Thursday, March 28, 2013

Finding Fiction Friday - Rory Ni Coileain

In today's second weekly installment of "Finding Fiction Friday", I'm pleased to get the chance to chat with a fellow "Evernight Volume 2" author, Rory Ni Coileain, who is poised for big things I do truly believe.  We talked about her story in Evernight and her "Soulshares" series ... first a little about Rory ...

Rory Ni Coileain has been: a legal secretary, a paralegal, a modern dancer, a lawyer, a wife, a cabaret singer, a telemarketer, a temp placement agent, administrative assistant to the CEO of a children’s publisher, a flamenco dancer. Rory Ni Coileain is: an author, a legal editor, a mother, an Irish dancer, single, a redhead by choice, an Irish singer, and laughably inept with computers for someone who works with them in both her job and her vocation.  

So Rory, how did you get started writing, and what did it feel like when you learned that your first story had been accepted for publication?

Well, in one sense, I can just barely remember a time in my life when I wasn’t writing. My mom says she still has my first story around, somewhere – I think I was six when I wrote it. About a suitcase who decided it was tired of having things packed in it, and ran away from home, but finally discovered that it was okay to enjoy being what it was made to be even if it hadn’t been given a choice in the matter originally. I majored in creative writing in college, but never really did anything with the degree until a few years ago, when I found Facebook role-play writing, and started toying with the idea that maybe I was some kind of writer, after all. Then I saw a call for short stories for a BBW anthology. It wasn’t a subgenre I’d ever had any ideas in, but I decided to challenge myself with it – to see if I could write a story totally to someone else’s specifications. (I think I had some idea that that was what a ‘real’ writer did, or at least that it was one of the things a ‘real’ writer could do.) And when I got the e-mail saying it had been accepted, about eight months after I submitted it (the project fell through the cracks for a while at the publisher) to say I was utterly shocked would be a serious understatement.

What’s your favorite writing environment?  At a desk, on the couch with your feet up, music or not, etc.?

Back in the good old days, when I was writing just for my own enjoyment, I wrote longhand, on the narrowest lined paper I could find. And I wrote anywhere. Absolutely anywhere. When I first started on the Soulshares, I was convinced that I still had to write longhand, at least for a first draft – that I couldn’t compose at the computer. I think that lasted about half an hour. These days it’s at my desk, looking out the window into the back yard. Which is at present still way too deep in snow. And I’m usually trying to keep the cat from walking across my laptop. I can’t have music on while I’m trying to write – my other passion is singing, which means I usually end up listening to the music instead of writing.

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?  And do you see anything changing in the industry?

*chuckles* When I started in the industry, you still submitted manuscripts in boxes. BIG boxes. I suppose that’s the most obvious change. But I also worked for a while for a children’s publisher, back in the mid-90s, and I have to say I’m surprised at the apparent change in the dynamic between publishers and authors between then and now. Maybe it’s not all that surprising, since it’s similar in a lot of ways to what happened to the music industry when iTunes became the principal method of music distribution. The major record labels still sign acts, but for the vast majority of musicians, getting the music out there has become very much a Do It Yourself endeavor. And that’s what I see happening in publishing, just a few years behind that curve. When I worked in publishing, it was the author’s job to write, and the publisher’s job to market. Obviously, that’s very different now. I find myself doing, or more often finding people to help me do, things I never would have dreamed would have been part of being an author 30 years ago.

You seem to have a large following in the role play writing community.  Has that community influenced your writing at all?

It’s the reason I’m writing again, after 30 years of not doing anything with my degree. One problem with being a “regular” writer, back in the days before social media, was that you hardly ever got to hear from people who read what you were writing – it was like shooting into the dark, with no way to know if you ever hit anything. When I started RP writing, I heard from readers almost from day one, telling me how much they enjoyed my writing, what it meant to them. And that’s what got me started thinking of myself as a real writer, and gave me the courage to make that first submission.

Let’s talk about your story “Serpentine” in the “Evernight Volume 2” anthology.  I loved this story, especially the way you chose to tell it.  What was your inspiration for writing it?

There are two writers I love, who have very different writing styles and subject matter, and they came together in my head and created “Serpentine” – Tanith Lee and Jane Yolen. Tanith Lee writes what I think of as dark fantasy, or what used to be called adult fantasy before “adult” became another way of saying “explicitly erotic.” And Jane Yolen wrote a brilliant trilogy years ago, “Sister Light, Sister Dark,” in which she told the story in three different ways: the truth of what happened, the legend the truth becomes, and the myth the legend becomes. All bookended with some hysterical snarky commentary from a clueless “modern-day” academic. In “Serpentine,” I was trying for the mythic feel, in a story that could be a legend, told as a true story, in the kind of beautiful dark world Tanith Lee creates.  

On to your “Soulshares” series.  This series focuses on the world of the Fae.  What drew you to write about this particular world?

Once again we find ourselves back in the RP world. *chuckles* I’d never role-play written M/M before, but a dear friend who loved my M/F writing asked me to try. So I came up with a Fae character who I thought would be a one-shot – at the time, almost two years ago, I couldn’t imagine writing more M/M than that. And a Fae seemed ideal – flighty, ephemeral, impossible to hold. But I’m kind of retentive, and as far as I was concerned, even a one-off character needed a back-story, a world he came from, so the Realm was born, and the elemental connections of the Fae. And once I had the world made up, and I discovered how much I love to write M/M, and found exactly the right people to write it with, it just grew.

The second and most recent book in the series, “Gale Force”, focuses on Conall Dary and Josh LaFontaine.  What can you tell us about these two characters?

Conall is kind of a freak of nature, in his own world. Over two thousand years ago, before the great battle the Fae call the Sundering, which separated the Fae Realm from the human world, there were immensely powerful mages among the Fae, known as the Loremasters. As far as any Fae now living know, all the Loremasters died in the Sundering. Conall is the most powerful mage to be born since that time, and for all anyone knows, he might be even more powerful than the Loremasters were. But when he channels the kind of power he’s capable of channeling, he sucks magick out of the substance of everything around him – basically killing things around him. So he doesn’t channel much at all. And when a Fae, any Fae, is sexually aroused, he or she tends to channel. Which basically means that Conall’s been celibate his whole life. Josh, however, is going to change that, rather dramatically. *winks* Josh is a tattoo artist, with a real gift for doing beautiful ink, and an amazing body that he uses as a canvas for some of his best work. He used to live and work in Greenwich Village, until about five years ago, when his boyfriend broke up with him and he found out about a tattoo and piercing parlor for sale in Washington, D.C., right over Purgatory, which is the nightclub where quite a bit of Hard as Stone is set. The name of the parlor is Raging Art-On (pauses for groans). When we first meet Josh, he’s back in Greenwich Village, walking in the New York City Pride march (Greenwich Village is one of my favorite places on earth, I had to include it in the books), and Conall literally appears at his feet, out of nowhere. He’s a very protective sort, and Conall is not used to being protected.

Do you have any other upcoming works or even just ideas bouncing around in your head?

I’m just finishing up the third book in the Soulshares series – the working title has been “Deep Waters,” but I suspect that’s going to change. The fourth book, “Firestorm,” I’ve been writing in my head for the last two years. I’m working on a novella set in the same world, but which has nothing to do with the Fae, and my publisher has also said that she would like more of the Soulshares after book four. So I’m going to be busy for a while. Oh, and I still have a race of lion shapeshifters and a race of cloud-dwellers in the back of my mind. I need to win the lottery so I can write full-time, I think…

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  (Yes, this set goes to eleven.)  Here they go!

  1. What is your favorite word? “Yes.” Followed by “please” as necessary and enjoyable.
  2. What is your least favorite word? It’s a tie – alot, alright, and any plural possessive that ends in ’s.
  3. What turns you on? A rainy day, a warm fire, and the right person to share it with. Who doesn’t mind if I take notes. (Kidding.) (I think.)
  4. What turns you off? Spiders. And cockroaches. Ask me sometime about my last apartment in Manhattan.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? One of my favorite songs, heard in a totally unexpected place.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? The snowplow going past my driveway.
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Right now I’d have to say bodlag. That’s Faein for “limp dick.”
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Can I go back to being a nightclub singer? Please?
  9. What profession would you not like to do? I’d quit my day job in a freakin’ heartbeat.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “You did the best you could, and it was enough.”
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? “Would you like to see that Jaguar in another color, Mrs. Neeson?”

Rory, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your work?

My official page on Facebook is at (you can also friend me on my profile page, I’m fairly chatty *winks*); I’m on Twitter as RoryNi, and my blog is at I also have presences on Tumblr and Pinterest, but the former is mostly just to look for inspiring pictures, and the latter is a product of one too many celebratory glasses of champagne at some point in the past. Hard as Stone and Gale Force are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, and the Ravenous Romance Web site, and “Serpentine” is part of XOXO Publishing’s Evernight 2 anthology, which is available on Amazon.


Hard as Stone at Ravenous Romance's Web site --


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Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies.  You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories!  Here's where you can find them:

Evernight Volume 1:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Evernight Volume 2:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Friday, March 22, 2013

Finding Fiction Friday - Ashley Nemer

Welcome everyone to the first of what I hope is many installments of Finding Fiction Friday, a chance for us to share authors with you.  Today it is my extreme pleasure to host up and coming writer Ashley Nemer, author of the "Blood" series among other works.  Let's see what makes her tick ...

First, let’s get to know you a little better, Ashley.  How did you get started writing, and what made you decide to take a shot at getting a story published?

Well I started writing in junior high and high school, they were mainly poems back then; but in high school I was a member of the debate team and I found writing original oratory was my favorite UIL (University Interscholastic League) competition. Honestly, taking a shot at getting published came from Teri, you know, our friend Teri. She convinced me I was good enough to put my name on paper and get out there. In college I had a couple poems published but that was it. It has always been a dream and it was her who pushed me to really see it through.
What’s your favorite writing environment?  At a desk, on the couch with your feet up, music or not, etc.?

In my little library room, feet up, chilling in my comfy chair, music blasting away, my dog on the arm of the chair or the back of the chair just hanging with me.

We know what your bio says.  Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

That surprises you …. Hmmm, well that’s hard I have a lot that surprises my family. I’d have to say maybe that even though I put on this front about being courageous and brave, inside I’m really scared and worried that I’ll fail.

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

How hard it is to get people to actually buy your books. Everyone says they will when you are writing them but in reality times are hard and there are cuts in the money people  have that can spend on books, I never really realized it until I was on this end of things.

Ok, well we really want to talk about your book, “Blood Purple”.  Now this is a vampire story, but what do you think is different about this story?

Well I know you have read it, so you already know, but my vampire story really puts its focus on the family bonds, the family relationships. The vampire part is very much a secondary fact. While yes it’s important, it’s what they are it isn’t WHO they are. It’s not all about blood blood blood you know, like other books. My people really pay attention to the relationships they all have together.

The story centers around Zayn and Nikole, the sibling leaders of the Algula in North America.  Tell us a little about them.

Zayn and Nikole are the technical Hero and Heroine of my Blood Series but at this stage of the game I do not consider them ‘heroes.’ They have not earned that title to me. Yes, they are King and Princess, brother and sister. But they are flawed and they have to prove to each other, themselves, the reader and me the author that they are ready to take over. That’s what the Blood Series is truly about, their growth. They are going to fall apart and fail. You will be mad and disappointed at them throughout the whole series and in the end, not everyone will end up with a happily ever after. But in the end they will have earned that Hero and Heroine title.

Zayn is over protective and over bearing. Nikole is sarcastic and impulsive. Together the two of them have everything they need to lead the Algula into many years of success but they have to find the balance among themselves first.

There are lots of other great characters in the book as well.  If you had to pick one of them that you’d most like the readers to get to know, who would it be and why?

-          Leigh, because in BLOOD YELLOW, she’s the game changer.

When I read "Blood Purple", there were quite a few unexpected twists and turns the story took, at least to me.  When you’re writing, do you consciously say “wow, they will never see this coming!”, or do you just kind of go where the story and characters take you?

 I do not plan. I lay there and close my eyes and type. I let the characters lead me and typically when I read what I’ve written I don’t change it. BLOOD PURPLE was a great foundation but Aaron I assure you, if there were unexpected twists for you in this one, BLOOD YELLOW will knock your socks off. Somewhere around page 60 when I was editing it I forgot I wrote it. Just completely got sucked in and was like ‘holy crap when did this happen.’

The book definitely leaves some unanswered questions, and you've already talked about the upcoming sequel, “Blood Yellow”.  How long do you anticipate the series going?

 BLOOD YELLOW picked up at the very next sentence of where BLOOD PURPLE ended. I literally cut the chapter in half. That being said…these story lines will not end until BLOOD GREEN. Book Three. There will be a book four, BLOOD  BLACK which will focus around Ikram, Tamman, Hashim, Afaf and Haydar then BLOOD WHITE which will be a compilation of everything I couldn’t fit into a book. I expect two to three short stories and a bunch of facts, more like an insider’s guide.

Do you have any other upcoming works or even just ideas bouncing around in your head?

Maverick Touch: The Cat comes out March 25th, 2013. Think April O’Neal meets Dexter. This is going to be a self-published mystery series. I’m VERY excited about it. I have been told it’s even better than BLOOD YELLOW. That was hard to hear given the Blood Series is my baby so to speak but I love Nadia Maverick and the whole little world I created. It’s all humans, no paranormal supes there. I also have my poetry book, WHISPERS IN THE DARK, coming out any moment now along with my short story duet, SOUL MATES, coming out hopefully early summer.

Ok, I’ve always wanted to do this … to close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  (I loved watching “Inside the Actor’s Studio”.)  Here they go!

  1. What is your favorite word? Fuck (sorry Dad)
  2. What is your least favorite word? Sorry
  3. What turns you on? Knives
  4. What turns you off? Smoking
  5. What sound or noise do you love? The best sound ever is my husband and dogs sleeping, laying and night listening to the three of them gives more peace than I could ever ask for.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? Sounds of traffic, cause I’m usually stuck in it.
  7. What is your favorite curse word? See question #1, my first curse word was ‘son of a bitch’ after watching Back to the Future 2 as a toddler
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Writer of course ~winks~ I mean Lawyer
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Accountant
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Your Grandpa and Daughter are right over here.
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? Are you happy?

I want to thank Ashley for taking the time to share with us ... look for both Blood Yellow and Maverick Touch: The Cat coming out very soon!

CONTEST!!!!!  Ashley is giving away a copy of her first publication, Blood Purple!  To enter, comment here AND either like her Facebook page or follow her Twitter feed.  A winner will be selected at random from the eligible entries.

Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her lifelong best friend gave her "Ashes to Ashes' by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger. Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life, they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life 'Reach for the Stars' and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display's came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.

Follow Ashley and buy her books here:



Maverick Touch: The Cat


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Is In The Air!

Welcome all of you who are touring the Spring is in the Air Blog Hop!  My partner, Patricia Laffoon, and I would like to thank you for taking the time to stop by.  As spring is a time of renewal, restoration, and of course, reunion, we decided to share an excerpt from our work in progress (not even published yet!)  This is a scene where sailor Rudy MacTavish returns from a dangerous voyage to "his" mermaid love, Trish, who has been waiting solemnly and hopefully on the sparsely populated island where she poses as a human trader.  From "The Realmwalker Prophecy: Heart of the Mermaid", we hope you enjoy this scene.


The longboat from the Haven had barely touched the beach when Rudy stood up, his bag over his good shoulder.  He looked back at the Commodore Shaw as he rose as well.  The trip back to the island had taken a week of limping along, but the commanding officer had lived up to his promise to drop Rudy off here on his way to port.
The two men clasped hands.  Although they had stopped here, it was clear they did not have time to stay.  Rudy smiled and said, “If you ever need anything, sir, you know where I will be.”
Commodore Shaw returned the gesture.  “Fair winds and following seas … Captain.”  He sat back down and the boat pushed off to head back to the Haven.  Rudy watched for a moment before walking back up to the trading post.
He walked through the open door, smiling, the tavern empty save for a lone figure with her back to him at the bar.  Her golden hair hung loosely over her shoulders as she worked on something intently.  He saw her stiffen when his boots thumped across the wooden floor.  “Excuse me, miss, but I was wondering if you have accommodations for a weary traveler.  It seems I might be here for a while.”
He saw her relax and call back without looking.  “I’m sorry I don’t have rooms here for wayward sailors.  If you are seeking a place to stay …”  Then he heard her breath catch, and she froze.  “Rudy …”  And then, faster than he could think, she was in his arms.
She wasn’t really paying any attention to what was going on around her.  She was working on making some necklaces to try and occupy her time when she heard the boots hit the floor.  She tensed, at first thinking it might be Aaron coming back to torment her again.  Then she when she heard a different voice, she relaxed, until her mind identified it.  She spoke the name that had been her mental mantra for the past three weeks, and turned in a rush, running into his embrace as the bag he had been carrying fell at their feet.
She buried her face in his neck, inhaling his familiar scent.  She felt ecstatic, and every part of her seemed to be rejoicing at once.  She whispered his name into his ear again, and then leaned back, running her hands over his body.  She wasn’t sure this was real.
He peered into her eyes, with deep blue orbs that bore down into her very soul.  He tangled his hand in her hair.  “Shh … I’m back for good this time.  If you will have me.”
“Have you?!” she asked incredulously.  “I’ve thought of nothing else since …”  Then his hand touched her still tender back, and she winced, inhaling sharply.  Her Mer nature enabled her to heal rapidly and more completely than humans, but there would still always be scars.  She turned away just slightly.
Rudy frowned at her.  “What’s wrong?”  He brushed her hair back to expose the white crisscross scars adorning her formerly smooth skin.  He suddenly took on the look of a coiled snake, ready to strike out at anything.  “Who did this?”
“It’s … it’s nothing.”  She tried to turn away more, but he had a grip on her upper arms holding her fast.  “Honest, it was an accident, I got knocked against some coral while swimming.  Please, Rudy, I just want to look at you, tell me you’re here and I’m not dreaming.  Please.”  She pleaded with him more for him to not press her in this.  She wasn’t ready to tell him everything that she was going through.  She only wanted to be with him and forget about it.
She could tell, though, he was having none of it.  He had been at sea for who knows how long, and she knew how humans sometimes treated those that worked for them as slaves.  He reached and pulled down the back of her sarong even further, so he could see the full extent of the damage.  He grimaced.  “Those are not scars from any coral.  Someone did this to you.”  Then he looked at her and stroked her face gently.  “No, you are not dreaming.  I’m here and I’m not going anywhere, but because of that you can’t hide this from me.”
She could lose herself in those eyes.  Oh, she wanted to tell him everything.  But she didn’t dare.  She needed to somehow figure out how to keep him safe.  Aaron could and surely would kill him.  But now … now she just needed him.  “Rudy, can we please not talk about this.  Not today.”  Desperately, she whispered, “Please.”
He ran his thumb gently across her lips, making her tremble all the way down to her toes.  His eyes roamed over her, as if he was committing her to memory.  He bent down then, bringing his lips just an inch from hers.  He whispered, “We will talk about this.  But not now.”  Then he took her mouth with his, and she wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders.  His whiskers tickled her face as their bodies came together, and she felt his strong hands caressing her swaying hips.
The loosened sarong started to slide down, but she didn’t care.  His kiss had gone from gentle to urgent now, and he was ravaging her with his tongue.  A soft moan escaped her throat as she clasped onto his shoulders.  Clinging to him, she tilted her head until their lips sealed against each other, and her eyes closed in complete rapture.  She had waited to have him in her arms again, and had been so worried that the relief flooded her body, releasing all of her anxiety in one deep long soul-rending kiss.  She ran her hands over his shoulders, feeling his corded muscles bunch under her greedy palms.
He reached down and grabbed her by the backside, picking her up.  She slid her legs around his waist.  He seemed to hold her up with barely any effort at all.  She locked her ankles behind him, running her hands through his hair.  Then she started clutching at his shirt, working to bring their skin into searing contact.  He staggered and leaned back into the bar as she ripped the shirt off over his head.  There were no words, only heavy breathing as their bodies were doing all the speaking that they needed.
He nudged against her in just the right place, and her need spiked.  The ache ran down to her toes and deep into her core, and she moaned.  In desperation, she rubbed her now bare breasts against the hot wall of his chest and pressed even harder into their kiss.  She whispered into his mouth, “Not here.”


Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies.  You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories!  Here's where you can find them:

Evernight Volume 1:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Evernight Volume 2:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe


CONTEST!  We are giving away one free copy of either Volume 1 or Volume 2 of "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness".  Just comment here (and leave a way to contact you), and you MUST tell us who your favorite movie, TV, or book mermaid is.  That's it!  The winner will be picked at random on March 30th.

This will also enter you for a chance at the Blog Hop GRAND PRIZE of an XoXo Publishing e-book pack!


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Friday, March 15, 2013

Finding Fiction Friday

With all the e-book saturation in the market today, it can definitely be difficult to sift through the chaff and discover new authors.  That's why, starting next week (March 22), I'll be doing a new weekly feature here which we playfully call "Finding Fiction Friday".  It's my mission to introduce you to other authors, some new, some perhaps not so new, that you might not have otherwise heard about.  I'll be hosting authors I've "met" during my online experiences and asking them about what makes them and their stories tick.

Check back here next week as my first guest, Ashley Nemer, visits to talk about her fledgling writing career and the "Blood" series.  I hope you will join us every Friday as I try to help you find new fiction!


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