Monthly Archives: November 2013

Books: Danita Cahill!

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????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Challenges Abound When Writing a Series

By Danita Cahill

Writing is a joy and a challenge.

Writing a series is doubly so.

First, there are all the characters to keep track of. Not only does the series writer have to keep track of the characters’ appearance – their hair and eye color for instance – but the author also has to keep straight the characters’ quirks, mannerisms and speech patterns.

And then there are the friends and families. Who are these characters’ siblings, parents and BFFs? Okay, got them figured out? Now remember them. Remember their looks, their ages, and their idiosyncrasies.

Oh, wait! Don’t forget locations. Wherever it is the characters call home – in my case, a small, Oregon town called Bellham – there are streets, houses, businesses, parks, lakes and churches. Those buildings and locales have to stay consistent throughout the series.

How does a writer juggle all these details?

I don’t know how others do it. Me? I’ve written what I call the “Bellham Bible.” I have a file for businesses and locations, another file for characters, and a third for miscellaneous notes.

I just released the first book in the Bellham Romance series, “Love at First Click” about a wedding photographer who falls head over heels with a stunning maid of honor. Only the photographer doesn’t believe in love at first sight. Besides, the maid of honor already has a boyfriend. And then things get complicated.

Picture 003I’m working on the next Bellham Romance series installment, a short story called “Harvey’s Pond,” as well as the third title in the series, “The Contest.”

As I work on books in the series, I am constantly opening up the appropriate file in the “Bellham Bible” and adding more notes.

Please wish me luck in keeping all these details straight! And if any of you fellow series writers have tips to share, they would be welcomed!

Love at First Click is available for Kindle.

You can find Danita Cahill on Facebook. Danita loves to hear from readers. Drop her an email: danita1363@gmail.com

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Books: TD Hassett!

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TDPhotoNew Release:  Loving Link

Do you come up with the plot or characters first?

I admit it; my process is a bit backward. First the character calls to me then the plot slowly evolves. I start to feel like I’m writing about real people and I hear their dialogue in my head.  My current work in progress has a hero that came to me while watching episodes of Lost on Netflix.  The character of Sawyer from the show was a man you love and hate and I wanted that for my next book.

Do you listen to music or set the mood somehow to get writing?

Often I listen to classic rock and type away. It’s the same songs I grew up listening to and I find the feelings of nostalgia spark my creative side.

Who would you consider an influence on your writing?

I love Julie Garwood’s books.  The strong hero brought to heel by an even stronger heroine is very appealing.  I also like the elements of mystery in many of her contemporary books.  My characters are often based on people I know in real life only I change around a lot of the details. It gives me a bit of a profile to work from when I am trying to fill in all the backstory of a character and really make that figure realistic.

Tell me something quirky about yourself.

What do you aim to make people feel when they read your books?

My goal is to make people fall in love with my characters and get lost in a fantasy world when they read one of my novels.  The books should be a break from our everyday stresses and struggles. That’s just what is so awesome about books.

What’s next for you?

I am working on a romantic suspense novel about an American soldier home from tours of duty in Afghanistan. He finds unexpected fame and fortune as a drummer in a rock band but is still not satisfied with his life. His wife has died and he’s stuck in a small lake town with a friend of a friend until he can get his travel visa in order.  Love will find him in this special town but first he will have to prove he is ready for it.

The heroine of the story is a teacher spending her summer getting the family lake house ready for sale.  She is ambivalent about selling but unusual incidents such as the mysterious disappearance of her mother years earlier and the death of a local handyman have tarnished her feelings for the beautiful property. Now she has an unwelcome houseguest forced on her by a close friend.  She’s torn between attraction and suspicion and must resolve her fears and doubts before she can have a happily ever after.

lovinglink-5Author Links:

http://www.lsbooks.com/loving-link-p845.php

http://www.amazon.com/T.D.-Hassett/e/B00CJE2MPQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Tdhassett@facebook.com

http://TDhassett.wordpress.com

Tdhassettauthor@twitter.com

Mini Blurb:

Can two artists salvage true love out of the unexpected consequences of one night of passion?

A young tattoo artist. A seasoned rock star. Both focused on their careers. What harm can there be in giving in to their desires for just one night? They’re about to find out as their scandalous relationship sweeps the internet. Will they stand together to face the world? Or will their emotional scars tear them apart? T.D. Hassett takes you to the heights of passion in Loving Link, Book 2 of her hot, sexy series Love and Music.

 

 

 

Author Bio

T.D. Hassett grew up reading the romance greats—Jackie Collins, Julie Garwood, and Judith McNaught. She was certain that life should be like a romance novel, with lots of passion, some incredible adventures, and a guaranteed happily ever after. She attended college in New England, earning a B.A. in History and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology before changing her mind again and studying education. Currently Ms. Hassett lives in Connecticut with her very patient husband and two young children. Her rambunctious family shares their home with three crazy cats and a darling golden retriever named Delilah. Her eccentric relatives and their quest to make her feel like the only normal nut in the family tree inspire her writing.

Excerpt:

Madison had just finished up with her second to last client and was tired. She thanked him for trusting her to do such an involved and powerful tattoo.

“No, thank you Madison. You’ve no idea how much this means to me. It’s absolutely beautiful.” the young private explained quietly, and then surprised her by wrapping her in a big hug and kissing the side of her head. It seemed to be an impulsive gesture and it took her off guard. For perhaps the first time she understood how important body art could be to somebody, how it truly was more than just something inked. She broke free of the embrace as her boss, Lori, came into the room. Madison froze in place seeing Link Jacks standing behind her boss and scowling. The private slipped her his card and was forced to squeeze by Link, who stood with his arms crossed, practically blocking the door.

Lori interrupted the awkward silence. “Madison, you might know Link Jacks through your brother-in-law. He’s been having a dragon done over the last couple of months and I’m thinking you’re the perfect person to do some of the scale work. I’ve seen you do some mythological pieces where the coloring is almost luminescent. That would be perfect for this piece. I’ve done all the lines and a good chunk of the fill but think if you wrapped up the scales it would be American Tats Magazine worthy.” Lori stated in her no-nonsense way.

Crap, there’s really no way to just say no, especially if Lori was thinking of putting the work on display. She had one more customer left for the day and was looking forward to a quiet night back at the apartment. She and Darling would probably just order pizza and watch a movie.

Maddie’s befuddled brain flashed back to the spiel Lori had given her about no drama and she braced herself for whatever this could mean. I just need to keep my focus on the work.

“Sure, as long as Link is comfortable with me doing the work. I’ve got one more customer tonight but I’d be happy to make him an appointment,” replied Madison.

Link’s icy expression slipped. He smiled at her and gave her a little wink, suggesting her stall tactic wasn’t going to work.

“No need, I’ve switched your last appointment to someone else so that you could have time to work on this piece now,” Lori smoothly added.

So much for putting this off until a later day. Lori walked away, leaving Link and Madison alone. Great, this would be a nightmare after what had transpired between them last week. She was already anxious around him and now she’d be spending hours touching his half-naked body. How did Monet ever paint those incredible nudes with such beauty just within reach?

Madison busied herself getting out sterile gloves and new needles. She focused her head on how best to color in the scales that she recalled so clearly from running her hands up his chest and arms. His low voice startled her when he asked what to do.

“Should I take my shirt off now and lie down, or just stand here feeling stupid?” Link questioned.

“Sorry, go ahead and lie down and you know, take off your clothes. I mean shirt.” Maddie blurted out awkwardly. She finished assembling her things on the tray and turned around in time to see him pull his tight black shirt up over his head exposing a broad, well-muscled chest that her fingers ached to touch. It was going to be torture to put needle to skin, to have her hands running over his washboard abs and strong arms, yet the full sensation would be blocked by the latex of her gloves. She studied the work already done on the tattoo. It was a masterpiece in the making. She’d never seen such a large, detailed mythological piece and couldn’t stop herself from tracing the line of the dragon’s tail from the waistband of his jeans up and across his chest and over his shoulder to where it ended on his back. The dragon’s head looked across his shoulders, its eyes done so realistically you felt like the beast was watching. She could see the mix of colors and shading she’d need to complete the work. The artist in her was clamoring to get started but the woman was afraid to keep touching him lest she lose her head again. She looked up from his skin to notice his eyes had been watching her with an expression of longing. His hand was clenched tightly against the arm of the chair and she noticed the telltale bulge in his pants. Memories of him pulsing in her sent a wave of moisture to her core.

She needed to put aside the tantalizing images flashing through her head. He was just a man who could only hurt her if she let him. Isabel had shared stories about Links escapades with women while on tour. It seemed everyone in the band but Link had settled down, so they all laughed at his adventures. Now that Madison had been one of his conquests, she hated every other woman who had ever looked at him and she hated herself even more for feeling that way.

“Okay, I’ll get started but as you probably know, work around the ribs and other bony areas can get pretty painful, so let me know when you need a break. Any questions?” Maddie was proud of how calm her voice was despite the rolling pit of emotions swirling around her belly.

“No questions. Baby, I’m ready for whatever you want to do to my body; bring it on.” Link answered with a cocky smile.

Damn him, he had to make this extra difficult. She’d made a mistake in what she did with him; she’d just been too curious a cat and she’d gotten her heart involved. But there was no way she would put that tail out there again for him to play with. Maddie had seen what heartbreak did to her mother and she knew better than to get involved with anyone who could do that kind of damage to her. Besides if Isabel ever found out what she’d gotten up to with Link she’d probably lecture her to death. And Thomas would probably kill Link; after all he had become quite the protective big brother to her after he and Isabel met.

Madison needed to focus on the task at hand and stop ogling him like … well, like some kind of groupie. She prepped a gun and tested the foot pedal, and then dipped her color, steadied her hand, and pressed needle to skin. The gentle vibration of the gun hummed to her as she worked a lower portion of the design over his right ribcage. She peaked across his chest, noticed another tattoo under his heart, and jabbed the needle in too hard.

Books: M.S. Kaye!

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How to Choose Character Names

We all know the basic rules—don’t use names with the same first letter or that sound similar so as not to confuse the reader. But what if you want to take it a step further?

I love choosing my characters’ names. Sometimes they’re just names I like, and sometimes I put research into them. I’ve found several methods for finding that perfect name.

  1. Keep a list of names you like. I’ve done a fair amount of data entry in my work, which includes clients’ personal information. Whenever I find a name I like, I enter it into a file in my phone. I keep a file for female names, male names, and surnames. From these lists, is how I decided on the names in Fight Princess: Celisse Blalock and Cullen Surratt.
  2. Name meanings that match personality There are some great websites for names, many of which allow you to look up names by meaning. One of my favorite sites is http://www.thinkbabynames.com. Enter the desired attribute (strength, kindness, beauty), look through the search results, and choose something that sounds right for the character.
  3. Mythology If you want a more obvious reference, consult Greek or Egyptian mythology. For less obvious, research other cultures—maybe Sumerian, Welsh, Tibetan… It can match the character’s cultural background or be something completely different. If it’s really unusual, you might want to work in a reference as to how the character came to have the name (could make for an interesting background story).
  4. History I love reference books just as much as fiction. I have a shelf full of them, most of which have something to do with history—especially books like Hidden History by Brian Haughton and Ancient Mysteries by Peter James and Nick Thorpe. I find stories that somehow work with the character or plot and pick out names that sound suitable for my characters. Again, you can choose more popular stories or the obscure.
  5. Literature Maybe you have a character who finds adventure away from home whose last name is Gulliver. Maybe siblings, Lewis and Carroll, are involved with fantastical events. Maybe your mysterious painter is names Dorian.
  6. The Bible or other religious texts In my inspirational novel, Once, which is to be released 11/7/13, the main female character is named Rebecca, from the story of Jacob and Rebecca. I reference the Biblical story within the book, but it’s not always necessary to do so.
  7. 7.     Landmarks or Locations Cities, lakes, mountains, bridges, roads… Currently, I’m working on a book whose lead male character has a strong connection to water. His last name is Trent, as in the River Trent.
  8. 8.     Dead Languages Draco Malfoy, Albus Dumbledore, Luna, Ignotus… J.K. Rowling loves stealing from Latin especially. She also steals from history and mythology quite a bit. She is my naming hero!
  9. Match a theme. This is one of my favorites. I love referencing a theme—and then NOT pointing it out, just waiting to see if anyone catches it. In my soon-to-be-released YA paranormal novel, Strong as Death, all of the names somehow reference ghost stories (except the main character—hers has to do with name meaning). You’re tempted to read it now, aren’t you?

 

Fight Princess final cover artFight Princess

M. S. Kaye

 

Things aren’t what they seem. Don’t get involved.

Celisse is too headstrong to listen. Her best friend’s boyfriend is dead, and she does not heed Cullen’s warning, slipped to her in a note as he’s being arrested for the murder.

Cullen tries to keep Celisse out of danger and also tries to avoid her, both unsuccessfully. He can’t deny his feelings for her anymore, but he knows he can’t have her. If she ever discovered the truth about his past, she’d surely hate him.

While struggling with her intense feelings for Cullen, Celisse uses her skills as an ex-prosecutor to investigate, all while continuing to fight for Ogden, the organizer of an underground fight ring. She eventually realizes things are connected—the ring, Ogden, Cullen, the murder, and herself. She races to uncover the truth before she’s arrested or becomes the next victim—or perhaps, the next culprit.

 

Purchase at:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/15xQX8O

iBooks – http://bit.ly/17Asczv
Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/1abP1LC
Liquid Silver Books (publisher – all formats) – http://bit.ly/172SszA

 

Author Bio

 

M. S. Kaye is a 4th degree black belt and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, FL, where she does her best not to melt in the sun.

Contact M. S. Kaye at:

www.BooksByMSK.com

www.Facebook.com/BooksByMSK

@mskosciuszko

Books: Kathleen Collins!

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{AB4FE08A-8AE0-41F1-9E3A-03E041EF82A8}Img100Realm Walker
Realm Walker Series

Book One

Kathleen Collins

 

Genre: Urban Fantasy

 

Publisher: Carina Press

 

Date of Publication:  October 28, 2013

 

ISBN: 9781426896545

ASIN: B00E1V5S3S

 

Word Count: 76,000

 

Amazon       BN

Book Description:

 

An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…

 

As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That’s only the first of her secrets.

 

Most people don’t know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don’t know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don’t know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…

 

Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can’t reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.

 

IMG_7580About the Author:

 

Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.

The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.

She is currently hard at work on her next book.

 

www.Kathleencollins.net   

 

@kathy_collins

 

www.facebook.com/kathleencollinsauthor

 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191208.Kathleen_Collins

 

 Excerpt:

The troll picked her up with nothing more than his teeth in her shoulder and shook her like a hellhound with a chew toy. She clenched her jaw in pain and let out a terrible keening groan as muscle and tendon ripped. She fought her base instinct to struggle, to squirm away from the source of the pain. If she did, she’d only injure herself further. Blood poured from the wound, staining the ground a horrible, vibrant crimson.

            A growl tore through the clearing seconds before a brown blur flew through the air and landed on the troll’s back. Nathaniel. They all rocked forward with the impact and fresh pain lanced through her shoulder. The troll roared in anger, releasing Juliana’s shoulder by default and she dropped to the ground. She backed away, eyeing the two of them warily. The troll reached over his back, trying to grab Nathaniel who still had his teeth and claws dug deep into the beast. The wolf snarled, growled and shook his head as the troll danced around the clearing trying to get a grip on his attacker.

            Juliana’s arm hung limp and worthless by her side. Pain burned through the wound and nausea rose in waves. Her head swam. She swallowed the acid down, sucked in crisp, cool air. She used her right hand to wrap her left arm around her waist in an effort to keep the shoulder from moving any more than necessary.

            “Nathaniel,” she yelled as the troll ran backward into the trees.

            He slammed his back with Nathaniel still attached into the trunk of a large oak tree once, twice, three times. The blows stunned Nathaniel enough that the troll was finally able to snatch the wolf and hurl him across the clearing. Her friend lay unmoving on the ground.

            The troll locked crimson eyes on her and stalked across the clearing. She fought every impulse inside of her that told her to run and waited for him to come. One taloned hand wrapped around her throat and picked her up. Pulling her close, the troll roared in fury once they were almost nose to nose. She wrapped her legs around his waist to take the pressure off her throat. Juliana raised the Taser and jammed it into his ear. Not caring anymore if she fried his brain, she squeezed and held the trigger. His roar changed to one of agony.

            He released her throat and raised both hands to his head. He stumbled backward in an effort to get away from her but her legs stayed clamped around his waist. She continued to pour electricity into him until he dropped to his knees. Only then did she put her feet on the ground and back away.

            Her opponent stayed on all fours, shaking his head, trying to clear it. The air hung heavy with the scent of burnt fur and troll. As he rose to a kneeling position, she adjusted her grip on the weapon. From the corner of her eye she saw Nathaniel stagger to his feet.

            The troll held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “No more, Walker. I will go where you ask. Wherever you ask.”

            Relief eased the tightness in her chest. She wasn’t sure she was up for another round of Taze the Troll. She ran her thumb along the side of her ring preparing to use it to call the portal tied to it. Then the troll began to laugh. A low sound at first, it quickly grew to a volume that made her ears ache. Great. She had fried his brain and now she had a crazy troll to deal with.

            After putting more distance between them, she put her Taser away and drew her sword. It left the sheath with a ring of steel. She adjusted her hand on the grip. Nathaniel came to stand beside her, leaning his weight into her leg to let her know he was near. “You okay there, Mr. Troll?”

            He opened his blazing red eyes and looked at her. “I’ve had your blood, Juliana Norris. It tells me things.” Apparently it told him her name, because she’d never given it.