"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MASTERING STEFAN Review by Kiki Howell

From the beginning of Mastering Stefan, I was caught by J.M. Snyder’s mastery over our language to bring to life a story in a reader’s mind.   Not only, does she vividly create images through her use of analogies and metaphors, but she follows through with them until the entire scene is fully actualized.  For example, on the first page she writes, “But when he enters the bar, he’s just one more body in the crowded sea that undulates over the dance floor. Music pounds around him like the surf, washing him up to the bar with the rest of the driftwood.”  I just had to share that!

As an author, I was inspired by what I can only describe as her ‘word designs’ to better my own craft, to work harder.  Especially when I conceive that “bodies” can “meld” like a primordial animal…gyrates obscenely… masturbating to the beat.” And, these phrases are all due to a little dim lighting and some dancing.   As a reader, I am simply swept away, not only seeing the scenes in my mind, but becoming lost in the movie itself.

This experience is heightened by the way Snyder crafts two very distinct characters each with different thoughts, mannerisms and voices.   Add in the erotic imagery shaped in her same style with appropriately fabricated language; and this story is too hot to read this summer!

Turning on the AC in May,

Kiki Howell


Read more about Mastering Stefan at eXcessica

Read more about J.M. Snyder at http://jmsnyder.net/

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wanted: Summer "Reviews" ABA - Style

Help us with our summer reading!

I wanted to put out a request for some individual Authors By Authors “reviews/critiques” to post during those lazy days of summer.   If you have read a good story recently, these would be very easy to write up.   Or, do one for a story you have been dying to read or intent to read.   Please ask the author’s permission before doing the work.   This should be done professionally and for the benefit of both authors.   

Format to follow:                                            

1)    Book Blurb

2)    Your personal “review/critique” of the story from an author’s point of view.   Think – what did this author do really well?   Was it creation of characters, vivid descriptions, a well-created world of their own imagination, etc.?   I want to see more technical and creative reviews.   These are not to tell whether the book was good or bad, but to explain what the author’s gift is. 

3)    Up to three links for this author (would be best to ask them which they would like you to use)

4)    Up to 3 links for yourself

Just send the completed review to howell (dot) kiki (at) gmail (dot) com with a cover image (request from author) and the authors email (again request from author) so I can notify you both when it is posted.   As far as obtaining the story, if it is one you have not previously read, I would say use your best judgment.   You could boost the author’s sales or kindly request a copy explaining your intentions.  

I have a few scheduled to do myself, but I am also looking to do more.   So, if you would like this ex-English teacher's "review" *laughing* of your book,  email me a request. I will accomodate as many as I can.


Kiki Howell

Author of Magical Erotic Romances

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Be Romanced

Thank you to Kiki for having Jasmine Aherne and myself this week. I'm Melissa Wathington and today we are featuring Jasmine's new release Stranded, a contemporary sensual romance published by Pink Petal Books. Jasmine is masterful at her craft and certain to have a big future in front of her; she has two more releases coming up this year so be sure to bookmark her site. Read on to find out more about Stranded and my review of this heartwarming romance!

Blurb - Stranded

When Rachel Coles flew to New York to surprise the man she thought was her fiancé, coming face to face with his wife broke her heart. She needed a shoulder. So, she turned to a man she met by chance--handsome carpenter Will Norton. Together they turn her disaster into a short but magical holiday.

Will's attracted to the pretty brunette he met on the plane, and the fun sightseeing day they share only deepens his feelings for her. He’s just starting to regret never seeing her again when he learns Rachel’s had all her suitcase and purse stolen.
Now, as he offers her his guest room while she waits for a new passport, Will and Rachel find themselves struggling against a deep-rooted attraction that shows every sign of making itself permanent.

The only trouble is, Rachel’s stay in New York will be anything but…


This debut novel by Jasmine Aherne is an incredible treat for your senses. You will be swept away by the romance of Rachel Coles and Will Norton, a couple who meet on a flight into New York. The London traveler is coming to surprise her fiancée and stumbles upon heartbreak and misfortune. Helping her through it all, Will steps in and soon takes over her heart.

I loved the camaraderie and chemistry between Will and Rachel—it starts off gently and starts to simmer as they spend time together and grow closer. Their friendship is fun and comfortable, although attraction bubbles under the surface. But soon, the simmering heat turns into full blown passion and you’ll find yourself caught up in their emotions, not wanting the book to end. The vibrant writing style Aherne possesses makes every scene, every sense come alive. With her enchanting story telling skills, she illustrates how regular lives can be transformed through the power of love. All it takes is the right person. Jasmine Aherne is an author to keep your eye on—I highly recommend adding Stranded to your “must buy” list!


Looking for more by this talented author? You can find out all you ever wanted to know at her site http://www.jasmineaherne.com. She has several more releases coming up and loves to hear from her friends and fans. I encourage you to “Be Romanced” by Jasmine Aherne!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Surrender Your Heart

Hi everyone! My name is Jasmine Aherne. I write contemporary, sweet/sensual romance, and between now and May 15th, myself and Melissa Wathington, another contemporary author (and a fab one!) will be taking over this blog!

Thanks very much to Kiki for having us -today, I'd like to review Melissa's latest release, Surrender Your Heart, a compliation of two wonderful romance novellas, How do you say Goodbye, and Surrender.

Surrender Your Heart: Blurb

A duet of sensuous love stories sure to light a fire in you! In How Do You Say Good-bye? Jessica Allen is still heartbroken over her split from Alexander Galey, the man she thought was her future. When they come face to face, startling revelations are revealed, putting their whole relationship in question. Will they ever see each other the same way again or will they have to say goodbye once and for all to their love?

In Surrender, Monique Wurlin is determined if she works hard enough,maybe she could ignore the warm and crazy feelings that Jordan evokes when he looks at her with his heart in his eyes. She doesn't want to lose their special friendship and she most definitely doesn't want open herself up to possible heartache ever again. Can Jordan break down her barriers and help Monique surrender her heart?

How do you say Goodbye?
I loved this story. It made me so nostalgic for my teenage years – falling in love for the first time, a tentative first kiss, and all the ups and downs that come with young hearts. With this story of a love once so passionate, now lost, Melissa Wathington takes readers on an emotionally wrenching journey, taking us into the heads and hearts of Alex and Jessica, two people whose lives took twists and turns they hadn’t planned for. I totally recommend this short, sweet story, and I found myself rooting for both characters throughout. Both Alex and Jessica are vey relatable, making the mistakes so many people in love fall into. The writing style flows easily and the story moves at a fast pace, making it an ideal afternoon or evening read.

In the second half of Melissa Wathington’s short story duet, her flair for humour and comedy is showcased beautifully. This novella made me laugh from the first page, and I immediately sympathised with the overworked character of Monique. Monique works hard, and, for the most part, doesn’t have time for relationships - she's been burned before. Her close male friend, Jordan, is trying hard to unlock the doors to her heart. But Monique is worried about risking their friendship…. I was totally engrossed in this tale of treading the thin line between platonic friendship and something more. I loved the emotional intensity between Monique and Jordan and the plot twists had me unable to stop flipping pages until the end.


If you haven’t read anything by Melissa Wathington, I strongly recommend her work. You’ll fall in love with her characters and she’ll take you on an unforgettable journey.You can find out more about Melissa and see her catalog of books at http://www.melissaw.net/

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday May 8

What do you want that you think you cannot have? 

[NOTE: Alright, I know this could get a little personal!]


“I try really hard not to think that there is something out there that I can’t have.   I work hard to be positive in regards to what is coming, and to be grateful for all I have already been given.   That said, those nagging voices creep up on me when I am sitting unaware to whisper words, such as, you are not good enough to achieve those lofty dreams of yours.   Do not know why I was cursed with a poetic voice of negativity.   See, there he goes again changing the word negativity to truth.”

Kiki Howell



“The ability to eat 4000 calories a day while never gaining an ounce. Oh yeah!”
Jane E Jones


“In all honesty, I don’t believe there’s anything out there that any one of us cannot achieve or acquire. The tougher question would be, ‘What is it that you are willing to do to have it all?’  There is much I want, but really don’t have the ambition to go after.  Those things that are important to me, I grab with both hands.  Those that aren’t get a wistful smile and a sensual daydream.” 

Molly Wens 


"I think I want a wonderful man who likes me just as I am, loves my writing, does the laundry, takes me out to dinner, remembers all of the significant days, is tolerant of my weird habits, doesn't expect me to support him, loves sci fi and fantasy as much as I do, can carry on an intelligent conversation about Klingon mating rituals and never hogs the blankets. Oh, and always warms the car up for me in the morning when it's cold out, and shovels snow.

Of course I can't have him. He doesn't exist."

Anne Kane



Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday May 7

Random Line Generator - Write four steamy sentences where two strangers meet for the first time using all of the following words: chair, willow tree, blatant, deviation and euphemism.  Variations or specific examples allowed! 

“He knew he would never forget the way she was sitting, one leg thrown over the arm of her chair with fall of the willow tree caressing every soft edge of her curves.  The blatant way her eyes deviated from his when she hid the blush of her cheeks behind her book, actually hardened him so that he wanted to impale that which was hidden beneath the bunched up fall of her skirt flowing between her thighs.   No, he would never forget this moment.   It was already imprinted in his memory as the day he finally spoke to the beautiful stranger he was in love with.”

Kiki Howell



"The breeze whispered through the leaves of the willow tree and drifted through the open window to stroke her bare skin. He pushed his chair back and grinned at her, his hot gaze sliding over her body in a blatant caress. Deviating from his usual paint 'em and ignore 'em plan, he crooked a finger. "Come sit on my lap...the light's better over here."
Jane E Jones


“She was a living, breathing euphemism for sex with her long hair trailing over her form like the fronds of a willow tree waving in the breeze.  Her graceful body draped over a chair in an almost cat-like manner—a blatant invitation to the man who watched from the shadows.  It was a deviation from his normal path, this spying, this disregard for her privacy as she ran her hands over her nude curves in the bright afternoon sun.  After all, he was her minister and she, a member of his flock.” 

Molly Wens 



She sat upon the slender branch of the willow tree as though it were a chair. The blatant invitation in her eyes caused heat to pool low in his groin, and he stalked across the grassy meadow that seperated him from his prey. His gaze never deviated from hers, and he didn't bother with euphemisms. "I'm going to sink my cock into your tight, hot pussy and ride you until you beg for mercy." 
Anne Kane



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday May 6

Who inspires you most to be better than you are?


"Going to go with those who hug me daily - my husband and my boys. One way my children inspire me is being a constant reminder that my actions will inspire or uninspire them.  When I got my first publishing contract, after all of the yelling and crying was over, I thought what a privilege to be an example of how dreams can come true for my children!"

Kiki Howell



"The ones who think I'm special right now. They make me want to work hard to prove them right."

Jane E Jones



“A small, impish princess with a smile as bright as the sun and an infectious giggle.  She is my most cherished surprise, my joy, my daughter.” 

Molly Wens 


 "My grandchildren. Despite what their parents sometimes think, they are little angels who constantly allow me to see the world through fresh point of view. If I could only be the person they think I am!"

 Anne Kane



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday May 5

Picture Prompt - Write three sentences that could be used in a first chapter of a story describing this character.


“His scanty glare accented the gleam of intolerance in his eyes, piercing the ache in her lungs with a subtle wave of heat, as she grappled for air.   Utterly unyielding in spite of her appeals, Gabe’s brief pull on his cigarette punctuated the urgency of the demands he had barked at her.  The obscurity of his true needs she would just have to live with.”

Kiki Howell


 "He melted back into the shadows, flinging his half-smoked cigarette away. Sooner or later, she'd have to leave the building. When she did, he'd be waiting."

Jane E Jones

 “His dark stare reached across the crowded dance hall through a haze of blue smoke and the strains of soft jazz.  Jayna knew him to be Chet Grey, the man her friends had spoken of; the man with eyes that bore into the soul like a drill.  The cigarette that dangled so carelessly from his lips was designed to make him look unconcerned, as if his dangerous eyes didn’t see her secrets, her desires, her darkest dreams.” 

Molly Wens 



"The look in his dark eyes reminded her of the eagles that nested high in mountain passes, cold and calculating. He took a long drag from  his cigarette before he ground it out beneath the heel of his well worn boot. Her heart sank as she wondered how she could convince this rebel to help her."  

Anne Kane


"His eyes spoke to me of a seductive, yet hidden danger if I dared to talk to him.But in those eyes was also a cold aloofness. He might be playing a game with me, taunting me, enticing me to play along. And, despite his rugged handsomeness, I was in no mood for such games."
Ms. Cinsearae S. 


 Tomorrow's question is...

Wednesday May 6

Who inspires you most to be better than you are?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Welcome to Open Discussion Week!

Welcome from authors Jane E Jones and Kiki Howell! Please feel free to join us this week either by commenting or emailing me your answers.   See bottom of post for tomorrows question.
Thanks for stopping by, now on to today's question...

Monday, May 4
How old would you be if you did not know how old you were?

"Ageless or immortal like the vampires without the whole icky blood drinking thing, unless it came chocolate flavored."
Kiki Howell

"If I didn't know my age
I wouldn't be a number
I'd slow the pace and savor life
before my final slumber"
Jane E Jones

“16 again. Absolutely. Of course, that's assuming that I have the wisdom to choose a young age if I don't remember my 36 year old experiences!”
Suza Kates

“Age is subjective. Sometimes I can be all grown up, make sure things get done and responsibilities are met while other times I can still be like a child focused on the joy of the moment. Not that either is a bad thing, as long as you do both in moderation. Of course, moderation is a completely different issue…”
Molly Wens

"Twenty one. Old enough to be legal and young enough that I still know all the answers!"
Anne Kane

Tuesday's Question will be...
Tuesday May 5
Picture Prompt - Write three sentences that could be used in a first chapter of a story describing this character.
Email your answer to howell.kiki@gmail.com

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pat Brown & Kenn Dahll

Although both stories we are reviewing ("Surfing Boneyard" by Pat Brown and my "Getting Wet in the Mall") reference surfing, my story uses the indoor mall 'wave' as a jumping off point whereas Pat's integrates surfing throughout the story. She does it very effectively using surfing terms in fun ways, even to describe sex acts. The last line of the story ties everything up with a neat play on the name of both the story and the surfing locale - Boneyard - "the failed boneyard of past relationships" also cleverly suggests erections in the past.

The intent of this pairing of authors is to show the different perspectives of male and female gay erotic fiction writers. In that vein, to me the biggest difference between the two stories is the relative lack of specifics in Pat's work. I didn't feel that I had quite enough information to build a mental image of the two characters. How old, tall, thin is Jason, the narrator? What color is his hair, eyes, skin (the story says brown but is he tanned or Latino)? Ruslan - the visiting surfer Jason meets - is more defined.more fleshed out so to speak, yet his age is left vague. Has he been out of school weeks. months, years?

This lack of detail extends to the character's sex organs. I think a gay male writer would have elaborated more on cock length and thickness as well as whether they were cut or uncut. Did they have big balls? These details again allow the reader to form a more concrete mental image of what is happening.

All that said, the sex is hot and very credible. The absence of detail creates a more romantic tone for the story than my more clinical approach to the multiple sex acts in "Getting Wet...'. I want the reader to visualize my fantasy and associate the sex acts with his/her experiences. And maybe that's the key difference, having experienced male on male sex versus extrapolating from female/male experiences. Kenn

Friday, May 1, 2009


Judy Cox
Phylis Sullivan
Beth Reimer
Samantha K.

The winners will receive e-copies of either "SPARK OF A WOLF" or "ABRAXAS"!


The ol' swticheroo was done on us, and now Christine and Jonathan (from ABRAXAS) are doing a more in-depth interview of US! lol.

CHRISTINE---Well, this is a fun change of pace! I get to turn the tables for a bit! HA! Not to worry, the questions won’t be hard, ladies. *shifty smirk*.
(Looking around for Ryan) Well, I’m guessing Ryan won’t be here to ask questions with me, so I’ll just---
(Jonathan, 19 years old & fellow ABRAXAS Clan member, walks up behind her, drinking pickle juice out of a jar. Christine grimaces.)
JONATHAN---What’cha up to?
CHRISTINE---Trying to conduct an interview, sweetie.
JONATHAN---Ooo! Can I sit in?
CHRISTINE---(Hunching shoulders) Sure.
JONATHAN---Ooo! Can I ask them stuff too? Like, what’s their take on those dumb Easter eggs, and do they have better ideas on what to stuff inside of them besides candy and money?
CHRISTINE---Jonathan, Easter has come and gone--quit it with the egg tirade, already! Besides, I don’t think they care about the eggs, either.
JONATHAN---I hate those dumb plastic things. I have WAY more cooler ideas of what kinds of stuff to put in them…things TOTALLY out of the ordinary! I need my list to expand!
CHRISTINE---And the way your twisted mind works, I don’t think I want to know what those things are! C’mon, let me talk to these two talented women.
JONATHAN---(sighing) Okay…. (Sits down next to Christine.)
CHRISTINE---Alrighty then, first question. Your mind is your most important work tool. How do you take care of it?
CHRISTY---I’m constantly trying to learn new things. I grew up with the adage that if you didn’t learn at least one new thing per day, then the day was wasted. Another thing my husband and I do is when listening to the oldies stations, it’s artist and title of song. It’s not like the handheld computer games but it’s just as fun and not as costly.
CINSEARAE---I eat healthy--love my greens and veggies, lol. I meditate, read, spend quiet time in nature. It helps open my mind to my other senses as well.
JONATHAN---I like nature too!
CHRISTINE---Am I interviewing you too, Jonathan?
JONATHAN---Sorry. (Drinks more pickle juice.)
CHRISTINE--- How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling into a formula?
CHRISTY---Try to alter what traits I use. For instance, if the male character does something like rue failure, then I have a female character do it later. I’ve used the same plot device but while the base idea is the same, the writing of it is different so that it doesn’t sound used. This also winds up being dictated by the characters and the way the story is taking them.
CINSEARAE---Hm, I don’t think I’ve done that yet, lol. Regardless, I always keep notes in my notebook as to what character has done what, where and when.
CHRISTINE--- Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing, like hiding out in a reclusive place occasionally to cleanse your mind? Maybe having a special spot where you write? Etc...
CHRISTY---Honestly, I don’t. The way I write, I put everything down on paper—steno pads—that basically go where I do. If I can, I write—works great in waiting rooms at the doctors, the mechanic, etc. I’d love to have a ritual but with the way my day goes, if I don’t write it down on a piece of paper, I’m sunk. I try to let the shower relax me so I can black things out but I’ve found I’ve gotten more thinking done there than anywhere. Just wish I could deduct the bathroom…
CINSEARAE---The hours that I type will shift like the moon’s phases, lol! For a couple of weeks, I’ll type in the early morn, then the following weeks, I suddenly shift to nighttime. I do have a room where I do all my typing. I wish I had a laptop sometimes, but if that was the case, there might be some days where I might not get out of bed, lol. Like Christy, I keep a notepad and pen with me too wherever I go. There’s been quite a few times while on the road, something comes to mind and I have to write it down…or else, lol.
CHRISTINE---(Leaning forward) Just between us, ladies, but if you ever saw Jonathan’s room, you’d probably die from the smell alone…)
JONATHAN---Hey! I heard that! It doesn’t smell like feet, cheese, or armpits anymore!!
CHRISTINE---(Sighing) ANYWAY…what cultural sources do you draw from (if any)?
CHRISTY---My family is in South Carolina, ergo I have an immense love of the South. I also have ancestors who were on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line which gives me a chance to view the Civil War from the North side, the Confederate side and the facts that lie in the middle. I live around Philly which is why I’ve done several set in the city. I’ve got a heavy dose of British on the maternal side of my family which brings out my love of British comedy, actors and hot tea as a cure all for all ailments. I also wonder if I’ve ever been reincarnated because of my love for places I’ve either never been or feel very comfortable in for some reason though I’ve never been there before.
JONATHAN---WHOOOA…deja vu stuff. Cool….!
CINSEARAE---since I love the Goth scene, I’m always investigating the Goth clubs and gothic venues, checking out what folks wear, how they act, the songs being played. Listening to the news and reading papers helps me draw on city issues. Each clan member comes from a varied background, and since one Abraxas member is Chinese, I’m doing a bit of research on Chinese culture now. (Good thing Philly has a Chinatown too).
JONATHAN--Hey! Kim’s folks live in that area! Ooo! And I think Our Lord has British relatives, too. Hey, you like Mr. Bean, Ms. Poff? That dude’s a wackjob--funny as hell!
CHRISTY---Yes, I do, but I like Rowan Atkinson in The Thin Blue Line and Blackadder a bit more.
CHRISTINE---Jonathan, shh!…don’t say Our Lord in public, please! And who the heck is doing the interviewing here, anyway?!?!
JONATHAN--Oops. (burping) Sorry again. (The smell of pickles is now in the air)
CHRISTINE---(Wrinkling her nose) Why do you do that?!
CHRISTINE---THAT! (Pointing to pickle jar)
JONATHAN---Hey, waste not, want not, right?
CHRISTINE---(Groaning) Continuing…..who have your 'teachers' been?
CHRISTY---I’ve had several very close friends that I’ve learned from but I think I got the most from my Dad and from my aunt. She was a huge influence in my life and if I ever needed help, I called her and got what I needed.
CINSEARAE---I never had anyone really ‘teach’ me to write. Writing was something innate, I’m guessing--it came to me at such an early age. But my mom used to write a bit of poetry in her youth. Both my parents liked to draw, so maybe I garnered that talent from them as well, lol.
CHRISTINE--- Ideas can come simultaneously to different people in different places with no connection to one another whatsoever. How do you explain such a phenomenon?
CHRISTY---There are only so many ideas that can go around and if two entirely different people have the same one, then so be it. It’s a wonder how many variations on one idea can be written while creating an entirely different story, poem or song. It amazes me that there aren’t more duplicates out there considering how many people are in the United States and the rest of the world.
CINSEARAE--I agree. I believe there’s only, what, 34 or 35 ‘plots’ out there? One can only create variations on those plots. Scary thought, isn’t it?
JONATHAN---Here’s plot! Man goes to moon, gets eaten by Space Bear. Space Bear comes to earth, gets killed by 18-wheeler. 18-wheeler falls into Grand Canyon, blows up. Remains of man that got pooped out by Space Bear helps plants to grow in canyon, creating a mutant flower that glows in moonlight and eats people. (Space Bear DNA in his poop and all that.) Plant rapidly reproduces all over world, eating all of mankind. Nature inherits the earth!
(All three women stare at Jonathan)
JONATHAN---(Shrugging) What???
CHRISTINE---That was NOT a plot. I don’t know WHAT the hell that was!!
CINSEARAE---Actually, I think that WAS a plot….albeit a kooky one.
CHRISTY---No comment. (snickering)
JONATHAN---(Grinning…very widely.)
CHRISTINE---Jonathan, you made the bear DIE. How in hell could it take a crap in order for the rest of the story to happen?!?
JONATHAN---Ahh, see? He came to earth and got killed, true, but I didn't say he immediately got killed...he took a poop and probably did all kinds of other stuff too before he died. (Grins again.)
CHRISTINE---(Groaning) Dear God, help me. Anyway…Is creativity like an act of rebellion for you?
CHRISTY---It started off that way because I didn’t have the support of my husband. I was determined to write and finish a book to prove I could. The first one led to the sequel and then the others afterward. He’s more understanding now which helps so I don’t have to do it clandestinely any more.
CINSEARAE---Well, yes and no. When I used to write a lot of poetry, it was my way to express myself without causing physical harm to others, lol. I used to have a few dream-killing exes that I kept my writing from as well. Nowadays, my writing is just a way to escape the norm, so to speak!
CHRISTINE---What is your creative process like? (What happens before you sit down to write?)
CHRISTY---The ideas come, I write them on Post-Its (great invention) or note paper then I build around it. Sometimes a note to myself could include several lines of dialog or just a plot device—it doesn’t matter as long as it winds up in a book.
CINSEARAE---I’m kinda the same way! It could be a piece of conversation between two people that just pops in my head. I have no idea what it’s from or when it’ll come into play, but it always does. Things just flow to me, anytime, anyplace, but as long as I write them down, that’s all that matters, lol. Once I get a whole bunch of notes and snippets, I’ll start sitting at the PC to type them down. Those notes are like puzzle pieces that get fitted into a story later on down the line.
CHRISTINE---What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
CHRISTY---A good plot is essential, likeable heroes/heroines and despicable villains. (I’ve had reviewers mention my villains as “those you love to hate”. That’s exactly what I want.) Exotic locations also help as well—anything to hold the readers interest and get them coming back for more.
CINSEARAE---Absolutely. Decent plot, and believable characters, as well as believable dialogue. Each should hold it’s own. Adding a bit of reality here and there doesn’t hurt either, lol.
(Jonathan, eyes closed, is slowing leaning towards Christine.)
CHRISTINE---(Nudging Jonathan) Wake up.
JONATHAN---(Snorts) Sorry. I nodded off while thinking about my Space Bear story.
CHRISTINE---Okay, you keep on thinking, kiddo. Let’s see…What voice do you find most to your liking: 1st person or 3rd?
CHRISTY---Definitely third person–for me, it’s easier to write. In truth, I’m not an “I” person, if that makes sense, so maybe that’s the reason why I’d rather describe things from the outside looking in, so to speak.
CINSEARAE---For me, it’s the opposite, lol! I like the idea of being ‘in’ the action, if that sounds reasonable. It allows me a chance to be in the character’s mind, and express things a bit differently than I could do if I wrote it in 3rd person. Once a while I can write in 3rd person, but it’s definitely not often. Usually my 3rd person stories are shorter works.
JONATHAN---Hmm, maybe I should do my Space Bear story in his point of view…
(Christine opens her mouth as if to say something to him, but closes it instead.)
CHRISTINE---(discreetly rolling her eyes) What makes a character 'believable'? How do you create yours?
CHRISTY---For me, the hero/heroine have to be extremely unique while also having flaws—it makes them human, for want of a better word. As to creation, I come up with a name and figure out who I may want to base the character on—I need somebody to visualize, what can I say? Then the characters take on their own lives and we go from there.
CINSEARAE---I agree there too. Your characters must have flaws. THERE ARE NO PERFECT PEOPLE! Lol! Folks don’t live Barbie & Ken existences, so I don’t expect they’d like to read something so fake and saccharine either! As for my characters, they just come to me in my head, requesting to be written about. That may sound lame, but I say it’s my Muse. Whatever she decides to konk me over the head with is what I go with, lol.
CHRISTINE---Deep down inside, who do you write for?
CHRISTY---In all seriousness – I write for me. If I don’t like it, then I’m sure others won’t.
CINSEARAE---Right there with you. Writing is my little getaway from everything else. I’d go nuts without my characters.
CHRISTINE---Is writing a personal form of therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
CHRISTY---In more ways then I can count. When I wrote The Rebirth of Rachel, it all flowed onto paper after I’d had a major fight with my hubby. Internal conflicts are not as big a creative force or drive as the external ones whether they be mine personally or in the world.
CINSEARAE---Writing has been my therapy, for like, forever. It started out with poetry being my therapy. They helped a lot in my early 20’s, that’s for sure; my restrictive, boring life with my exes led me to withdraw into my room to write, write, write. Writing became my personal retreat away from them and the world. Some of my internal conflicts are very much a driving force, but only come into play in my stories when need arises.
JONATHAN---Maybe I should write a short essay on why I hate plastic Easter eggs so much. That’d be my therapy.
CHRISTINE---Yeah, you go do that.
(Jonathan jumps up to get a pen and notebook, returns, and sits back down to write.)
CHRISTINE---(Shaking her head) Do you listen to music as you write? Can you give us a few artists/bands?
CHRISTY---It really depends on my mood. It could be country and Brooks and Dunn, Gary Allan and Miranda Lambert, the Rolling Stones, Linkin Park, Nickelback, Elvis or Michael Buble. I like all types of music except opera and hip hop.
CHRISTINE---(Leaning forward) Did you know Jonathan likes musicals?
CHRISTINE---Give it up, kiddo. I heard you singing "Maria" from West Side Story in the shower.
JONATHAN---Aw crap, was I that loud???
CINSEARAE---(laughing) I listen to music too, depending on the type of writing I’m doing and what time of day it is. At night, it’ll be instrumental stuff only; bands like Midnight Syndicate, Nox Arcana, A Murder of Angels, or Delerium. My other fave bands I’ll listen to are Depeche Mode, The Cure, Diary of Dreams, H.I.M., Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Gary Numan, to name a few!
JONATHAN--(Gasping) Marilyn Manson? Nine Inch Nails? The Cure?!?! I love you.
CHRISTINE--Will you stop trying to embarrass our guests?
JONATHAN--But… Manson rocks! And so does The Cure! And Nine Inch Nails!! They kick ass! (Scratching head) Not sure who Brooks and Dunn and Gary Allan are. Miranda or Michael either. Who are they, Ms. Poff? Heeeyyy!…Isn’t that Elvis dude the one who supposedly died on the--
CHRISTINE---ENOUGH, Jonathan, before you irk our guests.
JONATHAN---inquiring minds, that’s all….(shrugs)
CHRISTY---I listen to a lot of country and what some folks call easy listening (ugh!) Music is music plus I’ll listen to Marilyn every once in a while.
JONATHAN---(Gasping again) YOU ROCK, Ms. Poff!!!
CINSEARAE---I have a guilty confession, lol. As far as ‘easy listening’ goes, I do like Neil Diamond….
CHRISTINE---Shutup, Jonathan.
JONATHAN---He sounds like an old dude. A reealllly old dude.
CHRISTINE---Dammit, will you stop it?!?!?
(Jonathan laughs so hard, he falls out of his chair)
JONATHAN---(Rubbing the side of his butt.) Owwww……
CHRISTINE---Okay, last question, before Jonathan goes off on another tangent, lol. What type of reading inspires you to write?
CHRISTY---That’s a good question because I read so many different authors. I started the Civil War series after I read Heather Graham/Shannon Drake while I’ve always read vampire tales and those of werewolves. I love WEB Griffin’s Badge of Honor series which is set in the heart of the Philadelphia Police Department plus I can go for Jackie Collins. Nothing like a mishmash, wouldn’t you say?
CINSEARAE---My mom used to read Jackie Collins, lol. I’ve read everything from Judy Blume to L.J. Smith, to R.L. Stine when I was young. Two of my fave childhood books when I was a kid were “How To Eat Fried Worms” and “Freckle Juice”. I was reading Stephen King in Junior High, which got me plenty of weird looks, lol. But many other things outside of books inspires me as well!
CHRISTINE---Well, I think you ladies very much for your time! This was quite a fun interview, and I hope Jonathan wasn’t to much of a pain in the ass for you.
CINSEARAE---Thank you for the interview! And, he wasn’t all that bad, lol. I thought he was charming…in a weird way, lol.
JONATHAN---(Looking at Christine) HA! See? Not a pain in the butt.
CHRISTINE---but she did say you were weird…
CHRISTY---Weird can be a good thing—trust us. Thanks, Christine, it’s been fun.
JONATHAN---(Waving) Bye! Hope we can talk to you both again soon! (Glancing at Christine) So, uh…you gonna tell me who Neil Diamond is, now?
CHRISTINE---(Groans and slaps a hand to her forehead, mumbling something to herself.)

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.