An Interview with Lilli Carlisle

Hey kittens! I’m so glad to welcome author Lilli Carlisle to the Belle today. She’s here telling us all about her upcoming release from Boroughs Publishing Group, Omega’s Choice. It’s the first of an exciting new shifter series, The Black Ridge Wolf Pack.

Omega's Choice Cover

AC: So tell us a little bit about yourself, Lilli.

My name is Lilli Carlisle and I’m the author of ‘Omega’s Choice’ Black Ridge Wolf Pack Series. I live outside Toronto, Canada. I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter, Toronto Romance Writers. I’m a mother of two wonderful girls, wife to an amazing man and servant to the pets in my life. I write both contemporary and paranormal romance and believe love should be celebrated and shared. After all, everybody needs a little romance, excitement, intrigue and passion in their lives.

I’m visiting today to introduce my latest novel ‘Omega’s Choice.’

AC: What inspired you to write Omega’s Choice?

What inspired me to write ‘Omega’s Choice’ was the need to flip the normal alpha and omega roles by introducing a new world in which omegas have all the power. They choose who they mate with and they have the final say in their destiny. Of course the alpha in this book is very dominant but it’s interesting to see the dynamics change and how it all plays out.

AC: That’s a really interesting spin on the shifter trope! I look forward to reading it. You must have learned a lot about storytelling since your first book.

Since publishing my first book I’ve learned that when you type ‘The End’ it’s just the beginning. Thank goodness for my publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, for taking the time to explain everything along the way. One more thing I learned was that the box of rejection letters I have in my basement shouldn’t have discourage me from following my dreams.

AC: I’m sure all us readers are so glad that you didn’t quit! Omega’s Choice sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it! Thanks so much for visiting the blog today. 


In a world in which werewolves, elves, witches and various other paranormal live, laws are essential for their own safety and survival. One law that is strictly enforced is the ‘Omegas Choice’. Born with powers far surpassing one’s imagination, Omegas are protected from those that wish to use their powers for their own gain. Alpha Aldric Forst of the Black Ridge Wolf Pack has come to the Omega Celebration hoping to finally be chosen as mate by an omega but with his many scars he doubts any will choose him. Princess Helena has waited years to choose her Alpha, and Aldric is the man she’s set her sights on. She worries that he will never accept her independent and strong nature but soon finds that they are perfectly matched. All is progressing well during the week-long celebration until the palace is attacked and omegas start to go missing. Now not only do the newly mated couple have a new life to begin but a mystery to solve before Helena and the other omegas powers drained and their lives taken.

https://www.facebook.com/lillicarlisle

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Once Upon a Time: An Interview with C. L. McCollum

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I’m so excited about my guest on The Belle today.  Author and editor C. L. McCollum is going to be talking about her newest endeavor:  Once Upon a Time, A Cliches for a Cause Anthology to benefit RAINN.

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today. 

Hiya! I’m Caitlan aka C.L. McCollum (@C_L_McCollum on Twitter), and I am one of the co-editors and authors for the Clichés for a Cause anthology series. The newest book in the series, ONCE UPON A TIME, was just released on June 19th, and Lexxx has been gracious enough to offer to interview me about the book!

As far as me, I’m a 30-something Texas girl currently living in Austin. I’m a fan of SFF and most of my work tends to fall into that genre with occasional dabbling into magical realism. I also am most comfortable writing in the YA and NA categories. Those age groups just seem to be where my writing fits best.

 

 What is the “Clichés for a Cause” project?

The Clichés for a Cause project is a series of anthologies sponsored by Herding Cats Press with the proceeds from each book in the series going to a different charity. The first book was the brainchild of Mitchell Lehnert, another member of our writing group, but it’s since grown into a full series. There are only two books so far, but we hope to continue to add installments as time goes on.

 

 How did Herding Cats Creative Writing become involved with RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) and why did you choose this particular charity?

We aren’t directly involved/affiliated with www.rainn.org – it was chosen simply because it’s a charity that is close to our hearts. Of the contributors, there are more than one of us who have personally experienced abuse or have family and loved ones who have. I personally hadn’t known RAINN existed during the abusive relationship I was in several years ago, but knowing that there was an organization to help people find their way out of those situations would have been a huge aid at the time. Now, I like to hope that our contributing of the proceeds of this anthology, no matter how much those proceeds actually end up being, might help RAINN to keep providing that aid to those who need it.

 

 Tell us a little about your process as editor of a large anthology like this.

We actually had four editors working together on this anthology: myself and August Clearwing as lead editors, and two associate editors, Gerald Sallier and Elaine Titus who helped with the content/copyediting tasks. We actually had several group sessions where we all signed into the same google doc and all four of us could confer/add comments/point out sections of the story we had questions about. It definitely helped to have four sets of eyes on each story; it made me a lot more confident that we didn’t miss major issues/errors since each of us had completely different grammar/content things that we were really good at catching. We also did several rounds of editing, focusing first on content and then on copyedits, which I think worked well for us. It was still a learning experience, though, so hopefully we’ll be even more thorough and efficient with the next book in the series.

 

 What can readers expect from Once Upon a Time?    

ONCE UPON A TIME contains 15 illustrated re-told fairy tales from 29 different authors and artists. The only rule we gave our authors was that their story must start with the words “Once upon a time…” Beyond that, they could go wild. We have everything from steampunk to sci-fi to contemporary to epic fantasy to satire, and the illustrations from our artists are just as diverse. I really can’t pick a favorite story or image frankly (though admittedly I’m partial to the illustrations for my stories LOL).

 

 Once Upon a Time is a follow up to last year’s It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.  What did you learn about producing an anthology from that experience?

What didn’t we learn from IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT? LOL We’re all incredibly proud of the fact that we got it put together and finished, but there were quite a few hiccups and mistakes along the way. We also definitely got overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things we needed to accomplish. I feel like we had a much better idea of the overall work that goes into putting an anthology together with ONCE UPON A TIME. Even little things like having group editing days planned and scheduled before the actual story due date were a huge help to our sanity.

We learned things from this anthology, too, honestly. I don’t think we’re ever going to have an anthology where we don’t look back and think “OK we could have done that thing better – let’s make a note for the next one.”

 Art seems to be a big part of these anthologies.  Beautiful, original illustrations are featured with each story.  How did you go about bringing together such great visual artists to participate in this project?

Honestly most of it was long-term networking that ended up having amazing side effects. A couple of the artists from DARK & STORMY were friends I’d known for years either in real life or online. When the time came to put together a pool of artists for ONCE UPON A TIME, one of those original artists, Angela Sasser (www.angelasasser.com), asked if she could mention the anthology to a small Facebook group she was part of. We said sure, and the next thing I knew, I had 12 emails in like 15 minutes. I heard over and over again that everyone was 1) a fan of fairy tales and 2) thrilled to get to be involved with a project earning money for RAINN.

It was incredibly humbling to have that kind of support from strangers just rolling in that way. The authors were all at least known to one or more of the Herding Cats folks so no one was a complete unknown, but most of the artists were people I’d never worked or talked with before. With several of them, I’d seen their art before and was a fan, but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable approaching them regarding the anthology. So having Angela step in was just a huge part of how incredible the anthology turned out. She wasn’t able to contribute art to this book which we were all bummed about, but I can’t wait to get to collaborate with her on the next book. So yeah, so, so much thanks to her for that!

 

 Once Upon a Time is available right now!  Tell us where we can get it!!

The physical copy of the anthology is currently available on Amazon here:  http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Time-Charity-Anthology/dp/1514326493/  The eBook will be released within the next week. For more information about Book I: IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT or upcoming anthologies in the Clichés for a Cause series, please visit www.herdcatspress.com or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HerdingCatsPress. Herding Cats Press is also on Twitter: @herdcatspress

NEW RELEASE: Erotic Takeover by Tina Donahue

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CLICK ME to BUY!

Hey kids!  I haven’t featured a new release on The Belle in quite a while, so I thought– what the hell.  And boy did I pick a scorcher this time.  My friend and colleague at Ellora’s Cave, Tina Donahue, has just released her latest, Erotic Takeover.  It’s a story about the curvaceous and beautiful Jodi who is longing for the attention of her boss, sexy photographer Mac.  Take a look at this smoldering excerpt and I promise you’ll want to read more…

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True to his word, Mac didn’t touch her in any inappropriate places while he strolled the aisles, pulling boxes and cans off the shelves, reading the ingredients as if he’d never done anything like this before.

Jodi suspected he hadn’t, finding her life an adventure he’d never had to face. For someone like him, it was a fun challenge to budget money, clip coupons, search for all the specials. At least until it became a bore, which would happen eventually.

Her heart cramped at the thought that this would be their first and last grocery trip together. Never had she wanted him more. He was so damn hot and adorable. Like a little boy with his first puzzle, trying to put all the pieces together.

Bent at the waist, Mac studied the store labels beneath the spaghetti sauces. Each showed the cost-per-ounce comparison between the brands.

Two middle-aged women reached past him for their choices. He apparently didn’t notice.

They stared at his luscious profile then gave Jodi the once over, dismissing her as though she had nothing to do with him. She could read their thoughts in their expressions—a hottie like him surely wouldn’t be with someone like her.

Sighing, Jodi checked the time. They’d been here forty minutes already. Mac looked as though he could go all night at this.

“This one,” he said, tapping the bottle of Prego. “It’s three cents cheaper than the other—wait, I think we have a coupon.” He checked his iPhone and beamed as if he’d just inherited Garner’s. “Fifty cents off. Awesome. I’m adding it to your shopping cart.” He put the Prego in her basket. “Where’s the cheap wine?”

“Why?”

“We can’t have spaghetti without booze. What kind of cook are you?”

Jodi lifted her shoulders, her mind stuck on how he’d said “we”, as though they were a couple…or maybe just friends. That had to be it. Mac had fun when he was with her, just as he would with a guy, with the added bonus of sex.

“You can’t cook?” he finally said then sighed. “Looks as if tonight’s on my shoulders.”

“You’re going to make a meal for us?”

“Sure. How hard can it be? If I hit a problem, I’ll Google it on my phone or call Joe.”

She frowned. “Who’s Joe?”

“The chef at Garner’s. Great guy. He can talk me through anything.”

Jodi laughed. “You do know there are cooking instructions on the packages.”

Mac picked up the box of spaghetti. His eyebrows lifted as he read the directions.

God, he was beautiful when he was clueless. “Do you eat out for every meal?”

“Nope.” He tossed the box back in her cart. “I get delivery or takeout sometimes.”

“You don’t even have coffee at your place?”

“There’s a Starbucks less than a mile away.” He leaned into her and murmured, “That’s why God made them, for guys like me.”

Wow, he really was a virgin at this. Tonight was going to be something.

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Whew… I think I need a Mac in my life.  Here’s a bit more about Tina…

I’m an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Kensington, Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Booktrope, and indie. Yay! Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised my work, and trust me, I’m forever grateful for that. I’ve had my books reach finals in the EPIC competition, one title was named Book of the Year at a review site, and others have won awards in RWA-sponsored contests. I’m actually featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Talk about feeling like a freaking star. Before my writing career, I was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. Outside of being an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, I’ve flown a single-engine plane (scary stuff), rewired an old house using an electricity for dummies book, and have been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally whenever I’m eating anything Mexican or Italian. Yeah, I like to eat (burp).

You can check me out here – yes, I am everywhere!  J

 FB Fanpage: http://on.fb.me/1ChWdD7

Email: tina@tinadonahue.com Website: http://bit.ly/15Xy6LI

Blog: http://bit.ly/1yRB9k9

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1wFmIu6

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ziy4IU

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1Dl8DHy

Triberr: http://bit.ly/1CE2ec7

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1yFLeMx

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1ChWFkO

My page at TRR: http://bit.ly/1vb7eEc

EC Author Page: http://bit.ly/1Dh9wor

Samhain Author Page: http://bit.ly/1Bvw6mL

Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas: http://bit.ly/1ChWN3K

Romance Books 4 US: http://bit.ly/1JPtfeS

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Now, down to brass tacks— Tina’s also hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway.  You can enter to win a whole slew of eBooks (40 eBooks by 30 different authors)!  Just go on over to Tina’s site and enter to win!  http://www.tinadonahue.com/massive-e-book-giveaway-contest/ 

 

Women in Horror Spotlight: Margaret L. Colton

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Today’s Women in Horror Month Spotlight is none other than Margaret L. Colton!  I’ve known Margie for a short while, but in that time I’ve determined two things:  that she’s just awesome in general and that her writing reflects the twisted yet fun-loving voice that we’ve all grown to love.  She’s written stories for the State of Horror series as well as the upcoming anthology from Charon Coin Press, Paying the Ferryman.  She’s also pretty near and dear to my heart because she’s bringing edgy paranormal romance to CCP by co-editing the long-awaited Carpe Noctem: Truly, Madly, Deeply.

What influences your stories?

Story influences are all around me every day.  They manifest themselves usually at the exact wrong time, but then worm their way into my psyche and grow into something that must then come out.  Usually the biggest influences are emotions—the stronger the emotion, the better the story idea.  Often times people who have irritated me or down right angered me make appearances in some form in the stories.  I will see a news story and think wow that person really deserves badness, and then fictional justice is served in a heinous way.  It is great to write horror sometimes!  On the other hand, sometimes the setting is the influence.  Traveling around, seeing amazing places, even tourist traps, really get my creativity going.  What happened in that 100-year-old farmhouse or abandoned hotel?  What is going on behind the scenes of the swanky resort?  I love stories that combine the actual history of a place and twist it into a dark story—just on the edge enough to be plausible, yet fictitious and creative as possible.  Sometimes I really enjoy taking a true history from somewhere and twisting it, placing it somewhere else.

I truly believe that if people just keep an open mind they find inspiration, a plethora of story ideas everywhere in people, places, just everywhere.  Even just talking to people and joking around could lead to a great story idea.  For me, once the inspiration hits, I usually have a scene or character in my head and then just have to let the characters take me where they want to go.  It is like a brain dump obsession.  Of course later editing becomes a nightmare, but once the idea strikes it needs to be lived with, developed and gotten out of my head.

How do you balance writing and the realities of life?

If I had the perfect answer to balancing writing and real life, I would write it, sell it, go on a speaking tour and be fabulously rich! There is no easy answer nor is there an answer that will work for everyone, and I would go as far as to say there is not an answer writers want to hear.  The reality is that people have to eat, have shelter and all those necessities and creature comforts to do that we have to have income and therefore real jobs. It is a myth or dream people have of quitting their jobs, writing the best-selling novel and living off of royalties sipping cocktails in the sun—and really has anyone actually done that ever? Like so many other writers I get obsessed to write and complain constantly there is no time to write, while every day I get up and go to work, come home and make dinner and be a person.  I love my family and friends and they are so important to me, they have to come first.  I will stop writing to play with the baby or listen to the day my daughter had, or lend an ear to a friend in need.  I’m a writer, but I’m a mom, grandma, and friend first.  That being said, I cut out time nearly every day for writing or writing-related activities.  I don’t know how balanced it is but I have to do both the family thing and the writing thing. I feel like it is important to take care of yourself so you can take care of others, which sounds great, but in reality I sacrifice myself more for others, and usually the sacrifice is sleep.  No magic formula for balance, I just try to do the best I can every day.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing or what was the hardest part about writing your story?

The biggest challenge to my writing besides having time—which is a constant—is finding and keeping the voice of the characters. I am not really a plotter, so when the voices are there I have to get them down as soon as I can so I don’t lose them.  I can write out of order, because usually there is a particular scene that calls to me.  Once I have that the rest of the story fits around it—well that sounds much smoother than it is.  Because of the way I write, editing is a must, and of course self-editing is a particular challenge.  It is ironic that as an editor I always dread the editing process.  Don’t we all just want someone to say “Perfection! Don’t change one marvelous word in your masterpiece!” Loll! I’m still waiting to hear that…

About Margaret L. Colton

Margaret L. Colton is an avid history buff, especially in the areas of Medieval Europe, Ancient Greece and American History, she loves all things history. She has been imparting her historical knowledge on her students for the past 12 years, teaching not only historical subjects but psychology as well. She teaches in the same district she graduated from. Even though she has two Master’s degrees in education, the writing community called to her.

Before beginning to write again after many years, she began editing and recently started ML Colton Editorial Services. Currently, she has a short story in State of Horror: New Jersey, North Carolina, Louisiana and others set to be published early next year. Besides dabbling with some short stories, she is the Editor-in-Chief at Charon Coin Press and has anthologies coming out early this year entitled Paying the Ferryman, and Carpe Noctem: Truly, Madly, Deeply.

She has two beautiful daughters and a granddaughter who share her love of books and fun and some amazing friends around her. Even though she lives in Missouri and is a rabid Cardinals fan, she loves to travel to some of her favorite places like New Orleans, Florida and Hawaii.

Margaret L Colton can be reached at:

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

Email: MLColtoneditsvc@gmail.com

Women in Horror Spotlight: J.C. O’Brien

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In my neverending quest for good content on The Belle, I’ve decided to feature some amazing new female writers.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, February is Women in Horror Month.  That might not seem so special until you consider that the horror genre is still largely a man’s world.  In fact, some loathsome internet troll published a rant last week calling female horror writers “hags.”  I don’t think it was intended as a compliment.  As for me, I’ve always seen these types of things as a bit of a double-edged sword.  In the future, I hope to be a “person” who writes horror, not a “woman” who writes horror.  But until then, raising awareness is never a bad idea.  So in that spirit, I’m spotlighting some amazing female horror writers whose work is currently up for grabs in the new State of Horror Series from Charon Coin Press.  Today’s victim:  SoH: Tennessee contributor, J.C. O’Brien!

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What influences your stories?

When I switched to genre fiction, I thought I was leaving the PC crap to write exciting stories. Ironically, shifting my focus to blood and action freed me to create situations that explore how woman are in the world, not how we’d like them to be and what happens when we face the real fears and struggles that come with being born into a particular body.

I want to create a visceral experience for the reader so they feel what my characters are feeling. That means I’ll grab anything — bits of overheard conversation, a smell that only comes out at night, the possibility of loss as my son goes into surgery — and mix it into a story.

Back in the ’80s there was a push to “clean up fairy tales” by stripping out their darker elements (but not the way women were treated). Kids ended up having nightmares. We need the darker side to find our way to balance and stories are a very safe place to explore things we might never do. On the other hand, if someone wants to take me to a bomb range and let me blow stuff up, I’m in.

How do you balance writing and the realities of life?

By getting very no-bullshit about my priorities.  If I don’t write, I’m weird. If I write after a long day of other work, my writing sucks. So I take care of my writing after taking care of the dog.  When I worked a day gig, I wrote on my lunch hour with ear buds in my ears. I wrote a novel in a year that way — lunch hours plus some weekends editing. Train yourself to write when you touch your keyboard. Save Facebook (or other social) for your phone. Once your writing is protected you need to train yourself to turn off and be present for your loved ones and your body. Writing challenges us mentally and physically. Finding exercise that takes me to another place works for me. I’ve belly danced for 18 years. Taking time to move my body to different rhythms has taught me a lot about pacing and structure. In other words however your need to spend your time, you can use it to inform your writing. You can also use your writing as an excuse to interview people, visit dive bars and discuss impolite topics.

Paying attention to loved ones is easier now that my son is a teenager. When he was a toddler, I could blast Middle Eastern music, but a putting a pen to paper or my fingers on a keyboard drove him wild. He’s much happier now that he can bounce story ideas with me. In fact, he’s the one who came up with the title to my story for “State of Horror: Tennessee.”

My husband’s a jazz musician. He gets the need to tend to your art, but the family schedule can be a nightmare since we share a single car. I’d love to tell you there’s a great solution for that one, but I haven’t found it yet.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing or what was the hardest part about writing your story?

Since I like writing violent scenes, I was surprised to find my first draft of “From Love to Dust” was too sweet. I rewrote large sections of it until it creeped my husband out. Then I sent it off.

There’s a fine line between caring enough about a project to take it through the necessary edits and loving it so much that it hides in your computer without ever meeting a reader.

I have two projects waiting for me to get over myself and approach them with the respect, care and expectation I use when editing anyone else’s work. I can be alternately easier and harder on myself than necessary.

A great deal can be learned by reading other people’s work and trying their approach yourself until you get a story you like, but the real game is trusting yourself. You have to believe you can write a story and then you have to believe you can finish it and that strangers will like it and so on. Or you have to find a story that you want to tell so much that the rest of that stuff doesn’t matter and I think that’s the clearer way. That doesn’t mean that the writing and editing will be easier, it just means that you’ll have a guide telling you what to leave in and what to leave out. I still believe the best advice is to write the story you want to read.

Forgive Me Somehow, Danielle Steele

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CLICK ME to buy!

In case there’s someone out there who didn’t know, my big sis, Lucy Blue, is a much better writer than me.  So much better that I’ve let her take over my blog today to talk about her new release, Alpha Romeo.  It’s a scintillating tell-all book written in the style of a Hollywood memoir.  Think about it this way– it’s the book about Angelina Jolie that you’ve always wanted to read.  Lucy herself describes the book as being  throwback to the old Danielle Steele/ Sidney Sheldon days.  Anyway, today she’s taking over to talk about how she came to write Alpha Romeo and why it’s such an important book for her. 

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When I was a teen-ager, my mother’s favorite writer was Danielle Steele.  It was one of the many things we fought about.  “Those books are just garbage,” I would tell her.  “They all have the same stupid, melodramatic plot.  The characters are paper dolls.  They read like the back of a cake mix.  You read Thomas Hardy for fun, for heaven’s sake.  How can you read that crap?”

                As I recall, her defense usually ran along the lines of different strokes for different folks.  But if I’d been particularly obnoxious, she might point out that she couldn’t understand how her beautiful daughter could enjoy “sickness” like Stephen King and Anne Rice, either, but she still loved me.

                As I got older and started writing fiction of my own, she read every word I wrote.  She was what that sicko Stephen King would call my “first reader,” and she praised it all, even the stuff outside her comfort zone, even the stuff I never finished.  She encouraged me every step of the way, and when I sold my first book, a horror opus about vampires, consumptive whores, and Shakespeare, no one could have been more proud.

                Mama’s health was never great, but about ten years ago, she took a definite turn for the worse.  I was in the midst of writing about medieval vampires for Pocket Books.  I actually made my first draft deadline for The Devil’s Knight during a two-week leave of absence I had taken from my day job to take care of her after her second open heart surgery.  I don’t remember ever having the conscious thought to write a “Mama book.”  I was very happy with my vamps.  But right around that same time, reading a tabloid account of a celebrity divorce, I got the idea for Scarlett Cross, a movie star who’s been haunted her whole life by the violent death of her mother.  I started writing about her in first person, a technique I hadn’t used for anything but short stories since college, because that was just how she came out of my head.

                There are no supernatural monsters in Scarlett’s world.  Maybe at that point in my life, the real world seemed a lot scarier than any horror I could think up.  Maybe I lost the knack for believing in fairies and witches and vamps for a while.  I know I made Scarlett a movie star to keep the fantasy, to keep that distance–the same reason, I suspect, that all of Danielle Steele’s heroines in those days were fashion models and lady business magnates and the daughters of Russian nobility.  Those women go through hell, but they look fabulous doing it, and they never have to worry about stuff like money or bad plumbing (at least not after the first fifty pages).  I know for me at that time, the story of an ordinary woman watching her mother waste away was beyond my talent and strength.  But I could write the outlandish trials and tribulations of Scarlett Cross at lightning speed, wallowing in her pain.  I wrote her made-up memoir right alongside my paranormals, hundreds and hundreds of pages of her voice telling the lurid story of her life while my own life as I had always known it fell apart.

                And out of that came my latest book, Alpha Romeo, the story of Scarlett’s first love.  Mama passed away in 2008, years before my notebooks full of Scarlett gelled into anything like an actual book, but sections of that manuscript were the last of my writing she ever read.  “I love this one,” she told me.  “This one is you.  This is the one.”  And while I know my vamps are as much me as Scarlett, and I still think Danielle Steele’s writing kind of sucks, I love this story in a way I’ve never loved anything else I’ve written.  Because I know she would love it, not because her daughter wrote it, but because it’s her kind of book. 

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Our poor mother always wondered how she ended up with two daughters who liked to hide in a fantasy world.  I think it’s safe to say that we are exactly what she made us. Here’s more about the book:

If the tabloids only knew.

Scarlett Cross is the classic Hollywood princess. Daddy is a movie star; Mama was a supermodel murdered when Scarlett was only four years old. Now she’s eighteen pretending to be younger for the sake of her father’s image and starting her own career as the muse of a famous European auteur. But bad boy actor Romeo Kidd is everything she’s ever wanted. He makes her feel safe and loved and wanted for the first time in her life, and she’ll do anything to keep from letting him go.

If Alpha sounds like your kind of book too, you can click the image above and zoom right over to buy it!  It’s also available from Purple Sword Publications and All Romance if you prefer a different format.  They also have nifty-neato excerpts so you can test drive first!! 

Guest Post: How to Bring the Drama, or, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing by Elise Hepner

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Click ME to BUY Furious Temptation!

Hey kids!  Today I welcome an amazing author, Elise Hepner, to the blog today.  She’s talkin’ ’bout drama– one of my personal favorite subjects– AND telling us all about her new release, Furious Temptation.

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So, sometimes I have these days—these days where I’m watching some drama play out on my TV and wondering how in the hell someone made that believable. Because in the era of Reality TV, Twilight angst, and NA Billionaire Bonkfests with extra emotional vulnerability and a side of trauma, I never know how much drama to bring to the table or whether it’s going to be too much because it’s so cheesy I could put it in a fondue pot and call it dinner. How does an author toe the line or is there even a line anymore? How does an author paint drama on so thick, but it doesn’t feel like it’s too much, like it’s fake?

These are the questions constantly spiraling through my head.

Do my hero’s and heroine’s have issues, of course, what would be a good backstory without a little bit of pain. But somewhere along the writing road someone decided that it wasn’t good enough to come from a broken home with commitment issues now it’s a drama free for all where emotional wounds are flung around like paintballs. Who’s got the bigger therapist bills is the question of the year. And I don’t think I’m ready to play in that league—at least not while making it believable and not laughter worthy.

So what hope is there for me when alphaholes push the envelope and heroine’s cry every five paragraphs ripping off their emotional bandages to let their pain bleed off the page?

I’ll be over here with my whips, my chains, and my riding crop working out my emotional pain the old fashioned way. With not a lot of talk, but a whole lot of moaning in the dungeon, letting the subspace override reality in a nice, white blankness.

Let me know if you’d like to join the movement. Billionaires need not apply.

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Blurb from Furious Temptation by Elise Hepner

For millennia Megaera, a Fury, has functioned as Hades right hand by passing judgment on demons who break the sacred laws. Stalwart in her  moral compass, but harboring a curse triggered by rage, she walks a thin line between perfection and destruction. But when she digs into a case  uncovering a string of demon rapes, she incites a war with Mount Olympus that could ripple chaos throughout the ages.

Omen Cole was demon made during the Civil War after repeated torture at the hands of his enemies.  Sentenced to an eternity as watchdog over  his emotionally frail, once human ex-wife, he’s haunted that he couldn’t save her from a brutal assault.

    Now it’s happened again. And Megaera needs his testimony. Omen will sell his body—and anything else—to avenge his fragile ex-wife. If that means  an alliance with Megaera, he’ll make it the most memorable of their eternity.

         About Elise….

Elise Hepner lives with her husband and two eccentric cats in Maryland. She spends the majority of her free time in her basement office concocting smutty characters and sinful situations that leaves readers satisfied. When not writing, she researches everything from automatons in the 18th century to gladiatorial rules in Ancient Rome. She prides herself on being an avid information hound as well as a blog reading addict–which is her favorite way to procrastinate. Her previous publications include books and stories with Entangled, Excessica, Xcite, Ellora’s Cave, Secret Cravings Publishing and Cleis Press.

         Author and Buy Links (the best part!)…

Buy it at Secret Cravings!  http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/bmz_cache/8/8e8570dd0a232f3c9bc2ac10dce9bde8.image.366×550.jpg

Website: http://www.elisehepner.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EHepner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elise-Hepner-Writing/311925106401