Category Archives: Guest Bloggers

Interview with author Sarah Mäkelä

“Techno Crazed” by Sarah Mäkelä

I hope ya’ll will help me welcome author Sarah Mäkelä  whose

book, Techno Crazed, will be released June 17th.  Hint: that’s a mere two days away!
 
I’m totally loving this cover…. can we say H-O-T?

Without any further lead up – let’s talk to Sarah.

Who are some writers that have inspired you as a writer and/or a reader?

SM: The authors that have inspired me to write and delve into my chosen genres are Laurell K. Hamilton and Christine Feehan.

 What do you like to read outside your genre?

 SM: Holly Lisle says, “If you wrote the book you want to read, you should enjoy reading the book you wrote.” So, I guess it’s no surprise that I mostly read within my genre. When I do step outside of the genres, I read all kinds of things. A lot of writers resources, some non-fiction books on topics I enjoy, and the other genres of romance, fantasy, etc.

 What’s your writing process? Pantser/Plotter/somewhere in between?

 SM: I’m definitely somewhere in between. Kind of. Certain projects swing certain ways. Some manuscripts are flat-out pantsed, and some I have an outline for. Techno Crazed had a general outline that I used as a road map to make my way to The End, but I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen all throughout the book. What affects my process, and how do I decide which book to do which way? It comes down to how much time I decide to allot for planning before jumping in to write.

 What was the genesis for this book?

 SM: I’d seen articles and other things mentioning cyberpunk before, but I thought it was a little out of my league. But then, there was an anthology call for submissions asking for cyberpunk novellas. I figured, “What the heck. It’s only novella-length.” So I brainstormed a story, wrote it out, and later found a home at Changeling Press.

 What’s one thing fans might be surprised to learn about you?

 SM: Fans? I have those? *grins* Just kidding. I’m not sure if this is surprising, but I love cold weather and snow. Winter is my favorite season.

 I really like snow and winter too 🙂

Now for some quickies:

Favorite book? Wow, I’ll have to go with favorite series instead. Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series, Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, and Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series.

Favorite author? I love all of the ones listed above, but if I had to go with one, it’d be Ilona Andrews.

Favorite food? I really like Mexican and Italian food. A good steak rocks too.

Favorite TV show? My favorite TV shows are Supernatural, Damages, Tudors, Criminal Minds, and Ghost Adventures.

Favorite movie? I can’t think of any favorite movies. I’ve seen a ton of them. I’d say ones that are at the top of the list are The Hangover, Taken, the Transporter movies, and From Paris with Love.

Favorite writing activity? If I’m on a roll, I love writing. I also enjoy brainstorming and figuring out my next story.

Favorite non-writing activity? I love traveling, video games and computer games, and playing with my kitties.

Anything else you want to share?

 SM: Thank you for the great interview!

 If you’re interested in a chance to win a copy of Techno Crazed, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. I’ll announce the winner in it on 6/24.

Find me online at:

Website: www.sarahmakela.com

Blog: http://blog.sarahmakela.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarahmakela

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorsarahmakela

 Also, here’s an excerpt from Techno Crazed, which will be available on June 17th. Enjoy!

 Excerpt:

 A loud, metallic click sounded from the other side of the room. Then footsteps raced around the couch. 

“Hannah? Are you okay?” Ian’s voice drew her gaze to his concerned face. 

“What did you do? What are you?” She gulped, unsure if she wanted an answer to that.

He frowned, and a muscle clenched in his jaw. “I’m a technomage. I use and simulate magic through technology.”

“What?” She pressed the back of her hand to her forehead. Pain formed at her temples. “Whoa. How long have you… ?”

“Since puberty. My mother was also a technomage.” He shrugged a shoulder. “It’s always been part of who I am. I’m just pretty good at hiding it.”

She blinked. Wow, his mother had seemed so normal when she’d met his parents. Had she really known him? He seemed like a stranger. No, she wouldn’t throw away their memories together because he’d hidden part of himself. She wouldn’t do that to him. Or she’d try not to, at least. “Were you ever going to tell me? Like if things had progressed between us?” 

He helped her up and grabbed the blanket, keeping her covered. “I would have, eventually. Wouldn’t be nice of me to do otherwise, you know?”

She nodded and stared into his brown eyes. “I’ve missed you.”

He released a breath and rested his forehead against hers. “I’ve missed you too. God, I really screwed things up, didn’t I?” 

Placing her hand against his chest, she angled her face to brush her lips against his. “We both did.”

Ian ran his hand through her hair, cupping the back of her head before deepening the kiss. His mouth possessed hers like a thirsty man at a well. He always kissed hard and desperately, and she loved it.

Ian scooped her into his arms, making her feel desirable. He carried her into the bedroom and kicked the door shut. Crossing the room, he set her down and ran his hands over her neck, shoulders, and down to her hips.

“You’re so beautiful, Hannah. I missed out on a lot when –”

“Hush. Don’t think about that. We’re together now.” She drew his face down to hers, kissing him.

He held himself over her, obviously being careful of her wounded state. She appreciated that, but part of her didn’t care about the injury, she just needed him.

He stiffened and glanced over his shoulder, looking at the door. She followed his gaze to see the gnome peeking inside.

“Sorry to disturb the party. As much as I’d like to listen to you two HAVE SEX, there’s stuff to be done!” Bernard looked as happy as ever, and she so wanted to wipe that cheerfulness off his face.

Yet he was right. Damn it. She still needed to check out the donut shop. There was a possibility they might find evidence of a struggle that they could bring to the police. But hadn’t she heard a couple weeks back about someone spreading rumors of police involvement with MAX Home Security? Ian rolled next to her and placed his hands over his face. He let out a ragged sigh. “Fine. We’ll be out in a moment.”

“No more SEX!” The gnome slammed the door behind him.

“Why do you put up with him?” she asked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you, Sarah, for visiting my blog.  I wish you luck on your release.

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Guest: Danielle Monsch, author of “Loving a Fairy Godmother”

Today, I’m welcoming my first guest blogger, Danielle Monsch.  I asked Danielle to discuss how she came up with the idea for her story.   Also, please leave a comment between now and April 20 at midnight to be entered to win a copy of Danielle’s eBook.  A winner will be randomly picked and I’ll post the winner on April 21st, 2011.  Good luck and I hope you enjoy…. Clancy

Loving a Fairy Godmother

Danielle: 

I wrote Loving a Fairy Godmotherin response to an open call.

An epub asked for stories related to Fairy Tales.  Fairy Tales are a favorite of mine, so it seemed like a great fit for me.  All the great stories you can riff off – Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White. 

Piece of cake, right?

Well, the story I had been working on originally was a riff on a famous fairy tale.  Problem was, I wasn’t feeling the story.  It should have come easy, but nope.  I was struggling, and because it was an open call, I had a hard deadline the story needed to be done by.

One night in bed, I was thinking over my story, and suddenly who should show up in my head except this blonde with dimples, telling me he was the only fairy godfather amongst the fairy godmothers, and I should tell his story.

Well hell.

What was I going to do with him?  I had two weeks to write a damn story, I couldn’t indulge some random character who was beckoning me to use him in a story.

But he wouldn’t leave me alone, and the other story was not working at all.

So I called my crit partner Anna Alexander and told her my situation.  Told her that I needed to write about this new guy and had to shelve my other story.  Would she be willing to put in the work to help me – and believe, writing a novella in just under two weeks, tons of work.  Told my husband I was not to be bothered, and for two weeks, all I did was write.

I abused my husband, I abused my crit partner Anna, and I just wrote.

Well, I did get the story done by the deadline, but it was not ultimately selected for the open call.  That was a disappointment, but I did have reason to believe I was one of the finalists for the anthology, and that was enough to give me a glow for a few days.

What did I learn from this experience?  I have an awesome crit partner and an awesome hubby.  I can do some crazy writing if I absolutely have to.  And that I should never ignore a character who refuses to leave me alone.  If I have a great character, the story will follow.

 LOVING A FAIRY GODMOTHER

Blurb:

 Tiernan is one of a kind. Beyond the divine dimples, killer blue eyes, and hard muscled body, Tiernan is also the only Fairy Godfather. Most of the Fairy Godmothers have no problem with keeping Tiernan around, but Reina isn’t like most Fairy Godmothers.

Amongst Fairy Godmothers, Reina is the best. Organized, efficient, logical. So why is it when Tiernan is around, all those qualities fly out the window? Reina doesn’t like that one infuriating male makes her lose control, and just wants him gone. Circumstances arise that just might let her get her wish, though not in a way she ever wanted.

Tiernan is given an assignment and told either get a Happily Ever After or he will no longer be a Fairy Godfather. Reina is going with him to supervise, but if Tiernan gets his way, he’ll not only be supervising that luscious stubborn fairy in bed, but also get her to admit Happily Ever Afters also apply to Fairy Godmothers.

Excerpt:

 “Godfather Tiernan—”

“You can just call me Tiernan,” he interrupted.

She tried again. “Godfather Tiernan—”

“”Didn’t Sara just tell you that you had to follow my directions?”

That pushed her over the edge. “Do you truly think you are going to secure a HEA when you haven’t been able to do it yet?”

He let out a derisive snort, but immediately realized that was a huge mistake. Her face lost her usual look of annoyance crossed with bemused tolerance, leaving pure ice in its place. “This is why men should not be allowed into the Godmother program. None of you have any respect for Happily Ever Afters.”

“I never said I didn’t believe in HEAs” he began, but she cut him off.

“Every case you’ve been on tells me you don’t believe, or else you would have tried once, just once, to get one!”

His hands slammed on the table as he leaned across it, his face coming inches from hers. “I’ve never tried because I believe in love! Humans need love so much, who the hell was I to screw up two people in love to get them to HEA status? I could never forgive myself if two people in love missed out on each other because of my actions!”

All anger fled her face, and a hesitant, unsure look came over features. “What do you think a HEA is?”

He drew in a deep breath, sitting down once again. “I think happily ever after is a nice way to end a story, but in the world I remember, it’s a waste.”

Her hand was halfway towards him before she seemed to remember their roles, and she pulled it back to her side. “Love is wonderful, but only love alone is incomplete. You can love someone, but they can ultimately not be right for you. Even in love, people can still be led to believe the worst of each other, still hurt each other, still decide they are better without the other,” she began, her words hesitant, as if she was trying to define to herself what it all meant as much as to him. “But the Happily Ever After is so much more. It’s finding your perfect match, love purified, refined, to such an extent that it can never be sundered. With a Happily Ever After, men can achieve greatness, as can all the generations who follow growing up in its shadow.”

“And you think jeopardizing the surety of a love match now is worth it for only the possibility of a Happily Ever After?” he asked, his voice gentle, reverent, wanting nothing to break this intimacy their words were creating.

“I do. In your view, maybe that seems cruel, but in my view, there is no greater tragedy then two people who almost make this connection but fall short in the end.”

Such a hard exterior to cover such a tender heart. “I’m not sure if I can believe as you do,” he said after considering her words. “But I never want Sara… you… to feel as if I let you down. After we get this situation behind us, I want you proud of the job I do.”

And as his breath caught at the rare smile she bestowed upon him just then, he knew all she had to do was keep smiling at him like that, and anything she wanted, whether it be his beliefs or his blood, he would give her.

Her smile faded, and the moment ended. Reina cloaked herself in her position of authority as she handed him the file that had been sitting on her desk. It was already open to show a picture of a blond girl, pretty and vibrant with a mouth full of straight white teeth, all of which was evident even underneath the dirt. “I looked over this case earlier, before I realized what was going on,” she said. “It is a good, solid HEA case. There are several challenges to overcome, but also several sources of help for the client. It is about as perfect as a case can be for this purpose, as evenly balanced as I’ve ever seen. No one can accuse the council of favoring either side. The girl’s name is Cinderella. She lives with an abusive Stepmother and two rotten spoiled stepsisters. She is a very kind, generous girl—though a little too much of a doormat, if you ask me—but outside of that, not really any other character flaws. She is much beloved in her village, children and small animals flock to her daily. In short, we exist to give HEAs to mortals like her.”

Tiernan read the file quickly, then flipped the page and took in the photo of the male who would supply the HEA. “A prince, huh? That’s pretty standard.”

“Indeed, but for the most part, we don’t mess with the classics here.” The pointed look she gave him told him he was one of the exceptions, and she wasn’t necessarily thrilled about it. Ah yes, completely back to normal.

He returned that look with a flirty smile. “I used to serve royalty, Godmother Reina. Believe me when I say, sometimes the large crown is to compensate for something.”

“Oh really? Well, I assume we can say the same thing about your sword, eh, knight?”

Maybe not completely back to normal after all. The second those words passed her lips her eyes went saucer wide, and Tiernan couldn’t say who was more shocked, him or Reina herself. There was no way he was letting this pass. His voice coming out a low growl, he replied, “Why, Reina, I never knew you were interested in the size of my sword. Anytime you want a private viewing, I will be more than happy to oblige.”

Danielle Monsch is a Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World.  Her debut story, Loving a Fairy Godmother, is available from Liquid Silver Books at http://bit.ly/Dani_LFG

You can find her online at www.DanielleMonsch.com, www.twitter.com/DaniMonsch, www.facebook.com/DanielleMonsch.  You can find Anna Alexander at http://www.AnnaAlexander.net

One random commenter will receive a free ebook of Loving a Fairy Godmother.  Good Luck!

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