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Publisher: Limitless Publishing
*Note: Previously Titled Chasing Dreams*
I’ve always dreamed of being a singer, and it’s time to make that dream come true.
Life is short, and I know my parents—may they rest in peace—would have wanted me to follow my heart. So I pack my bags and head to Los Angeles.
Then my world turns sideways…
I run the hottest club in L.A., where gorgeous women flock to show skin on the dance floor. But as soon as I spot her, I know she’s different. We have a connection, something more powerful than I’ve ever felt.
But I’m not the only one who notices her. She’s getting a lot of attention on the club circuit, and the way other men look at her when she’s on stage drives me crazy.
I want her for my own, but she’s not about to let me control her. And then my past returns…
Alison Mello is a wife and stay at home mom to a wonderful little boy. She lives with her amazing family in Massachusetts. She loves playing soccer, basketball and football with her son.
After having her son, Alison started reading again and fell in love with Contemporary Romance. Reading made her happy and gave her something to do when she had downtime. As she started to read more, she started to noticed things she really enjoyed in a book and things she didn’t. She began to have ideas for writing one of her own. One day she literally woke up and started writing. She realized that if there was ever a time for her to write, it was now. She had a part time job to give her something to do. The hours at work were slow and she was bored with what she was doing, so while her son was off enjoying his friends over summer vacation she got started.
Alison finished the first book in two weeks and decided that she really enjoyed writing, so she kept going. She already had ideas in mind for books two and three, so she kept writing. That is how the Learning to Love Series was born. Somewhere along the line, one of my Beta readers convinced me that Michael, a character from Finding Love, needed his own story. That is when Alison added the fourth and final book. Alison hopes you enjoy her books as much as she enjoyed writing them.
She’s so glad she started this writing journey and hopes you will stay with her for the ride. Chasing Dreams is scheduled to release in April and the first two books of the Love Conquers Life series will be out this summer!
When did you start to have a love for books? After reading Fifty Shades of Grey, The Crossfire Series and The Hacker Series
What was your favorite book as a child? As a teenager? As a child it was the Babysitter’s club as a teen I didn’t really like to read.
What was that turning point that changed you from a reader to a writer? When I decided I needed something to do and was tired of reading different series that didn’t give me what I wanted.
Inspiration can often be found in the oddest people, places, and even situations. In the past, what has inspired you? Everyday life, I’m often in the middle of something and an idea will hit me. I quickly get it down on something and then tuck it away for when I’m ready to use it. A photo on Facebook was my inspiration for Love Conquers Life Series. It was supposed to be a stand alone but my characters took over and turned it into a series.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? This is so hard to answer because I totally love Logan and Skyler but I have to say I think I’ve really enjoyed writing the Love Conquers Life series. It’s fun, emotional and the two main woman are strong and go after what they want no matter what gets in their way.
So far, what has been your greatest moment in your writing career? So far my greatest moment was the day I found out Chasing Dreams was accepted by Limitless Publishing and was going to be available in paperback. I am really proud of the Learning To Love series. It was the first series I wrote so it will always be special to me, but I wanted more and so I went for it and got it with Chasing Dreams.
What can readers expect from you next? You definitely want to get on my newsletter because you’re going to start seeing sneak peeks at my latest series, Love Conquers Life. I’ve gone back to writing Military Romance which is what I enjoy. I loved writing Chasing Dreams but Military men are really my thing.
Nobody knows your books better than you! In your opinion, readers of what genres will enjoy your books the most? Wow, my books have jumped a bit. Anyone who enjoys a good love story that entails life’s struggles. Let’s be real I know we all want the easy love life that we read in some stories but it’s not real. I try to make my book boyfriends hot and steamy but have real life scenarios playing out so you can truly connect with them and understand them. For example. Abbey is burned by her ex husband and afraid to love again. She raises her son by herself and when he’s finally a teenager she gets that second chance at love.
Tracey has seen more broken marriages in her line of work and doesn’t want to be another one so she closes her heart off to the world until she meets Sean.
Theresa a single mom who has never been married fears for both her and her daughter. She has a hard time believing Chase is for real until he steps up to the plate when she needs him the most.
Sylvia is a spitfire, family court lawyer who is a little different from the other woman in the Learning To Love series. She is as strong woman who needs a man that’s willing to take control, but doesn’t think love exists until she meets Michael.
Now that we’ve talked about the books, let’s get to know you as the author! What are your favorite books now as an adult? Television shows? Movies? Favorite book is definitely Fifty Shades of Grey, Favorite TV show is Law and Order and NCIS. Yes I love cop shows. I don’t really have a favorite movie and to be honest that includes FSOG. The movie was okay for me but not a favorite.
If you could meet one author–from any time era–who would it be and what would you talk about? E.L James, because I would thank her for getting me back into reading. If it weren’t for the hype of FSOG I may not have started reading again and I wouldn’t be writing today.
How would you describe your life in ten words or under? Crazy; on the go constantly with my boy and husband.
What is your favorite place to visit? Florida – Love the warm weather and I get to see my mum.
What words do you live by? Go big or go home! I never do anything small I go at all my goals with all I’ve got!
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Love Vanquishes All Book 2
Second in a standalone series!
1571. France is in stasis. The peace struck after the latest War of Religion between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots) is fragile and desperately needs more support to sustain it. The monarchy proposes a royal wedding joining a Catholic princess to a Huguenot prince as the needed bulwark. Negotiations are set in motion. All is good. Or so it appears.
On another front, France has fallen far behind other European nations in its quest to expand its empire overseas. Expenditures from civil wars have sapped her coffers, her energy and have stunted her economic dreams.
Could another marriage remedy the problem by mixing religious unity with the possibility of increased commerce?
Enter Awa, the daughter of a visiting, Roman Catholic, Wolof diplomat from the elite ranks of the Jolof Kingdom in West Africa. She embodies the best of her land in her manner and in her education. She is dutiful, proud, and respectful of her family, but after living a portion of her formative years at the French court, she has become outspoken and a tad willful.
Enter Blaise, the nephew of the most powerful leader of the Huguenot faction in the country. An aristocrat. Learned. Traveled. Haunted. Ladies’ man. Rarely sees a sunrise, unless he is retiring at that hour. He abhors responsibility of any kind. And Roman Catholics.
Two persons of noble lineage. Strangers. Foes. Pawns. Allies? Lovers?
If Awa and Blaise can cease fighting long enough, could their marriage quell domestic unrest, bring riches and stability to France, but most importantly deliver true love to them before the realm implodes over religious matters again?
Free on Kindle Unlimited
Blaise yanked her closer and spoke through a clenched jaw. “I am not finished with you. I have much I need to say. Your father came to this court as an envoy from another land. I would have thought that you’d have remained untainted by the goings-on around you simply because you were not of this place. But having been in this court these past five years, you might as well have been born into it. You’ve been tainted. Greatly. You are steeped in the stew of the dominant religion. Despite the blood of your country pulsing in your veins and written on your skin, you have soaked up the airs of those kissers of the Pope’s ring! Your actions and words are no different. You, therefore, are all I expected. Simply wrapped in a different package. Selfish. Spoiled. Self-centered. Enough of this nonsense. The matter is closed.” Blaise pushed her away. “You will be my bride in four months. Willingly or unwillingly. I did not choose you! It matters not to me.” Rushing for the door, he hurled it wide and bellowed, “Nurse! Nurse! Come now!”
Finding her balance before gracing the floor again, Awa ranted, “Be that as it may, men like you always find a way to overcome reservations about women they find troublesome. I shall perform my duty in what will be a dismal union. But know that I do not want you and I shall never love you.”
Blaise turned toward her, his tone suddenly sugar-coated and calm. “Have you not heard, wife-to-be, that neither friendship, or love, is required in a marriage contract. You will be mine in every way. I shall honor my uncle’s mad wish to save our brethren. One last thing. I have no reservations to overcome about women of any kind. I have found comfort in women who have wanted me. And they have most enthusiastically found it in me. If you believe nothing else about me, believe this, Awa. I come by my reputation honestly. A comely woman is a comely woman.”
“Swine! I should scratch your eyes out.” Awa jumped at him but Ngoné appeared in time to hold her back by the waist. “I’d sooner drink poison than succumb to you.”
“Awa. Vixen that you are,” he could barely get his jibe out past his smirk. “You really should not speak to me in that manner. It is like throwing down a gauntlet or waving a red flag. It excites me. And you wouldn’t want to do that. In any case, I have much to teach you. Take your mouth for example. In addition to making slanderous comments, it was created for pleasure too.” He winked.
“Base dog!” Awa cried, escaping Ngoné’s hold to snatch a perfume vial from the dressing table.
“Base dog? You wish me to be a base dog? The beautiful thing is, I can be whatever you want. Only you and I shall know,” Blaise said, strutting out the door, slamming it behind him in time just as his betrothed christened it with the vial, and him with another epithet.
About the Author:
P. J. Dean has always loved making up stories for as long as she can recall. Fiction book writing was a no-brainer. Scribbling stories since childhood, she put away the thought of becoming a published writer as she got older and as life’s responsibilities beckoned. Work, ill family members and other distractions of lesser urgency stayed her dream. But through it all she never stopped writing. Writing was her escape. It kept her dream alive. After a job loss and after the family illnesses ended, she concentrated on writing with an aim to be published. She finally did, at first on her own, then through an early e-pub and now with Extasy Books. She thanks Extasy for picking her up. The medium-sized publisher has given her the freedom to create what she wants without pigeon-holing her into writing in a certain way, as many traditional Big Five publishers would have expected her to do if they would have even considered what she had to offer at all.
She writes historical and paranormal romances with diverse characters. Her interest in history coupled with a B.A in French Civilization helped her write her first book, a historical romance set in late 16th century France with the court of Charles IX as the backdrop. The need to see people of color in more romance books, written by people of color, led her to create her own paranormal romance series with an interracial duo and lots of different people. In addition to the aliens.
Her “Felig Chronicles” series, in particular its 4th book, Paradox, has received a 2014 SFR Galaxy Award for the “Best Unpredictable Sci-fi Romance”series.
She hails from the mid-Atlantic USA and enjoys the change of seasons there. Sometimes. When heavy thunderstorms or 45-inch snowstorms or 100-degree summers with matching humidity hit, she dreams of Bermuda. Otherwise, the rest works for her.
Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey? My journey began with reading. My mom read to me when I was a little kid every night until I was about six years old. Her action turned me into an avid reader which in turn made me want to write. I’d write things and then read them to her. I’ve been writing ever since then. The question was, “Was it any good?” Mom thought so and that was all that mattered. Books were a drug. I was fascinated by the way a person could gather their thoughts and assemble them on a page. So, I tried it and I liked it. My pursuit got sidetracked a lot as I got older. Work, life, etc. would pop up. But I persevered and made time for my passion no matter what. I was writing for pleasure and not for a living. I still don’t. Many times, writing was the only thing that helped smooth over life’s rough spots.
How many books do you currently have published? I’ve written seven. Five in my on-going science fiction romance series, Two in my stand-alone historical romance series.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? I’m torn between the historical romance stand-alone series I write, and the science fiction romance series I write. You’ve put me on the spot. I can’t pick a favorite. I like writing them both for different reasons. My science fiction romance series allows me to create what I want. The frontiers in science fiction romance are truly limitless. Anything goes. I can combine elements of the present and spin them into a possible future. Plus, for my pleasure, my heroine in the series is African-American. She carries the series along with her hero. I pray no panel of experts pops up to set up official rules for science fiction romance like they’ve for other subgenres. Not that I’d follow them anyway.
I like writing my historical romance series because I enjoy giving agency to characters in time periods from lands mainstream authors don’t tackle. I only pen black heroines in this subgenre because there is a dearth of black heroines in historicals. Oh, there are some wonderful writers who pen moving portraits. However, there are some who…don’t. I do deep research. I don’t just whip up any old inaccurate plot line for the sake of sticking a non-White face in the story. The heroine must have a back story. And for me, that back story must be rooted in real, not alternate, history. So, I can’t narrow it down to one book. I like them all my books for varied reasons. .
Are you currently working on a book? I’m making notes for the book 6 in my science fiction series and promoting the object of this post, DISSENT, book 2 in my historical series, LOVE VANQUISHES ALL.
What do you enjoy most about writing? I enjoy the freedom of creating what I want, how I want. As a hybrid author, I’ve been blessed with a traditional mid-sized publisher who rolls with my style. eXtasy Books never told me “No one will read a main character who is black and carries the story.” In fact, eXtasy was the sole publisher who took my sci-fi series back in 2011 without questioning my choice in a black heroine. I got questioned about that choice more times than I care to remember when I was shopping it around. I’ll continue to publish my sci-fi through them but have branched out into self-publishing with my historical series.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? I do get it. When I’m stuck, I’ll step away for a bit. Watch some shopping channels. Read an actual newspaper. Meditate. Then I come back to the manuscript feeling less tense and with fresh insight.
Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? Yes. The character of Rozina, Kindred’s grandmother, from book 1 in my historical romance series. Rozina from KINDRED: AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY was not supposed to survive beyond the prologue. But she wrote herself into a bigger, more expanded role and she is in the entire book.
Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? You’re killing me here. I love certain traits about certain characters. My heroines are not weepy pushovers but they are not harpies either. All my heroes are Betas. I do not write Alphas heroes. I do not like them. I find nothing attractive about the monosyllabic, misogynistic, grunting specimens who now rule a lot of romances. But, I do love to write Alpha villains, be they male or female. I must say, I write a damned good Alpha villain/villainess except mine happen to be witty and chatty in addition to being vile.
So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? In all my books, there is a scene where the heroine/hero has a confrontation with the villain/villainess. These scenes are always both amusing and harrowing, and the villain regrets facing off with the heroine/hero no matter how the scene ends.
What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? I’ve learned to stop listening to, and giving credence to, the experts and to people who have made it their life’s work to be unprofessional, or to remain stuck in a time warp, or to just be plain bitchy. Some folks are a combination of all three. Right out the gate, I knew that not everyone was going to like what I write. Nor do they have to. I just want one thing from reviewers/bloggers/readers: if they ever review any of my books, please have the review make sense. Also, as far as the romance writing business is concerned (and it is a business), I’ve learned it does not lead. It follows. It is not an innovator. It has no method of divination on what the next big thing is going to be. So, that means by the time the traditional side of the business decides it’s going to explore such-and-such because it sees such-and-such is selling in the indie world, such-and-such has been around a loooong time in the indie world. That’s why I loathe when a trend develops. It’s the death knell for whatever that fresh hook was that had readers excited.
Do you have any tips for new writers? Yep. Stop listening to others. Stop copying others. Develop your own style. Write what is aching to come out of YOUR soul; not what is on some best seller’s list. But if you feel the need to produce what’s trending…Be my guest. Most importantly, never give up. Never. No matter how many times someone tells you your book is crap, or too weird, or too out there, or not what the reading public is accustomed to. Or worse, that there is no audience for it. You might not know it (and the naysayers surely don’t either), but your book could be the one to quench someone’s long-unfulfilled hunt for something different.
If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? I say start with one of my historical romances as each book is a complete story, and because I’d like the reader to see more black women in past eras who were educated, and who were not just chattel.
Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? Unfortunately, no.
Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? I do read romances but I LOVE reading history books and reference books. Yeah, I’m geek-ish. I was mesmerized by The Kushiel’s Dart series by Jacqueline Cary. Her imagination is riveting.
What about television shows? Movies?Lucifer. Empire. Power. Shades of Blue, Poldark (past and present). Comet TV and public television. Scifi movies and historical movies are my catnip.
Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why? There have been a few: Anything by Octavia E. Butler, A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, that time-travel romance series by Suzanne Frank that starts with Reflections in the Nile. Her creation of Cheftu and Chloe. Sigh. They rival Claire and Jamie. In any case, that’s the next series Starz needs to do after Outlander. They all had the ability to take me elsewhere for a spell.
Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions? No. Conventions are costly and not in my present budget. I’d like to go someday to observe the scene. Book signings can be bad if no one shows. I avoid them like the plague.
If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? “Thank you, Mom, for making me read, question and dream.”
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? I love cats, organic gummy bears, animal crackers, black currant tea. And of course, writing.
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Science Fiction Short Stories
Eight stories of speculative fiction. Eight DARK and WEIRD stories of speculative fiction. This cannot be stressed enough. There are kittens in this book, along with some ants, a shoveler, some roses, and a God, among other things. Religion, morality, love, environmentalism, and randomness are the main themes in this book.
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CONTAINS SCENES OF GRAPHIC VIOLENCE
Hello, Reader! I’m so happy to be with you again, even if it’s only in my mind. Now if this is your first time reading one of my books, then that warning up there is for you. These stories are going to be dark. They are also going to be weird. Now you may think you’re hard because you read Harry Potter, but I’m here to tell you my stories are much darker and weirder. I killed a dolphin in my last book and that wasn’t even the most disturbing part. If you don’t like violence, remove yourself FAR AWAY from this book or any other that I’ve written. Just start running and don’t look back.
Now for my returning readers, I offer a different warning. This book is scaled WAY down from Squirrels & Puppies: Dark Morality Tales. It has eight stories, instead of fourteen. Also, there’s no animal sex. None. Honestly, I got bored with the animal sex. It started to feel overdone and cliché after a while. I was going to include a story where a sheep starts a romantic relationship with a farmer, only to find out that the farmer is actually training her to be an animal sex worker. I thought it would be poignant in light of all the sex trafficking going on, but while I was writing it, I decided it just sounded stupid. I also threw out a story where a prison warden gets raped by a bear. The bear, of course, was possessed by the spirit of the warden’s ex-lover. Still, it just seemed too excessive. I’m sorry if this disappoints you, but I felt that as an author, I was beginning to use animal sex as a crutch to avoid actually being creative.
Now, are my stories still dark? Yes. Is there killing in them? Yes. But, I didn’t put any stories concerning race in this book either. Did you read Ruins of the Fall: Tree of Might? That book talked A LOT about race and I have to start work on the sequel. That being said, I decided to give race a break until I start writing Infinite Army. So, this book is actually an attempt at me being light-hearted. It’s just something more fun to write before I go back to the Ruins of the Fall world. That series is REALLY heavy to write about. Anyway, I still put my best foot forward in this book, just not my sexy animal foot. Enjoy!!!
Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.
Slated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.
But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.
Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.
Flash Point is the first book in the Nite Fire Series.
Shifting out of my human form, crimson scales erupted to spread beneath the malleable confines of my uniform, covering breasts, stomach, thighs, and back. Muscles increased in size as my slender nose widened. Rounded jaw hardened. Cheekbones and forehead became more distinct as my full lips darkened. I dropped to all fours, back arched slightly, and the forest floor sunk beneath my weight. Claw tips extended, digging in, releasing the aroma of damp soil and moldy undergrowth. With a rustle of leaves, I pushed off.
Night birds scattered in haste at my swift trespass. Woodland creatures stirred and scurried. My unmistakable smell, an arousing amalgam of human female and dragon, had them skittish as I dove headlong into the clog of downed boughs and scrub. My agile hybrid form slipped through the labyrinth of timber with minimal effort. Arcs of fire crackled off the ends of my hair as it fluttered out behind me.
I was too conspicuous. I needed to blend.
Without breaking stride, I shifted the strands and their composition changed. From scalp to ends, human hair emerged, and doused the visible fiery heat wafting off the lengthy red waves. It wasn’t camouflage even close to what my pursuers were capable of creating. Their ability to shift into shadow, nearly erasing the edges of their bodies—little more than whip-like tails, long flat jaws, and serrated teeth to begin with—was one of the creatures’ greatest weapons.
It wasn’t easy to kill my kind. Death by nageun was a long, tortuous mutilation there was no coming back from. Picturing it, I tore deeper into the forest.
I tried to run and not think. But my mind was spinning, desperately seeking to understand, to conceive how a normal assignment on a normal day had landed me on the wrong end of an execution. With a single hesitation, my hopes, my future—my life—was over. The Guild was all I’d ever known. They’d plucked me from my den-mates, sheltered, fed, and trained me; promoted me to the coveted role of Executioner. They’d shown me the rewards of a life in service to our dragon elders. Dahlia Nite was a name respected in the ranks. I was known to all the tribes, decorated for fealty and bravery. Now, all had turned against me.
Youtube Book Trailer:
About the Author:
C. L. Schneider is a New York-based author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. Schneider’s epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, tells the story of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. Flash Point is the first book in her new urban fantasy series, Nite Fire, featuring shapeshifters, dragons, and parallel worlds.
Learn more about C.L. Schneider and her work at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+, where she is often found chatting about books, zombies, coffee, and the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.
Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?
I’ve been writing since childhood. At sixteen, I wrote my first full-length novel, and began dreaming of one day becoming a published author. Like with most dreams, though, life happened. I was always writing. I never stopped creating, but between career, marriage, and kids, the idea of writing full time became a very distant ‘someday’. It was easy to let it happen. I was very shy about my writing and scared to let it out into the world. But as the kids grew, I began to realize that the idea of never publishing frightened me significantly more than the idea of taking the leap and sharing my work. Once the boys were old enough to be in school full time, I knew it was now or never. I picked up every book I could find on writing and went to work on improving my craft. As I was reading and researching, I was writing the draft for Magic-Price, the 1st book in my trilogy. It went through several revisions before I had the courage to show it to a beta reader. She was blown away, and her encouraging comments were like lighting a fire under me. There was no turning back then!
How many books do you currently have published?
I currently have four books published. Three are in my adult epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones. The fourth is Flash Point, the 1st book in my new urban fantasy series. Flash Point was just released the end of March.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?
I don’t know that I have a favorite. Magic-Price is my baby. It’s my debut novel and the one that started it all. The second book, Magic-Scars is where I feel I grew the most as a writer. Writing book 3, Magic-Borne, was an incredible experience. It was such an accomplishment being able to complete the trilogy. And now, Flash Point, has taken me in a whole new direction. It’s exciting to be carving out a new path.
Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?
I am currently working on the 2nd book in the Nite Fire Series. The working title is: Chain Reaction. It’s possible it might change, but we’ll see. I am hoping to release it sometime in the fall of 2017.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the freedom of writing. Being able to create something out of nothing with no boundaries but what the story dictates—I can’t think of anything better.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
I don’t really get writer’s block. I suffer more from the opposite. I have too many ideas, which can sometimes be just as stifling. When that happens I pull out a notebook and do a little solitary brainstorming. I sketch out some scenes and let the characters go down the different paths for a while. Once I see where each one takes them (and the story), I can better decide which scenario is right for the book.
If that doesn’t work, I take a walk or go for a drive. I take a shower. As long as I’m somewhere where I can’t immediately get to a pen and paper, the ideas will flow like water!
Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?
Oh, definitely. That’s the fun part! I love when the characters take on a life of their own and lead you somewhere you never expected. I think some of the best scenes come out of moments like that.
Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?
Writing Ian Troy (the main character in The Crown of Stones) was an amazing experience. He is such a tortured soul. Despite having deep connections to all my characters, Ian would have to be my favorite. He was my introduction to the world of publishing and the most complex character I have ever written. But, Dahlia, the character from my new series is quickly climbing the charts. She is so much fun to write.
As far as least favorite, I’m not sure I have one. Each character brings something new to the table and challenges me in a whole new way. I’ve learned from every one of them.
So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?
There have been scenes in each of my books that I adored writing. But the one at the top of the list is from Magic-Scars, the 2nd installment in The Crown of Stones. During the course of a single chapter, Ian goes from being utterly helpless, and at the mercy of his enemy, to being an incredibly powerful force to be reckoned with. In that scene, he proclaims, “I am magic.” It’s such a compelling moment. The whole experience changes him, and not necessarily for the better.
What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?
I’ve definitely learned with each book, and I don’t expect that to stop. Each day I feel like I’m learning something new about writing or marketing, etc. I’ve had to learn a lot the hard way, as I didn’t have anyone I could turn to in the beginning. Before publishing, I thought other writers would be my competition. I never thought I could go to them for advice. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have found this wonderful online community of indie writers. We help each other. We want each other to succeed. I’m proud to be a part of it.
For new writers, it’s never too early to start forming connections. Building your brand early is very important, but I’m talking about forming a network that you can rely on. Social media is a goldmine of writers who are happy to pass on tips, wisdom, jokes to keep you going, or an ear when you need to vent. It can do wonders to know what you’re feeling isn’t unique.
Read! Read as much as you can and in as wide a variety of genres as you can. You can learn so much about what works and what doesn’t by broadening your reading horizons.
Do something to further your work in progress every day. It doesn’t always have to be something that adds words. Research counts, too. But the more you do, the quicker your story will take shape. The more you write, the faster your own style will emerge.
If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?
Well, I think it would depend on what they’re looking for. My Crown of Stones trilogy (an adult epic fantasy) is a dark, complex, emotional journey full of plot twists and deceptions. It’s a very immersive experience with sweeping battles, magic, ancient cultures, and multiple races and realms. The storyline sparks a wide range of emotions—then pulls them through the wringer.
If they wanted something a bit more on the lighter side, I would hand them Flash Point (Nite Fire Book #1). The Nite Fire series is still very much dark, in its own way. Yet, the modern setting and murder mystery plot give the story and the characters a completely different feel. Nite Fire was inspired by my love of such shows as Lost Girl, Jessica Jones, Supernatural, and The X-Files, as well as my interest in urban legends.
Both books are written first person. The Crown of Stones is told from the point of view of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. If they prefer a female protagonist, the point of view in the Nite Fire Series Dahlia Nite: a half-dragon, half-human shapeshifter from a parallel world.
Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?
I hate spoilers, so I don’t want to give away too much. But I can tell you that in book #2 of the Nite Fire Series, Dahlia’s investigation into a series of unexplained deaths in the human realm will force her to go up against a deadly creature that she has never faced off with before—and never thought she would.
Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?
Since publishing my first book, I have read indie authors almost exclusively. It wasn’t a conscious choice. I just discovered this whole new world of books and authors, and my reading list kept growing and growing. I love to read a variety of genres, but my favorites would be: all types of fantasy, as well as sci-fi, thrillers, apocalyptic stories, and horror.
What about television shows? Movies?
I admit it. I love TV and the movies. Netflix and my DVR are my best friends! I’m a fangirl and a geek at heart, and adore most shows with a fantasy, supernatural, horror, or sci-fi slant. My guilty pleasure: a well-choreographed fight scene. The great ones will have me rewinding a few times. Into the Badlands is a show that has some amazing epic fights. My list of favorite TV shows is ridiculously long, so I’ll keep it to a few: The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Firefly, Arrow, Jessica Jones, Grimm, Vampire Diaries, Agents of Shield, Legends of Tomorrow, American Horror Story, The X-Files… I think you get the point.
There are a small handful of crime dramas or police procedural shows that I watch. They’re not my favorite, but I’m a very character-driven person. If I connect with a character deeply enough, then the genre doesn’t matter.
Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?
The first epic fantasy I ever had the pleasure of reading was The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I fell in love. I’d been writing for years, but that book put me on the path to writing fantasy.
Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?
Yes! I love in-person events. I try to do a handful of local comic cons and signings each year. The cons are always a blast. I really enjoy chatting with the attendees and meeting potential new readers. With all the energy and the positive vibe, it’s practically impossible to have a bad time at a comic con!
You can keep an eye out for my appearances by checking on the event page on my website, or you can subscribe to my periodic newsletter to stay up to date on where I’ll be.
If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?
Being a full-time writer is a life-long dream come true.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Yes! Please come find me on social media. I’d love to chat with you!
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Historical Romance Novella
Release Date: 3/15/17
Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, Lily Scott married her best friend’s brother, Henry Dalton.
It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.
Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?
Free with Kindle Unlimited!
“Did you write the letter?”
Lily jumped and spread her gloved hand over her chest. Her heart thumped against her palm as she rotated around to face her friend. “Yes,” she answered, leaving out the fact that it no longer remained in her possession. “It’s…written.”
Jane clapped her hands like a child. “I’m sure it’s perfect, but I’ll read it later when Aunt Sophia has fallen asleep,” she whispered.
Lily glanced over at the gray-haired woman, her head bobbing one way and then the next, against a red and gold striped mahogany-framed couch. Aunt Sophia remained the preferred relative above everyone else because she always fell asleep during her sole occupation as a chaperone.
“For now, I’m trying to discover what possessed my brother to ask me to invite Miss Appleton,” Jane said, all the while smiling in their direction. “They are not together, but I do believe he chooses to associate with the most disagreeable women on purpose, just to vex me.”
Lily tried to avoid glancing in Henry’s direction by instead sending her friend a sympathetic smile. She’d always remembered Jane as being outspoken and determined. With a much larger dowry than Lily, she attracted her fair share of suitors, all of whom she tried to deflect with her infamous “parlor games.” That is until Jane had suddenly and surprisingly realized her unrecoverable love for Mr. Waverley.
“I cannot begin to speculate about Henry’s many cordial affairs,” Jane continued, fanning her face in disgust. “Do you know that Miss Appleton is rumored to have been engaged five months ago, but the wedding was called off because of something the groom discovered but did not disclose?”
Lily pressed her lips together. While her heart had remained steadfast and loyal to Jane’s brother, he’d veered off onto a path of open debauchery. Sometime between their quiet walks in the garden, a lovely pretend wedding day, and this moment, he’d become a man she hardly recognized. What had happened to the young boy who had reached for her hand when he thought her unhappy or hurt? Perhaps she might address him as Mr. Daltrey, next time.
“Oh, good. Look, Henry’s unlatched himself from Miss Appleton and is now speaking to Mr. Waverley. I shall introduce you to him.”
Lily shook her head. “But I had hoped to have some punch.” She needed something to steady her nerves, a place to think on how to retrieve the letter. Since seeing Henry again, her heart hadn’t slowed its pace, and her hands had yet to stop shaking. Of course, when she turned away, Jane grasped one of her trembling hands, hauling her toward where Mr. Waverley and Henry stood talking, a glass of brandy in their right hands.
Lily believed she could not imagine Mr. Waverley any more handsome. He was tall with soft blond hair and gentle blue eyes. He was not, however, her husband. Stirred by Henry’s presence, Lily shifted her gaze to him. Her progress forward faltered when his hand reached into the pocket he’d secured Mr. Waverly’s letter. In slow motion, her legs tangled, her ankles twisted, and she landed on the hard floor with a graceless thud.
About the Author:
I’m a LEO wife, mother, and third-generation veteran.
I have been writing for thirteen years. My debut novel, LORD BACHELOR, earned second place in The Heart of Excellence, Reader’s Choice Award in 2016. This novel was also featured in InD’tale Magazine for receiving a Crowned Heart Review (4.5 stars). Although I enjoy the contemporary romance genre, my first love is historical romance. There’s just something about a man in a pair of Hessian boots.
When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my husband and two boys, ages 13 and 11. Without their sacrifice and understanding, I would have never been able to pursue my passion of writing or my accomplishment of becoming a published author.
No matter what I write and read, there ALWAYS has to be a happy ending.
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