Friday, October 21, 2016

#interview with @delisi

I am pleased to introduce Elizabeth Delisi who is joining us today on Maya’s Musings.

Q: Tell us something about yourself.
A: Hi, Maya! Happy to be here. I’m married with three children and three grandchildren. I live in New Hampshire and love it! Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, along with knitting, Tarot, and watching old movies.

Q. How did you get into writing?
A: The first story I wrote was when I was in 1st grade. The teacher had given us a take-home spelling assignment. One little girl wrote a story instead, and the teacher praised her effort. I said I wanted to write a story too, but I was told I couldn’t. Well, I *did* write a story anyway…but I also did my spelling assignment.

Since then, I’ve always enjoyed writing, whether I worked on fiction, poetry, or papers written for various school assignments. I was the only kid in class who, when told to write a paper, said “Yes!” I wrote my first novel—well, about half of a very short novel—when I was in 8th grade. After that, I was completely hooked.

Q. How do you develop your plots and characters?
A: Usually, something I read, watch or hear sparks the basic idea of a plot. Often that includes taking the actual event and using the words, “What if?” That’s a start. Once I have a rough idea of the road the plot might take, the main characters become clear.

For some reason, the plot always comes first with me, the characters appearing second. I do jot things down as they occur to me in a loose outline form, whether it’s a plot point, a question to research, or bits of dialogue. I rely on it as I write, changing or adding to the outline as required.

Q: What inspires you to write?
A: My main inspiration is that I love to read. Reading has been a great pleasure for me throughout my life, and when I write, I am able to give back a little of that pleasure and pass it on to other readers.

Q: Who is your all-time favorite character (from a book) and why?
A: Ooh, tough one. My first instant thought is Scarlett from GONE WITH THE WIND. I do admire her strength and stubbornness. But she’s a little too selfish for me. Kivrin, the heroine in Connie Willis’s book DOOMSDAY BOOK, is brave and never gives up, no matter how bad things become. But in flashing a glance over my bookshelves, I find the person I admire the most is Anne Frank, author of DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL. She displayed the courage and wisdom of a much older person in the face of certain tragedy, and the world is the poorer for her loss.

Q: Do you prefer coffee or tea?
A: Tea if it’s the right flavor of black tea; or coffee drinks with other things mixed in. Like chocolate!

Q: What’s better than chocolate?
A: Um…nothing?

Q: If you believed in this sort of thing and could channel an artist from the beyond, who would it be and why?
A: Another tough one. If you mean artist as in one of the arts, I’d say the person I’d most like to bring back would be my dear friend Lynne, who passed away suddenly of an unexpected blood clot not long ago. She loved to write, and had some success with essays in Chicken Soup and other anthologies. She was working on a middle grade novel, and was so excited about it. I will never stop missing her, and wondering what glorious books the world will now be without.

Q: What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: The future is always a bit nebulous. But I hope in five years to be still writing, with my husband retired and we’re living in the house we plan to build for our retirement up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Q: Any advice for those aspiring novelists out there?
A: Never give up. Read, read, read, and write, write, write. Try to read critically, to discover how your favorite authors achieve the effects they get. Then put them to use in your own work.

Thanks for your time, Elizabeth.

My pleasure! Thanks for hosting me, Maya.

Friday, October 14, 2016

#Romance travel to Lake Arrowhead by @RowlandKathleen

Blurb for Deadly Alliance, romantic suspense

Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspects she knows about his company drain and hires her.

Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.

Chapter One from Deadly Alliance
“You know I love your sportswear designs, right?”
“I’m glad you do.” Amy Kintyre sat opposite a buyer, none other than Kira Radner, at a coffee shop in Lake Arrowhead, California. This sudden opportunity to re-launch her sportswear designs gave rise to the jitters, and Amy clutched her hands under the table.
Kira pressed her face forward, Amy’s sketches drawn on figures in action poses. With the portfolio spread between them, she flipped it sideways to examine the fabric swatches stapled along the sidebar. Their earthy tones blended with the marred wooden table.
Amy stilled the chatty urge.
“You know your presentation is in two weeks.” Kira was giving her the green light with Recreational Sportswear, Incorporated.
“I appreciate this, Kira.” To get her business back on track, she needed blocks of time to sew mockups. Amy inhaled the spicy aroma of the raw cedar wood. The under-construction d├ęcor of wide, timber planks on the walls made her think of her new self.   Crazy how thirty felt like seventeen when embracing life and freeing her artistic side.
“Then I beg you,” Kira said, “please, please, please have your product samples ready. Deadline is the first Monday of November.”
“Got it.” Fear over the tight time frame tasted sour in her throat, but this break called like no other.
Kira leaned forward. “Impressive functionality with the shorts. Who would have thought this pocket holds a Swiss Army Knife!” The buyer’s fingertips traced the pick-stitch hem, made with thread matching the fabric, appearing invisible. “Nice detail.”
Amy’s only mock-up kept their face-to-face meeting running like the hum of the fluorescent lights above.
“Oooo,” Kira said and raised both her eyebrows. “Classic nostalgia with a twist. A pocket knife for hikers!”
“Useful, I think.” The bright light flickered over associates who’d worked together in the past, but Amy didn’t share the difficulty of making the deadline. Her breathing shortened, and panic carved a hole in her chest.
“Gotta bounce,” Kira said. “Get to work.”
“I will.” She pulled out a notebook and jotted down a to-do list ending with the file with various size patterns. After a half-hour of regrouping and rethinking, she stopped tapping her pen. Kira Radner took a chance on her, but to turn this chance into a reality, she needed evenings and weekends to make the deadline.
Last Sunday while pouring over Craigslist classifieds, she’d zeroed in on Finbar Donahue’s bookkeeping ad. After her inquiry, his head accountant sent her a message. She still favored the toe she stubbed after her in-box pinged.
Thanks to what happened, the call from Kira, she needed Finn’s job. Her mind raced to her third interview for his nine-to-five. Tomorrow morning, if all went well, she’d land the regular-hours job, tailor made for her time frame. She ran a hand through her hair, picturing the arrogant know-it-all with a never-ending string of women hanging on his arm.
Handsome wasn’t the word to describe Finn, her late, ex-boyfriend’s partner. She’d been around Finbar Donahue enough to know he looked at his world as if he were the Almighty himself. The former Army Ranger made her way too nervous. She tensed up to such an extent, her voice broke.
Romance wasn’t part of this equation. Her dream to launch herself, stitch by stitch, came down to landing the job. On a mission, her goal was simple. She closed her eyes and prayed tomorrow she’d nail it.
Deadly Alliance buy link:
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How about romantic travel to Lake Arrowhead, California, where Deadly Alliance takes place?  Fall colors mix with evergreens around this pristine mountain lake. Bring a picnic basket and rent a pontoon!

Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts.   Lily’s Pad and the Intervenus Series: A Brand New Address and Betrayal at Crater’s Edge are sweet.  Deadly Alliance and her work-in-progress, Unholy Alliance, are contracted with Tirgearr Publishing and written for adults.

Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels.   She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji.  Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.

Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors.  While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write.  If you’d enjoy news,  sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at