Thursday, May 31, 2012

#Favorite #Book #Spotlight Tales from the Flat Earth by Tanith Lee

Though I write romance, I tend to read a VARIETY of different genres outside my own for pleasure. A very good example is the wonderful fantasy of Tanith Lee's Tales from the Flat Earth:The Lords of Darkness and Tales from the Flat Earth: Night's Daughter. I recently discovered that there are a few short stories also involving the Flat Earth, but I haven't read them (but I'd definitely like to if I can ever get my hands on them.)

I was introduced to these books a little more than a decade ago, by a very dear friend who knew it was the sort of thing that would quench my thirst for well-written and beautiful fiction that would stick with me. He knew what lay at the heart of me and fed my need for rich worlds that come to life on the page where you are transported to the lush forests and gardens on Flat Earth and the dark glistening home of Azhrarn in the Underearth city of Druhim Vanashta that is made up of gems and dark metals. He knew I needed stories that stick with you long after you've put the book down, that inspire and encourage the imagination. These books feel like "home" to me and they always will and that's why they are still my favorites.

The stories within the pages of these two volumes are vividly depicted and when I read them, I'm easily sucked into the world of the Flat Earth and fall in love all over again with its inhabitants. Tanith Lee has such a way of using description that the very thought of reading the stories make me emotional and eager to flip through those pages again. I don't reread a lot of books, but I have reread these.

The stories are mythical/biblical fantasy meshed together, following the Lords of Darkness in their journeys among humans, all taking place between the three layers of the Earth at the time- Upperearth, Flat Earth, and Underearth.

Often these are short tales, but all inter-connected, explaining the trickery played upon humans in epic fairy tale fashion, but sometimes these stories tell too, the tricks the Lords play upon themselves and each other while they are busy wreaking havoc and cruelty upon the mortals of the Flat Earth.

I find these romanticized grown-up fairy tales dark, erotic and intriguing adventures that don't always have happy endings, and yet they are oddly satisfying, even when I'm moved to weeping.

One of my most favorite tales of all is The Parable of the Cat, which you can read at the link provided. I'm a cat person, through and through, and this story is just a small part of the whole that moves me unlike any other story I know. I can't reread it without sobbing like a child and it makes me wish, with some youthful part of me, silly as it may sound, that it were true.
If you've never read a Tanith Lee novel, I would definitely recommend these volumes. Finding the set as a whole is rare, so you might want to check with a library to see if they have copies.

What are your favorite genres? If you're a writer, like myself, do you tend to read within your genre, or do you also enjoy stories outside of your "norm?"

Have you read anything by Tanith Lee?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#TuesdayswithTaryn Q&A with Teresa Reasor aka @teresareasor


Tuesdays with Taryn

Please welcome with me- Teresa Reasor, fellow Kentucky writer, artist and teacher.


What book(s) most influenced you as a writer?

I have a list. I loved Sandra Browns earlier works. And Kathleen Woodiwiss definitely influenced my historical romance writing. One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten is a reader review for my historical Highland Moonlight. She said anyone who enjoyed Kathleen Woodiwiss’s books would love Highland Moonlight. I didn’t pattern Moonlight after Woodiwiss’s work, or try to steal her voice, that would be impossible, but the love story does have a similar feel to it.
I love reading male writers. Michael Connelly has had an influence, Dean Koontz’s earlier works, and, believe it or not, Steven King.
The writing craft books having had an influence on my writing have been numerous. I try to read a craft book at least once a month. I never stop learning, evolving.
The very first book on writing I ever bought was one by Phyllis Whitney. I’d read all of her novels, still have them. And I bought that book and— the rest was history. I had to write. That was when I was in college, many, many moons ago. I still use the same research process I learned from that book. Story by Robert McKee, Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan, Stephen King’s On Writing, Orson Scott Card’s book on Characters and Viewpoint, and Johnny Payne’s on Voice and Style are some of my favorites I still go back and revisit.

What book do you read over and over again? That depends on what I’m working on at the moment. While writing my Navy Navy SEAL series I have a stack of reading material I revisit over and over. The Warrior Elite, The Finishing School, and Down Range, all by Dick Couch and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell among a list of others.

When I’m working on other things I’ll choose reading material germane to my subject matter. I have to immerse myself in the subject to get a feel for the knowledge my characters will have. But it’s more than that. It’s to understand what reactions my characters will have to the conflicts I throw at them. I’m constantly reading male writers to try and improve my MAN SPEAK. 


Tuesday Trio-
1)      Movie- Underworld the first one with Kate Beckinsale and Scot Speedman
2)      Music- The Red Violin Soundtrack, Joshua Bell is fantastic!
3)      Decadent Dessert- Death by chocolate. A chocolate brownie with chunks of chocolate baked in, topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a grated Hershey bar, (I’m serious about my chocolate)

What’s the most interesting or bizarre bit of trivia you’ve learned from researching for a novel? That George Washington’s physicians probably killed him trying to cure him of something simple like a bad chest cold. They tortured him. They even burnt the bottoms of his feet. I think he finally died to escape them.

Novel on your Nightstand:
Who/what are you currently reading?
I have a stack of books in the floor next to my bedside table. They’re my to be read books. The Wolf Gift, by Anne Rice, May Day by Thomas Block, The Rope by Navada Barr, and Malice by Lisa Jackson are a few of them. I also have the complete works of Jane Austin all in one volume. I think it weights at least ten pounds. And though I’ve read several of them in the past, I’m revisiting them this summer. By second book, Captive Hearts, was a Regency Romance so what better way to review the premises included in Regency than reading Jane Austen.


Whom would you cast as your Hero & Heroine if your book became a movie?
Highland Moonlight  (Kevin McKidd and Kate Beckinsale)
Captive Hearts (Ioan Gruffudd and Sophia Miles)
Breaking Free (Eric Bana and Emily Blunt)
Timeless  (Garrard Butler and Michelle Williams)
Breaking Through (Chris Evans and Emma Stone)
Not that I’ve thought about it much!!!

Blurb: For Timeless
Archaeology student, Regan Stanhope, lands the chance of a lifetime when she’s chosen to work on a summer dig in Loch Maree, Scotland. The ancient monoliths hidden beneath the loch are the most important discovery since Stonehenge. And for seven hundred years, they have been waiting—for her.

Saturation diver Quinn Douglas is contracted to recover some of the megaliths from the loch’s bottom. The job will breathe life into the struggling salvage business he and his brothers are building. But from the moment he arrives, Quinn is plagued by dreams and feelings from a past he did not live. Or did he?

Regan and Quinn are drawn to each other as they research the monoliths and the reason behind their shared visions. But both sense something mystical at work, delving into their minds, manipulating their emotions. And when they finally discover the monoliths’ extraordinary secret, they know they must seal them away from those who are desperate to unlock their power. Even if it means remaining caught in a timeless struggle between the past and present forever.

 

You can find out more about Teresa at her

Saturday, May 26, 2012

#SCENTsational Saturdays- #Fave #5- #Jovan #WhiteMusk


Unpredictable in spirit, pure in its essence. Exquisite in its delicacy. Alluring Jasmine, ylang-ylang, and honeysuckle blend with sensual musk, soft woods, and amber. The result is a warm and purely feminine fragrance.

Every time I wear this, I'm transported back to my early-20s. I was living on my own, working at a factory where I printed keys for laptops, ironically. When I wasn't working, I hung out in my apartment with friends, went to the movies or out to eat. Sometimes I went to the local American Legion to listen to live music and maybe get up and dance a slow song if the right guy asked me. That wasn't often and usually it was a handsome stranger who shared one slow dance rather than the current guy in my life.

My biggest concerns were paying the bills, buying groceries and finding a way to get to the laundromat when I didn't have work so I would have clean clothes in my closet and dresser. Honestly though, life seemed more carefree back then...even with bills to pay and work everyday.

Of course, I wanted to get married and worried about whether my current relationship would amount to a hill of beans. I knew I was wanted, needed, desired, but needless to say, it didn't work out and neither did a few others after that, but I was having fun and living life. Even with all the heartache I also associate with that time, I also have a lot of great memories, too. I guess that's what those early years were for though- growing and learning. I sometimes think I took the freedom of my early 20s for granted, but I wouldn't trade that time in my life for the world.

I think that's what Jovan's White Musk represents for me- a more youthful side of me- the side that doesn't feel like a "mom" or a "wife" even, but that young woman who was spontaneous and carefree and enjoying life in the moment. I guess that's why I still wear it- because it reminds me that I am a woman, I am beautiful and desirable and wanted. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Ladies, find that thing today that reminds you that YOU are a woman, your own heroine!
Men, don't let your women forget that you know this fact!
Hope you have a SCENTsational Saturday!

Friday, May 25, 2012

#FFF- Nursing Second Chances by Maggie Greene #TMPress @FictionWitches


Click image above to purchase for Kindle
$2.99 

A Honey Creek Sweet Romance

Kiersten Hart left Honey Creek the minute she graduated high school and never looked back. When her sister Jeanine is widowed and left to raise two children alone, Kiersten moves back on a temporary basis. When Charles steps in and sweeps her off her feet, she has to decide if the wounds from her childhood can be mended.

After his wife died, Charles Webber swore he’d never love anyone again. He buried himself in his work and didn’t look up until he found out his son was sick. Moving to Honey Creek was supposed to make things easier. Kiersten does little to help keep things simple. Though he is taken with her, he soon realizes the casual relationship they agreed on is turning serious. As their expiration date approaches, Charles must decide if Kiersten is worth the risk.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Doing my Happy Dance- #1k1hr Challenges, #Writing & a 4 out of 5 #Review for Castaway Hearts! Squee!

Today has been rather exciting for me.
Castaway Hearts first REVIEW is up on
MEL'S BOOK BLOG
(click link below)
 
 
I also feel great today as I added over 4,000 words to my current work in progress yesterday by doing #1k1hr challenges with a few other fellow writers. 3 hours of that and I had almost 4k. In total I knocked out 4,018, which leaves me not all that far from my 80k (approx) word count goal. Thanks for the kick in the tush to get writing- (You can follow them on Twitter if you click on their names)


Seeing as how I'm not far from it, I can feel "the end" just around the corner and that generally gets me pumped to finish writing.

Add to that, I'm starting to get excited about writing the next one, which means I'm going to be scouring Amazon's Kindle Store for some books about Pacific Coast surfing, the history of surfing and competition, etc. for research. Gotta know how to speak the lingo and catch a gnarly wave. (If anyone has any good suggestions on books for researching that subject, please feel free to leave a comment about it.)

My visit to Hallee's blog yesterday also got me to thinking about whether there will be a continuation of Castaway Hearts somewhere in the future. It's definitely something I've thought about and I am considering it. I have notes and ideas jotted, though I know further research will be necessary to travel forward a few years in time with each new heroine/hero from Catherine and Dawson's family tree. It's not completely off the table, so I will be chewing on that for a bit until I feel the "draw" to begin another one. I have a feeling that it will have to wait until I'm at least finished with the surf novel mentioned above.

And now, seeing as how its the first day of summer vacation, I'm off to see whether I can get any writing done before the little monsters need to be fed (they do have to be fed, right?) ;)

Have a wonderful day! Write on/Read on!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Visiting @halleeb on Her #Blog Today #Author #Interview #writers #readers Come join me!

Today, I'm visiting Hallee Bridgman's Blog
(click image below)

I'm answering questions and hope you'll join me and leave a comment, even if it's just to say hello!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#TuesdayswithTaryn Q&A with Janie Emaus aka @Janie5010

Tuesdays with Taryn
with Janie Emaus

Please answer the following questions:
What book(s) most influenced you as a writer?
  Let’s see.   I have writers, not books.  Anything and everything by Kurt Vonnegut,  Richard Brautigan, and John Irving.   The quirkier, the better.

What book do you read over and over again?
 I rarely read a book over again.  There are too many to read and not enough time.

Tuesday Trio-
1)      Movie-  Dr. Shivago
2)      Music-   Anything by the Beatles.
3)      Decadent Dessert-  This is hard, since I don’t really eat dessert.  I love cheese after dinner.  Does that make me weird?

What’s the most interesting or bizarre bit of trivia you’ve learned from researching for a novel?   I find it fascinating that many of the things predicted in the old sci fi novels has actually come true.   I’m just waiting for a flying car. 

Novel on your Nightstand:
Who/what are you currently reading?  I just finished “Sing You Home,” by Jodi Picoult.

Whom would you cast as your Hero & Heroine if your book became a movie?
 I’d love to have Molly Quinn of Castle fame play Emma.  As for the hero, I could see either Dylan or Cole Sprouse from Zach and Cody.  Did I just say that?  I watch way too much of the Disney Channel!

 
MERCURY IN RETRO LOVE
A story about crushes, conflicts and astrological confusion.

Finally, after years of making love predictions for her friends, fifteen-year-old astrologer, Emma Seigel, sees a boyfriend in her future. But there’s one big problem. Mercury is heading for Retrograde in four weeks, and she sure knows what that means. It’s like an astrological PMS. A disastrous time to start a new relationship.

Using her school newspaper column, Emmastrology, she sets a plan in motion and within a week lands hottie Evan Randolph as her boyfriend. She’s a Taurus. He’s a Capricorn. Both earth signs. What could be more perfect? But is he as perfect as her prediction claims him to be? The stars are telling her it’s right. But her heart says it’s all wrong.

Everyday her feelings are growing stronger for someone else, a Leo, so totally not the sign for her. And to make matters even worse, Emma’s actions, caused by her unflinching belief in astrology, get her in trouble with her best friends in the whole world.

Time is running out. Can Emma straighten up this mess she’s in before Mercury goes Retrograde again?


 Mercury in Retro Love is due out from Turquoise Morning Press next week!

You can find out more about Janie on her

Saturday, May 19, 2012

#SCENTsational Saturdays- Through the Years- #Emeraude


Emeraude by Coty
 
Emeraude by Coty is a Oriental fragrance for women. Emeraude was launched in 1921. The nose behind this fragrance is Francois Coty. Top notes are orange, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose and brazilian rosewood; base notes are amber, sandalwood, patchouli, opoponax, benzoin and vanilla.

Recommended Use: evening

I remember wearing this perfume for a very long time through my teens. The fact that all my favorite fragrances came from Coty, this one should come as no surprise as a favorite either. My mom wore Charlie, which always gave me a busting headache, but she had the same complaint about me wearing Emeraude. Ironically, I gave this fragrance up years ago- I probably haven't worn it in more than a decade, but my mom now keeps a bottle on her bathroom shelf and occasionally wears it.

There was something elegant about the box, the green and gold that drew me to it and the fragrance made me feel grown up during those very early formative years of adolescence and it was probably the first perfume I wore most often.

The strangest thing about the memories I associate with this specific fragrance are memories of V.C. Andrews' family saga, Flowers in the Attic and the diamond and emerald earrings and green velvet and chiffon dress that Cathy admired her mother wearing the night she allowed Cathy and Chris to sneak out of the room to view the Christmas party, when they saw their mother with Bartholomew Winslow.

This just reminds me how vivid her writing was, how greatly I admire her ability to weave clear description that still sparkles and lives on from page to memory. It leaves me feeling inspired and hopeful that the words I put to the page, each time I tell a story, each time I mold and shape my characters and build their worlds leaves that kind of impression on readers of my works.

And now that I've teared up a little, I think that's enough rambling...


Whether it's a fragrance or a book that wraps you in fond memory- 
I hope you have a SCENTsational Saturday!

Friday, May 18, 2012

#FFF #Readers- Ice Princess by @JenniA8677 @FictionWitches #TMPress #Kindle


 Click image above to purchase for Kindle
Only $1.99!

A Honey Creek Young Adult Book
Honey Creek Royalty Series, Book One

Mya Newman never minded the routine or quiet that came with living in a small country town like Honey Creek, Ohio. For her senior year, she craved something exciting to happen instead of it melting into a cookie cutter routine like the previous years.


When a new girl, Audrey Moore, moves to Honey Creek, Mya finds herself caught in a triangle. She discovers hidden feelings for her best friend, Michael Graves, but he seems to have eyes for the new girl.

After Mya’s father becomes ill and eventually passes, she turns to her best friend, Michael. Never leaving her side, she can’t help but wonder if he’d rather be elsewhere. With fear of rejection and loss of friendship, Mya decides she can’t confess her recently discovered feelings.

When Michael and Mya share a dance at the Winter Formal, does she confess her true feelings for him? Or does she shy away, forever longing to be the princess who finds her prince?


More about Jennifer Anderson~

Bio: I’m a mommy, wife and now author. Even though I've spent many years on either coast, I've spent a majority of my life in the Midwest. Here is where my heart grows with the love and support of my family and friends, and here is where I find inspiration for my stories.




I didn’t grow up wanting to be an author but knew I needed to do something creative. After many years of moving from one job to the next and not finding happiness, I set pen to paper and began work on a Young Adult novel that will never see the light of day. And that’s okay.

Prince Charming, Book Two in my Honey Creek Royalty Series, is set to release September 2012.

You can find her on Twitter as Jennifer A 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#Readers- swing by #TuesdayswithTaryn and meet #Author Jennifer Johnson aka @BooksbyJennifer

Tuesdays with Taryn
Jennifer Johnson
 Help me welcome Jennifer to Tuesdays with Taryn. Not only is she a wonderful writer, but she was also my editor on Castaway Hearts!
 
What book(s) most influenced you as a writer?

More inspired rather than influenced: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy and The Princess Bride by William Goldman. And probably all those Harlequins I read in the 1970s and 80s. They’re nearly painful to read now as the heroes were sometimes abusive to the heroines, but later I realized that respect in a relationship is important and kindness is attractive. Respect and kindness are two values which I put in my characters, because you know those books which influence us can be influence as what TO do or what NOT to do.

What book do you read over and over again?
Umm. Geez, that’s a hard one as usually once is enough for me. The Bible is definitely a collection of books I read over and over though I do not read it all the way through. I tend to read the Psalms a lot. I can usually find words for my present torment or joy.

This is probably self-centered, but I read my published books over and over again. My husband laughs at me when he sees me. He’ll say, “Do you know how it ends?” I’m not sure whether I read them to help myself believe my dream of being published has come true or if I want to relive my love affair with my characters. We have a great time getting to know each other. When I type ‘the end’, I’m relieved, but a little sad too.

Tuesday Trio-
1)      Movie- Most of the movies I’ve seen are what my kids want to see, so I’ve only seen a few *grown up* movies in the last few years. I have a few favorites I would leave the computer to watch on TV: Shakespeare in Love, Groundhog Day, The Jerk. I watched Ironman 2 with my kids yesterday. It was surprisingly entertaining.
2)      Music- Right now my favorite band is Barefoot. I’m listening to them right now.
3)      Decadent Dessert- Cheesecake.

What’s the most interesting or bizarre bit of trivia you’ve learned from researching for a novel? I learned there’s a nudist beach in Vancouver. I do feel compelled to tell you I have never been to a nudist beach nor do I have plans to go.

Novel on your Nightstand:
Who/what are you currently reading?
Oh, boy. I have a stack of books next to my bed. I’m usually in the middle of several books which I pick up and put down depending on my mood. I just got back from a long trip in which I listened to Gail Sheehy’s Sex and the Seasoned Woman. I highly recommend this book for those of us 40 and over. I was on disc three of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot when I got home. My husband has the paperback of it so I’m thinking I’d like to know what happens next.

Whom would you cast as your Hero & Heroine if your book became a movie?
All of the guys I list are not spring chickens. That tells you that I’m no spring chicken myself. I like Hugh Jackman, and I’m crazy about Mike Rowe. I’ll pick Mike, so since I get to decide, I’ll pick me as the heroine. Because, you know, it’s Mike Rowe.

Double Dog Dare Blurb-

We’re all mad here. ~The Cheshire Cat

When Cheris McDowell wakes up in a hotel room next to the husband she doesn’t remember meeting, she decides the only practical solution is a quiet divorce. Too bad the rest of the world disagrees. As an Internet advice guru, Cheris ought to know how to fix the mess she woke up to, but when her own web master conspires to keep the marriage going, Cheris is at a loss. Geoff Arrowood III, her new husband, isn’t helping the situation. He’s way too charming and looks a little too good in a Tuxedo. Will Cheris choose a little storybook madness or the sensible advice of the wisdom she’s followed all her life?

Double Dog Dare is available via the following:

You can find Jennifer at

Saturday, May 12, 2012

#SCENTsational Saturdays- Does Your #Hero Smell? 2nd #Favorite- #Eternity


  • distinctive. romantic. timeless. the spirit of today's man: sensitive yet masculine, refined yet strong with a modern vitality and confidence. refreshing and exhilarating with a cool, crisp edge and a warm, woodsy trail. iconic crystal bottle with silver-tone cap designed by Pierre Dinand.

  • top notes: mandarin, lavender, green botanicals
  • mid notes: jasmine, basil, geranium, sage
  • base notes: sandalwood, vetiver, rosewood, amber
Eternity has always been a favorite of mine. I've known a few men in my time who wore this cologne and I just wanted to eat them up. It's sensual, romantic and masculine- drawing attention to the male wearing it. For me it speaks of comfort- that the man wearing it could pull you into his arms and you'd feel the warmth of comfort wash over you when you needed a hug or a shoulder to cry on, but at the same time, he could sweep you off your feet with a sweet single kiss.

What's one of your favorites?
Have a SCENTsational Saturday!