Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Many Facets of R E Hargrave

I have known R E Hargrave for several years now, and am so proud that she's finally going to be a published Author.  Let's take a  little peek into her first offering, Sugar and Spice, and find out a little more about my wonderful friend, R E Hargrave.



Lacey Harrison has been dealt an unexpected hand in life: being a single mom. With her father's help and that of the residents at Royal Hills Nursing Home, she thrives and goes on to become a successful baker. She is content with her life but knows that she and her daughter Candy are missing something. Will things change for the better when Trent Childress moves into town and adds some spice to her sugar?

Excerpt: 

She shrugged her shoulders. “Not sure, just know she wasn’t there today. Coach C was.” The smile was back.

Yeah? What’s she like?”

He, Mom. ‘What’s he like?’” she corrected me with a dreamy look in her eye, and it clicked. She had a crush on her teacher. This could not be happening to me. I wasn’t ready for her to be noticing boys, let alone men.

Oh?” I stalled, panic gripping at my chest. “Okay, what’s he like, then?”

Um . . .” She licked a dab of frosting from her finger, stalling as well. “He’s got a great tan and these blue eyes that twinkle when he smiles. He is a little older, though.” She had my attention now. There weren’t any teachers at the school that fit that description, and Mr. Crouse, the history teacher I’d assumed she was first talking about who always covered in a pinch, without a doubt did not fit her description.

Of course he’s older; he’s your teacher!” I rolled my eyes at her, and then I tried to proceed in a calm manner. “Does this coach have a last name?”

Childress. But he told us to call him Coach C. Oh, and he let me be captain for basketball today!” she announced with glee, unconcerned that my face had pulled into a slight frown. Why did that name sound familiar?


§§§§

    Let’s get to know R E a little bit, shall we?
Were you an avid reader as a child?
     That would have to be an emphatic yes. I come from a family of readers. According to my mom I used to memorize stories by hearing them before I could actually read so that I could later sit and read them to myself. Once I could really read I constantly had my nose in a book.

    Wow, you sure got an early start! So, what was your favourite book growing up?
     I was a big a Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary fan in grade school. Tolkien was an early favorite as was Jane Eyre. In middle school I went through a Robin Cook phase which transformed into Stephen King and Clive Barker in high school. Anne Rice came next followed by Stephenie Meyer, Diana Gabaldon, Laurell K. Hamilton and J.R. Ward.

Guess I kind of got off track there!  Short answer? I think I'm still growing up and I rarely meet a book I don't like.

    That’s wonderful. Do you have a favourite genre and if so, what is it?
     I would have to say paranormal. I've always enjoyed a good supernatural tale – especially if it has vampires.

    Oh me too.  When was it that you were first inspired to write, and do you remember what was it you wrote about?
    How far back do you want me to go? I can remember dabbling in poetry when I was younger. In middle school my best friend and I attempted to write a collaboration about a dragon named Rufus. However, my first real stab at writing came with a YA supernatural piece I started about six years ago.  It's sitting there as a partial rough-draft and I hope to someday go back to it – when I have a free moment.

    What inspired you to write your story, Sugar and Spice?
    At first I wasn't sure if I was going to take the challenge of churning out a novella in just one month (I wrote it in three weeks). However, the more I thought about it the more I resigned myself to the positives of completing the task. My next piece will not be for young readers, but this one is which means my first ever published story is something that my kids can read – and have. My nine-year-old daughter – who was the inspiration for Candace Harrison – was a fantastic cheerleader and pre-reader for me. She even drew a cover for me! I'll add here also that a very close friend of mine was the inspiration for my main character Lacey – sounds like Lisa doesn't it –  Harrison.

      You based your main character on someone you know? That’s so great! It’s amazing how those around us can inspire. Hey, wait a minute! *cue cogs turning in head, then profuse blush, followed by a cheesy grin* Thank you so much, darlin’! Now, let’s get back to the subject of your journey to have this story published. Please continue...

    *Giggles* sure. It did take me a couple of days of thinking on the theme Renaissance Romance Publishing was looking for. It was pretty vague meaning the possibilities were wide open – romance and a winter holiday needed to be included. Traditions, family, small-town – all of these were ideas that kept sticking in the front of my mind and once I committed to using a setting that was part of my childhood, the story unfolded from there.

    It’s wonderful when you can draw from your own experiences to add truth and dimension to a fictional world. Can you tell me a bit about what you have planned next?
    *Rubs hands together* As I mentioned above, my next project will not be for young readers. It will be released under Renaissance Romance Publishing's Sensual Awakenings line – for adults only.

     I am currently working on a three-book series which I've dubbed The Divine Trilogy. Yes, in full disclosure I am not hiding the fact that parts of the books will be rewrites of the first fanfiction story I wrote – To Serve Is Divine.

     I love the fanfic title so I am keeping it and reusing it.  The difference is that it is being used in book 1 which is all brand-new material with the exception of about five chapters which are revamped material. To Serve Is Divine will introduce readers to Jayden Masterson and Catherine O'Chancey as they get to know each other and test the boundaries of their relationship and themselves. It is slated for a January 22, 2013 release and will be available in paperback, multiple e book formats, and audio book.  The two remaining books in the trilogy, A Divine Life and Surreal will follow in approximate six month increments.

I have had the honour and privilege of reading the original story, and reading it is, in fact, how I met my friend, the wonderful R E Hargrave.  I’m very much looking forward to checking out the new and expanded version of To Serve is Divine, and the next two books in the series, as well as getting my teeth into the upcoming first published work Sugar and Spice. Thank you so much my dear friend for joining me today.

The Anthology is due for release on 11th December 2012, just in time for Christmas.  Here are some details of where to find R E and also where to go grab yourself a copy of the Sugar Plum Dreams Anthology:

Twitter: @REHargrave

 
Where to obtain purchase details:


Thursday, November 29, 2012

M B Feeney: Getting to Know the Woman Behind the Words

I've known M B Feeney for several years now, and am proud as punch that she's about to become a published author.

I thought I'd post a few Q&A's as well as the details for the upcoming release of her story, Right Click, Love, which is her contribution to Renaissance Romance Publishing's Sugar Plum Dreams anthology.


Disheartened about not being able to find "Mr Right" on the London dating scene, best friends Jodie Lynch and Louise Hewson create a blog to not only document their disastrous dates with the numerous "Mr. Wrongs" and "Mr. Okay-for-nows" but also to help those going through the same experiences and to see where they're going wrong.  How will they deal with everything the dating scene has to throw at them - planned or otherwise?

Here's a little teaser:

"Conversation One:
Phil: “Hi, I’m Phil.” *points to sticker*
Me: “Hi, I’m Jodie.” *nervous grin*
Phil: *cuts to the chase* “Is your underwear a matching set?”
Me: “What?” *very confused and expression of slight shock* “What the hell does that have to do with anything?”
Phil: “I’m kind of conducting research into women on the pull. It fascinates me, the amount of effort that's put into ensnaring a mate.” *smarmy grin*
Me: “Make you feel a bit redundant does it? No longer cock of the walk because women have taken the initiative away from the men? Have you even considered the fact that one reason women make an effort could be because it makes THEM feel good, rather than because they are trying to ensnare some unsuspecting, defenceless man?”
At this point, I was ready to ring the bloody bell myself just so he would piss off away from me before I knocked his shiny veneers down his throat. I was thankful that I didn’t need to, as time had already run out. I was in so much shock from Phil’s comments that the next fella had to snap his fingers in front of my face to get my attention."
§§§§



Let’s get to know M B Feeney a little, shall we?

Were you an avid reader as a child?
I learnt to read at about 18 months of age and my parents remember me spelling out words at train stations. When I discovered real, actual books, I read constantly…at home, walking along the street, everywhere. I always have a book with me.

Wow! I’m impressed that you began at such a young age. So, what was your favourite book growing up?
Wow, where to start? I LOVED The Hobbit, and Goodnight Mr Tom, to name a few. It's hard for me to pin any one book down as a favourite, as I read so many and I don't stick to one genre.

I’m pretty much the same.  Do you have a favourite genre you read more than others?
I don't like to pigeonhole myself into a genre.  I literally will read anything.

When were you first inspired to write, and do you remember what was it you wrote about?
I just wanted to tell stories. The first ever story I wrote was written in crayon about "Sally Goes to a Party" (I was 8). 

I think it’s wonderful that you always knew you wanted to write.  So, what inspired you to write your story, Right Click, Love?
I grew up (kind of, it's a long story) in London and wasn't very successful when it came to dating. I wondered what it would be like if I had stayed there instead of moving to where I am now, and was trying to find "the One", especially in times of the internet and social media.

It’s a great premise for certain, and with the other work I’ve read of yours, I just know it will be a slam dunk.  Any other stories you’ve got in the pipeline?
I've got another novella on hold whilst I attempt to plod through NaNo on a book I have no idea where it is going. Both are fundamentally romance stories, but with a touch of humour (I hope it's humorous to people other than me) and British cynicism. 

Well, you’ve certainly been keeping yourself busy. I wish you every success with completing your upcoming works, and all the best with the launch of Right Click, Love.  Thank you so much for popping by! 
§§§§

So folks, go get yourself a copy of  the Sugar Plum Dreams Anthology, a collection of stories about  love and friendship that have some wonderfully endearing characters. 
The Anthology is due for release on 11th December 2012.  Here are some details of where to find M B and also where to go grab yourself a copy:

Where to obtain purchase details:













Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stand up 4 Katalina



Some of you in the fandom would be aware that one of our own, Katalina, has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  And so, the fandom has come together to create a fabulous compilation of stories...from prompts given by Katalina herself.

My contribution is an NC17 version of Edward's thoughts leading up to when he kissed Bella.

Beta: HollettLA

Donations: http://katalina.fandomcause.info/donate/ 

Banner Maker: Christag Banners: http://christagbanners.blogspot.com.au

Here's a teaser:

"Exhilarating isn't it?" I asked, excited beyond words by Alice’s vision, my shallow, panting breaths having nothing to do with exertion from running. I waited for Bella to disentangle herself from my body, but to my surprise, she did not move a muscle.

"Bella?" I asked, confused, my smile fading quickly.  Though I scented her arousal, I immediately sensed something was wrong…her uneven breathing and racing heart along with her tightened muscles attesting to that fact.

"I think I need to lie down," she gasped.

That’d be fine by me!

"Oh, sorry," I apologized, mentally berating myself for my lack of sensitivity.

"I think I need help," she added in a weak voice.

I laughed nervously as I gently loosened her hold around my neck, and in one swift movement, I pulled her off my back before cradling her in my arms. It was then, as I noticed that all the color had drained from her face, I realized that I had more pressing matters to attend to other than my own selfish desires.

As I carefully placed her down on the soft cushion of the ferns beneath, I asked, "How do you feel?"

"Dizzy, I think," she replied, her eyes barely open.

"Put your head between your knees," I suggested.

Or perhaps I could do that for you?

I was, indeed, thoroughly depraved...


Friday, August 31, 2012

Second Chances Anthology Now Launched!




http://www.bottomdrawerpublications.net/#!book-detail-pages/vstc4=second-chances

The Second Chances Anthology is now officially released!  My contribution is the second story listed, Heart of Glass.  Here are the summaries for all the stories:

Non-Negotiable by T. D. Green
Jacob Kerns is due a promotion, but his ambitions are at risk when he learns his next contract will be handled by Alexander Corey, his ex. Jake tries to put personal feelings aside to do his job, but Alex won't let him. Will they find love again or is the whole thing non-negotiable?

Heart of Glass by L. J. Harris
When Zack Doherty comes to Australia on a working holiday, he is uncharacteristically forward in pushing Heath Connors, a man he barely knows, for a date. Heath, who has only recently begun to live life his way, wonders if Zack will be the one to mend his heart of glass.

Better Together by DaNay Smith
Greyson Welles followed Dominic Nash to Baltimore for his dream job, putting his own on hold. Dominic can see that Greyson's unhappy, but never expects him to turn down his proposal and return to New York. Will Greyson be gone forever or will he decide they're better together?

Dirty Martini by Bette Browne
When Daniel Fletcher runs into his ex with the man he caught him in bed with, vodka seems like the answer. Nathan Smith is used to men drowning their sorrows at the bar he tends, so the connection he feels to one is unusual.  Will a means to forget turn into something more?

Notice to Appear by C. C. Lorenz
Josh Campbell is handed a notice to appear in court for a traffic offence, but his humiliation is complete when he comes face to face with his schoolboy crush, Carter Sullivan, in the court room. Could this be the start of something with Carter now that age is not an issue.

I've enjoyed writing the characters, and Heath especially owns a special place in my heart. 

Grab yourself a copy and check it out, and remember...if the Mustang's a-rockin', don't come knockin'!





Thursday, August 30, 2012

Second Chances Anthology

Heart of Glass Excerpt

~~~


Zack Doherty
 
 
IT WAS EARLY on Friday morning, and I was beat. Ever since I’d touched down in Sydney on Tuesday, I’d been sleeping during the day and lying awake at night, having not quite adjusted to the time difference. Although the jet lag was literally killing me, I needed to start the newest phase of my life, and my first plan of action was to get the hell out of bed and look for a job.

I already missed the life I’d built back in San Francisco—my family and friends, even my crappy job at a local bar I’d taken after cutbacks forced me to leave the job I loved.  But after suffering a bad break-up with Trent Forster, the man I thought I’d one day marry until I found him in bed with his ex-boyfriend, I had needed a little time and a lot of space to rethink the direction my life was headed.

It had been more than six months since that day, yet I still hadn’t managed to move on. Everywhere I’d looked, Trent had been there; our social circles colliding so often that his and his lover’s presence had worn me down. Eventually deciding enough was enough, I’d packed my bags, my tail tucked firmly between my legs, and departed for Australia for a working holiday, leaving behind the only life I’d ever known.

My father had returned here to Canberra, south-west of Sydney, the place he was born, when I’d moved out of the house to finish college, a year or so after he and Mom divorced. I was looking forward to not only making a fresh start but also reconnecting with him, having only managed to visit a mere handful of times since he’d returned here ten long years ago. I was giving myself six months to find a job, and if I liked it, I’d probably end up extending my stay and finding a place of my own.

Dad had returned to the job he loved since coming home. It was the very same job he’d had when he first met Mom—working in public affairs for the US Embassy—and it kept him extremely busy. So busy, in fact, that he rarely had the opportunity to take his beloved Mustang out for a spin, especially since the Embassy provided him with a car for work purposes. I’d only been in the house for a few minutes when he handed me the keys to the Candy Apple Red ’67 Fastback, telling me it needed to be driven around town from time to time to keep it in running order.

After a quick reviving shower and shave, I grabbed the car keys from the dish on the sideboard, happy that I finally had the chance to oblige him.

It had been five years since I’d sat behind the wheel of this particular vehicle. No matter how many times I opened the door and jumped in, the familiar smell of tobacco, mint, and leather never failed to invoke many happy memories ... so many, in fact, that I had a hard time keeping a smile off my face whenever I slipped into the driver’s seat and turned the key.

But when I decided to go for a drive and check out Dad’s place of work, stopping off at the store on the way to buy a newspaper so I could check out the local job market, I thanked the gods for their gift, because if not for my father’s generosity, I’d never have encountered ... him.

He was washing car windows at the traffic lights. He was tall, tanned, and lean with broad shoulders. I could tell his hair was long, thick, and wavy by the wisps of light brown hair that peeked out every which way from underneath his black, woollen hat. A smattering of stubble across his jaw and his long, narrow nose enhanced his features perfectly, and when I caught sight of his bright blue eyes as he moved closer, the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen, roving over the entire car before they met with mine, I was hooked in an instant.

I had to suppress a laugh when I noticed he was wearing one of those god-awful green glow-in-the-dark vests, and as he stood there, holding a squeegee in his hand and looking at me like I was something to eat, a strange but exhilarating combination of embarrassment and elation flowed through my every cell. Even as the light turned green and the traffic began to move, I continued to devour every inch of him. Shooting him a nervous wink for good measure, I watched as he turned and walked away, his ass swaying hypnotically with every step he took. It was in that moment as I sat there, ogling the most handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on, that I felt as though I’d been struck by lightning.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

 

 

Second Chances Anthology

(T minus 6 days to go...and counting)





Hey there all! As some of you already know, a single shot story of mine is about to be published, as part of Bottom Drawer Publications' Second Chances Anthology.

The book will be released in electronic format on 31st August and I have to say I'm really excited and feel very honoured to be contributing a story to this wonderful collection of Male/Male romances.

My offering is called Heart of Glass, and here's the summary:

When Zack Doherty comes to Australia on a working holiday, he is uncharacteristically forward in pushing Heath Connors, a man he barely knows, for a date. Heath, who has only recently begun to live life his way, wonders if Zack will be the one to mend his heart of glass.

I hope you take the time to pick up a copy of the anthology.  Here's the link for all the purchase details, author profiles and much, much more:

http://www.bottomdrawerpublications.net/#!

Check out the promotional video:



ENJOY!!



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Welcome!

I'm a mother of teenage twin boys who I love with all my heart. My family is my life, my soul, and the very reason I get out of bed every day. Coming a close second to that, is my writing.
I've only just discovered my passion for writing in the past 2 or so years. I’d always written little poems in birthday cards for family members, but that was as far as it went…until I decided to write poems and give them to family members as homemade gifts.

It was then a spark was lit, and ever since, I have been unable to switch off the urge to write.
After a close family member fell ill, I began search for answers...I knew I was going through some kind of mid-life crisis, and began to question what I wanted. Unable to sleep one night, I sat up and just kept typing out my feelings on the laptop. My husband read what I had written and then encouraged me to write more, and that was when I knew I wanted to share my thoughts with others. I started writing my life story, but I just couldn't get into it, so instead, I decided to write about something not based on fact, but fiction, and wrote a dream sequence which I showed to my family. They encouraged me to add more, and that sequence is what my novel was eventually based around. The working title is Heart of Darkness, hence my fan fiction penname, and I’m about half way through putting it together.

My manuscript has been read by a few family members and friends, and by a published author, who has also encouraged me to stick with it. As much as enduring pain, loss, betrayal or any other negative thing in our lives can be devastating, I have since discovered that if I hadn't gone through it, I not only wouldn’t have found some lifelong friends, I doubt I would have been able to write the feelings of anguish and loss that my characters have had to endure.

Members of the fan fiction community have also been so kind and supportive, encouraging me to not only continue writing, but to follow my dream of being published. I have met many interesting people in the past few years, some of whom I consider close friends, and have also honed in my skills as a writer. You just can’t put a price on that.

Two fan fiction writers in particular, who have been there from the start, mouse555 (Mich) and Totteacher (Jennifer), have been wonderfully supportive of not only my online stories, but my original work as well. Their fan fiction and original work is amazing, and they are my dearest friends. I would like to thank Mich and Jen for not only putting up with me, but befriending me and holding my hand while I negotiated the world of fan fiction. I love you girls more than words can say.
To my beta and friend Rach, thank you for supporting me when I had my doubts. I love you bb from the bottom of my heart. To Jess, thank you for making me this wonderful blog, and for all your support and kind words of encouragement (and giving me a gentle nudge when required). To Christag Banners, without your support, I doubt my readership would be as many as it is. Thank you for putting beautiful pictures to my mutterings, Christine. To Victoria…thank you for always being there, and for giving me a shoulder to cry on, as well as making me laugh when I needed it most. To Belinda, thank you for believing in me and encouraging me to take my work further. To Sam, Katy, Kim, Penny, Kelly, Karen, Boos, Laura, Muriel (thanks for red penning Mismatch hun) to name a few, thank you for not only being my friends, but also for being a part of my support system and sharing the fun times.

My Novel: Set in Sydney, Australia, this is a supernatural, fish out of water romance about a girl finding the one she’s destined to be with. Jade is a girl who has always been out of step with the world around her, keeping to herself and having few friends, her father the only real family in her life. When celebrating her 21st Birthday, Jade’s life changes forever when she meets the enigmatic but handsome, unsettling but at the same time intriguing, Johnny.

Here’s an excerpt:

My best friend took a step back and looked over to the mystery guest before she glared at Steve.
"Well are you going to do the introductions or do I have to hit you over the head with this bottle?" she asked, raising the bottle in mock threat, her actions eliciting a chuckle from Steve.

"That’s a great idea, Donna. At least being out cold might give you a chance at winning a hand or two for a change," Steve retorted sarcastically.

Donna snorted loudly in response before answering in her usual, acidic tone, "I don’t need to knock you out in order to knock you out of contention tonight, buster!"

Steve laughed loudly before he shrugged and said, "We’ll see. Anyway, let’s get on with the introductions so we can get our game on, shall we? Jade, this is John. John, this is our birthday girl, Jade."

"Hi," I said in response, that one word as it caught in my suddenly tightening throat being my apparent limit in that moment. Unable to stop myself, I looked up at him then back to the floor, immediately regretting my actions as an unpleasant, unfamiliar and entirely unexpected sensation began to crash its way through my body.

Feeling his eyes on me for longer than was comfortable, I took a deep breath and exhaled before glancing at him once again, just to test that my reaction to him wasn’t some fluke, only realise it was anything but as he pursed his lips and grunted before he offered me an acknowledging nod. His reaction to me…in fact his very presence, set my heart racing and my stomach churning, so much so, that I felt I could lose my shit at any moment. I didn’t want to be the cause of my own party being ruined, so instead, I decided to endure the evening, hoping against hope the feelings that burned through my every nerve would somehow miraculously disappear. My every muscle continued to clench tight under his watchful gaze, while my limbs tingled and my head swam. I tried to swallow the bile that was slowly rising up my throat, doing anything I could fight the nausea, but all the while he just stood there, silently regarding me as if I was some kind of freakish sideshow act. His knuckles white as he clutched the fold out chairs, my heart pounded and my pulse raced, his stance one of a man trying but barely being able to stop himself from attacking…

I began writing this story when I was still new to the game, and since then, have honed my talents further so I will be heavily editing what I’ve written before I add more. All things going well, I hope to see it completed and submitted for publication in the next year or so.

My fan fiction: I’ve written 26 stories for fan fiction on my HeartofDarkess profile, as well as 2 stories on my Slashgal profile for those who prefer a bit of man on man action. I’ve written about heartache, strippers, vampires, bitches and bastards, geeks and users, heroes in various forms as well as those who like a bit of kink in their lives...these stories all written in either oneshot, short story or multi chapter formats. I post on Fan Fiction as HeartofDarkess, Twilighted, TWCS and also have started up a profile on A03 as HeartofDarkness.

I am committed to complete my current works in progress on fan fiction, as well as add stories when the plots come to me, or when I want to contribute to a cause I feel passionate about, but my main focus will be to pursue my dream of being a published author. Drop me a line anytime, and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Thanks for visiting!