Sunday, March 31, 2013

A-Z Challenge: 30 Days of Stories

Tomorrow will start the infamous A-Z Blog Challenge. This will be my third year in a row. Every day in April will be a new post on the theme I've selected. In past years, I've learned so much, and met some wonderful people.

At the side (upper right) you will see a button where you can go to the list and choose another blog to follow, read, and comment, if you wish. There are no prizes here, for the most part, just an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, blogging about all sorts of things.

Last year I did 30 days of Gratitude. This year, I'm going to do 30 days of Stories. Some will be family stories, some character stories as I do research, some stories of things that could happen in the future. I like exploring the past while I forge ahead to the future.

Won't you come along with me on this journey?

Until then, may all your travels be joyous and your linkys continue to work.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Meet Author Alexandra Anthony

I have a real treat for my readers. Author Alexandra Anthony has agreed to join my blog today. Wait until you read her yummy characters. I have a special thing for vamps, as you know. Hers are next on my TBR list. The covers alone burn up my computer screen. So, without any further delay, welcome Alexandra. 

What genres do you write and why? Anything interesting about how you got started?
I write in the paranormal romance genre…however, my books tend to be a little on the erotic side.  I enjoy the paranormal, especially vampires so I was drawn to write about them.  I started writing professionally after a serious health situation in 2011.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I decided I wasn’t going to put off doing what I’ve always wanted to do.
Do you like writing in series, or single?
I’m writing only series books right now.  I’ve created characters that I love and I enjoy watching their story play out in a series. 
Did you get “the call” or did you get the call to “go Indie?"
I guess I got the call to “go Indie”.  Since my heat level of writing is a tad on the hot side, it’s easier to self-publish and write what I want to write.  I think every Indie author is waiting on “the call” though.
Who is your favorite character you've created? Why? 
That would have to be Stefan.  He’s my hero in The Vampire Destiny Series.  He’s a wonderful mix of sexy and domineering, charm and sass.  He may be tough when he needs to be, but his love for Josephine never wavers.  He is such an interesting character to write and I enjoy his sense of humor and outlook on life.
Do you find it easier to write the bad boys or the good boys? I'm assuming both are heroic, but which ones are more fun to write?
I think both are easy to write.  I enjoy mixing it up and making my heroes a little of both.  What I find the biggest challenge is making sure if I do have a villain, I want readers to dislike him/her.
What about the heroines? Do you find it easiest to write the bad girls or the good girls?
I think it’s easier to write a good girl.  I’ve just now developing a character into a “bad” girl, so we’ll see how that goes.
If you could have a date with one of your characters, which one would it be and why? Where would you go?
Stefan.  And to be honest, I’m not sure if we’d ever make it out on a date!
Pretend you have just sold your 100,000th copy of one of your books. What will you do to celebrate?
I would probably uncork a good bottle of champagne and keep on writing!  I’m so appreciative of all of my readers, fans and supporters that I’d want to find a way to celebrate it with all of them!
Tell us something about you that most people wouldn't know or guess about you?
I play piano (thanks Mom for 12 years of torturous lessons).
Who are your favorite authors/books?
Anne Rice, Daphne du Maurier, Stephen King, John Grisham, Charlaine Harris…I like a variety of books and authors!
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on the release of Tempted, the first book in The Dark Hart Chronicles.  I’m also working on the fourth book The Vampire Destiny Series, Ascend.
I’m going to share an excerpt from Awakening (The Vampire Destiny Series Book 3)
Moving from my perch on the stool, I crossed the room and fell into the expanse of his lap.  He held me close, his chin resting on the top of my head.  His thoughts were heavy, as was his mood.  Stefan had been troubled since we’d returned to New York from Bali.  He was much more experienced at shielding his thoughts from me, but his emotions were more difficult for him to disguise due to our newly formed bond.

Letting my fingernails run over his muscular arms, I nuzzled my nose against his neck.  “Please talk to me, Stefan.  Tell me what’s been bothering you for two days.”

He released yet another sigh.  His voice sounded detached and soft when he finally began to talk.  "Changing Anna had made me remember the day I awoke as a vampire.  My human memories and attachments were muddled, yet I clearly remembered dying at Solveig's hands.  The fear of feeling my life slip away was horrifying.  It was the second time in my life I felt helpless."

"I can't imagine you ever being helpless," I murmured.  It was true.  He was so strong and vital, imagining him weak and defenseless was difficult for me to fathom.  It didn’t help hearing the mere mention of his maker’s name.  Solveig been dead for more than 700 years, yet she was like an invisible wedge between us.  Stefan had loved her once.  More than likely, there was a part of him that always would.

He barked out a soft laugh, his cynical smile making his face look harsh.  "I was dying and was no match for Solveig.  I was angry with her.  I felt as if I was supposed to die a human death.  My own miscalculations cost me my life.  As a warrior, I had been defeated and I was willing to accept death.  I fought and I lost.  Dying was my punishment for my mistakes.  When Solveig found me, she quickly recognized my ability and chose a different kind of death for me."  Stefan paused, his deep voice becoming stronger.  "Lukas lay dying when I offered this life to him.  I was never able to offer Anna the choice, to give her the opportunity to decide if she wanted immortality.  As a vampire, I made an oath to myself that I would never change a human without their consent.  I vowed that I would never become like my maker.  Yet here I sit with you, waiting for my unwilling child to rise.  I am preparing for her anger, her confusion and pain once she realizes what she has lost because of our decisions.  You must be ready for it as well, vackra.  She may be angry and resentful.  She will never have children.  She will live a life in the shadows, pretending to fit in while watching the world pass by."

About the Author
Alexandra lives in the Midwest. She is currently writing two paranormal, erotic romance series: The Vampire Destiny Series and The Dark Hart Chronicles when she isn’t chasing down things that go bump in the night.

Twitter   @AlexAnthony80

Amazon Links Buy Links

Ascend (The Vampire Destiny Series Book 4) COMING SPRING 2013

Tempted (The Dark Hart Chronicles Book 1) COMING APRIL 2013

Barnes & Noble Links Buy Links

Ascend (The Vampire Destiny Series Book 4) COMING SPRING 2013

Tempted (The Dark Hart Chronicles Book 1) COMING APRIL 2013

You and I could be sisters, Alexandra. I've loved the dark side, and I can't wait to cuddle up to your books. Taking a vacation in two weeks, and I'm going to seriously study me some alpha vamps. 



Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky In Love Blog Hop

Welcome to my twisted version of Lucky in Love for the famous blog hop of the same name. Since I'm promoting my newest book, Mortal Bite, I'm talking about 300 year old Golden Vamps getting lucky. So here is  the list of the top 10 worst things he could say.

Between today and the 18th at midnight, you must leave me a comment with your email address, telling me which one is your favorite (or give me one of your own). I will pick 10 winners to get a free book of your choice: Book 1, Honeymoon Bite or Book 2 Mortal Bite. One lucky winner will win a poster signed by Jimmy Thomas himself! Although the grand swag prize is not international, I will send the poster ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!! Yes, I love my international fans! I sent a poster to Latvia last blog hop.

Here's my top 10 list of what a Golden Vamp should never say if he wants to get lucky:

10.   You're a real dine and ditch, sweetheart.
9.     You taste a little "gamey"-- are you vegetarian?
8.     I don't eat red meat.
7.     You taste older than you look.
6.     Maybe you should cut back on the garlic fries.
5.     For being 400 years old, you're rather yummy.
4.     Where's the beef?
3.     Are you free range?
2.     Stop shaking or I'll make a mess.

And the #1 thing he DEFINITELY should never say:

1.     I'll take mine neat and frightened, but not scrambled.

Don't forget to leave your email address if you want to be entered in the drawing.

Go to the other sites for more chances to win prizes and a chance at the grand prize by clicking here.  Good Luck!!

Watch Mortal Bite book trailer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Back in Sonoma County

Had a wonderful time in Tucson, and learned how authors work a Book Festival. Helped that I was with some real pros: Kris Tualla, Morgan Kearns, Deena Remiel, Tami Vinson, Donna Hatch, Gini Koch, Erin Quinn, Erin Kellison, Lynn Rush and others. We even braved the rain and hail together--not something book-friendly.

I've not been to Tucson, except for soccer and volleyball tournaments when my kids were playing competitive sports. Those days were usually lost in a food and adult conversation deprivation black hole. There were other authors there I would have loved to listen to, like Diana Gabaldon, Larry McMurtry and Jodi Picoult, but I manned my books, and gave out over 500 bookmarks and 400 red wristbands. Yes, I sold some books, but I met some wonderful people. A lot of our conversations were about their military careers, or careers of their family. Often people came up to me after many generations of military service. Very moving for me, personally.

I stayed at the Arizona Inn, 90+ rooms on 14 acres. All single level, with a library to die for. I lost  myself sipping tea by firelight in the evening, gulping coffee at dawn. I imagined I was one of those like the Roosevelts or the Senator John Kennedys (who it was said left his bathing suit behind - now there's a story - where did he leave it? LOL), and Clark Gable. From the golden age of past players. I wouldn't know today who was important, so I nodded and smiled and pretended I was one of them. Fun. Really fun. It's definitely a place I'll bring my husband back to some day.

University of Arizona is a beautiful campus, and, except for some people with yellow placards saying we were all going to Hell (well, some of my reviewers have said that too and it hasn't happened yet), I enjoyed my little stay on my little 28" of the shared tabletop under the tent. Even managed to get a little sunburned in the rain. Go figure. A California girl getting sunburned in the rain.

The airport was fun too, as I gathered with a group of other authors doing the Tucson to San Diego run, on our ways west to different parts. We shared a view of each other's book trailers, and had a small crowd gathered around the computer plug ins. I realized it was a wise thing for some big named authors to ride Southwest like I did. One explained to me he did it so he could pass out bookmarks. And he'd sign them. The girls loved it. I filed that one away for when I get to my goal weight.

The movie of being there was still playing in my mind when I went to see Jodi Picoult in my part of the country, and she had just come from Tucson. I felt like that was my dessert for all the hard work it took lugging books, bookmarks and dog tags around on wheeled suitcases. Where I could sit back and be entertained, instead of saying things like, "I got Hot Navy SEALs here," between the "I got Hot Baseball Players" and "I got Hot Christian Guys."

I needed to do this. I needed to do something I wasn't used to doing, to break out of my comfort zone. And my treat was to listen to a very wise and wonderful writer inspiring me to get back to the keyboard and begin writing the next chapter.

There are some times when I miss the "big" stuff of high profile real estate. But not many. And this weekend was one of those that I didn't miss it at all. I got to stay in the fantasy of my own choosing, sharing a time with others doing the same, putting our hooks out there and fishing for those elusive readers on a personal, one-at-a-time basis.

And I declare it good.

What about you? What did you do last weekend?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Raining in California tonight

The rain started in big time about an hour ago. I'm working on SEAL Under Covers, and thinking about what I'm packing for the trip to Tucson on Friday.

Getting excited. They are expecting 100,000 readers over the weekend. Wow. Just Wow.

Very grateful for the beautiful gardens we are planning. The rainshower is like sent from Heaven, affirming what we're doing, wetting down everything I've planted to make our house and garden spectacular.

Have daffodil bulbs coming up all over the place. And this weekend, I'm going to meet new readers.

Great time to be alive. Many things to be thankful for. Stop by the Arizona Dreamin' booth if you're in the Tucson area.