Monday, November 26, 2012

Open Mic Monday presents Author Brian MacLearn

Brian MacLearn stops by for a quick interview followed by an excerpt of his novel "Remember Me".  Drumroll, please, as he takes center stage for Open Mic Monday!  

Thank you, Brian, for taking the time to stop by Kisses, Caresses and Whispers in the Night today. I really appreciate your time. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your newest release?
"Remember Me" is much more than a story about time travel.  I describe it as my "morality story."  We are shaped by the events in our lives.  We also spend a fair share of time wondering "What if."  The story is wrought with intrigue and sub-plots, but at its core is love and commitment.  I wanted to explore the emotional aspects of what reliving a time in the past might feel like.  Andrew doesn't magically revert in age; he is still fifty and a total outsider.  He can live a new life of wealth, abandoning all those cherished people in his life, or he can test the powers of time by trying to help them.  
"Remember Me" has villains and heroes.  It also builds in intensity as the story progresses, right through to the last page.  I debated about including the events of 9/11.  I wanted the story to feel real.  My character did what I believe most of us would want to do, put in that situation.  Being a "good man" is not easy when you know what is going to happen.  We all dream about changing our past, but our past is who we are now.  We want things to turn out better, but what cost are we willing to pay for change?  Whom would you be willing to sacrifice?

What inspired this novel in particular?
Turning 50 got me thinking about everything I had accomplished…or didn't.  I've also been drawn to time-travel stories and movies my whole life.  I remember watching "The Time Traveler's Wife" and thinking it was a different take on time traveling.  It focused more on the emotion and not the science part.  A good friend once told me she wished she hadn't married and had kids with her ex husband.  Her statement made me think hard about "What if."  I couldn't imagine a life without one of my children.  My main character, Andrew, had to face that exact outcome when his youngest daughter was not born.  

Who is your favorite character in this novel and why?
Stacy.  She is Andrew's sister.  In his normal life, he didn't have much of a relationship with her.  Stacy was much older than he was.  Once Andrew returned to the past, he was the older brother.  Time really does change our perceptions.  In the story, she is the conscious, the motivator, and the spark Andrew needs to keep going.  She wasn't originally going to have a big part, but she just kept bugging me to write her in more…dang those big sisters.  LOL.

What comes first--characters or plot ideas?
What plot?  My first novel, "Our Heart," was entirely based upon song lyrics that I wrote.  My fiancĂ©e at the time suggested it would make a good Hallmark movie or book.  I was working on a different story.  I sat down at the computer and reread the lyrics, thought of a name, and began to type.  I never knew who would show up or where the story would go.  "Remember Me" was slightly different.  I knew how it began and how I wanted it to end.  The rest filled itself in as I went along.  I'm amazed by those who can use outlines.  I'm very orderly in my life, but my stories tell themselves, I am but a mere scribe.

How many books have you written?
2 published, one 2/3rds done, too many to count in various stages.
What is your favorite aspect about being a novelist?
I finally get to put down on paper what all the voices in my head keep shouting at me.  LOL.  I read a post on Facebook the other day, "If you hear voices in your head, and they talk like you aren't even there… you must be an author."  I believe every author is also an insatiable reader.  We love to get caught up in the story, to become the storyteller is an amazing blessing.  
What inspires you as an author? 
I believe inspiration comes when you least expect it, and from where you never believed it could.  I want to tell a good story.  When you're done reading my novel, I want you to say, "I'm glad I read that book."  That is my driving force, to make the story real, to make it resonate.

What draws you to this particular genre?
I write what needs to get out of my head; the genre takes care of itself when the novel is finished.  Neither of my novels has been easy to put into a category.  It may make it harder to define me, but it allows me to focus on a good idea, regardless of where it might best fit. 

Are there any other genres you can see yourself writing and why/why not?
Nothing is off-limits in my mind.  My next novel is an adult version of bullying.  It takes manipulation to a deadly extreme.  I think that what keeps me motivated is the ability to write what moves me.  I have pages full of ideas, spread across many different genres.   

To you, what's the most challenging aspect of being a published novelist and why?
I'm a drop in the water; someday I want to be a ripple if not a wave.  Every novel I write I want to make better than the last one.  It takes just as much work to build an audience as it does to write the novel.  The competition for readers is fierce.  The advent of the e-readers has opened the market for every aspiring novelist.  To gain the readers favor is the challenge facing all of us.  

How important is reader feedback to you? Do you let it deter you from writing what's in your heart?
Readers are whom we write for.  I take everything to heart that they have to say.  Creatively, I control the content, and it comes from my heart, but, if it doesn't connect with them, it's all for naught.  I know what I'm trying to say…do they?  I really believe my writing is a wonderful journey.  I can't make it without them on my side.

If you could go anywhere in the world right now with one person, all expenses paid, where would you go, who would you take and why? (this is hypothetical by the way--I'm not a lotto winner! LOL)
I'm laughing…I'm sure I might have a different answer if I take more time to think about it.  That being said, the first thing that popped into my mind, a castle hopping trip around Scotland with Stephen King.  Can you imagine the stories waiting to be uncovered, not just in the history of the places we visit, but also from the depths of his mind.  The setting would be perfect.  Being able to go to sleep at night…that would be a different story.

Are you more of a chef or a takeout person?
At this point in my life, I'm more takeout.  Occasionally, I enjoy taking the time and making something special.  I have always wanted to take gourmet-cooking classes.  It's only me now.  Not by choice, mind you, so going all out for just yourself isn't very practical.  I hope someday, I'll get the chance to exhibit my culinary skills again. 

Tell us 5 little known facts about yourself.
I'm a lousy artist, but I can draw a mean snoopy.  I used to get requests in high school to draw him for posters and banners.
I'm usually the first one to cry at sad/emotional movies.  I was born with an over-active empathy gland, which makes in necessary to be in reach of a box of Kleenexes.
I'm a decent singer, and I have written the lyrics to over 30 songs, some of which have been recorded as demos in Nashville. 
I love to spend time in the Minnesota Boundary Waters.  There is something about the remoteness and beauty that draws me there. Canoeing and portaging gear between lakes, camping without phones, electricity, and modern conveniences, and getting back to nature is good for the soul.
I've been bowling in a league ever since I was in 4th grade.  A couple years back I finally rolled my first 300.  I'm still waiting to get my first hole-in-one on the golf course. 

Books available at 
Brian MacLearn
PO Box 299
Waverly, IA 50677

Remember Me excerpt

As I sat at my kitchen table waiting for “Time,” to once again count down.  I couldn’t stop my last fifty years of memories from taking a firm hold of my thoughts. It had only been twenty-five countable years, but I lived them twice. It was sad, but the last twenty-five years nearly erased the happiness and love I once shared with Amy and my family. Every single day, I thought about her, remembered her, and loved her. Her image in my mind had began to ever-so-slowly fade away at the edges until only her bright blue eyes could be recalled with total certainty. Twenty-five years had obliterated the photo I carried in my wallet. The day I unknowingly ran it through the washing machine, was the first day I had seriously thought of suicide since being banished to this hell and loosing Emily. 
In roughly three hours, a wormhole would open, hopefully. I would finally be able to set right, what once had been blissfully good and then destroyed by me.  None of this would matter anymore, life would return to the path and time it was destined to follow. I had to believe this! I had no other choice; the alternative was simply not conceivable.  My precious daughter, Emily, had a right to live--even if I must now die to save her. This was not a knock against Carter, Stephanie, or even delicate Tricia, all of whom I had come to love from afar. In a strange way they were still a part of me. But; I had been a part of Emily’s life; there at her birth, her first steps the highs and lows she went through, and above all else, I lived and relished the bond that grows between a father and his daughters. 
Samantha was equally important to me, and I would have been just as lost without her. Her life was altered too, gone was the husband she had once worshiped, and who loved her with the same passion I recognized in Amy and me. This time around, she had no longing for a relationship as she worked her way through medical school. It meant that Megan, my granddaughter would never be born in this time. One brief snippet of time altered the lives of so many. I could be wrong. It wasn’t too late for Sam to have children. Time was about to end for me…maybe. In a few hours I would know for certain. Once I passed into the wormhole, I would never know if Sam’s life would ever include the same happiness she once had in my life. I could only pray that going back would reset the world back to normal. If this was an alternate universe, then I prayed to God to grant her love and happiness.
I was proud of Samantha then and even now. They were two different people. Say what you will, but environment does shape your personality. I’ve seen it firsthand. The easy laughter my Sam had was replaced by the sheer determination to succeed. It was always lying just under her exterior, but in this time it became her driving force. I didn’t rule out happiness for her, but it wouldn’t come easy. Tami seemed to have found a measure of peace in her life. I was grateful for this. It was one small token of change that seemed to be a bright spot. She turned her attention to Tricia and became her guardian, her light, and many times her very will to keep going. I would never know all the intricacies that made up their lives. I was still an outsider. I couldn’t measure their added happiness, or the new nightmares they faced because of me. I was only able to learn second-hand from my parents and sister what their lives were like.
Author bio:  Brian MacLearn graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Business.  He is a lifetime resident of Iowa, currently living in Waverly.  He has two daughters and three granddaughters.  He has had poetry published, and written song lyrics that have been recorded as demos in Nashville.  He has two published novels, "Our Heart" and "Remember Me."  "Our Heart" was a 2011 Readers Favorite finalist in Women's fiction.  "Remember Me" is a 2012 Readers Favorite Bronze medalist in Science Fiction/romance.   

Saturday, November 24, 2012

And the winner is...

Black Friday Blog Hop winner for the $25 Victoria's Secret e-gift card from Kisses, Caresses & Whispers in the Night is... Joy (magic5905)!  Woot! She's been contacted via email. Thanks to all who participated! 

Overall Blog Hop winners are...

After over 8,000 comments our BLACK FRIDAY HOP has some grand prize winners!!

Grand Prize Winners:

Kindle Fire Winner:
Angela Heart

$75 Amazon Gift Card:
Emma D.

Swag Pack:
Kim Brooks

The Crone Club: "Hen Lit" (for the--uh hem--more mature chicks!)

I'm happy to host the author of The Crone Club, Sandra Peddle, to Kisses, Caresses & Whispers in the Night.  She refers to The Crone Club as "Hen Lit"--I love that term.  Please welcome her and be sure to leave a comment or two below her interview.  Thanks for stopping by! Welcome, Sandra!

A quick description of the Crone Club:  
Cass attends a reunion of her old class-mates and her life is about to change forever.  She is hoping to see her old best friend George again, so she can finally discover why George  just vanished so completely on the last day of school. As Cass waits in vain for George to come, she begins to wish that she'd stayed away too.  In contrast to her other friends’ interesting lives Cass has had a dull forty years married to a bully of a husband.  She also prays that no-one will ask her what happened to the old Cass, that promising musician who left school so full of energy and ambition in the '60s.

However, Cass is to finds out why George disappeared so mysteriously all those years ago and it makes her angry enough to walk out on her husband and her old life for ever.

Now reunited, Cass and her friends form themselves into The Crone Club, in which each of them pledges to recover her forgotten youthful dreams and aspirations, and then turn them into a reality.  Nothing is going to stop these women having fun and not a single one of them has any intention of 'acting her age.'  

How would you describe the ‘reader appeal’ of The Crone Club? 
Well, primarily, it is a light-hearted take on growing older and I hope readers will find a bit of a giggle. With the characters all in their early 60s, The Crone Club is Hen Lit rather than Chick Lit.  The crones are well aware that they are on the brink of a new stage of their lives and they are determined to approach it positively.  Each one of them sets themselves a “rites of passage” challenge and a dream, preferably one from their younger days that they never achieved. If readers go to the website: they can join in and set themselves a challenge and a dream. 

Do the main characters in The Crone Club change or evolve throughout the course of the story, and if so, how and why?
The whole point of The Crone Club is that the characters recognize that they on the brink of a great change in their lives.  (Well, at least most of them do, although the twins, Jan and Jess, are unlikely to take anything so seriously.) This book concentrates on only two main characters: Cass, the protagonist, who is forced to “develop a backbone” as one of my reviewers put it and her best friend George, who also has to rise up to her own, unique challenges.  The book, however, is the first of a series and each book will have a different main character and will follow on from the previous book. So George is the main character in next book, Crone Club Mayhem and she has to adapt to a whole new way of life. 

Crone Club Mayhem will be available in Spring 2013.

As a writer how far would you say that you drew on your own life experiences to write The Crone Club and its characters?  
I was born in 1952, which makes me slightly younger than The Crone Club members and somewhat behind the age of the "hippy."  However, I was profoundly inspired by the ideals of the times.

Most of the characters of The Crone Club are parts of me that have been given free rein to be themselves.  Like Cass, the protagonist of the first book of the series, I had a difficult relationship with my first husband.  Like the bookish Alison, I came from a working class background and attended a Secondary Modern school, before transferring to a Grammar School to take my A levels.  I also developed strong feminist beliefs at university in the 70s. Like the nomadic George, I have travelled abroad, teaching English as a Foreign Language. I have also become something of a heavy weight over the years so I can empathise with her struggle with the loss of her looks.  Despite being a teacher, I don't really share Mary's need to control, but I can identify with the way she keeps charity and old-fashioned notions of service at the core of her values.  I have to admit that I share the twins' mischievous streak and raucous sense of humour.  The only character you’ll noticed I don’t lay claim to is Bambi.  I have to admit that she originally grew out of the need to provide a fairy godmother, but there is much more to Bambi than that, as both this book and future books in the series will show.

Having said all of this I cannot alone take the credit for The Crone Club.  I could not have completed it without the collaboration of my husband, Vince.  Our pen name S. V. Peddle actually stands for Sandra and Vince Peddle. 

So, do you think that the reader would describe the crones as real and believable? Would they perhaps remind us of someone we know and could we relate to their predicaments?
Well, the book is intended to be fun so to some extent the characters are exaggerated, as are their predicaments.  As I have said, each of them, with the exception of Bambi, are parts of me grown large. However, Cass develops through the course of the first book and George will forced to make some big changes to adapt to her new life in The Christmas Crone Club. In future books, each of the other crones will face some big challenges, which are all connected with life and growing older. 

A husband and wife partnership on a book, how does that work? 
On our author's website: you will find the other two books we have written together under the pen name.  The Moon Maiden was published in 2003 by Blackie and Co and Pagan Channel Islands, a work of non-fiction, was published by Robert Hale, first in hardback in 2007 and then in paperback in 2009. To be honest, Vince has been the main writer on both of those books.  I tend to have the ideas, but he brings them to life. 

As far as The Crone Club is concerned however, Vince has also been instrumental in helping me shape the final version of this new book, but unlike our previous collaborations, it is very much my own conception and is particularly close to my heart.

How can we buy The Crone Club? 
You can buy the paperback version on, and the e-book is presently exclusively available on amazon kindle.  This would make a great Christmas gift--especially for a gran with a sense of humor! 

Also visit the Crone Club:


S.V. Peddle (Sandra and Vince Peddle) on their website:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Blog Hop

Thanks for stopping by and avoiding the madness of Black Friday.  On Kisses, Caresses and Whispers in the Night I'm giving away a $25 Victoria's Secret e-gift card, chosen from the comments below the post so don't forget to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you.  Why VS? Well, because we all deserve a sweet treat for ourselves this holiday season, right?  

The grand prizes of the hop are listed below my post--also chosen from comments so don't forget to comment and leave your email address!  

Black Friday Fantasy
by Amber Lea Easton

After a day of eating turkey, pie, etcetera and drinking to excess to deal with family dramas, the idea of being sexy is absolutely absurd.  I'm bloated, hungover and sick of small talk.  What?  You want to go shopping at 4AM?  Hell, no, I say, no matter what the "deal" is.  Hey, I'm just being honest.

Here's my fantasy of what the perfect Black Friday would be if I could snap my fingers and make it so...

Ah, there he is... the man of my dreams and he's...what?  Oh, yeah...he's asking what he can do for me because he's so damn thankful I'm in his life.  (It is Thanksgiving, you know.)  I stretch my hands over my head, squinting against the mid-morning sun streaming in from the windows because the world has cooperated in allowing me to sleep in, and think about what kind of request I can make.  

Oh so many things come to mind...a massage with no expectations of sex, just him wanting to make me happy...a pitcher of mimosas next to the bed (hair of the dog for the hangover)...silence in the house because the kids have mysteriously found something other to do than be entertained by me.  After the massage and the emptying of the pitcher, he says he loves it when I don't shower, my hair is a tangled mess and I remain in my pajamas all day.  Ah, isn't he sweet?  For lunch, he brings me some leftovers and tells me to nap for the rest of the day while he takes the family out to a movie.  

How quickly the fantasy ends and reality intrudes...the kids are restless, the dogs want out, extended family is loud, no one is offering me a massage or anything remotely like that, the energy in the house is frantic and questions abound, what to do, where to go, how to entertain everyone?!  Oh, and let's not forget the hangover.  Hmm...if nothing else, I'm sure I have some vodka somewhere.  Let's shop!

Grand prizes for the Black Friday Hop 
(please note that all prizes except the swag pack are eligible for international entrants)

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

Keep hopping! Go to the website below--the more hops you make and comments you leave, the greater your chances of winning.  Happy Black Friday! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My week of author spotlights continues with Alexandra Sellers

Well, it's been a fun week of visiting authors...Tammy Dennings Maggy, Emma Meade, Tracy Kauffman, and now the spotlight turns toward Alexandra Sellers.  I always enjoy showcasing visiting authors and introducing my readers to someone new.  Oh, the joy of discovery, right?  Welcome, Alexandra!  

Thank you, Alexandra, for taking the time to stop by Kisses, Caresses and Whispers in the Night today.  I really appreciate your time.
Thank you for having me.  I really appreciate your interest. 
Can you tell us a little bit about your newest release?
Captive of Desire: The Writer's Cut, is the back title release of one of my earliest books.  It's the story of a Canadian journalist and a Russian dissident, who find each other after years apart and then must come to terms with each other's betrayal.

It's 'the writer's cut', by the way, because I hated the editing that happened to it and have restored the cuts and deleted the tweaks that my then editor imposed on me.  It may be that no one but myself would notice the difference, but somehow, after all these years, my heart is now at peace about this book.  I've resisted making big revisions of my own, though. I think every writer looking back on their early work feels the temptation to improve, and I certainly did.
 But I wanted to keep faith with the book I wrote then.  

(I've also just finished another Sons of the Desert story, by the way, but I'm not sure when it will be released.)
What inspired this book in particular?
The power of love has inspired all my books, and Captive of Desire in particular--I was so in love with my hero!  And also an outrage about prison conditions not merely in the then Soviet Union but all over the English-speaking world. 
How many books have you written?
Written? a few over 40.  But published I think 39. 
What inspires you as an author?  
If you mean, what can set a book going--it can be a conversation, a photograph, a house, a person I've met, the way the wind blows, something in the news...there's no end to inspiration in the world.
What draws you to this particular genre?
There are many sources of power in the world.  I prefer to concentrate on the power of love.
Are there any other genres you can see yourself writing and why/why not?
Oh, I'd like to write lots of different stuff.  I suffered a setback in my career ten years ago with a traffic accident, at a time when I was just embarking on a book outside romance.  I am now getting back into that place--I'm halfway through a thriller and there are two other books on the back burner that are right outside romance (but still inspired by love).  Wish me luck!
To you, what's the most challenging aspect of being a published author and why?
It's not coming to me...sorry!
How important is reader feedback to you? Do you let it deter you from writing what's in your heart?
No one can please everybody, and neither can a book. Of course reader feedback is important, but my first duty is to my characters and their story.   
If you could go anywhere in the world right now with one person, all expenses paid, where would you go, who would you take and why? (this is hypothetical by the way--I'm not a lotto winner! LOL)
I'd go on board a sailing ship bound for everywhere.  Is that cheating?   
Are you more of a chef or a take out person?  
That depends where I am.  London has great take out, and Vancouver, too, but the village where I live in Crete has none--unless you count my friend Katina's delicious boureki and gemista.  And for sure I prefer her cooking to my own.  My husband is a better chef than I am, too.  But I do miss Rose Tandoori Indian takeaway!
Tell us 5 little known facts about yourself. 
I once wrote a Cat language textbook: Spoken Cat and Relevant Factors in Worldview

I've studied homeopathy and cranialsacral therapy and practise on friends and family.

When the crime is big enough, I carry a grudge.

I was going to travel to Afghanistan with a friend the year before the Russians invaded, and I didn't go.  It's one of my great regrets.

Ever since reading the books of Essie Summers as a teenager, I've wanted to go to New Zealand.  I still haven't made it.

An excerpt of Captive of Desire
"Have you looked at my friend Vaclav's paintings?" he asked her at last. And when Laddy shook her head, he said, "Come. I will show you." And the electricity between them was so powerful that she knew that his putting an arm round her waist, light as the touch was, was an involuntary movement; she knew with a direct, certain knowledge that he could not prevent himself from touching her in that moment, any more than she could stop her own body's moving towards him so that her hip and leg brushed his as they walked.
He paused in front of the painting of a woman who stood in a simple pose, facing the viewer, waiting. That was all, except somehow one sensed the woman was watching the approach of her lover. Her eyes and part of her golden body were in shadow, but Laddy knew that the woman was looking at a man she loved passionately, and in every line of that naked body was evidence of a battle she was fighting with herself to wait, to wait and make him come to her.
Laddy drew in her breath through opened lips and felt Mischa Busnetsky glance down at her. They said nothing, and he guided her gently but firmly to the next painting.
A woman on her knees, her arms up and her lips parted, but this time the shadow falling on her was in the shape of a man's leg and hip, and when she realised the significance of it, Laddy felt her insides turn over. For a moment she closed her eyes.
"You are young," his deep voice came from over her head. "How old are you?"
"Seventeen," she breathed, her whole body aware of the contact between them at leg and hip, and his hand, burningly strong at her waist.
"In the West that is old enough to have learned about love," he said quietly. Laddy caught her breath.
"Have you learned about love?" he asked, quietly, gently, and she breathed, 
"It will not be long before someone will wish to teach you," he said. "You are so beautiful, so alive." There was quiet regret, resignation in his tone. "I would like to teach you about love," he said, and Laddy felt as though she had been struck in the stomach. She looked up at him; he was looking down at her, the same quiet regret in his eyes as she heard in his voice.
"But these things are not to be," he continued, his voice now causing a warmth to flow through her body, his voice caressing her and her body responding.
Her eyes, wide, gazed into his, and she felt that he must kiss her. "Look at the picture," he commanded quietly, doing so himself, and she looked at the picture of the enraptured woman with parted lips.
"This is a look I will never see on your face," he said. "But this is how you would look for me if I taught you about love."
No one around them in the crowded apartment was taking the least notice of them, and Laddy realised, with a kind of drunken joy, that what he was saying to her, in English, could not be understood by anyone in the room except her father, who stood by another wall engrossed in conversation.
"Here I can make love to you only with words," Mischa said. "Shall I do this? Shall I tell you how my mouth would touch your hair, your soft lips, your full young breasts? Shall I tell you what we would have together if the world were not what it is at this moment?"
She said breathlessly, "Mischa—"
"Look at the painting of my friend Vaclav," he commanded again. "This is a woman who is in love with a man body and soul, as you will someday be, but not for me. But if it were I, if you looked at me like this, how would I keep from touching your lips?" And he reached out and his fingers lightly touched the oil-on-canvas lips of the woman kneeling in the golden glow and the shadow.
Laddy's mouth burned as though it were her lips that he touched. His hand dropped to his side.

Website & Blog:

About the author:
A writer and editor for the past 30 years, Alexandra Sellers has written over two million words for print, both fiction and non-fiction, including articles, reviews, training material, brochures, websites, mini-series ‘bibles’, blurbs, obituaries, short stories, and over 35 books. Her novels have been translated into more than 15 languages. She has also written and produced murder mystery experiences, and for several years taught her own course in How to Write Romance.
Alexandra Sellers has been a full-time writer since the publication of her first novel in 1980, writing novels that are both spiritually and emotionally intense. In 1997, her novel A Nice Girl Like You was nominated by Romantic Times for a Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Silhouette Yours Truly. Three years later she received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy.
The common theme that runs through her novels is the cosmic union of male and female: the reuniting, through deep romantic love manifested in the sex act, of that universal soul which was divided into male and female at the moment of physical creation, and which has been searching for its other half ever since. Her novels also express a fundamental belief that love conquers all.  Sellers is a writer who uses the canvas of romantic novels to present her ideas not only about love, but also about the world.
She was born and raised in Canada and educated there and in Britain. After training in London at RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she spent seven years as an actor on stage, radio, and television. She later attended the School of Oriental and African Studies, or SOAS, a faculty of the University of London that specializes in the cultures of the Middle East and Asia. Sellers was the first student to study for a double degree in Persian and Religious Studies; she was awarded First Class Honours.

Alexandra first started dreaming about exotic locales at the age of 10, when she first cracked the cover of a small collection of tales and pictures called The Arabian Nights. The stories were taken from The Thousand and One Nights, and names like Samarkand, Shiraz, and Baghdad still carry a magic for her which no amount of current history can overshadow. 
Her favourite hobby is foreign languages, of which she has studied eight: French, Farsi, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Italian, and Latin. Her talent for languages (along with her sense of humour) was also expressed in her book Spoken Cat and Relevant Factors in Worldview, a self-teaching language primer of the Cat language. 
Other areas of interest for Sellers include: health and alternative medicine; English grammar; linguistics; theatre/arts; Middle Eastern languages, religions, and history; Regency England; Jane Austen; psychology; dreams; storytelling; academic writing. 
Website & Blog:

Monday, November 19, 2012

An Interview with Tracy Kauffman

An interview with Tracy Kauffman

Thank you, Tracy, for taking the time to stop by Kisses, Caresses and Whispers in the Night today.  I really appreciate your time.  

Can you tell us a little bit about your newest release? 

Southern Adventures is a young adult- coming of age book about a woman recalling her life growing up in the south.  She recalls her life as a young girl and the adventures, trials, and romance she experience becoming a woman.

What inspired this novel in particular? 
I wrote this book partly about my life.  My son left home for the Air Force and it gave me something to keep my mind off of his leaving home. 

Who is your favorite character in this novel and why? 
Of course it is Kay Harrison because she is like me.

What comes first--characters or plot ideas? I would say in this book the character came first, because when I wrote this book I tried to remember things that had happened to me growing up that would be entertaining.

How many books have you written? Five total but one is only available in E book.  They are Gwendolyn's Wish, Southern Adventures, My Boyfriend the Squire, Richard the Lionheart, and Captain Honey Bear Saves Goldie Locks.

What is your favorite aspect about being a novelist? I have enjoyed making up stories from an early age.  When I was in elementary school, I won the title of Editor due to a paper I wrote.

What inspires you as an author? The art of writing itself inspires me because you can create anything you want and put in in writing.  You can become who you always wanted to be, travel the world, or create a magical world of fantasy. 

What draws you to this particular genre? This book is a combination type of genre.  It is a fiction coming of age book but it is also a christian fiction, a romanace fiction.  So I would say that I am not partial to any certain genre.  I do not wish to write any type of science fiction or cult related genres.

Are there any other genres you can see yourself writing and why/why not? Yes as explained earlier, I would write in any genre as long as it wasn't science fiction or cult related.  My newest book that will be released next is Richard the Lionheart and it is a historical fiction.

To you, what's the most challenging aspect of being a published novelist and why? The most challenging aspect would be marketing.  I have interviewed other authors and they say the same.

How important is reader feedback to you? Do you let it deter you from writing what's in your heart? Reader feedback is important but so far it has all been very good.

If you could go anywhere in the world right now with one person, all expenses paid, where would you go, who would you take and why? (this is hypothetical by the way--I'm not a lotto winner! LOL) I would travel to Japan to where my son is.  He is in the Air Force and I miss him a great deal.  He says it is a nice place to live and see.

Are you more of a chef or a take out person? I can cook some but choose to take out due to being so busy.  My husband and family brag on some of my dishes though.  Most people in the south do know how to cook.

Tell us 5 little known facts about yourself.  I'm a registered nurse.  I work in a local nursing home.  I am a born again Christian.  I hope to inspire others with my writing.  I want to be known for things that are good instead of evil when I die;  I want to leave behind a legacy of righteousness to my children.

Book blurb
Kay remembered times when she had prayed and asked God for certain things in her life. She suddenly felt comforted. She was glad that he left some prayers unanswered. Oh, what kind of life would she have had, if she received everything she wanted?
Kay Harrison sat in her living room, slowly flipping through the pages of a photo album filled with photographs from her past. She recalled her life as a child who was brave and mischievous. Living in the south brought a life of adventures and mishaps for Kay. She searched hard for the meaning of her life. Follow Kay as she discovers this meaning as God's plan for her unfolds through the good times and rough times that she endured on her Southern Adventures.

An excerpt of Southern Adventures

One day, Kay woke up and started getting dressed. It was Saturday, which meant no school. Her mother yelled, “Girls, get ready. We’re going to Sandy and Matt’s house.” 
Kay loved going to see Sandy and Matt. They had two boys, Tyler and Earl. She loved going over their house because they had so much fun. They lived in the country, so there was so much more to do there. They would go fishing, swimming, hiking, or exploring. 
Tyler and Earl were two rambunctious boys about Kay’s age. They weren’t afraid of anything. Tyler was the oldest. He had red hair and freckles. Tyler was the same age as Rose. Earl was the same age as Kay. He had dark blond hair and fair skin. 
Earl enjoyed playing with Kay. He would take her out on his three-wheeler. He would always try to show out. One time, he went so fast around a curve that he and Kay got thrown off. They flew through the air about fifteen feet. Luckily, they landed on some tree limbs that had been cut. The limbs were piled up high. Kay and Earl were uninjured. Kay did get a scrape on her face. When she got back to the house, her parents asked, “What happened?” 
Kay told them, “I was riding with Earl on his three-wheeler, and we rode through some bushes.” They believed her. 
Earl was always doing crazy things. He didn’t know what danger was. Neither did Kay at the time. Kay and Earl did so many stunts that they were afraid to tell their parents about. They would climb trees, jump off high places, and play with snakes. Kay had so much fun hanging out with Earl. He was her favorite cousin. 
Sandy and Matt bought Tyler and Earl anything they could afford. They had an Apple computer, Atari game system, motorcycles, three-wheelers, and a swimming pool. Sandy thought her two boys were angels. She never thought they would do anything wrong. 
Kay, Rose, Tyler, and Earl loved to explore the countryside of Cedar Springs. Their closest neighbor lived a half mile up the road. They didn’t have to worry about the things that were in the city. There wasn’t much traffic at all. Cedar Springs did have a terrible odor. Their neighbors had cows, horses, and chickens. The chicken houses put off the worst odor. 
Kay can remember playing in the pastures. They would roam for what seemed like miles. One pasture had bales of hay stacked up. Kay, Rose, Tyler, and Earl would go jump on the hay bales. They tried to jump from one to the other without falling. Earl and Tyler never worried about anything. They would do more flips and antics than Kay and Rose did. 
One day when they were out exploring the fields, they discovered an old house. It was in one of the fields behind their house. Part of it had burned, but parts of the walls were still standing. Most of the floor had been burned. Kay could see the wallpaper still on one of the walls. The chimney was still intact. It had been made of stone. The house had been deserted years ago. There was not a road that led to the house. It had a broken fence on one side of it. Tall weeds surrounded the house. 
Kay wondered about who could have lived there. Did they have any children? Were they harmed during the fire? She hoped not. How long ago did this happen? No one knew. Kay was saddened by the sight of the house but didn’t tell the others. Perhaps they were too. Kay and Tyler stepped inside the old house, and almost fell through the old decaying floor. Luckily they jumped out the door before the floor caved in. 
Anyway, this was just one sight they came across. There was so much to see. They discovered an abandoned pond. This was a good place to go fishing. Earl and Tyler ran to get their fishing poles, while Rose and Kay waited. It was quiet by the pond. They could hear crickets chirping. She heard a bee buzzing around the pond. The grass was so soft and green. Rose was enjoying the peacefulness of the fields like Kay was.
Soon Earl and Tyler returned with their poles. They showed Kay and Rose how to bait their hooks with worms. Fishing was a joyful experience. Soon Kay felt a tug at her pole. Earl ran over to show her how to pull the pole and to catch the fish. It was her first catch. The fish was small, but she didn’t care. She had caught a fish. Earl convinced her to throw it back. It was too small to eat. Tyler caught the next fish then Earl caught the next one. Kay didn’t catch another one. She was sad about that but happy at the others catching them. They stayed for a couple hours, and then they took their fish back to the house to clean them.
Kay watched Earl as he cut the head off the fish. Then he took his knife and made a slit down the side of the fish to gut it. Then he used his knife to scrape the scales off. The sight of it was disgusting. Earl didn’t seem to mind. He gave them to Sandy to cook. They had caught a total of six fish. They were all catfish. Catfish was a tasty fish. They were all happy at what they had caught. Also, their parents let them out of doing dishes for the night.
As soon as dinner was over, out they went. Kay and Earl were inseparable. They loved to ride bicycles to the store. It took about an hour to ride two-and-a-half miles to the store. They loved to go to Danny’s truck stop which was owned by Danny Nelson. He knew the kids and allowed them to get free ice cream. Butter pecan was Kay’s favorite. She had to eat it fast, or it would melt on the ride home. She didn’t mind getting messy. It was a hot day, even though it was getting late. She knew they could go swimming and cool off. 
Sandy didn’t mind the kids going swimming in their clothes. She was proud of that little swimming pool. It was three feet down and round. It was big enough for them. Earl taught Kay how to swim. She learned how to swim underwater first. It was a little harder staying afloat on top of the water. Earl showed her how to position her hands and how to wave them. He showed her how to kick her feet. That’s all it took. Kay picked it up easily and then mastered the art of swimming. At least she felt like she did. She hated trying to swim in her clothes. She knew to bring a swimming suit next time.
Kay dreaded leaving, but it was time to go home. She missed her cousins. They were her best friends. Rose enjoyed their company just as much. 

 About the author
Tracy Kauffman is a Christian fiction author of Young Adult and Children Stories.  She has an associates degree in Nursing.  She is a registered nurse and works part time in a local nursing home.  The rest of the time she spends her time writing books and marketing them.  Her titles include: Gwendolyn’s Wish, Southern Adventures, Richard the Lionheart, My Boyfriend the Squire and Captain Honey Bear Saves Goldie Locks. She hopes to be able to inspire her readers into living a happy healthier life.  She feels like her own life experiences have made her a better writer.

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Author Emma Meade shares an excerpt of Under the Desert Moon

Thanks to Author Emma Meade for stopping by today and sharing an excerpt of her young adult novel, Under the Desert moon.  Welcome, Emma! 
 James raised his eyes finally.  “I’m sorry, Erin.  I didn’t mean to-” he paused, searching for the right word, “unnerve you.”
“You didn’t,” Erin replied automatically, but in actuality she was feeling distinctly unnerved, disturbed even.  Those eyes, so strange, almost trance-like.  Her earlier giddiness had completed evaporated.  
“Are you sure?” James persisted.
Erin was quiet for a moment, thoughtful.  “Oh my God,” she burst out loudly.
James had been leaning towards her slowly but now froze.  “What?” he asked uncertainly, seeking to make contact again with her eyes.
“I’ve seen you before,” Erin said.  “You looked so familiar to me in Casey’s Diner the other night.”  
James only looked at her blankly.  
“But that’s impossible,” she said.
“What is?”  James’ tone was straining for a detached, almost bored air, but there was an underlying edge of anxiety.
Erin looked straight into his eyes without him having to urge her this time.  “There’s this old TV show I watched with my mom when I was a kid.  They showed re-runs on cable from time to time.” 
She noticed how his knuckles clasped tightly. 
“It was a sitcom, and the older kid in it, the college hero of the family-” Erin paused.  “He looks like you, James.”
Silence.  Then James stood and laughed, but it was forced sounding, and somewhat off balanced.  He stared down at her.  “They say everyone has a double, Erin.”
Erin rose to meet his gaze.  She stepped closer to him.  “I haven’t seen it in years but the resemblance is-”   What was the word?  “Uncanny.”
“Uncanny,” James repeated dully.
“Yes,” Erin whispered.  “My mom had a crush on that guy.”
“Did she?”  James smiled, and his tone was warm again.  “I’ll have to catch this show sometime, check out the resemblance,” he said, confident and at ease once more.
“I don’t think they run it anymore,” Erin said, studying him. 
James shrugged.  “Don’t dwell on it kid.”  He slapped her on the shoulder like they were old pals.
His touch was cool and she quickly moved back from him.  James’ hand hovered in the air for a moment, seemingly undecided about what to do next.  He put it back in his pocket.  
Those eyes, Erin thought again.  Like a cat, a big cat, a panther. 
  James stepped back from her now.  “Got to mingle inside some more,” he said, backing further away.
Erin nodded, and watched him slink gracefully inside the warehouse.  She was thinking of that television show.  They didn’t show that program these days, but her mother had bought it on video.  Where were those tapes?  
Erin sat back down and switched on the camera.  Even if she could find them, she didn’t have a VCR anymore.  Did anyone in Copperfield own one?  
The photo of his eyes loomed up at her.  She’d add it to her Sight collection.  Animal eyes, watchful, predatory, and waiting.
About the author...
Emma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She loves vampires, slayers, witches, ghosts, aliens & shadow men (or at least the youngest of the Shadow Men), and regular people who live extraordinary lives (think Slayerettes and you’re on the right track).  Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on.Writing supernatural short stories and watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.
Author Website  
PublisherSoul Fire Press