Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Meet Historical Fiction Author Rosemary Morris

I admire historical fiction authors who are able to take a slice from the past and create an intriguing story surrounding it. That's what today's guest, Rosemary Morris, has done with her novel "Tangled Love." Welcome, Rosemary!

About Rosemary Morris:

Rosemary Morris was born in 1940 in Sidcup Kent.  As a child, when she was not making up stories, her head was ‘always in a book.’

While working in a travel agency, Rosemary met her Indian husband.  He encouraged her to continue her education at Westminster College.  In 1961 Rosemary and her husband, now a barrister, moved to his birthplace, Kenya, where she lived from 1961 until 1982.  After an attempted coup d’etat, she and four of her children lived in an ashram in France.

Back in England, Rosemary wrote historical fiction.  She is now a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, Historical Novel Society and Cassio Writers.

Apart from writing, Rosemary enjoys classical Indian literature, reading, visiting places of historical interest, vegetarian cooking, growing organic fruit, herbs and vegetables, and creative crafts.

Time spent with her five children, and their families, most of who live near her is precious.

What is one of your favorite books and why?

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye doubtless inspired by her life in India and her knowledge of the sub-continent. Three generations of M.M.Kaye’s family and her husband served the British Raj. Her grandfather’s first cousin wrote an account of the Mutiny and the Afghan Wars.  

M.M. Kaye’s biography The Sun in The Morning describes her first eighteen years in India and England and she spent much of her early married life in India.

The love story of a young boy orphaned during the Mutiny and brought up by a Hindu ayah and a Muslim horse master before being sent to boarding school in England, and a part Hindu and part Russian princess is a page turner, rich in historical background and history.

What inspired your novel "Tangled Love?"

I enjoy reading historical non-fiction. I read about James II, who was forced to flee to France.  His daughter Mary and his son-in-law became king and queen, but many peers of the realm refused to swear an oath of allegiance to William and Mary.  They had made the oath to Mary’s father therefore they felt it was morally wrong to swear allegiance to his daughter and son-in-law.

I asked myself what the effect would be on children whose fathers refused to take the oath, built on the theme and wrote Tangled Love.

How would you describe your writing process?

Before I begin a novel I get to know my characters. I fill in a detailed questionnaire about them, two thirds of which might not appear in the novel, but it does mean they are as real to me as my family.

When I begin the novel I have a rough idea of the plot and theme but not a detailed one because I like my characters to surprise me. 

Except for Christmas Day, I usually work from 6 a.m. until 10 or 11 a.m.  Unless I am busy with other things I work from 4 p.m. to 8 0r 9 p.m.  Work includes research, writing, working with a constructive critique group, belonging to a Watford Writers, which meets once a week and many other ‘writerly’ activities including e-mails, my website and blog.

How have you marketed your book?

The edits for my next novel Sunday’s Child set in the Regency era, has hampered the publicity for my novel. However, I have my website, a blog, and belong to many online groups. Apart from this my e-publisher MuseItUp publishing is a ‘hands on’ publisher which promotes author’s work.

What advice would you give to other authors?                                 

First of all learn your craft.  No matter how good your idea is you need to write it as well as you can. Read books on How to Write and apply the advice. Join groups and societies where you can mix with other writers.  And be persistent. It takes many writers years to be accepted by a publisher.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.



Nine year-old Richelda Shaw sat on the floor in her nursery. She pulled a quilt pulled over her head to block out the thunder pealing outside the ancient manor house while an even fiercer storm raged deep within. Eyes closed, remained as motionless as a marble statue.
Elsie, her mother’s personal maid, removed the quilt from her head. ‘Stand up child, there’s nothing to be frightened of. Come, your father’s waiting for you.’
Richelda trembled. Until now Father’s short visits from France meant gifts and laughter. This one made Mother cry while servants spoke in hushed tones.
Followed by Elsie, Richelda hurried down broad oak stairs. For a moment, she paused to admire lilies of the valley in a Delft bowl.  Only yesterday, she picked the flowers to welcome Father home then arranged them with tender care. Now, the bowl stood on a chest, which stood beneath a pair of crossed broadswords hanging on the wall.
Elsie opened the great massive door of the great hall where Father stood to one side of an enormous hearth. Richelda hesitated. Her eyes searched for her mother before she walked across the floor, spread her skirts wide and knelt before him.
Father placed his right hand on her bent head. ‘Bless you, daughter, may God keep you safe.’ He smiled. ‘Stand up, child. Upon my word, sweetheart, your hair reminds me of a golden rose. How glad I am to see roses bloom in these troubled times.’
Richelda stood but dared not speak for she did not know him well.
 Putting an arm round her waist, he drew her to him. ‘Come, do not be nervous of your father, child. Tell me if you know King James II holds court in France while his daughter, Mary, and William, his son-in-law, rule after seizing his throne?’
‘Yes, Mother told me we are well rid of King James and his Papist wife,’ she piped up, proud of her knowledge.
With a sigh, Father lifted her onto his knee. ‘Richelda, I must follow His Majesty for I swore an oath of allegiance to him. Tell me, child, while King James lives how can I with honour swear allegiance to his disloyal daughter and her husband?’
Unable to think of a reply, she lowered her head breathing in his spicy perfume.
Father held her closer. ‘Your mother pleads with me to declare myself for William and Mary. She begs me not to return to France, but I am obliged to serve King James. Do you understand?’
As she nodded her cheek brushed against his velvet coat. ‘Yes, I understand, my tutor told me why many gentlemen will not serve the new king and queen.’
‘If you remain in England, you will be safe. Bellemont is part of your mother’s dowry so I doubt it will be confiscated.’
If she remained in England! Startled, she stared at him.
Smiling, he popped her onto her feet. ‘We shall ride. I have something to show you.’
Before long, they drew rein on the brow of a hill. Father pointed at a manor house in the valley.  ‘Look at our ancestral home, Field House. The Roundheads confiscated it soon after the first King Charles’ execution.  Richelda, I promised my father to do all in my power to regain the property.’ Grey-faced, he pressed his hand to his chest. ‘Alas, I have failed to keep my oath,’ he wheezed.
Richelda not only yearned to help him keep his promise to her grandfather, she also yearned to find the gold and jewels legend said her buccaneer ancestor, Sir Nicholas, hid.
She waited for her father to breathe easy before she spoke. ‘If we found the treasure trove you could buy Field House.’
 ‘Ah, you believe Sir Nicholas did not give all his plunder to Good Queen Bess,’ he teased.
 ‘Elsie told me legend says he hid some of his booty in Field House.’  The thought of it excited her.  In his old age, when Sir Nicholas retired from seafaring, is it true that he put his ship’s figurehead, Lady Luck, in the great hall?’
‘Yes, for all I know she is still above a mighty fireplace carved with pomegranates, our family’s device.’
‘I would like to see it.’
 ‘One day, perhaps you will. Now, tell me if you know our family motto.’
‘Fortune favours the brave.’
‘Are you brave, my little lady? Will you swear on the Bible to do all in your power to regain Field House?’
To please him and excited by the possibility of discovering treasure she nodded.

Where can readers find you and your book?

Amazon usa. Kindle
Amazon uk Kindle
Barnes and Noble
Bookstrand – Mainstream

And elsewhere

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Animal Lovers will Fall for "Going to the Dogs" by Elle Druskin

I love stories that involve animals (obviously, since my next middle grade novel, "Animal Andy," takes place in a zoo!) My guest today, Elle Druskin, does too. Her latest novel from MuseItUp Publishing is "Going to the Dogs," a fun, romantic comedy. Welcome, Elle!

Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.

I’ve lived all over the world and I’m currently residing in Hawaii; how great is that?  As I write this, I am looking out the window at the surf rolling in and a rainbow over the mountains.  Four rainbows today and still counting.

I’m a nurse and professor of nursing by profession and it does factor in some of my books, notably the To Catch series (To Catch A Cop and To Catch A Crook) although thankfully, I have never been involved in a murder and not planning to get involved in one.  As a professor, I had many years of experience writing scholarly articles and reviewing for journals which is a particular form of writing.  The thing is, I had a story in my head.  I could see very clearly a nursing laboratory—the kind of place that looks like a hospital, where students practice before we let them loose on real people—and a professor and students walking inside and stumbling over a dead body.  I didn’t know at the time who the body was, why he was there or anything else but over time, scenes started flashing in my head.  I could see, hear and smell the action. (I know, if you tell the wrong people about this, they might decide to medicate you). 

Since I knew nothing about writing fiction, I decided to just try and see what happens. To Catch A Cop was written mostly to satisfy myself; to find out what happened.  I never expected it to be published and I put it away for a long time.  Eventually, I took it out and decided to get some professional opinions.  A romance writer told me she thought it was a romance. Unorthodox, but a romance.  Another opinion was that it was a cute mystery.  I never saw a mystery but the important thing was that she liked the story.  A lot.  The third was a successful author of thrillers and he thought it had some elements of a thriller so I had no idea what I had written.  The important thing was that all three thought it was a great story and it should be published.  You can imagine my surprise when it was published and nominated as Best Romantic Comedy by The Romance Reviews. The book has been reviewed as romance, mystery, and romantic comedy.  Go figure.

I just kept writing after that.  Mostly romantic comedy, but I am working on a romantic suspense.  My latest release is Going To The Dogs.  I’ve always owned a dog and spent a lot of time around “dog people.”  In this book, a dog-hating cop is on the trail of his partner’s killer.  Too bad for Detective Sam Kendall that his new partner is junk food addicted poodle with absolutely no police skills.  Chief suspect Jodie is a dog trainer par excellance but a loser with men and caseload of eccentric dogs and even more eccentric owners.  The dogs know a good thing when they see it and pretty soon they’re determined to make sure these two know they’re made for each other and everybody is going to the dogs.  I had fun writing this and so far, readers are having fun with it too.  All of my books are available on Amazon Kindle.

I’m currently editing a romantic comedy series set in New Jersey.  I consider it a love letter to growing up in Jersey.  The series is entitled The Liberty Heights series and the first book, Animal Crackers, (Yep, animals again) is due out with MuseItUpPublishing in May 2012.  Manhattan workaholic Hayley Weaver is out of a job and out of luck.  With no choices left, she accepts a job house-sitting a movie star’s home in Jersey.  Too bad for Hayley that someone forgot to tell her there are more critters in the house than the Beverly Hillbillies.  Local veterinarian Jake Marx is desperate to meet a woman he hasn’t known since kindergarten and with Jake on Hayley’s speed dial to corral all the animals, the town’s residents conspire to make sure Jake and Hayley figure out they’re made for each other. 

I had a lot of fun with this book too with all kinds of crazy things going on in town that make perfect sense in Liberty Heights but probably nowhere else.

What is one of your favorite books and why?

Do I have to pick one?  I could give you a list that would go on for pages but if I had to choose only one, I would choose Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  It isn’t fair to name one book since Outlander is the first of a series that is still being written but everyone falls in love with her books because she writes so beautifully.  Her research is impeccable, her storytelling skills outstanding and everything, including, the time travel, is thoroughly believable.  Her characters are a marvel and I only wish I had her talent.  I can also say that Diana is very generous and supportive of writers and I am grateful for her accessibility.  For those who want to connect with a great site where you can find Diana and many other readers and writers and a regular hangout for me, you can find us at the Books and Writers Community where anything and everything is discussed:

How would you describe your writing process?

I don’t know that I have a process but I don’t do outlines, I don’t do a synopsis, and I don’t write in sequence.  I write as scenes appear to me and eventually they start to connect.  Once it is more in the shape of a book, and I do think every book has some sort of shape, the editing and gluing of these isolated scenes together gives me an idea of what else needs to be done to make it into a coherent book.  If that’s a process, that’s mine.

How have you marketed your book?

In this world, authors are required to do promotion which really is not easy.  For one thing, it takes time, for another, it really is a skill that has to be learned and I am the first one to say I am still learning and time is limited due to various other commitments including having a life, working and writing.  I do appear on various reader loops online, I have a website that I try to keep updated and I do use social media but it’s a struggle.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Read and don’t stop.  You cannot be a good writer if you are not a good reader.  Reading teaches so many things.  What hooked you into a story?  What made you feel that you had to keep reading and turn that page?   What sort of characters are engaging (they don’t have to be heroes—they can be villains too, but you just have to keep reading to find out more about them) and why they are such great characters.  How did the writer shape them?  How did the writer build tension and conflict which is the basis of any novel?  I could go on a lot more about this but these are good reasons.

The other piece of advice I would give is to be sure to research well when necessary.  Research is not an online search; sorry, but it isn’t.  Research means using a really good library—preferably a college library that has access to all sorts of documents and books.  As a professor, I had a strong research background and it is helpful when I have to gather information to make a character or scene as realistic as possible.  There are no shortcuts to this process and the sooner a writer accepts it, the better the ultimate product which should be a great story.  A great story is a great story, irrespective of genre.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

In this scene, undercover cop Sam has conned Jodie into believing his marriage has ended and he’s been left with Vanilla, the poodle whose behavior is driving him insane.  In return for training, Sam’s agreed to work in Jodie’s shop, The Kit and Capoodle, in order to spy on Jodie and her clients.

By lunchtime, Sam was ravenous and out of patience. A mob of drug dealers would be
preferable to this crowd, but he was stuck at Canine Central. Poor Jodie hadn't had time to stop
for coffee all morning, and Sam flipped a sign on the glass door that said, BACK IN FIVE
Sam hurried to the pizza parlor across the street, happy to be out of the dog looney- bin for five minutes. He placed the order and licked his lips in anticipation of the gourmet pizza and all but salivated like Vanilla from the aroma. Thin crust, double extra cheese, and mushrooms.
Pizza box balanced on one hand, Sam dodged a taxi and crossed the street. His other hand
snicked the door handle and flipped the BACK IN FIVE MINUTES sign to OPEN as he backed
through the doorway. The enticing aroma of the Super Deluxe Extra Cheese and Mushroom pie
set off an embarrassing stomach growl, and he couldn't wait to dig in.
“Sam, can you hand me a can of spray? It's under the counter on the left side.”
Sam shoved the pizza on top of a glass display case of glitzy poodle collars studded with glittery stones and hurried to the counter to grab the spray. In two quick strides, he reached the alcove. Jodie crouched on the floor, carefully snipping around the collie's paws. The sight of that tight denimclad rear rocketed his pulse into orbit. Sam cleared his throat.
“Here you go.” Sam handed her the can, and she smiled absentmindedly. One hand brushed a stray curl out of her eyes, and Sam's heart thudded in his chest. His palm itched to twine that curl around one finger, stroke her cheek, and proceed to those lush lips.
Sam swallowed hard to get a grip on himself. Act like a professional, this is surveillance, he tried to remind himself.
“There's a pizza for us out front. You haven't taken a break all morning, and you must be
starved, too.”
Jodie boosted up on one knee and stretched her arms over her curly head to expose pale skin and a trim waist. Hormone overload clouded Sam's brain, and he gaped until she tugged the
sweatshirt down over the jeans. Jodie flashed a grateful smile at him.
“Thanks, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to take over today.”
Sam stood aside for Jodie to stroll into the shop front where she stopped short, and Sam
slammed into her back. Both gaped at the same disaster.
“You stupid dog! That was our lunch!”
Vanilla had taken the opportunity of Sam's absence to climb up on a carry crate and sink his choppers into lunch. The darned dog wolfed down the entire pizza. Not exactly entire, the poodle graciously left bits of crust for Jodie and Sam. Mouth smeared with tomato sauce, he cocked his fluffy head with a guilty expression. Sam opened his mouth, about to bellow at the glutton, but Jodie cut him off with a sharp tsk.
“No wonder the dog has problems. You fill him up with junk food, and then yell at him.”
She clicked her tongue in disapproval and popped into the back room to return with a collie so
beautifully groomed that even to Sam’s untrained eye, it put Lassie to shame. Any dope could
see Jodie was brilliant. She handed over the collie’s leash and turned to Addison.
“Park the collie over there while I deal with Timmy.” Jodie patted Addison's shoulder.
“Don’t worry. I’ll get Timmy out of the car, just hand me the keys.”
Relief flooded the nerdy guy’s face, and he tossed the car keys to Jodie who marched out the door. Sam never knew what Jodie had done, but within a few minutes, she returned with Timmy in tow who gazed up at her like a lovesick teenager. How did she do it? The beast seemed happy, although it was hard to tell with that sorrowful face.
Jodie was still trying to calm Addison who all but fell over in gratitude.
“Leave him here until tonight’s class. That will give him a chance to settle down, and we’ll give him a crash course to get him ready for the show. Don’t worry.”
Addison flung himself on Jodie in thanks, and jealousy edged up a notch in Sam's gut.
Jealousy or hunger. Sam wasn't sure which, but his bet was on jealousy as the winner.
“Michael Walker said you were miraculous, and he’s right. I heard the two of you
straightened out Harry Werner. I bet he’ll be a winner for sure.” Jodie soothed Addison again
and sent the morose man on his way.
Harry Werner. In all the hullabaloo, the blue diamonds had slipped to the back of Sam’s
mind. He'd all but forgotten the true purpose of this ridiculous masquerade. And what was that
stuff about miraculous and Michael Walker? Sam's frown deepened. Walker must be involved
with the diamond theft, too, whoever the guy was. It made one wonder if Walker's relationship
with Jodie was professional, personal, or both? Was Michael her boyfriend? The lucky bastard.
Any woman who could talk so bluntly about animals and sex had to be uninhibited when it
came to the human variety. Sam squeezed his eyes shut but couldn’t ditch the fantasy image of
the redhead’s legs wrapped around his own. Was she a natural redhead? Sam shook his head.
Less than one day, and he was losing the plot over some dog trainer who carried a caseload of
clients that would pack Bellevue’s locked ward. How in the name of hell was he going to get
through this day, let alone the mandatory obedience class tonight?
Nausea and hunger fought a battle in the pit of his stomach. One day in this place, and he’d end up as nutty as everyone else. Obedience school. Sam had more than an inkling that both he and Vanilla were going to stand out as class dunces.

Going To The Dogs: Copyright Elle Druskin Published by MuseItUpPublishing

Where can readers find you and your book?

Readers can find me in a lot of places but the best ones are my website and blog at

My books are all on Amazon, Fictionwise and other sites on the web.

I love the excerpt from "Going to the Dogs" and have enjoyed learning about your journey as an author. Thanks for joining us today, Elle!

--KSR Writer

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tips For Creating Your Book Trailer

This past weekend I attended the Nebraska Writer's Guild Annual Conference. We had several great speakers, including Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords, who gave a great presentation on the benefits of self-publishing and interesting data related to self-published books (more on that in another post).  Another great presenter was Doug Sasse with the NWG, who gave attendees a crash course in creating book trailers. Because of the growing popularity of book trailers, I thought I'd share some of his information with you.

Book trailers are simply multimedia presentation videos with a defined structure:

Act One--the intro--30 seconds long--grabs attention, introduces protagonist, antagonist, time, place, tone, mood and conflict; also includes an inciting incident.

Act Two--the midpoint/confrontation--60 seconds long--uses scenes from the book that move toward the cliffhanger.

Act Three--the cliffhanger--10 seconds long--provides a hook to interest readers (without revealing too much)

It's also important to have a "call to action" that asks readers to do something--visit author's web site, purchase the book, etc. This section is 10 seconds long.

Finally, there is a "credits" shot that lasts 10 seconds at the very end.

Sasse also outlined five different types of book trailers:

1. Synopsis--commonly used with romance books and is like using liner notes on the inside of a book. An example is "Never Surrender" by Deanna Jewell.

2. Logline--most common of all types of trailers. Take your book's log line and break it up throughout the trailer. Example is C.K. Volnek's "Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island."

3. Tagline--an ending line that makes a point. An example is from the movie "Apollo 13"--"Houston, we have a problem."

4. Pitch--a trailer similar to how an author might give an elevator pitch of their book to someone. An example is Robin Palmer's "Little Miss Red."

5. Character--the trailer is done from a character's point of view. A great example of this is "The Healing Spell" by Kimberley Griffiths Little.

Two of the easiest ways to produce your book trailer are using iMovie for Mac and MovieMaker for PC, which comes with Windows XP and Windows 7. You can find all kinds of royalty free stock photo, video clips, sound clips, etc. online.

But the most important thing to remember when creating your book trailer is to keep the images moving! Even if you simply have photos, you can pan, zoom, etc. The minute your trailer stops moving, it dies!!

As soon as I get the cover art for my middle grade novel, "Animal Andy," which releases this August by MuseItUp Publishing, I am going to begin working on its book trailer! If you have any other helpful comments about making book trailers, please let us know!

--KSR Writer

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Author Margay Leah Justice Brings a Legend to Life

After reading an article about gray wolves making an appearance in Massachusetts after a 150-year absence, paranormal romance author Margay Leah Justice was inspired to write her novel "Sloane Wolf." She joins me today to talk about her book and her road to becoming an author. Welcome, Margay!

Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.

I don’t think I really became an author, I think I was born one. I started creating stories right from the start. As soon as I was able to pick up a crayon, I started writing – and haven’t stopped since! So basically, I have been writing my entire life and everything else I did along the way – worked in insurance, taught aerobics, etc. – was just research, in a way. My road to publication is an entirely different matter!

What is one of your favorite books and why?

Oh, I have so many! One of my current favorites is According to Jane by Marilyn Brant, which is a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice. What I really love about this book is the idea of the heroine being coached by the voice (in her head) of Jane Austen. I thought it was very clever and the author’s voice was so clear, she really made it her own. I think it’s fabulous when an author can do that.

What inspired you to write this book?

It was originally for a contest with a theme about wolves and I had some scenes kicking around in my head related to a popular book/movie a few years back, so I thought, why not? I’ll give it a try. So I had these scenes but how was I to make them come alive in their own story? Well, the answer came when I was reading an article about gray wolves making an appearance in Massachusetts after a 150-year absence and the next thing I knew, the legend of the wolves evolved into this story.

How would you describe your writing process?

That is such a hard thing to pin down because sometimes, it goes one way, and sometimes another. For instance, during November, I always try to do NaNoWriMo as a way of achieving more output and challenging myself. So when I have a motivator like that, I tend to write a lot more per day than I do if I don’t have a motivator like that. And sometimes, I feel compelled to flesh out a story completely before I start to write, other times, I take an idea and run with it (a more recent phenomenon). More often than not, though, I do like to have some sort of an outline before I start writing.

How have you marketed your book?

Mostly through blogs and chat loops on Yahoo.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Never give up. If you believe in yourself and your story, keep working on it and pressing on until you achieve your dreams. And always hone your craft – never assume you know everything about writing just because you completed a book. You don’t. Even after you’re published, freshen up those writing skills.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

Shiloh nearly leapt off the sill as his hand touched her knee. It took every ounce of willpower she possessed to remain seated and appear undaunted by the gesture. “I am…much better now…thank you,” she said, becoming more unnerved by the presence of his hand by the minute. Oh, this was not good, not good at all. The longer it remained there, the stronger her impulse to bolt became. Oh, no…

What was it about this man that rattled her so and with so little effort on his part? Sharing the same air with him was enough to send her pulses to the moon—and her mind somewhere else, something new for her. Being this attracted to a man was beyond her realm of experience. She didn’t know what to do with it—or about it. Should she do anything? Should she pretend indifference? And why wasn’t he so deeply affected? It wasn’t fair.

Still confused, she gave him a weak smile, intent on backing up her previous claim with the gesture. She feared it failed miserably. When Micah returned her smile and lifted his hand from her knee, she felt precisely one second of relief before he shook her world again by caressing her face in parting. She stumbled back against the frame of the window, her lips parting on a startled breath as a lightning bolt shot through her at his touch. Something flickered in his eyes at her reaction—pain, perhaps—and he retracted his hand, balling it into a fist as he turned away from her, preparing to depart.

In an instant, she realized her mistake. Along with it came the knowledge she couldn’t let him go away angry or upset. After everything he and his family had done for her, she owed him that much. She grabbed him by the shirtfront to stop him, and a shock of awareness shot from her hand directly into his heart, just beneath it. She could see it in the gaze he leveled on her then, could hear it in his breath trapped within his lungs, feel it in the missed beat of his heart. But then, all sense abandoned her, and her heart skipped a beat as he held her hand firmly to his chest with one of his own and lifted the other to her head, anchoring it against the window frame. Slowly, his eyes never straying from hers, he leaned across the space separating them. His lips brushed hers, like a whisper, before he withdrew, tilted his head to the side, and advanced again. This time the kiss was fuller, penetrating her every defense, both physical and emotional, but still not long enough for her. He retreated once again after a fraction of time and hovered before her, scarcely an inch away. Watching her. Waiting.

Her heart beating a frantic tempo now, Shiloh abandoned all of her reservations and her good sense to swoop in for a more vigorous kiss. So vigorous, in fact, she knocked him off his perch through the open window. Only quick reflexes honed to perfection at the Institute prevented her from tumbling after him.

Bracing herself against the sill, she leaned out the window as far as she was able and watched his descent from the slanted roof to the ground below. She lost sight of him the moment he slid beyond the reach of the light from her window. But then she heard him land with a thud —and a howl—on the ground in front of the back porch when he failed to catch himself on the roof edge. She clasped a hand over her mouth to silence her reaction and waited. When he didn’t rouse right away, panic shot through her and she leaned out another few inches.

“Micah? Are you okay?”

“Fine,” he answered after a few moments, appearing beyond the overhang of the roof as if to prove it to her. “Nothing hurt but what’s left of my pride.”

Relief coursed through her at his statement, and she allowed herself the laugh she’d literally held back before. Her mirth was cut short, however, by his next words.

“Hey, Shiloh! We’ve got to stop falling for each other like this.”

His laughter followed her as she ducked back into the room. She could still hear it even after she closed the window, though not as well. Oh, Lord. She rested against the cool pane of glass and touched her still-tingling lips with shaky fingers. Was she? Falling for him? Was that what this crazy-mad feeling inside of her was?

The question plagued her long into the night.

Where can readers find you and your book?

Buy Links:


I love learning where authors get their ideas for stories, and the inspiration for "Sloane Wolf" is fascinating! Thank you for being with us today, Margay!

--KSR Writer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Live and Let Fly" Fantasy Humorist Author Karina Fabian

Note: "Live and Let Fly" is now available! To purchase from MuseItUp Publishing, click here.

Everyone can use a little humor in their lives, and who doesn't love a good super-spy spoof? My guest today is fantasy humorist Karina Fabian, and her latest fiction book, "Live and Let Fly" releases April 20th with MuseItUp Publishing. Welcome, Karina!

Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.

When I was in high school, my speech and debate coach talked me into competing in extemporaneous speech.  My first competition, I drew for my first topic, “Does Rock and Roll Lead to Moral Degredation?”  It was such a ridiculous topic that I gave it the treatment it deserves—and had the judge in stitches.  I took first place that day, and that’s when I realized I could be funny.

Nonetheless, I never set out to write comedy.  I went to college intending to become a scientist, only to discover that these hands kill equipment (still do—ask my longsuffering husband and tech support).  I switched to math, which I loved, went into the Air Force, which I did not love, fell in love with a fellow officer, got married and had babies.  When the first two were toddlers, I returned to writing.

I write an eclectic mix.  Even within the DragonEye, PI universe, I have some very serious stories and some very funny ones.  Live and Let Fly, which comes out this month, counts as one of the very funny ones, and like that speech in high school, I was just giving super-spy spoofing the treatment it deserved.

What is one of your favorite books and why?

MYTH, Inc. by Robert Asprin (and later Jody Lynn Nye).  It’s funny and fast-moving; the characters are lovable, and the situations are absurd.  Plus there’s a healthy amount of punning and plays on words and situations.  If I could put the DragonEye books next to any others on a store bookshelf, I’d want them next to the MYTH, Inc. novels.

What inspired you to write this book?

It was all about love.  People were loving the first DragonEye novel, Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem.  I loved writing about Vern and Grace.  My publisher at the time, Dindy Robinson of Swimming Kangaroo, said she’d love another book.  The book eventually ended up at MuseItUp because Swimming Kangaroo stopped publishing new books after I’d written it, but I love this publisher, too.  Ah, l’amor!

How would you describe your writing process?

Varying.  Usually, I’m seat of the pants, so I have an idea and characters and I just sit and write.  Last year, however, my husband challenged me to write a sci-fi based on The Old Man and the Sea, so I spent a few weeks researching and outlining that book.  I finished Dex’s Way in February and love it.  I wrote a novel during NaNoWriMo, and spent three years rewriting it until I got it “right.”  (It’s under consideration by a publisher right now.)  The next book, Gapman, will be seat-of the pants, but I have several scenes that I’ve written in various online workshops.

If there’s one common thread, it’s this:  I have  great character, I let them tell me the story, and I always spend some time each day writing.

How have you marketed your book?

We’re doing it right now!  This interview is part of the Live and Let Fly virtual book tour, including over 50 stops, prizes, and a scavenger hunt for the main prize.  I have also been doing some pre-marketing with polls and video teasers.  If we get a print version, then I’ll be sending those out to the big review sites; I do send out review copies to bloggers and magazines that take them.  I believe in reviews.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Write. Revise. Submit.  Repeat.  Rejection isn’t personal; it’s business. Learn from it if you can and if not, move on.  Write.  Revise.  Submit.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

"Live and Let Fly" book description:

When Charlie Wilmot, the Duke's herald and Vern and Grace's friend, gets mugged and his fiancé's engagement ring stolen, they agree to find the culprit. But his courier pouch held more than just a ring--the secret device sewn into it could help others create their own Interdimensional Gap--or usher Armageddon into two universes. Drafted into an Interdimensional intelligence network, Vern, Grace and Charlie go undercover--Vern, as a human! It's super-spy spoofing at its best as 007 meets Ragnarok!


Charlie started to close the door behind us, his other hand gripping the handle of his dagger so tightly I could hear the leather wrap on the handle strain, as we listened to the footsteps coming our way, slow, bored. My predator's instincts rose; then I had a great idea. I shook my head at Charlie and winked, and he shuffled out of my way, leaving the door ajar. I settled myself with my back to the door, just inside the shadows and let the script play itself out:

CLUELESS MINION enters Stage Left. He pauses, hearing a noise, but does not report it. Instead, he fondles the stars on his nametag and moves toward the empty hallway, his mind on adding another. (Probably saying, "I was proactive today!")
CLUELESS pauses at door, hesitating. He stands and, back to the door, reaches for his walkie-talkie.
Suddenly, a well-muscled and gorgeously scaled tail whips out from the crack in the door and wraps itself around his neck. He only has time to grab ineffectively at the tail before he's drawn into the darkness. The door shuts behind him.
Pan shot of the empty hallway.

I slammed my victim on the floor and pinned him with my forelegs, then I leaned my face in nice and slow, making sure he got a good look at my fangs before he saw my eyes. "Where's the girl?" I growled low and menacingly.
"Wh-What g-g-girl?"
Charlie crouched down by Stutterboy and glanced at his nametag. "Look, Philip, we're in a bit of a hurry. We know Rhoda Dakota's being held captive somewhere nearby. Now you can be a good survivor and tell us where…or you can be dinner."
"I-I don't—"                 
"Phil A. Minion." I mused and drooled a bit for effect. I live for these moments, I really do. I licked his cheek and asked Charlie, "Can I have fries with that?"
"Why not? This is Idaho."

Where can readers find you and your book?

Karina Fabian is an award-winning fantasy, science fiction and horror author, whose  books make people laugh, cry or think—sometimes all three.  Check out her latest at


Note: Live and Let Fly will be available for purchase from MuseItUp Publishing beginning April 20th! For a sneak peek, view the book trailer here!

Thank you, Karina! I look forward to the book coming out!

--KSR Writer