Interview with Flossie Benton Rogers

 

It’s such a treat to have Flossie Benton Rogers on my Blog today. She is the author of paranormal fantasy romances, and I absolutely love what she says on her award-winning website at www.flossiebentonrogers.com:

“Mysterious realms beckon me to play with more than what I see with my baby blues. If romance and adventure turn you on, you may be on the right lily pad!”

Hello, Flossie. Welcome!

FLOSSIE: Thank you for inviting me, Jennifer!

Flossie, the quote above reflects your wonderful blend of rich, well-drawn characters and fantastical settings in your Wytchfae Series.  These appealing heroes and heroines spice up the page: in Wytchfae #2, Guardian of the Deep, you feature a succubus named Layla, whose mission is seducing sleeping men. Nice work if you can get it! Pair her up with Samael, a sexy merman who rules the ocean, and you have an unbeatable adventure that sweeps readers off their feet and into another world.

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GUARDIAN OF THE DEEP

Blurb: A fiery succubus. A captivated undersea lord. With a shadow shifting demon hot on their trail, can they stay alive long enough to fall in love?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     ITunes 

Kobo          Inktera

Flossie, you weave mythology into your stories so beautifully. What do you have in your own author’s bag of tricks that help you do that? What’s your inspiration?

Flossie: Old myths and tales honor the high stakes of humans living in a multi-dimensional reality full of magical surprises we tend to take for granted. My bag of tricks includes an interest in rune casting, tarot, astrology, numerology, gemstones, and Reiki.

Let’s play a game I call the moment when… share with us where you were the moment when the concept for your Wytchfae series came about.

Flossie: Writing has been something I’ve done all my life. Inspired by successful authors I knew such as Loretta Rogers and encouraged by my husband’s faith, as well as his gift of a new laptop, in the summer of 2011 I decided I was going to become a published author. I knew I wanted to write a series where the heroines were related or connected in some way, were kick ass, and had special powers. From under the bed I dragged a moldy NaNoWriMo first draft as a starting point of inspiration. Before long a Viking ghost started “tramping through my living room.” He was Ingvar, soon to be hero of Wytchfae Runes, and he proved to be a handful and also a godsend. He more or less introduced me to his soon to be heroine, Kelly. As Kelly and Ingvar formed from the mist, so did the Wytchfae world of parallel dimensions and dark, interconnecting tunnels deep within the caverns of the underworld.

Where were you the moment when you became interested in mythology?

Flossie: My early affinity for fairy tales, reading, and ancient times naturally flowed into a passion for mythology and literature. I recall a certain orange tree. Secluded high inside its boughs as a child, I was the fairy guardian of its magic and beheld all manner of wonders and mysteries.

Years later, there was a moment in time when I realized my mythological “take on life.” In 10th grade history class, our teacher Mr. McGill posed the following scenario:

“The world maintains that 2 + 2 = 4. How do we know there is not a little green invisible man always taking away one number, and that 2 + 2 is not really 5?”

That stunning moment resonated with me as a deep truth. In my books I try to touch into the profound magic that often goes unrecognized and unseen.

How about the moment when you got your first contract. How long was the journey from aspiring writer to published author?

Flossie: My various email accounts aggregate to my phone. After submitting my first novel for consideration on May 17, 2012, I became a feverish, demented email checker, a state of frenzy that continued undiminished for several weeks. Nothing came. Nothing came. Nothing came. Or at least not from the hallowed publisher. The consideration time listed on the website passed by. Did they not like my book? Was it a terrible book? The most horrible book ever written? How could that be when I had such wonderful critique partners? Sighing and scrolling my email on the phone, I spied a clump of emails. They squatted there in bold print, UNREAD. My heart pounding, I tapped open a 3-day old email. It was from the hallowed publisher. She loved my book. She wanted to publish my book. She had attached a contract! My husband said, “I knew you’d do it.” The book came out October 17, 2012.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Flossie: Read, travel, paint, crochet, and spend time with my grandsons, my precious Snickerdoodles.

Favorite quote from one of your books?

Flossie: From Mind Your Goddess: Hell’s blaze. I must look like a mermaid in a mud bog.

What’s on the horizon for you?

Flossie: I’m branching out into lighter paranormal with one of my current WIPs. The setting is a small town in the mid 1950’s with the hero returning from the Korean War, and there is a mere touch of whimsy and the supernatural.

Thanks for joining us, Flossie. It’s been a pleasure.

Flossie: Thank you, Jennifer. You’re a fab hostess.

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Author Bio:

Flossie Benton Rogers shares her passion for mythical realms through sizzling dark fantasy romances with fairies, goddesses, witches, angels, and demons. Reiki, tarot, runes, and gemstones are sometimes part of the magical mix. Former library director and teacher, she is prodded on by her fur fae writing buddy, Marigold the calico.  Flossie’s birth chart features sun in Sagittarius with a Taurus moon and Libra ascendant, as befits a 5th generation Floridian and freedom loving mystic.

 

Social Media Links:

Website : http://flossiebentonrogers.com

Blog: http://flossiebentonrogers.com/blog/

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/FlossieBentonRogersAuthor

Twitter  http://twitter.com/FrostFyre

Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/Wytchfae

LinkedIn  https://www.linkedin.com/in/flossiebentonrogers

Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6553203.Flossie_Benton_Rogers

Amazon author page  http://amazon.com/author/flossiebentonrogers

Google+  https://plus.google.com/+FlossieBentonRogers/

Tumblr  http://flossiebentonrogers.tumblr.com

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Novelist Ronnie Allen

I’m delighted to have the brilliant and prolific Ronnie Allen keeping company with me today. She is the author of a unique psychological thriller series called, The Sign Behind the Crime.

**Special Treat! Ronnie will be available at 3:00 p.m. on my Author Page to give two minute Tarot Card Readings.**

Ronnie’s first two books in this series, Gemini and Aries, have released already, and she’s hard at work on Scorpio, book #3.

Here’s the back cover blurb of 

I really enjoyed Gemini, Book #1.

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Here’s the back cover blurb of Gemini:

“His life is exactly the way he wants it to be—until he meets her…
Both psychic and clairvoyant, Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who has a wife he worships and a position as a department head at a hospital for the criminally insane in Manhattan. His patients—young adult men, who are some of the most psychotic and psychopathic criminals in NYC—enable him to live his life on the edge, just the way he likes it. Then he meets a woman who changes everything.

She is two days from accomplishing the revenge she lives for—until she meets him…

Stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Gemini obsessed Barbara Montgomery, makes a critical mistake and is committed for seventy-two hours of observation, where she risks it all in an unnerving escape. Furious with Dr. Trenton for interfering in her life, she is now determined to kill his wife and unborn child, along with everyone else who has ever caused her pain—real or imagined.

As the killing spree continues, John is forced to use all his ESP, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to interpret this psychopath’s Gemini obsession and unravel her dark and murderous past. But can he track her down and bring her to justice—before she destroys his world completely?”

Ronnie, you take your readers on a gripping, edge-of-the-seat adventure, and I really enjoyed the experience of slipping into the mind of your antagonist. Would you call her a sociopath or a psychopath?

In Gemini, Barbara Montgomery is definitely a psychopath. There’s been so much research on the difference between sociopaths and psychopaths and to delve into it now, could take hours to do the conversation justice. For the sake of clarifying for the novel, this character exhibits personality traits such as killing without remorse, thinking she’s invincible, continuous lying where she actually believes her lies, very little emotionality in her daily life and that includes a very impersonal sex life to the point that she wouldn’t even feel any sexual energy thus everything is faked.

What has enabled you to delve so deeply into your characters?

I think a good portion of this comes from my psychology background. I’m a New York State licensed school psychologist and in my 33 year teaching career with the New York City Department of Education, I’ve worked with children and their families during the worst possible times. That meaning, children who had emotional issues, disabilities, children living in homes with drug addicted parents, abuse. I went through this firsthand trying to rescue and protect these children, and this actually led to my dedication of Gemini which is to all the teachers out there who protect and rescue children from the horrors of abuse they endure  in their lives.

Tell us about the moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer.

This actually goes back to childhood for me. Because I suffered from severe asthma, my parents were very overprotective, so therefore I stayed home a lot instead of doing childhood activities such as bike riding rollerskating,  getting together with other kids. I remember writing stories in my journals and I always had it in the back of my mind I think since I was about nine or 10 that I wanted to write a novel. Interestingly, in the late 1970’s I began a career in film and screenwriting as well as dabbling in some acting. I had been teaching since 1970 and being the hyper person that I am I wanted something to do after school so I went to screen writing and acting school in Manhattan. In the 90’s I began my journey into holistic health and I wrote and was published in nonfiction. It wasn’t until 2011 that the idea to write a novel hit again. I started Gemini in October 2011, received my contract in May 2014 and it was released in June 2015.

When did you realize you wanted to write a series?

I started writing Aries before I received the contract on Gemini. Therefore I used different characters because why continue the characters without a contract? Aries had gone through several title changes as I was working on my first draft. First I started a novel entitled Operation Destiny, and I actually got 50,000 words into it, which is quite a lot. I decided I had what we call in the writing industry and what publishers do not like is that ‘too stupid to live heroine.’ It was a DEA story. When Gemini got the contract I took a serious look at that manuscript. I reinvented the main character to be another forensic psychiatrist, used some of the scenes but not exactly (not even 2k of the word count) and a new novel, Khaos Rules, was born. Khaos for one of the main character in Aries,  Frank Khaos. My tagline is the ‘mind behind the crime,’ since I write psychological thrillers. In writing Khaos Rules a lot of Aries symbolism and references came through. That became an “ah ha” moment. How about this series being called the Sign Behind The Crime? I approach my publisher when Gemini was still in edits and they loved the idea and we went with it.

Where were you when you realized you were going to be published?

This is a side note. Because I listened to my critique partners and beta readers, Gemini was accepted by my publisher Black Opal Books after a relatively few number of submissions in the scheme of what the publishing industry could be. I was in my office, actually doing the household bills and I received an email at 9:06 PM on May 13, 2014 from my publisher saying they want to publish Gemini. My first response was to yell and scream so loudly that I’m sure my neighbors who are not that close heard me. Then I ran into my husband who was relaxing on his recliner in the den and he had a hard time calming me down. I still think I’m not down from that high.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned in your author journey?

It’s more stressful after publication with marketing, worrying about reader reception, than it was during the entire writing process and obtaining a publisher.

What was your most embarrassing moment as an author?

In all honesty, Jennifer, I haven’t had one yet. I don’t think I have a shy bone in my body and I’ve learned to become bullet proof which is an expression I learned from another business that I have.

I love that about you, Ronnie! What do you do when you’re not writing?

Taking care of my health and nutrition is primary to me and I’ve recently gotten into gluten-free baking, though I don’t eat the starchy carbs much anyway. Cooking is a passion and always has been. That was a good thing I got from my mom, so I’ve been posting a lot of my meals that I create on Instagram and I created a Pinterest board: My Gourmet Meals.

I also do a lot of my writing at the pool, where I do water aerobics.

What are you working on now?

I recently finished Scorpio which is now with my critique partners. The fourth book in the series, which I will tell you is called Libra, is writing itself in my brain and it’s a continuation of Scorpio.

Thank you so much Jennifer for having me today.

It’s been a treat, Ronnie. Thanks for sharing your author story.

Ronnie’s links:

Http://www.ronnieallennovel.com

Twitter @ronnieanovelist

IG @ronnieanovelist

Pinterest @ronnieanovelist

Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00YSLGOSY

LinkedIn Ronnie Allen, PhD

 

 

Interview with Katherine Smits

**Giveaway** **Giveaway** **Giveaway**

MEET MY GUEST AUTHOR:

Katherine Eddinger Smits grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Although not from a Greek background, she fell in love with the Greek culture of the town and its close-knit families. She moved away years ago, but she still visits Tarpon Springs frequently to see old friends and classmates, walk the beaches or shop and eat at the Sponge Docks.

Katherine started writing stories in grade school and always intended to write novels someday. However, she put off writing fiction while she raised her family and worked as a clinical social worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country. She was devastated to learn that her first career choice—mermaid, was not realistic. However, she found helping veterans and their families fulfilling, and managed to squeeze writing into her life. Whether it was recording clinical assessments, producing brochures for social programs, or putting together newsletters for clubs and organizations, she always had some kind of creative project in the works.

Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Water Dreams, Katherine’s debut novel, is a paranormal romance set in Tarpon Springs, Florida and is the first book in the Love’s Siren Song series.

 Good morning, everyone! I’m so happy to have debut romance author Katherine Eddinger Smits here with me today.  Water Dreams, her first book in the Love’s Siren Song Series, is a contemporary fantasy set in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Kathy is giving away two $5.00 Amazon Gift Cards-sweet! If you leave a comment, you’re in the running. Welcome, Kathy!

 Kathy: Thank you, Jennifer. I’m so happy to be here.

 Nik is a young woman with an ordinary life. Then one day she meets the hero, Bas, and she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery. One of the things she discovers is how strong she is. Here’s the blurb and the (yummy!) cover:

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Nik—an outwardly normal young woman terrified by water, living in the Greek-American town of Tarpon Springs, Florida.

 Bas—a shapeshifter merman tasked with obtaining Nik’s help to gain what his species most desires.

 The Nerei—a race of beings who want humans to continue to believe they are mythological.

What happens when Nik refuses to help Bas and the Nerei?

 How will Nik and Bas save each other when they fall in love, against his species laws? 

Kathy, you have a very unique hero. Tell us about him.

 Kathy: Bas is a shapeshifter merman. In water, he has a tail and other merman attributes. On land, he changes. He has legs and looks completely human, a totally hunky human. However, Bas has a problem. He and his people, who call themselves Nerei, have to return to the water frequently. They have to spend at least as much time in the water as they do on land and bathtubs and swimming pools won’t work. They need the water of the seas to restore them. This creates problems for them, not least of which is preventing humans from figuring out what they are. The Nerei have assigned Bas the job of convincing Nik, the heroine, to help them become independent of the water. Bas doesn’t like humans, but he’s attracted to Nik, who Bas knows is descended from both humans and Nerei. Unfortunately, Nik thinks he’s crazy, refuses to help him, and doesn’t want anything to do with him.

 Thanks for giving us that background. Now we’re going to play a game I call the Moment When:

Where were you the moment when you became fascinated with mermen?

 Kathy:  Wow, that’s a tough one. I became fascinated with mermaids when I was a child. I learned to swim at Weeki Wachee Springs, a theme park in Florida where women wear mermaid tails and perform an underwater show using only an air hose to breathe. I desperately wanted to be one of them when I grew up, but for a number of reasons, it wasn’t realistic as a career choice. I moved on (more or less, LOL), but never lost my fascination with mermaids. I decided to set my book in Tarpon Springs, the town where I grew up. It had to be a paranormal romance (my favorite genre), but I wanted something different from werewolves and vampires. The idea of shapeshifting mermaids and of course, mermen, seemed like a perfect fit.

 Bas has an air of mystery about him that I really like. I have a feeling we’ll learn more about him as the series unfolds. You’ve created such a vivid fictional world. Where were you the moment when you decided you would write this book?

Kathy: I was living in West Virginia. I had worked for twenty years as a clinical social worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs and retired. My children were on their own and my husband was commuting to Washington D.C. every day for work. I finally had time to myself and I decided to pursue writing as a second career. I started writing stories in grade school, like many writers. I always wanted to write novels but couldn’t find the time while I was working full time and raising children.

 What were you feeling the moment when your book released?

 Kathy: That’s easy, elation! Getting the email with the contract offer, seeing the gorgeous cover, reading the digital book on Amazon and then holding the print and hard cover copies in my hand were dreams come true.

I love the cover—very hot, and a perfect fit for your story. You and I both belong to Sunshine State Romance Authors, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

 Kathy: If you are serious about writing and want to publish, either indie or traditionally, my best advice is to join a writer’s group. I give Sunshine State Romance Authors all the credit for my publishing dream coming true. Yes, I had to write the book and submit the query letters and synopses to publishers, but I had no idea how to write the query letter or synopsis, which publishers to approach, how to polish my manuscript into a salable product, and much more. I learned so much from the group that I can’t even mention it all. More important is the support I received and still receive from my friends in SSRA. They are a fantastic group of people and I can’t thank them enough for all they do for me.

I also highly recommend Romance Writers of America, the umbrella organization of SSRA. It has so many educational programs, communities, and networking opportunities and sets the standard for professionalism in the industry.

 I totally agree with you, Kathy. Onto food (I’ll be honest. Food is never far from my mind): You grew up in Tarpon Springs, my favorite place to go for amazing Greek food. What is your favorite meal to have down by the docks?

 Kathy: I love Greek food and had to include some in the book. I hope it makes people hungry (evil villain chuckle). Moussaka, Pastitsio, Greek salad, Greek bread, Baklava, I love them all. My favorite is probably the bread. I could live on bread. 

 

It did make me hungry! I’ve been craving it ever since. Kathy, what’s on the horizon for you?

Kathy:

I’m currently editing my second book. The working title is Witch Trial Legacy. It’s a stand-alone, set in Cassadaga, Florida. It’s completely different from Water Dreams, but is also a contemporary paranormal romance. Instead of mermen, it has mediums, clairvoyance, fires, rip currents, healing touch, past life regression, and a handsome, tortured Iraq veteran who doesn’t believe in anything supernatural.

I’m also working on Book Two in the Love’s Siren Song series. It starts out in Greece and I’m excited about how it’s going. I plan to send the first chapter to anyone who signs up for my newsletter. It should go out in a couple of weeks. So, if you’re interested, head over to my website and fill out a contact form to be included in my mailing list. http://www.katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com

 Your stories sound amazing. I really look forward to reading them. Thanks very much for spending time with me today. Is there anything else you’d like to add, Kathy?

 Kathy: Thank you, Jennifer! It was my pleasure. Water Dreams is available from Amazon or my publisher www.foundationsbooks.com

 I hope everyone who reads the book will let me know what they think. Of course, I would greatly appreciate reviews, because they are vital to book sales. Thank you again.

 Social Media Links

Website: http://www.katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com/

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/KatherineSmits

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katherinesmits 

E-mail: katherinesmits@gmail.com  

 

Congratulations on your release of Water Dreams, Kathy!