Monday, October 25, 2010

Meet Margie Church - Author and Volunteer

A Green Heart

By Margie Church

By having a green heart, I'm not talking about the popular green culture that means "to care for our Earth." I'm talking about caring for humanity by volunteering.

Since I don't always have extra money to donate, my time and talents are what I can share. When I've worked shoulder to shoulder for the good of somebody or something else greater than my own situation, I've made new friends, gained greater appreciation for others, and darn it, volunteering just made me feel good.

When I first began pitching in, I was really afraid that if I showed up once, I'd be stuck for life. A reasonable fear, I think, when sometimes the only qualification seems to be whether you can cast a shadow. I came to realize I was making excuses for not becoming involved, and lots of times I was making comments from where I call "the cheap seats." I was a lurker with attitude.

I started small with a couple hours every now and then on a project or activity at school, church or the community. Some of it I enjoyed; some was drudgery and even the drudgery I sometimes did more than once because it needed doing. I've tried to remember no task is menial when it needs doing. One day, I may be asked to do that task or somebody will need to do it for me. When I'm the giver I, try to do the job with grace.

I don't have lots of time to donate, but I notice when I haven't volunteered for awhile – even if it's slinging chow for the marching band one Saturday afternoon – something feels out of synch in my life. I guess that's a good example of doing something small that brought joy. Can you walk a dog or shop groceries for a senior every now and then? Ring the bell for charity? Wash clothes? Give a ride, pack meals, write thank you notes, rake a yard, chaperone an outing, bake for a funeral, or call to say hello? How about read to a child, help with homework, babysit for a stressed single parent, or lend an ear to a teen? The possibilities are limitless if you're open to them. Financial contributions are important, but hands and feet run the world.

Think about it. Get your heart green.


Coming Soon

Read an Excerpt

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Don't you love playing even if you should be working? The laundry needs doing, supper should be in the over, edits are piling up and the next story is burning a hole in my head. Though writing is a form of playing for me, i am too easily distracted by completely unproductive activites like messing with the colors on my blog to enhance the way my banner looks. What a waste of time but I do think the results are lovely.

Ladies and Gentlemen - we have a winner!

Nicole Zoltack chose visitor Moonsanity to win her choice of either Woman of Honor or Knight of Glory. Congrats and thanks to all who participated.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Meet Nicole Zoltack

Hi everyone! Nicole Zoltack here.

I love to write different genres: fantasy/paranormal, romance, YA, horror, historical. I love doing research for my stories, whether it’s for a different time period or for a paranormal creature.

Because Halloween is almost here, I thought I would dig up some research on the history of this spooky tradition. In ancient times, Halloween was known as Samhain, meaning “summers end”, a ritual marking the end of the year, on October 31.

The Celts believed that on Samhaim, the barrier between this world and the afterworld was thinned to the extent that the dead could return to life, in the form of a black cat.

Villagers, many of whom wore costumes, went around asking for food (treats) to offer them up to the spirits. If the spirits were appeased, they would not bring harm (tricks) to their house. Huge bonfires were lit to keep evil spirits away.

After Christianity was formed, pagan holidays were turned into religious ones. Samhain became All Saints’ Day.

Remember the tricks the spirits played on the Celts if they weren’t given food? This tradition continued throughout the years. Starting in the 1920s, the tricks changed from being playful like soaping windows to destruction of private property and cruelty to people or animals. Around this time, some people start to revolt against Halloween.

As a result of the outcry, Halloween was essentially relauched as a holiday for children. Children would dress up in costumes and go from door to door and say, “trick-or-treat”, hoping for yummy candy.

But even this took a dark turn. Starting in the late 1960s and the 70s, parents became paranoid that the candy was contaminated with LSD or poison.

Halloween today is celebrated by both adults and children. The children still beg for treats while wearing costumes, while the adults dress up for parties with friends. There are also haunted houses to tour and pumpkin patches and corn mazes to explore. Halloween has been celebrated for roughly 3,000 years now. And I doubt this tradition will die anytime soon.

Lately I tend to wear Renaissance clothing, usually nobility gowns. Years ago, I’ve dressed as a witch, Pocahontas, a doctor. What have you dressed up as for Halloween? Or what are you planning on wearing this Halloween? Answer either comment and leave your email for a chance to win either Woman of Honor or Knight of Glory, fantasy romance ebooks.

Excerpt from Knight of Glory:

Geoffrey slept and woke a short time later. The others still slept, and Jacob paid him no heed. He slowly climbed to his feet and stretched his back. Turning, he spotted a small creature in the near distance. Walking toward it, he realized It looks like a lost pony. Its fur was grey black, and its main dripped constantly. The fur seemed sleek, and Geoffrey reached out to find out if this was the case. The pony was cold, deadly arctic, and Geoffrey's fingers froze to it, he was unable to move his hand away.

"No! Geoffrey, you have to stop touching it!" Jenanna cried out. She gripped his arm and tugged hard.

He tried to turn his head to look at her, but even his neck muscles tightened, frozen. "I can't move!"

Jenanna pulled and yanked some more, but Geoffrey could not be freed.

The Kelpie neighed, a loud sinister sound, and its saliva dripped, turning into ice as it left his foaming mouth. It blew air out its nostrils, the breath turning to fog, giving the land an eerie, unearthly feel.

Jacob and Raulin rushed over. They attacked the creature with their swords, but the horse bucked and kicked, and even with such wild, reckless movements, Geoffrey remained attached.

"Take this, foul creature!" Jenanna shrieked, shoving a flame tree branch into the creature's side.

The Kelpie wailed and neighed. With a sudden rush of heat, Geoffrey collapsed. A loud splash sounded as the three surrounded his fallen form.

"What was that?"

"Not now, Raulin! Now is the time for a larger fire. Build one," Jenanna commanded. "And you, Jacob, the healer, aye? Do you know how to heal freeze burns?"

Jacob's face looked stricken in the pale flickering firelight. "I can try."

"Try isn't good enough. You must succeed." She knelt down and placed Geoffrey's head in her lap. "It will be all right, Geoffrey."

"S-so c-cold." Geoffrey's teeth chattered so loudly he barely heard his own voice. His body shook uncontrollably, the chills spreading from his hand to the rest of his body, lowering his core body temperature and slowly freezing the blood in his body. "God's T-teeth!"

The fire roared to life, greedily licking up the small remnants of grass nearby. "Good, Raulin, now go fetch my blanket." Raulin didn't even pause to nod.

Jenanna grabbed Geoffrey's wounded hand and tried to warm it with her own. Her fingers felt red hot, compared to his iciness, and her fingers kneaded his skin. "Quick, Jacob."

Jacob nodded and began to mutter incantations. He placed his hand above Jenanna's and Geoffrey's, and a bright yellow orange glowed from his hand.

As the cold moved closer to his heart, Geoffrey's shivering worsened. His body buckled from the severe shock cold waves.

Raulin returned and threw the blanket on Geoffrey, but it did nothing to help the nearly frozen knight. Jacob's voice grew louder, and the light responded, turning brighter. Jenanna moved her hand away, and Jacob laid his on Geoffrey's. Immediately, Jacob pulled his own away. "Too cold. My God, he's frozen!"

To Learn more about Nicole or to contact her check out the links below.

Facebook fan page:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet Michele Hart

Today Meet the Author Monday welcomes Michele Hart. Michele writes hot and sexy sci-fi with interesting yet realistic twists. Please make Ms. Hart feel welcome and remember to leave her a comment so she knows you dropped by.

So glad to have you here today, Michele. As I said, your work often offers an unexpected twist on things, but a big theme seems to be technology and its many interesting gadgets. Can you start by telling readers why science fiction? And how you come up with the technology within your books?

Michele: Why Sci-Fi? The future is filled with hope to me. Conceiving stories set in the future says we’ll make it through the hard times we’re having now, so for me, it’s a leap of faith. I’m a huge technology nerd. I cruise the technology sections of six papers a day. So much is happening right now in science! It’s just an explosion of discovery. It’s not so easy to speculate future technology because we’re learning so much now. Sci-Fi writers now better follow up on the current technology of teleportation every few months or they’re going to make a glaring mistake. Lasers and arrays are on the battlefield and in big cities now. All the science we write in our stories is being developed right now. Research, research, research.

Fantastic. Too often people skimp on the research in the name of futuristic fantasy, but some of the greatest authors used the technology of their day to launch wild and bizarre worlds. Look at Fahrenheit 451 and all the parallels between its technology and our own. Of the many worlds you have created, do you have a favorite?

Michele: Yes, I confess, I do have a favorite, and it’s one I doubt our world will see because it’s a trilogy with large books, not of a size that is salable. The three stories are about three friends of a very great and noble young king who rises to his throne to find his kingdom shattered from war, some of his people enslaved. Each of the three friends is saddled with a mystical shape-shifter-priestess with crime mysteries to solve. I love the stories and the world in which they take place. Most of all, I loved the young king who was very wise, strong, and heroically perfect in every way. :-) You can do that with a secondary character, make him perfect. Can’t do that with a hero.

Never say never. Publishers told J.K. Rowling that the Harry Potter books were too long to sell as well. If you love them, someone else will too. People certainly love your other work. Reviewers have called your characters three dimensional and ultra realistic, which is funny to some extent since you write science fiction. Where do you draw inspiration for your characters and how do you make them come to life?

Michele: I try to create ordinary people faced with extraordinary problems. Hopefully, the reader feels like he or she lived through the events, too.

It is easy for romance writers to fall in love with the hero of the moment, but do you have one hero who stands out, one that lingers with you as you move forward?

Michele: That’s always Jack from my Sci-Fi Romantic Adventure, Luminous Nights. I wrote Luminous Nights fifteen years ago, and the #1 goal was always to eventually see it published, even though I’ve written and published stories after Luminous Nights. Jack is the man I’ll always love and want in my secret heart. He’s dangerous, passionate, and full of surprises, one after another, totally unpredictable. His presence is disturbing in the sexiest way. For fifteen years, I’ve loved other heroes, but my heart has belonged to Jack. I’m writing LN’s sequel, Vigilant, now.

You said a hero can’t be perfect, but it sounds like Jack is just that because of his imperfections, strengths and his flaws. So we know your favorite hero, but what would be your favorite book? If you were to recommend one of your books to a reader unfamiliar with your work, which would you suggest?

Michele: It’s Luminous Nights! Because Jack’s something to experience, not to be missed. Prison breaks, alien chocolate seduction, super weapons, doomsday devices, explosions, abduction, narrow escapes, murder-defying deceit, and threats of genocide, all while riding a harrowing roller coaster with a dangerous man wearing a holographic mask. If that’s your idea of a good time, check out Luminous Nights!

All that sounds very cool. Do you have a few more details to share?
 Michele: I do. Here’s a blurb:

Cop or convict?

How many faces can one man own?

An assassin wearing a holographic mask and a prison tattoo boards Rachel’s freighter during a prison riot, intent on collecting gadgets capable of changing a man’s identity from the black-market gang who'd stolen them. Rachel’s never sure of Jack's identity nor his goal, but he claims to be an Alliance I-Marshal. Cop or convict? The clues never stop contradicting. She's horrified to find the bright holographic mask conceals the gruesome face of a monster. And the badge doesn’t slow him from murdering people right before her eyes.

When Rachel learns Jack will trade innocent lives for the digital miracles, she determines to make the mercenary grow a heart. How could a stone-cold killer kiss her so hotly? How could she kiss such a dangerous deceiver?

Jack has done years in prison to learn who’d stolen the remaining Gemini ticks, 3-D magic. Nothing will keep him from gaining extreme technology capable of unleashing galaxy-wide chaos. Forget feelings for Rachel. She can’t stop him from killing everyone involved.


Want to see more of Luminous Nights?
Read the first Chapter:
Read peril-packed excerpts:

Look to the right to enjoy a kick-ass book trailer:

Michele: Thanks, Becca, for lending me your marvelous audience!

Thank you for stopping by today, Michele. It has been fun. I always enjoy the opportunity to learn more about fellow authors and their work.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet D. Renee Bagby

Hello Everyone and Welcome

Renee, it is good to have you with me today. I know you are crazy busy so thanks for taking a moment to answer a few questions and introduce yourself. For those readers not familiar with your background, please tell us a little about yourself and your work.

Whether as D. Reneé Bagby or Zenobia Renquist, I live in my imagination. When not traveling through my fantasy worlds, I can be found in MD living with my husband and two cats.

I am an Air Force brat turned Air Force wife, which means I’m accustomed to travel and do it whenever possible (so long as I don’t have to fly). My favorite pastime is torturing my characters on their way to happily-ever-after for the enjoyment of my readers.

On the few occasions my muse flees the scene of the crime, I like to read (comics, manga, and romance), go to the movies, play a few levels of whichever puzzle game has hijacked my interest or experiment with a new chainmail weave.

You can find out more about me at my website or my blog

My latest release is ERIS (Eternal Truths Book 1) an Interracial, Time Travel, Ménage (m/f/m) from Siren Publishing that is available in eBook and print.
 Time is on their side and they can be together, assuming the truth doesn't ruin everything first.

Immortals born in the thirteenth century, Lucien Riordan and Ranulf Styr have waited centuries to be reunited with their love. Want for her cemented their friendship through time even as it tore it apart. She changed their lives, made them want better, and they plan to show her that. There’s only one catch—she’s never met them before.

Eris Brue is flattered by Lucien and Ranulf’s attention but they are her bosses. She doesn’t want to get tangled up in an office romance, especially not with two men. Their joint seduction overcomes her resolve and she gives in even though she knows they are keeping secrets that could doom their relationship.

Centuries of planning have finally come to fruition. Lucien and Ranulf have a short amount of time to make Eris love them, because once time has her, everything could come to an end.

Buy Link:

Read the First chapter:

Hot stuff, Renee. In fact, HOT describes the majority of your work, that and believable despite the fantasy settings. Reviewers often expound on the realism of your characters and their emotions, yet your worlds stretch the imagination. So why paranormal–and erotic paranormal at that? What is it about the genre that drew you in?

I’d rather make it all than to do research. I love to escape reality and have been making a hobby of it since high school. I always wanted to be carried away to some far off planet or to another dimension where all of the fantastical things I had read about and seen on TV existed. Since that never happened, writing about it became the next best thing.

I tiptoed into erotic paranormal, namely ménage, because sometimes I don’t want to choose between the moody stoic or the loveable joker, and I don’t think my heroine should have to either. Writing a ménage offers the freedom of having two types of hero get the same girl and having her love them both equally.

Too funny though that explains a good deal. I’ve never thought of world building as a way to avoid research. It has always seemed like a great deal of work. Now, I know better. ;-D So, if you could visit one of your self-made worlds, would you?

In a heartbeat and without fail, I would be on the first magic spell off this rock and on to Gezane. It’s got everything—magic, mythical beings, and really tall gorgeous men with horns. *eg* I know I can’t get there in real life so I’m really looking forward to revisiting that world when I write the sequel to SERENITY, which I hope to do in 2011.

It seems like you really do love your worlds. Is one of them filled with cat people? What is behind the cute little creature I see everywhere you hang out? Your blog and website are adorned with an adorable kitty cat mascot. Does she have significance beyond cuteness?

She is Sekhmet, named after the Ancient Egyptian goddess of vengeance. In high school, my best friend and I wanted to create a comic book. I would write and she would draw. Sekhmet is the character I created for our comic. Well, the comic never got off the ground but I loved Sekhmet too much to let her languish and be forgotten. I adopted her as the embodiment of my muse as well my site’s mascot.

That is pretty cool. My muse hides too often to have a face. Speaking of inspiration though, you live surrounded by it on an Air Force base. Do you find the military influences your work in any way–negative or positive? How so?

I have a super soldier story waiting to be finished, so I’d say it does influence me. I don’t see any of it as negative. Since I’m so widely traveled, that has exposed me to many different cultures. That, in turn, helps me to create more realistic worlds and give my characters’ reactions to those worlds that are more true to life.

I bet your readers will love the soldier as much as they appreciate your diverse background and its influence on your work.  Thanks again for stopping by today, Renee. It has been fun getting to know you.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Whisper Your Fantasy to Me, Baby.

I am talking with Sarah Grimm at Off the Keyboard about the importance of secret dreams and fantasies, and the role of romance in dealing with them. Stop by and share. Leave a comment here if you would like to share more adult comments than Sarah might be comfortable with.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Seven o'clock Last Chance to Dance

Do you dance? There is a song that says, "I hope you dance." Although music has never been a huge part of my life, dancing always has been, and I hope it remains that way. I remember watching my parents dance in the barn, in the kitchen, anywhere at all; helping my brother learn to dance and trying not to laugh my butt off because his hands were sweaty and Mom made him wear a sock on his palm; teaching my hubby to waltz before our wedding; jitterbugging with my dad on his 75th birthday; and a hundred other little things like that. So do you dance? Does it bring you joy or would you rather sit it out? Are you a worm kind of person or is the polka more your speed? Share the good, the bad, and the ugly because this is your last chance to win.

Six o'clock Favorite Vacation Spot of All Time

Since Jess and Sean hang out in the Bahamas and I adore the Maya Rivera I would like to know your favorite place to hang out, or you can tell me where you have always wanted to go. Don't forget the why!

Five o'clock Getting to know you

How do you celebrate the big things in your life? Are you a quiet, savor it close to the chest kind of person or are you a Snoopy dancer? Are you the woman on the bar top with a margarita in one hand and a big grin on her face? Are you the guy surrounded by loud friends but still somehow the center of attention? Let me know so I recognize you from across the room.

Four o'clock Questions

Who was your favorite author growing up, and what made his or her books memorable? Can you see elements of that writing style in your own writing or in the books you choose as an adult?  How so?

Three o'clock Word Association

This is an easy one. I will start with two words. The next person uses my second word as his/her first word and adds a second. The next person plays forward from the previous post.
Example: Post 1 = WORD GAME  --  POST 2 = GAME BOARD  --  POST 3 = BOARD FOOT 
Got it? Okay the words in red are your starters.


Two o'clock Discussion

Although Jess does not act the negative image of a cougar (an older woman waiting to pounce on a sweet, unsuspecting younger man), Surrender at Sea is still considered cougar romance. So the question of the hour is -- Are terms like cougar, in comparison to say the male equivalent of sugar daddy, derogative to women or are they in actuality a compliment? Can the word be empowering? Does the image of a strong, beautiful, and confident woman like Demi Moore sway the term to the positive and outweigh the idea of women in their forties and older being on the prowl? I have included a couple posts which debate the two sides of this issue if you would care to read them before you answer.

One o'clock Questions

Answer the questions by reading the excerpt, blog, and using you own savvy. Click on the cover at the right for the blog and excerpt. Do not assume the answers above yours are correct. Some may have more than one acceptable answer.

Rich man’s boat
The main setting
A place to recline
It is pink there
Supplier of warmth
Bad guy of the sea

Noon Challenge

Choose a word from the list below and write a word poem which explains how you feel about the word or proposes an alternative meaning. These can be hot, funny, intellectual, or even a little lame. Whatever you write counts as long as it is a word poem. (Like when you had to describe yourself in grade school and write a different word for each letter of your name.)

Cougar -- Swim -- Boy Toy -- Watercraft -- MILF -- Beach -- Yacht -- Sand -- Laughter -- May/December

Eleven o'clock - Just for fun

Identify the eight words or phrases created below.

VA DERS                   1,2,3...38,39,40 LIFE                  THEFAREDCE                     WINEEEEEEE 

give       get                                                                    .)                                      DOCTOR      
give       get                                                                   2.) blame                            DOCTOR
give       get                  JOBINJOB                             
give       get

Ten o'clock Story Time

Quick write a story. You may write more than one sentence as long as there are at least two sentences between entries. If no one wants to play while you are here, go recruit a couple friends to help you write. I will assign the first word and you assign one for the next person.

The first sentence must contain the word pirate. Whoever writes the first sentence must choose a word for the next person to use. Remember, the sentences should all come together as a story.

Nine o'clock Discussion

What comes to mind when you hear words like Atari, Collico Vision, Pong, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Play Station, Game Boy, Nintendo, or X-Box? If you haven't heard of half of these words, you are probably under thirty. What video games did you or your friends play when you were growing up? Did you have a home system or did you have to go to the arcade? What do you think of them in general?

Eight o'clock Intro to get us started

Questions about the Hero and Heroine
Answer the questions by reading the excerpt and blog from Surrender at Sea, and using you own savvy. Click on the picture at the right. Do not assume the answers above yours are correct. Some may have more than one acceptable answer. Also, remember comments only count if you play along.

Nicknames for one another?

Whoo Hoo Release Day Party for Surrender at Sea!


It's up! Surrender at Sea is up! Snoopy Dance Time!

Ready everyone? Arms out! Head thrown back! Dance!

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews