#AuThursday – Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender LogoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, I am a multi-genre author of 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. And the list just keeps growing. Some of my works in progress include comedy, time travel or dystopian tales.  I come from the Midwestern U.S., and I live with my family and three cats. I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to be a writer, at least since I was old enough to officially write stories.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?

I’m actually more introverted, though my writing career has forced me to be more public than I’m accustomed to. I guess you could say it’s a bit harder to put myself out there, but I do it anyway. I’ve had several radio interviews, I host three blogs and I have moderated lots of major book giveaways. I like meeting new people. Now and then, I still get nervous, though.

How do you make time to write?

When I’m balancing a side job and family obligations, it can be difficult. I usually aim to work a little on my current project every day, even if it’s a paragraph or a scene, or just researching different aspects of the story.

What excites you most about your current WIP?

The book I’m currently editing is Blood Instincts, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy which is also book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. I adore the characters, and designing the Other World. I’m very excited for fans of Second Nature, the first book, to read its sequel!

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

Oh, I received quite a few when I was submitting Upon Your Return, my first historical romance, to agents and publishers. Whenever I’d get a rejection, I forced myself to feel more determined. I just sent out another five submissions to other places. Perseverance is a good quality to have in this business. And my persistence paid off. Not too long after that, I received my first book contract!

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Actually, I have. I am in the midst of writing a romantic suspense novel with another writer. It’s titled Certain Death.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

They can find me at my author website, through my blogs at the MLB blog, the I Love Romance Blog, or Writing in the Modern Age. They can follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I also have an author newsletter, which I send out monthly, so feel free to subscribe!

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share for Saturday?

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Sure! This one is from my new release, Directions of the Heart, a modern romantic drama collection, which just came out on July 25th!

Join me on Saturday as we read an excerpt from “Directions of the Heart” by Marie. ~Tina

#AuThursday – Beverley Oakley

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I was born in the tiny African mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, which is land-locked by South Africa. When I was small I emigrated with my family to South Australia where we built a two-story mud brick home and planted 25,000 trees in the wine-producing Clare Valley before I returned to Africa in my 20’s – this time to Botswana’s Okavango Delta – to manage a safari lodge. There I met and married a handsome Norwegian bush pilot who took me to live and work in 12 countries before we settled, a few years ago, in Melbourne, Victoria.

I write fulltime in between teaching creative writing interspersed with communications and marketing contracts, mainly for the Victorian government.

How do you make time to write?

I have to work hard at the discipline. When I was writing for traditional publishers I was given deadlines but now that I self publish, mostly, I have to make my own deadlines. Often that’s locking myself into a pre-order which usually ends with me burning the candle at both ends – such as now when trying to finish my work in progress, Devil’s Run. I still have at least 10,000 words to write in less than a week!

What genre are your books?

I used to call them straight historical Regencies or Victorian-set romances. Now, however, I find that there are multiple layers of plot and either mystery and intrigue with, quite often, a lovely, honourable hero and a heroine who has a blemished past or who is spoiled or needs redeeming in some way. I don’t consciously set out to write noble heroes and heroines in need of redeeming with either a wicked villain or a vain anti-heroine in the wings, but there’s often a version of that set-up.

So my books aren’t for readers who like a straight, sweet and uncomplicated historical. My biggest series – Daughters of Sin – is like a Regency-set soap opera with four different sisters – 2 illegitimate, 2 nobly born – lots of rivalry, double-dealing, mystery, a wicked rake being pursued for traitorous activities, and so on. I recently wound up the series with book 5, Lady Unveiled: the Cuckold’s Conspiracy, but intend to do a spin-off series of the various children – legitimate, illegitimate, secret, swapped and stolen – who have resulted from the five books in this series.

What draws you to this genre?

The inequalities between genders and the social divide, as well as the clothes and the manners. There’s so much scope for desperation to override good judgement and other rich plot possibilities when there’s not the social safety net that we take for granted today where no one starves and or doesn’t get treated at a hospital. (At least, that’s the case where I live in Australia so I let my imagination take me to another century when people couldn’t take health and not starving for granted.)

What are your current projects?

I’m nearly finished book 3 in my Beautiful Brazen Brightwell series. It’s called Devil’s Run about a young woman whose dying aunt may or may not leave her a fortune so she makes a wager to marry this betting man, both of them having very different motivations for wanting the marriage to go ahead (all about a horse) except that love gets in the way.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?

Introvert.  How does this affect your work? I’ve forced myself to do author talks and, as I love making historical costumes, it’s less intimating to do an author talk dressed in a 1780s polonaise as I can then pretend I’m someone else.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Porridge to get me going for breakfast, a glass of wine to spur me on after dinner and sometimes chocolate in between. I have very different writing schedules and as my husband is away in Singapore for six weeks at the moment and I’m between government contracts (plus it’s school holidays) I can write around the clock if I want – and as my next deadline draws near I have in fact got to work after waking at 4am.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Never give up.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.beverleyoakley.com

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

I just grabbed this paragraph from my unfinished work in progress, Devil’s Run:

Perhaps in the glow of moonlight he saw the spark in her eye that reflected his own feelings. Whatever it was, something in his expression flared. There was a split second of arrested awareness before a subtle shifting in the mood between them, then the sharp excitement of melding bodies, arms entwined and mouths unexpectedly fused in a kiss. The jolt of something come to life within her sent Eliza into the abyss, her mind a mass of coalescing thoughts, her body a jumble of nerve endings.

Thanks so much for having me, Tina.

You are welcome Beverley!   Join me on Saturday when we read a post for Beverley’s Blog Tour! 

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This interview was scheduled by: 

 

AuThursday – JJ Montgomery

JJ Author PhotoPlease welcome Romantic Suspense author, JJ Montgomery to the Clog Blog.  JJ can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a mother of two and I work full time, and even though my time is always stretched, writing is a part of who I am – I do it because I love it. Someday I would love for it to be a full time job, but for right now it’s something I do as often as possible. I started writing my first novel when I was really, really young, but it took me until I was in my mid-thirties until I finally completed a book. And that first one was just awful! But the thing you learn from that first awful book is that you will get better! And I think I have, over the years.

How do you make time to write?

This question almost feels like a joke – I carve out moments when my daughter is napping, when my son is at school or busy doing something else. Late at night in bed before I sleep and definitely, when I’m flying for work. That’s probably my most productive time.

What genre are your books?

I write romantic suspense, but would love to do a more “traditional” boy-meets-girl romance someday. Maybe fewer deaths, more humor.

What draws you to this genre?

I have always loved suspense novels – horror, adventure, spy novels – anything where there is a lot of action and you can get lost in the plot. And romance…look, the fact is that almost all suspense/action novels include a romantic sub-plot, whether written by men or women. It’s a question of branding, at the end of the day. And if that means I’m targeting my writing for a female audience, I’m okay with that. I’ve always been a girl’s girl. My writing reflects that.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a sequel to Gun for Hire involving Samantha’s sister, Josie, and Grady’s partner, Kai.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?  How does this affect your work?

I’m such an introvert! I find it hard to imagine being extroverted writer – I’d think the solitary nature of the work would drive an extrovert batty! To me, being an introvert feels like a very natural extension of being a writer (or is that vice versa?) I spend a lot of time being quiet, dreaming up new characters or stories.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

The pressures of being a mom to two young children, of being a wife, of working full time. If I could only clone myself, I’d be incredibly productive!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Do it if you love it. The money isn’t great, and the chances of big success in the writing world are slim. But do it if you’re called to it, if you love it. And for no other reason, because you’ll be disappointed otherwise!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Thank you as well! I’m so thrilled you allowed me to be on your blog, and would encourage readers to get in touch with me! Find me at www.jjmontgomery.com, on Instagram (my favorite!) at www.instagram.com/jmontgomerywrites or Facebook www.facebook.com/authorjjmontgomery, a platform that still confounds me every time I log on. I also highly recommend checking out some new authors at www.17scribes.com — I’m on there, too!

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from JJ’s latest story Gun for Hire!~Tina

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AuThursday – Candi Fox

Candi Fox Author PhotoPlease welcome Paranormal Romance Author Candi Fox to the Clog Blog!   Candi, can you Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I find as the years pass along, I’ve become more fearless. I hope that my writing reflects this. I live in Tulsa, with my large fur family and my wonderful husband. We enjoy ghost hunting, Ren Faires, and horses.

How do you make time to write?

I’m lucky I get to stay at home. I write every day. When I am not writing, I’m either researching or pimping books.

What genre are your books?

My books are all in the paranormal category. Some more erotic, some thrillers and suspense.

What draws you to this genre?

My paranormal journey started when I was two and saw my first ghost. From that day on the paranormal was drawn to me. Maybe, I was drawn to it. Either way, it’s been a big part of my life.

What are your current projects?

I’m more than half way finished with Darkest Knight, the third book in the Killing Chronicle series. My novella for a hot summer anthology is at the editors. My WIP is my first contribution to the multi-author Tulsa Immortal series. I also have a YP series in the works.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?  How does this affect your work?

I can be both. I have PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I have weeks where I am completely happy not to see anyone but my husband. When I am out and about or in a group of people talking, I am a complete extravert. I love talking to people. This combination is great for writing. During my anti-social times, I get a lot of writing and research complete. When I am in a social mood I get a lot of ideas for characters.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Squirrel. Everything. I have days where EVERYTHING distracts me.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write every day. Just put it on paper and worry about making it good during the editing process. Read at least twice as much as you write.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.candifox.com

Harlequin's Deception (1)Join me when we read an excerpt from Candi’s story HARLEQUIN’S DECEPTION, part of her NAKED TRUTH Series.  ~Tina

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AuThursday – Daryl Devore Drops by

Please welcome Romance author Daryl Devore to the Clog Blog.    Daryl, Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a retired high school teacher who gets to indulge in what once was a hobby. I have 2 pen names. This one – Daryl Devoré – writes hot romances and the other – Victoria Adams – writes NA romance and sweet adult romances.

How do you make time to write?

I retired! As a teacher and a mom there just wasn’t much time. I snuck moments in when I could, but as I said, it was just a hobby.

What are your current projects?

I have 1 book – Darien’s Desire (Two Hearts One Love series) that will be released in June.

Then I will send the final book of the series in.

I have a Christmas story that is written and will be sent to publisher after the book above goes in.

Let’s see – oh, yeah, I have a medieval fantasy with a dragon that’s been sitting on my hard drive for years nagging at me – I really must finish it.

And lastly, I have a flash fiction, sweet, time travel romance that needs to be rewritten and divided into 2 smaller books.

Then are 10 or more files with book ideas and partial chapters waiting on my hard drive.

I see you write A BILLIONAIRE STORY series. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

That one was an accident. My first book was A Kept Woman and billionaires weren’t all the rage yet. Then my fifth book – FL.E.S.H. was also a billionaire story. My publisher then got the bright idea that I could do a series. As I have changed publishers, I have no idea if I will continue it or not.

My other series – Two Hearts One Love – was again an accident. I wrote the first book and hit a wall. Two years later, while meditating in yoga class the answer smacked me in the forehead. Make the stuck story into 2 stories. Brilliant. I finished book 1 – What Happens in Bangkok – and when I started book 2 I realized – yikes, there’s a book 3! Book 4 tried to notice but I got everything finished in book 3.

So my thoughts on writing a series – they’re hard. I had to keep back checking to make sure things happened. And I never ever thought I’d write a series and now I have 2.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

The most difficult part – what does life really feel like for the other sex. My name is Daryl, so I’m guessing most people think I’m male – but I’m female. Daryl, when it rhymes with Karl, is the feminine version. It’s an old Celtic name. But I digress. In a sex scene, I have to imagine what a male experiences when doing something, like kissing. I’ve had 2 male editors and neither has complained, so I guess I’m doing ok.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

IF?!?!?! At first, it hurt and then I progressed to where it’s that publisher’s loss.

I have had some insulting rejections. The person may not have meant it to be that way – but telling me my book was only good enough for an ebook was not what could be considered a compliment.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I have several mantras. I adore yoga and many come from there, but I’ve included one of my life mantras and one of my writing ones.

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What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Join a critique group. Either online or a local group. Make sure there are experienced authors in the group. Also, make sure they critique your genre. If you write sci-fi don’t join a romance group. Unless romance is a main part of the story. There are different ways the stories are handled between the different genres.

Biggest advice- if you join a group and it doesn’t feel right to you – get out. I’ve been through probably 10 critique groups. And the one I am in now, I’ve been a member for 6 yrs.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Blog – https://daryldevore.blogspot.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Daryl-Devore-Erotic-Romance-Writer-280168402052520/

Twitter – http://twitter.com/daryldevore

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/107866370365154406917

GoodReads Author Page – http://www.goodreads.com/DarylDevore

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004TJ1354

LinkedIn – ca.linkedin.com/pub/daryl-devore/58/b42/792/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Daryl%20Devore

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Daryl’s book, “What happens in Bangkok”. ~Tina

AuThursday – Erinn Stevens

author profile photoPlease welcome Author Erinn Stevens to the Clog Blog. 

Erin, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a wife to Mike, mother to Jack, OCD gardener, and writer of paranormal romantic suspense. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota.

How do you make time to write?

I write first thing in the morning when I’m not fully awake and the house is quiet. If I try to start after 10 a.m., it’s a lot harder!

How did you come up with the idea for MER CHRONICLES series?

It’s basically a little series of daydreams I pieced together starting in childhood. When I thought about it often enough to equate it with mental illness, I took that extra step, writing out a full-length manuscript to make sure it would, in fact, be mental illness.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

It’s what feels right to me for this story. I get caught up in my characters and think of ways to torture them in a more focused narrative.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I was raised by my dad along with two brothers. Then I grew up, married a man, got a male dog, and had a son. And all my guys are these really strong, supportive, loving men. I want to show these kinds of attributes in my male characters, and I want to give my male characters the respect they deserve.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?  How does this affect your work?

I’m an introvert, although not on the far end of the spectrum. I think the contemplative nature of writing is a good fit for someone like me because of this.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

I’m a dodger. I’m much more comfortable executing marketing tasks or other busy work, and I allow myself to get distracted from writing.

What are your current projects?

I’m wrestling with my third and final in the Mer Chronicles series, Outrush; and my audio book for Updrift will be out in the next couple of weeks. I’ll start audio production of Breakwater… and then I have an idea for another project, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Updrift-Mer-Chronicles-Errin-Stevens-ebook/dp/B06Y4YZ9X7

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/updrift-errin-stevens/1122810229?ean=9780998296128

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/books/id38?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/updrift-2

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Erinn’s book, UPDRIFT. ~Tina