Sunday, July 29, 2012

Goodreads and Apple Pie by Virginia Mckevitt

   Created in 2006 by Otis Chandler, Goodreads has become the social platform of 2012, for readers and authors alike. Chandler believed he could create a site where the reader could review and recommend books to fellow readers by creating a library of reading lists and discussion groups. A year later the site had over six hundred thousand readers and an estimated ten million books cataloged. It has become "the" social network for book lovers in the United States and around the world.
   Today Goodreads has between seven and ten million members with an average of twenty million visitors each month. Goodreads is a great place for authors and readers alike, to meet and share in a friendly "no spam" atmosphere. The site is built around reading and has something for anyone who likes to read. There are several discussion groups on multitudes of topics for everyone.
   Goodreads is free to join. Sign up and create a profile. From there you can add a shelf of your favorite books. You can even rate, review and recommend what you have read to your fellow readers.
   Writers, it's a way for you to get to know the tens of thousands of readers in this world who are just waiting for that next best book. Obey the rules, be friendly and mingle, just like you would at any other family gathering, because that is what Goodreads is, a family who devours books like your grandma's apple pie.
   is the author of FRACTURE The Secret Enemy Saga.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Interview with Katie Harper, author of Never Say Just

Today I would like to welcome Katie Harper to my blog. She is the author of Never Say Just, a hot new romance full of action and suspense with a big splash of humor for extra spice and as a special bonus she is giving away a copy of Never Say Just to one lucky commenter of today’s post.

So join me in welcoming Katie Harper to my blog.

Hi Katie, thanks so much for stopping by today. First off, tell us about Katie Harper.

KH  Katie Harper is a sarcastic, snarky bitch. She has no mental filter and whatever happens to be walking through her brain will usually end up on Facebook. And she likes to refer to herself in the third person.

 How did you get interested in writing?

KH  I was locked up in a hospital for a month. You can watch only so many episodes of Maury testing sixty guys to discover the paternity of one baby before you're begging the nurse to commit a mercy defenestration. Since Nurse Nancy refused to play ball, I started writing.

What do you like about being an author?

KH  I like that I can say pretty much anything I want and blame it on my character. When a relative or close friend says, "I can't believe you wrote that!!" I can say, "I only wrote what she/he said/did. It's not my fault."

 What has been the hardest part of your writing experience?

KH  Courage. It took me a while to write what I wanted to write. I was worried about what people close to me would think. Then I realized that I wasn't writing for them. I was writing for me. If they like it, they like it. If they hate it, they hate it. I don't really care if they hate it. But most have really liked my writing style.

 What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 KH  Write! And write what you want to write. I go to church every single Sunday. If I wrote only what was acceptable, I'd be covering the Bible. While the story of Samson and Delilah is hot, it isn't really my style. I write what makes me happy. People who don't like it are welcome to have a brain aneurysm at my expense.

Tell us about getting your first book published.

KH  I never actually intended to publish Never Say Just. I wrote it as more of a joke. I joined a romance novel writing group online and posted the first few pages. I got a really good response. I decided to submit it to a publisher. Someone suggested Decadent Publishing and I submitted my story. When I got the offer, I thought I was going to die. Literally. I could not believe someone wanted to publish my silly story. It was awesome.

 Okay. Let’s get to the book. How did you come up with the story and the title?

KH  A few years ago I wrote a truly terrible spy novel. Some of my readers were a bit upset that my hero and heroine didn't fall in love. I couldn't see them falling in love. Neither of them would allow themselves to be so vulnerable. I took the characters out of that story and put them in a situation where they could fall in love. I didn't take Never Say Just seriously so there really isn't a serious sentence in the book. Except for maybe all the sentences where Kat tortures the hell out of some dude. That's pretty serious. In the book, Hell Kat is a widow. You know when you walk into a room and someone is already in there and you kind of startle them. What do you say? You say, "It's just me." I am a widow too. My husband used to say, "Never say just," whenever someone would say, "It's just me." It was his way of telling someone they mattered. It's kind of my tribute to him, and Hell Kat has to realize that even though she feels all bad about killing dozens of people and torturing countless more, she still matters.

 Tell us a little bit about the storyline. Who is Hell Kat and the Rat Bastards?

KH  Hell Kat is a badass. She used to work as a mercenary/assassin/contract interrogator. She has the ability to completely shut off her humanity to get any job done. She leaves that life and marries an oil baron. Her husband dies leaving her the steward of the largest oil company in the country. The Rat Bastards are a Marine Force Recon unit who find out that someone is out to kill Kat. They try to protect her. She doesn't think she needs protecting. Shooter, the unit's Gunnery Sergeant and sniper, is really the only one with the balls to stand up to Kat. Naturally, she thinks that's totally hot.

 Who is your favorite character and why?

KH  Hell Kat. I identify with Hell Kat. We have similar histories (to be clear, I was never an assassin and I didn't marry an oil billionaire). I can identify with why she does what she does. My second favorite would be Horndog. Every girl loves Horndog.

 What would you like to say to your fans?

 KH  Thank you!! Thank you for making me feel like I don't suck. Thank you for the emails. Thank you for embracing a romance novel with a kickass heroine and a hero who can handle her. Thank you for getting it! Just....thank you. I'd kiss every single one of you, but I don't know where all your lips have been.

How do you deal with criticism?

KH  I know a lot of authors and artists and people in general have a hard time with criticism. I don't. I have four brothers who aren't afraid to tell you exactly what they think. You'll always get an honest answer from them. I love them to bits and pieces. So if someone says they don't like something I've written, I understand that it's just their opinion and their opinion does not determine my self-worth. When someone rips apart my work, I listen to their suggestion, make the changes I want to change, and move on.

What would your characters think about you?

KH  I think my characters would love me. I created them! Who's going to create something that wouldn't like them?

 Okay. Some fun stuff.

 What is your pet peeve?

KH  OK, I know this is stupid. But if it wasn't stupid it wouldn't be a pet peeve. I absolutely HATE when people who should know better call the Medal of Honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is NOT the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is the Medal of Honor. It is awarded by the President through an act of Congress, so I get the confusion, but it is not called the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is called the Medal of Honor. You'd think Generals in the military would know this, but you'd be surprised how many ranking officials get it wrong. The History Channel should start guillotining people who get it wrong.

 Chocolate or Vanilla?

 KH  Chocolate! Dark chocolate. I like to eat really dark chocolate and just let it melt on my tongue. It's what God eats when he gets depressed.

Dogs or Cats?

KH  Neither. I know this is probably going to get me knifed, but I do not like animals. I don't understand the bond that people have with animals and I've made a vow that I would never clean up another living creature's shit unless I gave birth to it.

 Dean or Sam?

KH  Do you even have to ask? Dean baby!! Favorite Dean quotes:

I think I'll pass on the seventy two virgins, thanks. I'm not that into prude chicks anyway.

I think I learned a valuable lesson: Always take down your Christmas decorations after New Year's, or you might get filleted by a hooker from God.

Save room for dessert, Tiny. Hey, I wanted to ask you, because I couldn't help but notice you are two tons of fun. Just curious, is it like a thyroid problem? Or is that just some deep-seated self-esteem issue? Because you know, they're just doughnuts. They're not love.

Brother, I have been re-hymenated and the dude will not abide.

 If your book were to be made into a movie who would play the lead roles?

KH  For Hell Kat I'd choose Lena Heady. She played Sarah Connor in the Sarah Connor Chronicles and the Queen who guts that asshole traitor on the floor of the Senate in 300. Shooter is Joe Manganiello. He plays Alcide in True Blood and Big Dick Richie in Magic Mike. Solar flare hot.

 This has been a really enjoyable afternoon talking with you Katie. Your sense of humor and writing style is an attention grabber and I wish you the best of luck with Never Say Just.

Readers you can find Katie Harper's Just Say Never at in Kindle format

A taste of Never Say Just:

Haunted by her past of murder for hire and skinning people alive to gather vital intelligence, Kat Boudreaux wants nothing more than to hide away in her sprawling mansion with the love of her life–her daughter. But then Private Gump and his band of Bubbas land on her doorstep. Her brother and his unit of misfit Marines insert themselves with the misguided need to protect her from someone hell-bent on vengeance.

 For Shooter, its love at first sight, though he wouldn’t be caught dead admitting it. When Kat is nearly fatally injured while saving his life, he knows he’s found the woman for him.  Together, they fight side by side to get to the bottom of the threats. Kat’s daughter is kidnapped and this ex-assassin mom reverts back to old habits to save her. Saving Kat and her daughter is easy; taming the shrew that is Hell Kat Boudreaux might mean losing his favorite appendage

Be sure to follow Katie at:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Katie Harper Writes: Meet Tongue!!

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Friday, July 6, 2012

The Art of Lying

 Fiction writers are the best liers in the world. They have to be or they would never sell a book. You name it, a good author can write a story about it. Does it mean we are experts on our writing subject. Probably not (have you seen any vampires or dragons running around lately), but with imagination, research and good old lying a writer can transform a stack of dead trees into a world of fantasy, fear, science fiction, or romance, and readers everywhere want to believe it.
   That is what writing is all about. Taking those pages of lies and transforming them into believable bits of time that takes a reader away from their everyday lives and on a journey. That is what reading is all about. Every genre has a different set of lies. Some lies are based on real life situations, others on the utterly fantastic (there's that dragon again).
   Do you have a pack of lies you would like to share with world? Get started before the zombies get you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Fourth of July

   I am humbled just to be able to sit here and write anything I want about this great country and no one can punish me for it. I am proud to be able to say I am an American. I'm proud of the soldiers who fight everyday so people can love, hate or be indifferent because they are free. I'm proud of my dad who served in the Korean War, and My husband who went to Vietnam.
  I am hurt and saddened when someone who lives in this diverse country slams her to the ground but would not have the, to put it bluntly, balls to go live somewhere else. One day we may not have the luxury of freedom of speech or to go where we want across this vast and beautiful place we call home.
  Then what will they complain about?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Paranormal Romance~What makes It Hot?

   Paranormal Romance is one of the hottest genres (actually a sub-genre of fantasy) on the market today. The titles and book covers alone can make one break out in a sweat, but what is it that makes you want to read about romantic encounters with beings from other worlds or vampires and werewolves? Is it the old concept of forbbiden love or the thrill of the bad boy (or girl) image mixed up with fangs and wolf fur?
   Dragons and wizards are sitting on the back burner while muscled bodies and creatures who howl at the moon warm the beds of the humans we write about. Steamy romance, whether implied in Ya or graphic in Paranormal erotica, has encreased by leaps and bounds since the e-book revolution and now knows no boundaries.
   Don't get me wrong, sex sells in any format but you have to have a good story to back it up. There still needs to be adventure, a plot, somewhere that this is all going. Without a good story line its just porn on paper.
   Fantasy, as wild and imaginative as it is, still has rules. If your reader does not find your characters and story believable you will lose their interest. Make the relationships between your human and non-human characters real. Give them a cause they both have a stake in (no pun intended), especially if its for different reasons. Obstacles that strengthen real life relationships are everywhere. Just give them a little  twist.
   So, what makes it hot? Dark and dangerous delivers whether you dash it with a little pepper or turn on the hot suace. Romance appeals to the heart and the paranormal infuses it with the thrill of the fantastic, something we all want a little bite of (I just can't help myself).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Love For Writing

   One of my earliest memories as a child was the Book Mobile. A great big panel truck from the local library that would come rolling down our streets in the summer carrying adventures, fantasies and places far away. The sides were painted in bright colors and a cheerful voice would announce its arrival over a loud speaker. (I think that lumbering elephant drew more kids than the ice cream truck.)
    My sister who was ten years older than me would run to the curb with me and my younger brother and sister in tow. She loved to read and she passed it on. Hot summer nights would find us falling asleep to the likes of Gulliver's Travels or Swiss Family Robinson.
    My imagination ran wild at that age and never quit. I love the fantastic. One can go anywhere and do anything and so I did. The move from the world inside my head to the pages of my first novel was only a matter of time.
    The first person to read my finished work,   Fracture The Secret Enemy Saga
was my husband who reads like most people eat. I'll never forget what he said when he turned the last page, "I feel like I've been on a journey that I didn't want to end. Don't stop."
Those words have pushed me onward and there is no turning back. I wrote this as a Q and A  post origionally at Goodreads to see what other writers had to say but the reach continues onward. So I ask,why do you write?