Tuesday, 31 January 2012

One Of Those Days...

  Have you ever had one of those days when you wish you could just crawl back into bed, and have a do over. Well I am having one of those weeks. It wasn't one big thing that went wrong it was a lot of little tiny things that made up the whole. My good friend Z basically said I need to get my happy back on as I have a new release coming out in about ten days or so, and I am, I liked this story and I loved finding out more about Hunter and Clay. I just feel as though I am standing outside of my own life at the moment and watching a car crash in slow motion.

  My hubs would say take a teaspoon of cement and harden the fuck up!!! And I know he is right. I am just at a stage in my life where I am questioning everything - see the bottom of this post and give me some advice. (I think it is because my birthday is two days away - and I think holy fuck I am getting old Or it could be I just haven't had enough coffee this morning.)

  Okay I promised myself that 2012 is going to be the year of me - where I am the most important thing in my life - does that make me selfish? - Probably. We all know in the end I will be in the thick of my ever-loving family, and wanting to slap them up the side of the head - but hey that's how families work.

  I have had my bitch for the month so now it is time to pull up my big girl socks and take the next step... You will be happy to know  that today I am working on When Souls Collide. I am hoping to hit at least 11K on it.

  I have sent Admetus Gaea to Cinders who is going to run fresh eyes over it (yes I know it isn't finished but I want to make sure that when I converted it from M/F to M/M I got all the he/she/him/her changed as well. We all know it is the little things I forget). And lets just say lucky I sent Windblown Kisses: My Knight In Tarnished Armour to Sue as she found some great big glaringly obvious storyline holes that will need fixing before submit it.

  I have a question so feel free to leave me a comment and answer it - it is about your reading likes.

  Q 1: If my The Lines of Marsden series is mostly M/M is it okay to highlight a M/F relationship or should I change it to a M/M relationship? I need to know pretty soon as I will have to change it in book one, actually it will just be a change of name mentioned in book 1, the actual relationship is not until when the second line comes into their powers.

I know that Ro will say change it... and I am willing to if everyone is in the same frame of mind. So please leave me a comment with your views - because I read any genre that sort of thing doesn't worry me. so there is a second question related to the first.

  Q 2: Should Michaela become a guy? And if so what should be the new name? (Not Michael as he is the father) so I need to come up with a new name, at the moment she is Michaela Marsden (Kayla) and her twin is Raphael Marsden (Raph).

  Okay on that note I am out of here - I have some writing to catch up on and a sex scene to write by Friday for Jettermane. As well as figure out what the hell happened to Simian in Wind Walkers by Monday. I will talk to you all tomorrow when I ask Z Allora some questions...



Sunday, 29 January 2012

Em's Turn


I have posted these song just for my mum (the bitch face,) even though BFMV is my favourite band this song is for  her and Nickelback is just because I like it.


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Answering My Own Pimping Questions


What are you working on now? Was there a particular instant when it all just fell into place and you thought that is my next story?

I have just had my first official release of Angels on Top through MLRPress  

Blurb


All Marlowe wants to do is find his place in the world with someone to love. Someone who sees just who he is.

Thrown out of home for not conforming to his parents wishes, Angelo heads to the one place he knows he will be welcomed with open arms.

With a little help from their family and friends can Angelo and Marlowe figure out just who is stalking Marlowe before Christmas morning? Can Marlowe win the heart of the boy next door? Can Angelo figure out that even straight boys sometimes fall in love with their best friends?


 Also through MLRPress I will have the follow on story in this series Hunting for Clay - (I will post cover when I see it.)

Blurb

Two years have passed since Clay and Hunter met on that fateful morning in Tello’s Diner. Getting passed the fact Clay was stalking Marlowe was the easy part.

Clay Montgomery’s life has changed for the better the day he found the man who was meant to be the other half of him. Hunter understood him well, and knew how to give him exactly what he needs to be happy.

Hunter Weldon knows what he wants, and just how to get it. For two years he has loved the man in his arms and now it was time to up the anti. 


Also through MLRPress I have the first book in my series The Lines Of Marsden: Rules Are Meant To Be Broken.

Blurb

The Lines of Marsden were born into existence for a reason: to right the wrongs that had once taken place. Destiny fated that they must destroy the Eldren before evil wins.


Michael Marsden wants to die – for real this time. He wasn’t meant to lead the half-life that he does. He chooses to let it go and let death take what it had already claimed.
But Christian Risely isn’t about to let that happen.  He is drawn to Michael and is willing to do anything to ensure that he lives, even if that means keeping him alive against his will.
How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for a long as I can remember, it was as necessary as breathing. Though, I began writing my first novel when I was twelve years old. Admetus Gaea – Untamed World… it started out as a HET book, when I recently found it after a thirty year absence, I decided to add it to my current list of Wips and convert it to MM.

How do you choose which genre and flavour your story line will take, and what influences your choice?

Honestly, I am a paranormal writer at heart. That is my favourite kind of story to read as well. My love affair with all things paranormal hit me at an early age and it just never let go. You could say they sank their canines/fangs into me.

Usually I just write whatever voice is screaming loudest in my head – sometimes my muse thinks it is funny to unleash them all at once. That is how my NaNo ended up becoming a spin-off to one of my other shifter stories… Vladimir (my Muse) can be funny like that.

What is your specific writing style, if any?

I don’t think I have a specific style of writing – I mainly just write whatever the hell falls out of my head as the mood strikes me. I don’t plot (at all) and when I do try and plot, the story line never ends up where I think it will. LOL – Sometimes I even give myself the Whoa!!! Factor as I write. I have been guilty of ringing my daughter at work and go, “Did you know…?”

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about bringing a story to life?

Yes - I hate it when I start out with the decision of having two characters together and then halfway through it changes. Or like this: I have written most of the first twelve books in my series The Lines of Marsden, one of my background characters, kept jumping out at me screaming look at me – look at me. So in the end I have decided to go back through what I have written and bring Doyle further into the storyline. Mind you, once I started that process I ended up taking out four other characters, which caused the challenging factor in how I reworked the story without changing the story line. Not as much fun as you would think.

Who is your favourite character you‘ve written to date and why?

That is a hard one… I love Michael because there are so many elements of me in him. I love Doyle - I feel that Doyle is a truly beautiful soul. Though, if you ask my daughter she would say Maffa and Jaffa, the twin werewolves.

In other works I think that Tucker the drunken witch from my free Goodreads story Shadows on the Heart. He and Kylfa will be getting their own story: On The Flipside of Reverse. All the spells that have the possibility of going wrong… I am chuckling already just thinking about it.

Which character in your body of works was the hardest to write?

Christian Kincaid – Risely: He keeps surprising me with little twist that makes me have to go back and tweak parts of his personal storyline. He is a 300 year old Vampire that doesn’t remember how old he is – he thinks he is newly made… LOL - you will just have to read series to find out more.

Which stories have you enjoyed working on the most and why?

The Lines of Marsden… It was a something I started writing for my daughter. (For a full explanation, go to Jadette Paige’s blogspot on December 15th as I am writing the story behind the story.) This is my most fun book - but the hardest.

What will people come away with after reading your books?

With the belief that no matter how hard of a struggle you go through to be with the one you love, in the end it is all worth it because sometimes true love and soul mates really do exist… Or…That Michael is a whiner, (just ask my daughter she tells me every damn day – LOL.)

What are you currently reading?

Lavinia Lewis - her Shifter Haven series. I am a total sucker for re-reading my favourites over and over again.

What music is in your stereo at the moment? And does it influence the way you write?

Nickelback: Dark Horse. I listen to them when I am working on all things in the Lines of Marsden Nickelback is kind of Michael’s theme music. Yes I am one of those authors that has to have music for each character – Doyle is Good Charlotte. & Christian is any music that you can dance badly to… Christian & Doyle kind of have my dancing skills. (At my wedding I had to dance to The Cure’s – Friday I’m in Love… just to cover up my bad dancing – Awesome wedding, it lasted three days and rained the whole time.)

Are you still as passionate about writing as you were when you first started?

Honestly, barring the last month, which was a real horror month for me. I had a relative die; my whole family came down with a virus that we just couldn’t shake. I had relatives rock up to stay at my house and then on top of all that I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I wrote the first book in a shifter series called Watson Falls: Between One Heartbeat & The Next – turns out it is a spin-off to Pack Matters. Total count: 50,707.

Okay, totally got side tracked… yes I do still enjoy writing as much today as I did when I started. I get a kick out of telling our workers that if they misbehave they will end up as a character in one of my stories… we own a construction company… my husband quite often fills the guys in on what I am up to – nothing better than running into one of the and they ask me. I have even had them tell me what sort of paranormal creature that they want to be… puts a huge grin on my face – it is times like that that I think – Yes; it is so worth it.

Name three Authors you read over and over again?

Gabrielle Evans
Stormy Glenn
Andrew Grey
ZA Maxfield - Bonus
Lynn Hagen - Bonus
Carol Lynne – Bonus
Z Allora - Bonus
Lavinia Lewis - Bonus

Can you share any of your current WIPS?

First: One Last Kiss Goodbye - This is story of young love that finds itself again after six-years has passed. Jacen Ives & Kayne Henderson, have to struggle through their trouble and mixed up lives to find their way back together.

Second: Pack Matters 1: Chasing Dreams of You – Is the first book in a shifter series. In this book we follow Todd Creely and Micah Adams as they fight the Alpha for the right to leadership of the Lockyer Valley Pack and to save that same pack from the Current Alpha’s destructive and volatile behaviour.

Third: The Diamond Rose - This is a one off book (I think) that starts with the death of a policeman and involves a drug cartel and a strip club.Officer William (Billy) Martin is an undercover cop in the in the strip club The Diamond Rose and gets put into protective custody with Officer Cole Jackson.

Fourth: Roxy's Heart ~ Harlin's Hands - This is the first book that sets up the whole universe of S.P.A.M. Inc. Roxy  fey heir finds himself mated to the very human Harlin Edwards. We delve into their mating and all the problems that come with it from interfering C.O.P.E members, evil witches (yes of the magical kind) and a whole slew of characters that you will all fall in love with.

On the back burner:

Shadows on the heart (extention): GoodReads freebie invloving a werewolf, a vampire, and a viking (sounds like the start of a very good joke.)

Admetus Gaea: Fey and Elven Kind

Windblown Kisses: My Knight In Tarnished Armour: This is almost ready to submit

Day Walkers: Paranormal

Upcoming Guest Blog Appearances:

Jan 16 - Gabrielle Evans

Feb 11-14 Valentine Blog Hop

Feb 22 Jana Downs




Tuesday, 24 January 2012

What's Happening!!!

In the life of N.J. Nielsen

Okay, I know you are all dying to find out what is going on in my life well I can tell you there isn't much happening in my everyday real life - except laundry - I swear the washing multiplies when you aren't looking and we have been having a very wet week which isn't helping. I love the rain for the tank water - but other than that it drives me nuts - and we all worry about another flood happening.

On the writing front honestly I have done Sweet F A, but I will get back into it I swear. I spent yesterday reading other peoples work and loving it.

Everyone in my home life are all hunky dory, though Em and I both have peeling tattoos, so they are at that whole annoying itchy stage.where you just wanna scratch the skin off your arms.

ON WRITING

Well I have been keeping busy, I am waiting for the galley proof for Hunting for Clay, and then that is read for release around Feb 10th I think.  I am also waiting for the next round of edits on The Lines Of Marsden: Rules Are Meant To Be Broken, hopefully they will be easy as the last lot. I am working on Windblown Kisses: My Knight In Tarnished Armour, I just got the first half back from my beta reader Sue. I am also tweaking book two in TLOM: Living In Shadows, just making minor changes, hopefully to make it flow better. I am working on a Father's Day submission called When Souls Collide, I am about 1/3 of the way through it. I am still working on Pack Matters: Chasing Dreams Of You. Plus I am working on one for my daughter called The Diamond Rose which is a police story. And last but not least is the series I am working on with Embry Carlysle S.P.A.M. Inc. My first book is Roxy's Heart ~ Harlin's Hands & Embry's is Can't Get You Out Of My Head.

My Girl Embry is working on: Saving Souls: Saving Jamie. I am asking everyone to keep on encouraging her to finish her story and submit it. I can tell you what I have read of it you won't be disappointed. Check out her blog story Finding Will... I am already hooked. And today you can even find her gas-bagging over at  Gabrielle Evans Blog  drop on by and leave her a comment for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate at BookStrand.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Pimping Erica Pike

Today I am introducing my good friend Erica Pike... Erica is one of those people that I go to when I need a shoulder to lean on and an ear to vent into. I class Erica as a diamond among the autumn leaves.

How long have you been writing?

Four years of continuous writing, but before that there were snippets of periods where I wrote fan fiction, short stories and poetry.

How do you choose which genre and flavour your story line will take, and what influences your choice?

At the moment, I only write contemporary romance with explicit adult content. What happens within those boundaries, however, varies. Sometimes I have a general idea where I want the story to go, but sometimes I just start writing and it comes to me. It’s usually at night, when I’m trying to fall asleep and my mind’s working overtime. I have to write it down or I won’t get any sleep at all. What influences my choice and story flavour (blueberry: sweet, sour, and yummy) would really just be the characters themselves.

What is your specific writing style, if any?

I write in the controversial first person present tense. I wondered if I should follow mainstream, but I had a hard time finding my voice in third person past tense. This style comes naturally to me and I’ve been told I do it well, so I’m confident enough. What it does is get me (and the reader) into the here-and-now, but also much deeper into the character. There’s no hiding what he’s feeling, thinking or planning. The mystery is all about the love interest, whose mind I never enter because I write from a single-person’s point of view.

This style is most often used in sci-fi and fantasy, but it’s been making ground in YA books. It hasn’t been done a lot in M/M. People are getting used to it though, after successful books like The Hunger Games, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and Matched (all YA dystopians), so I think people are more willing to give it a chance than they were before.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about bringing a story to life?

I can’t say that I do... I’m trying to think of something, but nothing pops up. Maybe the hardest part is making it come to life in the hands of the readers – or more specifically getting it into the hands of the readers, because promoting is a jungle of do’s and don’ts! I’ve already made two big mistakes after only two weeks of being published, but I’m learning as I go.

Who is your favourite character you‘ve written to date and why?

Eric Wesley. He’s short, quick, and snazzy, but more importantly he never behaves. Honestly, I have plans for what he’s supposed to say or do, but he does the opposite. May I post a snippet to explain? 

This is from A Life Without You:

“I get these flashes of stuff. Did you really soap me up in the shower?” I ask Eric who’s munching on a cookie in the cafeteria as we both work on our literary projects.

“I did,” he says with a shrug, crossing out a sentence with a red pen.

I push the meatballs around on my plate. “I wasn’t…you know…active, was I?”

“Dude, your stuff was the only thing indicating you were still alive.”

Here, this last line, my mind was saying “How should I know? I didn’t look”, but instead my fingers wrote the snippet line and the next couple of lines turned into a nice little joke. It’s things like that. He’s so unpredictable. Then the little snitch insisted I write a book about him, and he pushed me so hard that it only took a month to write (and I was giggling most of that month). Anyway, MLR just signed me up for “Absolutely Eric”, so that’s my next release from them.

Which character in your body of works was the hardest to write?

Adam Maxwell, from A Life Without You. He’s so intense, and fierce, but at the same time he’s very emotional. I needed Adam to go through some very difficult feelings, but still be very reluctant to show them.

(Adam is my favourite – I love him so much.)

Which stories have you enjoyed working on the most and why?

Absolutely Eric ;) And I mean, I absolutely enjoyed writing Eric’s book the most. For that whole month, and another month after during edits, I couldn’t be separated from my journal, because I just kept getting these funny little things for him to say and do. What people see of him in A Life Without You is only a taste. He’s a very real person, with his mistakes, shortcomings, but also his love of life and men.

(Eric comes in after Adam for me – but he is also so damn gorgeous – sigh.)

What will people come away with after reading your books?

Hopefully, a sense of realism, a few chuckles, and fond memories of likeable characters. I try to keep things as real as I can. My guys are guys, and although guys come in all shapes and sizes with a an infinite array of personalities and ways of dealing with things, guys are not girls. Or usually not. So even when I’m writing effeminate guys, or queens, I make sure they’re still guys.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Left of Center by Zathyn Priest and Totally Bound by Elizabeth Nobel. I’m a die-hard Zathyn Priest fan and his books are on auto-buy for me. His writing is so unpredictable and clever, there’s nothing else out there like it. Aussies have what it takes for me.

(New favourite of mine as well – Zathyn listen up, these same questions will be headed your way soon.)

What music is in your stereo at the moment? And does it influence the way you write?

I don’t have a stereo and I don’t have a lot of music. This is because my ex got the stereo and I used to listen to his music ;) It’s no great loss, because I can’t write with music in the background. It distracts me and makes it hard to focus. In my DVD player is Go Diego Go (my kids love it), but if I were to put music in it, it would be my favourite Icelandic pop artist Paul Oscar, who’s just super awesome and has done wonders for GLBT acceptance in Iceland over the last 20+ years.


Are you still as passionate about writing as you were when you first started?

I’m passionate about it in a different way. I wrote my very first full-length manuscript (not m/m) with blind passion, not knowing a thing about structure or style. Now I’m very passionate about developing myself in my writing by trying different things. Do I get as engaged when I start on a new project? Absolutely. And then I get a hundred of story ideas knowing I’ll never be able to write them all.

Name three Authors you read over and over again?

Zathyn Pirest, S.J. Frost, and N.J. Nielsen ;)

(I read Adam over &over even before it was released.)

Can you share any of your current WIPS?

I think I’ve talked enough about Absolutely Eric, the manuscript I’m currently editing with my MLR editor. Other than that I have four upcoming short stories from No Boundaries Press – all parts of the College Fun and Gays series where each story is independent of the others. Hot Hands was the first, about Casper who’s been a victim of sail-by goosing for weeks and wants to catch the guilty party. A Grade-A-Sex Deal come out in February about a teacher and student relationship. As for writing (not editing), I think I’ll start on a novella-length sequel to A Life Without You.

For those readers that have yet to know you please tell us something about yourself.

Hmm...I live in Iceland with my four and a half year-old twin boys. For some unexplainable reason I studied business at the uni and I’ve been taking classes at the English department for a couple of years now. I love my boys, Christmas, snow, my laptop, and I can never wear socks while I write. I’m also thinking about getting another hamster after the tragic loss of the other last December.



Other news on Erica Pike.

It just so happens that there's a giveaway of A Life Without You at "Stumbling Over Chaos" on the 18th and it'll run for a few days.


You can also find Erica at these places:



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Pimping Me!!!

Just a quick note to let you all know that I am Guest blogging over at Gabrielle Evans blog today... Come and listen to me Ramble.


Also my new friend Drea Beacroft made me this wonderful banner - when I have my website up and running it will be my header.



Plus I will be posting yesterdays blog story on Thursday- I just have to finish writing it (had to get the laptop fixed yesterday - so I am sorry it is late.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Em's Turn


I'm posting this song - from a band I just recently discovered... I like it!!!


And Mum is over At Gabrielle Evans Blog tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

S.P.A.M.Inc.

Last Profile Sneaky Peak:

It has been pointed out to us that it might not be wise to give too much away on our series. So Embry and I are going to show you the last half of our main character profiles for the first two books. After that you will all have to wait until we get a contract for it... LOL... sorry for teasing you all like this.

Introducing Joel Roxby (Roxy)

Series Title: S.P.A.M. Inc.

Book #: 1

Book Title: Roxy’s Heart ~ Harlin’s Hands

Name: Joel Roxby (Roxy)

Age: 21

Species: Fey – Second in line to rule the water realm (Fey Realm)

Realm: Water

Hair Colour/Type/Length: Jet black -Shorn close to head.

Eye Colour/Shape: Green almost a milky green colour

Skin colour Type: Very Pale – has a tendency to glow when near his mate.

Scars/Blemishes: N/A (His skin is perfect)

Height: 5”9’

Weight: 80 kg – 176 lbs

Clothing preferred: Silks he likes the way it feels against his skin. He wears nice dress trousers and purple is his favourite colour to wear.

Mannerisms: Very Flamboyant very affectionate to other people & a bit of a slob.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Pimping Piper Vaughn and MJ O'Shea


I want to take the time to introduce two people that I think are totally awesome. When I was first starting out and was having a few teething panic attacks both these wonderful authors talked me through the rough patches and gave me the courage to give me the incentive to go on and for that I will be ever grateful.






They also have the Babe's in Boyland Blog which you can find located in my list of awesome people to checkout at the bottom right hand side of my blog but just in case I will and the link here.Babes in Boyland They have both been kind enough to answer a few questions for us all. MJ has also given us an excerpt in one of her WIPS






How long have you been writing?

PV: On and off since I was around eleven. Started with originals as a kid, moved into fanfics in my late teens, and now I'm back to originals. :)

MJ: Officially, since 2010, but unofficially for years! I started making up stories in elementary school, and wrote the most awful and flowery romances in middle school and high school that only Piper and one or two other people will ever see. I cringe just thinking about it :)

How do you choose which genre and flavour your story line will take, and what influences your choice?

PV: Normally the characters pop into my head first. Based on who and, more importantly, what they are, the genre is already established. I think the only time I've ever intentionally chosen a genre is when I'm responding to an open sub call. For example, when I wrote my historical pirate story, it was in response to a call from Dreamspinner Press. It could have gone in any number of directions, from sci-fi to fantasy, but I chose to write a historical romance to complement the story my co-author, M.J. O'Shea, had written. Outside of those circumstances, I'd say the genre follows the characters and I never really decide.

MJ: I think each story kind of names its own genre, even though some day I'd like to do some genre mixing: werewolves in sci-fi, or steampunk with paranormal. That kind of thing. For now, I've been deciding as I went if the book would be completely realistic contemporary, have some paranormal elements--or even in Sci-Fi like Dark Sun. I decided that story would only work in a setting where things were very different than they are today. 

What is your specific writing style, if any?

PV: That's a tough question. I'd say maybe minimalistic. I'm not prone to heavy description, especially for settings, and I typically find myself having to go back and add that sort of stuff during revisions.

MJ: Hmm, I'd say it's very casual. My characters talk like me and my friends a lot of the time. I try to incorporate humour and sarcasm. Other than that, I don't know! I hope it evolves with every book and keeps getting better:)

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about bringing a story to life?

PV: Sometimes it's difficult for me to transcribe clearly what I see in my head. I might have this grandiose vision of something and struggle to put that into words so that the reader can envision it like I do. Also, I tend to suffer from writer's block on occasion, and sometimes I really have to fight that, and there might be several days at a time where I don't get even a word of writing done. That's tough on me because the need to write never actually goes away, it's more that when I sit down to try, the words won't come.

MJ: Depends on the story. Sometimes I realise I've gone halfway without describing the setting hardly at all, or one of the main characters. I think sometimes things are so entrenched in my head I almost assume the readers can see what I see and I forget to let them know what's going on:) I also tend to get ahead of myself. My brain works faster than my fingers.

Who is your favourite character you've written to date and why?

PV: Nick Ventura, from my upcoming book with M.J. O'Shea, entitled "The Luckiest." He's a complicated character. He's irreverent and he has a very crass exterior that most people can't see beyond, but underneath he's really this wounded little boy who got thrust into the limelight at a young age and never fully matured. He kind of has that Peter Pan quality, where he never wants to grow up because it might mean giving up his fun. Writing him was a great experience.

MJ: Nick Ventura. Hands down. I love his sense of humor, and the fact that he's a little bit damaged but still funny and not completely sour. He's difficult and whiny and it was a lot of fun to redeem him. His smart ass one liners came really easily to me (sometimes too easily. After I wrote him for a few weeks, I'd find myself saying that stuff out loud to people, replying like he would. It got me a few dirty looks from my mother. Oops!)

Which character in your body of works was the hardest to write?

PV: I would say Erik Van Nuys, who is a character from a different book M.J. and I have coming out next May, titled "One Small Thing." Erik is socially awkward, a bit OCD, a little agoraphobic. He suffers from an anxiety disorder and has to be on medication to control his panic attacks. In some ways, due to his inexperience, he can come off as innocent or maybe even childlike. I wrote him in first person, and it was hard to keep that mindset going during his scenes. I think he definitely is the character that gave me the most difficulty up to this point, but he's also my favorite after Nick.

MJ: I have a hard time with villains in my paranormals. It's hard for me to write an archetypical evil character. I keep wanting to make them turn good or be misunderstood and conflicted. I'll have to work on letting them just be bad:)

Which stories have you enjoyed working on the most and why?

PV: I had a lot of fun on the projects I've co-authored with M.J. because co-authoring is an entirely different experience and it's cool to be able to bounce ideas around and work together to create something. Of my own solo stories, I really enjoyed writing "Zombie Wonderland" because I have a bit of a thing for zombies and I've always wanted to write them. I also had fun writing "Wanting," which is a freebie I wrote for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's "Hot Summer Days" anthology. It was interesting coming up with a story based on someone's request rather than my own vision. 

MJ: You know, I end up getting into all of them after a few chapters and being really involved in the characters. I loved working on Nick's book because I love him so much, but it's just as fun making up rules for sci fi and paranormal universes. I can't really pick a favourite.

What will people come away with after reading your books?

PV: Well, first and foremost I would hope that they enjoyed the story and will remember it for a long time after they've finished. More than that, though, I'd like for them to have come to love the characters the way that I do, for them to have rooted for them during the hard times, empathized with their difficulties, and cheered at the end when the characters finally got their happy ending.

MJ: Hopefully a smile and that feeling of "I'd like to be in love like that". It always makes me happy when readers tell me that because it means that I conveyed the emotion believably.

What are you currently reading?

PV:Right now I'm actually in the middle of beta-ing for a couple of people in my critique group, so I'm not currently reading anything just for pleasure. (Not to say that reading their work isn't a pleasure, but I read in a different way when I'm proofing than I do when I'm reading for fun.)

MJ: I hate to say it, but nothing. I'm trying to cram and finish two different projects.

What music is in your stereo at the moment? And does it influence the way you write?

PV: Oh, wow, I can't even list all of the music I have in my iPod. There are several thousand songs. I can say my library is made up predominantly of alternative metal and indie bands, though. I usually come up with a playlist for each book I write, and, yes, the songs in that playlist can and do influence certain scenes and the way I write them. However, I don't always listen to music when I write. Sometimes the biggest help to my writing is just silence or maybe some kind of white noise in the background, like the whir of a fan, or something like that.

MJ: Oh, lord. Everything. I have a 1600 song iPod, and my old c.d. Collection. I vary from hip hop and dance music to straight up alternative to classical. The last song I listened to, unfortunately, was Ice Cream Shop (that Cazwell song). My friend has the hots for him and now that song is stuck in my head. Sigh.

Are you still as passionate about writing as you were when you first started?

PV: Yes. Definitely. :)

MJ: Probably more so now that I realize I really can do it for real! Before it seemed like a pipe dream so I didn't take it too seriously. Now I'm constantly planning new books.

Name three Authors you read over and over again?

PV: Jane Austen, Juliet Marillier, Amy Lane

MJ: I'd read anything Amy Lane wrote, same with J.K. Rowling, and I've probably read the Belgariad series by David Eddings nine or ten times.

Can you share any of your current WIPS?

PV: Currently I'm working on two WIPS. One is a paranormal novella, the second book in the "Little Magic" series started by M.J. O'Shea. The other is a contemporary romance I've just finished planning with a new co-author, which is the start of what will potentially be a 5-book series.

MJ: LOL, which one? I've been in sequel city for months and don't plan to leave it any time soon. We wrote Nick's book from the Lucky Moon series, I'm putting the finishing touches on Cold Moon, the third of my Moon trilogy (Blood Moon, Hunter's Moon, Cold Moon), then I'm on to an un-named sequel to Coming Home, which is going to be released from DSP later this spring. I'll put a little excerpt of Cold Moon, since that will most likely be my first full length release of 2012 (depending on scheduling of course!)

For those readers that have yet to know you please tell us something about yourself.

PV: I was born and raised in Chicago and the surrounding area, but I've also lived in Madison, Wisconsin and Anchorage, Alaska. One thing I miss most about Alaska is the mountains. I hope to live on the West Coast of the US someday, preferably in Washington State, so I can have mountains in a more temperate climate. I went to visit M.J. there last summer and totally fell in love with it. :)

MJ: Hmmm. It's hard to talk about yourself! I'm from Washington, near Seattle but not in the city. I paint, write, play the piano, draw, and LOVE to dance. I have an older brother who's one of my best friends, and I hang out with my mom all the time. I love old houses, and am actually in the middle of buying one that was built in 1895:) I have some refinishing work ahead of me this spring if the seller likes the offer!

This is an excerpt from Cold Moon (coming Jan/Feb 2012). It's from a scene where Charlie, the main character, finds out that Xan his best friend isn't quite who he always assumed he was:-


I tagged behind Xan, a reversal of our usual roles. In our little twosome, I’d always been the one in charge, Xan had been happy to follow. Things seemed different lately. They’d shifted sometime over the weekend and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that shift. I liked the stronger Xan, the one who didn’t necessarily kowtow to my every want and need, but it was disconcerting. My mom had made a few faces, but eventually let me go with him into the woods. Anyway, like I said I wasn't going to take no for an answer.

The road ended at a trailhead. It wasn’t anything new. I’d been there with my dad when he wanted to take me out to look at leaves, or go fishing  (something I’d never quite understood the pleasure of).

“This is it?” I must’ve had a strange look on my face.

“Not quite.”

Xan led me further into the woods, where the late afternoon light dappled the ground and the air smelled fresher and damper the further we went. I heard the sound of rushing water, and recognized a waterfall and the small pool where my father and I had spent so many hours fishing when I was a little boy.

“Behind here.”

“We’re going behind the water?”

Xan nodded. “You’ll see. I promise.”

I followed him along a ledge of slippery rocks and behind the mild roar of the small falls. Behind, there was a sort of cave, and Xan turned into it.

“Are you taking me back here to chop me into little pieces or something?” 

I sure as hell hoped this cave wasn’t where my best friend had grown up.

“No, dork. Just follow me. It gets better.”

I followed him through the cave, until the small opening grew the the point where we had to crouch. I couldn't see how we’d be going any further—until Xan made a sharp turn to the right.  One that I would’ve never seen. The dark passage opened up slowly until we were back out in a section of the woods that I had never seen before. I had a feeling that nobody would see it unless they were expressly invited.

In a word, it was beautiful.

The trees were trees, the same as they’d been on the other side of the falls, but they were brighter somehow, more multi colored. I couldn’t stop staring. The leaves were green tipped but gold and red and orange, and all the flaming colors of fall were intensified by the warmth of a pleasant summery sun. I’d had a sweater on before we went through the falls, and I’d still been shivering in the late afternoon autumn chill. On Xan’s side of the world I stripped it off and was perfectly comfortable in a t shirt.

“Is it ever winter here?”

Xan shook his head. “No. This is about how it always is. Not too cold, not too hot. The trees change, and it gets cooler at night, but that’s about it.”

“How do you do it?”

He shrugged. “That’s just how it is in the forest. This...isn't your world. I don't know how to explain it. Things work differently here. The children just take it for granted. They've never seen snow or big storms. So many of them have never been to the human realm.”

There were children. Curly haired little girls and boys with hair that matched the autumn leaves, red and gold and walnut brown. Their skin was glowing and healthy. I noticed Xan looked different in the woods as well. He was always pretty, warm and healthy looking, but in the forest he seemed to take on a cast, like there was a light coming from under his skin.

“X’andrien!” One of the little girls cried—a tiny thing about three or four with brilliant red hair and elfin features.

“Hello, Xara.” He picked her up and tickled her. The child’s laugher pealed through the trees, bell like and magical.

“X’an who is this?” She pointed at me. I knew I must look strange in the world of golden skin and angelic curls. I noticed she said his name differently too, like Xan was two syllables instead of one.

“I’m Charlie,” I told her.

Xara, the little Dryad girl wrinkled up her nose. “What sort of name is Charlie? I don’t like it.”

“I don’t like it much either Xara, but my mother named me that. Your name is much prettier.”

She looked at Xan. “His mother named him? What tribe does that?”

Xan made a tsking noise in his throat and kissed the little girl on her cheek. “Go find your brother, love, and tell him that we’ll work on his archery tomorrow. I have a guest tonight.”

Xara looked at me with her big gold eyes and nodded. The tip of her thumb crept into her mouth, and Xan batted it away gently. “You know your mother doesn’t want you doing that anymore. Do you want the sap on your thumb again?”

She made a face and shook her head. Then she wiggled out of Xan’s arms and hopped to the ground with more grace and ease than any human child. Xara sprinted off into a stand of trees. I marveled at her speed and agility.

“We have this sour sap that we had to put on her thumb. It was the only way to get her to stop sucking. She needs to start learning her bow and arrow soon. Can’t do that with a thumb in her mouth.” Xan was talking partly to me and partly to himself.

“Bow and Arrow? That child can’t be more than four!”

“She’s eight, actually. The females tend to run small. But we do start young. There is much to learn.”

“And you’re good?”

Xan blushed and dipped his chin. “I’m one of the teachers for the tribe. I stayed back when the other boys my age went to live with the men across the forest.”

“The men—” I didn’t know where to start with that, so I didn’t even ask.

“It’s a long story. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

“So you stayed behind so you could teach the young children.”

“Yes, and—” He stopped and blushed again. Xan’s blush had always been bright, filling his cheeks with a wash of pink.

“And what?”

“It’s nothing. Let me show you where I live.”

Xan gestured with his arm to the left and across a clearing. The clearing seemed to be a town square of sorts perhaps mixed with a school and a general store. There were Dryad women and children sitting at rough hewn tables, trading, teaching young, making things. It was fascinating—like I’d stepped into another world. I guessed that I had stepped into another world. And it all existed less than a mile from my plain old house on a meandering old street. It was mind boggling.

We got to a rather large tree in the corner of the clearing.

“You live...in the tree.” The three was large, but not that large. And it seemed to be living. There was no way it could’ve been hollowed out.

“Not quite,” Xan answered with a smile. “Look up.” I looked up, straight into the leaves and saw nothing. At first. The longer I looked though, I started to notice shapes up in the branches.

“Seriously?” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and the kid in me who hadn't quite grown up was insanely jealous. “You live in a tree house?”

“I guess you could call it that. You want to go up?”

“Yeah!...but how?”

“I usually just climb up that rope, but when I have a lot of stuff with me, I take this.” He kicked a stake out of the ground and caught the rope that went slithering away. Then he lowered a people sized dumbwaiter of sorts until it hit the ground with a soft thump.

“That’s pretty badass. How can you be so in love with my xbox if you live somewhere like this?” I climbed on the platform and scooted over to make room for Xan.

“It’s different—just like this is different for you. And your mom’s cookies.” He sighed. “Out here, we eat pretty much what you’d imagine we would eat.”

I looked around. “Twigs?”

Xan chuckled. “Wild game, mushrooms and vegetables we grow…”

“Hippy food,” I said with a smirk.

“Yeah. Hippy food.” I’d been teasing him about his granola lifestyle for as long as we’d been friends.  Instead of mocking, I’d grown envious.

Xan started pulling on the rope that was attached to the rough hewn elevator, and slowly we began to rise into the air.

“You want some help with that?” I asked. I felt bad that he was doing all the work.

“Nah, it’s no biggie. You’re little.”

If he wasn’t holding the rope that was keeping us in the air, I would’ve elbowed him in the ribs.  The ascent was gorgeous, as we rose higher and higher into the air through the leaves and the warm, sweet air. I could see the clearing spread below me, and more trees as far as the horizon.

“Where’s New Haven?”

Xan smiled. “New Haven doesn’t exist here. Once you crossed through that cave onto my side, you’re in the Forest. It’s a place where no average humans can come. And neither side is visible to the other.”

“But, I’m here.”

Xan smiled at me again. “When are you going to learn that you’re far from average?” I smiled back. My stomach felt light, like we’d gone to fast up the side of the tree. “And here we are,” Xan said, as he tied his rope off on a stout T shape, carved out of wood and shiny with use. The platform had landed at a small gate which led to a wooden balcony that wrapped around what I assumed was Xan’s family’s house…