Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tell Me About it Tuesday Welcomes back Bebe Balocca!

This week I'm welcoming back fellow TEB author, Bebe Balocca!

She came to hang out again and let me torture her AGAIN with more interview questions!

Hehehe. Thanx for stopping by, Bebe! It was even more fun than last time!!

Meet Bebe!


"I live in a teeny-tiny town in the southeastern United States, surrounded by rolling hills and lots of cows. My house is brimming with my rowdy sons, hot husband, and more pets than I can shake a stick at. When I close my eyes, though, I’m in a white stucco villa on the Mediterranean, sipping a glass of red wine and watching the turquoise waves crash at my feet. Next to my hot husband, naturally."




Q. How long have you been writing?



I’ve been writing for an educational company (I edit and write those test passages that kids in grades K-10 take in reading standardized tests) for quite a few years, and in the last five years or so have branched out and written for parenting and culture magazines, both online and print. However, I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted to write fiction, so I really took the leap in fall of 2011 and pursued it aggressively.



Q. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?



Do some research and find a particular company that appeals to you. (I write for Total-E-Bound and Ellora’s Cave and have had entirely positive experiences with both.) It should have a good reputation among authors and be open to submissions from new writers, and of course it should publish the type of book you want to write. Write with that company’s guidelines in mind. There may also be a particular submission call you can write to. Edit and revise carefully before you send, prepare to wait several weeks to hear back, and read what the editor says with an open mind and a thick skin. And while you’re waiting, of course, write something else!



Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I still do contract work under my legal name, and I’m fortunate that my schedule is flexible. If I’m not feeling inspired to write fiction, then I go and work on test passages and revisions. I try to not get stuck—if I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything, I get up and do some chores or take one of our dogs for a walk. Sometimes it helps tremendously to just turn my brain off for awhile.


Okay...enough with the business questions! How about some fun stuff. You know, just between the two of us.

Q. The opportunity to go on a surprise vacation arises. You have 90 minutes to pack and get to the airport. Where will you go and what will you pack?
To an all-inclusive luxury resort on the beach in Mexico. Three bikinis, two cover-ups, a few cute sundresses, flip-flops, undies, grab my purse and passport and I’m out the door!
Q. When YOU read, what do you like to pick up?
Lately I’ve been enjoying short stories. I’m finishing up “The Dragon Book,” an anthology of fantasy stories, and I have a couple of sci-fi anthologies that calling to me from my bookshelf. I also have some erotic romances that I can’t wait to read – “Love Claus” by Genevieve Scholl and “Venetian Love Knots” by Normandie Alleman in particular.
Q. If they make a movie about your life, who do you want to play your part?
Winona Ryder. I’ve been told that we look a little alike, and I like her. She seems like she’d be really fun to hang out with.
Q. Tell us one thing about you that might surprise us...it can be a secret...we won't tell. :)
I write with my blue-eyed dappled dachshund, Scarlett, either in the cushioned chair next to me or in my lap. I love her a ridiculous amount.


Drum roll please!!!!!!!!!! Let's hear about that new book! (which has an awesomesauce cover, btw!)



Blurb:



She knew that being close to tigers was her destiny, but she never thought she'd be riding on top of one…
Faline Hopper owns and runs a free-range tiger refuge in northeastern Colorado. She loves the animals and the mission of Kat’s Crest, but the sanctuary is on the verge of financial disaster. A mysterious stranger with deep pockets comes to its rescue.

Hunter Cartwright is one tall, cool drink of Alabama water. Sparks fly immediately when he shows up at Faline’s door. He’s ravenous for the blond beauty, but there’s something he needs to make Faline understand before he can really sink his teeth into her.

Something that happens at sundown, when the tigers roam the sanctuary and the nightly hunts begin…

The curse of the tiger was cast by a Native American witch. Abetzi rejects the Great Spirit and worships a powerful demon instead. Faline is determined to free Hunter from the witch’s spell and to stop Abetzi from abusing exotic animals, but at what price?

Will Faline risk everything to put a halt to Abetzi’s cruelty—And will it be worth it?

Excerpt:






Faline threw the door open when he knocked. Hunter guessed by her wide smile that she’d assumed that one of her workers had returned.
“Oh, hi,” she said, her buoyant smile replaced by a slightly abashed expression. “Hunter, right? Come on in.”

He nodded, running his eyes up and down her slim figure. Still in her sweatpants and hot pink tank top, Faline’s body was athletic, toned and lushly curved, and her hair was a tantalising blonde mop of bedheaded perfection. How many days had he gone without being around a beautiful woman? The hag had made his captivity seem like years, but it had been only a matter of weeks. Still, the way the thin ribbed cotton hugged the toned curve of her belly and the tender undersides of her breasts made him want to pounce on her and rip every shred of clothing from her body.


Clearing his throat, Hunter answered with a lopsided grin. “Yes, indeed. I slipped out while you were resting, but I’d like to talk with you about a possible position.” He suppressed a chuckle. I’d like to talk about having you positioned on your stomach with your legs spread wide…


“Oh, yes,” Faline answered. “Honestly, hiring someone new hasn’t been a remote possibility for some time, but it seems our situation has changed a great deal.” Her hazel eyes sparkled. “What sort of position were you considering?”


“Oh, I’m open to just about anything,” Hunter replied. “But I’ve had more than my fair share of dealings with tigers. I feel that I have a unique understanding of them.” The scream of a soaring hawk drew his attention to the window. “Be dark pretty soon,” he noted. “Guess those tigers will be up and about, huh?”


“Mm-hmm,” Faline answered. “They hunt at night.” Hunter felt her gaze on him and knew that she was both intrigued and wary about the stranger in her home.


“I don’t need any money, so you don’t need to worry about that. I’d just like to volunteer my services and let you decide how best to use me.” Hunter let his eyes wander down to her slim, tanned neck. She looked so vulnerable and sweet. He imagined that she’d taste of honey and salt. He wondered if she was even stronger than she looked—would she enjoy grappling with him while they made love? That could be, he thought, incredibly fun. His cock began to swell and stiffen inside the coarse fabric of his blue jeans.


“I will need somewhere to stay, though,” he murmured, and took a step toward her. “Maybe we can work something out between us.”

“Oh, um,” Faline stammered and licked her lips. “We could talk about your options, I suppose. I’d say I probably do have a place for you, now that you mention it, seeing as you’re comfortable with tigers.”


“I don’t know if ‘comfortable’ is the right word.” He took his hand in hers and brought it to his lips. “’Experienced’ is better, I think. I’d say I’m pretty experienced.” He pressed his lips to her knuckles and watched for her reaction. “Would you say that you’re experienced, too, Faline?”




Find it:


More Bebe:

Find me at my site: http://bebebalocca.com
And on Twitter: @BebeBalocca

Sunday, July 28, 2013

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! Jo-Anna Walker's Break Me!

For this Sunday I have a VERY Special post.  It's a BOOK BIRTHDAY!

I am over the moon excited to announce that my bestie, Jo-Anna Walker FINALLY has a book out!

Her debut, Break Me (Shattered Book One) is now out! This is a FANTASTIC read. I am so excited that it's finally out in the world.



Without further ado, Please check out Break Me!




Running is always easier.

Tori McLeod moved to the big city to get away from her mother—and her past. Her new routine is destroyed when she meets a mysterious stranger who won’t take no for an answer. Sebastian intrigues her, but his eyes hold secrets she would rather avoid.

Sebastian Chelios, a hard-as-nails enforcer, is a new-in-town loner. He has to have her. Control her. Possess her. But he can’t—won’t—lose control, even though Tori’s innocence fascinates him. The last thing he’s going to do is love her, even after he gets her in his bed.

Losing control is dangerous, especially when someone from Sebastian’s past covets Tori, putting more than just her heart in danger.

Can Sebastian protect Tori from Jose’s sadistic obsession? If he gets his hands on her, will she make it out in one piece?



Buy It!



More Jo!
Blog 


 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tell Me About it Tuesday Welcomes

This week on Tell Me About it Tuesday, I am welcoming a good friend. Marsha R. West is one of the first authors I met when I joined my writing group, NTRWA and she's an overall fantastic person! 

I am so excited that she stopped by for an interview and to share with us her debut, an awesome romantic suspense Vermont Escape.



Meet Marsha!!
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and threatre arts teacher. She writes romantic suspense where experience is required. Her heroes and heroines, struggling with life and loss, are surprised to discover second chances at love.
 Marsha, who loves to travel, lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. They’ve raised two daughters who’ve presented them with three delightful grandchildren. She admits to being at the beck and call of two dogs, who run her home.
She’s currently editing her latest work in progress. 




  
Thanks for doing my invasive interview, Marsha!
 

Q. Do you do any special research for your novels?

Depending on the book, I do. Vermont Escape deals with state legislation on gambling issues. For Texas, I keep up with all that, just by reading the paper every morning. (I know there aren’t many of us left, but I still like the feel of the newsprint.J) The main part of the story takes place in Vermont—DUH. You probably figured that out from the title. Anyway, I went on-line to Vermont.gov and found lots of info. They call their legislature the assembly. The body meets every year as opposed to in Texas, which meets every other year. Because of story issues, I had to know when the term ran. What were there gambling laws and their gun laws? I’d visited Woodstock two times and had maps and info on business and things like that. It really helped to have been there. (I just realized I failed to mention in my acknowledgements in the book the friend who several years ago introduced me to Woodstock. L Nothing is perfect, try as hard as we might.)

Even during the final galley edits, my heart stopped when I thought for a moment I’d messed up about electronic cigarettes. Quick search of the internet led to a big sigh of relief. What I’d written was okay. 

For other books, I’ve checked out how you join a police department, how/where can you do paternity testing in Fort Worth, info on gas leasing (easy for me with a DH and son-in-law as experts). I usually write about stuff that I’m familiar with. However, I remember on my third book, about a small town theater, a contest judge told me I was wrong on some specifics of what was going on in the theater. Really reamed me out for writing about stuff I didn’t know or research. Again, I called my resident expert, this time Daughter # 2, who’d worked in the particular theater I modeled the one in my story on, and in New York. She confirmed I was right. I refrained from writing the judge back to correct her, just filed it away so I’d not make the same mistake when I judge of telling the person they were wrong. When I notice something odd, I ask if they’re sure of their facts, but never tell them they’re wrong.

Q. What are you working on right now? Can you tell us about it?

Well I’m not writing anything new right now. Almost have book 5, TRUTH BE TOLD (SWAT member wants to stop her father’s blackmailer. Brother’s former partner struggles with physical limitations received saving her brother’s life.) ready to submit. This book is set in Fort Worth. Based on the kind of excellent advice I got on VERMONT ESCAPE from my MuseItUp editors, I could probably send TRUTH now. Plan was to send it in before VE releases. Running out of time. J It’s a stand-alone, as is VE, but in VE there’s a supporting character who earned his own book, and he’s in my 6th book SECOND CHANCES, which is the first in a series. As soon as I send off # 5, #6 will take center focus, so it can go off. Then it’s on to writing new books and resurrecting # 3, which will need quite some rewrites, but the story is good and I love the characters. 

Okay...enough with the business questions! How about some fun stuff. You know, just between the two of us.

Q. The opportunity to go on a surprise vacation arises. You have 90 minutes to pack and get to the airport. Where will you go and what will you pack?

I love this question. Anybody who knows me knows I’m taking off for New England, probably somewhere along the rocky coast of Maine: Camden, Bar Harbor, and York Beach (though this is a sandy beach). Moosehead Lake up northwest is also spectacular. Perhaps Booth Bay Harbor where we’re going in October will become my favorite. I love the history, the old homes and buildings, the gorgeous trees. Along that rocky coastline, the stone is amazing. Add in the crash of the waves and highs seldom in the 90s and I’m a happy camper. Even though, I’ve been fortunate to go there many times, in all honesty, I don’t think I can pack in 90 minutes. I’m a planner. I try to make outfits coordinate. Limit the number of shoes. That sort of thing takes a while. Let’s assume everything was clean and I could fit into everything J then…jeans, long & short sleeved Ts, sweaters, good walking shoes, probably car coat (regardless of the season, it can turn really chilly, though I have friends up there who say, it’s unseasonably warm right now), lap top, I-phone, Nook, and DH. Oh and skin care products so I stay young looking. LOL

Q. If they make a movie about your life, who do you want to play your part?

Sally Field. I really identified with her in Steel Magnolias and wore my hair the same way for 20 years. LOL But there have been times in our lives when Patty Duke and I really resembled each other. Both short but play strong women. Of course, I haven’t been as small as they are in many moons. I wouldn’t think it necessary for them to put on weight to play the role. LOL

Q. Tell us one thing about you that might surprise us...it can be a secret...we won't tell. :)

Well, only if you promise not to tell. When I was in 8th grade, I wanted to be a US Senator. Think I’d just learned about Claire Booth Luce. She was cool, and powerful, and she wrote the wonderful play, The Women.
 


 

Now for my favorite part!!!!! Tell us about that AWESOME new release!



VERMONT ESCAPE is available on from MuseItUp Publishing! It released Friday, July 19 at B & N, Amazon and all the other e-venues. I’ve loved this story. My heroine turns 50 in the story. Here’s the short 20-word blurb:   

Jill Barlow flees after husband & father are murdered. The syndicate will kill again for the damning evidence she possesses. 

 Based on the length of my responses, perhaps you can grasp how very difficult it is for me to get 85,000 words down to 20! LOL  


 Blurb:
 Two years after the murder of her husband, someone guns down Jill Barlow’s father, a Texas State Representative. The authorities suspect a connection between the murders, but can’t find proof.

Jill longs for the peace she found when she visited Vermont after her husband’s death. With the perpetrators still at large, she returns to the small town.

Considering buying a crystal store, the attraction Jill feels for the owner’s son takes her by surprise. A Vermont State Assemblyman, Jerrod Phillips, seems to resent her presence in his town.

A terrifying series of break-ins shatter her peaceful new life and drive her to seek shelter with Jerrod. Jill shields her adult children from the knowledge violence continues to stalk their family.

Meanwhile Jerrod holds Jill responsible for his brother’s death, and she fears involvement with another politician. With the lives of her family at stake and having lost so much already, how many sacrifices must Jill make?  


Excerpt:

Jill Barlow reached for her make-up kit and brushed against the one thing she’d been doing her damnedest to avoid. Her heart rate tripped into overtime.

The package she received days after her dad was murdered. One month ago, but she couldn’t face opening a reminder of the nightmare. 

Pictures of her vigorous father mixed with recent images of his closed casket. Nausea hit. Again. Damn. Why would someone blow off her father’s head? She didn’t stay to find out. She ran.

She’d pushed herself on a four-day trip from Texas to Vermont. Emotionally and physically exhausted, all she wanted to do was unpack her pajamas and climb into bed. Habit required she clean and moisturize her face. Habit provided comfort when life was chaotic. Habit could get her through the worst. Or not.

 In the Woodstock Inn suite, her hand trembled when she removed the package and dropped it onto the bed where it lay on the white coverlet like a scorpion. 

 Hands propped on her knees, she leaned over, drew in needed oxygen. A minute passed, and then she straightened.

“Okay, open this. Every time you’ve come across the thing, you implode, morphing into a quivering mass of mush.”  



Get it today!
  

More Marsha:
Blog 


Last but not least, Marsha has a question for everyone!

So tell me where your favorite places to vacation are and why. Love to hear from you!!!