Friday, September 25, 2009

Today's Guest is Author Isabel Roman

Today we are proud to feature Isabel Roman here at Mistress Bella Interviews.  Welcome, Isabel.  Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us your latest news?

 I have a new book out, Kiss of Scandal, from Ravenous romance.  I love the story because of the unusual setting - Russia dulring the Crimean War.  Most people have only heard of that war from the Charge of the Light Brigade, a disaster of a British military charge set in a poem and brought to life lby Errol flynn.  Ok, this doesn't exactly take place on the front lines, but in the Winter Palace, with court intrigue galore.

When and why did you begin writing?

Hmm, seriously?  About 4 years ago.  When I discuvered that I had no idea how to write by the rules, that there were rules, and that in order to be taken seriously, I needed to figure out what they were and what to do about them.

What books have influenced your life most?

Influenced as in Best Book Ever? or Influence as in Oh, man, I so need to reference that? For Best Book Ever, I think it was Guide to Fiction Writing by Phyllis A. Whitney.  Got it as a Christmas present one year, devoured it by night's end, and realized that I wasn't crazy, that the stories in my head were stories, and hey, maybe I should give this writing thing a try.  Now it's chris Roerden's Don't Sabotage Your submission: Save your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A. I met her, and she's a smart funny lady with lots of experience who isn't afraid to share it with aspiring writers.

On the other hand, I read so much that' it's hard to really say what the Best Book Ever is.  Lady Chatterly's Lover is an awesome one for its detail of post WWI England and its taboo plot.

Agatha Christie - there's something about the way she took a plot you think you know and twisted it.  I love every one of her books, but when I started reading her she'd already died, so I stopped.  I  didn't want to not have any more of her writing. does that make sense?

Things you read in high school are way more appreciated as an adult than my teenage self could ever understand. Though I STILL don't like Charles Dickens. that man was just plain depressing.

What are your current projects?

I'm always working on something.  I once made the nmistake of taking time off and couldn't couldn't get back into the groove.  No discipline, no real interest, nothing.  I had to force myself to buckle down and get to getting.  It wasn't pretty.  So now i try to always have at least 2 projects active.  Just in case I run hard into a writer's block wall, I want to have the option of changing directions.

So, currently, I'm wokring on a series of (at the oment) 4 short stories for The Wild Rose Press for their Vintage Rose Line set in 1918-1920 about a detective agency.  specifically it's about the couple, but it centers on the woman who wants to be a detective during the first free love movement in the 20th century.  The 1960s had nothing on the 1920s!

Envision it as a sexy Thin Man series - smoking, alcohol, muder, and a pair of main characters with the hots for each other.  I'm really excited about it.  So far plotting it has been a lot of fun, I adore the characters and can't wait to start writing the first book.

I'm also working on another historical for Ravenous, a Regency-set treasure hunt.  That has gone thorugh two major plots, and I'm still having issues with the actual treasure hunt of the plot.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes! Naming characters and titling books. :) Beyond that, sometimes I have a great plot (or think it's a great plot) and I plan it out, I name the characters, I have it all set.  And can't write it! I don't understand why or how, but it doesn't gel.  Doesn't work.  Can't get past page 3.  It's depressing.  Usually, I can work through it, but I often have to change gears.

A plot doesn't always work no matter how I might want it to.  It may sound reall cool, may even work logistically, but if the characters don't like it, forget it.  It's not going to happen.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I'm not sure I have one.  I love to read, I love a wide variety of genres, so iti's really difficult to say just one author.  I mean I've read all the Scarlet Pimpernel books, and they're really cool.  Well, the beginning ones are best.

I could be all academic and say Shakespeare, but eh.  I only really love Macbeth.  The rest I can leave.

I'm currently breezing thorugh John Mortimer's Rumpole series, which is hilarious, and just found several Elizabeth Hoyt that look delicious.  I love historicals!  Plus they're several e-books I'm saving for a free moment: Susan Macatee's Erin's Rebel, Lorhainne Eckhart's The Captain's Lady, Angela Cameron's Blood & Sex series and Roxanne Dent's The American Heiress.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always wanted to be one.  I know, I know, you hear it all the time.  But it's ture.  It just took me a while to realize it, get my act together, and start something not completely crap.

How long does it take you to write a book?

You have to realize, I write mostly on weekends.  Nights are reserved for editing and research, but the actual writing is done mostly on weekends.  When it flows, when it all clicks, maybe 10 days, so 5 weekends of 10-12 hours each for a 50-60k book.  a longer one probably more time, but the last longer one I wrote now resides under the preverbal computerized bed.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Insanity.  I don't see anyone.  I rarely talk to anyone, people think I fell off the face of the earth, which then has them calling and texting, which interrupts me and has me working longer.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your 'r's or dotting your 'i's with hearts (anything like that)?

No, I'm not a cutesy woman, so nothing like that.   I don't do a lot of handwriting any more, my job rarely requires it and  I've noticed the nore I type the worse my handwriting gets.  Shame, because I always wanted that perfect Catholic School handwriting.  Usually, I'm in too much of a rush for neatness though.

What do you want to know about the future?

Lottery numbers.  Seriously, I don't want to know about the future.  Even the good stuff.  I'm a big believer in yin/yang so with the good inevitably comes the bad.  I'd prefer to just live life as it comes. Plus, I don't want to second guess myself.  I've seen too many science fiction episodes where they choose B when A was right all along and now they're screwed.

I can screw my own life up just fine, thank you very much!

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Late morning early evening, does that count? I know, you were expecting an easy answer, weren't you.  My days are so packed, that I'm usually exhausted by 9.  but man, is it hard to get up in the morning!

Do you like thunderstorms?

YES! I LOVE thunderstorms.  Except when the thunder is so loud it wakes me up.  Scares me then. :)

What is the best way for readers to contact you?

I'm on everything. Seriously.  It's a sad state of affairs, but there you have it.  Facebook, myspace, twitter, blogger, wordpress.  The easiest way to contact me is email: The best way to discover updates is my website: or my blog:

Anything you would like to add?

I don't think so.  These were some pretty thorough questions! I think you know more about me than my mother.  whose eyes glaze over 2.3 minutes after asking about my latest project.  She's thrilled, but not very interested in the work itself.

Thanks again, Isabel, for taking the time to share so much with us.  You gave me a few giggles too! Sky

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today's Author is Colleen Love

Please welcome Author Colleen Love and her exciting new book! Please tell us your latest news?

Well, it has been a very busy year!  I have two new releases, Eden at Twilight with The Wild Rose Press and One with Liquid Silver Books, a very sexy firefighter story with their Hearts Afire Series, titled Inferno in the June release.  I had the opportunity to share with another great author, Dee S. Knight.  I am currently working on an Urban Fantasy that I am very excited about! It's one of those plot lines that keeps me up at night and wakes me up early in the morning!

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing as soon as I could put letters together and told stories even longer. I think the reason I enjoy the fantasy genre so much is because it is a complete escape from mundane reality.  I have always been teased about living in a fantasy world, so I figured, why not share that fantasy world and let people see why I prefer being there?

What books have most influenced your life most?

Definitely Robert Jordan! His Wheels of time series captured my imagination and kept it. I love this world and character building and his story-telling ability is just outstanding.

What are your current projects?

I always have little short stories under construction, usuallythose are of the erotic persuasion, or spicy at the very least!  I am just finishing a very naughty one called Roadside Rendezvous and The Candy Man. My larger novel is nearly half finished and I keep the 'door' closed on that one until it finished, otherwise it seems to kill the story for me.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I think 'time' is the biggest factor for me, lol.  If only I had more of it! Other than that, the rest just falls into place, as far as story construction and creation.  I don't have problems falling into that world at all!

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have so many favorites, but honestly? I love Denyse Bridger's work. She can weave a tale that just draws you in. She has such a lyrical voice and the most sexy characters! Whether it is erotic or mainstream, her way of telling it is breathtaking.
Of course I mentioned Robert Jordan as well.  I think he is my tutor in many ways, despite passing on.  I have learned a lot from reading his work.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

That's a good question.  I have been writing as far back as I can remember and always took writing classes and such in school.  I was in a challenge English class in high school and my teacher said I should be a writer, but I think it was already too late.  It's just something I've been drawn to and always done.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends on the book length, I guess.  A short story can be a weekend thing, a novella could take a month, a novel three or more.  But it all depends on how much time I get to actually sit and peck at my keyboard with no interruptions.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I usually get to have very early mornings, afternoons and late evenings to myself, so that is when I devote as much time as possible to it.  Basically I write when I can sit long enough to throw some letters together.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your 'r's or dotting your 'i's with hearts (or anything like that)?

Nothing as interesting as that.  But I do have terrible handwriting when it's just for me.  I used to work in a hospital, medical records department, and the physicians would tell me that my handwriting was awful! I figured it was time to slow down and tidy things up a bit! lol

What do you want to know about the future:

OO! Nothing.  Life is an adventure and if I knew the outcome (except the final fatal one), I would ruin it! Some of the bumps along the way is the most exciting part.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

I'm both! Some days I just have to have a nap to get through it all.

Do you like thunderstorms?

Absolutely love them!  Watching a storm is like standing amidst a giant theatre, watching Mother Nature's power roll out before you.  I think it's an awesome experience.

What is the best way for readers to contact you?


I do have twitter, myspace and facebook as well, they are all on my website.

Anything you would like to add?

Just a 'thank you" for having me! You asked me some very interesting questions and I had a great time answering them! Thank you!

Available now from the Wild Rose Press

EDEN AT TWILIGHT is the story of Lily, a woman who wants love, and Leaf, the man who risks it all to love her.

Lily Moore is an ordinary accountant who works long, hard hours, leaving room for little else.  After strange occurrences begin haunting her, she's convinced by a motherly friend to take a vacation in Scotland.  while there, she meets the man of her dreams, a andsome stranger with shifting hazel eyes.

Leaf falls for Lily the moment he sees her, love at first sight.  never has a woman taken his heart so quickly.  When trouble stirs and threatens her, he stands by her side, traveling through time and dimension to reclaim her from a deadly Drow leader.  Lily has no choice but to trust him and hope his strength will pull them through.  But is his strength alone enough?


     Leaf hadn't expected himelf to invite Lily to town. But then again, he was surprising himself by enjoying breakfast in the house in the company of his Aunt and this enchanting and irresistible woman.  She was walking with him now, quiet and round-eyed, admiring the gardens, and he found himself smitten by her gentle innocence, not to mention her radiant, simple beauty.  It had happened so quickly that it nearly unnerved him.
     The path led them to the open barn, where Leaf went in and double-checked his load in the open bed wagon.
     "You mean we aren't taking a car or truck?"
     Leaf couldnt help the broad grin of amusement.  "Nope, I find this way better suits me, and it also gives the lads some exercise." He suddenly stopped and faced her. "Ye don't mind, do  ye?"
     "No I'm just surprised," her voice was quiet, "I've never ridden like this, or any other wya, by horse."
     "Well then, 'Just Lily', ye'r in for a nice treat, my lads are the best team around.  come, I'll show ye." Leaf held his hand out to her and when she reached to accept, he saw the tremble and felt it when her cool, moist palm slid into his.
     Leaf's smile became reassuring, and he pulled her hand to his chest as if taking a solemn oath. "There, now, no need to worry, they are gentle as lambs, there's nothin' to worry over."
     They came to the stalls in the far corner and two large blond heads appeared over the half doors, curious eyes riveted on the new visitor.  Lily gasped and laughed nervously. "Those are the largest lambs I've ever seen!"
     Leaf's laugh came esy. "This is Zeus and apollo." Both heads nodded in recognition and leaned out to be touched.  Leaf casually scratched the white stars on their foreheads.  Releasing her hand, he turned and stood between them as they leaned over and touched noses.  "They are brothers, aren't ye.  ye can touch 'em, they won't hurt ye."
     Lily held her fingers out and they sniffed and snuffed at her before a soft tongue licked at her fingers.  Lily couldn't help but laugh. "Their tongues are so soft and warm!"
     "They like ye, they both have a sweeet tooth and fall easy for a sweet lass." Leaf reached his arms around their massive noses and hugged each in a one-armed embrace, and scratched their thick jaws. "Well lads, shall we have a run today?" Releasing them, he went to the tack room, leaving Lily alone.  He watched for a moment, from the shadow of the room, as Lily touched each face with gentle, hesitant and guarded strokes with her fingertips.  Zeus and Apollo nodded against her fingers.  Leaf turned and began gathering the tack he needed. Lily's yelp snapped his attention back to the doorway.
     "Oh!" Lily's voice squealed with surprise.
     Leaf came back just as Apollo's nose brushed against Lilly, jostling her.
     "Oh, you are pushy!" She looked to Leaf. "I don't think they like me touching them at all!" Dropping her hands, both velvet noses nudged from opposite angles. Lily stepped away.
     "Apollo! Zeus! Ho..." Leaf's tone was solid and stern as he put the tack on the bench and came over to them. Both horses raised their heads and watched him, ears pricked forward with intent interest. "they like ye well enough, lass." He couldn't help the grin that crossed his lips. They just want it harder."
     "Pardon me?" confusion creased her expression even as her color darkened in a deep blush.  Leaf regretted not being able to see it in better lighting.
     "They want ye to scratch them harder."
     Lily laughed. "They like it rough, huh?" Reaching up, she scratched the white star between Apollo's eyes; Zeus reached over and bumped him out of the way, nipping at him. Apollo threw his headup in protest.  Lily flinched and stepped back.
     "Lads!" The tantrum stopped instantly and their attention went back to him. "Here, try it this way." Leaf came up behind her and slid his hands down her arms, taking her hands in his. He stretched them out and placed one each to a lowered head, now calm and wating, to the places he knew they liked scratched best.
     Zeus and apollo closed their eyes as the curl of Lily's fingers scratched their enormous heads.  The music of her voice crooned and whispered to them as she reached up to stroke their fuzzy ears and the forelocks between, making her stretch.
     Leaf felt as though an inseparable bond melded them together, feeling his breath catch when he pressed in closer, and her soft curves pressing against him. His hands ached to slide in, take her and pull her closer.  But he remained where he was, breathing in her scent and absorbing the pleasure of feeling her so close and reminding himself she was not his for the taking, yet.  Drawing in another deep breath, he held it and she turned her head, giving him a shy smile.  He slid his hands to her elbows and, with regret, released her, stepping free and letting his breath go.  Turning, she looked up at hinm with quiet expectation in her eyes. He wasn't sorry for being so forward, so he wouldn't say it, but in his heart, he knew it wasn't an apology she wanted.
     "We should get goin'." He opened the latch to the stall door and let it fall open with a deep groan that spoke for his heart.
     "Um, yes, may I help with anything?"
     Leaf slipped the halter onto Zeaus' outstretched nose and half buckled it. "Yes, ye can hold his lead while I get his tack and harness on."
     Leaf moved away and Zeus plodded behind him to the front of the wagon and stopped.  Lily held the lead and scratched him with less hesitation than before.  He didn't really need her to hold the horsesm but it got her used to them and gave hin the pleasure of watching her.
     The simple act of touching her bare arms and hands had formed a connection between them just as he had feared, and hoped, it would.  He had touched her before, but the way he was feeling toward her was changing and his connection to her was evolving, just as it seemed her  reception to him was, as well.  Even as she was touching Zeus's shoulder now, so he was feeling the very thing Zeus felt.  Leaf was glad for the care of Apollo to distract him, he purposely blocked the pleasure her touch was having on Zeus, but he did let a stream of it though, just enough to let his skin prickle.  After haltering Apollo, he led him up next to Zeus.
     "They are so beautiful, Lily breathed, looking up to the head towering above  Her Smiling eyes radiated the warmth of her heart and he could feel her joy as she turned to Apollo and showered him with equal attention. She giggled when Zeus pulled gently at her hair with his nimble lips, not quite ready for her to give up her affections yet. Leaf took a deep breath and began hitching them both to the wagon.
     "I don't blame ye buddy," Leaf whispered to the frustrated Zeus when Lily turned away, unawares.

Contact Colleen Love at:  or
Where Love is Magic

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today We Welcome Author Teresa Roberts

Hello, Teresa!  Welcome to Mistress Bella Interviews.  Would you share with us your latest news?

I have a new book out from Samhain Publishing today! It's called Lions' Pride (Duals and Donovan: The Different, Book 1) and  it's an erotic paranormal with a witch heroine who specializes in green magic and sex magic and not one but two hot feline shapeshifter heroes a lion and a cougar.  Here's the blurb:

Elissa Donovan is a real green witch - when she and her lion-shapeshifter husband have sex, the blazing heat is recycled to warm their house.  Now her beloved Jude has been kidnapped by a shadowy government agency, and the last place she can turn for help is her high-powered family, who consider her magic mediocre.

When Rafe Benedict gets Elissa's call for muscle to back up her magic, he risks his law enforcement career to answer.  He's spent a lifetime hiding his Dual ability, but something about Elissa and Jude's magic awakens the cougar within him.

Tempting, bronzed Rafe is the perfect fuse for Elissa's sex-fueled magic.  Danger lies in breaking her vows; joining with anyone other than her true mate could not only send her marriage up in flames,  it could burn out her powers in a last, all-or-nothing explosion.  But Jude is worth the risk.  And for Rafe, potential heartbreak is nothing next to the chance to help the two people he's coming to love.

First, though, Rafe needs a crash course in Cougar...

When and why did you begin writing?

To answer that, I'd need to remember a time in my life when I wasn't wriring or at least playing with words. I grew up surrounded by omivorous readers, though I didn't learn to read especially early - the books my mother and grandmother read to me, such as Shakespeare and The Sword in the Stone, were far more interesting than books aimed at beginning readers!  I suppose it was only natural I started telling my own stories.

What  books have influenced your life most?

Wow, big question.  Considering what I write now, I'd say an early-70s Gothic romance with ghosts and a heroine in peril must have influenced me.  I have no idea who wrote it, but it's one of the first books I remember reading.  I was six or so.  Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were other books I read early on. (Yes, my mother was an English teacher. Why do you ask? :) ) I think you see where I get my bent for dramatic paranormals.  But I also love Jane Austin, so my books alway have a sense of humor.

Another book that influenced hugely as a kid and still haunts me today is Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, with its determined young writer heroine. Okay, she ends up getting discouraged from writing her generation's equivalent of naughty paranormals.  but hey, she got redirected by her appropriate hero- the ookish one who was wise enought o realize she was writing for the market instead of telling her stories,- so I guess that's okay.

What are your current projects?

I'm working on another Duals and Donovans book.  It's not a direct sequel to Lions' Pride, but it is in the same world.  It involves a male Donovan witch, his fox dual husband, and a kitsune (that's a Japanese fox spirit whose other form is a lovely woman) who's under a curse and needs their help.  I'm also working on another installment of my Seasons of Sorania series for Phaze and two contemporary sexy comedies with my fabulous co-author under the pseudonym Sophie Mouette.  Plus I write short erotica.

And work four days a week.  And have a huge garden. I'm a busy lady, but it's all fun. (Well, except the day job.)

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

the hardest part for me is often making time, but I imagine that's true for many writers who also have outside jobs and occasionally want to indulge in their hobbies or see their friends.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Haven't you figured out by now that I don't like to pick just one? (That's why I gave my heroine two hunky heroes!) My favorite authors shift regularly, but I'l name a few I'm loving right now: Morgan Hawke for her smoking, no-holds-barred sex and intriguing settings; Eloisa James for her unusual characters (I adore Jemma, the seemingly frivolous duchess who's also the best chess player in England) and highly literate writing; Lynn Flewelling for taking some of the well-known paradigms of of heroic fantasy and creating something fresh and intriguing; Guy Gavriel Kay for writing for writing like an angel and creating characters who break my heart so beautifully; Jijm Butcher and Patricia Briggs for being my current favorite urban fantasy writers.  and Jane Austin, just because I'm an English teacher's daughter, after all.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

The last time I visited my Mom, she'd unearthed a bunch of my old shcool papers.  It first turns up as a stated ambition in about fourth grade, but I was already writing long before the.  she had poems and min-stories I "wrote" by dictating them to her at age five.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I'm not a fast writer, although when I'm really focused I can write a lot in a day.  It took about a year to write Lions' Pride. Mind you, I wrote a dozen short stories, a novella or two, revised a co-authored novel and started another one in that time as well.

What do you want to know about the future?

Selfishly, I want to know if my books are remembered. 

Less selfishly, I want to look into the future and find out what we finally come up with as a clean post-fossil-fuel energy solution so we can start using it now. (Or, heck, since I'm already time-travelling, start using it thirty years ago and save us a lot of pollution).

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Night, definitely, although if you can get me up early, I enjoy the stillness and beauty, particularly near the ocean.

Do you like thunderstorms?

Big weather turns me on.  Sometimes my husband and I go to the beach in inclement weather to watch a thunderstorm over the ocean.  We've also been known to rent waterfront hotel rooms during blizzards and bad nor'easters.

What is the best way for readers to contact you?

Email is probably best, at You can also add me on Facebook - send a message to say you're a reader - or check out my website, Be warned, it's still under construction.  I need to find a
picture of a sexy guy in a hard hat to put up...if only to embarrass my shy male web designer.

Anything you'd like to add?

Haven't I rambled enough?  :) Oh, hope you like the book and if you do, tell your friends!

You haven't rambled at all! (In fact, I can't wait to see your sexy hard hat guy as soon as you find him  and I'm trying to figure out how to get my hubby down by the ocean for the next storm!)

Thanks again and good luck with all of your books!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome Author Becca Dale

Please Join us in welcoming Becca Dale to Mistress Bella Interviews.

 Greetings, Becca. Can you please tell us your latest news?

My most recent release is a novella called "Tied Up With Green" which is the story of a strong minded woman attracted to her equally strong boss.  Trea has worked for years to establish a reputation as dedicated and intelligent.  When it comes to sex, she never mixes business and pleasure, and she always calls the shots. Trea believes power offers security in a male dominated world.

However, when her new boss, Jason Green, steps into the picture, he refuses to follow her rules.  He plays the game long enough to weaken her defenses, then steals control and demands equality.  Jason's unwavering strength makes Trea confront her own weaknesses and helps her destroy the walls she has so carefully built around her heart.

"Tied up with Green is a delightfully spicy short story that gives new meaning to the phrase, 'tied up with the boss'", - Night Owl Romance

"The sex scenes between the two are really hot, with Jay making Trea want him even with her restriction.  It is an honest story, with a HFN ending.  Don't let this one pass you by." - San Diego Erotic and Romance Book Examiner

This is my third publication with Phaze, an online publisher of romance and erotica.  Phaze has been really good to me, and I appreciate all the help Kat, my editor Will, and Alessia in the art department gave me on this project.  It has received some high reviews andm ade it as number eleven on  Phaze's top twenty for August.

My other works for Phaze include:
"Adarkan's Salvation", a futuristic fantasy novel.  Adarkan's destiny is to save the world and its people from destruction.  She doesn't have time for love or lust, especially in the form of her father's arrogant and sexy Beta.  But when prejudice and violence threaten the peace and her very life, Adarkan must accept that no matter how determined or able, everyone needs someone to catch her when she falls.

"Becca Dale writes an engaging story of love, sacrifice, and hope.  She blends science fiction and romance seamlessly with love scenes that spice things up just the right touch." - Night Owl Romance

"If you want a sweeping fantasy where the woman must take charge, then Adarkan's Salvation is just the read for you! I give this work 4 1/2 cherries!"- Whipped Cream Reviews

"Ice Crystal" a short story about a woman finding self.  Crystal escapes to her grandmother's cabin to find peace after the death of her controlling husband.  Instead, she finds a sexy man who claims to be her guardian angel.

"Woodland Wonder" a free short story. (Go to  and click on free stories on the left hand side of the page.) A brief sexual escape.  Sweet and fairly raw.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in about fifth or sixth grade when I made up stories for slumber parties and campouts, primarily because I loved it.  I've always enjoyed creating funny, romantic, or creepy stories in my head and loved it more when other people liked them as well.  [I'm a greedy feedback pig! I admit it. :)]

After I married and had kids, I wrote silly or scary things for my son and daughter and their friends.  I got pretty good at adjusting my topic to my audience.  I didn't get serious about publishing anything until about five years ago.  then it took me a while to find what editors and readers expect freom an actual written manuscript versus a spur of the moment tale.  So if there are any inexperienced writers out there struggling with that same thing, hang in there and you'll figure it out.  Find a writers group to provide feedback.  That helps tremendously.

What books have most influenced your life?

I have no clue which particular titles have impacted me most.  I used to read constantly.  I became enamored with romance novels in middle school so I guess, since that is what I write, they have influenced me the most through the years.  Stories of savage and unpredictable men and the women who tame them a tiny bit for their personal enjoyment have always been my favorites.  I don't really like overly cultured heroes.  I want them rough around the edges but not crude or trashy.  Jude Deveraux has written some fantastic examples of this type of man.

What are your current projects?

I am writing a first person romance with the working title Promises - Promises.  the main character is not a super woman like many heroines are.  She's confident but at times unsure, pretty but not stunning, smart but quirky and a little clumsy.  Overall she's likable and normal with normal friends and a close knit family.  She makes me think of the girl next door all grown up and a bit sassy.

I am also working on a mainstream novel which I keep putting on the back burner because frankly it scares me. The story follows a young man from conception through his late teens.  I love the main character and am terrified to send him out to be judged.  He is my third baby and I am as protective of him as I am of my  real children.  I know that sounds weird, but his story reflects the lives of young people I have met through the years who have been lost or cast out for some reason. I actually cry at times when I sit down to this work.  It is the story which is most important to me, therefore the most difficult to write.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Editing.  As an English major, I understand the importance of revision, but I always want to get on with the next story.  Once I've written the ending, the novel is complete in my mind.  I also tend to read what I meant to say not what is actually on the page, so even though wrong words and misplaced  punctuation bugs me in other people's work, I struggle to find them within my own.  My writing partners have a field day with my typos.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about his/her work?

Presently, I love Lora Leigh.  Her breed series is compelling and rich overall.  She paints her characters with flaws that make them human despite their animalistic natures.  Her women read as strong and intelligent and her males are crazy sexy.  Traditionally though, I adore authors like Zora Neale Hurston and novels like Their Eyes Were Watching God because a reader can become immersed in the culture and language of an entire society different from one's own.  I think that's why I like science fiction/fantasy as well.  J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings series amazed me as an adolescent and still does now that I'm an adult.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don't know that I had a revelation, Bella.  Creating stories has always been a part of who I am.  My mother would be happy to show you my really early poems and stories but please don't ask or  you'll regret it.  Characters dance and fight for attention in my head all the time.  It is simply a matter of allowing them into the daylight.  I hope that wasn't as insane as it sounds. :)

How long does it take you to write a book?

That depends on what is happening in my real life.  For me, writing is still a joyous dream.  I adore the whole process: finishing a story, the acceptance letter, reviewers' feedback, everything.  Unfortunately, I don't have much spare time to dedicate to it as life often gets in my way.  I suppose on average it takes me about a year to complete a full length novel, a few weeks to a couple months for a short story.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

For practical reason, I have always written in the middle of the night while my family slept.  I write until my brain shuts down at two or three in the morning. now that my youngest has gone off to college, that may change.  When I set a personal deadline and am in the heart of a tale, I want to write all the time and squeeze in as many hours each day as I can. When I'm less focused, I probably write two or three hours a week.  If I don't write often enough, I lose focus and get crabby.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits like capitalizing all your "r"s or dotting your "i"s with hearts or anything like that?

Not really.  My handwriting is hurried and tight, at chicken scratching the dirt.  I've always wanted to have a graceful script, but no matter what I do, it turns to a scribbled mess.

What do you want to know about the future?

Were the Maya right about 2012?
Will we ever evolve enough to have a truly equal society?
Will Democrats and Republicans ever learn to get along?
Will baggy butt pants go away or will there be guys in the old folks' home with their Depends showing above their waistbands?  Not a pretty image I must say.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Ha.  There's a question.  Both and neither I guess. I am usually awake at five in the morning but convince myself not to get up if I don't have a story burning in the back of my mind that I want to work on before leaving for my job.  Early morning can be my most productive time if I'm not feeling lazy.  Consequently I'm dozing off by nine unless I have to be awake for some reason.  If I make it past eleven, then I want to go all night and often do if I'm writing.

Do you like thunderstorms?

Yes.  They're scary and beautiful in a way that nothing else can match - raw untamed, and breathtaking.

What is the best way for readers to contact you?

Pop by my blog at . I am not terribly good at updating it, but I am trying to be better.  Visitors would help.  I'm also on facebook and myspace. Becca Dale.

If you really want to talk to me, drop me a note at Do not contact me there if you're selling something, please, but I would appreciate hearing from readers or other writers.

Anything you would like to add?

I love comments from readers.  One of the best parts of writing is hearing what people liked or disliked about a story.  All right, the disliked part is a little hard to take sometimes, but it is a necessary evil.  My critique partners are terribly honest with me at times, which I find both refreshing and painful.  They kick my butt and remind me to follow the necessary rules and break the rest.

Thanks again for having me visit, Mistress Bella.  I enjoy your sit and look forward to being included on it.

Thanks for joining us, Becca,  and good luck with all of your projects!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Please Welcome Author Jae Knight

Welcome Jae, and thanks for joining us today. Please tell us your latest news!

I do not have any upcoming releases just yet, but I am working on a third installment in my series, Tenebrae. The first two books are already out and available for purchase at

When and why did you begin writing?

I began to write when I was fifteen years old. I started out writing poetry and eventually moved on to short stories, attempting my first novel in my senior year of high school. My best friend would always write these incredibly dark poems and I envied that ability.  If it hadn't been for her encouragement, I don't know how long it would have taken me to find my passion                                                  for writing.

What books have influenced your life most?

This is a particularly tough question.  I love books and reading is my all-time favorite activity (other than writing, naturally). Reading always inspires me and gets the creative juices flowing. My favorite book is The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. But lately, I've been influenced by reading lots of manga.

What are your current projects?

I am currently working on the third novel in my erotic paranormal  series,  Tenebrae.  It picks up where Surrender to the Night left off and answers some of the questions I left to  readers at the conclusion of the story. I am really looking forward to completing the book so I can move forward with the rest of the series. I have a number of other stories in progress right now , some of which I am trying new things that I hope go over well.  Including some dark horror shorts.

Is there anything particularly challenging in your writing?

Motivation.  At times I tend to procrastinate and stray from my writing.  Keeping myself on track is definitely the hardest battle that I have yet to win.

Who is your favorite author, and what is it that strikes you about their work?

I'd have to say Sherrilyn Kenyon. She just really did a great job on taking old legends (like vampires and shifters) and completely rewriting them into something unique and endlessly fascinating. That is something I admire and would like to be able to accomplish myself.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was a senior in high school and had just shifted from short stories to trying out my first novel. Creating characters and plots was so much fun, even though it took a lot of work and imagination to do so. I carried a notebook with me everywhere (and still do!) so that I could write whenever I felt the need or had an idea to jot down.  It was like finding what I'd been meant to do when I first picked up that pen and began to write a story.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Oh my, can take me anywhere from a year to three years ( for a 10k+ novel at least). From the Shadows, the first in my series, took me three years to write because of how many changes the characters and plotline went through.  My world just kept expanding and evolving so I had to rewrite often. I don't regret it though.  I'm quite proud of the world I managed to create.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Heck, never organized.  I guess you could say I don't even have a schedule, really. I just sit down when I feel creative, reread a few paragraphs to get back into the scene and start writing. I usually always edit what I've written once I stop for the day.  Then edit again once the story is finished.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits? Like capitalizing all your "r"s or dotting your "i"s with hearts or anything like that?

My handwriting changes as I write and gets hard to read which is why I prefer typing out my stories than writing them by hand.  It's an odd mix of calligraphy-esque lettering and sharp, jagged lines.

What do you want to know about the future?

I'd like to know how far my career as a writer will go.  It's a dangerous since what I would learn might make or break my motivation. I'd still be determined to write, to try, however.  I am a writer through and through. Can't imagine devoting as much passion to another career as this.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

I am a night person all the way.  I feel the most creative in the wee morning hours, say three to seven a.m. My mind has always been more active by night, which makes for some interesting dreams...some of which have inspired poems or stories.

Do you like thunderstorms?

Depends on the severity.  I like lightning, rain and thunder, but when the high winds kick in...I begin to get nervous, admittedly. Although a soft, rumbling thunderstorm is very relaxing.

What is the best way for readers to contact you?

There are quite a few ways to contact me.
By email:

Anything  you would like to add?

Sure! I've also had two stories in the Coming Together Anthologies.  Unchained Heart is a part of Coming Together: At Last, Volume 2 (which benefits Amnesty International) and Hailey's Comet was in Coming Together: Al Fresco (which benefits Conservation International). I'd also like to thank Mistress Bella for interviewing me and the readers, for giving the world I love a chance to entertain you.

Thank you Jae, for giving us a peek into the world of a successful writer.  We'll all be looking forward to the third installment of Tenebrae and all of your future works!

Interview with Sandra Sookoo

Please join us in welcoming Sandra Sookoo to Mistress Bella Interviews

Welcome Sandra, please tell us your latest news.

I'm very excited to announce my latest book release. The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart comes out September 30th with The Wild Rose Press. After that, my take on the Santa myth,  Exiles From Christmas, releases November 16th through Lyrical Press. Both are paranormal/fantasy romances. It'll be a very exciting few months!

When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote my first "epic" fantasy novel, featuring neighborhood kids, around ten or eleven. After that, I was never without paper and pen in hand, scribbling stories and creating new worlds. The enthusiasm hasn't dimmed since. I think I like writing because I can create a new reality much different from the one I live.  Escapism at its finest.

What books have influenced your life most?

I've always been a fan of Lewis Carroll's work. I love his weird and wonderful characters. Midway through high school I became captivated by Gone With the Wind. Agonized for months over the ending. It wasn't until my late 20's that I started reading historical romances, which evolved into paranormal romance now. I guess you could say, I love to read so                                                  there've been lots of outside influences.

What are your current projects?

Right now I'm writing a holiday themed novella. Once it's finished I need to do some formatting/editing on a different novel. After that I plan to write a story about a ghost in order to get the smaller projects cleared so I can start work on a paranormal novel at the first of the year.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

At the present time I'm trying to get my characters to be grounded and stay there. If they don't have a reason for doing what they're doing, the story won't work.  That's one of the cool things about being an author. Stretching your preconceived notions and doing things a new way.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I don't have a favorite.  I go through genre phases and there will be a favorite during a reading run, but to say an author comes head and shoulders above everyone? Not so much. Every book is wonderful in its own right.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

The day I went to the library and realized I'd exhausted all the Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables books.  I thought, well maybe I should try writing something I wanted to read. So began a love affair with words and imagination.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Depends on how much outside distraction there is. If it's a full length novel, usually a few months to write and get it self-edited. If the piece is a novella, a month or so, but if I'm really on fire with something the time span varies.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

That also depends on what else is going on throughout the day, but I try to get in a good 5-6 hours.  Some days more, some days less.

Do you have any strange handwriting habis, like capitalizing all your "r"s or dotting your "i"s with hearts, anything like that?

Nope.  Very rarely do I write out anything long hand anymore.  Only if I'm away from my computer.

What do you want to know about the future?

Nothing because that would cheat me out of the fun of finding out and getting there for myself.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Probably night.  I usually turn in around midnight.  On the other hand I'm up at seven a.m. LOL

Do you like thunderstorms?

Absolutely! They're awesome, and living in the Midwest,  we get some really good ones. I love how the air smells just before the rain.

What is the best way for readers to contact you? Email, myspace, twitter, etc.

Email addy for reader mail is You can also find me on facebook or my website

Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having me. It's been fun!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Interview with Beth Trissel

Help me welcome, The Wild Rose Press author, Beth Trissel.

Care to share a short bio with us?
Certainly. I'm a Virginia author of historical and light paranormal romance with the Wild Rose Press. I also write creative non-fiction pieces about rural life. The beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains are my inspiration.

Can you tell us about your latest release and/or past releases? Light paranormal romance Somewhere My Love (fall 2008) won the 2008 Preditors&Editors Readers Poll for Best Romance Novel. In May 2009 I had three historical/light paranormal romance novels released in a whirlwind month: Daughter of the Wind, Enemy of the King, and Through the Fire (finalist 2008 Golden Heart). All have received excellent reviews and each won book of the week at Long and Short Reviews.

Tell us about the heroine and hero of the above books. I’ll focus on Daughter of the Wind: Young Scots-Irishwoman Karin McNeal longs to know who she really is. Former Shawnee captive Jack McCray holds the key to her past.

What inspired Daughter of the Wind? A tragic account I came across in my studies of the early Scots-Irish about a captive woman who fell in love with the son of a chief. As the result of a treaty, she was taken from her warrior husband and forced back to her white family where she gave birth to a girl. Then the young woman’s husband did the unthinkable and left the tribe to go live among the whites, but such was their hatred of Indians that before he reached his beloved her brothers intercepted and killed him. Inconsolable and weak from the birth, she grieved herself to death. Heart wrenching, it haunts me to this day. And I wondered…was there some way those young lovers could have been spared such anguish; what happened to their infant daughter when she grew up???

What can we expect from you regarding your future writing?
More historical/light paranormal romance charged with mystery and adventure.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? New time periods/settings take considerable more research before I can write the story.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? My favorite author since third grade is CS Lewis with his wonderful Chronicles of Narnia series. He taught me to believe in the power of pretend.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? At about that time.

How long does it take you to write a book? That varies from 3-6 months to several years, including research.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing? I try to write every day but particularly like the days where I can get in some good solid blocks of writing time.
Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)? Not that I’ve noticed.

What do you want to know about the future? Are we gonna survive 12/12/2012. And no, do not go see that movie.

Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m beginning to wonder if I’m either one. Need more coffee.

Do you like thunderstorms? Ever heard of getting struck by lightning?

What is the best way for readers to contact you? Email :
Anything you would like to add? “Never give up! Never surrender!” (Galaxy Quest).
Thanks so much Beth for stopping by. We wish you the best of luck and really look forward to what you have in store for us next!
Mistress Bella

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interview with Erotic Author Valerie Mann

And here is one of our own...Valerie Mann

Care to share a short bio with us?

Sure! I’m a mother of five, married to the hottest man on the planet (you wonder why we have five kids?), I’m a dental hygienist, currently living in Raleigh, NC. I was born in California, grew up in upstate New York, lived in central Illinois for ten years and the east coast of Florida for two. I can say honestly, I am a true patriot…I love my country because I’ve lived all over it.

Tells us about your two new releases

Fanning Old Flames…wow, what a trip this book has been! I grew up in New York, only a couple of hours from the Canadian border. My family spent many vacations in Canada on a small lake in Ontario. I fell in love for the first time there. Nothing ever came of it but I will always think about that time in my life with fondness. Do I want to find that man? No, but that was a very sweet time in my life. It’s these kind of experiences that mold us and make us dream and write.

As for my other story, a few months ago, I’d been talking to a critique partner who was writing a very erotic tale about two people who hook up at a party and I suggested that perhaps they could play hide and seek. She didn’t buy this premise but it definitely got me to thinking – how erotic would it be for adults to play Hide and Seek? Consider the possibilities of a man and a woman hiding in a dark place together? So, Kelly and Nick’s story was born. I’d unoriginally titled the story, The Game, but Wild Rose Press renamed it, Hide & Seek. It’s pretty hot if I do say so myself.

Can you remember when you received the emails stating you were going to be a published author for the first time?

Oh my gosh, yes! I sent my first submission to an electronic publisher who said the response time was 180 days…I calculated this to be Halloween of 2009. Nine days later, at about eleven o’clock at night, I checked my email before going to bed and found an email from the publisher in my inbox – my heart jumped – I figured the editor had gotten done laughing her butt off and rejected me nicely. My husband is snoring beside me and since I’ve learned not to wake him for anything other than a nuclear attack, I had to keep my private joy to myself that the publisher not only didn’t HATE my story but wanted to offer me a contract! Thank you Cobblestone Press for being so nice…you not only said you LIKED my very first submission, but you actually asked to buy it. Can it get any better than that?

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the hero and heroine?

Seriously, I don’t see anyone in Hollywood, Bollywood-or-any-other-wood playing any of my characters. But having said that, I could seriously adapt any hero I’ve created if Daniel Craig wants to jump on board and play one of my heroes. And I’ll play the heroine, just to keep things really simple. Yeah.

Do you have a writing soundtrack? Or movie or noise that plays in the background as you write?

Absolutely! I don’t know how many times a song has inspired me. I adore grunge, post-grunge rock and post-alternative. I have the most inspirational incredible playlist of hard rock which includes Three Days Grace, Puddle of Mudd, Nickelback, Muse, My Chemical Romance, Seether, Saving Abel, Hinder and more. Most of the music I listen to is filled with testosterone and I get a lot of ideas for my heroes and their emotions when I listen to my music.

When did you first start writing?

When I was in fifth grade. My teacher had us all write a story about something that happened in a museum – I wrote about a stolen antique ring and the class was mesmerized. After that, whenever we had to write a story, the class always asked to hear MY story…talk about validation of your peers!

Who or what influenced you to submit your work for publication?

Oh boy…here’s where my critique partners get some credit. I always wanted to submit my work but never did. I always had excuses for not doing it – “it’s not ready, it’s not good enough, it still has problems”. Finally, my critique partners had enough and simply quit critiquing me – why bother? The fact that they’d put so much into my work and I never submitted totally insulted them. And that’s when I got motivated. I owed them that much.

Is there anything you learned from writing your latest book? If so, what was it?

Even if you don’t think it has any redeeming value…step away from it for a few weeks or months. You just might like what you find when you read it again. And if it needs fixing, you may have stepped away long enough to find the solution.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

Work schedule? What’s that? I’d love to have a writing schedule but for now, it’s as inspiration hits. Although I must tell you, I think my dental patients would be shocked at what I think about when I’m cleaning their teeth. ‘Nuff said….

What does your family think of your writing?

100% behind me. Although I must tell you that I don’t let my husband read my writing because it makes him laugh. And as a romance writer, that’s a total and complete turn-off. I love him but I don’t let him read my writing anymore. He just doesn’t get it. My mom, on the other hand, loves my writing. Erotic romance doesn’t bother her in the least.

What do you think makes a good story?

A seriously hot, alpha male and a woman who can stop him in his tracks. Now that’s sexy!

If you could compare yourself to an animal, which would it be and why?

I have dreams about flying high above the earth and I wake up with my heart pounding. I’d love to be a bird and be in complete control and soar above mere mortals.

What do you want to say to someone who is thinking of buying one of your books to read?

What kind of question is that? Of course I’d ask them to buy my book…but better yet, please buy my book and love it. That’s why I wrote it. It’s what I feel in my heart.

What is the best way for readers to contact you? Your websites, email address?

Please email me at And my website is

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Listen to your critique partners. Find a good group to critique you and listen to them. Don’t be offended because chances are, they really do know what they’re talking about and if you don’t like what they’re saying, you may be doing yourself a disservice. I owe everything to Kimberly and HEART for giving me a chance when I knew practically nothing and not laughing their butts off (okay, they probably did but they never let on) and giving me timely and welcome advice. I took everything they told me to heart. And my more recent partners, Kris, Ash and Dena and also ERAuthors…you guys kick major romance butt.

Thanks so much Valerie for stopping by!! We can't wait to see what else you bring to the table.

Visit Valerie Mann's Blog

Visit Valerie Mann Books Blog

Buy Fanning old Flames

And be sure to look out for Hide and Seek coming soon from The Wild Rose Press

Until Next Time,

Mistress Bella