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Month: August 2012

Interview: Lisa Lickel

Welcome to Readers Write to Know!  I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance.  This week, I am so excited to introduce to you mystery author Lisa Lickel.  I LOVE cozy mysteries — I cut my reading teeth on them — and her upcoming release The Map Quilt sounds so good.  (And, it’s nice to know that (1) I’m not the only person to get an idea for a book during a sermon; and (2) this season’s drought affected gardeners other than myself!)

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, Hallee and friends, thank you so much for having me here today. I’m about to turn fifty-one, and still marveling over the feeling of living half a century and wondering what’s to come. I suppose I’ll have to look back one of these days, but so far…I just keep plowing ahead. My husband and I have two grown sons who are married to lovely women. We live in an old house in eastern Wisconsin and have a big garden which didn’t do so well this year in the drought that struck the Midwest. I didn’t start writing professionally until I was in my forties. I’m an historian but don’t often write history because I’m finicky about details. I love to read more than I love to write and can occasionally be found pretending to play guitar in church.

Tell us about your current release.

I’m celebrating the release of my fifth novel, The Map Quilt, which is…okay, alert people, pay attention here: the sequel to a book that was commissioned by the defunct Barbour Publishing’s Heartsongs: Mysteries book club, The Gold Standard, which came out in 2009 the year the book club closed. It took me two years and the coming and going of agent numero dos to find another publisher for this proposed series of four. Soooo…MuseItUp Publishing of Canada bought the Second Book in the series, then I got the rights back to book number One, which is being cleaned up, re-covered, and re-released September 21 as The Last Bequest.

LOL – those of you still with me: The Map Quilt is a cozy mystery, which means the crime usually takes place off stage and the sleuth is an amateur. The Map Quilt is the story of a woman set to reclaim her family history, and nothing—not bulldozers, not the absence of funds, and especially not the dead body that she may or may not have had anything to do with, will stand in her way. Should Judy and Hart (the main characters) help her? Hart isn’t sure, and since Judy is ready to give birth to their first child any second, his mom’s making eyes at the chief of police which is just plain wrong, and it was his boss who was murdered by the way, life is rather dicey for everyone.


Muse Monday: Re-Writes

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.


My current work in process was the first book I ever wrote.  I wrote it in 6 weeks – 100,000 words of uneducated, un-researched story that just poured out of me.

The thing is, it’s a really good story.  The other thing is, there is so much in there that is just junk.

It wasn’t so hard to re-do the first half of the book.  The mystery and intrigue plot just needed a little bit of refining.  I did need to incorporate the things I’ve learned about police procedure and such over the last fifteen years.  But, all in all, tt wasn’t too bad.  The relationships needed a little bit of help, but it was okay.  I breezed through seventeen chapters in two days (about 8 hours) of writing.

I thought, “Wow!  We originally wanted to publish this in August.  Even though I ended up taking the summer off, maybe we can still do it in August, or close to it!”

Then I hit a wall.  The relationship changed and became sexual – what I do not write now.  The intrigue and mystery plot got more intense and I was able to see just how clumsy I used to be about that type of plot.  And while I’ve started sprinkling some elements of faith through the story, there isn’t nearly what there needs to be — especially now that I’m removing the sexual relationship.

Consequently, when I got to chapter 18 (and really, I deleted two chapters until I got to this one, so it’s the old chapter 20), I read, re-read, started to re-write, and finally decided to scrap it all and start fresh at that point.  Three solid hours of writing Friday and I have half a chapter to show for it.

As I write this in preparation for Muse Monday, it’s actually Saturday, and my mind is whirling with plot ideas, character development, and where things need to go in the story.  I’m itching for that 9AM-2PM writing window on Monday morning to roll up my sleeves and dig into the second half of this book.

What is going on in your Muse world this week? Leave a link to your blog post! Here are the rules.

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Interview: Juliette Springs

Welcome to Readers Write to Know!  I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance.  This week, Juliette Springs is my guest answering your questions. I am so pleased to introduce her to you.  I have so many friends who are fans of paranormal stories, and it’s always nice to meet another mom who has teenagers and little ones like myself.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I write about the darker side of romance. My pen name Juliette Springs, is the alter ego of a Southern chick who is a mother of three (two teenage girls and a wild three year old). In my other life I work in the education field and hold degrees in English and Special Education.

I absolutely love the paranormal (especially vamps) and devour romance novels (particularly paranormal). I’m also addicted to the Vampire Diaries (Team Delena), and love Harry Potter, and True Blood.

Tell us about your current release.

My current release is entitled Sarim’s Scent. The blurb is below:

Fueled with thoughts of anger and revenge, Victoria embarks on a mission to find her father, certain he has the answers to questions she’s had her entire life. Questions about why she prefers the night, gravitates toward the paranormal, and bears a strange tattoo on her neck, one she’d never put there. Her journey leads her into the arms of her childhood friend, Ivan, the only man she lets close to her heart. He understands her and has always been her confidant. But would he remain loyal if she revealed all of her secrets and the real reason she’s searching for her father?

Weary of living a lie and unable to walk away from family obligations, Ivan is forced to deceive the only woman he has ever cared about, one who he now realizes is his mate. Ivan knows he’s doing the unforgivable, and it’s just a matter of time before Victoria finds out the truth, but he can’t resist the chemistry between them or deny the sensuous passion he experiences with her. When Victoria’s search becomes life threatening, Ivan must find the strength he needs to tell her the truth, or risk losing her altogether.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

To be like Nike and just do it. Writing is not easy. It’s painful and hard. But it’s something writer’s have to do. The end result is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever accomplished.

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Interview: Amber Kallyn

Welcome to Readers Write to Know Wednesday.  I asked you, my readers, what questions you’d ask your favorite authors if given a chance.  This week, author Amber Kallyn is my guest answering your questions.  I’m so happy to introduce her to you.  Amber is a paranormal author who loves vampire stories.  I am fascinated by her method of writing — I’ve looked at the machine she uses and felt like there was no way I’d be able to use it because of all the reasons she likes it to so much!  It’s wonderful to discover how different processes work for different authors!

About Me:

I’m a rare breed, an Arizona native and can trace my family’s history through six generations in the state. I live with my husband, and our four very active children. Included in the menagerie are four cats (though there’s always room for more), one snake, and two dogs. We won’t count all the fish.

I love the paranormal, from dragons to werewolves to vampires. I’m currently at work on my next book, and it wouldn’t be amiss to find me running around the house, acting out a fight scene with my collection of swords and daggers. Now if only I had claws to practice the other fight scenes 🙂

My current release is Hungerstorm, Heart of a Vampire, Book 2


After centuries alone, can a vampire king trust the woman who’s woken his heart?

Jordan MacDougal, laird and King of his vampire clan, walks a thin line of civility between his clan and the local shifter pack. When his vampires began to disappear and the wolves accuse the intriguing woman who’s touched his heart of being evil, he discovers that the traitor in his midst may be closer than he thinks.

A newly turned vampire, Dalia Jensen wakes to an unusual and frightening new world with no memory of the past year of her life.  Accused of working with the Master Vampire who held her prisoner, her inability to remember the truth leaves her reeling under the allegations of vicious past actions. Uncertain of her culpability, she’s unable to trust her own instincts as the reigning Vampire King turns her world upside down.

When the wolves call for her trial, demanding her life for those killed and tortured during that blank year, Jordan and Dalia must work together to find the truth, and save the love blooming between them.

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Who Would Play Tony & Robin?

Not long ago, I was interviewed on Taryn Rae’s Tuesdays with Taryn for Book 1 of the Jewel Trilogy, Sapphire Ice.

One of the questions she asked me was:

Whom would you cast as your Hero & Heroine if your book became a movie?

This took me a while to answer, because I’m not “plugged in”.  I like movies and go see them often (most recently I saw Bourne Legacy and Expendables 2).  But, unless it is a fun, campy action movie that falls in line with our viewing standards (no premarital sex, gratuitous sexuality, etc.), then I don’t see it.  I also really don’t know actors’ names.  I usually recognize that I might have seen an actor before, but have a hard time placing where (case in point: I knew I knew the actor in the upcoming remake of Red Dawn, but until I looked it up, I did not recognize him as the actor who plays Thor – despite having seen the movie Thor many times with my boys and recently seeing Avengers in the theaters.)

So, this question tripped me up and was incredibly interesting to me.  It made me really think about and research an answer. Since I don’t know who these actors are, I’m going to tell you I’m just going with looks – not personality or acting ability.

Antonio “Tony” Viscolli:  Raoul Bova

Robin Bartlett: AnnaSophia Robb

Do these actors match your mental images of Robin and Tony?

Who would you have cast in a movie?

Photo credit for Robin.
Photo credit for Tony.

Join me next week as we look at Barry and Maxine!




Muse Monday: Links

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Social Media Links

I know the Muse Monday is intended for writing craft articles and blog posts, but I’ve spent some time this weekend doing a few blog hops and came across something that I see as a trend among writer blogs.  While this may not be about craft, it is certainly about marketing.

I cannot easily find how to follow many writers on social media.  I can find links to everywhere on the planet to find a book, but I can’t find social media links.

I’ve spent over three years blogging at Hallee the Homemaker and interacting with other homemaking blogs.  For some reason, a typical homemaking/mommy/marketing blog is full of links in the sidebar or in every post for “follow me”.  I think they’re so obvious, because sponsors and advertisers for those kind of blogs want to see numbers – stat numbers, follower numbers, Facebook and Twitter friends.  The more obvious the “FOLLOW ME!” signs are, the more likely people will add their name to the numbers.

But in pursuing writers’ blogs, I have noticed that many of them do not have ANY obvious “follow me” signs.  I have to hunt and search for Facebook links,Twitter handles, and Google+ pages, and often I can’t find them.  I’ve had to go so far as to search for their names in Facebook or Twitter and then make guesses as to whether I’ve found the right person or not.

Here is my advice to you, my writer colleagues:  Make it obvious.  I you look on the left of your screen, you’ll see my big “Follow Me” banner – which will open up to provide you my links.  On Hallee the Homemaker, near the top of my sidebar, all of my social media links can be found.  At the bottom of each blog post, under my signature, a host of links are available.

I want people to follow me and I’m sure you do, too.  This is an easy and instant way to communicate with our fans.  Make it easy for them to find you.  Make it easy for ME to find you.

What is going on in your Muse world this week?  Leave a link to your blog post!  Here are the rules.

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