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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Velvet.

Xavier Axelson, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your book, Velvet.

Genre: Historical, MM, Erotic Romance
Buy links:
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications
Cover artist: Ken Harrison
Length: 253 Pages
Heat rating: Scorching
Tagline: Nothing is more dangerous than Velvet.
Blurb:
The first novel from Xavier Axelson is set against a
backdrop of decadence, privilege, and intrigue. Virago, the royal tailor, makes
a discovery that will test the bonds of brotherhood, unravel the forbidden
secrets of his heart, and threaten the very fabric of his existence.
In a land where cruelty is disguised as allegiance, loyalty
is masked by obligation, and the laws of sumptuary govern the people, nothing
is more dangerous than Velvet.
What are your main
characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Virago/Tailor/22
Seton/Musician/22
Duir/King/21
Sylvain/Animal Trainer/20

Interview

What is the most
important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started
writing?
I now give my mind the
permission to relax between books; this gives my imagination and spirit time to
recharge and rest.
What websites do you visit
daily?
Twitter, Facebook, and
Youtube
If you could change something
about your first book, what would it be?
The title.
What do you enjoy most
about life?
The ability to write
and share my work is a gift. I truly find writing to be a great joy.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Lily
Write more.
What does
“balance” mean to you as a writer?
It means finding time
everyday to write but also reaching a place where you can shut your writer off
and enjoy nature, family, friends and good food.
What kind of books do
you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I love 1940’s-!960’s
British literature.
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?
I’d take a pad, a fine
tip pen and worry about the rest when I got there. I’d go directly to
Stockholm, Sweden.
What is your favorite
holiday and why?
I really love St.
Patty’s Day. I love celebrating the Irish part of me, or maybe its because I
love Guinness and corned beef.
If your life became a
movie, who would you want to play you?
Cary Grant
If you were a color,
what color would you be?
Red
Which statement is
more like you:
“I am a vacation
spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries
in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible.”

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with everything
on it.
I’m always ready for what’s
next.
When I’m alone, I listen
to audiobooks.

Find Me Here

Other
sites: http://examiner.com/fringe-artists-in-los-angeles/francis-xavier

Open House: Pool of Souls.

Krystal Shannan, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about your book, Open House: Pool of Souls Book 1

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover artist: Lauren McCauley
Length: 53 pages
Heat rating: Spicy
Blurb:
Intrinsically woven into the fabric of human existence, Aphrodite, Titan Goddess of Love and Passion, dedicates herself to matching soul mates….Rebecca Carol and Robert Corvin missed their original chance to bond when Ares, God of War, took control of Robert’s career ten years ago. Their souls have naturally pulled them back together for a second chance at love, but… How far with the gods go to get their own way? Will divine influence create another perfect match or will it tear them apart forever?
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Hero: Robert Corvin – 31 – Owns and operates a large software engineering company. Moving to Houston, TX.
Heroine: Rebecca Carol – 28 – Works as a real estate agent in Houston, TX.
Excerpt:
A deep male voice boomed through her garden, breaking her concentration. “Aphrodite!” The images of Robert and Rebecca swirled and were lost as the pool’s surface went clear. She turned to face the irate male.
“Ditee! Why can’t you just leave well enough alone?”
Aphrodite leaned against the cool rock and gave him a lazy smile. She’d expected Ares to complain. Robert Corvin played a key role in research and weapon development for the United States. No human got into his position without a little shove from the god of war.
“I will do exactly as I wish, especially when it comes to souls who have searched as long as these two have.”
“He’s mine, Ditee. I’ve finally got him where he will be of most use, and now I hear he has moved. Because of a girl! I knew it was your fault. Hands off.” His eyes flashed red, and a deep growl rumbled from his chest.
Aphrodite rose to face him. Her power rose and flamed within her, causing her skin to glow white. Ares took a step back. “You will not speak to me so rudely,” she said, her voice taking on its godly attributes, booming across the garden like a sonic wave. Ares stumbled a little from the force. “I am your superior. These souls deserve to be together, and you will not interfere.”
“The hell I won’t.”
***
Rebecca Carol parked her blue Honda Civic in front of the Williams Realty building on the north side of Houston, Texas. A heavy sigh escaped her. Her boss’s white Mustang sat next to the building. Drat! She had hoped to arrive first, grab her list of appointments, and leave before Marion Williams even showed up to start the day. No such luck.
The bell jingled above the door when she pulled it open and stepped into the office lobby. Vanilla roast hung fresh in the air. She might be a martinet, but there was no denying Marion made the best coffee.
“Rebecca? Is that you?” Marion’s shrill voice came from her office.
Marion Williams ran an excellent business, and most of the time, she was a reasonable boss, but lately her personality had become grating, like a cat clawing a chalkboard. Her nasty divorce was the cause for most of it, and Rebecca couldn’t really blame her. Who wouldn’t be irritable if you found out your husband had cheated on you for the last ten years?
“Yes, Marion. I’ll be right there. Let me put my things in my desk.”
“No, no. Come here first.” Her urgency was uncommon, and Rebecca moved swiftly, dropping her purse on the sideboard outside the door.
Purple and yellow were the company colors, and Marion’s office was quite a testament to them. The carpets were a bright summer-yellow. The desk was white, and the drapery and pillows in the window seat were a rich royal purple. A purple brocade high-back chair sat in the corner by a small bookshelf. The décor was a very bold statement, but Marion pulled it off.
“Is something wrong? You sound worried.” Rebecca stood in the doorway and waited for Marion to look away from her computer screen.
“Ah, no. Nothing wrong, just strange.” Marion continued to type.
Rebecca cocked her head. Her boss tore her gaze from the screen and met Rebecca’s. “You have an appointment today.”
“Just one?”
“I’m covering your other two.”
Now Rebecca was really curious. Marion never covered her appointments.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Marion tucked her bangs behind an ear. “I don’t know how you got this. I should be the one running this appointment, but you were requested by name. It’s a very high-profile client from out of town.”
Interesting. Rebecca shifted her weight from her right to her left foot. It was better to wait on Marion than to pressure her. She frowned as Marion gave her outfit the once-over and grimaced. Rebecca didn’t make enough money to dress in the designer labels like her employer, although with the impending divorce, Marion might find herself with less spending money than usual.
“The showing is in The Woodlands. You will need to go home and put on something nicer. Your dress is too casual.” Marion shook her head and looked back at her computer screen.
Rebecca swallowed a snort. The white floral dress was quite nice, especially paired with the cute green wedge heels. They gave such a nice pop of color. Most of Marion’s dislike came from the fact that they weren’t name brand.
Marion handed her the clipboard with the appointment information, and Rebecca’s mouth went dry.
Robert Corvin.
“Do you know this Robert Corvin?” Marion asked.
Rebecca glanced up from the clipboard and stared at her.
“I should be handling this appointment. You’ve never handled a sale this large.”
Rebecca tried to speak, but nothing came out.
“Rebecca!”
“Yes, ma’am. We went to high school together.” Her voice finally emerged to quell the storm in her boss’s face. With that said, Marion seemed to relax a bit.
“Well,” Marion gave her clothing another demoralizing examination. “I still think you should go home and change into something more appropriate. This is a really big sale. I want you to give him a very good impression of my office.”
Rebecca nodded. Marion leaned back in her chair. “I want this sale, Rebecca. I don’t care what happened between the two of you back in high school. Don’t let it stop you from sealing the deal.”
“Yes, ma’am. I will do my best. I’m surprised he even remembers who I am.”
“Men remember more than you think, young lady. He wouldn’t have asked for you if he didn’t remember you.”
“I should go. The sheet says he wants to meet at ten, and it will take me nearly an hour to get to the property.” Rebecca paused for a moment. “Is there anything else you need me to do, Marion?”
“No, get going. Call me after and let me know how it went.”
Rebecca nodded and walked out of the office. She picked up her purse and keys from the sideboard outside Marion’s door and waved to Paige, the receptionist who had just arrived. The bell jingled again to announce her exit.
Blog Tour for Open House

She wondered if Robert would remember her. Probably not, it had been so many years. He’d probably tutored a lot of girls in freshman algebra.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
Well, Open House: Pool of Souls is my first published book…. so I’m just getting warmed up. I’ve been writing for years. It was only just this past year or two that I’ve really pushed myself to take the leap into publication.
What websites do you visit daily?
Facebook, my blog, and Twitter…. does email count. I feel like I’m always in my email.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Write more! I wrote constantly in high school and college, but after I got married I let it go for a while. I wish I hadn’t.
Do you have a muse? Describe this person, please.
I don’t have one particular muse. My characters are my muses. My characters whisper…. does that sound strange. I joke that I have a multiple personality disorder, but that’s how it feels to me sometimes. ROFL! My husband has even told me he’s had conversations with some of my characters in the middle of the night. So apparently, even when I’m sleeping, they are creeping around up there!
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Absolutely! There was the one time… it involved Mexican dominos…. satisfying someone….. and a whole lot of laughing. It’s not in a book yet, but it totally is going to be.
What are some jobs you’ve done before (or while) you were a writer?
I teach elementary music in a Texas public school, but I’ve also worked as a bank teller, and in a department store.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read mostly contemporary, paranormal, and a few science fiction romance thrown in for good measure. Lately I have started a couple of romantic suspense. Pretty much anything with a ‘Happily Ever After’ is fair game on my Kindle.
What do you think is the future of epublishing?
I think it will continue to grow and eventually dominate the publishing market.
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?
I’m going to Greece! My dream is to see the ruins at Athens and on Crete. I would pull down my travel bag from my closet, load it with clothes, shoes, my husband’s toiletry travel kit, make up bag, my camera, a beach towel, and I’m ready to go!
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I really enjoy thanksgiving. It’s all about being grateful for what we’ve been given and celebrating with family…..plus really really really good food!
What good book have you read recently?
I actually just finished Jennifer Probst’s The Marriage Bargain and Laura Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness.
What do you like to do when you’re bored?
Read. Watch TV. My favorite show is LOST GIRL and MERLIN.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Kate Hudson…. hands down! I love her snarky sense of humor paired with loyalty and down-to-earth friendliness.
Which statement is more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible.”
The first, LOL. I just go with the flow most of the time.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with canadian bacon.
I’m always ready for fun.
When I’m alone, I read.
If I could dance I’d want to be on dancing with the stars.
I can never stop writing because the characters in my head would torture me.
Krystal Shannan

Books Coming Soon

Pool of Souls Book 2
A Very Russian Christmas (Decadent)
Holiday Chase

Find Me Here

Other sites: AmazonAuthor Page

Toni Noel, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Rising Above.

Genre: Historical Time Travel
Buy links:
Desert Breeze Publishing http://is.gd/Toni_DesertBreeze
Or from your favorite eBook store.
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Cover artist: Carol Fiorillo
Length (words): 105,000
Heat rating: R
Tagline: A misfit tomboy goes back in time, compromises her reputation
with a disillusioned Pinkerton man who to her dismay insists on a marriage of convenience,
while she longs to return to her own time.
Blurb:
Bad weather cuts short Wilda Stone’s hot-air balloon race, throwing
her back into widowed lawman Hal Grantham’s time, the 1870’s. A sand storm forcing
them off Hal’s horse and into a cave where they spend two nights, compromising Wilda’s
reputation, and forcing Hal into a marriage of convenience. Once they make love
Wilda realizes she has fallen in love with the terse lawman and abandons all thought
of returning to the twenty-first century. Her stoic husband conceals his true feelings
for her. When diphtheria– the same disease responsible for taking his first wife
and son — threatens the silver mining town of Cerro Gordo, deep concern for Wilda’s
welfare drives Hal to send his wife back to her own time in her balloon. His actions
convince her Hal shuns her love and she departs, whispering a promise to return,
without revealing her pregnancy. Once her conveyance rises beyond his reach, Hal
realizes his mistake and launches a futile search for the woman he now readily admits
he loves.
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Wilda Stone and Hal Grantham. 28 and 32. In her other life Wilda
was a flag person on a Caltrans road crew. In Cerro Gordo
the only acceptable work to fill her time is helping out in the kitchen of the American
Hotel, a totally unacceptable activity for an awkward outdoor girl who can’t cook.
Hal is a disillusioned undercover Pinkerton agent ready for a
change.

Interview

How do you come up with
ideas?
Inspiration strikes me at the oddest times, and in unexpected
places. Usually it’s through something I see, or hear. A boarded up house in a ritzy
neighborhood we were driving through inspired Decisive Moments. A network news story
about the rising birthrate in a faraway Irish town inspired Fairy Dusted. A weekend
stay in the refurbished bunk house of a restored silver mining town inspired Rising
Above.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the freedom of being my own boss, and the chance to escape
reality while I write, but I also enjoy the anticipation I feel when a friend buys
one of my books. I can’t wait to hear how they liked it, whether it made their day
a little happier or gave them something new to think about.
What do you enjoy most about life?
The thing I enjoy most is simply being alive. I am so blessed.
A loving family. Good health. A wealth of knowledge at my fingertips and time to
explore all of it to the fullest. It’s a great life.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline,
or…?
The inspiration comes first, then a character’s name or the novel’s
setting. Next, as ideas come to me, I list fifty scenes necessary to move my characters
through the story and reach a satisfactory conclusion. I’m very visual, so I transfer
the scenes to stickies, arrange those on a story board, and after identifying the
major turning points and the blackest moment for each character, I’m ready to write.
The beauty of this method is the stickies can be moved around countless times, and
the scenes rearranged as I write to give the story ending a satisfying resolution,
showing ways in which the main characters have changed.
What are some jobs you’ve done that would end up in a book?
In my teens I called square dances for the Y.M.C.A. and later
did alterations for a cleaners. When we were without health insurance, and our four
young children had run up a big debt at their doctor’s, I made drapes for his new
office to settle our account. I’ve also performed puppet shows and taught crafts
at nursing homes. Before retiring, I supervised a computerized payroll, and included
some of my office experiences in Temp to Permanent, a romantic suspense.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your
work?
I want my readers to feel satisfied with their read. I write
novels about finding a safe haven for the heart and firmly believe this is what
everyone hopes to find. I found my safe haven early in life, but it still delights
me when the book I’m reading ends with the heroine finding her safe haven in the
arms of her newly found love.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
I would specialize in classically styled upscale dresses and
suits, go-to outfits a woman reaches into her closet for every day. I’d have a complete
selection of leather boots in a variety of styles and widths. The leather purses
I carry will have wide openings and no places for lipsticks and car keys to hide.
I’d showcase earrings with silver or gold posts for pierced with only snap closures,
no easily-lost separate parts. In the casual clothing department you’ll find quality
merchandise for travel, spectator sports and working out all in one place, the huggable
woolens and cashmeres incredibly soft to the touch, the baby terry and fleece silky
smooth next to your skin.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
I loved the countless opportunities for expanding my horizons
school provided. I had endless curiosity and still question everything. My favorite
question is “Why?”
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Caution. Contents under extreme pressure and with good cause
will likely explode. (I inherited my father’s volatile temper.)

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love vegetarian pizza with artichokes.
I’m always ready for fun.
When I’m alone I eat dinner on our best china. It makes me
feel like I’m eating out
.
You’d never be able to tell, but I was the head cheerleader
for my high school
.
If I had a halo it would be bent.
If I could crochet I’d own that sweater I’ve been admiring.
I can never diet for long because I love to eat and
have no willpower
.

About the Author

Toni Noel’s Novels… Safe havens for the heart.
Toni Noel’s love of books started in childhood, when her
mother first read The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew to her. She helped
start church libraries in two rural Tennessee
towns and appeared before the City Planning Commission and the San Diego City
Council to urge a site be purchased. As the neighborhood spokesman for the new
library the City Councilman for her district invited her to turn the second
shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking for the new library. Toni’s fondest dream,
to see one of her safe-haven-for-the-heart novels available for checkout there
may soon be fulfilled. Desert Breeze Publishing will release in print form in
November the author’s first published novel Law Breakers and Love Makers.

Find Me Here

Buy links:
Desert Breeze Publishing http://is.gd/Toni_DesertBreeze
Or from your favorite eBook store.
Shopgirl and the Vampire

Ciar Cullen, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, The Shop Girl and the Vampire*.

Genre: Paranormal Historical
Buy links:
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Length: 35p, 11,000 words
Heat rating: sweet
Tagline: At the cusp of the 19th century,
a penniless lass learns her dashing guardian angel is a bloodsucking devil.
*Winner, Boroughs Publishing Group @FirstSight short story contest.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Kitty Twamley, Irish
scullery turned talented artist, 24
Phillip Orleans, socialite/vampire
Boroughs Publishing

Interview

What is the most important
thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
It’s taken me about 7 years to actually know how to “write from
the heart.” I used to hear that phrase and thought I knew what it meant—with passion
and verve. It’s akin to “write what you know”. Write what you know in your heart; write your own psychological
journey onto the page, and don’t assume that no one will understand it. Be authentic.
When you write your version of “junk food,” it comes out the intellectual equivalent
of junk food. Write with abandon.
If you could change something
about your first book, what would it be?
Just about everything. I wrote every high fantasy trope into
that book: the journey, the unavailable royal, the brothers, the bad wizard’s fortress,
the heroine who feels bad about herself until the hero loves her, the campfire meal
on the journey… oy vey. Lord of the Rings “lite”. Shudder.
What do you enjoy most
about life?
I think the thing I enjoy most about life is the mysterious nature
of life itself. Hmmn, enjoy might be the wrong word. But as I get older, I find
that the trivial really falls away and you’re left with questions about yourself,
and how you fit into the Universe.
If you could choose anyone
to be your mentor who would it be?
For writing, hands down, Mark Twain. While he had some great
sadness in his life, his wit and unorthodox (for the time) way of looking at his
world were genius.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I’d tell young Ciar that she deserved good things, as we all
do, that she was entitled to look out for herself, and that she didn’t have to spend
her life trying to take care of others who would not accept responsibility for themselves.
Oh, and not to wear pale blue eye shadow. And that 118 pounds wasn’t fat. (I’d scream
that last part).
What kind of books do
you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I really like nonfiction. Books like “Devil in the White City.”
I love Victorian settings, exotic settings. For fiction, I don’t much like the Oprah
Book Club type “women’s literature.” I’m more likely to reach for something on my
“great books” list, which I’m trying to work through. 200 books that my high school
and college didn’t make me read. Thackery, etc.
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?
I am a low-maintenance gal. I’m opening a rucksack, throwing
in jeans and cargo pants, a swimsuit (and 100 SPF sunscreen), a hat, shorts and
tank tops, some underwear, and headed for the Amazon. Oh, pretty heavy hiking boots.
What do you like to do
when you’re bored?
My go-to hobby is knitting. Everyone I know has an afghan from
me; a few have lace shawls. I’m now making a coat of many colors!
If your life became a
movie, who would you want to play you?
I can’t picture a single moment of my life being movie-worthy,
except perhaps when I was an archaeologist, but of course, the great ones come to
mind—Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, etc.
If you were a color, what
color would you be?
“American Beauty Rose” my mom used to call it. Not in-your-face
red, but with just enough subtlety to take the edge off. But noticeable, for sure.
I share a birthday with Lucille Ball, and that pretty much sums me up!
Which statement is more
like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because
I do things as fast as possible.”
I’m a “do the world in a month” person. Fast, fast, fast. Except
for writing. Snail-like.

Please Fill in the Blanks

Ciar Cullen

I love pizza with lots of cheese.

I’m always ready for sleep.
When I’m alone, I daydream.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m very religious.
If I had a halo it would be rusty.
If I could do it over I’d become a surgeon.
I can never stray because I’m very loyal.

Find Me Here

October on Romance Lives Forever saw eleven author
interviews, ten character interviews, and two articles.
This month marks the first full month during which we used the author’s Twitter handle as part of our post titles.  The impact of hits mentioning the author on Twitter help show them how valuable a visit on this site can be. Does it help bring people to the blog? Consider this: 18 of the 24 bloggers this month placed in the top 33% of overall hits on the blog.
Here are the top five posts for the month of October
(judging by page hits).
1. Susan Lodge — Character Interview with Hetty Avebury
2. Charlie Cochrane — Character Interview with Ben Edwards
3. Ally Shields — Author Interview “Awakening the Fire”
4. AR Norris — Author Interview “All Female Planet?”
5. Stephanie Burkhart — Character Interview with Lady Keira
Other participants this month in alphabetical order by first
name are: Adriana Kraft, Andrew Grey, Barbara
Bradley, Brenna Zinn, Casey Sheridan, Cynnara Tregarth, Dominique Eastwick, Elle
Druskin, Holley Trent, Jennifer Stevenson, Kate Hill, Kendall McKenna, Keta
Diablo, Kristina Knight, Rhea Rhodan, Sharon Kleve, Terry Spear, Tmonique
Stephens
 
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