Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Q&A with Kierney Scott, author of Twice in a Lifetime


I am so, so pleased to be introducing Kierney Scott onto The Hot Pink Typewriter today to celebrate the launch of her debut novel, Twice in a Lifetime. I met the lovely Kierney through social media and have watched her journey towards obtaining publication these past few months, so I know this is a special day for her. Welcome, Kierney!

Q) Tell us something about yourself.
A) I was raised in California but I have spent my entire adult life in Scotland. Basically I am Scottish but with a dodgy American accent. As my twitter profile says-I am a mum, spinner, cupcake lover and romance writer. That pretty much sums me up. I also spend far too much time at Starbucks, odd since I don’t drink coffee.

Q) Twice in a Lifetime will be your first published novel. Can you give us a summary of the story?
A) A second chance at redemption... A lifetime ago, Sarah and Liam were childhood sweethearts in a dingy Edinburgh block, dreaming of making it in the big wide world. But reality called. Sarah stayed to make a difference in her community, while Liam forged a career in international finance and never looked back. Ten years on, a friend in crisis brings Sarah and Liam together in Dubai. There’s no trace of the boy she once loved – the man Liam has become is hard, mercenary, infuriating… and arousing. In an opulent desert city far away from everything she knows, can Sarah take the heat?

Q) Why did you choose Carina to publish your story?
A) I knew I wanted to write for Mills & Boon. I submitted the first three chapters to them last year and an editor phoned and offered me a spot at Carina. Needless to say, I was over the moon.

Q) What inspired the premise for Twice in a Lifetime?
A) I was sitting in my conservatory holding by daughter as she slept and the basic idea came to me. It came out of the blue; I wasn’t actively trying to plot a contemporary romance. For years I thought I wanted to write historical romance. Lucky for me, the same editor saw one of my ill fated attempts and phoned me to say “You are not a historical author. Try contemporary.” That was the best writing advice I have been given. Contemporary romance is so much fun to write because I am better suited to it.

Q) You have two settings for your story – Scotland (Edinburgh) and Dubai. Why those two settings?
A) I wanted Scottish characters but I did not want the Scottish weather. The weather here is…not great.

Q) You clearly have a passion for Scotland. Why? 
A) Scotland is the most amazing place. The people are incredibly witty and compassionate but also cutting and brutally honest. And we have castles and men in kilts! In short, it is a brilliant place to live and raise a family. Luckily we have shocking weather and that keeps most people out because the place would be overrun if they knew how great it is. 

Q) Sarah and Liam are reunited after 10 years apart. Have you always wanted to write a reunion story? And why was that premise so relevant to this story?
A) I never considered writing a reunion story until Twice in a Lifetime. The time span was important because it allowed sufficient time for the characters to grow and change. I needed to give Liam enough time to properly succeed. Liam and Sarah are from one of the most deprived areas in the country. When I tell people from Edinburgh that the book is about a rich man from Niddrie they all reply with something along the line of, “Aye that would be fiction then.” He needed at least a decade to escape the shadow of his inauspicious start.

Q) Sarah, your heroine, is an extremely strong character who clearly knows her own mind. Why were you drawn to writing this type of heroine?
A) I am drawn to strong women in general. I love heroines that are assertive yet still kind and compassionate.

Q)) Liam has undergone quite the transformation since Sarah last saw him. Can you give us a little more insight into his character and why that transformation is significant?
A) Liam met Sarah at the age of six when a social worker dropped him off at a council scheme in Niddrie to live with his grandmother. His start in life was not great and his goal in life from a young age is to get as far away from Scotland and the stigma of his upbringing as he can. All of his early choices are about getting away.

Q) Why have them reunite under tragic, as opposed to positive, circumstances?
A) The way they parted ten years ago meant it would take a major event to bring them back together. Liam had not been back to Scotland since he left. I also needed to bring Sam into the story because he plays a big part. It just made sense to have Sam get arrested in Dubai. There is no other way Sarah would have gone to Liam. She was willing to swallow her pride and bruised ego to help her best friend.

Q) How easy was it to show development in their characters ten years since they last saw each other?
A) It was easy because Liam was almost unrecognisable when we meet him again in Dubai. Everything about him had changed, right down to his accent. The challenge was letting glimpses of his younger self shine through.

Q) Why are Sarah and Liam perfect for each other?
A) Because they really know each other. Liam very much hides who he really is, but Sarah knows and accepts him. They push each other to be their best.

Q) Why do you write romance as opposed to any other genre, Kierney?
A) I love romance! I love the guarantee of a happy ending. There is enough sadness and uncertainty in the world.  I love knowing that no matter what happens to a character in a book, in the end they will have someone who loves and accepts them. I also love having the opportunity to entertain people. I like to think about mums sneaking a chapter while on the school run. I want to write books that people want to read.

Q) You signed a two-book deal with Carina. What’s coming next?
A) I just finished my second book and I have started my third. This time around I am telling Sam’s story. When we meet Sam in Twice in a Lifetime he is a heroin addict. He has just been arrested for smuggling drugs. He is a total mess. I have my work cut out for me if I want to turn him into a hero but I think it is worth it because I love his character.

Q) Have you got any advice for writers out there who are seeking publication?
A) When you write for publication you have to straddle the line between confidence and humility. You need to be honest about all your short comings and commit to taking criticism and becoming better. You also need to tell yourself you can do it. Tell yourself that anything you lack in talent you will make up for in hard work. My other advice would be to write the book. Stop thinking about it and do it. Like my mum always says, “Make a plan, then work the plan.”

Thank you so much for joining us today, Kierney. I wish you loads of great things for your writing career.

If you’ve been tempted by Twice in a Lifetime, you can follow the buy link here.

And you can follow Kierney via Twitter @Kierney_S or visit her blog kierneyscott.com

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Q&A and Giveaway with Lynne Silver

We're so pleased to welcome the fabulous Lynne Silver to The Hot Pink Typewriter. This week, Lynne's first book in the Coded For Love series, Heated Match, is free. Enjoy! And don't forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a Coded for Love tote and swag.

Welcome to The Hot Seat, Lynne.


The journey to publication is a unique experience for every writer. What was your journey like?

Getting to be published was somewhat smooth. I had one rejection before getting a short story accepted with Harlequin Spice. However, staying published and getting my work in the hands of readers is much harder than the publishing process.


Can you describe your writing process?

I put my kids on the bus and sit at my desk. I need quiet to work; I don’t know how people write in Starbucks. I’m not much of a plotter. I do extensive character worksheets then I start to write. I know the beginning of the book, the middle and the end.

Can you tell us a little about the book?

Heated Match is the first book in the Coded for Love series. It introduces a team of top-secret government soldiers who are genetically enhanced. Each solider has a perfect DNA match somewhere. Adam, the hero of book one, meets Loren, his match and is reluctant to jump into a relationship with her.

Why do you write? Why romance?

I write as my job, and because I have stories in my head. I write romance because it’s what I love to read. A story without love is a story without heart and passion.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Current events, my brain, everyday life

How do you balance your personal life, daily commitments and writing?

Not easily. I’m not good at balancing. I need help with it!


Do you have any advice for aspiring romance authors?

Read in the genre. Join Romance Writers of America


What's next for you? Can you give us a “sneak peek” at what we can expect to see from you in coming months?

Desire Unmatched, Book 4 in Coded for Love should be out soon, and some fun contemporary books are in the works

And finally, just for fun, what are your favorite television shows and/or movies? Why?
 
Favorite TV: Brain Games, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Say Yes to the Dress I love them because it’s all about the characters.
 
Engineered with superior strength, agility and acumen, the genetically enhanced soldiers of the top secret Program do the dangerous assignments no one else can. Now, they’re tasked with one additional job. Breed.
But finding and convincing their perfect DNA match they are the right men for the job may be their most dangerous mission to date. And the hottest. Good thing, they’re Coded for Love.


 
 
 
 
Heated Match: A lead byline and a cover story—that’s what journalist Loren Stanton wants most. Until she meets genetically enhanced soldier Adam Blacker. Team leader of a top-secret covert ops group, Adam never wanted to search for his genetic match, but whenever he gets close to Loren, things turn hot quickly, making him forget every reason he had for retaining his bachelor status. After a scorching night together, neither doubts they’re connected at a DNA-deep level, although both fear the high stakes of what it means to be together.
Loren gives Adam two weeks to prove he’s bred for more than war. He must convince her that he’s also coded for love.

Amazon                 Ellora's Cave
 
 
 
Lynne Silver





About the Author: By day, Lynne Silver lives the suburban soccer mom life; volunteering with the PTA, doing laundry and working. By night she enters the sensuous world of alpha males and passionate heroines.

She calls the nation’s capital home and lives in an old fixer-upper with her husband and their two sons. When not writing romance, she reads it. Lots of it. Over and over and over again, preferably with a bag of M&Ms in hand.

She is represented by literary agent, Jessica Alvarez of Bookends LLC.


 
 
 

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Inspiration Boards

by Ami Weaver

I'm in awe of people who do elaborate boards and/or collages for their novels. Witness Jenny Crusie:
This is from her website. I look at this and want to curl up and eat cookie dough. But that won't help my waistline or my book. (As an aside, has anyone ever attended her class on how to make these? Very cool.)

I'm more of a poster board and magazine kinda girl. Plus, I'm lazy. (There. I said it.)

That said, I've ventured into Pinterest. I really don't need another time suck in my life (I'm already super good at procrastinating) but I thought this might be a fun way to kind of try to collect things that inspire my WIP and I'll always have it on hand on my laptop.

*cue angels singing*

Holy! Cow! I love it! My boards are random and private and I don't do 'cookies' or 'awesome stuff for my house' type boards. Just stuff associated with the book I'm working on. My first one has tumbledown Victorians, awnings, worn carousel horses and fudge among other things. I started one yesterday, for a germ of an idea, with vintage blue Ford pickups. I just click and stick and volia! Inspiration!

This is a screenshot of one of my boards.

Another option, and this would no doubt work for me as it's very little actual work, would be an idea box. Just kind of toss in what goes with that book so you can take it out and sort through it as needed. I think Jenny said she goes to thrift shops and such to find things for her collages, and that would work here.

I don't know if I can print my Pinterest boards, or if I want to. Would they lose their magic on paper? Right now I like visiting them whenever the mood strikes, or when I need to get kick started on my writing--but I'm really careful not to lose my writing time.

How about you? Anyone make any kind of inspiration board? Please, share your ideas!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Deadlines and how to survive them – a few ideas from someone who’s learning the hard way.

So here I am, blinking in the virtual sunlight, having achieved summer deadline number one, but have summer deadline number two staring me in the face already. And it’s only half way through the UK summer holidays, so I’m fifty per cent writer and fifty per cent full time child care slave. (Note: housewifely, domesticated, bin putter outer duties and similar have no percentage listed – more of this below). 

As a relatively new author I’m learning how to deal with this time crunch lifestyle slowly and painfully and thought it might be useful to write a few tips down to remind myself how to do it all over again before the next deadly calendar page is turned. I also thought it might be useful to share with you, our lovely blog visitors, as you don’t have to be a writer to have deadlines. Demands, and sucks on, on our time are everywhere: overnight/weekend visitors, holidays, day jobs, school timetables, emergencies, illness and loads of other stuff, but you can make things easier on yourself. So here we go…

·     Set your core writing time. In my case this is usually 0900 until 1430 as it fits in with the school day (which is way shorter than when I was at school, I swear). WRITE new words in this time.

·         NO SOCIAL NETWORKING in core time unless you have reached your minimum daily word count target, my minimum is 1000 words. If I’m being very strict, no second cup of coffee until this target is reached either (this may not work for everybody).

Ditto: emails.
Ditto: Novelrank.com
Ditto: your blog roll
Ditto: Yahoo groups
Ditto: your website stats
Ditto: anything else you stalk …

 ·         Resist the urge to read your beautifully composed and witty emails, tweets, Facebook posts, blogpost comments or shopping lists over and over and over again. Or maybe that’s just me …

 ·         T-shirts turn out reasonably well if you dry them on hangers and kids don’t need ironed clothes (they won’t even notice). Office working breadwinners might need crisp cotton though, so invest in a decent iron and steam through the bare minimum required like the devil is nipping at your heels. Consider this daily exercise if necessary or outsource it to someone who enjoys it. Or pay someone to do it.
Ditto: all other domestic drudgery duties.

 ·         Feed living things as a priority (children, pets, helpless partners etc), desiccated pot plants can be replaced.   

 ·        Parents: don’t beat yourself up about cutting corners – you’re probably doing the equivalent of two full time jobs in part time hours. There’s nothing wrong with takeout or ready meals now and again, just try to make them decent ones. Stocking the fruit bowl is easy, so is having fresh juice in the fridge. It’s not going to be like this forever (in theory). However do stop yourself from popping to the store for fresh bread (or favourite equivalent), because even though it should take just five minutes you’ll be there an hour. You will …

 ·        If you drink alcohol make sure you have at least a week’s supply. Just knowing it’s there is hugely soothing. Again, maybe that’s just me. Ditto: chocolate and potato chips. 

·    A slow cooker/crockpot sounds like a good idea if your family will all eat the same meal and if you can actually find it. I was given one in 1996 and I’m pretty sure it’s around the place somewhere …

 ·         A dishwasher. Lovely, wonderful things. If you haven’t got one already there’s no going back. I would combust without one (add dishwasher detergent to the one week’s supply list above).

And when you meet your deadline and the pressure is off? Take the greatest pleasure in scrubbing that neglected downstairs bathroom. Scour it thoroughly until it gleams and smells like a princess’s bridal bouquet … because you’ve earned it!

 Okay, back to the revisions cellar I go. Have you any handy tips to add to my list? Or a dreamy hero suggestion for my next manuscript? All suggestions gratefully received. An Indian head massage sounds good actually, anyone had one of those? I wonder how long they take …


.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Q&A with Aimee Duffy: Sinfully Summer


Please welcome the fabulous Aimee Duffy, who has kindly agreed to join us on The Hot Pink Typewriter today. I had the pleasure of interviewing Aimee a few months ago about her book, The Isle of Sensuality. Since then, she’s had another two novels published by Beachwalk Press and has self-published. More recently, her latest title, Sinfully Summer, was published by Harper Impulse – with yet another to be published by them soon. Does this author never sleep?

Q) Hi Aimee! Thanks so much for squeezing us in – and I mean squeeze! You work full time as a legal secretary, you clearly write a lot and, what I really admire about you, you’re always there to support your writing friends too. How on earth do you fit everything in?

A) Thanks for inviting me Lindsay! Actually, I do my best but lately things have been slipping – mostly sleep :o). I write in bursts, so one week I can write a lot and the next absolutely nothing. It evens itself out in the end, until revisions and edits hit then looming deadlines get harder to meet. Plus I’ve been taking the weekends off lately, which is good for my sanity but bad since I’m behind with all the deadlines!

Q) Can you give us a summary of your latest release from Harper Impulse, Sinfully Summer?

A) Alexa, a… spirited heiress, goes on a girlie holiday to Marbella and ends up blackmailed into helping Enrique Castillo plan a charity ball. He’s very reserved and controlling, whereas she’s outspoken and doesn’t bow down to anyone. Ric tries to tame her but it backfires on him.

Q) Alexa Green, the heroine in Sinfully Summer, is quite the strong-willed playgirl. Did that make her fun to write, or a nightmare?

A) A bit of both. She practically dictated the story, whenever Ric tried to get her in toe, she just went ahead and did what she liked. I know as a writer we’re supposed to control the way the characters end up, but I couldn’t get her to do anything I wanted. Neither could Ric.

Q) Ric, the hero, is a tortured hero. Why do you think this type of hero so appealing to readers, let alone the writers who create them?

A) The idea of a hero being mean and unreachable because they’ve had a terrible past just melts me. I end up rooting for the heroine to crack through to their hearts. There’s something about making a broken man whole again I find very appealing, both reading and writing.

Q) Sinfully Summer isn’t a particularly long novel. Do you write to a word count or is it how the story naturally evolved?

A) I aimed for 50,000, since the story was written when I was working with an editor for another publisher, but it went over (I can never stick to word counts!) so it’s about 55,000 now. After the first draft it got to nearly 60,000 though. I like writing longer. Might try my hand at a single title :o).

Q) I noticed one reviewer pointed out how both Alexa and Ric grow and change over the course of the book. We all know how integral that is to any love story. Do you plan that development ahead or does it naturally happen during the course of writing the book?

A) I honestly don’t plan much. I usually have an idea of who the characters are at the start of the book, sometimes I have an idea for a few pivotal moments, but I rarely stick with them. The changing happens naturally and if it doesn’t I go back and revise.

Q) Your heroes and heroines have a habit of sparking and then imploding on the page. Is that carefully constructed or do you just let them get on with it?

A) I just let them get on with it. If it feels right. I had to hold Ric and Alexa back, since both really are too stubborn to give in straight away.

Q) All of your books, including Sinfully Summer, contain very high heat levels. Do you think that’s essential in a love story?

A) Not at all. I read a lot of sweet stories too, I just like showing it on the page. If a reader picks up my books they’ll know to expect a certain heat level. Although my recent venture into erotic romance may surprise them a bit!

Q) You have a habit of choosing hot and exotic locations, not exactly representative of the beautiful Scotland where you live. Do you need to travel to these places to write about them or do you rely on your imagination?

A) Mostly my imagination. I’ve been to Mexico, which from research I can see the beaches, etc are not that different from Rio where Isle of Sensuality is set. I’ve also been all over Spain, so minimal research was needed for Marbella. I’d love to go to all those places though. The weather in Scotland can get depressing at times, though we’ve been lucky this summer.

Q) Everything you write receives such a positive response from readers, including lots of 4 and 5 star ratings. What matters most, the rating or what readers say in the written review?

A) I appreciate both, because it means someone has taken the time to do it and I’m very grateful, even for my first one star review. I know I can’t please everyone, and that’s okay. I still appreciate the time people spend reading my work.

Q) You self-published a book with the superb Michelle Smart – Once Upon a Twist. This 20th Century take on Cinderella and modern day take on Little Red Riding Hood was a step out of your comfort zone, wasn’t it? What inspired you to write it?

A) I read Michelle’s story and when she talked about self-publishing I was dying to be part of it! I picked a fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, mixed it with reunited lovers with a bit of horror thrown in, and mine managed to link in quite loosely with Michelle’s. It is very dark, and completely out of my comfort zone, but it was such a joy to write! I even gave myself a nightmare or two :o).

Q) And what have been the positives and challenges about self-publishing compared with traditional publishing? Would you recommend it?

A) Yes and no. It’s great because you can put the book up how you like, control tags, the price and even the cover. But I love having a publisher behind me too, and HarperImpulse and Beachwalk have been so lovely to work with that I will always give them books, even if I do self-publish a few more.

Q) You’ve had an amazing few months, Aimee. What has been the highlight?

A) There have been so many! But getting the call from the lovely Charlotte at HarperImpulse is at the top of the list. They were so excited about Sinfully Summer and since have done a fabulous job with that and the second book I’ve signed with them. They even managed to get Sinfully Summer in the Amazon Summer Sale, so it’s 99p until 5th September on Amazon UK.

Thank you again for having me Lindsay. I know how busy you are too and hate taking your time away from writing your bad ass vamps! Can’t wait for Blood Torn :o) xoxo

Aww, thank you, Aimee - but it's always a pleasure. Thanks again for joining us.

You can healthily stalk Aimee via her blog or on Twitter @AimeeDuffyx

And you can find Sinfully Summer on Amazon.co.uk



Monday, August 12, 2013

Q&A with Victoria James: The Best Man's Baby

I am so happy to be chatting again today with my dear friend, the lovely Victoria James, on the release of her third book, THE BEST MAN'S BABY. When Victoria and I first started sharing work, the partial of this book was one of my first impressions of her writing, and let me say: I was hooked. The opening scene grabbed me right away, and set the momentum that carried through the rest of the book. So without further delay...

Florist Claire Holbrook has always played by the rules her entire life, but breaks them to spend one night with sexy lone wolf Jake Manning, a man she's adored since she was a teenager. Six weeks later, things get complicated when she discovers they created a bond that will last a lifetime

Jake has never played by the rules. Getting Minister Holbrook's daughter pregnant wasn't part of any life plan, but he won't run from his responsibilities. He'll step up and be the best man he can, even if he doesn't have a clue where to begin. The more time he spends with Claire, though, the more he wants her, and the harder it is to get close, because that would mean sharing the one thing he hasn't with anyone--the truth and his heart.

AMAZON || B&N || Goodreads




Welcome, Victoria, and huge congrats on your newest release! Can you tell us a little about THE BEST MAN'S BABY?
The Best Man’s Baby is book two in my Red River Series.  It’s about two opposite people facing the repercussions of what was supposed to only be a one night stand. Claire is the ultimate good-girl, and Jake…well, he’s the town bad-boy. Their journey to HEA is filled with self-discovery, passion, laughter and heartache. They are both really strong-willed characters, neither of them willing to back down and surrender their beliefs. But they’re also both holding onto some painful memories, and Jake has a secret past that he must finally confront before moving on with Claire.

There were several memorable moments in the book, and I have a few choice favorites. Do you have a personal favorite?
I have two favorites…the first is in chapter one and I’d really hate to give it away, but it involves Claire finally getting up the nerve to do something impulsive and taking charge of her life. Unfortunately for Jake, it’s a little embarrassing ;-) 
My other favorite was the epilogue…I know people either love them or hate them, but as a reader and as a writer, I adore epilogues. And I really wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Jake and Claire yet, especially as a happy couple.

Were there any parts of this book that were more challenging to write?
While so much of this book was light-hearted, there was a darker side to it. When Jake has a confrontation with his brothers and then finally opens up to Claire about his past, I found myself struggling.  He was such a great hero to write-I really felt for him, and all the pain that he kept buried for so many years. So when he finally opens up to Claire and bares everything, completely vulnerable in front of her…well, he broke my heart. He’s the bad-boy with a true heart of gold. Lucky for him, Claire was the perfect woman to help him heal ;-)

When you began the Red River series, did you have Jake and Claire's story in mind, or did it evolve as you wrote book one?
It definitely evolved. I knew that Claire and Holly were these childhood best friends, and of course the two of them had their crushes on the brothers, but that was about it. Jake and Claire’s characters were really dynamic and just came to life as I wrote A Risk Worth Taking, and I remember getting really excited by the prospect of writing their stories. 

The town of Red River is so charming. Was it inspired by a real place that holds special meaning to you?
Yes, Red River was inspired by a little fishing village I have been going to with my family since I was a child. It’s quaint, and everyone knows everyone…it has a lift-bridge, just like the one in Red River, and it’s on the shores of Lake Erie. Now that I have my own family, my husband and I take the kids a few times throughout the year.

This is your second book in the Red River series, and you have one more planned. Any hints into what we can expect in book three?
Ah, book three…I just turned it in a few weeks ago. If you follow my blog you’ll know that the youngest Manning brother proved to be the most difficult to write. There is a lot of angst and heartache in book three-of course with a HEA…but the journey to get there was a rough one. All the favorites are back of course, and there is another wedding in the book (probably not who anyone is expecting!) along with some brand new characters. I think I’ve left Red River and the Manning’s in a very good place…

Sadly, the Red River series will end with the third book. What can readers expect to see from you after that?
Right now, I’m working on another Indulgence. It’s a little different for me-no small town setting or scenario.  This book is set in France...in a castle. Brand new characters, new families, new setting, glamour…I’m kind of in love with it at the moment ;-)

Thank you so much for chatting, Victoria!

For more information on Victoria and her fabulous books, follow her on twitter @VicJames101, on Facebook, or at www.victoriajames.ca

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Q & A with Tima Maria Lacoba, author of Bloodgifted.



I’m thrilled to have the very lovely Tima Maria Lacoba join us on The Hot Pink Typewriter today. It just so happens (ahem) that today is the official launch of her first book, Bloodgifted. Huge congrats, Tima!

I’ve had the pleasure of reading her release – a paranormal romance with a unique twist (not least that she’s introduced me to my first Aussie vampire!). I do like a bit of originality. So here’s Tima to share some insight into her wonderful book. After deciding to go indie even after being offered a publishing contract, she’s one brave author! 



Q) Tell us a little something about yourself.
A) Well, I’m a trained archaeologist and high school teacher who happens to write paranormal romance/adventure/thrillers. And since I’ve always been fascinated by vampires, naturally I fell intothat genre. And, since I’m a Roman-Britain specialist, I somehow had to incorporate that historical period into my debut novel, Bloodgifted. But, more about that later. I live on the Central Coast, an hour’s drive north of Sydney (in Australia). It’s where most Sydneysiders spend their summer holidays – the equivalent of Torquay in the UK. So, I don’t have far to the beach, where I can go for long walks and plot the next chapter in my Dantonville Legacy series. 

Q) What attracted you to writing romance? And why Paranormal Romance as a sub-genre?
A) Who doesn’t like romance? I think most women (and quite a few men, although they won’t admit it publicly) enjoy reading romantic stories. And, (from a female perspective) there’s something strangely compelling about a man who carries a dark secret that could either destroy him or save him. Naturally, it’s the heroine’s role to do the latter. To me, nothing is darker that the vampire with his (or her) mesmerising eyes and deadly seductive charm. I can understand why PNR is so popular. 

Q) Have you ever written in any other genres? Why or why not?
A) No, not yet, although this current series I’m working on does contain an element of history which I’ll be exploiting later – as a historical novel in its own right. I’ll be combining my love of history with the paranormal. Can’t think of a better marriage! 

Q) How long have you been writing and what prompted you to begin?
A) I started writing Bloodgifted, Book 1 of The Dantonville Legacy series, three and half years ago. Actually, it took me only ten months to complete the first draft, and the rest of the time was spent on redrafting, editing and polishing. The story came together in my head during lunch with friends at a beachside café, when one of them asked why I looked so young for my age, and that she wanted the same moisturiser! I laughingly replied ‘vampire blood!’ And the seed was sown. 


Q) Have competitions ever played a role in your writing journey?
A) Definitely! Competitions are a great way to hone your skills as a writer, for not only do they expose your work to the public (for reader-centred comps) but seasoned professionals with publications to their credit. You find out how your work compares to others – whether it’s up to standard. I was fortunate enough to have been shortlisted in both national and international competitions. Each time I received some excellent feedback that enabled me to further improve my manuscript. 


Q)  Can you tell us about Bloodgifted?
A) Bloodgifted is the story of primary school teacher, Laura Dantonville who stopped ageing at twenty-four. (Every woman’s dream!) She has no idea she is the granddaughter of a cursed Roman soldier who was turned into a vampire more that eighteen hundred years before, and that her slow ageing is the result of her unusual bloodline. In fact, her blood contains a rare gene coveted by vampires for it enables them to daywalk. When she does learn the truth, she becomes the epicentre of a power struggle between two rival vampire groups, each intent on claiming her for themselves. Alec Munro, the Princeps or Prime Elder of the vampire community in the city, leads one of those groups and Laura must accept him as her guardian in order to protect both her family, and humanity, from those who would use her to wipe them out. 
Q)  Why opt for indie-publishing rather than purse the traditional route?
A) As you know, Linds, I had a long and hard struggle with that one. Originally I intended to indie publish as I liked the idea of being in control of my own creation, but I also appreciate the amount of work that goes into publishing, publicity, marketing…etc. And, I really loved having an editor assigned to me. That’s the one thing indie writers struggle with. So, when I was offered a traditional publishing contract, the temptation to accept was enormous. After weighing up the pros and cons, I decided to go indie. I’m not sure how much to mention here, but if anyone’s interested in reading more about my exact reasons for declining that publishing contract, they can find it on my blog at http://timamarialacoba.blogspot.com 


Q)  Do you have a writing process?
A) Oh no, not at all. I try to write something each day – even if it’s only some editing – but I have no set regime. Since I’m a full time carer, my writing gets slotted into whatever time I have left, which can mean a late night sometimes, or very early in the morning. 


Q) Where do you get your ideas from?
A) My fevered brain. I blame all the daydreaming I did at school and university during lectures, but at least now it’s come home to roost! Who says you can’t make a living from your imagination? 


Q) What’s the most rewarding aspect of writing for you?
A) Living vicariously through my characters! Lol! Their lives are much more interesting than mine. But, it’s also the joy of creating a world where people face are faced with extraordinary, and sometimes frightening situations, yet come through it and reach their happily-ever-after. Real life isn’t always like that. I read somewhere, that the great English novelist, Jane Austin, once remarked that although she didn’t get her romantic happy ending, her female characters always did. 


Q) What constitutes a ‘hero’ for you?
A) That’s a tough question! Mmmm… *rubbing chin, rolling eyes up to the ceiling, thinking*… For me, a hero is someone who selflessly does the right thing in spite of the temptation to do otherwise; someone who is motivated by love, rather than ambition, or greed, or their own flawed desires. 


Q) Tell us about Laura and what makes her a unique heroine?
A) Laura is an ordinary young woman, thrown into an extraordinary and frightening situation. It’s how she deals with it, and with the knowledge of her strange inheritance and the difficult choice she has to make, that is the crux of the story. Will she accept her filial duty or run and hide from it? Laura’s youth and longevity comes with a price, and now the time has come for payment! 

Q) Define what you understand by HEA.
A) I guess I’m the old-fashioned kind who likes the traditional happy ending, where all loose ends are tied up, all questions answered and true love conquers all, even if it takes several books to achieve it. As I see it, there’s enough sadness and tragedy in the world without subjecting our characters to it. I like to let the reader enjoy a happy and fulfilling ending; it’s good for both body and soul. 


Q) What readers do you think Bloodgifted will appeal to?
A) Anyone who loves romance. But, as there are a couple of hot love scenes in the book, I’d suggest from sixteen and up. I’ve had great responses from women of all age groups who’ve read the ARCs, as each can find something in Laura with which to identify. 


Q) What’s next after Bloodgifted?
A) I’m currently writing Book 2 in the series – Bloodpledge. It continues where the first book left off, and I hope to complete it by the end of this year for a possible Christmas release. Fingers crossed. 


Thank you so much for joining us today, Tima – it’s been an absolute pleasure. Here’s wishing you lots of success. 

The paperback of Bloodgifted is available now through Amazon.com But if you're a lover of eBooks, you've just got a short three week wait until that release. 

You can also follow Tima on Twitter @FatimaLacoba



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway: A Cowboy and a Pastry Chef Walk Into a Barn, by Melissa Cutler


Today The Hot Pink Typewriter warmly welcomes Harlequin Romantic Suspense author Melissa Cutler. I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa last summer, and she is as exuberant and fun in person as she is on the page. We're delighted to have her. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of TEMPTED BY DANGER!

A Cowboy Doctor and a Pastry Chef Walk Into a Barn…

And from the cover art of my latest Harlequin Romantic Suspense release, COLTON BY BLOOD, you can tell that the cowboy doctor ends up carrying his lady love back out as danger closes in on them. What kind of danger, you ask? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Luckily, it’s on sale right now (digitally) for $1.99 at all e-retailers. What a bargain!

I’m Melissa Cutler and I’m thrilled to be a guest on The Hot Pink Typewriter talking about Dr. Levi and Kate. This is a story near and dear to my heart, with characters who are haunted by their respective pasts and only learn the healing power of love—as well as the healing power of bread pudding with whiskey sauce and fresh peach ice cream—after Levi is summoned to the deathbed of his estranged father on a wealthy, secluded Wyoming ranch he’d never been welcomed at before. Kate is the pastry chef at the ranch and she’s instantly drawn to the enigmatic doctor, as he is to her.



Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Rising romantic suspense star Melissa Cutler reveals more secrets from the Coltons  of Wyoming… An unsolved murder haunts those who live and work at Dead River Ranch. When called to care for the ailing Colton patriarch, Dr. Levi Colton must face the father who never claimed him. He's not looking for distraction, but he finds it in Kate McCord, the irresistible pastry chef. Beneath her sweet smile are scars from her own tragedy—and a determination for justice.

As a wildfire forces them together with an unknown killer, Levi and Kate must confront an attraction that flares hotter than flames. They edge closer to the truth, discovering that the secret that links their pasts could lead them straight into the killer's trap.


Enjoy this scene from COLTON BY BLOOD:

“Can I try it now?” he asked.

She glanced his way to see him holding a spoon over the crème brûlée, waiting for her to give him the green light. “Dig in.”

A satisfying crunch filled the air as he broke the spoon through the burnt sugar shell. He gave a thumbs-up as he chewed. “That’s amazing. May I make a request?”

“Name it.”

“You know how last night Jethro ordered dessert at every meal?”

She combined the dough ingredients and got busy mixing. “Mmm-hmm.”

“You’d better double that order.”

Elation flooded through her. “You’ve got yourself a deal. Anything else?”

“Yeah, on a related topic. Please tell me this ranch has a gym.”

Her grin was so wide, it hurt. When was the last time she’d smiled so much? “It does. Around the corner from the infirmary I told you about last night.”

“Good.” He shoveled a heaping spoonful of crème brûlée into his mouth.

She turned the dough out onto her kneading board. “Do you live in Wyoming?”

“No, Salt Lake City. I went to med school there and it made the most sense to stay for my residency.”

Good to know. She could crush on him all she wanted because he didn’t even live in the same state as her. All she had to do was keep her desires to herself until he left. She pushed a lock of hair away from her face with the back of one floury, doughy hand. “You had quite a drive yesterday.”

“You’re telling me. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Colorado and I made the drive from there to Dead to visit my mom every chance I got. I’d forgotten how tiring it is to drive distances like that.” He walked across the room to the sink and grabbed a paper towel, then wet it. “You didn’t grow up in Dead, did you?”

“No, Cheyenne.”

“Didn’t think so. I would’ve noticed you.” Then he was in her space, reaching the paper towel to her forehead. “You have flour in your hair. Hold still.”

Keeping her head steady, she looked sideways at him.

His brows furrowed in concentration as he wiped the paper towel over her hair, yet a hint of amusement remained. “You need a scrub cap.”

“Like doctors wear?” At his nod, she added, “I usually wear something but I forgot today.” That wasn’t true, precisely. Kate’s hair was so impossibly unruly that she normally wore a bandana while she baked, but it made her look like a chubby-faced pirate wannabe. With Levi as company this morning, vanity won out over practicality.

“I think the water from the paper towel turned the flour into glue. Oops.” He held the afflicted lock of hair out and wrapped the paper towel around it, then pulled.

“It’s been a long time since a boy put glue in my hair. This is like kindergarten all over again.”

He tucked the damp hair behind her ear. “Crème brûlée blowtorch notwithstanding.”

COLTON BY BLOOD is in stores now:



Giveaway: Today, as a thank you for stopping by the blog, I’m giving away a backlist book of mine to one commenter (U.S. resident only, please). TEMPTED BY DANGER was my June release, and I know you’ll love it! Since COLTON BY BLOOD has lots of yummy desserts throughout the book, to enter to win, just let me know what your favorite dessert is.

My thanks to The Hot Pink Typewriter for hosting me today. I love hearing from readers and am really easy to find at www.melissacutler.net, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelissaCutlerBooks ), and Twitter (@m_cutler). And you can always email me at melissa@melissacutler.net or sign up for my newsletter (http://www.melissacutler.net/newsletter/ ) to find out about my latest books and upcoming events.


Bio: Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world, dividing her time between her dual passions for writing sexy contemporary romances and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin, Penguin, and Kensington Books. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she's not globetrotting, she's enjoying Southern California's flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.