AuThursday – Alice Orr

Alice 72 headshot[1]Please welcome Romantic Suspense Author Alice Orr to the Clog Blog. Alice, tell us…what are you working on at the moment?

At this moment, I’m doing my best to find my readers and begin a conversation with each one individually by way of my stories. This is a big part of any author’s life these days, as it must be. No matter how good your book may be, if nobody knows it’s out there, nobody will read it. That’s why another important thing I want to do is thank Tina, and other bloggers like her, for their generosity and support. Without Tina, I wouldn’t be here today, talking to you. P.S. the more direct answer would be that what I’m writing now is a story called A Time of Fear and Feasting – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5. I hope Tina will invite me back to talk about Amanda and Jack when their adventure is finished and flying in search of reader friends.

Q: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I used to be the queen of the synopsis. I even wrote an article for Writers’ Digest Magazine titled “The Pain-Free Synopsis.” Then I discovered pain-free wasn’t what I wanted. Not in a Fifty-Shades kind of way, but in an Invite-the-Story-Under-My-Skin kind of way. So I tried what the late and lovely Jo Beverley referred to as “Flying into the Mist.” At the start, I know the main characters – my heroine and hero, their family members relevant to the story, the outcome of the story or what I think the outcome will turn out to be. That last almost always changes by the time I type The End because, while I’ve been flying, the story has sprouted its own wings and grown into them. I’m speaking a lot about flying today, aren’t I? Maybe I need to get myself to an airport. But not until I’ve talked with you a bit longer.

Q:  How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I have no idea how long it takes me to write a book because that process is never a straight-line thing for me. I have a non-writing life, you see, and it enters into every day and week and month in often unanticipated ways. That’s not a misfortune. I love my work, and I love my life. I fit them around each other, like a garden around a cottage, which is sometimes filled with birdsong and other times roars with thunder. All of that is a blessing, but it doesn’t pay much attention to calendar time. You might say I’m on heart and soul time instead. P.S The more direct answer would be that my books take as long to write as they take to come alive without preventing me from doing the same.

Q: What are your thoughts on writing your RIVERTON ROAD ROMANTIC SUSPENSE series?

I am having the best time of my writing life so far. At first, I was terrified by the whole idea of creating a series. I had no idea how to go about it. But I’d spent over three decades leading writers’ workshops and handing out a sign that read “Do It Anyway!” at the end of almost every one. I had to practice what I’d preached. I leapt in and did it anyway, and I’m glad I did.

Q:  It looks like you are walking down the Indie publishing path. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages?

The main advantage is that I am in charge of everything that has to do with my writing life and my writing career. That is also the main disadvantage. With the power to take myself in my own chosen direction comes the responsibility for making sure I choose that direction carefully. Like most sword’s blades we walk in life, this one requires a well-balanced step.

Q: Why did you choose this (the Indie) route?

I chose this route for the same reason I chose to fly into the mist with my writing. I was ready to be free in a way I’d never been before as an author. I’d published several novels and novellas traditionally, plus a nonfiction book. I’d not only written inside the system, I’d been part of that system as first book editor and then a literary agent. I loved agenting in particular, but I’d taken a long hiatus to be more active in the lives of my grandchildren. I tried returning to traditional publishing after that, but I no longer fit there. I’d changed, but it hadn’t. So I decided to go this altogether different way. I was terrified yet again but, also yet again, I’m glad I did.

Q:  Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

My first beta reader has always been my husband Jonathan. He reads for story and tells me what doesn’t work. Sometimes a thankless job, or even a perilous one, until the next day when I’ve cooled down enough to admit how wise he is and make most of the story changes he recommends. I also have a proofreader, who happens to be an excellent editor too. She mixes those roles with me, and I’m overjoyed that she does. I can’t give out her name here because she doesn’t want any more clients, but when you buy my book you’ll find her on the Acknowledgements page.

Q:  Who designs your book cover/s?

I do have permission to give out the name of my designer. The Killion Group Inc. creates my beautiful covers AND they format both the eBook and print versions of my novels AND they

upload the eBook version to several online retail platforms AND they manage my website at www.aliceorrbooks.com. I can’t imagine my writing life without Killion in my corner.

Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I’m all over the internet, but my priority presences are these three. The website I just mentioned www.aliceorrbooks.com. Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter. Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/AliceOrrBooks. If you feel like poking around, you can also find me on Pinterest, Goodreads, Google +, Tumblr and probably some other sites that slip my mind just now. Most important, I’m on my Amazon Author Page at http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E.

Q: Do you have a sexy excerpt you’d like to share with us?

My latest book A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 4A Villain for Vanessa 200 Image - Prefer for Guest Blogs & Online Promo does have sexy excerpts, as do the other books in the series. But, do you remember the grandchildren I mentioned earlier?Well, they’re all over the internet too, more places than I could ever imagine. For that reason, I have to say I can’t print those excerpts here. Sorry. On the other hand, you can find them in my books. Hint. Hint. Nudge. Nudge. I hope you enjoy those scenes, and every other scene in every one of my stories. That’s a big reason I wrote them after all – for you to enjoy. Blessings. Alice

~Thanks Alice.   Readers you can join me over at Nice Girls Writing Naughty on Saturday for #Saucy Saturday.  ~Tina

 

 

 

Saturday Excerpt – A Whisper of Angels by Lourdes R. Florido

THEWHI-2 (1)Here is part of the first chapter.

I sat on the bench in the square across from the wharf and stared at The Ernestine, her three rows of white sails ascending upwards like outstretched wings. I hoped her beauty and my art would help mute my rage, but I wasn’t sure if it would be enough. It was dusk, and everything was quieting down, the merchants locking up their shops to head home while groups of mariners headed towards the nearby tavern. The Ernestine was the latest of the whalers to arrive in the harbor, having come back just a few days earlier, and like all the other ships that travelled in and out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, I wanted to add her to my collection of drawings. I wouldn’t have much time to get a preliminary sketch before the shadows of the night took hold, and I didn’t want to be around so long that I would have to deal with the people who populated the wharf at night. As I hastily worked on the drawing, a loud, rather slurred voice made me look up.

“Hey, I know him all to pieces.”

A rotund, mud splattered sailor swaggered towards me, followed by another tall one. Oh hell, not now, I thought. A couple of drunks was the last thing I needed. “Nat, Nat, now stop; don’t bother that boy,” said the taller one. “We ain’t here for the likes of him.”

They were probably out looking for one of the wharfside prostitutes that scurried out like roaches once darkness comes. The mariners made New Bedford a more raucous place than someone of my quiet disposition liked, and 1857 had been a particularly loud and hectic year for our town. Dozens of ships had gone out on the hunt for the sperm oil that made New Bedford one of the richest towns in America. The oil that came from sperm whales lit lamps and lubricated machinery, and our town was filled with all the makings of the industry, from immigrant sailors and wharfside prostitutes to rich shipping agents and owners. We “lit” the world with our trade.

As I watched the two sailors stagger away, my thoughts returned to the source of my rage as I recalled how my day had unfolded.

“Get out of that rack and get the hell out here, boy!”

That was how my morning began, as I shuddered awake at George Herrington’s deep booming voice. His yelling roused me from what had been a peaceful dream of Father. We were together again, on a sailing ship staring out onto a purplish tinged sea. For a moment my dream had felt so real, and I had been happy again, but then reality in the form of Herrington’s yelling scared me awake, back to my misery. Before I could even sit up, he was in my room, shoving me off of my bed.

“Did I not tell you last night to unpack my tools and set them in the sheds? Why are they still in the front sitting room?”

“It was too dark out there and I thought it could wait until today,” I said.

“Well your breakfast will wait then until you’re done unpacking those boxes,” he snarled. “Get out there and do it now.”

Bastard. Damn bastard, I thought, as I hurried out the back door dragging one of his heavy boxes. I hated him and could not wait till his ship left port for a hunt again, so that First Mate Herrington would go away for a long, long time. I still could not believe that Mother had married him not even two months after Father was laid in the ground. What did she see in him? He was uncouth and so young. It wasn’t proper. I had barely dragged the box into one of the sheds when he was bellowing again.

“Hurry up and get to the other boxes, boy. Stop your dawdling.” The work and the endless brow beating continued for most of the day, until I could stand it no longer and just stopped. After dinner, Herrington sat relaxing on the settee that Father had paid for, and I finally let my face express just what I thought of him.

“Do not look at me that way, boy,” he said.

“In what way?” I chided. Herrington jumped up, lunging for me, but I quickly stepped back, right into Mother who had come into the room.

“Nicolas, come here,” she said grabbing me by the shoulders and guiding me into the kitchen.

“You cannot continue to treat George with disrespect,” she said. “He is your father now.”

“Never,” I said. “That will never be my father. Mother, what were you thinking? I don’t understand why you married him. He’s so much younger than you, in his 20s; the thought of you with him sickens me.”

She looked away for a moment and then quietly answered.

“We need to move on with our lives Nicolas; this is in everyone’s best interest.”

“But Father is barely buried,” I blurted out. “You dishonor him and you dishonor yourself. Do you know what the neighbors think? I overheard Mrs. Dorsett and Mrs. Barnes talking, and I was so embarrassed. Do you know what type of woman they are saying you are?”

She slapped me then, which surprised me as she had never hit me before.

“I’m sor—…” Mother began. I didn’t stay to hear what else she had to say. Instead I ran to my room, grabbed my pencils and sketch pad and ran out the back door to the wharf, where I attempted to continue my drawing. But my art would have to wait for another day.

“What? Up to this foolishness again?”

Before I could react to the voice that at first startled me, my sketchbook was snatched out of my lap.

“Idiot,” I snapped, looking up to see Henry’s smirking face, a prankish twinkle appearing in his deep, hazel eyes. He was dressed quite formally, in a dark blue suit, gold vest, and cravat. “Why so fancy?” I asked.

“So I see you are wasting your time again in this foul part of town,” Henry said, ignoring my question. “It’s not bad,” he said assessing the drawing and dropping the sketchbook back into my lap. “But I have better plans for tonight.”

“What?” I asked, knowing that whatever it was would probably involve some mischief.

Henry had been my best friend since childhood; we had met at the wharfside, and unlikely best friends we’d become. We were different in so many ways. I was artistic; he athletic. He was outgoing; I introverted. And then there was the matter of our families. Henry’s father was a wealthy whaling agent and ship owner, and Henry lived in a grand house that was visited by all the important people in town. My father, Sam, had been a blacksmith, and we lived in a small house near the wharf district. The only time we saw town “royalty” was when they came to order something from my father. Yet, although we were very different, we had somehow connected right away. Henry had once told me that I wasn’t what he expected. I think he thought that I would be like the sailors—rough and loud—a product of my class. “You are surprisingly refined,” he once told me.

But Henry was wrong to judge everyone to be the same. Although my father was a blacksmith, he was a quiet, reflective, and religious man who had never cursed in front of me, and although he was a tradesman, he was quite literate. I had been raised in a home where books were valued, especially the Bible, which he read aloud to me every Sunday. But there was something else that connected Henry and me, a strong interest-in-common that kept our friendship going. It was a love of trickery. I may have been quiet, but I loved pulling the wool over others’ eyes. Through the years Henry and I had played many jokes on schoolmates and others, like “haunting” the Roderick manor when they were away for the summer in Europe, causing so many rumors that the family feared to move back into their home when they returned. Now I wondered what he was thinking of doing.

“What’s your idea?” I asked.

“You will pretend to be me tonight.”

“Why?”

“It’s Father. He’s met some new person, a Mr. Witham, who recently moved into town—a wealthy judge with a daughter around our age, and he and Father got to talking and managed to arrange for me to have supper with Mr. Witham and his daughter Shelley tonight. I do not want to sit through some God-awful meal with people who mean nothing to me, and this could make it interesting.”

“Perhaps it won’t be so bad for you,” I said. “Maybe you’ll find her pretty.”

“You know I don’t care,” Henry said.

“Well they do,” I said. Henry’s parents had decided it was time that he began thinking of having a serious courtship. After all, by the time his father was our age, fifteen, he had already decided that Henry’s mother would eventually become his wife. It’s not like Henry couldn’t have his pick of girls in town. His family was rich and he was handsome, his dark hair and eyes luminous against his fair skin. The girls blushed and giggled or flirted when they were near him, vying for his attention, but he never seemed to pay them much interest.

“Come on. Help me out here.”

“Okay,” I mulled. “It could be fun, but I don’t think it will work. We don’t look anything alike.”

Our differences, like day and night, extended to our looks. I had inherited my father’s fair looks, with light blue eyes and blond hair. “Mr. Witham has not seen me yet,” Henry said.

“Fine,” I said, “but what about our clothes? These chore rags just won’t make anyone believe that I’m the son of Mr. Lawton.”

“We’ll switch out of them. Let’s duck behind the trees here.”

“Okay,” I said, watching as Henry began tugging at his cravat and removing his coat. As we began walking towards the clump of trees that bordered the back of the square, we suddenly heard the clomping of horses racing down the road. I looked up to see Henry’s family coach pull up to the curb.

 

 

AuThursday – Lourdes R. Florido

Please welcome published LGBT Author Lourdes R. Florido, to the Clog Blog.  Lourdes, how long have you been writing?

I wrote my first piece of fiction when I was in the 2nd grade. I remember it was a very short story about ants.  But of course it all started with a love of words and reading.  When I first learned to read I became immediately fascinated with words, driving my brother and sister crazy as we sat in the back of my parent’s car, when they were driving us somewhere, and I would read aloud every street or business sign we would pass.  That fascination was soon funneled into the books my parents would buy me and eventually into my writing stories.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

I have five that I feel have influenced not only my writing but my interests in literature:

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

A Separate Peace – John Knowles

Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Outsiders and A Separate Peace cemented my love of “bromances”(if you want to call them that) and my fascination with exploring friendships between two guys which of course is a major part of Nicolas’ and Henry’s story in a Whisper of Angels, except these two best friends happen to be soulmates who are secretly in love with each other.   Wuthering Heights best exemplifies the type of historical romances I love. I’m a big fan of the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, E.M Forster, Edith Wharton, Thomas Hardy, and others. The last two novels, Treasure Island and The Lord of the Rings touch on two areas of fascination and reading interests for me: maritime history and fantasy literature, both of which are reflected in A Whisper of Angels which is a paranormal love story.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think I have one specific style, but with A Whisper of Angels, I tried in my writing to exude the tone that is found in so many of the 19th century classic romances I love.

Q:  Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block and how do you move past it?

Yes, sometimes.  I have to get up and away from the computer and take a walk (preferably with my dogs) to see if a breakthrough of ideas comes.  I also try to skip forward to another scene that perhaps I’d thought about ,but not started writing yet, to see if that gets the words flowing.

Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in LGBT fiction?

Some people think that LGBT fiction is written only by LGBT people for gay audiences. While obviously it is for gay audiences, it can extend to general audiences too.  I’ve had many people tell me that they were surprised that I, a straight woman, had written a story about two gay young men, and then these same people having never read a gay story before mine, told me they were pleasantly surprised to discover they enjoyed the novel and the different genres it encompassed.

 Q: Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

I’m not sure what “call” you mean, so I’ll just answer it in a couple of ways and hope that will suffice. I you mean the call to write I explained it in the first answer, and would just add that the call extended itself into my professional life.  For a while I worked as a fulltime print journalist and now teach composition and literature.  If you mean “the call” to write LGBT fiction, I would say that it was my main character Nicolas who drove that decision. That’s just who he turned out to be – a gay young man in love with his best friend, in a time period when that would never be acceptable. Another influence was probably the fact that I’ve always had gay friends and experiences with the LGBT community.  It started during my middle school years with my best friend’s mother who was a lesbian who lived with her partner during a time when most people did not publically divulge their lifestyles.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’ve been working on a historical romance set in Key West for a while.  But I’ve set it aside for now to work strictly on Book 2 of “A Whisper of Angels”.  It’s written from Henry’s viewpoint, which is challenging because he has a very different voice.  The book will wrap up a few loose ends that lingered from the first novel as well as introduces a few surprises from Henry’s past life.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Look for me and contact me on Goodreads and Facebook:

https://www.goodreads.com/llrodrig1

https://www.facebook.com/lourdesrfloridobooks/

Saturday Sexcerpt – Love’s Promise by Kara O’Neal

Love's Promise TRR“The following is from Love’s Promise, my most recent release. I absolutely adored writing Thomas Miller. He’s witty and cranky. It was a lot of fun to watch him fall in love. Enjoy!” ~Kara O’Neal

Wednesday morning the ovens were ready, and now Cora entered Miller’s in need of coal. When she looked around, she noticed she was the only one in the store. Well, Eliska had sent her over as soon as the sun rays slashed through the bakery windows. A rummaging sound came from the storage room. Had Mr. Miller not heard the bell?

“Hello?” she called. The noise stopped, then more shuffling came. A loud bang caused Cora to flinch, then she heard a curse. Once the curtain was shoved to the side, a scowling face was revealed.

When Mr. Miller locked gazes with her, the irritation in his expression softened instantly. Her heart skipped a beat.

“Mornin’,” he drawled.

“Good morning. Stub your toe?”

“Naw. I’m not clumsy. I meant for that wash tub to fall off the shelf.”

She chuckled, trying to ignore the way her body tingled at the sight of him. Would her reactions to this man never cease? “Have you got coal? We need several bags.”

He crooked his finger at her. “Come on back. I’ve got plenty.”

As she approached him, he stayed as he was with his lean form pressed against the frame and one hand holding up the green curtain. She drew closer and realized he wasn’t going to move. She might have to stoop under his arm and probably brush his body with hers. The understanding made her pulse quicken but didn’t slow her gait. In fact, she had to keep herself from hurrying. When she reached the entrance to the storeroom, she realized she wouldn’t have to duck to go inside.

With her heart racing faster than a galloping horse and her stomach dipping and swirling, she met his gaze squarely as she went past him. Awareness hung between them. He desired her. He did. And he knew, he had to know, she felt the same. Thomas Miller missed nothing.

Once she was inside the storeroom, the privacy of the area made it impossible for her to remember why she’d set foot inside in the first place. Hopefully he would recall the reason for her presence. He stepped up behind her, and his warmth penetrated her body.

He cleared his throat.

She turned. Her gaze connected with the buttons on his shirt. His chest was broad, strong. He seemed capable. Dependable. Her fingers itched to slide over him and around his shoulders. She shoved her hands into her pockets and tried to find some semblance of control.

“So…coal,” he murmured.

His voice washed over her. Don’t look up, she warned herself. If she met his gaze, she’d be trapped. Controlled. Held captive to whatever it was he wanted. Did he want her?

As she fought the need to discover what was in his eyes, she knew she should back up. Just one step. One step, and she might be able to breathe again.

His scent reached her nose, musky and male and bold. Just like him. Confident and challenging. And he was an honest man. Her head began to spin, her thoughts grew jumbled. She yearned to move closer to him, to feel her breasts pressed against his chest, to have his arms wrapped around her like steel bands. She closed her eyes and let out a slow exhale.

“Cora,” he uttered.

And she was powerless to ignore him. Slowly she lifted her gaze to his. The heat burning in his eyes matched the fire inside of her. A roaring sounded in her ears. She wanted this man. In fact, she needed him.

His hands cupped her shoulders, and her heart leapt. She bit down on her back teeth to keep from exulting “yes”. He pulled her forward, and she did nothing to resist him. Her body pulsed, waiting, needing. He lowered his head and set his mouth on hers.

For a mere second his touch was tender, cautious. But then heat shot through her, and she could no longer remain passive. She opened her lips under his, and it was all he seemed to need to let desire consume him. He ravaged her mouth, pulling and sucking, plundering with his tongue.

When his arms wrapped around her, she moaned, and he reacted by holding her tightly. His grip was so strong, she felt he never wanted to let her go. Need and hunger had her trembling, and she ran her fingers through his hair, her palms tingling at the silky feel.

He picked her up and turned her, shoving her against the wall of the storeroom. His kisses moved to her neck, and she arched to give him access. The nips and bites he gave her flesh set her skin on fire. She gasped for breath as she ran her hands over him, wishing she was touching his bare body. He moved back to her mouth, taking again what she freely wanted to give. When he lifted her leg, helped her curl it around his hip and set himself against her center, she moaned.

Her deepest yearnings lived and needed to be set free. She had to have him. Did he understand? Did he know how much she wanted him? His hands caressed her restlessly, moving over her curves with a boldness she craved. This had never happened to her before. This longing. This deep-seated need to feel a man inside her. And it seemed he desired her just as much.

Cool air touched her shoulders. He’d opened her blouse. When his lips touched her skin, shivers ran along her flesh. Again she ran her fingers through his hair and clutched him to her. His mouth was a fire upon her. She wanted that fire inside her. How could she tell him? How did she let him know what she craved? She’d never been carried away by passion. She’d never been so infatuated with a man. She’d never hungered to be close to the opposite sex. And now, they weren’t close enough.

She pushed her lower half against him, and he made a noise in the back of his throat. He uttered her name as he planted feverish kisses along the tops of her breasts. Would he pull her chemise down? Would he kiss her there? Would he suckle her? Her head swam. A haze overwhelmed any sense she had, and if she knew how to say the words, she’d beg him to take her. But the bell tinkled. And he pulled up sharply.

The sudden loss of his lips jarred her. She blinked. “T-Thomas?” Was that her voice? She sounded desperate. Uncertain. Her heart was racing fast. Too fast.

He squeezed her shoulder then slipped into the main area. With her pulse beating as wildly as a bird’s wings, she leaned her head against the wall. What had happened? What was happening? Control. She needed it.

Forcing slow breaths past her lips, she tried to determine what was going on. And what would she say to him when he returned? Her heart ran cold. What would he say? Her palms grew clammy. This was unacceptable. Unfathomable. What had this man done to her?

Hastily, she buttoned her blouse. The curtain rustled, and instantly the area was invaded by his intensity. He didn’t stop to talk to her. Instead he pulled out a handcart. “So,” he began with his back to her, “coal.”

Noise grew in her ears. He was ignoring her? Why? Shocked and stunned, she tried to gather her wits.

“How many bags?”

How many what?

He turned to look at her. The expression in his eyes was guarded, veiled. Exactly what was wrong with him? Hadn’t he kissed her? Hadn’t he wanted to kiss her? His jaw clenched and unclenched. They gazed at each other for several moments across the expanse of items separating them. She had no idea what to do, what to say.

“I think you’ll need five bags to start with,” he said abruptly.

Without an agreement from her, he stacked the coal on the handcart. He wheeled it past her without so much as a glance. Had she done something wrong? He seemed mad. But should she care? This passionate, mindless embrace she’d just shared with him had not been in her plans. She’d never wanted to experience a man’s touch again.

Anger at herself, at him, grew. She shoved away from the wall then stepped into the main area. He was ringing up her purchase. Without words, she waited for him to finish. The urge to rage, to bolt, festered inside her. Using every ounce of will she possessed, she tamped down the tumultuous emotions.

He named a sum without looking at her. She gave the exact amount then picked up the handle of the cart.

“I’ll do that,” he rushed to say.

“You will not,” she snapped, seething. Her response stopped him before he even had a chance to come around the counter. In fact, he took a quick step back and bumped into the shelves behind him. She had shown so much of herself to him. Too much. Embarrassment flooded her, overwhelmed her. As quickly as she could, she fled from him.

Join me next week when we interview M/M author Lourdes R. Florido. ~Tina

AuThursday – Kara O’Neal

Kara (1 of 1)Please welcome my fellow Resplendence writer,  Kara O’Neal, to the Clog Blog.  Kara,  How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first novel when I was pregnant with my oldest child, so I’ve been writing almost sixteen years.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not really sure. I write where the characters take me. Sometimes I’m more descriptive than usual or sometimes I find I’m writing wittier conversations. I never know what’s gonna end up on the page.

Q : Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

So far I haven’t faced that terrible situation. I’m sure I will, but right now I’m lucky to have created a town that has a variety of characters. These people keep leading me down roads that allow my imagination to run free. It’s been a lot of fun!

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

I received several rejections. The first was hard, and the next dozen or so were even harder. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I’m sad to say I did stop sending my manuscript to people. I didn’t quit writing, but I did quit trying to get published. It was hard to keep submitting when I felt like I was sending out poor material. I finally started entering contests and the suggestions, comments, etc. I received helped a lot. I also found a critique group, which was the scariest thing I’d ever done, but it paid off. I became a better writer because of these things, and it only took one year for me to find a publisher who liked my work.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

Oh, what a day that was! When I read the email from Resplendence Publishing indicating they wanted me, me, to write for them, I promise I sat in silence for probably thirty seconds and blinked at the screen. Then I rushed to my husband and made him come read it. I was so afraid I was misinterpreting the communication. When it finally sank in, I called my siblings first. They are my inspirations and my biggest fans. Then I called my parents, and made my dad promise he wouldn’t ever read any of my books. They are romance, after all! (He has completely ignored my command and read every single one of my books.)

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for the PIKES RUN series?

TRR The Sheriff's Gift

TRR CowboysCharmsTRR MillerBridesSaving Sarah TRR

 

 

 

 

I wanted to write stories about a family. One that lived, laughed and loved as mine does. Several of my characters are based off of people I know, and they are perfect models for the Lonnigan and Davis families. Many of my favorite scenes are when they’re sharing a Sunday meal and teasing each other.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?TRR Welcome Home

Without a doubt the hardest to write was my first, Welcome Home, simply because it was my first. I was trying to figure out how to write along with finding my voice. I can tell you it was difficult, but I kept writing. And rewriting. And rewriting some more.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’m about to send book seven, Love’s Redemption, to my editor and book eight, The Editor’s Kisses, is going through the critique process. I’ll start book nine, The Ranger’s Vow, this week.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Many places!

My website: www.karaoneal.com.

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor.

Join me on Saturday when we read a sexy teaser from Kara’s book Love’s Promise. ~Tina

Saturday Sexcerpt – Epitaph by Cammie Eicher

“I was planning breakfast in bed.”

Nicolas strolled toward her, a cup in each hand. He wore only jeans, low-slung on his hips, the lack of attire accentuating his wide shoulders and sculpted abs. Acacia felt a twinge of anticipation just looking at him.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you.”

She waited for him to join her, greeting him with a deep kiss before accepting the cup of blood. A tease of vanilla and caramel enriched the fluid.

“Perfect,” she sighed.

“Like you.” Nicolas took her hand and led her to the couch. He set their cups on an end table and sat down. He pulled her onto his lap.

“I’ve missed you.” He pressed his face against her hair and inhaled. “Ah, jasmine. You know it’s my favorite scent. So much more original than lavender or roses.”

Roses. The memory of one perfect thornless bloom, fresh from the garden, floated into her mind. She pushed it away and curled up against Nicolas. The coolness of his body and the slow beat of his heart were so familiar.

“Giorgio works you too hard.” He pushed a lock of hair behind her ear. “You look tired.”

“That comes from staying up all day. You know me. I’m a night girl all the way.”

“Poor baby. Maybe, I can help you relax.”

His slim fingers slipped along her jaw to the cradle the back of her head, pulling her to him so his lips could seize hers. His other hand slid under the soft pajama top to capture her breast. A familiar heat filled her. She wound her arms around his neck to pull him closer.

“Ah, you missed me, too,” Nicolas whispered as she arched against him. His fingers teased along her spine; every nerve in her body responded. He slid onto the floor and pulled her atop him. His arms trapped her while his mouth captured hers, demanding and still bearing a hint of sweetness from the blood.

She struggled against him, desperate to pull off her clothes and feel his skin against her. Nicolas chuckled and tightened his embrace.

“Later, little one. I need you now.”

He loosened his grip, tugged the pajama pants below her hips and positioned her against his hard shaft. She gasped as he entered and howled when she found release.

“I think our breakfast is cold,” she whispered as the fever left her.

“The drinks can be reheated.” He kissed her hair and added, “Just like you,” with laughter in his voice.

He lifted her onto the couch, rose and picked up their mugs. She rearranged her clothes as she waited for his return from the kitchen. This was exactly what she’d needed after the tense days of pretending to be a short-lifer. She rubbed her side where Nicolas’ fingers dug in. Fast and rough was good. So was sweet and slow. That would come once they were in bed.

Steamy, very nice.  Join me next Thursday when I interview one of my fellow LSB authors. ~Tina

 

AuThursday – Cammie Eicher

Please welcome back my fellow Resplendence Author, Cammie Eicher.  Cammie, do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

My mind is always in gear and I seldom find myself blocked. But when I do, I’ll grab a notebook, go have coffee somewhere and “interview” the characters. I pretend I’m really asking them questions and jotting down answers and pretty soon, I’m back in the groove.

Q: When you first started in this business, how did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

I have a whole ring binder of rejection letters I’ll be happy to show anyone who wants to see them! My parents taught me the real failure is to quit trying so after a day or so of being bummed, I’d read through them and take any advice they offered. Then I’d rewrite and resubmit.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your SHADOW ANCIENT series?

My late sister and I were always into vampires. I was sitting in Las Vegas at an RWA conference, waiting for time to catch the airport shuttle, when I began to wonder about all those people around me. What if they weren’t all like me? What if they were actually vampires, but not the kind of the popular legend? What if they were the original species of man and we were the mutants? It just grew from there.

Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?

I’d say its Giorgio Montrosa. Giorgio had a lousy childhood and let it turn him into an ambitious man with little regard for others. But when he was forced to choose between two paths, he decided to create a new and better life for himself. Plus he’s just really sexy!

Q: Which one of your covers is your favorite and why?

Hmmm … that’s a tough one. I really like Dead Man Stalking because it so accurately reflects the story.

Q: What are your current projects?

I’ve just seen the latest Shadow Ancient book, “Epitaph,” come out and I’m starting work on two new books. One involves my Ancients while the other is a humorous, small town story of feuding neighbors and revenge.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

You can do this! There’s a phrase that I offer all who ask me how to write: HIC-HOK. That stands for hinny in chair, hands on keyboard. Write. And when you need a break, read. Don’t ever assume you’re not good enough or compare yourself to someone else. Your voice is unique and your imagination is like no one else’s.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Check me out at www.cammieeicher.com or come see me on Facebook.

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Cammie’s book, “Epitaph”. ~Tina