AuThursday – Raleigh Damson Snow

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi! I’m Raleigh, from Northern Ontario and a homeschooling mama bear to two. I thrive on coffee.
How do you make time to write?
Just like I make the time for anything else–it’s another ball to juggle. Sometimes that means getting up at 5 and joining in the #5AMWRITERSCLUB , sometimes that means saying, “in twenty minutes” to certain requests from my cubs.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I think “writer’s block” is over hyped to the point where it has lost a lot of meaning. I think there are certain things in life that can cause you not to have access to your creative brian…I couldn’t write for three years after I experienced trauma and loosing that part of myself was a loss. Regaining it took time.
BBebookfinalfrontcopyTell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am writing Steamy BDSM Contemporary Suspense Romance! I love that I get to play with fantasies, I love there is always a sense of danger lurking and most of all, I love giving readers the HEA they expect.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Indie! It took me a long time to get here-to releasing books in a series and I want all the control.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert! It affects my work because I work best if I can be immersive, in a silence house, lol-tand that doesn’t happen often.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” -Dorris Lessing.
These words remind me that there isn’t always going to be a quiet house or a good time or the dishes done, or other responsibiliteis I can put off…so I have to write, now however and whenever I can.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’m most active on twitter @DamsonSnow

AuThursday – Faye Hall

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
 
Faye Hall spent her early years listening to stories about the families – including her own – who settled townships in and around her hometown in North Queensland, Australia. The local townspeople, including her own parents, told her stories of corruption and slavery, along with family secrets and forbidden love. Desperate to remember what she’d been told, along with her already growing love of writing, Faye began to write about the history of her local area. Never could she have imagined the history of her small home town in Australia would become a growing list of published books. Faye’s passionate stories combine controversial subjects and provocative encounters as her characters struggle to survive the lifestyle in early rural townships throughout Australia. She explores slavery and abortion, drug addiction and murder, as well as forbidden love and passionate affairs of the heart. When she’s not writing, Faye enjoys sharing a bottle of wine with her husband in their ever-growing garden, and encouraging the varied interests of their combined family of nine children.
 
How do you make time to write?
 
With such a large family, it’s difficult to plan where and when I’m going to commit time to writing, so I’ve learned to be happy with a few lines here and there on my busiest days. Most of my book ideas come while I’m waiting to do school pick ups, and then it’s a series of late nights and early mornings to piece the rest of the story together.
 
Do you believe in writer’s block?
 
I do, yes. All you need sometimes is one bad review, or some snide remark about sales and it can really deflate you so much the brain just freezes. I’ve learned that for me, I go back over old notes, or try to edit some forgotten about manuscript to try and snap myself out of it. My husband and children are also incredibly supportive and try to get me talking or thinking about new story idea – even humorous ones – just to get my back on track.
 
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
 
I write Australian Historical Romantic Suspense. I’m a born and bred Aussie girl, so it made sense to me to set my stories in and around my hometown. As for the rest, I’ve always loved history, and a good mystery so I wrote the kind of stories I wanted to read.
 
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
 
Carnal Transgression was released in June through a small traditional publisher names Beachwalk Press. They’ve done all of my current releases and gave me hope after I got burned by another publishing company.
 
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
 
I’m very much an introvert and spend a lot of time lost in my own thoughts. Of course, having children at school forces me to be more social then I would be by choice, which is also good because sometimes ideas come from the strangest of places.
 
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
 
A bad first draft is better than a blank page.
 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
 
Learn to take criticism and write what you want, not just to please people.
 
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
 
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
 
Fear of exactly what her sister might have seen directed her steps out of the hotel and into a run down the street. Constance needed to collect her belongings and find a place to hide until she’d found justice for her sister and discovered if her death was connected to her investigation into the boats docking at Lynch’s Beach.
 
She hadn’t gone far when she abruptly collided with the firm figure of a man.
 
“Are you all right?” he asked, his hands on her hips steadying her.
 
Recognizing his melodic brogue, Constance looked up into his green eyes.
 
“It’s you,” he uttered softly, looking confused. Lifting his hands to her face, he gently wiped away the wet tracks on her cheeks. “What’s happened to drive a wee little beauty into my arms again so soon?”
 
His innocent question was the last reality needed for the true horror of what was happening to wash over her.
 
Losing all control, tears streamed down her cheeks, and her lips trembled as she surrendered to her grief.
 
“Now, lass, whatever it is, surely it can’t be that bad,” he said, his arm going around her, holding her tight as he led her to a street bench. Sitting her down, he brushed her hair back from her face. “Where’s the lady you were with last night? Your sister, wasn’t she? I can take you to her if you think that will help.”
 
She struggled to hold her tears at bay. “She’s dead.”
 
“What?” he gasped.
 
“Her body was found washed up on the beach this morning,” Constance blurted out, still unable to believe the words.
 
He squeezed her tight, holding her against him as he rocked her slightly. “My poor, sweet beauty. I’m sorry for your loss.”
 
He felt so strong, so safe, his words comforting her far more than she believed anything capable of in this moment.
 
“I think I should take you to the police station,” he stated, brushing her hair from her tear-drenched cheeks.
 
His words startled her. She didn’t want to be taken anywhere near the police station or Robert. She pushed away from him and stood up, wiping at her cheeks and straightening her dress. “You’ve been most kind, sir, but I can’t ask you to do any more than you already have.”
 
He stood, stepping toward her. “Someone has to investigate what caused your sister’s death.”
 
“And I will,” she assured him firmly.
 
“Please, I want to help you.”
 
Constance’s hands stilled, holding his gaze for several moments, her tears flowing down her cheeks again. How she ached to accept his offer, but she was too scared to put her trust in anyone.
 
“You can’t.” Her words were barely more than a whisper, but she could tell by his scowl he heard her.
 
“Where will you go?” he asked.

Cover Reveal – Cruel Summer

 

Title: Cruel Summer
Author: L.L. Hunter 
Genre: YA Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Cover Designer: Emily Wittig
Publication Date: Sept. 30th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Over the summer, Stacey Miller lost her innocence.

But it’s not how people think.

The pastor’s step- daughter has a dark secret, one she’d rather keep hidden forever.

But when recent events force her to open up and tell Darcie, her best friend, the truth, Stacey knows she can’t run or hide.

Besides that, there is still a killer on the loose, and Darcie might be next.

They’ll do anything to keep the town, and Darcie, from uncovering the truth.

 

The thrilling third instalment of the Summervale series.

L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens – everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog – http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au.

Author Links:




AuThursday – Leslie Hachtel

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Years ago I was cleaning house and I thought I can change the sheets or write a book. I have no idea where that thought came from, but I wrote a book. It was a terrible book, but it ignited my passion.

How do you make time to write?

I get up early every morning and write while the house is quiet. Then I tend to my other stuff.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

No. Nora Roberts spoke at a conference and said (and I’m paraphrasing…) if you wait for the muse to strike, there is no muse. It’s just ‘sit your butt in the chair and write.”

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

I write romance – historical, historical paranormal, romantic suspense, crossover. I guess I just love love and a happily ever after.

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

I’ve written fourteen books so far and I’ve published both traditionally and indie. I think I’ll try traditional again and if that doesn’t work out, I’ll self-publish.

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

I’m actually both. I can talk to a room of 1000 people just fine, but I am shy at small parties. I tap into both for my characters.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

Don’t quit!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read everything you can in your genre and then read some more. And take workshops. There is always so much to learn. And each book you write should be an improvement over the last one.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website https://www.lesliehachtel.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lesliehachtelwriter/

Twitter:  @lesliehachtel

Blog: https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/leslie-hachtel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/leslie_hachtel

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

This is from the first book in my “Morocco” series, Bound to Morocco… 

Spring, 1713

The throbbing was relentless. Shera, Lady Edgerton, squinted and reluctantly peeked out from beneath her eyelids. She immediately regretted it. A thousand needles of light stabbed her with brutal fury and she quickly closed her eyes again to ease the misery. She drew in a deep breath, trying to quell the pounding in her head. Mindful of the pain, she very slowly opened her eyes again, fighting the agony of vicious brightness that assailed her. Sunlight pierced the room through a narrow slit in the wall high up in the small space and pooled about her. Nausea threatened but she swallowed hard and stiffened her spine.

Gathering her senses and forcing herself to focus, she looked around. Where was she? A small room made of wood? The walls were bare except for four sets of chains attached to the wood by rings hanging a few inches from the floor. Was this an area used to confine prisoners?  But that did not answer why she was here. She was an innocent. Her being here must be a terrible mistake.

          She heaved in a deep breath and listened carefully. Naught but a kind of creaking. Raising herself gently, she sat up. Her head spun and she took in a few shallow breaths to ease the dizziness. The space around her gradually took shape. She was indeed in a small room with walls of horizontal planked wood. Beneath her, the floor swayed gently back and forth. And the smell? It was the scent of despair. Someone had been held here before her. Or many someones. And there was also the unmistakable odor of the sea. I am aboard a ship? How is that possible? A slither of terror crawled up her back. Had she been kidnapped? Was her life at risk? Who did this and what did they want? The lack of answers was tormenting.

AuThursday – Tracy Brody

Head shot medium cropped

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was one of those kids who loved to read and loved library day at school. I was also the daydreamer whose mind would wander and create stories. I thought everyone did that. 

However, I went to college and studied business because my dad told me I should so I could get a job when I graduated. Yes, he was a business guy. I worked in banking, got married, had two kids, but was always spinning stories in my head. Usually, they involved me as a character on a TV show opposite my current celebrity crush. 

Then I came up with this story that I couldn’t get out of my head. I finally decided to write it as a movie script. Remember, I was a business major. The longest thing I’d written was a ten-page term paper. But when I’d tell people the story, they’d listen to the whole thing. I had a gift for storytelling, but I had to learn the craft of writing. I did that for script writing but after two friends told me they’d love to see the story as a book, I switched gears to writing novels and had a lot to learn. I joined RWA and my local chapters and spent several years learning and taking classes and entering contests to get feedback.

That original story still lives in the recesses of my mind and a hard copy in a drawer, but it would need a total rewrite. I did a lot of research for the first movie script turned book as the hero was an Army Ranger, and that research got me involved supporting troop and my heroes all tend to be in or have served in the Army.

How do you make time to write?

I’m fortunate not to have an outside job. While my kids were home and in school when I started writing, both have graduated college. My son is married and lives across the country. My daughter is living with us during this fun time known as the CO-VID Pandemic and my husband has been working from home – which has presented some challenges and changes in process this past year, but I typically spend most of my day in my office writing (okay, and playing some games and spending too much time on Facebook) but I also love writing retreats and go on one or two a year from a few days to a week. However, I really miss meeting up with my writer friends at Panera!

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I believe in it, however, I don’t suffer from a lack of ideas. I have a folder of story ideas that pop in my head and may write someday. My problem is focusing and writing fast enough — which is where the retreats come in handy.

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

I have four books published in my romantic suspense series. It features the Army Bad Karma Special Ops team whose love lives are as dangerous as their missions. It hails back to my start with screenwriting which got me involved in troop support. Many secondary characters are based on military friends I made, however, they rarely tell me mission stories so those are all from my overactive imagination. I love being able to honor our troops with stories of their heroism and give them happily-ever-afters. I also like writing smart, strong, kick-ass heroines with lives far more exciting than my own. 

I’ve just finished my first romantic comedy, FAKING IT WITH THE BACHELOR, which is based on a reality TV dating show. The hero just got out of the Army and is ready to find love, so his sisters nominated him to be on the show. He lost the bet with them and is now cast to be the lead, only tears are his kryptonite and once he realizes what he’s got himself into, he’s having major second thoughts. He’s also crushing on the producer planning the fabulous dates for him and the women battling for his heart. It’s full of drama, snark, villainesses, and more drama.

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

I indie published my romantic suspense series after parting with my former agent and my second agent sharing how the big traditional publishers were not signing debut romantic suspense authors. I wanted to release the three books I had written fairly quickly and felt I could make more money and enjoy the process more as an indie. I wrote a prequel novella and published the four books in 2020.

I just sent the Rom-com to beta readers and may query agents and possibly traditionally publish it – but only if I’m offered a sweet print deal to get on bookshelves and expand my reach. 

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

I’m an extrovert who can talk to strangers and in front of groups. That’s helped me network with other authors and I enjoy interacting with readers and fans. It’s also helped when it comes to research as I made friends with many of the troops I supported, and they are my go-to men and women for military questions – though I still haven’t managed to get a ride in a Black Hawk helicopter. The nice thing is, even with CO-VID and not getting to be around a lot of people, my characters keep me company, so I don’t get lonely. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

If it’s not fun, why do it?

That’s probably why I like having the control of doing it indie. I can keep it fun. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

One person’s opinion is their opinion, however, if two or three people, especially contest judges or critique partners, tell you the same thing, pay attention. Learn. Develop a thick skin. Be patient and persistent. Your first book may be practice and have to be rewritten (like a dozen times) and still not sell but move on to the next book. Don’t give up after five or ten or fifty rejections, because writing is subjective and finding the right agent or editor is like finding a person you want to spend the rest of your life with – and it doesn’t always work out. The dream and affirmation of publishing traditional isn’t as romantic and picture perfect as you might think, so be open to publishing indie, but take the time to learn craft and hire professionals to do the things you are skilled to do or don’t enjoy doing.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Brody/e/B083G9NHTL

https://www.facebook.com/tracybrodyauthor

https://www.instagram.com/tracybrodybooks

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tracy-brody

https://www.tracybrody.com/

Series Promo w free novelette

And if you sign up for my author newsletter, https://www.tracybrody.com/newsletter-signup you can get the free novelette, UNDERCOVER ANGEL, which is the backstory or how Sergeant First Class Tony Vincenti met FBI Special Agent Angela Hoffman. 

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

Of course. Here’s the opening from DEADLY AIM, the first full length in the Bad Karma series.

Series Banner

Colombia, South America

Training mission, my ass.

Kristie Donovan banked her Army Black Hawk to the right and pushed the helicopter to max speed. It wasn’t the time for an I-knew-it moment over her suspicions that there was more to this assignment than being sent to train Colombian Army pilots on the electronic instrument systems in their newer Sikorski UH-60 Black Hawks.

Command radioing new orders to pick up a “package with wounded” had Black Ops written all over it. Especially when the coordinates took them right into the heart of an area known for cocaine production. Army “need to know” at its best.

“How far to the LZ?” she asked her Colombian co-pilot trainee.

Josué checked the GPS. “Thirty klicks. If I am right, this is not what you call ‘landing zone.’”

“Meaning …?” Even with the tropical heat and full uniform, goosebumps erupted over her arms.

“Like sixty-meter clearing.”

“You use it for practice?” She could hope.

“Never.”

“But helicopters use it?”

“Small ones owned by cartel.”

Josué might be a relatively inexperienced pilot, but he knew the players here, and his wide, unblinking stare told her more than she wanted to know about who used this clearing. And for what. Great. Let’s use a drug lord’s landing pad. I’m sure he won’t mind. He might even send a welcoming committee—a well-armed one.

Sixty meters—if the jungle hadn’t encroached. Drops of sweat trickled down her neck the closer in they flew.

She pulled back on the cyclic stick and slowed the helicopter. The blur of the jungle came into focus. She leaned forward, her gaze sweeping left to right through the windscreen at the terrain below. Nothing but trees, trees, and more trees. The thick veil of green hid anything, or anyone, on the ground. 

“Do you see the LZ?” she asked her crew chief and gunner.

“Negative,” they reported from their vantage points on either side of the aircraft.

“We’re not giving anyone extra time to make us a target. Not in daylight.” She keyed the radio mic to hail the package on the ground. “Ghost Rider One-Three to Bad Karma, come in.” Energy drained from her limbs as she envisioned the scenario that would keep them from answering. “Ghost Rider One-Three to Bad Karma, come in.” 

Continued silence saturated the air. No, she wasn’t too late. She refused to believe—

New Release – Shadow Killer by India Kells

 

Title: Shadow Killer
Author: India Kells
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: March 9th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Two murder victims, two suspects without any memory of committing the murders, and a masterful killer that hides in the shadows of their minds.

 

Brandon Turner’s head is still spinning from taking a new job with NOPD and moving to a new city. Although New Orleans is fascinating, it’s not as enticing as Noelle, the curvy beauty who is as cold as ice. Brandon is determined to uncover why she hates him so much, but two strange murders soon require his full attention and Noelle’s professional opinion.

 

Noelle Breaux is a brilliant forensic scientist, but she’s tired of fighting against old school cops who think that being a woman makes you a burden within the department. A new commander and fresh recruits raise her hopes—and those of her Cajun friends within the forensic department—until the hunk that looks like a blonde Viking out of a romance novel seems to be way too friendly with the old guard and she quickly loses hope.

 

Two of Brandon’s best friends and former colleagues, Daxton Chambers and Cruz Livingston come for a visit with their wives, Mack and Mickie. When the women disappear without a trace, Brandon has a feeling their abduction is related to the strange series of murders he’s been investigating.

 

With time running out, Noelle and Brandon will have to work closely together to discover who the mastermind is behind the murders and rescue their friends. Along the way, they unravel a deception that goes deeper than they bargained for.

 

In a city where magic perfumes the French Quarter, and moonlight shadows danger, profound trust is the key to solving this murder case, but love may be the only way to stay alive.

NOW LIVE & AVAILABLE ON KU!


India Kells is a romantic suspense and paranormal romance author with many books under her pen. Her love for strong female characters, wicked alpha males and sexy tense situations, where villains and danger are lurking nearby, help her weave captivating stories that will leave you breathless and wanting for more.







New Release – Saving Her Target by Danielle Pays

Title: Saving Her Target
Series: Dare to Surrender
Author: Danielle Pays
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 20, 2020


If your true identity would cause you to lose the woman you love, would you tell her?
Zach Brannigan escaped his crime family years ago. Now, as owner of a small town pub, he’s living life with the freedom he once craved. Life is simple until he’s mistaken for another criminal and tackled.
Tackling mountain men is all in a day’s work for this special agent, but this time Jessie Doyle has the wrong perp. While she can’t find the one running from the law, she keeps running into the wrong one and he’s getting under her skin.

Zach’s family finds him, and they make it clear they won’t let him go again. This lands him right in the middle of an FBI sting. Led by Jessie. And here he thought it was his charm that led her to his small town.
He’s fallen for his Macushla, his darling. But if Jessie learns who he really is, it’s over.
He escaped his family once. Can he do it again?





🚨3 Bonus chapters in the book for anyone who preordered, purchased, or check out Saving Her Target through Kindle Unlimited >> Links to those chapters is IN the book


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I was hooked from the first scene and couldn’t put the book down. Plenty of suspense, drama, and hot sex. If you love romantic suspense, you won’t be disappointed.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ roller coaster thrill ride you’ll never forget

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ As ever Danielle Pays grips you from page 1 and defies you to try putting the book down without finishing it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I loved this page-turning, suspense. The story is full of drama, betrayal, and love. I was hooked from page one.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I FREAKING LOVED this story!! I’m totally loving this series and can’t wait for more. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Well if Zach isn’t my favorite bad boy I don’t know who is!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A great story with enough twists and turns to keep you drawn in until the very end!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It didn’t take me long to read the book, because I just couldn’t put it down.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Loved it! It’s a story with betrayal, family history, best friends, steamy bed sheets and the love of a good man. Definitely recommend reading.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Loved It. …drama, action, emotions, good guys, bad guys and LOVE. Oh yeah, throw in a psycho and cheating ex too. It’s all here, all wrapped up in a page turning storyline.




Zach: Can you send me a photo of you?

Jessie: Why would I do that?

Zach: It’s only fair.

Notification that he’d sent a photo flashed on her screen. Nothing could have prepared her for it. It was a photo of Zach, lying in bed. Holy shit. She knew he felt muscular under his clothes, but damn, he had a six-pack and that V, that drool-worthy V that men have. The sheet was so low, she could see his happy trail. It was hot. Holy hell, it was hot.

Now he wanted a photo of her? There was no way she could give him anything that hot and sexy. Her mind wandered to what she could do. A photo of her… she couldn’t help herself. She grabbed her license out of her wallet and snapped a close-in shot.

Zach: Is this your driver’s license photo?

Jessie: You’re welcome.

Zach: Really not what I had in mind.

She knew exactly what he had in mind. As long as her face wasn’t visible, there’d be no harm. What the hell. With one hand, she pulled her shirt down exposing her cleavage and she snapped a photo. Then sent it before she could change her mind.

Zach: Mm. That will work just fine. Thank you.

Work? Was he? Would he tell her?

Jessie: Work? What are you doing?

A second photo of Zach came through of Zach with the sheet still barely covering his lower half. It was clear he was gripping himself. But it was the look on his face that got her. Pure desire.








Danielle Pays writes steamy romance novels with a touch of suspense. When not trying to write her characters into some kind of trouble, she can be found guzzling coffee at her kids’ soccer games. Black coffee is a requirement as she lives in the Pacific Northwest.


HOSTED BY:

AuThursday – Valerie Tobin

Please welcome Val Tobin to the Clog Blog!  Val, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you, Tina, for giving me this opportunity to share about myself and my work.

I grew up in Willowdale, Ontario. That seemed like the big city to me, but for those who lived in Toronto, it was the boonies. I went to elementary and high school in Willowdale, and graduated from Earl Haig Secondary School after grade thirteen, which they offered at the time.

After a semester of Book Editing and Design at Centennial College, I studied general arts at the University of Waterloo, then went to DeVry Toronto and got a diploma in Computer Information Systems. I worked in the computer industry as a software and Web developer for over ten years.

In October 2004, I became a certified Reiki Master/Teacher. I acquired ATP® certification in March 2008, in Kona, Hawaii from Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. I started work on a bachelor of science in parapsychic science from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in March 2007 and received my degree in September 2010. After obtaining my master’s degree in parapsychology at AIHT, I returned in 2008 to Kona, Hawaii to complete the Advanced ATP® training and in April 2010 to take the spiritual writing workshop and the mediumship certification class.

In the meantime, I wrote for tech site Community MX and for Suite101, and I was Topic Editor for Paganism/Wicca and Webmaster Resources at Suite.

I’ve published over ten books and contributed a story to Doreen Virtue’s Hay House book Angel Words. My novels are available on Smashwords, Amazon, and from other retailers in both e-book and paperback.

How do you make time to write?

I dedicate time in the day to writing a targeted number of words. Some days, that target is as low as fifty words. Other days, the target is as high as 2,000 words. I’ve done NaNoWriMo almost every year since 2012, which helps me to at least once a year dedicate thirty days to writing 50,000 words.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes. Sometimes I lose focus or inspiration. The way around it, for me, is to read. Reading a story I enjoy from an author whose work I love motivates me to write. Or reading books about the craft of writing inspires me. Or working on aspects of my WIP that have nothing to do with adding words to the story, such as delving into a character’s motivations, trigger ideas for the story. Writer’s block is real, but it’s never permanent.

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

I write in a variety of genres: horror, fantasy, romance, science fiction, and I’m also working on a non-fiction book. I love stories and I love writing, and the story I want to tell at the time decides the genre. 

My first novel is The Experiencers. It’s book one of the Valiant Chronicles series. It’s technically (literally) science fiction, but it’s also a thriller with a love story. The aliens and the technology make it SF. The non-stop action makes it a thriller, and the relationships add the love. I say love rather than romance because romance doesn’t drive the plot, and there’s no guarantee any of the relationships forged through the book will end happily.

Storm Lake, a short story, and The Hunted, a Storm Lake novel, are classified as horror because of the horrific creatures. They’re also SF because of the genetic manipulation integrated into the story. The relationship between Rachel and Hound Dog adds a romantic thread, but that’s not the story’s focus.

Injury, Poison Pen, Walk-In, Gillian’s Island, and You Again are all primarily romance, with Walk-In containing a paranormal element based on the new-age concept of the walk-in but with evil undertones, Poison Pen (a howcatchem story) and You Again (a whodunit story) containing murder, and Gillian’s Island having a mystery component (who’s sabotaging the resort?) Injury is pure romantic suspense and deals with a young actress who discovers the narrative she believed about her past is a lie.

What I love about these genres is they all have action, suspense, and relatable characters. My tastes have changed over the years, and I want more action and a faster pace in the books I read, so I inject that into my writing. Perhaps it’s a result of the tech boom and how everything happens so fast—often instantly. We don’t wait long for much of anything, and while I still appreciate reflective moments in a story, and do include them in my own works when required to move the plot forward or develop character, I enjoy short chapters and a fast pace.

I love writing about characters with a variety of traits, some I might share and some I don’t share at all, and exploring the world through their eyes and lives. For example, what I loved about Gillian in Gillian’s Island was showing how her thoughts differed from what she said because she was always afraid to speak her mind. The results were at times humorous. 

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

Indie. I have one story in a traditionally published book (a non-fiction book by Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue called Angel Words and published by Hay House), but all my other books and stories are indie published.

An author friend who was traditionally published in the 1970’s and now indie publishes helped me make up my mind when I wrote my first novel. We discussed the pros and cons of both, and for me, indie made sense. My educational background, experience, and skills I’ve developed over the years make it possible for me to publish my work myself. I also am lucky to have found a great cover designer and team of beta readers and editors.

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

I’m an introvert, so it’s difficult for me to network and socialize. It’s an asset during quarantine though. Stay home and avoid people? That’s my default.

It affected my work positively, too, by triggering an idea for a story. The novel Gillian’s Island came about because I’m an introvert. I can remember the moment I got the idea, and for anyone who wants to know where ideas come from, here it is:

We have a friend who owns an island resort near Temagami, Ontario. We don’t hear from him often, but one day, sometime in 2015, he called us up. I’d never seen the resort, so I looked it up online. It occurred to me it would be difficult to run a resort if you’re an introvert. You have to deal with people constantly.

From there, my mind leaped to “but if you have a spouse to handle all that, you can deal with all the administrative stuff and leave the people stuff to him.” Then I thought, “But what if you get divorced, and you’re left holding the bag?”

You can see where this is going. I thought, “This was a great jumping-off point for a new story.” I could already see my main character taking shape: an introverted woman who runs an island resort with her husband. She does all the admin work and manages the place while her extroverted husband schmoozes and deals with all the people aspects. Except he leaves her for another woman, and now my MC is left to run the resort. Except hubby wants his share of the money from the resort, so now my MC—Gillian, her name will be Gillian—must sell the resort.

And she loved the resort. It’s an island, and aren’t many introverts islands? I thought it was perfect that she lived on an island and wanted to stay there but was forced off of it. Her journey in this story is to find herself, to learn to be an island among people. The point isn’t that she must stop being an introvert; the point is that she must accept who she is and allow herself to trust other people so she can build healthy relationships.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.” — Lady Gaga.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write the first draft for you. Second drafts are for your inner editor. Give yourself permission to suck on that first draft. You’ll find it liberating to realize no one needs to read it but you.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valtobinauthor

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/valandbob

Subscribe to my blog: http://bobandval.wordpress.com/

Follow me on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/val-tobin

Check out my profile on ALLi: https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/members/val-tobin/profile/

Visit my website and sign up to receive my newsletter: http://www.valtobin.com/

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

Yes, thank you. I’ll share an excerpt from my latest release, You Again. It’s a second-chance romance about an accounting tech for whom complications arise when she’s assigned her former lover as a client and his company’s previous financial controller is found dead.

At five o’clock, Ellen walked into the Foundation Saloon and, when she gave her name, the hostess led her to a table with a booth near the back of the dining room. Gabriel was already there, a half-empty stein of beer in front of him.

“Got an early start?” she asked. The hostess set a menu in front of Ellen, who took a seat across from him.

He waited for the hostess to leave and then said, his expression serious, his tone dark, “We have a problem.”

She smiled—a cross between a smirk and amusement. “You being dramatic?”

“No. You ever hear of Francesca Newton?”

“I trained her on the financial software BRI uses. She replaced me as controller when I quit.”

He leaned toward her and said in a low voice, “She’s dead.”

Cold dread washed over Ellen. “What do you mean dead?”

“When I got to the BRI offices today, a detective was there. He told me her husband found her body in their apartment. Looks like suicide, but the police are investigating and treating it as a suspicious death.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. She seemed like a nice woman. Young. What a waste. I’m sure it’s just a routine investigation. They do that for any death that isn’t natural, don’t they?” And why would this be a problem for her, or more specifically, them? There was no “them.”

“He said there were indications she was murdered.”

The oxygen in the room seemed to vanish and Ellen gasped. “What indications?”

“He wouldn’t tell me. But if they think someone killed her, they likely have evidence.”

She nodded, unable to speak. Francesca had been a pretty woman in her late twenties. She’d been so full of life. Yes, that was a cliché, but in Francesca’s case, it was an accurate description. The young woman had been eager to start the new job and had learned the software quickly. Ellen had been positive she’d work out well.

“What could’ve happened?” she said aloud though she spoke more to herself than to Gabriel.

He replied anyway. “I don’t know.”

She recalled his comment at the start of the conversation. “Why is this a problem for us?” The publicity might be bad for him, but she’d left that company too long ago for anyone to associate her with it. Unless she took over their books, as Carol had assigned her to do.

She needed to clear this up immediately. “It won’t be a problem for me. I’m not taking the account. Are you really thinking only of the bad press over this? A woman died. She either killed herself or someone murdered her. Isn’t that more important than what the media might say about you over it?”

Anger flared in his eyes and he scowled. “That’s not where my mind went. How could you think that?”

“Why wouldn’t I think that? I don’t know you anymore. What else is there?”

“Don’t you think it’s strange that such a successful company went downhill after you left?”

Before she could respond, the server, a perky, petite redhead with braids and freckles, arrived to take Ellen’s drink order. Deciding she needed one, she ordered a glass of red wine—the nine-ounce rather than the six-ounce option. When the woman left, Ellen picked up the menu. She didn’t feel hungry, but stress eating was one of her go-to coping mechanisms, and the news of what could be the murder of an acquaintance had definitely stressed her.

“Want to order food?” she asked.

When he remained silent, she peeked up from the menu. He stared at her, his lips pressed together.

“What’s wrong?” Did he think her callous for wanting to order food? “I stress eat, Gabe. I’m not heartless.”

He set his palms on the table, bracketing his mug of beer, and said, “It’s not that. I have to leave soon. I’m going somewhere else for dinner.”

Her whole body went cold. “You have a date,” she stated. “On a Thursday.”

“Yes. One I made two weeks ago. I’m sort of seeing someone …”

“Sort of?” Francesca’s death popped into her head, and she waved a hand at him. “Never mind. I don’t care. You’re free to see whomever you want and do whatever you want with her. What matters is what happened to Fran.”

He gave her a slow nod. “Right. So, answer my question.” 

“What question?”

“The company was prosperous. They had substantial revenues. Still do, from what I can tell. Their problems started after you left.”

She gasped. “You pinning that on Fran? Is that why you think she killed herself?”

“Or was murdered.”

Ellen brushed a hand through her hair, pulling errant strands off her face. The server arrived with the wine and set it in front of her.

“I’ll take an order of sweet potato fries,” Ellen told her. “Nothing for him,” she added with a nod in Gabriel’s direction.

After the redhead left again, Gabriel checked the time on his phone. “I have to go. Drinks and your food are on me. I’ll settle the tab on my way out. Order anything else you want. They’ll put it on my card.” He gazed at her contemplatively for a moment. “Don’t use it to get revenge on me.”

“Wow. Don’t worry. I can pay for my own food.”

“That was a joke, Ellen. Can we please forget the past? I’m sorry for what happened. We’ll figure it out. In the meantime, help me with BRI. Take on the account. Maybe, together, we can figure out if anything in the records could’ve triggered her death, whether by her own hand or someone else’s.”

“I don’t know. What I’ll do is think about it tonight and give you an answer in the morning. If I decide we shouldn’t work together, I’ll tell Carol to give it to someone else.”

“But you know the company already. If anyone can spot inconsistencies or anything that’s not right, you can.”

“You think she was deliberately cooking the books?”

“How would I know? It could be anything. You’d find the issue faster than anyone else. Will you do it?”

She pictured herself working with Gabriel, perhaps for weeks. She’d see or talk to him every day, given the unusual situation. But he was correct she’d find errors faster than anyone else. Plus, if it helped the police catch a killer or helped them understand why Francesca killed herself, didn’t Ellen owe it to everyone to do anything she could to figure it out?

Reluctantly, she said, “On one condition: When I’ve post-mortemed the files, when I’ve cleaned them up and everything’s in order, you turn the account over to someone else.”

“No problem,” he blurted. His expression told her he thought by that point she’d change her mind.

Ellen swore to herself she wouldn’t. She’d give him no choice but to put someone else on the account. By the time this was over, she’d find another job and remove herself from Gabriel’s life the way he’d removed himself from hers three years ago.

She reached out her hand. “Deal.”

They shook on it, and he walked away, her gaze following him out of sight.

AuThursday – Natasza Waters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you for having me on your blog, Tina. My name is Natasza Waters. Hello from north of the border. I’m blessed to live on the west coast of British Columbia on a small hobby farm. Before starting on this crazy journey of writing novels, I spent thirty-four years with the Coast Guard. A far cry from romance, but plenty of action and suspense. 

What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?

Romantic Suspense is at the top of the list. Military Romance gives me the opportunity to drop in a few plot points from my past life. Every sub-genre is a challenge in the romance world. No matter what you write, the trick is making something old sound new again. 

How do you make time to write? 

Being retired helps. I’m a night owl and usually write until three in the morning. I have no idea how I managed to pen several books before I left the Guard. I have the utmost respect for writers who still hold a job and manage to pound out 85,000 words while juggling life. Not to mention taking care of a family at the same time. 

What are your current projects?

Back in 2011 I wrote my first contemporary novel, mostly as a lark. A sexy little Las Vegas story that a small press picked up. I switched to military romance, which surprisingly ended up as a best seller and award-winner. 

Even though I’d heard the paranormal market was saturated, the idea posed a challenge. A new twist on an old trope. And the Vyro Creek series was created. “Arizona Lightning” introduces readers to the characters and the background of the Connelly brothers from Ireland that run the biggest cattle ranch in Arizona. They’re Biological Vrykolakas more commonly known as vampires. Born half human and half immortal. Unlike the Second Bloods, who are created by the process of exsanguination and hate the Biologicals. It’s not your average neck-biter romance. When three young women move to Saguaro Gulch to start a new life and buy a dilapidated ranch next to Vyro Creek, they never expect to be caught in a vampire rebellion. This is more of a saga than a series. Each book will take the readers deeper into the mystery and thickening suspense. The second book in the series “Arizona Thunder” was released on the 18th of August.  

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Definitely! I haven’t had too many blocks that can’t be overcome by writing a lot of garbage and then turfing the draft. But it gets the wheels greased and the words turning. If I’m seriously stuck, I sit down with the hubs and talk about the plot. He’s a great sounding board. Doesn’t take long before an idea pops out. Nowadays, I think many authors give up writing not because of writer’s block but the other pitfalls like book pirates and the need to spend more time marketing than actually writing. But if you really love the craft, you’ll keep churning out the novels.

How are you publishing your most recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, small press) 

I’m an Indie author by choice. I’ve gone the route of small press before, but I find deadlines curb the creative juices. My faithful readers thump the table saying write faster. (Grin) I wish I could, but they know I want to give them a story with depth rather than a transparent tale. Traditional publishing has extremely long turnarounds. I’ll never say never to Trad publishing, but as an Indie, I can create my own timelines.

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

I have extreme admiration for extroverts. My tendency is to lean toward introvert. Both have benefits. Extroverts do very well at marketing and conferences. As an introvert, I can spend hours behind the keyboard without feeling deprived not seeing a soul for days. For anyone to write a book, you need to experience the world outside of your bubble. Even sitting in a coffee shop watching two people at the next table can cue an idea when you ask “What if?”  

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

When perseverance and creativity cross swords a book is born. First step is to write the book. Know your subject matter i.e. if you’re writing a medical thriller, you better know something about the field or readers will call you out. Grow broad shoulders. That first one star review calling your work a pile of dog poop is gonna hurt. But just know that not all books resonate with every reader, especially in the romance world. 

Many authors don’t read their reviews. There’s some validity in that, I suppose. But if a reviewer takes the time to actually write their thoughts, and you see several reviews reflecting the same comments, an author may want to take a closer look. On the other hand, readers will often plop a star rating in Goodreads, especially a poor rating, but never explain why. That doesn’t help authors. Finally, and most importantly for a new writer, don’t compare your work to others. You have a voice and it will be different. Don’t be jealous of other author’s work. Strive to make your own manuscript shine. Readers are looking for new and exciting voices to read. Books are the oregano on the pizza of life. There’s no such thing as too many books…or pizza.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

This month if readers sign up for my newsletter, they’ll have a chance to win a Vyro Creek gift pack. https://nataszawaters.com/

Follow me on Amazon https://amzn.to/2EmE93v

Bookbub https://bit.ly/3hcP7Yd

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/natasza.waters

Facebook author’s site https://www.facebook.com/Natasza-Waters-311286078885026/

Twitter https://bit.ly/3hf1suK

Youtube book trailers https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos

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

For sure! Here’s a snippet from Arizona Thunder.

Facing off with fifty vampires, which equated to one hundred sharp fangs, well…that changed a woman’s priorities forever.

Ari stood behind Connell’s six-foot-six frame and Clara took cover behind Cian. With the moon shining down on the desert plain, Ari could barely see the dark mass of the vamp army. One of them stepped forward, while the other Second Bloods remained at a distance.

Completely out of context, a scene from the third “Lord of the Rings” movie sprinted into her brain. With thousands of snarling, merciless Uruk-hai and Orcs gathered at the gates of Helms Deep with nothing but absolute annihilation on their minds, Ari suddenly understood what a Hobbit felt like.

Clara stood to Ari’s right, her hands clasped in prayer. “Heavenly Father, I am your humble servant. I come before you today in need of hope. I feel helpless. I feel weak. Some say the sky is at its darkest just before the light. I pray this is true, for all seems dark.”

Cian, hearing her voice barely above a whisper, turned and faced Clara. He drew a silver blade from his boot and gently gripped her right wrist.

“I…I can’t. That’s murder.”

His blue eyes gazed down at her while he placed the knife handle in her palm and curled her fingers around the weapon. “If I go down, you fight like hell, angel. Show them no mercy.”

To Ari’s complete amazement, he tenderly brushed a strand of brunette hair from Clara’s cheek. The young woman gave a tentative nod of agreement.

“That’s my girl.”

Ari did a double-take when Cian smiled. He fucking smiled at Clara!

Clara’s small hand gripped his long, thick fingers. “God have mercy on you!”

Ari didn’t have to be a vampire to feel the fear wafting off the woman.

Her words of grace caused Cian’s brow to crease. “I don’t deserve mercy, angel. But I’ll fight to the death to make sure you see another day.”

Easy for him to say, Ari thought. Being stuck in the middle of a vampire war was one thing. Knowing Quinn was free should terrify her, but at the same time Ari’s skin twitched. Like restless leg syndrome, but all over. Anxious. Sweaty. Just plain weird. At first she thought it had something to do with the baby, but she was starting to have her doubts.

A lone vampire strolled up to their circle.

Padraig! Of course. The queen stepped out two paces.

“Greetings, Lady Connelly.”

The queen raised her hand. Ari didn’t know if it was a signal to her family and Romanis, or a motion for Padraig to stuff his greetings.

Claudette’s lush blonde hair was pulled back in a long braid, reaching the sway of her back. “You present yourself with fifty copies, unannounced on my land. Make your explanation brief.”

Padraig stood nearly as tall as the Connelly brothers but nowhere near the same weight class. He was scarecrow thin in his dark leather jacket and pants. “I have a request. One that I believe is in your best interest, and you will endorse.”

The queen’s braid slid up her back a couple inches, which meant her chin lowered, and Ari bet she wasn’t smiling.

“Get to the point, Akáthartos.”

Padraig stepped closer, placing himself ten feet from the queen. The Connelly brothers tensed. Ari squeezed the polished handle of the Colt and did a quick shoulder check. No one in the circle moved a muscle.

The only sign of good faith Claudette showed was resting her arms at her sides, instead of gripping the silver blade that hung at her hip.

In a sarcastic drawl, Padraig said, “Your Majesty. We don’t need to fight. Just give me Ariana and we’ll leave without spilling a drop of your family’s blue blood.”

Like hell she was going anywhere with the scarecrow, beady-eyed bastard.

Cian and his brothers chuckled quietly. She’d forgotten that not just Quinn, but any vampire, could read her mind if they wanted. Ari still sucked ass at veiling her thoughts.

The queen of the Vrykolakas didn’t mince words. “For what purpose?”

Padraig shrugged. A fake smile stretched the pale skin across his elongated jaw. “Beg your pardon, your holiness—”

What a dick! Ari hoped she’d get a chance to blow his ass into dust pellets.

Padraig’s green eyes swerved and met Ari’s. “If my information is correct, that human female is carrying a Biological offspring.” He paused, the edges of his smile withering. “We want her and the return of my child, Ellie.”

Hellfire would have to rain from the sky before they’d allow Ellie near the sadistic jerk. And how the heck did he know Ari was pregnant? Were Second Bloods spying on them?

The queen’s right hand rose and rested on the handle of her blade. “You will get neither, Padraig Lyons. Leave my land.”

“Au contraire, Lady Connelly. You and your reign, are over. If you won’t willingly give me the human, then I’ll take her.”

“Aw, shit,” Connell spouted. “Incoming!”

Arizona Lightning buy links

Amazon US https://amzn.to/3fBlE9t

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2OCEhhb

Amazon AU https://amzn.to/391xJlI

Amazon Canada https://amzn.to/393ZmdW

Kobo https://bit.ly/32sfN2y

Apple https://apple.co/2OwKviO

B&N https://bit.ly/2Ba5JzQ

Arizona Thunder buy links 

Amazon US https://amzn.to/348bTfV

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/3iPn6pR

Amazon AU https://amzn.to/3ay8HeQ

Amazon Canada https://amzn.to/3kTu9j3

B&N https://bit.ly/2Qfb4tT

Apple https://apple.co/321w50j

Kobo https://bit.ly/3hkaAP3

Cover Reveal – Violence by Lily White

Title: Violence

Series: Antihero Inferno #3
Author: Lily White
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 29, 2020
Cover Design: Lori Jackson Design
Cover Model: Lawrence Templar
Cover Photographer: Michelle Lancaster
Seventh Circle

Violence
Also Known As Ezra Cross

He’s one of a pair.
Identical twin to Damon.
And an enforcer for the Inferno if one is ever needed.

I knew better than to get involved with him.
With his aggression.
With the constant fights.
With the games the twins were known to play with every woman stupid enough to fall for them.

We made a mistake when we met again as adults.
I fell in love.
He fell in love.
His brother fell in love, too.

What used to be a good time is now a tragedy.

Our story is messy.
It’s cruel.
It’s forbidden.

Despite all that, Ezra refuses to let go.

*** Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.
Nine Dangerous Men. Nine Unrepentant Sinners. Nine Irresistible Manipulators.

Lily White is a romance writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series, Target This, Wishing Well, and Asylum. In addition to dark romance Lily writes contemporary romance, taboo romance, and psychological thrillers. Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes.

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