Five for Friday: Louise Wise

Five for Friday: Louise Wise

I’m delighted today to welcoming novelist and blogger Louise Wise in the “Shed” today! I know Louise from various social networking writing groups we’re both in, and also from her blog. I was delighted to be a guest twice for Louise, and later in this article, you can learn how you could guest with her, too.

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I have to admit one of the reasons I’m most excited to host Louise today: I just finished her dark chick-lit novel The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am. (Read my review here!) Louise managed to take some fairly dark material and make it not only intriguing but also kind of fun. She writes very colorful characters you really care about–even the misanthrope.

Connect with Louise online:

Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Pintererst
Amazon Author Page

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1. I got really into your book The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am  because I tend to be drawn to the darker side side of chick-lit, and your story definitely takes readers there. When you write, do you prefer a darker story, or do you sometimes also tell lighter tales? And what about what you read?

I like to be realistic with my writing, and try to incorporate as much real life as I can. Loneliness does seem to be prevalent in all of my books, and even A Proper Charlie, one of my ‘lighter’ books, the protagonist is lonely. But no, I prefer my stories to be fun more than ‘dark’. I want to make people laugh and think, hey, that could happen to me, at the same time.

I like reading Sophie Kinsella, Alexandra Potter and Matt Dunn for light reads and humour, and Dean Koontz and James Herbert for my darker moments. I also like to read indies: Pam Howes, Patrick Fox, John Hudspith to name just a few.

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2. What inspired you to tell this story? If you don’t mind sharing, was any of it based on actual events or did you just conjure it with your brilliant imagination?

I was talked into having my fortune told in my teen years and the accuracy of it scared me to death! So, that part of The Fall of the Misanthrope was from an actual event (no one died though!).

In the book, I wanted a nasty main character; someone people would hate. But I was stopped at the draft stage when my editor told me the protagonist would need a redeeming side, and I had to think of a reason for her nastiness. It is purely fiction and apart from the fortune teller nothing else was taken from real life.



3. Did you have to do a lot of research to get to the heart of Valerie’s issues? Did any of the research you did change the way you originally saw your story unfolding?

I work in a pharmacy so I was able to research depression and medication quite easily, and my husband used to run a brokerage. It’s true what they say, write what you know… or rather know what you write.

The Fall of the Misanthrope has changed a lot from draft to final product, but not all because of research. The minor characters Tim and Paul started out as young men, but I felt older characters would have more scope. Pensioners are hilarious to write about! What with false teeth, dodgy hips and toupees – so much ammunition. 🙂

4. Can you tell us about your writing process? Are you a “plotter” or “pantser”? Do you work better in a state of quiet organization or chaos? Do you set a word count target or take it as it comes?

I plot in my head, then take myself somewhere quiet and think about characters and a possible situation. Husband calls it daydreaming, but whatever! Then I write. I just get down the main ingredients of the story and I try to do that within a month or less. If I can see a beginning and a middle and a possible end I’ll go back to the start and flesh it out. So maybe I’m a bit of both “potter” and “panster”. But I like to call my approach a “painter”. I paint a basecoat, then go over with another coat, and another, until finally, I can add my final gloss.

5. In addition to being a terrific author, you’re also quite a prolific blogger. Can you tell us a little bit about your blog–how you decided what it should be, how you decide on themes? I’ve been honored to be your guest twice. Can you tell others how you go through your selection process of what to post?

Aw, thank you. Four years ago I was told I needed an author platform and so began Wise Words Book Blogger (WWBB). I didn’t like to talk about me all the time when others were much more interesting, so I invited people to my blog.

At first, I allowed any subject but then I wanted more control and decided to bring in themed months. I look around writing forums, Twitter, anywhere, for ideas. In fact, I’ve had a people email me asking for a subject because of an idea they’ve have and I’m always pleased to oblige.

WWBB never intended to be a blog for writers, but that’s how it has turned out and I’m very happy with it. If people want to write for me all I ask is for them to read the “What’s Hot” for their desired month, stick to the theme, edit their own articles and share the link with their social media once it’s live. Oh, and following the blog is polite. It’s the equivalent of a handshake in blogland!

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BONUS: Do you have a current WIP? If you do, can you share anything with us about what it’s about? And if not…what kinds of books are you considering diving into developing next?

My first published novel is called Eden, I wrote this before I discovered my niche was chick lit. It’s a sci-fi romance with the theme Beauty and the Beast, anyway, I began getting a lot of mail asking for a sequel and so I’m writing that at the moment. I’m on the second draft, and I hope to have it ready for late summer. It was nice to get back to old characters, and taking up their story again was like putting on comfy slippers. Maybe I can have two niches? That’s not greedy, is it?

Not at all, Louise! I think anyone who has many interests and talents should dabble in other niches. We don’t always eat the same kind of foods or wear the same clothes. Why always write the same kinds of books?

Thanks so much for joining us today!

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Here’s an excerpt from The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am:

I woke to the smell of bacon – and déjà vu. I turned, and a wave of nausea engulfed me as did a memory of a thin-faced man called Jon with piercing blue eyes. And Tim. Why was I thinking about Tim? Oh God… a dream I had been dreaming last night came back. Tim was making love to me. Only he had a strangely good body. I pulled the covers up over my head. No, no! I don’t want this picture in my mind.

‘Morning, Val.’ My curtains were ripped open and a blaze of light seared me like flames as I peeked over the top of my duvet. I rolled over, mumbling something like “bitch” and “get out”.
‘Coffee,’ Ellen said, and placed a deliciously smelling cup on my bedside table. ‘And a couple of paracetamol. How’s the head?’

‘Throbbing.’

‘Serves you right. You drank two bottles of wine to yourself. Poor Jon. I don’t expect you’ll see him again.’

Braving the daylight I rolled onto my back and looked up at her. ‘Thank God. What were you thinking setting me up like that? Isn’t it surprising I drank?’ I pushed myself up so I was propped against the bed rest. I reached for the coffee. ‘Thanks for this,’ I said grudgingly.
She sat on my bed. Not on the edge as you’d expect – this was Ellen – but in the centre with her legs cross-legged.

‘I can smell bacon,’ I said. Hopefully.

‘I saved you some,’ she said. ‘Tim makes a mean fry-up.’

‘Tim?’ Images of my dream swamped my head. ‘What’s he doing here?’

She evaded my eyes. ‘He brought you home last night.’

I peered under my duvet. I was in my undies. I looked up at Ellen questioningly.

‘I undressed you. I slept in the room I had before, and Tim on the settee downstairs. I didn’t want to leave you in that state and Tim felt he should stay too. He cares about you, doesn’t he? I never realised until now.’

Oh, shit.

I popped the paracetamol into my mouth, and swallowed them down with coffee. I only wished they were strong enough to delete the image of Tim holding me in his arms.

Buy The Fall of the Misanthrope now!

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The Fall of the Misanthrope_Cover_KINDLEThe Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am
Valerie Anthrope’s life is finally on track. She has a thriving business, money is no problem, and men, well, she’s a modern, cutthroat business woman and romantic entanglement isn’t for her, so she can take them or leave them. Or so she tells herself, and anyone else who’ll listen. But that’s the problem. There is no one else. Those who get too close never live to tell the tale—literally.
Someone needs a fairy godmother, don’t they?

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Q&A With “Heartthrob” Deck Thomas!

Q&A With “Heartthrob” Deck Thomas!

I decided to have Deck Thomas from Rita Hayworth’s Shoes be the character to answer my Valentine’s Day questions for one very simple reason: I’m in love with him. (Please don’t tell my husband, though I know he already knows…) What can I say. Hasn’t a character ever affected you so deeply, on so many levels, you just couldn’t let go? I finished writing this book years ago and I still can’t shake Deck. He’s bald as a bowling ball, from head to toe (no eyebrows, though it looks like from this picture I found of him they are starting to grow in!). He’s big as a house, socially awkward…. But he’s gorgeous and irresistible. For his kindness, his wit, the way he truly cares for Amy.

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Dashing doofus Deck.

Amy’s ex David may be Brad-Pitt-beautiful, but Deck could be the prince charming she’s always dreamed of…or at least we hope she’ll see it that way. Amy’s had a hard time seeing things clearly lately. Her relationship with David really stripped her of her confidence and clarity and self-esteem. Lets hope Deck, along with Amy’s new magic shoes, help her find her way! In the meantime, let’s get to know more about Deck as we get his take on romance and true love. (And get to know him even better when you buy Rita Hayworth’s Shoes!)

And hey, let’s connect out there!

Twitter

Facebook

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Are you currently in a relationship? If so, tell us a little bit about your S.O. And if not…what are you looking for in a romantic partner?

I am  not currently in a relationship, no. I have an ex-wife. No, I don’t want to talk about it. She is a vile harpie whose abandonment and cruelty has left me hairless and hopeless. Actually, I was feeling hopeless. Until I met this woman, Amy, at the wake of an old boss whom I wish I had killed and whom I’m pretty sure Amy did kill. Wait, that sounds a little odd. I suppose what I mean to say is that I enjoy teasing her that she did. It makes her face…well…she gets this look… It’s a long story. In any case… Amy… Lovely Amy. (See her there? Just below where I’m speaking?) I’m pretty sure she’s the woman for me. Such a sweet soul in that girl. Such a mastery of literature. Such a bizarre hang up on that serpent-swooning troglodyte of an ex. Alas, maybe someday she’ll come around…

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The lovely Amy.

Describe your ideal romantic evening.

Chartering a private jet to visit the birthplace of Voltaire…the most romantic city in the world, Paris, France! Did I mention Amy and I have the same all-time favorite book, Candide? We (because my ideal romantic evening would undoubtedly involve her) would stroll on the banks of the Seine in the moonlight, reciting passages to each other. We’d have a lovey meal at a cozy brassiere and… Well, an English professor’s salary might not be able to cover this level of extravagance. So maybe just…uh…maybe we’ll go bowling?

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What’s your favorite romantic comedy, book or movie, and why? What about love song–and why?

I don’t generally talk about my taste in music as it tends to embarrass and offend even me, but I’m not ashamed to admit my favorite romantic comedy. Joe Vs. the Volcano. There’s something so sublimely romantic about taking such a leap of faith that you’re just going to jump into a volcano, you know? To just decide that if you’re meant to survive, you will. I don’t know why that movie didn’t do better. It’s brilliant! You know, I could really go for an orange soda right about now…

Love is jumping into a volcano with another human being. Fucking awesome flick!
Love is jumping into a volcano with another human being. Fucking awesome flick!

What food most gets you “in the mood”?

I’m quite partial to ice cream, especially ice cream sandwiches. I suppose this picture (below) will appeal most to your readers and maybe earn me some romantic hero points. I hope so…

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Although if I’m to be honest, there’s just nothing like a steak! Check out this beauty. I think I could eat four of them.

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Can you tell us about your worst date ever?

Ah, that’s hard to say. Since Marny left, I really haven’t dated at all. I can’t seem to charm women enough to want to get to know me, you know, beyond my current appearance. And with Marny… You could say that whole blasted marriage was like one bad date. I can’t imagine I’d ever have a bad date with Amy. Did I mention how I’m kind of obsessed with Amy?

Mean Marny.
Mean Marny.

Describe your dream wedding. If you’re already married, was the wedding you had the one you always dreamed of?

I don’t know why, but I’ve always thought getting married should be this big, grand, just epic event, you know? Marny never really went for that kind of thing. I know Amy had the worst wedding experience imaginable. Katz’s Deli. Puh-lease. What a douche that David is. Why doesn’t she see that? Can anyone explain that to me? In any case, when I look at Amy, sometimes in my mind’s-eye I see her in a spectacular wedding gown, swooshing down the aisle of an ancient church, smiling so sweetly when she gets to the altar and sees me there. Ah, that would be it for me. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

What does she see in David? Can someone please tell me? Anyone?
What does she see in David? Can someone please tell me? Anyone?

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Thanks for sharing with us, Deck. You seem like a really good guy (who I totally love) and uh, I hope it works out for you and Amy.

Intrigued by Deck? Below find more about Rita Hayworth’s Shoes.

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Rita Hayworth's ShoesAmy Miller gets dumped on her wedding day and everyone knows it’s for the best. Except for Amy. When her best friend Jane convinces Amy to treat herself to an extravagantly priced but adorable pair of shoes that purportedly once belonged to a siren of the silver screen, she balks at first. But their allure soon wears her down. Once they are hers, everything in her life starts to change. A new romance blossoms, but things may not be what they seem.

As sparkly and witty as a 1940s screwball comedy, and filled with quirky characters and lots of delightful surprises, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes is a delightful, romantic roller coaster ride of a book!

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“What fun! This novel has it all–romance, laughs, a dollop of mystery. I was entertained from start to finish… And I want those shoes!”
New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge

“Like hanging out with your funniest friend over a glass of champagne, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes is both hilarious and thought-provoking. LaSala knows how to combine humor and romance for a story the reader can jump inside and enjoy.”
New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry

 

Valentine’s Day 99 CENT eBook Sale! You’re Gonna LOVE This!

Valentine’s Day 99 CENT eBook Sale! You’re Gonna LOVE This!

Love is in the air . . . and it can be on your Kindle, too!

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Do you want to fall in love with a good book this Valentine’s Day weekend? How about 9? Then don’t miss this special promotion. For four days only (February 14th – February 17th), 9 popular Chick Lit authors will be lowering the prices on their favorite rom-coms to 99 cents on Amazon.com! At that price (A bottle of wine costs more!), why not sample them all? Some delicious literary treats await you, and unlike chocolates these goodies are calorie-free!

And guys: If your sweetie is a book-lover, you’ll make her Valentine’s Day by gifting her with one (or more) of our fun, romantic stories!

samheadshotauthorcentralFinding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? Buy FINDING LUCAS for 99 CENTS!

SMtracie004-2-1In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? Buy IN NEED OF THERAPY for 99 CENTS!

162762_2662032389151_5076510_nRita Hayworth’s Shoes by Me! – Jilted bride Amy’s down on everything until she convinces herself to purchase a cute, ridiculously expensive pair of second-hand shoes. Once she does, life starts looking up, and she falls into an unexpected new romance with the last man she’d ever expect to love. But can a pair of shoes really be magic? And is her new prince really just a frog? Buy RITA HAYWORTH’S SHOES for 99 CENTS!

catBreaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie – When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancé who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure? Buy BREAKING THE RULES for 99 CENTS!


Samantha MarchThe Green Ticket
by Samantha March
– College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty, but her good fortune quickly turns disastrous when she realizes her job is filled with lies, betrayal, and cover-ups. Keeping up with classes, her girlfriends and a budding romance, Alex feels the pressure – but will she overcome the challenges? Buy THE GREEN TICKET for 99 CENTS!

libbyUnmasking Maya by Libby Mercer – Disgraced New York fashionista, Maya Kirkwood, is fashioning herself a new life as an artist in San Francisco when she’s hired to do an installation of her work by dorky, yet dashing dotcom executive, Derek. The sparks soon start to fly, but this could mean disaster for Maya – a woman with an explosive past and far too many secrets. Buy UNMASKING MAYA for 99 CENTS!

 

mschorr3A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr – Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables! Buy A STATE OF JANE for 99 CENTS!

NancySTrue Love Way by Nancy Scrofano – When her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris, Marlo Spencer travels to her hometown to try to rekindle their relationship. But when dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and betrayals are revealed, can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart? Buy TRUE LOVE WAY for 99 CENTS!

lucie_bio_headshot_6_9Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone – Lauren Tate’s perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart goes missing. Buy PICTURE PERFECT for 99 CENTS!

Check back here tomorrow, and at the rest of my girls’ blogs to read fun interviews about love and romance–with characters from our books.

Here’s how to find everyone on the Web:
Samantha Stroh Bailey
Tracie Banister
Cat Lavoie
Samantha March
Libby Mercer
Meredith Schorr
Nancy Scrofano
Lucie Simone

And hey, let’s connect out there!

Twitter

Facebook

Happy reading!

Author Pam Funke “Interviews” Nicolaitanes Ignatius Balac

Author Pam Funke “Interviews” Nicolaitanes Ignatius Balac

Doing something I’ve never done before but hope to do more of in the future: Inviting another author to guest post on my blog. Please welcome Pam Funke and enjoy her clever interview of one of her characters from The World at War (from her The Four Horsemen series). I’m excited because this is very different than the kinds of books I have here–which is great because I love new experiences, don’t you?

Below the interview, you’ll find links to connect with Pam on the Web and information about her latest book. Please connect with her!

Thanks for stopping by, Pam!

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Me: Good morning and thank you for coming out to interview with me today. Why don’t you start by telling us your name?

Character: But of course, my name is Nicolaitanes Ignatius Balac. [He flashes a smile.]

Me: Please tell us a little about yourself.

Character: Well, I was born and raised in Rome, Italy. I am a direct descendent of Roman Emperor Nero Germanicus. I am currently the President of Italy.

Me: Very impressive, Nicolaitanes. May I call you Nicolai for short?

Character: I suppose. [He fidgets in his seat before crossing his legs.]

Me: Thank you, Nicolai. Where you always in politics before becoming President?

Character: No, I actually own and run an architectural design company. We design everything from custom homes to extravagant office buildings.

Me: That’s interesting. So how did you get from architecture to politics?

Character: I have always been interested in the political field. So when I was offered the position of President I was honored.

Me: Offered the position of President. Don’t you mean that you killed the previous President so that you could become President? [Wipes the little beads of sweat off of my forehead. All of the little hairs on the back of my neck rise up.]

Character: [He laughs maniacally.] You should really be careful of saying such things. [He leans in towards me menacingly.] Besides, if I am capable of such atrocities who’s to say that you will get out of here alive. Hmmm.[He sits back in his chair and glances down at his watch.] But I will allow you to live as you amuse me. [He’s quiet for several minutes.] Yes, I killed President Adamo Ricci. The man was pathetic.

Me: But wasn’t he your friend?

Character: [He snickers.] I wouldn’t exactly say that we were friends, more like acquaintances. He outlived his usefulness.

Me: Wow, if you treat your friends like that I would hate to see what you do to your enemies. [The room is deathly quiet for a moment. I look to see how far the nearest exit is just in case I need it.]

Me: Well, let’s move on. [I take a deep breath and slowly let it out.] So why did you want to become President? Did President Adamo Ricci not do a good enough job?

Character: Honestly, he did a wonderful job with Italy. The only thing is that he didn’t have a big enough vision of what all he could do to help the people of Italy. I on the other hand, have great plans in store for Italy.

Me: Really. Can you elaborate?

Character: Well, I could tell you but then I would have to kill you. [He laughs.] Relax, I’m just kidding around. I don’t intend on remaining President long, I have much bigger plans in store. I’m going to not only save Italy but I am going to save the entire world.

Me: You’re going to save the entire world? From what exactly?

Character: From complete and utter destruction. We are at war you know. You silly humans are going to destroy each other and the earth if I don’t intervene.

Me: [I lean forward in my seat confused.] Wait a minute, what do you mean you silly humans? Aren’t you also a man?

Character: [He grins from ear to ear.] Oh, I’m sorry. It was a simple slip of the tongue. I mustn’t get ahead of myself. Forget I said anything.

Me: [I look at him strangely but keep my thoughts to myself.] You are already so successful in life, Nicolai. What more could you possibly want?

Character: Why to be ruler of the entire world of course. Who wouldn’t want to be? Imagine the possibilities. If I were in control of the entire world, we would not be in the predicament that we are in currently.

Me: [rolls eyes] Another lunatic trying to take over the world.

Character: Pardon me? What did you just say? [He looks at me with pure hatred emanating from his eyes. I start to get up and ease towards the door. Perhaps I should not have said that last thing out loud.]

Me: [My heart is pounding now and I’m trying to calm my nerves while I walk a little closer to the door.] I have one last question for you Nicolai. What are your views on God and how does He fit in with your daily tasks as President?

Character: [He growls at me with a vengeance I’ve never before seen from anyone; almost beast-like.] God? I don’t consult with Him. [He’s talking to me now through gritted teeth. He’s quite upset now.] I’m sorry, but I think this interview is over! [He gets up and storms towards the door. He stops just before the door and turns back towards me.] Are you one of the meddlesome Christians?

Me: I wouldn’t say that I was meddlesome, but yes I am a Christian.

Character: Well, good luck with that in the upcoming months. There are things that you are going to have to endure that you haven’t even begun to dream of. [He says threateningly.]

Me: I’m sorry Nicolai, but are you threatening me? [I calmly reach for my cell phone.]

Character: No, it’s a promise! [He turns and walks out the room slamming the door behind him.]

Me: Okay, I’m a little nervous now. There is more to Nicolai than meets the eye. Just who is Nicolai really?

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Pam Funke is the grand-daughter of a Pastor and was brought up in the church. Her love of reading led her to write. She lives in Hinesville, Georgia, with her son and daughter.

Find Pam on the Web:

Goodreads

Blog

Website

Facebook

Twitter

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THE WORLD AT WAR: The Four Horsemen Series

WorldatWarCoverfntThe second book in the exciting Four Horsemen Series. Join General Alexander Ludlow as he continues on his mission to save the world. At least that is what he thinks that Operation Dark Angel is all about. He is however starting to suspect that this mission is not all that it’s cracked up to be. The world is in complete chaos as major nations wage war on each other and the world is on the brink of World War III.

The Group is secretly continuing Operation Dark Angel with much success. Unknown to the rest of the world they are the ones who are behind the strange and devastating attacks on Israel and around the world. What is it that they are really after when they are supposed to be bringing peace to an out of control world?

Italian President Nicolaitanes Balac is steadily gaining political power and recognition. The entire world is watching this one man and wondering if he will be the one to save them from the chaotic spiral that the world is headed towards. Is he really who he appears to be or is he something much more sinister? Can he save the world? Do we even want him to? Is this who mankind should rely on for help or will this be the worst mistake that mankind has ever made?

Five for Friday: Wendy Ely

Five for Friday: Wendy Ely

Very excited to have Wendy Ely visiting with us today! Wendy’s an accomplished and incredibly prolific contemporary romance author. Her books are packed with romantic suspense, wonderful happily-ever-afters, and plenty of spice! (Check out that cover below. H-O-T!) Amazingly, she also juggles all this writing around raising two teenagers and working a “day job.” A very cool lady indeed!

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Can Chelsea and Jordan find their child, and rediscover each other?

When Chelsea Montgomery vanished eleven years ago, her hometown thought she’d been abducted. In truth, she’d given up the daughter she’d secretly had with Jordan Case.

Now he confronts her to help find the child. With a little girl’s fate hanging in the balance, will the uneasy partnership — stained by the past — transform into something else?

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1. Where do you get your ideas for your stories? Is it all imagination?

I get my ideas from my imagination and life. Some ideas come from something I see that inspires me. I’ll then twist the reality into a plot or character and then start writing! When I started writing Dangerous Flames I had not clue about mafias but Gabrielle Medini popped into my head and wouldn’t leave until I wrote her story. She is the Mafia boss’ daughter.

2. An author putting out one book a year is a miracle. It looks like you have FOUR coming out in 2013! I know you juggle writing around family, working as a book editor, and going to school. How do you find the time?

I write and edit full-time and had to figure out that I need to schedule my own novels into my schedule just like I would for a client. Dan (my real life hero) works 50 hours on a slow week. He leaves for work at 4 a.m, so I usually start work at that time. With him at work and the kids (teens) at school all day, I have the entire day to be productive. After they all get home our house turns crazy as the evening turns into family time. I can casually work on projects on the weekends, but honestly, not a lot gets done when they are all home.

3. Do you have any writing rituals? A special beverage you like to sip when you write? A sweater you like wearing? A type of music that inspires you?

Coffee inspires my creative juices! My preference is mocha. Dan bought me a Keurig for Christmas but haven’t found a yummy mocha flavored coffee yet.

I also like to listen to music when I’m working on the rough draft of a book. My playlist has a variety of music ranging from Limp Bizkit to Enrique Iglesias! Readers would probably laugh to know that I’ll often listen to something like Eminem or Nirvana while writing a sex scene… whatever pushes me in the zone. The music is turned off during editing though.

4. Do you have a favorite characters from one of your books? If so, tell us who and why.

I love all of my characters but my favorites would be Chelsea and Allison Montgomery (Desert Secrets series). I believe I really put heart and soul into those two characters and can relate to them in different ways.

When I lived in northern Arizona I really felt lost and like we didn’t belong there, like both of the characters feel in the book. People hated me and I had no idea why. It was really hard to deal with day in and day out. Our neighbors did crazy stuff to us like kill a rattlesnake and threw it in our yard. The neighbor kids threw trash in our yard and told my kids it was some new toys for them. Our time there was much harder than the sisters went through though.

Allison is single mom of one son and one daughter. I was a single mom for so many years and have been through similar trials she goes through in the book. I love Allison’s spunky, tell-it-like-it-is attitude. As for Chelsea, she walked away from her family and Jordan. I had that happen to me after I wrote the book. I admire Chelsea’s vulnerability, the vulnerability she experiences when she returns to Wilson, Arizona.

5. The covers for your books are sizzling! I can’t wait to crack one open, though not based on the covers alone. I’ve enjoyed your excepts as well. Do you think you’ll ever dabble in writing outside the romance genre? And if so, what would you try?

I could see myself writing in mystery/thriller if I switched genres. I have this fascination with true crime. While in paralegal school I was drawn to criminal law and did my internship for a criminal defense attorney. I loved it!

BONUS QUESTION: Say you’ve been offered a long weekend away from the chaos of your daily life–a writers’ weekend where all you do is hang out with other writers, bounce around ideas, and write like the wind. Which other authors are joining you, and why?

I’m actually planning something like this with author Sharon Moore. It’ll be held over a weekend this summer. I’m so excited! I don’t know the who is invited yet but my dream guest list would include Rachel Gibson (I love her writing style), Isabella Anderson, Samantha Bailey, and YOU! We’d have a blast.

Yay! I’m in! Thanks for including me, Wendy. And thanks for telling us more about you and your work!

Find Wendy on the web!

Wendy Ely Blog

Amazon author page

Twitter

Facebook fan page

Emails are always welcome: authorwendyely@gmail.com

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Have a great weekend everyone!

Boring Is the New Black–Or, Voltaire, You Owe Me a Favor!

Boring Is the New Black–Or, Voltaire, You Owe Me a Favor!

When you write a book, it’s impossible to put yourself out there without getting trampled. It’s part of the process. You’re not ever going to be able to please everyone, and nor should you ever try. Still, I know I’m not alone in the writer world when I admit that a bad review can sting. Here are my two favorites:

For Rita Hayworth’s Shoes (2 stars!)
BORING! (by “Angela”)
“My apologies to all my fellow 5-star reviewers, but nothing thrilled me about this book. I felt it was run of the mill, even bordering on boring. The only saving grace for me was that I decided to read Voltaire’s Candide because of it.”

For The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything (1 star!)
IMPLAUSIBLE! (by “Cman”)
“This has to be one of the worst books I have read recently. Everything up to the last scenario with Esther (almost at the end of the book) was just implausible to believe. In fact it was irritating that author would think readers would not question all the holes in the plot. There was nothing to believe in characters responses to events occurring. I would not call it a psycho drama, fantasy, magical or any of the other genre descriptions used in other comments.”

I have to admit, I’m far more excited about the outrage of the GIRL review (more on that in a bit) than I am about the malaise of the one for RITA. (I also have to giggle at the use of “my fellow 5-star reviewers,” which implies that she is one of them… But I am thrilled to have introduced Voltaire to new reader–hence the favor that guy owes me.)

In any case, here’s what I try to remember when I get a bad review and maybe it might help you too–before you start weeping so hard, you short-out your laptop:

1) Consider the source. Not every book is for every reader. I never got past page 2 of Twilight, but I’m sure Stephenie Meyer and her billions of fans don’t give a rat’s ass what I think.

2) Know that some people like to hate. I accept my books aren’t Shakespeare, and so should you. Because that is not our name. But to be serious… I’ve been at this a while and I know my books aren’t garbage either. Maybe I’m a Pollyanna, but if I can’t give a book at least 3 stars, I don’t bother with a review. Why would I care? Which brings me to my next point…

3) Someone hated your work enough to CARE!  This is by far my favorite. Look at it this way: If someone gave you a scathing, hateful review, be honored that your writing touched a nerve, compelled that person in some way to log on to a website, search out your book, and tell the world just how shitty he or she thinks you are. I know it’s hard to see this through the thick veil of your tears, yes, but consider how many people email or Facebook you to let you know they loved your book, but never leave a review. (Though best not to consider all the others who didn’t hate your book enough to crap all over you and your work.)

For any writer who thinks “a” or even “some” bad reviews means it’s time to turn in the towel, check this out:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/54494-the-13-worst-reviews-of-classic-books.html?utm_source=PW+Tip+Sheet&utm_campaign=0aed5f1574-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email

The point of this? (Aside from trying to make myself believe my heart isn’t in pieces.) It’s to tell you and me both: KEEP WRITING! And do it with the joy of knowing that people are going to fucking hate you for it!

But please, for the love of all that is holy, do not, do NOT, let a bad review influence what and how you write. You must always keep true to what you do. I, myself, intend to spin hundreds more “boring,” “implausible,” “shitty” stories because I enjoy writing them that way and others enjoy reading them that way. You do that too, okay? Great! (And if you can bear it…tell me about your crappiest review in the comments? Pretty please? I promise that sharing makes you feel better!)

Also, and this is HUGE, please make sure that no matter what boring, implausible, shitty stories you spin, please be edited. Please. Your work should be crapped upon because people hate your premise or your characters or you, not because you were sloppy. (If you got a bad review because you were sloppy, that’s totally about you sucking.)

So break out those hate cauldrons and get ready to stew bad-review-givers “Angela” and “Cman” because I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to gouge out your eyes with your own fingers when you see what I’ve got coming next. 🙂

Have a great day everyone (even you haters)!

P.S. If you do like a book you read, the best gift you can give an author is a review. Just sayin’.

Five For Friday: With A Twist!

Five For Friday: With A Twist!

I have a fun twist on Five for Friday today. I think you’ll like it. Today, it’s not just about 1 remarkable person, but 5 (5+, actually) fantastic female writers whose books I’ve read this year. It’s only February: a true testament to the good fast fun their books are. (Seriously–how did I ever live without a Kindle?)

What a great cover!

1. I started the year with A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr. This one was, admittedly, my “safety.” I haven’t been that good about reading, probably since I’ve had kids, but I did read and love Just Friends With Benefits. I knew the hilarity Meredith was capable of, and having experienced the NYC dating scene first-hand, I couldn’t wait to re-experience it through Jane Frank. A State of Jane did not disappoint. Jane’s a great character, and the book will definitely keep you reading! (I interviewed Meredith last year–check it out.)

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2. I guess that book got me on a vicarious dating jag, because next I hopped across the pond with Susan Buchanan’s The Dating Game to sample the singles scene in Scotland. I really related to workaholic Gill and her troubles with men, and laughter and cringe-worthy moments abounded. And then a bonus trip to Spain? I was sold; you will also be.

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3. Back to the US, this time the Left Coast, I picked up Libby Mercer’s Unmasking Maya next because I couldn’t resist the cover. Please take a moment to admire the fabulous-ness of it because it shows this wonderful writer is bursting with talent–Libby crafted that cover herself when her designer crapped out. Yes, it’s good, but the story of a disgraced NYC fashion designer starting over in San Fran, and finding herself deep in the throes of “nerd love,” is just great!

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4. You will notice that Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey also has a blue cover…but that’s not why I picked it up next. The premise of this one really charmed me. My whole life I’ve always been so big on the “one that got away”–though for me there was never just one. I guess my husband put to rest that part of me, but how fun to re-live that “what-if?” thrill again on Jamie’s quest! (Samantha was just here–learn more about her here!)

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5. In Need of Therapy was the first Tracie Banister book I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last. Tracie has somehow here beautifully managed to weave a tight-knit plot around a cast of totally loco characters–super-shrink Pilar’s clients and family alike. I literally laughed out loud (and went on an avocado kick for more than a week–true story). (Tracie’s been here, too. Read her interview!)

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BONUS: Jackie Bouchard may “bark” at me for admitting I’ve always kind of been a cat person… Except that What the Dog Ate has nearly converted me. You’ll love and relate to the leading lady, Maggie, but the leading man (without question, Kona, her chocolate lab, is the star) stole my heart like no other.

So that’s my 5 and 1 bonus (so far). Not yet reviewed but read and enjoyed: Picture Perfect by Lucy Simone, which was not at all what I expected, and Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie, which has one of the most incredibly crafted twists imaginable. I promise I will be getting to these reviews as soon as I can come up for air.

If these book sound like fun to you, here’s a reason to get excited… A bunch of them (unfortunately not all of the above, but a couple of others!) will be featured in a Valentine’s Day promotion some of the girls and I are doing next week. Please check back Thursday to see what we’re up to.

Until then, stay warm, and have a great week!