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Currently Browsing: Author Guest Post
Nov
21

Author Guest Post: Katie Michaels (Feels Like Forever)

Author Guest Post: Katie Michaels (Feels Like Forever) Please help me welcome debut author Katie Michaels to the blog today… From Katie Michaels: Thank you so much, Jen, for having me on your blog today! I am beyond excited for the release of my new book, Feels Like Forever. It’s a romance involving two 18-year-old high school seniors who are trying to balance a new relationship with the friendships that define them. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce the heroine, Evelyn, and her friends as they celebrate the holiday together a little more than a year before the book begins. Ev hasn’t met her hero yet, but she and her friends have been like sisters for years. There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than with the family of your heart. Two minutes out. Merrin’s text flashed across my phone. I bussed around the table, putting the finishing touches on the dining room display. It was set up for our Thanksgiving feast with an array of food. Whipped sweet potatoes with candied pecans. Slow cooked green beans. Black eyed peas with hunks of bacon. Spinach Madeline, fresh from the oven, the hot white cheese still bubbling up through the buttery bread crumbs. And at the center of it all, a perfect golden brown turkey, with cornbread stuffing trailing from the bottom. Thanksgiving was usually a holiday reserved for family, but this year, my mom extended an invitation to my best friends and their parents to join us. Chloe’s family couldn’t make it, but Shelly and Merrin said they’d be here with bells on. I tucked a thick strand of brown hair behind my ear as I gave the table one last once over. It was perfect. “I’m here, girl. You can start the party now.” I turned to see Shelly holding a pecan pie. She sat it with the rest of the food. “You cut your hair!” Her once shoulder length blond locks were now in an ultra-short pixie cut. Her cheekbones looked sharp and sculpted. “It looks amazing!” Merrin walked in behind her. “I could never get away with a cut that short.” “Why would you want to? If I had gorgeous red hair like that, I’d never cut it.” Merrin flashed a dazzling smile and reached out to tousle Shelly’s bangs. “I love it.” Her stomach grumbled and she flushed. “I’m starving.” Shelly’s grin turned sly. “Well, I’m thirsty. I say we get a...
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Nov
16

Author Guest Post: Jessica Lauryn (A Passionate Play)

Author Guest Post: Jessica Lauryn (A Passionate Play) From the Author: When I was 20 years old, a college student having just signed up for my first creative writing class and excited at the prospect of recently having entered a new relationship, I noticed something among my boyfriend’s belongings, a music box containing a figurine with a black hat and cape which he’d set on a small, marble-topped stand.  It seemed an unusual item to be coming across in the apartment of a twenty-two year old man but there was something about it that was calling to me.  The box was urging me to learn about the play its icon represented, The Phantom of the Opera. A busy student on a limited budget, it wasn’t until the following year that I got an opportunity to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.  The experience changed my life!  Watching the play, I fell instantly in love with the lonely and mysterious Phantom and I was swept away by the music—I was singing it for weeks following and the lyrics were permanently embedded into my mind.  They play was a new fascination for me, one which brought my romantic side to a height it had never climbed to before. Fast forward to the present.  I’ve been writing romance for the last five years and after completing my debut series The Pinnacles of Power—which is a romantic suspense series in which five heroes and heroines find passion amidst the dangers of a criminal diamond enterprise—my mind returned to theater, something which, thanks to the enchantment of the Phantom of the Opera, has never been far from my thoughts.  I’ve always strived to make my heroes complicated souls, who oftentimes, must overcome mistakes that they’ve made that come back to haunt them in the present.  But unlike the mythical phantom, I always want my heroes to reform, to see the light just when all seems lost and after overcoming countless obstacles they’ll win the heart of the heroine they love.  In romance, we’re guaranteed a happily ever after.  I find comfort in this genre because I’m reading (and writing!) for that very such happily ever after! Though I’ve never worked in, or spent any great amount of time at a theater, I find the setting to be artistic and inspiring and in developing The Rabourn Theater Series I’m easily identifying with my characters, many of whom are struggling artists and all of whom have great passion for what they do,...
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Jul
19

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy Today, I happy to host one of my favorite people here at That’s What I’m Talking About… Please welcome Jeffe Kennedy who is here celebrating the upcoming release of Lonen’s War, the first book in her new fantasy romance series. From Jeffe: I’m not much of an architect. By that I mean, so far as planning my books. That’s George R.R. Martin’s analogy. He says most writers fall in a spectrum, where the far end of architects have detailed blueprints planned ahead of time that are strictly followed, and at the other are the gardeners, who plant seeds and see what grows. I might have some trellises and nicely laid-out flower beds. I love how a good arbor looks. But mostly I wait for stuff to grow. When I set out to write Lonen’s War, I’d been saving those particular seeds for quite a while. I had an idea of my hero and heroine – the king and queen of enemy nations – who would come together in alliance. When I’d talk about it, my writer friends would inevitably ask things like “why are they at war?” and “what are they stopping by joining forces?” My answer? “I don’t know yet.” I started with my heroine’s point of view, because I felt a stronger sense of who Oria might be. By looking through her eyes, I began to see the landscape she lived in – and those answers started coming. Backing up a little, let me explain that the very first writing class I ever took was “Essays on Self and Place,” taught by a visiting writer to the university. It’s hard to say how serendipity works. That class happened to be available at a time (at night) when I could attend without impacting my graduate school coursework or related teaching, and coincided with my then brand new decision to try to become a writer. The subject didn’t matter so much – except that it totally clicked for me. I lived in Wyoming at the time, had gone to college for four years in the Midwest (St. Louis), and before that had grown up in Colorado. Viewing myself in terms of place and understanding how landscape shaped my thinking unlocked something huge in me. It could be I had so much writing energy stored up that anything would have unlocked it and sent it in that direction. It could be I hit exactly the right thing at the right time. At...
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Jun
27

Author Guest Post: Vivian Winslow

Author Guest Post: Vivian Winslow Erotic romance author, Vivian Winslow, is celebrating the release of Uncovering Camila. She’s here today with Camila Cohen, the third wildflower from Vivian’s Wildflowers series. These New Adult stories explore the sometimes fun but often messy or complicated process of falling in love and opening yourself to experience love. Camila isn’t the easiest person to set-up on a date, just ask her cousin, Shoshanna, who made the mistake of fixing Camila up with the perfect date, only for Camila to ruin it. Between law school and her bartending job, she doesn’t think she has time for a relationship or to fall in love. It’s not until she meets Marshall James, that she’s forced to decide if it’s worth opening herself to not only love someone, but to receive it. Please help me welcome Vivian and Camila. When I first started bartending, I wasn’t even twenty-one. It was at some dive bar in Morningside Heights near Columbia University. I did it to supplement my work-study job at the Columbia library, which barely covered the rent on my cockroach-infested apartment on 129th and Amsterdam. The late shifts prepared me for the even later shifts I work at L to supplement the meager financial aid I received to attend New York University School of Law. New York is expensive, and I can pretty much count on spending the next twenty years of my life paying off my loans, if I manage to get a six-figure salary when I get out. In this economic environment, the odds are not in my favor. At least I have four years of bartending under my belt. In a city like New York, that’s not insignificant, especially if you work at a place like L, where the cocktails start at $20 and the clientele are eager to tip well just to prove how wealthy they are. The thing is, I know what real money looks like. My last name is Cohen, and if anyone bothered to ask, it makes me a part of one of New York’s real estate dynasties. But I’ve never seen a cent of that fortune because my father gave it up to marry my mother. Talk about setting a high bar for love. I grew up seeing money as the thing that corrupts and breeds misery. I have to confess, though, that when I close the bar at 4 a.m., I find myself occasionally thinking money might let me have a few extra...
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Jun
22

Author Guest Post: Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

Author Guest Post: Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris Today I have Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, the authors of one of my favorite series, here on the blog to celebrate the release of The Ghost Rebellion, book five in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. The series features agents Eliza Braun and Wellington Books, and their action-filled adventures. I thought it’d be fun to find out some of Eliza’s more interesting adventures that have not been highlighted in the series. Please help me welcome Pip and Tee to That’s What I’m Talking About… Eliza D Braun picks her favourite adventures not seen in the books 5. I love Paris, so when I got a chance to join my partner at that point, Harrison Thorne in a bit of investigating, I jumped at it. We were having a spot of bother with Marquise de Savoie, but the surroundings made up for it. It also happens to be one of those missed opportunity moments, but you can’t always be looking back, can you? I still love Paris. 4. Wellington and I had an unusual callout one Christmas. I am not a fan of ghosts, but they do seem to pop up around the holidays. Anyway I did get to try out some new armaments from R&D, though the old man who called us was not very pleasant. Still I would rather be on assignment with Wellington than sitting around eating Christmas pudding. 3. Don’t tell Bruce Campbell this, but he does make my list…well at least our very first case together does. It was in Melbourne one of my favourite cities in Australia. Although he isn’t my preferred agent to work with, we managed to have some fun, tracking down some House of Usher agents embedded in the city. Oh and there were trains…I love trains. 2. Back in New Zealand, woman were fighting for the right to have a vote. Naturally I was on board with that, but not everybody was. The outcome worked out in the end, but it was a bit hairy for a while. Still we had a nice car ride, and a bit of a fight in a burning building. 1. My favourite happened in Egypt actually. At first we were sent to Cairo to do some collection of records for the archives. It didn’t start off well, but through a fortuitous turn of events, we were soon investigating the mysterious ancient silver coins that were causing people to act in homicidal and suicidal ways. I...
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Mar
30

Author Guest Post: Tiffany Shand (Denai Bound)

Author Guest Post: Tiffany Shand (Denai Bound) Today we welcome Tiffany Shand to That’s What I’m Talking About. She’s celebrating the release of Denai Bound (Excalibar Investigations Series #2, March 26, 2016) and is here sharing about her inspirations for her main character, Cate McCray. What inspired me to write my main character? I got bored of contemporary fiction when I was a teenager. My first urban fantasy novel was Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison and I absolutely loved it. I’ve always had a fascination with witches and it was nice to read about them being betrayed in a good way instead of being persecuted. I think this was probably what inspired me to start writing my own paranormal/urban fantasy novel. I’d had this character floating around my head for a long time and always knew her name was Cate McCray and that she was a witch. Reading about immortals was something I always enjoyed in paranormal novels so that inspired me too. The story went through several different incarnations before I finally settled on one idea. The idea was there would be a woman who was extremely powerful and born with a lot of authority over people. Her working in law enforcement seemed to fit with that idea. I wondered, what would this woman be like? And what kind of person would love her? She turned out to be a very strong and independent woman, feisty and she tells it like it is which is one of the things I love about her. But she always has a vulnerable side too. Excerpt: “Damn it, they must have followed us here,” Jason groaned. “What’s to stop them from destroying the temple?” she asked. “I know Devas can’t set foot on holy ground, but…” “Their power can’t destroy anything on hallowed ground,” said Emrys. “They can try, but we’re safe inside these walls.” “You’re welcome to come to Elaris with us,” Cate added. “It would be good to see the Serenity again.” “I–” Another tremor cut her off as power stirred the air. “The portal!” Emrys grinned. “Someone is trying to open it.” “They must be having trouble getting through.” Vivienne touched the wall where the large circle of Silveron stood. “Can’t you open it?” Jason prompted. “Not from this side, no,” replied Emrys. “If the Devas on their side catch them they are as good as dead.” “Devas can come and go through the old portals,” explained Vivienne. “Only the Ashralis have power over them.” “I’m half Ashrali. What...
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Mar
28

Guest Post + Spotlight: Rulers of Darkness box set by Amanda J. Greene

Guest Post + Spotlight: Rulers of Darkness box set by Amanda J. Greene Amanda J. Greene is here today, celebrating the release of the Rulers of Darkness Box Set. Hi all! I’d like to start out thanking That’s What I’m Talking About for allowing me to take over one of their posts. This is one of my favorite blogs and I’m honored to be here today. So, let’s jump right in! 10 Things Reader’s Might be Surprised to Know about Me 1. One of my favorite movies of all time is the Godfather Part I. I watch it every time it’s on and love it so much so that I walked down the aisle to the Godfather Love Son rather than the traditional Bridal March. Also, when my husband and I were introduced as Mr.  & Mrs. for the first time, the DJ played the Godfather Trilogy’s theme song. Hey, I’m Italian – it fits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMGE8pks9UE 2. Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss was the first true romance novel I ever read. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite romances that she allowed me to borrow. This historical is written in the true bodice ripper fashion and was originally published it 1972. Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/896623.The_Flame_and_the_Flower 3. My love of vampires started in middle school when I read my first Y/A paranormal novel but Dark Gold by Christine Feehan was the first adult paranormal romance I ever read and I was hooked.  Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/108385.Dark_Gold 4. I have a terrible habit of starting series on book 3. Dark Gold is the 3rd installment within the Dark series. I don’t know what it is, but the 3rd book almost never fails to capture my attention and then I have to go back and read books 1 and 2. 5. My husband and I met when we were 10. We were in the same 5th grade class and actually “went out” that year. Lol We went to different middle schools and high schools, but reconnected when he joined the military. 6. We have 2 fur babies: Kelly (cocker spaniel) and Barrette (blackmouth cur mix). We didn’t have either name picked out when we got our pups. To be honest, Kelly was supposed to be a cat. We went out with the intention of bringing home a kitty, but got a puppy instead. Her name came from a car commercial that was playing when we picked her up. Barrette wasn’t planned at all. We saw an adoption event going on and decided to stop by. He is...
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Mar
21

Author Guest Post: Kathy Bryson (Fighting Mad)

Author Guest Post: Kathy Bryson (Fighting Mad) Today author Kathy Bryson returns to That’s What I’m Talking About to celebrate her latest release, Fighting Mad (Soul Mate Publishing, December 23, 2015), and to share a little about her leprechauns. A Grand Tradition Did you wear a silly hat or raise a glass of Guinness stout over St. Patrick’s Day? I did. Having written three books about leprechauns now, I love to celebrate Irish culture in all its various forms. An estimated 80 million people worldwide identify themselves as having Irish roots, so it’s a widespread culture. For example, New York, Dublin, Sydney, Montreal, and the island of Montserrat all hold St. Patrick’s Day parades. Chicago dyes the river green as part of its celebration. Since Irish immigrants spread far and wide, so did their stories. Most everyone’s heard the tale of the leprechaun and his gold or they’ve seen a movie. But the details changed in the telling! The original leprechauns were not wee, green men or worse, but warriors of ancient legend, the ‘luch-chromain’ or the sons of Lugh, the Celtic god of commerce and war. And they were not alone. The leprechauns were only part of a rich tradition populated by fairies to water-horses, from gods to shape-shifters. Clurichauns are another part of the tradition. They’re the ornery, fighting cousins of the leprechauns who shun clan loyalties, but are fierce defenders of hearth and home, especially the beer and wine cellar! But don’t think clurichauns are just harmless drunks. As with leprechauns, the clurichauns’ story is a whole trickier than it first appears! About Fighting Mad Laid off from her job at the bank, Carla turns to her friends for support only to find they’re more concerned about their jobs. The one person she can count on is local bartender Murphy, but what kind of example is he for her daughters? Having learned the hard way, Carla’s not depending on any man, even if he is cute, charming, very kind, and some kind of leprechaun? Murphy is used to sneers. Clurichauns are the redheaded stepchildren of the leprechaun world and then there are the late night throw downs at his bar. What he wants, however, is to protect the dainty, little mom who ogles him when she thinks no one’s looking. He knows she’s fighting overwhelming odds, but she’ll need more than bravery when the conflict between the King and Queen of the Fairies becomes outright civil war! Excerpt: “Honestly, Murphy, there has to be an...
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Mar
16

Author Guest Post: Rachel Dunning

Author Guest Post: Rachel Dunning Today we welcome Rachel Dunning, who has brought with her Logan, the sexy hero from Debt. Interview with The Debt Collector “Debt Collector, welcome to Twimom. Before—” “It’s Logan.” “Logan?” “Yes.” “But everyone knows you as the Debt—” “Logan. In the cage, it’s Debt Collector. Out here, it’s Logan.” “I see. Tell us about the cage. What brought you into underground fighting?” Doesn’t answer. “Debt— I mean, Logan, you seem bashful.” Doesn’t answer. Looks around. “Are you looking for Kyla?” “Yes.” “You love her, don’t you?” Eyes flick away… Swallows. “What’s it to you?” Interviewer shifts in her seat. “OK, different topic. Are there any things about yourself you’d like to discuss?” “No.” “Logan, you understand we’re doing an interview for Twimom here, don’t you? Their readers need answers.” “At what cost?” “Excuse me?” “Everything comes at a cost. Life, living, breathing—you pay for all of it. So, at what cost?” Interviewer shifts again. “Now it is you who is uncomfortable.” Logan grins. Interviewer blushes, feels the heat climb up her cheeks. Logan’s body, his piercing eyes, everything, are now distracting her— He smiles knowingly. “Next question?” Interviewer clears her throat, feels the sweat pour down her brow, fans her blouse. “Logan, I…I…” “You’re speechless.” Interviewer is now embarrassed, totally mortified. (And Interviewer is starting to wonder what the Debt Collector looks like without his shirt on…) “Your ink,” she says quickly. “Tell us about your ink. What does it mean?” Logan, still smiling, leans back, looks down at Interviewer with a satisfied smirk on. “The lion,” he says. “He is a ferocious animal. He is kicked out of his home as a boy and made to fend for himself. He learns to hunt for himself, to survive for himself. He does everything alone. If he makes it, he is rewarded with a family, with territory, and he protects that territory with his own body.” “So you are the lion.” “I never said that.” “But you are.” “I never said it.” Logan goes silent. Interviewer realizes this subject is closed. “And the wolf?” she asks. “He’s stoic. Persecuted. Hated. But loyal. And loyal only to one, loyal forever.” “Like you and Kyla.” Logan’s eyes narrow. The mirth is gone from his face. “Did I say something wrong?” He leans forward, looks at Interviewer threateningly. Interviewer feels a sudden sweat trickle down her back. “Yes,” he finally says, “like me an Kyla.” “And—” But Interviewer doesn’t get a chance to...
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Feb
15

Author Guest Post: Camilla Isley

Author Guest Post: Camilla Isley Today we welcome Camilla Isley who is celebrating the release of her latest title, A Sudden Crush. How I ended up writing a shipwrecked-on-a-desert-island novel by Camilla Isley One day I was visiting the Chicago Zoo (if you ever find yourself in Chicago and are in the mood for a walk, you should visit the zoo at Lincoln Park, it’s free!) However, as I was passing through the monkey compound I spent a lot of time watching this or that baby scurry around, how adorable they were, how human, the way they wrapped themselves around their moms’ belly in the cutest way possible. My husband literally had to tear me away from the exhibition, left to my own designs, I would have probably spent the entire day there. Anyway, the image of the cute little baby monkeys stuck with me, I always like to have a furry cutsie in my novels, and so I was thinking… I already did the kitty, so the next obvious choice would be a puppy, but how cool would it be to have a baby monkey? This is how the conversation between me and myself went off in my head: Me. “Yeah, it would be very cool, but perhaps not very realistic.” Myself. “Um, you’re right I don’t think you’re even allowed to have a pet monkey.” Me. “Nope; and we wouldn’t want our protagonist to be a smuggler of exotic wildlife, now, would we?” Myself. “Eh, no. You’re probably right. It’s a pity, I liked the idea of adopting a baby macaque. Are you sure there’s no way to get one as a pet?” Me. “Not unless you went to live in the jungle for some reason, no, I don’t think so.” Myself. “Live in the jungle you say, uh?” And that’s when the light bulb appeared above my head. Just like that, my brain started whizzing with excitement and I decided I would shipwreck my lead character, Joanna Price, and have her crash on a deserted island. I also instantly decided on the title of the book. Playing with the similar spelling between “crash” and “crush”. The gruff, handsome stranger, Connor Duffield, who would inexorably land on the island with Joanna was almost a given, as I’m a sucker for love/hate relationships. To add some complications, I decided to have Joanna find herself in this scenario on the day of her wedding—no less, just after she leaves the reception to go on her honeymoon...
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