Monday, August 27, 2012

ATLANTIS (The Atlantis Series) by Lisa Graves

(The Atlantis Series)

Welcome to author Lisa Graves. She hails from Salt Lake City, Utah, and dabbles in many worlds. Check out her bio on her website and you'll see why her books are so intriguing. Let's talk about the first book in The Atlantis Series, Atlantis.

JR: Would you please post the back cover copy to Atlantis?

LG: Elliott is a mystery.

For Lilly, he is an obsession.

Lilly's life starts to change dramatically when Elliott moves in next door. Weird things start to happen, and Lilly finds herself questioning her reality. But things aren't what they seem. Packed with hidden codes, Atlantis is a paranormal romance worth getting lost in.

Do you believe in Atlantis?

JR: Hidden codes are almost as fun as secret doors and caves. Could you tell us about the setting for this book?

LG: The setting of Atlantis is a little peculiar. Much of the book is set in the mind of the main character, Lilly. With the help of her boyfriend, Elliott, she learns how to project astrally using her mind. The adventures and world that is uncovered within is amazing.

Excerpt of Atlantis
by Lisa Graves
Available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and in print

“Still sitting and shaken, I looked around, trying to see where my subconscious had taken me. The bowing trees swayed around me. A familiar but more intense scent of lavender filled the air. Of course. I was in my meadow. This is where I always came to get my perspective back, or try to at least. But it was different.

There was an energy in the air that wasn’t usually there. It was as if I could feel the life force that emitted from the grass, the trees, the leaves. The sensation lightly pricked my skin like goosebumps. I shivered in reaction to it. Even the air seemed to be alive as it swirled playfully around me, making the wildflowers dance.

Significant as that was, it wasn’t the only difference.

I looked up and fell on my back in astonishment at the beauty of the sky above me. Normally, on a clear night, I would find the starry sky amazing. But this was spectacular.

It was as if my eyes were looking through a high-powered telescope. The clarity was awe inspiring. And that was before adding all of the colors. Above my head, different parts of the universe glowed. My eyes gazed at a red cloud sprinkled with bright white stars, several blue clouds with a few definite starry planets residing within them, and there was even a planet close enough that it took up a large portion of the horizon with its pearly white and purple swirling clouds. I had just discovered what could only be another galaxy, with its bicycle spoke shape spinning in midair, when I felt another energy enter the meadow.”
# # #

The first book in the Atlantis Series, Atlantis, takes place in three settings: a small suburban neighborhood, flashbacks to Lilly’s Italian past, and on the astral plane in her mind. Atlantis focuses on Lilly learning how to project and take control of her mind’s potential. Stonehenge, book two, delves even further into the possibilities of projection but utilizes ancient Stonehenge as it’s energy epicenter.

Take a trip down the rabbit hole of Lilly’s mind and check out Atlantis today!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Much Ado About Miners

The 3rd book in the Hearts of Owyhee
series, Much Ado About Mavericks

The Next Big Thing -
week 9
by Jacquie Rogers

Here we go, blogging about The Next Big Thing, which, in my case is the fourth book in the Hearts of Owyhee  series, Much Ado About Miners. This book is a long way from the market—I'm only on chapter 2, so 320 pages to write!  Yes, writing a book is daunting and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

How this works is there are ten interview questions.  I'll answer those for Much Ado About Miners and then tag five more authors.  They'll each tag five more, and off we go.  So here are the interview questions as applied to my book. Special thanks to Candy Ann Little who tagged me—check out her blog to see her Next Big Thing. :)

Ten Questions for
Much Ado About Miners

1. What is the working title of your book?

Much Ado About Miners ( Hearts of Owyhee #4)

The 2nd book in the Hearts of Owyhee
series, Much Ado About Madams
 2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Readers have been asking for Iris Gardner's story since the first book in the series, Much Ado About Marshals.  The problem is that Iris is pretty unique, so it has taken quite a bit of thought to come up with a story (and hero) worthy of her.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Western Historical Romance.  My books are fast-paced and also have humor besides some good old-fashioned shoot-outs.  Not to mention drool-worthy cowboys. :)

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Iris could be played by a twenty-something Reese Witherspoon because she can play just about any character.  Iris is 24 and independent.  The year is 1885 so that puts a a bit of a damper on her options, but not her spirit.  She has a head for business but that same head is also attractive, so businessmen tend to not take her seriously, which annoys her to no end.

Kade McKinnon is an adrenalin junkie.  He owns a business of guarding bullion transport, mostly wagons, and dozens of men work for him.  But the most dangerous jobs are his own — he has the skills of a killer, but he's also an animal-lover. 

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I'm still plotting the story so not this sentence may or may not have anything to do with the final version, but here goes:

Someone is wreaking havoc with the McKinnon silver mine and it's up to Iris and Kade to bring the villain to justice—without wreaking havoc to their hearts.

First book in the Hearts of Owyhee
series, Much Ado About Marshals
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither.  This book will be published through Mélange Publishing, an independent publisher owned by Norman W. Wilson, PhD.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It's not written yet, but it has taken me two months to get chapter one in the bag, mostly because I do a lot of pre-writing work. 

Before I start a book, my characters are fully formed, so even though I might not know what's going to happen with the plot, my characters are solid.  Then I also work out the bones of the story so I have destinations — the first turning point, midpoint, dark moment — all those are planned.  They might change along the way, but as long as I have a destination, I can put words on the page.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Don't know.  The pacing and humor is similar to Maggie Osborne's books but I can't think of any recently published books that are comparable.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Let's go with "what."  And let's talk about the whole Hearts of Owyhee series.  Nearly every western historical romance novel I'd read was set either in Texas or Wyoming, with a few in Montana or Colorado.  Those states are east.  There's a whole lot of west past those states and a whole lot of history, too.  I've always been fascinated by local history and since I grew up in southwest Idaho, Silver City has drawn me like a marshmallow to the fire. 

Given that, I thought why not write a series set in Owyhee County?  It's home of Kitty Wilkins, the most successful horsetrader in US history, and Little Joe Monaghan, who pulled off a gender switch for forty years.  Then there's the cavalry, silver and gold mining, the cattle business — so much to write about and many stories waiting to be told.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I always have great fun with secondary characters, and in Much Ado About Miners, Kade's sidekick is a Shakespearean scholar who had been a prospector for forty years.  He has a mule named Verges and a burro named Juliet, and often expresses himself by quoting one of Shakespeare's characters.  He enjoys fine rotgut and slow women.  Every scene he's in makes me laugh, and I hope he makes you laugh, too.

Tag, You're It!

Peggy L Henderson
Paty Jager
Caroline Clemmons
Celia Yeary
Sarah McNeal


***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) ***
Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them. It’s that simple.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing
  1. What is the working title of your book?
  2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
  3. What genre does your book fall under?
  4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
  5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
  6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
  7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
  8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
  9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
  10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Judith Laik Takes a Sentimental Journey on a Blue Moon

Thanks to Judith Laik (pronounced "Like") for visiting today. Judith has been published by Kensington and small press, writes Regency historical romance, young adult novels, and children's stories. She also co-authored a book of quotes, Around the Circle Gently, with Lynn Moen. Judith lives in the Seattle area on a cozy little farm with a bunch of dogs, sundry other animals, her husband (not an animal, usually), and her daughter.

Blue Moon
by Judith Laik
Copyright © 2012 Judith Laik

A blue moon, according one interpretation, is the occurrence of a second full moon in any month. A second definition is the third of four full months in a season (winter, spring, etc.). Normally each season has three full moons. When it has four, the third one is called a blue moon.

Because the lunar cycle is shorter than most months, the dates of the various phases change throughout a year. There can only be a second full moon when the first one falls on the 1st, 2nd, or, for 31-day months, 3rd. Thus, a blue moon happens only – once in a blue moon!

Perhaps because of their relative rarity, legends grew up about the specialness of a blue moon. One of these legends is that there is special power in wishing on a blue moon.

Judith Laik, author

When my friend Jacquie told me she was asked to contribute a story to an anthology built around this bit of folklore, I thought that was a pretty cool idea. I didn’t give it another thought. I don’t write short stories. At least I didn’t think so.

But the concept kept working on my under my conscious thought level. I frequently have a “sound track” playing in my head. It’s entirely random. Could be a song I’ve heard on the radio, even sometimes a stupid jingle from a commercial. But sometimes out of that amorphous mass of buried memories, a song will suddenly pop up that I haven’t heard for years.

In this case, though, I’m sure it arose from Jacquie’s anthology story. The lovely song “Blue Moon” started playing in my head. Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1935, it’s been sung over the years by many of the greats. When the line “And then there suddenly appeared before me the only one my arms will ever hold,” I got a clear image of the sudden appearance of a man in front of a woman, and I knew I had the germ of a story. From there, it practically wrote itself.

And now, my story, Sentimental Journey, is on Amazon.

Oh, yes. On blue moons. There’s one this month, on August 31. Be prepared to make a wish and have it come true!

More info on blue moons:
Sky and Telescope
Moon Connection
RedBubble (Discusses various folkloric stories about the power of the blue moon.)
RedBubble (song lyrics)

Contact Judith: Website, Facebook, Twitter
Please "like" Sentimental Journey on Amazon!

Win a FREE book!
One lucky commenter will win a Kindle copy of Sentimental Journey!  Please include your email address or we won't be able to contact you and we'll have to draw another winner.  Drawing will be held August 25 at 9pm Pacific Time.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The LOOK Challenge from @AKMorgen - tag @megmims @mattpizzolato @cathiedunn @mimibarbour

I've been tagged.

According to the rules, you're supposed to do a search in your work in progress for the word "look" and then paste the surrounding paragraph(s) and tag as many people as possible.  

Since the fourth Hearts of Owyhee  book is still in the plotting stage, I'm posting paragraphs from my new release, Much Ado About Mavericks.

The heroine in this book is quite a gal--she really kept me on my toes.  Her name is Janelle Kathryn O'Keefe but they call her "Jake."  And she's a handful!  You can read about how she came into being: Western Women Wranglers at Romancing the West.  Her name is Janelle Kathryn O'Keefe but they call her "Jake."  And she's a handful!  Here's the snippet:

“Howdy, Ben.” Marshal Hiatt didn’t even look up from his paperwork. “I thought you’d show up in a hurry.” He smirked, put down his pencil, and picked up his keys. “You probably want to see the prisoner.”

“Go to hell!” Jake called from the second cell, her hands on the bars. “The prisoner don’t want to see him.”

She had the beginnings of a shiner. Ben suppressed a smile. He’d never seen a woman with a black eye before, but from the looks of things, the poor fellow who picked a fight with her ended up in a lot worse shape. “So who threw the first punch?”

“Grady, from the Lazy B.” She cocked her head and grinned. “Didn’t do him no good, though. I busted his ugly nose and gave him a gut-ache he’ll remember for a day or two.”

The marshal chuckled. “His nose wouldn’t be so ugly if you hadn’t broke it twice before.”
♥ ♥ ♥
Do you think a Boston lawyer can keep up with her?

I'm tagging:
Meg Mims, @megmims
Matthew Pizzolato, @mattpizzolato
Cathie Dunn, @cathiedunn
Mimi Barbour, @MimiBarbour
Kathleen Rice Adams, @DisorderlyWords
Stephanie Berget, @StephanieBerget
Linda LaRoque, @LindaLaRoque
Karen Michelle Nutt, @KMNbooks