#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

Saturday Excerpt – Try Just Once More by Kat Henry Doran.

“Try Just Once More is about a woman who retreats back to Saranac Lake NY [think 1980’s Miracle On Ice], where she was born and raised, to regroup after charges that she murdered her husband–a man who richly deserved death in a variety of ways. She’s doing well–except now someone wants her kids dead and the nosy chief of police is getting awfully, uncomfortably close to uncovering her past.”~Kat Henry Doran

Here’s an excerpt:

The woman had more brass than the Marine Corps band. “Look, Miz McGuire, could we start over?”

Her demeanor remained aloof, as if she’d just stepped in something foul. “You’re too late, Chief. Much too late.”

With a regal nod she strode away and exited the building. The staff at the desk immediately sought various avenues of escape. As two nurses slipped past him, one said to her pal, “It’s always a treat watching the Reigning Queen of Man-Haters kick some guy to the curb.”

“Yeah, that Mag,” the other sighed. “She’s my hero.”

“Hero, my ass,” Mike fumed.

After a slow count of three he bolted for the exit door, following McGuire into the parking lot. Now at a distance, he watched her strutting toward a late model sedan in fire engine red, posture military straight, hair flowing around her shoulders in a halo of copper. Despite his agitation he couldn’t help but admire her guts. And her fanny.

“Maggie. Please. Let me apologize.”

Still moving, she called back over one shoulder, “As I indicated before, you’re too late.”

Bitterness, an emotion tied too closely with his marriage, scalded his throat. “You know something, lady? A couple hours ago I couldn’t decide if your beef is with cops or men in general. Obviously that’s not the case.”

She came to a stop, drew back both shoulders, then turned. In that queen-to-peon tone she said, “Who awarded you the right to pass judgment on me?”

The verbal exchange gave him time to reach her side. To get in her face. “Don’t try to convince me that all men rank as a lower life form with you. Not after I saw you hanging all over Investigator Jackson.”

She unlocked the car door. “Clearly my convincing skills need a bit of polishing.”

“I thank you for offering me this opportunity to visit, Tina.  It’s been great.” ~Kat Henry Doran

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 – Vicki Batman

03-26-15-vlmb-head-on-hand-in-pink-sweater-11Please welcome Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, to the Clog Blog.  Vicki, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am the oldest of four girls and was raised in the suburbs. I have always been an avid reader. I love kitties. I married Handsome and have two sons and a daughter.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m working on Temporarily Out of Luck and it is driving me crazy! But I made a few changes and am adding some stuff; so it should come along after a while. And another holiday story. And a super secret project.

What genre are your books?

Romantic comedy and mystery

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

Sorta. I’ve been in three-holiday anthologies, the third releases November, 1 and is entitled Season of Promises. I’ve had an essay in the Sisters Born, Sisters Found anthology which celebrates sisterhood of all kinds, and a story in Lavender Dreams, an anthology about how cancer touches lives.

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

I am a pantser. I DO have the hook, the black moment, and the end, but lots of stuff has to happen in the middle to make the book. Sigh, that’s the hard part.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

I call it writer stuck. Like I explained in Temporarily Out of Luck, something was not working. I went over and over and thought it was the time line. Moved something and bingo! Was able to add bits and get the story moving again. I won’t be satisfied for a long while.

I see you’ve started a TEMPORARILY Series with Wild Rose Press, what are your thoughts on writing a book series?

It can be difficult to keep all the characters straight. I don’t want the second book to rehash the first book. And when I wrote Temporarily Employed, bits for Temporarily Insane began revealing itself. It’s fun and I love my characters.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write! Wright Tight! And take the criticism. Keep what you need and toss the rest. Don’t let anyone define you and your work, but you. Don’t live in fear. As the heroine in “Strictly Ballroom” says, a life lived in fear is a life half-lived. Live your life adventure.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website:http://vickibatman.blogspot.com/p/more-about-me.html

Facebook: http://bit.ly/293iZIz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VickiBatman/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/vickibatman/

Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/vickibatman/

Email: vlmbatman@hotmail.com/

Join me on Saturday when we read a Sexy Excerpt from Vicki’s book Temporarily Insane. ~Tina