Guest blog

Guest Blog Goodness — Marianne Rice

Happy Birthday to me!  I’m jazzed that Marianne Rice wants to play on a special Friday edition of Guest Blog Goodness!

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, writing is definitely therapeutic. I have a full time job, three active kids—a youngster, pre-teen and a teenage princess—a workaholic husband, and too many hobbies. My life is absolutely crazy. I use reading as a means to escape and tune out, but my writing is my way of pretending I’m surrounded with some sense of normalcy. My characters aren’t modeled after my friends of family, but I’m sure you can find pieces of my husband (good and bad) spread amongst my various heroes. A few of my books have children in them, and some of their antics or lines have definitely come from my kiddos. My son is hilarious and I have a journal I keep of his crazy comments. Quite a few come up in my third book, False Impressions. I don’t live in or create a perfect world; my characters have their issues and black moments, but in the end, they are happy and in love. At the end of my day, despite all the craziness and fights and meltdowns, I like to think I’m pretty darn lucky, happy and in love as well.

Who or what inspired you to write?

Funny story. Well, to me it is. After popping out child #1, a.k.a. the teenage princess, I started reading. A lot. I started with Nicholas Sparks. Read all eight of his books (that’s how many he had out at the time) in a few weeks. Then, while driving, I’d reminisce about one of his books, add a little dialogue of my own, change a few things around. I started catching myself talking out loud. I may have even caught myself stroking my gearshift (mind out of the gutter! Not in that way…but in a gentle touch—like the back of a hand sort of way, pretending I was being wooed). At night, while trying to sleep, I’d take the characters from the story and make a new story of my own. I did that for a few years. Popped out another child. Then a third. On maternity leave while home with my newborn son, toddler, and preschool kid, I thought, hey, now’s a great time to put your thoughts in writing! And so I did.

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?

Kick-butt reviews and sharing my book with others! I’d also love to hear what made the book special and if there were moments that the reader laugh or cry, or connect to her own life. They can shoot me an email or add a post on my Facebook page.

What advice would you give a new author?

It’s cliché`, I know, but don’t give up your writing. You WILL get rejected, that’s a part of the process. In the meantime, keep working on your craft by attending writers’ conferences and meetings, and joining online writing groups. And don’t stop writing! When you get The Call…or The Email…you’ll want to have a few books under your belt. Readers are going to fall in love with your work and will want more. Having a backlog of books to submit to your publisher will boost your sales and keep your name out there.

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂

Well, since I write the “less steamy” stuff, uh, probably, yeah. But maybe we’ve done some stuff that’s not in my books as well. ☺

Buy at Liquid Silver Books, Amazon or Barnes and Noble

False Start

BLURB:falsestart

Ex-NFL player turned high school football coach Connor McKay is well loved by all … except by the sexy principal who wants to make changes to his athletic program. Intrigued by Meg Fulton’s beauty and intelligence, Connor doesn’t mind going head-to-head with her. When he and Meg are set up on a blind date, he’s finally able to open a crack in Meg’s high emotional wall and see the caring woman inside. What Connor doesn’t expect is that his buddy and ex-teammate is the one responsible for Meg’s wall in the first place. To choose between a one-time brother and the woman he’s fallen hopelessly in love with, Connor will make the riskiest play of his life.

Always the misfit growing up, newly hired high school principal Meg Fulton uses a fashionable wardrobe and a sharp tongue to keep men at a safe distance. After a drunken, abusive experience in the back of a Chevy as a naïve teen, she became a single mother with a tough hide…until Connor McKay walks into the picture. She can’t stand him. He’s a sports-loving alpha male––no thanks! Meg has a good reason to hate jocks. Been there, done that, much to her regret. But as her path continues to cross with Connor’s, and attraction heats to a boiling point, Meg learns there’s more to Connor than biceps and a tight rear end. Things are heating up with them, when someone from her past threatens to tear them apart. Meg runs for cover…and from Connor. It will take a leap of love for Meg to shed the scars of her past and let love into her life.

Chapter 1

“We need to talk.”

Startled by the deep growl, Meg Fulton looked up to the towering stack of testosterone filling her office doorway and cursed the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach.

She straightened her posture, ran her hand through her thick hair in an attempt to put all the strays back in place, and then reached for the lapels of the suit coat that wasn’t there. She felt vulnerable in her silk tank top and wished she had an extra layer to shield her from the menacing daggers targeted at her. Putting on the jacket would only make a spectacle of herself. The thin tank would have to do.

“Sure. Have a seat.” She crossed her legs and attempted to smile. Inwardly, Meg groaned. Connor McKay. She’d noticed him on the football field coaching his athletes and had not looked forward to the expected confrontation.

He remained in the doorway, making no move toward the empty seats across from her desk. His blond hair was short, barely longer than the scruff on his face, and as she looked up she saw his eyes—a fierce, fiery blue filled with accusation and something that ranged between confusion and lust.

Meg stood and retrieved her suit coat off the rack, slid her arms through the expensive fabric, feeling the need to protect herself after all. In three-inch heels, she stood at almost five-eleven, but he still had half a foot on her. “What can I do for you?”

“This plan? Not gonna happen.” He didn’t elaborate, just made his statement sound like fact.

Pompous, arrogant jerk. He was probably used to flaunting his muscles to get his way. The Texas A&M shirt stretched over his massive chest, making him appear menacing and … hot. Horrified she even noticed, she tipped her head back and raised her eyebrow. “Why do you believe it’s not going to happen?”

Marianne Rice Bio:

Living in Maine after growing up in Southern California, Marianne Rice uses her cross-country living experiences to write contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines her smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. Connect with Marianne on Facebook, Twitter or visit her website at www.mariannerice.weebly.com

Guest Blog Goodness–DawnMarie Richards

It’s my pleasure to welcome DawnMarie Richards to Musings…let’s give her a warm welcome!

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?
Like a chef who enjoys her own cooking, writing turns me on. And I’m not just talking sex scenes. That moment when inspiration hits and a particularly gnarly plot tangle becomes a clever story thread … well, let’s just say I might need a few minutes to collect myself. So, yeah, I find the creative process invigorating.

Who or what inspired you to write?
Story telling is in my blood. I learned a great deal about plot development, pacing and, even, dialogue around the holiday table. Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, everyone had their bit of family lore to share. Add to that the fact I am a voracious reader with an intense love and overriding respect for written words and the folks who write them and, really, what choice did I have?

What are your five “desert island” books?

  • Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling, because I love to be entertained.
  • If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck, because I love to laugh.
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck, because I love to philosophize.
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, because I love to be challenged.
  • Someone to Watch over Me by Lisa Kleypas, because I love to … well … you know. (Um, do I have to be completely alone on this “desert island?” Because that just seems cruel.)

What advice would you give a new author?
I am a new author, so I’m the one looking for advice. Words of wisdom welcome!

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂
How does the saying go? “Write what you know.” And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Aaron'sWillLiquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/aaron-s-will-p955.php
Amazon:  www.amazon.com/author/dawnmarierichards
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aarons-will-dawnmarie-richards/1120408199?ean=9781622101528
Website: www.dawnmarierichards.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DawnMarieRichardsAuthor

Blurbage

Morgan Shore has made a habit of living in the present … the past is just too painful. Dylan Drumlin thought he had gotten Morgan Shore out of his life forever. But when an unexpected death brings them together again, they find the passion they’ve long denied is reignited. DawnMarie Richards is pleased to bring you Aaron’s Will, Book 1 of her new romance series, Legacies.

Morgan Shore was busy making other plans when her guardian, Aaron Field—a Boston attorney and philanthropist—unexpectedly died. Drawn back into a life better left in the past, Morgan finds herself compelled to contend with Dylan Drumlin, the man who categorically rejected her without a word of explanation or any hint of regret. Tragically, he’s also the only man to have stirred Morgan’s dormant passions and touched her tender heart.

Dylan Drumlin always knew he wasn’t the kind of man any women should build a future with, especially a woman like Morgan Shore. When he began to fantasize about the young woman with auburn hair, he knew he had to let her go. Time passed and Dylan believed himself safe from whatever insanity had gripped him. But when Morgan reappears one night bearing stunning news and a heart-rending grief, long suppressed desires are reignited. Dylan’s disciplined life begins to unravel, tattered by disenchanted amber eyes and the binding ties of Aaron’s Will.

Excerpt

After ringing the bell and knocking a second time, Dylan hooked his fingers over the door handle. It gave way under the slight pressure and the front door swung open.

For a moment, Dylan was besieged by the image of Morgan walking in unexpectedly on a mass of burglars when she’d returned. He’d never forgive himself if he’d forced her home early only to stumble upon intruders, or worse.  Warily, he entered the foyer.

“Morgan!”

No answer. Not a sound. The only thing it told him for certain was the Tibbes were not home. The point did nothing to quell his rising anxiety.

His body was tensed for action. The tiniest sounds echoed in his ears as he strained to hear Morgan’s cry. He grimly continued his search through the first floor, finding nothing. He had decided to continue upstairs when he glimpsed a splash of color outside the French doors connecting the solarium to the backyard. When he got closer he realized it was an article of clothing.

He went out onto the patio and bent to pick up the bathing suit top. He straightened and scanned the pool area. On the far side he saw what he assumed was the bottom piece. And beyond, a swatch of auburn was visible over the rise of the pool decking. He strolled toward it feeling slightly lightheaded at having found Morgan safe and sound.

The material he held slipped from between his suddenly bloodless fingers when he saw she was lying in the sand wearing nothing, but a secret grin. Her arms framed her face in graceful, shameless arcs. The heavy waves of her hair were fanned out around her head, like she had run her arms underneath before resting them in their current position. Her skin was glowing. Her stomach, enticingly dimpled by her belly button, gently sloped toward another more tightly curled thatch of auburn. As secluded as she was, Dylan noted with a smile she had bent one knee and draped it over her other leg, partially obscuring the interesting triangle.

He was unable to think, to breathe, to look away.

Her sleeping form stoked his desire to a raging hunger which soon bordered on pain. Sinking to his knees at her feet, he continued to greedily drink her in, his eyes roaming unimpeded over her creamy skin. He took in the alluring rise and fall of her breasts as she breathed. Their dusky pink nipples made his fingertips itch to touch.

He dragged his gaze upward, taking in the beautiful lines of her face. In slumber, her long eyelashes, high cheekbones and full lips made her appear young and innocent, and achingly vulnerable. She was all of those things, of course, especially since she was unaware of his presence. Dylan knew he should go. Slip away without her ever knowing he had stolen time with her. Precisely as he made the decision, Morgan opened her eyes.

“I’m sorry,” he blurted.

He expected her to scramble away, possibly hurl a few well-chosen expletives at him. Instead, a mysteriously wicked smile curved her lips. With a devilish twinkle in her eyes, Morgan came up on her knees before him. She cupped his head with both hands and pulled him toward her.

“You don’t want me,” he managed in desperation, the warmth of her mouth a fraction of an inch from his.

Morgan looked deeply into his eyes.

“You’re the only man I’ve ever wanted,” she insisted before closing the space between them.

Guest Blog Goodness–Allison Hanson

Please help me welcome Allison Hanson to the blog!  Here are a few questions so you can get to know her a bit better!

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 is definitely therapeutic for me. If I don’t get to write a little every day, I feel tense until I can get it out. I don’t think I express my life through my story. Generally the characters in my books come to me on their own free will and I just tell their story to the best of my ability.

Who or what inspired you to write?  This is a funny question, because I would have to say I don’t know. I never had any intention of becoming a writer at all. I really wasn’t even much of a reader. But I’d just finished the last book from the True Blood series by Charlaine Harris, and I didn’t have anything else lined up to read. I guess my brain was afraid I wouldn’t find something. And at four that morning I woke up with my first story. I was compelled more than inspired to write it out. And it’s been like that ever since.

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?  Definitely by telling a friend. Even with all the ways we have to market now, I believe word of mouth is still the most powerful. We trust our friends opinions.

What advice would you give a new author?  I would say to get in the habit of writing or editing every day. Once you step away it’s sometimes hard to get back into it. Make it your time, and treat yourself to it as much as possible.

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂  Turning into a wolf together? No. We haven’t done that. Not that I would be opposed to such a thing if given the chance. 

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Blurb:
Camille Anthony was abandoned at an orphanage when she was only a year old. She knows nothing of the parents who left her with strangers, and has spent her whole life struggling to fit in, without success. But on the night of the full moon, she undergoes a change she’s never felt before—she becomes a wolf. She hopes the changes will finally give her a place to belong, as well as answering questions she never knew she had.
Will Holbrook knows he can’t have anything long-term with Camille. After all, he is a wolf, and he was raised knowing wolves only marry other wolves. When she reveals to him that she is changing in the same way he does every full moon, he thinks things will finally work out for him. Until a new fear arises. Wolves are usually pledged at birth, and Camille has no memory of anything that might have happened before she was left at the orphanage. Could she have a mate already? What will he do if one shows up?

Excerpt:
Maybe it was the flu.
People got aches and pains with the flu. She watched her muscles twitching under her skin and nodded.
Just in case it wasn’t the flu, she decided to get ready for Plan B.
If she did turn into a dog again she didn’t want to eat cardboard.
She checked under Gia’s bed for any stashed contraband. All clear.
She dumped the granola bars on her bed, and with throbbing, shaking fingers she pulled them from their wrappers. She made a box of mac and cheese in the microwave and set the bowl on the floor.
With the last of her energy used up, she took off her clothes and curled into a ball on her bed to convulse and moan. Her body began to twitch harder, throwing her arm out and then her foot. Her head pulled up, and she tensed against what was coming.
The increasing tide of pain washed over her, and she was left panting on the bed in confusion.
Not again.
She slid off the bed onto her four paws and went straight for the bowl of cheese-flavored pasta. She downed that in a few quick gulps and sniffed the air hoping for more.
On the table by the bed was some kind of bars. She swallowed them down without chewing.
With her hunger momentarily sated, she began with the pacing. When she passed the mirror, she stopped and looked at herself for a long moment.
A thin, lanky wolf with pure white fur looked back at her with curious blue-green eyes. Her reflex to shy away from the wolf in the reflection subsided as she realized it was her. She was safe.
She was a wolf, but she was safe.

Links:
www.allisonbhanson.com
http://www.lsbooks.com/search_results.php
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003793842190
Twitter: @allisonbhanson
TSU: https://www.tsu.co/AllisonBHanson