Category Archives: Author Interviews

Ten things I’ve learned about writing @AlexNaderWrites

Whoo hoo! And here it is folks …

 

Burdin of Choice

See giveaway entry at the bottom of this post!

Burdin of Choice

Title: Burdin of Choice (Beasts of Burdin #2)

Author: Alexander Nader

Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing

Release Date: November 10, 2014

Keywords: Urban Fantasy

 

Blurb:

Ty Burdin is back. Back to drinking and back to avoiding demons. He is, of course, the leading expert in his field. In both subjects.  That’s probably why, when a customer offers him way too much money just to locate a missing car and some mysterious cargo, he readily agrees. The dude is human after all—Ty’s prime target client base.  Along with the money comes a slew of disappearances which Ty tries to ignore while tracking down that car, because, of course, those missing people might be demon related, and as he’s said before, that’s agency business. Not his. Period.  Until today.  Ty Burdin is to back drinking as well as everything he vowed never to get involved with again.  Question is, which one will kill him first? The booze, the demons, or the Agency?

 

Beasts of Burdin sale links:

Amazon     Barnes and Noble

 

Hey all, Julie has asked me to stop by and share with you from my endless expanse of authorly knowledge. There’s a ton of it. I’m like an encyclopedia of grammatical flawlessness. Seriously, Strunk and White? They took notes from me. The Chicago Manual of Style? Where do you think their style came from? Literarily speaking, I’ve got better moves than Jagger *and* Steinbeck. So, now that that’s out of the way, let me give you the list of ten things I’ve learned about writing.

  1. Writers are full of crap.
  2. Authors are full of crap.
  3. Wordsmiths are full crap.
  4. Word forgers are full of crap.
  5. Sentence wranglers are full of crap.
  6. Artists are full of crap.
  7. Scribes are full of crap.
  8. Scribblers are full of crap.
  9. Ink slingers are full of crap.
  10. No, really I’m serious.

The internet is flooded with writers giving each other advice and encouragement and ego stroking and I think that that is a good thing. BUT, I also think it can be a bad thing. With so many opinions on the subject, and we authors do love to share our opinion, some are bound to conflict and that can be confusing for a new author. Lots of well-established writing advice columns will admonish the use of adverbs, but you know what? I kind of like adverbs and I’ve read some very entertaining authors who go through them like Kleenex. Please, read all the writing advice you like, but take it all with a grain of salt. Someone famous once said, “There are three rules to writing the perfect novel. The only problem is that no one knows them.” This is solid advice, adhere to it. Then again, what do I know? I fall under items 1-9.

About the author:

Alex lives in the tourist infested hills of east Tennessee with his amazing wife/muse and three superb children. He would tell you more about how awesome they are, but you probably wouldn’t believe him. When he’s not hanging out with them he’s making pizzas and occasionally he jots a few words down. He’s a big fan of good music, good storytelling, and fun, lots of fun.  He once wrote a short story about pirates to his wife via text message that blossomed into a full length novel and never stopped after that.

 

Links for author pages:

Goodreads  Twitter   Website

 

 ♠ Note: This is an adult novel.

 

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NWZjNzAyMTQ0OWVmMjc2ZWMyYThjOTE2MTc1ZmVlOjM=/


Tour Stop: Jonathan Lister Recommends …

Today we welcome the amazing Jonathan Lister to the stage to talk about some of his favorite novels.

(We’re plugging his great new work too, so check it out at the bottom of this post!)

Take it away John …

The category of my favorite books, or my top 10, is a shifting boundary. Every time I pick up something new, that one volume is my new favorite for the duration of its pages. It’s rare I put one down after refusing to finish it. Though, there are volumes I return to regularly, even while writing Bullet, a Demos City Novel, as polestars for my own scribbles. Here’s my current roster of favorites, which could change at any moment.

10. Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

OryxAndCrake

No one writing in our time has Atwood’s depth of prose or the ability to create anxiety about a revisionist future based in unfortunate fact. She doesn’t put words on the page so much as she wields them. Nothing is out of place, extraneous or less than brilliant.

9. Norton Anthology of Postmodern Poetry

postmodern poetry

That’s right. Poems. An entire book of them big enough to kill any insect that dare show its face in your home. This book came my way in grad school, and informed the majority of my writing during that time and more than a few years after. Everyone with work in here has shaped the conversation at one major level or another.

8. Of Love and Other Demons – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

of love and other demons

Another book I picked up as required reading and never managed to give up. The magical realism of Marquez is the foundation of any fantasy work I do — rooted in cultural expression with a deft mingling of the supernatural. If you want to know pain and real sorrowful beauty, pick up just about anything this man has written.

7. Dragons of Autumn Twilight — Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Dragons Autumn Twilight

It all begins at an inn. Shouldn’t every adventure? As a teenager, this book made it cool for me to read again. Every character bristled with life and desires that were deeply interesting to me. I didn’t read this book, or the other two that followed in the trilogy, I absorbed them.

6. The Gun Seller — Hugh Laurie

The Gun Seller

Full disclosure: I have a massive man crush on the former Dr. Gregory House. His novel about the military industrial complex is hard-boiled fiction at its finest. It’s not too full of itself and definitely not boring. It asks a pointed question amidst the bullet-dodging and damsel wooing: Are you a good man?

5. Mary, Called Magdalene — Margaret George

Mary Called Magdalene

I’m well aware of all the Margaret’s on this list, but they’ve earned it. George’s creative telling of the biblical figure still shrouded in mystery is voluminous and damn interesting. It tells so many stories embodied in a single text: coming of age, womanhood, arriving at the self, and subversion.

4. Time of the Twins — Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Time of the Twins

Raistlin Majere is one of my favorite characters of all time. The quintessential antihero who desires power and independence above all else, he even reshapes time and murders gods to get what he wants. But in the end, evil cannot create.

3. The Black Company — Glen Cook

The_Black_Company

Want to know what it’s like to be a foot soldier in a war involving resurrected sorcerers and their dread armies? Look no further than Cook’s multi-volume saga. It’s high fantasy told from the point of the common man, which proves to be more entertaining than a prince’s view, in my opinion.

2. I, Lucifer — Glen Duncan

I Lucifer

First person point of view: Satan. Duncan’s voice crafting is off the charts good and something I aspire to while bumbling about in my own work. This book is entertaining even as it aspires to literary heights. Checkout the subtext, the very earthly desires ol’ Lucie says he wants versus what he’s actually after.

1. Good Omens — Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Good Omens

So good. The archetypical page-turner with wit and depth of character to spare. Again, this is the type of work that tells a serious story without beating doom and gloom drums all over the place. Even if you’re writing about the end of the world, people still laugh.

About our guest …

Jonathan Lister

Jonathan Lister

http://iJonathanlister.wordpress.com

Jonathan Lister is a full-time writer with work appearing in outlets of USA Today, The Houston Chronicle and many others. A graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, he’s waited an unspeakable amount of tables en route to having the career he wants, and the ability to the tell stories he loves. Crossroads is Jonathan’s first book-length work of fiction. He currently lives in the Philadelphia area and continues to drink too much coffee.

And his books are here:

Bullet: a Demos City Novel

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Demos-City-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B00KWHK8PI/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bullet-jonathan-lister/1119709414

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/bullet-9

 


Danielle E. Shipley Guest Post and J. A. Belfield Unnatural Giveaway!

Inspired

Inspired

by Danielle E. Shipley

Release Date: March 17, 2014

Target Reader: Adult

Keywords: Fiction

Blurb:

For a muse like Lucianíel, one story’s end is another’s beginning.  In the wake of his author’s sudden death, Luc takes ownership of her surviving creations—four fantastical characters with tales yet to be told—saving them from unwritten lives crumbling around them and giving them a second chance at a literary future.  Luc finds that chance in the unsuspecting mind of Annabelle Iole Gray, a quirky teen with her head in the clouds, nose in a book, and imagination ripe for a brilliant muse’s inspiration.  Or so he hopes.  Neither Luc nor Annabelle, however, realize all they’ve undertaken. Even with a to-write list including accounts of a shape-shifting cat creature, gentle knight-in-training, vigilante skater girl, and a mystery boy smothering in unspoken fear, the most remarkable saga created between author and muse just may turn out to be one stranger than fiction.  Their own.

 Purchase links:

http://www.amazon.com/Inspired-Danielle-E-Shipley/dp/1937744434/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inspired-danielle-e-shipley/1118887915

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/inspired-14

 

INSPIRED Guest Post for Julie Reece: My favorite type of hero and why

By Danielle E. Shipley

 

When asked about my favorite type of hero, my first instinct is to answer, “Good heroes! Through-and-through good. Heart-of-gold good.” My reflexive desire is for a black-and-white world where heroes are heroes, villains are villains, what you see is what you get, and everyone takes sides accordingly.

 

But that’s only what part of me wants. Meanwhile, on the other side of my brain, there exists a craving for complexity and bothersome shades of gray. And I think that must be the side in charge of picking my favorite heroes, because just look at the favorites of my childhood:

 

Disney’s Aladdin, a thief and a liar. Sherlock Holmes, never averse to breaking and entering, or to compromising his health with substance abuse. Bugs Bunny, who rains Acme dynamite and grand pianos upon any poor fool who dares to cross him. Perfect role models? Yeah, no, not quite.

 

What is it, then, that draws me to a hero? That makes me love and embrace them, despite any glaring shortcomings? I value a clever hero. A daring hero. My apologies to the black-and-white ethical side of my brain, but I really love a thief. But not just any kind of petty crook will do. My top choice is a Robin Hood of a hero – the kind who bends the rules when he views them as too broken to follow. Someone who would rather do wrong for the right reasons than right for the wrong ones. Someone who cares enough about people – even strangers – to take risks to make their lives better, and who maybe even has a bit of fun with the danger while he’s at it.

 

I still prefer them to have that golden goodness at the core of them, too, but who knows? Maybe a little mischief or a “bad boy” streak mixed in just makes the golden bits shine all the brighter for me. What makes a hero shine brightest for you?

About this author:

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.

 

 Did you think that was all? Foolish mortals, check it out!

 

UnnRDBB

UNNATURAL RELEASES TODAY!

Unnatural

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.

add-to-goodreads

 

To celebrate Unnatural‘s release, CAGED, Holloway Pack 3 is on SALE!

The UNNATURAL Blog Tour begins tomorrow, and throughout the duration of the tour, CAGED will be available for just 99c.

CagedSale

AND there’s a GIVEAWAY!

Up for grabs is:

UnnRDGiveaway

Enter in Rafflectopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

To grab your own copy of UNNATURAL, click on any of the purchase links below.

 

Website | Blog | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

J.A. Belfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best known for her Holloway Pack Stories, J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, two cats and a dog. She writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy.

Website Blog


Top Ten Reasons to Love New Adult with Annabelle Blume

Here it is, guys, Annabelle Blume’s newest story:

Old Flame

Picture

The Hearts Aflame Files

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 15, 2014

Description: Hannah Sullivan has spent the past three months stalking her ex-boyfriend, lurking in the bushes and hiding behind fake social media personas, convinced she can eventually rekindle the love they once shared. But when she meets Marc, who is everything James never wanted to be and more, she begins to wonder if she’s got it all wrong. 
Hannah must come to terms with her own demons before she can decipher between her delusional mission and the man of her dreams.
** ARCs now available — Please email marketing@roanepublishing.com for details.

Sounds like a great read, right? So, when we asked Annabelle, “Hey, why the heck should I read this new genre?” she gave us her Top Ten Reasons to Love New Adult … and here are her answers:

1. All the feels of YA plus the swearing and sexiness of adult lit.

2. Stories of transformation are my weakness–– and my specialty.

3. Remember how hot the guys were in college? Yeah that.

4. If they make a movie out of your favorite book, no one will call you a pervert for drooling over the hero.

5. Kissing, kissing, and more kissing.

6. You’re totally ahead of the trend because the woman next door just asked if you’ve heard of that book Fifty Shades of Grey.

7. The covers are intriguing, adorable, or straight up hot.

8. You aren’t wondering if their parents know where they are every time something crazy happens.

9. You like your stories with a heavy dose of life lessons.

10. Most of the time, you feel like you’re still trying to figure out this grown up thing, too.

 

And there you have it, my friends. Ms. Blume’s top ten reasons to love, read, or write New Adult. Thanks so much for the list, Annabelle. It’s easy to see why this genre has become so popular so fast.

What do you all think?

Want to know more? Well, here you go!

Annabelle Blume

Picture

Annabelle is a best selling Romance and New Adult author, that is, when she’s not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Wife, mother, and creator of alternate worlds, Annabelle has a penchant for that which is outside the norm.     Her degree in Sociology has given her the ability to construct worlds that exist only in her head and translate them passionately to the page. The time spent studying individuals, interpersonal relationships, and particularly, women, within the constraints of our society led to Annabelle’s unabashed ability to talk about sex as it fits into our modern lives.     She’s also the author/personality of The Bombshell Mommy at Vitacost.com where she helps modern Bombshells and their families live “green”.

New release Paper Wishes by Jennifer M. Eaton is here!

Paper Wishes

Paper Wishes follows Jack and Jill on their journey from friendship to love over Christmas and New Years in two heartwarming stories.

Connect the Dots: Jill writes her most intimate Christmas wish to God—and throws it away for its ridiculousness—but Christmas wishes have a way of coming true, even when you don’t know what you’ve wished for.

A Test of Faith: One day after her Christmas wish comes true, Jill faces a wrenching choice that tests her deepest beliefs. Will love prevail over conviction, or is happiness nothing more than a fairytale?

Blurb:

Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.

Excerpt:

I scrolled the words Dear Santa across the page. For crying out loud, how stupid is this?

“Come on, Mom,” Nicole said, placing a long fold in her letter. “It’s not that hard.”

I dropped my pen on the table. “It’s hard if you’re a grown-up.”

“Just write down what you want.” She bent and tucked the folds together, molding her letter into a perfect origami star.

“But I don’t want anything.”

Nicole held up her creation, scratching a freckled cheek. “Everyone wants something.” She fastened a paperclip to her star and hung it on the Christmas tree. The matte paper stood out from the bright glass ornaments.

I ran my fingers across my bare neckline. I’d love to have back the ornate silver and gold necklace that Nicole broke a few months ago, but I couldn’t write that. It would hurt her feelings.

“I’m too old to be writing to Santa,” I announced.

“Then write to God. He listens too.”

I narrowed my eyes. Stinker. “Okay…” I placed my pen on the sheet and crossed out Dear Santa. “Okay. Dear God.” I sighed. “It’s not helping. I still don’t know what to ask for.”

I threw my long, dark ponytail over my shoulder and tapped my pen across the sheet, leaving a wavy line of dots marring the clean, white-lined paper.

Nicole shook her head, jostling her auburn locks. “Come on, Mom. Just write something. It’s God. He already knows what you want.”

“Then can He tell me?” The rumble of the school bus granted me a temporary respite. “Grab your lunch.”

“Got it.” She tossed the brown bag into her backpack and grabbed her jacket off the back of the chair. “See you later, Mom.” The screen door slammed behind her, rattling the knickknacks on the shelf beside the door. The frigid December air swirled through the kitchen, pushing the paper across the table.

I tossed my pen to the side and poured myself another cup of coffee. Liquid heaven rolled down my throat. Well, day-old reheated liquid heaven. I tossed the rest down the sink. Coffee Stop drive-through here I come. I popped the last bit of toast into my mouth and grabbed my car keys.

The nearly empty sheet of paper shifted across the tabletop as I passed by. The words Dear God taunted me.

Writing the letter didn’t seem like a game anymore.

Dear God… it doesn’t get more serious than that.

What do I want? I hadn’t thought of it much since Bill took off on us. The pressure of being both Mommy and Daddy left little time for thinking about me. What I wanted was for Nicky to be happy. Nothing else seemed to matter.

I eased back down into my chair, picked up the pen, and began tapping it on the paper again. Another line of scrolling black dots appeared across the sheet. What do I want… really? My wrist flicked, and I wrote the word please.

I stared at the letters, and before I knew it a sentence had formed. Fifteen little words stared up at me, the blue ink solid and demanding on the white ruled page.

Permanent, but ridiculous.

It’s not even what I want. I crumpled the letter into a ball and tossed it over the counter. It scooted across the beige surface before slipping off and falling into the trashcan.

Done.

I’m too old for Christmas wishes anyway.

 ***

Paper Wishes is on sale now for just $.99!  Snuggle up with a great Christmas Romance today!

Click here to buy it now!

***

More Stories!

Make Believe

Last Winter Red:  In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world.  What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in. Available as part of the Make Believe anthology.

The First Day of the New Tomorrow

The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it, she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)

  

Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance.  Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.

While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist… what more can you ask for?  Writing help did you say?  Well, sure!  Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans! http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

Email | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Manic ReadersGoodreads | Amazon

 

More Purchase Links:

Make Believe on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Make-Believe-ebook/dp/B00ACMPEGQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Make Believe on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/Make-Believe%2FJA-Belfield/1113844175

Paper Wishes : http://www.astraeapress.com/ – !/~/product/id=26814032


Alexander Nader is actually pretty funny: Guest Post

Hey guys!

Thrilled to have guest blogger and author Alexander Nader on the  site today! Let me introduce him first, and then we’ll get to it … 

He looks so normal, right? I thought so, too. Just wait … but first, his bio … 

http://alexnaderwrites.wordpress.com

Alex lives in the tourist infested hills of east Tennessee with his amazing wife/muse and three superb children. He would tell you more about how awesome they are, but you probably wouldn’t believe him. When he’s not hanging out with them he’s making pizzas. When he’s not doing that he’s working at a bookstore and occasionally he jots a few words down. He’s a big fan of good music, good storytelling, and mixed martial arts.

He once wrote a short story about pirates to his wife via text message that blossomed into a full length novel and never stopped after that.

And so, without further ado, I give you the very entertaining, Alex Nader …

Hello boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen. Julie has asked me to drop by this nice little space of hers and share some words with y’all. It’s okay, don’t be scared. Well, yes, I do spit when I talk, but you are on the opposite end of the internets; I don’t think my spittle will affect you other there. And technically I’m typing. I don’t spit when I type. That would be weird. Probably just drooling at that point, right? Eh, you can debate it in the comments in between calling me dumb or curly haired or something. Fair enough?

Now that’s over with, I can type about what I hiked my lazy bum over here to type about. Over here to the keyboard that is. Not to your house because we’ve already established, the internets. Stuff’s everywhere. So. I want to talk about voice with you guys. I’m going to talk about it in the writing sense, but I need any kids reading this to understand it can be applied to life too.

The first novel I wrote sucked. The world I built was cool and the characters were mostly interesting and the plot was acceptable, but it still sucked. Same thing with the second novel I wrote. You wanna know why? It’s because I wrote how I thought a book should sound, not how I sound. I held back things I would normally say because they didn’t seem literary. I added stuff I wouldn’t normally say because it sounded literary. The result: two terribly worded novels. Yup, it was a complete waste of a hundred-seventy thousand words or so.

My third book I told myself to forget about everything and write how I wanted to write. I wrote my book. You know what happened? It got picked up by a publisher and they asked for two follow up novels. There were even multiple publishers asking to read it. All attention my first two books didn’t come close to, simply by being myself.

I found my voice and people kind of liked it. Some people probably hate my voice. None of those people are around to vouch for that though. Why? Because I put them in a blender to make protein shakes. What? I said I found my voice, I didn’t say I took criticism well.

My point for all this is simple. If you are an author, write your book for you first. If you want to be published then find a publisher that appreciates your voice. Find fans that like and want more of what you have to say. There are so many sub-genres and indie everythings out there that you can find like minded people. I’m sure of it.

Bigger point: if you are a teen reading this and putting up with the treacheries of high school, find and listen to your voice. Inner and outer. Listen to the voice in your head that tells you what’s right. Don’t look at me like that, there are voices in your head too. I’m not crazy. *pushes the men in white coats away and keeps typing* Let your inner voice guide your outer voice. Speak as yourself. It’s scary and I’m not going to lie, you’re probably not always going to do it. I didn’t. Don’t get me started on how many times I should have listened to myself and didn’t. There was this one time. Wait, no. What are you doing? Get your hands off me! *Shoes squeak against linoleum as the men in white coats drag me back to my nice room*

His new book … 

Beasts of Burdin

Release Date: February 10, 2014  Adult, Urban Fantasy

Add it to your Good Reads list here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826395-beasts-of-burdin?ac=1

Blurb:

Demon hunter Ty Burdin hung up his guns, knife, trench coat and fedora a year ago. Bags packed, hands washed of all demon politics, he’s done. Forever.

In fact, to get far far away, he dragged Nora, his rockabilly secretary, from Miami to the Tennessee mountains where he’s lived a life of peace—if peace can be defined as drowning in scotch and taking private eye jobs to keep the lights on. Jobs for real people. Not demons.

No demons.

He’s retired from that. Remember?

Demon hunters aren’t a dime a dozen, though, and when Ty’s brother asks him for a favor—just one—what’s a brother to do? Agreeing to take down one hillbilly demon shouldn’t take that long. In. Decapitate. Out. Favor complete. Back to the office where Nora and his bottle of whiskey are waiting.

Unfortunately for Ty, staying retired doesn’t seem to be in the cards, and an avalanche of bad luck draws him right back to an agency he despises and the career that nearly cost him his sanity.

This time, Ty has no way out and will have to face his own demons just to survive.

Excerpt:

“Ty Burdin! Answer the phone already. It’s your brother.” The voice comes from the next room in a tone usually used by stress-fried mothers, not twenty-something-year-old receptionists. The harsh words crack through my whiskey-soaked brain like someone snapped a bullwhip in my ear. I pick my head up off the desk and wipe the drool from my mouth, as she bursts in the door.

“He’s adopted, and good morning,” I say, opening the drawer to my desk and digging through it.

“It’s not morning. It’s past noon, you lazy drunk.” Her tone is accusing, but there’s a slight smile to her ruby red lips. I really do think Nora gets enjoyment from trying to keep me in line. Her rockabilly style, all tattoos and polkadots, might scare some people off, but honestly, I think it’s kind of cool.

“Fine, I was wrong about the time, but you’re wrong, too,” I say.

“Oh, yeah? How’s that?” Nora kicks her hip to the side and props a hand on her leopard print skirt.

“I’m not drunk. I’m hungover.” I pull out a flask full of scotch and take a long drink. “I’m working on getting back on track, though.” I tip the flask toward her.

“I swear someone’s gonna find you in a ditch one day.” Her voice has a trace of concern, but it’s mostly drowned out by annoyance.

“In my line of work, that’s almost a guarantee. Now, can you tell me why you disturbed my ugly sleep?” Ugly sleep is a gross understatement. No amount of alcohol ever seems to drown out the vision of the young, innocent girl burned into my memory. The scene is even more ominous in my dreams than it was in real life.

A thunderclap breaks the silence of my memories. Nora stares down at me, hands stuck together. “Wake up, drunkard. Hartnet’s been trying to reach you on the phone for the past fifteen minutes.”

The pocket of my jacket buzzes, probably been ringing the entire time. Nora walks over to where it hangs by the door and withdraws the phone. “Jesus, Ty. You’ve got four missed calls, ten new messages, and over twenty emails. Do you ever check this thing?”

“No.” I have the phone, but honestly, I hate it.
Nora sets the still ringing phone on my desk, puts her hands on her hips and, using only facial expressions, guilts me into picking up.

“Hello,” I say into the phone that smells of smoke. I use my free hand to dig out cigarettes and a lighter.

“Ty! Finally, man, where you been?” Hartnet asks.

“Oh, you know me. I just got back from hiking the Swiss Alps with Edmund Hillary.”

“Real funny, Ty, but I imagine you’ve been spending more time with Jim or Jack.”

“God, no, I hate southern whiskey,” I say. “I prefer a fine scotch, Macallan to be specific.”

“You prefer whatever’s in front of you as long as there’s a proof label on the bottle,” Hartnet says.

I don’t have any argument for that. “So, what do you want?”

Thanks  for stopping by today, Alex! Loved having you here 🙂


Guest post: Theresa Paolo author of Never Again

(Never) Again

Blurb:

Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex’s voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls’ bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn’t leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.

Buy on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Never-Again-Theresa-Paolo-ebook/dp/B00CB1COG4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384698722&sr=1-1&keywords=9780698143777

The book sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read it. And now, without further fanfare, I give you Theresa Paolo …

I want to thank Julie for having me on her blog today. I’m so excited to be here!

Now let’s talk first kisses.

First kisses can be awkward and even terrible, but sometimes they’re not. Sometimes everything is aligned, the world fades away and you are left with the most magical moment. Those are the first kisses I like to write about.

I think what makes a first kiss so special is the buildup. It’s everything before the actual locking of lips. It’s the butterflies in your stomach, the uncertainty of if it’s actually going to happen, and that last breath before it does. It’s the little things that make it so big. Plus, you only get one first kiss.

When you are writing a first kiss scene especially in YA, you need to pull in all the emotions. Everything that is running through your characters head and what they are feeling in that exact moment. Are they panicked? Excited? Ready? Or are they taken by surprise. Show these emotions by their actions. The best way for me is to think back to my first kiss. And not necessarily the first kiss. But first kisses in general. Not that I have had many, but a few to know that they’re each unique. For each one, I had a different feeling about it and I can draw on that for my characters depending on the situation they are in.

My book, (Never) Again, takes place after the first kiss and after a messy breakup, but I couldn’t help but slip the kiss in through a flashback. A time before the drama when my characters feelings for each other weren’t tainted by regret, abandonment and loss. I wanted the reader to be able to share in that special moment in time. For the reader to understand why my main character, Liz, still thought about it.

Because it’s a flashback it doesn’t encompass everything I like in a first kiss, but I still love it and want to share it with you.

How do you go about writing a first kiss? Or what do you expect when reading about one?

Thanks Julie for having me!

My pleasure, it was great to have you here today!!!

Want to know more about Theresa Paolo? Me too!

BIO:

Theresa Paolo lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her boyfriend and Milton, their big eyed goldfish. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty which is why she writes New Adult and Young Adult books, reliving the best and worst years of her life through her characters. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. On November 11th 2011 at 11:11 she made a wish. Two hours later she was laid off. Jobless for the first time since she was sixteen she was determined to make her wish come true. Writing became her life again and after many nights of ignoring her boyfriend to spend time with her characters, she finally received the call that all her hard work, finger crossing and eye crossing paid off. She signed with Berkley (Penguin) and her debut novel, (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, will be out in Fall 2013.  When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera or can be found in the blogosphere or on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Blog: http://theresa-foreverours.blogspot.com/2013/11/i-got-publishednow-what.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheresaPaolo+%28Theresa+Paolo%29

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheresaMarieP

Face Book https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theresa-Paolo-Author/101496126681409?ref=hl