AuThursday – Gabbi Grey

FTLOFM GG BannerPlease welcome Gabbi Grey to the Clog Blog!  Let’s dive right into it, shall we? Gabbi, tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I work for the government by day and write by night.

How do you make time to write?

Fortunately, I have a nice long commute and try to fit in some writing every trip.  Also, my little dog is my only familial commitment so I have more time to dedicate to writing and editing than if I had children or aging parents.  I have great admiration for writers with multiple responsibilities who manage to fit writing into a busy life.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

I have a mental illness and there are times when writing is very difficult.  As for writer’s block, I sometimes have to move on to another project for a break.

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

I studied English and Theatre in university so had plenty of exposure to literary fiction.  When I started writing, though, I discovered I had to give my characters a happy ending.  I’ve been writing romances ever since.  I also read romance, reveling in the guaranteed happily ever after.

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

Currently, I am traditionally published.  I’ve been fortunate to find homes for my short romantic stories.  I am hoping to soon publish a full-length book.

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

I am an introvert through and through.  My biggest challenge is attending writer conferences and interacting with other writers and industry professionals.  I put on my best face and try to make the most of the opportunities.  Networking can be an important part of the business but also the most challenging for someone like myself.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“Writing a book, just like building a library, is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory.” Susan Orlean author of The Library Book

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Persistence and a good editor.  I have been writing seriously for almost six years but only when I started working with a freelance editor did I really begin learning the craft.  I’m a much better writer because of finding the right person to work with.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

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

Genre: Erotic Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

Excerpt from For the Love of Max:Max cover

Procrastinating was getting him nowhere. She was either home or she wasn’t. She was either going to kick him off her property or she wasn’t. She was either going to let him in or she wasn’t.

Wiping his damp palms against his jeans, he sauntered up the steps and knocked.

The door cracked, but the safety chain prevented it from opening fully. He glimpsed a veil of long, black hair.

“Maxine?” She squinted. Damn. The sun behind him was bright in her eyes, casting him in deep shadows.

“It’s Dodge. Remember me? I brought you home after the company Christmas party?” After Garth got wasted and abandoned you? Happy to step in, Dodge had driven her home, trying not to look at her gorgeous legs encased by her tight silver skirt and sheer pantyhose. Red-blooded man he was, he’d adjusted himself when she looked away and had done his best to hide his erection when escorting her to the door.

“Wait.” Say something that’ll keep her talking.

“I—”

The door closed, opening a moment later.

Dodge was a sucker for sun-kissed light-brown skin, wavy long black hair, almond-shaped dark-brown eyes, soft cheekbones, and a pert nose. The bangs were new as was the yellowing bruise on her cheek.

Damn.

Ducking her head, Maxine’s hand shot to the bruise.

He gently touched her chin, and when she didn’t recoil, he tipped it, forcing her gaze to his. “The man is an animal. I’m not like him.”

The smile was tentative. “I know.” Soft words, replete with meaning.

Not going to send him away. Yet. But he needed more.

Maxine extended her hand, which he gratefully took. The electric shock shot through him, so strong he expected a blue arc between them.

Her cheeks flushed, her gaze flying to his before lowering. She tried to pull away, but he held tight.

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AuThursday – Dana Ross

FGE Banner

DR author photoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

Like many writers, I was born into a family of bookworms. My maternal grandmother was a librarian for seventy-five years and she was a heavy influence on everything I read growing up. My father was a jeweler, and I grew up in the industry and was groomed to take over my family’s store. I worked under his wing for almost a decade, but after I left Maryland to attend the Gemological Institute of America and earn my Graduate Gemologist degree, I was encouraged to apply for a teaching position at the school. I relocated to California and worked as an instructor at G.I.A.’s Santa Monica campus.

Later, after marriage and kids and moving to Florida, I decided to try writing. After a few poor unstructured attempts, I joined a few critique groups, switched careers, attended grad school. There, I earned my MFA in creative writing. I still have a passion for gems and I try to infuse my writing with gemological factoids whenever possible.

How do you make time to write?

When my children were young, I wrote when they napped or attended school. I knew I had only a few precious hours to get words onto paper, so I made writing part of my daily routine—as much as brushing my teeth and flossing. My kids are almost grown now, but I still adhere to my writing schedule: Coffee first. Then treadmill (to fill my head with ideas/mentally flush out stories). Then I plant myself in my writing chair and work until my son comes home, hunger pangs beckon, or the dog whimpers for attention.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

“Ugh.” Unfortunately, yes. I’ve heard people say they don’t believe such a thing exists, but I suffer from it on occasion. Recently, I started working on two novels, one story I began while participating in NaNoWriMo, and one story that “came to me” out of the blue. I love both ideas, but I haven’t been able to commit fully to either, and until the “Eureka!” or “Aha!” moment comes to me, I can’t find the momentum to write. To help speed along the process, I play songs that remind me of my imagined chapters or work on character profile worksheets or try to write the synopsis of each book until the proverbial “block” has been lifted.

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

Great question. My true love is YA because I love teen angst and quirky characters. The first manuscripts I wrote were YA stories, because writing is cathartic and through YA, I could deal with teen issues I, myself, went through, and issues my daughter experienced. That being said, my first published book is a contemporary romance with elements of suspense. It was a lot of fun to write outside my “regular” genre.

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

My recent book was published traditionally through The Wild Rose Press. I’d learned they had earned an award through Predators & Editors and heard great things about the company, so I queried them and they accepted my “baby.” TWRP really love their authors and go out of their way to teach us about the writing industry, which can be overwhelming at times.

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

I’m an intro/extrovert if there were such a thing. I love working and hanging out with fellow writers, but I’m also introverted at times. While crafting a novel, I’ll retreat into my writing cave and shun friends/society, and I can go days without contact from the outside world. Fortunately, I’m also a mom and the host of a local writers’ critique group, so I get pulled out of the proverbial cave and pushed back into society when my son is with me or when it’s time to moderate the writing group.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

That’s an easy answer. I stumbled upon this quote by Gloria Steinem and for years it has been my mantra: “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

First, the obvious: write and read every day, even if it’s only a paragraph or a page. Second, read and write outside your comfort zone; our writer minds can get stagnant if we do the same thing every day. Third, read the craft books written by the masters. There are many but my favorites are Stephen King’s “On Writing,” Strunk & White’s “The Elements of Style,” and Browne & King’s “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.” Last, but not least, don’t give up. Your writing might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and writing is a glacial process, but if you write because you love what you do, stick to it, toughen your skin, and be patient. Your day will come, and there’s no greater feeling than having a complete stranger love your prose.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Thanks for asking, Tina. I’m constantly on social media, and I love to connect with readers and fellow writers. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and my (under construction) web page:

Website: https://danarossauthor.com

Twitter: @danarossauthor

Instagram: mommawriter (Dana Ross Author)

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

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

Yes, thank you for offering. This excerpt comes from chapter two—a scene where my protagonist meets face-to-face with the story’s antagonist.

FullGirlfriendExperience_w11805_750

There were three things I could not stand—cheap shoes, bad wine, and the man seated across the table from me. William Drummond was staring at me like a half-starved animal. Maybe his greedy gaze was due to my dress’s plunging neckline, but the man obviously had other things on his mind—complications that involved me. And like the pan-fried calamari appetizer slowly digesting in my belly, sharing company with the man who almost killed one of my girls did not sit well.

Nonetheless, I had problems. I had to at least hear him out.

I lifted my empty champagne flute and motioned for a refill.

Drummond obliged.

The bubbly was good and dry, one that cost a pretty penny, which the sockmuppet would probably write off and charge taxpayers. It was tempting to slug my drink down and ask for a third glass, but I refrained since I was dealing with someone less trustworthy than my dry cleaners. As Drummond refilled his glass, I remembered how easily he polished off drinks without showing a hint of an altered mind. In addition to the champagne, there was a glass of whiskey with melting ice cubes by his plate.

Bells in my head rang a warning.

He was slick. Just like that suit. Which was decent, though, probably an Italian label that cost more than my rent. He also sported a rose-gold designer watch—last year’s model—and diamond pavé cufflinks that practically blinded me with their shine. His nails were trimmed and glossy, like he’d had a recent manicure, and his jet-black hair shined like an asphalt lake.

His eyes were a forgettable brown, but they revealed intellect—correction, cunning intellect.

Drummond lifted his champagne glass and aimed the rim in my direction. “Let’s make a toast. To old times.”

I leaned forward and clinked his glass. “Old times.”

 

AuThursday – Suzanne Jefferies

Watched banner26-IMG_0088Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

 I’m originally from a valley in Wales that rains sheep and folklore about dragons. But right now, I live in South Africa. I’ve done everything from writing press releases about powerboating to trading futures on the South African futures exchange. I love chocolate, rainy days, and jiu-jitsu.

How do you make time to write?

 A thousand words a day squeezed in between meetings or deadlines or waiting for the wash cycle to end.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

 I believe in story block. Sometimes, the story takes a while to show up. When it does, I can write. Until then, I read.

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

 Contemporary and paranormal are my preferred genres, with varying heat levels in each. I love to write erotica, for me, it’s poetry about the body and soul.

 How are you publishing your recent book and why?

Wild Rose Press are my publishers. With every new book, I learn from the pros – that’s what traditional publishing offers, and it’s invaluable.

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

 Totally an introvert. It means my work is best suited to me; writing is lonely, it’s just you, your machine/notepad, and the story.

 What is your favorite motivational phrase?

 “Just do it.”

 What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 The road is long, winding, with slopes and inclines. Sometimes it’s tough, and sometimes you’re freewheeling. Sometimes there are road bandits, other times a wise sage. But it’s a journey – keep one foot in front of the other.

 Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website www.suzannejefferies.com, or Facebook SuzanneJefferiesAuthor or Twitter @suzannjefferies

Watched_w12142_med Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

 “His gaze on me is like a caress on the back of my neck; my senses alert to the pleasure that’s to come. He likes to walk behind me. His shoes scrape against the tar—the sta-stop rhythm.

I know he’s there. Waiting.
I know he’s there. Watching.
His face flashes in the reflection of a car window. In the reflection of a paned-glass window. Distorted night lights, strangers, and him. Sometimes I try to give him the slip. Turn a different corner. Run up a different pathway. But, after a beat or two, he’s there. That same sta-stop rhythm.”

AuThursday – Paul Lonardo

Paul_Lonardo_APlease welcome writer Paul Lonardo to the Clog Blog.  Paul can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve been writing in various forms my entire adult life. I really began telling stories in the medium of film when I was a teen, making movies with my friends around the neighborhood. I attended a film school in California and came away with an interest in screenwriting. Gradually, I turned to other forms of writing, including short fiction, typically in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. My first novel was in that vein. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of ghostwriting and collaborative nonfiction. As much as I enjoy creating my own characters and stories, I’ve found that the truth really is stranger than fiction, and have been fortunate to work on a number of very interesting and inspired projects with people who needed assistance telling their own amazing stories. Writing romance began as somewhat of an experimental phase for me, and also I believe as a way to get back into fiction writing again. Being more mature now, there is a whole new world of possibilities for me to examine and write about.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?coverEnchantedDesire_w10485_850

It was a big moment having had my first novel published close to twenty years ago by a small press, but a lot has changed since then, particularly in the publishing business. Having been working on nonfiction projects for so long, with the fortune of having several published by larger houses, I was unsure that I would have any success writing and placing my fiction. In 2015, with my first romance novella finding a home with a romance publisher, it gave me the confidence to continue writing, in the romance genre, which led to the publishing of my second romance, Enchanted Desire, published by Wild Rose Press last year. I know have several fiction projects and ideas I am currently working on along with my nonfiction.

 

What excites you most about your current WIP?

SoulAwakening.v5Early on in life I’ve had an interest in all things paranormal, and while that element is certainly present in Soul Awakening, my latest romance novella, due out in May 2017, is more of a pure paranormal story, only instead of involving horror and fear it is encapsulated in a romance, a love story with a bit a twist. I’m hoping this book, Soul Awakening, will jump-start a new stage of my fiction-writing.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I would say a bit of both. The energy I feel when I get into a story that starts to develop ahead of me – which I have to keep up with so it doesn’t get away from me – is very invigorating. You can’t stop until it does, until you catch up with it, or until the story comes to an end. At the same time, once you get to that point, and you catch up with the story, you may have used so much energy in the process that no amount of coffee is going to offset that. The exhaustion sets in then. And that’s a good thing, because rest is really important. Whenever you can, you try to make up for all that lost sleep.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Sometimes, such as when I mentioned above that the story is ahead of you and you’re trying to catch it. When that happens, the story may not be done, and it seems as if everything has stopped and you’re in the dark, not sure where the story should go from there. You try to figure out where to go, and just set off in one direction to continue the story toward its conclusion. If it doesn’t lead anywhere interesting, you can always just go out in another direction. I guess you can call that writer’s block, or just uninspired writing. But as long as you’re writing something, making an attempt, it will happen again where the story is leading you and you are following it.

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

I am very much an introvert. It’s probably one of the reasons why I turned to story-telling early in life, and became a writer. If I was any other way, I may not have found refuge in writing. I believe that being introverted allows me to express myself through my characters in ways that I could never imagine in real life. Writing provides an outlet for so many expressions, feelings and desires that are inhibited or restrained in some way. You hear about certain performers, actors and musicians, who are reserved and shy until they get on stage or in front of a camera. I think there are many writers who are the same way, me being one of them.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I don’t know if what I’m about to say would be considered a literary pilgrimage, but I have mentioned that I had an early interest in the paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. Literary influences ranged for me, but I always tended to gravitate more toward the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, as well as H.P. Lovecraft. So it was with a somewhat morbid fascination for the macabre that I was drawn to a New England college to earn a degree in mortuary science. Yes, an education for people who wanted to work as a mortician, funeral director or embalmer. I would say that this was more of an exploration than a pilgrimage, but it was very short-lived career. Writing romance now, I don’t know what pilgrimage I might embark on in order to get a more comprehensive understanding of this genre, but I am open to suggestions.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

The only thing I would add is that my writing is fluid, and I enjoy writing no matter what the genre or topic. I find being open to change is a form of freedom. That’s why I do as much freelance writing as I can, regardless of how much time I put into my own fiction or collaborative nonfiction. Contributing to a local monthly magazine allows me to write personal profiles on interesting and inspiring people, and I feel fortunate for all the readers who find the topics I write about worthy of their time.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Lonardo/e/B000APQ0Z4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/734960.Paul_Lonardo

http://paullonardo.com/

http://smithfieldtimesri.com/

Join me next week when I interview Susan V. Vaughn.  ~Tina

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Sexcerpt – Temporarily Insane by Vicki Batman

“Detective Allan Wellborn is a childhood friend of Hattie Cooks, but somehow, they can’t get together until…”~Vicki Batman

“I’m sorry. I-I…”

Resting my hands on his shoulders, I murmured against his mouth, “There’s nothing to be sorry for. You’re such a man.”

And his arms embraced me with a longing I’d wanted for many months.

His hands slipped under the hem of my athletic top. The shirt flipped over my head, dropping to the floor. His palm covered my breast, molding and manipulating the flesh.

“OhmyGod.” My head crooked to one side while his lips buzzed light kisses to my ear. My hands skated past his waistband and his underwear, grasping his bare firm bottom.

Abruptly, we stopped groping, grabbing, and kissing. We took a long solid look at each other. I wanted him no matter what and read the same

intent firing in his eyes. Seizing his hand, I yanked him into my bedroom and slammed the door shut.

We enveloped each other.

His forehead met mine. “God, Hattie, I can’t stop. I’ve wanted you for so long, ever since I can remember.”

My lips found the soft spot below his ear. I inhaled the light trace of scent which spelled all man. “I know.” My body screamed in delight as his male part nudged my female part. My mouth pulsed. Removing his shorts became my goal.

Join me on Wednesday this week over at the Nice Girls Writing Naughty Blog. And again, next Thursday to meet a new author. ~Tina

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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

 

AuThursday- Jana Richards

_MG_7506email-Jana Richards

Please welcome multi-genre author Jana Richards.  Jana, I have to ask with so many books, how do you make time to write?

Thank you for having me on your blog! Finding time to write is one of the most difficult things an author faces. I know many authors who work full-time at their day-job, or they have families, especially young children, who need their attention. Somehow they make it work. They get up early and write before work, or late after the kids go to bed. I’m no different. My kids are grown, but I work part-time. However, a staffing issue at work has meant that I’ve been working nearly full-time since October. I think our staff shortage has finally been solved (fingers crossed!) so I can soon go back to my regular part-time schedule. In the meantime, I’ve been writing on weekends, and during the week I try to write something. If I tell myself I only need to write 100 words, essentially a paragraph, it doesn’t seem so daunting. Usually I’ll be able to write more than 100 words, though sometimes even that small number is painful. But I’m moving forward and staying in the story, which is important.

Q:  You’ve written for multiple publishers, what are the benefits and challenges of writing for different publishing houses?

Different publishers can offer different things. For instance, one of my publishers, Carina Press, has name recognition through the Harlequin brand. Another publisher only retains e-publishing rights, so I’m free to self-publish the print books if I wish. The third publisher prints books and novellas over 100 pages, making both print in e-versions available, and saving me the expense and work of doing it myself. And I have the opportunity to meet numerous authors and take part in various promotional opportunities.

Honestly, I can’t see a downside. It’s great to have the opportunity to work with different editors, and I definitely will submit new stories to these publishers, and perhaps new ones in the future!

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

That’s a tough one, like asking which daughter is my favorite! I’m quite fond of the cover for CHILL OUT, my Valentine story. I love the fun, cartoon feel of it, and especially the cute dog on the cover. An English Mastiff named Spike is featured prominently in the story, so I’m pleased to have him on the cover.

Q:  What are you doing to promote your book(s)?

Lots of things – guest blogs, Facebook parties, Twitter blasts, Book Blog tours and paid advertising, among other things. You have to get your name into as many places as you can think of because no one is really sure what sells a book.

Q:  What support are you receiving from your publisher(s)?

CHILL OUT came out January 4, 2016 from The Wild Rose Press. They came up with the concept of the Candy Hearts Romances for Valentine’s Day – each novella’s title in the multi-author series comes from one of the sayings on candy heart candy. Something like 39 novellas in the series will be published right up to Valentine’s Day. The Wild Rose Press is helping us out with promotion by setting up a Rafflecopter draw for a Kindle Fire. The draw will be made on February 14.

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

Oh yes, I’ve received rejection letters, more than I care to remember. When I received the most recent rejection, I wallowed, whined, and generally gave myself a pity party for a few days. And then I pick myself up and tried to figure out what to do next. Do I revise, submit somewhere else, or write something new? The important thing is keep writing and not let a rejection defeat you.

Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

They’ll need something of a thick skin to weather comments from critique partners, editors, and eventually reviewers/readers. They should also know that perseverance is needed in this business. So many people have told me they’ve tried to write a book, but it was just too hard. A published author is simply one who wouldn’t give up. If you want it, don’t give up.

Q: What books can we expect to see in the near future?

Like I said, CHILL OUT just released on Jan.4. Aside from that, I’ve designated 2016 as my year for finishing things; I currently have three romance series in various stages of incompleteness! At the moment I’m working on a series I call “Love in the North Woods”. It’s about three sisters who inherit a fishing lodge in Minnesota from their grandfather and try to bring it back to life, while at the same time trying to solve the mystery of their parents’ deaths.

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

Website:  http://www.janarichards.com

Blog:  http://janarichards.blogspot.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JanaRichardsAuthor

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JanaRichards_

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards

Newsletter Signup: http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2892274Jana_Richards

Google+ Profile:  https://plus.google.com/100820406211390323245

 

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Jana’s latest release, CHILL OUT. ~Tina