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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Witch Devotions.

Turning over the blog to author
Elizabeth J Kolodziej today. Enjoy the ride!
 – – –
Hello everyone! I am Elizabeth J. Kolodziej, author of the Last
Witch Series and lover of kittens and puppies. I must say that with the third book
coming out I have come a long way from where I was in 2009. Yes, 3 years seems like
a very short period, but I personally think there are 3 regular human years and
3 long author years.
The Last Witch Series has been my baby because it was something
I grew from nothing. It now has two novellas connected to the series, was in brick
and morter

and Noble stores, got great reviews from places like Readers Favorite and
Reader Views and I think it is still going places. In fact, I don’t think a series
really starts to pick up until the third book comes out.

I did a poll once around five months ago asking regular people
when they began reading a series. The answer? When the third book comes out and they
know the reader is serious about their writing career. I can’t say I don’t feel
similar considering the boom of self published authors out there who believe they
want this for a career. However, most don’t seem to register how much work goes
into being an author, traditionally published or indie.
With the thrd book out I have been asked if this is the last book
and where I want to go from here. The answer? The Last Witch Series has at least
two-three more books to go until it ends. Maybe more. Truthfully, I would like to
make it an eight book series. Why? Eight is my lucky number. Go figure.
However, the beauty in this is I have now grown so much as an
author that I am seeing the beauty in dabbling in other genres. For instance, I
have created the zombiepunk series. I pray to have Gravely Inanimated out
by the end of the year, or if anything early next year. Steampunk is a fun genre (I
really love the clothes!) and not only that but italso  gives me a whole new arena of
people to talk to and meet.
Also, there are my erotica books like, Demon Protection Plan,
where I can be a little more naughty and have more freedom in how graphic I get
with the sexual content. That is a whole other sort of lovely readers I get to meet
and know.
Elizabeth J. Kolodziej
What genre is next? I have no idea. I always said I would never
write zombies, but look at my steampunk book. So maybe I will write a little scifi.
The point is after three plus years I have learned to keep my mind open to new and different
writing. The way I write a book for Last Witch is totally different from the way
I do it for ZombiePunk. In my opinion, one is more intricate and detailed than the
other. That isn’t to say you get something more out of one book, you will just end
up reading a different kind of style. And that’s ok! Different is not a bad thing
and trying something new only brings out more ideas.
I am proud that I have come as far as I have in these past three
years and I hope to keep going further. It is my fans I have to thank for being
able to keep on going along with the tons and tons of marvelous writing friends
I meet. I am in this for the marathon, not the sprint. You will continue to see
me everywhere you go.
Hearts and Fangs,
Liz ^_^
Whisper of Time.

Today’s guest interview is with Gwynn Powell, from the book The Whisper of Time, by Ute Carbone. We’ll start with a bit about the book, look at an excerpt, and jump straight into the interview from there.

Book title: The Whisper of Time
Author: Ute Carbone
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Cover artist: Elaina
Length: 67 pages
Heat rating: Sweet/Sensual
Tagline: Love Beyond the Bonds of Time
Blurb: When fate offers Gwynn Powell a chance to start over,
she jumps at the chance. Laid off and living with a husband whose gambling problem
has eaten through a good part of their savings, Gwynn buys a farmhouse sight unseen,
leaving both her marriage and her old home behind.
But fate has more in mind for Gwynn than just a new home. The
farmhouse, tucked away in the Green Mountains of Vermont where even GPS can’t find
it, is also a step back in time. And Slate Peck, the farm’s caretaker and part owner,
is tied to Gwynn’s destiny in ways she never expected.
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Gwynn Powell, 28, veterinarian, Slate Peck, 28, farmer

Interview with Gwynn

Tell us about yourself. What are you like?
I love animals, which is why I became a vet. I have two pets
of my own, a dog and a cat. I like to seize the moment and I believe in living for
What do you think is your strongest point? I’m pretty good at
“rolling with the punches” and turning to do whatever it is life hands me.
Do you have a weakness?
(If so, what do you think it is? What does your lover think it is? What does your
enemy think it is?)
I sometimes jump into things without thinking things through.
I’m pretty sure others would agree.
What drives you to do
the things you do? What makes you want to be the “good guy?”
I trust my gut. A lot. So I tend to go with it. I want to be
content in my life, I want that for the people I love also.
What’s your favorite guilty
Hmm, I really like baking. It’s something I’m new to and still
learning. I baked muffins the other day. Next up, I might try some bread. Sky’s
the limit!
If you didn’t know how
old you were how old would you be?
A lot older I guess. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been around for
the better part of forever.
A biography has been written
about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
The woman who found timeless love.
If money were not an object,
where would you most like to live?
Oh, I love where I’ve moved to. The farm in Vermont is a dream come true.
I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but right here.
What song would best describe
your life?
Hmm, probably “You and I will meet again” by Tom Petty.
If you were a tool, what
would people use you to do?
Let’s see… I would be mixer. A hand mixer used to blend things
together and make something delicious.
Picture yourself as a
store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be
sold there?
Oh, that one’s easy. I’d be an Agway, with lots of food and supplies
for pets and farm animals.
As a child, what was your
favorite thing about school?
I loved reading—my favorite books were about animals.
Tell us an embarrassing
story that has to do with a pet. If you have no pets, a story about a significant
other will do. ^_^
My cat, Miss Kitty, once jumped onto my head while I was driving
and nearly caused an accident.
If you came with a warning
label, what would it say?
Do not shake.
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with mushrooms and peppers.
I’m always ready for anything!
When I’m alone, I tend to daydream a lot. I also talk to my
pets and the animals on the farm
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m pretty tough when I need to be.
If I had a halo it would be silver and very sparkly.
If I could fly I’d do it.
I can never leave the farm because my heart (and love) is here.

About the Author

I’m a novelist and sometimes poet who lives in Southern New Hampshire. I’ve been married to the same great
guy for a lot of years. We have two grown sons. I love hiking, skiing, and generally
communing with nature. I’m a big fan of chocolate, theater, and really good stories.

Find Me Here

Fist Full of Ashes.
Welcome to Romance Lives Forever, Ann. Tell us about your
book, All for a Fist Full of Ashes.
Author: R Ann Siracusa
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Breathless Press
Cover artist: Staci Perkins
Length (words): 97K
Heat rating: PG, sensuous with a few explicit sex scenes,
Tagline: A young tour director and a handsome spy take a fast-paced
romantic romp through Italy
in pursuit of a lost grave, an assassin, and a once-in-a-lifetime love.
I’m Harriet Ruby: Tour Director Extraordinaire. At least, I thought
I was worthy of that title, until…
My first mistake: Agreeing to conduct a private tour of Italy. Fourteen
Italian-Americans from New Jersey?
All family, for three weeks, with four teenagers? What was I thinking? Fate responds
to my engraved invitation by placing one of the family under surveillance as a suspect
in an assassination plot, and who is assigned to the case? None other than my favorite
drop-dead-gorgeous spy, Will Talbot.
My second mistake: Allowing Will to coax an invitation from the
family matriarch to join the tour.
And that was just the beginning. The matriarch, searching for
the unknown location of her mother’s grave so she can bury her brother’s cremated
ashes (which have been smuggled into Italy wrapped in Cuban cigars), and her quirky
family members sweep through Italy leaving chaos, hilarity, and danger in their
What are your main characters’
Harriet Ruby and Will Talbot
Heroine, 25; Hero, 34
Harriet is a Tour Director for Adventure Seekers Travel in Rome
Will is a Europol undercover spy and an ex-Special Forces contract
operative for the US
Tell us about your latest
book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
All For A Fist Full Of Ashes is the second novel in a romantic
suspense series entitled Tour Director Extraordinaire. The lead characters are the
same in each book, but the romance moves to a new level in each, while the external
spy story is resolved.
I’d say this is cross-genre because it is more than 50% suspense
and less than 50% romance. It’s also humor. I could never sell to conventional romance
publishers because my work is too action/story driven.
Meet Harriet Ruby, Tour
Director Extraordinaire
Dead Man’s Leg
She’s an intelligent, well-balanced but over-trusting young woman
whose biggest problem is that she doesn’t have any real problems. For twenty-four
years, her life has been good but predictable and ordinary. In book 1(All For A
Dead Man’s Leg), Harriet takes a position as a tour director in Europe, but instead
of being a trainee, she is responsible for a small group touring Spain and Morocco. All goes well until she and
her group get lost in the medina in Tangier…and one of her tourists dies.
Will Talbot, a handsome stranger and Europol spy in disguise,
offers to help her smuggle the body out of Morocco. At that moment, Harriet’s once-predictable
life turns upside down and will never be the same again.
Little does she know that getting out of Morocco is only
the beginning.
Meet Will Talbot, Mysterious
Tall, dark and to-die-for gorgeous, this spy and ex-Special Forces
contract operative for the US
government has a troubled past, huge issues with trust and guilt, and a calling
to rescue innocent victims.
He’s everything perfect on the outside that a principled spy
should be—intelligent, intense, self-diciplined, creative and intuitive, and with
a great sense of humor to boot—definitely larger than life. But vulnerable on the
inside and out of touch with his emotions.
Nothing in his action-filled, dangerous existence could have
prepared him for Harriet Ruby.
Water And Fire
Harriet and Will’s intense magnetic attraction to each other
creates a volatile combination. Together, they experience hilarious misadventures,
great sex, and life-threatening journeys in pursuit of murderers, smugglers, terrorists,
and a once-in-a-lifetime love.
All For A Fist Full Of
In Book 2 Will and Harriet have been seeing each other for a
year and have agreed to a no-strings attached, sexual relationship, but there’s
no denying the feelings are far more than casual.
They come together on the job in Italy. Harriet is conducting a private
tour of Italy
for an Italian-American family (fourteen relatives, for three weeks, with four teenagers).
What was she thinking? Will has one of the family members under surveillance as
a suspect in an assassination plot. He convinces the family matriarch to let him
travel with the tour.
The family matriarch, searching for the unknown location of her
mother’s grave so she can bury her brother’s cremated ashes (which have been smuggled
into Italy wrapped in Cuban cigars), and her quirky family members sweep through
Italy leaving chaos, hilarity, and danger in their wake.
How do you come up with
My inspiration is world travel. My initial interest in traveling
came about because, being an architect, I was interested in how earlier cultures
expressed their values, ideas, religion, and social customs in the buildings they
built. I never expected travel and writing to come together, but they did. Now,
when I travel, I look for unique things about the location or culture and try to
imagine what might happen under those circumstances that wouldn’t happen elsewhere.
When I read a book, I want to go places I haven’t been and do
things I’ve never done. I want to be someone else. When I write, I want to share
with readers the incredible wealth of culture and tradition, of architecture and
scenery, from other countries that I’ve been fortunate enough experience. So most
of my stories take place in other parts of the world where I’ve traveled.
Where do you start when
writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
Usually something I see, hear, or read sparks an idea. For example,
when I took a hot air balloon flight over northern San Diego County,
we were drifting silently over huge and expensive residential estates. Very remote.
Suddenly we came over the tops of some trees and startled several people on the
ground below us who never heard us coming. They were so close I could read the expressions
of surprise on their faces. And I thought, what would happen if a person was taking
their first solo hot-air-balloon flight and came upon someone burying a body? (That’s
one I’m going to write someday.)
Once I have an idea how the novel begins and a general idea of
the ending, I think about what kinds of characters would be engaged by these circumstances,
and come up with my lead characters.
I write four or five pages of back story, delving into the circumstances
which lead up to the inciting incident. This is when I might do some initial research
regarding real incidents I want to use. Some of the back story it is the characters’
background, but not like the character profiles some writers use. Sometime pieces
of the back story show up in the actual novel, most of it doesn’t. It is information
I need to write the story, but the reader doesn’t.
After that, I prepare a one page outline that looks like a calendar
– one box for each chapter, one sentence about what happens in each of the scenes
in the chapter. Like a Story Board. Only the essential actions needed to move the
story forward. “Joe kills Marcia.” I identify the plot points in the chapter
boxes. Many authors use 3×5 cards instead, so the chapters/scenes can be rearranged
at will to try out other ways to play out the story.
Then, I actually start writing. Things change along the way,
and sometimes they change enough that I have to change the story board. Most of
the time, it’s figuring out how Joe is going to kill Marcia and what happens when
he does.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
You mean, besides telling myself, “You’re nuts!”? Well, it would
be very hard to limit my advice to one or two things, since I have a long list.
And, truth be known, I probably wouldn’t have listened. I’m sure I heard these words
of wisdom from others along the way.
First, I’d convince myself that my calling was to be a writer
and not to put it off but start writing right away, which would include learning
the craft, writing every day, and networking with other writers.
Second, my advice would be “Run away from home!” Advice which
wouldn’t have been practical or possible but might have prepared me for the difficult
task of juggling even more plates in the air than I already had. The important thing
is to set aside the time to write and stick with it, in spite of your family and
your job. Don’t allow interruptions, even if it’s only fifteen minutes a day.
Third, learn to write anywhere. Always have something with you
and use whatever time is available to write.
Fourth, learn to “write by the rules” first. When you master
them, then you can break the rules by making conscious choices. Bottom line: Most
of us have to pay our dues.
Fifth, learn to take and use criticism, don’t get discouraged,
and be persistent.
Sixth, prepare a career plan.
Are your stories driven
by plot or character?
My novels are about 60% plot and 40% character driven. I find
it hard to separate plot and character. To me, fiction is all about people reacting
to circumstances and each affecting the other. If I put one set of characters into
a given situation or story idea, it becomes this novel. But if I put different characters
into the same situation, it will end up a different novel because they react differently.
The characters’ reactions, in turn, affect the action/plot. Chicken and egg.
Family Secrets
What do you hope readers
take with them after reading your work?
In my romantic suspense series, I want the reader to be transported
to an interesting place in the world with exciting characters doing things and having
experiences the readers wouldn’t have in their own real lives. In that process,
I hope they’ll have fun and a good laugh or two and, at the same time, learn something
about other countries and cultures. I want them to feel like they’ve been there.
Nothing deep or profound, just fun, fast-paced, and sexy. An escape from the real
I can do deep, profound,
and emotion-wrenching novels, but those aren’t romances.
List two authors we would
find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Dick Francis and Katie MacAlister. I aspire to write like a combination
of those two authors. LOL
A biography has been written
about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
It’s The Journey That Counts
If money were not an object,
where would you most like to live?
Half the time where I live now (in San Diego)
and half the time in Rome.
Rome is still my
favorite city. I know that’s, in part, because I fell in love and got married there,
but it’s also a great place to live.
What song would best describe
your life?
I’m not sure the whole song describes my life, but the title
I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World.
As a child, what was your
favorite thing about school?
Chasing the boys at recess (that was in grammar school).
Tell us an embarrassing
story that has to do with a pet. If you have no pets, a story about a significant
other will do.
This is a story about someone else’s pet and my husband. Jerry,
a friend of my two sons who lived about a block away, had a dog named Lady. Lady
defied every effort to keep her locked in the back yard, and she really loved chasing
things. She followed Jerry everywhere.
One Sunday morning my husband was out watering the front lawn
and along came a neighbor riding her bicycle. And in her wake, nipping at her ankles
and barking, came Lady.
My husband squirted water at the dog (and of course hit the woman,
too) and yells, “Hey, Lady. Why don’t you go home?”
Of course, the woman thought he meant her, not the dog. For years
afterward, until we moved away, every time she and her husband drove past our house,
she would point at it. You could tell by the way her mouth moved and her expression
that she was saying unkind things about my husband’s rude behavior.
If you came with a warning
label, what would it say?
Caution: Hazardous to your health.
If I was a first time
reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
You could start either with Family Secrets: A Vengeance of Tears,
which is a stand-alone historical (WWII) Mafia thriller. Or, if someone wants to
read the Tour Director Extraordinaire series (romantic suspense) it’s better to
start with Book 1 – All For A Dead Man’s Leg.
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with pepperoni.
I’m always ready for bed. It used to be because of the sex,
now it’s because I’m old and tired. How life changes!
When I’m alone, I write, quilt, or read…well, sometimes I
try to catch up on housework
You’d never be able to tell, but I enjoy opera and classical
music as much as I enjoy today’s rock music and riding a quad in the desert
If I had a halo, it would be pretty lopsided.
If I could make the best
seller list
, I’d drop dead of shock (and delight).
I can never know if there are planets in other galaxies with
intelligent life
because I’m not likely to live that long.
My Booklist
All For A Dead Man’s Leg – Book 1 in the romantic suspense series
Tour Director Extraordinaire
First Date – Short Story 1 in the romantic suspense series Tour
Director Extraordinaire
All For A Fist Full Of Ashes – Book 2 in the romantic suspense
series Tour Director Extraordinaire
Family Secrets: A Vengeance of Tears
Books Coming Soon
Halloween in the Catacombs – Short Story 2 in the Tour Director
Extraordinaire Series
A free read coming in October
Destruction of the Great Wall – Book 3 in the Tour Director Extraordinaire
Coming in November
All In The Game
Sci Fi Romance – Coming in November
R Ann Siracusa
First Christmas Follies – Short Story 3 in the Tour Director
Extraordinaire Series
A free read coming in December
All For Spilled Blood – Book 4 in the Tour Director Extraordinaire
Coming in February 2013
I’ll be having a contest in relation to my two releases in November.
It will be a drawing for a B&N or Amazon gift certificate and some other prizes
including ebooks. Details to be announced.
Find Me Here


Welcome to Romance Lives Forever, Tiffinie. Let’s talk about your book!
Title: Dreamweaver
Author: Tiffinie Helmer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Buy links:
Publisher: The Story Vault
Cover artist: Kelli Ann Morgan of
Length: A novella
Heat rating: Hot
Tagline: He was more than a dream…
A desperate man…
“Lucky” Leroy Morgan led a charmed
life, until he was murdered. Now he’s stuck in Limbo, unwilling to move on after
catching a glimpse of the future he was supposed to have and the amazing woman who
was destined to be his. Using the Northern Lights as a conduit back to earth, he
attempts to seduce her in her dreams, hoping to anchor himself to the physical plane.
If he doesn’t win her heart, he’ll be forever lost.
A tempted woman…
Gemma Star is fairly conventional considering
her hippie upbringing. Her biggest fear is that she’ll end up like her Tarot card
reading mother, who isn’t all there. When Gemma starts having out-of-this-world
sex with a dream lover, she starts to wonder if she is losing her mind along with
her heart. What if her crazy mother is right? If she continues consorting with her
Dreamweaver will there be lasting consequences to her soul?
Will their love survive? Or is it just a dream…
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
“Lucky” Leroy Morgan
(30) was a professional mountaineer before he was killed. Gemma Star (25) is a bookstore
owner of Chinook Books in Fairbanks, Alaska.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don’t lose yourself. I was a young bride of 19 and worked hard
putting my husband through college, had four children all before I was 28, and in
the meantime I lost who I was. My identity was either someone’s mother or wife.
It wasn’t until my youngest child went to school that I began living for myself
again. So many women put off their lives, sacrificing themselves for their family.
I’m not talking about being selfish, and there is sacrifice when you have young
children, but stay true to yourself. You’ll be a better wife and mother because
of it. And a hell of a lot healthier.
Do you have a muse? Describe
this person, please.
Yes, and she’s always off somewhere in the South Pacific. She’s
temperamental, loves to sun worship and have frosty drinks delivered by hot Cabana
What does “balance”
mean to you as a writer?
Something I should do more of.
Do things your family
or friends do ever end up in a book?
Yep. The best revenge is putting someone in your novel…and then
killing them.
What are some jobs you’ve
done before (or while) you were a writer?
Moosed Up
I am a potter and sell pottery at my local coffee shop that is
set up as an Art Gallery (very cool). My pottery is also featured
in Park City. On top of that, I commercial fish on
the Bering Sea of Alaska in the summers, and the rest of the year moonlight at Barnes
& Noble. I’m just a tad busy. See, why I “should” really look into balancing
my life.
Which of your books would
you recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read your genre, and why?
Moosed Up. It’s funny. The sex is hot, but there is a lot of
humor, and action, and intrigue. I’ve even had men contact me telling me how much
they enjoyed it.
Imagine you get to go
on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts
as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will
you go?
A bikini, sarong, flip flops, and my ereader. Somewhere tropical.
I love Kauai.
What is your favorite
holiday and why?
Halloween! Candy apples, witches, roasted pumpkin seeds, crisp
air, and colorful fall leaves. It’s also perfect convertible weather!
What do you like to do
when you’re bored?
I am never bored. Bored is a bad word in my house. If uttered,
it will get you a list of chores.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with artichokes, mushrooms, and olives.
I’m always ready for an adventure.
When I’m alone, I write.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m a brute.
Tiffinie Helmer
If I had a halo it would be slightly
If I could be a superhero I’d be Wonder Woman. Come
on, the woman has her own invisible plane and a pair of red, kickass boots.
I can never scuba dive because I’m claustrophobic.

Previous Books


Books Coming Soon

Bearing All

Find Me Here


Elysa, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about your book, The Sword and the Pen.

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Buy links:
The Sword and the Pen
Star Crash
Star Raiders
Publisher: Elysa Hendricks
Cover artist: Joleene Naylor
Length: 72,000
Heat rating: PG-13

The Sword and the Pen

When his fantasy becomes reality, reclusive author Brandon Davis
learns how to live.
Blurb: It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery
novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his
fictional world. Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem:
as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D’Lar, his fictional creation complete
with mile-long sword, skimpy leather outfit and badass attitude, appeared in his
Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked?
This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable,
was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew–that
life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.
What are your main characters’ names?
Brandon Alexander Davis
Serilda D’Lar
– 35
Serilda – 30
Brandon – fantasy novelist
Serilda – rebel warrior


What is the most important
thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I’ve been writing for over twenty years (yes, I started when
I was merely a babe in arms) and I’ve watched the publishing industry change and
grow in directions I never thought possible, at speeds I couldn’t imagine. Everything
about the industry is different except for the most important aspect – the writing.
The most important thing I did when I started my career is the same as what I do
now – I write. In the end, nothing I do matters if I haven’t written the story.
What websites do you visit
I don’t visit many websites, but I do spend more time than I
should on Facebook and reading email. I do enjoy the Romance Lives Forever blog.
I love reading the excerpts and interviews, but I have to limit myself. My TBR pile
is already at dangerous levels and I’m so far behind I’ll be dead years before I
finish reading them all.
What do you enjoy most
about life?
I like people. Though I’m content to spend time with myself and
my imaginary friends, I love being around other people – friends and family. I think
my theme song should be “I Like Life” from the movie Scrooge.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don’t be so afraid of making a mistake, of writing less than
perfect prose. Take more chances. Experiment. Write more. And eat more chocolate.
Do you have a muse? Describe
this person, please.
My muse lives in the attic of my mind. She finds the basement
much too dark and damp for her refined tastes. She’s a bit flighty little girl,
a bit cranky old woman and full of energy and enthusiasm. She has the attention
span of a goldfish – about 3 seconds – and is easily distracted by shiny objects.
She loves to laugh and play. When I’m writing she sits on my shoulder and whispers
ideas in my ear. She changes her appearance to suit her mood. One day she’s a fairy,
the next a vampire. Sometimes she’s a cat, sometimes she’s a cowboy. She and my
inner critic are arch enemies. They can’t be in the same room at the same time without
getting into a cat fight.
What does “balance”
mean to you as a writer?
Balance? I’m not sure what that is. I don’t have enough coordination
either physically or mentally to be “balanced.” I can’t ride a bicycle
or balance my life. I do set priorities. Sometimes family, friends and home life
are on top, other times I let my writing life take precedence. But I’ve never been
able to find a way to balance the teeter-totter of the two.
Do things your family
or friends do ever end up in a book?
Everything I’ve ever heard, seen, done, or experienced eventually
finds its way into my writing in one form or another. I don’t think I’ve ever taken
a friend or family member and morphed them into a character in one of my books,
but bits and pieces of them show up.
What are some jobs you’ve
done before (or while) you were a writer?
Star Crash
Let’s see I was a commercial casualty insurance underwriter.
I worked in various retail stores. I ran a cleaning service. I had a home daycare
centers. My husband and I owned and operated a video store and did home delivery
long before Netflix thought of it. And I still work part time for a wholesale text
book company and go out at the end of the college terms to buy back used text books
from the students.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your
own writing?
I read just about everything from historicals to futuristics,
from horror to inspirational, YA to mainstream. Though I have a soft spot for fantasy
romance, if it’s a good story I don’t discriminate by genre.
What do you think is the
future of epublishing?
The ebook revolution has been a long time coming. My book first
book, a western historical romance Rawhide Surrender was published in 1999 by one
of the first epublishers – Hard Shell Word Factory. Back then ebooks were a tough
sell. eBook readers were few and far between, expensive, and didn’t have the capacity
or ease of use of the newer versions. I still have my old Rocket Book ereader. I’ve
since reclaimed my rights to Rawhide Surrender and have re-released the book as
Her Wild Texas Heart.
I think epublishing is one of the best things to happen for authors
and for readers. The opportunities are both exciting and scary. I received a Kindle
Touch for Christmas and love the ease of purchasing books and having them at my
fingertips. I’m not about to give up on print, but I like having both options.
Imagine you get to go
on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts
as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will
you go?
Since I’m going to somewhere warm with sandy beaches and crystal
clear water, I’ll be packing my swimsuit and sandals and sunscreen. Other than that
I’ll need my Kindle, laptop and toothbrush. Oh, and I’d take my hubby.
What is your favorite
holiday and why?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the food, the getting
together with family and friends without the pressure of gift giving. It’s a time
to relax and reflect on all the good things in your lives.
Where were you at midnight,
on December 31st when the new century started?
My hubby is an IT guy for a major corporation, so on 12-31-99
we along with all the other computer guys were having a party at the company office.
The executives wanted to be sure Y2K didn’t crash their systems, so all the IT
people had to come in to work. Hubby knew nothing bad was going to happen, because
he and the other guys had already checked everything out and fixed the problem.
Still, the company brought in pizza and we had an impromptu New Year’s Eve party.
Not terribly exciting, but my motto is “real” life has always been: Boring
is good. Excitement is vastly overrated.
What do you like to do
when you’re bored?
Bored? What’s that? I won’t say I never get bored, but it happens
so rarely that I can’t recall the last time. Even if I don’t have anything to do,
a book to read, a movie or TV show to watch, the characters who live in my head
keep me well entertained. Sometimes I wish I could shut them up and let me be bored
for a few minutes.
If your life became a
movie, who would you want to play you?
You mean my life isn’t already a movie? Hmm, Sandra Bullock comes
to mind. Anyone but Kristen Stewart. Maybe Jack Black.
If you were a color, what
color would you be?
Since my “real” life is totally vanilla, bland, boring
I guess my color would be a warm, creamy beige. My fantasy life, however, is a phantasmagoria
of colors – pinks, blues, reds, greens, purples and oranges – neon, of course.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with an olive oil base, feta cheese and sundried tomatoes.
I’m always ready for visiting with friends and family.
When I’m alone, I talk to my fictional characters.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m a really boring person.
If I had a halo it would be held up by my horns.
If I could fly I’d spend all my time in the sky watching the world.
I can never ride a motorcycle because I have absolutely no sense of balance or physical coordination.

Find Me Here

In Hot Pursuit.

Karen, welcome to Romance Lives Forever! Let’s talk about your new book, In Hot Pursuit.

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Buy links:
Barnes and Noble:
Publisher: Crimson Romance/Adams Media
Length: a tad over 72,000 words
Heat rating: PG13
When $25 million is stolen from her employer, a relationship-phobic
accountant hunts for the thief alongside a handsome bachelor who falls for her.

Quinn Wells believes her life is just as it should
be — calm, relaxed, and free of relationship entanglements. The theft of a $25
million dollar gift to her employer, Houston
Cullen University,
changes all that.
Quinn, knowing her own innocence is in question, takes
matters into her own hands by setting off in pursuit of the coworker she believes
is responsible for the theft. But Logan Rice, the donor of the gift, isn’t going
to let her out of his sight.
As they race from city to city, Logan is determined to win over Quinn and convince
her they have a chance as a couple. But Logan’s
wealth and social position are the opposite of Quinn’s middle-class life, and he
devastates her by withholding information about his past. Will she discover what
is most important to her before he walks away?

What are your main characters’
names? Ages? Occupations?
Quinn Wells — 44 years old — Controller of Houston Cullen University
Rice — 42 years old — Executive Director of the Bridge 

Interview with author Karen Sue Burns

Tell us about the main
character in your current book. What is she like?
Quinn Wells is a divorced woman in her early-forties who is content
with her life having a good job and happy daughters. After being divorced for ten
years, she has convinced herself that she isn’t relationship material, i.e. she’d
damaged goods. She’s looking forward to becoming a grandmother, continuing to work
until retirement age, and cooking. She would love to publish her own cookbook. Her
life turns chaotic with the theft of a $25 million gift to her employer, Houston Cullen University.
As university controller, she’s appointed to deal with the police and proceeds to
use her analytical skills and gut instincts to solve the theft. The search for the thief provides the
perfect opportunity for the reader to view the many sides of Quinn — analytical
and organized over achiever, general smartass, doting mother, loyal friend, reluctant
lover, and brave citizen in the face of danger.
If your main character
was here today, what would she say is her strongest point?
Quinn has excellent logic in dealing with problems, along with
plain old smarts that guide her search for the thief of the $25 million. Plus, she
is tenacious and thinks outside the box in most instances.
Does she think she has a weakness? (If so, what does she think
it is? What does her lover think it is? What does her enemy think it is?)
Quinn would say her weakness is that she’s too smart for her
own good — yes, she’s a smartass and thinks she is right about most everything.
Logan Rice would say her weakness is that she has given up on
love and her thinking that she can’t make a relationship work for the long term
is plain wrong.
Rebecca Holland would say that Quinn’s weakness is an over inflated
sense of importance at Houston Cullen University as everyone knows that accounting
is a necessary evil and boring as hell, just like Quinn.
What drives your heroine
to do the things she does? What makes her want to be the “good guy?”
Quinn believes in “truth, justice, and the American way.”
She has a conservative nature and believes that hard work, dedication, and a strong
will lead to success. She believes that by using her smarts she is the good guy
who works are being fair to all. On the other hand, she does have a bit of a quirk
or spark that generates her smartass trait. Her tenacity in going after the thief
stems from her belief in justice and righting a wrong.
What’s your main character’s favorite guilty pleasure?
For women, a guilty pleasure usually relates to chocolate, jewelry,
or clothes. Quinn’s guilty pleasure is kitchen gadgets. She has a ten year old car
and a plain cell phone, yet she has the latest style of food processor, four coffee
pots, enough kitchen knives to open a store, and three sets of pots and pans. Rather
than wandering around the shoe department at Nordstrom’s or Macy’s, she stalks the
aisles of Crate and Barrel and every boutique kitchen store in the Houston metro area.
Coliseum in Rome

Interview with Character Quinn Wells

A biography has been written
about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
The title would probably be something like: The Tenacious Broad
Picture yourself as a
store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be
sold there?
This is an easy one, I would be a kitchen store. i would sell
everything, other than food and large appliances, that could be found in a residential
kitchen. And, naturally, I would be forced to tour the world for the very best products
for my store . . . ooh, too much fun!
If you came with a warning
label, what would it say?
Watch out, too smart for her own good.

Please Fill in the Blanks — Responses by Quinn Wells

I love pizza with black olives and extra cheese.
I’m always ready for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, usually
wine if it’s after 11 am
When I’m alone, I enjoy
trying out or creating a new recipe
You’d never be able to tell, but my first grandchild will
be born soon. (I agree, I look so young for forty-four!)
If I had a halo it would be lopsided.
I’m so not an angel
If I could have a dog, I would spoil her like crazy.
Hmm, maybe I should adopt a puppy
I can never grow house plants because I have a black
thumb, seriously, left hand

About the Author

Sue Burns writes romantic suspense and mystery featuring feisty heroines who find
themselves embroiled in risky situations full of adventure and sexy heroes. She
has worked as a CPA for over 25 years. She’s traveled to Rio
de Janeiro, London and Oslo, audited glass molds for wine bottles in California, and taken a helicopter to a drillship off the
Gulf Coast–all in the name of accounting. For
the last 16 years she’s been controller at a liberal arts university in Houston, Texas
handling the financial statements, the annual audit, and preparing IRS Form 990.
Accounting has been good to her, but writing romance novels is her passion. In Hot
Pursuit is her debut romantic suspense novel. Karen may be contacted via her website


In Hot Pursuit is the first
novel for the author.

Books Coming Soon

Karen Sue Burns
The Liberation of Mr. Delaney,
a contemporary ghost mystery and book one in The Texas Ghost Series, is currently
planned to be indie published by the end of October 2012.

Find Me Here

About the images

Statue of Liberty outside the
New York-New York Casino in Las Vegas: One of Quinn’s favorite sights during
the first leg of her search for the thief of the $25 million.
Trevi Fountain in Rome: Throwing
a coin in the foundation alongside Logan
is a comforting act for Quinn — “They
had crossed an unspoken boundary. The warmth of his gaze filled her with hope. Hope
that what lay ahead wouldn’t bite her in the butt. But at that moment, the planets
in her world were in perfect alignment.”
The Coliseum in Rome:
This nighttime photo was the inspiration for the cover of In Hot Pursuit.
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