On Conversations: #paranormal #author Sharon Lee Johnson

Please welcome author Sharon Lee Johnson to Conversations today! She's here to talk about her paranormal series, Me VS Zombies

Lisa ~

Thank you so much for having me.  I am Sharon Lee Johnson.  I am a Zombie Writer. This year I decided to write, edit, publish and promote 12 short stories.  I have 4 Episodes out this year of Me VS Zombies.  Episode 5 comes out May 22, 2013.

I came up with this idea, looking at pictures of a vacation I took 5 years ago.  My Boyfriend wanted to go deep sea fishing.  We didn't research the trip.  We stopped at the first sign that read "Full Day Fishing or Half Day Fishing".  We pulled into the parking lot.  The locals hung out there and used this fishing service.  We figured if the locals used this service, it had to be safe.  What were we thinking?

1.  They may say there is a bathroom on board, but if a guy says it, be aware.  The Bathroom was a piece of wood, with a hole cut out of it.  The smell was overwhelming.  Needless to say I passed on using their so called bathroom
2.  The crew explains where to throw up.  All I could think of was, "Why would anyone be throwing up?"
3.  As fish were being caught, the crew members sliced the fish open, and let the blood flow on the deck
4.  No Life Jackets.  They fished on one side of the boat.  I was sitting on the other side of the boat on a bench.  Then I realized, "If I fell over board, no one would realize I was not on board.  No one would miss me till they were done fishing."
5.  A storm came up.  The locals were getting nervous and wanted to go back to shore.  It was a two hour boat ride out to fish.  That means that it is two hours back to shore.  The boat was swaying and everyone on the boat was getting sick.  Throwing up over the railings.  Time passed and everyone in the cabin was sick, except me.  All I could think was, "What if they turn into Zombies?"

That was where Me VS Zombies was created.  That was where Summer Morgan was born.  I was the only one on the boat, besides the crew, that didn't get sick.  I did not eat, drink or go to the bathroom for over ten hours.  I was not about to use what they called a bathroom.  I didn't drink, because then I would have to use the bathroom.  I didn't eat, cause then I would be thirsty.

Summer Morgan is me.  I found my inner strength that day.  I do not like the outdoors.  I am a vegetarian and I don't even eat fish.  I was on that boat, realizing that so much could go wrong and no one seemed to care.  Why wasn't anyone wearing a life jacket?

If the day wasn't bad enough, we went to the beach.  I wanted to see what the ocean looked like, with the tide higher than usual.  I had my purse with me.  (Why didn't I leave it in the car?) All the money and credit cards were in my purse.  A wave came, hitting my back.  If my boyfriend did not grab me, I would of been taken out to sea.  He saved me and our money.  I saw people walking out of the ocean.  I thought, "What if they were Zombies and the tide brought them to shore?"

I made Summer Morgan me.  I am a vegetarian.  I have no sense of direction.  I am use to depending on men to take care of me.  I had to learn how to survive on my own.  Summer Morgan has to learn how to survive in this new world with Zombies.  She will learn to use a compass, kill Zombies and learn to love again, as she heads to the midwest to the bunker that Benny told her about.  She gets stronger each day as her world changes around her. 

Check out my blogs:

Join Summer Morgan on her travels to the bunker.  A short story published every month.

On a side note.  We went to Key West Florida.  We both agreed not to go on a boat this trip.  We went on a glass bottom boat.  We went on an air boat ride through the everglades.  Guess I will never learn.  Good thing I took notes on that vacation.

Thank you for having me.  It has been a pleasure.

Paranormal author, Sharon Lee Johnson has been writing all of her life. Always and Forever is a paranormal romance novel, and her Zombie Zoo is a paranormal series with a hint of romance.

Sharon’s love of horror movies brought her to be obsessed with Zombies. She created the
Zombie Zoo series, a hundred years after the first outbreak and the series of The Legend of Jessica where spirits control the town of Lake Sherry.

Sharon is also an animal lover, and has been a vegetarian since she was a teenager. She is moving forward with her writing career and is proud to be an indie author.

Welcome To Zombie Zoo Print and E-Book www.amazon.com/dp/B008Y5D2DA
Follow me on Twitter @dogbone61


Who is The King Daddy of Cowboys? LOVE ME SOME COWBOY #Booklaunch Blog Hop

Welcome to the King-Daddy of Cowboys Blog Hop. There are 5 stops on the blog hop. At each stop, one of the authors from the LOVE ME SOME COWBOY anthology will tell you a little about their hero and why he is the “King-Daddy of Cowboys.” Read the blog and leave a comment. The more blogs you visit and comment on, the greater your chances of winning the grand prize, a $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Smaller prizes will be available at each stop along the way.
Good luck, and have fun!

If NOTHING BUT TROUBLE were to be made into a movie, I think Hugh Jackman would play the part.  Look at this picture and tell me if you don't see Stoney Buxton!!

Why should my hero, Stoney Buxton, be the King Daddy of all Cowboys?  Well, Stoney believes that there's nothing more beautiful than the sounds of a mountain night and the laughter of a woman.  He also would never sit down to a meal, no matter how hungry he is, until his favorite horse, Diesel, is taken care of first. He loves a woman with a mind of her own, in fact the one thing he loves the most about Melanie Summers is her sassy way, even if it is nothing but trouble to him.

What do you think?

Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win!
Don’t forget to visit all the authors on the Blog Hop to increase your odds of winning a prize!

Lisa Mondello Jean Brashear Barbara McMahon
Day Leclaire Ginger Chambers


Want to learn more about the heroes from Love Me Some Cowboy? Click on the links below to read excerpts from each book.
Nothing But Trouble by Lisa Mondello Texas Secrets by Jean Brashear Crazy About A Cowboy by Barbara McMahon
Once Upon A Cowboy By Day Leclaire Love, Texas by Ginger Chambers

On Conversations: #romance #author Susan Hughes with a #giveaway

Please welcome author Susan Hughes to Conversations today! She's here to talk about her historical romance series, Music Box. She's also offering a copy of the first book in the series, Sense of Touch to one lucky commenter!

Lisa ~

I’ve been writing contemporary romance for about 10 years. Last year I decided to try my hand at historical romance by writing a series involving several generations of a family, set in my home country of Canada. I called it the Music Box Series after the music box that is passed down through the generations and plays a role in bringing the couple together in each story.

The series begins with the tragic Halifax Explosion of 1917. Sense of Touch is the story of Sean and Amy, who as teenagers met in the aftermath of the explosion that destroyed their neighbourhood and blinded Sean. When another chance encounter reunites them in 1923, their friendship blossoms into a passionate affair. It was challenging (and a little nerve-racking) writing from the perspective of a blind person, but I enjoyed exploring the ways people relate to each other through the senses other than vision.
The second book in the series, Someone Like You, picks up in 1947 when Sean and Amy’s daughter, Bridget, flees to Ontario after a traumatic event. There she meets war veteran Adam Walker, who hires her to care for his infant son. This book is especially close to my heart because it takes place in the neighbourhood in Ottawa where my father grew up. I interviewed him extensively on day-to-day life in a tiny converted cottage with no plumbing. I also had to familiarize myself with the experiences of Canadian soldiers in WWII. I so enjoyed immersing myself in the 1940s that I was a little sad when the story came to an end.


I’m now working on the third book in the series, which takes place in 1977 when Adam’s son Ethan, now grown up, searches for his birth mother and meets Tess along the way. I hope to release it in the fall of 2013.

Sense of Touch is available on Amazon for 99 cents. Leave a comment and you could win a free copy! 

Nothing gets my heart pumping like a good love story with absorbing emotion, plenty of passion, and an old-fashioned happy ending. That's why I started writing romance novels, and I'm excited to share these stories with you. Set mainly in Canada, my novels explore the extraordinary thrill of finding that special someone and falling head over heels in love. I hope you'll enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.

I live in Ottawa, Ontario, with my husband and three children.

On Conversations: #Interview with #AAMBookclub #Author Lashanta Charles

It is my pleasure to welcome AAMBookclub Author Lashanta Charles to Conversations today.  She's here to talk about her new release, Lovely Lies. Be sure and check out the excerpt and her interview and get to know Marcia.

Lisa ~ 

Lovely Lies
Makynzee has spent all of her life being dependent on people who've always disappointed her, especially her abusive mother. Everyone lies to her - her sister, her uncle, even her beloved father. When her mom strips her of her one true love, gymnastics, she's determined to find and maintain her independence. There's only one little problem...money. She sets out to find a job as a dancer at a gentelman's club, but finds Kalil instead. With his looks, money, and charisma any woman would be crazy not to want him and Makynzee's no different. Falling for him fast she soon discovers some things just arent adding up and Kalil may not be the man she thought he was. He wants to be with her and provide for her, but can he protect her? When a love-struck fan becomes obsessed and begins attacking and stalking Makynzee she questions Kalil's ability to be her protector. Makynzee has no idea who he is, where he came from, or why he's here, but he's determined to have her even if that means eliminating everyone she knows and loves. By any means necessary, right? She belongs to him and he's claiming what's rightfully his, no matter the circumstances. When truths are revealed, they threaten to tear Makynzee's soul apart and chaos becomes her life. Will she be able to escape this temporary insanity or will she become a permanent victim?


Not much surprises or upsets me anymore when it comes to my mom. In fact, the only things that actually mean anything to me in this house are my Beats headphones, my music, gymnastics, and what little is left of my sanity. I’m surprised that I actually have to contemplate which upsets me more, the stinging sensation across the left side of my face, from the slap my mom just delivered or the sight of her foot stomping on my headphones which flew from my ears when she hit me. I’m a pretty practical girl, so I go with the stomping of the headphones. Before she demolishes them I swoop down and snatch them up. Then our staring contest begins. My look asks “what now,” hers is unreadable, but I think I win. She looks away first.
    “You and these stupid ass headphones make me sick, instead of sitting in your room you should be out trying to find a job and figure out a way to pay for college so I’m not stuck with you for another four years,” she yells.
    “If you hadn’t spent all of the money Daddy saved for me I’d be long gone,” I mumble.
    This surprises her…and me. I’ve never disrespected my mother, never uttered a word back to her. Her surprise quickly fades and as anger replaces the previous emotion, I’m dealt another blow to the face. This time she uses the back of her left hand. The skin on my cheek catches the wedding ring that she still wears and I suppress a yell as I feel the pain. I bring my hand up to my face then look down at the blood that covers my fingers. There’s not much blood so I know it’s not a big cut, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. I look up at my mother and her eyes dare me to say anything. I don’t. I cower away from her and avert my eyes to the floor.
    “If you weren’t such a fat fuck, you’d still be able to do gymnastics and get a full scholarship!”
    I keep my eyes trained on the floor. I’m not fat and I can definitely still do gymnastics.

Purchase Lovely Lies:

Get to know Lashanta:

What are you working on at the moment / next?

Right now I’m working on the sequel for “Lovely Lies.” It’s so hard to stay focus. I honestly think I’m bipolar or have some sort of attention deficit disorder or something like that because I have so many projects in my head, I can’t just focus on only one. I’m working on my sequel, but I’m also making notes on my third and fourth book.

Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?

Yes! Before signing with Delphine Publications, I queried agents and other publishing companies for roughly 18 months (maybe longer) and they all said no L. My first rejection left me crying like a baby. I was literally inconsolable. Then after a while I came to expect rejections and realized it was just a part of the process. When I finally got an acceptance letter, I actually received 3 other offers for signing within the same month, so I was pretty excited about that.

Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?

No agent at this time, but I ultimately would like to have one. I don’t think they’re vital to your success, but I think they’re a tremendous help. There are some publishing houses that won’t accept unsolicited queries from authors, they only deal with agents. It’s always a good feeling to have that agent on your team and fighting for you though.

From your novel, Lovely Lies, who is your favorite character and why?

I would have to say that my favorite character is Kaeden. He doesn’t show up until later in the story, but he has that personality that intrigues you because he’s so mysterious. It’s as though he’s suddenly there and you’re automatically drawn to him. He has the “bad boy” mentality, but on a level that you’re not used to because he’s so quiet.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Remembering that it was okay for me not to agree with the things my characters do and say. Occasionally, I would find myself writing something and have to stop and reevaluate a few lines because it fit my thoughts more than it fit my character’s personality. There were some things that the characters did that I found just completely went against what I stood for, but I had to remind myself to be okay with that.

Do you prefer eBooks, paperbacks, or hardcovers?

That preference is directly related to where I am and what I’m doing. If I’m out on some sort of Army mission, I prefer paperbacks because I can squeeze them into small compartments of my bags without taking up too much room. If I’m relaxing on a beach or in front of a fireplace, I prefer a nice and sturdy hardcover. Now if I’m traveling or out on the go and running errands, I prefer eBooks that I can easily access on my iPad or my phone.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

My debut novel, “Lovely Lies” releases on May 21, 2013 and is available for pre-order now on Amazon. Also, you will find me at this year’s Essence Music Festival doing author meet & greets, book signings, etc.

Lashanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Urban/ African American Fiction has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. Through trial and error, she has developed a unique writing style that she fully embraces. She penned her first official novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and is currently working on the sequel.

Currently she lives in Waynesville, MO, with her husband and two children. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Drury University and also serving in the US Army. Her hobbies include spending time with family, travelling, eating, and of course, writing. Her motto is “strive to excel, not to equal.”

Contact Info:
www.lashantacharles.com (Personal website)
www.delphinepublications.com (Publisher’s website)
www.facebook.com/authorlashanta (Facebook)
www.twitter.com/twiety01 (Twitter)

On Conversations: #author Kristine Mason and her #newrelease

Please welcome author Kristine Mason to Conversations today! She's here to talk about her new Reality TV Romance, Pick Me.

Lisa ~

(Reality TV Romance)

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, reality shows are on just about every network. I’ll admit there are some that I can’t get enough of and there are others that leave me scratching my head…Honey Boo Boo anyone?

I’m not about to bash reality shows. How can I when I’ve just launched the first book of my Reality TV Romance series? Reality shows have given me inspiration. Let’s face it. The majority of these shows are likely scripted. The producers know how to gain ratings. The “reality stars” know that appearing on these shows could potentially launch their careers. Yes, I realize I’m generalizing, but…anyone remember Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt?

I came up with the reality show Pick Me while I was writing Kiss Me, a sexy love story about a woman in search of a “friend with benefits.” I loved the concept of Pick Me so much, that I had to write a book involving the show.

To help save the TV reality show, Pick Me, from cancellation, Valentina Bonasera swaps her position as the show’s Production Assistant, to play the role of Bachelorette, only to discover Bachelor Number One, rancher and sports agent, Colt Walker, happens to be her one and only one-night-stand she’d snuck away from six months ago.

Colt had never forgotten the hot, sensual night he’d shared with Valentina, or how she’d left him without so much as a note or her contact information. He’d spent months searching for the woman who’d given him a night he couldn’t forget and thought he’d never see again. Now that she’s in Dallas, he’s determined to make her his…

Here’s a short excerpt from the opening scene of Pick Me:

Colt’s entire body went slack. Thank God this was almost over. One more question, one more half-assed answer and he could quit for a bit. His ranch was calling him, and with the answers he’d given the so-called lovely bachelorette, he doubted she’d pick him for her first date. If everything worked to plan, he’d have at least a few days reprieve before he had to face the cameras again.
“Okay,” she said. “Let’s start with Bachelor Number Three. What is your ideal first date?”
“Um, I’d take you to a nice restaurant. Maybe find a local fair or carnival. We could walk around and stuff.”
Conscious of the cameras, Colt carefully shifted his gaze to Brad. Was this guy for real? Maybe the muscle-bound vegan was trying as desperately as he was to avoid being the first date. With his golden, pretty boy looks, and all of those muscles on top of muscles, Colt bet Brad auditioned for the show hoping to break into acting or modeling, not for love.
The bachelorette cleared her throat. “O-okay. And you, Bachelor Number Two?”
Trent tossed his long, poker-straight hair over his shoulder. He waved his hands, and the tattoos lining his arms became a blur of black, red and blue. “Dinner, then we’d hit the clubs, where we’d rock all night. Pa-pow,” he finished and did a quick encore to his earlier air drum set.
Good Lord, where did they find these guys? The only reason he’d ended up on the show was because he’d lost a bet, and Macavey’s niece worked in the casting department. Pick Me’s casting people must have chosen Trent and Brad for some sort of shock factor. Trying to pair either a wannabe rocker or a muscle bound blockhead with this woman just seemed wrong. On so many levels. Then again, the bachelorette was probably a former beauty queen using the show to enhance her career, so what did he care?
“Wow,” she said with another raspy chuckle, and Colt had to admit, he liked the sexy, teasing quality of her voice that held a hint of a Midwestern accent. “Ah, let’s move on to Bachelor Number One. What is your ideal first date?”
Excitement pumped through his veins. Now he had the opportunity to free himself from the show’s nonsense for at least a few days. But he would have to lay it on thick. Otherwise he’d end up stuck in Dallas longer than he wanted.
“Welp,” he purposefully drawled, hoping the tone would add to the backcountry hick persona he’d decided to go for. “I’m really into huntin’, and just bought myself a varmint rifle I’ve been itchin’ to try out on the coyotes terrorizin’ my fillies. So I was thinkin’ you and me could head out and do some shootin’.” He thought about adding that he’d bring a picnic basket filled with beer and beef jerky, but that seemed a bit over the top. “If we bag one of those critters, I’ll even have Ol’ Red, the local taxidermist, do his magic and you’ll have yourself a work of art you can display in your livin’ room.”
The silence that ensued made him want to burst out laughing. Especially when he pictured the director splicing in sound bites of chirping crickets. Yeah, after that answer there was no way she’d pick him for the first date. Hell, there was no way she’d pick him period.
After a pause long enough they could have taken a commercial break if the show was live, she cleared her throat. “Really? A varmint riffle? I’ve never shot one of those. Did you go with a twenty two caliber or a twenty five?”
“Twenty two.”
“A Hornet or a Remington?”
“With a tri-muzzle break?”
The woman actually knew about guns? He shook his head. You’ve got to be kidding me. He’d thought bringing on the good ol’ boy, gun toting talk would have been a surefire way of keeping her from picking him. But it appeared his plan was about to literally backfire on him.
“Yeah, it has a tri-muzzle break.”
“Hmm. Interesting. I shoot left, is that a problem?”
“N-no,” he stumbled over the word when he caught the bald headed director waving his arms in the air.
The music kicked up, and Shepp broke in, silencing anything else he had to say about the rifle.
“Okay, Val,” Shepp began with unnecessary drama. “You’ve asked questions, received answers...now, it’s time for you to decide which one of these bachelors will receive the coveted first date.”
“You mean right this second?” she asked, and the audience laughed. Colt couldn’t help cracking a smile, too. She sounded as if she didn’t want to make a choice at all. He almost felt sorry for her. She had her pick of a tattooed wannabe rocker, a blockhead Neanderthal, and a gun toting hillbilly. Oh well, he thought, that’s just the price she’d have to pay for her fifteen minutes of fame.
“Val, I need an answer,” Shepp said as if this were a life or death situation. “Who will you choose?”
The studio darkened, then spotlights shifted over the stage. “Will it be Bachelor Number One?” Colt squinted when the beam hit him square in the face. “Or Bachelor Number Two.” The light focused on the rocker, Trent, then zipped to Brad. “Or Bachelor Number Three?”
Music infiltrated the studio as the lights flitted back and forth, to him, to the other bachelors. All the while, he kept thinking...don’t pick me.

Find Pick Me on Amazon and Barnes&Noble, and Kiss Me on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Sony, and iTunes.

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good had come from writing it. I realized my passion, and had found a career that I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.

You can email me at authorkristinemason@gmail.com, visit my website at www.kristinemason.net or find me on Facebook!

GET READY for the LOVE ME SOME COWBOY Book Launch!!!  Release Day May 27!
Pre-Order at iTunes http://bit.ly/16cstHZ 

Love Me Some Cowboy
Lisa Mondello, Jean Brashear, Day LeClaire, Ginger Chambers, Barbara McMahon

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

ISBN: 978-1-939925-03-9

Book Description:

Who can resist a tough, rugged cowboy?  Not these feisty, determined women! 

Five full-length novels at a steal of a price!

In Nothing But Trouble by USAToday Bestselling Author Lisa Mondello, city girl Melanie Summers must spend an  entire month alone in the Wyoming wilderness with sexy rodeo cowboy, Stoney Buxton, without getting into trouble.  Possible?   Not a chance in the world! 

USAToday Bestselling Author Jean Brashear adds Lone Star flavor with Texas Secrets.  Boone Gallagher returns to the only home he's ever known only to find it's been willed to a sexy stranger who's intent on leaving.  He must keep her there for thirty days or it will be lost to them both. 

Love romantic reunion stories?  Then much-loved Harlequin author Barbara McMahon has the perfect book for you!  Crazy About a Cowboy brings you Sam and Lisa Haller, who divorced for all the wrong reasons.  Now Sam wants his ex-wife back for all the right ones. 

Once Upon a Cowboy by Day Leclaire, author of the wildly popular Dante's Legacy series, introduces Cami, a lovable, greenhorn spitfire determined to become a cowboy, despite the objections of her sexy rancher boss. 

And last, but far from least, beloved Dell and Harlequin author Ginger Chambers offers a heartwarming treat with Love, Texas, in which Cassie Edwards returns to the hometown she'd forsaken to negotiate the sale of land belonging to the Taylor family. Hard-working rancher Will Taylor, once her girlhood crush, is all man now and fighting hard to save his heritage. When attraction flares, will true love triumph?

Excerpt for Nothing But Trouble : Book 1 of Love Me Some Cowboy-

His jaw tightened. Yes, there was something definitely wrong here. And money had nothing to do with it. It had everything to do with this beauty standing in front of him, who was clueless about what she was getting her pretty little hide into. "No," he replied tersely.

"Mr. Buxton, I need your help."

"Tourist season is in full swing. I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding someone else."

He turned his back to her and began walking along the fence toward the barn, almost forgetting... Abruptly, he glanced up and saw the charred remains of the barn. The place where all his troubles had started just one year ago. It hadn't taken but a second for him to hear her boots digging into the dusty gravel behind him, jarring him from his thoughts.

"Then I'll do it myself," she said to his back.

His whole body stiffened. He angled back to read her face, to see if she was just being a spoiled rotten rich kid, trying to get her way, or if she was actually serious. Seeing her head held high and her arms crossed in front of her, he realized she was dead serious.

And dead she'd be if she stepped one boot into those mountains alone.

"You'll do no such thing."

Frustration flaring, he lifted his dusty hat and forced his fingers through the thick crop of black hair before returning the hat to his head.

"You just don't get it, do you? You're not asking me to take you on a theme park ride where you'll get to see the wonders of the world at a nice safe distance. This is God's country. The creatures that live up there don't know civilization, and you are no better than them. You could--probably will--get killed if you go out there alone." His lips twitched, taking a good long appraising look at the woman in front of him. "You might even chip a nail on that pretty hand of yours."

Links to the first chapter for each of the other books in the anthology

What Readers Are Saying About These Authors:

"Emotional depth and situations that tore at my heart. This is exactly what I want from a romance." (about Ginger Chambers, Love, Texas)

"I can never get enough of Day Leclaire's novels. It's all about the characters, and these are especially lovable, funny, and heartwarming ... not to mention sexy. I really identified with Cami's act-first, think-later personality. Adorable!" (about Day Leclaire, Once Upon a Cowboy)

"A great story about second chances at love. A hunky cowboy and a feisty cowgirl and a cute little boy to round off this romance." (about Barbara McMahon, Crazy About a Cowboy)

"I really enjoyed this, er, literary foreplay. I knew that when these two finally made love, they wouldn't just be going through the motions—there were going to be some fireworks....Jean Brashear is a terrific discovery for me." (about Jean Brashear, Texas Secrets)

" Loved this book so much I didn't put it down till I was finished. Highly recommended for a very good read. “ (about Lisa Mondello, Nothing But Trouble)


Pre-Order at iTunes http://bit.ly/16cstHZ

Stay Tuned for news on next week's Launch and Book Blog Tour.

On Conversations: #author Beate Boeker

Please welcome author Beate Boeker to Conversations today! She's here to talk about where ideas come from. Be sure and check out her novel Delayed Death, the first book in her Temptation in Florence series.

Lisa ~

Where do ideas come from?

At every party, writers are asked where they find the ideas for their novels, and usually, the reply is very simple: In every-day life. Of course, this is something of a let-down, after all, it doesn't sound glitzy or exciting. Unfortunately, it's the truth. However, if you dig a little deeper, you'll find plenty of fun in exactly that answer.

I once read in a novel that two friends made dealing with their mother-in-laws bearable by coming up with a rating system of one to ten. Ten was for the crassest stuff and meanest comments that really hit low. The good thing about that system is that you feel better about a bad comment because you can say to yourself “hey, that's at least an eight – I wonder if my friend can top that today.”

It's the same for a writer. If you come across an unbelievable situation, something really totally unfair, and it makes you mad and you can do nothing about it at the moment – then, being a writer is wonderful. You take that situation, recreate it in a way so that nobody but you yourself recognizes the roots, and rip everything to pieces. Very therapeutic – and you've got great material for your next novel!

Of course, this also goes for fun situations. For my cozy mystery Delayed Death, for example, I took a typical trait of my father. He always was a very thorough man, almost fanatically so. Like when he went out to weed the garden, and you looked for him after half an hour, you found him with his arm deep inside a hole because he was making sure to get every little bit of that thistle's root out of the ground. Needless the say, the garden was a mess, but that thistle never came back.

It was the same with his concepts and beliefs. They changed throughout his life, and while it was sometimes exhausting, at least it was never boring because more often than not, his ideas were radically opposed to each other. These “phases”, as my mother used to call them, were influencing our lives, and I picked that up and gave the same kind of attitude to the heroine's grandfather Nico Mantoni. It's the underlying theme in the whole book, because Nico Mantoni had developed the very uncomfortable habit of reminding his family members of their “bad past” - and preferably, he did that in company. (This, by the way, is completely invented – my father never did that.) Of course, you don't make yourself very popular if you pursue this kind of hobby, and in the end, Nico Mantoni got himself murdered.

Now, the big question is if his death had anything to do with this last phase or if the motive was something quite different. Anyway, the investigating officer had motives galore, and that's what I needed.

Below is an excerpt with another idea I snatched from real life. A colleague once told me during a very amusing lunch break that she used to eat dry cat food as a snack when she was a child. I figured I could use that, and so the scene below came to life. In it, the investigating officer Stefano Garini is checking the apartment of Nico Mantoni in the presence of the heroine, Carlina, and she has to explain the presence of the cat food. I hope you'll enjoy this as much as I did while I was writing it.

As we start to chat, please tell me about your sources of inspiration!

    Garini opened another cupboard and lifted his eyebrows. "You said your grandfather ate peppermint drops?"
    "Yes. All the time."
    "That would explain the five packages I found in the cupboard."
    Carlina grinned. "Yes."
    "What happened to your grandfather's cat?"
    "Grandpa didn't have a cat."
    His eyes narrowed. "Are you sure?"
    "Yes, of course."
    He pointed at the top shelf of the cupboard. A cardboard box, open at the side, sat on the very edge of the shelf. The picture of a fluffy kitten looked at them from the cover. The box was filled with dry cat foot.
    "Oh." Carlina's heart sank. Why did he have to find that? I don't want to tell him.
    "Can you explain why he keeps cat food?"
    "It's a snack." She closed her mouth with a snap.
    "For which cat, if he doesn't own one?"
    "Um." Carlina could feel her ears turning hot. "It's not for a cat."
    "Signorina Ashley." He sounded patient now, too patient. "Will you tell me who ate that cat food or do you want me to keep guessing for another hour? Did he feed a rat?"
    "No." Carlina swallowed. "He . . . he ate them himself. As a snack between meals."
    His eyes bulged.
    "You see, they are very healthy." She pointed at the box. "They contain loads of calcium, and vitamin B, and --"
    "And they create silky fur."
    "Em. Yes."
    "Did your grandfather have silky hair?" A muscle twitched in a corner of his mouth.
    She bit her lip. "I don't think I need to answer that."
    He put his head to one side. "Did you ever try them?"
    "Yes, when I was a kid. He fed us all with them." She bit back a smile. "We loved them."
    "Did you, now?" He sounded thoughtful, as if he was already wondering which institute with extra secure bars would have room for the whole family.
    "They're crunchy, salty outside, and soft in the middle."
    "You make them sound delicious."
    She grinned. "You can try one."
    He lifted one eyebrow. "My hair is silky enough."
What do you do when you find your grandfather dead half an hour before your cousin's wedding? You hide him in his bed and tell everyone he didn't feel like coming.

Delayed Death is an entertaining mystery set in Florence, Italy. When Carlina finds her grandfather dead on the day of her cousin's wedding, she decides to hide the corpse until after the ceremony. However, her grandfather was poisoned, and she becomes the attractive Inspector's prime suspect. On top of that, she has to manage her boisterous family and her luxurious lingerie store called Temptation, a juggling act that creates many hilarious situations.

Order Delayed Death on Amazon HERE!

Beate Boeker is a traditionally published author since 2008 and now offers many full-length novels and short stories online. Several were shortlisted for the Golden Quill Contest, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the 'Best Indie Books of 2012' contest.

She is a marketing manager by day with a degree in International Business Administration, and her daily experience in marketing continuously provides her with a wide range of fodder for her novels, be it hilarious or cynical.

While 'Boeker' means 'books' in a German dialect, her first name Beate can be translated as ‘Happy’ . . . and with a name that reads ‘Happy Books’, what else could she do but write novels with a happy end?

Find Beate on:

www.happybooks.de (sign up for my newsletter here) 

This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate Program where the site owner receives payment/credit for books sold by clicking through to Amazon. Clicking on the slideshow or carousel will bring you directly to Amazon.