Thursday, July 29, 2010
If you have ever wondered what someone with Anorexia or Bulimia goes through then you should read this book. In the mean time, here is Lisa talking about how the book came to be, and a little about the characters. Enjoy!
(for more about the book as well as comments from readers and reviews)
(an excerpt reading on YouTube from the book)
(to order a copy of the book)
The How of The Hungry Mirror.
The idea for this novel was inspired by just about every woman I have ever met.
In general, women of the Western world, (and women more than men, although not exclusively so) have a complicated, wonderful and terrible relationship with their bodies and, to one degree or another, this relationship involves food.
Going to high school, graduating from college, getting married, watching girlfriends’ reactions to their pregnant bodies, working in fashion magazines with editors, models, photographers and adding to that mix my own issues of disordered eating and body image, how could I not write this book?
Not that it was easy; the strong voice of rules for social engagement urged me to shut up and sweep my issues and observations under the rug like so many women I knew — because who in their right mind wants to own that shame, that stigma, of talking about, writing about, an eating disorder?
“A dirty little habit,” a physician father commented with disapproval upon discovering his 25-year-old daughter was bulimic. Thereby adding untold layers to her existing torment and shame.
“Just don’t eat it, if you don’t want it,” a honeymoon husband told his new bride.
“As if it were that easy,” she said to me and I understood. “I want it beyond my control and then I want it gone.”
“The beautiful numb of starvation,” said another woman, a recovering anorexic. “I miss that pure, clean feeling every day.”
Eating disorders, disordered eating, body image. All these are the protest singers of our souls, and they will not be silenced, no matter how ‘dirty’ or inconvenient to us or the rest of the world.
They protest our authentic voices silenced, they protest ‘good girl’ labels, they protest how we deny our own unique wild side, they protest our efforts to squash our bodies and bones into the cookie cutter corners of a Good Housekeeping mold.
When the voice of polite, closed-door society urged me to keep quiet, to not write the book, I gathered my courage while it chattered on, dancing like an enraged monkey behind my eyeballs.
I wrote my difficult book, and it wrote me. We forged a story together, and then, with my wonderful editor, Luciana Ricciutelli, we forged it even further.
So, where did the idea for this book come from? The answer is just about every woman I have ever met.
The life Inside My skull.
A friend stopped by my desk at work.
“Let me read your horoscope du jour,” she said, and she flapped the newspaper open with a flourish and cleared her throat. “Hmmm, Gemini. ‘Your secrets will be revealed for all the world to see’.”
She and I both laughed.
“You’re a writer,” she said. “You don’t have any secrets, everybody knows exactly what you think. Anybody who has read your book, that is. Everybody knows everything about you.”
“The main character in the book isn’t me,” I wanted to say. “She’s very much her own person.”
But I didn’t say anything because there wasn’t a point. People believe what they want to, insisting they know the truth.
However, in a way my friend is right – everybody who has read my book does know all the secrets of my imaginary friends and because they are my friends, and came out of my head, they are, in a way, me.
The assumption is that I’m responsible for the creation of these characters while in truth there’s a bunch of strangers living inside my skull, all of them fighting to land a place on a page, hopefully for a grand finale of appearing all dressed up in black ink.
And they, ephemeral trying-to-be-people, find their form and shape themselves by stealing. They are the unashamed thieves of your every secret and foible. They eavesdrop, take note of conversations, pick up your dropped scraps of paper, study the way you scratch your nose or shift your hip as you stand.
No casual encounter or elevator chat is safe from these hungry predators. They guzzle your birthmarks, the careful messages of your persona; your haircut, earrings, relationship with your mother, bite of lip, twitch of eyebrow, scowl.
Carrion eaters of the living, they pick people apart, flinging the unwanted bits aside. They gather anything that speaks to them of themselves, they are ravenous for expression but won’t accept just any clay to flesh out their being. They take this brooch, that word, your sacred uniqueness and in this way, the formless become real.
The main character of my novel was wily. And she, unlike me, was patient. She took more than eleven years to grow. She gleaned, sieved and sorted through the flotsam and jetsam of people who passed through my life. She stood in the backstage of my mind, notepad in hand, building herself.
I am the medium for my imaginary friends but I am not a casual bystander, fingers pounding out their message. I argue with my characters, probe them for inconsistency, for flaws. I am the one who carries the burden of guilt for only allowing them to present that face to the world I want readers to see.
And they do object. “You’re not letting me show my good side at all,” they complain. “You’re only telling half the story.”
“I am telling the story that is relevant now,” I say and they sulk but like a parent, I have to do what I think is best for them.
And I love them endlessly. I love the devious workings of their psyches, the mischievous thievery of their antics. I love not knowing what they’re going to get up to next.
“You are quite right,” I tell my workplace friend. “I don’t have any secrets at all.”
Available for bookcovers, character designs, illustrations
Learn to limit yourself; to content yourself with some definite work; dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not; and to believe in your own individuality.
The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.
~Mary Baker Eddy
Women are always beautiful. ~Ville Valo
When our mother Nature laughs around;
When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?
The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
Available for bookcovers, character designs, illustrations
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Video trailers are fast becoming an essential aspect of book promotion for the same reasons that video is becoming an essential aspect of business promotion in general. Book Video Trailers are the #1 promotional tool in today’s marketplace. If you don’t already have one as a part of your marketing plan … it’s time to get serious about it.
Think about the last time you went to the movies. Before the feature started they ran movie trailers. Those trailers either made you say 'Don't want to see that movie' or 'I have to see that movie.' If you had not seen the trailer, you might have never even thought about going to see it. A book video trailer does the same thing in one to two and a half minutes ... it brings to life your written word. Done well, a video trailer of your book will create lots of Internet buzz .... , pre-sales, and sales.
Sure, you can go right ahead and market your book without a trailer and simply hope your reader is grabbed by the cover art or perhaps scans the back of your book for details, but that does not have the impact of a video trailer. Your mission is to sell yourself and your books. Let TTTS help you do just that.
It's a visual age, however, people still love to read books, good ones like yours. But if it doesn't jump out and grab them, your chances of turning them into buyers are slim. Impulse book buying just isn't happening that often these days. People need a reason to buy your book. TTRTS can provide that reason in a compelling way. Remember, your book is competing with millions of others on the book store shelves and Internet. A book video will turn your book into a 'destination buy.' Meaning, the reader sees the trailer, can't wait to read the book ... and goes to the online or brick and mortar bookseller with the sole intent of buying your title. Isn't that better than just tossing it out there and crossing your fingers?
HERE IS WHERE THE 'CARE' BEGINS!
- Your trailer can be as elaborate as your budget or imagination allows. At TRAILER TO THE STARS! a lot of time is spent with the author, who is an intricate part of the production from day one. What is your vision, we want to know. At your production meeting we will discuss all of the ingredients for a successful video.
- Then, a professional Hollywood screenwriter brings talent and experience to the table, as the video script is developed and written.
- Once the author and/or publisher approve the script ... it goes into production! The producer and videographer create the look and feel of your mini-movie as they choose music, sound effects, font type and professional still photographs and video clips.
- Professional Voice Over talent with the right sound for your video will record the sound track.
- Once all of the pieces are gathered, your video goes into editing. This is where TRAILER TO THE STARS! brings all of the professional talent together, artistically weaving the visuals with the audio in an amazing, entertaining and effective video.
NOW, IT'S TIME FOR THE FEEDING!
Okay, you have a terrific and powerful trailer ready to start working for you, now what? Trailer to the Stars! will guide you through the ins and outs of 'feeding' it to the Internet and elsewhere, as well as uploading it to many sites for you as a courtesy to our clients.
Your video trailer can be used in many ways here are a few suggestions:
- Book Signings - loop it on a CD and play it at the book store. It will get lots of attention and bring people to your signing table with book in hand.
- Blog Tours - either you or your PR person will be setting up blogs to interview you or to review your book. Your trailer should be shown on each and every one of them, with the offer to anyone to grab the 'embed code' ... and place it on their website or blog.
- Of course, place it front and center on your own website and/or blog, with a BUY BUTTON only a couple of pixels away.
- Put a CD in your author publicity kit.
- Be sure you are signed up for as many of the social networking sites that suit your market as you can find. (Goodreads, FaceBook, YouTube, Shoutlife!, Tangle, MyPage, Redroom.com, and many, many others. Upload your video to all of them. Many sites simply need your YouTube 'embed code.' Be sure you have opened a YouTube account.
- Book store sites: Amazon (Create an Amazon Author Connect Account) Check with other book store sites that are carrying your title and send their marketing person a copy of your Video.
- Have it shown prior to a speaking engagement. Make sure that it is playing on your book tables.
- Burn lots and lots of CDs and DVDs ... they are not expensive. Give them out to everyone you meet; at work, church, parties and don't forget local businesses. Just take a few around and ask if they will set them by the checkout and offer them FREE! Don't miss a chance to get it into the hands of potential readers.
- DON'T FORGET YOUR PUBLISHER! They will be thrilled that you have a video. Not only will they want to put it on their website, but they will also give copies to their sales staff. It causes excitement and gets your book on the store shelves.
rapidly evolving book market.
is a hot and effective form of viral advertising/promotion.
Contact Misty Taggart at 602-402-6328
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Where did the idea for this story come from?
This is always a difficult question for me to answer, mostly because I don’t really get my ideas from a particular place or event. To be honest with you, most of my ideas simply come to me on a whim, with no rhyme or reason behind it. The Gala Lover came about because I knew I wanted to do something a little different from my usual. I wanted to go beyond our planet and explore the possibilities of other worlds on other planets. What would those people be like? How would they act in comparison to us? How different were their worlds from ours? After a trip to Kennedy Space Center, and watching plenty of universe-related shows on television, I decided to go for a fantasy romance with a dose of science fiction threaded within it. As a plot began to develop, I tossed in a few laser guns, a dash of magic, and the thriving belief in gods and goddesses that would ultimately sew the story together. After all, I really couldn't completely cut the cords that held me to my fantasy roots :)
How did your characters come to life?
My characters are alive before I start writing a story. They’re usually the ones who push me to write what they have to share. This story is no different. Aisia and Jericho, from their looks to their voices to their personalities, were breathing long before I put my first word on paper. I knew the love they shared, the heartache they suffered, and the joy they experienced when reunited. I needed to impress the power of their presence, their emotions, on to my readers. It’s always a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge when you continue to learn more and more about the characters who consume your days and nights until their story is told.
As for my villan, I always enjoy writing a mean creature. Varek, simply put, is evil, and his vile nature made me cringe from the moment he entered the story until, well, you'll just have to find out. He's the epitome of "looks can be deceiving," with not a single regret as to his cruel intentions. Varek had the ability to make my skin crawl at times, but the passion his evilness fed into Aisia and Jericho's determination to stay together made everything worth it!
Kara WIlls website: http://karawills.com/
Place of purchase. http://pinkpetalbooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=100&zenid=a5d793e94191b4cb344280045eb7577d
From there, life became a whirlwind. October 1994 – First Date, February 1995 – Engagement, August – Wedding, March – Pregnant and on Bed Rest, November – Eight Pound Preemie. Quite a year! Two years later I ended my second high-risk pregnancy with another eight pound Preemie, and thus begun my battles with diabetes and severe depression among other things. My road to healing was long, and varied. Yet, during that time I was blessed to stay home with my sons.
On our ten year anniversary, my husband and I read those letters we sent each other after college. I had written a lot about my writing in them and realized I had not written in over a decade. My husband encouraged me to get back into it. Then, he went on a trip to Israel. One phone call with an explosion in the distance, and I did not sleep well for the next two weeks he was there. At the time, my husband had given me a book of writing exercises to spark creativity, and one of the exercises was to write in a genre you were not comfortable with. I had been poking around on the internet looking at different publishing houses. Ellora’s Cave publishing offices were a town away from where I landed after college, so I also read my first erotic romance. Also in my searches, I read a call for an erotic short story series called Celtic Love Knots with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Wicca had always fascinated me, so I started to research it. Long story getting shorter, I promise, the two stories I wrote for that series both got contracted. Commence second whirlwind in my life. That was November 2007.
Now, my days are getting my kids off to school, writing, after-school activities, dinner, whatever small amount of housework I can get away with, and then sitting with my laptop in the living room at night when the kids are calming down before bed to do promotional stuff. There are the occasional nights where I am completely absorbed with a story and stay up most of the night writing. Of course, at the moment, it is summer break. But, my husband is still a teacher, so he is off as well. I can write and promote, just not on any kind of schedule.
My stories come to me in different ways. For example, sometimes research of something I have read inspires the plot, like with The Healing Spell. Sometimes I come up with plot after hear about a situation that bothers me, and I find it cathartic to write a story with a similar situation but a happy ending. I did that with my novella, Rituals. Other times my writing is just an escape, pure fun, where I can let my imagination run wild. Like with The Witch’s Beast, a Torrid Twisted Fairy Tale which retells the Beauty and the Beast entirely from the witch’s point of view. It was written more to settle a score with the Grimm Brothers because even as a kid, I did not think it fair that the witch that started it all only got one line in the tale. Sorry, a tangent that could not be stopped.
Even now, when depression mostly losses to my new—learned through various self-help books—positive outlook on life, I am still oversensitive to others emotions. I still struggle with the realities of life and watching the effects they have on my children. But, I have an outlet, a healthy escape. I truly believe with all my heart that everyone needs one. I may have already known mine, but I lost it for a time, and had to re-discover it. Whether buried or hidden, you have one too.
In The Sorcerer’s Songs, the song I used, “Hello Old Friend,” was originally written for me after I started coming out of my severe depression. It is a song which touches many chords within my heart. But, another song on my husband’s CD, but not in the book, that is wonderful and heart-wrenching and deeply personal is called “One Job.” I share them now because I think with the two my husband has captured one of my biggest journeys, and that was back to happiness, back to me, so that I could become all I wanted as a wife, a mother, a writer.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Kiki Howell is a successful author of many titles but her new release-a book based on a song, is significantly special.
Kiki’s creativity and ability to push herself into new avenues is evident by the unique process she undertook to write The Sorcerer’s Songs.
Though no stranger to paranormal fiction, the elements in The Sorcerer’s Songs drew upon different research.
While The Sorcerer’s Songs will appeal to the audiences that have been graced with Kiki’s work before, it also opens to the door for new readers.
I have to say that, at first, I had no reservations about the marriage between this book and my music; a marriage seemed appropriate, after all. But I must say that I began to feel a bit anxious as Kiki asked repeatedly if I thought this might not be a good idea. I guess I imagined that she was worried about something, and that maybe I should be worried about something too. But I couldn’t find anything to be fearful about. Once I read the book, I was not just relieved, I was fascinated – intrigued by what the music had led her to imagine and ultimately create. It was very rewarding. For years, she had inspired my writing, and it was moving to know that I inspired hers as well.~Steven Howell~
Friday, July 23, 2010
Where did the idea for this story come from?
I wrote The Sorcerer’s Songs using my husband's song lyrics to create the plot. It was a lot of fun to write, and a great writing exercise! I think I was so inspired by his music that the story practically wrote itself. The Senior Editor who accepted the story wrote these wonderful words about it... "I also want to note that you write about magick with a heart and understanding that's pretty rare. There's a ritual feel to the music performance in your story."
It is true to say that without my husband, Steve, this story would not be. However, it would be truer to say that without him I would not be… the person I am, or have the life I am so grateful to lead. He is my constant source of love and support in so many ways, as well as my best friend. What a privilege to have both a friend and a mate who is so generous, creative, loving, accepting, hard-working, and the list could go on and on.
Actually this story started with one specific song called, The Road. Click Here to listen to the song. The song just screamed storyline to me…the regrets, the forlorn tone, the passions untouched… However, once I started letting my imagination go, it seemed that others of my husband’s songs echoed in my head as the plot progressed. So, I went and grabbed his newest CD, Weathervanes. The idea struck me to try to see how many of them I could use. It was sooo much fun listening and playing with the songs to create a storyline. Only, once that step was done, and they were all arranged, the story would not be stopped! I was writing over five thousands words a day on it for the first few days, not able to walk away from it without having to grab a pencil and paper to scribble down notes on. I think that is a testament to the caliber of songwriter Steven is.
I was really nervous for him to read it. Yet, once he did, he said that often it was just uncanny how the songs fit the story so well, as if the hero, Adam, would have wrote them just for the situation her was in. That was the greatest compliment, as I hope the book, the use of his creative genius in such a way, was to him.
I am just so excited, and so grateful to my husband, Steven Howell, for letting me use his music!
How did your characters come to life?
Once I started thinking about the man in the song, The Road, and who he would be, it immediately can upon me to ask: what has he left behind? Of course as a romance writer, it had to be a woman. *giggles* Second, being a paranormal writer, the question formed in my mind as to what powers my hero could have. I thought surely, with music being so influential, capable of such an effect on people, it could be used in spells too. A little research both in the psychology field and into Wicca gave me a wealth of knowledge to work with…to let my imagination run away with.
I felt I knew Adam, my musical sorcerer, right from the start. I could see him. I could feel what he was feeling. A lot of him was my husband, but a lot of him had already formed in my mind in listening to the song before. I guess I really drew from personal experiences for this one. In creating the town Adam grew up in that he would be going back to, to face what he left behind, I went home in my mind. I come from this great little town on the southern part of the Ohio river called Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. It is so rich for settings. I have driven the roads, walked those woods, and seen that white farmhouse several different places. I really believe that towns shape people, the types of jobs prevalent define a lot of the inhabitant’s lives, create a certain human landscape. Even if the person is one whose life mission became to get out of that town after graduation, the town still shaped him or her. So, somehow, the people I grew up with there, all meshed together to become the heroine, Stacey, and Adam’s childhood friend, Pete and Pete’s mom, etc. In fact, Stacey’s house, as I saw it in my head while writing, actually was the house of a childhood friend with the same name. Guess you can see how my mind came up with that one. I think too that setting, especially in paranormal writing, can become a viable character in the book.
Also, in starting the story, I needed my hero to be off playing somewhere. Having visited Key West, Florida twice in my life, it just seemed the perfect opposing compliment to Martin’s Ferry.
Making my hero a musician was also easy. My husband and I will soon be celebrating 15 years of marriage. In that time, I have been to many of his gigs (well more before we had children), got to witness him writing songs, etc. I have seen his creativeness play out many times. In fact, the song, “Sick Of You,” also used in the story, I had a small part in helping write. Also, I had a living, breathing encyclopedia of music right here with me. It helped that I can read music myself.
Contest: Win autographed copies of The Sorcerer’s Songs in trade paperback and the CD, Weathevanes. Just comment on any of the posts about this book or Kiki on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to enter!
Buy Links: The Sorcerer’s Song in eBook formats can be purchased at http://fidopublishing.com/store/catalog/ and most other retailers where ebooks are sold like http://www.amazon.com/ , http://www.omnilit.com/ , http://www.smashwords.com/ , etc.
Also, a trade paperback version of the novella, The Sorcerer’s Songs, and the CD, Weathervanes, can be purchased through the author only at http://www.kikihowell.com/2010/06/sorcerers-songs-trade-paperback-novella.html
Book and CD Information:
The Sorcerer’s Songs
If I knew then, what I know now
I’d like to think I’d choose a different way to go
But, my mistakes have paved the way
Down this dark and lonely, dead-end road
Poised on a stool in a corner of yet another bar, in front of a crowd of maybe fifty, the harmonies he played reached out to those around him. The rhythms in his head stirred his heart. For a man of magic, a sorcerer with powers he had never asked for, his musical talents were sung spells. They were his weapon of defense against loneliness, bringing people to him like a siren’s song. Yet, for the most part, he let his music haunt the deeper needs of those who listened—letting musical phrasings stir wants unnamed or purposely forgotten. Although he felt but a living and breathing jukebox, these strangers who came to see him play were the only lives he could touch. He reached out to them with his songs.
That is until one night one of Adam’s songs lures him back toward his hometown, and he calls out for Stacey, the one he was forced to leave behind all those years ago. Only this time she wants answers as to why he left, and maybe a bit of revenge for the heart he destroyed.
I wrote The Sorcerer’s Songs using my husband's song lyrics to create the plot. It was a lot of fun to write, and a great writing exercise! I think I was so inspired by his music that the story practically wrote itself. The Senior Editor who accepted the story wrote these wonderful words about it... "I also want to note that you write about magick with a heart and understanding that's pretty rare. There's a ritual feel to the music performance in your story." Click Here to listen to the song that inspired the story called "The Road" I am just so excited, and so grateful to my husband, Steven Howell, for letting me use his music!
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal (Sorcerer), Sensual Romance
Adult Content Warnings: While this is a sweet romance, it is still intended for those over 18 years of age.
1. Hello Old Friend
4. A Lot Like That
6. In America
7. The Road
8. Brand New To Me
9. Sick Of You co-written by Kirstein Howell
10. The One Job
11. In Tommy's Name
12. My Shoes
13. I Won't Be Home For Christmas co-written by Aaron Boyle and Amanda Pfeiffer
14. Laundromat w/ Alethea Brown
Recordered at: Jonasol Studios
Engineered by: Dustin Simmons
Cover Photo: D.L. Merone (exposureart.com)
Steven Howell, BMI 2009
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Rainer Maria Rilke
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Improve Your Relationship Today ... Because Joy Is Your Birthright!
My beloved, handsome devil that he is, was repeatedly rejected as ugly by his schoolmates throughout his elementary, junior high and high school years. He tells the story with tears in his eyes of eager invitations to parties only to be told when the bottle pointed to him during Spin the Bottle, “he’s too ugly; I am NOT kissing HIM!”
The pain as I listened to him tell this story, years later, he is in his seventies, was so fresh as to make me weep--or pick up a bat. Such kindness and gentility in my beloved’s countenance; the beauty of his still even-toned soft brown skin; a rich and healthy light-brown with no scars or moles or other dermatological eruptions. His big beautiful lips that led them to call him “liver lips”; lips I can never wait to feel upon mine because they are soft, mushy, and always warm and wet.
My beloved is handsome, and not just to my eyes. Women friends still call and ask him for this, ask him for that; one confronted him for not telling her how he felt about me. He had resisted because he knew she would berate him.
Years of taunting, teasing, rejection have convinced him that he is not a handsome man. When I compliment him, he jokingly says, “Lawd, she done got delusional agin.” We laugh, but I hear the pain in his foisting off of my compliment. Last night, I decided to do something about Spin the Bottle.
After he finished sharing those stories and a few others that are points of pain for him, I let him go to his computer to finish a tribute for a friend’s son who has cerebral palsy as though nothing was awry. I quietly went into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and fluffed my locs.
When I emerged, fragrant and regal, I went into the office, tapped him on the shoulder, and extended my hand, requesting that he follow me down the hall into a now darkened kitchen. I had him sit down at the kitchen table, in the chair he had recently occupied, picked up an empty plastic bottle that had formerly held 20 ounces of Nestea, laid the bottle on its side, and spun it.
It stopped at me; I spun it again. It stopped at me; I spun it again, this time controlling when and how it stopped so that it unequivocally pointed at him. And then I leaned over, in my nice beige spaghetti-strapped silk nightgown, and kissed him. Long and lengthily, I kissed him.
When our lips parted, his smile was a wonder. He couldn’t believe what I had done. The laughter and shock that emerged from his face and eyes and soul were a joy to behold. His laughter tinkled like the finest bells that could only have been made in heaven. “I had no idea what you were going to do!” he said, the shock and awe uppermost in his countenance.
I thought my joy was complete until I fell asleep while our friend cleaned our carpets, kitchen and bathroom floors. I had not intended to nap in the middle of the day, but I must not have been resting sufficiently because what turned into laying down for a minute became a five hour nap.
Imagine my smile when I awakened to find the fan appropriately placed beside the bed, aimed at me, so that I would not swelter in my sleep as we endure the 20th or 21st day, I have lost count, of over ninety degree weather and matching humidity here in Philadelphia. This means that he worked in the office, a room in which we cannot open the windows because of the dust, with no fan for five hours so that I could sleep comfortably.
And so when you ask me what makes a relationship work, I give you his answer: outgiving. The other person’s happiness always matters more than your own. I wanted to heal his heartbreak, and saw an easy, loving opportunity. Before I could finish enjoying his surprise and pleasure, he had already done something outstanding for me.
Guess we’ll have to play Spin the Bottle just one more time or two, I betcha!
Dr. Niama L. Williams is the guiding force behind Blowing Up Barriers Enterprises, a company that specializes in leading you to the life you have dreamed of living but can't quite seem to get to on your own. She is the author of nine books, each describing her survival of trauma and celebrating those who have assisted her as she's walked her path. Review her credentials, publications and workshop descriptions at her website: http://www.blowingupbarriers.
To Learn More About Dr. Niama, please visit the following:
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Check out what she has to say about her latest release, Return Engagement.
1. Where did the idea for this story come from?
Return Engagement was born to showcase my perfect hero Richard Lovinggood. As time went by I noticed that most of my heros had certain characteristics in common even though each of them had different personalities and lifestyles. This is what I found out.
First, all of my heroes are kind. I've read some books where the hero wasn't a kind person, but I didn't like them at all. My heroes don't mind helping others whenever they can. In fact, they'd give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it.
Second, they have no patience with snobbery and pretension. Even those who come from wealthy families are totally grounded in the real world. In Return Engagement my hero's father tries to marry him off to a woman who's related to the Russian cazrs. He doesn't want any part of her because of her pretensions and haughty airs.
Third, in spite of having various occupations, all of my heroes are intelligent, competent, capable, confident people. They know what they want in life and don't mind working hard to achieve it.
Fourth, my heroes are all passionate, sensual men. And it may be shallow, but they're all drop dead gorgeous. Shoulders. I adore broad shoulders so all my heroes have broad shoulders.
Fifth, they may be passionate and sensual, but they're romantic as well. In Return Engagement my hero sends small gifts every hour on the hour from nine to five trying to soften his wife's heart after they've had a falling out. His favorite gift was a big Hershey's kiss. I know, it's corny, but so what?
Lastly, my heroes are all one woman men. In Return Engagement Richard's father broke him and my heroine up, and they didn't see each other for ten years, but once they reunite it's as if they were never separated.
Richard Lovinggood has all of these characteristics so he certainly isn't the anti-hero that you see in lots of books. Once I invented him the rest of the plot was simple.
2. How did your characters come to life?
I've pretty much already answered that for my hero Richard Lovinggood, and once I had him firmly in mind I set about creating a family for him. His father who's an important part of the story is a wealthy senator with ambitions to make his son the president. That makes him a little controlling. Richard's mother is a perfect foil for the logical, goal driven senator. She's passionate, emotional, and volatile, and her politics are exactly opposite those of Senator Lovinggood who's a conservative. I decided that Richard would be more like his mother-impulsive and prone to acting without thinking things through.
I didn't want Richard to be an only child so I created a sister for him, a beautiful girl more like Senator Lovinggood than her mother. She's headstrong, though, so she needed a strong man to balance her. That man is Richard's FBI partner Scott. Scott's as level-headed as they come, and he can hold his own with Joan.
Now for the fun part-creating a love interest for Richard. Her name is Elizabeth Lane. She couldn't be as high strung and impulsive as Richard, but she couldn't be as solid and level-headed as Scott. She had to be capable of a deep and abiding love that neither time nor distance could destroy. I wanted her to have a good life without Richard too, and she does. She's Hollywood's finest leading lady, but she has principles that she won't compromise even if she loses a good role. She's engaged to a fine man, a lawyer called Alex Crawford. Alex does free legal work for battered women at the shelter where Elizabeth volunteers.
So, Elizabeth has to choose between two good things. She loves both men, and no matter which man she picks she's going to break a good heart.
These characters all interacted so well that I have a sequel ready to go and am working on a third book.
Visit Elaine at: http://www.elainecantrell.com
To buy Return Engagement: http://www.amazon.com/New-Leaf-Elaine-Cantrell/dp/1892343363/sr=8-1/qid=1162735131/ref=sr_1_1/102-3569484-1190506?ie=UTF8&s=books
Sunday, July 11, 2010
“Intensity” by Berengaria Brown. Available from Siren BookStrand.
Where did the idea for this story come from?
I started with Keziah and the desire to tell her story. She was clearly interested in Amos and Wesley, although showed a very independent streak, and was not going to be pushed around or let them take over her life just because she was unemployed and had to move out of her apartment.
The men made it very obvious they wanted her to move in with them into the Smith Tower block, and that made logical sense, but for some reason Keziah resisted this plan for quite a while.
Finally she agreed to move into their apartment and I thought things would move progress from there. Amos and Wesley planned to keep her in their bed until she understood how much they loved her and wanted them to stay with her forever.
But no. Then the ghost turned up and just took over the story! Fortunately he was quite clear about what he wanted. He wanted his story told, not just Keziah’s.
And before I recovered from that surprise there was a company take-over attempt. All I could do was keep typing until the characters told me what I needed to know.
How did your characters come to life?
They just arrive, fully developed, in my head. But as the book unfolds more and more characters appear. I began with the heroine, closely followed by the two heroes. Then the ghost. Then other characters later. One of the secondary characters is the heroine in a second book in this world, called “Complexity”, which will be releasing from Siren BookStrand in September. Many of the minor characters are back in the second book. Once again they just kept wandering onto the pages and taking part in the story. In fact, one of these minor characters from both “Intensity” and “Complexity” told me he was a vampire and wanted his own story told. I was very surprised. I was getting used to ghosts appearing in my stories, but a vampire?
Siren has just accepted his book, which I have called “Eternity”, and it is scheduled to release in December.
“Intensity” buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/intensity
For a chance to win your choice of a book from my backlist, please go to my blog, http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/ or one of the sites listed below, and tell me the names of the three main characters in one of my OTHER books. Email your answer to berengariabrown @ gmail.com (delete spaces).
Berengaria at All Romance ebooks
Berengaria at Amazon
Berengaria at BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/berengaria-brown/
Berengaria at Jasmine Jade: http://www.jasminejade.com/m-659-berengaria-brown.aspx
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Woot Woot Kiki!!!
Please email Kiyara for your prize at: email@example.com Put "Blog Contest" in the subject line.
Thank you to everyone who commented on my first Story Behind the Book. I hope you all come back next Monday when I will have guest author Berengaria Brown. She'll be talking about her book Intensity. For a glimpse at Intensity go to: http://www.bookstrand.com/intensity
Monday, July 5, 2010
For the next two months, I will be introducing you to some fabulous author’s with some incredile tales. What Story Behind the Book is about is simple. Each Monday one author will talk about where the idea came from for their book, and how the characters came to life as well as showing off their wonderful covers. And as an added bonus, these authors will be holding contests. Now who can resist free stuff?
So check in every Monday for a new Story Behind the Book.
Now, my first guest is the very talented Kiyara Benoiti. For those that haven’t heard of her, you have been missing out on some incredibly hot erotic stories. From The Candy bar Liaison, Blue Moon, Blood Lust, Margie’s Room and Lady of the Lair. Each one of Kiyara’s books take you into a story that will keep you on your toes or panting for more. Today she will be telling us where the idea for Lady of the Lair came from, and how her characters came to life.
Check out her website:
I give you now, Kiyara Benoiti!
The first thing I’d like to do is thank Shiela for having me as her first author for this wicked-cool blog. Shiela is so helpful and an amazing support to fellow authors.
Now to answer Shiela’s questions concerning my latest release, Lady of the Lair, the first book in the Alter-Human trilogy.
Where did the idea for this story come from?
Actually, it is odd how this fits with a blog post I recently posted on my website. The first six or seven pages of a story languished on a CD for years. Yes, years! The story started out well enough, but it fizzled and I found myself with orphaned pages. Every so often, I’d open the file and tinker with the “story” but it never moved along, never went anywhere.
Then one day I opened the file once more, and the idea of how to finish it hit me. It was so unexpected my mouth fell open and I sat there staring at the laptop screen as ideas rocketed through my brain.
Where did the epiphany to finish it come from? I don’t know. I guess that’s why they call them epiphanies.
But the story took off and I had the first draft done in a week. The sex in it is probably some of the most intense scenes I have ever written too.
I’ve always been fascinated with the world beneath our feet. Caves and caverns are amazing, and there truly is an entirely different world below the surface of this one—unusual animals, insects, and so much that has yet to be discovered. I let my imagination have free rein.
How did your characters come to life?
The characters kept me on my toes. Writing a ménage romance isn’t the easiest type of story to write, especially when it comes to the sex. A writer must present the eroticism in such a way the reader doesn’t get confused on who is doing what to whom, and boring the reader with the sex is the death knell of an erotic romance. On that note, I did have fun with the ménage aspect because the Alter-Humans’ sex is more explosive and satisfying than that of normal humans. Dillon, the alpha hero, discovers this in the first sex scene with Isis and her primer mate, Rory. But once he’s had his release, he’s addicted to the rush, the heightened senses, and the fact that Isis controls when he can actually come. How many people can claim they’re able to control that part of sex? LOL
Dillon meets Isis first and falls head over heels in love with her, but the problem is when she introduces Rory to him. He doesn’t want to share her, but quickly changes his mind, and in the process, he realizes he’s captivated by Rory too. As the book goes on, Dillon comprehends the meaning of being in a trinity relationship and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dillon has a lot he struggles with, but since Lady of the Lair is told from his pov, the bigger challenge was conveying Isis’s feelings as well as Rory’s while staying firmly in Dillon’s viewpoint.
As the heir to the Community’s throne, Isis needs to find her donor mate, which is Dillon. Rory primes her, gets her ready for receiving the sperm that can actually impregnate her, but the catch is that Alter-Humans can sense the proper DNA in their sex partners. Sometimes, however, they get fooled, and that’s what gets Isis in trouble. Her previous “donor” male feels jilted and wants her back, so there’s a distinct thread of jealousy running through the book that melds with the current Lady of the Lair’s (Isis’s aunt) jealous streak too. Isis’s donor mate, Dillon, turns out to be the Lady’s donor mate as well.
Keeping the emotions rolling and clear for each character was a challenge but an enjoyable one. Isis’s protectiveness and determination to take the throne from her villainous aunt becomes clear, and when the Lady pins Rory for a murder she commits, the plot heats to an explosive point. How do Dillon and Isis get Rory back, and once they do, how can Isis unseat her aunt without the Lady killing Isis and Rory?
I have to be honest and say that Lady of the Lair is one of the most unique books I’ve ever written. It keeps my imagination roiling with ideas for books two and three, and I believe by the time the trilogy is finished, the books will be ones that readers will re-read time and again.
As an added bonus, Kiyara will be holding a contest.
Contest ends on Friday, July, 9th 2010.
To celebrate the release of Lady of the Lair, I'm going to have a small contest.
All you have to do is comment on my blog post. However, only genuine comments will be accepted.
Also, to add some spice to the contest, if anyone can correctly answer the following question about Lady of the Lair and email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with "LADY" in the subject, you will get two more entries for a total of three chances.
What's the prize? A $10 amazon.com gift certificate emailed to the winner!
Question: What Spanish words does Dillon mumble against Isis' mouth as he kissing her?
Hint: the answer is on page 13 of the ebook.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
What do you think?
There is still some tweaking and adding (like a blog roll) to be done, but "baby, we've come a long way!"
We have two brand new features this year, as well as the old popular ones.
We have created a whole page for monthly Featured Books and we are gearing up for our most interactive year yet.
Our two new features are:
Story Behind The Book-Feature By Shiela Stewart
This feature showcases an authors' book cover and gives them a great opportunity to explain where the idea came from for the story and to talk, in-depth about the characters in the book.
Brag A Book-*New Feature* -Debuting this Summer
In the true spirit of APA this feature allows you to brag about your friends', colleagues', next-door-neigbour's book.
In a paragraph or so, tell us why you liked, loved, read this book. This is your chance to rave and give great word-of-mouth. Being creative and off-the-wall is encouraged.
Also include the JPEG cover, links and book blurb of the book you are raving about, and a short bio about yourself.
Send to: email@example.com
This is a weekly feature and is always on a first come, first serve basis.
New features, a brand new look but still the same old APA-perhaps a little bit improved and in just a little while, we'll be at it all in full force.