Sunday, April 24, 2011

Featured Spotlight Author Interview with Edie Ramer


Edie says she is funnier on the page than in real life. An award-winning bestselling Kindle author, she writes paranormal books with an attitude. She believes that one of the best things she’s done for herself is to become an indie author.

Free Book Giveaway Opportunity
Edie is generously offering to give away a free digital copy of one of her delightful books to one lucky person.  Just comment for your chance to win the e-book of your choice – Cattitude, Dead People, or the newest, Dragon Blues. Remember to include your email address, if it is not shown on your profile page, so I can notify you if you are selected from the random drawing to be held on April 30th at 11:45PM.


Laurie:  I am thrilled to have Edie Ramer as my guest author this week.  I positively adored her first two books and I so looking forward to reading more from her. Hello, Edie and welcome.

Edie:  Hi Laurie.  Thanks for inviting me and I look forward to talking a bit about my writing.

Laurie: First off, what can you tell us about a favorite character from one of your books?

CattitudeEdie:  Only one? Ack! Belle from Cattitude, who switched bodies with a woman but kept her cat attitude, is a favorite. But I have a favorite hero, too. Noah Long, the dragon who turned into a man in Dragon Blues, my latest paranormal romance. One reason I love him because he’s so unlike the normal romance hero. Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in the original Star Trek is my inspiration for Noah. He’s not logical like Spock, but he’s Zen-like, with a calm center. Until the villain tries to harm the heroine. Then his inner dragon roars out.

Laurie:  I loved Belle, too.  She just sort of personified everycat to me. You did a superb job there and your affinity with felines really shines through.  I’m of the “Spock” generation so I know I will love Noah! Do you have an excerpt of Dragon Blues you can share with us today?
 
Edie:  I sure do! This excerpt is from the end of the first chapter.

He was a solitary creature by nature, but there was a difference between being alone and lonely. At least this time he knew better than to do something that would make it worse instead of better.
He turned off half the lights, then climbed the back staircase to his rooms above the shop. His furniture in the living room was dark reds and black, and the lamps and the pictures gleamed with touches of gold and silver. A meow came from the black chair in the corner. Mystic, curled up, wisely staying away from the fracas. On the table next to the black chair, a tenor saxophone glimmered in the dusky light.

Noah crossed the room, bent and picked Mystic up. Her body was warm, pliant. He sat, draping her on his lap. She allowed him to pet her, her body rumbling with purrs.

“I have you,” he said. Usually he had more than one cat, but he’d seen too many die. Every death wore on his soul. Even beasts had souls, and sometimes lately he thought his was rubbed down to translucency. Like a fine silk cloth, so thin only threads remained.
A siren wailed outside. Mystic meowed, jumped off him and padded into the kitchen.

Dragon Blues (Dragon series)
He didn’t follow her. He needed something to fill the gaping emptiness inside him. To smooth his rippled emotions. To bring him peace.

A need roared in his chest. Not for food, not for liquor, not for women.

Music. That’s what had kept him sane this all these years. Kept him alive.

He picked up the saxophone, the metal smooth beneath his fingers, bringing him a small measure of peace, mending the torn threads of his soul.

Then he lifted it to his lips, took a breath, closed his eyes and played “Is That All There Is?” The Peggy Lee version. Slow and sexy and sad.

The sounds outside faded, and nothing mattered. Not Beauty, not the thief, not the lonely, lonely years. Just the music that poured through him and out of him. Out of his soul.

When he finished, he sat in the chair for long moments as night invaded the room, darkness falling around him like a magician’s cloak.

“Is that all there is?” he whispered to the silent room. “Is that it?”

A noise answered, someone knocking on the alley door.

-------------end of excerpt-----------

Laurie:  Ok, Edie.  You got me. I have got to find out who this guy is.  So tell us, where do you dream of traveling to and why?

Edie:  The United Kingdom. Probably because of my love of historicals. I’d love to see London, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Or course, Italy for the food and wine. Since I’ll be in the neighborhood, I suppose I could stop off in France.

I’ve wanted to visit Australia for a long time, too. Now my critique partner lives in Perth, and that gives me extra incentive to go. 

Laurie: I have a unquenched desire to visit Australia, also, and I will pick up anything I can find about that country. It fascinates me.   What is the next big thing you have going on now?

Edie:  Misty Evans and I are putting together an e-anthology of short stories with nine or ten other authors, many of them well-known print authors. I want to tell out more but it won’t be out until September and it’s too early to talk about it.

Dead People (Haunted Hearts)I’m writing the second book in my Haunted Hearts series. The hero is Joe, the heroine’s best friend from Dead People, the first book of the series. Joe is another unusual hero. He’s a ghost who’s learned how to use ectoplasm so well that the heroine thinks he’s alive. For a dead man, he has a huge appetite for life. This makes him a fun character to write. I hope to have his book up in two months.

Laurie: Fantastic! Dead People is a great story and I am excited to hear it’s first in a series.    What else can you tell us about your critique partner. Do you have beta readers, also?

Edie:  Yes! My CP Michelle Diener is brilliant. Her historical suspense, In a Treacherous Court, will be coming out on August 2nd, 2011 with Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books. It’s the first in a series, and it’s amazing.

I’ve also had many beta readers. I haven’t been able to afford a freelance editor, so I count on my beta readers to find errors, plot holes, inconsistencies, etc. With Cattitude I had six beta readers. I can’t remember how many I had with Dead People, but with Dragon Blues, I only had two. By then, I trusted myself more.

Laurie:  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Edie:  The realization that the strong women in my books who don’t complain are a lot like my mother. It’s odd because I would never think of my mother as a heroine. (Especially since my heroines have love scenes… Yuck. Do not want to go there.) But in a smaller, not saving the world way, my mother would qualify as a heroine. My father died when I was five, and left my mother to raise five kids between the ages of three and ten. She did it without complaint, though I know how hard that must have been for her, financially and emotionally.
Laurie:  Your mom is a wonderful role model, then, that’s for sure. I can not imagine raising five children all on my own. That is extraordinary.   Do you have a Website or Blog?

Edie:  Yes, thank you for asking. It’s http://ediearmer.com. I have a blog on my webpage. I try to blog at least a couple times a week. I also blog every other Monday on Magical Musings. The Magical Musings crew includes 11 writers, all of us published, and we often do giveaways.

I can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

My books are available at most places that sell digital books, including Amazon and Barnes&Noble, Smashwords, and most e-book retailers.

Laurie:  Great!!  Thanks for taking time out to visit with me today, Edie. I enjoyed talking with you.

Edie:  Laurie, thank you so much for inviting me to your place and for asking such great questions!

Be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a FREE digital copy of Cattitude, Dead People, or Dragon Blues – Winner’s Choice!

Dragon Blues (Dragon series)CattitudeDead People (Haunted Hearts)                                                                               
Here are the direct links to my reviews of Cattitude and Dead People

Monday, April 18, 2011

Featured Author Spotlight Interview with N. R. Williams


"I've been inventing fantastical stories since I started talking eons ago. It's fun to create new creatures and new worlds or to elaborate on this one."

Laurie:  Good morning, N.R.!  I am so pleased to have this opportunity to get to know a little more about you and your recently published high fantasy novel, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

N.R.:  Thank you, Laurie for having me on your blog. I really appreciate it.

Laurie:  Who is your favorite character in your book and what can you say about him that will make us love him, too?

N.R.:  Hands down, my favorite character is Prince Healden. He is everything I would love to find in a man. Intelligence, sense of humor, brave, loyal, thoughtful…I could go on. In fact, when I developed him, I purposely planned that he would be wonderful.  He is manly yet sensitive.

Laurie:  Ummm, yes. He sounds pretty darn near perfect to me, also. Could you please share a short excerpt for us? 

N.R.:  Sure! Happy to. This is from very early in the book and will give you an idea of Prince Healden's personality.

The resounding whack caused Healden to stop.

“Of all the fools I have ever had in my service, you are an oaf unequaled in negligence.” Meldan raised his rod for another strike.

“Come Meldan,” Healden said, “What has the boy done to displease you so?”

“Look at my cape.” Meldan thrust the material at Healden.

Healden gazed at the burgundy silk. “Why?”

Meldan’s face contorted into a frown. He pointed. “Here.”  A small stain darkened the hem of the garment.

“I warned you against bringing your fine clothes.”

“I will not be forced to wear rags.”

Meldan’s face became so red that Healden thought steam might come off it.  He suppressed his smile.  It would only serve to make the duke angrier.

We have nothing available to clean the silk here in Northwode, your Grace, beating your servant will hardly change that.”

“A man of nobility must keep the commoners in submission.”

“Not all agree with you, Meldan.  The people of Gil-Lael deserve respect and fair treatment.  The King has worked tirelessly to ensure that old attitudes change and I will do the same.” Healden turned his gaze on the boy.  His tunic was muddy and torn along the hem and a welt had formed on his cheek where the rod had hit him. “What is your name?”

“Tyesis, Highness.”

“If you beat Tyesis again, he will no longer serve you.  I will find work for the boy.  Now if you will excuse me, I have business.” Healden left.    

--------------end of excerpt--------------


Laurie:  So, what do you have going on these days?  Your first book is out and from the reviews I’ve seen, readers are really taking to it.  What next?

N.R.:  I am currently working on the sequel to The Treasures of Carmelidrium titled, The Rise of Lord Sinon. I have at least four books in this series and am open to doing more. In addition to that I have two novellas I’m developing and I have written a short story, titled, The Magic of Windlier Woods. My short story will be available as a FREE e-book soon. In fact, I just received news that The Magic of Windlier Woods will be available on Amazon in Kindle format next week and it should be available on Smashwords within the next several weeks.  Yippee!!



Laurie:  Wow! That’s a lot of irons in the fire! I’ve just started reading The Treasures of Carmelidrium and I can tell you this, it’s positively engrossing. For you, what is the hardest part of writing a book?

N.R.:  Invariably I always come to a part where the story needs something special. Right in the middle. I contact my critique group and have a pow wow. Then I come away with several possibilities to make the story shine.

Laurie:  So you have critique partners. Tell us more how it all works and comes together for you.

N.R.:  Yes, I have been in a critique group for over 16 years. This is changing, since once you're published you don’t have time for a slow pace. I have an agreement with two fellow authors and bloggers to exchange work. Once that is done I send it to an editor, after making all the corrections I have another friend, writer, fellow blogger who will be my Beta Reader. The writing community is full of wonderful people.


Laurie:  How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

N.R.:  This changes with each story. One of my current stories has a bird as the protagonist. When I developed this story I knew I wanted a new series. I also knew I didn’t want to do vampires, werewolves or dragons. I wanted something no one was doing. After months of thinking about it I finally decided on this bird. She is strong, brave and compassionate. I will tell you, she doesn’t remain a bird for very long. Hint, hint.

Laurie:  Cool! That does sound different…and intriguing.  Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

N.R.:  Yes, and this is important, don’t ignore what I’m about to say. You need to write, read in the genre you’re writing in, read books on writing or search the web for blogs that share the same information, you need to connect with other writers, be in a critique group, attend workshops or conferences, take classes if workshops are not available. In other words, spend time learning your craft. In addition, your friends and family are not good critique partners and editors. They love you and don’t want to hurt your feelings.

Laurie:  That seems like very sound advice, to me. Thanks so much for so succinctly summing up such important and universal recommendations. Do you have a Website or Blog?

N.R.:  Yes, here’s the URL for my blog: http://nrwilliams.blogspot.com/

Laurie:  Well, that’s about all we have for today. So, in closing, do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

N.R.:  Without my readers I am nothing. I’d love to communicate with you, meet your book club and hear your thoughts.

Laurie:  Awesome!  Thanks so much for talking with us here today and for sharing your insights and thoughts on the art of writing. I’ve enjoyed this and wish you the very best going forward. I know you will do very well in all your ongoing endeavors.

Reader's - Take a look at this wonderful 5 Star Review from Becky on Goodreads.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guest Blog Spot with Leanore Elliott


Today, I welcome Leanore Elliott as a guest poster.


Are Muse’s Real?
Beasts of ForeverHow did I realize that Muses were real and not just some old Greek myth or joke told by authors?

I write Erotic Paranormal Romance. I say… ‘I’ but in reality, it’s my Muse Leanore, who does the tale spinning. I'm nothing but a glorified proofreader and formatter!

Leanore is a mischievous and wicked storyteller. I’ll dream her stories and then put them to paper (so to speak) I gave her part of the author name because she does have a bit of an ego. She wanted to be Lenore in Edgar Allen Poe’s “Quote The Raven.” So. I kept with what was real and gave her the name but supplied my middle name Lea and spelled it Leanore.

With her, there are no rules inside the story. The story always starts normal, contemporary and then it takes a paranormal turn somewhere. It may come by page 7 or 15 or even waits until chapter two, but it will turn. I get to find out what comes next as long as I keep typing. While the stories have no rules, she does have one. Do not touch the plot and do not change the characters! I’ve had to go to bat with several professional editors on her behalf.  I just tell them I’m superstitious and leave it at that.

So, how did I realize that Muses were real and not just some old myth or joke told by authors? In December 2010, I begin writing a story after a dream. Constance: she’s a psychic and she works with a renegade cop to track down and stop serial killers. I ‘m thrilled, Yes, a great premise! I begin and by chapter two, I know it’s not the story I thought it would be.

First, Connie who is a cold person, numb from seeing too many grisly visions, gets strange emotional visions and sudden urges for her platonic cop-partner Jack. Next, she spins out of control after finding that Jack was not who OR what she thought he was.

Beasts of DesireThe tale became Beasts Of Forever and a whole new world rose from it. Sexy, lustful and extremely lethal. A whole legend built as I sat at my computer in amazement! I wrote this 70,000-word manuscript in three weeks time. I became possessed, my family said. I paid no attention to my surroundings as I typed away in a enthralled trance.

I repeated this with two more novels in the Beasts Series and by February, I had three full length Novels in a series! I called them my erotic epiphany.

Here’s a sentence from each reader review about Beasts of Forever:                                               

*I don't think we are in Kansas anymore…, (lovestodive, Amazon Kindle reader)

*I am a PNR addict and normally read at least 2-3 books per week, this story is different than anything I have read in the past 20yrs! (Miss Kitty, Goodreads)

*This book is very much the erotic masterpiece that I was expecting. (Black Rose Reviews)

*The author, Leanore Elliott, created a completely different set of characters unlike any that I have ever read about. (Karen Fuller, Amazon reader)

And there is MORE Great Reading for you, too!!

SOUL TRILOGY

Soul Sacrifice (Soul Trilogy)
My other creation is the Soul Trilogy, this is a saga-love story that spans a hundred years. The depth of the story will pull you in and the characters become real to you. (Readers have told me this) It will take you everywhere in the field of emotions, and this is a three book erotic series starting with Soul Sacrifice by Silver publishing.

NOWHERE SERIES
The Nowhere Series by Knight Romance Publishing: The Sunset Warrior Book one is the Premiere book of their Nocturnal Seduction Line. And that it does! Seduce you from page one, to the very end! Maddy, a corporate executive is sent to Nowhere Arizona, on a death-bed request from her mother. She meets Devon and her life is literally turned inside out. This book is highly erotic and quirky at times as we learn the Nothing Way of life. The second book is already in with the publisher and titled: Gateway to the Sun.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Author Spotlight Interview with Lyn Horner

Author Bio
Lyn Horner is a baby-boomer born in San Francisco, raised in Minnesota and now residing in Texas with her husband and an ever-changing band of cantankerous, beloved cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn first worked as a fashion illustrator in Minneapolis, and later as an art instructor for Art Instruction Schools (famous for their "Draw Me" heads.) After quitting work to raise her children, she took up writing as a creative outlet. This hobby grew into an enduring love for historical research and the art of crafting stories out of that research. 

A member of Romance Writers of America, Lyn is a former vice president of North Texas Romance Writers and a semi-finalist in the prestigious Orange Rose Contest in 2008. Her first Kindle book, DARLIN' DRUID, has received glowing customer reviews. This epic western romance features a heroine with the gift of second sight. The author knows such a power truly exists, having experienced incidents of clairvoyance herself.

Lyn’s Website is http://texasdruids.com and her blog is http://texasdruids.blogspot.com/ .

Lyn will be giving away a FREE digital copy of Darlin' Druid.  Just comment below the interview for your chance to win. I added a short form so your email address does not display publicly. 




Laurie:  Today I want to welcome Lyn Horner whose debut Western Historical Paranormal Romance, Darlin’ Druid, is currently available in digital format. Thanks Lyn for joining me today.  

Lyn:  Hi Laurie. It’s so nice to be here. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to discuss my new book.

 Laurie:  First off, tell us, what was the catalyst that got you on the path to a writing career?

Lyn:  After a move from Minneapolis to Chicago, I gave up working in the visual arts in order to stay home and raise my two children. But I soon realized I needed a creative outlet, and being a fan of historical romances, I decided to try writing one. That led to years of research, scribbling on notepads and hiding my little “hobby” from family and friends – because I was afraid to admit I liked reading and writing hot love scenes. Silly, right? Now I regard beautifully written, passionate love scenes as works of art.

Laurie:  I doubt you are alone.  I agree with you, emotionally charged love scenes can be really beautiful.  Who is your favorite author?

Lyn:  Diana Gabaldon, without a doubt. I love her Outlander series. The historical settings are so real that I feel like I’m actually there in 18th century Scotland, France and colonial America. As for her main characters, Jamie and Claire, they are like members of my family. Their love story is wrenchingly sad at times, hilariously funny at others and always entertaining. Diana is my idol!

Laurie: I also loved that series. So, what do you find to be the hardest part of writing your books?

Lyn:  Putting my butt in the chair and actually writing! I am easily distracted by all the other things I “need” to do: housework, gardening, ancestry research, reading, TV watching. I’d really like to be three people. Since deciding to publish my first Kindle book, Darlin’ Druid, I’ve also learned how much work is involved in self-publishing and promotion. Then too, I’ve been busy editing and designing my memoir, Six Cats in My Kitchen. I had fun putting together the photo pages and designing the cover, but it did take time away from my writing.  And, I am excited to announce that Six Cats in My Kitchen will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel within the next couple of days.

Laurie:  And that brings me to my next question. Where do you research your books?

Lyn:  At first, I did all my research in libraries. Later, I began collecting books on subjects such as the great Chicago Fire, the history of the Union Pacific Railroad, Mormon history and culture, and Texas ranch life. I now own hundreds of wonderful books, some of which I still refer to, although most of my research is done on the internet these days. It saves loads of time, but I still love books. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that since my own books are only available in electronic format – something I hope to remedy soon -- but I’m kind of old fashioned. I enjoy the weight of a book in my hands, the scent of printed pages and the colorful covers lining my bookshelves. I’m anxious to see my own babies up there.

Laurie:  I bet it won’t be long before your books are in print! It’s obvious that the research you do is meticulous. Aside from that do you plot the event sequences with detail, also or does the story evolve “on the fly” as you write?

Lyn:  I used to be a pantser, but my characters had a habit of dashing off on some hair-brained course with no visible destination. Then I’d have to haul them back two, three, four chapters and set them on a more logical path. This took up way too much time. I’m now a confirmed plotter, although my plots may take some unexpected twists along the way. That’s okay as long as the end goal remains in sight.

Laurie:  LOL!! I’ve not heard it put quite that way before.  You put a little scene in my head that was hilarious! I pictured two ornery kids being dragged home by an irate mom. Do you use a pen name? How did you choose it?

Lyn:  Yes, I decided to use a pen name to allow my family their privacy. Lyn is a nickname. My husband started calling me that almost from our first date -- a hundred years or so ago. Horner is my maiden name. I chose it to honor my parents.

Laurie:  Lyn, you look great for a hundred-and-something-year-old! I understand, Darlin’ Druid is the first book in a planned series. Tell us more, please?

Lyn:  Yes.  It’s called Texas Druids. A wacky title? Perhaps, but it fits the theme of the trilogy, which is about three siblings: Jessie, Tye and Rose Devlin. They are descended from Irish Druid ancestors, and each one possesses a special psychic talent. The first book, Darlin’ Druid, available in Kindle and Nook formats, focuses on Jessie, who sees visions of the future. BTW, I have the book priced at just $.99 currently, and just for a limited time. The second book spotlights Tye’s empathic talent; the third will reveal Rose’s struggle to deal with her gift of healing. Since I write romances, all three siblings have a date with love. Where? In Texas, of course.

Laurie:  Do you have a short excerpt to share with us today?

Lyn:  Sure!  Here’s an excerpt from chapter one when David and Jessie first meet.

Afraid the young soldier might retaliate, David reached out to grasp the woman’s arms, stopping her in mid-swing. “Ma’am, if you’ll just settle down . . . .”

“Let me go!” she shrilled, attempting to wrench free.
He should have complied with her demand, but some primitive instinct made him slip an arm around her and haul her back against him. A sweet scent of lilacs and woman washed over him, and he instantly grew aware of her feminine curves.

She gasped indignantly. “How dare ye? Bithiúnach! Muclach! Take your filthy hands off me.”

Glad he didn’t understand Irish, David cursed under his breath when she rammed her heel into his shin. It didn’t hurt much thanks to his leather boots; nor did the small fists pounding on his arms. But her frantic twisting sent the wrong signal to his male parts.

“Calm down, you little wildcat!” he growled. Releasing her, he stepped back before he humiliated himself.

Whirling around, the woman drew back her arm as if to slap him, only to freeze when their eyes met. A choked sound escaped her lips and the angry color drained from her cheeks. Seeing her sway, David grasped her shoulders to steady her. Her hands clutched his forearms as he returned her wide-eyed stare.

Her eyes were sapphire blue, so dazzling that he had trouble breaking their hold upon him. When he did, he noticed how young she looked – eighteen or twenty, he guessed – and what a beauty she was.

His gaze wandered over her smooth, creamy cheeks and dainty nose then lingered on her pink parted lips. Forcing himself to look elsewhere, he noted the dark auburn curls framing her brow. Her ugly bonnet hid the rest of her hair, but he bet it would look like silk when she let it down.

Then he noticed how rapidly her breasts rose and fell, and desire surged through him, swift and strong. He felt a loco urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her. Reluctantly dragging his gaze back to her sapphire eyes, he wondered what had come over her. A moment ago, she’d been mad as a hornet. Now she stared at him as if she were seeing a ghost.

Dazed by the sight of him, Jessie wondered vaguely if she was having one of her visions. Her gaze kept returning to his gray-green eyes. Crowned by dark brows with an eerily familiar slant, they matched those she’d so often seen in her dreams. Could this tall, uniformed stranger be the man she had left home to find? She hadn’t expected her quest to bear fruit so soon. And the longer she studied his sun-bronzed, square-jawed face, arrow-straight nose and unyielding mouth, the more she doubted he was the one.

Those rakish features were hard, not gentle, and his hauntingly familiar eyes did not caress her like the ones in her dreams. Instead, they devoured her, making her stomach flutter and her heart race. When he boldly stared at her breasts, they tingled as if he were actually touching them. Stunned by her reaction, she inhaled sharply, catching the scent of shaving soap and virile male. She wondered if he would kiss her.

----End of excerpt----

Lyn will be giving away a FREE digital copy of Darlin' Druid.  Just comment below the interview for your chance to win. I added a short form so your email address does not display publicly.


Laurie:  Off to quite the auspicious start, huh? I really like it when there is great chemistry right off the bat.  And, I understand you also have an idea for a historical series set in Ireland. Can you give us a little preview of it?

Lyn:  Yes, this other series sort of on the back burner, for now, is set in Ireland. The first book is partially written. Opening just prior to the Irish Rebellion of 1798 – “The Year of Liberty” – the story will carry my conflicted main characters through the bloody uprising and lead them to a love strong enough to endure defeat. Titled Irish at Heart, this project finished in the semi-finals of the 2008 Orange Rose Contest. A sequel will star one of the supporting characters, a big, tough Scotsman with fists like iron and a heart in need of healing.

Laurie:  Sounds good, Lyn!  Let’s say your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Lyn:  Ireland, absolutely! I’ve been there once on a whirlwind tour, but I’d love to go back and spend a week or two visiting the sites of the 1798 rebellion. That would be fantastic!

Laurie:  I should say so. Who knows, maybe you will get to visit again one day.  By the way, I am currently reading Darlin’ Druid and love it so far -  I’m about 40% into it and love that the magnetic attraction between Jessie and David evident from their first encounter just keeps getting stronger.

Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Lyn.  You have a delightful sense of humor and it has been my pleasure having you as my guest author.

Lyn:  I had fun, too, Laurie.  Thanks! 



Don't  forget to add a comment for an opportunity to win a FREE digital copy of Darlin' Druid. The lucky winner will be notified on April 17th. THANKS!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sporlight Interview with Linda Swift and Giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. She has worked in public education as a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist. These days she enjoys dancing and Tai Chi.

Her first books were published by Kensington. She currently has available six ebooks (two in print),one short story and a book of prose poems. She has two books of fiction, a Haiku collection, and three short stories to be released later in 2011. Linda's latest books are TO THOSE WHO WAIT, contemporary mainstream, Whiskey Creek Press; and SUMMER LOVE, Desert Breeze Publishing. Watch for announcements of later books by visiting her website at www.lindaswift.net.

Get a FREE Book!


Linda will be giving away one copy of SUMMER LOVE,in e-book format, to a lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, just post a comment. Please be sure to include your email address in the comment so I can contact you should you be the winner. You do not have to be a follower to win though I do appreciate it.   
-------------------------------------------------


Laurie:  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Linda:  I was most surprised to learn in the process of writing that characters can "come alive" and take charge of their words and actions. It is an amazing thing when it happens and the plot often goes in a different direction than I had intended. I remember one despicable character who was supposed to have a minor role in the story but he kept asserting himself and he turned out to be a major character who was unforgettable.  His short story is being published this year and the editors have asked me to write a sequel to let readers know what happened after Jake Elrod married the school librarian.

Laurie:  That’s so cool!  Sounds like he is a particularly intriguing creation.  I can’t wait to read his story.  Who are your books published with?

Linda:  Currently, I have books available with The Wild Rose Press, Awe-Struck/Mundania, Willow Moon Publishing, Whiskey Creek Press, and Desert Breeze Publishing. Other work will also be released by Champagne Books and Whimsical Publications as well as Willow Moon later this year. My books are both contemporary and historical women's fiction, romance, mainstream, poetry and short stories. 

Laurie:  That’s a diverse cross-section of publishers.   About your books – are you a Plotter or Pantser?

Linda:  I am definitely a Pantser. I have a "loose" idea of the plot and characters and setting. But when I get the characters talking to each other, the story takes on a life of its own and I become mainly a recorder. I like to write a story with subplots and interesting minor characters and sometimes these people become such strong personalities that they almost overshadow the main characters.

Laurie:  Do you use a pen name?  How did you come up with it?

Linda:  Yes, Linda Swift was my maiden name and I use Swift for writing for several reasons. First, I am the only child of an only child and my branch of the family tree dies with me. My dad and paternal grandmother wrote stories so this is a kind of tribute to their genes. Second, my agent advised me to use a short name because it can be larger on the book cover and easier to remember.

Laurie: Makes sense and seems like good advice.  Do you have any other suggestions for beginning writers?

Linda:  I think the most important thing is to set your mind to being published and work toward that goal consistently. Find your own voice and try to write the stories you want to tell instead of following the current trends. Have faith in yourself. It may not be easy to reach your goal but if you work hard enough, long enough, you can achieve it. I have heard it said that three things make a successful writer. Talent, luck, and hard work. And you only need two of these to succeed.

Laurie:  I really like that particular formula for success. It sounds logical and is easy to remember. OK, moving forward, are you a morning person or a night person? How do you determine that?

Linda:  Neither. I am an afternoon person. Mornings are when I engage in creative procrastination. I will do almost anything to distract myself from working. Nights I find myself exhausted by the day's activities. But from early afternoon until about seven or eight, I am really at my best. Problem is, I like to do everything at that time, take a long walk, use the pool, read, write, visit, and even clean house. I once had a job working 3-11 and I loved it.

Laurie:  Really?  About mid-afternoon, my favorite thing to do is to take a nap. LOL.  Do you have a short excerpt you can share with us?

Linda:  Sure!  Here’s an excerpt from my contemporary romance novel Summer Love. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a free copy in e-book format.
    
The jukebox in the corner blared out an old country-western hit, the sound reverberating to make the salt and pepper shakers tremble on the tabletop.

"That one is too good to waste." Todd looked at Sharon. "Want to dance?"

When she nodded, he took another long draw from his mug and stood up, pulling her toward the tiny dance floor near the jukebox.

"Want to join them?" Derek asked Paula. She shook her head, suddenly overcome with a wave of sadness that threatened to make her cry. Quent made this kind of music and in a club somewhere a woman called Bootsie sang the love songs he played. But she had no right to him. It wasn't fair. Quent was her husband, divorce or no divorce.

Derek took her hand. "It gets better. Let the ghosts go and come dance with me."


This time Paula allowed herself to be led to the other side of the room. Derek pulled her into his arms and began moving to the music. He held her possessively close, not socially correct as Greg had done, and she could feel the hardness of his lean body as the music pulsated between them. He danced well as she had known he would, leading her effortlessly so that they moved as one. It felt good to be held in a man's arms this way. He wasn't her husband to be sure, but Quent was gone and he wasn't coming back to her. And she needed something -- someone -- to fill that void.


The song ended, and another began. Todd and Sharon moved slowly by, arms around each other, Sharon's head resting on Todd's broad shoulder. It made her heart ache to see them. Young love, raging hormones calling out to each other, fragile dreams.


"The bubble bursts too soon, doesn't it?" Derek whispered near her ear.


She nodded, tears stinging her eyes.


"I wouldn't trade places with them for the world. Not unless I could do some things a hell of a lot different."


"Me either," Paula whispered.


"You're my kind of lady," Derek said and brought her hand to his cheek then brushed her palm with his lips sending a wave of longing coursing through her veins.


No, I'm not, Paula told him silently. You are foot loose and fancy free and likely to stay that way. And I'm just a wife without a husband.

-----------end of excerpt-----------

Laurie:  That excerpt seems so believable to me.  I think it would resonate with any woman who has been divorced and wonders how she can  fill that void that seems to want to consume you.  I’m so glad you shared it with us.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Linda:  In my dreams! I would want to go back to England where my husband and I lived a few years ago. I would want to stay at least six months, rent a car, and explore all the places I haven't been and return to most of those I've already seen. Then for good measure, I'd take side trips to Ireland and Scotland while in the British Isles.

Laurie:  That sounds wonderful! Any other parting remarks for your readers?

Linda:  I would like to thank all who have read my work and especially the readers who have let me know how they felt about my books. I hope my characters have "lived" for them as they have for me. And I hope they remember them long after they have closed my books. Then I would feel my time and efforts writing books had been well spent.

Laurie:  Thank you so much for the chance to find out a bit about you.  I enjoyed chatting with you.  I am looking forward to stalking you and watching as new successes find you!

Linda:  It was fun, Laurie. Thanks!



Linda is a multi-published author with books, stories and poetry to her credit.  Read more about her writing and career on her website.  Blurbs for Ms. Swift's two most recent releases are provided below.  Remember to leave a comment, including your email address to enter the Giveaway.  :-)

                                   
                                    TO THOSE WHO WAIT
Leah's husband lives in a locked ward for the mentally ill. Scott and his wife live together in an empty marriage. Day after day as counselor and principal of a small town high school, Leah and Scott forge a bond of love based on respect and common goals. When Leah's son turns from star athlete to using drugs and Scot's daughter gets pregnant by the school board chairman's son, they are forced to choose between their family obligations and desire.      Contemporary Romance
Buy it in Trade Paperback To Those Who Wait


SUMMER LOVE
When Paula's husband leaves her to "find himself" after years of a good marriage, she is devastated. Adding to her hurt and anger, he joins a band and dates the band's sexy young singer. Forced to start over again in the job market, she goes back to school for a degree in Special Education.

Here she meets Derek, a retired naval officer, back in college to qualify for a second career. As Paula learns to cope in a whole new world, she is surprised to "find herself" falling in love again. And starting over proves to be better than she could have ever imagined.   Contemporary Romance
   
Buy it in Kindle format Summer Love