Friday, November 25, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Zenobia Renquist

The first five sentences of... FORGOTTEN LOVER 
Medusa didn’t react as her thick dreadlocks rained down around her ankles, shorn from her head by the grinning mage across the room. In fact, she couldn’t react. The mage had locked her mind under the powerful spell of a docility charm.

She gave the charm more credit now that she could feel the power of it firsthand. Even though she fought it with all her might, she couldn’t break its hold.


Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Erotic Paranormal, Vampire, Magic, Interracial
Buy Link --
available in ebook only


1. Who was your first love?
He-Man. I am so not joking. I was in love with that man. Not so much Prince Adam, but I totally loved He-Man… which might explain why I had a serious hate on for Teela. Despite everyone and their mother telling me He-Man was for boys, I watched that show religiously and got as many of the toys as my parents would buy me, which was quite a lot. I still have Castle Greyskull.
After He-Man was Nemesis Enforcer from the GI Joe movie (the animated one from 1987). If you're talking about real people, then I would have to say this one kid in sixth grade who I thought was so hot and so cool (funny how those two descriptions can exist side by side) but now I can't even remember his name and I barely remember what he looks like.

2. Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? What ever happened to it?
The first novel I ever wrote was my debut title with Samhain Publishing under my other name, D. Renee Bagby. Yup, I got lucky on my first try. However, the first story I ever wrote (which would be categorized as a short story by the length definitions I know now) was for a writing competition back in my high school days that I wanted to enter. I didn't make the deadline, but I did finish the story.

At the moment, that story is sitting on my hard drive waiting for me to revisit it, flesh it out, make it a whole lot longer, and then get it published. It has a great plot and some fun characters, so I do plan to return to it one day in the future.

3. What’s the first thing you do when you start writing a new story?
I listen to my characters argue. The majority of my stories start with my characters yelling at each other in my head. It's my job to figure out what they are arguing about, what started the argument, how they met, and where they are going when the argument finishes. The majority of the time, I can't answer any of those questions until after I've written the story. I'm a total panster that way.

More about Renee: Renee is a military brat turned military wife who is currently stationed in Hawaii with her husband and two cats.

Whether writing as D. Renee Bagby or Zenobia Renquist, she is a world-builder. She loves inventing new cultures and shaping their histories and laws because it beats researching the existing ones.
Her stories span the fantasy gamut but she dabbles in sci-fi and contemporary from time to time. While her main characters tend to be of different races, she doesn't let skin color rule or limit her stories. For her, it's all about how much she can torture her characters so they earn their happily-ever-after ending.

The rules are all new and pre-conceived notions will only slow you down, so when reading Renee's stories, she asks only one thing -- Leave Your Reality Behind.

Where you can find Renee online:
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Friday, November 18, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS...with D. Renee Bagby

The first five sentences of...ERIS (Eternal Truths, Book 1)

Ranulf stared at the spacious, climate-controlled room in a thoughtful manner. Beside him, Lucien looked through the contents of a nearby box.

“We need to stop putting this off,” Ranulf said. “Every year we say we’ll get our collection surveyed and every year we find an excuse to avoid it.”

“Why do you want strangers tromping through our home? Where does this whim come from?”

GENRE: Time Travel, Menage (m/f/m), Interracial
Available in print and ebook

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1. What’s the first thing you notice on an attractive member of the opposite sex?

Height. I love tall men. Their height alone makes them attractive to me. That's probably why the majority of my heroes are taller than the heroines. Taller men make me feel dainty, something that doesn't happen that often, so it feels good to be around them. The second thing I notice is eye color.  I'm a fan of blues and greys.

2. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

If I won the lottery, the first thing I would buy AFTER paying all my bills (hey, the practical part of me wants to be debt free) is the Lego Taj Mahal. It's 5400+ pieces and about $300. I would also buy a display case to keep it in once I had finished putting it together. I love assembling things since my parents got me hooked on Legos at an early age. After those two things, I would probably spend a huge chunk of money tracking down and buying every book I ever wanted and a house filled with built-in bookcases in which to keep them.

3. If you could live your life over again, what’s the first thing you’d do differently or change?

While there are a bunch of things I would love to change about my life, I'm happy that I don't have the ability. If I altered anything, I wouldn't be where I am now nor have any of the experiences that got me here. I've learned a lot of things the hard way and those lessons that taught me the most in a lasting way. I wouldn't trade that knowledge for anything.

More about D. Renee: Whether as D. Reneé Bagby or Zenobia Renquist, Reneé lives in her imagination. When not traveling through her fantasy worlds, she can be found in Hawaii living with her husband and two cats.

She is an Air Force brat turned Air Force wife, which means she’s accustomed to travel and does it whenever possible (so long as she doesn’t have to fly). Her favorite pastime is torturing her characters on their way to happily-ever-after for the enjoyment of her readers.

On the few occasions her muse flees the scene of the crime, Reneé likes to read (comics, manga, and romance), go to the movies, play a few levels of whichever puzzle game has hijacked her interest or experiment with a new chain maille weave.

You can find D. Renee on the web:

Friday, November 11, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Rachel Firasek

The first five sentences of...THE LAST RISING
Heat licked along the wing of the plane, flickering like tiny fingers waving good-bye. Ironically, the thought of dying didn’t hurt, but rising again increased her heart rate and caused a damp drizzle at her temple.

The torture of passing through the portal and waking with no memory didn’t appeal to Ice any more than learning to live a new life—damn Osiris and his punishments.

Ice didn’t want to think about her ex. The last time she’d truly seen Osiris, he’d been in pieces—literally.

THE LAST RISING, an Entangled Publishing release, is available now at many online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance eBooks.


1. Tell me about your very first kiss?
I was fourteen and my parents had let my fifteen year old boyfriend come over to watch movies. I'd sat through four hours of action with my knees pressed together trying to curb the urge to "go".  I finally couldn't take it anymore and rushed to our small half-bath. I'd just finished washing my hands and opened the door to my bf looming in the doorway. Thinking back on it now, "How creepy?" but then, I thought it was uber sweet that he couldn't wait. Next thing I know, he's forced his fat, wet tongue down my throat and over the slurpy mess I could hear the toilet bowl finishing its gurgle. Yeah, I remember it like it was yesterday.  

2. What’s the first thing you notice on an attractive member of the opposite sex?
I had to pick this one! OMG. In my day job, I work with almost all men. So, the first thing I notice is his crotch. No, I'm not a perv--not mostly. But, normally, I get the guys seeing my chest first, so.... yeah, I do a crotch check to make sure they are paying attention to what I'm saying to them and not what "the girls" are doing while I'm talking.
3. If you could live your life over again, what’s the first thing you’d do differently or change?
Uh, yeah, I'd have ditched that first bf with that lame would have saved me from a year+ of misery.

About the author: Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales, before she settled on a blending of the two. Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s dance moves. She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows… or at

Friday, November 4, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Rose Anderson

First five sentences of...DREAMSCAPE
“I’m so excited, Ben, look!” Lanie held out her trembling hand. “I’m shaking all over. I’ve never been inside the gate before.”
Looking up at the massive house with its several boarded windows and shutters barely attached, Ben Danowski turned to her in surprise. “Lanie, are you sayin’ you bought this place without looking inside?”

(Becky here: Actually, this is six sentences, but who's counting...)

Dreamscape is available now from Siren-Bookstrand, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine online stores.


1. Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? Whatever happened to it?
My very first novel was a labor of love written approximately fifteen years ago. My husband and I were involved in the restoration of a pre-Civil War house. It was a plain little structure. As far as the history in our area goes, this type of structure was what was built after log cabins. The humble little building was filled with curiosities, namely a trap door in the floor and a hidden room in the cellar. Needless to say it took my fancy.
I love history, so does my husband. We already had a lot to go on when we started working on the restoration project. We knew who the families were when the house was built, we even knew who the builder was. Together we researched and learned all we could about the various farm family neighbors living nearby when the house was newly built. Communities were tight back then. If you were to drive down the back country roads here, you’d find roads and cemeteries with blended names – the many families related to one another through marriages that took place in the 1800’s.
My story took the original family, a few of their children and several neighbors and coupled this information with known abolitionist happenings in the area. In my mind, the mysterious room and the trap door to get into it became a haven for a family of run-away slaves. And for all we know, my little work of fiction is based in fact. The oldest residents in the area remember hearing about a secret room and they called it a hidey hole. This term will get some notice in places of high abolitionist activity.
My story centers on the original family and the dangerous steps they took to see another family to freedom. In this tale, a modern brother and sister discover their family’s role on the Underground Railroad through a journal hidden in a secret room discovered by accident. The two stories entwine as greed battles with good.
I submitted it all over the place using an entire tree’s worth of paper because this was the time before electronic submissions. I never heard a peep. That was disheartening. I tried again this year with a single submission and the courteous publisher actually sent me an email saying it was a wonderful little story but unfortunately the market now was looking for the next Harry Potter. He said I might consider e-publishing or self publishing because it was unlikely to be picked up in this market at this time. It was nowhere near the scope or imagery of Harry Potter. My little story was a Youth story along the lines of Little House on the Prairie. He added another useful bit. He said with Kindles coming down in price, the industry would be seeing them in the hands of children soon. It might do well in that format. His comment was invaluable. I’ll be doing exactly that soon. Not as Rose Anderson though. :) It wouldn’t do to mix my writing.
2. What was the first Rated R movie you ever saw?
The first movie I snuck into acting older than I really was, was the Exorcist. Scared the bejeezus out of me too. The first legitimate R-rated movie was Roman Polanski’s MacBeth. Marvelous movie that. I love Shakespeare. All these years later, I found MacBeth online and watched it again. It’s still a very cool, true to the story rendition of the Bard’s work.
3. What’s the first thing you do when you start writing a new story?
The very first thing, I build the world in my mind. For Dreamscape I’ve been in enough terrific old houses to be able to draw from it visually. I could see the gingerbread, those intricate over-embellished bits of molding and trim the Victorians were so fond of. Having rehabbed old houses, I can envision the jagged panes of glass on the broken windows, the smell in the musty old cellar, the view from the high cupola at the top of the house.
Once the world is set, characters will come walking into it. Before long they tell me their problems or conflicts. I soon discover their likes and dislikes and they’ll eventually tell me where they want to go and who they want to meet. I’ve been told this is writing by the seat of my pants. I’ve found that no matter how hard I try to use an outline, my characters will hijack my best attempt and have their way anyway! I surrender to them and hope they do well by me. :)

You can learn more about Rose on her blog, Google+, or follow her on Twitter @RoseAnderson_.