Thursday, December 27, 2012

Get To Know - Ellis Vidler!

I've had the great pleasure of getting to know crime fiction/suspense author, Ellis Vidler, and I thought it would be awesome for you to get to know her too! I've invited her to my blog today. Welcome, Ellis!

1.) Ellis, you write amazing crime fiction suspense with a splash of romance. How did you navigate to that genre? Was there a particular writer or TV show that inspired you?

That's what I like to read. I think it started with Helen MacInnes and Mary Stewart. I thought espionage or suspense stories with a little romance made perfect reading. I don't know enough to write espionage stories, but there are plenty of other schemes and plots to choose from.

2.) Your setting descriptions are incredible! I feel like I'm there with your characters and can see what they see. When you write about a certain location (for example, in Cold Comfort, you start the story in Colonial Williamsburg), do you visit first and envision the action taking place there? Or are you able to imagine what the place is like from something you've read about a particular town or area? Is there one place you would like to go because you know it would make an awesome setting?

If possible I go to the place or use places I've been, but with some settings I feel comfortable using what I can research. The Internet helps tremendously, but there are so many things to consider. With an unfamiliar location, I'd prefer at least talking to people who live or have recently been to the place

I'd love to go to Isla Mujeres, the island near Cancun. I have the beginning of a novel set there, but it needs a lot of research. There are so many fascinating locales - my job is to find the ones that suit the story.

 


3.) Your newest novel, Time of Death, has recently been released. Can you whet our appetites with a brief snippet?

In this scene, Alex is compelled to draw. This is how her psychic ability is expressed. Isobel is the aunt she's visiting on an island off Charleston, S.C.

"You're drawing again." Isobel picked up one of the loose pages and examined it. "Are the visions coming back?"

The charcoal stick gripped in Alex's hand darted across the sheet in front of her as if driven by its own will. "Umm, maybe," she mumbled, barely aware of the question. Under her fingers, angry waves churned against the shore. Like flotsam rising to the surface of the sea, a dark figure emerged in the wake of the flying charcoal. She grabbed a scarlet pastel, smeared it through the water around the body.

As suddenly as it had come, the tension drained from her. She dropped the chalk and leaned back, rubbing her temples. "Blood. A man in the water."

"You haven't done this since the boy in Asheville, have you?"

Isobel massaged her shoulders, and Alex arched her back, leaning into her aunt's hands. "This is the first time."

"Any idea where this one is?"

"No. Only a man in the water. Ocean, judging from the waves, but I don't know where."

In this scene, readers meet Connor Moran, the federal prosecutor who's spent the last year building a case against the bad guy. Joe is another prosecutor, and Jax is Connor's dog, a retired military working dog.

His office door opened -- Lawrence, his boss, stuck his head in, glancing around the floor while he hung onto the handle. He opened it wide and stepped inside. "Moran, do you own a white shirt? If not, buy one. Justice is coming down from Washington in a couple of days, and we're supposed to look like lawyers, not gangsters." Lawrence fit right in with conservative South Carolina politics.

Connor shrugged, emphasizing his charcoal shirt, knowing it would annoy the man. "Got a white T-shirt with a Harley logo. That do?"

Lawrence frowned. "Don't ____ with me. And get a hair cut." He closed the door.

Joe nodded toward the hallway. "He'll get you one day. He was looking for Jax. Good thing you left him at home today. That dog doesn't like him, and it shows."

4.) As writers, we seem to be in plotting-mode most of the time. Do you find yourself mentally writing the next book even though you're in the middle of physically writing one?

Oh, yes! I'm terrible about stopping one to start a new idea before I forget. Then I want to go on with the new one. I have more beginnings of stories than I'll ever be able to write.


5.) Is there one thing that stands out from your writing and publishing journey that you wished you knew ahead of time? Or some simple tidbit that you've learned along the way that now makes the process easier?

I wish I'd started writing seriously much earlier. Waiting till you have time is never a good thing. Do it now!

If I can make myself plan out a loose, very general plot, the writing is much easier. I'm inclined to be a pantster, but it's too easy to get lost that way.

6.) You have some great titles for your books. Do you know the title before you start the story or does it come after you've written several chapters?

I struggle with titles. They don't come easily. I'd like to know how you do it, Jan. I love your titles. I buy the books before I know anything about them, just from the titles.

Aww, Ellis, thank you! For some of my books I know the title right away, with some they develop organically. I've been known to change the title when I'm half finished with a story.

Thank you for stop by my blog today, Ellis! You're an amazing author and you have some amazing books out there. Can you tell readers how to find you and your books?

Not very original, am I? Except for the blog, it's all Ellis Vidler.

Facebook -- Ellis Vidler https://www.facebook.com/ellis.vidler?ref=tn_tnmn

Twitter -- Ellis Vidler https://twitter.com/EllisVidler

LinkedIn -- Ellis Vidler

Goodreads -- Ellis Vidler http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4054785.Ellis_Vidler

Website -- http://www.ellisvidler.com

Blog -- http://theunpredictablemuse.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Shaunna Rodriguez - Book Launch: Forbidden Dusk (The Book of Blaire)

Today, I would like to welcome author, Shaunna Rodriguez to my blog! Her book, Forbidden Dusk (The Book of Blaire) releases today! Enjoy a snippet from her book:

Prologue:

     Cain Romanus knew his life could quite possibly end before dusk kissed the earth. He had been summoned by the Royal Order and their council. He knew why he had been summoned. The Prophecy had begun. They had arrived and so had their Guardians. The Watcher had been sent despite his fierce refusals and the Royal Order had risen from a century of rest.
     There had been one other to write the Prophecy centuries ago. His identity had never been revealed. He never spoke and he had remained a cloaked shadow dwelling in the darkness as they prophesied the future. His intentions had been dark and now he would spill her blood to start a war. He had created an army with one order. Find the sisters of the Prophecy and kill them.
     He knew why he was walking down the hall of death now. The screams he was hearing now that were coming from behind the heavy double doors in front of him would soon be his own, he was certain of it. He had two black cloaked, red hooded vampire escorts on either side of him that stood well over six feet tall and reminded him somehow of boulders. Their eyes were not like his. Not surprisingly, his eyes were golden in color because he fed on animals. Their eyes were black with red centers because they drank from humans, which would explain the screaming coming from the opposite side of the door they were within a few foosteps of. He was counting the steps in his head as they walked towards the doors of doom. 3, 2, 1 death - He felt defeated and he hadn't even faced the council as of yet.
     They stood in front of the doors. Without anyone reaching for them, they opened dragging the floor heavily. Despite the fact that there were no bodies in view, Cain was overwhelmed with the rich, overpowering smell of human blood.
     "Welcome Cain Romanus." Acacius, leader of the Royal Order spoke.

               "The look in his eyes told me that he was going to kill me."

     He could smell the fear radiating from my skin. The moons light bathed me and my perspiration glistened in its yellow glow. A smile crept across his wide spread lips of red. His skin was pale despite the moons glow. His eyes held me in their maroon trance. I gulped as he crouched and stalked near me. My body trembled and shook, not because it was below freezing and I felt every ripple the wind blew across my skin. Not because I was deep in powdery white snow. I trembled in anticipation. He was going to kill me and I was helpless to stop him.
     "If you spill my blood you'll have a war on your hands like no other." I found my voice briefly, no matter how shallow, dry or meek it sounded. I spoke the truth.
     "I'm counting on it." He growled and then lunged for me his mouth opened wide, my pale neck at its most vulnerable. I heard his teeth snap. Another growl erupted from his lips from deep inside his chest. When I opened my eyes I was alone standing in a puddle of warm, sticky blood. The cold from the snow seeped through my wet jeans. I could smell it. The smell engulfed me as I fell to my knees. With my hands outstretched in front of me, blood dripping from my fingers, I threw my head back and screamed.

 
 
 
      If you would like to view the trailer for Shaunna's book:

 
 
 
You can find Shaunna's book at:
 
 
Barnes and Noble - will be available soon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Meet Molly!

Molly Williams is a stressed-out, over-worked aide to a divorce lawyer. She's dealt with people suffering from heartache and irreconcilable differences for so long it's jaded her outlook on relationships. And it's doubtful she'll ever find love because she's afraid to put herself out there.

When her boss takes a sudden leave of absence from the law firm, she's gifted with three-months off with pay to do whatever she wants. A friend talks her into stumping as an assistant to country-rock star, Finn Riley. Thinking this gig will be a walk in the park compared to what she's been doing, she's shocked to find the opposite.

Finn is a self-proclaimed heartless bastard who's about to embark on a summer concert tour. He fights the idea of an assistant but gives into the relentless nagging of his agent, and hires Molly.

Molly is star-struck when she meets Finn, but it's short-lived. Finn rubs her the wrong way and the chaos begins. Molly is flighty, a hard worker, and in no mood to put up with someone who doesn't want her there.

Finn discovers Molly's edge of sarcasm and sense of humor right away. He likes both, but doesn't like that he does. She's a giant distraction and he thinks the only way to get into the zone he needs to be in, is to let her go. The adventure of Finn and Molly is an uphill climb that looks as though they'll never get to the top. In three days, anything that could go wrong...did!

You'll love Molly! She's down-to-earth, has big brown eyes and a body that begs to be noticed. She's also clumsy and a people-pleaser. She could easily be you or I. (Well, I don't have big brown eyes or a body that begs to be noticed, but you know what I mean!) She's common, a bit lippy, and falls in love before she knows what hit her.

Finn and Molly will make you laugh, want to knock their heads together at times, and root for them to get their happily-ever-after!



Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Three-Days-With-Molly-ebook/dp/B0099SDQMS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355950298&sr=8-1&keywords=three+days+with+molly








Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sara's Promise Book Release Blog Tour & Giveaway

Sara's Promise
Deanna Lynn Sletten


          Do you believe in soul mates?

          William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his childen and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurences, he begins to wonder -- are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman?

          Annie Paxton doesn't believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn't know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.

          Were William and Annie brought together by fate, coincidence or by Sara keeping her promise?

                                                        *** 


 
 
Book Excerpt:

          Annie Paxton sped her car into a parking spot in front of the Beaverton office complex. She was annoyed with herself. She was late for an appointment, and she hated that. Usually punctual and articulate, she was never late for an appointment or photo shoot. But today was different. She'd mistakenly misjudged the amount of morning traffic, had taken a wrong turn and had to go in circles to find the building. It was only five minutes, but to her it was as bad as being late by an hour.
          Hurriedly, she grabbed her camera from the passenger seat and slung it around her neck. She'd need the larger camera and tripod in the trunk, too but would get those after she met up with the client. She never went anywhere without her smaller camera. It was like a part of her, like an arm or leg. It was a piece of her.
          Annie grabbed her small handbag and slammed the car door shut, forcing herself to stand still a moment and take a deep breath. It was only five minutes, nothing to be upset about. Besides, she was a photographer. Weren't artsy types supposed to be a little flighty? At least, that's what most people expected. She winced at that thought, hating to be thought of that way. Taking another calming breath, she ran a hand through her shoulder length, brown hair and headed into the building.
          Five minutes later, Annie stood in front of the secretary's desk in the offices of Grafton and Hanover. She glanced around as the secretary announced her arrival to Mr. Grafton, surprised that the offices weren't larger. From what she knew about the firm, it was one of the largest and busiest in the Portland-Beaverton area. And since William Grafton was part owner, she had expected the offices to be more lavish.
          "You may go in now, Ms. Paxton," the secretary told her with a smile. Annie thanked her and headed through the door into William Grafton's office.
          William was standing behind his desk, arms crossed, staring at her as she stepped inside. For a moment, he startled her, his eyes so intense, watching her as she walked across the room to his desk. Annie frowned. He looked familiar, yet she couldn't place him. He wasn't at all what she'd expected. He was taller, younger and dressed much nicer than she'd expected. From the look on his face, she could also see that he was annoyed.

Buy Sara's Promise on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and on Barnes and Noble Nook
http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/p/saras-promise.html


    About Deanna Lynn Sletten:


Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women's fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deep into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990's writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women's website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn't looked back since.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Connect with Deanna:

Blog - http://www.deannalynnsletten.com      

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/DeannaLSletten

Twitter - https://twitter.com/DeannaLSletten

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/555634.Deanna_Lynn_Sletten

Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Deanna-Lynn-Sletten/e/B00683SQYK/


Giveaway!

In celebration of Deanna's new book release she is having a giveaway! Leave a comment on this site to have your name entered in the drawing for one of four prizes: Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 2 paperback copies of Sara's Promise. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you. You can enter at each site of the blog tour for more chances to win! Giveaway starts December 10th and ends December 17th at midnight. Winners will be contacted December 18th after noon.

Follow the tour schedule here: www.deannalynnsletten.com