Friday, April 20, 2018

Story, Character or Setting First?

Our latest group blog is how do you establish a story, its characters, and setting?

A great topic, but Wow! How do I do all this? I’m not sure. I think it varies with stories. In Hunted, my first book in the series I was staying at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC. I was looking down from the mezzanine into the lobby with fancy floors and imagined a cowboy striding across the lobby, spurs and all with a woman watching from between the pillars. My mind started to work on a plot – why was she there? Why was she hiding to watch him? The plot seemed to come quickly – old sweethearts, witness protection, son he didn’t know about. I love Montana so I decided he’d take her back to his ranch in Montana.

So I started with setting, beginning characters and almost plot together. Then I developed each one, moved the setting to Montana, and developed the plot to kill her. and then the characters.

The second one in the series, Missing, was a little different. It was a stand-alone book set in New York. But I started with a female character who wanted to win her father’s approval and became a doctor but it didn’t work and then she wanted to escape. The rest of the plot didn’t work and then I thought – she could escape to Montana and grow, become stronger and more confident. So she became the heroine in the second book. The hero is one of the brothers, the town became more developed; so character, plot and then setting.

So what develops first, or all together, depends on what brilliant thought hits me and I start to mull it over and think about it.

I’m really curious about how the other authors do it. Off to find out.
Please join me in checking out the following authors:
Skye Taylor

Dr. Bob
A.J. Maguire
Marci Baun
Margaret Fieland
Connie Vines
Judy Copek 
Rhobin L Courtright

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Meet Zrinka Jelic and Dario

Zrinka Jelic lives in Ontario, Canada. A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapters Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal and Kiss of Death, as well as Savvy Authors, she writes contemporary fiction--which leans toward the paranormal--and adds a pinch of history. Her characters come from all walks of life, and although she prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given Jelic's love for her native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, her characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but that's about the only break they get.

Character Interview

Beverley:  What’s your name?
Dario: Dario Vitez
Beverley:  Where did you grow up?
Dario: Zadar, Croatia a town by the sea
Beverley:  During what time period does your story take place?
Dario: Though the story was set in today’s time, there’s a lot of reminiscing on the good old 80’s.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Dario: My story is that my whole life I only loved one woman, Irena, no other came close to her. But I was poor back then in high school and her parents didn’t want their daughter to be thrown into poverty. So they married her off to a rich man who didn’t and couldn’t love her. Now she’s back in my town and my life, after fourteen years and she’s brought along a teenage daughter. I worked hard to pull myself out of the poverty. I can give her what I couldn’t when we were teenagers. Only, her husband is after her and I must protect her and my child.
Beverley:  What’s your goal in this story?
Dario: To save the woman I love and my daughter who I just learned of, from the dangerous man who would stop at nothing to get to them.
Beverley:  What conflicts are you facing?
Dario: Having to stay one step ahead of the killer and his cronies.
Beverley:  Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Dario: Hiding and running away has proved ineffective. The only and sure way is to face our enemy and hopefully gain some powerful allies to help us.
Beverley:  Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Dario: I’m a gourmet chef and can whip out a mean flambé.

Blurb for Dangerous Benevolence:

Dario Vitez crawled from the brink of poverty and made a name for himself as a wealthy, successful restaurateur. Love is the only thing missing from his life. He’s never found a woman who could compare to his childhood sweetheart, Irena Novak—who was forced into a marriage of convenience and lives half a world away.

Irena has secrets—dangerous secrets. She reappears in Dario’s life, on the run from her murderous husband, who will do anything to silence his wife. When Dario discovers the danger she’s in, he vows to protect her. But her psychotic husband is drawing closer by the day. If Dario loses Irena again, this time it might be forever.

Excerpt for Dangerous Benevolence:

The lovers at the secluded table of Mezzaluna, holding hands, gazing into each other’s eyes re-opened Dario’s barely healed wounds and forced him to seek solace in his office. The full-length mirror he passed in the foyer reflected a well-dressed, successful restaurateur, but he knew better than to believe the illusion. The clanging of dishes and murmurs of the restaurant staff muffled through the wall. 

He dropped into the leather chair. The unopened bottle of the Frangelico on his desk taunted him. Combing his hand through his hair a few times, he tried to remember the sweet, nutty taste of the liquor on his tongue. His mouth salivated at the thought. If he popped the corked and took a sip, he wouldn’t be able to stop until he consumed the last drop. He shifted his focus at the gypsy stone on the table. Fourteen years later and he still couldn’t part with the damn thing. Now it was nothing but a paperweight for the restaurant’s stack of bills, and a constant reminder of his pain. The only keepsake him and Irena had shared…or half of it. Did she still have the other half? So much for the gypsy’s prediction. If there was a rewind button on the life he would’ve pressed it long ago. He straightened, leaning against the backrest, the coldness of the leather seeping through his thin cotton shirt. Better get his thoughts back on the job. Damn bills won’t pay themselves.

Buy Link for Dangerous Benevolence:
Smart URL 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Check Out Sci-Fi Romances with Nia Mars

Nia Mars - Books. Reading. Writing. Playing with the dog. That's my life, in a nutshell. I love discovering new authors and new trends. Hello Reverse Harem novels!!!! Where have you been all my life? I love everything sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy. I eat enough chocolate that at this point, I'm probably made of chocolate. OK, chocolate and coffee.

WARRANTY: Your satisfaction is very important to me. If you have a complaint, please write it on a box of 50-piece Assorted Godiva Chocolate Truffles, and mail it to my office. I promise to personally see to all complaints.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Nia: I love the sci-fi romance genre, just because it’s fresh and imaginative. I love thinking about what the future will look like. In reality, I won’t be around a hundred years from now, but I can experience the future through books.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Nia: I was always a big reader. I’d rather read than do just about anything else. I’m not sure if I was influenced by one author in particular, but both adventure books and romance books were definitely an early influence. I just ate them up.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Nia: Reading other authors. When I read a great book with great writing, it inspires me to no end. It makes me want to do better, work harder, become a better writer.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Nia: Sponge Bob Square Pants. LOL I don’t know what that says about me. I think I like him because he’s honest and never mean. I’m so tired of the hate online. It’s exhausting.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Nia: My grandmother who had died before I was born. Everyone in the family says I look exactly like her and take after her in many ways. I would love to talk to her.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Nia: Read! I probably have 200 unread books on my Kindle. LOL I can’t resist buying books. I swear my finger clicks the one-click button by itself. If I love an author, I will buy her books, even if I know it’ll be a while before I can get to it.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Nia: I’m outlining 3 different series: one fantasy romance, one sci-fi romance, and one contemporary romance. I’m trying to decide which one to write first.

Buy Links for The Oath Forger
Kobo: ebook/oath-forger-book-1
Nook: 1127934596?ean=2940158812217
Google: Forger_Book_1?id=sspKDwAAQBAJ
iBooks: id1347422464?ls=1&mt=11
Goodreads Series Link:

                       Oath Forger #1 Amazon Buy Link

                       Oath Forger #2 Amazon Buy Link

                      Oath Forger #3 Amazon Buy Link

                       Oath Forger #4 Amazon Buy Link

You can find Nia at
Twitter: @niamars_author
Goodreads Series Link:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Meet Tony-Paul de Vissage and His Latest Book

A writer of French Huguenot extraction, one of Tony-Paul de Vissage's first movie memories is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula's Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless—and he’s now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about the Undead. 

TP currently has 22 novels published with Class Act Books.  His novel The Night Man Cometh was voted one of the Top Ten horror novels of 2011 by the Preditors & editors Readers Poll for that year, and in 2013, the first entry in his Second Species series, Shadow Lord, was awarded the same honor for that year. The Last Vampire Standing was placed second as Best Paranormal Romance of  2012 by the Paranormal Romance Guild.
Author Interview
Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Tony-Paul: I usually write horror, mostly about vampires. I’ve always liked the appeal of vampires. My Authors Bio explains the reason for that. I guess I was a weird little kid, watching late night horror shows, then having to sleep with a nightlight afterward. I remember my dad once said to me, “I suppose there’s an odd one in every family and you’re the one in ours.”
Thanks, Pop.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Tony-Paul: I had some very good teachers.  My seventh grade teacher encouraged everyone in our class to write. We’d compose short stories, then read them aloud to the class.  She didn’t restrict the subjects, so there were many horror stories as well as westerns and animal stories.
In college, I had two very good instructors, Dr. Wilson Snipes and Dr. May McMillan. One taught Shakespeare and the other Romanticism and they gave me a great literary background full of imagination and plenty of questions and answers about why characters acted the way they did.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Tony-Paul: Anything…a word, a phrase, the fact I didn’t like the ending of a movie or a TV show… I’ll decide to write my own version and make it end the way I want it to, or I’ll take a phrase I’ve heard and expound on it because it’s given me an idea.  I once wrote a novel based on a fragment of a dream.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Tony-Paul: Shrek’s friend Puss in Boots. He’s just so cool. I love that line where Fiona realizes Shrek’s been transformed into someone else and she mistakes Puss for him and says, “Shrek?” and he answers, “For you, I could be.” I’ve got all the DVDs Puss is I, including Puss in Boots and the Three Diablos.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Tony-Paul: I haven’t the foggiest. I’ve sometimes fantasized about meeting various “celebrities” but I always ask myself, “What would I say to him/her?” I imagine they get tired of all that gushing and “Oh, I love your last film/TV series/book,” so I’d try to be cool and talk to them about something other than their chosen profession.  Actually, I’d probably be so tongue-tied I’d simply stand there like a dunce and not say a thing.
I did that with Gene Roddenberry once. I was sitting on a bench at the back entrance to a lecture room and this guy came dashing up the stairs, heading for that door.  I looked up. His eyes met mine, and he nodded and said, “Hello.” I managed a “Hello,” he opened the door and disappeared inside, and I missed my Big Chance to say something profound. Didn’t even get his autograph.  I’ve often wondered what would’ve happened if I’d stopped him and asked for it. Would he have said, “I’m late and don’t have time?” or “For a fan? Anything!”
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Tony-Paul: If it were summer,  I’d get my lazy self into gear, go to a nearby park and photograph the flowers. If it’s winter, I’d settle down with a good book, or watch a movie I’ve DVR’d.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Tony-Paul: For three years now, I’ve been struggling with a sequel to The Last Vampire Standing, which was published in 2012. So far, I have 2 chapters and 5 fragments.  Maybe in another three years, I’ll get it done. J

Blurb for Dark God Descending:
All grad student James Tucker Upchurch wanted was to earn summer credit on an archaeological dig to Central America…and to marry his fiancée.
All Semris wanted was to escape the monotony of a millennia-old life, and the burdens the son of the Mayan God of Death, have placed upon him.
For five thousand years, the misplaced Dark Lords of Hell have been trapped in ourworld, ruling the Mayan city of Nikte-Uaxac. While civilizations rise and fall, they and their subjects remain unchanged, until Twenty-first Century intruders appear, stealing from them their most precious possession, the Emperor himself…
Tuck never expected to lose his girl to a demon nor to be given immortality, and Semris never thought he’d experience mortal love, but when the current world meets a more ancient one, everything and everyone they know will be changed.

Excerpt for Dark God Descending:
    Tuck walked over to the cage. As far as he could tell, Semris hadn’t moved.
    Did that last shot kill him?
    When he saw the slow rise and fall of the bare chest, he felt abrupt relief. He also saw the golden amulet, recognizing it as the twin of the one that had started all this unpleasantness in the first place.
    The fruit hadn’t been touched, was rapidly darkening, the sweet, overripe smell permeating the cellar, attracting flies. How the Hell had they gotten in here, anyway? Several big bluebottles were buzzing around inside the cell, hovering over the peaches, a couple crawling along the edges of the plate. One was floating in the water glass, wings fluttering and making little splashes.
     Tuck knelt and opened the little flap, reaching inside to remove the glass. It happened. so fast he didn’t even realize Semris had moved until he felt the iron grip upon his wrist, saw the fangs drop and the dark head covering his hand.
    He screamed as twin razor slashes struck through his wrist...knowing no one could hear, struggled desperately to get away. Frantic, disbelieving thoughts whirling through his mind.
    Oh, God, this is why he didn’t eat the fruit. He’s a vampire! Sweet Jesus, he’s going to kill me! Help someone, help me! Why should they? I didn’t help him.
    The pain went away, his arm numb from wrist to fingertips. He knelt on the floor, watching the pale body crouched so near he could have reached out and touched his shoulder...his bare, wingless shoulder. Where did his wings go? What happened to them? All he could do was watch those shoulders heave with the strength of each deep swallow, feeling his life ebb away, and a vague surprise that it didn’t hurt at all.
    Eyes rolling up, Tuck gave a little sigh and collapsed against the bars. He was barely conscious as he saw Semris raise his head and release his arm. In spite of being only slightly aware, he felt a stab of surprise as the quiet voice whispered, “Gracias. Gracias por su sangre.”
    He’s thanking me? Thanking me for letting him kill me?
    With an effort, he made himself withdraw his wounded arm, cradling it against his chest with his other hand. Forcing his eyes open, he stared at his wrist, fighting the wave of blackness floating before his eyes. There was no bloody ripped-away flesh as he’d imagined, only four deep punctures. Two of the five little veins had been pierced, but the wounds were clean and already clotting. Tuck forced himself to take a deep breath, then let it out, and repeated the procedure.
    Keep breathing! Don’t pass out. He might decide to have a second helping.
    “I took too much. I am sorry. I was too hungry.”
    There was such concern in Semris’ voice that Tuck found himself replying, “That’s all right. I-if I’d known, I… Oh, God, what am I saying?” He fell silent, feeling a bout of hysteria galloping toward him.
    Something was thrust into his hand. One of the peaches. Semris’ hand, between the bars, holding it out to him.
    “Aqui. Come. Pronto.”
    So he took the peach and bit into it, choking slightly as the rich, sweet juice slid down his throat, but forced himself to keep chewing and swallowing. As the fruit sugar hit his stomach, he began to feel better.
    “That was good.” With a sigh, he tossed the peach pit aside.
    Through the bars, hands helped him to his feet. He leaned against the door, hanging onto it to keep his balance as dizziness flooded back. He looked up, meeting Semris’ green eyes, startled at the concern in them.
    “Again, I am sorry. It has been so long since I have had the living wine.”
    Living wine…what a beautiful way to describe it.  Tuck still felt a little groggy, wondered if he was now under the vampire thrall. He decided to find out.
    “Am I your minion now?”
    “Why would you think that?” Semris sounded genuinely puzzled.
    “Well, you’ve taken my blood. Generally, when a vampire—”
    “Vampiro! Donde?” Semris looked around quickly, arms crossing over his throat in a protective gesture.
    “You.” Tuck answered, feeling he’d made a mistake. “Aren’t you a vampire?”
    “Of course not!” The answer was disdainful that Tuck might mistake him for such a vile creature. “I am a Dark Lord. Un demonio.” The pale chin lifted proudly. “Los vampiros are creatures accursed.”
    Tuck thought that over. “And you’re not?
    “No.” Semris shook his head, the dark hair swinging. “I am not.”
    Tuck realized he must be feeling better, to be able to marvel at the absurdity of this conversation.

Buy Links for Dark God Descending

Barnes & Noble:

You can find out more about Tony-Paul at
Amazon Author’s Page:
Twitter: @tpvissage 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Best Selling Self-Pubbed Genres

Every once in awhile I’m curious about what genres are selling in self-pubbed books.
Stats were harder to find this time but I pulled some from different sites.

This first one is from August 2015

First place went to Romance, Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
It said these books are best-suited for self-publishing, and half of the e-book in romance, science fiction and fantasy genres on Amazon are self-published. 
Of these three genres, romance books make up a whopping 40% of the market share on Amazon e-book sales. And if you think romance is there because of erotica – only 1.2% os Kindle sales are erotica.

Mystery, Thriller and Crime came next.
Of the top 100 mystery and thriller sales, 11% are self-pubbed.

And next, according to BookBub, from Sept. 2015, the most sought after fiction is mystery thrillers. They market exclusively to ebook readers via email and according to their website (at time of writing this article) this is their list of top selling e-books:
Historical Fiction
Women's Fiction
Science Fiction
Teen/Young Adult

I pulled this from Kindle. Couldn’t find a date but it’s recent.  It’s their first ten.
Romance – contemporary
Literature & Fiction – Contemporary Fiction – Women
Romance – New Adult & College
Literature & Fiction – Contemporary Fiction – Romance
Literature & Fiction – Women – Romance
Literature & Fiction - Genre Fiction - Coming of Age
Romance - Mystery & Suspense - Suspense
Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy - Paranormal & Urban
Literature & Fiction - Genre Fiction – Erotica
Literature & Fiction - Women - Mystery, Thriller & Suspense - Women Sleuths

So while the stat dates were a little different, romance and mystery appear to be the top selling e-pubs.
I’d love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Meet Suzanne Jefferies and Her Heroine

Suzanne Jefferies loves to write romance. As a member of ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa), she knows that she’s not the only believer in romantic tension and emotional power smacks to keep the romance reader hooked. A movie fanatic, she spends most of her time as a writer-for-hire. Working in communication, she has done more than her fair share of corporate and investor PR, and now freelances in between editorial jobs for big. glossy company magazines. The Joy of Comfort Eating, her first contemporary romance novel, won the 2016 Imbali Award for excellence in romance writing.
Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?
Evie: Professor Eve (Evie) Brown
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Evie: On the coast, with traditional parents who believed in the value of a solid paycheck, a nuclear family, and a white picket fenced house in the suburbs.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Evie: Right now.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Evie: My story is familiar; the one who worked hard, did right, and forged ahead to succeed in my career, subtly subverting my self to fit in with my older, wiser husband. All’s good until one day I don’t recognize myself, my choices, or what my future looks like. All I know is that I was in the wrong life.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Evie: To find out who I’m becoming, and to step into that wide unknown future, confident in who I now am.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Evie: Choices about my sexuality and what that means for my career as a professor, and my reputation. A new world of sexual exploration has opened up to me, and I don’t know how a ‘professor’ fits in this world.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Evie: A plan? No, if anything, I keep making the wrong choices.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Evie: That it’s never too late to explore your sexuality. I’m in my early forties and just getting started. If anything, I wish it had been sooner, but it’s sooner than if I never had.

Blurb  for  Watched

Slade and how attentive he seems, so totally unlike her ex-husband. Cameron is also delicious to look at, all taut body, broad shoulders, and hot eyes. He’s forbidden territory, but one late afternoon as she pleasures herself in an empty lecture hall, she looks up to find she’s not alone. He’s there…watching her.
And then there’s Sophie Walker. Ever since Evie met the sensual woman, she’s allowed her inhibitions to unreel, one by one. It’s Sophie who’s been sharing Evie’s erotic awakening, Sophie who she yearns for. Or is it?

Excerpt from Watched

       I wipe clean the whiteboard, enjoying the push of the felt, swinging from side to side as I move, the squeaking sound it makes as it erases the past three hours’ worth of hard work. An image replays over and over—that unexpected reveal of Cameron’s torso—a handspan of bareness, the grooved shadow of muscle. It was a shock to the sterility of that lecture hall. My mouth waters. Bare, taut skin—that male skin, so much rougher, harsher than a woman’s.
         I replace the lids on the markers and switch off the projector. Alone. Facing late afternoon emptiness.
         If Cameron were to give me something I’d like... I’d like him, close to me, all sweet-sandy raw male youth, at my knees. Male.
       I swallow back the desire that is starting to slither through me, stroking the space between my neck and collarbone. Cameron. I picture the way he ran his hands through his lightly gelled hair, the bulge in his arms as his hands extended behind his head. The soft curve of his lower lip. That vulnerable stretch of torso that was making my mouth salivate like a beast before its slaughter.

Buy Link for Watched
Amazon Buy Link

You can find Suzanne at:
tweet @suzannjefferies
Facebook: SuzanneJefferiesAuthor

Suzanne will be giving away two ebooks of Watched to two lucky winners. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.