Monday, December 14, 2009
Dalton Diaz here, with the great pleasure of welcoming the one and only Ashlyn Chase to the Quirky Ladies! Hey, Ash! Wow, you have been one very busy lady. First and foremost, IT’S RELEASE DAY!!
I’m so excited about your new Total E-Bound book, Green Card. (In keeping with our pg-13 blog, I promise to behave!)
Green Card by Ashlyn Chase
Novella available TODAY from Total-e Bound
Let’s start off with a blurb and excerpt to whet the appetite:
Mason Germaine is close to a contract for his graphic novel, but if his model Katia is deported to Russia, his hopes will die...all of them. Mason Gremaine is taking a life drawing class to improve his chances of breaking into the graphic novel industry. His job as a high school art teacher has almost sucked the creativity out of him. When he meets Katia, he has found the perfect voluptuous model for his dominatrix super-heroine "The Totalitarian." When her uncle sees money exchange hands and gets the wrong idea about what she's doing in her spare time, he fires her and demands she leave his home. Now her sponsor is gone and if she can't find a new one quickly she'll be deported. Mason has an appointment in one week to present his idea to a publisher. If he lets her stay with him and his roommate, she can pose for him, but is he getting in over his head? And what about his roommate's crazy request for a ménage in exchange for free rent?
Mason Germane tipped his head from one side to the other and stared at his life drawing. In his mind, the thin, short-haired, flat-chested model resembled a ten-year-old boy.
Peering over his shoulder, his instructor Ms. Tempest said, “I think you may do better with our next model. Hang on a minute and I’ll tell you why.” She called out, “Break for lunch, everybody.”
The model gathered her robe from the floor, slipped it on and disappeared around the partition behind her.
Lunch? Already? Mason glanced at his watch. Sure enough. Twelve thirty. He could get lost in his art, mostly when it was going very well or very badly. Before he set down his pencil, Ms. Tempest continued. “I’ve noticed that your style is very sensuous. Katia is curvier. She’s late, but by the time you come back from lunch, I’m sure she’ll be here.”
The other dozen students filed out of the room, and Mason figured he’d pick his instructor’s brain while he had her undivided attention. “Are some bodies better suited to an artist’s style than others?”
“Oh, absolutely. Unless you’ve apprenticed with an old master. They really put their students through hell.” She chuckled. “Andrew Wyeth’s father had him draw nothing but cubes and spheres for months. When he finally got the shading exactly right, he was allowed to move on to drawing a skeleton. Most artists don’t have the time or patience to learn that way anymore so they adapt by finding subjects that suit their style. What do you hope to do with your talent?”
“I have talent?” Mason asked and chuckled.
“Of course, you do. I’ve seen other drawings you’ve done.” She pointed to his easel. “This isn’t your best work.”
“I’m glad we agree. Actually, I’m creating a graphic novel about a kick-ass, female super heroine called The Totalitarian.”
“A comic book?” His teacher smirked then tried to cover it with her hand and a fake cough. “Well, good luck with that.”
Mason was just about to defend his idea when a nude brunette streaked from behind the screen into the studio, clutching her robe in her hand. She leapt into the air and landed on the platform with a thud. “I’m sorry I’m late,” she said, huffing and puffing.
Mason’s eyes popped. To say this model was curvy was an understatement. She was almost plump. The firm flesh, however, would belie the word ‘fat’. Voluptuous was the word he’d use to describe her hourglass figure.
“You must be Katia,” the teacher said, crossing her arms.
“Yes, I am. And I’m very sorry I’m late.” A slight, hard-to-place accent accompanied her apologetic voice.
“Well, everyone has gone to lunch. I had the other model stay longer so I’ll have to dock your pay and give it to her.”
She dropped her head. Her long, wavy hair fell forward. “I understand.”
As she began to stuff her arm into her robe, Mason spoke up, “No. Wait.” Looking to his instructor, he raised his pencil. “Ms. Tempest, I’d like to try drawing her? Right now. If I pay her, is it all right with you?”
Woo-Hoo, this is going to be a fun interview!
DD: Ok, so it’s a ménage BDSM, so you can see why I can’t ask too many questions here. I’m going to sneak in a couple, though. Is this the first ménage you’ve written?
AC: This is my second manage. The first is an F/M/F threesome in Oh My God. Two best friends want stories to tell about their wild youth when they're in a nursing home, and our hero has amnesia. They flashed him at Mardi Gras and he was so drunk, when he went to toss them beads, he fell off a balcony onto his head! They felt guilty so took him to an AA meeting and then home until he regained his memory. What none of them knew at the time was they'd just taken home Dionysus, the biggest bad boy of Mount Olympus. The bodies weren't hard to manage since they took turns with him. There was no F/F action at all.
DD: So for all of us salivating, here’s the buy site for Oh My God, which I have to agree, has an incredible cover. I understand it has also been nominated for both a CAPA and an Eppie award. Go, Ash!
Oh My God by Ashlyn Chase
Available now from Total-e-Bound
DD: On with the grilling, er, interview. How about an example of what makes you, Ashlyn Chase, quirky in your own right?
AC: LOL. Okay. When I write, I do it backwards. I come up with the title first, then I write the blurb, then the story. Almost everyone I know does it in reverse order, so I guess that makes me the odd one.
DD: Uh-huh. That’s definitely the pg-13 version! I belong to your yahoo fan site, ashlynsnewbestfriends, and I have to say, it gets pretty wild in there. Anyone can join through your website at www.ashlynchase.com so folks, if you haven’t already, you’re missing out on lots of fun.
DD: I happen to know that you have a very special room in your house. No, not that kind, people! You and your man LOVE to watch movies, and you have a pretty sweet setup for movie nights. Since you write comedy so well, inquiring eyes want to know… what is your favorite comedy, and why?
AC: Good question! A really old one I find hysterical is A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Also Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Although, the last time I watched it, I didn't think it was as funny as I remembered. Jim Carey makes me laugh my ass off in most of his movies. I love Army of Darkness and Clerks. Most of these movies are off the wall, which matches my sense of humor, but if I look for one commonality I think they all have an unflappable protagonist.
As far as romantic comedies, I love the charming hero who can't be shaken...like our Dorian in Love Cuffs. Hope could hit him, call him by the wrong name, or pour ice water over his head, but he never once had a knee-jerk reaction. Always cool. Come to think of it, a lot of my heroes are like that. Not Alpha a**holes, not exactly Beta, maybe I should create a new category of hero. The charming, unflappable Cappa.
DD: Yeah, Dorian was kinda special. Then again, so was Hope! Dorian’s going to have a fun time trying to keep up with his woman. So How many books and publishers have there been over the last few years?
AC: I think it's easier to count publishers than books. Six, although two have gone out of business. The survivors are: epubs LSB, Ellora's Cave and T-e-B, and Sourcebooks is a traditional print press that’s getting into the e-business now. I published at least 18 books (some are novellas and a couple are short stories) and a few are no longer for sale. I may revamp and repub a couple of those.
DD: You’ve helped a lot of people along the way. Any special people you want to give a shout out to who helped you in the beginning?
AC: My biggest mentor is probably Annette Blair. Not only does she write awesome similar books (her witch urban fantasies) she read my Vampire book, recommended it and then me to her agency. I've called her my "unofficial mentor." Others have certainly helped along the way. Jess Anderson did my first critique and proved that it wasn't that scary. Sylvie Kurtz did my second critique and proved that it can be brutal, but it made me a much better writer and began the process of skin thickening.
DD: Wow, like I said before, you have been one very busy lady. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to say hi, and special thanks for letting us announce the release of Green Card. It’s an honor.
AC: Thanks so much for the interview and for the opportunity to reach more readers!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The Quirks have been discussing favorite Christmas movies. Some are humorous and some are serious tearjerkers. Here are our favorites....
Tara: Tara loves It's A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. She thinks "It embodies all that makes the holidays so wonderful, especially family and friends pulling together to help someone in need. It also chronicles the story of a good man, who doesn't understand his own worth, who realizes with the help of his guardian angel that every person has a purpose and has value. Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."
(excuse me while I wipe a tear from my eye.....sniffle, sniffle....)
Her honorable mention goes to A Christmas Story.
Kate: She casts a vote for Love Actually, as well as Holiday Inn, which she watched every year growing up. (She is now horrified by the "racially inappropriate/offensive black-face scene"). Woops!
Dalton: A Christmas Story. She says, "So many great scenes, I don't think I could pick just one. The leg lamp, the dogs, the bunny suit, visiting Santa, the tongue, xmas dinner at the Chinese restaurant, 'You'll shoot your eye out, kid!' I could totally go on." (I also love the scene when the little brother gets dressed in his winter clothes and can't get his arms down. Hee heeeee.....)
Michelle: Her favorite movie is also It's A Wonderful Life. The reason? According to Michelle, "Jimmy Stewart, so I need not say more. Plus it had a dark edge to it and magic and a less than pristine Angel."
Victoria: "It's A Wonderful Life, hands down. It was the first movie that made me cry and everyone needs to be reminded that 'no man is a failure who has friends.' I still cry when I watch it. I love A Christmas Carol, also. I like to watch the ending over and over, the scene when Scrooge redeems himself with Bob Cratchet. That one makes me cry, too."
What a bunch of crybabies!!!!! On the totally opposite end of the spectrum, here are my favorite irreverent and completely secular favorites....
Penny: First of all, if you have never seen Olive the Other Reindeer, you must go out and rent it ASAP. Drew Barrymore voices Olive, Joey Pants is Martini the Penguin, and Michael Stipe is a hilarious reindeer who sings. What more could you ask for??? In the same vein, Elf with Will Ferrell is fabulous...funny, sweet, quirky. Right up my holiday alley. And left over from childhood days is Santa Claus is Comin' To Town, narrated by Fred Astaire. It's the story of a young Kris Kringle and his bride Jessica. Sigh. Hey, that's a great idea for a romance novel....love in the Klaus family.....hmmmm......
Happy Holidays to All!
Monday, December 7, 2009
I need your help. As I embark on the journey which is my writing career post-publishing, I find myself running in a million directions. Popular opinion is that a published author needs to blog on their own blog site. If only to act as a forum to post promo updates and exciting, hot off the presses news. I am sure my readers stay up most nights holding their breaths waiting for my latest news. NOT. But still, there is an allure about an interesting blog post. Hence, I do blog. But what's a writer to do with limited time and a million decisions to be made about how to spend it wisely?
Hence, I need your opinion. What attracts you to read an author's blog? A catchy title? A contest? Humor? Do you click over to their weekly specials such as HOT HUNK day? Does the subject have to be provocative? Or perversely, would you click to a site posting a position with which you passionately disagree and spend your time ranting in the comments of the poster?
So what draws you more often than not? We all make random forays from time to time outside our typical patterns, but what is the typical pattern? Assuming it's not a blog you follow religiously, what topic brings you to that new site to peek?
Oh ye wise olde blog readers, help a gal out who needs to figure out how to use her precious time to fill the pages of her blog. So that when aliens visit our dead planet millennium in the future, excavate the remnants of our society, discover the gem which is my blog as they rig up a way to play our dinosaur computer and web structure, I'll give them only the best to read. I'm considerate like that (grin).
Comments? Leave them here or on my blog, just for the heck of it. http://www.michellepicardsblog.wordpress.com/
Oh, and I'm appearing at the Romance Junkies blogging (imagine that?) about Gateways and Portals on Tuesday, December 8th. Visit and join my contest for my book. Check out my blog at http://www.michellepicardsblog.wordpress.com/ and read how to double your chances to win the book.
Stay sane (relatively),
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
My release day has finally arrived! Sweet Inspiration is now available for purchase at The Wild Rose Press. Yippee! Please stop by Penelope's Romance Reviews today to celebrate...I'm giving away some cool snowmen holiday ornaments, drinking egg nog, and probably surfing the net for photos of Hugh Jackman dressed in a Santa hat. Thanks to the Quirky Ladies for their undying support and excellent stalker-like tendencies as I begin my "virtual tour" of promotion.
A great review just got posted on Outlandish Dreaming! Check out this awesome blog.
Stop by Penelope's to par-tee!
Another great review...yay! 4.5 stars at the Romance Readers Connection!