Marie Lavender’s Books

Interview with Marie Lavender’s Books

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/2015/10/spotlight-skye-mcneil-visits-to-talk-romance-donuts-diamonds-assorted-details.html

Spotlight: Skye McNeil Visits to Talk About Romantic Mystery/Suspense, DONUTS, DIAMONDS & ASSORTED DETAILS!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. Fellow author Skye McNeil is stopping by to talk about her new book!

 

Hello, Skye! It’s great that you’re visiting MLB.  🙂 We also saw you on the I Love Romance Blog a few days ago.

 

 

Hi! Thank you for having me here.

 

 

My pleasure, of course! So, let me ask a few questions since you’re here…

 

All right.

Can you tell us a little about your book? When did it come out and where can we get it?

I started writing Donuts, Diamonds and Assorted Details in March 2015 after I had a dream about powdered donuts. Weird, I know, but it immediately set my pen to paper. Once you read the book, you will understand what I mean. The book focuses on a strong, independent woman, Gwendolyn Smidt, who happens to fall into a gray area when it comes to her love life. The many adventures of this book include murder, kidnapping, sex and even a few things that you simply have to discover on your own.

 

That’s great!

So, how did you get into writing romantic suspense?

Saying I love to write is a vast understatement. I have to write. When I woke up after having the dream about this story line, I started writing and couldn’t stop until it was done. As my day job, I work for criminal law attorneys, so that experience gives me plenty of inspiration. I have been writing mystery romance since I was seventeen. I am an avid reader, and I wanted to write something that I would enjoy as well. As the mystery romance genre is the most interesting to me, I like to write something that keeps the reader guessing and on the edge of their seat.

Sounds good to me!

What, do you feel, sets your book apart from other books in the genre?

I believe Donuts, Diamonds and Assorted Details is a book that you don’t expect to see on the market. Each one of my stories is infused with a dash of fact from personal life experiences. Since I work in the legal field and deal with many of the same situations that are in this book, I believe readers will enjoy the uniqueness. I feel this sets my book apart from all others in mystery romance because some of the characters or situations have happened in real life and not just in my imagination.

Interesting!

 

So, give us a teaser or two of the book if you can.

 

She felt his eyes scan her from head to toe more than once before he closed the distance between them and trapped her between the wall and his arms resting on either side of her shoulders. She couldn’t move if she wanted to; not with her heart pounding furiously to make her stay and kiss him until he stopped his shenanigans. “I’ve got all I want right here,” he whispered against her neck.

Gwen’s stomach flipped and her throat immediately dried. Those words sounded like honey on her tortured soul, but she couldn’t accept them. “You’re drunk,” she shot back, equally hushed. She moved to escape his clutch, but he pressed her against the wall with his body.

“Maybe a little, but maybe I’m just drunk enough to demand you stop teasing me,” he replied, moving her hair behind her shoulder and toying with the dress strap. He rolled it between his fingers and lowered his eyes to her dress. “You come to a party you’re not invited to wearing a dress that makes every male head turn.” He slipped her strap down and gently caressed her bare shoulder. Chills spread over her skin the more he touched her. “And then you want to leave right after I see you?” he finished, pushing the opposite dress strap off. “That’s not very fair,” he complained, leaning down and catching the tip of her ear between his teeth.

If it weren’t for the other party-goers, Gwen was certain Jeremy would take her in that very hallway. She saw the longing in his brown depths and knew hers mirrored the exact same. “You know we can’t,” she murmured against his lips.

Jeremy cradled her face in his hands and nuzzled her nose with his before tilting her head up. “Then why does it feel so right when we do?” he argued as he lightly nibbled on her lower lip. His reasoning made sense to her hazed thoughts. The way he coerced her lips with his only intensified her resolve to not let anything or anyone get between them.

Deciding one kiss wouldn’t hurt anything, Gwen met Jeremy’s lips with exuberance.

His reaction took her breath away when he eagerly slipped his tongue into her mouth to tangle with hers. He tasted like beer laced with vodka and a hint of peppermint, but to her, he still tasted like perfection. The beat of the rock song playing over the amplifier only deepened the pressure in Gwen’s body. Thankful for the crowd-reducing noise, Gwen pulled Jeremy closer yet, until he was skin to skin with her.

So exciting! I definitely want to know what happens next.

So, I’m sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you’ve got cooking up now or is that a secret?

I have a few projects I am working on right now. I am working on a trilogy right now and I think my readers would enjoy the plot. I don’t want to give away too many details, but my readers can be assured that I definitely have more books in the works. I have an entire notebook full of ideas that are just waiting to be made into reality. I would love to release another novel in the next six months.

Great! We certainly look forward to it! 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about Donuts, Diamons & Assorted Details, Skye! 

My pleasure!


Readers, you’ll just have to pick up a copy of this romantic mystery/suspense! 😉

 

Weet Weet’s Bookshelf and Author Service

Interview with Weet Weet.

https://weetweetsbookshelfblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/spotlight-and-interview-donuts-diamonds-assorted-details-by-skye-mcneil/

Interview

~What are you currently working on?

Right now, I am working on two books. One is a historical, suspense romance trilogy. The second book is a contemporary romance.

~What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. I know it’s easy to say it, but it is what I learned from my professors, teachers and life. Out of the 50+ rejection emails from publishers, I made myself keep going. Another tidbit of advice is to keep writing no matter what.

~Are you an organized author or scattered?

At the beginning, I am somewhat organized. Throughout the process of writing, I am scattered at times. It really depends on my writing location and distractions.

~Do you plot out your story or write as it goes?

When I have a story idea, I write down as much as I can right then. I try to plot stories like my English teachers taught me, but I find it sometimes hinders my creative flow.

~Do you have any strange writing habits?

I read scenes out loud. I always have music on in the background too. It sometimes distracts me and I end up singing along, but it helps me write.

~Do you have writers block and how do you work around it?

Sadly, yes I have been the victim of writers block. One of the ways I get through it is by watching a cheesy romance movie. It doesn’t cure the block right away, but it definitely helps to get away from my story for a while and focus on something else.

~Do you work on 1 story at a time or multiples?

I try to stick with working one story at a time. Right now, I’m editing two of my books, so that is the only time I overlap.

~What is your favorite genre to read?

The majority of what I read is romance. Historical, mystery, suspense and contemporary are my favorite subgenres.

~What is the most wacky/crazy weird thing you received from a fan?

I don’t think I’ve received any wacky or crazy things from fans. Not yet at least. What are your favorite hobbies? Writing, obviously. I also love photography, reading and playing volleyball.

~If you had a warning label what would it say?

Caution: Sassy

~Favorite quote?

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” –Benjamin Franklin

Clair’s Clan

Jumping the pond for this one.

http://www.clairdelunebooks.co.uk/clairs-clan-welcomes-skye-mcneil/

Clair’s Clan welcomes Skye McNeil

Kingfisher
1. Will you tell us a little about yourself? Please include a picture if you wish.
Hi! My name is Skye McNeil, and I live in Iowa. I have been writing since I was seventeen years old, and I absolutely love unexpected stories. I have three rescue pets, two cats and one dog. In my free time, I enjoy photography, playing volleyball, and spending time with family and friends.

2. Why did you start to write? Have you always longed to write a book or was there a trigger?
I, like many other high school students, was forced to write in English class. My love for writing started as research projects, essays, and poems then escalated to stories. I took any and every creative writing class available to me, and had great teachers to support my dream. I was very active in the performing arts at my school, which I believe triggered my underlying passion to write stories that I would enjoy reading or turning into a screenplay.
3. What sort of books do you write? Why did you choose that particular genre?
My passion is writing romance novels with a twist. I like to write something that readers don’t see coming in a story. Out of all the novels I have penned, I can’t write any other genre and I have tried. I think years of watching romantic dramas and comedies plus personal experiences made me realize that I was meant to write in the romance realm.
4. How autobiographical are your stories?
Every one of my stories has my personal experiences in them. I don’t think I could write something that didn’t have a little piece of me in it. It makes me feel connected in the upmost way to the characters. It also keeps my readers speculating which part of the story is factual. It drives my family crazy, which I adore.
5. Have you a favourite setting for your stories? Why?
I don’t think I have a favourite setting. I like to write about places I know, but I definitely write about locations I want to visit.
6. Do you ever fall for your characters?
I fall for my characters on a daily basis. If I don’t fall madly in love with a character, then neither will my readers. It is always painful to stop writing a story because I don’t want to leave my fictional characters. That emotional connection is what I want my readers to feel as well.
7. Do your characters ever surprise you?
Yes, my characters do surprise me. While writing Diamonds, Donuts and Assorted Details, I originally thought my main character was going in one direction, but about half way through, she completely changed course, which I am totally fine with in the end. I love when the plot changes and characters veer off course.
8. How do you get yourself in the mood for writing?
I don’t plan or prepare before I write. My best ideas come when I am busy at work. I wish getting myself in the mood was as easy as lighting a candle and pouring myself a glass of wine, but if I try too hard to write, the only thing that happens is writer’s block.
9. What is the strangest place you have written in?
I haven’t had the chance to write in many strange places yet, but I suppose writing at work is an odd spot.
10. Have you ever experienced ‘writer’s block’ and how did you cope with it?
Every now and then I do go through phases of writer’s block. The best way I found to cope with it is to give myself some distance from the story. Exercising, watching a romantic movie that’s absolutely atrocious or completely putting the story out of my mind are the best ways I get around it.
11. Describe your perfect first date.
I want to quote Miss Congeniality so bad right now, but I will refrain. I am fairly easy-going, so a perfect first date would be doing something new or exciting. I love checking out new country singers or four-wheeling through muddy fields. What makes a date perfect is the person you are with and not necessarily what you do.
12. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?
Though, I adore the beach and warm weather, I would choose Scotland. My family originated in Scotland, and I would so love to travel the same paths as my ancestors. To me, Scotland is my epitome of romance. So many stories are waiting to be told. If I lived there, I know I could channel the ancestry and romance to write more incredible stories.
Quickies….
1. Chocolate or ice-cream?
Chocolate
2. Favourite tipple.
Whiskey or wine
3. Seaside or forest?
Seaside
4. Rain or sun?
Sun

5. Christmas or birthday?
Christmas
6. Elegant or comfortable clothes?
Comfortable all the way.
7. TV or cinema?
Cinema
8. Laptop or notebook for writing?
Notebook
9. Nail colour?
Pink or red
10. Dom, sub or switch?
Switch
11. Bondage or spanking?
Spanking
12. Leather or lace?
Leather

Excerpt from Donuts, Diamonds and Assorted Details

She felt his eyes scan her from head to toe more than once before he closed the distance between them and trapped her between the wall and his arms resting on either side of her shoulders. She couldn’t move if she wanted to; not with her heart pounding furiously to make her stay and kiss him until he stopped his shenanigans. “I’ve got all I want right here,” he whispered against her neck.
Gwen’s stomach flipped and her throat immediately dried. Those words sounded like honey on her tortured soul, but she couldn’t accept them. “You’re drunk,” she shot back, equally hushed. She moved to escape his clutch, but he pressed her against the wall with his body.
“Maybe a little, but maybe I’m just drunk enough to demand you stop teasing me,” he replied, moving her hair behind her shoulder and toying with the dress strap. He rolled it between his fingers and lowered his eyes to her dress. “You come to a party you’re not invited to wearing a dress that makes every male head turn.” He slipped her strap down and gently caressed her bare shoulder. Chills spread over her skin the more he touched her. “And then you want to leave right after I see you?” he finished, pushing the opposite dress strap off. “That’s not very fair,” he complained, leaning down and catching the tip of her ear between his teeth.
If it weren’t for the other partygoers, Gwen was certain Jeremy would take her in that very hallway. She saw the longing in his brown depths and knew hers mirrored the exact same. “You know we can’t,” she murmured against his lips.
Jeremy cradled her face in his hands and nuzzled her nose with his before tilting her head up. “Then why does it feel so right when we do?” he argued as he lightly nibbled on her lower lip. His reasoning made sense to her hazed thoughts. The way he coerced her lips with his only intensified her resolve to not let anything or anyone get between them.
Deciding one kiss wouldn’t hurt anything, Gwen met Jeremy’s lips with exuberance.
His reaction took her breath away when he eagerly slipped his tongue into her mouth to tangle with hers. He tasted like beer laced with vodka and a hint of peppermint, but to her, he still tasted like perfection. The beat of the rock song playing over the amplifier only deepened the pressure in Gwen’s body. Thankful for the crowd-reducing noise, Gwen pulled Jeremy closer yet, until he was skin to skin with her

http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/
http://www.skyemcneil.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SkyesTheLimitWriting
http://amzn.to/1WHJQYs
https://twitter.com/Skye_McNeil7
https://instagram.com/mcneilskye

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/47268938-skye-mcneil

Inner Goddess: Feisty Foodies Recipes and Reads

A recipe and excerpt!

http://www.innergoddessforum.com/2015/11/feisty-foodies-recipes-and-reads-from_22.html?zx=7c2d00e1a1f3af06

Foodie Excerpt
Uncorking the bottle of white wine, Gwen set it aside and pulled out four wine glasses. Andi and Luke were joining her and Devon for dinner at her house in less than half an hour. Devon called earlier, letting her know his depositions had run long and he would be late, so Gwen helped herself to the first drink. The scent of freshly baked rolls filled her nose and she was glad it overpowered the cleaning supplies she used to clean the place. After getting home, Gwen instinctively switched to cleaning mode, though if anyone stepped in off the street they would think the house was hardly lived in prior to cleaning.
Truth be told, the majority of Gwen’s time the last few days was spent at Devon’s house in West Des Moines. Since seeing Jeremy on Wednesday, she didn’t want to be anywhere near him. “He deliberately ignored me,” she sputtered, chopping the green pepper on the cutting board. His new hair style threw her off guard at first glance. The last time his hair was that short had been the summer of their freshman year in high school.
Gwen stabbed a red pepper and pushed aside the memory. She didn’t want to think about Jeremy; about his soft caress and easy smile. “And now his damned short hair.” She sliced the pepper quickly and grabbed a cucumber. “I wonder what it feels like,” she pondered then shut that down quickly. “I don’t care.” She knew she did anyways. More than she would ever admit. He was dating the receptionist and apparently Melanie too. “They can each run their slimy hands through his stupid, short hair all they want. See if I care.” Try as she did, that thought made her insanely envious to know some other girl was spending so much time with Jeremy. “Or more than just time.” She grabbed an onion next. “What a player he is,” she muttered.
The more she diced the onion, the more she thought about Jeremy. His behavior during the last week was unheard of for him. During their fights in the past, he would still reach out to her and attempt to talk, but he failed to do a single thing this time around. “Glad to know I’m only good for a lay,” she mumbled and felt a pang of pain shoot through her body. Her endless headache resumed and she swore it had to do with her decision to go with Devon to the concert. Ever since that night, she suffered from a constant, dull, aching headache that no amount of pain meds made disappear. She turned back to the onion. If she knew that having sex was all Jeremy wanted from their friendship, she would have given it to him long ago just to spare herself the agony now. She felt tears well in her eyes and couldn’t decide if it was from the onion or Jeremy.
“Gwen?” Andi’s voice drifted to her, but she ignored it. “Gwen, you’re bleeding!” Andi yelped coming into the kitchen.
Dropping the knife, Gwen lowered her eyes. Sure enough, her finger was oozing blood. “Crap!” She grabbed a towel and wrapped it around her finger. She noticed the pool of blood on the cutting board and the once-white onion was now turning pink.
“What in the world happened?” Andi asked, taking over for Gwen and applying pressure to the wound. “Didn’t you feel that?”
“Apparently not,” she replied, leaning against the counter. She felt dizzy seeing her own blood. “I think I need to sit down.” She fumbled her way to the barstool with Andi’s guidance.
“Are you okay? You look pale.” Luke reported, coming to her aid when she missed the stool. He poured a glass of water and set it in front of her. “Try to not think about it. It only makes it worse.”
Gwen nodded, but didn’t see how she wouldn’t think about her bleeding finger. She was never good with blood. The one time she attempted to donate blood resulted in her fainting. “I’ll be fine.” She pushed Andi’s hand off, ignored the water, and went for her glass of wine.
“I’ll finish dicing the vegetables,” Luke offered and Gwen nodded her thanks.
She felt Andi’s probing eyes on her and when she looked up, she wasn’t disappointed. Luke turned the radio on and began humming away to the country ballad. “Let’s chat before Devon gets here,” Andi suggested, moving them into the living room. Despite the open concept, Luke’s noisy humming coinciding with the radio would drown out their conversation without a problem.
Gwen focused her attention on her still gushing finger. She definitely didn’t want to talk to Andi about Devon or Jeremy, but judging from Andi’s tone, she did. She let out a breath as Andi began.
“So, I saw Jeremy the other night at The Loft. He was with a cute blonde. And his hair is short. Like high school short.” She paused for a response, but Gwen refused to give one. They both knew Gwen preferred his hair shaggy, and Gwen resisted the temptation to make a snide remark. “Come on, Gwen, do something. Blink. Act furious. I don’t care, just react. I know you want to.”
Gwen shrugged. “Nothing to react to. He’s a grown man who makes his own decisions. Obviously he was playing me for years and only wanted one thing from me. Once he got it, he stopped talking to me. Simple as that.”
Andi shook her head. “No, it’s not simple. It’s the absolute opposite of simple. And he definitely didn’t just want to bang you.”
“How do you know that?” Gwen asked angrily. “He chopped his hair, something I always liked about him, ignored me after we did it, and started dating at least two girls at once.” She crossed her legs. “Sounds like one of Jake’s typical ‘Hang, bang, thank you sweet thang’ to me.”
“Actually, three girls,” Andi admitted, lowering her eyes to her hot pink heels.
“Of course it is three. He’s a player. I can’t believe I ever thought differently.” Gwen fumed.
“He is just acting out,” Andi explained. “He’s confused. Hurt, even, that you went out with Devon and that you are clearly doing so well.”
“That’s not my fault,” Gwen snapped. “Sleeping with Jeremy was obviously a mistake. He knows it. I know it. We’re both moving on.”
“He may act like he’s moving on, but he’s not,” Andi advised. “The two of you meant something and now you’re both hurting. It’s sad, really.”
“What are you talking about? You’re the one who set me up with Devon. How are you on team Jeremy now?” Gwen’s finger throbbed.
She felt the room spin when Andi said, “Jeremy and I talked on Sunday, Gwen. He doesn’t want to cut you off, but when he saw you and Devon, I told him to stop trying.” Andi placed a hand on Gwen’s leg, but she shrugged it off. “He needs to get over you. He can’t do that if he’s constantly reminded of you everywhere he goes. He deserves happiness too.”
Maybe it was the concern in Andi’s eyes or the continuous loss of blood that made Gwen finally agree. It was never a secret that Jeremy had a crush on her, but the fact that she liked him for so many years was well hidden. They both needed to forget, but it was so much easier said than done. “I guess you’re right.”
Andi gave her a side hug. “I knew you would come around. Luke wasn’t so sure, but it’s for the best. Now you can focus on Devon.”
A knock on the door beckoned Andi away, leaving Gwen alone. She slouched back in the couch and rolled her neck, trying to alleviate some stress. It wasn’t helping. Was she really ready to pack up shop and ignore all that was between her and Jeremy? She didn’t know, but for her own sake she was going to try.

Cucumber Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

              8 oz. bow tie pasta

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

        1 onion, thinly sliced
        1 green pepper, thinly sliced
        1 red pepper, thinly sliced
        1 ½ teaspoons dried dill
       3/4 cup white vinegar
         1 cup white sugar
       1 cup water
       1 tablespoon vegetable oil
        1 tablespoon mustard
        Dash of salt and black pepper

Directions:

        Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta at a boil, stirring often, until cooked, roughly 12 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool.
      Gently cook onion and peppers in pan until tender, yet still crunchy. Roughly 2-3 minutes.
        Stir pasta, cucumber, onion, peppers, and dill in a salad bowl. Whisk vinegar, sugar, water, vegetable oil, mustard, salt, and pepper in separate bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour dressing over the pasta mixture and lightly toss to coat. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Awesome Gang

Check out my interview with Awesome Gang!

http://awesomegang.com/skye-mcneil/

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Skye and I live in Iowa. I have been writing since I was seventeen years old, and I absolutely love stories that keep me guessing. I have three rescue pets, two cats and one dog. My day job at the moment is as a paralegal at a Des Moines law firm. In my free time, I enjoy photography, playing volleyball, and spending time with family and friends. I have written seven books and just recently had my first one published October 2015 with

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My book that came out in October 2015 is Donuts, Diamonds and Assorted Details. Ironically, a dream inspired a majority of this book. The rest came to me as I wrote the rough draft. There is quite a bit of personal influence in this book, so I am very excited for everyone to read it.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have to write the first draft of my story with pen and paper. It can’t be on my laptop, so I am constantly getting writer’s cramps in my hand. I write the best when I am multitasking, which I always thought was unusual.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love anything Jane Austen wrote. I think her style of writing and stories influenced me to not take my writing so serious and to really dive into my characters. I also like Maya Banks and her Scottish stories and Kat Martin.

What are you working on now?
At the moment, I am writing a contemporary spy type book. I’m not sure where it came from, but I’m on my second draft right now. I’m hopeful it will be a best seller.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have my own website, www.skyemcneil.com, that I use to promote my book. I also use lots of social media. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Goodreads to name a few. I think all the websites together are my best method at promotions at this time.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice to new authors is to keep writing and don’t give up. Write even if the story is horrible and goes nowhere. The more experience you get while writing will turn into something great.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Stand straight and smile. You can’t get back a first impression.

What are you reading now?
I just finished Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks. There are a few new books I want to check out from my publisher’s page.

What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to finish the book I’m writing now then focus on the series I have on the back burner. I need to edit the first book and write the third book then of course get them published!

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
That is very tough because there are so many good books. I would bring Kat Martin’s Sinclair Sisters trilogy then a spare notebook so I can write a book while I await rescue.