Friday, April 18, 2014

Get Lost in a Story welcomes James M. Jackson

Get Lost in a Story Readers, James M. Jackson is the author of the Seamus McCree Mysteries.  A few weeks ago, he played a mean trick on me--well a lot of people actually.  I was heading home from Left Coast Crime in Monterey, California.  Jim had provided readers with the first four chapters of his second Seamus McCree Mystery, Cabin Fever.  I was stuck in an airport, and at the last chapter, as I'm sure Jim intended, he left me shouting, "Nooooo." Worse than that, the book wasn't out yet.  So, I've been anxiously awaiting this very excellent book.  But I'll have my revenge.  I'm going to put Jim through GLIAS fun questions.  Please welcome James M. Jackson (and since he's not really in trouble--just devious and talented) Jim Jackson.
Cabin Fever

Financial crimes investigator Seamus McCree returns in this thrilling sequel to Bad Policy. With his house in Cincinnati in ruins, Seamus retreats to the family cabin for some well-earned rest and relaxation. But his plans for a quiet, contemplative winter in the wilds of Michigan's Upper Peninsula are thrown out the window when he discovers a naked woman on his porch during a blizzard. The mystery woman is suffering from hypothermia, frostbite, high fever, amnesia—and rope burns on her wrists and ankles. 

Snowbound at the cabin, without transportation or phone coverage, Seamus struggles to keep the woman alive and find a way to get an SOS message out. What he doesn't know is that a domestic paramilitary organization is hunting for an escaped female prisoner—and closing in on his isolated refuge.

 Bad Policy

When private financial investigator Seamus McCree returns to Cincinnati after a routine business trip, he discovers that his home has become a crime scene for a brutal murder. The victim in his basement is an acquaintance from a previous corporate investigation-and endured bullets to both of his ankles, knees and elbows before the final shot to his forehead put him out of his misery. No one has seen an "IRA six pack" victim since the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

Now the primary "person of interest" in the murder, Seamus must use his talent for logic and hard work to prove his innocence. Soon he uncovers a trail that leads back to his Boston roots-and a poisonous family feud dating from the divorce of Boston's Irish mafia and the Provisional IRA in the 1970s. Driven by the chilling realization that there was more behind the death of his policeman father than he ever knew, Seamus ignores warnings from the police, friends and enemies and continues to dig for the truth. As the body count climbs, all trails seem to lead back to him, and Seamus is forced to go underground to find out who is framing him - and why - before he becomes the next victim.

Let's get to know James M. Jackson:

DONNELL:  Okay, just reading the blurbs of Cabin Fever and Bad Policy, I want to read these books.  Imagine, coming home to find a naked woman on your porch.  Here’s a question for you.  How would Seamus McCree handle the situation as opposed to James Montgomery Jackson?

JIM:  First, if I’m being called James Montgomery Jackson, I have a problem. Only the IRS and my mother—when I was in deep trouble—call me by my full name. It does distinguish me from all the other Jim Jacksons in the world. My publisher thinks of me as James M. Jackson, and I think of myself as Jim.

This event in Cabin Fever happens deep in the woods, eight miles from the nearest neighbor. Seamus and I would have initially reacted the same way and tried to stabilize the woman’s health. Because there is no cell coverage and neither of us have snowmobiles to get into town, we’d both try to attract attention. The main difference is that Seamus is a better athlete and can contemplate cross-country skiing eight miles to his nearest neighbor (and back) to try to get help. I’d be stuck waiting for someone to spot my SOS signals.

DONNELL:   What the heck is an IRA Six Pack?  And tell us how you came to create Seamus McCree?

JIM: During “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland the IRA had a particularly gruesome method of treating suspected informants. Rather than killing them outright, they would shoot the person’s ankles, knees and elbows destroying the six joints, leaving them a cripple. That was the IRA Six Pack.

The name for the protagonist came about as a play on words. Shamus is Yiddish slang for a private investigator. It is pronounced the same as Seamus, the Gaelic equivalent of James. With a first name like Seamus, he needed Irish roots, so I made him a Boston native and gave him an uncommon last name, with the hopes that if someone Googles him, my Seamus McCree will pop up.

DONNELL:  Sounds like you know your history.  I love the incorporation of histories in novels.  Was this something you wrote out of personal interest or did the story evolve as part of your research?

JIM:  I do enjoy reading history, but of course I was alive during the most recent spate of violence in Northern Ireland. The linkages occurred to me during one of the numerous rewrites for Bad Policy. I had placed Seamus in Boston, decided his father had been a Boston cop, and as I explored the motivations of several of the characters that particular sub-plot fell into place well-formed and tying up a number of loose ends.

DONNELL:  When you say financial crimes investigator, explain that, please. 

JIM:  Financial crimes run the gamut from the recent theft of Target’s customers’ credit card information, to money laundering by drug cartels, to Ponzi schemes by Bernie Madoff, run-of-the-mill embezzlement, Wall Street insider trading and so forth. Let Seamus loose with a bunch of numbers and he not only gets them to sing, he can tell which ones are out of tune. The thing that makes him prominent in his field is that he can explain arcane financial investments (and their abuse) to the rest of us using small English words.

DONNELL:  You also have a new release Cabin Fever.  Again with your protagonist Seamus McCree.  How much is Seamus like Jim Jackson and in what ways is he different?

JIM:  Seamus and I often think alike; we share a similar sense of humor, and we have common interests like birding. However, our backgrounds are not alike. He’s Irish Catholic and I grew up a WASP in a predominately Italian neighborhood. He's younger, taller, faster, stronger, smarter, better looking (including having a full head of hair) than I, and if that weren't enough, he's independently wealthy. He has one child, I have two; he’s struggling with his love relationships whereas Jan and I have been together for twenty years.

DONNELL:  You also are quite a bridge player, are you not?  So much so that you wrote a nonfiction book about bridge.  What level of bridge have you reached? 

JIM:  I hold my own with most amateurs and usually lose to the pros. The bridge book, One Trick at a Time: How to Start Winning at Bridge is designed for Intermediate players – folks who know all the basic stuff, but want to get better. It’s the book I wished I could have read when I was at that level of bridge expertise.

DONNELL:  You also have an educational background, don’t you?  Or am I making this up?

JIM:  That’s some deep background research you’ve done, Donnell. I graduated from SUNY Albany with a BS in Mathematics and minors in Education and Psychology. I thought I would be a high school math teacher. Fortunately, there were no jobs at the time. I love teaching people who want to learn. I have little patience with people who aren’t interested, so I don’t think I would have done well teaching high school.

I enjoy teaching bridge because the students want to be there. I try to make sure they have a good time, laugh a lot and learn along the way.

DONNELL:  I see that you split your time between Michigan and Georgia.  Any particular reason why? And which locale is your favorite?

JIM:  We live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on an inland lake fifteen miles of logging roads from where you can buy anything. Although we did overwinter one time just to see if we could, it is cold and remote. The Lowcountry of Georgia provides a much nicer winter climate, but hellacious hot, humid summers. With our migration we get to experience two springs and two autumns each year. Since I like Spring and Fall better than Summer or Winter, I think we have the best of both worlds.

I love whichever place I am at the time.

DONNELL:  Jim, now it’s your turn to ask readers a question.

Jim:  As a young child we often have a favorite book we insist our parents read to us again, and again, and again. Mine was Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling. What was yours?
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fall in Love with a Cowboy! Julie Benson - Roping the Rancher

An avid daydreamer and Midwestern transplant, Julie Benson always loved creating stories. After graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Sociology, she worked as case manager for a social services agency before having her children. Three boys, and many years later, she started actively pursuing a writing career to challenge her mind and save her sanity. Now she writes full time in Dallas, where she lives with her husband, their three sons, two lovable black dogs, a mischievous brown one and a turtle. Julie says while her house is never quiet or predictable, it is full of heroes.


Roping the Rancher

No Time For Cowboys 

Stacey Michaels is trying to get her acting career back on track while looking after her traumatized teenage brother and a demanding mother. She doesn't have time for romance. And if she did? Well, she'd look to date someone in the business, not some cowboy. 

But when her brother begs her for a chance to try the equine therapy program Colt Montgomery offers at his ranch in Colorado, Stacey can't refuse. Even if she and Colt strike sparks off one another. She knows he sees her as a diva, but why can't he understand she just wants what's best for her brother? She's spent her whole life taking care of others—maybe it's time to let Colt take care of her.

Read an excerpt on Julie Benson’s website:


Kathleen:  Your heroes are great! I really enjoy them. Of course, who doesn’t love a cowboy? I also enjoy how your heroines are city girls pitted against these strong-minded rugged cowboys. What made you decide to write about cowboys in your books?

Julie: I’ve always loved reading romances with a cowboy hero. Historical or contemporary. It didn’t matter to me. I also enjoy reading nonfiction books about the era. Despite that, none of the story ideas I came up with ever had a cowboy hero. Then I took a vacation to Estes Park, Colorado.
The idea for my first book with Harlequin came to me when I met a real life cowboy who acted as our guide on a horseback ride there. He told one of my sons people were always asking him to model. (Yup, he was that good looking.) He said they didn’t understand why he failed to jump at the opportunity. I couldn’t get that story idea out of my mind, but didn’t sit down to write it because it was the only contemporary romance cowboy story idea I had.

I kept wondering what I would do if I sold the story. (Yup, that’s very me, too. I worry about all the possible problems with something before I ever start.)  I remembered that people told me I’d better like whatever type of story I sold, because that’s the type of story my editor would want me to continue writing. She’d ask what I planned to write next and I’d have to admit have to admit that one idea was all I had. Then one day I was so frustrated with my current romantic suspense novel I started writing my cowboy story. The words poured out of me and I haven’t looked back since. By the way, by the time my editor bought that book I had thought of another idea and was working away on what turned out to be the second book I sold to Harlequin.

Kathleen: Are you a city girl or a country girl?

Julie: I was raised mainly in Iowa where a big city is considered sixty thousand people. However, my grandparents lived on a farm a couple of hours from my family near the Minnesota border and I spent a lot of time there. They had dairy cows, chickens and pigs. They also grew corn and hay. I loved to follow my grandmother around the farm. I’d tag along with her as she gathered the eggs and milked the cows. I’d help her in her massive garden. Though I don’t have her green thumb, I love trying to grow things. I have a small garden of my own where I attempt to grow green beans, tomatoes, peppers, spinach and lettuce. I must do okay with the last two things because the neighborhood bunnies loved those last year. She’s also the one who taught me to cook. My favorite of her recipes are for lemon bars and cream puffs.

Growing up I thought I was a city girl. But now, I’m not so sure. I often think I’d like to move to a house on a few acres where the biggest town had a population of ten thousand or less. I find the pace in the country and in small towns feels slower, less frantic than city life and that sounds pretty good to me.

Kathleen: What’s the first book you remember reading?

Julie: I don’t remember how old I was, but the book that got me hooked on reading was THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett. One of my elementary school teachers read it to us in class. That book had it all as far as I was concerned. It was suspenseful—I couldn’t wait for Mary to find the garden and to learn who was doing all the wailing. It had romance—I swore Mary and Dickon would end up married later in life. (Even then I had the heart of a romance author because I tried to imagine what their adult story would be.) It had tons of conflict. Mary’s uncle was downright scary. I loved how the characters grew and changed. How Mary and Colin found a strength within themselves they didn’t know they possessed. We used to get the Scholastic book orders in school and I ordered The Secret Garden through that program and read it over and over.

Kathleen: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Julie: I’m going to have to give you two because well, I’m that kind of gal. I always have to qualify an answer. One of my choices is more serious. The other is a romantic comedy. The first is It’s a Wonderful Life. I believe dependable, loyal people like George Bailey really do make a difference in the lives of those around them. I also believe these individuals don’t always see the value of what they do and I think Clarence, the angel, is an absolute hoot. His logic is so hilarious and yet, makes such sense to me. 

The other movie I love is The Sure Thing, a romantic comedy. Walter Gibson and Alison Bradbury are heading from the east coast to California during their Christmas break from college. She’s going to visit her boyfriend. Gib’s going to visit a friend who says he’ll hook him up with a girl who’s a sure thing. Of course things don’t go as planned. Alison and Gib get dumped by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and have to work as a team. I watched it recently with my kids and they kept saying, “So that’s where that saying comes from.” Watch it. I dare you not to quote it afterwards.

Kathleen: Who’s your favorite villain?

Julie: Hannibal Lector from The Silence of the Lambs. He is so horribly awful, an absolute monster and yet, there’s something about the relationship between him and Clarice. Hannibal has a connection with her that he doesn’t have with anyone else. He won’t give come right out and tell her what she needs to know to catch the killer, but he’ll give her the clues and the tools to find the answers. In his warped way, he helps her discover her strength and grow into her job. He’s brilliant, but somewhere in his life his mind became twisted. I always wondered what he could’ve accomplished if he’d channeled his mind in a different, more positive direction.

Kathleen: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?

Julie: Roping the Rancher and my previous book The Rancher and the Vet were very much labors of love for me because of the role animals play in the stories. Animals have always been a part of my life. Now studies are showing how important they are to our lives. I had a huge amount of help writing these books from a couple of very special people. In the Rancher and the Vet, my heroine Avery was a vet/director of a animal shelter. My BFF Lori Halligan is the
Executive Director of the Hinsdale Humane Society. She let me tag along with her the day of their Pet Walk. For Roping the Rancher, Colt runs an equestrian therapy program. I knew these kinds of programs were doing incredible work helping people with disabilities, both emotional and physical, improve their lives.
Even though I’d done research on the Internet that part of the book was giving me fits until I talked with another friend, Sue Casteel. She volunteers for an amazing organization, Equest in Wylie, Texas. Sue acted as my guide during Equest’s open house and answered my countless questions. I never would’ve been able to write either of these books without those two ladies’ help. I guess what I’d like people to know is wonderful organizations like these can’t keep doing the work they do without our support, through our generous donation of our time and money. I encourage everyone to take an issue they’re passionate about and find a way to give back to the community. I’ve found I get way more than I give when I volunteer.

Kathleen: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

Julie: A well written one. For me it’s all about the characters. I have to be able to identify with them, get inside their heads.

Kathleen: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?

Julie: This is a hard question for me. I’ve worked in a lot of different fields over the years. I was an assistant manager in a clothing store, a contact lens technician for an eye doctor, a purchasing clerk, a case manager for Big Brothers and Sisters and I’m a certified elementary school teacher. I tend to jump in head first and am all excited about whatever field I’m working in. Until I learn the job. For me, it’s all about the challenge. Once that’s gone, I’ve always gotten bored with a job. I guess that’s why I’ve stuck with the writing. The challenge never ends. Every story has new problems to solve and new obstacles to tackle. So what would I do if I couldn’t write? I’d go back to teaching. I’d probably want to work in fourth or fifth grade. Where I live teachers in those grades can specialize. That means I could teach just Language Arts. Also where I live in Texas in fourth and fifth grade, there’s a strong emphasis on writing at those ages. (In fourth grade children have to pass a state writing test.) When I’ve worked with that age group before, I’ve enjoyed helping them realize how the world can open up to them through their writing. It can take them places they’d never be able to go otherwise. It gives them an avenue to express their ideas, dreams and opinions.

Kathleen: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

Julie: I laugh about this one. When I asked my husband what the first thing I do when I finish a book, he laughed and said, “Sleep.” That’s pretty much true. I’ve been so ramped up and am usually working about twenty-four seven for a few weeks before that to get the story done that I collapse when I finish. After a few hours when I’m human again, I start catching up with my family and dig out the messes in the house that I’d been ignoring. Finally, I treat myself to spending a few hours reading a good book.  

Kathleen: What do you do to unwind and relax?

Julie: In the summer I take a good book and my chair raft to my pool. It’s my retreat. My sanctuary. I float, read and forget about everything. I’ve been known to hide out there for an entire afternoon. If it’s too cold for the pool, I run a hot bath full of bubbles. I lock the door, crawl in and read in the tub. My husband can always tell when I’m super stressed because I look like a prune. If I’m too hyper for either of those things, I enjoy making jewelry. Sometimes I need to do something with my hands. Focusing my mind and keeping my hands busy helps me work off nervous energy. Another thing I do to chill out is curl up on the couch, snuggle with one of my dogs and watch a good movie. I’m a sucker for the Hallmark Channel’s movies.


WEBSITE          TWITTER@julierbenson       FACEBOOK


Have you ever fallen in love with a cowboy, fictional or otherwise?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The World of Draconia

Draconia Tales, book three
Read a little, Buy the book

Predicted from birth to be mates, Aryana and Fafnir spent their youth running from each other and pursuing their own dreams. Aryana sought power and magic, while Fafnir escaped to explore other lands and to find a love not dictated by cryptic prophecy.

But after Fafnir is captured and magically locked in his dragon form, he returns to Draconia. Ashamed and broken, he hides his true identity from everyone, hoping Aryana will find a spell that will return him to his human self.

The last thing Aryana needs or wants is to find out her mate still lives-for a mated female cannot be a priestess, let alone the High Priestess. Yet his dragon's presence brings out her true abilities. When opposing dreams collide, will love be the victor?

Draconia Tales, book two
Read a little, Buy the book

As a Watcher, a guardian warrior of the Draconi, Enar has never fit in with his kind. When he sees Lily--the ideal Watcher's woman--he instantly claims her, believing she will bring him the acceptance he craves. Falling in love with her was not part of his plan.

As her town's outcast, Lily wants nothing more than to escape. When Enar locks a necklace around her throat and declares she belongs to him, she jumps at the chance to leave. Her excitement soon becomes trepidation when Enar won't tell her what to expect in his world. But even her worry can't overcome her growing attraction to him.

Soon Lily learns what life as a Watcher's claim entails, and refuses to submit. To keep Lily, Enar must turn his back on everything he thought he wanted. Will he choose his people? Or the other half of his soul?

Draconia Tales, book one
Read a little, Buy the book

In a world where men can become dragons, Thoren is one of the most powerful. As a shape-shifting Draconi, Thoren wants nothing more than to continue searching for Halfling children, and returning them to Draconia. The last thing he wants or needs is a mate-until he meets Keara, an outcast unaware of the power that lies within her. Keara doesn't know what to make of Thoren or of the magic he practices. She learned early to keep her magic hidden-her witchy red hair and green eyes are burden enough. When Thoren offers his hand in place of a forced marriage with Lord Simon, Keara jumps at the chance to leave her town behind. But she fears Thoren will shun her when he discovers the truth about her abilities. Can Thoren convince Keara she is his lifemate, or will her secret talent be the wedge that drives them apart?
KARILYN BENTLEY'S  love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in North Texas with her own hunky hero, a psycho dog nicknamed Hell Hound, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.

When asked, "Why Dragons?"
KARILYN'S ANSWER: I’ve always found dragons fascinating. They’re huge, scaly and pretty much the biggest, baddest things out there. Plus they have wings and can get places faster than walking. My dragons perform magic and turn into sexy men. Who doesn’t want a sexy man flying them places and protecting them from harm? <g>   

Today we have both the author and heroes from Karilyn Bentley's DRACONIA.
ANGI: Thoren, Enar or Fafnir… Do your heroes' names have special meanings?
KARILYN: Yes, they do! Well, two of them do. I made up Thoren's. <g> The name Fafnir means dragon and Enar means fighter in Old Norse. The names fit what is going on in their lives during the stories.

ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
THOREN:  I call Keara Little One.
ENAR: I've always called Lily, Woman. But judging from the looks I'm now getting, I might want to change it to my love.
FAFNIR: My mate. I like the way Ari reacts when I call her that. <grins>

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
KARILYN: This is harder than it sounds! I can't narrow it down to just one. I love the original Star Wars series and the Indiana Jones movies. Those are my favorites! And I can't forget the Harry Potter series and anything having to do with Thor. Most Marvel superhero movies. Okay, so I can't count. <g>

ANGI: What do you like best about Draconia?
THOREN:  The magic and sense of community.
ENAR: Friends and acceptance.
FAFNIR: It's home. After you've been locked in a cell for years all you want is to return home.

ANGI: Can you tell us something special about each of your heroes?
KARILYN: I'd love to! Enar tried to take over Thoren's book until I decided to give him his own story. <g> He's tough talking, but is a big softy with his woman. Thoren enjoys doing the housework for his mate, Keara. Fafnir flies across the sky with Aryana when no one is watching.

ANGI: If you were an action film star, who would you be?
THOREN:  Captain America
ENAR: Despite my resemblance to Thor, I'd have to choose John McLane from Die Hard.
FAFNIR: Spiderman. We're both hiding our identities.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: What's your favorite scene from all three books?

KARILYN'S GOTTA ANSWER: When Fafnir tells his daughter he's her father (she never realized who he was prior to then). It's not the reaction he expects. 

website    Facebook    Goodreads    Twitter @KarilynBentley1
Plotting Princesses  Previous GLIAS interviews

UP NEXT for KARILYN: Another Draconia Tales story. This one features Jamie (the boy from the trilogy) and takes place about 20 years after Dragon Lover ends. Jamie's mate is Detective Ruby Parker from Denver. What do you do when the one you love is from another dimension? Stay tuned!

I'm also working on a contemporary fantasy series that isn't a romance, although it does have romantic elements. This series features a nurse empath who discovers a magical bracelet that gives her demon-slaying powers. Needless to say, she's not too happy about her new powers and even less happy to be followed by sexy hunk who may or may not have her best interests at heart. I'm really excited about this series!!

excerpt                                      excerpt


KARILYN is giving away A pdf copy of Dragon Lover.  North America or International

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

Join me next Wednesday with guest Lena Diaz.
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or @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories

KARILYN WANTS TO KNOWWhat is your favorite Easter candy?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Get Lost in a Rare Find and Author Dale Mayer

Get Lost in a Story readers, I'm pleased to introduce my friend, bestselling author Dale Mayer.  Dale's paranormal and psychic tales have launched her into bestseller status.  And she's here today to talk about her latest release.  Please welcome Dale Mayer.

 Rare Finds, a psychic vision novel . . .
 When people need help or are injured, they call out for their friends and family. When an animal needs help or is injured, it calls out for…anyone…that can help them…

One person hears them…

Tabitha is determined to bury her aching heart in the service of her animals at Exotic Landscape. Until she’s yanked out of her cozy retreat to help someone in need…and she gets more than she bargained for.

Detective Ronin Chandler understands secrets. He’s got a few of his own. But when the woman he loves gets into trouble – the kind that stretches even his belief system – he struggles to understand…and to help…before he loses her. Maybe forever.

As the danger escalates, Tabitha and Ronin need to find out who they can trust…and who they can’t…and who wants them dead…before it’s too late.

 How's that for an intriguing blurb?  Want to know more?  Me too.  Let's find out about Dale Mayer.

DONNELL:  Hi, Dale!  I don’t get to spend enough time with you these days.  So I’m delighted we can catch up.  Dare I ask what you’ve been up to?
DALE:  Thanks everyone, it's a delight to be here with Donnell! I wish we were closer and could have lunch together. As for what have I been up to - as if you need to ask – writing of course (and doing taxes, promo, editing, cover art...) I'm always busy but lately even more so. I'm currently writing SKIN, a contemporary romance novel of recovery and heart. And putting the finishing touches on a new light paranormal book (book 2 is at 23k. ;) But it's Rare Find that is dominating at the moment. Thankfully now that book has been release and I can steam roll ahead. J

DONNELL:  Me, too.  Lunch would be great :)  Psychic stories are wildly popular.  So here’s a question for you.  Have you ever had a psychic experience, and would you consider yourself psychic?

DALE:  I don't consider myself psychic but I've had some of the most bizarre and unforgettable experiences that I have had to keep an open mind. One was seeing an image of a man in my second floor kitchen window and next day picking the same image out of my mother's stack of photos to find out it was the last picture taken of my father – before he died when I was six months old!
DONNELL:  Writing consumes a large part of your day.  When I say prolific I don’t think I could find anyone who would say I’m exaggerating.  Tell us how much time you spend writing, and where will we find you when you’re NOT writing.

DALE:  Baking and gardening are two of my major hobbies, but as a businesswoman, and don't kid yourself - being a writer today means you ARE a businessperson - there are so many other aspects I have to find time to do. It's hard to find downtime as it is with 4 kids still at home!
DONNELL:  You also write nonfiction.  Which do you prefer writing – fiction or nonfiction?

DALE:  Fiction!!! I adore writing fiction. J After all, I get to make crap up. With nonfiction- all my facts have to be thoroughly vetted before I write a word. Fiction is much easier!
DONNELL:  What inspired you to tell your first story?

DALE: I wish I knew! I started writing screenplays, after 5 I decided I needed to hone my craft in novels because screenplays are minimalist to a degree I struggled to reach. Writing novels taught me that I'm naturally wordy and have to cut, cut, and cut before I'm happy.
DONNELL:  Who inspires you?

DALE: I've long been a huge fan of Elizabeth Lowell, Catherine Coulter and Jayne Ann Krentz. But it was a friend who always wrote poetry, even though she never tried to publish any of it who inspired me to put the first book together. She told me to write for me first. Best advice – ever!
DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

DALE: Veggies and veggies and more veggies. J I love everything in the dairy line as well. Okay there's a decent sized pack of steak in there too. Thankfully the cheesecake is gone so I don't have to fess up to that. J
DONNELL:  What’s the most unusual thing you have in your closet?

DALE:  Wow, interesting questions. I guess it depends on what's unusual. We have no medications – only homeopathics. There are a few board games but the one that comes to mind is the Ouija board! I've gotta have one of those. Other than that... a couple of paintings I can't get rid of but are too bad to hang – yes they are mine. Lol.

Dale, thank you for being our guest!  Now it’s your turn.  Time to ask the readers a question!   

DALE MAYER:  I adore writing paranormal books and am thinking of doing a couple of trilogies in this genre. Is there any type of paranormal that you like best – angels, demons, furry, winged, unusual abilities, psychics  – anything else?

I'm giving away a free digital copy of Rare Find to one commenter!  And a huge hug for Donnell and thanks for having me here today!

Contact and buy links!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Welcome Back Anna Kashina

Anna Kashina was born in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994. She's a molecular
biologist and a published fantasy author in Russia, Germany, and the US and I first met her some 20 years ago when we were both starting our writing careers.  

Welcome back Anna. We're so glad to have you here again to hear about your latest books.

ANNA: Thank you for hosting me, it is very nice to be back on Get Lost in a Story.
Blades of the Old Empire cover photoI would like to introduce my new book, Blades of the Old Empire, book I of the Majat Code, released in March 2014 by Angry Robot Books, UK.

This book is an action adventure fantasy with elements of romance. It introduces the Majat warriors, who are essentially ninjas in a medieval European setting. These warriors are nearly undefeatable, and are strictly bound by the Majat Code. Among other things, they are not permitted to love. That restriction feeds one of the main conflicts of the story, where Kara, a top-ranked Diamond Majat, is asked to choose between duty and honor and turn against the man she loves.

Blades of the Old Empire Blurb

The Guild of Assassins cover photoPrince Kythar's unique ability to focus makes him the only man able to resist the ancient Kaddim Brotherhood, set on usurping the throne. His only protection is elite bodyguard, a Diamond-ranked Majat warrior Kara. He believes his love for her makes them both invincible, but the Kaddim are not taking any chances. They gain alliance with the Majat Guild, to whom Kara had pledged loyalty. And now, Kara must choose between duty and honor, to kill the man the kingdom's hopes rest on, or to defy her orders and seal a death warrant in her name.

Look out also for The Guild of Assassins, book II of the Majat Code, upcoming from Angry Robot on July 29.

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Thank you again for visiting with us Anna. A pleasure as always and can I just say       
 Your covers rock!!!

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