Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rionna Morgan with Pamela Crane

It gives me great pleasure to introduce my friend and fellow writer, Pamela Crane. Pamela's book, The Halo Effect, was recently released, April 2012. Reviewers have given it high praise: ...it is truly original, full of suspense and drama, ...it's got all of the components I'm looking for in a captivating thriller.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Pamela:  I’m a wife, stay-at-home mom, and cowgirl. I love extreme living—skydiving, white water rafting, rock climbing, and horseback riding my wild Arabian horse—but motherhood has tamed me quite a bit. Now I resort to hiking and swimming to get my thrills in. I’m an avid reader and have ventured into writing, which consumes any free time I have left.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

Pamela:  I love reading thrillers, but for my first book, The Halo Effect, I actually lived this event out, which is why I decided to start my writing career with a thriller. So, I suppose you can say that the genre actually found me.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Pamela:  I like structure, so I usually start off by writing a general synopsis of the story I want to tell, then I do a character outline for each major character. After I have my characters and general story, I create a basic outline that I follow. Once I have my outline, the writing just seems to flow from there. 

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Pamela:  The Halo Effect is a psychological romantic thriller where one person’s fantasy is another person’s nightmare. Small-town girl Haley Montgomery meets two men who will change her life forever — the handsome Marc Vincetti whom she falls head-over-heels for, and the big-time Hollywood producer Allen Michaels who has the power to turn her screenplay into a movie and a ticket to a better future. It seems as though life couldn't get any better — until things take a decidedly dark turn when Haley spots Marc with his former high school sweetheart and Allen develops a consuming obsession with her. As Haley is faced with a choice between love and fame, Marc becomes the target of a stalker and Haley's life is thrown into a tailspin. Suddenly everything she thought she knew about Marc and Allen is completely wrong — and Haley's life will never be the same again…

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?

Pamela:  The Halo Effect is a fictionalized but based-on-truth story about my own experience with a stalker who had a mental illness called erotomania. So, unfortunately it’s more truth than fiction, but I suppose that proves the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction!

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Pamela:  I really enjoyed writing the chapters dealing with the crazy Hollywood producer, Allen Michaels. I did a lot of research to understand various mental illnesses, and he’s such a quirky character that to live through him was an interesting personal journey. Plus, who doesn’t revel in getting inside the head of another person who we don’t normally relate to—particularly when dealing with such an unusual mental illness like that of a sociopath? But he’s not the only creepy person in the book I liked living vicariously through, so I’ll leave it at that to avoid giving away too much!

What project are you working on now?

Pamela:  I’m finishing up a novella that chronicles Allen Michaels’ shady past and what happened to his missing ex-wife. I plan on giving that away as a freebie accompaniment book, so stay tuned for that!

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Pamela:  Don’t give up on your writing, and keep doing it. Make time for it. If you find that impossible due to a house full of kids, pets, and spouse, find a way to get a weekend getaway just to focus on writing. Time was always an issue for me, and life doesn’t slow down, but where there’s a passion to write, there’s a way to get it done.

Now for the clever-silly question, if you were a t-shirt, what would you say?
Pamela:  Nothing—t-shirts don’t talk. Ha ha Maybe I should invent one. That’s sure to be the next million-dollar invention, so no one steal that idea since I had it first!

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Pamela:  First of all, thank you for your support and fandom! I appreciate all the great feedback I’ve had on the book, the personal e-mail introductions, and the financial support your book purchases have given my family (momma needs a new pair of shoes! ).

Also, I’m hosting a contest, and the prize is a $20 gift card for Amazon.com. All you have to do is answer the following question:

In Chapter 15 of The Halo Effect, what does Allen Michaels give Haley? E-mail your answer to pamela(at)pamelacrane(dot)com or fill out the online form at www.pamelacrane.com and all correct entries will be entered in a drawing for the gift card. Drawing will take place on June 1, 2012. Good luck!

And thank you so much for spending your precious time reading this interview!

Warm regards,
Pamela Crane
Author of The Halo Effect

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rionna Morgan with Kat Martin

I am honored today to pause for a moment and chat with New York Times Bestselling Author, Kat Martin.  I can tell you that I have been a huge fan of hers since I read Night Secrets over a decade ago.  She has an amazing ability to pull her readers into a story where the mood is sensuous; her characters are powerful, and her plot is original and fresh. One may think, oh I'll just read for a bit and suddenly hours have slipped quietly by and the book is half finished.  

Rionna:  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?  
Kat:  I was born in Bakersfield, California, graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I majored in anthropology and also studied history.  After college, I ended up in the real estate business, which was a fantastic career.  That’s how I met my husband, Larry, who sold ranches and farm property.  He had written a western novel called Shadow of the Mast.  It was wildly romantic and I loved it. That is how I started writing--over twenty five years ago.

Rionna:  How did you choose the genre you write in?
Kat:  I’m a romantic person by nature.  Once I discovered Anya Seton and some of the other older romance writers, later Kathleen Woodiwiss, I was hooked.  It was a perfect fit for me.

Rionna:  Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Kat:  I do both.  I used to have the entire book plotted, but now I don’t have that much time.  I definitely have the story idea front-to-back.  I just fill in the scenes and make the romance happen.

Rionna:  Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Kat:  AGAINST THE SUN is my latest, out the end of May, it’s big Jake Cantrell and Sage Dumont’s story, which deals with a visit to Texas by a Saudi Arabian sheik and his family,  The sheik is there to negotiate a three hundred million dollar oil-well equipment deal with Marine Drilling International, Sage’s family owned company.

Jake is hired to act as Sage’s bodyguard and teach her the protocols she’ll need to know in order to complete the sale.  Customs like not showing the bottom of her foot, which is considered an insult, or making the okay sign, which is giving someone the evil eye.

Because of the research involved in getting the customs, clothing, and attitudes of the Saudi visitors correct, AGAINST THE SUN is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever tackled.  I’m proud of the way it turned out.
Available at these book sellers:

Rionna:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?
Kat:  Since I’ve done a lot in my life, pieces and parts of all my books come from personal experience, but all of those are turned and twisted and changed, making them fiction.  One of the ghost stories I wrote, The Silent Rose, was based on a terrifying incident that happened to my husband and me in a bed and breakfast in Connecticut.  I planned to change it, make if more fictional, but in the end, the first sixty pages were exactly what happened to me in the house.

Rionna: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Kat:  I can’t say I have a favorite chapter.  I see the book as a whole.  I like writing sex scenes.  They’re crucial points in the development of the romantic relationship.  They aren’t just about the graphic act of sex but the ramifications of the act at that point in the love story.

Rionna:  What project are you working on now?
Kat:  I’m working on the next three AGAINST books after AGAINST THE SUN.  I’m thrilled that readers want more stories that feature the hunky friends of the Raines brothers, who appeared in the first three books.

Rionna:  Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Kat:  Persistence is the key.  Keep writing.  Don’t let anyone stop you from fulfilling your dreams.  Listen to other people’s advice, gather all the facts and information you can, then decide what you want to write.  And don’t give up.

Rionna:  Now for the clever-silly question, if you were a t-shirt, what would you say?

Rionna:  Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Kat:  Thank you all for being so supportive over the years.  You make all the hard work worthwhile.

For a sneak peak at AGAINST THE SUN...click here!

Thank you so much, Kat Martin, for visiting with me today.  It has been wonderful getting to know you.  And I can't wait to open the pages of AGAINST THE SUN and sink into the amazing story I know it will be.

All the Best,
Rionna Morgan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You Say It, "I'm Beautiful!"

Life Lessons of a Rodeo Queen

Lesson #2

It was years ago when I was in college.  I had one of those  friends.  One of those amazing girls who we are just lucky enough to meet.  And later to call a friend.  She drove me crazy.

She was loud and she swore and she said too many things way too fast.  She asked too many questions and had too many opinions.  And she was always late.  Or early for tomorrow, she'd say.  And then she'd laugh.  One of those laughs that are so contagious you can't help but join in, no matter how annoyed.

One day I was having a down day.  Now, looking back I don't even remember why.  I don't remember what had happened to make me feel cruddy.  That is not what I remember about that day.   But, what I do remember is this...My friend, the girl who drove me bananas...saw me looking down at my feet as I walked along toward class.

She grabbed me by the arm, pulled me to the nearest bathroom and shoved me inside.  And she said, I want you to learn how to do something right damn now!  You look in this mirror and you say, "I am beautiful."  

I laughed.  Nearly disgusted at how silly that sounded.

"You do it," she said.  "We aren't leaving until you do."

I looked at her.  Glared at  her. Rolled my eyes and said, "I'm beautiful." In the most pitiful way possible.  

She said a really loud swear word that had the girl in the stall behind us slink out without even a second glance.  "You do it, and you believe it."

I shook my head.  And took a deep breath.  I looked in the mirror.  I saw my friend's determined face and my irritated one.  I saw her standing there supporting me instead of going to literature class.  I saw her the way she would be years from then as a teacher--guiding others to believe in who they saw in the mirror.

I blinked and tried to ignore the tears forming.  "I'm beautiful." I said with more conviction than the last time.

"I can't hear you!  Come on!"

"I am beautiful!"  I yelled.  And I was too.  I could see it.  I could see the power that declaration had made upon my face.  My eyes were brighter, my face more focused, my body more strong.

The beauty had nothing to do with the make-up I'd smeared on that morning, or the clothes I tried to pick out to make myself feel better.  Those were hollow choices.  The beauty came from me believing I was just that--beautiful.

More than a decade has passed since that day in the bathroom with my irritating friend.  I have three daughters, a husband, a crazy cat and a son who all depend upon me.  There have been many times I have looked in the mirror and crinkled my nose at the left-over baby pudge that's hanging around.  I have gasped and leaned in as close as possible to see if I really do have a gray hair!

But, I haven't forgotten what I learned.  I've even been known to say it out loud once or twice--a week. It's a good thing to know.  I've shared the lesson with my daughters.  The nine year old is proud to say it.  The six year old laughs and laughs.  The 18 month old...just says "pitty".  And that's enough for now.

So maybe the next time you stand in front of the mirror, and you feel like crinkling your nose for one reason or another, why don't you try saying, "I'm beautiful."

Stand up straight, tilt your head to one side and smile as you say it.  You'll be amazed at how gorgeous you are.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Winning A Piece of Montana!

April 2012 - Winner!!                      

Congratulations to "The Secret Writer!"

Very mysterious, yes. But very friendly and fun as well.

The Secret Writer has won a beautiful hand blown glass piece from Aspen Hot Glass in Corvallis, Montana.

My new friend, The Secret Writer is described in the following fashion:

"I suppose this is always the hardest part, telling you a bit about myself. Where do you start and finish, being the quiet and modest type of a person that I am! My real name is Calum and I live in the UK. I
started writing when I was fairly young, but have only started to write seriously over the past number of years. I have written and had published, quite a few articles for a variety of newspapers, journals and corporate websites. I also write and publish book reviews and run a literay blog known as 'The Secret Writer'. I have always enjoyed reading and writing. My reading interests vary from historical fiction to the classics and also poetry! In reality I would read from most genres if a certain book particularly attracts my attention!"

I am sure Calum would enjoy having visitors.  I've included a link here for you to do so!


Thank you, The Secret Writer for entering to win your lovely Piece of Montana!!

All the Best,
Rionna Morgan

For those interested, another drawing will be held at the end of May.  This month's featured business is again, Aspen Hot Glass.  They are an amazing family!

(Visit my Enter to Win link for more information on Aspen Hot Glass and future drawings).

Source: sonshyne.com via Rionna on Pinterest