Monday, December 27, 2010

Interview with Liliana Badd


We have with us today an author, Liliana Badd, who escaped a major earthquake, survived living a life under communism and exile to France before rebuilding her life after the cold war. She's here to tell us about her new release, Exit. Coffee Time Romance gave Exit five cups: "It is an often disturbing but triumphant declaration of the invincibility of the human spirit."


**This is a must read and Liliana is giving an autograph copy of Exit to one lucky person who leaves a comment or asks her a question. Please make sure you leave your email so she may contact you if you should win.


Liliana tell us a little about yourself:

My life... what a long, terribly exhausting journey. I have traveled for years, thousands of miles throughout the world, and this led me where? — To find myself. I call myself a SWS (a Solitary Woman Survivor).

In 1985, I had the extreme honor to meet Emil Cioran, in Paris. A fifteen-minute encounter turned into a five-hour debate. In the end, he said to me, "You are a rambling soul, a restless mind."

When I take a look at my life, I could honestly say it has been a succession of “earthquakes.” In 1977, I escaped by miracle from a major earthquake that shook Bucharest to its foundations, leaving behind thousands of innocent victims, the kiss of death. The building I was living in split in two — seven floors collapsed engu

lfing with them their inhabitants. I was sitting in a chair watching the walls crack and was calmly thinking that I was going to die alone, and the book of my life would end before even beginning.

At that moment, I was oblivious that the earthquake was an omen — my life did not end; what followed would be a succession of earthquakes that over time would completely collapse my life... and each time, I would obstinately rebuilt its foundations, from scratch.

I was born in Romania in 1953. I graduated from the University of Germanic Languages, in Bucharest, with a MA in 1976. After having lived for 26 years under the dementia of a communism regime, I fled to France where I lived for 20 years, surviving the Cold War. At times, I had the weird feeling that the historical events were cruelly intermingling with my personal life. In 2000, after a cruel confrontation with Death, I started a new life in Las Vegas, Nevada. I arrived in LV on a va

cation. And the desert “entrapped” me. Alone with myself, I was changing not a city or a country, but a continent. Determinism and free will…

I am living now, what can be called my 5th life. At 57, I have started a new life; I’m again a student, having enrolled in a medical school to become a certified medical assistant – a new career… Writer and a student in the medical field… I feel blessed.

Paradoxically, I have never been able to write anything in my native languages. It is in the stillness of the Las Vegas desert that my life experience and emotions, cumulated in my soul, have exploded, intertwining and weaving in thousands of words, having become my novels. I have become a writer in Las Vegas.

Exit is about the journey of a woman finding her true self through her incurable illness. Without giving too much away, tell us about the story.

EXIT is the story of a woman’s metamorphosis; finding her true self through her incurable illness; after having been a good daughter, mother and wife, Ondine breaks the chains of her absolute solitude and becomes the real woman; the woman she was meant to be. Ondine, has dreamt of becoming a writer and has never had a chance to fulfill her dream… “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” (H. D. Thoreau). It is the illness that will spectacularly open for her the door to her dream…being Ondine; the painful process of becoming a writer… becoming aware of the cruel reality of life. Awakening.

EXIT is also a powerful social novel – about passion, compassion, and mostly social generosity and sharing… so rare nowadays… in a society obsessed with the idea of an instant success… fearing to admit that failure is an intrinsic part of our tribulations in the space called Life. Women and men, alike, will relate to Ondine’s story, at one point or another.

Ondine has lived her life in a “sanitized” environment, as tiny as an eggshell, selfishly ignoring the matters of the world. Turned upside down, Ondine gestates in an overwhelming and morbid depression, calling it “the illness of death,” questioning her marriage, her family, her career and her treatment. She begins to contemplate an easier road… suicide.

After her awakening – aided by the compassionate Dr. Monique Veil – she becomes a friend with a prostitute with AIDS and a Russian painter with whom she begins a passionate affair. When an independent newspaper publishes the photos Ondine had taken of her prostitute friend on her deathbed, her life begins an unexpected spiral in a new direction.

Later in life, Ondine returns to Paris, meditating on her life after her illness and how she has affronted death, stirring controversy and passion, understanding that “to live is to change.” Does Ondine have enough time left in life on the edge of non-life?

What inspired you to write Exit?

The events of life were my genuine inspiration in EXIT. The awareness that we truly exist if we relate to life globally, forgetting our individual ego.

As for Ondine, as a character, I still wonder how her story came to my mind. I was aware that writing about someone being diagnosed with an incurable illness was a daring challenge. There are too many stories about this subject… and I accepted the challenge.

In 2006, while on a vacation in Europe, due to an unexpected health incident, I had to be hospitalized and had plasma transfusions. It was that year that Ondine’s story started germinating in my mind. The more I was thinking about this frustrated middle-aged woman, settled in her bourgeois Parisian life, feeling she failed her life, the more excited I was becoming. The story started shaping itself; Ondine started to exist. I was well advanced in my writing when I experienced a series of flu-like events, with profuse sweats, day and night, extreme fatigue and sometimes, intense malaise. All at once, I became aware that those symptoms were similar to Ondine’s symptoms. Almost hating her, I abandoned her altogether. I was not going to write a story, which strangely could be mine. I kept fighting my symptoms, fearing I might have been contaminated with HIV. I cowardly lived in anxiety and fear for long months. And one day, my symptoms went away.

It was only then that I had the courage to go and get tested. The test came back negative. I started feeling well again, exuberantly, filled with energy. My energy was coming back. And so was Ondine, more alive then ever.

How much research was involved in your story?

The entire novel required long months of intensive research work.

I spent long hours before I took a decision on her name. Ondine comes from the Latin “onda” – a wave. Her life flows as smoothly as a wave in a peaceful ocean, and then brutally it becomes a drop in a tormented ocean. Everything turns upside down in Ondine’s life when she is diagnosed with leukemia.


After her awakening, Ondine becomes a journalist/social photographer. The very essence of this profession implies traveling and meeting people; listen to their stories and translate them into writing. Ondine’s experience as a social journalist/photographer is based on true-to-life events having required long months of research. Readers may appreciate the footnotes, which will help them with the locations of the story.

Then, the different types of leukemia, their treatments and respective prognosis as well as the legislation on euthanasia and assisted suicide in various countries in Europe required a tedious research work.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

EXIT is a landmark in my life. It took me three years to achieve it. For three years, I lived as secluded as in a convent. Thinking and living with the characters, in a parallel world…My mind was asking them questions, they seemed to talk in their own voices, and my mind was listening to their stories, imagining we were on a huge theatrical set. They were the narrators, I was the director, and the audience was the world. When I finished EXIT, I was completely drained, both emotionally and physically.

As I was writing it, I was thinking – “when I am done with this part, the others will be easier...” Alas, it was just an encouragement I was offering myself. All the parts of the story were hard to deal with. However, two seem to have been harder than the others. The ending kept bothering me for long months. I had several endings in mind, but none was to my liking. Once I had the ending, it was like a revelation, a complete relief – and I could continue with Ondine’s story with my mind at peace. The novel ends with a shocking twist that will truly surprise my readers.

Then, paradoxically, the shortest chapter of the book, “June 2004” which is only two-pages long was very hard to imagine. This short chapter is the pivot of the novel. In this chapter, Ondine faces her doctor and is pretty sure she will be dismissed as a patient, and she has all the reasons to believe so; she has been a non-compliant patient. To her surprise, she is not dismissed and starting that moment, the book becomes as alert as a thriller...


What do you find most rewarding about writing?

After I finished EXIT, I started thinking that writing can be one of the most difficult profession in life and, at the same time, one of the most rewarding. As a writer, you can be anyone on condition to find those words that give authenticity to what you are writing. You have in front of you a mass suspended between life and death and entirely dependent upon you. It is like a confrontation between something that has already been there and something that is about to take place. And you start writing when you feel you are ready to size the mass that’s already there, move it about, smash it, remodel it until the words of the story will begin to emerge. Suddenly, your brain lights up and becomes visible. You can see your own thoughts written up in huge letters on a screen.

I identified myself with my characters to such an extent, that I seem to have managed to reach a degree of authenticity imbuing EXIT with the atmosphere of an autobiography. The other characters are as alive as Ondine is, and I have not developed a stronger relationship with any of them. They exist by themselves and I exist through them. Some friends of my parents after having read EXIT as a manuscript, and who knew me as a child wrote: “We thought it over and over again, and we do not remember you having had any brothers…When did you go to South America?” Another friend asked me: “Did you really go to a brothel and meet Solange?

EXIT offered me one of the most rewarding experiences a writer may hope to live. A couple of weeks ago, I met, here in Las Vegas, a doctor – who spends his life taking care of children without healthcare benefits within a program called “clinics in schools.” He has given up a successful private medical practice to serve the cause of poor children. Well, he incarnates my character, Doctor Christophe Duquesne, in the novel. And I told him: “What a blessing for an author to meet in real life one of her fictitious characters.”

The novel is dedicated to a renowned oncologist in Las Vegas. Her passion, her devotion to her patients, her vision “the patient always comes first; all else is secondary,” having been the human inspiration for Dr. Veil’s character in the novel.

The stories, published in Ondine’s work as a social photographer, are all true-to-life: the children born with AIDS in Romania, innocent victims of a demented dictatorship, the immigration slum in the outskirts of Paris, the story of the young woman abducted for organ trafficking. These true-to-life stories imbue EXIT with authenticity, making it, as a book-reviewer recently wrote, “an empowering novel.” This is my true reward as a writer.


Do you have a favorite reference book or online site?

I have two favorite reference books: “Belle du Seigneur” by Albert Cohen and “Cancer Ward” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I completely relate to Solzhenitsyn, to his life experience, illusions, disappointments, his life having been a perpetual exile… exile from the world, exile from himself.


What are your current projects and works in progress?

I am actually again “pregnant.” I have in mind two books – one will be the story of an impossible love, the other will be about the “Strategy of failure – I am ugly, fat, and no one loves me; what am I supposed to do with myself?”


Tell the readers where they can find you:

My web site is the place from where they can contact me directly via email.

http://exitlilianabadd.com


Readers can also find me on Face Book, Twitter, GoodReads, LibraryThing, on Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble. EXIT is available all over the world....


Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

After I finished EXIT, I understood that as a writer, I am not allowed to hold back anything from my readers; should this be painful or embarrassing. I have to deliver to my readers the whole truth about my soul and mind. I am not ashamed to state that my life has been like a roller coaster: a succession of failures followed by success… and then back to failure…and back to success. It is only my perseverance and strong belief that once a door is closed another one is opened that kept me going.


And I am faithfully going to apply this statement by sharing something very personal with my readers. This evening, December 19, 2010, as I am writing this interview, my husband is lying in a hospital bed, his life hanging onto a thread; his life is in God’s hands. His condition is extremely serious. He is going to be operated tomorrow – open heart surgery... a major intervention. And on Tuesday, the day after tomorrow, I have a decisive lunch meeting about EXIT which could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A kind of a meeting one cannot not reschedule or postpone. To take it or leave it. My mind is in turmoil, my own thoughts and doubts are pressuring me... what if the day after tomorrow my husband will no longer be with me? What if he would have passed the Exit by then? Would I go to that meeting? And intimately, without wanting to acknowledge it, I know it – I will go. No matter what. And this is what I’d like to tell my readers: Life goes on, no matter what. We have to find the strength and overcome the most dramatic and painful situations – and pursue with passion and hope what we are doing. No matter what. As Passion is the secret of The Secret.


EXIT – to buy links:

Web site:

http://exitlilianabadd.com

Amazon

Barnes and Noble


Borders


Infibeam

Paddyfield

Thank you so much for being here today and sharing your work. It's been a real pleasure.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Author, Cindy K. Green Plays Santa!


Cindy K. Green is here today to tell us about her new Christmas release, All I Want for Christmas.


Let's give her a warm welcome!


***Contest: Cindy is playing Santa today and has a present for everyone! (Read on to find out the details.)


She's also giving away one copy of her winter-themed story, Snow Kissed to one lucky person who asks her a question or leaves a comment. Please make sure to leave your e-mail so she may contact you if you should win.


Hello, Cindy. I'm so glad you could join us. Please start with telling us about yourself:


To put it short and sweet, I'm an author, teacher, maid, mother, wife and accountant. I have degrees in history and education and taught middle school up until about six years ago. Now I stay home and homeschool my two boys. I was born in California and now live in North Carolina out in the country about a ½ hour from Raleigh. I've been married for 15 years. I'm published in several genres: Inspirational, historical, contemporary, young adult and suspense. Those are also the genres I like to read. I spend my (non-existent free time) reading, watching period dramas and doing my best to keep this house one step away from becoming a disaster area. To read my more in-depth bio, stop by my Website. You can also visit me on my Blog. In addition, I have a Homeschooling Blog and a Teen Fiction Blog. I can be reached by email at cindy@cindykgreen.com. I’m on Myspace Facebook Twitter and Twitter for my YA friends. And I have a Newsletter. It just went out with a FREE Christmas e-book.

All I Want For Christmas is your new release. Without giving too much away, tell us about your tale.


All I Want for Christmas is a best friend’s romance, an office romance. My heroine, Kathryn, hates Christmas and there is a history of why behind it. She’s a magazine writer who would love to get into some serious journalism instead of writing puff pieces all the time. Her co-worker and friend, Nick, loves Christmas and decides to improve Kathryn’s Christmas spirit by sending her gifts from a Secret Santa during the 12 days before Christmas. It’s a romance, a holiday story, it’s fun and humorous and touching too. For Kathryn, she has a lot of growing to do by the end of the story.

Here is the blurb:

Best Friends or True Love? Only Santa Knows.

Kathryn Graham hates Christmas. She hates the snow, the decorations, the whole nine yards. Nick Pringle on the other hand can’t get enough of the season. He may be her best friend and fellow writer at Redburn Weekly Magazine, but sometimes his exuberance gets on her very last nerve. Now they’ve been assigned to cover the orphan toy drive story. It’s just a puff piece not the serious journalism Kathryn hopes for, but maybe—as Nick says—there are no old stories just new angles.

Nick Pringle has been in love with Kathryn practically since the day they met. When he realizes that she’s lost her Christmas spirit, he figures he’s just the guy to help her find it again. He enacts a plan to send her anonymous gifts from Secret Santa, but will any of this really make a difference in her? Will she ever see him as anything more than her smart-aleck partner even after their passionate kisses? Then again maybe he’ll get what he wants for Christmas after all.

Available at Champagne Books (JUST REDUCED TO $2.99), All Romance e-books and Amazon.

What does Kathryn Graham look like? Tell us about her. Why does Nick Pringle’s love for the holiday irk her? Is she attracted to Nick? Why?


Kathryn has dark hair and deep blue eyes. She always has a determined look about her. The reason why Nick’s holiday spirit irks her is an important revelation in the book. Let’s just say that the holidays don’t hold good memories for her. Kathryn doesn’t know she’s attracted or in love with Nick. It takes a whole lot until it becomes clear. Here is a little piece from Kathryn’s pov:

Kathryn studied Nick’s face again, his raised cheeks and straight nose, rounded just perfectly at the end. He tilted his head at her and formed his lips into a closed smile. Never had she encountered such understanding and empathy in anyone until she met Nick Pringle. He oozed kindness and warmth and yet he had a teasing kind of personality when he wanted to use it. It’s why they got along together. He was easy-going and she was wound tighter than a toy top. But he could dish out the sarcasm when necessary. It kept the friendship interesting and fresh. More than that, he made her feel safe—as if she could tell him anything.

What does Nick Pringle look like? What made him fall for Kathryn? What do you like about Nick? Would you fall for him? What you dislike about him?


Nick has hazel eyes and light brown hair. He’s always neat and well-dressed with a smile on his face and a teasing comment on his lips. I love Nick. He’s the kind of guy who’s your best friend, fun to be with, passionate, and a man you can actually live with from day to day. What don’t I like about Nick? Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe he could have been more forthcoming with his feelings to Kathryn. Of course, if that had happened the book would have been much shorter.


What is your favorite Christmas tradition?


I love decorating the house with the kids. We bake cookies and gingerbread men and watch Christmas movies too. We have a fun time together.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?


Writing has been the most rewarding when I hear back from readers. It makes me realize what an important work we are involved in.


What is your favorite reference book?


My huge book of synonyms. When I get stuck on a word it always helps me out.


What are your current projects and works in progress?


I’m always working on something. I probably have ten open book projects at the moment. Currently, I am polishing up a romantic mystery called Nora Sleuths the Detective. I am in the middle of finishing the 2nd book in my YA Faery Guardian series called Sold My Soul to a Frog and I am also writing an Inspirational Contemporary romance which takes place in the Outer Banks out here in North Carolina. It’s a reunion romance story.


In January I have a historical western, Listen to Your Heart, releasing with Champagne Books.


Tell the readers where they can find you:

My Website ~ http://www.cindykgreen.com
My Blog ~ http://cindykgreen.blogspot.com
I can be reached via email at: cindy@cindykgreen.com
Myspace ~ http://www.myspace.com/cindykgreen
Facebook ~ http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-K-Green/100000476558635
Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/#!/cindykgreen
Newsletter ~ newsletters@cindykgreen.com


Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?


****I’m giving away a FREE Christmas e-book called A Christmas Prelude. Email me at cindy@cindykgreen.com for your copy.



Blurb of Snow Kissed:


Today is one of those days Logan Riley wished he'd stayed in bed. Not only does he have to deal with the annoying Winter Wonderland Carnival but his close friend, that whimsical lover of snow, Holly Armstrong, is leaving town forever. The question is, why didn't she tell him and why today, of all days, does he realize she might be more than a friend?

Holly can no longer stay in town knowing the man she loves only sees her as a friend. It's time to move on. Besides, she has other career prospects.

As the carnival unfolds, watch God work in amazing ways. Can He change Holly's mind and make her stay? Can He help Logan see beyond the friendship? Only time can tell.

Available at White Rose Publishing, Amazon and All Romance e-books.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cocktails Fiction and Gossip Magazine Col. 2


Volume Two is Here! Enjoy! You may click on the book cover to view the magazine.

What will the Magazine contain? Fiction in all its genres, gossip, free stories, interviews, and all you can think of.

This magazine is meant to be fun for readers to enjoy. Know new authors and interact with them here on my blog. It’’s FREE, every month Suzannah Safi will publish a new issue for you to read and have fun with new articles. You can download the free PDF or read it online. Here you can leave a comment and share your opinion.

Here is the direct link to the magazine site: http://www.wix.com/cocktailsmagazine/fictionandgossip

Monday, December 13, 2010

Interview with Fantasy Writer, Christine E. Schulze


Christine E. Schulze is here today to tell us about her epic fantasy, Bloodmaiden. Let's give her a warm welcome!


**Contest: Christine is offering a copy of Bloodmaiden, a promotional postcard and a magnet. All you have to do is leave a comment or ask a questions and you're entered to win! Note: prizes will be mailed out late Dec. or early Jan. 2011.


Why don't we start with you telling us a little about yourself:

I am a lover and writer of fantasy and Christian fantasy who has been crafting stories since I was at least four; my first books contained just pictures but told imaginative and complete tales none-the-less! I love experimenting, both with types of stories and writing styles, and I really love connecting my books into a coherent whole. Almost all my books, series and stand-alone books included, comprise a thirty-plus book collection called The Amielian Legacy. While each book can be read individually, there are rewards for those who read them all and see how all ultimately connect.


For now though, I hope you just consider joining me for Crisilin’s epic, magical, musical quest in Bloodmaiden.


In your new release Bloodmaiden there are Four dynasties: Zale, Gauthier and Varden, Tynan. Tell us about these dynasties.


There are four dynasties that comprise the world of Sulaimon—the fourth being Tynan, where the main character, Crisilin, lives. In each dynasty, a race of people and a race of dragons dwells. Each dynasty is unique physical setting, as well as the dragons and peoples having distinct personality types.


The dragons of Zale are more laid-back, enjoying meditation and considering peace and wisdom highly important to obtain; both dragons and people are highly friendly.


The dragons of Gauthier are strong, sturdy, and consider physical strength an important trait; the people and dragons there are not so trustworthy of outsiders.


In Varden, both dragons and people are laid-back and friendly, much like in Zale, but their focus is more heavily on art and intellectualism; they especially love a good riddle.


Tynan has become a place of fear; each year, the peoples of each dynasty are to pay a tribute to the dragons in exchange for their protection. However, the dragons of Tynan have made their tribute turn into a ritual which has gone too far, to the point of the horrific—


But I’ll leave readers to discover the secrets of Tynan for themselves.


Without giving too much away, tell the readers about Chalom and Crisilin. What is their quest and how did it fall on their shoulders?


Chalom and Crisilin are very young and forced to take place in a terrible ritual, one meant to help and protect the people of Tynan but which has since been corrupted by the Tynanian dragons.


I don’t give an age for Crisilin so that readers of any age can imagine themselves as her, though originally, I thought of her as being around thirteen; still young, pure, and naive enough about the world to make her the character I wanted to create. While some readers have been put-off by Crisilin’s character, perhaps because she is not the feisty, sassy, gung-ho heroine which many books contain and which can become cliché at times, others found her sweet, innocent, naive character to be quite refreshing. I think that’s part of the reason many readers seem to either strongly connect with Crisilin or not connect at all; she is a very specific character, and not necessarily the norm for a fantasy book. She is brave, to be sure, but also scared and not afraid to admit it. She is very true to herself and her feelings.


Readers almost embody Crisilin, in a sense. Thus, they are not told all the details of what is going on right away but must feel their way through the world, joining Crisilin on this new, jarring venture as though standing right beside her, feeling and thinking all she does.


Chalom, on the other hand, is a quiet character in the book. Some have found this to make him rather “flat”; in essence, Chalom was never meant to be the most developed character. He is there as Crisilin’s other half, but his main role is to help and support her, though we do get a glimpse inside his head and of his own fears by the end of things. Brydon’s and Pan’s characters, however, are definitely well-developed, and they share an intriguing and intricate tale which proves for a deep sub-plot.


As for Chalom’s and Crisilin’s quest, it involves them escaping Tynan to travel to the other dynasties, in hopes to collect the Aria, magical strains of music which can help heal Tynan of its evil—but what that evil is, and how they must overcome it, I will leave to the readers.


What inspired your vibrant fantasy thriller? Is this a series? If so tell the readers what to expect.


Bloodmaiden was inspired by several things; first off, I had intended to write a novel based upon the first few suspenseful chapters of Bloodmaiden. I was also interested in writing a novel based around the concept of four magical Aria. Then, as I often love to do, I combined these two concepts into one coherent whole which eventually became the book.


The dragon aspect came in because dragons were a fantasy creature I’d never heavily written about; I’m honestly not usually into dragon stories myself. However, for this piece, I did some research on different kinds of dragons, crafted my own unique dynasties from there, and came up with a beautiful story I am quite pleased with.


As for those first few chapters mentioned above, their lovely metaphorical language and the suspense and imagery richly interspersed throughout, they were actually inspired by a fiction writing class which challenged me to focus not just on story but on language as well, more heavily than I usually do, as well as a photo shoot my boyfriend and I did for fun. Bloodmaiden’s cover is one of the amazing results from that shoot.


What are your current projects and works in progress?

I have just finished re-editing The Last Star, a middle grade fantasy/adventure novel which I have chosen as “the book” to start submitting to agents, which I plan to do in a short while. Though I’ve loved self-publishing and working with smaller presses, it’s time to take the loads I’ve learned and bump things up a notch. Here’s a blurb of The Last Star, for all interested:

There were no Stars in Novalight that fateful night; they had all been extinguished save for one: and if Olette, The Last Star, were to lose her Starfire too, then all the land would be consumed by Shadow—and the very world would come to an uncertain end.

Thankfully, the work of the Shadows goes yet unfinished. Hope remains solely in Olette, the tiny winged fox who flies into ten-year-old Christya’s bedroom that dark night. As a Backwards Star, Olette’s life source—her Starfire—cannot easily be snuffed out like all the others in Novalight. Being the smallest and youngest of the Stars, can Olette take up the position of Blue Star and unravel the mysteries of Star Appointment? Can she help Christya and her other new friends discover the truth behind their parents’ disappearances? Together, can they overcome the Shadows with their newfound powers before every last Star vanishes from the sky?

Combining the magnificence of the heavens with the allure of magic to create a charming adventure, The Last Star is more than an enchanting tale of light against darkness: it is a story of friendship and forgiveness, one that shows how even the smallest person can become a light of hope after all the others have gone out.

What is your favorite reference book? Goodness, am I supposed to use those as a fantasy writer?

Honestly, I don’t like research at all unless it’s a subject I’m really interested in; that’s one reason I love fantasy, because it allows me the freedom to just delve in and create everything myself.

As a Christian fantasy author, I suppose I might say the Bible. Some of my books include Christian symbolism, or elements of Creation and such. I have a book called The Secret World of Unicorns by Pat Perrin and Don Roff that I've been using to create the world of Fairie for a book I'm co-authoring with a friend of mine, Amy Baker. I also have a book called Spirits, Faireis, Leprechauns and Goblins: An Encyclopedia, which I’ve used to find fantasy peoples and creatures I’ve not yet written about; I then take them, craft a story around them, and add a little twist to them. Beyond that, I use several books on gemstones, which factor largely into series like my Legends of Surprisers series, and would really like a book on castles.

For Bloodmaiden, in order to get inspiration for the four dragon dynasties, I studied different types of dragons on a website called http://www.mythcreatures.co.uk/

From there sprung the different dragon races presented in the book.

Do you prefer print books or e-books? I prefer print books, having grown up with them and being nicely used to feeling a good book in my hands. Reading on the computer too long hurts my eyes; however, when I do get an ebook reader, I think I would enjoy curling up with a good e-book. I like making my books available as both e-books and print to make them available to a wider audience.


Tell the readers where they can find you:

Several places, actually:

1. My Website ~ blog, pics, a discounted copy of Bloodmaiden available for order, and more!

http://ChristineESchulze.webs.com

2. Goodreads page ~ The best place to chat with me, read reviews, and keep a look-out for give-aways!

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3242087.Christine_E_Schulze

3. Blog ~ A blog which started with my original illustrations of characters and such and has since become the source for all kinds of updates on my books; see how my publishing venture evolved from start to the present!

http://www.goldenhealerartwork.blogspot.com

4. Mrs. Fleming’s Choir ~ Gail Fleming, my choir teacher at Southwestern Illinois College, provided the inspiration for one of my best series published to date: The Gailean Quartet, combining music and magic to weave a most unique story. You can see my choir, as well as book trailers, me trying to sing, and other such at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/LittleMissFlem

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

To both writers and other dreamers: Never give up on your dreams! Or, in the word of Mrs. Fleming, “Keep focused!” God has given us all a talent, sp work hard to use it to help and inspire others and fulfill your own dreams along the way. My dream has become the dream of my readers and an encouragement to them; seek to share the same encouragement through your dreams as well.

Thank you so much for joining us today. It has been a pleasure.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Join the Wish List At Ramsey's Book Reviews!

Join the Wish List

Come join the fun at Ramsey’s Book Reviews in celebration of her Wish List Month! What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

http://trinagon.blogspot.com/2010/12/karen-micelle-nutt.html

Contests and Updates

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Raine Delight Shares Her Holiday Tale...


Raine Delight is here today to share her latest Devon Falls tale. A real Holiday treat. Let's give her a warm welcome!


Tell the readers a little about yourself:

Raine says: Hi and thank you for letting me be here today. A little about me:

Raine Delight is a pseudonym of a self professed book lover and after one too many TSTL characters, decided to see if she could write something a little better. Well many drafts later, Devon Falls series came to together. It was originally was to be one book but somehow ended up to 4 with a 5th and 6th one being planned for sometime in 2010. I write a paranormal contemporary series for Aspen Mountain and I am also branching out to other genres as I continue to listen to the voices in my head. Check out my book pages to see what is going on with me. My muse is a male nut who likes to leave me to go sip mai tais on the beach and leave me foundering for words; though eventually he takes pity on me and gets my words flowing and characters start settling down.

Personal notes: I live with my own boytoy and two kids. I love Johnny Depp movies and enjoy hiking, reading and watching movies with my family.

You have a new Devon Falls tale for the holidays called Sticky Magic. Tell us a little about your sizzling hot Christmas story for our 18 and older crowd?

Raine says: Sticky Magic is the first book in my Devon Falls series and introduces the readers to a town full of humans and paranormals. Romance doesn’t stop at Devon Falls, but embraces the town in the unlikeliest of pairings. There are dream walkers, shifters, wizards and more who pop in the town and find their mates. I am currently writing about a fallen angel and his mate, a half-fae/half-human who find that love transcends even the hardest of hearts. I wrote this first story in one week and had it sold within a few weeks later to a now defunct publisher.

Here is the blurb for Sticky Magic:

A chance meeting at a sweet shop...Can it be love?

Jenna Stevens never expected to see the one man to make her heart spin and her body clench in repressed desire walk into her Candy Shoppe. With just one look, Marc du Bree captures her elusive heart and takes her on a journey that will either make her his for all time or have her run as fast as she can away from him! Will Jenna be able to accept Marc’s secret or will Marc lose the one woman he has been searching for? See what Christmas surprises will be in store for the residents of Devon Falls!

Buy at: Aspen Mountain Press- http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/paranormal/romance/sticky-magic/prod_297.html

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Devon-Falls-Sticky-Magic-ebook/dp/B0030FQOUC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1291646990&sr=1-2

All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-stickymagic-391150-142.html

What was Marc’s first impression when he met Jenna for the first time? What does Marc look like?

Raine says: Marc was a character that basically told me who and what he was within minutes. I was amazed at how clear of a picture I got of this man in my head. Marc looks a little bit like Johnny Depp in my head. Hey, I can’t help it if that is who I pattern my muse after. *grins* Here is his first impression from Sticky Magic when he meets Jenna at Candy Kisses Sweet Shoppe.


Scene Set Up:

Marc walks into Candy Kisses Sweet Shoppe for a present for his mom and finds something much more….his mate.

Marc looked down at the small sprite of a woman and felt his body tighten as he recognized the one who he had been looking for. Disbelief warred inside him as Jenna chattered on about different displays, gesturing to another case filled with candy canes stripped in an array of reds, greens, purples and the traditional flavor of peppermint. He never expected to find his mate in the small town his mother told him to go to. If it wasn’t his family pressuring him to finally find her and his mother’s prophecy, he would never have stepped foot in Devon Falls. Looks as if mum was right again in her prophecy Marc thought as he contemplated trying to make his for all time.


Tell us about Jenna and what she thought when she first met Marc. What does Jenna look like?

Raine says: Jenna is all me, have to admit. She is someone I just knew was a perfect match to Marc. Petite, shy and knows she isn’t a man magnet, Jenna is a woman who knows her limitations and doesn’t expect to have her soulmate sweep her off her feet. Well……until Marc walks into the door and then the miracle of Christmas comes to Jenna’s doorstep.

Here is a scene where Jenna first spies Marc as he walks into her candy shoppe.

Looking up, she could not believe what just walked in…tall, dark and sexy as sin! He was absolutely the most striking man she had ever laid eyes on and she felt her mouth go dry as he looked around the gaily decorated store. Tall, muscular build with jet-black hair that fell to his shoulders in soft waves that made her want to run her fingers through it, he exuded strength and a sheer animal magnetism that made her pussy sit up and take notice. Jenna could not believe how damp her panties got just watching him walk into the store.

Enlighten us about your fascinating series, Devon Falls and what to expect.

Raine says: Oh man, Devon Falls morphed into a series after book one. Readers wanted more and more of this little town and I found I had quite a fun time creating the characters who populate it. J So far there are four books currently available at Aspen Mountain Press. These are centered around a holiday and are the theme of the story. The series reads as follows:

Book 1: Sticky Magic (Christmas)
Book 2: Red Hot Magic (Valentine’s Day)

Book 3: Fiery Magic (4th of July/Independence Day)

Book 4: Haunting Magic (Halloween)

Currently I am finishing up the following for 2012:

Book 5: Moonlight & Magic (Halloween)

Book 6: Winter Fire Magic (Christmas) *note this was titled Yuletide Magic*

Then I have the final three books set on the final founding family who are elemental mages. More information can be found on my website in regards to Devon Falls and what is coming up. Http://authorrainedelight.com

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Raine says: Yep sure do. That instant connection……the way two hearts finally find one another…to me that is priceless and quite rare.

Do you have any special traditions for Christmas?

Raine says: Sure do….the kids and I spend one Saturday making cookies. We do sugar cut outs then a few new recipes like Red Velvet cookies, truffles and more. Then we watch our favorite Christmas Cartoons like Rudolph, Frosty, Grinch and more as the Christmas lights blink in background.

What are your current projects and works in progress?

Raine says: Currently I am on hold for writing due to my day job heating up with projects but come January 1st, I am finishing three books up. My current projects are as follows:

Moonlight & Magic (Devon Falls series) *Paranormal Shifter*

Winter Fire Magic (Devon Falls Series) *Paranormal/Angels/Fae*

Club Fantasy 1: Desires Unleashed (Book 1 in new paranormal bdsm trilogy) *Paranormal/Demons/Menage/BDSM*

Then I have several more in various stages that need to be finished.

Tell the readers where they can find you:

Raine says: You can find me all over the place on the ‘net.

Website: http://authorrainedelight.com

Raine’s Book Nook Blog: http://Rainedelightbooknook.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Raine_Delight

Author/Reader Loop: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Author_Raine_Delight

Email me: rainedelight@yahoo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorRaine-Delight

Where to buy my books:

Aspen Mountain Press: www.aspenmountainpress.com

Fictionwise: www.fictionwise.com

All Romance E-books (Are): www.allromanceebooks.com

Amazon Kindle: www.amazon.com

Haunting Magic Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djKViDA_AH8

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

Raine says: I love to hear from readers and please follow my blog or my facebook page. You never know when I may pop up with a contest or sneak peek.


Thank yo so much for sharing your tale with us today!