Sunday Snippet of ‘Lost & Found’

‘Lost and Found’ will be released in March. Yep, THIS March. I’m so freaking excited! Here’s a Sunday Snippet for you!

The wind howled like a dying wolf outside the windows and rattled the solar panels on the roof. It had a ferocity so intense I figured it was only a matter of time before they slid off the top of the terracotta tiles and landed with a crash on the driveway and back patio. They were what kept the house running, just as if the power had never been lost. Except for those few days where the storm ripped through California with one goal only – destroy anything and everything in its path.

I turned away from the moisture-clouded glass and readjusted my feet beneath me as I pushed deeper into the chair. Drake was lounged on the sectional, his feet propped on a pair of matching cushions with Swarovski crystals sewn delicately onto the silk fabric. I think he used the lavish throw pillows as foot props on purpose as a way to spite the previous owners who spent money on things that had no true worth. The house was full of valuable items from all around the world that meant absolutely nothing anymore. Value had a different meaning. Fresh water and food had become our gold and silver.

“How long are you going to stare at me?” he asked without looking up from his book.

I inwardly chastised myself for blushing but since he had yet to glance up at me, the embarrassment faded quickly. “I’m not staring. I was thinking,” I said a bit too rough.

“Thinking…and staring.” Again, he didn’t look up but I thought I caught a hint of a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.

With an exasperated sigh, I glanced back outside at the cold wind that had the tropical plants in the backyard thrashing around wildly. Even after hearing the sound of paper rustle and the hardcover book snap shut, I didn’t look at Drake. The feel of his eyes burned into the back of my neck and I wiped at the sensation on my skin nervously.

Eventually he spoke, “What’s wrong? You’re more pouty than usual.”

“And you’re just as rude, I see.”

“You think I’m rude?” he laughed.

“Unpleasantly rude and not very thoughtful,” I grumbled under my breath, finally looking at him.

His smile faded immediately. “If I was either of those things, I would have just left you bleeding out in the mud.”

“Then why didn’t you?” I snapped.

Drake’s hands flew up in front of his face like he wanted to strangle something. “I’m not as much of an ass as you think I am. Have I proved otherwise?”

Author Traci Hilton is here today!

Traci Hilton is here today to talk with us about housecleaning, murder, husbands and whether she’d take Lottery winnings in monthly payments or a lump sum! So get yourself comfortable with your coffee or wine (hey, it’s 4pm somewhere) and enjoy today’s awesome interview!


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Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery Series, and one of the authors in the The Tangle Saga series of science fiction novellas. She was the Mystery/Suspense Category winner for the 2012 Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, a finalist for Speculative Fiction in the same contest, and has a Drammy from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild. Traci serves as the Vice President of the Portland chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association.

Traci earned a degree in History from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, their two daughters, and their dog, Dr. Watson.

 

Welcome to the blog today, Traci!! Thanks so much for being here!

Thanks for having me!

 

I’m more than a little excited to have you on the blog today! I know you’ve been busy with your next release, can you tell us a little about it?

Thanks. I’m excited to be here too. I’ll try to keep my use of smiley’s to a minimum, to maintain a professional image, but it will be hard.

My new release is Good, Clean, Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery. Jane is a housecleaner by day, Bible School student by night, who is counting the seconds until she can leave for the foreign missions field. All at once things go really south for her, and the dead bodies in the master bedroom are almost the least of her worries.

 

I can’t wait for this book, it sounds interesting and different! How did you get the idea to use a housecleaner?

Housecleaners are supposed to be invisible, silently fixing things for their employers, which puts them in the perfect position to see and hear things they shouldn’t have. It’s also perfect for a series, since you can introduce a new set of clients in every book.

 

That’s genius. Have you had any experiences with this that found its way into your plot?

…I dream of getting a housecleaner, does that count?;) I spent the summer after I graduated high school cleaning houses with my mom who ran her own business at the time. And then, that September I flew away to Bible School. So this book comes from life, at least a little bit.

 

What would YOU hide from a housecleaner?

The snacks! I remember what I was like as a babysitter…I can’t afford to feed my kids and a housecleaner!

 

That’s funny! My Mom also used to clean homes and it’s not an easy job. Oh, the stories a housecleaner can tell! Which is so great about this idea of yours! If you could pull one of the characters out of your book and become best friends with him/her, who would you choose and why?

Ooh, that’s hard because I love them all for different reasons.

My main characters are pretty young, in their early twenties, so I would have to go back in time, I think. But if I did, I’d chose Jake. He’s the perfect guy for the friend-zone. He’s impulsive, has connections for free hamburgers, and impossible to take seriously. If I were picking from their future, 35-year-old selves, I’d pick Jane. She’ll have some great stories to tell in he future, and after all the troubles I intend to put her through she will have a great sense of perspective.

 

Awwww, Jane sounds like she has her work cut out for her in your books! LOL And I can’t wait to ‘meet’ Jake! Are your characters based off of people you know?

In this book the love interest has shades of my husband. One day he mentioned that the love interest in my last series is about as different from him as can be. In the Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery series, Mitzy falls for a stocky, handsome, forty-year old Italian man who has recently become a Christian.

Since Jane is a lot more like me than Mitzy is, I thought I could humor my love by making the love interest in this book a tall, athletic, smart guy from a nice protestant home. But I didn’t want to make it too easy, so there are a few road blocks in the way of the young people.

 

Hopefully that makes your hubby feel loved! How long have you been married?

It will be 12 years this year! Time flies when you are having fun!

 

How did you two meet?

Short story is we met at college. Long story is he was the devastatingly handsome man who played the harmonica during our Wednesday lunch time Baptist Student Ministries worship hour. I say Man because I was 19 and he was fully 22 and had serious five o’clock shadow…*swoon* One day I was leaving the room we met at, turned around and bumped right into him! He said hi, I said hi. I asked him a few pertinent questions, like his name and what he was studying.

He said he was studying funeral directing and my first thought was “Ah, what a bummer! He is so cute!” I was not at all interested in being married to a guy who worked with dead bodies.

 

LOL!!!! OMG I can see that as being the PERFECT hubby for a writer! Were you writing at the time?

Yes and no. Like Jane, I was fully intending to head overseas as a missionary. I loved writing, and writing update letters to supporters back home (blogs weren’t much of a thing yet) is a bit part of being a missionary, so I knew I’d get to do plenty of it. My dual ambitions as a kid had always been to be a missionary or an author, but I had set aside my fiction writing ambitions for the time.

If I couldn’t be a missionary I was planning on being a journalist or an anthropologist. Don’t you just love young people? Nothing is impossible when you are twenty! Except of course, writing fiction. That was usually presented by loving teachers, as something impossible to make a living at, so I didn’t even plan on trying.

 

I used to want to be a journalist and anthropologist at one time! How coincidental! So, when you aren’t writing or thinking about writing (a full-time job, I know) what do you like to do?

Great minds think alike. : )

I just like to create. I go a little stir crazy if I don’t have some kind of project going on. Right now I’m a little obsessed with knitting and quilting. I’ve got a project going that is made up of the scraps from all of the baby quilts I made while my friends were having babies. I found a really swirly fabric for the back and I’m hand stitching every line. I’ve been at it since late summer and it will probably take me more than a year to complete, but I don’t mind. It’s so soothing to sit in the evening stitching while I watch TV. Plus it’s nice to have something to do with my hands while I play dance mom.

 

Awwww, that quilt sounds lovely! I want to learn how to quilt, I can crochet, but that’s about it! LOL Do any of the dance mom’s know you are a writer? When I sat in my daughter’s dance classes, it was hard not to overhear some funny stuff.

They do know, and likely censor themselves accordingly!

 

HAHAHAHAHA! So, what can we expect to see from you after this upcoming release? Please tell me there will be more Tracy Hilton books coming out soon!

Yes! Definitely! The Plain Jane series has three more books on the docket, and there is a fairly strong chance for a Christmas theme Mitzy book in 2013.

 

Squeee! Before we leave today, what advice would you give to someone if they were interested in publishing their first book?

Read my blog! Or should I say, “Read Russel Blake’s blog!”

But the point is the same, before you publish learn as much as you possibly can about how to make your book perfect.Doing due diligence will protect your reputation as a writer and set you up for a long, fruitful career.

 

Ohhhh excellent name dropping you did there! LOL Ok – it’s time for our Rapid Fire Questions, strap yourself in, Traci!

Wine or Beer? Wine
Sweet or Sour? Sweet
Beach or Pool? Beach
Heels or Flats? Heels
Sexy Lingerie or a Man’s Shirt? Shirt
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Paperback or eBook? eBook
Payback or Forgiveness? Forgiveness
Monthly Lotto Payments or Lump Sum? Lump Sum

 

Yay!! Thank you for joining us today! I can’t wait for your new release party!

Thanks so much! It was super fun yakking with you.

 

Check out the cover for Tracy’s  next release, Good, Clean, Murder! You can join the FREE Facebook Online Party for the book launch HERE! Want a copy before the official release? Check it out on Amazon!

 

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Traci Tyne Hilton’s newest story, “Cupid’s Cappucino” is available just in time for Valentine’s Day! Find it in the romance collection. Heart Bouquets at amazon.com! More of Traci’s work can be found at http://www.tracihilton.com – happy reading!!

Are you ready for ‘Hell’s Gift’?

The lovely Kristie Haigwood is here today! As one of my writer besties, I’m super excited to announce her upcoming release of ‘Hell’s Gift’!

 

Welcome to the blog today Kristie! Our readers are in for a treat. Yes, I know you have a new release this week – but we want to know more about you too. You’ve chosen an interesting genre to write in…can you tell us why you like it so much?

I’ve always been fascinated with paranormal and suspense. It was actually what I started out reading as a young teen. Christopher Pike was my role model back then. As I got older, I suppose I grew curious as to what all the buzz was about in Romance. Still a young teen, I snuck historical romance novels in with my teen reads at the library. I know now that the librarian didn’t give a rat’s behind what I was reading, but at the time I felt so embarrassed, like I was reading porn or something. LOL. Wow! I fell in love, literally, with every handsome rogue, rebel, knight in shining armor, prince, bad-boy next door and I wanted more! I eventually graduated to Nora Roberts and then on to J. R. Ward and Laurell K. Hamilton. There is just something about a love story that pulls at my heart-strings. So, I put my 3 favorite genres together and make stories how I want them to be.

 

So, is it safe to say you might have a bit of a hopeless romantic inside you?

I confess. I am completely hopeless.

 

LOL How do you think your feelings on love translate into your stories?

The way I feel about love is in every one of my novels. I guess that could be considered multiple personalities, because I have around 75 characters now, and I am apart of all of them.

 

That’s a lot of personalities to keep track of. 🙂 Since this is the month of love, it’s only fair I ask – do you believe in spending money on Valentine’s Day?

Depends. I think that it’s the thought that counts. I would much rather have a bundle of wildflowers picked from the side of the road than a dozen costly roses sent to me from a florist or bought from a store. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice gesture, but not what I have to have, or even want for that matter. Valentine’s Day is not my favorite day of the year. To me, it’s just another day. I don’t believe people should show each other they care on national holidays. I think they should show it every day. So, I guess the answer to your question is no.

 

Totally agree! I love me some wildflowers. Just for fun – if you took any male character from your first book and any female character from your last – who would you pair up for some romance, and why?

Wow! That’s a tough one. I’m not personally a jealous person, but thinking about pairing up a girl and guy character that already have mates makes me nervous. I fear my characters might choke me in my sleep. Oh no! Oh, all right, I’ll pick two. Hmm… let’s see; my first novel was Eternal Island, even though it wasn’t my first published. I guess I will pick Jonah, because he is footloose and care-free. He loves women; all women, and he often speaks before he thinks, but he has such a big heart. The idea of love scares the crap out of him, but he loves anyway. The girl I would pick from Hell’s Gift is Josselyn. I can’t imagine she would be able to put up with Jonah and his flirting, but she has a soft spot for rowdy boys and I think they would make a cute couple.

 

They sound fabulous together! Are they your favorite characters?

I don’t have favorite characters. I couldn’t pick a favorite character any easier than I could pick a favorite child of mine. They are all my favorite, but each of them have very unique personalities. They are all my babies.

 

Awwww. I applaud you! If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which would it be?

I will have to say my Eternal Series needs to be a movie or TV series, because it is original and there is not really anything else like it out there. BUT…I can see Hell’s Gift totally blowing up the box office, too. It’s my favorite so far.

 

I would love to see your name in the credits of a movie. Would you play an extra? LOL

NO! I have stage fright, but I would totally love to help pick the cast!=D

 

Who is your favorite Author, Kristie? Yes, this is a tough question to ask, but your readers want to know who inspires you!

Not a tough question at all. J. R. Ward is my favorite author, but I have too many to count that inspire me; they are all Indie authors.

 

I love my Indies too. So, Kristie. What can we look forward to from you for the rest of 2013…tease us a little with your writing schedule!

Ewww weee, I will be busy this year. ‘Hell’s Gift’ is coming out this week, 02/15/13. ‘Eternal Immortality’, co-authored with Ella Medler, will be out late April, with the 3rd in that series, ‘Eternal Inception’, coming out in August. I have a young adult novel in the works, titled ‘The Last Assignment’, and it will be out in October. Then Book 3 in the ‘Save My Soul’ series, ‘Good Side of Sin’ will follow in December. Whew!

 

That is one full year! What will you be reading in your downtime?

My TBR list is embarrassingly large, because last year was so busy as well, but I have about 20 on my kindle just waiting to be read and reviewed, all authors are Indie.

 

Sounds an awful lot like my Kindle. Before we leave, if someone approached you on the street and asked what the most challenging thing about being an Indie Publisher has been – what you would you tell them?

Marketing – getting my name out there. It’s extremely difficult to fight your way to the top when so many other great writers are trying to do the same thing. I almost want to do something to make national news so I can shout to the cameras, ‘I write awesome books! Go buy them!’ LOL

 

LOL If you do, please promise me you will tell me ahead of time so I can DVR that! It’s been lovely to have you here today, Kristie – I wish you the best of luck with your new release!

Thank you so much for having me, Trish. You know I will be shouting the names of your books, too.

 

So, yes, we love Kristie, but enough about HER – what about Hell’s Gift?!

Hell's Gift coverDepression consumes the guardian angel, Rhyan, after his human charge chooses her soulmate over him. Filled with anger and despair, he lashes out. And when his hate-filled words land him neck-deep in Hell, he realizes he’s gone too far. He expects trouble, but not to discover his own soulmate in the fiery depths. Abigail is there with good reason, but she’s done her time, and in order to save them both, Rhyan must strike a deal with the Devil. The stakes are higher than ever before, with his soul, his friends and even the fate of Heaven and Earth in jeopardy. If he fails, Rhyan stands to lose more than he ever feared. Will true love be denied? It will take everything he’s got to break down the traps Lucifer puts in his way. New lines are drawn and old scores are settled, and Rhyan is in for the fight of his life. With Abigail as the prize, and humanity in the balance, he will stop at nothing to claim…Hell’s Gift.

 

Seriously – I can’t wait! Be SURE to keep an eye out on Kristie’s Amazon page later this week and grab up your copy of Hell’s Gift! Thank you so much for being here today Kristie!

Author Caitlin Hensley joins us today!

021Caitlin Hensley has been telling stories since she learned to hold a pen, and is pretty much obsessed with writing. When not typing frantically on her laptop, she’s usually dancing, catching up on reruns of her favorite TV shows, or getting lost in a great book. She lives in rural Oklahoma with her family and a nutty Chihuahua.

 

Hi Caitlin, welcome! Thanks for joining us today!

Thanks for having me, Trish!

 

So Caitlin, I ask everyone this because it’s a question that has so many answers. What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, so I’m not sure what initially set me off. I remember sitting down and filling up notebooks with lines of messy handwriting, then I would call my little sister into the room and read her my stories right there on the spot. What really inspired me to polish up my craft was a combination of a great book on writing that I checked out from the library, and my first ever writing class.

 

Ahhh…the lovely notebook. I have one of those too! 🙂 Can you tell us more about your latest book?

My debut novel is a YA paranormal romance titled Paranormal Legacy that’s due to be released in March of 2013. Here’s the official blurb:

Paranormal Legacy4After moving to a rural Pennsylvania town, cynical teen Haily Long soon discovers that the next- door neighbors are paranormal creatures of darkness. Despite this little quirk, the Knight family seems friendly enough, especially handsome Nathan. Nathan is well-mannered and polite, your typical boy next door . . . except for the fact that he turns into something else once a month. In a matter of days, Haily is drawn deep into a shadowed world of danger and deceit, and learns startling truths about her own past. When sinister strangers come sniffing around town for Nathan, and Haily gets pulled into the resulting chaos, she must discover how to unlock her true heritage if she wants to survive.

 

Sounds great – I can’t wait!! What has been the most difficult scene for you to write?

I always have trouble with endings. I don’t want to make them too cheesy, and most people walk away remembering a book’s ending better than the rest of the book, so I really work to get them just right.

 

Endings sure can be tough. Do you follow a certain writing process with your work?

I used to have these really extensive outlines, but lately I’ve been coming up with an outline that’s looser, and letting my typing fingers guide the way. That seems to work best for me.

 

I can’t do outlines. I’ve tried! So, what is your favorite genre to read, and why?

I love just about any book, as long as it’s well-written. But I usually find myself drawn to YA paranormal, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy. I think it’s because I like the supernatural element that these stories usually have.

 

Yes! I love fantasy because I can get lost in it. LOL If you could choose any Author, living or dead, to shadow for a year, who would you choose and why?

That’s a tough one! I think I’d like to shadow Cassandra Clare. She’s the author of The Mortal Instruments series, and the first book in that series, City of Bones, is one that inspired me to work on my writing and strive for it to become better.

 

I will have to check her out, thanks! What has been the most rewarding part of your writing journey so far?

Writing transports me to different worlds, which is great. Also, I’ve met so many amazing people through our shared enjoyment of writing. I’ve made so many awesome friends. I think that’s been the most rewarding part of my journey.

 

The new friends – it’s such a bonus, isn’t it? Do you have any advice for budding authors looking to publish?

First of all, polish your work. Don’t send it out into the world unedited. And don’t be afraid to take criticism. That was a hard one for me to get over, but it really helps to have a thick skin. And above all, have fun! Writing is supposed to be fun. 😀

 

Great advice!! What can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?

Paranormal Legacy is part of a series called The Inhuman Chronicles, and I have the next four books already written. I also have a few short stories, a post-apocalyptic novel, and a futuristic sci-fi novel waiting in the wings. So look for those sometime in the near future. You can find out more at my blog or Facebook page.

 

Sounds like a busy year for you – woot!! Just for fun, I have to ask – If you could spend a month secluded in the woods, what books would you bring with you to read?

Probably The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I’ve been meaning to read those books again. And I have several indie authors whose books I need to catch up on, so I’d take those too. I’d have a whole trunk overflowing with books. (Actually, I’ve done that before. Once I took a suitcase full of books with me on vacation, because I didn’t know what I wanted to read next after I finished the book I was reading at the time.)

 

I LOVE THG series – probably my favorite from the last five years! So – It’s time for our Rapid-Fire questions!!

White Chocolate or Dark Chocolate? Dark chocolate

Wine – Red or White? I’m not a fan of wine, but white wine sounds interesting.

Tent or Hotel? Definitely a hotel

Beach or Pool? Beach

Shower or Bath? Shower

eReader or Paperback? Paperback. eReaders just don’t have that new book smell.

Heels or Flats? Flats; I’m already tall enough as it is. lol

Bra or No Bra? Definitely bra

 

 

Fantastic interview! Want to know more about Caitlin? Follow her Blog or Facebook page! Thank you for joining us today, Caitlin! It’s been a pleasure to learn more about you!!

 

Saturday Snippet!

So I have shared this on Facebook but it’s time to share it here too!

Here is the Prologue of my new book, The Last Failynn Princess – a middle grade fantasy story. 🙂

Prologue

 

The faerie Princess reached out a small and pale hand to silence the furious dragon. The smell of sulfur filled the cave, mixing with the rank odor of the creature’s putrid saliva. It growled at her, baring several rows of jagged, razor sharp teeth before rolling its tongue out to taste her skin.

“I am not here to harm you, Ancient One. Only to ask for your protection,” the faerie whispered.

“Your kind is not welcome here,” the dragon growled. “Your magic is nearly as powerful as mine. What protection could I give you that you cannot conjure yourself?”

The Princess nodded at the entrance to the cave behind her, “The King and Queen have been murdered in their sleep. I am being hunted, Old Wise One. By something larger than myself…by something more powerful than even you,” she whispered.

“There is nothing more powerful than I,” the scaly creature hissed angrily, narrowing its hot, amber eyes at the faerie.

“Oh, but there is, and I fear it is a demon, come to destroy us all.”