The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, by Mae Clair

wonderful-team-memberIt’s blog award time, thanks to my wonderful friend and fellow blogger, Sheri de Grom!

Sheri recently honored me with the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award. If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ve no doubt heard me mention Sheri before. We ventured into the blogosphere about the same time and quickly became  friends and supporters of each other.

Sheri blogs about women’s fiction and government and medical issues, in addition to working on what is certain to be a compelling novel, NOT THE MAN I MARRIED.  She’s super friendly and a great supporter of other bloggers so check her out corner of the world here, and linger a while under her bridge.

The Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award was one I was not previously familiar with, but it definitely deserves a round of fanfare. The title says it all. As bloggers, we rely on those who support our efforts with each post, taking their time to comment on the musings we toss into the virtual universe. I am so grateful for the friends I have made through blogging, and really do appreciate everyone who visits and comments on From the Pen of Mae Clair.

So to all my fantastic Pen Pals—I am grateful to each of you and wish to acknowledge you with this post. I am happy to nominate the following for the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award:

L. J. Kentowski
Donna Cummings
Emma Meade
Jessi Gage
Cd Brennan
Calisa Rhose
Stanalei Fletcher
Debbie Peterson
Joanne Wadsworth
Laura Lee Nutt
Venice Kennedy
Susan Koenig

And, of course, a huge thanks to Sheri de Grom.

There are many other friends out there who support me through Twitter, Facebook, blogging and reviews, and I thank you all. This list is but a few. I am truly grateful for your friendship and support. You guys rock! :D

Mae Clair: The Reality Award

reality-award1A week or so ago, I was nominated for the Reality Award by my friend and fellow blogger, Sheri de Grom. Sheri and I ventured into the blogging world about the same time and undertook much of the social media learning curve together. If you’re looking for insightful reviews of women’s fiction, informative posts about our military and medical issues, you need to visit Sheris’ blog!

Thanks for nominating me, Sheri. This award is a bit different than those I’ve seen in the past, and requires some thought. The rules are as follows:

Visit the blog of the person who nominated you, thank them, and acknowledge them on your blog *waving to Sheri*

Answer the questions listed below and nominate up to 20 bloggers whom you feel deserve recognition. Visit their blog and let them know.

Cut and paste the award to your wall.

Now for the questions:

If you could change one thing, what would you change?
There are a lot of mind-boggling social, economic and health-related issues I would change, but I’m going to go with something basic here that irritates the heck out of me. If I could eliminate one thing, I’d do away with the annoying voice mail menus businesses force us to jump through and replace them with live telephone operators. Remember those days? When there was CUSTOMER service in customer service? When you didn’t have to sit through five voice mail loops only to realize none of the options work; pushing the pound sign gets you nowhere, and hitting ’0’ for operator results in the message “sorry you are having problems.”

Really?  If you’re that sorry, how about having a living, breathing person answer the phone who can actually help me instead of a recorded message that tells me my wait time is ten minutes (after I’ve spent two minutes getting there!)?

‘Nuff said on that topic. I could rant for hours!

If you could repeat an age, what would it be?
Probably sometime in my 30s. Old enough to be wise, young enough not to be bogged down with anything too serious.

What is the one thing that really scares you?
Heights. I’m petrified of them. I remember needing to cross a creek one time and the only means across (a very short distance) was a hollowed out metal beam (about the width of a balance beam). It was raised approximately three feet in the air over the creek, forming a makeshift bridge to the other side. With nothing to close it in, I felt like I was walking in space. That short little drop into the water had my equilibrium out of whack, as if I was crossing a rope bridge suspended over a gaping canyon. Heights and I do not agree.

The weird part is I would love to be able to fly and soar above everything like Superman. I know it makes no sense, but that’s typical for me!

If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?
A stormchaser. I’m fascinated by weather and always thought it would be cool to chase a storm. I’d probably freak if I had the opportunity, but it’s a nice thought to entertain.

And now for my nominations:

L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
Donna Cummings
Calisa Rhose
Debbie Peterson
Emma Meade
Joanne Wadsworth
Stanalei Fletcher
Lorraine Paton
Christy Olesen
Alicia Coleman
Lynne Kensington

So what do you think, ladies? Do you feel like giving the Reality Award a try?

Mae Clair: Liking the Liebster

Last week, I had the pleasure of being nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful Jessi Gage. Jessi has recently released a fantasy romance called WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER that I highly recommend. I’ve fallen in love with her hunky hero, Darcy, a 16th Century Scot who comes to the aid of a 21st Century pregnant museum worker when she’s transported to his era. Visit Jessi’s blog to learn more about her and her delightful novel. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

liebster-awardSo how does the Liebster Award work?  Here are the rules:
Thank the person who nominated you (thank you, Jessi!).
Post eleven random facts about yourself.
Answer eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.


My eleven random facts:
1. I love gypsy-style clothing
2. My nickname in high school was “Starchild”
3. I have a bizarre fear of bears
4. I am madly in love with the character of Aloysius Pendergast, created by authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

From a party a few years ago (my hair was a lot shorter). That's my aunt with me. I can always count on her to be a dancing partner!
From a party a few years ago (my hair was a lot shorter). That’s my aunt with me. I can always count on her to be a dancing partner!

5. Someday I would like to buy a Jaguar (the car, not the animal!)
6. I prefer small gatherings to large parties
7. I can’t whistle
8. I love to be outside when it’s warm and windy
9. I’ve always loved vegetables, even as a kid
10. I am an avowed ‘cat person’
11. I love, l-o-v-e, LOVE to dance!

Jessi’s eleven questions:
1. Who was your idol growing up?
I had several…Michael Landon, Paul McCartney, David Soul, David Hedison and David Cassidy. Hmm…guess I liked a lot of Davids! :)

2. Who motivates you to be the best you can be?
My husband. I’m good at motivating myself most of the time, but when I hit a wall, he’s the one who helps me over it.

3. What’s your favorite morning ritual?
Coffee!  It used to be tea until hubby and I discovered Keurig.

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My office. Decorated with balloons and bags of chips!

4. Fudge or salty snacks?
Salty. I’m addicted to chips. Several years ago on my birthday, my staff at work filled my office with small bags of Middleswarth chips. They were everywhere–on my desk, my file cabinet, the bookshelves, windowsills. Needless to say, my chip addiction is well known :)

5. Beer or wine?
Wine, but it has to be dry.

6. What’s the biggest challenge you face as a blogger?
Making time. I love to blog and rarely lack for content/ideas. It’s just squeezing the hours from a day that is usually overflowing to begin with.

7. What’s your favorite season?
It used to be spring, but I find myself leaning more toward summer these days.

8. Where do you go to get away from stress and regroup?
I don’t necessarily have a place as much as a mindset. I like to read or work on a WIP. In warm weather, I love relaxing on my back porch and deck.

9. If you’re a writer, how many books do you aim to write per year? Are you making your goal?
Two books per year. So far so good, but it’s hard with juggling a full-time job.

10. Who’s on your ereader right now?
WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER by Jessi Gage! LOL!

11. If you look out the window right now, what do you see?
A large white cross. It’s on the church in a field behind my house.

My 11 questions for my nominees:
1. What was your favorite book as a child?
2. What famous person from history do you admire most?
3. If you could have a superpower, which would you choose?
4. Who is your favorite fairytale character and why?
5. When it comes to movies, what is your favorite genre?
6. Who was your teenage celebrity crush?
7. Would you describe yourself as an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between?
8. What was your favorite subject in school?
9. What is your favorite board game?
10. What is your favorite form of social media?
11. Would you rather spend a lazy day at a secluded beach soaking up the sun, or a day in a tourist town that offers numerous attractions?

From the 'Starchild'...my senior year of high school, LOL!

From the ‘Starchild’…my senior year of high school, LOL!

And my nominees are:
1. Donna Cummings
2. L.J. Kentowski
3. Loni Flowers
4. Sheri de Grom
5. Lorraine Paton
6. Calisa Rhose
7. Susan Koenig
8. Emma Meade
9. Mackenzie Crowne
10. Debbie Peterson
11. Renita Pizzitola

I’m looking forward to seeing your facts and answers, ladies! Thanks again to Jessi Gage for the nomination. I enjoyed participating. This was a lot of fun! :D

Mae Clair’s The Mystery of Eclipse Lake–7 Writer Challenge

I’ve recently been tagged in the Seven Writer Challenge by three wonderful author friends—Debbie Peterson, L.J. Kentowski, and Lorraine Paton. Thanks to all three of these ladies for sending the challenge my way. This is always a fun one!

According to the rules, I must go to either page 7 or page 77 of one of my works and, starting on line 7, post the next seven lines. After that, I get to challenge seven other authors to do the same.  I told you it was fun! :D

Lucky7Meme

My selection is taken from page 77 of THE MYSTERY OF ECLIPSE LAKE, my current WIP, a mystery/romance with plenty of family drama. This is from the POV of Jonah Carlisle who suddenly has an unexpected house guest on his hands—his seventeen-year-old nephew, Jesse, who up until a few days ago, he never knew existed.

~ooOOoo~

“This way,” Jesse said, clearly enjoying the role of tour guide.  He led April and Paige toward the kitchen.  Even Koya abandoned Jonah, trailing happily on Jesse’s heels, her tail wagging from side to side.

He (Jonah) closed the door and counted to ten.  The kid had a habit of getting under his skin, and it was growing worse the more time they spent together.  In the kitchen he found his nephew and Paige unloading bags at the oversized center island he used for food preparation.  April busily stacked covered bowls and dishes in his near-empty refrigerator.

~ooOOoo~

And now I’d like to pass the challenge to these fabulous authors:

Donna Cummings
Jessi Gage
Laura Lee Nutt
Calisa Rhose
Stanalei Fletcher
Zee Monodee
Kyra Jacobs

Roll out your 7’s, ladies!

Mae Clair: 2012 Blog of the Year Award

Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpegI’ve been fortunate enough to have been nominated twice for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award. Once by Kitt Crescendo and once by Sheri de Grom. Both of these ladies became wonderful blogging friends in the last year.

Kitt is an extremely prolific blogger, sometimes putting out multiple posts a day. If you like your topics eclectic with cutting-edge observations, humor and warmth, then you need to visit Ms. Crescendo’s blog. May I recommend a recent post she did on sexy older men? Kitt will charm you with her wit and friendliness.

Sheri de Grom is a blogging buddy from my earliest days of timidly venturing into the author realm. She’s remained a wonderful friend and has been an inspiration through the personal stories she shares on her blog, as well as her support of our troops and military. In addition, she’s an insightful reviewer of women’s fiction who always gives the books she reviews respectful and honest consideration. You can find Sheri here. Hang out under her bridge for a while.

I’m honored and pleased to have received this blogging award from my two friends and only regret I couldn’t acknowledge it sooner with a proper post. So . . . how does it work?

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once, tthis award is different. When you begin, you will receive the ‘1’ star award. Every time you are given this award by another blog, you can add another star!

There are a total of ‘6’ stars to collect. Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs—and even if they have already been given the award by someone else—you can still make your opinion count and pass it on to them again and help them reach the maximum of ‘6’ stars.

The rules of this award are simple:

  1. Select the blogs you think deserve the 2012 Blog of the Year Award.
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with this award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page, Blog of the Year 2012 Award. http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/and include these ‘rules’ in your post. (Please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
  5. You can now also join our Facebook page – click the link here ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear/) and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

And now I’m pleased to pay this honor forward by giving the award to the following bloggers:

L.J. Kentowski, who I originally ‘met’ through Triberr and who has become one of my favorite friends and authors. If you want to get lost in worlds of urban fantasy, hang out at L.J.’s blog which has only recently been minted over to a WordPress platform. Find out about Seekers, Guardians and — something new and interesting in the works — Descendants!

Donna Cummings, who never fails to astound me with how effortlessly she blends humor, happily-ever-after, and romance. Whether I’m reading one of her delightful novels or hanging out at her blog and experiencing slices of every-day-writer-life, Donna never fails to charm with her delivery and leave me chuckling.  She’s a fab friend who loves Twitter and coffee in equal doses, and I’m happy to support her all the way! Er, although I probably can’t keep up with the coffee, LOL.

Calisa Rhose, whose ‘ranch’ is a stellar and freakishly fun hangout – - and I mean that in a good way, LOL. I never know what I’m going to find at the ranch – - book covers, guest bloggers, book trailers, reviews – - but I always know I’ve got a standing invitation and a warm welcome. I’m so thankful to have met Calisa, who is also one of my sister authors at Lyrical Press. Mosey over to Calisa’s Ranch for a gander at what you’ve been missing.

Joanne Wadsworth, another Lyrical Press sister is a superb blogger who shares informative writer advice and whose debut novel PROTECTOR is releasing on January 9th. This busy New Zealander has a second book already under contract and a third close to submission. Joanne and I came in as ‘newbies’ together about the same time with Lyrical Press and I’m so thankful to have met her. She’s been positively delightful!

Christina McKnight who does an outstanding job on her blog of promoting other authors, upcoming/new releases and available books. If you’re looking for a good read, you’re bound to find it among the many Christina spotlights. She also writes urban fantasy/paranormal romance and is the author of the Oneiroi Series with book one, ONLY IN HER DREAMS available now and book two, ONLY IN HER NIGHTMARES coming in August 2013.

Thanks again to Kitt and Sheri for nominating me for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award. As this is my first year of blogging, it’s definitely a lovely recognition to receive. To all of my many blogging friends who have made 2012 so special, you’re all award winners to me! :D

Mae Clair’s Book Promo: Seeker of Fate by L.J. Kentowski

Title: SEEKER OF FATE (Book 2 of the FATE Series)
Author: L. J. Kentowski
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: Available Now

Ebook_SEEKEROFFATE_medium

Created from the angels, Guardians don’t belong in Hell. But Cassandra Cosgrove is no ordinary Guardian, and she’s determined to get into Hell despite the blood that runs through her veins.

With a new resolve, and newly developed powers, she sets out on a journey into Hell to save a loved one from the tortuous hands of the King of the Underworld. But to get in, she must befriend a past enemy, and quickly learns that this is only the first sacrifice she must make to succeed.

When Hell welcomes her with open arms, and a deal with the Devil seems the only way to save the men she loves from an eternity of torture, will Cassandra make the ultimate sacrifice by giving up her soul completely? Will the man she loves let her?

Buy SEEKER OF FATE at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

Photo on 2011-12-12 at 17.37 #5Author Bio:
L.J. Kentowski is the author of Guardian Of Fate & Seeker Of Fate, books 1 & 2 in the Fate series. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, step-daughter, son & dog, working diligently on more hypnotic urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.  Her next book, Divine Warrior, the start of a new, hot paranormal romance series, Divine Descendents, is expected out in 2013.
You can find L.J. at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter @laurajeanwrites
Goodreads
Facebook

Mae Clair: The Next Big Thing

I’m jazzed today because it’s my turn to participate in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I was tagged by the very talented L.J. Kentowski who writes steamy kick-butt urban fantasy. Her new novel, SEEKER OF FATE, (book two in the FATE SERIES) will be releasing next month. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with her characters and cool world mythology by reading book one, GUARDIAN OF FATE. It rocks!

As for the NBT hop, writers answer a series of questions related to their current WIP, then tag several other authors to join the hop. Fun, huh? First, I want to send a high-five out to L.J. for tagging me (thanks L.J.!), and next I’ll roll out the questions. All set? Goodie. Here goes:

What is the working title of your book?
ECLIPSE LAKE

Where did the idea of the book come from?
My sister and her husband have a lake house at a resort area in the mountains. The setting is beautiful . . . rolling hillsides dotted with farms, a sprawling lake with several public docks, marina, restaurant, beach area, picnic areas. Most of the homes are built on the mountain with the lake below. There’s also a small blip-of-a-town at the base. Think highly rural with turkey-eat-alls at the firehall, fishing cabins, and resort homes. High up on the mountain a handful of mansions peek through the trees, sprawling structures of glass and wood. When you turn the lights out at night, it’s so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face, but the tree frogs chatting outside sing you to sleep.

The first time I was there, I fell in love with the setting. It seemed like a great place for a mystery so I immediately started crafting a story. It took a while, but I eventually had the first draft of ECLIPSE LAKE. I’m now working on draft two.

What genre does your book fall under?
That’s the loaded question I’m currently struggling with. I originally saw it as an inspirational romance. I have since cut the inspirational element and am pumping up the mystery. So . . . I’m going to say it’s mystery/romance although, romance readers may feel it has too much mystery, and mystery readers may feel it has too much romance. I like blending those two in equal amounts and, hopefully, many readers will feel the same way.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in movie renditions?
As strange as it seems, I can’t pinpoint any. I know that sounds odd. After having written a complete first draft, I know these characters well, and can see them clearly in my head, but I can’t match up any actors.

Dane Carlisle is tall and lean with brown-blond hair. His love interest, Ellie Sullivan has black hair, is petite but athletic. Dane has an older brother, Jonah, who is shorter but muscular, and a seventeen-year-old son, Jesse. Those are my four main characters. The only person I can think of for Dane is Chris Hemsworth (with longer hair). The others, I have no clue.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Ex-con, Dane Carlisle, now a successful businessman, returns to his hometown in hopes of reconciling with his estranged brother, and falls for a photojournalist who becomes involved in a decades old murder.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I plan to submit to my current publisher in hopes it will find a home there. If not, I’ll forward it to several other e-publishing houses before going the Indie route. I do, however, feel strongly enough about this novel that I will self-publish. I just dread the learning curve, and will therefore be hounding my indie author friends for advice!

How long did it take you to finish the first draft of your project?
I wrote the first draft many years ago (this is one of those books I had tucked away in a drawer) so I don’t remember exactly, but I’m going to guess roughly six to eight months. That’s my normal pace since I work full-time.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
I can’t think of a specific title, but anything that blends mystery and romance.  Family relationships also figure prominently in the novel and are key to the plot.

Who or what inspired you to write this story?
I’ve always been drawn to flawed characters, family relationships, and second chances. I wanted to tell a story showing the power of forgiveness, and the ability to start over again. Dane and Jonah have a bitter and tumultuous history between them. That rift is at the heart of the story, but I wanted Dane to find happiness through romance too (because I’m an HEA girl :) ) and that’s where Ellie comes in.

What else about your book may pique readers’ interest?
Um . . . some kids find a skeleton that unleashes a deluge of trouble, there’s a strange light phenomena over the lake that no one but Ellie sees; I’ve got a closet-full of buried family secrets, a sheriff with a score to settle, a teenaged son who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut, and a widower trying to find the peace of heart to love again.  Intrigued? :D I hope so!

That’s it for me and ECLIPSE LAKE. Thanks for taking a peek with me and thanks to L.J. Kentowski for the tag. And now, I’d like to nominate the following awesome author/bloggers to continue the NBT hop.

It’s your turn, ladies!

Christina McKnight
Stanalei Fletcher
Lorraine Paton
Christy Olesen
Alicia Coleman

Mae Clair: A Zigzagging I Go!

Are you ready for some zigzagging?  I was tagged by the amazing Mackenzie Crowne in a zigzag challenge to search for the word ‘look’ in my current WIP. If you don’t know Mac, you definitely need to become acquainted. I encourage you to visit her blog, Mac’s Mad Mania where there’s always something wonderful to be found, including inspiring information on breast cancer survival.  While you’re there, be sure to give Mac’s stellar zigzag snippet a look-see. She even posted some visual eye candy to go with it, bless her romantic soul! :)

My task as a willing victim participant is to find the first use of “look” in my WIP and post the surrounding paragraphs. The MS I’m presently working on is a contemporary mystery/romance called ECLIPSE LAKE. In this scene my hero, Dane Carlisle, has just told his adopted son, Jesse, he wants Jesse to accompany him on a trip across the country to his home town. Not only isn’t Jesse thrilled by the idea, but he didn’t realize his father had family.

~ooOOoo~

“Seriously, Dad?”

Jesse slouched in his chair. “Why can’t I stay here? Summer’s just starting and I don’t want to spend it in the mountains. I’m seventeen, not a kid.”

“I know that.” He’d argued it in his head for over a week, but couldn’t go back to Onyx alone.  Maybe it was Alicia, doing her part to keep them together from beyond the grave. Sometimes the sparse fifteen year age gap separating him from his son made Dane feel more like a tyrannical big brother than a father.

Time to drop the bombshell. “You’ve never been east, and…I grew up in Pennsylvania. I have family there.”

Jesse’s expression ran the gamut from annoyed to intrigued. “Family?” He leaned forward, shoving his dinner plate away. “You told me your parents were dead.”

“Sometimes people say things because it’s easier than explaining the truth.”

Dane gripped his water glass, swirling a few ice chips against the sides. He wondered how Jonah would react when he received the letter relaying his intention to visit. I know we had our problems growing up, but I need to see you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when Mom died.

“Don’t talk to me like I’m a kid,” Jesse said sharply. His expression was tight, offsetting the deep green of his eyes and the stark ebony fall of his wavy hair. He looked so much like Alicia, Dane felt his throat constrict.

“You’re right.” Damn, but it was hard remembering Jesse was practically a grown man. “I didn’t think I’d ever go back to Onyx, so it was easier to avoid talking about my family. My father died when I was a kid and my mother nine years ago. She had liver cancer.”

An alcoholic who was screwed up in the head.

He’d keep that knowledge to himself, along with the crushing reminder he hadn’t been with her at the end.

~ooOOoo~

Thanks again for nominating me, Mac. That was fun :D

And now for the five authors I admire who I’d like to tag. Start zigzagging, ladies. Can’t wait to see your posts!

Jessi Gage
Laura Lee Nutt
L. J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
Calisa Rhose

~ooOOoo

I invite you to LOOK ahead, and hop back to my blog on Black Friday 11/23 for your chance to win an Amazon or B&N Gift Card during the BLACK FRIDAY BLOG HOP. There are plenty of other prizes and goodies to be had too, so be sure to zigzag back and join in the fun!

Mae Clair: I’m MIA

It’s Six Sentence Sunday and I’m off gallivanting at the beach for the day, but I have some exciting news to share: I just signed a contract with my publisher, Lyrical Press for my latest novel, TWELFTH SUN.

SQUEEE! I’ll definitely be doing a blog post about it next week, LOL!.

And I will be back in the SSS swing of things next Sunday. In the meantime, may I suggest these writers who always do a fantastic job in making me eager to check their Six snippets each week:

Angela Quarles
Carrie Crain
Christine Warner
Donna Cummings
JM Stewart
Karen Michelle Nutt
Kate Meader
Kate Warren
L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
M. L. Falconer
Maryellen Brady
Susan Koenig
Stephanie Ingram
Veronica Scott

Enjoy all the great reads!

I invite you back tomorrow for a Mythical Monday post. Keeping in the spirit of the beach, it’s flavored with a distinctive hint of salt-water. :-)

Mae Clair’s Wizards with Words: L.J. Kentowski

Hello, friends! I’m excited to have Word Wizard L.J. Kentowski on my blog today talking about her FATE SERIES. Book #1, GUARDIAN OF FATE has already been released and book #2, SEEKER OF FATE is a short time away from its debut. I had the pleasure of reading GUARDIAN OF FATE over the summer and was sucked into the tale from the opening paragraphs. L.J. has created an intriguing cast of characters and an entire world mythology that builds and spirals to greater peaks with each sequence of events. Just when you think you have things figured out . . .

Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. *makes attempt to rein in rampant enthusiasm*
Let’s meet L.J. and have her tell you all about her wonderful series:

Thanks for dropping by L.J.  I’m a fan of your FATE SERIES, but I’m also a fan of L.J. :)Can you share a bit about yourself and what prompted you to begin writing?

L.J.:  Thanks so much for having me Mae! It’s truly an honor being here, as you know I’m a huge fan of you and your writing also! Me? Gosh, I feel like I should write a bit of fiction for my bio here because I’m really just your average full-time career woman, wife, and mom. Nothing too glamorous there, unless you count having to play Buzz Lightyear here and there. My writing is done when I can squeeze the time in, like many writers. A while back I started a book review blog because of my passion for books and reading. I found that I loved writing on a regular basis, and having dabbled in a writing a bit throughout my years, I picked up my pen and paper and started creating Cassie’s story. I never knew it would go as far as a full-length novel, really.

I’m so happy it did! What attracts you most to the Urban Fantasy genre?

 L.J.:  There are so many things that attract me to Urban Fantasy, but mostly the world building it involves. With Urban Fantasy you have the ability to create a whole new world, like a parallel dimension with as many fantastical elements as you want to put in it. Not only that, but they usually have a strong, independent female lead, some hunky males, and some really cool bad guys :) Put in some supernatural, and you’ve got an awesome ride ahead of you.

Love those elements! You’ve obviously put a lot of time and thought into crafting the world behind the FATE SERIES. There are Guardians, Seekers, Elders, a hierarchy of angles and demons, (including a chilling Lord of the Underworld) long-Standing rivalries, betrayals and more. Whew! When you started writing GUARDIAN, did you intend for it to be a series or did that happen as the story progressed?

 L.J.: Guardian Of Fate is definitely packed with many levels of good and evil and I had tons of fun creating their world. I don’t think thoughts of a series entered my mind until about halfway into writing GOF. When I realized that there was just too much that needed to happen and the characters started getting more complex, I knew that it would take more than one book to wrap it all up.

I have two current novels I hope to spin into separate series, but the idea is a bit intimidating. Okay, a lot intimidating! Mostly because I’m a panster. What do you find the hardest part of writing a series given the intricate plotting and carry-over you need to do?

L.J.:  I think the hardest part is writing each book as I go and knowing that if some big idea strikes me later, I won’t have the opportunity to change what’s already happened. I guess I’m stuck that way, but so far it’s been working out. I’m somewhat of a pantser myself, except I usually need to outline the next few chapters, at least in a general sense to move forward. And usually I have somewhat of an idea of what I want to end up when the book is finished. Whether my characters play along is usually yet to be determined.

Do you have any idea how many books will follow SEEKER OF FATE in the FATE SERIES?

L.J.: The current plan is to have a trilogy. That’s as far as my ideas have gone, but that is really all up to the characters and how they act in the last book. I’ve also had ideas of spin offs jumbling around the old noggin, so we’ll see.

Tell us a bit about your lead characters – - Cassandra (Cassie) Cosgrove, Hunter and Caleb. Sometimes I feel like Cassie when she’s trapped between those two, because you keep throwing your reader curve balls. You certainly know how to keep us on our toes!

L.J.: Cassie is a total mess! She’s smart, independent, strong, and a bit sassy, but her world has just taken a ride on a supertornado so she’s also kind of lost. Not only does she need to save the lives of many others, including her loved ones, but she has to find herself and deal with who she’s become. Tack on two mysterious, and sexy men that are fighting for her and her world has become complete chaos! What can I say about Hunter and Caleb? They’re both egotistical alpha males, each with their own style…and agenda, all of which include Cassie. Believe me, they’ve all kept me on my toes too!

Do you have an expected release date for SEEKER OF FATE?

L.J.: I’m shooting for December, but that depends on beta readers, editors, and cover artists. I’m nearly complete with my first round of edits, and then it’s pretty much in the hands of others until it comes back to me for revisions. I could always hope that its already perfect as it is, but that would really be an urban fantasy :)

So glad to hear it’s hovering around the corner! I also can’t let this interview pass without asking you about your blog LJ Writes. You have a weekly feature called “What’s Your Take Wednesday” where visitors write a short scene to match up with a photo you select and post. It’s a quick creative writing exercise that always generates a enthusiastic response. How do you choose the photos to use?

 L.J.: I’m just so glad I started WYTW. I really love reading everyone’s takes. It’s pretty awesome seeing how so many different styles and different ideas can come from the same picture. Choosing pics for it is actually very challenging for me. I know it should seem easy, but I really want to find something every week that strikes an idea, not to mention several different ideas. Usually I start with a word, phrase, or object in my head and throw that into the stock photo site I use. From there it can go anywhere, and usually does. But when I see the photo, I know it’s the one.

And now a couple of quick tidbits about L.J.  What are you currently reading on your Kindle, Nook or in print?

L.J.: City Of Glass, by Cassandra Clare. It’s book #3 in the Mortal Instruments series. I know you’ve read and loved this series, Mae. I cannot get enough of it! Each book gets better and better. I’m a junkie now.

I loved the series and it’s prequel, the INFERNAL DEVICES series. Can’t wait for the Mortal Instruements movie! Any favorite books to recommend?

L.J.: Anything by Karen Marie Moning is my top picks. Her Urban Fantasy series Fever is absolutely addicting if you like adult UF. Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews are also some of my favorite writers. Oh, and if you haven’t read the Hunger Games series, go now! It’s fantastic. I know you said books, but some of these authors have so many great ones, that it’s just easier to give their names :)

Favorite color?

L.J.: Green

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

L.J.: I’ve always wanted to visit Australia, but Venice, Italy is a top choice too.

Both of those are on my list as well! L.J., thank you again for visiting my blog and taking the time to do an interview with me. You know I’m a FATE fan, and will definitely be in line to buy SEEKER OF FATE for my Kindle Fire. Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share before we close?

L.J.: I know this may sound a bit preachy, but to all those people out there that think that their dreams aren’t possible, I’m here to tell you — they are. Don’t ever give up on your dreams; think about them every day and in doing so, you will inadvertently take a step in making them reality. If you’ve always wanted to write, write. If you’ve always wanted to sing, sing. Don’t worry about what others think about it in the beginning, they’ll come around once they see your dreams are coming true. And don’t be afraid to ask others for help. There are lots of great people in this world just waiting for a chance to help others.

Thank you again, Mae! I had such a blast being here, and I hope you and your readers did too. I look forward to reading your books as well!

See you around everyone!

Book blurb for GUARDIAN OF FATE

Fear of death is all too common. Visions of it chill the bones and skip heartbeats. Seeing it coming and knowing only you can rescue the soul of the victim from the fiery bowels of hell…that’s downright life-altering.

Cassandra Cosgrove’s life was altered at the age of sixteen when she found out that it was her responsibility to save the lives, and ultimately the souls, of innocent victims targeted by Hell’s demons. As impossible as it seemed at first, she was able to live a fairly normal life, while secretly fulfilling her obligation as a Guardian of Fate.

But years later Fate has its own plan when her visions begin drastically changing at the same time two mysterious men appear in her life. Cassandra suddenly finds herself caught in a battle between good and evil, with her own soul on the line. When it seems everyone in her life has a secret they’ve been hiding from her, who can she trust to be the Guardian of her Fate?

Author Bio:
L.J. Kentowski is living in disguise as the author of her debut novel, Guardian Of Fate, working diligently on the subsequent novels in the Fate series. Her true identity as Supermom and Superwife, living in the Midwest with SuperDog must never be revealed without security clearance. Every day, after tucking in her 6yr old talking prodigy, she rips off her cape and delves into the world of angels, demons, and the in-betweens.

To find out more about L.J., GUARDIAN OF FATE, SEEKER OF FATE, and the FATE SERIES, look for her at the following haunts:

Author website: http://www.LJKentowski.com

Blog: http://www.ljwrites.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LJKentowski

Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurajeanwrites

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5382939.L_J_Kentowski

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/L.J.-Kentowski/e/B006MNYYAQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1345385837&sr=8-1

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/l-j–kentowski?keyword=l.j.+kentowski&store=allproducts

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114036