Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring On 2011: My Goals for the New Year!

I'll have to say that I'm looking forward to putting 2010 behind me. Not because it was a bad year for me. After all, I did manage to find a great publisher for The Paris Secret! But I'm excited about 2011 and the new writing projects I'm working on. It's been 3 1/2 years since my last publisher dropped me and I finally feel like I'm getting my writing career back on track. So here is what I've got planned for the new year:

Writing-Duh! That's a no brainer ; ). I'm going to be really ambitious and try to get 3 books done in 2011. I'm going to finish Clipped, the first book in a new urban fantasy series, begin the sequel to The Paris Secret, and a YA novel that has been percolating for two years. I'm a slow writer so this will be a challenge to say the least. Oh, and the fifth book in my Kendra Clayton series but technically that doesn't count because it's finished and just needs editing.

Meet New Authors-I'm very shy. This is something I've struggled with all of my life. But the Internet is made for people like me. I've met some really great people online (I'm looking at you Shirin Dubbin!) and I hope to meet many more.

Reading-I didn't get as much reading done this year as I would have liked. But I was happy to discover some great new to me authors this year and hope to discover many more next year. Here's who I enjoyed reading this year in no particular order:

Ernessa T. Carter
Jennifer Donnelly
Shirin Dubbin
Karen Marie Moning
Meljean Brook
Lee Carroll
Kirsten Miller
Catherine Fisher

Change My Eating Habits-I refuse to diet. But I know I need to lose weight. I need to find a way to make permanent changes in my eating habits that can live with for the rest of my life. I'm not getting any younger and being overweight is just not healthy. I'm not trying to be a size six but a big change is in order.

Have a Positive Attitude-It's true! I'm not always the most positive person. I tend to hold on to old hurts and grudges. I need to learn to let the negative stuff go and move on. I truly believe like energy attracts like energy but sometimes it's so hard for me to put that into practice. Going to really try next year.

So, what are your goals for 2011? I'll chose a random commenter to win a copy of The Paris Secret!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Character Interview: Ciaran Letang from Dream's Dark Kiss!

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Ciaran Letang, the heroine of Shirin Dubbin's paranormal romance novella, Dream's Dark Kiss, which releases today!

AH: Welcome Ciaran! Please tell us a bit about yourself. For instance, how do you pronounce your name?

CL: Hullo Angela! Thanks for having me. It’s KEER-un, from the old Gaelic, and means “little dark one”. [holds out arms] Well, mum hit that one on the head.

I have two jobs. During the day I manage an up market hotel. Through the night I carry out psychopomp duties and ferry the dead to the otherside. It’s freaky, I know, but it’s meaningful. The best bit is the “last hurrah” where a soul does something exhilarating before departing. Souls are always joyous in that final moment.

AH: What similarities do you share with author Shirin Dubbin and what are your differences?

CL: Shirin and I aren’t similar at all, although we are cousins. She’s slow to anger and I’m quick tempered. She’s a true southern American and I’m a London girl for true. We have a lovely relationship though—lots of laughs and love.

AH: Oh, I didn’t know you were cousins! That’s so sweet! How did you become a soul conductor?

I actually have no idea. [she laughs] I think it’s a right of birth. Something to do with spiritual proclivity, but I’m postulating ‘cause I’ve never meet another psychopomp/soul-conductor. Have you?

AH: Nope. You’re the only one!

CL: There you have it. I wouldn’t mind meeting someone who understands the life. The Dreaming started pulling me in around the age of ten. Can you imagine dreaming you’ve escorted Mrs. Braithwaite—from down the road—to her final reward only to wake up and find she choked on a toffee during the night? Terrifying.

AH: I’ll bet! As well as conducting souls to the other side, your day job is managing a London hotel. What do you find appealing and unappealing about both of your jobs?

CL: Ah, well, working with wealthy clientele invites all manner of eccentricity: rockers and diplomats strolling the halls in the nude (you’d be surprised how often that happens); heiresses playing call girl for the weekend. But there are just as many perks. I’ve been loaned villas in Tuscany for holiday and given luxury thank you gifts. One client, a princess, sent me an Alexander McQueen silk kimono jacket. God bless her soul.

The dead are eccentric as well. I’ve witnessed several last hurrahs that had me blushing like a smacked arse. Thank goodness, I don’t work with the baddies. I don’t know who escorts them over but I wouldn’t like to have that job. Actually, before I met Keoni and ran into the banes (nightmarish beasts) there were no drawbacks to soul conducting. Once I got old enough to understand the job I quite enjoyed it. Of course, meeting the literal man of your dreams changes everything.

AH: Okay, you knew this nosy question was coming? What's up with you and Keoni?

CL : [she smiles, blushing like the smacked bottom she mentioned earlier] He’s lovely. Better than lovely. I can’t tell you much more. Shirin’s got me under a gag order. My life has become a reality series and I can’t reveal the winner until the episode has aired. But, yes…Keoni is…lovely.

You wouldn’t have a crush on him would you, Angela?

AH: Who me? Um…(blushing)…no! Moving on! Should the waking world be worried about what goes on in The Dreaming?

CL: I shouldn’t say. I don’t want to cause a panic…and really, where would you run?

AH: Okay. Good point. What's next for Ciaran?

CL: I’ll have to tell you the details off the record, but [whispers] I’m on a quest.

AH: A quest, huh? Sounds exciting! Can’t wait to hear about it. Do you know if Shirin plans to give Archer...oops…I mean Keoni's other Somnian brahs their own stories?

CL: Ah ha, you fancy Archer. He’s nice (and I mean that in the British since).

I’m not sure about Shirin’s plans. I know she stalks the boys at, For Whom the Tale Tolls, their favorite pub. They don’t seem to mind though. She’s a funny girl.

AH: Is there anything else you'd like readers to know about you?

CL: I drone on at times and might be a bit pedantic but in this story I expose my deepest pain, shortcomings, failures, regaining laughter and falling in love. I couldn’t be more raw than I am in Dreams’ Dark Kiss. I’m not bothered a bit though. I fought back from the worst time in my life, through the scariest things I’ve ever faced, and came out on the other end—not only intact but better. [she blushes again] Keoni is lovely, isn’t he?

AH: Er, yeah, that’s one word for him ; )! Thank you so much for stopping by, Ciaran!

CL: [grins] Thanks to you. I’ll tell Archer you said hullo.

Want to win a copy of Dreams' Dark Kiss? Just tell us what your fantasy/paranormal dream job is in the comments section. For example, I'd love to be a librarian at Hogwarts or Doctor Who's traveling companion. And if you'd like another taste of how fierce and fabulous Ciaran is, check out her wardrobe below!

Ciaran from Dreams' Dark Kiss

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pre-Order, NetGalley, & a Giveaway!

Things are really starting take off as I approach the release date for The Paris Secret! My author copies showed up in my email on Monday. And it's not only available for pre-order on Amazon, egalleys are available for request on NetGalley! Also, I've joined a group blog with a dozen other Carina mystery/suspense/thriller writers called Not Your Usual Suspects and today is my first post! Stop by and comment for a chance to win a copy of The Paris Secret!

Check out the cool movie poster author Shirin Dubbin created for me!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Harlequin Open House

Today I'll be popping in and out at the Harlequin Open House. Come on over and join the fun! They'll be prizes! Click here to join the party!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Are you listening?

I got the news yesterday that The Paris Secret will be released as an audio book download from Audible! I don't have a release date yet, but based on other Carina Press books released by Audible, I'm guessing sometime in the next couple of months! I am so excited! I only started listening to audio books myself in the last four years or so and always wondered what it would be like to hear my books narrated.  I have some friends and relatives who've yet to embrace ebooks and really want to read TPS. But they have mp3 players and would listen to an audio version in a heartbeat! So I'm happy they will be accommodated. And in case you're wondering if I will be the one narrating the answer is: hell to the no! Trust me you wouldn't want to listen to anything narrated by me with my flat, boring monotone. I just hope whoever the narrator is they can do a mean French accent!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Maya's Look

Recently, I discovered a really cool site, Polyvore, where you can pick clothes and accessories to create wardrobe collages. There are authors who are using Polyvore to create "looks" for their fictional characters! Here's one I did for Maya Sinclair. It was easy and fun to do! Maya's look is a mix of casual cool and sexy secretary!

Lace embroidery blouse
110 GBP -
Lace blouse »

Willow High Waist Organic Jeans
80 GBP -
High waisted jeans »

Tweed Fedora Pink - One Size
$65 -
Pink hat »

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

“I’m trying to figure out what happened to my brother and I don’t need some silly American woman with man problems fucking everything up. I didn’t ask you to come with me!”
“Man problems?” My face was flaming.
“It’s written all over you. You’re mistrustful and uptight and angry. You’re here in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world, yet you wouldn’t know joie de vivre if it bit you in the ass. You may as well have ‘I’ve been dumped’ tattooed on your forehead. You’re so miserable and sorry for yourself it’s pathetic!”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Virtual Paris: How I wrote a book set in Paris without being there

I knew I wanted to write a book set in Paris before I’d even come home from my 2007 trip there. But by the time I was ready to start writing, I had a big problem. I found that I was able to rely on my memories of my visit to the City of Light when it came to some of the more memorable aspects of my trip, like my first sight of the Eiffel Tower. But I had completely forgotten smaller details such as street names, metro stops, and what wing of the Louvre housed certain artwork. Thank God for the web!  Here are some of the online resources I used to research Paris.

Google Maps-Just type in Paris France and you will get a map of the city. Click satellite and the map changes to satellite view and you can zoom in and out. But the best part is the street view feature. Type the name of a landmark, or a street address, in the search box and drag the little person icon over to the map and you’ll get a street view that can be turned 360 degrees.  This really came in handy as I was writing the scenes where Maya and Simon were on the run or I had to describe areas of Paris I didn’t get to see when I was there.

Louvre Virtual Tours & App -There are scenes in the book set both inside and outside the Louvre.  I was able to use Google maps for the outside scenes. But there were areas inside I needed to describe. Luckily, you can go the Louvre’s website and do a virtual tour of the different wings. There is also a free Musee du Louvre app you can download from iTunes that has details on 50 of the museum's major artworks, as well as photo and video tours, and info on the museum's opening times, prices and contacts! Did I mention it was free?

Palace of Versailles Interactive Map-There is a key scene set in the garden hedge maze in the gardens of Versailles where Maya is attacked. The scene takes place in the Encelade grove. If you’d like to see it and the other beautiful sights at Versailles, just go to the website and click on the interactive map to see inside of the palace as well as the grounds. And for a couple of bucks you can download the Gardens of Versailles App from iTunes!

Paris Metro Map-My trusty metro map was invaluable when I was in Paris. It was invaluable when I was writing TPS. Unfortunately, my well used map fell apart and I lost half of it! Luckily there is an online version! And for less than a buck on iTunes, there’s also the a Paris Metro App

Pere-Lachaise Cemetery-There aren't any scenes in The Paris Secret set in the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery. However, Pere Lachaise, the Jesuit priest for whom the cemetery was named, makes a very brief appearance in the book. I didn't get a chance to tour the cemetery when I was in Paris but anyone can tour it virtually!

There was a time I wouldn't dream of writing about a city I'd never been to. But even though my first instinct is to actually travel to a location for research, with so much great info online I now feel a lot more confidant if I can't make the trip in person.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

Hold on! I stopped to catch my breath. He turned and gave me an impatient look.
Ive been following you around for over an hour and Im not taking one more step until you tell me who you are. I crossed my arms and waited.
He sighed then suddenly reached out and gently ran his fingers through my hair. His warm fingertips grazed my scalp and made my skin tingle. Our eyes met and I blushed.
 Hold still, he commanded softly as I fidgeted. When he pulled his hand away, he was holding a piece of windshield glass that Id missed.
Imstill waiting, I said, suddenly flustered.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paris Secret Cover Copy!

Here is the official cover copy for The Paris secret! Enjoy!

Less than twenty-four hours after fleeing to Paris, Maya Sinclair is the prime suspect in a brutal murder—and targeted by the real killer. When she's viciously attacked in the gardens of Versailles, Maya barely escapes with her life thanks to sexy French journalist Simon Girard.

Simon has been investigating the mysterious death of his brother, an art forger with ties to the woman Maya is suspected of killing. Still healing from heartbreak of his own, Simon reluctantly joins forces with Maya, who has awakened feelings within him he thought long dead.

Their search for answers uncovers the existence of a secret society, and puts them on a quest to find a missing crucifix rumored to hold the key to everlasting life. Together, Maya and Simon race through Paris one step ahead of a killer who will do anything to ensure some secrets remain buried forever...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

I decided to play it cool and just walk away. But he grabbed the strap of my bag and yanked if off my shoulder, knocking me off balance. He shook the bag upside down, emptying the contents on the ground.
Hey! What the hell is your problem? Give me my bag back!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

Starting today I'm going to post brief excerpts from The Paris Secret. Enjoy!

With me shaking so badly, it was a miracle I managed to get the two of us downstairs to the lobby. Meryl sat sobbing on the bottom step while I pounded on the bell for the desk clerk.
Oui, madame, he said smiling.
Theres been a murder, I told him.  
Within fifteen minutes the hotel was swarming with police.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Cover Love & Release Date

I can finally share the cover for The Paris Secret! I love this cover! The model looks exactly the way I envisioned my heroine Maya Sinclair would look. The illuminated Eiffel Tower and the  alchemy pentagram in the background really make the cover pop and glow! The Paris Secret is a romantic suspense/thriller, with a heaping helping of paranormal and historical elements.  I think this cover does a great job of reflecting that. Revisions and edits are finished and it's been sent off to the Carina Press production team. On January 17, 2011, three years after I finished writing it, it will finally be released! Hopefully, I'll be able to post the official cover copy soon.

Thank you, Monika of Spinstudio for my fabulous cover!

Angela ; )