Tonight, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce Sage Marlow, author of contemporary gay erotic fiction.
SM: Hi Genella, thank you so much for dating me *grins* It’s a pleasure to be here and chat with you. Big thanks to everyone who’s dropping in—hey, are you gate crashing our date??? No worries, we love guests. The more, the merrier, right?
GdG: Giggles* Now, I always like to ask for a picture, Sage…. Taps foot on floor*
SM: I’m pretty camera-shy, but I do have a pretty, rainbow-coloured logo
GdG: You big tease! Don’t make me come over there – Oh, wait, I AM going to visit you one of these days, and there will be no hiding, then! LOL – All right, enough flirting (for now. . .) How’s the weather where you live at the moment?
SM: In short, it’s f-f-f-f-freezing here. I live in Germany, and we’ve just had ten days of temperatures below 0 degrees centigrade. Fortunately it’s been crispy cold with a beautiful clear blue sky and the most beautiful sunrises behind our house, as you can see in the pic.
GdG: How beautiful! I can’t even imagine what 0 degrees feels like… What is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing? Where did you get it?
SM: My favourite piece of almost all-season clothing is my trusty outdoor jacket. It might not be a beauty or fashionable, but it keeps me warm (enough), and the pockets are huge, so I can stuff anything from keys to tissues to children’s toys in them.
GdG: Looks toasty! I’ll bet Miss M is thrilled when you hand her one of her toys from seemingly out of no where! Magical Papa! OK, now Pet Pix!
SM: These are my much beloved fur babies, Mrs Cat (the tortoiseshell one), who, despite being around 15 years of age, is excellent at hunting mice and is known in our part of the village for walking me and Miss M to the bus stop in summer.
Mr Cat, the white Persian, is actually a living, breathing sofa cushion. And he’s a diva.
GdG: Cute little fluffies!! So how do you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated that day?
SM: I’m not usually unmotivated, but sometimes my head is just not in the writing zone because I have too much other stuff going on. If I can’t get into a story at all, I’ll just put on one of the many other hats I wear and get back to writing the next day.
GdG: Good plan. What is your preferred media when writing? (Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?)
SM: My laptop or my iPhone.
GdG: What is the weirdest thing upon which you’ve written an idea? (hand, a mirror with lipstick)
SM: None, actually. As my iPhone is virtually an extension of me by now, all my ideas go in there.
GdG: Likewise, my iPhone’s notes are jammed with ideas and… shopping lists… LOL. Do you have a favorite work space?
SM: Um, yes. My bed. I’m also finally going to have a spare attic room converted into the home office I’ve wanted for years, but at the time I’m writing this, that room has nothing in it but bare walls, cobwebs and very cold air.
GdG: Your bed, huh? Hmmmmm, interesting…It appears that you’ve ruffled my curiosity 😉 Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck
SM: This just happened a few weeks ago, when the SO and I were having lunch with his mother. An idea hit me mid-conversation, so of course I zoned out, took my phone out and wrote it down. Yeah, that resulted in frowns all around me, but really, they should be used to it by now.
GdG: LOL, right? Anyone who is close to a writer should know that when the mysterious muse hits, all bets are off. 😛 😉 Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP.
SM: My latest WIP is the next book in the Sub-Series. It’s a follow-up on Chester and Sheridan’s story, which began in Roses & Thorns. I came up with the idea when I realised that these two men’s story just wasn’t over yet, and some of the things that were hinted at in Roses makes it fit in well with the Sub-books.
I don’t have a blurb yet, so here’s the first paragraph:
Roses & Kinks
Copyright Sage Marlowe, 2016
Sheridan pulled off his gloves on the way to the sink and dumped them in the bin he passed. He turned on the hot water, poured a liberal amount of soap onto his right palm and started scrubbing his hands, as usual taking extra care to clean under his nails, even though there shouldn’t be anything yucky there, couldn’t, really, because of the gloves. He sighed. It’s not rational. It wasn’t rational. It was the soul-deep need to wash away the traces of a workday spent digging through deceased people’s intestines and sometimes, worse. He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment while he rinsed his hands once more, then he opened them again, blinking as the neon light promptly made them tear up. He grabbed a handful of paper towels and tossed them in the bin, after the gloves.
GdG: Ooooh, how intriguing! Please tell us about your latest work that is available now?
GdG: Do you have any plans to attend book conferences in 2016? If so, please tell us which ones
SM: I’d love to attend some of the conferences, but for a number of reasons I’m not a big fan of travelling these days. I might make it to EuroPride Con in Berlin, but nothing’s been decided yet.
GdG: Where is the best place for people to follow you where you consistently post? Twitter, FB, etc.?
SM: Facebook! That is, if you want to meet the more personal me. I use Twitter to keep my followers updated on my books, like new releases and sales, but Facebook is definitely my go to place to post personal stuff.
GdG: Cool! Please provide your official website or blog
SM: My website is www.sage-marlowe.com. I try to keep it up-to-date, so visitors can find all the important info on my books there. My blog can be found at www.sage-marlowe.blogspot.com It was recently re-named Flavours of Sage and is mostly dedicated to hosting fellow authors and their new releases, so it’s always worth a visit if you want to discover new books
GdG: Any final words of wisdom or well wishes for the New Year you’d like to share?
SM: Live, love and laugh. Seriously, life is short. Enjoy it and make the most of it.
Thanks again for the interview, Genella, it’s been lovely. And thank you for being here with us, dear visitors!
Allow me to present your date for tonight, Dee J. Adams! With 9 books under her belt and more on the way, Dee J. is an incredibly prolific writer who pens kick-ass heroines and big stories.
GdG: Hi Dee J.! How’s the weather where you live right now?
DJA: Right now the weather is cold, brisk and clear. It’s the prettiest Southern California has looked in a long time. All that much needed rain cleared out the air.
GdG: Seriously! I love it when it’s chilly!What is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing?
DJA: I’ve been wearing this hat and scarf all winter.
My daughter made them for me and they are so soft and so cozy!!
GdG: OK, now *that* is talent! I’m positive I wouldn’t have the patience for knitting! Now for your pet Pix!
DJA: Zachary and Elizabeth. (No, I didn’t name them. They were rescues that my family adopted when they were 7. Honestly the names fit to tee. Especially Liz since she’s a real Queen.)
Zach is a pit bull mix and Liz is a lab, border collie mix. She makes the rules and he follows them.
GdG: Alfa girl~ Nice! 😀How do you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated that day?
DJA: Honestly, sometimes I don’t get into the zone. But I try to make up for it another day.
GdG: What is your preferred media when writing? (Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?)
DJA: Laptop. (Although a cocktail napkin has been used for notes if I’ve been out and nothing else is handy.)
GdG: What is the weirdest thing upon which you’ve written an idea? (hand, a mirror with lipstick)
DJA: That cocktail napkin from above. <G>
GdG: Do you have a favorite work space?
DJA: I tend to write on my living room sofa. Sometimes, I’ll write in bed in the morning before I get up. The best part about the sofa is sharing the space with Zach.
He loves me. Of course the feeling is mutual. Although he sheds so terribly that I have to protect the sofa, but the ugly is worth having him next to me. (I take it off when company comes over. Haha.)
GdG: Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck
DJA: I was on vacation with my husband and daughter and we went to the Indianapolis 500 in 2001. I had no intention of working, but after seeing the race, I had an idea that became Dangerous Race. (The first book in my Adrenaline Highs series.) I ended up working the rest of the vacation getting my idea down on paper and interviewing anyone in charge at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
GdG: Cool! Any research I can do other than sitting at my computer always yields such wonderfully tangible info. Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP and perhaps give us a peek into the story.
DJA: My current work in progress, Out of the Blue, is a direct sequel toAgainst the Wall(High Stakes #1). It’s the continuing saga of the St. John family after their traumatic kidnapping in the first book. Although one of the twins got his story in Imminent Danger(Adrenaline Highs #5), Out of the Blue tells Brendan’s story. He was the most affected during the kidnapping.
Here’s a little excerpt!
“Thank you,” she said. She cleared her rough throat and pushed wet hair off her face. “Seriously. I have no idea how that happened, but thank you. You saved me.”
Now that she had the towel in her lap and hair pushed back, he saw the crazy blue-green of her eyes. His pulse skipped then steadied, then skipped again when she smiled at him. Brilliant white teeth. Plush lips. Full and inviting and very kissable if he let himself think about it, which he couldn’t since he’d just met her and didn’t even have a name. That problem he could remedy.
“I’m Brendan. And you’re welcome. Glad I was here to do the saving.” And wasn’t that an understatement? He took a quick glance at the rest of her, noticing the flat stomach and enough cleavage to keep a man interested.
She stuck out her hand. “Casey. And I’m glad too.” Her palm was cool and Brendan thought of the ways he could heat it up. Heat her up. “Any chance I could say thank you with breakfast. On me. All you can eat.” She blinked. Salt crystals lodged in her long dark lashes and sparkled in the sun.
All you can eat. On me. His mind went to a very dirty place and he smiled at her offer. His mini vacation had been a complete surprise and he’d been more lonely than anything, so her invitation sounded perfect.
“I guess it’s a good thing I like breakfast,” he said. He wasn’t picky either. He’d eat any meal. On her. He huffed out a breath and tried to clear his filthy mind. He blamed his older brothers, mostly Danny since his revolving door of women seemed never-ending.
“Something funny?” she asked.
“Nah.” He drew a line in the sand with his index finger. “Just thinking how my day suddenly got better.” No lie there.
GdG: Fantastic! Brendan sounds hunky! Can you please share with us your latest work that is available now?
DJA: Always Dangerous was my last release in October of 2015. It’s the final book in my Adrenaline Highs series.
GdG: Great!Any final words of wisdom or well wishes for the New Year you’d like to share?
DJA: Words of wisdom…? Be kind to others because you just never know what they might be going through. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before passing judgment. Make the most of this life. It’s the only one you get. Love beats fear and hate any day of the week.
GdG: Thanks so much, Dee J., for taking the time to come out for a ‘Date!’
Please welcome tonight’s ‘Date with an Author’ Amanda McIntyre! Amanda’s passion is telling character-driven stories with a penchant for placing ordinary people into extraordinary situations. A bestselling author, her work is published internationally in print, E-book, and audio. She writes sizzling contemporary and erotic historical romance and believes no matter what, love will always find a way.
GdG: Amanda!! It’s so lovely to have you as our next ‘Date!’ How’s the weather where you live right now?
AM: I live in the Heartland, USA, and it’s been pretty much a roller coaster this winter with balmy temps one day and sub-zero the next. Yes, we had a white Christmas which none of the weather people in our area knew was coming 😉 Whether around here used to be quite predictable. Chilly, oftentimes a rainy Fall, along about Thanksgiving the first signs of snow, and from then until around April—cold and snow. Now its rolling dice to see whats happening next week 😉 Thank you El Nino and climate changes 😉
GdG: What is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing?
AM: This season has been an array of leggings that I wear with a funky knit dress or over-sized tunic for writing days. I don’t have any pics of me in them, but I shop a lot at Pyramid Collection, J. Jill, and TJMaxx.
GdG: Ooooooh, I LOVE the Pyramid Collection!! Now for Pet Pix! What sort of four-leged companion do you have in your family?
AM: We have a purebred, 90lb. Black Lab, Norman, who turned 8 years old this past December.
GdG: Aw! What a cutie!! Tell us how you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated that day?
AM: Sort of depends on the day. Meditation has become something I’ll do if I have too much swirling around up there and can’t focus. I always create a visual board of my characters, houses, towns, settings in general of my story to help keep it fresh in my head. Sometimes I’ll surf the internet for visual inspiration. Taking a walk, watch a movie, and coloring–actually focusing on something else some days is a good way to let your creative well recharge. If it’s just not coming—I walk away and do something entirely different. But I love being in the “zone” when I feel like I’m right there in the center of the story 😉
GdG: I love that as well What is your preferred media when writing? Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?
AM: I used to think I was weird, but have since discovered a number of folks who pen their first draft and revise as they type the ms. I prefer loose leaf college rule paper, and always, always use a Black Bic Classic for the first draft. (I should have stock in Bic!) I’ve been known to jot down ideas on napkins, my phone, a notepad that I keep in my purse…
GdG: Cool. It’d different for every writer, and it’s great to get a glimpse of how they do it. What is the weirdest thing you’ve written an idea down on?
AM: When I recently redid my office space, I painted one entire wall with chalkboard paint and write quotes on it quite often! (* note: this doesn’t wipe off with an old fashioned eraser as well, but it’s quite fun to play on with chalk!)
GdG: How fun! Do you have a favorite work space?
AM: My office. I prefer using my PC over a laptop—tried them, never used them. Always came back to my desk and my PC.
GdG: It seems that everyone prefers their office… I want one, too! Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck.
AM: I get lots of “fantastic” ideas! LOL I’m not sure they all necessarily turn out that way! Sometimes, you have to separate the “hit-by-a truck” moments with ones that start out as a seed and build into something that cannot be ignored!!
GdG: Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP + a blurb and a few sentences from it.
AM: The latest came unexpectedly and actually started out completely different from what I’d originally thought…it is the first book in a new spin-off series of my contemporary western Kinnison Legacy series. (RUGGED HEARTS, BK I, RUSTLER’S HEART, BK II, RENEGADE HEARTS, BK III) featuring the little town of End of the Line, Montana and its wonderfully quirky characters! The legacy of Jed Kinnison’s dream to make the ranch a place where people get a second chance, find themselves, and heal with the help of hard work and beautiful surroundings. Readers of the Kinnison brothers, wanted to read more about this little town and its people, so I created a spin-off series called the Last Hope Ranch. The first book in this series is called NO STRINGS ATTACHED and is due out in eBook and print in Spring 2016. (* preorder coming soon!)
GdG: Ooooh, great cover!
AM: Here is the blurb from NO STRINGS ATTACHED By Amanda McIntyre-
More is happening in End of the Line, Montana!
The Last Hope Ranch was Jed Kinnison’s dream and his boys made certain his legacy would continue.
Sally Andersen has spent her life teaching school kids and being caretaker for her ailing father. Alone after five years, she sees her friends marry and start families and decides she, too, wants a family…just not in the conventional way.
Serving overseas left Clay Saunders with no leg, PTSD, survivor guilt, more pity than he wants, and no idea about his future. Asked to be a part of a charity bachelor auction by End of the Line’s fiery redheaded music teacher, Clay doesn’t expect the spark the hope of a normal life inside of him at her unusual request…
She wants a baby.
NO RULES. NO COMMITMENT. NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
GdG: Awesome!! So what is your latest work that is available now?
AM: I’m excited to announce I will be included in a special anthology project with a number of authors written solely for RT VEGAS
This anthology will debut at the RT conference book signing and I’m thrilled to say my offering is called THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT—and is a vampire time-travel-contemporary!! I’m very honored to be part of this unique project with some amazing authors and part of the proceeds going to charity. (*Charity unnamed at time of this interview **Watch my blog or sign up for newsletter regarding preorder date coming soon!)
I’ve also recently re-released the first two books in my SWEET MAGNOLIA time-travel series (more to come!!)
GdG: Do you have any plans to attend book conferences in 2016?
AM: The only conference that I have plans to attend at this time is the RT Booklovers Conferencein Las Vegas, NV. In April 2016. I was unable to attend RT last year due to my mom’s passing, so I’m looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in a while. There is also the possibility of the Midwestern Booklovers Unite Convention in October.
GdG: Yay! I’m going to RT, too! Can’t wait to see you there! Where is the best place for people to follow you where you consistently post? Twitter, FB, etc.?
AM: I try to carve out time for all of them and recently started a Pinterest page (*addictive!) But readers interested in following me can check out these links:
GdG: Awesome!! Any final words of wisdom or well wishes for the new year you’d like to share?
AM: I’d like to thank all those who love to read, love trying new authors and inspire me daily with fair and heartfelt reviews, emails and messages. Besides, more books than your heart (or fav eReader) can hold, I wish you kindness, realized blessings, & cowboy dreams!
GdG: Thanks again, Amanda!
Readers, if you would like to be alerted when we have ‘Dates’ here on my website, please feel free to sign up for Blog post alerts at the top right-hand side of this site.
PS – Amanda would like to give one lucky participant a $5 Amazon gift card! Please see comments for details!!
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you Victoria Vane! Victoria is a bestselling and award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Victoria’s books have received more than twenty awards and nominations to include the 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series.
GdG: Welcome, Victoria! Thank you so much for the ‘Date’ 😀 How’s the weather where you live right now?
VV: It’s January and still in the 80’s here in Palm Coast, Florida. I am not a native Floridian but moved here from South Carolina when my father-in-law had a massive stroke last year. Hubby and I now take of him.
GdG: Aw, you guys are good peeps Tell us, what is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing?
VV: I LOVE my cowboy boots and hats! I have several that I wear all year!
GdG: Pet Pix! Please show us your furry companions –
VV: I have a dog named Alfie and an Arabian horse named Princeton.
GdG: ADORABLE!! Now, how do you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated that day?
VV: If I stare at my computer long enough, the guilt eventually gets to me!
GdG: LOL! Been there, sister! 😀 What is your preferred media when writing? Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?
VV: I can only write in my private place with my desk top computer. Laptops are not for me!
GdG: What is the weirdest thing you’ve written an idea on?
VV: Probably a napkin. I use post it notes a lot.
GdG: Do you have a favorite work space?
VV: YES! I love my home office.
GdG: Ooooh, that looks lovely! Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck.
VV: I get my best ideas when I am NOT thinking- when I am sleeping, taking a shower or riding my horse!
GdG: Me, too! Funny how that works!! Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP + a blurb and a few sentences from it.
VV: My current WIP is a sequel novella to my very first Victoria Vane title, A BREACH OF PROMISE.
I always wanted to write about the secondary characters, Mariah and Nicolas. Fans of the book will be happy that Lady Russell also returns. The title is A PLEDGE OF PASSION (The Rules of Engagement #2).
A PLEDGE OF PASSION BLURB
Only a madman makes a promise in the heat of passion...Three years ago, during a midnight tryst in a moonlit garden, Nicolas Needham fell in love—only to walk away. As a younger son with few connections, his pride demanded that he better his circumstances before paying his suit to her. After working several years as an undersecretary in the Foreign Service, Nicolas is finally given the opportunity to advance—by negotiating a contract of matrimony on the British Envoy’s behalf. Little does he know, the intended bride is the same woman to whom he once pledged himself.
And only a fool believes him…. Lady Mariah Morehaven has lived a quiet, almost reclusive life in the country. While she accepts that marriage is her unavoidable destiny, as a baroness in her own right, and heir to one of the oldest and land-rich estates in England, she fears becoming the target of fortune hunters. Entrusting her well-connected cousin to present her with a list of suitable candidates, Mariah decides on a match with a diplomatic envoy, only to discover the man sent to negotiate for her hand is the one who broke her heart.
Nick considered her for a long, silent moment. It wasn’t the actual remark she had made, but the look that accompanied it. He was certain she was unaware of it, but the seductive wood nymph had reappeared. There was something mezmerizing about the angle of her head, the way she pursed her lips, and the stray curl that had entangled itself about her ear, that made him suddenly want to touch her. The urge was so powerful he had to close his hands against it.
“I used to play,” he replied. “Back in my university days.”
“And I used to play the harpsichord,” she said, “But I was never any good. So now I must ask, were you good, Mr. Needham?”
“I was one of the better batsmen,” he replied. “I frequently hit over the boundary.”
“Indeed?” Her eyes challenged as her gaze held his. “Then one wonders if you still possess talent with your bat or if it has diminished with disuse.”
Nick shifted in his seat. If this were any other woman of his acquaintance, he would have no doubt of the sexual innuendo, but he was as certain as he lived and breathed that the “bat” Lady Mariah referred only was merely the club made of willow. “I don’t know. I haven’t held a cricket bat in over five years,” Nick said. As to the other, at the moment he was absolutely certain it had not suffered from prolonged disuse.
– A PLEDGE OF PASSION by VICTORIA VANE
GdG: Ooooh, looks delish! So can you tell us about a few of your books that are available right now?
VV: I actually have three I would like to mention. I wrote my very first holiday story (A COWBOY’S MIDNIGHT KISS) that just released this week in the RING IN A COWBOY anthology.
I have a new historical release next week that is my first in 20 months (THE REDEMPTION OF JULIAN PRICE) that is included in the ONCE UPON A TRUE LOVE’S KISS anthology.
Lastly, my hot new HOTEL RODEO series is releasing the 19th of January with HELL ON HEELS.
GdG: Do you have any plans to attend book conferences in 2016? If so, please tell us which ones.
VV: Nothing is confirmed yet but I will probably attend IND’Scribe in October. Other than that I would LOVE to go to Oxford for the Historical Novel Society meeting but it’s too soon to know if that will be possible. I am also on a waiting list for the Historical Romance Retreat.
GdG: Cool! I’ll be at IND’Scribe too! Where is the best place for people to follow you where you consistently post? Twitter, FB, etc.?
VV: I am quite active on Facebook. Drop me a line there any time!
GdG: Please provide your official website, blog and all the other places where we can find you:
GdG: Thanks again, Victoria, for sharing a bit about you today. Any final words of wisdom or well wishes for the new year you’d like to share?
VV: Live every day as if it’s your last! Wishing you all much joy and many blessings in 2016! – Victoria Vane
GdG: Words of wisdom from a lovely lady!
GdG: All – If you enjoyed this’ Date with an Author’ and would like to join us here weekly for more ‘Dates,’ please feel free to enter your email in the field at the top right of the page under ‘Blog Post Alerts.’
This just in: Victoria has generously offered to give a way to one lucky comment participant, the title (eBook) of your choice from her published works! Act now, as this offer will expire on Friday, January 22, 2016 at Midnight!
GdG: Hello Arial! How’s the weather where you live right now?
AB: Southern California in the Inland Empire is getting really nice cool weather. We’re enjoying temperatures in the 60s and occasional rain. Lovely!! I kinda get tired of all the sunshine, so the clouds are a nice change. 😀
GdG: I hear ya! I love the 60s and 70s and cloud cover makes me happy – LOL – That being said, what is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing?
AB: Sorry, but I don’t really have one now since it’s usually so hot here in So Cal. Once I move to the UK or Europe, though…that will be a different story!! I would imagine my favorite winter clothing would be a nice, oversized cable-knit sweater!
GdG: Oooooh, that looks toasty! Now for pet pix! Please show off your furry companion!
AB: We LOVE our Lab-mix puppy dog, who is actually about five years old now! His full name is Zeddicus Drool Zorander. We named him after our favorite wizard in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series – Zeddicus Zul Zorander.
But because our dog tends to slobber, we changed the middle name. We call him Zedd for short. He’s not only a devoted and loving member of our family, but he’s a great watchdog, too! I have no doubt this guy would pull my body from a burning building or rescue me from a potential attacker. He’s AWESOME! And because he’s about 95 pounds, not too many people are keen to take him on at first sight. I LOVE this dog!
GdG: He’s so sweet!!! (((Zedd))) Who’s the good boy? Rubs head* Who’s the good boy? 😀 I would totally want to play with Zedd some days instead of write – LOL – How do you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated that day?
AB: Lately, I’m proud to say I’ve finally got myself into a daily routine that not only works well with productivity, but my creativity is at its highest! My husband has to get up at 3:45am every day so he can be out the door by 4:20am in time to catch the bus to work. He commutes all the way downtown 2.5 hours one way. Since he’s been getting up that early, I decided to do the same. By 4:30am, I usually have my butt in the chair and I’m working on my novels!
The secret to success for ME is this one rule I must abide by: DON’T DO ANYTHING BUT WRITE. I can’t open my email, go on social media or do anything else unless it’s research for the book I’m writing. So, for the most part, writing that early in the morning when my mind is still fresh out of dreamland (where most of my ideas come from) and not cluttered with the complexities of the day, I usually don’t have problems with getting in the zone. However, on the one or two occasions I have had a hard time getting there, I’ll switch to brainstorming other story ideas. At present, I have about 50 story ideas in various stages of development, so I have plenty of material to dive into and play around with, should I get struck with a lack of motivation to work on a current project. As long as I stick to my rule and don’t do anything but write, it doesn’t really matter what book I’m writing…as long as I write!
GdG: Now THAT is dedication!! What is your preferred media when writing? Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?
AB: I use MS Word. I was using Scrivener for this last novel, but when they did upgrades on their software and I lost FIFTEEN chapters of my first draft (I know…take a breath…85,000 words were GONE…but I was lucky to have a backup, so I’m okay), I decided to switch back to MS Word exclusively again. I learned a GREAT new trick on how to use MS Word in the way that I loved to use Scrivener. I just reblogged about it at my writers blog: http://arialburnz.blogspot.com/2015/12/ms-word-trick-move-scenes.html So MS Word is definitely my tool of choice and I am TOTALLY a plotter. I outline and plan and plot and scheme and do tons of research and take notes.
GdG: What is the weirdest thing on which you’ve written an idea?
AB:My leg! I needed more room than my hand would provide and I was wearing a skirt at the time, so I hiked up my hem and wrote a long note on my thigh! LOL It was so long ago, though, I can’t remember what I jotted down. Since I don’t remember, I’m assuming it was an idea I didn’t run with.
GdG: Hahaha! OMGee! Aside from your leg 😉 do you have a favorite work space?
AB: Just my desk where I do all my work. I’m blessed that I get to work from home full time as a writer. I won’t include a picture, though. My desk is a folding table right now because we’re still in the middle of a lot of construction at our house. We’re STILL recovering from some water damage that happened two years ago. What a nightmare!
GdG: Ugh! That alone is a distraction! I hope you have a comfy chair at least! Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck.
AB: LOL…this happens too many times for me to pick just one incident. Let me see…I would have to say the most impactful story idea that came to me was from a dream. I usually dream pretty vividly and, as I mentioned before, many of my story ideas come from dreams. But this one was about a young woman, whose eyes I was seeing through, who was summoned before a grand wizard council. She had some kind magic they needed to stop an evil wizard and there was some personal connection she had with him that even she didn’t know about. I’m not going to go into all the details of the dream, but when I woke up, I wrote down the dream for later use. When I was stuck at doing some software training where no one showed for several sessions, I had a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to do some writing…and that idea was the only thing I had with me on my thumb drive at the time. I was able to brainstorm an entire magical world and what sprung from it is a nine-book series, which I’ll be working on next, called The Keystone Chronicles.
GdG: Very cool! Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP + a blurb and a few sentences from it.
AB: My current WIP, which is now available for preorder, is called Midnight Savior.
It’s the fifth book from my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles and takes place in London, 1888, during the Autumn of Terror when Jack the Ripper was terrorizing Whitechapel. This series has been about Broderick MacDougal’s pursuit of his soul mate, Davina, as she has been reincarnated through the centuries, but each time poor Rick gets with Davina, he brings such danger and destruction into her life. This time around, Rick is going to put himself in the “friend zone”. Here’s the short blurb:
Broderick MacDougalrefuses to put his beloved Blossom in danger again. As a vampire with a dark past and enemies, he brings with him too many risks to selfishly claim her as his own. But keeping her at a distance proves to be much more difficult than he anticipated. And as much as Broderick hates to admit it, Theodore Coleman may be Belle’s only safe haven.
Christabelle Williamshas fought for her financial independence since the cradle, and nothing will make her turn to anyone for help. But Belle’s living as a laundress is jeopardized. Finally accepting Theo’s marriage proposal wouldn’t be so bad…if she wasn’t haunted by the sinful dreams with a passionate vampire.
Jack the Ripper is prowling the streets where Christabelle lives…and he is no mere mortal. Broderick must act quickly before the Whitechapel murderer learns what she means to Broderick and use her to extract payment for an old debt.
EXCERPT: Just a tiny setup for those who haven’t read my series yet – in each life Davina has, she always has sapphire blue eyes. They say eyes are the windows into the soul, and that’s why I always give Davina the same dark-blue eyes that are the one thing Broderick knows on sight whenever he meets her in her new lifetime. This is the first time he’s seeing Davina in her life in 1888, following the calling of her soul. (Editorial note: This is only the first draft, so forgive the roughness of the prose.)
As he did anywhere he went in London, Broderick reeled from the assault on his heightened senses—horse feces and sweat, human urine and body odor, the burning of coal and the stench of the Thames. The cacophony of conversation from the crowds mixed with the sing-song hawkers taunting their wares, and the occasional jumble of piano notes danced over the multitude of bodies pressing against him.
“Bloody needle in a haystack,” he grumbled for at least the hundredth time since he began his search for Davina.
He narrowed his eyes at the setting sun, disappointed he was losing the daylight. However, he gravitated toward what appeared to be the Penny Gaffs—pubs hosting performances of cheap entertainment. Varney the Vampyre was artfully drawn in white on a long black chalkboard. Rick smirked and harrumphed. “Varney the Vampyre indeed.”
A delicate hand brushed against his ribs and he started at the sudden absence of a certain timepiece pressing at his side. He whirled to survey the teeming heads of hats and hairdos as his fingers fondled his empty vest pocket. One blonde bun pushed a direct and contrasting route through the crowd. The woman stopped and when she cast sapphire eyes over her shoulder, her gaze locked with his.
The little chit picked my pocket!
Christabelle’s jaw dropped and she ducked under the sea of people milling around them.
Broderick grinned and shoved through the populous, which parted like the Red Sea, shifting to avoid his massive frame. When she dodged behind a hawker’s cart, he picked up his pace. She cast a wary glance behind her as she scampered between two buildings, and Rick poked his head around the corner just in time to see her sidestep out of view.
He pressed forward to the end of the tight walkway only to see her dart down another alley. Using his immortal speed, Rick caught up and rounded the corner, but stumbled to a halt.
Empty, save for the scattered arrangement of trash cans and storage crates illuminated by the dim gas lights dotting the long alleyway.
A door burst open and Broderick backed into the shadows. A stocky, sweaty man hauled a can overhead and dumped the rubbish into a nearby bin along the wall. He grabbed the door handle and stopped mid-stride, pointing at the stack of crates in front of him. “Oy! I don’t need the likes of you griddlin’ around here! Off wit ye, now! Go on!”
Christabelle scuttled from behind the large, wooden boxes and dashed down the alley. The man mumbled and went back inside. Broderick chuckled and resumed the chase.
A whispered curse caught his attention. He waited, silent and listening. The rustle of fabric. Rick closed his eyes and inclined his head, attempting to ascertain her direction. The rapid melody of her heart sang to his soul from behind the wooden fence to his right. He inhaled the scent of her blood to savor her essence. Her fear seduced The Hunger to the surface, but Broderick eased it back into submission. Slipping the Lunar Eclipse ring from his finger, he dropped it into his trouser pocket.
“Don’t move. Don’t breathe.” Yet her panting gusts rebelled against her thoughts.
He hesitated. What was he doing? One glance at those sapphire eyes brought out the rogue in him. Instinct had overshadowed all reason. But now that he had his faculties, he reassessed his original mission: Feed from her to learn how to get her out of the East End without her fighting him every step of the way. He needed this. This was his chance to get her to safety and make things right.
Drawing a deep breath, he carefully strolled through the adjacent gate and entered the backyard, closing the gate behind him. His immortal eyes revealed her crouching in the darkened corner behind some crates. He examined the long and empty, paved yard behind the row house. No lights in the windows and no shadows moving from inside said they were alone. He returned to the garden shed by the gate and leaned his back against the brick wall. Crossing his arms and his ankles, he smirked, but kept his distance.
Christabelle stood, fists at her sides—her right one bound in a plaster cast—and she squared her thin shoulders. “What you doin’ followin’ me?”
Gods, she’s nothing but skin and bones!
She pulled a knife from her waistcoat with her left hand and a steady grip, pointing it at him. “Ye’ll have more than yer fair share o’ trouble if ye try anythin’”
“I’m sure I will, lass. I just want my watch back.”
She gasped. “Lord o’ me, it can’t be.”
Broderick knew she’d recognize his voice. She always did. But that didn’t stop his heart from ramming against his ribs like a caged lunatic. Nor was he prepared for the familiar wave of love that crashed over him.
A tear slipped down Christabelle’s cheek. Though she tried to ignore what she considered a sign of weakness, her lips quivered. “He’s just a dream! Now stand strong or ye’ll git yerself killed if ye let yer guard down with this stranger.”
Clenching his jaw, he resisted the temptation to sweep her into his arms and comfort her. But why? The plan was to feed from her and wipe the memory from her mind. Why couldn’t he hear her long-awaited confessions of love and let them carry him into his seclusion? He would bury the treasure of her kisses and the nectar of her blood deep in his heart with the peace of knowing she was safe from him.
He advanced, but she raised her knife, coaxing a sympathetic grin from him. “All is well, Blossom. I’m here.”
Christabelle whimpered and dropped the blade. “But…how?”
Slow and careful steps, Broderick closed the distance between them. His hands cupped her delicate face. The intoxicating heat of her blood filled his nostrils. He searched those precious sapphire eyes, so wide with wonder. Rick dropped his gaze to her trembling pink lips and bent forward to capture them with a kiss. And his intention was to claim a chaste morsel.
What a fool.
When was any amount of this woman ever enough? Especially when she surrendered so completely.
GdG: Wowsers!!! (((LOVE))) What is your latest work that is available now?
GdG: Sweet, thanks! Any final words of wisdom or well wishes for the new year you’d like to share?
AB: This past year went by FAST and it certainly had its ups and down and bumps along the way, but 2015 was definitely a year of growth for me. In spite of all the bad we all go through, looking back on it and gleaning lessons is how we can turn something bad into something good. If we can find appreciation and gratitude in what we still have versus focusing on what we’ve lost, it makes the bumps a little easier to bear. Both my mother and mother-in-law went through breast cancer chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but these two amazing women taught me how staying positive through adversity goes a long way. I’m so proud of them both and they’ve given me such courage in the face of some of the problems I had this past year. All the hardship has actually helped me end this year with more productive habits, new opportunities for my novels, and birthed from the difficulties, I made new friends and created new ideas with old friends, so I now have a ton of projects lined up for this year. I’m going head-on into 2016 with gusto and excitement! I wish everyone could feel as enthused about the next twelve months! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!