Friday, July 23, 2010

Thrill me, chill me

Anytime I'm asked what my favorite book is, it takes me oh about a second or so to answer: Rebecca. Yup, the 1938 classic novel by Daphne du Maurier is hands down my all time favorite novel. What's not to love about this book? I mean it's got it all: romance, passion, murder, a psychopath, a hint of the supernatural, mystery and a happy-ever-after ending. The first time I read it, I was just a teenager and immediately drawn to the romance between the poor heroine and the rich, dashing hero...sigh...I was so hooked. Strangely though, each time I read it after that, I found something new in the story. I began to realize how rich and multi-layered Ms. du Maurier had drawn her characters. The story itself is filled with twists and turns and a complexity that draws you in as a reader. You feel her story and it never gets old. This book was published over seventy years ago and yet the story itself is as powerful today as it was in 1938. Romance, love and betrayal are timeless and so is Rebecca. If you haven't read it, trust me, you should.

As a writer, examples such as Rebecca let me know romance doesn't always follow a bright and cheery path. Sometimes, it blooms in the shadows despite unseen forces working against it. For those of us on the dark side, vampires, werewolves, demons and other creatures are not mutually exclusive from romance. On the contrary, it often makes the romance more intense, the passion more powerful and seriously, who can resist that? Not me! And so here I am in the Black Rose garden and may I say, very happy to be here, with my own take on romance, love and beytrayal in Souls of Sorrow coming out in October. I thank authors like Daphne du Maurier, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, Charlaine Harris, and Nora Roberts (gotta love the Circle Trilogy), to name just a few of my favorites, for giving me many hours of wonderful reading. For opening my mind beyond what is seen and taking it into the world that exists beyond the shadows.

Where did I start?

I didn’t start out as a novelist. I kept a journal. I wrote poetry. I took a creative writing class in college and had the teacher tell me to write for myself. It was after I started reading romances that I thought I could do that. Do you remember Barbara Cartland with her gypsy princes, corporate moguls, royalty and lost heirs? I think I read every book. Her writing reawakened the belief in love and happy endings that real life had battered to a pulp. I wanted to write stories to make the reader feel good.
I had an old computer, but my first effort was on a typewriter. It was awful. When I realized it wasn’t as easy as I thought, I joined the nearest romance writers group. I planned on finishing that first book in a month or two, then get published.
I learned it wasn’t that easy. The first book took me years because I kept going back and redoing. My first sale took me ten years.
I don’t regret the time it took. I’m still learning. I love the writing process, the people I’ve met, and seeing my cover for the first time. I love sharing my stories and plan to keep writing the Rhodes End series that started with Ancient Awakening.
Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press, my next release, Ancient Blood, pits a werewolf against the man stalking his mate.
Visit me at

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Can You Pick Just One Favorite Author?

I read a lot. I have authors I follow and I have favorite authors...for each genre. But to actually pick between the genres would be hard. I like science fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, regency historical, and urban fantasy. But what I read depends on the mood and I can't say one is any better than another.

Anne McCaffrey in the science fiction arena still holds a piece of my heart. While I do love Pern quite a bit, my favorite series from her is the Crystal Singer trilogy. A great escape with music, gems, and world exploration.

Janny Wurts is my queen in epic fantasy. Great worldbuilding and in depth character exploration. Her Wars of Light and Shadow series spans hundreds of years and goes in depth in how politics and religion can change a world.

Anne Bishop's characters call to me. I live for the next Black Jewels book because I want to see what is happening in the lives of her characters.

These authors have been with me for years. I've had to replace books because I've read them so many times. Yes, I pick up new books and new authors. Ilona Andrews is an author I started reading about two years ago and recommend her for anyone looking for Urban Fantasy. But I still go back to my favorites. At least once a year I will read every book I have from these authors. That is what makes these authors favorites for me. No matter how many times I've read the story before, I still look forward to reading it again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Best Book Ever?

If you could see my office (writing room) you'd understand the question mark. I have eight long bookshelves going from the floor to the ceiling in my writing room-- and then I have a bookcase. Given the selection it's hard to just pick one favorite book.
So what do I look for in a book? I want something that will transport me from where I am to someplace else. A special world. I tend to like happy endings, so most of the time I stick to romance, but the best book ever? What a hard question.

There are several books that I've read time and again and they're actually an odd assortment. Here they are and ironically most of them I first read before the age of twelve: A Wrinkle in Time, The Outsiders, The Hobbit, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Charlotte's Web, and The Long Winter.

I loved the strong science fiction slant in A Wrinkle in Time, Meg was such a great heroine and I loved the "Angels" Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who, not to mention the concept of space/time travel.

Back on planet Earth, The Outsiders, is a book I've purchased at least four times. Three times I loaned it out and it was never returned. I just loved the story of Ponyboy and Johnny. It was a teenage story with a strong hero. Who didn't love Ponyboy Curtis? I have to say as an adult, it doesn't hold the same appeal as it did when I was a teen.

I think everything by JRR Tolkein is amazing. He created a world and a language. I even named my little, skulking bearded dragon for one of his characters, Smeagol. But the Hobbit is amazing- I actually read it again just last year and still found it hard to actually stop reading it once I started. It's so layered and faceted.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond is still amazing today as well. Even though this was a young adult book it had a powerful message and a hint of romance. My love for historical continues with The Long Winter. This is part of the Little House series, but in this one Laura and her family must survive a winter when blizzard after blizzard takes it toll on the town.

But the book that always makes me cry is Charlotte's Web. I imagine I loved Charlotte because she was so eloquent. Even now I still find it fascinating that E.B. White made the world fall in love with a spider. She is every thing every heroine should be-with the exception of being eight-legged :-). And who could ever forget the way the book ends?
It isn't often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both. ~sigh~

I've recently added a few more to my favorites, The Harry Potter Series is great, Christopher Paolini's Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingir, Frank Peretti's Monster, and Delia DeLeest's Eye of the Beholder. (This last one is a TWRP book by the way.) Again-what a mix.

But I can't pick just one favorite, and I don't think I'll ever have just one. Now off to find a good book!

My upcoming Black Rose release is Endangered, but I'm also a historical gal, so if you like historical with a paranormal twist, check out The Last Promise, available at TWRP. And speaking of historical paranormal don't miss Paty Jager's Spirit of the Mountain (available in August), and check out author, Dorothy McFalls, who also writes paranormal historical romances. Happy Reading~ Mal

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's Your Favorite Book?

Probably the most difficult question to ask an avid reader is “What is your favorite book?” Even the alternative “Who is your favorite author?” can rarely be narrowed down to just one. But, if you ask a writer “What book influenced your writing the most?” you might have a smaller list. Let me emphasize might. What do you say?

For me, that list does get a bit smaller. Being an avid reader, I’ve come across many fantastic authors, but I can name two books that have greatly influenced my writing.

On October 6, 1847, a novel entitled, Jane Eyre, was published in London, England by Smith, Elder & Co. The author was then known as Currer Bell, which was the pen name for Charlotte Brontë. Jane Eyre captured me from the first page and I could not put this book down. Though there are several themes throughout the book, I believe the core is the love story between the governess, Jane, and her employer, Mr. Rochester set at Thornfield Hall. The passion of these two characters kept me hooked and the torment they both suffered kept me hoping there would be a happily-ever-after for them. (After all, I am a romance writer keen to see a HEA for all books!)

The next book I came across that captured my fascination was partially inspired by Jane Eyre. Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, published in England in 1938, became an instant favorite of mine. Again from the first page, I was captivated by her voice and her story. The whirlwind romance that leads to marriage between the main character and Maxim de Winter is just the beginning of the new life of the second Mrs. de Winter. While living at Manderley, she learns about her husband’s first wife, Rebecca, and the mystery surrounding her death.

Both of these novels are filled with romance and intrigue, a combination that makes for a wonderful page-turning book. And both are written in first person point-of-view which has become my favorite viewpoint to read. These novels are also considered to be among the group of gothic romances that originally became popular in the late 18th century and continue their popularity even today.

Because I’m an avid romance reader and an ex-bookseller who still loves recommending books to others, I will add some of my other favorite authors in no particular order. Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Lynn Kurland, Gayle Wilson, Deborah Simmons, Claire Delacroix, Elizabeth Thornton, Katie Macalister, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. Okay, these were just a few… What or who is your favorite?

And on July 21, 2010 please check out my debut release, The Witch and the Wolf, a paranormal regency romance.

Tricia Schneider

Saturday, July 10, 2010

These are a few of my favorite books

I've always loved reading. By the time I was in 2nd grade, I could read faster than my dad and had already gone through most of the books in the children's section of our regional branch library. So I just moved on up to the adult section. My favorites were mysteries and fantasies. Piers Anthony's the Land of Xanth series were some of my favorites. Anything to do with Merlin. My dad's 50's sci-fi books. And of course mysteries. As I got older, I started adding romances to the mix. Historicals and paranormals are my favorites for romances. Anything that transports me to another world, be it with vampires and were-critters or back in time or a whole different planet. Bring it on. Right now some of my favorite romance authors are Roberta Gellis, Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lora Leigh and JR Ward. For fantasy I love George RR Martin's Fire and Ice series. There's nothing like curling up with a good book when it's raining out. And it's raining now, so I've got to go. :)

What books do you like to read?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Enters the world tomorrow

My book is out tomorrow :)
I'm pretty excited, not to mention nervous - after all this is my precious :)
To celebrate its entry into the world I'll be doing a giveaway, starting on the 9th, on my blog. Come on over and join me :)

HUMAN WITH A TWIST by Louise Delamore
Betrayal and a broken heart have made Zaralyn determined to avoid romance at all costs. A chance rescue outside a nightclub by the mysterious Gideon Nite challenges her resolution and her heart.

Gideon is attracted to Zaralyn from the moment he sees her, but how can he prove he’s worth trusting when he has so much to hide? What starts out as simple attraction spirals out of control when it becomes clear their lives are in danger. Nothing is simple – even Gideon isn’t what he seems. He is a human with a twist – one of those who for centuries have been misunderstood and labeled ‘Vampyre’.

How can she love a man who isn't a man at all, especially when a killer is marking them for death?

Check it out print & eBook
Hope you enjoy.
--Louise Delamore

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a Fourth of July, well technically a second of July hero

Hello, I hope everyone had a wonderful July Fourth weekend. It rained pretty hard on that night in my area, but I still heard the cracking of fireworks. My cats ran around the house like crazy, with the thunder and fireworks exploding for hours. I only wish I had gotten out to see the gorgeous fireworks this year.

I've always enjoyed seeing fireworks. I live in a mountainous state, and I'd have to say my favorite place to go on July Fourth is the beautiful town of Grand Lake. Ah, to see fireworks over the lake. Now that is something. And they play patriotic music. I took my phone out the year I got to go there and took the best pictures I could to remember this event. 30,000 people packed into that small mountain town to party. If only I could go every year. :)

Now I love history and am constantly reading books about many different eras. Have you ever heard of Caesar Rodney? No? He was very important to the cause of Independence for America. I read a story on him recently. Why do we know Paul Revere's name but not his? In the story I read, it explained that the 13 colonies had to all agree to fight for independence, or the idea would be defeated. It came down to one colony's vote. There were three delegates. One wanted independence, one didn't, and the third would be a tie-breaker.

Mr. Rodney was in favor of independence, but wasn't there to vote. On July first, his co-delegate hired the fastest rider he could find to ride through the night through a terrible storm. The man arrived at Mr. Rodney's house late with the urgent news. Mr. Rodney rode hard all the way back.

On July second, those in favor of independence tried to stall the vote. Time ticked away. The door flew open, and in walked Caesar Rodney, bedraggled. He voted, and the delegates decided to fight for independence. Here's another amazing thing: Mr. Rodney had cancer and had planned to go to England for treatment. When he voted to rebel, he lost his chance for treatment. So I ask, why don't more people know his name? -Corinne MacGregor, Black Rose editor.
p.s. are there any writers of Black Rose stories who also love history? It would be cool to see stories combining the two

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day, America, What are you reading?

Happy Independence Day, America! And thanks to all members of the military and their families for their sacrifices. Today is a day worth celebrating. If you're American, how are you celebrating?

I’m at the beach, one of my favorite places in the world. I drove down to Emerald Isle, NC after work Thursday and met a girlfriend/co-worker and her sisters at a fabulous restaurant on the pier. Then we went out for karaoke.

On Friday, I hung out on the beach with some of my neighbors from the camper park. Later, I stayed in my camper, writing until my husband’s arrival.

Saturday. the water was so calm it looked like the Caribbean. Crystal green near shore and deep blue near the horizon. It was gorgeous. Perfect for swimming. Not so good for those who surf. But it was a fabulous day of sun, ocean breezes and reading.

I love reading on the beach. I recently downloaded Liz Phelp’s new release, Mirror Image on my Nook. The heroine is unique. And tough. And Liz has done a good job introducing backstory without dumping it on the reader in the first chapter. I’m really enjoying it. But is it going to be my favorite book? Hmm. Can you even have a favorite?

Choosing a favorite book is sort of like choosing a favorite body part. You love or need pretty much all of them, except the appendix. And each part serves a unique purpose. My “favorite” books are like that. I enjoyed each one for a different reason. But I still couldn’t choose a favorite any more than I could choose a favorite finger. Although, I must admit, there is one finger I think about using more than the others when I’m pissed. 

When I was little, my favorite book was Harold and the Purple Crayon. I loved it because Harold had this magical crayon and when he didn't like the things in his life, he just drew the world around him the way he wanted it to be.

I sometimes wish the real world were like that. Maybe I'm a control freak. Or maybe I'm just a romantic. I want life and love to be happily ever after. I guess that's why I love romances so much. I need that HEA or at the very least, a satisfying ending.

The Count of Monte Cristo had a satisfying ending. That's also one of my favorite books because it re-taught me the joy of reading. In high school, I'd gotten where I hated reading because I was always having to read books and stories not to my liking so I could be tested on them. But one teacher allowed us to choose the book we wanted to read. And I chose The Count of Monte Cristo. And I learned to love reading again.

I always wished I could re-write the original ending and make it happier. I guess that's why I loved the re-make of the movie. The latest Count of Monte Cristo movie ends the way I wanted the book to end. And, it stars Jim Caviezel. And he is just gorgeous.

So, I guess I don't really have a favorite book. Do you?