Monday, April 11, 2011

5 Star Review for Severance

I'm lagging a bit behind on reporting these because I've been so busy, but a few weeks back, Severance got another 5 star review, this time over at The Romance Reviews. I really like this review because the reviewer really seemed to "get" the over all arcing story. I guess its a good thing to know people actually understand what you're going on about and where your ideas might be heading.

Some quotes...

"The lore of angels and demons has always fascinated me, and Jess Anastasi's future world definitely has its share of these exciting, handsome creatures. The only real difference between the two opposing groups is the side they fight for, or so they believe. After all, Lucifer is really just a fallen angel."

"I thoroughly enjoyed Severance and hope to read many more in this series...Ms. Anastasi has definitely found a new fan with this reviewer and I highly recommend Severance to readers who love reading about magnificently sexy warriors with a little something extra."

For the review in its entirety, go here:

I came up with a title for the novella I've been working on (with a little help) and it's now officially known as Heart of the Warlord. I'm editing this week and hope to have it ready to send to my editor by the weekend. And for those of you who might be wondering, I have written the opening lines of the next Sanctuary book, titled Singularity. I think Marc and Charmeine's story is going to be an interesting one. There are a few new players waiting to come onto to field and its going to confuse matters of who are the bad guys/good guys and who is going to end up being the dominate power in the universe. If you can't tell, I'm really looking forward to getting into this book!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guest Author Chris Redding

Today we have with us Chris Redding, a romantic suspense author who used to be an EMT and has a volunteer firefighter for a husband. Sounds like she's got plenty of fodder for story ideas! Let's get to know her a bit better...
Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about who you are.
I’m Chris Redding, author of three published books and a fourth to be out in July. I live in New Jersey with my one husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. Please tell us a bit about your book. Incendiary is a romantic suspense. It takes place in New Jersey. A firefighter is accused of arson and he must track down the real arsonist before anyone gets hurt. He enlists the aid of his ex-girlfriend who is having her own troubles. They have to figure out how to put the past behind them so they can work together.

What was the motivation/idea behind this book/these characters?
It all started with an idea from someone else. The posited, what if the arsonist was the police photographer. In an serial arsons, police photographers take photos of the crowd to see if anyone is in all the pictures. If the photographer was the arsonist, you wouldn’t see him. I proposed that if it was someone who fought fires the police wouldn’t think anything of seeing that person in the photos.

Did you enjoy writing this book, or did you have some tough times with it?
I really enjoyed the book. I have a special place in my heart for firefighters. You can have your cowboys and police officers. Give me a guy in turnout gear who knows how to use tools and I’m mush. Of course I am married to a volunteer firefighter. This made the research easy.

When / Where / How do you write?
Sadly I have to write around a day job. Usually I write in the morning. I have a laptop so I write wherever I want in the house. In terms of how, I am a panster. No plotting for me. Just push off down that ski hill and hope you make it to the bottom.

Do you have some other qualification/interest/something else you do besides being a writer?
Not sure if it is interesting, but I was an EMT for 6 years. I’ve also been an American Heart Association CPR Instructor for 17 years. My day job is to help run the local training center for my boss.

What book/s are you reading at the moment?
The Secret Life of Bryan by Lori Foster.

Do you have any authors who were your inspiration/hero?
Lisa Gardner. I met her at a conference once and she was fabulous. I really love her writing.

What are you working on right now?
A new writing workshop. That’s all I’ll say. After that it will be a middle grad novel.

Do you have any other books out you'd like to mention? Corpse Whisperer is a paranormal romantic suspense. The Drinking Game is a romantic suspense and Confessions Volume One are three short stories.

Is there something I haven't asked that you'd like to tell us?
Buy my books?

Where you can find Chris:

Buy Links: Incendiary: The Drinking Game Corpse Whisperer

Blurb for Incendiary: Chelsea James, captain of her local first aid squad, is trying to keep the organization afloat, but someone is sabotaging her. The squad is her father’s legacy and she feels responsible to keep it going. Jake Sweeney, back in town after a decade, is investigating the arsons he was accused of long ago. When they start again Chelsea and Jake must join forces to defeat their mutual enemy. Jake would like to rekindle what they had before he left town, but his departure left Chelsea hurt and bewildered. To begin again, she must learn to trust him. Her life could depend on it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pru Goward Owes Jackie O an Apology

You all know I tend to stay away from the controversial stuff in the news, unless it really makes me angry or upset.

Well, today has been one of those rare days!

A picture was taken of a radio host here in Australia, Jackie O, crossing a road and bottle feeding her four month old baby at the same time. Yes, I can hear you all gasping from here, what a shocking thing to do!

But in all seriousness, this caused NSW Minister for Families, Pru Goward, to come out and say Jackie O had "endangered" her baby, acted "unnecessarily cavalier" and compared her to when Michael Jackson dangled his baby over a balcony.

The full article can be found here:

This has made me extremely angry, so much so that I decided to email the Minister's office directly with the following letter:

Ms Goward,

I truly hope you are going to offer a public apology to Jackie O after your petty, ill-thought comments regarding her feeding her baby while walking across a road.

I am usually not the type that feels the need to put my two cents in about this sort of thing, but as a working mother with a toddler and baby, I was disgusted and infuriated by your attack on Jackie O. And you are the Minister for FAMILIES, which makes your words even more incomprehensible to me.

I am a published author and I chose to work from home as Jackie O is, keeping my children with me. And yes, I too have fed my children while walking around. I can't tell you the number of times I was breastfeeding my younger daughter and had to get up to intervene when my older daughter was doing something she shouldn't have been. Are you going to announce that I too am "endangering" my children and compare my actions to dangling a baby over a balcony?

Get serious! I'm sure you have more important things to spend your time on than making small-minded comments about a woman doing her best as a first time mum. If you have children of your own, surely you can remember that when infants want to be fed, they mean now. I truly want to know, do you think she should have walked around with a screaming baby, making the child stay hungry, who is too young to understand? Or do you think she simply should not have left the house?

Publicly singling one woman out as a bad mother is not only atrocious, it's irresponsible of you as a minister and public figure yourself. You don't know Jackie O's home situation, if she happened to be one of the thousands of women unfortunate enough to suffer post-natal depression, your reckless comments could have resulted in her hurting herself or her baby.

I am incensed by your words and think you should be ashamed of yourself.

That pretty much sums up what I think about this situation. I truly hope Ms Goward does own up to her ridiculous comments.

And Jackie O, if you happen to read this, you have nothing to be ashamed of, you've done nothing wrong. You're no different to a million other mums around Australia (and probably the world) who've done the same sort of thing. I stand with you and your actions, as I'm sure many other mums around Australia will as well.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Submissions News & Promised Review

It's been a while since I posted anything, the last few weeks I've been letting my author interviews do my blog work for me. So I'm long overdue for an update of how things are going.
Last weekend, I participated in a three line pitch session on Savvy Authors with a *Certain Agent*, who shall remain nameless for now, because I like to hold my cards close to my chest. Except if you're a member of the Savvy Authors website, you'll know who I'm talking about. Anyhoo, there were over one hundred submissions and I wasn't going to do it, but I've actually sent this agent a query and follow-up letter in the months since last November, because I get the feeling Atrophy might be right up her alley. She's apparently really far behind on responding to queries, so at the last minute I thought "what the hell" and chucked something together for the pitch session. I ended up posting this:

When a ship lands on the prison planet, Erebus, for emergency repairs, Tannin Everette takes the opportunity to escape. But nothing is as it seems onboard the Imojenna. The captain is an ex-war hero who now lives for his personal vendetta against a race of shape-shifters who are infiltrating the government and military. The captain's sister, Zahli, is more temptation than Tannin can handle. Despite the many obstacles, he can't deny the consuming attraction between them. But with the shape-shifters pursuing them to the far reaches of the universe, their volatile relationship could put the entire crew of the Imojenna at risk.

Okay, so I know that's more than three lines, but pretty much no one stuck to that requirement. Some people were posting whole entire summaries, several paragraphs long, and it didn't stop Certain Agent from requesting them.
So obviously you may have guessed I wouldn't be telling you this story unless something exciting happened. Yes, I'm very happy to say that she requested I send the whole manuscript. So even though I've edited Atrophy I-don't-know-how-many-times, I spent last Saturday (until 1am) doing an emergency read-through, just to make sure there weren't any obviously stupid mistakes. I sent it first thing Sunday morning, and now I'm back to waiting.
To update you on the other submissions I'm waiting on: the publisher who has Atrophy said "email me in 6 weeks if you haven't heard from me." Yesterday made it five weeks, so if I haven't heard from the editor by Friday, I'll be sending a follow up email. The agent who has my young adult dystopian manuscript has listed on her website it can take up to 12 weeks to respond on requested material. Yesterday made six weeks since I'd sent that, so I've got another six to go before I can start bugging her.
And lastly, weeks ago I promised to tell you about the last review Dead Reality got. This was posted on The Romance Reviews a few weeks back.
A few quotes:
"Mix two sexy FBI Agents, a reality show called Lord Bachelor filmed in a posh resort in Florida with a murder mystery and you've got a super hot page-turner destined to keep you on the edge of your seat!"
"For a guy who professes to be in it only for the sex, the author takes great pains to make Bryce into a sexy alpha male with a sensitive side."
For the whole review, here's the link:

Incident Report IBC-726A-39

FORMAL INCIDENT REPORT SECTION ONE Incident Date:___ 25 th August 2436 __ Incident Time:___ 22 :30 hours approx ___ Incident...