft.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Sort of. I think a little bit of every writer ends up in their work. Sometimes, especially when I'm creating a secondary character, I'll find myself giving them the characteristics or quirks of people I've met. Stories I've heard also end up in my work. Years ago, someone I worked with told me a story that he'd heard from a friend who attended a very unusual wedding. When the bride arrived at the altar, the groom turned to the congregation and said there would be no wedding, and if they looked under their seats and opened the envelopes taped there, they'd understand why. The envelopes had pictures of the bride and the best man in bed together. I still don't know if that story was true, but I've wanted to use it in a book for years. I finally got my chance in "There Goes the Groom"!
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
Over the last several years I've worked as an office administrator/bookkeeper. I've been lucky enough to work part-time for many years, which gave me time to look after my children when they were young, as well as to write. I'm hoping that within the next couple of years I can fully retire from my day job and concentrate exclusively on writing.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I would recommend "Her Best Man" because it's light and funny and has wonderful, quirky characters. It's also the first in a three book series, so hopefully if the reader enjoyed "Her Best Man", she'd go on to read "There Goes the Groom", and then "Always a Bridesmaid", to be released January 17, 2014 by Uncial Press.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read a lot of research books when I'm not writing, especially history relating World War Two. I have a special interest in the era, and have written two books with WW2 as the background. I hope to write several more, hence the research.
For fun, I'll read all kinds of romance, mystery or suspense novels, with the occasional literary novel thrown in for something completely different.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
On a person level, I've had many proud moments—marrying my husband, the births of my two daughters, watching them graduate from high school, and then university. As a writer, my proudest moment so far was when my editor, Jude Glad of Uncial Press, told me I was a 'real writer' for going the extra mile with my edits on my first book.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love putting up the tree, baking cookies, and shopping for presents. But mostly I love getting together with family.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
I distinctly remember this. My husband's office was concerned there might be problems with Y2K, so he had to be close to the office that night in case something went wrong. His employer put us up at a hotel about a block from the office. He stayed at work most of the night, while my daughter (then twelve) and I watched movies before checking out the New Year's Eve fireworks from our hotel window.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
When I'm bored I can usually lose myself in a good book. If that doesn't work, I'll read blogs, go to a movie, or phone someone. If all else fails, I'll resort to exercise, but only as a last resort. I'm kidding, sort of.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Interesting question. I don't consider myself a bright red, out-in-the-front, extroverted kind of person, but I hope I'm not a dull grey person either. I think I'm a soft buttery yellow. I'm bright and warm, but not in your face. I'm a color you can live with for a long time, but I don't fade into the background.

Please underline which statement is more like you:

"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Actually, I think I'm somewhere in-between these two extremes. My husband would never say I was laid back (grin). I used to be a terrible procrastinator, and I still struggle with it to some extent, but nowadays, having writing deadlines scares me silly. I'm terrified I'll miss a deadline. So I work hard to get things done on time, or usually, before my deadline.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with everything on it.
I'm always ready for chocolate.
When I'm alone, I enjoy the quiet.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm very shy.
If I had a halo it would be dusty, like my house.
If I could lose weight I'd be thrilled.
I can never fall asleep on a plane because I'm an insomniac.

Website: http://www.janarichards.com

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July 21, 2013

Character Interview: Dr. Colin from Breaking the Rules @melindadozier #RLFblog

Breaking the Rules
Melinda, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Dr. Colin Calaway from the book, Breaking the Rules.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Cover artist: Crimson Romance
Length: 200 pages
Heat rating: 3 hearts
Tagline: Hope, a klutz and perpetual rule follower, falls for Dr. Calaway. Is following her heart instead of the rules a good idea?
Blurb:
A forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.
Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.
Buy links:
Barnes and Noble http://goo.gl/xApGh
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Colin Calaway, 33 years old, Orthopedic Surgeon
Hope Robinson, 29 years old, Middle School Principal

Interview with Colin Calaway
Breaking the Rules

Tell us about yourself.
I'm a Floridian since birth and love my family. I work hard as an orthopedic surgeon and as a single-father to Jason. My favorite hobbies include swimming and surfing … and flirting with Hope.
Tell us about Hope.
Hope is this amazing woman who just fell into my life in an unexpected way. If Jason never got into trouble, who knows if we would've hooked up. She's Jason's middle school principal at Harbor Bay Prep. She's funny, though she'd say she wasn't, and a bit klutzy, but it makes her cute. I call her my frequent flyer, because she's in and out of doctor's offices so much.
What do you think is your strongest point?
Time Changes Everything
I'd do anything for my family. Since Jason's mom died, I'm his only parent and I know how hard that is on the little guy. So, us Calaway men need to stick together.
What would Hope say is your strongest point?
Hope cracks me up. She always calls me Mr. Perfect. I'm not sure why she thinks that. We are so compatible it's frightening and I get her – so maybe she'd say that's my strongest point.
What would Hope say is your biggest weakness?
My persistence, but in the end it paid off. If I gave up on Hope early on, like she wanted me to, we'd never be engaged now.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
When I need to think or meditate on life's decisions, you'd probably find me on the ocean with my surfboard. That's my quiet place. 
As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
Tim Weeks is my best friend and almost brother. We've been friends since I can't even remember. He's in Breaking the Rules, too, and he's hard to miss – quite a loudmouth, unfortunately. A little bird told me Melinda has Tim's story in the works.

About the Author

Melinda Dozier lives in Guatemala, Central America, with her husband, three boys and German Shepherd. She enjoys being the queen of her household and dreams of being pampered fully by her boys once they're grown.

Previous Books

Melinda Dozier
Time Changes Everything from Entranced Publishing.

Find Me Here


July 20, 2013

Character Interview: Katherine from Derailed @sadiecass #RLFblog #Historical

Derailed 
Sarah Cass, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Katherine (Kat) Daugherty from the book, Derailed.
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Cover artist: Sarah Cass
Length: 96k
Heat rating: 4 Flames
Tagline:
The sins of a past she can't remember could destroy a present she'll never forget.
Blurb:
The crimes of her forgotten past threaten the very life Jane Doe has learned to cherish.
Jane is out of time. With a warrant on her head, a maniac out for her blood, and a secret baby on the way, something has to give.
Without Cole Mitchell's help to find the answers, there may be no hope left.
Cole has nowhere left to hide. He unwittingly let Jane into his heart, and is ready to share the secret of his dark past.
Fate has a way of playing its hand, and tragedy strikes. With the world crumbling around them, it's easy to lose faith. If they can't forgive past sins, they have no hope for the future.
Because the noose waits for no man or woman.
Buy links:
Secret Cravings Website http://bit.ly/12J4bO9
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1bkEnQw
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Jane Doe is an almost-30 year old woman with amnesia. When she first comes to Dominion Falls in book 1 she ends up with a job as a sort of hotel manager, and de facto PR rep for the hotel owner. For a woman in 1871, she's strong and capable and knows what she wants. In book 2 she gets a new job one well suited for her librarian.
Cole Mitchell is in his mid-30's (he won't reveal his age, sorry…he keeps personal facts close to the vest). He is 51% owner of a saloon and brothel in Dominion Falls. When the story first starts he's content to be alone and never let anyone in. Jane brings something to life in him, and he resists until he realizes he doesn't want to resist any longer.

Interview with Katherine Daugherty aka Kat

Tell us about yourself.
Well, I'm not one to talk about myself.
*Mad laughter breaks out in the next room. Kat's nose wrinkles and she shouts at the door*
Shut up, Jane! Anyway. My name's Katherine Daugherty, most people call me Kat. Jane's lover, and my former lover, Cole, calls me Kathy. I'm in my mid-twenties and have no qualms about that "old maid" line of bull.
I was the "oops, what a surprise" baby to my parents. After they had Martha they tried and tried to have a boy, but nothing ever happened. After ten years of trying, they gave up. Five years later, voila.
I didn't want to be part of the arranged marriage my mother planned for me, so I took off at fifteen. I joined the temperance league for a while, but boy-howdy did those women take some brutal tasks to forward their goal, it wasn't my cup of tea but a cup of whiskey turned out to be, so I left them. Spent some time back in Dominion Falls after, took up with Cole, because well, have you seen that man? It was a fun romp, but then I fell for Norman…and then I can't explain why, but I left Dominion Falls again.
Since then I've been living in St. Louis. I work at a bank, but in my free time I work to forward the suffragist movement.
Tell us about Norman.
Norman is a bit older than me.
*Jane pops her head in the door* He's ancient, Kat. At least twenty years older than me!
*Kat waves her off* Yes, yes. He's older, but as I tell Jane in the book there's something to be said about a man that works the telegraph. They've got some strong fingers. *Kat winks*
Oh, yes, so he runs the depot and the telegraph office. I can't explain why I fell for him, he seems to be a grumpy old man, but I just do. He's a good man.
What do you think is your strongest point?
I'm strong. Stronger than you might think. I may have grown up in privilege, but once mother disowned me for leaving town I had to make my own way. I've made mistakes, but I don't regret any of them. Not even a little.
What was it like where you grew up?
Dominion Falls is a great little town. When we first went there when I was quite young, there was nothing. Father first formed a little camp when he found the gold. Father had vision and started that town using the first of his gold strikes. More men came in, and Father was smart enough to charge to use the buildings he was having built, and then use that money to buy mines from the less successful miners.
So I got to see Dominion Falls go from small camp to a tiny town. Sure, it was dirty and rough and miners aren't the nicest people sometimes, but Father and Mother always pushed for more than that. The used their wealth to make sure I got educated in Denver, and eventually moved there themselves, but no matter how much time I've been away, Dominion Falls is home.
What do you wish was different about your life?
Up until I came home and met Jane I had one big wish to move back home. I'm grateful that I have a good friend now, one like Jane, that pushes me to do what I need to, what I know I've needed to do. It's not an easy step for me, but you'll have to read the book to find out why.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
I'm afraid I can't answer that one, either. My author doesn't want me to reveal secrets before their time.
*Kat leans in to whisper* But I have to say I get all I wish for and all I didn't know I wanted within a year of returning home.
As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
I didn't really have many friends as a child. Being the Daugherty's daughter and sent to Denver for schooling made it hard to establish friends. I was too rich in Dominion Falls, and too poor in Denver society.
I'm happy to say that now, finally, I do have a best friend. Jane. I couldn't ask for someone better. Sometimes you meet someone and instantly connect, and I had that with Jane. I think she hates that I'm brutally honest with her, but she's no shirk either, gives me the same honesty right back.

About the Author

Sarah Cass's world is regularly turned upside down by her three special-needs kids and loving mate, so she breaks genre barriers, dabbling in horror, straight fiction, and urban fantasy. An ADD tendency leaves her with a variety of interests that include singing, dancing, crafting, cooking, and being a photographer. She fights through the struggles of the day, knowing the battles are her crucible and though she may emerge scarred, she's also stronger. While busy creating worlds and characters as real to her as her own family, she leads an active online life with her blog, Redefining Perfect, which gives a real and sometimes raw glimpses into her life and art.

Previous Books

Changing Tracks (The Dominion Falls Series Book 1):
Secret Cravings Website http://bit.ly/14XQPTl
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/XcTs0R
All Romance Ebooks http://bit.ly/WJxSiA

Books Coming Soon

Dark Territory (The Dominion Falls Series Book 3)
Santa, Maybe (Holidays in Lake Point 1)

Contest

A free ebook copy of Derailed (or Changing Tracks if you haven't read it, because you really should start with book 1) for one commenter!!
To enter: Just tell me what your favorite Western is (movie, TV show, OR book!).

Find Me Here

Redefining Perfect http://redefiningperfect.com
Sarah's StoryLines http://authorsarahcass.com

July 18, 2013

Poetry: About Life, Love, Everything in Between Jo Anne Myers @MelangeBooks #RLFblog

Poems About Life...
Jo Anne Myers, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book,
Genre: Poetry
Blurb:
"Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between" is a poetry collection that provides a glimpse into the heart, mind and soul, of its author. It is a heartwarming read, written with love and respect for others. Some poems were written in times of sorrow, other poems were written in times of joyous celebration. Life if like that.
Buy links:
Below are some sample poems from the book.

ACHIEVED THROUGH STRIFE

In this bleak life of mine,
I walk the dark alleys of broken dreams.
A darkened corridor of lost tomorrows,
within a collage of unraveled seams.
My life simmered like a bad stew.
Hidden within a clutter of tear stained cheeks.
Living in darkness, an unbridled soul.
Torn between life and death, my future seemed bleak.
Despair cowered behind my eyes.
Once beautiful, I was left aged and alone.
Reflections in my sea of tears,
reminded me I was forgotten and solitary.
Stumbling over common life hurdles,
like a babe learning to crawl.
Losing everything to my lustful addictions,
of fear, failure, and shame.
Lost control of what was mine.
That poison controlled me for a while.
It felt bad and made me cry.
As emotional pain went on for miles.
I found courage with family and friends.
No more shadows, cold or rain.
The venom that once ruled my life,
is a faded memory I achieved through strife.

TO THE NEXT CHAPTER

Shadowed by pain, I slowly melt.
Nowhere to go, nothing to do.
Only aggravation and loneliness felt.
My life left empty, with nothing to lose.
Suffocating, I fall into seethe.
Falling as my world crumbles.
I'm left wanting to believe, searching for hope.
Like an acrobat walking an unraveling tight rope.
I call to those I've hurt.
Leaving a message 'remember me.'
I've done things I want to forget.
A obstruction I've tried to avert.
I crawl out of the past,
finding a way at last.
To rise up instead of fall.
Destroying this dreadful brick wall.
See me now, strong and brave.
For I will never be hurt again.
I know I will adhere,
shedding this torment and pain.
The one I see in the mirror,
is someone, special and kind.
I now focus on what I am after,
moving forward, to the next chapter.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
When my crime/detective story "Murder Most Foul," was accepted by Melange Books.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A mass overload of self promoting.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The concocting of the plot.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
To have a career before family.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Write what you are interested in even when others are not.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Painting and being reclusive.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Yes, but they dont know it.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I am still working that 9 to 5 job for a notable chain hotel
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
Loves', Myths', and Monsters' which is due out March 2014 through Melange Books, because it stars characters some writers might not consider. Such as: the Chupracabra, the Mothman, psychic visions, and time travel
What is your major goal in life?
It is to be a successful writer-up there with Ann Rule and Aphrodite Jones. To see my stories on television and the big screen.

Books Coming Soon

"MURDER MOST FOUL," due out July 31 2013
"WICKED INTENTIONS" a paranormal/mystery anthology due out September 2013
"LOVES', MYTHS' AND MONSTERS'," a fantasy anthology due out March 2014
Jo Anne Myers
"FLAGITIOUS," a crime and paranormal novella collection due out June 2014
"THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY," a biography true-crime
"TWISTED LOVE," a true-crime anthology
SAMPLE POEMS FROM "Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between"

About the Author

Jo Anne Myers hails from the famous Hocking Hills region of southeastern Ohio. She has worked in the blue-collar industry most of her life. Besides having several novels under my belt, she also canvass paints. When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, she spends time with relatives, her dogs Jasmine and Scooter, and volunteers her time within the community. She is a member of the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. She believes in family values and following your dreams.

Find Me Here

Website http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com (Includes original canvass paintings)


July 17, 2013

What I did during #MFRWorg Summer Camp @AuthorTinaGayle #RLFblog #MFRWcamp

MFRW Summer Camp 
Today Tina Gayle shares her take on Marketing for Romance Writers Summer Camp, held last weekend on the Coffee Time Romance forum.
= = =
I can't tell you how excited I was for MFRW summer camp to start. Not only had I signed up to give a class, but there were so many wonderful classes to take. I love learning new things so I've been biting at the bit to get started.
I was blown away with the pre-camp class by Kristyn Phipps. She explained how to use Buffer, had pictures and diagrams and cyber popcorn...oh, my. Best of all, I was able to read it a day later. I couldn't attend the class on the day she posted it, but managed to learn it a day late. Man, how I love internet classes.
Now with the stage set for camp to begin, I had to get my stuff up and going. My class of "Cut the Crap" (on editing) needed to be ready to run with the rest of the classes by Friday. I had the handout ready and then sat down to fill in all the things that weren't in the outline. It is amazing how a one page outline can morph into pages of explanation. I broke the class up into several parts so as not to overwhelm my students and to concentrate on one point at a time.
I posted the new thread and watched as the number of views when up. Silly, I know, but I was surprised by the number of people who could relate to the points I was making. While I waited for comments or questions, I ventured into the other classes.
Wow, talk about finding useful information. From discovering how to form a Street Team group to understanding POV, there were classes on so many topics I struggled to read all the information in the time I had allotted for camp.
The best part is that even though camp is officially over. I can still go back and read through the parts that I missed. Check it out at http://coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1977&page=4&order=desc
I can also download all the handouts so I can review them later. Check them out at http://marketingforromancewriters.org/camp.htm
Coffee Time Romance did a wonderful job of making this appear seamless. I know it wasn't, but as an attendee, I had no problems with viewing classes or leaving comments.
Also, there were fun games on Pinterest. I didn't play, not because I didn't want to, time became a factor for me. My husband decided a round of golf was needed to round out his weekend so what can I say, I indulged.
For those of you who didn't attend the camp, I strongly recommend that you check out the above sites and gain what you can from some excellent information. RWA is having their national convention this week. I have to say summer camp was better. One, it isn't as expensive (Free for the camp.) Two, no crowds. Three, great information, and four, all while living in the comfort of your home. What more could you ask for?
Man, summer camp so rocks, I can't wait till next year.
Thanks to everyone who made this happen. You guys are the best.

About the Author
Tina Gayle

After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing and hope to incorporate the joy of being a mother into her books.
Currently working on a series about four executive wives, she is excited about combining elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. The first three books have been released and the last one is coming out in 2014.
Married twenty-five years, she and her husband love to travel and play golf. She can't wait for Mike to retire so they can do more of both.
Read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website.

Find Me Here

July 15, 2013

Character Interview: Sean from The Final Line @kendallmckenna #RLFblog #GLBT

The Final Line 
Kendall McKenna, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Sean Chandler from the book, The Final Line (Book 3 The Recon Diaries).
Genre: M/M, military, mystery/suspense
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover artist: Jared Rackler
Length: 108,000 words
Heat rating: 4 Flames
Tagline: Love and Dog Tags
Blurb:
Staff Sergeant Corey Yarwood is an instructor at the Basic Reconnaissance Course. His last deployment ended in horror, but he can't remember those events. Battling severe PTSD, Corey's drinking is growing out of control.
Sean Chandler walks into a dive bar, and into Corey's life. An actor and a musician, Sean has the empathy and compassion to sooth Corey's pain, and the strength to support him as he struggles to heal.
Corey's lost memories are pivotal to a civilian murder, and a military investigation. Remembering could mean salvation, or destruction. Will the truth be too much for Sean to handle?
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Corey Yarwood, 27 years old, Staff Sergeant, US Marine Corps
Sean Chandler, 30 years old, actor/musician

Interview with Sean Chandler

Tell us about yourself.
Well, okay. My name is Sean Chandler. I'm thirty years old. I'm an actor, a singer, and a song writer. I graduated from USC as a musical theater major. I've had several roles on Broadway as part of ensemble casts. Recently, I've been getting some high profile supporting roles in movies. Mostly, though, I've had a lot of guest roles on popular and genre television shows, and I voice a lead character in a very successful animated film franchise. Most of my success has been in acting, so far, but I would really like to work in music a little more.
Tell us about Corey.
Corey. Oh, excuse me. That would be Staff Sergeant Corey Yarwood, USMC Force Recon. He's a big, blond, blue-eyed, tattooed Marine. He's so strong and so capable, he doesn't feel the need to prove any of it. He's really sexy, and really funny, and has no idea. He's also the strongest person, emotionally, I've ever met, but he doesn't know that about himself, either. He puts up with my crazy job and my unpredictable hours, like it's nothing.
Fire for Effect 
What do you think is your strongest point?
My creativity or my sensitivity. They're probably intertwined.
What would Corey say is your strongest point?
My patience. He thinks I'm more patient than I really am, though. For some reason, he thinks it's a burden to talk to him about the things going on in his life and his career. But it's not. He's interesting and enjoyable to be around, so no patience is involved. He just refuses to believe me.
What do you wish was different about your life?
I love my job and I wouldn't want to do anything else. But it requires a lot more travel than I wish it did. If there was anything about my life I wish was different, it would be that I didn't have to travel quite as much. Corey's job doesn't let him travel with me very much, and it even takes him away for days or weeks at a time. I guess it's not the travel that I'd change, it's the being away from Corey so much. I don't want to think about him getting deployed again.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
I've already been given my fondest wish.

About the Author

Kendall McKenna's first work of fiction was written at the worldly age of nine, and was a transformative work that expanded on the story told in a popular song of the time.
She tried her hand at vampire and cowboy fiction, winning high school poetry and short story contests along the way. It wasn't until she discovered the world of m/m erotic fiction and found her stride with cops, Marines and muscle cars, that she felt inspired to share her stories with readers who enjoy the same things.
Putting herself through college by working in a newly-created HIV testing clinic in her local Department of Health, introduced Kendall to the gay and lesbian community. Understanding and empathy has made her a lifetime advocate of GLBT issues.
A brief bout of unemployment gave Kendall the time and focus she needed to finally produce a novel worth submitting for publication. Her first novel, Brothers In Arms, introduced the world to her authentic military stories and characters.

Kendall was born and raised in Southern California, where she still lives and works. A non-conventional relationship has kept her happy for the last decade. Her four dogs enjoy it when she writes, as she sits still long enough for them to curl up around her.

Brothers in Arms

Previous Books

Brothers In Arms (The Recon Diaries)
Fire For Effect (The Recon Diaries)
Strength of the Pack (Tameness of the Wolf)
Nights In Canaan

Books Coming Soon

Strength of the Wolf (Tameness of the Wolf)

Contest

Leave a comment with your email to be eligible to win an e-book copy of The Final Line (Book 3 of The Recon Diaries).

Find Me Here



July 13, 2013

MFRW Summer Camp: A Deleted Lesson on Twitter @MFRW_ORG #RLFblog #MFRWcamp

Marketing for Romance Writers -- Summer Camp

Marketing for Romance Writers Summer Camp 2013

Join our workshops here:
Sign in, or join. You must also join the MFRW group. We are listed at the top of every page. Full instructions for joining are here: http://marketingforromancewriters.org/media/CTRforuminstructions.pdf


What kinds of things do we teach at camp? See yesterday's post for a full listing of the schedule. Everything from writing tips to blogging, making the most of Triberr, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. We have podcasting, using Paper.li, and how to handle queries and pitches.

Here's a peek at one of the workshops that **did not** make it into this year's camp.

Top Ten Tips for Finding #Followers on Twitter

Whether you're a reader or a writer, or both (like me) you might have questions about Twitter. I have a few answers for you. These are basics, but they have helped me, and I hope they help you.

Do I need an avatar?

You betcha. Get yourself an avatar, and you'll start getting new followers. Folks without avatars (only the egg showing) are referred to as eggheads on Twitter. Spammers don't usually bother with avatars because they get kicked off so fast, so people are wary when they see one. Twitter will let you use almost any picture. If you have one for Facebook, you can usually use that.

Should I tell people I'm on Twitter?

Absolutely, and give the full URL. Don't do the @myname thing. Does @kayelleallen look cool? Yes. But can you click that? Nope. Always give people a clickable link. Want followers? Give people a link to follow and they will. Write it out this way: http://twitter.com/kayelleallen

Where do I put the link?

Start with your author signature in email. Definitely put it on your website and blog. Are you self published? Add it to your book in the "about the author" section. If you're on a forum or group, add it to your signature there. Put it in your profiles on other social media. List it in print flyers. Put it anywhere your name is going to be seen.

Is it necessary to be on Twitter?

Here's my opinion. Are you an author? Then yes, it's necessary. Can you survive without it? Of course. But it's like opening a store downtown and thinking that you don't need a phone. Why wouldn't you take advantage of one of the most popular tools for sharing information in the world? Do you watch TV? Ever notice those little words at the bottom of the screen that have a # mark in front? Those are Twitter hashtags. People can share info about the show live using those hashtags on Twitter. If Twitter is that popular and that much a part of our culture, can you afford not to be there?

How many followers do I need?

Your followers will talk about your book, help it go viral, and spread the word. Let's say you have 100 followers. To make this easy, let's say each of them has 100 followers. If ten of your followers each share a tweet you send out about your book, your one tweet just went to 1000 people. Twitter sharing is exponential. Imagine if you have more followers and a higher percentage shares a tweet? The reach could be huge. On Twitter, you want lots of followers. How many you get is up to you and how much you share that's of interest to your tweeps.

Where do I find followers?

Follow people who interest you. Here are some easy things that attract followers.
  • Look at the lists others make and consider following the people on them.
  • Retweet other people's info. They may follow you back.
  • Tweet 10 things about other people. Then one thing about you.
  • People love to be talked about. Say something complimentary. They will notice.
  • Spend 10 minutes a day reading and replying to random tweets.

Anything I shouldn't do on Twitter?

Yes, and please heed these.
Never send direct messages (DMs) unless you are getting in touch for a personal reason. People view automatic DMs to new followers as spammy. They don't like it.

What about those verification programs? Any good?

I don't recommend them. The systems require your would-be-followers to do an anti-spam thing. If you are an author you should want followers. Let them follow you.

Should I follow everyone back?

No. Follow people who interest you. You don't have to read every tweet everyone sends -- but it's fun to see new material and you'll get that if you have a lot of followers. I don't recommend using an auto-follow service. Sadly, if you do you'll inadvertently follow spammers.
MFRW.org

What's a hashtag?

A hashtag is a search word on Twitter. It's a word embedded in the message and marked with a # symbol. When you click the word, it triggers a search for the word. You can make anything a hashtag. They cannot contain any type of punctuation. 

Bonus: Remember to have fun.

Twitter is social media. Social means hanging out, having fun, and being natural. Twitter is like sex. If you're not enjoying it, you're probably doing it wrong, or with the wrong people. Lighten up, relax, and do it from the heart. You'll enjoy it a lot more.

Find Me Here

Kayelle Allen is the owner of The Author's Secret. She's also a blogger, writer of immortal role-playing gamers, warriors who purr, and agents who find the unfindable--or hide it forever.
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