Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Change

Hi Everyone!!  :-)

First, let me say that I am honored, flattered, and thrilled that so many of you are kind enough to stop by and read my blog.  When you take the time to read my words and respond, it makes me happier than I can express.  I in no way want to discourage anyone from commenting on my posts, or letting me know what they think.

If you love my work, I'm ecstatic. Really, nothing gives me joy like hearing that my stories entertained you.  If you think my writing needs improvement, I'm happy to hear your suggestions and I truly do keep them in mind when I'm working.  Constructive criticism can only help me improve my craft.

What I won't accept, what I can never allow on this blog, are comments that are personal, spiteful, bullying, or just down right rude; especially when such comments are directed towards one of my guests.  Would you allow someone to come into your home and insult a guest you had invited?  Neither will I.  While I very much believe that people have the right to say whatever they wish, that does not translate into an obligation for me to listen.  Anyone who wishes to, may create their own blog and write about whatever topics catch their fancy, but I will not allow negativity or intolerance here.

I'm very sorry to say that, recently, someone began leaving unkind, hurtful, and disrespectful comments about one of my guests.  Because of this, I've had to change the settings on my blog so that all comments have to be approved by me before they will post.  This was something I did rather reluctantly, as I honestly would prefer to allow you all to speak and exchange ideas freely, but unfortunately one person's failure to act maturely has made this impossible.  I will review comments as often as possible, and approve any and all that are respectful and thoughtful (whether I agree with them or not), even if they are critical of my work.  This change is not meant to stifle honest debate or disagreement, but only to prevent intimidation and meanness.

Thank you all again for reading, and I hope you understand why I've done what I've done.  Have a wonderful, safe, fun weekend!! :-)


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bound By The Summer Prince Cover Reveal!!! :-)

Bound By The Summer Prince is the story of Roni, a human con woman and petty thief, who stumbles into Fairie, and Uaine, the Summer Court prince.  Uaine is destined to take over the leadership of the Summer Court from his widowed mother, the queen, but the Season Courts of Fairie have always been ruled by mated couples, and he has yet to find a mate.  When Uaine meets Roni a magical soul-mate bond forms, and he has found his mate, but before he can take his place as king he must convince her to accept him and to learn how to become the queen that their kingdom needs.  Will Roni be able to put aside a lifetime of playing at love, instead of feeling it, and learn to trust Uaine?  Can she become the queen that the Summer Court needs and can Uaine earn her affection?  Will he be the male that his soul-mate deserves and the kind of king his people have a right to expect? You'll have to read it to find out! :-)

Erin Dameron-Hill has again worked her special type of magic, and created a totally awesome cover for my work-in-progress, Bound By The Summer Prince!!!   To see more of this amazing artist's work, please check out my January 7, 2015 blog post here:


I've posted the first chapter of Bound By The Summer Prince here:


Along with several excerpts:






http://mistralkdawn.blogspot.com/2015/01/title-contest-still-going.html (I'm sorry, the contest is now closed, but the excerpt is still good. ;-) )




I'm very excited about this book, and hope to release it next month.  Thank you all for reading this post, and please stay tuned for updates!! :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Excerpt For HumpDay!

A little excerpt from Bound By The Summer Prince to give your HumpDay a pick-me-up! ;-)

    Putting aside the paddle, the prince picked up the feather.  He paused for a moment, just looking at his Anamchara as she panted with thwarted desire.  Pleased that this time she held her complaints, he slowly began running the feather down her right side, starting under her arm and ending at her knee.  Moving it back up the same path in reverse on her left side, he enjoyed watching her as she writhed against the light tickling and fought to hold her tongue.
    He flicked the feather up between her thighs, teasing her sopping pussy with it.  Smiling, he watched her strain against his magical hold, trying to get enough friction from the ephemeral touch to achieve the orgasm he had denied her twice.  Using the paddle again, this time he turned it so that he could slide the handle between her nether lips.  Roni's moan of desire was music to his ears as he slowly moved the braided leather over her most sensitive flesh.
    The feel of the rough handle between her legs had Roni shaking with need.  She nearly screamed with passion when Uaine began slowly pushing it inside of her.  The uneven surface massaged her inner walls delightfully, making her shiver on the edge of climax.
    Deciding she had endured enough, Uaine put the paddle aside and picked up the nipple clamps.  Moving up behind his mate, he spooned his body over hers.  Laying the clamps down and cupping both of her breasts in his hands, he massaged them gently. 
     The prince's cock was trapped between their bodies, but the sound of his Anamchara moaning with pleasure at his touch made it twitch. Her nipples were firm against his palms, and he plucked and rolled them between his fingers to stiffen them yet more.
     Picking up the clamps, he clipped the first one to her left nipple, and then quickly attached the second clamp to the right one.  Tugging lightly on the chain between them to test their grip, he nearly came at the sound of his mate’s groan of pleasure.

Monday, January 26, 2015

IM Tu Interviewed By Mistral Dawn

Hi Everyone!

Today we're here with IM Tu! Can you tell us about yourself and how many books you have written, IM?

IM:  I've spent the majority of my adult life working with writers as a teacher and development person.  When I finally moved to the country a few years ago, I was able to take the time and develop myself as a writer.  The result is two screenplays, a television pilot and three children's books.

Me:  Wow! Sounds like you really enjoy writing! :-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

IM:  My first published book is a children's book entitled, The Outcast Star.  The book is named after it's inspiration - a actual star that was jettisoned out of the Milky Way when its twin fell into a black hole.  The scientists call the star that my story is based on, The Outcast.  Those scientists have been fantastic about supporting the book and are a big part of my inspiration as well.  They bring the universe to our door every day.

Me:  How interesting! I've never heard about such a thing before, but it sounds facinating!  What are you working on now?

IM:  My publisher, Impera Books, has very kindly asked for a follow-up to The Outcast Star and its my current project.  Charlie and the Stars, is the story of a little boy who wants to see the stars for himself and play with all of the alien creatures he knows are just waiting for him out there.  Charlie manages to get out into space and Sirius, the Dog Star, becomes his guide to the stars that Charlie has seen in the Hubble telescope pictures.

Me: How cool! Charlie is a lucky little boy! :-)  Are there any authors, or books, who have influenced you?

IM:  It's funny...the author that seems to be influencing my writing the most is not one of the writers that I would have guessed.  I'm a huge fan of modern children's writers like Philip Pullman, Lemony Snicket, and Dr. Suess.  Classic fairy tales and stories like Alice in Wonderland and the Oz books were an integral part of my childhood.  Yet when I started to write, it EE Cummings' style that gave me permission to write as I chose.  

Me: Writing can be funny like that. It's good that you're writing the stories you want to write. :-)  What are you reading now?

IM:  I just finished Catherine Cusset's, "The Story of Jane".  A good hook is a thing of beauty and this book has a GREAT hook.  I can take or leave the story, but the hook was an education all unto itself.

Me: That's a take on reading I hadn't considered before, but it's true! :-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
IM:  Kids should expect a story about a lost star and adults should expect an allegory about loss.  And since it is a picture book, it features beautiful illustrations. The illustrations are done by an exceptionally talented new artist, Larrea Young.  They are a big part of the book and readers will be enchanted by her drawings.  

Me: Yes, the illustrations are important even in adult books. I owe my own cover artist, Erin Dameron-Hill, a lot! :-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

IM:  My favorite part is just beginning to happen.  Kids are beginning to read my book (or have it read to them) and I love what they have to say about it.  It makes me really happy that seem to care so much about Brother Star and his adventure.  It makes me really, really happy.

Me: Cool! :-)  Do you have a day job as well?

IM:  Yes.  I'm a consultant to writers :)

Me:  That must be great practice for your own work! :-)  What is the hardest and easiest part about being a writer?

IM:  For me, each phase has its challenges and its joys.  

Me:  That's probably true for us all.  What genre do you place your book in?

IM:  Children's picture books

Me:  Great! Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

IM:  Have a wonderful New Year!

Me: And so all of these lovely people can find your work, are there any links you'd like me to post?

IM:  My little book has a lot of links, please stop by and visit if you get the chance!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Special Interview With Mina Carter!! :-)

Hi Everyone!!!

Best-selling paranormal romance author Mina Carter has been kind enough to join us here today!  I’m, personally, a huge fan of Mina’s and have read her stories for years, so excuse me while I squee like a fan-girl! Mina, can you tell us about yourself and your books?

Mina:  About me…I suppose you want the truth, huh? *puts aside several fake backstories* Okay, I’m a happily married mother of one, who lives in the sleepy English countryside (seriously sleepy, the village I live in is actually too small to be called a village. We have one road and a goat.). I write full time, with cover art and photography on the side and I’ve in the region of maybe 60-70 books published, I think?

Me:  Ha! I love it! That’s exactly what I think of when I think of England outside of London…of course I’ve never actually been there. ;-)  60-70! You have been busy!! What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Mina:  The last one I wrote was Mistress of the City, which is one of my shorts. It’s about wolves that live in Cities and what happens when you throw a human ex-soldier in with a hot alpha female. As for what inspired it…my life is a continual thread of ‘what if?’.

Me: Two of the most interesting, and dangerous, words known to human beings! ;-) What are you working on now?

Mina:  I’m currently working on another werewolf book, this time in my Stratton Wolves series, called Enforcers Heart.

Me:  Oooh oooh!! I can’t wait to read it!! *happy dance* :-)  What authors, or books, have influenced your work?

Mina:  The list is too big to actually list and I’m an omnivore when it comes to reading, so it’s rather hard to pin down specific influences. I do tend heavily to paranormal and scifi, with an emphasis on the quirky.

Me:  Ah, a woman after my own heart! ;-) What are you reading now?

Mina:  Currently I’m reading an arc provided by my good friend Charlie Daye, called Girls Night Out.

Me:  Sounds like a fun story just from the title! ;-)  For those who might consider reading your books, what would you tell them to expect?

Mina:  The unexpected, and heat! I like to twist things around, and add elements that don’t normally belong together (such as zombie romance) and I tend to write rather graphically. I don’t do ‘clean’ romance.

Me:  Yes, and those of us with dirty minds do appreciate that! ;-)   What is your favorite part of being an author?

Mina:  That I can write, create stories and whole worlds. If I didn’t, it’s quite possible I would go mad. The unlimited coffee and internet access aren’t bad either ;)

Me:  Ha!! Yes, caffeine fixes are a delight of being an author!  Do you have a day job as well?

Mina:  No, I write full time fortunately.

Me:  Lucky you!!! And lucky us too! ;-)  What would you say are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Mina:  The hardest part is that this is it. There’s no waiting for the muse to strike or spending years on a story. You gotta get your backside in that seat and put words on the page. Every. Single. Day. There is no let up. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. My family are well used to me zoning out in the middle of outings, or diving in my bag for a pad and a pen.

The easiest part? There’s an easy part? Seriously? Lol! When the words are flowing and I’m right there in the story, then it’s easy. Everything else is like pulling teeth. With a marshmallow.

Me:  Amen!  But, speaking as a fan, we do appreciate your efforts. :-)  I called you a paranormal romance author, but what genre do you place your books in?

Mina:  My books tend to fit into Paranormal, UF or Scifi, although I do side step to contemporary VERY occasionally for rugby romance (I’m a big rugby fan).

Me:  Rugby…that’s like football, right? ;-)  Just kidding, had to get that American snark in here somewhere! ;-)  Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Mina:  You guys are awesome with all the reading. Keep up the good work!

Me:  Yes, aren’t they!?!  You readers are our life’s blood, thank you! :-)  And so all of these wonderful people can find your amazing stories, are there any links you'd like me to post?


Friday, January 23, 2015

A Peek To Start Your Weekend!! :-)

Hi Everyone!!

I have an announcement and an excerpt today.  First, the announcement:  I have chosen a title for the second book.  The title will be Bound By The Summer Prince, and I've sent off the information to the artist, so hopefully I'll have a cover to reveal in a few weeks. :-)

Second, the excerpt which I hope will get your weekend off to a good start! :-)

    She was just contemplating leaving her comfortable chair, and disturbing the occupant of her lap, when the door opened and Uaine walked in. "I have questions for you."
    "I would be disappointed if you did not." Said Uaine, as he gently closed the door and walked over to take a seat across the table from his Anamchara.
    Roni felt uneasy in the man's presence and when she felt uneasy she always defaulted to aggression. "Why are you holding me prisoner?"
    "You are not a prisoner..."
    "Then can I leave?" She interrupted.
    Uaine took a settling breath.  "I will explain everything to you in a moment, but first: is there anything you need?"
   "I need my stuff back."
   "We will also discuss your belongings momentarily.  Jillian mentioned that you had requested a dressmaker?"
    "No, I told her I want my clothes back."
    Sighing, Uaine prepared for the difficult conversation he knew he needed to have with his Anamchara.  It was obvious she was not inclined to make it any easier; not that her strength of will was a bad thing, in the long run, she'd need it to properly fulfill her duties as queen, but just at that moment he wished for a little less strength and a little more willingness to be open-minded.  At any rate, delay would make it no easier.
    "First, Jillian said she told you that you are no longer in the human world, is that correct?"
    Roni looked at him warily. "She told me some cockamamie story about being in some magical fairy-land, yeah."
    "But you do not believe this is true?"
    "It's impossible!"
    "Perhaps it may seem that way, humans do not seem to believe in the Fae as they used to, but are there not things you have seen that you cannot explain?  Have you not witnessed wonders that do not exist in the human world?"
    Roni considered his words.  She knew that she couldn't continue to put off thinking about all of the strange things she couldn't explain.  Eventually she was going to have to deal with the fact that what she was experiencing didn't make sense under the rules she was used to or in the world she knew.  In the forest she had decided to treat everything as if it were real, on the off chance that it was, because she'd thought that would increase her odds of survival.  It seemed as though using the same mental trick now might be a good idea. 
    She still wasn't entirely convinced that she wasn't dreaming, or hallucinating, or even dead, but she needed to be able to function and the only way she could think of to do that was to act as though she truly had, somehow, been transported to a mythical world.  If she operated under that assumption, it would free her mind to focus on other matters (like how to get back home) and allow her to respond to events and people in her normal, cautious manner.  She resolved that she wouldn't fully accept the notion, but her actions would, for the time being, be based on that premise.
    "Alright, then how did I get here?"
    "You do not remember?"
    "I remember falling and then waking up in a jungle."
    "You must have somehow encountered a portal that had opened.  Normally they require a spell to open them, but occasionally they will open on their own; only the goddess knows why or how.  You were not alone when you reached Fairie."
    "No, I was being chased by four men.  They were all killed."
    Uaine took a relieved breath.  If his Anamchara was not lying to him, he at least did not have to worry about more humans running around his kingdom.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Something To Brighten Your Tuesday! :-)

Smiling, Uaine brought both of his hands up to cup her face tenderly.  He laid the most chaste of kisses on her mouth, and when she tried to deepen it he used the grip he had on her chin to restrain her.

Roni's eyes had somehow closed when she felt his lips against hers, but they flew open when she felt him pull away and met his as he grinned down at her.  Taking a deep breath she tried to settle herself.  Perhaps several thousand years was enough time for a male to finally learn a few tricks.

Uaine gently maneuvered his Anamchara so that her back was between the restraints.  He didn't raise her up onto the platform yet, but he took her hands and placed them next to her head on the wall.  Lightly pressing on them, he looked into her eyes to see if she understood she was to keep them there.  When she nodded, he lowered his hands to her shoulders, massaging them, and then ran them slowly down her body. His thumbs brushed almost imperceptibly over her breasts and he felt her nipples harden. 

Smiling to himself at her responsiveness, his hands drifted lower; over her hips and thighs, squeezing slightly as they moved, until he reached the hem of her dress.  With one quick motion, he grabbed her garment and lifted it over her head. Her arms pulled through cleanly, and he dropped the clothing on the ground.  Pausing a moment, he allowed himself to admire the beauty of his female in her undergarments.  Heat filled his eyes as he thought about how he would worship her body.

Roni gasped in surprise as her dress flew over her head, and then smiled at the look on Uaine's face.  That was the type of desire she wanted to see when a male looked at her in lingerie; it went a long way towards soothing the hurt caused by his previous rejection.  With challenge in her eyes, Roni stepped back and up onto the platform, keeping her hands next to her head.

Uaine licked his lips and hoped that his mate was enjoying their game as much as she seemed to be.  The playfulness in her expression made him think she might be...now he just needed to put some heat in her eyes.  Reaching up, he moved her arms lower so he could slide the straps of her bra down, but he had never seen a Fae female wear such a garment and the method for removing it completely escaped him.

Laughing at his confusion, Roni reached behind herself and unhooked the clasp of her bra.  She allowed it to slowly drift down until her chest was fully revealed, reveling in her lover's response to his first sight of her uncovered breasts. She was proud of the fact that even with such a large bust, removing the support resulted in barely any sagging at all.  The garment fell from her fingers and she kicked it away.

Leaning toward his Anamchara, Uaine put his hands on her forearms and pinned them against the wall as his lips moved slowly from her shoulder to the hollow just below her ear. He breathed against her and allowed his shirt-covered chest to brush lightly against her swollen nipples.  A shudder went through her as he moved both of her wrists into the restraints.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Megan O'Russell Interviewed By Mistral Dawn

Hi Everyone!

We're here today with Megan O'Russell, author of the Tethering series.  Can you tell us what the name of your latest book is, Megan, and what inspired it?

Megan:  My latest book, The Siren’s Realm, is book two in the four part Tethering series. The idea for The Tethering came from a little boy waiting in a window for a girl to come back. I don’t really remember why that image came to me, but I needed to find out more about the boy. I wrote a scene and then another scene, and after a lot of revisions and changes, The Tethering was born.

Me:  How cool! And what are you working on now?

Megan:  Right now I have a few projects going on. A middle grade fantasy, book three in The Tethering Series, and a Christmas romance novella are taking most of my time.

Me:  Sounds like you are really busy!  Are there any authors, or books, that have influenced you?

Megan:  Way too many to name. If I had to choose one author, it would be Madeline L’Engle. If I had to choose one series it would be The Chronicles of Narnia.

Me: As a lover of fantasy stories, I have to say I'm right with you as a CS Lewis fan. ;-)  Are you reading anything now?

Megan:  Right now, I’m reading The War of the Seasons by Janine K. Spendlove.

Me:  Sounds like fun! :-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Megan:  A boy who loves a girl and would do anything to protect her. And there’s magic. Lots of magic. 

Me:  Awesome! Every story should have some magic in it! :-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Megan: Creating new worlds in my mind and finding a way for others to see what I see. Finding a way to make them know the characters the way I do. Searching for the right words to do those things is a challenge that I adore.

Me: That can be a challenge at times!  Do you have a day job as well?

Megan:  Yes. I am a professional musical theatre performer. I make my living playing make believe.

Me: Lucky you! :-)  What would you say are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Megan:  The hardest part is editing. I haven’t found the easy bit yet.

Me: Writing can be difficult at times, that's true.  What genre do you place your books in?

Megan:  The Tethering is a Young Adult fantasy novel.

Me:  Cool!  Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Megan:  Please follow my author page and my publisher, Silence in the Library, on Facebook to stay up to date on The Tethering and my other upcoming works.

 Me: And just so folks can find your wonderful stories, are there any links you'd like me to post?


Tethering buy links:

Barnes & Noble


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review For Once Upon A Western Way By Markie Madden!

Hi Everyone!

Today's post is about a book I read by Markie Madden.  It's definitely a different and entertaining tale about two young people trying to figure out how to rule a kingdom together. It's unlike other stories in it's genre, and I'd definitely recommend it.  Please take a look and consider reading this imaginative tale! :-)

My Amazon Review:

Different And Entertaining :-) 
This was an interesting novel that highlighted the dangers of letting anyone else do your thinking for you. The blend of past and present, fantasy and sci-fi, was really interesting and not something I've seen done in quite this way before. If you enjoy distopian fiction, especially with computers run amok, you'll like this story.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Title Contest Still Going!! :-)

Hi Everyone!! 

Here's another excerpt to help with those title suggestions!  Remember to post your ideas in the comments and if one is selected there will be a prize! :-)

    Roni was speaking with one of the current queen’s judges and learning a lot about how the day-to-day process of dispensing justice worked in the Summer Court when she began to feel strange.  It was almost as if a fog had fallen over her thoughts.  Taking another sip of the wine to try to dispel the confusion, she shook her head.
    The disorientation worsened, and she felt the glass fall from her hand.  Distantly, the sound of the judge asking if she was alright buzzed in her ears, but the words made no sense to her.  Inexorably she felt herself being drawn to the other side of the room; she moved as if she were sleepwalking, but soon found herself at Deirdra’s side.
    She looked up at the taller woman, unsure of why she had sought her out.  Before she knew it, her arm moved, seemingly of its own volition, and she was slapping the Elf as hard as she could. Deirdra shrieked when Roni’s hand connected with her cheek, and the sound of the blow resounded through the room like a shot.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Good Reviews For More Than Just Books

Hi Everyone!! :-)

I've got something a little different for you today.  I had an awesome customer service experience earlier this week, and I thought I'd share it.  I certainly complain long enough and loud enough when I have a bad customer service experience, so hopefully this will help balance that out. ;-)

My blu-ray player died last week.  It was almost six years old, so I can't complain too much.  I ordered a new one from Amazon.com and it was delivered this past Monday.  According to Amazon's website, this machine was supposed to have a built-in wireless receiver.  Unfortunately, when I hooked it up I discovered the website was wrong.  My router is on a different floor, so connecting it through an ethernet hookup would not have been convenient.  I called Amazon to complain.  After a couple of transfers to the wrong department, I was connected with someone who confirmed that the device does not, in fact, have a wireless receiver.  She apologized for the inconvenience and offered to refund the full purchase price plus $10, which allowed me to order the next higher model for the same net cost as the first one, and to have UPS come and pick up the one I'm returning so I don't have to waste my time and gas taking it somewhere to be shipped.

Yes, it was Amazon's mistake that led to the problem in the first place, but everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and their representative made fixing the mistake so easy and pleasant that I'm fully satisfied with the transaction.  Amazon is a very large company, so it's nice to know that when an individual has a problem with an order they've given their representatives both the training and the authority to fix it.  Anyway, that's my post for today, I hope you've enjoyed it! :-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Book Review Of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton, is a wild, looping ride that will blow your hair back and keep you guessing.  Honestly, I'm having a hard time thinking how to describe this story without giving it all away.  The narrative centers around four children: Quinn, Shinobu, John, and a "Dread" named Maud.  When the book begins some of the children are on the cusp of becoming "Seekers," who are supposedly guardians charged to protect humanity from evil, but it doesn't take long for them to learn that there is more to the story than they've been told.  Want to know what?  You'll have to read the book! ;-)

I really enjoyed this story, and I plowed through it so fast I know I'll have to go back and read it again to catch the things that I missed.  At times the changes in time, place and perspective were a little dizzying, but it didn't detract much from my overall enjoyment of the story.  There's a lot to this tale, and it's very fast paced, so you have to keep on your toes and pay close attention.  There are no insignificant details. ;-)  I am deducting one star because the disjointed organization of the book makes it just a tad difficult to follow occasionally, but I'm still looking forward to seeing how this story continues.  Four stars, and thank you Ms. Dayton for a thoroughly enjoyable read! :-)

Anthony Donnelly Interviewed Me! :-)

Hi Everyone!!! Check out this interview with Anthony Donnelly!! :-)


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Special Interview With Tracy St. John!!! :-)

Hi Everyone!! :-)

We have a very special guest today!!  Tracy St. John is an independently published author of Sci-Fi and Paranormal Erotica, and a personal hero of mine!  Thank you so much for joining us today, Tracy!  Will you tell us a bit about yourself?  Did you bring any Kalquorians with you today? *Looks around hopefully*

Tracy:  I did, and they are already hard at work to win you over. The Imdiko is in the kitchen, deciding what to make you for a romantic dinner. The Nobek is lurking around the area, making sure there are no threats to your well being. The Dramok went straight to your bedroom to search for – ahem – toys. He also brought his own supply. I hope you took your vitamins this morning.

Me:  Oh my! I hope what the Dramok finds doesn't shock him; he isn't too young, is he?  And the Imdiko is likely to be appalled at all the junk food he finds, but hopefully that won't slow him down too much. ;-)  The Nobek had better beware, I have attack cats! While we wait for the boys to make themselves at home, can you tell everyone about yourself and how many books you have written? 

Tracy:  I’m honestly one of the most boring people you could imagine. I’m mostly a wife and child wrangler. I’m really into fitness. I possess an exceptionally smutty mind, which my readers get a glimpse of through the 25 books I’ve written. I’m also a geek who loves sci-fi and horror.

The main thing I write is the Clans of Kalquor series. It’s science fiction erotica featuring an alien species that forms family groups of ‘clans’ – three men of different personality breeds with one woman. It’s set against a backdrop of the nearly extinct Kalquorian Empire and an extremely dystopian Earth society. There are currently nine books in the Clans of Kalquor series and nine other books that are related to it.

Me:  Yes, and I've read every single one that you've publish and am anxiously awaiting your next one! :-)  Take it from me folks, everything Tracy writes has steam coming off of it, you won't be bored! ;-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Tracy:  The last new book I released was Michaela, a story that takes place in my Clans of Kalquor universe. It’s not part of the main series itself, but more of a companion story to Clans of Kalquor 2: Alien Rule. Michaela is intersex (male and female) and my readers adored her. They wanted to know how she ended up with a clan of three doting men. They kept begging for more of her story, so I delivered it. Despite being intersex, she has turned out to be my most popular heroine.

Me:  She is an interesting character.  It was great to learn more about her! :-)  I think I already know the answer to this next question, but I'll ask anyway:  What are you working on now?

Tracy:  I’m doing battle with the tenth book of the Clans of Kalquor series, Alien Indiscretions. I say battling, because this is my most ambitious project yet. Trouble has reached a fever pitch for the Kalquorian clans and their female Earther mates. Long hidden secrets are revealed, which threaten to blow up in an all-out revolt. This book has so many twists and turns, and I’m far behind the original release date I had set for myself. Every time I sit down to write, I discover a new complication has arisen for my characters. This book should be dubbed, The One That Refuses to Behave.

Me:  I was right! The excerpts you've posted have me waiting with bated breath for this one! I hope it starts behaving itself soon!  :-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Tracy:  As far as authors, I’m devoted to Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Jules Verne, and Tolkien. Probably my biggest influences as far as books would be A Handmaiden’s Tale, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern series, Frankenstein, and Carmilla.

Me:  All the classics! I love the Dragonriders of Pern series.  It was one of the first series I read as a kid. My mom didn't quite 'get' what those riders were doing while their dragons went on 'flights.' ;-) What are you reading now?

Tracy:  The Bible, with companion research references; Old Town by Lin Zhe; and Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic as you can see from that last one. I’m the kind of person who can quote you proper intake percentages of carbs, protein, and fat.

Me:  Eclectic grouping! :-)  For those who might consider reading your books, what would you tell them to expect?

Tracy:  Though the search for love and happily-ever-after is the main drive behind my books, I don’t do romance. I do BDSM erotica, often with a dubcon edge. My characters, including heroines and heroes, are basically decent people but they have their dark sides. My worlds are not pretty. They aren’t meant to be. In my books love is desperate, it’s sweaty, and it’s sometimes as painful as it is wonderful.

As I mentioned, the Earth backdrop to my Kalquor series is a dystopian society. Many people take issue with what I write, taking my fiction a little too literally sometimes. I’ve been accused of being anti-religion, particularly when it comes to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I simply write about a belief system used by those in power to subjugate others. The heroines are often traumatized by what they’ve been through. Sometimes I even posit views that I don’t agree with if they serve the story or a particular character best. In the end it’s just a story, but some readers take it rather personally when it challenges their beliefs.

Me:  I've noticed that particular phenomenon myself.  It's fiction people! :-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Tracy:  Hearing from the readers. I never in my wildest dreams thought people would tell me that my books helped them get through a particularly dark period in their lives. Yet I’ve received so many emails to that effect. Knowing that I did something, however inadvertent, to make someone else’s life a little better is incredibly humbling. It always makes me stop and feel grateful I could offer some sort of relief when others needed it most.

Then there are those who tell me that I inspired them to pursue their own writing dreams. How amazing is that? Rhetorical question; it’s fantastic! I do a happy dance every time one of my readers lets me know they’ve written a book and been published.

Me:  I'm one of those readers you inspired and I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your advice and suggestions!!! :-)  You've blogged quite a bit about being "successful" as an author (ie: being able to make a living writing) and about other jobs you've had in the past.  Are you still working at those other jobs?  Would you like to share any "secrets" you've learned about being a successful independent author?

Tracy:  I am currently not doing other work. I miss working in video and film production, but at this stage of my writing I simply can’t. I started losing money by working on things besides my books, so the day job had to go. However, I hope to do film work again in a couple of years by producing a script that I’m writing right now.

I wish I had a secret to share about making a living as a writer, other than never give up. I wrote and submitted to publishers for 24 years before my first book Alien Embrace was accepted. That is a long time. Once that book was offered to the public, things began to happen pretty fast. To this day, I have no idea why that first book took off the way it did. The success Alien Embrace and the books that followed it enjoyed enabled me to break away and do things on my own terms. I am beyond grateful for my good fortune, though it took quite a while for Fortune to smile on me!

The only advice I feel comfortable giving is keep writing no matter what...even if it takes 24 years for anyone to accept you! Write the book you want to read. Polish it until it screams under the strain of perfection. Send it out to a publisher or publish it yourself, promote it ceaselessly, and treat your precious readers with the respect and love they deserve. And while you’re promoting that first book, get to work writing the second book. Keep the momentum going.

The truth is, most ‘success’ stories are not like mine where the first published book takes off quickly. Most authors who earn a living through writing get there the hard way. They write book after book after book first, slowly building a readership from the ground up. I’ve known tons of talented writers who have written a dozen books and still work their day jobs. They write not for success, money, or fame. They do it because writing is like breathing.

In the end, you don’t write fiction to make a lot of money or even to make a living. You do it because writing is your life. Even if I wasn’t able to support my family through my books, I’d still be writing.

Me:  Hear that folks?  An indie author who had to give up her day job to keep from losing money! :-)  While we all dream of that, you're right.  All of the authors I've spoken with write because we love it.  Because the characters wouldn't let us sleep if we didn't! :-)  Best of luck getting that script written and produced! :-) What would you say are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Tracy:  The hardest part for me is getting family and friends to take my writing seriously as work. Sitting at home all day in front of a computer and drinking coffee does not invite respect. People think they can interrupt at any time. No matter how much I tell them I am working and can’t be disturbed, they continue to drop by or call at all hours anyway.

If you’ve seen the scene from The Shining during which Jack Nicholson tells Shelley Duvall to ‘get the f--- out’ because she’s interrupted his writing flow, then you know pretty much what’s going on in my head when someone decides they can butt into my day.

The easiest part is getting ideas for books. I’ve never understood it when people talk about writer’s block. I have at least 50 books waiting to be written. The ideas never stop coming. I’m drowning in them. I feel like I won’t live long enough to get to them all.

Me:  Ha! I feel your pain.  As someone who has worked graveyard for years, I border on violence when someone calls me during the day because I'm "not busy."  Maybe I should start making phone calls at 3am? ;-)  I placed your books in the Sci-Fi and Paranormal Erotica genres, would you agree or do you think a different genre describes them better?

Tracy:  I agree. That’s exactly where they belong.

Me:  Too bad there isn't a 'gobs of fun!' category, then we could move them. ;-)  Is there anything else you'd like to tell readers?

Tracy:  Whether or not you read my books, I’d like to make a request for all the authors you do follow. Please leave reviews for the stories you read. Whether for good or bad, your opinions count. Reviews help new and indie authors get noticed. Even bad reviews can help a writer, particularly on a site like Amazon. I’ve learned that some of the less favorable comments left for my books actually attracted readers who liked the very things that bothered some! But please no spoilers. Reviews that reveal major plot twists ruin it for other readers.

As for my own readers, I know I say it often but I have to say it again: I love you guys! Thank you for everything.

Me:  Amen!  And so anyone here who doesn't already know and love you (where have they been? under a rock!? ;-) ) can find you, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Tracy:  I have a website that offers excerpts and links for my books, as well as the Wicked Words blog that updates regularly with news of upcoming releases.

There is also a blog I write that features an ongoing free serialized story called Shalia’s Diary. It is part of the Clans of Kalquor universe. It’s been running since 2012, and you can start with the first entry at http://shaliasdiary.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html.

Thank you for having me!

Me:  You're welcome, Tracy, and thank you so much for coming!  Please feel free to leave those Kalquorians here if you have enough at home. ;-) 

Everyone else, thank you so much for joining us here today!!  If you'd like to check out the artist who designs Tracy's covers please check out my blog posting for 1/7/2015.  Erin Dameron-Hill was kind enough to grant me an interview, and her work is definitely worth seeing!! And don't forget to check back often for the latest news, updates, and interviews!! :-)