Meggan Connors Talks Music And Inspiration

HighlandDeception

Today, I’m sharing my blog space with one of my favorite people and authors, Meggan Connors.

HighlandDeceptionI’m a huge fan of all her books (The Marker, The Mackay Brothers, and Jessie’s War) but she really outdid herself with her latest book – Highland Deception. A definite five star read. Don’t miss. Seriously. Just don’t.

Okay, enough from me, time for Meggan to share her view on music and inspiration. By the way, I totally get what she’s saying about the whole quiet think.

Right, right, shutting up now!!

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Some authors require absolute silence when they write.

Not me.

My day job is very noisy. With a chatty husband, two kids, two dogs (one a floppy puppy and the other a German Shepherd) and a talkative cat, my house is very noisy. In general, I am not a quiet person.

So silence, for me, is…disconcerting.

When I first started writing, I needed something to drown out the extra sounds in the house. I turned to music, and now I can’t write without it. I even tried to the other day, just to see if I could. The husband and kids were out of the house, and the silence actually made me uncomfortable. So I turned the radio on and the words started flowing.

Every manuscript I write has a different soundtrack. For my first book, The Marker, my debut novel, I listened to Carolina Liar and the Dixie Chicks. It took me nearly half the novel to actually assign certain artists to it, but once I did, I finally felt like I had a clear direction for my story. Had to go back and rewrite some of those first chapters, but since I’m a pantser, I probably would have had to do that, anyway.

Jessie’s War, my western steampunk, had a song assigned before I even started, which was good for the story. I listened to that song over and over again. In the car. In the house. On my commute, and in my office. I finished that manuscript in what is, for me, record time: twelve weeks.

But I realized that maybe I needed to switch it up when, three weeks into my manuscript, my son started singing the song in the middle of the supermarket, from start to finish, loudly and off key. For those of you who might be interested, the song was This is Why We Fight by The Decemberists. If you don’t know it, it’s a great song, though not necessarily something a four year old would generally belt out.

And for my latest, Highland Deception, I started out listening to the sound track from The Last of the Mohicans, but ended up listening to Christina Perry’s Arms and Phillip Phillips’ Home in order to finish.

And now, my muse is obsessed—and I mean obsessed—with Barry Manilow. Again. Yes, sadly, it’s not the first time.

Barry Manilow has been on continuous replay now for months—only in my head, though. I keep trying to convince myself that I won’t stoop to buying Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits—after all, Barry Manilow brings back memories of sitting in the back of my mom’s Renault LeCar, listening to John Denver, Neil Diamond, and Barry. And trying really hard not to throw up, because, as I recall, I was carsick more often than not.

It’s not my intention to write about the late 70s, early 80s. Yet, the other day, I caught myself singing Sweet Caroline and Mandy in my car. And then I wrote a scene where, in my head, Barry Manilow is playing in the background.

I guess there’s no stopping the muse when she decides she’s going to do something. So I guess I’ll have to bow to my muse’s rather persistent requests and start listening to “the right kind” of music again.

I guess I’ll have to listen to some Barry.

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Meggan Connors’ latest novel, Highland Deception, came out in March of 2014. She loves to hear from readers, and you can find follow her on her website (www.megganconnors.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/Meggan-Connors/120715354695518) Twitter (@MegganConnors).  Where you’ll get to hear about her latest camping trip, books she’s reading, musical musings, and her small obsession with cute shoes she can’t wear (because they’re cute, you know?).

Highland Deception is available through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Highland-Deception-Meggan-Connors-ebook/dp/B00J3D2JS6/

Blurb:

When Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.

Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess… and the wife Malcolm didn’t want.

Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she’d long since given up on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel’s heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if they were family. Who, for the first time since their marriage, cares for her as if she is, too.

Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart.

If you got questions for Meggan, please fire away. 

Celebrate Paper! Mystic Ink Goodreads #Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Mystic Ink in paperback, I’m giving one copy away through Goodreads. The giveaway begins January 18 and ends on January 31st.

If you’re interested – enter here. Open to US residents only. Terms and conditions  of the giveaway are listed over at Goodreads. Winner chosen by Goodreads.

Also, today at the 7 Scribes, my guest is Meggan Connors – Saucy Pirate Wench. She’s sharing an excerpt from her new release – Jessie’s War.

mysticink_72dpi

I’m so Pretty – Beautiful Blogger Award

Yay! It’s Friday. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes for  – I am Not A-MUSEd!

Sabrina Garie has awarded me The Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you Sabrina!

As most of you may have guessed, there are rules.

Rule #1 – I must share 7 things. Today, I’m going to be different and share fun facts and a secret or two about my characters. Let’s face it, you all must be sick of hearing about me!

Rule #2 – Pass this award to 7 bloggers. More on that later.

From Mystic Ink:

1. Devlin Ward has a potted plant. It’s name is Medusa on account of its snake-like fronds. He would never, ever admit that to anyone
since the real Medusa would not be pleased. And we all know what happens to men who make her angry. Let’s just say it’s not the kind of rock hard Devlin would enjoy.

2. Nix is the most independent of the fifty daughter’s of Nereus. She is adamant about earning her own money and making her own way in the world. Her Uncle Memphis fostered her independence by taking her on as an apprentice in his tattoo shop.

From The Undead Space Initiative:

3.  Cherry Cordial doesn’t like enclosed spaces. Once, when one her fellow vampires jokingly trapped her in a dark closet, she dumped dead fish in their beds for a week.

4. Jonathan, Cherry’s maker, first noticed her because of her beautiful singing voice. It was her rebellious spirit that made him turn her into a vampire. Later, whenever he’d complain about her sassy attitude, Cherry would remind him, “Tough cookies. This is what you signed up for. Don’t blame me that I have big mouth and know how to use it.”  Cherry would like to remind you to get your minds out of the gutter. She’s a stripper, not a whore. Just saying.

From Ascension:

5. Kyra was recruited into the FBI by her boss, Terence Lange after she beat him and hundreds of other veteran sharpshooters at a
regional competition. Lange is inherently distrustful of magic, but does trust Kyra. Both of their understanding of supernatural phenomena are about to be shaken up.

6. Valerian is a stickler for rules and order. Clutter drives him crazy and he can’t stand salt and vinegar chips. Galen uses this information to annoy Valerian every chance he gets. While the two are friends, Valerian is also Galen’s superior, and Galen’s cheekiness often gets him into trouble. Not that Galen would have it any other way!

And from my WIP:

7. This isn’t a character fact per se, but my latest WIP has something to do with fortune cookies and evil spirits. Don’t worry Mystic Ink fans, I am still working on Mystic Storm (Zephyr’s book), but I opted to complete this book first since it was flowing faster.

Seven Beautiful Blogs:

1. Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes – Stop by and say hello. We’re friendly, fun and love to dish about all kinds of topics.

2. Meggan Connors – She makes me laugh with her honesty and self-depreciating humor. I love Edinor and her travels. You have visit her blog to find out who or what Edinor is!

3. Janna Shay – Kind and generous, Janna always makes me smile. She’s also an incredibly supportive and I do appreciate it!

5. Marian Lanouette – A great blogger who shares great advice. Plus, she is one sexy lady. Have you seen her Facebook photo? Her debut novel – If I Fail –  comes out in September.

6. Leia Shaw – Whether she’s blogging at her own site (The Paranormal G-spot) or at Nights of Passion, she always has something interesting to say.

7. Julia Rachel Barrett – C’mon, did you think I wouldn’t pick the lovely Julia? Julia blogs every day and it’s always worth reading.

To the recipients of the Beautiful Blogger Award – go forth and share the beauty!

And feel free to share your favorite blog (s) with me! 

Versatile Blogger Award

I must be doing something right because I’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by my Triberr mate – Larissa Reinhart.  Thank you Larissa!

With any blog award, there are rules. Rules which I will probably break, mostly because I’m running out of facts about myself.

But here they are for those of you that I pass this award onto.

Da Rules:

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

The Facts:

1. I love comic books, sci-fi and fantasy. So needless to say, this is a great time to be a fan of superheroes. ‘Nuff said.

2. I’m designated pooch-sitter for my mother’s dog whenever she goes out of town. Isn’t Holly cute? I caught her nibbling on my owl throw rug.  I was not amused.

Everyone wants to be a writer….

3. I’m not afraid of spiders. I think they’re kind of cool. Of course, most spiders where I live are not venomous enough to kill you either.

This guy or gal lived on my deck one summer.

4. I love hot abs! *Sigh* So many luscious guys to ogle, so little time. Thank you to all my Facebook friends who provide such wonderful images on a daily basis.

 

 

 

5. Cupcakes are one of my favorite foods. For my Chocolate Cupcakes of Doom recipe – click here. I also enjoy watching Cupcake Wars. Until my younger son starts critiquing my cupcakes like Florian – “zee’s cupcake, eet’s very dense.”

Casey’s Chocolate Cupcakes of Doom!

6.  I love Old Sturbridge Village. If you have a living history museum in your area, please visit it. And visit often. There is always something new to learn.

7. I love intelligent guys. Smart is the new sexy! If you haven’t checked out Sherlock Holmes on Masterpiece Theater (or BBC), what are you waiting for?

The Versatile Blogger Award goes to:

YA Beyond – sound advice from my fellow Scribe PJ Sharon for teenagers and us adults who live with them.

Julia Rachel Barrett– I know, I just pegged you for another blog award. But it did say to choose excellent blogs, so there you are.

Penny Romance – Ditto for what I said about Julia. I visit you lovely ladies every day! Even if I don’t comment, be assured that I read your posts.

Shelly Bell – Always interesting interviews and reviews.

Rose Vanden Eynden – my kindred Soul Mate sister – enlightenment, wisdom and slices of life.

A.C. Cockerill – I learn something new every time Ashley posts a  blog.

Savannah Chase – Yummy photos, flash fiction and so much more!

Tam Linsey – Always educational and pertinent. Plus, Tam has the best website artwork!

Ann Montclair – loads of author interviews!

J.D. Revezzo – Dreaming in Ink – everything for the reader and author – reviews, interviews, advice!

Nights of Passion – my fellow CTRWAers. Lots of fun for both readers and writers.

Callie Hutton – Magic Monday! Don’t miss it!

Jamie Brazil – part of the beard lover’s club, never a boring blog post!

Meggan Connors – I want to be her when I grow up! The saucy wench always makes me laugh.

Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes – Sassy, classy, and informative. Not that I’m biased. Much!

You are My Sunshine

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today for Join the Tribe (where I talk about Triberr).

Just when I was desperate, thinking I would never come up with a blog topic this week,  my favorite pirate wench and honey badger lover, Meggan Connors, came to my rescue.  Meggan has nominated me for the Sunshine Blog Award. And double bonus, the fabulous, beard loving Jamie Brazil also nominated me.  Thank you, sistas!

Of course, nothing in life is free. And I have homework. And so do you, if I picked your name!

Here are da’ Rules:

1. Include the award logos in your post or in your blog

2. Answer 10 questions about yourself. I’m taking a page out of Meggan’s book and doing what I want. I recently shared 7 facts for an earlier blog award so I won’t repeat myself here.

3. Nominate 10-12 other wonderful bloggers

4. Let the other nominees know they are nominated and include links to their blog

5. Link the person who nominated you

So let’s get started with my questions.

What is your weapon of choice during a zombie apocalypse?

My running shoes. I have no plans to stick around and fight the undead.  I put the question to my younger son, and household weapons master. His choice – magnum 357. “Do you feel lucky, undead punk. Well do ya?” I think he was messing with me. Everyone knows that the gun only hold six shots. And it’s noisy. Maybe he wants me to get eaten?

Wait. He’s given me another weapon. A Scar-H. No relation to my hubby, Scar.

 

Forget it. I’d shoot my own foot off. Then where would I be? In a zombie’s stomach. That’s where!

Do you have a favorite comic strip? And what is it?

I love Lio by Mark Tatulli. I think he may have a spy camera installed in my house because Lio seems to have a similar fetish for creepy off the wall stuff. For you zombie/giant squid/ninja kitty lovers, this is the comic strip for you. Seriously, check it out. Demand your local newspaper carry it.

 

What is this obsession with zombies?

It all started when my Sci-Fi book club read World War Z by Max Brooks. After that, we started discussing and studying all things zombie. Plus, I’ve logged many hours watching younger son kill zombies in Call of Duty and Left for Dead.

Most interesting Chocolate-related quote you’ve ever read?

This is from my chocolate-a-day calendar – “I think chocolate tastes great in any form that you put it in, but a bunny rabbit is not a bad way to go.” Tom Ward, co-owner of Russell Stover Candies 

 

What food would you never say no to?

Any form of chocolate cake or cupcake. Basically anything chocolate.

Who is your favorite skeleton?

Duh! Jack Skellington, of course.

What is your new guilty pleasure television show?

Right now, I’m enjoying Lost Girl on Syfy. I love Kenzie. She could have her own show. And I’m really looking forward to the new season of Sherlock Holmes (May 6th on PBS!) and the final season of Eureka (not happy that Syfy is cancelling it though).

Who has the most divine abs in existence?

Joe Manganiello. No contest. The man must never have his shirt on. Heather Peters posts a zillion pictures a week of the man on Facebook. Not that I’m complaining. No siree.

If you had to choose between receiving a gift or going somewhere fun, what would you chose?

I’m all for going places and sharing experiences with my family and friends. I’d much rather take a day trip for my birthday then receive a bunch of gifts. My favorite places to visit include, Old Sturbridge Village, Yankee Candle Company Store (Deerfield, MA), and Mystic CT (of course!).

What is your favorite zombie movie?

Hands down – Shaun of the Dead. I can watch the movie without running from the room. I also enjoyed Hot Fuzz and Paul, but Shaun is still my favorite.

Enough about me already. Here are my nominees for the Sunshine Blog Award:

1. Julia Rachel Barrett – ’cause she is awesome and unafraid of zombies! I heart Julia!

2. Food and Tools – awesome recipes, great photos, and a joy to read. I’m sending you directly to her rocky road chocolate cakes. I dare you not to drool. Thank you Moya!

3. Leia Shaw – kick-ass writer, generous, and a great motivator.

4. A.C. Cockerill – a never ending wealth of information and fun facts.

5. Lisa Kessler – the busiest woman on the planet and a super sweetie!

6. Sharon Buchbinder – kindred spirit.

7. Mare’s Place – wonderful friend to all writers.

8.  Penelope’s Romance Review – sorry honey, but you got picked twice (by Jamie Brazil and me.) That’s the price you have to pay for awesomeness.

9.  Tam Linsey – my friend in all things Sci-Fi. I know for a fact she’d survive the zombie apacolypse.

10. Rose Vanden Eynden – my twin sister separated at birth.

My fellow nominees, go forth and torment, I mean honor your friends too!

Lucky Seven

The lovely Leia Shaw has tagged me as part of her lucky seven blog activity (and Leia – consider yourself special because I don’t show anyone my WIP until it’s completed!)

Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 in your current manuscript
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines as they are – no cheating
4. Tag 7 other authors.

Post the lines on your own blog.

My lucky 7 are: Julia Rachel Barrett, Penny Watson, Katy Lee, Jamie Pope, Tam Linsey, Jamie Brazil, and Meggan Connors. Tag! You’re it (this is purely voluntary, by the way!) I will post your names on Facebook too!

From Mystic Storm:

“Lies are like potato chips. You can’t stop at just one.” Langston flashed in front of him, mouth downturned. “She isn’t stupid. She’s a Muse for cripes’ sake!”

“Shut it, Langston.” He circled around the desk and rifled through papers.

“I think you need to listen to me.” For once, was unspoken between them. “If you care about Kalliope, then tell her the truth. Now. Don’t wait.”

Zephyr moved in front of the mirror by the door. “Look at me!” he raised his breasts. “I’m a woman right now. She’ll think I’m crazy.”