Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Best Ever Summer Blog Tour ~ Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of the Best Ever Summer Bog Tour!! I'm very fortunate to have Christine London visiting my blog today :) Don't forget to look for the question at the bottom of this post. Write your answer in the comments and be entered into the draw for this weeks prize!

Hello Readers,

Sometimes characters haunt us in the most unusual, relentless and consuming ways. Sometimes they change our lives.

My name is Christine London. I live about three miles from the sea along the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula in the southwest of Los Angeles County. The marine layer of low mist is beginning to clear and another lovely early summer's day on tap.

What can I tell you but to say that I too have been touched to the bottom of my soul by a good read. I used to focus on self-help books and those that provided concrete information. Philosophy of life and how to live an uplifting adventure was what turned me on. Then I found Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander series. Oh my goodness!! Like a good steak, every page fed my inner love of words...yum!

I lived in the San Francisco bay area for a number of years as a school teacher until my parents progressive illnesses brought me back to home base...Los Angeles. Nearly four hundred miles was simply too far to live apart.

My homecoming was met with little teaching jobs available. So I took a part time curriculum specialist position. Fate walked me along a path I had never imagined. The extra time off enabled me to do what I had not had time for in, watch films, listen to music.

I saw a particular film that touched me deeply. Yes, I was familiar with the storyline, the music, but not the man that played the lead. Immediately mesmerized by his presence, his eyes, his ability to wrap the audience up in the complexities of his character, I knew I had to write to tell him so. Off to the Internet to find an address to which I could send a note of appreciation…

Wow! Little did I know that there exists a vast network of fan sites for celebrities large and small.

 A story flooded in on me.

What would you do if suddenly, unexpectedly, a man entered your world…testing your attitudes, challenging your integrity, dislodging your emotional equilibrium and haunting your dreams with his eyes--- Not just any man, but Hollywood's hottest Scottish actor?

Further more...what if this woman, this fan wrote a letter that managed to get by the fan mail agency readers to the man himself peaking his interest in the acuity displayed---the ability of this fan to look into his soul?

I wrote...and wrote...and wrote until I had a full-length novel. (Known now as "Soul In His Eyes")

This man...this film star had been isolated by fame into a place one could only call loneliness. This fan, this woman who had never written a letter to anyone she'd never met--- was his savior. Little did she know that he would return the favor when tragedy struck her life.

Not a clue...I had no clue as to how to go about getting this labour of love published. The vast learning curve commenced. I research, joined a writers group, Romance Writers of America---and like a sponge, soaked in all the information and experience that proceeded me there in the form of amazing writers---published and aspiring.

Fifteen months from that first tentative keystroke, I had my first contract. Launched into a world I never imagined, I began attending conferences, signings and even Hollywood events (I do live awfully close.). I blogged about these experiences and my travels surrounding future search for settings and characters… off to Europe (a return as I had spent a year in London at University and fell in love with all things British) I went...blogging along my way. Seems folks love to hear and see, if only vicariously, what they may have only dreamed of seeing. An incredible draw to Scotland made itself even more apparent as I walked its verdant hills and valleys.

Into Hollywood events I went…and blogged my way. "Christine Goes Hollywood" series began…and continues on my 'London Blog'.

All my past and present seemed to converge into this amazing new Me?? Uhhh...yeah. Wow!

Lover of music (I sing in a vocal jazz quartet), baker of death by chocolate brownies, runner, ex- kindergarten teacher, explorer of places unknown, photographer of what others might not notice, positivist, introvert that pretends she is not, new found Hollywood pundit, Anglophile and best friend to a small group of amazing women, amazing writers, amazing readers--- and Christine London was reborn.

Here I am saying hello from the sapphire shores of the Pacific -- *waving*


Christine London

Christine comes out to play:

Thank you Christine, for sharing this peek into your first book! DON'T FORGET: To be entered into this weeks draw write the name of your favourtie author in the comments!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Best Ever Summer Blog Tour ~ Week 3

It's week Three of this incredibly fun blog hop! This week I have the wonderful Sharon Poppen stopping by to share some tidbits into her own personal life. Be sure to answer the question at the end in my comments to   be put in the draw for this week's prize!

Corinne, thanks so much for offering me this opportunity to be featured on your exciting and teasingly erotic blog. The covers to your books are fabulous and must draw quite a bit of attention and I hope sales. (you can see Corinne’s blog for this week of our Best Summer Reading Tour by going to Regan Taylor’s blog .)

When shown the proposed cover for my book Hannah, I didn’t care for it. My publisher was much more in tune with what attracts a reader so I went with her suggestion. She was right. When I did a book signing with several other writers at our local Hastings Book Store, we attempted to get the attention of the bookstore customers. All they had to do was talk with each of us for a minute or two to be entered into a drawing for a $20 Hastings gift certificate. I still smile when I think about a couple of young men who politely listened to the other authors spiels about their books, but when they got to me, one picked up a copy of Hannah and turned to his buddy and said, “Dude, this is the one. And they bought it. Sure glad I listened to my publisher that time. Now, on to some questions I’m asked about this delightful fun thing that absorbs my life – writing.

How do I do research?
I must admit, I’m not heavy into research, but there are things that must be validated to make your novel believable to your reader. My first novel was about the aftermath of the U.S. Civil war. Because the characters had been so clearly developed in my imagination before I ever sat down to write, I was able to ‘feel’ their emotional states and I was able to write from the heart. But, items such as historical places, situations, foreign language usage and the names of prominent people of the era had to be verified. I use history books from that era, I surf the Internet and occasionally I find an expert on the subject for some question and answer time. The early part of the 20th century was dynamic with change. Simple things like mailing something, modes of transportation and acceptable fashions of the era create a challenge to a writer who strives to remain true to the era of their story.

What is my least favorite word?
Can’t. When we utter that word, we sell ourselves short on achieving our potential, no matter the challenge. Occasionally, we all have to face that ‘thing’ that gets the best of us. But, it’s been my experience that I learn so much about myself when I take on something mentally or physically challenging and give it a darn good try. I may find that it is beyond my capability. In those rare cases, I believe I come out all the stronger for giving it a try and then say; “I tried,” rather than just selling myself short with, “I can’t.”

What am I reading this summer?
I started reading 50 Shades of Gray by E. L. James. I’m more than halfway through the book and I’m actually pretty bored with it. The main characters are far too stereotyped as they engage in over described sex. As a writer, we’re told to treat our readers to ‘show’, not ‘tell’. Ms. James is telling me how to do these things, but other than the predictable reactions of the two main characters, I’m left feeling like an observer. My next read will be The Six Wives of Henry the VIII by Gladys Malvern. Her novel Dear Wife was a favorite of mine when I was in my teens and it is still one of my favorite books today.

Hope you enjoyed my take on things and now I’d like to treat you to an excerpt from my novel Regardless due out this fall by Regal Crest Entp. LLC.
After reading the excerpt, you can qualify to win a free book this week and get entered to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate on July 29th just by leaving a comment here on Corinne’s blog with the answer to the following question.  What is Michael Parker’s occupation?

Regardless – Sharon Poppen  (Due to be released Fall 2012)
(-  The era is 2371 A.D. In this scene Tom, the main character who is a Star Command Captain based in San Francisco, has arrived at his parent’s ranch in Wyoming and is having supper with them, his sister Barbara and her husband Tim.)

Tom took a deep breath and began. “I’ve found someone else.” Aside from a gasp from his mother, the words cast the room into an uncomfortable silence. Tom turned to his father. “I met a man that, despite my efforts to deny it, I have fallen in love with and I want to share my life with him.”
“Did I hear you right? A man?” Barbara’s voice was incredulous.
“Yes. A man. His name is Michael Parker. He’s a photographer that I met when Joanna and I went skiing last fall.” Tom turned back to his father. “Dad?”
His father looked at him as if he were meeting a stranger for the first time. “I don’t really believe what I just heard.”
Tom nodded. “I understand. I felt the same for a long time.” He eyes darted from person to person. “I fought it. I really did, only to find that it was making me miserable. Every aspect of my life was failing. I was making Joanna unhappy to the point where she accused me of having an affair. When that happened, I knew I had to face things and make a decision. I did that on Wednesday. From that moment on, I can’t remember ever being happier or more at peace. Being with Michael satisfies my soul. I feel as if I’ve know him for an eternity.”
He paused for comments. When none came, he continued on to tell them about how his wife had taken his admission and that he had called and asked his brother and sister-in-law, Eric and Victa, to go over and be there for Joanna.
“Eric knows?”
“Yes, Mom. He knows.”
Picking up on Tom’s disappointment, his father asked, “He did not take it well?”
“No. He didn’t. He came to see me Thursday morning. I attempted to explain my feelings, but in the end he disowned me.”
“Oh, Tom.” His mother’s eyes filled with tears.
“Tommy. I’m sure he didn’t mean it.” Barbara offered.
“He sounded like he meant it.” Then to soften the blow, “But I keep hoping he’ll come around. He’s not a bigot or homophobic. It just shocked him. Just like you are now.”
Tom had been honest with them and could only hope they would react with love. Coffee was sipped, napkins were toyed with, but most noticeable was that eyes were downcast. Sadness settled in, draping him in a feeling of rejection. He loved these people; how could they turn their back on him? They hadn’t even met Michael; it was unfair. Thoughts of Michael supplanted his feelings of rejection with resentment. He stood up and spoke quietly.
“I’m sorry you feel this –
“Sit down.” His father commanded.
“I don’t want to –
“I said sit down.”
“Yes, please sit down,” urged his mother.
Her concern ate at his heart and he complied. He looked over at his father. Tom was relieved to see only question, not revulsion or rejection in his father’s eyes. Eventually the older man spoke.
“You’re right. This is a big shock to us. We’ve just been told a beloved daughter-in-law may be lost to us. A granddaughter could be hurt and scarred. Our son, a normal HT, is having an affair with a man. You’re damn right we’re shocked.”
Tom opened his mouth to speak, but his father continued.
“But first and foremost, you’re our son.” The words washed over Tom like a balm and gave him a glimmer of hope. “We love you. We have always been proud of you. We want you to be happy. So while we have concerns about the things I’ve mentioned,” he reached over to lay his hand over his wife’s, “you are our son and nothing, I repeat nothing, will ever change that. We’ll work through this.”
“Dad, I can’t …” Tom’s voice caught.
His father continued. “We all just need some time.”
Tom nodded to his father, then looked to find his mother nodding though tears threatened.
“Tom.” Tim’s voice surprised everyone. “I don’t get out of this little valley much. I guess you’d call me a country boy, so I’m not sure about a lot of the things that go on in the big cities. But I know this. I’ve watched you grow from a little boy, like one of mine, into the fine man sitting across the table from me. I know you don’t rush into things willy-nilly. What you do with your life and who you do it with, is your business. If this makes you happy, then who’s to say it’s wrong. I just want you to know that Barbara and I will help you in any way with Kelly. We’ll stay in touch with Joanna, but,” he paused and turned to see Barbara smiling in agreement, “we’ll be happy to meet your new friend.”
It was a long speech for Tim. Tom could only nod his thanks.
Barbara slipped her arm through her husband’s and clutched his hand as she confirmed his words. “Tommy, I couldn’t have said it any better. God knows human emotions can be a mystery, so who can fault our choices when it comes to love.”
Tom looked at his mother.
Her smile was melancholy, but it was a smile. “When do we get to meet this young man?”
“He’ll be here tomorrow.”

(to be continued)


Sharon Poppen ( ) has won awards from Arizona Authors Assoc. and National League of American Pen Women. Her western novels After the War, Before the Peace, Hannah and Abby-Finding More Than Gold are available at Amazon Books, most web based book sellers and from her website.  Her work has appeared in such publications as A Flasher’s Dozen, Desert Treasures, Skive, Offerings from the Oasis, A Long Story Short, Apollo Lyre and Laughter Loaf.  Her workshops on Journaling, Short Story Writing and Blogging bring rave reviews.  Sharon is a member of Lake Havasu City Writer’s Group. Her gay/sci-fi novel Regardless will be available in print and ebook the fall of 2012.

List of Published Novels

After the War, Before the Peace
Abby-Finding More Than Gold
Regardless (due out fall 2012)

The Best Ever Summer Blog Tour ~ Week2

     Nine fabulous authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. It’s a chance to meet great authors and discover exciting new books. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – hint: this week you might enjoy Susan Roebuck’s Perfect Score or Hewhay Hall (she is at – with a grand prize to come at the end of the tour. What will it be – a Kindle, a hefty gift certificate, a unique needlepoint Kindle cover? Aha! A $50 Amazon gift certificate! Think how many books that would buy. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner!

     Thank you to Corinne Davies for letting me preempt her blog this week. If you thirst to read her entry, she is visiting

     Three paragraphs in and I haven’t told you my name. Ann Tracy Marr, that’s me. I have loved the Regency period since I was a girl and my mother introduced me to Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland, two of the most well-known authors of the genre. You should write what you love, right? It was natural that I begin writing my own Regency story. That book failed to find a publisher. Rather than give up, I wrote a second. The plot was missing something. It needed a spark to bring it to life. I fiddled, dithered, thought, and rewrote until I realized that making the hero a magician made the book exciting.

How could a magician fit in the Regency? That took planning. If King Arthur and Merlin had really existed – if they were a fundamental part of British history, magic could fit into the period. So I decided just as George Washington lived, so did King Arthur. Taking it the logical step further, Merlin, Arthur’s magical cohort, existed. Voila, magicians are real and my hero was a magician. That made the Round Table the preferred method of governing Britain, not that there is any real difference between it and Parliament. Fundamentally, it is still the Regency, with Prinny, Lady Jersey, bonnets and reticules, and eventful country house parties.

It is a unique twist on the Regency – as one reviewer said, it sounds strange, but it works. If you can believe that vampires live in New Orleans, you can believe that magicians populated Regency England; it just needs that stretch of imagination to make it real. The manuscript sparkled enough that it was accepted by Awestruck and published, as were two more. The three books received very good reviews – two won awards.

     Thus, my published works are paranormal Regency romance.

     I “dabble” with other writing also. My daughter considers my best work to be the manuscript about two men railroaded into prison. A gory rewrite of the Bell Witch haunting is languishing on my hard drive. I am currently polishing a diary about my recent battle with breast cancer. One of these days I will find a publisher for those books. Faith and begorra, it’s hard to get a book published!

Where can you find me?
Purchase books (e-book or trade paperback) on

To be entered in this week’s draw all you have to do is answer one little question and put it in the comments!

What is the other Blog that Corinne can be found at a couple times a month? 
 ** Hint: look up to the left ;) **

Curious to continue the blog tour? Here’s a list of the participants:

Angie Dobson, Reviewer -

Ann Tracy Marr 

Susan Roebuck -

Sharon Poppen -

Regan Taylor

Corinne Davies

Regina Andrews 

Christine London -

Lynn Hones

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Best Ever Summer Reading Blog Tour!

Welcome to Week 1 of the Best Summer Reading Blog Tour!! 

     Each week for the next 8 weeks there will be an oppourtunity to win a PRIZE if you answer the easy peesy questions posted at each blog stop. All you have to do is write your answer in the comment section to be entered.

This week my guest is the wonderful Lynn Hones. Lynn was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and let us get to know her a bit more..

What do you find the hardest part of writing? 
Finding the time. I’ve got the stories swimming around in my head, getting them into the computer is another story.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you. 
I have a pretty sick sense of humor. I’m from a large Scottish family and we’re all a little demented.

     Do you have a guilty pleasure? 
Yes. I’m so ashamed to admit this, but I’m addicted to Bravo’s Real Housewives shows. New York is my favorite.

     What do you need before you start writing? 
Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don't flow? I live in a 150 year-old house on the lake. I like to be alone and let the vibes surround me. I can “feel” history.

     How old were you when you read your first favorite book? 
What was it and what drew you in? I was about eight-years-old and I read a book called Magic Elizabeth. Of course, it was paranormal.

     Is there a genre that you love to read but don't want to (or think it would be tough for you) to write? 
I actually love to read non-fiction. Mostly history. However, the thought of the research needed turns me off. I do research for my books, but nothing that non-fiction entails.

     Coffee, Tea or Soda Pop? 
I’m a Diet Coke addict.

     What is your favorite type of chocolate? 
I’m also a chocolate addict and I’ll scarf any type down if it’s within my reach.

     Where can readers find you? :

Facebook: lynn hones books
Twitter: lynn hones

     Be sure to visit everyone's blog and answer the questions you find there. Your next stop on this tour is, 

     BUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE, My question for this week is:
Every Wednesday night I chat with the same group of people. Who are they? 
(hint: look up at the top of the list on the right of this blog)
Be sure to write your answer in the comments to be entered into the draw!