Category Archives: Interview

The Family Memoir

Several years ago, my cousin’s youngest daughter got married in a fabulous setting deep in the heart of PA — it was a living Andrew Wyeth painting:  a sparkling pond, rolling green hills, deep blue sky, old red barn silhouetted against the blaring hot sun, a rustic stable opened to provide a dance floor and seating where you could take the barbeque that was served on the adjacent side porch.  A little stone house where the bride had the privacy to dress.  A hundred friends and family, kids running around, playing ball, playing games.  People rocking out on the lawn.

And there I was, sitting with my husband, thinking:  this perfect day, when, maybe, someone is found dead in the pond;  or maybe that little girl in the yellow dress disappears and someone doesn’t want the mother-in-law to write the family memoir.

Honestly, it was the best wedding ever.

And subsequently, a couple of years later, my cousin asked if I’d like to read those memoirs, with his mother-in-law’s permission.  This was such a privilege.  The author is in her 90‘s;  she wrote about 28 single spaced pages.  Her voice, dry, humorous, pragmatic, came through so clearly. And there was so much more under the surface that I wanted to know. And I wanted so much more of HER — her reactions, her responses, her true feelings.

What a gift to her family, that she’s able to translate her memories into words.  I told her all this when I wrote back, and that I hoped she’d continue to add to the memoir, more of her, more of what she experienced, what she felt. I had particularly strong feelings about it because now that my parents, and aunts and uncles are gone, there’s no one left who knows all my family history.  And no one who had the wont, the patience or the will to write it all down. They were children of immigrants who’d had unspeakable childhoods and just didn’t want to talk about it — ever. So a first wife we were never aware of, a brother whom no one knew was really the child of a first marriage, a runaway child, — all nebulous stories dredged up through cryptic statements over the years which told no more than that.

I was struck forcibly that I knew nothing, really, about our grandparents in either family.  We do have my maternal grandfather’s immigration papers from which we make inferences and piece together some of the story,  but dad’s history remains opaque: I know his mother came from Romania to join her sister in America.  She was the second wife of a man with two children. Her husband died very early in the marriage after she bore him four children.  She never wanted to talk about any of it.

My sons know everything about their dad and me, but I never thought, maybe never maybe could envision a time when my parents wouldn’t be there to answer questions.  And for some reason, one never asked.  Later, when I got curious, my mom didn’t much want to talk about it either.  Or claimed she didn’t remember.

I now have a bound booklet of those memoirs, complete with pictures.  How lucky my cousin is that his mother-in-law decided to talk about her life in a concrete and lasting way.  It inspired him.  He now wants to aggregate as much of our maternal family’s history as possible.  I’m happy he wants to take on that pleasurable task and I‘m hoping he can fill in some of the blanks.

But better than that, it leaves me (selfishly) free to contemplate the fictional problem of who was killed at the wedding and the even greater pleasure of writing it..

As you can see, I’m obsessed by my family’s history now. What about your family?  Is someone writing a history? Researching the family tree?  Have you ever been at an event where you were plotting fictional murders while talking to your husband’s boss or a relative you hadn’t seen in years?

Thea Devine is the author whose books defined erotic historical romance for which she was honored as a Romance Pioneer by Romantic Times.  The Darkest Heart, Pocket/Gallery, June 2011 is her 25th novel. Visit http://www.theadevine.com for excerpt and video.

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Interview: Donna Shields – Secrets of Jenkins Bridge

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here. Please welcome my fellow Soul Mate sister – Donna Shields. She’s here to answer our favorite questions and tell us about her latest book – SECRETS OF JENKINS BRIDGE.

How do you battle the doubt monster?

The only way I can get past the doubt monster is a good two to three day break from writing. I’ll read a book instead. When I come back to the story, my mind is refreshed, and I can move on.

Have you thought about writing something that is completely different for you? Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t done before.

Oh yeah. I really want to write a steampunk one and maybe one day I’ll start one. I have a couple ideas kicking around.

What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer?

First, I’d cry. I couldn’t imagine not being a writer. But, if I couldn’t I’d go back to college to become a nurse.

They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere. What is yours? What is it about? What makes it terrible? Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?

Yes, I actually have a couple. I don’t think there’s really anything terrible about the stories. I’m stuck where they have been left at. One is about a woman and a child in hiding from her now ex abusive husband and he’s on the hunt for her. He hired a PI (my hero) whom doesn’t know why this man is really looking for her. Slowly it comes out and all he wants now is to protect her. I will eventually finish this story because I believe it will be one awesome romantic suspense story to tell.

Author Jane Haddam says that anyone who seriously annoys her gets bumped off in her next book. How do you incorporate your real-life experiences into your stories?

Well, just between you, me and your entire readership (LOL), when my husband and I were having some serious marital issues I’d just begun writing Boneknapper (one I’m currently working on). I felt the need to punish my husband through my poor hero who has a deadly Voodoo curse placed against him. Let’s just say it’s wonderful therapy.

Your first book, THE SWAN COVE MURDERS is a novella. Is writing a shorter story, easier or harder? And is your new book – SECRETS OF JENKINS BRIDGE also a novella? And please tell us about your new book.

I think it’s easier to write a novella. With a novella you only have a short amount of words and I find I write with ease being direct. With a novel, you have to meet a minimum word count and I don’t even come close.

With Secrets of Jenkins Bridge, I just barely made the 50K word count needed to be considered a novel. Secrets of Jenkins Bridge is Katherine and Mitchell’s story. They used to be high school sweethearts until tragedy struck and Mitchell abruptly left Addison, unknown to him that Katherine was pregnant. Years later, he returns chasing down a mob boss who is a partner is his father’s company and to clear Mitchell’s deceased best friend of murder. Katherine has been run off the road, and her and Mitchell’s daughter has been kidnapped. They race against time to find their daughter and discover they still love one another.

Here’s the blurb:

Hunting down a dangerous mob boss has brought FBI agent Mitchell Donovan home, reawakening an old flame, resurrecting a dead best friend, and discovering fatherhood. As if those aren’t enough, his new case will push everything else aside: finding the kidnappers who took the daughter he never knew he had.

Katherine Delaney never forgot the heartbreak Mitchell had caused with his abrupt departure all those years ago. With her dead ex-husband accused of murder and her daughter kidnapped, she will place her trust in the one man who could trample her heart again if she gets too close. But, will the resurrection of Katherine’s ex-husband and Mitchell’s chase for a killer destroy their second chance at love and happiness?

This is your second book with Soul Mate Publishing. Please tell us about working with a smaller, digital press. How has the experience been for you? And what led you to go with a smaller press?

Since I’ve never worked with a big press, I can only assume. I get more one on one with my editor with quick responses to my concerns and questions. I feel like it’s more of a personal relationship. The experience has been great. I absolutely love my editor and am so excited to be starting my career with Soul Mate Publishing as they are beginning this great voyage into the publishing world.

What is your junk food of choice?

Why chocolate of course 🙂

What is your guilty pleasure? 

 I would have to say Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or Pizza Hut’s cheese stuffed crusted meat lovers pizza.

Excerpt:

They followed the paramedic toward the ambulance while Gladys and the other woman continued to talk.

He’d had a nightmare in the early hours before Gladys’ call had awakened him. The Camaro from his dream sat in the same exact spot. Aidan pointed out the car and told Mitchell he had to save ‘her’, whoever that might be. He figured he was about to find out. If, in fact, he wasn’t losing his marbles.

As they rounded the corner to the back of the ambulance, Gladys stopped short causing Mitchell to nearly colliding into her. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” he croaked, and then cleared his raw throat. “What’s the victim’s name?”

The paramedic shook her head, blonde ponytail swishing. “We don’t know. Haven’t found any ID yet, and she’s a little confused. Has a nasty bump to the head.”

He let Gladys climb aboard. Her upward movement stopped in midair, one leg dangling a little too close to Mitchell’s jewels. He jumped back as she whipped around, almost losing her balance. In a barely audible tone, she said, “I know her.”

“You know practically the entire town.” Mitchell gestured toward the victim. “Say something. Who is she?”

Her gaze stared off in the distance above his head. “It’s just so weird. It’s the widow whose husband drove off that bridge.” She pointed toward Jenkins Bridge, the old wooden-covered overpass in the distance.

An icy chill ran up his spine. Gladys moved aside, giving him full view of Katherine Delaney. She may be battered and bloody, but Mitchell could never forget her face, her high cheekbones, or the tiny, turned up nose. S**t.

Their eyes met, and his chest instantly tightened, his throat constricting. Something was wrong. She seemed to stare through him. Surely, she recognized him. He hadn’t changed that much. He managed to find his voice. “Hello.”

Katherine closed her dazzling emerald eyes. “What happened?”

He put his trembling hands behind his back interlocking them. “You were in an accident. What’s your name?”

She shook her head, the confusion apparent..

“It’s all right. This is Detective Freeman and I’m Detective Donovan.” Would the name register?

If it did, she didn’t react. She closed her eyes and turned her head away from them.

The paramedic announced, “Gonna have to finish this at the hospital after the doctor examines her.”

Mitchell reluctantly backed away allowing Gladys to jump down. Once the ambulance left, Mitchell said, “She didn’t recognize me.” Hundreds of miles apart and fifteen years later, and none of that mattered anymore. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and protect her. What was her life like now? Did she still live on the ranch with Aidan’s mother? Or did she have another whole life somewhere else?

Would she be okay? What if something happened to her? He couldn’t think like that. He wouldn’t.

“You know her?”

Of course he had. When he left Addison, he had been running from the hurt they’d caused one another. And his mother’s death. And his own demons.. “You keep forgetting. I grew up in this town.”

“What’s your connection?”

He didn’t want to get into his and Katherine’s complicated past at the moment. “We went to school together. Her husband, Aidan, and I were best friends.”

Gladys’ milk chocolate eyes grew large. “Oh wow. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. That was a long time ago.” Life goes on.

About Donna:

Donna Shields grew up on romance and scary stories. With her love for suspense and the slightly unusual, she enjoys tying these elements together to create stories full of love, danger and the paranormal.

She lives in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with her husband, her children, and some great haunts. She’s a mom, a ‘gramma’, a wife, a friend, an avid reader and writer. When she’s not occupied with all that, she loves traveling to Playa del Carmen and Jamaica.

You can find me:

At my blog: http://donna-realworldwriting.blogspot.com
On facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/shieldsdonna
On Twitter: @Donna_Shields
On SMP’s Author Blog: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
You can buy Secrets of Jenkins Bridge at: http://soulmatepublishing.com
Coming soon to Amazon and Barnes and Noble also.

Thanks Donna!

Since we Scribes love secrets – who’s got one to share with Donna? Which do you prefer long novels or shorter novellas?

Big numbers and Blog Tours

Since you folks seem to like seeing the numbers, I thought I would give you an update. This is totally in the interest of helping others to see what indie-publishing has to offer and to encourage those who might be considering it. Or maybe this is a deterrent, depending on your expectations. Either way, these numbers reflect my personal experience and are being shared because I consider you all to be my friends. Without your help and support, none of this would be possible. So thanks a million guys!

While preparing to do my taxes (which is as far as I’ve gotten), I was adding up my numbers. Sales numbers that is. I reported back in November that I was pleased with the progress in my indie-publishing journey and that sales of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES were on a steady path of growth. With the release of ON THIN ICE, and a few promotional efforts through the holidays, I’m happy to say that I’ve met one of my big goals for my first year of publishing. 1,000 books sold!

I’ve often heard the statistic that says most new writers will never sell more than a thousand books. Yikes! So when I heard that statement, I decided that would be my short term goal. I knew that if I could sell a thousand books, I’d be on my way. I originally gave myself a year to do this, but once I started seeing how the numbers climbed on my Amazon sales reports after each blog tour or advertisement that I did, I realized the potential to surpass my goal. It’s been a lot of work, but if I include January sales of 165 books so far, I’ve reached 1,000 books sold in four months! 

I published my first novel on September 24th, and the second on December 15th.

Sales have gone something like this:

September:            October:         November:    December:HIFH/OTI January:HIFH/OTI

Amazon      22            13                 198                     239/36                              23/114

BN               7              3                    29                      14/5                                  10/5

Hardcopy   28            39                   40                      14/12                                1/12

Createspace has sold a total of 28 copies in 2011 and 7 in 2012. Smashwords: 42 of HIFH and 59 of OTI since the books were released. In addition there have been 72 free downloads of HIFH and 29 of OTI. I’ve also donated books to libraries and sent out review copies and contest prizes.

Both books have received consistent 4 and 5 star reviews and I’m getting excited e-mails from readers who are looking forward to SAVAGE CINDERELLA in March. I haven’t yet figured the exact revenue from all of these sales because HIFH was up for sale for six weeks at .99 cents which I’m sure, in part, accounted for the boost in sales. I also advertised on Pixel of Ink, The Frugal E-reader, Super E-Reads, and a few free sites.

 I found blog tours more successful than book signings, and cross-promoting with other authors for the Booklovers Buffet to be helpful. Although, at .35 cents a sale at the .99 cent price point, I would have had to sell a heck of a lot of books to make real money. I know I’ve made enough to cover the cost of the first book and some advertising, but my budget is still running in the red. My goal for this year: 10,000 books. That breaks down to about 900 books per month, or 225 books per week, or about 30-40 books a day. Sounds doable when I put it that way, right? I’m hoping the release of SAVAGE CINDERELLA in March puts that goal within reach.

I’m beginning another blog tour this week, and would love for you to drop by and leave comments, tweet, or share my posts to your Face Book pages if you find them interesting or entertaining. You can find out where I’ll be and what I’ll be talking about on my calendar page of my website. I’ll be posting the specific links to my FB Fan page  as soon as I have them. If you want to follow along, just “like” my Facebook page or follow me on twitter @pjsharon. The tour starts this Thursday, Jan. 26th on Author Eileen Cook’s website where I answer interview questions that will definitely let you all get to know me a little better. Thanks for sharing the journey with me.

Dark Hearts and Chocolate – Interview with Thea Devine

Happy last Thursday of 2011, Scribe fans.  Suze here.  I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you a special guest today.  THEA DEVINE, author of THE DARKEST HEART, is with us.  If you haven’t read THE DARKEST HEART, get it!  It’s hot and it’s scary in the best tradition of a Gothic thriller — but I don’t recommend reading it alone at night!  Welcome, Thea.

Irresistible!
Your name, Thea, is beautiful and unusual.  Is there are a story behind it, or did your mother just choose really well?  (FYI, the mother of one of the Scribes is named Thea!)

Thea is my real full name, not short for anything, and I have no idea why my mom and dad chose it for me.  Devine is my married name, so in reality, I owe everything to the amazing John Devine.

You have a long-established (the fan girl in me wants to say “legendary”) career as a writer.  Do you still battle the Doubt Monster–the nagging feeling that your prose is terrible, your plot is silly, your characters are insipid, and no one would read your drivel, let alone buy it?  What are your secrets for conquering Doubty, or have you ground him to dust under your stiletto?

I definitely have my moments — ask my husband.  I love starting the story.  It feels like flying.  And when things are going right, or unexpected things are happening that grow organically out of the story and take me by surprise, it’s biggest high.  When the plot isn’t moving, it feels like slogging through molasses.   I bullet-train my way through.  The point is to finish the book.  Everything else can come later.

Have you thought about writing something that is completely different for you?  Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t done before?

I would love to write hearth and home novels.  I love a good cathartic novel, one that gives good cry — like Luanne Rice’s books for example.

What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?

That I even have a writing career.  Back when I was writing as a hobby, I never dreamt in a million years that anything I wrote would be published.   My cousin Anita ,  who remembers way too much about our childhood, will tell you that I was always at the typewriter and I didn’t want to do much else.  A slight exaggeration, but I still have things I wrote in high school and college where when I reread them, I can see vestiges of the way I write now.  And that has changed dramatically over the years as well.

They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere.  What is yours?  What is it about?  What makes it terrible?  Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?

I actually do.  I started a sprawling civil war historical back in … well, I won’t tell you the year but it was when I was working in advertising in the “Mad Men” days where everyone in house was writing a novel, by the way. The problem was I didn’t know how to write it back then even though I have reams of manuscript on it.  But I DO know how to write it now, and I’m slowly excavating and reconfiguring it, and I’m enjoying the process a lot.

Countess Lazlaric in THE DARKEST HEART is so deliciously bad.  How much fun was she to write?  Was there a real life inspiration?

Countess Lazlaric was the first character actually that came to me for The Darkest Heart.  She’s an amalgam of several types, among them, the patronizing aristocrat, the secretive monster and the uber-mother.

Plotter or Pantser?  When you are working on a new novel, how aware are you of character and plot archetypes (i.e, chief hero + waif heroine = woman in jeopardy plot)?  Do you plan this out ahead of time, or does it happen organically as you go along?

I am a pure pantser.  I do do an outline, about 5-10 pp.  I know, from working as a manuscript reader for many years, that the dreaded feared outline is not the deal breaker in a proposal — it’s a guide to show the editor you know how you will get from here to there.  It doesn’t have to be super detailed — mine are not — I just want give an overview of what will happen and how it will end.  For me, after that, all bets are off.  Things happen.  I love the process of discovery as I write.  I’m a big fan of “what if-ing” the problems.   I do know the main motivations, weaknesses and strengths of the hero and heroine before I begin, but I don’t chart that out according to types or archetypes.  I make lists and notes as I go along, and I believe things will happen.

THE DARKEST HEART is your latest release.  Can you tell us a little bit about it?

My husband actually gave me the idea that motivates The Darkest Heart.  I couldn’t see a vampire as a hero, really — even though I can list all those things that are on the surface so attractive about him as a character.  I asked my husband why he thought vampires were so alluring, and he said, they’re victims.  They had no choice. That observation gave me the whole key to the story.  And you see that theme echoes throughout The Darkest Heart, which begins with the return of Dominick, who having been turned into a vampire to save him from dying, has come to wreak revenge on his Maker, only to find his plans disrupted by a flim-flam artist who has taken up residence in his mother’s home pretending to be an indigent relative, unaware of the teeming danger that surrounds her.

What’s next for you?  Can you give us a hint about your next novel?  The Scribes love secrets!

I’m doing a sequel to The Darkest Heart, because there are things unresolved at the end of The Darkest Heart, and I’m working on several other projects just because I love them, including my bottom of the drawer Civil War historical.

You also read and evaluate manuscripts.  Do you have a word or grammar-related pet peeve?

Oh, do I.   In brief, my three (among many) top peeves were (and are):  using “may” for “might” — which almost seems like common usage now and is still jarring to the ear;  “drug” for “dragged” (also coming into common usage);  and “that’s why” when, how, what — instead of “that was why” — again using present tense inappropriately.

How many books do you read in a year, other than the manuscripts?

Well, I’m not reading manuscripts now, and I read lots — during the summer outages, I devoured all of Karen Rose’s books, even by a teeny reading light late at night.  I periodically revisit old favorites like Emilie Loring and Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg novels.   I read some Nancy Drews last winter — the ones I remember with the frocks and roadsters — great fun.  I love the old girls’ series books — this summer I got one called “The Red Cross Girls at the Russian Front.”  Honestly, could you have passed that up?  I love romantic suspense, and “object of desire” thrillers, cathartic women’s novels, cozy mysteries. Right now, I’m reading Carla Neggers’ The Whisper, and the Mysteries of Udolpho, one of the first gothics, and the House at Riverton, by Kate Morton.  (Suze here.  I loved the title so much I had to see if I could find The Red Cross Girls — it’s available for free  at Project Gutenberg: click here.  You can find The Mysteries of Udolpho (I read this recently, and loved it!) at Project Gutenberg as well)

How long does it take you to write a first draft?  How do you handle revisions?  Do you revise as you go along, or do you save them for after you type “The End?”

It takes about five or six months to write the book — I revise as I go along, make changes, reroute things, gut other ideas that I think will work in my current book.   There was one time I was hemming and hawing about using an idea that I wanted to save for a different proposal, and my husband said to me, but there’s always another idea.  That was so brilliant.  Always another idea.  That really frees you up as a writer when you embrace that thought.

What is your junk food of choice?

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.

What’s the most dangerous or risky thing that you’ve done?

Can’t think of a thing.

What is your guilty pleasure? {Remember: this is a PG-rated blog! }

This is going to really disappoint you — I love curling up on the couch on a weekend and watching Hallmark Channel movies.

You can get THE DARKEST HEART here.  Wanna see a hot book trailer?  Click here.  And be sure to check out Thea’s website, which has more information about Thea and links to all of her books currently in print.  Thea is here to answer your questions, so ask away!

Interview with Author Mia Marlowe

Hey there!  The Scribes are excited to welcome author Mia Marlowe.  If you haven’t read anything by her, I recommend Distracting the Duchess.  It was delightful!  Mia, thanks for being with us today.

How do you battle the doubt monster?  Doubt Monster: the nagging feeling while writing, that your prose is terrible, you plot is silly, your characters are insipid and no-one in their right mind would read this drivel, let alone buy it.   I have a love/hate relationship with all my stories. Like naughty children, they refuse to behave sometimes. I’d often like to send them to permanent time out. Once I type “the end” though, I love them dearly. I revise constantly, so I know it I can only shove the story out, I can fix it, however misshapen it might be. The trick is sticking with the characters till I understand them well enough to tell their story.

What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?  The biggest surprise for me was how supportive other romance writers are. In every other field I can think of, people who are jockeying for the same limited slots do not as a general rule give away their secrets. But romance authors will share their writing processes, their promo savvy, everything they’ve learned in the business. I think it’s because we write about love.

What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer?  Sorry. I don’t understand the question. As long as I can put two words together, I can write. If you mean “What would I do if I was no longer paid to write?” well, retirement on a beach somewhere would be nice. I could catch up on my reading.

They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere.  What is yours?  What is it about?  What makes it terrible?  Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?  I have a couple hundred pages of a time travel romance with Norse gods and vikings and Tolkien-esque light and dark elves. My archeologist heroine goes back to the 14th century to try to re-hide the doomsday artifact she uncovered in the 21st. Personally, I was into it, but my agent nixed the idea. I had a whole series planned, but I lost her on the third story when my viking elves ended up on Tahiti trying to stop the Ring of Fire from igniting simultaneously. Hey, it could happen. Wonder why she didn’t buy into it? 😉

Author Jane Haddam says that anyone who seriously annoys her gets bumped off in her next book.  How do you incorporate your real-life experiences into your stories?  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry writer. I did name a murder victim after someone who was unkind to one of my children once. And I made her a light-skirt previous to her untimely demise. One of my writing friends tells of a fellow who used to introduce her to co-workers as a writer of porn. She took him aside and if he did it again, she was going to name a character in her next book after him and make him a gay sailor. Since the guy was Army, she didn’t know whether it was the gay or the sailor threat that carried the most weight, but he was respectful ever after.

What are you working on?  What’s your next release about?  I’m thrilled to share that I’m working on a trilogy of novels for Sourcebooks in collaboration with New York Times bestseller Connie Mason. It’s called the Royal Rakes series. In 1818, the House of Hanover had a crisis of succession with the death of the Prince Regent’s only daughter. His unmarried brothers were suddenly hot to wed, bed and produce a legitimate grandchild for George III. Our rakish heroes are tasked with making sure the ladies who capture the royal duke’s attentions are disqualified from the running. Look for Waking Up with a Rake, Romanced by a Rake and Between a Rake and a Hard Place in 2013!

My next release is my first collaborative novel with Connie. It’s Sins of the Highlander, and I have to admit, I LOVE THIS STORY! Just thinking about our hero “Mad Rob” MacLaren makes me want to cry and dance for joy at the same time. Wounded and dangerous as a cornered bear, he’s just about perfect. Check out the excerpt at http://miamarlowe.com/books/sins.php

Do you have a word related pet peeve?  I took one creative writing class in college and my prof had a thing about “get.” It’s sort of a non-word unless you’re using it in the biblical sense of siring someone. I try to avoid it whenever possible. It’s too generic when other more active/descriptive words will fill the same space.

What is your guilty pleasure? {Remember: this is a ‘G’ rated blog! 🙂 }  Giving away my books! I’d love to give a copy of my eNovella My Lady Below Stairs to someone who leaves a comment or question today. Ask me anything. Really. Just remember that I’m a fiction writer. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll make something up!

All right folks, you heard the lady!  Ask up.  And Mia, thanks again!  I can’t wait to get Sins of the Highlander!