Friday, June 3, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different

Apologies for the lateness--stoopid internet!

My guest is romance author, Olivia Cunning. She is the author of the hot new series published by Sourcebooks, Sinners On Tour (and #1 on Amazon in Kindle Fiction). I love this series.   

I've known Olivia for several years and have had the privilege of reading some of her other stories. She's an excellent storyteller and prolific writer.  My reaction to several of her books has been, OMG, you need to get this published, it's great!

I'm happy to say she has decided to publish her series, Lover's Leap. It's the perfect fun summer read.

She shares with us a bit about the first in the series and what's coming in the second and third book, plus a treat for the readers.  

I’ve made a name for myself with my hot, erotic romances about rock stars. My fictional band, Sinners, has fans all across the planet clamoring for more, more, MORE! So when I found out that the next book in the Sinners on Tour series won’t be available for at least another year, I thought, Now what? This waiting around and patience stuff is so not my style. Neither is thinking inside the box. First off, everyone knows that rock star romance heroes don’t sell. Oh really? I think I have some evidence to the contrary. I’ve also been advised not to cater to my fans, not to stray from my subgenre, and that self-publishing is not a valid option for any serious author. I’m really thinking outside the box now.

Meet Lara and Reece...

Lara Kensington is living a perfectly mundane life as a museum curator, when bad boy treasure hunter, Reece Jerhico, leaps into her life. Literally. Obviously distressed, Reece tells Lara that one year in the future she will be murdered. The evidence he uses to back up his incredible story doesn’t convince Lara. She thinks he’s crazy. Especially after he claims to be her future fiancĂ©. Lara would have remembered dating someone as delicious as Reece Jerhico. Hot as Reece is, Lara has a difficult time believing anything the man says until the broken amulet he wears around his neck transports them into different bodies, during a different time, in a different place--an ancient place, a cold place, a place where Lara arrives naked, hysterical, and... Norse.

On the run through time, attempting to escape a man who is hell-bent on Lara’s lack-of a-future becoming a reality, the couple must leap from one time and place to another just to stay alive. In the first volume of this sexy and humorous new series, Lara and Reece share an existence with a ruthless Viking and his captive bride and then with a noble medieval knight and the feisty lady he is determined to win.

You can’t take anything for granted when you’re loving on borrowed time.

And this is what happens the first time Lara realizes those around her aren’t seeing the real her. Here’s a little peek behind the cover:

Every nerve ending in Lara’s body was alive with excitement. She didn’t understand any of this. She wasn’t the type of woman who got all stupid and excited over a man and a few vulgar words. It just wasn’t her. Was it?

Reece grinned at her. “Don’t look so mortified, sweetheart. It took me months to figure out that you like dirty talk. It really turns you on, doesn’t it?”

“Does not!” She shoved him away, to flustered to be angry about the knowing chuckle he emitted.

“Why don’t you go see if someone has something you can wear?” he said, as he continued undressing. “If you keep dropping those pants, I can’t be held accountable for trying to get in them.”

She scrambled out of the room, holding up her pants with one hand as she fled. She wasn’t going because he told her to. Or because she was so aroused that she’d probably let him get into her pants with no protest. Or that he was getting naked and she so wanted to ogle every inch of him. She was fleeing his presence because she wanted to. Yeah.

She closed the door behind her and went to find someone who looked like they knew what was going on. A tired-looking, middle-aged woman stood near the center of the main room, stirring a pot of stew over the fire. Along the walls of the longhouse were bunks built into the wall. Situated in front of the bunks were long, wooden tables. Some of the men were sitting on the bunks talking amongst themselves and enjoying enormous mugs of what Lara decided was mead.

As Lara passed one of the bunks, she heard a loud grunt. She caught sight of a large, blond man rhythmically thrusting into the flushed woman beneath him before he grunted again and collapsed on top of her. They were having sex right out there in the open! No one seemed to notice but Lara. Wide-eyed, Lara diverted her gaze and made a beeline for the woman standing over the fire.

“The chieftain would like some warm water so he can wash,” Lara said in perfect Norse, surprising herself again.

“Well, I ain’t about to get it. I’m cooking here, if you can’t tell.”

“I will get it. I just need to know how.”

Lara glanced down at the interesting stew bubbling over the fire. Various roots and chunks of meat floated to the top and sank beneath the rich broth again as the woman stirred. It didn’t look very appetizing, but it smelled edible. Lara’s stomach growled. She wasn’t sure how long it had been since she last ate. They’d been offered no sustenance except for a bit of water on the boat ride here.

“Well, fastest way would be to grab a pot of snow and melt it over the fire, now wouldn’t it?”

Lara realized the woman was insulting her intelligence, but she had no choice but to ask. “So where do I find a pot?”

The woman nodded towards a wall near one of the bunks.

“Thank you,” Lara said, “My name is Helga.” She hadn’t meant to say Helga. She’d meant to say Lara. She tried again. “Helga, my name is Helga.” Every time she tried to say Lara, Helga came out instead. “Helga. Helga. My name—”

“Your name is Helga, I understand.”

“No, my name is,” Lara gritted her teeth, concentrating very hard to say her real name, “Helga.”

The woman gave her a very strange look, which she definitely deserved. With a frustrated huff, Lara gave up on niceties and went to collect a pot from the wall. She hurried to the end of the long house, tripping over the ballooning legs of her pants. She pushed the heavy door open and stepped outside. At once, she realized she was missing something important. Shoes! She’d taken them off soon after climbing into Reece’s bed. It was freezing. She did a high-stepped march to a bank of snow next to the cleared walking path, scooped snow into the pot and high stepped it back into the building. It had been a long day. She knew she had lost her reasoning ability, but walking barefoot through the snow seemed a tad over the top. But not nearly as ridiculous as being unable to say your own name.

“Lara. Lara. Lara,” she repeated under her breath on her way back to the fire. People were staring at her as she passed. Not that she blamed them. She could do this. She could tell the cranky, tired lady her real name. She set the pot of snow next to the fire and stood up confidently. “Helga!” she announced loudly.

The woman shook her head.

“Damn it,” Lara cried. “I give up. I can’t say Lara no matter how hard I try.” She glanced up at the woman. “I said it.”

“You said what?” She was obviously getting annoyed.

“My name.”


“No, my real name. It’s Helga.” Lara stomped her foot angrily. “Helga.” She huffed out an annoyed breath. Forget it! The snow was starting to melt. “Eirick…” She’d tried to say Reece, but Eirick came out instead. “Eirick…”

“What about Eirick?” the woman asked.

“Eirick told me to find appropriate clothing.”

“Ingrid,” the woman called to a young girl. “Bring this daft woman a dress to wear. She looks about Olga’s size.”

“Yes, mum!”

So she was labeled as daft? Well, she supposed it was fitting, the way she’d carried on about her name. What kind of lunatic tells someone her name twenty times? A few minutes later, the young girl brought Lara a woolen gown of deep blue.

“This will look very pretty with your blonde hair,” the girl said. She handed the gown to her and scampered away before Lara could thank her.

“Blonde hair?” Lara murmured, perplexed. She had brown hair, some reddish highlights, but in no way was she a blonde. She used the bottom of her linen shirt as a potholder as she picked up the pot of melted snow and glanced down at her reflection. Instead of her own familiar face, some beautiful blonde woman stared back at her. Lara screamed.
Buy: Smashwords, Amazon. Book available in ebook format and soon in paperback

So what’s in store for the rest of the series?

In book two, Reece and Lara will continue their adventures in a Turkish harem and then in Feudal Japan. I don’t know where they’ll go after that.

I’m going to let the fans decide.

That’s right. Fans will choose the next two whens and wheres.

Should be fun! And a little different.

  • Where do you think it would be fun to send Lara and Reece?

Olivia Cunning blog, website (you can see what else she's working on), Facebook

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Interview with Tonya Kappes

It's my pleasure to have my friend finally visit me here Over Coffee. It feels like I've been waiting forever. So it's with great pleasure I introduce, women's fiction author, Tonya Kappes. To reward her for visiting I decided to put her on the hot seat and ask lots of questions.

Before I get to the questions I have to tell you I read her latest book, Carpe Bead 'Em. I loved it! It's a fun summer read that leaves you feeling good after you put it down. I'll admit, I shook my Kindle in disbelief when I got to the end. I was sure it would magically continue on with Hallie's story, but alas it didn't. Darn it. Her story shares the best elements of women's fiction and chick-lit and yes, there are quirky characters, lots of laughs, and few tears. I would recommend Carpe Bead 'Em for a fun summer read and introduce you an excellent story teller.

 You can read the Blurb and Excerpt here

Buy: Amazon, Smashwords Available Kindle and Paperback

Carpe Bead 'Em book trailer

Tonya, I'm so glad to have you visiting here Over Coffee. Tell me a bit about you. I know you’re married and the mother of four teenaged boys. From what I know of you the past few years, it sounds like a big boisterous family setting. Do you work outside the home?

Yes! I do work outside the home with….KIDS!! Can you believe it? I can’t escape it!

I’m a Developmental Therapist for children birth to three-years old. I work with all sorts of children with disorders like shaken baby syndrome to speech therapy etc…

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I put it on my head and hope it sinks in while walking really fast.

No, seriously. I keep all my writing stuff with me at all times. When I have a free second between therapy appointments I pull it out. When we are at one of many sporting events~I pull it out. The community we live in is use to seeing me with pencil, paper, laptop in hand.

What do you do to relax and recharge?

What? We can do that?? I do walk my dogs every day. Being with my family keeps me going. Plus I love my day job, and I get rewarded from helping those sweet little ones. It charges me up.

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

From day one. From the day I started seriously writing, I was writing for publication. I only wanted my name on a book. When that happened, I wanted to touch readers. Readers are my number one priority. It doesn’t matter about the amount of books sold, or the amount of money, it’s all about my readers.

How did you go about making that a reality? (How did writing groups, continuing education, etc help?)

I have to say, I’m very blessed to be surrounded by such a great group of writing women. My local RWA chapter has Lori Foster, Shelley Shepard Gray, Heather Webber, Jules Bennett, Dianne Castell, Toni Blake, Cathy Liggett, Kay Stockham, Becke Davis, Gabrielle Edwards, Tina Wolfer, just to name a few. They are great women who encourage me. Plus my critique group, that I meet with every other week, Heather Webber, Shelley Shepard Grey, Hilda Linder-Knepp, and Cathy Liggett, keep it real for me.

I really took a lot of classes to hone my craft. The story part is easy and flows, it’s all those grammar rules that flub me up. WHO NEEDS RULES??

You have a blog, The Naked Hero, with Misa Ramirez. How did the blog help you with fulfilling your goal to be published?

Yes, Misa Ramirez! Amazing woman! It helped me build a platform and establish a presence on line before I was published. I really do believe in connecting with readers and I found it there. I make sure I email each person who comments on my blog. I want them to feel like I hear them. I do.

How have you handled discouragement that comes with submitting and getting rejections?

I’m a “glass is half full” girl! I’m all about karma, destiny, and giving back. When I got rejections, and I did, I never got upset. It only fueled my fire, and I continued. I would send out sixty-one-hundred queries at a time. I can honestly say, I never ever got mad or upset. I accepted it and moved on.

I teach my children this every day!

You tout yourself as a high-class hillbilly (*snork), so does this tag make Tonya Kappes quirky? Or does designing and beading make her quirky?

Ummm…it’s me! I love to go barefoot, packing my Gucci bag, and calling everyone y’all. I’m a people person and can get along with the richest and the poorest, the smartest and the dumbest. There is good in everyone and I find it no matter what.

You say you love writing about, “quirky characters and even quirkier situations.” So, define for me quirky, and how it applies to your writing?

Quirky, to me, is living outside the box and letting the world know it is okay. Society lives in this box of rules, and I don’t, nor do my kids.

I love writing about these kinds of characters. They are entertaining and make a great character! It takes my reader away from their life and makes them smile.

You write woman’s fiction. What drew you to this genre?

I love reading about the growth, learning something to make your life better. It was just a natural write for me. I’m sure it’s because it was all I use to read. Now I read anything I can get my hands on.

What’s something you admire about Hallie, your heroine in Carpe Bead ‘em?

I love the fact she was able to come full circle in her life before it was too late. She discovers how important family is no matter where you come from. She has such a wonderful growth and her spirit, in the end, was gold.

(I love her friends and her interaction with Bo and his shirts, cracks me up.)

This might be like asking a mother to pick her favorite kid, but do you have a favorite scene?

I love all the scenes when Aunt Grace calls her in the middle of the night. Hallie never, not once, didn’t take her Aunt’s call.

What's easiest (or hardest) for you-dialogue, plot, character, or something else?

I love to cross tenses! My editor always corrects me for this. I write the full novel, then go back and make myself look at the tenses. It should get easier with each novel, but it hasn’t.

I know you are hard at work on a series. Can you tell us a bit about it and when it will be released?

OH! I love this series. It’s my first series that just flowed through me. All three novels are set in a fictitious town of Grandberry Falls, and centered around the residents there. The town is so charming with a waterfall in the middle of town square where you can throw in a penny for good luck, have lunch at The Fatted Pig, dessert at The Trembling Cup CafĂ©, or a cocktail at The Thirsty Turtle. It’s a town you will want to live in.

The Ladybug Jinx is the first in the series that will be released at the end of July. The second book, Happy New Life, will be released in September. The third and final book (I say that…) is Never Tell Your Dreams Before Breakfast, and will be released in January.

Readers will follow this town and some main characters throughout a major growth in all their life and community.

Tonya, I'm eagerly awaiting reading this series! You are such a good storyteller. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.


Tonya Kappes, the queen, princess, and jester in her family of 4 boys, 2 dogs, and best friend husband, is the author of two novels, Carpe Bead 'Em and The Ladybug Jinx. She writes contemporary women's fiction and humorous cozy mysteries with quirky characters and quirkier situations. Tonya teaches on-line classes at about those heroes/heroines/villains we love to write and read about. Tonya's Promotional Toolbox is a must-go-to workshop, where Tonya works with authors on how to effectively promote and market themselves and their books. She is the co-founder of The Naked Hero( website, and The Writer's Guide to E Publishing ( Find out what's going on with Tonya at You can also find Tonya on Facebook.