Monday, January 31, 2011

New Release -To Tempt a Sheikh

To Tempt a Sheikh by Olivia Gates
 
He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family's rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom…and she had every reason not to trust him.

Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn't resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart's greatest mistake…but she feared it was already too late….
 
In stores February 1!
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A WRITER'S INSPIRATION IS...WHAT?


Inspiration can be a fleeting thing, here today then gone tomorrow like a bouncing yellow ball over a net. What inspires a writer is generally misunderstood or unrecognized. When an author sits down to write their novel, how do they come up with an idea that inspires them to keep writing? There must be a spark; a brilliant event in the back of the author’s mind that turns mundane characters and a ho-hum plot into an extraordinary tale.

Let me share my own experience as someone who entered the writing game fairly late in life (i.e. after 50). I have always heard, and firmly believe in, the adage write what you know. When I decided that I wanted to try my hand at writing a romance novel, a story popped into my head. Several stories later, and after dozens of rejection letters from agents, I thought back to my youth. I decided to make use of things that occurred way back when to fuel my brainstorming. I managed to come up with various plot points that culminated into my first published book.

This brings us to Robert and Audrey Beegle. Allow me to enlighten you with how they inspired my debut novel, SECRET LOVE MATCH. This contemporary romance, released from Red Rose Publishing, tells how a 40-year-old former TV actor seeks out an old friend. Taylor Adams wants his old buddy to help get him into film. When Taylor meets the man’s 21-year-old daughter, Becca the tennis ace, he is compelled to get close to her…as long as her father doesn’t find out.


No, I never dated an older man. Some plot lines just come about because you watch others in such situations (you know who you are!) My hero in this instance is loosely based on both William Shatner of Star Trek fame and Tim Allen, star of the comedy sci-fi film, Galaxy Quest. I grew up during the original Star Trek TV show’s short-lived run. My parents recognized my passion for space during those pre-moonwalk days. (Hey, Dad, whatever happened to my plastic model of the Enterprise?) They allowed me to stay up late on a school night. William Shatner became a movie star years later when Star Trek-The Movie hit the theaters. In Galaxy Quest, a favorite movie of mine, Tim plays the star of a space western, popular eighteen years earlier. He’s now stuck in a rut earning a living at sci-fi conventions and other low budget appearances.


My own character’s popular TV space western drifted into reruns fifteen years earlier, and now he wants his name in lights. This is a similar, but different plot since I put my own spin on the character’s looks, mannerisms, and personal background.

My parents also unwittingly helped in the creation of my heroine, Rebecca Delacourt. (Becca to her family) I was again fortunate to have parents who scrimped and saved so we could enjoy the nearby beach club. I learned to swim, dive, and play tennis. I really liked playing tennis. I felt powerful each time I hit the ball over the net.

I continued to play through college and watched Wimbledon and the Olympics. I never would have created a tennis ace with a dream set on an Olympic medal if it wasn’t for my parents. Since I decided to retire from public service, move south, and write fulltime, my parents inspire me to keep writing. They continue to help by editing my drafts, a big help to any writer.

After marrying my husband, I shared in his love of his Scottish ancestry. We attend many different Scottish Highland Games here in the states and turned into longtime volunteers. I might send money each year to the U. S. Olympic Committee, but we both pour our love of all things Scottish into our days working at the New Hampshire Highland Games. Inspiration can hit anytime which is why I carry a notebook and camera when working at or enjoying the games. Such notes morphed into DRAGON’S CURSE, a historical paranormal written under my other name and released by Whispers Publishing.


Again, inspiration can come from anywhere; an incident you witnessed on your college campus; something you read about in the local newspaper; or even feelings you felt while involved with another human being. The point is, take note of these little incidences-good or bad-and consider using them, to some extent, in whatever you plan to accomplish this year. I could fill several pages answering a reader’s question like “how do you get ideas?” It is 2011, guys! A new beginning means it’s time to start afresh. Good luck!


Nancy Lennea lives the dream. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two sons in New Hampshire, Nancy and her husband moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime. She writes paranormal romance as Nancy Lee Badger, http://www.nancyleebadger.com/

Website: http://www.nancylennea.com/

SECRET LOVE MATCH, by Nancy Lennea,link: http://bit.ly/diHVbn

DRAGON’S CURSE, by Nancy Lee Badger, buy link: http://bit.ly/gJ6B8s

Sunday, January 23, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH MARIANNE STEPHENS

Today it's my pleasure to interview Marianne Stephens, author of a compelling book, Guilty Survivor.  This is a must-read and I wish her the very best of luck with it.  Now, I'll let Marianne give you some background in her own words:


Where are you from?  Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on Long Island, New York and taught school for a number of years before I thought about writing. Married to a career military man, we moved 11 times in 20 years!  And, we moved another 4 times with a civilian job when he retired from the military. I’ve lived in NY, NJ, MD, VA, KS, and CA…sometimes more than once! I’ve published 6 romance books (2 erotic as April Ash) and 4 contemporary/paranormal (as Marianne Stephens).
What inspired you to write?
All four of my kids were teenagers for a three-year period…drove me nuts. I needed a sanity outlet and always thought about writing. It was the one thing I could do just for me.
Do you find that your muse takes over when you write?
When she appears! She’s been giving me a hard time lately…taking “vacations” while I sit in front of the computer and stare at the screen. I think she’s mad at me because I took some time off from romance writing to write a nonfiction book and didn’t need her for that!
Do you have any works in progress that you want to share?
I’m trying to get back on track with my romance writing. I have a short story in a Halloween Anthology (http://www.xoxopublishing.com) and am waiting for a contract for a short story for a Christmas Anthology. And, I’m dragging my feet (minus my fickle muse) while I try to finish a romance book and change it from first-person to third-person.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?
Don’t give up. Join critique groups. Join readers/writers groups and network. Tons of information is exchanged on loops!
What are your favorite books at the moment?
Reading: Rereading “Out of Her Dreams” by Fran Lee. Also reading some political books by Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly.
What is your favorite word?  Least favorite?
Favorite word: Contract!
Least favorite word: Rejection!
About My Nonfiction Book:
Title: Guilty Survivor – Memoirs of Tamerla Kendall
Release Date: 1/26/11
Photos are included  in this book.
A Blurb:
Tamerla Kendall is the woman you see rooting for her son at sporting practice. You might meet her in a grocery story. Perhaps you’ll see her planting a garden behind her home. Or, talk to her at school or work. She’s a student, worker, wife and mother.
Surviving a dark past is hidden by her fa├žade of an everyday, average life. Reading her memoirs will reveal her true struggle to survive in a war zone, and is a testament to her courage.
Bosnian Croat, Tamerla Kendall, lived through the carnage and chaos in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War (1992-1995). Hers is a story of courage, fear, ingenuity, and survival. Difficult choices she made then still disturb her peace of mind and life today.
She made a few trips out of Sarajevo, only to return to keep the family restaurant business operating. One carefully planned, secretive trip was made to remove her daughter from the dangers of fighting, but this created a heartbreaking rift in their relationship. For her second trip, Tamerla masqueraded as a United Nations Protection Forces soldier and rode in a tank. A uniform and travel assistance came from a Ukrainian general.
Her hopes for a return to normalcy at war’s end diminished as corruption and religious zealots took control. She married an American, and this marked her as an outcast by some she’d trusted. When her life was threatened at gunpoint, she faced a critical decision concerning her family’s safety in her beloved country.
Links:

Monday, January 17, 2011

CHICKS OF CHARACTERIZATION: THEY LOVE ALL THINGS SCOTTISH

Giving due credit to another beautiful blog, I invite everyone to join Andrea and Corrina's Write Life at www.chicksofcharacterization.blogspot.com as they feature my upcoming release "The Comet" all this week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

GET YOUR VAMPIRE ON (A free class)

It's time to GET YOUR VAMPIRE ON!  Today begins Susan Blexrud's three-day event at Love Romances Book Club (link follows).  Your challenge is to design a vampire employing FIVE vampire characteristics.  Each day's prize is a download of one of her four fang titles, and the grand prize is a print copy of DCL's fabulous anthology, Seven Sins.  Will your vampire have a reflection?  Will he/she cavort in daylight or only at night?  Will respiratory allergies keep your vamp confined to a coffin?  HAVE FUN!
 
 
 

Monday, January 10, 2011

CHARACTERS. WHAT'S IN A NAME?

By Nancy Lee Badger

One facet of creating a work of art we authors call ‘a novel’ is naming our characters. From the all important hero and heroine to the friends, villains, coworkers, and family members, we need them to make our novels come to life.


I have a hard time naming characters. For one novel, I called my heroine FH (female hero) and called her true love HH (him, the hero). Dumb? Not to me. I had to creep inside their heads as my plot moved along, adding characteristics to a chart that grew and grew. This particular story was set in both present day USA and Scotland back in 1598. Can anyone say ‘Time Travel’?

The names came to me, finally, and I grew to love Haven and Kirkwall. I came up with Haven long before the TV show of the same name debuted. Haven has many meanings and is described as “a strong new name ready to blossom” by The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenburg. This book of names was recommended by a friend who writes as Lydia Dare, author of The Wolf Next Door. I grew up enamored with Star Trek’s Captain Kirk. One problem; Kirk is the Scottish word for Church. I could not name him after a house of worship! So, in the story I have him named after the Scottish town of Kirkwall where he was conceived instead of named after his sire. Sort of a slap in the face to my larger-than-life Highland warrior!

I finished the book and have queried several agents. I know I must be open to accepting that someone up the ladder may not like my chosen names. This also happens with book titles and I am grown-up enough to accept changes. We shall see. No bites yet, so I keep writing.

In the first book I ever wrote, I chose the heroine’s name because a girlfriend named her daughter with a variation. (Sounds the same, but is spelled differently) Having chosen the name right off the bat, I then had to decide on a title. I realized I referred to a mountain where my heroine lives and where lots of the action occurs, but I never named the mountain. So, in DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, released last September by Red Rose Publishing, the mountain is all hers.

My own name is coming back into vogue. I was named Nancy for family members and it works for my personality. At www.babynology.com I confirmed my name also means ‘Grace’. I refer to this website quite a bit, especially when looking for names with roots in other countries such as Scotland and France. In my book DRAGON’S CURSE, released last June by Whispers Publishing, I name my hero Draco. It means ‘dragon’ in many languages including Latin and has been around for many, many centuries. I felt the name could easily show up on a Scottish island in the 16th century. My heroine, who hails from the mainland, is Brianna, which means ‘the strong’. I wanted my hardworking heroine to come across as strong, but the femininity of the name fit the woman in my head.

Another reference book on my bookshelf is The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names. It was recommended by my friend Sabrina Jeffries, author of The School for Heiresses. This handy reference book gives the origin of many names and the dates they came into use. This is very helpful when writing a historical fiction. Leah, a name made popular in the seventies due to the Star Wars trilogy, was first used as a Christian name in the 17th century, so you will not find it in one of my 16th century Scottish historicals. A handy reference book indeed.

Have you looked up your own name? It’s a hoot, but the real reason for this little talk is to help an author when naming characters. I also wanted to let readers understand and gain a little insight into certain names that appear in the book on their nightstand (or, in my case with my four e-books, on their E-reader) Happy reading!

Again, here are my favorite resources:
http://www.babynology.com/
The Baby Wizard by Laura Wattenberg, Broadway Books
The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names by E. G. Withycombe, Oxford University Press

AUTHOR BIO

Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island then attended school in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She earned a degree in art education. After meeting her husband there, they raised a family in a small, nearby town. She was am EMT/firefighter on their small fire department then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes as Nancy Lennea. For a full list of her books, which are all available from Amazon for Kindle, visit: http://www.nancyleebadger.com/

DRAGON'S CURSE, a historical paranormal from whispers Publishing-Buy Link:http://bit.ly/93hRiM