Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thunderstorms and Tiaras - A Few Thoughts on Reviews

Did you ever wonder what kind of dark cloud some people must live under?

Let me clarify. The other day a dear friend of mine, who happens to be one hell of a well respected romance author, got a one star review for one of her books. Now this in and of itself is nothing new. As writers we all get the nasty review from time to time. I`ve had folks condemn me for using big words, like timorously. I`ve also had folks tell me to purchase a thesaurus.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, but over time you start to realize that you cannot please every reader. But this review of my friend`s book just felt different to me. So I took a few minutes to check out the other reviews that this reader had left on Amazon. Now here is where I begin to wonder what fickle finger of fate this poor, poor person has jabbing them in the spine all day long.

In going through this reader`s review history, it came up that she/he had the misfortune to rent a movie that was so appalling she/he couldn`t watch it, so he/she gave it a one star rating. As if that funky movie wasn`t bad enough, then the poor soul read five or six books that were so ghastly, miserable, terrible, and plain old rotten that they, as well, had to be given one star ratings.

Wow. Talk about a tragic life. I personally can count the books that I`ve read that I would call one star reads on one hand. No. Let me narrow that down. One finger. This sad wretch has read five or six in rapid succession. Tragic. Simply tragic.

Yes, I`m being a tiny bit sarcastic about this, but it`s an interesting situation, don`t you think? It made me wonder why some people hand out one star reviews like I do Halloween candy every October 31st. I`m not saying that a book shouldn`t be given a bad review if the reader feels that it`s a stinker of a book. What I`m stymied about is the growing number of readers/reviewers that consistently use the anonymity of the internet to slam authors.

Of course, this review mess goes both ways. Over the past week I have seen authors breaking my number one review rule, and not in a shy fashion either. My rule for reviews was passed along to me by a media coach. You want to know my #1 review rule?

Never interact with a reviewer. Ever. In any way. Ever. Never. Ever. Never. For any reason. Never.

You want to know why this is such an important rule? Because if you get into a fight with a reviewer it will be you, the author, who ends up looking bad. So guys and gals, stop. Stop it now. Stop engaging people online who say your book is doody. Stop posting images of trolls on social media sites then linking back to the negative review. Stop directing your fans to get into spats with reviewers. Stop. Stop. Please stop. You are never going to come out looking good. Even to other authors who can sympathize with how much it hurts to be called talentless, you are going to look bad. Stop engaging reviewers. Just stop. Or, for you hip young authors out there, stahp.

Let them have their say. It is, after all, their opinion. They are entitled to it. Let them voice their thoughts. We, as authors, need to stop letting those anonymous haters make us look like buffoons. We need to lift our chins up, dab the venom off our cheeks, and return to our keyboards. My mother used to tell me that a lady never lowered herself to the level of the person being mean. That also applies to being a gentleman for our male writers. Audrey Hepburn, folks. When you want to throw muck back at that faceless reviewer, simply think of  Audrey Hepburn.

 Style. Class. Sophistication. Grace. Those attributes will get you far. They will set you high and above the small people who can only enjoy things when they are tearing them apart.

Hold up that head as if a dictionary sits upon it. I myself will be using a thesaurus since someone out there seems to think I need one. Spines straight? Good. 

Now, let`s show the world how damned classy we are.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing excerpts from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.

We have a picture prompt this week so the excerpt is written to reflect the image and must be three hundred words or under. In this snippet we find Clay and Zeke in Carson Butte after deciding to grab the train to save time.

A note for my readers:  This is a gay romance novel, and so the romance that occurs is man on man. If this is not your cup of tea, no one will think less of you if you read no further.

 As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!

            When we entered Carson Butte at dusk, my deputy whispered a breathy prayer to one of his gods. Riding slowly towards the train station, my attention grew keen despite fourteen hours in the saddle. The distrustful glowers aimed at my deputy were hard to miss. When we dismounted outside a freshly painted depot Zeke threw his gelding`s reins to me then limped for a bench under the train station`s porch. The depot was built in a fashion that reminded me of the library in Baton Rouge. We had been inside the library once. My sister spoke of it until she went into His Glory.

            I wrapped both sets of reins around the hitching post, patted my deputy on the shoulder, then entered the Carson Butte Railway Depot. A small man with a hooked nose, dark eyes, little hair, and shoulders that threatened to swallow his head stared out at me from behind a barred window.

            “Evening,” I called, my boot heels striking the recently mopped floorboards. “When is the next train from Galveston due to arrive?” I inquired, removing my hat. He looked me over, his beady eyes lingering on the sheriff’s star resting over my heart.

            “Tomorrow. Dare I ask if that man you rode in with is a criminal?”

            “No, Sir, he is not. That is my deputy,” I told him as I withdrew two of the newly printed national one dollar bills. The bill was rather exuberant in comparison to the bills that had previously been used by private banks. “Will this cover the price of two tickets to Galveston?”
            “I`m afraid not. The cost of a ticket to Galveston for you would be ten dollars and forty-six cents. We do not allow Indians, Negroes, or those of the Oriental persuasion to ride upon any Price Railway train.”

Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey


Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.

See you next week with more from the old West!

Lynn Townsend Rolls In for a Visit!

See what I did there?

I just have to say that I`m beyond excited to be able to sit down with Beau, Lynn Townsend`s character from her new M/M romance, Roll. I hope I can pull some good responses from him with the thought-provoking questions I`ve cooked up. Or, he can just roll his eyes at me as my own character`s generally do during these things. Either way, I`m down with it. So let`s get jiggy with it. Here are my questions for tall, blond, and adorable:

1-What are you majoring in?

Ain't really much decided what I'm majoring in. My advisor, and let me tell you, advice ain't exactly what he was providing, read directly from the college manual that I don't have to declare a major until first semester of my junior year. That being said, I reckon I'm gonna major in something dull, but hopefully has the prospects of getting me a job later. My brother's inheriting the farm, and even if that weren't the case, I ain't really wanting to go back to Tennessee after school. Business major, or econ, maybe. I've been getting good grades in econ.

2-Can you tell us anything about Vin?

I never met nobody quite like him before. You know, he's like really rich. Like, movie-star rich. The man's got a chauffeur! 'Course I understand from talking around that it's partially because he's one screw-up past losing his driver's license. Ann-Marie told me about it; he's wrecked a couple of cars, and gotten some reckless driving cites.

He's kinda a slob, I've been over to his place a few times, and it's the sort of room that'd make my Momma have a heart-attack.

And he's real pushy. Wants everything his own way. I don't think anybody's ever really told him “no” before.  But you know, he's so sweet, and kinda puppyish. It's hard to want to tell him no. It's not like he wants stuff that you don't want to give him, anyway; go to dinner, hang out, ride on sleds. Did I tell you that? He just randomly bought about two dozen of those sleds one day, when we got like a foot and a half of snow, and he gave 'em away to everyone who asked.

Oh, and did you know that he's an artist? He's kinda weird about it, don't really draw attention to himself about it, but if you pick up one of his school books – here, check this out. Look there, at the bottom of the chapter. He did that whole tapestry, copied off the cover of his Chaucer book, in highlighter? I mean, is that crazy or what?

3-Since you attend college and are out, have you had any confrontations or other homophobic confrontations on campus?

Yeah... it was what you might call an irrational load of bad luck. I went over to the caf with Vin that first night we met and we had a little dust up with Vin's ex-roommate.

4-How did you handle the confrontation if it occurred?

Stupidly. I tried to get us out of the situation, but Chris caught up to us. Lucky us, he'd gotten separated from his group of thugs, and I put him down. Hard. 
I learned that in high school, really. Since everyone involved in a fight's gonna get in trouble, I may as well get my licks in while I can. But it was dumb. I'm already in trouble 'bout fighting, from back home. I'm just hoping he don't say nothing official about it. If I get in trouble with the cops around here, I could get expelled.

5-Weekends. How do you spend them?

Hanging out with my crew. That's what my roommate, Josh, calls 'em. Ann-Marie and her girlfriend, Shan, and Vin, and Jody – she's the veep of the club. And sometimes Hector, although he graduated last year, but he still hangs with us, sometimes. A few weeks ago, me and Vin and Shan and Ann-Marie were playing joust in the courtyard. Me and Ann-Marie were the mounts – 'cause we're tallest – Shan and Vin sat on our shoulders and we beat the ever-lovin' tar out of each other with Nerf Swords.

6-Any sport that you`re a fan of?

I did wrestlin' in high school, but I decided not to try for the team at college. Didn't want meets to cut into my study time. I ain't exactly the brainest person out there, an' this is the only chance I really got to get out of Tennessee for good. Watch football some, but our college team blows. My Momma wanted me to go to school in state, so I got some Tennessee Vols gear, and me and my brother used to go watch the Lady Vols play basketball...

7-Favorite poet and poem?

You're kidding, right? Bad enough being gay and in the closet and havin' to fight every time someone slurs my name, but you think I read poetry? Do I look like I was aimin' to be brawling every weekend? In the closet in west Tennessee means manly shit, like sports teams and cute girlfriends and big-ass pickup trucks.

That bein' said and all, I remember a poem we read in class once, Traveling Through the Dark, by William Stafford, about a dead, pregnant deer on the side of the road.

“I thought hard for us all – my only swerving –
Then pushed her over the edge into the river.”

8-Do you see yourself as more Tony Stark or Steve Rogers?

Neither, really. I ain't rich, that'd be Vin all over the place. And Captain America, he's all Black vs White, good and bad, clear cut morality. That ain't me. I'm Hawkeye. I can get the job done, and I don't need recognition for it. 

9 - Is Uncle Jeff the volunteer fireman Cousin Kate's dad? And if so, did she get into acting just to escape the lectures?

Yeah, Jeff's my mom's older brother. Kate's the youngest of two girls. But she's still quite a bit older than me. You know, her last name's not Belz. When we were growing up, she was plain old Katie Purcell. I say we grew up together, but that's not exactly it. She was ten when I was born, and she made extra pocket money by babysitting. But we got on pretty well, anyway. She was never what you woulda called 'mature.'
I remember this one time, when she was in love with this hot guy at her high school – and let me tell you, Rob Jordan was HOT, even I knew that. I was eight, she was a senior. Anyway, we climbed up under the 78 bridge that goes over the Obion and crossed hand-over-hand under the bridge. I'm eight, remember this fact, and the river's a good twenty-thirty feet drop below us. There's not like a safety rail or anything. We're crossing the river on these I-shaped metal beams under a highway! Just so she can spray-paint their names in a heart in the exact middle.
I don't think Momma ever found out about that one. She'd have died! Or killed Kate.
But that's the thing you gotta understand about Kate. I never seen anything like fear in her eyes. I don't think it even occurred to her that we might get killed, doing what we was doing. She's like the exact opposite of Uncle Jeff, who's always “Safety First.” I understand she's a nightmare for her studio. Wants to do her own stunts. I think she became an actress because she's crazy for life.

10 - Why did you pick the specific school you did?

You want the real answer, or the lie?
Yeah, the lie that I told my mom is that we've got a good econ program there, and that's true enough. I mean, it's not a lie-lie. But it's not why I went there. I... you know you have to drive to Memphis, wait around for an hour at least, get on a plane, and fly two hours to O’Hare and then take the train into campus? It's ten hours by train, or most of the day in the car. And no one I knew was going north for college. The valedictorian went to Vanderbilt, a few people went to TennTech... and a hell of a lot of people to STCC.
I just wanted to get away. Far enough that rumors wouldn't get back to my folks.

11 - Before the events of Roll, what was your general plan for after college?

Back in high school, you know, I was on the wrestling team. And tryin' to get good grades so that I could get into a good school. And dealin' with DeeDee, my girlfriend. And chores at the farm. D'you know what that does? It means every minute of every day was planned out. I watched what I ate, I worked out, I hit the mats with my sensei. In the days before a meet, I'd carry a paper cup around with me and spit in it all day to try and dehydrate enough to drop a half pound and stay in my weight class. An' I got into fights, whenever someone made a slur on me. For a while, I kept my hair buzz-cut because those curls, people would say stupid shit, and I was so scared of anyone findin' out what I was, I tended to hit first, with real little provocation.
Plans? No, I didn't make plans. I didn't want plans. I wanted to just... be.


A farm boy from Tennessee, Beau Watkins spent high school living the dream: the cute girl, the popular, jock lifestyle, a loving family. As a freshman at an out-of-state college, he's determined to find out who he really is behind the Fake It 'Til You Make It attitude. He joins Rainbow Connection, the gay student alliance, hoping to find himself. Instead, he finds Vin Reyes. Raised by his grandparents and heir to a prosperous company, Vin has been out of the closet since he figured out what that meant. He has it all: fashionable clothing, fancy cars, huge houses, a real party lifestyle, and even a bodyguard. Most of all, he has a secret.

Uncomfortable with Vin's generosity, Beau fights his growing attraction for the president of Rainbow Connection, chasing instead a series of shallow affairs. Vin's never been denied anything that he wants, though, and now he wants Beau. But it's not until an old rival puts Beau in the hospital that Vin realizes that Beau means more to him than a simple love affair. Can the two of them bridge the gap between their worlds and roll with the all the punches life will throw at them?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Doing What We Can Do

           While keeping it simple. The simple fact is that sports for kids rules. Sports for girls really rules! As I was beginning to lay out the plot for Pink Pucks & Power Plays, I knew I wanted to touch on an important subject. Sure, I love a spicy romance with a sassy woman falling for a hot hockey player, but I wanted a bit more. Something socially important that each leading lady and man in every Wildcats book would contend with. 

          I decided to have my leading man in this first book  meet his lady love while coaching a youth league during his summer off. Many pro athletes do this, and I cannot think of a better way for a star to pay it back. The time these players spend with our youth is paid back in healthy children with vibrant intelligence as well as a good outlook on life. A role model is not just a billionaire who catches the winning touchdown, or scores the winning goal. A role model spends their own time teaching by example.

            Now that I knew Alain would be coaching, I wanted to have him be faced with coaching girls. So I gave him and Viviana both a lively team of cherubs to keep them on their toes, as well as to teach a fine lesson about stereotypical roles that are still hiding in the corners. While it`s true some of the parents of my fictional girls are not overly thrilled about their daughters playing hockey at first, they soon come around. Yes, hockey is a rough and tumble sport. But the benefits of being a part of a team in a sport that is still predominately male will build strong women. I am happy to report that over the years, the rate of females in hockey is climbing. Just look at how popular the women`s ice hockey tournaments in Sochi were.

            It`s a well-known fact that being involved in sports is a beneficial thing for children. We`re all aware of what athletics does for our young men, but are you aware of the good things that come from our young women being part of the athletic community? Sports teaches girls commitment, respect for others, how to concentrate under stress, how to make and achieve goals, respect for others, and how to accept responsibility. There has been extensive research done on other aspects of girls being involved in sports, and the benefits are staggering. The health benefits of course are impressive. Girls in athletics report fewer chronic illnesses, have better body esteem, report less tobacco and alcohol use, have healthier menstruation, and build stronger bones, thusly reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

            There are tons more good things about getting your little girl into a sport to report! Playing sports helps girls do better in school, they perform better in math and science, and have a lower dropout rate. It seems girls in sports have a better social life as well. They also have more  involvement in their community. Just like male athletes, female athletes are more popular in school, as sports helps open the doors of the social ladders of high school. It`s pretty obvious how important sports can be for a young woman. From higher self-esteem to lower rates of depression and/or suicide, participating in sports is a plus for all girls. It`s a win-win for all involved!

            So, to do my part to play it forward just as Alain and Viviana did, I will donate one dollar for every comment left today to the Elmira Jackals Youth Hockey league. You can check out their website below. This is our local ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) team who do a great deal for the community. Take a few minutes to enjoy the photo albums while you`re there. Those kids are beyond cute! I would love to see others step up and say that they`ll match me trying to raise some cash for  some girls who just may turn into the next Jessie Vetter, Gigi Marvin, or Julie Chu. You never know what the future holds when a little girl laces up those skates for the first time. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Laurie White Pays a Visit! Book Giveaway!

Please welcome the talented author, Laurie White, to our little corner of the interweb! Laurie is here to chat about her newest release from Secret Cravings Publishing. 



I love writing cop heroes. Each of my three published novels feature either a cop or ex-cop hero. I've been through two different citizen police academies (in different cities), and have loads of admiration for law enforcement, firefighters, and the military. They help keep us safe. Besides there just being something about a man in uniform, a cop is a natural hero (or heroine) for a romantic suspense novel: strong, honorable, brave. Detective Matt Romero, the hero in my new release, WITHOUT A TRACE, is such a cop. He is tormented by the past yet driven to protect others because of it -- especially journalist Rachel Bennett. That presents a problem when Rachel's sister vanishes and Rachel is determined to investigate despite the personal risk.


Magazine journalist Rachel Bennett has a reputation for getting to the heart of a story. However, when her sister disappears and is suspected of embezzling from her employer, the story has suddenly become personal. The last thing Rachel wants right now is the distraction of Matt Romero, the detective assigned to the case. She has no desire for involvement with this rough-and-tumble cop...or so she thinks.

Matt accepts the risk that goes with his job. Two years ago, his wife was murdered, a tragedy he blames himself for. He's vowed to protect his family and friends because he doesn't want to go through the pain of loss again. However, the lovely journalist soon begins breaking through the icy wall around his heart.

As Rachel and Matt search for answers in order to find her sister, they uncover a corruption that puts them both in danger – and a passion that puts both their hearts at risk.


Laurie White is the author of two romantic suspense novels published by Sweet Cravings Publishing. Her latest novel, WITHOUT A TRACE, was released January 30, 2014 by Secret Cravings Publishing. Laurie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, traveling, and watching movies. She is the proud mama of four adorable cats and lives in the hills of Tennessee.


WITHOUT A TRACE - January 2014 from Secret Cravings Publishing
TWIST OF FATE - February 2013 from Sweet Cravings Publishing
DESERT HEAT - October 2012 from Sweet Cravings Publishing


I will be giving away an e-copy of WITHOUT A TRACE to TWO random commenters. Just tell me your favorite cop/law enforcement hero!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Meat

Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week I`ll be sharing excerpts from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.

This week our word prompt 'Meat’. In this excerpt Clayton and Zeke find themselves in the foreman`s cabin on the Price ranch. Two and two finally begin to make four, or does it?

A note for my readers:  This is a gay romance novel, and so the romance that occurs is man on man. If this is not your cup of tea, no one will think less of you if you read no further.

 As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!

            There were four drawers to go through. The first, a long thin one, was situated directly under the scarred and ink-stained top of the desk. The remaining three ran down the right side, two smaller ones atop a large bottom drawer. I went for the long, thin one. The drawer pulled easily outward. Inside was nothing but a broken cedar pencil, two mangled goose-feather quills with broken nubs, and one empty jar of Scribe`s Black liquid ink. I glanced at Zeke. He met my look then returned to his duties.

            Moving with as much haste as possible, I opened the remaining drawers. A field mouse skittered up and out of the large bottom drawer, leaving her nest with its three hairless babies to make a hasty escape. I closed the drawer after my heart settled down. Then I reopened it. The mouse nest was made out of shredded paper. I apologized for my actions, dumped the tiny rodents out of the nest then closed the drawer.

            “Stinks like mouse piss,” Zeke commented as I began tugging thin strips of paper from the nest. Mama Mouse had done a good job. Twigs, small clumps of cow hair, several long strands of horsehair, a chunk of dried meat, and a generous helping of fluffy seed pods had made one lovely place for her and her children. The babies would probably die from exposure now.

            “Damned mice piss on everything,” I replied. Zeke walked over to the desk.

            “Need help?”

            “That would not be looked down upon.” I pushed the soaking wet nest across the desk. He flicked it back with three fingers.

            “I`ll flatten. You paw in the piss,” he said. Gruff, strained, and forever rough his voice may now be, but I was growing to know him well enough to pick out an arrogant cast when it appeared.

            “Hmm,” I grunted. Together we worked at that desk for quite a long time. My fingertips were sticky with rodent urine when we were done, but we had managed to piece together a shipping manifesto from last year’s roundup, minus a few small parts that had been ingested by Mama Mouse. The mangled missive was nothing of import: a listing of how many steers, calves, heifers, etc. that had been branded then shipped off in search of buyers.

            Texas cattlemen had been suffering terribly due to the thought that their cattle might carry Texas fever, a disease that killed the northern breed of cattle but only seemed to sicken the longhorns. What appealed to us as we read over the ratty paper was the name of a shipping company down in Galveston. Price Cargo & Shipping Co. leaped out at us.

            “Pretty convenient that he owns his own shipping fleet,” Zeke said as he worked the kinks out of his back. I ruminated on that for a moment.

            “Could he have taken the longhorns to Galveston to avoid the problems overland to Kansas?” I asked as I looked up at my deputy. He ran a hand over the back of his neck. It slid under his hair. I really wished it could be my hand working at the knots under that ebony mass.

            “Anything is possible,” Zeke said. “I would have. Why run the risk of being turned away at the Kansas border with Texas beef when you can fill up a ship and sail up the coast? The beef still gets to the markets in the east, and you avoid the middle man. Pretty damned smart if he did to be honest.”

            “Big cow hide small package,” I whispered, my fingers tapping steadily on the edge of the mouse-chewed paper. “Is Charlie saying that Price is somehow sending more than cattle east?”

            Zeke`s black eyes widened when what I said sank in. His body tightened like an over-wound clock. I watched in amazement as he exploded verbally. He paced the tiny cabin, his hands gesticulating wildly, his hair bouncing off his back his strides were so clipped and angry. I understood nothing that he said but a translation wasn`t required. The man was livid. I did cut into the tirade after another moment to ask what exactly had set him off like a faultily wired stick of TNT.

            “For years I`ve been hearing tales of children disappearing. Many say it was the spirits of the dead who had not been buried properly. They move against the living, bringing illness and misfortune. The old women blamed the missing children on the walking spirits,” he said as he stood in front of the window.

            “And you? I don`t suppose you cotton to such superstitious beliefs.” I got to my feet. A small bag flew across the room, hitting me in the chest before it fell to the desktop.

            “You asked about totems before? Those are my herbs. Peony Rose gave them to me. I keep them close to appease her." I lifted the small bag crafted out of finely worked deer hide. I sniffed the soft doeskin. It was filled with fragrant herbs but what they were I could not discern. I tossed the bag back to Zeke. He stuffed it into the front pocket of his trousers.

            “Are we purposing the idea that Brooks Price is in the business of taking children then selling them into slavery?” I asked. The accusation was a large one. Incredibly large since the 13th Amendment had just passed into law less than two years ago.

            “I don`t know.” Zeke growled then exhaled in an effort to calm his heated blood. “It warrants checking out. Why they would take a white child? It seems reckless. Indian? Yes. One less redskin to have to deal with would be considered a blessing.  But a white child would be reported to the law. The government would search for a missing white boy.”

            “Not if the people who took him thought that the boy’s kin were dead,” I said. My words hung in the stuffy air like a vile cloud. “They took Boyden after they thought they had killed me. Then – then they made sure they killed his mother. I bet he would bring a fine fat purse.” I snarled, my lips rolling back in a feral, hateful expression.

            “We ride for Galveston?” Zeke asked in the face of my rage. I saw the same drive and longing for blood glittering in his Stygian eyes.

            “We ride for Galveston.”

Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey


Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.

See you next week with more from the old West!

Writing Process Blog Tour

This is what my process generally looks like, only less neat:

Today I`m participating in a Writing Process Blog Tour. Now this isn`t your usual blog tour, this one is a tour where authors answer questions about our process. My good buddy Lynn Townsend posted hers last week. You can find it here:

Now it`s my turn. Here are my replies to the four questions. I`ll say now that these were much harder than I had anticipated.

1-What am I working on? I  know that I seem to be working on multiple projects, but in reality I crank out one at a time. At the moment (Which is this week) I`m working on a rewrite for the next installment for my Toms & Tabbies M/M romantic-comedy series. This novella has been giving me some fits, but I finally got the kinks worked out. It took me leaving it sit for a few days while I worked on a short story for a shifter anthology I want to submit to. I think I finally have things ironed out for Early to Rise.

2-How does my work differ from others of its genre? I try to put the right combination of snarky fun into my erotic romances. I like to enjoy the work, and not take myself ,or the novel, too seriously. Unless it`s supposed to be serious, of course. 

3-Why do I write what I do? My muse tells me too. Honestly. I am being straight-up honest. I am at her mercy. That`s why I`m a multigenre author. I enjoy reading books that are varied, so I suppose that might carry over into what I`m inspired to write. One day it might be gay shifters, the next it might be hot hockey men and the women that they love. It`s all good!

4-How does your writing process work? It`s funny that this question has come around. I just discussed this very thing in a promotional bit for my Pink Pucks & Power Plays blog tour. Since I am always one to save on work whenever possible, I`m going to snag that from the promo post and use it here. This segment explains how the To Love a Wildcat series came into being. My process it generally the same for each book or series, and I am a pantser with a capitol P.

One of the best things about being an author, aside from being able to kill off people that aggravate you in real life in your books, is being able to create something from scratch. I'm not sure how the creative process for all writers works, but for me it begins with an idea or notion. Generally this notion isn`t firmly rooted in anything solid, it`s kind of a free floating apparition that bounces around inside my mind. Sometimes the ghost of a novel disappears when I shine the light of reason on it.

'Uhm yeah, zombie cats that ride OCC choppers is cool, but I`m not sure that a cat could pass the written part of the motorcycle licensing exam. They have no thumbs to hold the pen.'

Other ideas are specters just waiting for a blank page to bring them to life. That was the case with my To Love a Wildcat series. After writing Goaltender`s Penalty, an M/M hockey novella, I knew I wanted to pen more ice hockey romance. Being a big fan of the New York Rangers, my love of the sport, and the men that play it, was already in place. Now, I needed a team. Since I`ve lived on the east coast of the United States all my life, I placed my new team in a city I had visited numerous times, Philadelphia.

Then I had to ascertain if this series would be male/male or male/female, as I do pen both. That decision was an easy one, for most of my work comes to me with the sexes of the leads already in place. So, the Wildcat series would be male/female. Check. Now we needed the starring male and the female.

 I knew that I wanted the ladies of the Wildcats to be different from the typical mold of romance heroines. So Viviana was created. Viv is a sassy, curvy woman who has embraced her plus size. Her leading man, the handsome, and younger, defenseman Alain Lessard, contrary to what many would have us believe, finds Viviana highly enticing and erotic. I knew Alain was from Quebec the moment I wrote him. I could hear that sensual accent in my mind.

I bet you think we`re done now, right? Wrong. Now we needed to create an entire hockey team and organization. From scratch. That is a lot of people! It took a great deal of time but was well worth it. From owner to equipment manager the Philadelphia Wildcats are neatly laid out on virtual paper. After that, I could dive into writing this erotic romance. 


Thanks for dropping in to read my post. You can check out the writing processes of two of my author buddies who will post next week:

Cathy Brockman-Cathy Brockman has a childlike side. Cathy Boyd  that is the author of Luke's Dragon
which is available at: Luke`s Dragon - Amazon

Cathy has decided to never grow up and loves to crochet, sew, turn trash into treasures, cook, and garden.

She also likes to spend time with her eleven grandchildren,a doggie that thinks she is one of the kid,s and her six cats.

Ellie Mack-After a successful professional career, I changed jobs for one of the most rewarding jobs - mother. Now that my children are approaching adulthood I'm in revision 3.0 - fiction author - my true passion since childhood.

Regardless of what career path you choose, pursue it with all your heart. Defeat only occurs when you don't try. I'm no longer entertained by watching life pass me by, I can't stand the bleacher seats. I'm thoroughly engaged, down in the mud and grime sleeves rolled up living it now!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Please Welcome Katie Kenyhercz

I`m happy to have a new friend, and fellow hockey lover/author, Katie Kenyhercz visiting today! Take it away, Katie! 

After a bum knee ended her soccer days, Alexandra—Allie—Kallen has dedicated her life to helping injured athletes cope and get back in the game. As the new team sports psychologist of the Las Vegas Sinners, she starts out with just one player, but he’s a handful. Goalies are stubborn, and she would know. She’s determined to figure him out and return him to the net good as new, especially after she sent her last patient back to the ice too soon. The problem is, she sees so much of herself in Shane, and their chemistry is off the charts. Falling for him isn’t in the plan. Is love worth losing her career?

Shane Reese’s entire identity has been wrapped up in being a goalie since he was five years old. When he gets a high ankle sprain right before playoffs, he doesn’t exactly take it well. After putting his fist through the physical therapy room wall and hitting a few joking teammates, he’s ordered to see the new shrink. All he has to do is convince her he’s seen the light, and he can get back to defending his team as soon as his ankle heals. The problem is, she sees through him like no one he’s ever met, and the more time he spends with her, the less hot he is to get back to the ice. Could something mean more than hockey?

And here are some inside facts about Full Strength and the Sinners world in general:

I put at least one X-Files reference in every book. In On the Fly, Carter is named after XF creator, Chris Carter. In Full Strength, Dana (Mac) MacGuire is named after Dana Scully J

Mac’s married name, Sickavish, is the last name of minor league hockey player, Kelly Sickavish, whom I watched play when he was with the Youngstown Steelhounds. He was breathtaking.

Allie’s favorite sweets, chocolate covered gummy bears, are my favorite too.

Saralynn, Shane’s sister, is named after two of my favorite people: My sister-in-law, Sara, and my friend and now cousin, Lynn. Love you ladies!

The official Sinners song and the one the dance team performs to is “Vegas Girl” by Conor Maynard.

You will never see the Sinners play the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals because I couldn’t bear for my Pens to lose even to my Sinners.

The character of Dylan Cole, the young phenom and new NHL “It” boy/ youngest captain, is based on Sidney Crosby. I’m intrigued by the maturity, inner strength, poise, and attitude it takes to handle that kind of pressure. Can’t wait for Dylan’s book! Madden gets book 3, but Cole gets dibs on 4.

When I’m plotting, I write out the dates, teams and outcomes of every playoff game even if I’m not writing out that scene. I do it so I can keep track of how a win or loss will affect a player’s mood and the main plot.

And the only buy link available at the moment (though it's up for pre-order on iBooks too):

You can get the first book of this series, On the Fly, for only $1.99 on Amazon for all of February so readers can catch up with the Sinners before book 2!