Welcome to the Wednesday Coffee Chat!
Erin Moore is with us today with her paranormal romance, The Shaman's Temptation, which sounds like a hot time in the Arizona desert!
Erin, do you drink coffee or prefer something else?
ERIN: Earl Gray with lots of almond milk is my caffeine infusion of choice.
Ally: No problem. While I'm getting the tea and coffee for us, you'll have time to show our readers your bio, including an additional interesting fact.
Ally: Let's start with a genre question. How did you start writing romances? Did a particular book or author inspire you?
ERIN: I sort of grew up reading romances in the summers when I could borrow/steal them from aunts and grandmothers, so I can’t really say that it was any one author, except maybe Jude Deveraux (remember those?).
Ally: Do you work with a critique partner or critique group? Do you use beta readers?
ERIN: Two amazing women are my crit partners, and since I’ve been published I’ve also had a few beta readers. It’s probably something that I need to focus on more. In terms of crit partners, I think two is probably my limit; it’s hard to find the time for my writing, others’ writing, and marketing, otherwise!
Ally: I know you have a small press publisher, but have you done any self-publishing or would you consider it?
ERIN: Would definitely consider self-publishing, especially because my next series is going to be a little off the beaten track, and if I am going to have to start from the ground up in terms of building an audience, then it might be worth it. I’m writing what I’m calling “The Origins Series”, and it’s going to be set in the Paleolithic. Not exactly a Regency!
Ally: Tell us about the heroine and hero in the book you brought today. What is the major conflict in their relationship?
ERIN: Takshilim Nah-Kah-Yen is training to be a shaman in his small Arizona tribe. Madeleine Greenway is the financial analyst sent to help his tribe get funding for a casino. Their conflict is really generated from their ways of life – Tak thinks that she is sort of a princess, not able to see the needs of the tribe. And Madeleine thinks Tak is a bit arrogant, until she finds out how much he has invested in helping his people and how strong he is beneath the wounded warrior toughness.
Ally: I confess to loving quick answer questions, so here are yours:
Ally: You have good taste in men! But I'm afraid we're about out of time. Thank you so much for visiting today. But we'd love to see your book before you go...
- a hike in the woods or a day on the beach: Hike.
- sexy convertible or practical van: Wow, those are my only choices? I think sexy, but I drive a total mommy car.
- favorite flower: Orchids. For obvious reasons.
- your next vacation destination: Turkey.
- sexiest actor, tv or movies: I looooove Hugh Jackman and Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson. Yum.
A Shaman’s temptation could be the undoing of his people…
Madeleine Greenway, perfectionist and analyst for Surety Bank, has no place in her rigidly organized life for something as unpredictable as a man, much less a Native American shaman. Sent to the White Mountain reservation to help the tribe finance its new casino, she meets Tak, a proud, beautiful Apache, and finds herself surrounded by something magical in the Arizona desert. His touch becomes a passport to otherworldly bliss, and the strange coyote she sees makes her question what’s real. But it’s the amazing sex with Tak that makes Madeleine lose sight of her goal—to guarantee that Surety Bank’s investment in the casino won’t fail.
Last in a long line of shaman shape-shifters, Tak Nah-Kah-Yen has sworn a vow of celibacy to his gods. But Madeleine’s lithe body and honeyed lips compel him to forswear his pledge, claiming her for his own. His passion for her overshadows his link to his gods at a time when he most needs their help. Desperate to find funding for the casino and lift his people out of poverty, he’d accepted start-up money from less than savory sources who are willing to kill to guarantee their profit—the profit Madeleine’s bank jeopardizes…
NOTICE: Content of Erin Moore's books is 18+
The books are available at most online bookstores and can be accessed through her website or her Amazon Author page:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Erin-Moore/e/B00GFUISIU/
Thanks, readers, for joining us today. Please come back soon!
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I don't want to lose any of you!
I've been tagged on the My Writing Process blog hop by Antonia van Zandt. The rules are simple: link back to her blog and forward to three other writers, plus answer the following questions:1. What am I working on?
I just finished and signed a contract to publish a new urban fantasy with elven characters, entitled Cross Keys. Now I'm busy writing Wild Fire (Guardian Witch Book Six) and am currently on Chapter nine. This book has a new twist which you haven't seen in the series before!
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
The Otherworld characters are known to and interact with human society, working side by side to solve crimes or defeat enemies. The heroine is a supernatural cop with a human partner; they often use normal police procedures and forensics to resolve very un-normal situations. While there is a strong romantic line, the mystery and adventure storyline predominates. The series has an overall story arc and should be read in order, but each book has a resolution of its own.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I've always loved to read urban fantasy, but I started writing it by accident. When I first began the book that was to be Awakening the Fire, it had a different title, a different name for the heroine, and I thought I was writing a traditional mystery or police procedural. On the second or third day of writing, I realized my heroine was a witch. I had to stop and do several weeks of world building before the story could move forward again! :)
I've continued writing in the genre because I love the way it stretches my imagination to find new and different ways to challenge my heroine yet ground the story in elements of the real world.
4. How does my writing process work?
I write every day, and I do best when I set goals--usually 2000 - 2500 daily words. My first drafts tend to be skinny, often not much more than pages of dialogue. My manuscript could grow 15-20k on the second pass as I add details and descriptions. (I'm trying to get better about this, and do more on the first draft.) First draft will take anywhere from six weeks to three months, with at least a full rewrite and a full edit pass taking another two to six weeks. A second edit takes place once the manuscript is reviewed by my critique partner, Kath Boyd Marsh. Smaller edit passes include searches for overused words and a check to see I have utilized the five senses. Typos and punctuation are proofed on every pass and still the little gremlins manage to creep in. Luckily, Nancy Cassidy, my editor at Etopia Press, is good at catching those when we eventually do the rounds of formal edits prior to publication!Enough about me. I'd like to pass the torch to these lovely writers. You can read about their writing process next week on April 28:
1. Kath Boyd March, Letters from Earth
2. Kirstin Pulioff, author
3. EE Carter, authorThanks for stopping by. Come back soon!
On Writing Paranormal
by Michele Drier, guest author
Last fall, Janet Evanovich blew into town.
She was the guest of the local newspaper’s Book Club, which hosted her appearance.
The auditorium (holds about 2,200), was packed and the free tickets were gone within three hours of the announcement in the paper.
I went with my critique group, evenly divided into Morellis and Rangers.
She was great...funny, flip, everything you think Stephanie Plum would be, and we all had take-aways.
Mine was her talking abut the world of Stephanie Plum.
It’s based on Evanovich’s own family, with just enough of a spin to make them irresistible.
And Evanovich is so crazy about them, she can hardly wait to wake up in the morning and get back to Stephanie’s world.
That’s when I realized that I’m not the only one who lives in fantasy land.
But mine stretches the fantasy a little. Instead of pulling stories and characters from my own past, I’ve created a family that’s complete fantasy. A fantasy of five hundred year old Hungarian vampires.
I’ve boxed myself in. The Kandeskys are uber rich, sophisticated, live in a style that heads of small nations would envy. They travel in their own planes and Mercedes limos driven by their bodyguard, a corps of demons who’ve been with the family for centuries.
The Baron, head of the family, lives in a Hungarian castle. Family members have estates in Kiev. Others live in lavish apartments in Paris, London, Rio.
The family owns enough L.A. homes, condos and commercial real estate to make a Southern California developer drool.
And the vampires themselves. Pen, the Baron’s wife, was a celebrity for years, until she decided to retire because people were beginning to ask how she looked the same for better than fifty years.
Jean-Louis is tall, lean, with dark hair and eyes that range from navy blue to deep violet to black and he’s perfected the ability to glimmer—producing a glow that attracts and calms regulars.
Nik is light to Jean-Louis’ dark, with streaked blond hair and eyes that shift from hazel to brown and when the two of them appear at parties, women give themselves whiplash from looking.
Who wouldn’t want to hang around this family?
There’s one wrinkle. I’d much rather be with them than my “other” life. They don’t cook, clean, pay bills, drive across town to find the cheapest gas, live in fear of stepping on the scale or put up with an elderly cat who stands on a head at night and says, “feed me.” And this urge to be with the Kadeskys means that all those “other” chores mostly don’t get done.
After I finish book eight, SNAP: All That Jazz, later this spring, I’m going to have to wrench myself back to my “other” life. My daughter’s threatening to call the Hoarders show on me.
For now, back to Kiev!
Book Blurb: White Nights (book seven)
Nik, the third-in-command of the Hungarian Kandesky vampire family, has been handling the family's interests in Czech munition factories for upwards of four hundred years. He's been a contented bachelor, throwing himself into business until Jazz strolls into his life. Jazz is Maxie Gwenoch's successor as the managing editor for SNAP, the international celeb gossip magazine, another Kandesky company. Maxie, Nik, Jazz and Jean-Louis, the Kandesky second-in-command, are headed to Moscow to assess the business potential for a SNAP Russian bureau, until an old enemy shows up. Set against the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the short Russian nights teach Maxie to cherish her time with Jean-Louis while Jazz faces her own questions about loving a vampire.
Barnes and Noble
Others in the series: SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, is available in ebook, paperback and audible at ebook retailers. All have received “must read” reviews from the Paranormal Romance Guild. SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story and Danube: A Tale of Murder are available singly and in a boxed set at Amazon, B&N and Kobo. The fifth book, SNAP: Love for Blood, rated 5 stars, and sixth, SNAP: Happily Ever After? are also available.
About the author:
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series. SNAP: White Nights, the seventh book of her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was published March 20. She’s working on the eighth book in the series, SNAP: All That Jazz, scheduled for publication in late spring 2014. She also writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries, Edited for Death and Labeled for Death. A third book, Delta for Death, is coming in 2014.
Visit her website: http://www.micheledrier.com
facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleDrier
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Drier/e/B005D2YC8G/
Have a great day! Visit again soon!
Welcome to this week's book talk on the Coffee Chat! My guest today is Amber Foxx, a writer of paranormal with the woo-woo factor!
Good Morning, Amber! How do you take your coffee?
AMBER: Black, no sugar.
Ally: An excellent choice and very easy to do. I'll pour if you show readers your bio, plus that something extra that is unique to you.
Bio: Amber Foxx has worked as a personal trainer, fitness director, and yoga teacher and as a college professor in health sciences. She has lived in Maine, Virginia, North Carolina and New Mexico. While she currently divides her time between the Southeast and the Southwest, she calls Truth or Consequences New Mexico home.
And something unique: I had my first short story published when I was twelve. I’d forgotten about it until about six years ago. My sister and I were sorting through a box of family papers and pictures our father had left us—and there was that story, as well as one I’d written for a high school English class. After this encounter with the family archives, I got serious about writing. I’ve had several events in my life when I felt as if my father’s spirit was giving me a nudge to do something. This was one of them. He was strong believer in following your bliss.
Ally: Describe your series according to genre and subgenre. You've called them murderless mysteries, so what kind of problems does your protag solve?
AMBER: I’ve wanted to invent a new genre, the way some chefs like to experiment with recipes, putting together ingredients that aren’t normally combined in ways that end up tasting wonderful. The books are mysteries in the sense that there are puzzles to be solved, and paranormal because my protagonist is a psychic and energy healer, while the overall feel of the books is like general fiction. They are realistic novels with paranormal elements. Shamans’ Blues has some elements of romance, as well, with an unconventional twist.
The mysteries are about missing people, secrets, or unusual spiritual phenomena. In The Calling, the first book in the series, Mae Martin tries to understand mysteries in her own life—why her father disappeared and the mystery of her own unasked for gift. In Shaman's Blues, the second book, the mystery starts with requests for Mae to find two missing people, but these people themselves end up being a greater mystery than their whereabouts. They have layers of secrets. A ghost plays a part in this plot, as well. In the third book (not yet released) a missing pet will end up being a key part of a much more tangled mystery. I’ve got four books more in various stages of progress, and the mysteries range from how a group of healers and psychics lose their gifts, to an attempt to undo an apparent voodoo curse. Ally: Tell us about Mae’s unusual talent. Do her psychic experiences spring solely from your imagination or have you or someone you've known had similar experiences?
AMBER: I’ve had some psychic experiences but they are not like Mae’s. I dream the future, which seems to be, in my reading and in my encounters with people who are willing to talk about this kind of thing, the most common type of psychic ability. My gift is random—I’ve only been able to dream the future on purpose once. It was 100% accurate, but I don’t know if I could achieve that again.
The inspiration for Mae’s gift came from someone with a more unusual ability, a woman who could read something of your past or present by holding an object that you had handled a lot. She had a vision from holding something of mine that was surprisingly personal and important to me, when I had just met her that evening and she knew next to nothing about me. This ability was perfect for my books. It gives Mae both insights and limits. She can’t see the future, only the past and the present, and she has to access an object for its vibration that connects it to a person. I didn’t want being psychic to be too easy, but I wanted it to be something she could control with skill and discipline.
Ally: What is your writing process? Pantser or plotter?
AMBER: I’m a pantser, but I also plan a lot once I get started. As I write, new characters show up, and plot ideas occur to me. It’s like improv acting, playing all of the roles. I’ll improvise a scene, and then scribble some possible next events. Typing on a keyboard and writing by hand seem to access different thinking processes, so I hand write those tentative outlines. Drawing accesses yet another aspect of my mind. I do some plot-tightening with charts and outlines after the first draft or two, to make sure there are no holes or loose ends.
Ally: When and where do you write?
AMBER: I have a home office dedicated to writing, and I write for anywhere from an hour to eight hours a day depending on the day of the week, day job demands, and travel. I made a commitment years ago never to let a day pass without writing and I’ve kept it. I don’t set goals that can be measured in words or pages, because sometimes I have to spend a lot of time polishing a tricky transitional paragraph, and other times ideas flow so rapidly that I don’t stop to spell-check or polish. It takes no will power to make myself write. The hard part is making myself stop and go to bed. I’m nocturnal, and my creative flow picks up after dark.
Ally: I'm always interested in how other writers handle revisions. How much do you do on your own before involving your editor?
AMBER: The number of revisions is uncountable, I revise so constantly. Each scene I write gets revised immediately. Then I move on to the next, and then I go back to the beginning and revise it all before moving on again. I think every chapter may have been revised a minimum of three of four times before it even goes to the first critique partner. Before anyone sees it I print it out and mark it up. I’m brutal with myself as my own critique partner. I revise again and then I start with a partner who’s good with plot and gives detailed feedback, working one chapter at a time. After the first critique, I revise and send the whole book to the next beta reader. Revise again. Next beta reader. Revise again. I like to have three readers before I send it to my editor, and then I still find myself making last minute fixes when I think it’s done. My books take years.
Ally: What do you do when you're not writing?
AMBER: I read, of course. I love art, and like to go to museums and galleries. I’m a runner—my barefoot shoes are probably my favorite thing I own. I like to go out dancing, and to go hiking in the desert. And I practice yoga daily.
Ally: Let's try a few quick answer questions:
- favorite mystery author: it’s a tie between James D. Doss and Nevada Barr
- high heels or sneakers: Do my Vibram Five Fingers count as sneakers?
- favorite after five drink: decaf green tea (It would be more fun if I said green chile lager or pumpkin ale, but I’ll leave those to one of my characters to enjoy.)
- an item on your bucket list: Make a bucket list! Or maybe the following is the answer.
- your dream vacation would be: retirement. There is so much I want to do traveling around New Mexico, so many events that I miss because I have to work my day job. I want to have the year when I go the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, the burning of Zozobra at the Santa Fe Fiesta, Santa Fe Indian Market, the Gathering of Nations and the Gallup Intertribal, Route 66 Summerfest, and even the Deming Duck Race and Roswell Alien Chase. The year when I don’t miss a thing!
Ally: Thanks, Amber, for visiting the Coffee Chat today. I wish you the best of luck with your books.
And speaking of books, here are her current covers and blurbs...
| |The Calling
A down-to-earth North Carolina country girl, Mae Martin-Ridley is a former high school athlete whose interests run to sports and fitness, not spirituality or mysticism. The last thing she ever expected to be was a psychic or a spiritual healer. Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae has been hiding her gift of “the sight” for years. When events compel her to use it again, the unforeseen consequences spread to affect every aspect of her life—work, marriage, and family. To qualify for a new job Mae takes a class in Norfolk, Virginia, where she meets people who not only accept her abilities but push her to explore them further. She struggles with the shadow side of her gift. Though she wants to use “the sight” to help people, it gives her access to secrets she could regret uncovering. Torn between those around her who encourage her and those who condemn or doubt, Mae has to find her own path.
Barnes and Noble
| |Shaman’s Blues
Mae Martin gets a double-edged going-away gift from her job as a psychic and
healer: beautiful music by a man who’s gone missing, and a request to find him.
When she arrives in her new home in New Mexico, aiming to start life over as she
comes to terms with her second divorce, she faces a new challenge in the use of her gift. Her new neighbors are under the influence of an apparently fake psychic who runs the health food restaurant where they work. When Mae questions the skills of the peculiar restaurateur, the woman disappears—either to Santa Fe, or another dimension. The restaurant’s manager asks Mae to discover which it is.
Finding two missing people proves easier than finding out the truth about either of them, or getting one of them, once found, to go away again.
Mystery crosses between the worlds and romance gets turned upside down in Santa Fe, the City Different.
Barnes and Noble
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