AuThursday – Vanessa Marie Caron

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Mom of 4 with 5th on the way. Canadian, horse lover, fitness fanatic, bookworm and writer. Currently in process of publishing my first novel.
How do you make time to write?
It’s a struggle. I try to do it first thing when I drink my coffee in the morning.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
In a sense, I do. However, I think with persistence, a writer can conquer the block.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write multiple genres but especially love fiction. I have written YA fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary adult fiction. I enjoy exploring the characters and their stories. Writing is my art of choice, a way to explore and challenge my creativity.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Indie, likely KDP & Ingram. Looking at audiobook also and partnering with Scribd. I didn’t know it was possible to publish without necessarily breaking the bank! Now that I am learning more, I want to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? 
Introvert.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Fake it until you make it.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write everyday, setting modest goals and remain consistent.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
“Still leaning comfortably in his chair, Kyle cocked his head, examining me, perhaps reading my thoughts as desperately as I’d tried to read his. But his face was calm and satisfied, as if he’d been successful at breaching my barriers. The tension grew and my heart thudded in my chest.”
–Excerpt from my current contemporary adult fiction WIP, “Straddling the Void.”

AuThursday – Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender Logo_400Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my family and two cats. I love reading, writing, and shopping. I am obsessed with using colored gel pens! I studied Creative Writing in college, and I earned a Bachelor of Arts. To date, I’ve published twenty-one books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction, and poetry. An avid blogger on the side, I write adult fiction, as well as occasional stories for children, and have recently started some young adult fiction. I also contributed to several anthologies. Though there are some standalone titles on the market, my current published series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Eternal Hearts Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series, The Misfits Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. 

How do you make time to write? 

When I am immersed in a project, I just do my best to work a little on that story every day, even if all I accomplish is writing a paragraph or just researching an integral topic. 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Yes, I’ve had it in the past. I think it can affect any writer. But I think the malady can be overcome as well. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

Marie Lavender banner - FacebookI am a multi-genre writer, so though I feel more comfortable writing romance stories (I am a hopeless romantic!), I leave myself open to trying other types of stories. For example, I published a children’s fantasy a few years ago. And I also have a psychological thriller and a horror project in the works. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) 

I went indie with Chasing Ginger, a steamy romantic comedy. Though I am all too familiar with rom-com books and films, it is my first attempt at a humorous take on romance. Also, the final book of the series will be an LGBT romance, and I didn’t want to use a traditional publisher for my initial foray into that category. 

Universal reader link for Chasing Ginger: https://books2read.com/ChasingGinger 

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

Ah, usually an introvert. Being shy by nature makes it more difficult for me to do public events such as radio interviews. I still go for them, but I get really nervous. I’ve grown in recent years, though, and I’m a little more willing to try new things than I was before. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”

Natalie Goldberg Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

I think there’s a lot of useful content in the unknown, in those places we’re afraid to look at too closely. We should be willing to get a little uncomfortable during the creative process, to bring forth a naked truth. It can be cathartic. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Persevere, yet be patient and kind to yourself. This is not an overnight journey. It will take as long as it takes to get there. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

Official Website: http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:

http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/ http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58 https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender https://twitter.com/marielavender1 http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

https://www.instagram.com/marielavender1/

Amazon author page: http://bit.ly/MarieLavender https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

Universal Reading List links:

https://books2read.com/rl/marielavendersbooks https://books2read.com/ap/xrv162/Marie-Lavender http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/ https://www.booksradar.com/lavender-marie/lavender.html http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Sign up for Marie’s Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1g3wO13

Follow her on BookBub for new release updates: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-lavender

Fan mail email: marielavender@writeme.com 

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

ChasingGingerFinalCoverEscape, she thought. Now. Panic mode set in, and she stumbled away from the hardwood counter, treaded straight for the exit. A hand caught her arm and spun her around. 

A man with sandy blonde hair, brown eyes, and handsome features appeared before her. “Ginger, baby, come on. Where are you going? The party has just begun.” 

She shrugged his hand off. “I’m sorry. I have to go. I need to cancel—” 

He frowned. “But we had a date.” A nice face didn’t equate to decent moral character. 

“No, I don’t remember you,” she breathed. 

“I saw you and knew I had to have you. You’re mine.” His eyes flashed. 

Ginger stepped back a bit. Seriously? What the hell was up with him? They were virtual strangers. 

“What’s wrong, baby? Haven’t had one like me before?” He flexed his muscles, as if to illustrate a point, and then glanced down at her with a wide smile. It was clear he, in fact, thought he was something. 

At that moment, she noticed the line of quarterbacks not too far behind him. Never one to waste an opportunity when she had it, Ginger ducked under his outstretched arm and beelined around the crowd in the opposite direction. Though there was only one exit, she hoped the man might get stuck by the traffic jam in the main aisle. Once on the sidewalk outside, she ran as fast as her legs would take her in those stupid high heels on the hard pavement. This was insane. 

Surely InstaSin hadn’t caused such chaos? She couldn’t believe that. Maybe it was just poor planning. A guy might take it the wrong way if you went ahead and set up another date after him. Still, most men knew those dating sites weren’t exclusive. So, why get too possessive? The ownership on all their faces was worrisome, to say the least. She’d never met them before today and could just remember a handful of names. Thank God surnames were concealed on the site, or she’d be in real trouble once she got out of this. How many G. Halloway’s could exist in San Francisco? 

After a couple blocks, Ginger paused to take a breath or two. But they’d give up by now, right? Hell, maybe it was paranoia and all those men weren’t after her. Of course not. This was just a bizarre mix-up… 

“Ginger! Stop!” She looked over her shoulder and froze. Sure enough, almost two football teams had come after her. Dressed in various types of attire, from dress casual to ultra-casual, with the same hard look on their faces. It was all about the prize. She hadn’t wanted this, though. 

There was an obvious hunger in their eyes too. The dangerous kind. 

Nausea shifted through her belly, threatened to evacuate the diet sodas she’d had at work, and Ginger veered off to the right. She didn’t know where she was heading, but couldn’t wait to get in a cab and speed toward her apartment. This unique experience wasn’t relished at all. A scream tore out of Ginger as someone snagged at her hair, and she yanked away, stumbling across the street. The pull on her scalp was nothing compared to the panic she felt now. She doubled her efforts as she raced down the pavement, feet pounded in her green heels. Please, please, God. I’ll never use a dating site again if you just get me out of this right now. 

A hand shot out, grabbed her arm, and she screeched again. 

“Darlin’, come on,” a male voice coaxed, and a wonderful scent drifted in her nose. 

But everything happened so fast, she couldn’t register what it was.

 “There’s no time. You’ll be safe in here.” The voice was soothing. 

Ginger calmed at once and found she was led up a short stairway into a tall, light gray structure. Inside, she backed away from the glass a little, breathed a sigh of relief as she saw the group pass by after a few moments. Each breath was labored, and her forehead, upper chest, and lower back were sweaty. Her feet and legs ached. She felt like this when she visited the gym, exhausted, practically passed out, draped over the treadmill’s handlebars. Now, each breath hitched in her chest. And the boob pain wasn’t a joke. She winced, passed a hand down her face, and turned to confront the new threat. 

He was a looker, for sure, with deep brown, spiky hair and nice blue eyes. The man wore a gray business suit. He’d obviously just come from work. And Jesus, he was tall and muscled, topped six feet no problem. He had handsome features, with a Roman nose and somewhat full, made-to-be-kissed lips. Get ahold of yourself, Ginger. His eyes widened as he took in her appearance. 

“Not you too,” she moaned. But hell, for all she knew, maybe he’d never seen a melting green marshmallow before. 

“Are you okay, ma’am? Why were those men chasing you?” 

She managed, “I don’t know.” That was the truth. They hadn’t warned InstaSin would be like this, and it was just twenty-four hours in. Extreme sexiness? Check, if the response she’d received was any indication. Grounds for a restraining order? Nope. They certainly hadn’t covered this in the drug’s description.

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Cover Reveal – Beauty from Ashes Anthology

Title: Beauty from Ashes: Authors & Dancers Against Cancer Anthology 
Genre: Multi Genre Anthology
Release Date: July 27, 2020
Cover Donated by Golden Czermak @ Furious Fotog
Model: Caylan Hughes 
Cover Designer: Taylor Dawn at Sweet 15 Designs 
Edits and Formatting by Ms. K Edits
19 Different Authors coming together to raise money for Dancers Against Cancer
OUR MISSION
DANCERS AGAINST CANCER
Our mission is to create an alliance in the dance community that provides financial support and inspiration to dance educators, choreographers, dancers and their families who have been impacted by cancer.
Participating Authors: 
Penny Anglene
C.J. Baty
Rochelle Bradley
Chelsea Camaron
Ruth A. Casie
Aliya DalRae
AJ Downey
R.S. James
Renee Jean
Mandi Konesni
Victoria Perkins
Ember Phoenix
Vera Quinn
Jamie Russell
Miranda Shanklin
Parker Stevens
Chianti Summers
Darlene Tallman
CJ Warrant 
HOSTED BY:
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AuThursday – Charley Pearson

SCOURGE BLOG BANNERPlease welcome Charley Pearson to the Clog Blog as he makes this stop on his SCOURGE Blog Tour!   Charley, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I spent a career with the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program—we oversee the design, construction, maintenance, and crew training for the power plants in our submarines and aircraft carriers. My main task proved to be managing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at closing facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use with state and EPA agreement (and much public interaction in the case of closing shipyards). My background in chemistry and biology proved quite useful both there and in the writing of SCOURGE.

How do you make time to write?

I have to stop going for hikes in the mountains, reading books, and otherwise procrastinating. Okay, granted, I started writing before I retired, so that was more of a challenge. Basically, I scribbled notes to myself whenever I thought of something, or as soon as possible after I got out of a business meeting or stopped driving kids to ballet class or whatever. Then I’d gradually turn the notes into stories in the evenings. I found out when I retired that I was way behind on watching movies. LOL

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not exactly. I get stuck on plot development, wondering how I’m going to get out of a hole I wrote myself into. I’ve found I have to stop trying to write “from the seat of my pants” and make some notes to myself. Not exactly outlining, but rough-plotting so characters are acting logically based on what they know.

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

Got tons and tons of those, since I started out writing science fiction and fantasy short stories and submitting them to magazines. Then moved on to novels before I’d actually studied the craft of writing fiction, so I was making all the beginner mistakes you can imagine. Submitting that early material? Yeah, I could have wallpapered the White House and made a good run on Congress with all those paper rejection slips. Nowadays all you get are electrons, and they don’t stick to walls very well. Fortunately, I’ve developed a thick skin and can move on when it happens.

Can you tell us your story of getting, “The call”?

I’d about decided to self-publish SCOURGE when several people at the 2016 Killer Nashville writers conference told me Misty Williams of Fiery Seas Publishing was looking for a medical thriller. So I figured, why not try? I pitched it to her (and her husband), and she invited submission. Sent it in that August, and saw from their website that responses may be up to eight weeks, and don’t follow up for at least twelve. At thirteen weeks I sent the follow-up and she said it was still under consideration. This was a somewhat optimistic sign since a “no” often comes quickly. A “yes” can take a very long time, after multiple reads by several people.

Then in the summer of 2017, I’m on a 7125mile drive from NC to Seattle, with stops back and forth to a bunch of parks and monuments. And there I was in Glacier National Park, minding my own business, wondering how they could call it “glacier” when it was about 90 degrees outside, and suddenly this email shows up from Fiery Seas with a contract offer. Whoa! Out of the blue, you might say. But I did manage not to fall off the side of a mountain.

What genre are your books?

SCOURGE is a medical thriller. My prior self-published thingy is a humor collection of short stories, skits, a full-length screenplay, and off-the-wall ballads with no redeeming social value. (No self-respecting agent or editor wants anthologies from unknowns, nor do they want poetry, nor screenplays, so this had to be self-pubbed all the way.) My current work-in-progress (WIP) is a YA-historical. So I guess I’m all over the map, depending on what seems to be forcing its way out at the moment. Oh, I also have a couple of short stories out in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s anthologies; they’re fantasies.

What draws you to this genre?

Humor? Can’t resist it; old Monty Python fan.

SCOURGE? This medical technology is something I first dreamed up back in college, long before computers would have a chance to make it feasible, but I always thought it would make a good story. And when I figured out a way to combine it with a tale of moral ambiguity, a theme of some character who decides to do what she thinks is right no matter the consequences, I couldn’t resist.

The historical? That’s a result of my father serving on Tinian in WWII, where B-29 raids on Japan were launched. His PTSD got me digging into the era.

But I also love fantasy, so you never can tell.

Do you have any advice for Aspiring Writers?

I put a whole bunch of advice on my website. My local writers’ group tries to help each other, and I’ve been asked for suggestions so much I decided to pull material together and put it out where it might help anyone. You can find it at:

http://charleypearson.com/writer-aids/.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Oh, right, I sort of already pointed you there. Try http://charleypearson.com/ perhaps and link on from there, like to Facebook or Twitter if you use those.

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

Sure! How about this one, from Chapter 18:

In the middle of a fluorescent-filled, eighty-foot square CDC laboratory, Valerie focused a microscope. She raised her head, popped off her stool, put on glasses, and dashed over to pull one printout from a mass spectrometer and another from a gas chromatograph. She opened a small glass door on the latter and flicked the needle on the graph paper. It flopped down.

She tapped a pencil against her teeth, let out a breath, and shook her head. Her cell phone alarmed. She checked the wall clock, swore, and chased out the door.

Valerie emerged from the building into swirling fog, went to the nearest parking lot, and stationed herself at a spot marked for M. Ngono. She rocked from foot to foot, shivering, twisting a diamond engagement ring on her finger while she waited for her supervisor. About the twelfth time she checked her watch, Ngono pulled into the space she was standing in. She backed into a bush. He barely stopped before she jumped out and opened his door.

“The data are plain weird,” said Valerie. “Maybe it’s me.” She handed him a folder on their way to the building.

“I got everything you emailed up to thirty minutes ago,” said Ngono, “and two voice mails. That’s it so far?”

“Yeah.”

“How many victims have you checked?”

“Over a thousand. Everyone we’ve got samples on,” she said. “Blood, marrow, liver. I stole a few technicians to help me.”

Ngono shuffled through the folder. Photo after color photo of contorted victims showed a consistent pattern of twisted limbs, uncontrollable fingers, and blood showering from eardrums.

“Some nosebleeds,” said Valerie, “but not many. I’d have expected more, with all the spuming from ears.”

“That could help ID patients. Nothing wrong with idiosyncratic features.”

“But useless for finding the cause of the problem.”

They pushed past a couple of other people, entered the building, and stormed down the hall.

“Maybe you can see something in the spectra,” said Valerie. “I can’t.”

“Nothing?”

“Oh, killer reverse transcriptase, making DNA out of the viral RNA and immune to everything we’ve tried. Except stuff that kills the whole cell.”

Ngono waited a second. “And?”

“A pea-soup of nasty proteins, destroying mitochondria and starving every cell.”

“But what’s the source?”

“That’s just it,” said Valerie. “There is none. All the normal bugs are there. E. coli, a dozen flu varieties, reaction to bad food.”

“Over a thousand patients and nothing ties them together?”

“Except not a one has anything unusual.”

They crashed through a door labeled Pathogenesis.

Thanks for inviting me to the interview. Hope your readers enjoy SCOURGE!

– Charley

#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?

DoHpromo15

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