Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Kisses

I'm participating in a New Year's Kisses Party. Stop by and read some excerpts on what authors picked as their 'hottest' kisses.
Answer the question after each kiss in the comments below (comments will be screened) for a chance to win a $35 GC and a bundle of ebooks, plus a runners up prize of a $10 GC plus more books!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Red Zone - Chapter 1

Merry Christmas!

I was thinking about what to give my readers for Christmas, and came up with the perfect gift...the first chapter of my upcoming novel, Red Zone. For those of you who are already fans of the Daniels Brothers, Red Zone will not disappoint. Gage is the youngest of the Daniels clan. He's a professional football player, and he has all the cocky arrogence to go with it. Rebecca is a straight laced FBI agent who has no intentions of falling for the playboy athlete she's supposed to protect.

Here's a sneak peek at Red Zone.

Available February 7, 2013

Chapter 1


It was late by the time Gage Daniels arrived home Tuesday night. He was tired and more than ready for a few days off. Too bad he had to report to practice the next morning.

He tossed his keys in the bowl he had sitting just inside the door as he made his way into the kitchen to get something to drink. He noted that everything seemed to be in its place. His brother and his girlfriend had cleaned up after themselves well after using his home this weekend. That was good. The last thing he wanted was to come home to a trashed house. Not that he could imagine Chris ever partying like that. No. That was Gage’s style. At least, it used to be.

Reaching into the fridge, he grabbed a beer and popped the top before taking a large swig. He had spent the last day and a half in Los Angeles with his manager, Mel, at an underwear photo shoot, of all things. Gage didn’t dispute he was a good-looking man, but why someone wanted to put him, a quarterback, in a pair of tighty-whities in a magazine was beyond him. He didn’t get it.

Mel had set everything up, so at least the previous day’s shoot had gone smoothly. That morning had been another story. For whatever reason, his manager scheduled an interview with some magazine he’d never heard of. Apparently they were big in Europe or something. He said it would be good for Gage’s image. Although after the interview, he wasn’t exactly sure what image they were trying to promote. The woman conducting the interview had pawed at him the entire time.

“What do you like to do when you’re not playing football?” She reached out to caress his thigh, her tone filled with innuendo. He knew he had a reputation as sort of a player, but come on! He was supposed to be there on business, not to get in her pants. Business was business. He didn’t like mixing the two. Even if he had, there was no way he would have gone for a reporter, no matter how attractive. That was just asking for trouble.

“Swim.” He’d kept his answer short, hoping she’d take the hint and move on with another line of questioning. No such luck.

“Hm. Anyone in particular you like to swim with? A girlfriend perhaps?” Her fingers glided suggestively against his arm this time. He leaned back in his chair, away from her. It didn’t work. She compensated by leaning in, her top dipping low.

“Surely you don’t like to swim . . . alone.

By the time the interview had finished, the woman was practically in his lap. He’d politely excused himself and retreated to the car waiting out front to take him to the airport. The magazine was taking care of the lunch bill anyway, so it wasn’t as if he had to stick around to pay.

To make matters worse, someone had recognized him on the plane, and he’d spent the entire flight signing autographs and answering questions. Normally, he didn’t mind. Really, he didn’t. He loved his fans, and it was part of the job. After his disastrous lunch, however, he’d just wanted to be left alone.

Turning around, Gage spotted an envelope on the counter. How he’d missed it before was a testament to how tired he was, since it was lying there in plain sight. He picked it up and carried it with him upstairs to his bedroom. As much as he was dreading it, he had tapes for this coming Sunday’s game to look over.

He booted up his laptop and logged into the team’s private account. In the old days—not that he’d been around for the old days, since he’d only been playing professionally for five years—the players would huddle around a single television in one of the conference rooms to watch footage of the other team. He’d done that in high school, and that had been bad enough. This way was much better. Everything he needed to prep for the following day’s team meeting was accessible through a website and could be downloaded to his laptop and streamed to his big screen television. Once everything was set, he settled back against his pillows and pressed play.

The team they were playing wasn’t doing all that well this year, but their defense was solid. In fact, from what he could see, their defense was scoring as much as their offense. He would need to work with his receivers on protecting the ball. Turnovers could kill a team faster than anything.

An hour into the footage, his gaze drifted back to the envelope he’d brought upstairs. It seemed to be mocking him from where it lay on his nightstand. Picking it up, he saw his name handwritten on the front. It was just like all the others, and he knew what he’d find inside.

The first one had shown up two months ago at the stadium. It had been found by the front office manager and brought down to him. He’d taped it to the front of his locker. At first, he’d thought it was a fan letter, so he hadn’t opened it right away. Instead, he’d taken it home. Some of his fan letters, especially ones from women, tended to be slightly more explicit, and he didn’t like reading that stuff in front of the guys. In the privacy of his own home was . . . safer.

He knew from the handwriting on the front, however, that what he currently held in his hand wasn’t a fan letter. Flipping it over, he took a deep breath, opened the envelope, and pulled out the contents. As with all the others, there were pictures of him and a single sheet of paper that said I’m watching you. These pictures were from last weekend when he’d gone out with some of the guys after the game. A busty blonde was sitting on his lap, making sure he could see all her assets. She hadn’t really been his type—he preferred women who could at least hold their own in a conversation—but he was in the mood to party, and she was available. As he’d told the reporter, he didn’t have a girlfriend. Although he didn’t sleep around nearly as much as he had early on in his career, he wasn’t celibate either.

He looked at the pictures again, frustrated. Whoever was stalking him was doing a bang-up job of it. He had been photographed in nearly every public place he’d gone over the last two and a half months, and he’d not been able to spot anything out of place, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Even the night the picture in his hand was taken, he’d thought he’d been diligent. The club was crowded but not any more than usual. People were moving comfortably throughout—socializing and dancing. He’d not seen any indication someone was paying him, or his teammates, any more attention than they normally provoked when they were out in public.

Throwing the letter down on his nightstand, he leaned back against the headboard of his bed and ran a hand through his hair. Tim Donovan, the team’s owner, would want to know about this. He’d nearly flipped a lid when he’d found out about the last one through the grapevine and that it hadn’t been the first. Tim had made Gage promise to come to him immediately the next time it happened. He’d even threated to bench Gage if he didn’t, and there was no way he would let that happen.

Shutting everything off, Gage lay back on his bed and stared up at the ceiling. Who was doing this and why? It didn’t make sense. He was just a football player.

Rolling over, he punched his pillow until he found a semicomfortable position. He’d need to take a detour to Tim’s office first thing in the morning. There was no way he was giving Tim an excuse to keep him on the sidelines.


The sun was setting over the smoky mountains on Thursday when Special Agent Rebecca Carson’s phone rang, disturbing the peaceful setting. Her job with the FBI often had her traveling across the country. It was rare she was able to sit back, relax on the deck of her condo, and enjoy something as simple as the sun going down behind the mountains. There had been days she’d longed for that moment of peace. Now, it was driving her crazy.

Nearly a month had passed since the agency had put her on administrative leave at the advice of one of their therapists. Sure, it had been a difficult case, and it had ended badly, but her sitting around at home wasn’t helping. She wanted—no, she needed—to get back out there. Sitting around doing nothing was going to be the end of her sanity.

She pushed herself up off the lounge chair and walked into her living room to answer the call, hoping it was her boss saying she was cleared to come back to work. Knowing her luck, though, it would be her baby sister needing her help to get out of another jam. Either way, it would be a welcome distraction. “Hello?”


“Yes,” she said, immediately recognizing, Travis Hansen’s voice on the other end of the line.

“Good. I’m glad I caught you. Something’s come up, and I thought you could use something to do. I know you’re probably going stir-crazy sitting at home, and I could use the help.”

“Is everything all right? I can meet you tonight if you need me to.”

“No, no,” he said. “Tomorrow will be fine. You may want to pack a bag, though.”

She knew what that meant. Whatever assignment was waiting in the wings, she’d most likely be on a plane before noon the next day. “All right. Where should I meet you?”

“Just be ready at eight. I’ll pick you up.”

“All right,” she said, unsure but trusting her ex-partner and former mentor. Hansen had retired from the FBI, and now ran his own P.I. firm, but they’d stayed in touch. He was one of the few people in this world she would trust with her life.

“See you tomorrow, Carson. Get some rest.”

After hanging up, Rebecca walked to her bedroom and began packing. Suits with matching blouses lined her closet. Her sister always gave her a hard time, saying she needed to spice things up a bit with her wardrobe, but she was an FBI agent—she didn’t do flashy. Besides, she had been living in sweats and T-shirts for far too long. She pulled out a week’s worth of clothing and placed them in her garment bag before zipping it up. The same routine had been gone through so many times, it didn’t take her long to pack all but the toiletries she’d need that night and in the morning.

At seven fifty-eight the next morning, she was standing out in front of her building waiting on Hansen. He was punctual and pulled up in his silver sedan as her watch beeped, alerting her of the new hour. He was right on time, as always.

She walked over to the car and slipped inside. He smiled and handed her a cup of coffee before pulling back out onto the road.

“Morning, Carson.”

“Hansen.” She nodded in greeting. They’d been partners for a little over a year before he’d retired. Although he was perhaps the one person she was closest to in her adult life besides her sister, they still had that professional distance. It was exactly the way she liked it.

“It’s good to see you. I apologize for curtailing any plans you may have had scheduled for your time off, but something’s come up, and I could really use your help in Nashville.”

“No problem. Anything at this point would be better than being stuck at home crawling the walls.”

He chuckled. “Good, ’cause we’re helping out an old friend of mine.”

She looked over at him, questioning.

“His name is Timothy Donovan. He owns the professional football team in Nashville. Something has come up with one of his players, and he needs some help.”

She waited for him to elaborate, but he didn’t. Although she was curious, it didn’t matter. As she’d told him, anything was better than sitting at home doing nothing.

Two hours and a brief argument later, they pulled into the parking lot of a nicer-than-average hotel in Nashville that would act as their base of operations. Halfway to Nashville, she’d finally decided to ask for the exact details of the assignment. Needless to say, she wasn’t thrilled with his response. The problem was, either she took this assignment or she went back home again to do . . . nothing.

They checked in, under the guise of a married couple, and quickly set up shop in their assigned room. “I don’t like this,” she said, staring around the room at the fancy d├ęcor. She’d stayed in any number of motels since she’d become an agent four years ago, but none of them had come close to this. This was way above government budget. Of course, the government wasn’t footing the bill for this one. It was compliments of Donovan, according to Hansen.

Her nose scrunched up in distaste at the frilly coverlet on the bed. “Not liking the new assignment, Carson?” her old mentor asked, smiling.

He was enjoying her discomfort way too much. “Like you’d be over there grinning if the shoe were on the other foot, Hansen.”

“True.” He laughed. “Thankfully, I don’t look pretty on the arm of a hotshot quarterback.”

Rebecca clenched her fists to keep from hurling something at him. Instead, she slipped the hotel key in her pants pocket and walked to the door. “Let’s just get this over with.”

Hansen kept his mouth shut on the way to the stadium, although she could see he was dying to comment. She liked Hansen. He was a good partner and had always treated her as an equal, even if she had been a rookie at the time they’d worked together. It was probably part of the reason he was getting such a kick out of this.

They followed the instructions they were given and parked in the players’ lot. A security guard greeted them, and they were escorted upstairs to a long hallway of offices before he stopped at the last one on their right and motioned they should go inside ahead of him.

An older gentleman, who looked to be in his early sixties, sat behind a large wooden desk. He stood, and rounded the desk to greet them. Giving Hansen a pat on the back, and offering her a firm handshake, he introduced himself as the owner, Timothy Donovan. “I’m glad you were able to come on such short notice,” he said directly to her. Then he turned to the man who’d walked them in. “Get Gage Daniels, will you? Tell him I need to see him.” The man nodded, closing the door behind him.

Donovan walked back to his chair behind the desk, while she and Hansen took the seats offered to them. Putting her game face on, Rebecca answered in her usual professional tone. “I wasn’t told much, Mr. Donovan. Perhaps you can fill me in.”

“Of course,” he said. Reaching into his desk drawer, he pulled out a large manila folder filled with envelopes. “About two months ago, Daniels, our star quarterback, began receiving these. They’re all there with the exception of the first few. He just threw them away. Thought they were a joke.”

She flipped through the pictures and letters. They were all of a young man, in his mid-twenties, whom she assumed was Daniels. He was doing various things, from something as simple as shopping to sitting in a bar. What she did notice, however, was that all the pictures included females. “He seems to be quite the ladies’ man. Could it be a woman scorned?”

“That’s always a possibility, I suppose. Gage is . . .  . . .  . . . well, he’s young, not bad to look at, and he’s an athlete. The ladies like him.” He shrugged.

“So, what would you like us to do exactly, Mr. Donovan?” she said, trying to keep the contempt out of her voice.

Donovan stood and walked over to the large bank of windows behind him. He motioned them over and then pointed down to the field. “This is my team. I watch out for them.” It wasn’t hard to pick out Daniels from the field below. He was in full uniform with his name across his shoulder blades. It helped that the security guard was walking across the field straight toward him, too. “He doesn’t know this, and I’d like to keep it that way. I don’t want him rattled any more than he already is.” Donovan turned to face them, his expression serious. “A security guard noticed something sticking out of Gage’s car two days ago. Given the letters he’s been receiving, I called a friend in the local PD.”

“Explosives?” Hansen asked.

“Yes. Although I’m told it wouldn’t have done much damage had it gone off, but that’s beside the point. Someone’s decided to put a bull’s-eye on Gage’s back, and I need to stop it.” He paused before looking Rebecca in the eye. “Which is where you come in.”

“Security footage?”

“Checked. There’s nothing there except his vehicle. We went back a week.”

As much as she didn’t like the situation, putting up a fight on this one when Donovan was footing the bill would be difficult. The person behind this had clearly crossed state lines—the pictures were taken in various cities—then delivered them to Daniels, either at his home or to the stadium. A couple even looked as though they’d come through the mail. That was enough to put it on the federal radar. Add in the explosives and even she could admit she was intrigued. They were his last hope before getting the FBI officially involved, and likely the press. Something like this wouldn’t stay under wraps for long.

A minute later, there was a knock at the door. “Come in.” Donovan yelled.

The door opened, and there stood the man she’d be spending the majority of her time with in the near future—Gage Daniels.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Author to Author Blog Hop - Holiday Greetings

Today is the last day of the Author to Author holiday blog hop, and we decided to wrap things up with some holiday greetings from all the authors. Thank you for stopping by, and don't forget to click on the Rafflecopter link below. The 13 books are still up for grabs.


I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a happy holiday season. I hope it’s full of joy, peace, and love for you and your family.
I’m most grateful this year for the wonderful new friends I’ve made.  Though I may never meet some of you in person, you’ve touched my heart. It’s a wonderful gift I’ll always cherish.
Best wishes for a happy New Year,

 Happy holidays. Thank you for reading and supporting the publishing industry (be it self publishing, Indie publishing, or traditional publishing) this year.
To all my readers, especially those who count themselves among my new fans, here's wishing you a Joyous Happy Holidays.
My gift to you are the words of one of my favorite traditional Christmas Songs, I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day:
"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep. God is not dead, nor does He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail. With peace on earth, goodwill to men."
Peace and Blessings,
L. V. Lewis
 Wishing all of my readers, fans, and fellow authors a joyous and wonderful New Year. This season, give the gift of yourself to the world. Encourage others, make a difference, help when you can, and most importantly, believe in yourself! As I like to say, "Be The Light"!
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!
Andrea Goodson

As 2012 ends and we reflect on the year that has gone just before, I think with joy on my blessings and hope such joy pervades your holiday season, too.  From me and mine to you and yours, sincere wishes for the very best in 2013 and always. Remember that you are of great worth and are the center of someone's world.
~Sandi Layne
"God bless us, every one!" - Tiny Tim in Dickens' *A Christmas Carol*
Looking back on 2012, I'm so grateful to you who are readers - thank you for your support and encouragement. To you who are fellow authors - it's been a blast taking this journey with you. And to both who've also become friends - I can't imagine my life without you! :-)
Wishing you joy and peace this holiday season,
T.M. Franklin
 My first book, Hidden Threat, was released on
December 31, 2010. A lot has changed for me in the last two years. I’ve learned a lot, and have met some amazing people along the way. I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday, and thank you for your support.
Sherri Hayes


As I look back at 2012, I have to say thank you to my readers for the support they have shown me. Their encouragement gave me the confidence to publish in the first place, so thank you for continuing to support my writing! I'm also grateful to the author friends I've made. I've learned, and continue to learn, so much from all of you. Have a blessed and joyous Christmas!
Peace and Love,
Sydney Logan

Every year my family and I send out letters that detail those very things that went wrong during the year.  (Don't you just hate those holiday letters where everyone and everything are perfect?!? -- please see and you will feel much better about yourself!)  Ahh.  But the truth is, we are blessed.  Every time I open the newspaper, we are reminded of this. As we head into the new year, it is my fondest wish that dreams come true but even better ... you discover what your dream is and GO FOR IT!
I hope that you all end this year on a safe, healthy, happy note and ring in the new year with great ambition!  Thank you to everyone for your support, love and laughter.
Alexandra Allred  :)
Happy Holidays! Thanks for making 2012 the year I decided to push the envelope. I couldn't have done it without my Village.
Angel Lawson
May this year pass us by with a smile on our faces and heads held high. May the New Year bring you joy, happiness, and a world full of adventure. May you keep your loved ones close, and your enemies in your prayers. Now is a time to be joyful and full of love. Let's show the world that we too can stand up and say with a full heart, may He be present in our lives now...tomorrow...and forever.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
God Bless,
~ Allie Jean
Holidays can mean different thing to all of us. Recent events have taught us how precious our time is on this planet. Never take for granted a single day to tell those people closest to you how much you love and care about them. I was estranged from my mother for years, due to stubbornness on both of our parts. I was lucky. One nondescript Sunday morning, something told me to put aside whatever had come between us, and go visit her. We spent just an hour together, and I'll admit it was tense and we didn't really speak. I gave her an awkward hug and told her I loved her before I left her house that chilly September morning. I got the call around 5pm, that night, that she had passed away sometime in the afternoon. We spend so much of our holidays rushing around looking for gifts, and attending mundane parties, that we lose sight of how important the holidays are supposed to be. Take time to hug a loved one, sing Christmas Carols, read 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, or The Christmas Story, reflect on the past year, exchange gifts, but do it with the ones you love and mean the most to you. We only get one turn on this merry-go-round, so cherish the ride. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to every one of our family, friends, and fans.
Robert S. Fuller Jr    
Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Author to Author Blog Hop - Sydney Logan

I'm participating in an Author to Author Blog Hop. From December 5th through December 20th, participating authors will be guest posting on each other's blogs. We've all banned together and donated at least one book, and at the end of the blog hop one lucky person will win a collection of 13 books. What a great Christmas present, right?

Today's post is from Contemporary Romance author Sydney Logan.

Sydney Logan holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and makes her home in the hills of East Tennessee. With the 2012 release of her first novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. She has a very unhealthy obsession with music, and her iPod is filled with everything from Johnny Cash to Eminem. When she isn't reading or writing, she enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her front porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat. She recently released a Christmas short story titled “Mistletoe Magic” and is currently completing her second novel, which will be released in 2013.
I love connecting with readers! Find me online:
Twitter Name: @SydneyALogan
Blog or Website:
To purchase Lessons Learned:
1. Who's your favorite author, and why?
This is impossible to answer, but I can list some favorites. I love Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein, S.E. Hinton, Nicholas Sparks, Stephenie Meyer, John Grisham, and Madeline L’Engle. Of this list, my favorite is probably Nicholas Sparks. The man never fails to touch my heart and bring me to tears. 
2. If you could have a conversation with one of the characters in your most-recently released novel, which one would it be and why?
Matt. I’d love to see how he’s doing now. Is he still living in Tennessee? Teaching? In love? Most importantly, is he happy? Those are the questions I’d ask. 
3. Where do you get the ideas and inspiration for your characters personalities?
Their personalities come from the people I encounter in my real life. With Lessons Learned, Sarah is very much me. Lucas is loosely based on my husband (the man really is a saint). The others characters are just blends of other people I know or have met in my life. 
4. What is the best thing (in your opinion) about being a writer?
Editing. (Ha! Made you laugh, didn’t I?) Honestly, the best thing about being a writer is hearing that your words touched someone’s heart. That’s my goal, always.  
5. How did you find your agent/publisher?
My story isn’t a traditional one. I was actually contacted by my publisher. One of their copy editors was a reader of my online stories, and she passed my name along to her submissions department. They contacted me to ask if I’d ever considered writing original fiction. The rest is history!
6. What's the best piece of writing advice you've been given?
Sandi Layne gave me a piece of advice about dealing with reviews. “You wrote for a certain ideal reader. That ideal reader is going to love your words. If someone doesn’t like your work? They aren’t your ideal reader. Do you really need to invest yourself in what they say?” Profound words. I printed it out, and it hangs on the wall behind my computer.
7. Biggest mistake you've made as an author?
I don’t know that it’s a “mistake,” but an obstacle of mine is being brave enough to actually promote my book in my hometown. I’m not quite there yet. Maybe with Book #2 . . .
Holiday-themed questions:
1. What would the lead character of your latest novel want for Christmas?
Sarah would want to cook a big dinner for her friends and family and just spend quality time with them. 
2. Favorite Christmas music?
I love Christmas instrumentals (Celtic, Appalachian), and I love the classics (O Holy Night & What Child is This?) I also love Trans-Siberian Orchestra!  
3. What was the best gift you ever received?
I had a December wedding. We will be married ten years on December 7. Best present ever. :)
The Author to Author Blog Hop is hosting a giveaway for a prize package of eBooks from our contributing authors. Enter below, and the winner will be notified by e-mail. You have a chance to enter every day on any of the participating author's blogs - so keep checking back. (Note: eBooks labeled 18+ will not be awarded to a winner under the age of 18.)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Author to Author Blog Hop - Allie Jean

I'm participating in an Author to Author Blog Hop. From December 5th through December 20th, participating authors will be guest posting on each other's blogs. We've all banned together and donated at least one book, and at the end of the blog hop one lucky person will win a collection of books. What a great Christmas present, right?

Today's post is from YA Supernatural Romance author Allie Jean.
Allie Jean was born with an overactive imagination. At a very early age, a child, her days were spent inventing stories, directing her sisters in made-up plays or telling elaborate ghost stories. Her mind never took breaks, or shutdown, even when she slept. When her eyes shut at night, she would have vivid dreams complete with extensive, elaborate plot lines, and good overcoming evil villains.

Now, living in California with her husband of ten years, her love of storytelling had taken a back seat with the arrival of their four children. As a busy wife, mother and working full-time outside the home, somehow she has been able to write down her relentless character’s story. Her once secret hobby and private world, is now released for other’s to enjoy.
To find out more information about Allie and her writing, visit
Twitter: @AllieJeanDS
Legacy of a Dreamer – Dreamer Series, Book #1:

1. Who's your favorite author, and why?
I love this question and here’s why. I am a HUGE fan of authors who can create their own worlds, something original and clever, which has its own set of rules the characters living it have to go by that cannot be broken or bent. This is incredibly hard to do, for I’m attempting to do that with my own series. There are some people, however, who have mastered it. J.R. Tolkien for example, but I’d say my favorite author right now is J.K. Rowling. The world she created for Harry and the others is so intricate, inspirational, and complex that it will be hard for anyone in the literary world to match that scale, and for that, she is amazing to me.
2. If you could have a conversation with one of the characters in your most-recently released novel, which one would it be and why?
Oh, hands down, it would be Mathias. First off, we don’t learn exactly how old he is, so that would be my first question. And second, I’d want to know more about the history of his race, stories about the hunt for more females like Chantal, and exactly when he knew he was falling for her. I’d also want to know why his brother is so up-tight. He he . . .
3. Where do you get the ideas and inspiration for your characters personalities?
Oddly enough, the entire idea for this series came from nightmares I used to have frequently when I was young. I don’t know why I never had a horrible past or anything like that but I’d have violent, twisted dreams that would play out as if it were a story, where I was the main character. During these times, I’d wake up at night, and if I wasn’t screaming my head off, I’d be sitting in my bed terrified. One day, I saw a shadow in my room that resembled a figure of a man. At first, I was terrified, but when I realized it was just a shadow, he became an imaginary friend.
As I became older, I wondered what would happen if that shadow hadn’t been just a shadow . . .
 And Legacy of a Dreamer picks up from there.
Chantal is a mixture of myself, a bit of each of my sisters, and a big part of the kick-ass girl, Miss Buffy Summers. In fact, one of my sisters is on the cover of the book! In all seriousness, Chantal has been a part of me since I was very young. Since the idea came to me for this world many moons ago, Mathias has also been a slow work-in-progress, but I’m extremely happy with how he’s turning out, especially in the second book, which I’m writing now.
4. What is the best thing (in your opinion) about being a writer?
The ability to tell my stories is the best thing about being a writer. I have always been a storyteller. I’d make up ghost stories or write countless tales in my journals at home. Even when I became older, writing became a way of coping with whatever crap life had dealt me. The ability to have my stories out there for people to enjoy means a lot to me. It’s almost cathartic in a way. Kind of like “here, have a dish of this craziness” to the world.
Makes me feel so much better.
5. How did you find your agent/publisher?
I actually entered a competition through The Writer’s Coffee Shop at the GREAT encouragement of some friends of mine. It happened to be a Romance competition, and I thought my story based on my nightmares kind of fit, so I entered the first eleven chapters, not thinking I’d win a darn thing. But as it turns out, the folks over there loved it and offered me a contract. And here I am!
6. What's the best piece of writing advice you've been given?
“Write how you see it.”
In this series, there are a ton of fight scenes and creatures that are only visible in my head – basically things that haven’t been adapted in Hollywood or anything. The person I actually asked this advice from was Cassandra Clare, the author of the Mortal Instruments series. She’d read something I’d written at one time and said she loved it. I asked her advice and that’s what she said: “Write how you see it.”
For me it’s huge from her because she writes in the same kind of action packed, alternate universe type genre, and I’ve never wavered from it. I picture the scene in my head like a movie, slow it down, and describe it. So far, it’s helped a ton.
7. Biggest mistake you've made as an author?
In this book, probably naming the villain Damon. I didn’t realize the guy in Vampire Diaries was named Damon, but what the heck! Oh well . . .
Other than that, I’m sure I’ve made mistakes with my research when I reference things. I try to be a good investigator, but the internet can be very tricky and point you to false information. I’ve done that in the past, but not with anything I’ve published.
Holiday-themed questions:
1. What would the lead character of your latest novel want for Christmas?
She’d probably want some new clothes. The poor girl has been an orphan most of her life, and what she did have was kind of destroyed, so I’m thinking she’d want something to wear that didn’t look like army digs worn by a seven-foot muscled man. (she needs some pretty shit-kickers)
2. Favorite Christmas music?
Anything off the White Christmas album. That movie was a family tradition of mine growing up, so those songs bring out my holiday spirit. My kids don’t get it, especially when I play “Sisters” for them. It has nothing to do with Christmas, but I sit there singing away, decorating my tree, while my kids argue with me over my song choice. Those are the moments worth living, I think.
3. What was the best gift you ever received?
I could say my kids, which is a given. But I won’t go sappy on you. I think the best gift I received was back in 2005, my in-laws bought me an IPod. Just a little Shuffle 2GB, but I was stoked. And why was I so happy? Because I had four kids, three of them still in diapers, and I had ZERO time to read. With the IPod, I could download audiobooks and listen while I cleaned up poop. That’s actually how I “read” the first Twilight book, I believe. That tiny box of miracles got me through night shifts at the hospital, late night feedings, and a mountain of laundry a day. I could pretty much say it was priceless.
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