Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just 3 More Days!

I am so excited. Just 3 more days until my novel, The Lighthouse, releases from MuseItHot Publishing. That's right, it comes out New Year's Day. It's the best way I've ever rung in a new year.:-) Here's a brief blurb:


When Rachel Westmont inherits a lighthouse from an aunt she didn’t even know she had, she’s overjoyed. The news couldn’t have come at a better time. Newly divorced from a self-serving doctor, the change of scenery is just what she needs. So she packs up and leaves California for a little island off the coast of Maine.

Rachel falls in love with both Star Island and the beautiful lighthouse and cottage she’s inherited. But, odd things begin to happen right from the first day. Cold chills permeate the cottage and books fly off the shelves. And someone seems to be playing pranks on her.

But when the ante gets upped and someone tries to kill her, Rachel must turn to hunky local sheriff Craig Lewis for protection. Now bodies are turning up, people are getting hurt, and Rachel is starting to suspect her aunt didn’t die a natural death. Can Craig stop a killer from claiming Rachel as their next victim? A little help from a ghost may be in order.

And if  you'd like to see the amazing trailor for this story, go here. Prepare to get haunted January 01, 2011. It will be great!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone the very best Christmas ever. I hope your holiday is filled with joy, laughter, family and friends. Merry Christmas everyone and a very happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

2 Events In One!

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. But it's also a lunar eclipse. In fact, it's the first time in 372 years the two events will coincide. The eclipse will happen first. At exactly 2:40 a.m. the eclipse will start and will go on for 72 minutes and 21 seconds. Fourteen hours later the winter solstice, marking the start of winter in the Northeast will begin.

Unlike a solar eclipse, you can watch the lunar eclipse without risking damage to your eyes. Though  given how cold it is, I'd suggest wearing a coat. For those of us who are pagan, having the eclipse on the same day as the Solstice is doubly special. So I hope you all enjoy the lunar eclipse and for those of you who are pagan, Merry Yule. May your holiday be blessed.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Lighthouse Has A Trailer!

And what an amazing trailer it is. I wish I could figure out how to embed videos here but since I don't have a clue, go here to see my awesome new trailer. It was done by Delilah K. Stephans.:-) I am over the moon.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Join Me Tonight!

Join me tonight on my Blog Talk Radio show with guest MeiLin Miranda. We're going to have a blast. The show begins at 6 pm EST. If you'd like to call in the number is 619-393-6798. Or go to my radio show's website and join in the chat room. Look forward to seeing you all there.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Finally Here!

The day has finally come. My mom, author L.J. Holmes's debut novel, Santa Is A Lady is now out and available for purchase. this is her very first novel and it's a great story for Christmas time. Go here to get a copy. I'm so happy for you mom.:-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ho Ho Holiday Sale!

My publisher is offering a great holiday special. This is the perfect chance to get someone special great ebooks or to treat yourself to some wonderful stories. The details are below.

Holiday Special:

Get 25% off any purchase from today until December 10th.

Use code: HC2010D at checkout in the discount code box before going to Paypal.

From all of us at the Muse,

we want to wish you Happy Holidays!
Just click on my links to got MuseItUp and MuseItHot's websites to take part in the special.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with yummy food, fun, and the love of friends and family. And take it easy tomorrow when you all begin the holiday shopping madness. Have a wonderful day everyone.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tonight Is The Night!

My Blog Talk Radio show debuts tonight! My very first guest is none other than Muse It Up's own goddess of cover art, Delilah K. Stephans. I have been looking forward to this for over a month. I'm nervous but extremely excited. The show begins at 6 pm eastern and is 30 minutes long. If you'd like to call in and speak to me or my guest, the number is 619-393-6798. And if you'd like to join us in the chat room go here. Hope to see you all there.:-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Contract!

I just signed the contract for book two in my Gods At Work series with MuseItHot Publishing. It has a release date of September 2011 and as soon as it has a cover I'll post it. Very soon I will post the blurb.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Have A Show On Blog Talk Radio!

I've taken the plunge and created my own show called Kat's Writing Pen on Blog Talk Radio. It will be every Friday at 6 pm EST. My show debuts November 05, 2010 and my very first guest for the debut I am pleased to announce is none other than MuseItUp's own Goddess of cover art, Delilah K. Stephans.

I have plenty of openings left though for anyone who'd like to be a guest on the show. The show's only 30 minutes so you won't have to give up a lot of time and it's a fun way to promote yourself. If you are interested email me here and I will schedule you. I'd love to have you.

And you can click here to be taken directly to my show's page. I hope you'll all join me starting November 5th. I'm also running a 15 minute test show on the 1st of November to iron out any bugs. Feel free to join me for that too. It'd be great to actually test the phone lines and chat room with people.:-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not Around Much

I will be back soon but right now I'm really busy with a sick cat. My poor little baby has an infection and isn't doing so hot. I have to give her an antibiotic and an antihistamine twice a day. She's looking better than she has been but she's still not 100%. So, just as soon as she's doing better I'll be more talkative. Later all.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Working Under Covers New Cover!

Working Under Covers has a new cover and it's stunning. The amazingly talented Delilah K. Stephans made it and I think it's really classy. I love this cover. Thank you Delilah for it. Click on the picture to pull it up full size. All I can say is wow!

Monday, October 04, 2010

What do you believe in?

I'm asking that question, and answering it over at the Muse It Hot blog today as part of our month long Masquerade Bash. I hope you'll all join me. See you there.:-)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Some Of My Favorite Things

I'm sitting here at my computer and I started to think about some of my favorite things. So I've decided to share with you some of what I love the most in this world. Of course my Mom and cats are numero uno. But they aren't things. Here's some of my favorite things:

1: Winter. I love winter. I'm a huge fan of the cold. I was born in Erie, PA right on the Canadian border at the end of January. Very very cold and very snowy at that time of the year. I love winter for three reasons. You can put on enough clothes to stay warm. In summer, even if you went naked you can't get cool plus you'd probably be arrested for indecent exposure.:-)

Bugs are hibernating. Anyone who knows me knows how much I loathe the little creepy crawlies. And if you don't know me, just ask my Mom. I freak out when there's a bug in our home.

And third, I love houses decorated for Christmas. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not it's still nice to see all the pretty lights and figurines.

2: Books. This is a no brainer.:-) I'm a writer and my passion started by reading. I love books. I have too many favorite authors to list here, but no matter how nuts things get I always try to find time to read whenever I can. And I don't care if it's a print book or an ebook. A good book is a good book.

3: Chocolate. I ADORE chocolate. Give me chocolate dipped in chocolate and I'm happy. When I die I hope it's after I've gorged on chocolate. Chocolate is THE perfect food. I think it should be its own food group.

4: Pomegranates. I love the fruit. They're tart but loaded with so much good stuff. And to me they taste great. It's hard to eat them but they are so worth the effort.

5: Gyro sandwiches. I LOVE these. We have a place near us that delivers and they make the BEST gyros I have ever had. Yummy yum yum. This is heaven.

6: Water. I can see you shaking your head in confusion but yes, water is one of my favorite things. I love to drink it. Some people think water is bland but I actually love the cool refreshing taste of it. In fact on hot days I don't want things like soda, lemonade or iced tea. I want ice cold water.

I also love the feel of water. Swimming was my sport of choice as a kid. I loved how it felt on my skin. And to be blunt, the best sex I have ever had in my life was in the shower. There is just something about the element of water that is so sensual.

So that's my list of things I love. What's yours?:-)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Welcome To October!

And boy is my publisher welcoming the month of ghosts, spooks and things that go bump in the night with a bang. We're having a masquerade bash complete with a month long book giveaway. Wanna win free ebooks? Then follow the link below to see how to participate. It's easy. Plus, every day one of the many talented authors and staff members of MuseItUp and MuseItHot will be popping by to tell you their Halloween adventures. I'll be stopping by on the 4th of October so don't miss it. And here's the link with the info to join the masquerade fun.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All Day Event!

All the authors and staff with MuseItUp, MuseItHot and MuseItYoung are over at Publishing Trove today. We are answering any and all questions, sharing blurbs and excerpts, and just basically having a good time. So click on the link below and come join in the fun. Hope to see you there.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Featured Today!

My upcoming Muse It Hot release, The Lighthouse is being featured today over at Imaginaria Archives. I'd love to see you all there. Come and say hi.

You can read a blurb for my story and an excerpt, the entire Prologue!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Want To Share

Most people haven't heard of Enigma. It was a fluke I discovered their music. But it's so beautiful and powerful. If you'd like to hear them click here to see their video for Mea Culpa. Excellent song. They just keep getting better.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yay for Sarah Masters!

My dear friend Sarah Masters has a new realease today, Inferno. Check out the blurb.


Lee buries his mother, confused with the feelings her death has inspired. He thought he’d feel free, but emotions he didn’t expect come to the fore. After an altercation with an old school friend, they pack up Ryan’s things and head for Biddingford and Lee’s cabin. Something isn’t right, though, and Ryan and Lee face a frightening adversary who just can’t let the past go…

Check out blog for more info on how to get your own copy. Her books are dynomite!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frozen Cover Blog!

Frozen by Kat Holmes

My mom has put up on her blog a cover blog for my upcoming Muse It Hot release, Frozen. I absolutely love it. So, if you'd just like the barest teaser of what my story is about click on this link.

Thank you mom for such a wonderful tribute to a story I love. Frozen, book 1 in the Artica Lights series will release from Muse It Hot Publishing in April, 2011.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Day I'll Never Forget!

It started like any other day. I hated getting up early and going to work. I was eager for the weekend though it was only the beginning of the week. Same old same old. My mom drove me to work and I headed in.

At the time I worked in Burlington, New Jersey as a corporate auditor. I slid my id card through the time clock and headed to my desk to start the day. I fired up the computer and pulled out the first batch of reports I'd be working on. Then I attempted, and let me stress that word attempted, to get into the audits program.

Much to my surprise and everyone else's in my department, we couldn't get in. Oh boy what could possibly be wrong? Tech was called and we all spent quite a bit of time walking around while tech worked on our computers. Because of this, most of us, actually all of us had no clue about the drama unfolding in New York. Then, at 10 am while our computers were still acting like something out of the Twilight Zone, my boss's husband called her at work.

His news wasn't good. The towers had been hit. Now we knew why our computers weren't working. The network was based in a building around the corner from the two towers. The techs managed to hook us up to another network line so we could work, but in that time we learned both towers had fallen and that bridges were being closed. Every employee who lived in Pennsylvania was released so they could get home before the shutdown.

I went to the employee cafeteria to find out what was going on and that's when it happened. We learned of a plane going down in Pennsylvania. No news about exactly where and I hit panic mode. My mom and I both live right outside Philadelphia and since I didn't know where the plane went down I frantically try calling her. Nothing, no answer. The phone just rang and rang.

I tried again and again all through the afternoon. I was sick with worry. I emailed her from my work computer. Still nothing. The fear was just eating at me. Finally at 3 in the afternoon I get an email from her. She's okay. The plane didn't go down anywhere near her. I just felt this huge wave of relief. I didn't dare stand because I don't think my legs would have supported me. I just broke down at work and cried.

When 5 came and she picked me up I'd never been so happy to see her in my life. But then we got home and I got to see the actual footage of what had happened. The images of people jumping from the top of the towers rather than burning to death broke me. I didn't stop crying all night.

It was early in the week. I had several more days of work to get through. The next day it felt weird to just about everyone at work. We were all quiet and subdued. There was no joking. I actually didn't even feel like myself. I was numb, there's no other way to describe it. That went on for days. It was like I was just going through the motions.

I got lucky on 9/11. My mom and brother were both unharmed. But so many people lost loved ones that day. No matter how many years pass, every time the anniversary comes up I still feel that weird kind of numbness. I'll never forget where I was and what I was doing on that day. The irony is the building that is at the center of the mosque controversy in New York is the building that once housed my former company's network that wasn't working that day. It just makes it even stranger.

To everyone affected that day either with loss or just the fear of loss as was my case, you are all in my heart and prayers. We will NEVER forget.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Congrats For A Friend!

I want to congratulate a friend of mine and her husband on the birth of their new baby. Renee Rocca and her husband Frank who run Lyrical Press are wonderful people and I am just so happy for you. She's an absolutely adorable little girl.

Mom's Newest Cover!

Mom has a new cover for her dark fiction tale, Twilight Comes. The cover was done by that amazingly talented cover artist, Delilah K. Stephans. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the lightning in the background.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

I want to wish everyone a very happy and fun-filled Labor Day. Whether you are out grilling with family and friends, have taken a trip down to the beach, or are justa staying home with a good book, may your holiday be a great one.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Coming Soon From Muse It Hot!

I am so pleased to share with you my story, The Lighthouse which will be released January 01, 2011 from Muse It Hot Publishing. The beautiful cover was done by Muse's very talented cover art Goddess, Delilah K. Stephens and she so captured the feel and heart of this book. I hope you will enjoy it and to whet your appetite, here's a brief blurb. I will be posting an excerpt to my website very soon so stay tuned for that.

When Rachel Westmont inherits a lighthouse from an aunt she didn’t even know she had, she’s overjoyed. The news couldn’t have come at a better time. Newly divorced from a self-serving doctor, the change of scenery is just what she needs. So she packs up and leaves California for a little island off the coast of Maine.

Rachel falls in love with both Star Island and the beautiful lighthouse and cottage she’s inherited. But, odd things begin to happen right from the first day. Cold chills permeate the cottage and books fly off the shelves. And someone seems to be playing pranks on her.

But when the ante gets upped and someone tries to kill her, Rachel must turn to hunky local sheriff Craig Lewis for protection. Now bodies are turning up, people are getting hurt, and Rachel is starting to suspect her aunt didn’t die a natural death. Can Craig stop a killer from claiming Rachel as their next victim? A little help from a ghost may be in order.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Goodies For Readers

It’s time, dear readers, to announce what we have in store for you...one surprise at a time.

Beginning October 1st, and on the first of each month, one lucky reader will win a FREE e-book.

The rules you ask?

Simple: join our discussions, ask questions to our authors, have fun with us, that’s it. Participate and you have a chance to be one of our monthly winners.

To join our readers group go here:


Give your friends the link above and ask them to join us too. Come October things are going to begin hopping and a'bobbin' all over the place.

But that’s not all:

Join us in our readers group for our December 1st Launch Party and you have a chance to be one of our two lucky winners:

First prize: a year’s worth of ebooks (12 in total)

Second prize: six month’s worth of ebooks (6 in total)

Hold on, we’ve got more...

Between October 1st and 31st we’ll be hosting a Masquerade Blog Festival where each day one of our authors will entertain you with a variety of posts, from short stories, recipes, historical facts of the Halloween season, to decorating tips. In-between these posts there will be random YouTube videos posted and the first reader who jumps in the loop and calls out the title of the song posted will have his or her choice of any one of our released or soon to be released e-books. If soon-to-be-released you will receive the e-book once it debuts.

So tell your friends to join us because we’ve got tons of goodies in store for you each month.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The End Of Silence

I've been good. I've kept my mouth shut as was required by the non-disclosure agreement, or NDA that I signed. But today is the 1st of September and my NDA expired yesterday. I will be silent no longer. I hope that in speaking out I can help another author, either already established or just starting out avoid the pit I fell into.

Not all publishers are equal. And some can be hazards just waiting to ensnare you in their webs. Last year, much to my amazement and pleasure, my first ever story was contracted by an e-publisher. I was new and naive. I had no reason to wonder why this publisher would demand I sign an NDA stating I wouldn't speak out about anything that went on there. Big mistake.

First warning, if you are EVER asked to sign an NDA agreement, move on to another publisher. It means they are trying to hide something. Stupidly, I signed and learned all too quickly what they wanted to hide. The place had major problems. Staff member after staff member quit working for this publisher. Editors, cover artists, even the webmistress.

And authors were bailing out too. I thought in the beginning it was just sour grapes and people not being grateful for the opportunity. Boy did I learn. I guess I had to go through the living hell these people endured to understand the truth. And I am not being melodramatic when I say living hell. Let me outline my little adventure.

My first novel entitled Voice In The Night was slated to be released on March 18th of this year. That was a Thursday. That Tuesday I was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a kidney stone that was blocking my urinary tract. Not their fault and I don't blame for them that. But, time revealed that this would be an ongoing serious health issue due to an overactive parathyroid.

My publisher was made aware of this and that until the gland could be removed, which is still pending by the way, that I was not doing too well. Also, she was notified that I am severely epileptic and because of this, my mom has power of attorney over my medical issues and my finances. Now we need to backtrack a bit to October of 2009.

I submitted the first book in a series called Working Under Covers and was introduced to my editor for that. We began edits. I had NO contract and was constantly emailing them to ask for the paperwork. I couldn't even advertise this story that we were already doing edits on because I had no contract. It took the head of the ART department getting involved before I was ever sent a contract.

After that, I subbed several more stories in that series and a stand alone novel. I heard nothing. In January I actually called the publisher and asked her what was up and she said she had someone assessing it as we spoke. Months past. March came, I ended up in the hospital, and my first book came out. Okay, by this time I figured they weren't interested in my stand alone novel so I subbed it to a new house.

It got contracted by the new house the beginning of May, the 4th of May to be exact. Now mind you, I didn't have to sign an NDA with this new house. So I'm going along happily when I hear from my content editor letting me know as soon as my cover is finished Working Under Covers is going to release. Okay, we get the cover done and nothing happens so I have no idea when this book will release.

The following Wednesday at 10 at night, the publisher calls me and tells me it's coming out in 3 hours. That's all the notice I had. 3 hours. Now just a few weeks prior the website for the publisher had crashed. So even though I needed to quickly promo this book coming out the publisher kept me on the phone talking until 3 in the morning. The website was slowly being rebuilt and she wanted someone to gab with while she got all the new releases up.

She also wanted to bad mouth the new webmistress, the one who took over after the previous webmistress quit. She blamed the new webmistress for the website crash and said the new webmistress had hurt her deeply. She also wanted to bad mouth a new publishing house and its publisher. It just so happened to be the publisher I had contracted my new story with. I didn't want to play that game so I got off the phone.

Next day she found out, I guess by going into their website that I'd signed with this new house and she messaged me online demanding I deny that I'd gone to this house. When I couldn't do that I was subjected to more bad mouthing of this new house. She had me so stressed by the end of the session I had a violent seizure. My mother was less than pleased and wanted to deal with her then and there but I prevented it. I still wanted to avoid trouble with my publisher.

Now, over the next few weeks I get slammed with stuff. My pub wants me to send her all my subbed stories and paperwork. I'd sent this stuff to my editor but she said my editor couldn't be trusted. I did what she wanted. Then, in June, less than a full month from the time Working Under Covers came out I get an email from the cover artist saying that book two would release as soon as she finished the cover.

This threw me because I hadn't even finished edits on this story. Later that same day I got an email from the lines editor with my edits telling me to get them done quickly because it was releasing that week. Thankfully, the cover wasn't done quickly enough for it to release because I discovered after I'd sent the edits back that words were missing and it needed to be fixed. So I was able to get that fixed. Then I heard nothing more.

Then came the infamous day of Wednesday again. 5 hours before this time the publisher calls to tell me book 2 will be releasing. Again I have to scramble. Now I'm upset. Book one hasn't really had a chance to shine and they are already releasing book 2 again with no notice. I get my author copy and there's a Trojan virus attached to it that crashes my mom's computer. I emailed the publisher to let her know and to this day she's never responded about the virus. I complain to my editor.

My editor had also signed up to do edits for my new publishing house and that made her a target. She's getting the feeling she's going to be fired so she lets the publisher have the truth about how upset I am at the early release. To put it bluntly, the you know what hits the fan. I'm done. I officially email her that I am severing ties with her company.

Now remember, I have never heard from her regarding the virus, but she responded to this email like lightning. She removed all my books from the catalogue and pulled me off the author loop. She stripped away everything I had out and all my author rights. So, since she broke her own contract, I sent her an official notice via certified mail that I wanted the rights to all my work returned to me. I also discovered and included in the letter that she had released book 2 in my series called Heart Of The Queen without a contract.

I was shocked when I realized it, but she actually stole my manuscript from me. She never responded to my letter, so close to the deadline I gave her I emailed her to remind her that the cut-off date was coming up. She answered that by saying I owed them money for edits and covers and until I paid I would not get my rights back. Also, until they received a copy of my mom's power of attorney, which legally they do not require in spite of what they say, they couldn't actually send anything to me. They are holding my work hostage!

By her own contract, the moment she pulled everything off the catalogue SHE broke the contract. I was going to let my contract run out and just not sub anything new. I owe them nothing and I know for a fact neither my editor nor my cover artist for the first book was paid a dime. I'm not certain about the cover artist for my two books in the series but I doubt she'll be paid either.

Since leaving, I have learned I am not the only one she's done this too. There is a vast list of authors she has just run roughshod over. She doesn't pay them and she ignores their demands for the rights to their work. I wish I had known it sooner but this publisher is listed in Preditors and Editors as one of the worst to be avoided. This battle is ongoing. I am having to file charges on the illegal publication of Heart Of The Queen. My mom spoke to the police yesterday who informed us how to proceed.

This has been an absolute nightmare. I am not going to sugarcoat what this woman put me through. She published one of my stories with no contract and then went on to hold everything I submitted hostage. It sank me into a depression like you wouldn't believe. My mother feared for me that's how depressed I was.

It's thanks to my new publishing house that I pulled out of it. They have been beyond supportive and all the people are just amazing. I am truly blessed to be there. But now, for all you authors out there who are looking for a home for your work, I have one thing to say. Unless you want to endure what I and many others have gone through and continue to go through, do your homework. This issue is ongoing but I am done covering for them. The publishing house is Red Rose Publishing.

My advice, before you sub to any house, check preditors and editors, talk to some of the authors with that house. Ask questions. And, if you are ever asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, walk the other way as fast as you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Music Can Inspire The Written Word!

Music inspires us, lifts us up, and touches us on so many levels. And one particular song by Annie Lennox has inspired my current WIP about vampires. The song is called Love Song For A Vampire and you can see the video for the song here. This song, and especially the intense emotions evoked from both the beat and Annie's riveting acting in the video has helped to inspire and motivate me to write my current work in progress.

Isn't it amazing where we get our inspiration for writing from? This current project came about because of this song and video. Frozen was inspired, believe it or not, from a single photograph of the Norse goddess of vengeance, Skadi. And The Lighthouse was inspired by my love of lighthouses and the many stories of lighthouse keepers mysteriously vanishing over the centuries.

My Gods At Work series, which for right now I can't talk too much about though I will be able to as of September 1st, was inspired by my love of greek myths and the banking crisis. I started to wonder what if the banking problems affected not just us, but the gods as well and they were forced to come down to earth and work.

Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere. All you have to do is look at something and ask that one magical question...what if? Anyway, I hope you like the video I used as inspiration. I'm also posting one of the pics that has inspired my heroine for my new WIP.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Frozen, The Official Blurb!

Many of you have asked me what Frozen is going to be about. So I'm putting up the official blurb. But first, I want to ask you to look closely at my stunning cover done by the super talented Delilah K. Stephans. Check out the bottom with the guy wandering through the wintry cold. If you look closely, you'll notice little balls of colored lights bobbing around the snow. Those lights are VERY important and the whole reason this series is titled Artica Lights. Now, here's the blurb. I love this story and hope you do too.

Brent Larkin came to Antarctica to study penguins. He didn’t come looking for either adventure or romance. But when a freak storm blows in and he loses his way, that’s exactly what he gets. Attacked by some bobbing lights, he suddenly finds himself in a wintry forest surrounded by men with swords pointed at him. The next thing he knows he’s in a dungeon and chained to the wall.

Awni is the queen of Artica, a land of eternal winter. The daughter of a god, Awni’s cursed to never know the touch of another. Her icy skin is death for anyone who dares to touch her flesh. But, when a mysterious stranger shows up in her lands, she finds herself drawn to him. Eager to learn about his world, she invites him to spend time with her only to be shocked when he touches her and doesn’t freeze to death.

But Artica is a land ruled by tradition. Though she longs to keep Brent there with her, the laws of the land force her to send him home. But without him, both she and the land begin to suffer. Now, Awni is facing the same peril as one of her ancestors. And if she perishes like her ancestor did, all of Artica will pay the price. Can Brent, returned to his own world, somehow find his way back and save her before all is lost?

Frozen is coming from Muse It Hot Publishing in April 2011.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best News Ever!

I have the most awesome news on the planet. At least for me anyway.:-) My mom had surgery a few weeks back and they took some polyps to biopsy. We just got the results and I am overjoyed to announce they are benign. Mom doesn't have cancer. I am so so so thrilled. I love you Mom and am so glad you're okay.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Frozen Has A Cover!

That goddess of cover art has done it again. Frozen, book one in my Artica Lights series, a fantasy romance, now has a cover and it's STUNNING! I am so in love with this cover. It's better than I ever dreamed it would be. This is a good day for me.:-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Talking Fireplace!

Welcome to my Blog today. My name is Kat Holmes. I am on location today and will be interviewing the most unusual guest I have ever sponsored here on my personal blog.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Marble, the entertaining fireplace and mantle inside Jason Reed’s den at the Moore-Reed Mansion.

Ms. Marble, I must admit your request for this interview came as a complete surprise. It isn’t every day I find myself at any location, let alone on location interviewing an admittedly beautiful, but basically inanimate fireplace.

Why thank you, Ms Holmes for the lovely compliment. It’s nice to have someone praising the richness of my texture rather than complaining about having to polish me. I’m also pleased that you did not scoff at my desire for this interview.

I was intrigued though. May I ask why you wanted this interview?

Well, thanks to modern technology and digital television, I’ve been able to observe how today’s computers are being used to promote the stars, or lead characters, if you will, filling the pages, or hand held readers of today’s publishing world, and since I play such a vital role in The Pendulum Swings, I thought it was only appropriate and natural I offer myself and my unique observations about the—household to a savvy blogger such as yourself. I will admit that I have been following your July Bash and found your approach, refreshing.

Please do not think this next question is rude, but Ms, Marble, your ability to observe the day-to-day dynamics of the Moore-Reed household seems a bit limited, from where I sit.

You mean because I am a stationary fireplace unable to disconnect from this wall and travel all over the house?

Well, actually, yes! It seems to me you’re limited to what happens in this room, a very staid, even though well appointed, man’s den. How can you offer my readers a comprehensive picture of what goes on in the entire Moore-Reed household when you are permanently affixed to that wall?

That’s where most people have difficulty seeing the grander picture, Ms. Holmes. Although it is true I am forced by logistics, to remain somewhat sequestered in this room, what takes place in this room, and more importantly, what I myself participate in is, in my opinion, the most decisive part of The Pendulum Swings.

I know I do not look like it in the harsh light of day, but come around midnight, and this marble lady shines so brightly the master actually found me a most engaging dance partner…to begin with.

Ms. Marble, are you saying what I think you’re saying?

Oh yes. My marble is very smooth to the touch, and my bricks are well stacked. You look skeptical, but I am made from Imported Italian Marble, and when I begin to sway…

You and Mr…?

Admittedly only once, but yes we most certainly did, and it was, heavenly. I can still feel his long supple fingers tickling my mortar and his legs…oh Lordy, I do believe it’s getting hot in here. I think I’m flushed. Tell me is my marble turning red? Oh please don’t bother answering, I can feel my temperature rising.

Then he began singing…he does have this tantalizingly hypnotic voice. He thinks he’s a tenor, although to be honest, he’s actually got this deeper, whiskey like lilt that makes my room spin. Baritone…that’s what I’d call it, especially after a dram or more of the good scotch he keeps in the bottom drawer of that desk.

You’re saying he was drunk and then started dancing with you?

Of course not! That would imply he would not find me delectable unless he’d had too much to drink, and that’s just not how it happened. Okay, he was drunk when he was playing ‘peep the keyhole’ with that hussy of a door over there, but by the time he made it all the way back across the room and began sliding his hands all over my lushness, it’d been fifteen, maybe twenty minutes since he’d taken his last gulp.

Ah, right. Why don’t you tell me in your own words, and from the beginning, what happened that one time?

I’d be thrilled to. When he came into the room he was royally steamed with “her” and I can certainly understand that. I don’t know exactly what happened, but by the time he got here, he was definitely snit-worthy. If I had actual ears, well he would have singed my drum hairs.

As I said, in the bottom drawer of that clunky old desk he keeps a bottle of really expensive imported scotch; something he calls Glenlivet, or maybe Pinch. He pulled the bottle out and didn’t even bother getting a glass; just tipped it back and guzzled while cursing “her” every time he stopped for air. He called “her” a tease, which if you saw those skimpy things she’s taken to wearing since she got home from the hospital, you’d have to agree with him. I mean she has corrupted a perfectly refined and correct English butler who spends most of his day drooling in her presence. Disgusting!

I’m actually surprised Jason hasn’t fired that raunchy Brit for that. I may be from the old school, but proper butlers are not supposed to loose their calm, cool, and collected simply because the lady of the house starts belly dancing with no warning and gets the rest of the female staff dropping everything to join in. It’s almost a burlesque in here sometimes. Horrible…and so tacky.

So Mr. Reed was upset about Mrs. Reed belly dancing and that’s why he was drinking?

Oh no, no, no. He was angry because he couldn’t figure out where the secret passageways to her bed chamber were.

Say what?

He assumed that I was hiding at least one secret passage. This house was built by an old pirate, so Jason assumed the pirate would make certain to have included a secret passageway from this den to milady’s chambers.

After the “peeping keyhole” move proved fruitless, that door wasn’t about to help him leave the room and go to “her” because the door has a crush on Jason that makes her jealous of any attention he gives the rest of us. What, you don’t believe me? Look at it, its solid oak and absolutely purrs when Jason’s fingers get caught in her whorls and holes. A hussy, I’m telling you, she’s a shameless tart…not that she could keep his interest long…not when I’m here and have so many more possibilities.

He found his way back to me and began running his lissome fingers all over my body looking for a latch or a key, but getting all hot and bothered by being that close to me. I may be made of marble, and marble might seem cold and emotionless, but howdy-ho, he got my bricks a’ clacking.

And then what happened?

Oh my, Ms. Holmes, if I told you that it would be dancing and telling wouldn’t it? You’ll just have to read The Pendulum Swings, especially now that you know I, Ms. Marble, play such a critical and pivotal role. I can assure you and your lovely blog readers, you’ll never look at any fireplace the same way again.

My loyal readers, no amount of pleading broke through Ms. Marble’s determination to say no more. She thanked me for coming out to her on location. She thanked me for listening to her detailed retelling of the events that led up to her one, and never to be forgotten, time with Mr. Jason Reed, and she made me promise to cut her an audio tape copy of our meeting to play back over and over as her future moves on.

For the rest of us, The Pendulum Swings by L.J. Holmes will be released by Muse It Hot Publishing on March 1, 2011.

That concludes my interview with Ms. Marble, the resplendent fireplace at the Moore-Reed Mansion…and despite repeated requests; I will not be interviewing the Moore-Reed staircase.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

New Award!

Karen McGrath kindly presented me with this award. I am truly thrilled. Thank you so much Karen. It means a lot to me.

Monday, August 02, 2010

New Cover For My Mom!

My mom has a new cover. Pendulum Swings comes out from Muse It Hot Publishing on March 01, 2011. Here's the cover. Isn't it stunning? It's my favorite cover so far of hers.:-) The very talented Delilah K. Stephens did the cover. Anyone for some belly dancing?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 31!

Today is the last day of my Summer Bash and closing out the party os Karen McGrath. Please help me welcome her to the party as she helps us close out the celebration.

Hi Kat, Thank you so much for inviting me to interview on your Summer Bash blog! I am honored and happy to be here. I understand I am the last one here and I have a special surprise just for you at the end here. July has certainly been a hot and muggy month in Boston and your Summer Bash has been a delightful distraction. Thank you!

1: When did you first begin writing?

I began writing at the age of 8. My third grade teacher told me to write a story and I wondered how in the world I would do that. I was a storyteller from age 5, making friends and family laugh, but putting it on paper, what a challenge that was at first.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

I get my inspiration from God. An idea will whoosh by me and I grab it to put it on paper as soon as possible. I love how that works. It's like I'm sailing on the ocean with the sun at its zenith sparkling on the water like a thousand diamonds strewn about. A jewelfish rushes by in the current and I capture it in my hand carefully, peeking through my fingers as light streams out. If I hold it gently and let it breath, it blossoms into a living story.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

No, but I do have a moleskine sketch book that my husband gave me this spring. It goes with me everywhere so I can take notes and draw what I see in my mind’s eye. I feel naked without it.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

I’m unapologetically a PANTSER! I start with the idea and sail on down the Nile. Then I double back and extract the plot from what I’ve written and add in interesting tidbits. So I’m a pantser first and a plotter second.

It really works for me because I love to be surprised. I guess it stems from all that story telling I did in kindergarten and grade school. Now I stand up and speak on paper.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

I like action stories a lot, Lord of the rings, Chronicles of Narnia and mysteries. I like Janet Evanovich and of course, I love a good romance. My favorite author of all time is C.S. Lewis and my favorite current author is Suzanne Collins. I also read a lot of YA.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now? Yes, I’m reading a book written by a friend of mine. And Night Falls by Tommie Lyn. You can find it on Smashwords or Amazon. And another one by a new author friend. I’m also reading a two free ebook downloads I got from Barnes & Noble, a mystery and a romance. I just finished Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and loved it.

I’m waiting desperately for MockingJay to come out. That’s the third in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins but I think I’ll have to wrestle my teens for it. LOL! I’m disappointed it’s not coming out in ebook any time soon.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t really get writer’s block. If I need to write for a deadline but I’m not particularly inspired, I write anyway and inspiration kicks into gear. I’ve never been wordless.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

We’re big on movies in my house, we love story. Our oldest daughter gave my husband a Netflix account for his birthday so we are giddy with choices! I love taking day trips with my family and walking on the beach in the evening. I enjoy visiting historical places in Boston, there’s so much history here.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Well, I have three wanderlust loves. Oh no, four… First, I’d love to go to Israel. I have roots there. Another draw is Greece, it’s incredibly beautiful. I’d love to go to Ireland, I also have roots there and England. And I’d love to go to Brazil and Peru. The Amazon takes my breath away! I can’t choose just one.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Let your readers get close to you. Readers want to know all about the people who write their books. Let them see you, you won’t be sorry you did.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I don’t know, I’m pretty much an open book, pardon the pun! I love words but you already know that. My favorite book as a child was my dictionary. I spent hours reading it and sometimes still do. Another favorite of mine was The Annotated Alice. I spent hours in that book too, studying the word and math problems. I’m sort of a closet math geek.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

I don’t have a cover yet so here is my unofficial banner along with the unedited blurb.

Kylie Watson is a senior lawyer in Boston, MA, whose emotional life is in disarray. She’s entirely too dependent on her childhood pals even though as an adult she seems to have it together. She realizes her surrogate siblings have stepped into protector roles for her when her universe is rocked by her missionary parent’s unexpected deaths in a plane crash in the Amazon.

In the midst of her loss and grief, someone is stalking her and leaving a trail of clues in their wake. Kylie is driven by chronic nightmares that began the night of the accident.
Traveling to the world she left behind as a teen, Kylie runs to Brazil to be close to the last place her parents lived. There she discovers family secrets, church corruption and international espionage.

Journey with her as she navigates the waters of the Amazon and the emotional streams of her heart. Encounter the three loves of her life; one whose comforting presence makes everything right but seems just out of reach, one whose money and power can keep her but repulses her at times, and one whose fiery passion forces her to face reality but scares her to death.

Which man will pursue her and why? Were her parents murdered? If so, by whom? What was their connection to the new tribe translations that is strangely forbidden by the Missionary Alliance Board?

What does Kylie really want?

Nothing is what it seems.

Do you want the truth or something you can live with?

Primordial Sun, The Heart of the Amazon - first in the Primordial Sun trilogy
MuseItUp Publishing April 2011

Here’s my contact information

Blog: http://karenmcgrathauthor.blogspot.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jazzchildblue
Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenmcgrathauthor
My Author Page at Muse: http://museituppublishing.com/musepub/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90&Itemid=82

Thank you so much to Karen and all my wonderful guests this month. This has been more fun than I can say.:-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 29!

Hey and welcome to the party. We're winding down here but today it's still going strong with my guest, Emily Pikkasso. So, please help me welcome her.

1: When did you first begin writing?

I started writing short stories and poetry in grade school. Some were published by the local paper.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

Everywhere. My Muse is always whispering in my ear.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

My writing room is full of plants and crystals and special pictures. It also has a large window.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Now that depends. Usually, I am a pantser. With Laurel’s Miracle, I had to plan it out so that the clues came in the right sequence to get Laurel where she was supposed to go and be there at the right time.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Canadian author Charles de Lint is my favorite. I love his The Little Country and The Wild Wood. Other favorites are Mercedes Lackey, Maeve Binchy, Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I go and talk to the faeries in my garden and play with my horses.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I garden, work with my horses and shop for antiques.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Cornwall, in the south west of England. There is magic there, in the land and in the stones.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Write and keep on writing. Trust your Muse.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I believe in magic. There is magic in the world all around us, most people have just forgotten how to see it.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

The Oak King’s Daughter will be released in January 2011 by MuseItHOT! Publishing. It is a naughty, but nice romance. Dara is the daughter of the Oak King and lives in the largest oak in the Sacred Grove. Her father wants her to marry for the good of the kingdom. Dara has the hots for the court mage, Tinne.

Underlying the story is the old legend of the twice yearly battle between the Oak King who rules the summer months and the Holly King who rules the winter half of the year.
I hope you enjoy Dara’s tempestuous story.

Thank you so much for being here. I can't wait to read The Oak King's Daughter.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 28!

The water is getting a little too hot. The sharks heard about all the fun so they've come to party. Jump on out of the water and join me in welcoming today's guest, the lovely Viviane Brentanos!

1: When did you first begin writing?

I think I began to write as soon as I could process thought. Ok – I was too young to hold a pen, let alone say pen – but my imagination was my visionary tool. My first offering was a horror story, worthy of Stephen King. I blame my mother. What two year old wouldn’t be traumatized to wake up and find a 2 foot nylon blonde curled ‘Chucky’ impersonator leering down at them. Cute and sweet my…. To this day, I loathe dolls.
I first put pen to paper when I was 12 and entertained my classmates with lurid tales of teenage romance. Needless to say, my English teacher was not impressed.
I flirted with writing, on and off, until, in 2004, I finally probably because of a boring job in which I had hours to fill}I got my head down and completed my first ms; a whopping 180, 000 word saga.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

I suppose I draw my inspiration from my romantic fantasies – something which began when I was 3 and ran off with neighborhood twins, Gary and David. It was downhill from then on as I cried my way through endless crushes: Donny Osmond up until my present male fantasies in the form of Darren Hayes, Russell Crowe and Gerard Butler {so, I am greedy}. These gentlemen have starred in many a lurid dream. I then take fragments of these dreams and fashion a story around them.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

Rituals? Just call me Sheldon.{Big Bang Theory}. I am one of these rare creatures who write longhand. I need to feel pen and paper in my hand. I have been known to drive stationers insane in my quest to find just the right quality and feel of paper. As for a pen? If it doesn’t feel right – then I cannot write.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Do I plot or panst?{sounds painful}. Depends on my mood but generally I would go with plotter. An idea will come to me. I will run through the whole story in my head and then sit down and plan it out chapter by chapter. However, I have been known to panst with the best of them.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Believe it or not – and this is when I get shot – I tend not to read romance. I love courtroom dramas, forensic thrillers, anything that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I adore good old-fashioned ‘atmospheric’ novels {think Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca}. If I have to pick an author of women’s contemporary, it would be Jilly Cooper. She was Bridget Jones before Bridget Jones.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

At the moment, I am in the middle of two books. I like to keep one for the bath and one for the dull hours at work. My bath book is Bane by Joe Donnelly, a horror set in a small Scottish town. Wonderful imagery and clever dialogue. I love

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t. When I started along the rocky road to writer stardom {I wish}, I used to fret. The more I worried, the more inspiration eluded me. I have learned, with experience, to let it go. My muse will find me.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Mmm – tricky one. Having a somewhat bi-polar disposition, fun can often elude me but when I am in a manic stage, I love to go out with my friends for an ice-cold beer. Summer time, obviously, beach and swimming are a priority. I adore music in most genres – especially Darren Hayes, Savage Garden and Heavy Metal and I want to be Lady Gaga when I grow up. Oh – and stalking young men on Facebook. {I am joking – or am I?}

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Oh goodness, so many places to see and not enough time or money to visit. I suppose I would have to go with visits of historical and cultural interest. No point dreaming of idyllic beaches and gorgeous Greek islands. I already live on one. I would say Egypt as my first choice. Italy; Rome, Florence, Venice. Paris - although I have been – but a more in-depth trek of all the museums and sites.
New York, Boston, San Francisco, I really cannot chose.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Be brave, believe in yourself and settle in for a long haul. It’s a tough, often soul-destroying trek to being contracted but, if it’s what you really want, go for it. Learn from your mistakes, be prepared to accept criticism but do not sacrifice your voice. Above all, write because it’s what you love to do. Everything else is icing on the cake.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I am not sure about this. I don’t want to scare people off. My friends call me a faffer. I am intolerant of fools but I hate prejudice in any shape or form. I am a strong advocator of animal and gay rights. I hate disloyalty. I love cooking {blame my French mother, reading, dancing and the occasional gin and tonic. My friends say I think I know everything. They are wrong. I know I know I know everything.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Dreamweek came about because of a dream. In this dream, I was a villa representative and one of the guests was a surly but sexy actor bearing more than a faint resemblance to Gerard Butler. The rest, as they say, is history.

Using my experiences as a holiday representative, I set about creating the tale of the young Izzie Stevens. Naturally, my story takes place on a Greek island. Kuros is a figment of my imagination but it is strongly inspired by my own beloved Corfu. While, at times, highly emotional, a strong vein of what I like to call stoic Brit humor runs throughout.

Here is a quick blurb:

Isabella Stevens usually loves her job as holiday rep for the exclusive villa company on the beautiful island of Kuros but that Monday morning, her illustrious guests can all go to hell and take her boss, Kaitlyn with them. At only twenty-three, Isabella Stevens is already tired of life. With the untimely death of, first her parents and subsequently, her grandmother, it seems to her, God is having a good laugh at her expense. Paul, the errant boyfriend, blames Izzie for his unfaithfulness, accusing her of being cold and emotionally immature. After so many years, he claims it’s only normal for him to want to have a physical relationship with her but Izzie was never ready. If he defected to Mel, she can’t blame him. Enter David Wells. He arrives in Kuros to be met by a barrage of gossip seeking press – something Dream assured him would not happen. The stunning beauty of the island and the spectacular Villa Scheria go a long way to soothe his raw nerves. When Izzie finds out Mr. Wells has been assigned to her care, she is more than a little apprehensive. But when David Wells hauls himself out of the pool, Izzie is blown away by his magnetic masculinity. His physical presence invades her senses like no other man ever has – certainly not Paul. The attraction between them is instant, electric. This young, seemingly controlled yet vulnerable young woman fascinates David. He finds he is acting out of character by flirting with her. He wants her but the attraction isn’t purely physical. He wants to ease away the pain and loneliness he senses she has carried with her for so long. Isabella falls head over heels in love but as always with Izzie’s life, fate rears its ugly head and her newfound happiness is threatened by a tragedy.

Thank you so much Viviane. I chuckled the whole way through this. Viviane Brentanos just got her cover for her upcoming Muse publication, Written In Stone. Isn't it beautiful? Congrats Viviane and I wish you much success.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 27!

It's day 27 and today Jessica Chambers is joining the party. So please help me welcome and be nice. It's her first time.:-)

First, Kat, let me say a huge thank you for inviting me on your blog. This is my first ever chance to talk about my upcoming release, Voices On The Waves, so I’m really excited to be here!

1: When did you first begin writing?

This is probably going to sound like a cliché, but I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t invented stories. I wrote my first novel, all thirty pages of it, at the age of seven. It was an adventure story based on the Enid Blyton books I devoured at the time. I even recorded it on a cassette, which I hope is now safely hidden away from prying ears! For the past ten years, though, I’ve been writing a mixture of women’s fiction, ranging from light-hearted romances like Voices On The Wave, to mysteries with a darker flavor.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing?

I’m a voracious listener of talk radio, mainly LBC, a station based over here in London. In fact, I can’t get to sleep without its comforting murmur in the background. It often happens that a fellow listener will call in with a touching or funny story, sparking my imagination.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

Dull as it sounds, I’m very much a creature of habit. Oh, I’d love to be one of those authors who wake in the middle of the night, itching to scribble down the next chapter of their literary masterpiece, but that just isn’t me. Well, I like my sleep too much! No, I have to treat my writing as if I were going to the office, settling in front of my laptop as soon as I’m up and dressed.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

My method has changed a bit over the years. When I first wrote Voices On The Waves, I planned every minor detail from start to finish. However, I quickly discovered this left no room for creativity. On the other hand, I’m still not brave enough to forego planning altogether, so have found a happy medium. I have the main plot worked out beforehand, but let the subplots and the characters find their own way.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Ooh, there are so many! My tastes are pretty eclectic, and I can’t say there’s one genre I read more than any other. At the moment, I’m particularly into Philippa Gregory, Penny Vincenzi, James Patterson and Charlaine Harris.

6: Are you reading anything right now?

Hahaha! I’m always reading something. At the moment, I’m engrossed in the latest of Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries. For anyone who hasn’t entered the world of Sookie Stackhouse yet, these books really are so much fun!

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

In the early days, this phenomenon terrified me. What if I woke up one morning and could never write again? Now, though, I accept that writer’s block is all part of the process. The only way I can deal with it is to write that day off (excuse the pun) and do something relaxing, mostly losing myself in someone else’s book. Then I can return fresh to my writing the following day.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Between them, reading and writing take up a fair chunk of my time. When I’m not doing that, obsessive as it sounds, I love connecting with other authors on The Next Big Writer online writing group, and promoting published writers on my blog

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

It has to be Dublin. Not the most exotic location, perhaps, but, as a massive Maeve Binchy fan, I’d love to visit the city where so many of her novels are set.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Well, since Voices On The Waves is my debut novel, I’m still learning all the time. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, though, is to accept criticism graciously. If you listen to what others have to say about your writing and take their comments onboard, chances are you’ll be a much better writer for it.

11: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Voices On The Waves was inspired by my fascination with people and the ways in which they interact. What would happen if you threw a group of highly diverse characters together for two weeks? This is precisely what happens in my novel, when nine strangers win a two-week stay in a beautiful farmhouse retreat in Cornwall. With such contrasting personalities gathered under one roof, all you have to do is sit back and watch the sparks fly! With blossoming love, illicit affairs and long-buried secrets, Voices On The Waves has it all.

Voices On The Waves is due for release in August by Red Rose Publishing.

In the meantime, you can find out more about Jessica by visiting her website
Where you can read an excerpt of her upcoming release, follow her blog and join the mailing list to keep up to date with all her news.

Thank you for being here Jessica. Voices On The Waves sounds really good and can't wait to read it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 26!

Today my guest is Janis Susan May. I'm so thrilled to have her and now I'm going to turn the stage over to her.

I have a writer’s block.
It’s square and about as tall as a soup can, made of pale, unfinished but smoothly sanded (I hate splinters!) wood. It has a largish hole drilled down from the top so it can hold my pens and pencils.
It’s the only kind of writer’s block I allow in my life.
Popular misconception has the writer being held subject to the whims of a writer’s block, to be paralyzed creatively until a generous Muse comes and frees him with the magic touch of An Idea. Unless you are subject to the agonies of creation, goes this canard, or prisoner to the whims and demands of High Art, you aren’t a real writer.
Such thinking is pure self-indulgence, along with the demands for either absolute silence or a certain kind of music, the perfect temperature, a chair that is exactly the right height and a breakfast of two bagels and mango jam… or whatever your preferred formula is.
While we do have our preferences for our environment, writers write whether they are there or not. Professional writers, those who are being paid for their product, write no matter what. Writing/publishing is as much commerce as creation, and does not allow for fancies and megrims. You have to deliver so many words by such-and-such a date, and you had better deliver them if you want to keep a decent reputation in the industry.
That does not mean words flow unimpeded from my fingertips or that I never have problems. Sometimes the well dries up. My plotline will fall apart. I am utterly convinced I will never write a coherent sentence again, let alone follow a convoluted story line or character arc with anything approximating competency. Unfortunately, such bleak moments are part of a writer’s life, but they don’t mean you or I can let our problems stop us until some beneficent Muse gives us a ‘get out of jail free’ card or its artistic equivalent. I have a deadline, and to professional writers, deadlines are sacrosanct. My father, an advertising executive and a writer himself, said there was only one acceptable excuse for missing a deadline – your own death.
First of all, you have to determine how serious this ‘block’ is. Maybe it’s just a manifestation of something physical – we writers tend to block out everything but the immediate needs of the story, often to the detriment of the immediate needs of our body. Get up. Take some deep breaths. Walk around, maybe do a few exercises to get your blood flowing again. Look outside. Have a cup of coffee. Anything that takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes and breaks the stranglehold of your concentration. If you have a garden, the controlled destruction of weeding is excellent for this. Then go back to work.
If that doesn’t work, maybe your story is trying to tell you something is wrong. Maybe you took a wrong turn. Go back to where the words were flowing easily and everything was solid. Read forward with an open mind, and hopefully you’ll see where the story turned off its course and went sour. Start writing – or perhaps re-writing – from there. In other words, go back to work.
If that doesn’t work, there are two options, both of which work, depending on your deadline and your temperament. First, put the current story aside and work for a while on something else, preferably as different from the first as possible. That very differentness should refresh your creative juices.
The second is perhaps the most efficient and the most difficult of all, but it works. Keep writing. Finish your coffee, do the last few motions of physical activity, then sit down again in front of the computer. Write a word. Then write another one after it. And another. And another. And so forth, until the pump is primed and the words are flowing again.
In either case, you are back at work.
Yes, what you write like this might be pure gibberish. Probably it will be gibberish. If it is, it can be rewritten or even trashed later. What is important is to get you writing again, and that’s what writers do. Writers write, and if you’re ‘blocked’ you’re not writing.
No ability ever got stronger by not using it.

Thank you for being here Janis. It's been fun. Only 5 more days and 5 more guests to go. We're almost at the end of the Summer Bash.