Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Author Interview: Sam Cheever + Giveaway!

I would like to welcome romance author, Sam Cheever, to my blog today! Please take a moment to get to know a bit more about her and upcoming release. Also, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of her new release, The Biggest Poser. See below for details.

Now Sam has the mic...

 If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
If I couldn’t be a writer I’d probably do something with animals. Maybe become a dog trainer or a vet tech. My husband and I rescue dogs and we have 13 of them! They are our fur-babies, our hobby, and our own private little money drain. LOL We love every minute of the time we have with them.  

Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Hubby and I love to go out to eat. I go to the movies with my daughters on the weekends; take shopping trips with my mom, sisters and girls; and walk my dogs through the woods. I also try to do power yoga whenever I can. It’s good for my body and soul!

Are you an early bird or night owl?
Definitely an early bird. I’m often in my office by 4 am and generally tuck myself into bed with a good book or a favorite TV show by 8 pm. I fill every minute of the time in between with work and family. It’s a good life…if a little exhausting. LOL

Which TV show(s) can you absolutely not miss every week?
Right now it’s The Walking Dead. I also love Revolution. When there’s a new season I absolutely adore the BBC’s Sherlock, with Benjamin Cumberbatch too but it looks like it will be 2 years before the next season releases. (waa!)

What’s your writing process/schedule like?
I'm a slogger rather than a sprinter. I don't write a full rough draft of a book in a week and then go back and do extensive rewrites as some authors do. I write approximately a scene a day and when that scene is done it's fairly clean. I set a daily writing goal for myself of around a thousand words. Most days I'll write more than that, some days less. I generally write 6 days a week — 7 when I'm on deadline. On non-writing days I do administrative and promotional work. (I manage two blogs and two websites)

As far as the actual process, when I start writing a book I usually have a very broad idea of what I'd like the story to be about. I sit down and write a quick, high level premise for where the story needs to go. Then I just start writing. About halfway through I hit a wall because I need to get more specific about where I'm taking the storyline. Once I figure that out, the second half of the book usually flows pretty smoothly. Most years this process culminates in 6 to 8 novella to full length novels.

What other genre would you like to venture into in your writing?
Someday I’d like to do historical romance fiction based in early America. The majority of real historical fiction is European based. American history isn’t taught well in our schools. It’s too date and fact based (boring) and much of our history has been rewritten for political correctness. As a result many people have no clue about how we got where we are. I’d like to make history more interesting and accessible by putting real people into it. It’s a dream I hope to accomplish over the next 5 years or so.

What do you want readers to takeaway/experience after they’ve read your book?
I want readers to feel the story and the characters long after they finish the last page. A good romance book sticks with the reader, holding her in a warm and fuzzy embrace well beyond the actual reading experience. I’m not looking to change the world with my stories…just temporarily brighten the mood of one reader at a time.

What advice would you offer to aspiring writers or writers in general?
1. Keep writing, because you will improve with practice. No matter how good you are when you start out, you can always learn something that will improve your writing.
2. Start creating an online presence for yourself early, well before the first book comes out. 
3. Always be yourself. Don’t try to manufacture a persona you think will appeal. People will know if you’re not being genuine. I would add to this advice that you should never lie to your readers. You might get away with the lie for a while, but if your readers eventually find out they’ll never trust you again. Trust is a key element of the relationship between an author and a reader.
4. Ultimately people buy from people they like. It won’t matter how talented you are if you’re cranky and unfriendly. The karma monster is always waiting around the corner to take you down if you treat other people badly.

What can readers expect from you next?
I have a very full writing plan for 2014 and beyond. I’m currently working on Book 7 of my Honeybun Heat series. Honeybun on the Run will be available in the June/July timeframe this year. I’m also working on Book 2 of the m/m paranormal City of Lights series I write as Declan Sands. Next on the plan is completion of a couple of Young Adult books I write under s.i. decker. And beyond that is the next installment in my popular Honeybun Fever series. I also need to write the next book in my Declan Sands Hoale Construction series. Then I’ll take a deep breath and see what I can write to celebrate the holidays! Busy, busy. #:0)

Tell us one silly fact about yourself.
When I get a good review or my sales numbers are good I do a special little dance in my chair. Yeah, it’s pretty weird and involves shoulder shaking and chugging arms. LOL

**GIVEAWAY**
Respond in a comment to the following question for a chance to win a copy of The Biggest Poser. I’ll pick the winner on April 20th. International participants welcome!

What is your favorite type/genre of interracial/multicultural romance and why?

Sam's published work includes 50+ books of romantic suspense and fantasy/paranormal. Her books have won the Dream Realm Award for fantasy and The Swirl (interracial romance) Award. They've been nominated for and/or won several CAPAs, have been nominated multiple years for “Best of” with LRC and The Romance Reviews, and have won eCataromance’s Reviewer’s Choice award. Sam is published with Musa Publishing, Changeling Press; and Ellora’s Cave. She also publishes as Declan Sands, writing m/m fiction, and under her own imprint, Electric Prose Publications.

In real life, Sam lives in a cabin in the woods with 13 dogs and one husband. A self-proclaimed dog-aholic, Sam insists she's holding at 13...probably...
 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | About.Me | Amazon Author Page
 
May the biggest liar win. Or die trying!

Personal trainer for the ever popular, Lose it! reality show, Jillie Maxwell is up for the most important award of her career. And she’s competing against the biggest b-eye-itch she’s ever met. Fortunately for her, she has the sexiest man alive in her corner. Problem is, each and every one of them has a dirty little secret that could tank a career.

For the contestants, the race is on to lose the most weight and win everything. For the staff of the popular weight loss show, the clock is ticking to the culmination of their lies and the possibility of losing it all. 

Will the Biggest Poser win? Or will the lies just grow and grow until they sink the whole show? Only one thing is certain. Whatever happens, it’s gonna be an entertaining ride!
Book page with BUY links

Thanks Sam for dropping by and sharing yourself and work with us!

Monday, April 7, 2014

"Authors in Bloom" Blog Hop: Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Welcome to the "Author's in Bloom" blog hop! For this hop, I wanted to send share a classic recipe: grilled cheese sandwich. It's is a favorite of Mikey's, my heroine's 4-year old son from BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER, and a easy, classic dish for anyone to make.

Grilled cheese can be made in a variety of wayswith tomato, with bacon, with mozzarella (or any other cheese). Mikey enjoys all things cheese so his favorite is the classic.

How do you like your grilled cheese sandwiches? If grilled cheese is not for you, what's your favorite kind of sandwich?

Leave a comment for a chance to win some fun author swag, including recipe cards, postcards, and pens. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment section.

Classic Grilled Cheese
Ingredients:
  • 4 slices white bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 slices American cheese
Directions:

1. Preheat skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of a slice of bread.

2. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add 1 slice of cheese. Butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side-up on top of sandwich.

3. Grill until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted.

4. Repeat with remaining 2 slices of bread, butter and slice of cheese.

Enjoy!
 
**GRAND PRIZE**
Dianne Venetta and A Cozy Reader's Corner will be giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a $25 gift card as a grand prize to a lucky commenter. They are also giving away a 2nd prize of $25 gift card. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cover Reveal! Kiru Taye: "Keeping Secrets"



Keeping Secrets
By
Kiru Taye

Series: The Essien Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural
Length: Full length novel
Release date: May 12, 2014

The Essien Trilogy - Series Blurb

Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction under the African skies.

The Essiens are the kings of African finance. A close-knit family, their father is the patriarch of a finance dynasty that ranges from retail to investment banking spanning the African continent. Yet all is not as it seems as the three brothers—Felix, Mark and Tony—soon discover when their family is rocked by secrets and scandals. Blood ties or not, family is family.

If you like your book boyfriends to be tall, dark and handsome billionaires, then say hello to the Essien brothers.
 
Keeping Secrets – Blurb

Have you ever loved someone and didn’t even know it?

That’s the dilemma facing Felix Essien when he wakes from a coma to find he is married to the most beautiful and sensual woman he’s ever known. He cannot remember her or their wedding. He who had sworn never to get married or to give his heart to another. Yet he feels an intense bond with her that he intends to explore fully.

Ebony can’t believe her good fortune when her paper husband wakes not remembering the temporary marriage arrangement with no intimacies he’d proposed but is now the adoring husband she’s always dreamt of. She plans to make the most of the passion blossoming between them.

However would he still feel that way when he regains his memory and realises she’s been keeping secrets and their marriage is not what he thinks it is.

Teasers




About the author
A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket during lights-outs in boarding school. These days, with a young family to take care of, she's still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book.
 
During the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual, atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters.
 
When she’s not writing or reading, she'd hanging out with family and friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and children.
 
You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest
Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website: http://www.kirutaye.com
Link to her Amazon author page

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Showers...

April showers brings May flowers.

Truer words. Lately we've had a very wet few days with the oncoming rainstorms. I, however, have been stuck in my home with other pouring obligations, the major commitment being the 4-book series I so ambitiously embarked on...

Deadlines are the theme for this month and I will be tied to my computer for the next three weeks! But in May, the fruit of my labor will blossom in time for an exciting summer. I will also be revealing the covers for the Queen Quartette series, which I have promised since February, but this time I mean it! ;)

What to look forward to this April, while I'm buried in my stories?

1) My Goodreads giveaway for an autographed copy of Because This Is Forever, which end on April 10th. Be sure to enter!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Because This Is Forever by Lena Hart

Because This Is Forever

by Lena Hart

Giveaway ends April 10, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

2) I'll also be participating in two blog hops: Authors in Bloom, which starts on April 7th and another Spring Fling on April 21st.

3) More guest authors!

Happy April. Stay dry!

Monday, March 31, 2014

"My Writing Process" Blog Tour

I would like to thank Carolyn Gibbs and Ursula Renee for inviting me to participate in the "Writing Process" blog tour! These lovely ladies are fellow members of the RWA/NYC chapter and published authors of interracial, contemporary romance.

What am I working on?
What am I NOT working on would be the easier question, lol! I have so many stories in my TBW (to-be-written) pile but currently I'm working on a 4-book series (The Queen's Quartette) that is written in parallel to each other. It's been more of a challenge then I thought it would be but it's also been a fun experience and I can't wait to share my "Queens" with the world.
 
In conjunction to the series, I'm also working on a special project--my first short historical romance set during the American Revolution (tentatively titled A SWEET SURRENDER). It will be part of an anthology with three other lovely authors. The research has been intense but also another fun experience, especially since I've got to go to Saratoga, NY as part of my research!
 
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmm, that's a tough question since I haven't read ALL the books in my genre to know but as an author, I aim to make my characters and their stories unforgettable. I always start with character profiles of my main characters before I can start a story so that I KNOW them, and understand their goal and motivation, before I can write about them. My ultimate goal is to have readers connect, relate, and enjoy their experience when they read my books. "Stories of incredible love and unforgettable passion" is truly my motto.
 
Why do I write what I do?
Because I love love. I love my characters, I love getting to know them, and I love going through the journey with them as they find their happily ever after. Right now, most of my books are contemporary romance, but I also have a few historicals and a time travel that I've enjoyed dabbling into them when I get a chance. Right now, I'm focusing on my contemporaries but I'm looking forward to writing more stories that spans across different genres because I just love reading and writing stories with heart ;).
 
How does your writing process work?
It's all over the place and really depends on the story. I've written a few stories long-hand, most directly into the computer, some get a little bit of both. My last release, BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER, was one that was written entirely long-hand first before I typed it into the computer. But my "Queen" series has been a combination of typing, writing long-hand or on scraps of paper, and even on the message pads on my phone. 
 
I can either write entire chapters or just scenes. I can start in the beginning, in the middle, or end. One of my books, THE BEDPOST QUEEN, I wrote the prologue after I had finished writing the book yet for THE DIAMOND QUEEN, I wrote the epilogue before I had finished writing the book! Like my mind, my writing process is truly all over the place. It can get messy and disorganized but at the end it all seems to come together nicely (I hope!).
 
Well, thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoyed learning about my writing process. Be sure to check out these talented authors next Monday as they blog about their own writing process:
 
Alyssa Cole is a Brooklyn-based romance writer; she hosts a Romance Book Club and teaches romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. www.alyssacole.com
 
Kate McMurray is a writer, editor, and romance fan who writes smart and sexy gay romance. www.katemcmurray.com

Ambrielle Kirk writes diverse and seductive romance with a spicy edge. http://ambriellekirk.com

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring Fling Blog Hop

BWS tips buttonWith spring right around the corner, it's time to break out of the winter funk and try something new! It's time for a fresh start. Here are just a few things I have planned for this season to help me transition into this new season and I highly recommend you to try at least one of them.

Plan a weekend getaway
New season, new ventures. Be spontaneous and take a local trip away. Whether it be a day trip or a weekend trip, it's always nice to just getaway from the old and familiar and take in new sights and scents. Take a deep breath and go!

Move more!
Take a walk, join a gym, play some music. The spring air gives an added energy that just makes up want to go out and get active. Take advantage. Don't stay cooped in your home--you had three months of dreaded winter to do that.

Get organized
This where the spring cleaning comes in. It's problem the most annoying part of spring but getting organized can be very liberating. You not only declutters your physical space, it clears up your head space as well, something that make stress-free living. With that in mind, this one is on the top of my to-do list.

Try new recipes
Good food can be balm for the soul. Break away from the same ole, same ole and wash up the utensils and try out some new recipes. Some great "spring foods" to check out are a Waldorf salad, homemade muffins, or a spinach quiche. Whatever it is, just be sure to make it with love.

Read a romance book
This one is an easy one. A good book goes great with any season. And if you're looking for a new read, check out my latest release, Because This Is Forever. It's a story about two people getting their second chance at love and finally becoming a family with their adorable son, Mikey.

What other fun activities do you have planned for this spring? Leave a comment on my blog for a chance to win a $10 gift card (reader's choice of Amazon, B&N, or All Romance eBooks).

Books To Go Now is also offering two Grand Prizes! Be sure to hop over to the next bloggers. Don't forget to leave your email with your comment.  Two winners will be chosen at random and notified no later than March 15, 2014.
 
1st Grand Prize: (1) $Paperwhite Kindle
2nd Grand Prize: (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 3, 2014

Impatiently Waiting for Spring...

March is finally here--YAY! But spring seem to be no where in sight...

This has been the longest winter ever but I can see the flowers through the snow sprinkled ground so I'm hopeful spring will soon find us. In the meantime, I am still plugging away on my series, cuddling up with a good book when I can, and still joining blog hops when and where I can.

Stay tuned for contests, more author interviews, some fun new posts from me, and my series cover reveal! But if you haven't already, check out the new Sneak Peeks page on my website.
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