Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Kay Stockham

This Tuesday, our special guest is Kay Stockham. Kay sold her seventh completed manuscript to Harlequin Superromance on February 11, 2005, and eight months later hit the Waldenbooks Series Bestseller List with her debut. In the time since she's contracted an additional nine stories to Superromance, as well as a novella featured in THE POWER OF LOVE with Berkley Publishing.

A HOLT Medallion, Book Buyers Best and RITA finalist, Kay is a happily married wife of seventeen years and mother of two who now makes her home in southern Ohio. For more information on her books, fabulous contests, excerpts and book trailers, surf to her website or friend her over at myspace.

Recently, I asked Kay about how her series the Tulane's of Tennessee came to be. Here's what she had to say......

Two years and a few months after I sold to Harlequin Superromance, I went to RWA's national conference to meet with my editor. I had a couple books under my belt, a couple releases in the works and a great idea percolating in my head. So, in our one-on-one meeting I decided to do the unthinkable as a rookie author--I pitched five books.

That's right. Even though I hadn't been published all that long, I had a great idea for a series. Even more surprising? My editor loved it and wanted to see more.

Putting together the proposals took some work. Since I was so new, the senior editor didn't want to contract all five stories at one time so the series was broken down into two three-book contracts.. But wait a minute, I said five books, right? Before I confuse anyone, the extra book was actually my December 2007 release A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER. ACTR was included in the first contract along with the first two books of my proposed series the Tulanes of Tennessee. Months passed, my editor moved to a new line and I was handed off to another. If you know anything about publishing then you know this is a normal occurrence. But what did it mean for my series? What if the new editor didn't like where I was headed? I admit, I had some scary moments but things worked out perfectly in the end.

I've been asked how I came up with the name, the setting etc. The setting was easy--I love Tennessee. Yes, I'm an Ohio gal and I was raised in Kentucky, but my family has made quite a few trips south to the gorgeous mountains of Tennessee. If you've never been--go. You won't regret it. (Note: Make sure you take a drive to Cade's Cove. Beautiful! Pick a sunny day, blast the radio and hit those windy roads!)

As to the name... When I was fleshing out my proposals Katrina made her appearance. My family was safe and accounted for, but on television I watched as frantic parents evacuated their children from Tulane University. Yes, my Tennessee family was named after that school and those kids because as a mom I felt the terror those parents were going through in trying to locate their children. So, in honor of them, my Tulane family was born.

On March 10, book three of my Tulanes of Tennessee series hits the shelves with HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER. Each of the stories stands alone so if you haven't read the series so far, no worries. You can still order ANOTHER MAN'S BABY and HIS SON'S TEACHER online (or you just might win them here at Author Island!). Also, mark your calendars because in September, 2009, SIMON SAYS MOMMY will showcase the eldest brother, Ethan, and in spring of 2010 the baby of the family, Alexandra, will wrap things up.

RT gave HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER 4.5 stars which designates it as a "Keeper" and they also chose it as a RT Top Pick. To say I'm thrilled is putting it mildly. Although I'd never compare a book to one of my children, I feel like a proud parent and I hope you'll pick up HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER and give it a look. For a sneak peek, go to my website to view the trailer and read an excerpt.

I've put a lot of time and thought into this series. Even though I thought I knew my characters pretty well when I pitched them, they've given me a lot of surprises. The Tulanes are honorable, sexy, down-to-earth and yet go-getters. And best of all? When they find love, they do everything in their power to keep it. I'm writing the last story now, and yeah, I'm going to miss them. *sniffle*

So, that's how I broke a rookie rule and pitched five stories at once. I'm hoping some of you have been following along with the series and have questions. If so, please post them here. And if you haven't, well, there's no time like the present to get started reading. I think DeNita has come up with a great contest and I hope you'll play along!

God bless,
--Kay Stockham
The Tulanes of Tennessee series-Five stories, five ways to fall in love!
SIMON SAYS MOMMY, September 2009
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Kimber Chin

A warm Tiki Hut Welcome to today's special guest, author Kimber Chin.

Kimber's new release INVISIBLE deals with the topic of identity theft and she's been kind enough to share some things she's learned about preventing identity theft through her research...things we all need to learn.

Kimber Chin writes sexy contemporary romances set in the business world. A business gal herself, she is tired of seeing business folks described as emotionless bores, especially as many of the people she works with are one step away from the looney bin. It takes a special type of crazy to spend days in a 100 square feet cubicle.

This cynical gal had her world tilted when she fell in love at first sight. 15 gloriously happy years later, she cautions single women that slick talking salesmen will do anything to keep their favorite customers satisfied.

Every week, Kimber Chin posts a short story and a photo of a man in a great looking suit on her website and every month, she gives away her favorite eBook read the previous month.

Welcome Kimber!!!


Thanks for having me here, DeNita!

Preventing Identity Theft

Excerpt From Invisible:

He watched her. She ignored him.

There was silence except for the ticking of the Ingraham 30-hour kitchen mantle clock Birger had found in Pittsburgh years ago.

“Why do you subscribe to forensic accounting magazines?” Hagen volleyed a question her way.

“Why do you think?” she deflected, not giving him anything.

Hagen grunted his disapproval and took another swallow of coffee before continuing. “Why does my Uncle have them?”

“He was interested.” Understatement. He was more than interested. After an unfortunate run in with an identity thief, Birger got her number through a mutual friend. Maeve taught him the basics but he wanted to know more, much more. Over shared dinners, Maeve acting as Birger’s sous-chef, she talked about different cases and he would listen, asking question after question, after question.

No more. Birger, her friend. He wouldn’t be asking any more questions.


I always thought that identity theft happened to wealthy people (like Birger). That is, until it happened to my dear, sweet Mom. My Mom, a single mother of six kids, aspires to being middle class. She doesn't have any money. Why would someone want her identity?

Because having her identity gives thieves access to her credit line. Everyone has a credit line. I can get credit in my plant's name (Fern the Third – don't ask what happened to Fern I and Fern II). Once the thieves have access, they apply for credit cards, lines of credits, even putting liens on the victim's house.

Identity theft is the worst theft there is. A normal theft is a one time thing (actually usually a two time thing, thieves normally break back in once you've replaced all the stolen goods). With identity theft, the thieves keep stealing and stealing and stealing. Stopping that and then proving you weren't the person actually using the credit card or line of credit can take a decade or more. Yeah, not fun. So the best thing to do is to prevent identity theft.

I asked Frank M. Ahearn (http://www.frankahearn.com/ ), one of the leading skip tracers in the world, what he suggests we do to prevent identity theft.

"Most identity thieves obtain information several ways, stealing from mail the box, dumpster diving and double swiping credit cards in retail stores. Below are some prevention methods I suggest.As far, as bills and any type of documents that have identifiers always shred the information before discarding. Do not be frugal when it comes to purchasing a shredder; get a good cross cutting shredder. I always suggest using a Post Office Box or a mail drop for bills to be mailed to; crooks cannot reach their hands into the boxes like the one in front of private homes.When in retail stores watch the cashier and how they swipe your credit card. However, when in restaurants this can be difficult since the servers takes your card away.On personal information the less information you give out the better, no need for the credit card, utility company, the dentist, the cable company to have your cell number. In addition, there is no reason that the cell company should have your home phone or work information. Just do not give it away!"

(If you EVER get a chance to take a course from Frank, I strongly suggest you invest the dollars. I make it a point to take one of his courses a year.)


Kimber Chin gives away a favorite romance eBook a month on her site http://businessromance.com/ . She never asks any information other than a name (it doesn't have to be a real name) and an email address. She also shares a short story and a photo of a hot man in a great fitting suit every week.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Marie Treanor

Author Marie Treanor is joining us today in the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut all the way from across the pond in Scotland!!
Marie Treanor was born and bred in Scotland, but for some years moved around the UK working and studying. Now she's back home and happily married with three young children.

Having grown bored with city life, her family lives in a picturesque village by the sea where, instead of working for a living, Marie is lucky enough to be able to enjoy herself writing stories of romance and fantasy.

She draws the inspiration for her books mainly from the people around her and from Scotland's rich history and culture - with, of course, large helpings of fun and imagination!
Thanks for joining us today, Marie!


I’m thrilled to be here at the Tiki Hut today. Actually, I have to confess I’m also a tad nervous, because it’s my first visit as guest blogger, and because, like many authors, I live so much in my imagination that it’s difficult to readjust to write about “real life”.

But then, even the most fantastical worlds in fiction have to be based on some degree of reality. My most fantastic world (in the sense of its distance from our world today) is undoubtedly the setting of my City of the Damned trilogy with Changeling Press. It’s a bleak, post-apocalyptic future world, devastated by nuclear war. The survivors live in isolated, very different communities - and the City of the Damned is more different than most!

Here, the particular cocktail of radiation poisoning suffered by the inhabitants appears to have created mutant species - the most powerful of which would be instantly recognizable to many generations of gothic, horror and romance readers as werewolves and vampires.

So, definite fiction. But inspired by some of the more dangerous aspects of our own world. Fascinatng, if scary, to speculate on what might happen if it all goes horribly wrong, and how surviving humanity might cope with what’s left.

This was a big departure for me. When I began writing romances, I set them deliberately in my home country of Scotland, because it’s the place I know best. With the City of the Damned I had to bring my own vision of this ruined, struggling world to life, almost in a vacuum. Somewhere on Earth. And it was curiously liberating. I thoroughly enjoyed creating my unique City.

I’m not sure when I first realized where my City was. I think it was when I first began to consider the relationship between it and the safer Dome City from which Lara, my heroine in Loving the Wolf, came in search of her missing brother. Subconsciously, I’d placed Lara’s Dome City in the south, and the City of the Damned in the north. There’s no such thing as country, so it’s never named, but I began to realize that, without really meaning to, I was still writing about Scotland. And by extension, Britain.

My City of the Damned is, in fact, a devastated Glasgow. The ruined graveyard through which David tracks the beautiful vampire Katia in Loving the Man, is Glasgow’s historic Necropolis. The southern Dome City, better protected than anywhere else from the consequences of nuclear war is, of course, London.

The vast, empty Highlands to the north of the City of the Damned, where my heroes and heroines hope to discover the tether that could save the world, now needs no introduction. The same Scottish Highlands turn out to be the home of the mysterious and powerful Dragul in the two spin-off series Dragul Rising, and Rogue Warriors.

Having admitted it to myself, as more contact formed between these communities, I called their shared environment “the Island”. And when in Rogue Warriors, the Island drifts in to a new war with the next power they encounter spreading from the west, the West is a similarly devastated and recovering America. And the outer islands over which their military forces fight are Ireland and the Hebrides.

So there you have it – the geography of the City of the Damned revealed for the first time! Although the observant may already have guessed! If you haven’t yet read the City of the Damned trilogy (Loving the Wolf, Loving the Vampire and Loving the Man), all three novellas are now available from Changeling Press in one bargain e-book collection: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1072.

Even better, it’s today’s spotlight book at Author Island - you could win it here: http://www.authoriland.com/.

Well, thanks for letting me ramble about one my favourite subjects! If you’d like to read some excerpts from City of the Damned, or find out more about my other books, please visit my website, http://www.marietreanor.com/.

You can also keep up with my latest news by joining my Newsletter only group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marietreanornewsletter. Or the chat group I share with fellow authors Kyla Logan and Kara Griffin: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sexydelights.

Best wishes!