Monday, March 26, 2012

Barnes & Noble top selling Mystery Writer Kathy Bennett does it again!

Kathy's A Dozen Deadly Roses hit both Barnes & Nobles and Amazon top 100 lists for her best selling debut novel. It is listed as one of the top cop dramas and police procedural mysteries to come along in quite a while.
Due out next month, her second book, A Deadly Blessing promises to be another great read.

     Kathy, I have to gush here for a minute. I read A Dozen Deadly Roses and became an instant fan.  
     Thank you so much! It’s good to know that my words connect with readers. 
     So I’m excited that your second book A Deadly Blessing is due out soon. I can’t wait to read it.
 I had hoped to have A Deadly Blessing out in February, but some revision issues slowed me down. I’m fairly certain the book will release in early April. (Kathy says while crossing her fingers.) 

1 1.)    Okay, gushing’s over. I know it’s been a year since your retirement from the LAPD. In that time, did you find more time to write or did you have to schedule your writing time because life took over?
     I have quickly learned that I’m doing retirement all wrong!  
     Prior to retirement, I already knew I’d be devoting about 20 hours a week to my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. I’m doing that and I love the time I get to spend with my mom.
     I also self-published A Dozen Deadly Roses. There was a tremendous learning curve in how to go about the mechanics of getting a book up for sale.  Once the book was available at all major e-book retailers, I had to get the word out.  For several months, I was at my computer twelve to fourteen hours a day – promoting my book and my name.  I was prepared for the time spent with my mom, but had no idea I’d be spending so much time trying to get people to ‘know’ Kathy Bennett. I’ve spoken at various conferences, taught several online classes, done a number of guest blogs, and joined the board of directors of my local RWA chapter. 
     Couple that with the regular stuff that goes on in a household, cooking, cleaning, shopping, errands and the list goes on and on.  Oh, and my daughter is getting married this summer so there are all kinds of wedding details and events to sort out. There are never enough hours in the day.

     2.)       I know your second novel A Deadly Blessing is due out next month, is it a continuation of your first book or is the story totally independent of the first? 
     Well, it’s not a continuation per se…but it’s not totally independent either. If I had to choose one answer, I’d say it’s more independent. Is that confusing enough? 
3.)    I need to ask, I sure you’re tired of this question by now, but why did you self-publish?     I never get tired of this question.  First, let me say that there are so many choices for authors today.  There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to publish a book.
     I chose to self-publish my book because it allowed me complete control over my career.  Imagine that – a former cop who wants complete control ;-)  I liked the idea that I would be able to keep the title I’d thought of for my book, that I’d be able to have a cover that I loved (and had final say on design,) and I loved the idea that if I did well, it was through my hard work.  If my book tanked, I had no one but myself to blame.  
     Self-publishing worked well for me.  That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. 

4.)    How much time each day do you spend promoting your books as opposed to writing? 
     I think the period after a book’s release is crazy time.  Once A Deadly Blessing is released I can see me spending twelve hours a day on the computer again.  
     However, I’ve also learned what works for me and what doesn’t.  With that said, the publishing industry is changing so quickly, what worked for me 9 months ago, might be a total waste of time at the present time.

5.)    What do you like best about your main character in A Dozen Deadly Roses? Her strength or her vulnerability?  
     Oh, good question! 
     I’d have to say, I like Jade’s vulnerability as a police officer and woman. When I first conceived the idea for A Dozen Deadly Roses, I wanted to write a story about street cops.  One of my pet peeves with police procedural novels is that the women police characters are often portrayed hard as nails and always with a sassy, witty remark to any given situation. 

6.)    What do you like about main character in A Deadly Blessing? 
     The main protagonist in A Deadly Blessing is LAPD Detective Maddie Divine. I like the fact that Maddie is a very strong woman. She has to be - she’s got a lot on her plate.  She’s recovering from a life-changing event in her life, all the while her husband is struggling after a traumatic incident as a SWAT officer.  To top it off, she’s involved in the biggest case in her career and, during the investigation she learns her partner might be involved in the crime.

7.)    I always think cop equals tough—but Jade is not only the heroine, but also a victim in A Dozen Deadly Roses who over comes most obstacles. I guess my question is she is portrayed as an everyday individual who has a unique job. Would that be your assessment of your career and your characters?     Wow!  You’re making me see things about my own book I didn’t realize.  But I think you are right. 
     Jade is a single-mother who struggles to get through the day-to-day details of life – just like many women in the world do.  The difference between Jade and the every-day woman is the fact that Jade can take away someone’s freedom – or even end their life…in a matter of seconds. But if you take Jade out of the uniform, she’s woman and a mother just like many women in the world.
8.)    Do people treat you differently when they learn you were an officer of the law? 
     Ha! Not really. I do think many people are surprised when they learn of my former profession.  I’m generally very quiet and reserved – not the image most people have of a police officer.  However, if the situation calls for it, I have no problem morphing into my police persona.  
     If I may, I’d like to tell a quick story that illustrates this point. About five years ago I was at the RWA National Conference in Washington D.C.  I was a student in a workshop at the host hotel when the fire alarms began to sound. The room I was in was on a lower floor. At first, I don’t think anyone took the alarm seriously, until a hotel employee came and told everyone to get out and to NOT take the elevators or the escalators.
     I began to bark out orders about which way we should exit the building and recruiting some people to help me with a woman who was handicapped. I’m sure more than one person thought, ‘Who is this loud-mouth red-headed woman leading us through the loading dock?’ Bottom line – we all got out of the building safely. That really wasn’t that much of an accomplishment though…it was a false alarm!

This question is for me. Are you working on your third book and if so when would it be released?
     I’m currently working on the next book in the Maddie Divine series. In these early stages, it’s hard to know where the characters will take me.  If I could release the story early next year, I’d be thrilled. 

Kathy Bennett is no stranger to murder and mayhem.  After twenty-one years as a Los Angeles police officer, this retired cop’s authentic crime experience results in arresting stories. 
As a police officer, most of Kathy’s career was spent working patrol in a black and white police car.  Prior to retirement, Kathy was assigned as a Senior Lead Officer, with approximately five square miles in the City of Los Angeles her responsibility. Kathy also served as a Firearms Instructor at the LAPD Police Academy, a crime analyst in the ‘War Room’, a Field Training Officer, and worked undercover in various assignments.  She was named Officer of the Quarter twice, and Officer of the Year once.
In June of 2011, Kathy self-published her debut novel, A Dozen Deadly Roses.  The e-book climbed the charts becoming one of the best-sellers at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  In April of 2012, Kathy will published her second full-length suspense novel, A Deadly Blessing, and is currently working on her third book.
She’s married to a Los Angeles Police Officer, Rick and they have one daughter and one granddaughter.
Kathy likes to go hiking with Rick and their three Labrador Retrievers, incorporating photography into many of their adventures.  Attempting to recapture some of the excitement of working the streets, Kathy can periodically be found in Las Vegas risking a few bucks on slot machines, blackjack or craps tables.     




            “Maddie, do not hang up the phone.”

            “Travis, I’m working. I can’t talk right now.”

            “You’re always working. What’s more important, our marriage or your job?”

            My partner, Darius Cutter, plucked my cell phone from my hand. “Hey, dude, she’ll call you later. The chief and the mayor are waiting for us.” He snapped my cell shut and handed it back to me. “Let’s go.”

            “You shouldn’t have done that.” Immediately, the phone vibrated in my hand. The display showed a smiling photo of my husband - a photo taken when Travis was okay and normal. A pang of sorrow invaded in my chest.

            “Ignore it,” Darius said, referring to the quivering phone. “Call him back when we’re out of our meeting.” He led the way out of the noisy detective squad room to the foyer where we’d catch the elevator.

            I knew Darius was right. When the Chief of Police calls and orders you to a meeting with the mayor, you hustle your ass to get there.  But my husband was on edge, to say the least. Guilt weighed heavy on me for putting work ahead of him, but I rationalized that Travis was a cop and knew sometimes it was necessary. Meanwhile, I followed my partner while we traversed through the new Police Administration Building and then over to City Hall.

            It’s not every day a girl gets to meet both the chief of police and the mayor of Los Angeles. I wondered why today was my day.  

Kathy, thank you so much for being my guest today. I'm looking foward to reading about Maddie in A Deadly Blessing. Marian

Monday, March 19, 2012

Interview with author Casey Wyatt.

Welcome, Casey. I'm excited to have you as my guest today. I loved Mystic Ink and can't wait for your next novel.

What does an average writing day look like?

I actually don’t write every day. I spend a lot of time planning and working out plot points before I begin to write. I’m a reformed “pantser” and I’ve learned that the most effective way for me to write is to know where the story is going. I don’t have to know “how” events will happen, but I have to have an idea of the beginning, middle, and end. When I’m writing, I generally crank out 1,000 -2,000 words a day (this is with a full time job and family). If I have vacation time, I’ve been able to do 5,000 words in a day. It all depends on the book and what else is going on in my life.

Which comes first for you Casey, the characters or the story?

Usually the characters. Occasionally, I’ve had the story come before the characters.

Who would you have play Nix and Cal if Mystic Ink were made into a movie?

I have no idea! I never imagine real people in the roles of my characters. I have a general idea of what they look like. And I hear their voices and their thoughts loudly in my head! But their actual appearance, I leave to the reader’s imagination.

I know you write paranormal romance, are you planning on writing a non-paranormal romance?

Not at the moment. Every story has some kind of paranormal or magical twist to it. Someday I might try a contemporary, but not in the next year!

Are you going to explore other genres?I’ve learned, never say never. If a great story pops into my head (and there is no magic) I’ll write it.

Do you model your characters after people you know?Not intentionally.  I will co-opt phrases or quirks from my family or friends. I’ve gotten some of my best lines from my youngest son who has a great sense of humor. Mostly, I don’t know where their personalities come from. 

What can you tell us about Mystic Ink?

The last thing Nix, a Sea Nymph, wants to see behind the dumpster near her tattoo shop is another dead mortal. She also doesn’t want to hear Hades piss and moan about how the souls of the dead aren’t making it to the Underworld. And Nix certainly doesn’t want to be attracted to supernatural police agent, Calder Quinne when he comes to investigate. All Nix really wants is to run her tattoo shop in peace and quiet. Hey, we don’t always get what we want, now do we?

Are you planning a sequel?

I am currently working on Mystic Storm, Zephyr’s book. Zephyr is God of the West Wind and Nix’s friend. He’s gotten himself into hot water with the Fates. Those who have read the book, they know why. And that is all I’ll say for now.

When can we expect your next book to be released?

My next book is The Undead Space Initiative (Pink Petal Books). I don’t have a release date yet, but I hope it will be in 2012.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t listen to the Doubt Monster (visit me at my blog to find out who he is)! Doubt and fear kill creativity. Write what you see in your head and worry about the mechanics later. I think it’s more important to write (even if you later deem it to be crap) and keep writing. I think new writers spent too much time on trying to make that first book perfect! Don’t spend years on one story. Write it. Move on. Write some more. Take classes and keep honing your craft. It really is a never-ending journey.

Mystic Ink is available from, Amazon and Barnes &Noble

The Undead Space Initiative – coming in 2012 from Pink Petal Books.

I’d love to hear from you!

Twitter: @CaseyWyatt1

Thanks for having me today Marian! Best of luck with your books.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Welcome Romance, Paranormal Author Mimi Barbour

Welcome, Mimi,. What a fabulous idea this blog tour that you're on from the 14th to the 18th is. I've discovered so many authors new to me. You can catch Mimi and others authors at:

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My Cheeky Angel
(1st book in the Angels with Attitudes series)
Mimi Barbour
     Annie is naïve and love-starved, she’ll soon to be celebrating her big 3-0. Something needs to be done! Celi, her ‘down-to-earth’ guardian angel appears to help kick-start Annie’s big change—her looks, her job, her whole life. By taking a managerial position with a sophisticated shoe manufacturer, Annie becomes embroiled with her new associates and hooked on the power of big business. Unfortunately, her exhaustion from overwork forces her to ignore old friends, and her lapse places someone she cares about in terrible danger.
     Tyler, a Social Worker and a woman-hater previously hurt in two relationships, only wants Annie in his life as a good buddy. Oh yeah! And to help with his mixed-up street kids. Perversely, once her life alters, he misses her like hell. In one sweet night of loving everything changes. But, due to an overabundance of nightcaps, she doesn’t remember the night he can’t forget.

     Every time he closed his eyes, a strange image of Annie in trouble took on such realistic tendencies it seemed surreal. Sick of his own company, Tyler decided a walk would do him a world of good, clear his head, and help to get his mind off his tomboy gone rogue.
     Once the idea appeared, it became a fixation. No choice, no dragging his feet, he had to get out of his apartment. Either he needed hallucination treatments or a curt, gravelly female had taken up residence in his brain and urged him to hurry and get his butt moving.
     The elevator, not ever on his floor, awaited him with the door open and no one else inside. He shivered. Strange and stranger! The ride down lasted only seconds. When it slowly opened, a nightmare unfolded. One look at his Annie clinging to her evening’s escort and his rage superseded common sense. Without thought, he ripped her from the scumbag’s groping fingers and shoved the conceited-looking, puffed-up character against the wall. All Tyler’s six feet two inches of anger intimidated. He watched the coward evaluate, then shrink back.
     Within seconds the smooth prick spoke. “Anna had a bit too much to drink. I was seeing her safely home.”
     “Not a problem. I’ll take her up,” he growled. By this time, Tyler had a supportive arm around the wobbly woman.
     He looked down at her. “Say bye-bye to your date...Anna.”
     His spitting out her newly chosen name would have set worry bells ringing, if she’d been in her normal state of mind. Blitzed out of her head, she just jiggled her fingers and said, “Bye-bye, date.”
     With everything happening so fast, Tyler knew Annie hadn’t had a chance to fully appreciate the change in her situation. One minute she was leaning drunkenly against the slimy character whose hands were all over her body, while her unfocused eyes gazed at him adoringly. The next minute, Tyler had taken over.
     As the elevator doors closed, leaving Sergio shrugging off his disappointment, a fuming Tyler lifted Annie into his arms.
     At ease, Annie wrapped her arms around him, snuggled her face into his neck, and then sighed. His familiar expensive cologne, one of her gifts that he regularly used, seemed to soothe her. “I love how you smell.”
     His anger fled the moment he became aware that she sniffed at him like a small kitten. His legs almost buckled when he felt the tip of her tongue lick him, and then press a tiny kiss over the wet spot.
     The groan started deep, frustration forcing it out, chasing away his righteous snit. At her door, he lowered her to her unsteady feet, but she refused to unwind her arms from around his neck. They clung, her body glued to his.


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Welcome Romance Writer & Author R.C. Bonitz

Bob, Thanks for stopping by today. I love your topic and agree with it all. And thanks for giving If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery a plug. I can personally recommend 'A Little Bit of Blackmail'. I couldn't put it down once I picked it up. A good read.

Hi Marian- thanks for having me today. I see you are listed on Savvy Authors as an aspiring author. With a book coming out soon you need to update that. Jake makes you an AUTHOR. Congratulations.

      My topic today is ---Whoever said love was easy? That's a prompt line for a flash fiction group I belong to, a line to be included in a very short (flash) story. The phrase of course is meant to be cynical, but I don't know- it seems to me love is very easy and wonderful. It's the relationship you build once you're in love that takes some work. Not in the beginning of course, that's stars in the eyes time. Sunny skies and happy days. So, where does the cynicism come in?

I'm not trying to do a psychological analysis here. More a literary metaphor one might say. It's the cynicism that draws us to a sweet romance novel, the seeking for that perfect happy ending. The knowledge we all share that our love is not always the wonderful dream we might wish it to be. I have a book coming out about older lovers, in which a character says, "Love is like a blanket. It keeps you warm at night." The heroine, in the passion of her first love, is horrified to hear her friend would settle for that, but her friend, a woman of the world, has come to value the feeling with her new lover. The book is titled appropriately, "A Blanket for Her Heart."

When I tell people I write romance it's not uncommon to get a little bit of snob reaction, as if I were somehow inferior. Or crazy. That crazy bit may be because I'm a guy, but I know other authors get the snob reaction. My answer is always- why not write romance? Everybody loves a love story. Why not a happy ending?

That's a very simple answer, but love stories aren't always easy, whether you're living one or writing one. And, real life or fiction, it's the little things that make a difference. It's not quite the same in both cases though and the trick for a writer is knowing the difference. Novels deal in trials and tribulations leading to a happy ending when the hero and heroine fall in love. That's when real-life begins. Hmm- is that a basis for a story? Life and love after the happy ending?
     Romance novels aren't easy to write, despite the opinion of some literary critics. Yeah, some get published when they shouldn't-bad writing and all that. But the good ones, the ones by authors like Kristan Higgins and Jennifer Crusie, they are really special. I often wondered, as I learned to write, what made them so good. Don't tell anyone- I think I know. It's those little things again. How an author presents a character who struggles with issues of separation, commitment, or whatever is so important. The character should be both sympathetic and heroic - the trick is to get the balance right. Too much struggle and the character becomes depressing, not enough and she's superficial. Too heroic and she seems blasé or unbelievable, too wimpy and she's a dud. So, it's the little things that make a difference, just as in real love. A word here and a word there, a look, a touch, or a smile makes the magic sparkle.


     When some creep plasters nude photos of Diane's kid sister on the internet, Diane plans a little revenge: seduce the guy until his clothes come off and take his picture. Then it's blackmail time. But has she targeted the wrong guy?

     Brian's no stranger to the wiles of beautiful women. Most want him for his money, but Diane has a different objective: to trash his reputation. Furious, Brian resolves to teach her a lesson… until he learns the truth and loses his heart to this daring woman. But to win her trust and convince her he's not the villain, he has to best her at her own game.



'"Hi beautiful. Waiting for somebody?"

She had watched him approach and wondered if he'd try to hit on her. He was a good-looking guy, with a smile that could light up the bar. Was he the right one though?

She sent him her best smile. "Sort of, but then again…"

"Ah, well, may I?" he asked, pointing to the empty chair across the table.

"Actually, that depends." He was tall and dark and handsome, but he had a bit of a beard. Not a bushy one, more like a country music singer's, small and close trimmed. That didn't quite fit Jessie's description, but he could have grown it in the last two weeks.

He grinned. "You’re waiting for someone special?"

She sighed. How many times had this happened? "I am sort of, but I haven't met him yet. I'm kind of on a blind date, you know?"

"That lets me out then," he said easily, "I'm nobody's blind date tonight."

"Oh, too bad. What’s your name?"

"Jason. But if your guy stands you up give a wave. I'll be around."

Diane smiled again, silently regretting her mission of the moment. He was cute. If only the timing were different. Not tonight, though. She watched him weave his way between the tables to join two other guys. Dumb—she could have gotten his phone number for future reference. Who was she kidding? Things never worked out easily for her, though if she could do this tonight she could probably make anything work.

The bar of the Hotel Lauren was crowded with people, the noise of conversation and clinking glasses almost drowning out the piano player in the corner. Diane let her eyes wander over the place again, taking in the warm wood paneling of the walls and the paintings that adorned them. Unusual decoration for a bar. Prints by Renoir, Matisse, and other Impressionists made the place look a little bit like an art museum. Somebody in charge liked fine art. Or else they were trying to impress.

The place was cozy though, more homey than anything else. The chairs were comfortable and candles glowed on the tables, but the room wasn't dark the way some bars were. Not that she hung out in bars a lot. Actually, she didn't care for them very much; which was probably why she almost never met any hot guys.

She tugged at the hem of her dress and pulled the strap up higher on her shoulder. Again. Why had she bought such a skimpy dress? The black sheath was tighter than her skin, way too short, and way too low in back. And in front. She'd never revealed so much cleavage in her life. But, if you were going to seduce a man, prim and proper wasn't likely to get you anywhere. Whatever, she was totally uncomfortable. Jessie better appreciate this someday.

Her sister's humiliation would end tonight—or maybe tomorrow—once the creep understood what she'd do to him.

That was if she found him, and could seduce him and get the pictures she needed without her boobs falling out of the stupid dress before she finished. And if she got away from him in one piece. Five foot seven if she stretched a bit, with long dark hair and hazel eyes, her one hundred and thirty-six pounds of woman would be no match for a big man who wanted to grab her. Strong and healthy she was, but if he tried to hurt her she might end up in serious trouble. Everything would be fine, though. She was going to help her little sister. On the other hand, she could wave to Mr. Jason Whoever and forget the whole thing.

She studied a new guy as he entered the bar. With his dark, thick hair, broad shoulders, and that fabulous chiseled chin, he was one good looking guy. No beard, clean-shaven; he fit Jessie's description of the creep to a T.

If only Jessie had come with her tonight. All she had to do was identify the guy. After that she could have ducked out and left the rest of the deal to Diane. But of course, Jessie was working nights again this week and neither of them could afford to give up a paycheck. And little sister wanted to forget the whole thing. Just turn her life upside down and let the creep humiliate her without even trying to fight back. Of course, if anyone but her big sister tried to help she might even listen. Jessie acted like such a rebellious teenager sometimes. Well, someday she’d grow up, hopefully, and in the meantime someone had to protect her.

Diane sighed. She'd already picked the wrong guy twice this evening. If she approached every guy in sight someone might take her for a hooker trying to heat up a little business. The bartender had already given her the eye. Apparently, the man took a serious interest in the posh reputation of the hotel. Hah. The creep she was looking for could give him an earful on that score.

This new guy looked like he knew his way around the place. He said something to the pretty young waitress and drew a laugh. Pleased with himself apparently, he smiled as he greeted Mr. Worrywart Bartender, who was setting a drink on the bar as if he'd expected the guy.

The creep lived in the hotel. The staff seemed to know Mr. Handsome, so that fit. He had to be Mr. Brian Smith. What a shame. A guy who looked like he did should be a dream. Not a pervert.

Trembling with excitement and more than a touch of fear, she downed a hefty gulp of wine and almost choked. Her throat was as tight as the stupid dress. Palms suddenly slippery with sweat, she set the wine down before she dropped the glass. If she were going to go through with this, it was time to move.

She gave one last tug at the dress. Abandoning the Chardonnay, she began to drift through the crowd, heading for the empty bar stool next to Mr. Creep.

"Is this taken?" she asked, struggling to keep her voice from breaking. Cool, Diane, the secret word is cool. You have to come across as sexy-sultry, not a ditzy drip.

Visit Bob at:

RC Bonitz 



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