Friday, May 22, 2015

Win a $30 Amazon/BN GC - The Writer's View: Heidi Loeb Hegerich

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Heidi Loeb Hegerich will be awarding $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View

I do my writing — always in daytime — on my kitchen table, since it is set in a sunlit corner of my house next to a window overlooking the broad valley known as the Truckee Meadows — home to Reno, Nevada, a high-desert burg with a river (the Truckee) running through it.

My house sits about 500 feet above the valley floor in south Reno. Like so much of northern Nevada, the Truckee Meadows is set in a “bowl”: surrounded by low mountains. That means the east-facing view from my writing chair is of the low, blue-brown Virginia Range defining the eastern side of the valley. Gazing out the window, my eyes track the expanse of the valley from fertile green agricultural acreage (much of it now dotted with housing subdivisions or business parks, rather than livestock herds). Panning north, I see the high-rise hotel-casinos beyond the river in downtown; panning south I imagine the tiny ghost town of Virginia City (still a town of inhabitants with a population of about 1,000; but not the 20,000-plus of its 1860s-70s silver-bonanza heyday as the richest city in the world), nestled in the Virginia Range beyond my eye’s reach.

On a clear, cloudless day, the greens, browns and blues of Reno paint “The Biggest Little City in the Word” in happy hues. Jet planes rising or descending from Reno-Tahoe International Airport swim in the powder-blue sky. On gray or overcast days, the mood cast in my kitchen is understandably introspective and even somber. The blanket of clouds hangs low and close to the roofs of the red-tiled houses below mine. My writing area can feel like a tiny ship on a great gray sea.

In any weather, the creative juices flow for me at my kitchen table. In my gated community set in the foothills of the Carson Range rising above the west side of the valley, a hush pervades — pierced only by the chirping or hooting of native birds such as mourning doves or quail, or disrupted by buffeting wind that only howls or whistles when the “Washoe Zephyrs” — powerful gusts — kick in, usually only in late autumn or winter. Sometimes, a writer craves utter quiescence in which to compose. Other times, a writer savors the serenade of birds, or the storm of wind and rain, or even the sonorous, river-like rush of distant traffic. In my kitchen nook, I must do without the noise of traffic; but the strains of nature always are music to my ears.

LOVE TARGET, my first book, is a novel set in the 1960s and ’70s, and none of it save for a couple short episodes takes place in Reno. But as for a physical location of a writing space, all a writer needs is a clean, well-lit place unmolested by intruders or sound pollution. Then the mind is undisturbed to voyage back in time into the memory banks. And so, from my kitchen table, I have traveled to Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York City and Los Angeles. LOVE TARGET’s sequel is set to a great degree in Reno or its sister city, Sparks. But — as with the first book — the story comes from memory banks as well as the sections of the brain that create scenes straight out from imagination.

When I need inspiration, I stare out the window . . . and allow my mind to wander until my memories are stirred and my imagination flies freely. The city and valley below are important not for being Reno and the Truckee Meadows — but for the mesmerizing patchwork of the painting they constitute, and the symphony of their sounds.

Teenager Ingrid Liebschreiber is devastated when her parents move the family from their native Munich to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Homesick, she accepts a neighbor's offer to get her a job as a showgirl in Las Vegas.

Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle - where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.

Life's twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s - where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in "construction." Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid's hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.

Will she find true romance - a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is "happily ever after" just a crazy fairytale?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Rascal, you sit yourself right down there.” Elvis motioned at the bed.

He picked up a shiny guitar. It was honey yellow, and the face had a rust-red design below the sound hole, decorated with golden orbs and stems like dandelions.

“Oh, it is beautiful, Elvis!”

He held it up proudly. “This is my Gibson. Ain’t she sweet?”

He sat on a chair cradling the expensive guitar. He delicately plucked the top string with his thumb and gently strummed the other strings with his fingers.

Soft strains filled the room.

“This little number is from my first movie.”

As he began singing, I recognized the melody.

“Love me tender . . .”

Elvis gazed at me as he serenaded, his eyes big, brilliantly blue, dreamy. His song sang straight into my heart. I tingled like I’d been caught in a breeze. Could he see my skin quivering? He could definitely see my cheeks reddening.

Elvis finished with a slow downward strum, thumbing each string individually, a sweet arpeggio. He let the last note ring and fade away.

He looked up and smiled.

“Don’t I sound like Bing Crosby?”

He didn’t wait for an answer. He leaned the guitar against the dresser and in the next instant was on the bed, an arm slung around my shoulder. His other hand grasped and turned my chin.

Elvis’ mouth was warm and gentle. Our tongues met. Just as quickly, his retreated.

Our mouths puckered again. Elvis’ lips worked softly against mine. They moved away and began pecking my face with slow, small kisses. My lower lip burned. Elvis had sunk his teeth in with a hard nip.

He released it just as quickly and turned away with a bashful look. It was like he was a nervous teenager. Was this all an act? Or was he just a giant flirt?

About the Author:
Heidi Loeb Hegerich has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Squaw Valley and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits.

A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.

Website ~ Book Trailer ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Read Robin Leach's book review in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper.

Buy the book at Amazon. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Win a $25 Amazon/BN GC - Virtual Book Tour: Welcome to Temptation by Charlotte Hughes

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hughes will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

With a hurricane closing in on Temptation, Louisiana, Michelle Thurston fails to convince her stubborn grandmother to leave her home on the bayou. Sheriff Gator Landry arrives by boat, hell-bent on forcing the elderly recluse to evacuate. He is stunned to find Michelle, who was just 16 years old when he courted her one steamy summer.

Now, at 32, Michelle comes face-to-face with the man whose kisses tempted her to lose control, only this time there is no place to run. Although Gator is not about to leave the two women defenseless, Michelle can’t help but wonder if he is more dangerous to her than anything the storm can do.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“We need to get out of these wet things,” Michelle said, crossing her arms in front of her in an attempt to hide herself. She shivered as Gator continued to stare. He still had the power to make her body go berserk when he looked at her that way. Those glittering black eyes didn’t miss a thing. It was as though he were capable of seeing past flesh and bone to her inner workings, all of which shook at the moment as violently as the tree limbs outside the window. She was certain he knew what that look did to her. He had it down to an art. And if it had had a powerful effect on her at sixteen, it was doubly so now at thirty-two.

“That’s the best idea I've heard all day," Gator said, shrugging out of his shirt. He mopped his brow and chest with it and ran it across the back of his neck.

Michelle wondered if he had any idea how sensual that simple act was. He was all rippling muscles and taut flesh. Goose pimples stood out on his shoulders and his nipples puckered from the chill in the room. His arms were lean and as brown as the rest of him. The room seemed to shrink to the size of a shoe box. Michelle had seen enough male bodies in her job to know that the one before her was one of the best she’d ever laid eyes on.

Gator would have had to be blind not to notice her perusal. The grin he shot her was brazen. “Like what you see, Mic?”

About the Author:
Charlotte Hughes published her first category romance in 1987, a Bantam Books’ Loveswept, titled Too Many Husbands, which immediately shot to #1 on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. She went on to write almost thirty books before the line closed in 1998.

Although Charlotte is widely known for her laugh-out-loud romantic comedies, she went on to pen three Maggie-Award winning thrillers for Avon Books in the late nineties, before resuming her first love, funny stories about people falling in love. She thrilled readers with her hilarious books, A New Attitude and Hot Shot, the latter of which won the Waldenbooks Greatest Sales Growth Achievement in 2003.

Her books received so many accolades that she was invited to co-author the very popular Full House series with mega-star author Janet Evanovich.

With that series behind her, Charlotte began her own, starring psychologist Kate Holly; What Looks Like Crazy, Nutcase, and High Anxiety, creating a list of somewhat kooky but always loveable and funny ensemble characters.

To keep current with Charlotte and her projects, please sign up for her newsletter .

You can also visit her website, and follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Win a $75 Amazon/BN GC - Book Tour: Beacon by Angela Brown

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Angela will be awarding a $75 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to My World of Dream, Angela. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’m a single mom and am employed full time with a title that’s pretty much the same as corporate peon (lol!). After putting my precious one to sleep each night, I change out those hats and frolic in the passion that challenges my imagination and is now a part of who I am: my writing. I finally took my writing dream seriously after having my daughter. I want her to go for her dreams, big or small, and I’m choosing to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.

Would you share with our followers the inspiration(s) behind your latest book release?
Beacon, my YA urban fantasy dystopian, is inspired by The Hunger Games. I enjoyed the story of self-sacrifice and brute survival, but I wondered what it would be like if the situation were different. What if, instead of dreading to be picked, being selected was coveted by every citizen? What if there was so much more to the strict rules and regulations? What if the world, as it stood, became that way for reasons no one wants to make public? It was the questions that drove Beacon into being.

Are you a self-published author, which would include POD publishers, or are you with a traditional publisher?
I’m something of a hybrid author. I started with self-publishing but I also chose to query a title or two. I sent Beacon to Evernight Teen publishing and I was thrilled they wanted to pick it up for their catalog. Both self-publishing and querying are challenging paths and I’m keeping them both open as options for future projects.

Is this the genre you generally write in? Have you considered others? 

I haven’t locked myself into one genre. Beacon is a genre masher of urban fantasy and dystopian. My Shadow Jumpers titles are paranormal. And I have a few ideas percolating that are of the contemporary category.

Do you have other published works?
Yes, I have my Shadow Jumpers titles and my NEO Chronicles: Characters Revealed novellas that I’ve self-published. Also, as part of Untethered Realms, I’ve published a short story titled In the Know in our Twisted Earths anthology.

Do you write under a pen name?
Yes. I write erotica/erotic romance under the pen name Rayven Godchild. Publishing these stories has been quite fun. But bear in mind, this stuff is for mature audiences only

Illustrations and photo selections for covers are vital to successful to marketing. Do you use an illustrator or photographer for your book(s)? If so do you always use the same one, or do you shop around?
For my self-published works, I’ve contracted with only a couple of graphic designers to provide me with covers I love for my novels. I’ve only used one illustrator to design a character for me. She was referred by a trusted author I know. Working with Corona was absolutely wonderful. Actually, that’s how I find who I choose to work with, through word of mouth.

Do you spend a lot of time plotting your stories, or do you just run with it?
I’m a “plantser” lol! I do what I like to call “light plotting” early on with a skeletal outline of the story. This way, I have an idea of the beginning, middle, and end. But I keep things free-flow so that I can embark on muse-inspired detours. These breaks from the outline tend to reap some interesting turns and twists in the plot that end up being some of the interesting tidbits of my stories.

What Point of view do you feel most comfortable with, first person or third? Have you ever tried using the second person in any of your works?
 I like first person POV a lot because of how deep into the character’s perspective you can get. But I’m just as comfortable in third person POV and find it advantageous for setting up scenarios that can’t be done while locked into the perspective of only one character with first person. I haven’t tried second person yet. That would require some research and reading to get a bit more familiar with that POV technique.

What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Writing is a marathon, not the 220 yd dash. For the writer intent on being the next one hit wonder, I wish them luck in getting that breakout novel published and earning as much money as possible. But for the writer aware that publishing is a process of writing, publishing, marketing, and repeat for each project they get behind, the future holds some wonderful opportunities for growth, discovery, and making dreams come true.

Tsunamis reduced the USA into a shell of itself, called The Fold. Surviving humans and vampires joined forces to form The Colony, where registered citizens do as they're told.

They donate blood quarterly and dream of being chosen as Attendees for the Jubilee celebrations, that is, everyone except Macie Breen. With high school graduation near, she’s anxious to ditch the rules in hopes of starting a new life with Thane, an unregistered and also her best friend.

Her hopes fizzle when Macie is selected as an Attendee, forever registered. Any future with Thane…impossible. Being chosen comes with another unexpected price.

Truths about The Colony blaze into ashes and lies when she discovers the vampires haven't kept their part of the bargain. Worst still, Macie’s life unravels as her stint in the city of Bliss forces her to face daunting truths about who, and what, she really is.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Thane tapped the door. “Would it help if I said I didn’t see anything?”


He snickered some more. I cringed. Embarrassment coursed through me, heating every inch of my skin.

“Would it help if I told you what I did see looked beautiful?”

I hesitated half a heartbeat. “Don’t lie to me!”

“It’s not a lie.” He didn’t laugh. His voice, his tone, quiet, honest.

I stared at the door and wanted to giggle myself. Flutters erupted in my belly.

About the Author:
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Goodreads ~ Pursuit of Publishness blog ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Facebook ~ Twitter
Buy the book at Evernight Publishing or Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway