Sunday, September 20, 2015
** Interview **
RW: How many hours a day do you spend writing?
ZR: As many as I can, which is easy or hard depending on the day of the week. My routine is to get up, do morning stuff (wash my face, brush my teeth, get some food), and then get myself situated with a snack and some water so I can write until my hubby comes home from work. That’s my routine on a day when I have nothing else going on. Fridays and weekends tend to be lost causes just because the hubby gets home early or has the day off on Friday and he wants to spend time with me.
RW: What is the best thing about being a writer?
ZR: The best part about being a writer is seeing my imagination come to life on the page. I get so into a story while I’m writing it, that later down the line when I read it again I can hardly believe the words came from me. I’m my first fan, so writing is a way to feed my need to read more.
RW: Why did you decide to write?
ZR: Waaaaaay back before I knew what e-books were, when e-books were still new for the most part, I had a hard time finding black heroines in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genre or anywhere else in Romance-land for that matter. I wanted to read about black heroines being whisked away to far off lands by space pirates or being haunted by a ghost lover and so on. Taking it one step further, I wanted to see black heroines in interracial relationships because that is the life I am living. Not finding any, I decided I would write some.
RW: How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
ZR: I would say about one experience or personality trait per book. Everyone always says write what you know, so I do. I have dreadlocks so a few of my heroines do as well. Any wackiness with my health (and there’s been a lot in the last few years) ends up in a book so my heroine can suffer with it as well. If something even remotely interesting happens in my life, I find a way to include it in my stories.
RW: If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
ZR: Japan. Specifically Osaka, Japan. I visited there as a study abroad student in college and would love to go back. I love Japanese culture (I’m an anime/manga geek) and the food is amazing.
RW: What is your secret guilty pleasure?
ZR: The erotic side of Tumblr—from puppies to porn in five seconds. I heard that joke and laughed until I visited the site. They aren’t kidding. Do a single search with the adult filter off and you’ll go from cute little puppies to boobs in your face in no time flat.
RW: How do you come up with story ideas?
ZR: The majority of the time my ideas start with the main characters arguing. Some sound while I’m walking or a phrase in a TV show will spark off an argument in my head between two people. But I come in at the middle of the argument and have to figure out what it’s about, how it got started, and how to resolve it. From there the story grows.
RW: After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
ZR: Yes and yes. I buy it just to see how it looks in Kindle, which is what I have. I read it but only after a few months. I have a rule of not reading my own stuff while it’s still new or else I’ll get obsessed with what I could have done differently. I would rather focus on the next book that needs finishing. But half a year later or so, I’ll be focused enough on a new story that I can read the published one and just be content with how it turned out. Well sort of. No artist is ever happy with the final product because there is always something that could have been improved.
VIP Room Service (Other Related Duties #1)
She offers satisfaction above and beyond what is requested.
Lexie's job as a maid at a five-star hotel doesn't normally include the unique and risqué form of room service that rich guest Mr. Malena has requested, nor the generous tip he's offered. Submission and exhibition and a ménage. Lexie can't resist. What should have been a one-time thing turns into an introduction into the sensual world of customer satisfaction. This is one workplace encounter that could get her fired...or will it?
NOTE: Title previously published as Wine Service (Professional Courtesy 1).
Genre: Contemporary BDSM Erotica, MFM, Exhibitionism/Voyeurism
Publisher: DZRB Books
Length: Novella—Approx. 83 Pages
$2.99 99¢ - On Sale! (30 Aug - 26 Sep 2015)
** Buy Links **
All Romance eBooks:
Smashwords (use coupon code FH44L at checkout to receive sale price):
** Read an Excerpt **
She widened her eyes, and her pleasure dropped to nil.
“Ah. Right on time.” Mr. Malena dialed off the vibrator, removed it, and set it aside. He called, “One moment.”
“What?” Lexie asked in a frantic whisper. She clutched at the comforter, debating if she should hide in the bathroom or under the bed. Had the server heard her? Had he recognized her voice?
She looked at her uniform draped over the back of the chair. He would know a housekeeper was with Mr. Malena. A housekeeper who was undressed with a wide variety of toys out in the open. No deductive reasoning was needed to figure out what was happening or who the housekeeper was.
Mr. Malena patted her belly. “Shhhh.” He held his finger to his lips. “Just relax.”
“I can’t relax,” Lexie whispered back. “He’ll see me.”
“No, he won’t.” He grinned. “Not your face, at any rate.” He urged her to lie back before draping a towel over her head. “There.”
“Shhhh. You don’t want him to recognize your voice, if you know him. So long as you stay still, he won’t see your face.”
“What about the rest of me? What about my uniform? And the cart outside?” Lexie could see her job ending. She should have known this was too good to be true.
“I’ll take care of it. Now hush.”
Clothing rustled. Lexie peeked under the towel in time to see Mr. Malena fold her uniform into one of the dresser drawers and close it. He slipped on a robe and then glanced back at her. She yanked the towel back down. She wanted to roll herself in the comforter. Wanted to and didn’t at the same time.
She only had to keep her face covered, and the server wouldn’t know who she was. The idea of letting a virtual stranger see her naked titillated her. Her clit throbbed and ached to be touched. She clutched at the towel and waited.
Mr. Malena opened the door. “Thank you, my good man. I am famished. This way.”
Lexie frowned. When had he ordered room service? Had he done it before she arrived and known it would get here while they were playing? He did seem less flustered by this turn of events than she was, as if he’d planned it.
The server asked, “Where do you want— Whoa!”
A long pause followed that exclamation. The server had seen her.
Want more? Read the full first chapter online at DRB1stChp Blog:
** Bio **
Zenobia Renquist is the alter-ego of D. Renee Bagby. Call her Zen or Renee; she answers to both. Air Force brat turned Air Force wife, she was born in Europe, has lived in Japan and in several states of the US, including Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, California, Maryland and Hawaii.
She moved a lot in her younger years and remembers all too well being the new kid in fish-out-of-water situations. But those experiences only made her better able to adapt, as well instilling a love of travel, preferring road trips over flying.
Turning her favorite pastime into her career, Renee loves to build worlds and torture her characters for the enjoyment of her readers. She can’t fill every day with writing alone, and also enjoys watching anime, reading manga, crocheting, knitting (yarn and mail), and binging shows on Netflix. She’s a Whovian (David Tennant for the win!), a trekkie (DS9 because Odo rocked), and a fan of pretty much every Marvel live action movie and DCU animated movie.
She has a wacky imagination and tends to write all over the place. In order to keep up, she only asks one thing—Leave Your Reality Behind to Discover Different and Unique Romance & Erotica.
Visit her website: http://zenobiarenquist.com
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZenobiaRenquist
Like her Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/Author.DRBagby.ZRenquist
Like her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Zenobia-Renquist/e/B002BWYVW8/
Review her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/zenobiarenquist
Get her Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/ZenobiaRenquist
Sign up for her Newsletter: https://signup.ymlp.com/signup.js?id=geusujygmguu
**Thanks so much for visiting today, Zen/Renee. Best of luck with your sales.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Welcome Christopher Mannino, author of “The Scythe Wielders Secret” Series. Be sure to stop next door at Roses & Thorns for my five rose review of the first book in the series, School of Deaths.
Excerpt: Sword of Deaths
The Death laughed. He waved his scythe and the world behind her vanished. Two immense eyes rose behind him, surrounded by leathery skin. She heard the beating of wings.
“You are weak,” said the Death. “You’re nothing at all, Suzie. Just a girl.” He laughed again.
“Leave me alone,” shouted Suzie. She walked forward but stopped as a sharp, shooting pain coursed through her.
“So weak, so worthless.”
“Go away! Leave me alone!”
The man, the strange eyes, and the entire world shattered, splitting into fragments of glass. Shards flew toward her, burrowing beneath skin. So much pain.
She looked down. The glass was gone. Markings covered each hand. The marks crawled upward, moving onto Suzie’s neck—strangling her.
Something clawed at her throat, pulling her down, ripping her apart. She gasped for air.
She exploded into a burst of light.
Sword of Deaths Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLoVdZE1eNxznn5u3iSW50uhg3fN085AHm&t=22&v=_Z8BVmMs7WM
THE SCYTHE WIELDER'S SECRET CONTINUES
Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death. Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths vie for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship carrying scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.
Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?
Sword of Deaths, the second novel in the critically acclaimed YA Fantasy trilogy "The Scythe Wielder's Secret," is now available from MuseItUp Publishing in both e-book and paperback formats. In Sword of Deaths, Mannino delves deeper into the world and characters introduced in the first novel. The novel is told from three rotating points-of-view, and for the first time, the conflict with Dragons is fully realized. The style becomes darker, and far more epic, as the series moves towards a momentous climax in the final book Daughter of Deaths.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE SERIES SO FAR
(Praise for School of Deaths: The Scythe Wielder's Secret Book One)
"Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!"—Reader's Favorite
"With a well-developed setting, strong characters, a fairly fast moving plot, and snappy dialogue, this novel should keep readers engaged from the beginning to the end. Five Stars."—BookBreeze Magazine
"Let's start with one simple statement: Wow! This book, the characters and the world created by Mannino is absolutely spectacular."—Kay, GoodReads Review
"This book's world is brilliant, and the author's creativity is more than amazing, and the way he conveyed his imagination was just stunning."—OnlineBookClub
School of Deaths Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=15&v=3AeszKiTz0k
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.
Mannino is currently completing The Scythe Wielder's Secret series and is working on several adult novels.
Learn more about Mannino and his novels, including trailers and purchase links at:
Sunday, August 16, 2015
A few years ago we had a terrible summer here in the UK. It rained endlessly, and several major cities were flooded. It just so happened that as the downpours began, I was on my way on holiday, to southern France, and so I escaped all of it. I caught the train home on my last day at work, as usual, and remember my anxiety at the water level creeping nearer and nearer the tracks as we passed by our local river.
The very next week, I was in a completely different location. The skies were a bright, cloudless blue and the Mediterranean glittered under the sun. What a contrast with the gloomy and foreboding weather I’d left behind me. As I explored the south coast of France, I began to think as all writers do: how can I turn this wonderful scenery into the setting for a story?
The mixture of gloom and clear, bright skies took a hold in my mind. Whilst in the south of France I took the opportunity to visit the tiny principality of Monaco, and when I saw the Palace, and the guards parading in their white uniforms, a story began to take root. Now that story has been fleshed out, and has become a novella, full of suspense and romance, and solidly based in the wondrous light of the Mediterranean.
Here’s an excerpt, to give you a flavour of the surroundings:
It was eleven o’clock precisely. Daria dropped back to let me pass. The heat rose in waves from the stone flags, and a bright sun beat down on my bare head as I stepped through the doors. I blinked in the unaccustomed light, casting a brief glance at the blue sky I had only seen through glass for five long weeks. To my starved eyes, its colour was a miracle of purity.
|Palace at Monaco--Image Courtesy of Pixabay|
The carriage was waiting, gleaming gold in the sun like something from a fairy tale. Two white horses, large and proud, snorted and stamped at its head. Everything had the quality of a dream, and it seemed to me as though I were outside my own body, gazing down at Princess Charlotte of Montverrier as she left for her ceremony.
And then Léon was by my side, and the cool fabric of my dress floated around my ankles as he handed me into my seat. I felt Léon’s fingers press mine—the merest touch of reassurance—before he followed lightly behind me. I sank back into the carriage’s blue silk seat, and the horses swept through the gates.
Léon’s attention turned to the crowds as we emerged onto the avenue. A great roar went up, and in the bright Mediterranean sun everything took on a vibrancy and intensity such as I’d never before experienced. The bright green of the poplars stirring gently overhead, the vivid sky where seagulls whirled and cried, the gold and blue of the Montverrier colours, hanging from every lamp-post. The crowds waved and called out to me from behind the barriers. I leaned forward, returning their well wishes in the manner I’d practised so long, with a smile and a graceful wave, palm forward, the fingers of my hand slightly spread. Children sat on their parents’ shoulders, clutching flags, whilst others clung to the slender trunks of the poplars.
The carriage rattled down the avenue before rounding the corner into the square between the Mediterranean and the Cathedral. What a magnificent sight lay before us! The sea was a glittering expanse of brilliant blue and silver in the sunlight, and the stones of the great Cathedral a blinding white. A red carpet had been laid down for my arrival, lined on each side by trumpeters dressed in gold and blue. A group of maids-in-waiting, all in white, were at the bottom of the Cathedral steps to greet me. As we drew to a halt, a voice crackled in Léon’s ear-piece, and he spoke into his device. And then the carriage door was open, and two footmen helped me alight. The maids-in-waiting darted forwards to arrange my dress with deft fingers while the trumpeters sounded their welcome. Another great cheer went up from the waiting crowds, and it was time to begin the long procession into the Cathedral.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my excerpt, and a small taste of the brilliant heat and warmth of the south of France. Here is the blurb to Palace of Deception:
A sinister housekeeper, a silent bodyguard, and a missing princess—mystery and intrigue in a gripping romantic suspense
When Princess Charlotte of Montverrier disappears on the eve of her Investiture, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting job of her life.
But in the run up to the ceremony, all is not what it seems in the Palace of Montverrier. Why does the housekeeper insist Lizzie keep to her suite of rooms? What danger lies outside the palace walls? As Lizzie learns her role, her only confidant is Léon, her quiet bodyguard…but what secrets is he keeping from her? And above all, what has happened to the missing Princess?
Mystery and suspense against the backdrop of a beautiful Mediterranean city.
Palace of Deception is available in several international sites on Amazon, especially the following…
Other formats will be released in November.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my escape from the rain, and my romantic suspense! If you’d like to hear more, you can find me on my website www.helenafairfax.com, on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HelenaFairfax, or on Twitter https://twitter.com/HelenaFairfax
You’re very welcome, Helena!