Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Welcome to Sandra K. Marshall's guest blog

Welcome Ms. Sandra K. Marshall to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.

Did you always want to become a writer?
Never. I knew it would mean a lot of work to become a writer. lol Oh sure, I enjoyed writing little skits when I was in grade school, and I loved writing letters to my friends and family who also loved to get them.

Things happen for a reason, so when my husband kept at me about writing a book I finally gave in and wrote one. I spent a whole year writing a sweet suspense for Harlequin, which turned out to be two hundred pages too long. I had typed the story single-spaced, and I soon learned I needed to double-space the manuscript.

I learned about a writing group here in our area and went to a meeting. On that day I learned so much about writing, I was so excited that I joined the group that day and the national group Romance Writers of America.

What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?

The most interesting thing about writing is there is a lot to learn. Everyone thinks it's going to be easy. All you do is sit down and write a book and get it published. Ha! I don't think there is anything about writing that's not interesting.

How do you plan to celebrate your first release?
I celebrated with my husband by having a nice dinner out.

How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?
My first book was The Catalyst, which was the first book of the trilogy, and Addiction is the second. The Catalyst was an e-pub, and I self-published it, so I haven't seen one of my books in a bookstore. I'll be so excited when that day comes that I'll be spinning for weeks.

How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Has your family read your book?

My family was very supportive of my writing, and we all loved reading romances. Yes, my family read The Catalyst. They haven't had a chance to read Addiction since they are waiting for it to come out in print.

Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?

Yes, I was an avid reader. I don't have much time to read these days though. I couldn't begin to pick a favourite. Here are just a few I like, Carla Cassidy, Lisa Scottoline, John Sanford, Sandra Brown, Richard North Patterson, then for fantasy/sci-fi I like Tethys J. Killion.

Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?
No, I don't allow my characters to take over my life, or I'd become a yo-yo, up and down and all around. lol Yes, I know of people who could be my characters, or at least a part of them. Usually, my characters are made up of more than one person I know or have heard about.

Where do you get the inspirations for your books?
This is an easy question. I get my inspiration from life.

Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
lol Always. Love scenes have become more graphic, and I find them very difficult to write. Mainly because there's only so many ways you can write a love scene.

Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers block?

The third book in my trilogy has a deadline, but it's lengthy, so I think I'll be okay. No, I don't suffer from writers block, but sometimes the words are hard to find even though I have the scene in my head.

Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer)?
I like both as a reader and a writer. Sometimes there are secondary characters in a first book that just have to have their stories told even though you don't plan to when you begin that first book. This happened with The Catalyst.

If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?
I wouldn't change with anyone, character or otherwise, at this point in my life.

The only thing my characters have is youth. I might like to be young again. lol

What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?
I like all of them. They are special because they've survived so much. Carolyn Madison, in The Catalyst, survived rape and raised her children without a husband. She was able to take over the running of her family's riverboat casino and discover who murdered her ex. All this while returning to her first love.

In Addiction, Jolene Dubois battles alcohol addiction and others, plus a stalker. She learns respect for herself, stays out of the clutches of a serial killer, and finds true love.

The next book is about a young woman who has been deceived all of her life by her father. Her father turned her against her mother making her believe horrible things of her. Others are deceiving her again, and because of it she puts her life in jeopardy. Fortunately, there is a big bad FBI agent charging to her rescue.

Would you like to give another genre a try?
I don't want to, but I may be forced to. I have read mysteries and romantic suspense all my life, and that's what I want to write.

Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
The one I'm writing right now is the hardest. The heroine is so focused, so straightforward that she can't see the forest for the trees. I never see anything as black or white. I'm a over analyser, so this character is hard for me, which makes the book difficult to write. I think Addiction was easier for me because the main character reminded me of friends that I had when I was young in many ways.

If you could choose one of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you have as the cast?
I think the trilogy would make a great movie. For Carolyn Madison, I would have Melanie Griffith, for Walt Tollhouse I would have an old actor who is deceased (lol) and I can't remember his name. For the others I would have to think about it.

If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
I would never want to travel back in time because I like this period right now. However, I would like to see the future, if I could make it back. lol

Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?
I have to have absolute quiet when I write. I know a lot of writers who listen to music or television, but I can't concentrate when there's noise around me.

Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?

Thank you, Danny. I'll be glad to post a blurb and a excerpt of my book if you don't mind.

Blurb for Addiction

Two men are after the same woman but for very different reasons.

Dark-haired beauty, Jolene Dubois has a serious problem, and it's not just battling alcoholism. Late at night, she receives whispered calls. "Jolene, I want you. I'm coming for you." Shivers climb up her spine and ice flowed in her veins. What does he want? Who is it? She must figure it out before she trusts the wrong person.

Jake Farrell, the handsome rogue is an operator with women, but is he hiding something dark and sinister under his cheery facade. The detective, Andy Martin, who investigated her father's murder, continues to ask her out. Les Voodré, an alcoholic she met at AA follows her everywhere, and Ron Keisler, her AA sponsor is always there when she needs him. Could her caller be one of these men?

To further complicate her life, she fights a host of addictions, alcoholism, smoking, gambling and sex. Jolene is determined to beat the alcohol and to stay out of the clutches of the fiend who phones her.


OCTOBER 11, 2007

Jake Farrell watched Jolene march into his security office at the casino and sit her curvy rear in his one uncomfortable visitor’s chair. Ever since Walt Tollhouse, his father’s old CIA buddy, introduced him to the Dubois family, this woman had taken possession of his mind. He’d heard all of the stories about her and wondered what the truth was.

He leaned back and put his hands behind his head. His gaze moved to her breasts before he shifted it back to her face. With her dark brown eyes and hair there was no doubt she was a looker. Too bad she liked her alcohol. Well, maybe not now since she’d gone through rehab. He’d give her the benefit of a doubt.

“What do I owe the pleasure of this early morning visit, Ms. Dubois?” he asked, smiling. He knew he aggravated her when he acted upbeat.

She glanced out the window, then back at him. “I thought I should warn you that friends of my father’s killer may be up to something.”

He scooted forward and placed his hands on his desk. “What makes you think that?”

She explained in quick concise words what happened at her apartment the day before. “That’s all I know right now.”

There’d been a slight quiver in her voice even though she’d covered it quickly. His teeth clenched in anger. Someone was scaring her. “Why didn’t you tell me about this yesterday?” Jake glowered at her.

“You aren’t my keeper; you’ve only been hired temporarily as head of security. Anyway it was after work.” Her dark eyes flashed with temper before she covered them with long, black lashes.

Taking in the obstinacy on her face and her rigid posture, she reminded him of his sisters—always getting their back up when he got protective. “Then why bother letting me know about the break-in at all?” He grinned and leaned back in his chair, propping his feet on the bare desk. It wouldn’t do to show her his concern. She would really get in a huff then.

“The only reason I’m telling you is because I don’t want our clients hurt.”

“Do you think they’ve been here?” He’d heard Rutherford killed Jolene’s father and one of the board members because he’d thought Dubois crossed him in the scheme to take over their riverboat casinos.

“No, of course not.” She shook her head in slow motion. “I don’t know.” She nibbled at her bottom lip. “There have been times I’ve thought someone was watching me in the parking lot and in the casino.”

God, the woman drove him crazy when she pretended nothing was wrong. “Jolene, don’t hide anything from me.” He dropped his feet to the floor and rolled his chair forward.

“I’m not. I can take care of myself, and I have my mother’s Smith and Wesson.”

Damn. He never figured her for a member of the gun-toting card carrying society. “Do you know how to use it?”

“I’ve been to the shooting gallery, once.”

“Humph. That’s not good enough. Many people have their own guns used on them. I’ll have to teach you how to shoot the weapon.”

Jolene leaned forward eye to eye. “I hit the bulls-eye ten out of ten.”

“I want to see that for myself,” he countered. Her sensuality blasted him, and he backed away. “Why don’t you demonstrate your ability for me at the range after work?”

“Don’t believe me, huh?”

“I come from the show-me state.” Crazy. He’d get burned with this one, but her vulnerability as well as her display of strength drew him to her.

“Okay, you’re on. I’ll show you.” She stood, not looking at him. “I have to get to work, but I want to visit the casino first.”

“I’ll call to make reservations for the range and let you know the time.”

Jolene nodded.

Jake watched the voluptuous swing of her hips as she walked away, and groaned. He’d done his best to stay away from her since he’d been introduced to the family a month ago, but in this job it was impossible. He’d do what had to be done even if it meant walking around stiff jointed all of the time. A grin formed on his lips at the picture of his rod jumping to attention every time he walked in her vicinity.

There was no time to sit around being amused about his predicament. He slammed his fist on his desk. Damn, he had work to do that had nothing to do with Jolene.

He made a quick call to find the nearest firing range around. The mundane action settled his libido down, but her spicy perfume drifted in the air of his bare bones office and lured him to follow her to the casino. He would go tell her the plans he made for target practice. Besides, he had to notify his guards of the possible danger.

Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects? Yes, I'm working on the last book of the trilogy. It's about the youngest daughter in the family. She has a tender heart, and she believes the family business is hurting people. For this reason she gets involved with unscrupulous people who want to shut the casinos down but for reasons other than her own.

One other thing, I might add Danny is that I spent nine months working at a riverboat casino in our area doing research for these books.

Eirelander Publishing
Amazon Kindle
All Romance eBooks
1 Romance Ebooks



K.T. Bishop said...

Great Interview. This is my favorite part of promoting a new book. A wave of excitement rush through my vein. Some people know about you, others don't....

Liena Ferror said...


Excellent guest blog.

It must have been exciting working on a riverboat casino.

Wishing you many sales!


Heather Snow said...

Hey Sandy,

Always nice to learn new things about friends!

Keep at it with your new heroine. Sometimes it's the ones that really stretch us that turn out to be the best characters.

Good luck!

J Hali said...

Congrats on Addiction and what a great interview!

Sandy said...

Thanks, K.T., Liena, Heather and J, for your wonderful comments.

Christie Craig said...

Great Post, Sandra.

It's always good to learn a little more about the people you know through writing loops.


Sandy said...

Thank you, Christie.

I loved your blog this morning.

Marianne Stephens said...

Oh, yes. Being younger again sounds good to me. But not too young. With age comes wisdom (don't we all feel that way?).
I'm glad you don't have trouble with writer's block...plagues me every middle of a book...even though I know what's coming next! Aack! Drives me nuts.
Nice interview. Good luck with sales!

EmilyBryan said...

Hey Sandra, Where on earth do you go to find absollute quiet to write?

My family is good about letting me write when I need to, but I mastered the fine art of zoning out early on. My daughter knows that she can't just tell me something when I'm writing and expect that I heard her, because I guarantee you I'm in another century. Now, if it's important, she won't stop till I repeat what she's said and look her in the eye.

And if she interrupts my writing, it better be important! LOL!

Sandy said...

Thanks, Marianne. So glad you came by.

With your original ideas for stories, I would never believe you had writer's block.

Sandy said...

LOL Emily, it helps that the kids are gone.

With my fibromyalgia noise agitates me these days, so I stay away from it as much as possible.

Thanks for coming by.

Elle J Rossi said...

Hi Sandy,

Great interview. It's so nice to learn about the woman behind the book. I love the question about who would star in the movie version of your book. Wouldn't it be fun to line up the stars and make them audition for the parts?!


Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Another good excerpt and interview--looking forward to reading the copy I won the other day. :)

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Great interview, Sandy. It's always so nice to learn things about you.

Stick to this new story - the ones hardest to write challenge us in ways we never suspected, and draw out the best of our abilities!

Hugs, and here's to many sales for Addiction


Sandy said...

Thanks for your comment, Elle.

Yes, I think it would be fun to pick out stars to play our characters.

Sandy said...

Thank you for stopping by Stacey.

I'll look forward to hearing what you think about Addiction.


Sandy said...


You're so right about the new story being a challenge. But it just might be the best of the three. Smile.

Thank you, sweetie.

Huge hugs,