Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: Romantic Suspense (Page 1 of 2)

Meet Author T.M Sullivan

Hola, lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author T.M Sullivan

T.M Sullivan is a new author who recently released her new published book Homecoming (Secrets & Lies #1). She resides in a VERY small town in Ontario, Canada, where her two beautiful daughters and wonderful hardworking husband keeps her busy. She works as a Hairstylist writes in her spare time. T.M. is a lover of art, music and books. Sappy romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance and M/M romances are her favorite genres.

Book sample:  Homecoming (Secrets & Lies #1)

Willa McKenzie left her hometown Ferris at the age of eighteen to pursue her dream of performing. Now, ten years later Willa is living her dream singing and dancing in Las Vegas as one of the cities most beloved showgirls.

Receiving a serious phone from her older sister. Willa becomes confronted with the decision to stay in Vegas, where her life is perfect, or go back home to a town she wants to forget.

Once Willa returns to Ferris, she finds herself immersed in chaos. With her older sister’s deteriorating marriage, her mother declining health, and the memories of her father’s death and twin sister’s suicide, just reminds Willa why she left in the first place. Being faced with the secrets and lies, she swore she left behind, Willa is forced to face them head on once again.

Grayson Malloy was in love with Willa years ago, but with their ten year, age difference Grayson always held back. Missing his chance to tell Willa how he finally felt. He buried those feeling way down deep in order to become the best father he could be to his beautiful daughter Charlotte. Now that Willa has returned Grayson is determined to make her his. With his demanding demeanor and stellar good looks, he makes it impossible for Willa to say no. Not to mention his daughter Charlotte doesn’t make it any easier, making it very clear she approves of Willa for her father.

The town of Ferris soon finds out that someone has their sights set on Willa and her sister. Someone wants them to suffer, wanting them to feel torment and misery. Someone wants revenge.

Finding herself in life-threatening situations, Willa is determined to stay strong; she is determined not to back down, regardless of the people around her pleading for her to stop.

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?  I guess you could say it’s sort of a pen name. T.M is my real first two names Torie Marie (I hate my middle name by the way.) I used my maiden name instead. Just to keep my two world separate if you will say…lol.

Why do you write?  I have always loved writing. When I was younger I use to write Poetry. And when I was in school a few of my teachers told me I should be a writer but I never listened.

When did you decide to become a writer?  I decided in 2015 to try my hand at writing. To be honest I really had no clue what I was doing. I was a big reader and knew of those authors but I didn’t follow them. I didn’t stalk them. I really had no clue about what it really meant to be an indie author.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  OMG, it actually took me a year to write Homecoming. I’m hoping to get faster but I am a perfectionist. I can’t have anything bug me if there is something that bugs me I have to change it.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  Like I said I am an avid reader and one day I sitting beside my husband and said I have great ideas for books and I can’t get them out of my head, maybe i should try writing a book. He said why not. And so I did…not very exciting, but that is how it went.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  I write during the day if I’m home alone and no house work. I also write at night. My husband likes to watch TV and I don’t so I sit and write with headphones in while he watched TV. Sometimes he asks me not to write and spend time with him. (I guess I should do that every once and awhile).

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I think for me I’m more open about writing different genres. I am a huge M/M romance reader and I have opened my mind up to writing one myself which I would never have done that at first. I always thought it was best to write what you know. And now after talking to other authors and getting to know some I have realized that it’s ok to push past your fears and insecurities.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  I listen to music a lot. Music is huge for me. I actually have a playlist at the end of my book and will for the rest I write as well.

What have you written?  I have only written the one book. I self-published at first and then I wasn’t happy with how everything turned out. So I pulled the book and did a complete re-write and ended up getting it published by Bella Tulip Publishing and had a new cover designed for it.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I do outline a bit but then I just say screw it and write. I can get really bad sometimes and venture off path a bit and then I have to go back and tidy it up.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?   I didn’t design my own covers…I wish I could. BUT I am super picky. The Publisher did my new cover for me.  I love how it turned out.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? I am learning about marketing every day. I’m still a newbie so I am far from being a marketing pro. I know for me I have joined lots of groups and have tried to connect on Facebook. I’m still trying to get other things together that will help me out. I learn every day from other authors.

Any advice for aspiring authors?   Don’t give up, don’t be afraid to speak your mind about what you want. I learned the hard way that this is your work. You worked hard and it should be the way you want it. But also with that, don’t be afraid of constructive criticism, it’s really is good for you. Sometimes an outsider can really put things into perspective.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? Ahhh Grayson Malloy. He is a single father who owns a construction company. He is big, gorgeous and incredibly bossy. He can come off like a jerk sometimes but really love him. (My mother-in-law hated him…lol). He loves his daughter more than anything, and when Willa McKenzie comes back home he is like a tornado there is no way she is getting away. I’m not going to lie he does act like jerk, but he loves fiercely. His family and friends are everything to him. He and his daughter teach Willa that she is loved and she can trust him.

Where do your ideas come from? Sometimes I do get ideas from songs. I will listen to a song and then all of a sudden ‘PING’ a light goes off and I will write it down.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  Trying to stay positive. When I pulled the book I didn’t want to look at it for months. I was so disappointed in how it turned out. But a friend said she was going to keep bugging me till I fixed it and was happy again. This book had really put me through the ringer. It literally was my learning book. I learned everything with this one. It wasn’t even about selling it. It was getting it re-written and feeling good that I accomplished it and could feel good about a story that I wrote again.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Feeling good about it. I am a bit of a perfectionist and can be very hard on myself. I just wanted to write it and be like “Yes, i can now publish this, I’m happy” that’s a hard feeling for me. I’m struggling with the two books I’m working on now. I guess it will always be that way.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?   I don’t watch a lot of TV but I did enjoy the show Six it was based on Navy Seals. I’m a sucker for military men. And I’m getting excited for the new Prison Break to return. I love old movie (including musicals)

Which writers inspire you? I am a diehard Kristen Ashley fan, I re-read her books every year. I’m a sucker.

What is the current book you are promoting? I’m still promoting my first book. But I will be promoting my short M/M romance very soon.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? I love Willa. She is a strong smart mouthed, hard headed woman. She is not a pushover at all and I love her for that.

Who is your least favorite character and why? That would be my bad guy…sorry can’t tell you his name…lol. BUT there is a part of me that loves him too. He does bad real good.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? Oh I like this question. I would love for Christina Aguilera to be Willa and for Grayson I can’t help but think Tom Hardy.

What is your next project? My next is a short M/M Romance about a Homicide detective and a male model.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?   I would have to say Wonder Woman, because she is a strong beautiful woman and can totally kick butt.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why?  The one person from history would have to be Michelangelo. He has always been my favorite artist.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  If there was one thing I could do, it would be fix poverty. I am saddened to see kids go to school with very little food or people losing their homes because they don’t make enough to keep it. It breaks my heart.

Who inspires your writing?  I grew up reading VC Andrews and then Nora Roberts. I’m not sure they inspire me, but when I read their books I was like wow. I would like to be that good one day.

Where do you come up with your stories?   I get an idea and work from there. It’s funny because it can be in the car or shower…lol. I actually seen something in town. one day and thought ohh that could be in a book, so I put a note into my phone for when I came home.

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? I am not a huge fur baby person. I love all animals I just don’t really like the fur and stuff. We have a very old dog named Murdock, he is Min Pin. My oldest daughter has a bearded dragon. I’m actually surprised how much I enjoy the reptiles.

Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite? Kristin Ashley is my all-time fav. The Rock Chicks are my absolute favorite series.

Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like? No I haven’t done that. I guess I’m too afraid…lol But that really is a good idea.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Wow I guess I would have like to be the original author of To Kill a Mockingbird. It a book that I read a few times years ago but I still remember the whole thing. It is a classic book that is even taught in schools…amazing.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? That you can’t make everyone happy. Not everyone is going to love your book.

Do have a favorite car or truck model? I guess I better say Ford because my husband and his friends all own Mustangs. I’m not going to lie I love the Range Rover Sport but that would be punching my husband in the face.

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes? I do a bit but then I shock myself with how well they turn out…lol. I am more embarrassed when someone I know reads what I wrote. (Like my mother-in-law) MF: I’d love to watch my mother-in-law read my books. Muuhahaha! That’d be one of the best days of my life.

What are some of your favorite books and why? Kristen Ashley because of her alpha males. Maya banks KGI series because I love Military romance. JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood I love vampire books. MF: I have JR Ward’s on my shelf to read. Ella Frank’s Temptation series (that’s a wow M/M series for sure.)

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?  I have tried both. Publishing is great for the person who can’t afford a lot. Editing is VERY important, but it’s also crazy expensive, and rightfully so because it’s a lot of works to make it great. Being with a publisher means you don’t get all the royalties but it also means they are going to do their best to see your book succeed. They also have something to lose. It can be a bit less stressful. Self-publishing is great too because you do have more freedom to do what YOU want. YOU do get more creative freedom for sure.

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? I’m not completely familiar with that. But I do think self-published authors will always be less important to some. Which really sucks because I have read some really great self-published books. And some really terrible published books by ‘big named authors’. I chalk it up to it’s the world we live in and there is always going to be negativity and haters. But if people stopped doing things because of negativity, it would be a very boring world.

What book are you currently reading or just finished? I just finished Maya Banks newest KGI book Brighter Than the Sun. I am now re-reading NR Walker’s M/M romance Thomas Elkin Series.

What do your readers mean to you? I have actually really enjoyed talking to them I have done a lot of FB takeovers and I love interacting with them. I want to please them I want to hear their input and even ideas of what I should do. I’m planning a contest where they can come up with title to my M/M book.

Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others? I actually just read Jana Aston’s Wrong series and I absolutely loved them.

Tell us something unique about you. I am very boring actually. But two things: I am a huge germaphobe, hotels freak me out because all I can think of is how many people have slept in that bed. MF: That made me laugh 🙂  I am also double jointed…lol

There ya have it folks! Many thanks to T.M! For more about TM and her work, or to get a copy of work, follow the links and click the cover image below:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / Instagram

Meet Author Christina Lynn Lambert

Hola me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with author Christina Lynn Lambert

Christina Lynn Lambert has loved reading since she was a kid but writing fiction was not her original career goal. Lambert worked in sales, case management, and as a personal trainer, but eventually gave in to her growing need to write down the story ideas she couldn’t get out of her head. Don’t expect hearts and flowery prose on the pages of any of her books since her style is more gritty than sweet. Lambert loves creating strong heroines and imperfect but determined characters. In her spare time, Lambert enjoys spending time with her family (one husband + two kids), reading, hiking, running, swimming, and exploring new places.

Enjoy this sample of Christina’s book: Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures Book 1)  Romance: paranormal/suspense

Sydney sat in the conference room at Brass Cat Advertising, sipping her coffee and wishing the caramel latte could take her to an alternate reality. One where Derrick Porter wasn’t sitting in front of her. Hiscl_wolfschallenge_coversm presence had caught her off guard. Sydney took another sip of her coffee as she tried not to stare stupidly, but holy chocolate-covered cherries, the man was hot.

Dark hair and eyebrows made a striking contrast against his strong bone structure and fair skin. His lips, good grief. They looked so soft. Derrick’s long, lean body fit nicely in a suit. The material stretched over his broad shoulders and came in at the waist. He probably had amazing six-pack abs.

When they’d met that Saturday in running group, it hadn’t merely been the fog coupled with Sydney’s exhaustion and two-year streak of celibacy that had made Derrick appear so handsome. Even under the bright lights of the conference room, he was gorgeous. What rotten luck that she couldn’t seem to get away from him.

Great Oaks wasn’t exactly a large city. Eventually, she would have run into Derrick somewhere. Maybe at the store or at some get-together at Carly’s. That wouldn’t have been too bad. She could have dealt with a polite conversation before walking away to catch her breath, pushing Derrick out of her head with every retreating step. On their Saturday-morning runs, Sydney had already planned to wear her earbuds and let her music help her be antisocial.

An ongoing work project was a much worse problem. As it turned out, Derrick knew her boss, Shayla. Only two days after meeting Derrick and trying not to think about the fact that their being partnered at their running group was an obvious setup, Sydney would not have the luxury of ignoring his existence. She ground her teeth.

Bringing her laptop to the table in the meeting room and pretending it was being slow to start had bought her about all the time and silence such distractions could bring. Sydney’s strategy during their first run with Jack’s new team had been to not talk much at all to the handsome, dark-haired man with the stunning grayish-blue eyes. Meeting with him about a graphic-design project didn’t allow for an easy way out.

Polite and professional. Keep it simple. No personal conversation. No X-rated fantasies about lawyers and conference-room tables. Remember he is a player.

Derrick had spoken with everyone at the meet-and-greet of their running group with charm and ease, the same way Jerk-off Jeff had charmed everyone in his presence. Including Sydney, once upon a time. But her former Prince Charming had turned out to be a lying man-whore. Derrick would most likely be no different. Maybe she was being unfair, but after all the shit she’d been through, Sydney wasn’t taking any chances. She was not really ready to date yet, especially not someone like Derrick.

Earlier that afternoon, when Shayla let her know there would be a lawyer representing the Great Oaks Merchants Association coming to meet with her, Sydney was excited and looking forward to the job. Great Oaks was in the process of getting itself back on the map after spending more than a decade nearly deserted. Sydney’s town house was built on the grounds of a former blue-jeans factory. Brass Cat Advertising was located in an abandoned convenience store, though it had been modernized a bit, and Shayla had added on to the back of the building to create more office space.

Things were beginning again in Great Oaks, and Sydney liked the idea of helping the Great Oaks Merchants Association members make their presence known. Using her graphic design to update logos and create designs for the Merchants Association was Sydney’s chance to give something back to the town that had given her such a feeling of peace and security after she had left the violence, fear, and regret of Seattle. The change of scenery had helped her more than she ever thought it would. Meeting Angel and deciding to adopt her had been an unplanned but wonderful decision. Great Oaks would be a good place to raise a child.

After discovering Sydney and Derrick knew each other, Shayla had announced she had some things to do and walked out of the conference room, oblivious to—or maybe just ignoring—Sydney’s please-don’t-leave-me-here-by-myself face.

Sydney put down her coffee cup and smiled what she hoped was a polite, businesslike smile that held no clue how handsome she found Derrick. He returned her smile, though his was warmer. Sydney noticed his bloodshot eyes.

“Allergies?” she asked, thinking of all the pollen blowing through the air. She had done her fair share of sneezing that morning. Cut the crap and move along, she chided herself. No reason to prolong the meeting chatting about the weather.

“That and a little vodka,” he told her with a regretful smile. “Celebrated a birthday Saturday night.”

Sydney wondered why a man would admit to drinking too much at a party if he was embarrassed by it, or perhaps his embarrassment was from the stupid things people did when they drank too much. Whatever. Not her problem. She didn’t even ask him whose birthday it had been.

Derrick handed her a file with several folders tucked inside. Each was full of ideas and sketches from different business owners who belonged to the Great Oaks Merchants Association. He placed one folder on top.

“Brick, Plank, and Stone is a construction company that especially needs help with its branding and logo. Seven hundred thousand acres in western Great Oaks were just sold off at auction and rezoned to allow residential homes and small-scale businesses to be built on the land.”

Sydney thought she caught the slightest edge of a grin from Derrick. Did he have a hand in the rezoning?

“Brick, Plank, and Stone,” he continued in his hypnotizing, mouthwateringly sexy voice, “wants to make sure they can secure a large amount of building contracts from the investment company who purchased the land. This one is the top priority. Then there are several other businesses that need pretty much the same: updated logos, graphics, captions, and different and better print to make their slogans more visible.”

Sydney mentally sighed in relief. The meeting was nearly over, and it didn’t look as if she would have to do much more than give him an occasional update. The sweat she had felt dampening her neck and thighs would soon be gone.

Derrick gave her his business card with his work number and e-mail. She took the card, and her fingers brushed his.

“We’ll meet soon to discuss progress.” The rich, deep tone of his voice filled the room and surrounded her like a favorite song. He looked straight at her. His bloodshot, blue-gray eyes were unlike any color she had ever mixed with her watercolors or oil paints. While she was listening and trying to think which shades of gray she could mix with the blue, she realized he had finished talking. She’d been in Sydneyland mixing paint colors and listening to the timbre of his voice like it was a background song.

“Uh, what? Sorry.” Sydney felt her cheeks get warm at being caught not paying attention, though he would never need to know why her mind had drifted. He laughed, the sound beautiful and…kind of rusty. Derrick told her they would meet up again soon.

Meet? Soon? The man made her break out into a sweat when she had to talk with him. She liked him, didn’t want to like him, and hated making small talk with people she didn’t know well. She could ignore him when they were running, but a business meeting was different. Sydney chided herself for being so silly. He was just a hot guy with whom she would be meeting about purely professional matters. Why couldn’t she make herself feel like it was no big deal? Why did the universe want to make things difficult? Can’t anything ever be easy? She nodded and politely showed him the door.

“It was nice to see you again, Sydney.” The sound of Derrick’s voice made her knees weak. Obviously, something was wrong with her. They could handle business by e-mail. She could send him files.

Yet, Sydney wanted to hear the sound of his voice again. Soon.

Why do you write?  I can’t not write. I tried not to but the words found me anyway. I chose to make writing a career because I wanted to do something for a living that I would still love doing after countless hours of trials and frustrations.

When did you decide to become a writer?  Three years ago, I was working on a certification for a different career. I startedchris writing a story to distract myself from the fact that I wasn’t happy with the career choice I had been planning to make.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  Wolf’s Challenge was my first book, and while I was writing it I was also reading everything I could from other authors about how to write a book as well as coming up with ideas down for other books in the Stranger Creatures series. The path I followed wasn’t exactly linear especially since I was worked on writing other things when I would get stuck on a chapter or scene of the original book.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  I write during the day when my children are at school and at night when (if) I can get the kids to go to sleep and not get up to ask me 500 questions. Sometimes I write really late at night when sensible people who aren’t working night shift have already gone to bed. I still have to get up early though, and I’m not a morning person. At all. Working on a chapter or scene in my head while I’m exercising or taking a shower or even on a drive is not unusual for me.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  In the beginning, all I had were vague ideas. I had to learn how to elaborate on those ideas in a way that would capture readers’ attention and hearts. Finding different techniques for showing action and creating suspense helped me to make stories more engaging and fun to read.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  Sometimes I have music or TV on in the background. Sometimes not.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I like to start writing and see where the idea takes me. With Wolf’s Challenge, I wrote many things out of order because when I started the story, I had an idea of what I wanted to happen at the beginning and end but no idea for the middle. It was more work to write it that way and I will never, ever, do that again. Unless I do. A vague outline would be helpful but with the story I’m working on right now, each chapter I write seems to decide the next chapter and I can’t seem to think further ahead than that. The process will probably be different for each book that I write. I blame the characters.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?  Having an author page on Facebook which allows me to advertise my author site or different posts about my books and links to purchasing sites was helpful. I was able to see if people were clicking on my links and liking posts and my site. The more people an author can reach at once, the better. I’m still getting the hang of this whole e book marketing thing, so I’m learning as I go.

Any advice for aspiring authors?  Networking with other authors and joining writing clubs can help an author learn about the business and make valuable contacts as well as new friends. Also, rejection isn’t the end of the world. Keep writing and keep revising. Get feedback about your work from friends and other writers.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  Derrick is one of the two main characters of Wolf’s Challenge. He is misjudged by Sydney, his love interest. Sydney is creative and strong willed but life has made her cautious, especially when it comes to men. Derrick is haunted by some of the mistakes he’s made. In the past, he worked too much and played the field too much, but that’s not the worst of it. One mistake in particular cost him the most important thing in his life and he’s still grieving that loss when he meets Sydney. Do Derrick and Sydney have the strength to let love outweigh caution and fear?

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  The Leftovers and Orphan Black are the two TV shows I like right now. For favorite movies, Good Will Hunting, Napolean Dynamite, and Avatar

Which writers inspire you?  One of the first writers to inspire me was S.E. Hinton. I loved the way she focused on the strengths, fears, and weaknesses of the characters. It’s what makes them so human.

What is the current book you are promoting? Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures 1)

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?  So far, I can tell you that my next story builds on two of the characters introduced in Wolf’s Challenge. I created a strong, smart heroine (you’ll never see any spineless, clueless heroines from me!) and a sexy, rough around the edges hero. The strong silent types are so much deeper than they seem, and I’m enjoying writing his character a lot.

Who is your least favorite character and why? In Wolf’s Challenge, Andra Pearson is my least favorite character. Her feelings for Derrick are weird and complicated and manage to get way out of control. Andra becomes a danger to everyone around her.

Where do you come up with your stories? My stories come from the strange questions, the “what if” scenarios, and the fears, and wishes I have running through my mind.

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? I have a sweet but obnoxious cat who likes to swipe my food andleo-the-cat wake me up in the middle of the night.

Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like? No. I can’t do it. I spent so many hours working on the editing that I just can’t look at it again anytime soon.

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?  I did at first but if you want a good love/sex scene you have to get over that self-consciousness and let the characters do what they’re gonna do and let them enjoy it as much as possible.

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?  I went the traditional route with a small but respectable e-publisher called Loose Id, LLC. Being new to the writing business, it was helpful to have the guidance of an experienced editor to help me hone my scenes to be as tight and focused as possible. Having the backing of a publisher to get my book onto e retailer sites was helpful to me. Marketing the book, well, that’s something every writer is responsible for whether they have a publisher or not. Finding the most cost effective and wide reaching methods to entice potential customers to buy a book is a journey an author must make on their own if they don’t have a large amount of funds to hire a publicist.

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published?  I think the stigma is diminishing as more authors choose the self publishing route.

What book are you currently reading or just finished?  I’m currently reading Blood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy

What do your fans mean to you?  Fans are a vital part of a writer’s success. Knowing there’s a few people out there who care enough to tell me what they like about my book, and what they want to see on my website or in my next book is the reason that I can keep writing.

Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others?  Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Many thanks! For more about Christina and her work, follow the links below:

Website / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon

New Book: Control by R.M. Gauthier

Control is book 1 in The Mystery of Landon Miller series

Can one night change everything?kindle-control-cover

After a night out with her best friend, Alexandria’s world is turned upside down making her re-evaluate her entire life. Meeting Landon Miller, a powerful businessman and owner of an exclusive club opens the door to a world she never knew existed. But, what lies beneath his business suit is a dark domain of mystery and control that unlocks a world of crime and punishment.

From the author:

After a year of experimenting with my novella, Longing, it’s finally time to release, Control, and I couldn’t be more excited to share this novel with the world. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here and I can’t believe it, still pinching myself.

Another piece of good news is that Book 2, Bound will follow shortly after, Control. My plan is to release Bound in January 2017, so fans won’t have to wait long for the follow up.

Meet Author Mary Ellis

Howdy my lovelies! Please welcome author Mary Ellis to Interview FoxSeat

Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances. Her latest, Magnolia Moonlight, is third of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, from Harvest House Publishers. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. She enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. Sunset in Old Savannah will release in early 2017. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or www.facebook.com/Mary-Ellis/Author

Book blurb: Magnolia Moonlight, inspirational romantic suspense. When a local Baptist preacher takes his own life, his congregation is quick to believe rumors, but his widow is certain his death was no suicide. When Price Investigations scratch beneath the surface, they discover Reverend Dean was a victim, not a thief.  The two newmagnolia-moonlight partners uncover an elaborate pyramid to bilk millions from unsuspecting non-profits, thousands of miles from the small town of Natchez where no one is whom they appear to be.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? It usually takes me six months to research, plot and outline, write, and then edit a 100,000 word book. And that is working 5-6 days a week, 8 hours a day. I would like to write a book every 9 months to provide more time for research, (and to actually take a break longer than one day between books!)

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I usually read the paper, have breakfast and exercise for an hour after I get up. I’m at my desk usually by 8:30. I work until around 1:00. Take an hour for lunch and walk the dog and then pound the keys until about 3:00 or 4:00. Then I do email and Facebook, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I must sign in and see what the world is doing! Social media can’t be so time-consuming if an author isn’t careful!

What have you written? I have written (and had published) twelve Amish romances, 1 Amish novella, and 3 historical romances set during the Civil War. I’m currently writing romantic suspense/mysteries. My series is called Secrets of the South, and I’m just finishing book 4, Sunset in Old Savannah. All published by Harvest House, except for the novella, which was published by Thomas Nelson.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I absolutely make a plot outline to keep the pacing on track. That being said, I change quite a few of my original ideas as I write. It’s difficult to predict all the twists and turns of a mystery. During my last book, I even changed who the eventual killer was.

Where do your ideas come from? Travel, every one of them! Whether I’m writing Amish stories, historical romances, or romantic suspense, my ideas come from traveling the country. I love interviewing people who live and work in an area, while indulging in the local sights, sounds, and tastes.

What is your favorite movie or TV show? My favorite TV show used to be Downton Abbey. I enjoyed the drama, the costumes, and especially that era. I was positively addicted. I watched each episode at least twice. I suppose my new favorite show is Houdini & Doyle. Come to think to it, both shows are British, no?

What is the current book you are promoting? The current book I’m promoting is Magnolia Moonlight…what happens when these intrepid private investigators finally uncovermary-ellis-low-res-full the true face of deceit behind the masks that surround them? It’s set in Natchez and Bay St. Louis, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is part of a stand-alone collection of mysteries set in the South.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? My new story is Sunset in Old Savannah. When a philandering husband turns up dead, our crack detectives have more suspects than moss-draped oaks in charming old Savannah.

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? I have two fur babies to keep me company while I write. Miss Chloe is part Chow/part Lab Retriever. And Barney is an American short-haired cat. Both were strays, abandoned by their former owners. I’m the lucky one!

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? Not to compare myself to others. It’s a hard lesson, andpeabody-fountain frankly, I’m still learning. It’s so easy to get caught up in the why-her-and-not-me conundrum. Not only is it pointless, comparison keeps us from achieving our full potential.

Thanks so much Mary for coming by! For more about Mary and her work follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Amazon / BookTrailers / Forums

Meet Author Carolyn Rae

Howdy my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Carolyn Rae

Carolyn Rae follows her passion, writing romantic suspense where bullets are flying, people are dying, and lovers are resisting attraction until they can escape the danger following them.

She taught home economics, family living, and English in Michigan, Illinois, and Texas. In Texas she taught and supervised ironwork, painting, and carpentry inmates at a federal prison, where she wrote and directed videos on nutrition and fair fighting for couples. She also worked as a paralegal in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Carolyn Rae is the author of Romancing the Gold, a romantic suspense novel and has a Witness Protection Series trilogy, Hiding from Love, Protected by Love, and Tempted by Love. Her latest e-book is Royal Wedding Cake, set in the fictitious world of the Royals of Monterra. She is also an author of There IS Life After Lettuce, a cookbook for heart patients and diabetics. Her profile and travel articles have appeared in the The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Romance Writer’s Report, and other newspapers and magazines. Her next book, to be released on July 13, is Searching for Love, from Wild Rose Press

Book blurb: SEARCHING FOR LOVE is a romantic suspense novel.

A search for her sister in Mexico leads to danger and love.

Tossed aside in favor of her sister, aSearchingforLove_w10774_750 large picture determined Valerie Trumbull reluctantly teams up with her ex-fiance’s brother, Matt Larson, to hunt her missing sister south of the Texas border.

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it? My full name is Carolyn Rae Williamson. Williamson is a long name. Carolyn Rae is shorter, so the letters can be larger and show up better on a book.

Why do you write? I like to tell stories.

When did you decide to become a writer? I worked as a teacher in a federal prison and thought their stories needed to be told, but first I had to learn how to write. Then I fell in love with romance novels, which I had read since I was a child and decided to write those instead.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? Six months, but I have written some in three months, which makes me feel pushed. I like to have time for my critique partners to read them and find mistakes or possible holes in my plots.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I attended a small writer’s conference, given by a group that has become the DFW Writer’s Workshop, a large group of dedicated writers who meet weekly to read chapters from their books on the way to becoming published. Authors in the group have had over 310 books published.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I ride my exercise bike and talk a walk five days a week. First thing in the morning is the only time I have enough energy and ambition to do that. Then I write until noon, when I fix lunch for my husband and myself. In the afternoon, I may write a little more, but I spend most of my time reading e-mail, facebook, and trying to promote my books. When I worked full time as a paralegal, I got up early and wrote for an hour before getting ready to leave for work. I’d write two hours on Saturday and Sunday. That way I wrote a book a year.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? When I write now, I remember to add visceral responses to show emotion and to slip in description of the setting unobtrusively, instead of writing a whole paragraph about it, which would slow the action of the story.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? Occasionally, but I generally prefer quiet. Luckily, the TV is in another room, so I can ignore it while my husband watches it.

What have you written? My first book was There IS Life After Lettuce, a cookbook for heart patients and diabetics, written because my husband has heart trouble, and my two co-authors were diabetics. As a home economics major in college, I knew how to reduce sugar and fat in recipes and how to calculate the nutrients.

My first romantic suspense novel, Romancing the Gold, was set at an archaeological dig in Peru. My Witness Protection Series, Hiding from Love, Protected by Love, and Tempted by Love, feature two women and a man, who needed to be in the program. I also wrote Royal Wedding Cake for the Kindle World featuring The Royals of Monterra. My latest book, Searching for Love, follows the hero and heroine through Mexico and Texas as they hunt her missing sister.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I’m definitely a plotter. I divide a large poster board into squares to represent chapters and then use Post-it Notes to write scenes on. I use pink for the heroine, blue for the hero, lavender for romance, and orange for danger or the villain. My current book has a villain and a villainess.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? For my traditionally published books, I use whoever the publisher chooses. For my self-published books, I use Charlene Raddon, who designs beautiful covers and is flexible about changing things to come up with something I like. Her website is charraddon@pobox.com.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? I put the first book in my Witness Protection Series up for free. Lots of people downloaded it, but I didn’t get many sales for the others.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Learn your craft. Join a writer’s group. When you have a book to sell, go to conferences. Editors and agents will usually ask to see all or part of your work. While they may later reject it, they usually tell you something about why they didn’t choose your novel, which can help you improve it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? Matt Larson is a resourceful lawyer. When he and Valerie are arrested and put in a Mexican jail, he checks the internet for laws. When he has to get his brother exonerated for a murder charge in another city, he asks a friend to let him work out of his friend’s San Antonio office.

Where do your ideas come from? Newspaper and magazine stories.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Rewriting and promoting. I hate to rewrite and begrudge the time I spend promoting when I want to be writing instead.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The one I’m working on now requires a lot of research on Coast Guard rescue. I usually write romantic suspense, but this is more of a mystery, which I have never written.

What is your favorite movie or TV show? Outlander.

Which writers inspire you? Roxanne St. Claire, Brenda Novak, Sandra Brown, and Angi Morgan, a friend who wrote for a long time before being published.

What is the current book you are promoting? Searching for Love

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. When a friend pulls Justin Sherrod from his family jewelry store business to investigate jewelry thefts in the idyllic Barefoot Bay resort town, he resists falling in love with Lisa, who is one of the main suspects, and works there as a craft teacher.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? Justin Sherrod, because he’s torn between working in the family business and going out on his own. Does he want to be a jeweler or a PI?

Who is your least favorite character and why? Stevie, because he’s trying to give his stepbrother trouble.

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school? I took a course in journalism in high school. I have taken writing courses at Tarrant County College and the University of Oklahoma.

Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend? Writing and Selling Your Novel, and Scene and Structure, by Jack Bickham, Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, by Nancy Kress, The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley, and Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? I’d like to see Kathleen Turner as Megan McKinley and Pierce Brosnan as Josh in Romancing the Gold, which is set at an archaeological dig in Peru and includes a chase through the jungle.

What is your next project? Just the Two of Us, a Kindle World book as part of Roxanne St. Claire’s Barefoot Bay Series.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? The Scarlet Pimpernel. He was the first superhero with a secret identity.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? Abraham Lincoln. When he was furious at someone, he’d write a letter spelling out how mad he was and how he felt, but he’d set it aside while he cooled down. Then he’d mark it, ‘never signed, never sent.’

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? Persuade people to settle their differences by peaceful protests, arguments, compromise, and voting to remove rulers they dislike.

Who inspires your writing? Other romance writers who pull me into their settings and stir my emotions.

Where do you come up with your stories? I get an idea of a situation and choose characters whose personalities would clash.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Gone with the Wind. It was a grand panorama of the civil war times and the personalities who lived it.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? How choosing a viewpoint character and staying in his or her viewpoint brings the reader into the story. I have given talks on that subject at writer’s groups and conferences.

Do have a favorite car or truck model? I’d like a Corvette, but can’t afford one.

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? I prefer to sell to traditional publishers, but I feel I have written some good stories and want others to read them. While I have sold to traditional publishers, I have also self-published some of my novels. However, there is a lot of competition, as well as some poorly written books, and some people hesitate to buy an unknown author because of that.

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? There still is in the minds of some readers.

What book are you currently reading or just finished? Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin.

What do your fans mean to you? I want to write stories they will enjoy.

Tell us something unique about you. I worked in a federal prison as a supervisor of inmates studying ironwork, carpentry, and painting. When they gave fellow inmates the test answers for the carpentry tests, I had to write a whole new test.

Thanks very much Carolyn for chatting! For more about the fabulous Carolyn and her work follow the links below:

 

Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

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