Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haunting Miss Trentwood Book Launch!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Belinda Kroll, author of Haunting Miss Trentwood. It's so cool to meet another author in Columbus, Ohio! Belinda's hosting a Tea-Tasting book launch tonight, 10/27/10 from 6:30-8:30 at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. If you're in the area, please stop by.

With Halloween approaching, it's a perfectly ghoulish time for a Victorian ghost story.
The tea and cupcakes for the event provided by Sugar Inc sound absolutely delicious! There will be a pairing of a particular tea with each main character.

I love the idea of a book launch that showcases the themes of the novel. I hosted my first book signing at a wine shop, but maybe it would've been more appropriate to host it at a bar where we could've done tequila body-shots, like my characters Grant and Sophie. :-)

I'm quite impressed that Belinda's only in her mid twenties (I'm, er, a bit older than that) and Haunting Miss Trentwood is her second published novel! Wow! Plus, she's friendly and smart.

Belinda Kroll and Jennifer Lane together at our favorite wine shop.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Interview with Author Jennifer DeLucy

Today I'm interviewing author and sweetheart Jen DeLucy, whose second book in The Light Series is being released today by Omnific Publishing!

JL (Jennifer Lane): How did you get interested in writing paranormal romance?

JD (Jennifer DeLucy): Well, I'm a lover of all things supernatural and inexplicable, and I believe in otherworldy phenomena quite firmly. I also think that this life is filled with more mystery and magic than we realize, so, why not explore every idea? Plus, we all need a place to escape to that can inspire us and leave us feeling alive. Books do that for me, and I'm grateful for the chance to share the experience with others.

JL: The sequel to Seers of Light, Whisper of Light, launches TODAY 10/26/10!

Tell us about Whisper.

JD: Whisper of Light pretty much picks up where Seers left off. Notice I say "pretty much", because the book utlizes a minor time overlap in order to connect both stories and show how these lives are all linked together.

The novel centers around the character of Nicole Abbot, a non-Sentient (meaning that her soul is not as advanced as the Sentients around her, and so she does not have supernatural gifts). The readers will see a major character from Seers of Light (Christian Wright) carried over to Whisper, which was very purposeful. The theme of this series is the interconnectedness of all our lives, and how, when we do brave things, act from love and don't give up hope, we'll find our destiny.

JL: How did you choose to write a sequel? Did you know this would be a series all along?

JD: I did know this would be a series all along, although, for a while I wasn't certain who the second book would be about. It didn't take too long to realize that Christian's story needed continuing, though, and that Nicole Abbot was a name-drop from book one that needed expanding upon. I was too in love with the world to give it up quite yet.

JL: What was your process in writing a sequel? How did it compare to writing the original?

JD: Ooooh, the process was definitely more challenging for the second book! The main reason being that I had to tie in plot issues and consider how it would all impact book three. I also dealt with darker, more human themes in this book -- more angst, more struggles for the main character. Seers of Light had been a cake walk, because I was just discovering as I went, but Whisper pulled in elements of foresight and planning that I did not have to use so much in the first book. It's also more of a challenge to keep things fresh in a supernatural world. I tried to keep things open and flexible, but I had a loose outline, as well. All in all, Whisper of Light taught me a lot of lessons that I needed to learn as an author and a person.

JL: Any advice for authors who are writing a series?

JD: The same thing I tell any hopeful author. Don't micromanage things so closely that you leave no room to be surprised. I find that the best and most fulfilling resolutions and plot twists come out of sudden inspiration to the author. Keeping things fresh will hold your interest in your own story and encourage you to keep writing.

JL: What are your plans for The Light Series?

JD: I am currently writing book three, which will take the reader back to the group from book one and really bring things full circle. From there on, who knows? I'll likely write something different after that, but I could never rule out more Light Series books.

Thank you, Jen! Now get out there and buy Whispers of Light!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Seers of Light Review

Seers of Light (Light, #1)Seers of Light by Jennifer DeLucy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read the first chapter of Seers of Light on right away I knew I wanted to read the whole book! I instantly loved the heroine of the story, Lily Hunt, for her warmth and spunk. (And she even has big feet like I do). Because she's a character I cared about deeply, her frightening first encounter with a paranormal creature in her bedroom really FREAKED me out.

But not all of the supernatural beings in this fic are creepy. Some *coughs* William/Christian *coughs* are quite the opposite--yummy and huggable! I'm a newcomer to the paranormal romance genre, and I thoroughly enjoyed the foray into the battle between sentients and vampires. The "soul merge" was so damn cool. And the sex scenes were quite "touching" hee hee.

My favorite part of the novel was the well-written dialogue, which often had me chuckling and really brought the characters to life. Here's one example on page 75:

Lily: "And do you care to explain how this is done?"
William: "Just trust yourself. It's in you to know this stuff."
Lily: "Ugh, please, Mr. Miyagi. Spare me the wax on, wax off."
William: "Must you ALWAYS be so unpleasant?
Lily: "No, not always . . . just with you."

Another favorite quote, page 183:

"And I praised Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Allah, Santa Claus, and Oprah all at once as he kissed me, pressing my body into the wood, leaving me absolutely incapable of standing on my own two feet."

Ha ha ha and oo la la!

I also really enjoyed Jen DeLucy's reworking of the Narcissus legend. And the ending between William and Christian was quite satisfying.

Fortunately for me, the sequel, Whispers of Light, will be released by Omnific Publishing TOMORROW! (10/26/10). Yeah! Great job, Jen. Thank you for sharing Lily's world with us.

Check back for my interview with Jen DeLucy.

View all my reviews

It's Monday, time for Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop! Authors -- have a book out? Are you under contract for publication? Make sure you join in the hop. This is a great way to network your blog and let readers know who you are.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Passion Fish Author Alison Oburia

Will you be in the Orlando, Florida area this weekend? (I wish I would be!) Alison Oburia, co-author of Passion Fish, will be at the Florida Writers Association Conference October 22-24. This is a great time to get a signed copy of her contemporary romance novel.

Alison was the managing editor for my novel, and a really great writer!

Here's the book trailer for Passion Fish.

Monday, October 18, 2010

E-Readers for Excellent-Readers

Happy Monday! Please check out our Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop at the end of this post.

The time has come. I've waited long enough to purchase an e-reader, and I wanted to pick your brain about which e-reader you like the best. The big three that I'm aware of are the Kindle, the Nook, and the Sony E-Reader. Any more I should know about? What are the pros and cons of each one?

You'd have to be living in a cave not to know about Amazon's Kindle. The library of e-books is extensive, and my novel With Good Behavior has been available on Kindle since its release date HERE

However, I don't think Kindle is for me since you can't read PDF's or library books on it.

Barnes & Noble's Nook is more appealing to me. From what I understand, there may be fewer e-books available but they seem to be less pricey and you can read non-proprietary books in PDF formats. And, I'm very excited that Omnific Publishing just made With Good Behavior available for the Nook HERE!

I don't know as much about Sony's E-Reader but I've heard good things from customers.

I'm leaning toward buying the Nook and curling up into a nook in my condo to read e-books galore! But I want to hear your opinion before I lay down the cash. Do you own an e-reader? If not, do you plan to buy one and which one looks most appealing to you? If you own one, how do you feel about your purchase? (typical psychologist "How do you feel" question :-)

Finally, did you buy the Wi-Fi or 3G version? Pros/Cons?

Thank you! Jennifer Lane

It's time for Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Choosing Character Names

It's a tricky business, choosing names for your protagonists and other characters in your novel. I'm guessing it might be akin to choosing a name for your child. After all, our characters sort of feel like our children, don't they? And just like with baby names, people have wildly varying reactions based on personal preferences and knowing individuals with that name in their lives.

Personally I'm not a big fan of naming one's son after the father since I believe it might interfere with the son's identity development. And when my sister named her middle son Dylan James, I blanched when she told me that they'd call him "D.J.", thinking that name sounded straight out of the TV show Roseanne! (Now that I know and love my nephew Dylan, I'd be fine with the name D.J., by the way).

How did you go about choosing your character names? Did you base it on your favorite names--names you'd like to use for your children someday? (George Costanza wanting to name his daughter "Seven" comes to mind!) Or did you try to infuse meaning into the names?

For my debut novel With Good Behavior, I did a combination of the above. I tried to be thoughtful in choosing the surname of my story's depraved crime family: Barberi. And for the son of the most vicious, psychotic character associated with that family, I picked the surname Madsen. (Plus, I love the actress Virginia Madsen and needed a Scandinavian name for the storyline).

For my protagonists I simply chose names that I liked: Sophie and Grant. Imagine my surprise when astute reviewer Ana Josefina Borge told me that she loved how the meanings of their names translated into their character strengths (Sophie = wisdom, Grant = great, tall, a gift). I was tempted to pretend that I'd intended that all along but I did fess up that it was a happy accident. ;-)

I'm currently reading Seers of Light by Jennifer DeLucy (and thoroughly enjoying it!) and one of her character names caught my eye: Christian Wright. At first I thought this character would be a total goody-two-shoes, but as I get to know Christian, I'm finding that he is very much a multi-faceted character. It seems her sequel Whispers of Light will explore his layers even more in depth.

How did you choose your character names? What are some of your favorite names?

It's Monday, time for the Meet an Author Monday Blog-Hop! A great chance to meet new authors.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Interview with Nicki Elson, Author of Three Daves

Today I interviewed Nicki Elson, author of the college love-romp Three Daves. See my 4 star review below!

Jennifer Lane (JL): How much did you enjoy your college experience? How did real life translate into fiction?

Nicki Elson (NE): Let's see...a lot! College is not like any other time of life. It's that perfect combination of freedom without total responsibility. I think a part of me will always yearn for those days, and that's what got me to sit down and write this story.

I attended Eastern Illinois University, and anyone who went there, particularly in the 80s, will recognize the campus, the bars, Jimmy Johns. Most buildings and businesses were given fictional names in my story, but the physical descriptions are heavily influenced by my alma mater. The overall story line is original and not in any way autobiographical, buuut there are most definitely bits and pieces of reality scattered throughout---for example, I saw Wang Chung in Daytona in '87 and once invented a game called Dial-a-Drink. It's like this, if Three Daves is a delicious smoothie, then my real life experiences are the strawberries---they flavor the story but the end result is something completely different.

JL: (And that strawberry smoothie was delicious.) I think I read on your website about your mother's horrified reaction to realizing there would be sex scenes in your book. Thankfully my parents have chosen not to discuss the sex scenes I've written. Totally awkward! Any advice about dealing with the aftermath of writing intimate romantic scenes?

NE: Ah yes, the inspiration behind my first ever blog post: Should I Have Faded to Black? So, I guess my first bit of advice is to write a blog post to make yourself feel better! Hehe. Actually, the first step is before the book is ever published---make sure you feel good about what's in there and that it's justified. People are all going to have their own opinions, and they are entitled to them, but if you know what you wrote was right for the story you wanted to tell, then the negative feedback won't sting so much.

My mom's reaction was to be expected, and I don't blame her in the least. I think I could've prepared her a little better before she actually read it. As a result, I think I overly prepare other people. What I've heard quite a few times is that the level of detail I get into is nothing compared to a lot of what's out there, but then they stop and say, "I'm a little surprised you wrote it." That cracks me up because I'm a little surprised too! But the story required a certain level of intimate detail (for reasons I explain in my blog post), and not one bit of it was gratuitous.

JL: Music is an important part of this story. What are some of your current favorite artists or songs?

NE: Confession: I honestly do still listen to a lot of 80s new wave. It's great music! But I promise that I did move on in the 90s to Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cranberries, and Pearl Jam, and even though I don't listed to a lot of new stuff, current bands I enjoy are Dropkick Murphys, Rammstein, and Stone Sour. And I'll have you know that Madness is still recording new songs and they rock!

JL: What was your journey to publication like?

NE: It was one of those times in my life where God was being very patient with me and then finally had to clunk me over the head with it. I wrote Three Daves a few years ago, simply because I was gripped by the story and wanted to read it, so I wrote it. I did a bit of research into getting published and learned about literary agents and query letters and all that and sent out a few queries---I think twelve. And I hated every minute of that process. It felt like work, and sales is not my forte, but that's exactly what you have to be gifted at---selling your novel in a one page letter. I revised that letter so many times, but apparently all versions sucked because I didn't have any luck. And I get it, the agents get so much sent to them and have to think strictly from a marketing point of view. Unknown authors are a big risk, and my story didn't fall neatly into any pre-packaged category. But that process was killing the joy of writing for me, so I stopped pursuing publication.

I turned back to on-line writing, fanfiction and original, because that's what I enjoyed doing---writing and sharing my stories. While doing that I entered and won an original fiction contest with my short story, Impressionism 101, and I suppose that's what caught the attention of Elizabeth Harper, owner of Omnific Publishing. One day I got this amazing e-mail from her telling me that she was starting her own publishing company and that she'd like to see some more of my original work! I read that e-mail about five times trying to believe it was real. She liked what I sent her for Three Daves and after a whirlwind of editing and polishing and cover design and video trailers etc., etc., etc., here we are.

JL: Do you still wear banana clips, leg warmers, o-rings, or ribbon barrettes? :D

NE: Oh you're real funny! That would be a resounding NO! But hey, 80s fashions are making a comeback---I've seen the legwarmers, so give me about six months and I just may be sporting pair of those. ;)

Thank you for the interview, Nicki, and for the wonderful ride back in time with Three Daves. I loved your book!

Please join us for our Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop.

Cali Cheer Mom (Lisa Sanchez) has all the details (and a lovely review of my novel on 9/28) on her blog.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three Daves Review

Three DavesThree Daves by Nicki Elson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun and Insightful 80's Romance!

Omnific Publishing released Three Daves in February of 2010, and I recently had the pleasure of reading the novel. Three Daves features Jen, a college student at Central Illinois University, and her travails with three men named Dave. The first sentence draws the reader right in: "Jennifer Whitney was the last American virgin."

Wow, I really identified with Jen. Not only does she share my name (and doesn't like to be called Jenny), but she has the same self-doubts I had in college: wanting more experience in bed while feeling nervous about getting said experience, being known as a good girl (Gigi) but drinking too much on occasion, relying on friends and frantically trying to figure out how to resolve conflicts when there are spats, working hard at school, and taking an eternity to realize that this guy is "the one".

I really thought that Nicki Elson showed a realistic portrayal of college. Sure, we grow intellectually at college, but personal development seems to matter the most during these years. The formation of Jen's identity was subtle yet strong, aided by the Three Daves along the way. She starts off as a chameleon but grows into a confident young woman who is not afraid to be herself. In terms of which Dave she chose at the end, I was very satisfied. (He was my choice too!)

Here are some of my favorite 80's references in the book.

* "Cool beans". I STILL use this phrase!
* Wang Chung playing at Daytona Beach for Spring Break. I must admit that my very first concert was Wang Chung when I went to little sibs' weekend at Miami University to visit my sister. "Dance Hall Days" is a great song!
* David making Jen cassette tape mixes. Ah, the days of cassett tapes. And such great music . . . "Boys Don't Cry" by the Cure, "Red Red Wine" by UB40, and bands like the B52's and Echo & the Bunnymen.
* Perms and banana clips. *snorts*

Overall, a great read!

Stay tuned for my interview with author Nicki Elson tomorrow, when we will discuss 80's fashion and the fine art of writing sex scenes, hubba hubba.

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