Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Life List

Today's special guest is Chrissy Anderson. Chrissy spends her life doing exactly what she always wanted: doting on those she loves. A former fashion executive, she is a writer, wife, and mother whose own life events inspired The Life List. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with the love of her life and her beautiful daughter.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

I love the whole concept of The Life List and realizing the perfect life that was laid out before Chrissy turned out to be not the life she was meant to live... So my questions for Chrissy were: How did she come up with the idea for this book? Was it based on personal experience or observations of others' lives? Is there a message she'd like for readers to come away with? Here's her answer:


First off, thank you for hosting me on your blog!  I’m very happy to be here and to share a little bit about The Life List. 

The concept for my novel came from a life list I created when I was sixteen years old. The outcome of that list was dream husband, a career to envy, and the kind of best friends every girl wants.  I thought I had everything I ever wanted…until a chance encounter with a man at bar made me rethink everything.  In one night my life unraveled.  The Life List is my real life love story and it examines the sanity of blindly following the bucket list we make when we are young and the impact of changing our minds after we have checked most things off the list.

The story resonates strongly with readers who laugh, cry and actually yell when they read the book and don’t agree with my choices.  Chrissy’s a rather maddening, and eventually, endearing character.  The story begins with an impeccably dressed Chrissy at her best friend’s funeral, reading the Eulogy while internally reflecting on how her life is so different than anything she ever planned.  We then flash back to how she got to that moment and learn that her life list led her down an unsatisfying path— hoping the entire story she gets the courage to find a new one.   

Women of all kinds will be able to relate to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. Not everyone will agree with my decisions, but all will pause as they follow along on my journey to ask, “What would I do if I were her?”

The Life List, book ONE of The List Trilogy, will take you on a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows as Chrissy makes mistakes on her bumpy road to happiness.  Come along for the ride and you’ll be left breathless and ready to find out what she does next in book TWO, The Unexpected List


ABOUT THE BOOK


When she was just sixteen, Chrissy Anderson made a life list…

…The outcome is a dream husband, a career to envy, and the kind of best friends every girl wants.  Then out of nowhere…an affair. What would you do if you realized the life you created wasn’t right for you? You think you know the answer?  Think again. Follow Chrissy as she lies and cheats and ultimately learns to tell the truth to herself and those that she loves.
At twenty-eight, Chrissy has been steadily checking off the boxes on her life list as she mocks the style and life choices of everyone around her. She’s got it all—or so everyone thinks. Her life begins to fall apart when she unexpectedly meets a much younger man, Leo, who makes her question just how perfect her “perfect life” really is. With the help of her no-nonsense therapist, Dr. Maria, Chrissy learns more about herself than she anticipates.  But it isn’t until she stares an untimely death in the face that Chrissy is catapulted into an overdue reality check.  Only then does she scramble to correct the mistakes of her past…trying to figure out if it’s her husband Kurt, her lover Leo, or both that she has to leave behind to make everything right.

Women of all kinds will be able to relate to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. Not everyone will agree with Chrissy Anderson’s decisions, but all will pause as they follow along on her journey to ask, “What would I do if I were her?”

The Life List, book ONE of The List Trilogy, will take you on a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows as Chrissy makes mistakes on her bumpy road to happiness.  Come along for the ride and you’ll be left breathless and ready to find out what she does next in book TWO, The Unexpected List. 
 
AN EXCERPT

I just made it official. I’m a twenty-eight year old married woman with a twenty-two year old boyfriend who lives twenty minutes from a husband who he doesn’t know exists. That God I started believing in a few minutes ago is sending me straight to Hell.


SPECIAL LINKS

Chrissy will be awarding a $50 Victoria’s Secret Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

 


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 



 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

His Wicked Dream

Today's special guest is Adrienne deWolfe. Adrienne is a #1 best-selling author and the recipient of 48 writing awards, including the Best Historical Romance of the Year for Texas Wildcat (Book 3, Wild Texas Nights) and Doubleday’s Book of the Month Selection for His Wicked Dream (Book 2, Velvet Lies.)  Adrienne is excited to announce that she will be donating a portion of her royalties from the Velvet Lies Series to urban reforestation efforts.

Fascinated by all things mystical, Adrienne writes a weekly blog about dragons, magic, and the paranormal at http://MagicMayhemBlog.com to help her research her upcoming paranormal romance series. She also writes a weekly blog featuring tips about the business of writing at http://WritingNovelsThatSell.com. She enjoys mentoring aspiring authors and offers professional story critiques with her book coaching services.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Haunted by scandal, Eden Mallory is determined to start over in a small Kentucky town.  But she won't soon forget the sexy, rugged doctor who rescued her from an outlaw, then rode off into the storm.

After losing his kid-brother to consumption, Dr. Michael Jones is obsessed with saving lives. He has no room for love or a wife. But the nights are lonely, and Eden haunts his dreams.

When Eden becomes his backdoor neighbor, she turns his world upside-down with her unconventional healing skills and sweet temptations.  Then outlaws return, forcing Michael to confront his past if he is to save the most precious life of all.
 
AN EXCERPT

White Lightning

Grimacing at the sunbeams bouncing so cheerfully off the mirror, Eden sat before the vanity in her aunt's guest room and gazed in resignation at the hollows ringing her eyes. She hadn't slept well the night before. Sera's squeals of triumph had echoed too loudly through her dreams:

"I knew Michael liked you. I just knew it!"

Michael liked her, all right. But Eden wasn't sure that was a good thing. How could she possibly tell Sera that the brother she so admired didn't hug... well... chastely? That the preacher's boy whom she thought preferred cherry pies to carnal pleasures kissed like white lightning, not melted butter?

"I'm cold. I'm callous. And I have no intention of changing."

Honestly. Could any man have sputtered a more bald-faced lie?

Eden raised wistful fingers, cupping her cheek. She wished she could recreate the branding sensation, the uncompromising possession of his hands on her skin. Even if she could have convinced herself that Michael didn't feel one solitary spark of emotion, she'd be in the minority. Sera didn't think he was callous. Aunt Claudia didn't think he was cold. And Bonnie clearly thought he was the hottest prospect in town. So why did Michael purport such rubbish? To drive away marriage-minded women who annoyed him?

Eden raised her chin. As much as it hurt, she supposed Michael now placed her in the wedding bell-chasing category. Never mind that he'd kissed her until she saw stars, not the other way around.

She bit her lip, partly to coax some color into her face, partly to distract herself from unmaidenly frustration. Michael wanted her to avoid him, and he'd been willing to play the cad to drive his point home. But why? Why would he go to such lengths to repel a woman who, frankly, had never even considered herself of interest to him until his kiss?

His kiss.

She sighed, propping her chin in her hand. All her life, she'd longed to be kissed that way, not shyly or piously, but hungrily, wildly, passionately. In her most romantic fantasies, she'd yearned for a man who would make her heart pound and her knees quake. A man who could kindle her senses and ignite her soul. A man who was giving enough, strong enough, spirited enough to love.

And Michael was such a man.

Only, Michael didn't want her.

At least, not in the marriage sense.
 
SPECIAL LINKS

Adrienne will be awarding a $20 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, a $15 Amazon Gift Card to another randomly drawn commenter during the tour, a TIN-STARS AND TROUBLEMAKERS (4 full-length ebooks in a box set by best-selling Western Historical Romance authors Adrienne deWolfe, Patricia Rice, Sharon Ihle, and Patricia Hagan) will be awarded to one randomly commenter during the tour, another randomly drawn commenter will win the best-selling WILD TEXAS NIGHTS series by Adrienne deWolfe (3 books, total) during the tour, and last but not least, the award-winning VELVET LIES series by Adrienne deWolfe (ebooks 1-3) will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. A $25 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to one randomly drawn host.


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Purchase Adrienne deWolfe’s Books:

Velvet Lies Series


Wild Texas Nights Series


The Secrets to Getting Your Romance Novel Published (Series)


Tin-Stars and Troublemakers

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Medium

Today's special guest is Meg Benjamin, an author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Ramos Family trilogy for Berkley InterMix is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon cats (well, partly Maine Coon anyway).


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

I asked Meg about the ghosts in her books. Here is her response:

My first paranormal series, the Medium trilogy from Berkley Intermix, ends with Happy Medium, released on January 21. All three books are ghost stories because I’ve always been intrigued by ghosts, from the time I read my first ghost story as a kid and scared myself into staying up all night.

I’ve wondered sometimes where this fascination with ghosts comes from because I’m clearly not the only one who feels it. Part of it undoubtedly comes from the idea that some kind of existence continues after death. But I think part of it also feeds into that universal “unseen presence” experience. Who hasn’t occasionally gotten the creeps in an empty room at night? Who hasn’t had the sensation of somebody watching from the shadows even though you know no one is there? I’d say that’s the foundation for all ghost stories, our own uneasiness with the unknown. You’re pretty sure there’s nobody there, but can you say you’re 100 percent sure? More like 99.999, I’d say.

So have I ever seen a ghost? No. Well, maybe not. I’ve had a few odd experiences, like most people. San Antonio, where I used to live, is filled with ghostly places like the Menger Hotel, which supposedly hosts the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt (he assembled his Rough Riders there before the Spanish American War) and the haunted railroad tracks where parked cars supposedly roll away from the crossing, pushed by the unseen hands of victims from an earlier car/train collision. I’ve sat in historic bed and breakfasts at night in Fredericksburg, Texas, and felt a little uneasy. And I discovered after the fact that the Nebraska motel where I felt edgy while walking around by myself was reputed to be haunted. But I’ve never seen anything. Still that feeling when the hair on the back of your neck seems to go up is nothing to sneeze at. And frankly, I’d rather keep it in my imagination than see that axe murderer under the bed.

The heroes and heroines of my Medium trilogy (Medium Well, Medium Rare, and Happy Medium) are all realists, very happily grounded in a ghost-free existence. But three of them are also unknowing descendants of a legendary family of mediums, and all of them end up dealing with some very dangerous spirits. Of course, since the books are also romances, they all come through in the end, but not without a few serious chills along the way.

The ghost in Happy Medium is particularly tenacious—and dangerous. She’s a succubus, drawing energy from sexual activity, and she’s not exactly fussy about consent. She even attacks the hero in his dreams. Fortunately, he has some powerful, if ghostly, allies, including his sister’s spirit guide Skag (familiar to fans of Medium Rare). And his heroine, Emma, is full of pluck, along with being a full-on psychic. I had fun creating all these spirits, friendly and less so, and I hope readers will be a little creeped out (but not too much, of course).

So can I say for sure that ghosts exist? Of course not. Can I say they don’t? Nope. And maybe that’s the reason I go on being fascinated.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Love is good for the soul… unless it’s one that you’re trying to exorcise.

Ray Ramos has a problem–the King William District mansion he and his business partner purchased for a fast renovation needs more work than expected. Ray could use a quick infusion of cash. Enter Emma Shea, assistant to Gabrielle DeVere, the star of American Medium. Gabrielle is looking for San Antonio houses to use for her televised séances, and Ray’s fixer upper seems to fit.

When Gabrielle does a sample séance, Ray and Emma become the target of a touchy ghost with no respect for boundaries. After Ray learns his family has a special affinity for ghosts, the two decide to investigate the haunted house. It doesn’t hurt that Emma is immediately attracted to the laconic Ray or that Ray is intrigued by the buttoned-down beauty who seems determined to hide her considerable assets behind sober business suits. But can the two of them fight off a vengeful succubus bound to the house while getting a lot closer than either of them planned?
 
AN EXCERPT


“Join hands everyone,” Gabrielle intoned in her most resonant medium voice.

Ramos gave her a piercing look, then took hold of her hand, extending his other hand across the table to Emma.

Gabrielle’s fingers were faintly damp, but Ramos’s were dry and hard. His calluses rubbed against Emma’s palm. For a moment she felt something like a mild electric shock tingle through her fingers. She pulled her hand away, staring.

Ramos stared back, his eyes wide.

“Take his hand, Emma.” Gabrielle frowned. “We need to get on with this.”

Emma extended her hand again, touching her fingers cautiously against Ramos’s palm. Nothing. Maybe she’d imagined the whole thing. Probably she’d imagined the whole thing.

Gabrielle raised her head, gazing up into the dim shadows overhead. “Is there anyone here? We call on you to come forth.”

Across from Emma, Ramos rolled his eyes. He had that sour look again. Just hold on a little longer, and we’ll be out of your way.

“Come forth,” Gabrielle whispered.

Ramos looked at her, then shook his head slightly.

And the candles went out.

Emma’s head shot up, and she turned toward the fireplace. There hadn’t been any flickering, any feeling of a breeze. One moment the candles had been burning, and now they weren’t. She gaped at Ramos, who was gaping back at her, his forehead furrowing. Somewhere overhead a door slammed.

At the head of the table, Gabrielle seemed not to notice. “Spirit forces, we call to you,” she crooned.

Something touched the back of Emma’s neck, a quick brush, so light she wasn’t sure she’d felt it. Then it came again, more definite this time, fingertips along the edge of her shoulder. She whipped her head to the right, but she couldn’t see anything in the gathering darkness.

Ramos’s hand jerked against hers. She turned back to him, but he was watching Gabrielle.

No, not Gabrielle. Beyond Gabrielle, toward the fireplace. The mantle glowed dimly in the twilight, as if there were lights beneath it. Then, one by one, the votive candles thumped to the hearthstone in front of the fireplace, bouncing lightly. Another door slammed upstairs.
 

SPECIAL LINKS

Meg will be awarding the complete Ramos Family Trilogy: Medium Well, Medium Rare, and Happy Medium (all ebooks) to one randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her NBtM Review Tour, here.Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


Connect with Meg:

Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com


Follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1)



Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at meg [at] megbenjamin.com.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The People Behind Book 'Em North Carolina

The Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair has grown tremendously over the past three years. None of it could be possible without the time, money, hard work and support of so many volunteers and sponsors in our community. Below are just some of the people who make this event happen, and who attendees will come in contact with at our 2014 event. They’re listed in no particular order of priority, as every single individual and organization is vital to our success. I am certain I will have forgotten someone in this list and I apologize up-front! With more than 250 volunteers, it is challenging to keep up with them all, but each and every one is deeply appreciated.

Robeson Community College

This event would not be possible without the generosity of our host, Robeson Community College, its President, Dr. Pamela Hilbert, and the faculty and staff who work all year to ensure its success, most especially James Bass, Director of The Learning Center; Crystal Edmonds, Chair for English and Humanities; Susan Moore and Roy Raby, who bring together dozens of volunteers; E. Marie Sanders; and Patricia Clark and her security and maintenance staffs. On the day of the event, you’ll find RCC staff and students everywhere you look—from the cashiers ringing up the sales to volunteers dressed in blue t-shirts assisting in every hallway.

Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau

Upon arriving at Book ‘Em North Carolina, you’re likely to see the welcome table of the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau as soon as you enter the lobby. Executive Director Mickey Gregory has been a member of the Executive Committee since the early days of Book ‘Em North Carolina. She has worked tirelessly to promote the events, to involve area businesses and volunteers, and through the generosity of the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau and its Board of Directors, we’ve received grants to allow us to promote the event over a multi-state area.

Robeson County Arts Council

Also in the lobby of the event, you’ll find the Robeson County Arts Council, chaired by Dr. Mary Ann Masters. The Arts Council is instrumental in promoting literary arts, visual and performing arts, and highlighting the talent that abounds in Robeson County. Please stop by the art display in the lobby to admire photography and paintings from local artists, and be sure to ask for information on the exciting upcoming event, The Great Getaway, which brings back the era of The Great Gatsby! And when you pay for books purchased at Book ‘Em North Carolina, the Robeson County Arts Council handles all of the accounting for the event.

Friends of the Robeson County Public Library
Robeson County Public Library – Librarians

The Friends of the Robeson County Public Library along with librarians Lisa Matthews and Mattie Locklear will be your hosts for all of the adult talks in the Lewis Auditorium, Red Room, Blue Room and Green Room. Every one of them is a true book lover in every sense of the word, and they will be working to ensure that every author and every talks attendee has a wonderful time.

In addition, James Bass, Director of the RCC Learning Center, and a special committee will be working in the Lewis Auditorium on stage setup. The furniture on stage is provided pro bono by Kimbrell’s Furniture in Lumberton, North Carolina.

The Children’s Corner

There are a number of volunteers working in The Children’s Corner to ensure a fun and exciting time for the youngest readers. It is chaired for the second year in a row by Lynn Noble, a teacher from Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton. Katie Huneycutt, Youth Services Librarian for the Robeson County Public Library, has scheduled author readings and activities and will be on hand to assist. Lori Special, Youth Services Consultant for the State Library of North Carolina, will join us from Raleigh for special activities. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Robeson County, Kiwanis Club of Lumberton, and Communities In Schools for Robeson County will all have tables and will be anxious to speak to parents and children about the fun of reading.

Public Schools of Robeson County

Sandi Carter, the Arts Education Supervisor for the Public Schools of Robeson County, has worked with us each year, coordinating all of the signs you’ll see throughout the facility, especially in The Children’s Corner. Each sign is hand-made by students in the Public Schools of Robeson County, using their imaginations to bring stories to life.

Dencie Lambdin, Executive Director for Communities In Schools of Robeson County, will have student volunteers from the CIS Academy assisting in The Children’s Corner and throughout the event.

Teresa Davis, President of the Robeson Association of Educators, has coordinated the distribution of more than 4,000 flyers throughout Robeson County’s Public Schools to raise awareness of The Children’s Corner.

And students from Studio One, an innovative program within the Public Schools of Robeson County’s Arts Education Program, have appeared at each of our events in costume, bringing books to life through live characterizations of The Little Mermaid, Cat in the Hat, Snow White, and much more.

Talks Moderators

Our panel discussions are moderated by a volunteer from our business community, many of whom also financially sponsor the event (as indicated by asterisks beside their names):

Dr. Pamela Hilbert, President of Robeson Community College
Joann Anderson, President and CEO of Southeastern Health *
James Bass, Robeson Community College
Jay Britt, Senior Vice President, Lumbee Guaranty Bank *
Crystal Edmonds, Robeson Community College
Ginny Hardin, retired from BB&T *
Drina Hedgpeth, retired teacher
Margaret Inman, Robeson Community College
Bruce Jobe, The Law Offices of Bruce Jobe, P.A. *
Dr. John Jones, University of North Carolina at Pembroke *
Ginger King, Author
Jef Lambdin, President, Robeson Road Runners *
Dr. Mary Ann Masters, Lumberton Optometric Associates, PLLC *
Chip Pate, LPL Financial *
Dr. John Rozier, Rozier & Lane Gynecology
E. Marie Sanders, Robeson Community College
Karen Silvestri, Robeson Community College
Mary Jo Walter, Edmond Jones *
Carolyn Watson, Robeson Community College

Author Lounge

Our Author Lounge is hosted this year by the Lumberton Women’s Club and Lumberton Juniorettes, who will be on hand all day greeting authors and serving a continental breakfast and buffet lunch to authors and their guests.

Food is provided free of charge to authors and their guests (a special ticket is required for entry) through the generosity of Golden Corral of Lumberton Buffet and Catering. For the first year, through the generosity of our financial sponsorships, we are offering meals to volunteers who work at the event (a special ticket or blue t-shirt is required for entry).

Hospitality Committees

We have three hospitality committees who work behind the scenes to ensure that special guests traveling to Lumberton have all that they need to ensure they have a positive and fun experience. This year, those teams are:

Bob and Betty Fisher
John and Mary Ann Masters
John and Farleigh Rozier

And of course, the staff at the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau has been working all year long in responding to travelers’ needs and providing information on Lumberton and Book ‘Em North Carolina. Thank you, Sarah, Sarah and Mickey!

City of Lumberton

Ray Pennington, Mayor of Lumberton, has been a strong supporter of Book ‘Em North Carolina since I approached him almost nine years ago. Chief Mike McNeill of the Lumberton Police Department has graciously provided fingerprinting, Sherlock Hound, and other police support. And Connie Russ has ensured that flyers are included with every Lumberton resident’s utility bill each year of our event.

Sponsors

Our financial sponsors allow us to pay all overhead expenses associated with the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, which allows us to donate 100% of the proceeds provided to BENC from book sales on the day of the event to area literacy efforts. This year our financial sponsors are:

National Sponsor

Southern Writers Magazine

Platinum Sponsors (over $1,000)

Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau
Golden Corral of Lumberton Buffet and Catering
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
The Village Station Restaurant

Gold Sponsors ($1,000)

Friends of the Robeson County Public Library
Rotary Club of Lumberton
Southeastern Health

Silver Sponsors ($500)

BB&T
Comfort Inn
Law Offices of Bruce F. Jobe, P.A.
Donald R. Whaley, M.D., P.C.

Bronze Sponsors ($250)

Biggs Park Mall
Century 21 – Leroy Rising
Edward Jones
John’s Fuel Service
Drs. Lacey E. Gane III and Christopher Karshner, DDS PA
Ginny and Jeff Hardin
LPL Financial
Lumbee Guaranty Bank
Lumberton Chevrolet
Lumberton Optometric Associates, PLLC
Robeson Road Runners
Senator and Mrs. Michael Walters

Media Sponsors

Author p.m.terrell (website, blogspot, e-newsletters)
Lumberton Magazine
Native Visions Magazine
Robeson Living Magazine
Robesonian Newspaper
Southern Writers Magazine
WHQR (Wilmington)
WPDE-TV (Myrtle Beach)
WRAL-TV (Raleigh)

Hotel Sponsors

Best Western (pet friendly)
Comfort Inn
Country Inn and Suites
Fairfield Inn


This post was written by the founder and chair of Book 'Em North Carolina, author p.m.terrell. For more information about Book 'Em North Carolina, visit www.bookemnc.org. For more information about p.m.terrell, visit www.pmterrell.com

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ocean Isle

Today's special guest is Kevin Pickell. We sat down with Kevin for an interview and a look inside his book, Ocean Isle.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Tell us about the backdrop of your book. Is Ocean Isle, North Carolina a real place? If not, what was the inspiration for the location?

Ocean Isle is very much real. The locale is southeastern NC, along the coast. It is a piece of the beautiful Brunswick County beaches that include Holden Beach, Ocean Isle, Sunset Beach, and the town of Shallotte. Ocean Isle is a place where I sometimes vacation, and the place where I was first inspired to become a writer. I decided I would set my first story there in the island. And so I did.

Tell us about Emma. Without any spoilers, why is it important for her to be in an out-of-the-way place where she can hide and blend in?

Emma is a stunningly beautiful revenant girl. She comes from a fictional place called Grand River, a dystopian and esoteric locale that you won’t find marked on any map. She is on the run, having escaped some dark and evil forces back in Grand River. Emma is described as having hair as black as licorice, her eyes green like emeralds, and her lips ruby red. She has a gothic aura about her that most men would find erotic and irresistible. In fact, her bewitching and seductive beauty is one of the underlying themes of the novel.

Does Emma meet Alex at Ocean Isle, or were they in a relationship before they located there?

Together, Alex and Emma came to Ocean Isle from Grand River. They had been drifting like vagrants, when a bartender in Fayetteville, NC told Alex about the little island along the coast. He told Alex that Ocean Isle was hidden away. Isolated. Accessed only by a tall bridge over deep water. A place where murderers could go to hide and never be found. Those words resonated with Alex, and he decided that he would go and hide there with his Emma. After all, he was Emma’s caretaker. He was her protector and servant. And they were also very much in love. 

How did your own work as a writer factor into Alex' character, since he is also a writer?

It was minimal. I think Alex being a writer helped form a link to Archie Andrews, one of the bad guys in my novel. Archie was an avid reader of the kind of fiction that Alex wrote, and he had read all of Alex’s novels. It was through the reading of these books that Archie became suspicious and curious about Alex Shaw. This was the genesis of big trouble ahead. But it starts with the reading of those novels. Also, Alex is described as being intensely introverted, and It seemed to me that him being a writer fit his personality well. It is a profession that one could do from any locale, the kind that could be done by someone on the run. So it fit him and the story so perfectly. He couldn't have been anything else but a writer for this novel.

Can you give us a glimpse into what happens that takes Alex and Emma from an idyllic location to encountering a threat to their lives?

After Alex and Emma first arrived at Ocean Isle, things—at first—seemed too good to be true. They settled in, and Alex was able to start working on his next novel with uninterrupted calm. This short, calm period in the narrative gave me a chance to pack in some of the island's wonderful atmosphere into the story. But all the while some dark and evil forces were out there coalescing in the background: the psychopath Archie Andrews for one. And then there is Wayne Hawksworth, who is a recently furloughed prisoner. There is a ghost named Jessie Densmore, whose soul cries out for vengeance. And finally a coven of revenants that come from Grand River, and who are led by the vile and sinister Dr. Hallberg. It is Dr. Hallberg who is most scorned by Emma’s escape from Grand River, and who will not rest until she is found. 


ABOUT THE BOOK


When Alex and Emma take refuge at Ocean Isle, an idyllic and picturesque island along the North Carolina coastline, it all seems too good to be true:

It is a place where Alex, a writer, can settle down and finish his novel. It is a place where he and Emma, the gothic beauty he is protecting, can hide and blend in. They can become faceless . . . safe.

Their one and only worry is whether or not the tiny island can contain Emma's insatiable and forbidden hunger.

And now the deadly forces they so desperately tried to elude have at last tracked them down. Alex and Emma won't be happy to see them coming . . . but they're coming just the same.


AN EXCERPT


EMMA STARTLED ALEX when she swung the door open and came inside.
“The waters here are blood-red, all of the waters. The waterway across the marsh, the ocean, all of it is bloody red. The stars and moon have also gone red. It’s time, Alex, I must go,” Emma said, morosely. She had just come into the house after having been out in the rain most of the night, her hunger now satisfied. Her dress was bloodstained. There were slicks of blood on her face and her hair was wet and matted—a horrific tale best left untold. Alex was unmoved by what he saw.
It was 5:30 AM. Alex had gotten an early start on the writing. He had wanted to go out for a morning run, but had been deterred by the rain, and by Emma’s absence. Alex was now sitting at the kitchen table, typing away at his keyboard—working on the next novel. He stopped typing and sat in awkward silence, sensing that Emma knew what she was saying. And a part of him agreed with her, that there probably was some real danger now lurking here on the island. He had learned, over time, to appreciate her sensitivity toward trouble, to give her intuitive foreboding the respect it deserved. She had proven before that her senses were extraordinary, something not to be ignored or taken lightly. Finally he spoke, breaking an unsettling cloud of quiet.
“Okay . . . I will pack up today while you sleep. We don’t have much to pack, anyway. We will go, but where . . . I don’t know. I’ve got to get this novel finished, and fast. The money is almost gone, all of it.”
“I’m sorry, Alex. I’m so sorry. I do love this place. I wish we could stay, but someone is here with us now, I’ve been telling you, someone with malign intentions. Anywhere but here, Alex, that’s where I’ll go.” He didn’t like her calling him Alex. It made him feel insecure. He wished for something like: my love, or my dear—terms of endearment. Her calling him Alex felt sterile and indifferent to him.
“Okay, Emma; get yourself cleaned up, and sleep. I’ll be ready when you awaken, and the van will be packed. We will travel by night and you won’t have to stay in the box.”
“Maybe we can come back here someday? That would be nice, wouldn’t it, Alex? This is a beautiful place.” There it was again, he thought, she had called him Alex once more, as if that wasn’t his name to begin with.
“Go, Emma,” he said, and waved a dismissive hand. She turned and went to the bathroom for her shower.



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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman

Today's special guest is Wareeze Woodson. Wareeze is a native Texan who lives in the Houston area. She married her high school sweetheart, and after raising 4 children, they now have 8 grandchildren. AND after all these years, they still love each other. True romance is happy ever after.


THE IDEA BEHIND THE STORY

I asked Wareeze how she came up with the plot for Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman. Here is her response:

Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman sprang from a news report I watched on TV. This report was a follow up interview.  A reporter had found a young woman digging through the garbage at a burger place and asked her why. She told him her children were hungry, and she didn’t have any money. Somewhat taken aback, he suggested she go to the Child Protective Agency and apply for assistance. She started crying, afraid the Agency would take her children away from her, but he convinced her to give the Agency a chance. The Agency did help her. I’m certain she had to deal with miles of red tape as is usually the case when dealing with the government. Still, it was worth it in the end. She could feed her children without feeding them out of the garbage. All ended well for her and her children.
I wanted a heroine in Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman that would fight to the death for her child if necessary. The law afforded all the rights to the guardian in that day and age, but Lady Laurel Laningham fought to stay with her young son, even in the face of censure on every side. Scorned, subjected to false accusations and rumors, she endured all to remain in her son’s life. In spite of all of her sister-in-law’s lies, she fought through every challenge. She certainly had her weak moments and made some unwise choices, but all in all, she deserved admiration for her courage and determination.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?


AN EXCERPT


His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”

“I think several scrapes and bruises at most.” Laurel trembled and brushed her bonnet out of her face. She heard his quick intake of breath.

“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”

“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”

He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”

Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.

“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”

He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.

Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”


SPECIAL LINKS

Wareeze will be awarding one eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and one $50 GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 



Twitter:  @wareeze