AuThursday – Kayelle Allen

FFIF by KA banner

kayelle-allen-author-blurb-450Please Welcome Kayelle Allen to the Clog Blog!   Kayelle – What excites you most about your book, Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire?

Right now, it’s that I’ve finally finished it. I’ve worked on this book for a long time. It’s the second in the Bringer of Chaos series and I can’t wait to start on book three, Watch Your Six. One of the main characters is named Six, and this book is going to feature a lot of scenes with him.

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

I’m a graphic designer, so I usually do my own covers, but for this book, I just couldn’t get it right. I changed it multiple times but was not satisfied with it. I searched for a different artist, somehow who knew how to capture an aetheric quality that I was missing. I found it in Brumae. She’s wonderful and so easy to work with. I love the version she created.

You’ve written so many series, what are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I have a one off. It’s a contemporary holiday very sweet romance and it sells bazillions of copies. But it is that — a one off. I hope to write a sequel to it, but my focus is on my science fiction series, which has sub-series within it.

What are your current projects?

I’m writing Bringer of Chaos: Watch Your Six, plus a sequel to Surrender Love called Surrender Trust. I’m also working on a new book set in the Tarthian Empire that I won’t describe yet. It’s hush hush for now.

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

Oh definitely an Introvert. I get my energy by being alone. Crowds exhaust me. I’m a closet extravert in the sense that I love speaking to groups and doing public presentations. But afterward, I need my alone space. On the Myers Briggs system, I’m an INFJ. We’re rather rare, but we are mighty. LOL

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write in the early morning and then set aside time after I’ve finished my social media time in mid-morning. I write again at night. I set aside Sunday as a full day to devote to writing. Writing is what I do. I make it a priority.

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

I’m not submitting to traditional publications. I have had a couple, and they were disappointing, but I see it this way. If they don’t “get” what I’m doing, why would I want to work with them? But again… not something I even get anymore. All my books are published by Romance Lives Forever Books, which I own. I publish no one else. This is a private enterprise.

What tools/books do you recommend for writers?

I’m currently reading Creating Character Arcs by KM Weiland and I just got a copy of On Writing by Stephen King. I read constantly and always look for new craft ideas. I highly recommend the writing course Empowering Characters’ Emotions by Margie Lawson. I learned an incredible amount of material from that study.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I am nowhere near the amateur I was when I started but I am not where I want to be. I think that goal will always be unobtainable. I strive for perfection, which we all know is always a bit out of reach. But I try!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?kayelle-allen-logo

I’m all over, but here’s where I spend the most time.

Blog/Website (I call this my homeworld) https://kayelleallen.com
Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Facebook http://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
G+ https://plus.google.com/+KayelleAllen/
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/kayelleallen/
Instagram https://instagram.com/kayelleallen/
Anyone interested in sampling my work can try my reading group. I give away a set of four books to members as soon as they join. https://kayelleallen.com/bro/

 

 

Advertisements

Saturday Sexcerpt -Lady Luck by Julie Lence

ladyluck_front100rgb

Lucas set the coffeepot over the coals then glanced up at the sky. Missy had been gone for a while, dashing to the lake as soon as she’d set up camp. Not that he blamed her. After they finished their meal, he planned on soaking in the water, too.

He searched the trees beyond the horses for any signs of her. She should have been back by now. She wasn’t safe on her own. Any number of hazards could befall her: wild animals, wilder men.

He checked his gun and went in search of her. Following a trail she’d taken, he pushed past a few bushes and tall trees. Stepping into the clearing, the lake stretched before him.

He looked to the right and didn’t see her. Looking in the opposite direction, the breath rushed out of his lungs as his body pitched forward. Missy stood beside a large boulder, her back to him, wet hair tossed over the front of her shoulder and moisture glistening off her bare skin.

A fat tear of water dripped from her hair onto her nape. The droplet slithered down her spine and plopped into the dirt.

His heart hammered in his chest. His gut coiled tight and sweat beaded his brow as he watched another drop follow the same path.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he had no business spying on her. He should leave, but his feet wouldn’t move. Neither would his gaze. And the immoral thoughts swarming around inside his head―tasting the water beading her skin, drying her with his hands, helping her step into her clothes―guaranteed him a place in hell.

Even that wasn’t enough to shake him from his reverie. It wasn’t until he stood behind her, holding his shirt open like a towel, did coherent thought finally poke through his mire. By then it was too late. Instinct and desire shoved aside all proprietary and urged him to drape his shirt around her.

“Oh!” She jumped, twisting her neck to see behind her. “Lucas, you scared me half to death.”

“You don’t have a towel,” he murmured.

“The sun can dry―”

“Not as well as my shirt can.” He hunkered down on his knee and gently rubbed her calf with the worn material.

“Lucas, ah, that feels wonderful.” She closed her eyes as his strong hands glided up and down her legs, soothing the soreness from days spent in the saddle. He dried her lower back, moved his hands around her hips and over her abdomen. His fingers dipped low to massage her, and she froze.

The last time a man had touched her there fat fingers had rubbed so hard they’d left bruises. Jagged fingernails had scratched and cut her flesh. But this hand was gentle, almost loving with its strokes. Instead of a dry, coarse feeling, hot moisture pooled between her thighs and made her throb.

Fear shot down her spine at this new feeling. Another method of torture she was sure. “Lucas.” She trembled and sniffed back the wetness stinging her eyes.

“You are beautiful,” he whispered. “Soft and sweet.”

Words of praise, though nice, offered little comfort. Her knees nearly buckled. Somehow, she held herself upright, but she couldn’t control the pulse – pounding between her ears. Warm air breathing on her neck, large hands covering her breasts; she had trouble separating reality from memories.

He turned her to face him. His hands fastened gently around her neck. Slowly, he pulled her mouth toward him and touched his lips to hers.

“Ah, Missy.” He slid his tongue past her lips to tangle with hers. His hand slipped around her waist and drew her closer to him. His other hand moved to her hair, caressing it with the sure, soft strokes she knew well. Calloused, strong yet gentle, she’d favored that hand at the cabin and many nights on the trail.

Warmth stole down her back. Confidant Lucas held her and not Harley, she kissed him back, savoring the taste of coffee and tobacco on his lips; her fingertips tingling as she traced the vein along his arm.

“I want you, Missy. I’ve got to have you.” His raspy voice filled her ear, and her blood ran cold.

I want you, Lady Luck. I will have you.

Lady Luck is available for purchase here: www.amazon.com/dp/B0063WCXO0

 

Julie’s Bio:

Julie was born and raised in upstate New York. She married her high school sweetheart and accompanied him on his twenty-year career with the United States Air Force. Presently, she resides in the Pikes Peak region, where she’s a stay-at-home mom enjoying a career writing western historical romance.

Throughout her school years, Julie enjoyed reading and writing. A friend introduced her to the romance genre in the late 80’s and she was instantly hooked, crediting Judith McNaught and Johanna Lindsey as her inspirations to pen her own novels. As she puts it, Ms. McNaught’s voice is flawless and Ms. Lindsey’s Malory family is endearing and addictive. Combining her fondness for horses, John Wayne and the television series, Dallas, Julie settled into writing about cowboys, outlaws and the ‘old west’ early in her career.

Julie self-publishes her work at Amazon.com. She also designs her covers. When she’s away from her computer, she enjoys taking care of her family and home, exploring the Rocky Mountains and meeting fans of the romance genre.

AuThursday -Ann Everett

ann-everett-photo-and-coversPlease welcome Ann Everett to the Clog Blog.  Ann, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—until I started writing. I’m a native Texan, having grown up in a small, small, really small town, population 406. I’ve been married to the same man since dirt. I love shopping at thrift stores. I don’t remember my first kiss. I hate talking on the phone. A really sharp pencil makes me happy, and I’m glad wrinkles aren’t painful.

What genre are your books?

I write contemporary romance, new adult romance, and I have a trilogy of light mystery, steamy sex, and plenty of humor which makes it hard to put in a category.

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

No, but I’m always on the lookout for other authors who might want to do a joint box set of books.

I see you’ve dipped into the Indie publishing world.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The disadvantage of indie publishing is you have to do everything yourself…find an editor, formatter, book designer, etc. When I was with a small press, they did all that for me. The advantage is control. I get to look at my sales every day and have the final say in all aspects. I’m somewhat of a control freak, so self-publishing is perfect for me.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do both. After having every chapter critiqued by other writers, I usually do 2-3 rounds of editing on my own, then have an editor go over it. After that, I have a team of beta readers who give it a once over. I think it’s important to have “readers” in place of writers go over the book before I publish. They pick up on things no one else does!

Who designs your covers?

I’ve used several. Octagon Lab did all the covers for my trilogy. For my romance books, I’ve used Pink Ink Designs, Gemma James, Upchurch Design Studios, and for my non-fiction, I used vendors from Fiverr.com.

What are you working on at the minute?

I just finished my seventh novel. It’s a new adult romance and hopefully, will be published in December. The tagline reads: A girl hiding from her future~~A man running from his past

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Join a critique group, either online or locally. I belong to both and the help I get is priceless. Just be sure and find one with members who will be brutally honest. If the members aren’t finding things wrong with your work, then they aren’t helping.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

http://www.anneverett.com

Join me on Saturday when we read an unedited sneak peek from Ann’s soon-to-be-released new adult romance, CHIRP. ~Tina

AuThursday- Livia Quinn

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copyPlease welcome Romance Author Livia Quinn to The Clog Blog.  Livia, with so many books published, how do you make time to write?

That’s a great question. In 2014, the year I restarted my career, my goal was to write and publish six books. I nearly killed myself working and getting those books ready for publication but once I accomplished it, I assumed I’d be able to do that each year. Wrong. Being a self-published author who does all her own formatting, uploading, promotion, etc. means a LOT of maintenance, and working seven days a week for seven months at my small business means figuring out at way to work writing time into shorter periods—in the tub, on the road to work, between customers. So from January to August sometimes I only get one-two books written and published. In the winter months I try to do more. I have a tip for your readers that was a real eye opener for me. I have an itty bitty spreadsheet that I keep handy to remind me how small increments of words add up. 250-300 words a day on busy days and 1-3000 on off days depending on the day, calculated by month and year. Then I divide the total (124,000, 296,000 or whatever) into possible outcomes, two novels and a novella, three novels and a short, etc. You’ll amaze yourself at what you can accomplish with a regular habit, no matter the amount because once you start writing you will usually write more than you think.

Q:  Do you ever get writer’s block?  Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Before this year, I would have said no. When it threatened before, I went to the tub (my muse pool) and my characters never failed to follow me, or I took a drive. But for the second year in a row, my day job killed my creativity. Then, doubts creep in and you think, “My characters have left me. I’m out of ideas. I’m crap at this.”  I struggled for probably a month-and-a-half recently feeling like my current book was lacking something or even several somethings. So I took a break, caught up on some reading and started a new audiobook. Then, I ran across a picture in a magazine that inspired me with some ideas and suddenly things were clicking again. It also helped when my time freed up a little, but if the characters and story are real to me, I can usually work through the job stress. Escape is wonderfully energizing.

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

Well, probably the one I mentioned but before that, Blame it on the Moon for a similar reason. Fear. The first three books in the Destiny Paramortals led up to Blame and halfway into it I was afraid I didn’t have what it took to make it work and be proud of it. Fear and doubt are big hurtles for a writer I think. But my readers loved it even more than the first three, so I’m trying to use that as encouragement for book five, Take These Broken Wings, which is on preorder now for July.

Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Be true to yourself and to your voice. And if you’re not enjoying the story, the world and your characters, it’s time to change it or move on. Writing something for any other reason only brings misery. For me anyway.

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for your STORM LAKE series?

Ha! I grew up in DC afraid of thunderstorms and lightning, apparently from a July fireworks adventure gone awry when I was three. After moving to Louisiana during the worst tornado year on record, and then going through Katrina, not to mention a few others weather related events, Storm Lake was born. And since I love contemporary and paranormal, the lake has both. The Paramortals live on the west end where the leylines run through Destiny, and my heroine there is a weather witch (Tempestaerie). The east end has natural severe weather and the heroes are ex-military now cover models. Those stories are contemporary romance and romantic suspense.

Q:  Why did you choose Indie (self) publishing vs. Small Press or Traditional Publishing?

One of those aforementioned weather events in 2011, the Mississippi River flood, kept me from turning in some submissions and when the dust settled I realized it was going to take too long to get back my momentum and expect to be published anytime soon. There were other reasons like creative control – being able to write the book my characters wanted me to write and not having to determine the exact sub-genre. Authors were just started to self-publish and there was still such a stigma, but I decided it was the only way for me. I didn’t go about it the right way though. I published one book and then had no clue what to do. It wasn’t a wasted effort because I learned a lot about myself and the business of writing, but it was two years before I was ready again to do it right.

Q:  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?

Especially if you have to work or have big drains on your time like a family, it’s really hard. It’s all on you, especially if you can’t afford to farm out administrative tasks, formatting, promotion, uploading, writing blurbs, descriptions, re-uploading, etc etc. BUT if you’re the kind of person who wants to be in control and can manage your time and create viable deadlines, and you want to be the one that says, “I want to make my own decisions (after researching and getting the best information you can of course) and I can live with the outcome knowing I’m in control of my own creative work,” then maybe self-publishing is for you. You won’t have the big engine of a trad publisher behind you, but we’ve seen that sometimes that’s a dual edged sword. Royalties are certainly better if you can find visibility, which is the biggest struggle for any author now. But this is important, I think you should have several books ready to publish right off, say a month apart or two months at the most to get your “footprint” established.

Q:  Who designed the covers?

My fantastically talented cover designer, Linda Boulanger, of Tell-Tale Book Covers, designed all my covers except Undone. She’s recently revamped my Under-Cover Knights which underwent a series change to Storm Lake East: Larue (where the hunks are on the cover :))  Larue 3 copy

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

I love what she did with the Larue covers and Blame it on the Moon, but recently Linda updated my cover for the first Destiny Paramortals book, Storm Crazy. The first books in my series are free and I wanted a fresh look for Tempe and Jack.  Here it is.

Storm Crazy EBOOK New 05152016 copy

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

Buy links for all stores: http://liviaquin.com/books.html

Facebook www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter www.twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Website www.liviaquinn.com

Sign up for my newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/1TfBMe9

Join me on Saturday when we read a sexy excerpt from one of Livia’s books.  ~Tina

 

 

AuThursday – Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina headshot horizontalPlease welcome, Award Winning Author, Nicole Evelina to the Clog Blog.  Nicole, you write in multiple genres, are there any particular challenges with that?

Branding is a little more difficult because I can’t simply say I’m a historical fiction author or a romantic comedy author, I have to explain that I do both. But it’s not much of a hassle. I mainly write historical fiction and I have more trouble moving from one time period to another when I change books than I do from moving from past to present or from historical fantasy to straight historical fiction.

Q:  Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I have a full-time job, so most of my writing happens on the weekends and on vacation days. My day job is as a writer in a marketing department, so a lot of times by creativity is done by the end of the day, but I do write at night or on my lunch hour if I’m particularly inspired or if it’s during NaNoWriMo.

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for GUINEVERE’S TALE TRIOLOGY?Camelot's Queen eBook Cover Large

When I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Mists of Avalon for Christmas. I LOVED it, but I hated the author’s portrayal of Guinevere as meek and well, boring. That made me seek out other books about Guinevere and I read Parke Godwin’s Beloved Exile, which tells the story of what happened to Guinevere after the fall of Camelot. That made me wonder what happened to her before and after Arthur, which is something you don’t hear much about. Then Guinevere came into my head, telling me she wanted me to write her story, including her time before and after Arthur (which I thought at the time would be all one book). The rest, as they say, is history.

Q:  Why did you choose Indie (self) publishing vs. Small Press or Traditional Publishing?

It was a combination of things, and a decision that I took a long time in coming to. One of the main factors was that it was time for me to get my work out there. It had been four and a half years – and six books – since I started querying agents. My work was just stacking up with no place to go, even though I had people telling me through my blog and social media that they wanted to read it. I wanted to be able to learn from it, which I can’t do unless others can read it. That, combined with wanting to have my historical fiction book Madame Presidentess published before the November 2016 Presidential election (which was by then impossible to do traditionally because of the time it takes to produce a book), and a desire to have more control over my career, led me to start my own publishing company. However, I am open the possibility of traditional publishing in the future. I haven’t ruled anything out.

Q:  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?

Marketing and gaining visibly in a crowded marketplace are the biggest challenges for me. Even though my background is in marketing, it’s still a challenge because there are so many books out there and without a big house behind you, it’s hard to get people’s attention. I’ve been doing everything myself up to this point, but for my next book I’ll be working with a publicist, so I’m hoping that will help.

For me, the biggest benefit is the control. I get to have full input on the cover, the blurb on the back of the book, how and when sales take place and am responsible for quality control. I get to pick my own audio book talent and give them direction based on how I’d like the book to be performed. Those are all things most traditional authors have little to no say in. The downside is that all of this takes time and money, valuable commodities for every author, and you don’t have anyone helping in that department.

Q:  Who edits your books and how did you select him/her?

My editor is Cassie Cox of Joy Editing. I found her on the recommendation from an author friend who had used her previously. Listening to that friend is one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.

Q:  Who designs your book covers?

Jenny Quinlan (Jenny Q.) from Historical Editorial. I found out about her at the Historical Novel Society annual conference. She’s designed covers for many highly-respected authors and I couldn’t be happier with her work.

Q:  How do you market your books?

The short answer: every way and everywhere I can!

Obviously I use my website and blog, my newsletter and social media. I also do a blog tour for every book. I have one coming up with Chick Lit Goddess for my romantic comedy, Been Searching for You, and for my historicals I use Historical Fiction Blog Tours. I make use of guest posts, articles in publications like The Huffington Post and giveaways to get my name out there and my books into people’s hands. I also attend several conferences a year. Sending books to reviewers is high on my list and I do occasional advertising on Goodreads and Pinterest.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’m hard at work on final edits to Madame Presidentess, a historical fiction novel about Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President in the United States in 1872, which comes out on July 25.

After that I will be writing the final book in the Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy, Mistress of Legend, which will likely be out in early 2017. I have a first draft, but it needs serious help.

Next will be a WWII book that tells the story of an unsung real-life heroine. But you’ll have to wait to find out who.

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

My website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com.

 

I can also be reached online at:

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from not one but two of Nicole’s stories.  Also if you are in the Chicago area, Nicole will be signing at the The Spring Fling 2016,  book signing will take place on Saturday, May 21st from 3-5pm at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, IL.   ~Tina

 

 

 

AuThursday – Juniper Bell

Please welcome fellow LSB author Juniper Bell. 

First of all, thanks for having me here on AuThursday at the Clog Blog!

Tell us Juniper what inspired you to write your first book?

 I was inspired to write my first book during a tough time in my life. It was a kind of escape from everything I was dealing with. I’ve always been a fan of romance novels, especially when in need of some comfort and hope. This particular time, it suddenly occurred to me that I should try to write one. I’d written short stories and screenplays, but never a full-length novel. Turned out… I absolutely loved it.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

That’s a tough question to answer. I’m sure I do have a specific writing style, but I’m not sure how to define it. I like to write deep POV, I like to keep my stories moving, I like some humor mixed in with the emotional development. I don’t like to go overboard with the “prose” – to me, the story and characters are what’s important.

Q:  How much of your books are realistic?

I think (hope!) they’re emotionally realistic. I spend a lot of time on characterization and really knowing my characters. But since I write erotic romance, some of the situations are more in the realm of fantasy. A receptionist and her two bosses in a three-way? It’s probably not going to happen in real life. It’s not meant to be “realistic” in that sense, but as a fantasy, it’s real. And the setting is very realistic (bland office in a dead-end Long Island town – definitely realistic.)

Q:  What are your current projects?

My current release is the one I mentioned above, “Training the Receptionist” from Samhain. It’s an erotic novella about a receptionist who finds her naughty dream job at the firm of Cowell & Dirk, where she answers (very personally) to her two sexy bosses. 

Q:  Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My critique group has been wonderful to me. When I first started writing I had no idea about the publishing business … particularly e-publishing. Their experience and support really helped me find my way to publication. Not to mention help me get my books in shape to send out! We cheer each other on, which is so important in this crazy business. I really don’t know where I’d be without my critique group.

Q:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

For me the most challenging moment is when I read over my first draft and see all the problems, all the things I want to fix, the characters that don’t work, the sex scenes that could be hotter … and so on. I’m a big rewriter, I start with a rough draft and keep refining and improving until I’m happy. But rereading that first draft … yeeow, that’s painful!  

Q:  Who designs your covers?

I’ve been so lucky with my covers! Tuesday Dube, KaNaXa, and Scott Carpenter have done my covers. How blessed am I? I love all my covers.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

I love Nora Roberts’ advice: Butt in the chair. That’s really what it comes down to. Just keep on writing. If you win a contest and you’re on top of the world? Keep on writing. Get a bad review and want to jump off a cliff? Keep on writing. It’s the answer to everything. LOL. Other than that … pay lots of attention to motivation and conflict. Makes sure you understand why your characters do what they do. And conflict keeps things interesting. It gives the reader a reason to keep reading.

Q:  How do you make time to write?

 This is, hands down, the most important thing you have to do as a writer. You have to give yourself that time, because without it, nothing happens. Personally, I try to think of it as a job. Certain hours of the day belong to writing. I get very upset if something disrupts that. I need that time, psychologically. I get crabby if I can’t write. I build the rest of my day around it. Of course, things happen, I get pulled away, and then I just go with the flow. But then I’ll usually try to make up the time later. Over time, I’ve trained my family to take my writing time as seriously as I do.

 Q:  What do you feel is the biggest misconception about e-publishing?

 That it’s somehow “less” than print. There are wonderful authors, editors and artists working in e-publishing. I look forward to the day when e-publishing gets the same respect as print.

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

 My website is http://JuniperBell.com and my blog is http://authorjuniperbell.com. I’m also on Twitter as @AuthorJuniper and on Facebook.

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

 Absolutely! I’ll share an excerpt from “Training the Receptionist.” Thanks again for having me, I had fun answering your questions.

Join me Saturday for the Saturday Sexcerpt of “Training the Receptionist”

Until then be Naughty,

Tina