Thursday, September 27, 2012

Falling In & Out of Love with Characters! Chatting with Author Lisa Deon - The Carriage Trade (VBTC Book Tour)

Today we are pleased to introduce you to author, Lisa Deon. Lisa is currently touring at the Virtual Book Tour Cafe' with her book, The Carriage Trade. Lisa will also be giving you a chance to get your hands on a copy of her book, so be sure to enter using the Rafflecopter below. Welcome to Mass Musings Lisa!

Lisa is letting us delve into her brain a bit today, so let's get started, shall we?

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

My heroine has aphasia and ABI, (acquired brain injury) which she got as a result of an accident. And while I have an occasional lapse in word recall, I've never suffered the same type of injury. I do, however, have family and friends who have, and I utilized certain aspects of their physical traits and personality in creating my characters.

The community of characters, known as Carlin's Carriage Tribe, act like a modern, non-musical Greek Chorus, to comment on or inform the reader about information or events they otherwise would not know about. They alternately give her support and bitch-slap her with a dose of reality, too, just like my own circle of friends.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I struggle between Bill Fantazma, because he is so sexy, honorable and full of foibles, and Carlin Farley, because, like all of us, she only wants someone to love her. They both have attributes I admire, and flaws I can relate to.

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

I fall in and out of love with characters depending on what I'm reading next, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for Enzo, the dog who narrates The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I find his perception of our world to be fresh and inspiring.

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

I adore Lessa from Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern series. I think living with dragons would be an interesting life, especially being able to fly around on the back of one. Ironically, I have a fear of heights and hate to fly. It's messed up but what can I say, I love McCaffrey's voice. Her world building abilities were phenomenal. I'm drawn to female characters that kick ass and take names. That's why my heroes are Beta type, strong without being controlling.

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

I like to allow my readers to create their own image of what they think the main characters look like given the descriptions in my book.  The place holder for Nora is Queen Latifa, who I admire for her acting and singing skills, and because she is a plus size woman who looks fantastic in slinky dresses. She has an "in your face" attitude like Nora does.  The character of Richard reminds me a lot of Jon Bon Jovi, but with an Australian accent.

MM:  What can we expect from Lisa Deon in the future? Any new projects?

I'm currently finishing up The Re-Education of the One Trick Pony,  the sequel to The Carriage Trade,  and I have numerous stories simmering on my laptop. I hope one day to complete and publish my nonfiction opus, The Compendium Field Guide to Replacing the Toilet Paper Roll, which is a book that women across the universe will believe is essential to maintain peace and harmony every household.  I know it's a book that we could sure use in mine, since apparently I'm the only one with the technical skills necessary to complete the task. Or so it seems.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

I am on, twitter @lisadeon, and of course my website is My next public appearance will be at the Utah Romance Writers of America fall conference in Park City, Utah. There will be a book signing and information is available at

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

The pleasure has been all mine, thank you.

Lisa Deon told stories for years before she ever thought of writing them down. Had it not been for the invention of the PC and Microsoft Word, she never would have, because typing was just not her thing. So much so that her first novel, written in Junior High, was dictated to a friend who was a superior typist, speller and had a much better appreciation for proper grammar and punctuation. After they parted ways, Lisa shared her tales by cornering people at cocktail parties and telling them stories until someone had to give up and go pee.
Now, with the advent of the previously mentioned technological miracles, you can enjoy Lisa's yarns in the comfort and privacy of your home and use the restroom whenever the spirit moves you, without having to formulate a creative way of escaping her clutches, like faking a heart attack or pulling the fire alarm.
If you feel it necessary, you can stalk Lisa online at Facebook or send an email to which she might answer depending on if you are actually being sincere or if she thinks you are trying to sell her diet water, erection pills, or advise her she has won the Nigerian Lottery. In any case, this "About the Author" is the only place where she talks about herself in the third person.
Offline, she has three rescue dogs, a rescue husband, a daughter in the military, a mother living in her basement (of her own free will) a beloved but seldom ridden Appaloosa and is babysitting a Bearded Dragon. Or would that be Dragon-sitting? Either way, her favorite foods are wine and popcorn, her favorite color is dog, and her favorite smell is horse. Not necessarily in that order.

How do you get to a "Happily Ever After" when you can't remember where it began?

Carlin "Carlos" Farley's life is an open book. Unfortunately, she can't remember most of it. She's losing her barn manager, Bill, the guy who's been running her horse drawn carriage business while she's been in extended care recovering from an accident. Bill has always been there for her, in fact they've grown up together, but now he wants to pursue the career he put on hold and Carlin's resigned to the idea that he's leaving her.
Bill Fantazma is the kind of guy who always tries to do the right thing. But sometimes doing the right thing is not the right thing to do. He's been in charge of Carlin's care and the business he helped acquire for her, and has accepted the accident and her subsequent brain damage as a chance for a do-over, since his previous actions to attract her affection were less than honorable.
Richard Cooper appears to be the answer to their business problems. Knowledgeable about horses, willing to step in and take over the barn manager position, helpful and solicitous to Carlin, he's not put off by her sometimes bizarre and quirky behavior.
But when Richard sees an opportunity to move in and draw Carlin's affection, Bill realizes just what she means to him and must make a decision; come clean about their past and risk her anger, or step aside to allow Richard to have a romantic relationship with the woman Bill has loved all of his life.
It's a romance she can't remember and he can never forget.
Publisher Self
Genre Contemporary Romance
Release Date June 15, 2012
Chapter Nineteen
 The opportunity to use the restroom finally arrived, and Carlos took it. Bruce just pulled out, Phyllis was due back in half an hour and Amy should return any minute. She asked the two couples in line to please tell anyone else who showed up that she would be right back. She hurried to the West Gate restrooms and talked security into waiting a minute before he locked her out. We call you the Mormon Mafia, she thought as she begged him to let her use the john.
She gave him a gift certificate when she came out. She forgot to write, "Ask for Bill" across the top. Her pee stop had just cost her $11.60. That was the commission she would have to pay any other driver who gave the ride. Oh well, it was worth it, better than wetting my pants.
She scurried out of Temple Square as quickly as possible without breaking into a run, stopping short when she saw her carriage parked out front, Bill and Tony the Belgian waiting for her. He even turned her string of fancy pink lights on, which she knew he hated. Early in her driving career she had decorated her carriage, adding flowers, lights and speakers for romantic music on the Grove ride.
You're just not a pink flowery kind of a girl, Carlin," Bill remarked, inspecting what he called her 'rolling bordello'.
"You know, Bill, I'm a money making kind of a girl, and in this business the girls pick the carriage and the boys pay. If the boys picked out the carriage, rest assured I'd cover it in beer cans and boobs."
He agreed that she had a point.
She approached the carriage. Bill sat on the box, the last couple standing in the line already seated in the passenger compartment. Carlos looked at them, frowning.
"Wasn't there another couple ahead of you?" she asked.
"I gave them ten bucks to come back later," the young man replied, jerking his thumb at the girl seated beside him. "She likes this carriage. This is the one we want." The girl rolled her eyes and said nothing.
"O–kay." That kind of threw Carlos off; nothing like that had happened as long as she could remember. "Well, your driver's name is Bill and the horse's name is Tony. Do you know what ride you want?"
"Memory Grove," the man answered.
"It's already handled, Carlos. Come on up." Bill patted a spot on the seat next to him.
Carlos looked at Bill and then down at the ground.
"Come on, Carlos, better late than never, right?"
"Hey lady, could you get up there with your boyfriend so we can go? I haven't got all night." The customer's girlfriend elbowed him. "What?" he said to her.
Bill leaned down and spoke so only Carlos could hear. "Carlin, would you consider going carriage driving with me tonight?"
"I suppose," she whispered, non-committal. Standing there, clenching and unclenching her fists, she finally grabbed onto the carriage and heaved herself up, settling in next to but not touching him. She was still mad.
Bill lightly flicked the lines, "Walk on, Tony," and steered out into the lane, making sure not to clip the curb with the rear wheel on his way out.
Carlos had her iPod on with only one ear bud in. Bill picked the left one up off of her shoulder and held it to his ear. Carla Etude played softly.
"Elton John?" Bill whispered. Carlos nodded. "Nice," he said. She knew it was one of his favorite songs. He dropped the ear bud back on her shoulder. Bridging the lines with his left hand, he put his right arm around her, pulling her closer. Carlos stared at his left hand, mildly impressed. She didn't think he knew how to bridge lines. You had to be a pretty decent driver to control the horse with a twist of the wrist.
How long has he been driving carriage? She tried to remember.
He was a junior in college and had turned twenty-one the November after Oscar was born. She had dragged him into the carriage barn the day after his birthday to fill out an application and start the training process. She would have brought him in on his birthday but he had been drinking then, starting his freshman year, and they had spent the day partying themselves into oblivion. Oscar spent the night at the Sommers, cared for by the nanny.
"I don't want to be a carriage driver, Carlos." Bill told her, looking a bit green and obviously nursing a nasty hangover.
Finally she confessed why she wanted him to train. "I've had a baby, Bill, and my bladder control isn't what it used to be. I need you to be ready before Christmas so you can give me a pee break when I need it."
Bill had stared at her through red-rimmed eyes, running his hands across his face.
"You want me to learn to drive a carriage so you can pee?"
To Carlos it made perfect sense. "Yes, Bill. I need you, and I'll pay you, too. And if any of the other drivers need you to spot them for a pee I'll make sure that they pay you also. It could be a goldmine for you Bill. It's a fabulous opportunity."
So she spent the next three days training him, even taking him out and purchasing all the cold weather gear he needed to stay warm. Bill said it looked like she was shipping him off to the Antarctic.
But when the busy Christmas season rolled around and he worked outside in the cold and snow for hours at a time, he had to admit that she certainly knew her stuff. He was warm and dry and made good money from the other drivers, bringing them food and giving them breaks. She was happy because she got to drink coffee and go to the john, and when things were slow Bill would jump on her carriage and ride around town with her to keep her company. They would sit up tight next to each other for warmth and look at the twinkling Christmas lights at Temple Square and the Gallivan Center.
He's been driving for five years. Almost as long as I have if you count the time I took off to go to cooking school, while pregnant and the time I spent in the hospital. And now, but I guess I don't drive carriage any more, do I? So pretty soon he'll be driving longer than I did.
They waited at the traffic light at West Temple. Bill turned his head left to watch for traffic. Carlos studied his profile while he was occupied. He wore the standard carriage driver attire: black jeans, white button down long sleeve shirt, black cowboy hat, black boots, plain black belt. He had on one of his nice shirts, Carlos noted, not one of the usual sweat stained, dirty rags he wore to drive. That's odd; doesn't he have any clean driving shirts? Why the hell is he wearing nice clothing? She thought she smelled cologne. She leaned back and took a more thorough look at him. Does he have a girl friend? Maybe that's why he didn't want to go driving tonight. He had a date. That would explain the good clothes.
Why is he here? She had been so mean to him, attacking him like that, asking him stupid questions like, "Do you think I'm pretty?" What a pathetic idiot she was, unable to operate a small business without running to Bill. "I need help! Come drive for me tonight!" Whining  like a baby. I'm such a stupid ass. No wonder he wants to be rid of me. Who could blame him?
 He'd found Richard to replace him. And yes, while Richard was easy on the eyes, Carlos did not quite trust him. Of course, she was a half-wit. Apparently Bill trusted him or he wouldn't have let Richard get within twenty feet of her. The truth was, she didn't know what to think anymore. And frankly, she was too tired to think about any of it right now.
Traffic cleared allowing Bill to turn. He said nothing, but looked down at her and smiled. She rolled her eyes and looked away, still mad.

September 2 - Meet & Greet at VBT Cafe' Blog
September 4 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words
September 6 - Interviewed at MK McClintock's Blog
September 11 - Interviewed at The Bunny's Review
September 13 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
September 17 - Reviewed at Books, Books, and More Books
September 19 - Interviewed at Romance That's Out of This World
September 21 - Review & Interview at Black Hippie Chick's Take on Books & The World
September 21 - Review & Interview at Little Book StarSeptember 25 - Review & Guest Blogging  at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
September 27 - Interviewed at Mass Musings
September 29 - Review & Interviewed at Infinite House of Books

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hellfire Promo Tour & #Giveaway with Rickard B. DeMille

I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada to Rickard and Anita DeMille, who also provided five younger siblings for my amusement- four brothers and a sister. After graduating from Las Vegas High School I attended Brigham Young University. After my freshman year I spent two years in Venezuela and Colombia doing missionary work, then returned to BYU where I graduated with a BA in Spanish. Since then, I’ve focused my efforts on BS.
After college I was commissioned an Officer of Marines. I became a Combat Engineer, and ran my battalion’s computerized maintenance system. Soon after leaving the Corps, I moved to Houston, TX, where I resumed working with computers. I’d also picked up three kids along the way - Rick, Dave and Rob. Ten years later, I moved to Dallas, re-married the wonderful Tracy Ellis, and picked up two stepsons, Mark and Matt. I also began working with a group of exceptional Welshmen. It’s been over twenty years, Tracy and the Welshmen are still in my life. In those years I’ve also earned a Masters of Ministry and a Masters of Divinity from the Golden State School of Theology. Preparing a masters thesis rekindled my passion for writing.
A few years ago, I began to write seriously.  Since then, I’ve had short stories and articles published, in print and online. My work has been published by BeWrite, Darklines, Eros and Rust, and others sites. One of my short stories was published in the Australian anthology ADUMBRA. I also write screenplays and finished 18th in the 2010 Writer’s Digest Screenplay competition in 2010, and 16th in the 2011 competition.
Recently I finished my first novel, HELLFIRE (formerly A MURDER IN MUMBLES), a thriller set in Wales. HELLFIRE was a finalist in the 2010 Debut Dagger contest sponsored by the Crime Writers’ Association in London, and the 2010 SouthWest Writers contest. In 2011, I signed a contract with Transit Publishing, and HELLFIRE was published in February of 2012 as an eBook. In July of 2012 HELLFIRE was republished by MacDonald, Barclay and Co. in both paperback and eBook formats. 
I published my Masters Thesis entitled BIBLE STUDY: DEFENDING DANIEL, an examination of the historical, archaeological and linguistic context for the Biblical book of Daniel. I have already begun work on a sequel to HELLFIRE, currently titled COYOTE MIDNIGHT, which is set in Texas.

My Website is:

An International Debut Dagger Award Finalist.
“Packed with action, emotion and suspense.” --Crime Writers Association

“A must read for any fan of the thriller genre” -- Joe Nassise, Internationally best selling author Of Eyes to See and the Templar Chronicles

US Marine Travis Deacon always loves catching some R&R. And he loves being in Wales to catch it, until his best friend, SAS Major Gareth Jones, dies in an "auto accident." When Travis asks too many questions about Gareth's death, MI5 steps in and tries to send him back to Afghanistan. Then, the international terrorist who killed his friend, tries to send Travis to hell.

It gets worse when Detective Sergeant Dee Jones, Gareth's sister, arrests Travis to find out if he’s involved. Together, convinced that Gareth was murdered, Travis and Dee search for the killer. They dodge terrorist assassins and British agents in their search across Wales for the truth. Suddenly, the murder investigation becomes a frantic race to prevent a terrorist attack that could change the world.

“Strap yourself in for Rickard B DeMille’s  HELLFIRE, a page-turner full of humor,  reluctant romance, and plot twists that will  have you writhing in your seat.”
  --Margaret Bailey, author of Diamond in the Sky and the Waves of Amber trilogy

Excerpt: Travis finally makes contact with the terrorist leader when the Marine neutralizes several of the terrorist assassins and keeps one of their phones:

Maliki reached toward the phone to hang up, but was startled to have it answered before going to voicemail. Instead of hearing Gamal’s gruff voice, someone else responded.
“Kandahar Marriott, home of the Taliban special. Survive three nights and the fourth is free. How may we help you?”

It took a moment for Maliki to analyze this new information and understand what was happening. The voice was American, but he had certainly called Gamal’s phone. This must be Deacon, but how was this possible? Maliki hesitated a moment longer, then asked with forced congeniality, “I would like to speak with one of your guests, a Mr. Gamal, is he available?”
Maliki walked to the table and slid a photograph from a stack of papers. One showed Sergeant Deacon speaking with a dirty, greasy man next to a wrecker as Major Jones’ car was being retrieved. The other was of Detective Jones, also at the accident scene, standing with a group of her colleagues. She must be a strong woman to function that well under such stress. She was certainly a beautiful one. He listened again, aware that Travis had been speaking.

“Hello?” The voice said, “who shall I say is calling?”

“I am a friend of Mr. Gamal’s.”

“Then I’m terribly sorry, sir, there was a horrible Cricket accident and Mr. Gamal seems to have lost his head. Where would you like it sent if we find it?” 

September 26 - Mass Musings 
September 27 - Cafe' Creations 
September 28 - Lori's Reading Corner
September 28 - MK McClintock's Blog

Saturday, September 22, 2012

#Giveaway & Chat with Author Rebecca Graf - Deep Connections (VBT Cafe' Tour)

Please welcome author Rebecca L. Graf to the blog, currently on tour with her new novel, Deep Connections, at the Virtual Book Tour Cafe'. Rebecca and I had a nice chat, and she will also be giving you a chance to win a copy of Deep Connections during her tour, just fill out the Rafflecopter below.

Welcome Rebecca!

Rebecca Graf worked as an account for 20 years before taking a chance at a dream. Starting off with writing online, she began to build a reputation and a number of followers. Now, she has one children's book, A Gift for a Mouse, published with Deep Connections being her first adult novel. She lives near Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and three children as well as two cats, Oreo and Cookie, and two dogs, Bug and Mocha. Rebecca has started her own publishing company, Silver Tongue Press, with two partners. Their goal is to help new authors to achieve their dreams. She also spends her days crocheting and knitting....

Twitter: @rebeccagraf

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

I don’t think I can pick a particular person when I see my characters. They are themselves. I might take a little bit from one person I know who has a particular character trait but mix it with someone else. I have a friend that swears I wrote Brenna after her because she sees so much of herself in the character.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Tahnee is my favorite character. She is the mother to Slaton. I love her quiet wisdom. I wish I had it. If I would become someone, it would be her.

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

I think I love Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. He is an honest man who gets caught up in a world he doesn’t want to be in but he doesn’t change who he is. He stays true to himself.

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

This is hard. I love so many books and can easily get lost in them all. I don’t know if I can answer this one truthfully.

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

I want Ian Somerhaulder playing the stalker. I think for Slaton Chaske Spencer playing him. Brenna would be Amanda Seyfried. I had trouble with Brenna and Slaton, but a friend suggested these actors and I think they are perfect.

MM:  What can we expect from Rebecca Graf in the future? Any new projects?

There will be the sequels to Deep Connections as well as a few children’s books that will be out within the next year.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

I can be found at , facebook, and twitter @rebeccagraf

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

Just as love appears, so does the darkness. With her heart reaching out for one man, Brenna finds herself the target of an unknown stalker. Who is he? What does he want? How far will he go for her? Death is an option. Brenna discovers more than she bargained for and learns that the stalker will kill for her. It all comes down to decisions, and no matter what she chooses it will demand sacrifice and someone's blood.

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Silver Tongue Press
Release Date: August 23, 2012

Buy The Book: Amazon

Excerpt 2:

Brenna quickly sat up and turned on the light hoping to see that the intruder was only a piece of clothing caught on a hook, but instead found something much worse. Her bedroom window was open. The curtains were parted as though someone had just pushed through them. The cool night air hit her in the face as the sounds of the night wafted in, so she knew she wasn't imagining things.
Her heart jumped into her throat and she reached to grab the phone. Her shaking hands knocked over an empty glass that was in the way. Not wanting to waste any time by calling the police, she automatically dialed Eaton’s number. Eaton’s voice was groggy from sleep, but alert from seeing her number on the caller ID at three in the morning.
“Brenna, what’s wrong?” She could hear him sitting up in bed and turning on a light.
“Eaton, someone was just in my place. He was in my bedroom and went out the window.” Her words came out in one quick breath. She was pulled up against the headboard with her knees drawn up watching the window intently. Did the person really leave or was he still there? A part of her wanted to run out the door, but she was afraid he’d be waiting on her.
“Damn. Don’t move, stay where you are. I’ll be there in a minute, and I’ll call the sheriff.” As soon as Eaton hung up, she called Slaton. His voice was more alert when he answered.
“Brenna, are you okay?” She heard concern in his voice and imagined him sitting straight up, completely alert and ready to go.
“No. He was here. In my bedroom.” Each word was clipped as she continued staring at the phone.
“I’ll be there in a few minutes. Have you already called Eaton?” She could hear clothes rustling in the background.
“Yes, I called him first so the police could be here before he got too far away.”
“Good thinking. Hold on tight.” He hung up and quickly began dressing on his way to the car. His pants were the only thing he had on as he headed out his bedroom door. Jumping from one leg to the other to get his shoes on, he hobbled down the hall. His shirt was halfway on as he made his way into the living room. He didn't have time to let his mom know what was going on, so it was a good thing she was standing in her bedroom door watching him as though she knew just what was going on.
Brenna took Eaton and Slaton's advice and didn’t move until she heard a knock on her door. It seemed as though hours passed before either of them arrived, but just a few minutes had gone by. She practically fell on her face trying to get off the bed and to the door. Her imagination had this mysterious intruder grabbing her from every nook and corner. She found Eaton and the sheriff on the other side of the door, and led them straight to the bedroom. Who cared if she was only in her shorts and t-shirt? There was no time for greetings or modesty, she wanted this unwelcome visitor found.


August 31 - Introduction at VBT Cafe' Blog
September 3 - Guest Blogging at Cindy Vine's Blog
September 4 - Book Feature & Excerpt at Cafe' Creations 
September 5 -Guest Blogging at The Book Hoard
September 7 - Interviewed at MK McClintock's Blog
September 11 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
September 13 - Fun Facts & Fav Recipe at Writing Innovations E-zine
September 15 - Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
September 17 - Book Feature & Excerpt at Reviews by Dee
September 19 - Guest Blogging at SheWrites
September 22 - Interviewed at Mass Musings
September 24 - Reviewed at Books, Books, and More Books
September 25 - Guest Blogging at Romance That's Out Of This WorldSeptember 26 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
September 27 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews  
September 28 - Book Feature & Excerpt at Whoopeeyoo

October 1 - Guest Blogging at Kimberly Lewis Novels
October 3 - at The Bunny's Review
October 5 - Review & interviewed at Infinite House of Books
October 8 - Reviewed at From The TBR Pile

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chatting & Giveaway with YA Author - T.J. Dell

Today we are chatting with YA Paranormal Author, T.J. Dell. T.J. will also be offering a giveaway, so be sure to enter using the Rafflecopter below. Welcome to Mass Musings T.J.! Taking part of your virtual book tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe', we're so glad you could join us!  

About T.J.

When T.J. isn't reading or writing (which is almost never), she is enjoying a blissfully boring life with her family in Maryland.  Her two greatest wishes are to serve on a Starfleet Starship or to be invited to join the Justice League.  Sure her chances are slim, but she's a big believer in dreaming big. 
A hopeless romantic to her very core, TJ's books explore every corner of the wobbly-kneed-world of romance novels.  She has a particular penchant for Young Adult themes.  Dell's debut novel 'Her Best Friend's Brother' is enjoying its tenth month as an Amazon best seller, and her popular Elfkin Series is hot on its heels.
For more information follow her on Facebook at


MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

TJ:  I usually end up with characters that are a sort of hodge-podge of the people in my life.  Never really enough to make anyone stand up and yell "Hey, that's that guy!"  The only exception is Anna's love interest was actually modeled after someone I know. 
I was abusing my good friend, James, one day for his sports knowledge while researching a completely different (and ultimately scrapped) project.  I was trying to write a villainous teenage jock.  Unfortunately after speaking with my friend it became impossible for me to write the character into any unsavory activities, because I just kept hearing and seeing him as James (who is in no way unsavory).  So when it came time for Anna  to have a little romance of her own I unearthed my high school jock and recast him as dreamy Micheal James. 
As a point of interest:  My friend James and his wife, Diana, were also kind enough to appear on the cover of another of my novels, Her Best Friend's Brother.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

TJ:  That's like asking me who my favorite New Kid is!  I love them all.  I do however have a real soft spot for Ian.  He hasn't had a lot of breaks in his life. 

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

TJ:  I do believe you are trying to kill me :)  I suppose if we are going for 'of all time' I will have to choose a classic.... Claudia from the Babysitters Club.  I so very much wanted to be her. 

MM: I would never try to kill you on purpose, j/k ever, lol, but I agree. It's hard to choose.

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

TJ: I'm in the middle of Clockwork Angel right now.  I think I would like to be Tessa.  Of course I haven't finished it yet, so I may have to get back to you if the end doesn't pan out with a whole lot of Will Hernondale happily-ever-after.

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

TJ:  I'm sure you meant to say 'when my book becomes a movie'.  However I'm still not sure of the answer.  I kind of see Nick Roux as my Lucas.  Kind of .  And sometimes I think Jordan Sparks would make a nice Evie.  She's got that soft and tough thing going for her.  Truthfully, they are already so formed in my mind that trying to mentally stuff any actor into those molds usually gives me a migraine.

MM: Of course I meant to say that :).

MM:  What can we expect from TJ Dell in the future? Any new projects?

TJ:  Always!  My 'pipeline' is very exciting these days!  I recently released a YA contemporary 'The Last Place You Look' and you'll be seeing the second installment of the Elfkin series at the end of the year.  Look for 'Whispers in the Dark'!

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

TJ:  Find me on facebook at

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

TJ:  Ditto!

Vol. I
When Evie Parker meets Lucas Spencer she begins to feel hope again. Lately she's been going through life in a fog and Lucas is all about teaching her how to have fun again. For the first time since the accident she knows what it means to be happy.

So who cares if Lucas is a little odd. It isn't that strange that she's never met his parents, or that teachers never seem to notice when he's late for class. Evie tries not to care, but on top of all his peculiar behavior she's been feeling kind of sick lately-- ever since she met Lucas actually.

When Lucas decides it is time to come clean with all his secrets Evie has to make some hard decisions.

Vol. II
All Evie wants is a little bit of normal in her life-- is that really too much to ask?
Lucas isn't normal, but he makes her happy. That should count for something. Evie thinks she can find a balance that will let her be normal and also be with him.

Of course she hadn't counted on adding his family into the mix, or his ex-girlfriend.

Life with an elf is never boring.

Lucas and Evie were finally at a place where Evie was comfortable with her mix of normal human teenager and fantastical elf boyfriend. Then she went and got herself crushed by a tree.

Evie wakes up with a whole lot of extra issues to deal with. Not the least of which is a trip inside the Veil to see Lucas's home. She never would have agreed to go if she'd known she was going to have her own secret to hide.

Genre:Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher:Independently published
Release Date:May 21, 2012

Whispers in the Woods Excerpts.
“Is something wrong with your pizza?”  Lucas paused between giant bites of his dinner.  Two huge slices piled high with every topping on the menu were still waiting on his plate.  He’d already polished off one.
“No.  I’m just letting it cool off.  I prefer to be able to taste my food.”   My own single slice of pepperoni pizza was still piping hot and therefore untouched in front of me.
Lucas held one of his hands over my food, gauging the temperature.  “It should be cool enough.”
As always, he was right.  A moment before steam had been drifting off my plate, and now it was perfectly cooled:  still warm enough to taste good, but nowhere near hot enough to burn my taste buds off.  All thoughts of how wrong that was got pushed to the back of my mind—along with all other similar thoughts I’d been ignoring for the past forty-eight hours.  That area of my mind was getting mighty crowded lately.
“Eat, Evie.  You’re making me self-conscious.”  Lucas’s voice pulled me back to the conversation.  He was grinning around a big mouthful of his third slice.
“I really don’t think that’s possible.  Besides, food clearly doesn’t affect your body the way it does a normal person.”
His jaw hung open.  The way he was staring at me—well, I may as well have smacked him.  “What do you mean?”
I blushed.  Probably I should have kept that to myself.  “Nothing.  I just… well, look at you. I’ve watched you consume a gazillion calories over the last two days and you still look… well, the way you look.”
“I think there is a compliment in there somewhere.”  A grin broke out on his face.
“Umm… yeah.  I guess.”  Man, that was embarrassing! 
Lucas got up from his chair and settled himself next to me in the booth.  “You don’t think I’m normal?”  His whisper was low and husky, and his breath tickled against my ear.
“Are you?”  Could he hear my heart?  Could everyone in the building hear it?  It was certainly beating loud enough.
“If I’m not normal, does that bother you?  Would it matter?  Would you still have agreed to come here with me?”
“Probably.”  My voice was squeaking.
“Which one, Evie?”  He lifted his hands to frame my face.  His beautiful soft eyes bore into mine as though this was the most important conversation he’d ever had.
“Probably I would still have come to dinner with you.” 
Relief flashed in his eyes—and something else, too.  At the time I couldn’t recognize it for what it was: guilt.  “I’m not sure you know what you’re saying, but I’ll take it anyway.” 
He tasted like pizza.  That was the first thought to register in my brain after his lips touched mine.  It was also the last thought.    The entire restaurant melted away.  In a corner to our left a kid was screaming for more French fries.  Two tables to our right a group of kids argued as they counted their pocket change on the tabletop.  All around us arcade games buzzed and beeped while children cheered.  I heard none of it.
I know what you’re thinking.  And yes, we were in a family restaurant surrounded by children.  But I swear it wasn’t like that; not on the outside anyway.  His kiss was soft and sweet.  His hands never left my face.  The amazing, earth-shattering, life-defining moment was happening on the inside.  Something deep inside me snapped.  Not snapped apart.  God knows I’d been broken into enough pieces recently.  It was more like snapping together.  It felt like finding last piece of sky in a big jigsaw puzzle.  I could feel him.  Just like the day before, only times a thousand.
“Oh wow.”  I grinned when we pulled away.
“Uh-oh,” he said at the very same moment.

Follow The Tour:

September 7 - Interviewed at Hazel West's Character Purgatory
September 11 - Review & Interview at Books, Books, and More Books
September 13 - Book Feature & Excerpt at YA Reads
September 15 - Book Feature & Excerpt at Cafe' Creations
September 17 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews 
September 19 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
September 21 - Interviewed at MK McClintock's Blog
September 24 - Guest Blogging at Margaret West's Blog
September 26 - Interviewed at The Bunny's Review
September 28 - Interview at A Word Fitly Spoken
October 1 - Guest Blogging at My World
October 3 - Reviewed at Whoopeeyoo
October 5 - Review & Interview at My Reading Addiction
October 9 - Review & Interview at Reading, Writing, and More
October 11 - Review & Guest Blogging at Indie Writer's Review
October 16 - Review & Character Interview at Black Hippie Chick's Take On Books & The World
October 18 - Reviewed at Words I Write Crazy

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