Monday, March 30, 2015

Q & A with Wendy Byrne!

1.  Tell us about your newest release.
 
Hard to Stop is the third book in the Hard Targets Trilogy through Gemma Halliday Publishing. The trilogy focuses on the Shaw siblings who were orphaned at a young age and forced to become assassins for survival. They were able to escape their Serbian homeland and settled in New York when they were in their twenties. Sabrina and Jake both work for The Alliance--a top secret agency specializing in protection and retrieval. Max decided long ago to forget his past and is a trader on Wall Street. The first book, Hard to Kill, introduced Sabrina Shaw as she went undercover to track down child traffickers. In the second book, Hard to Trust, Jake was sent on an assignment to bring in a rogue CIA agent who's suspected of being a double agent. In Hard to Stop, Max Shaw has a contract on his head. But, in a case of mistaken identity, the killer murders his friend Damon instead. To get to the bottom of who is behind the contract, Max must confront his past as an assassin in order to save his own life.
 

2. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?
 
When I wrote this trilogy, I pictured Max and Jake with completely different personalities. Jake, prefers the grunge look and Max never walks out the door unless he's wearing a Hugo Boss suit. Jake is more fly-by-the-seat of his pants where Max is very calculating in everything he does. It wasn't until I wrote this last book that I realized why Max feels compelled to always dress and be in control: He's so sickened by what he did in the past, he uses the way he dresses and acts to make himself believe it never happened. 

3.  Do you have any interesting writing quirks or rituals?

I'm not sure how interesting or different this is, but I find that I get more accomplished when I make a pact with another writing friend of mine to get X amount of words written in a specific period of time. Then we check in with each other to keep each other honest. Along the same concept is NANO in which writers unite to try to write 50,000 words during the month of November.

4.  What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
 
In 1999 I joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America, Windy City Writers. Through Windy City, I connected up with a critique group that I'm still close with. Two of the four members gave up writing, but two of us still correspond via email at least once every day. The writing life is not easy and it helps to have support from others who understand your struggles.
 
5.  What does your family think about your career as a published author?
 
My husband and sons are supportive of my writing career. I'm kind of low key about being a writer, but my sisters are my biggest fans, spreading the word about my books.

6.  Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
 
I teach social work classes part time at a local university. I've sewn since I was about 10 or 12, but that morphed into making quilts somewhere along the way. I've made numerous quilts for friends and family over the years. I even have an industrial sized quilting machines in my basement.

7. Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?
 
I have three contemporary romances coming out from Entangled Publishing. A short story (as part of a collection) from Gemma Halliday Publishing this summer and I'm working on a mystery series. 

8. How can readers connect with you online?
 
 Readers can reach me at my website at http://wendybyrne.net or like me on FB at https://www.facebook.com/WendyByrneAuthor or twitter @wbyrneauthor or sign up for my newsletter:  http://www.wendybyrne.net/contact/

Friday, March 27, 2015

Two-in-one Book Giveaway:

The Vampire's Wolf/The Resurrectionist



Blurbs:

 These two heroes are more than protectors! 

THE VAMPIRE'S WOLF 

As a werewolf, marine captain Travis MacConnelly should be immune to the deadly attraction of female vampires. But Brianna Vittori ignites his most primal desires. When Mac realizes that his beautiful prisoner doesn't know what she is, it's up to him to provide her with answers…and protection. As the bond between them grows, so does the danger they're in. 

THE RESURRECTIONIST 

Dani is so tough even the grave couldn't keep her down. After mysterious beings brought her back from her murder, she's been restoring justice to humans. And she gets help from cop Sam Lopez. But Sam has demons of his own. They ignore the heat between them—until a great evil begins to rise. Now Dani and Sam must get closer than ever.


What's your favorite type of paranormal story?

Post a comment and be entered to win a copy of this book.
Open to US mailing addresses only. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Q & A with Julie Johnstone!



Tell us about your release.

My Seductive Innocent is book 2 in the Once Upon A Rogue Series. Though it is the second book, it can definitely stand alone. Here is the blurb!

Miss Sophia Vane, a hoyden of the first order, makes an unlikely match when she weds Nathaniel Ellison, the rich and wary Duke of Scarsdale. What starts with an unexpected friendship soon blooms into a fiery passion. But a betrayal plunges Sophia into the thorny world of London Society and entangles her in a labyrinth of manipulation and jealousy that will test the strength of her marriage. Behind her husband’s sudden icy facade, Sophia believes dwells the caring, passionate man she loves. To break through the barriers and reclaim their happiness, they must do more than simply cast away their pride. They must fight for their very lives.
 

Buy Links:


What makes your story special to you?

I love to write books that force the main characters to question everything they have ever believed in, and this story does that in a huge way. I also love a romance that has suspense woven in, and depending on the story I’m trying to tell, sometimes I get to explore suspense and sometimes I don’t. This story not only allowed me to weave suspense into the tale, but I got to explore a bit of a darker side, which I adore.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I had a friend in fourth grade whose mother was a writer. She would sit us around the coffee table when I would spend the night, give us paper, and tell us to write stories. Sometimes, she would start the story and sometimes we would make them up. I’m certain the seed was planted then!

What is a typical writing day like?

I start every day by getting my kids off to school! Then I usually head to the gym and workout to clear my mind. If I’ve already done the research for a story, I will usually sit down at my computer and write for three to four hours, getting up at various times to do a few chores here and there. I work best by setting myself a word count goal. I know how many words I have to write a day to get the story done about when it needs to be. Of course, sometimes the story tricks me and ends up being a lot longer than I planned, like this book!

Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?

I’m not sure how interesting it is, but I have to write in complete silence. I cannot stand distractions!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?

The end is only the beginning. Once I have written those two words a whole other round of intensive work begins like editing and promoting.

What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

Well, I do believe my friend’s mother was my first influence. However, I would have never dared to take the chance without the encouragement of my parents who told me I could do anything I wanted to. I also would not be where I am today without the constant encouragement, help and advice of many published authors who are my friends as well as critique partners. As to authors I admire that made me want to try to write, I’d say as far as the romance genre goes that Julie Garwood was my first influence.

What does your family think about your career as a published author?

My kids are so funny! They love it! My youngest child wanted to give all his classmates bookmarks and books of mine last year for Christmas. Of course, we didn’t! They’re only 8, after all! My oldest son was rather indifferent until a magazine featured me, and he had his picture in the magazine. And to top that off, a classmate’s mother told him she was a fan of mine, and he thought that was pretty cool! My husband is incredibly supportive as are my parents.

Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

Well I’m pretty fanatical about working out. It’s my stress relief. I love to spin, do yoga, do cardio classes and lift weights. I love to cook and have recently started making my household a non-processed household. I love to read, of course! And I love to travel!

Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

The rest of this year is busy, busy! I’m currently writing book 3 in the Once Upon A Rogue series, and I am also writing book 5 in the Whisper of Scandal Series. I’m also going to be in a huge box set with a bunch of other fabulous authors that will be coming out later this year, and I am hoping by the end of the year to have book 2 in the Lords of Deception series finished.

How can readers connect with you online?

You can find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/authorjuliejohnstone
On Twitter: @juliejohnstone
At my website at: www.juliejohnstoneauthor.com where you can join up for my newsletter or street team.

Excerpt:


Sophia trailed her fingers over Nathan’s strong jawline. She would reveal some of her fear in hopes that one day he would reveal some of his. “You’re like Michelangelo’s David. I’m afraid one day you will wake up and wonder who the stray puppy is that you married.”
He stood so abruptly she feared he was about to agree with her and then walk out of this room and her life. He looked down at her from his towering stance, reached behind him to tug off his shirt, and revealed a rippling abdomen and muscled chest. She stared in awe and wistfulness; his body―marred only at his shoulder by the bandage covering his healing wound―was every bit as beautiful as his face.
“I’m no statue, Sophia,” he growled as he yanked his boots off, then his pants and undergarments. She gaped at the size and power of his body that could not be denied now that he stood there without a stich of clothing.
“You are perfect,” she whispered, ashamed that she was so far from it, so very unmatched to him.
His gaze grew hard. “Expecting perfection from me will hurt us both. I like that you’re not perfect. Do you understand?”
She understood that he’d been hurt deeply and that he was trying to tell her how without saying it explicitly. “I do.”
He lowered himself over her, and something fierce glittered in his eyes. “I’ll hurt you and I’ll fail you, and then you’ll see. You won’t think me perfect. You won’t want to love me then.”
“Come to me, Nathan,” she replied, knowing arguing was futile. “Show me your imperfections.”

About the author: 


Julie Johnstone is a USA TODAY best-selling author of Regency Romance and the author of a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance book. She’s been a voracious reader of books since she was a young girl. Her mother would tell you that as a child Julie had a rich fantasy life made up of many different make believe friends. As an adult, Julie is one of the lucky few who can say she is living the dream by working with her passion of creating worlds from her imagination. When Julie is not writing she is chasing her two precocious children around, cooking, reading or exercising. Julie loves to hear from her readers. You can send her an email at juliejohnstoneauthor@gmail.com or find her at www.juliejohnstoneauthor.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/juliejohnstoneauthor and www.facebook.com/authorjuliejohnstone and on twitter at @juliejohnstone. You can join Julie’s newsletter here: http://juliejohnstoneauthor.com/extras/subscribe/