"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Playful Christmas Read! Amazon Gift Card #Giveaway - A Soulmate For Christmas!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Anthologies. I just love how each author creates their stories and it's like getting more books for the price of one. In A Soulmate For Christmas, you get 5! What a great Christmas present for yourself!

Today, we are blessed with the presence of Char Chaffin, one of the authors involved in the writings of A Soulmate For Christmas. 

Welcome Char!

Now that we’re settled in, let’s chat. Shall we?

BK: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Not until about ten years ago. Up until then, I goofed around with writing short stories and even a couple of novellas, but nothing I would have clutched to my chest in giddy joy. J My husband was the one responsible for getting me to take my writing seriously. He’s a great cheerleader. Even without the silly pom-poms.

BK: Please share with us how your current release came to life...

It was Angela Scavone’s idea. She emailed our publisher’s yahoo loop and suggested a Christmas anthology. Since we’re a close-knit group at Soul Mate, a bunch of us immediately jumped on it, and although several had to drop out when push came to shove, five remained to finish their stories, enough for a nice novella. I’m also one of Soul Mate’s Acquisition Editors, so I ended up editing what became A SOULMATE FOR CHRISTMAS. We had a great time writing together and there’s already talk of plotting toward Valentine’s Day.

BK: Do you let your characters tell the story, or do you often fight with them on the direction it will take?

I think the characters pretty much do the job. I found out at the start that guiding them gently works best. Forcing them on the plot or vice versa never seems to make it all gel together. I’ve torn apart entire settings, plotlines and the story itself, but I’ve barely veered from the character itself, once I fleshed it out, and that goes for male or female.

BK: How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

Well, let’s face it, there are only a finite number of stories in the entire world, and what you get are variations. I write mostly contemporary romance, which is probably the largest genre. I try to keep mine as original as possible in the way I describe my characters, in avoiding as many romance novel clichés and overused words and terms as I can, and keeping my settings fresh. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes not. I have a few stories buried on my desktop, stories that will never see the light of day until I can figure out how to make them unique.
BK: Which character was your favorite to write for in this anthology? Why?

Within the anthology, I wrote the short story, I KNOW YOU. I ended up with several leading characters owing to the plotline, but my favorite character to write was Matt Hanover, the male lead who actually ends the story. I thoroughly enjoyed letting him see all his dreams fulfilled, and giving him—at last—his Elizabeth.

BK: Tell us about the one scene you had the most fun writing…

I KNOW YOU is actually five mini-stories, each containing two scenes, within one larger short story, with five sets of heroes/heroines. The mini-stories span two hundred years, with a new story every fifty years, beginning in 1812 and finishing with 2012. My favorite scene was 1962’s malt shop scene, starring Boone and Daisy. Their yearning for each other is palpable, but they’re just not quite brave enough to do anything about it. :)

BK: If you were stranded on an island, which character in your books would you most want to be stranded with and why, and what is one thing that would be a must-have?

I’d have to choose Denn Nulo, the hero of my current full-length novel, Unsafe Haven. Denn is the Chief of Police in my fictional, Southwest Alaskan village of Staamat. He’s strong, nurturing, protective. Smart enough to make sure we’d survive and find food to eat; ingenious enough to create shelter. And sexy enough to keep my nights—and days!—hot, hot, hot. Boy, is he ever! J What one thing would be a must-have? Hmm. All I’d need is Denn!

BK: Now for a little fun, tell us a bit about what your office looks like. Do you need silence to write?

Right now, my office is in flux, so I split my time between the living room and the kitchen table. I have a very large office in my house, and it’s full of garage-sale items that never made the sale (recuperating-from-major-surgery hubby and lack of time equals no garage sale!) I prefer silence when I’m working, but I can live with mayhem and noise, if that’s all I’m going to get!

BK: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Well, there’s always laundry... (Yeah, right) I’m also an editor, so if I’m not writing, I’m editing or I’m reading. I read constantly, at all hours of the day and night. I load manuscript submissions onto my iphone’s Kindle App and take it to bed with me, reading up to an hour before I fall asleep. I awaken early in the morning and read for an hour before I get up. Sometimes those early mornings and late nights are the only times I have for new submissions since the rest of the day and evening gets locked into editing contracted manuscripts.

BK: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Probably that I’m very introverted and marketing/promotion is really difficult for me. Usually I’m good online, but in public I’m a real wallflower. Sometimes I’ll talk about anything but my books. Luckily I have a hubby who keeps me on track, with a (gentle) boot to my arse. Like I mentioned earlier, he’s a great cheerleader!

BK: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever wanted to write, or have written, even if it never reached public eyes?

I’ve always wanted to write a free-for-all erotica fest, with a fabulous plot. A no holds barred, no censor/no shame sensual feast, and flaunt it right under my familys’ noses and slap my full name (including maiden name) right on the front. I’ve written erotica in the past and I enjoy it. Writing it doesn’t embarrass me. I suppose I’ll put it on my writing “bucket list” and one of these days I’ll sweep my laptop clean of everything, and just start going nuts. Then I’ll probably have to go out in public with a bag over my head, LOL.

BK: What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?

My main advice is: don’t ever think you can do it alone, because you can’t, especially when it comes to polishing a manuscript and getting it ready for submittal to an agent or publisher. It amazes me how many writers don’t take advantage of writing groups and/or critique groups and critique partners. No matter how many novels you’ve written, they all need someone to read it and then tell you what needs to be fixed before you can expose it to the world. In my opinion a good critique partner is worth their weight in gold.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve started my third novel, a vintage romance tentatively titled “Jesse’s Girl.” I’ve also plotted out a historical that takes place in 1870s Colorado Territory. It’s tough to say which one will get the bulk of my attention when I’m not editing! And of course, there’s always that erotic extravaganza percolating in my busy little brain... :)

BK: Where can readers connect with you?

You can find me, here:
I have book trailers!
Book Trailer for Unsafe Haven:
Book Trailer for Promises to Keep:

Char Chaffin started reading romance, science fiction and horror at a very young age. Her love of books is directly responsible for her overflowing bookcases, and the bounty stored on her Kindle threatens to eclipse her entire paper collection. Char currently writes mainstream and contemporary romance filled with family, rich characters and engaging plots. For her, it all comes back to the love.

Char began her writing odyssey as a poet, crafting Victorian-style poetry, then went on to writing short stories. She found her niche when she began writing longer and longer short stories, until she wrote her first novel. It might never see the light of day, but writing it taught her a lot. Over the years she worked a variety of jobs, from farm hand to costume designer to fiscal accountant, before deciding a writing career was her true focus.

In addition to writing, Char is also an Acquisitions Editor for Soul Mate Publishing.

A native New Yorker, Char currently lives Upstate on a sixty-acre farm with husband Don, rat terrier Daisy Mae and two barn cats who constantly slack off on the job of keeping the barn free of varmints. The Chaffin extended family is scattered all over the continental United States including Alaska.

Char and Don divide their time between New York State and Alaska.

When she’s not pounding away at her keyboard or burying her nose in books and Kindle, she tends a huge vegetable garden and helps Don maintain their farm.

A SoulMate For Christmas, five stories that celebrate the wonder, the passion and the spirit of love during the Christmas season.

I KNOW YOU, by Char Chaffin:
Star-crossed lovers, united by death on Christmas Eve, search every fifty years to find each other again.

Two lonely hearts come together during the holidays and discover their destiny.

STELLAR HEART, by Aliza Mann:
Would-be high school lovers Harper Stellar and Alexis Alston are back together to save his family business during Christmas shopping season and hopefully correct his mistakes of the past.

A husband and wife, driven apart by tragedy, are given another chance during Christmas in the country.

HOLLY’S SECRET, by Angela Scavone:
A woman’s need to reveal the truth could ruin the holidays and cost her the man she loves. 

Excerpt from I KNOW YOU, from the Christmas anthology A SOULMATE FOR CHRISTMAS:

Boston Harbor, Christmas Eve, 1862

That young man leaning against the gatepost has been watching you,” Prudence Mowrey informed her cousin, Coraline. “I’ve never seen a more lovesick expression.”
Busy juggling two hatboxes and a small leather crate filled with her father’s treasured Yule crackers, Coraline didn’t bother to look up, much less acknowledge Prudence’s observation.
Did you hear me, Cora?” Prudence poked her in the side, causing Coraline to drop the crate. Brightly wrapped crackers spilled out onto the snowy ground.
Coraline scolded, “Now look what you’ve made me do. Father pays an exorbitant amount to have these foolish things smuggled from London at Christmas. He’ll be furious if they’re damaged.” Scarcely a second after she bent to pick them up, the young man in question—the very same fellow Prudence said had been staring at her—rushed across the busy street, dodging carts and carriages. She parted her lips to chastise him for his recklessness, then fell silent in surprise as he gathered the expensive holiday trinkets in reddened, gloveless hands and presented them to her.
Seconds stretched into a minute as she stared at him, taking note of the damp, raven-black hair that lay in unkempt curls over the frayed collar of a shabby brown coat. When he raised his face to her, the longing in his gray-green eyes startled her so much, she took a step backward and bumped into Prudence.
Without a word, Coraline held out the crate, and he laid the crackers inside. By the time she brought them back to Mowrey Manor, they’d no doubt be ruined, but somehow it no longer mattered.
Nobody had ever looked at her the way this stranger did. And yet, wasn’t there something familiar about him? Had they ever met? She was about to ask, when a harsh voice from across the street intruded on an increasingly odd moment.
Ho, boy! Get yourself back here and finish your work.” A grizzled merchant, wearing a stained apron over his massive belly, shook a fist at the young man, who blanched and then blushed a fiery shade of red. He flashed Coraline a curiously sad, sweet smile, before turning and darting back into the street, disappearing through the doors of what she realized was a slaughterhouse.
Coraline stood a moment longer, gazing through the snow which now fell faster. Only her cousin’s hand on her arm brought her out of the trance she seemed to have fallen into.
Cora, we’re getting so wet. Come. We’ll be late meeting Uncle Herbert. And that long journey back to the manor! We must leave, now.”
Prudence tugged on her arm, and Coraline shook off the snow as well as the strange tingling in her body. Grasping her purchases, she stepped toward the coach that had rumbled to a stop a few yards from where they stood. Prudence pushed her through the door and climbed in after, arranging her skirts on the plush velvet seating.
Ames, their driver, jumped down from the cab and secured the door, then lit the lamps before scrambling back up to take the reins and click his tongue at the horses. With a lurch, the coach moved slowly through the slush-filled street, the large wheels slipping every now and then as the horses clopped their way through the snow.
Well, what an adventure for you on Christmas Eve!” Prudence blotted moisture from her forehead with her handkerchief as she sent Coraline a mischievous smile. “I vow, nothing so exciting ever happens to me.”
Coraline felt a shudder race through her as she pondered the decidedly bizarre encounter. “I do not know what to think, but I’ll tell you truly, never has any man looked at me the way that fellow did.”
Well, he was awfully downtrodden, wasn’t he? Working in that nasty place. Handsome, though, to be sure.” Prudence shrugged as she tucked the damp handkerchief away. “Regardless of how he looked at you, Cora, you’ll likely never see him again. It’s not as if we come to Boston every day, you know. Besides, William awaits you, lucky girl that you are.” Prudence sighed wistfully. “Just think, in less than a week you’ll be wed to the most sought-after man in Philadelphia! I say again, you’re a lucky girl.”
Yes.” Cora stared at the bustling city outside the window of the luxurious coach, barely listening to her cousin’s chatter about the day-long Yuletide party planned for tomorrow at Mowrey Manor, and how fortunate she was to be affianced to handsome, wealthy William Courtland III.
Instead of the falling snow melting against the glass, she saw a pair of intense, gray-green eyes, staring at her with longing and love.
An ache seemed to wind itself around her heart. “I suppose you’re right,” she murmured. “I’m quite lucky. And it’s not as if we’ll return to Boston.”

Follow The Tour at the Virtual Book Tour Cafe'

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Formula For Good Sexual Tension: Bewitching Book Tours Virtual Book Tour with Kay Dee Royal - One Plus One

One Plus One is currently on tour at Bewitching Book Tours. Welcome to Immortality and Beyond Kay Dee! We're so pleased you could stop in today and share a guest post  with us.

Hello BK, thanks so much for letting me hang out with you and your readers ;) Hi everyone, thanks for taking time for stopping in, you are appreciated :)

I’m Kay Dee Royal, an erotic romance author who writes what I love, paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary erotic romance. I’m here today with One Plus One, my latest contemporary erotic romance. BK asked me how I build tension with sex scenes, and I’d love to share it with you…and will be asking you all for your thoughts at the end…be ready ;)

How I Build Tension with Sex Scenes

There is a formula for sexual tension and it begins with a very subtle action, which is anything but subtle to the hero and heroine experiencing the thralls of it. Can you guess what it is? Sorry, I couldn’t resist asking for a guess because I never would have guessed it when I first began writing romance.

It’s eye contact or a slight physical contact. Most of us have experienced it at one time or another – a look from across the room, gazes meet and are frozen for mere seconds but feel like hours…crazy sparks, whips of electricity, warm pulses, all zinging to inner hotspots without permission. And, the best part, for really good tension, is the story-stars hate each other…at least for the moment. So, those crazy inner events going on inside their bodies make no sense to them, in fact, they readily dismiss all of it to some other reason.

Oh, I just love when this happens…and if there’s a little humor added to it all, well, I cherish the words :) I’m ready to wrap up in a blanket with hot chocolate because I’m hooked to the end ;)

Each meeting between the hero and heroine is a melting pot of resistance – how long can they resist their building temptation of the other, how long can they deny their draw to the other exists, and when the walls of a force ‘greater than them’ come tumbling down, well…it can be a free for all. *grins*

The tension I build between my story-stars comes naturally, usually before a sex scene (but not always as in One Plus One), by the time sex enters the scene, it has become an exploration of deeper emotions…even if the players are still resisting the meaning of it (the bigger picture). They can’t seem to control the wild, uninhibited passion of it.

So, what is the first ‘sign of tension’ between a hero and heroine that hooks you into their story?

Kay Dee

About the Author:
Kay Dee Royal writes paranormal and fantasy romance—maybe because it's also her favorite genre to read! She pens tales with wild, rugged heroes and strong, intelligent heroines. She'll give them both a few shadowy secrets, making her stories intriguing and fun. She resides in Southern Michigan with her family (her dogs, her cats, her caged husband... you get the idea). You can reach her at her blog and find the latest on her titles from her publisher, MuseItHot.

One Plus One
Kay Dee Royal
Contemporary Erotic Romance –
WARNING: Explicit sex scenes 18+

Tagline: Lacinda and Blade discover more than sexual ecstasy on a lust-filled singles cruise. Winners can’t be losers.
One Plus One Blurb:

Coerced by her friend, Lacinda, a woman crushed by love, winds up on a three-week singles cruise.

Blade, a man of means, discovers Miss Right under the guise of a singles cruise set up by his business partner.

Once Blade focuses his efforts he always gets what he’s after, until Lacinda throws his arrogant reputation back in his face.

Can Blade break through Lacinda’s angry barriers? Will she ever see him as anything more than a player?

One Plus One Excerpt ~

Lacinda Gainesly,” a steward called her name. She saw the sign he held with her name printed in bright purple. She slipped on the first step leading down onto the ship and stumbled past the steward. The sign dropped from his fingers and his arms latched around her body from behind. His quick reflexes saved her face from biting the deck, but his hands cupped both of her breasts and squeezed. Lacinda threw her elbow back into his side.
Hey, a little respect for the guy who saved your life.”
Lacinda shrugged out of his grasp. She met his gaze and realized this was the same man who picked her up from her hotel in a long black limo, only then he was dressed in black instead of the white uniform he now wore.
You’re the driver.”
I’m a lot of things, like possibly a hero.” His eyes looked as happy as his lips.
She noticed his smile, the same he shared earlier when he asked her questions about why she took the cruise quiz. Lacinda thought he was simply a driver for the cruise company so she shared some of her story. He knew about Alex dying in a car crash on the way to their wedding. She searched her memory for anything else she might have shared which could embarrass her later.
Alas fair maiden, your chambers await your timely arrival,” he said, faking a British accent. He held his gloved hand out. Lacinda refused it.
I’m ready for my quarters.” She needed relaxation, maybe take a nice hot scented bath and get prepared for the swing of things, anything to distract her from the past that never left her alone.
As you wish, my lady,” he said, again with a British accent. The steward turned, led her across the deck, and down a stairway. She saw men and women following other stewards or each other. Once on board everyone began mingling, even flirting, judging by the tinkling female laughter and deep manly chuckles.
There will be an announcement left under your door regarding tonight’s dinner seating arrangements. May you enjoy your day and make sure you take time for a relaxing massage. There’s always a masseuse available. Their extension is listed beside your phone. You’ll find your room key there as well.”
Lacinda followed him down a narrow hallway until he stopped in front of a door with an elegantly scrolled number 216.
This is you. May I answer any questions before I go?”
Lacinda dug in her purse for a tip. Clueless on how much was appropriate and not wanting to give him anything. He got his gratuity when he copped a feel of her breasts. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'll Take That Kiss! Chatting with Brux Boone - The Kiss of the Betrayer

I will take that kiss! Isn't that cover H-O-T? Welcome to Immortality and Beyond. Today I am talking to Brux Boone, currently on tour at Bewitching Book Tours with Kiss of the Betrayer. We're so glad you could stop in Brux. May I offer you a drink?

Yum!!! I’ll take a little Witches Brew, please. Okay, make that a lot.

BK: Wonderful choice. Now that we're settled, let's chat.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think I’ve wanted to be a writer for longer than I realized. I tried my hand at writing several times. When I was a nanny, a girlfriend and I used to walk around the large house spinning tales of Lord Jeffery and his love interest—who was of course one of us. We eventually named the cat Lord Jeffery. So I’m going to say for about three decades.

BK: Please tell us a little bit about your current release...

Kiss of the Betrayer is book two in my Bringer and the Bane series. It’s set in an alternate medieval world. The Bringers most basic function is to protect the humans from the Demon Bane. Unfortunately, a lot of them are dead or the lines have been breed out and the Bane are beginning to take over. But you know it’s never just about good versus evil. There’s a lot of political intrigue and threads that will eventually bring this war to an epic ending—in book five

BK: What inspired this particular novel/book?

It began as a historical romance, but then paranormal books hit the market and I knew I’d found my calling. You can do anything you want—to a certain extent—in a fantasy.

BK: How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

That’s a good question. I think a lot of it comes from a writer’s natural writing style and voice. A lot of times I’ll look at a scene and ask myself how could I make it more unique, which usually makes it better.

BK: What was the hardest thing about writing this story?

Kiss of the Betrayer was incredibly easy to write after I figured out where I wanted to end it. That was a good lesson learned. I can’t wing things with this series because there’s too many threads and characters that need to be dragged along the consecutive books. Who knew I was more of a plotter than a pantser?

BK: Which character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?

A lot of the characters surprised me and came out of the woodwork when I had no intention of introducing them for a book or two. I think my favorite was Jade. She’s torn between a promise to help her sister kill Luc, the hero, and the feelings of guilt she has about belonging to a group of people who care about her, including Luc.

BK: Tell us about the one scene you had the most fun writing…

I really liked the scene with Icarus, the Demon King’s son and Jade’s sister, Rell. It’s set in an underground hot pool cavern and is very sensual. Plus there are things hinted at that will become major revelations later in the series.

Icarus is seriously hot. If I wouldn’t be afraid of him sucking my soul, I’d probably be a demon groupie.

BK: Will this become a series? If so, what inspired it to be a series? OR If it is a series, what inspired it to become a series?

From the start I wanted to write a series. I’m not sure why now. It is tons of work and makes my head hurt sometimes. But as the series grows, I love that I get to explore more of the characters’ lives. Even if they’ve had their book already, they are carried through and you get to see their relationships evolve.

Plus I love world building. Creating a completely new realm, where anything is possible is fulfilling creatively. And I like to kill people and write fight scenes, so that’s fun.

BK: Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life, What is a day in your life like?

Up at 5:00 or 6:00. Coffee, sit with my husband, coffee, check email and Facebook, coffee, make lunches for hubby and kids. Once the kids are on the bus, I walk the dog (most days) then hit the computer. It just depends on what needs to be done that day. Most of the times I’m on a deadline. Right now I’m doing blogs nearly every day of December, so that’s taking up a lot of my time. I work on stories for five or six hours a day, whether that’s writing, plotting or editing.

BK: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I try and spend time with my family. Sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking about writing when we’re golfing or having a family outing. My mind is always working. I wake up working. In the summer I love to camp and go clamming. That is the best time for me. I don’t write or even take my iPad because there’s no reception. By the time I get home I’m really relaxed and ready to get back to work. I’m still working on finding balance between writing and the rest of my life.

BK: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Maybe that I lived in the Arctic for four years and was once stalked by a polar bear.

BK: What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I love reading anything that holds my attention. If an author can keep me from falling asleep after being in bed for five minutes, they’re a keeper. I love Janet Evanovich. Her Stephanie Plum story is easy reading and funny. I love funny.

BK: What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?

It’s the same piece I give every time I’m asked. Write, write, and write some more. You will never be sorry for having too many manuscripts ready to go.

BK: What are you currently working on?

To Catch Her Death. It’s the first book in my new grim reaper series and is slated to come out in January. It’s about a thirty-five year old mother of three named Lisa, who finds out she’s a grim reaper. She’s paired up with Nate, a hot guy, who reaps violent criminals. Lisa reaps people who have died in stupid ways, so her assignments are humorous and a little degrading at times. The series takes place in Alaska, where I live. I have so many stories from living in the bush for seventeen years, I needed a place to put them.

BK: Where can readers connect with you?

I’m on Facebook a lot – www.facebook.com/boonebrux
Or they can contact me from my website – www.boonebrux.com
I’m also on Twitter – www.twitter.com/boonebrux

About the Author:

As a multi-published and an award winning author, Boone's writing drips with experiences from real life. Addicted to anything that might make a good story, she weaves tales that range from dark fantasy to humorous romance. Settled in the icy regions of Alaska with the love of her life and twin daughters, it's not uncommon to find her tapping away on her iPad on a windy beach or the barren tundra. Be warned, anyone and every even is fodder for one of Boone's novels.

Kiss of the Betrayer
Bringer and the Bane Book Two
Boone Brux

Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing

ISBN: Print: 1620610353
E-book - 978-1620610350
Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 100,000

Book Description:

For fifteen years Luc Le Daun has blamed himself for the death of the woman he loved. His secret guilt has led him into a life of danger, risking all and committing to none.

Killing Luc Le Daun has been all Jade Kendell has thought about for years. But when her plan goes awry and she's brought into the Bringers' fold, her own dark secret threatens to be revealed. Desire for a better life wars with a promise made long before she understood the ramifications.

In a deadly mission, Jade and Luc embark on a journey into the Shadow World. As they attempt the impossible, ignoring the attraction growing between them becomes harder to deny. The slightest misstep could mean the loss of their souls and give the Demon King exactly what he needs to open the Abyss of Souls and annihilate the Bringers.


Now that Jade had tried to kill Luc, doubts plagued her. She’d never stopped to consider what it meant to take another person’s life, never thought about the cost to her own soul. It had always been: It had to be done. Luc had to pay for his betrayal.
Rell thirsted for vengeance. With each cruel deed she seemed bent on performing, Jade volunteered in her place, hoping to slow her sister’s descent into the world of the Bane. For so long she’d fought to keep Rell rooted to humanity, but never once noticed her own slipping away.
A twig snapped, jolting Jade from her thoughts. She crouched and searched the forest. Nothing moved in the murky grayness. A shiver ran across her skin, the woods’ coolness suddenly feeling a lot less welcoming. Maybe the follower was Rell, or a deer. Jade didn’t dare call out in case someone or something else stalked her. Other creatures lurked in the forest, none of which she wished to encounter. She cursed herself for not keeping the knife she had used to stab Luc. Now her inability to stomach its feel seemed idiotic.
Another twig snapped. She spun and ran in the opposite direction. Footsteps thundered after her, closing fast. She broke through the trees and was halfway across the clearing when someone hit her full force, taking her to the ground. The breath burst from her body from the weight of the person landing on top of her. It took only a second to realize who the attacker was.

Monday, December 10, 2012

@GoddessFish Virtual Book Tour: Interview & #Giveawy with Dianne Hartsock - Philip's Watcher

Immortality & Beyond Interview with Dianne Hartsock

Welcome to Immortality and Beyond Dianne. May I offer you a drink?

Thanks so much for having me here! I'd love to try the Vampires Wine, please. The Zombie Blast sounds intriguing but it might be bad for my complexion.

Thank you Zar. *Zar drools while staring at Dianne*

BK:*raises eyebrow*

Zar, you may leave now.


Sorry about that Dianne. He tends to want to get a taste of authors during our interviews.

I might let him have a small nibble, if this wine's as good as it looks. *wink*

Dianne is currently on tour with her book, Philip’s Watcher, a M/M Erotic Fantasy, with Goddess Fish Promotions. She will also be giving you all a chance to win a $10 gift card for All Romance Ebooks, so be sure to comment for a chance to win.

Now that we’re settled in, let’s get started, shall we?
*Takes a sip of wine* Excellent.

BK: First, tell our readers a little bit about yourself…
DH: First of all, for anyone with appetites like Zar, I'm not as tasty as I look! Anyway, I grew up in California, spent ten years in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and now live in the lush Willamette Valley of Oregon. Let's see, I'm also a floral designer by day with a husband and two college aged children to juggle in between writing stories like mad.

BK: When did you first realize you wanted to become a published author? Tell us a little bit about your journey.
DH: When I was fifteen I had an absolutely amazing creative writing teacher. Enthusiastic, encouraging. She's the one who first suggested I enter a writing contest for our local magazine. And I won! Since then I've struggled to be published, finally achieving my goal in the spring of 2011. I have the popularity of e-publishing to thank for it.

BK: What sparked your interest to write M/M erotica?
DH: About three years ago I read a book by Poppy Z. Brite called LOST SOULS. It’s a book involving vampires, but what intrigue and fascinated me was the character Ghost. My goodness! I fell in love. Ghost’s a beautiful, gentle, shy young man hopelessly in love with his best friend who doesn’t see him in the light of a lover. The story’s quite dramatic, but the gentle way Poppy deals with Ghost’s affections really got to me. I wanted to write that. I wanted to tell romance stories that brought out the intense, sometimes dangerous love affairs of my gay characters in a compassionate way.

BK: What inspired the fantasy aspect of Philip’s Watcher?
DH: I've been a fantasy geek my whole life, starting with Tolkien and moving to the Earthsea saga by Ursula Le Guin, the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and anything by C.J. Cherryh, who I still read to this day. A fantastic author. I love the sense of adventure and the thrill and fear of the unknown they put in their stories. And who doesn't love the romance of the magic user? I had to write my own version of this.

BK: How difficult is it to write in this particular genre, having to put your female mind into a male perspective?
DH: *blushes* Easier than you might think! I find the male form enticingly beautiful. And love is love! So it's only a small step in the imagination to picture what it would be like to have a certain extremely sensitive part of the male anatomy attached. Honestly, I have a mouth, tongue, fingers. I'm thoroughly acquainted with my husband's body… Besides, I get to make love to gorgeous men every day in my writing. It's actually not that hard at all.

BK: Was there a lot of research into writing this story?
DH: Not too much besides the people watching I do every day. I work in a busy gift shop and run into new faces all the time. I find the interaction between people fascinating and use a lot of this in my writing. Philip's world isn't much different than our own, and my stories tend to focus more on the interplay between my characters rather than on some complicated plot.

BK: When writing, does the story just flow or do you have to plot out each chapter?
DH: Either a song or bit of music or even something on the news will trigger an idea for me. I usually spend a day or two (or longer, if I'm working on another project) plotting the story out in my mind. When I finally start it, I have a beginning, middle and ending in mind, but this is always fluid. From here, I begin writing and see where my characters take me.

BK: Do you ever get nervous when writing a story that you just aren’t sure where it’s going, almost like seeing a dark tunnel ahead? If so, how do you resolve that?
DH: You know, I haven't encountered that problem yet, thank goodness! Sometimes I'll get stuck, not knowing how to get everyone from point A to B. When that happens I'll set the story aside and try to imagine something unexpected happening or a new character. Anything to get the story moving! Sometimes simply having them go to bed and make love will open up all kinds of new scenarios!

BK: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever written about, idea, plot or character, even if it never got published?
DH: Once upon a time I had a terrible dream as if I was on some carnival funhouse ride that took me from one horrifying scene to another. When I woke up, screaming, I quickly grabbed a notepad and wrote it all down, a jumble of crazy, disjointed impressions. One day I want to go back and make it into a horror story; blood, gore and all. Very different from my usual sweet romances!

BK: Now a little about you…What is one thing readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
DH: I have this huge aching need to paint a picture in oils. Something small, jewel colors. I have no idea where this came from. I don't even sketch! But one day I'll take a class and paint my picture. Who knows? Maybe two.

BK: Day or night?
DH: Night. The hurry of the day is over, time to relax. Love. Take some time with loved ones. And I love to go out at night. I enjoy the lights and color of the city in the surrounding darkness. Reflections in water. There's something romantic and sexy about a city at night that's not there in the daytime.

BK: Naming one place you’d love to visit, what character from which book would you take and what would be one thing you must have on this trip?
DH: I have always wanted to rent a villa in Switzerland and sit in the sunshine on a balcony facing the Swiss Alps. I've seen pictures and would love that! I'd take Adrian with me. He gave up his human form at eighteen to protect Philip, and now that he's resumed his humanity, he's heading into peril. I'd love to give him a week of peace. And I'd be fascinated to hear his story. What I'd take? A stack of books from my TBR list! I'll never get to them otherwise.

BK: Where can readers connect with you?

BK: Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me Dianne. It’s been a pleasure picking your brain, and I wish you much success in the future.
DH: I've had a wonderful time as your guest. Um… Can I try that Zombie Blast after all?

BK:  Of course. Zar!

After growing up in California and spending the first ten years of marriage in Colorado, I now live in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with my incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours I spend hunched over the keyboard letting my characters play.

I have to say, Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write my slightly twisted tales. There’s something about being cooped up in the house while it pours rain outside, a fire crackles on the hearth inside, and a cup of hot coffee warms my hands which kindles my imagination.

Currently, I work as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for me. When not writing, I can express myself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.


Darkness is spreading in the world with only the powerful Agenor family to oppose it. In the guise of a stone gargoyle atop the castle walls, Adrian has protected Philip, the young heir, since birth, watching him grow from childhood into a strong but lonely man without love.

When the clan chief, Philip’s father, is murdered by those he trusted, Adrian resumes his human form to better protect his beloved Philip. And finds his love returned. As lovers, their passion is all-consuming, but as they fight against treachery from within, will their love be enough to stem the dark tide sweeping the land? And will it be enough to keep Adrian’s heart alive…

Excerpt One:

Philip chewed his lip as he watched the storm clouds gather in the leaden sky. The wind picked up, cold and heavy with rain. It whipped the hair from his face and distracted him from the study of the desolate landscape spread below his feet. How he longed for spring! But winter lingered long past when it should have given way to new growth in the valley. He guessed the reason for it, and a cold finger of dread touched his heart.

An icy gust buffeted him on the exposed balcony, and Philip gathered the long strands of his hair and tied them at his neck. He bit hard on his bottom lip to stop its tremble and welcomed the pain against the ache in his heart. “He’s not coming back, is he?” he whispered as the first fat drops of moisture struck his face. He pounded a fist on the stone railing in frustration and impotent fury. “Father should have let them come to us, where we’re prepared.”

But their enemy had thrown down the gauntlet, and in his pride, Philip’s father picked it up. Jonathon Agenor had always been that way, as far back as Philip remembered. He supposed the gravity of being the Agenor Chief had made his father distant. The man kept his own council and wouldn’t listen to Philip’s cautions against a trap. The bait had been a threat against Philip’s life, something the proud man couldn’t tolerate. His life had been the forfeit. Philip closed his eyes and let the grief wash over him.

Goddess Fish Partner