Category Archives: An Author’s Desk

Rita Bay Visits An Author’s Desk

Today, I (Rita Bay) am  the featured author at An Author’s Desk on my own blog. After so many guests have dropped by, it’s about time that I stepped up and bared my own author’s soul. I’m  a multi-genre writer  of romance who is happily published by Champagne Book Group (Paranormal/Fantasy), Secret Cravings Publishing (Contemporary Military), Siren BookStrand (Historical), and – most recently – a romantic comedy scorcher with Liquid Silver Books. I’ll also share a bit about my writing and work area, my current works in progress, and my upcoming books.

Rita's DesksmMY PLACE TO WRITE. The picture of my office on the right probably tells more than I intended. I write beside an antique mahogany Empire library table, kicked back in a traditional office chair with my laptop in my lap. All the nice things a mildly OCD writer needs – an antique carved soapstone pen holder, a high-tech multi-purpose lamp and a revolving desk caddy, folders for everything, binders for business, Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, and a set of  mini-filing drawers – sit on top of the desk. The bookcase contains my reference books with antique family pieces – irons, cobbler’s stand, and electrical glass insulators – serving as bookends. Not seen in the picture are two filing cabinets, a large pigeon-holed divider, and two additional bookcases.

MY WRITING. As for writing, I’m a plotter who occasionally deviates from the scene tracker when the story demands it. I’ve just finished edits for Conquering Cupid (the first story in a humorous mythological contemporary series – “Cupid’s Back in Town” contracted with Champagne Book Group) which will be released in December AND for The Caretaker’s Lady, a scorching hot contemporary romantic comedy from Liquid Silver Books which will be released in September. My current works in progress include The Alpha’s Prey, the third novella in the Lyons’ Den series with Champagne, and The Twelfth Night Queen – a Regency Christmas story.

The humorous, Greek mythology-based, contemporary erotic series “Cupid’s Back in Business” evolved from Her Teddy Bare (See cover), a sexy, humorous novella published by Champagne in their erotic series, “Aphrodite’s Island.” Check out the blurb for Conquering Cupid.

FINALHerTeddyBare_600x900Love and lust, the perfect mix for a happily ever after. When popular artist Diana Harper dumped her cheating fiancé and accepted an invitation “to attend a private event at Miss A’s island retreat to experience your most secret dreams and fondest fantasies,” her hostess gave her Teddy as an “attendant.” Despite his best efforts, Teddy is no submissive. Diana, however, plays his game for the profound passion, the best sex ever, and love that could last a lifetime.

Billionaire philanthropist Theodore Cooper “Coop” Bareston III fell in love with Diana when he saw her working out at his elite gym in New York City. He was willing to do anything to win her love, including wearing a skimpy thong in his “Teddy” role and posing nude in chains when Di’s interest in her art revived. As the sexual tension builds and passions explode, Teddy discovers he is intensely aroused by  playing the submissive to his Di’s dome.

After moving into Coop’s East Side penthouse, Diana is sucked into a world inhabited by supernatural denizens with powers beyond her imagination. Can she survive the challenges confronting her to live in Coop’s world or will she turn her back on the extraordinary destiny within her grasp?

You can read an excerpt/buy Her Teddy Bare before the series is released HERE.



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An Author’s Desk: Eva Lefoy

Welcome to Eva Lefoy, the featured author at An Author’s Desk. Eva is a multi-genre author published with several publishers. She writes Contemporary, SciFi romance, Erotica, and Paranormal Romance – both M/F and M/M. Her publishers include Decadent Publishing, MLR Press, and Secret Cravings Publishing, as well as being self-published. Eva will share a bit about herself, her writing area (not everyone writes at a desk or alone), current works in progress, and her latest book – her contemporary erotic romance, Rekindling the Flame.


The so called deskMy husband runs a market garden and a print shop. I work as an insurance agent by day which is an utterly left-brained activity for the most part. In my spare time I write, do yoga, work out at the gym, run, and hike! Nothing’s better for fixing a plot hole than a nice steep hike!

In the evenings, I usually sit on the couch after dinner and type away as my husband sits in the recliner and reads. We never turn on the TV or the radio. We tend to operate in silence. Yep, we’re that boring! At times, the husband falls asleep in his chair and snores, and the cat who’s sitting on the couch with me snores too. It’s quite a racket! Sometimes I give up, close the laptop and join them for a family snooze.

Tiger writing helperUsually though, I’m typing all manner of steamy romance whilst hubby reads history. His main interests are the U.S. Civil War, Tsarist Russia, and literary biographies. My interests on the other hand run to sexy men, romance and bedroom antics. Hubby flat-out refuses to read my work!

Currently I’m writing a Yeti winter erotica tale, doing edits for a wolf-shifter romance for Decadent Publishing, and finishing up book III of Love Hurts for MLR Press. On the backburner I have MM tentacles, book II of Ridden Hard and book II of Martian Mating.


Rekindling the Flame

A Contemporary interracial erotic romance from Secret Cravings Publishing

RekindlingtheFlame_LRGSometimes love needs a second chance. Travel and work take a toll on Marcy and Paul’s marriage, bleeding the passion out of a once loving relationship. One day, Paul decides he’s had enough. He takes Marcy on a weekend trip to rekindle their romance and won’t take no for an answer.

Marcy’s sick and tired of Paul’s constant travel and the wedge it drives between them. Depression skyrockets her weight, so she’s surprised when Paul wants between her thighs all weekend – over and over again. Can she put aside her fears and reach for what she wants so badly before this second chance at love slips right out of her hands?


Thanks so much to Eva for visiting. Check out more about Eva and her books (including covers and excerpts of her scorching hot stories) here:






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Keith Wayne McCoy Visits An Author’s Desk

I’m pleased to host author Keith Wayne McCoy at An Author’s Desk. Keith’s book, The Travelers, is a new release from BURST, Champagne Book Group’s fantasy/scifi imprint. Check out the blurb and buy links below.


Thank you Rita for inviting me to post on your popular blog.  My debut novel “The Travelers”, an urban fantasy, was released Monday, February 3, 2014 with Burst.  And on Friday, February 7, 2014, my novella “Castles Burning” was contracted, also with Burst.  A very productive, exhilarating week to say the least.

I’d like to discuss my own approach to writing here and take no offense at those authors who are countered to it.  I went to college in the early 90s and was taught that the proper steps for writing were creating and revising, re-editing, query letters via the post office with SASE, and, of course, rejection letters.  The internet was not prominent at all back then and the idea of submitting query letters electronically was unheard of.  I am amused by the contemplation of my mentors today in the world of Kindle, Nook, and iPad.  Every single publishing house I queried required electronic interaction.  I even signed my contract electronically.  But I personally feel that the electronic approach is superior to the chapters or even the full manuscript.  One editor who requested a manuscript replied via email that “slush piles” are a thing of the past.  The writer still has the harrowing wait but it comes much faster.  I am pleased to be part of the ebook phenomenon.

As for “The Travelers”,  it was completely hand-written on yellow legal pads and revised and revised again before finally being typed in Word.  As Rita Bay can attest, I am emphatically not computer literate.  But I am learning.  I must.  We all must.  The “Big Six” in New York are no longer the only means of becoming published and many, if not most of my friends and family, prefer the electronic editions as they can take them on vacation, to lunch time at work, and the air flight.

Sideboard 001I scratch notes of lyrical sentences, dialogue, and plot possibilities on any piece of paper available whether it be a grocery bag, a calculator tape, or even the back of junk mail envelopes.  When the idea hits, write it down immediately as I promise you will not remember it for a later, more convenient time.  I have even woke up in the night with a conversation or scene description in mind and scrambled to the tiny notebook I keep on the nightstand.  So, my author’s desk is everywhere a literary thought comes.  That’s not to say that sitting at a blank computer screen and contemplating what to type first is not a perfectly valid method for writing.  But I want the physical presence of the written word first and foremost.

I have been a collector of furniture and memorabilia from the 1930s luxury liner Queen Mary since the third grade.  My love (actually compulsion) of writing took hold at the same time as I ferociously wrote tales involving the great liner.  “The Travelers” is a product of that lifetime obsession in the fact that the retired liner permanently docked in Long Beach, California plays a very pivotal role in the plot.  Urban Fantasy intertwines with the liner’s history to form an enigmatic portrayal of the ship’s personality.  (And, believe me, she still has a soul that no other liner possessed, not even the Titanic.  I know because I have vacationed and spent the night aboard her!  She has a quality of alertness that refuses to be ignored.)

Although the novel has fantasy elements, it is essentially a character-study of a World War II GI and his British war bride who have an extraterrestrial encounter with an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children.  My college professor read the manuscript before I began querying and told me that if it were a movie, it would be a David Lynch version of the film Ordinary People.  I took this as a compliment.  Thanks again for inviting me, Rita!


BookIn 1947, the Queen Mary transmits a message which is intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence. This errant radio signal serves as a beacon for a North Atlantic encounter between James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his war bride, and an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children.

In the present day, Guy Turner, a melancholy, black filmmaker, finds himself at the center of a supernatural mystery after a haunting prelude with the now elderly mother in a corridor aboard the retired liner in Long Beach, California. Standing at the edge of eternity, the old woman and the Bennetts have the complex task of setting certain aspects of the past in order as the doors to their lives are closing.

Guy is thrust into an unexpected and unwanted voyage of self-discovery as he is solely enjoined to bring the three together one last time.


Buy The Travellers HERE or click the cover.

Keith Wayne McCoy

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Author Olga Godim Visits An Author’s Desk

Olga Godim is my guest today at An Author’s Desk. She is a debut author at Burst, Champagne Book  Group’s scifi/fantasy imprint. Olga will tell about her herself and her writing, and her first published book with Burst/Champagne.

I have 2 novels published. My first novel, Lost and Found in Russia, was published in Feb 2013 by Eternal Press, is women’s fiction, a story of mothers and daughters. It’s the only non-fantasy novel I’ve written. My second novel, Almost Adept, is a high fantasy adventure. It was released on Jan 6, 2014 by Burst/Champagne. It’s my first novel with Burst but I hope it won’t be my last. I’m predominantly a fantasy writer. My second fantasy novel, also with Burst, is scheduled for release in May 2014.
Olga Godim is my pen name for fiction. In my real life, I write for a local newspaper, and my articles have a different byline. Before I started writing anything, I was a computer programmer. I began submitting fantasy stories to magazines while still working at my computer job and I felt slightly embarrassed by my fantastic tales. Women of my age and profession didn’t make up stories of sword and magic. Or so I thought. So I decided to use a pseudonym. Olga is my first name, and Godim was my father’s first name. He died before I published my first piece, before I even started thinking about writing, but I wanted him to be a part of my writing life, so I chose his name as my nom de plume. Now, he’s always with me, a witness to my successes and failures as a writer.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI write at home because I need a quiet environment to write – so no music or other audio diversions. I drink coffee, so making coffee for myself is a legitimate distraction, as is checking my email several times a day and reading the blogs I follow.
Like any writer, I often have a few projects on the go. Right now, I’m almost done with the first draft of a fantasy a novel—a sequel to Almost Adept. It’s about the same protagonist, a young woman magician Eriale, visiting a kingdom where female magic is anathema. Only male servants of the local god are allowed to practice magic there. She has quite a ride ahead of her if she wants to complete her assignment for a client and help the local persecuted female witches at the same time.
My other project is a collection of short stories, all urban fantasy with a pinch of humor, united by the same characters—a young witch Darya and her familiar, squirrel Beatrice. I want to self-publish this collection as ebook only. So far, there are 8 stories already written, but I’d like to write at least one more.

Almost Adept started developing in my head long ago, after I read Mercedes Lackey’s Magic Price. In the end of the book, the hero dies, heroically, of course. I dislike such endings, so I started fantasizing: what if he didn’t die? What if… One thing led to another, until my adopted hero transformed into someone else entirely, relocated to my imaginary country of Varelia, and acquired a wife and a daughter. Considering that in Lackey’s book he was gay, such a transformation was really drastic. He changed his name, and his daughter became my heroine, Eriale.
Strangely, when I started thinking about Eriale’s adventures, they came to me backwards. First, I wrote a story about her, when she was about 30 years old. This story exists on my computer as the first draft of a novel. I’m going to revise it soon. Then I wanted to see how she started on her magic path – and Almost Adept got written.
I also have a couple of short stories about Eriale, both happening before Almost Adept. Both stories are available as freebies on my website.


Almost Adept

AlmostAdept-EBOOK_smallFor the seventeen-year-old mage Eriale, magic is a source of joy, and she often uses her magic to solve problems. Unfortunately, such solutions sometimes get out of hand. Her latest magical caper was a disaster, so she has to leave home in a hurry but she decides to turn her shameful fleeing into a quest to prove her Adept potential. She expects a glittering foreign escapade but ends up in Grumesh, the land rife with treachery and violence. A local courier Kealan becomes her only friend and ally. Together, they survive an explosion, a treacherous incarceration, and a daring escape. Sparks of interest ignite between them, but before Eriale can explore her attraction to Kealan, she discovers blood magic ruining amok in the city. Her priorities must change. As an aspiring Adept, she is duty-bound to find and eliminate the blood mage of Grumesh. She can’t allow her budding romance to distract her, or the blood magic will taint the entire land. No matter the cost—her life or her heart—she can’t let the vile mage win.

Buy Links for Almost Adept: BURST / AMAZON
Follow/Contact Olga: WEBPAGE/EMAIL

Thank you for visiting Olga and best wishes for success for Almost Adept. Rita Bay

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Author Jeanne Arnold Visits An Author’s Desk

Jeanne Arnold Image200x300Jeanne Arnold, my guest at An Author’s Desk this week, is a debut author at Champagne. Stubborn was released last week at Champagne Books. Jeanne is an author of young adult romance. At a young age she found her creative outlet in art, and for years her fictional characters came to life in drawings and paintings, until they demanded a voice. Now they grace the pages of her stories. Jeanne shares her time with her fictional teenage counterparts and her human family in Central New York.  Her debut young adult romance Stubborn is available everywhere and The Haunt of Thirteen Curves will be released in June.


Jeanne Arnold DeskI’ve always written at the kitchen table where I stare out the wall of windows at my forever marsh.  I woke up one day to the sun bathing the table and captured my morning desk in this photo.  I’ve tried to work in an office but it’s too confining, so I prefer to tolerate the bustling house noise as opposed to sitting in a square box.  I write from early morning until the Late Show almost every day.  It’s impossible to have guests stay over and still keep my office open. When meals come around, I get kicked out. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. As long as I’ve got a fragrant vase of inspiration and a cup of Starbuck’s coffee, I’m good.


Stubborn-Jeanne Arnold-coverStubborn is a young adult romance set in present day Williston, North Dakota, the epicenter of America’s latest and most explosive oil boom, and a place that is near and dear to my heart. Check out the Blurb and cover.

With a train ticket, a bad attitude, and an unfortunate scribbling of obscenities across her forehead, seventeen-year-old Avery Ross is tossed out of the frying pan and into the fire when she’s sent from New York to the vast oil field region of North Dakota.  When a green-eyed boy with a sultry Texan accent comes to her defense, Avery has no clue that his actions will lead her into a passion-charged summer, full of temptation and loss.

Defiant and relegated to work at her aunt’s boarding house, Avery discovers a connection between her aunt and the striking boy. He and his brothers are seeking revenge for the wrongful death of their sibling, and Avery becomes entangled in their battle over oil rights, loyalty, and love.  Avery falls for the brooding, younger brother, Gabriel Halden, against her aunt’s forewarnings and creates more tribulations than any of them could anticipate.

Buy Stubborn from Amazon HERE or click cover.


Learn more about/Contact/ Follow Jeanne here:


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An Author’s Desk: Tamsin Flowers

Tamsin Flowers visits An Author’s Desk today. She writes erotica and vampire stories for several publishers. Her most recent release—today’s featured story—is The Crimson Bond from Secret Cravings Publishing. In addition to her novels, Tamsin is published in the popular Smut collections which are edited by the well known British erotic romance author, Victoria Blisse.  Check out Tamsin’s desk and her novel, The Crimson Bond.


IMG_20131213_122817As you can see from the picture, my desk is anything but tidy. But there are certainly a few writer’s essentials to be seen:
• my trusty vacuum mug because I can’t bear it if my tea gets cold while I’m writing
• a large bottle of water – in case I finish my tea
• on the right, a pair of fingerless mittens for typing in the cold and a wrist splint to try and prevent RSI (which would work if I ever bothered to put it on!)
• a box of tissues for when the emotional scenes get too much
• a wrinkled Satsuma to tempt me into having some vitamin C
• what looks like a dark brown glass is actually a scented candle – it’s either that or joss sticks for olfactory inspiration
• hand cream
• and right at the back between the water and the phone, there’s a beautiful snow globe music box with gold and black cranes inside it
• and sundry stuff…

I spend far too many hours a day seated here. In fact, I’d rather be writing on my laptop, sitting on the couch in our sunroom – but when I do that I get back ache from not sitting properly. So, back to the desk and the proper chair I go.
What am I working on at the moment? I’m busy finishing off the sequel to my current release, The Crimson Bond. By the time I get to the end, it will be a trilogy which tells the story of a passionate vampire love triangle. It’s sizzling hot and I have the most fun imaginable playing with my three vampire leads!

Studio shotWillow Jackson develops an unhealthy obsession Etienne Corbeau; little does she realise he’s a suave, sophisticated vampire. After appearing in her dreams, Willow is astounded to find Etienne in her room for real and even more shocked when, in the throes of a passion she can’t resist, he sinks his teeth into her neck and drinks her blood.
But Etienne is greedy and to save Willow’s life, his wife Elouise forces her to drink vampire blood. From this moment Willow is herself a vampire, forming an unbreakable bond with Elouise which forces her to choose between the beautiful new vampire and her husband of two centuries.

As Willow learns to tame her bloodlust and vampire sex carries her to new heights of physical pleasure, Elouise is snatched away from her. The battle lines are drawn: now she and Etienne will fight for possession of the woman they both love…
Buy Links for The Crimson Bond: Secret Cravings, Amazon US, Amazon UK, All Romance Smashwords.

Thanks so much to Tamsin Flowers for visiting An Author’s Desk.
Visit./follow Tamsin: WEBPAGE / TWITTER / FACEBOOK
Tomorrow, A Free Short Story added to my Freebie page.  Rita Bay


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Welcome Eden Carson to An Author’s Desk

Guest Eden Carson is a self-published author of historical romance.  Her upcoming release, Widow, Spy, & Lover. placed second in the Laurie Award contest sponsored by the Smoky Mountain Chapter of RWA.  She also placed second place in the Silken Sands Readers’ Choice contest sponsored by the Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA and was a Quarterfinalist in the ABNA Romance Category for 2012 for her first novel, Untamed Journey. Eden has a unique writing venue to share.


DSC02792I write in a café four mornings a week on a tiny laptop, before heading off for the day job in IT.   I switch up the café sometimes for a new view out the window, but most days, I end up in the Bad Ass Coffee around the corner.   Their tables are not crunched together and the music not so loud that I can’t block it out while I immerse myself in my book world (the scones are awesome, too).   There’s also a four-man IT company working out of this same café, most days, so there must be something special in their brand of caffeine.

As I was finishing up the final touches on my latest book, Widow, Spy, & Lover, I learned the name of one of the ladies that works in the café – Much to my surprise, it was Savannah, which is also where my book starts off.   I figure that’s a good sign and Bad Ass Coffee is now my ‘desk’ of choice.


Eden’s featured story, Widow, Spy, & Lover, is a historical romance set in the West during the Civil War. While she finished Widow, Spy, & Lover in ten months, her first romance, Untamed Journey, took three years to complete.  Her plan is to complete one story each year.

The year is 1864.  The place – the Deep South.  There’s typhoid in the town, soldiers at the door, and a dead husband in the springhouse.  When gun smugglers come calling, Morgan Edgeworth has only one thing to barter – a deadly knowledge of bomb-making no woman should have.

To escape a violent past and protect his brother, Liam Griffin crosses an ocean to America — only to step off the boat into the middle of a deadly war.  The Irishman is forced to join the North – as scout, tactician, and the gun guarding his brother’s back.

When Griffin steps into the Bleu Pig Tavern, he’s looking for information.  What he finds is a woman – An elegant southern lady serving whiskey to thieves and deserters.  She’s beautiful, well-spoken, and entirely out-of-place in a rowdy tavern.  As she circles the room, pausing only for hurried conversations with men in Confederate uniforms, Griffin is forced to look beyond his interest in Morgan as a woman.  Could she know something about the black powder making its way up the Mississippi?

When Griffin rescues Morgan from a dangerous situation, he offers his protection in exchange for information.  Can she survive on her own, or should she trust the charming Irishman to keep his word?

Widow, Spy, & Lover is an action-packed romance that begins during the Civil War in Union-occupied Louisiana, and ends on the Texas frontier. It’s about fresh starts.  Love and Redemption.  And the meaning of family.  There’s adventure, humor, romance, and passion.


Buy Links: AMAZON / B&N / APPLE

Visit Eden at her WEBPAGE or follow her on TWITTER or FACEBOOK

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Author Diana Greene Visits an Author’s Desk

Welcome Diana Green who writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance for Champagne Books and The Wild Rose Press. Since her childhood, growing up in New Zealand, Diana has been an avid storyteller. For years she enjoyed teaching art and special education, while continuing to write as a hobby. After she developed chronic fatigue syndrome, a career change was necessary, but happily this led her to become a professional author.

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Meet Diana

Author's deskI’m the sort of person who needs a singular focus when I’m composing. I have to be in tune with the flow of words as I write them. If there is other noise in the house, conversations or whatever, I put on headphones and play instrumental music to drown it out. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now, as my husband and son are playing a card game in the next room.

I create playlists, on iTunes, specific to each book. This helps get me in the correct space for writing. If I’m lacking inspiration, I pop on the playlist, close my eyes, and let the music take me into the world of the story. For my sci-fi novel, New Sion, the music was spare and acoustic, evoking the wide-open, frontier setting of the story.

The music for my dragon-shifter romance Dragon Wife (to be released by the Wild Rose Press in 2014) was completely different. I chose sweeping symphonic pieces from sources like The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. For the fight scenes I compiled a separate playlist of epic, high-energy music…themes from Conan the Barbarian, Skyrim, and other similarly heart-pounding scores. I’m using that same playlist, currently, while writing the sequel, Dragon Warrior, which follows the next generation of the dragon clan through new adventures.

Our house isn’t large enough to provide an office for me, so I have a corner of the den, with my desk, computer etc. I’ve had to train my husband and son not to wander through with random interruptions, when I’m writing. I haven’t been so successful with my cat. She loves to come by and chew on my flash drive, where it sticks out of the computer, or if I have bare legs, she licks my ankles with her raspy little tongue. That is an effective distraction, believe me.

I don’t follow a set schedule for writing. I have an autoimmune condition, combined with chronic fatigue syndrome, which makes it impossible to predict my capacity for work from one day to the next. I try to do as much as I can, healthfully. That varies hugely, and my greatest challenge is to stop before overdoing. I get so involved with my characters and their unfolding story. I just want to keep writing. Pacing myself is a skill I am still developing. It’s easy to be a workaholic when you have a job you love. Hopefully people enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

scary-graveyard dividerwitheyesJ2


new sion cover trimmedDiana’s New Sion is a romantic science fiction book from Champagne Books. New Sion combines her love of far future sci-fi with her love of quirky westerns. It involves the most detailed and effective world-building that she has accomplished so far, along with some of her favorite characters.

BULRB:  Pretending to be a man isn’t easy. Finn Colville has pulled it off for years, but things get complicated when she falls for her new bounty hunting partner, Eamon Sullivan. On the planet New Sion, it’s against the law for a woman to wear pants and carry a gun, much less shoot people for a living. What will happen if Eamon discovers her secret?

On a backwater planet, at the edge of a galactic war, one man, one woman, and one desperate alien cross paths. Together they embark on the road trip of a lifetime, bound for revelation and redemption.

New Sion is available from CHAMPAGNE BOOKS & AMAZON

Visit Diana at her WEBPAGE

Tomorrow, Author Chris Fenge’s Paranormal Story.


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An Author’s Desk: Guest Celia Breslin

Celia Breslin  is a writer of  urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Her debut novel, Haven, was recently released by Champagne Books. Celia lives in San Francisco with her  husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. In addition to writing, she reads slush pile and line edit for an indie publisher, plays piano, and is addicted to boot camp-style workouts and dark chocolate. She claims the latter two cancel each other out, LOL.


CeliaBreslin-Desk[1]I love my office.  It’s actually one tidy corner of a multi-functional room. My favorite part is the view. Through the large window to the right of my desk, I can see the hills of my San Francisco neighborhood, enjoy the warmth of the sun and also watch the fog roll in at night. Of course, sometimes it’s foggy all day. Then it feels like I’m working inside a cotton ball, LOL.

As a full-time mom, I fit in writing and other editorial work around my daughter’s schedule. A typical day during the school year looks like this: Chauffeur child to school, exercise, write, line edit and/or read slush pile, pick up child, spend evening with family. Rinse, repeat.

My environment runs the gamut from noisy — music and/or kids playing in the house — to quiet. Usually, I can function regardless of the life sounds surrounding me.  But there are indeed times when I require a tranquil environment, and other times when I crank up some mood music. An example of the latter – I wrote the majority of the action sequences in Haven while listening to NIN and The Prodigy.

I’m currently working on the second book in The Tranquilli Bloodline Series. Here’s a little taste – Carina knows it’s going to be one hell of a bad day when her archenemy sends her a gift-wrapped box of blood…



Haven_200x300San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli works hard, plays hard, and never allows the death of her parents and her twelve-year memory gap to get her down. But her life takes a left turn when a witch attacks her on her twenty-fifth birthday.

Three hauntingly familiar vampires emerge to reveal she possesses a latent power. To protect her from their enemies, they admit to wiping her memories clean and abandoning her as a child, but now they need her help. As she struggles to evade her new protectors and even newer enemies, she meets Alexander, an enigmatic, undead musician. Insta-lust flares, leaving her wanting more.

With evil’s minions hounding her every move, and everything she thought she knew turned on its head, Carina must harness her burgeoning power, unravel her vampire family’s web of deceit, and fight to have a love life…without getting killed in the process.



Thank you, Celia for visiting.  You can contact Celia at: WEBPAGE * TWITTER * FACEBOOK

Tomorrow, More on Search & Rescue.  Rita Bay


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An Author’s Desk: Graeme Brown

My guest author today at An Author’s Desk is Graeme Brown. Graeme is an author of epic fantasy whose debut novella, The Pact, was published recently by Burst Books, the scifi/fantasy imprint of Champagne Book Group. Graeme is also a fellow author in the group blog, Worlds of the Imagination, a scifi/fantasy blog for authors and readers of the genre. Check out Grame’s bio, writing area, books (with link), book blurb, and contact info.

Graeme_3 I write epic fantasy, but also have explored science fiction and have a series I’d like to write when I’m done the fantasy arc I have planned out. I am also a junior editor for Champagne Books. Aside from being a lover of epic fantasy (George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, to name my favorites), I am a math lover. I have been given the opportunity to being some research while still an undergraduate, thanks to one of my former professors who took me under his wing, so I spend my days wandering between the worlds of modular arithmetic and various fantasy universes.

When I’m in this (normal) world, I enjoy yoga, running, coffee-shop-hopping, and playing the piano. I also have a background in web design and SEO, which I did for several years before returning to the world of academia and publishing.
I like to make a mess when I write. Small pages and little booklets are great, because the more I can spread out, the better. I’m in the process of playing around with Scrivener, but, from experience working on computer versus working by hand, I find marrying digital with tactical is still my style of preference, especially since I do a lot of diagramming with maps and sigils and settings.
I prefer to write every day, just a little, because it keeps me connected to the story, blends in the rumination process with the writing process. I also only write one draft.

This works because I don’t write front to back. I develop the draft as I go advancing the word count by a couple hundred words every day (crossing a thousand on the great days), but spend a lot of the writing time pushing other relevant sections to their edge. I find this process not only provides the right inspiration to get into the story (and eliminated writer’s block), but also allows me to tie in elements from earlier.

A standard writing session for me involves first sitting down, opening my black box (which has my miniature profile and outline sheets), spreading out my pages before me – outline on the left, characters on the right, settings, maps, and world-building tracking sheets out of the way but ready for access. I work at the computer, usually with a coffee. Before I start writing, I spend anywhere from ten to twenty minutes going over my outlines and character profiles. I’ll open the manuscript document on the computer, read a bit from the day before, jump around to other sections – whatever the particular session calls for – and once I start feeling the story’s voice sediment, I begin. A writing session is usually about an hour, though I prefer two or more; I most often end them by choice because I know I have my other ten or so tasks for the day awaiting me.

I can work anywhere, so long as I have the space and I’m not distracted, especially by email. I’ve written in bed (with the bed made!), at the kitchen table, on the futon, at my favorite lounge at the university, in many a Starbucks or Second Cup. In that picture, I am writing at my partner’s mother’s house, one of my favorite studies where I usually do Saturday writing (his old bedroom, soon to turn into a spa room, so I’m getting my fix while I can!).


The Pact is a short tale that will whisk you away to the castle wonderland of Will Lesterall, a boy who’s grown up safe and secure but who will soon find himself at the center of a secret plot hatched between fallen gods and wicked women. For intrigue and tension lurk behind the proud tapestries of Fort Lesterall, and a night that begins with wine and feasting soon will end with blood and the budding of an old prophecy’s seeds. The crossed daggers of House Lesterall have been its sigil since its founding, but their meaning a mystery – until this night, when Will discovers the power of his bloodline and the deeper fire within him.

the_pact_coverThe Stablehouse climbed three stories, a narrow building just twenty feet shy from touching the top of the double outer wall that surrounded the castle’s north flank. Lights shone in the top floor windows and a few others at ground level, where the horses were kept. Will hurried across the dark stones. The soft tap of his shoes against the cobbles echoed in the empty Square. In the middle, where the ground sloped down toward the sewer drains, the statue of Amarr the Barbarian cast a long shadow. Will passed into it and stopped. He heard voices.
Two men spoke in hushed tones, but their words carried when the wind wasn’t gusting.
“It’s that hag, I tell ya,” came one voice. “She’s roundin’ them up, preparing one of her big spells, she is. I heards there’s a sacrifice comin’, and she means to raise the dead.”
“Don’t be stupid, Roth.” Will recognized the raspy tone at once. It belonged to Mern, the whitesmith, whose half-slashed throat had never fully healed. Will squinted, but couldn’t see where the voices came from, other than realizing they drifted over from the dark, walled yard outside Hellistead’s Tavern.
“I’ll not have ya callin’ me stupid. Oh no. I know what this is about an’hoo. You’re just afraids, justs protectin’ yurself. Ya know whatcha got in it, ands I don’t blame you for bitin’ your tongue.”
“Quiet, you hay-brained crofter,” Mern spat. “Tonight’s not a night to whisper about such treacheries. The Lord Ham will cut your tongue out, and the world’ll be a better place for it if he does.”
“Old Cren will put it back, if he do, but I says he’d best act quick, or he’ll be lacking for the parts as fits him proper. The night’s black, Mern, and it’s gettin’ blacker yet.”
There was a hollow clatter, then sharp hisses. The man who spoke improperly cursed in words that would have made Grandma Mae gasp then Will heard quick footsteps and a series of clunks. He looked back to the castle, to where father gathered his fighters, then the other way, to the Stablehouse. If father’s in trouble, I have to warn him. Will knew his words wouldn’t be taken seriously, though.
He began to run across the stone expanse. Fort Lesterall won’t fall. Mern’s a wicked man, and whoever that other one is, he’s got no wits. Cren’s just an old woman who lives in the woods. She probably doesn’t even exist.
The side door to the Stablehouse opened as Will arrived, revealing a long labyrinth of stalls lit by rows of hanging lanterns. Jak peeked from behind the door, and Will slipped inside. When the older boy closed it, the dangerous night seemed far away. They were alone, Jak peering at Will, a curry comb still clasped in his hand. He was broad-limbed and of average height, with tousled hair the color of wet earth and eyes like onyx. As usual, he smelled of straw and horse manure, but that only made him all the more inviting.
Jak grinned. “I thought you’d hurry over after the feast proper. Too many clouds tonight, though. I’m afraid we won’t be spying Hell’s Cap, but I’ve another surprise for you. Found it myself, last night.”
“We won’t be going to the groves, Jak.” Will lowered his voice. “The Unborns are going to attack. Alter Dun showed the Red Token. That means the Unborns have challenged us. The Pact is broken. Even as we speak, my father’s gathering an army.”
“Of course he is.” Will turned toward the metal spiral stair. Barrik, a wiry man with salt-and-pepper hair and a bushy moustache, bent his impressive height as he descended from the second floor serving quarters. “I’ve a hundred retainers to see to and that’s lots of horseshit, my little prince. A good thing they’ve taken to the barracks. I’m full, and there’s a thousand more coming, twenty companies marching under you uncle’s banner knight, Telliken. If we hold the night, then there will be others, and we’ll feed the Unborns hell like they haven’t seen in centuries. But if what I’ve heard’s true, then they have hell to feed us first, before we can draw breath.”
Will gaped at the Master of Stables then shook his head fiercely. “Fort Lesterall cannot fall.”
Barrik grunted, though it sounded like a laugh. He picked up a pail and carried it to a nearby stall. “I wish I believed that, lad, but this world’s not run on luck, I’m afraid. A man forges his own blade then learns to use it, or he gets cut by everyone around him. This world’s a fierce battlefield, a bitch with a thousand teeth.”
“We can fight with them,” Jak insisted. “I’ve practiced with the sword you gave me lots of times in the groves. I’m not bad.”
“You would be with armor on.” Barrik came out of the stall with a pail full of black dung. He looked at Will, at Jak, his expression grave. “No, you boys have another errand…


You can follow/contact Graeme at   Webpage *  Twitter * Email          Thank you, Graeme, for visiting and sharing.  Rita Bay


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