Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for 'Snippet Sunday' every week and guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Loving Red - Guest post, Giveaway and interview

I'm so happy to welcome Alisha Costanzo to the Flightdeck once more.  Help yourself to something refreshing from the replicator and let's find out a bit more about her book - Loving Red (and don't forget to read her fascinating ideas about writing from the male perspective, and enter the Rafflecopter contest.)


Book Information


Blurb:
For Sergeant Severins Bouvier, silence means tactical planning and a large death toll, and he can’t
shake how danger threatens him on the beaches of Miami, especially after seeing one of his associates in a local sandwich shop. Worse, the enemy seems fascinated with the woman he can’t stop thinking about—a woman determined not to trust him.
Everything about Sev crashes through Kaia’s carefully placed boundaries, traps, and avoidances. Regardless of her lack of interest in the majority of men, the ones that did catch her off guard left a lot of collateral damage. Who better than a soldier to understand that?
The problem is that she trusts him. Just not with her heart.
Book Links:
 It was my pleasure to interview Alisha recently. Here's how our chat went: 

 HL: Tell us a little more about yourself.


 AC: I'm from a Syracuse suburb. I earned my MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where I currently teach English. I'm the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and LOVING RED, and co-editor of  DISTORTED. UNDERWATER. My new anthology, is undergoing serious edits for its 2016 release. In the meantime, I will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

HL:  Impressive! I wish I'd had a teacher like you when I was at school! Now, tell us three things not many people know about you.

        AC:  First, I’m already that old Italian Grandma that comes out with a plate of sweets when we have visitors in my house or freshly made lasagna, and I’m only thirty. I feed people to show them I love.

       Two, I can draw. My K-12 schools had nice arts programs, so I found my talent for pencil and charcoal young. I’ve won a few awards for it, and I love to watch You-tube videos of people creating pieces of art since I don’t get to draw often myself. And I like watercolors, but I can’t paint with any other materials.

       Three, I have some pretty strange celebrity crushes. My number one was/is Robin Williams, even though he’s old enough to be my father and a hairy beast. A funny man is truly sexy. I also love Christopher Walken and Anthony Hopkins. Their acting makes them sexy.
       And I have a total girl crush on Mila Kunis and Eliza Dushku.

HL:   Oh I used to love to draw and paint (oils). Don't have time now unfortunately. Something else we have in common. What do you do for fun when not writing?

AC: I read, of course, I cook and bake, I teach (yes, for work, but it’s so much fun. I love it), I watch crime shows and The Walking Dead, I watch DIY and How-To videos, play with my cats, and work on website design. I love to spend time chatting with my husband, watching stand-up comics, and listening to his stories. But I’m usually working (grading, editing, writing, or promoting).

HL:   What comes first: the plot or the characters?


AC: Most often the characters come first, but they develop closely together. Many times, the characters I work with derive from secondary characters I create in previous stories that just don’t know how to shut up. I also find that internal character conflict develops depth and makes the plot develop more smoothly.


HL:  OK. What is your personal definition of success?

AC: Meeting my goals means success for me. I have three whiteboards hung behind my desk with lists of WIPs, ideas, and marketing goals. Each time I fully complete a project, I deem myself a success. Does it sell? I don’t know. Maybe? Does it matter? Not really. If I wrote to make money, I’d take my husband’s advice long ago and write the next 50 Shades of Grey.
That’s just not my style.  Lyn chuckles - not mine either, sorry do go on -
After every project, I make more elaborate goals; I push myself harder on my next project(s). I make it a point to keep improving, and as long as I do so, I am successful. It’s a pretty self-fulfilling and selfish definition, but the point of life is to be happy. Why work so hard if we don’t love what we do?
So. If happiness means success, I’ll take it.

HL:  What sort of research do you do for your books and what’s your favourite  source of information?

AC: I am a research junkie. Most of my preliminary research comes from the internet, where I find multiple sources to ensure I have a full understanding to relay information I am not otherwise familiar with. For example, I did research on how to create a smokeless fire so that Kaia could contribute to their survival in the woods.

I also love to use people for my research purposes. For LOVING RED, I focused on my husband for Sev’s background and the military aspects of the story. In fact, he makes a cameo in the novel as Private Webb, and he actually preached at his Dzus fasteners to tighten them all on the first try. I also referred my one of my best friends, Laura, whom I often refer to as the “real Kaia.” She helped me with the accounting aspects and the Christian ones pertinent to Kaia’s character. When Kaia talks to the moon early in the plot, Laura had to coach me through the type of conversation Kaia would have with her at the end of a hard day.

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


AC: In LOVING RED, my favorite character would have to be Eilon. He’s so different from the others. He was one of those characters that popped up when I needed a plot point and new character and I had no idea what I was doing. My favorite all time character, Boden, came to me in the same fashion. And they’re both fae, go figure.

 Why do I love him? Because he breaks the mold of my other characters. He’s male without being big and bad and buff. He’s dramatic and has flair that no one else could pull off the way he does, and he surprised me later in the novel with how truly strong he could be, even in favor of a wolf, his archenemy.

            It’s hard not to fall in love with him.

H.L:   Sadly our time is nearly up if we want to send you back to Earth safely. Finally, where can readers connect with you?


AC: Readers can connect with me...
On facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/brokenworldauthor
On goodreads, here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4618491.Alisha_Costanzo
On my website, here: https://alishamcostanzo.wordpress.com/
On my blog, here:http://alishamcostanzo.wordpress.com/
On Twitter, here: https://twitter.com/AlishaCostanzo
Or via email, here: alishacostanzo@gmail.com

       Thank you so much for taking time to visit my blog, it’s been a thrill having you here and learning more about you and your writing. I wish you much success now and in the future.

Author Information Section

Author Bio: Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH and BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and co-editor of DISTORTED. UNDERWATER, her new anthology, is undergoing serious edits for its 2016 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.
Media Links:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/brokenworldauthor
Twitter – twitter.com/AlishaCostanzo
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4618491.Alisha_Costanzo
Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Alisha-Costanzo/e/B00H2R9W9E/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/alishacostanzo/

Guest Post Section: “Why I Love Writing as a Male.”

Writing in the male perspective is akin to freedom. And although I love to write empowered women in their various levels or snark, sarcasm, stubbornness, sweetness, and strength, something about slipping into a male’s persona liberates me. Granted, most of the time, I find it easier.

No. This isn’t because I believe males are less complex than females. In general terms, we’re much the same. But I’ve always fancied male friends over females ones, listening to them fight over videogames, tease each other, argue with no fallout, and bond without the need to shop for shoes, talk about the opposite sex (although that can happen with men as much as with women), gush about their feelings, or manipulate for their own gains.

Okay, I know, it seems like I’m giving women a bad name here. I’m not. I’m a feminist with all of those negative connotations attached. I don’t hate men, and I don’t hate women. I merely think more like a man.

In fact, I’ve taken the gender personality test, which my husband gave me in his first years as a Psychology major, and I came out close to 50-50 on the scale—a half of a point leaning towards male rather than female.

And don’t get me wrong. I can be a damn girl sometimes, too. Just throw a spider at me. I squeal and jump and climb on chairs until someone else comes to kill it or put it outside. I like shoes and purses, although I never wear heels and I hate to carry a purse. Go figure. I love being a wife and taking care of my husband. I love to cook for him—most days. I’m motherly toward my students, calling them my kids, giving them advice, and most times, merely listening when they need to talk.

But man, I love the power of being a male on the page. This started with my alternate personas online, via facebook roleplaying. I knew how to be tough and dirty, how to flatter a woman properly, how to flirt and be perverse without overstepping my bounds, how to show just enough sensitivity and pain that women would fall for me. And I wasn’t a slut or a whore or trying too hard. Even when I was all of those things.

Again, I don’t believe males and females are all that different from one another. How can we be? We’re all human. Yes, yes. The hormones. Blah. So I become a bitch every once in a while. Men can be assholes. What’s your point?

Okay, maybe I need to reign in my own point here.

Stereotypes and sexism still affect us. (No, I won’t get on a rant about this; you’re safe to keep reading). So being a male is liberating. I love being a romantic goofball without being needy. Although men, you can be damn needy, too (*coughs and whispers my husband’s name*). I love swearing like a sailor, having tattoos, doing the heavy lifting, grossing people out, and being the real pervert that I am, and not only being found attractive for it, but being the ideal male.

But the best part is my ability to show how a man can be more than what the media portrays him as—more than a set of six-pack abs, bulging arms, scruff, and testosterone. Instead I show men as geeks and goobers, who want to be held, and have fears. They can be melodramatic, lonely, and just as good of a caretaker as a woman. They don’t have to be knights in shining armor. Instead, they’re free to be partners.

Boden and Eilion, two of my fae, have quickly become favorites of mine for their inability to hide their emotions, to run when they’re outmatched, and for breaking the stereotypes. Since I love them, why wouldn’t I love writing in their perspectives?

Excerpt Section, From Chapter Sixteen

Sach met them on the small porch with a .22 rifle pointed at the woods behind him, likely loaded with silver and cold iron since no bullets existed to kill vampires, but a well-placed shot would slow one down. Kaia moved fast and disappeared inside in under a minute. Thank the Gods she took direction well. When a soldier didn’t learn to obey, they tended to die.
Lacey trotted out of the trees and up to the porch, changing into her dark almond form and trailing her hands over Sach’s front as she rounded him. She peered over his shoulder to meet Severins’ gaze.

“One fell into a trap, and the others ran off scared. She won’t get out anytime soon, so when you’re ready for her...”
Her hand dipped down between Sach’s legs, and he grunted. Lacey had a reputation for sexual aggression after her transformations, especially when she fought. “Wake Dylan to take your watch.”
He merely nodded to her, and she sauntered back into the woods.
“Looks like you need clothes.”
“I could do with that.”
Sach nodded inside, and Severins followed, walking into the cabin he knew too well to see Kaia sitting in front of the glowing coals in the fireplace. The way she looked him over gave him a charge, and he worked hard to control himself. She turned away with blush on her cheeks and neck, shoving an aroused growl through his chest.
But Severins tailed Sach into the single bedroom, where he gained a new Army issued uniform with jacket and boots included to dress in.
“Probably sick of that, but it’s what we’ve got to fit you. Surplus store in town.”
Sach moved over to Dylan and whacked him with a rolled up newspaper. His brother sat up swinging, a full snarl on his mouth. “Go take watch.”
 “I just got to sleep.”
“Argue with Lace about it.”
Grumbling loudly, Dylan rolled out of bed and dressed, grabbing his gun and punching Severins in the shoulder on his way out. Nabbing the thick brush on the low dresser, Severins followed him, pushing him along when he stopped to whistle at Kaia.
“Don’t try me, cuz.”
“Just appreciating your taste.”
Kaia sent him the same man-killing look Severins earned when he first asked her to dinner, and Severins laughed at its effectiveness. Her gaze warmed as she took in his uniform, a tiny smile lifted her lips when he neared her. “You’re right, you do look good in uniform.”
He tossed the jacket and brush on the couch and sank down next to her. “Keeping warm?”
“Yeah. I’m recovering. Do we know anything?”
The skin of her cheek was soft under his thumb. “Not a lot. We’ve caught someone and need to interrogate her.”
“Her?” Kaia’s pulse skipped into high gear.
“So I’ve been told.”
“They won’t torture her, will they?” Fear and concern leaned her into him, and he wrapped her up in his arms.
“No. We won’t hurt her unless she makes us.”
Nodding, she stroked his chest and sank into his embrace, and he traced the bumps of her spine through her sweatshirt. When her shoulders dropped from her ears, Severins shifted her in his lap and reached for the brush. “Let me brush your hair. It’ll help you feel a bit more normal.”
“That would be nice.” Hugging her knees, she shook her hair out, trusting him not to hurt her. He’d learned the tricks to tangles when his daughter was three and her soft curls got long enough to knot together. Kaia’s hair was windblown but not terribly knotted, and Severins brushed out the ends, collecting it all in his hand before working up to her scalp. She sighed when he finished, running her hands through it and shaking it around before she looked over her shoulder at him. “Thank you.”
Leaning forward, he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her back against him. His nose sank to her neck behind her ear, taking in the intoxicating spicy and citrus scent of her. “You’re welcome, beautiful. Why don’t you make yourself at home and take a nap on the couch. You didn’t get much rest when we stopped the last time.”
The sound of her soft laughter eased his mind and tightened his body. “You must be a kind, gentle, and doting father, the way you’re taking care of me.”
Grinning against her throat, he said, “The way I want to take care of you has nothing to do with my capabilities as a father, I promise you that.” Teeth at her skin, he gave her a sharp enough nip to make her shiver.
“Well, your capabilities as a father might just make you more attractive.”His bites followed the curve up her neck. “Is that right?”
Hand lifted to trace his jaw, her fingers found his high and tight again, and she sighed. “When you’re out, will you grow your hair or leave it like this?”
A snort burst from him. “Well, I used to have long hair, so I’m sure I can manage to keep it at an easy, hair-pulling length.”
A wide grin lit up her face, and she turned against him, those delicate fingers brushing over his brow, and she looked him over. Tension filled the gap between them, and she closed it, pressing her mouth over his with such a sweet and innocent kiss that pieces of him broke and reformed, making him the man he needed to be to love her right when the time came.
Severins held onto her tightly, wishing they weren’t on the run, that he didn’t have to worry about her safety, and that he could woo her the right way with romantic nights and silly mornings of laughter and playfulness. She deserved nothing less. Yet here they were, hidden away in his cousins’ cabin in the Alabama boonies, trying to outrun a pack of Celampresians and in search of her ex—the man who broke her heart. The man they both protected. Was he running head first into the most stupid mistake he’d ever make?
                                                 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Stranded With The Cyborg - Book Tour Blast and Giveaway

NB:  I don't usually feature erotic novels on my blog since it is 'G' rated - but this sounded so interesting I couldn't resist - please be aware that although the excerpt is not an Adult excerpt this is an erotic romance novel.



STRANDED WITH THE CYBORG
by Cara Bristol


GENRE:  science fiction romance

BLURB:

The daughter of the Terran president, Penelope Aaron resented the restrictions imposed upon her, but that was no reason to take it out on the man assigned to protect her. She regrets how she got Agent Brock Mann booted from the security force. But now that she’s an interplanetary ambassador about to embark on her first diplomatic mission, she still doesn’t want him tagging along. Especially since he seems to be stronger, faster, more muscled, and sexier than she remembers. And pretending to be husband?  This mission couldn’t get more impossible!

Ten years ago Penelope Isabella Aaron had been a pain in Brock Mann’s you-know-what. Much has changed in a decade: “PIA” as he code-named her, has grown up and is about to attend her first Alliance of Planets summit conference, and Brock was transformed into a cyborg after a near-fatal attack. Now a secret agent with Cyber Operations, a covert paramilitary organization, Brock gets called in, not when the going gets tough, but when the going gets impossible. So when he’s unexpectedly assigned to escort Penelope to the summit meeting, he balks at babysitting a prissy ambassador. But after a terrorist bombing, a crash landing on a hostile planet, and a growing attraction to his protectee, Operation: PIA may become his most impossible assignment yet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt

For a cyberoperative to be called in to escort an ambassador to a summit meeting? Ridiculous.  A waste of manpower. That the protectee was Pia, made it impossible. So maybe Cy-Ops’s involvement made sense in a twisted way.

“Ten years has passed. Penelope is different now,” Carter said.

 Brock doubted that. “Does she know about me?”

“That you’re a cyborg? Of course not. She hasn’t been told anything about the program or even that you’re the one who’s been assigned to her.”

“Yeah, spring it on her. That will go over well.” He could envision the tantrum, and after she calmed down, the scheme she would devise to circumvent the decision.  The last time he’d seen her, she’d been emerging from his quarters half dressed, a triumphant smile tilting her lips. Shortly, thereafter, two of his fellow agents had come to arrest him.

President Aaron had exonerated him; the transcripts from the investigation had been sealed; and he’d been offered a reassignment. Instead, he’d taken a position with an anti-terrorist investigative organization. His unit got attacked; his fellow operatives had died.  Carter, who’d been working with Cy-Ops all along, had swooped in and saved his ass.

“I’m not saying I’ll do it, but hypothetically if I had a computer meltdown and agreed, what would be my cover story? I couldn’t tag along as her bodyguard because that would unsettle the Xenians.”

Carter poured another shot of Cerinian brandy and downed it. He met Brock’s gaze dead-on. “You’d accompany the ambassador as her husband.”

“Oh, hell no!”

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Multi-published, Cara Bristol is the author of more than 20 erotic romance titles. She writes science fiction romance, contemporary romance, paranormal, and spanking romance. No matter what the subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.

Links to include:
Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/9aRJj






a Rafflecopter giveaway