Find us on Google+
 

Looking for something to read? Check out the new Book Spotlight (or the existing Coffee Chat category) for new releases or new-to-you authors. The first official spotlight is Tina Gayle's romance, Summer's Growth. Enjoy!

Picture
Blurb for Summer’s Growth:

In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass...

Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it's time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.

Excerpt:

Standing by the bay window in the front room, Mattie watched the car approach. Her new recruit’s arrival had goose bumps popping out on Mattie’s skin, adding to her anxieties.

She wanted to run, but instead glanced at the kindhearted spirit of Opal, her distant grandmother. Dressed in her best early American gown, the many layers of her petticoat swished with a soft hiss when she moved.

“There’s no reason to be nervous. Once you meet Amber, you’ll see she caps the climax,” Opal voiced in a soothing tone. “Your Aunt Rachel is absolutely thrilled to have a descendant from her branch of the family as keeper.”

Looking beyond her at the rest of the room, Mattie searched for the other members of the family council. They always offered her their support when she faced a big decision. Yet, today they were conspicuously absent.

“Don’t worry. The whole family is behind you. We just thought it better if we didn’t all hover.”      

Shifting from foot to foot, she wrung her hands together. A simple process of a changing of the guard for them, Amber’s arrival marked the end of the life Mattie loved.

The beautiful spirits around her didn’t understand how cruel humans could be to each other. What if she screwed up and the girl left? Or the girl hated living with a house full of spirits?

Unease pricked at Mattie’s mind. She had no experience in dealing with strangers. All her business associates understood her likes and didn’t force her to attend any social events.

A quick glance out the window, and a car rounded the fountain. She wasn’t prepared to entertain Amber. How could she be? She never invited guests to the estate.

“Now, Pumpkin, there’s no need to worry. It’s time another branch of the family realize what a pain it is to be keeper.” Opal smiled, offering her special form of reassurance. “We’re all here to help with the transition.”

The high notes of Beethoven’s Fifth sprang from the piano. Mattie jumped in surprise at the sudden noise. She whipped around to see Uncle Samuel, the artist of the family, standing next to the piano.

“The game is afoot.” He arched his eyebrows and grinned, then disappeared.

“I’d better leave.” Her aunt patted Mattie’s shoulder. “Just remember, the girl is uneasy too.”

Opal disappeared.

With a deep breath, Mattie turned and gripped the cold metal knob in her hand.

Soon her home would belong to a stranger, and then what would she do?

Read First Chapter of "Summer's Growth"

Purchase ebook at:

Smashwords | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | APPLE |


Picture
Meet the author:

Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loves escaping into a good romantic book.

She is currently working on two different series. The last book in the Executive Wives’ Club series will be coming out 2014.  This series combines elements of women fiction with the passion of romance.

The Family Tree series has two books out with Fallen Leaves release in April of 2014. A paranormal romantic suspense series, the books follow the keeper of the Winston manor and the trials she has to overcome to remain in the house of her ancestors.

Find Tina Gayle everywhere:

Home - www.tinagayle.net
Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
Goodread - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle
Google + - https://plus.google.com
Linkin - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759


 
 
Picture
The Goodreads Giveaway of two paperback copies of Fire Storm has ended, and Goodreads selected the winners out of 1,049 entrants.

Congratulations to Jessica and Amy! Your books are on the way!

 
 
Picture
Good morning, Booklovers!

Julia Joseph, author of YA paranormal fiction, is with us today! So grab your favorite morning drink (or whatever time it is where you live) and sit back for a little book talk with other avid readers.

How do you take your coffee, Julia?

JULIA: 
I absolutely adore a good caramel macchiato, but I’ve got severe stomach issues.  Boo.  So, I’ll have to settle for a nice mint tea, if you’ve got one.  No sugar, no milk.  Just some hot minty goodness.  Thanks!

Ally: My magic pot will pour anything you want. So please tell people something about yourself, including a fact that isn't in your official bio.


Picture
BIO:

Julia Joseph taught Theatre for nine years in Texas middle and high schools, where she wrote and produced three original plays for her students.  In 2011, Joseph left teaching to devote all of her energy to her own children and to writing a novel.  She earned her B. A. in English Literature and Language with a focus in Drama from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. 

Julia spends most of her free time reading, writing, and chauffeuring her kids between activities.  She lives happily with her husband and two children wherever the Army happens to station them.

Extra fact: 
Only people who know me well know that I come from a HUGE family.  I’m the youngest of nine children and was born one week before my parents’ 20th anniversary.  I’ve got 20 nieces and nephews (about half of which are within ten years of my own age).

Find Julia Joseph--

Website/blog:  www.juliajoseph.net
Friend on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/julia.joseph.77
FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/juliajosephauthor
Twitter:  @juliajoseph7



Ally: Why did you select Young Adult fiction as your writing niche? What about the characters or the themes particularly appealed to you?

JULIA:  I write YA because I’ve dedicated most of my life to young people—even when I was one myself.  It was weekly routine that I babysat my nieces and nephews.  They spent almost as much time at my parents’ house as they did their own.  I spent many hours at my elder siblings’ homes as well, just to be with them and their kids.  I went to college at 17, and there was never a doubt as to whether I’d become a high school teacher.  I spent my summers working at day camps and started teaching as soon as I graduated at 22.  Kids are my life.  Writing was just another way I could try to help them get through those crummy teen years and the horrors so many of them unfortunately face at such a young age.

Ally:  How long did it take you to get published? What was your journey like?

JULIA:  The quest for my first publishing contract only lasted about a year—a blessing, I know.  But that doesn’t mean my ride was easy.  For me, the most arduous part of the journey was actually finishing my first book.  I had it about 75% completed when a debilitating disease ravaged my life, and it took doctors about three years to get that under some kind of control.  Once it was, my critique group spent another year convincing me to submit my MS in earnest.  (And, yes, part of my official bio is a lie.  I really left teaching because my doctors and my health forced me to, but that’s a bummer for a public profile, isn’t it?  Lol.)

Ally:  How do you name your characters and choose their character strengths and flaws?

JULIA:  Choosing character names is so much fun.  I love it!  For my first book, I used a lot of family names.  My girls are of Arab descent, and, let’s face it, there’s not a lot of everyday inspiration for Middle Eastern names floating around west Texas.  Sometimes, I’ll use the name of someone who’s touched my life or I’ll ask my kids for suggestions.  Other times, I’ll use baby name books.  Always, though, the name has to have deep meaning (either for me or on its own).

Ally:  What comes first when you start writing a first draft: characters, plot or setting? Why?

JULIA:  Characters come first for me.  Why?  Because they’re the easiest!  I get people.  I know what makes them tick.  Maybe that’s from growing up in a house full of so many or it could be the years I spent as an actress and director.  Either way, characters come to me easily.  Plot is so much harder.  It takes me forever to figure out where my books are going and get the journey just right.  Oh, and the setting is a no-brainer for me.  I set everything I write in my hometown of El Paso, Texas, or nearby southern New Mexico.  (We need all the good publicity we can get, okay?)

Ally: Let's see if we can get to know you better through some quick answer questions.

  • last meal you actually cooked:  Gluten free green cheese enchiladas (my baby girl has celiac disease, so everything I cook these days is GF.)
  •  where did you spend your last birthday? Went to lunch with the hubby.  When he asked me why we’d made the special trip, the kids could only look at him sadly, shaking their heads.  (I laughed my butt off at his ensuing distress.  It was a lot of fun for me.  Does that make me a bad person?!)
  • do you have pets?  We’ve got two mutts in our house—B.D., a thirteen year old blind and deaf herding mix, and Trajan, a seven year old terrier type who thinks an awful lot of himself.  (It might be the name…)
  • an item on your bucket list:  I want to travel more.  I’ve already been to the Middle East and all over the U.S., so I’m thinking a cruise in the Caribbean or a tour of Europe…
  • What one food would you want delivered to you on a deserted island?  Chocolate.  Always chocolate.

Ally: It's been a pleasure having you for coffee, Julia. Thanks for coming. Now let take a look at the all important book spotlight...
Picture
Blurb:

Born into a family of Guardians—extraordinarily gifted humans who battle demons to protect mortal souls—seventeen year old Rose Kazin is relieved that she shows no signs of being blessed with her family’s supernatural talents.  When she and her father figure, an age old celestial Warrior, are horribly wounded in a demonic ambush, Rose awakens to find a younger Warrior, Ouriel, has volunteered to stand in as her protector.  She rails against his presence, but Ouriel seems interested in only one thing—teaching Rose how to protect herself from the demons she was never supposed to fight.

Genre: YA paranormal

Buy Links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Broken-Julia-Joseph/dp/1626941041 
B & N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/the-broken-julia-joseph?store=allproducts&keyword=the+broken+julia+joseph


Thanks to everyone for joining our chat. I hope you visit again soon!

 
 
Picture
                                      Getting the Mood Right


      So I'm writing late at night watching the Jimmy Fallon show. It's hilarious. But I have to get another chapter done if I want to make my manuscript deadline. So I keep writing with half my brain on the show. I chuckle periodically. Once I even laugh out loud.

     Then I look at the computer screen. I have my characters smiling and laughing in the middle of a gruesome crime scene. Oops. Back up. Rewrite.

      Has that ever happened to you?


Picture
      Is your writing affected by what's going on around you? I envy those people who can put on their headphones and write away, hour after hour, listening to the latest hit music but never losing the thread of their story. They use the headphones to blot out other distractions, and somehow the music doesn't both them. It's a mystery to me.

     Don't get me wrong. I'm good at blocking out the world. I could write in the middle of a bustling subway station. But put headphones on
me? I'm singing along, head bobbing, feet tapping, and I lose all track of the atmosphere of the scene I'm supposed to be writing.

      With one exception...

      If I match the music or the TV program or DVD to the mood I want to create on paper, I'm golden. Kickass scenes call for music like Chain Saw or Tornado, if you're a country music fan. Or how about Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball? And big romantic scenes needs something entirely different. One of Bocelli's CDs might be my ultimate choice, but there are tops hits performers that are just as good at setting a romantic mood. I just punch one on my player and hit repeat. The right background music or show can enhance almost any setting for me. The other night I wrote an entire fight scene while the cast of Blue Bloods was shooting bad guys on TV.

      How do you get the right mood into your scene? Can you multi-task while writing, ie write one thing and listen to another?



Thanks for stopping to chat. Have a great week!

 
 
Picture
Since today's Coffee Chat guest is missing in action, I'm taking my coffee to the deck and grabbing the opportunity to read a good book. Won't you join me?

What's on my kindle?

I appear to be in a mystery/thriller reading mood. Only one paranormal in this list.


Picture
In The Dark Hour, Fitzpatrick is on the trail of a covert government agent's missing wife who is presumed dead—until evidence places her behind the enemy lines of lethal bioweapons organization. A globe-trotting rollercoaster ride of intrigue and adventure, The Dark Hour delivers on Burcell's knack for suspenseful, page-turning plots and compelling action.


$4.74 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Hour-Sidney-Fitzpatrick-ebook/dp/B007HB5T9C/


Picture
Dark Bayou (Dark Trilogy Book #1), a southern Louisiana paranormal

When Leigh Benoit returns home to Louisiana for the funeral of her brother and his wife, she becomes increasingly concerned about the welfare of her orphaned niece, Lyla. She is prompted by her grandmother, Clothilde, to move back to take care of her. Leigh has no desire to take on any responsibility, and being home again brings back painful memories. At the funeral, Leigh’s childhood friend, Detective Lucas Castille, tells her the mysterious details of the accident that killed her brother and his wife. Lucas’ young son has dreams of a Dark Man who wishes to harm Lyla. Leigh begins to have similar dreams. She struggles with her rational mind but vows to protect her niece. Soon, she finds out there is more to the story and more to her grandmother than she thought.

$3.25 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Bayou-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B004ZLYUVA/


Picture
In this all-new short story from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci, worlds collide when government assassin Will Robie is caught in the crossfire with Oliver Stone and the Camel Club.

Will Robie is closing in on his next target when he finds himself in the middle of a bank heist--and he's taken hostage alongside Oliver Stone. But is this just a simple bank job, or are the robbers after something even more valuable--and dangerous--than the cash in the vault?

$1.99 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bullseye-Original-Robie-Kindle-Single-ebook/dp/B00G2GMRCU/


Picture
Stephanie Plum has her sights set on catching a notorious mob boss. If she doesn’t take him down, he may take her out.
 
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because the godfather is his actual godfather, and his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail. 
 
Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.  
 
(Ally note: While I took a breather from this series about five books ago, a friend recommended this one as something a little different. So far it's been entertaining - like running into old and fun-loving friends!)


$6.99 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Takedown-Twenty-Stephanie-Plum-Novel-ebook


Thanks for stopping. I hope you too can take time to read a good book (or two) today! :)

 
 
Picture
As Wild Fire (Guardian Witch Book Six) goes into edits for release later this summer, I thought I'd give you a peek at the unedited version.

I tried to pick something that wouldn't be a spoiler. :)

Enjoy!


City Hall was fully engulfed in flames and dark smoke. Firefighters struggled to handle the hoses in the cold; the water spray had started to form icy crystals on nearby buildings. By morning the area would be an ice palace, hiding the devastation. There were two buildings that already looked that way from yesterday's fires. Riverdale had an arsonist.

But until Ryan's latest call, Ari hadn't thought it had anything to do with her. Her jurisdiction as a Guardian for the Magic Council only extended to crimes committed by or against Otherworlders. Ryan waved from near a group of fire trucks, and she stomped through the snow.

"Anybody hurt?" she asked.

"Nobody's been inside yet, but we think they all got out. It was called in about 5:00 p.m., and most workers were off at 4:30. We have a witness this time. Well, sort of."

She wrinkled her brow. "What's a 'sort-of' witness?"

"Says he saw a fireball hit the building." Ryan pointed to a man huddled in a heavy parka. His crisp suit pants and polished shoes said he was a local businessman. "But he didn't see who…or what it came from."

"Fireball, huh? Let's see if he can be more specific." Ari beckoned to Ryan, as she cut across the street to question the witness. He stopped to let a fire truck pass, then followed her.

The witness bobbed his head emphatically. Yes, a fireball. In fact, he'd seen two fireballs, not just one. "The first one came in low like a missile off target. But when I saw the second one, I knew this was no accident."

Ari blinked. Missiles? There were no missile bases within hundreds of miles.
 
 
Picture
Welcome to the Coffee Chat!

Today's visitor comes with a unique history and from a very famous place - especially to paranormal fans. But I'm going to let her tell you all about it. :)

Welcome, Carmen Stefanescu! How do you take your coffee?

CARMEN:  Black and hot!

Ally: That's easy. While I pour, please tell our readers about yourself, and include something not in your normal bio.


Picture
Author bio:

            Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
            Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.
            She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.


Something unique that isn't in the bio I am already retired but I’m reluctant to share it with people. " A granny writing romance? Hm," they will say frowning.   (Ally note:  Oh, I don't think you need to worry. Love is universal...all cultures, all ages. :))

Author Links:

Blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmen-Stefanescu-Books/499245716760283
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Carmen_Books
Pinterset: http://www.pinterest.com/carmens007


Ally:  You live in a place that is intriguing to paranormal fans. Can you tell us a little about Dracula country?

CARMEN:  If you go outside in the street, in the States, and ask at random, ordinary people passing by "Have you heard about Romania ", you will be, most often, met by frowned eyebrows, confused looks or shrugging the shoulders. Or even answers like: "Well, I don't know... is it South America... or maybe Africa...."

Ask the same people "Have you heard about Dracula's country?" A large smile/grin will lighten the face of your interlocutor. "Oh, Dracula. Yes, yes, I heard about it. Somewhere in Europe. Transylvania.  Vampires."

So, I am glad to live in a country known to everyone, be it only because it’s linked to a name bearing negative connotations.  Romania is an  Eastern European country that was under the heavy Iron Curtain before 1989. A land that is blessed with all forms of relief: mountains, plains, sea, the UNESCO protected Danube Delta and wild, beautiful landscapes. Worth visiting, trust me. I also may say I lived history, as I witnessed the change from one social system to another, in 1989, at the fall of dictatorship.

Ally:  I know you write both adult and young adult fiction. How did you select YA as a genre you wanted to write? Did someone or a certain book inspire you?

CARMEN:  I wouldn’t say it was something I purposefully did. And I don’t write with a specific audience in my mind. If you write for one specific audience, you’re going to tune out others who might actually be interested in reading your book. Danielle Steele once said, “Write what you write. What happens next is up to the public.” In fact, when I wrote Shadows of the Past I had no idea what YA meant. Trust me. It was a new experience for me as well as a challange. There are no such things as literary agents or editors for authors in my country. I learned everything the hard way. By trial and error. My novels are meant to be read by adults but can surely be read by  young adults, too, as all romance is at the sweet level.

Ally:  I see the lines blurring between YA and adult fiction every day. What do you believe are the defining elements?

CARMEN:  Can’t really answer this. Trends are changing all the time. What people considered as YA in the 60s or  80s may be considered as teen fiction nowadays. I can’t really agree with just following, like herd, a trend. Why shouldn’t  I write something and set the trend instead of following others?  Why shouldn’t I write what I like to write – paranormal in my case- and make it as compelling as I can make it? Set the trend instead of following it.

Ally:  When and where do you find time to write? Special place? Certain hours?

During the summer holidays, I retreat to my “writing room” and lose myself in the imaginary realm of my characters and plots. I like to have everything handy: paper, pencils, markers, ballpoint pens. Also, sometimes, background music, either classical or pop. I always write longhand. My first drafts are longhand.

Ally: Try these quick answer questions:

  •      a. last movie you watched:  A Place to Call Home, an Australian series. It explores with real sophistication Nostalgia, a potent sentiment, one that transcends even the most stubborn cringers.
  •      b. favorite childhood book:  One Thousand and One Nights. It fascinated me. I was so happy Seherezada could postpone her punishment.
  •      c. do you have pets?  Oh, yes. I admit I am guilty! Several cats: Mimi, Chipy, Blackie, Fifi and Pitzy. No dog for the moment as, unfortunately, our faithful dog, Jack, died last December. We miss him so much and I simply can’t find  in myself the will to replace him.
  •      d. an item on your bucket list:  To read ALL the books I own in the three languages I speak: Romanian, English and German
  •      e. if you could visit any time and place in history, where would it be? Medieval Britain, perhaps Elizabethan period. An age when culture flourished and people lived more peaceful life, even though they missed the technological devices we own today.
Ally:  I've so enjoyed talking with you today. You've led an interesting life. Good luck with your career.

CARMEN:  Thank you for hosting me today, Ally! I really appreciate it.

Ally:  My pleasure. Now it's time to take a look at your book...

Picture
Blurb:  Shadows of the Past

Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?

A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre:  paranormal/sweet romance/light horror

You tube trailer link: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LmY-9yDl5s


Thanks for stopping! Have a great week...

 
 
Picture

Every Wednesday I interview authors, but today I'm giving the same treatment to my character, Arianna Calin, fire witch and guardian protector of Riverdale.

Good morning, Ari. I usually begin by asking my guests how they take their coffee.

ARI: Black and lots of it. Club Dintero makes a special blend that I love.

Ally:  While I'm filling our mugs, tell us about your job, your hours, your location.

ARI (sighs and sits back in her chair): I'm a cop. My bosses are the Riverdale Magic Council, and my office is in the Cultural Center, next to the Magic Hall. But I only have scheduled hours on Monday and Wednesday mornings. My main job is to keep the Otherworlders and humans in the Olde Town district from killing one another, and incidents can happen at any time of day or night. I work with Ryan, a human cop, on joint cases.

Ally:  What made you choose this work?

ARI (laughs): I didn't. It chose me. See this crescent moon birthmark on my ankle? Anyone born with that is destined to be a Guardian, and we're trained for the job from the time we can walk. Weaponry, martial arts, magic.

Ally: So you use magic in your work?

ARI: When I have to, but I prefer to use a knife or gun if humans are involved. Besides, magic makes Ryan uncomfortable. (grins.)

Ally: I know you said your love life is off limits in this interview, but we have to at least mention Andreas, the vampire in your life. What's it like being involved with someone who can't go out during the day?

ARI: It's gets inconvenient. More than once I've been waiting outside his door for him to wake when we need to be somewhere. But my hours are so flexible that I'm probably able to make the adjustment easier than most could. It helps that he has enough resistance to the sun to be up by mid-afternoon.

Ally: Let's try a few get-to-know-you, quick answer questions.
  • cake or pie? They're both okay, but I'm a sucker for chocolate brownies!
  • favorite season of the year:  Spring. It's fun to see the earth wake up each year.
  • mini skirts or jeans: jeans. (grins) Andreas would pick the mini-skirts.
  • dogs or cats: Two cats, Bella and Dona.
  • daily exercise: I try to run five miles every morning and patrol the town and park on foot every evening.
  • favorite color: It changes. This week I love blue. (points to her blue t-shirt)
  • last movie you watched: Since Friday was the 4th of July, we watched Independence Day for maybe the 100th time. One station was running a marathon. My favorite line: "Welcome to earth," as Will Smith punches the alien in the nose.
  • an item on your bucket list: to visit Italy with Andreas without the vampire elders trying to kill us.

Ally: Is there anything else we should know about you?

ARI: Nope. Why would you want to know anything about me? It's my job that's interesting. Maybe you should read the books. :)

Guardian Witch series:
                       Amazon: http://viewauthor.at/AllyShields
                       B&N: http://bit.ly/10tLGgm
                       Kobo: http://bit.ly/18unCxl
                       ARe: http://bit.ly/1gutLyl    


Watch for WILD FIRE (Guardian Witch Book Six) coming later this summer!

 
 
Picture


Welcome to this week's Coffee Chat!
Author Margo Bond Collins and I are
discussing writing and a few things you might not know about her.

Before we get started with the questions, let's show readers your bio, Margo. May I pour you a cup of coffee?

MARGO:  Perfect. I drink coffee with hazelnut-flavored creamer, practically by the gallon—I'm having something of a love affair with my Keurig.



Picture
About the Author:

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

And the extra fact you asked for:  I have a Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British literature.

Connect with Margo:

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net
Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

Be sure to add Fairy, Texas to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19502285-fairy-texas



Ally:  Tell our readers what genres you write, and how you became interested in those particular areas.

MARGO:  I write urban fantasy, paranormal mystery, and contemporary romance—and some of my books (like Fairy, Texas) are a blend of all of those genres!  I've always loved fantasy, ever since I read The Lord of the Rings when I was nine. And when urban fantasy started becoming popular, I was in heaven. The first book-length project I started (but never finished) was all about elves in New Orleans. And it was really only a short step from urban fantasy to contemporary romance, since so much urban fantasy involves a contemporary setting and some amount of romance.

Ally:  Writers tend to write wherever they can. Where is the strangest place you've written?


MARGO:  I don't know if it's really a strange place, but I once spent an entire committee meeting writing a fight scene. I think committees bring out my inner fighter.

Ally:  Do you have a daily or weekly writing goal? How long does it take you to complete a first draft?


MARGO:  I usually finish a first draft in about 6 – 8 weeks. I write for at least an hour a day, and try to choose two or three days a week to write for at least two or three hours. But I don't have a ritual otherwise—I don't have enough time to bother with a ritual!

Ally:  Do you choose your characters or do they choose you? 


MARGO:  It's a combination. Sometimes, I hear a character's voice in my head so strongly that I have to get their stories down on paper. Other times, I have to go hunting for characters and coax them into talking to me.

Ally: Here are a few get-to-know-you, quick answer questions:

  • a. the last meal you cooked: Chicken tortilla soup
  • b. your favorite accessory (scarves, jewelry, purses, etc.): Right now, it's a hot pink purse. And earrings. I have lots and lots of earrings.
  • c. favorite song: This changes from day to day. I've been listening to the Veronica Mars movie soundtrack obsessively recently and am especially fond of ZZ Ward's "Criminal"
  • d. an item on your bucket list: To see the Great Wall of China
  • e. if you could go anywhere, where would that be? Everywhere. I travel as often as I can.
Ally: Thanks so much for being part of the Coffee Chat today. Let's finished by showing readers your paranormal romance, Fairy, Texas...
Picture
Blurb:

Laney Harris didn't want to live in Fairy, Texas. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that "boring" would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.

She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.

Buy Fairy, Texas

E-Book:

Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Texas-Margo-Bond-Collins-ebook/dp/B00I7BTMJ4/

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy-texas-margo-bond-collins/1118584512?ean=2940149726844&itm=1&usri=fairy+texas

Paperback:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Texas-Margo-Bond-Collins/dp/1495419800/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy-texas-margo-bond-collins/1118584512

Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Fairy-Texas/Margo-Bond-Collins/9781495419805

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Fairy-Texas-Margo-Bond-Collins/9781495419805


Please stop by again soon!

 
 
Picture
Good Morning, Booklovers!

We're not having the regular Coffee Chat interview today, but we are stop #8 on M.S. Kaye's Blog Tour to promote her new YA paranormal release.

So, I'm just grabbing my usual cup of coffee and sitting back while Melissa takes over...



Thanks for having me, Ally!

Welcome to my Publishing Tips Blog Tour. I’ve put together ten short, easy tips that have been invaluable on my journey to publication. Follow my tour to see them all. Tour stops will be posted on my website: http://booksbymsk.com/?page_id=428

Stop 8: Have Thick Skin

People are going to tell you your writing is horrible. Accept it now. You are going to be rejected--we all are—but keep writing. This is a subjective pursuit, and everyone will have their own opinion. And that’s all it is—an opinion.

Do you love your story enough that you’d have written it just for yourself, just to see how the story unfolded and resolved? The answer should be yes (or else you haven’t found your story yet); therefore, it doesn’t matter if anyone else likes it.

Hold on to the love of your stories and keep writing.



Picture
Strong as Death  (Book one of the Born from Death series)

by M.S. Kaye

Ilona runs from her sheltering mother in order to find the truth, why she’s seeing people who are invisible to everyone else. A mysterious boy named Archer guides her through Brooklyn and introduces her to Hendrick, the man who claims to be her father—though he died in 1890. Ilona must discover not only what she must do to rid the city of Soll, a sadistic and powerful spirit, but also what it means to be half ghost. She proves what her mother told her—love is stronger than death.

Buy Links:

Publisher (all formats): http://jupitergardenspress.com/shop/strong-as-death/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00KDIN5D8
Barnes and Noble: http://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1119548501?ean=2940149439164

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Strong+as+death




Excerpt:

Another twenty yards and she’d be out of the darkness of the trees and almost to the sidewalk, within reach of the light from the streetlamps.

A figure stepped out from behind a large oak, directly into Ilona’s path.

Ilona stopped and searched for a way around.

“What are you doing?” a rough voice growled.

Ilona recognized it immediately, even before she registered Archer’s face.

“It’s none of your business what I’m doing,” she said.

He moved closer. “You’re making it goddamned impossible to protect you.”

“You can’t protect me.”

His jaw tightened, and he glared. “What in the hell do you think I’ve been doing?”

“I’m honestly not sure.”

His voice rose. “You’d be lying frozen dead in a gutter right now if it wasn’t for me. You saw what happened in the shelter—you’d have been attacked by now if I hadn’t been around.”

Her tone was quiet, calm. “I know how you scared them away.”

“I told you I have a talent for creating fear. It comes in useful.”

“But you don’t like it.”

He said nothing.

“And I know you’ve been around,” she said.

He raised his eyebrows as if she was being slow.

“Before you asked me if I was lost,” she said. “You were there—when the car hit me.”

His expression sobered.

She waited for a response.

Finally, he said, “I’ve been around.”

“Will you answer one question? And be honest?”

“I give as much honesty as I can.”

Her lips curved a little. That was perhaps the most honest response he had yet given.

She moved closer, and he backed away.

“No,” she said.

He stopped.

“When you turned the corner and asked if I was lost,” she said, “you leaned your shoulder on the wall. How did you do that?”

His eyebrows pulled together.

“You’re really good at it,” she said. “It took me awhile to realize you never actually touch anything, that you stay out of the light, that you don’t get cold, your breath doesn’t come out in puffs in the cold like everyone else’s, you never let anyone close, near enough to realize you have no scent, to feel the static when you get too close.”

He took a step back, as if in self-defense.

“Don’t try to lie anymore,” she said. “I know what you are.”



Picture
Author Bio:

M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.

Contact M. S. Kaye at:

www.Facebook.com/BooksByMSK

www.Twitter.com/MSKosciuszko   (Yes, that’s my real last name. See why I use a pen name?)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222522.M_S_Kaye




Thanks for stopping!