Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tracey H. Kitts

A talk with Tracey H. Kitts:

I see no reason why Frankenstein can’t be sexy. Seriously. Why should Dracula and The Wolfman get to have all the fun? In Mary Shelley’s story, when Victor Frankenstein first looked at his creation he saw him as “beautiful.” I’ve always thought he had the potential to be not only beautiful, but sexy. We already know he’s supposed to be tall and dark, the rest shouldn’t be a stretch. Ha. Ha.

I’d like everyone to know that my story Frank and The Werewolf Tamer has nothing to do with Mary Shelley’s version, or anyone else’s for that matter. This is my version of a classic creature, with a completely different background. The man in my story, Frank Eastwick isn’t your traditional sort of monster. To me, he isn’t a monster at all. 
I can’t tell you all of his secrets in one post, or I’d give away the story. Maybe the best way to describe him is to share an excerpt. This is the first time the heroine of the story, Katherine, sees Frank. 


Frank and The Werewolf Tamer, excerpt:

It was late January and there was still a chill in the air, even in Florida. I’m not sure if it was the warmth coming from inside or fate that made me walk into the main arena that night. The air was filled with the scents of cotton candy and lots of liquor. Needless to say, Notte Oscura was for the twenty-one and over crowd. 
I hadn’t taken in any of the attractions on my previous visits, so I had no idea what I was walking into, or why most of the women in the crowd reeked of sexual arousal. I heard the crackle of electricity, and then I saw him. He was well over six feet tall and stood directly in the center of the stage. He was stripped to the waist and though the man had many scars, they did not distract from his beauty. His head was down and mounds of long, black hair trailed over his chest. It looked like the beginning of a live S&M show. His arms were bound to what appeared to be enormous antennas, the way he was turned showed off the well sculpted muscles of his arms. It also revealed what looked like a completely metallic right elbow. He twitched slightly and lightning arched between the polls and from numerous other places around the stage. As the flashes of light and crackle of electricity came to a peak, he tossed back his hair and with a primal yell, broke free from his chains. 
He smiled. The crowd went wild and in that instant, looking at that smile, I knew I was lost. The lightning stopped and with a dramatic flair the tall man slipped into a cloak.
“My name is Frank, and I’ll be your host this evening. Welcome to Notte Oscura.
The crowd cheered again and I took an involuntary step forward. Though he used his hair to cover the right side of his face, I could tell he had another scar there. I was trying to get a better look when someone pinched my ass. I can think of few things that piss me off more. I reached behind, using my superior speed to grab the pincher by the wrist. I was a bit surprised to feel fur, but that didn’t stop me. I twisted the arm with a violence born of the frustration of my night and locked his elbow in place, taking the werewolf to the floor with a pain-filled howl. This all happened just as Frank said, “Please allow me to introduce…” His words trailed off as the spotlight hit us. “Our new werewolf tamer!”
Frank began to clap and the crowd soon joined him.
“You’re hurting my arm,” the werewolf growled, though he was careful to keep his voice fairly low. Obviously, he didn’t want the crowd to hear.
“I should break it,” I said, pushing down harder to emphasize my words.
He yelped again, but I let him up. He ran onto the stage, snarling and growling on all-fours. With a gesture from Frank, I followed.

 You can find out more about me and my other books at
Grab life by the fangs!

Tag, you're it! 

To participate:
  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
  4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Marita A. Hansen

Here Are My Answers. (copy & paste)

1.  What is the one thing you would never give up for the sake of a good book?
Books aren't that great. I love them, but they are only a substitute for the real thing. As an author I guess that's a bad answer. Instead, I should be saying that you'd give up everything to read my book. Your home, your pay packet, even your pet... hell, those kids are annoying, I bet at times you want to give them up too. (You do know I'm joking, right, because there are some really dumb people out there that need things s-p-e-l-t out).

2.  What is the book that had the biggest impact on you during your life?
The one that I should have read about the birds and the bees, but didn't.

3.  If you are not an author, what would your preferred genre be if you should write, if you are an author what other genre would you date tackle?
I'm an author and my preferred genre is realistic fiction as seen in my book Behind the Hood . I am also tackling Edgy YA with Graffiti Heaven, which is a spin off from Behind the Hood. Graffiti Heaven is due out in August of this year, while Behind the Hood is available on Amazon.

4.  What is it about reading that you love the most?
Being transported to a different time and place and into the minds of people that you would normally not know about.

5.  What is it about reading that you hate the most?
Too many books and not enough time.

6.  Who is your favourite main stream author?
I have two: Melvin Burgess and J. R. Ward.

7.  Who is your favourite indie author?
Not going to admit that as they write naughty books ;)

8.  If you could design the ultimate bookcase, what would it look like?
One of those old-fashioned bookcases that would line the whole study from floor to ceiling and have a roll along ladder to reach the higher shelves. It would also have a secret panel so that you can open it and go through a tunnel. I'm thinking big here!

9.  Should you ever be given a chance to write what ever you want and have it be a guaranteed international overnight success, what would the basic story include?
Everything already in my book Behind the Hood! I've already done the work so I might as well get paid for it.

10. Should you ever be without a book, what would you read instead?
A magazine, I guess.

So, here are my questions for you to answer:
1)  Are you a reader, writer, blogger or all three?
2)  What type of genre do you prefer to read and/or write about? 
3)  Who is your favourite author and why?
4)  If you're a reader what is your favourite book? And if you're a writer what book or books have you written?
5)  Are you on any reviewing sites like Goodreads? If so, what are the links to your home page?
6)  Do you prefer to read ebooks or paperbacks?
7)  What is your favourite activity apart from reading?
8)  If you were stranded on an island and you only had one book to take, what would it be?
9)  What do you love the most about books?
10)  Are there any books that have left an impression upon you?
11) What was your favourite book as a child (can include your teenage years)?

Tag your it

Ok, so if I did this right it should now be a case of Tag You're IT.

WANDA HART: Reviewer and Blogger.

Are you a writer, reader or reviewer?
I am a reader and a reviewer, and I am trying my hand at writing.  Not very successfully I may add.

How long have you been writing, reading or reviewing?
Reading, since I was 3,  Serious.  I learned to read at 3 by 5 I read books set at a grade 5 level and up.

What book was your biggest inspiration, and why?
Wowie, this is hard.  The Stand by Stephen King.  Weird hey?  But really.  It was the first time a work of fiction gave me so much to ponder and I figured that maybe fiction has a value far greater than that of recreation only.

What book is your favourite?
Oh wow, not enough time or space.  

Do you prefer stand-alone books or series?
Both, they have their merits and none can replace the other.

Do you like and do you ever read fan fictions?
Truthfully not sure what Fan fiction is.

Do you dream about the books your reading / writing?
All the time. 
How many books are you reading right now?
What are you reading right now?
Forever by Gillian Joy is one of those 12!

Does your family feel you have an addiction to books?
My family loves to read themselves but they believe I am over doing everything I do including reading.

Do you feel you have an addiction to books and can you justify your answer?
Yes I do, do I have to justify the fact that I can be instantly transported into another world by the flip of a page or the press of the button on my Kindle, doubt it.

 Go check out Wanda's Blog @

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Graffiti Heaven

Here's a sneak peek of my new cover for the first book in the Graffiti Heaven series. I suppose the closest you can relate it to would be Skins. 

The cover still needs some slight adjustments, but that will be done closer to the book's release in August.

A group of teenagers deal with sex, love, drugs, bullying, family and Shakespeare. (Edgy YA)

Set ten years prior to Behind the Hood, Graffiti Heaven is a spin-off series that follows Ash Rata's teenage years. It is a coming of age tale where both comedy and tragedy battle it out on a South Auckland stage.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Author Groups on the internet:

Information on how to format your book to Kindle and Smashwords:

Online Publishers for ebooks:
Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon):
Smashwords (which also covers Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.):

The two main publishers of self-published paperbacks:

The best book reviewing site (In my opinion):

Extra Links: My Twitter Name/Facebook Pages/Goodreads’ Page:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review of Smack.

Rating 4.3 stars out of 5 

 Genre:  Edgy Young Adult
Subject: A realistic look at heroine addicts in England.

Synopsis: Gemma runs away from home because her parents are too strict, Tar runs away because his father hits him. Different reasons, but the same end result. They become addicted to heroine and will do anything to get a high. Over the span of five years we are taken through their lives and meet the same people that they do, from addicts to the few that want to help them.

My Thoughts: As with Nicholas Dane this story was very sad, but well-written and captivating. Though, I did like Nicholas Dane better, I still got very much involved in the lives of Gemma and Tar, especially Tar. He was by far my favourite character, even though he had many faults. He was the type of person that you wanted to wrap up in cotton wool and keep away from the bad crowd, because he was so easily led into things. He was also the only one in the story that captured my heart, his sweet personality taking a real hammering with what he went through.

Gemma was a much stronger character than Tar. But at the beginning very selfish. Like Vonny, she frustrated the hell out of me, and at one point I really disliked her. But, she grew as a person. However, she had to go through absolutely horrible experiences to do so. In the end I did come to appreciate her character and it took a lot of guts for her to do what she had to in the end, which was admirable.

Lily was a horrifying character, because of how extreme she was. She was the biggest addict of all the friends, and her insistence that she was a good mother even when she shot up between her breasts while breastfeeding highlighted this perfectly. Her boyfriend, and the father of her child, was also a sad, sad character, especially with what we found out he had done in the end to get more junk.

I thought the author did a good job of portraying the characters in the story, and I also liked how he named each chapter according to the narrator, because I also do this in my Behind the Lives series. The internal monologues were well done, although at times they did get a little laborious. Nonetheless, the story was still captivating enough to get me through those moments. 

Because of this, "Smack" isn't the type of book that is read quickly. It took me a while, because of the slightly duller moments. But, I think this was also because Melvin Burgess was taking us through a realistic portrayal of life, and as with life you get both the lulls and the highs (pun intended). And, I think certain moments in the book also overrode the more duller points, making me appreciate this story very much. 

Keywords: Drugs, Heroin, Addiction, Prostitution, Teens, Young Adult, England, Squatting.

P.S. I remember reading a review, I think it was on Amazon, complaining that the author used the word "junk." This person complained that "junk" was an old-fashioned word and thus shouldn't be used. My thoughts were that the reviewer didn't read the book properly. Melvin Burgess uses appropriate words for the time period this story is set in: The 1980s. If he didn't, it wouldn't have felt right or have come across as so realistic.

Conclusion: A bittersweet story that was definitely worth the read.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cara and Ray Bertoia's "Cruise Quarters" is free today

Today Feb 3 Cruise Quarters - A novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships will be free at It is the # 1 cruise ship and the #1 casino novel at the Kindle store. It was chosen as 'Read of the Week' at

The Review Girl blog raves, "Cruise Quarters is an amazing travel novel which is as much about romance as it is about travel (the novel is based on their real-life love story)."

Please help Cara and Ray celebrate the anniversary of the day they met by downloading a copy. They hope you have as much fun reading it as they did writing it. 

Product Description by Cara Bertoia

Cruise Quarters is a fun, fast paced tale of working in the casino aboard a Regal Cruises cruise-ship. It is based on a true story and was written by authors who have decades of experience working on luxury cruise ships and in casinos across the globe. The crew of the Regal Star resemble a mini United Nations, hiring people from all over the world. But unlike the UN, Regal Cruise's employees present a united front above decks as they attend to their passenger's every needs. Sarah Seldon is a croupier on the luxury liner. After many unhappy endings, and burnt out on shipboard romance, she is determined to forget about men and concentrate on becoming a casino manager. On land women face a dearth of GOOD men but on a ship giving up men would take willpower. The mostly male crew exist to serve her every need. Handsome Italian waiters bring her food, the Filipino steward cleans her room, English officers play poker with her and the Welsh plumber fixes her sink. She leads a cushy life, sleeping 'til noon , eating gourmet food, and the topper - she gets to wake up in beautiful new place everyday. All because she works in a casino, a place so bad it has SIN in the middle. Book a cruise and travel with Sarah and the crew as they work, play, feast, and fall in and out of love, all while the ship sails around the globe, stopping at exotic ports of call. Along the way, from Venice to Barcelona sight-see in the Med, shop in St. Martin , take an eco-cruise down the Amazon, and feast in Glasgow . Let the crew tell you their own stories as they sit in the hallway in the wee hours of the morning. While the ship travels to new destinations, tired and tipsy they share tales of love and betrayal. Excerpt from Chapter One: When people sat down at Sarah Seldon’s blackjack game, they always wanted to talk about The Book. “Should I double down? Should I hit? Dealer, I know you’re a gambler; you could let me win if you wanted to. What does the book say?” She had never read this book, this mythical Bible for gamblers. The truth is there are 2256 books, each teaching its own foolproof winning system. But Sarah had been in the casino business long enough to think with a gambler’s mind. Gamblers knew they could follow all the rules of basic strategy, utilize money management and still lose if they weren’t dealt the right cards. The allure and curse of gambling was that there were no sure things. In the end it all came down to luck; gamblers prayed that Lady Luck would show up and that she would stick around for awhile. On that particular day, Sarah perched on a chair to get a better view through her salt-stained porthole onto the dock, filled with people busying themselves with the activities necessary to supply a huge cruise ship. Port activities in Hong Kong demonstrated a model of modern efficiency. Even though the ship had been docked for under an hour, already the crew had begun to perform the necessary safety checks. At the same time operators steered forklifts, moving wooden pallets filled with provisions into the hold. Like a patient hooked up to life support, long, fat hoses attached to the side of the ship fed water and gas into tanks, providing nutrients for the upcoming voyage. You can find out more about Cara and Ray at Author Central and please check out their blog:

Cara Bertoia

Growing up in a straight laced Southern family, I was always fascinated with casinos. In my twenties on a summer hiatus from teaching in North Carolina , I drove to California and became a dealer at Caesars in Lake Tahoe . My mother highly disapproved of my working in a casino, "a place so bad it has 'sin' in the middle." Eventually, I succumbed to pressure from the family and returned east to take a high-tech job in Boston . I also began working on my MFA in writing at Emerson. I wanted to write the first realistic novel about casino life from the perspective of an experienced table games dealer. I am always amazed that normal and sometimes quite intelligent players become absolutely clueless in the casino. They repeat superstitious nonsense and no amount of logic can change their position. On a whim I submitted an article to The Boston Tab, about trying to find a rent control apartment. To my amazement they published it and I even received my first piece of fan mail. Spurred on by that success, the next week, after a few glasses of wine at lunch, I called the editor of the Brighton Allston Journal and told him I should write a humor column. While in Boston I was offered the opportunity to join Princess Cruises as a croupier. Jumping at the chance, I spent the next five years circling the globe. Sometimes life exceeds your dreams. I was awed by the wonders of Venice, the fjords of Norway, and the Northern Lights in Leningrad but on the downside I also watched glaciers melt at an alarming rate in Alaska, snorkeled to coral reefs killed by pollution in the Caribbean, and witnessed the devastation as the Amazon burned. It was the best education I could ever have had. Taking advantage of every opportunity to be a tour guide, I soaked in as much history as I could. I returned from ships with a very special souvenir, my husband Ray. Besides being a handsome Glaswegian, he is my co-author. We also produced a movie on walking the 500-mile "Camino De Santiago," in Spain . The Desert Woman and the Desert Sun both featured stories about our walk. When we were researching the Camino we could never find a good practical guide on the terrain and the trail, the things a person would experience every day, although there was plenty on the architecture and history. So seeing a need we made a movie of our journey. It is a thrill to come home and find orders from such diverse countries as Japan and Denmark . The address for our movie is:

Amazon links to Cruise Quarters:
United States: