Alice Clayton, The Redhead Srs. and WALLBANGER with giveaway

Thank you for taking the time to visit Manic Readers, Alice.

My pleasure! Thanks for having me.

The first thing I’m dying to know, is the sneeze story really autobiographical?  Nearly choked on my salt & vinegar chip when I read that!

I can neither confirm nor deny this story. But it was totally me…  

What part of gardening is your favorite?

When the bulbs come up in the Spring, I always forget how many I planted and then I’m so surprised at how much work I did! 

Have you found someone to do KP duty after you bake?  What’s your baking preference?  Not much for baking myself unless it’s lasagna or some such.

Mr. Alice has told me I am no longer allowed to load the dishwasher. It’s an older model, and I assume that it’s ok to put things in there without rinsing. This is apparently not true, so I have been banned from loading it. What sucks is that means to UNLOAD it, which is my single most hated household chore. I would rather clean toilets than undo the dishwasher, but sadly it has fallen to me. Baking preference is definitely cookies or brownies, and any kind of breakfasty bread (zucchini, pumpkin, etc). I can do cakes, but I prefer cookies. I also love any kind of crisp, and homemade pie crust makes me moan. 


For those of us who are totally clueless (but not for long hopefully :)) a bit about your Redhead series, THE UNIDENTIFIED REDHEAD & THE REDHEAD REVEALED, please.

Tell you a little about them? Sure! Well the first thing you have to know about The Redhead Series is they are the first work of fiction I have ever written. Actually, it’s the first anything I’ve ever written, with the exception of work related projects. I had a few ideas, some characters suggested themselves, and I was curious enough about them to see what happened next! 

I am fascinated, like most people, with the concept of celebrity, and how those that are in the public eye actually live their life. And as a woman creeping ever closer to 40, I wanted to explore the idea of old dreams, the ones that got away. Take the new hot Hollywood It Boy, set him opposite of a women in her 30’s just back in LA to take the town by storm, throw in some Chex Mix, and see what happens. Steamy? Yes. Sexy? Hell yes. Silly? Even more so.  

Any advice for those who aren’t genetically disposed to curvy?

Women need to rock what they have, because the grass is always greener. Or thinner. Or curvier. If you have curly hair you want straight, if you’re tall you wish you were shorter. 

Have you always looked for the funny side?

YES! I have to, or I would lose my mind. I always look for the funny, sometimes to a fault. 12 hours before we lost my very favorite aunt to cancer, my entire extended family was in the waiting room. I kept saying “tumor, I barely knew her”. We all laughed because it was all we could do, but then I laughed so hard I began to cry and couldn’t stop. 

Do you have a “go to pick me up” for when you may get a bit down that you can share?

I love all things Bravo tv. I am addicted to Real Housewives, that’s a great zone out and not think activity for sure.

Is a sense of humor at the top of your “things I find sexy” list?

It’s a must for me. I could never fall in love with someone that can’t make me laugh. All my favorite guys have been insanely funny.  

Please tell us about WALLBANGER.

Oh my goodness, I don’t mind telling you I’m a little in love with these characters. Set in one of my favorite cities in the world San Francisco, Wallbanger tells the silly tale of Caroline, an interior designer who has everything going for her, but hasn’t had an orgasm in what feels like forever. And to make matters worse, she’s got a very “active” neighbor living on the other side of her bedroom wall to remind her of all she is missing out on. When these two finally meet…yeah, it’s pretty interesting. It’s a different kind of romance story, about how easy it can really be but how hard we can make it. Plus it has a very sassy cat named Clive.

Did you write the Redhead series and WALLBANGER as an antidote to all the serious and often humorless erotica that abounds?

I don’t think I set out to do that, I’m just incapable of writing something completely serious. It’s just not in my nature. I crave the funny, the silly, the different. And I always try to write people that either are I want to hang out, or are inspired by people I already know. I read lots of erotica, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, I’m pretty much an equal opportunity reader. I just need a good story and a few surprises to keep me entertained.  

Does your Muse require anything special to get those creative juices flowing?

I’m a procrastinator by nature, always have been. I write best under pressure and when I’m about to miss a deadline. So my Muse is time, and the lack of it. 

Who’s in control of the story, you or the characters?

Both. They tell me where to go and I get them there. 

Do you have a WIP you can reveal any details about?

I have 2 new projects that have been outlined for awhile, but will have to wait until I finish Redhead 3. But I’m excited about them. 

Anything we can look forward to from you in the near future?

The third book in the Redhead Series will be out Spring 2013, and it’s been a long time coming. I am always working on Not Your Mother’s Podcast, a show about women in their 30’s who still act like teenagers, check us out on iTunes! But I have something new that I have been keeping under my hat for awhile. Can’t say too much yet, but I am partnering with my best friend Keili Lefkovitz (an actress and who the character of Holly in The Redhead Series is based on) and my new bestie Brittany Gibbons, blogger extraordinaire. The three of us have teamed up with actor Greg Grunberg (Alias, Heroes, Felicity) and have something pretty cool cooking right now. Stay tuned… 

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me & Manic Readers, Alice.

Thank you so much for having me! I’d love to come back anytime…now go read Wallbanger. Ahem. Shameless.

Alice & Omnific Publishing are giving away an ecopy of WALLBANGER  to one lucky commenter.  Tell us, is a sense of humor and the ability to potentially have you snorting a drink through your nose a must have on your required “traits for a fella” list?  Giveaway ends @12am est 12-10-12.  Winner announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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Meet Marion Webb De Sisto and get TAKEN with a giveaway

Marion, thank you for taking the time to visit with me and Manic Readers.






For those of us who know diddly about this what exactly is a Bach Foundation registered Practitioner and a Reiki Master?

Dr. Edward Bach created 38 Flower Remedies that promote good health. In order to be a registered practitioner I had to work and become familiar with the Remedies, attend training courses, conduct a number of case studies and take an intense written exam. Being registered, I’m allowed to treat and/or give advice to people about which Remedies they should take. I wrote a useful handbook, entitled Turning to Nature that details the life of this medical doctor and his amazing Flower Remedies. 

Reiki is a form of ‘hands-on’ healing given to us by a Japanese Buddhist named Mikao Usui. Within Reiki there are three degrees known as the First, Second and Third/Master Levels. A Reiki Master can teach students and attune them to the three levels so that, in turn, they can offer healing to others. 

After being a teacher, director of two daycares, director of a private school, being responsible for registering and inspecting facilities for children, and servicing and protecting abused and neglected children, do you sometimes find children easier to relate to and deal with than adults?

Yes, there are times when I can more easily relate to children, but adults interest me, too. Having an understanding of how the early years form a person’s character, helps me accept and appreciate adult behavior.  

I’m sure you’re happy to be home but is there anything you miss about the States?  Did you get to see most of the U.S. while you were here or just too busy?

I really miss Boston, such a great city. My younger son and three grandchildren are in MA, so it’s very difficult being so far away from them.  

When we moved to CA, we traveled/drove through most of the northern states. Our move back to MA was via the southern states. The size of the US is astonishing and a leisurely trip across it is something I can highly recommend.

Do you have a preference as to writing fiction or non-fiction?

I enjoy writing both, but I have a slight preference for fiction.

Why Angels and Demons?

I find then intriguing, and I hope they give readers an enjoyable alternative to the oh-so-popular vampires, lycans and other shifters.

Please tell us about TAKEN, the first in your Tales of Cymllon Series.


A blind date with a guy dressed as an angel is what Esther Nolan’s friends give as her thirtieth birthday present. Reluctant to accept, she nevertheless goes to dinner with the pseudo angel, named Zortek, and he’s rude, chauvinistic and very odd. The following night he suddenly appears in Esther’s apartment and takes her captive to the magical world of Cymllon. There she learns he’s a demgel, someone who is half demon, half angel. Rescued by another demgel, named Dreydon, she spends time with him in his home. Esther quickly develops feelings of attraction toward Dreydon, but tries to ignore them because he isn’t human.

Rescuing Esther is a very unusual act for Dreydon. He doesn’t normally concern himself with what other demgels are doing. Yet he feels drawn to her. Having her company fills the loneliness in his life. Dreydon discovers and shares with Esther a truth about herself that she finds impossible to believe. He also realizes she is his mate.

Will Zortek want revenge because Dreydon took Esther from him? And will two unalike individuals from different worlds find lasting love? 

TAKEN was published by MuseItUp Publishing and is also available on Kindle.

Do your characters come to you “fully fleshed” or do you create them from scratch.  

They’re pretty well “fully fleshed.” The hero usually ‘appears’ in my mind, followed quickly by the heroine and their story.  

Does what you see while people watching make its way into your characters?

Yes. I think body language and people’s reactions to certain circumstances are how it makes its way into my characters.   

Who’s in control, you or the characters?

Without question they are in control.

Do you want to write or have to write?

I believe have to write is the correct answer. I’m definitely a writerholic. I am compelled, but not unwillingly.  

Is there currently a WIP and can you share any of that with us? 

The third novel of the Tales of Cymllon Series is underway. The hero is a fire daemon who is put in charge of protecting a human female. My stories always revolve around Romance, so naturally an attraction develops between them.

I was recently asked to submit two short horror stories for an upcoming horror anthology. This was a challenge because I’ve never before ventured into the Horror genre. The first story was written, submitted and accepted. I’m now in the editing stage of its progress. It’s a tale about a man riding home on a night train that speeds into a green fog. 

Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Marion.  I’ve enjoyed it.

Marion is giving away a PDF copy of TAKEN to one (1) lucky commenter.  What’s your opinion on Angels and Demons?  Giveaway ends @12am est 12-7-12

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Manic Readers TAKEN review


Holley Trent on Musicals and the Quirky MY NORA

I have an eclectic taste in music. Part of that is due to upbringing. I started taking piano lessons at age eight, and most of the primer books were from a bit earlier than mid-century. Not very rock & roll, you know?

Then there was the fact I grew up in the boonies. We didn’t have cable or a satellite dish, so I watched a lot of PBS. I fell in love with musicals. (All right, everyone, show me your jazz hands!) I also have a fond appreciation for world music. Original cast recording from Riverdance? Heck yeah. You should see my private attempts at Irish dance. Soundtrack from The Buena Vista Social Club? Oh yeah. Want me to sing “Dos Gardenias” to you?

In sixth grade, I committed the ultimate offense to pop music and joined school band. I even did marching band in high school and my first year of college. Marching band is why I run around loudly singing the anthem “America” from West Side Story: “EVERYTHING FREE IN AMER-EEE-CAAAAA!”

I figured eventually, all that eclecticism would spill over into one of my characters, and it did. Enter Manora Fredrickson, the heroine from My Nora. Nora’s an artist, but her first love is dance. In the opening scene of the story Nora is dancing around her barn with headphones on, listening to the “Cellblock Tango” from Chicago. Fortunately, unlike the cast singing that song, Nora’s not a merry murderess of boorish men. (She is a divorcée, though. She’d probably never murder her ex, but I wouldn’t put her past punching him in the eye.)

Here’s a bit of Nora in action:

She was agile as a cat burglar, lean with a narrow waist but bearing shapely hips that supported a firm round bottom that he watched with special interest. Matt thought he’d done pretty good in the past. He’d dated some of the most attractive women in Chowan County, but compared to his new neighbor’s remarkable beauty, they were downright plain.

Suddenly, she turned and shouted “Lipschitz!” and dropped into a deep lunge, her pose supported only by that lucky hoe. She said “Ow!” when her hip flexor gave a loud pop and opened her brown eyes to finally take note of the stranger in her outbuilding. She startled at the sight of Matt. He couldn’t blame her. There he was, this big, lumbering white guy trespassing on a rural property where a single woman lived all alone. Her hands slipped down the hoe’s handle, causing it to drop sideways on the floor. With that, she lost her balance and fell backward to the dirt floor on her bottom. The caramel skin between her high cheekbones and the v-neck of her tee shirt flushed to an unhealthy burgundy tone.

Matt walked over with one of his hands extended to help her up. “Sorry. I tried knocking at the house but …” She held up her index finger to hush him, yanked the small headphones out of her ears by their cord, and shoved them down the collar of her shirt.

“I’m sorry, what?” she asked in a smooth, husky voice.

Matt opened his mouth to speak, but found himself gaping. He’d for some reason expected her to sound high-pitched and raspy judging by the way she shrieked “Lipschitz!” Instead, she sounded like the personification of sex and well-aged whiskey. He must have been staring, because she stood without the aid of his rough hand and waited in front of him with her hands on her hips and one elegant eyebrow raised. When he wasn’t forthcoming with words, or anything else for that matter, she said “Yoo hoo,” and snapped her fingers in front of his face.


Do you have a guilty pleasure song you like to sing when no one’s listening? Tell me what it is in the comments!

My Nora, a Crimson Romance title, is available now at Amazon, iTunes, and ARe. Keep an eye peeled for the upcoming print version.

Check out Holley Trent online at her blog for news about new releases or to view her backlist, and chat with her on Twitter.

Xavier Axelson and VELVET

Nice to have you visit again,Xavier.

Thanks for having me!


What have you been up to lately?

Causing widespread hysteria, indulging in debauchery and making boys cry.

You’re a mess…:)


Please tell us about your first novel, VELVET.

Velvet is set against a backdrop of decadence, privilege, and intrigue. Virago, the royal tailor, makes a discovery that will test the bonds of brotherhood, unravel the forbidden secrets of his heart and threaten the very fabric of his existence.

In a land where cruelty is disguised as allegiance, loyalty is masked by obligation and the laws of sumptuary govern the people, nothing is more dangerous than Velvet

A royal tailor, interesting, this is different from your prior books.

What prompted the departure?

The story of Velvet took me by surprise.  I was browsing through a magazine when I saw a picture of a velvet shoe.  The next thing I knew these characters leapt up and insisted I tell their story, so I did. 

This “land” is it real or imaginary?

Totally imaginary.  I’m not clever enough to write anything truly historical, although Velvet is based on historical ideas.


Which of your books was the hardest for you to write?

They all challenge me.  Velvet was difficult in that I tried to delve into research about Elizabethan, Shakespearean and 15th century customs, coronations and speech. 



I enjoyed The Birches, but I think this may have been because The Incident was dark and heavy.


Are any of your works autobiographical, even partially?

I think I exist in all my stories, though how and where, I don’t know.  The Incident is my most autobiographical, and I found so much joy in sharing certain aspects of my hometown in that story.


What have you accomplished lately that still gives you that “Yes, I did it!” warm glow?

Every time I publish an article, column or story I get that feeling.  Creativity is so often unappreciated and I celebrate anytime anyone is brave enough to share their work.


Anything you’re itching to do that you haven’t yet?

Many things are on my horizon and I intend to keep moving towards those things.  You’ll have to tune and see what’s next! 

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Sue Grimshaw and Romance @ Random are celebrating Julie Kenner’s latest, RELEASE ME, currently available for pre-order.

Goodies up for grabs are:

Grand Prize  ~  $25 Gift Certificate to the retailer of your choice.

                                                                                           release me image

                   10 Print copies of RELEASE ME. (18 & over only)

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All book prizes are for 18 and over only.  Net Galley preview copies do expire after 30 days.

Don’t miss your chance to win one of these great prizes!

He was the one man I couldn’t avoid. And the one man I couldn’t resist.

Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.

Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past-and risk breaking us apart.

But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him-and us-forever.

(Above excerpt copied from author’s website)

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