Word-Slingers – Interviewing Sylvia Ryan

1) How long have you been writing?

Five years ago, I found myself with a job that gave me summers off. I quickly realized there’s only so much puttering in the garden and reading a person can do.  I wrote my first book, Saved by One, Shared by Two that summer.  Since then, I’ve written four others and I’m going strong. It’s a great hobby.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I’m lucky, I only work part-time and my family is past the needing-mom-for-everything stage, so I don’t have as many balls in the air as some authors. Still, it would be wonderful to be able to be an author only and dump the day job altogether, but…I don’t think that will happen until I get on the bestseller list. But at this point, priorities are family, work, and then writing.

3) What can you tell us about your release Being Amber? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.  
Well my introduction to dystopian literature was way back in high school when I read 1984 by George Orwell.  I’ve been a fan of the genre for my entire adult life. Then, a few years ago I read several young adult books that I really loved, the Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield and Delirium by Lauren Oliver as well as a couple others that were similar.  These YA books  introduced some romance into the dystopian genre, and I’d never really seen it there before. By then I had completed my first two books and was waiting for my next big inspiration.  It didn’t take long for me to create my own dystopian future, except with a little more focus on adult romance. The New Atlanta Series is the result of that with Being Amber the first in that series.J

4) What is it about the sci-fi romance genre that you like so much?

Right now, what I like most about it is that there’s so few authors doing it. My books are not about vampires, shifters, billionaire Doms or any other of the many themes that are a dime a dozen right now.  Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved those books too, but I have found my memory mixing up story lines of the twenty-or-so vampire romances I’ve read. Most of the reading in the sci-fi romance genre won’t get lost in a person’s memory once mixed with all the books one has read before it because there are so few out there that are similar.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I have thought about writing in a different genre, maybe one that wasn’t erotica since the erotic scenes, for me, are the hardest to write. But inspiration has to hit, and so far my inspiration has always been more toward the sexually explicit end of the spectrum.

6) Sweet or sour?


7) Chocolate or vanilla?


Author Information
As an avid reader, I’m always on the hunt for that next amazing story. Those unforgettable books with the perfect balance of action and passion are hard to find and even harder to write. My hope is that Being Amber has given readers a few hours of happiness while they savor the gradual discovery of each character and how their story unfolds. I usually fall in love with the hero and heroine in the books I write by the time I’ve written the last page. If I’ve done my job well, you’ve fallen in love, too. So many times I find myself not wanting a book to end.  I crave more of the story, wanting to know what happens after the happily ever after. If you’re like me and want to read more about Xander and Jaci, the epilogue to Being Amber is posted on my website at http://www.RyanBooks.net. Stop in and find out how their story ultimately ends before moving on to Jordan’s story in Being Sapphire. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.
Book Information

Both danger and sex are inescapable in the Amber Zone.
Jaci Harmon was born a Sapphire, but after she’s summoned to receive her final designation, the testing reveals she carries a gene slated for eradication. Within a day, she’s sterilized and dumped in the Amber Zone, where the damaged are corralled away from the rest of New Atlanta. Scared and alone, Jaci would rather die than face her future as an Amber.
Born in the Amber Zone, Xander Dimos is a product of a lifetime spent under the oppression of the Repopulation Laws. Decades of suffering have taught the Ambers to make the zone a place where touch, sex, and unconditional acceptance ease the pain of their fate. Jaci has a lot to learn about her new home, and it’s Xander’s responsibility to guide her through the differences and the dangers safely.
With the simmering undercurrents of sexual chemistry growing between them, and in the midst of discovering the Gov’s true motives, Jaci and Xander must overcome his secret and accept their love as undeniable…even if the time allotted to share it is short.
CONTENT WARNING: This title contains explicit sex, graphic language, ménage a trios, use of sex toys, and anal sex.

“Why didn’t you just let me die?” she whispered.
“Because you’re mine to take care of now.” He leaned in close so that his lips were brushing her ear. “It’s okay to stumble and fall. I’ll be here to catch you. I’ll take care of you Jaci, I promise.” 
Xander squeezed the words out through a tight throat and then sat on the edge of the bed. He settled her in his lap and tucked her into him, wrapping his arms around her to keep her warm and let her know she was safe. After a few beats of stillness, Jaci started shaking her head. Almost imperceptibly at first, but within seconds, a sob escaped her. “I don’t want this. Let me die next time,” she cried. “Please. Please,” she sobbed. “I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to feel it anymore.”
“That’s enough,” Xander growled. “I don’t want to hear any more of this. I’m going to take care of you, Jaci. I’ll help you chase the pain away. We’ll do it together.”


Looking for advice on children

Specifically, on what to do about my (I swear) demon-possessed child. Sammie (Twin B, Little Miss I Don’t Believe In Sleep, not the twin in the picture above) has never been quiet about bedtime. She routinely wails at the bedroom door (there’s a gate that’s supposed to block her in) for about 20 minutes and then settles in.

That all changed this week. Suddenly, she goes on for at least an hour. One night, she absolutely refused to wear a diaper (throwing it out in the hall a couple of times) and to get her to sleep, we ended up just dealing with the bed in the morning.

This culminated in last night’s explosion. She was pissy all evening to start, and when bedtime rolled around it was on. An hour of screaming. This hour also involved the discovery that she can climb over the gate (the bar she uses to get into the room is on the far side). Even lifting the gate up to add another inch or two to block her didn’t work. Oh no, she just tossed a pillow and blanket onto the floor outside her room to cushion her when she fell off as she climbed over.

Points for being innovative. Points lost for learning how to escape. More points lost for teaching Twin A to do the same. ::groan:: And Jackie just wanted to go to sleep. Earlier this week, I swear as Sam was melting down, I saw Jackie roll her eyes at me about the drama queen’s hissy fit. She’s two. She should not know how to roll her eyes already.

End result? To let poor Jackie get some sleep, I ultimately brought Sam out and held her for an hour. This initially pissed Jackie off, but she settled in and went to sleep pretty quickly. I also thought Sam might be getting a cold so I gave her children’s benedryl (I’ve gotten doctor okay to use a little on them when they’re stuffy).

Finally got her to sleep. I had to sit in the room after I transferred her to bed to be sure she settled in for about five minutes, but finally, after nine, she was out.

I can’t do that every night, but I don’t know what to do about it.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Oh – and Jackie’s almost potty training. She’s to the point where she’ll go on the toilet if you put her there, and lord knows that girl has bladder control (she stopped in mid-stream when I caught her going on the carpet -there’s a story there), and she can go all night without peeing her diaper. Yay! Now we just need to teach her how to tell us she needs to go.

And deal with the demon-child who gets pissy if she doesn’t get to sit on the potty too. No matter she doesn’t do a thing on it, but if sissy sits there, she has to too. ::groan::

And now, just ’cause I can, a picture of the twins together. 🙂 Demon child is the dark haired one.

Now, I ask you. How can anyone that sweet and innocent looking be such a hellion???!

Word-Slingers (2/2) – Interviewing Kristal McKerrington

Here’s my second post and I hate doing this without Word. ARGH! We need to buy a new copy soon. Had no idea how dependent I was on it for blog post pre-editing. 🙂
1.    How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for gosh this will be my 16th year. I’ve been writing professionally for 3 years. Dance took over my life before that. 

2.   How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

Oh gosh. Really good question. I juggle screenwriting, show creating, author work, family and health every day. Just have to schedule my time and hope nothing runs over the time I’ve got for it. 

3.   What can you tell us about your release In the Shadows? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.

Well In The Shadows came out of a odd encounter. I was a dancer and we use to think of the ways to make the story we told with our bodies stand out. We did the “would you rather game.” Everyone knew I’m a fan of wrestling have been since I was 5/6 years old. I’m 24 now just encase your doing math. I got asked a hard question between two wrestlers. How would I rather mess around with

I answered with something funny. Handcuff one to the ropes play with the first one then do the second one. The story started to form back then. I didn’t write it up from the notes we played with back then until last year when L. Anne Carrington started to talk me into writing wrestling erotica. 

4.  What is it about the erotica genre that you like so much?

Well the freedom you get in the Erotica genre is also what makes it the hardest portion of the industry to write. You have to make every scene force the reader to want to know what happens next. I like the challenge. Through the Erotica genre I learned about wrestling erotica and the challenges it offers to me.  

5.  Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I move from genre to genre. I want to do a military themed book at some point. I think it will add to what I can do and make the readers experience more of what I have on offer. 

6.  Sweet or sour?

I like both. Depends on my mood.

7.   Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla. I can’t eat Chocolate. If you follow me then you know why.

Kristal’s been a professionally published author since 2010. She’s a monthly writer for Calling Spots magazine. She created and wrote on Romance and The Wrestler for Bishop-Lyons Entertainment. She’s represented by Barone Literacy Agency. She’s been a best selling author for XoXo Publishing. She’s appeared on TMZ a few times and writes with Reem Vision.

Jasmine got obsessed with a wrestler and now the wrestlers obsessed with her. Steamy nights, kisses and rules being broken at every turn. She turned his whole world upside down and now he’s doing it to hers. In this free fall, can they survive each others love? Will she take him from the wrestling mistresses arms?


Word-Slingers (1/2) – Interviewing Imogen Rose #giveaway

Sorry if the formatting’s all screwed up. Had to replace the harddrive this weekend and don’t have Word on the computer to do my pre-editing on it at the moment.

1) How long have you been writing fiction?

I have been telling stories all my life. (Some people even called it telling lies. 😀 ) However, I didn’t begin writing fiction until relatively recently—just four years ago.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.).

A lot of balls! Multitasking is second nature for me, plus I do work long hours to keep it all moving along.

3) What can you tell us about your release Fusion? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.

The Portal Chronicles was born of a dream I had many years ago. I told my daughter about it, who then wanted to know what happened next. I wrote it down for her, and then decided to bind it so it would be easier for her to read and share with her friends. After writing the first one, the next part of the story was spilling out of my imagination and I just kept writing. Fusion is the conclusion to the Portal Chronicles. It’s a story about choices, about how they not only affect us, but produce ripple effects that can alter the timelines and destinies of others.

4) What is it about the paranormal young adult genre that you like so much?

I never really set out to write a paranormal YA story. I just sort of landed in it and have been happy living in that genre ever since. I am now obsessed with all things YA from the awesome YA TV shows to books. Being able to share this with my twelve-year-old is an added joy.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I don’t know. I won’t do it purposefully, but if a non-YA story starts brewing in my imagination, I will certainly explore it.

6) Sweet or sour?

I love the combo!

7) Chocolate or vanilla?


Imogen Rose is the author of the bestselling YA series, the Portal Chronicles. Imogen was born in a small town in Sweden and moved to London in her twenties. After obtaining a PhD in immunology from Imperial College, she moved with her family to New Jersey, where she’s been based for the past ten years.
For as long as she can remember, Imogen has dreamt stories. Stories that continued from night to night, from dream to dream. So, even as a child, going to bed was never an issue, just an anticipation of the story to come.
PORTAL, Imogen’s first novel, would have remained in her imagination, to be shared only with her daughter, Lauren, had her eight-year-old not insisted that she write it down. In the course of a month, Imogen typed while Lauren waited eagerly by the printer for the pages to appear, and a novel took shape.
The warm reception PORTAL received encouraged her to continue with the story and the Portal Chronicles. Diving into her second series, the Bonfire Chronicles, Imogen continues exploring the paranormal YA world.
Imogen is a self-confessed Hermès addict, obsessed with Kurt Cobain and a certain unnamed Irish actor. She enjoys shopping, traveling, watching movies, and playing with her dog, Tallulah.
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What if, once upon a time, I had taken that leap of faith?
Our choices not only affect us, but send tremors of change that can alter the destiny of others. Especially if you happen to construct a time-travel portal…
My name is Arizona Darley and my mom did just that.
When Olivia decided to go back in time to find the one man she was destined to, she catapulted Arizona’s life into rollercoaster of confusion. Fusion is the highly anticipated conclusion to the Portal Chronicles, which began with the YA bestseller, Portal.
Giveaway Information

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Word-Slingers – Interviewing Antoinette M

1) How long have you been writing?

I probably started when I was thirteen or twelve and wrote heavily at that age. I didn’t do much writing in college and after that. For the past two years, I’ve been rediscovering my love of writing.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

Honestly, not many. I was able to quit my job to write. I know writers who take care of kids, work, go to school, write, and they’re active in writing communities. I don’t know how they do it. I literally got an email from one friend telling me she was going to read my story until her daughter set the kitchen on fire.

3) What can you tell us about your release The Vampire’s Gallery? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

I love the vampire myth—it’s so malleable. There are dozens of variations now: they’re heartless monsters, they’re “vegetarians”, they can’t stand sunlight and garlic, they’re indifferent to sunlight and garlic. I wanted to jump in with my own interpretation. I also wanted to do a vampire whose heritage went back to the cradle of humanity, Africa. Part of me understands why all the ancient vampires are white (after all, Dracula is still a very influential book), but another part of me thinks it makes no sense. While Jamie has some trappings of an old world European vampire (after all, back in the day Europe was filthy and no one would notice a few more bodies around) he’s really more a chameleon. He’s survived the centuries by being smart and blending in.

4) What is it about the paranormal/erotica genre that you like so much?

Sex, in many ways, makes the world go round. It’s a very primal drive, and it’s always mixed up with politics, something else I find fascinating. Writing about it felt very natural to me. Paranormal stories for me are fun, but I like writing stories set in the real world too.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I actually wrote a fantasy book that needs reworked. I’m having so much fun writing smut though, it might be another year before I get back to it.

6) Sweet or sour?

Both. I love Thai food.

7) Chocolate or vanilla?


Antoinette M— had a grubby childhood in southern New Hampshire. She has always maintained that “cranky” and “Yankee” rhyme for a reason. Today, Antoinette writes smut. She lives in a crooked little house, with an awesome husband, and a very large dog. She enjoys reversing gender roles, playing with old stereotypes, and is currently working on the next installment of her series, The Vampire’s Gallery.


Unlucky. Unloved. And now undead.
Maria hasn’t been touched in years and sustains herself on her friends’ sexual encounters. She’s coerced into trying out internet dating, and she soon attracts the attention of a stud named Jamie. When he invites her out for a beer, she accepts, her mind focused on the one thing she wants—a warm body pressed against hers. Jamie makes her laugh and she invites him in, never guessing that he’s doesn’t want to bed her, but drink her.
The Vampire’s Gallery follows Maria as she leaves one life of dull city apartments for another of sex, sensation, and blood. She rattles the stilted hierarchy of Jamie’s home when she makes the ancient, distant vampire feel again.
But what about the vampires that surround Jamie? Who are her enemies, who are her friends, who’s just pretending? 

Word-Slingers – Interviewing Grace Burrowes (#giveaway)

It is an incredible honor and an exciting moment for me to welcome Ms. Grace Burrowes to my world. Ms. Burrowes is the super-prolific author of a wonderful stream of historical romances published by Casablanca. Her release this month is Darius, and she has at least one book scheduled to come out each month for the next year! Let’s make her feel welcome and give her a chance to catch her breath!

1) How long have you been writing?

The short answer is that I started writing about seven years ago, at the age of forty-seven, when my daughter moved out of the house. Abruptly, the house was full of peace, quiet, and time to think, and my brain went on a writing orgy. Lovely. The more accurate answer is that I’ve always felt an urge to write, though for decades that mostly found its outlet in a journal.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I have two jobs, the lawyer job representing foster children, and the writer job crafting happily ever afters. One can see how the two might complement each other. Unlike many people struggling to write while raising a family, tending a young marriage, looking after the elders, and holding a day job, my situation is fairly simple. Because I’ve waited until mid-life to attempt publication, I’m particularly eager to get a backlist up. (TM – WTG on the foster kids. I was a Guardian ad Litem for a brief time. You’re awesome)

3) You have a book coming out every month for at least the next year, and you’re a family law attorney. How the HECK do you do it?!?!?!

I am an example of the person for whom all the motivational sermons make no sense. I had twenty manuscripts done before I explored publication because publication was never a goal. I still don’t have goals, I don’t write down my objectives, I don’t write every day, I’ve never had a crit partner… All those things you “must, must, must” do to find success as an author are beyond me. (TM – and yet you clearly are successful. Fellow future authors, take note! You can break the rules and still fly high.)
 I write because I love to write, and my publisher has been generous enough to set up a monthly release schedule because they understand my reasoning with respect to building a backlist quickly. There are days when having one book in revisions, another in draft, a third in copy edits, a fourth in galleys, and a fifth hitting the shelves is a challenge—but it’s like trying to decide among favorite desserts, or which ride to get on at your favorite amusement park. It’s ALL good.

4) What can you tell us about your release Darius? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J I know this is the book of your heart, and that Deb coaxed you into moving forward with publishing it. Can you tell us the story?

Darius popped up as good secondary sort, in “The Virtuoso.” I wasn’t sure why he was the one sidekicking for Valentine Windham, but Valentine and Nicholas got along with him (he popped up in Nick’s book too, as brother to Nick’s lady), so what the heck—I’m just the author. Then I wrote a story for Darius’ brother Trent, and again, Darius was skulking about, out until all hours, and giving off a quietly desperately vibe.
 The guy needed a book, clearly, but what on earth was he up to, out past his bedtime, looking after everybody but himself, being so handsome and miserable? At first I thought he was stealing, or maybe trying to return goods he’d stolen.  Maybe he was trying to return goods stolen by a friend’s sister. Maybe he had gambling debts to work off and THAT was what he was up to. Except, Darius doesn’t gamble with coin, only with his honor. This guy did not want to give up his story, and when the answer popped into my head, I at first did not believe it myself.

5) Darius has an interesting…job, one that’s almost never talked about in your standard historicals though you frequently see women with a similar profession being redeemed and the like. Why did you decide to give him this particular, er, position?

I am eternally indebted to one of my brothers for telling me that the worst challenge a man can face is to have to choose between the competing demands of honor (all my author buddies, write that down if it helps with a plot). What is the worst compromise a man could make to protect and care for his loved ones? What is the worst compromise ANYBODY who is broke, disempowered and desperate, can make…?
 The answer surprised me, but it was right for this hero: Darius was selling his favors, just short of the deed, in exchange for the coin he needed to support his dependents, all of whom, were cast on his charity by the father who has also rejected Darius. When enough coin is laid before him, when he’s reached the limit of his despair and self-loathing, he makes that last, last compromise, only to find he’s found his salvation.

6) What is it about the historical romance genre that you like so much?

Oh, everything. When I started reading romances 35 years ago, historicals were all you could find. Then too, there are pioneer romances authors still writing in the historical genre, and their work has reached near-perfection. Who wouldn’t be inspired by that?

7) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I’m writing Scottish historicals that I’m enjoying tremendously (TM – Having read the first one, I quite agree that it’s lots of fun!), and I’ve written a pair of Georgian novellas that were a lot more fun that I’d anticipated. Both the Georgians and the Victorians had their wild elements. I’ve also written a trilogy of contemporaries, about lawyers in love…

8) Sweet or sour?


9) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate—and most good chocolate has vanilla in it.  (TM – Quite a valid point)

 I am the sixth out of seven children and was raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life I spent a lot of time reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named—unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. I also spent a lot of time practicing the piano. My first career was as a technical writer and editor, a busy profession that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels.
It also left time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion), and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.
While reading yet still more romance novels (there is a trend here) I opened my own law practice, acquired a master’s degree in Conflict Management (I had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing…. romance novels. This aim was realized when Beloved Offspring struck out into the Big World a few years ago. (“Mom, why doesn’t anybody tell you being a grown-up is hard?”)
I eventually got up the courage to start pitching manuscripts to agents and editors. The query letter that resulted in “the call” started out: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.) (TM – LoL, love it. Lovely call story)

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Although there are lines he will not cross, Darius Lindsey has performed intimate favors for desperately needed coin. He contracts one final liaison that will free him from all financial constraints: Get Lady Vivian Longstreet with coin to preserve the title for her aging husband of convenience, only to find the bargain he thought would cost him the last of his self-respect instead resurrects both his honor and his heart.

Edited at 12:50 PM to add: Please be aware, there is a giveaway of TWO SIGNED COPIES of Darius. All you have to do is leave a comment below (see Ms. Burrowes’ question in Comment #1 below) and you’re entered to win. This is not to be missed. 🙂

Word-Slingers – Interview of AD Starrling

1)         How long have you been writing?

For more than twenty years. I started when I was twelve, stopped eight years later to enter the medical field, and started seriously writing again six years ago. I had always planned to write again after retiring from medicine but brought that goal forward by a few decades.

2)        How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I juggle two big balls on a daily basis, pun unintended! Work and writing. Most of my family are abroad and my friends are scattered all over the UK, so I get to see them less often than I would like to. As for writing and work, it’s a fine balance. Long day shifts and night shifts are exhausting, and I tend not to manage more than a bit of social media on those days. If I do a ‘normal’ work day (9-6), then I’ll manage 2-3 hours of writing as well. It takes a hell of a lot of dedication and determination. Once I published though, the discipline was established. I have deadlines to work to and I relish the challenge.

3)        What can you tell us about your release Soul Meaning? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

Soul Meaning was initially a short story that I wrote for the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. It was inspired by the striking image of the number 17 written in dripping red paint on a black rock on a sandbank in the middle of a lagoon on the island of Mauritius. After considering several ideas around that number, I finally thought about deaths. More specifically 17 deaths. Thus started the story of Lucas Soul, the man who could die up to seventeen times. I knew it could be a novel even before I finished writing the short story; Lucas Soul and his business partner Reid Hasley lived and breathed naturally for me on those first pages. I WANTED to know what would happen to them next.

4)        What is it about the supernatural thriller (is there romance involved???) that you like so much?

The first book I wrote when I was twelve was a children’s fantasy novel. It was a ‘Narnia’ meets ‘The Goonies’ kind of story. The next one was a boarding school action-adventure tale. The third book I started, but never finished because I entered medical school, was part of a supernatural YA series. The main reason I returned to writing again in 2006 was because I had an idea for another fantasy series, this one a light hearted, humorous adventure one. The three main characters walked into my head one day and just wouldn’t go away. So, you could say writing fantasy has always been in my blood. Soul Meaning was a complete change of pace and style for me. I have never written something like this before and never, ever thought I could write a thriller with fight scenes, guns, and swords. I ended up surprising myself. I defined the novel and the series as supernatural thriller as I felt it was the best description for the genre.
 I guess the final answer to the question is because it satisfies my need for speed, kickassery, and the fantastical. As for romance, it’s definitely present but it takes a backseat to all the action. I like my protagonists to shoot first and kiss later.

5)         Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

A return to light hearted fantasy may be in the books in the future. The three characters that got me back to writing have been sulking in my head for the last three years, since I was forced to abandon them to pursue Lucas Soul and his story. They occasionally pipe up with acerbic comments, so I may have to do something about them before they sabotage future stories. My current plans are to finish the series Seventeen (I haven’t decided on the total number of books yet), then start on an epic, dark fantasy trilogy that has been marinating gently at the back of my mind for the last few years. I also have a tentative idea for a YA sci-fi/steampunk novel that may see the light of day at some stage in the future.

6)        Sweet or sour?


7)         Chocolate or vanilla?


AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Paediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.
Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in a supernatural thriller series entitled Seventeen. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the second novel in the series while drinking gallons of tea.
 She still practises medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.
A half breed immortal. An international manhunt. A race against time to stop a terrifying plot that threatens to kill millions. The gripping, action-packed debut novel by AD Starrling and the first in the supernatural thriller series Seventeen.
‘My name is Lucas Soul.
Today, I died again.
This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.’
The Crovirs and the Bastians. Two races of immortals who have lived side by side with humans for millennia and been engaged in a bloody war since the very dawn of their existence. With the capacity to survive up to sixteen deaths, it was not until the late fourteenth century that they reached an uneasy truce, following a deadly plague that wiped out more than half of their numbers and made the majority of survivors infertile.
Soul is an outcast of both immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.
One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. When a lead takes them to Washington DC and a biotechnology company with affiliations to the Crovirs, they cross the Atlantic to Europe, on the trail of a French scientist whose research seems intrinsically linked to the reason why the Hunters are after Soul again.
From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans.

Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war? 

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To Blog or Not to Blog

Yes, I know, I’m outrageously ripping off one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines, but it sort of fits. I’m trying to decide whether or not to close up shop here at Tory Michaels’ World, you see. Comments are almost non-existent (save for a strange, abrupt hike in spam comments – I never used to get them at all, and now suddenly every few days I get one).

I like doing the interviews and have gotten to host some pretty incredibly people. I like sharing my writing and other journeys with everyone…even if “everyone” is a pretty small number of views on any given day. But to get no comments/interaction with those who do read the blog is incredibly disheartening. I do this because I’m trying to interact with people, and host authors because I want my readers to say hey, and all that.

So here’s my question to you: what should I do to encourage more (read here any) comments to posts?

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, some updates on me in general.

Weight loss has slowed to a dramatic crawl, though I hit 24 pounds gone today. Ooo, yeah. Speedy Gonzales I’m not. On the other hand, I know I’m not sticking strictly to my calorie guidelines and thanks to a variety of reasons (sick, insomnia which prevents me from getting up early enough to work out, and admittedly some actual laziness), I’m certainly not getting “exercise” in. However, as the story goes, the tortoise did eventually beat the hare and while it’d be nice to be official done loosing weight in a year, I’m also committed to the new changes in eating and truly believe that by taking things slowly, I will reinforce the good lessons and be able to permanently keep the weight off this time by learning awesome habits as I go. I’m also not feeling deprived. At all!

As you will note by the widget to your upper right, my current WIP now has a couple of potential working titles: Dawn Awakening or Breeding Heat. Both have meaning to the story and I’m not sure which one I like more. Which title do you prefer? I’m also on version 3 of the first five chapters. But yesterday I wrote (rewrote, technically) over 10k thanks to my mind refusing to shut off last night, so I’m back to 19% through with the WIP. Coming up though is the hard part, where I actually have to force myself forward into writing new material instead of tweaking old material.

Shrimp turned 7 on Friday. I was sick as can be, but we went to CiCi’s, he got 3 new Wii games, and I got to see my best friend for the first time in two years. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Love you girl, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY if you read this, TA).

Have a great week!

Word-Slingers – Spotlight on A.M. Griffin

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies. (Tory – Ahhh, Ms. Griffin, but do you believe in intelligent life here on Earth, or at least in Congress?)

After aliens invade and conquer Earth, Eva is transported to a distant slave trading planet. Escape and freedom are her only priority, but none of her martial arts training prepared her for what she faces. She finds herself enslaved to the warrior King Taio. Eva’s drawn to this sexy alien male who ignites her heart and body.
Taio is disgusted with the idea of owning a slave—until now. From the moment he sees her, he knows Eva is his for the taking. Torn between lust and duty, Taio knows nothing will stop him from protecting his little warrior.

Eva pressed her face against the rectangular window in the training room, watching the lights of unknown origin whiz by. She stood in one of the training rooms Ship had sequestered for her. After lunch, she felt more than a little stir-crazy. She needed to work off some of the tension that coiled around her muscles. It took all her strength not to get up and leave the dining hall while Taio’s gaze bored through her back. Did he really have to keep sending those smoldering looks her way?
His lavender eyes locked on her whenever she entered a room. The intensity of his gaze made her body respond in a way that she didn’t want it to. No one would ever consider her to be a coward. But there was something about the way he looked at her that had her frightened.
And that tattoo on his face. Sometimes it intrigued her and other times it made her scared. Who would allow such an intricate drawing to be completed? The pain alone would have been enough to deter any sane person from getting it, alien or not.
His body was a whole different story. It was downright criminal to have a body like his. The man had a body that would make a nun want to sin. He was tall, unbelievably so, but he was all rippling muscle.
This vessel was full of men and the only one who would give her a second glance was Taio. The thought should have given her some type of comfort. Instead of beating off twenty men, there was only one she would have to worry about. There was no mistaking his intentions. Every time he looked her way, it was as if he were willing her clothes to fall from her body. Her only counterattack so far was to stay away from him.
But she did have to agree with Ship, being under the care of Taio was for the best right now. She was fed, the dining hall was open around the clock, which was a plus. Oftentimes she found herself standing in front of the computer, requesting the buro flank with nitlick soupafter everyone else was fast asleep. These were the closest thing to Earth food she could find. They had the same taste as chicken and tomato soup.
She was finally clean. Although she would have loved to feel the caress of running water on her skin again, the ionized shower hit the spot. She had clothes, which, although they were tight, were at least clean. And most of all, she didn’t feel her safety was in any type of jeopardy, not at the moment.
She wanted to find Ally, but she had to face the hard facts.
She was far away from home.
In an alien world.
No money whatsoever.
Nowhere to go.
And alone.
Finally, pulling herself away from the window, she pulled a training bag from the corner to start her workout. Hand-to-hand combat always made her feel primal, the main reason she loved it so much.
Within minutes, her training suit clung to her body, the lightweight material not constricting her movements at all. Perspiration covered her from head to toe, her once tied-back hair hanging wet and loose around her. Her muscles thrived under the workout, coming alive once again.
Heavy breathing behind her caught her off guard. She flipped away, landing in a fighting stance facing the intruder.
Taio stood in the doorway, watching. He gave a curt nod her way, the acknowledgement doing nothing to make her feel relaxed.
“You have good skills, Eva.” He hooked his thumbs in the waist of his pants and leaned on the doorway.
Her name never sounded better.
“Thank you.” She relaxed and straightened, her eyes still watching him. This was his first time speaking to her since their ill-fated first encounter.
She didn’t dare move closer, especially since she still didn’t know his intentions. She didn’t move away either, fearing he would view that as a sign of weakness. So she stood her ground, her body betraying her in the worst way. Her heart sped up a little and her breathing became more labored. Now she found her nipples hardening as her name rolled off his tongue.
I know trouble when I see it.
Eva willed her body to fight against whatever “mojo” he was throwing at her.
Taio walked into the room and took a sword off a rack on the wall. He began flexing it, testing its weight. The gesture caused his arm and chest muscles to ripple with each movement.
“Who taught you fighting moves?” he asked.
“My sensei, he lived back home.”
“Earth,” he said as a statement, rather than a question.
“Yes, Earth. Ann Arbor, Michigan, more specifically.”
She eyed the weapons on the wall. She was trained to use various fighting weapons—sais, kamas, knives, nunchakus, bo staffs and swords. She could show him a thing a two.
She walked over to the rack and took another sword off the wall.
It weighed a ton! No wonder he smirked when she picked it up. Even though she strained to hold it in both hands, she made sure not to let him know. She would give anything to smack that look right off his face. Instead, she concentrated hard on not dropping the sword. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. She dared not try to maneuver it as he had.
“A male taught you?” He sounded surprised.
“Yes. Thirteen Earth years of training.” Taio laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “It’s not unusual on my planet,” she said. “A male can teach a female how to fight or even a female can teach a male.”
He laughed harder and shook his head. “There could never be such a thing on my world.”
She turned away. “I earned a black belt, first Dan in Kyokushin Karate. On Earth I’m considered to be a great fighter.”
“Your people did not fare well in the war against the Loconuist. The fighting techniques of your species mean nothing to me.”
If the sword in her hands wasn’t so heavy, she would have swung it at him.
“We didn’t know how to fight them. We’d never encountered aliens before.”
“Then it is good that I will take care of you from now on.”
Her head snapped around. “I don’t need you to take care of me.”
“You were captured by the Loconuist and the Tresdonians almost killed you.”
She shrugged. “But they didn’t.”
He smirked. “Because I saved you.”
“Thanks, but I can take care of myself.”
“It doesn’t matter. You are my responsibility now. You are my slave.”
Her eyes, squinting and cold, fixed on his. “Ship told me those assholes on that planet gave me to you. I think you got cheated. I’m not a slave. Not yours or anyone else’s.”
“If this arrangement does not suit you, I could turn the vessel around and give you back to the Tresdonians.” He turned from her and put the heavy sword back on the wall rack.
Her heart began pounding in her chest. He wouldn’t… “No. I’m not going back there.” She held her sword tightly in her grasp.
“Then you are my slave.” He stalked slowly toward her. His eyes locked on hers.
“No.” She backed away from him.
This cannot happen.
“You are mine.” He took another step toward her. “You will need to get used to the idea.”
He stopped his advancement. They stood facing each other. Her breathing came out in deep and heavy breaths. Her heart thumped in her chest.
Abruptly, he turned and walked from the room. She blinked at the empty doorway. The cold surface of the wall was against her back. She held the sword close to her chest, shielding her body. She stayed there until her arms shook from the sword’s weight.

She was no one’s slave.