Tuesday, September 22, 2015

BLOG TOUR for "VOCAL CRUSH" by Lisa Swinton

Welcome to the Vocal Crush Blog Tour! Now for the fun!

Can you ever out run a broken heart?

Lexi Court spent seven years traveling the world, living the nomadic Broadway life, in an attempt to outrun the broken heart Nick Rivers gave her. Now, there’s nowhere left to go.
When she accepted a position as a high school drama teacher in Las Vegas, Lexi hoped to get over Nick, find a nice guy, and settle down. But what should be a quiet summer gets turned upside down when Lexi's best friend, Taffy, drafts her to be an emergency replacement coach on a televised vocal competition.

Feeling out of her league among the other three celebrity coaches, Lexi fights for the most promising contestants to be on her team. One note from a single voice shatters her summer. Nick unexpectedly auditions and joins Lexi's team. With her vocal crush on him raging as strong as ever, she has nowhere to run from Nick’s dreamy looks or siren voice.

Lexi has no doubt that Nick can win the competition. The question is does he want to win her heart as well or will he damage it beyond repair? CLICK to Purchase.


 Get her other books. Ring on Her Finger and Fallen Angel, are also discounted for a limited time. Grab those too! Ring on Her Finger on Amazon Fallen Angel on Amazon 
Find me on Goodreads 
 Be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY!!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 21, 2015


(Last week I posted part one of my interview with high fantasy author Lisa Rector, who just released book two of her trilogy, "Chronicles of the Half-Emrys."  "The Two Masters" debuted with high praise from readers of book one, "The Master of Lies." I don't write fantasy, so I'm especially awed by Lisa's deft world-building and her complex, unique characters. They contain great action scenes and suspense, but they're clean reads a family can enjoy together. You'll want to pick these up. Books one and two are currently FREE to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

It usually doesn’t take long for me to work out a problem. Basic ideas come pretty quickly. Plot holes a little longer to resolve. Usually I sleep on it. Seriously. I just think about my book and a specific scene and close my eyes as I analyze the material. Sometimes I wake in the night and the idea has come to me, sometimes I dream it. But it always finds its way to me.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Flexible hours. You have to be ready to write when an idea strikes. Like at 3 am.

But no really, I am a major homebody. I like just staying home and writing, in front of my fire in the winter months, or in my sunroom in the summer. Perfect job for my introverted self. I think I will become a hermit, only emerging to buy gourmet cupcakes.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Get a support group. Join a critique group. Free write without stopping until the book is done. Forget the grammar at first. Just get it down. Find people to critique, beta-read, and proofread. But have fun. Don’t let anyone tell you how to write your book. Take the advice and use what works for you. And remember, only write the parts people want to read!

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on book three in my half-emryn chronicles. Master of Time is in the revision stages, and I hope to release it in the winter of 2016. The chronicle picks up with Meuric and Catrin falling through time, right after the sonic boom in book two.

How do you get inspired to write? What inspires you to write?

Anything and everything inspires me. I take inspiration from the scriptures, from TV shows, books I’ve read, and dreams I’ve had. When I first started my books, I was on a LOTR marathon and received most of my inspiration from those movies. Many of my characters are based off LOTR.

Now that I’ve been writing for two years, the ideas keep coming and I cannot write fast enough. I hope that as my writing improves the process goes faster.

Tell us about your writing process.

I’m not an outliner. I am a write-as-it-comes to me person.

Do you have any rituals to get you in the writing mode?

Lindsey Stirling, famous violinist, has two amazing tracks on one of her albums. During long writing stretches, I jump up every hour and dance in my kitchen, and when those two tracks come on, I pretend I’m an airbender, harnessing power. Or sometimes an emrys. My less-than-graceful dance moves mimic those of the airbender, but it’s slightly reminiscent of Tai Chi. Very empowering.
Do you listen to or talk to your characters?

I become my characters. I put myself into the scene and live it.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted control. And truthfully, approaching an agent or traditional publisher and writing that synopsis just scares me. I’m such an introvert!

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

Self-published eBooks all the way. Better royalties. Ease of publishing. Just make sure you have a fantastic editor!

What other projects are you involved in? What do you do when you’re not writing?

My garden changes every year. I have raised veggie beds. So far, I’ve been able to keep a lemon and a lime tree alive for over two winters. I’ve already harvested some of the fruit!

I’m really involved with my church. I teach the women’s Sunday school lessons on occasion, and help new converts learn about my faith.

Where will your next writing endeavors take you?

I have a whole other series planned, Lost Emrys, about an emrys stuck in our world. The prequel to my half-emrys series is in the works as well. Many fans want to hear Niawen’s story.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Author Interview with LISA RECTOR, Author of "The Chronicles of the Half-Emrys Series"

Author Interview 



Part One

In the name of full disclosure, let me begin by telling you that talented fantasy author Lisa Rector, featured below, is a member of my critique group, and a really great person about whom I'd say lovely things even if she weren't a friend. But check out the reviews her books are getting on Amazon, and you'll see that she has earned the praise she's receiving. 
She's the real deal. 

(Click on the covers to purchase her books.)

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now? Do you have any pets?

I’m a Maryland native and could never imagine living anywhere else. And no, I do not like crabs or Old Bay Seasoning. A mountain girl at heart, occasionally, every so often, I drift down to the coast and float away on the beachy breezes.

I married my high school sweetheart for time and all eternity in the Washington D.C. Temple after I fell in love with his endless sense of humor. I enjoyed a short stint as a labor and delivery nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mom for my two beautiful daughters. In addition to my newfound love of writing, my passions are my faith in Jesus Christ, gardening, and yoga. My favorite delights are decadent homemade cakes, cookies, or brownies—never store-bought.

I have gone through tons of cats, and right now, I am cat-less. They’re all buried on the mountain in, what my parents have, a thriving pet cemetery. The last cat I lost was the hardest, and because of my husband’s allergies, we can’t have anymore.

At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?

Due to the delightful country music on the school bus, I had to find an alternative activity to occupy my brain. So I read every long 45-minute bus ride to and from school. My favorite childhood author was Lois Duncan. Motherhood separated me from reading for a time, and now I enjoy it every evening once I put my manuscripts away for the night. I started writing in February of 2013. On a whim. An idea came to me. I never even played with the idea to write before, but spent plenty of time dreaming up fantasies once my head hit the pillow at night. It was time.

Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read? Who inspires you in your writings?

I love fantasy. Anything that involves powers and immortals . . . and dragons help too. Give me a hunky guy and a snarky protag. I love snark. And clean steamy scenes that make your blood rush. I get a major kick out dystopian. Oh, and the novel has to be a quick read. I’m a light thinker. Give me a book I can read in one sitting and that tears me up inside. The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi did just that. It destroyed me.

Tell us a little about your latest book?

What’s inside The Two Masters, the second book in my Chronicles of the Half-Emrys? Immortal emrys, dragons, magical creatures, powers, light vs. darkness, good vs. evil, revenge, love, hope, forgiveness…

I created a species of immortals who can harness the power of light. My emrys. Which actually means immortal in Welsh. My half-emrys are the result of the immortals mixing their bloodline with humans. The result is the introduction of darkness along with the light. They’re able to use both powers, but it becomes a constant internal struggle for them. With the added temptations of the two competing Creators, the one good and the other evil, many half-emrys find themselves stuck between two worlds.
And in the case for the two characters in this novel, their ever-balancing scale of internal light and darkness is the least of their problems.

It’s a story I wrote to be a quick read, not weighed down with lots of superfluous writing, but filled with lots of tension. Written for a YA audience (but readers of a mature age would enjoy it), and it’s a clean story, safe enough that a fourteen year old could read it.

What’s my favorite part? The dragon humor. I have hilarious dragons. Oh, you must not forget the romantic tension. And one part always makes me cry, but you’ll have to read my novel to find out.

What Inspired You to Write This Book?

I started writing this book back when I was doing a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. I even based some of my characters off Tolkien’s. I imagined the rolling hills of Middle Earth for the Realm of Terrin and the murky swamps of the Dead Marshes for Rolant. The torturous snow peaks of the Misty Mountains could be my Eirwen Mountains, where the entrance to Gorlassar is hidden. And when you enter Gorlassar and fly to the capital emryn city called Mared, I imagined the majestic music from when the Fellowship entered the great hall in the Mines of Moria.

But scenes and characters aside, I think that’s where the similarities stop. My writing is nothing like Tolkien’s.

I would have to say music is what carried the feeling in my book. I mentioned the music from the mines of Moria scene. I did listen to the LOTR’s sound track quite a bit in the early phases of my free writing. But I took any music that uplifted or motivated me, from Evanescence’s Fallen CD to the Piano Guys. I think Twilight’s various sound tracks were a major inspiration for me. Evenstar (LOTR) was my inspiration for the final scene before the epilogue in my first novel, Master of Lies.

How did you come up with your characters?

Well, my initial basis for my emrys was the LOTR elves. Alas, my emrys don’t have pointy ears. I needed immortals with a flowing, graceful form, strong, lean bodies, and creamy, unblemished skin. Tolkien’s elves were a perfect reference.

I pictured the tall, thin frame of Legolas and his mysterious charisma. The constantly furrowed look of Legolas’s brows is exactly how I pictured my Aneirin.

Galadriel was my Meinwen. The way she moved with grace and her ethereal air was exactly how I pictured my High Emrys.

I stumbled across a “real life” Disney picture of Jane of the jungle. I knew I had found my Ahnalyn with her green eyes and her tiny nose and innocent look. Adorable. But with a hidden determination.

Einion’s a little rough around the edges. Picture Kit Harington in Pompeii. 

(Read Part two next week) Click on the cover images to purchase.