Monday, June 30, 2014

A BLOODY GOOD CRUISE Giveaway Contest

I'm giving away the e-book of A BLOODY GOOD CRUISE to 3 readers who can tell me the 3 historical figures they most want to meet & why. Send your answers to me at diana@dianarubino.com.

Mary Anne Edwards sent in: I'd love to meet George Washington. I want to understand the thought, the reasoning, and meaning of the Constitution.
I'd love to meet Queen Victoria. I want to learn the history of the English monarchs and have a good tea.
I'd love to meet Cleopatra. I want to ask her why she got mixed up with Caesar and Marc Anthony.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Annamaria Bazzi, INCANTATION PARADOX Author, Is My Guest

Tour Banner  
Novel: Incantation Paradox
Author: annamaria bazzi
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Natasha Brown
Available: June 2
 
Synopsis
IncantationParadox-small
 
A car accident cuts Dolores Reynard’s life short, leaving her with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. When she awakens in a strange bed, inside a much younger body, and living with a new family—she can’t worry she might be going insane. How can she be a teenager again? Jason Richmond understands the danger awaiting his new houseguest. Wanting to ease her concerns, he works to earn Dolores’ trust. But attraction flares in the most unexpected way, and he finds himself caught between setting the situation right and following his heart. An enduring evil threatens not only the blossoming love but their lives as well. As Dolores and Jason struggle to unravel the truth behind her resurrection, they find themselves tangled in a web of murder, intrigue and magic. Only together can they hope to overcome the incantation paradox holding them captive.
Book Links:
Enjoy the third chapter of the novel. If you follow the tour you'll be able to read all three chapters. I hope you enjoy the chapter.  
Excerpt
Chapter Three
Dolores snuggled deeper into the covers, the fresh lavender fragrance from the bedding filling her nostrils. How sweet! Grabbing a fistful of sheets, she inhaled. Wait...the sheets don’t feel right. With a jolt, she opened her eyes and stared at smooth ceiling plaster, the crack she’d nagged her ex-husband, Ethan, to fix before he’d walked out, gone. When she moved the covers farther down her body, silk ran through her fingers. What? With a gasp, she sat up, blood rushing from her head bringing momentary vertigo. Her gaze raced around the unfamiliar room. Her heartbeat inched into her throat. Two French doors leading out to a wide balcony stood where a large picture window had once been. She rubbed her eyes, but nothing changed. Oh my God. What happened? She swallowed hard. The pictures of the girls were gone, replaced by a poster of Edward the vampire from Twilight. She shivered. Where am I? How the hell did I get here? Black geometric figures flashed in her vision. She rubbed a hand across her forehead, pressing clammy palms on her closed lids. Damn. Not another migraine. When she released the pressure and glanced around, the tranquil tea-rose wall color did nothing to calm her. The morning light filtered through the curtains, assaulting her eyes. She squeezed them closed, gasping for air, lungs burning. Breathe deep. In, out, slow.... Throwing the covers aside, she let them fall to the floor. When she stood, her feet rested on a black-and-white sheep pelt. The warmth from the woolen carpet wrapped around her cold feet. Her heart continued to somersault, slamming against her ribcage. Shaking her head, she pressed her fingertips to her temples, hoping to wake up from whatever bizarre nightmare had trapped her. Knock, knock, knock. Dolores jumped, rounding toward the foreign-looking bedroom door. Was there an enemy on the other side, armed and dangerous? “Mona, time to get up,” came an unfamiliar voice. “You don’t want to be late on your first day of school.”
Terrified, her mind focused only on the unfamiliar baritone voice. Oh, God. Oh, God. Help me. Frozen, unable to decide if she should run or hide, her mind sank into that dark place where thoughts became hard to sort. “Mona! Hurry up.” “Think.” Gritting her teeth, she managed small panting breaths. “Breathe and think.” Heavy footsteps indicated the man’s departure. Who the hell was that? Did he call me Mona? She took a moment to compose herself, to get her bearings then inched through the room, making sure she was alone. Tiptoeing, she crept past a mirror, stopping to stare at the reflection. Her eyes grew wide, and she gasped. The reflection of her seventeen-year-old self mocked her. Leaning forward, she examined luminous, tight skin—the appearance of youth. How the hell did I get so young? But then, everything about her felt different—vibrant, energetic. The throb at the back of her head came and went. Shocked, she pulled up the oversized sweatshirt she wore to discover tight abs. Impossible! Dolores pinched her stomach. What happened to the little pouch of fat from having children? Her lower lip quivered with a bit of excitement at the sight of toned legs. Holy crap! Wait...what is this? Thin elastic strips circling her hips held a tiny bit of fabric in place. Butt floss...I’m wearing a thong? Tanned skin covered tight muscles, giving her buttocks a sexy, jaw-dropping appeal. Facing the mirror straight on, she cupped her breasts. No longer saggy like plastic bags stuffed with silly putty, but firm and perky. She yanked the sweatshirt, stretching it as far down as it would go, grateful it fit more like a micro-dress. The idea that what was happening might not be a dream lingered in a corner of her mind. But she couldn’t remember anything that would explain how she might have gotten here. The night before had turned into a whiteboard. It doesn’t make sense. She raised shaky hands to touch smooth cheeks. I must be going into shock. Leaning closer to the mirror, she observed normal pupils—no dilation, no shock. Reality? She shook her head. No. More like a nightmare beginning. Knock, knock, knock. She spun toward the door. Oh my God. He’s at the door again.
“Mona, are you getting up?” the same voice called out. A moment later, footsteps moved down the hall. Bile pushed up her throat. She cringed at the bad taste, breathing deep to settle her stomach. She glared at the door, unable to move. Who is Mona? The question echoed around her brain. Nothing made sense. A sparkle of crushed glass flashed through her mind. Tumbling. The images blackened, and a sharp pain stabbed her temple then ran down her spine. She winced, disoriented, puzzled. The door opened. Dolores held her breath. A tall man stood in the doorway, his brows knitted, appraising her. “Is everything all right?” Who is he? Exhaling, she edged toward the French doors in search of escape. Did he bring me here? Why is he staring at me like that? Is he going to kill me? A burst of light in her mind’s eye blinded her. Plummeting. Rolling. Glass grinding. Agony. And then...nothing. She flinched, the room seeming to spin. “Mona?” Sweat rolled down the sides of her face, along her neck. She wiped her cheek. The more she studied him, the more she relaxed in his presence, realizing his expression held a great deal of compassion, of worry—not threat or malice. “Who are you?” The concern in his chocolate-colored eyes deepened. “How’s your head, kiddo?” She reached toward the relentless throb at the base of her skull. Why is he calling me kiddo? “Ouch!” She fingered a lump. “What happened?” “Don’t you remember?” He stepped toward her. Gasping, she moved closer to the balcony door. She reached for the knob. Locked. Her mind raced through all the self-defense moves she knew. He stopped mid-stride, his brow furrowing. “Mona?” His soft inflection sounded strange to her ear. With feet spread shoulder width apart, she stood ready to strike. He moved to sit at the foot of the bed. In a low voice, she repeated, “Who are you?” Then added, “Where am I?” Even while she spoke, she measured the distance to the open bedroom door.
“Mona, you hit your head pretty hard last night after you tumbled down the stairs.” He tapped his skull with one finger. “But I’m not Mona. My name is Dolores,” she protested with an energy she didn’t think she could muster. She forced her fists to her hips. “Kiddo, it seems you’re suffering from amnesia after all.” He hit his temple. “It doesn’t make sense. You didn’t even have a concussion. Do you remember the MRI?” She shook her head. “Do you have a headache?” She nodded. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “I always have them.” Migraines had been constant companions like little lap dogs that never left her side. The current pain didn’t seem quite as bad as most, but the lump on the back of the head sent shockwaves of doubt through her brain. He patted the space next to him. “Come sit by me.” She stared at his kind yet unfamiliar face, making no move to do as he suggested, but did let her arms drop to her sides. Her heart did another flip before slowing. Realizing the man’s gaze never roamed over her half-naked body, she took a calming breath. A smile brushed his lips. “Don’t be so afraid. I’m your father.” “You’re not my father. I don’t know who you are.” She shut her jaw so tight it began to ache, but no matter how hard she dug into her memories, nothing surfaced that made any sense. She closed her eyes, willing the nightmare to go away. Not a chance. Peeking through her eyelashes, she observed the stranger. With a deep sigh, he lowered his chin to his chest. “Then can you tell me who you are?” “My name is Dolores....” The man sighed again. How can this be? In the mirror, she saw herself—a self from almost thirty years ago, but nonetheless herself. “What do you see?” He opened his hands, showing his palms. “I see my daughter, suffering.” “What does she look like?” “Like a wild cat, cowering in a corner.”
She inhaled. “Do I look like your daughter?” He wiped his face with his hand. “You are my daughter.” The world had gone crazy. I’m a teen? No, I’m a mom with teenage daughters. Even though she struggled to draw enough air into her lungs, her head spun, making her stomach queasy again. She reached for the dresser to catch her balance. Two strong arms scooped her off her feet. “Whoa. I got you.” He carried her to the bed. “Baby girl, how are you feeling?” Dolores’s mind churned, pondering the puzzle pieces that did not fit. When the room stopped spinning, he came into focus, sitting on a dainty upholstered chair. He had a kind face with a strong, square jaw, his full lips forming a fine line. His gaze was locked on her. Chilled, she shuddered. “I don’t remember you.” She continued to stare—no recollection whatsoever. Rising onto her elbows, she blinked several times. A flash.
The same man saunters into the backyard. Mona jumps off the swing, screaming, “Daddy, Daddy.” She runs. He bends with open arms to catch her, lifting her into the air. She laughs when he twirls her around. “How’s my little girl today?” Her small hands wrap around his neck. “I love you, Daddy.”
She squeezed her eyes shut tight to chase away the memory that wasn’t hers. Instead, she allowed images of her daughters playing with their father to come into focus. A tear snaked down her cheek. She swiped it away. “Are you still feeling dizzy?” he asked. “No.” “You don’t remember me?” She shook her head, but stopped because she did have recollections of the man. Fog crept into her mental peripheral, growing, wrapping around her brain, rendering her incapable of coherent thought. The doorbell rang.
“That must be Eric.” He looked to the bedroom door and waited.
A few seconds later, the front door slammed. Footsteps thumped up the stairs. The man got up, leaving to meet the person in the hallway. Their muffled conversation reached her ears, but she couldn’t understand the words. Jumping off the bed, she searched for any clues to figure out why the world had turned upside down. On the elegant white desk sat a laptop. Propelled by desperation, she opened it and hit the On button. The screen flickered to life from sleep mode. Thank God it’s not password protected. Perched on the edge of the chair, she clicked the icon to start a browser—adrenalin pulsed through her body. Surely, her email account would hold some answers. She tried to log on. The words “The email you entered does not belong to any account” flashed onto the screen. What? Thinking she’d made a typo, she tried again. The message flashed on the screen again. Her email didn’t exist. Maybe I no longer exist. She hesitated, pondering her entire life. Dolores Reynard’s life. It was too vivid, too real to ignore. She recreated her email account and wrote a message to Ethan. Thank God that went through. On second thought, she decided to send a message to her daughters also. Relief filled her heart. How long would it take them to see her message and reply? She closed the laptop. She looked around the unfamiliar room, and her breathing sped up, coming in short, uneven sputters. I can’t hyperventilate, or I’ll faint. She panted into her hands forcefully, slowly, unable to clear her mind and understand what in heavens could have brought her here. She really needed to talk to someone, anyone from the life she knew she belonged to. From the corner of her eye, she noticed a cell phone lying on a pile of discarded clothes. She rushed over and dialed Ethan’s number. Ringing. More ringing. Seriously? Come on, I don’t have much time. Ethan, where are you? He always answered right away. Maybe he didn’t recognize the number on caller ID. Voice mail came on, but then the line just cut off before she could hear the greeting. Damn it. With a groan she tossed the phone aside. The Richmond Times Dispatch. She typed her name in the paper’s search box. Bingo. The morning headlines were unmistakable.
POLICE CHASE ENDS IN DEATH. Dolores Rima Reynard was pronounced dead at the Medical College of Virginia several hours after arrival.
 
~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~
annamaria bazzi
 
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing. You can visit Annamaria at: blog / website / Facebook / annamariascorner@yahoo.com / twitter / goodreads

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A BLOODY GOOD CRUISE Worldwide Release June 13 and Contest


Hi Vamp Lovers, my vamp romance A BLOODY GOOD CRUISE is out today. I'm giving away a free e-book of A BLOODY GOOD CRUISE to the first 5 readers who can tell me:

Which 3 historical figures would you have wanted to meet, and why? Email me your answers to Diana@dianarubino.com and I'll post everything here on my blog.
 
A little bit about A Bloody Good Cruise, a fun-filled blend of the vampire world and luxury cruises.


Romance writer Mona Rossi's book sales are slipping. She needs new ideas and fast! Her vampire love, Fausto Silvius is a doctor aboard the Romanza, a luxury cruise ship. Holding a "Motion on the Ocean" writer's cruise sounds like a great idea. What better way to combine a career boost with romance? But they soon discover hunters on board who give chase to Fausto and his fellow vampires. While he longs to bring Mona into his world, how can he convince her to join him with fringe lunatics on the hunt? In the prime of her life she's not sticking her neck out for a shot at eternity.

A Bloody Good Cruise Fun Facts:


1) My husband and I are hooked on cruising, and my very first cruise was on the Eastern Mediterranean, beginning in Rome and ending in Istanbul. The ports of call included Rhodes, Cyprus, Santorini, and Egypt. Because I love Italy and cruising, I wanted to combine those passions with a humorous story about vampires and how they face prejudice in the human world.

2) I met an Italian woman named Fausta in 1983 and always loved that name--I always planned to use that name in one of my books someday. I finally got the chance with the hero Fausto, close enough!

3) The actor I envision for the hero Fausto is Vincent Irizarry, who played Dr. David Hayward on All My Children. He is every bit the perfect vampire.

 

Excerpt:

Fausto took command of a standing mike. When she heard him address the crowd with a simple Good evening, she stumbled back in shock, almost landing ass first in the punchbowl.

It was Fausto, in the most stunning outfit hed ever worn. A black velvet cape swirled like liquid onyx. A gold medallion rested on his chest. His black hair was slicked back, revealing a widows peak. His look bordered on sinister. His dark eyes penetrated the room with a devilish twinkle. A smile revealed two gleaming white fangs. He projected a picture of menacing confidence.

But to the crowd who saw a familiar figure they all feared, he was simply Dracula. Its Dracula!

Purchase A Bloody Good Cruise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Award-Winning Author Pamela S. Thibodeaux is my Guest Today


Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
To date, Pamela has 6 novels, 6 short stories and 2 non-fiction books published and available for your reading pleasure! Pamela is the Marketing Associate for Pelican Ventures which consists of Pelican Book Group>, TWJ Magazine and Christian Book Videos..
 
Pamela is a firmly committed Christian, mother and grandmother whose main goal in her writing is to encourage people into a deeper walk with God. She even includes a letter to the reader in every book!
 
About You:
 If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?
Dance! Nothing energizes my body, frees my mind or soothes my soul like a two-step, waltz or jitterbug across a sawdust covered floor in the arms of a gentleman.
What kind of books do you love to read? Why?
Romance or Women’s fiction but it must have a HEA ending! Nothing irritates me more than to pick up a great book and it end with the hero or heroine dying! I know, I know…reality but life has enough sorrow as it is I don’t want that in my books. I read a lot more spiritual non fiction than fiction though because I’m always seeking a deeper relationship with God and others and a truer knowledge of who I am.
What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to?
With the exception of rap or heavy metal, I love just about any and all kinds of music. 
What is your stress buster?
Dancing! I also read, swim, hike, horseback ride…. Just about anything outdoors and/or away from the computer and/or the hustle & bustle of my life. 
What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you’re sad, sort of a comfort food?
            Bread is my weakness in its every shape and form and I love chocolate, but I guess the one thing I reach for as a ‘comfort’ food would be vanilla wafers and milk, in a bowl, with a spoon.
Describe yourself in one word.
Kindhearted.
If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be? Why?
That there would be peace on earth. I know that sounds trite but I am so saddened by the state of affairs between people…families, communities, nations, countries….If everyone would vow to just seek their own inner peace there would be a lot less violence and crime. If we would relax and know that we live in an abundant universe held together by an Omnipotent, generous, loving, God and share that knowledge in love with others, this world would be a much better place. Imagine….. 
What’s your biggest regret in life?
That my dream of a stay-home wife and mother with a house full of children didn’t materialize. I’ve got two by blood and two by marriage and always had to work. Not complaining though as everyone is healthy and blessed!
 
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Hmmm that’s a toss up between a boat tour in Alaska and climbing Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, TX.
 
What makes you happy/sad/disappointed/frustrated/hopeful/angry? (Pick one)
The one thing that seems to have all of these effects on me is narrow-mindedness. I dislike judgementalism and criticism of other people and try to live my life by two mottos: Don’t mock what you don’t understand and Judge not lest you be judged.
What are your wildest dreams/fantasies/kinks/quirks?
Hmmm… getting kinda personal here ;-)  Seriously I’m a pretty simple and stable gal. I guess my wildest dream is to visit the Triple Crown races and, maybe one day, Ireland.

How would readers find out more about you?
 
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
 
 
About Your Writing
 
 
When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?
 
For years I wrote in 5 subject notebooks. When I bought my first word processor, it took about 6 months to type/revise Tempered Hearts. Each consecutive book took about the same amount of time except for The Visionary which the entire first draft took only four months.
 
Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them?
 
One of the biggest obstacles I had was in learning POV and how to say what I wanted to say from a different characters point of view. The next obstacle I’ve encountered is finding a traditional publisher for my work since I don’t write conservative but “Inspirational with an Edge!” How I overcame/come is by writing the book of my heart and if it doesn’t fit with a traditional house, independently publish through my imprint, Temperance Publishing.
 
How did you feel when you received your first contract? What did you do? Any celebratory dinner, dance, event, etc to commemorate the occasion?
 
My first contract was for Tempered Hearts with Writers Exchange E-publishing and I was thrilled! I remember dancing around the house and calling everyone but not sure if we celebrated with more than a glass of wine.
 
Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent?
 
I wish I could write a super clean first draft, send it in to an editor and then have a publicist do all the promotion LOL! As for exceptional talent….not sure. I’ve been at this so long and it seems like just when I’ve gotten it down pat, the rules change.
What kind of books do you love/hate to write? Why?
I love to write romance. There is nothing like the flush of new love, those giddy emotions and watching the characters overcome their personal hang-ups to make the relationship grow. Don’t think there is anything I hate to write unless it’s something that involves a lot of research.
 
What do you think about editing?
 
In a word….UGH… at least at first glance but I love learning, growing and improving my craft so editing, for me, is a double edged sword.
 
Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?
 
Favorite work time is any chance I get! I travel a lot and have more irons in the fire now than when I had a full time job and a family at home and to be honest, since my husband passed away in 2009, I haven’t gotten my groove back into writing consistently unless you count blog posts, articles, essays, interviews….
 
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.
 
All of the above (except for the world LOL) have applied to my stories. For example, my novel The Inheritance began with a thought…. They say life begins at forty but for Rebecca Sinclair that’s far from the truth. Of course being the nosy writer I am I had to start asking Why? J My Tempered series and spin off story, Lori’s Redemption began mostly with characters showing up and telling me their story. Being 100% SOTP writer, I normally have no plot ideas first or barely during, LOL! I just write.
 
What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc? What is your must-have book for writing? What is your advice to aspiring writers?
 
Although do not have a “must read” book for writing, I did enjoy On Writing by Stephen King. I’ve read many others but the best advice I can give new writers is to read, read, read. Study the books you love most, take note of the style, flow, pacing, etc. then just write. The more you write and edit, the more you will grow and improve.
 
About Your Books
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write Inspirational “with an edge” romance, women’s fiction and creative non fiction. I love reading romance books so writing that comes natural however the main reason I write is to share God’s message of hope and healing to a hurting world.
 
Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why?
 
That’s hard to say as I love each of my books for different reasons. I guess my favorite would be my devotional, Love is a Rose which parallels the love of God and Christian life to the words of the song, The Rose. It is amazing how God can take a simple country song (as I heard it sung by Conway Twitty) and connect them to Scripture to show His amazing love!
Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?
 
Where does anyone get their ideas? LOL! I get mine from life, conversations, watching people, other books I wrote or read might spark an idea. I usually jot down ideas on the computer or the note feature on my phone.
 
Which book is the closest to your heart? Why?
 
Well that would actually be two books: Tempered Dreams and The Visionary. Both deal with tough subjects (domestic violence and child abuse respectively) and both show the awesome power of God to heal the most wounded of souls.
 
Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why?
 
Alex Broussard in The Visionary is most special because out of all of my heroes, he is the one who most reminds me of my deceased husband…. Oodles and oodles of charm and charisma by the case.
 
Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you? Why?
 
Although I have her fire and am prone to temper like Tamera in Tempered Hearts, Katrina Simmons in Tempered Dreams is most like me. Both of us survived an abusive relationship and found true love the second go around. Then again, Rebecca Sinclair in The Inheritance and I have a lot in common too.
Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why?

Oh by all means Dr. Scott Hensley in Tempered Dreams! Everything about him is reflective of the perfect hero….strong yet gentle, tough yet tender and loves his lady with every fiber of his being. But then again, all of my heroes do.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?

Since I am a SOTP writer this happens quite a bit. I’ve learned to just write as the characters tell or show me their story. Sometimes I can go back and revise to more fit my idea of how/when/why/where the story should go or be, but usually letting the characters live their life while I record it works best for me. 

Any new projects, work in progress?

I currently have 2 fiction and 2 nonfiction books in progress and a whole host of other ideas. I am also preparing my novel, Circles of Fate for publication and editing/formatting my Tempered series for print.

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Delightful Pulp" author Mickey J. Corrigan Talks About Writing and More

Welcome my guest, Mickey J. Corrigan, known to write delightful pulp and more for


Originally from Boston, Mickey lives and writes and gets into trouble in South Florida. Mickey has published fiction in literary journals and online magazines. Novellas include Dream Job, a cyber romance which has been compared to Twilight Zone and The Matrix; Professional Grievers, a romantic comedy set among funeral and wakes; Me Go Mango, a girls' reunion gone wild; and Geekus Interruptus, the story of a not-so-bright woman who falls in love with a nerd. Sugar Babies is a novel about the soft prostitution industry, a thriller.
 
The Wild Rose Press is publishing Mickey's new series, The Hard Stuff. Each novella in the series focuses on a tough woman in a tough situation who falls for a man—aand not the best man in her current circumstances. Mickey's romances are not normal love stories. Her stories are gritty, wild and dark, but often darkly funny. The protagonists are kickass women. They have spunk and sass. Their romantic involvements are unusual. These are not nice girls pursued by men with bouquets of roses and bottles of champagne. Love comes hard, but it is oh so real.

Your writing:

When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?

I wrote my first book in grad school, a textbook. It took a year to complete and a year to find a publisher. I was sure it would be a bestseller. Even though it was a textbook! I had a lot to learn.

Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them?

For me, the actual writing is never an obstacle. The hurdles are selling to the best publisher for the book (or short fiction or whatever), then reaching the right audience. I still struggle with these hurdles every day.

What do you think about editing?

Editing is SO important! I work as a professional editor myself so I believe in the editing process. I usually love my editors, although I have had the occasional problem editor over the years. But mostly, my editors have helped to improve my work, giving my work shape and catching all the little errors and oversights it is so hard for a writer to see. Editors have guided me with title selections, cover designs, and plot holes. I'm a careful writer and I've been writing for a living for many years, but I would not want to publish a book without a good editor on the case.

Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?

I write at my desk in my home office which overlooks a small lake. There are palm trees, mango and avocado trees, and all kinds of birds like herons, osprey, and hawks. Also iguanas, feral cats, raccoons. Plenty of beauty to distract me, but I'm pretty good at staying focused. I work all day. I'm a workaholic, but I take a lot of breaks.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.

With fiction, I may start with a title that pops into my head. That's what happened with Geekus Interruptus and, most recently, F*ck Normal. Or the idea or theme might be something I want to pursue, such as what if our dreams could be invaded by others using special software (the plot for Dream Job). I was curious about the world of sugar babies and sugar daddies (you see a lot of it here in South Florida), so I researched heavily before writing the thriller Sugar Babies. Occasionally the characters will come to me first. That's why I wrote my first novel, after I saw a young woman waiting for a bus. Her story just came to me and I pursued it on paper.

What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc?  

I don't study writing books or take classes. I read a lot of fiction, memoir, and exciting nonfiction, and I reread the best books to learn how the writers I most admire accomplish what they do. I always tell my clients to read, read, read. And to join a writers group. And to be patient. Writing is a craft and, like any craft you want to learn, it takes time to get good at it.

Your books:

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I've published nonfiction including textbooks, educational books for young readers, health books, cookbooks, and celebrity bios. My fiction ranges from literary fiction to erotic romance and dark thrillers. I write the books that intrigue me. I learn about myself in the process. It's fun.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?

Yes, most of the time I think I know where I'm going but my characters know better. It's like a dream. You are there, it's yours, but you are not really in control. Like life, I guess. You gotta go with the flow, but sometimes you have to fight for what you want.

Tell us more about your latest release, Mai Tai Guy from The Wild Rose Press.

A FREE READ, Mai Tai Guy is a short story about a woman on the eve of her 30-year high school reunion who is still in love with her high school boyfriend. So many of us have this problem. Puppy love can dog a woman for a lifetime! The free read is available from the publisher as part of The Hard Stuff, a new series from The Wild Rose Press. All of the novellas in The Hard Stuff series are gritty, funny, and crazy. Each story takes place in Dusky Beach, where a troubled woman finds more trouble when she falls in love--with the wrong guy, of course.

Any new projects, work in progress?

Over the past few months, The Wild Rose Press has released two novellas in The Hard Stuff series: Whiskey Sour Noir and Vodka Warrior. Two more books in the series are in press: Tequila Dirty and RealLife Rum. Makes you thirsty just reading about these little books, doesn't it?

I also have a novella and a novel in press with the Australian publisher Bottom Drawer Publications. F*ck Normal is the story of a couple on the verge of separation who pursue their fantasies—and discover some surprising things about themselves. It's a zany romantic comedy and will be released as a Kindle Select title the first week in June. The other title with BDP is a coming of age novel due out at the end of the summer.

What is your favorite part of writing?

            I love writing, rewriting, and editing. The whole creative process is a challenge and a joy to me. It's hard work, but I love hard work.  

What is your least favorite part of writing?

            I do not like promotion. This interview is fun, of course, but in general I don't like to run around telling people to read my work. Writers tend not to like this aspect of the job. But it's real and it has to be done.

            I rely on Goodreads, book review bloggers, and my own website. I work with my publishers on generating publicity. But I have not created a place for myself on Facebook or Twitter. I hesitate to do so because writing time is so scarce and I like to spend as much of it as I can actually writing and editing. But that might not be the wisest course of action these days. I'm not sure. The consensus is out on whether the authors who self-promote the most are the authors with the largest audience. Or if those with the largest audience are forced to spend the most time in the media. Which came first, the bestseller or the visible author? Most of my writer friends are not happy with the results of the time they've spent on social media.

            I write because I love it. I hope to reach readers who also love to read my kind of stories. I'm Irish so I believe luck has a lot to do with what happens once you are done creating and editing your work. I wish all the aspiring and hardworking writers out there much good luck!

How would readers find out more about you?

Visit  my website  or visit me on Goodreads
 
See Mai Tai Guy on All Romance Ebooks