Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Signing!
Author K.N. Lee will be signing copies of The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld, Dark Prophet, Empty Your Heart, Wicked Webs, and
Thicker Than Blood! There will be photo ops, refreshments, and giveaways. Come and ask questions, get a photo with the author, and have her sign your book with a personalized message!

Order your copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or purchase a book at the location!

March 22, 2014
The Last Word
704.966.9673 -


Monday, February 24, 2014

Author Interview: Casey Clipper!

I'm thrilled to introduce our guest, Casey Clipper!


Casey Clipper is from Pittsburgh, PA which naturally makes her a football, hockey, and baseball fan. She is a contemporary romance author. Casey is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Three Rivers Romance Writers, ASMSG, IAN, and IBPA. Follow Casey on her Facebook fan page for giveaways and contests, Twitter, and find out about upcoming releases on her website.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, which is where I still reside. I love this city. Most people don’t realize how much there is to do in Pittsburgh. Sports in an enormous part of the city: from professional, college, and high school to little league athletes in baseball, football, hockey, and recreational sports. 
What inspired you to write your first book? What genre is it?
The very first book I wrote will never see the light of day. I actually wrote it after reading an extremely popular series. After I’d finished reading the final book in that series, I sat back and thought, “I would have totally written that differently.” That first book I wrote turned into a seven book series, and if I ever decide to release them, I’ll start from scratch and rewrite. My first three releases are contemporary romance and I’ll stick with that genre. I love romance, but I love to put a twist on the happily-ever-after.
Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?
Unfortunately, I have to work full time in order to pay the mortgage. When I come home from work I basically work another full-time job writing. Luckily, I have an extremely supportive husband and sons. My boys are older so they’re independent, giving me the opportunity to get lost in writing.
How did you come up with the title?
I’m terrible at titling my books. Absolutely terrible. I don’t know why, but my mind goes blank. I turn to my family, friends, and betas for help. 
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I belong to the Romance Writers of America. One of the requirements as a member is each book is required to have a satisfactory ending. Authors can’t leave readers hanging and you must have some sort of happily-ever-after. Personally, I don’t go out of my way to convey a certain message. But each one of my books suggests that you never know what life will throw at you. That a simple, inconsequential meeting can alter your fate.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I believe every author throws their own life experiences into their work, purposely or subconsciously. That being said, I can’t say that the struggles my characters go through are based on a specific incident or someone I know. So, my work is subconscious.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The books that have most recently influenced my life are the darker romance novels or great romance series that don’t string you along. When an author does that, they have me hooked. As a reader I hate to have to read 3, 4, 5 books in order for a plot to resolve. These authors and their series I’m a rabid fan of and influence my work: J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Olivia Cunning’s Sinners on Tour series, Jennifer Probst’s Marriage to a Billionare Series, Lexi Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series, and Elizabeth Reyes’ The Moreno Brothers series. I’m really excited to see how they turn Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl into a movie and what they do with the ending.  
What book are you reading now?
The series I just finished is the Undeniable series by Madeline Sheehan. The series is about a motorcycle club and let me tell you she holds true to the biker lifestyle. There are no hearts and flowers in this romance series. She nails it.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I can’t say anything I’ve read recently is from a new author. But new to me? Definitely Madeline Sheehan.
What are your current projects?
On January 31st I’m releasing three prequels to my novel The Boss’s Love. Darren’s story, Derrick’s story, and Courtney’s story. I had many readers who asked for more after this novel. So in order to make my readers happy, I delve into the three main characters’ past before they come together in The Boss’s Love. Darren's story is his struggle to find the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Courtney's story is her struggle with being sheltered her entire life by those closest to her, which unknowingly helps lead her into a relationship she can't break free from. Derrick's story is his realization that he's actually fallen in love with a woman who he'll spend the rest of his life trying to protect and shelter from all that's harmful in the world. All of their back stories leave off at a particular scene in The Boss's Love.   
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The Boss’s Love is currently going under major edits. I’m trying to make the novel shorter without taking away from the story. So a 2nd edition will be out soon after the prequels are released. I’m really excited about it.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Excerpts from Darren’s Prequel to The Boss’s Love:
At that very moment, a gorgeous, tiny woman rushed around the side of the building, her heels clicking off the cement, drawing attention from all three men. She stopped, giving him a once over then glanced at Jack and Carl.
Darren stiffened. Stunning didn't begin to describe her. Enormous blue eyes and long painted lashes grew even wider when she gave him a second swipe. A grey business suit accented her perfect figure, while long strawberry-blonde hair sat slightly askew. Oh, lord, those heels she wore. Closing his eyes briefly, he groaned, imagining those black Louboutins wrapped around his back. The moment to himself only lasted a few seconds, but it felt like minutes. Opening his eyes, he found her smiling his direction. Good God, she was phenomenal.
"Mr. Murphy? I'm so sorry, but Jackie couldn't make it today, so I'll be showing you the building...if you don't mind," the woman said. Her voice was that of an angel. Soft and demure with a hint of forcefulness, probably from being in sales.
Giving her his most brilliant smile, he held out his hand. "Absolutely not, Miss...?"
"Millen, Courtney Millen." She took his hand into hers in a proper business handshake.
Automatically glancing down at her ring finger, hope registered. Not engaged. Too soon, she took back her hand and pulled out a set of keys to the empty building. When opened, he held the door for her in the perfect gentlemanly fashion. Unable to help himself, he placed his hand on the small of her back in a protective gesture. He didn't notice Jack and Carl give each other knowing glances.
Immediately, Courtney went into her pitch on the first floor lobby, giving him a tour of the entire floor, including the elevator, staircase, and two offices located on ground level. "There are six floors and that includes the lobby. The sixth floor isn't used for office space. It's utilized as storage and maintenance. What exactly are you looking for? I'm sorry, Ms. Sparks didn't have the opportunity to give me much details."
Darren couldn't have been more thrilled that Ms. Sparks clearly pawned him off onto Courtney. He might have to actually thank the woman. "I need a place to open a computer business."
Totally fixated upon her lips, Darren barely heard a word she said. The sound of her voice registered in her ears. He knew she was saying something important, but what, he had no idea. It was a good thing Jack and Carl would be able to let him know the details of the building.
As they toured the floors, he kept extremely close to her, continually placing his hand on her back when they left and entered rooms. He loved the fact she allowed it. Purposely brushing against her, he felt the need to touch her and take in more of that natural scent.
At the fourth and fifth floors, she showed him the view that went up Fifth Avenue. She explained it would be a great selling point for renters, and he couldn't have agreed more. Though she could have shown him a view of the dumpsters, telling him the benefits and he would agree.
On the fifth floor, when she stepped through an office doorway, her heel caught on the carpet and she fell face first towards the doorframe. Quick enough to catch her before she cracked her head open, that's when he was a goner. While on her way down, she latched onto the front of his shirt, her small, delicate hands splayed on his hard chest. Perfect. She felt fantastic in his arms, melting into him as if she belonged there. Fitting perfectly. Made specifically for him.
"Are you all right?" he asked, his voice turning husky.
She glanced down at her heel, which had a carpet fiber wrapped around it. "I'm stuck."
He wished she would stay stuck. Permanently.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m a pantser, which means I don’t outline and write from that. I wish I had it in me to outline, but frankly I enjoy sitting down at my laptop and letting it flow. But the down side of that is I constantly have to go back to reference what I wrote. I try jotting down on index cards, but I tend to toss those around. Hopefully with the bedroom I just converted into an office this will make me more organized.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Putting it out there after I finished. It’s scary to open yourself up for people to critique. It would be far easier to write it then let it sit on my laptop collecting dust. How many writers do that? Many. Too many. I can sympathize. To take that leap is nerve-wracking.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
If you're passionate about what you're writing, no matter what the subject or genre is, keep at it. But write within your means. In other words, find and use your own voice. You don't have to put pressure on yourself to write the next Gone with the Wind, Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, or Pride and Prejudice. The Boss's Love is my third release and it wasn't until then that I truly found my voice. My editor is championing me to stick with that sub-genre and continue down that path. Find an editor who will help and inspire that voice. A good editor will. Entertain your readers, and yes, make it a good read by finding a proofreader and editor, but entertain with your voice. That's what will make you unique and gain you a following.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Always, always, always keep this in mind. We're in the entertainment industry. Since we've chosen this path, it opens us up for ridicule and wickedness. That's the price we pay. Just like the movie, television, and music industry opens themselves up for review, so do we. It's hard to say develop thick skin. That's impossible. Your work is your sweat and tears. When someone tries to demean that, it stings. Badly. Find yourself a group of writers/authors and friends that are supportive and will help you through those times. Because every single one of us will experience those moments.    

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love the fact that my readers are so passionate about The Boss’s Love. That they love the story and the twists. I appreciate and love it when they message me with what they want to see, who their favorite hero is, and what they took away from the story. Trust me, I take every single comment into consideration, which is why I wrote the prequels. Because of you and for you. I love to know that you connected with my work. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Do you have an agent or publisher? How did you go about finding one?
I’m self-published. For well over a year I have submitted queries to publishers and agents and like every other author out there I’ve received many rejection letters. The industry, specifically the romance industry, is so saturated that it’s extremely difficult to break through the doors of a publisher or agent. Which I look at as paying my dues. But I lack patience. So instead of sitting on my work for years, I decided to self-publish. For the past year I’ve done the work myself as well as continued to submit and pitch. My 2014 New Year’s Resolution is to stop submitting to agents and publishers and pour all my concentration into self- publishing. Because my time is limited with working full-time, this decision frees up an area that hasn’t worked for me so far.  
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Hawaii. Beach, tropics, warmth all year round. Yep. Kind of clich√©, but still, it’s Hawaii. 
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Ooooh, if I could transport myself from one place to another in a blink of an eye, I’d totally relish that power (My commute to and from work is the reason for this. I lose so much time in the car daily). Is that a super power? I’m gonna say yes, yes it is. 


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Web of Light: By, Kyra Dune: Excerpt

Web of Light (Excerpt)
Kyra Dune

 Valdor didn’t hesitate, didn’t take even a moment to think on what might happen, he simply ran. What he hit was not a solid wall, but a sort of thickness. For him, passing the statue was like walking through water with weighted feet. The air pressed against him, trapping the breath in his lungs. And it was cold. So cold what little breath he could manage frosted before his eyes.
            He broke free to the other side as Seva entered the temple. After glancing back once at the other heirs, Valdor sprinted across the open space and up the steps to the door. There, he paused. Before him was a wide chamber, almost every inch of which was covered with a mosaic depicting a bloody battle between figures unlike any creatures he had ever seen. It hurt his mind to gaze too long upon any one of them.
            Instead, he focused his attention on Seva, who was standing in the only clear spot in the chamber. A twisted rope painted on the floor made a circle around this spot and above it a Gari-Za woman in flowing gray robes sat on a throne of flames. A benevolent smile touched the woman’s lips, but her eyes were cold black orbs.
           Seva’s head was tilted back as if she were looking up at the woman, but her eyes were closed. Valdor moved cautiously forward, wincing as his footsteps echoed in the silence. His lips parted and he started to speak her name, but the word wouldn’t come. The feeling in this place was something so foreign to his senses he couldn’t name it. It crawled across his skin and made his ears buzz.
            He came to a stop when he reached the rope circle. Fear was an acid taste at the back of his throat. Much as he wanted to reach out for Seva, there was a deep feeling of alarm inside him that would not allow his feet to move forward.
             If things had gone on much longer, he might have worked up the nerve to do it, because he was not really as much of a coward as his father had made him believe he was. But he didn’t have to.
             Seva’s entire body bucked, her back arching and her neck snapping back. She drew in a gasping breath, then collapsed. Valdor caught her before she hit the floor as her upper body crossed the line to his side. She shivered as if cold, then grew still. Valdor pulled her the rest of the way out of the circle, then lifted her up into his arms. She was light, but he was unused to such labor and staggered under her weight. Still, he managed to carry her out of the temple.
Once they were down the steps and crossing the open space, Seva stirred and her eyelids fluttered open. Valdor gazed down into her bright blue eyes and was lost. Any uncertainty about his feelings toward her evaporated in that moment.
          “If I put you down, can you walk?” he asked.
          “I...I think so. Yes.” She looked over his shoulder toward the temple. “What happened in there?”
           “Don’t you know?” He carefully put her back on her feet
           Her eyes met his again as she shook her head. “I remember looking up at the statue and hearing Iza talk about the chosen one. Then everything is a blank. Except...” She laid a steadying hand against his arm. “I don’t know. I feel...something, but it’s...” She sighed. “I’m so tired all of a sudden.”
            “Come on.” He slid his arm around her waist. “Let’s get you back to the carriage.”