Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Donna Grant

Welcome, Donna
I had the pleasure of reviewing your novels, HIGHLAND MAGIC and PRINCE OF PASSION, available now from Total E-Bound. Thank you for granting Enchanting Reviews this interview and the opportunity for us to get to know more about you and your work.

1. Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Hi, Rowena! Thanks so much for interviewing me. I was born and raised in Texas, right on the Texas/Louisiana border. With half my family Cajun, I spent a lot of time in Louisiana growing up. I love to travel, so we get away as often as we can.

2. Your stories are all set in the past. If you were granted the opportunity to travel back in time, where would you go and why?
Hmm…so many possibilities.  I would go to Medieval Scotland, Ancient Rome, Britain when the Celts ruled the land and maybe even ancient Egypt.

3. If you could meet a famous person from the past, who would it be?
William Shakespeare would be interesting to meet as well as Chaucer. I’d love to have a conversation with either of those two men. Oh, and Cleopatra!

4. Which one of your characters do you feel is most like you?
Oh, they all have a little of me. Glenna from HIGHLAND MIST has my fear of spiders. Elle from A KIND OF MAGIC has my revulsion to touching raw chicken. Though all my characters are much more adventurous than I will ever be.

5. Your novels incorporate the theme of the Fae interacting with mortals. Could you elaborate on the nature of the Fae world and its inhabitants?
If you do any kind of research, you will find that everyone has an opinion of what the Fae are. Some think of them as tiny winged creatures, much like a Sprite. Others think of them as tall, lanky beings more monster than anything.
So, when I came up with my Druid’s Glen series and I wanted to have the Fae involved, I created my own Fae. These creatures are beautiful, sexual creatures who are connected to our world because they once lived on Earth. Whatever happens to Earth, happens to their realm. It’s important to the Fae to keep a balance, which is why they are always around.
As for their realm, the Realm of the Fae, it is a land that pulses with magic where dragons fly in the sky and scenery so beautiful it hurts to look at it. The Fae’s magic comes from their realm and the dragons that inhabit their world.

6. If you had to pick one book to take with you to a deserted island, which one would you choose? Has this author influenced your style?
Just one?! What a hard choice. I have so many authors I love, and books that have touched my heart. I don’t know if I could choose just one. I adore MAN OF MY DREAMS by Johanna Lindsey, so I would definitely take it.

7. Are you reclusive or do you like interacting with other writers?
I love interacting with other writers. Its so much fun to be able to talk to others who understand what its like to be a writer and suffer rejections, bad reviews, great sales, the “big” offer on a book, and so on. This business is like a roller coaster with its highs and lows. It’s imperative for me to be able to share that with people who understand.

8. The genre you write requires extensive research. Do you enjoy the research process?
I love the research. I don’t spend of all of my time researching, though. Still, I love the thrill of finding a small gem in a mountain of research that sparks an idea for a new book or series. Those are the best moments.

9. Tell us more about your obsession with Scotland. Would you like to live there indefinitely or do you think a visit might suffice?
Well, my husband assures me my aversion to the cold would send me packing back to Texas, but I’m not so sure. I’d like to give it a try and find out.

10. What do you do when you are not writing?
Read. I try to clean the house, but with two kids (three if you count hubby), three cats and one dog it gets tiring. I keep asking for a maid for Christmas, but Santa has yet to bring her. 

11. Has your journey to becoming a published author been a smooth or bumpy road?
Bumpy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Those bumps keep things in perspective, and make me appreciate what I’ve gained so far in this rocky business.

12. You are working on two sequels now. Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I’ve got a new historical/paranormal witch series coming from Cobblestone Press in a few months. I’ve very excited about this trilogy. I also have an anthology I wrote with two of my best friends (Mary O’Connor and Georgia Tribell) about a magical stone and its travel through time. My story begins the anthology in Medieval Scotland, Mary then takes us to Victorian England/Scotland, and Georgia ends the anthology in present day California. The novellas will be released separately before being released in print from Cobblestone.
In September, I have my first release from Kensington and their erotic romance line, Aphrodisia. My novella, Ties that Bind, will be in the historical anthology, THE PLEASURE OF HIS BED, available for preorder now. In May 2009 I have my second release from Kensington with a collection of three novellas of mine titled MUTUAL DESIRE.
In October I have a novella, TEMPTED, coming from Total-E-Bound that is connected to my September Kensington release.

13. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?
I love hearing from readers. You can email me at anytime. I’m also always at my blog (, so drop by and say hello!

Donna, Enchanting Reviews would like to thank you for submitting your work for review and we hope to continue to provide this service for you in the future.

Interviewed by Rowena
June 2008

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hazel Statham

Welcome, Hazel.
Thank you for granting Enchanted Reviews this interview and the opportunity for us to get to know more about you and your work.

1. Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I live in the UK and have been writing on and off since I was fifteen (many, many moons ago). I am fascinated by the romance and elegance of Regency and Georgian England, and it is this that I hopefully recreate in my work.
Apart from reading and writing historical fiction, my other ruling passion is animals and until recently I was treasurer to a group that raised money for animal charities. We currently share our home with two lovely yellow Labradors, Lucy who is ten and five-month-old Mollie, but over the years we have owned everything from hamsters to horses.

2. Your wonderful stories are all set in the past. If you were granted the opportunity to travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I am fascinated by the Peninsular wars so I guess it would have to be the Duchess of Richmond’s ball when Wellington’s army prepared to march to Waterloo. The air must have been electric with anticipation once it was announced that Bonaparte was on the move and Wellington prepared to intercept him.

3. If you could meet a famous person from the past, who would it be?
Can I have two? Firstly, of course, it would be the Iron Duke himself, Wellington, but the second would be George Brian Brummell, otherwise known as Beau Brummell. With Beau, I could discuss the mores of Regency society and enjoy his cutting wit.

4. Which one of your characters do you feel is most like you?
I would hesitate to compare myself with any one of my heroines, but I suppose it is inevitable that a little bit of yourself seeps into your characters. To a certain degree, their reactions are your reactions!

5. Do you adhere to a routine when you write?
I write as and when the desire takes me – which, to be quite honest, is most days and times when I have a work in progress. I write when the house is quiet but I have also been known to start writing at midnight and continue on until the small hours.

6. How would you describe your author’s voice?
I try to use language that is appropriate for the period in which I write. Modern day words and phrasing only serve to draw the reader out of the era.

7. Are you reclusive or do you like interacting with other writers?
I have several writers as friends and love interacting with them. It’s great being able to discuss your art with other like-minded souls.

8. The genre you write requires extensive research. Do you enjoy the research process?
Very much so. I have read historical fiction and non-fiction for quite a number of years and now find the internet an invaluable tool. However, I feel it is very important to make the story fit the fact, not the fact fit the story as I believe it is the author’s responsibility to be as accurate as possible when stating fact.

9. Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Definitely hinder! My muse frequently deserts me when under pressure.

10. Has your journey to becoming a published author been a smooth or bumpy road?
For years I wrote only for my own amusement with no thought of publication. It wasn’t until I joined a writers’ group at the local college that I even considered it. The lecturer who headed the group constantly badgered me to submit my work but it wasn’t until my husband joined ranks with him that I actually sent a manuscript out to All Romance Books. I was utterly amazed and delighted when they accepted my work and immediately submitted a second manuscript, which they also took. Sadly, due to the owner’s demise, All Romance Books closed before the second book was published and I had to look for a new home for my work. Luckily, Wings ePress took the two novels, DOMINIC and MY DEAREST FRIEND and Triskelion took a third, ‘The Portrait’. Again, I was destined for disappointment when Triskelion went into receivership before ‘The Portrait’ was published, but my rights have now been returned and I will be sending it out again shortly. On June 1st, Wings released HIS SHADOWED HEART, and I have two more manuscripts out for consideration with publishers.
Overall, it has been a hectic three years, with several highs and lows, but I am thrilled that what started out purely as a hobby, now enables me to call myself a ‘published author’.

11. Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Here is the blurb for HIS SHADOWED HEART:
Can a shadowed heart be healed? Can love grow where least expected? The Earl of Waverly believes not. How wrong can he be!
After the death of his wife, the Earl of Waverly, believing his heart irreparably damaged, enters into a marriage of convenience. However, he is not prepared for the healing influence his new young bride has on his life.
Despite the couple’s new-found happiness, nefarious deeds abound and strange happenings are attributed to the ghost of his former wife. Will their love stand the test or will the perpetrator emerge the victor?
A short excerpt:
The earl, fighting his attraction to his new wife, returns home from his club after fleeing her company earlier in the day.
Traversing the long corridor to his bedchamber, he paused momentarily outside his wife’s door, but as no light shone from beneath, he continued on to his own apartment. Closing the door quietly behind him he paused in the centre of the room. All was in darkness except for the pool of light cast by the candles he held and for a moment, their flickering caught the handle to the connecting door. Yielding to an irresistible temptation, he pressed the handle, and finding no resistance there, entered the chamber.
As in his own room, all was in darkness, but turning to where he knew the bed to be he raised the candles higher so that their glow spread across the room, illuminating the sleeping figure there. Crossing to the bed, he knelt at her side and extinguishing all but one of the flames, placed the candelabra on a small table at the side of the bed
The shadows of the remaining light played across Caroline’s sleeping countenance and he smoothed a lock of hair that had strayed across her forehead. He knew the desire that his lips should follow his finger’s course, but even in his state of inebriation, he knew this would be foolish. For several minutes, he watched his wife sleep, eventually placing his head upon the pillow beside her. His lips curved into a loving smile as his eyes drank in her sleep-softened countenance and he felt her breath caress his cheek. The longing to hold her became an almost physical thing and his arms ached with the suppressed desire. Eventually she stirred, muttering incoherently in her sleep, and he raised himself up. What foolishness is this, he thought. I am acting like a callow youth, and immediately he was on his feet. Snatching up the light, he went quickly out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

12. What advice would you give an aspiring author?
If you have the desire to write, just do it. Whether you write with the intention of submitting your manuscript or not, you will enjoy the process and will have an amazing sense of accomplishment when it is completed
What would you like to tell your readers?
I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your comments as I love hearing from my readers.
The best way for readers to contact me are either through my web-site or email

Hazel, Enchanting Reviews would like to thank you for submitting your work for review and we hope to continue to provide this service for you in the future.

Interviewed by Rowena

June 2008

Desiree Holt

Hi, Desiree.
Thanks for agreeing to chat with Enchanting Reviews about your books. We are so excited about getting to know you better.

1. When did you decide to become an author and why?
I always had a desire to write but family and career took up so much time that there wasn’t enough left over for my personal creative process. That had to wait until we retired. By then, I hade notebooks and computer folders full of ideas just scratching to get out of my brain. Four years ago, my husband finally gave me the kick I needed to get started and I’ve been writing ever since. The thing I like about writing is you start with a blank page and the words you put down on it can create images and emotions for the readers. At least I hope they will!

2. Who is a writer that inspires you? Who is a writer that you admire and would like to get to know better? Do you have an author that mentors you?
Let’s start with the third question. We have several published authors in our RWA chapter and I am grateful for all the help and advice they’ve given me, especially the critique group they run which is invaluable. Lots of writers inspire me, but I think probably Joey Hill has had the most influence. When I started reading her books, I saw how beautiful erotic romance could be and I strive for that level all the time. An author I admire? Lordy, there are so many. I was fortunate to meet Joey Hill last year at RT. I’d really love to meet Toni Blake. Her Tempt Me Tonight is a real keeper.

3. What award that you have won are you most proud of? What award would you like to win?
BEG ME, a short novella released by Total-E-bound, was the Naughty Nibble of the Year from Romanced Reviewers Today.

4. Please tell us about your favorite book that you have published, and what makes it special to you?
I’d have to say it’s a tie between ONCE UPON A WEDDING (Ellora’s Cave) and NIGHT RIDE (The Wild Rose Press). I fell in love with the love story in each one and they still hang around in my mind. I love the ending I wrote for Wedding.

5. How do you come your with your characters and/or plot? Are any of them based loosely on real people in your life? Are your characters usually hard or easy to work with?
Characters are usually easy for me because I meet so many people who make good character models. My heroes are always alpha males with a strong sensitive side and my heroines are never wimpy, even when their situation is desperate. I like writing strong women who don’t come across as G.I. Jane. I want my readers to say, Oh, I want to be like her. And yes, some of them are based loosely on people in my life. Dominic, in DIAMOND LADY, is based on a man I once had a relationship with, for example. I never got him out of my head. The hero of NIGHT RIDE is based on the manager of a ranch I visited doing research for my cowboy books. So yeah, you never know who’s going to pop up in one of my stories.

6. What would be your first rule if you held ultimate power over the male gender?
Respect women and don’t be Mr. Always Right. Sometimes, I really have to smack my heroes when they start this I’m right She’s wrong business.

7. If you had to describe your writing to someone using only 3 words, what would they be?
Erotic, plot-drive, tantalizing

8. What do you like least about writing?
No contest here –Editing, hands down.

9. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read and watch football; spend time with my totally wonderful husband

10. Do you prefer to wear dresses or slacks?
Slacks. Much more comfortable.

11. Bubble bath or shower? Satin or lace? Chocolate or vanilla? Wine or beer? Pillows or blankets? Pen or Pencil? Blue ink or black?
Bubble bath but usually only have time for showers. Lace - love it. Chocolate all the way. Wine - we collect Texas wines. Pen. Blue ink - black looks too heavy.

12. How do you do your research for the BDSM in your books? How did you discover the dominant/submissive world? Is there anything you write about that you would not try?
I discovered it when I started reading Joey Hill’s books and it fascinated me. I started doing research online and discovered a wealth of information. I even joined a couple of online communities, telling them who I was and that I’m doing research for my writing, and some of the members are very helpful to me. The important thing with BDSM is to get across the message it’s not about just pain and manipulation, but about a sharing of need and ways of expressing it that give pleasure to all parties. I always start with the romance and build from their. In TEACHING MOLLY, my heroine is an older woman whose sexuality has been damaged by her former husband. Nick, who falls in love with her, wants to share his BDSM lifestyle with her but worries that she won’t know how to accept it. The way he teaches her and draws her into it is a strong element of their love story.

13. Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are writing now? Or a hint of what is up-coming?
In July Ellora’s Cave will release LINE OF SIGHT, my first shape shifter, and in October my very first single author anthology, HOT, WICKED AND WILD. And The Wild Rose Press will release DREAM STROKES, another of my stories I totally fell in love with. I’m very excited about all of them.

Desiree, thank you so much for your candor in answering our questions. We can't wait to review more work from you in the near future! Thanks again for choosing Enchanting Reviews.

Interviewed by Desiree de Cleves
June 2008

Julia Harper

Hi Julia!
Thanks for agreeing to chat with us at Enchanting Reviews. We are so excited to have this opportunity to get to know you better.

1. HOT is your first contemporary novel. Please tell us more about it.
Thank you, Aemelia, for inviting me to chat! HOT is my first contemporary book. When inept robbers disguised as Yoda and SpongeBob SquarePants hold up the bank, local librarian Turner Hastings uses the distraction to pull a little heist of her own. Now she’s on the run in rural Wisconsin with one very sexy, very determined FBI agent hot on her trail.

2. You also write historical romances as Elizabeth Hoyt, how are you able to separate your writing identities? Do you have a favorite genre to write? Or a different genre you'd like to explore?
I have separate websites for my historical books and my contemporary books, but it’s not like I do a whole lot to separate my identities—they are both me, after all! ;-) I like writing both historicals and contemporaries. Writing in different sub-genres keeps me on my toes and keeps my writing fresh—both for me as the writer and for my readers.

3. Have you ever been in the middle of writing a book where you had to stop because another story would speak louder in your head? If so, were you able to finish both?
LOL! Ideas come to me constantly, but if I stopped working on my current manuscript I’d never finish anything. One of the things that professional writers have to learn is to put ideas on the back burner until you can get to it.

4. When you are in the middle of a book, are you able to turn off/shut off the story you are writing when you leave your office/turn your computer off, in order to interact with family and friends and do all the every day life stuff? Or are the characters and story bickering in the back of your mind while you fake normalcy?
“Fake normalcy”? What are you implying? ;-) My family manages to distract me pretty well when I come home from work (I go to a coffee shop to write for just this reason!) But once in a while I’ll zone off into my book. Oddly, most of the time no one notices the difference! ;-)

5. If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?
Oh, probably Turner Hastings, the heroine of HOT. She just takes off one day, disregarding society, family, even laws. It might be fun to cut loose like that.

6. When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I always wrote with the goal of publishing, so when I finished my first book the natural thing to do was submit it. I suppose I was a self-motivator.

7. What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
For HOT I called up an old friend and asked if she wanted to spend the weekend driving around back roads in Wisconsin. We stopped at a lot of antique shops, which was not necessary for the book so it was lots of fun.

8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I garden, although considering the state of my garden at the moment, maybe I should say I weed.

9. Chocolate or Vanilla? Shower or bath? Blue ink or black ink? Beer or Wine? Jeans or slacks?
Chocolate. Bath. Purple ink. Neither beer nor wine since I don’t drink, and jeans.
10. I hear that you have Dante Torelli's story done and to hit bookstores in January 2009, can you give us a sneak peek? Yes we are begging for an excerpt, blurb … anything! Please don’t keep us in the dark –
You’re in luck! My editor just sent me the back blurb for FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, Dante Torelli’s story:
Free-spirited Zoey Adler is about to hijack a federal agent. And not just any federal agent, but very Special Agent Dante Torelli, a man whose designer suits and Italian shoes are more GQ than FBI. But when her baby niece, Pete, is snatched right in front of her eyes, Zoey doesn’t hesitate to scramble into Dante’s spotless BMW. She needs his help to rescue the baby . . . if only she can ignore his Lips of Sin.
Dante’s original mission is down the drain and he’s dodging bullets with a loopy redhead by his side. He likes quiet. She never shuts up. He likes to follow the rules. She throws the rules out the window. But these opposites do more than attract—they ignite. With a henpecked hit man running wild, cooking-obsessed matrons chasing down contraband spices, and a relentless killer tracking them all, Dante and Zoey will risk everything—for themselves and . . .

11. Before I go, I have to ask, because as a native of Wisconsin, even I am shocked by your “Tick-Queen” title, please tell me, did you really have 36 ticks on your body at ONE time? Were you wearing some sort of tick-love potion, i.e. eau de deer?
No! I was wearing near-fatal amounts of DEET, but I was walking a trail that obviously the ticks had staked out—probably it was a favorite of local wildlife. And yes, those were the ticks on my body at one time—I counted them as I plucked them off and threw them in the toilet (I hope this tale of mass tick-icide doesn’t offend any tick lovers out there.)

Julia, thank you for your candor in answering our questions and allowing us a glimpse into your world. It's been great hearing about your books, experiences as an author and some of your insights on life. Congrats on your next release. We can't wait to review more of your work!
Thanks for interviewing me, Aemelia!

Interviewed by Aemelia
June 2008

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Linda Mooney

Hi Linda!
Welcome! We at Enchanting Reviews would first like to congratulate you for your success, and thank you for providing us with the wonderful opportunity to review your work. We are very eager to get to know you, and the person behind the author, better.

1. What made you decide to become an Author, and when did you find that you had writing in your blood?
Hi! Thank you so much for this opportunity!
I started writing when I was a child. I was very lonely and withdrawn. My childhood was not happy, so I wrote stories to get away from the real world. As I grew older, I found out that writing helped me cope with stress and the pressure of real life. I guess that’s why I so love science fiction and fantasy. It’s about as far away from reality as you can get! LOL!

2. How do you come about your characters? Which is/has been your favorite character to write about?
Hmm, that’s like asking a parent which child she prefers. I can’t really say. I love Atty and Yulen in my Battle Lord series to the point where I’ve already written 3 sequels with more planned. Star and Hunter in my HeartFast books haunt me with their romance. And Cutler Glass in my just-finished dark urban fantasy series has a special place in my heart, as well.

3. What was your inspiration, if you had one, for the series of books Runners Moon?
Runner’s Moon started out as a challenge because I overheard two authors arguing at a con about the “definition” of shape-shifters. One claimed they were were-animals like wolves, etc. The other argued vamps. I went to my hotel room and thought about what kind of shape-shifter could I make that was neither, and the whole concept just took off. I originally intended it to be a one book deal, but about mid-way through Jebaral, I realized I had to tell Tiron’s story. And by mid-Tiron, I threw up my hands and admitted Simolif had to be given his lover, too. :D
Could you also tell us more about the inspiration behind the books Healer of the Heart and AEquana?
Healer of the Heart was actually my very first romance created all on my own. For many years I wrote freelance, but I hated the constraints. Sadly though, my editor at the time didn’t like my venturing out, and she would delete whole pages of the book with a magic marker because it was historically inaccurate (although it’s set on an alternate world). So I put Healer on a disk and filed it. But I never forgot Healer. Healer has a “medieval” feel to it because I love that whole “sword and castle” type of epic. It wasn’t I met The Dark Castle Lords Publishing (thank you, Veronica!) at RT in Houston this past year that I got up the nerve to pull Healer out of the mothballs, re-edit it, and submit. It became their very first fantasy novel.
AEquana is a special child to me. Again, I challenged myself to write about a very well known genre, but give it a different slant. I had been to Colorado with my hubby recently, LOVED the mountains and all, and decided to use the state as a back-drop. Since I’m one-quarter Cherokee, I thought a Native American hero would spice things up, and—voila!—things fell neatly into place. :) I have a sequel planned for those two.

4. Will you visit any of those worlds again, especially that of Healer of the Heart which showed promise for expansion?
At this time, no. I have other books I plan to expand upon, but at the moment I’m satisfied where Querl and Mareesa ended up.

5. How do you usually come up with a story idea? Is it Fate, or do you have a specific process you go about?
A bit of both. When you write freelance, you’re usually given an outline or topic, and then you have to run with it. Sometimes you get a photo that you have to write around. I’ve discovered I love to be challenged like that. So if I see something that catches my eye, I let it stew a bit to see if something cooks. Once in a while I’ll see what a publisher is asking for in their submission guidelines, and I’ll write something to fit.
Once I start, I like to outline where I’m going with a story, although sometimes the book may venture off into a completely different direction by the time I’m finished. I always set myself a daily goal of One Page Per Day. LOL! It’s not much, about 650 words in 12-pt. Times font, single-space. But nine times out of ten, once I get started I can crank out a bit more before I call it a day.

6. Do you feel a calling toward a specific genre or style of writing?
Yes, sensuous romances that have a sci-fi or fantasy flavoring and lots of emotion and angst. They’re like nothing you’ve ever read before. Trust me. :) But if a publisher asks for a specific type of story or genre, I don’t have a problem usually with trying to accommodate her.
7. Your books do not stick to one particular genre and you seem to like playing with the different genres out there. Is there one you have not written about that you would like to try?
Umm, well, I haven’t done a western. LOL! I have a paranormal I’m about 4 chapters away from finishing. And I’ve finally delved into erotica.

8. Do you pull a lot of research for your stories, or is it mostly inspiration that drives you? How do you go about your research generally?
When you create fantasy, there’s not much research you have to do. But when I do have to look up something, I try to talk to real people. When I wrote Sandeflay, I got direct information about wheelchairs and paraplegics from my next door neighbor who is handicapped. To get info about using a bow and arrow for my Battle Lord series, I talked at length with the owner of an archery range in Colorado. For AEquana, I interviewed a registered deep sea diver. The list goes on.

9. Are you an author who uses outlines and schedules, or do you simply let the creative juices flow?
I outline generally, just to give myself a foundation. Sometimes I write my books in “bricks”, then mortar them together. Other times I start at the first chapter and run with it. I always aim for X number of words per day, and a minimum of 60K words total.
For a lark I’ve done the BIAM (Book In A Month), just because I love a challenge. :)

10. How long did it take you to get your first book published?
From writing it to having it published? LOL! Healer was written in ‘96 and was published this past July. However, I submitted it in April, right after RT.

11. What did it feel like to hit the #1 list with Runner’s Moon?
Ohmygosh! I still don’t believe it! All I hoped for was to sell enough books so my publishers would not be sorry they took me on as an author, and to get my stories out where other people could read them. This whole best-seller thing is a dream I never dared to dream. :D

12. What do you like to do in your spare time? What are your interests outside of writing and creating such captivating stories?
Umm, I love to travel. I’ve been to Maine twice (on my own) and Vermont once. My husband travels on business, so when I can I go with him. I love to shop at little Mom-and-Pop stores in small towns. Stop when I see a place that interests me.

13. Is there anything else you would like to add? Maybe telling us more about Linda Mooney, the woman behind it all...
I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s in voice and music education. I’m also certified Early Childhood, which was how I was able to teach elementary music for 25 years, then teach Kindergarten for 6 more. I can’t retire for another 8 years, so after a full day, I come home and put in another 6 hours or so behind the computer. LOL!
I live in a south Texas town near the Gulf where I have been married for 25 years next January to a man who had a heart transplant in ‘01. And we have two grown sons.

14. A more personal question: Have the children you’ve taught in your professional career ever inspired you to put their traits in any of your characters?
Their traits? No. But I admit that I have “borrowed” a few names. :D
I want to thank you for your time today and we at Enchanting Reviews hope to see more work from you in the near future. We have been delighted with this opportunity to get to know you better.
Thank you for choosing Enchanting Reviews.
No, thank YOU for allowing me this honor! {{{{}}}}

Interviewed by Zee
October 2007

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sam Cheever

Hi Sam. Thanks for agreeing to chat with Enchanting Reviews about your books. We are so excited about getting to know you better.

1. What made you decide to become an Author? And why an author?
It was definitely self defense. I had thousands of stories inside my head bashing about in an attempt to escape. It was either let them out or suffer brain damage. Some who know me would say I definitely waited too long...but I did eventually make a deal with the stories. I let them out in a controlled fashion and they stopped bashing around in my head. Although I still get the occasional masher that needs to be managed.

2. How long have you been writing?
I can remember writing my first poetry in high school and having the teacher read it to the class because he thought it was really good. Looking back on it now I realize how dark and filled with teenage angst those first writing attempts were. I shudder at all that angst now. I’ve graduated to more physical writing since then. I’m really more of a blow ‘em up and smack ‘em around type of writer. It’s so much more satisfying than just sitting around fretting about something.

3. Was ’TWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL your first book? If not, can you tell us more about your first book and previous releases? How long did it take to ‘break through’?
It was the first book I’ve had published with a traditional publisher. I actually published a psychological thriller with a POD publisher before that. It’s entitled, BRUTAL INDIFFERENCE and it’s nothing like what I write now. It’s a lot darker and more intense. But I still think it’s a great story. I’ve had some small stuff published here and there, including children’s stories and poetry, but ‘TWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL was my first published novel. I worked on the book for a couple of years before I found the courage to send it out. It took about six months to sell the book once I sent it to some publishers. So the short and sweet answer is, it took several years...and it took six months. #:0)

4. How do you come up with a story? What was the starting point behind this work, and its sequel ’TWEEN A DEVIL AND HIS HARD PLACE? I must admit the spin given to fantasy in this Tweener series took me by surprise. How did you come up with this world, this different ‘magic’? Was there a lot of research behind it all?
Well, Astra and I have been friends for a while. As you can imagine, she was one of the stories that did the most damage to my head trying to break free. I blame every headache on her. She’s not exactly subtle! But she wanted the world to know about Tweeners. The concept of angels and devils has always intrigued me. Nothing speaks to the epic struggle between good and evil like a good angel and devil story. That’s how the ‘Tween series was born. And it has blossomed from there. I absolutely adore vampire and shape shifter stories, but I wanted to do something different...something that really hadn’t been done before. I think I achieved that with the series. As far as research, I have a strong Christian background. I went to Lutheran schools from pre-school on up. So it was a natural extension for me to write about Christian figures. I have definitely had to revisit some of the history behind these fascinating creatures, the hierarchy of the angels for example. But the beauty of fantasy is that you don’t have to follow any historical guidelines if you don’t want to. You can just make it up as you go along.

5. How do you come up with your characters? In the case of this series, how did the characters come to exist?
Well, I started with the basic premise of characters who were a mixture of dark and light. Then I made some characters weighted more heavily toward the dark and some more heavily toward the light. There are no absolutes in my stories. Though I do absolutely believe that there is evil in the world, I recognize that even the most evil critter has some good qualities. Whether the good qualities out-weigh the bad is a judgement that Astra is constantly facing in her life.
From there it’s just all good fun. Picture a giant Chinese menu in your mind. I take one from Column A and two from Column B for this character, then three from Column A and one from Column B for that character. Pretty soon you have dinner...I mean a story!

6. Which is your favourite character in the story? (Say Dialle, please!!)
I have to answer this in two parts. My favourite female character is of course, Astra. As I said, we’ve been friends for a long time. She is basically me on steroids and without reality to bind me down. Astra just kind of fumbles and stumbles her way through all the problems that keep getting thrown at her, dealing with things as they come along in her own inimitable way, with assertiveness, determination, and humor, and guided by her own, unique moral compass. She definitely has an end point, but she’s never sure how she’s gonna get there.
But my favourite male character is definitely, yes, Dialle. He’s something of a mystery to
me still. I’m discovering him a little bit more with every book. He’s tall, dark, and sexy and, like Astra and me, he’s a confusing mixture of good and bad. His story is epic. On his shoulders might rest the future of the world. If Dialle is the great Unifer he is a figure of prophesy and a very important Royal Devil. And if he isn’t, then dang...who the heck is? #:0)

7. A question we all want to know the answer to – What makes a great hero? Ultimately, a great heroine too?
That’s easy for me. Both a hero and a heroine do the right things that most of us are unable or unwilling to do. They do larger than life things. Sometimes, as in the case of Astra, they do it without any planning or foresight. When faced with a problem and a moral dilemma they just do the right thing, no matter the personal cost. And sometimes, like American soldiers around the world, they set out to do the hard things and accomplish them with dignity and skill. Either way, whatever the impetus, they do hard things for the right reasons, at great risk of life and limb. That’s heroic in my opinion.

8. What encouragements would you give other writers? Any advice?
Just sit down and do the hardest thing...write. Write snippets of stories that pop into your head. Write about things that happen to you. Write whatever you care about most. Don’t try to write for a specific market if you don’t have a passion for that market. Writing is hard enough without forcing yourself into a niche you aren’t really comfortable in. Your readers will know if you don’t care about the story. And they won’t care about it either.

9. Do you have a set schedule when you write or do you write when you are feeling creative?
My days are packed full. Every minute accounted for. I get up around 5:00 am and try to write for a couple of hours before my day really gets going. Then I write in snippets throughout the day as I find time. I’m blessed in that I can usually sit down and write fairly efficiently pretty much whenever I find a few moments of time. Then I set the writing aside and move on to something else. And because I get easily bored, I always try to write multiple stories at once. When I get stuck or tired of writing on one story I move to another. I generally try to write a chapter a week on each of my WIPs. That seems to be a pretty manageable goal for me.

10. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I have ten dogs, four horses, two daughters, and a husband. If I allot just a few moments a day to each of them there goes my day. #:0) But seriously, my list of things I love to do is very long, which is why my days are packed full. I like to take several walks a day with my dogs. I consider this mind candy for them and it works great as a mind clarifier and de-stressor for me. I try to ride my horses at least a couple of times a week. My oldest daughter and I go to at least one movie a week. We prefer romantic comedies and fantasies. My youngest daughter only likes to shop so we shop together. I love to read and do it whenever I have a spare moment. We do power yoga as a family every night, yes, even my husband. It’s probably my favourite activity of the day because we do it together. With ten dogs playing around us and climbing all over us, we don’t necessarily achieve chi every time but we share a lot of laughs and have a lot of fun with it. And, with the writing, that’s pretty much my day.

11. Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are writing now? Or a hint of what is up-coming?
Well, I am, as you know, working on book 3 of the ‘Tween series. In this one, Astra is running against the clock to save the world from a twisted magic veil that’s closing over the Earth and driving all of the non-magic beings mad. She and her family have a special part in the drama that’s unfolding, with the Serpent at its center. And I do mean the Serpent. This is the book where we learn if Dialle is truly the great Unifer. Which is, I believe, worth the price of admission right there. #:0) Astra also gets a pet in Book 3, a rather unique pet. You won’t want to miss this one.
I’m also working on an erotic fantasy that will come out through Ellora’s Cave late this year or early next year. It’s based on a race of Cupids who run a human dating service. I’m having a lot of fun with that one.
And finally, because all good things come in threes, I’m finishing up my second romantic comedy, which is a departure from my fantasy works but has been a lot of fun to write. I think it will be a fun change of pace for readers who find my fantasy entertaining.
My first romantic comedy, DANCING WITH TAD, will be coming out in 2008 through Red Rose Publishing. I’m very excited about it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes, thank you for inviting me to spend time with you. I’ve really enjoyed chatting. And thank you for the support you give to me and all the other authors who are lucky enough to be read and reviewed by Enchanting Reviews. Organizations such as yours are a gift to those of us who love to share our stories with others. I think I speak for all my fellow writers when I say that we appreciate all you do for us.

Sam, I wish to thank you for your time today, and we at Enchanting Reviews hope to see more work from you in the near future.

Thank you for choosing Enchanting Reviews.

Interviewed by Zee
June 2008

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Raven Starr

Hi Raven. Thanks for agreeing to chat with Enchanting Reviews about your books. We are so excited about getting to know you better.

1. What made you decide to become an Author? And why an author?
This is a good question to answer. I don’t think anything made me become a writer/author. I’ve always written down my emotion and feelings, usually in poetic form. But as I got older, I started put my emotions into my characters bringing my feelings to life through. It’s a great release to have my hero/heroine face the same problems I face and I like to see how they work through them. And why an author? Writing is my passion. It’s most writers’ passion but with me it is truly apart of who I am. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing down something, poetry, stories, recipes; as long as I have a pen and paper that’s the making of a good story.

2. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil, so I was a very young and tender age.

3. What was your first book, and how long did it take to ‘break through’? Can you tell us more about your released work?
My very book is called Vampire’s Embrace which after 2 years it still isn’t finished. My first published e-book is entitled FAN-TASY and shortly after writing it and submitting to Red Rose Publishing did I finally break-through so to speak. So now I have three released works, FAN-TASY, HER SMILE, and the first of my Raine Matthews series GOING HOME AGAIN. I’ve got an Egyptian historical coming up, with another instalment to my Raine series THE PLEASURE CRUISE, and a paranormal teaser ONE NIGHT AT THE OFFICE.

4. How do you come up with a story?
This is a weird process I guess, but little things set off Big ideas in my brain. A word or phrase can spin my creative mind into a whirlwind. Mostly, I create characters in my sleep, dreaming of bits and pieces of the outline, plot and core of the story. Then when I woke up the story is there and the characters start begging for their own slice of reality.

5. How do you come up with your characters?
The process is the same as above just a little more intense. When the character is being written, then to me they’re no longer on the page. So when I write and then stop, that character screams at me until their story is completed. It can give me a great headache if I’ve started more than story at a time. LOL

6. Any preference for writing a particular kind of character?
No not really. I love them all, but I do have a fondness for the spookier side of things.

7. Do you feel a calling toward a specific Genre or Style of writing?
I love writing everything but paranormal and YA fantasy are my favourites. I love creating worlds, creatures, and mystical folks, good and bad. It’s all wicked fun.

8. A question we all want to know the answer to – What makes a great hero? Ultimately, a great heroine too?
I think compassion mixed with desire makes a great hero/heroine. Desire of goals, whether good or bad is the making of something wonderful.

9. Do you have a set schedule when you write or do you write when you are feeling creative?
I usually write the story or the character pulls me. I work on a few different stories at one time so I feel as if I’m pulled into different directions. I’ve learned that I can’t force the story, it’s written the way it calls to me. There are days where I am a writing whirlwind, then there days where I can’t write a stitch. I figured out that when I try to force the story forward it doesn’t come out or flow smoothly, so I wait, not patiently sometimes but I wait nonetheless.

10. What encouragements would you give other writers? Any advice?
Read and write. Surround yourself with other creative and positive people that support you while being honest with you. I think that’s very important. It’s good to have honest people in your life; they will keep you grounded while reaching for the stars. Honestly, hurts at times but I’d rather know the truth then live a lie.

11. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m a single mom, so I’m mostly hanging out with my kids, playing the Wii. Now that it’s trying to get warm out the water is calling.

12. Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are writing now? Or a hint of what is up-coming?
Right now, I’m working on my first suspense thriller called Twisted, and another instalment of my Raine Matthews’ series called The Ride, and my favourite a paranormal called Vampire’s Embrace.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank you Zee, for this interview, I really had a blast. I love hearing from readers so please feel free to check me out on my myspace I’m having a really cool website being built so I’ll let you know when that goes live.
Again thanks so much and I’ll see ya around cyberspace.

Raven, I wish to thank you for your time today, and we at Enchanting Reviews hope to see more work from you in the near future.
Thank you for choosing Enchanting Reviews.

Interviewed by Zee
May 2008