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Currently Browsing: Author Guest Post
Feb
8

Author Guest Post: Jen McLaughlin

Author Guest Post: Jen McLaughlin Please welcome Jen McLaughlin, who is here to celebrate the release of her new title, Dare to Run
. Hello! I’m Jen McLaughlin (though I also write as Diane Alberts) and I’m excited to be here today to talk about my latest release, Dare to Run, which is the first book in a new series called The Sons of Steel Row! The hero of the book is Lucas Donahue, and he’s a member of a gang that deals in selling illegal firearms…among other things. The series takes place in the darker dirtier streets of Boston, and it’s a gritty series that’s a lot darker than my other books. Today, I thought it would be fun to have Lucas do a few quick questions in an interview of sorts, to let you get to know him. I brought Heidi along, too to keep him in line. Here goes! Q: What’s your favorite color? Lucas: I don’t know. Color is color. Who the hell has a favorite one? Heidi: Blue. His favorite color is blue. Lucas: WHAT? Why would you say that? Heidi: Blue. Q: Okay, then. Favorite food? Lucas: Heidi’s lasagna. Heidi: Well…that’s true, actually. I make a kicka$$ lasagna. Q: Favorite thing about yourself? Lucas: stares silently Heidi: Ask another one. Q: Favorite thing about Heidi? Lucas: Everything. Her smile, her personality, her body, everything. Heidi: blushes Q: I’m sensing a trend here. You don’t like talking about yourself, do you? Lucas: stares silently Heidi: ding, ding, ding. Q: I thought so. Favorite song on the radio? Lucas: I don’t listen to the radio. Heidi: He likes Shake it Off by Taylor Swift. Whenever I play it, he dances a little bit without realizing it. Lucas: I DO NOT. Heidi: stares at Lucas Lucas: avoids her eyes Heidi: Shake it Off by Taylor Swift. Q: Tell us one thing about Dare to Run. Lucas: It’s a dirty place that does dirty things, and I do dirty things to Heidi. Lots of dirty things. Heidi: LUCAS. stares at him There’s gangs, and antiheroes, and guns, and fighting, and bad guys, and love. Lots of love. Lucas: Ugh. Q: Okaaaaaay then. Well, this was fun. Thanks for coming and— Lucas: picks up Heidi Lets go do dirty things now…with love. Lots of love. Heidi: Deal. Q: Well, I guess that ends the interview. Thanks for having us here! Be sure to check out Dare to Run, Lucas and Heidi’s book in The Sons...
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Jan
20

Author Guest Post: J. Johanis + Giveaway

Author Guest Post: J. Johanis + Giveaway M/M Reading Life Hacks My journey into reading m/m started with Anne Rice, but now that I’ve discovered the massive body of m/m books available, I naturally want to read them all. Of course there are limitations to reading everything, both in terms of time and money. Since I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s run into such roadblocks, I’ve decided to share some life hacks that can help you read more with fewer constraints. First of all, with respect to time, eBooks have opened up plenty of opportunities, but there are two big time savers that are quite significant. One is audio books, which are limited and costly, and the other is text-to-speech, which works with almost every book. Both allow readers to digest more books without having to dedicate exclusive time to sitting down to read the old fashion way. Personally, I listen to books while I do housework, while driving, and while shopping. I’ve met others who work on crafts and art projects while listening to their favorite authors. I’m not sure about other devices, but Amazon has a text-to-speech option on all Kindle Fires, and the only way it won’t work is if an author has opted out. If you’re not sure how to turn on text-to-speech on your device, the best thing is to call Amazon and they are really good about helping you locate it. Now that you’ve discovered a few tricks to having time to read, here are some ways to have unlimited m/m without severely damaging your pocket book. First of all there are many freebies available online. You just need to know where to find them. A good place to start is Goodreads. The M/M Romance Group has writing events and publishes large volumes of m/m novellas and stories that are absolutely free. There is so much to read that I haven’t even made a dent in it. Additionally, there are lists on Goodreads that have unpublished books along with the links to the download. Another great way to find freebies is to set up an alert on eReader IQ. This tool notifies you about price drops on Amazon for authors and books you are looking for. If you’re like me and you’ve identified some favorite authors, you might want to read everything new they put out. The good news is that there are several ways to read new releases without investing a fortune. The first thing you should...
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Oct
14

Author Guest Post: Alexis Radcliff

Author Guest Post: Alexis Radcliff Today we have author Alexis Radcliff here celebrating her newest title, A Vanishing Glow (Mystech Arcanum series #1) and sharing a bit about writing steampunk. Please welcome Alexis to That’s What I’m Talking About! On Writing Steampunk: Brass, Glass, and Victorian Sass Steampunk is exploding right now: From conventions to toys to graphic novels,  and even to major bestselling authors like Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson dabbling their toes in it, the world of shiny brass and steam-powered mechanics seems to be everywhere these days. What is it that’s so appealing about the steampunk genre? Is it the Victorian aesthetic? The glass and leather fashion style that pairs shiny metal with black corsets? Or is it the retro-futuristic mish-mash of gaslight occult fantasy and Jules Vernian industrial-tech that shows up in works like Lady Mechanika and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Whatever it is, people love it, and it’s a total blast to write! Today I’m going to talk about some of the inspirations behind my own unique flavor of steampunk in my novel A Vanishing Glow, and maybe even inspire you to incorporate some steampunk elements in your own writing. Mechanisms, Inspiration, and Ideas One of the cool things about steampunk is that you can do all kinds of neat things with it that walk the line between science fiction and fantasy. Because steampunk works often blend 19th-century technology with occult elements, you can bend the tech to do just about anything you like and still have your story fit into your choice of science fiction, alternate history, or fantasy. If you’re looking for inspiration for some really fun mechanisms, you need look no further than the popular steampunk fiction already authored. Lighter than air ships that cruise through the sky and wrench-wielding engineers with goggles on their foreheads are good. Steam-powered mechanical limbs are a perennial favorite. But the key is that steampunk is (and has always been) a hybrid genre. Use the elements you find fascinating and ditch what you don’t like — personally, I feel the stylistic and architectural aesthetics of burnished brass, Victorian-era clothes, and cool and inventive technology are the most important hallmarks of the genre. Another great place to look for ideas is the plethora of recent videogames that draw on steampunk elements in their design — both the Bioshock and the Dishonored series come to mind. In both cases you can enter the world and take an up-close, three-dimensional look at an environment steeped...
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Oct
13

Author Guest Post + Excerpt: Terri Brisbin

Author Guest Post + Excerpt: Terri Brisbin Today we have author Terri Brisbin here celebrating her new title, Raging Sea (Stone Circles #2), and sharing a bit about those voices in her head. Please welcome Terri to That’s What I’m Talking About! The Voices in My Head Tell Me To Write It!  First, thanks for inviting me to visit today – I’ve been chained to my desk for the last two weeks finishing a book, so this is a real treat! I’ve been warned (by my husband and others – including a healthcare professional who looked over her glasses and said ‘hmmmmm – but do you HEAR the voices or just THINK them?’) not to talk about the voices in my head. But, over the 20 years since I began writing romances, the voices and I have come to a tacit truce. They stay quiet for weeks and months at a time, while allowing me to life my other life and while waiting for their chance to rule my writing life. Then, as my deadline approaches and a story must be told, the voices push and push and push until I can no longer ignore them. Over the years and the books, I’ve discovered that the voices stay mum for the first 100-120 pages of the story. What that means is that those pages are anguishing to write. I’m writing blind—having little or no idea of why the characters are doing or saying or thinking what they are doing and saying and thinking! I usually have a roughed out plan AKA a synopsis but during those dark days (and pages) every word is painful to create. Then, finally, I pass the magic number of pages and the voices kick in! So, it might take me 3-4 months to write those first 100-120 pages, but the rest of the book (another 200-300 pages) come tumbling out during the last weeks before my book is due. If I’m being candid, I write the last 100-200 pages in the last WEEK of my deadline binge. The characters are yelling at me to tell THEIR part of the story, their voices blend together into something too loud and clear to ignore—so I don’t! I call it deadline-binge-o’-writing-mania because that’s what it feels like to me. Story and scenes and dialogue and layers are swirling inside my brain and I try to capture it with my hands and type it on a page. Sometimes, I’m writing so fast, I don’t remember...
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Aug
26

Author Guest Post + #Giveaway: Marina Adair

Author Guest Post + #Giveaway: Marina Adair Marina Adair In celebration of her new release, A Taste of Sugar, Marina Adair is here to share her some of her favorite romance tropes. Please help me welcome her to That’s What I’m Talking About! Top 5 favorite romance tropes Enemies to Lovers. There is so much natural conflict that comes when two people who can’t stand each other—and also can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. Best Friend’s Sister/Brother. Nothing is nobler than walking away from the one person you want, but can’t have. And nothing is more heroic, and down right sexy, than when a man says screw the consequences and goes after the girl. It creates a complex hero who I always find myself rooting for. Friends to Lovers. When characters have a history, it makes finding the motivation for “why now” that much harder. It also makes that story that much more compelling, and their HEA that much more romantic. Fish Out of Water. Taking a big city girl and tossing her into a small town makes for a fun, funny, and flirty read. Especially when she’s paired with a small town, country boy who likes to ruffle her fancy, faux feathers. The One Who Got Away. This is my all time favorite trope, and happens to be what Charlotte is for Jace is my newest release A TASTE OF SUGAR. Only Charlotte can’t get too far since it turns out she’s still married to the wildest of the McGraw brothers. I love stories that explore second chances at first love, because the obstacles are always bigger, the emotions run deeper, and the hero and heroine will rip your heart out before they figure out how to find their HEA. About the Book: A TASTE OF SUGAR by Marina Adair (August 25, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia #3) A blast from her past… Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married. …leads to tantalizing trouble Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that...
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Jul
14

Author Guest Post + Exclusive Excerpt: Trouble on Tap by Avery Flynn

Author Guest Post + Exclusive Excerpt: Trouble on Tap by Avery Flynn Book lovers unite! It’s time to play the Trouble on Tap Virtual Trading Card Game! By Avery Flynn To celebrate the release of Trouble on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery 3), I got together with some of my favorite author friends for a little virtual party and you could go home with the big prize! Oh yes, the grand prize for playing the game is 30 digital books (one from each of the featured authors and a few extra from me). All you have to do to play along is share the virtual trading cards featuring my author friends on your social media (such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc) and use the Rafflecopter giveaway below to record your entries. So where can you find the virtual trading cards? I’ve posted a few on my website to get you started. Plus you can find more at Read, Love, Blog, Fiction Vixen, The Book Nympho, Scandalicious Book Reviews and That’s What I’m Talking About. Those bloggers have exclusive excerpts from Trouble on Tap too, so you really should go check them out. Those sites are AWESOME! In addition, when you click on the Rafflecopter below, you’ll notice that there is a direct link to each author’s card in the entry option. For example, when you click the Share Laura Kaye’s Card option, you’ll see her name is underlined and blue. Just click that link and you’ll be taken directly to her virtual trading card. Then all you need to do is save the card on your computer/mobile device and then go share it on social media. Each virtual trading card you share is another entry for the grand prize of 30 digital books (just don’t forget to paste the link to your social media post in the Rafflecopter entry option for that author). Bam! Easy peasy! But that’s not the only awesomeness going on today. Join the Trouble on Tap release party on Facebook and you’ll get a chance to chat with the authors featured on the virtual trading cards, plus many of them are giving away even more books during the party! And if you haven’t gotten your copy of Trouble on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery 3) yet, what are you waiting for? It’s 99¢ during release week only and then the price goes up to $2.99, so grab it while it’s on sale! About the Book: What fun is life without a little bit of trouble?  Retired supermodel and forever wild child Olivia...
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May
11

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Matthew Quinn Martin

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Matthew Quinn Martin What I remember most about growing up in the ’80s is there were generally two things on every kid’s mind–the looming threat of nuclear annihilation, and scrounging up enough quarters to make a bike ride to the local arcade worth it. With video games available on every handheld device these days, it’s hard to remember (or even conceive, for younger readers) just how alluring and addictive those games were for us, crude as they were at the time. Not long ago a friend showed me a Dragon’s Lair App for the iPhone. I remember when that game came out there were lines lasting an hour just to play one single round. If you’d told me back then, that when I hit 40, I would be able to play as much Dragon’s Lair as I wanted, whenever and wherever I wanted, I would have said…”WOW! Am I going to be a millionaire?” Sadly…no. Now…I’ve never seen a Polybius cabinet (although some claim to). But back then, my personal favorite game was Tempest. Anyone else out there have a story about a favorite vintage game? Share it and you’re eligible for a free copy of NIGHTLIFE: HAZARDOUS MATERIAL (details below). Excerpt: One hour and three busted blades later, Jarrod and Ludwig found themselves in a long abandoned arcade still filled with videogames. The long-dark console games stood on either side of the low-ceilinged warren, facing each other like silent sentinels. And, as odd as it seemed, he couldn’t shake the feeling that they were judging him. And like the mural they’d torn down, something about this room was off. “Videogames. Real videogames, not that World of Warcrap.” Ludwig ran his hand across the chipped particleboard façade of one cabinet. A fold of dust bunched up, exposing the title. “Man…I used to live for these things when I was a kid. Look at ‘em now…just junk.” “Why are they all here?” Jarrod asked, unable to help himself. “It’s an arcade, Jare’ that’s where they put videogames.” “Yeah…but why are they all still here? Why was that door welded shut?” “Like I said…junk,” Ludwig answered, but his voice quavered with a new uncertainty. “More expensive to cart ‘em off, I bet. Seen a lot of things get walled off like this. People making their own private landfills. Found tons of crazy stuff over the years. Crazier than videogames.” Ludwig’s words went soft in Jarrod’s ear. The diminished to little more than a distant drone. Jarrod kept looking at the games. He wanted to step closer...
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Apr
14

Author Guest Post: Zara Cox

Author Guest Post: Zara Cox Zara Cox joins us today at That’s What I’m Talking About to share a special scene inspired by events in her newest title, Freefall. In the book, this scene was shared from the heroine’s (Keely) point-of-view. As a special treat for you all, she’s rewritten the scene from the hero’s (Mason) POV to share. I hope you enjoy! “My room is upstairs.” There are only two ways to get to my room—the kitchen and the front entrance. Both will be filled with guests, and I can tell she doesn’t want anyone to see her like this. Like me, she doesn’t want anything to ruin Bethany and Zach’s engagement party. “Come on, I’m staying in the pool house. You can use my bathroom,” I say. She rolls her eyes. “Hello, I’m from Brooklyn. Only stupid-ass women in B movies accept invitations like those. So, no, thanks.” I inhale to rid myself of the building exasperation. “If I wanted to harm you, I’d have done it on the beach, where I was less likely to be discovered.” “Maybe you like toying with your victims first,” she challenges. “You see yourself as a victim?” I ask, now less exasperated, and more amused. “Only one way to find out. Try something,” she dares me. My irritation slams back. I tug my fingers through my hair. “This is why I hate these things,” I mutter, not bothering to hide the bitterness in my voice. “What things?” she asks, reluctantly curious. I shake my head and walk up the steps. “I’m sure you know where the pool house is. If you’re interested in getting out of those wet clothes, feel free to come inside. If not, it’s been…interesting meeting you.” I walk away and leave her standing in the sand. I swear I’m not going to look back. But I can’t seem to help myself. I glance back and see her looking up at Bethany and Zach standing at the kitchen window, their eyes devouring each other, the sheer depth of their love a living thing I can almost reach out and touch. And neither Keely nor I can wreck their night with even a hint of our own personal drama. But I’m not responsible for Keely. I have enough demons dancing in my head to deal with. I trot up the steps and head for the pool house. A few minutes later, she knocks on my door. I throw down the wet clothes I’ve just taken off and...
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Mar
25

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Jan DeLima

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Jan DeLima I had the pleasure of meeting Jan DeLima this past February at Coastal Magic Con in Daytona, FL. After hearing her talk about her Celtic Wolves series, I immediately had to read the books, and I totally LOVED them. I’ve posted my review of the first book here on the blog. Please help me welcome Jan to That’s What I’m Talking About… Welcome to the official reveal of Brynmor Cottage, home of Ms. Hafwen. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my books, Ms. Hafwen is a character from my Celtic Wolves Series.  And if you’re wondering what this series is about, you need only imagine a world where the legends of Celtic lore still walk among us in secret.  It’s a place where warriors are also wolves and reality isn’t always what it seems.  Set in modern day, the stories are a mixture of both urban fantasy and romance.  Each installment has strong fantasy elements built around Celtic folklore, with a secondary romance between two new characters.  My books are written for adults and contain sensuality and battle scenes of a graphic nature, but they also have a few lighter moments, and this is one of them. Ms. Hafwen makes her first appearance at the very end of Summer Moon, the second book in the series, where she requests a house built of stone, mortar, and wood.  If you haven’t already guessed, Ms. Hafwen is a pixie–but until trust is earned, most people only see her as a winter wren. As you can see, I couldn’t resist actually building the house.  To give you some perspective on its size, that’s me in the photo standing next to the finished cottage. Luckily I have a patient husband who is used to my artistic endeavors in the name of a story.  (I’ll not get into the novel based around an apple orchard, or how many apples it took us to make one batch of apple wine.)  As for the pixie house, I will admit that we both expected to be hauling away a large lump of rocks and cement.  Well, I’m pleased to share that the pixie house came out better than I expected and remains nestled in my shade garden.  It was officially named Brynmor Cottage in Autumn Moon, the third book of the Celtic Wolves Series (coming September 2015). I thought you might like a photo tour of its construction… The Foundation Building the Walls Turret Taking Shape  Every...
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Mar
4

Author Guest Post: Christi Barth

Author Guest Post: Christi Barth Today I welcome Christi Barth to That’s What I’m Talking About. In celebration of her newest release, All for You (Carina Press, February 9, 2015), she’s here to tell us about the number one thing that drove her crazy while writing her book… Number One Thing That Drove Me Crazy Writing My Book Whoops-maybe that title isn’t a great hook to get you to want to read my latest, awesome release, ALL FOR YOU. But everyone always asks me about the writing process. Is it fun? Is it hard? Do you get stuck? (BTW, the answers are yes, yes, and YES.) So I thought I’d be totally honest with you guys. Show you a little behind-the-scenes crazypantsedness of what actually goes through a writer’s mind. I love writing. I especially loved writing All For You, because it is book 2 of a trilogy, which means returning to characters I’d already come to love as well as laying all sorts of sticky, interesting groundwork for book 3. I loved writing the banter, the growing sexual tension, the super-romantic scenes. There are, however, problematic days, when the words don’t flow quite right. How I had to delicately tread a fine line on the serious topic of cults in my light, romantic comedy plot. When it became difficult to keep both men likeable who pant after the heroine in the love triangle. And don’t get me started on deciding who needed to literally and figuratively be on top in the sex scene. But here is the #1 thing that drove me absolutely bonkers: Woodpeckers apparently don’t migrate. I know, I know, you’re wondering if you are still reading a post about a romance. But this little fact drove me nuts for DAYS. Here’s my original draft of a conversation between the hero and the heroine: “Your lectures are brilliant?” She piled the mocking on top of the word higher than Joel heaped whipped cream on top of his famous chocolate-red wine soufflé. Waited a minute to give Zane the chance to realize he’d ventured across the border into douchebag territory. But he didn’t retract it. “You’re so sure of that you want to announce it to the world?” “I’m not the only one announcing it. Every major book reviewer, college publication reviewer, and the stack of awards in my office all prove it. My brilliance is well-documented. Hiding it would be futile. It’s a fact.” He spun on his heel to point at the poster about the...
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