Release Day Meet The Author Special: Hearthstone Alpha, Paranormal Romance by Author A.C Melody #newrelease #romance

It’s the 1st of June and that means it’s release day, I have a cover reveal and special Meet The Author for you! Let’s get to know Paranormal Romance author A.C Melody’s style…

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi, Kim! Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I live in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., it’s been my home since I was about six, but I’m originally from Hanau, Germany, the home town of the Brothers Grimm.

Other than writing, I’m a bit of a gamer and like binge-watching Netflix. I’m also the family genealogist, which is fun and a great way to meet distant relatives.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I started writing poems in my early teens as an outlet, then one of my closest friends got sent to southern California. She wrote about a dream she had and we somehow got this idea to embellish on it and started taking turns adding more and more to it, until she moved back. By then, I had already started writing other stories, inspired by this collaboration, and just never stopped.

Kim: wow, now that is a cool way to start writing. I also know the value of “pen friends” you write to abroad, I have a few myself.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

My all time favorite author is Anne Rice, but I’ve also been greatly inspired by authors like Gena Showalter, V.C. Andrews, Jacqueline Carey and Nora Roberts. Those are my ‘pre-internet’ inspirations, but I think I’m inspired in some way by every author I read, and my Indie list keeps growing!

Kim: Aww Nora Roberts is good. 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I started taking myself and my craft more seriously as a profession, rather than just a passion. Getting that publishing contract was like a confirmation that I wasn’t just delusional, but going through the publication process was a real eye opener to things I’d never considered before. Word count limits, blurbs, marketing, etc. I thought all I had to do was write the friggin’ book… Man, was I clueless!

Kim:  Umm been there girlfriend, that eye opener can really wise you up to the industry and dealing with publishers. Good and bad experiences shape you.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

This series–I hope–is about a unique kind of wolf shifter. Their species, the Úlfrinn, was created by Odin, because he wanted warriors in all worlds in preparation for Ragnarök. It deals with some other known and unknown (as in, I just made that sh*t up) supernatural beings from different cultures, too. The series follows the pack members, as they each find their mate while dealing with some personal demons and enemies along the way.

Kim: lol ” made up that sh*t”  I love it … don’t we all!? 

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

I have such a hard time keeping things simple, so I tend to write more series than not. The greatest part is that it gives me time for world-building, wicked plot twists and fleshing out the characters. On the downside, it can be tricky keeping track of all the information, making sure I don’t lead readers down dead-end roads, forget to tie up loose ends or mix up details.

Kim: I really respect you paranormal writers, your creativity in what you call “world building” is really  a talent. 

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

When I finished my first novel. Up until then, I had spent years starting and never finishing countless manuscripts, but when I actually completed that one (5 years later), it knocked down whatever barrier I had built up in my own mind – that self-doubting one – and my writing took off from there. I just had to prove it to myself, first, and then there was nothing holding me back.

Kim: good job, I think as a writer the one thing you must have is confidence. Be your own cheerleader.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Oh yeah, so many times! Just wait, it might happen yet.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I’m one-hundred percent a ‘pantser.’ I never know what’s going to happen with my stories, even if I have a general idea in mind, my characters take complete control and go the way they want to. I usually don’t even know who my antagonists are, until my characters get closer to finding out. Once I’m well into a storyline, I do manage to get a rough sketch noted down of where I’d like things to go, or ideas for future events, but otherwise I’m just going with the flow.

Kim: Salute! I ‘m still learning to fly by my knickers, I’m hoping my weekly challenges with suspense author Didi Oviatt will help me drop them a bit… not literally … ya know what I mean. 🙂

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

Mine are ‘Peaked’ when it should be ‘Piqued’, or ‘It’s’ instead of ‘Its’, those are my worst and I know it’s not technically a typo, but I still can’t figure out the difference between affect and effect. Blah!

Kim: when I wrote A Stranger in France peaked and piqued tripped me up a too blah!

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Tip #1 Be patient with yourself and your writing, don’t let the ‘rush’ of the social media realm make you feel like you’re flailing, you’re doing just fine and no matter how long it takes you to finish your book, that’s exactly the amount of time it needs.

Tip #2 Beta Readers are your best resource and your book’s greatest allies, take their advice as a crafting tool, not a personal attack – hearing how much someone loves your book feels amazing, but it won’t help you become a better writer.

Tip #3 Yes, I don’t care what anyone tells you, pay for a professional editor. All of your hard work is worth the investment! I have a tight budget, too, so I get it. But there are extremely talented, inexpensive editors out there for Indies, you just have to find the right match for you.

Kim: I back points #2 and 3# totally, great tips thanks.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Oh, boy! My muse has the attention span of a squirrel, so it’s impossible for me to sit down and write just one book at a time. I’m aware this is probably the worst writing practice ever, but that’s how my muse and I roll.

Currently, I’m wrapping up a Futuristic Crime Romance, the second in my Matron City trilogy, revising a Contemporary BDSM Romance, the second in my Dark Day Isle series, and writing a Paranormal Erotic Romance, the fourth in my Hell on Earth series.

Next on the release schedule is “Little Queen” coming July 1st – Book 2 of the Úlfrinn series after Hearthstone Alpha!

Kim *raises an eyebrow and pouts* crime,erotic romance… did you say BDSM? Keep us posted I like the sound of this.

So… where can we get your books?

My publisher distributes to all major retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, iBooks, etc.), and also sells books at a somewhat lower price on their website: http://eredsage.com/store/A_C._Melody.html

My self-published books are only available on Amazon, so they’re free for Kindle Unlimited members. You can find them all on my Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B011PTY1PO

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

That’s a really good question! I kind of feel like I’ve already been there a couple of times. Maybe in writing, success is just as much an evolution as our craft? Right now, I think I’d feel that way if I ever reached like 100 reviews (and I’m a long way off from that!) or if I ever made some kind of best seller list. Then I’d just have to raise the success bar again and keep going.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think a little ego is natural, but it can be quite harmful if it’s too big. We want to protect and defend our work, and that’s good to a point. It’s after that point when the ego needs to be set aside in order to learn, otherwise we would never get any better at what we do. Writing, like any art form, should be something we always strive to get better at, a talent that needs to be nurtured and honed. There’s no way to do that, if we let our egos get in the way.

Kim: you sound like a wise owl, I like that… like it a lot.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I research everything! I probably research more than I need to, but I like being as accurate as possible. Depending on what I’m writing, will depend on how much time I spend researching prior to starting a new manuscript, though I usually keep at it throughout the entire process.

For this series, I researched quite a bit beforehand and during. I had a general idea of where I wanted it to take place, but I’ve never been to Minneapolis before, so I spent a lot of time walking around the city virtually through Google Satellite and digging up information on the different neighborhoods. I also knew very little about real wolf behavior, Norse Mythology and nothing at all about the Icelandic language. I’d say that a good 90% of the story, itself, was inspired by my research not the other way around.

Kim: Good job. I like this part of our job the research.

What was your hardest scene to write?

In my first published novel, The Zen Lounge, I had a few different scenes where I had to crawl into the personality or mind of my antagonist, each one revealing a little more of the kind of sick, twisted man he was and those were all difficult to write. They’re probably mild for a writer of Thriller, like yourself, but they took me out of my comfort zone for the first time.

Kim: *lowers her lashes  modestly* well, ya know that’s our thing as suspense /thriller writers. I’ve not done a real sick in the head kinda character as yet, but I got one in the pipe line. I’ve had her on ice since 2015 in a romantic thriller. I keep going over her to check I’ve got her just “psycho” enough for the story but it’s fun, I should crack on with writing her ready for 2018 🙂 

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

My two closest author friends are Felicia Denise, author of “In the Best Interest of the Child” and Anna Adler, author of “His Hostage”. We’re like-minded when it comes to desiring brutal honesty over praise, and our friendship really strengthens that, rather than hindering it. We have too much respect for each other, and want to see each other succeed, to be anything other than honest. Plus, we laugh so much. This industry can be trying, so you have to find humor wherever you can and they’re brilliant. We bounce ideas off one another all the time, and it works really well.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

For the first rough draft, probably 2-3 months if the story is flowing like magic. My tougher novels, I would average about 6 months to a year, give or take.

It only seems like I write faster, because it can take 24-48 months for my publisher to actually get my books out on the market, so during that time, I self-publish, and then – BAM – I’ve got all these books coming out at once, when in reality, I’ve been gradually submitting them since 2013!

What music do you like?

It would be much easier to list the music I don’t like, LOL. My whole life has a soundtrack and I’m the daughter of a musician, so music’s my center, no matter what mood I’m in.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

The UK and Ireland, for many reasons. I have family in Wales I’ve never met in person, but am really close to, a friend in Essex I haven’t seen in a couple of years and through my genealogy research I’ve learned that a lot of my ancestors came from different areas of both countries and I’d love to visit those places.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

It really depends on the book, but typically I start with a faint impression and then they just develop organically as I begin writing. Once a character finds their voice, or reveals it to me, I am incapable of changing it. On rare occasions, like with my character M.W. Kress from my Avarice trilogy, I know exactly what kind of personality they’re going to have before starting.

In that instance, his personality was the trigger for the story. I’d been reading an article on how crime shows were wrong to diagnose people as sociopaths and psychopaths, because those aren’t medically recognized diagnosis. They’re merely different degrees on the anti-social disorder spectrum and it went on to say that most CEO’s undoubtedly suffer from some degree of anti-social disorder, and that’s what allows them to be so successful. I was fascinated with the idea of exploring a character portraying anti-social behavior who wasn’t the antagonist, and thus, Avarice was born. I just didn’t know it was going to lead me so deep into the paranormal world at the time.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Each character is my favorite, especially while I’m writing them. Sometimes, I wish I could strangle them, yes, but I can’t choose just one. They’re all so unique in their own little ways – some in bigger ways.

Thanks A.C Melody, it has been great getting to know you and your books. Come back soon. I hope readers have enjoyed this special Meet The Author to celebrate A.C’s new release. Connect with her and check her books out below.

Next Month: July is packed with authors hailing from all corners of the writing genre. There is a little something for everyone lined up. Stay tuned! If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here.

Book Information & Links

Title: Hearthstone Alpha (The Úlfrinn Series, Book 1)

Author: A.C. Melody

Publisher: Red Sage Publishing

Length: approx. 300 pages

Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance

Release Date: June 1, 2017

Blurb:

All Reyna Daniels wants is to secure her return home to Minneapolis to be with her family. The last thing she needs is to find her world completely inundated by the magnetizing, hostile Corbyn Bruschard and his group of male-model friends.

Corbyn’s not ashamed at being everywhere, since it’s his territory, and he’s certainly not going to apologize for trying to keep Reyna safe. Especially, when she’s his mate.

With all signs pointing to an old enemy’s return, Reyna’s going to have to suck it up and face her ancient Norse heritage fast, whether she’s ready to or not. That doesn’t mean she has to accept being mated to an Alpha who threatens all of her hard-earned independence.

Excerpt:

“Sounds to me like your idea of compromising is completely one-sided,” she pointed out heatedly. “I have things to do, can I go now?”

The automatic locks engaged, as he stared at her. “You’re on vacation—”

“Not anymore,” she cut him off. “My boss is expecting me downtown this morning, and I have to go, unless I want to lose my job—which, I don’t.”

“Then Breton will take you,” Corbyn replied, his tone strangely hoarse, as if he were holding back a completely different emotion. “And pick you up when you’re done.”

Reyna’s jaw dropped, as she glared holes into his profile. “You can’t be serious!”

“Very,” he deadpanned, though his tone was somewhat calmer.

His silvery eyes roamed her freely now, rather than trying to penetrate into her bones.

“Won’t that leave Serena and Justin alone?”

“No,” he answered, leveling her with a stubborn stare. “You’re not going to win this argument, Reyna. There is no way in hell we’re leaving anything to chance, not with those who matter most to us. Now, get over here.”

Reyna scoffed. As if!

“Please,” he added gently.

It took Reyna about ten seconds to reluctantly scoot across the bench seat, still leaving a good arms length between them, because it appeared he wasn’t going anywhere until she did. If he thought she was done with her side of their little compromising barter, though, he was in for a big surprise! She inhaled sharply, when Corbyn hooked his arm around her waist, lifted her, and set her down across his lap. Her feet faced the passenger door, her back cradled in the crook of his left arm still clutching the steering wheel.

Desire unraveled in her veins, starting in her toes and working all of the way up to the roots of her hair. Every inch of her was once again hyper-aware of every inch of him, and she fought hard to keep her composure intact.

“Do you really think distance keeps you safe, falleg?” he asked softly, brushing her ponytail out from between the back of her head and his shoulder.

Fawk…what? “Did you just call me fugly?” she snapped.

“Not even close,” he replied. “Answer the question, Reyna. I’m onto your evasion tactics.”

Well, aren’t we clever? Reyna sulked, because the truth was yes. Distance should keep her safe, dammit, but, she could feel his heart pounding rapidly against her back, belying his calmness, just as he’d shown her the day before.

It made her desire burn brighter, hotter. In the confines of his arms, within the privacy of his truck, Reyna couldn’t lie.

“No,” she whispered.

“Good.” He smiled, pleased. “Now, whatever you do, don’t get any wild ideas about taking advantage of me while I’m driving.”

Goodreads / TBR Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35003050-hearthstone-alpha

 

Author Bio:

A.C. Melody is a hybrid Author of Erotic Romance and its many sub-genres. Confessed javaholic, introverted geeky girl with a twisted sense of humor and a wretched muse.

She has a weakness for hard ass Alphas and the strong women who capture their hearts, without damaging their rough edges. No matter how submissive or demure, her female leads have a core of strength and a willingness to admit their own flaws and evolve, not just demand that of their men.

When it comes to gambling, A.C. admits she’s 100% guilty of placing all her money on the underdogs, anti-heroes, and shameless whores.

Sign up for A.C. Melody’s Author Newsletter today & get exclusive Cover Reveals, Excerpts, Character Interviews/Bios and join in giveaways (She promises not to spam!): http://eepurl.com/cb9D7H

Author Links:

Blog: https://acmelodyblog.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorACMelody?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/a.c.melody/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AC.Melody.77

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B011PTY1PO

 

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Meet The Author: Sara AckerMan -Historical Romance Author #amreading #author #romance

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This month, I’ve lined up two contrasting authors for you to meet. The second is Ms. Sara Ackerman. Sara is an author within a genre I also love to read, historical romance. Ahhh, there’s something about romance set against the backdrop of history that really interests me as a reader. Sara caught my eye over a year ago, when I first joined the world of WordPress and blogging as an author. Sara is not only a talented author she speaks three languages one of which I speak myself!  It was a pleasure to interview her. Let’s get to know her style.. over to you Sara.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello from the Midwest! I come from a small town in Wisconsin where I teach at the secondary level. I’ve been a lover of language for years, and actually speak three languages: English, French and Spanish.  I’m thinking of Mandarin Chinese or Arabic for my next language. In my free time I read, play games with my family and visit friends and family.

Kim: Tres bien! I speak French too. I love languages also. While they are challenging to learn,the satisfaction is unbelievable when you can speak to a native and be understood.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

My day job is teaching. There is a high rate of burnout for teacher’s especially in areas like ESL (what I teach) and other high needs’ jobs. One year I packed up my room and took all my personal belongings home, convinced I wasn’t going to return in the fall. I sat down at the computer that June and just started to write. I wrote for three months and by the time August rolled around, I had finished my first novel and was ready to return to school.

Inspiration comes from universal struggles and themes–the desire for acceptance, self-discovery, love, family. Also, I enjoy exploring  what if questions and the possibilities which can arise from different scenarios.

Kim: Go Sara! Excellent. Here in the UK, the burnout is high also.  I totally understand the problems within the profession. Your inspiration sounds fantastic. I think when we use real life as a base to start to write, our stories can become much more powerful.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

This a toughie. Mary Balogh is indisputably the queen of Regency era historical romance. Her plots, lively characters and poignant twists never fail to leave me wanting more. Yet Julia Quinn has a witty and fast-paced dialogue with sassy, intelligent females who know what they want. Both authors have inspired my own style, though, which is a blend somewhere in between. I tend to have more serious stories with intelligent, headstrong females.

Kim: umm hmm, yes I like headstrong and intelligent. 🙂 I need to look into some of these authors you mention. Thanks for the heads up.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I’m a romance junkie all the way. Life is already stressful enough. Romance novels offer the perfect escape and a guaranteed happy ending. I do stray and will also read YA, fantasy and cozy mysteries, but my one true love is romance.

Kim: Haha, I too am a massive junkie for romance. It’s funny you should mention escapism as for me that’s what the genre offers. When I brainstormed my Romance Set in Paradise series, this is exactly what I’ve kept in mind while writing and creating.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

The Westby Sisters’ trilogy is about 3 sisters who were all cursed at a young age for a horrible lie they told. Each sister has a different curse to bear: Amelia (Little White Lies) can only tell the truth, Evelyn (Silence is Golden) can’t speak to anyone outside her immediate family and Beatrice (Silver Tongued Temptress) tells the truth but no one believes a word she says. Set during the Napoleonic wars, each sister struggles to find herself and overcome her limitations. There’s action and adventure. One reader asked if there were any murders because she enjoyed a little suspense, so yes, there are several murders, too, and of course, romance.

Kim: Oh suspense… yes yes! * claps her hands in excitement* . Can I be cheeky and ask for one of your author review copies so I can read?.. pretty please.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Write what you love. Worry about edits after you’ve finished. If you get stuck, take a break, eat some chocolate and repeat.

Kim: haha I like this tip. I would 100% support the write what you like part, there is a reader out there for every author. No matter your style. Haters will always be there, use them as your motivation to create!

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on the third book in the Westby Sister’s trilogy, Silver Tongued Temptress. My next release is June 7th, Silence is Golden, the second book in the Westby Sister’s trilogy.

Kim: cool, keep us posted over at Meet The Author on any promos that you do. Good luck for 7th June.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

My first book was self-published as a proof of concept, to see if I could do it. When I was getting several hundred downloads a day, then I decided to send it to publishers to see if I could get it professionally published. For me, it’s all about proof of concept. If I can do something I’ve set out to accomplish, then I’ve made it. My standards are all based on personal goals, not on how much money I’ve made or how many awards I’ve won, but on whether or not I can do something I’ve never tried before.

Kim: very refreshing Sara. Many of us do think about the awards, titles and lists that we make. I like your style. I think your approach will keep an author grounded and doing it for the love of writing rather than £ or in your case $.

What’s your favourite movie?

Pride and Prejudice, the Kiera Knightley version. Matthew MacFayden is dreamy. His voice could melt the panties off of a saint.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Scotland. My first book is set in the Highlands. My husband is Scottish (on his mother’s side) and I think men in kilt’s are damned sexy. If I do get there, I’m buying one for the hubs and ‘requesting’ he wear it.

Kim: * cracks up laughing* hmm, totally off the subject but  I love a man in a sharp suit, you can knock me down with a feather every time. * daydreams about Nicholas D’Coix in A Stranger in France.*

 I’ve snapped out of my daydream over hot men in suits or kilts! That’s a wrap. I really enjoyed getting to know Sara and her style a bit better, I hope you did too.  Her books sound great, ideal for a romance lover who loves to read about strong women within a great setting and era. Connect with Sara below:

 Sara’s Book Blurbs:

Little White Lies

Available now from Wild Rose Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Amelia Westby always tells the truth, a terrible curse in a society that values little white lies. When she meets Tavis McGuire, she finds a way to escape the scrutiny of London’s jaded ton. Tavis is passionate and caring, offering Amelia a chance at a new life, but when a dangerous secret threatens to destroy their happiness, Amelia must break her curse or lose the man she loves. After his brother’s death, Tavis McGuire returns from the continent to inherit the Earldom of Stanton, an estate near financial ruin. To save his home and clear his family’s name, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of espionage. When his investigation leads him to a beautiful woman who holds information he needs to catch a traitor, Tavis must decide whether to honor his duty to his country or to follow his heart.

Silence is Golden     

Available June 7th from Wild Rose Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Ever since Evelyn Westby was cursed, she hasn’t been able to speak to anyone outside her family. That hasn’t stopped men from seeking her favor, especially the handsome and eligible Lord Alexander Newgate. But when her sister elopes and her betrothal is then canceled, Evie will do anything to win back her fiancé, even travel to war-torn France to find the gypsy who cursed her.

Alfred Coombes takes his fate into his own hands when he quits his employment to follow the call of adventure. On the road, he meets Lady Evelyn Westby and sees she needs a protector. Sacrificing his own journey, he becomes her guardian. Treacherous weather and a sinister smuggler throw them together, and he must decide whether to continue his journey or take a chance on a new adventure with a captivating beauty.

 

Author site: https://seackerman.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saraeackerman/

Next Month: Something a little different! Another great author stay tuned. If you’re an author and you’d like to feature on Meet The Author contact me here.

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If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here.

Meet The Author: Ms. Ava Sterling – Erotica Author #amreading #amwriting #author

It’s the 25th of the month! That means I have another author for you to meet. This month it’s erotica author Ms. Ava Sterling. Ava caught my eye last year, we started to follow each other’s author site. What made me take note of Ava is 1. her genre, I have so much respect for writers who can comfortably write a good sex scene. Erotica  is my guilty pleasure when it comes to reading. 🙂  and I hate it when people call it “smut” it’s not. As a romance author myself I write the odd sex scene (okay I write a lot). I like to see how others create emotion and sensuality  (which is more along the lines of how I go about writing). I also  like to see how others create  down right dirty red hot scenes! …  Ava ‘s writing is red hot! 2. she is soooo damn productive as a writer. I remember liking one of Ava’s new release posts, then within a few days there was another one. I said to myself didn’t Ava just release one the other day?? Ms. Sterling knocks them out rapidly, I love it.  I  had the pleasure of reading a good few of Ava’s stories. The first time was while at the airport passing time in April.. I was sat in front of my mum, each time she raised her eyes to me from her newspaper I hid my smile and raised my tablet . :). I also got lucky one Saturday night, I decided not to write that night, I wanted to read and escape. In my inbox was one of Ava’s stories just waiting for me. I indulged again.  Ava is very sexy, her scenes are hot, steamy and well written. I as a woman can relate to what I’ve read.  Let’s get to know her style… Ms. Sterling over to you.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Thank you, Kim! It’s great to be on. I’m from the Midwest area of the United States. It’s fairly moderate when it comes to temperature and it can get a little humid in the summer. Other than writing, I enjoy running, watching movies, archery, and reading.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I started writing like a lot of people have, by just jotting down story ideas and wandering into it from there. I get asked a lot whether my stories are based off of my personal experiences, and sure, some of them are. I imagine it would be difficult for writer not to write about his or her personal experiences at least in some way.

Kim: *lifts her eyebrows* okay… hmm. Ya know I’ve never actually created a sex scene based on my own experience- consciously. Or have I??

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I try to read widely. Of course, I read the expected erotica and romance, but I also enjoy fantasy and even some science fiction.

Kim: I really respect paranormal and fantasy stuff, it takes a special kind of creativity to create a whole new world. I like paranormal romance  too.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Oh gosh, everything. It’s an experience publishing your first book, and you never quite go about it the same way, for the better. Probably more accurately, my writing and publishing process changed quite a bit after the first dozen short stories, as it became more systematic and more of a natural process.

Kim: yes, agreed. The first one is like child birth, slow and painful in places.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

My favorite moment as an author is receiving positive feedback about my stories. There’s just something about that moment when someone reaches out and says that they like what you created. It’s a natural high that fuels many authors.

Kim: nods her head * smiles*

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

It might be a boring answer, but not really. Although I do enjoy writing actual, believable plots into my short stories, because they aren’t long, I don’t have to concentrate much on intricate plot threads. I just focus on the characters and how they interact, and it seems to go pretty naturally from there.

Kim: I’m so jealous, NEVER Ava are you sure?? I’m happy for you that you’ve never experienced this.  You have a very good point though,when I wrote A Stranger in France (90,000 words) I almost launched mine right out the kitchen window, a few times LOL.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

They used to trip me up a lot more than they do now. I used to be a prolific comma putter-inner. In other words, I would overuse commas. I’ve gotten better about it over time.

Kim: I’m trapped in between putter-inner and taker-outta. Blah!

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

These days, it seems to be about volume. Quality will always be important, but with so many self published authors cranking out stories and novels so quickly, it seems like an author needs more out there than ever before.

My main advice would be to keep going beyond what is comfortable for you. Continue even when it seems fruitless and you want to stop. My two other tips would be to keep an eye to the market and what sells and to develop a solid social media presence.

Kim: Sounds good to me. Especially encouragement to keep going.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

For me, success would be living comfortably solely on the income of my writing. I don’t need or expect a lot, just being able to pay my bills would be fine with me, but not having a boss breathing down my neck is the ultimate dream. I’m a very independent person, and I would much rather perform for my readers then perform for a boss at a day job.

Kim: Ditto.. day jobs suck when you’re a writer. It’s always nice to be paid for what you love doing.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Ha. This question holds a bit more meaning when asked of an erotica author. I’d love to be cheeky and say that I have performed long hours of research for my books, but really, I just write about either my personal experiences, experiences I wish I’ve had, or experiences I would rather not have because I’m not brave enough but like to explore in a story.

Kim’s reaction: Practical “hands on” research as an Erotica author could be fun. 

 

 

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Right now (today actually!) I’ll be publishing a story about a woman who receives a happy ending from her male massage therapist. It’s my first massage therapy story, and I’m pretty excited about that. My last published story is about a married couple who decide to visit a swinger’s club. It’s their first experience in the swingers world, and of course they’re shy and unsure of themselves. Luckily, they find another couple who takes them under their wing.

Kim: Thanks for the update! Now I’m wondering how much of  what I’ve read, and will read in the future is real??

 Where can we get your books?

I try to put up my books on as many places as possible, such as Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble’s, Apple, Smashwords, etc. That way, it removes all barriers from anyone around the world who wants to read my books. The best place to view a list of my stories is on my website. I also have a grid view for even quicker perusing.

What would you like readers to know?

That I appreciate each and every one of them. It is for them I write, and without them, none of this would be possible.

Kim: aww how nice Ava.

And that’s a wrap, it’s been lovely meeting Ava this month. It’s official I love this woman, her stories and bravery.  I will for sure be reading more.  If you’d like to take a look at this author’s ” toe curling stories” and indulge in a little connect with her below.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ava_Sterling?lang=en

Website: https://avasterlingauthor.wordpress.com/

Amazon profile:  https://www.amazon.com/Ava-Sterling/e/B0109O8U9Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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 Excerpt from House of Pleasure:

Is this for real?” Grace flipped over the gold embossed invitation in her hand, the parchment paper thick and expensive beneath her fingers. Whoever made it must’ve spent a fortune. “A swingers club? Really?”

She eyed her husband curiously, watching as he pulled off his belt. Was he serious? They had mentioned branching out to spice things up and keep their marriage interesting, but this was quite a move without a baby step in-between.

Steve nodded, removing his sports coat. “Yeah.” He took a seat beside her, the mattress dipping down under him. He loosened his tie, pulling it off to toss on the chair by the bed, along with his blazer. “We talked about this.” His voice was melodic, soothing. It was the thing that always pulled her in, lulling her into a state of compliance.

“Yeah, but I didn’t think you’d tell your friends!” Her tone was incredulous, but not upset. To say she was surprised would be an understatement. “Who all knows?” Studying his face, she awaited his reply. Boys and their locker room talk, she thought to herself. Strangely, that thought gave her a little jolt. What all did his friends know about her? When they had visited, did they envision her in all sort of slutty scenarios? Grace wasn’t sure she hated the idea. What would it be like being passed around all his friends?

Jesus, she definitely needed to lay off the erotica.

“Only Pete.” He slipped off his sleek, black shoes next. As an ad executive, Steve dressed his best every day, and she loved watching him peel off each layer of his designer suits. “He told me he had a way to help, then the next day he came to work with that.”

His gaze scanned her expression as he gestured to the invitation still clasped in her hand. “Do you know how hard something like this is to get? We’re going, aren’t we?” His voice lifted like an eager schoolboy. She knew how excited this topic made him; he’d mentioned it every night since it first came up. “Pete tells me it’s the cream of the crop. Serious business. Everyone is vetted, so things are safe. I know how careful you are. Background checks and such. I think they even have guards on duty.”

“I’m guessing we’re having background checks done on us as we speak?” It was smart, though; she had to admit that. There was a sense of security in taking a chance on sexual matters when they were handled by responsible adults.

He moved the hair from her neck, and she shivered. “Probably.”

“So, Masquerade Night, huh?”

She thought about all the variety that offered and the idea of shopping crept into her mind. A lovely new dress. Something sleek and tight, clinging to every curve. Something clandestine had always appealed to her. A mask gave a sense of anonymity and allowed one the excuse to act like someone else, to indulge the parts that were usually kept hidden.

“This coming Friday.” He smiled, trailing the backs of his fingers over her freckled shoulder before pulling down the thin strap of her camisole and placing a kiss there. “I’ll even buy you something new and sexy.” His teeth raked across her skin. “What d’ya say, baby girl?”

Excerpt from Cougar’s Fling.

 

“I hope you took him for all he’s got.” Brenda gestured with a piece of cranberry biscotti, then dunked it daintily into her coffee. “You gave him ten years of your life! The best years in my opinion. The least he can do is shell out alimony.”

Evie’s stomach twisted into a knot, a never-ending Celtic knot by the feel of it. Thirty-five and already divorced. It wasn’t what she had envisioned when she met Richard in college. “Can we stop talking about this, please?” All of it was beginning to give her a headache.

It was enough the divorce papers had just been finalized that morning; she didn’t need the constant reminder of how crap her life had turned. She merely wanted to move on. Richard was the past. Who knew what her future would be–hopefully something better. Younger. Blond with muscles and maybe some tattoos. She smiled to herself.

A bundle of brochures lay in front of her on their small table for two. Traveling, she hoped, would help life make some sense again. A few months abroad just to get a new perspective on things. The problem was, she couldn’t decide on where to go.

“Help me make a decision,” she pleaded with her friend. “You know me, I’m thirty shades of indecisive. I’m the type of girl who spends ten minutes in the front of the freezer section just trying to decide what flavor ice cream to get.”

Brenda sighed, clearly bothered that she wasn’t allowed to bash Richard. That was one of her favorite pastimes. “What are your choices?” Her fingers spread out the various pamphlets as she looked them over.

“Prague, London, Jakarta, Melbourne, and Toronto.”

“Eh, not Toronto. That’s still North America. You want to go somewhere different so it feels more like a vacation.”

  She has a good point, Evie thought.

“London’s nice,” a soft male voice said, drifting from behind them. “I was there last summer. Had a blast.”

Evie turned her head, and her gaze met with one of Richard’s former students. He was young, sporting a baby face and a mop of tousled, brown hair. But she remembered him. Richard used to tutor him at their house during the kid’s senior year. That was two years ago, right when things started to head south.

“Mrs. Leeds, yeah?” the boy asked as he bussed a table near them.

He barely looked the same now. His lanky body had filled out nicely to be lean, taut muscle. The white T-shirt he wore clung to his arms, displaying enough bulk to be muscular, but not beefy. She always had a soft spot for men like that. Runners. Gymnasts. Swimmers. Lithe, agile bodies were incredibly sexy to her.

“Hey…um, I’m sorry.” She shook her head, pulling herself from her thoughts. “I’ve forgotten your name.”

He wore a blue apron, and in the center of it was the logo of the coffee house; she couldn’t make out the name on his placard, however. He smiled the most attractive grin she’d ever seen. It lit up his entire face, causing his eyes to crinkle at the corners. That always made her melt.

“Craig.”

After tossing the discarded cups into a nearby garbage can, he stepped closer to her but stopped short of extending his hand. “It’s really great seeing ya again.”

Brenda chose that moment to clear her throat, announcing her presence. “Who’s your little friend, Evie?” Her voice dripped with curiosity. Evie could only imagine what she was thinking, and it couldn’t have been good.

 

Next month’s author: A little different from the norm let’s just say…  Stay tuned. if you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here.

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Meet The Author: Didi Oviatt- Suspense & Thriller Author #author #amreading

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It’s the 25th so it’s time for meet the author… do you know Didi Oviatt?  I’m excited to feature another author within my own genre. Didi is a suspense and thriller author from the USA.  Her talent is spinning those twists and turns that keep us turning pages. I was really interested  in  getting to know Didi as her environment is so different from mine, I’m a big city girl from London she’s ” a dirt road country girl” from the USA to use her words. This made me think her inspiration for stories could be quite different to mine. What does she cook up within our suspenseful genre?? My mind boggled. I was keen to learn  so I interviewed her. Let’s get to know her style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi Kim, thanks for having me!! I’m a small town, dirt road country girl from the U.S.  Aside from an attempt to make literacy and a great attention span cool again amongst a community of somewhat wrongfully accused rednecks, I like to spend my time outdoors! (doing redneck things like hiking and fishing and riding four wheelers lol)

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

My husband and I went through a difficult patch in life while we were trying to have children. Writing became my process, my way to escape reality in a sense. It helped me to clear my head and focus on something other than medical issues. I wrote a blog post about it a while back, here is a link:

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/transformingpersonaltraumaanddevastationintodriveandasheerwilltosucceed/

Also, I’d always toyed with the idea of writing a book, but it wasn’t until a close friend of mine encouraged me as she was writing one of her own.  I went into the whole writing adventure with the attitude of, “If she can do it I can.”  But then, soon enough, curiosity turned to habit, and habit turned to obsession…  Now, here we are!

Kim: Wow Didi, it is always good when a life changing experience pushes you in a new direction.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

My favorite Author overall is hands down, bar none Colleen Hoover!!! She is a POWERHOUSE writer!  I absolutely love her work. She’s also a pillar of the community, a giver!  I’m proud to be a Cohort (for those fellow Cohort-ers like myself who are actually reading this, you are f**king awesome!) If you are not familiar with Colleen’s work then check out her amazing website, and don’t skip out on the information about The Bookworm Box!!  This woman truly is phenomenal! http://www.colleenhoover.com/

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I actually prefer to read romance, which is funny because when it comes to writing I crave suspenseful plot points and quick paced scenes. It helps me to stay excited and keep my head in the game.

Kim: me too!

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I’ll never forget the first time I picked up my first novel after publication. The only thing I could do is pick it apart!  Since then, I spend triple the amount of time in the editing and revision phases, and I never ever ever go back and read my own work after it’s actually published. As writers we are, always have been, and always will be our own greatest critics! I’ve learned that it’s best to make sure it’s absolutely perfected before sending it off to be published, and then never look back.

Kim: I can relate to that, I never go back now, when I’m done I’m done. Unless someone points out a typo. Then I’m like ” whhhhhhhhat? Who? Where is that bitch what page? I’m going back in”  🙂

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I do have one series in the works. So far I’ve only released the first of three novellas, it’s titled New Age Lamians. It’s a post-apocalypse trilogy with a mythological twist. I plan to release the next two books in this series next year 2018…  In the meantime I’ve been working on another stand alone mystery/thriller that will go out in the fall of this year 2017.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

It’s actually been quite a bit harder than I thought, hence the break lol.  I have the second and third outlined and all of my surprises and plot points in place, but I really struggled keeping my head in the game. I decided that by taking a break from it, I might be able to do the story more justice by going back in with a clean slate and a fresh perspective. It’s easy to let yourself get blinded by over attachment.

Kim: I think you’re right. My first ever idea  I wanted to write in full for a novel I have on ice, and it’s been there since 2015. I’m going to go back into writing it  the end of this year, and put it out next year I think.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Absolutely! Variety IS the spice of life after all. I feel like challenging yourself is necessary to grow as an author. Otherwise it’s easy to slip into repetition. Suspense is most definitely where my talent shines the brightest, (whether it be YA dystopian or mystery/thrillers) but eventually, when I feel I’m seasoned enough, then I’d love to try my hand at a romantic comedy.

Kim: Excellent! Romance with a smile sounds good. I really respect the erotica genre, I keep telling myself I need to be brave enough to try to write one… one day.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

It’s hard to pin down just one. But I would have to say the last few months as a whole has absolutely taken the cake. Before the release of my last book Aggravated Momentum (which came out in Sept. 2016) I lacked enough confidence as an author to really put myself out there. In a way I feel like writing an adult psychological thriller kind of forced me out of my shell and comfort zone. Since I made the decision to really own my work and myself as a writer, I’ve actually started turning heads. Strangers in my community have recognized me in stores and read my work (talk about exciting!) I’ve also been growing my author’s blog and social media platform which is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment!

Kim: Love it, and well done. 

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

YES!!!  haha at least once a every couple of weeks!  I guess that’s what makes it all worth it in the long run though. The fact that it IS a LONG RUN… If writing was easy then everyone would do it. Also, I guess being a girl with an epic temper doesn’t help.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I linger, lost somewhere in between the two. I try to be a planner, but usually come up with something better along the way, so I change my mind constantly.  I’ve never been able to stick to any kind of a plan, like at all.. This applies to every aspect of my life. Writing, date nights, road trips, meals lol… I always start out with every little detail in line, and by the time I dive in all bets are off the table and everything transforms into utter chaos.

Kim: LOL

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Kim, you’re not alone!  haha I loath commas! They’re like the evil stepchild of all punctuation.

Kim: Blah!

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

For me it’s a toss up between definitely vs. defiantly, and then vs. than… So irritating!  It’s like we know what they mean and that we often type them wrong by accident, but we still fail to pay attention when they come up.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

  • If you think your novel has been edited and revised enough, you’re wrong. Do it again.
  • Understand that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and do it right. Even after it’s all said and done, never stop marketing and putting your name out there.
  • All the time. If you want to master your skills, then you need to be an expert. The only way to be the best writer is by reading constantly.

Kim: I agree with all of that. Wonderful tips, thank you Didi.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m so dang excited about my latest and greatest! Search For Maylee is a mystery novel that I intend to release in the fall of this year, so hold your breath!!! Here is a short description:

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her.  It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee?  It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do whatever it takes to either bring Maylee home, or to deliver the justice she deserves.

Kim: it’s on the read list..*wink

So…. where can we get your books?

You can find every one of my books on my Amazon Author’s Page here: amazon.com/author/didioviatt

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

My opinion on this matter is very simple. Humble confidence outshines a boisterous ego anyday! A big ego never helped anyone, with anything, ever…  But a quiet healthy confidence on the other hand, is everything.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Hardly any… To be completely honest, I hate research and I suck at it.  What little bit that’s required, I kind of leave hanging for my editor to “come across” and have to fix lol… Don’t worry though, she’s a friend so it’s fine 😉

Kim: wow! I actually do it all before I give  the MS to my editor. I really enjoy this part.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read every single one, sometimes multiple times. I have very thick skin, and I understand that not everyone has the same taste in books just like they don’t have the same taste in food or movies. To each their own, I rarely get my feelings hurt from reviews… But, I do LEARN from them! You can’t fix your writing if you don’t know what’s wrong with it. Constructive criticism is imperative for writers and it’s a really big deal to take it with a grain of salt. Some reviews help you learn, and some reviews are fantastic and are a HUGE confidence booster! Who doesn’t love to read about how wonderfully talented they are?

What was your hardest scene to write?

Aggravated Momentum has the very first sex scene I’ve ever written. I’m not a shy person by any means, but I wrote it through the eyes of my killer, so it had to be twisted in a more than dirty way. He reflected back on his victims while making his partner do nasty things. It was a very difficult scene, it took me weeks. I felt like it was imperative to the story line, but then again I didn’t want to overdo it, or underdo it either. I may have obsessed over it way more than necessary, but I guess that happens to even the best lol.

Kim:  Good job. I think it is excellent when writers step into the shoes of their characters, no matter how horrible they are. I did the same thing in A Stranger in France, it took me by surprise too how much of a challenge it can be. But when it is done well, it does wonders for a reader’s experience. Think of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, one of ( in my opinion) the best thrillers I’ve read, she does it so so well.

Do you Google yourself?

OFTEN! lol

Kim: 🙂

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed meeting Author Didi Oviatt from the USA. If you are an author and would like to feature on the 25th  contact me here.

Next Month: oh you are in for a treat, May’s author will have your toes curling… literally!

Connect with Didi here:

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/

amazon.com/author/didioviatt

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Who will be June’s Author??- Calling all Authors #author #amwriting

Hello!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful afternoon, (or morning) depending on your time zone. I’ve spent the afternoon in the garden with my three year old son, I wrote a letter to a pen pal overseas and a journal entry  🙂 . I’ve come back  indoors to an inbox full of of Meet The Author responses and queries. I have April and May’s authors lined up nicely for you with interviews, and the low down on what they are up to. I’m VERY excited about them both, I love both genres they write.

Just three days to go until we meet our first author and their books…. who will be the June 25th author??…. will it be you??

Inbox me if you want to take part.meet-the-author