Saturday, October 30, 2010

Author of 'Voice on the Waves,' Jessica Chambers

Scribal Love Welcomes Jessica Chambers

Jessica Chambers is an author of contemporary women’s fiction. Her debut novel Voices On The Waves is now available from Red Rose Publishing.

Thanks, Clare. It’s great to be here for my final stop on the Voices On The Waves Blog Tour. .

And it’s great to have you. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Clichéd as it sounds, I’ve harboured an ambition to be a writer ever since I was old enough to think about my future. Even when I was seven-years-old and wrote my first novel, a 30-page piece Entitled The Mystery Of The Strange Telephone Calls, I knew that was how I wanted to earn my living. So, ever since completing my education, I’ve been working towards making my dream a reality.

Tell us about Voices On The Waves.

It’s a sweet women’s fiction novel set against the stunning backdrop of rural Cornwall. The idea for the book came from my fascination with people and the ways in which they interact. What would happen, I asked myself, if you forced a group of strangers together in one place for a set length of time, and then left them to their own devices?

Well, this is precisely what happens in Voices On The Waves, where nine individuals from all walks of life win a two-week holiday in a beautiful farmhouse retreat. Having gathered such diverse personalities under one roof, all I had to do was let my imagination flow and the sparks fly! With new found love, illicit affairs and the sharing of long-buried secrets, Voices on the Waves really does have it all.

What is your writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

Very much so. When I first began Voices On The Waves, I felt I had to have every little detail planned out beforehand. Since then, though, I’ve discovered that too much planning dampens my creativity. Now, I tend to have the main plot line worked out, but let the characters and sub plots find their own way.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Believe me, writer’s block is the bane of my life. In the early days, this used to terrify me. What if I woke up one morning and could never write again? Now, though, I accept it as a natural part of my writing process. All I have to do is take a break, go for a walk or read another author’s novel, and I’m able to return fresh to my computer the following morning.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Study your craft. Most of us, unless we happen to be a literary genius, won’t become a best-selling writer overnight. Read every book you can lay your hands on about creating believable, unforgettable characters and how to weave page-turning plots. Join a writing critique group, whether online or face-to-face, to get feedback on your progress that will help you improve. Most of all, write the sort of novels you would enjoy reading.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just started work on a novella, which will be written as part of a series with a group of my fellow authors at Red Rose. The idea is that we each write a book based on a reality TV show, and I’m taking the inspiration for mine from talent shows such as American Idol and The X Factor. It’s shaping up to be really great fun!

I’m also in the throes of editing a novel called Painting The Summer. More of a mystery than Voices On The Waves, Painting The Summer centers around a wealthy English family whose lives are torn apart when they invite a handsome young artist into their home to paint their portraits. All is going well, I’m hoping both novels will be published some time in 2011.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Of course. In this scene, my heroine struggles with her heartache.

     After rereading the same passage for the fifth time, Leah admitted defeat.   Normally, losing herself in a novel was an unfailing means of escape, but not today.   In her present mood, the author's humorous style held no charm for her, and the budding romance between the reclusive writer and the heroine, who reminded Leah poignantly of herself, simply caused her a pang.   With a leaden heart, she continued to stare at the page until a shadow fell across it.

    “Thought I might find you here,” Anjum said, joining her in the arbor.  “Not disturbing you, am I?”
     Leah shook her head and laid her book aside. They sat in silence for a while, gazing out over the sun-dazzled grounds.

      “You going to tell me what’s happened between you and Will?” Anjum asked at length.

      “What makes you think anything’s happened?”

      “Hmmm, the fact that you’re both behaving as if the world’s about to end is a bit of a giveaway.”

      Leah blushed.   “Okay, say we did have a row, Will doesn’t seem too bothered about it.”

      “Are you kidding?” Anjum said. “It was a close call to say which one was more miserable yesterday, Will or the weather.”

       Leah didn’t answer.  Will may have been hurt to begin with, but he had certainly got over it by this morning.   Doubtless Tiffany was comforting him at this very moment; her stomach twisted at the thought.   She knew she should be relieved Will had been so unaffected by the quarrel.   She wasn’t vindictive, after all.  Why then did she find his indifference so hard to bear?

     Without warning, anger welled up inside her.  This was all Alan’s doing.   Everything was his fault.   It was Alan who had made her bitter and mistrustful, so different from the easy-going person she’d once been.    It was Alan whose eyes perpetually spied over her, taunting her by day and filling her dreams by night.   And it was Alan, with his ensnaring smile and silver tongue, who had tricked her into a situation from which she could see no way out.

      At a gentle touch on her arm, she raised her head to find Anjum regarding her with concern.

    “You okay?”

      Leah nodded.   As suddenly as it had arisen, her rage evaporated and she slumped against the bench, depressed and exhausted.

      Anjum continued to study her, clearly unconvinced.   Finally, he said, “Listen, I know what it must look like, Will going off with Tiffany, but it doesn’t mean anything.”

      Leah shot him a skeptical glance.   How did he expect her to believe Will wasn’t besotted with Tiffany?  What man in their right mind wouldn’t be?  No, just as in the legend the mermaid had captivated Matthew Trewhella, so Tiffany had cast Will under her spell.

      “Trust me,” Anjum urged, “there’s nothing going on there.   If you would just talk to him…”

      “No,” Leah said, and her voice rang with a stubbornness that brooked no argument.
End Excerpt...
Buy Voices On The Waves now from Red Rose Publishing

Thank you Jessica for stopping by.

Thank you again, Clare, for having me, and to all of you for stopping by. Anyone kind enough to leave a comment here, or at any point during my blog tour, will automatically be entered into the draw to win a $15 gift voucher for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, so don’t forget to provide an email address in case I need to contact you. I’ll be announcing the five winners tomorrow over at my blog so good luck and hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Author of Speculative Sky-- Clare Dargin

Hi everyone!  Here's a little something about me as if were interviewed by imaginary self!

Scribal Love Welcomes- Me... Clare Dargin <wink, wink>

What inspired you to write this book?
Well, ever since I was a child I always wanted to be a writer.  It was a dream of mine to be published and to write stories that everyone could enjoy.  Speculative Sky was created because I’ve always had a fascination with stories about Extra-Terrestrial Life and S.E.T.I. and I wanted to integrate such a story with a female character as a strong and intelligent lead.   

Do you have a specific writing style?  
Yes I do but I am not sure what to call it.  When people read my work I want them to feel as if they are right there in the midst of it all.  I want them to be able to hear, taste, smell and see the action as if it is happening all around them.  I also tend to write tight stories with quick pacing.  It's what I like to read and consequently how I write.  

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?
To be honest I’ve always been attracted and fascinated by the abstract and the symbolic.  I wanted the title to be symbolic of what April Mullen, the main character, has to deal with as an Astronomer and all that came with her assignment.  

What is Speculative Sky about?
It is about a woman who takes a chance and leaves for an assignment on a science colony far away from Earth.  As an astronomer it is her job to monitor the stars at night and to record her findings.  Nothing more than that.  But when she arrives, she notices that her new home is a bit odd, and that though there is evidence of life out there… they don’t want her to either acknowledge it or do anything about it.  She of course finds this troubling.

What books have most influenced your life most?
To be honest, in fiction category, it would have to be the old star wars books that came out in the eighties after Return of the Jedi.  The expanded universe books taught me more about atmospheric and expanded universe development then any book I know!  I read them over and over again and learned about non-human creature development, planetary science fiction and description of space travel and not to mention how to write a cool leading man.  I still read them!  

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Douglas Preston and/or Lincoln Child.  They write incredibly compelling books of which I generally can't put down.

What book are you reading now?  
To be honest and I am almost finished with “Book of the Dead” with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  I'll be going through their back list very soon in order to get caught up.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Last night I was thinking about the Friday House about D. K. Gaston and how it's a compelling story about assassins who have no memory of their being programmed and stuff.  I think it's cool.   And several books on the military scifi romance front that I have recently heard about.  I write in a tiny subgenre so it's nice to see what other authors are doing in it.  That way I don't get lonely!  

What are your current projects?
Presently I am finishing up the final editing for “Ice and Peace” the sequel to my first novel "Cold Warriors."  As well as having another expanded universe book in the works.  Not to mention, two futuristic romances that are completely different from my military fiction.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The Motown Creative Writers Group-- they helped get on the road to being published.  And not to mention the many groups in the Romance community.  They really pointed me in the right direction.  I'm grateful for that.

Do you see writing as a career?
Yes!  One day I hope to do it full time.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yeah that's why I have to hurry up and get it out of my hands cause I keep changing it!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As a child my father use to encourage it.  I use to write stories for my family and give it to them and they would say “Maybe one day you could get this published!”  I was like five.... and then when I was in middle school I found out that S. E. Hinton had been published at sixteen-- I became truly determined then.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yea, getting through the first draft!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Just get the first draft down on paper and don't be afraid to make stupid mistakes and have dumb lines on paper cause it's the first draft and you are allowing the characters to come alive.  Later on you can fix and micro manage but don't try to do it the first time through cause it will stifle your creativity.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don't give up on being published!  Try every avenue!  There is away for you!

To find her on the web:

The Haven
Clare's Blog- The Haven
And of Course here and on Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, MyBlog Log and Myspace

Clare Dargin is an author of science fiction and science fiction romance books.  Her newest work “Speculative Sky” is available from Red Rose Publishing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Marian Allen, Author of 'Eels Reverence'

Scribal Love Welcomes Marian Allen.  

She is an author of fantasies, mysteries, comedies and recipes.  Her newest work EEL'S REVERENCE is available from Echelon Press. 

What inspired you to write this book?

I read Matthew Arnold's poem "The Forsaken Merman" and was taken by his image of a merman on land.  I started thinking, "How would that work? How would he have to built in order to move on land? How would he breathe? How far inland could he go? Into the desert?"  A couple of scenes came to me, one of him alone and one of him with a human friend.  But the scenes never went anywhere.  Then a scene came to me of some sort of cleric surrounded by hostile wolves, and I started playing with that.  Suddenly, as often happens with me, those scenes snapped together and, from nowhere, a totally different character started telling a story from her point of view that would include those other scenes, or variations of them.  I suppose the base inspiration was an impulse to explore people out of their comfort zones--what they suffer and what they contribute because of that displacement.

Do you have a specific writing style?  

Try to tell each story in the "voice" that tells it best, whether the work is in first person or third person.  The work, itself, has a voice, in addition to the main character's voice.  I try to make my own voice as transparent as possible.  If I do have a general tone, it would be what my husband calls "smart-ass".  I like wise cracks and snappy lines.  I think I watched too many '40's movies when I was growing up.

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?

The title is EEL'S REVERENCE.  The area of the fictional world where this takes place is called The Eel, and one of the things it's about is various kinds of reverence--for a faith, for life, for people we admire, and how we choose to express that reverence.  The book was previously e-published by another publisher under their title of EEL'S REVENGE, which I didn't like.  I'm very happy to have the "real" title back.

What is EEL'S REVERENCE about?

The plotline is: An elderly woman, a priest of Micah (a religion that preaches inclusivity, compassion and peace) leaves her parish in a huff because her parishioners prefer to go to a "reaver" priest.  Reaver priests pay lip service to Micah, but are in it for the money.  Some people prefer that.  Aunt Libby wanders into The Eel and is ordered out by a coalition of reaver priests who have hired armed guards and are running, essentially, a protection racket, with people who don't pay their tithes targeted for violence.  Against her will, she becomes a pawn in a power play between various factions, but her greatest challenge is her supporters, who are willing to instigate a bloody revolt.  What it's about is, as I said, the meaning and expression of reverence and faith.  There are also some wise cracks and snappy lines.

What books have most influenced your life most?

The King James version of the Bible, because I grew up with that poetic and powerful prose. Andrew Lang's Rainbow Fairy Books.  Walter R. Brooks' Freddy the Pig books, because his characters are so quirky but so real, even if they are animals, and they make mistakes and they have flaws that are part of the plot.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Ursula K. LeGuin, because her imagination goes off every which way.  She can make ANYTHING work.

What books are you reading now?  

Laura Bickle's SPARKS, John Shelby Spong's RESURRECTION: MYTH OR REALITY? and Dick Francis' 10 LB. PENALTY.

What are your current projects?

Echelon is also re-issuing FORCE OF HABIT, a sf farce, and SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, also science fiction.  I'll be editing and marketing those in the coming months.  I also plan to rough out a mystery during National Novel Writing Month. I blog every day.  I'm writing a short story set in the world of FORCE OF HABIT, which I'll post on Smashwords for free, as I did "Line of Descent" for EEL'S REVERENCE, and I'll do one for SIDESHOW when that one is about to be released.  I have some short stories I'd like to write for various anthologies.

Do you see writing as a career?

It's a way of life.  I write.  I just do.  I always have.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No.  That book was that book.  I can think of many, many other ways the story could have gone, and I'd like to write every one of them.  The hardest part of writing, for me, is having to ignore all the possibilities you can't pursue, because you have to choose.  You have to open Shcroedinger's box and see if that cat is alive or dead.  Well, actually, if I could change anything, I would have less stop-and-describe.  I would leave out discriptions of characters' appearances, or work them in more casually.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother took me to see a re-release of Bambi.  In one scene, Thumper, the rabbit, is told to recite a poem.  He does, then adds a line of his own.  When my mother told me somebody wrote the whole movie, that they weren't just Received from the Past but written by people alive today as a living, I knew that was what I wanted to do.  And I've been doing it ever since.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Plotting.  There are so many branches from each moment.  It's so hard to decide on a story arc.  Following one is relatively easy, but choosing one is hard.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

This was my first completed novel, so the main thing I learned was that I could do it!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read.  Write.  Repeat.  Don't give up.  Respect your work.  Listen to criticism, but respect your own talent and instinct.  If you realize a critic was right and you were wrong, correct yourself and write some more.  Love it.

Thanks Marian for dropping by!

You are welcome.

You can find Marian Allen on the web at

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Erastes, Author of 'Tributary' from the Anthology 'Last Gasp'

Scribal Love Welcomes Gay Historical Fiction Author Erastes.

Erastes is an author of gay historical fiction.  Her newest work TRIBUTARY is available as part of the four novella anthology LAST GASP from Noble Romance Publishing.  The other authors in the anthology are Charlie Cochrane, Jordan Taylor and Chris Smith.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had a vision of an Italian landscape a windy road, leading up and up into forested hills and a little grey sports car moving along, seen from above, until it reached the top.  It started there. I wasn't sure who was driving that car, or what he'd find in the hotel he'd stopped at, but I knew I wanted to find out. 

Do you have a specific writing style?   

Hmm. I'm probably not the person to answer that. I'm probably more descriptive than is usual, I like to try and immerse the reader in the era, as if the book was written IN the time, rather than ABOUT the time. Only the reader will be able to say whether I've succeeded in that, though.

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title? 

Tributary is the last book released. The title came from the idea that the person has been meandering through his life for a long time, as if he was drifting down a river, and he reaches a parting of the river, a tributary—a choice to be made.

What is Tributary about?

It's about a man called Guy Mason.  It's 1936 and World War One has been over for a good while, but Guy—like many other men of that era, are still suffering the after effects. In Guy's case, it's survivor guilt. He never actually fought at the Front, despite having thought that he wanted to, he had a job in the War Office and feels that he was safe while so many of his friends died or come back half-whole. He's also lost a lover and he's just drifting through Europe, unable to settle—hardly even really aware that Europe itself is rolling its inexorable way towards more war. 

In a remote hotel in the middle of the Italian landscape he meets Professor James Armstrong and his secretary Louis, and he finds an instant attraction to Louis, who—he finds—is not only James' secretary, but also his lover.  

It's a story of loss, and guilt, and of choices made and choices not made.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

I'm a bookaholic, my house is filled with more books than I have space for and I never (or very very very rarely) dispose of books, even ones I don't think much of. So it's hard for me to pick books that have influenced me.  I spent most of my life reading the Classics, so I suppose Austen and Dickens and Thackeray are my main influences, but there are probably tons of others.  More recently, and in keeping with the genre I write, I find The Charioteer by Mary Renault, At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill, A Strong & Sudden Thaw by R W Day,  As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McAnn, Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale and False Colors by Alex Beecroft—all these are writers who have such a tremendous "voice" and superb skill that I wish I could have a voice as distinctive.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

I was lucky enough to have R W Day as a mentor during my formative years—she's a stunningly good author and much overlooked. She kept me working hard, and by exposure to her writing, it spurred me to up my game. I'm pretty lucky, actually, that I have a lot of author "internet friends" who are madly talented, and I think we all encourage and mentor each other.

What books are you reading now?   

I'm reading "The Glass Minstrel" by Hayden Thorne for review on Speak Its Name ( and "Making Money" by Terry Pratchett.

What are your current projects? 

I'm currently writing something tentatively called "I Knew Him" which is set in 1921 in England. It's a little bit murder mystery, a little bit romance, a little bit this a little bit that. Gay romance of course, as usual, but it's interesting writing about the 20th century, rather then the 17th or the 19th!

I have a new book coming out in Spring, that's with Lethe Press—called Mere Mortals--and that's a gothic mystery/gay romance set in 1840 on the Norfolk Broads in England, where I live. 

Do you see writing as a career? 

I do. I'm not self-sufficient just yet. I'm my father's Carer—he has Alzheimer's—and so I get a little bit of money from the state to do that.  My dad is a great supporter, so I write at his house in the mornings, and then we go out somewhere nice in the afternoons. It's a tough job, sometimes, both the writing and the caring, but both very rewarding.

Some professional author (and I can't remember who it was) said that to consider yourself a writer you should write 1000 words a day, and that's my goal. I don't always manage it, but that's what I am for.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

No, I don't think so. I'm pretty happy with Tributary. Some reviewers have said it's a bit sparse, and a bit remote, but that's exactly the feel I was going for, that "no man's land" between the wars when nothing really felt real. There was a generation who hadn't experienced war and longed for a fight to break out so they could have some glory, and a generation who were still suffering from the horrors of the last one. It was all very brittle.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

Absolutely. I came out of fan fiction, and I'll never deny that.  Although I always knew I wanted to write, I never had any original ideas or plots – and the couple of books I had started, one kid's book and one YA just foundered because I didn't know what I was going to do with them. Then in 2003 I discovered fan fiction, literally hadn't heard of it before, and also slash (again, something I hadn't heard of.)  I found them fascinating and inspiring and immediately started writing a Harry Potter novella.  When I finished it, I was so pumped up with adrenaline it was unbelievable, but I realised that I couldn't DO anything with the book—I wanted to SELL books I wrote, so I started to write Standish, and the rest is history!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

The research. I live in fear of getting something wrong, and it's so easy to trip yourself up.  The research involved in writing a sequel to Standish (USA specifically in the 1820s) is putting me off from getting on with that book—and I want to write about Roman Gladiators and getting THAT right is going to be a challenge.  

I'm also the world's best procrastinator—the gleam off a bald head is enough to distract me from writing. Hence me doing this instead of writing this morning!! I need that mentor to be standing behind me with a big stick. Or a cattle prod. WRITE! WRITE!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Oh, I learn something with every book I write. I often think that I know a bit (or sometimes even a lot) about the era I'm writing, and it ALWAYS turns out that actually, I don't know hardly anything at all! For example, when I was writing "Transgressions" (which is set in the English Civil War, 1642 onwards) it was quite hard to find any details online.  There are pages and pages of battles and uniforms and generals and musters and ambushes and everything concerned with the war, but very very little about everyday life in the time.  I had to seek it out in other places, Living History groups etc who were so informative and so helpful, that I learned far far more about the 17th century than I ever needed to know. Did you know that it took 40 different movements just to fire a gun?  Well, I do!

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Believe in yourself. That's it pure and simple. Take advice, yes, listen to others, but don't try and automatically follow all these so-called RULES that you read all over the place.  OK one editor says he hates descriptions of weather, or prologues or that your characters should meet in the first chapter—but if that doesn't work for YOUR book, then don't try and copy other people.  Believe in your product. 

Thank you Erastes for dropping by!  

It was my pleasure.  

You can find Erastes on the web at

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We are Socially Networked!

If you are addicted to social networks as much as I am connect with us too!

We have a great new Google group everyone can join where you can openly chat with your favorite authors hear about any contests and free giveaways!  

We are also on Facebook too!  Where you can leave a comment and upload your favorite book covers and pics!

So join us now!

On Face Book just type in The Embraced: Scribal Love!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Kay Dee Royal, Author of 'Big Girls Don't Cry Wolf'

Scribal Love Welcomes Kay Dee Royal!

Kay Dee is the author of 'Big Girls Don't Cry Wolf'.  It is available from Muse It Hot Publishing.

Hello Clare and Everyone. I’m nervous and excited to be here, looking forward to spending some time together.

Kay Dee Royal, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hmmm, I left the corporate world ten years ago and never looked back. Thank goodness I have a supportive husband.

I write Young Adult Fantasy novels under a different name and have three works in progress. I’ve dabbled in non-fiction articles, essays, and poetry, but find paranormal fiction writing my ultimate favorite.

I wrote a few Paranormal Erotica Romance novels and fell in love with this genre. Not only do I love reading it, but I love writing it.

My e-book publisher is Lea Schizas – Muse It Up Publishing, more specific the Muse It Hot Publishing side of the company. When my manuscript was accepted, I joined the Muse It Up forum groups. Wow, talk about a family! Everyone wants to share wisdom, knowledge, and also share in celebrating each other’s success. It’s truly a wonderful publishing company for authors and readers alike.

How long did it take you to finish, from idea to final product?

The ideas above came together quickly using the ‘what if’ brainstorming method. Next the beginning, whew…I rewrote that little paragraph more than anything else. The initial hook takes some work. The first draft only took a couple of weeks, and I submitted the final product one month after (it had gone through a couple critique readers).

What are some challenges in your writing process?

I must rewrite as I go along. I write a few thousand words, hang it up for a day, and go back to rework it before I write the next couple of thousand words. Doing this refreshes where I’m at in the story, gets my creative juices cooking again, and allows me to catch back up with my characters. It initially takes me longer to write this way, but it’s my process and I’m sticking to it.

What is the release date of your book? Tell us about the book.

Big Girls Don’t Cry Wolf will be released on March 1, 2011.

My idea started with a contest request. The heroine must be a strong, intelligent, plus-sized woman, confident about her body. I had an interest in twins because a news article came out where a nurse stealing a twin from the hospital and leaving one behind for the parent to take home. So, I incorporated the twin concept with a bit of a twist, which you’ll find as you read the story.

Next the setting – it is my favorite type of area for vacationing, rustic, lakes, woods, and full moon kind of stuff too.

I added danger, abduction, family ties, possible rescue…

Here’s a blurb: Big Girls Don’t Cry Wolf

After the tragic loss of her twin sister, Brea works hard to prove herself worthy of her adoptive parent’s extra attention. She focuses on the success of the rustic resort her parents deeded to her.

Priorities change when sexy twin wolves in human-form walk into Brea’s life.
A dangerous rogue abducts her, but whom, if anyone comes to her rescue?

Short Excerpt:

Brea’s belly warmed and rolled into a major flip flop. Everything faded around her with the exception of the man in front of her. His eyes looked like gray slate in the strong sunlight, and he’d caught her staring. Those slates locked on to her, sending a bolt of electric sparks weaving through her insides. Her whole body tingled in a way she’d never experienced before.

“Damn it Blake, watch that thing,” his deep voice rumbled through the store.

His attention wavered, the connection shattered. Brea sucked in air like she’d just broke surface from a deep dive into a watery abyss. She physically took a step back to look at him, the energy in the air still heavy with the static strings that moments earlier connected them.

His fingers combed through the front of his hair, pulling it backward, but the dark curls bounced back over his brow, wild, unruly.  Brea couldn’t quite see behind Slate Eyes to know with whom he spoke, maybe a child. His bold language seemed a bit much for the likes of a child. He approached the counter where Brea stood. She swore the temperature rose about twenty degrees, even though a shiver spiked down her spine raising goose bumps over her skin.

What tips would share with an aspiring author?

Read, read, read, write, read, read, read, write some more. The more you read and write, the more you’ll hone your craft. Hang in there – you can do it!

Where can we find you on-line?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mickie Sherwood, Author of 'Louisiana Hot Sauce'

Scribal Love Welcomes Mickie Sherwood

Mickie Sherwood is an author of contemporary romance.  Her new work is available from Red Rose Publishing. 

Hi, Clare. Thanks for allowing me to share with your readers.   I thought I’d ask them the first questions.

Readers, how would you differentiate between erratic behavior and survival mode?   Have you ever been thrown for a loop and didn’t know which way to turn?   What did you do?   You probably adjusted your attitude to overcome the circumstances of the moment.

If that’s true, then I want to introduce you to a kindred spirit.

Meet Mesha Rayburn.  She’s smart, sassy and apt to change her hairstyle on a whim to match her mood.   The only thing she requires is something Jack Connolly refuses to allow—SOLITUDE.

Mesha’s saucy attitude masks a horrible secret.   Can Jack unveil the sweetness within?


     Reclusive Mesha Rayburn's safe haven disintegrated when athletic Jack Connolly raced into her life.   He was like an uninvited guest to her pity party.   Yet, his brashness stoked her dormant emotions and injected spunk into her veins with every bated word.   And—calling the cinnamon-skinned Black woman "biggety" didn't help matters.

     Mechanic Jack Connolly thought the trip down South to patch up and retrieve the bullet-ridden helicopter would be a pain. He never imagined the rhetoric becoming reality.   But, thanks to Mesha's panicked outcry, it had.   The pain radiating in his palm bothered him less than the one in his rear.   Bold and beautiful, he had to know why she hid out in the boonies. As her transient tenant, he intended to find out at the risk of feeling the sting of her Louisiana Hot Sauce temper.

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title? 

The title of my pride and joy is Louisiana Hot Sauce. It’s my debut novel.   One reason I chose that title is because part of my love story is set in Louisiana where the flavor is always hot and spicy, whether it’s the weather, the food or the people.   The other reason for the title is to focus attention on Mesha’s hot and saucy attitude.

Mesha and Jack’s first meet:

     Burped, fed, and ready to play, Mya was placed on a pallet spread out on the floor.  Mesha sat cross-legged before her, the laptop screen staring at her like a big-eyed specter waiting to steal her thoughts.  Writer’s block seemed an inevitable outcome to the looming deadline for her latest manuscript.  Too many distractions pulled her in too many directions.  Her lids fluttered rapidly as her eyes magnetized to the cursor’s hypnotizing blink.  Her descent into oblivion, merely a few seconds in length, was substantial enough to jerk her awake in such a terrorized state she launched upwards and rocketed outside.

     “Jack!” Her terrified shriek rent the air as she bolted blindly, thinking she had left her dog out too long. “Jack!”

     “Sonofabitch!” a man’s voice thundered as tools thudded to the ground at his feet. 

     The man repairing the helicopter missed his intended mark, stabbing the screwdriver into the fleshy part of his palm when he heard the panicked screams.  Gushing blood required him to apply pressure to the area with the work rag as he bent his tall body to clear the undercarriage of the craft.  The person he witnessed lurching towards him resembled a wild woman—one who teetered on the edge of sanity—as she zipped through the open field, thick hair flying every which way, evidently unaware of his presence.

     “What?” he yelled while sprinting in her direction.   Suddenly, he saw her cut away and make a beeline for the house.

     He gave chase. 

What is Louisiana Hot Sauce about? 

It’s a multicultural romance about love’s magnetism. It’s about two strangers who find that sometimes the heart betrays the brain’s wishes.  It’s about Mesha and Jack as they learn to take a chance on each other.   She strives to escape torturous memories from her adolescence that always thrusts her into unwarranted limelight.   He struggles to shed the sting of betrayed love.

Clare, I have to snicker here. I like to say the war those two wage makes this a sweet, zesty read with just the right spice.

What inspired you to write this book? 

That’s an easy question. I like romance that’s a little on the sensual side.   Something that let’s me conjure up a picture in my mind’s eye.   After reading posts on different blogs, I realized I wasn’t the only one who liked a change every now and then.   Now, please, I don’t want readers to take this as a criticism of other multicultural novels.  Because it’s not. Sometimes a Louisiana lady just likes sweet tea instead of the Long Island kind.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? 

Everyday living is crammed full of intriguing ideas that are plot worthy. 

What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

I was ecstatic! Missy Lyons took the description I provided and worked wonders. The sweet cover for the enthralling, sweet romance novel depicts the character’s beauty—and that of her surroundings while her heart-fixer hovers nearby. I’m very pleased with the finished product.  

Speaking of the cover, I entered Louisiana Hot Sauce in a cover contest over at  I’d appreciate it very much if readers would mark their calendars and vote for it between October 21st – October 26th.  Thanks a heap in advance. 

Do you have a specific writing style? 

I’m a panster. I hardly ever sit and plot out a story.  Now, I do fine tune an idea after the panster has laid it all out for me. Mostly though, I yield to the movies in my head when that blockbuster idea wants out.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Yes, I said movies in my head.  

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Cutting to the chase. I’ve been accused, let’s just say, of loving words. I’m working to remedy that in my future writings. As a matter-of-fact, I have a WIP that I’m whittling on right now. 

How did you deal with rejection letters? 

It’s wasn’t a pleasant feeling to get rejection letters.  But, if I didn’t submit what I believed was my best work, was I not resigning myself to instant defeat.  Now, what I think feels worse is waiting on a response from a submitted work.  I feel knowing one way or the other is better than the silent rejection, especially if the guidelines states to expect an acknowledgement—and you don’t get one—good or bad.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

I love cruising. My favorite itinerary is the Southern Caribbean.  But, my all-time favorite cruise was the Panama Canal Zone.  The ship departed from Ensenada, Mexico where it continued its transit through the Panama Canal and docked in Puerto Rico.   It took about ten glorious days.

I like to take on small creative projects around the house. 

I also love snapping pictures.  So, of course, I post some of my treasures on Mickie’s Manor.  I hope readers will take a look.   

What was the first romance book you remember reading? 

The Flame and the Flower, a historical romance. 

What is your favorite romance book? 

The Color of Love was my favorite until Louisiana Hot Sauce came along. (*GBG*) I hope that doesn’t sound conceited. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

The message is a simple one, Clare.  Step out of your comfort zone, open your heart and cherish love wherever you find it. 

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to share with your readers.   Louisiana Hot Sauce is available at Red Rose Publishing, ,,, and 

I encourage readers to stop by Mickie’s Manor for a look around and to leave a comment. Also, visit to enjoy my book trailer.

Happy reading and I hope to hear from some of you real soon.

Thank you Mickie for dropping by!  

You can find Mickie on the web at:  

Official website:


Friday, October 15, 2010

Author of 'Love, Lies & Deceit,' Carol Preflatish

Scribal Love Welcomes Carol Platfish...

What inspired you to write this book?

     "Love, Lies & Deceit" is about the CIA. Ever since I was a child, I have always been a fan of spy movies and television shows. It seemed like the logical thing for me to write about. Espionage is just so interesting. 

Do you have a specific writing style?  

     I tend to write a lot of dialogue in my stories, which can be good or bad. When I read a novel, if there is a large about of narrative, I tend to skip over it. Some narrative is needed, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. 

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?

     "Love, Lies & Deceit" is my latest book and the title came from another piece I had written as a fun project. I really like the title and have had so many people tell me that is what drew them to the book. 

What is "Love, Lies & Deceit" about?

     It's about CIA Officer, Jason Reid who is arrested for treason. So, he turns to the one person who he trusts, Julie McBride, his rookie trainee and also the one person he was not supposed to fall in love with. How can she turn him away? She loves him, too. Together, they travel the United States and France to find who set Jason up and to prove his innocence.  You can find a buy link for “Love, Lies & Deceit” on my web site at 

What books have most influenced your life most?

      I don't think there has been one book that has been an influence on my life.  Since I was a child, I have always loved to read biographies. I remember going to the library and each time getting a couple of those short biographies on historical figures. Gosh, I remember reading about Kit Carson, Annie Oakley, and George Washington. I loved those books. In my adult years, I have admired the biographies written about regular people who have been thrust into the limelight, such as the Duchess Sarah Ferguson.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

     I have so many authors that I admire. I think the one that stands out the most is  Stephen King. I am not a fan of horror books and have only read a couple of his, but I bought and read his biography, "On Writing." I was truly inspired reading about his road to being a published author.

What books are you reading now?  

     Currently, I am reading "Hard Truth" by Nevada Barr. I am also hooked on James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series. I have the whole series and am waiting for #9 to come out in paperback.

What are your current projects?

     The manuscript I just finished is another romantic suspense about a New York City magazine writer who comes to rural Indiana to research a story about a 30-year old mystery of a missing family. She meets the handsome local sheriff, who ends up rescuing her in more ways than one. I’m doing an edit of it right now and hope to get it out to a publisher soon. 
Do you see writing as a career? 

     My goal is to make it my career, but I think that’s a long-term goal. I work full time in a day job right now and that takes up most of my time. My writing is usually confined to late at night or on weekends.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

    I don’t think a writer ever thinks their book are perfect. I could edit it a hundred times and still probably find something I want to change. There are a couple spots in my book that I think I could have reworded to make it better, but the editor thought it was okay, so I’m fine with it.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

     I remember when I was elementary school age, I wrote a play, but my serious interest in writing came when I was in high school and took an Expository Writing class. It was all non-fiction type writing, but I loved it. I worked on the school newspaper for a couple years and was the Sports Editor for one year. I minored in English in college. I took every writing class they had, but unfortunately their emphasis was more on literature than writing. I became interested in writing fiction in 1999 and made my New Year’s Resolution for the millennium to write a full novel and I did that.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

     Two things, finding the time to write and then marketing the book after it’s released.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

     I learn things from every book I write. If I am writing about a location where I have never visited, I have to do extensive research on the area and learn so much about that. With “Love, Lies & Deceit,” I had the help from my husband about espionage. He was a counter-intelligence agent in the Army and he was a big help. For instance, I would ask him about how to do an officer would do a dead-drop and he would explain it for me. He’s also an electronics technician and very helpful with the electronic portion of the story.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

     When I begin writing, I was so ignorant about how to format a manuscript, write a query letter, and publisher guidelines. I joined some Internet writer’s lists and learn so much from the experience of those writers. I would also recommend joining and writers’ groups or organizations in your area to have other writers to talk to. The main thing is to become a sponge and soak in as much as you can.

Thank you for dropping by!

Thank you so much for hosting me here today. I have really enjoyed my time with you.

Carol Preflatish is an author of romantic suspense.  Her newest work, "Love, Lies & Deceit" is available from Red Rose Publishing. 

You can visit Carol's Web Site at