Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and psy/suspense author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover. My stories are about all-conquering love and romance, and I enjoy hosting other authors as well. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, multi-shifters, vamp-like Nephilim, Vodouin Fey, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

You might also like to visit my website.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dariel's Fridays With Friends Feature: Catrina Barton's New Release Interview

 Meet my friend, Catrina Barton (Kitty B!!). We met a while back, and she is a joy to know. Now, she has a new adult paranormal romance release to share, and she also agreed to an interview. She'd love to hear from you, so you'll find contact info below, and please feel free to leave a comment here :-)

1.     Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? Dangerous Temptation is a New Adult {too many older issues {like leaving home for the first time} are faced for it to be young adult} Paranormal Romance. I adore my main characters Kaitlin, and Cadmon. But, I'm partial to Banan. He deosn't speak in full sentences, but there is something about him that captured my heart. He's a side charcater for now, but his turn in the limelight is coming. What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases Dangerous Temptation is the first of a series. One of the future books will be Banan's story. It's slowly unfolding as I write Ean's story, which will be the second book. That's the project I will tackle next.

2.     Is there a common thread in your books? Yup, all of my Shifters are from either extinct, or endagered species. Though, not all are feline tribes. How do your values show up in your writing?Growing up I was {still am} fascinated by Native American legends, so I've tried to incorproate some of that into the Caspians' legends. What do you want readers to take from your writing? It's different for each reader. Some take away being able to relate to kaitlin and her situations, others with Cadmon, others take away hope for a brighter futre, and I hope a little more respect for the animal kingdom and Mother Nature in general.

3.     What do you look for in a good book? I want characters I can connect to, and a story that keeps me pulled in to the very end.  I want to see at least one unique twist and love to be surprised. Yeah, I know I'm picky. :P

4.     What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning? It's time consuming, grueling work, but it's also a lot of fun. Organization is the key to writing on a daily basis. The best writing comes from revising.

5.     Along that same line, what are some of your favorite resources? The Emotional Thesaurus. I cannot thank Becca Puglisi, and Angela Ackerman enough for writing it. This is my goto book when I find myself using repittious actions to show emotions.  Antoher is Self Editing For Fiction Writers {suggested to me by Angela Ackerman} It's a place to start when you revise, and toensure your books are ready before you publish them.

6.     What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged? Hubby's jokes. He makes me laugh, that's a pretty rare thing in my life {laughter} so yeah, his jokes, and talking to writer friends who understand my frustrations.  A nice hike helps too. Getting out into nature is always energizing for me and my family.

7.     What tips can you offer towards building and maintaining a strong support system as a writer? Be honest, and open to harsh feedback. Be willing to help others, and they will help you too. Above all else, don't be afraid to try. Fear is the biggest factor that keeps aspiring writers from becoming published authors.

 Dangerous Temptation:
Seventeen year-old orphan Kaitlin Sinclair's world gets turned upside down when she's forced to move half way around the world to Indonesia with her uncle she never knew existed. Things get worse when the demons she left behind in America follow her to the land of intrigue.

Her uncle forces her to attend a celebration where she meets Cadmon, a mysterious, captivating stranger, who reveals that he knew her parents. She uncovers secrets that in the wrong hands could destroy his endangered clan of were-tigers and the entire world.

When Kaitlin dives into a foreign culture, full of mystique and dangers everywhere she turns, keeping her heart safe might prove as impossible as staying alive!

About Catrina Barton

Catrina Barton is a real go-getter, who in 2006 turned her avid reading addiction since she was three, into a vigorous passion for writing. Especially Young Adult Romances. She draws on her knowledge as a Kung-Fu Instructor to make her fight scenes both realistic, and action packed. 
When not indulging her fertile imagination to craft stories for your reading pleasures, she enjoys hiking with her family, and amateur belly dancing.
Her love of writing, and her family, rival her exhilaration from helping fellow writers. She is a proud member of many writing, and marketing groups, and an active participant at Critique Circle, and several other crit groups.
Writes reviews for Safari Heat, and Satin Sheets Romance.

Favorite personal quote:
"An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement."

Social Media Links:
Blog: Kitty's Inner Thoughts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KittyB78
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kittyb78
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Catrina-Barton/e/B008BYQCYA
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6423796.Catrina_Barton
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/catrina-barton/49/682/165
Biblio: http://bibliocrunch.com/user-profile/KittyB78/
Single email notification for my next release: http://authoralarms.com/Catrina_Barton

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dariel's Bewitching Book Stop: "Storm Dancer" by Rayne Hall

Storm Dancer
Rayne Hall

Genre: Dark Epic Fantasy

Publisher: Scimitar Press

ISBN: 9781465716651 Smashwords
ISBN: 1230000010279 Kobo

Number of pages:  400
Word Count: 150,000

Book Description

Demon-possessed siege commander, Dahoud, atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence - but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Principled weather magician, Merida, brings rain to a parched desert land. When her magical dance rouses more than storms, she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from danger.

Thrust together, Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival. But how can they trust each other, when hatred and betrayal burn in their hearts?

'Storm Dancer' is a dark epic fantasy. Caution: this book contains some violence and disturbing situations. Not recommended for under-16s.  British spellings.

Note: Storm Dancer has dark elements which some readers may find disturbing. Not recommended for readers under 16, not suitable for YA blogs.

Contains British English. Some words, spellings, grammar and punctuation will be different than American English.
About Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).
She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.
Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win an ebook  "The Colour of Dishonour - Stories from the Storm Dancer World" 

STORM DANCER - EXCERPT - First Scene (1500 words)

Even in the shade of the graffiti-carved olive tree, the air sang with heat. Dahoud listened to the hum of voices in the tavern garden, the murmured gossip about royals and rebels. If patrons noticed him, they would only see a young clerk sitting among the lord-satrap's followers, a harmless bureaucrat. Dahoud planned to stay harmless.
The tavern bustled with women - whiteseers hanging about in the hope of earning a copper, traders celebrating deals, bellydancers clinking finger cymbals - women who neither backed away from him nor screamed.
The youngest of the entertainers wound her way between the benches towards their table, the tassels on her slender hips bouncing, the rows of copper rings on her sash tinkling with every snaky twist. Since she seemed nervous, as if it was her first show, he sent her an encouraging smile. Ignoring him, she shimmied to Lord Govan.
The djinn slithered inside Dahoud, stirring a stream of fury, whipping his blood into a hot storm. Would she dare to disregard the Black Besieger? What lesson would he teach to punish her insolence?
 Dahoud stared past her sweat-glistening torso, the urge to subdue her washing over him in a boiling wave. For three years, he had battled against the djinn's temptations. To indulge in fantasies would batter his defences and breach his resistance. He focused on the flavours on his tongue, the tart citron juice and the sage-spiced mutton, on the tender texture of the meat.
Govan clasped the dancer's wrist and drew her close. “Come, honey-flower, let's see your blossoms.”
She tried to pull herself from his grip. Panic painted her face. Against a lesser man's groping, she might defend herself with slaps and screams, but this was the lord-satrap. She was too young to know how to slip out of such a situation, and none of her older colleagues on the far side of the garden noticed her plight. The other clerks at the table laughed.
“My Lord,” Dahoud said. “She doesn't want your attentions.”
“She’s only a bellydancer.” Contempt oiled Govan's voice. Still, he released the girl’s hand, slapped her on the rump, and watched her scurry towards the safety of the musicians. “These performers are advertised as genuine Darrians. I have a mind to have them arrested for fraud. I suspect ...” He ran the tip of his finger along his eating bowl. “They're mere Samilis.”
Dahoud, himself a Samili, refused to react to the jab. Govan was not only satrap of the province, but Dahoud's employer, as well as the father of the lovely Esha.
“Samilis are everywhere these days.” Peering down his nose, Govan swirled the wine in his beaker. “Not that I have anything against Samilis. Given the right kind of education, their race can develop remarkable intelligence, practically equal to that of Quislakis. They can make valuable contributions to society.” He stroked the purple fringe of his armband, insignia of his rank. “Provided they respect their betters.”
The other clerks at the table bobbed their chins in eager agreement.
Dahoud the Black Besieger would not have tolerated taunts from this pompous peacock, but Dahoud the council clerk had to bow. Submission was the price for guarding his secret.
At the entry arch, a short man in the yellow tunic and turban of a royal rider was consulting with the tavern keeper.
“Is that messenger looking for you, my Lord?” Dahoud asked.
Govan shifted into his official pose and summoned the man with a flick of his sandalwood fan. The courier walked on bowed legs as if he still had a mount between his thighs. Conversations halted, glances followed him, and whiteseers peered, anticipating business.
Lord Govan put on his official smile to receive the leather-wrapped parcel.
“Forgive me, my Lord,” the herald said. “The message I carry is for Dahoud, the clerk.”
Govan’s hand pulled back and his smile vanished.
Dahoud's stomach went cold: The Queen or her Consort would not write to an ordinary clerk. After three years of respite, his anonymity was breached. He stripped off the camel-skin wrap and broke the scroll's seal. The ends of the purple ribbon dropped into the mutton sauce.
“The High Lord Kirral, Consort to the Great Luminous Queen, greets Dahoud, council clerk in the satrapy of Idjlara: Present yourself at the palace without delay. The Queendom needs the Black Besieger. K.”
The expansive curves of the signature “K” claimed more space on the parchment than the message.
 In his bowl, the uneaten mutton was going cold, whitish grease separating from the sauce. A large fly drifted belly-up in the liquid, its legs clawing for a hold in the air. The memories of siege warfare wrapped around Dahoud, those sour-sweet odours of fear and faeces, of disease and burning flesh.
At twenty-five, he had a conscience heavier than a brick-carrier’s tray and more curses on his head than a camel had fleas. He had left the legion to cut himself off temptation, to deprive the djinn of fodder. After a siege, rape was legal, a soldier's right, practically expected of him, part of the job. By returning to war, he would forfeit his victories over his craving. The djinn would again be his master.
Yet he ached to wear the general's cloak again, to silence sneering bureaucrats, to make women take notice. He lusted for that power the way a heavy drinker, deprived of his solace, ached for a sip of wine. The yearning to wield a sword ached in his arms, his chest throbbed with the urge to command, and his loins flamed with the dark desire. He felt the panting breaths of women and their hot resisting bodies, smelled the scent of female fright and sweating fury.
“Why is the Consort writing to you?” Govan leant forward to grab the document. “You’re out of your depth with royal matters. I'll read and explain.”
“Why should I want your counsel?” Dahoud tucked the rolled parchment into his belt.
“Don’t get pert, Samili!” Govan barked. “Give me that letter.”
“The Consort summons.” Dahoud rose. “Good afternoon, my Lord. Don't expect me back soon.”
He strode to the exit, his mind reeling like a spindle. Could he deny that he was the Black Besieger? Refuse a royal order? Lead an army without stimulating the djinn?
On a low stone wall near the entrance gate, a row of whiteseers perched like hungry birds. Whiteseers had glimpses of futures others could not even imagine. One of them slid off the wall and sauntered in his direction. A coating of pale clay covered her sharp-boned triangular face and her long hair, and painted black and blue rings adorned her clay-whitened arms.
“Your hands,” she demanded.
“I need to know what will happen if -”
“Give your copper to a soothsayer,” she snapped. “We white ones only give advice. We can see the future; we can see several futures for everyone, but we won’t tell you all we see.”
“Advice is all I want.”
“That’s what they all say. Yet everyone asks for more. I give one piece of advice, the best I can give to help a client. They always demand that I tell them what I see. Well, I won’t.” Nevertheless, she grabbed the copper ring from Dahoud’s fingers and threaded it on her neck-thong. Her tunic smelled of old sweat and mouldy wool.
She grasped his hands to pinch their flesh, her long nails tickling. Her white paint contrasted with Dahoud’s bronze tan. When she felt the pulse and lifted his hand to her face to listen and sniff, he could have sworn he saw her blanch under the white clay as her closed eyes stared into his past. She sagged forward and stayed in a silent slouch.
At last she straightened, her eyes wide, her mouth open, but no words burst forth. So she had seen what he had done, and worse, what he might do once more.
“I assure you, I'll never again...”
“I can’t read if you chatter.” She frowned at his hands. “My advice: Get stronger arms.”
He flexed his biceps, startled. “My arms are strong! I do trickriding, I wrestle, I lift weights.” Every night, Dahoud exercised until his muscles screamed, to block out his cravings and punish his body for its desires.
The seer’s mouth curled with contempt, making more clay crumble. “You’re not listening. I didn't say strong. I said stronger.” She pinched his biceps. “Much stronger.”
“What difference can arm muscles make?”
“I told you to give your copper to a soothsayer.” She ambled off, leaving a cloud of unwashed stink and crumbles of clay.
Dahoud hurried to the stable to ready his horse. He had to persuade the Consort not to send the Black Besieger back to war. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dariel's Interview Feature: Maya Pruett

Maya Pruett is visiting me again because we didn't have time to get her interview together before her last visit :-) Here's her interview! Join me as I welcome her back. I hate to throw all those questions at someone and not get answers, so here we go...

1.     When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality?

Great question. I don't know how much I can expound on it, but for years, writing was always in the back of my mind. Like some witches brew trying to gather enough of the right ingredients.

I used to buy books on how to write, and things like dictionaries of word origins. I'd tell myself, this is for later, when I get time to try that writing thing. It wasn't in the forefront of my consciousness until I was about 35.

What really happened though, is one day I was sitting in my room in LA and I said to myself, 'Maya you always said when you didn't have a boyfriend, you were going to sit down and write.' So I grabbed some paper and wrote my first childrens book entitled The Adventures of Allegra Alaska. I have not gone a day without writing since.

2.     What 3 things would you like readers to know about you? Well, in light of what has happened to Lance Armstrong. I think you should know that I have never doped, had a blood transfusion, or won a Tour de France.

3.     LOL. Okay. Poor Lance. What was he thinking? Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s (works in progress), upcoming releases. I always have 55 irons in the fire, but The Cat Food Chronicles book two is in development. And I also would like to write a screenplay. However, I have work like my childrens picture book series 
Ivan Moltenbocker Jr. Presents already finished. I want to work on getting the series published. I have sixteen seriously silly stories for all the little gromlets out there.

4.     Is there a common thread in your books? How do your values show up in your writing? What do you want readers to take from your writing? That I am trying to make them laugh and that I spent many years slaving away … I mean just toiling, to get them to giggle. I joke but it's hard work and it feels good when people get that. I mean, you can just get ripped to shreds in a review simply because the reader thought it was going to be something it was never meant to be. I often wonder how some reviews would change if people took into account the blood, sweat, tears, and years we put into a book.

5.     I doubt most would change much. People have all kinds of various and sundry reasons why they do and say things, and sometimes they really believe being nasty and overly critical equates with honesty. Go figure! What do you look for in a good book? Great characters, interesting storyline, uniqueness.

6.     What are some of the best social media, marketing, and publicity tips you’ve come across? If you're a writer read, Amanda Hocking's blog she has such good information on their for you. And she knows, because she has definitely been there done that. Also, John Locke’s book How I Sold One Million ebooks In 5 Months is well worth the price. He breaks down how to master the top social networking sites.

7.     What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning? What are some of the greatest challenges, in your opinion? My greatest challenge has been having to have a regular job. For me writing is a full time gig and hopefully soon it will be my one and only. Also, often it is hard for other people to understand that you have a vision and sometimes that vision takes years to manifest. So I keep my eye on the prize and work my tail off.

8.     That’s why other authors become so important to you. Seems only other writers understand that. Along that same line, what are some of your favorite resources? The Internet is a dream come true for writers, it's all there at your finger tips.  And never forget your contemporaries, there is so much help from other authors by way of their blogs

·        What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged? I go on youtube and look for new Abraham/Hicks videos. If you don't know who Abraham/Hicks is, you are in for a treat. Watch one today!

Thanks so much for visiting and chatting with me today, Maya! Looking forward to more of your books!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dariel's Feature: Interview with Kayelle Allen + Two M/M Romances

Join me in welcoming my friend and author, Kayelle Allen! She wears many, many hats. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, etc. and read her interview. You won't want to miss some of her insights :-)

1.     When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality?

I started writing stories before I could spell. I remember my mother telling me I had to learn how to spell so my scribbles would make sense, but that I’d made a good effort. I think I was 4 or 5. I wrote my first book at 18. After 400+ pages, I realized it was a lot of work, took some time to think about that, and tried again at 30. Guess what? It was still a lot of work. ;) I put it aside again. By the time I decided to dust it off and treat it like a business, I was 50. Since then, I’ve made it my life’s work. Yes, writing is hard. You spend time alone, working with no one to cheer you on. When you finish, you have to sell a publisher on the idea, then edit it, promote it, and protect it from pirates. Why would anyone want to be a writer, unless it was something they just couldn’t help doing? I tried to quit. Twice! And here I am. Steps I took once I’d decided the work was worth it -- I found a critique group, wrote out a history for my story world, developed the concepts, and began teaching myself writing skills. I read everything in my genre I could get my hands on. I read books about writing. And I wrote and rewrote and then rewrote my stories some more. I made myself write for at least 15 minutes every day. You can’t do anything for 15 minutes every day without getting good at it eventually. The number one thing I had to do was not mind that it was work.

2.     What 3 things would you like readers to know about you?
a)     I love to hear from readers, first and foremost. I do all this for you, so if you have an opinion, good or bad, I’d love to know.
b)    I created my own website, and have way over 100 pages on there. It’s made for readers to explore and discover hidden pages. There are some trap doors to spring, as well as some hidden secrets. Should you ever ever ever contact Pietas? You’ll have to find the button that lets you do that and decide for yourself. Should you trust the Sleeper? Think about that before deciding. But did you know you can actually submit a resume to work for Lucsondis? No personality-cloned androids need apply however.
c)     On a personal note, I’m married; I have 3 grown children, and 5 grandchildren. Since I’m only 18 years old myself, I’m not sure how I managed that. ;)

3.     Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases.

Here’s the chronological order for my Science Fiction Romance series. All are M/M except as noted: Wulf: Tales of the Chosen, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure (M/F), For Women Only (M/F), Alitus: Tales of the Chosen, Jawk: Tales of the Chosen, Surrender Love. All are set in the Tarthian Empire and have overlapping characters. You can read them alone, but if you read them in this order you’ll see things as they unfold. If you have no patience for series, then read Surrender Love. It’s the latest, and does a fair job of catching you up on everyone. Then as you find you’re interested in particular characters, explore their books. Favorite characters? Well, Luc Saint-Cyr is in every one of the books set in the Tarthian Empire, but so are a few others.

Latest book: Fifty Gays of Shade. It’s an M/M BDSM anthology from Torquere Press. Here’s the blurb: Welcome to Shady Business, the hottest gay BDSM club in town. Owned by Grey Shade, it's the place you want to be if you're into leather, whips, crops, and hot and steamy sex.
Each story in this anthology takes the reader inside the club for a steamy, hot night filled with passion, sex, and leather. From love stories that pluck at the heartstrings with riding crops to subs masquerading as Doms, from virginal first-time forays into the scene, to tales of experienced members in the leather community, there's something for every reader here. Top or bottom, Dom or sub, every need is met, every desire filled.
At Shady Business, no good deed ever goes unpunished.
The book is edited by Kiernan Kelly, with stories by Kiernan Kelly, Kayelle Allen, KC Burn, Lydian Harker, CR Guilano, Sascha Illyvich, Wt Prater, Emily Moreton, CC Bridges, Wade Kelly, CB Conwy, DC Juris, Amelia June, KC Wells, Winnie Jerome, PT Walden, and Sean Michael.

Coming April 23rd: a mini-sequel to Surrender Love (Loose Id) called Forbid My Heart (M/M). Blurb: Waking in the middle of the night, Izzorah seeks Luc for comfort. His lover has pledged to take him back to his homeworld, but Izzorah knows the fact that they’re gay could cause their death if the Kin Pride Council hears about it. Izzorah’s heart tells him to trust Luc, but his fear is real. Luc can’t seem to accept that some things aren’t worth fighting for, and tries to distract Izzorah by a sexy game of dominance and submission played during their shared shower. For Izzorah, trusting Luc is easy. Trusting his own heart has never been so hard, or so rewarding.

No release date yet, but I have a short story coming out from Ellora’s Cave later this year. Blurb: Keeper of My Pleasure is a male/female BDSM romance. Koo Ayakura is a recent college graduate. He restored an antique car, and when it’s stolen and the thieves hold him liable for damages, he seeks a lawyer. Rai Whethen is in her late thirties, and a successful attorney. Her penchant for handsome young men with long hair is easy to indulge, but Koo, her newest client, makes her long for more than the usual boy toy. After she wins his case, he agrees to go to dinner with her, and then to being tied up and whipped. Koo not only submits, he enjoys submitting, and wants more. Perhaps Rai has found that perfect partner she’s been seeking. She longs to take Koo beyond sub to full time lover, but he’s a young man with a future ahead of him, and she’s a jaded lawyer. He wants sex, not love. Yes, he gives in to her the way she’d always dreamed it could be with a lover. She trusts him to submit. But to keep Koo close to her, Rai is going to have to learn to trust her heart.

4.     Is there a common thread in your books? How do your values show up in your writing? What do you want readers to take from your writing?

My books cover diverse and unconventional families, interspecies and multicultural relationships, role-playing games, conspiracies, war, duty, honor, respect, love, and through it all -- humor. I love to laugh. I have characters who giggle while making love, or who play pranks on one another. There is humor in the absurd. One scene in At the Mercy of Her Pleasure features a robotic suitcase that goes berserk at precisely THE absolute worst possible time, and havoc ensues as the characters try to deal with it. In Surrender Love, Izzorah is healed from being almost blind, and Luc is excited to share the world with him. Trouble is, he completely forgets that Rah hasn’t seen the outdoors in years, and when they walk outside, he is exposed to the bright blue wide-open sky -- and freaks. Everyone goes into panic mode thinking there’s something terribly wrong -- but it’s just Izzorah having a minor meltdown because there was suddenly more of everything than he knew how to deal with. Luc has to stop and deal with his fear, and it’s a tender moment laced with humor. If there isn’t a dollop of humor somewhere, you aren’t reading one of my books.

What do I hope they take away? I make this promise to my readers, right on my homepage: “I promise you a complex plot that immerses you in an exciting tale and provides unexpected action in settings so real you'll swear you've been there.”

5.     What do you look for in a good book?

Great editing. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, it yanks me out of a story to find typos and grammatical errors. I’m not talking about the one mistake that every editor in the publishing house overlooked in chapter ten -- I’m talking about poor writing and editing that allows blatant errors on page one. If I pick up a book and it has errors in the first couple of pages -- I put it back down. It tells me the rest of the book will be the same way, and I’d rather read than edit. My inner editor won’t shut up, so writing has to be top notch for me to enjoy a story. I wish I was oblivious to it, but I can’t be. Will you find errors in my work? Probably. No one is perfect, but I strive for it with everything in me. I expect the same in a story I buy.

6.     What are some of the best social media, marketing, and publicity tips you’ve come across?

How long do you have? LOL I created Marketing for Romance Writers to share them with everyone. Favorite tip: grab your name on every new social media out there. Sign up, create a profile, and then if you want to forget it for a bit, fine. If you decide to use it later, it’ll be waiting for you. Nothing worse than discovering you want a program later, but someone has already tied up your name and you have to think of creative ways around it. Also, sometimes signing up is free at first, but later you have to pay. It’s good to be ahead of the game.

7.     What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning?

That it’s work. That it’s a business. It isn’t just telling a story. You must do that of course. But once you tell the story, you have to edit, publish, edit more, promote, protect, and so on. It’s like a baby -- you don’t just have it and then throw it out the door. You have to care for it. If you are serious about writing, you need to get serious about your career as a writer too.

8.     Along that same line, what are some of your favorite resources?

A new one that I don’t know how I ever did without is ProWritingAid. It’s a free service that edits for you online. You can get a pro version of it as well, but the free one is amazing. It has 19 reports you can get just by entering your text and clicking “analyze.” I have beta readers, but before it goes to them, it goes here. Once it’s polished with this, I send it to my beta readers who go over continuity of story, characterization, and story theme. When they’ve approved it, it goes to my publisher for editing.

For research, there’s nothing like Google. You can find anything with that search engine. If you have an image but don’t know who or what it is, you can go to Google, click Images, and drag the image to the search box. It will find matching images for you so you know more. Amazing way to find data. Try dragging your book covers there! You will be surprised what it finds.

9.     What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?

Discouraged as a writer? A good review. When I get one, I copy it, paste it into Word, and save it in a file. Then when I need a snippet (or a pick me up) I can find it again. I always include the URL so I can go back to it later. Those change when sites archive, so be ready to do some research to find them later.
Discouraged as a person? I get out of the house and go for a walk. Get some rest. Get away from work. I spend time with my grandchildren. Nothing picks you up like time with kids. If you’re discouraged because you have kids you can’t get away from -- bless you. ;) I’ve been there! All I can say is -- you will survive. Just hang in there and try to enjoy as well as endure. Twenty years from now, you’ll look back and remember these times as the good old days. No, it doesn’t help now. But it will. It gets better.

10.                  What tips can you offer towards building and maintaining a strong support system as a writer?

Befriend other authors. Take time to support them. If you do that, you will always find a friend when you need one. No one reads just one book. People crave good stories and good authors. Your author friends have readers looking for things to read, and you should be telling your readers about them as well. Find people who write stories similar to yours, and read their books. Review them. Email them and tell them how much you love their work. Tweet a link to their website. Friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. You could mean the world to another author. When you have a new book out, guess who will be glad to have you come by and share?

Links to books by Kayelle Allen
Barnes and Noble - http://is.gd/MMkil7
Torquere Press - http://is.gd/50gaysofshade

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dariel's Bewitching Spotlight: Interview with R.L. Naquin

R.L. Naquin Interview at Musings of an Independent Artist

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Dariel! Tough questions. I was a little worried you might mark me down for not using a number two pencil.

LOL! I knew you could handle them just by looking at your book J

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your
first steps toward making your dream a reality?

When I was in fourth grade, the wonderful children's writer Zylpha Keatley Snyder visited our school and talked to our class, since she'd once been a teacher there. She sparkled like a magical angel from outer space, and I knew from that moment that I wanted to be a magical angel from outer space, too.

It took a long time for me to stop letting other things get in the way of what I wanted, but in the end, getting started really was simple. Sit down. Write a book. Finish the book. Edit the book. Submit the book. Not complicated, but it took a lot of self-flagellation every time I got distracted by LOLcats or Buffy marathons.

2. I know exactly what you mean about letting other things get in the way or your dreams. Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can
we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases

I write the urban fantasy Monster Haven series. The first one is Monster in My Closet, and the second, Pooka in My Pantry, comes out next week. Book three, Fairies in My Fireplace will be out in September, and three more will follow. I also have a free short story in the same world. It falls chronologically between Monster and Pooka. You can download it here: Ill-Conceived Magic.

I think everybody's favorite character so far has been Maurice, the closet monster. He bakes, he sings, he cleans toilets, and he's the best friend anyone could ever have.

3. Sounds like I’ll love Maurice. Is there a common thread in your books? How do your values show up in
your writing? What do you want readers to take from your writing?

I think the common thread through the series is the importance of friendship, and how family doesn't always refer to blood relatives, or even people in the same species.

I think my values show up in the fact that Zoey is an urban fantasy heroine who doesn't kick ass with her mad judo skills, sleep around, or get too snarky with people. She's kind. She helps people. As an empath, it's hard for her to hurt someone's feelings simply because those hurt feelings will bounce right back at her and cause her pain in return. Her growth comes from learning how to stand up for herself and not let people take advantage of her.

When people finish my books, I hope they walk away feeling a little lighter, a little more relaxed, as if they'd taken a short vacation. I'm not trying to change the world with my work. I'm just trying to amuse people for a short time.

4. I like that, too. I think we share the philosophy about reading as entertainment – a short vacation. Along those lines, what do you look for in a good book?

Escape. I read to go away for a while. A good book takes me somewhere else, shows me a good time, then brings me back home.

5. Yes, yes, and yes! Reading is an escaper for me, too. As far as reality goes, what are some things you know now about writing and being an author
that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning?

Writing is only part of the job. In fact, I spend far more time on editing, admin, promotion, and brainstorming than I do on writing. In April, I've got a clear calendar and I get to go back to writing for a while. I can't tell you how excited I am by that.

6. I can imagine. I’m gonna try that – clear some time to just write. What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?

Anything to do with Disney, whether it's a movie, YouTube videos of park walkthroughs, or kicking my husband's butt at Disney Trivial Pursuit.

The important thing, when I'm discouraged, is to walk away for a little while and settle my brain on something else. Discouragement and low spirits usually mean I'm trying too hard and need to hit refresh.

7. What tips can you offer towards building and maintaining a strong support
system as a writer?

My local writers group has been amazing. Find at least one other writer you can relate to in real life. Online is great, but in-person is better. Writers are often hermits. If I didn't have people dragging me out to work in a coffee shop from time to time, I'd probably never go outside, I'd lose my mind, and I'd never have a reason to put on pants.

LOL! So true. Thank you for talking with me and letting us get to know you a little better. I wish you much success, and let’s stay in touch J
 For more info about R.L. and her books, click here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dariel's 2013 Writing Goals Revisited

Ah, the advent of Spring. Resurrection Day, bright colors, blooming flowers, and...time to revisit my goals. ** = Completed.

As you can see, I've gotten off to a pretty good start. Published "Dark Sentinels Book Two: Torin" mid-February, so it's still a relatively new release, and sent the manuscript of "The Alerians - Dark Progeny Series" book 2 - "Gideon's Light" to my publisher (it was approx. a week later than I'd originally planned). 

I made a couple of revisions for two reasons: "Gideon's Light" was a bit late (it just kept growing!), and I got side-tracked (happens a lot) by another story so vivid I just had to write it. That's what I'm doing right now (note #3).

Finally, I decided to hold off on content edits to my mega-long reincarnation novel until next year so I can release book one of my new series, "Children of Cain" no later than the end of January. Notice, too that I'm planning to release "Dark Sentinels Book Three: Parrish," "The Alerians - Dark Progeny: Gideon's Light" (bk.2), "The Alerians - Dark Progeny: Rehobeth's Passion" (bk.3), and finish the outline of "Dark Sentinels Book Four" by the end of the year. We'll see how that goes.
  1. Complete rewrites for book 2 of “Dark Sentinels” series and release in February.**
  2. Complete book 2 of “The Alerians – Dark Progeny” series and send to editor by mid-March. **
  3. Complete erotic romance short and submit to publishers by end of March.
  4. Complete Complete book 3 of “The Alerians – Dark Progeny” series and send to editor by mid-June.
  5. Complete book 3 of “Dark Sentinels” to send to editor by mid-August.
  6. Complete rewrites for book 3 of “Dark Sentinels” and release end of September.
  7. Complete Christmas novelette by end of October to send to editor.
  8. Complete outline of “Children of Cain Book One: Ishmael” by end of October.
  9. Successfully complete Nano Wrimo draft with “Children of Cain.”
  10. Complete "Children of Cain Bk.1" by mid-December
  11. Complete outline of "Dark Sentinels Book Four" by end of December.
Click here for a Sneak Peek Sunday snippet of the erotic romance short I'm working on

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dariel's Fridays with Friends Interview: "Ashwood Falls Series" by Lia Davis

Happy Friday Everyone! Lia Davis is my featured guest today, and she has some fantastic books for your perusal. After you take a look at her books, sit back and get to know a little more about her. Yes, there's an excerpt from "A Tiger's Claim," and an interview with soul searching questions (probably not, but fun anyway) :-) Also, make sure to stop by The Romance Troupe's Spring Break Hop. Today's the last day to enter our drawing for a Kindle Fire or $200 + other great stuff for free! Info is just below this post.

Ashwood Falls Series
By Lia Davis

Series blurb:
There comes a time when setting your differences aside isn’t just necessary, it’s a means of survival. After losing over half of their dens to a group rogue shifters, the wolves and leopards merged as one Pack, but living together is much more of a challenge then they expected.

Title: Winter Eve, Ashwood Falls prequel 
Author: By Lia Davis
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Danica Welsh was born to be the leopard pack healer. An accident involving a drug induced youth left her badly burned and scared—emotionally and physically. Without the ability to heal by touch, she secludes herself to the edge of town, away from Ashwood Falls’ overly concerned citizens. All hope of mating and family become a distance dream. When she finally starts to accepts the long, lonely existence ahead of her, a stranger crashes into her life, and her heart.

After Nevan Mathews’ fiancĂ©e died three ago, he submerged himself into his work, cutting off all reminders of a life he dreamed of with the woman he loved. He lets his step-mother talk him into taking the first vacation in five years to visit for the holidays. But an accident delays his travel plans, sending him to Danica’s doorstep and raises a need he thought he would never feel again.

Can they tear down the walls around their hearts and submit to the passion before another claims Dani for his own?

Warning: Contains a shifter who's scars run deeper than skin, a human who has the heart of a shifter, and a snow storm that's sure to have them both reaching for warmth.

Buy Links:

Title: A Tiger’s Claim ~ Ashwood Falls, book 1
Author: By Lia Davis
Genre: Paranormal Romance

As the Alpha’s only daughter Shayna Andrews has always been treated like a rare gem, protected like royalty, and she’s suffocating.  Her longing to be independent has driven her to sneak out one evening after dinner. After relishing in being able to run free without an escort, she finds herself face-to-face with the enemy, miles from home, and nearly loses her life until a lone wolf comes to her aid.

Travis Hunter’s main objective is to destroy the Onyx Pack—a group of drug using, murdering rogue shifters. His seek-and-destroy plans are put on hold when he rescues a female from a brutal attack. The beautifully exotic tiger shifter, Shayna, stirs a passion he thought died with his long-lost mate.

When Shay’s first heat cycle slams into her, Travis has no choice but to submit to her needs—and his own. But there is always a price to sleeping with the Pack princess. Not only will they have to face her Pack, Shay and Travis will have to deal with a mating that is beyond a single night and could have consequences more than either of them had thought. And when Travis finds out Shay wears the enemy’s brand, things will go from bad to worse.

Warning: One alpha female who doesn't take no for an answer, a wolf with more on the line than just his heart, and a combustible attraction that's sure to cause more than one sweaty night.


Travis Hunter’s blood froze in his veins at the piercing female scream that echoed through the forest. He was moving just as the sharp scent of blood tinted the crisp mountain air mixed with the rancid smell of the rogue mutants. His night vision, along with the silver glow of the full moon, allowed him to maneuver around the trees with ease. Just before reaching the rogues, he took one last leap and shifted in mid-air, his clothes dissolving in a flash, then replaced by brown fur. He landed on a human-like rogue and locked his teeth onto the male’s throat. With a jerk, Travis snapped his spinal cord at the base of his neck. Dropping the limp body, he turned in time to take the full force of a mutant as he attacked. They rolled in a tangle of limbs until slamming against a large rock.
Travis bit back the pain that rocked through his body. Fury built inside him and called the internal flame he kept contained since the night his burned his den down. Heat grew in his cells, consumed him fully until he glowed in a reddish-orange hue.
The mutant’s eyes grew round in fear with the knowledge that Travis held the power to call fire at will. Or, in this case, out of pure rage. Travis snapped his teeth and growled at the half-wolf, half-man, then slammed his paw into the creature’s chest and shoved the heat into the mutant. The fire consumed him in a flash of orange and blue flames.
Travis whirled away from the screams of the burning male and froze. Several feet away another male, this one in human form, crouched over the still body of a female.  A low growl escaped from his throat as he charged. Travis barreled into the large male. He tackled him to the ground and bit down on the male’s neck, hard enough to break through the skin and bone.
After throwing the dead male aside, Travis shifted back to his human form and went to the female. Crouching down beside her, he pressed two fingers to her throat. Relief washed some of the rage away when a weak pulse fluttered under his fingers. He scooped her up in his arms and carried her home.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality?

I always had an interest in writing. I loved creative writing in school and loved to make up stories and characters. I first made the step to make writing my career was when I started reading paranormal romance about three years ago. I loved the worlds of magic, suspense, and romance so much I wanted to create my own paranormal worlds. I love it more than I dreamed.
So do I, Lia :-)
What 3 things would you like readers to know about you?

One: I am married to my real life romance hero and I share a birthday with him. DH and I are compatible in almost every way. We think alike and can finish each other’s thoughts. After 12 1/2 years, he still holds me in the center of his world and opens doors for me.
Amazing! You are blessed.
Two: I’m a cat person. I have two kitties, Paisley and Precious. Both are around seven years old. Precious is older by about four months. They are my furry, four-legged kids, always in my heart and in trouble. LOL

Three: Even though I’m shy and most the time quiet, I love random acts of silliness. It usually happens when I think no one is paying attention to me and only around those closest to me who love me even when I’m being a dork. :)

Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases

I write paranormal romance with heat levels from hot to scorching. My first series, The Divinities, is about a group of witches with supernatural powers who are drug into an ancient war between demons and witches.

My new series, Ashwood Falls, is a shapeshifter romance centering around a wolf Pack and a leopard Pack who had to merge together as one Pack into order to survive as some burial attacks from a group of rogues that want total domination over all shifters. Winter Eve is the prequel that released this past December and opens my new shifter world. Book 1, A Tiger’s Claim, releases next week.

My current WIPs are Ashwood Falls, book 2 (A Mating Dance) and The Divinities, book 3 (The Dark Divine). I also have a new series coming that I’ll be co-writing with my BFF Carrie Ann Ryan.
They all look and sound great. I'm partial to the shifter romances. I'll look forward to you and Carrie's books.
What do you look for in a good book?

Suspense, mystery, and romance. I think I have a touch of ADD so the story has to keep my interest from the first page to the last. It has to keep me guessing and the romance has to be believable.
Yes!  Apparently lots of us are OCD, ADD, or both. LOL
What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?

Music! I alter my playlist according to my mood and the scene I’m writing. Chocolate and wine also works. LOL

What tips can you offer towards building and maintaining a strong support system as a writer?

Join a critique group and don’t be afraid to talk with other writers. One of the first things I notice is that writers are awesome when it comes to offering advice and networking with. Be professional and love what you write.

Thank you so much for participating in Fridays with Friends, Lia! J

You are so welcome! Thanks so much for having me

Lia will be giving away an eCopy of Winter Eve, $5 Starbucks GC and swag pack to one lucky commenter.

Author Bio

Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, graphic designer, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!

An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing and designing are stress relievers that allow her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.

Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.

Author website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | G+

Don't forget to enter The Romance Troupe's Spring Break Hop :-) Think Kindle Fire, $200...