Friday, 31 December 2010

Author Spotlight week -Excerpt from Final Deceit


"Payce?"

Somewhere in the blackness she recognized the voice, but couldn't identify who it belonged to. She ignored it.

"Payce, are you okay? Payce? It's me. Logan. Can you hear me?"

She responded in spite of herself.

"Logan?"

"My God, this place was ripped apart. Can you get up?"

"Um. I think so," she said, not moving.

"Can you get up here to me?"

"No. I can't leave." Payce closed her eyes again.

"What? Why the hell not?"

"Gavin. He's hanging down there--" There! She'd said it and now it was terribly irreversibly real. "Look."

Logan remained silent for a long time leaning as far as possible to see Gavin's body still dangling repulsively. He studied it as carefully and thoroughly as he could to make sure he wasn't mistaken about Gavin's condition.

"Payce, listen to me. We have to get out of here now. I don't know how long these stairs will hold."

"I don't care. I can't leave him."

"Payce, there's nothing you can do. You don't have a choice. We have to get out. Now, come on, give me your hand and I'll pull you back up." Logan crouched above her, reaching down an open palm.

"No. If you want to leave, go ahead."

Logan closed his eyes, wishing for a full intravenous canister of sedative. It would make things infinitely easier than trying to reason with her.

"Payce, I'm telling you one last time. You need to get up and help me get us both out of here. Do you hear me?" Logan heard her sob and waited a few more seconds. He could taste the anger and impatience in his throat, and let out a twisted sigh. Then he pulled a small gun out of his side pocket.

"I really didn't want to have to do this," Logan told her. "But you give me no choice. I hope you can forgive me." He pointed the gun at her forehead, cocked it and pulled the trigger.


Enjoy this excerpt from P.I. Barrington's latest work. P.I. will be in the Desert Breeze Yahoo Connections chat today from 8-11:30 am PST chatting away. Pop on in and join us!

Smiles
Steph

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - P.I. Barrington shares her favorite movies


When asked about my favorite movie, I thought hard about it and came to the conclusion that I would have to split that answer into three: one a guilty pleasure, one a genre' I write in, and one for sheer epic romance! Now Lord of the Rings and Star Wars notwithstanding, here they are:

The Ten Commandments is my all time guilty pleasure film but I can't help it. I love spectacle movies and an historical, religious spectacle movie like TTC sucks me in from the opening strains of the soundtrack until the last credits scrolling on the screen! It's huge, from the giant statue of Ramses II to the burning bush to the famed parting of the red sea (come on, I've ridden the Universal Tour from the time I was about seven but that's a whole other psychological problem, lol!), it's reverent and the all star cast doesn't hurt either! Pitting Charleton Heston against Yul Brynner was a stroke of casting genius I don't care what anyone else says. (Besides, how can you not love Yul? He was the STAR of West World, if you've never seen it, track it down, it's amazing! And Anna & the King of Siam is another masterpiece!)
So there I am every Easter season, sitting in front of the tube, sucking down all the many times slightly incorrect ancient history I can stand. Spectacle and Spectacular, just the way I like 'em!

Blade Runner. It was LA before LA knew what it was. It's the perfect dystopian society and is just technically advanced enough to be believable. This was the anthem movie of the eighties, a sort of cyberpunk gothic that showed us all the future of our city. While we may not have advanced that far (all commuters still fantasize about those flying cars) and our districts (Chinatown, Little Korea, Olvera Street and downtown) may still be a little cliquish, I still have every faith that I'll walk the downtown shopping district some night hearing a "mix of Vietnamese, Spanish, and English" (which is in reality basically any weekend night) and finding some Replicants wearing killer boots and see-through plastic overcoats flinging themselves through plate glass windows for fun.

Gone with the Wind has to get the prize for defining the epic, sweeping romance movie and in color no less! While perhaps not as politically correct as we'd like, who can resist Vivian Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara, a strong, determined heroine that saves both her family and her beloved Tara against the backdrop of the horrific scope of the Civil War and who still cannot recognize what and who is good for her. Scarlett chases her dream man, Ashley Wilkes with a passion that can only be characterized as pathological, all the while resisting the charms of (whom else?) Clark Gable (another pairing example of casting genius) as the dashing and controversial Rhett Butler. Too late she realizes that it is, in the end, Rhett whom she really loves and leaves us hanging as to whether she will really get him back because "after all, tomorrow is another day!" If you've ever been in love with the wrong man, you'll both empathize with Scarlett O'Hara and smirk with smug satisfaction that she finally got what she deserved. Either way, GWTW, is a tearjerker of epic proportions! What's not to love (and hate)?

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - P.I. Barrington shares her favorite authors


Here's the dichotomy: I write futuristic/spec fiction. I read ancient historical fiction. I've had so many favorite authors at any given time but two are always in the top three: Taylor Caldwell and Colleen McCullough. Taylor Caldwell is also a Christian writer and is my sentimental favorite. I went through a decades long obsession of haunting thrift stores on my vacation travels seeking out copies of Dear and Glorious Physician and my all-time favorite, Great Lion of God. I'd give them to people I thought would like them. Most of them did. Her research is very good and she paints a vivid picture of Biblical times.

Currently, Colleen McCullough is my favorite due to my accidental discovery of her Masters of Rome series in a BigLots store in the 1990s. I'd walked in, found a hardback of The Grass Crown for 99 cents (I can recognize anything Roman at a thousand paces, believe me) and bought it. I'd never really liked The Thorn Birds, book or movie but I thought for under a buck, I couldn't lose. I did not. I was sucked in and bought the first book, all following books and I'm still trying to finish The October Horse. Masters of Rome chronicles the times from just before Julius Caesar's birth and youth to his rise to Dictator of Rome ending at his murder. McCullough's research is impeccable and she even deciphered the exact off-cut of a Roman toga to make it hang correctly instead of how it awkwardly does in those old Gladiator films! This woman put a glossary of Roman terms in the back of each novel, is it any wonder I love her?

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - P.I. Barrington shares her passion for writing futuristic/speculative romance


There are several reasons I enjoy writing in futuristic genre. First and foremost it's very liberating in a sense. I'm free to experiment, invent, and toss out the general rules and regulations of both technology and society. I can have my characters do things that would get them arrested in current society but are acceptable in the stories. I can make up technology as I did in the Future Imperfect series that has the ring of truth and as I'd like to see it operate, especially with medical machinery. I can work with both existing theory and hypothetical theory (in all areas from philosophy to technological ideas), sometimes twisting them separately and intertwining them at other times and most challenging of all is to make one logically progress into the other. I know it sounds like a bunch of gobbledegook but I am a sci fi geek after all, lol! Actually some of the techie stuff I create is loosely based on things that exist now like my Ghoster in Final Deceit. But you have to be careful with futuristic. You can't get carried away with creating too much technology because then you're crossing over into full on sci fi sometimes to the detriment of the story.

Another reason I love futuristic genre' writing is that people can still be people and relatable which is what makes a good story in the first place. Characters can still face ethical and or moral crisis and probably even more in a futuristic setting. Are the advantages of technology worth the possible negatives like possible death? Is a machine worth a human life? That's the major theme and question of Future Imperfect's Book Two: Miraculous Deception. Is the end really justified by the means? That's character development right there.

But probably my favorite thing about futuristic is that I get to make people break the law outrageously and get away with it for good or bad! My cops can violate laws to get their man or woman regardless the ethical questions of how they do it and my bad guys can wreak as much havoc and vice as they want, because the laws for citizens have been weakened or done away with completely, especially in a dystopian future.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with P.I. Barrington


STEPH: I don't know much about Final Deceit, can you tell us a little about it?

P.I.: Final Deceit is the third and last book in the Future Imperfect series. The romance of Payce and Gavin is seriously threatened in this book as the characters struggle to get to safety. It addresses some of the mysteries of the first two novels, Crucifying Angel and Miraculous Deception while it also brings in a few new aspects and hopefully a couple of surprises!

STEPH: What's the setting of the novel? Why did you choose it?

P.I.: I love Las Vegas! I always have from the first moment I put a nickel in a slot machine and won a handful of them back, lol! Seriously though, the city lends itself to a dystopian future in that it's reminiscent of Blade Runner but with more sunshine. Sin City is fascinating in and of itself because of its extremes: Incredible heat during the day and cooler temperatures at night; the drabness of the casinos during the daytime and the literal transformation of the Strip into a living breathing thing, like a snake writhing through the black desert night. When you get close up to it, driving down the Strip, there's music blasting, cars humming and honking, people are walking in droves on either side of the street and the lights are flashing in time. There's a beat, a rhythm to it all, like a heartbeat in the night. In the morning, that same Strip is dull and almost monochrome dun colored and has a completely different feel and atmosphere.

Plus, it's pretty much out there in the middle of nothing, just this odd kind of adult circus rising out of the dry, barren desert. That also lends itself to the sense of a rogue society where things are desperate enough for its rules and regulations to be tossed away just so the city can function. It's ripe for anyone with a strong enough personality to move in and commandeer the city either overtly or covertly as in Future Imperfect.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

P.I.: Final Deceit is different in that it took less time that the first two books but the editing and revision took longer. I knew where the story should go in terms of plot and ending but a couple of new characters ran away with it and I actually had to go back in and rein them in to save the story. For the Future Imperfect series, I averaged about two or three months to write each book.

STEPH: Do you cast your characters? If so, who are the leads?

P.I.: Yes, always. Poor Jared Leto, he's my template. I used him, aged, for Gavin McAllister though Gavin is still uncast so to speak. Jared Leto was kind of close and I also used him for Logan McKaye whom I think Jared actually looks like in my head. (Plus I think the older he gets, the better he looks but that's just me.) Payce Halligan actually came from a shot of another character shooting target practice—it was just a head shot of her, aiming the gun, wearing headphones and in a jumpsuit uniform. That was Payce in a nutshell. It spoke of her assuaging her guilt by obsessive target practice and withdrawal from personal relationships. I think that's what draws her to Gavin and Gavin to her—they connect in visceral way through guilt over causing death to their closest loved ones. They're trying to reach out to each other through the veil of pain each one hides behind. Nick Kincaid is from a shot of Alain DeLon, one particular headshot that just screams Nick, even down to the cigarette! Amy Strand, whom I've grown to love, is Ali Larder: Blonde, gorgeous, smart assed. And last, Charlie Bowman is still uncast like Gavin.


STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?

P.I.: I'm a little of both I think. Once I get the opening line and the last line of the novel, I let the story work itself from one to the other for the most part. I'll control it when I need to but like almost all pantsers, it writes itself. Whenever I try to control things too much or outline, I fail completely. There are specific points I have to hit however.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

P.I.: No, but I am lobbying my family to get me one for Christmas or my birthday at the latest!


STEPH: How long have you been writing?

P.I.: Oh God, forever. Most writers will tell you that. It's a love that begins early in life and just never goes away. For me, it's a controlled urge now. Sometimes I'll just have to get words out any way, anywhere by any means: pen, pencil, paper, arms, napkin; whatever I can find. I've just got to satisfy that urge to get the words down. The difference is now I have speed via computer and I always carry writing utensils with me everywhere and also I can contain and control it until I'm at the computer where I can properly format it and let it flow. I still do have that love for pen and paper. There's nothing like that for most writers.

STEPH: Do you listen to music while you write?

P.I.: I can't. I have to concentrate on one or the other. And, music being my all time first love, it always wins out over writing. I do however have the television on in the background because my mom's always watching it. I don't really like TV that much so it's not too much of a problem to ignore it for the most part.

STEPH: Tell us a little about where you live.

P.I.: I have lived in the same house for 37 years! It's very rural my back yard is literally the open hills. I have incredible privacy since most of the homes are at least an acre. Last year we had two pair of Road Runners around the neighborhood and on our property! They're really impressive and these were almost two feet tall—simply amazing! I'm about sixty miles east of Los Angeles and at the edge of where the desert proper begins. The real desert, Palm Springs and the High Desert is east and north of my house. I have a gorgeous view of the city lights at night and of course living in Southern California, I overlook a freeway LOL!


STEPH: Pick: Renior, Monet or Picassso.

P.I.: Though I love Renoir and Picasso is incomparable, I gotta go with Claude Monet. His work, for me, is the definition of French Impressionism. Monet's works just kind of shimmer with movement and color. They literally come alive that way. One is reminded of a summer day with only the flower pollen as haze; you can almost smell the flowers and grass and warmth when gazing at his Gardens, Giverny and Vetheuil series. Probably his best known work or at least one of the most instantly recognizable: "Japanese Bridge over Water Lily Pond" for me just explodes with light, color and emotion. Okay. Lesson over. Class dismissed.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Author Spotlight week - Excerpt from Christmas Bride


Ethan glared at Sue-Ellen. Then "What are you doing here? And why did you tell them you were my fiancée?"

"I didn't. I just didn't tell them I wasn't."

He continued staring at her, frowning. "Why? I don't understand."

"I didn't intend to mislead them. I just--"

"You could have fooled me. Seems to me you wanted them to think that. Seems like you were deliberately misleading them.

Sue-Ellen led the way to a picnic table and benches under a gnarled oak tree. Her fellow workers sometimes took their breaks there, drinking coffee or tea. "Sit down," she said. "Would you like some coffee?"

He raised his voice. "No, I don't want coffee. I want answers."

"Please don't yell." She glanced around, to see if anyone was watching them.

His anger abated somewhat and he looked at her intently. "Talk to me. Tell me why you're here."

Oh, my, she still hadn't told him what she came to tell him. "Cassandra said maybe I should come."

"Since when do you do what Cassandra tells you to do?"

"When it fits the situation. You see, she thought I should write you, but I thought that was too blunt and that's when she suggested I make the trip. And it was a good idea, except that--"

"Yeah, right." He glared at her.

"I still need to bring -- uh, give you a message."

"Why?" His voice was hoarse with frustration. "You're driving me crazy. Where is Cassandra?"

Sue-Ellen started to answer, I don't know, which was technically true. But this wasn't the time to avoid the question. She'd done more than enough of that and look where it had landed her. He was obviously becoming irate again. "She's not coming here. I came in her place." She just blurted it out. There was no softening it.

"What?" If anything, he sounded even more confused. "She wasn't planning to come here. I was going there."

Sue-Ellen took a deep breath. "For the wedding, yes. But, Ethan, Cassie isn't going to marry you."

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Author Spotlight week - Marion Kelly Bullock shares her favorite author


My fellow Desert Breeze authors are among my favorites. J Wow! Guess you can see I know how to win friends and influence people. The DBP writers are talented people. If I start naming them, I may inadvertently miss some of the best writers. Might even make some of them angry. Some were chosen because they author ebooks and I really enjoy reading on electronic devices. I find it more relaxing. More about that on #6 (on Friday, I think).

Of course, I have many favorite authors. I read a lot of books: Francine Rivers; Karen Kingsbury; Robin Lee Hatcher; Teri Blackstock; Dee Henderson; John Grisham; Brandilyn Collins; Deb Raney; Victoria Holt; Harper Lee; Mary Higgins Clark. That just scratches the surface.

I asked my husband for help in naming favorites and he did. I don't think I'll tell you whom he named.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Marion Kelly Bullock shares her favorite movie


My favorite movie. Wow. That's hard to say. I don't think I can boil it down to one. My husband and I really enjoy a good movie. My very favorites are clean, inspirational stories that entertain and also pack a punch.

One of my recent favorites is The Blind Side. It follows the life of Michael Oher, the former left tackle for the Ole Miss. Football team and current left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. Oher was a homeless boy who was adopted by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance. I enjoy true stories, when they read like fantastic fiction. I looove fiction. One scene in this movie stands out in my mind. The enormous young football player walking across the football field with his screen "mama," Sandra Bullock. It focuses on a mother's love, reaching out to make a difference.

I just have to name a few more. Gifted Hands is the Ben Carson story, about a young man from an impoverished family, who could have been considered least likely to succeed. But he became a leading neuro surgeon. Again -- a true story that reads like fiction. Whoo-hoo! They're the best, in my book.

More favorites: Facing the Giants; Mr. Holland's Opus; Lean on Me; Second Hand Lions; Music of the Heart; and The Emperor's Club.

Did I say that I really enjoy a good movie. Well, I do. And there are a lot of good ones out there.

BLESSINGS,

Marion

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Marion Kelley Bullock shares her passion for Inspirationals


I like to write inspirational novels because they challenge me to reveal true to life characters in real life situations. I have read some books that contain tacked-on scriptures or morals. I don't enjoy reading such stories, so I don't enjoy writing them. That's why I don't claim to write religious novels. I'm simply a Christian who writes from the overflow of my life. The main characters must be real, down-to-earth Christians. They may not start out as such, but they must show growth within the pages of my story. If not, I've failed.

I enjoy writing inspirational contemporaries and historicals that include elements of romance, sometimes touches of suspense and often a smidgen of wit. In every case, I've found some inciting incident that spurred me to tell a story. Secrets of Old Santa Fe grew out of my experiences living near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Christmas Stranger built on a blizzard and a young woman's unusual career that I learned about in my research. Christmas Bride came about when I researched early day stagecoach travel and Texas forts. My husband and I took a side trip to Brackettville, Texas, where Fort Clark is located. We picnicked at Las Moras Springs and toured the forts and my characters came alive.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Marion Kelley Bullock



STEPH: I'd like to welcome author Marion Kelley Bullock to the Author Spotlight this week. Marion, I don't know much about Christmas Bride. Can you tell me about it?


MARION: Oh, you wanta know what Christmas Bride is about? In 1875, it's the story of Sue-Ellen Grayson, who lives with her parents and her sister in San Antonio, Texas. Sue-Ellen's older sister, Cassie, shocks her family by announcing she's eloping with her latest admirer, just weeks before she was to have married army officer, Major Ethan Hartley at Christmas. Sue-Ellen can't stand to see such a wonderful man treated so shabbily. "You can travel to Fort Clark and break the news to him," Cassie says, laughing. "Or better yet, you can marry him, since he wants a Christmas bride." Sue-Ellen is aghast. But since she feels such sympathy, she decides to take the news to Ethan, in person, not admitting even to herself that what she feels for him is more than just pity. But it's true, she'd marry him in a minute if she were the one to whom he'd proposed. But she wasn't. And she wouldn't, anyway, because when she arrives at Fort Clark, he can't stand the sight of her.

Sue-Ellen's trip in a Concord stagecoach is fraught with danger, ranging from attacks by savages to encounters with robbers, who steal their possessions, including their return tickets, to… Well, that would be telling. And if I told all the other mishaps that occur, what would be the reason for you to read it?

STEPH: Where did you get the inspiration for Christmas Bride?

MARION: I got the idea for Christmas Bride in December of 2007, but it bogged down. I wrote another book and then revisited Christmas Bride. I did this two or three times before I really got excited about it. I began to feel a closeness to Sue-Ellen, to Lynette, Randolph, Edward, Emma, Thomas, the children and the others. It was not until 2010 that I dragged it out and started writing it. It wasn't the kind of book that wrote itself. It was hard work.


STEPH: How much research did you have to do?

MARION: I did more research than I usually do. I studied everything I could find on Fort Clark and Brackettville, Texas. My husband and I visited the fort and it became alive to me I read about Concord Stagecoaches. I studied about Buffalo Soldiers and the Rio Grande Frontier. They fascinate me.

STEPH: Which state do you live in?

MARION: I live in Texas and have lived here most of my life.


STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?

MARION - Both. For this book, I started with my idea and when it fizzled out, I finally sat down and wrote a synopsis. Only then was I able to write the book. It still was like pulling teeth, I wrote my other Christmas book, Christmas Stranger, before I wrote the synopsis. The characters were so real to me that I knew what they'd do and what they'd say. Especially Timothy and his animals. My Santa Fe book was about half plotted and half seat-of-the-pants.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader?

MARION: - I don't have an ebook reader--yet. But I have the sweetest laptop--an Acer Aspire One. It has ruined reading print books for me. It's so much easier to read on. I have a gazillion books stored on it, ready for me to read!

STEPH: What was the latest book you read?

MARION: - The last book I read was From Dust and Ashes (an ebook) by Tricia Goyer. It's a moving story of Liberation. I could do without TV if need be, but I can't imagine not making time to read. I sometimes read while I eat breakfast or lunch.


STEPH: Do you have any Christmas traditions you'd like to share?

MARION: - My family loves music. We sing when we're together at Christmas. We enjoy playing games. Balderdash, Chicken Foot and Zilch are our favorites. And we have a special fudge recipe we make. What fun!



STEPH: What's your writing space like?

MARION: - Our third bedroom is our office, since our children are grown and moved away. My husband and I share this roughly 10' X14' space. My desk faces south and his faces north. I don't write well with music, but I don't have to have quiet to concentrate.

STEPH: Renoir, Monet, or Picasso?

MARION: I don't like Picasso. I suppose I like Renoir best of the other two. At least that's my choice today.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Author Spotlight week - Excerpt from Touched by Mercy


Preston led his boys in evening study and prayer then tucked them in. They weren't babies anymore, but he enjoyed the few moments before bed with them. He enjoyed mussing their hair, hugging them, and telling them he loved them. As fast as the years moved, it wouldn't be long before they'd be grown, tucking in children of their own. He recalled the way their mama used to kiss their cheeks and whisper her love as she pushed the blankets around them. He remembered with an ache.


Would he ever stop missing her? Would the boys ever have another mother? Would he ever take another wife?
He lay back on his pillow and asked the Lord those very things. He believed he'd have them someday. Maybe soon. The ache he once bore had eased with time, and the conviction that he'd never love another was being tested. It'd been tested that very afternoon when he found himself looking into Miss Northam's deep green eyes with longing. It surprised him. Her, too, judging from her reaction.

He remembered something the Lord had told him three years before, about a year after his wife had died. He lay in bed, asking the same questions. Figuring the Lord agreed, he'd told the Lord a firm no to every one of them. No new wife, no marriage, no... He loved his dear Sarah too much. How could the Lord want him to marry, or love another?

The Lord surprised him.

Preston, my beloved son, the ache will ebb, and a time will arise when you'll take another wife.

Preston had chuckled. "This can't be. I've loved Sarah for too long. I couldn't love another. I couldn't bear it." Besides there weren't many woman in the territory at the time.

You will. The voice in his heart had been adamant.

"I don't know any women. Not any that I want to marry."

I've chosen one for you, beloved.

Preston nearly gasped. But he didn't scoff at God. "All right, let's say you have. How will I know her? Does she have a name? Who is she, Lord? Where is she?"

When the time comes, you'll find her at the Chicken Ranch.

Preston had sat up with yelp and argued no man of God could find a woman to be his wife at the Chicken Ranch. A woman from a brothel? A woman like Lil? What did the Lord want him to be… another Hosea? Surely not.

The Lord had been adamant. I know whom I have for you. She'll be at the Chicken Ranch.

Petrified he'd find her sitting in her long underwear on the front porch, Preston took long detours home, skirting the ranch so he wouldn't find the wife the Lord had for him.

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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Tina Pinson shares her favorite authors


I like Ted Dekker, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Frank Paretti, and I like to read Julie Lessman and Mary Connealy. Okay, so I like thrillers and comedy and touch of romance. I'll pretty much read anything, if the writer holds my interest. I used to love Carolyn Keene, of Nancy Drew fame. Still read them sometimes, like to play the games, but I digress. Since I'm able to download free books on my Kindle from some of the great authors, I have been reading some of those stories as well. When I find the time. One author that stuck with me over the years, was E. L. Konigsburg. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is this quirky little novel about two kids, Claudia and her brother, Jamie, who run away from home and camp out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Claudia leaves home because she believes her parents don't appreciate her, and gets Jamie to join her, because he saves his money, and everyone knows you need money to live on when you run away. They set up shop in the Museum, sleeping in the displays, taking baths in the fountain, (where they find extra money) and hiding out from the guards. Then they stumble on a mystery concerning the newest exhibit, an angel supposedly carved by Michelangelo. To research the statues authenticity, they seek out the donor of the piece, Mrs Frankweiler. Going through her files they learn the truth about the angel. I read this story in elementary school, and again later. Why this little story resonates with me, who knows? I liked the whole concept of staying in the museum. And then the little mystery of the angel. It's a cute story.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Tina Pinson shares her favorite movies


Like most people, I have a few movies that I can watch over and over again, just ask my husband. Although, he has a few, too. But I would have to say Calamity Jane with Doris Day would have to right up there at the top of my list. (with Emma, Pride and Prejudice the newer version and so on). I mentioned before that I wanted to be the next Doris Day. (Of course, that didn't happen.) I like to watch her movies. And Calamity Jane is fun to watch. Indian Scout Calamity Jane (Doris Day) is a whip-cracking, stagecoach driving, buckskin wearing Tomboy. She wants to be tough but she has a bit of a soft spot for Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin, played by Phillip Carey. Actually she's kind of hard up to get his love and she's gonna get him whether he likes it or not. When the saloon doesn't get the act, Adelaid Adams, they hoped for, Calamity heads east to kidnap Adelaid Adams and bring her back to Deadwood. She inadvertently brings back, Katie Brown, Adelaid Adams assistant and the wrong woman. And ends up having to fight harder for the affections of Lt. Gilmartin who has eyes for the new singer who's come town. Calamity get jealous because the Lt. likes Katie when he's never liked her, and decides to send Katie packing. She almost succeeds, but through a series of comical misunderstandings Calamity realizes she's in love with Wild Bill Hickok played by Howard Keel. I liked him better anyway.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Tina Pinson shares her passion for Inspirationals


I write inspirational, because I thoroughly believe my love of words and imagination are a gift from God. I realize that may sound hokey to a lot of people. But that's what I was taught. I believe we are all endowed with gifts and talents to use for him. I believe I am here for this time and moment because of God's plan for my life. I believe God created art and music, and stories in the first place for our pleasure and for us to use for his. I may not be a painter with oils or paints like the great artists Renoir or Monet (although I could probably do a Picasso, LOL) but I'm certain my words paint a picture. I just hope they paint a picture that touches people's lives. I want my stories to instill hope. I realize that I only write stories, but stories stem from real life many a time. Touched By Mercy certainly does. Maybe reading it will help someone walk through their pain to life again. Just as it helped me to write it. And I hope my words and the stories I tell, direct people to God and leave an imprint of him on their hearts long after my story has been forgotten.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Author Spotlight week - Q&A with Tina Pinson



Tina's latest Desert Breeze release is "Touched by Mercy." We've got Tina here today (and the rest of the week!) to share her thoughts on her latest and writing. Welcome, Tina?

STEPH: I don't know much about Touched by Mercy. What's it about?

TINA: Touched by Mercy tells the story of one woman's journey to grace. Samantha Northam comes from a background of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, having been molested as a child, I identify with Samantha.

The story was pretty much my rite of passage. Coming to a point where I believed God could find me lovely. I made it a bit harder on Samantha than myself, but I wanted to show the beauty of God's grace on us, his arms around the brokenhearted. Samantha hadn't done anything wrong, as far as the molestation went, but she spent years believing she had, and spent long years hating and being afraid to love. When her daughter, Angelina, is taken from her, she believes that it happened because she's not good enough. She sets out to find Angelina, which leads her to the Orphanages of New York. She doesn't find Angelina, but she is introduced to several needy children and some Nuns who begin to teach her about God's love. Because of her wounds, Samantha doesn't quite believe the Nuns, she still thinks she has to prove her worth to God. So Samantha sets out to ease the pain that the children of the orphanage suffer. When word comes that Angelina might have been found in Kansas, Samantha heads west, with plans to get her daughter and open a boardinghouse for stops on the Orphan Train. The west seems to hold all the answers to her dreams, but time and circumstances cause her to wonder if it has taken her far enough away from her past and her nightmares.

And if she'll ever be good enough in God's eyes to become his child.

Touched By Mercy is a story about God's plan for our lives, and how he can use and loves us even though we feel inadequate. It also tells shows how God places people in our lives to Touch us with his Mercy.


STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for the story?

TINA: Some of the inspiration comes from my own journey through trying to find acceptance. And through writing down some of the journey, (which I made the abuse and conflict harder for Samantha) I hope to give others who might find themselves in that place of despair, hope.

STEPH: What attracts to writing Historicals?

TINA: Okay, so don't laugh, but truthfully, I like historical because I've wondered what it would have been like to live during some of those times. And doing the research and writing the story allows me a glimpse, if only a little one, into the world as it was back when. I can see myself riding across the range, with my six-gun on my hip, and so on goes the dream, then I return to reality. It's all good. Unless, of course, I throw in some conflict, then it could get a bit dicey.

STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?

TINA: I write whatever comes to mind, by the seat of my pants, but I sometimes jot down outlines once I get going. So, maybe I'm a bit of both.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write Touched by Mercy?

TINA: I would say it took me about seven months to write Touched By Mercy and many years to edit. You may wonder why it took years to edit. Because they went and changed some of the writing rules on me and I had to change the layout to meet those rules. UGH.


STEPH: Do you cast the characters? If so, who are the leads?

TINA: Some of the leads for Touched By Mercy, well as close as I can get them to the vision in my mind's eye, are Paul Walker for Allan Pratt. Rachel Nichols for Samantha, and Josh Turner for Reverend Preston Trent.

STEPH: Can you tell us a little about the state you live in?

TINA: I live in Western Colorado in Grand Junction, in a area called the Grand Valley. Colorado is well-known for its mountains, Denver the Mile High and skiing, of course. The world's biggest flattop, Grand Mesa, rises from the valley floor to our East. Mount Garfield and the Bookcliffs set as sentinels to our north. Colorado National Monument cuts the skyline to our West and another smaller line of wee mountains anchors the south. Because we live in a valley, we can stay warmer through the winter. We have world-renown wineries, peaches, lots of orchard with fruits and vegetables. Grand Junction is a good-sized city.

STEPH: What was the last book you read?

TINA: I read two books pretty much around the same time. Under a Viking Moon, by Tami Dee and Doctor in Petticoats, by Mary Connealy. I read a few others; In All Things and Orphaned Hearts by Shawna Williams and Behind the Scenes, by Michelle Levigne because I was doing some light editing on them.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one

TINA: I have a Kindle. Which is nice for taking on trips so I don't have to carry a lot of books. And it's close to the size of a book. I just wished it had a backlight for reading in the dark. But I have a clip on light so it works. I took it camping and was able to download a book while at the campsite.

STEPH: FUN QUESTION: Renoir, Monet, or Picasso?

TINA: Picasso's art is a wee bit disjointed for me. Although he does have a few that are okay. But picking between Monet and Renoir would be hard. I like the scenery paintings form Monet, but I also like the paintings of people from Renoir. Maybe I could say I like Renoir just a tad more, but…


You can find Tina at:

My website -- http://www.tinapinson.com/
Twitter:@Tina_Pinson
Facebook-- http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754617103
Purchase my books at:

Desert Breeze Bookstore.
Touched By Mercy http://tiny.cc/0rgkm
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/we4ul

Amazon:
Touched By Mercy http://tiny.cc/k5tgw
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/doc8w

Barnes & Noble
Touched By Mercy—available soon
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/oh767

Christian Books Distributors
Touched By Mercy – available soon
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/4u5h9
In honor of the release of Touched By Mercy I am running a contest, Win a Nook… Touch Mercy for the month of Dec. 2010. Check out my blog under the Touched BY Mercy Contest page for the particulars.
http://tinapinson.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Author Introduction - Meet Shirley Connelly




STEPH: Welcome to Desert Breeze. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up?

SHIRLEY: Thank you for the welcome, Stephanie. It’s great to be here at Desert Breeze. As a graduate of Institute of Children’s Literature who started off writing for children, I now wear different hats. On my creative side, I pen fiction romances laced with nuggets of inspiration. When I’m wearing my more logical thinking cap, I write lighthearted nonfiction devotional books. I’m also a teacher, I speak at women’s retreats and luncheons, and at home, I’m an active mom and grandma. I love rearranging furniture, cross-stitching and doing needlework. My evenings are spent watching classical movies on TCM. And last but not least, I adore animals, especially chickens, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, you name it. You can find me often on the Social Networks, over at ACFW, or Hearts Thru History, and also FHL when I’m not at my blog promoting other authors or sharing writing tips. I’ve traveled extensively but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I seem to have back ended here again.


STEPH: Who were some of your favorite authors growing up?

SHIRLEY: Beverly Cleary was one, and whoever wrote The Hardy Boys, and The Bobbsy Twins, and some ballerina book I read till it fell apart (didn’t concentrate on who authors were back then). When I started reading romances, it was Kathleen E. Woodiwiss all the way. (Since the heroine tried to be good until she was married most of the time, I didn’t have to skip too many pages. smile)

STEPH: What romantic subgenre do you write?

SHIRLEY: Historical-Inspirational a bit on the edgy side. I like stories that are realistic as life itself.

STEPH: You have an upcoming release with Desert Breeze. Tell us about it.

SHIRLEY: Say Goodbye to Yesterday is about an unwed mother who is booted from town when the truth is revealed about her and her daughters. Now without a home, she must take her girls to locate the father and force a forgotten wedding pledge. What she won’t anticipate is how love will beckon her instead to an irresistible man, already quite married.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

SHIRLEY: Yes, I do. I got myself a Kindle last summer. I love it. I’m always telling others to check out this ebook stuff.

STEPH: Do you have any other books that are availabe?

SHIRLEY: I do, Stephanie. I’ve already written two novels, Flame from Within is still available, but my first story, It Happened Near the Cliff Rock is now out of print. I have two lighthearted devotional books available and one coming out any day now. (Great stocking stuffers, by the way.) I See God in the Simple Things, I See God in the Thorns ~n~ Thistles, and I See God on the Narrow Road.

STEPH: Can you tell us about the state you live in?

SHIRLEY: I live in Oregon. I grew up not liking it much except for the greens and the beautiful trees and Crater Lake and going to the coast. Other than that, I’m not too much of a drizzly rain girl. We lived in Washington for a while, up in Seattle. Although it looked similar to Oregon, I have many more fond memories of my five years there. But if I had my preference to living anywhere, even though I know you didn’t ask me, I think it would be back east again. There, I love the history. I love the tradition. I love the seasons, especially fall.

STEPH: What country would you like to visit that you haven't?

SHIRLEY: The rest of the United Kingdom, I think, also Italy.

STEPH: Did you do NaNoWriMo this year?

SHIRLEY: I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m a part of FINISHTHEBOOK which is probably similar if it means finishing a book in a specified time. Tell us about it. Can I tell you it was there I made it the first time through the book now being published at Desert Breeze?

STEPH: Where can we find you on the web?

SHIRLEY: Readers can visit me at Shirley Kiger Connolly ~ Author over at http://shirleykoinonia.tripod.com/ but most of the time I’m at my blog http://apenforyourthoughts.blogspot.com/ Would love to see you come by anytime.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Excerpt from Precious Things


GIVEAWAY:

To qualify for the giveaway, here's what you have to do. Read the excerpt and leave a comment. Winner will be picked on MON 13 DEC. What does the winner get? Your choice copy of: Something Better, Precious Things, Someone to Watch over me, Any Phoenix Rebellion book (I recommend Outcasts!!) or Borealis I. Basicly, any Gail Delaney book.

Smiles
Moderator Steph

Enjoy this excerpt from Precious Things:


A slight touch against her spine made her jump, and she turned into Benjamin as he laid his palm flat on her back. She smiled when he stepped closer and leaned his other arm on the edge of the bar where she stood. Not for the first time that evening, Jewell felt the slow infusion of heat just below the surface of her skin when he turned his devastating gaze on her and one corner of his mouth ticked up in a small grin.

"I was beginning to wonder where you went," she said softly, relieved that she didn't need to speak any louder to be heard over the din. His attention shifted down to her mouth, and it was all she could do not to lick her lips. Her senses had been on overdrive since they arrived. No, since he picked her up at the apartment. He'd told her on the way that he would prefer to keep the signing to a minimum if possible, which she thought odd since she'd understood her purpose at the event was to interpret.
But, if not signing had him standing closer and looking at her the way he did... she was fine with that.

"Drew Kapchik cornered me by the potted ferns," he said with another quick tick of his grin. "He's been trying to get on my team for the last nine months. He wants an excuse to quit Legacy Funds."

"You escaped..." she smiled.

"I told him I had a beautiful woman waiting for me."

Heat bloomed in her cheeks and Benjamin smiled wider. He slid his hand from her back, letting his fingers trace the underside of her arm until he took her hand in his. "Would you like to dance?"

Jewell raised an eyebrow. "Really?"

"I am not without my secret talents."

She tilted her head with a smile and let him lead her to the small area cleared in the center of the room where no more than half a dozen other couples danced to the slow waltz. When they reached a clear space, Benjamin raised her hand above her head and she spun, the chocolate silk of her dress swirling around her legs. When she came around to face him again he drew her against him, his bent right arm angling behind her back so her left hand rested on his shoulder. He took her other hand and pressed it to his chest, holding it in place beneath his warm palm.

"What kind of music are they playing?" he asked, looking down at her as they stood still amongst the dancing couples.

"A waltz."
"Waltz... we dance on the three, right?"

Jewell nodded, but couldn't figure out his intention. More than once, Benjamin had surprised her with his capacity for adaptation. His lip reading was near perfect, and his speech -- for someone with total hearing loss -- was not only impressively clear, but expressive and varied. He understood the concept of whispering, of shouting, and of dropping the tone of his voice to a seductive hum that danced over her skin. But dancing?

"Give me the beat." Benjamin shifted his hand over hers and tapped his fingers against hers in a steady rhythm. "Understand?"
Jewell nodded and closed her eyes, listening to the lilting music for a few bars. With the next measure, she tapped the rhythm on his shoulder where her hand rested. One-Two-Three. One-Two-Three. Then Benjamin stepped, and as simply as that they were dancing.

She opened her eyes, and her breath caught at the warm way he watched her. His lips had only the slightest bow as he turned her around the floor. She almost forgot to keep up with the beat, giving him the taps he needed to stay in step.
"Everyone is watching us," he said low, tipping his head toward her. "They're wondering how I got to be so lucky."

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Gail Delaney shares her favorite 80's TV Show


When I think of 80's television, several shows come to mind… Beauty and the Beast, Young Riders, The A-Team, Silver Spoons, Who's the Boss?... I was a religious watcher of Beauty and the Beast and Young Riders (I actually have 2 postcards from the cast of Young Riders with their autographs), but my all time favorite television show of the 80's was… Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

Oh, I sat every Monday night waiting… waiting… for that show! I loved it! I had this friend on the school bus who was also a fan, and every Tuesday morning we'd huddle in our seats together and rehash every moment and every glance.

Especially before Lee and Amanda became a couple. Oh, my goodness! (To accurately quote Amanda King). Season One, they could barely stand each other. Season Two (The season I like to call "What was she thinking with that hair cut?"), the ice was melting, leading into heavy flirting and hand holding in Season Three… and finally, their secret love affair and marriage in Season Four. I mean, come on! What future romance author wouldn’t eat this stuff up with a spoon!

I was in junior high/early high school at the time, and I didn't know the story behind why suddenly -- right after the two of them were married on the show -- that Kate Jackson/Amanda King pretty much disappeared from the screen. And when the show was cancelled, I was heartbroken! I saw at least two more seasons of them sneaking around before they finally got caught and had to fess up! It was until later that I discovered the truth. Right after they filmed the episode in which Lee and Amanda got married, Kate Jackson was diagnosed with breast cancer and immediately began intense treatments that left her so tired she completed what little filming they did (they rewrote scripts to accommodate her) usually seated. And they cancelled the show instead of going on without her, or with an abbreviated appearance. She was, after all, Mrs. King.

Twenty or so years later, I made my own resolution. Writing SMK fanfiction was my first endeavor into the long misunderstood genre. ☺ I rewrote their first kiss, because I didn't like it and thought it was lame. I created a whole back story through the third and fourth season, and I wrote a novella length story that was ultimately their 'coming out'… the reason they had to come clean and confess their secret marriage. That was about 10 years ago, and I still get emails today about those stories. ☺

I guess Lee and Amanda were some of my early 'television' romance influences. I always look for the 'ship'. And hello… Bruce Boxleitner was totally hot!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Gail Delaney talks about her favorite Christmas story


Hands down, without a doubt, not a moment of hesitation… White Christmas.

So much so, that my holiday season doesn't begin until I've watched it and my husband bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago so I didn't have to hunt for it on television each year.

"Sisters! Sisters! There were never such devoted sisters!"

I always get teary eyed when all the past soldiers salute General Waverly. I sing along with "Choreography" and "Mandy… There's a minister handy…So don't you linger! Here's a ring for your finger…" I get a perverse enjoyment at pointing out and finding new editing errors… like someone pouring a cup of coffee with the pot in her hand, only to have the scene cut and have her pick up the coffee pot. ☺

Or the best is when the 4 stars are spontaneously singing in a train car, but only two voices -- Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby -- are heard. Even when Danny Kay's lips are moving, it's Bing Crosby! Wow!

"Snow… snow… snow… snow… SNOW!"

You could make a drinking game out of White Christmas if you were inclined to such things.

"Gee, I wish I was back in the Army!"

But, I also like the love story behind it. Actually, two love stories. The sneaky masterminds who play games to get the other two together, only to fall in love themselves. And the maternal/paternal figures who, despite their callous hearts, fall under the spell of Christmas and snow.

"When I'm worried, and I can't sleep…I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep, counting my blessings."

Good thing you didn't ask least favorite... I might get hung. I can't stand It's a Wonderful Life, and it doesn't have any great sing along songs.

*humming*… "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. Where the treetops glisten, and children listen, to hear sleigh bells in the snow…."

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Gail Delaney talks about writing contemporary romance


Actually, I haven't considered myself a writer of contemporary romance for many years. If I wanted to categorize myself, I would say I am a writer of speculative fiction that sometimes dabbles in contemporary and suspense.

Mind you, I began in contemporary romance. It was pretty much all I'd read at that point. My cousin used to snag her mother's thick bodice ripper historical romances and we'd read them together, but I didn't get into them as much as she did. Then I read a Sandra Brown book, followed by a Kathleen Eagle book, followed by Catherine Anderson… and not only did I fall in love with contemporary romance but romance in general.

So, when I decided to write my first book for publication, I wrote a contemporary; a bad one that is still sitting on my hard drive waiting to be redone. Then I wrote another (Precious Things being released this month), and another (Dance With Me) and another (Tender Hearts) before I tried my hand at suspense and eventually science fiction. At one time I thought I was 'so over' the contemporary romance thing… until last year, when I wrote Something Better. As much as I thought I was 'done', when the right story hits you, it hits you. Sometimes right between the eyes.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Gail R. Delaney



STEPH: I don't know much about Precious Things. Can you tell me a little about it?

GAIL: Benjamin Prescott Roth has lived his entire life with the goal of escaping his father’s overbearing shadow, and forgetting the look of contempt in his father’s eyes. Born completely deaf, he has lived with the fact that he wasn’t good enough to be loved by his parents. He grew up in wealth, but without affection.

Jewell Kincaid is everything he ever needed, but didn’t know he wanted. She’s beautiful, feisty, intelligent… and she sees him for who he is past his barriers and barbed wire.

When the foundation of his life is ripped out from beneath him, Jewell is there for him in ways he never dared ask of her. She doesn’t frighten easily, and she loves him too much to make him go it alone.

STEPH: I understand this was released previously. How long did it take for you to revise?

GAIL: Oh, months! I’ve been working on it off and on for well over a year, but was in ‘crunch time’ for about two months. I was late passing it in to my editor. * blushes *

It was very difficult for many reasons. The first was that I initially wrote this story years ago, and I’m a different writer than I was then. I’ve learned a great deal (I think), about story arcs and how to add interest without high drama.

The second was deciding what parts of the story worked and needed to stay to keep the book true to its original theme, and what parts needed to go… and of course, what needed to be added.

I’m very happy with the final product, and I hope people won’t be able to tell where I cut and where I added.


STEPH: Where is the story set? How important is the setting to the story?


GAIL: The story is set in Boston, Massachusetts with trips to Manchester, New Hampshire and Hartford, Connecticut. I picked Boston for a couple reasons at the time… first, I lived in that area so I could write what I knew. Two, they work in the financial industry and next to New York City – Boston is a financial hub. Manchester and Hartford serve as contrasts to each other – her simple, quiet and peaceful upbringing in Manchester in comparison to his cold, wealthy and hard childhood in Hartford.

STEPH: What inspired you to write a deaf hero?

GAIL: To be honest, I don’t remember the exact moment when I ‘decided’ Benjamin was deaf. In truth, Benjamin told me he was deaf. A writer understands what I mean. ☺ But, I felt I could take on a deaf character because I’ve had people in my lives that gave me some insight into the aspects of living as a deaf person – though it’s changed in the years since I wrote the book. My mother began losing her hearing when she was in her 20s, and by the time I was old enough to remember, I knew I had to do things like be in front of her and speak ‘at’ her rather than from across the room. She could read lips and peace together words if we did that. Same with my best friend growing up. She lost a lot of her hearing to Reyes Syndrome (Like Jewell’s mom in the book).

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

GAIL: Yes, I do. I have the Nook and I absolutely love it.

STEPH: Do you have any holiday traditions you'd like to share?

GAIL: I like to begin Christmas as close to Thanksgiving as I can, before Thanksgiving if I can get it past my husband. LOL The kids and I usually put the Christmas tree up the day or weekend after Thanksgiving, and we play Christmas music nice and loud as we do it. ☺

STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?

GAIL: I am a pantser with mild plotter tendencies. I approach a book with an overall idea of what might happen, and a general timeline. But I do not outline, and I have very few notes I might put down somewhere.

STEPH: Have you ever done NaNoWriMo?

GAIL: No, and while it sounds like a challenge, I don’t think I’m inclined to do it. I’ve done it – meaning, I’ve written 50k words in a month (more actually) – just not within the confines of ‘NaNoWriMo’. I would like to go to some of the events around NaNo, just to make some connections with other writers, but I wouldn’t work for the word count.

STEPH: Who is your favorite? Monet, Renior, Picasso.

GAIL: Well, I can exclude Picasso outright… not much of an abstract art fan. Of the two remaining, I will go with Monet. His paintings are very soothing to me.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Author Introduction - Meet Sadie & Sophie Cuffe!



1. Welcome to Desert Breeze Sadie & Sophie. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up?

SADIE & SOPHIE: We grew up in mid-coast Maine in a small rural community where everybody knew everybody. For fun we played neighborhood pick-up games, hockey on the back pond, and built secret hideouts in the woods. A blind date matched up our Californian Dad with Maine farm girl Mom, so every few years they’d load up the VW bus, pack the canvas tent along with us and our two brothers, and we’d travel west as gypsies, cementing our love for road trips, camping, hiking, and our brothers. Today we reside in downeast coastal Maine , where we still enjoy doing sister things together (including writing) and look forward (mostly) to whatever surprises today brings.

2. Who were some of your favorite authors growing up?
Sophie: Laura Ingalls Wilder and Madeleine L'Engle, and every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books she could get her hands on. Oh, and Cherry Ames books.

Sadie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jean Little, Donald Sobol, Marjorie K. Rawlings, Fred Gipson. .

3. What genre do you write?

SADIE & SOPHIE: What genre don’t we write? Since there are two of us, we make the most of us, writing in all the genres we enjoy -- currently women’s fiction, inspirational suspense, cozy mystery, historical, inspirational mystery, juvenile fiction, nonfiction, scripts, and one screenplay

4. You have an upcoming release with Desert Breeze.

SADIE & SOPHIE: Can you tell us when, the title, and let us know what it's about? Arrow that Flies, release date August 2011, is about Jackie Duncan, a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants investigator for the state forest service, and Rob Adams, a former environmental activist who’s a bit too tightly wound. Jackie comes to Stellar’s Ford to investigate threats against a logging deal that involves state park land and environmental terrorist, Rand Adams, Rob's twin brother. Rob is drawn to the small sawmill town by a kidnapper’s threat against his brother. In a jumble of mistaken identity, clashing personalities, and secret friendships, the beauty of the North woods becomes a hiding place for a killer with a dark agenda. But through the test of fire and blood, Jackie and Rob forge a bond that unites them forever. Move over Joan Wilder!

5. Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

SADIE & SOPHIE: No, we don't, and, to tell the truth, we know nothing about them, so it's rather ironic our first novel is coming out as an ebook, don't you think?

6. Do you have any other books that are available?

SADIE & SOPHIE: Not yet ,but hopefully more to follow soon, if we could just get those agents and publishers to heart us. Sadly, we've had more face-to-face encounters with moose than with publishers or agents. lol.

7. Can you tell us a little about the state you live in?

SADIE & SOPHIE: Maine, the way life should be! The rising sun strikes the USA first on the rocks of Maine . We have more than 3000 miles of coastline, counties with more trees than people, and the end (or the beginning) of the Appalachian trail, with some of the greatest hiking in the east. We have small, close-knit rural communities, family farms, islands with year-round ferry service, and country churches that have old fashioned public bean suppers. A good part of Maine is off the beaten track and considered out of the cultural mainstream, but we have our moments.

8. Just for fun: pick your favorite: Monet, Picasso, or Renoir?

Sadie: If I had to pick one of these guys, I’d pick Picasso, but if I could pick any dead artist, I’d go with Dali and the melting clocks, a metaphor for my life! S

ophie: May I pick Grandma Moses, because when I grow up I want to be like her.

9. Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you done it in the past?

SADIE & SOPHIE: Actually hadn't heard about it until we got this question. Googled it - wow. It could be crazy fun but we don’t have the time this November (see melting clock answer above). Also November is wreath making season in Maine. Instead of 50,000 words by Nov. 30th, it’s 50,000 wreaths and garland!!! Any spare time (laughing hysterically) will be devoted to editing Arrow that Flies. How's that for dedication!

10. Where can we find you on the web?

SADIE &SOPHIE: Our website is currently under construction, but we're on facebook (sscuffe) and always looking for new friends.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Featured December 2010 Release - Touched by Mercy by Tina Pinson



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Angelina!

She wasn’t Samantha’s daughter, but she should have been. Sam mothered her with love like she was her own. The child became heaven in her world.

Now the child was gone. Samantha felt her world slipping away. She had to find Angelina. She prayed. But doubted God would hear her. How could he when she was so dirty? And how could she trust a God who she believed abandoned her? Hopefully this God wouldn’t abandon Angelina.

God uses the gentle hands of another carpenter to strip back the layers of abuse that have tarnished her faith and worth to teach Sam there is mercy instead of shame, and love. And though it seems out of reach, she always had freedom in Christ.


EXCERPT:

"What did you think of the sermon, Samantha?"

Sam thought she'd choke on her cherry pie right there. And practically did.

"Here now." The reverend laughed as he patted her back. "Did we find a pit or was the sermon that bad?"

Visiting with a reverend was bad enough, but a reverend with humor. Sam started to choke all over again. She waved her hand in front of her face to circulate the air and gulped a deep breath. Then if her teary eyes and choking weren't enough, she had to go and snort on her exhale. Not some delicate little snort either -- no, it was a full-bodied thing. She sounded like her stepfather's grand sow. Her skin warmed. Soon she would even be as pink as the pig.

It was a disaster, unavoidable, but a disaster nonetheless. She'd never get another invite. Groaning softly, Sam put her head in her hands until she could breathe again. It'd be easier if the good reverend would quit patting her back, disrupting her heartbeat. But how did one tell a reverend to stop?

"Are you all right?" Ruth asked.

"Yes, yes." Sam surfaced, her face on fire. Reverend Trent's hand lifted from her back. "It went down the wrong pipe," she replied meekly.

"Are you sure you're all right?" the reverend asked. He handed her his napkin. Sam used it as a shield to compose behind. "It hurts something fierce when it does that," he added sympathetically.

Sam dabbed her watery eyes so she wouldn't have to look at him. 'Cause the preacher man's smile was soft, beguiling.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tina Pinson resides in Grand Junction, Colorado with her husband of twenty-nine years, Danny. They've ran their own business, Omega Avionics, since 2004. The Pinsons have three grown sons, two lovely daughter-in-laws and four grand children.
Tina began her first novel in elementary school. Her love of writing has caused her to seek creative outlets be it writing poetry, songs, or stories. She had four years of journalism, a half a year of college, took a fourteen-month correspondence course through The Writer's Institute. Tina has been involved with American Christian Fiction Writers for seven year.

Tina has completed eleven novels. She was a third finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest in 2003 for her story Trail of the Sandpiper-Rescued.

Beyond writing, Tina enjoys building, gardening, singing, speaking and some biking. She and her husband hope to get out more into God's country and do some camping.

She continues to work on other stories, and hopes that one or more of her stories will be published soon.

****

Touched by Mercy is avail for the Kindle, Nook, Sony Ereader, and Kobo. Desert Breeze Congratulates Tina on her December release.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Featured DEcember 2010 Release - Precious Things by Gail R. Delany



THE BLURB
From a young age, Benjamin Prescott Roth shut himself off from everyone. He was determined to be his own man. But, for the first time in his life, he's letting someone else in.

Jewell Kincaid is absolutely beautiful -- and beyond that she's feisty, intelligent and strong-willed. Benjamin's perfect match whether he wanted it or not. Then his world is shaken at the foundations, and he has to either let Jewell be his support -- or walk away.


AN EXCERPT

He barely glanced at Carol, focusing his fury on April. "Get me an appointment with Rowlings tomorrow. Book a conference room and inform senior management on the incubated Asian fund. Everyone is to attend."

His voice held a softer, somewhat incomplete quality despite its rough huskiness, with a slight rounding of his syllables. Jewell shifted her attention momentarily to his hands, set firm at his hips, and caught the slight twitching of his fingers. He may be speaking, but his hands probably itched to form the signs to match the words.

April nodded and jumped into action at his sharp tone. Mr. Roth turned away and his gaze fell on Jewell. Hard eyes took her in from head to toe in one powerful perusal before focusing on her face. Something about the way he assumed he had the right to look at her that way spurred Jewell into action.

She laid her hand against her chest, palm flat, and moved it in a circular motion. His left brow rose slightly and he scowled.

"Please, what?" he demanded.

"Book a conference room, please," she signed. "Wouldn't that be more polite?" Jewell made sure to face him and pronounced her words clearly, so he could read her lips without a problem.

Mr. Roth's hands sat at his waist and he shifted to an arrogant stance. His eyes widened slightly as he stared back at her. With two long strides, he moved closer to her.

"And you are?" he demanded with a jut of his chin toward her.

Jewell was shocked by the momentary disorientation of her senses when he closed the space between them. His presence was so overpowering, it acted like a force field around his body pushing against her when he neared her. A hint of the masculine scent he wore filled her senses, sandalwood and a subtle oriental spice. Her cheeks warmed.

Not allowing his presence to daunt her, she spoke and signed together, spelling out her name. "Jewell Kincaid."


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gail R. Delaney has been actively writing 'for publication' since 1996. The first novel she ever wrote is still sitting on her computer, waiting for the major rewrite that will make it acceptable. She says she has learned a great deal since writing that book, and it shows when she looks back at that rough draft.

Gail has had several novels published in the genres of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and futuristic romance. Her novels have received several nominations and awards since she was first published in 2005.

Gail and her family recently moved from the cold and blustry east coast to Southern California, and is loving every moment of sunshine she can soak in.

*****

Precious Things is available for the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. Desert Breeze Congrats Gail on her DEC release!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Featured December 2010 Release - Christmas Bride by Marion Kelley Bullock


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Sue-Ellen Grayson travels to Fort Clark, Texas, to console Major Ethan Hartley, because her sister, Cassandra, jilted him. She can't bear to see such a wonderful man treated so shabbily. Her trip is fraught with danger. The stagecoach is set upon, she nearly drowns, and she arrives penniless, without even a ticket to return home. She gets a job waitressing at the Brackettville Café.

At first, Ethan can’t stand the sight of Sue-Ellen. In looks, she reminds him of his lost love. Gradually, though, he begins to see her for the fine woman she is and to care about her. Then Cassandra, tired of her fling, arrives and wants Ethan to marry her. Will Ethan fall for her again, or will he see her for the flirt she is and realize that Sue Ellen is the one he loves, the one who has the makings of a career officer’s wife?

AN EXCERPT:

Ethan raised his eyebrows. He got right up in her face. "What are you doing here? Why did you tell them you were my fiancée?"

"I didn't." Goodness. He might as well be breathing fire.

"Yes, you did."

"Now, I'm getting mad. And there is absolutely no reason for you to make me mad. I don't know why you're jumping all over me, just because I was bringing you a message."

A muscle tensed in his jaw and his nostrils flared. "What in the world do you mean, you silly woman, you were bringing me a message?"

Sue-Ellen stepped back. "I am not a silly woman. And don't spit on me."

"I wasn't spitting on you."

"Not for lack of trying." She wiped her sleeve across her face.

"Now you're a silly prima donna."

"Are you going to tell me what's got you all riled up, or are we going to take our toys and go home?"

Ethan held up a hand to silence her. "Now, let's look at this calmly, rationally."

Sue-Ellen nodded. "I'm ready when you are." So far, he hadn't seemed rational at all. She couldn't believe this was the same man she had practically worshipped, the man Cassie had planned to marry. Oh, mercy, she still had not told him what she came to tell him.


********

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Marion Kelley Bullock attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and attends their conferences.

Her articles, short stories, essays, and devotionals have appeared in Open Windows, Guideposts, Home Life, Church Administration, Mature Years, The Lookout, the Church Musician, Preserving Christian Homes, Living with Preschoolers, and other publications. She authored The Story of First Baptist Church Past and Present, (Olney, Texas). She also wrote Sunday school curriculum materials for preschool teachers and children, for several years.

She is a Christian and the wife of John W. Bullock, a semi-retired minister of music. They have three grown children and reared a grandson, now twenty-four. Their family is active in church and community, and Marion teaches adults in the Sunday school, is the pianist, and sings in the worship group.

Marion has worked at a variety of jobs, including church secretary, school nurse's assistant, Realtor, nursing home activity director, savings and loan clerk, and supervisor of preschool work in churches.

Aside from writing, Mrs. Bullock enjoys reading, painting, working crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments, and song writing. She and her husband love to travel.


*******

Christmas Bride is available as an ebook on Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, and Kobo

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Spotlight on: Borealis II Anthology - Character Interviews



5 QUESTIONS FOR KAL RAINES, "BLUE LIES"

#1 - What's it like running a space station like the Borealis?

The first several months I was here, I didn’t sleep more than three hours at a stretch. As soon as I’d try to drift off, I’d be called about some riot, break in, con artist or smugglers working their trade. Either that or some fool overdosed on Uudon. I’ve got just enough of a bad attitude about this whole situation that I don’t much care what people think so I don’t cut them any slack. Iron fist is what keeping control is all about. Until some damn Rebel gets it in his head to try and shoot us up.

#2 - Do you have any friends besides Max on the station?

Until Summer and her brother came along, I pretty much limited my social time to the occasional drink in the bars. Places like Korn are too loud for talking, but I find the cacophony oddly relaxing and mind clearing. Sure, I have a few I drifted to more than others, but I don’t play favorites. These days Summer keeps me too busy for hanging out.

#3 - What's your favorite bar on the station. *wink

Ah, ah, ah. No favorites I’ll admit to in public. Can’t afford it. But if I drop by one or two more often than others, well, I can justify it by saying that’s where the biggest troublemakers hangout.

#4 - What level on the station do you live in?

One down from the station arboretum. Yeah, it’s high and mighty, but I didn’t design the station to place the Commander’s quarters so far above the masses. I’m sort of stuck there because it has nearly all the same gadgetry as the Command Center in my den. The previous station commander also had it decorated in a way no one else wanted to live there. Thankfully Summer has fixed that problem, but I did convince her to save out one or two of the most, um, interesting items. The previous commander’s taste wasn’t all in his, er, mouth.

#5 - Do you have a favorite flower?

Funny you should ask that. Have you ever studied the delicate beauty of a simple bluebell? I’m told the sight of a bluebell wood in spring is a sight to behold. Someone has recently told me my eyes are the same color of blue. Anyhow, in the next couple of years there should be quite the display of them popping up around the station. Rumor has it the Bluebell Bunny, kind of like Earth’s legendary Johnny Appleseed, has been hopping around.

*******

5 QUESTIONS FOR PERSPHONE TALON, "SHADOWS AND LIGHT"

#1 - What is your favorite sandwich? What do you drink with it? Do you serve it in your bar?

I'm a meat eater because of the unique makeup of my body's chemistry and metalabolism. I need a lots of iron and zinc, so I like sandwiches with a lot of meat. My bartender, Viv, makes a killer sandwich with roast beef and argula on rye. It's available at the bar.

#2 - Tell us something about your home planet, Pith. What's the main attraction, what is it best know for?

Pith falls in the life zone of the star, Xeres. There's another planet just outside the life zone, Pylon, that could probably support life. Pith is unusual because the planet is on a tilt, much like the Sol system's Uranus. The provence where I come from, Hadon, is near the north pole, but the pole is on the same "line" as Earth's equator. Because of this tilt, the magnet properties are off the chart in Hadon. People from Hadon have developed telekinesis to keep the harmful rays away from our bodies.

The capital is Ares. There's a major space port there. The planet was rich in heavy metals and gemstones, but the TPP has it's tendrils into the mining processes.


#3 - What do you love most about Elijah or what does he do that drives crazy?

Elijah isn't intimdated by my telekensis or my limited telepathy. Most men are. He accepts me for what I am and that's what I love about him. That and his lips. He has the most kissable lips!

#4 - What was your favorite toy as a child?

A metallic sensor ball. It's the size of a baseball. I honed my telekinsis playing with it.

#5 - What were you doing five minutes ago?

Eating breakfast with Elijah!

**********

Enjoy a story teaser for "Shadows & Light" On You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV2moYlgwCA

*****

BOREALIS II ANTHOLOGY:
4.5 BOOKS From Long & Short Reviews:

"This is highly recommended for those who like equal doses of romance, science fiction and danger, with some humor thrown in to ease the tension. "

Here's a link to the review:
http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2010/11/borealis-space-anthology-book-2-by.html
***********
"Persephone Talon" image curtesy of Dreamstime.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Spotlight on: Borealis II Anthology


SHEA MCMASTER talks about how she got involved in the Borealis:

I’ve been asked, how was it I came to be involved in the Borealis anthology. Simple. J. Morgan. My beloved blog partner pegged me right off the bat. Originally five stories were planned. He was to write the first story, and I was to bring up the rear, wrapping up the five story Anthology. Well, like all fun things, the project grew. And a few stories got swapped around. Still, though I whined, the anchor position remained mine. Seriously, writing a 25-30k story and include wrap ups of everyone else’s as appropriate? It’s an intimidating prospect.

So, for inspiration, I read Gail’s story. Then I brainstormed with Jmo. I twisted the story lines around in my head and slowly Kal came to me, followed by Summer. I read a few kick-ass writers, such as Jennifer Crusie and Linnea Sinclair, and they fueled my imagination. Around mid-May, I felt the pressure to write. At that point I thought the deadline was June 30. Someone forgot to tell the Book II people it had changed. But that’s okay. The pressure was on and the story came alive. In fact, I finished before Jmo, which allowed us to ping ideas off each other. I love writing with that man at my back. He keeps me fresh.

Anyhow, once I got going, that’s all she wrote. Um, well, I guess you know what I mean. I started writing and didn’t stop until the characters let me go. Actually, they haven’t entirely let me go, but they did shove me out of their quarters. Just as things were getting really interesting too. Maybe my alter-ego, Morgan O’Reilly, can follow up there.


*********

STEPHANIE BURKHART talks about how she got involved in the Borealis:

I was at lunch with Gail and Jen and Gail was talking about her story for the Borealis. I listened intently. I love Sci-Fi, but had never tackled it in my writing. Gail went on to talk about the Borealis with such gusto I wanted to be a part of it. At that point, all the stories were taken but she said she'd keep me in mind for a future project.

About two weeks Gail tapped me on the shoulder. Want to write a story for the Borealis? I said 'yes!' Gail gave me the outline for my story: Elijah Kess was dispatched to the Borealis to gain info on the Uudon trade. Heroine was dispatched by Sarina and neither know about the other's mission but they keep stepping on each other's toes.

I started writing the story around Easter and finished mid-June. The heroine was mine to come up with. So I sat back and looked at Elijah Kess. Elijah was such a Biblical name. He was a good guy, well trained, a soldier. A true hero, filled with light and believing in his cause. What kind of woman would attract him? The opposite of what he was. And it would play into the "theme" of the story, stepping on each other's toes.

Persephone Talon was born. Think Kellan Lutz for Elijah and Frieda Pinto for Persephone. Both are attractive, but "opposite" in looks. Persephone's name was inspired by the Greek goddess of the underworld. She runs an "underworld" bar, Korn and she comes from the Hadon Provience of Pith. I sprinkled a little Spock on her and gave her unlimited bank account and a heroine was born.

Then I gave Esther Mitchell a ring. "Esther, can I have Libby in a couple of scenes?" She said sure. I coordinated with Esther and Shae on some subtle point crossovers and if anything that was the hardest part because you want to be true to their characters they're writing.

Overall, I had a blast. The Borealis rocks.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Spotlight On: Borealis II Anthology


5 QUESTIONS FOR BOREALIS II AUTHOR SHEA MCMASTER

#1 - What's your Borealis story about?

Kal Raines is the war hero in disgrace who has been shunted to the armpit of the universe and tasked with keeping the dying station under control of the TPP. His world revolves around holding the station together with bubble gum and baling wire despite the prison on the lowest levels, Uudon addicts running around, pirates and thieves passing through and the occasional Rebel attack. It’s one administrative headache after another until he comes across Merri Sumner meditating in his arboretum. Little does he know she’s the infamous Rebel Agent, Bella Bleu there to do some networking and to determine if he’s convertible or beyond redemption.

#2 - How long did it take you to write?

About a month. The first draft flew by in two weeks. This one practically wrote itself. One day I was out running errands and found myself impatient to get home and finish reading my book. Then I realized I was chomping the bit to finish reading the story I was writing! Now that’s fun J

#3 - What attracts you to writing sci-fi?

I love the versatility of world building. The imagination has no bounds within the rules you create.

#4 - What's your favorite Sci-Fi TV show or movie?

I’m a Trekkie. Especially bonded with TNG. Love me some Picard and Ryker men. Rwarr.

#5 - Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

I have a Sony, which I love to carry in my purse. At home I read most of my ebooks directly from my laptop, that way I can knit or crochet while reading. I feel guilty sitting down to “just” read. Doesn’t stop me from buying books, though!


*****************

5 QUESTIONS FOR BOREALIS II AUTHOR, STEPHANIE BURKHART

#1 What's your Borealis story about?

Elijah Kess has been dispatched by the Rebellion to investigate the Uudon Trade on the Borealis. Persephone Talon has also been dispatched by Sarina Laroux to do the same thing. The story opens with an exciting chase as Elijah, deep undercover as a TPP enforcer chases an Uudon OD. Only Persephone finds the OD and they discover a patch. Soon, the two are trying to figure out what the patch does and how it relates to Uudon - and they step all over each other to do it.

#2 How long have you been writing and what's your inspiration?

I've been writing ever since I was 5, but seriously for publication, about 10 years now. I have a very active imagination and Juliet, my muse, never lets me sleep. (so to speak)

#3 What do you write besides Science Fiction?

Right now, I love writing paranormals, but I prefer to tackle werewolves and witches. The Hungarian is a paranormal romance set in England and Hungary in 1901. It's sequal, The Count's Lair, will be released in Feb 2011 and I have another paranormal, a bit darker, The Wolf's Torment, releasing in May 2011. I have a steampunk called Victorian Scoundrel coming out in July 2011. I have a horror short story in the Etheral Gazette that has a Lovecraftian influence called The Scorpion Temple, and a contemporary Christmas story called "Christmas in Bayeux" in the Victory Tales Press anthologies coming out. I try not to limit myself to any particuliar romantic subgenre.


#4 Do you have any special writing rituals? Candles, music, chocolate, coffee?

Coffee. Definately coffee.

#5 Do you read a specific genre and is it different from what you write?

I typically read romance, but I also like biographies and memoirs and new age stuff. I just finished reading Patrick Swayze's "The Time of my Life" and Sylvia Browne's End of Days. I love JK Rowling. I wouldn't consider her Harry Potter stuff romance, more fantasy adventure. As you can see, I get around in my writing - and reading.