Friday, May 20, 2011

Most Magical Place on Earth

It’s my pleasure to welcome paranormal-romance author, Addison Fox, to Over Coffee. I hadn’t read any of her books and then I read an interview where she talked about her Zodiac Warrior Series and Warrior Betrayed. I decided to order the first in the series, Warrior Ascended. I glanced through it and had to exert all my discipline to keep myself from going beyond the first chapter until I finished the book I’m reading for review. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy, lol!

Addison joins us to talk about another life long love of mine, libraries. Don’t you just love the smell of a library? Many a happy hour has been spent in my local library exploring exciting worlds and people. I’ve never been able to go into a library and check just one book…

Sia - thanks so much for inviting me to guest today on Over Coffee! I’m really looking forward to spending the day with everyone!

I know the blog is about sharing the laughter and the tears, but I’m a lifelong “look-on-the-bright-sider” so I’d much rather talk (or type!) about the laughter and the triumphs. I had the most wonderful experience this week and wanted to share.

Although I’ve been writing through most of my adult life, as I tell anyone who will listen, I’m a reader first and have been since I could turn the pages in a book. I have books scattered all over my house, in my purse, on my night stand, in my work bag….you get the picture! As a crazy book lover, I’m also a huge library lover. As far as I’m concerned – and no disrespect to the Mouse - libraries deserve the moniker “Most Magical Place on Earth.”

I had the opportunity to speak to a group at the Clarendon Library in Brooklyn this week and it has been one of my most enjoyable experiences to date as an author. To sit and share my love of books and writing with a group of people was such a wonderful experience. To engage and interact with fellow book lovers in an environment that’s devoted to words and learning was just amazing.

It’s also gotten me thinking about libraries in general. What a truly awesome thing – that we have these places in our communities filled with books and knowledge and access to information. For everyone. All at the swipe of a card. As an author, the thought that my books can be included in “the collection” is some serious happy-making.

As an author, I am privileged to have stories living in my head. These amazing, heroic men and women show up in my brain and let me hang out with them for several months as their story unfolds in my mind. Sure, there are moments it’s nerve-wracking. And sure, there are days the words feel like their locked in cement. But when I’m writing, I get to visit worlds only as grand and fun and unique as I can imagine them. As a lifelong reader, I know the joy that I’ve taken in countless hours of reading through the years. To think that my words might give that same sort of enjoyment to another is the deepest honor I can think of.

  • So what about you? Have you been to the library lately?

If not, maybe the next time you have a free weekend you may want to go over and spend an hour or two getting lost in the stacks. I promise – it’s magic!


Millennia ago, the Goddess of Justice created a race of fierce Warriors, each imbued with a special power of the Zodiac, charged with protecting humanity from the darkest of evils.

Forty years ago, Eirene, the Goddess of Peace spurned her position to run away with a mortal. Furious with her daughter, Themis set a curse upon Eirene’s unborn child; to one day replace her mother on Mount Olympus.

Montana Grant lost contact with her mother many years ago. Now as she struggles to lead her late father’s shipping company, she’s also dealing with the sudden reappearance of her mother. The frail woman is spouting nonsense about Mount Olympus, immortal warriors, and long-standing curses. But after suspicious activity puts the company’s future – and possibly Montana’s life – at risk, she decides to take her mother’s last bit of advice…

When Montana asks Quinn Tanner for help, she confronts the sexy security executive about his secret identity: He’s a Taurus Warrior. Quinn denies it, but he can’t deny his powerful attraction to the high-powered heiress. With worldwide peace in the balance, it’s up to Quinn to help Montana rise to her destiny – even as they’re falling in love…Excerpt

Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders Available e-format and mass paperback


Addison Fox is the author of the Sons of the Zodiac paranormal romance series for NAL as well as the upcoming Alaskan Nights contemporary trilogy, which launches with BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE in November 2011. You can find her at her home on the web,, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Addison lives in New York City.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chatting With Author Lisa Renee Jones

My guest is para romance author, Lisa Renee Jones. When she visited the last time she was anticipating the release of the first book in her new  Zodius series—Michael.

I’ve read Michael. Wow, just wow. Intense, realistic kick ass story. The story is a battle of good vs bad. Even the heroes are battling their inner darkness. This series has another faithful fan! Lisa uses the premise of genetic enhancement for soldiers—not new—but way she handles it and introduces alien DNA from area 51 is way different. It’s plausible and intriguing. The world she creates is fascinating; the men hot and dangerous, the women are strong and inventive. The love story Michael and Cassandra is carnal and a spot of peace in a world which becomes more dangerous and where loyalties are tested to the max. Even her villains are real. You can relate to them and feel disappointed when they lose the battle for honor. This is a story I can recommend for those who love hot dangerous men, hot sex, and a kick ass and take names type of story.

Back cover Blurb of Michael:


One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.


Fate leads Michael back to Cassandra Powell, for she holds the key to defending his comrades. With their loyalties divided between duty and the people they love, only together can Cassandra and Michael overcome insurmountable odds to save humanity from the wrath of a madman.

But no ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one thing is clear—the world will never be the same…Excerpt One, Two

Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books.A.Million, Borders, Indiebound. Available in Mass Paperback and e-book.

I realized that although I’ve read and enjoyed several of her books I didn’t know that much about her. So, you know me, what I don’t know I ask about. :-)

Tell me a bit about Lisa. Do you have your own happily ever after romance? Do you have a profession aside from writing? What do you like to do in your down times?

I met the man in my life in a bookstore. He’s a huge reader! I love that about him. We’ve been together for seven years and though we aren’t married we’ve been eying Italy as our dream location to finally make it official. We’ve both been married before so we want to do something special, that’s for us.

I write full time now though I owned a staffing agency for 11 years. That was a hard 80 hour workweek all of those 11 years. I tend to be very obsessive about work because after all those long hours, rest can feel like a guilty pleasure.

Fortunately, the man in my life is so good at making me step back and relax. He loves movies and so do I, so we indulge often. We have shows we love to, and watching them together, is something we really look forward to. And eating – he loves to eat way too much lol! Which means I eat way too much while with him!

Oh and he’s 9 years younger than me. Talk about a shock when he finally admitted that. I buy a lot of wrinkle cream!

You’ve been writing for some years, how long have you had the goal to be published?

I had done some film work and really wanted to perform all my life. However, life got in the way of the dream, and I set it aside. The bug hit me and I started doing some more film back in 2003 and 2004. Then, I started thinking about the scripts and writing, and just dove in. The next thing I knew I was at an RT convention ALONE and terrified. My first Blaze came out in 2007 – and I signed that contract in early 2006. So while publishing came fairly quickly, it’s been a path filled with bumps. You just have to keep pushing forward and chasing the dream. NEVER GIVE UP.

How did you go about making that a reality?

The RT convention was big step. I knew I needed to educate myself. I also entered a contest that I won at that convention. It was that boost that I needed, that validation I wasn’t a fool to chase the dream.

How did writing this novel differ from writing other books (I know you’ve written for harlequin, etc)?

Nocturne is very similar to a single title. The word count is 85k. However, I found I always wanted another 10k and had to adjust the story. That was frustrating. So I enjoy the longer word count that lets me explore the characters more fully. I enjoy Blaze because they are fun and light and so filled with real life possibilities. I often find they are a nice break from writing a darker, more intensely plotted book.

You’ve written contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. What drew you to this particular sub-genre of romance?

I liked contemporary suspense from the beginning because of the real life aspect of the storyline – the possibility it really could happen. The possibility of a real hero is always fun. However, the man in my life is SO into paranormal that he has really opened that world up to me and I just love it. I can’t believe I spent so many years NOT enjoying this genre. It’s just too fun and exciting. The creative entertainer in me just adores the places paranormal lets me go.

Give me a glimpse of this world you’ve created.

I spent a lot of time in Vegas during my corporate years so I really love Vegas. The Zodius series, especially book 2, has lots of Vegas flavor. But more than that – the Area 51 secrets, become a key part of the series. Area 51 is just such a curious place. It’s filled with secrets and we know there are things there beyond our comprehension. I had a family member who was a part of one of the ‘crash’ recoveries we aren’t suppose to know about but do. He went to his deathbed with those secrets, but near the end, he told us just enough that we know there is something to all the rumors. He carried those secrets all his life though and he was afraid to share them, even when he was dying. There is something big we don’t know. It’s fun to imagine what that might be.

Aside from that though – I see the Zodius series as a cross between Lora Leigh’s Breeds and Feehan’s Ghostwalkers. These men are the next generation of soldiers. They are all about the possibilities of medical science and DNA enhancements, that may or may not, come from an Area 51 experiment. The possibilities of DNA tampering has been seen with vegetables and fruits. Why not humans?

I've read all of Feehan's Ghostwalkers and love them. The only similarity I see is the idea of a super soldier and DNA enhancement. But both Feehan's series and yours is romance and paranormal but strong on the suspense and danger aspects and a story that would be enjoyed by men and women.

One of the things, which drew me to Michael (aside from the*hot* factor), is the fact he’s tough, and despite his low opinion of himself, he has a code of honor. He also doesn’t feel he needs or is even worthy of protection—which isn’t how Cassandra feels.
What draws you to Michael?

How damaged he is and yet how honorable. How much, despite any good he does, he always feels he isn’t good at all. I mean, don’t we all have self-doubt and pain? And isn’t the most special thing about love, the way the other person can help us overcome that?

What is it about Cassandra that will draw readers to her?

Her willingness to fight for those she loves – even when they are flawed. She wants to believe in her father. She wants to believe in Michael. Even after her father’s betrayals, she is willing to believe in Michael, and if she weren’t, she would never know how worthy he is of that belief.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book is the way you made your villains so well defined. You actually show how their motivations and goals started out honorable, except Caleb’s twin. He’s just wacko, but he has the ability to love…?

I’m so glad that the villains felt defined to you. Adam, Caleb’s twin, still has a human side, no matter how much he doesn’t want to have one. And humans love – even if that love is dysfunctional, even if that love is selfish.

What do you like about your villains?
I once had an editor tell me to make the bad guys relatable, so that readers would love to hate them. That hit home to me. The villains have to be real, their motivations defined, for you to really truly dislike them. So I like how real they feel to me, how desperate they are to achieve their goals. It ups the danger.

Oh, it definitely ups the danger. Actually there were several things I liked  about Cassandra's father and understood the type of man he isthe ends are honorable and justify the means.

 When is the next Zodius due out? Can tell us a bit about it?

In book 2—there is a synthetic form of the GTECH serum that created the super soldiers on the streets. It’s addictive and its killing people during withdrawal. It’s Adam’s attempt to make the world addicted to him.

The hero is Sterling, who you meet in book one. Sterling is wild and crazy, and thinks he will never find love. He is Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, willing to do anything, with a secret death wish. Only he finds a reason to live in a woman, but Adam gives that woman this drug, and she is destined to die. Sterling will do anything to save her, and yet, not matter what he does, he doesn’t seem to be able to save her. None of his lethal weapon action will save her. Somehow he has to save her.

Oh, good. I liked Sterling a lot. I enjoyed the excerpt of his story at the end of Michael. I'm eagerly looking forward to reading it. Did I mention I hate waiting? lol!

Lisa, I’m so glad you were able to visit Over Coffee again. Thank you for spending time with us today and answering my questions.

Find Lisa: Website, Facebook

Monday, May 16, 2011

2010—It Wasn’t A Bad Year After All

My guest is suspense author, Lexi Revellian. She hails from London, UK. By day, she creates physical works for the senses as a jeweller, but by night she creates and altogether different pieces for the senses as an author.

So many writers both established traditional and those who aren’t have chosen to self-publish their work. Any author who goes that route will tell you there is an enormous amount of work involved in self-publishing their work. There are also huge rewards. They’re in business for themselves and as such they are content and copy editor, cover artist, marketing/Promotion departments, and publisher. Some don’t have the skill set to do it all and utilize professionals to assist them. There are those who are successful and those who aren’t.

Lexi shares a bit about her journey as an author and what she's learned along the way.

2010 did not start well. Two agents had been reading the full typescript of my novel, Remix, over Christmas, and both turned it down in the New Year with expressions of regret. Then, cycling home from my jewellery workshop in icy darkness, my bike slipped on a speed cushion (bump) and I smacked into the granite double kerb – twelve stitches to my face and a broken shoulder; and believe me, the humerus is not a bone to break lightly. My own stupid fault. What was I thinking, biking in that weather?

But looking back, 2010 was a breakthrough year for me, one of my best.

In June 2009 I’d given myself a year to find an agent; if that failed, I’d self-publish. I really didn’t think I’d have to, though; Remix was my third book, and I knew it was good. A lot of people had read and liked it on various writer sites. Good heavens, even my hypercritical daughter liked it! Four agents expressed interest – two of them actually approached me. But the year sped by, the rejections piled up; it was time to call my own bluff.

Meanwhile, unable to cycle or drive, I walked between home and workshop. It’s not possible to think on a bike – you’re too busy concentrating on the traffic, but walking is different. On those long walks I brooded about how my broken bone had diverted, I hoped briefly, the course of my life; I noticed all the useful stuff Londoners throw out; and I trespassed inside an unfinished, abandoned and vandalized block of flats on my way home. I idly wondered what it would be like to walk those bitterly cold streets without a home to go to, with no money, and maybe someone hunting you. The idea for my next book began to take shape.

Back to Remix. Those of you who have self-published will know it’s a vertiginous learning curve, and you ricochet between triumph and despair. I did everything myself – proofreading, typography, formatting for Smashwords and Kindle, cover design and marketing, though I am the worst saleswoman in the world. Out of consideration for American readers, I changed the speech marks from single to double, which meant checking every single apostrophe after the switch. The whole thing took time and energy. But, like running your own business or being a single mother, the upside of doing it all yourself is that any credit going is yours alone.

August 9th 2010: Remix appeared on Smashwords and Amazon. I sold a handful of paperbacks, and nine ebooks that month. The first three weeks of September’s sales were worse. I felt pretty depressed; this was my last shot, and I’d missed the target; failure stared me in the face, and I don’t like failure.

Then I remembered Eric Christophersen, an American writer friend who’d been very successful with his ebook, Crack-Up. I came up with a cunning plan – I’d interview Eric on my blog, and discover the secrets of his success! Eric is a nice chap, as well as a good writer (he is now represented by a top NY agent) and he agreed. When asked why he charged so little for his novel, he said,

  • “Lexi, I would recommend a cheap price at least initially. You'll want a nice bunch of reviews to help attract more readers (assuming the reviews are mostly positive), and yet only one reader in a hundred will leave a review – at best.”
I took his advice and dropped my price. In October I sold 705 books, in November 1,559, December 4,278, and January, my best month, 5,940. Even though sales tailed off a little after that, I’ve now sold over 20,000 copies of Remix.

Replica, a thriller/romance:

Beth Chandler works in a government research institute, and is accidentally replicated in a flawed experiment. The replica has no official existence, and when she overhears plans to liquidate her, goes on the run. Homeless, penniless and pursued by MI5, she has to learn how to survive on icy London streets. Meanwhile, the original Beth, unaware of what has happened, becomes romantically involved with Nick Cavanagh, the spec op she believes is there to protect her. In fact, he’s hunting her double. Excerpt

Buy: Amazon: US and UK, Smashwords

As I write, both books are in the UK Kindle top 100, Replica sold 2,500 copies in its first month, and a Hungarian publisher will be bringing out a Hungarian version of Remix, hardbacks, paperbacks and ebook, in 2012.

That’s what I call a good year.


For years, I resisted writing because I knew I'd never be as good as Jane Austen. Finally I realized no one is as good as Jane Austen - I started writing and couldn't stop.

My first two books are non-typical fantasy. My third, REMIX, is contemporary fiction with elements of crime, investigation and romance, and tells what happens when Caz Tallis finds a strange man asleep on her roof terrace. He turns out to be - no, I'm not telling you, you'll have to read it to find out...

My day job is designing and making jewelry and silver under my real name, Lexi Dick. I've made pieces for Margaret Thatcher, 10 Downing Street and Her Majesty the Queen.

My website is; here you can read extracts from my books and entire short stories. There is also a link to my writing blog.