Monday, November 28, 2011

What Inspires Me by Karen Rose Smith

Writing and living are interchangeable for me.  They are so glued together that I realized while writing this blog that whatever inspires me for one inspires me for the other.  Peaks and valleys in one affect the other.  So when I think about inspiration for either writing or living, I can lift my heart in these ways.

Ever since I was a young girl, music has made a difference in my life. (That is probably why one of the romances in my new series revolves around music.) Until I was five, my parents and I lived with my grandfather and my aunt.  After that they lived next door.  I come from an Italian heritage, and my grandfather was an immigrant.  He played the mandolin beautifully.  On weekends friends would stop by with guitars and an accordion, and he and his friends made music.  That music brought into the house fellowship, fun and a sense of well-being.  Also in my grandfather's house was a player piano.  We inserted what was called a "roll" and a melody magically played while my mother and I would sing along.  She played the piano herself, and I would accompany her, too.  It was natural for me to learn to play the piano myself.  Through the years I learned to express emotion through the playing.  I found joy and inspiration in the music.  With this history, I never just listen to a song.  I feel it.  Today I listen for artists and music which can stir that deep creative part of me, whether it does that by bringing back memories, lifting me to a mountaintop, soothing pain and stress away, or urging me to write a particularly emotional scene.  Music lifts me over the writing bumps or life's bumps.

Traveling to a place with power also renews me.  I believe everyone can find places that fill them with peace and an overwhelming sense of well-being.  When I was a child, I had access to a relative's farm.  There was something about the fields of grass, the scent of orange blossoms and honeysuckle, the playfulness of kittens around the barn and the beauty of horses in the corral that always washed over me in a particularly healing way.  I loved just being there and soaking it in.  As an adult I feel drawn to places where I can feel a power greater than myself--the ocean, the cliff dwellings in the southwest, the Appalachian mountains, the big blue sky over Santa Fe, Sedona and the Grand Canyon, a memorial garden my husband and I created in memory of my parents in our own backyard.  All of these places, as well as the memories from being in them, fill me up when I am empty and help me to keep going.

Since emotion and my creative energy are also integrally linked, the people I love and who love me also inspire me.  My husband reminds me that I always say each book is different and eventually my characters show me the way.  Talking to my son long-distance reminds me the bonds between a mother and child are never-ending.  When my BFF's daughter runs to me for a hug, I am inspired to look at the world through her eyes--in a more innocent, unspoiled way.  My writing friends listen and help me get unstuck when a scene or character is being stubborn.  Also my two cats, Ebbie and London are constant companions who remind me to be playful.  Ebbie joins me when I work or listen to music.  London curls on my lap or beside me for an afternoon break.  Their presence fills me with a sense of contentment.

Inspiration surrounds me in many forms.  I just have to know how to listen, where to go and whom to turn to in order to find it.  Somehow I always do and life and writing flow on.

Karen Rose Smith is the best-selling, award-winning author of 75 published romances.  Readers can visit her website @, follow her on Twitter @ karenrosesmith and on Facebook (Karen Rose Smith author), and access her blog at Cats, Roses and Books! (http;//, as well as her e-zine In Touch at for new releases and contests.

Check out Karen's interview on Nathan's Vow and you may win some awesome prizes!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Brita Addams and the Romeo Club

What is it about the romance genre that draws you so? I truly believe there is nothing more important in our lives than love. It certainly is in my life. I enjoy the ups and downs in romance, the aligning of minds and adjustments people must make to accommodate another person in their lives. Being sentimental to a fault makes the romance genre a perfect fit for me.

Who have been some of your chief writing influences? I'm inspired by good writing, no matter the genre. When an idea is brought to life with good writing, there's nothing better.

I've been blessed with a wonderful mentor, Aleksandr Voinov, who also happens to be my favorite author. He's shown me so much about the writing craft and continues to encourage me to push myself beyond what I've ever thought I could write.

Another good friend, Bryl R. Tyne, is a great person to brainstorm with. He constantly helps me to take my ideas to the next level and usually in directions I'd have never expected.

What are your long-term writing/publishing aspirations? I want to continue and evolve as a writer. I put off the beginning of my writing career for too many years and nothing keeps me from my writing these days.

I have many projects in various stages of completion. For the rest of this year, I'm giong to be working on my erotica collection—Romeo Club—for Riptide Publishing. I'm very excited to be one of the First Wave authors at Riptide. The quality of the editing is making me a better writer.

I'm just completed a m/m historical, For Men Like Us, which I'm getting ready to submit.

Aside from being an author, you're also an experienced genealogist. Please share more with us about your endeavors in that field. I've done genealogical research for over twenty years, during which time I've uncovered some rather shocking stories about my own family.

One wonderful story touched me so much, I loosely based a novella on it.

My great uncle was thirty-five years old when he left his family to go to work during a very heavy rainstorm. As the rain continued, the creek rose, then flooded its banks, taking everything in its wake.

Uncle Roy and a co-worker entered the home of some neighbors who weren't at home at the time. They attempted to save some of the belongings of the family as their house flooded.

According to other neighbors, Roy's co-worker shouted for him to get out as the house shifted on its foundation. Roy attempted to jump out of the window, but the house did go off the slab and was broken into pieces, taking Roy with it.

Roy left a young wife and four children under five years old.

I spoke to Roy's widow fifty-two years later and all she could say, while holding a tiny picture of her and Roy, was, "I told him not to go." She never stopped loving Roy.

Their love story inspired my novella, An Evening at the Starlight, part of the Timeless Desire collection at Noble Romance. I even named the characters Doe and Roy, after Uncle Roy and Aunt Dorothy. The other in this collection is A Minute After Midnight, a m/m novella.

The first in my collection of gay erotica shorts, Romeo Club #1: Surprises, is available at Riptide Publishing and you can preorder Romeo Club #2: Rubbed the Right Way. Here's an excerpt from Surprises:

How often do you like to fuck?

Not “have intercourse” or “make love,” but “fuck,” written out right on the application. Damn! I hadn’t expected such personal questions, but after a few moments of thought, “No limit” seemed as good an answer as any.

“What is your favorite position?” Oh, the possibilities.

“Bent over a sofa, chair, table?” All of the above, giving or receiving.

“On all fours on a bed or the floor?” Right you are.

“Standing against the wall?” Definitely has merit.

“Do you suck cock regularly, or do you prefer to be sucked? Do you swallow?” I should have seen that one coming.

“Dildo preference—glass or flexible?” I’d never thought about it, but the question gave me ideas.

“Butt plugs?” Damn, did other people use those things? I squirmed, thinking a smaller one might have been in order for this excursion.

A whole section entitled “Probing Your Fantasies.” “Are you into cowboys, pirates, millionaires, policemen, doctors? Kidnap, rape, ménage? Explain your desires in detail.” I took the expeditious route and wrote, “Yes to all the above.” Why limit my options?

“Are you willing to put yourself in our hands?”

Now, that was a loaded question. The devil in me wanted to write, “Hell, yeah,” while the commodities trader wrote a more dignified, “Yes.”

Only one section left: “The Usual Stuff,” mercifully mundane after an hour’s worth of divulging everything there was to know about my sex life, real or imagined. Name, address, phone number.

Then, bam, “Do you consider yourself handsome?”

Now, what’s a guy supposed to do with that? It’s one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t questions. If I said “Fuck yeah,” I’d come off as arrogant. If I said “No,” I’d sound like someone desperate enough to live in his mother’s basement. But then, I was filling out an application for a freaking dating service. Wasn’t that desperate by definition? Oh, hell, just leave it blank.

I checked over the tome to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, lest a fantasy be left undiscovered. My libido had kicked up several notches this past hour and the black and white photos on the walls did nothing to tame it. Damn, if this was a sample of what Romeo’s offered, I was glad I’d taken the afternoon off.

The adorable blond behind the desk looked up and smiled when I stood. Good Lord Almighty, they didn’t grow guys like that back in Kansas.

Blondie came around the desk, his slim hips working overtime. His body was built to my personal specifications. The fact he’d wrapped it in skin-tight jeans and a royal blue shirt was the cherry on top of the cake. Oh, my unruly cock, be still, boy.

I glanced at the black engraved desk plate: Aaron. He checked over my application with pursed lips and an exaggerated hand to the hip “Have you answered every question? It’svery important that you answer all of them.”

Hmm, what was he, the damn question police? “I believe I did, yes.”

“We’ll just have a peek, shall we?”

He grasped the clipboard with both hands and studied it, save for an occasional smirk or eyebrow waggle in my direction.

Ooh,” he said with a giggle. Though curious, I was too chicken to ask what part he’d read.

He flipped through the last couple of pages, then settled a hand over the first page. “You have unique tastes,” he said. The sparkle in his eyes was unmistakable. “I believe Blake would be interested in talking to you. If you’ll come this way, I’ll take you to him.”

How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts? Thank you for reading my stories and I hope you'll continue to read them. I love to have visitors.

Email address:


Twitter: @britaaddams



Leave a comment and you could win a back list book from Brita (Timeless Desire collection and Romeo Club excluded)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Industry News

Heartbreakers to newsmakers and everything in between.

After a relatively quite last week, happenings are abound this week:

All new tablets and ereaders have now been released and reviews are fairly positive all around for the Kindle Fire, Kobo Vox, and Nook Tablet. The winner? Depends on your needs. (Bet you never saw that answer coming, right?) If you are looking for a cheaper version of the iPad, none of these new tablets are going to satisfy. However, if you are already a Prime Amazon customer or a voracious consumer of video and music, the Kindle Fire is a great extension to that buying power. The shortcomings of the Nook Tablet are evident in the limited choice of media which can be purchased. As for the Vox, well, it falls somewhere in the middle, but it is a great alternative if you are looking a higher-end reader that does more than just display books.

If you are in the market, be sure to check out Black Friday deals from Walmart, Target and Radio Shack (to name a few). Several stores are selling the readers at retail but including gift cards ranging from $10-25.


On November 21, Overdrive (who distributes digital material to libraries) announced that Penguin was "reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks" and in the interim, it had to disable “Get for Kindle” functionality for all Penguin eBooks. Well it turns out that Penguin has changed its mind because the original decision had nothing to do with Amazon's own Lending Library for Prime Members. Nothing at all. There is a great write up by Sarah over at SBTB


It is with a heavy heart that I pass along the news that legendary fantasy novelist, Anne McCaffrey, died at the age of 85. McCaffrey was known for writing strong female characters in the fantasy/science fiction genre which usually dismissed women as eye-candy, after thoughts. Her words and worlds have been and will continue to be cherished by countless readers for generations. I personally attribute McCaffrey for nurturing my love for dragons and science fiction and for showing that girls, too, could have epic adventures. Thank you, Ms. McCaffrey. You will be missed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Aleksandr Voinov talks about his Dark Soul

First of all where are you from?

Originally Germany, living in the UK.

What do you like to read?

Good stories. I’m pretty choosy and demanding, but open-minded about genres. Right now, I’m mostly reading books my friends write, submissions for Riptide, and non-fiction.

What do you love about being an author?

Being anybody and anything I want. Also, I keep meeting amazing people.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Nono, the question is: Where does your inspiration get you? It happens. Inspiration is like a switch flicked in your brain. That easy, and that complicated.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Of course I’m taking bits and pieces from real people I’ve met. But they are all Frankenstein’s monster. I take pieces and put them together into a new shape, then inspiration strikes and they shamble off to wreak havoc.

Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written?

I’d like to meet Silvio, my current character, just to experience what it means to be in the same room with him.

Why is he your favorite?

The favorite is always the one I’m currently writing. I admire William’s passion and I’m really, really intrigued by Silvio’s sensuality.

Here's a blurb and an excerpt from Dark Soul Volume 1. You can get a sense of Silvio for yourselves:

Stefano Marino is a made man, a happily married west coast mafia boss who travels east to await the death of a family patriarch. All the old hands have gathered—of course sharks will circle when there’s blood in the water—but it’s a new hand that draws Stefano’s eye.

Silvio “the Barracuda” Spadaro is protetto and heir to retired consigliere Gianbattista Falchi, and a made man in his own right. Among his underworld family, being gay is a capital crime, but the hypersexual—and pansexual—young killer has never much cared for rules. The only orders he follows are Battista’s, whether on the killing field or on his knees, eagerly submissive at Battista’s feet.

But Silvio has needs Battista can’t fill, and he’s cast his black-eyed gaze on Stefano. A fake break-in, an even faker attack, and Silvio is exactly where he wants to be: strung up at Stefano’s mercy, driving the older Mafioso toward urges he’s spent his whole life repressing. Stefano resists, but when the Russian mob invades his territory and forces him to seek aid, Gianbattista’s price brings Stefano face to face once more with Silvio—and his darkest desires.

This title is #1 of the Dark Soul series.


The most annoying thing about all this was nobody knew when the old badger was going to kick the bucket. But to make the wait comfortable, at least, Stefano had secured a nice leather chair near the fireplace, Vince covering his flank.

He didn’t expect hostility. If he had, he wouldn’t have shown up; he wasn’t that brave. But he still liked having Vince at his side. This way he had at least one ally in the room. The others were fleeting alliances or all-out rivals for the business soon to be up for grabs.

Luigi Ferretti, the old badger’s right-hand man, stepped into the room and walked toward Rossi, an east coast boss. They exchanged a few whispered words, then Rossi put his wine glass down, straightened his suit like a boy being called to the principal’s office, and followed the consigliere.

Stefano was too low on the food chain to receive the call so soon. First the dying man’s old comrades, then the young Turks. No doubt the big pieces of the old man’s empire would be taken by the time his turn came. But even if there were only scraps left, he couldn’t afford not to be here. He had to circle with the other sharks.

His cell phone buzzed. Just short; a text message. He fished it from his pocket and cast a glance at the screen.

Having a great time, but the hotel bed is so empty without you.

He smiled at the thought of Donata in that Parisian five-star hotel, wearing a silken negligee—maybe the one as red as spilled blood—her small breasts and hard nipples pushing against the barely-there fabric. He was damn lucky to have married her rather than taken her as a mistress, even if he did tend to send her away on shopping trips to London, Paris, or New York when he had to get this involved with the family business. Even if, as she put it, she only bought the clothes so she could take them off for him.

His neck was cramping up, so he stood, stretched out, and then headed for the open balcony doors and the salty breeze. In a corner, two men were talking in murmurs, denying him solitude, so he headed down the broad stairs toward the front of the mansion.

The white gravel driveway was lit all the way from the road. Above the rhythmic swell of the ocean sounding from beyond the house, Stefano heard the revving of a powerful, aggressive engine.

A motorcycle, all sharp edges, painted black with white highlights. It zipped along the winding driveway as if it had a race to win, swerving dangerously and then stopping with a dramatic turn, spraying gravel everywhere.

Including across Stefano’s polished leather shoes.

The driver was hunched over the handlebars, wearing a matching full-body leather suit with Kevlar plates.

Like some modernist centaur on wheels.

The driver stepped off, displaying long, long graceful legs and a tiny ass clad in leather. Woman? Lean and angular, but feminine, even when kicking the stand underneath the bike. The helmet came off after a somewhat awkward release. Short, spiky hair beneath. Not a woman—and that jolted through Stefano just as hard as the driver’s cold, motionless, focused expression. In that pale face lurked the blackest, darkest eyes Stefano had ever seen, and lips like they’d been cut with knife blades, perfect, sharp, and deadly.

The driver cast him an annoyed glance—At his proximity? His staring?—but then paused and regarded him longer. No smile, no recognition. Eventually, he turned to hang the helmet from the handlebar.

Stefano backed away, but watched the man unstrap saddlebags just large enough for a proper suit and toiletries.

The driver glanced at him again. “Old guy’s not dead yet?” he asked.

“Not that I know of.”

Bene.” The driver shrugged. “I’ll go have a shower now. Wanna come?”

What. The. Fuck. He forced himself not to recoil. Think, Stefano. Think. If he’s family. Son?

Cousin? Grandson? He couldn’t afford to make enemies here, even if those words—that invitation—could get men killed.

Wanna come? The way he’d said it could have meant anything.

Stefano decided on a sneer. “That would hardly be appropriate.”

The driver shrugged and sauntered past him toward the house. The guards near the door stopped him, but when he produced a piece of paper from inside his leather suit, they let him pass. They even looked a little impressed. Or was it bewildered?

Stefano followed back into the house—not following the driver, though, of course not—and watched him climb the big central staircase inside.

The leather played off his body in interesting ways. He tried to ignore the other details—taut piece of ass, broad shoulders, the V-shape of the back at odds with the first impression of femininity when he’d straightened up from the bike.

Not that women had any reason to be here. At least not attractive single women. Stefano shook his head and turned away.

“What the fuck is he doing here?” one man said, casting a baleful eye up the steps.

“He’s Battista’s boy,” another man said, in the far more hushed tones of respect.

“Gianbattista’s getting senile to rely on him,” the other man sneered. “Fucking wild card.”

“Well, seems Battista’s not coming personally.”

Stefano inched closer, ostensibly to settle at one of the small round tables scattered around the house, and pretended to be interested in the glass of salt sticks nobody else had touched.

“What’s he up to these days, anyway?”

“Breeding roses, they say.” The boss ignored his companion’s incredulous snort. “For all intents and purposes, Battista’s retired. I’d say the boy’s making sure nobody comes calling in favors.”


“Oh yeah. He killed Diego Carbone. In self-defense.”

The other man grimaced. “I’d heard Carbone was dead, but not who did him.”

“I have it on good information. He did Diego. Pumped him full of lead and then strangled him. It was a massacre. Diego shot him, too. Put the boy in the hospital for a few months—blood poisoning or some shit like that. People say he’s just as insane as Carbone now.”

Cazzo.” The man glanced up the stairs, but the driver was gone. “I believe it.” He looked around as if trying to escape the conversation, then stood and followed a servant with a silver tray of canapés.

Stefano made eye contact with the boss who’d been left behind. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help overhearing that conversation. Stefano Marino.” Stefano offered his hand.

Gathering information beat sitting near the fireplace being bored. The thought that the driver had killed Diego—an enforcer so violent as to be virtually insane—made him uneasy. He didn’t hear much news from the east coast, wrapped up as he was in the microcosm of his own territory and his immediate interests. But some interesting names in all that. Il Gentiluomo, Gianbattista Falchi, cultured on the outside with his mild manners and graying temples, an old-style consigliere like straight out of The Godfather. Stefano had met him only once, warned and aware that Falchi was a trickster and schemer, yet still not immune to his charisma.

How curious that the old consigliere trusted his security to this young killer who didn’t seem to give a fuck about tradition. Maybe as a retiree with still-considerable influence, Gianbattista Falchi could afford to ignore tradition, too.

“You’re still here,” a voice said at his back.

Stefano turned around to find himself standing way, way too close to the driver. Those black eyes were without light, without reflection. The stare punched the air from his lungs, and those lips . . . God, those lips. Distantly, he heard his conversation partner making his excuses, but he paid the man no mind, and neither did the driver. He could feel the heat from the driver’s body. Imagined touching. Being touched. He blinked and stepped away.

Only then did he realize the driver had changed and showered, as promised. His short hair was still wet, and he was wearing a severe black suit over a white shirt. No tie. The suit was cut to hide the gun under his right shoulder, but also showed off a whole lot of lean muscle. Not an ounce of fat on him.

Stefano swallowed. “I didn’t catch your name.”

“They call me Barracuda.” No smile, just stating a fact. The name was oddly fitting for that expressionless face. “Silvio Spadaro.”

Spadaro was offering his hand. Stefano took it, the grip firm and dry, the skin rough. Of course, he was a killer, a sicario, so he’d have to touch guns enough to harden against them. Stefano swallowed. He shouldn’t be thinking about what this hand touched and how. “Stefano Marino.”

“I know.” Spadaro lifted an eyebrow, and didn’t release Stefano’s hand. “How long have you been waiting for the old man to die?”

“Leukemia takes a while. We’ve had some false alarms in the past.”

“This time it’s real. That’s why I’m here.” Spadaro kept holding his hand, and Stefano realized he was beginning to sweat. It wasn’t fear. The man was just so intense. Not freakish, not insane. Just mental games, psychological warfare. A killer’s job.

“So, how—” he forced his hand from the man’s grip “—is Gianbattista Falchi these days?”

Sta bene.” Spadaro cast a quick glance around the room. When the eye contact broke, Stefano could breathe again. But then the eyes came back, staring him point-blank in the face. “He sent me to pay his respects.”

“Why’s he not coming personally?”

“Want the truth or a polite lie?”

Stefano huffed. “Surely he’d say goodbye to his old friend?”

“He fucking hates the rest of the family,” Spadaro said flatly. “And he hates the smell of hospitals. The lies, the polite smiles. He said he wouldn’t trust himself not to make a scene.”

Seemed Gianbattista had embraced his retirement. Or saw a danger to himself here. Stefano filed the thought away. “So he figures you of all people won’t?”

Spadaro’s lips quirked. “Maybe I’m here to make sure the old guy meets Death properly this time. Do you know what’s going on in people’s heads here?”

“I have an educated guess.” Stefano reached for the glass of salt sticks, more unnerved than he wanted to admit by the killer’s comments. He didn’t expect violence, but you never really knew with the family, did you?

“Yeah, well, fuck ’em.” Spadaro cast another glance at the assembled Mafiosi. “I wouldn’t change places with any of them.”

Was that a slip of the mask? Calculated provocation? “Oh? Why not?”

“You know what they did to Joey D’Amato?”

Stefano straightened. Why would Spadaro mention the faggot? Way too crass and unsettling, especially considering he’d been vanished, not even a body to bury.

Spadaro studied him, head tilted. “That’s why I don’t belong to anybody,” he said quietly, but with the force and conviction of a kidney punch. “I’m not following their fucking rules.” He swept the crowd again with his expressionless black eyes, then fixed them on Stefano’s face.

Stefano’s lips tingled. It was still hard to breathe and he had no idea why. He couldn’t let this man intimidate him. Couldn’t be seen as too interested. Barracuda or not—even Gianbattista Falchi’s protetto or not—he could afford zero suspicion. He’d be dead. Fuck Spadaro for flustering him so, and fuck himself for getting flustered, but he’d never show it. “Well, give Falchi my best wishes when you return to him.”

“Will do.” Spadaro sketched an ironic salute and stepped away.

Stefano fought the urge to straighten his tie, fought harder against the urge to watch the Barracuda cut through the assembled groups of men.

He caught Vince’s gaze, and though his bodyguard relaxed a little, he still looked worried. Stefano could see why. A sicario who belonged to a “retired” consigliere, and not just any pensioner, but crafty old Gianbattista Falchi, who’d been more powerful in his own right than many bosses. That was all manner of disturbing. “Paying his respects” by being anything but respectful. Mentioning D’Amato like killing the faggot was somehow wrong. Mentioning him in fucking public.

He stood around, restless, then noticed Luigi approach Spadaro and touch his shoulder. The black eyes flared and Spadaro glowered at Luigi as if he were about to take the older man’s head clean off. But he reached into his suit jacket, pulled his gun from his holster with two fingers, and handed it to Luigi. The consigliere took it without batting an eyelash, then went upstairs. Spadaro followed.

Vince stepped to his side. “That’s really fucking impressive. Arrives here and gets seen almost immediately.”

“Well, he was sent by Gianbattista Falchi.”

Vince nodded solemnly. “I don’t like his attitude.”

“I fucking hate it.” The way the man’s presence made his skin tingle wasn’t hatred, but that wasn’t something he could admit. Spadaro seemed to have that effect on people. The fact that he clearly carried weight and power was even worse.

So what was this guy’s game?

You can purchase Dark Soul Volume 1 by clicking the title.

Dark Soul Volume 2 is also available for instant download. Here's the blurb:

In "Dark Whisper," Gianbattista may have broken Silvio's heart and sent him off to the States, but he's still just a phone call away. When Silvio returns from a sex shop with a bag full of goodies, Gianbattista can't resist topping his boy one more time, even if they are 4,000 miles apart.

In "Dark Night," the Russian problem comes back to haunt Stefano, and when a dark encounter leaves him bloody and broken, Silvio knows just the right way to ease his pain.

This third volume in the episodic Dark Soul novel features the stories "Dark Lady #1," "Dark Lady #2," and "Dark Brother." To purchase it on presale, click here.

It will be released on December 19th.

Where are your favorite online hangouts? What are your daily must-stop blogs and websites?

Livejournal, Goodreads, Twitter.

Speaking of online hangouts, where are yours? Where can your readers find you?



Twitter: @vashtan


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ten Things You Want to Know about L.A. Witt

Ten Things You Wanted to Know About L. A. Witt

1. I have zero fashion sense. Seriously, my husband picks out most of my clothes. I can only be trusted with jeans and T-shirts, and even then, it’s questionable (I own a few shirts I really shouldn’t wear in public). And if my “style” of dress wasn’t bad enough…

2. …aside from being a card-carrying member/cultist of the 30 Seconds to Mars Echelon, I have godawful taste in music. I probably have something in my music library that could make anyone cringe. If the eyebrow-raising quantities of boy bands don’t appall you, I could always point to the copious amounts of industrial rock, the odd hair band or rap song, and wheelbarrows full of country music. If Yanni doesn’t make you gag, I have plenty of Ke$ha as backup, and there’s always the Katy Perry ace up my sleeve. And if you’re still not horrified, I even have one song apiece by Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. I’d like to think my volumes of 30 Seconds to Mars, Adam Lambert, Breaking Benjamin, and Erasure could redeem me, but sometimes I wonder.

3. I’m a history buff. Though I have yet to write any historical – something I intend to remedy one day – I love history. I have hundreds of books on everything from Ancient Greece to World War II to obscure wars and remote, no-one’s-ever-heard-of-them cultures. And yes, I’m a History Channel junkie.

4. I once came home from Disneyland in a neck brace. It was actually the result of a roller coaster malfunction (not to be confused with a wardrobe malfunction), but sometimes, just to mix it up a bit, I tell people I got into a fistfight with Cinderella. Oddly enough, most people believe that story over the roller coaster one. I’m not sure if that says more about me or people’s misguided faith in the structural integrity of Disneyland’s rides.

5. In casual conversation, I habitually overuse the words “literally”, “invariably”, and “fuck”. Nuff said.

6. I’m almost entirely ambidextrous. I write with my left hand, use can openers and scissors with my right. Otherwise, I can do almost anything with either hand. This really annoys people when I fence, bowl, or play pool against them.

7. Only two movies have ever made me cry: What Dreams May Come and Ladder 49. When you consider how many movies I’ve seen (a lot), and how many emotionally twisted indie films are included in that, I’m honestly not sure what that says about me.

8. Nothing excites me about a new work-in-progress like the title. When a book is still in that nebulous planning stage, it nibbles on my skull and tries to hold my attention, but as soon as the title comes to me? I am at it the book’s mercy. Something about that “Eureka!” moment makes the whole story come together and make sense, and I have to get it written, like, yesterday. This doesn’t happen with every book, but definitely the majority of them. Static, The Given & The Taken, The Closer You Get, A Chip In His Shoulder, and Where There’s Smoke all fall into that category.

9. I cannot sing. If I ever tried out for American Idol, I’d be one of the “oh my God, look how bad this contestant is” people. If I sing in the shower, the water turns cold. I have the voice of an angel…if that angel has a four pack-a-day habit, a bad case of strep throat, and a mouth full of gummy bears. I. Cannot. Sing.

10. I am a walking contradiction. I’m afraid of flying, but I love skydiving. I’m afraid of needles, but I have an acupuncture addiction and several tattoos. I studied Spanish and Russian in school, then moved to Japan. I know, I’m weird.

There you have it. Ten things you didn’t know you wanted to know about me.

Here's another, bonus if you will. The blurb from my Riptide release, Chip in His Shoulder:

“Contract killer” is a fitting job for a vampire, and it suits Liam just fine. Cast down from the wealth and status of the Sky for taking a human lover, Liam lurks in the poor and pollution-choked Gutter, killing to survive. Between his natural strengths and his Cybernetix mods, no mark has ever escaped him.

Liam’s ex-lover Daniel is the heir to Cybernetix—and its greatest threat. Horrified by people less man than machine and the exploitation of Gutter factory workers, he’d rather destroy Cybernetix than inherit it . . . if his father doesn’t destroy him first.

Years of anger and a heap of mods have kept Daniel and Liam apart. When Liam is hired to slaughter a man in his glass Sky tower, he walks right into a Daniel-shaped trap. Daniel’s father has betrayed them both, and only by working together can Daniel and Liam survive the coming day. They have no reason to trust each other, but as the dawn looms, a bargain that began with the simple urge to live soon reminds them of the love they once shared. Can they find each other again, or will the Cybernetix assassins find them first?

You can purchase Chip in His Shoulder by clicking the title.

Visit me on the web at:

Email address:



Twitter: GallagherWitt


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cat Grant Visits The Romance Reviews

When did you start the adventure of writing? – I’ve been writing off and on since I was in grammar school. I used to fill up notebooks with stories.

Have you always loved romance writing? – I came to romance writing relatively late. Tried my hand at sci-fi/fantasy for several years, and didn’t sell a thing. That’s when I realized my forte lay in writing relationship stories, so I switched to romance. Wrote my first book (The Arrangement) and sold it within a couple of months.

Where do you find your inspiration? – Oh, inspiration’s everywhere, if you just open your eyes and look.

When you're not writing, what do you do for fun? – Eat. Sleep. Watch movies & TV. Research my next project.

A quick quiz: Answer as fast as you can.

Favorite Hero: Mal Reynolds from “Firefly”

Favorite Dessert: Crème brulee

Favorite Villain: He’s more of an anti-hero than a villain, but… Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto as played by Michael Fassbender in X-Men First Class

Favorite Song: “Vow” by Garbage

Have you ever written to music? – I can only write to music that doesn’t have words, like symphonic music. If somebody’s singing, it distracts me.

What music? – I love Mahler symphonies to write to. Or violin concerti. I listened to the Brahms & Tchaikovsky concertos non-stop while I was writing Allegro Vivace and Sonata Appassionata.

Do you have a writing tip to share with our viewers? – Write every day. If you want to make a career from writing, you need to look at it like a job. Report for work every day whether you feel like it or not.

Here's an excerpt from my newest release, Once a Marine:

November, 2009

The second he walked into the diner, I nearly dropped the stack of plates I was carrying. Six foot three at least, with long, long legs encased in jeans worn almost white across the front of his well-muscled thighs. Dripping wet from the freezing November downpour, he unzipped his rain jacket and pushed back the hood. Oh, holy Christ. Lush lips, strong chin, cheekbones that could slice through a rare steak. Nordic-god blond hair in a military buzz cut that instantly made the crotch of my jeans tight. Good thing I had my apron on. I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose and kept staring.

I wasn’t the only one. Terry’s hand froze momentarily over the cash register as our new arrival gave her a quick nod, grabbed the sports section from the front counter, and headed for the nearest empty table. He didn’t seem to notice us both gaping at him, or maybe he just didn’t care. Drop-dead gorgeous guys like him were probably used to it.

“That’s what I call a tall, cool drink of water.” Terry handed her customer his change and shut the register with a bump of her ample hip. “And lucky you—he just sat down in your section. Unless you want to take your break now?” She flashed me a toothy grin.

“Nice try,” I fired back with a wink. I put my armload of dirty dishes in a tub under the counter and grabbed a mug and a pot of coffee before making a beeline back to Mr. Tall-and-Hunky’s table. The shitty weather had scared away most of the usual Sunday morning crowd, so for once I didn’t get waylaid refilling cups.

Tall-and-Hunky glanced up as I approached. He looked about thirty, with nice eyes—pale blue, but not the least bit icy. Smiling, I

gestured toward him with the mug. “Hi, I’m Marc. Would you like some coffee?” He nodded. “Did you want some juice this morning as well, or maybe some water?”

“Coffee’s fine, thanks.” For a second I could’ve sworn I detected the soft lilt of a southern accent. And now I definitely recognized the haircut—shaved nearly bare on the back and sides, flat on top. The traditional “high and tight” cut worn by most Marines. Sweet, seedy memories of falling to my knees in the back room of an adult bookstore in Oceanside raced through my brain as I watched him stir raw sugar into his coffee and take his first tentative sip.

Then those big blue eyes locked on mine, jolting me back to the present. “Um, do you need a couple more minutes to make up your mind?”

He snagged a menu and gave it a quick once-over, the side with “Blue Windmill Café” printed on it flipped toward me. “I’ll have two eggs over easy with hash browns and a side of bacon.”

There it was, and no doubt this time—that unmistakable slow-as-honey Carolina drawl. Just like Rob, I realized with a pang, tugging my pad and pen from my apron to scribble down his order. “What kind of toast?”

“You got biscuits?” he asked shyly, one corner of his mouth quirking up.

“Afraid not. How about an English muffin?”

“That’ll do. Thanks.” He took another sip of his coffee and turned his attention back to the sports section.

“Looked like you were having a nice conversation,” Terry commented archly as I came back around the counter and stuck my order in the queue for Fernando. The smell of burnt toast and bacon grease floated forth from the kitchen, punctuated by the clatter of Fernando’s teenage son Pedro none-too-gently loading dirty dishes into the washer. “Did you notice him checking out your butt?”

“Yeah, right.” Six months ago, she might’ve had me going. Terry loved yanking my chain. Good-natured yanking, but still.

“For once I’m not kidding. He looked right at those cute little buns of yours when you turned around.”

I tossed a nonchalant glance in Military Guy’s direction. He had

his phone out now, and was punching at its tiny keyboard with mad double-thumb action. It looked like a toy nestled in his huge, long-fingered hands. Oh, dear God. If there was one thing I went crazy for, it was a guy with nice hands.

“Just my luck.” Terry shook her head, brunette ponytail swinging to and fro. “All the hot ones play for your team.”

“I think the jury’s still out on that.”

“Why don’t we put it to the test?” She snapped up a coffee pot from a burner. “Let’s see if he needs a warm-up.”

Of course, crotchety old Mr. Faber had to choose that moment to hobble up to the register to pay his bill. I rang him up while trying to peer over his shoulder to see what Terry was doing.

She could flirt with the best of them, I’d give her that. Hand resting seductively on her cocked hip, she gave Military Guy a big smile and batted her lashes. He smiled back, his gaze lingering on her impressive bust line. Didn’t mean anything one way or the other—hell, I stared at Terry’s tits too, mostly because they seemed to defy gravity. They exchanged words, but I couldn’t hear what either of them said. Finally, she topped off his mug and sashayed back to the counter.

“His mama raised him right,” she announced with a rapturous sigh. “Such lovely manners. He actually called me ma’am!”

I snickered. “Probably because you remind him of his mom.”

“Watch it, buster. I’m only thirty-five.”

According to Fernando, Terry’d just celebrated the sixth anniversary of her thirty-fifth birthday. But since I didn’t want to get kicked in the shin, I figured I’d better not mention it. Besides, my order was up.

I stacked both plates along my left arm like a seasoned greasy-spoon pro, grabbed a bottle of ketchup, and motored back to Military Guy’s table. He folded his paper and sat back, giving me room to set everything down. The plate with the bacon and eggs nearly slipped from my hand when he shrugged out of his slicker. He was wearing a plain black t-shirt underneath. A really tight plain black t-shirt stretched over every hard, smooth muscle in his chest and shoulders, showing off a spectacular set of guns. It was all I could do to keep

from drooling.

“A-anything else I can get you?” Coffee? Tea? Me?

“This’ll do for now, thanks.” His right sleeve hiked up when he reached for his fork, revealing a small tattoo of a bulldog with “USMC” emblazoned under it. Growing up in San Diego, I’d seen my fair share of Marine Corps tats. Most of them looked garish and trashy, but this one was actually kind of cute. So was this guy a real Marine, or just a wannabe?

One way to find out. “We don’t get too many devil dogs in this neighborhood. You here to protect Berkeley from the scourge of all us bleeding-heart liberals?”

His smile immediately faded. “I think I’m a little late for that. Besides, I’m not on active duty.”

Ouch. Now I wished I’d kept my mouth shut. “Well, let me know if you need anything else, okay?”

“Will do.”

You can purchase Once a Marine by clicking the title.

For more information on Cat Grant, please, visit:




My website

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Industry News

Heartbreakers to newsmakers and everything in between.

Big news (and more competition) on the e-reader front:
- Barnes and Noble announced Monday their new tablet and pricing structure for the Nook. The pricing structures are more competitive with the Kindle and Vox even though the actual 'tablet' is priced $50 higher. One 'big' difference right now is that the Nook Tablet is much more limited in content than either the Kindle or Vox.

-The Vox has had shipping/fulfillment issues as of late. Many customers have complained about lack of communication with Kobo in regards to their orders.

Which leads to this eye opener... Rakuten, a Japanese based company has acquired the Canadian-based Kobo for $315 million. Many are looking favorably on this acquisition as Rakuten brings with it much deeper pockets than Kobo previously had. The hope is that not only will customer service improve, but the competition will heat up even further.

-Amazon is not sitting on its heels. It has announced a new book lending plan for Kindle customers who are also Prime Members. There are over 5,ooo books currently available in this lending program. It will be interesting to see if Amazon tweaks its pricing structure before the holidays as the Nook has matched Kindle prices and without the adverts.

Whew! So are you ready to buy an e-reader if you don't already have one?


Hard feelings abound as M/M author, A. J. Llewellyn, has been 'outed' for being a woman. Female authors writing in the M/M genre is not uncommon but the outrage is stemming from the fact that Llewellyn, a pseudonym, posted regularly on his blog and others, as a gay man sharing his advice and experiences. Llewellyn has apologized on his blog.


Not in the romance genre but worthy of note, Q.R. Markham‘s debut spy novel Assassin of Secrets, which garnered positive reviews from Publisher's Weekly and has blurbs by two well known authors on its cover has now been pulled by its publishers under allegations of plagiarism.


Ending on a lighter note...Is this the future of marketing?
What do you think of this cover?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Historically Paranormal By Gabrielle Bisset

The sub-genres of historical romance and paranormal romance have always blended well for me, so when I decided I wanted to write about a new kind of paranormal being, I knew the story would involve history.  I guess as a history teacher, it was inevitable.  From that initial idea of wanting to write a new kind of paranormal came the idea for Aeveren, the characters in my novel, Destiny Redeemed.

Physically just like humans since they've evolved from them, Aeveren possess gifts that together make them different in the world of paranormals.  For one, they can have abilities above and beyond what humans possess.  Some are able to read minds, while others can see into the future or travel through time.  This makes some of them quite powerful compared to other Aeveren whose powers are less advanced, such as the ability to heal, and those who have no powers at all.  Another gift they possess is destined ones, other Aeveren they are drawn to across distance and time.  However, the most important gift they possess is the ability of reincarnation. 

When I chose to give Aeveren fifty lives, reincarnation was a natural next step, but quickly the idea took on a life of its own.  With the possibility of any character having forty-nine prior lifetimes of experiences, the stories immediately became more historical in nature.  Take one of the main characters in Destiny Redeemed, Amon Kalins, for example.  Amon is an ancient Aeveren, born in his first lifetime in first century B.C. Greece.  He's also a very powerful being because he was born in that first lifetime with his ability to travel through time, unlike most of his fellow Aeveren who have no powers until after their twentieth lifetime. Because he's lived through so much of the past, I had a plethora of times and places to choose from in the creation of his back story.  It was actually an embarrassment of riches until I had to actually choose.  Then it became something that took on great importance to characterization.

Amon has lived as a soldier in the late Roman Empire, a Viking around the year 900, a Turkish trader in the Ottoman Empire, a member of the ruling elite of the Aztecs when the Spanish conquered their civilization, and a gentleman of the landed gentry in late 18th century England, among other lifetimes.  Some of these are mere mentions in his story, while others, such as his lifetime as an English gentleman, figure prominently.  But each of these, along with his abilities, works to create a character who is interesting because of who he's been.  In a very real sense, his past makes who he is in the present.
Destiny Redeemed is at its heart a paranormal romance, but the historical undertones are never far away.  For Aeveren, the past is as much a part of the story as the present.

Sentenced to spend the rest of his three remaining lifetimes in Nil, Amon Kalins is freed with the help of his Sidhe servant, Gethen, but now he must accept his life is never to be his again as the Council won't rest until he's safely back imprisoned within Nil's cold walls. Broken and nearly dead from his time in prison, Amon is saved by an Aeveren healer named Althea Forester. As a healer, Thea has served her people for forty-five lifetimes, never having a destined one and always knowing each lifetime would ultimately end with her alone. But destiny hasn't forgotten her.

Drawn to the seductive Amon, Thea quickly becomes a pawn the Council uses to trap him. Taken prisoner by the sadistic leader of the rebel group, the Soren, Thea must survive the vicious world of the people hellbent on taking her destined one away forever, and Amon must risk everything dear to him to free her from those who would sacrifice her to claim the bigger prize and return him to Nil.

Gabrielle Bisset is a college history teacher by day, but by nights and weekends she becomes an erotic romance author.  Writing for years, she finally took the publishing plunge in early 2011 with her first book, Stolen Destiny, and she's never looked back.  Her novellas in the Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy-Vampire Dreams, Love's Master, and Masquerade-have all been Amazon bestsellers since their release in the summer of 2011. 
Destiny Redeemed, her newest novel, is currently on sale now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and All Romance eBooks.

To find out more about Gabrielle and her books, including excerpts from each book, visit her blog at and her website at

She's also on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out Gabrielle's interview at The Romance Reviews (click here) and get a chance to win a copy of DESTINY REDEEMED!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...