Guest Blog: How I Got Here – Kristin Wallace’s Journey

KristinWallace_HeadshotI was about 25 when I had the great epiphany that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Specifically…novel writing. I don’t know why this notion didn’t occur to me earlier. I’d always been a voracious reader (which I blame entirely on my mother). I didn’t just play Barbie’s…those dolls endured soap opera-like sagas. I’d actually started writing stories as far back as high school. But I never connected that with an actual career. I didn’t major in something useful like English or Journalism in college. Instead, I was a theatre major.
After college I drifted for a long time, unsure what I wanted to do. Then this bolt of lightening struck and told me to be a writer. For the next few years I wrote and submitted….and I got absolutely nowhere. At the same time, I was still no closer to finding a career that would let me do important things…like buy food and pay rent. I needed something where I could write and be creative, but actually get paid.
So, I stumbled on another career that I’d never considered…advertising. Specifically, I wanted to be an advertising copywriter. So, I put the writing dream aside and went back to school for the next 2 years. Then I started working. At some point I started writing again. That’s when I had another “great epiphany”. One afternoon I was sitting at my computer working on an outline for a new book and I literally stopped with my hands on the keyboard –and said to myself. “You’ve been doing this writing thing for 10 years and it hasn’t gone away…that has to mean something.”
I knew I had to try again. I joined Romance Writers of America and my local chapter, Florida Romance Writers. I quickly discovered that I knew absolutely nothing about actual writing. I started to learn, though. One thing I learned is that the selling a book to an agent or editor starts with a pitch. You have to be able to describe your 300+ page book in one paragraph or less. Imagine my surprise when I realized that wrestling large, complicated subjects into a line and a paragraph of copy was exactly what I did every day for my day job. I also got into the game at a time when publishing was undergoing a radical change. Authors were doing more and more marketing for themselves. Then the advent of epublishers and self-publishing exploded. Both of those avenues are all about marketing, and I’d spent the last decade of my life learning all the skills I would need to sell…myself.
Of course, the awaited book contract still didn’t come right away. It took 6 more years and more “no’s” than I can count. But FINALLY…on May 10, 2013…I got a yes and sold my first book to Astraea Press.

AuThursday – Guy Ogan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlease welcome Guy Ogan, a 70 year old retired military officer and retired psychologist who now writes about Guardian Vampires protecting humans and small animals from the evil type of vampires, human criminals, and dictatorial governments. So Guy, where are you from?
A: West Texas is where I currently reside, but I’ve lived all around the world.

Q: Tell us your latest news?
A: My third novel in my “Immortal Relations” series became available in print two weeks ago. I’m still waiting on the Kindle release.

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
A: I believe they call it “flying by the seat of your paints” but I dream about my stories at night so I have it somewhat plotted out as to general storyline.

Q: What books have most influenced your life most?
A: I must have read the trilogy Lord of the Rings a hundred times, all of Tom Clancy’s works, Ann Rice’s “Servant of the Bones” and yes I’m a fan of the Twilight Stories (but I think the one Stephenie Meyer didn’t release, “Midnight Sun” was her best by far, you can “Google it” to read some of it).

Q: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A: I am a little shy and prefer to write my thoughts and ideas rather than saying them aloud. I wasn’t a writer in my public school days, but when I started running long distances in track and cross-country I wanted to express the joys of running so I started submitting my writing to “The Long Distance Log” and other running magazines (long before Runner’s World was even thought of). While I’m sure they weren’t the best writing, they were always published. When I became interested in cars I submitted photos and descriptions of events I attended to magazines like “Cruising Style.” I often had three or more articles in every issue. Of course in my jobs in the Air Force and later, working for the Texas Prison System as a Specialist and Psychologist I did a lot of technical writing and even wrote a book on assessment and treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder. I guess you could say writing has always been a part of my life – just not writing novels. Had it not been for finding the photograph that is on page two of my first novel, I probably wouldn’t have written my novels.

Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A: I think all authors; especially Indie Authors (those who have their books published by what used to be called “vanity press”) will say the hardest part is getting the word out about our works. Without blogs such as this one few readers would ever hear of our books.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: Yes, while a constructive review of your work can be helpful, “Don’t let the bastards get you down…write what you believe and pay no attention to the nay-sayers and critics…if they were so creative they’d be writing rather than trying to rip your stuff to shreds.”

Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
A: Below are the buy links; however, I love to write back and forth with readers and you can do that on my http://immortalrelations.blogspot.com and
I’m writervampire on Facebook or
E-Mail me at gog6692@msn.com (the fastest way).

“Immortal Relations” is at http://amzn.com/B006ZCBT6G

“Immortal Relations, Love and War” is at http://amzn.com/B00A4IEHL6

“Immortal Relations Coming Out” is at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481822780 (this is the print version, the Kindle version should be out soon).

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Guy’s latest work.

Saturday Sexcerpt- Finding Zoe by Diane Saxon

Pure, unadulterated lust flowed like lava through her veins as she watched them prep him for the stunt. The stunt the blue-eyed devil had failed to warn her about. It wasn’t a warning she’d needed, but a “hazard—highly dangerous to women’s health” sign should have been hung around the entire set with red flashing lights and a cordon area of at least three hundred feet. Even that wouldn’t have been enough.

She pulled the neck of her T-shirt out and slyly blew cool air down the front of her chest, hoping if anyone noticed, they would think it was the heat of the day.

Unfortunately, she knew better.

They’d stripped him down to a pair of loose-fitting fireman coverall trousers that hung low on his hips, leaving his top half naked and showing every last muscle that rippled under his taut, smooth, bronze skin. Then, possibly just to make her squirm in her seat, as he stood shoulders back, chest out, they slicked oil all over his upper body to make it look sweaty for the camera. The cool oil made goose bumps stand out over his flesh, and his nipples hardened.

She almost slithered out of her seat onto the ground in a hot, wet mess.

Casually, she tucked a disheveled curl back into its unruly plait and tried to get it to stay with trembling fingers while molten heat rushed through her veins, clamoring to burn through her layers of skin and incinerate her on the spot.

He seemed totally oblivious to the ministrations of the makeup lady. If anything, his face still had a tinge of green, but as the woman moved away and left his body glowing to perfection in the golden sunlight, he cast Zoe a quick, hot glance that made her want to leap on him.
Amused despite herself, she envisioned launching straight at him and skidding off to land in a heap on her backside at his feet.

In her practical mind, she thought perhaps if they used something other than oil. A small groan escaped her, but she refused to take her eyes off him. Ice cream maybe…or melted chocolate. She sucked her bottom lip in, chewed on it while she allowed her imagination to take her on a short trip. Perhaps visually it may not have the same effect, but in her mind she could almost taste him as she licked every last inch of him.

Her gaze tracked up his gleaming chest and his hard, muscular neck. The unshaven shadow of his chin gave her the urge to lean forward and nip it. Further, she studied his sharp cheekbones, straight nose, and black hawk-like eyes staring back at her. Pure lust emanated from them, burning her to the spot, making every resolve she ever had about him disintegrate.

Other Books in my Atlantic Divide Series: (Please insert pics here)

Loving Lydia

Bad Girl Bill

AuThursday – Diane Saxon

Diane Saxon

Please welcome fellow LSB author Diane Saxon. Welcome Diane!

Hi Tina,
Thank you very much for having me along today, I really appreciate it.
So, where are you from?
A. I live in Shropshire, England and have for many years, but I was born in Lincolnshire and have lived and travelled all over the world.

Q: What inspired you to write your first book?
A. Reading prolifically and loving what I read. My very first book was written years ago on a in shorthand on a notepad and is hidden in a bottom drawer somewhere. I always wanted to write, but like many authors, it’s finding that creative time when you’re not either working at your day job, or lying comatose trying to recover from working too hard.

Q: What books have most influenced your life most?
A. Probably Wordstar 2000 user manual
Other than that I don’t think I can say any one book has influenced my life. I love romances and thrillers by a huge range of authors.

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
A. I’m a new writer. I still walk around in awe of the fact that I took the leap of faith and people actually know that I’m writing now. None of it is truly challenging, because I am still really excited about everything I’m doing. Biggest problem I have is trying to persuade my Dalmation, Skye to get off my lap when I’m really on a run.

Q: Do you use any techniques, tools, or aids to help you write?
A. Umm, a computer.

Q: How do you make time to write?
A. I gave up a really demanding job and took some time out, discovered I enjoyed writing so much that I haven’t been persuaded to go back.I have found being at home, I have to be extremely disciplined and it is easy to get distracted.

Q: Would you tell us your story of getting your first contract?
A. I always feel a little guilty here. I sent my manuscript rather tentatively off to a few publishers and within three weeks had an R&R from Liquid Silver Books and within another two weeks a second publisher also became interested. My first book was published within 6 months of sending it off and I do feel extremely privileged.

Q: Tell us your latest news?
A: I think there are a few bits of news.
First, I’m really delighted that Book 3 of my Atlantic Divide Series, Finding Zoe was released on 30th September 2013 through Liquid Silver Books.
Secondly, I have a short romantic comedy contracted and due for release on 25th November. I had so much fun writing this one and I hope it is going to be well received. So far, all of my books have an element of humour, but this one has it conce
Oh and not to forget the short sci-fi story I completed in a challenge with fellow authors Eva Lefoy and Allyson Lindt. I will be looking to submit this shortly.

Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Author Website http://dianesaxon.com
Author Blog http://www.dianesaxon.com/blogspot.html
Author Facebook Page www.facebook.com/authordianesaxon
Author Twitter @Diane_Saxon

Author Goodreads Profile http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1984322 ntrated all the way through.1

Buy the Books http://bit.ly/164ccDv
Liquid Silver Books http://bit.ly/1fBVyls
Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1blakaP
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/15EXvne

Saturday Sexcerpt – Love Entwined by Danita Minnis

loveentwined final cover

“Amelie Laurent, may I introduce you to Roman Cardiff.” Harold gestured toward the Burberry divan in the corner.
She closed her mouth and turned, hand extended. The apology died on her lips.
Dieu. He was a Greek god in a dark tailored suit. Very tall. Different in reality.
Cooler than she expected. There was arrogance in his square jaw. His aquiline nose and thick, black brows made him look like a predator.
His expression would have seemed harsh except for the warmth of the sky blue gaze traveling slowly up her body. The eyes gave his features a seraphim quality. They leisurely toured the peachy-pink lacquered toenails peeking through the front of her navy pumps, and then moved up the curve of her hips. She felt those eyes like a puff of warm breath when they grazed the swell of her breasts above the white silk blouse.
She was an innocent doe being circled by a panther that was higher up on the food chain and more resourceful. Clearly, he wanted to take a bite out of her. His imperial stance said it was his due.
His nostrils flared as he inhaled her scent.
Amelie looked down at the large hand holding hers. Warm, like a glove. Finally, his gaze met hers.
She did not move, but something sinful shivered inside her. It was the part of her who knew this man. But these feelings weren’t hers—they belonged to that other woman. The one who waited for him at night in her bedroom.
He is real. But he could not be her dream lover.
With an unholy smile, Mr. Cardiff lifted her hand. Full lips moved over her skin in a warm caress, and she was filled with craving.
She jolted out of her reverie, tried to pull away, but he held her there. Her hand relaxed in his.
Stop this, you don’t know him!
The god nodded ever so slightly, as if he’d come to a decision.
She exhaled. He would stop now.
Gently, he let go of her hand and it fell to her side.
“Ms. Laurent, it is my pleasure to meet you.” The low timbre of his accented English
curled her peachy-pink colored toes.
She couldn’t speak. He did not know her.
Of course, he could not know what happened at night in her bedroom. It was the bold lust in his eyes that made it seem as if he did.
She averted her gaze so he would not see the truth of those nights in her eyes. “Mr. Cardiff,” she whispered. Her heart was beating so fast, she was afraid she would embarrass herself and break out in a cold sweat.
Calm down.
“Please, call me Roman.”
She could think of a million reasons why she should not. There was that predatory smile again.
“Roman has commissioned Penrods to collaborate on the new Cardiff collection.”
She turned toward the voice and her tunnel vision broadened. Harold was still in the room.
I have been carrying on with this hunk in my dreams.
Now that the man had infiltrated the real world, left her apartment and come out in the light of day, it was clear she had been dreaming. This man had a name, a very well-known name, and a life. He had been born to a jewel dynasty. He was not a phantom.
Mr. Cardiff’s eyes burned into hers. There wasn’t anything angelic about them now.
She felt naked. Focus. He was saying something.
“…and I would like you to work on the designs.”
“Me?” She asked. Breathe. She fought to regain her equilibrium. It wasn’t working.
“Yes and the timing is perfect, now that you’re no longer working on that other project.” With a smug smile, Harold came out from behind his desk to stand between them.
She needed some breathing room and stepped away from Mr. Cardiff. She was still close enough to hear him chuckle under his breath.
She frowned at him. Was he making fun of her? No, what she read in his eyes was a challenge.
He gave her a repentant grin.
Maybe it was three months of pent up anger at being—for lack of a better word—manipulated in her home. Or, maybe it was three months of the best sex—real or imagined—she’d ever had in her life with a phantom who chose to introduce himself at this very inconvenient time when she was trying to quit her exhausting job. It was also just as likely the fact that her warm and generous dream lover was actually a pampered and conceited heir who probably had more woman than the time required to service them. Whatever the reason, she had reached her limit.
She faced Mr. Cardiff. Folding her arms, she acknowledged what had passed between them and accepted his dare. “It would be my pleasure.”
Harold gave her an odd look and guided her to the divan as if she needed some guidance, which only served to irk her more. “You will be in good hands with Amelie. Did you know that she was lead designer behind Bijou’s Artisan Collection?”
“I had no idea.” There was a slight edge to Mr. Cardiff’s tone, but it was nothing compared to the arrogance that frosted his eyes. “And how is our old friend Garamonde?”
Was it possible to hate someone at first sight?
“Still old, I suppose.”
Harold coughed, and she refused to look at him. She would stare Mr. Cardiff down until closing time, if need be.
As quickly as his eyes had frosted, they warmed up again with amusement.
She could not quell the sinking feeling she had lost control of the situation. She suspected it had never been in her possession in the first place. But now that the fateful words of acceptance were out of her mouth, the wind went out of her sails.
Mr. Cardiff smiled as smoothly as he had just engineered this desired outcome. He sat down on the other end of the sofa and stretched long, muscular legs out. They nearly reached the desk Harold leaned against. A swimmer’s physique, she thought and then shut that errant thought down as quickly as it had surfaced. “Excellent,” he said. “When will you be ready to leave for St. Clair Manor?”
“Mr. Cardiff, this is highly irregular. I cannot be contracted out…” She looked at
Harold.
He shrugged.
She schooled her voice back to a modicum of professionalism. “Mr. Cardiff, we have everything we need here at Penrods to do the job. I can forward the sketches to you in just a few weeks’ time.”
Harold cleared his throat and belatedly, she realized what he was going to say.
“Actually, Amelie, we are also contracted for a refurbishment project.”
Merde, it would take months.
She had gone from the verge of resigning her position to yet another commitment, to him, no less.
Still, she had been cornered by powerful men before. Men who were born with advantage in the corporate sector. Men who obtained everything they wanted and many things they didn’t, without even trying.
Some men, she snorted inwardly, don’t deserve the women they have. Or had. But she’d promised herself she would not think about Emil Garamonde anymore. As much as it hurt to know she’d lost control with Emil, she had finally convinced herself that what happened between them was a normal, human mistake. It was okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. And, oh, how she’d learned. She would never let her guard down again.
Mr. Cardiff’s good looks hardened her resolve. She tried again to dissuade him from this kidnapping Harold was consenting to because this time she wanted to win. She put cold steel in her voice.
“Another few weeks, and the jewels will be safe here in our vault while I work on them.”
His chiding chuckle said they were both aware he had her. It made her feel chastened, but it also made her legs weak with an unwelcome tremor of desire.
The handsome devil had dimples to boot.
“Ms. Laurent, I am afraid that is impossible. The Cardiff collection never leaves St.
Clair Manor. I’m sure you will find our facilities more than adequate. As for the sketches,
I will need to work closely with you on concepts.” His eyes raked her form again. “I am very hands-on.”
Her legs did give way then. She sat down on the divan. How could I have ever thought his smile was angelic?

AuThursday – Danita Minnis

DanitaMinnisPlease join me in welcoming fellow Liquid Silver Books Author, Danita Minnis.
Thanks so much for having me here on the Clog Blog!

Q: What books have most influenced your life most?
I would have to say Anne Rice and Stephen King have influenced me with most of their books. Their influence shows in my stories. I write dark fairytales and yes, I like a little horror with my romance.

Q: What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?
I outline not because I want to but because if I don’t it will take me longer to get through the story. It’s a terrible feeling to forget a major theme that should be running through the story when you’re almost done with it. When I start watching old horror or suspense movies for a few weeks I know I’m getting ideas for a new hero and heroine, which are percolating in my mind.

Q: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Absolute Write is a serious online writing community I quietly observed for a year before venturing to put my work to their test. I finally graduated from lurker to visible member and that’s when my writing took off. Over the years I got the help I needed in crit groups, with betas, etc. I mentioned before they are serious writers; they aren’t warm and fuzzy. They tell it like it is and that is exactly what I needed.

Q: What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?
You have to be able to kill your darlings! Of course, you are in love with your story – you wrote it. Be willing to listen to constructive criticism. I’m not saying change your ideals for your story. Only you know how you want it to play out but do take good advice. If you are a good writer there is always a way to show what you want to say or what you want your readers to know. Leave out the backstory, sagging middles and long diatribes.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your Cardiff series?
A dream. I daydreamed about Roman Cardiff fighting the il Dragone demons and other ‘scenes’ of the story for weeks. I thought I was going crazy until I realized I had a book in me.

Q: What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?
That’s when the fun began! I really enjoyed the editing process – a chance to refine the characters and scenes. I love cover art – really enjoyed that whole process.

Q: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
I always thought I was going to be a famous singer. Growing up, I sang with local bands in New York City so hopefully I would be doing that and earning a living.

Q: What is on tap for the rest of the year?
I am anxious to finish the third book in the Cardiff novels. This one deals with the vampires and shifters hounding the Cardiff family. I can’t wait to finish because I’m getting distracted by my fourth WIP. I’m starting to daydream about it. I think it will turn out to be a sci-fi romance. That’s going to be a challenge for me as I’ve never written sci-fi before, but I think my heroine wants it that way.

Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Danita Minnis Links
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Danita-Minnis-Romance-Author/433534206657385?ref=hlFacebook Cardiff Novels Page: https://www.facebook.com/DanitaMinnis?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Danita_MinnisGoogle+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111389861535772698079/posts/p/pub
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/danitaminnis/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6154485.Danita_Minnis
Website: http://danitaminnis.com/Home_Page.php
Blog: http://blog.danitaminnis.com/
Networked Blogs: http://www.networkedblogs.com/user/1345144572
Bloglovin: http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/9937015/

The Cardiff Novels
Love Entwined at Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/love-entwined-p828.php
Love Entwined on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/pcelupp
Love Entwined on Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/nq44wn8
Falcon’s Angel at Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/falcons-angel-p225.php