Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome Janice Seagraves

It's my pleasure to have as a guest, dear friend, Janice Seagraves. Besides being an author, she also has a very informative Yahoo loop group called Writers Sea Grotto.


Writers Sea Grotto is for new and seasoned writers to learn and share their unique writing experiences. It's a great place to hang out, to meet other authors. You can chat or ask questions if you've hit a rough spot in your MS.


Janice also posts mini lessons  that give us tips and suggestions on how to improve our craft. Besides the usual promo day, we have Work In Progress Day, Brainstorming Sessions, etc.



  Click to join writers_sea_grotto
  Click to join writers_sea_grotto


Windswept Shores has awesome characters who have been shipwrecked and left to their own devices. If you've ever wondered how you'd fare being on a deserted island read how this couple manages. It's not all sunsets and coconuts. Great imagery, dialogue, and exciting events. Certainly kept my attention to the very end.




Janice, the floor is yours.




Mistakes in Conversation
By Janice Seagraves

Hubby and I had this conversation just the other day. You know that one that’s said and the one that’s just under the surface. But the problem is, for the wife I'm kind of thick.

Hubby: "I'm taking a friend from work all the way to Clovis. It's a long drive and I'll be driving back all by myself." (Come with me so I won't be lonely.)

Me: I nod. "Yeah you will be all alone."

Hubby: "I won that gift certificate at Wal-Mart." (There's a bribe in this for you, if you'll go with me.)

Me: "Yeah, you did."


Him: He looks me up and down. I'm dressed in a nice at home outfit. (His look implies that I'm dressed nice enough that I won't embarrass him in public.)

Me: “Hmm?” (Why are you looking at me like that?)

Him: And then my fifty-three year old hubby's bottom lip sticks out in a pout. (You’re not getting what I'm trying to tell you.)

Me: "Oh!" I look at him again. "You want me to go with you?" (God, I'm dense.)

Him: He grins and bats his big brown eyes at me. (That's what I've been trying to tell you.)

Me: "Okay, let me get my purse." (I’m going with you, but I'll still take that bribe.)
~***~

What’s fun is adding some of that same misunderstanding to your work.
Here’s an excerpt from my book, Windswept Shores:
They waded out and began scraping off the black, shiny mussels that clung to the rock. The surf pulled and dragged at Meagan’s legs, getting both of them thoroughly soaked. 
“Isn’t that a beaut?” Seth showed Megan a fine clutch of mussels. “I got ‘em in one go.”
“Oh, that’s great! And they’re nice big ones, too.” She held out the basket, but slipped on a stone, stumbling against his side.
He dropped the shellfish into the basket she held. “Easy there, mate.”
“I mean the mussels,” she snapped.
“I meant the mussels, too.” He scraped at another batch. “Course, a man’s muscle is his most important body part.”
“O-oh, you’re just like every guy I know. Why is it always sex with men?”
“Do you know which muscle I was even talking about?” He smirked. “Most blokes are scum.” He glanced sidelong at her. “Most blokes just want to tell their mates how many birds they've shagged that week.” He dropped more mussels in her basket. “But I could be different, if you ever want to find out.”
“You do realize I’m a married woman?”
Seth yanked his gaze up to hers. “Megz, I realize you’re a spunky widow.”
“I’m not a widow. He’s alive,” she snapped, blinking back tears.
“You have a nightmare every night about his death.”
“I-I don’t know for sure.” Megan scraped vigorously at a new spot. “Jonathan might have made it. The plane could have . . . popped out—” Half the shiny black shells fell into the water, as she snatched at the rest. “From the other side of the wave,” she finished.
“Orright.” He shrugged.
Megan dropped her mussels into the basket. “I think we have enough. Let’s go in.”
“Ready when you are, mate.”
Roaring filled her ears as a large wave hit, for a moment all Megan could see was teal tinged water.
A hand grabbed her arm, keeping her rooted to the spot. “Megz?”
Megan coughed rubbing the saltwater sting from her eyes. “I’m fine,” she gasped.
“Let me have the mussels. The waves are picking up.” He dropped his scraper into her basket, then took it from her.
Another wave hit, but this time it lifted Megan off the rocks. Seth grabbed her around the waist. She clung to him.
“The sea means to take you back.”
“It can’t have me.” She looked around. “I think I lost my scraper.”
“Let it go, mate. You can make another.”
In the lull, when the wave washed back out to sea, Seth handed Megan back the basket. “Hang on a tick.” She clutched it to her chest. He abruptly picked her up and waded ashore.
Surprise made her eyes big as her cheeks heated. She glanced shyly up at him, then over his shoulders to the rocks the waves crested over. “The tide has come in. I usually keep watch for things like that.”
“I must be a distraction for ya.” Seth grinned, while he set her down on the sand.
“When are you not a distraction to anyone?” she asked with one hand against his muscular chest.
“My mum said I’m always one to hog all the attention to myself.”
“I think she’s right.” She took a step back so she could pat his arm. “Thank you for keeping me from being swept off to sea.”
“That’s what mates are for.” He took the basket, with a look inside it, he added, “Besides, you were carrying me brekky.” Seth smirked down at her. “I really like yer top. You should wear it more often.”
“Oh!” Megan gave a mortified glance at her clingy camisole, which looked like it was spray painted on. Her erect nipples were making credible attempts to poke holes in the thin material. She snatched her brown shirt off the bush, hurrying to slip it on. Dammit, I’m never wearing this again.
Seth chuckled while he hauled the mussels up to their camp.



~* * *~



Janice Seagraves website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice Seagraves main blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Please help me welcome my guest, Kathryn Meyer Griffith. She has an awesome book out about Egypt and Time Travel, which of course includes romance and conflict. Can you imagine being transported back to Egypt during ancient times? Yikes! Here's the video, please watch.






Now let's meet, Kathryn.


A word about Kathryn Meyer Griffith, August 2011...
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21 and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance and two mysteries) previous novels published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-three years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have two quirky cats, Sasha and Cleo, and the four of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die.






Let me start with this: I have always loved ancient Egyptian stories since I was a child. I remember I wrote one of my first school papers at around eleven years old in pencil on the ancient Egyptians after dragging home an armful of musty smelling books from the library. I don’t recall exactly why I loved this particular time period and the people that lived in it but it might have had something to do with the movies The Ten Commandments (I was raised a Catholic), the horror mummy movies of the 1960’s and the early TV shows on Nefertiti and Cleopatra. I just had this affinity for the period.
It was February 1994 (I noted it on the outside of the manila folder where I keep a running book history on each novel) when I began Egyptian Heart. Originally I called it The Cursed Scarab. Later, I retitled it Egyptian Heart because I wanted it to more reflect the romance tale it had become.
I still had my agent, Lori Perkins, who’d sold four earlier novels for me to Zebra Books (Vampire Blood, 1991; The Last Vampire, 1992; Witches, 1993 and The Calling, 1994…after I’d sold my first three novels on my own to Leisure Books: Evil Stalks the Night, 1984: The Heart of the Rose, 1985; Blood Forge,1989) and she’d told me about a new romantic horror line that Silhouette was starting called the Shadows Line. They wanted to tap into the darker romantic paranormal market. Lori said they wanted the kind of story I wrote but with more romance. It was Silhouette after all.  I’d been labeled as a horror writer from the get go, though all my novels blended genres; usually I wrote a romantic horror mixture with dashes of adventure, suspense and sometimes threw in a little history or mystery as well…but in those days the big publishers felt the need (and I think they still do) to squeeze a writer into one narrow slot. So I was a horror writer.
But by 1994 I’d lost my sweet editor at Zebra and a new one took her place...and over the next year he didn’t like anything I wrote for him and later that year Zebra unceremoniously dropped me and my latest book (Predator, a story about a dinosaur in Crater Lake…which never came out but still lingers like some weird ghost book in every computer on the global Internet) only six weeks away from going to the bookstore shelves. I’d begged the new editor not to call it Predator, bad title since there was a popular movie out of that name and it was nothing about a dinosaur, and the cover was awful, an empty boat on a lake…what!!! Having that book – my first ever – dumped like that was a crushing experience, let me tell you. I had a stack of finished, printed covers and had already done my final edits! I got to keep my advance but the book was officially dead. The new editor-that-didn’t-like-my-writing explained: “No one wants to read a book about a dinosaur.” And six months later Jurassic Park came out! The book is still sitting in a drawer somewhere and perhaps one day I’ll resurrect and finish it as well).
At that point, my agent wanted me to branch out so I wrote two manuscripts for the Silhouette Shadows Line or tried to.  Egyptian Heart and Shadow Road (a romantic suspense about a woman truck driver driving a dangerous wintry route with a murderer on her tail, and a hitchhiker in her cab that she feels she’s falling in love with…and fears, at times, he’s the killer; which later I retitled and sold as Winter’s Journey). To make a long story short, Silhouette Shadows turned both down. Seems I had too much horror in them; not enough sex. I didn’t follow the formula. Sheesh. I’ve never liked depending too much on sex in any of my books or writing a book too predictable. The originality of the novel and the characters make the story for me.
After that my agent dropped me. Ah, the life of a writer.
So, then life (as it has many times in my 39 year writing career), family and job problems, and my other novels (I was into murder mysteries for years and sold two to Avalon Books), got in the way and Egyptian Heart and Shadow Road went into drawer hibernation until, oh, about 2004, when I rediscovered them, dug them out, rewrote them and began trying to sell them again. Sometimes, I’ve found, a book left alone in a dark cubbyhole ages like good wine. (Or sometimes it just turns to vinegar.)
Fast forward three years to 2007 and a new e-book (e-books still being considered a risky new-fangled craze at that time!) publisher called The Wild Rose Press contracted both and eventually a third called The Ice Bridge, a ghostly romantic murder mystery set on Mackinac Island, and published them. Good publisher. They treated me well. But in 2010 when I contracted my two newest novels, Before the End: A Time of Demons and The Woman in Crimson (both romantic horror) my new publisher, Kim Richards Gilchrist at Damnation Books wanted to bring out all my old out-of-print novels again (going back to those early Leisure Books from the 1980’s) in print – and e-books for the first time ever.  Seven old paperbacks. I’d rewrite them all, get new covers and they’d all live again. I was thrilled. And grateful. It would take a lot of work on both our parts but when we were done ALL my old novels would be in print again and in electronic form out in the world. I jumped right in.
Then when my two year contract (I was lucky, e-books still being new, it was only for two years; now most e-book publishers contract for five years or longer) ran out with The Wild Rose Press. I happily switched Egyptian Heart, Winter’s Journey, The Ice Bridge and a novella Don’t Look Back, Agnes to Eternal Press (Damnation Books sister company). Kim Richards, and her husband William, had just brought Realms of Fantasy Magazine into the fold, as well.
So. Egyptian Heart has had a very long history. Simply put, it’s a time travel paranormal romance set in the ancient times of Nefertiti and her heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton.  It’s more romance than history, though I did a lot of research in 1994… originally for my 1994 Zebra horror paperback The Calling. I thought: why waste all this hard worked for research on just one novel? So I also used it for Egyptian Heart and an erotic short story, The Nameless One, one that Zebra had placed in their 1994 horror anthology Dark Seductions and now it’s available from Damnation Books.
The new cover for Egyptian Heart by Dawne Dominique is amazingly beautiful and Kim Richards herself was my editor. Thank you both.
So from a child’s love of ancient Egypt to the finished book, it’s been a long journey and goes to show all you writer’s out there that, yes, persistence does sometimes win out.  And a good book never dies. It just ages like wine in a dark drawer.
I hope you’ll give Egyptian Heart a look and a read. The best way to describe it is through its blurb and so here it is:  
Maggie Owen is a beautiful, spirited Egyptologist, but lonely. Even being in Egypt on a grant from the college she teaches at to search for an undiscovered necropolis she’s certain lies below the sands beyond the pyramids of Gizah doesn’t give her the happiness she’d hoped it would.
There’s always been and is something missing. Love.
Then her workmen uncover Ramose Nakh-Min’s ancient tomb and an amulet from his sarcophagus hurls her back to 1340 B.C – where she falls hopelessly in love with the man she was destined to be with, noble Ramose, who faithfully serves the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton and his queen Nefertiti.
She’s fallen into perilous times with civil war threatening Egypt. She’s been mistaken for one of Ramose’s runaway slaves and with her light hair, jinn green eyes and fair skin she doesn’t fit in. Some say she’s magical and evil. Ramose’s favorite, Makere, tries to kill her.
The people, angry the Pharaoh has set his Queen aside and forced them to worship one god are rising up against him.
Maggie’s caught dangerously in the middle.
In the end, desperately in love, will she find a way to stay alive and with Ramose in ancient Egypt–and to make a difference in his world and history?
Because Maggie has finally found love. ***
                           And thank you for having me on your blog! Kathryn Meyer Griffith



Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, July 2012)
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition out Nov.7, 2010)
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out February 2012)
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out July 2011)
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out October 2010)
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out April 2011)
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions;
  Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out February 2011)
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out October 2011)
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition out again from Eternal Press in August 2011)
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition out again from Eternal Press in September 2011)
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition out again from Eternal Press in November 2011)
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella and bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out again from Eternal Press in January 2012)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Out from Damnation Books June 2010)
The Woman in Crimson (Out from Damnation Books September 2010)

Her Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)
http://www.jacketflap.com/K.Griffith
http://www.shoutlife.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith

E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net  I love to hear from my readers.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Goodreads Reviews

Be sure to check out my Goodreads Reviews page right here on this blog. I'm a tad behind on reviewing all the wonderful ebooks I've read, but I'm working on catching up. If you have a book you think I might enjoy, let me know. Cheers!!