Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Interview with Taylor Marsh, BELTWAY BETRAYERS

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Beltway Betrayers is Book 2 in The Beltway Series.

Alex Gantry, the heroine, has moved from Hollywood to the Washington, D.C., Beltway. Her best friend, Berkley Banks, offered her a partnership at her firm, which gave Alex the excuse she needed to change her life and shake things up.

She left her ex-boyfriend, Brian Marks behind. He's not taking being dumped very well, because Alex didn't give him a chance to protest before she left.

T.J. Gales is Alex's new beau. He's a greenpreneur, helping corporations turn their workplaces green. This is only half of his story, because he also operates a private military company, as readers will see as the story unfolds in Beltway Betrayers.

T.J. is recently divorced from Lisa Dalaney, a woman who comes from a powerful, if nefarious, New York family. Her father, Davin, never did like T.J., and he is out for vengeance, now that his daughter's marriage is over. Lisa blames Alex for her divorce, so she's got her own plans.

The cast of characters includes private military men and women who carry firearms, and hunt villains, with the women sleuths being equal to the men in all things.

It's a sensual, roller coaster thrill ride.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes, absolutely.

I introduced two characters, by name only, in Book 1. In Beltway Betrayers, Book 2, these two characters command attention and respect, as well as a large part of the plot.

It was a thrilling surprise that taught me a lot about letting characters breathe and be who they want.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I was very involved in the process, working with a graphic designer. I used the same person/company on both of my covers.

Mirna Gilman from Books Go Social did both of my covers and will do Book 3. In the social media era, you need someone who understands how the jpg of the book needs to pop.

I put together some specific graphics that I liked, as well as informed her on the plot. Book 2 is significantly different from Book 1, and explaining these details mattered.  Los Angeles takes focus as the action crescendos, so featuring the city was important.  

Mirna made sure there was consistency between the two covers, so that people understand it's a series.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I don't write a word until I've meditated.

Music is terrific before I write, as well as afterward.

I write in silence.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Ruminating and thinking about the scope of the book starts first, before I begin the story.  I set a very wide perimeter.

With two non-fiction novels on the shelf, I trust the process more.  But some things don't change.

I work chapter by chapter and, invariably, something surprises me along the way that takes me into unknown territory.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely. I've used the same talented, tenacious, and detail oriented editor for both of my romantic novels. She will also edit Book 3.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Twitter, Facebook Author Page, my own blog, Facebook Author Forums, Books Go Social on Facebook, as well as their Featured Author service… Instagram, Tumblr… Amazon author page, BookBub…

My website is my business card. The main page is everything romance, relationships, sex, dating, and women.

Since I began in non-fiction & have been doing it so long, I've got readers going back over 10 years, and they congregate on my blog page, which is separate. Rebranding was really tough when I turned to romantic thrillers, because keeping as many of my long-time readers as possible was important.

Email list builders of all types is critical. AWeber for emails to my loyal subscribers, which I send out judiciously and only when there's something good to offer them.

The amount of time & effort required to market my work is exceeded only by the hours I need to write. 

I'm never *not* marketing my work.

Being an author is a full-time gig.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Think of it as starting a new business. It will take capital investment, whether it's the fee to keep your blog going, a $20/month membership on Instafreebie, or $200+ month for advertising.  Your time is capital investment, too, because you can't quit your day job until you've attracted readers.

Remember: Writing a book is one thing; getting people to read it is another.

Build a website.
Build a blog around a topic that will be in your book(s).
Keep blogging about the topic that's in your books (every week, at least).  
Build a social media platform where your blog posts will be featured.
Partner with other authors. (Facebook will help with this. I highly recommend Books Go Social on FB. I'm a client for a reason.

What’s next for you?
The Beltway Series, Book 3 is taking shape in my mind.

I'm thinking about bringing back one of the characters in Book 1, who is a client of Alex Gantry, the heroine, who is an elite life coach.

The working title of Book 3, emphasis on working title, is Beltway Hits Sin City. It’s set in Las Vegas, the place where I once spent a lot of time partying, and where I later met my husband. 

Beltway Betrayers
Taylor Marsh
Publication date: May 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller

There’s a secret.
A woman is heard whimpering in a parking garage.
A dark side to the powerfully rich is exposed.
And Alex Gantry is at the center of it all.
After several frightening events that shook Alex’s world, things have settled down.
So it seems…
Elite life coach, Alex Gantry, is enjoying her new life in the Washington, D.C. Beltway.
T.J. Gale, who’s part greenpreneur, part leader of a quick-strike unit of former military and intelligence professionals, has set her heart aflame.
Alex and T.J. are in love.
Enter Jett Spence, a man who once was part of T.J.’s world but who is now an unknown, because no one can tell whose side he’s on.
Two thousand miles away in Hollywood, Alex’s old haunts, the powerful producer Brian Marks is falling apart because he’s lost her. The woman he never thought would leave him is now in the bed of a younger man.
In New York City, T.J.’s ex-wife, Lisa, is looking to get even with the woman she thinks destroyed her marriage. Her vengeful father Davin Dalaney is eager to help because T.J. is no longer willing to ignore his criminal profits.
Brian is intent on getting Alex back.
Lisa wants to make her pay.
And T.J. is attempting to keep her safe.
Alex believes she can take care of herself, but being with T.J. has taught her it’s not always that simple.
From the Washington, D.C. Beltway to Los Angeles, California, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Author Bio:
Taylor Marsh writes smart, arousing romance while deciphering world events. She lives in the Beltway area of Washington D.C.
“Beltway Betrayers,” Book 2 of The Beltway Series, will be out in May 2017 and Book 3 of this series will be out in the fall.
She is a former Broadway performer and beauty queen who was the Relationship Consultant for LA WEEKLY, then the nation’s top alternative newsweekly. Taylor is the author of two traditionally published non-fiction books, “The Hillary Effect,” and her memoir, “The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen.”
Taylor was profiled in The Washington Post and The New Republic for her coverage of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primary season. She became a contributor to The Huffington Post in 2006, and has written for Washington, D.C.’s The Hill, as well as for U.S. News & World Report and for Zócalo Public Square in Los Angeles, among others. As a seasoned entertainer, communicator and speaker, Taylor has also been interviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera Media Network, The New York Times, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, among other outlets.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#Excerpt: DARK ILLUSIONS by D.D. Miers

Dark Illusions
D.D. Miers
(The Relic Keeper, #2)
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

A war is brewing in the unseen world…are you ready?
Book 2 in the captivating urban fantasy series filled with twists and gripped by a complicated, butterfly-inducing romance. Fans of Shannon Mayer, Ella Summers, Dannika Dark and Rebecca Hamilton will love this series!
Praise for Book One – Dark Summoner
“Mesmerizing. . .had me completely under its spell.”
“Danger, excitement, passion, and turmoil.”
“An exceptional story full of rich characters.”
“This story has one biting her nails and sitting on the edge of her seat while eagerly turning every single page.”
*** FIRST PLACE WINNER *** 2015 International Digital Awards – Paranormal Romance
***Nerdy Girl Book Reviews*** HOT READS FEATURE, RomCon Magazine August 2015 Edition

Author Bio:
D.D. Miers is an ardent book lover, coffee enthusiast, and die-hard romance fan. When she's not writing, she can be found snuggling on the couch with a good book in hand, planning a Harry Potter themed party, or dancing very badly to music. She currently resides in beautiful Southern California with her wonderful husband, a crazy toddler, and the many different characters in her head.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY: Remember to Thank a Soldier

We all get caught up in the fun activities of Memorial Day--getting together with friends, BBQs, having a great time, but let's not forget the real meaning of Memorial Day. Soldiers risk their lives every day for our freedom, a freedom that we take for granted. Nothing in life is free and I for one am thankful that we have such brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.  

Dear Solider: Thank you for your Service. Thank you for your Sacrifice. Thank you for your Courage. I Salute YOU. This day honors all of you. 

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

Whatever you decide to do on this 3-day weekend, say a prayer and a "thank you" for all of the US military personnel who are serving around the world to keep us all safe.

#Excerpt: AIDING THE DRAGON by Jessie Donovan

Aiding the Dragon
Jessie Donovan
(Stonefire Dragons #9)
Publication date: May 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Teagan O’Shea is a rare female dragon-shifter leader. While her Irish clan has a tradition of female leaders, they have always had to hide behind a male face publicly to prevent the other clans from viewing them as weaker and then attacking. When the truth leaks, Teagan is faced with a choice—hand over the leadership to a male or invite the challengers to a leadership trial and earn her place. Out to prove having a penis isn’t required to be a leader, she picks the latter.
Aaron Caruso is sent to Ireland under the guise of repairing relations between two clans on the isle of Ireland. However, upon arrival he learns the truth. Determined to secure Teagan’s place so he can escape her alluring eyes and addicting personality, he busies himself with helping her any way he can. A female used him once and he’s not about to go through that again, no matter how much the Irish female tempts him.
As the pair work together on preparations for the leadership trial, both Aaron and Teagan start to see each other in a new light. Both have their own self-imposed loneliness and yearn for something they can’t have. Can Aaron and Teagan not only change tradition but also open their hearts? Or will they each be doomed to live alone to fight their inner battles?

Twisting the knob, Teagan entered the small room. Aaron’s back was to her. While she appreciated his broad shoulders and his thick, dark hair, she smiled at how he was tapping his fingers. He always did that when it came to meeting with her, either in person or via a video conference. “Just make sure not to wear down my table with your nails.”
Aaron’s movements stopped. He turned and Teagan hid her surprise. The male had grown a close-cut beard since the last time she’d seen him. The dark whiskers made him look wiser.
And maybe a wee bit sexier. Not that she’d ever tell him that.
Then he frowned and she banished that thought. Grumpy wasn’t what she needed, among many other things.
Aaron growled, “I wouldn’t have to tap my fingers in the first place if you were on time.”
Killian took a step toward Aaron, but Teagan put up a hand. “I’ll deal with him. Eliza is waiting for you. Go with her and search Sadie’s things. Update me on any developments.”
Her brother nodded and exited the room. Like most males in her clan, he obeyed her orders without question.
Aaron, on the other hand, leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on the table. “Should I get comfortable whilst you use a power play to assert your dominance? Or are you actually going to tell me why I’m here?”
She walked up to his feet and pushed them off the table. “Keep your dirty bloody boots on the floor. Do that again, and I’ll make sure you always have a bucket and rag to clean up after yourself.”
His pupils flashed to slits and back, signaling he was talking to his dragon. “I’m not here to clean.”
She shrugged. “The way I understand it, you’re here to help me for the next few weeks. Bram didn’t say cleaning was off-limits.”
Aaron stood. His dark brown eyes met her green. They were exactly the same height, which was a nice change. Teagan was tall, even by female dragon-shifter standards.
She barely had time to note the flecks in his eyes when he spat out, “Cleaning is off-limits. As is babysitting or being assigned entry-level guard duty. I’m a trained Protector. If it’s not related to my job, then I’ll refuse to do it.”
She raised an eyebrow. “And what? Disappoint your clan leader and destroy his hard work at trying to strengthen our alliance?”
“Bram would see it my way. Besides, you need this alliance more than we do. We already have Lochguard at our back. Who do you have?”
His words stung and her dragon stood at attention.
He was correct that she needed the alliance, but she wasn’t about to put up with bullshit to achieve it. That was the wrong message to send to Stonefire.
She had dealt with many a male acting like Aaron Caruso. She knew what to do.
Fisting his shirt, she pulled him close. For a split second, her dragon reveled in his scent and the heat of his body so close to theirs, but Teagan quickly pushed her beast to the back of her mind. As Aaron’s eyes flashed, she swept his legs with her own. Aaron lost his balance and Teagan guided him to the floor, face down. With his hands behind him and her knee in his lower back, she leaned down to his ear and whispered, “Just because I’m female doesn’t mean you will treat me as any less of a clan leader, understood?”
He turned his head to meet her eyes. “I’m not doing it because you’re female. I’m doing it because you’re irritating.”
Resisting the urge to press a talon against his throat, she replied, “That just earned you guard duty. Maybe twenty-four hours without sleep will teach you a lesson in etiquette.”
She withdrew a key from her pocket and released Aaron. Before he could do more than rise to his hands and knees, she dashed out the sole door and locked it.
His voice was muffled through the door. “Let me out, bloody woman. This isn’t how you treat a guest.”
“Aye, you’re right. It’s how I treat a pest.”

Author Bio:
Sign up for Jessie's newsletter and never miss a release or special:
Jessie Donovan wrote her first story at age five, and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey in junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap into her over-active imagination and write a book someday.
After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets.
In late 2014, she became a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.
Jessie loves to interact with readers. When not reading a book or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, can often be found on Facebook.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Interview with Erica Ridley, LORD OF PLEASURE


Costa Rica
Dogs or cats?
Beer or wine?
If there were no tequila:
India Pale Ale
Beach or mountains?
Football or soccer?
Da Bears
Favorite movie genres:
Action/Adventure, Comedy
Favorite book genres:
Suspense, Thriller, Romance
Favorite pastime:
States visited:
Countries visited:
Morning or night person?
Walk or run?
Plotter or Pantser:
Storyboard + Scrivener
Apple or Android:
Tea or Coffee:
Chocolate, light or dark:
Yes, please
Meat or veggies?
Favorite foods:
Indian, Thai, Italian
Favorite music:
All of it
Instruments played:
Piano, guitar, violin
Biggest fear:

“Lady X, I presume?” His heart was still pounding and his breath a bit too quick, but he’d made it. He was the first at her side.
“Lord X.” Her red lips smiled up at him from beneath her impenetrable black mask. “It’s a pleasure to see you again.”
“The pleasure is most definitely mine.” He proffered his arm. “Come with me.”
“Should I?” she rejoined archly.
“I shall beg if I must.”
Only when her fingers curved about his elbow did his tense muscles finally relax.
He guided her up the slender staircase lining the far wall. When they reached the upper promenade, he led her not to the balcony overlooking the back garden, but to a hidden corridor with a second, smaller staircase, twisting up a dark tower.
She tilted her head. “What’s up there?”
“Come and find out.” He stepped into the darkness, held out his hand, and waited.
She placed her white-gloved fingers in his.
“I’ve been thinking of you all week,” he said roughly. “It’s been maddening.”
“Why didn’t you stop?”
“I can’t.” He pulled her into his arms and slanted his mouth over hers.
The last time he’d kissed her, he’d felt she was holding back on her passion. He didn’t want her to. Not with him. Not tonight. He cradled the side of her face in his hand and told her with every kiss that there was no need for circumspection. No need to be tentative.
Whoever she was before she stepped through the vestibule door, here she was a goddess cloaked in darkness and sheltered by the night. They were as anonymous as stars in the sky, their passion as bright. Her power was boundless. With naught more than the taste of her kiss, she was capable of bringing him to his knees.
Heart pounding, he pulled away while he still could.

Blurb: Lord of Pleasure

Nondescript “good girl” Miss Camellia Grenville only ever opens her mouth when forced to sing at her family’s musicales. That is, until the night she infiltrates the ton’s most scandalous masquerade ball on behalf of her sister, and finds herself in the arms—and the bed—of the one man she’d sworn to hate.

Irresistibly arrogant and unapologetically sensuous, infamous rake Lord Wainwright always gets his way. When he accepts a wager to turn his rakish image respectable in just forty days, he never anticipates falling for an anonymous masked lover...or that discovering her identity would destroy them both.

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Author Bio

Erica Ridley is a USA Today and New York Times best-selling author of historical romance novels.
In the new Rogues to Riches historical romance series, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind rags-to-riches romance with rollicking adventure.
The popular Dukes of War series features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.
When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

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