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.

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Top 5 James Bond Movies

cropped-naked_home1.jpgI always describe my new sci-fi romance, NAKED, as James Bond with vampires, werewolves, and librarians. That’s because the protagonist, Cage St. John, is a slightly angrier version of 007. At least, that’s how he was intended. He’s a genetically altered super-spy that’s on the outs with MI6 (or SIS if you prefer) when he meets Phoe the librarian who needs his help to rescue her sister. Why did I want to write a book like that? Because I’ve been obsessed with James Bond movies my whole life. The gadgets, the double-crossing, the witty English banter– these are the elements I’ve tried to incorporate into my own spy thriller romance. So which Bond movies are my favorites? I’ve compiled a list for your weekend binge-watching pleasure!

#5– Never Say Never Again: This Bond film is one of the first I ever saw, which is probably not a shining testament to my supervision as a child. It stars Sean Connery as Bond for the final time and is regarded by many as not being an “actual” Bond film. It wasn’t produced by Eon Productions and while it’s a remake of Thunderball, it’s almost a comedy. I mean, an aging James Bond in a health spa with sadomasochistic nurses?! WTF?! But I do love it.

#4– Spectre: Two words: Andrew. Scott. If you know anything about me at all, you know
I’m a Sherlock fangirl. Andrew Scott became famous playing the creepily sexy and evil James Moriarty to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. In Spectre he plays Max Denbigh, a slimy little pencil pusher that wants to turn MI6 into a global spy organization called “9 Eyes (I wonder if it’s supposed to sound like a Chinese triad gang)” and shut down the “outdated” 00 program. There’s lots of twists and turns and Christoph Waltz as the villain Blofield is just amazing.

#3– Goldeneye: The first outing of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond (my 2nd favorite Bond btw). I particularly love this one because it addresses the issue of “what does 007 do now that there are no more Russians to fight in post- Cold War Europe?” It has probably the smartest Bond girl sidekick in Izabella Scorupco’s Natalya Simonova. She’s a computer genius and an ordinary girl who steps up to the plate to do what’s necessary. She’s a great partner for Bond. This movie also exposed the world to the amazing Alan Cumming as the annoying hacker/programmer stoolie, Boris Grishenko.

#2– Skyfall: Now, Daniel Craig is not my favorite Bond. He’s okay, but he lacks the refinement that I feel is necessary. That being said, Cage St. John is probably the most like Craig’s Bond than any of the others. But this movie is AMAZING. The mystery focuses on Bond, which is something that I’d never seen in a Bond movie before that. Skyfall has two other things going for it– Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem. Who doesn’t love Judi Dench? She began playing M, a traditionally male role, with Goldeneye and continued through Skyfall. Her tough love approach with Bond is one of the things that offered these movies, which have the potential to be very shallow and misogynistic, a wonderful depth, taking them from good spy stories to great movies. And Javier Bardem is probably the scariest Bond villain I’ve ever seen as Raoul Silva. Bond villains have a tendency to be very “muahaha!” (see Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger), but Bardem plays Silva as a complete psychopath that is driven to insanity by what he perceives as M’s betrayal.

#1– A View to a Kill: Go ahead, make fun of me. This Bond movie may as well be called “Bond Does The 80s.” But it is my absolute favorite. Probably because it was the first one I ever saw in the movie theater. But it is completely a product of it’s time from the theme by Duran Duran to Shannon Tweed’s wardrobe. And then of course, Christopher Walken as Max Zorin. They even cast Grace Jones as Zorin’s lover, May Day. This one is probably the most blatantly sci-fi Bond of the series. It’s all about genetic manipulation to create supermen (this may explain a lot about the Phoenix Rising series…). Zorin is a super-genius and May Day has super-human strength. The master plan is also about flooding Silicon Valley to force the computer industry into business with Zorin (kind of like Derek Machine letting Others in to force the human population to his colonies… just sayin’). And at the time at which View was made, computers had just exploded into the mainstream and everyone thought they were magic.

So there you have it. The best Bond movies, IMHO anyway. So AFTER you get your copy of NAKED, curl up on the couch with your sweetie or your cat and have a little marathon.

New Release: Naked (Phoenix Rising #1)

Happy weekend! So I can finally say that the “Cage book” is now free in the wild. Though I really hope it isn’t going to be overshadowed by April the Giraffe FINALLY giving birth. On this momentous occasion, I thought I’d post a little excerpt and then compel you (in the words of John Hartness) to BUY MY SHIT! Seriously, though. I’m so excited for you guys to read this book. It’s been fighting its way to publication for more than four years now and to finally see the light of day— that’s so special. So here. Enjoy!!

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“Hey…” she sighed, taking the curve of his jaw in the palm of her hand and raising his eyes to meet hers. “I’m okay. You saved my life. For like… the millionth time.” He didn’t move, so she didn’t pull away, finally able to observe him. His jaw was set, tense as he stared at her with those dusky, changeable eyes. But Phoe could feel a tremble there. A fear lurking underneath that she would never have expected a man like Cage to possess. “I’m fine.”

“And what in hell were you doing?” he said, snapping his head up to glare at her. “I told you to run away and you did exactly the opposite of what I said! You could have been killed! Or worse, bitten! You just… you don’t understand, Phoe. I’m supposed to protect you, and I didn’t protect you. I can’t lose another…” His words trailed off. She could tell he wanted to say more but wouldn’t. She held his gaze, but he looked away, as if he were hiding some weakness he couldn’t stand for her to see. There was some trauma lurking there.

“What are you talking about?” she said. “Help me understand.”

“I can’t,” he said, pulling back and shaking his head as if to clear it. “I won’t.”

“But why…”

He rolled back on his heels and rose quickly, his shoulder brushing against the bedside table and nearly toppling the glass of tea, an uncharacteristically clumsy movement. “Just leave it alone, Phoe. My demons are my own.” The weakness was gone, and now that hard-edged, barely contained anger returned. She knew if she pressed him that he would lash out. She was starting to understand, to be able to read his moods that had seemed so random and mysterious when they’d first met. There was a scab, healed over but still burning. “Rest up,” he said, turning to walk away. “We’ll leave at sunset.”


So wanna read more? I thought you might. *whispers* It gets sexier from there… Anyway, here’s where you can find it–

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Phoenix-Rising-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071CRSKV2/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1492262731&sr=1-3&keywords=naked

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/718364

Boroughs Publishing Group: http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/naked

Others will be added soon (print, Kobo, iBooks, etc.)

Spy-Craft, or How I Got On a Watchlist

books-read-literature-bookshelf-161877The Phoenix Rising series is a supernatural spy thriller with a romantic thread. It follows the adventures of Macijah “Cage” St. John and his plucky partner and librarian, Phoebe Addison. Think James Bond meets Romancing the Stone… with vampires and zombies.

I’ve always been a lover of spy novels and movies. I think the first movie I was ever just crazy about was A View to a Kill, the quintessential 80s Bond film (Fun fact: Cage St. John is named after Bond’s alias in that movie— James St. John Smythe!). So I’ve always wanted to write a book that had an Ian Fleming, espionage-y feel to it. The only problem is, you have to know stuff to make it authentic. And trust me, anyone who has ever met me knows that I’m not cut out to be a spy. I’m loud, clumsy, and I giggle too easily when I lie. So needless to say I had to do some research. And boy was it interesting. Both for me and The Powers That Be watching my internet usage at work. So here are some sites I found…

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espionage

Wikipedia is always good for a few hours of procrastination. You can follow links there forever. BUT, make sure you check them out before taking their words as gospel. Use those footnotes!!

MI:5/ MI:6 (SIS now) Websites:

https://www.mi5.gov.uk/espionage

https://www.sis.gov.uk/

These sites are particularly useful in my case just because Cage is former MI6 (now called SIS). It helped understand their protocols and the language.

MI6: The Home of James Bond 007: https://www.mi6-hq.com/

Your source for all things James Bond. This site is just fun if you’re a fan of the Bond universe. Plus it has links to great source material.

Spywriter: http://www.spywriter.com/terms.html

Spy novelist Jack King has compiled a list of espionage terms on his website that proved most useful.

Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/intel-glossary-2014-7

I was surprised to find this little gem on the interwebs, but the article is actually quite good.

These are just a few of the sites and articles online that I used (we won’t even talk about all the stuff about different types of guns and the physics of firing a bullet), but there are tons. So even if you aren’t a writer, you can sound really cool on your next date…

 

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CLICK to PREORDER!

COMING APRIL 2017— NAKED, Phoenix Rising #1

Following a brutal act of vengeance, MI:6 agent Macijah St. John is left grieving for his slaughtered family and agrees to participate in a secret government experiment that gives him a magnificent and terrible power.  Now he’s a mercenary spy that solves problems for the right price.  His latest job puts him in the path of the greatest catastrophe yet—a librarian.

Phoebe Addison’s life is a disaster. Crippling debt, a non-existent social life, and being the town librarian is hardly the glamorous existence she’d always dreamed of. But when her sister Jessica, an interplanetary archeologist, gets herself involved with a psychotic billionaire bent on world domination, Phoe is about to get more excitement than she bargained for.

#COVERREVEAL: NAKED, Phoenix Rising 1

ICYMI, this winter I became part of the #BoroughsPublishingGroup family! After so many years of trying desperately to find a home for my paranormal espionage series, Phoenix Rising, the folks at Boroughs decided to give it a chance! I’m oh-so-excited for you guys to meet shapeshifting superspy Cage St. John and his partner and librarian Phoebe Addison. This book is a cross-genre adventure that combines elements of romance, suspense, espionage, and the paranormal. I’ve described it as James Bond meets Romancing the Stone… with vampires.  And zombies. And dragons.  You just have to read it to believe it!

Following a brutal act of vengeance, MI:6 agent Macijah St. John is left grieving for his slaughtered family and agrees to participate in a secret government experiment that gives him a magnificent and terrible power.  Now he’s a mercenary spy that solves problems for the right price.  His latest job puts him in the path of the greatest catastrophe yet—a librarian.

 Phoebe Addison’s life is a disaster. Crippling debt, a non-existent social life, and being the town librarian is hardly the glamorous existence she’d always dreamed of. But when her sister Jessica, an interplanetary archeologist, gets herself involved with a psychotic billionaire bent on world domination, Phoe is about to get more excitement than she bargained for. They’re on the run with no one but each other. Totally NAKED.

COMING TO AN ONLINE BOOKSELLER NEAR YOU ON APRIL 13, 2017!! Pre-order it 3/3o!!

 

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Available on 4-13-17!!

NC-17 Excerpt: Huntress

So my latest novel, Huntress, is #FREE this week on #Amazon. It’s kind of timely actually because the media giant unleashed their newest #Kindle device this week, the #KindleVoyage. At only $199 it does almost exactly what your Fire does, but better. I guess. Anyway, we over at the Little Red Hen Romance Coop aka The Love Shack (Tin roof rusted, y’all!) decided to give our darlings some treats to fill up their new, ridiculously expensive devices! In celebration of that, I thought I’d put up a tasty little excerpt from Huntress just for you! If you like it, go download it— it’s FREE!

CAUTION:  The following excerpt is NC-17 and NSFW!!!

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Thalia brushed a gentle hand through his hair, smoothing it back from his pale brow. He stirred a bit but did not wake. She didn’t want to wake him, but the thought of his arms around her again was just too inviting. Leaning closer, she pressed her lips to his forehead and lingered a moment. She loved the taste of his skin. Thalia smiled when he still didn’t wake and began planting kisses along the arch of his neck and down the slope of his shoulder. He growled and rolled to his back, nearly hitting her with his elbow. The muscles along his side were a glorious configuration of living flesh. She couldn’t help but touch him, tracing the lines and trilling her fingertips over each rib. Examining his body this way only made her want to explore further.

Slowly Thalia kissed her way across his chest, pausing to roll her tongue around each flat, dark nipple until it beaded between her lips. With a sneaky glance, she noticed that he was still not awake, though he made a soft, growling sound as she nipped at his skin. “Are you awake, my lord?” she whispered as her lips fluttered across the line of hair below his navel. He only responded with a stretch that allowed the coverlet to slip down, exposing his belly all the way to where the soft line of hair became coarse and wild, just at the base of his cock. She chewed at her lower lip, wondering if she might dare to pull the covers away. Thalia sat up and crawled over him, straddling his thighs then sitting back on his knees. He made no move to stop her, so she slowly pulled at the fabric until he was fully exposed. Her mouth watered. She had been so enthralled with the new sensations he’d wrought upon her last night that she hadn’t really seen him until now.

Bending close, she examined his manhood. Such delicate construction for so crude a purpose. She watched as her breath against it caused a slight twitch that became more noticeable as the ends of her hair swept along the insides of his thighs. Then a single, tentative kiss. The skin was so smooth and Thalia was fascinated by the pulse of blood rushing toward the warmth of her lips. It made her want to kiss him again and again, feeling his sex come to life, waking even as he slept. Finally, she couldn’t help herself and took his cock into her mouth. The size of it was a little overwhelming, and she pulled back, swirling her tongue around the length. When she reached the tip she nibbled lightly and rubbed her tongue against it, collecting the tiny drops of liquid that had already collected there. The flavor had a smoky, bittersweetness that only made her crave it more. Before long, she was devouring him, taking as much of his manhood into her mouth as she could. She wanted to pleasure him as he had pleasured her.

GUEST POST: 5 Tips for Writing a Humorous Novel with Karina Fabian

NeetaLyffe_ILeftMyBrainsinSanFrancisco_audio_MEDWith all this talk of horror and mayhem lately, I thought it might be nice to feature an author who not only knows her way around a horror novel, but can also make us DIE laughing.  Get it… DIE laughing?  Ahem… anyway, here today at The Belle, author Karina Fabian is going to be educating us on the art of comedy as featured in her new audiobook release, I Left My Brains in San Francisco.  So without further ado…


I’ve always enjoyed being silly. I fell in love while trading puns with a new friend who is now my husband of nearly 25 years. At work, I’ve been known to put our skeleton in funny places, like the bathroom stall for “private time.” When I was asked to write a zombie story, I got into a silly mood, and the story, “Wokking Dead,” ended up being more an apocalypse of puns than undead. However Neeta Lyffe (say it out loud) was a character of such character that my publisher asked me to writer her in a novel. Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator won awards, and now I’ve written the second, I Left My Brains in San Francisco, which comes out in audiobook this month.

Not everyone can write funny stories, nor does everyone want to. But if you’d like to try to make someone graffaw in a library or snort soda out their nose while reading in a cafe, here are some tips:

  1. Make Yourself Laugh. I mean it. If you don’t enjoy your own jokes, why bother writing them? You should laugh when you read your own work. If it’s not funny to you, how can it be funny to anyone else?
  2. Keep your pacing. Just like a comedian needs to pace his punchline, you need to pace the humor of your story. Be sure you set up the joke but don’t overstate it. Get the punch line in and give the reader a chance to laugh. Hit them with a surprise.
  3. A novel is not a series of jokes. It’s a story. Just like no novel is all dialogue or all long descriptions of the scene, a humorous novel is not all slapstick and comedy. In fact, properly placed seriousness can make the jokes all the better. My funniest novels have serious things happen in them. Sometimes, they are quiet moments to let the characters (and the reader) catch their breaths. Sometimes, they are the tragic consequences of what was a humorous scene. Other times, they are touching moments or intense action. You might say it’s a yin-yang kind of thing, but it adds depth and complexity, which makes a better novel all around.
  4. Don’t force the humor. Sometimes, all the machinations in the world will not let a joke go through in a novel, even when it seemed so funny in your head. Cut it the way you would a bad description or laborious dialogue. Also, be careful that your humor, especially political/social/religious humor, doesn’t cross the line to insult (unless that’s what you’re going for, but then be prepared for it to not be so funny after all.)
  5. Don’t expect everyone to get all your jokes. I’ve had critiquers who did not understand my humor. I’ve had editors try to fix the manuscript by changing punch lines (or punch scenes) to funny pieces they did not get. Even “Neeta Lyffe,” which I thought was a pretty obvious pun, has to be explained sometimes. (And pronounced. It’s like Need-a-Life, not Need a Lift.) Having said that, if too many of your beta readers don’t get the joke, then you should rethink it.

Laughter has been shown to reduce tension, exercise the cardiovascular system, and encourage a more positive outlook. Writing funny stories promotes good health! (Or so I tell myself when I skip the gym to write.) The great thing is, you get to share the benefits with others. So go write funny! And if your funny bone needs a workout, consider I Left My Brains in San Francisco. It’s even in audio, so you can listen to it while you run!


About I Left My Brains in San Francisco

Zombie problem? Call Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator–but not this weekend.

On vacation at an exterminator’s convention, she’s looking to relax, have fun, and enjoy a little romance. Too bad the zombies have a different idea. When they rise from their watery graves to take over the City by the Bay, it looks like it’ll be a working vacation after all.

 Enjoy the thrill of re-kill with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.

Excerpt:

Survival Hardware hadn’t seen such a rush of customers since the last Armageddon prediction coincided with Black Friday.

Manager Clint Sanders rubbed his hands with glee. Oh, Marley, if only you hadn’t gotten drunk and decided to go zombie hunting. Was it only last Christmas?

He hurried to Customer Service, crafting an announcement in his mind.  “You want to live!  We want to live!  That’s why you are going to file calmly to the back if you need a suit.”

Yeah.  Sense of urgency, plus that “We’re in this together” crap.

He got to the counter and nodded at Bitsy, who had rung up a chainsaw and a half-crate of bleach.

God bless survivors. Clint continued to the back.  Out of habit, he checked the exit door, even though it was always locked from the outside.  He needed to delete Marley’s old code from it.

He cleared his throat.  “Listen up!  You want to live!  We want to live!”

The exit door clicked.

“That’s impossible!” he declared.  The store fell silent.

“Boss?” Bitsy’s voice ended in a squeak.

“That’s not what I meant!  Security team to customer service!”

He reached under the counter for a shotgun.  Bitsy grabbed the chainsaw.  They had filled them that morning—another example of the excellent service at Survival Hardware.

The door swung open, and the zombiefied remains of his late business partner, Marley, staggered through.

Clint to blasted him with the shotgun.  The impact knocked the Marley out the door.

Clint used the gunsight to scan the parking lot.  “He brought friends!  Call Nine-One-One.  I’m putting this place on shutdown.”

“Screw that!  I’ve been prepping all my life for this!”  With a howl of challenge, Bitsy dashed out the door.  She swung low and decapitated her former boss before moving on.

Thundering footsteps signaled the customers following in her wake.

He gaped at the carnage while Dirk called 9-1-1.  It’d be too late by the time they got there.  All that’d be left was to clean up the zombie parts and get the customers back in to pay.

God bless survivors.

Find I Left My Brains in San Francisco (also available in audio) HERE:

Damnation Books: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727643

Amazon: http://amzn.to/Nzm01L (paper) http://amzn.to/OBBmkL (Kindle)

More about it at http://zombiedeathextreme.com


About Karina Fabian:

Winner of the Global eBook Award for Best Horror (Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator), Karina Fabian’s writing takes quirky karinachainsaw2tales that keep her–and her fans–amused. Zombie exterminators to snarky dragons, things get a little silly in her brain. When she’s not pretending to be an insane psychic or a politically correct corpsicle for a story, she writes product reviews for TopTenReviews.com and takes care of her husband, four kids and two dogs. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.

Website: http://fabianspace.com, http://zombiedeathextreme.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karina.fabian

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/KarinaFabian

Google +:  https://plus.google.com/103660024891826015212

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10981939-karina-fabian