25 July 2011

Guest Blogger Karenna Colcroft!

Hey, folks! Please help me welcome guest blogger Karenna Colcroft. She's a fabulous author, and has graciously done an interview for my blog today! Enjoy:

Please tell the readers a little about yourself:

I’ve been writing since I was five years old, and started writing erotic romance in 2006 in response to a friend of mine. Up until that point, I’d barely been able to say the word “sex” without cringing, blushing, or both! Believe it or not, I’m pretty shy, except when it comes to writing. I live in the northeastern United States with my two children, my real-life romance hero husband, and two cats, one of whom is trying to turn herself into a scarf around my shoulders as I type this.

How about your latest release?

Decisions, decisions…I had two releases in June. One of them, Reflected Love, is an M/F fantasy novella that’s part of Pink Petal Books’s Spellbound Treasure line. It’s available from the publisher at http://pinkpetalbooks.com/Reflected-Love-by-Karenna-Colcroft.html, as well as third-party sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance Ebooks.

Ralie has moved into a new apartment, and the antique mirror she finds on an online auction site is the perfect addition to her bedroom.

Fae soldier Listrial has no need for the mirror he finds in a peddler’s tent while on patrol. But the mirror calls to him, and the small amount of coin he carries is just enough to purchase it.

Through the mirror, Ralie and Listrial discover each other. Is the mirror powerful enough to bring a human and a Fae together? And can their love surmount their differences?

The other release is a full-length M/M paranormal about werewolves, titled Salad on the Side: Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him too. But his neighbors have a secret: They're werewolves, and Tobias is the pack Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle in the neighborhood garden one night, Kyle learns the truth in a hurry. Now he's a werewolf too-and since he's vegan, he refuses to eat meat. With Tobias's help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life and protect himself and his friends from a neighboring pack. Salad on the Side is available from MLR Press, http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=KC_SALAD, as well as third-party retailers.

What was your primary inspiration for this book?

For Reflected Love, my inspiration was the need to write a novella involving a magical item that someone could buy. Last year, a group of Pink Petal Books authors and the publisher were discussing doing a “shared world” project in which the world and overreaching plot would be consistent, but each author could put their own spin on it. When I was trying to come up with a story for it, the phrase that popped into my head was, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul.” I have no idea why that came to me, but because of it I decided to use a mirror as the magical item.

Salad on the Side came about rather piecemeal. One day some writer friends and I on a private loop were discussing a book which had been recently released, about a “reformed vegan” werewolf. One of my friends asked, “How could a werewolf be a vegan anyway?” I was bored and between projects, so I dashed off a short scene about a vegan who had just been transformed into a werewolf and still didn’t want to eat meat. Not long after, an editor friend on another loop posed a challenge: write a hot M/M scene involving whipped cream. I decided my vegan werewolf and his love interest from the first scene should be involved in my answer to this challenge, and wrote up the scene which now appears near the end of Salad on the Side. With those two scenes anchoring the book, the rest just kind of came together. And unlike the werewolf in the book my writer friends and I were discussing, Kyle Slidell, the main character of Salad on the Side, remains vegan even when he’s in wolf form.

Do you have any muses?

One. His name’s Dominic, and occasionally he can be a pain in the ass. Then again, he says the same about me.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Take your time. Don’t dash off a story and immediately send it out to publishers; take the time to learn the craft of writing, to make sure your story is the best it can possibly be. Send it to critique partners or groups, or to beta readers. It’s better to have a really great, well-written story published two years from now than a mediocre story published now.

If you could be one animal, person, or at a place for a day what/who/where would it be?

If I could be at one place for a day, it would be the summer cottage my grandparents used to own in Nova Scotia. They sold it when I was fourteen.

Five random facts about you:

1. I lost about 90 pounds six years ago.
2. My eyes sometimes change color depending on my mood or what I’m wearing.
3. If I don’t have something where I can see it, I tend to forget about it, so the wall above my desk is covered with notes and things.
4. I’m a cat person, not a dog person.
5. I love going with my husband for rides on the boat he runs for work, but even though he’s offered to teach me, I’m afraid to learn to drive it.

Are you working on any new releases later this year?

Several. My next release, an M/F contemporary novella titled Forever with Benefits, comes out from Ellora’s Cave this Friday, July 29. In mid-August, Passion in Print Press will be releasing my MFM novel Shiny Objects.

Those are the only two I currently have release dates for. I recently submitted an M/F contemporary novella, Help Around the House, to Pink Petal Books and am waiting for a response on that. I’m finishing up the sequel to Salad on the Side, which I’ve titled Veggie 
Burgers to Go. I’m working on an M/F paranormal novel, tentatively called Beta Test, which I’ll be submitting to Passion In Print; it’s also about werewolves and has a few crossover characters from Salad on the Side. (Passion in Print and MLR Press are imprints of one company.) I’m also finishing up another M/F contemporary, Remind Me, about a married couple who go to great lengths to bring back the “spark” in their marriage; I’m planning to submit that one to Ellora’s Cave.
I also write young adult under a different name, and have several projects upcoming or under consideration.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks for letting me visit today. I’ll check in off and on to answer questions and comments.

Contact info:

Website: http://www.karennacolcroft.com (my blog is part of that site)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenna.colcroft
Twitter: @KarennaColcroft 

Excerpt from Salad on The Side:

Ten minutes later, each with an extra-large cup of iced coffee complete with plenty of creamer, sugar, and in my case French vanilla flavoring, we walked back out into the June heat. It was shaping up to be one of the warmest days of the season so far and I was glad we’d taken this walk before the heat became unbearable.
We lived across the street from Boston Harbor, but the water was off-limits to me until I figured out how to get from home to one of the harbor ferry terminals in the city. Walking along, I didn’t even really care about the heat. Tobias studiously sipped his coffee and didn’t look at me, even though I stared at him with all the weight of my frustration. Stared as much as I could without walking into anything, that was.
He didn’t speak until we turned the corner onto Orleans Street which led down to our street. “You’re pissed at me,” he observed.
“You told me you’d explain.” To my own ears I sounded whiny. Hopefully he didn’t think so, though I wasn’t sure his opinion actually mattered to me at that point. “So far all I’ve heard from you is that you slept with Melia and who knows how many other women, you lost the one man you’ve ever loved, and you don’t know if you can handle a relationship with me but some weird bond makes you want to try.”
“You’re misquoting.” He glared at me. “First of all, I never said I didn’t know if I could handle the relationship. I said it might not be easy and that I’d have to be discreet about it. There are people around who I’d rather not find out about anything to do with my personal life.”
“Because they’ll hunt you down and kill you while you sleep?” I said sarcastically.
His tone was perfectly serious as he replied, “They might. Worse, they might hurt you.”
I snorted coffee through my nose. When he’d told me that his former lover had been killed, he’d said it hadn’t had anything to do with their relationship, or whatever he wanted to call it. Now he was telling me that I might wind up dead if I dated him. “You’ve just given me a huge reason to tell you no way,” I informed him after I spluttered for a moment. “I kind of like my life. I’d prefer to keep it for a while.”
“They wouldn’t kill you,” he said grimly. “They’d just use you to get to me.”
“Again, reason to say no.” I shook my head. “I don’t know if all this stuff is really true or if you’re trying to scare me off. Maybe if you told me the whole story instead of bits and pieces? I know you’re keeping something important from me, Tobias, and I don’t much like it. If you’re going to ask me to give you a chance, the least you can do is let me make an informed choice.”
“You’re right.” Thoughtfully, he sipped more coffee. “You’re absolutely right. We don’t know each other very well. I know what I want from you, and I think you want the same thing, but we haven’t had enough time together to really know each other. And that’s my fault, like I said earlier. The last person I felt that instant connection with was Harok and after what happened to him it scared the fuck out of me to feel it with you, so I avoided you.”
“And what changed?” I put a challenge in my voice. “You all of a sudden decided not to avoid me anymore. What is it, the way my ass looks in my jeans?”
He laughed. “That doesn’t hurt, I’ll tell you. But no, that isn’t what changed. I think I’ve just finally decided that sometimes I have to live my life for myself and not just for everyone around me. You’re what I want.” He took my hand. “Can you honestly tell me you wouldn’t want something with me?”
“Right now, yes, I can.” I yanked my hand out of his. “Until I know everything you’re hiding from me, I can’t do this, Tobias.” Even though that brief touch had brought my dick to full attention. Even though I wanted to run home and drag him into bed for the rest of the day. Lust didn’t cover up the fact that he wasn’t being honest with me and I refused to go any farther with this until he was.
“I was afraid you’d say that.” He regarded me so intently I squirmed. “Okay. I’ll tell you whatever you want to know, but not right now. We’re doing dinner tomorrow night, right?”
“That was the plan.” Though I’d started questioning how good a plan it was. The whole homemade spaghetti sauce and strawberries leading to a nice romp in bed didn’t seem as much fun as it had before I’d realized how much he had to hide.
“Let’s stick to that plan. Please?” He reached toward me, but to my relief didn’t touch me this time. I’d convinced myself I wasn’t aroused by him and I wanted to keep it that way for the rest of the morning at least. “Let me come over for dinner tomorrow night and I’ll tell you everything I can. Meaning everything I’m able to tell you that doesn’t impact anyone else. There are some things it just isn’t my place to talk about.” He held out his hand. “Deal?”
I braced myself for the contact and shook hands with him. “Deal.”
We walked down the street to my building. At the door Tobias kissed my cheek without even checking to see if anyone was looking. A little spark shot through me from the spot and I reminded myself that I refused to be turned on by him until I had answers to my questions.
“Invite me in,” he growled.
“Not until you let me in,” I countered.
He smiled. “Fair enough. Just be aware that the longer I wait to have you, the longer I’m going to have you. You’re in for a long night tomorrow if things work out the way I hope they will.”
Delightful images raced through my mind and I forced them away. “We’ll see.”
“Yes, we will. Enjoy your coffee.” He started to walk away then turned and added, “Next time you decide to walk around naked, close your shades.” With a wink, he headed back to his place.


Karenna Colcroft said...

Thanks for hosting me, Lindsay!

Margaret West said...

I like the sound of the magic mirror. i am a sucker for magic and romance. great interview. i enjoyed reading it.

Marianne Stephens said...

Reflected Love sounds interesting...I love paranormal books and your idea of the mirror showing both of them in different times/places.

Karenna Colcroft said...

Thanks, Margaret and Marianne :)