Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
I had the pleasure of meeting Jodie and Tammy when they were pre-published, and new to HCRW. Though my path took me away from the group, I still kept tabs on the authors. But I was shocked when I walked into my local Barnes and Noble to find a whole end cap lined with their novels! And I was proud of their hard work, since I knew that both of them had been honing their craft and really getting to know the nitty gritty details of publishing. Now I'm ecstatic that they're about to unveil their 5th release. My how time flies and how things can change in the blink of an eye...but I know they're still the two lovely ladies who shared stories over coffee. And they deserve every little iota of their success!
How did you concoct the combination of characters in your Wolf series, and now the connected Bite series? What is the most important characteristic each hero or heroine must possess?
Lydia/Jodie - Tammy and I are both "panters" so we don't plot the combination of characters at all. It just happens organically. As for the most important hero/heroine characteristics... We try to stay within the guidelines our editor, Deb Werksman, says she's always looking for - "A heroine you can relate to and a hero you can fall in love with."
Lydia/Tammy – We actually came up with the wolves while Jodie and I were sitting at a conference. We started making up characters and scenarios, and there they were! Then in book two, our wolves met some witches. And our witches needed some formidable heroes. So the vampyres were born.
When did you decide to branch out from historical werewolf paranormals to mix in witches and now vampyres? Has the variety made your writing easier or more complex?
Lydia/Jodie - Oh, we decided fairly early on to bring the witches into the mix. The coven first debuted in the second book TALL, DARK and WOLFISH. As for the vampyres, there is a small introduction to one of our vampyre heroes in THE TAMING OF THE WOLF, but if you blinked you missed it. We decided to add more paranormal characters to our world to make it more mystical and add new layers. I don't think the variety has made the writing easier or more complex, but as our world grows and books are cast in stone, we don't have as much freedom to create as we did originally.
Lydia/Tammy – As we built our Regency Paranormal Historical world, we had to decide who would and would not be in it. And the witches were a very natural progression, because, honestly – who else could heal a broken Lycan? I vaguely remember that Jodie kept trying to write a dragon into our pages, and I kept writing him out. But we very well may see him at a later date. Who knows?
Since settings are critical in historicals, what one place stands out as your favorite to write about? Have you taken any sight seeing trips for inspiration?
Lydia/Jodie - My father's family stems from Scotland, so I have to say Edinburgh has been my favorite locale. I have not been to Scotland, but I have been to London and the southern counties of England. Spending time there feels more like home than where I live.
Lydia/Tammy – I have never been to any of the places we’ve written about, but I did visit a lot of them online. Since I was a novice at the Regency terminology, I had to go look at old photos of Drury Lane (the popular old theater) so I could picture it in my head. When we wrote IN THE HEAT OF THE BITE, Jodie sent me pictures of some old lochs so I could see the area where our castle was set. So, while we’ve not seen any of these places in person, we have certainly toured them in our minds.
How long have you been working together and what kind of sparks flew when you became Lydia Dare?
Lydia/Jodie - We've been writing together 2 1/2 years, but we've been friends a lot longer. I think sparks fly whenever we're together. We seldom agree.
Lydia/Tammy – Spark? What sparks? Jodie adores me 100% of the time, and I feel the same way about her. Just because I say, “I hate you Jodie,” at least once every time I see her doesn’t mean anything.
What is the best and worst thing that's happened since your rise to success? What are your wishes for the future?
Lydia/Jodie - The best thing about being so busy is interacting with readers. Talking to someone who is a fan is the highest high. The worst thing would be we would both like the time to work on individual projects, but we've been too busy to do so. Hmm - wishes for the future - hitting the NYT list!
Lydia/Tammy – The best thing – my husband tells everyone he’s the man on our covers. The worst thing – my husband tells everyone he’s the man on our covers.
Which "must have" item do you need when you're writing? A certain drink, pen/laptop or picture for inspiration?
Lydia/Jodie - I've become quite the Starbucks addict. I don't have to have a venti cinnamon dolche latte, but it does help.
Lydia/Tammy – I need quiet, Diet Dr Pepper, and a whole bunch of ice. But that’s about all!
Are there any upcoming appearances or other news fans need to know about?
Lydia/Jodie - I'm headed to Clearwater FL this weekend and plan on signing stock at the local bookstores.
Lydia/Tammy – I’ll be at Romantic Times in LA in April, and I’ll be in New York in June for the Romance Writers of America national conference.
If you'd like to learn nmore about Lydia Dare go to http://www.lydiadare.com/. One lucky person who posts a comment or question for Tammy or Jodie will be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of IT HAPPENED ONE BITE...their March release! Please include your e-mail address in your post!
Monday, February 21, 2011
© 2007 Gabriella Hewitt
Frankie seized the towel and wrapped it around her. “Get out!”
by Ashlyn Chase
Konrad Wolfensen considers it his responsibility to protect the citizens of Boston, even if it's from their own carelessness. So he breaks into unguarded businesses to show how easy stealing from them could be. However, he doesn't count on being caught in the act and ending up in jail. Luckily for him, his attractive new neighbor is an attorney.
When attorney Roz Wells moves into her new apartment, she gets a lot more than she expects including help from her handsome upstairs neighbor. She looks forward to getting to know him better.
So begins an amusing tale of romance, courtship and misunderstandings. Konrad realizes he needs to find another career especially as he gets to know Roz better. As an attorney, she's seen and heard it all from a plethora of 'But I'm innocent' clients and she's simply tired of it. She's pretty sure that Konrad isn't one of those types even after she helps keep him out of jail and when he suggests that they both need different careers, she's game to try.
What follows is a career counselor's nightmare, albeit a funny one as the duo attempt to learn cooking, bar tending, dancing, and parachuting skills and should come with the label 'Don't Try This At Home'. While Konrad and Roz appear to be perfect for each other, their career talents are far more limited as Roz ends up with a nearly broken foot (dancing), and burnt hair (cooking). Konrad doesn't fare a whole lot better but, as a werewolf, he's built a lot sturdier and can take a lot more damage. His main problem is how to let Roz know what he truly is without freaking her out.
Roz values truth and honesty after dealing with all her so-called innocent clients. She likes Konrad's honesty and willingness to help the other residents in the apartment building and she loves the way he treats her as if she's the most special person in the world. What woman wouldn't? But even a love struck woman has to wonder why her lover vanishes on the night of the full moon or ends up parading down the hall in all his naked glory. And his answers don't go very far to satisfy her. He's hiding something and until she knows what it is, she can't commit herself to their relationship.
The Werewolf Upstairs is an amusing tale and a good way to spend a cold February evening. This is the second in Ms Chase's series (Strange Neighbors was the first book).
Monday, February 14, 2011
Two years ago, when I moved to the Tampa area, I was delighted to feel the vibe of the Caribbean seeping into the local atmosphere, and it inspired me to write. The result is my new book Tears on a Tranquil Lake.
One of my favorite settings in the book takes place on the Haitian island of Tortuga, a wild pirate hangout during the 1600s. While Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies paint it as a somewhat mythical place, it did really serve from 1640 to 1684 as a neutral hideout for pirate ships and storage of their booty.
While researching the history of the island, I learned some interesting bits of information. Although the island was known to the native tribes, the Taino, and formed a landing for Christopher Columbus in 1493, it wasn’t used as permanent settlement until Spanish and French pirates claimed it for their own uses. Various European governments then attempted to control the island. The French government built Fort de Rocher, and a Spanish army tried to overthrow that effort. The British entered the mix, and amid such indecision, the pirates easily commanded authority with their natural barbaric style.
By 1640, the pirates using Tortuga as a home port called themselves the Brethren of the Coast. Eventually, the various governments devised ways to deal with or control the pirates’ wild lifestyles so the island could be inhabited by civilized peoples. The French governor even imported 1,650 prostitutes, hoping to lure the lascivious buccaneers into respectable, settled lifestyles with family commitments. Hard to believe! Seems to me like giving candy to lustful pirates wouldn’t have given them reason to want a full meal. After a few years, the French government realized their error and attempted more successful business deals with the pirates, hiring them to serve as naval strike-force backup. Money provided a better hold on the Tortuga pirate community than sex!
Come enjoy some unbridled licentiousness and hedonism in Tears on a Tranquil Lake with the main character, a mermaid named Ciel, as she discovers the pleasures and vices of that magical island.