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Currently Browsing: Author Guest Post
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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Mar
3

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Leigh Evans

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Leigh Evans In celebration of today’s release of The Danger of Destiny, the fourth and final book in the awesome Mystwalker series, author Leigh Evans is here to share an interview from When Why and Were with my favorite Were, Cordelia. Plus, keep reading for your chance to win a set of the entire Mystwalker series! Please help me welcome Leigh to That’s What I’m Talking About… What follows is the transcript of When Why and Were’s interview with Cordelia La Rue, a prominent pack member of the Creemore wolves, and close confident of Hedi Peacock Stronghold and Robson Trowbridge. *** Cordelia, what was your first impression of Hedi Peacock Stronghold? I thought she was trouble with a capital “T.” I had never envisioned Robbie with a— I’m sorry to interrupt but for the benefit of our readers, who is Robbie? Robson Trowbridge, present Alpha of the combined Creemore Pack, and mate to the aforementioned Hedi Peacock. Ah. Most people usually refer to him as Alpha or “Trowbridge.”  How very manly. However, my association dates back to the period when he was known as “Young Robbie.” How old was he when you met him? A rather luscious sixteen. I’m trying to imagine the leader of the Creemore wolves as a teenager. He’s gorgeous now—what was he like then?  He was every woman’s walking dream. Could you tell us how you met him? That’s personal, poppet. The Trowbridge/Peacock union has really stirred a climate for change in the Were community at large. If it could give people an insight into the Alpha and his— Once more into the fray for the benefit of the pack, is it? Darling, before I spill my soul into your tape recorder for the curiosity of those who read When Why and Were, I suggest you find me something stronger than this glass of rather inferior white wine. (At this point, the interviewer paused the tape and ordered a premium bottle. After a few sips of scotch, Cordelia indicated that she was ready to resume. She leaned back in her wing chair and began…) I had isolated myself from the pack for several years, only choosing to visit Creemore very sporadically. I didn’t need them anymore. I had made a new life for myself in Toronto; a very full one with a following of my own. I was a performer, and I did quite well, earning good money with my act. You were a drag queen, weren’t you? No,...
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Feb
6

Author Guest Post: Sharon Lynn Fisher

Author Guest Post: Sharon Lynn Fisher Sharon Lynn Fisher Originally I had planned to write about what women bring to sci-fi, but the more I thought about that, the more I thought it would be easy to fall into the trap of stereotypes and generalizations. We’ve all heard it said that female-penned sci-fi focuses more on so-called soft science than the hard science preferred by their male counterparts. Whenever I hear this, I think about the sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land (author Robert Heinlein), considered by some to be the greatest sci-fi novel ever written. I recall that book mostly being about relationships and culture and sex. In contrast, one of my favorite recent sci-fi romance reads (written by a woman), a story I judged for a contest, was the grittiest, techiest thing I’ve ever read. I’ve also heard it said that female authors’ characters have more depth. I had a much easier time identifying with Wool characters (author Hugh Howey) than with the protagonist of The Left Hand of Darkness (author Ursula K. Le Guin), who by the end I still didn’t feel like I understood on a personal level. And if you want to bring relationships into the discussion, whether romantic or platonic, Howey’s are of a far kinder, gentler variety than those written by literary sci-fi great Margaret Atwood. After pondering all this for a while, I came to the conclusion that people write how people write, and saying male authors are one way and females are another is not particularly useful because we either enjoy their storytelling or we don’t. I love Atwood’s writing, but if I’m looking for something uplifting it’s the last thing I’m going to pick up. But if we tweak this question a little bit I think it gets more interesting. What do romance writers, male or female, bring to sci-fi? How are their stories different than those classified as pure sci-fi? This I think I can speak to a little bit. Sci-fi romances are character-driven by their very nature. For a book to be characterized as sci-fi romance, the romance has to be central. Its development has to move the plot forward. External factors have a role as well — often a strong role; my own stories are about half and half — but the story is always moving toward a satisfying relationship outcome. While there can be a lot of variation in how strong the romantic tone of the book is, they all...
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Nov
4

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Hailey Edwards

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Hailey Edwards Today paranormal/urban fantasy author Hailey Edwards is here to share with us more about her new Black Dog series. Please help me welcome Hailey to That’s What I’m Talking About… Ominous Beginnings When the wisp of an idea for the Black Dog series floated through my mind, I dismissed it. My first thought being that fae in urban fantasy settings were overdone. (Not that it stops me from gobbling them down!) But whenever I sit back and try to tell myself what I shouldn’t write and why, the final decision ultimately boils down to Do I want to write this book? Me? Even if no one else ever reads it, will I be happier for having written it? For me, the answers were yes to all of the above. What’s the point of writing if not to enjoy it, right? So here we are. I wrote the series, and I used an unusual fae to do it. The heroine is named Thierry Thackeray, and she’s the daughter of the Black Dog of Faerie. She’s also half-human, and her powers are one part grim reaper and one part skinwalker. The Black Dog is the name for a death portent that appears most often as a huge dog (often calf-sized) with large glowing eyes. The color of the fur and the eyes vary, but the beast is most often black or green furred with green or red eyes. Stories of the dog are fairly common in European folklore and they’re frequently mentioned in Scottish and English lore. Sometimes called hellhounds, the spectral creatures usually haunt specific locations. Dark and winding roads are a favorite, as are crossroads. More than instruments of death, they’re also blamed for changes in weather patterns and occasionally charged with guarding treasures of great importance. The Black Dog series is built around the Cù-Sìth myth in particular. The Cù-Sìth is the Scottish name of a mythological hound. Its appearance is similar to that of a wolf with shaggy, dark green fur. It’s known for prowling the moors and highlands for its next victim. Similar to the grim reaper, the Cù-Sìth is a harbinger of death. They collect souls and escort them into the afterlife. It’s said they release three barks and no more. If you haven’t reached safety by the third bark, you literally die of fright. In Dog with a Bone, my heroine, Thierry, is the daughter of the Black Dog of Faerie. Half-bloods with Thierry’s skill set are given...
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Oct
3

Author Guest Post: Kenya Carlton

Author Guest Post: Kenya Carlton Today author Kenya Carlton shares a fun post about the differences between comic books and graphic novels. She’s also sharing an excerpt from her latest title, Sinfully Ever After. Please welcome Kenya to That’s What I’m Talking About… Comic Books or Graphic Novels? What’s the difference? During my young and impressionable youth, comic books were everywhere. My big brother’s main hobby still remains with him until this very day. To be honest, I’m not much of a comic book fan. I can show appreciation for the art, but I was never truly pulled into fandom. The storylines closely resemble a daily dramatic television program (get where I’m going with this?). Whether or not Cyclops ever found his true love with Jean Grey, or married her clone, Madelyn Pryor, never fascinated me much. An avid book reader from yonder, I stuck to the written word … until I came across Graphic Novels. No, it’s not the same. Comics and graphic novels are vastly different. Comic books consist of long standing story lines. Clark Kent and Lana, or Clark Kent and Lois. Batman and The Joker, or Batman and Mr. Freeze. These love affairs, or feuds, (same thing) have and will last forever. Comic books are basically a well drawn soap opera (yep, I went there). Generally PG to PG13, comics are a shorter read targeted at a younger audience. Graphic novels are not a series of books where the storyline lasts for over 50 years. Closer to short books, this art form has a limited amount of edition before it completely ends. With a rating around PG 13-R, graphic novels are mainly for adults, hence the term graphic. A story arc that has a beginning, middle, and an end, these novels don’t necessarily have an ever after. Every year, comic related movies hold the top spot on every summer movie list, and a number of graphic novels have followed. I’ve been through a few of these popular series, and there is a couple still in my TBR pile. Here’s a rundown of some popular titles that have been made into movies, or are on their awesomely drawn way to the big screen. Easily accessible on DVD or internet streaming, these titles were chosen for all of those virgins in the crowd. That way we can ease everyone in slow (yep, I went there as well). 🙂 300 Frank Miller The Wanted Mark Millars Hellboy Mike Mignola The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Alan...
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Sep
18

Author Guest Post: Kim Mullican

Author Guest Post: Kim Mullican Please welcome author Kim Mullican to That’s What I’m Talking About. Kim is here to talk about the fun research she did while writing her latest title, Thicker Than Water.  While I try not to be a chauvinist, I have said more times than I care to admit that men just don’t grow up. What does this make me? Well, it makes me a hypocrite. When researching for Thicker Than Water I found myself distracted by the tools of the Private Investigator trade. Sure, a high powered camera is the first thing that comes to mind but what about spy stuff? Like real spy stuff. Cameras that take pics at different angles so the target doesn’t know you’re photographing them? My “research” led me to twelve hours of googling my little heart out and a true A.D.H.D. moment when I started looking at spy equipment. I totally forgot I was doing research for a book. I forgot that I needed to research how Michelle Mott would tail people without being seen. Because…toys. As many tools of the trade that there are from specialty cameras and listening devices, there are counterintelligence measures that can be taken…all for sale through Amazon! Holy Smokes! You mean I could spy on people and keep them from spying on me? Cool. Okay, so every prepper who runs across this post is now searching Amazon for counterintelligence devices. I turned into a 9 year old girl when I saw some of these devices. Buyers beware – some of these toys run into the thousands of dollars!!! About the Book: Blood may be thicker than water, but family isn’t necessarily who you’re related to. In this suspenseful mystery with a romantic twist, we follow Private Investigator Michelle Mott on her most exciting case to date. Wisecracking Mott has been a loner since her parents died. When Daniel Cardinale walks into her office with her most interesting case yet, his world threatens to turn hers upside down. He needs her to find out who is sending him anonymous money and what the truth is behind his dead fiancé’s demise. If his case weren’t complicating her life enough, local crime lord Gino Salito has taken an interest in Mott. Mott’s empty life begins to fill up with an unexpected and rag-tag group of people, and she’s afraid her dangerous life will take them away, leaving her alone once again. In truth, it’s Mott’s life that may be the one at risk....
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Sep
16

Author Guest Post: Sylvia Izzo Hunter

Author Guest Post: Sylvia Izzo Hunter Today we have debut author Sylvia Izzo Hunter at That’s What I’m Talking About. I asked her to talk tell us about what it’s like to write a cross-genre story. Ms. Hunter’s new book, The Midnight Queen, was released on September 2, 2014. Please help me welcome her to the blog.  Crossing the Streams: On Writing a Historical Fantasy It’s interesting that you raised this topic (thank you!), because I’m not sure I had thought of Noctis Magicae as a cross-genre series before. The more I think about it, the more I think that’s because many of my favourite books cross and mingle genres in a similar way. I’m going to actually add one more genre to the mix: alternat(iv)e history. (See next paragraph but one for explanation.) When I first got the idea that began THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN — it was just two people having a conversation in a garden in my head — I thought they might be Edwardian, or maybe Victorian. I knew that the young man was a university student, that he was working in his tutor’s garden under duress; I knew that the young woman was the tutor’s daughter, that she was the middle of three sisters, and that she was unhappy with her life; and I knew that their names were Gray Marshall and Sophie Callender. I didn’t yet have a firm sense of what their story was going to be, what country the garden was in, what the time period was — believe it or not, I didn’t even realize that there were going to be fantastical elements in the story! But the more bits of story I wrote, the more the characters started to speak and behave in ways appropriate to an earlier period, and thus we ended up with a setting that looks and feels more like Regency England than like the vaguely Edwardian era I started with. And once I’d made that shift, something interesting happened: the setting felt more real, elements of plot started to emerge more strongly, the characters and their voices took on a more defined shape, and the writing started to go faster. The historical and fantasy aspects of the book interacted in interesting ways during the writing and revision process.  The first thing that happened was that, having established that this world has magic in it and how that magic works, I started trying to imagine how the Church of England would deal with...
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Sep
15

Author Guest Post: S.M. Stelmack

Author Guest Post: S.M. Stelmack Today the writing team of Serge and Moira Stelmack, aka S.M. Stelmack, drops by for a fun, albeit a bit unconventional, author guest post. They are here to share more about their newest title, Midnight Everlasting and their series, The UnderCity Chronicles. Please help me welcoming Serge and Moira to That’s What I’m Talking About. The Starbucks was virtually empty when Serge arrived. Just a pair of giddy-looking young brunettes who’d been liberally imbibing the café’s beverages, and a 40-somethng knockout in a tight leather jacket, calmly sipping her latte by the corner. Moira Stelmack. His partner in crime. Together they’d been on some wild adventures, many of them well outside a PG rating, but as strong as their bond had grown he wasn’t sure how she was going to react to what he had to say today. Ignoring the over-caffeinated baristas he took a seat across from her, not waiting for an invitation. “Thought you hated this place.” She smiled, her green eyes lit with her trademark tease. She’d been thrown enough in life to not take anything too seriously. Especially him. “This time of day it’s quiet,” he replied. “And we’ve got business to take care of.” Her smile widened. “Kinky.” “I mean business business,” he clarified. “A blog called That’s What I’m Talking About.  They’ve been kind enough to invite us to write a post.” She pouted a little, swirling her coffee. “You’re no fun, and you know what they say about all work and no play.” “Moira, this is serious.” “Fine,” she replied. “So what do you want to do?” “I want to tell people about The UnderCity Chronicles.” Immediately he had her full attention, her casual demeanor evaporating as quickly as the steam from her latte. “Serge, those books are dangerous. They’re not what people are used to reading. Hell, they can’t even be classified as a specific genre. And the secrets—you really think the public’s ready to learn the story of what went on—what’s going on—beneath their feet? If they knew half the truth most of them would probably never be able to sleep with both eyes closed again.” Serge knew she was right. The Chronicles were a chimera of a series. They’d won the 2014 Rone Award for Best Mystery, but even with that label people couldn’t agree on what they were. Romantic Urban Fantasy seemed to fit the bill, but so did science fiction and horror. And yes, they weren’t for the Twilight crowd. The...
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