Monday, November 28, 2011

Another day, another winner

I know I'm kinda late. I was supposed to give the winner for Wanita's book yesterday. The thing is, I've changed my laptop and it took me a while to get the system up and running (in case you're wondering, it only came with a CD entitle windows 7 and nothing installed on it).

Anywho, after three days of trying to install all the drivers, programs and copy all the stuff I might ever need, I'm finally operational (I think)

So...let's draw a winner, shall we? Going on to

Drum roll please...

And the winner is.... LINDSEY LOUCKS!! Wow, congrats Lindsey! You win Rae of Hope and also some other goodies Wanita is giving away. Contact me on CC if nothing happens, and I'll give Wanita the heads up :)

In other news, my NaNo project is going pretty crappy. I haven't written a thing in 2 days and now I don't think I'll have the time to actually finish the book. Sure, I've completed the necessary word count, but I actually wanted to exit November with a brand new Novel. I haven't even gotten to the climax. Which is just sad. I hope I'll motivate myself to finish writing it in the end. I'll do my best.

Other than that, I finally got a job. It pays crap, but at least it pays and I have the chance to learn something from it.

For those on CC, Saving Grace will be hitting the public queues this Wednesday.

See you all later

Monday, November 21, 2011

And the winner is...

As promised, it's been 2 weeks since my interview and giveaway with lovely Ashely Lynn Willis. (you can read the interview here). She was also awesome enough to give away one copy of her newly released book The Calling.
Using, I've drawn a winner... and it's... Coral! Congrats! I hope you enjoy the book (I bet it's great).

In other news, my blog just got 3000 hits. Whoa! That's amazing. I wasn't even prepared to celebrate the occasion, but I'm getting ready for the 5000th hit. Just like I'm probably gonna celebrate reaching follower number 100 (since I missed out at 50). So, I wanna thank everyone who takes the time to read all my nonsense. I hope it's at least good fun.

Regarding NaNo - things have slowed down a bit because my brain got a little tired. I'm in that place where nothing seems to make sense anymore and I really need a break. I'm pushing on, though, hoping to reach a more exciting part of the novel. Not that I mind what's going on now, but I needed to build some happiness and security in order to fully crush it later. And happy doesn't usually make for good reading (that's why books usually end when it's achieved.) Hope it will work anyway.

Stay tuned for when I draw the prize for the giveaway with Wanita. You can still comment for the chance to win here! And congrats again to Coral!

Friday, November 18, 2011

NaNo - Day whatever

You can tell from my annoyed air that I've kinda hit writer's block. It was about time, too, huh? Oh, no, don't get me wrong. I've written today. Only that I have a few chapters of time just passing by. Of course, it matters for the overall story, but I hate filler chapters. I've noticed those sometimes seem to be my best chapters, whether I like it or not.

I kinda have 2/max 3 chapters left of part II, and then I'm charging on to part 3 - which will be hardest to write because I haven't really thought about it. Argh, I'm starting to get pissed for one reason or another.

Oh, yeah. The world will end soon. Why? Because I talked to my BF about what I'm writing and we actually had a conversation about it. It started with me giving him a situation and asking him how he would react to it (because I felt my character might have over-reacted). And from there, I started explaining the plot points, what happened and who's who.

He actually paid attention, told me what he liked and what he didn't... until I told him I'm not going to NOT have my characters hook up since it's a romance... for women mostly. And he went 'oh, okay. Just let me know if you want more reactions.'
Seeing as he was the kind who shook his head when he heard about my writing, this was a huge improvement. It made me feel like he actually cares. And it made me happy, and him like I value his opinion (which I do up to some point) and all involved in everything. :)

Just felt like sharing this extraordinary event.

Hope I'll get the writing juices flowing again

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NaNo - Day 17

Look at my pretty tabs! I still have some work to do on organizing this site, but until then, I'm proud I've moved that stuff around.

Well, it's day 17 and I'm approaching 60 k words. My MC came out of her dreary state, embraced life as a human and had one chapter of peace and tranquility with the chance to mend her broken heart. Of course, I couldn't let her bask in her new found balance - that does not for good reading make. So I sent ex-traitorous-boyfriend back into her life. She's in the middle of a full blown fight with him as we speak. Of course, he's still a supernatural, so it's pretty hard for her to escape him. He's much faster.

In other news, I think this is going to work out after all and the book won't turn out as huge as I previously predicted. Which is awesome. Better chance to find a publisher for it :) Yup, I'm already thinking about that. Though, unless I go indie with Hunters, this one might taste the Indie route.

I'm still confused as hell about what I'm writing. I've started reading back a little, and am mildly satisfied with what I found there. But I also find many typos and repeating words. I guess the first round of crits will solve all that. :)

I might have 2-4 chapters left until I finish part II of the story (told you the others are shorter). I hope I'll manage to pull this off.

In the meantime, I've replace the first chapter of Hunters with a blurb and changed the excerpts for the Jewels series if anyone is curious to take a look. Also, don't forget to check out the two interviews I did this month and leave a comment for your chance to win awesome prizes :)

On the fun side, I've been searching for actors looking like my characters. I did find some prospects and it was insanely amusing :)

And another thing - I want to thank all you wonderful people leaving comments. I mainly didn't answer now because I'm pretty busy and because I feel like I have nothing intelligent to say. I am a writing machine right now. Because the more I think, the harder it gets. So I'm doing the non-thinking thing :)

See you all later. Back to writing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNo - Day 16

What does the little bubble say? That's right, that I finished the official NaNo challenge. Yeeey for me! But the show isn't over. Not until I finish the entire novel, and I hope that the remaining days of November will be enogh for that, though, at the rate I'm going, I might actually succeed.

I'm pretty proud of what came out so far. Of course, I've forgotten half of the stuff I've written and already have a nice little plot hole, but I'll cover that later. That's the beauty of NaNo, right?

I'm happy that I've finally finished part 1 of the novel. I've reached chapter 19 and have to deal with a sulky, crying, miserable MC for an entire chapter. I don't mind. The poor thing just got thrown out of her home to live a lame boring life among humans. And the thing she lost her divinity over has been a huge mistake. The girl is crushed - no home, no friends, no love, no nothing. Who wouldn't mope?

Here's the structure of the project: Part I - Angel, Part II - Fallen, Part - III Apocalypse. This pretty much tells everyone what the steps in the creation process are. Fortunately the last two parts are shorter and the third one should be action packed.

I've also finally organized my playlist for this novel. It appears on the right side. Yeey.

And just to celebrate the surpass of 50 000 words, I will post my first excerpt of this new story.

“So… if you could take that decision back, would you?”

A strange light crept in his eyes. “I’m not sure, but I’d rather not think about it. Look at me. I said I wouldn’t talk about it, but you’ve managed to pull all this out.” He sounded amused.

His mood gave Grace heart to ask more. “Don’t feel bad. I wanted to know the reason, and you still haven’t told me that. And I’ll respect your wish.”

He smiled at her. “Thanks.”

Heat rose to her cheeks and she looked away. Her insides did a somersault. “Don’t thank me yet. I’m not done asking questions.”

Robert rolled his eyes. “Why am I not surprised?”

“But this time I want to ask something about me.” She stared at the chipped stone step, her hands shaking with nerves. She remembered what Nate told her about the issue of her death, but she wanted to know. “Do you know how I died?” The question came out as a whisper.

Robert leaned toward her, curiosity etched on his face. “Now, why would you want to know that?”

She looked at him. “Wouldn’t you?”

“True. I did insist on finding out how I died. But I’m not sure I’m the one who should tell you what happened in your case.”

She frowned. “Why not? You obviously know.”

He pursed his lips. “For the second time tonight, a huge idiot.” He took in a deep breath. “I might as well tell you. I was… I mean…” He frowned and fell silent, nibbling on his lower lip.

Grace watched him for a few moments. His lips were fuller than she’d first thought. They suited the rest of his face, which was gorgeous. Don’t think about this now! Or, better yet, don’t think about it ever. “Why are you hesitating?”

“God point, why am I?” He sat up straight. “It’s just that it was pretty horrible. You were three when you died. It was…you sort of…” He ran his hand through his jet black hair, messing it up even more. “Ah, hell. You burned alive.”

Grace gasped. No wonder she kept dreaming about giant flames swallowing her whole. It was not just a dream, but a distant memory. “I – I…” What could she say? A weird feeling took over her as distant memories and the present battled inside her. She believed it, but it didn’t feel like it had happened to her.

“It’s a horrible way to go and…” His lips trembled and he stopped talking. She stared at him. He seemed more affected by the whole thing than she was. “You were three!” He stood and walked away.

Grace got to her feet. It still hurt and she still shook slightly, but she hurried after him. She caught up and fell into step with him. It somehow made her feel better that he was so outraged by what happened. “Thanks for telling me.”

Yeah, it's first draft stuff, and maybe some of this will go, but I like this little scene. It's the start of most of her problems.

Hope everyone is doing well :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNo - Day 14

It's day 14, which means it's almost the middle of NaNo. For some reason, the NaNo website proudly tells me that I have 17 days left. Well... I know I went to law school and math is not my strong suit, but...heh?

Moving on. Check out the shiny bubble. What do you see there? That's right, that I'm almost finished with the official challenge. Not finished at all with the novel though. I'm starting to wonder if I'll actually finish it in November after all. I might. I'm currently at chapter 16 and I'm almost done with the first part of the novel (which is also the longest). I think I have about two or three chapters left of it.

In case you are concerned about my MC, Grace, she's no longer bananas. She is now bipolar, living two existences. I'm starting to remember the thrill of NaNo - it means not remembering what the hell you wrote two pages ago and being unable to realize whether anything your characters do and say makes sense.

I'm at that point in the writing process. I'm writing, and writing, and writing, but I'm not sure if it's flowing alright. Just so you know, I'm no the type to write scenes and glue them together. I just write the whole damn thing from start to finish.

A few facts about the story so far:
- it's about angels and demons (and a third force that so far confuses everyone)
- people don't know of the existence of said angels and demons, so all the fighting takes place in dark alleys or on the top of industrial buildings.
- There are swords and knives and a lot of chopping of limbs and head going on
- So far, I've killed off over 10 demons
- I've spared 2 demons so far
- I've killed an indefinite number of demonic shadows
- I've invented 2 underworld creatures called Negri and Nexi. You'll have to read the book to find out what those things are.
- Grace is very confused about her nature
- the antagonist is very confused, too, but not about his nature. He's in a pit of self-loathing right now.
- I no longer have an antagonist. (big surprise! Anyone who read any of my stuff knows I screw the antagonist over every single time)
- one of the initial protags might turn into an antagonist (I do that a lot too) - though I don't plan him to
- I have to describe a 30 days journey in a few pages - I hate doing that, but it's important to the plot that I pull it off
- I'm very confused about where this story is going - I mean, I know where it's going, but it's taking weird detours getting there.

I can't wait to get to part two of the story. It's very depressing at first (at least it should be) and then all happy and everything. I wonder if I'll manage to pull it off.

In other news... I don't have other news. I guess I could say that I've found a symbolic cover for my project and also put together a playlist. It will appear on the sidebar soon enough.

I'm getting the feeling that NaNo is driving me bonkers. In a good way, of course :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Wanita May

Hey, that kinda rhymed! And it was completely unintentional. But let's cut to the chase before my computer has a change of heart and crashes again.

I’m back with a new author interview and Giveaway (aren’t I busy this month – doing this and NaNo), today with the lovely Wanita May. Her new book Rae of Hope is already available as an e-book and will soon be out on paperback (nov 15).

S: So, Wanita, grab a cup of hot chocolate (since it’s cold outside) and sit down for a chat.

Wanita (W): Thanks for inviting me over for some cyber cocoa and some babble! I feel truly honoured!

S: Well, not to toot my own horn, but... Yeah, I think I just won't toot my own horn. So tell us a little something about yourself.

W:  I’m in my thirties, three great kids and hubby, along with a Weimeraner  (that’s a kind of dog for those of you scratching your head :))  Now, I sound like the color of my hair – except I honestly don’t mean to come across that way.

S: Wow, not to toot your horn now, but you sound like supper woman (with three kids and all).  Okay, maybe I’m being rude, but I’ve just got to ask. You have a pretty unusual name. What’s the story behind it?

W:  Great question and not rude, I get asked all the time.  Especially when you see me.  I’m blonde, blue eyed.  Most “Juanita’s” I know have Hispanic descent – there are not a lot of dutch ones around :).  Both my folks immigrated from Holland, and met in Canada.  I’m the youngest of six (four bro, one sis) and then me!  I’m not sure if they got inventive or never thought of it as a unique name.  I’m named after my grandmother (my Friesan “Beppe”) who wad Weastka.  My folks Canadianized it to Wanita.  And somewherealong the line there was a Hungarian foster girl in my mom’s house during the war who’s name was Wanita and she also thought it was a pretty name.  (Bet you weren’t expecting that much detail on this answer! Ha ha)

S: Well, actually, no, but it was very interesting to read all the same :D  Tell us a little about your book.

W: Rae of Hope is YA Fantasy.  It’s the first book in the Chronicles of Kerrigan.  Rae, the MC, wakes up on her sixteen birthday with a tattoo on her lower back that enables to do supernatural things.  – It’s a lot more complicated than that but that’s it in 20 words or less :)

S: Wow, I couldn't shut up about my own work. You're so very professional *drools in admiration* How was your writing experience?

W: I’ve got a BS degree and competed in athletics during and after university. I wrote through high school but lost touch with it when I began competing for Canada and focused on my highjump career.  I lost my father three years ago to cancer and one of our last conversations was him telling me to make sure I did what I wanted to do… if I put anything off with excuses I should do it, or I’d regret it later.  He passed in September and that December I wrote my first book.  I started writing Rae of Hope shortly after and everything just fell into place.  I landed an agent, then a publishing contract and now, here I am.

S: See above comment about superwoman., let’s talk characters. MCs and antagonists and everything. Who’s your favorite as a person, favorite to write and hardest to write? Which one is most like you?  

W:  I’m slightly answering the question here, and slightly going off on a tangent.  I LOVE FORESHADOWING.  I always say that foreshadowing in a book is irony in real life.  So I love characters that grow and realize some of the irony in their own life.  In Rae of Hope, I love Rae, Devon, Julian and Carter.  Some of them have a bigger part in the rest of the series (Rae obviously does since she’s the MC)

S: I love foreshadowing, too. It's maybe half the reason I write - to smartly plan everything ahead and then surprise people with how stuff comes out.  So, I stalked you and saw that this book is a part of a series. Tell us a little something about this series.

W:  I’ve signed a four book contract with Mitchell Morris Publishing.  The first two books are written, the next started and the fourth already plotted out.  It’s a fantastic series – with supernatural, fantasy, mystery, etc… I love the series (and am completely biased too, of course :) )

S:  What’s it like to work with your publisher?

W:  MMP are great.  They work closely with their authors, and make themselves available.  This is my first book being published so I asked a lot of questions (and I mean A LOT). And all the time.  Not just at the get-go.  My agent is also so amazing.  Anytime I had a tidbit of a concern, she made sure it was addressed immediately so I could focus on the writing, then editing and now helping with the marketing.

S: That sounds like a dream. And you might just be the first agented author I interview (yikes!) But, enough about that. Let's get to the lightning round.

Summer or Winter?

W:  Summer… wait, I like Winter too (we’re spoiled where I live – we get all four seasons to their fullest)

S:  Sand and sea or mountains?

W:  Sand and sea

S:  TV or books?

W: Books 

S: I think I should make that question harder.  Writing or reading?

W:  Honest? Reading :)

S:  Favorite food?

W:  Chicken Curry.

S: Yum. Well, with that delicious meal, you've unlocked the secret question of the interview. If you could change something in the world right now, what would it be?

W: Injustice.  We can all help to change that by being kind.  – Kindess and giving would help stop poverty, abuse, anger, war, faith…   Seems so simple, and yet, so complicated.

S: Yeah, good point. It would be a much better world. *sigh* How about giving us your personal fave part of the book?

W: The sins of the father are the sins of the son, or in this case, daughter.
 -         First line, and it’s been my favourite line of the entire book since day one. 

S: Awesome.  I hope you had fun here :)

W: Loved it!  Thanks so much for having me and letting me chatter away.  You’ve got a fantastic blog and wish you the best with your writing and blogging!

S: Aw, thanks a whole bunch, Wanita!

Okay peeps, here's how it's gonna go down. Wanita will be giving away one free copy of  her book. Together with it she's also giving away a bookmark, as I understand. You know the drill. Comment with your e-mail addy to enter the draw for the fabulous prize.

Here's a little more about the book:

How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth about the past?

Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is an exclusive, gifted school. Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her.

She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become inked with a unique tattoo (tatu) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatu enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their ink-art. Both of her parents where inked, though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young. Learning about her family's past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope in her own life.

Also, you can find Wanita on her personal blog, on Facebook ( Author W. J. May ) and twitter ( @wanitajump ) Book trailer here.

This is it for now, folks. Will be drawing the prizes in about two weeks :) Signing off. Am behind with my NaNo work.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNo - Day 9

Things are going well. I've reached chapter 12 of my novel and the plot is finally well underway. I've come across a hard section and I'll have to take great care writing it because it justifies everything that happens next. I'm actually pretty excited to get this done and through the queues to see what people think about it, if it holds interest.

Also, my MC is all over the place. As in she went bananas and refuses to have any trait except that of going ballistic. And I'm letting her. I saw what happened last year when I tried to beat Rachel into submission. I'm letting Grace roam free.

BTW, my MCs name is Grace (I know, not a name I would usually give a character). I actually had some fun this year finding "immaculate" names for my Angel characters.

Also, this is the goriest thing I've ever written. I want to improve on the gore, but I'll do that with revision number 1. Right now, I have to write the slightly beefed up skeleton of my masterpiece (insert sarcastic cough here). I can't believe how much fun I'm having. And I have over 20 chapters left to go. Weeee!

Signing off. Gotta go hit the gym (trying to get in shape for the wedding)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNo - Day 8

I'm getting back on the bandwagon with the NaNo posting. Even if I haven't been updating, I have been writing.
On Saturday, I managed to do the outline of my novel, so now I know what happens from beginning to end. It's much more detailed that the one I had for Hunters (That one was 2 pages, this one somewhere at 4).

I've come to realize that there are a few things that I'm doing as a first while writing this story:
1. My novels usually stop around 20- 23 chapters. This one has over 30. So I've reached a new psychological threshold.

2. This is the first novel I've written (so far) that has parts. I've structured the whole novel in 3 parts, each culminating with a major twist of the plot (well, except the last one, which culminates with the end).

3. This is the first novel in which I have only one POV. Hunters wasn't exactly rich there either, but I had 2 chapters written in Vlad's POV. My Jewel series has an indefinite number of POV characters.

4. I already came up with a concept for the cover. It took me a whole lot to think of what I want for Hunters (and I can't do what I wanted because I'd have to draw it and I suck at drawing) And I still don't know what my Jewel covers will look like, but Saving Grace already has a temp cover to get me going and I have a couple of ideas rolling around my head for the cover.

Other than that, I've finally finished my character list, ignoring the extras. I actually inserted a new character as a punch and I'm actually enjoying playing around with it. Also, I think I've made my male MC likable enough to work. I'm actually starting to like him :D
I also solved all the motivation problems for the big ticket items in the book. And I'm proud of that.

Anyway, better get back to writing. I haven't met my quota for today. I'm writing a chapter a day, so I still have about a half of a chapter to go.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview and giveaway with Ashley Lynn Willis

Hey peeps. I know I've been MIA over the last days, but I had family over and had to entertain for them ;) Today, I have a surprise for everyone.

I don’t even want to get started on all the crimes I’ve committed to get anywhere near this next guest of mine. I’ve been stalking her since forever, and through some threats, disguises, and an epic battle with swords and nunchucks, I finally managed to get to her. Ladies and gentlemen, (drum roll)… Ashley Lynn Willis.

She’s a long time friend and an awesome writer, so it was about darn time her book came out for the masses. Of course, I’m talking about her paranormal romance novel, The Calling.
Here presented - Awesome cover

Welcome, Ashley. Grab some cookies and fizzy drinks and settle down for a chat with me.

S:  How does it feel to finally be a published author?

Ashley (A):  Scary as heck. It was almost a letdown, if you can believe that. After a year of writing, editing, and getting pushed around by my critique partners, beta readers, and editor, my book was finally live. After I pressed the Publish button, I just stared at the screen, thinking, What’s next? Then, the blog hops, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways began, and I haven’t had time to think since. That’s a good thing because, if I had to think, I’d just obsess over my reviews as I worried that readers wouldn’t like the book.

S: Wow, that sounds a bit... sad. After all that work. But I think it's all for the best. People responded really well to your book.  What made you decide to go indie with The Calling?

A:  I started writing The Calling in November of 2010. I actually penned the book in hopes of landing an agent or ePublisher. My first book, Killing Abel, was too long and crossed genres, so I needed something easier to sell. About a month into writing The Calling, I read on Critique Circle about Victorine Lieske’s journey as a self-published author, and I was immediately intrigued. After hearing her success story, I decided that I would go the Indie route. I loved the idea of controlling my destiny.

S: It is an interesting idea, and I confess I feel pretty attracted to it as well. Might have to give that some thought. Now, tell the masses a little something about yourself. (I’m kidding myself that I know most of this stuff. :))

A:  There’s really not much to tell. I’m a stay-at-home mommy to two preschoolers, and when I’m not wiping snotty noses, kissing boo boos, or performing my short-order cook duties, I’m writing. Boring as it sounds, that’s pretty much my life.

S:  What’s your awesome book about?

A:  You can read the blurb and the first chapter on my website. The main theme in The Calling is to never lose hope. Mandy is recovering from emotional and physical scars after having breast cancer. Justin is trying to come to terms with his family’s dysfunctional state, caused by a paranormal event in his childhood. Together, they are stronger and able to cope with life’s tragedies. In each other, they find hope, peace, and love. It is a love story in the truest sense.

S:  What made you decide to write this book? Where did you get the idea?

A:  I always know the ending of my books well before I plot out the beginning or middle. As I wrote Killing Abel, the seed for this book grew roots in my mind. I outlined the dramatic ending that had to do with a paranormal event, and the story germinated while I continued with Killing Abel. By the time I’d finished that book, I had the beginning of The Calling worked out. From there, I had to fill in the middle, outlining how my characters got from point A to point B.  That’s always a lot of fun because it’s where I learn what my characters are made of.

S: It's a bit weird for me. I always figure out the beginning first, then usually a few major turns that shape up the story and I figure the ending out last. For Hunters, I actually had a different ending planned (just talking, no fighting), but the characters butted in and changed everything (lol, Daniel's a fighter, not a talker).  What’s your favorite part of this book?

A:  My favorite part by far is the ending! I loved, loved every minute of writing the last six chapters. Those chapters were how the book started in my mind, and I had to wait so long to get the ending on paper that, by the time I got there, I was chomping at the bit. The ending is very tense and action-packed. It’s almost a hopeless scenario. Almost… *wink, wink*

S: Lol, you're making me so curious, and I still don't have a copy of this to read (sniff, sniff).  How did you choose the title?

A:  That’s a secret. Hee hee. It’s too ingrained in the book and would spoil some of the surprise.

S: I think I actually know this, but won't be spoiling for everyone else. But you're lucky. I usually have a lot of trouble with titles (though for my NaNo novels, I came up with the titles before I even thought up the story. And honestly, I'm very proud of my current novel title). Let's move to marketing.  What do you do to promote your book?

A:  Book blogs, blog hops, interviews, and guest posts. I gave away lots of copies of my book for review. I’m active on, but with all the blog activities, not nearly as much as I should be. I am very active on Goodreads. As an author, I feel it’s important to go where the readers are, places like Goodreads, Librarything, and Shelfari. But no one has unlimited time to spend on the internet, so I decided to pick one venue, Goodreads, and spend the majority of my time there. I’ve met some awesome people there, who I’m happy to call friends.

S:  So… I hear you’re writing a series (wink, wink, nudge, nudge – I’m hoping you’ll get back to that as soon as possible) What’s that about?

A:  Killing Abel is a series about redemption. You can read more about it on my website, and I’ve made the first chapter available there as well.

S:  What are your plans with this series – traditional publishing, or are you going to go indie with them, too?

A:  I had planned to send Killing Abel out to ePublishers, but after watching a friend’s relationship with her ePublisher fall apart, I decided to self-publish the series instead. I already have such an amazing team with Lynn O’Dell of Red Adept for an editor, Glendon Haddix of Street Light Graphics as my cover artist, and my wonderful critique partners—you included, Steph—that I just don’t know what an ePublisher would bring to the table.

I’m not knocking traditional publishing at all, but the major marketing budget is reserved for the high earners.  If I’m expected to shoulder the brunt of the one thing a traditional publisher could help me with—marketing—then I’m not sure why I would go that route, except maybe to eliminate editing and cover design costs. Now don’t get me wrong, if a publisher came to me with a six-figure deal, you can bet I’d run with it, but I don’t see that happening, and I’m content self-publishing.

S:  From all the characters you’ve ever written, which do you like most? And which was the hardest to write? Which one is most like you?

A:  Jessica, the heroine in Killing Abel, is the one most like me. Stubborn and a bit naïve, she’s definitely the easiest character for me to write because I just tap into myself when I need to figure how she’d react to a situation.

The most fun to write is Constantine. He’s a hard-drinking, potty-mouth womanizer who’s found himself in love with an unobtainable woman. That kind of conflict makes for some intense scenes that are a blast to write. The hardest character to write has been Abel because he’s so reserved. He also carries a huge burden that weighs on him every second of every day. Being in his skin can be exhausting. Did you notice I haven’t mentioned any characters from “The Calling?” Hmmm. I really need to get back to my first love, the Killing Abel series.

S: Okay, enough chit-chat. It's time for the Lighting round – rapid fire stuff:

Cats or dogs?

A: Cats

S:  Sweet or spicy?

A: Spicy

S:  Books or TV?

A: Books

S: Jessica or Mandy? (ha! Have you here!) 

A:   Jessica! Didn’t even have to think about it.

S:  Justin or Constantine?

A:  Ugh, OMG! You are so mean. I love, love Constantine, but really, I think I might have to go with Justin. He’s just so sweet. If I had to pick a guy to marry out of all my characters, it would be him. And he’s the character most like my husband.

S: Yes, I am evil.  You’ve also unlocked the secret question of this interview. If you could be a character in a book, who would you be in what book?

A:  Hmmm. This changes based on my mood. Today, I’d like to be Annwyl the Bloody from G.A. Aiken’s Dragon Kin series because she can kick butt, and Fearghus (her dragon lover) sounds yummy right now.

S: And now, I want you to give us your favorite excerpt of your book, for the readers to feast their eyes upon. :D

Mandy glanced across the beach, wondering why more people weren’t milling about on the sand. Not that she minded, the fewer beachgoers who saw her in a swimsuit, the better. Though, thanks to her best friend Lori, she was wearing a cute tankini that even showed a little cleavage without revealing her mastectomy scars. Tomorrow, she’d buy that girl flowers for her Herculean efforts.
Justin led her to a quiet, flat spot and laid out a beach towel big enough for four. “I figured we’d share.”
Mandy chuckled as she plopped her bag down on the blue terrycloth. Slipping off her sandals, she stared at him. Something about him seemed different. She’d noticed the change yesterday at the hospital, but hadn’t been able to put her finger on it until this moment. The three years she’d known him, he’d always looked sleep deprived, with bloodshot eyes ringed by dark circles. Now, his eyes were crystal clear and sparkling brown. “You seem well rested.”
Justin tilted his head. “You noticed?”
She nodded. “Sleeping pills?”
He sat down on the blanket and tucked his long legs beneath him. “Busy summer. I always rest better after a rescue.” He held out a bottle of sunscreen. “Do you mind?” As soon as she took it from him, he slipped off his shirt.
She’d seen him bare-chested more times than she could count, but she’d been so in love with Ty she’d never paid attention to his attributes. Turned out, he had plenty. His shoulder muscles curved in smooth ridges under his golden skin, and his chest tapered to a trim, flat stomach, cut with washboard abs. His swimming trunks hung low on his hips.
As she stared at his perfection, a tingly feeling traveled down her spine, then lodged in her stomach. Attraction? The prickling sensation turned into a brick that sat heavy in her gut. She hadn’t taken notice of a handsome man in so long, she’d forgotten how it made her feel.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. No tingles allowed.
She kneeled behind him, squirted a large dollop of sunscreen on her hand, and rubbed the lotion onto his smooth skin. Reminding herself that he was Justin, her ex-fiancé’s best friend, she squashed her lustful thoughts. But the reminder didn’t stop her from noticing every hard muscle as her fingers glided across his back.
Trying to distract herself from the tingles that refused to go away, she allowed her palm to linger on the sea serpent tattoo wrapped around his bicep. In the black scales of the reptile, she spotted hidden profiles of sharks, corals, sea turtles, and even a barracuda. She’d never considered tattoos as artwork, but his was a masterpiece.
She traced the head of the snake, lingering on the slithering tongue. “Have I ever told you I love this?”
He turned his head and, suddenly, their faces were inches apart. “No. I would’ve remembered.”
She felt his dark eyes gazing straight into her, and her heart pounded uncontrollably. She rocked back on her knees to put some distance between them and picked up the pace, quickly covering every inch of his back with lotion. “There. Not even a gamma ray would burn you.”
“I’ve got a spray in my bag if you want me to douse you.”
“I already put on my sunscreen at home.” Thank goodness for her foresight. If he so much as touched her right now, she’d turn into a giggling puddle of female hormones. She cleared her throat. “You’re supposed to apply lotion thirty minutes before you go in the sun, you know. It’s more effective that way.”
“You’re the nurse,” he said.
She screwed the lid back on the sunscreen and handed it to him. Time to get in the water, she thought as she sat next to him. Reluctantly, she fidgeted with the hem of her white cover-up, twisting the cotton fabric between tense fingers. The scars aren’t visible, she reminded herself. She’d made sure by contorting her body like a Cirque du Soleil performer in front of the dressing room mirror. Even though she had no reason to be self-conscious, her nerves were firing up like bullets without a target, bouncing around in her stomach and wreaking havoc.
“Ready to get in?” he asked.
She nodded. Swallowing hard, she grabbed the bottom of her cover-up, lifted it over her head, and tucked it in her beach bag. As she adjusted the straps to make sure everything remained covered, she looked up to see Justin’s gaze resting on her chest. After a second of staring, his brow furrowed.
Mandy cringed, wanting to wrap her arms around her breasts. “Is there a problem?”
Justin’s widened eyes darted to her face, then to the crashing waves pounding the beach. “Wow. I’m being rude.” He blushed bright red. “I just… I didn’t…”
She knew exactly what he meant. After her surgery, she’d caught most of her friends staring at her missing breast, even though she wore a falsie. A woman without a boob, especially a young one, was a subject of fascination. Justin must have thought she’d still be deflated on one side. “You expected me to be lopsided?”
He nodded, his gaze locked on the surf.
“Reconstructive surgery.” Had he thought she’d be flat forever?
He blew out a noisy breath, grabbed both the boogie boards, and stood. The smile that spread across his face didn’t reach his eyes. “Still remember how to use these?”
Thankful for the change of subject, she jumped to her feet. “It’s been a while, but I think I can manage.” She took a board from Justin, surprised by its light weight given the size. Had it really been so long that she’d forgotten how a bodyboard felt in her arms? Good thing she was getting back in the saddle before she forgot how to swim altogether.
“The last time I surfed, I was with you,” she said.
“You were a fast learner.”
“I’ve probably forgotten everything you taught me.”
His smile came with the crinkles around his eyes that marked it as genuine. “Then, I’ll teach you again.”
Justin had been so patient with her back then, she had no doubt she’d be an expert by the time she left for home. After she fastened the Velcro bracelet to her wrist, she scanned the water. “I don’t think the waves are big enough.” They seemed no more than a foot or two, not exactly high enough for a riveting ride.
He winked. “They’ll get bigger.” With that, he dashed into the sea. Water sprayed around his legs and body as he plunged into the surf. Sure enough, the waves seemed to follow him, cresting higher and ebbing lower. Was a storm moving in, kicking up larger swells? She glanced at the sky. Fluffy white clouds floated lazily toward the east, and the blue surrounding them was endless. She shrugged, then hurried after him.

Alright people. That would be it from Ashley today. I hope you enjoyed finding out things about her. I know I did. And just because I'm she's so awesome, there's a giveaway involved. So if you're not a follower, do that, and if you are, just leave a comment to say hi to Ashley and give her your email address, for a chance to win her awesome book. I'll be announcing the winner in about two weeks, most probably ;)

You can also buy her awesome book here (Amazon), here (B&N), here (Smashwords) and it's on Goodreads here.

I'll be back soon with another post on NaNo (Check out the nifty bar of the right) and how my characters are giving me a monster headache.