Are You a POV Snob? by Mae Clair

I’ve resisted writing this post for a long time because I kept deluding myself into thinking the title didn’t apply to me. But I can’t deny the truth any longer.

Yes, friends, I have shameful confession to make: I am a POV snob.

So, what exactly does this wretched trait imply?

Bald man with glasses and a snobbish expressionI’ve come to realize there is a standard set of guidelines I follow when choosing what to read. At first I wasn’t even aware I was doing it. Then a nasty little light bulb pinged on in my head, and I realized I rarely, if ever, deviate from the selection process below.

Before unveiling that list–and the woeful extent of my snobbery–I offer a heartfelt disclaimer so you don’t think I’m totally reprehensible:  My checklist only applies to authors I do not know personally, or have not previously read.  If you’re reading this blog and you fall into either of those categories, there’s no “checklist” involved.

For new authors, however, I systematically apply the following to determine whether or not I should purchase their novel:

  1. Do I like the genre?
  2. Do I like the cover? (Covers rank highly on my list. Without a snazzy cover, I rarely look further).
  3. Does the blurb intrigue me?
  4. Does the book have good reviews? (A few bad ones won’t deter me, but if most slant that way, I usually pass).
  5. Is the story written in first person POV?

“Yes” answers to the first four questions will have me pretty hyped up by the time I reach number five. I love to read, and by then I’m anticipating a great story because four of my five “must haves” have been met. But—and here’s where the snobbery kicks in—If the answer to number five is “yes,” it kills the whole deal.

POV snob. All. The. Way.

How did this happen, I wonder?  In my younger years I wrote a few shorts, and even a novel in first person, all presently languishing in a drawer somewhere. I’ve even tried to overcome my natural reluctance by purchasing the occasional novel written in first person, breaking my own stringent rules.

Did I enjoy those? Heck, yes!  Granted, they only amount to a handful, but a few rank among my all-time favorites such as The Alienist by Caleb Carr, and Bag of Bones by Stephen King.

Still…by habit, I always seek out novels written in third person narrative. I think it’s because I can sink into the story. I don’t have an “I” narrator relating it to me, so I’m able to become part of scene and connect more easily with the characters.

Many readers (and writers) love first person narrative, thus I am going to make a valiant effort to embrace it. Hence my reluctant revelation, crawling into the light to confess I am a POV snob. In 2015, I hope to slink from my comfort shell and read more books written in first person (we won’t mention present tense narrative. I have to take baby steps :) ).

What about you?  Do you prefer one type of narrative over another? Do you have guidelines you apply when deciding if a book is worthy of your time? Are you—gasp!—a POV snob?

Mae Clair Presents: Editor, Corinne DeMaagd, of Kensington Publishing with a Submission Call and Tips

Stack of typing paper tied up with red ribbon, the word Manuscript in bold across the first pageToday is a special day on The Pen of Mae Clair, as I’ve invited, Corinne DeMaagd, my wonderful editor from Kensington Publishing to drop by to share a few tips about submitting to an editor. The timing was idea, as Corinne had just released a submission call for Lyrical Press, Kensington’s main digital imprint. If you’re finishing up a WIP, or will be in a few months, you may find an ideal fit with one of her acquisition needs below.

Please welcome, Corinne!

~ooOOoo~

Part of my role with Lyrical Press, the main digital imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp, is looking out for new acquisitions.

The good news is this year Lyrical is expanding to take on more than just romance. It is still our main genre, but we are looking to include non-romance titles into our catalog, as well.

As of right now, Kensington are looking for the following for Lyrical:

  • Romantic Suspense
  • Straight Suspense
  • Historical Romance

But saying that, Kensington are open to anything that is awesome. So I’m going to stretch those wants a bit farther. I’d love to also see the following:

  • Young Adult historical romance
  • Young Adult dystopian romance
  • Non-romance Young Adult (and subgenre but no angst please)
  • New Adult – the sexier the better
  • Stories set in non-US locations – from Ireland to the Ukraine to Bangladesh (but please, only stories where the author either has intimate knowledge of these locations or has done some hefty research. I can always tell when a writer is fluffing their setting, and setting is key to good storytelling)
  • Romance with the heroines in a high-stress position such as fighter pilot, helicopter pilot, ship captain, surgeon or nontraditional, male-dominated roles, such as construction, mining, space travel, firefighter, camel trainer – you get the idea. Or maybe even if they just have a quirky position in life that others would find interesting because it’s SO different.
  • Pure fantasy romance. Not UF, but pure worldbuilding fantasy with everything from dragons to warlocks to elves. Higher heat level preferred.
  • Romance that includes current events or problems that we face in our society
  • LGBT but with a strong suspense, thriller or otherwise dynamic plot, not just a characterization plot.

*Please email query, manuscript, and synopsis to: cdemaagd@gmail.com and cc: Martin Biro – mbiro@kensingtonbooks.com

Please allow me a couple months to get back to you, depending on the response from the sub call*

*This Sub Call is good for three months from today.*

Check out the website for info on what Lyrical offers. http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/LYRICALPRESS  

Any book over 60K will be released simultaneously in digital and print!  

Since Mae is one of my roster authors with Kensington, I was happy to pop on by and post my sub call on her blog. You can also see what I am up to at www.cmdediting.com. Mae asked me to mention a few things that I love and hate when I read submissions.

  1. I love a great pace with not too much introspection to bog the story down. Much of what the characters are thinking and feeling can be seen through dialogue and action. There are times where we want a bit of it, but not too much, and never repeat anything that we’ve heard before.
  2. I personally hate action eyes and eyebrows. There’s too much in romance, and in years past, authors have relied heavily on both to relay how a character is feeling. A character has an entire body to express an opinion, and even more so when they use the environment around them. The setting or inanimate objects – anything! So get rid of the furrowed brows and the anguished eyes. Take a seat and observe two people in discussion. Note their actions and see if you can decipher by their body language what they are feeling. How often when you talk to your partner or your kids or your boss or a friend do you recognize what is going on in their eyes and eyebrows?

Happy Writing!
Corinne DeMaagd – Editor

Mae Clair Presents: Donna Cummings on “Who Has Influenced Your Writing?”

She’s back! Please welcome Donna Cummings to my blog. This super friendly and supportive author of “humorously ever after romances” was one of the first friends I made online way back in the twilight years of 2012. It doesn’t seem possible I’ve been at this gig a full two years now (gulp!), but what fun it’s been. Not only have I made great friends, but I’ve discovered a treasure-trove of incredible reads, Donna’s among them.

She’s sharing a post today about the early influences that spur us to pursue writing, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her latest releases.  For a fun contemporary romance, be sure to check out FALLIN’ IN LOVE, a flirty novella with a lovable pooch as “matchmaker”, the historical romance boxed set, SWEET SURRENDER, and, finally—LORD WASTREL, a Regency romance that will have you alternately giggling and swooning. I do so love Donna’s “rakes.” :)

And now . . . 

Who Has Influenced Your Writing?
By Donna Cummings

Have you seen Pigpen, the character in the Peanuts cartoon with the permanent cloud of dust around him? That’s me and all the ideas constantly swirling around my brain. (Okay, the cloud of dust is also because I’m too busy writing to do housework.)

At random moments one of those myriad ideas will surge to the front of my brain, and, for some reason I can’t quite figure out, it’s usually when I’m in the kitchen. Maybe it’s a self-defense mechanism, because I rarely accomplish anything worthy in that room of the house, so the ideas may be trying to distract me from setting off the smoke alarm, yet again.

The other day’s random thought was about who had influenced my writing adventure. I discovered there were more than I realized, and for wildly different reasons. So here are some of the most influential:

FIL_medJessica Fletcher
Yes, the grande dame of TV mysteries was a huge influencer. Or, to be more precise, the opening credits where she is typing away at her kitchen table is what made such a lasting impression. Each week I experienced a visceral hit when I saw those typewriter keys flying because that was the job I wanted.

I don’t actually have a kitchen table. I definitely don’t have a manual typewriter. But every time I’m sitting on my couch, tapping away at the laptop keyboard, I’m inwardly smiling, knowing I’m fulfilling the dream that started when I saw good ole Jessica writing her mysteries at home.

Mr. Hanson, my high school English teacher
As a teenager, I was more enthralled with reading than writing, and I only wrote things that were required, like papers and book reports. I felt like I had a certain facility with words, but I wouldn’t have called myself a writer, since only people whose books I was devouring were writers.

Mr. Hanson seemed to recognize, and appreciate, how much I loved words, and he continually encouraged me in his kind, patient, and compassionate way.

Whenever I complained about how much work a project required (often), or how it was way too hard (really often), his response was always this: “Do you know how diamonds are made? Heat, and pressure.”

I have to remind myself of that when I’m in the throes of editing and revising, all-too-ready to admit defeat by throwing the uncooperative WIP onto the coal heap. Because if Mr. Hanson thought I had the potential to be a diamond, way back when, I’ve got to believe it too. No matter what I hear from. . .

SweetSurrender_200My muse Endora
I know many of you have heard me whine about mention Endora. She has a knack for disappearing when I need her assistance, and then returning to sniff disdainfully at what I consider my best work.

She actually started out as my Inner Critic, a position she is well qualified for, only somehow she promoted herself to the position of Muse.

So how has this beastly creature influenced me?

She’s impossible to please, so I’ve quit trying. As a result, I’ve learned to write what I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still bounce things off her–er, I’m talking ideas here, not coffee cups. #seriously #notreally

But she’s helped me realize there will always be different viewpoints on a story, and it’s good to carefully consider all of them. But, in the end, I do what I feel is best for the story I’ve envisioned. And I let Endora do what she does best, which is. . .I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

LW_medMy mom
My mom was an avid reader, and thanks to her, I became one too. My sister, who shares the same DNA, is not a reader, and never will be, which completely puzzles me. (When my sister was born, the nurse brought my mom the wrong baby, but after a few minutes realized her mistake and returned with the right one. Still, I’ve often wondered if that other baby was a reader. . .)

Anywho, when I was growing up, being a writer wasn’t really a viable job option. My mom’s parents were freelance newspaper writers, and it was an unpredictable way to make a living, even though they clearly loved it. My mom was always supportive of everything I did, yet I knew she wouldn’t encourage me to go that route, so I chose a more practical, secure career path. I continued to watch the opening credits of Murder, She Wrote, though, pining for that life, all while reading books about the craft of writing.

When my mother was ill, a few months before she died much too young, I told her I was thinking of taking a writing course. I expected her to say, “that’s nice”, but to my surprise, she said, “I think that would be great“. To my further astonishment, she said several times that weekend, “I really think you should take that course”.

So I did. And I’m convinced she’s glad I did.

So these are just a few of the folks who have influenced me. I’m sure I’ll think of more–the next time I wander into the kitchen with the vague notion of “making something besides a mess”.

Now it’s your turn. Who has influenced your writing?

Welcome Page PhotoBio:
I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

I can usually be found on Twitter, talking about writing and coffee, and on Facebook, talking about coffee and writing.

Look for Donna at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Facebook 

Twitter 
Goodreads 

LORD WASTREL
When Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, plays matchmaker, true love can seem like a curse. . .

Lord Wastrel–the most notorious rake in London–has a child? Clearly he knows how to sire one, but he has no idea how to actually raise one. He has to learn quickly, since he is the little girl’s only surviving parent, and he’s determined to find a wife who can be a suitable mother. All he needs is someone demure, and biddable, and most importantly, scandal-free.

Lady Felicia Selby is no stranger to scandal, thanks to her numerous failed elopements and Society’s insatiable curiosity about her misadventures. She has devoted many years to finding her one true love, desperate to escape the consequences of the family curse if she fails. But she has begun to give up hope.

Then, one evening, a chance encounter with Aphrodite changes everything.

~~99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME!! ~~

Purchase LORD WASTREL from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble 

iTunes 
Kobo

Mae Clair Presents: Gemma Brocato on Noodle Braining

I’m delighted to have Gemma Brocato as my guest blogger today. You’re going to love this post! Grated cheese, anyone?

~ooOOoo~

I have a noodle brain.

Years ago, I heard a comparison on the difference between a male brain and a female brain. Apparently, a man’s brain is set up as compartments, like a waffle. Each box has walls, and men function almost exclusively within those walls. A woman, on the other hand, has a brain like spaghetti, a lot of individual noodles that touch one another. I got to thinking about this comparison in terms of writers and the difference between a plotter, let’s call this writer a waffle brain, and a pantser, you guessed it, a noodle-noggin.

To me, a plotter lives in one compartment at a time, the focus on the action, goals, motivation and conflict. Each box has room for only one issue, and all the boxes march neatly to a conclusion. When a plotter is writing according to the outline they’ve developed, they are like guys. When they are at work, they are only focused on work, in the kitchen creating, that’s it. When a plotter is focused on a turning point, or the set-up, or whatever, their undivided attention is on the single item.

Let me just say, I have a spaghetti brain. Every noodle on the plate intersects in someway. I can switch from one noodle to the next without missing a beat (not quite Lady and the Tramp, but darn close. I’m a romance writer afterall). Every thought and issue in my story is connected to every other issue in some way. The story flows, without following a logical path.

Being a spaghetti brain allows me to multitask like nobody’s business. Whether it’s in the kitchen, where I can fix a meal, talk on the phone, make a shopping list, jot down a story idea and answer questions from the other occupants of my home, or in the worlds that exist in my mind. I can edit one story, leap over to the next to add words to the page, brainstorm a story concept and create promotional artwork within a very short span of time. And here is the most important part: Things don’t fall through the cracks, I keep the facts straight, and the stories move forward in a logical progression. In other words, the sauce sticks to the noodles. And I do all of this without an outline or storyboard or vision map.

The way I see it, there isn’t a wrong way to write a story. You just have to write it in a way that works for you. And I love spaghetti.

AUTHOR BIO:Gemma Brocato
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.

Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.

CONNECT WITH GEMMA AT THE FOLLOWING HAUNTS:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads 

Gemma Brocato is the author of the FIVE SENSES romance series.
COOKING UP LOVE and HEARTS IN HARMONY are available now, with EXPOSED TO PASSION (coming October 2014) available for pre-order

HIH Cover2HEARTS IN HARMONY BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love.

Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.

Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.

What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.

Purchase HEARTS IN HARMONY from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

Mae Clair Welcomes Guest Blogger Brooke Williams

I’m happy to turn my blog over today to author, Brooke Williams, who shares a post about writers and one book’s journey to publication:

Why I Write Anything I Write 

Guest blogger…Brooke Williams

I often tell people that to me, writing is like breathing. It is a necessary thing that I do because I have to in order to get through my day. I write because I am awake. I write because I am so inspired by an idea or thought that I simply can’t avoid it. It is something that I HAVE to write down.

The first time that happened to me…an itch to write that was so large I could no longer avoid it…”Someone Always Loved You” resulted.
Book cover for Someone Always Loved You by Brooke Williams depicting ambulance and a close-up of clasped hands

“Someone Always Loved You” is the first full-length novel I ever wrote. The idea came from my thoughts surrounding coma patients. My grandmother was in a coma on two separate occasions. As a child, I wondered if she could hear what was going on around her and what she might be thinking. When I grew up, I always wanted to write a book based around someone in a coma.

The basic idea festered in my head for many years and then, out of the blue, the scene for the prologue came to me. Without giving too much away, the scene included an ambulance driver who, on his very first day on the job, hits a pedestrian on her way into the hospital. That pedestrian is then thrown into a coma.

The novels stems from there and once I had the prologue written out, I really had no idea what would happen next. What DID happen next was as much a surprise to me as it is to the readers I have heard from who couldn’t believe the twists and turns the book takes.

People ask how I came up with this or that in the book…was any of it based on real life? The answer is yes and no. The book is a combination of things from my life as well as completely made up items. For example, there is a couple in the book that meets on the Internet. My husband and I met on the Internet. Some of the memories the character in a coma has are similar to things that happened to me. On the other side, there are characters that I have no connection with in the real world at all.

And that’s what makes fiction so great. It can be completely you and completely not you all at the same time. “Someone Always Loved You” is a book that is so close to my heart, I could never part with it. My husband eventually put it up on Amazon in kindle format and I went on to publish it in paperback, more for family and friends and fun than anything else.

But as the years went on and I began a real career in freelance writing and eventually as an author, I realized this book deserved to be read. It caught on a bit without my doing anything at all and people were buying it. I noticed when I started getting very small royalty payments from Amazon. Each month those payments rose and I was excited that people were enjoying the book.

My goal with this book is that those who read it enjoy it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it. If that happens, I am happy. I don’t expect it to pay my bills. I simply want it to do for others what it did for me.

“Someone Always Loved You” is a book that wrote itself using me as a vessel to get out! I am thankful for it in many ways. It showed me that I could write a full novel, which I have done numerous times since then. It showed me a range of emotions I didn’t know I had. And so much more.

BLURB:
His first day on the job, ambulance driver Jay has a horrible accident. The victim of the crash is thrown into a coma and Jay keeps vigil by her side. As their lives, past and present intertwine; a story of love through time unfolds. An intricate drama including adoption, love, suspense, and plenty of questions, Someone Always Loved You is a novel that keeps the mind churning and the soul alive.

Author Brooke WilliamsAUTHOR BIO:
Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer turned freelance writer and author. She has several books under contract including “Wrong Place, Right Time,” a romantic comedy due to be released December 9th; “Accept this Dandelion,” coming February 2015, and “Mamarazzi,” slated for release in August 2015. Brooke even has a children’s book on the horizon for February 2016. Brooke is the mother to two young girls, Kaelyn and Sadie, and she has been married to her husband Sean since 2002.

Connect with Brooke at the following haunts:
Facebook
Website
Email: Authorbrookewilliams@gmail.com

Purchase SOMEONE ALWAYS LOVED YOU from
Amazon 

The Best Creative Writing Prompts from the Internet

Today, I am turning my blog over to Nikolas Baron of Grammarly with a post that should appeal to writers. Whether you’ve hit a dry spell or are just looking to flex your creative muscle, I think you’ll find Nikolas’ post intriguing.

The Best Creative Writing Prompts from the Internet

open binder with lined paper, a pen and eye glasses resting on topIn theater, the prompt saves millions of careers with just a few whispered words. A prompt is a person whose job it is to feed lines to actors when they forget. Without this individual, the actor might never remember the forgotten line, resulting in embarrassment for the theater company. Writers also need prompts. In the literary world, the term refers to written cues rather than to an individual. Prompts provide the inspiration, and writers can use the idea as a jumping off point for creativity. Do you need prompting? At Grammarly, the writers that I have come in contact with say that they need a spark from time to time to light the fire of creativity. I like to study the strategies and tools that writers use to be successful, so I decided that it was time to sift through the millions of writing prompt websites on the Web. Here are some of the best.

Creative Writing Prompts

Let’s start with sheer number. This website had 346 writing prompts. The prompt labeled #2 asks you to choose the fourteenth photograph from a photo album and write about how it makes you feel. I like this one because it forces you to randomize your selection. We naturally gravitate to certain photographs when we flip through our photo collection- standout events in our lives, good times, or smiling faces. However, who knows what is captured in mysterious photograph 14? Find out, and write about it!

1001 Story Ideas

This website wins my personal prize for best organized. Though the website features only science fiction prompts, the 1001 ideas are categorized into parts. There are 17 parts, so you are covered from the apocalypse to “Zombies, werewolves, vampires, and other monsters.” If 1001 isn’t enough, there are a few more worthy sci-fi writing prompts found here.

Writing Prompts App

If you like to have prompts available at all times, you might enjoy Writing.com’s Writing Prompts app for Android. You can use app to generate your own randomized prompts. I have not used it personally, but it may be worth a gamble at $1.99.

Ink quill, feather pen and an old journalUn-creative Writing Prompts

This set of cues is targeted to non-fiction writers. However, the prompts are so amusing that fiction writers often get a kick out of them. They are also adaptable. For example, one prompt published on the site encourages you to think about this question:

“What is [your product]’s drug of choice? Write about a night where something goes wrong with its dose and it’s dragged through the pits of its own internal hell, afraid to die but more afraid to be found out and branded for life.”

You could have fun answering this questions for the products in your own home, or simply replace “[your product]” with the name of one of your characters.

Droste effect

This is not a website about prompts. This is a picture within a picture within a picture….!

The reason that I included this photograph was to introduce a cool idea for a writing prompt. First, as an exercise you can generate several prompts. That’s right; the prompt is to write some prompts! After you do that, you can use the prompts that you wrote as writing prompts. It is a prompt within a prompt!

The Internet is a great source for all types of writing tools for writers. You can find online proofreading, dictionaries, writing clubs, and much more. Why not explore the Web today and see what you find? You can create a file of useful websites for future reference. Do not forget to create a file of writing prompts that are sure to bring you inspiration!

By Nikolas Baron

——————————————————//————————————————————-

BIO:

Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.

Writing with Friends by Mae Clair

I was recently tagged by the lovely and super energetic Kitt Crescendo in a “Writing Process” related blog hop. Kitt writes sizzling racy novels and has already burst onto the scene with two hot releases. She’s a very active blogger, a supportive friend, and someone with a strong passion for music. You’ll find her blogging about all of her many diverse interests (usually with a twist of humor or heart-felt  passion) at The Inner Wild Kat
Just don’t mention frogs around her and you’ll be fine :)

Thanks for the tag, Kitt!

Ok, the way the blog tag works, I’m supposed to answer four questions related to my writing style then tag three other bloggers to carry on the torch. You’ll meet those enchanting ladies at the end of this post, but first the questions with my answers:

Manuscript from Author with Red Twine CloseupWhat am I working on?
A lot! :D I actually have three projects going on right now. The first, SOLSTICSE ISLAND, is a short romantic adventure involving the search for a mythical sea creature. My first venture into indie publishing, I hope to release it later this month.

I also have a full-length romantic mystery called ECLIPSE LAKE that revolves around a fifteen-year-old missing person’s case. I’m also indie-pubbing that and hope to have it available in May/June.

MYTH AND MAGIC is a Halloween-themed romantic mystery that I had originally planned to release in October. As it stands now, I’ll be offering it to my new publisher Kensington Books, when it’s ready, as they have first option. If Kensington passes, I will indie pub as I originally planned…hopefully, even meeting that October deadline. Of course, I’d love to see it with Kensington too!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My books, especially the more I progress, tend to straddle two genres . . . romance and mystery. I would place the ratio at about 70% mystery to 30% romance, so the mystery element is probably the stronger theme. That said, I’m a romantic at heart, so each story still has a romance (usually star-crossed) to complicate matters for my hero and heroine.

Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always been intrigued by the unknown. I enjoy crafting “what if” possibilities and dropping my hero and heroine into situations where they’re forced to unravel secrets. My favorite types of novels are those that make me think, while satisfying the romantic in me. It’s why I enjoy weaving elements of myth and mystery with romance in my stories. I like to keep my readers guessing.

I also love family dynamics, a theme that is usually front-and-center in everything I write.

How does my writing process work?
I usually always start with a single character and an obstacle. Other characters grow from there, weaving the plot as they develop. Most of that takes place in my head before I start making notes on paper. Although I am not a plotter by any means, I have a very loose concept of the story before I start writing. Most of it develops on its own as scene evolves into scene. In the future, however, I’m hoping to plot more. My panster style has worked for me to date, but doing NaNoWriMo last year made me realize the benefits of plotting.

And now I’d like to introduce you to the three ladies who will be following me:

b-w-profile-picCalisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.

She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders and firemen, as well as, the occasional ‘other’ heroes — and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.

Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.wordpress.com

Twitter@CalisaRhoseFacebook/Calisa RhoseGoodreads and Amazon

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Daisy Banks ColourDaisy Banks writes sensual and spicy romance in the Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy genres. An obsessive writer Daisy is passionate about her stories. Her focus is to offer the best tale she can to readers. Daisy is married, with two grown up sons. She lives with her husband in a converted chapel in Shropshire, in England. Antiques and collecting entertain Daisy when she isn’t writing. She has also occasionally been known to make a meal that doesn’t stick to the pan.

You can find Daisy at:

Blog    http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/
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Author Pic2Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word NO.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with Cd at her at website http://www.cdbrennan.com
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