Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Interview with Candace Blevins, Author of Gonzo

What made you decide to be an author? In 2005 there were few authors with experience in the lifestyle writing BDSM. I thought I could do better so I gave it a try. I’ve always had a paranormal world in my head but never thought I could do it justice. However, after building up my confidence with my Safeword series, I jumped into urban fantasy and paranormal romance and I’m having a blast. My paranormal books don’t have the intense BDSM of my Safeword series. Some of the characters are totally vanilla, some of the couples are just a little kinky, and a few couples play around with some light BDSM. 
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? I love to write but I detest editing. It takes me three times as long to edit as it does to write, and while I’m writing I’m discovering all kinds of details I didn’t know until my fingers typed them. You have to edit your work before others can see it, though. There’s no way around it.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? I traveled the world in my twenties and didn’t get married until I was thirty. I met my husband in the lifestyle and twenty years later we’re still in it, though it looks a whole lot different now that we’re parents. I’ve had so many adventures — I have a lot of experience to fall back on.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? This was the case with my first books, but then I started outlining the biggest events and pantsing the details. However, my muse decided to go against the outline in Safeword: Arabesque, then again in Brain (even though I argued hard against it), and again in Gonzo.
You’ve written twenty-two novels and are working on a twenty-third. What’s your favorite time management tip? Writing is easy in the beginning because all you have to do is write. Once you’re into the publication and marketing phases there’s so much more to do. I don’t really have any tips other than to put writing first and treat it like a job. Books don’t write themselves and the only way to get the characters out of your head and into a book is to spend the time doing it.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I’m a blend of the two. If I plot everything then my muse basically says, “Well, if you know what happens then you don’t need me.” However, as a professional writer with deadlines, I can’t totally pants my stories anymore.
I spend time with the characters in my head for weeks or sometimes months before I start writing their stories, and I know the beginning and have a rough idea of the ending. I know their specific challenges and some of the conflicts, but I don’t know any details. A few books have gone completely off my original outline and have been better for it, but most of the time my blend of plotting and pantsing works.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? The biggest writing advice out there seems to be ‘show don’t tell’ — but that’s so misleading. If you show everything, you’ll bog the story down. It might be better to give the advice of ‘carefully decide which pieces of information you’ll tell versus what needs to be shown.’ The emotional bits need showing, and of course most of the sex scenes. You’ll likely want to show how it feels to ride your bike, or run as a wolf, too. But there’s so much story to be told in a one hundred thousand word novel — if I showed everything it’d be a half-million words. 
Candace, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.


Gonzo has not only had to come to terms with the loss of his entire family, but he also barely survived being shot in the chest multiple times while still a human, and was then later turned into a werewolf during a vicious attack while hiking as he tried to put his life back together.

Constance has had her own losses to deal with, and while nowhere near as bad as Gonzo’s, they’ve left a mark on her as well. She’s determined to live her life without a partner though, because her two sexual experiences in college convinced her she’s asexual.

Gonzo’s a biker people cross the road to avoid, while Constance has multiple doctorate degrees and works as a research scientist for a leading pharmaceutical firm. Gonzo doesn’t trust women, Constance has no use for men — and yet they’re going to find themselves working toward the same goals.

Can they form a team to do what needs to be done?
Candace Blevins lives with her husband of 18 years and their two daughters. When not working or driving kids all over the place she can be found reading, writing, meditating, or swimming.
Candace writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary BDSM Romance, and is currently writing a kick-ass Motorcycle Club series.
Her urban fantasy series, Only Human, gives us a world where weredragons, werewolves, werelions, three different species of vampires, as well as a variety of other mythological beings exist.
Candace's two paranormal romance series, The Chattanooga Supernaturals and The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club, are both sister series to the Only Human series, and give some secondary characters their happily ever after.
Her Safeword Series gives us characters who happen to have some extreme kinks. Relationships can be difficult enough without throwing power exchange into the mix, and her books show characters who care enough about each other to fight to make the relationship work. Each book in the Safeword series highlights a couple with a different BDSM issue to resolve. 
You can visit Candace on the web at candaceblevins.com and feel free to friend her on Facebook at facebook.com/candacesblevins and Goodreads at goodreads.com/CandaceBlevins. You can also join facebook.com/groups/CandacesKinksters to get sneak peeks into what she's writing now, images that inspire her, and the occasional juicy blurb. 
Stay up to date on Candace’s newest releases, and get exclusive excerpts by joining her mailing list!
Tour giveaway
5 copies of Brain (RTMC #2)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Other Books By Candace Blevins
Only Human series (Urban Fantasy)
  • Only Human
  • Unhuman Acts (early 2016)
  • Only Human book three, title TBA (2016)
 Chattanooga Supernaturals (Paranormal Romance)
Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club (link)
Short erotica stories from the world of The Chattanooga Supernaturals

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Character Interview: Vivia from A Glimmer of Guile by Mary Patterson Thornburg

Where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood?
I was born in western Monsara. My mother died, and I was two when my father took me away with him and my brothers, peddling his wares. Cyra the Goldsmith, he was called. Still is, as far as I know.
It was a lonely childhood in some ways. In the cold months we lived in Muir Town and I knew some children my own age. But the rest of the time there were only my three brothers. The youngest of them, Jareth, was simple-minded, I thought, and I didn't find him very interesting. Milo, my oldest brother, actively hated me. Only the middle one, Hanal, was my friend. He told me stories, taught me things. Father never paid much attention to me, until he had to stop ignoring the fact that his only daughter was a witch, and Milo told him one of us had to go – him or me.

Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing?
I live at Ladygate, in the High King's Province, where I'm supposedly learning the finishing touches of my trade, which is guile – magic to you, or close enough. And something I'd rather be doing? Ha! I'd rather beg for pennies in the streets than fiddle away another minute listening to gossip from a lot of bitter, jealous women and taking orders from old Mother Harken, who's not half the witch I am. Well, maybe half. Maybe more…

What's going on in your life right now?

Right now I'm on the road, by myself, and I've just done two incredibly stupid things in rapid succession. The result is I'm wearing rags, I don't have any money or other clothes, and I've just cleaned a stinky chicken house in order to afford one tiny meal. And I have to think of some way to get to the North Sea and across it, because Harken sent me on a mission to rescue the High King's son from the scariest witch in the world, and I didn't dare say no.

Is there someone special in your life?
There was. I've been trying not to think about him. Taso Raym. He was my teacher, until he brought me to Ladygate and dumped me on the doorstep. I seem to have made a career of being dumped on somebody's doorstep by a man – first my father, then Raym.

How did you meet? What's his family like?
He hasn't got a family. He was an only child, and both his parents are dead. How we met is another story. I'd heard about him for a long time, but when I met him I didn't know who he was. I was expecting a white-haired old wizard with a magic walking staff or something. Flashing black eyes. Well, the eyes part was right, but the rest was definitely not. To say I was surprised is an understatement. It was really sort of funny, although I didn't think so at the time. I'll tell you about it someday, maybe.

What's keeping you two apart?
Not counting pride? All right, what drove us apart is a quirky little thing about guile. See, I can do things with my mind – start fires, move objects around. Make people see things that aren't there. It's not all magic tricks, of course. I can heal someone who's sick. And once I killed a man. With my mind. So guile is a great gift. But to stay a witch, you have to stay a virgin. Not every witch – not Raym, for example, or so he told me. But there's no way to tell, ahead of time. So I can't be with Raym, and that's why he dumped me at Ladygate.

What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out?Oh, it's not going to work out. If we'd done what we wanted, I'd have lost my guile. We'd have come to resent each other. Maybe when we're old we could be friends again, but that's all. And even that won't be possible if Raym's in the kind of trouble I think he's in. See, Raym's the strongest witch in the world – or so I thought. Now I'm not so sure. He's disappeared. And if he's where I think he is, I'm going to have to save his life. Or try to.


Blurb for A Glimmer of GuileVivia is what people in her world call a witch. She can create illusions, influence thoughts and feelings, move objects and light fires with her mind. But witches frighten people. There are some very bad ones out there – like Orath, "the Red Prince's lady," who has kidnapped the High King's teenaged son, Tedor. A woman almost as scary as Orath has ordered Vivia to find and rescue the boy. She'd love to duck this assignment. But Taso Raym, the strongest male witch in the world, has also been kidnapped – at least it looks that way.

It was Raym who taught Vivia how to use her own strengths and warned her that losing her virginity would almost certainly mean losing all her powers too. Their growing attraction to each other is why he ultimately sent her away. Although Vivia resents the way Raym dumped her, how can she leave him to Orath's not-so-tender mercies?

So Vivia's off to the Red Prince's kingdom to save Raym, save Tedor, and save herself a lot of trouble. To do this, she'll have to win the battle of her life. Does she have a chance? Of course… well, maybe. While she is admittedly young, she's nearly as strong as Orath… unless the Red Prince's lady and Raym are in league with each other.

Excerpt from A Glimmer of Guile

A day or two before I expected Raym back, I worked in the garden until midmorning and then went up into the hills about a half-hour's walk from the cottage to dig some roots from the trillium that grew near a small, deep lake there. We would grate, dry, and store them as a tea to ease childbirth; Raym had taken the last of our supply with him to Khori's court.
When I'd dug and cleaned as much as I wanted, I stripped off my light shift and sandals. They were all I was wearing, since it was a hot day and there was no need for modesty, no one else for miles around. I walked out into the lake, swam for a few minutes in the icy water, and then stretched out in the sunlight on the grassy shore.
I was awakened in what seemed only a few minutes by the sound of running footsteps on the path, nearly into the clearing. As I stood and hastily grabbed up my shift, I heard Raym's voice, ringing with what sounded like apprehension. "Vivia? Vivia!" I turned to face him.
He had stopped, frozen in his tracks. When he spoke, his voice was hesitant. "You weren't there, at the house. I – I seemed to see you in the lake. I was afraid..."
We stared at each other for a long moment, motionless as statues.
Something happened inside me then, a kind of tremendous fluttering as if I were a tree full of birds that had startled up and then settled briefly, tense and quiet but ready to fly. Time began again and I took a step toward him.
He held up his right hand as if to ward me off. "Forgive me for disturbing you." His tone was cold. "Come back to the house, please, in a few minutes. We must talk." He turned and strode away.

Amazon Buy Link http://www.amazon.com/Glimmer-Guile-Mary-Patterson-Thornburg-ebook/dp/B00JS2ZCL8


About the Author 

Mary Patterson Thornburg was born in California, grew up in Washington State, moved to Montana when she was 18, and spent many years in Indiana, where she studied and then taught at Ball State University.

Her dream was always to write fantasy stories and novels, but she didn't get started until she and her husband moved back to Montana in 1998. When she'd finished her first story and it was published, she took off running and never looked back. She's had stories in Cicada, Zahir, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Strange, Weird, and Wonderful, among other places. Two of her short stories earned honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (2006, 2008), and "Niam's Tale," in the July/August 2010 Cicada, won the SCBWI 2011 Magazine Merit Honor Certificate. Her first fantasy/romance/adventure novel, A Glimmer of Guile, was published by Uncial Press in 2014. Her second book for Uncial, The Kura, came out in April, 2015.

Website
http://www.marypattersonthornburg.com/
Twitter: @MaryPThornburg
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mary-Patterson-Thornburg-Author-751054628247208/
FB Book Page (A Glimmer of Guile) : https://www.facebook.com/aglimmerofguile/
FB Book Page (The Kura): https://www.facebook.com/The-Kura-1302439603104206/

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Mason's Mark: Love and Death in the Tower by M.S. Spencer



Thanks so much for having me today. I’d like to talk about my new release, The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower
Old Town Alexandria, founded 1749, is a thriving Colonial-era city, complete with cobblestones and Federal-style row houses. Laid out in a well-ordered grid, King Street runs in a straight line from the Potomac River to the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, where most of the action in The Mason’s Mark takes place. To its south lie Prince and Duke Streets and to the north Cameron, Queen, and then Princess. The mystery of how Cameron had come to insert itself between a King and his Queen is unclear.
Alexandria is very much a southern city—with all the charm and dilatoriness of that wonderful region and a perfect venue for the intrepid duo Claire calls the Marples.
Complicating the affairs of both our hero and heroine, but also of the villains, are two unlikely characters. Letitia Canfield, Claire’s mother, meets Andromeda Miller Bliss, Gideon’s mother, in Paris and they immediately hit it off. Being naturally inquisitive and terrible snobs, they take charge of both their victims’ love lives and the mystery.

Blurb: 
In both the best and worst first day at work ever, docent Claire Wilding meets the man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial collapses when she discovers a body and is drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons, of secret cabals and hidden treasure.

Also cloaked in mystery is handsome Gideon Bliss, a George Washington expert who haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she'll fall in love with him only to learn he's a thief or even a murderer. Juggling two eccentric mothers, an inquisitive sister, and an increasingly smitten detective, Claire must find answers to a complex web of intrigue, including who to trust and who to love. 

Buy Links

In this excerpt we find Letitia and Andromeda mixing it up, outdoing each other in snobbery.

Excerpt (G): Best of Friends

“Let me have a look at it.” Claire pulled the chain over her head. Her mother hefted it. “Beautiful. I adore old gold. And look at those lovely seed pearls interlinked—I’ve never seen a design like that.”
Andromeda took it from her. “It belonged to my great aunt Celestine. The man she almost married gave it to her.”
“Almost? What happened?”
The old lady settled back with the air of someone who has told the story many times. “It was in 1865, a few months after the War of Northern Aggression—what our family calls ‘The Late Unpleasantness’—ended.” The old Southern euphemism for the Civil War always tickled Claire. “A band of former Confederate officers had been terrorizing the town, pillaging the stores, and beating the men. Joseph mustered out near Richmond and rode four days to fulfill his vow to wed Celestine, but when he arrived he found the gang in the street. He stood up to them while the whole town watched. They killed him.”
“Oh dear.” Claire pictured a beautiful young girl waving her kerchief as her hero went to his death. “Did she find the necklace in his effects?”
Andromeda smiled benignly. “Yes, and her last love letter to him.”
Letitia heaved a delicate sigh. “I suppose Celestine never married, pining away for her Joseph.”
“On the contrary, she married a Mr. Parsons and had ten children. She and her family traveled by prairie schooner to Arkansas, Texas, and finally Oregon in the l870s. Her daughter rode the train alone across country to New York and graduate school, one of the first women to do so.” The gauntlet was thrown.
Letitia picked it up with a wintry smile. “I guess some families never lose their wanderlust, do they? Now my family found the perfect spot right here in Virginia in 1607 and never saw any good reason to leave. Of course they were very successful farmers and statesman.” She eyed Andromeda, braced for the response.
Her friend did not disappoint. “Well, I always say travel broadens the mind,” she warbled airily. “One can become awfully…parochial if one nests in the same tree for generations.” She checked the ceiling for cracks before delivering the coup de grace. “Everywhere they settled, my ancestors certainly flourished.”
The two old ladies set their chins. Claire, squeezed between them on an uncomfortable antique settee, half expected them to leap up and start circling each other. She had been entertained for a few minutes, but it was time to revive their customary cordiality. “May I have my chain back?”

About the Author:
Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Blessed with two fabulous grown children and an adorable grandchild, she has published ten romantic suspense/mystery novels. She now divides her time between the Florida Gulf coast and a tiny hamlet in Maine.
 
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