Monday, January 15, 2018

Travelling #OpenBook Blog Hop



I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breatherd the mountain air, man
Travel, I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere
                             Geoff Mack


In a previous life, I used to travel for work. I'd hope on a plane at 6 in the morning, head to somewhere in the United States,  spend one or two night and fly home. In between I'd spend my time shuffling computers and wires and switches and routers. So although I got to be lots of places, I didn't get to see those towns. In fact, I doubt I could list all the places I've been. I don't remember all of them. I don't have pictures to remind me of them.

So, in no particular orders, here's a list of places I'd like to go back to and spend time exploring.

Sacramento, Ca. I actually made two trips there. Never left the town. I'd love to go back and visit wine country. Not that I'm a big wine drinker, but it looks beautiful. at least it did before the fires.

Connecticut—after all, it's a small state compared to where I live now! And no one city in particular, but I'm a bit of a history buff, and so much history was made there. Sure, Massachusetts is more famous, but that's what makes Connecticut more attractive to me. I got to go two different cities in Connecticut, and I'd love to explore more of the state.

Seattle, WA. I'm not a big city girl. But there was something about the quirkiness of Seattle that fascinated me. But that was over a decade ago, and who knows what I might find now.

Tennessee. I've been in the state for both business and pleasure. But there's lots of it I never got to. (mostly the western part.)  I'd like to see more of it. Maybe drive through it going east to west instead of north to south.

One last one. I spent a lot of time in airplanes flying from the East Coast to the West Coast. And although none of my trips ever took me close, I flew over the Grand Canyon several times. Flying over it doesn't count, however. I'd like to see it all, from the rim to the village at the bottom.




Now let's go find out where the other authors are headed!




January 15, 2018 – Share a recent travel experience or anticdote.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Wordpress:




Custom Blog:




An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

"

Monday, January 8, 2018

Interview With Cornelia Amiri #OpenBook Blog Hop



This week we're interviewing someone we admire. I chose Cornelia Amiri, a fellow writer who has been extremely helpful to me.

First, for my readers who haven't had a chance to meet you yet, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Drawing on my love of a happy ending I’ve written over 30 published romance books under my name, Cornelia Amiri, and my pen name of Maeve Alpin. My muse, Severus the Cat, and I, live amid the hustle and bustle of humid Houston, Texas, as does my wonderful son and granddaughter. When not writing, I love to read, watch movies, and attend local steampunk events and comic cons. I'm currently working on the next book in my Druidry and the Beast series

You've written everything from steampunk to stories based on legends to historical romance and more. What's your favorite genre and why?

I would say it’s fantasy romance. I also love history. My favorite time period is the Celtic Iron Age. It’s an era few people have accurate knowledge of, so I have to make a world previously unreal to the reader, real to them, just like fantasy and sci-fi authors do. In the tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley, I use fantasy to bring the readers into the belief system of the characters. I want to make the druid teachings of the time come alive to the readers. So, in my books, people can shapeshift, there are selkies, Celtic gods who shape shift into all types of animals, vampiric Celtic fey looking for love, and magic swords, magic cauldrons…lots of magic in general.  I also take fantasy into the Victorian age with my steampunk stories.

What was the first book you wrote and was it published?
This is a long story, it all began with the Celtic Warrior Queen Boudica, she made me start writing. I love history, and in reading a book about the dark ages, I came across Boudica. I was so inspired, I started jotting down notes, but they were fiction (it-must-have-happened-like-this type). Before I knew it, I had written a novel. I thought, gosh I can really do this. So, after accidentally writing that novel, I wrote one on purpose, The Fox Prince, which turned out to be my first published book. I’ve revised it slightly and retitled it to The Celtic Fox.

What's the hardest thing about being an author?

I think making time or I like to say buying time is the hardest. Right now, my day job is freelance writing, but even though I work for myself and have a lot of control over my time, I still fall way behind in my writing my books. It is often hard to do my freelance assignments per day and still have time and energy for writing my own books. Writing a certain number of words a day is one way to do it, but unfortunately that’s easier said then done.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on The Bear and the Druidess, the third book in my Druidry and the Beast series.

Do you have a favorite author? Who is it and why?

Morgan Llewellyn and Marion Zimmer Bradley are my strongest inspirations. Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote fantasies, Morgan Llewellyn writes historicals, and I write romances, but like them, I use historical knowledge and realistic fantasy that pulls from the druid belief system. Some of my other favorite authors are: Cecelia Holland, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, J. R. R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Don Coldsmith, Rosemary Edghill, Teresa Mederios, Anya Seton, and Judith Merkle Riley.

I see we share some favorites! Out of all the books you've written, which is your favorite? (I'm rather fond of your AI series) And who is your favorite character?

Druids in the Mist, because it includes the Druid Center at Anglesey and Boudica, they and the historical events that occurred with them had a deep effect on me and for many years I wanted to write about them and share their story with others. I’m fond of my AI series too, mainly because it is comedy romance so it the comedy part of it always puts a smile on my face when I think of my wacky AI characters and also it was my first sci-fi book and I loved being able to get into sci-fi romance as when I was a teenager, before I discovered the romance genre, sci-fi was my favorite genre. If I have to pick a favorite character, it would be Tryffin because he was my first character. I was working as a file clerk and having an allergic reaction to dust. I closed my eyes to get a grip, and in my head, I saw the face of this man with reddish brown eyes and thick auburn hair, he reminded me of a red fox. Suddenly, the plot I had been kicking around had a hero and a title, The Fox Prince. He'll always be special because I didn't find Tryffin, he found me. I learned a lot about writing male characters from Tryffin. And Tryffin's a nice, stand-up guy. Cute too.

So many male characters these days aren't stand up guys, it's nice to find one who is.  Last question- if you could change one thing in your career, what would it be? 

I wish I had started writing books when I was younger. I didn’t have the confidence for a while and that is what I regret the most. I should have put all doubts aside when I was younger. I would have been able to write so many more books.

I wish I had started earlier, too. Now here's your chance to promote one of your books (or series!) For my readers who haven't read any of your books, which one should they go out and get today? 



I’ll go with my comedy sci-fi romance series since it will make the reader laugh. The series is called Love AI Style and the books are Code of Love, Code of Misconduct, and Code Name Love. I also have a box set with all three books in one called Love AI Style.


Here's the link for anyone who wants to go buy the collection. https://www.amazon.com/Love-AI-Style-Box-Set-ebook/dp/B07758TH5D.
You can follow Cornelia on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/cornelia.amiri.1


Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, Cornelia. One of these days, we're going to need to catch each other in real life.

Now, let's go find out who the other authors interviewed!


January 8, 2018 – Interview someone you follow or admire.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Wordpress:




Custom Blog:




An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code


InLinkz | view linkup

Monday, January 1, 2018

What the New Year Holds #OpenBook Blog Hop



Even though I don't set resolutions, I love starting the new year with hope and optimism. I live by the seat of my pants since life has taught me to not plan too far ahead, but there are a few writing things I've got going in the new year.

First, I need to get Wolves' Gambit, the third book in the Free Wolves series, edited and released by April. I haven't set an exact day, but April is the goal. I'm really happy with the story. Here's the working blurb:


Wolf-shifter Lori Grenville was rescued from near-slavery and an overbearing pack leader by a member of the Free Wolves. To pay back the favor, she's dedicated her life to helping others in the same situation, leading shifters to safety and a new start, risking her life in the process. She's faced down alphas and has no qualms in undermining pack structure.

Now she's challenged with the task of restoring an alpha to his rightful place. If she gets it right, she can stop a war from ripping apart two packs and spreading across an entire state. If she fails in her mission, she'll be among the first to die.

There's still the option of walking away and letting the the Jaeger and Destin packs destroy each other. That means she'll fail in her original mission of rescuing the daughter of the Jaeger alpha before the girl is forced into marriage for political gain.

Lori hasn't failed in a mission yet. This one may be the exception.

No cover yet—I've got to get with my cover artist and start planning.

Then in June, I'll be participating in Wild Deadwood Reads.



It's a combination of an authors' and a readers' event, and I'm looking forward to the experience. First time experience for me.

Lastly, I've got the next book in the Oak Grove Mysteries floating around the back of my head. I'm going to try real hard to write Jake out of this one, but the man doesn't know when to leave. He always worms his way back into the stories. You know he's going to turn bad again one of these days, and it'll break Harmony's heart when it happens.


So that's my big writing plans for 2018. Maybe I'll throw in some local events, but that remains to be seen. And whatever you plan for the New Year, may you find joy and peace in what you do.




January 1, 2018 – What are you most looking forward to this coming year?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Wordpress:




Custom Blog:




An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas #OpenBook Blog Hop




No matter what holiday you celebrate, may you know peace and love, this day and all days.

Merry Christmas! 








December 25, 2017 – Just say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to your readers. Make it heartfelt and personal.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Wordpress:




Custom Blog:




An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

Monday, December 18, 2017

What I've Learned #OpenBook Blog Hop





Tasha eyed the placement of the target. It was further away than the standard twenty-five yards, and the Sig Sauer nestled in her palm was an unfamiliar weapon. But she didn’t have the luxury of taking practice shots. With only two rounds loaded, each had to count.

From Wolves Knight, Book 2 of the Free Wolves series




I grew up around guns. My father and brothers were hunters, and the deer they managed to shoot every couple of years helped to feed the family.

My dearly beloved also grew up in a family of hunters and served in the military. He's owned a variety of guns in the many years we've been together. I've even shot them on a couple of occasions. That certainly doesn't make me an expert on the topic.

But a couple of my characters need to be experts. Their lives depend on it. So how do I write those scenes?

That's where research comes in. The internet is full of information, not all of it right. Thankfully, I've got access to experts who can verify the facts for me.

I've learned a few things along the way, starting with the basic stuff. Like a pistol and a revolver are two different things, and I'd better not get them mixed up. (But both are handguns.) When cops are on duty, their gun has a bullet in the chamber and the safety is off. (So they can respond quickly.) That the reason that James Bond switched from a Beretta to a Walther PPK was because the Beretta was underpowered and the external hammer could get caught on the holster.

I had to figure out the difference between an AK-17 and an AR-15 for Wolves' Knight. (When I wrote the story, the AK-17 was still in development, so there's no way Tasha would be able to carry one.)

Then there's Harmony, my reluctant heroine in the Oak Grove Mysteries series. She bought Betsy, her Beretta, for personal defense. (She names everything!) She knows she's supposed to shoot at center mass (something I didn't know) but still insists on aiming for arms and legs.

Lori, in the next Free Wolves book, Wolves' Gambit, is teaching me a bunch of new things. I won't spoil the surprise now. In the meantime, let's find out what everyone else is researching.



December 18, 2017 – Research. Post an interesting fact or facts you’ve come across researching a book.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Wordpress:




Custom Blog:




An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code


InLinkz | view linkup