Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Five Secrets From Julie Eberhart Painter

Today we get to learn five secrets from Julie. We all LOVE secrets, right? Me, too. 
Read on.

Bio: Julie Eberhart Painter, a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has ten books in print. Previously, she worked with nursing homes as a volunteer coordinator and later as a community ombudsman. She spent eighteen years with Hospice of Volusia/Flagler in Port Orange, Florida and contributed to and edited two of their self-help books.

Five Secrets we may not know about Morning After Midnight’s “conception”, but will after today!
1)    Who my favorite male nurse is, and what he did to save my life – twice:
The character of Aaron is the fulfilment of a deathbed promise -- mine. Mothers’ Day eve, 2010, due to a medication error, I went from unbearable itching into anaphylactic shock. One of my night heroes, an experienced male CNA, didn’t even ask for authorization. “You’re goin’ to the hospital, girl.” He dashed out in the hallway and dialed 911.

I vowed I’d write a book about a male nurse in his honor, and I did. The working title came from the advertisement, “Are you man enough to be a nurse?” But the finished product I called MORNING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The main character is still my hero; his quick thinking saved my life. Only his Harley was missing from my description of the real Aaron in my book.

2)    Our first “southern exposure” in 1960 came as a result of a business transfer     from Philadelphia, PA to Dallas, TX:
Everything that meant home turned to unfamiliar culture shock. Shipped to a foreign environment where no one knew “our language,” we dropped out of civilization into a cultural abyss. Where we were used to conservative, quiet and formal, we got brash and noisy. Accustomed to small self-contained lawns, we owned a vast expanse of black gumbo soil that ranged from white ash to black goop after the rain (months later). We had to plant plugs of grass with blades wide as lettuce. My roses, which bloomed undisciplined and untended in Philadelphia, now needed coaxing by scientific agriculture and blind faith. Just before cold weather set in, one lone “Yellow Rose of Texas” showed its surprised face. I rushed to the back yard and plunged my nose into the parched petals. The yellow rose blossom had no fragrance.
          The children stayed with a neighbor while I sped downtown to the Dallas courthouse to register for a homestead exemption. I used the Yankee convertible with the back window out. Now I knew why Texans drive so fast. It’s cooler.
          “YOU ARE NOW ENTERING DOWNTOWN DALLAS,” the sign proclaimed. What? Where? Cotton fields lined each side of the two-lane highway. The horizon undulated in the dry, 105-degree August heat. Where were the tall buildings? Where was the city? I couldn’t gather the vast horizon into a collectable mass—no clouds, no mountains, nothing but dark blue sky above the flat brown land.
          When invited to, “Y’all come back,” we came. We weren’t expected, but there we were on time and ready to party. Lost, disoriented and otherwise befuddled, this was home, or I tried to make is so. Each evening after dark, the neighbors, like cats and lightening bugs, came out of their houses. Children stayed up much later even as late as eleven to play outside -- strangers in a strange land.

3.)Which scenes in the book actually happened in real life?
The most revealing scene from MORNING AFTER MIDNIGHT is when our hero Aaron becomes an Eagle Scout. Let’s just say, this happened to someone I know.
Aaron invites his “other” grandparents, to witness his Eagle Scout ceremony. These are the parents of his birth father, whom his mother never married, in a small gossipy southern Georgia town where his mother has a whole new life – and reputation.
When Aaron told his grandparents what he’d done, the words were barely out of his mouth and Gram exploded. “You invited them! Why? Where have they been all these years? They think they can show up now, seventeen years later and be welcomed with open arms?”
“Gram, I think you know why the Frasers have been AWOL in my life. You and Mom saw to that.”
Dreading the kind of cool reception they’d get, Aaron could only pray the Frasers would not reconsider. The week before the ceremony, he sweated it out.
They showed up on time having come directly from a hotel in town. His grandfather, Rennie Fraser, brought his old Boy Scout sash and his badges to show Aaron what they were like back then.
“Thank you, sir. Those are impressive and different from what we work on now.” He looked around. “It’s nice to see both my families together in one auditorium.”
“We’re honored that you asked us.”
Aaron stood among his boyhood friends in the church’s largest meeting room, knowing he had family of his own. But he needed a hacksaw to cut the tension. He hoped everyone would stay civil and not embarrass him.
During the reception, Aaron heard one of Gram’s neighbors ask her, “I thought they were out of the picture all these years, Ella?”
Gram stammered through a weak, rambling explanation.
“Is this the first husband’s family?” the woman persisted.
“No, no, they’re just…well you know.” Ella made a beeline for the kitchen under the guise of bringing out more refreshments.
The neighbor turned to Aaron’s mother. “I didn’t know you’d been married before, Lonnie Jo.”
His mother turned red and asked if everyone had enough punch.
His mother and grandmother returned empty-handed a few minutes later. They looked as if they wished the floor would swallow them up before the whole story of his mother and “that Fraser boy” came out.
Aaron took his soda and stepped outside hoping Mr. Fraser would follow him; but Rennie was already sitting on a low stone wall by the parking lot.
“I hope that wasn’t too uncomfortable for y’all,” Aaron said.
Rennie tapped his heel with his empty pipe and looked at Aaron. “Not as uncomfortable as it was for some other people I could mention.”
“Ummm. Are you sorry I got you into it?”
“Goodness, no. It brought back a lot of happy memories. Although, the Eagle Scouts have certainly changed since I was young. We thought the environment was the air around us. We never thought anyone could get a badge for studying crop rotation in Asia.” He laughed. “I’m really out of touch.” He looked at his stainless steel Rolex. “We’d better get going. It’s late and getting a bit tense in there.”
They walked back in. “Margaret, I think we should head back to the hotel and let these nice folks celebrate without us.”
He took his wife’s arm, and they walked to the car where Aaron waited to open the passenger side door. Standing there in the half-lit street, Aaron looked into the car at the people who were his father’s parents. How different they were from the picture his grandparents had painted. He slapped the roof of the car for good measure. “You drive safe now. Thanks for coming.”

4.) Not exactly a secret: I was an interior designer before I became a writer.
That brief career has helped me in my writing description. At parties for fun, I mime chairs and couches in periods. Currently my best is a Hepplewhite dinner chair, with arms, of course.

5.) Last but not least, I managed to delay my writing career until I had something to write about. 
My husband and I raised three children, traveled to more than 70 exotic locales, such a Tahiti, Chili’s Easter Island, Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Kenya, South Africa, China and Antarctica. We moved into new homes around the country 17 times and played tournament bridge in each new hometown When I was  a teen, I studied eight years of ballet, two of voice and one of piano. I love all music except the asthmatic hard rock sounds of today. And I’m proud to say that I predicted that with rap music there would be a revival of poetry.

Morning After Midnight visits the odd dynamics of a shattered white southern family and our hero’s upwardly mobile black friend in the midst of love, lust and social unrest in the sixties. 

Find Julie at:
The Writer's Vineyard where I blog every fourth Monday
Goodreads Blog Posts where I have a new blog every Tuesday

Buy Links:

Social Media Links:
Champagne Book Club via Facebook

Monday, January 19, 2015

Screenwriter Robert Gosnell on What It's Really All About - Part Three

What It's Really All About - Part Three

All one has to do is to listen to the political rhetoric floating around out there to know that there are many points-of-view on a given subject.

The characters in your story should be no exception. How each character relates to the Active Theme, i.e., the story's message, determines how much depth and dimension your story contains, while still maintaining focus.
This is the juggling act we all face, when we sit down to construct the next Great American novel or screenplay. Our stories need to be complex, without losing clarity. They must be logical in their construction, yet emotional in their intent.
Well, nobody ever said it would be easy, did they? At least, nobody ever said it to me.
Once again, this leads to my heavy emphasis on understanding theme, and learning how to reflect that theme through the prism of the characters who inhabit the world we've created.
Today's excerpt addresses the issue of theme through the eyes of each character in the story: protagonists, antagonists, lead characters and supporting characters. The intertwining of all of these characters into a single thematic thread is a difficult, but necessary task. The more we understand it, the easier will be the path ahead of us.
I hope the following excerpt from "The Blue Collar Screenwriter and The Elements of Screenplay" will help you on your journey.
The Character's Take on the Theme
Once your theme has been established, it must be reflected in every possible manner within your story. How do the characters relate to the theme?
I'm talking about every character, because they all must have an opinion; a point-of-view on the theme being explored. That's one significant way to add dimension and nuance to your story. It also creates areas of conflict between characters, and conflict is everything in a story, especially a story designed for the screen.
I'll use the same examples I use in my screenwriting class, from the terrific courtroom drama "A Few Good Men."
As a classic courtroom drama, the Master Theme of the story is Justice. First, for those who aren't familiar with this movie, here's the setup.
Two young Marines, Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and PFC. Louden Downey, are accused of murder while performing an illegal disciplinary action against a third Marine, PFC. William Santiago. We soon learn that this illegal action was ordered by their Commanding Officer, Col Nathan Jessup. Jessup's Executive Officer, Lt Col Matthew Markinson and Platoon Leader Lt. Jonathan Kendrick are a part of the conspiracy to cover up Jessup's involvement, Markinson reluctantly, Kendrick willingly. It's up to our heroes, Lt. Danny Kaffee, Lt. Sam Weinberg and Lt Cdr Joanne Galloway to defend the accused Marines. Capt Jack Ross, a friend of Danny Kaffee, is the prosecutor.
A veritable bevy of characters, no? But, each one has a "take" on our justice theme, and each take is slightly, if not significantly different.
Let's start with Lt. Danny Kaffee, our Central Protagonist, played by Tom Cruise.
Kaffee initially believes his clients' best defense is to attempt to plea bargain their murder charge to a lesser charge. In his mind, they are clearly guilty, and chances of acquittal are virtually nil. His take on justice changes, as the case progresses. Eventually, he will come to believe his clients should be acquitted. A change in goals is not unusual for a central protagonist, since we want to see them grow.
So, at first, Kaffee tries to plea bargain the case, meaning Justice would be a reduced sentence for his clients. When new information comes to light that they were ordered to perform the action that led to Santiago's death, he decides that Justice means setting his clients free, except he's not the attorney for the job. He's never tried a case in court, and has serious doubts about his ability to win the case at trial. On top of that, losing could destroy his career. So, justice is clear for Danny, but the risks of failure are enormous.
Sam Weinberg, played by Kevin Pollack, is Kaffee's friend and co-counsel. Yet, even though he's defending Dawson and Downey, and even though he knows Jessup ordered them to discipline Santiago, Sam still believes the two young Marines should be punished.
This is pointed out clearly, when Danny Kaffee suggests that Sam doesn't believe their clients' story, and thinks they should go to prison for the rest of their lives. Sam's reply is that he believes every word of their story...and thinks they should go to prison for the rest of their lives.
In Sam's view, all his clients did was "beat up on a weakling." That's his take on the theme. Yes, they were ordered, but that still doesn't justify the act they committed. They performed their duty, but in doing so, sacrificed their integrity and humanity. They need to be punished. That's justice, and a source of internal conflict within Sam.
Now we come to Joanne Galloway, portrayed by Demi Moore. Joanne has an idealistic take on the theme. These are two noble young men serving their country. They "stand on a wall" to protect the rest of us. They followed orders, like good Marines. They deserve their day in court, and they deserve to go free, plain and simple.
Our prosecutor, Jack Ross, played by Kevin Bacon, has a dispassionate point-of-view on the subject. He represents the government, and he has a case. No conflict within him, in that respect. The outcome is of no personal concern to him.
What does concern him, and where his internal conflict exists, is the fate of his friend and courtroom rival, Danny Kaffee, who Jack feels is sacrificing his career in a lost cause by defending these two Marines.
And, what about those two Marines? Do they, also, have a "take" on what Justice is? Of course.
LCpl Dawson, played by Wolfgang Bodison, is so convinced of his innocence, he literally forces Kaffee to take the case to trial, not because he's afraid of going to prison, but because his honor is at stake. That is his take on the theme. Justice is maintaining his honor.
Likewise, his cohort, PFC. Downey, portrayed by James Marshall, wants only to remain a Marine. Marines follow orders. He followed orders. Therefore, he's innocent. For him, it's black-and-white.
Now, let's look at our bad guys, starting with Col Nathan Jessup; portrayed by superstar Jack Nicholson. Naturally, being on the other side of the issue, he has a completely different take on what justice means. In his view, ordering Dawson and Downey to discipline Santiago was designed to make Santiago a better marine.
That's Jessup's job: to train marines to defend their country. Doing otherwise would put Santiago's fellow marines, and the nation, at risk. He didn't set out to have Santiago killed, only to train him. Santiago's death was a sacrifice that had to be made for the greater good, and Dawson and Downey likewise. Justice is flawed, because he, Jessup, answers to a higher calling. That was the "truth" we couldn't handle.
Lt Col Markinson, portrayed by the late, great J.T. Walsh, gave us one of the more interesting takes on the Justice theme. Markinson's character was so torn between duty and conscience that he ultimately turned to suicide. For him, justice clashed with duty, and there was no way to reconcile the two. He finally decided that the only real course was to reveal the truth, so that others may sort it out.
At one point, Markinson states to Kaffee that he's not proud of his complicity in the events of this case, but neither is he proud of informing on his long-time friend and Commanding Officer. He is a tragic character, so internally conflicted as to be unable to live with the consequences of his actions.
Keifer Sutherland's Lt Jonathan Kendrick gave us one of the quirkiest, almost humorous takes on this Justice theme. In his view, Santiago was an inferior marine. All Kendrick did was assist in trying to make him a better one. He, too, followed orders, but it goes beyond that. The victim, Santiago, violated a sacred code and sacrificed his honor, and therefore was doomed to die by a higher power. "God was watching," he tells us. How's that for a take on the justice theme? God killed Santiago!
The Character's Take on the Theme provides us with the vehicles to deliver the message of the Active Theme. All characters, not just the Central Protagonists and Antagonists. The more diverse the points-of-view presented by the characters, the more complex the story.


Robert's book, "The Blue Collar Screenwriter and The Elements of Screenplay" is currently available at:
Amazon digital and paperback
Barnes & Noble
Find Robert at:
Website (with information on classes)

A professional screenwriter for more than thirty years, Robert Gosnell has produced credits in feature films, network television, syndicated television, basic cable and pay cable, and is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of Canada.
Robert began his career writing situation comedy as a staff writer for the ABC series Baby Makes Five. As a freelance writer, he wrote episodes for Too Close for Comfort and the TBS comedies Safe at Home and Rocky Road. In cable, he has scripted numerous projects for the Disney Channel, including Just Perfect, a Disney Channel movie featuring Jennie Garth. 
In 1998, he wrote the Showtime original movie, Escape from Wildcat Canyon, which starred Dennis Weaver and won the national "Parents Choice Award." Robert's feature credits include the Chuck Norris/Louis Gosset Jr. film Firewalker, an uncredited rewrite on the motion picture Number One With A Bullet starring Robert Carradine and Billy Dee Williams, and the sale of his original screenplay Kick And Kick Back to Cannon Films. Robert was also selected as a judge for the 1990 Cable Ace awards, in the Comedy Special category.
In 1990, Robert left Hollywood for Denver, where he became active in the local independent film community. His screenplay Tiger Street was produced by the Pagoda Group of Denver, and premiered on Showtime Extreme in August of 2003. In 1999, Denver’s Inferno Films produced the action film Dragon and the Hawk from his script. In 2001, Robert co-wrote the screenplay for the independent feature Siren for Las Vegas company Stage Left Productions. His feature script Juncture was produced by Front Range Films in March of 2006.
Robert is a principal member of the Denver production company "Conspiracy Films." He is frequently an invited speaker for local writers organizations, served on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference in 2002, and in 2007 was chosen to participate as a panelist for the Aspen Film Festival Short Screenplay Contest. Robert regularly presents his screenwriting class "The Elements of Screenplay," along with advanced classes and workshops, in the Denver area. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Four Stories, Four Writers and Fridays At the Martini Lounge...Read On

Martini Club 4 – The 1920s

Amanda McCabe, Alicia Dean, Kathy L Wheeler and Krysta Scott have a unique friendship. Yes, they are all romance writers, and at different stages in their writing careers. But every Friday night, schedules permitting, they meet at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma where they chitchat, plan retreats to get away and for just a general get away. Over a period of time the idea to create a series of stories where the Martini Lounge would serve as a backdrop—well, as writers, that was inevitable. So here we are with our first go at it. Welcome to 1920s New York City where four young women run away from England excited to make their own way in a new world.

All four stories are now available for the pre-order price of **$0.99** until February 26, 2015, the official release.

Rebellious: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Amanda McCabe
Blurb: Can an aristocratic lady melt the cold heart of a Russian gangster? 

Lady Jessica Hatton fled her high-society London debutante life for one of investigative journalism in New York—only to be relegated to the fashion pages. Searching for a juicy story leads her to Club 501, the city's most glamorous speakeasy—and its handsome, mysterious owner, Frank Markov. But his past of war and revolution puts their hearts—and their lives—in danger...

Excerpt: “Do you smell that, Meggie?” Jessica Hatton cried as she leaned into the cold, salt spray wind, her t-strap shoes perched on the lowest rung of the ship's railing.  She'd lost her hat, and the short strands of her hair blew into her eyes, but she didn't care.  England was far behind them.  They had escaped.
          “It smells like freedom!” she shouted, and threw up her arms.  It felt like she could fly all the way to America.
          “I only smell old fish,” Meggie said.  “Now come down from there, Jess.  If you tumble into the drink, it will all be over before it even starts.”
          Jessica laughed and shook her head, but she did climb down.  She spun around to see Meggie stretched out on one of the deck chairs, the glossy mink collar of her coat drawn close around her.
          The sky was grey and dismal-looking, the water not as glassy-smooth as when they slid past Ireland yesterday and headed out to open sea.  Several of the passengers had retreated to their cabins, but Jessica couldn't stand staying inside.  Not when there was so much to be seen.
          “It smells like fish and freedom,” Jessica insisted.  “But we can go in now.  Maybe Charlotte and Eliza will want to play some cards or mah-jong.”
          “Finally,” Meggie grumbled as she swung her feet down to the damp deck.  But her smile was broad.  Jessica knew Meggie was loving it all just as much as she was.

Bio: Amanda McCabe wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen--a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject...)
She's never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOK Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Oklahoma with a menagerie of two cats, a Pug, and a very bossy miniature Poodle, along with far too many books. 
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network--even though she doesn't cook. 

Ruined: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Alicia Dean
Blurb: She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans... 

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped. 

Former boxer, Vince “The Fist” Taggart dreams of marrying, having a family, and living a quiet, peaceful life. But when a girl he's known since childhood disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza is the key to finding his missing friend. 

Excerpt: Eliza lifted her gaze, then looked away when she met his eyes. They were just too…striking, too blue. “I’m afraid you’ll have to speak to Oscar. He handles all my transactions.” She could never have a normal outing with a man. A lump of regret rose in her throat. She turned and started up the stairs.
Vince caught up to her in a few steps and grabbed her arm, taking the bag from her at the same time. “That was a lousy thing to say.”
She opened her mouth to accuse him of going around Oscar so he didn’t have to pay. But that was ridiculous. He hadn’t taken what he’d paid for the first time. She lifted a hand and rubbed her forehead. His attention confused her. What was his angle? He didn’t want sex. Did he think she was hiding something about Cynthia and if he spent time with her he could draw it out? “What do you want from me?”
“A picnic.”

Bio: Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Amazon buy link:

Reckless: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Kathy L Wheeler
Blurb: Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger… 

Singer Margaret (Meggie) Montley needs money…fast. Her friend is in a dire situation with nowhere to turn. While Meggie is on the brink of stardom, it’s not soon enough to save her friend. 

Harry Dempsey is out to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at the hands of a ruthless gangster. But trouble spirals out of control when Meggie Montley shows up the night he meets his nemesis to settle the score. Saving the impetuous woman from a crime lord might be easier than saving her from her own reckless behavior.

Excerpt: Meggie launched herself from her hiding place and threw her arms about Harry’s neck. Locked in his muscular embrace, she rested her chin on his shoulder. His arms tightened around her. “Oh, Harry. I came as fast as I could. Just as we’d planned.” The words, she’d intended to carry, came out breathless.
“Fast, huh?” The whisper was against her ear where no one else could hear, raised goose prickles over her entire body. “Guess I’ll have to do something about that.” He lifted his head. “What are you doing with my girl, Joe?”
Joey’s hands flew into the air, indicating his surrender. “Sorry, Dempsey. Had no idea she was anyone’s quiff—”
Meggie’s cheeks burned, and she stiffened at the insult. Harry’s one arm gripped her closer. The other shot up, jerking her body like a rag doll. She couldn’t see Harry’s face with her own now buried in his neck, but she felt the corded muscles contract.  
Bio: Kathy L Wheeler (also known as Kae Elle Wheeler) writes both Contemporary and Historical Romance. She was born in Presque Isle, Maine.  How she ended up in Texas, then Oklahoma is as much a mystery to her as anyone. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in Management Information Systems and a minor in Vocal Music.
She is published through The Wild Rose Press. She loves to travel.  Ports of call include a three week stint in Europe covering Madrid, Barcelona, Avignon, Paris, Koln, Amsterdam and London.  Other exciting places she’s visited are Grand Cayman, Puerta Vallerta, Mexico, Vancouver, Canada, and roaming from one romance writing conference to another nationwide.  You may have met her in Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, New York or Atlanta.  She is a member of the Oklahoma RWA Chapter, Dara, and The Beau Monde. Kathy lives with her musically talented husband in Edmond, Oklahoma. They have one grown daughter and one bossy cat, Carly!

Runaway: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Krysta Scott
Blurb: Can she prove her innocence before more than her dreams are destroyed? 

After escaping an arranged marriage, Lady Charlotte Leighton lands on a new shore, determined to realize her dream of opening her own bakery. But her plans are shattered when her former fiancĂ© follows her to New York. Now, she finds herself in a fight for her freedom. 

Haunted by a string of failures, Detective Felix Noble is determined to solve his latest case. But his efforts to find a murderer are jeopardized by a forbidden attraction to his number one suspect. While he’s certain Charlotte Leighton is keeping secrets, instinct tells him she’s not the murderess he first believed. 

Excerpt: Long thin fingers curled around a glass and lifted it from the tray. Charli followed the direction of the drink. Derrick Chaunce, or as the local duffs referred to him, “Slick”, grinned, exposing yellowed teeth.
“You … You…” Her throat closed. The rest of her diatribe wouldn’t budge.
He winked. His thin hair slicked back in the latest fashion exaggerated the gaunt cheekbones and sunken eyes, tinging him with an unhealthy, dilapidated look. He gulped the whiskey. A bit of the amber liquid escaped through the gap in his teeth and down his chin. Her stomach lurched.
“Thank you, sweet cakes. Put it on my tab.” He skulked off.
Charli whirled around. How did the bounder get past Tiny? Ira fumed about customers who ran up a high tab without reconciling at the end of the night. Now she would have to explain yet another charge added to Slick’s mounting debt. She sighed and rolled her eyes to the heavens. The customer was always right. Even when they were wrong.

Bio: Krysta Scott is a family law attorney in her false life. After years of writing and winning contests, she is now taking the plunge into publishing. A fan of sci-fi and dark stories surrounding people in crisis, she also enjoys way too much TV including Vampire Diaries, Breaking Bad, and Sherlock. Runaway is her breakout story.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Take Five With Author Michele Drier

It is my pleasure to bring you Michele Drier and her book SNAP: All That Jazz and read on to find out who she'd most want to be as a film character!!  
I totally agree with her.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Michele. Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, SNAP: All That Jazz?

I’m writing a paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, and suddenly these two secondary characters demanded that I tell their story. Nik and Jazz have been sidekicks in the other SNAP books and fell in love in Book Seven, SNAP: White Nights. Their relationship is rocky and they needed to explain themselves—and understand each other. A relationship between a four-hundred-year-old Hungarian vampire and a 21st century L.A. young woman isn’t easy.

What were your experiences as a child that contributed to you becoming a writer?

Reading and being read to. My grandmother read to me almost every night. She was an Edwardian and had been educated at boarding schools on both the East and West coasts and as an adult, wrote some poetry and belonged to a literary society in San Francisco. Both she and my mother loved to tell stories and I grew up telling myself stories in my head.

Do day-to-day life experiences influence your stories?

One of the themes in my books—both the paranormal romances and my mysteries—is the relationship between men and women. I’m fascinated at our language differences and how little we really understand each other. I’ve used this in spades in the Kandesky Chronicles. Not only are the male vampires falling in love with contemporary women, but there are huge gaps in their backgrounds and experiences. The vampires are all several-hundred-year-old Europeans who live a mannered, uber-rich lifestyle...the Baron Kandesky lives in a castle. The women they fall in love with are contemporary career women from Southern California.

I also pick up a lot of current news in the books, which are set in Kiev, Ukraine and outside of St. Petersburg, Russia as well as the L.A. area. I ran across a story that Ukraine was putting together a bid to host the Olympics in 2024 and wove it into SNAP: White Nights.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?

Come up with a title! That sounds flip, but I’m a pantser and my titles define the direction the book will be going. SNAP: All That Jazz, was the book where I’d let Jazz and Nik tell their stories and, unlike the other books, is written in third person. I always know where the story will end up, but I’m never sure how we’ll get there. If there’s a freeway from the first to the last page, much of the book takes the off-ramps to lesser-known, more rural roads, exploring the countryside.

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be?  And why?

Probably Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. She was a glamorous eccentric who designed her own life, papering over her past and the hurts. She was able to create a place where she could live her fantasies, until reality hit her head-on. And of course there was a HEA!

Give us a brief summary of SNAP: All That Jazz :

Nik and Jazz, both employees of Kandesky Enterprises and passionate lovers, are having a tumultuous time. Are their differences too great? She's a contemporary, hip, young career woman working in the fast-changing world of celebrity gossip journalism in Los Angeles. He's a 500-year old vampire living in Kiev, Ukraine and running the Kandesky Munitions factories. She deals with celebs and sun, he deals with terrorists and dark. 
Is their overpowering attraction enough to build a life-long future, or will their relationship fizzle out before Maxie's and Jean-Louis' wedding, dying faster than a Fourth of July sparkler?

When Jazz asks Nik to spend time with her in L.A., a series of disasters challenges both their love and their understanding of who and what they are. When Jazz is kidnapped, Nik questions his ability to take care of her and keep her safe, causing him to pull away.

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Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and
worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home.  During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

SNAP: All That Jazz, Book Eight of The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was published June 30, 2014The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles paranormal romance series include SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, DANUBE: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Night and SNAP: All That Jazz.  SNAP: I, Vampire, Book Nine in the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles is scheduled for publication early 2015.

She also writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries, Edited for Death and Labeled for Death. A third book, Delta for Death, is coming in 2015.

Find Michele:
Facebook | Twitter  |  Website

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Take Five and Meet Author Angelique Voisen

Today we meet Angelique Voisen, and learn a bit about her book Steel and Shadow
Don't you love the title? 

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Angelique Voisen.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book?

Before Steel and Shadow, I’ve never written any romance. My previous works have mostly been dark fantasy and horror (under another pen name). Steel and Shadow was a personal experiment in genre jumping and a much needed challenge for me. I was getting burned out from writing dark fiction with grim endings and wanted to write a story with a nice happily ever after.

How do you use setting to further your story?

Setting and world building are critical elements in Steel and Shadow. The major conflict Charlie Ixeria, the protagonist, has to face revolves around an unnatural supernatural force called The Veil. The Veil is slowly killing off the woods that surround Charlie’s isolated city. The woods hold a special significance to Charlie and the rest of the hunters, as it’s their main duty to supply the city with food and protect it from the supernatural forces that lurk in them.

How do you construct your characters?

Charlie and Marcus were easy to construct because they’ve been lingering in my mind for years. Usually though, my characters begin with me sketching brief physical descriptions of them in my head, but nothing too elaborate or descriptive. As I go along my writing process, they begin to flesh themselves out, complete with mannerisms, personalities and body language.

How is your main character completely different than you?

Charlie is a passionate individual who lets her emotion and passion rule her, even in her work. For me, I’m completely the opposite. While I do take chances, I’m mostly an individual ruled by logic. I tend to weigh the pros and cons in every decision, which is sometimes frustrating to my loved ones.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

As a terrible cook, I’ve always avoided stoves and ovens for as long as I could remember. To compensate for this, I have mastered the unique art of microwave cooking. From instant noodles, I’ve since graduated to microwave quiches and one-minute muffins.

Give us a brief summary of Steel and Shadow:
Charlene Ixeria is a half-blood born to a family of supernatural hunters tasked with protecting a city plagued by The Veil, a shadow that twists and corrupts anything it touches. Aside from the constant need to prove that she’s as capable as the rest of her pure-blooded kin, she’s also torn between two choices.

Charlie can’t deny her growing feelings towards Marcus, her arrogant hunting captain who’s haunted by demons of his own. She’s also confused by her conflicting attraction to Gabrielle, a hauntingly mysterious creature who only holds questions and no answers.

Despite her personal problems, her starving city is on the verge of chaos and everything around her is dying- including the woods the hunters rely on for the city’s food supplies. All the answers may lie in The Veil. But which is more harrowing, the journey there or the secrets kept by those she love?

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Angelique Voisen writes fantasy and paranormal romance. Stories with blades, bows, kinky magic and epic battles with supernatural nasties. In the day world, Angel writes for a trade magazine. She is a recovering red bull addict, an alt rock fan, a keto advocate and currently lives in Singapore.

Social Media Links:
Blog  (as posted on her blog: Some of the content in this blog is intended for an adult audience. If you are under 18, please go away.)