Friday, October 28, 2011

Callie's Fate

Today we welcome author Lee-Ann Graff Vinson. Hi, Lee-Ann. It’s a pleasure to welcome you to Fox Tales.

Thank you, Sutton. I appreciate you taking the time to host me on your blog.

1. I see that your occupation is freelance writer. That’s very cool. Were you one of those people who started writing when you were very young, or did you figure it out later in life?

Although, I loved to write as a child and have many stories tucked away in a folder, it never occurred to me that I could do it full-time. When I quit my “real” job to be a stay-at-home-Mom, I thought perhaps I could take up where my childhood talents left off. After all, writing is something I could do at home, and most days wouldn’t even have to get out of my jammies.

I began writing my first novel when my daughter was six-months old, and completed it a month before I had my son (almost three years later). I quickly found out writing with small children at home was more complicated than working a “real” job, and jammies were only for bedtime.

I tried my hand at freelance, but the rejections weren’t to my liking –– neither was writing what someone else wanted me to write. I’m a bit strong-willed that way.

I guess my occupation should say “lucky to be a writer”. It is my passion, my release. When I write my mind fills with characters, doing and saying things I can only dream about in real life. And, just like in real life, I cry when they are sad and laugh when the sarcasm oozes across the PC screen. I may not ever see my name on the best-seller list, but writing makes me happy. And every family knows, ‘when Momma’s happy, everybody’s happy’.

2. Do you prefer silence when you write, or would you rather have your favorite soundtrack?

For the most part, my background noise used to consist of my children fighting with each other or the snoring dog. If I did have music on the radio, I would catch myself singing along to my favorite songs, completely distracted from the writing or editing process.

However, recently I discovered a website called AccuRadio. With this station, I can pick and choose my music theme according to my mood. And, oddly enough, I am able to concentrate better with it.

I just finished editing and re-writing my latest e-book to be published, called ‘Love and Liberty’. My writing is typically military motivated as it is a topic close to my heart. I switched from modern rock classics for the scenes that needed more energy or drama, to light R&B for the sexy, romantic bits. I think it actually enhanced my writing. I believe I’ve found the ultimate writing tool!

3. How did you come up with the idea for your current release?

Well, in the last decade, so many marriages have ended in divorce over one thing or another -- one of these being social sites on the Internet. So, I thought I would write about what would happen if you ever got to meet your online lover face to face. It seemed a timely topic and one perhaps people could relate to.

4. Tell us about your book.

When Callie takes the red-eye home to surprise her husband for their anniversary, she finds the surprise is on her. She watches as a blond tart in six-inch heels, teeters out from her home and toward a cherry-red Mustang, which is parked in her spot.

Enraged, Callie does the only thing she can do. She drives to her favorite coffee house, scrolls through divorce lawyers who claim to eat cheating husbands for breakfast, and cries. Her only consolation is, Christian, a Marine, whom she befriended on a chat site almost a year earlier.

While waiting for her marriage to end, Callie agrees to finally meet Christian in person. She was a woman in control, but the mere touch of this man had her begging for more. Christian was only too happy to oblige, leaving Callie agreeing with the motto ‘The Few And The Proud’. She had never experienced a man, who could make her see stars, but Christian did his duty and did it well.

Unhappy circumstances had brought them together. A week of sexual bliss made it impossible for them to part, leaving them to wonder how they could, once again, test the hands of fate.

 Let's get personal.
5. Mountains or beach?

Beach with a view of the mountains, preferably at sunset. I live in Vancouver, it’s what I’m used looking at. It sounds divine!

 6. Wine or chocolate?

Both. Never write without either. I’m just a gal who wants it all. Amen! I'm with you on that one.

Let's get back to work.

7. What’s next for Lee-Ann?

Right now, I’m working on edits to my next novel, ‘Love and Liberty’. It is a military suspense romance that takes place in Iraq. After that, I have a novel I’m currently working on which is set in Afghanistan. I’ve also signed up for NaNoWriMo starting November 1st. We shall see how that ends up. It’s my first year doing it. I have also started doing reviews for Great Minds Think Aloud. Crazy busy? Maybe, but I cherish every second of it. After all, isn’t happiness in life what we all strive for?

8. Where can we follow, find, or friend you?

Blog: http: //

Thanks so much for spending time with us today, Lee-Ann. We wish you much success with your book! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Meh

Not a morning person. This week, not a Monday person either. Not sleeping well just does me in. But this too shall pass. Tomorrow it will be Tuesday! Things will be looking up. In honor of that very fact, I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos/captions.

Wishing each of you the very best of days. I'll come back on Wednesday, when I won't be so growly!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flower Child

Today we welcome author Sheila Deeth. She's going to chat with us about her new release, Flower Child. This is a very interesting story, so get comfortable, and we'll get right to it. Here's Sheila to tell us what her story's about.

Have you ever told someone you’re a “wannabe writer,” or worse, that you don’t really have a job? Friends would say to me, “You write, so you’re a writer,” but it never seemed that simple when it came to answering the question, “What do you do?” I got really brave though at a restaurant recently. “I’m a writer,” said I; then the questioner asked, “What do you write?” I told her I had an ebook coming out—my beloved Flower Child. And then she said, “What’s it about?” so I struggled to reply.

Of course I know what happens in Flower Child. I know it’s about… a mother who miscarries her first pregnancy and can’t quite let go of the memory. She feels like it’s disloyal to love her unborn child when she’s got a real child to care for—oh, and the real child couldn’t exist if the pregnancy hadn’t miscarried because… Luckily the lady asking was a) patient, and b) hungry, so she stayed at the table while we waited for desert.
But was that really what she wanted to know? It’s the topic of my book I guess, a starting point, an ordered (or slightly disordered) set of scenes. But a story’s surely more than just the sum of its events, just like being a writer’s more than creating shopping lists. Maybe she meant, “Why does your story matter?” rather than just, “What happens?” And maybe I should have spent longer thinking of answers before rushing to speak.

So now I’m touring the internet with Flower Child and asking myself, why does it matter? It matters to me because I wrote it of course—but I had to have a reason for setting it down. It matters, perhaps, because it explores a relationship I never quite resolved—the one between a mother and the child that might have been. It matters because it looks for answers to questions that run round my mind—do unborn babies really have souls? Can I mourn the child I never saw? And it matters because Angela’s quest for identity isn’t really so different from mine, or anyone else’s. We all want to know who we are, where we fit in, and why we’re here. We want ourselves to have some importance, to make a mark in the greater scheme of things, and for that to happen, we have to search inside ourselves and learn who’s behind the mask.
Angela wears the mask of someone who doesn’t believe she exists. Megan wears the mask of a mother who’s convinced she’s not good enough. I wear the mask of a writer sometimes, storyteller, Sunday school teacher, mother, daughter, wife… so many masks.

What’s Flower Child about? Identity, I think, which may well be the theme in quite a lot of my stories. It’s a tale of characters searching for truth behind their masks, for meaning, and for self. In the end, Flower Child’s about taking risks and stepping out into the world. It’s about realizing we don’t know it all, and accepting ourselves as less important, less wise, less perfect even, in order to find the truth that we’re more important than we think.
Thank you Sutton for inviting me to your blog. And I wish you the very best of luck with Christmas Holly in the 2012 EPIC Awards!  *blush* Awww, thanks, Sheila.

About Flower Child: When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.

About the author: Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and sons, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers' group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.

Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.

Find her on her website:

or find her books at:

Thank you for spending time with us today, Sheila, and sharing your extraordinary story. We wish you much success with your book!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Christmas Knight

With fall in mid-swing, winter isn't far behind. In an effort to make it a little more enjoyable, I'd like to introduce my shiny new short story. If you're waiting in the dentist or doctor's office, riding the metro to work, or waiting in line for that perfect holiday gift, this will help the time fly.

This story has a special place in my heart because it's the only one to have ever come to me in the middle of the night, complete. With names, a title, everything. Which is down right out of the ordinary in my world. But it's exactly as I wanted it to be, just a little bit of sunshine. Enjoy!

Here's the blurb:

Glory Dawson needs to catch a break. Thanks to the economic downturn, she’s lost her job, her home, and her child. Just when things can’t seem to get worse, they get weird. A crazy grandmother, muggers, heirlooms, and armor. Armor? Just what a girl needs to save the day.

Christian Knight has spent his life trying to make sense of his family’s patriarchal lore. In the process, he’s built a dynasty. It’s given him everything. And nothing. Despite his sibling’s best efforts, he still spends every Christmas, and most of his life, alone.
In the search for true love, do two kindred souls look to the future, or the past?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Favorites

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The temperate days, the cool nights. The transformation of the leaves to from green to brilliant crimson, orange, or yellow. We’re lucky we have some that change to a deep red that looks more purple than any other color. I spend a lot of time on the deck this time of year. Just watching the leaves change.

A couple of the neighbors have these pumpkin displays that come in rows with all different sorts of faces on them. And they’re always lit from dusk to dawn. You can’t help but smile when you see them. Bales of straw with mums and stacks of real pumpkins are my absolute favorite.

I go out of my way to find odd looking gourds to put in a dish on the table. Tables remind me of baking. It’s time to think about what to give out for Halloween, and what to serve for Thanksgiving dinner. In between now and then, I’ll be practicing my recipes to ensure they’ll taste good on the big day.

Another thing I feel compelled to do starting in the fall and over the winter is either take writing classes, and or read books on craft. Just to keep the saw sharp, as it were. Maybe it’s because we’re indoors more. Who knows?

I’ve signed up for an online class with the Northeast Ohio chapter of RWA, entitled Fast Draft: A Book In Two Weeks. It sounds like something that could really help my productivity. I’ll keep you posted.

Another recent purchase is The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. The front of the book reads - passion, purpose, and techniques to make your novel great. Hey, who am I to argue? I’m looking forward to reading it. There’s always lots of room for improvement.

Do you like the fall? Or would you rather it be summer all year round?

Friday, October 14, 2011

If It's Monday It Must Be Murder

Welcome to the very first Fan Friday. I'm honored to have author Kathleen S. Allen to start things off. So let's get right to it, shall we?

1. You’ve been writing your entire life. As someone who started writing for publication later in life, I find this fascinating. Were you able to make a living at it right off, or did you have to have other jobs, on the side. If so, what did you do?

No, I’ve only been able to make some monies in the past year when I put my books up on Kindle. I would say that I’ve only been serious about trying to make a living from writing since 2004 when I decided to get a Master’s in English to improve my writing. I took all the creative writing classes they offered!

I’ve done a variety of jobs since I was eighteen. Waitress, factory worker, bookstore clerk, bakery clerk, office worker, document translator from French to English, costume shop manager, college professor, high school teacher, tutor, substitute teacher, nurse, actress, movie extra, editor. I probably forgot one or two! I am not yet at the point where I can quit my day job and just be a writer full-time. Right now I am teaching online as an income supplement. My dream job would be to teach creative writing at a college. BTW I have seven degrees, two bachelor degrees (education and nursing), four Master’s (education, social work, nursing and English) and one doctorate (in nursing). I recently started a MFA program and hope to complete that so I can find the teaching job I want.

2. At your level of experience, you can probably write anywhere, but what would make a writing day perfect for you? Do you prefer a specific place or atmosphere before you can write?

 I usually write at home on my laptop at the kitchen table. I have a great view of some trees (although I wish I was looking at the ocean or at least a lake). I like to write at cafes, too, especially during NaNoWriMo (more on this later in the interview) at the write-ins.

3. Over years, has writing gotten any easier? If so, how? Are there things you still struggle with?

I wouldn’t say easier, different and better. I started out writing poetry and progressed to short stories from there. When I first sat down to write a novel (at the age of 17-a gothic romance) I had no idea if I could do it. It seemed so daunting to put all those words down on paper!!! It took me a while, but I did it. Once I wrote that first novel I realized that determination is a big part of writing. Well, that and talent! LOL. I remember my seventh grade English teacher (Mrs. Mahoney—wherever you are, thank you) telling me I could be a writer. I never forgot that even when life circumstances got in the way of my writing. I’ve learned a lot about what not to do and that is valuable. I also learned that I like doing other parts of writing besides just the writing, making book trailers, designing covers, promoting and marketing my books are all things I enjoy doing. I started out as a theatre major as an undergraduate and have been in many plays so being on stage---so to speak---doesn’t faze me. Plus when you lecture in front of 200 students you get over stage fright pretty fast!

4. You have an awesome writing resume. I stand in awe. You write Young Adult fantasy, poetry, adult fiction, flash fiction, short stories and lyric essays. Is there anything at all that you haven’t written yet, that you’d like to write?

Thank you. I like to challenge myself so that’s why I try different genres. I haven’t written a hard-core Science Fiction novel yet. A couple of short stories but no novel. I’d love to do one and may yet. I haven’t done a biography or memoir either but have no interest in either of those.

5. When not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Take care of two very high maintenance cats!!!! I read a lot and have my favourite TV shows. I am a huge Joss Whedon fan and love to watch anything he does or did. Firefly is still one of my favourite shows! And, of course, Buffy. Other faves include Blood Ties (Tanya Huff), Dark Angel, Wonderfalls and anything on BBC America. I’m also a Dr. Who fan (David Tennant is the “real” Doctor), Being Human (miss Aidan Turner-*sniff*), Torchwood (John Barrowman is my celebrity crush!!! He’s so awesome, he melts my heart every time I hear him sing). Here’s a link to my fave song by him I Owe it All to You:

YouTubeLink     It even has a photo montage!!! *swoons*

I am also a fan of Masterpiece Mystery and am watching the Inspector Lewis shows. I like the way BBC does Jane Austen and have all those to watch, over and over and over. Especially Persuasion.

6. Most authors are avid readers. Which author is at the top of your auto-buy list?

I read a novel every night before bed. I love to read cozy mysteries, especially those set in England. The latest ones I am reading are the Cotswold mysteries by Rebecca Tope. I just finished reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s YA novel, Fever 1793. I have a pile of books on my nightstand most of them are YA. I read the cozies on my iPhone with the Kindle app.

7. Would you tell us about your latest release? By the way, I love the title.

Thanks. Sure, since I read mysteries I wanted to try and write one. It took me two years to finish it and I put it away for a few months because I was stuck. I got it back out and was able to revise it so it was a much better book. Here’s the info on it:

Murder mystery from Gypsy Shadow Publishing!

Mel, a former cop shot in the back now lives in constant pain. When her best friend's daughter is missing, Mel is asked to help find her. When the girl is found dead at the bottom of a tall building, the cops believe she jumped. Did she? Or is it murder?
8. What inspired this particular book?

I was inspired to write a mystery because I love reading the cop mysteries where the main character is a female detective or private investigator. I wanted to try my hand at one.

Excuse my interruption, Kathleen, but while we're on the subject of your current release, here's my review:

Being a cop is not only what you do, it’s who you are.

Because of her injuries, Mel is forced to give up her day job. But she still acts and thinks, like a cop. So when her best friend’s daughter turns up dead, it only seems natural for Cindy to ask Mel to look into things.

Although she’s not privy to the formal investigative details and still recovering from her own injuries, Mel manages to make things happen. Much to the dismay of her former partner, who is currently assigned by the police department to handle the enquiry into the matter of the young girl’s death.

Ms. Allen has crafted a tale ripe with twists, turns, and red-herrings that will keep you guessing. It’s filled with fully drawn characters woven into complex emotional situations they can’t just walk away from, but must deal with. And how they do it makes this story a very entertaining read. If you’re looking for a well written whodunit to add to your reading pleasure, this book is it.

Now let's continue our interrogation, er, interview.

9. What’s next for Kathleen S. Allen?

I am in the process of editing my faeries v. humans novel, LORE OF FEI that is being published by Muse It Up Publishing in April, 2012. I just finished the first edit and sent it off to the editor. As soon as I get a cover I’ll do a book trailer for it. I am getting ready for NaNoWriMo, this is the competition that has you write a 50,000 word novel for the month of November. I did it for the first time last year (LORE OF FEI) and loved it. I already have my outline for my book. In NaNoWriMo you are allowed to plot out your book ahead of time but not write it. Here’s my outline: 19th Century woman falls in love with a man who may or may not be a vampire. Ta Dah!

I am also working on a YA historical novel. I finished it but I have to edit it yet. I did another YA historical novel about the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England called Fitzroy: The Boy Who Would be King and I enjoyed doing the research for it. It’s the first time I wrote from a male point of view and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it. Here’s the link to it on Kindle along with the book trailer:

FITZROY: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING(210 pages)-YA historical.

The life and tragic death of the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England.

Check out the book trailer here                Buy It Here

My agent is shopping around a contemporary novel for me. It’s about a high school senior girl who feels invisible and she tries to make herself more visible with humorous consequences! It’s the first time I’ve written “funny” and it turned out better than I hoped! Fingers crossed that an editor/publisher falls in love with it! Or at least wants to publish it!!!

10. Where can we find you?
My website is: which has all of my current news and books.
I am on Twitter as: @kathleea
I am on Facebook as: Witch Hunter!/pages/Witch-Hunter/142372955812353
Guest blogger every Wednesday on
Literary Agent: Nancy Knight of Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency

Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed, it was fun!

And thank you for spending time with us today, Kathleen. We wish you much success with your books!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Format Change

Looking for your next favorite author? This just might be the place you’ll find them. Starting this Friday, a new format is coming to Fox Tales. And it’s not the ‘sporadic or no posts at all’ version you’ve grown used to.

Monday Mii – Yes, I have a little red-headed mii. At this time she lives in Chicago on my niece’s Wii, but I love her just the same. This’ll be all that behind the scenes stuff people always wonder about writers. In other words, just the boring details about my personal life. I promise not to post what I had for lunch. Unless it involves me cooking it, which sometimes is quite humorous.

Writer Wednesday – All the writer-ly stuff you can imagine. I’ll continue posts from Writer Biz, Novel Work, and throw in any other writing related goodies that pique my interest.

Fan Friday – Here’s the biggie. Although I write romance, I’m an eclectic reader. I love lots of different genres. So Fridays will be devoted to other author’s guest posts. That way you don’t have to read about me, ad nauseam. And you can add more books to your TBR list.

Stay tuned!