Saturday, August 2, 2014

#RomanceInAMonth Author Interview - Lyssa Layne and The Right Pitch #romance #baseball


Lyssa Layne is full of ideas and has several projects going on at any given time. She joined Romance In A Month and finished the first draft of The Right Pitch in a month. I'm happy to have Lyssa tell you about her experience with our Romance In A Month class.

Tell us about your writing. What types of stories do you like to write?
I’ve only written one book previous to The Right Pitch and it was really heavy on the drama side. Colie’s story is a lot more laid back but still filled with lots of drama, just a different kind than Love is a Fire.

What stimulates you to write? How do you motivate yourself on days you don’t feel like writing?
Really anything around me can be motivation to create a story. For instance, there’s a new country song out that I’m planning a whole story around.

I always feel like writing, just don’t always have the time! I always try to take at least a few minutes a day to do something “writing related.” Whether it be actually writing, beta reading, or just trying to market myself, I figure something is better than nothing, right?


Before Romance in a Month, how involved were you with other authors? How long did it take you to write a first draft?
Not very involved at all! I had a few writing buddies on Faceook and interacted with authors on Critique Circle, but this class opened up new doors to new friends! Now that downfall is that I now stay up way too late brainstorming and chatting with my new-found friends!

What made you sign up for Romance in a Month? What did you learn and enjoy the most about the class?
I’m a newbie writer without any “training” other than high school English that I took too many years ago to count. I jumped on the chance to get some real education on writing.

When class started, I had no idea about tropes. Well, honestly, I had no idea about any of the stuff you introduced us to! I found it all so interesting and I think (hope!) that it helped improve my writing.

My favorite part of the class was the interaction and support from fellow authors and the daily questions about our characters which I tried to tie into my story.

Tell us about the story you wrote for the class. Was it something you would never have written without the class? What about the class made your story different from how you would usually write?
I was hoping to use the class to write another book for my Burning Lovesick series. When I got my assigned trope, it just didn’t work out so I was forced to think of a new storyline, characters, etc…

So yes, it was something I wouldn’t have written! After writing The Right Pitch, it made me realize that there’s a whole world of stories I can tap into and it doesn’t all have to be part of the series. The class, and my classmates, have really got my creative juices flowing and now I have too many stories to keep up with!

I also took on a different approach in this book and wrote in first-person from one POV which was totally new to me too.

What do you do differently now that you’ve written a story with the class? What was something you liked most about the class?
Brainstorming with others! I think this has helped tremendously especially when I get “stuck” in a plot. Before, I really didn’t interact with other authors too much but it’s great to have a new support system to help with my writing.

Now that I’ve broadened my horizons outside of my Burning Lovesick series, I’m having trouble reining myself in on the ideas that are flowing! For the September class, I’ll be working on Jules Hinton’s story. Jules’ big brother is getting married and she’s not a fan of the nuptials. When she meets her future sister-in-law’s brother, she might just change her mind…or not.

Rachelle did a great job facilitating this class and creating a supportive, fun environment. Now that I’ve started writing with these ladies, I can’t imagine doing it any other way. So a big thank you to Rachelle for taking the time to put all of us creative people together and getting fabulous results!

Lyssa, thanks for being an active member of our class. I hope we’ll meet many more classmates for the September 1-Oct 15 class.


The Right Pitch
Coming Fall 2014
Contemporary Romance
“Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off ... the right pitch will come, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases.”
-Rick Maksian

Colie Adger is trying to make it in the big leagues as an athletic trainer. Working in a man's world isn't easy but Colie has the help of Grant Adamson, a veteran pitcher on her team that has her back through the good, the bad, and the oh-so-ugly times.

Colie's elated when big time pitcher Jace Richards, her former crush, comes back into her life. This time, he wants it all, with Colie front and center.

Grant thinks Jace is too good to be true and doesn’t trust his rival with the heart of his trainer. Voicing his opinion, Grant steps to the side and lets Colie follow her own path. Colie is torn between Jace's lavish attention and the common sense of a solid friend.

Throughout the season, Colie must figure out how to make the best decisions for all the men in her life—both on and off the field. As good as she is at making decisions for others, can Colie figure out her own heart and hit a homerun off the right pitch?

Author Bio
Lyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor.

Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story. Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa’s own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.

You can visit Lyssa’s writing blog at http://www.lyssalayne.wordpress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @layne_lyssa or check out her Facebook page at Lyssa Layne

Don’t forget to add Love is a Fire to your bookshelf on Goodreads!




From Sept 1 to Oct 15, 2014, we're opening up the Romance In A Month group. There is no cost for the class. If you're interested in writing along with a group of friendly, fun, and slightly crazy romance authors, please contact me (Rachelle) at my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RachelleAyalaWriter.

The Romance In A Month textbook is available now on Amazon. It contains all of the lessons and slides [in bullet form], as well as resources for brainstorming, and a reading list. I hope you'll join us and share our adventure in writing a Romance In a Month [and every month after that].

Watch my blog for more author interviews and exciting news from the RomanceInAMonth authors or RIAMers - because writing romances are addictive.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

#BookReview LOST AVALON by K. S. Thomas #contemporary #romance

Lost AvalonLost Avalon by K.S. Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heavy and hard-hitting romance about addiction and codependency.

First of all, K. S. Thomas is a masterful storyteller. She pulls you into Blaise and Ava's story with graphic descriptions and raw emotions. Who wouldn't feel for Ava as she manages self-destructive Blaise, bent on ruining his life to cover up for his hidden pains.

While Ava seems to have it together on the surface, she also unravels when she realizes she's in love with Blaise. She worries that they are both too effed up to have a normal life together, and when Blaise calls her on her problems, she runs away, like she always does.

Through a lot of angst and family craziness, Ava and Blaise realize they both need to heal and figure out what is important.

A lot of drama is packed into this story and there are many poignant moments as both of them unpeel their exteriors aside to let each other in.

This book isn't just a rockstar romance with lots of sex, booze, and action. It's a deeper psychological thriller and one that brings awareness to important issues. Bravo to K. S. Thomas for handling these demons and showing how Blaise and Ava learn to trust each other enough to be victorious over their pasts.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#BookReview ARCHER'S VOICE by Mia Sheridan #romance #comingofage

Archer's VoiceArcher's Voice by Mia Sheridan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This modern Beauty and the Beast story is captivating and endearing. Archer's a hero you just can't help but side with. Everything's been against him his entire life, and he's become a recluse, a man the small town of Pelion shuns.

Bree Prescott is running from her past and the visions that haunt her. She ends up in Pelion and immediately runs into Archer who mutely helps her when she dropped her items coming out of a drugstore.

Soon, she finds out he's considered strange and that no one seems to know anything about him. But Bree is a woman of compassion and curiosity, and her attempts to make friends with Archer are heartwarming and full of possibilities.

You can't help but get drawn into their love story. Only Bree can see Archer for the man he is, but he has been isolated so long that he doesn't have the confidence to deal with society. Meanwhile, Archer's cousin, the town sheriff, is determined to get his way with Bree by cutting Archer down every chance he gets, as well as leading Archer astray.

I won't give the rest of the story away, but the villains do their best to ruin Archer and Bree's life.

Watching Archer unfold and grow from the ruined, destroyed soul he was to a strong, confident hero was the best part of this novel. As well as the hot and frequent steamy love scenes as Bree awakens his dormant passion and desire.

I love this story, especially how Bree kept going to his gate and slowly getting acquainted with him, even when he was so unsure and antisocial. A 5-star coming of age love story and a definite keeper!

View all my reviews

#CoverReveal The Breathe Series by Elena Dillon



 


Breathe by Elena Dillon 
Book 1 - Breathe Series 
Young Adult Romantic Suspense
Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1l2aRBN
Purchase
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1upgmE2
Shimmer by Elena Dillon
Book 2 - Breathe Series
Young Adult Romantic Suspense
Chandler Raines and her “dad” are on the run. Never staying in one place for very long. It’s just not safe. When they arrive in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chandler quickly realizes this is the place she wants to call home. Friends, a cute boy, and competitive cheerleading have her taking dangerous risks to have the life she always wanted. Risks she promised she wouldn’t take. When her lies catch up to her, a decision has to be made. Stay or run? Will the evil that’s chased them for the last four years catch up to them? When Chandler’s past comes screeching into the present she’ll have to sacrifice everything to keep what she loves safe. But will it be enough?

About the Author
I have had a love of books for as long as I can remember. I got in trouble as a kid for staying up too late on school nights, reading. I'm a nerdgirl and proud of it. I've been writing my whole life but only recently decided to come out in public with it.
I write Young Adult love stories because as my husband would tell you, I never matured much past fifteen. There is nothing better to me than a good romance with an amazing hero, throw in some creepy suspense and I'm in.
I write from my home office in Southern California with our English Bulldog, Brutus to keep me company. To hear about him, my writing experience and read some outtakes of my stories check out my blog at elenadillon.com.
I love to chat with other readers and writers.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Michal's Window De-Sexed and on sale for 99c #romance

Are there set standards for sensuality and heat levels in romance novels?

I don't think so. What's too hot for some may be bland as butter for others. Case in point: My first novel, Michal's Window has been called porn by reviewers. [Check out the ONE-star reviews on Amazon], whereas my latest novel, Whole Latte Love wasn't "Hot" enough for an old cougar.

Michal's Window does not name body parts or depict the sex act, whereas Whole Latte Love definitely shows more than it tells. So, what's going on here? Audience.

Michal is a character from the Bible, the first wife of King David. While they most certainly had sex during Biblical times, and King David was a very sensual man with his many wives and adulterous affair with Bathsheba, readers of Michal's Window do not expect the characters to have sex. Instead, sex has to be implied.

So, given the reader feedback, I went through Michal's Window and removed any words that could cause consternation: "impaled", "arousal", "torrid", "tented bulge", and any scenes implying masturbation or oral sex. I paged through almost 500 pages and could not find any really graphic scenes. The closest one took place after Michal rolled herself naked into a rug and had herself delivered to David's room. He decides to give it to her real good. I simply deleted two paragraphs and implied that he gave it to her good. The de-sexed version has been uploaded to Amazon, where the complaints were. However, the original is available everywhere else [Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.]

Meanwhile, Whole Latte Love is billed as a New Adult romance. It is full of sexual tension from page one. But there is a story there too, and Dylan and Carina are not acting like rabbits, but more like cat and mouse. They get close, then further, then closer, and are a real tease for the reader.

The cover is playful. Nothing too erotic, and most readers enjoy the game playing and teasing interplay between the two.

What would happen if a Michal's Window reader accidentally picked up Whole Latte Love? Or my latest, Played by Love?

Perhaps my writing is getting hotter and hotter. Because seriously, I'm not affected by any of the scenes I either read or write. My latest novella, Playing the Rookie, has 3-1/2 sex scenes, 2 make out scenes, 1 self-pleasure scene (almost), bungee jumping, a BFF and a b*tchy ex-fiancee, all packed in 20,000 words. [This novella won't be released until later this year. Sorry to make you wait!]

Anywho... Michal's Window is now on sale at Amazon for 99c. Only Amazon has the de-sexed version. Ebook at:  Amazon US INDIA UK DE FR ES IT Japan Canada Brazil Mexico Australia

The original is also on sale for 99c from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other online retailers. Pick yourself a copy today and see what all the hoo-ha is about. And if you want something sexier, I have plenty of heat for you in my other books.


#CharacterInterview INCANTATION PARADOX by Annamaria Bazzi #magic #fantasy


Hello Readers! Today I'm interviewing Dolores Reynard from Annamaria Bazzi's newest book, Incantation Paradox. It seems that after an accident, middle-aged Dolores wakes up and finds herself in a strange bedroom--not just that, her body is now that of a teenager (Mona), and everyone at the house believes she IS Mona. Imagine this happening to you! Well, I got a chance to ask Dolores how she coped with this strange phenomenon.


What were your first thoughts when you realized you couldn't get back to your family?
Dolores – I really thought I’d go out of my mind, but I realized early on I needed to be very careful because my life was in danger. If I wanted to get back to my daughters I had to be cunning.

Did you enjoy being in Mona's young body or were you too worried about not being recognized by your own family?
Dolores – Who would be crazy enough not to enjoy the look and feel of a young body! Even in my worry, trying to figure out how to get back to my daughters, the elasticity of Mona’s body was quite pleasant. But they were thoughts and feelings kept in the background because my first priority was to discover how such a thing could ever happen. In books anything is possible, but in real life…

When did you get suspicious of Eric?
Dolores – This is a hard question due to Mona’s feelings always coming to the surface, fogging my thinking. Even though she had problems with the scoundrel, her puppy love feelings would drown me at times. Eric was tricky and I never really trusted him, but when he started to babble nonsense, my suspicions surfaced.

Did you wish you could expose him?
I did wish to expose him, but when Jason stepped in everything changed.

When you started falling in love with Jason, did you wish you could stay in your new life/body and never see Ethan again?
Never seeing Ethan again always sounded good after he slapped me with divorce papers. Although I didn’t want to leave Jason, I still wanted to go home to my girls. Besides, the young body felt great, but, in Mona’s body I looked like Jason’s daughter and that would have been awkward. No matter what my feelings were for him, I still wanted to go home.

Obviously you're a good mother and wanted to go back for Ella and Chloe. If and when you were to see them again, what would you say to them now that you've spent time as a teenager again?
It’s not so much what I’d say, but how I would deal with them and their problems. The living example is always worth so much more than words. When teens act out it’s because they are asserting who they are as individuals in a world they are still trying to comprehend. In the past, there have been times when I’ve overlooked this fact, forgetting their inexperience and in many cases their innocence.

Thanks, Dolores, for dropping by. I'm sure there's a happy ending to your story, but I don't want to give it away. The journey, of course, is worth the telling. I'm sure you agree.

Book Description:

Magic is an illusion. It doesn’t really exist. Or does it?

A horrible car accident destroys Dolores Reynard’s life. But instead of waking up in a hospital bed, she awakens in a teenager’s body. Soon, she discovers she is at the heart of the murderous mystery surrounding the death of Mona, the young girl whose body she occupies. Caught between an evil greater than she ever imagined and a wizard who heals her tattered heart, she is forced to play a dangerous game of intrigue in the hopes of finding a way to return to her previous life.

Will magic be her ally, or will it lead to her demise once and for all.


Incantation Paradox is available from:

~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.
Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.
You can visit Annamaria at:
blog http://annamariabazzi.com
website http://www.annamariasbooks.com
Check in on Kendíka’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kendika.burkeshire

Two digital copies of Incantation Paradox is up for grabs! Be sure to enter and find out what happens to Dolores and all the strange things she encounters.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 26, 2014

#RomanceInAMonth #AuthorInterview Chantel Rhondeau on Happy Endings #romance #writing


Chantel Rhondeau is a romance/romantic suspense author who joined my inaugural Romance In A Month class. She completed her first draft within a month of writing and is busy revising and editing. Here's a sneak peak of her story, Happy Endings.


Happy Endings (McCallister's Paradise - 1)
Coming Early 2015
Contemporary Romance

Handsome, wealthy Quinn McCallister is the most eligible bachelor on McCallister’s Paradise. Making his family's island resort a success is all that matters to this workaholic. Everything changes when he meets the beautiful new massage therapist...

Larissa Benner may have survived cancer, but its aftermath left plenty of problems besides the ever-looming fear of relapse. Her family nearly went bankrupt paying for her previous treatment. She desperately needs the full-time therapist position on the island and the benefits that come with it. The last thing she wants is problems with her boss, or a complicated office romance.

It’s hard for her to resist Quinn’s charms—or his passionate side. However, Quinn is married to his job. The choice between love and work is tough for him to juggle and has Larissa scared. If the cancer recurs, would he leave her to face it alone?

Chantel's here to tell us about her new book and also her experiences in the #RomanceInAMonth class.

Tell us about your writing. What types of stories do you like to write? 
I have mostly written romantic suspense, but after taking this class, I’m really enjoying contemporary romance without the mystery line!

What stimulates you to write? How do you motivate yourself on days you don’t feel like writing? 
It’s tough. Having deadlines is the most effective way to get me to write. That’s what I liked about the class. I basically had a deadline every day so that I could tell everyone what I did.

Before Romance in a Month, how involved were you with other authors? How long did it take you to write a first draft? 
I have some friends I talk to regularly, but nothing like this. First drafts were taking me from 3-5 months. My fastest before this was 2 months.

What made you sign up for Romance in a Month? What did you learn and enjoy the most about the class? 
Well, I signed up because Rachelle is the bomb! LOL I learned a lot about archetypes and tropes and I most enjoyed interacting with all the other writers throughout the class.

Tell us about the story you wrote for the class. Was it something you would never have written without the class? What about the class made your story different from how you would usually write? 
I had planned on something like Happy Endings for a while, but I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. I knew the setting and that my heroine was a massage therapist. Through the class, I learned a lot more about the McCallister family and was able to streamline the story and keep on target. I have been nervous about writing contemporary romance, sure it would end up being boring, but I’m really pleased with Happy Endings. I think it is a great novel.

What do you do differently now that you’ve written a story with the class? What was something you liked most about the class? 
The daily questions were a big help to me, getting my brain thinking outside the box about things I might not normally know about my characters. In a few cases, this lead to new scenes I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I think in-depth interviewing of your characters is a great idea. You don’t have to write about everything you find out, but it is good information to know so that if you ever get stuck, you have some material to work with.

Do you think it is possible to continue writing a romance in a month consistently now that you have taken the class? 
It gives me great confidence knowing this is possible. One of the reasons I’m not releasing Happy Endings until early next year isn’t because it’s not ready (I could release it anytime), but because it is a series and I want to have the next two books written and released at the same time. I’m also writing a book for another series that is due in October and so I have a lot to get done!

Fortunately, I know it is possible now. Happy writing, everyone! I’m excited to participate in the next class!

Chantel, thanks for the kind words and for doing this interview. I've read Happy Endings and it is a great story and makes me want to meet more of the McCallister family.

I hope we’ll meet many more classmates for the next #RomanceInAMonth class.

From Sept 1 to Oct 15, 2014, we're opening up the Romance In A Month group. There is no cost for the class. If you're interested in writing along with a group of friendly, fun, and slightly crazy romance authors, please contact me (Rachelle) at my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RachelleAyalaWriter.

The Romance In A Month textbook is available now on Amazon. It contains all of the lessons and slides [in bullet form], as well as resources for brainstorming, and a reading list. I hope you'll join us and share our adventure in writing a Romance In a Month [and every month after that].

Watch my blog for more author interviews and exciting news from the RomanceInAMonth authors or RIAMers - because writing romances are addictive.

If you're interested in joining us for the September-October class, please contact me at my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/rachelleayalawriter