Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guest Post: JR Loveless

This week my guest is the fantastic J.R. Loveless. She's stopping by on her blog tour, and I hear there's a prize at the end of the tour. Continue reading to find out  how to enter.


Show Me My Characters Contest and Week 5 of the His Salvation Blog Tour

Well we are on week number 5 of my His Salvation Blog Tour and this week's stop is on Hayley B. James's Bee-Hive! Thanks for having me, Hayley. :D  

I think the blog tour has been extremely successful so far. Thank you to everyone who has been participating and remember to keep commenting as each week counts as one new entry into the Grand Prize drawing! This week's contest is going to an easy, but interesting one. The prize? A signed paperback copy of His Salvation! Keep reading to find out how to win. :) 

Am I the only one who pictures the characters of a story differently than the way the cover art portrays them? Or what about when a movie is made from one of those books and they cast someone and you can't help but wonder, what the hell were they thinking? When I'm reading a story and the writer describes them a certain way, that forms an image in my mind and it sticks. That's what I see as I read and it usually doesn't match the person on the front cover and a majority of the time it definitely doesn't match who they cast for the film. 

There are a couple of movies made from novels that I was disappointed in who they cast. Twilight being the main one, but I have since seen who they cast for The Host and wanted to rant and rave and throw something at the casting director's head. How can you possibly tell me Melanie looks like that?! Not even close! 

Or the upcoming movie The Mortal Instruments... I loved the books, read the original three she put out, and really enjoyed all of the characters she created. Especially Magnus. ;)  But I'm really disappointed in who they cast as Clary and Jace and Simon. I think it's pretty obvious when the casting directors choose the people they do that they have never read the books the movies are being made from. 
JK Rowling was smart. She made sure they gave her the choice of who and made sure that they stayed as true to the books as possible. You definitely can't deny that the three main actors looked just like the characters in the novels. Stephenie Meyer should never have given up the right to have a hand in the development of her stories. Granted, it hasn't hurt her bank account any by allowing them to do so since people are still flocking to see the movies, but I do know if I ever have the chance to have one of my books made into a real live feature film, I am going to insist on having a say in who is cast as my characters.
Well there's my take on it. What's yours? 

The contest this week is to find me pictures on the internet of who YOU think my characters look like when you're reading my books. You can choose any book of mine - Touch Me Gently, Chasing Seth, Swift's Temptation, His Salvation, White Rain or Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul. You can either link to them in your comment or send me a separate email with the pictures in it after you've commented at jrloveless (at) gmail (dot) com. Make sure you DO post your comment if you choose to email the images in order to enter for this week's contest of an autographed paperback copy of His Salvation as well as an entry into the Grand Prize drawing.

Websites to follow updates on my current works in progress, blog tour posts, events, contests, and upcoming releases: jrloveless.blogspot.com or facebook.com/authorjrloveless

Blurb: In an attempt to atone for his sins and find some solace, ADA Agent Gabriel Romero helps other Deviants in need. But with threats from both sides—Normals and the Deviants who despise them—he finds it harder and harder to outrun his ghosts, especially after a difficult mission to rescue twin brothers held at an enemy compound, where Gabriel meets Alexander Ryker. Gabriel finds his new charge unexpectedly attractive, and that’s a complication he does not want—one he thinks he doesn't deserve. 

Despite the frosty reception from the stubborn agent who rescued him, sheltered telepath Alex feels an instant connection through the pain he sees in Gabriel's eyes, and he does everything he can to gain his attention. The realities he must face while mastering his ability are hard, but failing to learn to defend himself is not an option. Soon he'll need his newfound strength to convince Gabriel he deserves to live and love again.

They set a time for after dinner, and Alex accompanied Hayley back into the farmhouse. He trudged upstairs to his bedroom, deciding to take a nap for a little while. He thought back over Lizard’s claim of Bryan assigning Gabriel to train him. Why would the man push Gabriel to spend time with him? Sighing, he shoved open the door to his room and entered, closing it behind him. His eyes downcast, he didn’t notice the small package resting on his pillow until he flopped down on top of the bedspread and it poked him in his cheek.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guest: Andrew Q. Gordon and his characters

Today I have the wonderful Andrew Q. Gordon on my blog sharing an interview with Farrell and Miceral from The Last Grand Master. I just picked up this title from Dreamspinner and can hardly wait to read it!


Interview with Farrell and Miceral

Today I finally caught up with Prince Farrell of Haven and his life partner Miceral.  It took a bit of doing to get these two pinned down, what with the on-going war, being newlyjoineds and the demand of ruling Haven. But I finally got to sit down with them in their apartment inside Haven.

AQG:  First let me thank you both for agreeing to do this interview.  I wasn’t sure you were going to agree.

Farrell: Well you’re the writer, so we felt it best to keep on your good side.

Miceral:  Farrell felt it best, I don’t really worry about offending you.

AQG: Really?  You know I could make you run naked into Serita’s temple if you’re not careful.

M: You could, but I doubt that would impress your readers. Having me run into a temple full of women doesn't sound like a reason for them to read. And we know that is what you’re really after.

AQG:  Is he always like this?

F:  Yes. Don’t feel too special. I get no respect either. No matter how many times I remind him it’s not wise to annoy your grand master wizard life partner, he seems completely unfazed by my power.

M:  I know you well enough to know you won’t misuse your power like that, especially not on me.

AQG: Moving on. You two have been joined less than a year.  Has anything happen in that time that surprised you?

M:  Surprised me? Not really.  The first night we spent together, he tricked me into staying by asking me to wash his back before he showed me to my room. Then he promptly fell asleep – naked – on the bed.  After that, I knew to expect the unexpected.

AQG:  Um… Is it getting hot in here? 

F: No. The temperature is regulated by magic, It’s the same as when you arrived.

AQG:  Never mind. Farrell, has being joined changed you at all?

F: You mean aside from being really happy for the first time since Yar-del fell to Meglar.

AQG: No that counts.  Was there something else?

F: Yes. Being Miceral's life partner has helped me be a better leader. No that’s not right, it’s helped me to be a leader. 

AQG:  What do you mean? Weren’t you Prince of Haven before you met Miceral?

F: Yes, but one can have a title but not be able to wield the authority that comes with it.  Before I met Miceral, I was content to let others make decisions that I’d okay. He’s given me the confidence to assert myself and to take on the responsibility I didn’t think I could handle.

M: He’s being modest. Farrell has always been a leader. People may have made decisions for him, but they always sought his input.  If I’ve done anything it has been to show him how capable he is.

AQG:  Farrell, you’ve been adopted into a Peregrine family, did that taking getting used to?

M: Let me interrupt for a moment and mention it’s not just any peregrine family, it’s the family of King Rothdin. 

F: Name dropper.  But to answer the question, yes it took a lot of getting used.  My new brothers, Takala and Grohl, are like giant, loud, clumsy children.  Miceral’s known them longer, but they’re like children despite being centuries old.  There are times my adoptive father looks at me to help make them grow up.

M: Rothdin might as well accept they’ll never grow up.  They feed off each other.

AQG:  How so?

F: If one does something, other feels the need to try to one up them. I mean, once, when we were under attack, I tried a new form of magic with Takala.  Grohl was crazy with jealousy, which made Takala preen for days.

AQG:  They sound like brothers. Are they twins?

M: They’re from the same clutch, but they’re not twins. 

F: Exactly, so because Takala hatched two minutes earlier, he reminds Grohl all the time of who the ‘older’ brother is.  They’re incorrigible.  But I love them. They take their role of older brothers very seriously and they treat me like I have feathers and a beak.

AQG:  Miceral, your father is now the First Minister of Haven, but from what I’ve heard, when he first met Farrell things didn’t go so well.

M: That’s one way of putting it. Farrell dumped him on his ass after threatening to throw him into the middle of an army of chamdon.  It wasn’t pretty.

F: Blame it all on me why don’t you. If you two hadn’t been fighting, things might have gone better.

AQG: Fighting? I can’t see that. You two seem to get along so well.

M: At the time my father wasn’t very happy that I preferred men.  He wanted an heir and after my mother died . . . well he seemed even more opposed to me joining with a man.

AQG:  I didn’t know there was such prejudice on Nendor, or among Muchari.

M: There isn’t. Same sex pairings are readily accepted. This is more of a dynastic prejudice. The ruling houses find it troublesome when the heir isn’t likely to produce an heir.

AQG: Aren’t Muchari basically immortal?

M:  Pretty close to it. My grandfather is almost 5000 years old now. He returned to Primilian shortly after I was born and left my father to handle things on Ardus. I think my father forgot how long we live following my mother’s untimely death.

AQG: What happened to her? If that’s not too personal.

M:  There was an accident and she died before we could reach her.  My father took it very badly for a long time. To him, he needed an heir that would have an heir or else he needed to remarry and he found that idea distasteful for a long time.  Now I think he’s feeling better about both issues.

AQG: I can see this isn’t a good topic, so I’ll move onto to something else.

M: Thank you.

AQG: Farrell, it’s said you and Nerti share a special bond.  Tell us about that.

F:  Special is an odd word for what we have, she….

AQG Something wrong?

F: Ha, no.  Nerti is warning me to be good.  I just gave her a chance to see I never intended to be anything but complimentary.

AQG: That sounds…um…complicated.

F: [Laughs] No, not really. Unicorns can read minds. It would take a very determined effort to keep her out of my mind given how closely we’ve worked, assuming I tried to close my mind from her in the first place.

AQG: Close your mind?

F: Just because a unicorn can read your mind, doesn’t mean they do it

M: Peregrines have the same talent…. Sorry Klissmor told me to remind you not to slight your adoptive family.

F:  Right. My father’s mental abilities might be more formidable than Nerti’s, but I’m more familiar with Nerti’s touch.  Anyway, back to your question. IF Nerti wanted to get into my mind against my will, she’d need to break down my defenses. And without any bravado, I’ve developed very strong barriers to protect my mind. But early on, we determined it would be beneficial to me for her to have access to my mind whenever she needed it.

AQG:  That sounds frighteningly intrusive.  I don’t think I’d want anyone to be able to know anything and everything in my head.

M: Why? Got some skeleton’s you don’t want us to know about.

AQG: I thought I was asking the questions.

M & F [Laugh]

AQH: Ahem, can we get back to what you were saying.

F: Yes, of course. It is invasive, so if you give someone that access you’d better trust they won’t abuse it.  What you need to understand is Nerti is very old. She’s seen so much, and her knowledge of people, history, customs, is so vast that I’m just not that interesting to her.  What’s history to me are memories to her. So the ability to benefit from her wisdom was too great to pass up.  But she promised to keep out of my private thoughts and I trust her.

AQG: What if she decided to peek around anyway?

F: I’d know it immediately. She has better things to worry about than what I’m thinking in the privacy of my mind.  Most of the time she maintains a link to my mind and only 'looks in' if I'm agitated or excited. Then she can monitor my thoughts.  Nerti also has agreed to leave asked. I can also temporarily block the link if I want, but she'd know I was doing and probably ask why. I've haven't done that yet.

AQG: Basically your thoughts are background noise to her?

F: I suppose you could say that, but she also knows when to be more active. On those occasions, Nerti will actively monitor my thoughts so she can hear what's happening.

M: And so she can comment.

F: [Laughs and rolls his eyes] Yes, that too.

AQG: Now that you've defeated Meglar twice in the last year, what's next? Will you take the fight to him?

M: No. Farrell is going to meet Meglar on the Plains of Gharaha.

AQG:  Why there?

F: Honorus has said that is where it will take place.

AQG: What if Meglar doesn't agree to come to Gharaha?

F:  He will.

AQG: That's it? Just 'he will?'

M: If you knew Meglar, you'd know it won't be a problem. He believes he's superior to everyone else. Why would he fear to come face us? 

AQG: Because he knows it's a trap?

F:  When he attacked Yar-del he had to face Heminaltose and Zenora on their terms. He won. At Endor he met Sandoval and all the wizard priest of Falcron knowing they'd prepared for him. He beat them. After killing the three greatest wizards on Ardus, he doesn't fear me or anyone.

AQG:  So what will you do?

F: What we've done for the last ten years; look for ways to defeat Meglar.

AQG:  Mhmm, and what exactly does that mean?

F: Even if we knew the answer to that, we'd never tell you or anyone.  But we need to expand our search beyond Ardus. I think it's time I paid a visit to Dumbarten and ask King Marcus for help. He was my mother's cousin so maybe I can persuade him to send help.

AQG:  Can they help?

F: We don't know, but Kel was from Dumbarten and right now they are the largest strongest country on Nendor. 

AQG: What if they can't or won't help?

M: You're a cheery sort, aren’t you?

AQG: It's not exactly a cheery subject.

F: You're right, it isn't. There are many other places on Nendor we can go. By now the world knows Meglar is a danger that has to be stopped. Hopefully someone will listen.

AQG: Sounds like you have a lot to do. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

The Last Grand Master:r their very survival.
Champion of the Gods: Book One:

In a war that shook the earth, the Six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For the three thousand years since, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity.

But then a new wizard unleashes the power of Neldin. Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, uses dark magic to create an army of creatures to carry out his master's will.

One by one, the sovereign realms fall. Soon the only wizard who can stop Meglar is Grand Master Farrell, the Prince of Haven, the hidden home of refugees. An untried wizard, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

While helping Nerti, queen of the unicorns, Farrell saves Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen to be Farrell's mate. But Farrell approaches love with caution, and before he can decide how to proceed, Meglar invades a neighboring kingdom. Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Farrell pushes himself to the limit as he and Miceral fight not only to stop Meglar but for their very survival.

Website:  www.andrewqgordon.com
Book page (with links to all major outlets for the book: http://andrewqgordon.com/books/the-last-grand-master-coming-february-1-2013
Email: andrewqgordon@gmail.com
Buy the book at:
Dreamspinner Press
Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guest Post: Kim Fielding

My guest today is Kim Fielding to talk about her new book, Venetian Masks.


I have daughters ages thirteen and just-turning-ten. They’re both bookworms. I don’t know how many times I’ve caught them reading after bedtime. The younger one tends to do the under-the-covers-with-the-flashlight gig. The older one has a towering stack of books at her bedside, which I fear may someday topple on her and then we’ll never see her again. And inevitably when I call to one of them to do a chore or eat a meal or go to bed, I hear the same complaint: “But I’m at a good part!”

As readers, we’ve all experienced that feeling of being unable to stop because a story has so consumed us. I once screamed at my entire family like a lunatic and banished them from the room until I’d finished reading the final chapters of The Book Thief.

Until I began writing novels a few years ago, I didn’t realize that writers experience the same thing.

My experience with writing a novel tends to be a bit like a roller coaster. There’s the brief initial drop when I get started and I am really enthusiastic about a new story. The there’s that sort of sloggy part in the middle—the uphill chug—when progress seems so slow and it feels like I’ll never finish. But then… then comes that delirious whee! of the final chapters. I generally shoot for writing 2000 words a day (I have a day job, alas). On a good day I hit 3000. But towards the end of the story I manage much more than that. I just finished the first draft of a novel in which the final 11,000 words were written in two days. My record, though, comes from my upcoming novella, Night Shift, in which I wrote the final 7000 words in one day.

When that roller coaster starts zooming down the track, I become a conduit for my muse. I write until the screen is so blurry I can’t see and I’m making more typos than correct words. Doesn’t matter what’s going on around me and doesn’t matter how early I have to wake up in the morning. I’m at a good part.

What I really hope is that when the story makes it into print, people will find it as hard to stop reading as I did to stop writing. I like to picture people hiding from their partners, their kids, their jobs, their friends, all so they can keep on reading.

My newest novel, Venetian Masks, releases February 11. The main character, Jeff Dawkins, is a reader too. Here’s an excerpt from the book.

Kim Fielding:
On Twitter: #kfieldingwrites


They stopped for lunch at a place Cleve said had decent pizza, but which he chose for the view. And it was spectacular. The restaurant was built over the water of the Canale di San Marco, looking out toward an island with a domed church. Right next to the restaurant was a little dock where boats came and went constantly.
“Why Venice?” Cleve asked him over their food and wine.
“Told you. Wasn’t my idea.”
“Yeah, but you’re the one who’s here now, so there must’ve been something about the place that appealed to you.”
“Nonrefundable plane tickets,” Jeff said with a sigh. And then, probably because he was finishing off his third glass, he looked out over the serene water and said, “It was my boyfriend’s idea. My ex-boyfriend’s idea.”
“He had this plan for a kind of grand tour, right? Probably he was trying to inject some spice into our relationship. We’d been living together for a while. But the spice didn’t come soon enough. He dumped me for another guy.”
“That sucks balls. But any guy who’d dump you obviously has shit for brains, and you’re better off without him.”
Jeff turned his head to look at Cleve, who was doing a pretty good job of pretending to look sincere. “Kissing my ass isn’t going to get me to hire you.”
Cleve waggled his eyebrows suggestively and then chuckled. “I’ll skip making a comment about ass-kissing. I really meant what I said, though. I mean… look at you.” He waved a hand in Jeff’s general direction. “You’re fucking adorable.”
Adorable? Kittens are adorable. Chubby babies are adorable. Little cottages with gingerbread trim and flower boxes are adorable.”
Cleve reached across the table and pinched Jeff’s cheek. “So are you, man. I mean, you have these… wholesome boy-next-door good looks, and you blush, and you’re sort of cutely grouchy, and….” He bit his lower lip. For once, he was the one who looked embarrassed. Although that was probably an act too, Jeff reminded himself.
But Jeff was having trouble thinking straight at the moment, because the skin of his face burned where the other man had touched him, and he could suddenly imagine exactly what it would feel like for Cleve to trace his cheekbones with his broad fingers, to ghost along his mouth and then in, and—
“Why are you in Venice?” Jeff asked gruffly, very glad that the tablecloth covered his lap.
Cleve visibly relaxed, his usual demeanor settling over him like a well-worn mask. “Told you. I bum around.”
“Yeah. But why here?”
“Dunno. I like it. There’s lots of tourists around if I need to make a buck.” He flashed a grin. “And it’s kind of… in the middle. Easy to get to somewhere else if you want to take off in a hurry.”
Jeff decided not to ask why he’d want to leave so quickly. Cleve wouldn’t give a straight answer anyway. “Is it your favorite city?”
Cleve smiled. “It is this week.”