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Friday, January 31, 2014

Guest Blog: Nikki Lynn Barrett: We All Start Somewhere!

We all have a passion and a dream. Some have known it early on, some develop the knack for it later in life. Some seem to be born with the gift, and some have to lean it. But we all start somewhere, don't we?

I came across a video a few weeks ago, posted by my local radio station. Some of you know I'm a HUGE Keith Urban fan. I love his passion for music. I love the way he gets on that stage and jams with his guitar, putting his all into what he does. And he's damn good at it! I've been to about six Keith Urban shows, and I never leave disappointed. He's had a dream of music from a young age.

Anyway, this video I found is from 1983, Keith is just sixteen in the video. There's some talent show he auditioned for and watching this video not only made me smile because hellooooo, it's Keith! But it made me realize that even the people we may idolize, worship, treasure, get my drift- well, even they have to learn their craft!

Keith had a sweet voice even then. But look back at the way he executes his singing, well, it's different than he is now. The judges were pretty critical on him. For some, that might be enough to give up. Well, I'd say Keith didn't give up, did he?

It's not saying they didn't like his singing, but they pointed out what worked and what didn't. To me, I thought he was going to cry at one point. Check out the video for yourselves:

Where am I going with all this? Well, we all know the writing process and learning the craft at times can seem overwhelming. We write our story, and are so ready to let it out in the wild until we get to that stage of feedback. Then it's like Oh my god, I thought this was sooooo good, but it needs so much work!!

There's nothing wrong with that! So, learn the craft. Learn it some more. And even more. Don't get your first, second or third critique back with all those red markings and give up. If this is something you're passionate about, keep plugging along. You might read your favorite authors and wonder if they've ever gone through the same thing? I bet they have. Why? Because we all start somewhere. And even if another author's draft is cleaner than your first one and you read it for critiques and wonder how come you're writing isn't where theirs is? Don't do that. It just means they are at a different place. Want to see another young star's video from when he was young? Another man who's insanely passionate about what he does- 22 year old Hunter Hayes. He was playing the accordian at just 4 years old- with Hank Williams Jr!

Here's a video of Hunter at five years old playing on Prime Time Country:

That kid was meant for the stage- even then!

Keith and Hunter are doing well for themselves even now. Hunter might have had that stage presence nailed at five, and Keith's seemed a little more awkward....but they are both talented musicians with a love for what they do.

They were persistent. They both went after their dreams. And they have fans that adore them!

So, keep going. Don't give up! If you aren't where you want to be, get there. I'm constantly learning more every day.

And for your viewing pleasure, Keith and Hunter on stage together- doing what they love. Performing:

Thanks for having me here today! Come hang out with me on my Facebook page sometime! It's usually fun :)

Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She's an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade.

Coming in March 2014, a contemporary suspense novel, the first in The Masterpiece Trilogy.

BLURB: A Masterpiece of Our Love 
Two Lives Torn by tragedy.

Eight year old Becca and twelve year old Hunter cling to each other and life after surviving a plane crash which stole their families.

Two Souls Seeking Love.

Each year from the time she was old enough to travel on her own, Becca met up with Hunter on the island that altered their lives forever.

Until he stopped showing.

Her constant. Her link to the past. Gone in the blink of an eye.

Two Lives Bound by Secret.

Suffering more heartbreak, Hunter returns to the one place he's always sought comfort.

The island where he and Becca met. The place that stole from him, and in the same instance gave to him. He hasn't been back or spoken to Becca in four years.

Though he's sure she must hate him for disappearing, Hunter discovers the girl gone, now a woman in her place. Hunter is determined to prove to Becca he isn’t the same twelve year old boy of yesteryear.

But someone isn't happy about their reunion...

Strange things begin happening, letters showing up in their hotel rooms and at home with cryptic messages.

Two Broken Hearts Heal as One.

With the mystery unsolved, Hunter convinces Becca to spend the remainder of the summer back home with him. For safety and to give them a chance to rediscover the adults they've now become.

Will love get a chance to blossom or will the past come back and tear the masterpiece of their love apart, once and for all?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Value of Patience

Giveaway Alert: Comment on this blog post for a chance to win a RB4U T-shirt, size XL! Be sure to leave your email address with your comment. I will pick a random winner on February 3rd. Note: We only ship to US or Canada.

~ ~ ~

Patience is a virtue--unless you are in a hurry.

I have never been a patient person. I think that there are many other people in today's instant-gratification society that aren't patient, either. Between the internet, on-demand telivision, and fast food resturants, people are used to getting what they want now and not a minute later. Even an extra five-minute wait at the drive-thru window is enough to get people annoyed. 

But life doesn't always give us what we want, does it? Sometimes things happen, and suddenly you are left feeling adrift. This happened to me a few weeks ago when my husband slipped on black ice over asphalt and broke his femur in six places. Needless to say, it was a life-changing experience.

For legal reasons, I can't give the details of the accident or his recovery, but you can imagine that it will be a long road for both of us before our lives return to anything even remotely close to normal. Most of my writing has been put aside to handle his care--and it is a lot of care. Not only did his femur break, but he has suffered nerve damage, which will make his recovery even more difficult. We have a long, hard road ahead of us, but we are both determined. All of his doctors seem confident that he will walk and drive and enjoy life again--eventually. We just have to be patient, because it will be months, not weeks or days, before he's feeling like himself once more.

I say this not so that you can all feel bad or take pity on us. Believe me, we have a strong marriage and we're both very stubborn. We'll roll with the punches life has handed us together. No, I say this because I was asked to answer some interview questions to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into my personal life. As I was reading over the questions, I realized that in many of the cases, what was true a month ago, isn't true now, and most likely won't be true in teh spring. My life is in a state of flux, and right now I'm just taking things one day, sometimes one hour, at a time.

There are a couple of questions I can answer, however, and I'll do so below.

Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?

All the time. I think a writer would be lying if they said that things around them in their everyday life have no influence on their stories. For me, I write as a form of therapy to deal with life's difficulties. I have a reoccuring theme in my stories where the main character(s) go thorugh a path of self-discovery and gain confidence in who they are as people. Quite often this involves shedding society's expectations of them and forming some new view of themself and the world around them. This is something very close to my heart. For me, it's important to stay true to yourself and to follow your passion. Life is too short to do anything else.

How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?

I have too many ideas, and not enough writing time, lol. Whenever I get an idea, I write it down in a word document and keep it in a folder on my computer.

If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?

Don't be in such a hurry, or sweat the small stuff. Be grateful for the little pleasures in life and know that everything will happen for you in its own time.

Are you going to any conferences this year?

Because of my husband's condition, conferences are out of the question for the first half of the year. I will be at RWA in July, however. This will be my first time attending. Hope to see you there!

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Thanksgiving, because it's about being grateful and family. It isn't over-commercialized like some other holidays.

What is your favorite food/drink?

Sushi is my favorite food. The drink depends on my mood. It's either a good cup of strong coffee, or a dry, red wine.

Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?

Oh, summer, definitely. My favorite summer activity is sitting out on my back deck with my computer and either reading or writing. I have a nice, cold drink next to me, of course!

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. I'll do my best to answer them. :)


A lifetime New Englander, Suzanne married her college sweetheart and has been with him for over twenty years. Every summer she drags her husband and two daughters to Maine on a quest for the perfect lobster dinner. Every fall she can be found down in Foxboro, Massachusetts cheering on her favorite football team. In between those trips, she’s a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor and a sometimes masseuse. To keep her sanity, she often drinks copious amounts of coffee and stares at the blank screen of her laptop, dreaming of great adventures. Sometimes she even writes them down for others to enjoy.

Upcoming Release (Feb 17th):

Riding Desire: Alpha Bad Boy Biker Boxed Set 
(14 BRAND NEW limited edition contemporary romance bundled books) 
*14 Romance Books, 14 Bestselling Authors, 1 Fierce Savings* 
Note: Helmet required: intended for readers 18+ 

Hop on for the ride of your life in this NEW exclusive limited edition box set of 14 never before published books from the industry’s hottest authors in contemporary romance. Whether you crave alpha heroes, possessively wicked boyfriends, sexy inked rock stars, or passionately naughty lovers, Riding Desire will fulfill your bad boy biker fantasies like no other boxed set you’ve ever read. Priced at only 99 cents this is your chance to enjoy books from today's New York Times, USA Today, Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling authors. Get Riding Desire now before it’s gone!

Note: My addition is Conquista, the second book in the Junlge Heat series:

Rev up the heat and take a ride on the wild side with Rio's newest off-road motorcyclist in "Conquista" by Suzanne Rock.

Like us on Goodreads for up-to-the-minute information.

You can find Suzanne in these places:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Interview with Romantic Suspense Author, Sandra K. Marshall

Please welcome, Sandra K. Marshall, romantic suspense author, at Eirelander Publishing.

Thank you for inviting me to be interviewed on your blog, Romance Books 4 Us. It's a pleasure to be here, but before I forget there is a giveaway listed below.  Good luck everyone!

Giveaway Alert: Someone who leaves a comment will receive a RB4U T-shirt, size XL:) Be sure to leave your email address with your comment. Note: We only ship to US or Canada.

BIO: Sandra has always been the adventurous type. To satisfy her adventurous spirit, she went to work for a major airline, so she could travel.  She spent thirty-six years working in the airline industry, and did extensive travel during that period. It was a lovely time in her life working for a wonderful company.  She started writing in 1988, and in 1999 she retired to write full time and worked seriously toward publication, but didn't get published until 2008. 

She's published with Eirelander Publishing, and she's on a different type of journey.  It's a fun ride.  She believes in living life and not letting anyone deter you from doing it.

1. How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
I emailed everyone I knew, published the news on all the Yahoo sites I belonged to, called friends and family and hubby took me out to dinner. 

2. Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
Jimmy Kimmel looks like the image of Mike Mercer, but Jimmy isn't an actor he's a comedian, and Mike Mercer is a serious guy.  Melanie could be a young Gwyneth Paltro.

3. What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I try, but it's impossible.  Some days I can't write anything because I'm needed elsewhere. 

4. What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I have a blog, website and I do a lot of promoting on social media. 

5. How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I think there's something of me in almost every character even Melanie, who has been a real pain in the butt for her mother. 

6. Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
This is really tough.  I like all the characters in my Riverboat Mysteries trilogy.  It might be the villain in Addiction because I made him so despicable.  It was really fun to write him.

7. If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
My first book in the Riverboat Mysteries trilogy was The Catalyst.  I loved this book because I used my mother as a role model for the heroine, although my mother was stronger.  I listened to too many people about this story, and it was so over edited.  I think I would have made Carolyn stronger.

8. Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
Usually, I don't eat and I need absolute quiet when writing.

9. How do you choose names for your characters?
I wish I could say I was as creative as some authors are, but I use a baby book and the telephone book. 

10. Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
OMG, yes.  It was one I made.  Horrible!

11. Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
Learn everything you can, ask questions about what other authors tell you if you don't understand and never quit.  I was very dumb, I listened, but I didn't understand half of what I was told.  I should've asked what people meant by what they told me.

12. If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
Nothing!  I lived my life the way I wanted to, and I loved every minute of it.  If I had started writing sooner as some authors say, I wouldn't have traveled as much, nor had the experiences I had. 

13. What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
I wouldn't mind trying a political or espionage thriller, but I think it's beyond my scope. 

14. Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
Yes, I have, but I'm not telling which ones. 

15. Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
The beginning is usually easy because the idea for the story is fresh in my mind and the words flow.  After that it gets tougher because, although, you know where the story is suppose to go it's tough to write it on paper.

16. Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
The Catalyst - Where is the devil?  There are others, but this one is my first book.

17. How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
I'm constantly coming up with ideas.  I used to write them down and put them in my recipe box, but now I have a computer file. 

Fun Stuff:
1. What is your favorite holiday and why?

All holidays are wonderful, but one of my favorites is the 4th of July.  It's warm and there are carnivals with rides and all kinds of food.  Its fun and you can get outdoors.  lol I'm so ready for winter to go away. 
2. What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

I spent nine months working at a riverboat casino doing research, I'll be seventy this year and I ride on the back of my seventy-eight year old husband's motor scooter.  Okay, that's three.  lol
3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I wanted to be a spy.  That is until I read some books about real spies.  The idea of having my eyelids removed, lashes plucked, finger and toenails being pulled from my hands and feet nixed that idea.  lol   Later, I wanted to be an architect, a lawyer and many other things. 
4. Favorite food.  Chinese (American style) and deluxe nuts. 

5. Favorite happy memory.  I loved going to grandma's house after church on Christmas Eve.  The Christmas tree was lit up in the picture window and it was beautiful. 
6. Favorite drink.  Margaritas

7. Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?  Both, if I'm not uncomfortable.  There are good things about both. 
8. What is the top thing on your bucket list?  There are always more things I want to do.  Everything!  Smile!

9. If you could have a super power, what would it be?  It would be great to use my mind to make people well, to have peace and to transport myself anywhere I wanted to go.

Blurb for The Deceived: 
The games they play can lead them to love or ruin.

Melanie Dubois detests her family’s casino business. The way this addiction destroys people has her on a tear of magnificent proportions. Then again, this young lady has been put through a train wreck of her own design. She distrusts everybody except for the people who are determined to use Melanie as a poster-child for zealots.
 Mike Mercer has spent nearly a year in a deep cover mission for the FBI. The one fly in the ointment of completing his objective to take down a group of dangerous anti-gambling zealots is a fiery-tempered, blonde-haired woman named Melanie DuBois. Worse than that, she’s got a passion brewing just beneath the surface that’s an even deadlier attraction.

 Fighting for your life is never easy when the odds are stacked against you.

      Mike Mercer stood to the side watching Melanie Dubois talk to the news media. She was a piece of work, but he had to admit she had a hot body. He sighed crossing his arms over his chest as he leaned against his dark blue sedan, trying to blend in with the crowd. He wasn’t here to seduce her; even though her feistiness appealed to him, making him wonder what kind of lover she’d be. He was here to get her away from these people.
     He would have to question her motives in front of the picketers and the media, so if she decided to go with The Opposition Group, Janet Batten and her followers, she wouldn’t be suspected of collusion with him. The confrontation might be fun, but more than likely he was going to get a tongue lashing. His lips curled up at the thought.

      Hopefully, his cover hadn’t been discovered. He didn’t need these fanatics knowing he was FBI. A sloppily dressed journalist glanced toward Mike. Here was his opening.

     Mike heaved himself away from the fender and strode into the center of the crowd. Once he reached Melanie, he grasped her shoulder, saying, "What the hell are you doing here? This is no place for you."

     Mel whirled around, jerking away from his touch. "Just who are you telling me what I can or can not do?"

     He grinned down at the spitting feline image of tawny blonde hair swirling around her face. "Well, it sure looks like someone should take control of you," he said. Pausing, his gaze roamed down her body, before he added, "But for your information I’m not telling you how to behave, I’m asking a question." What he needed was an excuse to get her away from this bunch, but there wasn’t one.   

     "What I’m doing here is none of your business."

     "What is your connection to Melanie Dubois?" the journalist asked, sticking the microphone in front of Mike’s face.

     "The only link between us is that I’m on the board of the Odyssey casino." He glanced at Melanie. "There’s no way your family would want you here."

     "Why would I care about someone who doesn't love me?"

     "I doubt that’s true." What made her think that? Surely, she didn’t believe all the crap her father told her about her mother having an affair and that she was the result of that fling. "Don’t you even want to know what’s happening with your sister?"

     "It’s all over the news, how can I miss it?"

     Janet moved up beside them, putting her arm protectively around the young girl. "Stop harassing her, or I’ll call the police."

     Melanie didn’t know everything that was going on because the FBI told the media only what they wanted them to know. What would the younger woman think if she knew the FBI had used her sister as bait to catch the serial killer terrorizing the area? Her hostility would be nothing compared to what it would be if she learned that detail.

     There was nothing he could do right now, Batten would use Melanie for her own ends until the older woman had no further use for her. He glanced behind him, noticing people closing in on him. Even though he saw Dan Travis, the light brown-haired ATF agent, there wouldn’t be any help there. He’d never break his cover either.

     Hell, he’d better get out of here.

     "You’re a big girl; you can make your own decisions." He gazed into large blue eyes filled with distrust and shaded by long black mascara covered lashes. It saddened him to see her wasting her womanhood on their cause because they weren’t after the same thing she was. She wanted to save people, and they wanted to destroy them. "‚I just hope you don’t regret those decisions later."

     With a nod at the journalist and one more glance at Melanie, he turned and leisurely walked toward his car. He kept an eye on the man with the scar. That guy was a bad ass, and he had a record as long as his arm to prove it. Al Slavery was the dangerous one in the bunch. The others were nothing but drones.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!

Anything else you’d like to add?
The Deceived is the final book in the Riverboat Mysteries trilogy.  I started this series with The Catalyst; the intention was it would only be one book, but it multiplied.  Smile! 

Thank you for having me here today. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Guest Blog: Vicki Batman: You're Not So Tall: Is Writing Short Valuable?

When I started writing, I began with a book. I worked and worked it for many years, entered contests, got some critiques, etc. In my head, I was on the fast-track to becoming discovered.

God, I was delusional. LOL

It's true, most newbies think they are the cat's meow, the next big thing. I tried to hold my realities in check by working on several other manuscripts. I continued submitting and got lots of rejections.

In the contests, however, I discovered I wasn't doing badly at all. And I noticed a woman in my local RWA chapter and I seemed to be scoring approximately the same scores. I wondered if she would be interested in critiquing with me. So I put on my brave shirt and asked her. She said yes and would I want to look at her six very short stories.

Little did I know I would slip and slide down the rabbit hole into the pool of short fiction.

After critiquing my friend's stories, I began writing my own and submitting to magazines. Many acceptances later, I branched into other forms of short fiction.

Woman's World magazine has been around forever. Their stories take 800 words—PERIOD. The challenge is writing that short. It means really looking at action verbs, no adverbs, the perfect adjective, a descriptive noun. Getting the story pared to the bones and yet, still be an intriguing read.

I find short stories are a moment in time and are very satisfying, just as satisfying as a good book if written well.

Nowadays, authors are encouraged to write short fiction to publish between books so the reader stays interested. Short stories can be an extra freebie to entice new readers. It can expound on, say, a secondary character, a chance to hear their story. A giveaway in a contest. And just a plain ol' piece of short fiction because we all know we have a minute or two to read something during lunch or carpool—right?

People always ask when are you writing a book? He-he-he. I have and good news abounds.

Do you read short stories? If not, why not?

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

BLURB: Bug Stuff...and other stories
Three short romantic comedies from sassy writer gal. Included are:

"Just Desserts": a political dinner gone disastrous brings together a reluctant attendee and her handsome seat-mate.

"Bug Stuff": A cute accountant unites with his co-worker to fight a pesky adversary.

"With This Ring": When a wife forgets her little black dress, all turns into something utterly romantic and unforgettable in the end.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Interview with Janice Seagraves

BIO: Janice Seagraves grew up with a deep love of science fiction and adventure stories. Always the consummate artist, she traded in her paint brush for a laptop to write breathless life-affirming novels that celebrate enduring love.

Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: My husband took me out to dinner. He still does everything that I publish a book. 

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: I answer emails in the morning and I write in the evening, until late into the night. If the story is hot and I’m making great progress, I like to get in a thousand words per day, but many times I don’t make that.

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: I hired, a promotion company to handle some of my promotions.

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: Most of my characters are level headed, so I guess that makes me too. LOL
In Windswept Shores, my heroine is a basket weaver. I learned basket weaving in HS and used that experience. In Matrix Crystal Hunters, I used a trip to the desert with my family when I was in sixth grade. We rock hunted along the Colorado River that flows through Arizona and Nevada. My heroine, Maya’s parents have a store called the Rock Hound.

Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: I have no favorites. I love all my children equally.

Q: If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
A: After Windswept Shores rights were returned to me, I went through my first book and changed a few things to make it tougher on my characters and put back a missing scene. Then I self-published it.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I have Character Naming Sourcebook that I look through for names.

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: So far, I’ve been lucky. I loved my first cover on Windswept Shores. I bought the photo with the same couple from fotolia and used it when I self-published, but without the second filter. My second book which I also self-published, I found a great looking man for the cover that looked just like my hero.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: This is a hard business. It’s not for the weak. Never give up. Stay stubborn and stay strong. Read a lot and write a lot. Take a lot of workshops that help you in the areas you’re weak in. And find yourself a good critique group. They’ll spot things in your manuscript that you’ll miss. There are a lot of critique groups to choose from, online and those that meet in person. Find one you’re comfortable with.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: Oh, I have too many to count. I have starts of stories on my computer files. My contracted Alien Heart series has twelve books, and I just have to finish writing them.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas, because I don’t have to work as hard as I do for Thanksgiving and it’s a fun family day.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I have a learning problem that gave me problems in school, but I still graduated in time with my class. I might be slightly dyslexic.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
A: An artist.

Q: Favorite food.
A: Oh geez, I have so many. I like sushi, shrimp, fresh (just caught that morning) sea food, a well done barbecued steak and I like my hot dogs burnt.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Tea. Hot tea when it’s cold and cold tea when it’s hot.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: I’m actually more of a fall type person and the colors look good on me too. 

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: A trip to the UK. I want to walk along the streets of Seagrave England, where my family got their name.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: The power to heal people. I’ve lost too many family members and friends to cancer. A young writer friend is going through her third treatment for cancer. Each time the cancer pops up in a different place.

Tell us where to find you:

You can find Matrix Crystal Hunters at Amazon:

Please leave a comment for the tee-shirt (size XL) giveaway but...we only ship to US and Canadian addresses only.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Interview with Bobbye Terry

A native Virginian, Bobbye Terry now resides in the cotton fields of West Texas with a Chocolate Lab that has a sock fetish. Bobbye is a multi-published author of romantic comedy, fantasy and suspense. Now, writing solo, except for a possible collaboration on special projects, she pens her books as Bobbye Terry, Daryn Cross and as half the writing team of Terry Campbell. She continues to write with extensive humor, even in suspense, where southern charm meets macabre reality.

Her next release is This Magic Moment in the Unforgettable Heroes boxed set, releasing January 30, 2014.

GIVEAWAY: One Romance Books '4' Us size XL tee-shirt will be given to one person who leaves a comment. NOTE: Only shipped to US and Canadian addresses.

So now, let’s get to know her. Here are some questions she answered for RB4U:

  1. Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?

This requires that I select a novel, and since This Magic Moment is about to debut as part of the Unforgettable Heroes  boxed set with seven other fantastic authors  (for only $.99-a little blatant self-promotion), then I’d choose it. My hero, Zack, is a no-business CEO who suddenly gets blindsided by the equally independent and determined Crandall, who is CEO of her own company. I can see Bradley Cooper as Zack and heck, why not Jennifer Lawrence as Crandall?  They look so good together. J

  1. What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

I like to write 3000 words a day, but have a tendency to write in spurts when coming off  a break. Then I regain my normal pace and often put on a surge near the end and do as many as 5000. These are clean counts with very little filler. That’s because I edit every morning before I start

  1. What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?

I take breaks. When I first started, I thought I had to write all the time. Now, I realize that I need time off between projects or I burn myself out. The time off can be as short as week or as long as a month. It depends.

  1. Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?

Gee, this is really hard. I suppose my new character, Lindy James, who becomes Lindy James Payne in the As the River Runs series, is my new favorite. She’s a lot like me, analytical and practical, but very passionate.

  1. If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?

My first solo book was Coming to Climax. I honestly can’t think of anything that I could change to make it better. However, that book was totally revamped before I sought publication.

The first book I wrote with a cowriter as Terry Campbell was Craig’s Legacy. That book was not the first published, though, because we threw away the first 100 pages of it and started the story later. It turned to be out a very popular book with a lot of awards.

  1. How do you choose names for your characters?

I wish I could tell you. They usually just show up and demand to have a book written about them. It’s rare I have to grapple with finding the right one.

  1. What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?

This question is hard because I currently write in romance, mystery, fantasy and inspirational nonfiction. I have written more than one historical, a time travel and a cyberpunk science fiction novella series. What’s left? I would like to try my hand at steampunk.

  1. Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?

Oh good Lord in heaven, how about every one? There is something in every book that has happened to me in some variation. And that part about my heroines being accident prone? That’s not an accident.

  1. Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?

The beginning always drives me crazy. I have to really work with it to make sure I begin at the right spot. Also, sometimes the spot right after midpoint hangs me up. I don’t want to rush the end and always have to slow myself down.

  1. Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?

Ah, that would be Fat Chance by Terry Campbell. The line: “So long, goodbye, it’s been fun and you can forget about ever getting between my legs again.” Lindsey, the heroine, is talking about a Thigh-Grasper exercise machine.

Fun Stuff:

  1. What is your favorite holiday and why?
I am a traditional gal, so I love Christmas with all of the glitz and also the holiness of the religious meaning.

  1. What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I have won a cooking award and I used to sew a lot of my own clothes in high school.

  1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Anything I wanted to be. I had all my options open.
  2. Favorite food…would be soft shell crab, hands down. I am a Chesapeake Bay gal and I could eat them until they run out of my ears.
  3. Favorite happy memory.
Being at a little place called Minnesott Beach midway down the Carolina coast behind the barrier islands.

6. Favorite drink…Coffee!!  

7. Hot summer days or chilly winter nights? Hot summer nights. Love the beach and warm weather.

8. What is the top thing on your bucket list?  Not sure. I’d love to go on a cruise in Greece. That would be fun.

9. If you could have a super power, what would it be? Gee, how about flying? Then could go wherever I wanted to quickly and see places I’ve never seen. Besides, flying on a plane is becoming uncomfortable and cumbersome.

Now, How about a blurb and an excerpt from This Magic Moment, which will be part of the Unforgettable Heroes boxed set on January 30th. Here they are:

Zack Graham, CEO of Scrumbles Snack Cakes and Crandall Drake, CEO of Pretzelcious Pretzels  are workaholics. Mike Kramer and Gretta Fishman, who work for each CEO respectively, are not. What’s worse, Mike and Gretta are lovers who can’t spend time with each other due to their boss’ OCD work habits. But they have a plan: ask Maxwell Magic, the magnanimous, magical, mystery matchmaker, to solve their problem by getting their two bosses to stop working and start loving in a match that lasts forever.

Zack and Crandall are in for a crazy ride, because Maxwell knows all and he will design a plan that is infallible; but, in the process they will have long-hidden secrets exposed and will be forced to sacrifice more than they thought possible to gain what they never though could come true.

But it can, because it’s magic-This Magic Moment!

And the excerpt:

Quickly she reached in the shower and turned on the water. Letting it run for a minute, she tossed off her clothes and held out a hand to feel the water pressure. Nice and hot. Then again, maybe she should make it cold. Tossing that thought aside in favor of creature comfort, she stepped under the spray.

As she massaged shampoo into her hair, she thought about his massaging her shoulders the same way. Not just her shoulders but across her breasts, her nipples. Between her legs. She shivered, despite the temperature of the water. Jeeze, how had her mind wandered in this direction in such a short time?

As she got ready to rinse out the shampoo, the lights flickered. Even with her eyes closed, she could tell the difference. Okay that was just once. She winced as they went out a second time, her eyes burning as a little soap got in her right eye. She brushed at the soap, silently praying they wouldn’t go off three times because when they did go out it would be … Blackness engulfed her. She sighed. Yep, three times they went out for good.

Isn’t this just hunky-dorie?

At least the water still ran, but better hurry up before it went cold. In total darkness, bending under the shower head to get the remaining soap out of her hair, she felt for the side of the shower stall. Once the soap had rinsed off, she groped her way to the front and felt outside for the towel on the counter. Where was the blasted thing? There, her hand met terry cloth. She grabbed it, letting it drape down and began to dry off. Stepping out cautiously, her foot hit the mat. One down. As her other foot joined it, something ran over the first one.

Screaming at glass-breaking pitch, she hopped from foot to foot, and lost her balance, slipping on the mat and falling to the floor. The towel fell out of her hands and plopped on the floor somewhere out of her reach. Crandall’s breath came in gulps, realizing her whole unclad body was now in vermin territory. The damned things were probably waiting to scurry all over her like some horror movie right off late night TV. By the thousands in regiments. She was mortified of mice. Damned thing that had attacked her was probably a rat. Jumping to her feet in fear, she bumped into the toilet. Thank God. Quickly, she climbed on top. Now what did she do? Wait for the lights to come back on?

The door banged open and Zack stood there holding a flashlight like a spotlight on her naked body. “Sorry, are you sure you’re okay?” She saw his head dip as his eyes drifted from her bust line downward. The man didn’t budge an inch.

Seeing the towel, she jumped down and grabbed for it, wrapping it around her torso and then jumped back on the toilet lid. “The least you could have done was turn around like a gentleman.”

“Who said I was one?” He grinned. As she glared at him, she heard him chuckle. “Okay, already, I’m turning. I thought you were in trouble.”

“There’s a mouse in here.” She sprang off the toilet in a high-hurdle move and beat feet out of the room. “Grab my bag please and set it on the bed, then find that hideous thing, now!”

“All of this is over one little critter?” He chuckled.

She sat on the bed and drew her legs under her. “Get rid of the damned monster, and I mean now!”

Minutes later, after a bunch of banging and shifting, he walked back out of the bathroom, holding the vile mouse by its tail. “See how cute?”

“Honest to God, Zack, if you come any closer with that thing, I’ll spray you with mace!”

“Wonder what you’d do to a rapist.” He shook his head. “Be right back.” He opened the outside the door and closed it behind him. She scrambled in her bag for a robe and threw it over her shoulders, quickly dropping the towel on the floor and belting the robe in place.

As he entered again and shut the door behind him, Zack shone the light back on her. “Too bad you had to put on your robe.”

“Too bad you had to have that flashlight.”

“That’s all we have right now. Here’s hoping the electricity comes on by morning.”

She heard him ease to the ground on the mattress. “By the way, if I forgot to tell you the first time we were in the same bedroom, nice body.”

She refused to speak, but his words pleased her, washing over her like a warm blast of air.

Do you all want to know where to find out more about Bobbye? Look in these places:

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