Archive for March 2015 | Monthly archive page

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Round 3 Q and A with Beverly Adam Beverly writes Regency historical romances for Lachesis Publishing. And her books are delightful reads. Her Gentlemen of Honor series follows three wonderful heroes (and heroines) in Ireland. 

You can purchase Beverly’s books at Lachesis Publishing, amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo and iBooks.

Why are you a writer?

I’m a compulsive storyteller. I truly can’t help myself. My son says I illustrate all my conversations with stories while trying to make a point. I’ve been writing most of my life and my work has been published in different publications from city newspapers to paperback novels.

What do you love to read in your spare time?

I’m a light-reading, English bibliophile groupie. Romances and cozy murder mysteries, the kind M.C. Beaton and Katie Fforde write. They have to be good, enjoyable fun. Otherwise, I’ll settle for biographies written by famous cooks: Jacques Pepin, Marcus Samuelsson, Julia Child, with the occasional armchair travel stories.

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

Research, if I am writing about living aboard an 18th century frigate, I better know everything there is to know about that ship from middle mast down to a hull, or someone will call me out on it. It’s not a sacred text. I take criticism squarely on the chin and improve my writing when my editors and publisher ask me to do rewrites. And lastly, I tell readers about my work. I cannot afford to be shy about the fact that my books are terrific reads and that I’m an interesting writer. That said – the Honorable Gentlemen Series are amusing, fast paced, Regency romances, with very interesting plots, which take place in Ireland and England – you should read them!

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

It would be delightful to see one of them made into a movie, like you see on BBC’s Masterpiece Theatre. That would be fun! I’d like to write some more historical romances and biographies, possibly of someone who has travelled around the world or created something unusual. But I think the highest honor my books can receive are to be placed on public library bookshelves. I’d like everyone to enjoy them.

What is your favorite first line ever from a novel?

The first one that comes to my head. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. As you can tell, I’m in a Victorian mood and considering writing a romance series set in that time period.

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing?

Honey-dipped-peanut-butter-and-chocolate chewy granola bars. Yum!

What was a book that made you go “aha!” and why? (fiction or nonfiction).

That’s a loaded question for someone with years of reading and writing behind her. I’ll pick one by the late Syd Field, Screenplay, which taught me how to structure a story with a last minute, unexpected twist.

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

I don’t look anymore at book review boards, unless it’s a professional publication or a respected website magazine. It’s better to respect my publisher and editors’ opinions, they’ll give it to me straight and improve my writing. To which I say, “Thank-you, so much!”

What do you listen to when you write?

When I was writing the Honorable Gentleman series, Irish music with penny whistles and pipes. I’m currently listening to the amazing songwriter and singer, Russ Columbo, as I’m finishing a biography about his romance with Carole Lombard. Otherwise, silence is golden.

Cats or dogs?

I’ve had both, but for the moment I have neither, as I’m renting. When I was a child, I had an entire menagerie of pets: dogs, rabbits, cats, guinea pigs, fish, cockatiels (my father raises them), and even turtles. I like animals, but for now, I simply enjoy the pets of friends.

Connect with Beverly Adam online on her blog, on facebook and on goodreads.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

 

 

 

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Today’s sneak peek is from the historical romance (Regency romance) The Spinster and the Earl by Beverly Adam, and it’s FREE!

You can download the The Spinster and the Earl for free at Lachesis Publishing, amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

What it’s about:

Book 1 in the Gentlemen of Honor series

She was known as The Spinster of Brightwood Manor, and that suited Lady Beatrice O’Brien just fine.

She was happy being a spinster; happy running her father’s estates while amassing a fortune of her own; happy tending to the needs of her community; and most of all, she was happy not having a man around to tell her what to do.

But when Beatrice accidentally shoots her new neighbor, the Earl of Drennan, her life turns upside-down. Suddenly, this very arrogant gentleman, who also happens to be charming and attractive, makes himself at home at Brightwood Manor, and proceeds to court her!

Beatrice knows one thing for certain. Marriage will complicate her life. But falling in love? That’s an entirely different matter.

EXCERPT:

Faith, he really was one of the handsomest specimens of manhood she’d clapped eyes upon since the war against Boney started, despite that nasty looking scar he wore. She had to admit, even if he were a bit of a tiresome bore, he was pleasant to look upon.

Distracting herself from the sight of his almost bare chest, she nervously recited by rote her planned introductions. “Sir, I am Lady Beatrice O’Brien, mistress of this house. And this delicate beauty standing beside me is our healer, Mistress Sarah Duncan. I must add she’s the same witch who had the kindness to sew your leg up for you.”

Wise Sarah gave a deep curtsy and smiled warmly at him. Her light blue eyes, the same shade as bluebonnets, sparkled down at him in warm welcome.

“Indeed,” he said looking in astonishment at the lovely vision. She didn’t appear to be someone who’d choose to seek out the more unsavory parts of life, let alone be seen boiling a cauldron of eye of newt under a full moon.

“Mistress Sarah, you must amuse our patient here sometime with tales of how you manage to stay aloft at night on your broom,” said the lady of the house with a bemused smile. “I must tell you your patient is vastly interested in such witchery and would be delighted to be instructed about your more unusual practices.”

“Now, Lady Beatrice.” The pretty healer laughed in feigned indignation. For most of her life Wise Sarah had lived under superstitious peasant eyes. She knew the numerous wild tales concerning her adopted mother and herself.

“I’ve told ye before that we modern day hexes don’t use those uncomfortable conveyances anymore. Why they proved to be far too drafty and terribly dangerous to ourselves. What with one good gust of wind there’s been many a good hex that’s gotten herself lost over the North Sea.” She laughed and winked impishly at the lady of the house, relishing the silliness of her own tale. She and her adopted mother had never touched a broom, let alone tried to make it fly, except to clean their plain plank floor.

“Nay, dear lady and lord, we modern sorceresses ride about in smart pony carts these days like the rest o’ ye mortals. It being far saner and safer. Though ’tis true, less romantic.”

The stranger smiled at her quaint explanation, flashing a row of healthy teeth. “But all the same, ma’am, despite your being a witch. Demme, if I’m not grateful for the service you’ve rendered me by tending to my leg.”

The pretty healer blushed under the handsome English stranger’s praise. “It was nothing, sir. Truth be told, it was mostly Lady Beatrice here who did the work, putting your leg back into place and binding it tight like she did. Aye, ’tis she you ought to be looking to when giving your thanks.”

His arctic blue eyes turned themselves upon his nemesis, the lady of the house, or the “vanithee” as he’d heard the servants refer respectfully of her in whispers. She stood proudly erect wrapping her title as lady of the manor about her like a protective cloak. Her bright green eyes the same shade as new leaves, carefully watching and observing his every word and gesture, her body rigid in anticipation to what he would say. It would be quite easy for him to slight her in front of the wise woman if he wished. But he did not.

“Tell me, is there no master of the house to greet me?” he asked, wondering if the lady was married, intrigued by her apparent aloofness. It was as if she had no one but herself to answer to for bringing home a stranger. Would not someone, her guardian or husband perhaps, wish to speak to him? To assure himself that such an unknown English stranger would not bring harm or scandal to his household? Surely there was someone?

“Aye, there be one,” the lady answered. “My father, Lord Patrick O’Brien. He is the master here. He’d like to have greeted you in person, but at present himself is suffering sorely from the gout and begs that you excuse him. In his absence, he requests that you accept his daughter’s welcome.” She then gave a short bob, in lieu of a proper deep curtsy of welcome, which was normally the due she gave to guests in her father’s house.

His eyes narrowed, he’d not missed the slight. “Ah . . . yes.” He nodded with understanding, his voice liquid cool, chilling the peat-heated room. “Considering that it was a member of his household who shot me off my mount that would be the least one could expect him to do. Don’t you agree, my lady?”

She gasped, stepping towards the ungrateful English dolt. She clenched her hands at her side, ready to give him a proper show of her famous spinster temper. “If ye’d only taken the time to look before ye leaped, we wouldn’t have had to put ye in this bed. And I’d not be saddled with the obliging care of ye!”

“Please, Lady Bea—,” intervened Wise Sarah, placing herself strategically between the attacking hostess and her wounded patient. “Behave yourself! Now what will your da say when he up and learns you tried to attack this wounded gentleman? And this time in pure aggression, if you please. One would think that you truly wished him harm.”

Chastised, Beatrice obediently took a step back. The last thing she desired was to have her father’s wrath fall upon her head. He’d warned her that if another one of her notorious escapades brought any disgrace upon the family name, he’d see to her punishment himself. A dire threat she knew he would follow through with if she were not careful.

She sighed audibly, her hands were tied. She could do nothing to dislodge this ingrate. And once more she regretted her part in acting the Good Samaritan to this English pudding-headed lout. She ought to have left him in the muck and mire where she’d found him, instead of seeing to it that he was brought here and properly tended.

Like what you’ve read? You can download the The Spinster and the Earl for free at Lachesis Publishing, amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

Connect with Beverly Adam online on her blog and on facebook and on goodreads.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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Let’s get one thing clear up front. Piracy is a terrible crime. Modern pirates capture people and vessels and hold them for ransom, sometimes committing murder when they don’t get what they want. Even in the so-called golden age of Caribbean piracy during the 18th and 19th centuries, pirates were thieves and murderers. So why is it we enjoy pirates and the stories about them so much?

First off, it’s clear that to choose a life of piracy, you pretty much have hit rock bottom. Your alternatives in life are to go on the street and be a beggar or steal from your own neighbors just to survive. In that “golden age” of piracy, crews of British Navy ships were “conscripted” by sailors going out in the street and literally kidnapping people who didn’t have the money to pay a bribe. These people would be hauled off to work on ships in terrible conditions for years. The crews on these ships would be flogged for the least offense, exposed to death and disease, and put in the front lines of any danger the ship faced. Life on a pirate ship, where you were treated with some modicum of humanity, could look pretty good after all that.

So, at their most basic level, pirate stories give us hope. We learn that no matter how bad life has gotten there is some way to claw ourselves up from the bottom to something that’s at least a little better than what we had before. Not only do pirates represent hope, they represent freedom. We have the picture of them roaming the high seas, going where they want, living a life awash in rum and leisure.

The truth is not quite so much fun, but there are reasons pirates become symbols for freedom. In the golden age of piracy, the captain of a British Naval ship was an absolute tyrant who could make your life a living hell on a whim. Pirate crews of the period often voted on which of their crewmembers would lead them. If one became too much of a martinet, the crew would rise up and elect a new captain. What’s more, pirates played a role in American independence from Britain. Colonel Andrew Jackson sought help from the pirate Jean Laffite in the 1814 Battle of New Orleans.

I explore the theme of pirates and freedom in my novel The Pirates of Sufiro. It tells the story of a pirate crew stranded on a distant planet and how they must work together to build a life. The conflict builds when the established government discovers valuable resources on the planet and starts to exploit the society founded by the pirates, raising questions about who is really worse, the pirates or the industrialists who will go to any means necessary to win a war.

In the sequels, Children of the Old Stars and Heirs of the New Earth, we find that the descendants of the pirates are well suited by their ability to question authority and break a few rules. They uncover one of the galaxy’s best hidden secrets and fight to save the Earth and the entire galaxy.

Along with the relative freedom piracy has afforded people over the centuries has also come a sense of equality. If you’re strong enough or good enough, you can obtain fortune or command, no matter who you are and no matter what your gender. There are numerous examples of women pirates throughout history. Among the most famous are Anne Bonney and Mary Read, but one of my favorites is Grace O’Malley. Not only did O’Malley command a pirate ship during the 16th century, she rose to become chieftain of the O’Malley clan in Ireland. She makes a brief cameo in my novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order.

Of course pirates have a long literary tradition, appearing in books like Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (who I share a birthday with!) So go out there and find some books about pirates. Yes, you’re sure to find high adventure and thrilling escapades, but you’ll also find stories of hope, freedom, and equality. Yo ho!

You can purchase David Lee Summers’s books at Lachesis Publishing, on amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

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Today’s Round 3 Q and A  is with Lachesis Publishing author David Lee Summers. David has written several horror and science fiction novels for Lachesis including The Pirates of Sufiro which is free, and Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order.

Why are you a writer?

I’m a writer because I have to be. It’s a way for me to process thoughts and emotions and give expression to the ideas that pop into my head all the time. I have dealt with the big questions of life, death, and their meaning through my vampire stories. When I was first diagnosed with arthritis, I created the character Roberts in the Old Star/New Earth books who had arthritis and lived a long productive life. It helped me visualize the same thing for myself. My forthcoming novel, The Astronomer’s Crypt, allowed me to explore both the things I love about my work in astronomy and those things that scare me working in large, mostly empty buildings late at night on a remote mountaintop. In a sense, writing is cheap psychotherapy, but it’s more than that. It’s an important part of my psyche.

What do you love to read in your spare time?

For the most part, I love to read the kinds of fiction I write. I love science fiction, horror, and paranormal novels. Lately I’ve been reading quite a bit of Stephen King and Anne Rice. I also love mysteries and historical fiction. It’s hard to go wrong with Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander series. I especially enjoy delving into the classics of these genres and seeing those works which inspired the modern day giants. I love Jules Verne, Mary Shelly, and H.P. Lovecraft. I’m also a big fan of reading outside my comfort zone to see how authors of other genres handle character, action, and setting.

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

I travel to conventions, which gives me an opportunity to interact with fellow writers and readers. I blog at both davidleesummers.wordpress.com and dlsummers.wordpress.com, which gives me a chance to interact with readers in an in-depth way online. I do research into my writing which not only helps me get the details of my writing correct, but gives me insight into other people and cultures, which adds depth to my writing.

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

One of my favorite parts of writing is to see how my words are interpreted by others. One of the most exciting things for me is to see a story of mine illustrated or the cover art an illustrator comes up with for my novel. So, with that in mind, I think two of my top goals would be for a good voice actor to read the audiobook version of one of my books, and to have one of my books or stories made into a film. Finally, I would like to achieve a degree of financial success with my writing that if I wanted to travel somewhere to research an element of a story or meet with readers, I could do so without difficulty.

What is your favourite first line ever from a novel?

This is a tough one because there are a lot of great first lines, but I’m going to take the first line of Ray Bradbury’s From the Dust Returned. “In the attic where the rain touched the roof softly on spring days and where you could feel the mantle of snow outside, a few inches away, on December nights, A Thousand Times Great Grandmère existed.” I love it because there’s a great sense of time and a great sense that this person is not only old but ancient. It’s a little creepy because of the unconventional word choice: A Thousand Times Great Grandmère not only lived, she existed. The weather conveys an atmosphere of gloom and cold. He talks about rain and snow, not sunshine. Creepy as A Thousand Times Great Grandmère is, the rain is soft and the snow provides a mantle. She is both revered and tender. Ray Bradbury has crafted many, many great lines, but this is simply one of the best I can point to.

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing?

I love having a jar of nuts around when I’m writing. Cashews are my favorite, but peanuts or almonds are good, too. I also like to have a good supply of apples. I’m especially fond of Fuji apples, which I find very flavorful and nice for a writing break.

What was a book that made you go “aha!” and why? (fiction or non fiction)

The book that made me go “aha!” was The Magic Journey by John Nichols. It’s a contemporary novel about a woman in a small New Mexico town and what her friends and neighbors get up to. It’s often billed as “magical realism” because there are also angels in the novel. All through the novel, I saw parallels to the story of my mother growing up in New Mexico. It’s the book that made me realize I could tell a story like that one. My first novel, The Pirates of Sufiro, essentially started out by imagining what it would have been like if instead of homesteading New Mexico, my grandparents and great grandparents homesteaded a different world.

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

Seeing a bad review is always shocking. I do my best to step away from the computer and give myself some distance. Once I’m a little more clear headed, I’ll look at the review and see if there was any way I could have made the book better for that person. If there is, I’ll file that away and try to make the next book better. Sometimes I realize the reviewer just picked a book that wasn’t for them. An honest and thoughtful review, even if it’s bad, is well appreciated. It means the person cared enough about the book to write about it. Very, very rarely, I’ll encounter someone with an axe to grind and the review will take a turn into the nasty. I’ve come to realize those people have a way of self-destructing with time and I do my best to stay as far away from them as I can so I’m not there when it happens.

What do you listen to when you write?

I have a collection of soundtrack albums from movies that I listen to when I write. I find they provide a great backdrop to my writing because they’re designed to accent rather than overshadow scenes. Because orchestral soundtracks don’t have words, they don’t distract me from my writing, but they do help me block out other things that might serve to distract me. Lately I’ve become particularly fond of soundtracks from Japanese anime.

Cats or dogs?

I love both and I have owned both cats and dogs over the years, but it’s been neither one since my wife and I discovered our kids are allergic to both cats and dogs! So these days it’s turtles. Specifically desert box turtles. It all started when my daughter won a desert box turtle at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park here in Las Cruces. He’s named Gamera after the Japanese kaiju. Since then, we adopted one more and his name is Mikey, after the Ninja Turtle Michelangelo.

You can purchase David Lee Summers’s books at Lachesis Publishing, on amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Sneak Peek is from Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order (paranormal/historical) by Lachesis Publishing author David Lee Summers.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Three vampyrs. Three lives. Three intertwining stories.

Bearing the guilt of destroying the holiest of books after becoming a vampyr, the Dragon, Lord Desmond, searches the world for lost knowledge, but instead, discovers truth in love.

Born a slave in Ancient Greece, Alexandra craves freedom above all else, until a vampyr sets her free, but then, she must pay the highest price of all . . . her human soul.

An assassin who lives in the shadows, Roquelaure is cloaked even from himself, until he discovers the power of friendship and loyalty.

Three vampyrs, traveling the world by moonlight—one woman and two men who forge a bond made in love and blood. Together they form a band of mercenaries called the Scarlet Order, and recruit others who are like them. Their mission is to protect kings and emperors against marauders, invaders, rogue vampyrs, and their ultimate nemesis—Vlad the Impaler.

EXCERPT:

From the writings of Desmond, Lord Draco.

The years 558-560:

As I continued through the Germanic lands, I began to hear legends that people told of dead friends and relatives that would die, and then come back to life—to drink the blood of those left behind. I heard the word neuntoter a few times, but I also heard new names: nosferatu and vampyr.

After leaving Lucilinburhuc, I continued along the Moselle until I came to the Rhine. There I turned south until I came to a land called Mainz.

Winter was rapidly approaching, so I decided to stay there for a time. I learned that the Graf of Mainz, like the Prince of Lucilinburhuc, was a rather benign ruler.

Soon I found and occupied a small wattle and daub hut not too far from the fortress, but deep enough in the woods that no one took a strong interest in my presence.

During my first nights in the region, I heard tales of a nosferatu that was hunting in the region. In the years since Wolf’s death, I began to despair of ever meeting another of my kind. I was still new enough to the region and careful enough on my hunts that I doubted any of the rumors I heard were of myself.

I discovered there was a small tavern near the fortress of Mainz and I began to frequent it so I could hear what stories I could of this nosferatu. As it turned out, the ale at the tavern was quite good and I found that if not for the debilitating effects of the alcohol itself, the rich malty liquid came close to sustaining me.

As I listened to stories, it became clear to me that there was a pattern to the nosferatu’s attacks. They seemed to occur most frequently near an old burial ground in the vicinity of the fortress itself. As such, most people tried to avoid the fortress in general—and that burial ground in particular. I decided it was time to investigate the burial ground.

I found the place easily enough. It was in soft earth on one side of the fortress. Crude stone markers had been erected to mark the places where the departed lay. I found a place near a tree and waited. As the moon began to rise—about two hours after midnight—my keen ears caught the sound of shuffling footsteps on the grass.

Turning toward the sound, I saw a creature who, at first glance, reminded me of Wolf. He was bald and his skin was very gray. I tried to hail him, but the figure ignored me.

Standing, I ran to him.

As I approached, I discovered he had a very earthy smell and his clothes were a shambles, much as mine became when I dug down in the earth for shelter from the sun’s rays.

“Hallo,” I tried calling in the strange Germanic tongue that people of the region spoke.

The creature turned and, as though seeing me for the first time, bared its teeth and hissed like an enraged cat. His eyes were bloodshot and open very wide.

I opened my mouth, revealing my own fangs to the creature.

Becoming very agitated, he ran at me and knocked me to the ground. “Halt, halt!” I cried. “Ich bin Nosferatu.”

The creature lunged at my neck, but I put my hand up under his chin and slammed his jaw shut. A terrible growl-like noise came from somewhere down deep in his throat. He reached out to grab the wrist that I had on his jaw, and that movement, in turn, caused him to unbalance himself.

With my free arm, I pushed him off me. I stood and brushed myself off. “I am like you,” I tried to say, but the creature pushed himself to his feet and rushed at me again.

This time, prepared for his attack, I dodged to the side, then ran for a nearby tree. It was clear to me that this creature—though a neuntoter or nosferatu like me—was quite mad. The cause—living alone or whatever else—I did not know.

I grabbed a tree branch and pulled with all my might until it snapped off. As the creature ran at me, I swung the branch and knocked him to the ground. Before he could get up again, I forced the branch through the creature’s chest, pinning him to the ground.

I dropped down beside him and sat there panting. Tears came to my eyes as I looked at that poor, mad creature that I truly believed had simply been defending himself.

The sound of running footsteps came from the fortress. I looked up to see a pair of guards. They looked at the body on the ground and then they looked at me. “You’ve killed the nosferatu,” one said.

“I think the graf would like to see you,” said the other.

I sighed, but pushed myself to my feet. “Very well.”

The Graf of Mainz proved to be quite impressed with the story of my nosferatu slaying. He offered to let me remain on his lands, rent-free as long as I was willing to defend his realm from such creatures. I kept my composure as best I could and accepted the graf’s offer. I was already prepared to stay in Mainz. However, I did find irony in the idea of being a nosferatu that slayed other nosferatu.

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order at Lachesis Publishing and on amazon.comBarnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

Connect with David Lee Summers online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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A favourite hero of many a reader – Mr. Darcy!

Recently, YA paranormal author Kim Baccellia listed her Top 5 Hottest Heroes. It got me thinking. Yes, physical attractiveness is something that we love in a hero. We tend to associate positive qualities with good looks. However villains can also be handsome and attractive. That can make them even more dastardly! But there are certain qualities that every good hero should have. They don’t have to have all of these qualities, but it always helps. Otherwise he wouldn’t be much of a hero would he? Here are some of my favourite qualities:

1. Courage: A good hero in a romance and any other genre should have courage. Not necessarily the “won’t back down in a fight kind of courage” – but the courage of his convictions to stand for what he believes.

2. Strength: I love a hero who is strong. Again, he doesn’t have to be physically strong – but certainly strong in his character and how he sees the world.

3. Humour: Not a must but definitely a quality I go for in a hero. I love a hero with a sense of humour – be it sarcastic, wicked, sweet, or silly. If he can laugh at himself or if he finds humour in the world around him then that’s a fella for me.

4. Love: In a romance I definitely want the hero to fall in love with the heroine. More importantly, I want him to demonstrate that love. In other genres – I like to see a capacity to love – kindness, heart, soul, integrity.

5. Vulnerability: You could debate this one, but I love it when I see a hero’s vulnerable side, especially when he shares it with the heroine. Sensitivity is an attractive quality after all.

6. Transformation: I think every hero should grow throughout the story. There should be some element of change or growth  – even transformation. Sometimes the best books feature a hero who was a villain in a previous book. Love. That. Everyone loves a good redemption story.

So what are some “heroic” qualities that you look for in a good hero?

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea and writing in coffee shops.

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Photo Courtesy of FanPop.com

1. Damon from THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

Hands down, Damon is one of my favorite protagonists. Sure, he’s a blood thirsty vampire but he has one weak spot—Elena. I love how author L.J. Smith and the writers of the TV series have shown his vulnerabilities and weaknesses such as one scene where he stays at the side of Caroline’s dying mother to give her comfort at the end. Plus, those blue eyes and wicked smile are enough for anyone to open her heart.

Photo courtesy of http://divergent.wikia.com/wiki/Tobias_Eaton

2. Tobias, ‘Four’ Eaton from the DIVERGENT series

Four is a part of the Dauntless factor in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Though he comes across as a bad ass, he worms his way into Tish’s and reader’s hearts. A must read book has to be FOUR which is a collection of short stories that go over Tobias’s life and help readers get a glimpse into the whys behind his behavior.

Photo courtesy of http://variety.com

3. Thomas from MAZE RUNNER

What can I say? I love author Dylan O’Brien’s role in TEEN WOLF and he is perfect as the lead actor in MAZE RUNNER. Thomas finds himself in a strange land with his memory erased. He must join the other boys in order to escape through a constantly changing maze.

Photo courtesy of http://www.cbswatchmagazine.com

4. Bash from TV series REIGN

I’m a huge sucker for historicals set in France. Bash is the illegitimate half-brother of Daphne Francis. When Scotland Queen Mary Stuart comes to France, though she is to wed Francis, she finds herself attracted to Bash. I mean, who wouldn’t with those amazing eyes?

And last but not least . . .

Photo courtesy of Fanpop.com

5. Jamie of OUTLANDER

I admit, I wasn’t sure about the casting of one of my all-time favorite protagonists but after watching the Starz TV series, I now know he’s perfect! Tons of chemistry between him and Claire, just like the amazing books.

Double sigh! He made me want to go to Scotland. Love the books and so far this series so much.

Now that I’ve shared some of my favorites, who are some of yours?

Kim Baccellia is the author of the YA Paranormal Crossed Out. It’s available in print and e-book at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, Barnes and Noblekobo, and iBooks.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us on twitter.

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Today’s Q And A  is with the YA paranormal author Kim Baccellia. Kim’s YA Paranormal Crossed Out is available in print and e-book at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, Barnes and Noblekobo, and iBooks.

Why are you a writer?

It’s a huge part of me. If I put it off? I have very vivid dreams that haunt me. My characters don’t like it when I ‘forget’ about them.

What do you love to read in your spare time?

Depends. Right now reading The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. It’s a YA fantasy filled with romance, mind games, power struggles, and amazing chemistry. Loving.

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

Building a positive presence online

Having a place to write without distractions

Not feeling guilty to say ‘no’ to those who feel that since I’m a writer/homeschool mom that I’m available 24/7

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

To have foreign rights on my novels

I’d love to see Crossed Out  in graphic novel format

To write a novel outside of my comfort zone.

What is your favourite first line ever from a novel?

“It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.” Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing?

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf iced tea latte with NSA chocolate power

And of course, Diet Dr. Pepper with a splash of regular and some lemon slices.

What was a book that made you go “aha!” and why? (fiction or non fiction)

The last one I read for YA Books Central—(I’m an editor there and review YA books). Made You Up by Francesca Zappia totally took me off guard with a reveal. I was waiting for my son at Mathnasium and let out an “Omigod, no flippin’ way!” comment. Of course the teens at the math lab wanted to know why I said that. **Got to love it when books do that to you!

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

I get off the internet and give myself permission to feel sorry for myself. Then I get back on the next day and continue on. I tell myself that this biz is very subjective and leave it at that. I try not to dwell too much on bad reviews.

 What do you listen to when you write?

Depends on the project. For the sequel to Crossed Out  I listened to lots of Linkin Park, The Cure, Ed Sheeran, Plumb, These New Puritans, and Rachel Taylor. Brandon Flowers song CROSSFIRE is the title for my sequel.

Cats or dogs?

Cats.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us on twitter.

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Today’s Sneak Peek is from the YA paranormal Crossed Out by Kim Baccellia.

What it’s About:

Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?

However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.

If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.

Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.

EXCERPT:

“Stephanie…careful….”

The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.

Allison!

Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”

Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.

“Careful….”

The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left. I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.

What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us on twitter.

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The other day, author Lindy S. Hudis mentioned her love of books by Jackie Collins. Something we call a guilty pleasure. A guilty pleasure is something we believed that we shouldn’t indulge in, but we do anyway. We feel somehow that by reading a guilty pleasure book, we aren’t making good use of our time. Or so society tells us.

The world of romance fiction has received a lot of criticism over the years for being fluff – or not good enough – when compared to other fiction. I say, balderdash! Books are meant to be enjoyable. They are meant to bring us pleasure. At least they should. The kinds of stories that romance authors write, are stories about relationships, that primarily empower women. They are written by women, and for women. And heck they are edited by women too!

The same goes for mysteries and sci-fi adventures and comic books.

If we put labels on books that we “should” read and books that we “shouldn’t”, then what are teaching our children? Instead of nurturing a generation of readers – we’re telling kids that books are not meant to enrich our lives and hearts – they are only for knowledge. And that does not spark the imaginations of children, let alone our own creative spirits.

So let’s keep “indulging” ourselves in the books we love to read. If a book gives us pleasure, then that is a book worth reading.

So what is your “guilty” pleasure?

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea and writing in coffee shops and all kinds of books.

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