Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's almost time...for the 5,000 hit giveaway!

Whee! Authors--if you have an e-book (or even a print one) you are willing to donate, please, please, please let me know. The 5,000th hit will be here shortly.

If I get enough donations, I will let each commenter take their pick of one of the offered books. Then, I'll put them in touch with you so you can send it however you wish.

If you have something you want to donate, please let me know and message me (mystiparker (at) yahoo (dot) com) with your contact info. It might be good to include your blog/website links, and even a short blurb and book cover so the readers can choose what suits them.

Let the games begin! See...this guy can't wait.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sinclair Books: Giveaway with Author Mysti Parker

Please head over here and vote for me--I'm up for book of the month, plus giving away another copy of A Ranger's Tale to one lucky commenter. Right here:

Sinclair Books: Giveaway with Author Mysti Parker: "Book of the Month Twenty Authors, Twenty Days Welcome to Sinclairs Books. Today we are being joined by Mysti Parker. Mysti is introducing u..."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An Interview with Author Stefanie J Pristavu

I'm so happy to have up-and-coming author Stefanie J Pristavu here today! She's a great critique partner and an awesome writer. I was just on her blog recently as part of my virtual book tour. You can see my interview with her HERE. Now let's turn the tables and interrogate, I mean interview her!

Thanks for stopping by today, Stefanie. I know you hail from the beautiful country of Romania, and you are one busy young woman. Please tell us a little about what keeps you hopping when you're not writing.

Hi Mysti. Good to be here. I’ve always greatly enjoyed your blog. Now I have another reason to do so ;) And you’re a fantastic critting partner as well.

Hmmm... when I’m not writing… When I’m not writing, I usually fantasize about writing – I know what you’re going to say – insane – but I do most of my writing in my head. Then it all comes down to putting it on paper and actually remembering what I wrote in my head (mind you, I sometimes forget the original phrasing and I get kinda pissed :p)

Other than that, right now, my life revolves around studying. I’m in my last year of law school and am about to finish college (it was about time too). After that, I have another exam to go into judge training.
I also listen to a lot of music, watch TV and hang out with my boyfriend (of 7 years) and my numerous family (have 2 brothers and 2 cats)

I've had the privilege of critiquing one of your novels-in-progress so far. What can you tell us about Hunters? Where did the inspiration come from, and which of the characters do you most identify with?

Well, this should be fun. Hunters came to me on a whim – while I was in Prague with my Mom. I just thought – hey, why don’t I write about vampire hunters? The inspiration was also brought on by one of my critting partners who said she wanted two of my characters, who are just best friends, to end up together. So I tried that.

What can I tell you about it? It’s a short paranormal romance about two Hunters (I made them a whole different species) who try to bring down the head vampire. In the process, they are accused of treason by their own kind and turn into the favorite prey for both Hunters and vampires. In their whole wild adventure, they fall in love and unravel a conspiracy. You can read the first chapter here (http://stephacrosstheborder.blogspot.com/p/hunter-first-chapter.html)

Although I did enjoy writing my two characters, Rachel and Daniel, I can’t say I identify much with either of them. I mean Daniel is wild and cocky, and Rachel will turn out to be a kick-ass babe with a twinge of an insecurity problem. I’m not like that. J

Since I've begun this writing journey, I've met writers from all over the world. For all the writers from outside the U.S. and U.K., tell us a little about the challenges you've faced while writing in English when it's not your first language.

You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. Most my troubles come from not knowing the right word for the occasion – I know it in my language, but I’m not pleased with how it translates. Also, my speech pattern for characters ends up a bit screwy. I can’t tell the difference between British and American expressions and my knowledge in expression is limited either way.
Other than that, I can’t complain. I’ve learned English from reading and watching TV, but did get My Cambridge ESOL diploma, so I guess I’m certified ;)

Besides Hunters, I've done my snooping, and see you've got a few books brewing, and three of them are a series. You've even got a character blog HERE for those guys. I have to say, I've never heard of a character blog before, but it sounds like a great way to get to know who the stars of your story. Now, give us the scoop on this series. What's it all about and who are your favorite characters in it?

Lol, prepare for a long one. You’re right, I am writing a series, but it’s made out of seven books. It’s basically upper YA since it has a lot of romance and people dying in it. It’s about five brothers whose life becomes much harder due to their parents’ mistakes. They become secret agents in search of legendary jewels that will supposedly solve the power crisis in the world. Only that during this time, they are hunted down by an old enemy of their parents’ who wants the agency to fail and them dead. Exotic destinations, relationships, humor and a lot of family interaction shows the path of these guys who try to find themselves and…grow up.

The idea of the character blog was for me (and curious others) to get to know my characters again, to be able to put their voices out there. So far, four of my five MCs have interviewed there. After they’re done with the introduction, I will turn it into a blog structure to present their day to day life (which doesn’t come out so much in the books, seeing as they’re always on missions and stuff).

My favorite characters in it… this is a tough one, since there are five MCs plus their love interests. Depending on the book and/or scene, my favorites vary. If I have to think really hard, I think my favorite character is Sam. He’s most like me (well, I’m not THAT brainy) and is the one most aware of his flaws. The female character would be Jessie – she’s a feisty redhead who is smart and funny and very loyal. She’s the one I tried to base Rachel off, but failed miserably. :p
As to the character I like writing most, it’s Tom, Sam’s twin. He’s spunky, doesn’t think before he acts, is rude and cocky, but a good guy at heart.

What stories/ideas are you working on now?

Right now, I’m only writing inside my head, and I’m mostly trying to plan out the fifth volume of the series – I already wrote the first four (though I still have to majorly edit them). I’m also considering a fantasy novel for NaNoWriMo, if I’ll have time.

Don't look now! You looked, didn't you? Just for that, you get the random question: Has there ever been a book that gave you nightmares or made you jump at every little noise, and what was it?

Darn, I tried not to look, but it was so shiny! There actually was such a book. I read John Saul’s The Guardian when I was ten. I’d probably Lol at it now, but back then, it gave me the creeps. I remember reading it while listening to Modern Talking’s Romantic Worriers album. I have to say, that even if the fear is long gone, I still get chills when I hear those songs :p

Now, Miss Pristavu, would you please give us a short excerpt from one of your works in progress?

Yeah, sure… let me find something *rummages through computer*. There – this is from chapter 5 of Hunters
        The street was deserted. Heart beating with excitement, Rachel closed up her leather jacket to hide her weapons. It had been so long since she’d last killed a vampire. Her entire body hummed with anticipation.
        Her senses picked up on where the vampire was. She turned in the opposite direction and dashed up the street. A Shadow blocked her path. She skidded to a halt. Two of them, huh? Good. She needed someone to lash out on.
        As she backed away, she threw a glance over her shoulder. The blood in her veins froze. There were two of them behind her. Shit. Three was a bit much. She swallowed the slither of fear creeping up her throat. She could try climbing one of the buildings, but the vampires might still catch her. Maybe they didn’t know she was a Hunter. The element of surprise could decide the battle. 
       “Bon soir, gorgeous.” 
       Rachel flinched, but didn’t move as the two vampires came up behind her. She had to play this just right. 
       “What are you doing alone on a night like this?” One vampire grabbed her shoulder and turned her to face them. He was blond and handsome, but still scary as hell, and to her senses, completely disgusting. The other shivered in his companion’s shadow, thin and reedy. 
       “I’m not alone.” Rachel breathed through her mouth, trying to avoid their smell. “My boyfriend is meeting me on the other side of the alley.” 
       “But of course, she is lying.” The other vampire, a brunette with way too much facial hair, joined the party, speaking with a thick French accent. 
       “If I’m lying, it means I don’t want your company.” Rachel jerked her shoulder out of the vampire’s grip and put her hand under her jacket, on the handle of her pistol. These vamps were begging for holes in the head. 
       All three vamps backed away, watching her through narrowed, reddish eyes. Damn. She should’ve sounded more scared, but she was too angry. The tall blond sniffed the air. He would tell she wasn’t human any second now. 
       Rachel tightened her grip on the pistol, waiting. The blond flinched and stepped back, his nose scrunched in disgust. She whipped the pistol out and rapidly fired three shots. Blonde and Hairy sidestepped the bullets. Thin and reedy received a blow in the head and two in the heart. The remaining two grabbed her wrist and bashed it against the wall. The gun fell out of her hand. 
       Rachel reached her free hand under her jacket, pulled out her knife and sunk it through Hairy vampire’s forehead. He screamed and cursed in French, trying to yank it out of his head. Rachel punched Blonde in the stomach. He groaned and let go of her. She jumped as high as she could and grabbed a window ledge. She scrambled up the building until she reached the roof and turned around, her fists raised, ready for the face off.

Thank you so much for being here, Stefanie, and I wish you the best of luck. I'll be first in line when you publish your first book!

Thanks Mysti! Glad to be here! And I’ll make sure my published books come to your door ;)

For more about Stefanie, please visit her blog, Across the Border!

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Interview with Author Bobbi Groover

Coming in June. Buy it HERE!
Forget the Mondaze--we've got another fabulous author interview! Today it's Bobbi Groover! She's got a historical romance coming out from Melange Books in June, entitled The Inn at Little Bend. You can visit her on the web at Bobbi's Corner.

Welcome to Unwritten, Bobbi! I'm so glad you could be here today! First, kick off your boots and tells us about yourself. What's Miss Bobbi like when she's not writing romantic tales from nostalgic time periods?

When I'm not writing romantic tales from nostalgic periods, I'm thinking about them.  I drive twenty-five to thirty thousand miles a year so I plug my iPod into my car speakers and jump into my stories.  I generally have an instrumental theme for each story--sometimes only one song, or a score from a movie I've seen.  I generally don't pick it...it picks me.  A scene develops in my head as the music plays and a new story takes shape. The story is never far from my mind as I research the time period, ride my horses, walk my dogs or prepare the dough for my grandmother's raviolis.   

One of the best things about these interviews is snooping on author websites. Yours is just lovely! Looks like you grew up in quite the rural setting, and with a 22-person party line telephone. I can relate, but we only had a maximum of 9 people. How has your upbringing inspired your writing? Has it given your writing a particular "voice"?

Buy it HERE!

My childhood in the country has definitely inspired my writing.  Much of what is written in Fun in the Yellow Pages is based on many of my own childhood experiences.  Having lived in a remote, rural setting, galloped horses across the countryside, fox hunted and handled firearms with ease gave me a taste of what life was like in the 19th century, America--my favorite time setting---and set the scenes for my historical romances.  I do think that having first-hand knowledge of these old time experiences and events hopefully gives a true "voice" as you call it, to my stories. The description of the plantation house in Season of the Shadow closely resembled my grandparent's home that was originally built by a boot-legger in the 1920's, complete with tunnels to the river! 

As a side note, I still have that old wooden telephone that we used when we first moved to the country. It was replaced when my father, who was the local doctor, convinced the phone company to consent to a private line for patient's confidentiality.  Since the phone still has all its original parts, my son was able to make it work in my home today but for obvious reasons we can only receive calls on it, not make them.  

According to your website, you've had two books published, one coming in June, and another coming soon. How long did those stories brew before you finished them? Is any of them your favorite?

My Young Adult novel, Fun in the Yellow Pages was written just for fun for my sons as a way to give them an insight into the 'fun' days of my childhood.  It snowballed rapidly from there and ended up being published and utilized in several schools.  I wrote the prologue to Season of the Shadow one night after dinner (and after a fight with my husband)!  I directed my frustration at the characters instead of my husband.  Reading over it the next day, I decided to run with the idea and completed it seven months later.  The Inn at Little Bend, my June release by with Melange Books, was outlined just after SEASON was released but then 'cooked' for a number of years.  When my father, my horse and my dear friend died within five months, I jumped back into the story as a means to gain a measure of control over my spiraling life. Remember, in the story I'm omnipotent!  The story was cathartic and constructive at the same time and shaped the direction and emotion of several scenes.

I really can't say any of the stories is my favorite.  I'm emotionally attached to all of my characters.  They become such a part of my life, that when the writing is finished, I actually miss having them in my day.

What can you tell us about The End at Little Bend?

The Inn at Little Bend is not a sequel to Season of the Shadow.  It stands on its own but I did join some of the characters just for the fun of it and because I really missed the characters from SEASON.  Those who have read it comment that it is a more intense love story then the first.   Something of note: it is also written from the heroine's point of view rather than the hero's.  It's her story, not his.  That subtle point is a change for me, and I actually found it more challenging. 

Are you working on anything at the moment, and can you give us the scoop?

I'm always working on something!  The working title of my new story is Into The Gray.  I've written several scenes, bits of chapters and lots of notes.  Since each romance stands on its own, I have a new hero and heroine but they are friends with the characters from the first two romances.  (I've already told you how much I miss my characters.)  The time frame has moved forward into the years of the American Civil War and now they are all embroiled in conspiracy and intrigue and thrown into the heat of battle.  The research on the Civil War is nothing short of fascinating.  Delving into history as an adult makes it so much different from what I remember being taught in school.  There are days when I am so drawn into the time period that I resent being pulled back by today's responsibilities!  Can you imagine that my family wants dinner and clean clothes!!  My family often complains that they think my characters see more of me than they do!
Buy it HERE!

I've had a historical romance sitting on the back burner for a while now, until I have adequate research time to make it shine. What can you tell those of us who want to write historical romance? Besides research, what are the challenges involved?

Speaking just for myself, I find writing historical romance just plain fun!  Today's fast pace world leaves so little time for romance.  Jumping back to a slower paced world where chivalry abounded created such an atmosphere for romance.  Challenges besides research?  Research IS the challenge...the detail of the clothes, the detail of the surroundings, the speech, the meaning of words, whether any particular word actually existed in that time period and did it mean the same as it does today... all of it.  If the details aren't there, then the words, the settings and the people don't ring true and you lose the reader. Since there is no 'big screen' on which to display the fabulous costumes and beautiful sets, the writer paints with words on the mind's eye.  All the research creates the color, the music and the mood that enmeshes the reader in the story and leaves them truly caring about the characters.

I bet you thought I forgot the random question. Nope, nope, nope. Here goes! Can you name something or someone you miss from your childhood and why?

What I miss most is the land, the wide open valley where I spent so many years, where our closest neighbor was a mile away. The air was clean; the only sounds were nature's symphony.  We camped out and the night sky was brilliant with sixty-four shooting stars.  The water from our spring actually had a taste, and it was delicious!  My father was a doctor but we rented our barn to the local farmer, and I miss the soft feel of the calves and the fluffy baby chicks.  I miss the taste of UNhomogenized milk that was in the cow two hours before I drank it, of newly churned butter and truly fresh eggs.  I miss being able to leave the house and NOT lock the doors. I miss the peace and the innocence. Even if I moved my family to the mountains of Montana or Wyoming, because of today's technology, the childhood I'm describing is a time long gone, never to be recaptured and I regret that it's a time my children will never have the opportunity to experience.

Finally, Ms. Groover, could you share a short excerpt of a published work or even a work in progress?

Excerpt from The Inn at Little Bend    (Melange Books, June 2011)

       When he strolled toward her, Grayson was suddenly terrified. Aggie had been right; she was toying with disaster. She edged backward.
       “Excuse me. Are you in need of assistance?” Drake’s voice was low, smooth, and seductive.
       Grayson lowered her face, avoiding his gaze. “No. I…um…I was just looking for…” She whispered her words, hoping he wouldn’t recognize her voice. Why had she been so careless? The idea bordered on madness. Her heart pounded loudly in her ears. “My mistake.”  
      “What’s wrong? What has you so scared?”
       “It’s nothing.” She felt trapped. Surely Drake would recognize her now.
       “Allow me to help you.”
       Grayson edged further away. “Leave me be…please.” She had to disappear. Now! In her fear she jerked away from him with such force that she wobbled just a wagon roared down the street.
       “Watch out!” Drake shouted and pulled her out of harm’s way and into the shelter of his arms. She leaned full against him, lightheaded with the realization that he had just saved her life yet again. They were both breathing hard and trembling. Grayson's knees suddenly buckled. 
       “It’s all right. I have you,” he cooed softly. “You’re safe. Lean into my shoulder. I won’t let you go.”
Grayson closed her eyes. Please don’t ever let me go.
       “There, there, you’re shaking.”
       “So are you,” she murmured on a soft breath.
       “Seeing that wagon nearly hit you…” Drake stopped, and he shuddered. “No matter. You’re safe now. I have you. You’re all right.”

Thank you so much for stopping by, Bobbi! I wish you oodles of success!

For more information about Bobbi Groover, don't forget to stop by her website at http://bobbiscorner.com/.

Friday, May 20, 2011

An Interview with Author Nora Weston

Happy Friday everyone! Today, the lovely and talented Nora Weston is dropping by to talk about her writing journey. I've had the pleasure of reading her first novel, a sci-fi romance entitled Guardian 2632, published by Melange Books (see my review HERE). Her next novel, The Twelfth Paladin, is to be released in June!

Welcome to Unwritten, Nora! From your website (HERE), it says your writing "slips in-between and all around science fiction, fantasy, and horror." Out of all those genres, which one do you gravitate toward the most? 

Oh! That is a difficult question, really tough. I love them all, especially if the Sci-Fi is spine-chilling and the fantasy frightens, so that means...I gravitate the most to horror. I enjoy putting my characters into disturbing situations, frequently involving supernatural events that test their sense of right and wrong. Why do some people/characters rise to the occasion and beat the odds, while others struggle through a dilemma to fail? Heroes are found in unlikely places, so I utilize that in my fiction and poetry. I suppose I’m also attracted to horror the most because my childhood was filled with Dark Shadows and The Twilight Zone. There’s nothing like a good scare!

Tell us about your non-writing life. What keeps you busy off-screen?

Well, off-screen, days and nights blur together in my laundry room. With six kids and their friends as overnight guests, plus college kids coming and going, believe me...that keeps me busy. As you can imagine, keeping milk in the house is a challenge too! So besides the everyday activities of wife/mother/friend, I also enjoy reading, researching for my stories, and freelance painting, mostly landscapes, but some faux painting too. It’s amazing what you can do with one roller and three colors of paint. 

My family is big on movies, so Saturday is movie night! We all like action/adventure, Sci-Fi, fantasy, and horror, and comedies are great too. I just saw the new Jane Eyre movie...it was fantastic!

You've told me a little about The Twelfth Paladin, and I'm itching to read it. Would you share a little bit about this book?

Sure! The Twelfth Paladin places good against evil as angels, demons, and a temptress extraordinaire, named Rachel Darnell, vie for the soul of Jake Cottrell. Jake foolishly dares Hell to burn him. Hell agrees. 

Buy it HERE in June!
Here’s a short blurb

Scarred with angelfire by a rebellious angel, named Micah, Jake Cottrell is sanctioned to become the twelfth paladin in Micah’s supernatural unit of slayers. However, regret abounds as Micah is banished and ordered to protect what he now despises…a human he believes is unworthy of such an honor. Never fear, Jake is a seeker of mischief who soars on a blistering blacktop to escape the wrath of Hell while he transforms into the twelfth paladin.

Although this is a supernatural/horror novel, The Twelfth Paladin also deals with Jake’s refusal to accept he is accountable for his life choices. Everything dreadful that happens to Jake...is his fault because he lives life on the edge and tends to blame others for his misery. He’s positioned in a war between Heaven and Hell and then must decide which side he’ll stand on. It’s a wild ride into nightmare land, a story about a rebellious hero who finally has something precious to lose.

I happen to think Dr. Zane Grayson from Guardian 2632 is one sexy dude. What inspired that particular character and the storyline in that book?

Yes! I agree Zane is super-hot. He’s a military man with a rock hard body, but he also has that oh, so wonderful, sensitive side. He was easy to write about because Guardian 2632 was inspired from a series of relentless dreams about Zane Grayson and Julia Emerson. There was no way to forget this guy...long, black bangs, dark eyes, physically fit to the point it’s crazy, and his desire for Julia made for explosive dreams.

At first, the dreams were only about Julia’s crumbling marriage to Jack. The fights, his reckless behavior, and his irresponsibility toward his family soon entangled him with a mobster, named Marshall Pickett. Julia’s life was put in harm’s way. It all played out, night after night, like a soap opera, which was really bizarre, because I’ve never watched any soaps! Before long, Zane Grayson...a mastermind from the future, entered to make sure I awoke every morning preoccupied with these ghosts from dreamland. So, Guardian 2632 became a short story and then grew into a full-length novel. 

Are you working on anything now and can you tell us about it?

Currently, I’m finishing the final edits for The Twelfth Paladin. I’m so excited it will be coming out in June. Then, it’s back to Zane, Julia, and Lindsay since the sequel to Guardian 2632 is a top priority. The sequel will deal with Lindsay and her recruitment into Guardian TMF. Due to Zane’s genetic enhancements and Julia’s physic abilities...Lindsay inherits unique gifts to become a guardian the likes of which the world has never seen.

I've been snooping around your website, and you've got a number of publishing credits to your name. When did you publish your first story and what advice would you give to those of us who are new to this business?

This is terrible...but I can’t remember what story or poem was published first! So many hectic and hilarious years flew by raising my clan, and sleep was practically nonexistent, so you’ve asked a very curious question. Now, I’ll have to ponder this! However, most likely, the first thing I published was poetry. I got bitten by the writing bug, but I was too busy to write anything too epic, so I found poetry was perfect to express my creativity.

The best advice I can give is to read a lot! Know your genre well and have fun being immersed in the craft of writing. Stay motivated by writing down your dreams, observing people and places, and listen to all kinds of music to keep creative juices flowing in new directions. Beyond those things, research markets at duotrope.com, and stick to the guidelines one hundred percent of the time. If you are new to writing, whether it’s fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, remember to edit like crazy, and do not get discouraged if things don’t always go your way. Just keep revising and submitting to get the acceptances coming in. 

Ready for the random question? Of course you are! If you could pick any sci-fi TV show (past or present) on which to guest-star, which one would it be and why?

Ah! This one is easy for me. It would have to be The Twilight Zone because even though the stories were scary, a lesson was learned as well. I still remember watching those shows with my sister...like it was yesterday. 

Now, Ms. Weston, please be so kind as to share a short excerpt from one of your published works or even a work in progress?

I’d be happy to! Let’s go with an excerpt from The Twelfth Paladin.

Excerpt from Chapter Two

Setup: Jake Cottrell and an old, high school buddy, Davis Travis, have gone to a local carnival in Clearview Oregon. Davis knows Jasmine well and asks her to do a reading for Jake...

       Jasmine’s dark green eyes intensified making me feel vulnerable, like my skin was nothing more than clear, plastic wrap. Her crystal ball glowed bluer as pure white light shot out from the top of it. The warm light split up into thousands of hair-like strands, which proceeded to wrap themselves around my stinging flesh. A satisfying, but overwhelming aroma gobbled up the carnival smell once present.
       I couldn’t speak, felt immobile in every physical aspect, yet my mind burned. Things about my ridiculous childhood appeared throughout my mind much like a movie. Tender moments shared with Tony were especially heartfelt to see, like the day he showed us our new home. After that, I remembered when my mother left us, and our life mirrored the underworld. Sadness just about asphyxiated me. Out of nowhere, the sorrow left as I relived the surreal accident at the Motocross Track. For a second, I was dead and descending into Hell.
       At last, relief came to me as Jasmine released her hands from mine. As fast as a lightning bolt, the white light retracted back into her crystal ball. “My, my, Jake Cottrell,” she said while patting her lovely chest.
       “What did you see? Am I going to win a lottery or something?” Standing up to leave, I acted like nothing had happened.
       Jasmine came to me and then placed her delicate hand on my right shoulder. A half-smile disappeared when she leaned in to whisper, “Surely you will fall into darkness, before you willingly bathe in the glory of the light. All in due time, Jake Cottrell.” 
       Faster than Tony could empty a bottle of whiskey, goose bumps consumed my skin. “Stop it. How did you know I dreamed that?” 
       Inches from my face, Jasmine ran her black nails along my jaw. “You’ve been scarred with angelfire. Your right shoulder I believe? A war is going on, but you won’t accept you’re the twelfth one, will you?” She laughed, dancing about the tent looking more like a medieval witch than a modern-day carnival gypsy. “I hope you’re ready for the ride of your life…because it’s coming.” Jasmine spun around faster as the candles flared and her cackle grew more intense.
       “Angelfire, ride of my life, and the twelfth what? Oh, forget it. You’re nuts. Come on, Davis!” 

Thank you so much for being here today, Nora! Please come back again and I wish you the best of luck!

For more about Nora and to keep up-to-date with her releases, click the links below.
Website: http://www.2noraweston.com/index.html
Blog: http://noraweston.wordpress.com/
Melange Author Page: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/noraweston/noraweston.html

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Interview with Author Anna James

Buy it HERE!
 It's Monday. It's May 16, and we're back to the author interviews! I'm excited to have some fine fellow author ladies coming up for you this week. Today, it's contemporary romance author Anna James. You can visit Anna's blog HERE to keep up-to-date with all her publications, book reviews, and more!

***One lucky commenter will have their choice of either Coming Home, Isabelle's Dilemma, or Guilty as Charged (.pdf ebook), so leave a comment with your email addy if you'd like to win. Drawing one week from today!** 

Thanks for stopping in Anna! Now, tell us a little about yourself. Who's the woman behind the screen?

Good morning Mysti and thanks for having me here. I am an author of contemporary romance stories that allow women of all ages to get lost in a world filled with passion, drama and romance. I also have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked as an engineer for many years. I went into marketing about 5 years ago and I love it. I had my first book, entitled Isabella’s Dilemma, published in July 2010 from Sugar and Spice Press. I have had three other stories published since then. “A Picture Perfect Christmas” was included in Christmas Collectibles, an anthology of Christmas stories from several authors, published by Melange Books this past Christmas, Guilty As Charged – Book 1 in the Bradford Sisters Trilogy was published by Sugar and Spice Press on April 16, 2011 and Coming Home which was published by Melange Books on April 23, 2011.
Buy it HERE!

It says on your blog (yes, I snooped) that you have a degree in mechanical engineering. Being married to an engineer myself, I've found that the gears are always turning in an engineer's mind. Do you find yourself thinking about a million things at once? Are you plotting stories while you're working on something else?

Definitely! There is always a scene or a plot for a story brewing in the background of my mind.

I've read your latest release, Coming Home (see my review HERE) and loved it. Can you tell us a little about some of your your other titles?

Buy it HERE!
Guilty As Charged is the first book in the Bradford Sisters Trilogy. This book centers on the love story of Nicole Bradford, the oldest of three sisters and Max Paradis. You will also meet Natalie Bradford (the middle sister) and Reed McNamara (Max’s brother) in this story as well as Kate Bradford (the youngest sister). Shattered Dreams – Book 2 in the Bradford Sisters Trilogy will feature Natalie and Reed’s love story and the third book (still toying with the title) will feature Kate’s story.

Now… here is a taste of Guilty As Charged to whet your appetite:

The door to Reed’s office burst open, crashing against the adjoining wall. Reed looked up. Nicole turned to see who had made all the noise. Max stood in the opening, a thunderous expression on his face.
“Well, big brother, what can we do for you?” Reed queried in a casual tone.
Max didn’t answer; he just stood glaring at Nicole.
“M–Max, you’re home early.”
“Surprise,” he said sarcastically.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Reed asked.
Instead of answering, he strode into the room and stopped in front of Nicole. 
Suddenly, she was on full alert. She noticed the large manila envelope in his hand. The letterhead on the front made her sick with shock.
“Care to explain this?” he drawled, his tone at odds with the aggression emanating from every fiber of his being.
“What is it?” Reed asked a confused look on his face.
It was what she feared most. Legal documents, containing, no doubt, her arrest record and everything else about that horrible incident that had happened so long ago.
“Well?” Max asked ominously.
Nicole couldn’t speak. What could she say? It was all there in black and white.
After several moments of electrifying silence, Max turned his attention to Reed. “Are you aware you’ve hired a convicted felon, little brother?”
“I am not a convicted felon.”
He turned toward her. “I stand corrected, you were never convicted, however…” Nicole made to speak, but Max overrode her efforts. His attention was on Reed again as he continued. “As I was saying, are you aware that you’ve hired a drug smuggler?”
Reed’s eyes opened wide and Nicole cringed in her seat.
She shot to her feet. “That’s enough.  You know nothing about what happened.”
“Oh, you’re ex-lover Carlo was more than happy to tell me what happened when he met me at the airport this morning. He told me what you’re really like. You present this sweet, innocent fa├žade to the world, but these—” He picked up one of the documents that lay strewn across the desk and threw it at her. “These tell the truth about who you really are.”
“Max, you can’t be serious. There’s got to be some mistake.”
“There’s no mistake, little brother.  See, she’s not even going to deny it.”
Nicole glared at him, furious now, her body shaking with anger. “You think just because…” Her voice trailed off.  She threw her hands in the air, a gesture of defeat, and then slumped into her chair. What was the use in trying to explain?  He wasn’t going to believe her. No one had believed her before. No matter how hard she had tried to convince them that she was innocent of any wrongdoing.  She stood again and addressed Reed. “You’ll have my resignation on your desk tomorrow morning. I’m sorry.”  She turned and walked out the door with her head held high.

Isabella’s Dilemma features the story of Isabella’s Sheridan and Jake McAllister. Here is a short blurb from the story to spark your interest:

         Isabella Sheridan has a big problem and his name is Jake McAllister! Jake is now Isabella’s business partner. To make matters worse he owns more of the Sheridan Advertising Agency than she does. He is difficult to work with, has a hostile attitude toward her and makes business decisions without consulting her. So why does she respond with so much passion when he kisses her? 
        Jake McAllister does not like Isabella Sheridan. As far as he’s concerned she’s shallow and without moral values, both in her personal and professional life. So why is he so attracted to her? You’d think he’d know better based on past experience. And why, after just one passionate kiss, is he ready to give her the benefit of the doubt and become involved?
Will Jake and Isabella resolve their differences and find love or will past perceptions be too much to overcome?

What are you working on now and can you fill us in on any of it?

I am working on the Shattered Dreams – Book 2 in the Bradford Sisters Trilogy. Here is a blurb from that story to peak your interest:

         Natalie and Reed seemed so happy when they got married just a few short months ago. But an unexpected pregnancy and a subsequent miscarriage throw their marriage into turmoil.
         Natalie deals with the loss by burying herself in work. Reed is supportive but doesn’t understand why she is spending so much after-hours time with her handsome, sexy boss. And what about their dream of having a family? How can that happen when with each passing day Natalie becomes more distant?
        Will Reed and Natalie find a way to work things out or will all their dreams be shattered?

Don't look now, but the random question is here to steal your cookies! Which of the characters you've written so far can you most relate to and why?

I think there is probably a little bit of me in every heroine I create. But, I most relate to Molly Quinn from To Love and Trust Again (Available January 2012 Melange Books). To Love and Trust Again was actually the first romance story I ever wrote (obviously not the first one published!) and it’s true what they say about writing what you know about. Molly, the heroine, is a Mechanical Engineer and some of the struggles she faces when it comes to her job are similar to what I faced when I first started my career.

Finally, Ms. James, can you share a short excerpt from one of your published works or even a work in progress?

I just received a contract for my erotic, contemporary, paranormal romance novella entitled Visions from Sugar and Spice Press. I am not sure of the exact release date yet but hoping for some time this summer or fall. Here is an excerpt from the story:

Sweat trickled down the sides of her face. Her eyes were huge with fear and tremors racked her body. “No! Please don’t.” Prudence Bailey could hear the terror in the woman’s voice as she begged for her life. Someone came toward the woman; he was holding a knife. Or was it a she? Pru couldn’t tell from this angle. She saw the woman’s arms shoot up to try and ward off her attacker. It was a futile attempt. He overpowered her easily. Then it happened. The knife plunged deep into her chest. The screams were terrifying. She saw the woman crumple but it wasn’t over. The knife plunged into the woman again and again. Finally, the screaming stopped.
Pru shot straight up in bed. She too was drenched with sweat and her body shook with fear. This was the third night this week that she’d had the nightmare. It was the same each time. She pulled the blankets aside and got out of bed. Why is this happening to me? she wondered as she went down the stairs to double check that the windows and doors were locked. She didn’t know but she was sure as hell going to find out.
 It was great having you here, Anna! I wish you much success! For more about Anna, visit her Melange Books author page here:

Her Facebook page here:

And on Goodreads here:


***Remember to comment with your e-mail addy if you'd like a chance to win one of Anna's books (an e-copy of Coming Home, Guilty as Charged, or Isabelle's Dilemma)***

Monday, May 9, 2011

"A Ranger's Tale" now available at Amazon.com!!!!

Oh happy day! My debut novel is now at Amazon.com, available in both Kindle and print! I'm so uber-excited, and if you have been waiting for the Kindle version....


If you've reviewed this book already (on Goodreads, etc.), would you mind heading over to Amazon to leave it there as well? I'll be eternally grateful and will shower you with heaps of virtual praise and cyber chocolates!

P.S.--Spread the word!


A Review of "Take One at Bedtime" by Jenny Twist

This past week, I've had the pleasure of reading Jenny Twist's Take One at Bedtime, an anthology of short tales ranging from romantic to horrific. You might remember my interview with Jenny HERE before the book was released. Luckily, it's available now, and I'd recommend it for anyone who loves easy-to-read short stories.

In fact, for many of the stories, I took Dr. Twist's advice and read one (sometimes two or three on a good night) while I rested in my bed. They're the perfect length for a quick tale before you turn out the light, or during your lunch break, or when you're in a waiting room, or riding on the bus...I think you get my drift.

Most of these stories are set in England or Spain, and Ms. Twist employs her knowledge of both locales very well. The settings and personalities  really come to life with her vivid language. Every story begins in a way that pulls the reader in and brings you to a conclusion you usually don't expect. Each tale is unique and paced nicely. I enjoyed them all and was sad when I reached the last page. I think you'll see what I mean when you buy your copy.

You can find Take One at Bedtime at Melange Books in e-book or print format. Click HERE to order!