After publishing and reading so many wonderful books this year, we thought to ask our authors about their favorites. What book did they feel was their favorite read of 2012. What do you think of their choices and do you agree? What books would you choose? Let us know your thoughts!
I can’t give you an absolute favorite book of 2012 because that’s impossible but I can tell you that one of my favorite books was Anna and the French Kiss. I’m not sure if it was the dreamy British hero, the awkward American heroine, the transporting backdrops, or the ‘authentic’ tone that Stephanie Perkins managed to capture throughout, but this book stuck with me. The second book – not so much – but Anna and St. Clair are still some faves of mine… Why does some of this feel familiar… Hmmmm?
It's a tough call, because I've read so many great books this year, but I'd have to say my favorite book for 2012 has to be The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I'm a huge fan of Ms. Clare's Mortal Instruments series and loved the world and characters she created. As book two of The Infernal Devices trilogy, The Clockwork Prince is set in the same universe but instead of New York city in modern day, this series is set in London during the Victorian era. Ms. Clare's descriptions and storytelling ability just seems to get better an better with each book, transporting me not only to another world, but to another time and place. The Clockwork Prince had me reading late into the night, unable to put it down.
In fact, I love The Infernal Devices so much that I'm looking forward to The Clockwork Princess, the third book in the trilogy, coming out at the end of March almost as much as my own debut release of The Watcher on March 4th.
T. Michelle Nelson:
I don’t typically read a ton of YA literature. At least I didn’t until this last year. There are tons of great new YA books out there right now. Jamie Manning’s BLOOD BORN for example, is an awesome book, especially for us vampire lovers, and a book written by Inkspell’s own Stephanie Keyes called THE STAR CHILD was amazing as well.
THE STAR CHILD grabbed my attention from the moment I heard of it because I’ve been a little obsessed with Ireland for a while. I had hopes of reading about the beautiful scenery and Irish culture if nothing else. You get that with Keye’s book, but you also get a story that will suck you in and keep you up for hours reading. Kellen St. James, her main character, is relatable and well-developed. Exactly the kind of guy you want to root for to save the world.
Keyes builds a world that is magical and takes the reader on a journey unlike any other book. THE STAR CHILD is masterfully written and a fast read, and I’d suggest just that. Read it fast before her second book comes out in April. I know I can’t wait. (Hopefully she will read this review and send me an advanced copy. *hint*)
Baptism of Fire by Stephanie Constante had me hooked by the first chapter.
First of all, let me just say that not once since I began to read was I bored with this book. It was an absolute page turner. In fact, I read it in two days (and only because I needed a good night sleep). Otherwise, I would have read it all the first night.
The romantic elements to this story are strong and captivating. The characters are charismatic, fun, and entertaining. The plot is unique and keeps you interested from the very beginning.
Aidan, the hero of the story, is so easy to love because of his personality. His charm would win any girl’s heart. I loved the fact that his identity caught me completely off guard and I had no idea who he really was until he revealed it to Leito.
I’m looking forward to reading the second installment to this series. I just need to know what happens to Aidan and Leito.
Would I recommend this book to Young adults’ enthusiast? Most definitely. It has everything you love about a fantasy novel with a splash of romance and adventure added to the mix.
This year, my favorite read was The Life & Death Of Lily Drake by T. Michelle Nelson. It seems like so many of the books that I pick up lately have wimpy female characters. When that happens, I don't feel committed to seeing the book through. Instead, I just bow out. Not only did this book have a gutsy female lead, but it's not like any other book out there. I just loved that.
My favorite read in 2012? "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman.
Why? Because it was just so much fun! Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time and so I wanted to read the book, just to compare the two. (After all, William Goldman wrote both the book and the screen play). There were differences, of course, and I found them both enjoyable and interesting. I enjoyed reading the back stories of the characters that we missed out on during the movie. All of the humorous asides put in by Goldman made for a lighthearted read. If you love "Princess Bride" the movie... then you must read the book if you haven't already!
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare is the best book of 2012 for me. Her world-building skills always amaze me. I’m sucked into her books, which lead me through a gamut of emotions. I laugh, I cry, I get angry, and come out the other end more in love with the characters than ever before. The best part is knowing that I’ll get to experience it all over again as movies.
Shirley Kennedy:Since you didn't say the book had to be published in 2012, I'm taking the liberty of recommending an old book that's out of print, although copies are still available from used book dealers.
Gus the Great by Thomas Duncan is a book that somehow got lost in time and it shouldn't have. Here's a review I wrote on Amazon,http://www.amazon.com/Gus-Great-Thomas-W-Duncan/dp/2702836372/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358032386&sr=1-1&keywords=gus+the+great
"Recently I thought of a book I read many years ago. I couldn't remember the title, name of author, or even what it was about except maybe a circus. All I could remember was that it was beautifully written and held me fascinated from the very first page.
Finally in the middle of the night it popped into my head: GUS THE GREAT. I bought a copy and just finished it. There are so many books written decades ago that are out-of-date but not this one. It's as good as ever and I can honestly say one of the best books I ever read."
What were your favorite reads of 2012? What books could you not have lived without? What books captivated your days and nights? We'd love to hear from you!
One of the big traditions with New Year's is to write resolutions. These goals are help make the new year even better than the old year. We asked the Inkspell authors what their resolutions are. Here's their responses. What are your New Year's Resolutions?
Being a big procrastinator, I have never been much for making resolutions. Mostly because I generally forget about them or try to ignore the fact that I made them within days of doing so. But, 2013 is a new year, so why not give it a go, right?
So this year, my resolutions are these:
1. Complete two novels and have ready for query at some point during the year.
2. Get on the new treadmill we got for Christmas at least twice a week. (this one is so not going to happen, but adding it makes me look good)
3. Set aside at least one hour each week for undivided "kid time" with my youngest daughter, Shelby.
4. DO NOT GET A NEW DOG THIS YEAR NO MATTER HOW CUTE THEY ARE.
That's it for me. Simple is better to my way of thinking, and I figure if I keep them small and manageable, I have a much better shot at keeping them.
Happy New Year, everyone :)
Both of my New Year's resolutions are writing related for 2013. I'm going to check my Amazon book ranks less- trying for once a month instead of three times a day! (What a time suck that is!) And, I'm not going to read my reviews. The bad ones just bring me down, and then it takes a whole day to get the courage back up to write again. Like last year, I'm vowing to write 1k a day everyday, so I end of with 365K at the end of the year. This past year I made it to 316,090. Almost. But in 2013, I'll make it to 365!
I believe in the power of intention and goal setting, and around the end of the old year, I review my year and assess where I am at, so I can chart my course for the future.
To that end, here are my intentions for 2013:
- to be physically active, and to that end, I plan to run another 10KM run. I did this in 2012, and was quite successful.
- to finish writing books two and three of The Watcher trilogy and see them through to publication.
- to make more time for myself in my meditation practice, for everything flows better from there.
- and on a personal note, to endeavor to not take things personally, remembering that other people's opinions of me are not only none of my business, but also reflections of their own world.
I prefer to think of them as "goals' rather than "resolutions," because as everyone knows, resolutions are only made to be broken and goals are made to be reached... ;)
So with that in mind, my top priority goals for this year are to complete all three of my works in progress, become an expert in marketing...(I hate marketing, so anyone want to help me out with that one?) and spend far more time with my beloved family!
Other than the ever-repeating resolution to lose weight (ugh), I'm going to make it a point to write some edgy stuff in different genres under my pen name. I love YA and romance, but I'm craving the freedom to push the envelop into erotica, horror, fetish, etc.
T. Michelle Nelson:
I resolve to try even more new things, prove to myself that age is only a number and get into the best shape of my life. To motivate myself to do this, I am signing up to participate in Tough Mudder, a 10-12 mile endurance event with obstacles designed by British Special Forces. Most participants undoubtedly, will be younger and in better shape than me, but I fully intend on crossing that finish line. My mother has always told me there is nothing I couldn't accomplish once I set my mind to it, although I seriously doubt she meant anything like this.
Here are my resolutions for the New Year:
1) Write six new novels this year. I wrote four last year, so I'm trying to bring that number up.
2) Make a list of weekly goals and a list of monthly goals and stick to them.
3) Read and review 150 books (I reached this number last year and I hope I can do it again!)
4) Go on a trip out of the country.
5) Exercise regularly (which means, at least three days a week)
6) Finish last year of university and get my degree.
7) Get my driver's license! It would be about time.
This year my resolution is to put work on the back burner, and focus on my family as much as possible. Don't worry, I'll still be writing fun stories for my delightful readers to enjoy, but with five children and a wonderful hubby--as well as the horrific acts in Connecticut this past December--my priorities have shifted. I am so richly blessed with a gorgeous family, and I need to seize each day knowing that it could be taken away at any time. Happy New Year, InkSpell readers!
My new year’s resolution list:
1- Finish the MS I have started.
2- Find a bigger house to move into.
3- Focus a little more on life outside of work.
4- Go to Disney with the kids.
I love making New Year's resolutions. A clean slate and a fresh start for a brand new year! I have a short list for 2013 that consists of the following:
-Release The Fallen Stars
-Edit and Release The Star Catcher
-Write a brand-new Paranormal Romance!
-Continue to spend more time with my family
-Continue with my workout regime
Happy New Year Inkspell readers!
My new years resolutions are:
1) Get a 2:1 in my 2nd year at university
2) Do a good deed everyday
3) Get experience in publishing/editorial work so I can pursue it as a career
Share your resolutions? Do you have any in common with our authors?
Happy New Year Inkspell readers. We wish you all the best in 2013!
Even though Christmas is over, we decided to keep the celebration alive by asking the Inkspell authors about their favorite holiday present. Reading about the authors really gives you an insight into their lives and their stories! What do you think? Which is your favorite gift and why?
Mark Jay Harris:
Sleep in the afternoon after the kids have opened their presents. Santa's pretty tuckered out by that time, and sleep makes a wonderful gift!
The best Christmas gift I ever received was when I was either a junior or senior in high school. As the oldest of four children, I understood better than my siblings the "price" of Christmas for a large family. I thought I would hedge my bets for the one thing I wanted that year -- new skis -- by not asking for another thing that Christmas. I had figured, one gift request -- they gotta fill it, right?
Well, at the end of the morning of opening gifts, I had all sorts of new gear -- new ski jacket, gloves, hats, etc. -- but no skis. I put on my happy face, knowing deep down the skis, boots and poles were just too expensive for my poor parents to be able to buy while still providing a Christmas to my sisters and brothers.
My mother had other plans. She sent me into the bathroom to clean up because "there is no way I am going to shower in that nasty thing on Christmas day." So I went and dutifully cleaned up the bathroom -- grumbling the whole time about how the oldest always gets a raw deal. I grumbled until I returned to the living room to find the skis I had wanted pulled up from where they had been hiding behind our couch. The shock on my face must have been priceless.
I spent close to the next 30 minutes bawling my eyes out, amazed at what my parents had done for me, knowing the sacrifices that must have been necessary for them to afford all the ski stuff they got for me. Like they always have, somehow, my parents managed to make Christmas perfect.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!
Of course, I love books. It's always wonderful to get books, gift certificates for books, or anything even remotely related to books as a Christmas present. But as a mom, the best gifts are always how your children experience the holidays. My kids (3,6, and 8) have this unusual tradition of wrapping up things from around the house and giving them to each other for Christmas. They usually pick toys they've had for years. It's odd, and I don't know where they got the idea, but it's been going on for a few years now and I think it's hilarious. Watching them go though this gift exchange is undoubtedly my favorite gift of Christmas.
My favorite Christmas present would be a surprise romantic trip to a castle or monastery turned into a hotel. I saw something like that while I was browsing yesterday and I thought it must be wonderful to receive a present like that under the Christmas tree. Besides that, of course my answer would be books. I love books in all shapes and forms, and a bookish Christmas present always makes my day!
This one is easy. My most favorite Christmas present of all time is my sister!
As I went to bed on that particular Christmas Eve I was surrounded by three brothers. Two that were older than me, and one a few years younger. I remember wanting a baby sister more than anything! And although our baby was supposed to arrive in January, I remember my father coming into my bedroom on that early, early Christmas morning (so early it was still dark. He flipped on the light and with a big smile on his face, said, "Merry Christmas, Deb! You have a brand new baby sister!" We've been the best of friends ever since!
When it comes to Christmas, my favorite Christmas present is having everyone at home and together for the holiday. Over the past couple of years, there have been a lot of changes at our Christmas dinner. We lost some of our numbers, then added a few. Some of us have moved away. Each of these things has changed our family's dynamic. So for me, having everyone together, in one place…that's easily, the very best gift I could ever hope for. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
T. Michelle Nelson:
My favorite Christmas present is my very first one. I was adopted in October of 1974 at six weeks old. My mom wanted to go Christmas shopping and my dad needed to go get some motor oil or some other manly type thing and had no interest in going with my mom to get presents for me. While they were out getting Dad's manly purchases, my mother no doubt pitched a fit about not having their new baby any gifts so when Dad came out of the store he had bought me this plastic fish. 38 years later and I still have it, maybe a little worse for wear, but it is my most prized possession.
Everyone at Inkspell Publishing hopes that you had a wonderful holiday and received your heart's desire. We'd love to hear what your favorite gift was and why!
With today's technology, writers can write just about anywhere. However, some writers like to have a permanent space to write with files and inspiration. Others like to be free to move where they'd like. We asked our Inkspell authors to tell us about where they write. Could you guess which stories were written where? Which authors like a neat desk while others scatter their items to the four winds?
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T. Michelle Nelson:I require a certain amount of comfort to think creatively and to make the chapters flow. Oh, who am I kidding? I just like to be in bed. I'd say 90% of Life & Death of Lily Drake was written from the comfort of my favorite sheets and fluffy pillows. However, there is rarely a time that I get the bed to myself. Typically at least one fur baby is snuggled in next to me, sometimes more than one. I usually don't mind, as long as they stay off the laptop!
This is actually a real picture of my messy desk! And yes, that's Jack Sparrow running around between my notebooks. Some post-its are quotes from great writers, others are reminders of who to email and thank in my acknowledgments, and others are plot points I'm afraid I'll forget about. One notebook is every single chapter of my Minstrel's Serenade manuscript along with the POV to make sure I rotate it back and forth equally, and another notebook is a list of the blogs I have scheduled on this blog. The notebook to the right is my word count notebook where I keep tabs everyday.
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I have an office that I share with my husband inside our Pittsburgh home. I wold love to be able to kick him out and make this space my own, but I'll take my 5 x 9 spot for the time being! I've got a large wall for planning out work and a view of a window, even though it's father away than I'd like. Must haves in the office space are my Mac Book, markers, and planning paper. I'll be painting over the holidays and putting up a dry erase wall, so I'm pretty excited about that! Here's a pick of me at my desk with my planning sheet for The Fallen Stars after pulling an editing all-nighter.
With Christmas approaching for us, my office sometimes moves downstairs in front of the tree. It's a nice cozy place to be, when you're writing epic fantasy battles.
I have yet to carve myself out a "private" nook at the house to do my writing and when I consider doing it, I always feel a stab of guilt over shutting out the family I already don't see enough thanks to a FT job and an hour commute. So, to keep peace within myself and my family, who misses me so much when I am not about (awww), I do the lion's share of my writing while sitting on the bed in my room. This way the kids can find me when they need me and I still feel like I am part of the family, even when my mind may be a million miles away. There may come a time when I feel I can't get enough accomplished this way, and I may change the writing set-up I am using, but for now, it works for me.
I have an office just off my library that my husband and I share. And, I have to admit, it’s where I spend most of my time. My books are handy and I have over fifteen gigs of music sorted into various “mood” playlists ready to go on my computer. I’ve grown so accustomed to my little work area, I find it difficult (but not impossible) to write anywhere else!
Now that you've seen where our authors write, can you imagine them anywhere else? :)
Because it takes a lot of work to make Mondays fun, we at Inkspell decided to start a blog feature we like to call Eyecandy Monday. Each Monday we will feature the characters from one Inkspell novel and share with you all the fine details and tasty tidbits we can dig up about these interesting and well written main characters. We want to revisit some of our favorite hotties from our favorite stories! As we revisit our eyecandy, we are sharing with you an excerpt to wet your appetite about the character and the story. After all, you can't get enough of book eyecandy!
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Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness
Wolf was born in the Netherlands in the year 1601 and left it, in a manner of speaking, in the year 1632. He knows what happens when you go through a storm in the Bermuda Triangle. Wolf is willing to do anything to protect the woman he loves including taking on a drug cartel!
EXCERPT:“Who are you?” she asked in a voice just audible to his ears. “Better yet, what are you?”
“I’m a man, Aliyana, born of this earth, though not of your time,” he said.
“You are a ghost then.” Although she stated the words matter-of-factly, he could hear a bit of disappointment in the tone of her voice. He had no time to ponder the regret now.
“Only part time,” he replied.
“Part time? Part time! Just what do you mean by that ridiculous statement?” she huffed.
Wolf looked upward for a moment and then sighed in resignation. “I didn’t want to have this discussion until you fully recovered. But come on, let’s go ahead, and get it done.”
As he turned and stepped toward the door she said, “Where are we going?”
“Upstairs to the top of the lighthouse,” he replied.
“I need to stop at the bathroom first, if you don’t mind,” she said as a blush stole across her cheeks.
He didn’t mind at all. The small delay gave him a moment to form an explanation acceptable to a woman like Aliyana. Once finished, she opened the door and extended a hand toward him. In response, he raised an arm in silent invitation. She shook her head.
“Please, I would like to try to walk up the stairs myself,” she said. “Just hang on to me and keep me stable. You can do that, right?”
Wolf gave her a single nod, and placed a firm hand about her waist. He allowed her to set the pace as they ascended the metal steps of the spiral staircase. About half way up, her legs gave way. He caught hold of her body, swept her up, and cradled her in his arms. She didn’t make a peep of protest. Once they arrived at the observation deck, he looked down at her face. She had her eyes closed, head tucked inward, and her lips tight together. “Are you all right?” he asked. “You look a little pale.”
“I’m fine really—just a little dizzy and a bit nauseous from the small turns is all,” she replied. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to throw up on you, I promise.”
“Do you want me to take you back to your bed?”
“No, I’m fine, really.”
He set her down on the old wooden rocking chair, grabbed hold of the two-seater bench next to it, and turned it around to face her. After he settled himself into the rickety thing, he leaned toward her and took hold of her hands. At last, she opened her eyes and then caught and held his gaze. She waited for him to speak.
“Take a good look around you, Aliyana. Tell me exactly what you see,” he said, gesturing to the view behind him.
She took a deep breath and turned toward the panoramic scene. Her eyes grew wider by degrees. She raised her body a little higher, lifted her chin, and looked all around.
A hand covered a gasp of delighted surprise. “I see—the sky is a brilliant shade of turquoise blue, and I—I see a wide lavender band across the horizon. The beauty of the atmosphere is breathtaking. What happened to make it look like this? Do the colors have something to do with the anomalous storm we passed through?”
“In a way, yes, but no, not really,” Wolf replied and then hastened to clarify. “That particular storm merely transported you here. You see, here in this place, the sky is quite normal.”
“What do you mean, here in this place?” she asked as her gaze remained fastened on the view. He could tell she saw more than just the sky, now. The colors in the surrounding vegetation also looked far different from anything she had ever seen before and her expression said the beauty of it amazed her, just as it had once amazed him. He rubbed his thumbs gently across the top of her hands.
“Please look into my eyes now, Aliyana.” Once she complied with his request he said, “I want you to see for yourself that I speak nothing but truth in what I’m about to tell you. A lie has no value, nor would it serve any purpose. Would you agree?”
“You’re not trying to tell me I’m dead, are you?” she asked as a look of horror filled her eyes.
“No, nothing like that.” He raised a hand to his chin and shook his head.
“Then what are you trying to tell me?”
“I’ll start off by telling you I entered this world in the year 1601 and left it, in a manner of speaking, in the year 1632.”
“What do you mean, in a manner of speaking? You keep talking in riddles.”
“I didn’t die, Aliyana.” He held up a hand to halt the words she opened her mouth to say. “I know the questions you have, because once I had them myself. Just let me finish my explanation and then you can ask me anything you want. Fair enough?” he asked.
Now that you've gotten a chance to see Wolf, isn't he yummy? A man out of time, yet a perfect hunk. He has the skills to make you wish for your own Bermuda Triangle accident. Pick up Shadow of the Witte Wieven today!
Happy Halloween everyone! In honor of the holiday, we asked our Inkspell authors about their favorite candy! Can you just see them going out trick or treating and hording their favorites? Or do you think that they are all about buying something that they don't like so that they don't eat it all? What is your favorite and does it match our Inkspell authors?
Rebecca Hart:My favorite Halloween candy has changed over the years, just like my taste in clothing and music have evolved. When I was small, I was addicted to Charleston Chews, couldn't get enough of them. That is, until the day I found my first Mounds bars.
Dark chocolate and coconut -- how can you go wrong there? That's right. You can't. Now that I don't trick or treat anymore, and the focus is on bringing my kids out, I just let them know "the rules" before we leave the house.
"I call dibs on all the Mounds bars."
Thankfully, they don't seem to mind.
I really don’t have a favorite. BUT if I had to make a choice right this minute, I’d ask for the caramel apples I used to get while trick-or-treating in my youth. I lived in a small town, covered with fruit orchards and since the apples were harvested in the fall, many of the farmers would offer homemade caramel apples to the witches, ghosts, and goblins knocking at their doors. Trust me...these candied apples were to die for!
Actually, the candy bar that I can't live without is rare these days. It was my Grandpa's favorite, then became my favorite, and now I can only find them in specialty shops. It's called the Uno Bar, and it is light and fluffy and delicious! The sad thing is...whenever I find them, I buy as many of them as I can afford, and then I bring them home to horde them. My kids don't even get any. How mean is that?
Mark Jay Harris:
Peanut M&Ms with milk. I could live on them for days!
Annabelle Blume:It's very hard for me not to overindulge this time of year. While I love the pumpkin-y treats of fall, like pumkpin bread, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin lattes (okay, that's not true, I can't stand pumpkin lattes, but you catch my drift), it's the Halloween candy that truly breaks my will power.
Rich, satiny cubes of caramel, sticky sweet ropes of licorice, and decadent velvety squares of chocolate tempt my taste buds. I'm usually able to resist the forbidden fruit of the season. Yet, when you pair salty and thick peanut butter with the sweet creaminess of chocolate, I'm a quivering mess.
My absolute favorite candies are the peanut butter cups from the Unreal candy company (getunreal.com). They're just like their mainstream cousin candy, without any nasty preservatives, artificial ingredients, or GMOs. I can feel slightly less guilty when I eat them, and eat them I do!
Sasha Summers:I have a SWEET TOOTH – so I can’t pick just one. When it comes to chocolate I LOVE Almond Joys and the newly discovered Dark Chocolate Raspberry M&M – like I needed another candy to crave. But if we’re talking candy candy – I love sour spaghetti and super tart cherry sours YUM!
Ironically I don’t get these things to hand out at Halloween because I would eat them all – and then I’d have to go dresses as a pumpkin. LOL! I tend to stick with the kid faves like Laffy Taffy, Tootsie Rolls, and Nerds… Perk – I don’t really like any of them so there’s plenty for trick-or-treaters!
Happy Halloween! :)
Snickers of course, Kellen's favorite! It's because of all the chocolate "carmely" goodness. Yum!
Jill Kaelin:My sweet tooth is pretty large, so there’s not much candy I’ll turn my nose up at. Chewy, chocolaty, sour, sweet…I like them all. But naturally, I have a favorite that I find irresistible. Lindt Lindor white chocolate truffles. These are my weakness. There’s just something about that creamy white chocolate inside that makes me want to devour the whole bag. Unraveling that blue, twisty plastic and finding the perfect ball of chocolate inside, makes my mouth water as I’m writing this. I have my students to thank for this addiction. A few years ago, one of my little sweeties bought me a bag of these divine chocolates. I’ve been hooked ever since. But, in my defense, may I just add that chocolate raises antioxidant levels in our bodies, so technically it’s really healthy. Happy Halloween!
Inkspell Authors, editors and everyone would like to wish you a very Happy Halloween! We hope you get all the candy you wish for and enjoy the spirit of the season!
This week we wanted to see how varied the many tastes of our authors are. Many of them write contemporary or paranormal romances but was this what they loved to read? So we asked our Inspell authors about what was their Favorite Genre to read. We also wanted to know why? Do real stories about characters like themselves fuel their passion or does romances with legendary creatures like Angels, Vampires and other paranormal elements thrill their souls!
My favourite genre: paranormal & urban fantasy and contemporary romance.
Contemporary romance: This is a genre I've been reading for the last twenty-something years. (I must have been about twelve when I read my first romance. I loved everything about it: the muscular guys on the covers (and there were handful of those), the hero chasing the heroine, to accept him, love him, plus the heroines feistyness, and finally the happy ever after.
Later on I discovered paranormal & urban fantasy. The reason I loved this was, the fact that an author can create such a believable world, with fantastic creatures in them, and still manage to make it so real. Absolutely amazing. And of course the romance in them. :)
Mark Jay Harris:
I'd have to say Urban Fantasy. I like it because it is grounded in a location people can relate to. Because you feel comfortable in surrounding you recognize, when the fantasy element kicks in it is more jarring and consequently more exciting and fun to play with in a story.
While still in elementary school—fifth grade, I think—my Aunt Karen introduced me to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Those two novels hooked me on the classics. I love reading them as much now, as I did back then and many times over the years, I have read and reread my favorites. I have even developed a taste for Shakespeare, with “A Midsummer Night’s dream, heading the top of that particular list.
Alongside the classics, I also have to include Historical Romances to my preferred genres. History is a passion of mine. Ancient, modern and everything in between, has always piqued my interest. Therefore, I just can’t resist a novel that allows me to exist in another time and place, even if just for a little while.
I think that might be why, in the novels I have written thus far, a hero from the past, meets a contemporary heroine...
I prefer Young Adult, though I'll admit, since I've begun hanging around with romance and erotic-romance authors, I've been reading quite a bit more of that. Both have their purposes and it's nice to switch back from forth from the "less-is-more" camp and the "kick-the-bedroom-door-wide-open" camp. :)
My favorite genre to read is epic fantasy with a dash of romance. I love the different races: elves, dwarfs, rangers, etc and all the various foes: ogres, dragons, orcs, witches, fairies...the possibilities are endless. Quest novels are the best, because the characters go on a physical journey along with the emotional one. Magical items, such as amulets, invisibility capes (or rings!), or swords always add to the fun. I know I'm such a geek, but to be honest this will always be my favorite genre.
Although I enjoy a great contemporary story any day of the week, my favorite genre is definitely Paranormal Romance. Maybe it’s because you can drive the plot to unimaginable dimensions and not have to worry so much about whether or not you’re being accurate about facts and such. Writing Paranormal Romance allows for more freedom when it comes to developing a storyline and the mystery behind the supernatural is just too tempting for me to resist picking up a vampire, werewolf, ghost, mermaid, etc. book and not read it : )
My absolute favorite genre is Young Adult. Not only does YA encompass a wide variety of all my favorite genres, fantasy, sci-fi, and of course, romance, it also examines the most vulnerable time in a person's life. You can always expect YA to deliver a story of personal growth and exploration where the main characters discover things about themselves that oftentimes we, as adults, are still trying to figure out. After all, isn’t the real world just a glorified version of high school? Besides, as a Young Adult author, I justify my passion for YA books as “research.”
Now that you have heard from some of our Inkspell authors about their favorite genres... please share your favorites with us!
Last week we sat down with Hollywood Ever After author Sasha Summers to find out more about herself and her writing. This week we are going to ask all our authors a question and you get to see all the responses! It is like a mega interview!
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Ahhhhh....my first crush was none other than the man of the 1980's...Kirk Cameron himself. I remember my heart palpitating every time his show, "Growing Pains" was on, and whenever he had a scene, I would have to bite the collar of my nightgown to keep
from "squeee-ing" in front of my older brothers. I swear to you, I thought I was going to marry him. I really did. But that was before he became an intolerant conservative, but hey...whenever he is quoted in the media with saying something stupid, I just think back to those days on Growing Pains, when he was just a smart-alecky teenager with the most handsome face I would ever see. That is, until a few years later, Joey McIntyre and the boys of The New Kids On The Block came into my life. :)
My first crush was a french exchange student named Pascal. I was in the ninth grade and everyone in my french class in
Vancouver did an exchange with another family in Quebec as a way to learn about the language and the culture of our French-speaking province. We stayed a week in each other's homes. I was one of the few girls who had a boy to billet with,
not Pascal, but one of his friends. So, in the short time we had, we spent a fair bit of time together, and I soon fell head over heels.
Sadly, one of my friends thought it would be fun to get a boy who I liked to like her instead. I was totally out of my league. But as soon she proved she could get him, she turned him away and told me she just wanted to win. She broke two hearts that day: his and mine. He never spoke to either of us again.
T. Michelle Nelson
My first crush was Nikki Sixx, the bassist from Motley Crue. I had posters of him all over my room and a giant banner that I hung above my bed when I was in the third grade. Lots of heavy metal posters came and went, but the Nikki
memorabilia stayed and eventually moved with me to my college dorm room. It was quite the long-lasting crush. To be perfectly honest, I may still be a touch smitten. The man has aged remarkably well. Fortunately he has given up the mullet and moved forward with fashion, but I am hoping he kept the leather
I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but my first crush was actually on my 7th grade Science teacher. I've always
seemed to like older men *wink*
Since I still live in the same general area as him, I'll withold any names, but I used to hang out in his classroom for my daily study hall, and feign interest in his collection of strange science specimens just to get the chance to hang out in his classroom, and listen to him talk. *blushes*
My first crush was on Tom Selleck. At the time, though I know I'm dating myself, the hot show on TV was Magnum PI. I remember that I wrote to his official fan club and I received one post card from Tom, thanking me for signing up. My mom went out and got me a Hawaiian shirt just like Tom’s in the picture.
Later the following year, my little brother Adam, was born. One night, I was placed in charge of watching him and he promptly threw up on the Tom Selleck shirt. No stain-removing products were successful in getting out the baby formula stain.
The vomit on the Tom Selleck shirt has been a point of contention for the nearly thirty years that have followed the event. My brother, who is now a chaplain, was told by a patient just last week that he looks like a young Tom Selleck. Oh the irony!
My first crush was a little boy named Shaun in preschool. We played “Greatest American Hero” every day on the playground (it was our favorite show, obviously) and we never failed to save the day. His stellar pretend-flying skills were a great compliment to my crime fighting smarts. We made a great team and I was sure we would marry. Alas, we did not. Although, my husband is routinely told he’s the spitting image of Clark Kent, so it seems I married a Superhero after all.
My first crush was a celebrity – Christopher Reeves in “Somewhere in Time”. He was so… so… perfect. I know he was also Superman, but I wasn’t really into the man in tights thing. It was this part that ‘did me in’. His love for Elise, and his determination to go back in time just to be with her made my heart flip-flop and my tummy knot-up. And come on, he was so gorgeous. And the film was a tragic love story, my favorite kind, so I was done for. None of the boys I knew could compete!
In all likelihood, from the time I knew guys existed, I probably had a crush of one kind or another, even if an actor
from a movie or TV series. (I can’t help it; I’ve always been a romantic and I like guys!) But, having said that, the first flesh and blood “crush” that popped into my mind was Russell Bowers, one of the students in my third grade class. He
was tall, dark, and handsome…yes he was. And, as destiny smiled down upon my smitten heart, he became my square dance partner during the P.E. portion of our school day. Why? Because he was the tallest boy, and I just happened to be the tallest girl at that time. Yes indeed, the snowy winter was the most memorable season of my third grade year!
Believe it or not, but my first crush was on a book character. When I first read “In The Forests of The Night”by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, I immediately fell in love with one of the main characters, a vampire named Aubrey. Mind you, this was all before vampires became popular, even before Buffy The Vampire Slayer aired – or at least, before I was old enough to watch it. Originally I had borrowed the book from the library, but after reading it over thirty times in one week, my Mom bought a copy for me. However, according to my Mom, my first ever crush on a real life person was back when I was in kindergarten. I used to chase one of my best friends and try to give him kisses on the cheek. I don’t remember that though –
but I’m glad I don’t!
My first mayor crush happened after my mother took my brothers and me to live overseas. I was about ten at the time and going to a new school in which all children spoke a language I could barely speak myself was in itself intimidating. However, when I walked through those metal gates on my first day of school and caught sight of a tall boy with long brown hair and hazel eyes my heart caught in my throat. Suddenly, the new school didn’t seem so bad after that.
His name was George and he was sweet and had a smile that could render you speechless. His morning ritual consisted of bringing me a box of candy and then would smile sheepishly when the others boys gave him a hard time for it. Although we dated for a time when we got older, we ultimately decided remain friends.
My first crush was Christian Bale when he played the cabin boy in Treasure Island back in 1990. I first saw it in English class in 6th grade, and I was smitten. I made my sister watch it over and over again, and I even had an alternate ending worked out in my head involving me and him! Maybe that's how my writer's brain got started?
I was born boy-crazy, but I think my first crush was Michael Jackson. In
kindergarten, I even wore one silver glove to school and had a silver glove
necklace. I'd swoon whever he came on the radio and make up little dance
routines to his songs.
It is fun to see all the different men who inspired our first crush. Now that you know a little about our authors's first crushes, who was yours?
It's party time again! Come join us as we celebrate the release of Shadow of the Witte Wieven, our first paranormal romance title. Its been called unusual and unputdownable and we, at Inkspell, cannot have enough of it!
Despite a contract on her head, lone Drug Enforcement Agent, Aliyana Montijo must ferret out a mole and stop the assassination of top DEA officials, as so ordered by the Colombian drug lord she seeks to take down. The task is a daunting one, for there is no one she can trust. No one that is, until she encounters a most unlikely ally.
Former seventeenth century captain of the Dutch West Indies Company, Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness, now from a parallel dimension, encounters the beautiful agent during an unearthly storm in the Bermuda triangle. Drawn to the Spanish beauty he rescues, he pledges his assistance, despite her reluctance to accept either his help or his heart.
Can Wolf bridge both space and time to claim the woman he loves?INKSPELL WEBSITE , AMAZON , BARNES&NOBLE, KOBO, ALLROMANCEEBOOKS
And what fun! We have an awesome excerpt from the book for you!
Aliyana nodded as she released a breath and said, “Yes, as a matter of fact they did. Hank has demanded a tour of Mercado’s empire. He said that he wants to see the way they produce cocaine from start to finish. By so doing, he could point out their faults and help them improve production. According to Ortiz, Hank had the audacity to boast about his knowledge of the latest in drug manufacturing technology as if they were a bunch of ignorant ‘campesinos.’ As you can imagine, this rankled them a bit.”
“I’m surprised they aren’t going to use this outing as an excuse to kill him,” Cornelius remarked.
Aliyana shrugged as she cast a brief glance downward. “They actually mentioned that. However, as much as Mercado would like to permanently get rid of the man, he’s going to show a bit of restraint and allow the ‘pig’ to live—for now.”
“Did they mention whether or not Mercado planned to comply with this requested tour?” asked Cornelius.
“He is going to comply, but not in the way Hank intends,” she replied. “Mercado is going to take him much farther south, to a factory and lab he no longer uses. He is sending some of his employees ahead to clean the place up and make ready for their visit. Emil wants everything to look as if the lab is in full swing.”
“So Mercado is conducting the tour personally then?” asked Wolf.
“Yes, he is. He doesn’t trust Hank. Therefore, he wants to observe his every movement, personally.”
“How long will it take them to get to this lab?”
“If it’s the one I think it is, about three, maybe four hours. Why do you ask?”
Wolf brushed a hand against his beard as he contemplated this unexpected opportunity. “How many such places could he possibly take Morris?”
“I only know of two,” she said.
“How long would it take to get to other one?”
Aliyana shook her head as she lifted a shoulder. “Oh, I don’t know—perhaps an additional half an hour or so. That’s why I think he’ll opt for the closest one.”
“Did they say when they intend to conduct this tour?”
“Day after tomorrow. Hank is supposed to arrive at dawn. If you still want to follow the man, you will get your chance then.”
“So travel time, to and from is at least six hours, maybe more,” Wolf mused aloud. “The tour itself will take some time. What would you think, another hour maybe two for him to thoroughly inspect the facilities?”
“Every bit of that and then some,” Aliyana said as she knit her brows in consternation. “Wolf, why are you asking all of these questions?”
“With Mercado out of the way, I’m thinking this might be the perfect opportunity to escort you inside the man’s office so you can raid those files on his computer.”
“But we don’t have all of the numbers to his pass code yet,” Aliyana replied. “I can’t get inside without them.”
In response to the reminder, he allowed a slight smile to emerge and for several long moments, he held her gaze without saying a word. Her confusion finally gave way to understanding. He could see it. She drew in a sharp breath as a burst of anger exploded onto her cheeks.
“You have the ability to get me inside that office anytime you want to, don’t you Captain Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness,” she spat.
Wolf folded his arms against his chest, flashed a full-fledged grin, and bounced his brows.
“I can’t believe you would withhold that information from me,” she seethed as her eyes shot lethal daggers into his person. “And you just let me keep watching that screen for hours on end when such a need didn’t exist—”
“Oh come on, Aliyana,” Wolf laughingly protested. “You surely didn’t think I’d allow you to go in there until the safest possible moment, did you?”
His humor did nothing to improve her anger. If anything, it only served to fuel it. She shook her head then and let him have it--with both barrels blazing--in Spanish, of course. And he enjoyed every minute of the delightful display
Our Wonderful Release Day Party Hosts Include:
I could probably write a book about my personal journey from aspiring writer to published author. The old Beatle’s song, “The Long and Winding Road,” leaps into mind, because it probably describes my experiences best. But to keep it short, sweet, and to the point, I offer the following:
- Rejections: I have acquired quite a collection over the years. Most of them were “form” rejections; some arrived with a personal note. I valued the personal ones. They encouraged, they praised, and they kept me going. However, none of them ever told me how to improve. One suggested hiring an editor. Not a bad idea if one can afford it. I couldn’t. But then--
- The heavens smiled. I submitted one of my novels for consideration. (I had two at the time).The editor that read my book praised and encouraged. But—if I ever expected to publish that novel, I needed to make a host of revisions. She was kind enough to give me direction. If I made the suggested revisions, she said, I could submit the work again. She didn’t have to ask me twice. This sweet editor worked with me for months. She gave me guidance each step of the way. Finally, she gave me my first contract and then my third. In the meantime, InkSpell awarded my second. Hallelujah!
- What did my editor teach me? She taught me that first and foremost, I needed to acquire patience and perseverance. Then she taught me what to do between writing “the end” and submitting my work to a publisher. Would you like to hear a few of the important ones, just in case you don’t land that special editor?
- Polish the tarnished silver until it shines: This means I need to edit and re-edit each manuscript I write until I can recite the pages in my sleep. I have learned to delete those passages (though dear to my heart) that slow the tempo of my story. At times, I kicked an entire subplot into the garbage can. (Don’t worry; I eventually got over it.) Pay attention to punctuation and grammar. They matter.
- Keeping my reader engaged in the story: She taught me to watch for those passages that “tell” instead of “show.” Every editor will tell you that your readers want to live your story alongside your characters. Give them every opportunity to do that.
- She suggested that I find at least one critique partner (no, not your mother, but she can read it too), the more the merrier. I have four. They receive a copy of each manuscript I write and in turn, they give me their honest thoughts and criticisms with each and every revision. I don’t tak offence when they give it. I take everything they say into consideration and then I edit my manuscript again.
- At the end of the day: The final novel has always turned out far better than the first effort. In fact, I can honestly say, there is no comparison between version one and version ten or twenty.
As I look back on this journey, I see a lot of hard work, and the proverbial blood, sweat and tears. But I see the exhilarating moments of joy as well. Along the way, I have received quite an education. All in all, the bumpy ride is well worth the final destination.