Add Some Mystery and Romance to Your Christmas with Forever Blue by Elodie Parkes

ForevercoverbloggerPlease help me in welcoming Elodie Parkes back to my blog!

Today, Elodie is sharing a little bit about her newest release Forever Blue. Without further ado, I’ll let Elodie take over and tell us all about her new book.

Forever Blue,’ my December 20 release with Hot Ink Press, was inspired by the woodland near where I live. There’s a mysterious feel about the woods in autumn. It often feels as if something is watching. From the window of the room where I write, I can see across to nearby woods. I hear owls hoot at night. At dusk and dawn, there are strange mists that rise from the trees. It’s very lovely.

Blurb for Forever Blue:

Claudie loves living in the countryside and close to the forests. She’s a film maker and works for the wildlife trust. One night she steps onto her patio and sees a man sheltering there. She confronts him and he runs away.

Jasper has watched Claudie for a year. He fell in love with her, but he has a secret, one that might mean he can never approach her.

Will love and fate find a way?

What secret must Jasper hide?

What’s the strange blue dust that turns up on Claudie’s patio?

18+ erotic paranormal romance

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Excerpt of Forever Blue:

When she arrived home, he was in his usual place on the patio. It was an exceptionally dark night. The moon was covered with dense cloud. Rain fell in huge drops. He heard the Land Rover long before she pulled into her path and parked. Jasper heard her humming. She went through her front door. If she had been to a hide somewhere other than in the local area she was home early, he decided. He listened to the sound of her making a hot drink in her kitchen. He smiled. He couldn’t stop smiling. The sound of her voice flowed over him. It trickled into his mind and heart, lifting his spirits, and giving him hope.

Jasper stood silently by the holly tree and close to the biggest potted trees. One of them was shaped into a ball. He liked that. When the conservatory door opened and Claudie stepped out, he froze in the darkness and the shadow of the holly.

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2013

Want to know what happens next? Click here to buy Forever Blue.

Curious to know more about the author?

About Elodie:

Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal or suspense. Her books are always steamy, cool stories and hot love scenes.

Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.

Elodie writes for, Hot Ink Press, Moon Rose Publishing, Eternal Press, and Evernight

She has also released titles as an individual indie author.

Find Elodie online: Blog  Tumblr  Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Pinterest   YouTube  Amazon USA  Amazon UK  Smashwords  Barnes and Noble  ARe  Bookstrand  Evernight

Welcome Back to the Blog, Author Elodie Parkes!

*Over the next several months, I’ll be introducing you to a variety of writers. I am once again opening my blog up to guest bloggers in the form of author Q&A’s, author spotlight features and guest posts. I hope you enjoy!

Today I welcome back to my blog author Elodie Parkes. She first appeared in a Q&A in August of 2012, read that post by clicking here. Today Elodie will share a little more about herself, her writing and where she drew inspiration for her new release, The Winter Girl, released by Hot Ink Press

Without further ado, I’ll hand the blog over to Elodie!

Hi Amanda thank you for inviting me to the blog today.

Just a little about me so that your readers know who I am.

I live in the United Kingdom and I work in an antiques shop as well as writing. I have two dogs that keep me fit with their need for walks. I love the countryside and the coast.

I write romance, contemporary, and erotic with a twist of mystery, suspense, or the paranormal, now and then. I like to make the story unusual in some way, by a quirk in the tale.

I’ve brought along my next release The Winter Girl today.

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My books are all set in Britain and more specifically England. There are so many historic and incredibly pretty old places that I find myself inspired by. Often a story will start up as I pass through or stop over at a place when I am working. Lately I’ve been sent to buy and bring back items for the antiques emporium where I work. The Winter Girl is inspired by a place I stopped for lunch.

The country town is in the middle of a huge stone circle and surrounding ring ditch. A road runs right through and is quite busy, but in good weather, the place buzzes with tourists from all over the world. There is a main street with little shops and cafés. It’s not quite as big as the place I create for the setting of the book, but it’s gorgeously quaint and steeped in history. I found the characters of my book unfolding in my mind as I walked around the place, and especially my leading male character Starr Forrester. I would have loved to meet a real Starr Forrester there, but didn’t. I’m in love with him at the moment he’s so sexy, creative, clever, and naughty…

There was a new age shop there on the main street and it had rows of trays with many different semi-precious stones in them. There were little cards with the meaning and properties of each stone printed on there, which added to my inspiration. The book has a touch of magic, but is contemporary erotic romance.

Here’s the blurb for The Winter Girl

Lily Prescott is only just over a relationship break up when she decides to take up residence in a house left to her by her recently deceased grandmother. Her corporate law job takes a back seat as she licks her wounds in the small country town. She looks around the main shopping street and discovers people who will befriend her, but she also runs into the town’s most eligible bachelor and secret bad boy, Starr Forrester.

Loved for his lifelong association with the town, Starr hides his methods for staying single well from his friends. He’s nearly thirty, gorgeous, a designer, owns a business and on the lookout for his ‘Winter Girl’….

Will it be Lily? What is a ‘Winter girl’?

Elodie has brought along an excerpt from The Winter Girl, enjoy!

As Lily passed ‘Stone Magick’ on the high street, Ash was out on a ladder checking his awning was going to pass muster for the sunnier days ahead. The sun would shine directly in and it was too harsh on the display and in the front part of the shop. He knew Lily’s car, and he saw it pass. He stared after it.

He had accepted that he was in love with Lily. He wanted to tell her, but he couldn’t. He felt feverish with the need for it to spill from his lips when he was with her, but it stayed locked in his heart. He was sure she loved him too. She hadn’t said it, but her looks and the way she had made love to him in the last few days told him so.

He climbed down the ladder and called for his friend who was in the shop putting new lights over the middle cash desk.

“Colin, get out here and give me a hand with this ladder, it’s a real nuisance to take down the alley to the back.”

Colin came to the door with a tool of some kind in his hand.

“Sure, hang on.” He put the tool down and they both lifted the ladder to walk it down the alley by the side of the shop and up to Ash’s garage where it was stored. It was cumbersome, because it was an extendable ladder with three layers and lots of ways to trap your hand as you carried it.

“Can’t you get a new one Ash, this is old and the new ones are so much lighter?” Colin winced as a foot of the ladder hit him in the knuckles when they rounded the corner of the garage.

Ash grinned and nodded. “Just for you Colin.”

****

 

Elodie is running a giveaway over on  her blog to celebrate the release of The Winter Girl.

Win a $10 or £10 Amazon Gift card, enter via a rafflecopter giveaway. The enter the giveaway, please click here.

If you’d like to connect with Elodie on social networks or her blog or learn where to purchase her books, you can do so with the links provided below:

Find Elodie online:

http://elodieparkes.blogspot.co.uk

http://melodyelodie.tumblr.com/

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/2586-elodie-parkes

http://www.eternalpress.biz/people.php?author=540

http://www.crushingheartsandblackbutterfly.com/chbb-authors.html

http://www.moonrosepublishing.com/#!elodie-parkes/cio5

http://www.facebook.com/ElodieParkes

https://twitter.com/ElodieParkes

https://plus.google.com/114681167004175190514/posts

http://pinterest.com/melodyelodie

https://plus.google.com/u/0/100127291306930462635/posts

Find Elodie’s books:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Winter-Girl-ebook/dp/B00DDZRKNY

Barnes & Noble

https://ebookstore.sony.com/author/elodie-parkes_450560

KOBO

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ElodieP

http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615729494

http://www.amazon.com/Millie-Reinvented-ebook/dp/B008H5IF7U

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Millie-Reinvented-ebook/dp/B008H5IF7U

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008RBJXOI

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-of-Them-ebook/dp/B008RBJXOI

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094JIIVQ

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Horoscope-Writer-ebook/dp/B0094JIIVQ

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thelasttime-1213476-356.html

http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Time-ebook/dp/B00CW6FLBS

 

Welcome Author Jorja Lovett to the Blog!

*Over the next several months, I’ll be introducing you to a variety of writers. I am once again opening my blog up to guest bloggers in the form of author Q&A’s, author spotlight features and guest posts. I hope you enjoy!

Today I am pleased to introduce you to romance author Jorja Lovett. Jorja writes for many publishing houses, including Total-E-Bound, who I am also signed with.  Learn more about Jorja and her latest release, The Wolf on the Hill in the blurb and excerpt below.

Thanks for having me here to share my new release with Total-E-Bound. The Wolf on the Hill is the first book in my series about wolf shifters – The Wild Irish Wolves.

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The Wolf on the Hill – Jorja Lovett

Blurb

Book one in The Wild Irish Wolves Series.

Can two stubborn wolf shifters let down their guards long enough to take a chance on love?

Lone wolf Caleb Jackson is only back in town long enough to sell his late father’s house, and the bad memories with it. He never expected to find his mate.

Good girl Mia Blake never behaves badly. Except for the time she shifts into her wolf, chases a stranger through Olcan Hills, and has the hottest sex of her life on the forest floor.

He has no desire to settle down. She is afraid to upset her family. But, with someone determined to destroy Caleb’s inheritance, and his secret fling with Mia getting hot and heavy, moving on isn’t as easy as he’d hoped.

Can either of them let down their guards long enough to take a chance on love?

Excerpt *Warning: Contains Adult Only Content*

Rain soaked Mia’s fur as she bounded through the woods bordering the Olcan Hills, relishing every inch of earth mashed beneath her claws. Trees became nothing more than a blur as she raced by, running to find her release out here where she answered to no one but nature. This was freedom.

When she reached the top of the hill she came to a standstill and released her primal scream of frustration in a howl, unleashing everything she couldn’t say to her overbearing family, pouring every hidden truth of who she really was into one long mournful call.

In the distance, another wolf echoed her cry and answered with one of his own. This was the reason her mother despised her shifting into her wolf form. She went kind of crazy and forgot all sense of danger in the excitement. Exactly the reason why she did it in secret. And now, here she was, totally exposed in the Northern Irish countryside, crouched and listening out for the intruder’s approach.

Snapping twigs and rustling leaves marked his stealthy journey towards her but she stood her ground, regardless of how loudly her heart was beating in her ears. The wind carried his scent and raised the hackles along her spine when she sniffed the air. Another shifter, but one she didn’t recognise. Big bro would use her pelt for a rug if he found out she’d strayed beyond the boundary.

Amber eyes glowed in the dark shadows as the large grey wolf stalked through the forest. She bowed in submission. Even if she had a clue how to fight, he was double her size and twice as powerful. He growled a low warning and sniffed her with interest, his wet nose nudging her clammy fur. Did he expect her to roll over and show her belly? Pride wouldn’t let her, but she was careful not to make eye contact as he circled around her twice in case he took it as a challenge.

She only lifted her head when she saw him pad away, heading back to the cover of the trees. He stopped, looked back at her, and cocked his head to one side. When she didn’t move he returned and nipped her ear. She yelped in surprise and indignation. Of all the nerve!

The rules of engagement were abandoned in the heat of her outrage and, in a snarling frenzy, she launched herself at him. For an animal so large, the grey wolf moved gracefully, dodging her attack to race ahead and leaving Mia in dogged pursuit.

Tree branches tore at her skin as she ploughed heedlessly into the woodland, but the pain dulled in the exhilaration of the chase. As they wove their way through the undergrowth, Mia’s anger subsided to let her long-neglected sense of fun take over.

He wanted her to follow him. She knew that from the glances he kept throwing back at her. So she stopped and slipped quietly behind the stump of an uprooted oak, waiting to see what he would do. White wisps of steam escaped from her nostrils as she fought to get her breath back and suddenly the area seemed too quiet.

With a thud Grey leapt onto the tree stump, and leant back onto his haunches ready to pounce. Mia took off again and this time she was the hunted. She didn’t get very far before he sprang and knocked her off her feet.

In a tangle of limbs they rolled through the leafy debris of the forest floor, shifting into their human form as they came to rest, with her pinned to the ground by a hard, muscular, naked body.

“Well, that was fun.” He grinned down at her, making no attempt to get off her, his green eyes full of mischief.

“If you say so.” Mia’s heart still raced but she was at enough of a disadvantage wedged underneath him without admitting she enjoyed the capture as much as the chase.

“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” He bent his head to kiss the scratches marking her shoulder and suddenly the only ache she felt was hidden deep inside.

“No.” She swallowed hard as he ventured closer to her already puckered nipples.

“Do you want me to stop?” His hot breath on her sensitive skin engulfed her in a tide of hormones she hadn’t been ruled by in a long time, if ever.

Maybe a piece of her wolf was still in her system, thriving on the excitement and danger, but she was horny, and ripe for the picking. “No.”

With a need to touch, to taste this handsome stranger on her tongue, she manoeuvred enough room to free her hands and wind them into his dark blond hair, pulling him down into a kiss.

He massaged her breasts, first with his hand, quickly followed by his mouth. The sucking and licking around her straining pink tips made her arousal too great to bear. She writhed against him, wet and waiting, but he let her suffer further still whilst he covered her mounds in tiny, exquisite bites.

Bewitched by the woods and her fantasy lover, she swapped the dull reality of her life for this moment, cavorting like the sort of woodland nymph she longed to be. Someone who lived without fear of consequences or judgement.

She wanted him. Prim and proper Mia Blake, who never stepped out of line, was lying naked in the woods with a stranger’s erection pressing into her abdomen, and she loved it. A restlessness seized hold as her body cried out with need. Her limbs trembled, her fingers and toes curled, waiting for that final act of completion. As dusk settled around them and an ethereal fog swirled between the trees, she lost herself in the erotic dream and let him sink into her.

Available from Total-E-Bound now.

Author Bio

Jorja Lovett is a British author with both Irish and Scottish roots, which makes for a very dry sense of humour. Writing since she was old enough to wield a pen, it wasn’t until she joined her crit group, UCW, that she pursued her passion seriously.

Now, with Joe Manganiello as her permanent muse, if she can leave the pause button on her Magic Mike dvd long enough, she hopes to spend the rest of her days writing steamy romances.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter: @jorjalovett, Blog, Website

 

Q&A With Author Genevieve Jourdin

*Over the next several months, I’ll be introducing you to a variety of writers. I am once again opening my blog up to guest bloggers in the form of author Q&A’s, author spotlight features and guest posts. I hope you enjoy!

Today I am pleased to introduce you to romance author Genevieve Jourdin, she writes humorously spicy romantic chick lit ( Gen swears it’s a category, booksellers just haven’t caught on–yet). Learn more about Genevieve and her latest projects in the Q&A session below.

1. Can you give me a synopsis of your newest release?

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside is the story of Carter and what he feels when his girlfriend, Justine, hits her head and gets amnesia. When she wakes up she doesn’t remember that they’re a couple (he is her best friend’s younger brother) or that she is the star of her own web-based cooking show. Carter tries to get her to remember their past so that he can focus on their future. This is the mirror story to Just Add Heat, which is told from Justine’s point of view.

 2. If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing instead?

I’m a chef by trade, so if I had to go back to a “real” job outside of working with my husband, I would be working in a kitchen. I love cooking, but not as much as I love writing, so I’m lucky I have the time to spend in front of the keyboard.

3. When it comes to planning out your stories, are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a pantser from way back. I only know how the story begins and how it ends. Everything in between is a mystery until I write it.

 4. What’s the hardest part about being a writer? What’s the best part?

The hardest part is letting my story go for its first read through by someone else. I wait on tenterhooks for feedback, and then cringe when it comes, because even when somebody likes a story, there are always things that can be better.

The best part is getting a good review or even an email from a reader who really liked a story. That can make my whole day.

5. Do you have a mentor or another writer you look up to?

There are so many writers that I love, but I have been in awe of Nora Roberts and her incredible output of good stories for years.

 6. What advice do you have for someone who wants a career in writing?

Write, write, write. Everyone needs to hone their craft, there’s no getting around that.

 7. It’s been said that to be a good writer, one needs to be a voracious reader, what’s your favorite genre and what are you currently reading?

My favorite genre is romance, contemporary and paranormal, but I also read a lot of nonfiction. Currently, I’m reading Just Jackie: Her Private Years by Edward Klein and I just finished Beauty and the Feast by Julia Barrett.

8. What other interests or hobbies do you have outside of writing?

Genevieve Jourdin

I love old cookbooks. I mean true love. I am on a constant hunt for vintage cookbooks from thrift stores and garage sales. I also like doing crafty things, but I’m not much of a detail person as far as art goes, so most of that stuff gets relegated to the shed.

9. What’s your next writing project?

I’m working on a story featuring a smokin’ hot leprechaun (he’s 6 ft+ and designs sexy shoes). He’s been unlucky in love, so I’m trying to get him laid. He’s proving to be a challenge in that department.

 10. How can people reach you online?

Well, I love getting email: genjourdin@gmail,  but I’ve got a blog  genjourdin.blogspot.com, and I’m on Twitter @genjourdin. I recently started a Facebook page, but I’m not very active there yet (I keep forgetting about it).

Thanks for having me, Amanda!

Q&A With Author C.A Szarek

*Over the next several months, I’ll be introducing you to a variety of writers. I am once again opening my blog up to guest bloggers in the form of author Q&A’s, author spotlight features and guest posts. I hope you enjoy!

Today I am pleased to introduce you to author C.A. Szarek, she writes Fantasy/Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance and Young Adult fiction. Learn more about C.A. and her latest projects in the Q&A session below.

Can you give me a synopsis of your newest release?

For generations, the Ryhans, ruling family of the Province of Greenwald have been keepers of a sword rumored to possess enough magic to defeat kings. Lord Varthan, a former archduke and betrayer of the king, covets the sword and invades Greenwald.

Lady Ceralda Ryhan, daughter of the murdered duke, gains the sword and flees, trusting only her white wolf, Trikser—magically bonded to her. Cera needs nothing more to aid in her fight.

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Jorrin Aldern, half elfin and half human, left his home in the mountains of Aramour to find his human father who disappeared twenty turns before, but finds Cera with Varthan and his shades on her tail instead. His dual heritage and empathic magic will tempt Cera in ways she never thought she’d desire. But can he convince her trust and love can pave the path to redemption or will the epic battle end in tragedy and evil conquer them all?

If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing instead?

Well, I actually wear many hats. I am new published, so I am not writing full time, I would love if I get there someday. I work in a court and I work at a shelter for teens. Good thing is, I adore all my jobs. If you include writing, I have 3.

 When it comes to planning out your stories, are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am a pantser, but lately I have planned a little. Sometimes when I sit down I have no idea where a scene is going, sometimes I do. I am character driven, so at least I know the “who’s” of things.

What’s the hardest part about being a writer? What’s the best part?

Hmmm, a hard one. The most difficult part for me is telling my inner critic to be quiet so I can just write. Sometimes I question too much: The story, myself, where the scene is going. I think the best part is making up stuff. Hehehe. Bringing life to characters, making them real people. Making them have feelings and emotions and making them real.

Do you have a mentor or another writer you look up to?

I have tons. There are so many awesome writers that belong to my chapter of RWA, NTRWA and I have learned SO much. Joining them was the best thing I have ever done for my writing.

What advice do you have for someone who wants a career in writing?

Don’t ever give up. Rejection happens. If you want it bad enough, you keep going. Always.

It’s been said that to be a good writer, one needs to be a voracious reader, what’s your favorite genre and what are you currently reading?

I LOVE to read. But I tend to go in stages. Binge read, if you will. I read read read read, then nothing for weeks at a time. I love paranormal and historical, but honestly I will read anything that peaks my interest. I don’t care about genre or intended audience. If it looks good, I will read it. I am reading “Vampires Gone Wild” right now, an anthology with stories by Kerrelyn Sparks, Pamela Palmer (LOVE HER) Amanda Arista and Kim Falconer. It’s really good so far.

What other interests or hobbies do you have outside of writing?

I love to scrapbook, and I watch WAY too much TV.

What’s your next writing project?

I am working on book 2 of the King’s Riders, Love’s Call. (the next book after Sword’s Call, by Gypsy Shadow Publishing) I should be wrapping it up in a matter of days, then it’s on to book 2 of my romantic suspense series, Crossing Forces, Chance Collision, which is the 2nd in the series published by Total-E-Bound. The first, Collision Force will be out July 1. I also seem to have some wolf shifters that are inopportunely bothering me. Hehehe.

How can people reach you online?

C. A.-140

I am EVERYWHERE! Hehehe

Blog: www.caszarekwriter.blogspot.com

FB: www.facebook.com/caszarek

Twitter: @caszarek

I love to hear from readers! caszarekauthor@gmail.com

*Below is a brief excerpt from Sword’s Call, on sale now with Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

Heart pounding and fists clenched, Cera sat in the Dragon’s Lair’s darkest corner. By choice, the candle on the table was unlit. The bowl of stew half eaten, food the last thing on her mind.

The door to the tavern swung open. Her white wolf growled low and deep beside her. Cera glanced up, squinting in the sudden flood of sunlight. As the door slammed shut and her eyes adjusted to the renewed murkiness, she took in the newest arrival.

Then she focused on Trikser. She couldn’t have him going for anyone’s throat.

“Shhh, Trik, it’s okay.” She ran a hand through his fur, smoothing his hackles along the length of his spine. The big wolf looked up at her and licked her hand. One corner of her mouth lifted and she bit back a sigh.

The only reason the owner of the tavern, Marshek even let him in was because no one else was allowed to enter the Dragon’s Lair if she was inside without him. No one according to Trikser, that is. He’d almost taken the hand off the last guy who’d tried.

“What’ll ya have?” Marshek barked, revealing his instant dislike of the newcomer.

She fixed her eyes on the bartender. Then she took a closer look at the man sitting in front of him. His pointed ears betrayed his heritage, but his height suggested he was not of pure blood.

Marshek was known to be tolerant of elves but he hated what he called half-breeds. Cera could imagine what the grumpy, middle-aged tavern owner was thinking, and it wasn’t friendly.

She rose, Trikser also immediately rising, awaiting her move. The white wolf was her bondmate and had been since he was young.

Relax, she thought-sent.

Trik sat, but his body was tight, tense. He didn’t respond to her mental order.

Moving to the bar, her wolf followed, slinking close to the floor, moving in a slight crawl. His belly probably touched the filthy planked flooring of the tavern.

Cera made a face but forced a breath. Detached control. Sliding onto the stool next to the half-elfin man, she was just in time to hear his order. His voice was clear and deep.

Marshek filled a mug with ale and started to put the jug in its place on the shelf.

“Wait, Mar,” she said with a wave of her hand, “I’ll have some of that, too.”

With a curt nod, the older man poured her a mug. She brought it to her lips, glancing nonchalantly at the stranger. His coal black hair brushed the collar of his hooded gray cape, giving him a rather unkempt look, but rugged rather than messy.

Cera couldn’t see the hue of his eyes from her seat but his high cheekbones made his profile appealing, his sleek tapered ears adding to the attraction. His powerful jaw line was clean shaven, an oddity in these parts. She could tell he was aware of her perusal. He was young, not much older than her, and had the stunning beauty of the elves.

His chest heaved as if he’d taken a breath, and he finally glanced at her. Blue. His eyes were a deep, sapphire blue. Her heart skipped a beat but she ignored it. The man said nothing, not that she’d expected him to.

Q&A With Author Michelle Hughes

This is another post in my monthly author interview series. If you’re an author and are interested in being featured in this series, please email me: amanda (at) amandabretz (dot) com.

1. Can you give me a synopsis of your newest release?

After graduation, twenty-four-year-old Leah was determined that no man would destroy her plans for the future. Or so she thought. Her best laid plans and well-ordered life were turned head over heels after her best friend, Janie, invited her to a “coming-out” party.

One look at Rhett and all previous thoughts went straight to hell. He made an unbelievable offer to her: “Give me 10 nights and I’ll show you pleasure beyond your wildest dreams.”

Was this an invitation to paradise or would his request destroy her mind, body and soul?

2. What’s your creative process: Do you use an outline, write to certain type of music, use document maps, etc?

I’m one of those fly by the seat of my pants kind of writers.  When the mood hits me, I sit down and write.  If I try to force anything it’s a guaranteed recipe for disaster and not a word will be forthcoming.  I have a love hate relationship with music and writing.  For certain scenes I love music in the background, but it also puts me in frenzy if I don’t finish writing the part I’m working on before the song ends.  I don’t do outlines, I hate them and feel they stifle my muse.

3. If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing instead?

Probably doing what I do now without the writing, being the mom of five great kids.  Prior to being a mom I wanted to be a famous country singer, and I lived that dream somewhat without the fame.  I was on the road twelve years and met some of the greatest country music legends and was able to perform with a few of them.

4. Personally, I hate formatting, just the term ‘header/footer’ makes me want to run and hide! What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?

I would rather pull my nails out one by one rather than format.  And editing, I will go through my finished work, but thankfully I have a great co-author who is much more into editing than I am.  I have been known to stomp my foot in frustration and yell at my computer prior to the days of having an editor.

5. Do you have a mentor or another writer you look up to?

I have tons of them.  Every self-published author I’ve met has inspired me.  I’ve seen the good and bad parts and shared tears with many inspiring authors.  I don’t think people who aren’t authors understand how  much of our hearts we put into our craft.  There are so many incredible books out there and unfortunately not every book can be a bestseller.  The one author I would love to write with one day would be Charlaine Harris.  I feel in love with her Southern Vampire Mysteries.

6. What advice do you have for someone who wants a career in writing?

Be prepared to be patient and get your feelings hurt a lot if you are going to make it in this industry.  It took me three years of getting my work crushed by reviewers, banging my head against the wall and six books later finally I have one that is making a little progress.  One of the biggest downfalls I’ve seen in the author friends I have is the depression that comes along with knowing you have a great book and the inability to get anyone to read it.  It happens, and it’s just one of the things you have to be ready to deal with in this industry.

7. It’s been said that to be a good writer, one needs to be a voracious reader. What are your favorite types of books to read and what are you currently reading?

One of the things I miss most since 10 Nights has gained popularity, is the inability to read as much as I like.  I really love reading romances.   Virgin and alpha male characters are my favorite.  I don’t care if it’s paranormal, historical, or contemporary, the innocent woman and the strong male will pull me toward a book every time.  As far as what I’m reading right now, very little.  When I’m not writing I’m trying to keep up with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

8. What other interests or hobbies do you have outside of writing?

You mean I get to have a life outside of writing?  Seriously, we’re on a deadline for our second book in the Forbidden Desires series, so I don’t really get a lot of free time.  I mentioned earlier I have five kids, so their activities keep me busy.  If I had more time, I’d spend it enjoying more time in New Orleans, which is my favorite place on earth.

9. What’s your next writing project?

We’re working on Beyond 10 Nights, and currently have four other books on the back burner.  I think some of our readers might be a little shocked where we’re going in 2013, but hopefully they’ll also be pleased.  For our romance fans, don’t worry we won’t stray THAT far off.

10. How can people reach you online?

I’m on Facebook and you can find me as Author Michelle Hughes there and of course Twitter, @MichelleHughes_ the underscore is important unless you’d like to talk to the sex therapist.  Yes I do find it a little funny that there is a sex therapist with my name, considering the type of writing we do.  Of course Goodreads, and I do love Pinterest as well.  Please stop in and say hello.  I love talking to people.  I guess that’s a by-product of my Southern background.

Q&A With Author Tammy Strobel

This is another post in my monthly author interview series. This month’s interview is extra special to me, because writer Tammy Strobel has had an impact on my life and my work. Reading her blog, RowdyKittens, inspired me to simplify my life, get rid of my excess “stuff” and focus on my writing career. I would like to take this opportunity to tell Tammy thank you for sharing your story with the world, I know you have helped countless others like myself  :-).

If you’re an author and are interested in being featured in this series, please email me: amanda (at) amandabretz (dot) com.

1. Can you give me a synopsis of your newest release?

My first print book, You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s Cheap), will be out on September 18, 2012. In the book, I combine the newest research on well-being with real world stories to offer readers practical inspiration to simplify their lives and find a whole lot of happiness too.

2. What’s your creative process: Do you use an outline, write to certain type of music, use document maps, etc?

I’m not a linear writer, so I have a tendency to journal a lot and create mind-maps in my journal too. From that an outline starts to form in my mind for my writing project, whether that’s an article or a book. Then I piece it all together. It’s a little convoluted, but it works for me.

3. If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing instead?
I’d be a full-time photographer.

4. Personally, I hate formatting, just the term ‘header/footer’ makes me want to run and hide! What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?

I hate formatting too! It can be such a pain and it can take hours. If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably run into HTML formatting issues. I’ve spent hours trying to sort out formatting mistakes, when I’d rather be writing in my journal or out for a walk.

5. Do you have a mentor or another writer you look up to?

I love Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones. In the book she talks about writing as a practice, kind of like meditation, and the importance of a beginner’s mind. She notes, “In a sense, that beginner’s mind is what we must come back to every time we sit down and write. There is no security, no assurance that because we wrote something good two months ago, we will do it again.”

Her words are affirming and that’s why I read all the time. Books give me ideas and help clear out the cobwebs in my head.

6. What advice do you have for someone who wants a career in writing?

You have to develop a consistent writing practice. I know that probably sounds
like lame advice, but it’s true. It’s far too easy to procrastinate and to avoid writing. Your words are powerful. Use them. Make the time to write.

I’d also suggest starting a blog. I’ve been blogging for five years and my blog resulted in a book deal, freelance writing work, and the ability to run writing ecourses. The blog has been a wonderful way to help readers through writing and photography.

7. It’s been said that to be a good writer, one needs to be a voracious reader. What are your favorite types of books to read and what are you currently reading?

I love reading and I tend to read a lot of non-fiction.
This year I’ve read a lot of memoirs and I love books on photography. You can see my full reading list here: http://rowdykittens.com/2012books/

8. What other interests or hobbies do you have outside of writing?


Photography, hiking, and cycling. I try and spend a lot of time outside. Being in nature infuses my creativity.

9. What’s your next writing project?

I’m working on a new book idea. It’s not fully developed, but I know it will talk about grief and how to deal with grief in healthy ways.

I’m also working on another ecourse called How to Capture Everyday Magic with Your Camera.

10. How can people reach you online?

They can find me at rowdykittens.com.