Tag Archives: Guest Post

Guest Deelylah Mullin: WTF Was I Thinking?

Hi friends! The Universe has been treating me to a lot of WTFery so I felt this was the perfect post to share here. As you see we’ve got Deelylah Mullin visiting with us, so enjoy! [Yes, I’m trying to tie things all together and honestly I know Deelylah is going to much more entertaining and interesting that I am today. So THERE YOU HAVE IT!] WHEE!

WTF Was I Thinking?

The BossMany thanks to Limecello for letting me guest post today! Y’all are getting a bit of stream-of-consciousness about stuff today. 🙂

I am a teacher. Anyone that’s ever been a teacher knows it’s much more work to get ready for a substitute than to actually show up for work. Teachers work all the time when they’re sick, stressed-out, and a host of other reasons normal people don’t go to work.

I *chose* to be a teacher. This is all on me.

I am super excited to see some of my friends on Wednesday. Now, most of you are probably thinking, “Wait. It’s summer. Teachers don’t work in the summer!” Most of the time, you’d be right. However, I teach in a residential placement facility. We have summer school. So, for me to see some of the special people in my life that I don’t get to see often, I have to make sub plans. Which are the bane of my existence.

I’m starting my fourth year teaching in this location. I’ve been teaching since 1991. Yes. That makes next year my silver anniversary of teaching. You’d think I would have a ‘system’ down by now, but that’s not the case. Legislators keep sticking their noses into my classroom. Standards and curricula change. We need to collect data on everything we do. What makes that even more of a challenge is the fact I’m also a special education teacher. Even MORE data.

So, by this point you’re thinking, “WTF does this have to do with anything pertinent to my life?” Bear with me. I’m getting there.

With bachelor degrees in music and English, as well as that master’s in special education, I’ve taught music for fourteen years, English for five years, college composition for two years, and I was a special education resource room teacher for three years. I like teaching. It makes me happy when the lightbulb goes on and my students ‘get’ a concept.

But it’s not my passion.

I always knew something was missing. When I was in college in the 80s, I majored in music because I was awarded a full-ride, ability-based scholarship. I added an English major, with a creative writing focus. I’ve always wanted to write. In March of 2013, I started editing books, quite by accident.

In editing, I found my passion.

Athena's AshesEditing makes me happy. It uses my skillsets, and I still get to teach my authors a thing or two about words. Even though it’s a behind-the-scenes thing, I still take pride in my author’s achievements. When I get an email with recent statistics and new news about a book that ends with, “We made that!!!” I get all warm and fuzzy inside. I always want to sit on my yoga ball chair at my desk and edit. I don’t really consider it work most of the time. The adrenaline rush of making a deadline is a high unlike any other for me. My stomach gets butterflies on release day, and I wait alongside authors for the first reviews to come in. I watch rankings on retailers.

If I could edit full-time, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I still don’t know WTF I was thinking when I decided to be a teacher, other than I like working with words, and I like problem solving. I mean, what *do* you do with a BA in music, other than teach? Not much, especially when I didn’t want to move away from my family. I knew I wasn’t going to become a great author five minutes after graduating. So, I taught.

If I weren’t teaching summer school, I wouldn’t have to make sub plans to spend the day with friends on Wednesday. I might be a little resentful of my teaching gig because I have to spend time, in which I could be editing, to finish those plans, probably. If I were editing full time, I’d just have to be ahead on my projects so I could afford, time-wise, to not work for a day. Piece of cake.

So, I’ll make my plans and continue to wonder WTF I was thinking. But someday, I’ll be able to do, full time, what brings me joy. And that’s play with words.

Special Reader Guest: David Faulkner

I can’t believe how we’re already so far into the new year. If you remember, the third Saturday of each month is reserved for a reader in the community, so the title (I wrote) is a mashup – Special Guest + Reader Guest, cuz honestly, aren’t non-author guests really  who are rare as blog guests? But enough of my musing – without further ado, this is what David has to say today!


A Nerd in Shining ArmorRomance novels for me were the bodice-ripper types my mother read when I was a young teen. They had nearly shirtless men and women who were all boobs and no waist. The back cover blurb mentioned castles and alpha males who forced themselves on women. Being a guy that loves curvy girls, who is a decidedly beta male, and one whose least favorite subject was history I didn’t relate to these books at all and thought all of romance was like this.

When my wife and I married someone gave us a copy of Vicki Lewis Thompson’s book, Nerd in Shining Armor and at night I read the book out loud to my wife who is visually impaired. I found myself laughing along with the book and rooting for the couple. We both loved the book and soon we’d made our way through all of Vicki’s books we could find. Before long we were on to everything by Meg Cabot then Jennifer Estep’s Bigtime series (and later the Elemental Assassin series), and anything else we both would enjoy.

I discovered that the romance genre is not made up of only the books that my mother read but is, in fact, one of the most varied of all the fiction genres. I work in a library and I love recommending romance books for this reason. No matter the person’s reading preference there’s nearly always a romance novel that fits. I’ve also been able to get people that used to be like I was that would never read romance to pick up a romSpider's Trapantic suspense book or something with a sci-fi type setting. Variety is the spice of life making the romance genre quite spicy.

Speaking of spicy another thing I love about the romance genre is the variations in heat levels. Personally I like all heat levels but not everyone is like that. Some like sweet stories where a kiss might be the extent of the passionate activity while others enjoy erotica in which anything could happen. When 50 Shade of Grey was so wildly popular we’d have people ask about the book and I’d often answer that the heat level was quite a bit more than just spicy. Some customers would turn their noses up in disgust while others would smile gleefully while turning over their library card.

No matter the heat level one thing all romance books have in common, and what defines the genre, is that there is a [Spoiler Alert] happily ever after ending. There are enough bad things going on in the news that an escape from the terrible things people do to each other is something I need. Romance provides me with that escape. I know that when I pick up a romance novel the couple will face adversity whether it’s external, which is often the case in romantic suspense, or internal due to some misunderstanding between the couple I can be assured that the conflict will be resolved. The couple will end up together or they will conquer their adversary together and all will be right in their world.

Size 14 is not Fat EitherSpeaking of world building the last thing I’ll mention that I love about romance is the world building. I’ve never been a fantasy reader but I did read a lot of sci-fi growing up and I loved the places authors created. Romance, especially paranormal/urban fantasy, has that in spades. Whether it’s a world that doesn’t exist or our world but it’s populated with trolls, vampires, fey, etc. I love the ability romance authors have to bring the world to life for me while still giving me my happily ever after.

I am a man who loves romance novels. That’s not a sentence I thought as a teen I’d ever write but it’s true. Romance novels entertain me, they make me feel good, they show me new and interesting worlds, and I can always count on finding a book I will enjoy because of the huge variety of subgenres.


What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing with us, Dave! So I’m curious about all of you – put yourselves in Dave’s shoes (at least for the purpose of this post!) – what kind of things would you have said? 😀 And … I can’t promise you this because I didn’t clear it with him first but … do you have any questions for him? I might try and get him to come answer. 🙂

Birthday Girl: Erin McCarthy

Hello my darlings! You’ll never believe it, but this post was more than a year in the making. And then, in the way things are, it happened last minute. XD [My fault :X] I want to say this is the first time Erin McCarthy has a guest at ALBTALBS, so everyone please give her a warm welcome! Don’t let her regret being here! 😉

So without further ado… our birthday girl! The lovely and talented author Erin! (Which incidentally, is her twitter handle :D)

ShatterSeptember 13 is my birthday and while I have that natural reaction of “how in the hell has another year gone by??” I love to celebrate… who doesn’t, right? The timing is such that Shatter, book 4 in my True Believers series just released and the heroine, Kylie, is pregnant on her 21st birthday. True story, I was pregnant on my 21st birthday. While I wasn’t anything like Kylie personality-wise, I was that twenty year old puking my guts up, trying to make it to class, and watching all my friends party while I was preggers. That 21st birthday is such a milestone and I remember thinking what did it matter anyway, as I’d already reached adulthood the minute morning sickness hit and made me aware my entire life was changing. Forever. And ever. And then some.

Funny how that baby of mine is now 21 herself and all those years of birthdays have zipped by, from the time she had a raging fever at 3 and missed the preschool field trip to the pumpkin patch to when I cried at her 16th birthday party when the DJ played “Sixteen Candles.” My birthdays became less important than her birthdays and now as I celebrate my own birthday this year I am reflecting on my empty nest, a life well lived, and how with my baby grown, my books have become my babies of sorts. Well, and my dog. She is stuck to my leg as thoroughly as any self-respecting toddler.

I also have a pregnant heroine in my September 25 release, Let Me In, book three in the Blurred Lines series. I think it’s safe to say I have been thinking a lot about my own experiences at that age and infusing those intense emotions I felt into my New Adult books. So I hope that you’ll enjoy reading them knowing they’re legit and from my own experiences. I’m going to spend my weekend with my man and my cake and candles. All 42 of them. 🙂


Don’t you think I’ve forgotten the book info! 😀 (And yes, I know the post is about Shatter but … I like how Sweet looks, so don’t you think it looks nice up there?) 🙂

ShatterKylie Warner prides herself on being optimistic, but after finding her best friend in bed with her boyfriend and flunking chemistry, her upbeat attitude has taken a dive. Even an impromptu hook-up with her sexy new chemistry tutor only brightens her mood slightly. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see the tattooed scholar again…

While he’s a whiz at complex equations, Jonathon Kadisch has trouble when it comes to figuring out women. So when Kylie tells him that she’s pregnant after their night of passion, he’s at a complete loss. He’s prepared to be a good father—unlike his own deadbeat dad—but he’s less prepared to fall for the genuine and alluring blonde bearing his child.

With emotions running high, Kylie wonders if Jonathon’s devotion is out of growing love or looming obligation. And when heartbreak threatens to tear them apart, Jonathon will have to fight for the only girl who’s ever made him feel whole…

And remember to wish Erin a very happy birthday! <3 … Also you should be nice to her cuz she very well may be a vampire. <.< 42. Pft. Clearly she is aging in reverse. You could also give Erin the birthday present of ordering her newest book here! 😉

Heidenkind’s Guest Post/Review of A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori

Hi everyone! A treat today! Double post, and with this, something definitely new, and interesting! Shelli is on vacation so we weren’t sure if she would be able to get her post so me, so I went to twitter to ask for help, and Ms. Heidenkind immediately stepped up. I haven’t read manga in a long time, but I know it’s even more popular now. I’d also never heard of this series, and as you see, it’s gorgeous. So everyone, give Heidenkind a very warm welcome!

A sekret: I am a bit obsessed with Mongolia. I have wanted to go there ever since I wrote a report about it back in high school. So I was super-excited when I heard that Kaoru Mori, who wrote and illustrated the fabulous Emma (review here), was working on a manga series set in 19th-century Mongolia.

If you’re unfamiliar with manga, it’s basically a type of comic book that comes from Japan. If you enjoy any kind of genre fiction, there’s probably a type of manga out there for you–the categories are highly specialized. I started with vampire romance mangas like Midnight Secretary and Vampire Knight, both of which are extremely unputdownable and full of win. I think most of the appeal of these books is their exoticism, and the fact that by US standards they’re pretty subversive. A bit like soap operas, mangas can go on forever and usually have tons of characters, and A Bride’s Story isn’t any different.

A Bride’s Story centers around Amir, who at twenty is extremely long in the tooth to be getting married. Her husband, Karluk, is only twelve. Awkward! Actually that’s less than the age difference between me and my bother, but it’s still kinda skeezy. But obviously that’s just my modern bias. And if you think there’s no sexual tension going on in these books, well… you’d be wrong, although Karluk does pull a Louis XVI despite Amir’s wiles.

It’s small wonder that Amir hasn’t been married before now, because she’s a little odd. And not just in a, “You’re not from around here, are you?” sort of way; also in a, “Why are you watching me sleep like that?!” way. For realz, I think she might be a little unbalanced. There were times when I felt like I was reading Fatal Attraction: Mongolian Edition.

Amir is watching you. Always watching.

But there are tons of other characters, of course, including a bad-ass grandma, an anthropologist from England, Amir’s friend, Pariya, who always looks angry; a street-smart guide; Amir’s evil male relatives; a pretty nomad woman who lives with her mother-in-law; and the rest of Karluk’s family. The only secondary character who’s been explored with much depth so far is the anthropologist, Mr. Smith, but I’m sure as the series goes on other characters’ stories will be fleshed out.

The art in A Bride’s Story is also gorgeous, full of tons of detail, yet still easy to read. Mori isn’t one of those manga artists who only has 3 faces in her repertoire (coughBrideoftheWaterGodcough), and each character is completely individualized and recognizable. As with Emma, it’s clear Mori has done tons of research into this setting, and I can always appreciate thorough research.

I’m not as into A Bride’s Story as I was into Emma–not yet, anyway; sometimes it takes a few volumes for me to really get into the story–but I do think these volumes are a promising start to the series. I love being transported to Mongolia, and a few of the characters are really interesting, so I’ll definitely be continuing series.

Thanks for guesting with us, Heidenkind, and also for sharing about A Bride’s Story – and manga in general!

Sandi’s Post!

[Remember how Sandi is here the last Saturday of each month? I heart her very much. Yay Sandi!]

January 2012

We are almost to the end of the first month of 2012.  It’s been a fairly good month for me both professionally and personally.

After several weeks of being unhappy professionally I finally see a light.  I spent a good part of one day barely able to refrain from doing a snoopy dance in my seat when that light finally started shining!  I realize that no job is perfect, but with the change that I had been asking for and finally received my job got closer to perfection, and that’s good enough for me!

I decided that I really enjoy reading and that without a doubt I was going to make time to read each and every day!  I also decided that I was going to do a much better job in tracking what I read or listen to than I did in 2011.  So far I believe that there have been few days where I didn’t read at least a page, and I’m confident that every book I’ve read has been recorded at least once, and hopefully even two or three times! Obsessive I know, but this way I can be sure I’m tracking because if my different lists don’t match I know right away I forgot to add something somewhere.

Without a doubt the best book I read in January 2012 was Home Front by Kristin Hannah which is her latest title.  I got to read an advance copy because I review for Fresh Fiction.   It’s an amazing story of one family’s journey through deployment, active duty, injury, recovery, and eventual fitting back into the family during the Iraq war.  Have the tissues handy because you will need them.

Is 2012 shaping up to be the type of year you had hoped?  Did you resolve to change something about yourself or your job and been able to make it happen?  Did you set a reading goal?  Tell me something happy to keep my good mood going as the year progresses!

Random Guest: J.S. Wayne

Hi everyone! So today we have J.S. Wayne visiting with us… and I believe he has the distinction of being the first male guest blogger here. However – beyond that and possibly more importantly, I think we’ve found the first guest blog that made me go “O_o” after I finished reading it. (What an intro, right?) I’m very curious as to what you all think!

What Can I Say?

There’s an old saying: “There’s nothing new under the sun.” As an author, I am painfully aware of this. Unless I suffer severe head trauma or a psychotic episode and start writing down the feverish visions that visit me, I’m stuck trying to create a new and different angle on tales that have already been told. Writing a blog is no different: you’re still trying to tell a story and make the reader want to know more, but how do you tell the same story in a way that makes the subject matter new and fresh to the reader?

To a great degree, I believe I succeed in this. I’ve taken on angels, banshees, vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, faeries, and even zombies. At every turn, I’ve tried to inform the creatures who form the core of my stories with something new and different that only I could. Being a folklore sponge and science geek from an early age certainly facilitated this ability, and my readers seem to enjoy the results.

A unique challenge was presented to me some months ago by Amber Green, a fellow author in my crit group, Erotic Romance Authors. She was musing about the possibility of creating a line of stories revolving around lesbians, zombies, and featuring a musical angle for Noble Romance Publishing.

I’m not one to back down from challenges, even if they ultimately come to naught, and this particular gauntlet intrigued me. All the more because, until now, I hadn’t even considered zombies as figuring in my pantheon. One-trick ponies never appealed to me much, but I started wondering what I could do to put a J.S. Wayne slant on this flavor of the undead. I started scribbling almost immediately.

One of the most obvious challenges was translating a musical angle into print. If I was writing a screenplay, this would be simple. Trying to convey the throbbing beat and screaming notes of techno music to the reader on a page was much more difficult, but I finally managed to craft a logical, cohesive reason for the connection between techno music and zombies.

The next challenge was: What makes a zombie?

Certainly, there are documented ways to get the job done. So-called “black” magic and a cookbook knowledge of pharmacology figure heavily in the zombies we’re most familiar with, the ones that hail from Haiti. To this day, it is a capital offense in Haiti to create a zombie. With the advent of modern medicine, of course, we understand that these people were never truly dead to begin with. But in its own way, that makes the Haitian variety of zombie even more terrifying (at least to my mind) than the George A.

Romero template.

The idea of zombies created from an infectious disease is nothing new, either. Can anyone say Resident Evil? But I wanted to create something a little different to put together the backdrop world against which my heroines would have to move . . . and fight. So I came up with an insidious delivery system for the initial infection that is genuinely diabolical, to my mind.

And, of course, there was the obvious problem of how to create a story that tied together lesbians, zombies, and music and still make it a “happily ever after,” or at least “happily for now.” After you’ve killed six or seven people you’re at least on a nodding acquaintance with because they tried to turn you into a Happy Meal, how do you cope with the new and horrifying reality you’ve been thrust into? This was probably the thorniest question I confronted. Luckily for me, the human mind and heart are amazingly resilient. People can adapt to nearly anything, given time.

A couple of weeks later, I had created “Dead Means Dead” and sent it off for consideration.

That line, which started with a “What if?” in our private chat room, is Lesbians vs. Zombies: The Musical Revue. Since the middle of August, this seemingly simple concept has spawned a number of stories, including offerings by KevaD (The Zombie With Flowers In Her Hair), Amber Green (Dead Kitties Don’t Purr), K.B. Cutter (Undead Reflections In A Jaundiced Eye), and myself (Dead Means Dead).

Dead Means Dead debuts on February 13th, and I’m really excited and curious to see how it does. After the success of “Dancing On Flames,” the inaugural tale in my m/m series, The Wildsworn, I have high hopes that readers will enjoy my take on zombies and women who love women.

I’d love to be able to give you an excerpt, but as I write this, I’m awaiting final edits on DMD. But what I can give you is this link to the prequel, written specifically for the LvZ blog. I hope y’all enjoy it, and keep watching the LvZ blog for more updates, fun facts, spine-tingling stories, and the latest news on this fun and exciting new line!

Before I drop the blurb and vanish back into my corner, I want to thank Limecello for having me here today, and all you wonderful readers for stopping by! I’ve had a lot of fun, and hope you have too!

Dead Means Dead

Louise is having a bad day: a near-fatal overdose of nicotine while cramming for exams, rehearsal under a director she can’t stand, and ill-fitting shoes. Surely there has to be a limit to what a girl has to put up with! But then she meets the pretty new stagehand, Angie. Instant attraction leads to a sexy sojourn in the dressing room.

The day’s looking up, until the director barges in on their interlude and falls no-pulse dead on the floor– only to recover and attack Louise. Angie savagely defends Louise and they flee to the safety of the quad, where the girls discover that their fallen assailant is only the first wave of a horrific outbreak and that their campus is cut off from the outside world.

Their best hope to stay alive is to stay together. Exploring one another’s bodies and learning the deepest secrets of their hearts in the enforced closeness, each finds in the other’s arms something she never knew she wanted. But before they can fully explore their new passion, they must learn to survive in a terrifying new world.

There oughta be a law: Dead means dead!

(I’m actually sure there is something in some code somewhere that defines “dead”… but I’ll leave the research to you guys. ;)) Mr. Wayne is also offering up a “signed swag pack” – so I’m sure that’ll be quite exciting if not surprising as well.

Special Guest: Mary F!

Hi Everyone! I’m sneaking this one in on the “proper day” going by West Coast Time. Cuz there’s where I am. Totally. >.> Anyway it’s the third Saturday of the month! Which means we have a guest post from a member of the romance community who is a reader! 99.99% of the guests are solely readers – and they’re all here in that capacity only on the special guest post days. Isn’t that fun? (It was the balance me originally only having one guest author a month. … Any more readers wanna volunteer? ;-))

MORE IMPORTANTLY! This is Mary’s first time ever writing any sort of blog post. YAY!!!

I’d like to thank Lime for the opportunity…. THANKS LIME (I’m actually suspicious of this here, because I had to hound Mary for this post. So everyone be nice to her!)

I’m a married mother of two girls. Both are out of school now. My husband likes the books I own only in the respect that it could be used for kindling in a fire! I don’t blame him for that though – at last count my collection was over 2000. And we live with books in every room in the house….LOL

Now is the time of year when I go over what I’ve read. It was a hard decision to decide what my faves were this year. So this leads me to the questions of:

What makes a keeper for you? How easy is it for you to give up books you own? Do  you keep a log of what you’ve read? At what point do you decide to quit reading a book when it doesn’t keep holding your interest? How often do you give a book a second chance? If you had a chance to meet your favorite author what would you ask them?

Mary Froelich

Thaaaaaaaaaank you Mary!!! I really appreciate you writing this post for me. 🙂 So we both wanna know – books! You! Talk!