Hi! It's terrific to see you here today!
I'm still working on the novel I started during NaNoWriMo, bringing it up to publishing length, then rewrite, edit and polish. Since that's the story that is running around in my head these days, I thought I'd share another snippet. This is an elven urban fantasy currently entitled Cross Keys.
In this unedited excerpt, the heroine, Kameo, and her younger sister are attending the King's Harvest Ball in the company of Kam's boyfriend, Caleb. While he's away for the moment, the sisters are sizing up the room.
(Note: Having longer lives than humans, elves have extended developmental stages, and at age twenty-two the younger sister Esty would still be considered a teen.)
"Did Aaron McClanahan ask you to dance?" Kam kept her voice low.
Esty blushed and dropped her eyes. "He did. Oh, Kammy, he is so wonderful."
"Wonderful? Oh, girl, you have it bad." Still, Kam wondered if it was mostly hormones talking. At twenty-two, Esty's body was still developing. She'd been in love three times in the past year.
As if to prove her point, her sister suddenly pulled on her sleeve. "Speaking of handsome, Seth Lormarc just arrived. What a waste to give all that sexiness to someone I can't have."
"Hush," Kam warned. "Mother would be appalled to hear you talk like that."
"Well, don't you think he's sexy?" Esty wasn't the least bit cowed by her sister's attitude. "He's more your age too." Esty's eyes danced. She loved to tease her about the five years difference in their ages.
"Stop that. I would never think about a Lormarc in that way." But in fairness, Kam turned to take a look at him. The man in question, who must be in his early thirties, was deep in conversation with his grandfather Harad, the head of the Lormarc family, and with his great uncle Jermon, so all she could really see was his profile. The strong sculptured features said don't mess with me.
Probably bad tempered and arrogant too, she thought. His black hair was tousled in a windswept, casual style; his body muscled and taunt, as if containing an energy resistant to control. She supposed he might be considered attractive—if you liked the type.
She scanned the room until she found Caleb, charming, polished. Compared to him, something about Seth Lormarc seemed wild, untamed. Esty's voice brought her back to the conversation.
"Well, I think he's cute. Ooh, and there is his equally handsome cousin Rhyder." Esty stifled a giggle. "I'd take either one of them. Who cares about some old family feud."
Thanks for spending part of your day with with. Come back soon!
My publisher has a new website and upgraded Facebook page. Both are still under construction to some extent. You'll see new things rolled out over the next few days or even weeks, but they promise to keep you updated on the latest events and releases.
And you can buy your books directly from the website! All the titles should be up by early this week (the official opening). Drop over and take a peek. Be sure to bookmark it to come back often! :)
(BTW: You'll find my books listed under the Feral line (paranormal romance))
Facebook page: ttps://www.facebook.com/etopiapress
Grab your coffee mugs and join my chat with author Stacy Juba, who writes both YA and adult fiction and has brought us examples of both.
Since some of you may not know Stacy, let's start with her bio.
BIO: After years of working as a reporter, Stacy now concentrates on writing fiction and freelancing. She is trained in Reiki, a form of hands-on healing which she practices on friends and family. When not busy with her husband and family, Stacy enjoys doing Tai Chi, yoga, meditating, playing Just Dance games on Wii, and reading mystery and romance novels.
Stacy Juba loves to write stories about Characters at a Crossroads: individuals who are finding themselves and getting on the right life path after overcoming obstacles. Her goals are to entertain readers of all ages as well as inspire them. Stacy has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag.
She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers.
Ally: Stacy, I know my readers would love to know something about you that you'd never include in a bio.
STACY: I am a huge Star Wars fan (original trilogy.) My all-time favorite movie is Return of the Jedi.
Ally: I'd like to talk about your Young Adult writing, since that's includes your paranormal book, Dark Before Dawn. What made you decide to write YA?
STACY: I wrote my first YA book, Face-Off, when I was still a teenager myself. I wrote it in study halls when I was 16, back in the early 1990s. I was a huge hockey fan at that time and an avid reader. I couldn’t find any hockey novels to read so decided to write my own. I started writing my second YA novel, Dark Before Dawn, in my early twenties as I still related to that YA age group. The manuscript wound up in my drawer for several years and I finally revised it in my thirties. It was as if I had never set it aside as it was so easy for me to get back into the story. I think we all remember the awkwardness of being a teenager, that pressure of trying to find yourself and fit in. I wanted to get the book into the hands of young readers as I thought it had a strong message about being true to yourself.
Ally: Other than the age of your main character, what makes a YA book different than adult fiction?
STACY: Whether it’s an adult novel or a YA novel, I write about characters at a crossroads in their lives. A fork in the road. My adult characters are more set in their ways and often need to change old patterns or habits before they can move forward. My YA characters are still forming their identities and trying out different personality traits. They are more impressionable and vulnerable to influence from their peers. I think one big difference is that YA authors need to convey the awkwardness and vulnerabilities of adolescence and they need to do it in a way that isn’t condescending. That means the dialogue, narrative and internal thoughts in the book need to be written in a way that teens can relate to. YA authors need to stay on top of trends and have an ear for how teens talk so that the book has a sense of authenticity.
Ally: Tell us about the other types of books you write.
STACY: I have published two adult mystery/romantic suspense novels titled Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, and I am finishing up a sweet romance/romantic comedy called Fooling Around With Cinderella. I have also published a couple of children’s picture books illustrated by my father: The Flag Keeper, a patriotic story about flag etiquette, and The Teddy Bear Town Children’s Bundle, a collection of children’s stories. Although I get a lot of ideas for books and stories, there is always one idea that excites me the most. It might be for an adult book, a YA book, or a children’s book. I can’t focus on anything else until I get that idea out of my system.
Ally: How do you choose your main characters and what type of qualities should they have?
STACY: It varies. Kate Langley, the main character in my adult novel, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, is an obit writer and editorial assistant for a daily newspaper. She is haunted by events from her past and is guilt-ridden until she starts investigating a 25 year old cold case. Kris wants to solve the case and bring justice to the family as a way of redeeming herself from her past mistakes. Along the way, she falls for the victim’s nephew and uncovers long buried secrets. I wanted to write about a newspaper editorial assistant as I once had that job myself. One of my tasks, which Kris shares, was compiling the 25 Years Ago Today column from the microfilm. As I got to know Kris, I found myself intrigued by her and I wanted to tell her story. She is a sympathetic, likable character, but her family is very critical of her and as a result, Kris is extremely critical of herself. I wanted to explore how meeting this other family, the family of murder victim Diana Ferguson, impacts her life and her character growth.
Ally: Before we show readers your books, I have a few quick answer questions:
a. your favorite place to shop: Amazon
b. pantser or plotter – Plotter
c. an item on your bucket list – Spending more time in Europe
d. supernatural ability you'd most like to have – To heal people
e. last movie that made you cry – Toy Story 3
Ally: Thanks so much for visiting, Stacy! Now for the books...
| | Dark Before Dawn: Psychic chills and thrills in a deserted Maine beach town. Dawn Christian has been psychic since she was seven years old and has always considered herself an outcast. Even her own mother discourages her talent, so Dawn has kept her abilities quiet and feared a lifetime of loneliness. When she gets involved with a fortuneteller and two teenage girls who share her mysterious perception, Dawn finally belongs to a group. As her intuition strengthens, so does Dawn's self esteem. However, when she learns her new friends may be tied to two freak "accidents" in town, she has an important choice to make....continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her.
This novel is appropriate for 12 and up.
Barnes & Noble
| | Twenty-Five Years Ago Today:
Should we dig for the truth when Pandora's Box is a coffin of buried secrets? For twenty-five years, Diana Ferguson's killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, not only does she fall in love with Diana's sexy nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the obituary page herself. A unique blend of literary mystery, cozy mystery, and romantic suspense.
Barnes & Noble
Sony Reader Store
Thanks for stopping by today ~ Please come back soon!
Fantasy released in time for Christmas!
Kristin Pulioff has sprinkled her magic again into book three of the Princess Madeline trilogy! If your tween or teen loves princesses, brave heroes and fairytales of daring-do, you need to put this under the tree (or on their ebook reader!)!
After a season of battle and rebuilding, the Kingdom of Soron is exhausted. With the return of the exiled wizards, the Spring Faire, and her upcoming wedding, Princess Madeline is looking forward to a peaceful season of celebration.
When the mysterious green dragon reappears, threatening the kingdom and the king, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden won’t rest for long. Faced with this incredible new danger, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden must find a way to lead their kingdom and secure their future.
Can they find the answers hidden within their mother’s cryptic messages from the past, or will the dragon destroy everything they hold dear? Follow Princess Madeline as she embarks on a dangerous new adventure to save her kingdom and her family.
A new voice called out, causing Madeline’s heart to skip. Madeline recognized Elias’s face hidden beneath the scowl, and saw his white knuckles tightened around a scroll.
“Elias, what is it?” she asked, running through the crowd.
His eyes darted around as he spoke. “It’s the king. We need to stop him. Where is your father?”
“Elias, what are you talking about?” Daniel asked, trying to grab his arms and calm him down.
“There’s no time to lose, it’s right here,” Elias shot them a warning look and unrolled his papers, pointing to a specific line.
Madeline and Daniel leaned over to see what he was pointing to. Her stomach dropped as she read the words.
“The red dragon dies?” Madeline questioned, looking up to Elias for answers. “I thought you said we already captured the red dragon.”
“We did, a long time ago. There is only one red dragon left,” he said forcefully, pointing directly to the banners waving in the wind above.
“The red dragon of Soron,” Daniel whispered, looking up at the red dragons displayed on the golden banners.
“It’s the king; we need to find him now. Where is he?” Elias asked, pulling at her wrists with urgency. “Your Highness, we need to protect him.”
“I don’t know,” Madeline said looking around frantically, trying to find his crimson robe in the crowd. Her heart leapt in her chest and tears welled in her eyes as they ran between the booths, leaving a trail of fallen bread, flowers, and scarves in their wake. People hardly had time to move to avoid the princess in her race to find the king.
“Father!” she yelled, seeing his robe in the distance. Engrossed in conversation, King Theodore admired the woven blankets Prince Elliott and his vendors displayed. The sight of him eased the worry on her heart, and she slowed to a walk, composing herself as a princess.
“Father” she said, walking towards him. Her feet stopped in shock as her neck pulsed with heat. A new feeling of dread filled her, as she watched the green dragon rise above the edges of the stadium, digging its talons into the newly rebuilt wooden thatching and stone columns.
Without warning, the dragon lurched forward and shot a burst of flame directly towards the king. Madeline screamed, watching her father disappear beneath the fiery orange flames.
Princess Madeline and the Dragon is an exciting and thoroughly satisfying final chapter in this fantasy/adventure series. As she did with books one and two, the author has created a fantasy world in a rich medieval setting that we can believe in--and want to visit, over and over.
Confronted by a terrible foe and a puzzle to unravel, the determined heroine and her brother race to save the kingdom with a little help from her very own charming prince Daniel.
I won't give you more of the plot for fear of revealing spoilers, but along with adventure, a sweet romance, and a theme that centers on the power of love, you may find a surprise or two!
Don't let your young readers miss this one! The entire trilogy would be a fantastic holiday gift!
Hi, everyone! I hope you're having a great week!
While readers in the US are getting over their turkey hangover, I thought we'd add a little romance to our lives and prepare for the next holiday with author Sherry Gloag and her Christmas novel, Name the Day.
Since Sherry doesn't drink coffee anymore, perhaps she'll show us her bio while the rest of us are filling our mugs.
Ally: I asked Sherry to reveal something beyond the scope of the normal bio, and she picked this confession...
SHERRY: I must be the only Pisces who is afraid of water if I don’t know the depth of it.
Ally: Now that we've gotten acquainted with you, I'd love to hear more about your writing and what type of books you write.
SHERRY: I write contemporary , two flames, romances with a touch of suspense, and last year ventured into the Regency world of romance, too.
Ally: Romance novels usually require a happily ever after ending. Do you believe such a thing exists in real life? What about love at first sight?
SHERRY: I have seen married couples who have enjoyed the HEA. They are also the first to admit the walk hasn’t always been easy, but it is what you are both prepared to put into the relationship that makes the difference.
Love at first sight? Once again, it happens for some. I know one person who ‘got her man’ and they are blissfully happy. She will tell anyone who cares to listen that for her it was instantaneous. I watched a program on TV where the woman said she walked into a pub, saw this guy, and walked right up to him and asked him to marry her because she wanted his babies. At the time of the show, they’d been married for ten years and looked blissfully happy. (You could see it in their eyes.)
Ally: How, when and why did you begin your first novel?
SHERRY: My first attempt at writing a novel was while I was still at school. It was confiscated, and I was so upset, it took a while for me to try again!! Rofl.
Ally: What do you like the best about your main character?
SHERRY: My preference is for strong characters who are then challenged to such an extent they have to completely re-evaluate their former perceptions. My main female character in Name The Day finds that her childhood beliefs are sorely tested when certain facts come to light. My hero is a practical and very successful man, who, when he falls heart-line-and-sinker for my heroine, finds himself in unfamiliar emotional territory.
Ally: Let's finish up with a few Quick Answer Questions:
- who is the hardest person to buy for on your Christmas or other holiday list? My husband – because I like to give presents that will be used and he’s got everything he wants and needs!!
Ally: Thanks so much for visiting today. Best of luck with your books. We'd loved to take a peek at your Christmas story before you go...
- favorite time of day to write: Either early morning or later in the evening/night when I am less likely to be disturbed.
- one item on your bucket list: I’d love to visit Alaska to see the aurora borealis. While this may not seem like a big wish, it is something that has always fascinated me.
- soaking bath or quick shower: bath
Renowned portrait artist, Samantha Brown is through with men. After dealing with an overbearing father and cheating ex-fiance, Samantha is not in the market for romance, of any kind. Give her a blank canvas, some paints and brushes and she’s in charge of her life. There was no room in her life for love, so why did she find herself giving in to Rafael Santini’s outrageous demand that she paint his portrait?
Satisfied with his upcoming marriage of convenience Rafael Santini isn’t in the market for love. So, how come he finds the pint-sized artist stirring up emotions he didn’t have time for?
An accident forces Rafael to re-evaluate his life and wonder whether he can teach Samantha the art of love.
Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes & Noble
Astraea Press Smashwords Itunes Kobo
Why couldn’t the stubborn man get it? She wasn’t giving him any favours at the expense of her other clients. In his case, money would not talk. Almost all her clients were well-heeled, but most understood the time restraints. After all, as she told each person, including Rafael Santini, who contracted a commission they wouldn’t want her to rush their painting and offer them a sub-standard product, would they?
“Give me the names of your clients and I will arrange to exchange places in your queue.” His unequivocal belief pulsed across the airwaves. Did the stupid man expect her to break the confidences of her clients?
“Tell me, Mr. Santini,” she asked in her most dulcet tone, “if I asked for a list of your clients would you hand them over, simply because I wanted something?”
“Don’t be stupid woman. It’s not the same thing at all. I’m a businessman.”
Would someone please save me from stupid arrogant men, Samantha offered in silent plea to the ether without expecting any response.
“I may not deal in electronics and communications systems, or equipment for the world of espionage, secret agents, and private investigators, Mr. Santini, but I do maintain a strict code of integrity and honour and customer confidentiality.”
“Why would you need confidentiality to daub a few colours on a piece of paper?”
Is this guy for real? Does he think insults and condemnation will get him what he wants?
“Let me get this straight. You want my agreement to let you queue jump the rest of my clients, who, incidentally have all signed contracts to be here on specified dates at specific times, and then you will be quite happy for me to go around publicising the fact you are not only having your portrait done, but that you bullied, harassed and threatened me into agreeing to your terms? I don’t think so. Not to mention that in many cases the commission is usually a gift for someone special and total secrecy is not only expected it is essential.”
The silence at the other end of the phone was almost deafening.
* * * * *
Thanks for taking time to visit with us today. Happy Holiday Season! Come back soon!
Happy Thanksgiving 2013!!
November 28 is Thanksgiving Day in the USA! I hope everyone will have a wonderful day and an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends.
I can't think of a better way to remember the true meaning behind this holiday than to quote the words of a man this nation was also remembering this past week:
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
P.S. Check back on Friday for our regular Coffee Chat.
I have a special treat this week--a Sunday edition of the Coffee Chat!
I'm pleased to welcome cozy mystery author Edith Maxwell, sharing her personal stories, a little writing wisdom, and her latest book, A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die.
How would you like your coffee, Edith?
EDITH: I drink a custom combo of a French Roast decaf and caffeinated beans that I grind every morning. I drink two cups with a splash of whole milk and while it’s only one-third caf, it’s very satisfying and all I need to get going in the morning.
Ally: Since my magic pot can duplicate anything, I'll have you fixed up in a minute. In the meantime, please share your bio and an additional fact that isn't in the official version.
Edith Maxwell's Local Foods mysteries let her relive her days as an organic farmer in Massachusetts. A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die features geek-turned-farmer Cam Flaherty, a quirky Locavore Club, a Girl Scout earning her locavore* badge, and locally sourced murder. ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part will release in May, 2014.(*Ally note: locavore: one who eats locally grown foods whenever possible.)
She has also published short stories of murderous revenge, most recently “Breaking the Silence” in Best Crime Stories of 2014: Stone Cold (Level Best Books) and “The Stonecutter” in Fish Nets (Wildside Press). Edith's alter-ego Tace Baker authored Speaking of Murder featuring Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau (Barking Rain Press). Edith, a Quaker, holds a PhD in linguistics. The second book in the Speaking of Mystery series, Bluffing is Murder, will release in July, 2014. Although a fourth-generation Californian, Edith lives north of Boston with her beau and thee cats. You can find her at on Facebook, @edithmaxwell, and www.edithmaxwell.com.
As for something not in my bio, I ran the Boston Marathon on a charity number in 1998. It was a huge accomplishment to train for and complete it. I finished in five hours, sixteen minutes, and raised over $100 per mile for the Arthritis Foundation.
Ally: Congrats on that marathon run! You should be allowed to live on those laurels forever. :) Now, let's get down to the writing business. I know you write cozies, but why did you choose what you refer to as foodie mysteries?
EDITH: I love food. I love to cook, I love to grow what I cook, and I love eating! I write about an organic farmer, so it only made sense to incorporate local foods in season into the stories.
Ally: I'm always interested in how other authors write. What is your particular schedule?
EDITH: Every morning, usually by six thirty or seven, I get my coffee and sit down at my desk in my upstairs home office. Best commute ever! I first check email, Facebook, and favorite blogs for about an hour. I push out news of the day’s topic at my group blog, wickedcozyauthors.com. And then I open Scrivener and start writing. When I’m writing a new book, as I am now, I set myself a goal of writing at least one thousand words every weekday.
I usually accomplish that goal or more by around eleven. Then I go to the gym for an hour’s brisk walk. I use the afternoons for writing guest posts like this one, arranging new speaking or signing gigs, or doing any of the other many pieces of work that being an author entails. Sometimes I sit in my grandfather’s rocker and read. Occasionally I squeeze in a nap on the futon couch (which opens up to be a guest bed when we need it).
Ally: Most authors struggle with marketing. I know I do. What has worked for you?
EDITH: It’s hard to know what my most effective marketing avenue is. I believe, but don’t have financial proof, that being an active part of the large community of readers will be my best tactic. I never turn down an opportunity to speak at a library or bookstore. I’m on Facebook all the time everywhere I can be. I comment on other blogs. I tweet fairly regularly. Two places I feel I should spend more time are Goodreads and Pinterest. But if I added those in, I’d never get the book written!
Ally: Even though it may vary, on an average, how long does it take you to write a novel?
EDITH: These days, now that I am a full-time fiction writer, I can do a first draft in four months and give myself four more to polish and revise. I revise a little every day, reading through the scene I wrote the day before, and then I do several major passes on subsequent drafts. I could work harder than that if I had to. I’m working on a proposal for an historical series, so I’m hoping to have to work harder! But my first book, Speaking of Murder, took a year for the first draft and a year to polish, because I was working four days per week. It’s a lot harder to fit in writing time around the edges of a job and a commute.
Ally: I'd like to finish up with some quick answer questions:
Ally: Thanks so much for being here, Edith. I hope you'll visit again. Before you go, I'd love to see your current release.
- Favorite holiday – Thanksgiving! Lots of food, lots of family, no gifts required other than time and love.
- Best childhood memory of a holiday – Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ home a few miles away, and my grandfather writing down our wishes on a scrap of tissue paper and making them vanish up the chimney on their way to Santa Claus. Then the next morning tiptoeing downstairs at home in awe at the transformation in what lay under and near the tree. One year my creative mother made us a puppet theater out of refrigerator box. She painted it, sewed a curtain, and made a dozen hand puppets out of socks. And we were all (four of us) surprised.
- Last vacation – My beau and I drove to New Hampshire and Ottawa last summer to visit his sister and then my Canadian sister. We took it easy, explored the fabulous city of Ottawa, and had some great away time together.
- One item on your bucket list – Just one item? Besides making the New York Times bestseller list, you mean? I have traveled and lived overseas extensively, but I still haven’t made it to Australia, India, or even most of Italy. I have a writer friend to visit in Australia, so that might happen, and Italy is a definite plan in a couple of years.
- Favorite dessert – any super decadent triple chocolate cake, the darker, the better.
It’s harvest time in Westbury, Massachusetts, and novice farmer Cameron Flaherty hopes to make a killing selling organic produce. Cam’s first growing season has gotten off to a slow start, but her CSA is flourishing thanks to a colorful group of subscribers.
When Cam fires her only employee, local handyman Mike Montgomery, because he won’t follow organic growing practices, it seems like just another day at the office―until she finds him with a pitchfork sticking out of his neck. The police suspect Cam, but when their investigation goes nowhere, Cam hunts for the real killer.
In a small New England town full of eccentric locavores, she’ll have to dig up secrets buried deep beneath the soil of her farm.
Other Edith Maxwell titles: www.amazon.com/Edith-Maxwell/e/B001HQ0XU8/
Tace Baker titles: www.amazon.com/Tace-Baker/e/B007YT2ZVC
Thanks for spending part of your Sunday with us. Please come back soon! Don't forget to take a look at Edith's books.
Welcome to this week's coffee chat!
Author Joanne Guidoccio has agreed to talk about her writing experience, and I bet if we ask nicely, she'll show us her mermaid book! :)
First, let's find out how she takes her coffee.
JOANNE: Hot, black and sweet! Each morning, I enjoy several cups of Chatty Matty coffee, a delicious blend of light roasted and dark roasted beans. A bit more expensive, this certified fair trade and organic coffee is worth it.
Ally: No worry. My magic pot can produce anything! I'll pour while you show us your bio.
In high school, I dabbled in poetry, but decided to wait until I had more life experiences before writing a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write. Instead, I gave in to my practical Italian side and obtained degrees in mathematics and education.
While I experienced many satisfying moments during my teaching career, I never found the time and energy to write. In 2008, I took advantage of early retirement. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and my articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online.
My debut novel, Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid, has just been released by Soul Mate Publishing.
I live and write in Guelph, Ontario.
WHERE TO FIND JOANNE:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Guidoccio/e/B00FAWJGCG/
Ally: You've had quite an academic type career. Is there an interesting tidbit that didn't make the official bio?
JOANNE: I am a proud to be a Toastmaster. Earlier this month, I achieved the Competent Leadership and Advanced Communication/Bronze designations and am planning to reach Silver by the spring of 2014. Ally: It sounds like you've always loved writing, but when did you decide to become an author?JOANNE: While sitting in Sister Maris Stella’s Grade 13 English class (circa 1973), I dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. I followed the conventional advice of the times and pursued a career in teaching, but in my heart of hearts, I knew that someday I would resurrect that writing dream. In 2008 (35 years later), I took advantage of early retirement and devoted my second act to writing. Ally: Was publishing always your goal? JOANNE: After attending readings by Margaret Atwood and Irving Layton (late 1970s), I visualized myself reading in cafés and bookstores. I am grateful for the e-book, but look forward to holding a copy of Between Land and Sea in my hands. Ally: Let's talk about this specific book, Between Land and Sea. How long did it take to write it? JOANNE: Ideas started percolating during January of 2011, but I did not put pen to paper until March of the same year. I devoted the summer months to completing the first draft and spent the autumn editing and polishing. After a few promising leads but mostly rejections, I put it on the back burner and took another look in late 2012. At the end of January 2013, Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract. Ally: Your book was published by a small press. With so many choices for writers today, how did you make the decision between traditional publishing with a large or small press and self-publishing?JOANNE: I considered all options and even attended several workshops on self-publishing. In the end, I gravitated toward a small publisher. At heart, I am very traditional and feel more comfortable with tried and true advice. On my own, I would never have come up with the eye-catching cover of Between Land and Sea.
Ally: Before you actually show us the book, I'd like to try a few quick answers question. Ready?
Ally: And now for the big moment... :)
- Favorite After-Hours Drink: Strawberry Daiquiri
- Last Vacation Spot You Visited: Nova Scotia (Love that Maritime Magic)
- When and where was your last shopping trip? I am long overdue.
- An item on your bucket list: An extended vacation in Hawaii. I would love to just pack up and spend six months living there.
- Favorite T.V. Show: The Good Wife
After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.
With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers.
Buy on Amazon: http://is.gd/AVpoVs
YouTube (Trailer #1): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xipZ6quZDOs
(Ally Note: this is a great book trailer!)
YouTube (Trailer #2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfiKOQe_yuU
Ally: I loved having you visit, Joanne. Thank you so much. I wish you the best of luck with your book!
Thanks to all of you for joining us. Come back soon!
Be sure to check back on Sunday for an extra Coffee Chat!
Cross Keys (excerpt)
Since I am frantically writing away on the manuscript for this year's National Novel Writing Month, I decided to share an excerpt from that project as my blog post this week.
This urban fantasy has no vampires or werewolves or witches. It is a story about two elite elves from competing/feuding families in their homeland of Elvenrude. They have gone through a dimensional portal and are currently living in New Orleans, in the human world, but they're not acquainted. They eventually meet at a party back in Elvenrude. When a problem occurs that affects both worlds, the king asks the heroine, a former member of the King's Guard, to do something about it. In this excerpt, which covers a scene break involving a change from her point of view to his, you will briefly meet both main characters, Kam and Seth.
Stepping into her specialized clothing that covered her from head to toe in form-fitting black but still allowed freedom of movement, Kam added the lightweight black jacket that would conceal her small crossbow and quiver of arrows within a fake hood. Her basic outfit already had a real hood if she needed to cover her hair. Her knives went into a left wrist sheath and her right boot. An amulet of invisibility hung from a chain at her throat—ready to be invoked if she needed its protection, and the silver band was on her right wrist. As a final touch, she'd tied a thin black scarf around her neck. In an emergency it could substitute as a garrote or for restraints. The enemy had already proven capable of murder. She intended to be prepared for their next meeting.
She slipped out the side door of her apartment building and paused to look both directions. Eyeing the two story building next door, she flexed her knees, and leaped for the rooftop. Kam smiled as she landed easily and loped across the rooftops, reveling in the freedom and super agility of the magic band.
* * * *( * * *
Holy Hell! Seth Lormarc straightened from his relaxed position at the rear of her building and stepped forward to stare at the rooftop. He'd hoped if he was patient long enough, she'd reveal herself, but he hadn't expected her to make a suspicious move this soon. And nothing so dramatic.
A slow smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. Not an ordinary elf at all. Unless you considered a stroll across the rooftops ordinary. She obviously had access to some of the ancient magic. And knew how to use it.
Luckily he had magic of his own. He stuck his hand in his jacket pocket, his fingers closing around a small object. He'd find her again. Seth turned and strode off at a brisk pace. Kameo Ryndel was proving to be more interesting than he'd thought.
That's it! What do you think? Should I keep writing?
Psst. I will anyway. :)
Welcome! Pull up a chair and join us for coffee & book talk!
Author Travis Sharpe has agreed to answer a few questions so we can get to know him and to show us his medical thriller, Tunneling for Revenge.
Just like his wife Heather, who visited the Coffee Chat last week with her paranormal book Purr-fect Love (see interview here), Travis doesn't drink coffee, which leaves all the more for the rest of us. :)
So let's move straight to your bio, Travis.
Travis Sharpe has been practicing optometry since 2006. Through his wife’s love of literature, he stumbled onto creative writing, and he has really enjoyed it. Travis still practices optometry full-time. His favorite hobby is being outdoors with his wife and little boy. When Travis’ little boy finally decides to sleep, he pulls out the laptop and enjoys this relatively new passion. www.facebook.com/travisksharpe www.travisksharpe.webstarts.com
Ally: When Travis was asked to share a fact he would never include in his official bio, he confessed he "hated to read in high school." That makes it all the more amazing that he became a writer!
Ally: Since the book that was just released is a medical thriller, where did you acquire the detailed information to write it?
TRAVIS: My day job is as an optometrist. I have seven years of college in health care studies under my belt in addition to another seven years of practice with continued study in all areas of health care.
Ally: Since you're at the office all day, when and where do you find time to write?
TRAVIS: With my two year-old son to play with, my wife to be with, and my busy optometric practice, in which I both see patients and work with my partner to manage the office, I have to wake up before 5:00 on weekends and my days off to find time to write. My writing usually takes place on my couch or in a hotel room hours before the sun comes up.
Ally: With that kind of schedule do you find time to for other activities or just relaxing?
TRAVIS: I enjoy playing with my son and spending time with my wife, two activities which are generally simultaneous. I also enjoy exercising, water sports, and target shooting. We live on a small farm, and I enjoy puttering around on my tractor and finding things to do with it.
Ally: All in your spare time, of course! :) I assume you've gotten over your hatred for reading and manage to squeeze in a book now and then. What author, living or dead, do you most admire?
TRAVIS: I don’t really have one favorite. I most enjoy Robin Cook, James Patterson, James Rollins, and Dean Koontz. They all incorporate science and fiction into their thrillers with twists that you wouldn’t expect. I enjoy reading their books every time. I hope to be able to eventually deliver the same pleasure to my readers.
Ally: I think that's a goal most writers share with you. Let's try a few Quick Answer Questions:
1) One item on your bucket list – going on a deep sea fishing trip with my wife and son
2) type of car you own – my wife and I share a 2005 Cadillac CTS and a 2012 Harley Davidson Edition Ford F-150 4x4
3) type of car you'd like to own – a Dodge Viper
4) favorite TV shows – Duck Dynasty, Married With Children, Americans
5) favorite after 5:00 drink – pretty boring - water
Ally: You've been a great guest, Travis. Thank you for talking with us, but now comes that all important moment...the unveiling of your book.
Fueled by revenge, guided by an intense hatred for any type of elected or appointed authority, and driven by an inherent need to worship a strong male leader, Alex sets out on a killing spree that will satisfy all three of his psychological crutches. Alex seeks to avenge and free his captured leader. He planned to do this on his own, but prior to embarking on his journey he is approached by a mysterious organization that offers to finance his entire operation. The specialized weapon system that they offer him for the job proves too much to pass up.
The CIA agents who caused the downfall of his beloved anarchist cult become aware of his murderous plot, and they engage in a deadly game of cat and mouse with Alex’s ability to defy physics as a wild card. Thanks to his newfound weapon, Alex avoids capture while paralyzing his enemies with fear. Alex’s mysterious helpers employ the assistance of a local gang whose mission is to assist Alex in finding one of his targets. In so doing, the local gang, Alex, the CIA agents, and the local police find themselves mixed up in an international gang war for control of the illegal drugs and firearms market in the United States. A colossal betrayal finds Alex working on the side of law enforcement with him as a tool to help thwart the influx of foreign gangsters, and them as a tool to help Alex exact revenge on the very man he would have stopped at nothing to protect. Buy Links: Amazon US Other titles on Amazon Other titles available for Nook
Good luck with your books, Travis.
Thanks for stopping, everyone. Come back soon!