Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Interview with Anni Fife, Author of Luke’s Redemption

What made you decide to be an author? I always wanted to write stories about adventurous girls who went on exciting escapades and saved the world. As I matured, the girls turned into sassy, intelligent women, normally with a hot alpha male lurking nearby. I kept these stories hidden, never believing I was good enough to write them for public consumption, or that being an author was even an affordable reality. For twenty years, I followed a successful career in television. Last year that all changed. I returned home from a family beach holiday, refreshed but totally uninspired to contact my clients and begin the normal January jockeying for work. Instead, I procrastinated. And then I read an article about self-publishing. A tiny flame re-ignited inside me. A few days later, I was in the bath reading the latest Kristen Ashley on my kindle … ‘I can write something like this!’ A crazy thought by a woman lost in lala-land. Maybe. But who cared—not me. Refusing to let that precious spark inside me fizzle out again, I shut down my business, canceled my apartment lease, and packed up my city life. A month later I arrived in a small seaside village, and began my new life…as an author.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? I love everything! But my favorite part has to be character development. I’m a psychology fundi, so I get high on fleshing out the intricacies of what makes my characters tick. I also like editing. I used to do a lot of film editing so book editing is a natural progression for me. What do I like the least? At first, I thought it was the marketing and publicity. It was pretty daunting. But the more I’ve got into it, the more I’ve begun to enjoy it. I’ve met amazing people, and discovered awesome blogs that I didn’t even know existed…like yours!

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? I studied English at university. My mother owned an advertising agency. And I worked in the TV and video industry. So for most of my life, I’ve been immersed in a world of media and communication. In my mid-thirties, I did a long-distance degree in psychology. I’ve also traveled extensively, for work and for pleasure. This varied exposure ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to creating believable stories. Also, throughout my thirties, my husband and I struggled to have a child. We had numerous IVF treatments, and even tried with a surrogate. After a miscarriage, and many failed attempts, I had to close a door on this painful journey. It changed me in ways I’m still learning about. The stories I write are filled with characters that have suffered. My infertility has given me a glimpse of what it means to be deprived of the one thing you want more than anything else in life. A heartbreaking lesson, but one I believe makes me a better storyteller.

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? Well, this is my debut novel so I don’t have a wealth of experience, but it did happen to me in a roundabout way. I’m a serious plotter and planner. I write detailed outlines, and crazily, fill them with reams of dialogue. Each and every scene is planned before I start the real writing. But a weird thing happened as I progressed: my characters refused to always behave like they were supposed to. Sometimes they would just stop talking before the scene was finished. Or they wouldn’t talk at all. Instead of freaking out, I got a kick out of it. And being such a planner, I made efficient use of Cut & Paste, and plopped the misbehaving piece of dialogue or section of scene, elsewhere. The spooky thing was, the change was always for the better!

You’ve written your debut novel and are working on a second. What’s your favorite time management tip? I don’t have one. I’m a hermit-crab. I work all the time.

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
Oh no, I couldn’t possibly advise another author. I’m still a beginner. I’m in awe of how so many romance authors pump out books at a rate faster than I can down a bottle of red wine. Ask me again in five years time.

Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? Not especially. But I do have a favorite song, Beautiful War by Kings of Leon. Heartbreaking. Uplifting. Just beautiful! When my left-brain gets lazy, I often listen to it and it gets me going again.

Tell me more about Luke’s Redemption.

Luke’s Redemption is a Contemporary Romantic Suspense (Steamy). Here’s a taste—

Red-hot sex. Searing betrayal. A passionate and elusive love…

Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.

Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he's in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It's a promise he can't keep.

When Katya's past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.

How about an excerpt from Luke’s Redemption?
 The smell of beignets wafted up and distracted, I lifted the bag and took a deep breath. Whoosh! Fine sugar blew up out of the bag and coated me.
“Shit, honey, you look sweet all over.”

Oh, just great.

Blinking sugar out of my eyes I looked up. And up. He was tall, well over six foot. Midnight-blue eyes rimmed by a deeper blue-black smoldered lazily down at me. “You’re holding the best beignets in the world. You gonna stand there or you going to take a bite?”

“Umm.” Jeez, Katya. Say something.

“Here, let me hold that for you.” He took the coffee from my hand. “Go on, babe. Take a bite. It’ll be the best thing you’ll ever taste.”

Still struck dumb, I did what he asked and lifted a beignet out of the bag and took a big bite. Oh! It was like sinking my teeth into a sweet pillow of ambrosia.

“Good huh?”

I nodded and stared back at him. Then, without uttering a word, I stuffed the rest of the beignet into my mouth. He grinned at me, shaking his head. “Want to wash it down with this?” He held out my coffee.

My fingers brushed against his. Yikes! I couldn’t stop the slight tremor caused by his touch. I took a gulp of coffee - half rich chicory, half hot milk - and finally found my voice. “Would you like one?” I offered the bag of beignets to him.

“Would be like taking candy from a baby,” he grinned. “But don’t worry, I’ve got my own.” He dangled a packet like mine in front of me.

Then we both stood there and smiled at each other while we gorged on sugary donuts. He would reach for my coffee to free my hand. Then after I ate some fluffy yumminess, he’d hand it back to me so I could take a sip. We swallowed the last of our beignets and licked our fingers.

I didn’t even know his name, yet I was more turned on than I had ever been in my life.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?You can read book excerpts and learn more about me on my website, and join Anni’s Posse to get regular updates and Bonus Treats www.annifife.com
Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AnniFifeAuthor/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AnniFifeAuthor
My Amazon Author Page is https://www.amazon.com/author/annifife
Luke’s Redemption is also available from Kobe, Bookstrand, All Romance, iTunes and The Wild Rose Press. All these Buy Links are available on Anni’s website: http://annifife.com/
AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Lukes-Redemption-King-Security-Novel-ebook/dp/B01M4ITMS7/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1476354406&sr=8-7&keywords=luke%27s+redemption
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lukes-redemption-anni-fife/1124824689?ean=2940156958900

Anni, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Four by Moonlight by Linda Nightingale

The blurb gives each story a tagline, but these fictional accounts of paranormal sightings each stars a different kind of otherworldly hero.  I didn’t start writing a story and decide to write others for a collection.  Each of them was written at different times, with different moods, and fished from my my hard-drive after computer tragedies necessitated several switches.

I have always loved the epic poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, originally published in 1906. This wonderful, melodic poem is the inspiration for Gypsy Ribbons.  If you read the poem, you will see the similarities, the characters for one. Loreena McKennett and many others have recorded The Highwayman.

I wrote The Night Before Doomsday about the Grigori and the fallen angel Azazel, in particular, after I read The Book of Enoch of the Apocrypha.  Enoch tells the story of the angels who were sent to Earth to teach Man and fell in love with human women.  The one reference in the Bible is in Genesis.  My son gave me the title, as well as creating the cover for the book.

In Star Angel, the hero is from another dimension.  I wrote this short piece during the days before my divorce.  Upon reading it, you will find the answer to that clue.  It is Lucy’s story and my story in a way. The names and circumstances have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent.

The Gatekeeper’s Cottage was originally intended to be an erotic romance to be submitted under my pen name Bianca Swan.  One day, I decided that I wanted it to be one of my own works and rewrote it, toning down the spicier parts, but there is still plenty of spice in the story.  If you are interested in erotic romance, look Bianca up at The Wild Rose Press (2 novellas),  and Amazon (one full length novel, On Wings of Desire).

For that matter, look me up on Amazon!  I have 8 books from which to choose. 

Four by Moonlight
An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal realms

Gypsy Ribbons – A moonlight ride on the moors and meeting a notorious highwayman will forever change Lady Virginia Darby’s life.

Star Angel – Lucy was stuck in a rut and in an Idaho potato patch. She’d seen him in the corner of her eye—a fleeting glimpse of beauty—now he stood before her in the flesh.

The Night Before Doomsday – All his brothers had succumbed to lust, but Azazel resisted temptation until the wrong woman came along.

The Gate Keeper’s Cottage
– Newlywed Meggie Richelieu’s mysterious, phantom lover may be more than anyone, except the plantation housekeeper, suspects.

Excerpt:
After our arrival in Eden, I often prayed for my harp. One day, it appeared in a blaze of light.

A knock at the door froze my hands upon the strings. Had someone heard the music I was forbidden to play? Annoyed at the interruption, I set the harp on its feet. As I glided across the room, I sensed the identity of my caller and relaxed. What could Magdalene want?

Another timid knock sounded. The door creaked open. A slither of sunshine crept across the floor to my feet.

Magdalene called through the crack, “Azazel, I took a chance you were home. May I come in?”

“Hello, Magdalene. Please. Come. I was playing the harp. Would you like to listen?”

“Oh yes.” She clasped her hands to her breast, the gesture innocent yet seductive.

I waved her ahead of me, following her into the late afternoon sunlight glinting on the golden instrument. She sank down at my feet and placed a hand on my knee. As the melody unfurled from the strings, I sang. This time, I did not play the music of heaven.

With the last notes quivering in the air, Magdalene repeated the lyrics. “Stoop angels hither from the skies, there is no holier spot of ground, than where love with beauty lies.” She was trembling. “I expected a hymn.”

“It was a hymn. To Beauty.”

“It sounded like a love song.”

“Perhaps, it is a love song.”

Hope shone in her mesmerizing blue eyes. “To me?”

“To you and every Eve.”

She rose to her knees, brushing back my hair and kissing my ear, her small hand fondling me. My shaft hardened in her caress. My breath caught, my heart hammering.

“Magdalene, don’t.” I caught her fingers.

“Why not?” She breathed warmth on my neck. “I love you.”

I forced images of coupling from my mind. “You’ve mistaken gratitude for love.” I set aside my harp, lifting her to her feet. “Here, I’ll take you flying.”

“I don’t want to fly. Not just yet.” Delicate fingers caressed the sensitive underside of my wing.

Every fiber of my being vibrated to a melody old as the Universe, new as the First Day. She locked her arms around my neck and applied her body to the length of mine.

Face lifted, lips parted, she breathed, “Don’t you want to kiss me?”

The heat in her gaze boiled the blood racing through my veins. My hands shook with the effort to resist. The scent of her perfume, the pure essence of Woman, and the desire that had been smoldering for days overcame me. Helpless, I bent to do what she’d accused me of wanting…something I needed more than the next breath. She stood on tiptoe, opened her mouth, a shy tongue teasing my lips to part. Not like Ruth's kiss. Subtle, innocent yet...knowing.

I groaned in the exquisite pain of desire. My mouth opened, taking her tongue inside, dominating the kiss. Desire was death, a living rigor mortis. As my feverish hands explored her body, she moaned and whispered. Thought sizzled to fog. Spellbound, I kissed her lips, her eyes, her cheeks. When I pressed my mouth to her velvet throat, she shivered in my embrace, and I was lost.

The walls of my house closed in on me. Folding Magdalene in a wing, I lifted her and took her into the garden. Here darkness and my wings would hide our sin.
Buy Links:
Amazon eBook
https://www.amazon.com/Four-Moonlight-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B01M3Q9J8B/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1476737966&sr=8-8&keywords=four+by+moonlight

Print Only Available on the Publisher’s Website:  http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/cat-romance/cat-romance-paranormal/four-by-moonlight-detail   (Other forms are available here)

Once upon a magical time, Linda Nightingale raised Andalusians, breeding, training, and showing this fairytale horse. She has two wonderful sons, a snazzy black Miata, and a parlour grand, all residing in the big state of Texas. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties and doesn’t even mind handwashing the china and glass afterwards.




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Night Owl Reviews Winter Wonderland Booklover Contest

Dear Readers,
I've got a treat for you. I'm one of the sponsors of the Night Owl Reviews WINTER WONDERLAND Scavenger Hunt.
During this event I'm going to help you find some great new books. Make sure to check my featured title out along the way.
The grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card. The total prize pool is over $900.
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Release: The Pirate’s Lady by Tricia Schneider

Captain Marco Dante was captured and sentenced to hang two years ago, but he escaped before his punishment was carried out. Now he's come back to the woman whose memory kept him alive those long months in prison. Arianne had been his grand passion, but he failed to see how much she meant to him until it was too late. Can he recapture her heart? Or has he lost her forever?

Arianne never imagined she’d see her notorious pirate lover again. Though her heart sings with joy at his return, she knows he hasn't come back for her but for the treasure he left behind. She agrees to help him find it, but can her heart withstand one more adventure with him?

Excerpt

“I have a life here now.”

“There’s nothing for you here. Your place is by my side. In your heart, you know ’tis true.”

She looked away, turning her gaze to the ocean’s waves pounding the beach with hypnotic rhythm. A few moments ago, she sat here, mulling over her life’s misfortunes and attempting to reach a decision about her future.
Her fate.

Arianne shook her head. “I no longer travel your path. You sail without me, my friend.”

She pushed her bare toes into the grainy sand and stood, brushing the remaining sand that clung to her petticoats. In the silence of the crashing waves, she turned and walked away.

Inside, her heart bled. Yet, she deserved no better. Her life led to this heartache. That she walked away from this man now, after all this time only confirmed it.

“Arianne, you’re coming with me.”

His serious tone warned her of his intentions. She spun to face him, unsheathing her sword in time to block his attack. The sound of metal striking metal pierced the moonlit darkness. Her ears rang with the sound.

They stood, neither moving. She stared into his eyes. “You would take me by force?”

“Never by force,” his voice lowered to a growl. “You will come willingly.” And he smiled, that knowing one she hated.

She let out a howl of outrage and swung her sword. He easily blocked. They stepped a deadly dance of striking blades, until again they were trapped by heated gazes.

Her breathing was heavy, labored, filled with excitement. She looked at his lips, wanting to taste them but knowing she dared not. Her will was never strong around him. With one touch she might lose herself and want him again for forever. But that dream would never be achievable with Marco.

With him, she’d always be alone.

“Come with me, Arianne.”

“No.”

She pushed away and again they danced. Her feet moved lightly as she sprang, her petticoats swirling with each movement though she hoped they would not entangle her legs. Her arm swung with lithe movements as she fought. She equaled him with skill and grace. Each time their swords clashed, the noise pierced her soul. 
That she fought him was a testament to her determination to escape his tyranny over her heart. She could not succumb to him again.

As they battled, a sheen of sweat appeared upon his brow. The exposed skin of his chest glistened in the moonlight. His arms flexed as he swung his sword. His grace, his power, his energy seduced her.

Her heart pounded. Her skin ached to touch his. The heat in her lower regions grew to a fiery inferno. She trembled.

Again, they locked blades.

They stood a moment, staring. His gaze burned into her soul. She licked the salty sweat from her upper lip, and his eyes followed the movement with utter fascination.

He pushed their swords away. With his free hand, he grabbed her shoulder, pulling her tight against his chest. Arianne tilted her head to look into his eyes. The blue depths called to her, like the ocean’s waves licking at her feet. The yearning to go to him was too great. She hadn’t the will to fight.


Tricia Schneider is an author of historical, paranormal and gothic romance.Before the supernatural took possession of her pen, she worked for several years as Assistant Manager and bookseller at Waldenbooks. After the store closed, she turned to writing fiction full-time. She has written both short stories and full-length novels published by The Wild Rose Press, including her newest book, The Pirate's Lady, and her historical paranormal romance series, The Merriweather Witches. Tricia is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives in the Pennsylvania coal region with her musician husband, their 4 young children and 3 rescued cats.


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