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Everyone please welcome paranormal romance author, Marie Lavender!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

My latest release is Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy. It was released on December 8th, and it is book one of the Blood at First Sight Series. The links are below:

Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00Q7FWIWA

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/second-nature/

CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/5131233

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

I love it! I can open my mind completely, and let that inner world of the story unfold. I’ve always believed there is a lot more to the world around us than we think, things we can’t even begin to imagine. So, why not take that a step further and believe in the unknown or in fantasy worlds? Is it an escape from reality? Sure, but fiction is as well. Writing about the paranormal gives me the creative license I may not have, say, in historical writing, where past events or historical accuracy is pertinent to the storyline.

3. What do you like to read?

All types of romance – contemporary, historical, romantic suspense. I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal/urban fantasy recently, though.

4. Favorite movie?

The Princess Bride just because it’s historic, really cheesy and romantic. And for a fantasy element? ROUSes, or Rodents of Unusual Size.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

I prefer silence usually, but there are times when certain kinds of music will enhance a scene. For example, I used Celtic music once when I was writing a historic fantasy story. Mostly, I go with whenever the muse hits me, but sometimes it can be as simple as a particularly poignant sentence that strikes me when I’m doing something else, and then I know I need to add it to my manuscript. When I am really focused on writing a specific story, I try to work on it every day, however. Even if it’s just research, that is one step of progress toward the overall goal.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as an author?

It was strange, but good. I had opened up my email and bam! There it was, a letter from one of the many publishers and agents I’d submitted to, and instead of the rejection I expected, it was a book contract. That was so exciting, and I probably stared at the screen with tears in my eyes for about ten or fifteen minutes. It was so overwhelming, a combination of happiness and oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-this-is-real.

7. How can readers find you?

They can find me through my website, blogs or any of the numerous social media sites I currently stalk.

http://marielavender.com/

http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

https://twitter.com/marielavender1

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender

http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Lavender/e/B00C10Q94I/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

I wish I’d known that you should probably have a significant web presence before you get published. It’s been a hard journey, but I’ve learned a lot, and I’m still learning!

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

I drink lots of water, but I do have a tendency to want chocolate now and then. I try to keep something on hand usually, maybe some dark chocolate.

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

I have two main writing areas, my office desk and my bedroom. In my office, I keep a shelf nearby with my published books. I don’t look at them all of the time, but now and then it’s good to remind yourself of just how far you’ve come. I have a poster with a saying: “Life is better when you’re writing.” It was gifted to me by http://www.writing.com/ That can be a good motivational tool.

I also write in my bedroom, either just before I go to sleep or if the mood hits me when I happen to be in there. The walls are covered in light gold with hieroglyphics, and there is this whole Egyptian theme going on. In a way, it helps to keep me from being too grounded in reality, and the scenes come to me naturally.

Thanks for stopping by, Marie! Best of luck with the book!

BB

Morning, everyone!

It was a busy week last week! Over 4,000 new words down on paper for ‘Alaric’s Bow’, the follow up to ‘Fin’s Magic’! Most of that was yesterday. It felt really good to get back in the zone!

‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ will release on Friday, July 24th! The ebook is available for pre-orders now, so head on over to Amazon and reserve your copy!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011LM9QF0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

I started a contest of sorts over on my FaceBook page last week. It runs until 8 am PDT on Thursday the 23rd. Still time to get entered! Super easy to do. You simply like AND comment (you have to do both to enter) on this post:

Once I like your comment, you’re officially in the running for all the stuff listed!

It’s a short post today. I apologize for that. But there’s a story itching to get out of my head this morning!

BB

Good morning! I’m a little scattered today. Muse the Purrbot is hurt in some way, which makes me unhappy. Trip to the vet is happening in about an hour or so. We don’t think it’s serious, possibly a pulled muscle or such, but she hissed this weekend. Muse never does that.

As authors, we tend to crave attention of a sort. It may not be finding papparazzi outside our home, but we do need some sort of acceptance or approval. We want to know our hard work is welcome and appreciated. The thing is, there’s a huge difference between the two words.

To be accepted, to me, means my work has merit. Peers point to me as an example of what can happen if you put in the time/energy and have the patience. It means my failings as a person aren’t the focus. Rather, the focus is positive and on the story I’ve crafted.

Approval is a different ball of wax. And I don’t know that I need someone I’ve never met approving of what I write. If they don’t, it means I’ve hit a nerve. There was something in the story that made them uncomfortable, made them think. We need to write the story that must be written, not the one that makes everyone feel safe. Bad things happen to good people in life, and literature should mirror that. We overcome obstacles and come out stronger for it. Why shouldn’t our protagonists go through the same struggle?

This is my viewpoint. Your mileage may vary. There are some authors who will do very well writing feel good stories that readers can escape into and ignore the chaos around them. I’d rather write about the chaos and create characters my readers can relate to.

And what’s the one way I know I’ve been accepted? Reviews. That’s the single best way for readers to communicate to their favorite authors that their work touched their lives in some way, good or bad.

BB

Good morning, everyone!

I’ve got a confession to make. I haven’t written my 500 words for a good week. It’s been too hot. Yes, I know it’s a relative term. This area doesn’t see the blistering temperatures other parts of the U.S. do, but we’ve been warm. And, when you rarely see temps in the 90’s, air conditioning isn’t a high priority on your home comfort needs. Except for the days where you end up doing the laundry and dishes after the sun goes down. Cook things that don’t require the oven (the microwave and our grill are our friends). And stay off the computer because it’s just one more thing giving off heat.

I have, however, been working! ‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ is done with editing, and moving towards being able to give you guys a release date. Here’s the great cover!

Arine's Sanctuary

As a lead up to release date, I’m going to be holding a contest on my FB author page. It’s not quite ready to start yet (hoping it will be by next week), but be sure to start following my page to have a chance to win! https://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

The contest is going to be super easy to enter. When I do the post, you simply have to like the post AND leave a comment. That’s it. The only restriction is there needs to be at least 10 entries by the end of the contest or there won’t be a grand prize winner. I’m putting up a lot of stuff for one lucky reader to win!

The grand prize will include:

Print copies of ‘Daughter of Hauk’, ‘Son of Corse’, ‘Mark of the Successor’, and ‘Challenges Met’ (signed to a person of the winner’s choosing)

A tote bag with the cover of ‘Fin’s Magic’

A t-shirt with the cover of ‘Daughter of Hauk’ on the front and ‘You’re tough, you can take it’ on the back.

Signed postcards and business cards.

SAM_1721

So, head on over to my FB page and hit the ‘like’ button! And I promise to work on another book once this heat goes away!

BB

Everyone please welcome author Vicki-Ann Bush!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

The Fulfillment

http://www.amazon.com/Fulfillment­Vicki­Ann­Bush­ebook/dp/B00PSJ7DJO/ref=sr_1_1?

ie=UTF8&qid=1424887998&sr=8­1&keywords=vicki­ann+bush

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

The possibilities of the imagination are endless.

3. What do you like to read?

I am a huge supernatural fan. My favorite author is Dean Koontz, but I’ve enjoyed several Ann Rice and Stephen King books as well.

4. Favorite movie?

Most of my faves involve time travel, but Somewhere in Time, is one of my favorites. Although I love Arsenic and Old Lace, which is neither time travel or supernatural.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence?  Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

I’m all over the place. It depends on my mood. Most of the time, I have certain pieces of music for each book. On a rare occasion there is silence. I would like to say daily regimen, but I’m more of the spurts of creativity type. I aspire to the daily regimen though.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as a author?

When I received my first contract offer.

7. How can readers find you?

The following is a list of where readers can find me and my books:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_10?url=search-
alias%3Dstripbooks&field­keywords=vicki­ann+bush&sprefix=vicki­ann+%2Caps%2C227

Author FB page https://www.facebook.com/VickiAnn.Bush.Author

Author Blog http://vickiannbush.blogspot.com

Author Web page http://www.vickiannbush.com

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Vicki­Ann­Bush?

store=allproducts&keyword=Vicki­Ann+Bush

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2947321.Vicki_Ann_Bush

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

Editing can be grueling. I now spend more time with polishing than when I first began submitting.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Coffee, wine and dark chocolate.

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

A tin can that my daughter gave me when she was in grade school. It’s filled with various pens , pencils and markers.

Thanks for stopping by, Vicki-Ann! Good luck with the books!

BB

Good morning!

Yep, I checked. It is still morning in my part of the world. Though my back’s lobbying for another few hours of sleep.

I was gone all weekend, camping. I have a lot of fun with the Society for Creative Anachronism, re-creating the Middle Ages as they should’ve been. Less plague, more sunscreen!

Okay, so I skimped on the sunscreen part this weekend.

I was in charge of the merchants on site, and had a small table set up with books. Sold two copies of ‘Daughter of Hauk’, and talked with several people. It amazes me how often someone will see books being sold at an event like this (craft fair, street fair, etc) and still ask if the person selling them is the author. And, when I said I was, they got all excited. I guess I’m still not used to the idea of someone seeing my job as glamorous.

Then again, they only see one side of it. The finished product. They don’t see how many hours a day we spend writing, editing, or working on blurbs. They don’t see us spending hours trying to decide on a title after discovering there’s hundreds on Amazon with the one you had in mind. Or digging through really worn copies of baby name books to find the ‘perfect’ name for a character.

Writing isn’t all book signings and movie deals. It’s spending hours in the sun, glad for a bit of shade, and waiting. Hoping. Because sales don’t happen by accident. Success is earned, not a given. And you’re going to end up with a sunburned nose every now and then.

On another note…Solstice is opening up to fan fiction! The Raven Chronicles is one of the worlds that’s available, too. I’ve already been told there’s a short story under contract for it. It’s truly humbling to find out something you wrote affected someone so much that they had to write a story associated with it.

If you want to know more about our fan fic line, check out this site: http://solsticepublishing.com/to-write-fan-fiction/

BB

Good morning!

I need more coffee. LOL. It’s one of those mornings where I’m trying to get so much done that I’m thinking I need some sort of i.v. pole hooked up with my coffee machine.

The road from the day you start writing until you hit the level of success you dream of is long. Longer than most of us want to traverse. Some of us have the patience for it, stick to it during the rocky parts. Find ways to swing over the pits and keep moving forward. Others don’t. They give up and go home, either convinced they’re a failure or blaming anyone else they can on their lack of overnight success.

What those authors don’t realize is the thing that keeps the rest of us going is remembering the small victories along the way. How it felt to get that first contract…holding your book in your hands as a printed copy for the first time….seeing someone’s face light up because they’re meeting a ‘real’ author and knowing it’s you they’re so excited to meet.

Reading a review from someone you don’t know, that loves your book. Getting emails or messages on Twitter/FaceBook from readers asking when the next book is coming out.

Being asked for your autograph or to pose for a photo with a reader. Signing the Wall of Fame at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR.

These small things matter. They’re not going to happen every day. Some only happen once, others will have months in between. We use the memories of these moments to get us through the bad times. The dry months when no one wants to buy a book or leave a review.

And we should never forget them.

BB

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