Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Marcia James Write Hot and Humorous, #Giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 10 comments


I met Marcia James because she has a blog page on her website which features authors with James in their name and she featured me. I asked her to be on my blog and I am delighted to welcome her here this week.
Marcia, please tell us a little about yourself.

I write hot, humorous romances featuring heroines you can root for, heroes to die for, and funny dogs. My background is in corporate video scriptwriting, advertising copywriting, and journalism. I've had a pretty eclectic career as a freelance writer, which has kept things interesting. For example, I've shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled events, and had my wedding covered by People Magazine. As an author, I have a lot of experiences to pull from when writing fiction.
Wow. That is very impressive. 
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.

I wish I could say I had a fun story about my first publication (with Ellora's Cave's non-erotic romance imprint, Cerridwen Press), but I don't. I was thrilled, however, when I was offered a chance to be in a Berkley anthology. Author Lori Foster does a wonderful benefit book each year, and I was one of ten authors who wrote novellas for TAILS OF LOVE, a pet-themed romance anthology. All of the authors' royalties go to a no-kill animal shelter in Ohio. So far, we've raised more than $10,000 for the shelter.

If it isn’t too nosy. How about the first time you kissed your true love?

My husband and I met several decades ago, and we hit it off as friends first. He has a wonderful sense of humor. Our first (amazing!) kiss was on a sunny May day, so when we were picking a wedding date, we chose May 13th, a pretty Saturday. We lived together for 13 years before we got married, which is why we asked guests to donate to charity vs. giving us a wedding present. (That's how we ended up in People Magazine.) Ever since, we've celebrated the 13th of every month as our "monthly anniversary." I love that idea.

Other than your own, who are your favorite writers in your genre?
I listen to recorded books all the time, and I enjoy predominantly romance and mystery, although I've tried authors like Simon R. Green, who writes unusual and sometimes very funny science fiction/fantasy/paranormal novels. I have many favorite romance authors, including Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery, and Nora Roberts. I love Darynda Jone's urban fantasy series. I read cozy mysteries and PI mysteries -- including Jim Butcher's paranormal Dresden File books. I have too many favorite authors to list. Me too. I've read all the authors you mentioned.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I enjoy golfing and gambling. (My favorite casino game is triple-video poker.) I also love "retail therapy," and my husband calls me a Ninja shopper because I'm good at finding great deals. I just started doing T'ai Chi again, and I'm going to try pickleball this spring. It's a cross between tennis, volleyball, and racquetball. Well then, you would love where I am now. I am in Primm, Nevada at Buffalo Bill's Casino. I arrived at seven Sunday night and spent the next two and a half hours on the flor learning how to deal professional blackjack. Tomorrow I play a blackjack dealer in the TV Series Ray Donovan. I deal to Liev Schreiber. Tuesday I go back to Los Angeles. 

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
I do something relaxing, like reading, shopping, or watching humorous TV shows, like The Daily Show and The Tonight Show -- both of which we DVR. Also, I find that writing long-hand turns off my internal editor, since I'll be polishing the handwritten words when I input them into my manuscript. So that's motivating. And I'm a plotter, so I usually know where a story is headed.

Got a recipe you want to share?
The following is a recipe I donated to a fundraising cookbook of author recipes. It's meant to be humorous, as well as yummy.  ;-)

Avocado Body Paint & Dip

Ingredients

4 ripe avocados – halved & pitted
6 tablespoons of sour cream
1 teaspoon of salt
sprinkling of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Directions

1. Put the flesh of the avocado in a food processor and pulse to roughly chop up the avocado.

2. Add the sour cream. Pulse until the mixture is the texture of yogurt.

3. Add the salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Pulse until smooth.

4. The recipe makes approximately 2 cups of avocado body paint – or a couple cups of avocado dip, if you choose to serve it with chips!

NOTE: Avocados have long been considered an aphrodisiac and are, therefore, an ideal ingredient for edible body paint. The Aztecs believed avocados, hanging in pairs on the trees, resembled a man’s “family jewels.” Be forewarned, however, that using this chilled mixture on the aforementioned body part could result in unwanted shrinkage. Also, covering the bed with a plastic shower curtain liner is recommended before application!
That's great. I hope you have a scene in a book using it.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
My background includes marketing and promotion experience, so I always urge aspiring authors to simultaneously learn the craft and business sides of fiction writing--the latter including self-promotion. Writers who wait to learn promotion until they get "The Call" are almost always stressed to the max trying to play catch-up. For example, you don't need to put up a website before you're published, but you should definitely start considering what you'd like your website to look like. And when author friends talk about promotion, take notes instead of tuning it out as something that doesn't pertain to you yet. Get to know what self-promotion works for them. Start thinking about your brand. There are a lot of things an aspiring author can do to get smart on the publication business before they're published. That is EXCELLENT advice. I wish I had had it.

What genre or genres do you write?
I write sexy, humorous contemporary romances and romantic mysteries. All of my books feature pets (especially Chinese crested hairless dogs), who have been rescued from shelters, which is why I have a dog caricature as a logo. In the last 16 months, I've been working with other authors to publish ebook box sets (aka anthologies). Several of these are Christmas-themed. These sets are a fun way to network and co-promote with other authors, and--since the sets are priced at only 99 cents--they are an inexpensive way for readers to try new-to-them authors.

Tell us about your latest releases.

My latest releases are the three novellas in my "Klein's K-9s Service Dogs" series. I've really enjoyed researching and writing this series.

The first novella is Racing Hearts:

Stock car legend, Tom "Torque" Tyler, faces a bleak future following a traumatic head injury and seizures. Determined to drag her high-school crush from his self-imposed solitude, service dog trainer, Meg Klein, and a tiny but talented seizure response dog bring Tom hope and love.


The second is 8 Hounds a-Howling

Celebrity photographer "Jax" Jackson volunteers to shoot the Klein's K-9s' dog-themed "12 Days of Christmas" fundraising calendar. His hidden agenda: Convince past love and calendar coordinator Amy Walters to give him a second chance.


The third is "Nothing But a Hound Dog", which is in the April box set, LOVE NOTES:

After a night of raucous partying, country music hunk Ryan "Rowdy" Gates is sentenced to community service at the Jenkins Animal Shelter. Cindi Landon, shelter director and his high school crush, offers Ryan something he's never had—a home and unconditional love.

I just pre-ordered this on Amazon. Love Notes will be releases April 19th,
What’s your current WIP?
I'm plotting the fourth (as yet unnamed) Klein's K-9s novella, which will be included in a Christmas-themed ebook box set this fall.

And finally, where can we find  you?
I love meeting readers in person and online! On my website, I have a page called, "The Scoop," which lists the events and booksignings I'm participating in. The following are my online links:

Amazon Author Central page: www.amazon.com/author/marciajames



Marcia, thank you so much for being here, Marcia is giving away two eBook copies of Racing Hearts  You Know the drill, dearest readers. Please enter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 comments :

  1. Hi, Sue! Thank you for this opportunity to be on your blog!

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  2. For those who'd like to read your interview on my James Gang blog, here is the link: http://www.marciajames.net/James_gang_Susan_B_James.html

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  3. Enjoyed your interview. My favorite dog breed was a sheep dog. The one we had was a loving, stubborn and protective pet.

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  4. Hi, Nancy! Thanks for dropping by my interview. ;-) I agree that they are cool dogs. A friend of mine had an Old English Sheepdog, and when it passed on, they got a Border Collie. Both are wonderful breeds. ;-) By the way, you're entered in the contest to win one of my ebooks. I'll draw a winner at the end of the week. Have a great day!

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  5. Great post and I love the Chinese Crested. My fave breed is a collie. I have had lots of rescues over the years and currently have a 7 year old blue merle collie, named Ty, who I adopted a year ago. Yesterday was our 'acquisition anniversary'. He came from a bad hoarding situation. He has been challenging, though incredibly wonderful to live with. Best wishes!

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  6. Hi, Ryan! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. ;-) I Googled "blue merle collie" before commenting here to be sure I knew what breed that was. Ty must be a striking dog, with those beautiful markings. It's wonderful that you've helped so many homeless animals. I think there's a special place in heaven for people who rescue pets. Have a wonderful evening and a happy Easter!

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  7. ;-) "Any kind" means you're a true dog-lover. I feel almost the same way, except I was bitten by a Chihuahua when I was a kid, so I'm a little leery of that breed. Have a wonderful Easter!

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  8. LOVE the avocado recipe!---fun interview and interesting books!
    Hope your dealing went well, Susan:)

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  9. Hi, Anne! Thanks for your kind words. ;-) Have a wonderful week!

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