Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Meet Syd St. Clair

My guest today in My Writing Corner is Syd St. Clair. Did you always want to be a writer?

I always laugh at this question because I hated English and writing.  It wasn’t until I had children that I realized back in my day, there was no importance on the actual ability to tell a story. Everything I wrote was covered in red, from elementary school on with no encouragement on the actual story. My kids were encouraged to write, with the understanding that the mechanics would come later.
What I have always been though, is a story teller, just not on paper. Stories with complete plots were acted out when I was very young—I still remember the types: good people overcoming bad.  As I grew older, those stories turned to day dreams that I’d write and edit and live and then years later, would even return to them to rewrite and revise. I was in my forties before I realized I’d been a writer all my life.

How did you get started on the road to publication?
This ties in with above. I was an avid romance reader and was at a point where there wasn’t any books that I wanted to read so I decided to write one of my “in head stories” down on paper, just for kicks. I think the idea came to me from one of Sandra Brown’s novels called Fanta where the heroine writes down her fantasies. Anyway, I tried to write one scene but first, needed to know why my two characters were where they were at the same time in the remote wilderness (Native American Historical) and before I knew it, I had four chapters with people who’d read it telling me to finish it. The rest as they say is history.

Who are some of your favorite authors in your genre?
I tend to read all over the place. I did get hook on Cherise Sinclaire and her Doms of Dark Haven and Masters of the Shadowlands.

Why did you choose that particular genre?
I didn’t really read in this genre until after I sold my first erotica book to The Wild Rose Press. I got my start by doing ghostwriting/freelance writing jobs and my work was so well received, I decided to try to sell a story I wrote for myself. I was thrilled when the request for a full manuscript came within hours of submitting, and a contract in a few days. Sometimes, Lady Fate is just there are the right time and the right place!

What gave you the idea for this story?
The words: Once Upon a Time had popped into my head and because I was writing in the BDSM sub genre, it quickly became Once Upon A Dom. Fairytales was the obvious theme. Snow & Her Huntsman is book three in the series.

What do you like best about your hero?
I really like that Hunter isn’t willing to give up. He’s on a mission to reclaim his love. The fact that he let her go in order to keep peace in his family also warmed my heart. He sacrificed his own needs for that of his father and his father’s new wife and her son. And years later, he’s not bitter that it was for nothing.

What about your heroine?
Rylee has never forgotten Hunter but she moved on. She lost her husband to cancer and isn’t willing to dwell in the past. In fact, it’s her future she’s fighting for. When Hunter comes back into her life, offering to save her business, she agrees to be his partner at a BDSM role play event. She’ll do anything to save the jobs of her employees and the fact that sex with Hunter was the best she’s ever had, well, who is she to complain?

What are you working on now?
I’m working on Beauty Submits to her Beast. Damon is a damaged war hero who agrees to be Caitlin’s Dom. Caitlin is owner of a horse rescue group and a rancher. She used to being in charge and in control. Her best pal talks her into the weekend of Fairytale role play and promises of wild sex and non-stop orgasms. Unfortunately, her friend didn’t warned her how hard it would be to give up control and submit to a stranger. But she quickly sees through the Dom to the broken man inside, and as she does with her abandoned and abused horses, the need to take care of Damon and heal the beast inside is overwhelming.

Any words of advice to beginning writers?
Keep at it. Learn the craft. Keep learning the craft. Keep writing and never give up. To paraphrase Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act 1 (Whoopi Goldberg), if you wake up in the morning and you want to write, if writing is all you can think about, dream about, then you are a writer and writers write. Period.

Was there anything you learned from writing this book, either research wise or about writing?
I think I learn a bit about myself with each book. Some books write themselves and are a joy, others make me dig deep into my own mind and heart. Snow was just plain fun, as was Cinderella and Red—I loved the sassiness of Lucy in Red and the guts of Rylee who wants to save her business. Part of that was bittersweet as I can relate after losing a business in 2008 that I loved. Beauty is promising to make me dig deep. Who knows what I’ll learn about myself in telling this story.

How about a blurb?
Rylee Kincaid’s business is about to go under. Lucky for her, she’s found an investor. Ready to sign papers, she learns her knight in shining armor is Hunter Finnegan, the man who once gave her multiple orgasms then crushed her young, tender heart. Her world comes crashing down as it becomes clear the rich businessman intends a hostile takeover and to cast her out. Then he agrees to discuss a new deal, but only if Rylee will play Snow to his Huntsman at a BDSM fairy tale event.

Hunter has never forgotten the weekend of kinky sex he shared with Rylee in college. Unfortunately, he had to let her go to keep peace in his family. Now he’s back to claim the only woman he’s ever loved. He’ll stop at nothing to make the black-haired, fair-skinned beauty hear the truth of what happened so long ago, even if he has to tie her up. And that’s exactly what he does. But as the Huntsman reawakens the submissive in Snow, Hunter isn’t so sure he can do the same to Rylee’s heart.

Thanks for being my guest. How can readers reach you or find you online and I understand you have a giveaway going on right now?
Contact Links           

Buy Links
Wild Rose      KINDLE           Nook         KOBO             IBOOKS 


Tote Bag -- Fairytales Your Mother Never Read You
Nice large roomy bag
Also included: 4 GB Flash Drive, Key Ring Light, Notepad & Pen, Mug
And assorted goodies

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meet Diana Rubino

My guest today in My Writing Corner is Diana Rubino, author of the new book, A Bloody Good Cruise. Tell me a little of your writing journey.  How did you get started?

My 'overnight success' took 18 years. I wrote my first novel at age 23, after a dose of reality in the brokerage business. This was the early '80s, when executive-level women were virtually nonexistent in the world of finance. My first novel, largely autobiographical, as most first novels are, featured my heroine who made it to the top of a brokerage firm. It was continually rejected on the grounds that I had an axe to grind—and of course I did.
After three more novels, which I consider practice at honing my craft, I wrote my first historical, The Jewels of Warwick, centered around Henry VIII and two fictional heroines. I have a strong spiritual connection with late medieval England, which is the basis for my enchantment with this place and time. Jewels took 2 years to research and write, with no internet. It came very close to publication with several romance houses, but missed the mark for containing too little romance. When I finished Jewels, I scoured the history books for another legendary figure to write about. While I browsed the Cambridge Library stacks, a book snagged my eye. Lying, not standing, on the wrong shelf was Crown of Roses by Valerie Anand. It drew me like a magnet. Richard III is a central character in the story, and the author thanks the Richard III Society for helping her. Already hooked on Richard, his tragic death at 32 and his reputation as a usurper and a murderer of his little nephews, I joined this Richard III Society. As everyone else who has a story about how they ‘met’ Richard, he fascinated me. I’d found the subject of my next novel! And it tied in perfectly as a prequel to The Jewels of Warwick. Titled Thy Name is Love, it made the same rounds of publishers, remaining homeless after several rewrites and seven years.

In 1999 with the Internet making my life so much easier, I queried the many E-publishers that had recently set up shop, and British publisher Domhan Books responded in March with an offer for my two historicals. That was the beginning of my journey.
Have you always wanted to become a writer?

Yes, since I was a little kid I always wrote short stories. I actually attempted a novel at age 12, but didn’t get very far.
Your bio says you like to travel.  What are some of the great places you’ve been and what do you like best about them?

I feel I have a spiritual connection to England, where I met my husband. I love Austria because I’m a HUGE Mozart fan, and Italy, where my roots are.
Tell us a little about your new book, A Bloody Good Cruise, and what made you want to write it?

I always wanted to write a vamp romance, and I love cruising. I thought combining Italian vampires, comedy and cruising in one package would be fun, so I hopped on my imaginary ship The Romanza to get my characters in all kinds of trouble. I envisioned the hero, Fausto, as actor Vincent Irizarry (Dr. Hayward on All My Children). That made my job so much easier. He is THE perfect vampire.

Italian vampires and hunters (the Vampire Ball Busters) leave the field wide open for comic relief, and I had plenty of chances in this story. Since I'm hooked on cruising and I'm Italian, I didn't need to do that much research.

My husband and I are hooked on cruising, and my very first cruise was on the Eastern Mediterranean, beginning in Rome and ending in Istanbul. The ports of call included Rhodes, Cyprus, Santorini, and Egypt. Because I love Italy and cruising, I wanted to combine those passions with a humorous story about vampires and how they face prejudice in the human world.

I met an Italian woman named Fausta in 1983 and always loved that name--I always planned to use that name in one of my books someday. I finally got the chance with the hero Fausto, close enough!
Where else do you look for your story ideas?

I go to friends, because I’m terrible at ideas. Now I’m writing biographical novels with no fictional characters. I follow the historical record as closely as I can, so I don’t need to do much idea-hunting.

What do you like best about your hero?
Fausto, a vampire, wants the world to understand that vampires mean no harm, and they want to live in peace with mankind.

 What about your heroine?
What makes her angry is intolerance. She saw first-hand what someone different must go through to gain acceptance. She’s trying to change that by giving talks about vampires, explaining who they really are, so someday prejudice against them—and anyone else the ‘majority’ deems ‘different’ will be an ugly thing of the past.

What do you do when you are not writing or travelling?
Reading, playing my piano, working out, bicycling, golfing, and going to the beach.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on revisions for DARK BREW, a time travel set around Alice Kyteler, who lived in 1324 Ireland and was accused of being a witch.

What genre do you like to read most?
Historicals, either biographies or novels, either set in England or the US.

You write in a number of genres. Is there one you like to write in most?
I’m really enjoying the bio novels I’ve started to write. My most recent one is about Martha Washington.

Who are some of your favorite authors who inspired you?
Bertrice Small inspired me to write THE JEWELS OF WARWICK, set around Henry VIII and two fictional heroines. I also read anything by Barbara Erskine and Margaret George. I greatly admire Lorraine Heath, who has a knack of evoking emotion in her stories.

Would you say you are a careful plotter or do you work more by the seat of your pants, letting the story just flow whichever direction it (or the characters ) take you?
I outline in as much detail as possible, but the story sometimes does go in its own direction, because the characters make it happen!

Any words of advice to beginning writers?
In the words of Winston Churchill, Never, ever ever ever ever give up.

What was the best tip you ever received as a writer?
From my first agent Janet Adams: “It has to be character-driven.”

How about a blurb?
A BLOODY GOOD CRUISE is a fun-filled blend of the vampire world and luxury cruises.

Romance writer Mona Rossi's book sales are slipping. She needs new ideas and fast! Her vampire love, Fausto Silvius is a doctor aboard the Romanza, a luxury cruise ship. Holding a "Motion on the Ocean" writer's cruise sounds like a great idea. What better way to combine a career boost with romance? But they soon discover hunters on board who give chase to Fausto and his fellow vampires. While he longs to bring Mona into his world, how can he convince her to join him with fringe lunatics on the hunt? In the prime of her life she's not sticking her neck out for a shot at eternity.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
Blog: Website: Facebook: Twitter:
Email: Thanks, Diana for being my guest.  Questions or comments?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet Jana Richards

Joining me in My Writing Corner is Judy Reynolds, who writes as Jana Richards. Did you always want to be a writer?

A writer maybe, but I didn’t imagine being a writer of fiction when I was young. In fact, after taking a creative writing course in university, I decided that whatever it took to write fiction, I didn’t have it! I dreamt of journalism in high school and university, but journalism school was out of my reach at that time, so I put writing away, like all childhood things. Many years later, much to my surprise, I discovered that I did have what it took to write fiction. And I haven’t looked back since.
You write in a number of different genres. Do you find it difficult to keep them all straight? How do you manage it?

I don’t find it hard to keep the genres straight. Each one has their own tone, of course; characters in a WWII setting wouldn’t have the same kind of dialogue as contemporary characters. And the attitudes about sex and other social conditions wouldn’t be the same either. To me writing in different romance genres is a matter of interest. I love reading all the genres I write (and then some), so why wouldn’t I be interested in writing in those genres? 
One of your genres is WWII. Why did you choose that particular genre?

I’ve been interested in WWII for many years. My father served in the Canadian Army and participated in the D-Day invasion at Juno Beach. He was captured and spent the rest of the war in a German POW camp. I heard that information all my life, though my Dad never really talked about it much, or gave details of his experience. Unfortunately, he’s gone now and I can’t ask him those questions. But I can research WWII, which is something I do for him.
Tell us a little about your latest book, One More Second Chance.

It’s part of the Lobster Cove series from The Wild Rose Press. The Lobster Cove series is a multi-author, multi-romance genre series, so it’s a very unique kind of thing. Lobster Cove is a small (fictional) town in Maine, set on the ocean near the real town of Bar Harbor, Maine. My story tells the story of Julia Stewart, the high school principal, and Alex Campbell, a doctor who comes to Lobster Cove from San Diego on a temporary basis. Their first meeting doesn’t go well; when Julia brings her five year old daughter Ava to the hospital emergency room with a broken arm, Alex suspects the child has been abused and calls in the authorities.
Tell us more abut being part of the Lobster Cove series. What are the difficulties in writing as part of a group series?

I wouldn’t say difficulties; more like challenges. As you can imagine, there had to be continuity in the series. For example, the names of businesses in the town had to be the same from book to book. A main street in the town couldn’t be Elm Street in one book and Oak Street in another. There couldn’t be ten restaurants or six different high schools; this was a small town and it had to have some resemblance to reality. So if one writer was first to get ‘dibs’on a restaurant, the other writers had to incorporate her characters (along with her characters’ personalities) if they wanted to use that restaurant in their story. Keeping things consistent necessitated a lot of emails back and forth and even a map created by our senior editor.
What gave you the idea for this story?

I love romances set in small towns, and since Lobster Cove was a small town where most people knew each other, it was a perfect fit for me. I’ve lived in small towns and I think I ‘get’ them and understand what life is like in one. But I’ve also lived in a big city for a while now, so I have perspective on what it’s like to be from ‘away’.
What do you like best about your hero?

I like that Alex is a dedicated, compassionate doctor. Though he comes to Lobster Cove as a way to help pay off his medical school debt, he discovers the kind of medicine he was meant to practice and the place he wants to practice it in. He learns that belonging to a community and doing his best for his patients means more to him then making a lot of money. He’s also a loyal and loving son and grandson.
What about your heroine?

I like that Julia is tough when it comes to her work; she won’t back down when it comes to defending something, or someone, she believes in. Her family and friends mean everything to her, and she’ll whatever she can to help the people she loves.
What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on a few things right now. I’m in the process of developing is a series about the characters in a small North Dakota town. The first book in the series is called CHILD OF MINE. Lauren Walsh suddenly finds herself widowed and pregnant. But her late husband is not the father of her child. Will she have the courage to tell the people in her small town that the baby’s father is her late husband’s brother?
The next book in the series is Lauren’s brother Garrett’s story. Garrett returns from military service in Afghanistan not sure where he belongs. In book three, Garrett and Lauren’s sister Charlotte struggles to forget what happened to her in college.

Aside from that series, I’m also working on another series called “Love in the North Woods” about three sisters trying to bring their grandparents’ fishing lodge back to life, while figuring out what really caused the deaths of their parents. In the “Twice in a Lifetime” series, people travel back in time for a second chance at love.
Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?

When it comes to writing, perseverance is the key. If writing is really what you want to do, don’t give up. Learn the craft, read the best writers in your genre, and keep writing and submitting. Don’t give up.
How about a blurb for One More Second Chance.

Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.
Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.

Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?
How can readers reach you or find you online?

Amazon Author Page:
Newsletter Signup:
Google+ Profile:

Thank you so much for being my guest today and good luck with One More Second Chance.  Any questions or comments for Jana?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Meet Suz deMello

My guest today in My Writing Corner is Suz deMello and she has written a unique and intriguing new book, Perilous Play: The Real Fifty Shades. Take it away, Suz and tell us about your book:

The cover of Perilous Play states: based on a true story. The fact is, very little in this memoir is fiction. Places and names have been changed. The time in my life when these events occurred is altered. One scene was added, to wrap up the story and tie it in a tidy bow.
But otherwise, it’s all true. Check it out:

One woman’s journey into the contemporary kink underworld, Perilous Play is Suz deMello’s explosive personal account of her experiences with BDSM. Engaging and honest, this groundbreaking memoir will grab you and never let you go.

Here’s an excerpt about one of my first dates with the man who would become my Dom--Trapper Hart. Trapper is a real person. That’s not his true name of course, but I gave my word that I wouldn’t reveal his secret life. I don’t owe him anything—not after the way he treated me—but I do keep my word.

Trapper and I spent the rest of the day together. We went to a vegan restaurant and two bars, including one dive so obscure that even Trapper got a little lost in the vast transit system despite his wealth of knowledge about the east bay. As we went back to school so he could pick up his bike, he started a conversation about sex.

Bondage sex.

BDSM sex.

My heart raced. I said I was interested.

He wanted to know what role I preferred.

I said I thought I tended toward submission while trying not to squirm too obviously.

I found some courage and asked him out Saturday night. He said he wanted to go to his condo at Sea Ranch, a beautiful beachside getaway on the Sonoma coast.

I tried not to be too disappointed.

Later in the week he clarified—he wanted me to go with him.

I was stunned.

I was actually considering going with a man I barely knew to his condo, alone, a hundred miles away from my home, where I would have BDSM sex with him as his submissive.

Had I lost my mind?

Yes, but not completely. I might not have known Trapper well, but I saw where he hung out. As far as I knew, few serial killers were bike-riding, Birkenstock-wearing Berkeley-based vegans. In fact, even though I had a legal background and an interest in true crime news, I had never heard of a bike-riding vegan serial killer.

So I figured I’d be okay.


If what you have read intrigues you, here are a couple of buy links: (smashwords) (Amazon)


About me:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written nineteen books in several genres, including memoir, nonfiction, erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.


--Find her books at

--For editing services, email her at

--Befriend her on Facebook:

--She tweets @Suzdemello



--Her current blog is


 Thanks so much for being my guest and good luck with Perilous Play.  Any questions or comments for Suz?

Mysterious Doings

As the  summer begins, it is time to start selecting those books we want to take on vacation or for sitting around the pool or at  the beach...