Monday, February 24, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: T. J. Wooldridge

T. J. Wooldridge is a professional writing geek who adores research into myth, folklore, legend, and the English language. Before delving full-time into wordsmithing, she has been a tutor, a teacher, an educational course designer, a video game proofreader, a financial customer service representative, a wine salesperson, a food reviewer, an editing consultant, a retail sales manager, and a nanny. While infrequent, there are times she does occasionally not research, write, or help others write. During those rare moments, she enjoys the following activities: spending time with her Husband-of-Awesome, a silly tabby cat, and two Giant Baby Bunnies in their Massachusetts home hidden in a pocket of woods in the middle of suburbia, reading, riding her horse in the nearby country stables and trails (not very well), reading Tarot (very well), drawing (also not very well), making jewelry (pretty well), making lists, and adding parenthetical commentary during random conversations. She also enjoys dressing up as fey creatures, zombies, or other such nonsense at science fiction, fantasy, and horror conventions.


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Blog Ring of Power Interview parts:
Part 1 @ Terri
Part 2 @ Teresa
Part 3 @ *waves* thanks for coming!
Part 4 @ Sandra
Part 5 @ Vicki

Section #3: The Creative Process

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?

T.J.: I both love and hate this question. Story ideas and characters attack me and they don't leave me alone. As of right now, I have more story ideas with notes and characters who still whisper in my ears than I may ever get to write in my lifetime. And more keep coming! I am very easily inspired.


BRoP: How do you deal with writer’s block?

T.J.: I don't have time for writer's block. And I believe most professional writers will give you this answer too. I have anywhere from 2-5 of my own writing projects I'm working on at any one time. If I'm stuck on one and it's not because I haven't done my research, I just switch to another project or I work on something else entirely--like a Broad Universe issue or something for Spencer Hill Press or something for horse rescue or for the Tarot class I teach. If I'm stuck because I really just need to suck it up and do research...well, I suck it up and do research. Which I usually end up enjoying anyway. :)


BRoP: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?

T.J.: I'm a mixture of both, but mostly a "pantser." While I'll have a rough idea of a map of where I want to go in my head, I have no problem exploring strange and unexpected paths my characters take me on. Of course, this often leads me to magnificently HUGE manuscripts that I often have to cut 20-30% out of, but it also means I end up with complex stories with surprises that I'm proud of.


BRoP: How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?

T.J.: I'm always researching, and I do all sorts of research: searching the Web, printing out maps, reading books of myths, interviewing people, going on hikes, attending seminars and panels, analyzing conversations with other writerly friends. I like to observe people and how they react; that's research because your characters need to be "real people." I can't quantify how much time I spend on research because I consider living part of research. How does it feel to ride my horse in single-digit weather? How long before my toes go numb? How will that tired-looking patron react to their messed-up order at the coffee shop? I also have a lot of friends on Facebook who post interesting articles from points of view that I wouldn't know: things about being a person of color or someone who doesn't speak English as a native language, things about being transgendered, things about non-heterosexual relationships, things about being a parent, things about gun control, political views I agree or disagree with. We live in a world where the ability to research is abundant, and I love making the most of it.


BRoP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?

T.J.: Romance. I have yet to write a romance that doesn't:

End tragically.

Turns into a non- or anti-romance.

Gets over run with non-romance plot...like running away from angry deities or rescuing someone from zeppelin pirates.

This is probably due to the fact that part of what makes my husband's and my relationship work is we share a love for "Want to go explore that even though it might be incredibly dangerous?" "Oh hell yeah!"



I can't honestly say I was joking when I suggested to my best friend, Joe – Prince Joseph, eldest son of England's Crown Prince – that we could probably find something the police had missed in regards to the missing children.  After all, eleven and twelve year olds like us did that all the time on the telly and in the books we read…

                When Heather and Joe decide to be Sleuthy MacSleuths on the property abutting the castle Heather's family lives in, neither expected to discover the real reason children were going missing:

                A Kelpie.  A child-eating faerie horse had moved into the loch "next door."

                The two barely escape with their lives, but they aren't safe. Caught in a storm of faerie power, Heather, Joe, and Heather's whole family are pulled into a maze of talking cats, ghostly secrets, and powerful magick.

                With another child taken, time is running out to make things right.







Links to buy the book:




The book is available in both print and e-book



The Blog Ring of Power (BRoP) is a consortium of five speculative fiction writers who have banded together to bring you highlights from the current speculative fiction market--news, reviews, and interviews with speculative fiction authors--with an emphasis on small-press and self-published authors. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and relax. Have we got a story for you...

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If you have any questions for the author that we didn't cover, please feel free to put them in the comments. Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rum and Raindrops Release Party!



Synopsis

One nature guide. One accidental forest fire. And one steamy investigator hot on her tail.

Jen Kulak's good at running from her problems, so when she finds her best friend and boyfriend in bed together she burns rubber, never looking back. When Jen finds the quirky town of Blueberry Springs, she finally feels as though she's found a place she can call home, settle in, and get to know herself. With help from her boss, she rediscovers her love of nature and begins giving wilderness tours, which would be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that she may have accidentally just burned down the forest she depends upon for her fledgling business. And it would figure that Rob Raine, the man of her dreams, also happens to be the fire investigator hot on the case.

Can Jen find the strength to fight the accusations that could cost her everything? Or will she run again, ignoring the sparks that fly between her and Rob, and torching her chances at a happily ever after?

Find out in this small town contemporary romance, the third standalone book in the Blueberry Springs series.

The full Blueberry Springs series: 
Champagne and Lemon Drops (Free) 
Whiskey and Gumdrops ($0.99 this weekend only) 
Rum and Raindrops ($1.99 this weekend only)

Excerpt 

Rob bent over, digging in the cabinet under the sink for Lord only knew what. Jen stood with her back against the shower door, admiring his firm ass. All that hiking through forests had certainly guaranteed a very nice view for her at the moment. She kind of hoped his you-know-what didn’t fall out of his boxers with all that bending over and digging around. Although she wouldn’t mind if it did. But if something did pop out of his shorts to give her the ol’ eyeball she was pretty sure with all this alcohol partying its way through her bloodstream and causing her synapses to misfire, she wouldn’t be able to handle seeing his you-know-what dance on out without the temptation to…never mind. 
Eyes up front. Clean, pure thoughts. White bunnies. Unicorns. Rainbows. 
Definitely stop staring at his nice buttocks. 
They may have assaulted people together tonight, but he was still hands off. 
God, she wished he could be hands-on. 
But she didn’t think the courts would take kindly to her sleeping with the investigator. Even if his job was done. He could still be called in to testify. Testify what a hottie she was with her clothes off. 
Wow. This alcohol…it must have been the Sex on the Beach shots. Infused with something hormonal because she really wanted to reach up his short’s leg and…and do a lot more than wait to see if she’d become a passive participant in a game of boxer-short-peek-a-boo. 
Oh, man. She needed to lock down her brain. And maybe cuff herself to the toilet while she was at it. Hmmm. Cuffs… 
No. No. No. 
Unicorns. Bunnies. Rainbows. Definitely not bunnies and unicorns doing it on a rainbow. 
She just about leapt into the shower to spray herself down with cold water when Rob turned, flashing her nothing but thigh above his tan line, breaking an ice pack from a first aid kit. Jesus. He would have made a good doctor. Those capable hands breaking the inner bag, giving the ice pack a vigorous shake, and now bringing her closer so he could gently apply it. What if she fainted? She could faint right now. Just sort of collapse into his arms. Let him catch her. Maybe he could nurse her back to health without any clothes on. 
"What did you do?" Amusement caused a lilt in his voice as he held the pack against the goose egg on her forehead. 
"I tackled Cody into the wall when the bouncer came to his rescue. I may have underestimated the physics involved in taking someone down." 
He laughed, tipping his head back to let the rich sound swell over her like fresh rain. 
She brushed the ice pack away, feeling the chill slipping too deep. She took the wet cloth off the vanity and dabbed at Rob’s lower lip. That bouncer had a hell of a swing. 
Rob leaned against the vanity, straddling her between his legs, bringing them eye to eye. He rested a warm hand on her waist, the heat of his grip traveling through her tank top, surrounding her in warmth, protection, and maybe…maybe something else she dared not think about. 
She let out a low chuckle. Who would have thought a bar brawl would break the final layer of ice between them? Let him draw her in closer. Their eyes met, holding conversations she couldn’t figure out. The timing, it was still off, wasn’t it? Behind their desire, they were both holding back, afraid. Unable. 
She sighed, resisting the urge to brush her chest against Rob in longing. He brushed away her hand with the cloth, pulling her closer. He pulled out her ponytail, running his fingers through her hair to isolate the purple streak. "Why purple?" 
She shrugged. "Why not?" 
"I like it," he said, wrapping it around his finger. He gave a gentle tug, pulling her face closer to his. 
Gray eyes. Warm. Flecks of blue. Hope. 
His lips hovered against hers. Not a kiss, but much more than a breath check. She closed her eyes and rested a hand against his cheek, enjoying the moment of being close. Breathing each other in. Not having to progress to anything. Just being. Knowing someone was there. 
She pushed her lips a fraction closer, kissing him softly. 
This. 
This was what she had been missing. What she had wanted all along. 
His lips explored hers. Warm and moist. Welcoming. 
A real kiss. 
A rock your world, weaken the knees kiss. 
A kiss for which all future kisses would be measured against. She collapsed into his warmth, the comfort of his body penetrating every wall she’d erected over the years. 
So simple. So innocent. And yet so much understanding gently flowing between them. 
A tentative, soft connection that ran deep. 
She slowly opened her eyes, leaning back. 
No future kisses would match its intimacy, tenderness, and trust. 
And she wanted more. 
They pulled together again, her hands running through his soft, short hair as she kissed him gently, telling his soul she could be patient. His arms encircled her waist, rubbed her back, brought her closer, joined their body heat. 
She placed a hand on his chest, arching away, breathless. Inside she was disheveled, everything out of place. She wanted too much. Too much of what she couldn't have. 





Jean Oram loves to read and has worked as a librarian--a job that is a serious contender for the best job ever as duties include buying thousands of new books with someone else's money! She also loves the great outdoors and has worked as a beekeeper as well as a ski instructor in Alberta, Canada. She loves to travel and people watch and now puts her experiences to the page with her zany characters. You can often find her outside playing with her kids and the family dog or else in front of her computer dreaming up new ways to put her heroines in tough situations. 

She loves to connect on Twitter (@jeanoram) and share lots of great, free romance on her blog (www.jeanoram.com) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jeanoramauthor). She lives with her family and a multitude of pets out in the country.

Jean's first novel, Champagne and Lemon Drops (FREE!) starts off the Blueberry Springs series. She will be holding a reader appreciation sale this weekend where you can get all three books in the Blueberry Springs series for the price of one! You can get in on that sale on all your favourite online book selling sites.

Champagne And Lemon Drops Purchase Links

Kobo 

Whiskey And Gumdrops purchase Links


And now available:
Rum and Raindrops Purchase Links


Monday, February 17, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: George Sirois

Welcome to another Blog Ring of Power Monday. Today isn't so bad, not many people out on the roads, due to Presidents day in the USA. So sit back and relax, grab that cup of coffee, and read about George Sirois. I promise, it will be worth it. 


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P2 @ Sit back and read on... you are here!


George Sirois self-published his first novel “From Parts Unknown” in November of 2002, which he is re-working as a five-part eBook serial and paperback release. When he self-published his Young Adult/Science-Fiction novel “Excelsior” in July of 2010, it was named “Top Pick” by Night Owl Reviews and a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. George’s writing has also been seen on 411Mania.com and Booktrib.com as a featured columnist. After living in New York City for most of his life, George and his wife and their two dogs now happily call St. Louis, MO their home. In his spare time, George is an avid cinephile, a collector of film scores, a lifelong fan of the New York Giants, and enjoys West Coast Swing dancing. (The fact that he knows the difference between East and West Coast Swing makes me love him even more)


BRoP: What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc.

George: I’ve done my share of writing in lots of places over the years: work, home, school, libraries, Starbucks, St. Louis Bread Co., Central Park, even in a couple of bars. My penmanship has deteriorated so much over the years that I can barely read it anymore, so for my own sanity’s sake, I use my laptop. It takes a bit of a struggle for me to get into a good writing rhythm, but once I’m in that rhythm, I can churn out 10-15 pages per day.

BRoP: How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?

George: I’m still trying to figure that part out. My wife and I both work full-time jobs, we have a social life, and we have a new house. So the difficult part is carving out the time for me to sit down and write, knowing that I’m not going to be sucking that time away by being online. Thankfully, I discovered the StayFocused app on Google Chrome so I know that, once I can commit to a certain time frame, then I’ll use that to keep myself on track.

BRoP: What has been the most surprising reaction to something you've written?

George: I think it was when I got the first compliment to “Excelsior” from someone that wasn't a close friend or family member. Even better: it was from an acclaimed author, Ann Charles, who writes the successful Deadwood mystery series. We were both part of a major promotion by the Indie Book Collective, and it just so happened that my book came before hers. So I read her book (which I loved) and she read mine. This was what she said on her page:

lPrevious Tour Stop: the Stellar George Sirois

l(I’m a huge fan!)

I had a blast reading George Sirois’ book, Excelsior! I loved the way he transitioned between worlds, he built more and more tension and excitement as the story progressed, and he kept me hooked with every scene and chapter all of the way to the end. Excelsior was refreshingly original and fun, adventurous, a definite must-read. Thanks to George for his lively story, which made a heck of an entertaining stop on the tour for all of us, readers and authors alike.

                This was the first clue for me that maybe I was on to something with “Excelsior.”

BRoP: Other than your family, what has been your greatest source of support?

George: My friends, fellow authors, and my editor. My friends get excited when I've hit milestones in my writing and are anxious to know when the next book will come out. Fellow writers know exactly what I’m going through when it comes to gaining and losing momentum. And my editor has just made me be a better writer and is so encouraging with each project.

BRoP: How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?

George: If I’m in a position where I can address the issues they had, and if their suggestions don’t compromise the story I’m trying to tell, then I make those changes. If it’s just a “couldn't finish, so bad” kind of review, then I just let it go and move on. You’re not going to please everyone, so don’t try because if you do, you don’t please anyone, especially yourself.



 Author Contact Information 
 Official Newsletter - http://bit.ly/19iazWM to subscribe


Created by high school senior Matthew Peters, Excelsior – savior of faraway planet Denab IV – is becoming an Internet sensation as the main character of a popular online comic strip. But before Matthew can enjoy his burgeoning success, a beautiful older woman arrives at his school and tells him that not only is she from the planet Denab IV, but that Excelsior's lifeforce lives within him. 
Now, with Excelsior's old enemies regaining strength, Matthew realizes he is the key to Earth's survival and Denab IV's salvation, and he has an opportunity that he never thought possible, to become his greatest creation. . . 

Book Links:
Book is in both print and e-copy



~~~  ~~~  ~~~

The Blog Ring of Power (BRoP) is a consortium of five speculative fiction writers who have banded together to bring you highlights from the current speculative fiction market--news, reviews, and interviews with speculative fiction authors--with an emphasis on small-press and self-published authors. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and relax. Have we got a story for you...

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: T.E. Ridener

It's Monday. I know, I know. You don't want to hear it. But I have some good news. It's Blog Ring of Power time! Today we have a buddy of mine that I've been stalking on FaceBook for some time. Great posts and awesome covers. So let me do a little fangirl squee and we will get to it!

T.E. Ridener resides in the small community of Gray, Kentucky with her equally eccentric yet amazingly interesting family. Miss Ridener has written a handful of novels as well as various short stories during her career as a writer. When she is not writing, she enjoys listening to nearly every genre of music, watching movies, and spending time with her niece and nephew. Her greatest accomplishment to date has been The Blood Betrayal Series, with characters she dreamed up while she was still a teenager. She believes that the Blood Betrayal Series will go far one day, despite the overrating of vampires in the past few years. According to her, vampires will -never- go out of style even if their fashion choices do!



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Don't forget to check out the rest of her interview:
Part 1 @ Here!

BRoP: How long have you been writing?

T.E. I can remember filling notebooks with stories from a very early age. I was probably around 9 or so when I started writing very short stories. We’re talking like, 2 paragraphs. Haha. Before that though, I was definitely telling stories with sales papers, glue, and scissors. I also had a tape recorder and I’d narrate my little tales. I still have a few cassette tapes..somewhere….

BRoP: Tell us about your early works—what was the first thing you ever wrote?

T.E.: The first thing I ever wrote –don’t laugh at me- was a fanfiction of me meeting the Hansons. My best friend and I were obsessed with them, and I can remember writing a 10 page story on getting stuck in the rain and randomly finding their house. Of course I sought shelter there, and Zac Hanson fell in love with me. Oh, a girl can dream.

BRoP: What books have most influenced your life?

T.E.: I’m not sure if anyone here is familiar with the books, but I used to read a lot of the “Adventures of the Northwoods” series. They were more Christian-based (which I didn’t know until recently), but I was absolutely in love with the character of Erik. Kate was such a strong girl and she went on so many adventures. I longed to have those adventures, too. I also really enjoyed the Mandie Series (Again, Christian-based and I never knew!). I adored the trouble that Mandie and her friend Celia would get into..I always really wanted to have my own Celia so we could end up in places we weren’t meant to be.

Aside from those two particular series, I know that R.L. Stein, Stephen King, and Anne Rice have stuck with me. The Fear Street books were always on my TBR list and I asked for Goose Bumps every birthday. A book that most certainly stands out above the rest would be IT. It’s my favorite book by Stephen King and I’ve read it at least 12 times if not more. My older cousin let me borrow his copy for about two months when I was younger and it definitely got a lot of attention!


BRoP: What genre do you write?

T.E.: Up until recently I was convinced I wrote Paranormal, but it was much to my surprise when a fellow author (and friend) told me I write urban Fantasy. It’s really funny because my Descendants Series was meant to be the test on if I was actually capable of writing Fantasy…but who knew? My vampires have been Fantasy this entire time. Genres blur for me. I don’t try to label anything I write, honestly. I’d rather just say “This has love and fairies in it, so read it.” Haha.

BRoP:  If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

T.E.: There are three dreams jobs I’ve wanted since I was very young. The first of those being a mortician. I know what you’re thinking; what is wrong with you?! But it’s true. I’ve always wanted to be that person who stands in a room with dead people. Death doesn’t bother me like it does other people, so I know I could really adapt to the lifestyle of cleaning up and preparing a person for burial. I’m morbid, and that’s okay. The only thing that stopped me from becoming a mortician was the fact the nearest school was 3 hours away from me and I wasn’t quite ready to be that far away from home.

I also wouldn’t mind being a screen writer or a radio DJ. I quite enjoy movies and music, so I could see myself being involved with either of those fields.


Blog - Facebookpage - Goodreads author page - Twitter - Amazon Author Page - Google +

From the moment we are born, we accept that a day will come when our lives must end.
That is not the case for 23 year old Ren Croswell.

Ren died a few short months before his 24th birthday and he’s been stuck in the Colgrove cemetery for the past five years. He’s made some friends and it’s not all that bad, but there is one thing that won’t settle in his restless soul; he isn’t supposed to be dead.

23 year old Hannah Benoit moved to Colgrove, Kentucky in hopes of escaping her past. One can only handle being ‘the girl who sees ghosts’ for so long. This new town will give her a clean slate and a fresh start, but nothing can prepare her for what she’s about to find.

On Halloween, the one day of the year when Ren can walk among the living, everything will change. Death promised him it would be different this year, but there’s no possible way Ren could’ve known the true reason for his sudden and mistaken demise. Hannah will discover that her blessing of a curse was given to her for a reason, and they will both find what they’ve been looking for this entire time; the truth, and each other.

You won’t see it coming.

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Transition is a New Adult Fantasy novella that will accompany a future series from T.E. Ridener, currently untitled. If you are under 18, please be aware there is strong language in this novella from time to time, and sexual situations are implied.


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Monday, February 3, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Kelsey Jordan

It's another Monday. I know, break out the coffee, sit back for a few minutes and relax because we have another BRoP author to show off. Welcome Kelsey Jordan to the Realm!

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Don't forget the rest of the interview is up today as well. 
Part 3 @ here with me!

Like everyone, Kelsey has her share of vices. They typically center around sinful frappes made with Blue Bell Coffee ice cream, late nights hanging out with her demanding muse, spending an embarrassing amount of time reading, and napping.
When she isn't indulging in her love of books, music, late nights with her muse, and delicious, but fattening frappes, she is spending time with her hubby and daughter.

Section #3: The Creative Process

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas? 

Kelsey: I’m one of those people who stumbles into a new idea. It’s kind of distracting to tell you the truth.

BRoP: How do you deal with writer’s block? 

Kelsey: Work on something else. If it’s only a scene giving me an issue, I hand-write it. I feel the return to the organic (paper and pen) process helps me focus on the task better than dealing with technology. It’s a pain to transcribe, but it works for me. 

BRoP: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)? 

Kelsey: I’m a halfser. I have the overall concept of the story, but I go along with my characters as they journey they along. 

BRoP: Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not? 

Kelsey: I use beta readers. I don’t have a particular reason other than it has worked the best for me.

BRoP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write? 

Kelsey: Emotional scenes. I’m not a very emotional person. Odd for a romance writer I know, but I’m more analytical with my feelings about things.
Author Contact Information:



Kyran of the Blue Ridge Pack has spent most of his life searching for an end to the Forever War. Finding a Hunter among their greatly diminished ranks who was willing to forgo their "shoot first" mentality was harder than it seemed. Then fate—or the gods—gifted him with Alexis James, a petite Hunter with a nasty habit for killing his kind and a need for his surgical skills.
Alexis only has two wishes in life: make it through her next assignment, or die a relatively quick death. With a heart hardened by miserable circumstances and painful memories, her view of kindness and common decency was marred by scars of swift retribution. So when the blue-eyed Lycan saw fit to save her life, she wondered: At what cost?

After eight thousand years of war, the end is becoming a reality, but is the possibility of peace worth Kyran's soul and possibly Alexis' life?


 Book Links:The book is available in both formats.



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