Author Archives: What The Cat Read

Release Day Blast: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

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What the Cat Read is thrilled to be participating in the Release Day Launch celebration for M.J. Rose’s newest novel, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, murr! Be sure to swing by the blog on March 26th when we post our review as part of the tour event hosted by Media Muscle/BookTrib! =^.^=

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Publisher: Atria Books

Date Released: March 17, 2015

Series: The Daughters of La Lune #1

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten–her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed byLa Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

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Excerpt:

Four months ago I snuck into Paris on a wet, chilly January night like a criminal, hiding my face in my shawl, taking extra care to be sure I wasn’t followed.
I stood on the stoop of my grandmother’s house and lifted the hand-shaped bronze door knocker and let it drop. The sound of the metal echoed inside. Her home was on a lane blocked off from rue des Saints-Pères by wide wooden double doors. Maison de la Lune, as it was called, was one of a half dozen four-story mid-eighteenth- century stone houses that shared a courtyard that backed up onto rue du Dragon.
I let the door knocker fall again. Light from a street lamp glinted off the golden metal. It was a strange object. Usually on these things the bronze hand’s palm faced the door. But this one was palm out, almost warning the visitor to reconsider requesting entrance.
The knocker had obsessed me ten years before when I’d visited as a fifteen-year-old. The engravings on the finely modeled female palm included etched stars, phases of the moon, planets, and other archaic symbols. When I’d asked about it once, my grandmother had said it was older than the house, but she didn’t know how old exactly or what the ciphers meant. Where was the maid? Grand-mère, one of Paris’s celebrated courtesans, hosted lavish salons on Tuesday, Thursday, and many Saturday evenings, and at this time of day was usually upstairs, preparing her toilette: dusting poudre de riz on her face and décolletage, screwing in her opale de feu earrings, and wrapping her signature rope of the same blazing orange stones around her neck. The strand of opal beads was famous. It had belonged to a Russian empress and was known as Les Incendies. The stones were the same color as my grandmother’s hair and the high- lights in her topaz eyes. She was known by that name—L’Incendie, they called her, The Fire.
We had the same color eyes, but mine almost never flashed like hers. When I was growing up, I kept checking in the mirror, hoping the opal sparks that I only saw occasionally would intensify. I wanted to be just like her, but my father said it was just as well my eyes weren’t on fire because it wasn’t only her coloring that had inspired her name but also her temper, and that wasn’t a thing to covet.
It wasn’t until I was fifteen years old and witnessed it myself that I understood what he’d meant.
I let the hand of fate fall again. Even if Grand-mère was upstairs and couldn’t hear the knocking, the maid would be downstairs, organizing the refreshments for the evening. I’d seen her so many nights, polishing away last smudges on the silver, holding the Baccarat glasses over a pot of steaming water and then wiping them clean to make sure they gleamed.
Dusk had descended. The air had grown cold, and now it was beginning to rain. Fat, heavy drops dripped onto my hat and into my eyes. And I had no umbrella. That’s when I did what I should have done from the start—I stepped back and looked up at the house.
The darkened windows set into the limestone facade indicated there were no fires burning and no lamps lit inside. My grandmother was not in residence. And neither, it appeared, was her staff. I almost wished the concierge had needed to open the porte cochère for me; he might have been able to tell me where my grandmother was.
For days now I had managed to keep my sanity only by thinking of this moment. All I had to do, I kept telling myself, was find my way here, and then together, my grandmother and I could mourn my father and her son, and she would help me figure out what I should do now that I had run away from New York City.
If she wasn’t here, where was I to go? I had other family in Paris, but I had no idea where they lived. I’d only met them here, at my grandmother’s house, when I’d visited ten years previously. I had no friends in the city.
The rain was soaking through my clothes. I needed to find shelter.
But where? A restaurant or café? Was there one nearby? Or should I try and find a hotel? Which way should I go to get a carriage? Was it even safe to walk alone here at night?
What choice did I have?
Picking up my suitcase, I turned, but before I could even step into the courtyard, I saw an advancing figure. A bedraggled-looking man, wearing torn and filthy brown pants and an overcoat that had huge, bulging pockets, staggered toward me. Every step he took rang out on the stones.
He’s just a beggar who intends no harm, I told myself. He’s just look-ing for scraps of food, for a treasure in the garbage he’d be able to sell.
But what if I was wrong? Alone with him in the darkening court- yard, where could I go? In my skirt and heeled boots, could I even outrun him?

About the Author:

smaller MJR_WinkaNew York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

NecklaceDesigned by Cadsawan Jewelry, the silver pendant contains a labradorite, a magical stone excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition and psychic abilities. And it can be yours by filling out the giveaway form found HERE! Good luck to everyone who enters, murr! =^.^=

 

 

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Release Day Blast: Shade by Jamie Begley

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Publisher: Young Ink Press

Date Released: March 16, 2015

Series: The Last Riders #6

Want, need, pain, and joy were emotions Shade had never known existed before Lily. He knew the first time he saw her face that she was going to change his life forever. The thing he hadn’t expected was how hard it would be to hide who and what he was from her. Each step he took out of the shadows revealed more of himself, until only one secret remained. Shade arrogantly believed he could help heal the wounds from her past, but now it was his own past that was trying to tear them apart. To keep Lily, Shade would have to use the very skills he had been trying to hide from her. The skills that made him a killer … a soulless monster.

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Excerpt:

The cold had been getting to him lately. I must be getting soft, Shade thought wryly to himself. He would have to remedy that soon; he couldn’t afford to be soft.
Protecting Lily kept him on his toes. He had never known a woman could manage to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time as often as her. She needed his skills and strength to keep her safe, and keeping Lily safe was his priority. Without her, he didn’t want to think what life would be like for him or others who would be unlucky enough to be near.
He stomped the snow off his boots before going inside the small office building. It was late enough there wouldn’t be anyone to see him enter.
Making his way to the office of Knox’s wife, he bent over the lock, taking a few minutes to open the door. Then, sliding inside, he made his way into her private office and went to the window which gave him the view he had come to observe.
As he watched Brooke lay her son down in his crib to sleep, in hindsight, Shade thought he should have known Lily would change his life. It had taken two women to satisfy him the night after seeing her for the first time and then hours before he could purge her from his mind until he could sleep. And that had only been the beginning.
Standing in the darkness, staring at the church across the street, his mind played back over the series of events that had led him to that place in time…

About the Author:

I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.

Taking after my mother, I’ve always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.

For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.

Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.

All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

To be entered for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, simply click on the Rafflecopter below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c8635/

Release Day Blast: Vincent by Sarah Brianne

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Publisher: Young Ink Press

Date Released: March 16, 2015

Series: Made Men #2

Vincent knows the glamorous side of the Mafia, being born a soldier. Lake lives on the opposite side of the tracks, born the daughter of a soldier. The light and dark side of him are at constant war, but he is letting his darkness reign.

She is trying to find peace, and she will soon be far enough away to find it. Discovering that his boss owns her, showed him how little he knew her. Knowing all about him only makes her want to hate him.

I’m a fu**ing made man.

I’m just fu**ing trailer trash.

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Excerpt:

Lake closed her eyes at the sound of screeching metal hitting the pavement from the car’s muffler scraping the road. Her father’s car was an old Cadillac she was sure dated back to the eighties; it honestly needed work. Total junker.
Her father somehow managed to keep it working by doing his own repairs on it, using different parts from various cars and even making some himself. Lake liked to call it the Frankenlac.
She thought he would have bought a new car sometime between 1981 and 2014, but nope. He had better ways to spend his money. Yeah, like betting on a horse or for chips to throw in the middle of a poker table.
Even though Lake’s father was a level-twelve gambler on the Richter scale, she wouldn’t trade him for the world because Lake knew the other side of the coin all too well.
She shook her head, unwilling to think about the coming weekend. Most teenagers would be happy it was Friday, but not her. No, her weekends were nothing except torturous. Literally.
Her father finally reached the destination and put the car in park. “All right, kiddo. Have a good day. I’ll see you Monday.”
Lake looked away from all the stares outside of the car to meet her father’s smile. “You, too, Dad. See you Monday.” She had managed to force a smile of her own by the end of the sentence.
Lake opened the door and stepped out of the car, grabbing her bag.
“Love ya, kiddo.”
That time, Lake didn’t have to force a smile. “Love you, Dad.”
As she closed the door, another scraping sound occurred. After watching her father start to drive away, she was finally able to turn around and face the teenagers’ looks. It honestly wasn’t as bad as it seemed; they always had much better things to talk about. Not to mention a short attention span.
See, Lake wasn’t popular nor was she unpopular; she was just … well, Lake.
Boom!
After a moment of complete silence, loud laughter filled the air along with some serious black smoke from her father’s car blowing a gasket. Lake put her head down and pulled up the hood from her hoodie, trying to conceal her face.
Great. It can’t get any worse, can it? She started walking through the parking lot, weaving between the people and cars.
Beginning to hear loud music come closer, Lake turned her head to see a big, white Jeep heading her way. She had to jump back to dodge the corner of the vehicle as the brakes squealed into ‘park’.
Lake stood in shock from the close call as her heart began to pound. She knew exactly who was driving before the girl exited the Jeep along with three of her friends.
Ashley. It was hard for her to even say her name in her head.
“Oh, my gosh. I didn’t even see you,” Ashley said sarcastically through her snickering.
Lake decided to take the golden opportunity of being able to talk back. She didn’t get many chances.
“Oh, my gosh. Really? Maybe you need to get glasses. Quick, how many fingers am I holding up?” Lake stuck up her middle finger then heard muffled laughs.
Ashley scowled and spoke as loudly as she could. “Sorry, I don’t speak trailer trash.”
That right there was how a lot of the world saw Lake—just a piece of trash. Trailer trash, to be exact.

About the Author:

Hey! My name is Sarah Brianne and after living for twenty-two years the characters in my head told me enough was enough and I have finally put pen to paper (or is it finger to keyboard?) to tell their stories. Since I was a little girl I have watched every chick flick I could get my hands on, then when I became older I discovered a whole new world of romance novels. To me there is nothing better then a tale of true love and those are the stories that have inspired me to write. Like everything else in my life I have put my own spin on two lovers destined to be together.

Next to my books my prized possession are my two beautiful fur babies, Kalypso and Khaleesi. I know what you’re thinking, do you pack them in your purse? Yep, right next to my kindle.

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***Giveaway***

To enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon, please click on the link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c8636/

Guest Interview with Sarah Morgan, Author of First Time in Forever

What the Cat Read would like to thank the folks at Media Muscle/BookTrib for providing us with the opportunity to host Sarah Morgan on the blog! Be sure to come back later for our review of Morgan’s novel, First Time in Forever, and read an excerpt from the story. In the meantime, please welcome Sarah Morgan, everyone! =^.^=

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Publisher: Harlequin (HQN Books)

Date Released: February 24, 2015

Series: Puffin Island #1

Windswept, isolated and ruggedly beautiful, Puffin Island is a haven for day-trippers and daydreamers alike. But this charming community has a way of bringing people together in the most unexpected ways…

It’s been a summer of firsts for Emily Donovan. From becoming a stand-in mom to her niece Lizzie to arriving on Puffin Island, her life has become virtually unrecognizable. Between desperately safeguarding Lizzie and her overwhelming fear of the ocean—which surrounds her everywhere she goes!—Emily has lost count of the number of “just breathe” pep talks she’s given herself. And that’s before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…

Ryan knows all about secrets. And it’s clear that newcomer Emily—with her haunted eyes and the little girl she won’t let out of her sight—is hiding from something besides the crazy chemistry between them. So Ryan decides he’s going to make it his personal mission to help her unwind and enjoy the sparks! But can Puffin Island work its magic on Emily and get her to take the biggest leap of trust of all—putting her heart in someone else’s hands?

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Interview:

First Time in Forever is the opening book in your brand new Puffin Island series. What inspired you to write this series?

I knew from the start that I wanted the link between the characters and stories to be a strong friendship. I write romance, but I also love exploring the other relationships in my characters’ lives, including family and friends. I had finished my O’Neil Brothers series, which was set in the beautiful mountains of Vermont, and I wanted a completely different setting for my new series. I decided on an island, a coastal retreat where three friends could escape when life was hard. I want readers to dive in, breathe in the sea air, taste the fresh blueberries and the smooth chill of ice cream and take a beach holiday while they read.

What is the title in reference to?

The title was chosen by my publisher but it’s perfect for the story because for my heroine, Emily, it is a summer of firsts. Like many of us, she lives her life well within her comfort zone. She thinks she has control of everything but life has a way of shaking up that theory and overnight her life changes. Suddenly she’s forced to do all the things she has been avoiding and by pushing herself she discovers she is capable of more than she thought. For Emily, it really is ‘First Time in Forever’.

Can you tell us a little about best friends Emily, Brittany and Skylar?

I love these characters, and their friendship is a constant theme flowing through all three books. They met in college and formed an instant bond that has deepened over the years. Theirs is a deep, authentic friendship. They know each other, accept each other without judgment and they’re always there for one another. In a crisis, they’ll be on the phone – they may not always agree, but they always support. They encourage, laugh, listen and forgive. They share history, secrets, and they always want the best for each other.

All three girls are very different. Emily is the more cautious of the three. She’s guarded, but very loyal to her friends. After a difficult childhood, she protects herself emotionally by keeping tight control over her life. She lives well within her comfort zone, avoiding responsibility for anyone but herself. When she finds herself responsible for a child, everything changes for her.

Brittany is an archaeologist, a cross between Lara Croft and Indiana Jones (but nothing annoys her more than being asked if she owns a whip!). She is smart, adventurous and given to impulse. At the age of eighteen she married island bad boy, Zachary Flynn. It lasted all of ten days. Since then she has travelled the world and put that relationship behind her. Brittany’s story, Some Kind of Wonderful, will be out in September in the US, but readers who would like to meet her early can find her in Playing by the Greek’s Rules, a story I wrote for Harlequin Presents, which is out now.

Skylar is a jewelry designer, an artist with a dreamy streak and a wicked sense of humor. She’s a free spirit, a trait that causes conflict with her family who are continually hoping she will choose a more conventional career path. Skylar is romantic but she doesn’t dream of weddings, she dreams of love.

How do you decide which character to write about first?

I’d had Emily’s story in my head for a while, and she was my starting point for the whole series. What I didn’t have was the setting or the other characters. I started to think about what had happened to her (finding herself guardian to her half sister’s child when she’d made a life decision never to have children) and how she’d react. Even though it was never her choice to have Lizzy, she is a very responsible person so I knew she’d do anything and everything within her power to keep the child safe. I’d already decided that she would have close friends, so I decided the three women would have somewhere they always went in times of trouble. Castaway Cottage is owned by Brittany, and all three women treat it as a sanctuary. Once I had the friends and the island, all I had to do was build a warm, wonderful community who would gradually ease Emily out of her shell. And populate it with hot men of course!

What is the central theme of First Time in Forever?

The central theme is courage. We all have a tendency to avoid the things that scare us, and that is what Emily has done. Her whole life has been constructed to avoid her biggest fears and suddenly she is forced to meet them head on. She is determined to protect herself and not make herself vulnerable so taking that leap with Ryan is huge for her. She’s known loss, so now she chooses to keep people at a safe distance. In the end Emily faces her fears and triumphs. Love and making yourself vulnerable, requires courage.

What made you choose the Puffin as the island bird?

puffin-imageI spent a long time researching the various islands around Penobscot Bay, Maine. Although I prefer to have a fictitious setting, it’s important to me to make it as authentic as possible so I was focusing on the national park and the wildlife of the area. I discovered that although Puffins are not an endangered species, they are rare in Maine and there are projects to reintroduce them to the islands.

I first saw Puffins in the north of England and they are the most amazing sea birds. As I was researching, one of the facts that stayed with me was that although they spend most of their lives at sea, they usually return to breed on the same island where they were hatched. This fitted well with my idea that Puffin Island would be a sanctuary for the three friends. Emily, Brittany and Skylar each live busy independent lives but when they need a safe retreat, they return to the island. In the books, the Puffins actually live on Puffin Rock, which is a small rocky outcrop to the north of the island. They don’t like humans to get too close!

The names that you chose for the island and the cottage are so lovely – how do you come up with them?

Picking the setting for a new series is very important because I’m going to be spending so much time there myself during the writing process. It has to be somewhere that captures my imagination, and I need to fall in love with it myself before I create a word that hopefully the reader will love too. I knew I wanted to set the series in Maine, but I am lucky enough to have readers all around the world, so the place I chose had to work for them too. As part of my research, I was looking at seabirds in the area and decided that calling it Puffin Island would work for readers all over the globe.

The cottage is a sanctuary for all three women and I wanted the name to reflect that. It’s somewhere they can escape to when life is difficult, so ‘Castaway’ seemed like the perfect name. I wanted it to be secluded but also warm and welcoming and in the end I fell in love with the cottage. I’d move there tomorrow!

Were you involved in the cover design process?

I’m very lucky because the team in the art department at HQN do a wonderful job with my covers. My editor and I make sure they have as much information about characters and setting as possible, to help them design a cover that reflects the feel and tone of the story. My agent and I do see early concepts, and feedback our ideas too. I love the cover for First Time in Forever. It conveys that warm, summery, beach feeling that matches the tone of the book.

Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

That’s a tough question. I enjoyed writing the beach picnic scene because it represents a real challenge for Emily, but also for Ryan who is equally out of his comfort zone. A woman with a child isn’t on his wish list and this is the scene where he realizes he isn’t as in control of his feelings as he’d like to be.

What first attracts Ryan to Emily and vice versa?

Ryan first meets Emily because he is asked by their friend Brittany to check on her. At first he is simply fulfilling a duty, but he senses that she has secrets and he’s intrigued. Ryan loves a mystery and, of course, he’s very attracted to her. Once he finds out more about her, he wants to help her. Ryan pushes her out of her comfort zone and with him she starts to do things she hasn’t done before. In helping her, he is forced to take a long hard look at his own life.

Emily has been playing it safe for most of her life, but now she is right out of her comfort zone, not only because of the responsibility for Lizzy, but also because of her feelings for Ryan. He makes no secret of the way he feels about her. He is strong, persuasive and insanely hot! The relationship is very sexually charged, and she isn’t used to that. She doesn’t know how to handle it. At first she resists but gradually he nudges her out of her shell and persuades her to open up to him. Also, he has experience in the area she feels most vulnerable – caring for a child. It’s through his dealings with Lizzy that she sees his true character.

Your character Emily has a terrible fear of the ocean. Why did you choose to include this in the book?

Overcoming fear is a theme of the book, and Emily’s fear of the ocean mirrors her fear of emotions. She is afraid of being swamped, of losing everything. She is torn because on the one hand Puffin Island is the perfect place to hide away, but it also means confronting her worst fears. When she visited the island with her friends she was able to stay indoors and inland and think only of herself, but now she has Lizzy, who wants to play in the sand and swim in the sea. She is forced out of her comfort zone and it’s difficult for her. I love challenging my characters and watching them grow, and that’s the case for Emily.

You have a strong connection to the ocean. What are your fondest seaside memories?

I love the ocean. I live close to London, so escaping to the sea is nothing more than a dream for most of the year. I have two sons and some of our happiest holidays have been spent by the beach. Every summer we hire a house near the ocean and like many families, we have our own routines and rituals that we often repeat each holiday. If we’re feeling energetic we brave the freezing waves to go body boarding and walk miles along the coast path. If we want a more leisurely day we explore the tide pools, delving beneath rocks and through fronds of seaweed to find hidden treasures. We build the most amazing sand sculptures and of course we eat! Beach picnics are always fun and sometimes we’ll take a fishing trip and cook what we catch. There’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly cooked fish eaten on the beach as the sun goes down. And no beach holiday would be complete without ice cream (my current favorite flavors are pistachio and vanilla). It’s no coincidence that ice cream plays a role in First Time in Forever. I had so much fun dreaming up Summer Scoop and the whole family (and my readers on facebook!) helped pick the flavors.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love spending time with family and friends. I’m a sociable person and people are the antidote to long hours spent in front of the computer. Having friends over is a favorite pastime, and I love cooking.

I also try to spend time outdoors whenever I can. Writing is a mostly sedentary, indoor job so when I’m not tied to a deadline I like to walk and ride my mountain bike (but only in the summer I confess).

When I want to flop, I read (of course!) and I’m addicted to various TV dramas (The Good Wife, Scandal, House of Cards, The Big Bang Theory are among my favorites).

Who would play Emily and Ryan in First Time in Forever, the movie?

Emily Blunt could be Emily, and Chris Pine would be Ryan.

Are you a seat of your pants writer or do you plan out the story idea beforehand?

I’m definitely seat of my pants, but I do have a rough idea of where I’m going before I start. I know the characters and the conflict, but the detail evolves as I write. I do find it helps to think hard about the ending right at the beginning of the process. If you know where your characters are going to end up and how they will change over the story, it forces you to think hard about what decisions they might make, and lessons they might learn, to affect that change.

What are you currently reading?

Sarah Addison Allen’s First Frost. I love her work. One of my favorite books is The Peach Keeper.

Are there any quirky rituals/habits you have during the writing process?

I use a lot of sticky notes and I don’t throw anything away until the book is finished. I make a playlist but I don’t usually write to it. Music is a wonderful way of evoking emotion, and finding exactly the right track can make a scene easier to write. It’s very personal. I’m not sure that a reader listening to a playlist would necessarily enjoy the music unless it was played in exactly the right place in the story, but it really helps the thinking process for me.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

This is such a difficult question because there are so many authors whose work I enjoy and I love discovering new authors. I read a lot. Among my top favorites would be Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis and Sarah Addison Allen.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Read

Write every day

Stay off the internet

When you’re stuck, keep going

Read more

Make your characters as human and real as possible

Join a writing organization such as Romance Writers of America

Put your work aside and don’t be afraid to revise. Revisions are part of writing.

Read it aloud for rhythm

Develop resilience.

Find at least one good writing friend.

Every time you’re knocked down, get up again.

READ!

What are you working on next?

I’m in the middle of the third book in the Puffin Island series, Skylar and Alec’s story, called Christmas Ever After. Sky is a really fun character to write and the tension with Alec is electric. It’s one of those stories where life keeps throwing boulders at the characters (a bit like real life!) and it’s interesting to see them fighting their way out. I love this couple. Their relationship borders on adversarial but they have off the scale chemistry and plenty of humor so it’s fun to write. And it’s a Holiday story, so there is all the extra frosty sparkle I always enjoy.

About the Author:

SarahMorganUSA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She has been nominated four years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and has won the award twice, in 2012 and 2013. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their ‘Top Pick’ slot.

Sarah lives near London, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

Readers can find out more about Sarah and her books from her website www.sarahmorgan.com. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Kensington Publishing’s Ultimate Hero Search: Round Three Day Four

What the Cat Read is excited to be helping to spread the word about Kensington Publishing’s search for the ultimate hero! On February 9th Kensington started the competition off with 32 heroes from amongst their many titles, and after two weeks of fierce competition and your votes, they are now down to 16 contestants.

Here’s how the event and voting work: In a March Madness style elimination tournament, Kensington will pit their heroes against each other in three remaining successive rounds. Fans will vote in each match for their favorite hero and the winner of each match advances onto the next round until there is only one hero left standing. To place your votes, you can visit Kensington’s TUMBLR or Kensington’s WEBSITE. Remember, each match runs for a full 24 hours!

Why participate? Maybe you’ll discover your new book boyfriend. Maybe you’ll find a new author to add to your auto-buy list. Many of the featuring Kensington’s heroes are on sale, so now if your chance to check out those titles that sound appealing and add them to your reading pile, murr! =^.^=

Here’s today’s competition:

The Dominant vs The Ex-Army Detective

BARBERface BARBERtext

Playing the Game by M.Q. Barber

Amazon | B&N | Website | Goodreads

VS.

MARTINface MARTINtext

Against the Sky by Kat Martin

Amazon | B&N | Website | Goodreads

Be sure to get your votes within the next 24 hours by visiting Kensington’s TUMBLR or Kensington’s WEBSITE!

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