Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Immortally Ever After launch day giveaway

Hey all, Immortally Ever After releases today. This is the third and final book in the Monster MASH series. It takes place in an otherworldly field hospital during an epic war between the gods.

I wrote it because I wanted to do something different. Plus, I love writing books that are not only about the hero and heroine, but also about the community where they live. A quirky, paranormal M*A*S*H unit sounded like a blast to write.

It gives me so much freedom as a writer. For example, in this book, in addition to dealing with war casualties, the heroine has to act as OB to a very pregnant Medusa. Let's just say there's plenty of baby mamma drama where this ancient gorgon is concerned. And, truly, you don't want to tick off Medusa.

There's also a very sexy special ops soldier and a happily ever after for all concerned. Because, hey, that's how we roll around here.

So I hope you check out the series and as a special release day hooray, I'm going to give away a signed copy of any one of the MASH books, winner's choice. Just post below and tell me what you're reading right now.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Guest blogger Ellen Parker and Giveaway!

Hey everyone! Today, I'd like to welcome Ellen Parker to Wicked Authors with an interview and a giveaway of her debut romantic suspense novel STARR TREE FARM! I'm giving away one eBook copy of the book through Amazon or B&N. Winner's choice. Check back on next Monday for the winner!

Introduce yourself to the Wicked Authors readers.
Thanks, Shawntelle, for inviting me. My name is Ellen Parker and I write sweet romantic suspense. My aim is to write stories you’re willing to share with either your mother or your daughter – or both.

How long does it take you to write your books?
Starr Tree Farm, my debut book, took more than three years from initial idea to finished novel. This includes several times when I set it aside, sometimes for months, to work on other projects. I sincerely hope that the next one comes together a little quicker.

What do you think makes a story great?
Characters. I enjoy realistic characters, a mixture of flaws and perfection, placed in unusual situations. And it’s a bonus if I come away from a story feeling that I’ve learned something about a new place or time.

Can you describe your book “Starr Tree Farm” in one sentence? I love one-liners that snag me to read.
A young widow finds danger and love in unexpected places.

Tell us a little about “Starr Tree Farm.”
One year after her husband’s murder, Laura Tanner’s grief has turned to frustration at the stalled police investigation. She accepts an invitation from relatives to leave St. Louis and tend their Christmas tree farm near Crystal Springs, Wisconsin for two weeks.
Brad Asher’s military career ended when he lost an arm in Afghanistan. He’s returned to Crystal Springs and when he learns that Laura, the girl he admired during her childhood visits, plans to visit and perhaps settle in the community he decides to make the most of this second chance.
But Laura’s arrival from St. Louis disturbs secrets surrounding her husband’s murder. Can Brad keep her safe and in his life?

I’d love to know more about your research for this book. What did you have to learn to write it?
I researched and learned many things that did not appear in the final draft. The internet introduced me to licensed private investigators and upper body prostheses. I visited my hometown, the inspiration for Crystal Springs, and talked with long-time friends about changes since I’ve lived there. The most interesting portion of my research was a visit to a commercial Christmas tree farm and learning how labor intensive this crop is.

Do you have a favorite author? Or a favorite book?
It’s difficult to just pick one author. I think Joanne Bourne would top the list for historical and Sharon Sala for contemporary. The most recent book that I had difficulty putting down was Where Angels Rest by Kate Brady.

What do you do when you aren’t writing? What are some of your pastimes?
I try to stay active in small groups at my church. I also take a lot of walks – a great place to work through plot problems – and mess around with a tiny garden.

What are you currently working on next?
My current project is another story set in Crystal Springs. I’ve been researching apple orchards for this one.

Is there anything that I didn’t cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?
I’d encourage readers to try new things, to pick up an occasional book outside of the genre they’ve been reading.

Want a free preview of Ellen Parker's STARR TREE FARM? Check out this preview.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book winner!

Announcement time! The winner of Cheryel Hutton's The Ugly Truth is Tiarella! Woot! Just email Chereyl at  cheryel.hutton at gmail.com and she'll get that book right out to you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Columbus, Ohio Anyone?

If you live anywhere near Columbus, Ohio and love to read, I've got an invitation for you.  This Saturday, August 24, I'll be at the Barnes & Noble at Easton Town Center along with mega-talented Nancy Martin and NYT bestselling author, Kate Collins.

Join us!  We'll be chatting with readers, talking about our books, and we'll have a few surprises up our sleeves, too.

The fun starts at 2 pm at:

Easton Town Center
4005 Townsfair Way
Columbus, Ohio

For more info or directions, the store's phone number is:  614-476-8480


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Guest blogger Cheryel Hutton + book giveaway!

First I’d like to thank the amazing Angie Fox for inviting me. I love her books, and she’s a really nice person.

I’m celebrating the release of my latest book, The Ugly Truth, a paranormal romantic comedy set in a small town in Tennessee.

Today, I’m going to make a confession. I used to be ashamed of the little town where I grew up. For years, I refused to acknowledge I grew up in Graysville, Tennessee. Then I wrote a book about a small town. 

The heroine, Stephie, like me, is ashamed of her little hometown. Her friend, Madison, is proud of hers--Ugly Creek. While writing the book, I had to think through both sides of the issue, why a person from a tiny little spot on the map would be ashamed, and reasons why a person would be proud. It was a learning experience.

I had to think through the idea of uneducated rednecks—both parts of the stereotype come from the hard work to survive in small rural areas. The term redneck comes from the reddening of the neck from working long hours in the hot sun. Education took a backseat to the work needed to support the family. Even today, education is not as important as work. Survival comes before learning, and many still live below the poverty line in the rural south.

Not everybody in small Southern towns are poor and uneducated, but where I came from the majority are. I was fortunate that education was important in my family, and the adults had jobs that supported us so we could go to school. 

Something I remembered as I wrote The Ugly Truth was the big heart of these small towns. Helping each other is important to Southern folks. And I’m proud to come from a place with a big heart. Tennessee, after all, is known as the “Volunteer State” because of the thousands from Tennessee who volunteered in the war of 1812.

My family has lived in Tennessee for generations. We have deep roots in this rocky ground. Which makes it bittersweet that my husband and I are moving to Florida sometime in the next few months.     

In honor of the release of The Ugly Truth, I’m going to give a PDF copy to one lucky person who comments on the blog. I’m going to randomly pick the winner, so be sure to comment for a chance to win!

Thanks for having me here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

COLLECTED is coming in audio!

This summer has been so busy for me! Wow! The kids are finally in school and now I'm so excited about what I've accomplished for Natalya's prequel story called COLLECTED. I have my first audiobook coming and Spanish translation finished.

Curious to hear what she sounds like? Check out this excerpt:

As soon as the audiobook is available I'll be sure to let you know!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


When I read the news, I felt as if I'd been kicked in the stomach--Elizabeth Peters had died.  EP was my favorite contemporary mystery author (although she did not always write contemporary books), and back in 1998, I had a chance to interview her for an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

We spent two hours on the phone, and just as I expected, she was witty and intelligent, warm and friendly and generous with writing and publishing advice.  I pulled out the article and in her honor, thought I'd share parts of it today.  It starts out . . .

Barbara Mertz has been known to say that anyone without at least two distinct personalities is a bore.  She ought to know.

Mertz, with a PhD in Egyptology, is the author of nonfiction classics in ancient archaeology.  But Mertz the scholar is also Barbara Michaels, the author of books that use paranormal bumps in the night and thoroughly modern heroines to put a new slant on the old Gothic formula.  Barbara Michaels is also Elizabeth Peters, the best-selling mystery author and Grand Master of Mystery Writers of America.

"Certain plots require a certain telling," EP explained.  "Some of my ideas are obviously meant to be Michaels' books.  Others are Peters' material.  Changing names as I change the kinds of books I write is a chance for me to do my Jekyll and Hyde bit.  I don't have to limit myself to a certain state of mind and the chance to solidify each of those personalities is fun."

In the article she goes on to talk about her newest book (this was back when "The Ape Who Guards the Balance" was published).  It was book #10 in the amazing Amelia Peabody series and one of the things we talked about was Amelia's age.  Since EP mentioned how old Amelia was in "Crocodile on the Sandbank," the first book in the series, and since she added historic details that place each book in a certain year, it was obvious that her heroine was getting older.  I aksed her how she planned to handle that.

"They (Amelia and her husband, Emerson) will go on doing exactly what they want to do," she said.  "That's one of the things that makes them endearing.  They refuse to be limited by age.  People shouldn't."

Elizabeth Peters didn't.  She was 85 when she died last week.

When I pulled out the old newspaper article so I could write this blog, I also found a handwritten note from EP.  "We are all thrilled by the interview," she said, "including moi.  What a great job!"

I can certainly echo the sentiments.  Thanks, Barbara Mertz, Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters for the many hours of reading pleasure you've given me.  What a great job!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Road Trip!

Today, I'd like to welcome Rusty Rhoad, who has written about a road trip, with an Arthurian twist. I don't know about you, but I had to learn more. 

Return from Avalon (and Points West) is an adventure that starts in San Francisco as a simple see-the-USA road trip.  Described in a series of letters from Arnie Penders, mild-mannered used book seller, to his ex-wife. 

Of course the story isn’t about the road trip—it’s about a mystical journey away from reality that ends up smack in the middle of the Arthurian legend.  But still, it takes place on a road trip that goes through a lot of places that I’ve never been to.

Now everyone knows that the best way to research a road trip is to just take off on one.  Explore all the places you’re going to write about, then write it off your income tax.  But I was working as a chemical engineer and writing over lunch every day (you’d be amazed at how much you can accomplish if you spend one dedicated hour a day at it).  So . . . how do you research a road trip from the (dis)comfort of your own office?

I bought a road atlas, highlighted a route though lots of towns with fun names or symbols denoting places of interest.  Then as my hero and I travelled, I allocated a couple of half hour sessions each week taking an Internet road tour of those places.

Arnie is a witty, sarcastic observer of life; the object was to give him interesting and fun things to comment on.  So of course I ended up with about 50 times more colorful details than I could possibly use.  The world is full of amazing things.

The journey ends up at Hay-on-Wye in Wales.  A fascinating place, the original “book town.”  Dozens of used book stores.  After the 1st draft was finished, I had the opportunity to visit Hay-on-Wye while on a business trip.  Oops.  It was absolutely nothing like the impression I’d gotten from the Internet.  Some serious rewriting was required.

So now I have it on my bucket list to make the journey for real.  Maybe if the book sells a million copies, I can market it as a summer vacation getaway.  “Come travel Arnie’s route from San Francisco to Avalon.”  You’d sign up, wouldn’t you?