The Next Big Thing

Okay, so I wasn't actually tagged for this Blog Meme. But I hopped over to David Powers King's blog where he'd been tagged by the awesome Ilima Todd. David didn't tag me either so I stole it. Just out and out stole it from his blog. ...but it really is a great way to give you a heads up on what I'm working on...

The Next Big Thing.

1-What is the title of your book?
Final Intention[s], it's working. Give me a break. I just don't do titles well.

2-Where did the idea come from for the book?
It popped in my head...this one kind of came out of know where. I'd been looking for something short to write during the month of October. It started with a paragraph about a witch...

3-What genre does your book fall under?
Paranormal Romance

4-Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Mila Kunis, I like her sass in That 70's Show, and that stands out to me more than how pretty she actually is...and she is pretty--on screen. :D

I'll admit it, my first thought for male lead would be Heath Ledger. That could be pretty telling for how I need to change up my male leads--his face comes up often... So, I'll stretch my imagination and pick this young actor Daniel Burda. Not much on his resume, yet... but he's got a nice smile.

5-What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
With only 2 weeks left before crossing over to the afterlife, Rachel has nothing to lose when guardian angel, Aarden Marks, comes begging her to change the weather.

6-Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
No agent for me, and I will probably send to an epublisher or two before I decide if I want to self-publish this one. There's something about allowing an editor and company to guide you through marketing and promotion that is truly appealing. Still, I'm game, either way.

7-How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
I’m still drafting it – about a week in with 6,000 words down.
But here’s the first bit of it:

The shimmering lights of the rooftop affair twinkled against the autumn New York sky line. A familiar tune thudded against the waist high brick wall that surrounded the party on three sides and the soaring exterior wall that rose another level on the fourth side. The caterer had chosen barbecue  a southern tribute, which had been approved several weeks in advance. The savory aroma drifted on the still, cold night air, enticing complete strangers from the street below to make their way up.

8-What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I hate to admit it, but I don't know. I've never read an angel/demon novel...I don't think. I read paranormal occasionally. Hopefully that doesn't end up being my downfall.

9-Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I just wanted to do something fun and different that I could draft up quickly. <--this is exactly what David said, btw. But it just fits so well. I wanted something I could do in October. A sort of warm up for Nano in November. I intended the story to be short, short. It'll be closer to novella length at the rate I'm going....and I might end up writing into Nano a bit, too.

10-What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
This book has an element of fun to it, putting aside the darker tones of a lot of other paranormal demon stories. As a gal of Faith, I like the idea of featuring a guardian angel [instead of a Fallen Angel]...well, at least, he's not fallen yet!

To pass this great Meme along, I'm going to tag a few people from my critique group:
Moira Keith
Debora Dennis
Tina Vaughn
Ava Delany

Have fun with it, gals!
With Love,

New Release -- Moira Keith

There's a great woman I've been writing with for several years. This past week, I've had the pleasure of sharing her release day. We've both been working and waiting for this day for a long time. Almost since we met, actually. Before I met Moira Keith, I wasn't much into paranormal or urban fantasy. I read this story in its early day, and I have to admit, I was taken in, not just the story line but, by the prose of Moira's writing. Her words flow across the page, not only to tell the story but to create an atmosphere of beauty within your head. I look forward to watching her succeed with this book and go on to make the next two books even better than the first.

Welcome Moira! Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing Blood and Moonlight with my readers. As you know--because you've been here before, I've got cake and ice cream for any event worth celebrating. The bakery is always open. What will you have?

Moira: Favorite cake would be red velvet (which I'm debating on alcohol to pair with it) and ice cream would likely be vanilla bean. When it comes to my cake and ice cream, I'm not too outrageous in my taste, but I do like to infuse a little something extra into them. Irish Cream?! I should have told you to bring some of yours...

I've been waiting a long to time for the release of your latest book, Blood and Moonlight. I can't tell you how excited I am for Kiara's story to finally be out there!! It's been a long time coming. Tell me, what makes this story so special?

Moira: This story was truly a labor of love for me. It doesn't really fit into the romance, paranormal, or urban fantasy box all nice and neatly. It blurs the lines as I see them. The POV is also something that is a bit different as I mix a first/third storytelling here because that was the way my characters stories unfolded for me. Because of it's differences, this story (as the others to follow in the Moonlight trilogy will surely be) very close to my heart.

One of the things I've always loved about this book is the Point of View. I love how it focuses the story and makes it truly the heroine's.

So, tell me. When you made that first sale, how did you celebrate? 

Moira: I celebrated with a Guinness of course. I did consider trying for the Irish whiskey to make my dad and my heroine, Kiara proud. Alas, I am a beer girl through and through.

What made you choose fairies and wolves? Did you always believe in Magic?

Moira: I've always been fascinated by fairies and the mythology of the Fae. While I'm sure there are books out there that pull wolves and Fae together, I haven't seen any, so it seemed like a unique story element. And yes, I've always believed in magic. Not the pull the rabbit out of your hat kind of magic, but the kind of magic that comes from fairytales and fantasy. Morgan Le Fay surely didn't wave a wand over a hat as a party trick, (though I'm sure she had her own brand of fear inducing party tricks). I find that we often need to believe in the impossible or unimaginable. It's what keeps the world interesting.

If there was one book [story] you could live, which one would it be?

Moira: Wow. Tough question. You really want me to choose just one? Could it be a series? Wait even that one is tough. Damn. Okay well if I was forced to choose just one, I would choose the first Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel - Guilty Pleasures. Anita Blake was serious kick butt heroine.

I've still never read any of the books by Laurell K. Hamilton. Mostly because I've never been that into vampires, but I do appreciate good writing... might have to do that.

What about your next project? Will there be more madness and mayhem for Kiara and Devlin?

Moira: There is definitely some more mayhem, madness, and magic in store for Kiara and Devlin. Their story isn't nearly over and there are plenty of obstacles they will have to overcome and some pieces that need to be solved. But there are additional projects in the works as well. A witch story and a young adult book are in process as we speak.

Awesome! I can't wait to read your YA. I know anyone who picks up Blood and Moonlight will be watching for new releases in the future. Have a great week, Moira. Thanks for coming by. I'm wishing you great sales all week long.

For all my wonderful followers, especially those who like a good story about shifters and fae, you can find Moira's book for sale...well, just about anywhere. :D follow the links for a great read. One lucky commenter will get a free copy of Blood and Moonlight. What a great way to start the new week.
Barnes and Noble

Count Down Day 1 with Nina Croft

Thank you Nina! I am so pleased and honored to have my friend here. We met when she joined our critique group, Passionate Critters. From the get go, I have loved to read her books. Her writing is fabulous and I'm certain, some day down the road, that she'll be at the top of all the best seller lists. [don't blush, Nina. I'll stop, I promise. My starstruckness is going overboard.] My virtual bakery is open! Do you like cake?

NC: I don’t really like cake (except cheesecake, and chocolate mousse cake… hmmm maybe I do like cake after all.) But I love ice cream, any sort, though I’m particularly partial to chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

Tell me a little about your latest book. 

NC: My latest book is Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire and it’s also my first contemporary romance. It was released in March  as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence imprint. 

I think one of the reasons we read romance is to be transported to fabulous places and Blackmailed does just that, taking the reader from the English countryside, to sophisticated London, to a dreamy Italian island hideaway. Add to that a gorgeous hero, a strong heroine, and a pretty good reason why they can’t just fall in love and live happily ever after!

When you made that first sale, how did you celebrate?
NC: You know, I can’t remember how I celebrated – which probably means it involved lots of alcohol.  But I do remember getting the email; I think I screamed. That was in August 2009 and it was from Harlequin, for my Nocturne Bites, The Prophecy, which was released in February 2010.

If there was one book [story] you could live, which one would it be?

NC: It’s probably got to be a science fiction set in space. I always wanted ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’ ever since first watching Star Trek a long, long time ago. So I’d like to live my Blood Hunter series and sign on with the crew of the space cruiser, El Cazador, and have adventures, and fall in love with a vampire or a werewolf or an alien or….

You introduced me to Firefly, and I will be forever grateful!

Are you a plotter or a panster?

NC: Well, I always wanted to be a pantser—one of those people who just sit down and wonderful stories flow from their fingertips. But I’m not. I’m a total plotter. But I’ve come to realize that it’s more complicated than that. I think it’s not so much that I need to plot as that I need to know my characters really, really well before I start to write. I need to think about them, work out what makes them tick, how they react to different circumstances and at some point there’s a magical moment when they start to talk to me. Only then can I begin to write. If I don’t wait for that then it’s a real struggle—every word has to be dragged out of me. 

If you could go anywhere this month, where would it be? 

NC: Am I going to sound boring if I say that this month, I’d like to stay at home? I live in the mountains of southern Spain and June is about my favorite time of year here. I love the sun, and June is perfect—hot but without the stifling heat of mid-summer. So if it’s okay, I’d like to download a whole lot of books onto my kindle and go lie by the pool or under the shade of an almond tree, with my dogs scattered around me and my man at my side.

Aw. Okay. ...Can I join you? Just for the afternoon, I mean. I'll bring a tent! And walk your pig... :D

But on to things writing. What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?

NC: Easy—I get to write. A lot. 

Good point. :P

Can you give me and my readers a hint about what you’re working on for your next books?

NC: I currently have a few projects on the go. I’ve just completed the extended version of my Sci-fi/paranormal romance, Break Out, book one of the Blood Hunter series, which is due to be released in August, and is currently with my editor. I have a second Indulgence coming later in the year, this time with a very sexy Spaniard.
Finally, I’m currently writing the first draft of a paranormal romance which is a sequel to a book I have coming out in September, Bittersweet Blood. 

Nina wants to share a copy of her newest book, Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire, with one lucky commenter. I've read this book. It's a fun, witty yet emotionally satisfying story. Get in line to buy it. I don't think you'll be disappointed. :) 

Don't forget! Tomorrow is the big day. RELEASE DAY! 

Seduction by any means necessary…

Olivia Brent is happy with her quiet life in the country, until the imminent loss of her home forces her to embark on a search for her estranged father. Catapulted into a world of criminals and totally out of her depth, Olivia is rescued by the stunningly gorgeous and enigmatic billionaire Luc Severino.

Luc has never considered himself a knight in shining armor, and if he had been, then Jimmy Brent’s daughter was the last person he would choose to rescue. But Olivia is the key to finding her father, and Luc is willing to use any methods available, including blackmail, to persuade Olivia to help him find Jimmy and finally put the past behind him.

And if blackmail doesn’t gain her total cooperation, then perhaps a little seduction will…

Buy Links


Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Nina can be found at:

Countdown Day 6 -- Silke Juppenlatz

Six days until the big day, the day my book goes up for sale! Whoot. I can't thank my crit partners enough for all the love and support they've given me. ...and the help. Because believe me, I've needed some help. But, today, I've got a good friend to introduce you to...

My crit partner, Silke Juppenlatz. When I joined Passionate Critters, I met Silke over one of my WW2 novels. Being new to the group, I was all starry eyed and smiley. Well, meeting her didn't change that. :D But she did draw out my protective streak--for my work and for the group itself. I like our Silke because she truly knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff. We are a strong group of writers, and it takes a strong person to join us and stick it out. Well, I did. I stuck it out and I'm better writer because of that...and because of her. 

Now, that I've scared all my readers. LOL :D Welcome to my blog, Silke!! Thanks for joining me on my countdown to Release Day! I've got my own virtual bakery on hand because you just can't celebrate without cake and ice cream. So, what'll you have?

SJ: Favorite cake...oohh...errmm... *scratches head* I’m a sucker for the cakes my gran used to make. Träublekuchen (Which, I guess, would be Redcurrant cake) Zwetschgenkuchen (Plum, or more precisely Damson cake) and there’s also the Rabarberkuchen (Rhubarb cake). Stollen!
Damn, I’m hungry now.
PS - Paul just went into the cupboard and yelled “Did you eat all the Jaffa Cakes again?!” (Guilty as charged. If you want Jaffa cakes in our house, best eat them before I see them.) Ice cream? Not so much. I can take it or leave it. But I am partial to the “Soft” Ice cream they do here in the UK. (Mr. Whippy ftw!) Or proper Italian Ice Cream (Stracciatella!).

I married a German so I like to think Silke and I are practically related... I'm constantly inspired by how much you write. What drives you to create your stories?

SJ: My brain. *cough* It’s like an ever churning story machine, and it goes from one “What if?” to the next. I see something, hear something, smell something -- and go “What if…?” And boom. There it is. It really can be anything at all. Something someone says. Something like the smell of bacon drifting out of a window. A forgotten, half deflated beach ball stuck in some hedge. Anything.
It’s weird though. I’m a master at brainstorming and I run with it -- but I can’t do it on my own stories. In them, I get stuck.
I don’t plot. I don’t even do an outline. Nothing. It comes out of my brain straight on the page. If I plot…I don’t finish it. It’s like a disease. Every time someone asks me where it’s going, and I try to come up with something, I lose interest the moment I have worked out what’s going to happen.
After all, I already know how it ends, why bother writing it down?
First and foremost, I write a story for myself. If I know how it ends, I lose interest and don’t finish it.
That’s why I never plot. :)

Now, that is a little crazy...and interesting too. I can see your point, though.
You've got a book coming out later this summer. You want to tell us a little about it? Just a tease...? How about a one word description to wet our appetites?

SJ: One word? Yikes. Okay. “Betrayal”. There it is. :)
As for a tease… If you’ve read “Howl”, then you’ve met the heroine of “Watch Me” -- but not the hero. This is Tiffy’s story and while it follows on from “Howl”, it’s standalone and you don’t need to have read “Howl” to get what’s going on. You’ll meet characters from “Howl”, and you’ll get to meet new ones. Like…Keric, who is hot and sexy and on a mission. But his mission is set to clash with Tiffy’s fragile heart and…well. Best read it, eh?
Watch Me is scheduled for release in August.

I do have a third one in mind…but…something came up. :)

I’m working on a February 2013 release right now. It’s part of a series, and mine is Caedir (Gatekeepers - Book 2). Nope, not werewolves this time…

OMG! Are you really going to do it?! Not werewolves...does that mean?? No. Don't answer that. I love your stories....

So, tell me. When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate?

SJ: I was actually pretty gobsmacked. (Now there’s a Brit word for you.) I’d written Howl in a week (No, I pretty much didn’t sleep.), submitted it -- and had the contract land -- all in the space of 10 days. Seriously. From the first word to putting my X on the dotted line…ten days.
So yeah, I sat there with my chin on the floor, staring at that email. I didn’t think it would be accepted. I’d sent out quite a few stories before, usually targeting agents, and generally got back good feedback, but no offers.
I don’t remember how I celebrated. :) It’s all a blur lol.

Seems like it comes when we least expect it. :) Love your story, Silke.

If there was one book--of all the books and stories you've ever read--that you could live, which one would it be?

SJ: Oh wow, that’s a hard one!
I don’t think I’d want to live any of them. It would mean I’d have to give up my real life hero, and I’m just not prepared to do that. :) I have favorite books, ‘natch. My all time favorite read is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café. I think every woman should read this at least once.
It’s a book about being yourself, self-discovery, overcoming opposition and just…having fun.
It just really appeals to my inner rebel.

What a great answer! My instinct is to want to live the fantasy even if I do have a real life hero. :D

Some people have kids. Some people have dogs. You have a horse, which I've seen pictures of and it's gorgeous. Does this mean you'll be coming out to visit me soon in the wild, wild west?? I can find a stable for you...and horses too. And mountains... just sayin'.

SJ: You know…I want to visit every state in the US at least once. (Though a few I’ve done repeatedly already.) If I can afford it, I will most definitely come and visit you in the Wild, Wild West. :) That’s somewhere top of my list, actually. I want to stand somewhere in the prairie and just soak up the atmosphere. Mainly because I cannot imagine such a vast space. So Wyoming, Colorado and Montana are top of the top of the top places to go see. Arizona too. But I love the Deep South and the East Coast states and would happily live somewhere like North Carolina or Kentucky.
People always worry about what I might enjoy seeing. You know what? Package holidays and tourist attractions can go hang, as far as I’m concerned. One of my favorite memories is a Halloween spent trick or treating with a friend’s kids. I had a ton of fun. Or the summer where I got drafted into helping the trainee EMT’s at a friend’s fire station. I spent half the day being put in traction by hunky firemen lol… Then there was sitting in the grass behind some tiny out of the way ice cream parlor, munching totally spectacular ice cream. What can I say…? It beats any tourist attraction, any day, hands down. I want to see what you’d likely consider totally mundane and not worth seeing. Real life, real people. And quite frankly--I’ve never met anyone over there who wasn’t nice and helpful. Maybe I was just lucky, but I think Americans get a bad rep for no reason. I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t go out of their way to make my stay enjoyable, and that goes for all the states I’ve ever been to -- and that’s quite a few, over the years.
For that I’d like to say a hearty “Thank you. You guys are awesome.” :)
Ohh… Mountains tempt me. Having grown up in Germany, and spending over half my childhood skiing down some black run somewhere in the alps…yeah. It’s something I truly miss in the UK.
They have “Mountains” here, but erm…sorry. If you’re used to something like Mont Blanc (15,782ft) or the Zugspitze (9,718ft and a glacier), then Mount Snowdon (highest “Mountain” in Wales, a whopping 3,560ft) is more like a steep rocky hill to me.
I would LOVE to see the Rocky Mountains, but forgive me if I stay about 50ft away from the edge of the Grand Canyon…I have a fear of falling lol. (I’ll go right down the middle at low level in an aircraft, no problem.) Believe it or not, one of my dreams is to go East Coast to West Coast on horseback. If I could afford to, I'd get started tomorrow. (And if anyone would like to know my choice of horse: I'd take a Paso Fino and a Rocky Mountain. A Paso because I own one and just love his character, and a Rocky because I want one for much the same reason. Plus side? Both are gaited, and the most comfortable rides you could wish for--unless their name is Oscuro, and he has to get there really, really FAST.) 
I'll swing by when I do that East-West crossing, okay?

Yes! I can't wait...for you to win the lottery. :D 
Like you, I think I'll have chocolate cake, too when this countdown is over...and a nice glass of Merlot! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your stories with us. 

I can't wait until August! When you get a cover for that thing, come on by again that Caedir cover! It's fantastic. :D



Not forking out the dough for the RWA Conference this year, with evening wear, suits, high heels and whatever "business casual" means?

Not to worry! Romance Divas is hosting the

Not Going to Conference Conference...

The Conference You Don't Have to Get Out of Bed For!

From July 28-31, come hang out with some terrific, savvy authors -- and you don't even have to brush your teeth (although, seriously, good dental hygiene gets you extra points.)

We'll be hosting panels on:

The Power of Three: A crit group tell-all (Paranormal)

Crystal Jordan

Patti O'Shea

Dayna Hart/Rowan Larke

The Lolitas of STEAMED! Present Writing the Steampunk Romance -more than leather corsets and brass goggles!

Marie-Claude Bourque

Theresa Meyers

The Great Big YA Panel

Rhonda Stapleton

Shannon Delany

Kiersten White

Carrie Ryan

Linda Gerber

Saundra Mitchell

Lara Zielin

Brenna Yovanoff

Register for free at Romance Divas, then come join us on the forums for the discussions, as well as some terrific prizes: Free books! Free critiques! Free face scrub? Yeah! :D

I don't wanna be a Giant

I braved the snow covered roads today, TWICE, in order to do some shopping. My first stop was a combo grocery and Christmas, the second was just grocery. The first trip I had my youngest with me and the second, my next older [i really can't stand when people say first and second youngest. Is is just me or does that not make sense? and who is the first youngest? The one who was born first and is now older???? Just sayin'].

My third child and I were checking out and he said in a very serious voice, "I don't wanna be a Giant." [it was that tone that indicates I've been telling him to do something for some time and am trying to convince him how wonderful it will be--a little whiny, but mostly desperate pleading] We weren't even talking about Giants...or David...or Monsters, Inc. Nope. Just out of nowhere. He doesn't want to be a Giant. I told him that was fine.

He mentioned a few minutes later that he would stop eating now so he didn't get bigger. [OMGosh. He's so cute.]

Maybe it's my imagination, but the conversation ignited that paranormal gene inside of my DNA. Wouldn't that be fun if it was a [still cute, yet] serious conversation? It made me think of the stories I've read that encompass shifters and magicians. I can just as easily imagine Jasha and Ann's oldest saying, "I don't wanna be a wolf."
Isn't this what fiction is all about? Creating alternate realities. Imagining a different set of rules. Speaking of rules... This got me thinking a few weeks ago when I asked her opinion on the intimacy issues of my Hero and Heroine. Should they have sex before they are married? Will they wait? She asked me when the story was set because if it was fifty years [or more] ago than it would matter, right? If it's today, it probably doesn't matter.
Well, I can understand her confusion. But I could only respond what I knew in my heart. That I didn't think God's laws had changed. I ruminated on this topic for a while, though didn't ever bring it back up with her. In any case, I think our stories are like that. We make a set of rules, perhaps guidelines, that will dictate how our characters will act AND how those actions will make them feel. There are some rules that we can bend or manipulate or recreate, but there are also the founding rules. In Vicki Pettersson's Scent of Shadows, her superheroes could only cross into a different realm at the exact point between day and night. Changing this would ultimately change the story. I suspect, this is a rule that will very rarely be broken...if it can be broken at all.
On the other hand... my hubby paid the dentist an exorbitant amount of money today because the receptionist told him he had to. A week before Christmas??? OMGosh! I said to him, WHAT?
You should have told her you didn't have your check book. That's what I do.
"My wife lies." He responded, somewhat amused.
"Yes! You didn't have to pay that right now. They could have billed you." Hell, who carries that kind of money anyway? And it's not like they told him before hand and prepared him. UGH! Sheesh. I would have told them I only had a certain amount of money then paid that amount. That way they would know I'm serious. I'm not trying to jip them, but come on!!! A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS?? *eyeroll* *sigh*
Purgatory, anyone?