Monday, March 26, 2012

Matt Tomerlin - Author Interview on Haven Mar 27 - 31

Matt Tomerlin

      Arghh maties! Grab a pewter mug of ale, pull up a barrel and have a seat while we chat with author Matt Tomerlin. Pirates and seaman alike are welcome and thank you for stopping in to chat with us. He's got a series that will interest you, we're sure! Gather 'round and let's get started.

Reader’s Haven:  Matt, thank you for being here with us. Deanna is a big pirate fan so look out, she might stow away here someplace! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Matt:  I'm a thirty-three year old kid with no intention of growing up any time soon, trying to make a living off telling stories. I live in Southern California, where everything I could want is within an hour's drive. I'm a massive movie-buff, with too many useless movie facts taking up space in my noggin.
Reader’s Haven:  What made you want to become a writer?
Matt: Since as far back as I can remember I've been crafting stories in my head. I wrote quite a few screenplays as a teenager, but it wasn't until my early-twenties that I realized I should write a novel. Writing is not immediately profitable, so it's a hard thing to sit down and do for any length of time while you're trying to make a living full-time. Once I became a work-at-home graphic designer, I found much more time to write.
Reader’s Haven:  How true that is but for us writers, it’s what we do and we find a way to make it work. Please share a bit about your new release, "The Devil's Fire," without giving away any spoilers.

Matt:  "The Devil's Fire" starts simply enough, with a timid woman from London, Katherine Lindsay, being kidnapped by pirates. Her husband is murdered by a covetous pirate captain, and the first third of the novel details the torments she must endure to survive. This is not a romance novel, but a dark exploration of a woman struggling to balance survival and guilt, which are mutually exclusive in this case. The narrative is told from multiple perspectives, shifting through several major pirate characters, but their stories and fates are tied to Katherine Lindsay's introduction into their lives. I had just read George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones," and I liked the idea of perspective chapters. I also wanted to write an adult pirate story that was as realistic as possible, forgoing supernatural elements. "The Devil's Fire" is very violent and probably not for everyone.
Reader’s Haven:  Do you write under a pen name?
Matt: "Tomerlin" is not my real last name, but that name is in my family history.
Reader’s Haven:  How clever! What types of hero or heroine do you like best?
Matt:  I prefer average people who are thrust into fantastic, dangerous scenarios and are forced to find their inner strength. I'm not impressed with musclemen or amazon women, because I'm never really worried for their safety.
Reader’s Haven:  That’s a different take on characterization; we like that! Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
Matt:  I have no routine. One day I might wake up and write two chapters very quickly, and then I'll spend two or three days deliberating. Sometimes I need more than a week and then multiple chapters spill out of me in one day. It can be a mystifying process, but there's nothing more gratifying than finishing a chapter. I try to treat every chapter as a mini-story, so that each might work on its own while moving the overall story forward. 
Reader’s Haven:  Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Matt: They're all different, but I do tend to focus on a hero/heroine who starts as a blank slate, not really knowing who they are, and discovers their place in the world when they are forced to survive. I love epic character arcs, such as Al Pacino in "The Godfather." It isn't until the very last scene of that film that you realize what Michael has become. 
Reader’s Haven:  How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?
Matt:  Depends on the size of the story. The first draft of "The Devil's Fire" was completed over five years ago, and then I set it aside and moved onto other things. I came back to it early 2011 and started editing it. I changed the ending into something I was finally satisfied with. The ending had been plaguing me for a long time, and one day it hit me. 
     I am currently finishing the sequel, "The Devil's Tide," which should be available this summer. With the main character, setting, and rules already established, it has been a much smoother process than the first book. The ending of "The Devil's Fire" provided a jumping-off point, and as cliché as it sounds, the second book has written itself. It feels as though the first book was merely a setup for this one.
Reader’s Haven:  Do you have to be alone to write?
Matt:  Yes. I need absolute silence and solitude. Any little thing will throw me off. I've yelled at my cat for jumping in my lap at the wrong time.
Reader’s Haven:  How do you go about naming characters?
Matt:  For a period piece like "The Devil's Fire," I generally research names that were popular at the time and find one I think best suits a character's personality.
Reader’s Haven:  Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?
Matt:  I always have an idea of a character's appearance in my head before I start typing. Katherine Lindsay's wild red hair in "The Devil's Fire" is her most important trait, foreshadowing the strong-willed and dangerous person she will become. Someone once asked me if the title was a reference to her hair, and I'd have to say yes.
Reader’s Haven:  How do you pick locations for your stories?
Matt:  For "The Devil's Fire" I chose one of the most exciting pirate ports at the time in which the story takes place, which was Nassau. So much happened there and I had a lot of fun researching it. It just seemed the natural place to set a pirate story, especially since real historical figures enter into the novel at key points. Nassau provided a perfect entry point for merging fiction with history.
Reader’s Haven:  Do you specialize in one genre?
Matt:  Not at all. I'm in the early stages of a young adult series called "ARCTURUS," which is a blend of science-fiction and fantasy. I'm a huge sci-fi/fantasy nut. I'm also finishing up a horror/western novella. I believe characters are the most important factor in any genre, so no matter what the setting is, I never want the story to overwhelm the characters.


Katherine Lindsay, a timid young woman from London, must contend with an ambitious pirate captain who has murdered her husband and taken her hostage aboard his fearsome ship, Harbinger. As Lindsay grows accustomed to life among pirates, she finds it increasingly difficult to resist her attraction to their wayward lifestyle and the thrill of high-seas adventure. But the memory of her dead husband weighs heavily on her conscience, and her swelling guilt may prove to be the ultimate undoing of her kidnappers. Pirate lovers will find no shortage of treachery, cutlass duels, ship-to-ship battles, buried treasure and much more.

Excerpt from "The Devil's Fire":

It was six hours before the pirates discovered her cowering beneath the bed.

Several pirates spilled into the cabin, laughing and cursing. She glimpsed only their feet. Some wore boots, but most were barefoot. She watched through a hole in the heavy quilt that was draped over the bed as they thieved most of her clothes and jewelry. They took whatever perked their interest and then left, their boisterous laughter fading into the roaring pandemonium that had enveloped the main deck.

After what she presumed to be two hours, she heard a loud scuttle and a subsequent shriek that was abruptly cut short. A riotous commotion lasted for nearly five minutes before it broke into uncontrollable fits of laughter. For the next hour she was left to ponder her husband’s fate. Her mind played out a relentless torrent of ghastly possibilities, with Thomas meeting a grisly death in every one of them.

And then, with a glorious flood of relief, she heard his voice. Her eyes burned. She squeezed them shut, refusing to allow any tears to burst free; there would be time enough for that later, when she held him in her arms again, and the present ordeal was nothing more than a memory.

Thomas was conversing with a man whose voice held a distinctive air of authority. As this man spoke, the pirates gradually calmed. Katherine found herself transfixed on the voice, even though it was far too muffled through the cabin walls for her to distinguish words. He possessed a tranquil tone that she rather liked, and she temporarily forgot her peril while listening to him.

Thomas and the man with the fair voice eventually ended their conversation, and the pirate uproar started anew. This went on at some length, and the cabin remained empty over the next few hours. Gradually, the clamor outside grew even louder, and the unmistakable sound of a shattering bottle prompted her to wonder if the pirates had discovered the cases of wine in the cargo hold.

The endless ruckus numbed her senses, and she found her eyelids growing heavy. The floor’s wooden planking seemed to stretch away from her. Her vision thinned to narrowing slits that soon receded into darkness.

The door was thrust open, and the ruckus outside flooded the cabin like a tidal wave. Katherine lifted her head and smashed the crown of her skull against the underbelly of the bed. Her eyes shot open in accordance with the jolting pain.

A pair of buckled shoes marched deliberately for the bed. The man who wore them reached down and tore the quilt away, spoiling her hiding place. With the velocity of a striking snake, his hand shot under the bed to grasp Katherine’s hair, dragging her painfully from cover.

“This ship’s treasures never cease,” said the man with the voice that she had liked so much. But his pleasant enunciation was no match for the hunger in his eyes.

Web links:

CONTEST:  One lucky commenter will win an e-book copy of Devil's Fire - be sure to leave your email addy in the comment so we can contact the winner on Sunday, April 1st. Good luck!

     Thank you all for stopping in to read whether or not you left a comment. We appreciate it. Be sure to visit Matt's sites and connect with him online!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Authors March Special on Advertising, Readers We have Goodies for you too!

Authors, check out our main site and click on 'Advertise With Us'. Browse the ads and find the appropriate one to promote you and your book(s). We also provide eBook covers, bookmarks, web banners and buttons designs and will start or update your web site and blog at a price to meet your budget.

 ~March Special~
Visit our main site
Purchase the 6 mth Author Page and get the 3 mth Cover Ad 
on sidebar ($25 value) for $15! 
Click on 'Advertise with Us'

We also provide Author Interviews on our blog and book reviews which are posted under the Reviewer's page on our main site. Click on 'Contact Us' and fill out the form for a request or question.

Readers, visit our main site to find the best in multi-genre books to read. Visit the Author Pages, Haven's Reviewers and Reader's Fun Page to find new authors to follow. Stop by here often to learn about the authors we feature weekly. There is always a giveaway! Comment on your chance to win.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Determination is Cadence Hamilton’s middle name - "Pillars In Time" A chat with Author Erin Pryor Mar 15 - 18

 Congratulations to Dalila G. for winning a copy 
of Pillars in Time!

We are very excited to have Erin Pryor visit with us today. Erin is here to promote her debut release "Pillars In Time" and tell us why she loves writing. 

Determination is Cadence Hamilton’s middle name. She sets her sights on a lofty goal in a man’s profession: to be the most sought after architect on the West Coast. When she hears of the chance to draft the renovation of a 14th Century Scottish castle, she jumps at her dream job…never expecting to be whisked away to the century itself.

Nicholas Kincaid, sole heir to Dunmaben castle, is in a horrible predicament: marry or forfeit his lands. But the woman who visits his dreams keeps him from falling into wedded bliss. With the clock ticking, he follows duty to marry to avoid losing his beloved home and will do whatever it takes to ensure the security and safety for all, both in and outside of his walls. Except the woman, who beholds secrets he seeks, becomes his distraction….

Neither Nicholas nor Cadence anticipates the threats close to home, or the lives that will be lost in the process. As their relationship is tested and unknown enemies revealed, will their love conquer all? Even the boundary of time?

Wow, romance, time travel, a strong heroine and hero! Let's welcome Erin to find out more.

Reader’s Haven: Tell us a bit about yourself  that our readers might not know.

Erin:  I love to quilt and figure skate. I grew up figure skating and my grandmother taught me how to quilt when I was twelve.

Reader’s Haven: You look like a princess in this photo. What made you want to become a writer?

Erin: It’s the creative side in me. I’ve always loved a good story and thought “what if” I could do it. Instead of just thinking “what if”, I transitioned into actually accomplishing my dream.

Reader’s Haven: Please share a bit about your new release Pillars in Time without giving away any spoilers.

Erin:  Pillars in Time: Determination is Cadence Hamilton’s middle name. She sets her sights on a lofty goal in a man’s profession: to be the most sought after architect on the West Coast. When she hears of the chance to draft the renovation of a 14th Century Scottish castle, she jumps at her dream job…never expecting to be whisked away to the century itself.

Reader’s Haven: Do you write under a pen name?

Erin:  Nope. I prefer to keep it simple. That way my friends can find me.

Reader’s Haven: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Erin:  Headstrong and independent people, yet at the same time, willing to depend on another person when the situation calls for it.

Reader’s Haven: Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Erin:  Well, I work full time. So trying to fit my writing into my daily life can tend to get difficult. I try and write for at least one hour a day, in the morning, before I get going doing anything else. My mind is clear and focused on the story at hand.

Reader’s Haven: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Erin:  Home is where the heart is. It doesn’t matter where you come from or where you believe you’re heading, that love can guide you in ways you never imagined.

Reader’s Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Erin:  Full time? Three – Four months. Part time? Eight – Ten months.

Reader’s Haven: Do you have to be alone to write?

Erin:  No, but I prefer it. I have two little ones at home, and the four year old has a knack for interrupting right at the most important moment. I choose to remove myself from my house for several hours at a time, go to my local coffee spot, park in a seat, put my headphones in and just write.

Reader’s Haven: How do you go about naming characters?

Erin:  I think about their generation and where they come from. I try and stay true to a name that’d be given in that person’s century and region of living.

Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Erin:  No. I like to start writing the characters first, and then find pictures of them. I want to form them in my mind un-intruded before I put an actual face to a character.

Reader’s Haven: How do you pick locations for your stories?

Erin:  I absolutely love Scotland. No, I’ve never been, but cannot wait to go. There is something about the country that draws me in and calls to me. Coupled that with my love for all things medieval, I decided to write time travel.

 Reader’s Haven: Erin, thank you for visiting with us the rest of week. Readers, you can find Erin on her Blog, Facebook and Twitter. And there's a giveaway of a copy of Pillars In Time to one lucky commenter. Please leave your email address so we can easily contact the winner.

You can find Pillars In Time on Decadent Publishing and Amazon.


“Tell me, Miss Hamilton, what do you see? I know what your vision looks like both on paper and in a scale version. But sitting here, what do you see? Close your eyes and describe it to me.” His soft, unexpected request tugged at her heart strings.

After a few silent moments, Cadence realized she wouldn’t get away from this encounter without indulging him, if only for a moment. She let her eyes drift shut again. It didn’t take long for her mind to resume where it’d left off.

“I’m sitting outside of the kitchen watching small children run from the door into a building on the other side of the bailey.” Pots clanged in the distance. “A hundred yards off from the kitchen sits a quaint church, a single large cross at its peak, beckoning all from afar.” A cool breeze tousled her hair and tickled the nape of her neck. “A garden, booming with fresh vegetables and herbs, sits behind the church.” She inhaled and could smell cooked carrots and a roast on the fire.

Cadence put her hands over her rumbling stomach to silence its protests.

“What else?” he asked in a melodic tone.

Her vision panned out to give her a bird’s eye view. People entered and exited the main gate, all dressed in medieval attire. Sounds of laughing children, men giving orders, and the jingle of horse’s tack filled her ears.

Cadence couldn’t ignore the second gurgle of her protesting stomach. She pulled back from her daydream and lifted her lids.

But the vision remained. Confused, Cadence closed her eyes, rubbed vigorously, and then opened her lids once more. Everything stayed the same.

Strong, tall walls stood off to the side. White plumes of smoke billowed out of a chimney fifty feet away. Where’d the building come from? It hadn’t been there two minutes ago.

After the fifth failed attempt of righting the world around her, Cadence pushed off of the bench, ready to walk out of whatever weird alternate reality she’d unknowingly stepped into.

“Ow!” She forgot to look up, a bad habit she needed to break one of these days.

Hands clutched her upper arms. “Who are you and what are you doing in my bailey?” A hard, male voice demanded in Gaelic.

What the…?

The owner of the hands cutting off the circulation in her arms wasn’t Collin, but an unknown man with a broad chest, his face shadowed by the glaring sun. What had happened to Collin?

Run! her body screamed at her.


“Well, gel, spit it out!” he demanded, again in Gaelic, before releasing her.

Cadence moved and let her feet fly.

Erin Pryor is a very hard-working wife and mother to two. When she isn’t busy pounding away at the keyboard, she spends time going on dates with her husband and hanging out with the kids. Her favorite hobbies are reading, quilting, and figure skating. Erin’s books are inspired by her passion for Medieval Scotland. She’s always wondered ‘what if’, motivating her to explore the boundaries of time travel.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mike Woody - Romance and YA Author

Mike Woody
Romance and YA Author

      We're pleased to introduce this week's author who's been writing for a long time. Mike has a degree in Creative Writing from Wright State University. Since 2007 he's been a reporter for a number of small town newspapers, specializing in human interest stories. However, he never lost the desire to complete a novel. A life long resident of Dayton, Ohio, he says that will probably never change. Not that he absolutely loves it here, but he hates moving.
     Grab your coffee and sit back to enjoy our chat with Mike and thank you all for stopping in. When you're done, please hop over to Mike's blog and take a peek at what he's done over there!

Reader’s Haven: Mike, welcome to our haven here on the net. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Mike: I’m 35 and from Dayton, Ohio. I am a hopeless romantic; am a fan of pro wrestling and have a collection of celebrity autographs including Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore.

Reader’s Haven: We could name a few wrestlers, being a fan ourselves! What made you want to become a writer?
Mike: I’ve wanted to be a writer since the sixth grade when the class would love for me to read my stories written in class. I was picked on a lot in school and that was the only time I felt accepted by my peers. So in a way I guess I still use writing as a way to gain acceptance.

Reader’s Haven: Do you write under a pen name?

Mike: Not yet, if I write any erotica, which I’m considering, I think I will. Of course with the name Woody, I’m perfect for that genre.

Reader’s Haven: What type of hero or heroine do you like best?

Mike: Those that are common, blue collar type people who have a happy ending.

Reader’s Haven: How many plots do you include in one of your books?

Mike: My full length books are all still WIP’s but I like to have at least two plots, but everything gets linked together by the end. Hopefully the reader will be kept guessing about how they are connected.

Reader’s Haven: Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Mike: Wasting to much time on Facebook. I need to be more strict on myself and actually do the writing rather than just think about. I don’t always know where the time goes but the days seem to get gone before I can get done what I had planned.

Reader’s Haven: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Mike: Well, my first and so far only released, ‘Twisted Hearts Tales,’ is a collection of four short stories and they are all about relationships that take some dark and unexpected turns. A common theme is the never ending pursuit to find true love.

Reader’s Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Mike: I am VERY slow. Which I also need to drastically improve on. I have stories that I’ve been working on for more than 10 years. Granted there are long breaks in between times I touch them as I go back and forth between projects. Three of the four stories in ‘Twisted Harts Tales’ I wrote while in college and I graduated in 2004.

Reader’s Haven: Do you have to be alone to write?

Mike: Don’t know if I have to be, but I almost always am.

Reader’s Haven: How do you go about naming characters?

Mike: Naming characters is always a chore for me. I don’t really have any process rather than just trying to find a name that a relative or friend doesn’t have so they can’t say it’s supposed to be them.

Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Mike: That’s a tough one, I think at times it kind of goes both ways. I usually picture the character from the start but it becomes more clear as I write.

Reader’s Haven: How do you pick locations for your stories?

Mike: Locations aren’t typically central to the plot and could be anywhere in the U.S. I just name a state for ID purposes.

Synopsis: Enjoy four stories of romance in which the path towards love is filled with twists and turns…An awkward teen gets caught up in the fantasy of an online love affair which he wants to delete. One woman’s heart will stop at nothing to win the affection of her dream man, who is married to her sister. More than the waves are turbulent when an engaged couple go sailing with an old friend. And a teen makes the ultimate sacrifice to earn a young beauties attention.

The short story ‘Delete My Heart,’ is very true to my life. It is based on an online relationship that I was drawn into. It ended in tragedy, honestly it possibly could, might have been fatal. The wonder still lingers within me.

Here’s an excerpt:

It didn’t take long to become an addict. Every free moment I had I spent online with K. Through our highs and lows we were always there for each other to share a laugh, provide a shoulder to cry on, or just enjoy the comfort of each other’s company. My world had become a much brighter place since meeting K and the knowledge she was locked in my heart gave me a new and inspired life. I was no longer forced to walk the twisted path of life alone. I had K at my side.

I served a purpose, my companionship and feelings for her during the hardest part of her life allowed her to survive and greet each day. And from that dependence a wonderful thing happened, I was in love.

This woman who I’d never seen or even talked to voice to voice was engraved on my heart and soul. She was always on my mind and I was miserable whenever we were apart.

She filled my life with such joy and hope that I wondered why all the men in Illinois weren’t lined up at her door awaiting the ’K Experience.’

K: You know Shane, before meeting you, I never wanted to be involved with another man.

Waffle Boy: Why?

I was shocked by the revelation.

K: I’ve only been in love once before and it broke my heart. I never want to go through that again. I told you, I lose everyone I care about.

Waffle Boy: What happened?

K: *Crying* It was terrible, we were engaged and I caught him in bed with another woman.

Waffle Boy: I’m so sorry.

K: I never thought I could ever trust another man, but you’re special.

Waffle Boy: What a bastard. I don’t know how anyone could ever do that to you. Consider yourself lucky, you deserve much better.

K: I think fate brought you and I together. At a time when I most needed a friend, you appeared and became so much more to me. You’ve taught me how to love again. I believe we were meant to be.

My heart fluttering, there was nothing I wished for more than to be able to reach out and hold her in my arms for real and feel her body against mine.

Overcome with sincere emotion, a tear fell from my eye.