Summer Fire... in Winter

I'm so excited to have Deniz Bevan here today talking about her new release, a super hot short. Summer Fire is packed full of all the good stuff in delicious quick read.

Tell us about yourself and how you got into writing. 

Hi Tara! Thank you for having me here.

I’m a writer from Montreal, Canada, currently living in Switzerland. I’ve been writing stories for as far back as I can remember, since I was 5 and wrote about a boy looking for his cow, who turned out to be on the moon. I don’t really remember what sparked my drive to write, though it had something to do with my first grade teacher. Thank you, Mrs Allan!

It was only after I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series over 10 years ago, and joined the Compuserve Books and Writers Community, that I finally started focusing more on the editing stages of the writing process, and began trying to polish some of my stories and novels with a view to publication. It feels like the end of a chapter to know that the Community will be permanently shut down before the end of the year.

 (side note from Tara: It's still rather surreal that all those years of writing/posts/houseparties will just be going poof in a week. And sad. So sad. But I am immeasurably grateful for all those years of writing and friendship, especially for all the bonds I've formed and kept outside of the forum.)

Favorite author/s and why?

Tolkien, for the language and the history and his impressive level of continuity. But I love and reread many authors, from Canadian YA and MG authors such as Margaret Buffie, Jean Little, and Kit Pearson, to historical romance authors such as Jo Bourne, to contemporary authors such as Kait Nolan and Talli Roland/Leah Mercer.

What is Summer Fire about?

“Ayse had resigned herself to an interesting—but in the end unromantic—trip visiting family in Istanbul. Great-aunts, touristy sites and endless meals…until she meets fellow doctor Hakan.

All tanned skin and defined muscle under his polo shirt, his kisses cut off her breath, making her dizzy. His every touch is a thrill.

Ayse wants all of Hakan at once. His sweet mouth, the heat of his body against hers, their heartbeats slowing together.

A holiday romance might give her some blazing memories come the lonely winter, but maybe, just maybe, the fire between them doesn’t have to be as fleeting as the summer.”

Where did you get the idea for this story?

A dream! I'm surprised by how many of my ideas come from dreams. They generally involve a scene of high tension, such as a spy being uncovered or a great wave engulfing a boat, and then I need to work out who the characters are, what they were doing there, and how they will come out on the other side of the event.

I wrote the original version of this story in one day in 2012. I edited and modified it a bit here and there over the next few years, as I submitted it to at least two different anthologies in its earlier forms.

How did you go about submitting this one?

I was actually submitting a novel, when I saw the open call for the Dirty Bits line from Carina Press, and submitted Summer Fire on a whim. I nearly fell of my chair when I got an email expressing interest.

Tell us a little about the publishing process.

Pleasantly smooth so far, though slower than I expected -- which has made for a nice learning curve. One round of edits, one round of copy edits. I think the fact that Carina is a mostly digital imprint helps -- the staff are all online and accessible in many ways, and quick to answer any questions!

Are you planning on doing more for this Carina line?

I'd like to! There's another open call for stories featuring tropes, and I have a novella that might fit the bill. The heroine is Ayten, whom I think one of your characters knows well!

What else do you have in the works? 

Two novels at the moment. Editing the first one and starting to edit the sequel. I ought to stop calling it a sequel, though, because they're both meant to be romantic suspense, and they can each be standalones in terms of the romance. They simply happen to feature the same couple.

Here's the blurb I first wrote for The Charm of Time:

“A man and a woman meet at a garage and fall in love. Theirs is a whirlwind courtship 35 years in the making -- they've been waiting all their lives, without knowing it, to finally come together, all thanks to a broken down car.

Sounds like a happily ever after. Yet three days after they've met, during a weekend getaway in the Alps, the world-famous chef at their hotel is found dead.

Suicide of a celebrity? A personal murder? Or something more...As threats to their lives come swifter and closer, the couple's new found love is put to the ultimate test. How well can we know another human being? How long does it take to establish trust?”

Of course there's an HEA!

That one sounds fantastic, Deniz. And you know I'm all about the HEA.

Thank you so much for being here and sharing your journey to publication.


NaNo No-No

It's Nano month and I see all the writing tweets & blog posts going around referencing it. But I sit back and watch, for a few reasons. One being that November is a treacherously busy month for me with three separate family Thanksgivings and my kids' birthday (which is sometimes on Thanksgiving). Mostly, though, it's because I have done Nano twice in the past and both times were a huge fail. Not as far as word count goes--that was great--but the aftermath.

I am an edit-as-I-go kind of gal. This isn't because my inner editor is ridiculously anal (though she is). It stems from hatred of deep-editing a final draft--an everything-at-once process sort of thing.

If I leave myself with too rough a first draft I won't go back to it; I'll just toss it to the bottom of the Word pile and start a Shiny New Idea. My process makes drafting longer, and often tedious, but it works for me. So I shall stick with it and skip Nano.

It is nice watching the fun being had by those participating, though. And I wish you all out there Nano-ing a super productive month of magical words.

I am curious--if you are doing NaNo--watchya writin'?

Guest Post: Carol Kilgore

I'm excited to have Carol Kilgore here today--and happier she has another book out in the world. I love the title! 

A Hot and Spicy Taste of Murder – and Beyond

Law enforcement consultant Gracie Hofner is assigned to a trendy San Antonio pastry shop to watch for a delivery. In addition to the intoxicating aromas of sugar and chocolate, she also has to fight her own attraction to the man working beside her, Donovan Beck. He’s a hunk and a half and perfect for a spring fling.

If she had more time, Donovan would rank higher on her to-do list. But the number one spot is occupied by her search for a missing little girl, the target of a killer. Gracie needs to find her pronto, and the odd super-instinct quirk that’s started plaguing her may help. If not, she can always see what happens if it tells her to buy a lottery ticket.

Jalapeno Cupcake Wench is the first book in The Amazing Gracie Trilogy, a story so big, it takes three books to tell it.



Chapter 1

Cold! Cold! Gracie Hofner looked down. I can’t believe I did that. While reaching for her buzzing phone, she’d poured the remains of her water bottle, intended for her impatiens, over her bare feet. She pressed the button. “Hi, Nicky.”
“Morning. I’ve got something you may want to see.” The voice on Gracie’s phone belonged to Nick Rivera, her partner.
Former partner. Their paths had been the same—patrol, homicide detectives, and then detectives in the San Antonio Regional Intelligence Center—SARIC. San Antonio Police Department all the way. Except unlike her, Nick had found his niche there.
In addition, they were friends. “Fun or work?”
“Nothing fun about murder, Gracie.”
She went inside for a pad and pencil, greeted by the aroma of the coffee that had brewed while she jogged. “Are we cleared?”
“Negative. Double homicide. Missing family.”
“If the family’s missing, who’s dead?”
“Hector and Therese Cantu. You ever heard of Cantu Electric?” 
“Don’t think so.”
“Good reputation on the West Side. They’ve been around since my dad was a kid—started by Hector Cantu’s father back in the fifties. The old commercial was like Cantu can do. Hector’s son runs the business now. Mr. Cantu’s retired. Rephrase—now he’s good and retired. He and his wife are the deceased.”
She moved to the table and put her phone on speaker so she could take notes. “Who’s missing?”
 “The Cantus have three kids, two daughters and the son, all grown. Besides the electrician business, the son owns an upscale retail lighting store. High end only. Kim and I went in there after we bought our house. I couldn’t afford a switchplate, much less a lamp or fixture. The son and his family are missing.”
“How many?”
“Three. Husband, wife, daughter.”

Visit the "Look Inside" feature here for more:

About the Author:

In addition to Jalapeno Cupcake Wench, Carol Kilgore is the author of three romantic suspense novels: In Name Only, Solomon’s Compass, and Secrets of Honor. She’s married, guardian to two quirky dogs, and lives in San Antonio, the setting for the trilogy.

Guest Post: Patsy Collins

I'm excited to have Patsy Collins here discussing her new romance novel, and how it was written during her travels with her husband in their campervan. I don't have a campervan, but do have a travel trailer. I think that shall be my new goal once the kids are in college (not so many years off, scarily): a super long vacation in the camper just so I can write.


Although my latest novel, Leave Nothing But Footprints isn't autobiographical, there are ways in which it mirrors my own life. For a start it's a romance and I'm very happily married to the lovely Gary Davies. The book is about a gifted famous photographer (Eliot) and the girl (Jess) he's teaching his craft to. My husband is a talented photographer and he's spent years training me up as his assistant.

The main similarity though between the book and my life is that Jess and Eliot are working from a campervan. Gary and I spend about four months a year in our van; him to use it as a base for photography and me as a mobile writing retreat. The fictional Eliot uses his van for most of his 'on location' assignments and, as I know from personal experience, the small space means it's almost impossible for there not to be some level of intimacy and it's great for showing a relationship in its true light. That's really what gave me the idea of using a campervan as the location for a romance. The characters can't hide from their emotions and will be forced to either reveal them or take action to conceal how they feel. Both are good for building up tension and the storyline.

Just like Eliot, I like to write on location whenever I can. That includes taking lots of photos as I use them for reference once I'm back home. I find the places I visit and the people I meet often inspire my writing. I love South Wales and wanted to capture a little of the drama which is to be found in the hills and coastline as well as the beauty of the wildflowers, gorgeous sunsets and friendly people. Leave Nothing But Footprints gave me the opportunity to do that.

To start with Eliot doesn't really want Jess along and had to be practically bribed and emotionally blackmailed by her millionaire father to do so. He gets his revenge by making her trek up steep hills, down rocky paths and along sandy beaches, all the while carrying camera equipment. To be honest, Eliot is jolly grumpy at times, although he does have his reasons for that. My husband isn't so hard on me, but we do walk a lot, searching for good locations, so I know that as well as being tiring, this is a great way to appreciate the landscape. I get tired too and that's when I decide to take a close look at the wildflowers, so I gave Jess a breather in the same way. Eliot's speciality is ecology, so she gets away with it.

The van is a brilliant place to work from. There's a kettle within reach, far fewer distractions than at home and a different inspiring view every day. Even the fact that I can't always get wifi has the advantage of reducing the ways in which I can procrastinate – although I admit the inspiring views tends to cancel that one out.

Blurb - 

Jessica Borlase always gets what she wants. From cocktails in the exact shade of her manicure, holiday on Capri with friends, to a spacious apartment, her father's money makes it possible. She enjoys the luxurious lifestyle and is grateful for his support, but frustrated to always be treated as Daddy's pampered little girl. She tries to break free, by leaving Borlase Enterprises and studying photography.

Now what Jess wants is the utterly gorgeous Eliot Beatty; a world famous photographer who often uses his talents to benefit conservation projects. Her father attempts to bribe Eliot into taking Jess on an assignment in order to teach her the skills she'll need to develop a career. Although annoyed at the interference, she's delighted to discover this means two weeks with Eliot in the beautiful countryside of South Wales and close confines of a campervan. Trouble is, the man can't be bought.

Jess eventually manages to persuade Eliot to take her. She believes she can earn his respect and that she's ready for the hard work, long hours and living conditions far short of those she's used to. She's wrong on all counts. Can Jess learn to cope with the realities of the trip, and is Eliot really worth the effort?

Patsy's Bio -

Patsy Collins will write anywhere she can reach in her campervan. She's the author of five novels; four contemporary romances and one coming of age story with a difference. Hundreds of her short stories have been published in magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Ireland and South Africa. She's also co-author of From Story Idea to Reader – an accessible guide to writing fiction.

Patsy blogs about free entry writing competitions - http://patsy-collins.blogspot.co.uk and runs the womagwriter blog http://womagwriter.blogspot.co.uk which is handy for magazine guidelines.


Feeling Lucky?

Friday the 13th and it's my turn in the Sex Scene Championship hosted by Scorching Book Reviews.

I struggled over which scene to use. In the end, I decided to use a scene from LAST CALL, a story about the very late coming of age for both a married-too-young divorcee and a spoiled lifelong actor.

Here's a short prequel to actual scene in the contest:

“That’s the thing about men and women of a certain age.” I shoved his jacket to his elbows, flicking my tongue across his chin, nipping it, kissing. No longer giving a damn about the what-ifs. Or consequences. It was all about the right freaking now. “I’m in my prime and you’re on your downward spiral.”

“Oh, you’re wrong.” He dropped his arms to let the jacket fall to the floor and slid his warm hands inside my robe, gliding  until they clasped behind my back. He swung us around so he was against the door then pulled me into his hard frame. “Very, very wrong.”

I'd love for you all to hop over and check out the rest.

On Monday I'll have a guest host. Patsy Collins will be discussing her new romance release, Leave Nothing But Footprints, and how she wrote it while traveling in her campervan (so jealous!).

And Carol Kilgore has a new one coming out Monday, October 16th. Jalepeno Cupcake Wench. Love that title.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone.