Friday, September 14, 2012


My guest is fiction author, Kristine Grayson, aka Nelscott, Rusch. I truly enjoyed her article, today, on the joys of being a storyteller. It's an encouraging read that acknowledges the downs but concentrates on the ups of a writing career.

When people ask me about the trials and tribulations I’ve had in my writing career, I often stare at them blankly. I think that, for me, the writing profession is like childbirth. I forget the pain the moment it’s over.
That’s because I love my work so very much. I go crazy when I’m not writing. If I go without writing for more than a few days, my husband orders me to go write. Not because he usually orders me around or he feels that I need to work, but because I get so cranky when I’m not writing that he’d rather have me write than not.
That said, you need a lot of stamina and optimism to be a professional writer. I’ve been one for more than thirty years now (and that’s a sentence I didn’t expect to write so soon!) and I’ve been through some things that would make anyone’s hair turn white. (Mine has, by the way.)
Rejection? A million times. Rejection continues throughout the career. You don’t get used to it. You don’t get even. You just learn that your writing isn’t to everyone’s taste.
Orphaned? That means have I lost an editor in the middle of a project? I stopped counting after the first dozen. I’m not making that number up. I was orphaned five times on one book series alone. The acquiring editor left the day I turned the first manuscript in. I try not to take that personally.
Out of Print? Not any more. I have sold my entire backlist under all of my pen names, from Kristine Grayson to Kris Nelscott to Kristine Kathryn Rusch. But five years ago, most of my books were out of print. That was how the business works.
Bad Reviews? Oh, yeah. Some are laughably bad, like the one that favorably compared my book to Steven Spielberg movies—as if that’s a bad thing. But others are just taste, again. Sometimes someone reads my stuff and doesn’t like it. Oh, woe is me. Then I turn around and carp about a novel that I just read that I didn’t like. We all have taste issues. We all have things we like and things we hate. If I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.
Unfulfilled promises? If I counted those, I’d get really depressed. Only two book editors in a career filled with more than thirty book editors ever fulfilled all of their promises. That’s it. The short story editors were all a dream to work with and remain so. (Except for those who continue to reject my work, of course!)
So what’s the upside? Well, honestly, it’s all upside. I get paid well to make up stories. I stay home with my cats, set my own schedule, get up when I want to, answer only to myself (and those cats), and live in a fantasy world. Sometimes my made-up world is dark, as in the Kris Nelscott mystery novels. And sometimes it’s just plain goofy, as in all of these Kristine Grayson Charming books.
Either way, I have a blast.
See why I forget about the pain? There’s just too much pleasure involved in this entire profession for me to spend my entire life whining about how hard I have it. No one dies if I fail to get to my desk. No one gets injured if I type a bad sentence.

I think I have the best job possible. And I remember that each and every day.


He lived through ages with the curse of attracting women...who end up dead...

One upon a time, he was the most handsome of princes, destined for great things. But now he's a lonely legend, hobbled by a dark history. With too many dead in his wake, Bluebeard escapes the only way he knows how—through the evil spell of alcohol. But it's a far different kind of spell that's been ruining his life for centuries.

How will she survive this killer Prince Charming?

Jodi Walters is a fixer, someone who can put magic back in order. She's the best in Hollywood at her game. But Blue has a problem she's never encountered before—and worse, she finds herself perilously attractived to him. Excerpt 


Before turning to romance writing, award-winning author Kristine Grayson edited the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and ran Pulphouse Publishing (which won her a World Fantasy Award). She has won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award and, under her real name, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, the prestigious Hugo award. She lives with her own Prince Charming, writer Dean Wesley Smith, in Portland, Oregon. You can find Kris: website, Facebook

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


My guest is best selling romance author, Karen Kelley. She writes sexy, quirky romances and paranormal romance.

Karen shares a bit about her road to publication and her tears and triumphs along the way.

Thanks for inviting me for coffee. I have to admit I’m hooked on Café Mocha. I didn’t always drink coffee, but late nights and deadlines had me reaching toward something that would keep me awake and semi alert.

You asked me to share the laughter and the tears, the glitches and triumphs. That would be a book in itself! But I wouldn’t want to do anything else. It took me 6 years of hard work and a wonderful group of friends before I sold my first book. I talked my husband into mailing it because I couldn’t face the looks of pity from the postal workers. That was on Tuesday. On Thursday morning Hilary Sares from Kensington called to make an offer. Yes, it can happen that fast.

I dedicated the book to my mom and dad. My dad had passed away the year before from cancer and my mother’s health wasn’t good. I quit work, brought my mother to live with my husband, and me and stayed at home to take care of her. Those were lean times living on one income, but I would do it all over again because every time I lifted my mother from the bed to her wheelchair I felt the warmth of her arms around me. She told me stories I’d never heard and we laughed and we cried and we bonded like I never could have imagined.

She was so excited when I sold, and again when Kensington sent me a big mock up of the cover, and so proud when I told her I’d dedicated it to her and daddy, then I read her the dedication. I guess I knew she wouldn’t ever hold the book in her hands and I wanted her to know just how much I loved her. She passed in May; my first book was released in August.

I wrote 19 books for Kensington, one for Berkley and then I found Sourcebooks and I continue to write my quirky romances, even more sexy than my earlier ones.

Where There’s a Will is the second book in my brand new series. Haley lives her day to day dreary life until she’s stood up by a coworker. That night she cries herself to sleep and prays for a miracle.  The next morning a handsome nephilim (half angel/half man) rings her doorbell and promises to give her the miracle she’s been waiting for. Ryder rings more than her doorbell.

If you’ve ever felt like you were on the outside looking in or someone made you feel inferior, then you might enjoy Where There’s A Will. It’s a story about discovery and love and it’s very sexy and a little funny, too!

Who wouldn’t want an immortal on her doorstep promising to make all her dreams come true? 

Her Fantasies Were Wild But Buried Deep...

Haley Tillman words hard at being a good girl, hiding her rich fantasy life in the pages of her diary. But being good doesn’t seem to get her anywhere with men, and her confidence is on a downward spiral. She's ready to try something altogether different, but hasn't a clue where to start. In a moment of desperation, she prays for a miracle...

He Might Take Her Beyond Them...

Ryder is the perfect combination of powerful angel plus normal hot–blooded man. Crossing into the mortal world could cost him his existence. But mortals are like a potent drug to Ryder, and Hayley is quickly becoming his drug of choice... excerpt

Currently Karen writes for Sourcebooks and the Brava Imprint with Kensington Publishing and has the fabulous Kate Duffy for an editor. Karen writes full-time, and collects junk which she fondly calls antiques. Her husband can still be talked into mailing her manuscripts and also helping with her publicity. She has two grown children, one son-in-law and four grandchildren and a very spoiled Pekinese. She loves sitting on the patio on a warm spring day and procrastinating about her approaching deadline. 

You can find Karen: Facebook, Goodreads, Website

Sunday, September 9, 2012


My guest, international bestseller, Wendy Holden. She writes juicy romantic comedy with a lovely edge of the satirical and biting wit. You can't help but laugh and shake your head over her lively, well drawn characters. 
Today she talks about her research into creating her characters and the fun she had in writing her anti-heroine, Alexa.  

Current events inspire most of my books. The one that inspired my latest novel, Marrying Up, was the recent Royal Wedding in Britain because I’m fascinated with Kate Middleton’s social trajectory. One thing’s for sure, it didn’t come about by accident. That girl worked her ass off to get that guy.
What I’m most interested in is how people move between social classes, or try to. For a comic writer like me, the trying is the where all the best comic material is and in Britain we have a very long tradition at laughing at people who try to ‘better themselves’ as it’s known. It’s a strange contrast to the United States, where no one thinks it’s odd to try and improve one’s circumstances and it’s the American Dream to move up in the world. In the UK, we try to keep people in their place, although, of course, people have no intention of staying in their places, and why should they? I didn’t keep in my place, that’s for sure (see my website if you want to know more,
The British class system looks rigid and impenetrable from the outside but in actual fact it is extremely flexible. You can get all the way up, just like Kate Middleton did, despite having a mother who was an airhostess. Although of course being an airhostess has in itself bagged other women men with titles – Queen Noor, for example, met King Hussein on a transatlantic flight. You see what I mean? I’m very interested in all that, in the loopholes and rear doors that allow people with ambition to move from humble circumstances to more exalted states. 
In Marrying Up, my anti-heroine, Alexa, is a sort of disaster version of Kate Middleton. She’s desperate to bag herself a titled husband. She’s no aristocrat herself, but she works the system as best she can. Her first effort is to get a job on a society magazine so she can get invited to smart parties and meet smart people. That doesn’t work so she tries hanging out at posh funerals and picking up men there. She’s incorrigible and pretty immoral, but I admire her spirit and her guts. I actually like her better than the book’s real heroine. Wicked characters are much more fun to write than good ones! Perhaps because they’re closer to real life. 
Marrying Up is partly set in a glamorous Mediterranean kingdom a bit like Monaco, so it allowed me to use one of my favourite settings. I’ve loved the South of France for 25 years but of course things change so much so I simply have to go back every single year and make sure it’s all still the same! I’m so glad I write glam romantic comedies instead of inner-city slasher novels, as the research wouldn’t be half so much fun. My subject area also requires that I read enormous numbers of glossy magazines and celebrity lifestyle publications. Funnily enough, many of these – British Hello and OK especially - have some quite subversive writers on them who use the unthreatening context to ask their famous (and usually pretty dumb) interview subjects some pretty subtle questions. I get a lot of inspiration from this sort of thing, although I’m not interested in sleazy celebs, just the very rich ones. Their route upwards is always fascinating and gives me ideas for future characters in the Alexa vein. Anyway, I hope you enjoy Marrying Up, it was a blast to write and I’ve been lucky enough to get some great reviews for it in America. This is thrilling to me, an obscure foreigner, to make any sort of an impact in your great and glorious country. I feel extremely fortunate and completely amazed.



Beautiful but broke student Polly and scheming social climber Alexa may have grown up in the same place, but they couldn't be more different. Polly's just fallen for Max, a handsome country vet. But Alexa can't be bothered with love—any guy with a pedigree will do, mind you, as long as he comes with a title, a mansion, and a family tiara.

Alexa wiggles her way into friendship with Florrie, a clueless aristocrat who could support entire countries with her spare change. Suddenly the grandest doors swing open for Alexa, and a new life is so close she can taste it. Polly could care less about Max's money, but his mysterious habit of disappearing scares her. What's he hiding?

Razor sharp in its wit, and as fresh as newlywed royals, Marrying Up reveals how sometimes a rags–to–riches story can rip a girl to shreds—and how sometimes the rewards of love aren't always what you expect. EXCERPT

Wendy Holden was a journalist on The Sunday Times, Tatler and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full-time author. She has written nine novels, all Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. She is married and has two children.