Saturday, May 3, 2014

Author Interview: Her Ghost Wears Kilts by Kathleen Shaputis

Her Ghost Wears Kilts
Kathleen Shaputis

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:   Crimson Romance
Date of Publication:  August 26, 2013

About the Book:
Something's not right at Baillie's popular used bookstore in rain-soaked western Washington and frigid, heart-stopping air is her first clue. When the cat refuses to enter the shop and Baillie hears faint bagpipes in the travel book section, her nerves are rubbed raw.
Meanwhile in Scotland, the heir of a local castle falls to a suspicious death. An evil banker claims ownership of the castle, leaving the staff to ponder their fate.
How are these events connected? The answer lies in a Ghost and Mrs. Muir tale, twenty-first century style that flips the table with a ghostly twenty-seven-year-old hunk, Lord Kai, and fifty-something bachelorette Baillie. Her gay best friend Gillian Nation and his girls dash to Scotland to Baillie's rescue when the combination of alcohol, villainous banker, Dna, and good old-fashioned jealousy throw Baillie into the fight of her life. Will she choose to reclaim her normal Northwest existence or grab onto an unorthodox love that makes life magical and breath-taking?

Author Interview:

Welcome, Kathleen, we are delighted to have you with us today, to share a little bit about yourself and your writing. Where are you from and from where/who did your love for writing come from?

I moved up from southern California to the great Pacific Northwest in 2000 and am now nestled in the county area of Olympia on two wooded acres. Yes, I have my own little forest. My love of writing sprang from a deep passion very young for reading, turning pages tucked in the corner of the couch or bed. I found if I wasn’t reading, my imagination took me on adventures even more incredible with characters of all kinds surrounding me. As an adult I found my maternal aunt and grandmother also had the same magical draw to books, so it’s in the genes.  

Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest 
moments to get through?

This book took a strange twist to publication. It’s intended audience was more “Sleepless in Seattle” type, light romantic comedy with a ghost. But after a few rejection slips, a dear friend who had been published with Crimson Romance, a new division of Adam Media, strongly suggested I submit the manuscript to them. From my query letter and synopsis, I got back a list of changes needed before they would consider taking the book. Mainly it was drop the more chick-lit scenes and bump up the relationship between the two main characters. I did and they accepted. 

How do you overcome I-suck-at this, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing 
isn’t good enough?

Great question! All writers fight the invisible editor on the shoulder constantly critiquing and side swiping your confidence. Over the years I’ve learned to ignore and drown her out with background music. Doesn’t mean she’s gone and zeroes in for attacks still, but I “have” to write. And if I give the characters an open door, they will take over for the most part so it doesn’t seem like my work, but theirs.

What is your dream vacation?

A relaxing, comfortable spot – whether on the beaches of northern California or a cute cottage in the forests, where nature is louder than humans. 

Describe your writing style in five words.

Sassy, light-hearted romps with characters. 

What movies are you currently excited to see?

“Into the Woods” coming out in 2014! I love fairy tales and this one includes Johnnie Depp and Meryl Streep. Muscials and romantic comedies are my favs – and I believe Mr. Depp will be singing in this one as well.

What are you currently reading?

“The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott” by Kelly O’Conner McNees 

If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue?

Ah, now you have to remember this was back in the Sixties, after my childhood dreams of being a playwright and novelist had been buried by very practical parents, I wanted to be a guide dog dog trainer. I saw a show about the first guide dog, Buddy, and knew working with dogs and people would be perfect for me. I wrote to a guide dog school in San Rafael, California asking what I needed to take in college to be one. I was politely informed that only men were selected to become trainers. I still have the letter to this day. I went into clerical work until computers came along.

If you could create a holiday of your own, what would it be called?

I actually did this when I wrote “The Crowded Nest Syndrome,” a humorous look at the return of adult children in 2004 and created Crowded Nest Syndrome Awareness Day on June 12 gotten a lot of air time across the nation over the years, listed in the Chase book of Special Days. But it wasn’t really for me.   

For people who haven’t read your novel, how would you summarize the plot?

Inspired by the 1939 movie “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” this romantic comedy is a contemporary adventure involving a fifty-something woman who is haunted by a gorgeous Scottish ghost trying to warn her of danger. A cast of characters come to Baillie’s rescue when she does indeed find her life in danger. 

What are two of your pet-peeves?

Waiting for people to show up at a promised time and there’s no contact is worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. I hate to be late – which is not an easy thing when you live with a family of procrastinators. 

To you, what makes a good story?

A good story wraps its tentacles around believable, three-dimensional characters. Doesn’t matter if they are a dog, a vampire or a house – the characters will make a book great. 

What usually turns you off about a story?

Dry, on-going details that seem to drag into multiple paragraphs. I don’t mind a thousand page book if I’m engaged in the characters and storyline. But if it’s dry, sixty pages is too much.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why?

Before she passed away, it would have been Nora Ephron. The woman’s talent with words and humor traveled fairly similar to mine. My bucket list includes having one of my books made into a movie and that would have been ensured working with the likes of Ms. Ephron.

What is on your night stand? 

Hmm, one, two, three stacks of books surrounding this poor table lamp. With another stack of 
books on the floor against the front of the night stand. And there’s a Kindle on top of one of the 

What is your favorite book?

Is there such a thing as “a” favorite? That would be like saying you have a favorite child (slapping hands to my cheeks). Those that I read over and over are the Harry Potter series (JK Rowlings), Twilight series (Stephanie Meyer) and The Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon).

Thank you so much for joining us, Kathleen. 

About the Book:

Drag queens, a ghost and murder, oh my. Love spirits through the modern day tale of inheritance and greed, crossing the vale between worlds.

Baillie thought life was content, successful in the Pacific Northwest until her bookshop became haunted. Inheriting a Scottish castle leads her on a wild adventure of Celtic chaos where she meets her gorgeous ghost. Finding her life in danger, Baillie calls the diva squad to the rescue: her friend Gillian Nation and his girls.

Will she choose her normal, safe existence or grab onto an unusual love that makes life magical?


About the Author:
Kathleen Shaputis, author/ghostwriter, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, where curling up with icy Diet Coke, writing romantic comedies is her ultimate paradise.

Author Contacts:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Blog: Fatal Desire by Valerie Twombly

Guardians Series
Book 2
Valerie Twombly

Print Length: 250 pages
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC
Publication Date:  March 26, 2014

About the Book:
Caleb is dark, hot, and commanding in human form. As a dragon, he’s a force to be reckoned with. When he witnesses the slave Lileta being beaten by his Overlord Odage, he nearly comes unglued. Without understanding why, he asks to take the slave as his own, but soon realizes his longing is more than an attraction to a beautiful woman. In a sick twist of fate, the gods have given him a demon as his mate—one he can never touch unless he wishes his own death. His only choice is to grant her freedom.

Lileta wanted to kill Caleb, but when she is freed by this tempting male, her anger turns to a desire that can only prove fatal. Even if she could claim him as her own, her dark past makes her unworthy of his love.

When their paths continue to intertwine, spiraling them to the brink of passion, can they resist the yearnings burning within them, or will they submit to their fatal desire?

PRFL is thrilled to share author Valerie Twombly's guest post ~ enjoy!  

Today I’m going to share a few tidbits you might want to know about Fatal Desire and the couple that grace its pages. Caleb and Lileta.
First let me begin by saying book two was not supposed to be Caleb’s story. If you read Eternal Flame, he made a brief appearance and I had no plan to write about him this early in the series. However, he is very vocal and insisted this be his book. I know better than to argue with a dragon and I can say with all honesty I’m glad I listened. His story was a challenge, but I’ve grown very fond of this man and I hope you will too.
So in book two I tie up a couple loose ends. Cassie and Marcus’s baby and we get to see what really lies behind Odage and his evil heart. Of course being the wicked woman I am, I opened a few more cans of worms for the reader to dissect J
Caleb, is a Draki. A dragon shifter who is stubborn, pissy, loyal, kind and gentle in one moment and lethal in the next. He’s not a Guardian, but one of many other immortals living among us. Like some of the demons, his people have held an alliance with the Guardians and helped keep the peace for centuries.
One of the things I love about Caleb, is his dedication. It shines through when he’s faced with a hard choice. Often he will put others before his own heartache. You gotta love a man who can be so lethal, yet have a heart of gold.
Lileta, is a Kothar demon. A woman of great beauty, her people have become targets to the slave traders. I love this woman! She shows us her vulnerable side. Like many women she often feels insecure and unworthy. However, don’t let her fool you. She will risk her own life to save another and has a heart bigger than most. Even when she feels let down and trampled on, she will fight for the life of another
Now if you remember in book one I mentioned how Kothar demons were lethal to dragons. Their body fluids poison to them. Great! My dragon declared Lileta as his when he insisted on this story. I accepted the challenge and now I can think of no two people who belong together more. They complement each other. When one is unsure the other is their rock.
So strap on your seatbelt, their story is a bumpy ride full of twists and turns. Is there a happy ending? Perhaps ;-)

Thank you, Valerie!

About The Author: 

As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find. 
Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked. 
Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL.

Author Contacts:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle 6” E Ink
RUNNER UP: One $10 Amazon gift card

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Author Interview & Book Spotlight: Berman's Wolves by Gretchen SB

Berman's Wolves
Gretchen SB

Genre: Urban Fantasy

About the Book:

When a scientist runs an experiment on three separate college campuses that goes horribly wrong, several hundred students find their lives altered forever. They must learn to adapt to their new lives as Werewolves. Immediately after the incident a government program was put in place to keep track of these unwitting subjects. After a year the program falls apart as those in charge argue on how to proceed.
Without the programmers constantly looking over their shoulders the werewolves have now started to organize themselves. Creating their own hierarchy and alliances.
Jack is the Alpha of Pacific Northwest University's pack F. He thought the government had finally taken a step back and let him and the other Alphas run their packs. Recently, however, he has been hearing rumblings about the programmers wanting to reinstate the program. He thought they were just rumors until he finds out one of his pack is being threatened by several of the lab assistants that took part in the original experiment. Now Jack must scramble to find allies and hunt down those threatening his pack. The more he goes looking the bigger the plot becomes.

PRFL would like to extend a very warm welcome to Gretchen SB, author of Berman's Wolves. Gretchen, can you tell us where you're from, and where/whom did your love for writing come from? 
I am from the Seattle area. I love my books to take place in my area because I love it here so much. I also do it because in Washington State we have forests, deserts, farms, and cities. Pretty much everything I want to have in my books thus far.

Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest moments to get through?
I think that the journey has had lots of obstacles from when I first decided I wanted to publish to now. I have been lucky because nothing was so hard that I could not pick up and move around it. As for what was the hardest, that would be when I lost most of my work six months ago. That was incredible disheartening. I work on trying to see every book I publish as a victory over the guy who stole my lap top.

How do you overcome I-suck-it is, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing isn’t good enough?
I’ve overcome it?!?!?! No one told me. J For me what it came down to is that writing is what I truly want to do with my life and publishing was the only way to find out if people did indeed like my work. I still hear that little voice all the time but on the plus side it means that every good review I see sends me over the moon.

What is your dream vacation?
I don’t think I have one. There are lots of places I want to go like Greece and Egypt but I want to see them all equally. Really I want to go anywhere that I can see the history of human culture.

Describe your writing style in five words.
Random, Sarcastic, Urban, Paranormal, Fantasy.

What movies are you currently excited to see?

What are you currently reading?
I have been reading a lot of Chick Lit that I downloaded onto my Kindle for free from Amazon. I love free books. J

If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue?
I would like to be a Yoga Instructor of a College Instructor teaching Comparative Religion or Mythology or something along those lines.

If you could create a holiday of your own, what would it be called?
It would be Customer Service Appreciation Day. It would be a day where we recognize the people working in the thankless Customer Service jobs. It would be celebrated by Customer Service people getting to say the things they have really wanted to say the rest of the year. *Evil Laugh* Think of the mayhem.

For people who haven’t read your novel, how would you summarize the plot?
This is a book about a scenice experiment that turns several hundred students in to Werewolves. The government steps in to control the situation but that soon falls apart because those in charge argue about how to proceed. The book takes place after all of this when the Weres are trying to take control of themselves. At the same time there are ex-scientists trying to get control of the Weres for their own purposes.

What are two of your pet-peeves?
1)      People that are rude to Customer Service personal. I just do not understand it.
2)      When people suck on or lick their fingers when they eat. I don’t know why but it is one of the grossest things to me.

To you, what makes a good story?
Well-developed characters.  I love when the characters are three dimensional because then the decisions they make throughout the book seem more natural and easy to understand. I find I get more invested.

What usually turns you off about a story?
When there is any kind of sexual assault. It bothers me with both books and moves. I will turn the movie off or put the book down. I might just be crazy but there is something about having that subject matter in an entertainment format that makes me queasy.  It almost seems belittling to me. But that is just me.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why?
Oh my goodness, I don’t know…..There are so many wonderful authors out there.

What is on your night stand?
My PJs, a hair clip, a hair tie, a lamp, a cheesy romance book, and my phone when it is plugged in.

What is your favorite book?
I don’t think I have one. There are lots of books I love. I guess it depends on where I am and what my mood is.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Gretchen. We really enjoyed the visit. Good luck and great sales with Berman's Wolves

About the Author:

Gretchen happily lives in Seattle, Washington where she spends her time creating new characters and situations to put them in. She also enjoys cheering on her local sports teams, even though it sometimes seems they are allergic to winning.
Gretchen has spent most of her life in Washington state. She graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in History and a BA in Philosophy. Though there was a brief stint after college where she lived in Florida and worked for the mouse (Disney World). She loves that Washington provides a large range of activities, from Shakespeare in the park to rodeos.
She has had a love of reading and telling stories as far back as she, or anyone else, can remember.  Currently, she loves to read the same genres she writes. She also loves exploring her home state. At the end of her adventures she unwinds by curling up on the couch, knitting while catching up TV shows via Netflix.

Author Contacts:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter