Archive for May, 2010

May2010 In the Limelight Author: Honoria Ravena

Posted in Past In the Spotlight Interviews on May 23, 2010 by kbhotromances

Welcome Honoria Ravena as May’s In the Spotlight Author!

K: Hello Honoria! Glad to have you in May’s In the Spotlight.

HR: Thanks for having me!

K: So, before we get into your writing life and your muse, I noticed a few things on your website that I find intriguing. How did your love for Korean food come about?

HR: My mother, my aunt, and grandma all like it. When I was old enough that they thought I would like it they started taking me. But unfortunately all the good Korean restaurants went out of business around here. The closest place I can get it is Dallas, and no one wants to drive there just to eat lunch.

K: You like to travel, huh? What place is your biggest dream to travel to and why?

HR: I’ve always wanted to go to England, and I’m really not sure why. I’ve wanted to since the fourth grade. I read a children’s book back then, Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544 (The Royal Diaries) by Kathryn Lasky, and have wanted to go there since. But I really want to go everywhere now. Mainly I want to see Europe and the Middle East (which I’ll probably never get to see) because I love history (especially ancient history) from those particular regions and have to go see all the cool old stuff.

K: I’ve always been fascinated with other countries, too, so I can understand your desire to travel.

Coffee is a love of yours. I have to say that my spouse and I would agree with you wholeheartedly. We’re big coffee drinkers too. What’s your brew type? And do you take it black, with cream, or…?

HR: Well, mostly I’m a Starbucks girl. I really like lattes. Mochas are just too sweet. But for everyday coffee I drink a Walmart brand, 100% Columbian. I drink it with heavy whipping cream and real sugar. Splenda is disgusting, and so are most other creamers I’ve tried. Even the flavored ones suck when compared to heavy whipping cream. And now I really, really want coffee. If only it wasn’t 11:30 at night.

K: LOL! I’m having some Columbian coffee right now!

You mention on your website bio that you have a cat named Salem. How did you come up with that name and why does Salem hate it when you try to write?

HR: One of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up was Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and there is a black, talking cat on there that is named Salem. He’s a warlock under a curse. I was like eight and still really into the show when we got him, and he’s solid black, so there you go.

I’m not sure why he hates it when I write. Probably because all my attention is not focused on him. Either that or because he can just feel me concentrating, and wants to be annoying. But he’ll meow and meow. I’ll let him out of my room, and then he’ll meow to come back in. Very annoying.

K: So your favorite genre to write is paranormal romance? How long have you been writing and when did you settle on this genre as your main focus?

HR: I’ve been writing since I was in 6th or 7th grade, so it’s about eight years. I’ve always loved paranormal. I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t looking up witches and vampires and goddess knows what else online. I guess it’s only natural that I fell right into paranormal as a writer. The paranormal young adult books I read never seemed to end with the main characters in a relationship, which is what I wanted. Even the one that inspired me to write has a happy for now ending, or rather “some day we’ll get back together and be happy” ending, which is even worse. And then I got older and was like “Hey, sex in books. I like these.”

K: So is there any other genre you might dip your toe in?

HB: Mainly I have ideas for sub-genres of romance. Fantasy, sci-fi, historical, contemporary and even a western or two. I have a few straight horror ideas, and one thriller. I even want to do one non-fiction book on home schooling. But I’ll save that for when I actually have kids. I don’t think two months of home schooling my aunt’s kids qualifies me as an expert. LOL, so if I ever get sick of writing paranormal I’ve got plenty of other ideas.

K: You have three works in progress on your site. Share with my readers what they are and a short summary of what each one is about.

HR: *Whistles and heads to her website to see what’s up there* Ah, okay. I’ve started a few new ones since this (must update WIP section). Bad Animals is a werewolf novel. A werewolf kidnaps a woman who’s a shapeshifter noble. For those of you that don’t know my world, to put it briefly wereanimals and shapeshifters are at war because shapeshifters are born with the ability to change shape, and wereanimals are infected with the ability, making them tainted in the eyes of the shapeshifters. I’ve had to put this story way on the back burner, because absolutely everything is wrong with it. I can’t even come up with a name for my heroine. I skipped writing every sex scene, because there’s just no chemistry between these people. But some day I will go back.

The m/f/m story I was writing got put on hold. I was writing it to submit to Breathless Press, but I wanted it to be short. However it would have been novella length, and I just don’t have the time to dedicate to it and a novel. I write very slowly, and can’t really concentrate on more than one work unless one is short and one is long.

Archer’s Story has been put on hold for issues I can’t discuss. It’s the kind of thing you rant about to friends.

Needless to say I’m starting to feel like I’ll never finish anything long ever again. But I plan to start a new project when school ends that will feature more of my shapeshifters and wereanimals. It should be chock full of kidnapping, betrayal, amnesia, and scary, evil bad guys.

I also finished a (very) short f/f contemporary story, Strapless, that will be out from Breathless Press some time around August. I finished that in like a day (and I’m not that good, it was just that short). And I’m in the middle of writing a short m/f contemporary. It will be my FIRST story ever written in third person, so I’m praying it doesn’t suck.

K: The shapeshifter and wereanimal manuscript sounds wicked-cool. And what a wild and very provocative title for the f/f story!

Where does your interest in shifters and weres stem from?

HR: I’ve always liked paranormal and figured I’d write weres eventually, but vampires were really my thing. However, I really like the world I’ve invented for my shifters and weres and I really enjoy playing in it. LOL, a lot of people who have read Biohazard are worried that it’s the only book I plan to write in the world of the shifters/were. I’m flattered that they’re worried, but they really shouldn’t worry. I’m a series girl, and in love with my shifters now.

K: While on your website, I read an excerpt of Biohazard, which I found fascinating. Any reason you chose to write it in first person because I noticed your other titles, Fear of Darkness and Of the Night are in first person too.

HR: I’ve always written in first person. For a while I even had a story I wrote in 5th grade that was in first person. It just feels natural. I think third person is harder. I’m worried that it will allow me to head hop, and I don’t really feel in touch with the characters in third person. But, I figured I’d better practice, because I want to do at least one of my fantasy stories in third person.

K: Well, Honoria, it’s been cool having you on my site for the month of May. Good luck with your writing and may you see many sales!

For more information about Honoria and her published titles. Visit the links below.

Buy Biohazard here: CLICK and read an excerpt from Fear of Darkness: CLICK

Her website: http://www.honoriaravena.com

Her blog: www.honoriaravena.blogspot.com

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Good News!

Posted in What I'm Working On on May 14, 2010 by kbhotromances

men with men Pictures, Images and Photos

So far, May has been beyond busy for me, but I did have something nice happen this week. I joined a Yahoo Group called the Publishing Trove and found out they have a Pitch Day there. On a whim, I pitched my paranormal cowboy m/m wip, and put a file in the group’s folder with all my info and made it clear that the manuscript isn’t finished.

To my delight, I’ve had a lot of interest in it, but today I had a really nice m/m publisher ask to see the story. What’s even more wicked-cool is this publisher is the one that I’ve been watching the last few weeks with hopes of submitting to them!

That email made for a fantastic way to end the workweek!

And if you’re a writer, here’s the link to the group. It seems like a nice place for help and information from a business slant.

I will polish up what I have so far of the story, add another chapter or two to it, then send it to the publisher.

Oh, and I have a release date for my erotica title, Strawberry Rendezvous. Look for it from www.breathlesspress.com on August 20th!

Set Backs, Sigh!

Posted in What I'm Working On on May 6, 2010 by kbhotromances

One of my contracted manuscripts, Lady of the Lair, is going a little slower than I want it to. A few weeks ago, I had to ask for an extended deadline on the revision, so the book will come out later than I would like, but when kids get sick, and then I have to take care of another family member who becomes ill and needs many trips to the doctor, it tends to take a lot of writing time out of my schedule.

kiss Pictures, Images and PhotosBut I did manage to finish the overall revision on the manuscript, so now all I have to do is add another chapter to the end to change the ending. I really hope to have it done this weekend. Lady of the Lair is unique, but if you buy it when it comes out, let me warn you that the ménage sex in it will make your e-reader detonate. Remember, I write ‘romance with an edge!’ lol

On the downside, the drama and illness in the family also creates the same dilemma with my other Siren-contracted manuscript, Of the Panther Persuasion. Baby steps! I will get it done, too, but it must be done through baby steps.

And yes, I’m still working on my m/m romance under my Amber Redd byline, not to mention the next book to Blue Moon. I’m hoping by summer’s end my writing schedule will be back on track.

Before I forget, check out my author interview in this magazine. It’s wicked-cool!

I’ve been working on some revisions today here and there, but one thing I have to do after I post this blog is clean up some books. One of my daughters ran through the office, tripped, and fell into a freestanding bookshelf, knocking half the books off of two of the shelves (she’s fine, thank goodness). Of course the books all fell behind the shelf, so I have to pull it out and clean them up, re-alphabetizing them.

Besides, it gives me a good excuse to sort through this shelf and put the ones I didn’t like or don’t need any more in a yard sale box. I plan on having a yard sale around Memorial Day Weekend—if I’m not running family members to more appointments, but with it being a holiday weekend, I figure most offices will close for it.

If you haven’t seen the post for Readers Likes? Dislikes, take a minute to visit and voice your opinion.

It’s time for me to go back to work!

Reader likes? Dislikes?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 by kbhotromances

RIVER ROMANCE Pictures, Images and Photos

When I sent out a call to two different Yahoo groups about having open months for Author in the Spotlight on my site, I was surprised by the response. Now I have enough authors to plan interviews into 2011. lol

Do you read author interviews? I think people do. The stats on my website fascinate me. Over ninety-five percent of the hits are real hits and not spiders or spammers. With that said, my modest web home gets many hits. Since September of 2009, the hits have nearly reached 6,000. I have noticed, too, that when I post a new interview on my site, the visits double and sometimes triple.

Many of the authors I’ve interviewed so far have told me that my interview of them was the most enjoyable and unique one they have ever had. That makes me happy, because that is exactly what I want: unique, edgy, interesting, fascinating.

I have to admit that if I pop in on a webpage where an author is interviewed and it has the same basic questions I see over and over everywhere else online, the best I do is skim it and then click on the next link looking for something to read.

I want to know about my authors. What makes them tick? What urged them to leap from writing mainstream fiction to writing erotica, or why he or she cannot seem to concentrate without a cup of coffee. I ask questions about their pets, their likes and dislikes on various topics. If I can get some insight into an author’s psyche, then it helps me indentify with their work when I read their material. Maybe I’m just weird. lol

As a reader, what draws you to read an author interview? What about such interviews turns you off?

April 2010’s In the Spotlight: Nicole Zoltack

Posted in Past In the Spotlight Interviews on May 1, 2010 by kbhotromances

Spring is officially here, so the month of April 2010 brings us a fun interview with author Nicole Zoltack.

Step into the Middle Ages with Nicole.

K: Hello Nicole! First off, I see by your website you have a definite interest in old castles. I even found a book cover with a castle on it. Is this interest inspired by something in your life? Maybe a trip or a movie?

NZ:  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the Middle Ages and knights. The chivalry, the honor, the battles… it all screamed romance to me. Even now, I greatly prefer to watch movies that have sword battle scenes versus guns. (Which is why I prefer the prequel to the rest of the Underworld movies.) One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. I’ve watched it countless times and it’s definitely a source of inspiration for me.

Back in high school, I did hours upon hours of research on the time period, from how boys became knights to the knights’ code to medieval medicine, anything and everything that I might be able to use in a story one day. I still have all of this research, it must be at least a hundred pages, all separated by subject matter. Junior year, my class visited the PA Renaissance Faire. I’ve been back most years ever since. It’s so fun to dress up in period garb and talk the part. I love it.

K: You have a nice photo of yourself on the website. A little more investigation revealed another photo on your bio page that gave me the answer to your Renaissance-style look. How hard was it to create such a wedding?

NZ: It probably wasn’t that much more difficult than planning a traditional wedding. I had my gown made, and I made certain to have some blue in it, back then, the color of purity was blue. White wasn’t considered the purity color until the Victorian era. The entire wedding party dressed up in garb as well as a few of the guests.

The church (the one affiliated with my grade school) was Cathedral-styled with beautiful stain glass windows that fit the theme. My photographer suggested a nearby park for the outdoor pictures. Our outside pictures were fabulous! The stone arches, the backgrounds, it really seemed as if we had been transported to another time.

The reception was more of a mixture between the old and the new. During the meal, a band (dressed in garb) played Renaissance music (one of my coworkers at the time played in it). The favors were floating castle candles, and the cake was in the shape of a castle. Instead of using a knife to cut the cake, we used a dagger.

All in all, it took hours of planning, but the wedding and reception were wonderful. If I could replan it again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

K: That sounds wicked-cool! I bet your guests still talk about your wedding!

NZ: Yes. A lot of my friends still comment about how my wedding reception dinner was the only time they could say, “Speak up. I can’t hear you over the lute!” LOL

K: Oh, wow. You went to Epicon! Would you like to tell my readers about your adventure?

NZ: Epicon was a great experience. I was able to meet so many wonderful, knowledge authors. Holly Jacobs was just a wonderful keynote speaker and a true pleasure to talk to. The workshops were all really well done. I especially enjoyed Deidre Knight’s talk on promotion and branding. Epicon is definitely an industry type convention. You won’t find a lot of readers there. Instead it’s all about making connections. There were many publishing houses there, and there were opportunities to pitch. All in all, I was extremely pleased with what I got out of the experience. If you are thinking about going to Epicon next year, I would recommend it.

K: So, tell us what books you have available.

NZ: First is Woman of Honor, Book I in the Kingdom of Arnhem series, the tale of young Aislinn, a girl who wants to become a knight to take her fallen brother’s place. She is willing to give up everything for Arnhem – her childhood, her life, even her heart – no matter the pain it brings.

Book II, Knight of Glory, is about Aislinn’s close friend, the knight Geoffrey. War with Speica is now upon them, and Geoffrey must do his part to help ensure that Arnhem will win. He, along with some friends, seeks aid from other kingdoms. Torn between two very different women, will Geoffrey be able to survive numerous battles to figure out which one he truly loves?

I also have several short stories in anthologies. A Squire’s Love is included in The Cupid Diaries: Moments in Time. The main character, Leo, first appears as a very minor character in Knight of Glory. In his quest to become a knight, Leo must overcome the ice dragon and family disapproval… and rescue the maiden who steals his heart. And I also have a short story in Be Mused – An A-MUSE-ing Anthology about authors and their muses. It’s a funny collection of romantic Muse tales.

K: Of all your published titles, which one was the most challenging to write and why?

NZ: The most challenging to write was definitely Woman of Honor. Although there is a fantasy slant to it, the historical angle of it required a lot of research and time and energy to get the feel of the Middle Ages that I was aiming for. But I love researching that time period so much that it didn’t even feel like work.

K: I may come to you to ask questions, lol. I’m working on an erotic fantasy that takes place in a different world, but is very similar to the Middle Ages too. Maybe you’ll let me pick your brain from time to time?

NZ: Of course! I have so many pages of research printed out that I’ll probably have the answer, I’ll just need to find it. Email me anytime. J

K: Torn Between Love and Murder: An Assassin’s Tale is such an intriguing title! Can you tell us a bit about this work in progress?

NZ: Lorna is an assassin for two reasons. One, because she’s good at it, and two, because it pays well. But if you dig a little deeper, Lorna’s really an assassin because she wants to avenge her father’s murder.

Many people want the ruler of a small island killed. Lorna, despite her job, does have some standards and doesn’t want to kill this man, Alaric, fearing that it would cause a civil war. Plus, if word got out that employing the world-famous assassin could result in war, she would be out of a job. But her curiosity gets the better of her, and she visits the island. While there, she manages to uncover clues about her father and why he might have been killed. To Lorna’s great surprise, she finds herself falling for Alaric but how could he possibly grow to love her back if he were to discover her true identity? And will Lorna ever get her chance at revenge?

This story is a lot of fun to write because the main character isn’t good. In fact, she’s rather evil. Even so, there’s hope for her yet, that she might still be saved, be redeemed. And that transformation part is the most interesting part, in my opinion. I’ve decided to add some paranormal aspects to the story. I’m hoping to finish the first draft in April so that I can edit/polish it in May and have it ready to pitch to agents in June.

K: Hmm…it sounds like this is a tale that allows you to have some ripping-good fun and step out of your usual writer self? Correct?

NZ: Oh yes. I’ve never written a story from a character who is so teetering on the line of morally grey that she constantly falls into darkness. She’s a fascinating character. Her personal demons and the workings of her twisted mind drive the entire story. Her fall from grace and her attempts to allow love to change her, that is, if she can get Alaric to love her… I love how this story is so different from my other writing. My Arnhem series is completely about the good guys, the heroes, the knights (and Lady Knight!). But this is about an assassin. You can’t get much more different than that.

K: Do you feel that Lorna is sort of a psychological lesson in writing too? What I mean is do you find you have to possess a different mindset to write a character who is the main character and is evil and very strong?

NZ: Yes. I’m trying hard to have her character be consistent even as she changes her personality. It has to be a believable transition; otherwise the book will fall flat. But writing from someone who can’t comprehend doing evil acts to writing someone who commits them daily, it definitely changes how I do about trying to figure out my character and writing from her POV.

K:  Do you find that there’s a good market for romances based in the Middle Ages? I visited your blog, and it looks like you have many wonderful reviews for your books?

NZ: I think the Middle Ages is the perfect setting for a romance because what woman hasn’t dreamt of being rescued by a knight in shining armor? There’s definitely a market for it.

K: All right, subject change. Where did you find the medieval recipes for your website and have you ever tried any of them?

NZ: I’ve found the recipes from all different kinds of sources, books, websites, etc. I haven’t tried any yet, but I’m sure that will change in the near future. It’s on my ever-growing to-do list. I swear, each time I check something off the list, I have to add two more items!

K: This has been such a fun and interesting interview! If anyone out there loves to read romance based in the Middle Ages, visit Nicole’s links below.

Links to my latest two releases:

Knight of Glory, Book II in the Kingdom of Arnhem series

The Cupid Diaries: Moments in Time Anthology

Website: http://www.NicoleZoltack.com

Blog: http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com