Knock on the door and come on in! Do I have some candy and other treats for you!
Today, I’m coordinating my blog with several other Liquid Silver authors and offering you some real adult Halloween treats. We’re offering you “eye candy” and some wonderful ebooks.
Here’s my favorite candy to have with my morning coffee:
And then when I sit down for lunch I always enjoy a six pack with my sandwich:
Then I like to get some exercise in the afternoon and treat myself to more candy while I’m at it:
And after a hard day, I just like to settle in with a little candy to help me sleep better:
Sure I have a sweet tooth, but next to Dove chocolate, this is my favorite dessert! And I was happy to share those treats with you! Just leave me a comment and let me know when you like your candy best: in the morning, lunch, afternoon snack or in the evening.
I’ll be drawing one name at random from anyone who leaves me a comment before midnight Halloween night and they will win an e-copy of my futuristic erotic suspense novel, The Healer’s Garden.
If you visit all 9 blogs and comment on each of them, you will be eligible to win the grand prize: A wonderful inbox full of Liquid Silver e-books.
Enjoy your candy today! (If you get lost and can’t find your way, come on back and I’ll point you in the right direction!)
Please tell us about your books.
I have 3 series at 3 publishers. Liquid Silver has the Bonded fantasies, where everyone has magic, and a race of shapeshifting warriors needs human women. I’ve just finished work on the fifth Bonded book, Honor Within. The hero, Burke, is really damaged. Why women love fucked up men is a mystery, isn’t it?
Loose Id has Team Epsilon 983, a polyamory scifi. It just released on Sept 23, and is the hottest thing I’ve ever written. I thought I would combust when I worked on the final 5 person ménage. (5 people? That’s a lot of umm … body parts to keep track of! 😉 )
Samhain has (of Nov 1) the Singer series, in which three friends plot a rebellion in a post-apocalyptic future.
I love your Bonded series, what made you decide to go in that direction?
I finished Wild Within, and the world and characters just sparked more ideas. Plus, I’m lazy and if I can reuse a world I’ve already created, then why not? Now I’m so addicted, it’s sad. I want to disappear into that world, be adopted by a beast, and live happily as an earthmage. I was always a fanciful child, but it’s a little less attractive feature in an adult.
Your characters in the “Bonded” series are part of a clan. How did you come up with them?
I love shapeshifter stories. Back before I thought of myself as a writer, when it was something that I did in secret, I spent a day or so with my journal just brainstorming, trying to figure out a new take on them. Why have just wolves? Why make them a secret? But then wouldn’t they be more powerful than humans, and wouldn’t their status reflect that? Why would they be interested in human women? I was influenced by my pagan faith, wanting a world where elemental magic was vital. Because I read runes, I know a lot about the culture of ancient Scandinavia, so the warriors in the Clans were influenced by Vikings. The best way to discover the Clans was to introduce them through the eyes of an outsider, and so the kickass KarRa was born. After she started to talking to me, the story just rolled out with all of this mishmash supporting her.
If you came with a warning label what would it read?
Warning: this woman looks normal but inside she is scattered, silly, and sexy.
I just got my royalty check. I’m thinking about buying this new flogger … any opinions?
Good luck? (Oh, Mima with this bad boy, it’s not luck I’m hoping for, hon!)
I know you write “shifter” stories, what attracted you to that genre?
We all wear masks. Shifters just have a bigger one. And if your core is animalistic, there’s a perception that you might live in a purer, more essential way.
Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
Pantster! Once I started into the Bonded series, and realized I was gonna go with a book for each Clan, I thought, “Crap. Now I gotta make sure they’re all really different. I’m going to have to, like, be purposeful.” So I mapped out the rest of the series, in a loose sort of way. And I promptly froze. I didn’t write for 3 months. My brain started a gazillion other plot bunnies (the Server series was born). The amount of avoidance and phobia I had about writing once I knew the story’s direction was staggering. I rewrote the beginning of that next book, Honor Within, 5 times. I think discovering the unknown is part of my author-ish-ness. Obviously, I have to grow as an author and get over this. Cross your fingers that book 6 graduates to, say, only 4 rewrites. I write in silence. I eat candy while I write: spree, smarties, bottlecaps.
If we asked your friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think they would say?
Loyal, cheerful, childlike. They actually tell me this often.
What thing about a hero is a turn off for you when reading a book? Anything about heroines that drive you insane?
I really dislike the librarian/model/homemaker heroine who insists on going with her Navy Seal on a drug mission because it’s her right to face the bastard who murdered her sister. Puh-lease. And I don’t think much of the hero who lets her go. Gawd, I hope I didn’t just inadvertently describe some book. I made that up, but I’ve read lots like it. Everything else in the book could sparkle, but once an author sets up that situation, I’m disgusted.
The editing process is an important aspect of writing. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
I’m too new, and have worked with too many editors, for a routine. I learn something from every editor I work with.
You have a fulltime job. How do you fit writing into your busy schedule?
Shuh. I can’t write in small blocks. I need chunks of time, so it’s a problem. The house doesn’t get clean very often. Sometimes I stay up all night, until my fingers are bloody stumps. Depends on how much I want to escape into the story.
A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
I have 2 non-digital friends. One’s a non-dairy vegan and one’s an Italian who takes food seriously. So the BBQ really wouldn’t work. Can I have hot tub with friends? (The Cabana boys are starting the bubbles as we speak …)
How does your family feel about you writing smoking hot erotica?
My mom and dad are very happy for me, because they know I’ve written and read romance all my life. But they don’t want to read it, and they don’t tell their friends. I’m ok with that, cause Mima is a pen name (although it’s my real nick in life). I’m not out to coworkers, so if I can hide, they can, too. My friends are really supportive.
Wow, that one flew by. Thanks so much for sharing some of your time to hang out at Around the Writer’s Block. When Mima’s not here you can find her at her website where she’s got some excerpts and reviews. And she’d love to have you friend her on MySpace.
But she’s already settled in to the hottub with an umbrella drink. I’m sure I can pull her from the bubbles if you’d like to ask her some questions or just show her some comment love!
This week I’m happy to welcome author, Jennifer Leeland! Jen is a dear friend I met through Liquid Silver Books. We released one of our books together and the publisher still hasn’t recovered from that party.
Jen, I see you have many books out with lots of publishers. Could you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how you got started?
I started writing seriously in 2005 and I was published in December of 2006. When my father died in 2002, he left behind a million books and a completed manuscript. My mother told me he’d never submitted it to anyone, afraid it wasn’t “good enough”.
I dabbled in writing, but also never thought anything I wrote was “good enough”. I was determined to follow that dream that both my father and I had; to be published.
I got a few rejections but finally contracted two Christmas stories-one with Cobblestone Press and one with The Wild Rose Press. Since then, I’ve contracted several books with Cobblestone, The Wild Rose Press, Whiskey Creek Press and Liquid Silver Books.
To be honest, though, I started writing a lot of my stories so I could kill off someone who pissed me off. In a book. Not for real. Seriously.
Ah hem. Right. Remind me never to get on your bad side! *vbg* Okay, next question … I know you’re working on a couple of series. What made you decide to continue your main story?
You make it sound like I had a choice! LOL. With “Taking Command”, the villain gave me absolutely no motivation for what he’d done or why he wanted to kill the heroine. Everything in that first book about the villain was what the other characters saw and heard him do. When I wrote “The End’ on “Taking Command”, the villain escaped and popped up with an entire past that sent me into a tailspin. With that, I knew I had two more books to write. (This series is available at Liquid Silver Books.)
“The Mask She Wears” is about a group of people who all visit the same house. In a small town, there usually isn’t the BDSM clubs you see prevalent in urban areas. Those with different sexual practices have to find other ways to meet and hook up. “The Secret She Keeps” is the sequel and I’m writing the third. All of them feature a very sexy dominant named David Peters, who hosts parties for those in the Lifestyle. Again, the series began with several characters who all had their own stories to tell, so I write them until they’re done talking to me. (This series is available at The Wild Rose Press as part of their Scarlet Rose line.)
That’s a really long way of saying “I write the sequels to make the voices shut up.”
Which segues right into my next question … are you on any medication, hon? No, just kidding that wasn’t my next question. I noticed you write in many different genres futuristic, BDSM, and I know you have some contemporary stories. Are there any you enjoy writing more than others? (You like how I did that?)
Um, no medication at the moment, though I had some Nyquil induced posts that amused my friends.
I think my favorite genre to write is ALL of them. LOL. “Taking Command” is a science fiction erotic BDSM romantic suspense. (Say that three times fast).
I love to write romance, but I love suspense. Science fiction is a blast because I can do ANYTHING and make stuff up. I love that. (Jen’s world building is amazing … trust me when I say if you visit Asberek … you’re going to want to return again and again!)
Oh, I luuuurve your “Command” series. Could you tell us a little more about those novels?
I’m so glad you loved them!!! The “Command” series is set in the 23rd century and begins with the colonization of the planet Asberek. Cooped up on a space ship, humans have learned to deal with the long trips through space with Virtual Fantasy Rooms. Good thing, since Asberek’s atmosphere has been poisoned by a chemical Synthetic Endorphins Xstasy which increases sexual hormones. The name, S.E.X. given to the chemical as a joke, belies the serious nature of the drug. On the planet’s surface, if you don’t “take care” of your sexual needs, you’ll die.
In the midst of this chaos, two alien civilizations interfere in the human colonization which results in murder and danger. When you add some weird cult-like rituals and DNA mutation, it gets a bit complicated, but the human beings that come to Asberek are more than up for the task. (Oh, I jumped the gun … but you get the idea about this wonderful planet!)
What got you writing erotica and more specifically — BDSM?
I first read erotic romance and have always been fascinated with the BDSM aspects of some of it, especially Joey W. Hill. I loved to read it, so I wanted to try and write it. The Wild Rose Press happened to have a contest and I entered. They published “Garden of Sin” a few months later. The more I wrote, the more I liked it. Writing it, I mean. Well, I LIKE it….okay, never mind. (Jen’s blush starts somewhere around her toes … but I’m not touching that statement … if you’re interested in finding out more about she means, there’s always the comment section. I’m just sayin’…)
I need to get new glasses. Do you like these snazzy designer ones or the these with the rhinestones?
Oh the Rhinestones definitely. (Personally I like how they match the twinkle in my eye!)
Tell us a little bit about your writing habits. Plotter or pantzer? Mood Music? Favorite Food? You know that kind of stuff
I’m a panster. Totally. And I do have music associated with certain books but I usually don’t play it when I’m writing. I will play it to get in the mood to write. I ALWAYS have a cup of coffee when I write. (She agreed to hang out here only if the cabana boys kept her happy with Starbucks … and massages.)
If we asked your friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think they would say?
What would THEY say? Oh my God! I have no idea! Um, talkative? Maybe persistent. Definitely obnoxious. LOL. You’ll have to ask them, I think. (Jen forgot to mention funny. When I’m around this woman I boot whatever beverage I’m drinking at the time through my nose. You’d think I’d learn, but nope. I’ve ruined more shirts hanging with Jen!)
A hot soak in the tub or a mad shopping trip to the mall?
Oh the tub definitely. And not alone. *wink* (Yes, Jen the cabana boys are available as soon as we finish this interview. Just a couple more questions.)
Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Well, “The Secret She Keeps” comes out October 17th. “Regaining Command”, the third book in the Command Series is coming out soon.
Jen makes amazing book trailers. Here’s the one for “Resisting Command”.
Jen has agreed to hang around awhile with the cabana boys. Oh, look she’s dancing the Macarana with them. Well, I’m sure I can pull her away long enough to answer your questions.
It’s finally here! I didn’t think we’d ever get to today! But Monday, September 15 at 7:00 pm EDT, Furry, Fluffy, and Wild will finally be available from Liquid Silver Books! Yaaay! I’m so excited.
Back in February or so, Celia Kyle put out a call to other authors interested in participating in a shifter anthology. I jumped through the crowd of authors with my hand waving madly in the air and shouted “Me, me … pick me!” When I fell at her feet grovelling and make a fool of myself, how could she say no?
Celia and Tina are amazing writers with a ton of work under their belts and I feel very proud to be included in an anthology with them. All of our stories involve wolf shifters …
and plus size women. (I know, the cover doesn’t actually reflect that … but you’re going to have to trust me on this one.)
My novella, Blue Moon Rising, is an erotic suspense story.
Could a woman’s past decide a man’s future?
Tension between the cougar and wolf shifters in Lonesome Fork, Montana is spiraling out of control. With the full moon only days away and fear and the body count rising, Chief of Police, and head of the wolf shifter council, Cole Takoda is trying to bring peace to both humans and shifters alike. But with the head of the cougar council, Kurt Hansley, thwarting his attempts, it appears nothing will heal the growing rift. When orphan Jayda Kynslan strolls into town, rumors of polymorphic shifters come to life begin to circulate.
Two men want to claim Jayda as mate: one will stand with her and unite the shifter clans; the other will possess her and reign supreme over the human population. With the Blue Moon Rising Jayda’s decision will determine the future for all of them.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
Cole stared at Jayda’s ass as she sashayed her way to the door. Damn, she had him hot under the collar. He’d wanted to follow her immediately, but the tented fly of his Levi’s would make their intention a little obvious. It wouldn’t do for the Chief of Police to be caught in a compromising situation. When she’d bent in close, the scent and heat of her overwhelming his senses, his body had jumped to attention. Decorum and judicious prudence aside, he needed to be with her. Had she known she’d have that effect? Was this some kind of setup?
He finished his beer in one great swallow and banged it down on the bar just as the door closed behind Jayda. She hadn’t even turned around to see if he was following. Maybe she hadn’t meant what she’d said. Part of him hoped that was the case. Then he’d only have to see her safely to her car, and this whole thing would be over. There was only one way to find out what she intended. His cock led the way.
“Hey, champ, it’s cold outside. You’ll need this.” Aaron stood at the entry between the two rooms holding Cole’s leather jacket. The smile on his face was nonjudgmental.
“Shit,” Cole said as he snatched the jacket and shrugged into it. They’d been friends since their days on the reservation. Aaron would be the only one who’d know it was lust as much as fear contorting his face.
Aaron smiled. “Shit is right. Be careful, man.”
Now that he’d made the decision, Cole headed for the door. He wondered if he’d waited too long, and she’d left. That thought moved him more quickly. He’d have no way of finding Jayda if she walked out his life tonight. He had no intention of letting that happen until he knew exactly what had brought her to Lonesome Fork.
The night air slapped him in the face the moment he walked out the door. He scanned the lot, panic sweeping through him with each pass.
“Over here.” Jayda’s quiet voice called from around a truck parked in front of the tavern and off to his right. He smiled at her from the other side of the hood.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come.”
The brassy woman who’d propositioned him in the bar had once again morphed into a timid debutante. If not for her voice and the breathtaking smile she flashed, he wouldn’t have known the bashful person holding keys in her hands was capable of offering an uninhibited sexual escapade in her car.
“Jayda, why don’t we go sit in my car?” Reason found its way back to his consciousness. “It’s in the back corner away from the lights.” Police Chiefs didn’t boff strangers in the parking lot of the local tavern. But no one could fault him for finding a place for a quiet chat with a suspicious stranger, and at this moment, conversation was all he intended.
“Sure.” She lifted a shoulder with the lilt in her voice.
She came around the back of the truck, and he wrapped his arm around her waist. Jayda laid her head in the crook of his shoulder. She molded against him like her body had been made for his.
Cole’s body reacted again to her proximity; the blood rushing to his dick made it hard to think like a gentleman. “We don’t have to do this. I’d understand if you want to back out.”
Stopping, she looked up at him. “You don’t want to?”
“No, I … I mean, yes.” Damn, this woman tied his tongue in knots. “What I mean is … if you’re having second thoughts about being alone with me…”
Her hand snaked into the front of his jacket and pinched his nipple. “Not even sort of. Now, which car is yours?”
Cole hit the button on the remote starter, and the lights flashed.
Jayda clapped her hands and ran into the shadows. “Oh, such a shame, you have bucket seats, I guess we’ll have to snuggle in the back.” She didn’t even turn around before climbing in, her curvaceous ass disappearing a moment before he reached the Saab.
And of course what would one of books be without a book trailer:
I know, it’s not unusual for me to have some eye candy around to entertain my visitors. So what makes this Monday so special? I actually know this guy!
Roscoe James is a friend of mine who is also published with Liquid Silver Books. We tripped into the place together and have been helping each other stumble through the publishing maze.
Roscoe was born along the dusky red banks of the Ohio River. He grew up in a sleepy little town in southern Indiana where the sounds of cicadas and whippoorwills marked the arrival of summer and cruising the town square on a Friday night was a rite of passage. From law enforcement to the hallowed corporate halls of two Fortune 500s he draws from a deep well of life experience. With Spanish as his second language and the day-to-day of living in one of the largest cities of culture in the world, RJ infuses his stories with a raw reality that makes the characters memorable forever.
I love Roscoe’s writing. I pulled him over here to introduce him and his writing to you. And like all my guests, I’ve got him tied up with my trusty whip handy if he gets out of line. But from the smile on his face … I’m thinking he’s not seeing it as a punishment. 😀
So Roscoe, we’ve been hanging around together at Liquid Silver Books for what, a year? nine months? something like that. How’d you find your way there?
Right, well, you know, I’d been driving around for about four years trying to find the place. You know us guys – keen sense of direction and all that. Then I had to buy gas and, well, before you get the wrong idea, I didn’t ask. I don’t want any misunderstandings. I think some guy walking by just happened to….(Don’t worry, dude, I didn’t actually think you asked for directions.)
Yeah, I can see you’re not buyin’ it. Okay, a year and 9 months ago I decided I was going to get serious about something I’d been doing off and on since 2000. Writing. So I did what most people do that are cursed with great resolve and very little natural ability. I wrote. A lot. I managed to put together two full length novels (which will remain unnamed) and I shopped ’em around to agents and brick and mortar publishers. Yeah, that was a heady experience. Let me tell you. I don’t think I’ve banged my head against a brick wall so many times in so little time before in my life. Then I got smart. I put the books on a floppy and threw ’em in my desk.
Then in January of 2007 I came across Flash Fiction Sunday at the Liquid Silver blog. Hey, I’m a guy, flashing comes natural to us. (For those uninitiated, flashing is actually 100 word vignettes … yeah, Roscoe was just a little confused.) Anyway, once I got my coat back on I realized what a great opportunity it was to actually write. And I did. I met several authors, had a lot of fun, someplace in there I lost a kilt. Still haven’t found that. (I sooo did not take his kilt … well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) And the rest, as they say, is history.
Well, there was this really great rejection letter I received from Tina…
Okay, so I’m glad you brought that up. (Ahhh, a little erotic humor!) Anyway … most romance writers have the whole indoor plumbing thing going on and you … well, you’ve got all these dangly bits. What made a man decide to write romance?
As long as you’re bringing it up let me, ah, get it straight (punzzz intended)… indoor plumbing, outdoor plumbing. Well, as a matter of fact, even here in Mexico we stopped using outhouses and porta… oh, right, got’cha. Listen, before we get to that… I just wondered. You haven’t seen a kilt around anywhere? Just asking. (*whispers* Don’t tell him it’s in the closet with all the rest of the ones I stole.)
Pretty simple. I like it. I don’t know of a writer that isn’t writing what they like. I’m no exception. A well written romance is probably the most difficult genre to write. Learning about a city you haven’t visited because you want to include it in a book is pretty simple. Search it on the internet, take notes, look at a few pictures, and you’re done.
But writing the intricacies, nuances, and emotional depth of a relationship and making your reader feel that relationship – live it – that’s the ultimate challenge in writing. And, when you get right down to it, romance is the oldest genre in creative writing.
Okay, you’re smirking. Alright, I admit it. Tucked between Hunt for Red October and Matrix (all of em) you’ll find Notting Hill, You’ve Got Mail, and What Women Want on our video shelf. (I’m telling you ladies … this guy’s a romantic.) And beside my collection of Cussler, Grisham, and King you’ll find Roberts, Coulter, and D.H. Lawrence.
So, really, why not?
I love writing my hero’s POV. But then I’m a woman trying to get in a man’s head and other women are reading it and probably have the same perspective of the male species. So it’s hard for me to screw that up. You on the other hand, are a guy getting in a woman’s head. We’re convinced men have no clue about us. How do you manage to write from your heroine’s perspective … or do you?
Good question. Ya got another one in there? No, just kidding. The answer is simple. I’m sure I’m not. Not yet. I don’t believe there are many authors out there that get it all right the first time out. There’s nothing more sobering than picking up one of your first writes eight years later. Well, we won’t go there. Actually, I avoided that problem with my first two books (Deer Run Falls and The White Swan). I was sure I couldn’t even come close. In those two books I focused on something I thought the female reader might find just as interesting… if not more so. Both books are written from the hero’s point of view. And in both I tried to give the reader two things. His thoughts, reactions, and feeling. And something just as important – his perception of the actions and reactions of his heroine. Okay, I may not have done a perfect job but I think the hero’s voice is unique in both books.
In Forever’s Not Enough, future fantasy SciFi, I made my first attempt at the heroine’s voice. That book explores both the heroine and hero’s POV.
Do I have an idea what my heroine’s (and women in general are thinking)? You’d have to ask my readers (and my wife). Will my idea of both POV’s change with my writing? Sure. Because I’m here to write for my readers and last time I checked, most of them are women.
I loved writing my first novel, but it is true, a good writer is always improving. I thoroughly enjoyed Deer Run Falls, but absolutely fell in love with the second book in your Mississippi River Tales series, The White Swan. Tell us a little bit about those books.
Deer Run Falls was my first foray into the romance genre. It’s a hero’s point of view (POV), blackmail to murder, greed and money, with a twist and a surprise. All set in the lush lap of southern comfort. Doesn’t sound like much of a romance does it? Well, I needed to put the hero in a bind so he could be saved. Can’t really say much more without giving the whole thing away.
The single POV came from this great rejection letter I received from Tina Burns, then acquisitions director of Liquid Silver Books. Aside from the total lack of romance in the rejected book (well, it was written 8 years ago as a thriller, give me a break) she commented on my head hopping. Yep, it was a problem. So I set out to see if I could even write a single POV book. Gotta tell ya, it is a challenge. There are moments in any situation where changing characters makes things so much easier to explain. Less words. Clear and to the point. The real skill is bringing all that to light without the POV character being directly involved in the action. So, anyway, that’s how Deer Run Falls came about.
The White Swan was a completely different story. I grew up along the red banks of the Ohio. Speed boat races in Madison Indiana. River boat rides and races from Louisville to Cincinnati. Summer water skiing up and down the Ohio. Bike (as in motorcycle) trips through the Mark Twain National forest. Well, and one other little thing. Just a detail. Family lore has it that on my mother’s side of the family I’m related to a real, honest to goodness, pirate. We won’t go there right now but The White Swan was my attempt at bringing all those things together. If you haven’t been on a midnight dance cruise on a riverboat and you get the chance I highly recommend it.
And I did one other thing with The White Swan. I dabbled in a period subplot. The hero’s line is traced back to Jean Lafitte, the gentleman pirate, late of New Orleans. The research was a blast and while quite real, so little is known about him that you’re left with this really great framework to hang dramatization on. The hero, Nash Fross, is heir to a shipping fortune and all that implies. I needed a match and a motive in the heroine so I created Teresa Holloway – Pulitzer winner and investigative reporter. Her cover to get close to the hero is to do a feature piece on the revival (or demise) of luxury riverboat travel on the Mississippi. Of course, her true motive is a little different. Let’s just say that the reader should pay close attention to the Lafitte subplot.
They were both great writes, but The White Swan was fun as well.
I’ve also read Forever’s Not Enough, the first story in your Galactic League of Planets series. It was a wonderful read about a feline-type heroine. Could you tell us a little bit about how this came about and what we can expect next?
After two contemporary romance novels I wanted to try something different. One Sunday hanging out in flash (I don’t recall who was running it) I flashed on a topic I normally wouldn’t touch. Fur. I think it was actually fur and feathers. So, not wanting to have a non-flash Sunday I started the story of Princess Peenzan of the planet Meline. I know, corny – Meline – feline. And yes, humanoid with a few cat characteristics.
All this takes place within the framework of the Galactic League of Planets. GLOP. SciFi and future fantasy. I’ve finished the second in the GLOP series – Bastina’s Necklace. Both explore our galaxy in the 24th century when the earth has melted down into one country, one state, all run by the Corporation. Nine other planets have been discovered with humanoid like beings that are intelligent. Every book has a sub plot about the Corporation trying to dominate the galaxy through dastardly deeds but the real story is always love. Love in all the wrong places at the most inopportune moments between the least likely pair.
And Forever was really a fun write. Gotta say, I love world building.
Okay, so a little bit about Roscoe James the writer. Give us some juicy details about you. Your writing schedule, your habits … and come on, dish on some of those dirty secrets.
Me? As in moi? Yo? No me digas… well, I’m a voracious reader. Some of my favorite works include – Twist Off, Channel Up, Channel Down, Mute, Hot Wings Included, Two For One, Cherry Flavor (we won’t go into that one), and my all time favorite… Oh, wait, you mean big things, important things, life forming experiences. (Anyone ever tell you that you think like a guy sometimes, Roscoe? Damn, will you share that remote? *grabs remote and handcuffs him to the chair* And really … a little more info on that “cherry flavor” thing would be nice … no? Fine, continue…)
Let me think. It takes me a minute to get the creative… ah, sorry. To dig all that stuff up. Okay, a few things. I was diagnosed mildly dyslexic at the age of 6. By the fifth grade I had not read a book. Not one. Then my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Norsworthy (I think she must have been 80 – I’ve always had this thing for older women) got me interested in a book. And I read it. Bet you can’t guess which one. Anyway, after that first book, I’ve always been reading something. I joined a book club for kids and never looked back.
Most of my childhood was spent in a small town of 3,400. I took French in high school (the language… c’mon Nina… sheesh … hey, Roscoe, you’re the one leading “me” astray … can I help it if my mind goes to the gutter when you’re around? Okay, so you’re talking about French, sorry my dirty mind interrupted.)
Well, anyway, I pretty much flunked out of that one. It was decided a second language was not in my future. I only mention that because I had no idea at the time that I’d end up living in one of the biggest cities in the world speaking a language not my own.
I play the guitar – jazz, blues, and flamenco. I play at a few other instruments. Scuba dive (well, used to, haven’t for a few years), snow ski, oh, and I write.
The routine. Well, the writing routine is, well, pretty routine. I write fulltime. Monday through Friday you’ll find me sitting at my desk tapping away. I write anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 words a day once past the first chapter. (The man puts me to shame with that daily word count. It appears I only “play” at writing full time. *g*)
I go start to finish. Kinda get it all on paper, put it away for a week, then get it out and read.
Married with a great son. You know, chip off the ol’ block. All that stuff. (And his wife is already marked for sainthood putting up with this man! *vbg*)
What? The book? Why, Treasure Island, of course.
All his books are available through Liquid Silver Books.
Oh, here comes Roscoe’s usual bevy of beauties to help with cocktail hour and a few man-studs to round out the group. Of course the kilt ‘n dales will be here shortly. So why don’t you stay a few minutes and party with us? And by all means … ask the man a few questions! 😉
I make no secrets over the fact that I absolutely loooove my publisher, Liquid Silver Books. It was a year ago this week they offered me my first contract and I am so happy we found each other! We’ve been through a lot since then. It’s been an amazing ride and I look forward to growing with them.
Today, Tina Burns has agreed to visit, share a little bit about Liquid Silver Books and stay and answer some of your questions. Hopefully, it will take some of the mystery away when it comes to submitting a manuscript to a publisher.
Here’s where I get to dig in and find out all those things everyone has been dying to know!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became involved in Liquid Silver Books.
I started out in the eRomance industry as a reviewer and through them, got a job as a proofreader for LSB. I made so many editorial comments on the proofreader test that they asked me to take the editor test. I proofed one book, then took the test for editor and the rest is history. I’ve moved up in the ranks handling the newsletter, PR, and Author Liaison. Oct of 06 Raven and Mike asked me to move to Acquisitions since Rachel Fox moved over to concentrate on the Terran Realm line and just before RT was promoted to Publisher. What does that mean? I’m still finding out, but my goal is to help the staff and authors achieve their goals and beyond. I’ll be concentrating on increasing sales, increasing submissions, attending conferences, and evangelizing the good LSB word. (I love everyone at LSB. But I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Tina … she’s the bestest! She offered me my first ever contract. And a gal just doesn’t forget her first *wink*)
What specifically makes Liquid Silver Books a great company to work for?
I think first and foremost the owners Raven and Mike. A company is only as good as its leaders and they’re both deep in business sense while at the same time bring a sense of camaraderie and ownership to the authors. Secondly, our authors and their books. I’m not gonna lie, we’re picky about what we accept, because we want our readers to have the best erotic romance stories on the market, and I think we’ve achieved that and will continue to “wow” our readers in the future. (Doing a little preening of my feathers right here. I love being an LSB author! I’m in the company of some amazing talent!)
Okay, I know Mike does the foot massages and runs to Starbucks to keep everyone happy while Raven slaves at the business. But could you tell us a little more about the LSB structure?
Raven and Mike are the owners. Raven does the website, publishing and keeps Mike in line, most of the time. Mike is our Guru of everything, he runs the forum, Silver Net, lovingly known as SiN, oversees the bookstore (sales), and generally tries to keep us entertained with his puns. Those skim the surface of all that they do. My title is Publisher. What does that mean? I’m still finding out, but my goal is to help the staff and authors achieve their goals and beyond. I’ll be concentrating on increasing sales, increasing submissions, attending conferences, and evangelizing the good LSB word. Terri Schaefer is the Editorial Director, her staff of editors rock out all our books. Rachel Fox is the Terran Realm Senior Editor and also helps out with a bit of everything. April Martinez is our Art Director. (She and her staff are absolutely amazing!) Tracey West is starting in August as our Acquisitions Director, she’ll be overseeing submissions. We’re very lucky to have Maria Shaink as our Publishing Admin. She’s taken over the newsletter, a lot of the forum duties, and new author introductions. She’s become invaluable to all of us.
Is there one type of sub-genre within erotica that LSB is looking for?
No. We’re looking for all types, all heat levels. We might put out a call for a series or an anthology, but we’re always looking for submissions.
I know LSB has two lines of erotica. Would you explain the difference between “liquid” and “molten” heat levels?
We’re actually introducing a third heat level, Sterling. This will open up our library to stories with greater emotional buildup, still with lots of sensual tension, but allow for fewer sex scenes. We’re still an erotic romance publisher, so our Sterling line will still leave the lights on for sex, for example, but the sex could wait till the end of the story as the culmination of that emotional buildup. Our Liquid line will encompass most of what it does today; great character development, building to committed relationships (HEA), and smokin’ hot sex. The Molten line opens up the sex to include GLBT, multiple partners, BDSM/Fetish, and Happy For Now endings.
I just got my royalty check. You think I should order these cute black stilettos with the rhinestones or the purple cowboy boots?
I’d go for the black stilettos but nix the rhinestones! (You know she’s right, the rhinestones clash with the boa I’m wearing.)
How do authors submit work to LSB? Do you prefer a particular format? Email or snail mail queries? That kind of thing.
Authors who aren’t already part of LSB, need to send their submissions to the sub2008 @ liquidsilverbooks.com (without the spaces) address. The email should include:
– their personal contact information
– a short bio and publishing history (if any)
– a snapshot synopsis of their book
– and attach the first three chapters in Microsoft Word .rtf format.
We don’t take queries without this information. If you email me with your synopsis and say “Let me know if you’d like to see it.”, I’ll just reply back that if you want me to see it, follow the guidelines. 😀
You were the one who offered me my first contracts with LSB, would you explain a little bit about the process of querying to contract offer?
Sure! Suzie Author emails the first three chapters (following the guidelines above). We read them, and if we like them, we email and ask for the full manuscript. Once she’s replied back with her full, we finish reading the story. If we still like it, we make an offer. Once she says yes and does her happy dance, I ship off the contract to her to sign on the dotted line! (Mine’s more like a happy dance through the neighborhood … most of the time I try to wear clothes. But sometimes in my excitement…)
After the contract … what can an author expect?
From contract to publication runs about 4 months. The authors fill out a cover art request form, join SiN, get introduced to their editor and go through a month (typically) of edits. The book then rolls to a proof reader for that final scrubbing. If there are any changes it goes back to the author. Once we get a clean final manuscript, Mike does his magic and Raven publishes the book.
I’ve never met an unhappy LSB author. What do you attribute this to?
Me. No, just kidding. I think we’re fair, we’re established and knowledgeable about the business, committed to giving the best to our readers and authors and just plain fun on top of it all. Can’t argue with that, huh? (No arguments from me. I have enjoyed going through the process with every contract. And really, it’s F-U-N over at LSB!)
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for having me! We’ve got some exciting things in the works for the rest of this year and beyond so keep your eyes peeled!
Very informative Tina! Like all my guests, I’ve tied her up … err, I mean she’s agreed to stay, yeah, that’s what I meant … she’s agreed to stay and answer some of your questions.
Go on … ask. You know you wanna!
So, I’m at it again. Editing my book, Blue Moon Rising.
I don’t know if I’m odd for a writer, but I will admit … I love the editing phase of writing a book. Blue Moon Rising is the fifth story I have had to plow through and fix.
I’ve heard rumors that some authors don’t care for this process. That they actually detest getting the edited manuscript back. But (knock on wood) not me.
I’d like to say I’ve been fortunate so far and haven’t had to do any rewrites, but the fact is, if I really think about it–I did. Arranging Love, the final book in the Tilling Passions series required some “tweaking”. There’s an interesting dance between what appears to be happening and what is truly happening in the story. In order to mislead the reader (sorry people, but that’s what suspense is all about *rubs hands together* Mwahahahaha) I worded things a particular way. But the first time around, it didn’t work quite right. So I rewrote several scenes, choosing my words more carefully.
The senior editor then passed the book onto my editor. A lovely woman, Jean Cooper, who scrutinized each line of dialogue in these pivotal scenes veeery carefully. Then there was more rewriting and back to Jean. And so it went back and forth two or three times until everything sat just right with both Jean and me.
It was an amazing process and one I know made the book stronger. It was also a wonderful learning tool that will help me make my writing better.
I trust my editor completely. After three books together, she knows me and my writing. When something just doesn’t ring true, or the quality is lacking … she calls me on it. And I could kiss her for it. (Jean’s also forgiven me on my total inability to have a clue with commas. To make her life easier, I should just stop using them and let her just add them to my manuscript. She basically does it anyway. They’re never in the right place. Ah, but I digress…)
We’ve now started edits for Blue Moon Rising. Are there problems? … you betcha! Does it mean fixing scenes and some rewriting? Oh yeah! Am I the least bit insulted or hurt that she doesn’t quite like the wording in this dialogue or the way a character is thinking through the scene? Not even sort of.
I love rising to the challenge of making my stories tight, steamy and with a flow that keeps my readers coming back for more.
With my editor’s help, I’m not slapping on a bandaid and glossing over the problem. I’m stitching up the manuscript to make it … alllll better! 😀
All I can say is thank you for editors like Jean. I can’t imagine where my stories would be without her!
The last novella in the Tilling Passions series, ARRANGING LOVE, is out today! June 30th. Yippee!
And don’t be jealous, but the first copy, hot off the press goes to Mima Dixon who has a part (or two) in this story!
Here’s the back cover blurb:
He never believed love was unconditional. She never expected the ties that bind would be found at the end of a flogger …
ARRANGING LOVE, the final novella in the Tilling Passions series, finds florist, MEGHAN TILLING, questioning the true impetus for her fiancé’s frequent business seminars and sudden interest in bondage. Could her sisters be right in claiming Peter’s out-of-town trips have more to do with clandestine meetings rather than work commitments? Should Meghan let go of decorum and allow herself the pleasures of deviant sex?
PETER MADDOCK loves his fiancée, but when an online Dominatrix awakens the darker side of his sexual fantasies, he can’t help but seek her out at a private BDSM party. When several accidents threaten Meghan’s life, Peter fears he’s opened their lives to a stalker. Will he be able to protect his fiancée without revealing secrets that may threaten everything and everyone he’s come to love?
Can Peter and Meghan explore their innermost desires and discover the answers to her father’s illness … all without losing their lives?
~*~*~ And an EXCERPT from Chapter One:~*~*~
Meghan Tilling blew out a puff of frustration, sending wisps of chestnut curls out of her face. Straightening, she pressed fists into her lower back, working out the tension hours of floral arranging had knit into her muscles.
Usually, she loved the holiday season: long hours filling orders and delivering flower arrangements to smiling customers, the bustle of shoppers in the stores, the smell of balsam and cinnamon wafting about the floral shop of Tilling Gardens and Plants that she co-owned with her sisters, and the joy of being with her family. Normally all of the busy-ness combined to make her warm with nostalgia and giddy with anticipation, but not this year.
She couldn’t enjoy any of it. Not with her father so sick and Peter’s promotion. It all just sucked.
Her misery had worked itself into a throb that pounded in her temples with the rhythm of the hard-rock music blaring from the radio at the end of the workbench. And though it sent spasms of dull pain shooting behind her eyes, Meghan couldn’t bring herself to shut it off. Without it, silence would surround her like an unwelcome chill, opening her heart to the loneliness, and she’d find it impossible to go home to an empty house–again.
She stared at her reflection in the dark window over the bench. Despair stared back at her.
Even though she couldn’t see outside, Meghan knew the snow still fell. The Thanksgiving blizzard that began last week heralded the beginning of a very long winter. Well, officially November still counted as fall, but not here in Maine. In her hometown of Delmont, winter began with the first gentle snow flakes and ended when the last snow bank finally turned to mud–usually around Easter.
This year, winter had arrived with a vengeance, pummeling New England with back-to-back storms that had knocked out power and clogged all public transportation, including the plane carrying Peter Maddock, her fiancé, home from the engineering conference in Philadelphia.
Meghan chided herself for not closing the shop early and heading home to the warmth of a fire. The floral arrangements for the Anderton wedding could wait. There would be plenty of time to finish them tomorrow for delivery on Saturday morning. But the thought of a white-knuckled drive and an empty bed just depressed her more, and she decided to stay and finish the rest; twenty centerpieces for the reception, eighteen pew markers, seven wrist corsages and fourteen boutonnières for the family. The bouquets were already complete.
Oh, another celebration … a book cover! This dreamy cover was designed by April Martinez.
This hot book contains three erotic stories of shifters including my novella, Blue Moon Rising! We’re already in edits. It shouldn’t be long before this book makes its way out into the world from Liquid Silver Books!
So I thought I’d do a lazy woman’s thirteen this week. It’s shameless self-promotion again! Here’s thirteen reasons you should buy the second novella in the Tilling Passions series, Love’s Bounty.
1. It’s set in a rural town in Maine. And who doesn’t love Maine?
2. Deirdre, our heroine, was jilted by her lover… she’s given up on love and is now looking for some one night stands to satisfy that sexual itch.
3. Our hero, Ayden Scott is an undercover DEA agent. And really … tell the truth … you love alphabet guys!
4. Shawn Jameson is a very sexy bad guy! You want to hate him, but first you have to do a little drooling!
Okay … now you can hate the sleeze bucket!
5. It’s hot and steamy! What do you expect from a Nina Pierce title?
6. Deirdre is a landscaper who looks out for herself. But sometimes trouble she can’t handle comes in small packages.
7. It’s the second in the Tilling Passions series. You fell in love with Deirdre’s dad in Blind Love … but what’s going to happen to him this time around?
8. It’s an ebook. Not only is it a great deal and you’ll save money … but you’ll also save trees!
9. Anne Cain did the amazing cover. And who doesn’t want to frame Anne Cain’s drool-worthy cover? Okay, so maybe you won’t frame it … but I did! Is that TMI?
10. Baby needs new shoes! Oh, guilt won’t work? How about if I start crying and saying I’d really, really, REALLY like it if you bought my book. No? How about if I give you a CLICK HERE to buy button? Still no? Really, the tears won’t work? *sigh*
11. Did I mention there’s some very hot sex in this book? Oh, now that got your attention?
12. Even Mrs. Giggles, the reviewer, said it was a great suspense story. And she never says anything nice!
13. And if you still haven’t seen it … there’s an awesome book trailer for the series.