Join Sarah and her guests for conversations on everything from the art of writing to where we find our inspiration.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Writer Wednesday: Mona Karel

Welcome, Mona, can you tell us a little about yourself? 

Hi, Sarah and Amie. Thanks for having me here today! I started writing on cave walls...okay I’m not quite that old. But I joined RWA so far back my membership number is three digits. I write as Mona Karel, and the rest of the world knows me as Monica Stoner. It’s hard to say which life is my “real” world I guess that depends on where I’m sitting in the house. I’m always up for champagne and happy to share my love of cooking with anyone who stops by.

Tell us about MY KILLER MY LOVE and where we can find it. 

When an immortal enforcer is sent to punish an innocent woman, she wakens the soul he'd forgotten he possessed. It's set in a magical spot in the ancient California forests and takes them through treachery and fear, bringing them finally to trust and love.

Kendra Weiss doesn’t realize she has inherited powerful gifts upon the death of her beloved grandmother. She retreats to their secluded cottage to mourn, and encounters a man of unearthly beauty and strength. 
Mykhael Alastor has become increasingly dissatisfied with his work as an immortal enforcer. When he is sent to punish a woman who could never be guilty of the accusations against her, he realizes he must defy his overlords even if it means his own death. 
Complicating matters is Kendra’s jealous cousin Clarissa and Mykhael’s half brother Gabriel, who is determined to destroy Mykhael. 

My Killer My Love is available in print and ebook formats from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/My-Killer-Love-ebook/dp/B00529AJ6Y
and other retailers. Check with your favorite bookseller.

Do you have a favorite character or one that you identify most with? 

Kendra should be my favorite character but Mykhael calls to me on so many levels, and I don’t just mean physical. He’s always been an outsider trying his best to be accepted. It’s difficult for him to learn to love himself so that he can believe he is worthy of Kendra’s love.

Describe your writing in three words. 

Emotional. Evocative. Sensual.

Why did you choose your genre? 

I discovered Andre Norton when I was still in school and have been enthralled by the possibilities in fantasy stories ever since. My only disappointment was Ms. Norton’s delicacy about intimate scenes, which I’ve managed to overcome.

Where do you get your ideas? 

The actual story of My Killer My Love came to me while I was doing battle with the snails in my California garden. I reached for the bottle of snail bait and heard a masculine voice ask “You don’t want to do that, do you?” The story dumped into my head nigh on whole cloth and I wrote like a mad fury for several months to get the first draft done. Never did get that garden planted.

How do you do your research?

The house is filled to groaning with books. When we moved to New Mexico from California we had over forty large boxes of just research books, covering a myriad of subjects. Then there’s the Internet, of course, a fabulous time waster. For My Killer My Love, which is the initial story about a group overseeing the sacred places in the universe, I dug deep into mythology and folk lore to discover the Atrahasis, relating to the creation of humans.

What advice would you give to the new/unpublished author? 

Finish the first book. Even if you think it’s bilge. Even if it is bilge, finish it. You will have achieved something only a very small percentage of those who set out on this journey accomplish. Then put it away, and start another story. Write every day, even if it’s just a few sentences...something I’ve been telling myself for several months now. When I manage to listen to myself, I’m a much happier individual.

You will need to learn about marketing, about building a platform and attracting an audience. But to launch the magical mystical tour of literature, you need something behind the curtain to wow the audience. Concentrate on finishing the book.

What’s next for you? 

Much to my surprise, Mykhael’s brother Gabriel did not die. He is in disfavor with the Atrahasis, and must atone for his actions by spending time among humans, learning humility. Given his millennia of near godhood, that lesson might take a very long time. His story is coming out in an erotic novella. At least right now it’s a novella, and I know it will be as sensual as My Killer My Love.

Plus I’ve been thinking about the dearth of mature romances. Is there interest in romances about people who are past the age of perfect bodies and flawless skin? I’d love to hear other opinions.

Where can we find you on the web? 

Website: http://mona-karel.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MonaKarel
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mona-Karel/101308129961137?ref=ts&fref=ts 
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/monakarel/

Is there anything you would like to ask our readers? 

Even though I’m an avid reader myself, I always wonder what attracts people to certain books. Is it the characters, the emotions, the plot? What draws YOU to read a reach for a book you’ve read before, for the sheer joy of rereading?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Character Quickie: Isabeau Montgomery

20 quickie facts about Isabeau Montgomery: 

Birthday? September 23
Favorite color? Brick Red
Nickname? Izzy
Birthmark or scars? Too many scars to list.
Siblings? None
City of residence? Long Island City, New York
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Pina Colada
Occupation? Owner of Izzy’s Bar
Hobbies? Cooking, Running
Favorite song? Tempted by Black Phoenix
Name one item in your refrigerator right now? Black sea bass with chilies, herbs, and spinach.
Your greatest fear? That Noah will discover my secret, learn of the lie I’ve been hiding behind for 13 years.
Most treasured possession? The grand piano gifted to me by my mother when I was a child.
Special talent? I’m called a piano phenom. I can play any piece of music – perfectly – after hearing it just once.
Cat or dog? Cat
Pet peeve? When people stare at my scars.
Unforgettable moment? The night Noah Clark walked into my bar.
Spicy or not? Definitely
Favorite guilty pleasure? Sunbathing topless.
If you could ask your author one question, what would it be? How did you know Noah was the one for me?

Isabeau Montgomery is the heroine in Sarah's award-winning contemporary romance, AFTER MIDNIGHT,
on sale for 99 cents!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/11kD7JS 
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/TNBRdL 
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/VohFcm

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekly Dose of Inspiration: Reblog, Retweet & Share to Win!

This week I hope to inspire you to join me in spreading the word -- and because I appreciate your help, there's a wonderful prize in it for you!!  Here are the details:

After Midnight is On Sale! 

It’s official, for the next two weeks my award winning contemporary romance, After Midnight, is on sale for the super low price of 99 cents! So, I’m celebrating with a re-blog, re-tweet and share to win celebration!

What can you win??? 
(winners choice) 

Here’s how to play:
  1. Tweet (or retweet) about the sale. Every tweet will earn you one entry in the drawing. Make sure to include @SarahGrimmAuthr in your tweet so I can track your entry. 
  2. Post or Share the sale on Facebook. Every post/share will earn you one entry in the drawing. Be sure to tag Sarah Grimm – Author in your post so I can track your entry. 
  3. Reblog this post. Make sure to leave a link here so I can keep track. 

That’s it. Pretty simple, yes? The more you tweet, retweet, share or repost, the more entries you receive! I will announce the winner of the gift certificate on this blog on February 11, 2013.

Can music heal a fractured soul? 
Or will it tear them apart forever? 

Thirteen years—that’s how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother’s life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar…

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal—one that doesn’t include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won’t be easy, but he can’t get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?

2012 Romance Through the Ages Award Winner ~ 1st Place Contemporary 
2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist 
2012 Readers Favorite Award Finalist 
2011 Book of the Year Finalist ~ Long and Short Reviews 

GET IT TODAY – Just $0.99! 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/11kD7JS (1/25 – 2/08) 
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/TNBRdL (1/25 – 2/08) 
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/VohFcm (1/25 - 1/28) 

"After Midnight is one hell of a love story! I was hooked at the end of the first chapter. I had to read more. I had to know more. And Sarah Grimm definitely delivered more." —5 Stars, Fire Pages

"Ms. Grimm creates characters that grab hold of your heart and never let go. This is an emotional ride that you won't want to miss."—BEST BOOK, Long and Short Reviews

"I am in love. This book was amazing. I would even go as far as to say that it was one of the best books that I read this year." — 5 cocktails, Cocktails and Books

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Welcome Special Guest Angel Rothamel

Hi everyone!

First I want to thank the wonderful ladies at OfftheKeyboard for having me here today.

My life of writing really started early on in life. I think that I have always been doodling some tale or other since I was probably about 6 or so, even before I really knew what writing was I was always going off to fantasy land, or creating my own ‘mission’ in the latest Wonder Woman episode, I’ve sent myself to Paradise Island a time or two. Or one of the other shows I watched when I was younger.

I started writing stories down when I was in junior high, usually as a way to escape the real world and be either the hero or more often times than not, the unwitting victim of some nefarious bad boy who has to be save by the hero. It’s surprising that not all the time were my hero’s male. I liked the strong female characters as well, so every once in a while one would suddenly pop up and save the day.

I was introduced to Nano a few years ago and I try every year to participate, rarely do I not complete it, but nothing has ever came from those projects. Until last year. In 2012 I used Nano to complete 3 of my stories. 1 of them is now in the post contract-pre publish stage and I am excited for that, the second was released on January 11, while the 3rd will be released on Friday, January 23.

My first ‘real’ (at least in my mind) project, the one that I had written with the intent of publishing came as I was living with a friend of mine in Australia. While Australia didn’t pan out, and I didn’t get the story written that I wanted to. It is where my first book idea was created and the first draft was written.

Granted it was, 8 years ago if my memory is correct, but everything I have written in the last 8 or so years I have managed to keep on my computer. And it paid off.

The hardest thing about writing, at least for me is the submissions. And let me tell you that I have had several BAD experiences…

I’ve been told things from: “While the sex is good, the story sucks and sex doesn’t sell.” - That book as is will be released later this year.

“I don’t think this book is what our readers want to read,” - That book is also set to be released as is this year.

I’ve been told by some editors that I need to just give up on writing because I am not good at ‘grasping the ideas that the readers want and my characters are flat and undefined’.

Yet this year I am set to have at least 3 books under Angel Rothamel published and my best friend and I are set to have at least 3 books released under AJ Kelton.

Needless to say those opinions from editors were devastating to me and almost made me quit. I’m stubborn though and I worked through the writer’s block that they caused. And believe me after the last one, every time I pulled up a document it was like frogs and crickets in my head… No ideas, no stories, no characters… nada! They all ran for the hills.

But I got them back and now, thanks to my wonderful editor at MRL and my beta reader, and of course my best friend… They are back and ready to tell all!

So, if anyone has had a bad experience with an editor, and I’m sure you have… It’s ok… Either that publishing house isn’t right for you… or the editor isn’t the one you need. If that is the case, don’t be afraid to contact the executive editor and talk to them.

The one thing that I’ve found in the last year that I’ve been dealing with a publishing house… It’s ok to ask questions if you don’t know something… They may grown (grin), they may be intimidation, but they don’t bite. I thought that once upon a time, but last October just talking to someone about concerns I had really did change my life!

And I wouldn’t change that for the world! Here is the result! :D

The Solstice by Angel Rothamel 

It was time the family heard the whole Story on how their parents came together. 

Tyler and Pryl are busy preparing for the arrival of their family for the Solstice. A time of much joy that is tinged with sadness as the pair deal with a dear, pregnant friend who is dying. To help cope with the pain, and share the joy of themselves with their family, Tyler and Pryl agree that it’s time to reveal the whole Story of how Tyler, a Nature sprite forced to hunt for lazy villagers, came to be the husband of Pryl, a Water sprite who abhors hunting but loves Tyler’s voice. 

 THE SOLSTICE by Angel Rothamel
Available now at:
MLR Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
Bookstrand and All Romance eBooks

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Musings: Just get it done!

My sister is an artist, and a few months back posted this wonderful quote from Andy Warhol that really struck a chord with me. You see, he may be talking about art, but in a way writing is a form of art, isn’t it? I believe it is, which is why I’m thinking this quote needs to go on my wall as a reminder to stop second-guessing myself and just write.

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol


Sarah Grimm
where dangerously sexy & happily-ever-after collide 
Blog / Website

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Character Quickie: Brett Silverfeather

20 quickie facts about: Brett Silverfeather

Birthday? - October 4, Libra, I’m balanced.
Favorite color? - Green, like nature.
Nickname? - Chief, it’s a NA thing.
Birthmark or scars? - Bullet scar on the shoulder. A wedding present.
Siblings? - 1 brother, 2 sisters, all younger and pains in the butt.
City of residence? - Three Trees, Georgia, since birth.
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? - Cinnamon.
Occupation? - Sheriff
Hobbies? - Camping, horseback riding, reading, and mattress dancing.
Favorite song? – The South Is Going To Do It Again by Charlie Daniels Band
Name one item in your refrigerator right now? – Frozen dinners. Ginny cheats.
Your greatest fear? – That Ginny many come to her senses someday and leave me.
Most treasured possession? – A bone handled war knife with a beaded sheath.
Special talent? - *grinning* ask Ginny.
Cat or dog? – Dog/bear combo.
Pet peeve? – People who bully and abuse the weak.
Unforgettable moment? – My first sight of Ginny. She looked like a swamp rat.
Spicy or not? – very, very spicy in all things.
Favorite guilty pleasure? – sneaking a Pizza when Ginny isn’t around.
If you could ask your author one question, what would it be? – Why a powder blue VW bug? It’s downright embarrassing.

Brett Silverfeather is the hero in Sandra Dailey's new release, THE CHIEF'S PROPOSAL, available now from Amazon.

To learn more about Sandra Dailey and her writing please visit her BLOG.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekly Dose of Inspiration

Here's my inspiration for the week. Once the deadline for the current WIP is complete and submitted, I get to go back to Texas. 
Bye, y'all! Amie

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Too Many Ideas

Is that even possible? To have too many ideas? It is for me. Some of you may know that I write under two names. That's two muses to deal with, two sets of ideas, two Facebook, Twitter, blogs and websites to keep up with. It just goes on and on. But the worst part...or is it the best part...is I have too many ideas.

Sarah can attest/accuse/confirm that I am constantly emailing her with a "plan". But I'll be the first to say that my plans are sometimes not the best laid. But there is never a shortage of ideas. That was fine before I was published. I could start a story develop another, write a little on one, develop another, enter a contest and start all over again. But now it's different. I have to rein in Shirley, make her stay focused (and I'll tell you, she is worse ADD than I ever thought about being).

My only solution is to keep a running file for new ideas --for both of my genres. I let the idea flow when it comes, then get right back on task with the story I'm supposed to be working on. What about you? Too many ideas? Or two few? How do you handle it?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Down the Drain

I heard on the radio last Friday that this past weekend is the weekend when most New Year's Resolutions go down the drain. Mine died a quick and merciless death on January 2. Why? Deadlines. When I am under a tight deadline, everything else goes out the window. I realized on Saturday that I had been wearing the same clothes (yes, even to bed) for the last four days. (I'm not proud, I'm confessing.)

So why do I do this to myself? I make these plans to lose weight, get up every morning and make sure I have on mascara (whether I leave the house or not). And  bra? Fuggetabutit! On the flip side, why do I wait so long in getting my butt in a chair and pounding out the story that was so vibrant in my head just a few short months ago?
It 's not that I don't want to lose weight, get in shape, start Weight Watchers, clean through the house, start getting ready for a springtime garage sale, and get organized. (Sucks in a deep breath). I do. I even promised myself that I would do more for myself--monthly pedicures and manicures. And so far nada, except 60K on the current WIP.

But to those of you out there, there's still time. Each day is a day to start over. Each week, we can begin again. And to any of you out there working on a deadline, there's always February!
So tell me? Where are those New Year's resolutions? Safe and sound or Down the Drain?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Am I the only one who feels like they’re being pulled in a million different directions? I can’t be, can I?

Sometimes I get so caught up in all of the different roles I play, all of the different hats I wear, that I lose sight of myself. Of the things that I need in order to meet my goals and stay true to ‘me’.

How many hats do I wear? Let’s see…

Bookkeeper (let me add this one is for 6 different companies)
Tax Preparer (ok, so it’s only at year end, but hey, it’s on my mind right now)
Dog Groomer
Parts Gopher
Taxi Driver

There’s probably more, but you get the idea. Just looking at that list makes me think of the old saying ‘Make time to stop and smell the roses.’ I’d love to, really I would. But sometimes, there are too many hats to fit on my head at once. And the one that most often falls off? Unfortunately that would be ‘Writer’. *sigh*

If your list looks like mine, and it most likely does, how to you balance them all? How do you find the time to stay true to yourself? I’d love to know.

Sarah Grimm
where dangerously sexy & happily-ever-after collide 
Blog / Website

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Musings

An author friend and I were talking over the weekend about family, friends, and taking care of ourselves. During the course of the conversation she said something that reminded me of this poem - one I thought I would share with you today.

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;---
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;--a Fairy Tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.

~  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year! Hope this inspires you to put down the dust cloth (at least for today) and grab a drink, a Wii remote, or your favorite dance partner and have a little fin this afternoon!

New Year's Resolutions for Writers

Welcome to 2013. With a new year, most of us set our resolutions to lose weight or quite smoking. So popular is this custom that I found a list on the internet of the most popular resolutions that we make this time of year.
 1.       Stop Smoking 
2.      Get into a Habit of being Fit
3.      Lose Weight
4.      Enjoy Life More.
5.       Quit Drinking
6.      Organize yourself
7.       Learn Something New
8.      Get out of Debt
9.      Spend More Time With Family
10.   Help People.

All very good resolutions, but I fell that as authors we should have another set...just for writers. Here's my list:
1.       Stop procrastinating
2.      Get into the habit of being fit—take at least two online or in person classes
3.      Lose weight—by editing. Hone your editing skills and lose the extra words. I know this is easier said than done, but your writing will thank you for it.
4.      Enjoy life more—A writer never stops writing and inspirations are all around us. Keep a notebook in your car and/or purse. Use it  to jot down any ideas you have on the go, then get back to what you are supposed to be doing—grocery shopping, banking, or cheering on the little league baseball team. Also use your phones camera to take a  picture of the item of inspiration. Email it to yourself with just a few words about how the item made you feel to help you recapture the feeling you had later so you can get back to your life in that moment.
5.       Quit Drinking: Hemmingway said “write drunk, edit sober.”  I’m leaving this one up to you.
6.      Organize yourself: files, desk, notes. Clean your desk (or writing area) and move all reference books to the most convenient places. Also, clean through and organize or delete old files and pictures off your computer.
7.       Learn something new: try to write something in a new  genre—just a paragraph or two (not a story) to stretch your writing skills
8.      Get out of Debt: strive to make more money than you spend on your writing. Look for more free opportunities to promote yourself. (Like Off the Keyboard <g>)
9.      Spend more time with Family: set aside time for writing and time for family and stick to it. Of course there will be time when this won’t be possible. But having a plan in place will help keep your time sane and organized…for the most part.
10.   Help people: take this year to judge a contest. There are so many writers out there honing their craft and trying to write the best book possible. Help them by giving a little of yourself and judging a contest. I don’t know where I would be with my writing without the contests that I have entered in the past. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work, but it is so worth the effort. And very good for our “writer karma”.
Feel free to print it out, tweak it to suit your needs and place it somewhere you can view it  often.
Happy New Year!!