Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge


Today I’m participating in the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge, sponsored by The Long and Short Reviews. Their topic is “favorite TV show and why.” Since my husband and I spend many evenings watching TV, and I often get my writing inspiration from minor characters who flit through the story, this is perfect for me.

However, deciding on one favorite show is tougher. I love the British TV dramas that we watch in BBC America. Sherlock is fantastic. As is, of course, Dr. Who. Netflix and Amazon have great series, such as Man in the High Castle and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Then there’s Game of Thrones and Outlander. And of course, lots of network shows. They all have one thing in common, though. High emotion and strong characters.

Those characters take control of their lives, even when it seems as if they have none. Seeing them rise above their challenges—whether it’s as a newly divorced Jewish woman in the 1950s, a young girl forced to make her way on her own in Westeros, or people facing the worst type of society in High Castle, somehow, each one of them finds their place and figures out a way not only to survive, but to thrive.

With all that is happening today, I find that inspiring. And therefore, when I’m creating my own characters, I make sure to infuse them with that “never-give-up” spirit, even when I and they want to give up. My writing is an escape from reality. It’s my chance to make my characters’ lives turn out the way I want them to. It’s my chance to give just the right comeback. I get to play God. It’s a heady experience and one that gives me an outlet when this crazy world we actually live in gets even crazier. 

So tell me, what’s your favorite TV show and why?

Monday, May 13, 2019

It's That Time of Year

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Honestly, I haven’t had anything to say. I try to be entertaining when I blog, but I don’t feel that way and haven’t for a while. It’s a lot of pressure to keep up and I’m just not feeling it these days. But the seasons are changing and if the rain ever stops, I’ll be able to go out and appreciate the new leaves on the trees, the blooming flowers and someday, the sun! 

In the meantime, I’m trying to write and edit and promote. I’m getting ready for College Girl to come home and then pack her up for Israel. I’m adjusting to the idea that Banana Girl is in the home stretch for high school and is going to college—after she spends the summer working at camp. 

Things are changing and it’s going to be weird. But in a good way. I think. Tell me, what are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

OWSCyCon Romance Blog Tour - Day 3



OWSCyCon is an international, online book convention that is free to attend and features over 100 authors!  Join the fun to meet new authors, snag up some great book deals, and participate in multiple online book events.  
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Enjoy this sneak peek of some of the featured romance authors who will be at the OWS Cyber Book Convention from May 17 - 19!  
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Stephen B. Pearl
❤️❤️❤️
Stephen B. Pearl is an ex-lifeguard, mystic, science enthusiast, home handyman, backyard mechanic, and
Writer among other things.

Married for over 34 years, to a very tolerant woman, his view of romantic love leans to stability and realism. Which doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. A strong core relationship empowers a character to do amazing things.

Stephen writes in many genera, but his romance titles consist of, Paranormal Romance: Worlds Apart and The Hollow Curse and Science Fiction Romance: Cats, Slaves of Love and War of the Worlds 2030. He will warn you War of the Worlds 2030 while quite romantic is also extremely dark.

His fiction in other genera normally incorporates a romantic subplot or two. His characters tend towards a balanced power dynamic where mutual respect and support is possible. Starry-eyed teens don’t get much of a look in.
For more about Stephen and his works visit: www.stephenpearl.com.

R.L. Jackson
❤️❤️❤️
R.L Jackson writes fiction and enjoys reading Romance, Fantasy, Dystopian, YA, and everything in between. She is also a seasoned screenwriter, an avid movie lover, ruthless supporter of all things creative and a hopeless romantic. She aims to tell new kinds of love stories, coupled with fresh concepts to give the reader a realistic jolt to brain. Her hope is to shake up the status quo. Residing in the Sunny state of Florida, she plans on bringing many more novels to life and hopes you will follow her on this new and exciting journey.

Visit http://www.cybillcain.com/ tomorrow for Day 4 of the OWSCyCon 2019 Romance Blog Tour!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

An Interview With Stephen King

No, not THAT Stephen King. Sorry. But THIS Stephen King is a great guy and fellow Wild Rose Press author. His latest book is out and I thought it would be fun to get to know him better:



What is your writing style or schedule?
Well, the easy answer here is: every chance I get, but sadly that isn’t anywhere near as much as I’d like. So, I make time every morning because I work sixty hours a week, but then, there’s also family stuff too and writing is quite a selfish act. But these days, the thing that takes me away from writing new stuff most, is promoting the current releases. A necessary evil, and I love doing it, but I just wish there was twenty-eight hours in a day

Where do you actually write?
Mostly sitting at the dining table, which is in our family area. That way, in the evenings, while my wife, Jacqui is watching the TV I’m at least with her in the same room and can have conversations – even though sometimes I wish she would shush – don’t tell her that though.

Do you write linearly or not?
Hmmm, did I mention I left school at fifteen? LOL, if that question means what I think it means, yes. For me, when I have an idea, the only way I can explore it is to start writing. Sometimes it’s the most bizarre, random thought that pops into my head, and tries to escape. So, from that point I start writing and just let it flow. I never plan – especially an ending, I write my way towards it, and I find that then I want to find out what’s going to happen next. Then when I get to the end, then I self-edit like a madman, and that can mean major re-writes, changing the order of chapters etc etc. I have a saying which I will tell anyone who wants advice on writing: write from your heart, but edit with your head.

What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?
We renovate houses, and at the moment, we are helping my son and daughter in law get their place finished and on the market. I also play poker twice a month, have done for years with the same group of guys and love it. Once a year I go game fishing for a week, and the rest of the time its family stuff. I’m blessed with grown up children who actually want to spend time with us – we must have got something right.

Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?
I don’t have a writing group. I know it works for some people, but for me I begrudge the time. My eldest daughter from my first marriage has been a constant source of support, and the first person to read what I write. My wife doesn’t read anything I put out, but she is a great listener and patiently lets me bounce ideas off her. One memorable occasion I woke her at 4am to discuss an idea and she didn’t yell or throw something at me.

How long does it normally take you to write a novel?
Well it used to take much less time when I didn’t do any promotional work. That’s not a whine, I’m living my dream of being a published author, and with it comes the responsibility to my publisher for assisting in getting the word out there. It’s a crowded market place out there for authors. For me, probably four to six months to finish a first draft, then three months to do my minimum of five re-writes. The it’s into editing, another three months. It doesn’t happen overnight. I dream of when I can retire and so this full time.

Who or what are your inspirations?
Different for different books. Sometimes it’s a random thought, sometimes it’s a definitive idea, once it was a very vivid dream, and for Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths it was a lady I met who offered me an idea for a killer at a time I was looking for one (not literally, of course). She asked me the question: “when is a serial killer not a serial killer?” And so, this book was born.

If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?
Jennifer, I’m living proof that no matter how old you are you can achieve your dreams. There isn’t a single aspect of being a writer I don’t LOVE. I know it’s a cliché, but seriously I wonder if one day I won’t wake and realize it was all a dream.

Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
A bigger laptop, a desk facing a window that overlooks the ocean, a beach with palm trees, hand maidens peeling my grapes and keeping my coffee mug or wine glass – depending on the time of day- filled.

Tell me about your latest book. 
Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths is book 2 of a trilogy that explores desires between two people who both have their own marital problems. They are thrust together to investigate three serial killers, and they are instantly attracted to each other. Do they, don’t they, should they? If they were single it would be a match made in heaven, but they aren’t.

The book itself brings our protagonists together for the second time to find a man who is addicted to beauty, because his life is far from that. He is a collector of beautiful things, but when he tries to capture a stunningly beautiful young woman, she ceases to be what she was when he abducted her, and she dies. So, after he grieves, he tries again, and again and is determined to keep going until he gets it right.

Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?
Patricia Holmes in this book is my all-time favorite character, and because it’s a trilogy I have around 300,000 words to explore her, and the man she is working with, Rick. She is beautiful, intelligent with two university master’s degrees, who shares his drive for using her intellect to catch serial murderers. She is at times funny, sexy, flirtatious, but other time gracious and deadly serious. She is the ideal character to create, and in many ways, I am so sad the trilogy is finished.

What are you working on now?
Haha, well its NOTHING like Glimpse. I wanted a break from deranged killers. It’s called Winter at the Light, and is a romantic thriller set on a lighthouse in 1952 when a 21-year-old woman looks after the light when her father is injured to save him from losing his job. 

After she falls for a man who is washed up on the shore in a lifeboat, two armed men come looking for him, and she discovers there is nowhere to hide on a lighthouse.



Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths available on April 10that Amazon:

Rick McCoy of the Major Crime Squad is trying to repair his marriage when he is sent to the South of Western Australia. A young girl's body has been found in a cave, with flowers on her chest. A search finds five more bodies. 

Beautiful criminal psychologist, Patricia Holmes, has recovered from her stab wounds inflicted by the serial killer PPP, and is brought in. Pat believes they are hunting a man who is addicted to beauty. When another school girl goes missing, they have only days before she too will die. 

As their desire for each other grows and the pressure on their marriages increase, they close in on the man responsible for the beautiful deaths. Meanwhile, in the high-security wing of the mental health hospital, PPP plans his revenge on Rick. 


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P51GVCL/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i7                                                                          

Stephen B King
Australian Author
www.stephen-b-king.com
email: stephenk8@me.com
Twitter: @StephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor


                                                                                                            







Monday, April 15, 2019

My Take On Game of Thrones (No Spoilers)

I’m not your typical Game of Thrones fan. First of all, most people who know me are surprised that I enjoy it as much as I do.

There’s gore. I don’t do gore.

There are a million characters. I typically remember about three.

The plot is extensive. I get confused easily (ask my husband).

It’s fantasy. I tend to prefer romance or crime drama/mystery.

But I watched the first episode and I was hooked. I’ll fully admit I don’t watch the gore. The Red Wedding? I saw enough to see where it was going and closed my eyes for the rest. The Mountain? Yeah, again, didn’t watch it. I don’t need to see someone being mutilated, so I just go with, okay, another one is dead. Same result, better sleep.

The characters, though, are fantastic. They’re multilayered. Even the evil ones are relatable. The women are empowered. In fact, I’d even go so far to say that it’s a female-led show. Cersei is deliciously wicked and in control. Danaerys is an amazing leader—and she has dragons who listen to her! There are even children who command respect. And Arya? She has taken control of her life and come out on top, as has her sister, Sensa. And hey, look at that, I remembered more than three characters (although please forgive my spelling)!

The plot? Well, I’ll admit it confuses me. But I manage and it’s fascinating. It enables me to disappear into a different world. I love the ride and am thankful it’s not real life. But the creativity is amazing. The writers have done a phenomenal job taking the author’s vision and adapting it. I’ll admit I never read the books. At this point, I’m not going to bother. Again, their subject isn’t my typical favorite and since I’ve come so far in the TV series, and the series has gone off-book, I don’t see the point. But the story completely fascinates and absorbs me.

As for the fantasy? Well, these days I’m all in favor of being able to disappear into a world that isn’t my own, and to forget the craziness of the real world. And while the Game of Thrones world is definitely not one I’d like to live in, or even visit, I appreciate the creativity and the vision of both the book’s author and the screenwriters. It’s truly amazing.

And besides, there are DRAGONS!

So for all of you who have never watched it or read it, you might want to step out of your comfort zone and give it a try. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Welcome Karilyn Bentley!


Hi Jennifer! Thank you for having me on today! I'm excited to announce the fifth and final book in my Demon Huntress series, Devil Forget Me, is now out. The series has been a lot of fun to write so it's a little sad for me that Gin Crawford's story is finished. As the world's newest demon huntress, Gin has a lot to learn about the job. Luckily for her, the position comes with a sexy hot mage who doubles as her mentor. In Devil Forget Me she must solve the mystery of which demon is trying to take over her employer, The Agency.

Here's the blurb:

What appears to be a simple crime, unmasks a chilling deception...
Gin Crawford, the world's newest demon huntress, kills two minions who are breaking into a financial adviser's office. But what she thinks of as another night in the life of a demon huntress leads to a cover-up of epic proportions. A demon haunts her employer, the Agency, and only she can stop it.
Aidan Smythe, her guardian mage and lover, along with her brother T, and the healer Eloise, join her search in discovering the demon's identity. A search thwarted by a powerful spell.
Breaking the spell requires her to join forces with Zagan, the demon of deceit, the demon who marked her as his. But working together comes with a price. One Gin is not sure she can pay.

I got the idea for the series while sitting on my back porch one summer evening, laptop propped on my legs. A couple of stories drifted around in my mind. One of the first stories I ever wrote (long, long ago and the story continues to sit under the proverbial bed) was about a boy hiding from a murderer. The story stuck in my head but I had trouble bringing it to life. On that particular summer evening, I was trying to write about a really messed up ER nurse who found a bracelet giving her superhuman powers to fight demons. I wanted the story to be a mash-up of humor and seriousness. But the plot of the hiding boy kept jumping into the story. Yes, I know, sounds like two totally different things, but I crunched them together and Gin Crawford, the world's newest demon huntress, was born. She's snarky and messed up and has been a blast to write! I hope you enjoy her too!


Here's an excerpt from Devil Forget Me:

     She chuckles as I sip my beer. “Not nothing. I am trying to discover the identity of the demon at theAgency.” She frowns. “It’s not going well. I know I know who the demon is, but every time I think of its identity”—her hands move in a poof motion—“it
vanishes.”
     “Yeah, I have the same problem.”
     A memory pops into my mind. Two memories, actually. The first was of last night’s fight with Rahab. How the demon said he only had one demon left to kill in order to rule Hell. Mammon, the demon of greed. The second memory was from last week when Smythe and I went to the Agency. We ran into Chuck Tweedy, the Big Boss of the Agency, and my justitiacouldn’t stop chanting “greedy.” I assumed the bracelet got its
words mixed up, exchanging Tweedy for greedy. But what if there was a connection?
     A dull pain hammers my head. I rub my brow. What was I thinking? We were talking about the Agency demon. Who could it be?
     “You do have the same problem.” Eloise touches my leg, and the headache disappears. “That’s what happened to me.”
     “How did you know?” Eloise was blind, although I swear at times she sees fine. “I could feel your pain.” Her brow furrows. “Like a spell had been thrown at you that caused the headache. I wonder if the same thing happens when I get a headache from thinking on the demon’s identity.”
     “Wait. You mean whenever I think about who the demon is, my thoughts trigger a spell? What does the spell do?”


BUY LINKS:
Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/B07P2NG13X/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130823757
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/devil-forget-me/id1456448283

WHERE TO FIND KARILYN:
Website:        www.karilynbentley.com
Newsletter:   https://eepurl.com/ba_0Rf
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/KarilynBentleyAuthor
Twitter:           https://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4051943.Karilyn_Bentley
Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.com/karilynbentley
BookBub:      https://www.bookbub.com/authors/karilyn-bentley


BIO:
Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Chaos

There’s chaos everywhere. As expected, the Mueller report was released and will now cause even more debate as both sides debate, well, everything. Great Britain doesn’t know what the heck it’s doing and Canada’s gorgeous PM is plagued by scandal (Canada? Really?).

When the world goes crazy, I retreat into Romancelandia. Except there too, there is chaos. The Rita Awards finalists were just announced, and once again, we have a problem with underrepresentation of authors of color. The fact that not a single author of color has received the award in its 37-year history, despite exceedingly qualified candidates is a problem. A huge problem. A judging problem. One that the RWA Board is working on, but nevertheless, a huge problem that should never have gotten this far. I have several good writing friends (white ones) who have finaled in this contest (the equivalent of the Oscars in the movies) and a few who have won. They all deserved it and I’m so excited for them and proud of them. But there are many authors of color who are as good or better and who deserve it just as much. 

Interested in who I’m talking about?

Alyssa Cole: https://alyssacole.com
Sonali Dev: https://sonalidev.com

There are plenty more. Try someone new. Try someone different. Step out of your comfort zone. 

And regardless of your politics, race, gender, or beliefs, stand up for what’s right.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Pride

As a mom of two college students (well, one and a half, since Banana Girl will officially be one in September), I was obsessed with, and horrified by, the reports of the college admissions bribery scandal that overtook the news last week.

I’ll admit, it was a relief to have something other than politics and violence dominate the news, and I was no longer embarrassed to be caught scanning the reputable (and not so reputable) entertainment sites in pursuit of “more information.”

But overwhelmingly, I was heartbroken. I’m not going to debate white privilege. This was a perfect example of it, and if you don’t see that, well, you’re part of the problem. I’m part of the problem, too. I’m one of the white parents who goes outside what her kids’ school offers, and pays for SAT tutors and college counselors. I don’t regret it at all. A guidance counselor at our high school has 400 students to help with college admissions (at least). Someone I pay has a max of 20. A guidance counselor doesn’t work during the summer, on weekends, nights or holidays. My kids work on their applications at precisely those times—in fact, Banana Girl wrote her college essay at summer camp, FaceTiming her counselor (the one I paid for), during her off periods to go over it. My kids were tutored, but they took their tests on time and on their own. The only "tricks" they learned were test-taking strategies. The college counselor gave them tips and advice, but left the work up to them. They wrote their own essays and they filled in their resumés with their activities—and only the activities in which they had a pivotal role. The Princess wouldn't even let me see her essays, despite the fact that I'm a professional writer--to this day, I have no idea what she wrote. 

I don’t know what’s going to happen to the parents who were caught, and frankly, I don’t care, as long as they’re punished. I think the system needs to be overhauled, obviously. But I do feel for the kids, even the ones who knew what was happening. Because those kids are never going to know the true joy of getting into a school they worked their asses off to get into. They’re never going to know what it’s like to be sick to their stomach worrying about whether or not they’re going to get in, to studying the graphs and charts of acceptances and wondering if their grades and scores and achievements and activities are enough on their own merits. The Princess got into the school of her choice and experienced those exact doubts. I still have the photo of her when she found out she was accepted, and the joy on her face is not something you can replicate if you’ve gamed the system. Banana Girl got into her reach school and her tears of joy were genuine. 

They’ve learned an important lesson, one they’ll need to remember throughout their life, and that is pride in their own work. Cheating is wrong in whatever form it comes in. And the reward for honesty is not only your achievement, but the pride you feel in knowing you set a goal, worked toward it, and made it. That feeling can’t be faked and can’t be paid for. And that’s why I pity those kids whose parents gamed the system. They will wonder for the rest of their lives if what they've achieved is due to themselves or their parents. 



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Welcome Sandra Dailey

25 Crazy Days

So I approved the final galley of my new book, the Co-Parent Project, and received the cover art. I knew I’d have my release date soon. From past experience, I figured I’d have at least a couple months to prepare a good promotion plan. I had time to tidy up the loose ends of work in progress, personal and professional. Then, I woke up to an email from the publisher. My release date was only twenty-five days away. Everything in my life spun into chaos. Let me tell you what was already going on.
My dog, Archie, had just had surgery to remove three teeth, close a whole in his sinus cavity, and remove a cyst from his eyelid. He was on two prescriptions, twice a day, plus eye ointment, and barely getting down any food.  He was in pain and annoyed by the cone. He wanted to be held constantly. My heart was with him.


I only had three chapters left to write on the first draft of a new story. I figured I had plenty of down time to help out a few friends by reading ARCs for reviews--six of them to be exact.
I know this all sounds do-able, but I’m not finished.
My lawn and garden supplies had taken over my husband’s garage and half the laundry room. After endless complaints and a little discussion, I purchased a new shed that had to be built by hubby and myself the next weekend. Why the next weekend, you ask?


The week after the shed I had to strip all the carpet, padding, tack strips, and remaining lumps and bumps off the floors in the living room and master bedroom. It had to be down to the clean, even concrete. Why? Because, the new flooring had been delivered. Yes, hubby and I would be hard at work laying hundreds of feet of new wood laminate during his vacation days.
There’s another problem. Hubby was taking vacation time. That meant cooking actual meals, looking halfway presentable, answering all his questions, and keeping him entertained when not crawling around tapping floor planks together—which, by-the-way, were being stored in my office.


So, what have I accomplished as far as promo for the new release? It was too late to hire a promo company for a blog tour. I contacted all my friends to host me on their blogs. I contacted the people I was reading, and had recently read ARCs for to return the favor. And, I sent tons of emails to professional reviewers. All accomplished while eating meals at my desk. I don’t have bling purchased, contests planned, or events scheduled yet, but I do have awesome friends like Jennifer to get me started.

The Co-Parent Project 

Tag line:
Parenting style won't matter if they don't all survive.

Blurb:
Luca Wolff and Joy Sullivan are competing for guardianship of their estranged, teenage nephew, Eric, after his parents are killed in a plane crash. Evidence shows the crash wasn't an accident. Neither was a recent explosion that destroyed Luca's house. When a fire is intentionally set in Joy's home, suspicion points to Eric--and that's not the end of their trouble. Eric has been in his share of mischief, but now he has a chance to clean up his reputation. That's hard to do when the only people who believe in you are the ones you're accused of targeting. Just as Luca and Joy give in to romance, new information comes to light that could tear them apart along with Eric's dream for a happy family. The three have to set aside their grief, personal issues, and disagreements to figure out who is out to kill them…and why.

Buy Links:
Wild Rose Press:https://bit.ly/2EmYPGj
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2IrWA8V

Excerpt:
As soon as he walked through the door the smell of chemicals nearly drove him back outside. The odor was so strong it made his eyes water. He couldn’t take it anymore. “How can you live with the constant stench in this house?” “I’m sorry. Mrs. Erving needed a perm today.” Joy walked in through the kitchen door carrying a squeeze bottle of mustard. “I was just making lunch. Would you like a ham and cheese sandwich?” “No thanks,” he snarled. “All I’d be able to taste is that nasty smell.” “How can you taste a smell?” “You’d know if your olfactory receptors weren’t burned away. That stuff has got to cause brain damage.” “Do you plan to claim it as a way to get Eric away from me? I wouldn’t put anything past a Wolff.”

Author Bio:
From childhood I've moved from place to place, from Indiana to Florida, stopping in several places in between. I also moved from job to job; as a waitress, soldier, retail manager, dental assistant, etc… The one thing I never had to leave behind was my imagination. Storytelling has always been my favorite way to pass time. I've often been told I should write a book. Finally, I did. It was so much fun: I felt I must write more, so I have. I've been a student of Long Ridge Writers Group and once won a short story contest with Harlequin. I currently live in North Florida with my husband, whom I torture with crazy story lines and half written manuscripts.

Contact Info: