Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Blogger: Heather Thurmeier

Hello, everyone! I've got Heather Thurmeier with me today, and she's sharing a bit about her writing process. Read, enjoy, and be sure to check out her latest release, Love and Lattes at Silver Publishing or Amazon.com!

Writing in the Right Space

Every writer has a spot they call their office. For some, I bet they even have an actual office. LOL! I can’t say I’m one of those people. I wish!

Or do I?

My writing space consists for the most part of my couch. Yep. Not glamorous. Not fancy. Definitely not conducive to long-term use. But it’s all I have for now. We don’t have the space in our current home to have the office I truly want, so I make due with what I have. And quite honestly, my current set up works for me.

The way my life is scheduled right now, I do some of my writing while my kids are at school and the rest when they’re home and otherwise occupied by playing, sleeping and watching movies. So being able to plunk my butt on the couch at any given time and grab my laptop so I can write a few lines just seems to work for me. Sometimes, I even get wild and crazy and move to the kitchen table. Ohhh, mixing it up…

Now if I could have any writing space I wanted, it wouldn’t be my couch or my kitchen table. It would be one of those beautiful octagon shaped sunrooms with windows on a bunch of sides. And those windows would look out to somewhere stunning—a lake, some mountains, a desert with lots of cool cactuses…OMG, a beach! Basically I’d be happy with any view that is an actual view. I don’t want to see a bunch of concrete or someone else’s garbage on the curb for pickup.

In my office, I’d have a little desk, a comfortable chair with good back support, an oversized chair for times when I just want to read and a little couch. Oh, and a keurig coffee machine since I can live without my coffee. And a treat machine that dispenses a variety of yummy snacks throughout the day. And…

What’s your idea of the perfect writing space?

Thank you, Heather, for having me here today!

Happy Reading!

Heather Thurmeier
~Heart, humor and a happily ever after

Blurb: Love and Lattes

Chase Bloom wants the one thing his wealth can't buy--a woman who loves him for who he really is and not just his money. Not only is Julia Walker beautiful, funny, and so incredibly sexy, she's also the first girl who doesn't seem to know who Chase is. Finally, after two years of playing the field Chase gets a chance to date a girl who's interested in him, not his status. As Julia waits at the bar in one of the local clubs, she wonders how much more cleavage she'll have to show to be granted a drink by a bartender with blinders on. Just when she thinks she's bound to die of thirst, the man of her dreams steps up to the bar and into her heart with a frosty Cosmo. Their casual encounter at the bar quickly escalates into an intimate encounter in the bedroom.

When Julia runs into Chase on her first day of work she's excited to finally see him again—until she learns he's her new boss. Now Julia must stop fantasizing about him even though her mind is constantly remembering his hands on her body, his lips on her eager flesh. But her fantasies fizzle when both Julia's first customer and her new manager threaten her to stay away from the boss. Chase is a player and Julia is his new toy. Should Julia heed the threats about Chase or is a chance to fall in love worth the risk?

LOVE AND LATTES is available now!
Facebook: Heather Thurmeier, author
Twitter: @hthurmeier

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Guest Blogger: Nicki J Markus

Hey, folks! I've got Nicki J. Markus with me today, discussing the perks of the ebook market. Check it out!

When there are just too many books!

With the boom of e-publishing, the number of books out there has increased dramatically. There were already a lot to begin with, but now there is even more choice. With so many options, how does a reader decide what to try and what to leave?

I go by word of mouth a lot. If I am talking to a friend (online or in real life) and they mention a good book, I’ll be sure to at least look into it. Other times an eye-catching cover will draw my attention. Yes, I know one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes they are so pretty.... If the cover captures my interest, I’ll read the blurb. I rarely buy straight away (not least as I know I’ll get it cheaper online), but I jot down the name and will look it up further, read reviews etc

Since joining Blogger earlier this year, I have found yet another source for reviews and recommendations. I’ve already picked up a few books that way, including winning some in blog give-aways – books I might not have come across otherwise but have ended up enjoying. Don’t even start me on NetGalley and the shiny books that I just can’t seem to resist! Yes, thanks to blogging my ‘tbr’ list now sits permanently around 20-30, whereas I used to only have 1 or 2 waiting at a time.

I think e-publishing is a huge help to readers in many ways. With big name, popular authors, I still buy paperback as the prices for paperback and e-book are usually pretty similar, but e-books have become a great way for me to try new and upcoming authors. These books are usually pretty cheap and you can try the author’s work without committing to the expense of a paperback. I rarely bought a paperback book by a new author before unless I had been given a particular recommendation, but now I feel that I can explore and sample things a bit more.

A case in point would be the Regency Draculia novels by Colleen Gleason that I was lucky enough to review via NetGalley. I had not heard of the author and might not have bought these off the shelf, but getting to read them as e-books, I was able to discover a great new author. I liked these books so much that I do plan to get them in paperback now and I will look at some of the author’s other releases too.

Of course, there are still too many books out there to ever read them all, but now there are plenty of great ways to try as many as possible!

What do you think? Have your reading habits been changed at all by the e-book revolution?

Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her fiancé. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist. She launched her writing career in 2010 and has so far had manuscripts accepted for e-book publication by both Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing. To find out more about her and her writing, visit her website/blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com/

Also, be sure to check out Nicki's latest release, Day-Walker! It's got one sexy cover, am I right?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest Blogger: Xavier Axelson

Hello, everyone!

First off: God bless America!

Second off: Please welcome author of The Incident, Xavier Axelson, to my blog today. He's here to discuss his inspiration for the story, which involves a certain underage drinking experience I'm sure most people can relate to. ;)

The Incident and the Echo
By Xavier Axelson

Since my latest novella “The Incident” was released last month, I have done a series of interviews. I’ve been asked more than once what inspired The Incident. As a part-time reporter and interviewer, I’ve learned that there is often a story beyond the surface answer that someone gives in an interview. I began to wonder what the answer behind the answer was. After answering the question a few times, I found myself rethinking what it was that inspired the story of a small town cop who is facing a dreary future unless he can find the strength to forgive himself and thus, make room in his life for love.

It was while on a walk that I began to mull the question over in my head and realized that the answer was an echo from the past. While I wrote the story of Michael Carmac and his partner, Bertram Angel, I found that it wasn’t just a story about them, but a story about a town and the way that town responds to their police force. I grew up in a very small town on the east coast. The police were almost like mythical entities that attached themselves to events and became part of the mythology of the town. I don’t know how many times growing up that I would hear, “which cop showed up? Oh it was Carmac and Angel?” or, “Then Angel showed up and shut the party down,” and, “Hey, you hear that Carmac shot that kid?” (Obviously, I am using my characters to illustrate a point.) But you get the idea. We interacted with the officers as if they were part of the family. We all knew Angel, Carmac, Fitzgerald and the rest and even addressed them by their last names to their faces.

In The Incident, Michael confronts his frustration about the public calling officers by their last names; he hates it, while Angel finds it’s welcoming. I don’t know how the cops in my town felt about being called by their last names but I do know that I never felt uncomfortable around the police station. The cops knew everyone in town and we knew them. It was not uncommon to have the cops show up at a family party and hang out. We had big parties. There was even a priest who drove around in a cop car and used to scare the shit out of people by turning on the sirens, I’ll have to ask my mother why he was allowed to do this, I’m sure there was a good reason. There is always a good reason in a small town for such behavior.

I remember an “incident” where I was at a friend’s house and there was a party going on, we were all drinking and way under age. This person’s mother was there, (we all called her Ma) and she drank with us. Well, the cops were called. Everyone scattered after hearing incoherent shouts of, “shit, its Angel and Carmac!” Not, “shit, it’s the cops!” I remember diving into the bottom bunk of my friends bunk beds with some girl while people stood in front of the bed, why I thought I wouldn’t be found there I had no idea. My parents of course, thought I was somewhere else and had no idea I was drunk at this party. I think I may have been 14 and that’s being generous. The cops made everyone leave which included the crowd standing in front of the bed. I will never forget the cop leaning down and looking right at me and saying, “that you Axelson? Get the hell outta that bed!”

Boy did I! The next thing I remember was jumping into the back of a girl’s older boyfriend’s car (a girl I hated) and being dropped off at my house. Nothing sobers you up like a run in with the cops, especially in a small town where news travels faster than light.

Did my parents already know? The lights were all on in the house. Do I just walk in like nothing happened?

I told my parents an abridged version and I just remember them looking at me like they didn’t believe a word I said. My father was pretty well known in town because of his business so I assumed he would hear the truth from the cops eventually. Or not. I never really knew what or of they knew. The point is these were the stories that inspired me to write the incident. These echoes from the past; memories of the officers who summoned fear, admiration and even a cool friendly vibe with just the mention of their last names.

Having a brother as not a small town cop but as a city beat cop (in one of the most dangerous cities on the east coast), I am painfully and vibrantly aware of what it means to be a cop. He takes his life in his hands everyday. After he was involved in a car accident where a drunk driver got on the freeway going the wrong way and he had to save the people who the drunk hit, while being injured himself, I realized just how amazingly brave he is. How brave anyone is who decides to try to protect the streets. When I told him, I was writing a cop romance he immediately started giving me ideas about a cop who falls in love with his female partner and when I stopped him and said, “its two men,” he just said, “well, it can still work whatever!” I knew he would have to get the dedication. If I could I would add, “to all the officers I knew before; small town and big, this ones for you.”

Listen to the echoes inside your cave. You never know what you’ll hear and what will inspire you.

Speaking of echoes isn’t that what Twitter is all about? Find me there and on Facebook or my website at http://www.xavieraxelson.com/ To find out about upcoming releases and who I’ll be interviewing over at my column at examiner.com

Blurb: The Incident

Officer Michael Carmac is a small town cop whose life is turned upside down by a horrific incident that neither he, nor the community he serves can forget. While Michael’s long-time friend and partner officer Bertram Angel offers support and friendly companionship during Carmac’s ordeal, Michael soon finds his feelings for Angel turning from friendship to something more. As Michael’s thoughts of guilt and personal responsibility over the incident intensify so do his emotions for Angel and the realization that love may be the only way to heal his wounded heart.

Excerpt: The Incident

Michael leaned towards Angel, the cold pie plate the only thing between them. Michael's heart was pounding and he could feel Angel’s breath soft on his face.

“No, it’s like right by your mouth, on the right,” Michael said.

Somewhere a night bird called out and the only reply was the incessant symphony coming from the bugs in the trees, but Michael didn’t hear anything except his own tormented thoughts clashing against his physical desires. Sweat had begun to run down his back and he shivered as he felt his spine twitch with excitement.

“Did I get it?” Angel asked, making another swipe at his face.

Michael leaned in, his hands shaking, the pie plate feeling slippery in his other hand. “Here,” he said as he pressed a shaking finger against Angel’s cheek. “Right here,” the last word was more a pant as he wiped the offending chocolate from Angel’s face.

Michael thought he saw something in Angel’s eyes when he touched him but he wasn’t sure. Although he wanted Angel more than words, he was terrified that what he thought he saw wasn’t real.

“Mikey,” Angel breathed, coming closer. He put a hand on Michael’s arm and pulled him close.

“Do it, whatever you’re thinking, do it.”

“I can’t,” Michael whispered.

Angel leaned so close that their lips were just about touching. “I’ll make it easy on you.” Angel ran his tongue over Michael’s lips. “Just do it.”

Michael felt the world beginning to slide sideways, and somewhere he heard the sound of something breaking.

Was this real?

His mind screamed for him to stop, to pull away, but Angel’s smell, his breath so close was making it hard to move, to breathe, to think. Before he could answer his raging thoughts, he found himself kissing Angel.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Silver Flash!: "Bubble Bath"

This week's prompt was to use the words candle, speaker, and star. This is what I came up with! Enjoy. :)

Jenna turned off the steaming water and pressed play on her CD player. Adele's strong, soothing voice rang from the speakers. Jenna slipped the terry bathrobe off of her slender shoulders, lit a lavender-scented candle, and settled into a relaxing bubble bath. Her thick read hair was piled high on her head, the bubbles foamed on top of the water, hiding her naked body from view.

She needed this time to herself. Her husband was putting the kids to bed, giving her a chance to relax and soak her aching feet. James was a good man. And he was still just as good-looking as he'd been in high school.

Jenna bit her lip and smiled, feeling chills crawl up her spine just thinking about him. She closed her eyes and relaxed into the water. He was a teacher. She ran a successful online shop through Etsy. Their life was simple, but it was sure worth living.

Every day Jenna got to see him with the sleeves of his button-down shirt rolled up past his elbows, his tie loose, his dark brown hair a mess. She loved him like that. She loved getting to see parts of him that no one else did. Dark hair sprinkled over his broad chest, a tiny star was tattooed between his shoulder blades, for a niece that had never been born. His legs were thick, and so was his....

"Mm," Jenna let her fingertips land between her thighs, brushing against the nub of her clit.
She sighed happily. Yes, this was exactly what she needed.

She began rubbing her fingers against her clit, beneath the water, gently at first. It felt good. It had been a while for her, a while since she'd found the time to feel desire.

As if her husband were psychic, the lock on the bathroom door clicked open, and he entered the small room. He couldn't see what her hand was doing beneath the foamy water, but his gaze flitted to her breasts and pussy, anyway. He was a man, after all, and she was naked in the water.

"Hey, James."

He grinned, that dimple she was so familiar with settling on his right cheek. He sat next to the bathtub and reached his hand into the water. His fingers found hers, discovered their motions. His eyes darkened, his smile became wicked. He replaced her fingers with his, and, quietly, deliciously, he brought her to orgasm.

"Your turn," Jenna said breathlessly.

James already had it out, stroking his erection as he watched her. Jenna leaned over the side of the tub to take him in her mouth. She sucked him and licked him, and when he came, she swallowed every drop.

"Thanks for tonight, babe," she murmured, easing back into the bath tub.


Check out the other Silver Flashers!

West Thornhill (m/m)

Chris Quinton (m/m)

Julie Hayes (m/m)

Lindsay Klug (m/f)

Victoria Blisse (m/f)

Freddy MacKay (m/m)

Lily Sawyer (m/m)

Elyzabeth M. VaLey (m/f) <<>>

Ryssa Edwards (m/m)

Pender Mackie (m/m)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Guest Blogger: Ryssa Edwards

Hey, everyone, and thanks for joining me on this lovely Sunday evening. Today I have fellow Silver Publishing author, Ryssa Edwards. She's got a lot of hot books for you, a contest, and some advice for you aspiring writers. Check it out! ;)

First, tell us a little about you and what you do.

By night, I meet interesting people, and all but bribe them to tell me their life story and let me follow them around. I call these people “characters”, and I write down their stories. They get into some pretty scary situations. It keeps me off the streets and (mostly) out of trouble.

What do you like to read?

Books. Kidding. I like reading stories. If you can tell a good story, I’ll read it. Right now, I’m on a short story kick, so I’ve been hanging around with folks like Ambrose Bierce, Stephen King, Ian Fleming and H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Can I just say this: Conan rocks!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I know it sounds cliché, but the best advice I can give is . . .write!

Write all the time. Even if you don’t’ have a pen in your hand. If you something makes you stop and go, “Wow. That’s interesting.” Ask yourself why? What caught your attention? How would get someone else to see it the way you did? Over time, these little observations will make it into your characters and your worlds.

Buy a notebook. Take it everywhere. Ladies, get a purse-size notebook. Guys. . . I don’t know what to tell you. Got ten extra minutes in your day? Then you’ve got time to write daily. Pick a good exercise book. One of my favorites is A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves.

And my last bit of advice . . . don’t stop. You know those times when your internal editor is all over you? Keep writing. That voice never goes away, but if you keep going, one day you’ll get to prove it wrong.

What are your latest / upcoming releases?

I’m so glad you asked!

Hunter Angel, Midnight Gamble, part 3 of my Immortal Pleasures series is coming on September 24th. Azriel is a Hunter angel. His status is Unforgiven. In the mortal realm, he is a relentless Hunter who rids the world of angelic beings who have broken their vows.

Until he met Zane, Azriel's life was a long eternity without hope. But, now that he's met Zane, he wants more, he wants to have something he never thought he'd have: love.

But for an Unforgiven Hunter, there's only one way to have a mate: he must earn his way out of his Unforgiven status. Azriel's instincts lead him to a battle that will be the ultimate midnight gamble, winner takes all. But will he win? Or will he lose Zane forever?

And for this weekend only, readers can stop by my blog for a chance to win a signed copy of Immortal Pleasures, Volume I, parts 1 & 2 of the series.

Dreaming of a Kiss is a novel about Rafe, a college freshman who sets out to find a cure for his mother, and ends up falling in love with Kayne, a Wulf in training to be Alpha Wulf. This book is coming soon from Decadent Publishing.

Johnny V and the Razor is a short story coming soon from Dreamspinner Press. Johnny V is a driver for Mr. Donnelly, a bootlegger who got too greedy. Sloane, “the Razor”, is the muscle in his brother Nick’s bootlegging operation. When Sloane gives Mr. his final payoff, Johnny is a witness. When Johnny V and the Razor get together, it’s a hard ride through rough places.

The Moon House is a short story that’s part of the First Time for Everything Dreamspinner Press Daily Dose anthology. The Moon House is the story of Samson, a carnival strong man who falls for Jace, a virgin.

Readers can enjoy a free read today! Stop by the Male / Male Romance Discussion Group on Good Reads. “Spinner” is part of the Hot Summer Days “Dear Author” letters.

Where can we find you on the web?

Thanks for having me, Heather!