Please welcome Naomi Bella to the blog!!
Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy. How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision?
Writing gives me a chance to let my bizarre imagination out to play. Everyday life is, let’s face it, sometimes mind-numbingly boring. So yes, it’s my therapy. Cheaper than a shrink, less side effects than drugs. My themes come from my own life and other people I talk to. We’re all dealing with issues, and it’s great to see that almost always, there’s a way to solve problems and reach our happily ever after.
Who or what inspired you to write?
Whenever I read a great book I’d go, “Damn, I’d sure like to be able to do that.” After a while, I started saying, “Damn, maybe I could do that.” I took classes, studied, wrote some crappy books and then voila! I had a story worth publishing.
What are your five “desert island” books?
Always a tough question. I’d take a dictionary, to learn new words, an atlas, because I love looking at new places, a sketch book, because I love to draw, the next J.D. Robb book in the series I’m reading, and The Outlander book bundle (I know, that’s cheating, but I’m doing it anyway) because I’ve heard the books are excellent and I’d love to have a reading marathon. I assume I’ll have a nice hammock and frosty beverages to drink while I read, correct? With a pool boy to bring me refills?
What advice would you give a new author?
Here’s my advice to new authors. Don’t sign that stupid contract if your gut says no, don’t write half-baked novellas just to get published. If a publisher accepts your work, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Find what you like to write and is half-way popular with readers, and write a full-length series of at least three books. Don’t believe everything you read about marketing. Don’t stress out so much.
Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂
Do I look like a twenty-year old athletic gymnast? Ha-ha! I’m not, and none of my characters are either, really. But some of the situations I put them in; let’s just say I’d have to start practicing my yoga stretches a whole lot more before I could do some of those things. My honey enjoys it when I use him to figure out a scene, though. Sometimes, I have to see if what I’m writing is anatomically possible. Research; it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.
Thanks so much for having me here, Terri! I love to share with and hear from readers, so feel free to contact me.
Buy Links for Sins of Long Ago:
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All Romance: http://bit.ly/1D2x41o
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Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1JJdSm4
Werewolves and humans don’t mix. Until danger forces an alliance and desire demands satisfaction.
Leading his pack of werewolves keeps Vincent plenty busy, and now with a predator out to harm them, life is more perilous than ever. The last thing he needs is a woman to complicate matters, especially one who sets his body and soul on fire. She’s a human and a witch — totally the wrong woman for him. Even if he could take a mate for his own, he refuses to put her in the danger his life has become. No way can they ever be together. Werewolf-style love is fine anyway. No permanent partner, no bullshit, no heartache.
Genevieve has never known true love. Cursed by an enraged woman long ago, females in her family are doomed to go insane if they fall in love. Life has been fine without a man around– until a hot werewolf drops in and captures her heart. Though they have plenty of obstacles to overcome, Gen knows they can work past them. Tell that to Vincent, as he struggles with old pack rules about love, sex, and consorting with humans.
As Vincent searches for a killer, deals with death among his own, and tries to keep his hands off Gen, she attempts to end her family curse. Together, they must find a way to break free from the sins of long ago.
Lying in bed with a pleasant wine buzz, she was almost asleep when the sounds of Sally and Greg making love pulled her back to consciousness. She smashed the pillow over her head, but it was no use. Passionate moans filled the air, reminding her of what she’d almost had hours before. Gen tossed and turned, twisting the sheets into a knotted mess. Her skin still smelled of wood smoke, even after a shower, and she could swear the faint aroma of Vincent clung to her body too.
The noise finally stopped but, wide awake now, Gen pulled out her phone to read a book, hoping to lull herself back to sleep.
Nope. After twenty minutes of reading, her brain refused to quit. The more she thought about her present situation, the angrier she became. Though it had been brief, the intensity of passion she and Vincent had ignited burned like the embers in the fire. Screw it. Some asshole had spoiled her evening; she’d be damned if she would let him ruin the rest of her night. Her heart and her body demanded satisfaction. She got out of bed, dressed quietly, grabbed her things, and crept down the stairs to call Vincent. He answered on the first ring, and she spoke in a low tone.
“I know this is silly, but…”
“I’ll be at your place in ten minutes.”
“What? Ten minutes? Where are you?”
“I just left Nocturne. I took a sniff around, watched your shop for a while to see if the robber would come back, then went to your apartment to look around. Go to your place. If you get there before me, wait outside in your car, don’t go in.”
“You’re being mighty presumptuous. You don’t even know what I want.”
“I know what you want.” His deep voice sent the same intensely pleasurable shudder through her body his thumb on her cheek had earlier.
“I’ll be there soon.” Two hours. He’d hung around Nocturne for two hours. For her.
She found a piece of paper and started to scribble Sally a note. What could she say? Got horny and left? Thanks for the wine and movie? The kitchen light flicked on, and Gen jumped.
“Hey, Sally, just getting ready to write you a note. I’m going to…”
“I know where you’re going. You’re going to hook up with your hot man.”
“Uh, yeah. How did you know?”
“The way you two looked at each other. I could have fried an egg on your head. Why didn’t you just stay with him tonight?”
“I thought it would be presumptuous to ask and anyway, we don’t know each other all that well. I don’t know how he feels about me.”
“Are you kidding? That wolf has it bad for you. He’d walk across broken glass to get some of your lovin’.”
Gen’s mouth fell open. “You know he’s a werewolf? How do you know that?” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re some kind of magic woman, aren’t you?”
Sally laughed. “Yes, I am kind of magic. I’ve got this weird telepathy thing, where I can read other people. I keep it turned off most of the time, but I did a quick scan of Vincent in your shop. He sent out powerful vibes, and I wanted to make sure he was safe for you. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to violate your privacy.”
“No problem, I guess. What did you pick up from him?”
“He’s wildly crazy about you. He might not even know it yet, but he is. Then I saw his wolf side, trying to get out. He’s got control, but the animal is there, right beneath the surface.”
Gen shifted her feet around. Crap. Did she just get Vincent in trouble? “You can’t tell anyone, about him. Promise you won’t.”
Please welcome Audrey to the blog!
Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy.
How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision?
Oh, therapy for sure!
I think writers are a very internal and reflective group of people. Our brains process differently, and unless you spend much of your time around other who let you talk about your thoughts incessantly, it can get very lonely in there. A computer and a good storyline has saved me probably thousands of dollars in therapy costs – not because I am on the brink of insanity, but because I think we ALL like our creative sides to be heard. My computer listens to everything I have to say, and even corrects my spelling in a very non-judgmental way.
My writing weaves between life expression and vision. When I’m done outlining my major plot points of the story, which are typically the ‘vision’, I go back and fill in my life experiences as character development and subplots. I feel that it keeps a sense of realism to the storyline.
Who or what inspired you to write?
I began writing at such a young age (9-10 years old), that it is hard for me to think of what inspired me. I also thought story telling was something that everyone did naturally, until my high school creative writing teacher took me aside and told me he thought I was a gifted writer. I laughed and asked him if he said that to everyone, because again, I thought everyone had the knack for this stuff. He shook his head. That teacher’s name was Hamilton (Ham) Nelson and he looked like a stoned version of Albert Einstein.
The author who inspired me to write well was Sylvia Plath. Now we all know there is nothing very sexy or romantic about Plath’s only novel, The Bell Jar. Her book is depressing and a bit slow at times, but it sits on my desk through every book as a guide to vivid and scenic writing. She taught me to use all five senses when building a scene, not only what a character sees and feels. Her poetry is brilliant as well, and when I find myself stuck in writer’s block, I snap out of it with the help of her poems.
What are your five “desert island” books?
- The Dictionary – It seems like a longer and more interesting read than War and Peace. Anyone who has read Falling Forward will now see that this sad hobby of the protagonist was inspired by a true story.
- The complete library of Calvin and Hobbes – Okay, not a literary masterpiece. But if I’m going to be on a desert island, I’d rather have adventures with a stuffed tiger made out of bamboo shoots than converse with a volleyball named Wilson.
- Nineteenth Century European Art (3rd edition) – One of the things on my bucket list is to learn to recognize famous paintings and painters. Not only can I do that while trapped on an island, looking at the paintings will keep me connected to the beauty of art. A lot of good can be done to the soul when left alone.
- The Harry Potter Series. – I may be cheating with a series, but they DO sell these as a set, so that makes it okay, right? I am not a Harry Potter fan. The movies were entertaining, but I’m a 42-year-old woman – Wizards and Warlocks don’t really do it for me anymore. BUT, I do admire J.K. Rowling and everything she has done with her life. Plus dressing up like a wizard and shouting Patronus spells may keep the natives away.
- The complete poems of Robert Frost – Much like the art book, I’m going to need a book that dishes me beautiful words and poems on a daily basis. When everything is bleak, a good book or poem can quickly take you to where you want to be.
What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?
I’ll always appreciate a good, honest review from a professional standpoint. Reviews help a fledgling author like me feel competent and confident in a saturated book market. But what really stands out above the rest is word-of-mouth. If you liked or loved my book, tell your friends! In my opinion, that is the best and most flattering way to show gratitude. I also like when my readers to email me or PM me via Twitter or Facebook and tell me who their favorite character was. In my new book, Falling Forward, the character Kate seems to be the front runner, which is understandable seeing she’s the protagonist. But a few readers have surprised me with secondary characters! For the record, my favorite character in Falling Forward is a secondary character!
I am always open to conversation with my readers.
What advice would you give a new author?
Never throw away any of your work! Keep it! Even if you have to print it out and stack it in a closet. You may come across a scene in a later writing where you need specific dialogue or a certain place and you’ve already written about it. I have kept every scrap of poetry I’ve written, every screenplay, every short story, and journal for this reason! Keep it! Keep it! Keep it!
Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂
I like to call it ‘research’. ; )
My first book, Orion’s Belt, was a very sexual book. It makes Falling Forward, which has sex scenes too, look like a Sex-Ed pamphlet. My husband – my poor husband – got the brunt of the research of Orion’s Belt. I thought I was going to send him to the hospital. He took it like a trooper though, but could never get used to me writing notes afterward.
Blurb: East Coast vs West Coast
Kate Kleider has it all: Looks, brains and a rising career. The one thing she’s missing is a date to her favorite ex-boyfriend’s wedding. To make matters worse, she’s just moved from the conservative Northeast to Southern California, and is overwhelmed by the beach, bikini sand bonfires around her.
During a company fundraiser, she cannot rip her stare from hunky surf shop owner Jamison Rigby. After a disastrous first meeting fueled by her own inadequacies, Kate swallows her pride and asks him out to dinner. Lucky for her, he says yes. Surprisingly, they hit it off, and one dinner leads to the next, which leads to him agreeing to go to the wedding with her. Before too long, they are in bed together. There is no denying that he is a good influence – she’s calmer and less uptight – but her own baggage coupled with a mysterious feeling that he’s holding back keeps her from making any serious commitment.
However, someone else has their eye on Kate. Wealthy businessman Nicholas Payne hires her company to represent his new West Coast marketing campaign. Like Kate, he’s an East Coaster, shares a love of bird watching and is very successful. The attraction is mutual, although she has to keep him at arm’s length since he is her client. When Payne offers her a job at his company, Kate is alive with the idea of moving back East and maybe dating someone more like her.
The ball seems in Kate’s court until her past reared its ugly head causing Kate to rethink the direction of her life. Will she stay in California with a man who is her complete opposite? Or will she return to the Northeast, and back to a life she is used to?
Among the bills and junk mail I spied a glossy tan envelope with a blue anchor watermark. It had to be chock-full of bad news. I should’ve waited to open it because I was running late, but my fingers didn’t agree with my logic. Seven stories down in my apartment building parking lot, my boss, Glenn, was sure to be honking his horn and cursing my name. Instead of taking the time to pull my hair back into its usual braid, I slid my fingers under the flap of the envelope. The dreadful contents scattered on the counter and I picked out the frilliest insert and began reading:
Together with their families
Margot Bernadette Rousset
Brian Alan Vandercook
Invite you to share in their joy
As they are united in marriage
Saturday, September 20, 2014
The Argonaut Hotel
San Francisco, California
My ex-boyfriend was getting married to her. For three years, I’d told my therapist that I was completely over him and wished him all the happiness in the world. Yet, seeing the damn pretty stationery made me want to gouge my eyes out. I tossed it next to the sink and hid it under my American Birder magazine.
Downstairs, Glenn was having a fit. As I approached his car, I could see him cleaning his glasses and yelling at his boyfriend, Warren. He always cleans his glasses when he’s angry, and when he’s livid, he runs his hands through his perfectly straight, Japanese hair. He tapped his watch as he saw me approach.
“Sorry I’m late.” I tossed my duffle bag in the backseat and followed in behind it. “I got some bad news.”
“You mean there is worse news than showing up late to a charity event where we’re one of the sponsors?” Glenn snapped. “It had better involve death.”
“Worse than death.” I strapped myself into the seatbelt. “My ex-boyfriend Brian is getting married.”
Glenn looked as if a million hateful words were about to spill out of his mouth, but then he turned forward and put his car into drive. He had every right to snap at me for being late. Since his promotion and our company’s expansion from Pittsburgh to Newport Beach, California three months ago, he had been under the gun by corporate to perform. He’d invited five of us from Pittsburgh to come with him—his original team of marketing and advertising experts—but only two of us agreed to relocate.
His expression softened as he drove.
“I’m sorry, Kate. I know you really like him.” He knew I had a hard time with relationships. “When’s the wedding?”
“September twentieth. In San Francisco.”
“Are you going?”
“Of course. He’s the closest thing to love I’ve ever felt.”
Warren’s head snapped around. “Wait a minute…is this the Brian? Your college sweetheart?”
I nodded, and for the first time in years I felt tears well up inside me. I closed my eyes to stifle them and leaned back in the seat. When I lived in Pittsburgh, Brian and I texted a couple times a month. He only mentioned he was thinking of proposing to her once, and that was more than two years ago. When I moved to California, his texts consisted of asking for my new address and telling me his application with the District Attorney’s Office looked promising. With no more talk of an engagement, I’d hoped he had given up on the whole thing.
But why would he give up? Margot is beautiful, successful, and independent. Even her name screamed elegance: Margot Bernadette Rousett. She is perfect for him. And worse—he is perfect for her.
Glenn’s eyes met mine in the mirror. “You know, the sun of California has a way of burning the cynicism out of bright, beautiful twenty-eight-year-olds. A new Kate may rise from the ashes.”
I smiled out of politeness before staring out the window. A new Kate. I already thought I was the new Kate. We pulled into a beachside parking lot full of people wearing gym clothes and stretching. Glenn thought it would be a great idea for our company to get its name out there by becoming a sponsor for a charity run. He pulled up next to a large canopy tent with our corporate logo, Carrier & Rogers Marketing. Then he waved at a stunning young brunette with enormous breasts that spilled over the top of her tight, pink V-neck shirt.
“Kate, that’s Brenda, the administrative assistant from Dr. Buckley’s office.” He turned and faced me. “We’re sharing a tent with them. Grab the crates from the trunk and see if she needs any help getting these people signed in.”
I grimaced at Glenn.
“I don’t think there’s room under the tent,” I said snidely. Glenn looked confused until I cupped my breasts together and propped them up under my chin to simulate hers. He rolled his eyes.
“Kate, Dr. Buckley is a plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation. You’re going to see a lot of those today.”
A lot indeed. After helping Brenda and her ample bosom stock the tent with boxes of T-shirts and runners’ numbers, I noticed everyone in line was very well endowed. The only ones who weren’t were men, but they filled up their eyes with all the cleavage. Just when I thought I’d seen the largest pair of breasts, a new pair would eclipse the last. It was freakish.
Please welcome KT Black to the blog!
Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy. How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision? For me, writing is a little bit of both. My imagination is always turned on. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about what I could be writing. I love it. It’s the one thing that’s always made me happy.
I also like the fact that writing gives me a voice I don’t often have in real life. I can say things that I don’t generally have the nerve to utter outside of a story. I know that’s why I have so much fun writing my antagonists.
Who or what inspired you to write? I’ve always loved stories, especially making them up. It wasn’t until I read the book Rebecca that I became determined to become a writer. The make believe world is so much more interesting than the real world.
What are your five “desert island” books? Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (mystery/thriller/romance), Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic (witchy metaphysical), Janet Evanovich’s Four to Score (for sexy laughs), Stephen Donaldson’s Mirror of Her Dreams (science fiction/fantasy), and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (because I’ll always be a kid at heart).
What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work? I think the best way is to tell you what they thought of the story I’ve written. It’s hard to receive criticism, but I think it’s worse not to hear anything at all. Good or bad, I believe all writers want to know what others think about their work.
What advice would you give a new author? Don’t give up. If writing is your passion, don’t let fear or other people talk you out of doing it. Rejection sucks, but when someone finally tells you yes, it makes it all worth it.
LSBook Author Page: http://www.lsbooks.com/k-t-black-c497.php
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/K.T.-Black/e/B00SUL7IDS
Elise Bennette doesn’t do relationships … even though her sexy-as-hell new assistant has her consumed by erotic daydreams. But things aren’t what they appear to be, and her dream life and real life are beginning to blur. Will her fantasies eventually become real or will a secret shatter the illusion?
A half hour later, her coffee cup empty, Elise sat in her office staring off into space. Why did her thoughts manage to work their way back to Dylan Holt? The thing that bothered her the most about the man wasn’t that she disliked him, like everyone thought. What bothered her was how much she liked him.
Since Dylan started working for her, the energy in the office had altered. She felt something changing inside as well. Something that frightened her. Richard was the last person to make her feel like this. No, she shook her head. This was different, something much more intense. At the office, driving in traffic, in her home, sexy daydreams about her and Dylan consumed her thoughts. It felt like she was going through puberty again.
Pushing her folders aside, Elise leaned back in her chair and allowed her mind to wander.
* * * *
It was late. The building was vacant except for her and Dylan. Focused on computer work, she didn’t see or hear when Dylan entered her office. It’s only when she felt a pair of hands resting on top of her shoulders that she knew something had changed.
“What are you doing?” Elise protested, attempting to stand but remained seated, held in place by two strong hands.
“You work too hard.” Dylan’s voice was low, husky. “You need to learn how to relax.”
When those hands began to knead her shoulders and neck, Elise stopped talking. Her eyes drooped, threatening to close as her body responded to Dylan’s touch.
“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”
“Too b-busy.” As her muscles began to relax, that wasn’t all she felt. Arousal. She shifted in her seat when the throbbing between her legs become more pronounced, discovering how wet she was becoming. No, she needed to stop this now. “This isn’t—”
“Appropriate? No, maybe not, but necessary.”
“Mr. Holt.” The objection was weak. Elise knew it.
“I told you to call me Dylan. But, it does kind of turn me on to hear you say, Mr. Holt.” His tone was suggestive, full of naughty implications.
Elise shivered, a jolt of pleasure settled low in her belly, and her nipples tightened, responding to his touch.
“I know you like me, as much as you pretend to only tolerate me. Why won’t you admit it, Elise?”
“Don’t what? Don’t stop?” Dylan’s hands drifted downward. As he slipped inside the top of Elise’s blouse, he skimmed his fingertips across the top of plump flesh not covered by her bra. “I see how you look at me. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”