Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interview with Amanda Ashley

Amanda Ashley is an author of paranormal romance. Her newest work, EVERLASTING DESIRE, is available in bookstores, on Amazon and Kindle and from Zebra Books.

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

Everlasting Desire is my latest book. It is a sequel to Everlasting Kiss. Since my hero is a vampire, Everlasting Desire seemed a fitting title, since when a vampire loves you, he can love you forever.

What is Everlasting Desire about?

My hero, Rhys, is the Master of the West Coast vampires. When an ancient vampire decides he would like to add the West Coast to his territory, he goes on a killing spree from the East Coast to the West. It is up to Rhys to protect the vampires in his territory. A new woman in his life adds an unwanted complication, but one he can’t ignore. Rhys was a secondary character in the previous book, Everlasting Kiss. I loved him so much, I decided he needed a book of his own. Everlasting Desire was recently voted best romance by USA Book News

What books have most influenced your life most?

I suppose Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, since hers were among the first vampire books I read.

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

I don’t think I could pick just one. Many authors have influenced me over the years, from Rosemary Rogers, who wrote the first romance I ever read, to Nancy Gideon and Maggie Shayne.

What are your current projects?

I have two books coming out back-to-back in September and October of next year – Bound by Night and Bound by Blood.

The hero in the first book is not your usual vampire. And although the book is set in contemporary times, it has a historical feel to it, as my hero lives in an ancient castle in Romania. It is a story of love and hate and revenge, and I think one of my best.

My editor liked this book and this world so much, she asked for a sequel, which I am currently working on.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Hmmm, probably “the middle”. I can write beginnings and endings all day long, but filling up the middle is always a challenge!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I assume you mean aspiring writers. My best advice has always been to write what you love to read. To join a critique group, if possible. To enter contests for the feedback they provide. And to never, never, ever give up. My first book was rejected 31 times before I sold it.

Here's a blurb on my latest release:


The clientele at Shore's clothing store includes some of L.A.'s sexiest bachelors. But none of them affects Megan DeLacey as deeply as the dark-eyed stranger who strides into her boutique one evening - and keeps returning, night after night. Megan is drawn to Rhys Costain even as she fears him. Because his reason for being there is clear -he wants Megan, with an intensity that's both tempting and terrifying...

For almost five centuries, Rhys has lived alone, using women as it pleased him and never wanting more. As Master of the West Coast vampires, it's his duty to eliminate the ancient vampire who's draining humans on his turf, putting all of their kind at risk. But Megan's lush beauty and vibrant warmth is blinding him to a danger that will soon engulf them both - and tear him from the only woman who can satisfy his darkest hunger.

Thanks for the interview, Amanda! The books sound fascinating.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your belly be full, your company be merry and your troubles melt away as if they were never there.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dragons and Romance

Today's blog is compliments of Amber Kallen. Thanks for joining us, Amber.

I love Dragons. Always have, always will.

I love the fact that dragon mythology can be found in many cultures through history, spread across the globe. The question always turns to How? How did so many different people who never communicated come up with the same legends if Dragons never existed?

The dragons I write about are a mixed breed of these different cultures, with a bit of my own style thrown in.

European in appearance -- four legs, wide wings, spiked tales and horny heads. Eastern in magicks and abilities. My dragons are different colors, which in turn, sometimes means different powers as well.

The idea of magic and shapeshifting began as demonic powers in Europe, natural abilities in Native American cultures.

Over time it has become so much more.

Today, the shapeshifter is hot. Romantic and alluring.

It’s allowed authors to take their stories to such a wonderfully high level, and it seems only the beginning.

Dragon lovers abound. So what better than to make dragon shapeshifters?

I enjoy both reading and writing about them. The grace, power and protectiveness of dragons is, for me, the perfect romance.


When Calla, a dragon shifter, heads to a sleepy mountain town to investigate their recent arson outbreak, she doesn't expect to come face to face with the dark dragon who killed her mother, or find her destined mate beneath the burning rays of the moon. Firefighter Scott O'Neil can't fight his attraction to her, even after he finds out what she is, and the shocking secret of his own past.


The Other was here.

Lowering the truck window, Calla Dragos sniffed the chilly afternoon. Pine trees, asphalt. All overshadowed by the distinct stench of sulfur. Her stomach lurched, vileness rising to choke her. As she drove into the blink of a town, it grew stronger, overpowering all other senses.

Drawing closer to the Jasper Fire Department, she focused on keeping her clammy hands on the wheel, her concentration on the light traffic. Keeping her foot on the gas pedal, rather than slamming the brakes and fleeing.

How could he be here?

It was bad enough her job as an arson investigator brought her to this small, mountaintop town of Jasper, Arizona. Bad enough she’d left her family behind in the midst of yet another argument about her independence. The possibility of facing Eric brought tremors to her body.

Parking her cherry red pickup in front of the station, Calla shaded her eyes from the late afternoon sun and searched the colorful wood-front buildings. The stench faded.

Eric marked her, then fled. Like a coward. And he was a coward. She needed to remember that fact. Otherwise, the fear coiling in her heart would drive her batty.

After a couple deep breaths, she calmed the nausea a little. She could do this. She would do this. And if that bastard decided to show up, she’d face him with all her strength.

Calla stepped from the truck on shaky legs, smoothed her navy skirt and slipped on the matching jacket. Reaching across the seat, she grabbed her oversized black bag, which held a notebook, pens and her kit. After another soothing breath, filling her lungs with the crisp mountain air, she headed around the corner to the firemen’s entrance.

Giggles drew her attention to a group of teenage girls scantily dressed. And the man they huddled near.

In nothing but low-slung jeans, the top button carelessly undone, the man gave off the rugged air of a male underwear model with a sexy, take me to your bedroom now look. His blond hair, slightly too long for a clean-cut look, dripped water, from a recent shower maybe. Or a drenching with the hose. The scruff on his chin, a shade darker than his hair, enhanced the bad boy aura.

Gods, he was just like Petey. Playboy and chick magnet, an older version of her youngest brother.

“So can we have your autograph? Please?” one of the girls begged, her voice high. The other girls giggled some more.

“Certainly, ladies.” The man’s voice was as smoky and smooth as his gray eyes.

His gaze flicked to Calla. The intensity shooting from his eyes made her tense, caught like a rabbit in the headlights. His lips twitched. A flush spread up her cheeks. Calla stared at her feet, hurrying along the flower-bordered sidewalk. Before she reached the door, the teen girls filed past, happily waving calendars with mostly naked men.

Figured. A playboy, just like Petey. Which month was he?

Bare feet filled her view. She took in the long, jean-clad legs, the scruff of hair above the gaping waistband. A blond trail led up a golden, ripped abdomen and chest, to dark eyes. This close, flecks of green and blue mixing with the gray were visible.

His scent, suntan lotion and hay, punched into her, dissipating the last remains of the sulfur.

Her libido woke and started clamoring. She gritted her teeth. Not why she was here. And besides, she had no business being attracted to this man. This human.

“Howdy, ma’am.” He tipped an imaginary hat, a lusty smile twitching at his lips.

“Excuse me,” she replied, her voice steady and cool, the payoff from years of practice working around other untouchable hunks. “I need to see the fire chief.”

Something unreadable flashed in his gaze and the smirk disappeared. “What would a beautiful woman like you want with him?”

“Frankly, it’s none of your business.” Knowing the best way to turn him off, she put a hand to her hip, jutted her chin and raked her gaze over his long, lean form. Unfortunately, her normal barriers weren’t working. The only thing she wanted to do was reach out and touch his glistening tanned skin. Instead, she added in a sharp tone, “Let me guess. Mr. October.”

His face hardened, all amusement fleeing. The playboy took a step back as if she’d actually offended him. Then, his grin came back, along with a devil-may-care shrug. “Actually,” he drawled, “I’m December. I wanted a Santa hat on my lap, not a pumpkin.” Leaning closer, his minty breath a whisper on her cheek, he added, “Why? You need a calendar?”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interview with Tabitha Blake

Tabitha Blake is a paranormal romance, paranormal suspense and short story writer. She resides in the heart of the bustling city of Houston, Texas. Passion for the written word started at a young age and has molded her into the author she is today. Her most recent project is titled Soul Extraction, a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. She recently graduated from the Stratford Career Institute. Tabby is a member of two critique groups and works closely with her crit partners to hone her craft. She believes strongly in inspiring new authors to follow their dreams.

Most of my interviews are with published writers, Tabitha is not yet. However, with her determination, I’m sure she’ll join the ranks of the published soon. Her interview is below:

If you could describe yourself in only one word, what would it be?

Determined. I was taught you fight for what you want. Nothing worth getting is going to be easy. You have to be strong and push through the tough times, and as writers there are going to be a lot of let downs.

Name the people that you feel supported you outside of family members.

I would have to say it’s my crit partners. I have an amazing group of ladies I crit with. They have helped pull me through the tough times, and yes, there have been times I wanted to quit. But they picked me up and dusted me off. But I believe all writers go through tough times and feel it is easier to quit but then that determination I was talking about kicks in and I am up and running again. I have to say a good support system really helps in the dark times we all face as writers.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I have loved writing since I was very young. I aced English. I was one of the weird kids that got all excited when we were given a book to read and do a report on. I would fly through the book in a couple of days and have my report done shortly after. I spent a lot of time in the library and read like crazy. I only wish I had some of the papers I wrote in High School but most of them were kept by my teachers to use as examples for other students. So my love for writing has been a pull for many years and now is an obsession. I find so much joy in creating my characters and their worlds.

What books have influenced your life most?

C.S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I loved that book. The story was magical. It swept me away to another time and place. It is so vivid in my mind like I just read it yesterday. As a kid I was fascinated with his vibrant world and the characters just jumped off the pages. As a child I remember reading it over and over again. I guess it is every child’s dream to step out into a magical world like Narnia. I guess it would be the equivalent of the Harry Potter series now. I think all children love the world of magic.

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

Well there are a couple that have really inspired me. I would have to say Gena Showalter and Larissa Ione. Their stories take you to worlds that are fascinating and magical. They create characters that jump from the pages and you find yourself wrapped up in their joys and sorrows. I need a character that grabs me and pulls me into the story, and these ladies do that with the utmost grace.

What are your writing goals?

I am three quarters of the way finished with the paranormal suspense I am currently writing. I hit a dry spell there for a while, but it blew over, and I completed two chapters in one day. So I am hoping to finish it by the first of the year. Then it is off to the hard part-- edits. I really dread edits but it’s part of the process.

What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

I think it’s getting to know my characters. I start off with a character chart and then as I write they turn from one and two-dimensional characters to three-dimensional characters. I also like to find pictures of what I think my characters look like. The joy of seeing your characters come to life is amazing. By the time I am done with my ms I feel as if my characters are close friends. I know what they like and don’t like. I know how they talk and how they react to different situations. The real thrill is when someone reads my ms and they get my characters and love them. That is the ultimate rush for me. I know I’ve written them well when others love and understand them.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Well I write very strong heroines and I think a lot of that reflects on how I was raised. My mother taught all three of her daughter to be strong and independent women. I don’t think it is in my spectrum of thought to write a weak woman. I believe women should be strong and able to stand on their own. I am married and depend on my hubby to an extent but I also know I could make it on my own. Which I think makes our marriage stronger.

Describe your ideal reader.

My ideal reader would have a strong love of the paranormal. They would enjoy seeing a strong alpha male brought to his knees by an equally strong heroine. It is amazing how love can change us. My stories are fast paced and full of action. So they would need to be comfortable with a story that starts in the middle of the actions and continues through the book. I want my readers to come away feeling they are sad it is over.

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?

That would depend on the time of day. If it were early evening I would probably turn on one of my favorite TV shows and veg out for a while. I love shows like Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Hardcover Mysteries, Dangerous Women, CSI, Law and Order SVU. Those are just a few. The other thing I love to do is read. A good book relaxes all my stress away. I love to read anything paranormal. I love characters like vampires, werewolves, demons, and witches. They fascinate me. I read at least two books a week. Sometimes more.

What are your current projects?

My current project is a paranormal suspense called Soul Extraction. (Heroine) Lyric is a hardened FBI agent that is on the hunt for a sexual demon that is sucking the souls from unsuspecting women. Only she doesn’t know he is a demon yet. Then she meets (Hero) Craigen a fallen angel sent to find the demon she is searching for. Of course there is a battle of wills when Craigen tries to keep her safe. She is a very strong willed woman and he has met his match when it comes to defiance. But along the way the sexual tension spikes and they find themselves trying to fight the attraction to one another. Things really spiral out of control when (Demon) Nyx decides he wants Lyric. Craigen wants Lyric to hide out while he tracks Nyx but Lyric will have no part in that plan. With mummified bodies piling up she refuses to stand by and do nothing.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

I have s few places they can read more about me.

My Website:

My Blog:

I also run my own crit group called Enchanting the Muse.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I dread the editing process. I realize it is a necessary evil, but when I get bogged down with edits, I lose my excitement for the story. I thrive on writing the first draft and figuring out the story and the characters. With all the repetitiveness of edits I find myself sick of the story. You can only read your first chapter so many times before you want to scream. LOL!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

All I can say is this is a really tough business and you have to be strong to make it. But I also think if you are persistent and don’t give up you will get there. I look at it this way being a published writer is my dream. And no one can take your dreams from you unless you let them. Believe in yourself and your writing. Find others that write and understand the trials we go through as writers. They will be the rock for you when you get that bad review or a rejection.

Here are a few quotes I keep on the wall above my desk:

“A writer who never quits is called published.”
J.A. Conrath

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Each rejection brings me closer to publication.”
Writer’s Relief

Thank you Bobbye for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Tabitha Blake

It’s great to have you, Tabitha!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Remember to be Thankful at Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving nears, we need to stop and reflect on all the things we’re thankful for. So here are my own personal thanks.

I am thankful for friends I can count on to brighten my day, a nice house to live in and a husband who loves me and tells me so during television commercials as he’s flipping the remote control. I’m even thankful for my dog who was a goat in a previous life and ultra thankful I got to her last night before she ate hubby’s box of Ex-Lax. I’m thankful for family members who will tell me how much they love my books and wait to get them for presents only to set them on the bookshelf telling people I wrote it but who never crack the binding. I am thankful to the postman who rarely loses my mail except when it’s a letter from an editor or my new contract. I am thankful for the countless agents I’ve contacted and the nice way they say no by sending me a form letter rejecting my manuscript. Those whose e-mails didn’t get to me after several months, never fear, I know you e-mailed me, but it was simply lost in cyberspace. And to those sending me rejections by mail, I appreciate the time it took for you to put that postcard in my SASE envelope, IF it got to me because it could be one my postman simply misplaced.

There are so many blessings around us all the time like those my friends ask me to send out to my twenty friends or I’ll be cursed. I know they only mean well. After all, my true wish will become reality in twenty-four hours if I do. I also appreciate all those who send me warnings so I can avoid being mugged, defrauded or have ten years of bad luck and who forward e-mails that will win me a new computer from Dell or an IPod if I forward it, even if they don’t check Snopes.com before they sent it. But most of all, dear friend, I appreciate your taking time to read this and if your post doesn’t show up, I understand you commented, but the website wouldn’t let your post go through.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with thanks and wellbeing! And remember: No matter what genre, I always write comedy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Pressure to Find the Right Gift

If my photo on this blog looks familiar, that's because I'm Bobbye Terry writing as Daryn Cross, my fantasy pseudonym. If you started at the beginning of the Blog Hop, you know my current hubby's present was, well, less than what every woman wants. But, before I was engaged to my current husband, I was engaged once before. That fiance loved to be outside but wasn't quite as much of an outdoorsman as my husband. We fell into a routine after we got engaged where he'd come to my apartment for dinner and dessert and then we'd go out for awhile, or not. The or not wasn't what you'd normally think, at least not all the time.

First let me give you a little background. I was in my gourmet cooking phase. I still love to cook, but back then I was obsessed with Bon Appetit magazine, had a subscription and saved all the copies. Everytime I got one, I had a big cooking extravaganza on the weekend and my fiance was always there to try the new dishes. Later I decided it was because it saved him money on groceries. Anyway, more often than not, he'd fall asleep on my sofa afterwards watching television while I did the dishes. Now do you know why this relationship didn't last?

Christmas was coming, and I had gone all out for his gift. expecting (yes, always the romantic) something I'd really love.

Here's what I got:

(In case you don't reconize it, this is what a pressure cooker used to look like before modern technology took over.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Magic debuts today

This is very exciting for me--first book released after my former hiatus from writing. I'm back folks!I posted everything again including the e-book buy link from Amazon. Also available currently on AllRomance Ebooks. It will eventually be out in Nook and iPad.

Can true love exist between a man who believes a woman is capable of sticking a shive in his heart while making love and a woman who is convinced men think with only one head? Maxwell Magic, an eccentric mysterious matchmaker swears it can and he’s the man to provide the stimulus to make it happen. Kasey Bell, feminist writer, and Guy McLane, radio’s famous chauvinistic psychiatrist, are his targets. Even with carefully executed plans, the road to true love is strewn with mishaps, mirth and money-hungry nighttime talk show hosts. Will Kasey and Guy risk their reputations by exposing secrets buried beneath layers of shame and self-doubt for a desperately needed big money pay-off? Or, will they claim what has evaded them their entire lives—a love that lasts forever?

As Kasey followed the stagehand, Guy grimaced. Damn. Why’d she have to have sea-green eyes and be a natural, sun-streaked blonde? He was a sucker for natural blondes, she appeared to be one. Unlike his ex, Helen, he suspected Kasey Bell’s blonde hair wasn’t found just on her head.
His gaze took in her tight ass and long legs. God, what legs Some men were turned-on by big breasts. Others by asses. Not him. He was a leg man through and through.
And Kasey had the best set he’d seen in years.
Her dress clung in all the right places and was designed to make a man forget his own name. Not that it had a chance with him.
Guy studied her the way a connoisseur would a fine wine. Vintage seventy-three. He took another long, slow perusal and shook his head. He was wrong. The body on this Cabernet Sauvignon came from a perfect year. More likely a seventy-eight or if he were lucky, a classic seventy-five.
He grinned as she smoothed the sides of her dress while continuing to cross the stage on her perfectly toned legs.
Definitely still corked. She hadn’t had a chance to breathe, yet. He inhaled sharply. There was no mistaking a good mellow grape when he saw one. And when squeezed just right, the grape was memorable. One to be savored, never gulped.
No question about it, Ms. Kasey Bell was premium sipping quality. First, he’d give her time to breathe. Then he’d taste her, a little at a time, a gentle swirl over the tongue, a teasing of the taste buds.
As he continued to examine her, Guy swallowed hard. From the way her dress moved and the lack of lines, she wore a thong and thigh-high hose. Her derriere was the perfect size for his hands to cup each cheek as he pulled her flush against him. He could feel her long legs wrapping around him. And then there were her delicate ankles. They were so slim his fingers could circle them.
The whole package was enough to bring a grown man to his knees. Especially one like him who’d been alone for last three years. God, help him. Because if he didn’t, Guy knew there was no way he’d maintain his cool while seated next to her on stage.
“Dr. McLane?”
Guy snapped to attention. Standing before him were two lanky young men. “Yes.”
“I’m Josh Bell. This is my younger brother Jacob.”
Guy thrust out his hand and greeted each boy. “I understand you want to take some photos.”
“Yes, sir,” Josh answered.
“You’re our hero.”
Jacob frowned at Josh’s sharp jab to his ribs and Guy laughed. “What does your mother think of that?” He grinned as the two boys looked at each other, shrugged, then turned back to him.
“She hates it,” they said together.
“Dr. McLane, you’ve got two minutes.”
“Thanks, Al.” He turned to the boys. “We’d better get those photos taken.”
Guy started to move, then grimaced, again. Damn. He hadn’t reacted to a female this rapidly since adolescence. Back then, much to his embarrassment, all it’d taken was a slight breeze to get a reaction out of him. And at thirty-eight, the last thing he wanted was to look like a coat rack in some kids’ photos. “Both of you stand here,” he said, positioning the boys in front of him.
As Al Mack took more than a dozen photos, Guy wondered what it was about Kasey Bell that rang his chimes. They’d never met, yet he’d swear he’d seen her before.
Ah, well, he’d remember eventually. He never forgot a pair of legs, especially ones as spectacular as Kasey’s.

BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Its-Magic-ebook/dp/B004CRSPXQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1290090245&sr=1-4

More Great News

My book, Craigs' Legacy, a time travel to the Civil War period co-written with Linda Campbell as Terry Campbell, will be re-released on February 11, 2011 as a debut book by new publisher, Black Opal Books. This book started it all, though not the first one to get published, and is one that has never had the proper opportunity to shine. Love it and hope you folks will too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Contest to Share Good News!

Linda Campbell and I, writing as Terry Campbell, just accepted a contract for our book,Slam Sisters of Serendipty, to be released by Eternal Press! This has been an exciting fall for me, and to celebrate I will give a $10.00 gift card to Amazon to the person selected from a drawing who submits to me at the address Daryn@DarynCross.com the right three answers to these questions:

1) In It's Magic, what is Santa's real name?
2) Where does Grace Martin(not Grace Temple)find the dead body?
3) What book did I contract last week?

These answers can be found on two of my websites and my mystery blog. Addresses are as follows:

www.DarynCross.com, www.TerryCampbell.com, and www.BobbyeTerry.Blogspot.com. Clue: for the first two, check the book trailers...

Good luck and happy hunting!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coming Soon from L&L Dreamspell

Short story in Dreamspell Romance Volume 1, to be released soon. Enjoy the trailer.

After deciding she’s had enough of trying to find true love and ending up with true misery, Grace Temple takes desperate measures. She’s ready to pin her hopes on baking a chocolate seduction cake and casting a goddess spell. Maybe this time she’ll get what she really wants: Mr. Wonderful

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Santa Claus and Imagination

When I was deciding on a blog post for today, I ran across a mother’s blog on the Internet. I won’t mention the name and only give sketchy details. Suffice to say she’s a former follower of a faith with strong religious convictions and is now an atheist living in another country. In this particular blog, the mother mentions she doesn’t believe in telling her children either Santa or God are real. She says that because she has told them Santa’s not real and her children still have active imaginations, it proves Santa isn’t necessary. I don’t know what she’d say about leaving them devoid of faith in a divine being.

It seems one of her sons has invented a new solar system with multiple giant Earths where a special breed of carnivorous plants live with high intelligence. They have a different numeric system that goes to nine and then has three numbers they have manufactured in their native tongue. He also has invented a heat miser and snow miser who control the weather and a train miser that sends trains around the world. Now, add to that the fact this kid also invented a Pirate Santa Claus with no eye patch who has a sister with a long white beard.

Well, I formed an entirely different conclusion to this woman’s suggestion that imagination exists without Santa. In my estimation, this child apparently is trying to come to grips with a world in which two important beliefs have been taken away from him. I believe Santa Claus exists to give a child a sense of wonder when he is young and that child, hopefully, can carry that same precious wonder on into his adult life, even after he knows the Santa character was just make-believe. For what Santa symbolizes is real. As for God, well, he may not be an all-knowing being living in the sky, but in my humble opinion, God is as real as that divine spark that lives inside us and makes us have lively imaginations just like that woman’s son.

Thankfully, the little boy has chosen his own path. Maybe he’ll grow up to be a great fantasy writer.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Check out my contest on my mystery blog

www.BobbyeTerry.Blogspot.com--I'm giving away a copy of It's Magic as one of the prizes just for writing a small segment of a round robin short story. Contest ends tomorrow a.m. at 8 EST.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Now that's a Mystery

I read an review the other day that said most fantasies don’t have a mystery in them, and I began to wonder about that. I’m not sure that’s true, because to me it seems most fantasies have the hero/heroine searching for something. If they don’t know what it is, isn’t that a mystery? Even in my romantic comedies, the main characters are searching for a fundamental truth.

But, I have noticed as I write more straight mystery novels and turn to higher adventure fantasies, that the two become inexplicably combined in my fantasies (maybe a touch of magic even shows up in my mysteries).

In an upcoming series that I have, strange things start to happen and even the earth angels involved can’t figure out how they’re occurring. For instance, what’s going on when a car appears to have driven by itself, no driver, or when lions suddenly appear in the back yard. What’s with the huge buzzard that keeps crashing into windshields? Then there’s the mysterious question of why the main character’s mother-in-law is being guarded by an archangel.

In my latest co-written work, It’s Magic, released this month, the hero and heroine are searching for a love that has evaded them their whole lives. More importantly, they are searching for that one thing that will make them truly happy in their own skin. At the beginning, neither person is filled with wonder but beaten down by everyday life. To make matters even more interesting, mysterious things begin to happen, like everyone seemingly knowing what they’re doing all the time. How? Snakes not indigenous to the US also show up in Virginia and suddenly all the condoms are missing in Chesterfield County. Who could be behind all the mysterious occurrences they are now experiencing?

Piqued your interest? It’s Magic is available any day now. The other series I mentioned will be out late next year. You can read more about it and others on my website, www.DarynCross.com . For now, just remember that if someone says there’s no mystery in fantasy, you can ask them if they know how it will end when they begin. Not that’s a mystery.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Short story tralier

My short story, 6,000+ words, is in an e-anthology just released by L&L Dreamspell Halloween evening. The trailer is below. If you enjoy and would like to read, the buy link is below.


12 Perfect Days
Dreamspell Haunts Volume 1 (ebook anthology)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Welcome Author Jaleta Clegg

Jaleta Clegg is an author of science fiction adventure, comic fantasy, and silly horror. Her newest work Nexus Point, the Fall of the Altairan Empire Book 1 is available from Cyberwizard Productions.

How did you come up with your latest title?

Nexus Point
is a starting point, a beginning. This book sets the stage for the rest of the series. The Fall of the Altairan Empire is space opera, a grand sweeping tale of galactic civilizations crumbling as told by those at the crux of the crisis. I wanted a title for the first book that hinted at where the series was headed.

What is Nexus Point about?

Nexus Point says it's book one, but don't let that fool you. The book is a complete story. It's told by Dace, the main character for the series. She's been out of the Patrol Academy for only a couple of months, following her dream of owning her own trading ship. But her crew betrays her, sabotaging her ship, and stranding her on a planet locked in a feudal level of technology. The natives of the planet want to kill her because she's a demon. Drug smugglers on the planet want her dead because they think she's working for the competition. The Patrol agent on the planet thinks she's working for the smugglers. Everywhere Dace turns, people want her dead. Ever hear the phrase, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" That's how Dace feels as she tries to find a way to get off the planet and back to real civilization. If you're looking for a fast-paced adventure story, Nexus Point never slows down.

What books have influenced your life most?

I read just about everything I can get my hands on. I've lost track of how many books I own. There are several authors that really stand out, though. Andre Norton will always be my favorite SF author. I discovered her books when I was still in grade school. Reading them again is like visiting with old friends. Other authors that have influenced me include Elizabeth Moon, Julie Czerneda, Madeline L'Engle, Isaac Asimov, and Larry Niven. There are many, many others I could list, but those are the ones that stick out. The Bible and The Book of Mormon are the only non-fiction books I'd list. I wouldn't be who I am without that influence.

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

I've had the privilege of meeting many SF/F authors through my work at conventions. Most of them are wonderful, caring people. They take time to en-courage new authors, giving a few words of advice when asked. I can't say any of them have been a mentor for me, not personally, but their example and especially their writing, have inspired me to tell my own tales.

What are your current projects?

I'm currently in edits for Priestess of the Eggstone, book 2 in my series. Lots of fun and excitement going on for Dace, who's in trouble again. I've got stories in three different anthologies. "Omega Museum", a hard SF story about the museum of the last, in The Last Man Anthology from Sword & Saga Press just released. "Always a Bridesmaid", a silly zombie story, in Rotting Tales: A Zombie Anthology from Pill Hill Press is scheduled to release any day. "The Effect of Degraded Food Supplies on Indigenous Populations", a classic vam-pire story, is in "Fangs, Vol. 1", an ebook anthology from L&L Dreamspell Press, which is due out soon. I've got more stories in the works in various an-thologies and magazines. The complete list, and links, are on my website. http://www.jaletac.com Keeping track of all of them is proving harder than I anticipated.

I'm also putting together an anthology for my publisher, Cyberwizard Pro-ductions. Titled "Wandering Weeds: Tales of Rabid Vegetation", my co-editor and I are looking for stories about vicious, nasty, evil tumbleweeds. Details are on the blog: http://wanderingweeds.blogspot.com/

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Where do I start? No, really, I struggle with beginnings. When I start a book, I have to get to know the characters, the setting, the plot, everything. It's a very stressful social situation. My characters are real. Sometimes I have to wander for several pages before the characters start talking to me. Then I have to weave it into the story. Knowing where to jump into the action is more difficult than it seems. This is why editing and rewriting are so important. I've got several trusted friends that have no trouble telling me when I miss. I want that opening to grab you and drag you into the story, plus it's got to make you care about the characters. It's a difficult dance.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Same as what I've heard from everyone else: Keep writing. Every day. Find something to write- a blog post, a poem, an essay, a chapter, a short descrip-tion, a story, whatever you can squeeze into every day. If you're too busy to write, you aren't a writer yet. I work a part-time job, run two businesses out of my home, sew costumes and quilts, and have eight kids of my own. I write as my escape. It keeps me sane to write my insane stories. Maybe that's why I do so many silly horror stories. And adventures. I crave the escape. If one thing isn't working, I've got a million other ideas to play with.

Second piece of advice: BACKUP! Save those files often. And back them up on a flash drive or somewhere else not on your computer at least once a week. Nothing is more frightening than realizing you've just lost months of work. Keep multiple backups of every piece you write. You won't regret it. You will regret NOT doing it.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog today. It was great visiting with you!

Nexus Point: The Fall of the Altairan Empire Book 1Purchase links all at http://www.nexuspoint.info

I clawed my way through thickets and brambles. I dodged past barely seen trees. I splashed through streams and tore my feet on rocks. I was lost in the woods with animals that wanted to eat me. I ran until my side ached and I couldn't breathe.

I stumbled to a stop. Grasses waved in a light breeze. Mist rose from a stream, thin streamers of white that faded only a few feet above the ground. I dropped to my knees, trembling from fear. My stomach heaved. I retched up nothing.

The grass in front of me slowly parted. I stared into a wide face of evil green eyes and huge fangs. The animal snarled, showing more teeth. I didn't have the breath to run any longer. I scrabbled through the grass until I found a big rock. I staggered to my feet, hefting the rock in shaky arms.

"Go away," I said, my voice squeaking with fear. "You aren't going to eat me." I lifted the rock to my shoulder. My muscles protested.

The creature shot a look over its shoulder, then bounded away into the night.

I let out a slow breath. Something had just scared the creature. That something would be bigger and meaner. Fear shivered along my spine. I held the rock higher, ready to throw it at the new threat.

He came out of the mist like a primeval god in a really bad romance vid–dark hair, darker eyes, and a face stolen from my most secret fantasies. He wore a leather vest with no shirt, tight pants, and tall boots. He stopped on the other side of the stream, muscles flexing as he folded his bare arms across his chest.

I swallowed hard, wondering if he was just a dream. I shifted my feet on the stream bank. "What do you want?"

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Month of Thanks

The holiday season is upon us and it is a time to give thanks for all we have received. Even if this has been a tough year, as it has for me(believe me), there are things to give thanks for. Always one's position is better than many others. I am fortunate and very thankful for my friends, family, my writing buddies online and those in my chapter and as personal friends. I am also thankful and very grateful to my aquiring editor at Crescent Moon Press,Heather Howland for accepting IT'S MAGIC, Shannyn Lennihan for editing it, my editor at L&L Dreamspell, Lisa René Smith and Linda Houle, co-owner of L&L Dreamspell and graphic artist extraordinaire. I am grateful I have food to eat and a home, a husband who loves me (and I him) and a Lab who makes us laugh even when she's stealing our socks. There are many more things for which I can give thanks.

Let us help give back to those who are less fortunate than we are. Romance in the Backseat is reaching out to give thanks during the month of November, so listen up. Here is a message from Terry Kate, owner of the website:

This November Romance in the Backseat is doing a giveaway that is a little different then others online. Visitors comment and NOMINATE someone in their life they would like to thank or who is in need this holiday. We are very excited to be giving away a book a day as well as some great larger giveaways. Food. Let's face it times are hard for many people we know. So we are putting together some Edible Thanks.

Go to www.romanceinthebackseat.com for more details.