Guest blogger Sofia Grey + giveaway!

I’m so happy to welcome back the talented Sofia Grey! Sofia has a sexy new book, and an awesome giveaway too, so read on!

Scaredy-Cat

Don’t underestimate or trivialise it. Fear is a powerful driver for behaviour. And I’ll stick my neck out here… I reckon everyone has a secret fear locked away. We’re all scared of something, and there are different levels as to how scared we are.

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If I had to rate my personal fears, it would go something like:

1 out of 5 – mild anxiety / wariness;

2 out of 5 – a sense of discomfort

3 out of 5 – pulse speeds up, shivers down my spine

4 out of 5 – yep, I’m scared, I’ll admit it to whoever is nearby

5 out of 5 – holy shit, I’m freaking out

For me, 1/5 might be a large, hairy spider walking on the far side of the room. 2/5 would be if the spider was next to me, while 3/5 would be a spider on me. Or an earwig. Don’t like earwigs, ever since one dropped into the bath while I was submerged under a cloud of foam. I leapt out of the water so quickly and yanked the plug out, that I forgot to look if the bug had actually swirled down the plughole. I was fine then, until a drop of water snaked down my back and I became convinced it was the damn earwig. I screamed so loud that my hubby came running in to rescue me from the axe murderer he was convinced had sneaked in.

And then there’s the fears so deep and dark, so insidious that we can’t give them names. We certainly don’t give them headroom, as least, not consciously.

In Obsession, Suki tries to find a way to cope with her off-the-scale fear, something she has never revealed to her husband.

scared woman

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I averted my eyes from the headline screaming at me. I’d read the story earlier but could do without the constant reminders. Severely depressed ex-soldier murdered his two small children and then committed suicide. Apparently he was afraid they’d inherit his condition. It was hard not to be sympathetic.

Mum had skirted along the edge of a bi-polar disorder and fallen straight into psychotic depression. According to everything I’d read, the condition was hereditary. I stood at least a twenty-five percent chance of losing my sanity, and I battled this fear on a daily basis. Little incidents, like the guy in the café, would be the first signs. Forgetfulness. Mood swings. It had become my best-kept secret.

Dad and I maintained the illusion that Mum was fine, just shy and retiring. Antony was never mentioned. It all weighed heavily on me and there were times I needed to unload, to let out some of the tension in my head before I screamed.

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Your turn now. What are you afraid of? And would you tell anyone? Leave a comment and I’ll put your name into a draw for a copy of Obsession.

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Obsession is available 12 June 2013, from Time & Tide Publishing.

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Josh Delaney is the ideal honey trap.

His charm and model good looks would be enough for most women, but coupled with his psychic ability to read their thoughts, he’s impossible to resist. Suspicious husbands employ him to test their wives, to see if they can be tempted to stray.

High profile couple Suki and Gabe Bridgewater have the perfect marriage, or at least, that’s the image they portray to the world. Behind closed doors, Gabe’s dominance in the marriage is unravelling and he decides to test Suki, using Josh as bait.

For Josh it should be just another easy job, but two things go horribly wrong.

One, Josh falls in love with Suki.

And two, Gabe refuses to let her go.

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http://www.amazon.com/Obsession-The-Talisman-series-ebook/dp/B00DAM7KN0

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdYcKMB2r1U

 

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Obsession - blog tour banner final

Blog tours are fun to take part in, but this is my final stop.

 

Sofia Grey

About Author

Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.

Find her at: www.sofiagrey.com and on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sofiagrey1, or on Twitter @SofiaGreyAuthor

* images courtesy of 123rf.com

And so it began…the origin of an author

The other day on Goodreads, Rosanna Leo posed the question “What’s the first thing you ever wrote?” Pretty good topic actually. I shared my answer on Goodreads, but I’m about to go a one step farther. Today I’m actually going to share the very first thing I can remember writing.

Way back in 3rd grade, a young bespectacled girl (that would be moi) won 1st place in a state writing competition. So if you’re curious how Christy Gissendaner (aka Robin Danner) got her start in writing, here’s visible evidence. I’ve included a pic so ya’ll can admire the penmanship and “artwork” I added to my masterpiece.

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And if you enjoy Giggle’s story, be sure to check out my the adult-versions of my paranormals. Who knew such a sweet little girl would grow up to write such hot romances! Yes, I’ve typed the story as-it-was. So forgive the errors, but not too shabby for a 3rd grader, huh?

Happy Friday!

Christy/Robin

 

 

 

 

 

Giggle by Christy Gissendaner (circa 8 yrs old)

Once upon a time there was a ghost called Giggle. She was very lonely. She lived 100 miles from the closest town. One day she packed up her games, snacks, candles, pumpkins, treats, and candies. When she got to her new home it was 300 years old. The house had cobwebs in every corner. She slept peacefully for two days. When she woke up, it was a week until Halloween. She was still lonely so she planted a variety of pumpkin seeds. She watered them and kept a light on them. While she was asleep a witch put a spell on the pumpkin seeds.  The pumpkins, which had grown bodies, threw paint on her and locked Giggle up in a room. With paint on her, she couldn’t get out. Two days passed and Halloween came. Four mischievoius kids came along. Their names were Bob, Jan, Jill, and Bill. Bill went up to the bushes and a carved out jack-o-lantern on them. Then Jill and Jan gave a shriek, turned around and ran. Bill and Bob wondered why they ran away. Then Bill shrieked and ran away. When he did Bob yelled at him and called him a chicken. When the turned around the pumpkins stood in the doorway and said “Hellooo Bob.” They grabbed him and put him with Giggle. They didn’t feed him so he soon turned into a ghost. Giggle and Bob got married and had three ghostlings. Nobody ever knew what happened to Bob except the pumpkins. People found out about them but was afraid to ask. So they will never know.

It’s all about the readers…

Whew – what a weekend! 

I’ve just gotten home from Colorado, where I spent the weekend at RomCon. Aside from the smoke (I stayed with family in Black Forest) and the long drive to the hotel every morning, I had the time of my life!

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, RomCon is a conference targeted toward readers of romance novels. And when I say it’s reader targeted, I’m not kidding. RomCon is a weekend of author-hosted events and parties – many of which included demonstrations (yes, Cherise Sinclair demonstrated the proper way to use a ruler) and/or half-naked cowboys (see below).

I’m a reader, so I had many “fan girl” moments of my own over the weekend. First when I met one of my favorite authors, Lorelei James, and then again when I realized I’d be sharing a book signing table with Lauren Dane. And yes, I came home with books signed by each of them…along with about ten others.

At breakfast the first day, it was announced that my first novel, One Night Stand, was named a finalist in the Readers’ Crown Awards for Erotic Romance. While it didn’t win, I am humbled and honored to be named alongside Cherise Sinclair, Fiona Archer, Mandy Harbin, Angel Payne, Lexi Blake and several others. Congratulations to Cherise for winning the category! 

RomCon is definitely something I’ll do again. If you enjoy playing games with inflatable man-parts, mimosa’s and half-naked cowboys – maybe I’ll see you there next year!

Here are a few of my favorite moments from RomCon 2013.

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Lorelei James and Parker Kincade

 

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Parker Kincade signing ad in RomCon Program (and yes, those are Lauren Dane’s hands next to me…) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yeah…it’s a tough job…

 

 

For more pictures of the fun, go to http://www.romcon.com.

Until next time…

unlikeable vs. unlovable

Every time I set out to write a story, I do it with three things in mind: Goal, motivation, and conflict. I start sketching out these character sketches, just throwing attitude and ambition and a whole lot of angst at them in the hopes of creating a character who captures my interest.

The last thing on my mind is whether or not anyone will actually like my characters. In fact, sometimes I set out to make them unlikeable because then I get to redeem them (or not). It sounds crazy, right? I mean, in theory, why would you want to spend a few hours of your time (reading) with someone you don’t even like?

Honestly? My favorite characters are the ones I love to hate because they are fascinating. They are raw and self-righteous, they are clever and sometimes crude. They hurt the character you do like, and maybe don’t earn enough forgiveness. But watching them try is so much fun!

This got me thinking about anti-heroes vs. beta heroes vs. Omega. (also, because these traits apply across gender, anti-heroine/beta heroine/Omega)

IMO an anti-hero is a protagonist who seems to function against socially accepted behavior. They can be your big bad breakin’-all-the-rules Alphas, but they aren’t always.

When I think “beta hero” I think this is a protagonist with less than ideal character traits. Not necessarily bad traits, just not perfect. He’s not the biggest or the strongest guy around and he’s okay with that.

An Omega is like an anti-hero who is also comic relief. The villain you love–and love to laugh at. These guys are sneaky–you write them as a villain in one book or series, and the next thing you know, they are clamoring for their own book so you can redeem them.

With all these fascinating character types to play with, I find it hard to seek out likability as a character trait.

Perhaps the craziest thing of all is that when it comes right down to it–I find these characters all the more lovable for their flaws–making them perfect subjects for romance.

So tell me–do you have a favorite anti-hero(ine)? What about betas or Omegas?

Cover Reveal: Tarnished by Becca Jameson

I’m so excited to reveal the cover for the first book in my new wolf series! The series is called Wolf Gatherings. The first book is called Tarnished. It comes out August 1, 2013, with Taliesin Publishing! I love this hot hot cover! And I hope everyone enjoys this new series. Book two is already written and I’m pondering book three as we “speak”. hehe

Tarnished_BJameson_500X800

Blurb:

Wolf shifter Mackenzie Davis has no interest in mating with another wolf. Plenty of experiences in her past have hardened her to this resolve. She is loving life with the perfect job, the perfect friends, and the perfect boyfriend—a human one. Nevertheless, her mom implores her to attend this year’s Wolf Gathering. Reluctantly dragging her feet, she agrees to one day only.

Drake Spencer has come to the gathering from Texas with his family. He’s twenty-eight and believes his chances of finding a mate are slim to none, especially since he saw the woman he felt connected to leave with another man at the last gathering. But what if the woman who has consumed his dreams for the last few years is not actually mated?

When Mackenzie and Drake meet, sparks fly. Kenzie still hopes to deny the claim on her. But can she? The call of mates is stronger than she expected. What will happen to her sense of self if she follows this man to Texas? Not to mention Drake. Can he live with the mental scars of her past?

What’s in a Name? Lynn Lorenz

LL_RSC_BayouDreamsWhen we start writing, the last thing we think of is what name will we write under….mostly because we never start out thinking we’re really going to get published.

I know I didn’t. And when I did make my first sale, a gay romance, I got tons of advice about a pen name. Pen name??? What the hell? Sure, I was told, you need one, especially if you write erotic or gay romance.

Yeah, ‘cuz there’s that – discrimination and prejudice – and I thought hey, I just write love stories. People told me I needed to protect my family, told me tales of the poor writers who were stalked by crazed fans. Told me I needed to protect my job, with more stories of writers being fired when their employers found out they wrote erotic romance.
Convinced me…for sure.

So I asked around, got opinions, of which there is no shortage, about what made a good pen name. Pick a clever name, pick a sexy name, pick a name that means something to you, pick a name you won’t forget to answer to, pick a name that’s easy. Got it. An easy, sexy, meaningful name.

And I also was told, hey, you write gay romance and you’re a woman. You need to use initials and let everyone think you’re a guy…’cuz you’ll sell more.

WTH? Okay, I’m a smart girl, but I’m not a genius, and I was already almost 50 yrs old. My memory wasn’t going to be getting better, and it’s hard enough to remember my own name, much less pretend I’m a man. But some writers did it, and I understand their reasons. I was tempted. I was…then realized I just didn’t have the energy or wits to keep up such a charade.

So my publisher was tapping her toes, waiting for my pen name so she could get the forms filled out for the contract, and I was racking my brain for a easy, sexy, familiar name. Something I’d like for a long time, right? ‘Cuz I had a career in front of me… Gulp!

So I talked to my dh, my rock, and told him what I’d been thinking of…using my middle name, since it was familiar to me, I would answer to it when fans (oh yeah, I dreamed of fans, silly girl) called out my name in a crowd. My dh agreed with it and jokingly said, hey, I have a bunch of names, take one of mine. So I thought it over and ran through all his names – he has 5 – seriously, 4 plus a last name. One of them started with an L and sounded good with Lynn. And when I Googled it, I didn’t find anyone.

And so Lynn Lorenz was born, or at least her pen name. I’ve been around for awhile and amazingly Lynn’s still around and writing since 2008.

So when I took a look at my traditional romances, which I’d been writing using Lynn Lorenz, I decided I needed to let my readers know better what they were getting with my books and the only way to do that would be to…..pick an new pen name.

OMG! Not again!!!!!

Yes, again. So I struggled with the decision to pick a new pen name, for my heterosexual romances. So I started the process once more – thinking of a name with the right sound, familiar, yet different. I picked my mother’s middle name, Theodora, a name I’ve always loved. Then I had to find a last name, and since Theodora has multiple syllables, the last name should be short and sweet. I came up with several, Googled, but found them used. Then I hit Lane. There were no Theodora Lanes…only real streets.

But there were other Lanes out there writing, but the ones I knew either weren’t spelled the same, and were writing gay romance, not het, so chances were I’d not be in conflict with them.

And then I had to think about whether to keep Lynn writing as Theodora a secret. Again, too old and too tired to be that clever. So I looked at a few other writers, famous ones, who made no secret of their alternate writing names – like Richard Bachman – Stephen King, JD Robb – Nora Roberts, and Lori Armstrong – Lorelei James. Good company and it didn’t hurt their careers. Their readers know what to expect when they buy a book written by each name and that’s what I wanted my readers to know also.

So, with the new urban fantasy story coming out in August from Taliesin Publishing, Heart of a Warrior, I decided to launch my new pen name, Theodora Lane, with that book. And along with that a new website that will showcase both my Lynn Lorenz name and books and Theodora Lane’s new books. I can’t wait to show it to you, along with the new cover, which I’ve gotten a sneak peek at, but you’ll have to wait for that in July.

Well, that’s my story about pen names.

What’s yours???

Sinspiration aka The Power of a Photo

I know we’ve posted about inspiration before, but have we ever posted about sinspiration? This is when I see a picture–okay, yeah, it’s usually naughty–and within seconds I have an entire story written. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to sinspiration.

Who knew Pinterest could be so useful? And so smexy.

If I get stuck, I can swing by, have a look, and wrap up a scene in no time, well, as long as I can resist the temptation to start looking for things to add to my sinspiration board.

Now, not everything on my board is sinful. Somethings are just a nice reminder to keep going, or because I find a model beautiful and inspirational, but…yeah , okay…most of it is sinful. I can’t help it, I’m made that way.

Sneak Preview of Weather the Storm

MM_SSI3_WeathertheStorm_draftI gave the subscribers of my newsletter a sneak peek of Vanko’s first meeting with his heroine, Elana. You can check that out HERE. And so you don’t miss any other newsletters, sign up HERE.

I thought I would share another glimpse of Vanko from my upcoming SSI book. No, it’s not done, I’m still working on it. So, this is an unedited, uncritiqued scene.  🙂 I hope you enjoy this small glimpse into Vanko’s background.

Excerpt:

Vanko leaned back in the plushy banquette and smiled at the picture his baby sister, her husband Jean Paul, and their three children made as they ate breakfast and jabbered away in a unique combination of Russian and English.

“Vanko?” His sister Tatanya called to him. “My brother, why so pensive? Is something wrong.”

How could he tell her what was wrong without sounding envious and somewhat pathetic?

He was almost thirty-five years old and alone. Yes, he had a satisfying job that challenged him, but all he had to go home to at the end of the day was an empty modernistic cabin at Sanctuary. Other than Tanya and her family, his only other family were the people he worked with, his SSI family.

Yet he blurted it out anyway.

“I want what you have.” He swept the table with a glance and then stared at his sister’s understanding gaze and sympathetic smile. “I want a wife and children, someone to cherish, love, and protect.”

To fill the holes in his heart and soul.

“You will find her,” Tanya said. “I know this in my heart. Until then you are welcome to share my family.”

Jean Paul nodded his agreement and pulled Tanya into his embrace and gave her a gentle shoulder squeeze. That was what he wanted. The silent understanding and emotional and physical support of a mate who loved him with all her being.

“You are far more optimistic than I am, Tanya.” He ruffled the hair of Tanya’s youngest child who leaned into his uncle for a cuddle. “I love you, little sister.”

Tanya’s eyes filled with tears.  “Love you too, big brother.”

Before he could change the subject to lighten the mood, his cell rang. The tone was the one used for SSI emergencies. “Got to take this, sorry.”

He answered the call. “Petriv.”

“Vanko, you some place we can talk?” Tweeter’s voice came over the crystal clear NSA satellite connection.

“Moving to one now. Hold.” He scrambled out of the banquette and found a small conference room off to the side of the hotel dining room. He closed the door. “Okay, I can talk now. What’s up?”

“The Defense traitor just hired another merc to kill Keely and to attempt to take out as many of us as possible.” Tweeter’s voice was cool and clipped. The man was pissed as hell.

Dermo. Has Ren gone ballistic yet?” Vanko loved Keely and would’ve pursued a relationship with her himself if not for Ren. But the lovely little genius had turned out to be the love of Ren’s life and was now the mother of his son. Ren wouldn’t tolerate threats to Keely lightly.

“He’s dealing, especially because we caught a break. There was an eye witness. Her name is Elana Cruz.”

Finally, they might be able to get the treasonist-bastard-thorn out of SSI’s side. Then a horrible thought hit him and he stiffened. “Is she in protective custody?”

“No, that’s where you come in. We need you to get to Elana and protect her until she can look at our suspect list from Defense and I.D. the son of a bitch.”

“On that. Where do I need to be and when?” Vanko was glad he hadn’t fully unpacked his duffle. He could be checked out and gone in less than fifteen minutes.

“D.C. and as soon as you can get there. We’ll have a DoD Hummer for you at National and intel on where to meet her once Ren and Keely get in touch with her and impress the urgent need for her to have protection.”

Vanko opened the door and strode toward the dining room. “She’s in danger. That asshole has assets everywhere.”

“Yeah.” Tweeter paused and let out a long breath. “I’ve got you on a helicopter to LaGuardia and a private flight to National in D.C.  I’ll send all the police reports and the FBI and Homeland reports once those guys finally catch up. We’re working on this for DIA who is ahead of the curve on this one.”

“I pick up the helicopter where?” Vanko stood by his family’s table and held up a finger signaling just another minute?

“On the roof of your hotel. We got clearance from the NY authorities.”

“Got it, Tweeter. Tell Ren I’ll call him once I’m on board the jet and have reviewed the materials.” Vanko shook his head at his sister who’d opened her mouth to speak. “What does this Elana do that got her into all this trouble?”

Tweeter chuckled. “She’s a technical services and research librarian. And she’s not who she seems to be.”

“A librarian? And how is she not who she seems to be?” Vanko watched as his sister mouthed “Elana” and smiled.

“Until twelve years ago, she didn’t exist. I’m working on breaking some really good firewalls. Seems Interpol gave her a new name and new life in the US. I’ll have her real name by the time you land in D.C.”

Interpol? His former employer. Whatever she’d gone under for, it couldn’t have been good.  Interpol was not in the business of creating new identities for just anyone.

“I know you will, Tweeter. Later.” He disconnected and looked at his sister and her husband. “I have to go.  Break in a case.”

“Who’s Elana?” his sister asked, a twinkle in her eye.  “Good Russian name. And a librarian who is not who she seems to be? This sounds like a romantic suspense novel.”

“It’s not fiction, it’s my job, Tanya.” He leaned over the table and gave her a kiss. “Got to go. Love you.”

“Love you, too,” Tanya said as he shook hands with Jean Paul and kissed his nieces and nephew. “Call me. I have a good feeling about this Elana of yours.”

Vanko scowled. “She’s not my Elana. She’s a witness and needs protection.”

Tanya shook her head and smiled. “Vanko, I’ve got a feeling feeling. Call me. I want to talk with her.”

Vanko shuddered as a strange almost electrical sensation shot down his spine and settled in his gut.  The last time his sister had one of her feelings she’d saved him from certain death at the hands of a Marseilles sex trafficker and drug lord. He’d left Interpol and joined SSI a month later.

Copyright 2013, Monette Michaels. Material is from an unedited manuscript and is not to be reproduced without express permission of the author.

And the answers are…..

So the other week, I was sick….. and let’s face it, no-one does their best work when they are ill. I set a couple of riddles and said the first three people to guess right would win a copy of any of my books….

Sadly no one got both answers right. Below are both riddles with their answers….I know I know I’m mean….but hay I’m a Londoner, we’re famous for that!

1) What cold food burns your mouth when you eat it?  CHILLI

2) What type of cheese is made backwards? EDAM

So instead, I thought the make it fair, I have decided to run one more competition (don’t tell the others, this is just between you and me)

The first three people who can tell me what the name of my book, in the Under A Moonlit Night Collection is will get to pick one book from my back list. Don’t forget to leave me your email address to please and thank you!!

I should apologies now for getting this post up so late, but life got in the way. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that having a day job, can really get in the way of my author job. I have a hard enough time finding the time to write. It doesn’t help that I’m one of those people who has to be in the “mood” to write…..yeah I’m my own worst nightmare I tell ya.

I take my hat off to all those who write, have a day job and then run a family…..’cause wow I haven’t got a clue how you manage it I really don’t.

But as I like to say…where there’s a will there’s a way……..or I would say that if I was the sort to use quotes in everyday speech…but you get the idea…..

OK Sorry to post and run like this but the day job is calling and, seriously I will do better honest!!! Don’t forget to leave your answers below!

Until next time….remember……ice…..it’s not just for your drinks….heh

 

 

The power of community

No, I’m not talking about the TV show Community (which I love, BTW).

I’m talking about the community that is romance.

Let me give you a tidbit about my background. I didn’t always write, at least not with the aim of being published. I spent many years studying and working as a classical soprano, and did a stint with a professional Toronto chamber ensemble. I guess you could say I’ve always been obsessed with the arts in some way. When I passed my audition for this choir, it was a dream come true for me. The choir is well-known, still is, and does concerts all over the world. After devoting years of my time to the art of singing, I was about to become a professional singer.

I think I hated it in my first week.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate the music or the hard work. In fact, if there’s anything I still miss about that world, it’s being part of that gorgeous sound.

It was the people who shocked and disappointed me. Although the choir was comprised of professional adults, in a way they were exactly what you would expect of a group of singers: catty, petty and backstabbing. I saw things in that choir that changed me as a person, that saddened me. The environment was oppressive and after a while, I had to leave. My singing dream ended there, but I have no regrets.

When I joined the community of romance writers, I must confess, I expected the same behavior. The same insecurities.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Every day I am shocked and amazed at the support in the romance community. Not even just among the authors, but among the artists and bloggers and readers. People love sharing. What a novel idea.

These wonderful folks tweet for each other, post for each other, promote each other. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard expressions of support, and you know it’s genuine, or else why would anyone bother? You can easily hide online, but romance folks step forward and cheer each other daily.

It has restored my faith in humanity, and I’m not exaggerating. Of course, that doesn’t mean every singer is an insecure mess, waiting to take down the next singer. That was just my experience. However, I am glad I took a leap and joined the community of talented, exceptional beings that is those who love romance books.

For the first time in my professional life, I feel as if I’ve come home. And I thank you for your support. 🙂

Guest Blogger Fae Sutherland

SkyRunnersFinalThe ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops would like to welcome author Fae Sutherland to the purple velvet couch today.

Fae has a new book coming out from Carina Press, and she has graciously agreed to answer my nosy questions and give us a sneak preview of her second Sky Bound book, Sky Runners.

And Fae has informed me she would love to give away one copy of her book, Sky Runners (PDF or EPUB), to one lucky person who posts a comment.

Welcome, Fae! Are you getting excited about the second book in this well-received series?
Very much so! This second book was a lot of fun to write, with the world already developed and the characters known to most of my readers I was able to really focus on the adventure my MCs go through and how their relationship grows throughout. It’s a very different sort of love story as compared to Sky Riders. A bit more angst, a little darker, but also a little sweeter, I think. I really hope readers enjoy it!

The Sky Bound series is categorized by your publisher as space western romance. What drew you to this genre?
All credit for my space western obsession goes to Joss Whedon and Firefly. I was introduced to the series in 2007 and have been obsessed ever since. Although I’ve always been into futuristic, space-set romances, I devoured them by the bagful in my twenties! One of my very favorite romances ever is Johanna Lindsey’s Warrior’s Woman, which is really the book that started my love for sexy stories in space.

Tell us a little about your book and the series.
The Skybound series is set in the distant future when humans are no longer ‘Earthlings’ and have spread to populate multiple planets and moons in multiple solar systems within the galaxy. Some people don’t live on planets at all but in space ships instead.
Our heroes are those who call a spaceship home. The Crux Ansata is owned by Captain Torin Covell. The pilot is Rain, Torin’s husband and Sky Riders was their story. Killian O’Neal is sort of second in command/ship’s cook/jack of all trades and Sky Runners is his love story. Then there’s Jeret, who starts out the series a mouthy, 16 year old bratchild with a gift for all things tech and ends the series in July’s release, Sky Hunter where he’s all grown up and finding his own happily ever after.

It’s just a lot of fun, an adventurous, rollicking good time with all of these men sort of dancing on the edge of good guy vs bad guy, criminal vs hero and finding love along the way. Not to mention having really great sex! 😉

From the reviews for the first book, I hear you have a lot of humor alongside the action, suspense, and hot m/m sex – does the humor come natural? I guess I’m asking — were you the class cut-up as a kid?
Haha, no I wouldn’t say I was really a class clown, I’m more of a natural smartass, though. I love writing banter and characters who are quick with the comebacks. That’s how I tend to be in real life so my characters come by it honest.

What draws you to write m/m romance?
Partly it’s being LGBT myself and being in a long-term same-sex relationship I enjoy showing that in the books I write. With everything changing for the better so fast for LGBT people in the world these days, it’s something I feel very strongly about representing in my work – happy, healthy, loving same-sex couples who are just like their hetero counterparts when it comes right down to it.

Are you working on another book? If so, tell us about it.
I am! Well, next up on the release schedule is the final Skybound book, Sky Hunter, which features Jeret and a man from his past. As for new work, I’m working on my first foray into M/F romance – it’s a foodie romance featuring a pair of chefs and it is sizzling hot!

I know you have co-authored books. How does that writing process work? And are you working on any books at the moment with a co-author?
Writing with a co-author is an amazing experience, but it can be very complicated. The writing process is a blast and usually moves really fast because you’ve got two people doing the work, but the editing that goes into turning what begins as basically a chat log into a cohesive novel is extensive.  Worth it, though!

I’m not actually working on anything co-written currently. I’ve basically stopped joint writing professionally in order to focus on my solo writing. I love both the wonderful ladies I’ve written books with, though, and we still write together sometimes just for fun.

Who is your favorite author?
Karen Marie Moning, hands down. She’s the kind of author I aspire to be. I read everything she puts out, whether it’s romance or her urban fantasy stuff, even the graphic novel of her Fever series, etc. Everything she writes is basically flaw-free in my eyes.

What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Requiem, the third book in the Delirium series by YA author Lauren Oliver. I love this series and was really disappointed the tv show based on it didn’t get picked up this year.

What do you do to get in the mood to write?
Ha! I’m pretty much always in the mood to write. What I’m in the mood to write is really the question. It’s why I usually have a couple of stories going at the same time, so I can pick or choose based on my mood. But being in the mood to write, period? Always.

What is the easiest and hardest thing about writing?
Easiest is the characters. Characters tend to come to me, I don’t have to go looking for them or, like, ‘create’ them to fit the story I want to write. I always say I’m a reader of my own stories because when I write I usually don’t know what’s going to happen any more than a reader does. I learn about the characters and their stories as I go, the same as a reader.

Hardest is world-building. Writing the Skybound series has really taught me a lot about building a unique world because that’s what I had to do and I’d never really done that before. I tend to want to focus on the characters and their relationship building and so managing to not forget to flesh out the world is still the hardest part for me.

What is your writing day like once you start a book?
I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time, so my work day is pretty much like anyone else’s. When I’m knee-deep in writing a book I usually get about five hours of solid writing every day while also doing stuff like working on my website or being active on Twitter and several writing forums I’m on, and of course I have to get in some slacking off time, lol. My guilty pleasure websites are Tumblr and ONTD.

Short Answer Questions:

Favorite Food Network Show: So hard to choose! I think Chopped, with Iron Chef America a very close second. [Monette note:  Those are my favs also and Cupcake Wars!]

Guilty Pleasure: First person shooter video games. Fallout 3/Fallout New Vegas as well as Skyrim are my two favorites. Blowing some stuff up is a great relaxer on the weekends!

Cat or dog?: Oh cats for sure. I have two and if my landlord (and my wife!) would allow it I’d have way more than just two. I’d be a crazy cat lady in a heartbeat.

Your male characters – boxers, briefs, or commando?: Best of both worlds – Boxer briefs

Star Wars or Star Trek?: Star Trek, no question. The only version I don’t really care for is Voyager, but all the other series’ and I’m loving the reboot so far, too.

Favorite Food: Crab rangoons with sweet chili dipping sauce

If you could choose to be a paranormal creature, what would you be?: I think I’d like to be one of Karen Marie Moning’s immortal Fae from her Fever world. I have a serious fear of dying so immortality would be awesome.

Where can your readers reach you? I can be reached through my website faesutherland.com as well as my blog faesutherland.blogspot.com, on twitter @faesutherland and email at faesutherland2@gmail.com

Do you have a blurb and an excerpt you’d like to share?

Absolutely! Here’s the blurb:

Crux Ansata second-in-command Killian O’Neal has a plan. The governor’s son, Neith, has been enslaved in a high-end brothel. Killian’s going to break him out, take him home and collect a reward. It’s a daring mercenary rescue. What could go wrong?

A lot, as it turns out. The governor doesn’t want his son back, the ship and crew are on the run from the slavers, and Neith is in withdrawal from a drug that instills in him a desperate lust.

A passionate heat flares between Killian and Neith–but is it just the effects of the drugs still in Neith’s system, or could it be something more permanent? They both need time to figure out if what they have is real–but Neith has taken a valuable item from his old masters and they’re not going to let him go easily. When the slavers catch up with the Ansata, Killian will have to choose between the safety of his ship and its crew, or life with the man he’s falling in love with.

And the excerpt, which is from Neith’s POV and takes place immediately following Neith having a panic attack due to the drugs he was forced to take prior to being rescued by Killian:

Neith clung to Killian, shaking his head. “No. No, don’t. Don’t leave.”

Killian settled back into the corner with him. “Not gonna go anywhere, then. Hey, talk to me, li’l bit, tell me about a happy thing. Somethin’ happy you remember.”

He shook, trying to do what Killian asked. His brain felt like a puddle of thick mud, sucking at him, slowing everything to a clumsy crawl. Remembering was hard but he struggled to do so because Killian asked him to.

“I…my mother makes amazing breakfast cakes.”

It was so random and so out of nowhere that he found himself relaxing a bit, trying to remember more through the fog of panic and anger and embarrassment that clung to him.

Killian rubbed his hand up and down his arms. “Yeah? Tell me about ’em.”

Why did he want to know? But Neith didn’t argue, just tried to concentrate and dug for the rest of the memory. “She puts berries in them, right before she flips them. So they don’t get smooshed into the batter. And she puts sugar on them, not all that syrup. It’s perfect.”

Killian shifted, settling onto the floor next to him, though he didn’t let go. “When was the last time she made ’em?”

Neith let out a sigh. “A long time. She doesn’t do things like that anymore. She doesn’t do a lot of the things she used to anymore. None of us do.”

Killian’s presence was soothing even though the panic was fading fast. Still, he liked the way Killian held him. For such a big man, he was incredibly gentle.

“I bet she misses it, too. When was the last time you asked her to make ’em for you?”

Neith tilted his head up to look at Killian. “I don’t remember.”

“Well, maybe you can ask when you see her again.” His expression got all determined and intense. “You will see her again, Neith. You’ll get to go home and be safe.”

“Home was never safe.” Still, it was familiar. He’d pretty much proven the point that he wasn’t cut out for running off to make a life for himself. Home was the only option he could see. What else could he do? For a split second, he let himself imagine staying with Killian. But it didn’t last any longer than the time it took for his brain to remind him it was because of him Killian was even involved in this mess. The last thing he’d want, or need, would be Neith to bring even more havoc into his life. Killian had better ways to spend forever than keeping him from fucking everything up every five seconds.

Killian was silent for long enough that Neith began to wonder if he was alright.

Then the other man did speak, his voice a quiet rumble. “It wasn’t for me either. You ain’t the only one who took off for the In-Between lookin’ to outrun the hurt. How do you think I ended up on the Ansata?”

Neith couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to hurt Killian. Hell, he was so big and strong, it seemed impossible to do. But he was learning more and more every day that Killian O’Neal wasn’t all he seemed.

 Thanks for being with us today, Fae.  We wish you many sales.

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