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Interview with Author: EG Manetti

It is a great pleasure to welcome EG Manetti author of the Twelve Systems Chronicles series!

Welcome EG to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The Twelve Systems Chronicles was selected to convey both science fiction and the epic fantasy. As of February 19, 2019, there are seven volumes and another four or five to come. Why 12 systems, not 10 or 14? That’s my subtle homage to George Lucas and the original Star Wars movies: I have the death sentence on twelve systems.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Great question and one that came up in one of my reader groups recently. Super convenient for me because I have the response all set. The character names come from many sources; family, friends, my erratic muse. Some are deliberate choices based on meaning. Others are simply names, although I try to pull from the full range of cultures. A few of the main and supporting characters:

With the heroine, Lilian; it was her name from the first. I have no idea where it came from or why it is spelled as it is. The same is true of the Five Warriors and Adelaide—they and their stories emerged from my psyche full-blown.

The alpha male main character, Lucius took some time to settle – I wanted something that evoked the ruthlessness and warrior culture of ancient Rome, but also Rome’s commitment to law and order. According to ‘Behind the Names’ –Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux “light”. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian.

Lucius’ sons; Cesare & Raphael because I wanted to keep the Latin theme. Cesare Borgia has always fascinated me. Raphael because – art.

Lilian’s mother, Helena is a version of my given name — I couldn’t resist.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

The story started as a vivid dream that I had the morning before a five-hour car trip. By the time I reached my destination, I had the outline in my head. That I dream in science fiction romance does not surprise me.

I’ve loved science-fiction since I found Captain Kirk and Spock on cable when I was a teenager. Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and Andre Norton were huge favorites that I interspersed with romance authors Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodwiss, Amanda Quick, and others.  Then I discovered Anne McCaffery and science fiction romance – it has been my go-to ever since.  Although I’ve also been heavily influenced by fantasy authors; J.R.R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Jacqueline Carey, and Stephen Donaldson, to name a few.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Commitment, determination, endurance, tenacity, and imagination. And yes, Lilian embodies all of these and more.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?  

This is my first set of novels. I’ve researched everything from ancient swords and daggers to crystal computing to poisons.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I love good world-building, nuanced characters, and well-constructed plot with elements of action and/or suspense. Like Dune or Star Wars it takes place in a galaxy far, far away, although the characters and plot hold the moral nuances of Dune rather than that the clear-cut good versus evil of Star Wars. The society of the Twelve Systems has similarities to twenty-first western culture, but also some critical differences.  It is a ruthless society, driven by power and wealth, rigid and often violent. At the same time, while the class distinctions are extreme, they are based on genealogy, not ethnic group or religion. For all its tolerance of violence, there has not been whole-sale ware in over a millennium, they take care of the environment, and is compassionate with the mentally ill.  Romantic love is rare and not highly valued. Sex is considered a pleasant past-time. Honor, duty, strength are the core of the value system and most relationships.

Where duty and passion collide – The Twelve Systems Chronicles.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

This is not a conventional series in terms of romance tropes, one review called it ‘a slow-burn with sex.’ Although the heroine triumphs in every volume, the classic HEA is not an element. Yet. The narrative line is complex, and the series should be read in order. Although sex and romance are integral to the long-term story arc, each volume contains mystery, intrigue, action, adventure and some violence. The sexy bits tend to be more graphic than the violent bits.

According to InD’Tale Magazine: Science fiction is a genre known for its technical and often intricate world building, its epic battles and futuristic technologies. Romance, however, is rarely a required aspect. . . until now. EG Manetti is the newest name and hottest rising star for the very fact that she so beautifully weaves those two elements together. With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I have Goodreads and Facebook pages, a Twelve Systems Chronicles Facebook page as well as a blog.   And there is my monthly newsletter, Red Gems.

Interview with Author: Nix Whittaker

It is a great pleasure to welcome Nix Whittaker author of Lady Golden Hand.

Welcome Nix to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

I did this one backwards. I started with cover with a woman with a brass mechanical hand and the name of the novel Lady Golden Hand just popped into my head. But the series name is based on another series in this world called Wyvern Chronicles. Since this was going to be my first foray into mystery I went with Wyvern Mysteries so at least readers knew what they were getting into and yes there are dragons in this story.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Not particularly in this series. I do like to delve into multiple meanings for the names of my characters but since this was set in 1830’s London I knew I had to stick with the names that were around then. Since this is an anachronistic retelling of history and there was no Queen Victoria I was a little tongue in cheek about calling the dragon Victor. But Rayne was just about having an authentic name to balance out the other liberties I take with history.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?  

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?  

So one of the reasons why I like steampunk and Gaslamp is because I can take liberties with history. But I also wanted to stay true to the feel of 1830’s England which meant I had to do some research. It helps that my sister-in-law is busy working in the Tower at the moment and could help with some of the research. Though you’d be surprised what you find like the fact that eye rolling was more about flirting at this time than some sarcastic gesture. Or that newspapers weren’t competitive and shared stories.

What makes you laugh?

Dry wit and since I teach English I love a good pun.

What makes you cry?

Soppy movies. The cornier the better.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I love a good romance. So even though all of my stories have strong plots in another genre I always have multiple romantic tropes in there as well. In Lady Golden Hand we have enemy to lover trope as I think the sparks help with the romance.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can always sign up to my newsletter on my website www.nixwhittaker.com where they can get free books and short stories. But I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nix-Whittaker-1540555802866070/

More information on Lady Golden Hand and my other stories are available through the following links:

Lady Golden Hand: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MDSP3LW

Blazing Blunderbuss: https://books2read.com/u/31xNd6

The Mechanicals: https://books2read.com/u/mVBM1A

Wyvern’s Trim and other stories: https://books2read.com/u/mvvr0J

The Jade Dragon: https://books2read.com/u/3RVVrY

Ruby Beyond Compare:  https://books2read.com/u/bQ9Yvd

Hero is a man: https://books2read.com/u/b5rn2p

You can run: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YPU0OVQ

Sorrow also sings: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015PHRUUK

Blind Leading: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B9VERNO

Model: Serenity: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FD4HJT9

Model: Scribe: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MYNVQCP

Interview with Author: Cynthia Sax

It is a great pleasure to welcome Cynthia Sax author of Choosing Chuckles.

Welcome Cynthia to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

Patty: What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Cynthia Sax:  Chuckles is the name of the cyborg hero of Choosing Chuckles. Cyborgs are assigned a model number when they are manufactured. They give themselves their names. Chuckles is known for being a bit grumpy. His name pokes fun of that. The fact that he has embraced that name tells us he isn’t as bad-tempered as he makes some others believe he is.

Patty: Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Cynthia Sax:  I named the heroine of Choosing Chuckles Bettina as a nod to Simone Micheline Bodin aka Bettina. She was considered to be one of the first supermodels and was best known for her beauty, but she was much more than that. She was a designer, a poet and a composer.

Like the supermodel, Bettina, my heroine, is viewed by some beings as merely a pretty face, but she is much more than that. She designs jewelry (not clothes), has honorable, worthy, secret goals that have nothing to do with her beauty.

Patty: What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?  

Cynthia Sax:  I fell in cyborg romance after reading stories by Laurann Dohner and Eve Langlais. When they both took a break from their awesome series at the same time, I decided to write the stories I was craving to read.

I was most interested in exploring WHY cyborgs, soldiers manufactured to fight, beings programmed to be loyal, would rebel against their makers. My series, both Cyborg Sizzle and, the new one—Cyborg Space Exploration, are, as a result, a bit darker than some other Cyborg Romance series.

Patty: What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Cynthia Sax: A sense of humor is necessary in this wonderful business. I think it is also necessary for a happy life and for relationships. Things go wrong. The unexpected happens.

My main characters, yes, even Chuckles, our grumpy cyborg, all have senses of humor. They might not crack jokes all the time but they do tend to laugh and see the irony in the universe.  

Patty: What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Cynthia Sax:  One of my favorite sciences is Evolutionary Biology and I tend to weave that into my Cyborg and SciFi Romances. In Choosing Chuckles, our hero and heroine end up stranded on a rainforest type world. It was great fun crafting new alien species based on existing Earth rainforest creatures.

This, however, requires learning quite a bit about these species. I can talk for hours about the Panamanian white-faced capuchin, for example. (laughs) Yes, I’m a fountain of useless information, as my Dear Wonderful Hubby jokes.

Patty: What makes you laugh?

Cynthia Sax: I have a weakness for VERY bad puns. I also love hearing other people laugh. That usually sets me off. My Dear Wonderful Hubby makes me laugh all the time. He is always making jokes.

Patty: What makes you cry?

Cynthia Sax: If someone else is crying, I’ll cry. I also tend to cry while writing the cry scenes in my own stories. A death of a secondary character will almost always make me cry, especially if that character sacrifices her or himself for another being.

Patty: What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

Cynthia Sax:  I’m a fan of many Cyborg Romance writers (Laurann Dohner and Eve Langlais being two of my earliest favorites). That has definitely influenced my writing as I would never want to write something that didn’t grow the niche or that brought shame to it. I want to leave Cyborg Romance as great as it was when I first discovered it.

Do no harm. (grins) That sounds very Star Trek-like, doesn’t it?

Patty: Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Cynthia Sax:  Choosing Chuckles is the first story in a Cyborg Sizzle spinoff series called Cyborg Space Exploration. I’ve tried to craft this new series so it could be read on its own, with readers knowing nothing about the Cyborg Sizzle world. But I’ve also tried to craft it so Cyborg Sizzle readers will be super happy. That was a challenging balancing act but, with my awesome editor’s help, I think I accomplished it.

Patty: What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Cynthia Sax: There are many ways for readers to interact with me or find out more about Choosing Chuckles including:

Visiting my Website: http://cynthiasax.com/

Signing up for dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter,   http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Twitter:  @CynthiaSax

Blog:  http://tasteofcyn.com/

More about Choosing Chuckles and where to Pre-Order…

A Cynical Cyborg Meets A Bad, Bad Female.

Chuckles hates all humans. In the past, humans betrayed him. That treachery caused permanent damage to his muscular form, resulting in a lifespan of pain.

When the primitive D Model cyborg answers a distress call sent by a pink-and-blue haired, sparkly human female, he knows it’s a trap. He still has to respond to her fake cry for help. She belongs to him, is the one being genetically fabricated for him. But he plans to be her captor, not her captive.

Bettina, aka Bait, works with a team of females, snaring sexual predators in space, seizing their ships and transporting them to primitive planets. As soon as she speaks with Chuckles, she knows he’s not like the others. He has honor, is a being worthy of respect, of caring.

But she can’t let him go. She has to trap him. His dominance thrills her. His deep voice evokes desires she’d never experienced in the past. She’ll risk it all, breaking every rule for one wild encounter with the male she calls Sir.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Choosing-Chuckles-Cyborg-Space-Exploration-ebook/dp/B07MXQ13WS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Choosing-Chuckles-Cyborg-Space-Exploration-ebook/dp/B07MXQ13WS

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/choosing-chuckles/id1450000541

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/choosing-chuckles-cynthia-sax/1130326339

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/choosing-chuckles

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/918618

Interview with Author: Linda Mooney

It is a great pleasure to welcome Linda Mooney author of JEXX.

Welcome Linda to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

JEXX is the name of Jelia and Kaxx when their bodies meld and become a single new entity, the one with enriched powers and energy.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I fell in love with the sci-fi genre with Podcayne of Mars, back when I was a kid. My first taste of adult sci-fi romance was Janette Taylor’s Moondust and Madness. Since then, I’ve had the passion to write in that genre.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

You need a sense of humor, patience, the drive to finish what you start, imagination, and the belief in yourself that, although the book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was important enough for you to tell the story. Therefore the story has worth.

And, yes, I think my characters reflect some of those attributes.

What makes you laugh?

Snarky remarks. Comments that come from out of nowhere, but perfectly fit the situation.

What makes you cry?

When the hero or heroine feel they’ve lost all hope. When there’s an ultimate sacrifice. Deliciously happy endings.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I want the heart of the story to be the budding romance between the main characters, but I don’t want the book to be all conflict between them (misunderstanding and constant verbal fighting). I want a plot that is unique to anything I’ve read before, and for there to be action and adventure, maybe some mystery, and a resolution where the H/H realize they were meant to be together for their own sake, as well as for the good of others.

Yes, these are definitely reflected in my stories.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Although JEXX is a standalone, I learned a long time ago never to say there won’t be a sequel, or even a series sprouting from it in the future.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Email me. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter. Comment on my blog. Join my newsletter. Details below:

Website: http://lindamooney.com/ (Join my newsletter!)

Blog: http://lindamooney.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Mooney/e/B002BMES1W

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-mooney

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LMOWR

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/735249946549380/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaMooney

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/lindam54

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lindam54/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Linda_Mooney

Instagram: http://instagram.com/macwombat

Interview with an Author: Libby Doyle

It is a great pleasure to welcome Libby Doyle author of the The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series.

Welcome Libby to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

“Passion” is part of the title of Book I of the Covalent Series for the reason you might expect. My two main characters—Zan and Barakiel—fall into a sizzling hot passion for each other that goes beyond the merely physical. The consequences of their love—and its beauty—is central to all the books in the series.

Barakiel is a superhuman warrior from another dimension. The leaders of his homeworld have outlawed serious relationships with humans so his passion for Zan is complicated, to say the least. It’s lucky she can handle pretty much anything that’s thrown at her.

“Season” also has an important meaning in the book, specifically, the change of seasons in the Earthly Realm. At every solstice and equinox, the Earth’s orbit stretches the fabric of existence to open rifts between the dimensions. Barakiel’s evil father, Lucifer, sends his minions through these rifts to attack his son. As you can imagine, if Lucifer were to discover that Barakiel is in love, it could get a bit dangerous for his girlfriend.

I’ve also published The Pain Season and The Vengeance Season, Books II and III of the Covalent Series. As for the meaning of pain and vengeance in these titles, I’ll leave it to your imagination!

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

This is such a great question for me! Almost everyone is familiar with the name Lucifer, the angel that defied God and was expelled from heaven. Barakiel is a lesser-known angel name, one of seven archangels and the leader of the Guardian Angels. In my book, however, Barakiel and Lucifer are not angels. They are Covalent, ancient beings who hold the cosmos in Balance. When human society was primitive, the Covalent often visited the Earthly Realm. They were the source of a lot of human mythology – not only angels but avatars, the djinn, the gods of the Greeks, a whole array.

Lucifer inspired all those human tales about Satan. He rebelled against the Covalent leadership and was driven out of Covalent City, but not completely defeated. He fled with his loyal dark warriors and regrouped. By the time the story begins, he’s become the powerful Lord of Destruction and the two sides are locked in a grim war.

As for Zan. Her name is short for Alexandra. I used it because I think it sounds cool.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I spent my formative years devouring all the fantasy and science fiction I could find. I started with A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and moved onto J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny and Frank Herbert (the Dune books), to name a few. I guess all those stories had to ferment in my brain for thirty years until The Covalent Series poured out.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Beats me. I don’t think I am sane. A person has to be a little nuts to do so much work for so little money. I get frustrated that I can’t quit my day job. Ha Ha! I can dream.

What kind of research did you have to do for the series?

Physics! One of my main characters is Pellus, a friend and mentor to Barakiel, my male hero. Pellus is a being known as a Covalent traveler adept, born with the ability to perceive the molecular composition of things at the quantum level. Travelers study for a long time until they can move through the cosmos using interdimensional rifts. When they achieve mastery, they become adepts, the highest rank of traveler.

Adepts are BADASS. They can manipulate and alter the bonds that give structure to all things. Pellus can shift light to hide things. He can form impenetrable barriers out of thin air and burn or freeze his adversaries. He can travel through space in the blink of an eye. I read a book about physics so I could describe how Pellus sees the world.

What makes you laugh?

My husband. I make him laugh, too, the secret to our happy marriage.

What makes you cry?

Whenever an animal dies in a story. I simply cannot take it.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame. He inspired me with this quote, one of my favorites: “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”

Words to live by! I took his advice. A lot the dialogue in my books is rich in humor.

Is there anything else you want to add about the Covalent Series that has not already been mentioned?

My heroine, Zan O’Gara, is a tough, battled-tested FBI agent. She does not submit and she does not need to be rescued. She is not claimed or owned and she will not be mistreated. Not anymore.

In addition, these books aren’t really light reads. Sure, they have lots of humor, but they go dark at times and the plots are complex. If you like total immersion in a world, I think you’ll like them.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Through my website! You can contact me directly through my website’s “contact” page, as well as find all my social media links (Amazon Author Page, BookBub, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Goodreads) and my mailing list sign up.

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The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series by Libby Doyle

A superhuman warrior from another dimension. An FBI agent with a troubled past. A love that will burn through the cosmos.

When Special Agent Zan O’Gara investigates a ritual murder, she meets the only man who’s ever been able to reach beyond her emotional defenses. Little does she know he harbors a dangerous secret.

Barakiel accepted his solitary life after the rulers of his homeworld banished him to Earth, but his encounter with the fascinating Zan O’Gara changes everything. He knows he should stay away from her before his enemies make her a target. No matter. There’s no taming the unruly passion of a Covalent warrior.

As Zan’s investigation brings her closer to the truth about her lover, Barakiel realizes his presence on Earth has placed its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as Zan rescues him from a deadened heart.

“A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters.”

— Kirkus Reviews

WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, explicit sex, and sexual violence. Adults only! This is not a stand-alone novel, but the first in a five-part series. The romantic science fantasy continues in The Pain Season, Book II of the Covalent Series, available now.

Available via:

Amazon http://mybook.to/CovalentOne

Apple Books

Kobo

Walmart

Other retailers

Libby Doyle escapes real life by writing extravagant tales, filled with adventure, sex, and violence. When not tapping away at her fiction, she’s been known to work as an attorney and a journalist. She loves absurd humor, travel, hiking, punk rock, and her husband. Libby is the author of The Covalent Series, a romantic science fantasy in five parts. Read more at https://libbydoyle.com.

Guest Post: Romance, Consent and the #metoo Movement

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes back author Corrina Lawson as a guest blogger to talk about her newest release, A Hanging at Lotus Hall.

Take it away Corrina!

Thanks so much Patty!

Romance, Consent and the #metoo Movement by Corrina Lawson

It’s been one of my longstanding goals as a romance writer and as a geek to breach the wall between the two. My books are in genres like my upcoming steampunk, A Hanging at Lotus Hall, or superhero-style romances, like the Galaxy-award-winning Phoenix Institute series.

But, still, bridging that gap isn’t as easy because while there are many romance-writing geeks, like the owner of this blog, there are many science fiction and fantasy-loving female geeks who have internalized much of society’s views of romance. Like “they’re formulaic,” and “the woman have to be rescued,” and “the heroes are all way too pushy.”

All of us who know the romance book genre know that these clichés are, in general, falsehoods. Indeed, much of what the general society views as romance is from entertainment created by straight white men that inevitably puts women in second-place, as a sidekick or helper. These stories almost invariably inform people’s views of romance books, which is frustrating because, for the most part, this stuff contains terrible romances, even when the love interest survives the story.

But because romance is viewed this way by those outside the genre, questions about consent and the #metoo movement have naturally gained some traction. Even many in the romance community have started to look at their books with a fresh eye about consent.

This is a good thing because it’s always good to be aware of any unconscious harmful societal assumptions that have made their way into our work.

But it’s also a bad thing because it feeds on our assumption that the romance genre, overall, has a problem with writing consent properly. It doesn’t.

I’ve spent the last year reading the romance books that have won the Rita, the Romance Writers of America’s award for excellence in romance. That means I’ve read 112 books so far, starting with the winners in 1982, when the award was called the Golden Medallion.

I, too, had unconscious assumptions about what I’d find in these award winners, particularly the older ones, especially about whether there would be heroes who rape or sexually assault their heroines.

Because I’d heard “romances used to be rapey.”

The truth was not even close to that. The first winner I picked up, A Day Beyond Destiny, started with a woman trapped in a loveless marriage, with a husband who rapes her, and she finds the courage to leave him for the lover who values her. Clearly, romance-reading and romance-writing woman in 1982 already knew what was what.

Over and over again, I saw few issues with consent in the Rita-winning books that I read. There were some problems in the short contemporary romances with overly pushy heroes, heroes who thought they knew a job better than their heroines, heroes who thought nothing of grabbing purses to look in them, heroes who assumed they were superior. And, yes, most of the heroines overlooked this pushiness. But there was always a moment in these stories where the heroine stood up for herself, forced the hero to understand her point of view, and made him, well, grovel.

In short, in these older contemporaries, women were writing about women in the workforce who pushed back and stood up for themselves, in bed and out. And the sexual consent was clear in these stories.

I expected this not to hold true in the older historical romances, with the leeway given heroes with a literal medieval or Regency-mindset. Instead, I read historical romances that could stand up to the scrutiny of today, with heroines who demanded respect and the heroes who gave it to them. That held true in the bedroom, especially for those trapped in marriages of convenience. In one medieval, it was made clear that the heroine could escape, if she choose, but because of reasons related to her love for their estate, she choose to stay and deal with the hero.

It was obvious, as I read books from 1985, and 1995, and 2005, and 2015, that the romance genre as a whole understood consent.

The one book that I could not finish, Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale, did have a hero who outright raped the heroine. But this was an outlier even for Kinsale, who wrote the incredible and wonderful Prince of Midnight. I can’t say what was in Kinsale’s mind while writing this, but I suspect she was exploring how dark a romance can go and how much punishment can be doled out to a hero in order to make him grovel and consider him redeemed.

Other than Shadowheart, I can only count three Rita books with problematic consent. That’s slightly less than four percent of the overall total.

And, like with Shadowheart, the authors were deliberately exploring the boundaries of consent, and power, and the push-pull between two independent people. These romances aren’t to my taste, as a sexual assault survivor, but it’s also clear the authors of these books weren’t ignoring the idea of consent but deliberately delving into it, to see what was and what was not over the line.

All this doesn’t mean that we, as writers, need to ignore the importance of the #metoo movement. A workplace romance with a power imbalance has an inherent consent issue that needs to be addressed perhaps more head-on than in the past. Readers, even of romance, are coming into stories now with eyes that have been opened.

For instance, when I wrote my dark paranormal BDSM, Love’s Inferno, I knew I was pushing boundaries of the S/M aspect. My hero gets off on pain and he can heal his injuries, meaning to fully enjoy himself, the pain has to be at a level high enough to cripple an average person. That meant exploring knife-play and fireplay (my Google results were quite interesting for a time). But it also meant discovering how explicit the consent had to be, at each stage in the fetish scenes, as is done in the majority of non-fictional BDSM communities.

On the fictional side, what I found is that BDSM romances are more likely to have openly verbal and informed consent at every step of the way than in a regular romance, where the consent is clear but our heroes and heroines can be swept up in the moment, jointly consenting but with body language and actions, rather than explicit verbal instructions of what the other wants.

BDSM romances are inherently careful about consent for each individual sex or fetish act in a scene. That’s no a bad idea to carry over to romances in the other sub-genres, either, as verbal banter can be an excellent way to add sizzle to sex scenes. There’s nothing sexier than two people telling each other how much they enjoy what the other person is doing in bed (or elsewhere).

Overall, as writers, it’s good to ponder consent more than in the past, even if it doesn’t change your writing, because readers are coming at scenes with a different set of assumptions.

But, in reading the Rita-books, the stories given by writers to other writers, it’s clear that the romance genre already knows the pitfalls inherent in problematic consent and not only actively works to avoid that pitfalls, but it has always done so.

Corrina Lawson is a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University. A mom of four, she now works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist, as a sci-fi and fantasy blogger for Barnes & Noble, and is a founding editor of GeekMom.com.

Corrina also writes about mysteries and suspense for CriminalElement, a site that reviews any genre with a mystery edge, and writes about romance at Heroes & Heartbreakers.

Corrina has written in a variety of genres. She loves to delve into the worlds of paranormal romance, science fiction/fantasy, steampunk, urban fantasy, Vikings and alternative history, and superheroes. She loves to intertwine these worlds, such as in her Phoenix series which are romance novels with a superhero twist.

She is the author of the Amazon bestselling Victorian-steampunk, The Curse of the Brimstone Contractthe Seneca series, three stories set in an alternate world where the Romans and Vikings have colonies in North America, and the Phoenix Institute paranormal series, featuring heroes and heroines with psychic superpowers who secretly combat evil, a series that has been compared to the X-Men, and won the 2015 science fiction romance Galaxy Award for Best Superhero origin series.

Guest Post: A Peak at the next BADARI WARRIORS Novel: GABE

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes back author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about her newest release, GABE.

Take it away Veronica!

A Peak at the next BADARI WARRIORS Novel: GABE By Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as a guest! Always thrilled to have a chance to talk about how things are going with the writing and the books!

I had a special thrill recently when AYDARR, book one of the series, won the I Heart Indie contest in the SF&F romance category.

GABE is the fifth book of the series, although – why did I do such a confusing thing?! – TIMTUR actually came out in mid-October under the In the Stars Romance label and is book 2.5 of the entire line of Badari adventures. His story fell between the events in MATEER and JADRIAN on the series timeline. So if you missed the story of how Timtur the healer and Lily the human teacher became mates, please do go pick that title up from your favorite ebook seller.

But getting back to Gabe, he’s a human, kind of devil-may-care ex-military guy and a supporting character since book one of the series. I have a special fondness for him and I always knew I’d give him his own book. There’s a special twist to the story, relating to who his mate turns out to be. The reveal comes pretty early in the book but SPOILER alert:

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER: Keshara, the heroine, isn’t human. She’s a Badari woman!

The very fact that everyone has been so adamant all along in the series that there are no Badari females, that the evil alien scientists never created any, has been tantalizing to me as the author. I had to ensure there ARE Badari women just to confound everyone on the planet. But they needed a good solid backstory of how they came to be and how Gabe of all people meets them. I had great fun writing this book and I hope the readers will enjoy seeing the events unfold.

Now enjoy this excerpt of GABE!

Setting: Keshara is on the run, escaping from her home, and sees Gabe’s flyer crash. She debates whether to go investigate…

Deciding not to risk herself in the storm for mere curiosity’s sake, she prepared to return to the cozy den when a flash of lightning illuminated the sky and she caught sight of a new problem. A man was falling, clinging to a strange harness. He seemed to be fighting whatever was slowing his fall, and it was clear to Keshara he was descending much too fast.

Heart pounding, hand on the hilt of her knife, she watched him attempt to blunt the shock of hitting the ground by allowing his body to go limp. As he collided hard with the muddy, rock strewn ground near her den, she winced in unwilling sympathy. Through the driving rain she watched him, but he made no attempt to rise. After a minute, she heard an exclamation of pain and a few words with the force of a curse.

Enemy or not, Keshara didn’t have the heart to leave the poor man to die in the cold rain. She could at least go check out the situation, see if he had any chance to survive his amazing fall.

Adjusting her rain cape, knife at the ready, she crawled from the tunnel, rose to her feet and ran to where the man lay. Cringing as thunder boomed overhead, she prayed the lightning would hold off. The man lay on his back, one arm flung over his eyes and, as she drew close, she froze in astonishment.

He had no large crest of red and yellow hair and his skin tones were pale. He wasn’t Khagrish.

He was of some species unknown to her, similar to her own perhaps.

Groaning, he attempted to sit up but cut the move short with a jerk as he realized she was nearby. He fumbled at his hip as if searching for a weapon that was no longer there, lost in the turbulent fall perhaps. Then he spoke in a variation on her own language, the secret tongue the Director was unaware the sisters all knew. His accent was odd, some of the words made no sense, but the general meaning was clear.

“Well, you’re the last thing I was expecting.” He managed a lopsided grin despite obvious injuries, blood welling from a bad cut on one thigh and another on his head. He swiped moisture from his face. “Can we get out of the rain before we do introductions?”

Tongue tied, she stared at him. His face was undeniably handsome, although set right now in lines of pain, radiating from his eyes and lips. He was probably the same height as she was, well over six feet, and since his odd uniform was plastered to his body by the rain, Keshara could tell he was solidly built, with the muscles and sinews of one who was a deadly fighter. And what the wet fabric outlined between his legs was impressive as well. Her primary knowledge of males was gleaned from study modules, and observing the few Khagrish men left at the Retreat. This man put them to shame with his physique.

Thunder crashed again and lightning stabbed a tree at the far end of the meadow, throwing massive sparks high into the air and breaking her concentration. “We’d better get inside,” she said in her own tongue since he obviously understood the language. Reflecting on his aborted search for a weapon, she showed him the knife. “I’ll help you, but don’t think me easy meat for your taking.”

“Aww, seven hells, lady, if you’re what I think you are, you have better weapons than that.” His smile, although strained, was warming. “Do you have a shelter?”

###

GABE (A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL): SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 4 is available through the following outlet: Amazon, Apple Books, Nook, Kobo and Google Play

Gabe Carter, hotshot pilot and ex-Special Forces soldier, is far from his home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments. Shot down by the enemy over desolate territory far from his Badari allies and gravely injured, Gabe’s only hope is a mysterious woman on the run herself.

Keshara has to decide whether to abandon the human to die of his injuries on a windswept mountain top or give up her own quest for freedom and take him to a place he can be helped. The undeniable spark between them complicates matters.

His attraction to her is off the charts but when she betrays him to the Khagrish enemy, Gabe doesn’t know what to believe. Trapped inside an alien lab bursting with mysteries and lies, his only hope may be to trust her…again.

Because the renegade alien scientist running her own private experiments wants to use him to accomplish her goals and perpetuate the evil, no matter what she has to do to ensure his compliance. Keshara’s life hangs in the balance and Gabe has to make a choice.

About Veronica Scott
USA Today Best Selling Author, as well as the “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

Interview With Author Donna Kauffman

It is a great pleasure to welcome Donna Kauffman author of the Blue Hollow Falls Series. I knew Donna from the Prodigy Romance Readers Club back when I was in college and before she was a famous writer of romantic fiction. I am extremely excited that we reconnected and she agreed to this interview.

Welcome Donna to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

My current series, Blue Hollow Falls, is set in my home area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love my mountain home and have long wanted to set a series here. I had been waiting for the right story inspiration and am thrilled to finally be sharing it with readers.
The current story is this season’s holiday novella, Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls, which is part of the A SEASON TO CELEBRATE anthology. Each story in the series stands alone, but the stories do give readers of the series a chance to check back in with family and friends they’ve met along the way.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples...

Blue Hollow Falls is a fictional town, is absolutely a composite of all the things I love about my home. While the place names and character names are all fictional, I have used many of the names of places and people in the story, just in different ways.

As an example, I live along the Rockfish River. In the book, the county name is Rockfish. I hike along Goodwin Creek. The heroine in my first book, her last name is Goodwin. And so on… Not all, but many of the place names and some of the character names are drawn from my area and used in some way in the book, to give it an authentic feel.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I enjoy contemporary romance as a reader, and wanted to write the kind of stories that I love to read. In particular, I live in a small, rural town, as does my extended family, so small towns are a big draw to me personally, and as a reader. It’s great fun to get to build my own small towns and create stories about the people there. Blue Hollow Falls is my third small town series. Each one has been set in an entirely different locale, from an island off the coast of Georgia in my Cupcake Club series, to coastal Maine in my Blueberry Cove books. The places are always special to me personally and such a joy to be able to “visit” any time I want.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

I always travel to the areas where my books are set. Most often, I choose those areas because I have already spent a significant amount of time there. I go back when writing as various story elements require a bit more exploration. In the case of the current series, I didn’t have to travel anywhere given I live in the area I’m writing about, but other elements of the stories have required some wonderful field trips. Wineries, lavender farms, orchid growing, fiddle making and playing, raising goats and sheep, and even rehabilitating abused llamas have all played roles in the various stories in this series. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the research.

What makes you laugh?

Most often, watching the antics of the wildlife out here. They have so graciously allowed me to plant myself right in their midst, and I never get tired of their company. From the fawns bedded down in the back, waiting for mama to come back, to the baby bears getting stuck up high up the pine trees every dang spring, to the birds who frequent my many feeders and water fountain, it’s never a dull moment.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

The next full length book in the Blue Hollow Falls series comes out this January. LAVENDER BLUE is set, as the title might suggest, on a lavender farm and the four women who own and run the farm have become close friends. I look forward to telling more of their stories in upcoming books. I hope they become good friends of yours as well!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can follow my blog at www.donnakauffman.com/blog or find me on social media at the following places:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/donna.kauffman1/
Twitter: @DonnaKauffman
Instagram: @donnakauffman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/donnakauffman
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/donnakauffman
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-kauffman

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

Available now:

A SEASON TO CELEBRATE

BLUE HOLLOW FALLS

Available for Preorder:

LAVENDER BLUE

Interview with Author: Elizabeth Bromke

It is a pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Bromke author of Christmas on Maplewood Mountain (Book One in the Maplewood Sisters Series).

Welcome Elizabeth to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

Thank you, Patty! I’m really excited for this.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Christmas on Maplewood Mountain is set in a tiny, fictional mountain town in Arizona. I, too, live in a small mountain town in Arizona, although it’s not Maplewood. However, I was born and raised in Tucson, a desert. Growing up, I always missed the seasons. In fact, fall leaves and snow were the stuff of fantasies for me, except for when my family would visit cooler climates. So, when my husband and I moved up to the mountains, I became a keen observer of “mountain life,” and I fell in love. I wanted to build a world in Maplewood, and one good way to do that was to create a family. I come from a very big family, and so the idea of four sisters and two brothers is based on my aunts and uncles. Fun fact: my dad has one brother and four sisters, and my mom has three sisters and two brothers. The Delaneys of Maplewood echo that dynamic.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Some characters’ names or places are mini dedications to my family members. The characters are not based on real people, but I liked the idea of honoring them in a small way in the series. For example, I used my mom’s name for the bakery owner.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I have yet to meet a genre I didn’t like. I have a voracious appetite for reading. And, I’ve been writing since I was a young child. When I was a little girl, I wrote stories about big families with complicated (and confusing!) family dynamics. As I (hopefully) matured in my writing, I never shook the desire to explore relationships. Romance lends itself very well to this exploration. Plus, I love happy endings!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I feel less myself when I’m not engaging in creative pursuits. To me, sanity is synonymous with writing. It absorbs my anxieties. But, really the main condition of my contentment and happiness is… you guessed it! Family. In the book, even though they arrive at a major conflict in their sisterhood, Mary and Anna Delaney love each other and their siblings and parents deeply. Family is a driving force.

What makes you laugh?

It’s one of two extremes. I either laugh at the same things that 13-year-old boys laugh at or really smart humor.  My favorite TV show, however, is The Office. I’m not quite sure where it falls on that spectrum.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I am a huge fan of a variety of books/movies/people. For example, my favorite movies are The Wizard of Oz and Silence of the Lambs. I also love TitanicJaws, and Beetlejuice. Batman is my favorite superhero, and The Dark Knight is another favorite movie. Favorite books include Dracula, The Hunger Games, and anything by Jodi Picoult. I love psychological thrillers, too. Finally, I have a bizarre interest in Lizzie Borden of hatchet fame. My first historical fiction pieces revolve around her story.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can find me on website, elizabethbromke.com, my facebook author page, Elizabeth Bromke or on twitter @ElizabethBromke. Joining my newsletter is a surefire way to stay up-to-date with exclusive news and promotions. You can join here!

Christmas on Maplewood Mountain (Book One in the Maplewood Sisters Series) – releasing Saturday, November 17, 2018!

It’s December, and Mary Delaney has little to show for her tenth year at Wood Smoke Lodge. Her business has been steadily dwindling. Her relationship prospects, too. But, her sister, Anna, has an idea that just might change Mary’s luck. Unfortunately, their own sisterhood might be working against them. Worst of all, it’s all coming to a head during the holidays, making Mary feel lonelier than ever.

Meanwhile, Kurt Cutler is living the high life in the tech world. Fresh on the heels of wild success in the uncharted world of cryptocurrency, he looks for a way to ensure his young company doesn’t lose its grip. When his right-hand woman suggests a get-away at her sister’s snowy mountain retreat, he jumps on the opportunity to unplug and unwind.

If Mary’s sister, Anna, can back off, Mary has every chance of enjoying the magic of the holidays. But when Mary and Kurt have to choose between love and their own priorities, what will win?

Find out if a wintry weekend can become more for people from two opposite worlds in Elizabeth Bromke’s cozy romance, Christmas on Maplewood Mountain.

Interview With Author Tessa McFionn

It is a pleasure to welcome Tessa McFionn author of The Rise of the Stria series.

Welcome Tessa to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

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What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

My latest series, The Rise of the Stria, is a space opera which has been spinning in my mind for many years now. I pitched the first book, To Discover a Divine, as The Wizard of Oz meets Star Wars. At the time, the work was entitled Lost in Transmigration, but the feedback on the title was less than anticipated. Seems people thought, by the title, this was going to be a comedy, or at least a light rom-com. And that would be a big negative there, Ghost Rider. So, after several heart-to-hearts with my wonderful publishing team at Fiery Seas Publishing, we came up with the current title. The story centers around a human, Evainne Wagner, who gets sucked into another galaxy only to find out she is some sort of mystical savior eluded to in an ancient prophecy, and it will follow her as she learns of her role and navigates the intense attraction to our hero, a captain in the Strian rebel forces, Kahlym cal Jheun.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Ah, the names. Actually, I find myself discovering new character names in the oddest of ways. One fun way is watching the credits at the ends of movies. I have always stayed until the bitter end in the theater. Sometimes because I wanted to know who sang a particular song or where a movie was shot, but during the wait, I would read the names. My husband and I actually play a game where we try to find the funniest, or longest, or coolest name in the credits. By watching all the names scroll by, my author brain is on high alert for the next hero, heroine, villain or sidekick in the long list. But, in the case of my sci-fi, it was a little different. For my heroine, I have always loved the name Evainne. I first heard it in Neil Gaiman’s work, Starlight, and I just loved it. As to the aliens, those are tough. I mean, you don’t really think you’re going to come across a spaceman named Bob, right? I wanted to make the names look exotic, but still be pronounceable. So, Callum became Kahlym and Darrin became Dhaerin. For the others, don’t laugh, but I stared at my keyboard and started with one letter then built the names up from there. Granted, this is a very trial and error method. I thought to myself, what kinds of word sounds made me think happy thoughts and which sounded evil. I tried to give my good guys soothing sounds while the harsher tones were aimed toward the bad guys. Like I said, I know it sounds silly, but it works for me.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I have been a nerd for the whole of my life. My mother used to read to me and my brother when we were little. She read anything and everything. We heard The Yearling, Old Yeller, Jaws, (LOL! Yes, I heard the story before the movie was made) and The Hobbit. I remember when my grandmother gave me a copy of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. I was in the fourth grade and I was so excited. The opening line used the word “xenomorph” and I had to read the rest of it with the dictionary next to me. But I didn’t care. I was hooked. I am old enough to say that I was there the day they released Star Wars in the theaters. I remember looking over my shoulder when the space ship zoomed in from off-camera, cheering for the good guys and booing Darth Vader. After that, I continued to devour all things fantastical. I read Asimov, Bradbury, all of the Dune books. My mother even enrolled me in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Book of the Month club, which is why I dedicate each and every book I write to her memory. She is my biggest inspiration and was my most steadfast supporter, even though she never had a chance to read my works.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Wait, we have to be sane to do this?! Nobody told me that!!! All kidding aside, for me, since I do have a full-time day job, it’s all about time management. It’s a bit of the “all work and no play” mentality. I try to make sure to get words on pages every day, but I try, she said incredulously, I try NOT to beat myself up if I don’t. I personally tend to be rather scattered. Yes, I am a pantser and can get distracted by shiny objects. (Just ask my hubby. He calls it my magpie complex.) So, I create characters who can think on their feet and multitask like it’s cool. I don’t really have any strongly organized characters just yet, only because I’m not sure how to approach that myself.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

That’s the beauty about writing science fiction: not a whole lot of available information on a fictitious part of the universe. If anything, I guess what you could call it is anti-research. It’s more about checking around to make sure your device/concept/planetary system isn’t already being used by someone else out there. But you still have to make things believable and relatable, and therein lies the rub. When I first started writing my space opera, I had the Alliance as the good guys, but that only sparked my memories of watching Firefly and Serenity, even though they were the bad guys in that world. So, after numerous synonym searches (thank you, thesaurus.com and my Flip Dictionary), I found a very distant cousin, twice removed on their mother’s side I would venture to guess. I rewatched lots of Star Trek reruns and Googled lots of ship components. But even then, things can go sideways. I was 90% done with the first draft and my ship’s three-armed tech/mechanic was named Warwick. I was so pleased with my somewhat obscure choice of names and took a break to read and POOF! There, as bold as day, was Warwick, out in print. So, back to the drawing board, a little switcharoo and Warwick becomes Falka, and the cleric, who was originally Falco, becomes Yhan’tu. Now, would others have made the connection? I don’t know, but if I want to set my stories apart, then maybe it means making some changes when needed.

What makes you laugh?

EVERYTHING!! I love to laugh. I consider myself to be more of an optimist than a pessimist, and I try to keep things on a positive note. This means lots of laughter and lots of smiles. My current go-to for a good giggle is a series of short videos called True Facts. OMG! If you haven’t seen these yet, they are just hysterical. They’re little nature videos about strange animals and they are just brilliant. The narrator reminds me a little of a young version of Morgan Freeman and he starts out so serious, but ends up cracking himself up throughout the episode with the facts or the videos of the animals. There is one about seahorses and he acquaints the way seahorses move to riding a skateboard and waving a Denny’s menu really fast to move. I believe that laughter is the best way to learn about people and to stay healthy.

What makes you cry?

Not much? I know, that makes me sound so heartless. But, like I said above, I try to be optimistic about things. But, if I am truly moved emotionally, I will shed a tear or two. This can happen when I see someone rise up against all odds and succeed, or when someone inspires others to rise up. For me, it’s all about the journey. I cry when I see the little kitties climb up from the edge of the abyss, or when I watch my students completely nail a performance in front of a packed house. I don’t cry in normal movies. I thought E.T. was boring and Terms of Endearment didn’t move me either. I also don’t watch sappy movies. LMAO! I know, I know! What kind of romance author am I?! But, I did cry when Spock died in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and when Gandalf fell in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

Since my life has surrounded the nerd culture for the whole of my life, I have lots of fandoms that influence me. I have also been surrounded by the performing arts and these have been woven into a couple of my heroines in my paranormal series. In my first book, Spirit Fall, my heroine is a dancer disillusioned with life and is brought down from the edge of suicide by a handsome hero. My third book in that same series, Spirit Song, tells of a torch singer held prisoner by a sleazy mobster in Chicago and finds an unlikely savior in a reluctant Guardian Warrior. It’s hard not to infuse some of yourself into your stories. Everyone does drink coffee. That is a requirement. I even found a way to make coffee appear in a different universe. It’s that serious.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

This is only the beginning. I wrote To Discover a Divine with the idea of it only being a trilogy, but my muse wasn’t having any of that. So, this is the gateway to a whole new universe of tales from the Dantaran Galaxy and I hope to share many more stories as times goes on.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I’m a bit old school and I really do like Facebook. However, that being said, I am on Twitter and Instagram as well. I answer emails, my semaphore and smoke signals are a bit weak, but I’d be willing to brush up on them if needed. Just drop by my website, my Amazon Author page or find me on the interwebs.

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