Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crystal Collier-- Moonless--Character Weaknesses

Crystal Collier is here today to talk about her book, Moonless. It looks AWESOME, and I can't wait to read it. Crystal is also going to talk a bit about character weaknesses. I love this idea because to me, it's the weaknesses that make our characters real. 

Character Weaknesses

First of all, thank you so much for having me here today, Jessie!

After completing an interview recently, I realized I like characters often more for their weaknesses than their strengths. For instance, in Moonless I love these aspects about my characters:

Alexia’s unsure of her place in the world.
Kiren thinks he’s always right—because he knows way more than he should.
Bellezza kills people. All the time. And loves it.
Sarah’s a flirt.
Miles is pretty much socially inept.

On the reverse side, each of these characters have some strong and very redeeming qualities:

Alexia faces her fears. She recognizes her own naiveté from a lifetime of sheltering, but she isn’t afraid to step into the dark and embrace the possibilities.
Kiren would give his very soul to protect those he associates with, and has sacrificed all for the sake of others. His compassion endears him to me.
Bellezza is gung ho in her cause, even when it means breaking laws. Her determination gets me.
Sarah knows how to laugh off the awful things in life.
Miles loves deeper than anyone. He’s learned from a lifetime of patterning that to truly love someone, you have to put their happiness before your own.

I suppose there has to be a balance for a character to resonate with you, but how do you weigh in? Do you love characters for their weaknesses?

Short Description: Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. 

Author Bio: Crystal Collier, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Husband Interview-- Elizabeth Seckman and J. Andersen

 A simple chick with a simple dream…
to write stories people want to read.
I love doing something different on the blog, so when Elizabeth Seckman, author of the Coulter Men Series, suggested a husband interview for her blog hop, I jumped at the idea. So, we worked up a few questions and asked our respective husbands. Chad Seckman is Elizabeth's husband and Todd Andersen is Jessie's husband. Here are their answers...

1. What's the best part about having a writer for a wife?

Elizabeth and  her hubby, Chad
CS--      (Chad is my first reader) I get to see what her creative mind has inside it. The “movie” that plays out while I read is wonderful.

TA--My wife gets to stay home and be with the kids and still do something she finds rewarding. (Both Todd and I work from home. We eat lunch together. I'm pretty sure we're the only couple who can stand each other enough to have us both be home all the time.)

2. What's the worst part about having a writer for a wife?

CS--   My biggest complaint is that she doesn’t see in herself the greatness that I do.

TA--Being grammatically corrected in everyday speech. (Yes, it's true. Luckily, Todd knows his grammar pretty well, so this doesn't happen too often.)

3. What's your favorite take out place when the muse is visiting?

CS--  I never go for take out. Elizabeth is pretty good at leaving us food in the fridge we can warm up.

TA--We don't eat takeout. We live in a podunk town that doesn't have take outs. 

4. My hubs (CS), the smart aleck, wants to ask your hubs if he has to dig through the laundry basket to find socks when deadlines approach.
Jessie and her hubby, Todd. 

CS-- (This is a total lie, but he’s either trying to make me look good or is oozing sarcasm!) I never have to dig for socks. She lays them out for me before she goes to bed.

TA--I have to dig through the laundry baskets every day to find socks, not just at deadline time. 

5. What meals do you cook when your wife is too busy to make dinner?

CS--  When she gets really busy, I try to cook something. Usually cheeseburgers. I don’t have a big list of foods I have mastered.

TA--    I make a mean grilled cheese for the kids. Sauteed salmon for me.
a.      Recipe for Grilled Cheese: Spread butter on bread. Put the bread in pan butter side down. Add two pieces of cheese. Add bread butter side up. Grill to golden perfection. (Optional: Swing dishtowel at smoke alarm if "golden perfection" turns to blackened char.)  
b.       Recipe for Sauteed salmon: Put a bit of oil in pan. Salt and pepper each side of salmon. Toss into pan and grill until crispy. Wait for your wife to yell at the grease spatters all over the stovetop because you forgot to cover the pan. 

6. Finish the following sentence: You know you're married to a writer when...

CS--You go to bed with your wife and her laptop because she stays up late to finish work so she isn’t losing family time.

TA--your extra spending cash turns out to be 1/332nd of minimum wage.

7. If you were to have free reign in spending the last royalty check, what would you buy? 

CS--  I’d save the money and surprise her with the honeymoon she never got to have. (Looks like my honeymoon will be dinner and a movie again…LOL)
TA--Royalty check? What Royalty check.

Aren't our hubbies funny?

Now, Elizabeth has a few books you should definitely check out. You can also find her on her blog, facebook adn Amazon.

Amazon Page

Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.  Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find
love. He’s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. She’s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.

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Find J. Andersen's newest short story, LEMONS on Amazon.

They say when life throws you lemons to make lemonade, but when Ally finds herself in the biggest pickle of her life—stranded on an island in the middle of a lake—fruit and veggies are the least of her worries. Now she’ll have to face the harsh realities of her selfish choices, which means dealing with what happened between her parents a few years ago.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

LEMONS--A short story-- Release day

WHOO WHOO!!! I'm so excited. The day is finally here when I get to share with you my latest short story, LEMONS. This is how I feel right now:

And like this:

It's all because of this:
They say when life throws you lemons to make lemonade, but when Ally finds herself in the biggest pickle of her life—stranded on an island in the middle of a lake—fruit and veggies are the least of her worries. Now she’ll have to face the harsh realities of her selfish choices, which means dealing with what happened between her parents a few years ago.
You can find it here and celebrate with me.   AMAZON  

If you want, you can even post your favorite celebration GIF in the comments! That would be awesome. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the new short story.