Category Archives: Uncategorized

Meet the Author Maggie Cobbett

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Welcome to another ‘Meet the Author’ and today I would like to introduce you to Maggie Cobbett who I met at Swanwick Writers Summer School (http://www.swanwickwritersschool.co.uk)

Maggie lives in Ripon, North Yorkshire with her husband and two elderly feral cats, Thomas and Tabitha. She has two grown up sons who are frequent visitors to her home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like all sensible cats, Tom and Tabitha have shunned the radiator cradle they’ve been bought and prefer to lie on hot metal!

 

 

 

So now you’ve met Maggie and the cats, let’s find out more about her….

 

 

1 How do you write? Is everything planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

It depends what I’m working on. Non-fiction generally lends itself to a pre-made plan, although I don’t follow it slavishly. Travel and local and/or family history are favourite subjects, although I’ve also written about the pros and cons of computer software for language teaching and translation, working as a film & television ‘extra’ and family matters. Local amateur dramatic and operatic groups sometimes call upon me to review their shows as well.

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I like to be comfortable when I write, which generally means wearing an old pair of jeans and whichever casual top is appropriate for the temperature in the house. I don’t exactly meditate but I do a lot of thinking with my eyes shut and probably drift in and out of full wakefulness at times.

Tea is, of couse, essential and I have a stock of big colourful mugs with their own lids from a Chinese supermarket in Leeds. They keep the drink inside hot for a long time, which saves a lot of running up and downstairs.

As often as not, I have at least one cat beside me on the desk to bounce ideas off. Humans, on the other hand, are definitely persona non grata when I’m writing and I have a fierce sign on my study door to warn them off. Fortunately, I have an understanding family.

 

3 Aside from writing, what make you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

That’s a tough one because I don’t know how much you’ve gleaned about me already from the Internet. I like to think that I could have been the next Barbara Taylor Bradford or Jilly Cooper if my parents and headmistress in Leeds hadn’t dissuaded me from leaving school at 16 to join the Yorkshire Post as a cub reporter. As it was, I went into teaching after university and spent more years than I care to remember teaching modern languages and EFL in classrooms at home and abroad. Amongst several other jobs, I’ve also spent time as….

a camp counsellor (US spelling) in a resort very like the one depicted in Dirty Dancing

an interpreter/tour guide in Germany and Morocco

(very briefly and disastrously) a cocktail waitress

My current day job as a ‘village regular’ on Emmerdale is somewhat different, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I’ve also taken part in one off television dramas, a few rather unmemorable films, the odd commercial, The Weakest Link and many episodes of Heartbeat, The Royal and A Touch of Frost.

I’m still a fan of trad jazz and some folk music but salsa (the dance, not the sauce, although I like that too) has become a passion in recent years and is popping up increasingly in my writing nowadays. For example, my eBook Had We But World Enough includes a story about someone who comes back from a salsa holiday in Cuba with far more than she bargained for.

I’ve been a regular Swanwicker since 2006 when I won a free place in the poetry competition and I was lucky enough to win again in 2008, that time in the children’s story competition.

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

A docile young cow. I’m vegetarian but not a vegan.

One of Trevor Baylis’ wind up radios in case I’m close enough to land to get a signal.

A guitar and playing manual. I’ve always fancied learning how to play properly but never managed to stick at it long enough to master more than a few chords.

A First Aid kit.

A selection of everyday medical remedies to keep me going until I learn how to make my own (See below)

 

 5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson for inspiration and to keep me optimistic. Also ‘how to’ books on animal husbandry, cheese making and natural medicines.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Ian Hislop. Behind that innocent baby face lurks one of the keenest intellects and sharpest wits of our time.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I’m working on my third eBook collection, some new ideas for women’s magazine stories and dusting off a novel I’ve been writing for several years. Set partly during the German occupation of WWII, it explores the repercussions of that tragic episode in French history for the guilty, the innocent and the generation yet to be born.

8 Other published work and links…

Most of my writing so far has been for magazines, newspapers and journals – read one week and used to line the hamster’s cage the next. That is why I decided at the beginning of this year to group some of my many short stories into collections and upload them to Amazon as eBooks. Both these include some previously published stories and competition winners and are available from any Amazon website. The UK Links are below:

 

Anyone For Murder? also includes some stories inspired by my days on set. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anyone-Murder-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00AW28FOE/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1

 

 

Had We But World Enough focuses on people moving, some willingly and others not, to new countries. Some of the backgrounds and characters reflect my own experiences, although I’ve added many a twist to the original events. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Had-But-World-Enough-ebook/dp/B00BKPRB9C/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1

 

 

I am indebted to my son Richard for putting my stories into a suitable format for uploading and also for the cover designs of both books.

 

 

My website is www.maggiecobbett.co.uk and I tweet as @MaggieCobbett

 

 

 

Thank you so much Maggie for sharing with us. Please check out Maggie’s website and her wonderful collections of stories.

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Interview – Kameron Brook

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Today I’m interviewing the author Kameron Brook who I met on Facebook a few months back. She and her man, Dirk Taylor,  are the team behind Razor Edge Press, publishing erotic short stories for an adult readership.

 

Read on to find out about a couple who work and play together….

 

 

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever

 

change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

 

 

(KB) It depends on the story. Sometimes, we type and tweak after it’s completed. Other

times, we plan out what we want to happen and when.

 

 

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing

 

trousers?

 

(KB) Dirk and I usually sit on the sectional, tv on, and type what comes to mind. A bowl of popcorn is close at hand for me. Him, a dew.

 

 

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we

 

probably don’t know.

 

 

(KB) I love to read and review other people’s stories. It keeps me motivated.

 

 

Five things people don’t know about me? Hmm, I’m really an open book. I will say jack in the boxes and gnomes freak me out. I’m addicted to the food network channel. Oh and I can’t wink.

 

 

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5

 

items would you want with you?

 

 

(KB) Since people are not items, I will want the following.

 

 

1. Razor- for sure! When I get rescued, I don’t want to look like Sasquatch.

 

2. Body wash

 

3. Cell phone with a signal. That way help will arrive sooner than later. 

 

4. Any book so I will have something to read while the rescue team arrives.

 

5. An air mattress because I hate sleeping on the ground.

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

 

(KB) Picking five authors would be easier than selecting only five stories.

 

Pamela Palmer, Lara Adrian, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole, and Lora Leigh.

 

 

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

 

 

(KB) Male – Joe Manganiello Female – Ellen DeGeneres.

 

 

7 Your current writing projects?

 

 

(KB) We have two. “Jasmine’s Delight” – sequel to “Sinfully Delicious” (M/F erotic romance) and “A Weekend in the Burbs” (M/F, F/F and M/F/F erotic romance)

 

 

 

 

8 Other published work and links….

 

 

Sinfully Delicious – Dirk and Kam (newest release)

 

 

Christine’s been without a man for far too long, so she lets her BFF Jasmine talk her into speed-dating. Unfortunately, far too many of her dates are romantic non-starters — in the worst way. But all it takes is one… and when the right man comes along, he’s Sinfully Delicious.

 

 

Buy from: [changeling]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

Dreams Really Do Come True – Kam & Dirk

 

 

Angi didn’t plan on sleeping with her co-worker. She was still getting over a failed relationship. However after a night of movies, and too much wine, Angi passed out and then the most vivid dreams occurred. When she woke, she didn’t fight the spark brewing all night. Angi took the initiative and made her dreams come to life.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

Welcome to the Neighborhood – Kam & Dirk

 

 

Whit and Miguel are happy together, but when Meaghan moves in next door they decide they’d like to add a third to their household.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

New Beginnings – Dirk & Kam

 

 

Eileen and Mitch have a happy marriage, but they’ve decided it’s time to spice things up. Ashley and Travis seem like the perfect match.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

Girls’ Night Out – Kameron Brook

 

 

 

Emily’s never been the daring type. Nor the kind of woman who does public displays of affection. But Neeka’s order awakens the thrill-seeker hidden deep inside. For three long weeks, Emily has kept her crush on Neeka a secret. Tonight she’s going to act out her fantasies and claim the woman of her dreams.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe] [kobo]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

 

Voyeur – Dirk Tyler

 

 

After a long day at a business conference, Nate meets Jay over drinks. Then Brooke, Nate’s wife, gives him a devilish idea. What happens next is beyond anything Nate could have imagined. Brooke’s sexy, playful mind sets the stage for an encounter Nate and Jay will never forget.

 

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

 

 

Contact information for Dirk and Kameron

 

 

Blog: http://www.dirkandkam.com
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/DirkandKam

 

Goodreads’ links: 

 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5781386.Kameron_Brook

 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5120666.Dirk_Tyler

 

 

Amazon Author Pages:

 

http://amazon.com/author/kameronbrook

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dirk-Tyler/e/B00A8IDHMC/

 

Fantastic News! “Sinfully Delicious” is now available at Amazon and B&N.

(kindle) http://www.facebook.com/l/tAQG4DuBiAQGEGZXKTce6KV9Tnl3zyhcTzy0HH_qS7zbguQ/amzn.com/B00CHBZ3AC
(nook) http://www.facebook.com/l/7AQF6O4UqAQGoao0UMbYGjNEfqefEd1Y8AKeIwzdcw2c3OA/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinfully-delicious-dirk-tyler/1115164188?ean=2940016695990

 

 

Thanks so much Kam for sharing with us today…I can’t wink either! Do check out Dirk and Kam’s website, pages and work and watch out for those new releases.

 

 

 

Blog share with Aurelia B Rowl

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Over the past few months I’ve taken part in blog chains and blog hops but I think blog shares are my favourite.

Author Aurelia B Rowl very kindly hosted me during my Big Birthday Promotion but, due to technical difficulties, wanted me to hold back her share until her new book was up and ready to share with you all so, for your delectation….meet Aurelia.

Aurelia B Rowl is a contemporary romance author but you can also find her masquerading as Allie A Burrow, her raunchier alter-ego.

 She lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband and their two fantastic children aged 5 and 3, along with their mad rescue mutt who doesn’t mind being used as a sounding post and source of inspiration. They are all used to her getting too caught up with her latest writing project… or five!… and she is guiltily counting down the months until she has both kids at school full-time.  

Aurelia took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions that will help you to get to know her better…

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I’m what I would call a ‘hybrid’ as it seems to depend on the book…my mood…the initial spark. Some of my projects are plotted in their entirety, others are completely off the cuff, but most are a bit of both. I might have an idea for an opening, or even a resolution, and then wing it for the first few chapters. At that point, knowing the characters so much better, I can try and plot the rest but even then, my characters have been known to surprise me and demand things their own way.

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I once read a phrase by Wendy S. Marcus—which incidentally, she’d ‘borrowed’ from somebody else whose name escapes me—with the words, “writing as the bullets fly”. That’s basically me. My ritual is to cram as much writing as I can in the two hours I get alone each day, during term-time only, and then have to muddle along as best I can whilst entertaining my pre-schooler as best I can. There is generally coffee and/or diet coke involved, chocolate, and I quite often have the radio on too.

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

What makes me tick? Hmmm… tricky one.
1) Obviously, my family – it has always been a dream of mine to be a stay-at-home-mum, and although my children often drive me batty, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2) I am a voracious reader, so if I’m not writing something, you’ll find me with my nose stuck in a book instead.
3) I’ve been vegetarian for over twenty years now, initially because it made me poorly but now I couldn’t imagine ever eating an animal. The rest of my family eat meat though, it’s not something I wish to force on them, although they often have to eat veggie meals as I won’t cook meat for fear of poisoning them.
4) I need a landscape to be comfortable—whether it be rolling green hills or the ocean—but I don’t do so well in cities, which tend to make me feel claustrophobic, or very flat places where there is nothing to see beyond what is right in front of you.

5) I enjoy music and am often caught listening to Classic FM. Many many years, I played the violin in my school orchestra, and my love of classical music has stuck with me. In a similar vein, I also love singing, purely in the comfort of my own home, but it seems to have rubbed off on the kids too.

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

On the proviso I already have my family and mad mutt with me too, I’d have to have my laptop, kindle, smartphone, solar-powered electricity generator (to recharge said items), and my memory foam pillow.

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Am I allowed omnibuses? Mind you, I’ve already snuck in my Kindle. Umm…
1) Harry Potter omnibus,
2) Twilight Saga omnibus,
3) the complete works of Shakespeare,
4) 2-in-1 dictionary and thesaurus, and…
5) Hunger Games omnibus.
I’ve read them all before, but could happily re-read over and over to while away the time. And I couldn’t be without a dictionary and thesaurus with all the writing I’d be able to crack on with.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

My initial thought was Zac Efron—think guilty pleasure—but actually, it could be really interesting to have dinner with Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

Oh, they are far too numerous to mention individually, but there is one I’ve been trying to finish all year that keeps getting shoved aside called Their Last Goodbye. Plus there is the series I’m working on called Peer Pressure, which so far is made up of five titles. Then there are other stories, without even touching on the projects my raunchier alter-ego Allie A Burrow is working on. You can find out about all of my writing projects over on my website.

 

8 Other published work and links….feel free to add as many as you like.

Christmas is Cancelled is my debut, and has come much earlier than I ever envisaged. I also have a story being published by Breathless Press in March as part of an anthology, writing as Allie A Burrow.

Thank you so much Aurelia for sharing with us…I’ve learned loads…a fellow veggie and another lover of the British countryside! Please check out and follow Aurelia at the following places…..

www.aureliabrowl.com

Blog – blogspot.aureliabrowl.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/aurelia.b.rowl

Twitter – @AureliaBRowl

Google+ – +AureliaBRowl

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/aureliabrowl

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/aureliabrowl ………………….. and here is more about Aurelia’s new book!

 

About Christmas is Cancelled…

 

Matilda ‘Tilly’ Carter didn’t think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled.

The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though…

As the chinks in Dean’s armor appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She’s not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.

Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice…

Excerpt

Tears welled in her eyes, clouding her vision. She turned and wandered blindly toward the exit as the first tear escaped, forging a track down her cheek for the rest to follow. Tilly took in a lungful of air and then another. Having made a spectacle of herself once already, she really didn’t want to be the cause of yet another scene.

The crowds swarmed around her, with students and family members heading home for the holidays only adding to the usual rush-hour melee of commuters. They jostled past, threatening to swallow her whole, as they rushed en mass in the opposite direction, using their briefcases and suitcases as a battering ram.

It was suffocating. She had to get out of there. Breaking into a run, broken heel or not, she raced through the doors and out into the biting December chill. Her waterlogged eyes struggled to adjust to the dark, dreary sky after the bright station lights, but she didn’t dare slow down, desperate to escape the throng of festivities and merriment.

Carol singers assembled outside burst into a jovial rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” full of joy and happiness. Didn’t they know Christmas had just been cancelled?

“Ooof!” Tilly smacked her shin against the edge of a low bench, too dark to see as she tried to dodge the growing audience. She ended up sprawled across the bench, dropping the handle of her suitcase with a loud clatter.

At least the pain shooting down her leg gave her an excuse to be crying. Unfortunately, it meant she had to stop running too. Not good. Whenever things got too tough, too intimate, or too confrontational, you could rely on her to make a run for it. Running away was what she did best…

A tall figure loomed in the edge of her vision, something vaguely familiar about the man’s loping gait. In an effort to see him more clearly, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hands, then cringed inwardly at the black streaks now etched all over them. Great. She could add impersonating a panda to her day from hell as well then.

The mascara stung her eyes, rendering her unable to focus properly. She blinked furiously as the man strode past her, talking into a mobile phone in a deep voice that resonated throughout her body and made the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A surge of adrenaline rushed to her legs, numbing the pain as her subconscious told her to run. Now!

The cloaked figure stopped mid-stride as if he’d heard her gasp. “Mike, I’ve gotta go,” he barked into the phone, hanging up instantly. He backtracked until he was standing right in front of her, his tone changing from a growl to one of surprise. “Basmati?”

Great. She hadn’t heard the nickname for years—nine years, four months and…sixteen days, to be exact—and even then, only one person had ever actually used it. She screwed her eyes tightly shut, shaking her head from side to side. No. No way. There was absolutely no way this could be happening to her. Not now. Not today of all days… Talk about kicking a girl when she was down.

Links

Buy links –  http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&products_id=407

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16284007-christmas-is-cancelled


 

 

 

My 50th Birthday Celebration!

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It’s already been an eventful year…and today I am celebrating my 50th birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my 50th Birthday celebration I will be launching two new books…

.Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you

Too Hot for Angels – Six SExy extended scenes

From 1st-5th December, you can download all 5 books for FREE!

The easiest way to view all five books is via my Amazon author pages…….

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346661606&sr=1-2-ent

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

I do hope you will all join me in celebrating half a century on this amazing planet.

Guest post blog swap with Rebecca Graf

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Let’s give a warm welcome to Rebecca Graf, an author I met recently.

Rebecca Graf was born in Russellville, Kentucky but grew up in Dothan, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Montevallo with an accounting degree. Given the chance to try her hand at writing, she began writing online articles leading to her first published book, A Gift for a Mouse. From there she ventured into romance, mystery, comedy and drama. The passion of writing was discovered. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children.

That’s the official blurb so let’s find out who Rebecca Graf really is………

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I have to laugh reading this because I do very little planning. It is all done in my head. I get the story idea and let it grow as I think and dream. Then I begin writing when the story refuses to not shut up. I cannot count the number of times that I would be going along on my ‘plan’ only to sit back and say, “Where did that come from?” My stories are kind of in control. lol

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

Not really. I have to have quiet. I cannot have a TV on in the background. I cannot have people talking. That is hard to do with 7 people in the house and 3 dogs and 3 cats. That is one reason I have not written in over a week. I have to have it just right.

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick?

I love to read and crochet. Other than that, I’m running around all the time with my kids. Basketball practice just started. Mmmm. Makes me tick? You ask some hard questions, girl. I think I would say a need to learn and grow. I’ll have to ask my husband if he feels safe expanding on that.

 

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

My kindle which has over 3000 books on it, my MP3 player, my crocheting, a notebook, a package of pens.

 

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Okay. No electricity means my kindle won’t last long. Darn it. Well, here’s what I think. I don’t know if I’d have a specific book, but I could tell you authors better.

 

  • Tom Clancy
  • Lauren Carr
  • Nora Roberts
  • Clive Cussler
  • C.S. Lewis

 6 Okay, off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Oh, the possibilities that are going through my head. I have to admit that Ian Somerhaulder would be my first choice not only because I think he is a great actor and just plain gorgeous but it would make my daughter so jealous. But truthfully, I would take Laura Bush or First Lady Obama. Well, I’d take almost any of the First Ladies. I think they are so strong and supportive of their husbands. They are intelligent. They are so unique. Mrs. Bush was an advocate of reading. That gets my there. First Lady Obama has an air about here that is so relaxing. Granted, they might be all different in person, but I’ll never know until I meet them.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I’m finishing up the last book in my Connections trilogy. First draft is done. Now I have to take it from garbage to descent. I’m also writing a book with a friend. It is a fantasy story that will be the first of a series. I also have a few other suspense/romance novels in the works. Then there is the first book and series I’ve ever done. It is a series of religious children’s books. The first one is A Gift for a Mouse which tells the story of the Last Supper through the eyes of a mouse who has no idea who these people are or what it all means. The sequel is coming out by the end of the year, The Nightingale in the Garden. It takes the story to the Garden of Gethsemane where a nightingale witnesses it all and again knows nothing about these people. Around Easter I hope to bring out the third book.

Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing with us all. If you would like to contact Rebecca…..

FB: http://www.facebook.com/RebbecaGraf
Twitter: @rebeccagraf
Site: www.rebeccagraf.com

Meet the Author….It’s Virginia Lori Jennings!

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Virginia Lori Jennings is a young, talented, inspiring author who lives in South Carolina with her husband, three kids and two cats. She graduated from High School at 16 and was published by the time she turned 18.

She is the author of two science fiction books and has plans in the works for two fantasy books as well. Her ideal evening is spent watching Star Trek or Eureka with her family over dinner. She enjoys playing putt putt and watching the latest sci-fi or action adventure movie. She does most of her best writing in the car as her characters prefer to talk to her while she is driving. Finding time to write down what they tell her- now that is where the real challenge is!

When she is not hanging out with her family or writing she also runs the ‘Where Writers And Authors Meet’ writers group online at www.wherewritersandauthorsmeet.webs.com or www.facebook.com/groups/wherewritersandauthorsmeet

 

Today, she shares with us a little more about herself, what inspires her and her writing ideas for the future.

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

What you have to understand about me is that I write completely different from the way I was taught in school to write. I plan everything out in my head, as though I am telling myself a story, before I ever get to the words on screen stage. I will then go back and re-tell the story to myself many times. I re-live the characters lives in my head and change up what happens in their lives each time. When I am done I have a pretty good understanding of what makes my characters tick as well as where I want the story to go. I typically only resort to outlines if my story becomes confused or twisted along the way.

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

Not really, I prefer to write on either my laptop or desk top. Most of the time I write better while the kids are at school and the youngest is down for a nap.

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick?

My husband. We spend hours sometimes discussing different possibilities of situations, we also love to discuss politics and religion. He keeps me motivated and inspired.

Virginia is also inspired by looking through photos of space….here is the Andromeda Galaxy Photo From: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

My husband, a pocket knife, a notebook, pen, and a telescope because that view would be AMAZING! Typically I would ask for my cell phone or laptop but seeing how this island is deserted then there would not be any electricity.

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Oh cool! I can take books too!!! Awesome! I’d take my bible, as my husband and I can always find new things to discuss in that. I’d also bring a dictionary, a thesaurus, A Writers Reference, and a book called Life’s Ultimate Questions. Weird yes- but this is what I do when I get bored, I have discussions and I write.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

J.K. Rowling, or William Shatner, I would just LOVE to pick their brain though I am not quite sure just what I would say! My first choice would have been Brian Jacques as he was my first favourite childhood author, but sadly he has already passed away.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I am currently working on a book tentatively titled ‘The Sword of the White Knight’ and another book called ‘Defenders of Madesteroc’. They are both fantasy and I am predicting that ‘Defenders of Madesteroc’ may just turn into a series!

 

Thank you so much Virginia for taking the time to share with us today. As already mentioned, Virginia runs the facebook page Where Authors Meet and here are further links to her and her books:

BOOK TOUR LINK: http://bit.ly/ReuIQT

Authors Website: www.virginiajennings.webs.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVirginiaJennings

On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/virginialorijennings

On Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a2479890/Virginia-L-Jennings/

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/RLoyH9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest blog post by Aneesa Price

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I would like to introduce you to Aneesa Price, an author I met a few months ago and who now I value as a friend.

Aneesa Price writes romance and lives it with her university sweetheart and husband. After having surmounted the challenges of being in a bi-racial marriage in the newly democratic South Africa, she now attributes her marital bliss to purposefully added spice and passionately resolved differences. After living in a variety of cities in South Africa, the cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg is the playground that she enjoys with her husband and two daughters.

Aneesa completed her internship in counselling psychology and went on to work first as a therapist and then in Corporate Finance on projects and in organizational change. This diversity in experience, coupled with her understanding of the human psyche, is translated into her writing through the creation of believable, flawed characters with the innate ability to overcome adversity.

She writes to give her readers the gift of experiencing the new and fascinating, something she strives for herself when she explores new places, reads, cooks with her kids or goes picking for antiques with her husband.
She welcomes new connections so feel free to ‘friend’ her on facebook or follow her on twitter.

Today, Aneesa is sharing with you her thoughts and feelings about erotica….

Is Erotica Literary Porn?

If a book contains sex scenes does it make it erotica?

To me, the answer is no.

I write romance and recently, also erotica. With my first book I purposefully kept any descriptions of sex scenes mostly suggestive, however, with my second book, the sex scenes were more explicitly described. I did not describe body parts and the acts in detail. I did, however, describe the emotions and sensations in tantalizing depth and sex was a major initiator for many events in the book.

My first novel, Finding Promise, was not labeled as erotic. It was labeled as I meant it to be – a sweet, small town contemporary romance for adults. My intention with the second book, Coffin Girls, was not to be erotic either – it was to provide a realistic description of what occurs within adult romance, which in my book (both literally and figuratively speaking) means a description of sex. I purposefully curbed the level of detail provided. However, I was surprised (neither pleasantly or unpleasantly) when I received feedback that the book was in fact erotic. This confounded me.

I’m a firm believer that whatever the reader feels is their reality and thus true for them and so I accepted that to some, the book may seem to be erotic. This acceptance was shaken when most of the feedback I received was that Coffin Girls definitely fit into the erotic paranormal romance category. I then sat back and thought – very long, extremely hard (no pun intended *grin*).

What I was struggling with is that I had indeed read erotic literature long before the hype around “Fifty Shades of Grey” arose and as early back as when I was a university student. Back then I devoured the colorful descriptions writers such as Anais Nin and Henry Miller gave to carnal endeavors. To me, that was erotic. These classically acclaimed writers, to my mind, celebrated sex through the mastery of their words.

At this point, it may shed clarity to share my philosophy on sex in literature and other entertainment media. To me, sex is a natural activity that occurs between consenting adults and a very important one. As a romance advocate I cannot imagine a happily ever after for a couple who do not enjoy sleeping together. This is one of the many reasons I do not enjoy YA (Young Adult) reads. They seem to leave something to be desired due to the nature of the genre – like the proverbial ‘coffee without caffeine’.

I was baffled. Here I thought I was being very conservative with Coffin Girls and yet, the general consensus seemed to label it as “erotic with a bit of fang”. I then embarked on a journey to try and figure out if it indeed was erotic and if my definition of erotic was accurate or more akin to literary porn.

A series of events occurred. I read and reviewed a few newly released indie books labeled as erotic. I found that they weren’t actually erotic in my book and that Coffin Girls was indeed more explicit than they were. As I was outnumbered, I had to concede defeat. Next, I read explicit erotic short stories and here found that they made Coffin Girls look like a Disney production, which was more aligned to my original thinking. So, still in a state of confusion, I pulled out the old erotic classics and re-read them and reeled back in shock. They weren’t explicit in nature but what they were, were terribly illegal. A strong word but I cannot find any other to describe the grotesque acts I re-read in those books. Shocked and disappointed in writers I had previously looked up to, I then decided to read their journals. And that clinched it for me.

What I found in reading Anais Nin’s journal in particular was that she hated what she wrote. The erotic works she created were commissioned by a benefactor that had no desire to read ‘poetry’. They wanted cold, hard, despicable acts of sex with an undercurrent of darkness and sometimes violence. Anais (also the name of the main character in Coffin Girls – and yes, I named her after the famous writer) experienced an enormous amount of dissonance but had been compelled to write those stories because she needed to earn money. She, in short, felt as though she was prostituting her art.

This was a revelation for me and it was is what led me to realize that what separates erotica, as a masterful literary art-form from literary porn is the story and the conscience within the work. If a book contains sex that discriminates and violates unless it is part of a story then it is porn. However, if sex is part of the story, adds richness and depth to the story and is not the story in itself, then, it is erotica. Erotica does not exploit its characters, instead the act of sex provides insight into how they think, feel and behave. It is not an attempt to fulfill a reader’s more promiscuous desires but to provide the reader with a full experience of the character’s hearts and minds. Erotica is then to me, a further development of adult romance. Sex is not implied, it is celebrated along with the other emotions and behaviors that characters possess.

And so I’ve discovered that I do indeed write erotica because my definition of it has matured.

Thank you so much Aneesa for sharing your thoughts with us. You can find out more about Aneesa’s writing by checking out her books here…

Coffin Girls:

http://www.amazon.com/Coffin-Girls-Elegantly-Undead-ebook/dp/B008N0GWVA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350418092&sr=8-1&keywords=Coffin+Girls

 

 

Finding Promise:

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Promise-Series-Romance-ebook/dp/B008N25Y80/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1350418092&sr=8-2&keywords=Coffin+Girls

 

or meet the lady herself at her facebook page…..

https://www.facebook.com/AneesaPriceSugarandSpice

 

 

 

 

‘Where Writers and Authors Meet’ Blog Hop

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Author’s Interview

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http://wherewritersandauthorsmeet.webs.com/apps/blog/show/19496211-writers-interviews-rules

The following questions were posed to me by Cyndi Williams Barnier as part of an author interview bog hop.  One author answers a series of 10 questions posed to them, and then tags another author and asks them ten questions.   The question ask of Cyndi and her answers can be found here when completed:  http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3070606-interested-in-serial-killers

MY TEN QUESTIONS FROM CYNDI

  1. Oh my, Wendy Steele’s Facebook Page is just a little too awesome and beautiful! In a few words (sorry), can you answer the question “who” is Wendy? What motivates her? We see she is expressive, interpretive and motivated not only to her but also to others! What is the ‘untold’ story?

    I’m a simple soul, Cyndi. My life has revolved around bringing up three children and making a home for them with my partner and cats. Now they are almost grown, I’m dedicating more time to writing and dancing. I dance ATS® tribal bellydance and will be teaching that style when we finally move to Wales.

  1. Why types of books do you write, what is/are the genre? Which is your favorite? (Fiction/Non-Fiction).

    The Lilith Trilogy is a work of fiction with a hint of the occult, a smattering of witchcraft and a generous dollop of spirituality. I loved writing the first book Destiny of Angels but I’m loving writing the second, Wrath of Angels, even more. The Wendy Woo Books are being launched with Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you on 1st December and will be out in paperback by March next year. Writing non-fiction allows me to have a closer relationship with my readers, sharing my life, my hopes and my beliefs. This first book came about from helping friends and them saying ‘You should write a book about that.’

  1. Are you published? If so, whom did you use? Can you tell us a little about your experience with your publishers?

    My books are published on kindle by Soundhaven and in paperback by my own company Phoenix and the Dragon. My good friend and fellow author Peter Jones has been my guide to all things tech for a number of years now. He very kindly formats my work and sorts the covers with me. I pay him in home made food for his freezer! In return, he calls me his wise and sexy guru!

    I planned to find an agent and follow the traditional route when Destiny was first ready but, after numerous rejections and only one agent really ‘getting’ Destiny and then her ignoring my emails, I decided that as my main intent in writing the book was to share a good story, I would have a go at doing it myself.

  1. You use “Wendy Steele” as your author name, but it seems you also use a pen name for an author website. What is the genesis of “Wendy Woo”?

    All my fiction work will be published under Wendy Steele. It’s my name and, now the children are through school, I’m very happy to revert back to my maiden name. The non-fiction will be published as Wendy Woo Books, as Wendy Woo was my dad’s name for me and is very special in my heart and so the perfect, cosy name to share with my readers.

  2. How many books/novels have you written thus far and do you intend to write more? If so, what would you consider the subjects might be…will they deviate from your other writings and if so, why?

    Destiny of Angels is my first novel. The second book Wrath of Angels is well on the way to completion, though I will have a lot of editing to do! The third book in the trilogy has a skeleton plan. My fiction is character led so, although I know where the books will start and end, I have very little say about the middle! I love writing like this…I know my characters really well and they write the story themselves. I also have two short story anthologies out, Into the Flames are hot, straight talking, near the knuckle stories while Turn down the Heat are easy reading.

    Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you will be published on 1st December with another little book….it’s a surprise so make sure you are around at the end of November to find out all about it. There are more books to come from Wendy Woo and you can find out about them on my website or on the Wendy Woo Books facebook page.

    As far as deviating from my writing goes, I have another novel, maybe a trilogy, that I started a few years back that I will go back to but it is the same genre as The Lilith Trilogy. My very first novel, never published as too long and too wordy, has a bunch of wonderful characters in it and I am contemplating turning this into serialised fiction.

    I’m always having new ideas for stories so, who knows what will come next!

  1. You seem to have numerous reflections, you’re intuitive, assertive and elemental. How do these traits influence your writing?

    I’m not sure about assertive! As storytellers, I think all our life experience has a part to play in our writing. I write the books I would like to read so there are descriptive passages, for instance, that create an atmosphere, especially during the magical scenes while in other places in my work, the dialogue may be cruel, rude or harsh and some of the sex scenes, erotic but the writing should reflect the characters and the situations they find themselves in.

    So, my life influences my writing but as the characters write the book, I’m not sure by how much.

  1. It appears that you very much like animals, they have, and they do indeed have importance in all our lives. Do you consider them totems or simply our loved little ones? Do they play a part in your books?

    Yes, I have huge respect for all living creatures and there will come a day when I shall officially be the mad cat woman! Can’t speak about other animals but cats have their own personality and we treat them, in our house, as part of the family.

  1. After looking at your website, it appears you are assertive in many aspects, and you have numerous personal reflections on certain traditions. Which ones are the most dominant in your personal life and in your writings?

    There’s that word assertive again! I will let you into a secret…I was petrified of blogging when I started so my friend said to me, ‘be yourself’ and I took that great advice. I started sharing quite ‘me’ stuff and to my surprise, people enjoyed it! I’ve maintained that profile with all my social interaction on the net and hope that if you met me in the street you would recognise me.

    If I had to name one aspect of myself that’s most important in my life and my writing it would be my affinity with nature.

  1. Which other authors do you like or read?

    I’m waiting on a big birthday (which is nearly here!) when I hope my family will have taken the hint and bought me a kindle so I can catch up on all the wonderful Indie books out there! My favourite author is Terry Pratchett. He is a master storyteller.

  1. If you marketed/advertised your books, what have you learned and what recommendations can you give?

    Well, I’ve tried! Because the publishing industry is going through changes every week, just like the music industry before it, it’s hard to know if what you are doing will work. My main aim in the seven months I have been marketing my work has been to get to know other authors and writers. I started big, joining every group and trying to be everywhere but now, I have a few groups I give my time to and a great group of close knit authors who work for and with each other. ‘Where Writers and Authors Meet’ has been a fabulous help to me! Virginia is a star, so patient, kind and a fount of all knowledge while all the other authors are supportive…and we have a giggle.!

You can find all my books on Amazon via my author page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346661606&sr=1-2-ent

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Or pop over to my facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/destinyofangelsnovel

 

https://www.facebook.com/WendyWooBooks

 

My interview questions are for Patrick Perry and you can find his answers here:

http://IAmJasonPatrickPerry.wordpress.com

Here are the questions I sent to him:

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

7 Your current writing projects?

8 Other published work and links….

 

 

 

 

 


 

Blog interview with Malika Gandhi

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Today I am blog sharing with Malika Gandhi…. you will have to check back to Malika’s blog on another day for mine as she is still reading Destiny of Angels!

Malika lives with her husband and two sons in the East Midlands, UK. She is a homemaker and in between caring for her family, she writes her books and dabbles in a little painting too. She loves to experiment with different mediums, such as oils, acrylic and watercolour.

Malika was born in India but moved to London when she was two, where her father was already settled. She travelled with her mother and brother.

Malika has lived in London, studied in Southampton and moved to Leicester after her marriage, which is where her husband and his family live. A girl moves in with her in-laws after marriage, at least for a short time.

Malika loves to watch movies, visits art and history museums and is curious about the universe.

Malika shares with us her writing rituals and her five favourite desert island books. Enjoy……

 

1. How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I write at night, mostly from 9pm – 11pm or later of I can do it. I begin writing from a plot draft which is always rough, see – it changes as I move along the story and the plot is never what it was!

I believe pre-planning is a step onto the platform of writing. It is a starting point and as we write and re-draft, edit etc the plot is more likely to change. In my case, it always does!

2. Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

My writing ritual is, writing in my PJs and under the covers. It is the only place where I can stay away from distractions like the TV, DVD and food. I also put on some music, but that is when I am typing. I write long hand and then type it up. I hate the typing up bit and the music makes me carry on.

3. Aside from writing, what makes you tick?

I love to sketch and paint and when I am not writing, that is what I do. I love the smell of newly sharpened pencils and the drag of the led across a new page, creating a magnificent sketch. When I paint, I work with oil, acrylics and watercolours and enjoy the freedom it gives me to express myself and in a way, it is meditation itself.

4. If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

1. A book that I could read over and over

2. A photograph of my family

3. Pencil case items (does that count as one?)

4. A writing pad

5. A sketch pad

5. On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

1. Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows – it’s always great to read a winning story

2. Twilight – I love the intense love scenes between a vampire and a girl

3. Little Women – for the wonderful story of four sisters

4. Jane Eyre – I love the tale of a simple girl in the 1900s

5. Freedom of the Monsoon – to prove to others stranded, that I did write a book!

 

6. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Jackie Chan – he is so funny!

7 .Your current writing projects?

I am writing a continuation of Freedom of the Monsoon, with the working title of Petal. It begins with the after affects of the Quit India Movement – the Partition of India and the formation of Pakistan.

There are two main characters. Anjali is from 1947 and is running from murderers. She is rescued by a man, whom she falls in love with. Then, there is Arianna and she is from 2012. She lives in London and her best friend loves her. She goes to India for a cousin’s wedding, to find another man who falls for her but also to discover a hidden secret. These two characters are linked.

This book is historical, yet contemporary with a paranormal twist.

 

Thank you for sharing on my blog Malika. You can find Freedom of the Monsoon here…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Freedom-of-the-Monsoon-ebook/dp/B0070VV9TI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340393350&sr=1-1 – Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-of-the-Monsoon-ebook/dp/B0070VV9TI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340392877&sr=8-1&keywords=freedom+of+the+monsoon – Amazon USA

http://www.feedaread.com/books/Freedom-of-the-Monsoon-9781908895660.aspx – Malika’s publisher

Catch up with her at one of her websites….

http://malikagandhi.wordpress.com/ – About Me, My book and Everything else

http://unicornsreviews.wordpress.com/ – The Unicorns’s Book Reviews

Or on facebook or twitter….

http://www.facebook.com/unicorn1976?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/malika.gandhi

https://twitter.com/MalikaGandhi

 

 

Happy 1st Birthday!

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It’s been a year since I started blogging …..and since I joined the internet community.

To say I started with excitement would be a whopping great fib but now, one year on….it’s how I feel now!

I’m a nature girl,  a girl of the country, the mountains and the sea….how could I fit into a community that was based on pixels and posts and, more importantly to me, making friends?

I’ve always been odd, never really fitted into the ‘norm’ so my resistance to the internet was based on fear….no one would accept me.

And that’s been the hardest thing…being me. I made a pact with myself that while interacting, I would always be me so, if you met me in the high street and stopped for a chat after only having ‘met’ me online….I would be the same person. I’m an honest injun.

I’ve met fabulous people with oodles of talent and the experience has enriched me. Time spent online I originally saw as detracting from my day but now, the support and friendship I have gained inspires me as I write and work. I’m no longer a struggling writer on my own, isolated by my chosen career but instead, I’m part of a much bigger picture.

Once I felt accepted, I wanted to take part and ***The Amazing Karmic Sharefest*** was born. There are fabulous reviewers, technical advisors, interviewers and marketeers, willing to interact and offer their skills online but I had no experience to bring to the party so, I brought myself and offered to share in a spirit of love and kindness.

Once a month, I opened my page and myself to support and spread the word about others, mainly authors but also artists from other fields….and the word spread. Since beginning the Sharefest with a ‘fans of fans’  range of less than 2,000 people….the spirit of sharing has spread to over a quarter of a million people! I’m now asked if ****The Amazing Karmic Sharefest*** can be borrowed for other events….I’m well chuffed!

Then came ***The BOB Bonanza***, a promotion event for writers to promote the most important parts of their book….the cover and the blurb on the back. By inviting writers and readers to the page….everyone benefits.

Blogging is much easier as you start to get to know your audience. At first, it felt indulgent, slightly self-obsessed to write my musings and feelings…thousands of people were doing it far more eloquently than me but now it’s about sharing, just like writing stories….. you have a story to tell that is important to you and you want to share it with as many people as possible.

Destiny of Angels was published on kindle to be shared and was made availabe as an eco-printed paperback to share further. Two short story anthologies are on their way….stories I wrote after being moved or inspired and I want to share these too. Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you is well underway…… ideas I’ve used, and still use, to bring sunshine and smiles to my life….and soon to share with you.

One year on, I’m doing what I do best….writing and sharing. Thank you for joining me on my journey and I look forward to standing with you and looking back on another year of sharing.