Reader Interview: Leta Fisher

Give a BIG welcome to Leta!

I met Leta in a beta reading thread and she agreed to beta read my Nightwalkers Series and one of my novels, Secret Scarlet (being released in Oct.).  She’s great at what she does and was extremely helpful to me during the editing process.  

Okay enough about me.  Let’s talk about Leta.  She’s an avid reader, one of the fastest I’ve ever met. She also enjoys photography and beta reading.  She loves helping authors succeed and she will help them in any way she can.

Are you ready to find out more about Leta?  Here are a few questions I asked her.  I love her answers to # 2 and #8.


1.  What is your favorite book?

I can’t have just one! The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon and the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J. R. Ward. OK, I’m not trying to suck up, but I love your books too! Just publish them! 🙂

2.  Who is your favorite author?

Kristen Ashley, J. R. Ward and hopefully the soon to be famous Heidi!

3.  What genre do you enjoy reading and why?

Paranormal romance, romance, erotica, sci-fi, OK most everything I can get my hands on.

4. What genre do you dislike and why?

Non-Fiction. I can’t stand the books that are self-bio’s that say “look at me, I’m who you should look up to!”

5.  What is the worst book you’ve ever read?

It was by an up and coming author who writes erotica. She had the intimate scenes down pat, but the rest of her books were filled with all kinds of grammatical and spelling errors.

6.  Does it matter to you if a novel is self-published rather than by a traditional publisher?

Not anymore! It makes the online reader be able to find great pieces of work that the big guys wouldn’t publish. They also make authors butcher their work into shorter stories so they can make a buck. I will pay good money for a full book!

7.  What is your preference? Printed books or ebooks?

Until about a year ago I would have said printed. My friends and I used to share a series of books, trading off who will buy them. Now, I own over 300 books on IBooks and Kindle.

8. What do you like about being a beta reader?

I love that I can truly help someone with their works of art. Hoping that they can succeed in writing and give me something that I would truly read. Then I can sit back and say “look at what she did! She is truly awesome!” The author, not me.

9.  What book would you love to see be turned into a movie?

The Fallen series, Fifty Shades of Grey and maybe the Outlander series. I don’t know how they are going to sex down Fifty, but it will be interesting to see. When the Twilight movies came out I was at every premier the first night.

10.  What things ruin a book for you?

Besides spelling and grammatical errors, books that have no flow to them.

11.  What character from a book you read would you love to meet?

Christian (I love vampires), Hollywood from Black Dagger and Jericho Barrons from Dark Fever.

12.  What advice would you give to writers?

Breathe! Let your mind go to that magical place where you can come up with fantastic characters and the rest will come. Personally I’m jealous of writers. All I’m able to write is reviews about employees’ performance.


Check out some of Leta’s favorite authors!

Taylor Stimac

Author of Trusted

Website:  http://taylorlstimac.wordpress.com/

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Cristiane Allevato Serruya

Author of the Trust Trilogy

Website:  http://www.cristianeserruya.com.br/

Author Reading: The Sun and the Moon

Cara recently posted a live reading of one of her excerpts, and it made me want to do one too.  It’s fun and good practice, so you should follow suit and make one too.  There’s lots of you I’d like to hear one from, so get on that!  I’d be a treat!

The passage I chose to read is from Forever Black.  I love the story Drake tells Ashleigh in the book.   I hope you enjoy it as well.  This reading turned out pretty good, so stop and take a listen.

Author Interview: J.H. Mull

image001J.H. writes in several genres so to give him a label just doesn’t cut it, so let’s just say he’s multi-genre-al.  His latest novel is Touching Home, the second book in his series about Jack Hundo Lane.

He’s currently doing research for a series he’s working on titled Confederate Breed, based on two of his ancestors and their experiences in the Civil War and life afterward.

He lives on the Georgia coast with his wife and soul mate as well his cat, Snowflake. He’s held a variety of positions from army officer and CIA operative to stock broker and electrical engineer.

Ready to learn more about J.H.?  Well here we go…


1.  What genre do you write and why?

I write Contemporary Fiction to Erotica and everything in between, whatever I’m interested in at the time. And I write under several pseudonyms, only recently have I published under my name–J. H. Mull.

2.  What character from a book you read or wrote would you love to meet?

Stuart Woods character Stone Barrington. My characters? Well, that’s hard, because most are based on people I know and have known.

3.  What is the best review you’ve ever gotten?

Five stars for A Captain’s Story. The reviewer said she cried at the ending.

4.  Who has been the most supportive person of your writing?

Easy, my wife and soul mate. She, an English Major from the University of Georgia, is my editor, and my biggest critic. She keeps me from having three arms in my writing or two left feet, even a foot long tongue sometimes.

5.  Do you have any other talents besides writing?

I sketch, paint, and make up stories. A young boy can have any outcome he wants in a story he constructs. Writing is my third career. The first, the U.S. Army, the second, a stock broker with several major investment firms.

6.  What is the hardest thing about writing a book?

The ground work that goes before I start writing. If one is going to write a western he best know about horses, how to saddle one, how to ride one, and what to feed one. I’m not a pantster I do an outline, a timeline, and character sketches before I start writing. But then that’s when the fun begins.

7.  Where do you find the most inspiration for your writing?

My family and my own experiences mostly. My Great…….great grandmother, Mary Elsberry, and her two sons left London with General Oglethorpe in 1732. They landed in what is now Savannah, Georgia in 1733. Her great, great grandson married a Creek Native American in 1833 and lay claim to ten thousand acres in North Georgia. He was my great, great grandfather. My family has fought in every war our country has waged since the beginning—sometime not on the winning side. I have fought for my country on three continents. Rhodesia being one place. Like I said not always on the winning side.

8.  What is the best passage you have ever written?

The best and most difficult was the paragraph describing the killing of Michelle in An Occasional Warrior. I must add, the funniest is a scene in Sex, Money, and Betrayal, describing a real estate agent having sex with a developer. She gets her foot caught under the gas pedal in his SUV as they are in his front seat, then gets her leg wedged between the seat and his door. That’s when they discover three young boys are watching.

9.  Is there any real life person/event that has inspired you to create a book/story/character?

Easy—my grandfather. What a character he was. He was born six years after Custer was killed by the Sioux at the Little Big Horn. He was a Creek Indian, scouting for General Pershing, when he went into Mexico after Poncho Vila in 1916. He was the first Indian elected sheriff in Georgia. He had five children and ran a farm, all while working as a trouble shooter for the railroad. He was a character!

10.  What is your advice for newbie authors?

Look inside yourself to see what you have to write about—write about what you know. I know this is an old thing but true. If you grew up on a ranch you know how to saddle a horse, how to ride one, and how to take care of one.

11.  How many stories have you written?

Under my own name, six. Under pen names over sixty.

12.  Who is your favorite character you’ve created and why?

It would have to be Jack Hundo Lane, who is mostly based on my experiences in the military and the intelligence service.


And to top off this interview, I leave you with a tease of J.H.’s book, Touching Home.  Hope you enjoyed the interview!  Check out his book and give this post some likes to show some love.  Come on…you know you wanna!

“Ain’t no use leaning on that horn. I could hear that ratty truck of yours coming a mile off. How you doing, Patrick?” John said, coming out of the barn. The lean, wiry man, as tall as Pat, had a flat, hard stomach and grinned as he walked toward his friend, drying his hands on a well-worn cloth. His skin was dark and weathered like Pat’s. They were both Upper Creeks.

“Fine, John. You?” Pat looked at his hands. “Problem?”

“Can’t complain. I’m alive.” He held out his hand. “My mare’s having a hard time with the foal.”

“Good. Need help with the mare?”

Annie jumped down from her seat and went around to Pat, clutching his leg tightly.

“Might, but she won’t come until around midnight.” He turned his attention to Annie. “Cute kid. Ain’t yours though—whose is she?”

“No, but I’m all she’s got. Jack sent her to me. I’ll come back around then.”

“I’d appreciate the help. She ain’t his neither. How’d he come by her?”

“That young pretty veterinarian coming?”

“Yeah, but she’s a small woman. Won’t be much help if we have to pull the foal.”

“Don’t sell her short. She’s a good vet.” Pat smiled. “Jack bought the girl in Bangkok for five dollars.”

“I thought he was in Vietnam?” John took out his makings and rolled a cigarette.

“He is. Does it matter? She’s here now.”

“Guess not. Five dollars? Got a good price—that can’t be more than ten cents a pound.”

“That’s about right.”

“What’s she good for?”

“Doting over’s about all, so far.”

“Well, she’s a cute little thing. What’s your name, little sister?”

“She doesn’t speak a word of English. Somehow she seems to understand sign language.”

“Do say.” John squatted down and took out a stick of gum. He held it out and signed to Annie. She stepped forward far enough to take the gum, then moved back to Pat’s side. “Well, I’ll be damn. She’s smart.” He stood.

Author Interview: Virginnia De Parté

“By writing about the future I have the pleasure of waiting for science and technology to catch up with my imagination.”

-Virginnia De Parté

LovesRedHeart_SMVirginnia is the author of Love’s Bright Star, Love’s Red Heart and A Talent for Loving, all three books part of a series about genetically altered humans.  Besides writing futuristic romances, she also writes poetry, haiku and tanka.

I asked her some questions to get to know her better.  Read on and find out more about Virginnia. 


1. What genre do you write and why?

I write futuristic romance about genetically altered people. I find it easier to design situations, imagine technical advancements and create the quirks of genetically altered people – than to write in the ‘here and now’ and have the story become dated within a year.

2. Why do you write?

I’ve always written long emails, long letters, long messages, and had a fertile imagination. At last I have found space in my life to indulge myself and put all the characters that inhabit my head, out on paper.  They write their own stories, once I get them started.

3. Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Yes, I spun wool fibre and knitted the yarn for many years. Because I became bored with white, brown and grey fleeces I took up dyeing the spun yarn and moved on to dyeing other fibres and threads from there. I’ve spent time as a quiltmaker, using my dyed fabrics – but all that has been abandoned to allow me more time to write.  I also write poetry and try to use this skill in my prose, without overdoing it.

4. What is your advice to newbie authors?

Persevere, don’t give up. Be brave!  You have to be brave to put your work out for the world to read. Before it gets to the world’s stage you have to allow it to be critiqued. You need fresh eyes to read it and spot the plot holes and errors.  You have to take this on the chin, make the corrections and try harder. You wouldn’t send your child on stage dressed in ripped untidy clothes, messed hair, and scuffed shoes. Neither should you let your manuscript be viewed as a final edition until it has been polished for typos, grammar, spelling (American v. English), and other errors, such as point of view changes and change of tense.

5. Who is your favorite character you’ve created and why?

It must be Stella Corban, granddaughter of William and Belinda, daughter of James and Siobhan. She can become invisible behind her rainbow curtain; jump between locations (like her grandfather); and “see’ the people she cares about when they’re troubled.  She is tall, graceful (cat genes from her mother) has blue/green eyes with a hint of lavender (from her grandmother). She is loyal and caring and the safety of the family is her priority as she lives and works among ‘normals. ’

She is a newborn in Love’s Bright Star, a six year old in Love’s Red Heart, and I am presently writing her romance, in which her love for a ’normal’ could put her family’s safety at risk if he discovers she is genetically altered.


ATalentforLoving_SMAnd to end the interview I leave you with an excerpt from Virginna’s, A Talent for Loving

She looked at him as he gazed out to sea. His thick brown hair hugged his head and small curls tucked around his ears. She tightened her arm around his waist and leaned into his chest. So far the day has been lovely. The view from the touring bus was so much better with higher expansive views than travelling the Great Ocean Road by car. There’d been several stops for photo opportunities, but this pause in the journey allowed everyone an hour to walk and explore, to feel the sand between their toes, and fill their lungs with ozone-laden sea air

“The surf’s building. There’s a blow on the way.” He pointed to the south. “See the breakers out there? They’re coming closer by the minute. I bet the wind gets up when they get closer to shore.”

She followed his gaze and looked out to sea before glancing back to the surf below them. Could that black dot be a seal? Or was it a surfer in a wetsuit? Oh God! No! She shook his arm and prodded his shoulder.

“Wills, is that a person in the surf? Whoever it is seems to be going out rather than swimming in. What do you think?”

Together they peered, watching closely until an arm was raised. Then a flailing and the dot disappeared.

“I think it’s a child. Here.” He pulled free, tore off his jacket and tossed it to her. In a second his shirt came off and he’d stepped out of his trousers and shoes in one fluid movement. Another breath and he’d gone. All that remained beside her were his dropped clothes.

He’d jumped.

She quickly bent and folded the garments, hanging them over her arm and, tucking his shoes into the crook of her elbow, she hugged all of them to her chest. She stood up, her heart racing with fear as she guessed what he’d done.

Sure enough when she looked there were now two black dots in the surf, one larger than the other. Already the surf had grown and running through the waves a channel of calm water cut its way out past the breakers. Its smooth surface looked deceptively calm to anyone who didn’t know how to read the surf. This strong strip of undertow would have pulled the child out and she could see William moving across the surf, parallel with the breakers, away from the slicing strip that threatened to pick them up and carry them further out.

She hadn’t even known he could swim. Surely he must be a strong swimmer? Why else leap into climbing surf? Another hole in the knowledge she had of William’s abilities.

Alone on the cliff edge she stared in horror, realising the danger he’d put himself in and she locked her gaze on the two black dots and concentrated as hard as she could. Would it work? Anything was worth a try, because standing here, windswept and abandoned, clutching the wooden railing with her one free hand wasn’t going to be of any use to William if she didn’t try and do something. With everything to lose if it didn’t work she locked her gaze onto the spot in the roiling water where he’d been visible a second beforehand and took her consciousness into the surf to search for him.

Blogger Interview with S.L. Stacy!

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She’s one of my favorite bloggers and someone I’m excited to introduce you to.  She’s a college student but also loves to write in her free time.  Her first novel, The Fallen, a Paranormal Romance, is almost completed.  Apart from working on the novel, she also writes fan fiction.  If you want to check out some sneak peeks of The Fallen, take a look HERE to read some chapters from it.


1.  Tell me about the book you’re writing and what your plans for it are in the future.

The book I’m currently writing is tentatively called The Fallen -the working title has changed several times and will probably change again! It opens with our main character Siobhan encountering a mysterious, seriously injured man in the woods who transfers to her a kind of “super power,” I guess you could call it. She thinks he’s probably dead until he turns up as her Teaching Assistant for one of her college electives. It’s a fantasy/paranormal romance with a bit of mystery since she slowly unravels the truth about him and her connection to him. I’m enjoying writing it, but I’m not sure what my plans are for it. I will probably write some query letters once it’s done/edited while at the same time preparing to self-publish it.

2.  Coffee, tea or soda?

Coffee. I used to hate coffee, but somehow it’s become a necessity every morning. 🙂 Of course I dump cream and sugar into it….

3.  I loved with the Labyrinth movie (and always wanted Sarah’s dress) when I was kid. I thought it was interesting that you were a big Bowie fan as well. Where were you first introduced to his music or found a liking for him?

I was actually first introduced to Bowie one Christmas back in high school because they always play that duet he did with Bing Crosby on the radio (Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth). I had heard of him but had never realized he had such an amazing voice. (I was listening to too much pop music back then, haha!) Strangely enough I didn’t get around to watching Labyrinth until college. I love that it still has a cult following now.

4.  Why did you start blogging?

I originally started blogging to post some of my old fiction and to get back to writing some new stories, which I’ve definitely been motivated to do. But it’s also turned into me writing about books, TV shows, music and other things that I like, which has been fun, too.

5. You mention you write fan fiction. Tell me more about that.

Usually when I get an idea for a fan fiction piece, it’s usually a short romantic or sexy scene between two central characters on a TV show that I like. For some reason, I’ve really been coming up with a lot of ideas from the show Once Upon A Time (OUAT). I’ve posted a few OUAT fan fiction short stories on my blog; this summer I’m planning to post some longer ones. Although the script is sometimes cheesy, I love how none of the characters on this show are completely good or evil. I think that’s a great theme to explore in writing. Also, it gives me several bad boys to over-analyze. 😉


To top off this awesome interview, I’ll give you a tease of S.L’s novel, The Fallen.

In this excerpt Siobhan and Anna try and find out if Jasper is the same man they met long ago-the man who ‘changed’ Siobhan.

“What’s your favorite ancient culture, Jasper?” the hipster to my left asks. “What’s your favorite myth?”

“I enjoy Greek mythology the most,” Jasper replies. “In general I tend to enjoy the stories that are more obscure. My favorite Greek myth is the love affair between Ares and Aphrodite.”

“Why’s that?” a girl asks. She’s on the fringes of the group and cranes her head around the guy sitting next to her so that Jasper sees her. “I didn’t think there was much of a story there.”

“I disagree,” Jasper says smoothly. “I think that the love stories of the gods are great examples of early guilty pleasure entertainment. Aphrodite and Ares’ relationship was sexy and forbidden.”

“So what is the story?” Anna wonders, looking around the group as if she’s missing something.

“Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was forced to marry Hephaestus, the god of fire. Hephaestus is typically portrayed as being ugly and deformed. During their marriage, Aphrodite is unfaithful to him a number of times.”* Jasper’s silky voice is infused with an intense passion for this subject. The entire table has grown subdued, enraptured. This is the sexiest history lesson I’ve ever had.

“One of her affairs is with Hephaestus’ stepbrother, Ares, the god of war. When Hephaestus finds out, he tells Aphrodite he is going to be gone for a few days, but he sets a trap for them –a metal net that drops on Aphrodite and Ares when they’re in bed together, exposing their affair to Hephaestus and the rest of the Olympian Gods. Humiliating them.” There’s a bitter edge to these last two, more quietly spoken words. I wonder if anyone else has noticed.

A few of the others jump in with their favorite myths, although none of them captivate the group like Jasper did. Closer to eight, Anna leans toward me and whispers, “Do you want to talk after this? We can go to my place. I’ll give you a ride back later.”

“Um, sure,” I mumble back, again caught off guard.

Scattered “thank you’s” and squeaking chairs make me realize that everybody is getting ready to leave.

“I’m going to get some tea,” Anna informs me. I nod and decide to wait for her at the table. I get out my phone to text Tanya that I won’t be back until later. I think that everyone has left until I look up and see Jasper Mars standing up but lingering by the table.

I smile up at him. “Thanks for your help tonight,” I tell him to fill the silence. “I think it’s going to be a very interesting course.”

He responds with a smile of his own –a slow, deliberate smile that doesn’t show his teeth. “I hope so.” The smile disappears, and his dark, penetrating eyes seem to sweep me up and down, even though I’m still sitting. “You and Anna are looking well.” He turns on his heel and strides briskly away before I can come up with something to say.

“Ready to go?” Anna asks me, jiggling her car keys in one hand, her paper cup of tea in the other. I’m still staring at the spot Jasper has just vacated, dumbfounded.

Author Interview: Lena Hart

 

BecauseYouAreMine_SM (1)Lena is the author of, Because You Love Me and soon to be released, Because You Are Mine.  She’s a Contemporary Romance author, who focuses on relationships between interracial couples.  She believes it’s important to present strong black heroines in her stories and also show that love can be found anywhere, regardless of any cultural or social barriers there may be.  And unlike other romances her stories come with a hint of mystery and danger added to the mix.  And who doesn’t like danger?! I do…

 


“Keep reading. Keep writing. And never give up!”

-Lena Hart


1.  What is your favorite book?

I read in different genres so I have quite a few favorites in each. But for contemporary, I have to say it would be one of Catherine Coulter’s earlier works, Beyond Eden. It’s an intriguing romantic suspense that took me on a roller-coaster ride the first time I read it!

2.  Do you have any other talents besides writing?

I love cooking. I think I may have been a chef in a previous life. I cook anything and everything, from ethnic dishes, such as Caribbean, Asian, to healthy – and not-so-healthy – dishes. I also have a mean sweet tooth so I’m always trying my hand at baking cookies, cakes, and pies.

3.  Introduce us to your muse.

My muse keeps me on my toes! She’s a complete scatter brain, easily distracted, and stubborn. But she’s never without good ideas, which she likes dropping on me at the most inconvenient times – like in the shower, cleaning, on the treadmill, or dozing off to sleep. And it’s hard to get her to buckle down and focus on one story, which is why I have a growing to-be-written pile. But when I put my foot down, she tends to work with me and the stories unfold effortlessly. She’s hard to work with but she’s all I’ve got.

4.  What’s harder to write; a beginning or an end?

The beginning. For me, it’s harder to write because you don’t know when and where to start the story so the reader gets hooked. Timing is everything and, as a writer, you need to hook, engage, and inform all in the first three pages!

5.  Any tips for writing a great love scene?

Hmmm… I tend to write my love scenes in bed. It’s a bit annoying because I have to transfer my writing from my desktop to my laptop but it’s hard for me to get in the “mood” (with my characters) when I’m sitting at an upright, rigid desk. Writing a great love scene is all about getting in the mood 🙂


Check out her book, Because You Are Mine, which is available now!  I don’t have an excerpt to share with you but I’ll leave you with a blurb about her new book!

Excerpt from Because You Are Mine  

“He crouched down in front of her, fighting the urge to lean down and kiss her smooth, graceful neck. She was a natural beauty, and in sleep she was achingly so.”

Betrayal cuts deep, especially when it comes from someone you trust. And no one understands this better than Cara Sinclair’s old love, now new boss, Drake Ross. Growing up, these two shared an undeniable bond until they found themselves in a fight for their lives. Twelve years later, fate conspires to bring them back together. Yet, while Cara is torn between chasing a lost love, or pursuing another, Drake is left more uncertain of the truth and his feelings for the girl he believed betrayed him. But the love that binds them proves impenetrable. And when light is finally shed on the secrets that haunt them, Cara and Drake will soon discover that danger still lurks… and betrayal cuts deeper than they could have ever imagined. 

Author Interview: Tamara Hoffa

tamara “Wrapping his arms around her waist, he kissed her cheek. She inhaled his masculine scent, he smelled of engine grease, citrus hand cleaner and man. She turned in his arms and laid her cheek over his beating heart, treasuring the haven of his embrace…” ― Tamara HoffaHeart of a Soldier


Tamara is the author of Heart of a Soldier, a short story that was released last September and her story, Roping Love, a romance about getting a second ‘Chance’ at lost love, is coming out in May so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

She’s currently working on a collaborative series, The Windy City Dragons, that is outside the Contemporary Romance circle and diving into some territory I’m familiar with; fantasy.  It’s got shape shifters, romance and dragons, all the good stuff that a good fantasy novel needs.  She’s also working on a story with a working title of, A Special Kind of Love, about a divorced mother of a special needs child that starts a new life in Wyoming.

And I know you’re all biting at the bit to find out more about this lady so onto the interview!


1. What is the best review you’ve ever gotten?

Believe it or not my “best” review in my opinion is not a 5 star rating, though I have received several of those. This one actually made me cry! I was so touched that a veteran found my story timely and accurate.

“This a short story from a new line of romance novels called, Lunchbox Romance, meant to be short and sweet. I love these kinds of stories that I can read and finish in a short period. And as the name implies, they can be read during your lunch break or in my case during my coffee break.

In Heart of a Soldier, we meet widowed mom Charlotte Mackenzie, who’s 17 year old son wants to join the Army. Charlie lost her husband many years ago to a drunk drive and now struggles with the fear of losing her son in military.

She agrees to meet with the army recruiter, hoping he can help her overcome her issues. Enter, one hot and sexy recruiting officer, Jameson Hunter. Not only does he help her overcome her fears, he ignite a passion she hasn’t felt since her husband die.

This was a very sweet and touching love story. Tamara really shows us the heart of a mother’s love for her son and the real struggles of letting go of our children when they grow up. I felt the connection with Charlie from the first page. Jameson is the sweet and sexy male that every women dreams of, his patients with Charlie just made my heart swoon.

While Heart of a Soldier is very fast pace, I don’t feel cheated or that something was left out of the story. A lot was packed into this short book.

I’d like to add, that having served in the US Army myself, I really appreciated that Tamara used the proper military terminology. I haven’t read many books that had this level of precise accurate description of the military. And being that this is such a short story, it impressed the heart of this soldier.”

-Janet Juelling-Snell

2.  What is the worst review you’ve ever gotten?

I’ve been pretty lucky and haven’t had any really negative reviews. The following is one of the less complimentary ones. The reader basically doesn’t like short stories…

“This was a sweet little story about a single mother (Charlie) whose son Evan has decided to join the army. Charlie and Evan go to the recruitment office together, where Charlie meets Jamie the recruitment officer who she feels an attraction for, which I something she hasn’t felt since her late husband. Ne here’s the thing this story is approximately 40 pages… You all know my love/hate relationship with novellas. It was “good” I just wish there had been more. I knew going in it was. Short story when I received the mail asking me to review, and we have a hard time turning people down. Now that being said it was very well written, I didn’t spot a single error and it lowed very nicely. So if you enjoy novellas (and I know many people do) pick this one up.”

cover_heart_of_a_soldier_hires (1)

3.  Who has been the most supportive person of your writing?

My husband. He was the one who pushed, prodded and nudged me to “write a book” and I did! He reads all my drafts, helps me plot and plan, and wants to be known as “Tamara Hoffa’s husband” He is awesome!

4.  Where do you find the most inspiration for your writing?

I find inspiration every day. People I meet, something I read or see. Sometimes just a picture or a phrase that sticks in my minds and says, “Um hello?”

5.  How many stories have you written?

I have 2 stories completed, Heart of a Soldier, that released in September of 2012, and Roping Love, due out in May of 2013. I am currently working on 2 others, another contemporary romance and a paranormal romance, I am writing with my BFF Beverly Ovalle (Dragon shifters)


Check out her blog HERE and her book, Heart of a Soldier HERE.

I’ll leave you with an except from Heart of a Soldier, so enjoy this little tease and maybe pick up a copy of her short story as well!


“Slow your roll girl! One question at a time. No, I didn’t manage to talk Evan out of joining up. But, I did get a lot of information. More than I’ve been able to process yet. The recruiter was…”

Charlie hesitated and smiled.

Bethany rolled her eyes.

“Oh, man I know that look. The recruiter was hot. Right? Oh boy. Is he single? Did sparks fly? Do you have another meeting?

Charlie laughed.

“Do you ever take a breath, girl? Yes, he was hot. Leroy Jethro Gibbs combined with a little Harrison Ford. Tall, dark, handsome…and I bet you could wash clothes on his abs, yum. He appears to be single, no ring anyway, and he asked me out. So I certainly hope he’s single.” Bethany squealed; there was no other word for that sound.

“Seriously? Did you say yes? Mrs. I haven’t been on a date since Clinton was in the Whitehouse.”

Charlie’s mouth turned down at the corners.

“You make it sound like a crime. I was happily married for thirteen years, Bethany. Phillip and I went on dates all the time.” Charlie knew she sounded defensive, but she had loved her husband. Was it so wrong that she hadn’t jumped right back into the dating world after Phillip’s death? She had thought they would be together forever. They were soul mates. It wasn’t that easy to let go. But, Phillip was gone, and she was so alone. She lay in that big bed every night, wishing there was someone to hold her, to make her feel safe, secure…loved. Tears pooled in her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. Charlie tried to smile, but knew she failed.

“I’m sorry baby. I didn’t mean to make you upset.” Bethany grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze, “But, you know I’ve been telling you for months that you need to get out there and meet someone. You’re still young. Your life isn’t over just because Phillip is gone. He wouldn’t want you to be alone either. You know I’m right.”

“I know Bethany, I know. And believe it or not, I did say yes. But, I can’t say I’m not having second thoughts. There is definitely a physical attraction there and I haven’t felt that for anyone since Phillip…but, with this thing with Evan I’m just not sure if it’s the right time.”

Author Interview: Rich Voza

Welcome to another exciting author interview!

You should be super psyched about this one.  Today my interviewee is one of my good writer friends and my editing advice guru.


“More than 50% of the time, persistence wins over talent. Too many times the more talented people give up too easily, and then the less talented people get the job.”

-Rich Voza


Rich is the author of The Curse, which made it as a quarter finalist in the ABNA last year.  I think that may be the reason I first started talking to him but I can’t remember exactly.  

He lives in a house on the beach, something a lot of us dream about. He’s also a retired English teacher now turned editor and full time writer (when he isn’t spending time with his children) and writes movie reviews.  Right now he’s been working on many short stories like The Bus Stop, The Lie and The Accident but has also written several books like the Room 317 and The Curse

If you need a great editor, give him a shout out, he’s great at it and I’m sure happy to help.  He has helpful posts on grammar, so check them out.  You might learn something. Find some of those HERE and HERE.

And now onto the interview…..



1.  What is the hardest thing about writing a book (story)?

This will sound rude, but the hardest part of writing a book or story, seriously, is just time.  I have written four novels and seven short stories.  Maybe eight.  And I’ve never written anything during which I have not suddenly been hit with what seemed like a better story.  Then, I feel like I have to rush to finish what I’m currently writing so I can get to the next great idea.  I hate saying that, but it’s true.

2.  What are you currently working on?

I’m currently stuck as hell.  I have two stories that I need to revise.  They’re ready to be pitched.  But I have this fabulous idea for a really creepy stalker story.  However, if I don’t actually get something finished, queried, pitched, and all that, then I’ll remain the best writer who’s never done anything beyond his own computer.  And blog.

3.  What is the best story, in your opinion, have you ever written and why.

The best story I’ve ever written is a great story – but it’s poorly written, and I have to totally re-write it.  It’s called “The Curse,” and it’s about a slave owner who puts a curse on his slaves to prevent them from running away.  But the curse backfires on him instead of being put on the slaves.  I love it.  It was a quarterfinalist in the ABNA last year.  The readers loved the first three chapters, but I didn’t finish it well enough.

4.  As an editor, what is the grammar issue that most annoys you?

I suck at knowing when to break for paragraphs.  I know that you break when the location or the time changes, or when the speaker changes.  But sometimes there are other changes, and I get confused as to when they should be.

5.  As a reader, what do other writers do that most annoys you?

Clichés.

6.  What is your greatest strength as a writer?</h2

Dialogue.  I always get compliments on it.  The reason it’s m strength is because I talk too much and I constantly watch and observe people.  I’m  nosey as hell, watching people when they don’t realize it.

7.  What genre do you find hard to write?

Not sure because I only keep to what I know I can do.

8.  When did you write your first book?

In a way, I wrote my first book when I was in third grade.  We had a summer reading assignment, which I didn’t do.  We could have read anything, and I read nothing.  On the first day of school we had an assignment, like a book report about what we read.  I totally made mine up.  It was called “Carrot Top Mr. Mouse,” about a mouse with red hair, and the other mice made fun of him, so he ran away.  It was because I had red hair, and sometimes people made fun of me.  I think I’ll have to actually write that one day, but on that day, I made up a cover and a summary.

However, for real, my first book was “Grandpa’s Watch.”  It’s about a boy who accidentally gets sent back in time into the Civil War where his great-grandfather, as a teenager, was involved.  But the boy who gets sent back accidentally injures his grandfather.  Luckily, he knows what the old man did to help the Union win the war, and he now has to take his grandfather’s place, otherwise the South might win.  According to my daughter, it’s too educational and not enough fun.

9.  Have you ever used a pen name? (And if so did you write naughty stories?)

Yes, and yes.  But the “naughty” stories were 100% true.

10.  What is your advice for other writers?

My advice – don’t be lazy like me.  I’ve learned that there are many great writers, great stories, that nobody knows about because those writers don’t have the “drive” to get published.  That’s what I’m battling against.  For me, it’s a fear of failure.  Like, if I don’t pull the trigger, then I can’t possibly miss.  But lately I’ve been working on that.

Also, find a writers group who will read and trade feedback.  Not an online group but a real group that meets at a library or someplace.  Make sure they’re people who know what they’re doing.  I’ve been involved with writers groups in which nobody owned a computer.  I’m not trying to make fun of anyone’s money situation, but I can’t figure out how anyone can really write anything without a computer.  It would take too long.  Maybe that’s stupid, but it’s how I feel.

Also, be careful about blogging.  I just spent a year blogging very successfully.  Never had more people read what I’ve written, and got a lot of praise.  However, what I’ve been writing is nothing I could ever sell.  I spent probably 100,000 words that won’t go anywhere.  But at the same time, it’s a great confidence booster.  Now, after all that, I’ve finally learned that it’s more important to have five good people read my fiction, give me feedback, and help me improve than it is to have 100 people read something and say “Wow, that was great.”  Those 100 people are nice, but they’re not going to get me anywhere.

11.  Who would you love to co write a story with and why?

A woman I know in the Midwest because she can write stuff that I can’t, which makes sense to collaborate. (And yes, Rich, I would be awesome to write a collaborative story with. -H.N.)

Check out Rich’s blog >>HERE<<.  

I’ll leave you with one of Rich’s short stories titled, The Accident


car_crash_bmw_z8_flips_upside_down_in_germany_009

The only thing Jones had been more impressed with than his week-old BMW convertible was himself.  He had pushed the limits of time and energy, along with the art of negotiation, for three years strictly for his promotion and, more importantly, the car.  The car was now upside down at the bottom of a small grassy hill off the right shoulder of Route 295 South.  Jones stood from what seemed a very comfortable seated position in tall grass fifty yards from the car, his car, and stared in amazement to make certain it really was his car with the wheels pointing skyward like a dead turtle on its back.  The crowd of emergency personnel made it more difficult for him to see the platinum-silver car, but he could think of no other reason why he was where he was.

As he approached the car, the hairs on his right forearm prickled up as the breeze from the highway blew across where his right shirt sleeve used to be.  The rest of the starched white shirt remained, along with a bright red tie, which he loosened as he noticed another crowd uniforms gathered around something else – a body covered with a mostly white sheet except where deep red stains were soaking through where the body’s head would be.  On the ground next to the body was the white sleeve he no longer wore.

“Bastard probably never felt a thing,” said a firefighter as he removed his helmet.

“Better that way,” another replied, “when you don’t know it’s coming, no time to think.  You’re just – gone.”

Gone.  The word echoed in Jones’s head and faded like the rush of endless tires on the highway nearby.  He stumbled backwards through the tall grass as voices and flashing lights remained behind.  He dug his wallet from his left front pocket and reviewed his driver’s license just to be sure he was who he was.  The faces of his wife and kids all matched his memory as did his name and picture, and he put it all back in his pocket while taking further steps towards the woods behind him.  He turned and picked up speed until he reached a full sprint, which lasted for only a few seconds before he slowed without breath.  He dropped to one knee before curling in a fetal position and sobbing beneath the frozen arms of a family of oak trees whose spring buds were days away from exploding.  When he pulled his hands from his face a few minutes later, he noticed blood and thought of the sheet over the body back at the accident scene.

He leaped to his feet, hands held away from his body as if his own blood might contaminate him.  His eyes darted until they found the shimmer of a stream, then he walked almost primate-like across a grassy opening in the trees until reaching a bend of a tributary that strayed from the Delaware River about ten miles west.  Jones squatted, thrashing his bloody hands in the ripples before allowing the water to calm so he could see the matted hair that partially covered a gash torn open during the accident.

He felt a wave of panic that began with the men at the crash site, the sheet covering the body with the bloody head, his missing sleeve next to the sheet, and the comfort in the suggestion that maybe he never felt a thing.  After his shoulders relaxed, he stepped knee-deep into the stream and bent forward to rinse his hair of the blood and thoughts about death.

“I guess I get to keep my body.  Good thing I never filled out that donor card.”  He chuckled, forcing a smile.  “But why would I need my body?  Wouldn’t I just be more like a spirit?  Is there a reason I’m still physical?  What about-”

To read the rest of this story, click >> HERE <<

Author Interview: Ginny Lynn

Welcome to another Author Interview!

Ready to meet another awesome person?!  Of course you are and I know you’re going to love this lady.  She’s a sexy corset making gal, with lots to brag about.  Stick around and learn more about her.


westviewshoot102012 16“I serve up southern sass, with a bite.”

-Ginny Lynn


Ginny Lynn’s the author of Andromeda, a Paranormal Romance about a psychic who masquerades as a human to hide her vampire blood and from the man who made her into one.  She writes in the same genre as me, so that makes this lady even more exciting.

Come on ladies, you know you can’t resist those sexy vampires! You’ll have to check out Andromeda when it releases on March 21st to feed that vampire addiction of yours.

Ginny also has several new stories in the works, including Savage, a series reminiscent to the TV show Cheers but with a paranormal twist.  As she says, “It’s a place where everyone knows your blood type.”

Now….onto the interview!


1.  Who is your favorite author?

Laurell K. Hamilton. She pushes you until you bend to her story’s will. I adore her so much for bringing Anita Blake to the forefront. She’s made it well past twenty books, with us begging for more. To meet her would be a dream made into reality.

2.  When did you start writing?

Even though I’ve written most of my life, I wrote my first book at seventeen. I was a senior in high school and wrote it (in pencil) in several five subject notebooks. I still have them and that book, Just to be Left Alone, is being published this coming May. It’s my only (non-paranormal) romantic suspense.

3.  Why do you write?

I fight depression and have a strongly creative side, so why not put in on paper for others to benefit from my insight?  Every since I started writing seriously, my life has made more sense.

4.  Introduce us to your muse

Vivien is the name of my red headed muse and she’s feisty. Stubborn has nothing on this muse. She likes to smack me upside the head as often as possible and if I ignore her then she’s quiet for days at a time. Moody is an understatement. I had a hysterectomy about eight years ago but Vivien reminds me of what P.M.S. is, frequently.

5.  Who is your favorite character you’ve created and why?

Constance Marie Parrish, from my Savage Series. She’s curvy, sassy, and a boat load of hydrid sexiness. She learns  to conquer her inner demons as she comes to love who she really is.


Andromeda_MED 72KCheck out Andromeda when it makes it’s debut on March 21st.  Find it on Amazon.

Also stop by her BLOG and say hello!

Come back next week to see who my next interview will be with!  It’s someone most of you may already know.

To end the interview I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Andromeda.  Enjoy!  And thanks for sticking around to meet this new author 🙂


“Can you come outside with me for a minute?”

“Yes.”

He finished his drink as I escorted him out to the wall across the street. We both sat down on the brick half wall.

“I’m sorry for the way I handled that. This has never happened to me before.  And most of what I saw was good. But you need to know that not all of it was.” I avoided his gaze.

“Just tell me what you saw and we’ll go from there.”

“I saw us kissing, you holding my hand at my house, you walking me home and us as lovers.”

“I see. But those are all good things. The bad part?”

“I know that I need to tell you what I saw. But this is going to be hard to absorb.”

“Just tell me.”

“I saw you die.”

I waited for his reaction. He was very quiet and then jumped off the wall and began pacing.

“You saw me die. Okay. I need to know where, when and how.”

I could only watch as I said, “I can only tell you that there was a lot of blood and that I was holding you when you drew your last breath. There’s fuzziness around the image, as if it wasn’t quite true yet.”

“Everyone makes decisions that can change their destiny. So this can be avoided then, right?”

“Yes. Everyone can change their future by changing the decisions that lead up to it. I have regulars because of this. But the only thing that can stop this is if you stay away from me.”

There. I’d said it.

“So, I die because of you but you don’t know how or when?” It was commendable that he was seriously trying to rationalize this.

“Yes. And that’s all I can tell you. I understand if you want to run away and never look back. I’m sorry.”

“What makes you think that? Do you see me doing that? I’ve seen too much loss in my life to just take that as the gospel truth. I am master of my own destiny. I won’t be going out like that.”

He stood in front of me and I looked into his eyes. There it was, the truth of the matter. I see him with me until his death and then nothing else. For either of us.

Had I truly found my mate and was his death something we could avoid? I saw something in his eyes, determination, and he leaned closer to me.

He whispered, “I’m not sorry.”

“For what?”

“You already know.”

Then he kissed me.

Reader Interview: Jennifer Rhodes

Meet Jennifer Rhodes!

She’s an avid reader and loves books. She’s also a military gal, which I totally admire, and one of my first “fans”. Pay attention all you authors, she represents the people we want to see and hear us the most-the reader.


What is your favorite book?

I can’t pick just one book as I have a series that I absolutely love. It’s the Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian. The books are so detailed and each one leaves off right where you ended it but talks about another character as the main person in the book. It’s Vampire Genre but each book is about a Vampire finding their bond they are meant to be with along with kicking some ass on the way. 🙂

What makes or breaks a book?

For me it would have to be a slow beginning. If a book starts off slow it’s not going to interest me into finishing it. I have to be locked from the beginning with some action or love scene or something that will grab my attention and make me want to continue.

What is your life goal(s)?

To open up my own bookstore and live a life of helping people and being happy. I want to see my son grow up and fulfill his dreams. But mostly I just want to find my purpose in life and live every moment instead of wasting it.

Who is your favorite author?

V.C. Andrews is my all-time favorite author. My mom gave me some of her books when I was in high school and I’ve been collecting them ever since. Her books always start off with a sad story but at the end of each series, there is always a happy ending which makes me believe that anyone who has a bad life can turn it around. I am proof of that happening. You just have to want it bad enough.

What genre do you enjoy reading and why?

I am mostly into the Immortal Romance books. I love the mystery and other world type scenery and just to be able to take myself to another world and dream of a different fantasy is part of my coping method with stress.

What is the worst book you’ve ever read?

The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine. I liked how the books had individuality and a great dream world. But the pace was just way too slow and I had to get through chapters that just didn’t interest me in order to get to any good parts.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

That would have to be the community. I love how whenever I don’t have anyone to talk to, I can blog about my problems and someone is always comforting and I can always find someone who is going through the same things as me. I can relate to them and have the same things in common.

Does it matter to you if a novel is self-published rather than by a traditional publisher?

No it doesn’t because I don’t buy books based on who the author is. If the book grabs my attention or looks interesting then I will buy it. I don’t care if the author is well known or not. If it turns out to be a good book then that is when I start to look at other things they have published or have out to read. 🙂

What is your preference? Printed books or ebooks?

I prefer printed books. Not that I don’t like electronics but there is something old fashioned about digging into a book and smelling the nice old cover or beautiful detail on the cover. If a book is good enough to where I would read it again, then I transfer it onto my Nook where I keep all of my good books for long trips. But the collectables or books that I really like, I keep on my book shelf. I still have your printed copies because I know I’m going to read them again.

What book would you love to see be turned into a movie?

Well the one that I was really excited about coming into a TV series was called The Secret Circle which the books were written by L.J. Smith. They started making the series when I was deployed but when I got back and started watching it on Netflix, I found out they only had the 1st season and that they weren’t planning on finishing it.

What things ruin a book for you?

For me it’s bad grammar. If I read a book and I can see misspelled words or the sentence is backwards, then it makes me want to edit the whole book and then I can’t get into the book because I’m too busy looking for other mistakes. All it takes is one and I will be going through the book with a toothpick. 🙂

What character from a book you read would you love to meet?

That would be Gabriel Noble from the book, Three Nights of Sin. It’s a romance about a woman who goes to him for help and she has to return three favors in return. He ends up seducing her throughout the whole book and breaking her pride as a well-known woman. But he falls for her and then realizes he doesn’t want any other man to have her. He is such a womanizer and I love how he talks in the book. 🙂

Check out Jennifer’s blog >>> HERE <<<