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November 26, 2013
Wow! Where do I start? 18 years ago, my mother and I only dreamed of writing a novel, let alone getting it published. Our dreams of becoming mother/daughter published authors was just something we fantasized about. Now we’ve both published not only our debut novels, but their sequels as well.
Reflecting back over the last 18 years, I realize how much hard work went into our first books: Make Old Bones for my mother and Carbon Copy for me. The hardest part for me was starting. I thought about it for 8 years before I finally started writing. The next hardest part for me was finishing. I spent 5 years writing Carbon Copy. My mother was the reason I started and finished it. I always tried to have a chapter for her to read whenever we planned a visit. Then the next hardest part about the writing process was the waiting. Although I was blessed to find a publisher within six months of finishing Carbon Copy, it was another 2 and half years in editing before it was finally released in June 2012.
Now that we both have the same awesome publisher, Wild Child Publishing, the writing and editing are much easier for the both of us. I’ve recently finished writing my fifth book, Silver Lining, the epic conclusion to the Carbon Copy trilogy, while my mother is almost finished writing the fourth book in her bone series - The Bonnie, Bonnie Bone. My mother and I are case in point that hard work, patience, and determination, can make your dreams come true. We couldn’t have done it without each other’s constant encouragement all of these years.
So now that we’ve had our dream of being mother/ daughter published authors come true, what’s our next dream? I still dream big. I’m looking forward to having both of our books out in print so that we can do book signings together. And although I loathe public speaking, I can’t wait to do a mother/daughter presentation at a writer’s conference. Thank goodness my mother is an award winning Toastmaster. I’ll just smile, nod, and show cleavage. We’re brainstorming a co-authored book which is a prequel to Carbon Copy and Make Old Bones. The characters in our books are related. My heroine, Lilly, is the niece of my mother’s heroine, Clarice. The title will contain both a “bone” and an “element”.
My biggest dream of all is to have one of my books get made into a movie. My mother and I promised to be each other’s “plus one” if either of our book movies get nominated for an academy award for best adapted screenplay. And yes, I’ve mentally started writing my acceptance speech. Who knows what the future holds for our books, but the best part of all is that I’m enjoying this wonderful journey with my mother. I love you, Mom!
Terri Talley Venters,
Author of Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, Body Of Gold, Copper Cauldron, and Silver Lining
Terri received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Florida. She is a licensed CPA and a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with her husband, Garrison, and their two sons.
Terri has two other published works available from Wild Child Publishing. Carbon Copy and its sequel, Tin Roof, plus her unrelated novella, Copper Cauldron. She recently finished writing Silver Lining, the epic conclusion to the Carbon Copy trilogy, coming soon from Wild Child Publishing. Her romantic/suspense novel, Body Of Gold, is coming soon from Freya’s Bower. Terri also posts free short stories on her website each month. www.ElementsOfMystery.com. Follow her as she weaves her way through the Periodic Table of Elements.
Terri is the daughter of Leslie S. Talley, author of Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone which are also available from Wild Child Publishing.
For the purchase links and more info about Terri’s books, visit her website.
My daughter Terri’s interest in writing was sparked by a writers’ conference we attended in Melbourne, Florida, when she was in high school. Years elapsed during which time she mulled over an idea for a series which became Elements of Mystery.
Meanwhile, I had published travel pieces and a few short stories, but the publication of my mystery novel, Make Old Bones, eluded me. It had won first place in the mystery/suspense category at the Space Coast Writer’s Guild in 2000. Finally in 2008 Terri and I attended a conference sponsored by the North Florida Writers’ Association at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Make Old Bones once again won first place in the Lighthouse Book Awards for mystery/suspense. Terri was so proud, she cried! That spurred me on; that spurred her on. She finished writing her mystery novel, Carbon Copy. She hoped to ride in on my coattails. The opposite happened.
She submitted to Wild Child Publishing, an electronic publisher; I had never thought of doing that. When her book was accepted, I submitted also and was accepted. Since then we have critiqued each other’s work. She is my biggest fan! We feed off each other. My main characters, Otis and Clarice Campion, became her main character, Lilly Allen’s, Uncle Otis and Aunt Clarice. When we are together and we hear an interesting turn of phrase, we both screech, “I call it!”
One way I may have unconsciously influenced her is by setting, or a sense of place. According to my professor, Dr. Richard Adicks from Literature of the South at the University of Central Florida, there are six prominent features in Southern writing: a sense of history or of the past; a sense of religion or original sin; a sense of the grotesque; a sense of place; a sense of family or genealogy; and agrarian, or rural.
I write from a sense of place. Set your novel in a unique setting, and all manner of ideas pop up. Terri imbibed this from somewhere. Her first novel is set in New York and the Florida Keys, the sequel in Charleston. Her upcoming takes place in Scotland. My first takes place in Daytona Beach, the second in St. Augustine, the third in Ireland, and my work-in-progress in Scotland. We both have hurricanes and castles figuring prominently.
Even though we are much alike we have differences. My degrees are in English with some nursing thrown in. Hers are in Accounting and Taxation. She comes up with better plots. And while my mysteries are Cozies, hers are more modern.
But the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, to be trite! Great minds, and all that!
Author of Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone
Leslie Talley received her B.S. in Nursing from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, where she subsequently taught, as an adjunct, Technical Writing and Business Writing for ten years.
Leslie and her husband Luke have two children: Terri Talley Venters, Wild Child author of Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, and Copper Cauldron; and Damon Talley, video conference lead at Harris Corporation. Leslie and Luke have lived in Titusville, Florida, for forty-five years.
Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone are both available from Wild Child Publishing, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com. Purchase links can be found on her website. http://www.makeoldbones.com/
November 21, 2013
Thanks so much for having me back, Jenn! I’d like to share a bit about my latest release, Dangerous Proposition, and talk about one of my favorite elements in romance novels—danger.
A huge fan of Romantic Suspense, I love to test the waters by adding lots of danger to my stories. Danger adds suspense by virtue of its very nature. And what better way to bring a reluctant hero and heroine together than by throwing them into a situation where both are fearing for their lives?
Even more so than in my other titles, I really wanted to play up the element of danger in Dangerous Proposition. My initial goal was to create a story in which the hero and heroine would end up held captive together in a room, believing it would be their last night, and act on their burning attraction accordingly. Consequently, I had to create a dangerous world for heroine Julia Dyson and hero Colin Westwood, one in which there were many unanswered questions, deep hidden feelings, and an attraction that is burning so hot, it’s literally about to go up in flames!
Dangerous Proposition opens with Julia and her best friend Abigail walking into Julia’s father’s office. Tucker Dyson has been abducted and the only clue left behind is a man’s name in his caller history, Julia’s teenage crush Colin Westwood. Colin, who is extremely attracted to Julia upon meeting her, says that he is her father’s superior in the FBI and agrees to bring Julia to New York with him while he searches for Tucker. What Colin does not reveal is the world of secrets he’s actually keeping. Let the danger begin!
Danger, when used best in Romantic Suspense, elicits fear, which can spur a looming attraction between a hero and heroine. As I’m writing this post, I’m reading Trust Me by Brenda Novak. In Novak’s story, heroine Skye Kellerman is being terrorized by the man who tried to rape her years ago. Hero detective David Willis is forced to let go of the burdens holding him back in order to come to Skye’s aid. A terrifying situation leads to the two falling into each other’s arms and giving into their helpless attraction for one another, something which occurs much more quickly given this added element of suspense. In fact it doesn’t just occur quickly—the danger element can heat-up that first love scene, making it downright scorching!
Even the smallest element of danger can cause a reluctant hero to bring out his best side—his protective one. A hero’s unconscious need to protect is heightened exponentially when there’s danger, especially if the heroine he’s attracted to is at the crux of it. Danger has the potential to take a shy, reluctant, arrogant or otherwise oblivious man and turn him into what we all love—a hero! What a powerful element indeed!
November 13, 2013
Today's Teaser Tuesday is with author Jessica Lauryn.
One lucky commentor will receive an ebook copy of one of her novels-WINNER's CHOICE!
Enjoy & Comment
In the course of one disastrous evening, diamond smuggling kingpin Colin Westwood learns that his best recruit is missing in action, and that the man has been keeping a secret for years—he has a twenty six year old daughter. Determined to protect his identity, Colin vows to find the young woman, and keep her silent at any cost. Intrigued to learn that she is actually the attractive woman he kissed, he makes Julia an offer. Come to New York City with him to search for her missing father…as his mistress.
When Julia Dyson learns her father has been abducted, she believes his hidden profession may be to blame. But when she discovers a man’s name in her Dad's caller history, a man suspected of shady business activity and also her teenage crush, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She confronts her father's presumed abductor, resulting in an unforgettable kiss, and his offer of a dangerous proposition indeed.
Though becoming Colin’s mistress could very well be her undoing, Julia must choose—give in to her desires, or protect her already-broken heart…
Feeling as though he were on the brink of an explosion, Colin said, “Did that guy—I mean—Dylan Rossler didn’t…you and he didn’t—”
“Of course not! Holy crap, Westwood. What kind of girl do you think I am?”
“One who clearly has a death wish,” Colin muttered under his breath.
“Me?” Julia exclaimed. “I went over there to save your ass. Not the other way around.”
“Which you were obviously doing a phenomenal job with while you were locked inside that bedroom.”
Her chin squared. “You may have been the one to kick the door down, but I would have gotten out of that room with or without your help.”
“If you really believe that Julia, then you really are naïve. Do you realize what Dylan Rossler would have done if I hadn’t gotten there when I did? Allow me to clue you in since you’re obviously not aware. Because it’s the same thing every other red-blooded bastard at that party wanted to do to you!”
“You mean—” she bit her lip, “that he—”
“Was planning on having sex with you? Of course, Julia, of course those guys thought you were sexy, of course Dylan Rossler wanted to have sex with you! I’m not blind. I can see what’s right in front of me. Any man at that party who didn’t want you was either gay or in a drunken coma!”
Her blue eyes narrowed and Colin bit his tongue. He hadn’t intended to say all that out loud. Hadn’t intended to say any of it, in fact. But he was glad it had happened because he was done holding back.
There was something between him and Julia. A need that ran deep, and had been building since that night in his bed. Sometimes it seemed as if it had been longer, particularly at moments such as this when he wanted nothing more than to toss her onto the bed, rip off that damned cocktail dress she was wearing and sample every last inch of her skin.
He’d wanted to keep his desires to himself, wanted to keep things simple between them. The complications they were risking were great, and God knew he hated the idea that he was taking advantage of Julia when her father was missing. But right now, he couldn’t seem to think about those things. And after everything they’d been through tonight, he was no longer sure that holding back was going to be possible.
“Does ‘every other red-blooded bastard’ include you?” Julia asked, blinking her blue eyes furiously.
Colin took a staggered breath. Narrowing his gaze, he approached her with two hastened steps. “If you didn’t want me to behave like a red-blooded bastard, Julia,” he whispered, “then, you shouldn’t have worn this dress.”
Her eyes opened wide and he swooped in, capturing her lips with his. Tasting the sweetness of her mouth, his last bit of willpower escaped him. He kissed Julia with everything he had been holding back, running his fingertips through her hair, drawing her against him as though he could somehow claim her as his own.
As he dipped his tongue into her mouth, Julia released a squeal; one he couldn’t quite tell was in protest, or desire. Wanting to believe more than anything that it was the latter, Colin drew back. He’d waited so long to have her; he needed to know that she was hungering for him as much as he was her.
“I’m going too fast,” he said, sounding much more out of breath than he had expected himself to. “If you don’t want this, or if you’re not sure—”
“I’m sure,” she said, cutting him off with a smile that melted his insides. “I want this too, Colin. I have for a long time.”
“You mean since the night you snuck into my bed?” Recalling with vivid clarity the way her warm silhouette had felt, becoming hard at the thought of it, he said, “Because I’ve never been able to stop thinking about that night.”
Julia’s porcelain face grew crimson. A sexy grin formed on her silken lips. “Neither have I,” she said. “But actually, that wasn’t the first time I saw you.”
“It wasn’t?” He raised a thoughtful brow.
“No,” she said, glittering eyelids turning downwards. Taking a deep breath, she said, “When I was sixteen, I worked as a maid at the Westwood Inn. When I was finishing up for the day, I used to come by the lobby. I’d see you sign for your father’s money, and…I’d watch you. Unable to take my eyes away.”
Colin’s irises widened three sizes. Desmond was right—Julia had once worked at one of his father’s hotels. But the wildcard, the very intriguing wildcard was that she’d had a crush on him at the time. A teenage crush she had apparently been carrying around a good portion of her life. Though he knew there hadn’t been much about him that would have impressed a woman in his early twenties, the fact that Julia thought there was gave him an immense amount of satisfaction and pride.
How such an attractive woman had been so closely in his vicinity and he hadn’t noticed her was beyond him. If Julia had been half as beautiful as she was now, he would have remembered her for sure.
And then, it hit him. The young woman who’d knocked the supply cart down the lobby staircase. That was why he felt as if he’d seen her before. Julia Dyson was certainly true to form, at least in terms of the bold incidents she seemed to be responsible for causing. He remembered that day well, as he had spent most of the afternoon explaining to his father that he had witnessed the incident personally, that the wheel of the supply cart had locked, making the incident no one’s fault and the maid should not be fired.
“Some of my finer moments, I’m sure,” he said, offering a debonair smile.
Julia gave him a thorough once-over. “Oh, I don’t know. You looked pretty fine to me.”
Ignited by her suggestive words, Colin gleamed. Taking Julia’s hands in his, he pressed a kiss to her knuckles. He slipped an arm around her waist, drawing her close. “And what do you think of me now, Julia?”
She hid her eyes. Not about to let her get shy on him now, he slid his cheek against hers. He planted a kiss against her delicate earlobe, tickling it with the tip of his tongue.
Good God. She tasted like vanilla and jasmine, and he found himself wanting to sample her as though she were a piece of candied pie. Exploring her soft skin, Colin re-acquainted himself with her scent, the evidence of which had been the only reminder of her presence that had been left behind on his pillowcase.
“I…I think you’re incredible,” Julia said, words coming on a breath.
Fire ignited within him. For two agonizing months, he had wanted her. Wanted to hold her, to feel her body against his. He was going to undress and savor every inch of her perfect figure. And then he was going to explore every last one of her secret treasures—the peaks of her breasts, the crevices of her thighs.
Julia Dyson was the most infuriating woman he had ever known. She was also the most beguiling. Now that he knew she wanted him too, there was nothing keeping him from experiencing everything she had to offer.
“Then, let me know show you how incredible I can be.”
Siren BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/jessica-lauryn
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