About Me

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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holly Jolly Blog Fest week 5 with Angie Dobson

Welcome to our winter blog hop, The Holly Jolly Blog Fest. Each week, from December 2 to January 6, six authors answer two holiday related questions.
This week, my guest blogger is Angie Dobson. Angie is a reviewer for Love Romances and More.

Hey Kelley,
Thanks for playing and being part of the blog Tour! I love getting to know
new readers and telling them more about me as a person and reviewer. I
review for Love Romances and More and have for more than a decade. I am
a dedicated reader, who has great plot ideas but not the talent and
attention span to put them down on paper. I love a print book - I am too
easily distracted for an e-reader - plus my 9 month old daughter LOVES
electronics and I would never get to see it! I am from York, PA and have
one little girl. My husband I both work full time and our life is
currently a chaotic scene that often feels like a sitcom as we adjust from
being a middle age couple to a family of three.


Are any of your books centered around Christmas? Tell us a bit about them
please.

As a reviewer I don't get to pick my topics so much as when and where. If
I were to write a book, I would more likely center it around Easter
though. I love spring and no one else writes about it nearly as much as
Christmas. The other night at dinner they were playing Christmas Carols.
Why do we not have nearly so many for other holidays? As a romance lover,
I would love to have a great Valentine's Day song.

And for the New Year, of course: what are your 5 New Year's
writing/reading resolutions?

Do New Year's Resolutions ever stick? For me 2013 is going to be about
making myself and my daughter happy.
I have a few resolutions, but nothing is set in stone. Today I began
working on one by downloading an app on my phone - I am determined to run
a 5K. I shall try the Couch to 5K program - has anyone done it? Anyone
want to try the program along with me?
I am also resolving to watch a British Television Program called
Eastenders that I love - my husband is British and we live in the States.
I fell in love with the show years ago, and we kept up, but the past 2 years it has
gotten pushed aside as our lives become busier and busier… but I am
determined!! We will get the time and such to watch the recordings my
in-laws help us to get via the Internet!
Lastly I will spend more time working on my career as an Independent
Chocolate Advisor with Lindt Chocolates - probably why I need to learn to
run!
That is it for me folks. Don't forget a comment on the post gets you a
chance to win a $50 gift card to Amazon.com!!

Please visit all our wonderful blog hop authors.

Ann Tracy Marr - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Christine London – http://christinelondon.com/

Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews - http://worldofgood-gina.blogspot.com/

Sharon Poppen - http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Thanks, Angie. It was a pleasure having you on my blog.

I am on Angie’s blog this week at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holly Jolly Blog Fest Week 4 with Regina Andrews

Welcome to our winter blog hop, The Holly Jolly Blog Fest. Each week, from December 2 to January 6, six authors answer two holiday related questions.
This week, my guest blogger is Regina Andrews who is one of the nicest people I know and a talented writer whose inspirational stories remind people that there can be happy endings.

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Hi Kelley, and thank you so much for having me visit your blog this week.
Thanks, everyone for stopping by Kelley's blog to spend a bit of time getting to know me. I am Regina Andrews, Inspirational Author - but that sounds kind of stuffy, don't you think?
Let's try this -- everyone calls me Gina and I love happy endings, I love writing, I love romance and I love God, so naturally I write romance novels with an inspirational point of view. After all, what's life without a good dose of faith to carry us through those times when things are not exactly going the way we'd like them to be? I know I need it, most definitely.
During the day I am lucky enough to have a full-time writing job at a national jewelry company, specializing in high-end designer and Estate pieces - I'm the one writing what you read about all these one-of-a-kind treasures! Just last week, I wrote for a 7.45 ct. t.w. diamond engagement ring priced at $143,000! Now THAT'S a stocking-stuffer! I can only imagine the look on that very lucky lady's face when she opens the box...but I digress, sorry!
In my off time, I volunteer for the blind, work at the local children's hospital and sing my heart out in the church choir. My hubby and I are proud 'parents' of a semi-feral cat named Queenie who really is in charge of the whole house. She loves Christmas -- especially tinsel! -- and so do I, so let's get to the questions and kick off Week 4 of this fun and fabulous "Holly Jolly" blog tour!
How do you manage your writing/reading schedule with all the other activities around the holidays?
That's a wonderful question. I guess first of all, even though I am a disciplined writer, I have learned through experience that, personally, my creativity can't be scheduled. By that I mean while I keep my goals realistic and set deadlines for myself, I also know when to quit if it's just not there. Instead of forcing myself and getting exhausted and frustrated, that time is better spent, for me, daydreaming, re-charging my battery and enjoying life at the moment. So I'll go to a Christmas concert, for example, and thoroughly cleanse my writing palate for one evening, and return the next day (or later that night, usually!) completely renewed. As you can tell, then, I am not the type of writer who sets a daily word count quota. Oh, no.I'm not linear like that - although there are many days when I fervently wish I could be!! For instance, sometimes I'll write a scene, or even a few scenes, and then use them at another point in the book as the plot evolves from my basic outline. From my point of view, I draw a lot of energy and emotion from this time of year and all the activities. They are not distractions, rather, they are inspirations to me. On the one hand, it's such a frenzied, hectic time...and yet, it really is a time for inner reflection. Finding an individual balance between these two extremes enriches the whole season, for me; by extension, my writing also becomes more productive, efficient and enjoyable. I think a motivated writer will get it done, no matter what. It's interesting to hear how others get their work finished. Thank you for asking. :-)



How about traveling during the holidays: do you go visiting or have you in the past? What has that been like? Have there been any absent family members during the holidays ? How has it effected your writing; have you used any of that in your stories?


Oh, this question brings back such wonderful memories. When I was a youngster, we'd have a big Christmas dinner at our house, and then everyone would leave. My parents and sister and brother and I would clean up as dusk fell and then it would get dark (4 o'clock in the afternoon, but it felt like midnight). When everything was all set, my father would pile us all in the car and we'd drive all the way over to my aunt's house across town. This was quite an adventure, because we didn't go out much at night at all. It seemed like it took us forever to get there when I was little...but it not even a ten minute ride! The child's perspective is so different from the adult's, isn't it? Then, when we arrived at my aunt's, there was more feasting, all the cousins and aunts and uncles you hardly saw through the year...and singing around the piano and more silly fun and games. The worst year was when my brother was away in the Air Force in Taiwan. We waited all day for him to call, and when he finally did all we did was cry.
Now, we still stick close to home; my sister and I and our families live very close to each other, just like my mother and her sister, my aunt that we visited. But my parents are gone now, so is my brother, so are my aunt and uncle...yet they live on in our memories and our traditions. I have, in fact, used the theme of absence at Christmas in one of my books, "Glory of the Heart", which is Sterling Lakes Book Four and will be re-released very soon by WEE publishing as an ebook and in print. This book tells the story of how my father was away from my mother during WWII in a fictionalized account of letters found in an attic. Book five of the series, "Reflections of the Heart", which I am completing now, is also set at Christmas and deals with two sisters who are reunited after many years apart.
Regina's_cover
Thank you so much for hosting me, Kelley! You can find out more about me and my list of published books at: www.reginaandrews.com and
http://worldofgood-gina.blogspot.com/
Light of the Heart is now available in Print here: http://www.writers-exchange.com/Light-of-the-Heart.html
* * * *
Please visit all our wonderful blog hop authors. Leave a comment and be automatically entered to win a fifty dollar AMAZON gift certificate!
Ann Tracy Marr - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts
Sharon Poppen - http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com
Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com
Regina Andrews - http://worldofgood-gina.blogspot.com/
Angie Dobson – www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com
Christine London -- www.christinelondon.com
Thanks for reading. Now leave a comment and then hop over to the other author's sites. Every comment gives you one more chance at winning that 50 dollar gift certificate!!

Thanks, Regina! I can be found over at Ann Tracy Marr’s blog this week.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holly Jolly Blog Fest Week 3 with Sharon Poppen

Welcome to our winter blog hop, The Holly Jolly Blog Fest. Each week, from December 2 to January 6, six authors answer two holiday related questions.
This week, my guest blogger is Sharon Poppen who is a talented author and also a good friend of mine. We live in the same city and belong to the local writers group. I have had the pleasure of reading Sharon’s stories.

afterthewarhannah_paperback Finding_More_Than_Goldregardless2
Kelley, Thanks for letting me stop by and share some thoughts on your blog this week. It’s always nice to get the opportunity to reach out to new potential readers.
A little about me, usually I write historical romance novels. My first three books focus on strong women in the old west. However, my latest novel ‘Regardless’ is a step in a new direction for me into the sci-fi/gay genre. It’s the story of two men in the future who, against all odds, find themselves in love. As with all my novels, it is very character driven. These characters have many good points, but they can also be very human. By human, I mean they often follow their hearts versus their minds. And, this sometimes brings them to do some naughty things, which make my books adult reading. They are not of the ’50 Shades ….’ naughty, just true to adult relationships.
Now, on to our questions of the week.
Which charity is most deserving of your holiday generosity and why?
I’m probably an old scrooge about holiday generosity when it comes to anonymous donor groups. The word ‘deserving’ makes me curious, so I do a little research before I donate. Almost always, I find that I have friends, friends of friends and sometimes even relatives who need a little boost around this time of year and that is when my holiday generosity kicks in. I’ve needed help in the past and it was always a friend or a relative who came to my rescue so I feel honored to be able to play that help forward now that I’m in a position to do so.
What is your favorite holiday tradition in literature?
It would have to be ‘the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there.’ poem by Clement Moore. Those sentiments always bring back happy memories of Christmas Eve’s during my childhood, my children’s childhood and now Christmas with my grandchildren. Every Christmas Eve, I still hang the stocking ‘Santa’ brought me when I was a child and every Christmas morning I find it filled with lots of sweets and several carefully chosen items that ‘someone’ has taken the time to learn that I would enjoy getting.
So, thank you, Kelley, for letting me stop by this week. On my blog www.poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com , I am hosting Regina Andrews who has some lovely thoughts on the above questions. You’ll really enjoy meeting this inspirational author. Be sure and leave a comment both here on Kelley’s blog and at my blog to get your name into the drawing for the end of tour $50 Amazon gift certificate.

Other blogs on this Holly Jolly Blog Tour can be found at:
Ann Tracy Marr - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts
Christine London - http://www.christinelondon.com
Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com
Angie Dobson – http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com/
Regina Andrews - http://worldofgood-gina.blogspot.com/

I am over at Regina's blog this week. Thanks, Kelley

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Holly Jolly Blog Fest Week 2 with Regan Taylor

Welcome to our winter blog hop, The Holly Jolly Blog Fest. Each week, from December 2 to January 6, six authors answer two holiday related questions.
This week, my guest blogger is Regan Taylor who writes historical romance, everything from hunky cowboys to gallant knights in shining armour.

ReganTaylor
What is your favorite holiday food and why?

Someone is going to gag – fruitcake. Aside from the fact that I just like the taste, especially dark fruit cake and particularly the candied cherries, it reminds me of something or rather someone from my childhood. Close friends of our family moved from New York (where I grew up) to Washington and one year Aunt Audrey sent me some fruitcake. I was hooked. Maybe it’s more the memory of her than the cake itself but I do enjoy it.
You can have any person in history over for your holiday dinner. Who do you invite and what do you talk about?
Demetrius of Phaleron. I know I usually say Alexandre Dumas but recently I needed to redo my will and trust and the subject of my library came up. History tells us that Demetrius of Phaleron organized the great library at Alexandria and since my own is a pretty decent size (over 20,000 print and 5,000 ebooks at present)I’d like to talk to him about what led him to his work on the library and why he chose the books he chose.
Regan's Published Novels
Please visit all our wonderful blog hop authors. Leave a comment and be entered to win a fifty dollar gift certificate! I can be found over at Sharon Poppen’s blog this week.
Ann Tracy Marr - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts
Christine London - http://christinelondon.com/
Sharon Poppen - http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com
Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com
Regina Andrews - http://reginaandrews.wordpress.com
Angie Dobson – http://loveromancesandmore.com

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Winter Blog Hop Week 1 with Christine London

Welcome to our winter blog hop. Each week, from December 2 to January 6, six authors answer two holiday related questions.

This week, my guest blogger is Christine London who writes spicy romance and has a fascination with all things British.
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Thanks so much for hosting me Kelley. Some fun questions to chat about this week!

What is my favorite Christmas Novel?
The classic and perfect, timeless tale, Dickens A Christmas Carol. Wikipedia states that Dickens was : "generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian Period". Whether that be true or not, his tale of life lived as a miserly old man versus the joy of giving will stand for all time as one of the best pieces of storytelling.  How many times has this tale been made and remade by Hollywood? What child in the English speaking world does not have fond memories of one or the other rendition? Bursting with comedy, unique characterizations, and social criticisms it is to what most authors aspire- entertaining, uplifting, educating and inspiring their readers.

Favorite Holiday movie?
"Love Actually" So many wonderful charactizations, so well acted. Full of humor and social criticism. It is timeless too. Oh, can I mention more than one? The Holiday. *sigh* But then I am an Anglophile and a sucker for a story that, you guessed it--uplifts, entertains and inspires.

My favorite holiday tradition(s):
... start before Christmas. In the States we celebrate Thanksgiving about a month prior to the holiday madness. No presents expected or required, family and friends gather to commend the goodness of the previous year. In my family we go around the table as we hold our forks, poised over our freshly piled plates of deliciousness and say what has touched us, inspired us, educated us or uplifted us most that year. (Hmm..am I seeing a theme here? lol.) Time enough for the shopping, decorating and visiting to come, it is one day that always warms the heart.
I admired people who manage to maintain traditions year to year. It is often the simplest things that stick with a child throughout his lifetime. So many of my memories revolve around music, often choral music that is plentiful during the holidays. Perhaps as the universal language, it is music that makes every holiday special including tunes from around the world. I am a member of an eight person vocal pop/jazz group who performs every Christmas. Singing in front of hundreds of smiling appreciative listeners, faces glowing with delight, is magic.
When families grow to unwieldy numbers, it is fun to conduct a Chris Kringle gift exchange. In our extended family when we get together with all the cousins, aunties and uncles on Christmas eve, each one brings a simple inexpensive gift. Numbers are drawn and the picking begins. One may 'steal' a previously opened gift or chose an unopened gift from beneath the tree until all gifts are gone and/or any one gift has been 'stolen' three times (and is thus 'dead' and owned by the last stealer). It makes for lots of fun and laughter without burdening anyone with the monetary avalanche of buying gifts for all.
When the nieces and nephews were small, we put out graham crackers, a vast candy assortment and special white frosting that dried hard as a rock. Gingerbread houses were THE event of the season for these kids. They will and do remember constructing , display and eating them—always.

Nottinghill Christmas A Short Story in the 55 Portabello Road Series

Sara Wright’s holiday job at Nottinghill’s historic nineteenth century cinema should have been easy tuition money, but her handsome new boss Robert is a thorn in the side of every usher who breathes. She knows there must be more to a man who could bark orders one minute, save a child the next. Can she figure out the puzzle before he and his staff self-destruct?
You can find Christine London:
London Blog & Website: www.christinelondon.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-London/71009389201?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristineLondon
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/christinelondon/
Christine At Amazon Author Central :  https://www.amazon.com/author/christinelondon

Please visit all our wonderful blog hop authors. Leave a comment and be entered to win a fifty dollar gift certificate!

Ann Tracy Marr - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts
Sharon Poppen - http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com
Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com
Regina Andrews - http://worldofgood-gina.blogspot.com/
Angie Dobson – http://loveromancesandmore.com
You can find my answers to the holiday quesions over at Christine London's blog http://christinelondon.com/

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Are you curious about the next big thing that your favorite authors are working on? Well, here is my next big thing, my work in progress. I have answered 10 questions and then I will post links to some other authors who will post their next big thing questions and answers next week. Read on to find out how you can win a copy of my latest release, Daughter of Night.

1. What is the working title of your book? The Wolf Queen
2. Where did the idea come from for the book? I wanted to write a Beauty & the Beast story with a twist.
3. What genre does your book fall under? Historical fantasy romance
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I envisioned my beast as looking like Joe Manganiello before his curse. I think that seeing this actor as a werewolf, and a really hot one, inspired that image for me. The actress that I’d like to see play my heroine is Kristen Stewart. I don’t know why but I really like her. She has this cool vibe going on.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Beauty may be the real beast.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Not sure yet.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’m still working on that. I have two different versions that I am trying to decide between.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I guess Beauty and the Beast, but I think mine is different. Of course I think that.      
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? I have been interested in ancient Arcadia and wanted to write something set there. I’m actually working on a 3 book series. The Wolf Queen is part of that series, but the stories are about different characters and different aspects of Greek mythology.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I think this is also a different take on the werewolf tales.

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These authors will be sharing their next big thing next week, November 14. Be sure to stop by their blogs for a chance to win some cool prizes.
http://heatherhambelcurley.wordpress.com/
www.susanroebuck.com
http://tiaera.blogspot.com/

Leave a comment for a chance to win a pdf copy of my latest release, Daughter of Night. Thanks for stopping by!
Daughter_of_Night
Two mortals are caught up in the battle between the Titans and Olympian gods.
http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Friday, August 24, 2012

Solitude

This word sounds so peaceful to me and makes me feel relaxed. I picture an empty meadow with bright flowers and sunlight. I’m one of those people that enjoy being by myself. The word solitude makes me think of that excitement when I’m by myself working on a story. Without solitude I wouldn’t have what I need to write or to think up my characters and stories.

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As a teenager, I looked forward to those times when I could be alone with a book. The characters and settings in the stories kept me company and entertained me. I still look forward to being alone with my thoughts.

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Sometimes I like some music with my solitude and sometimes I enjoy the quiet. If I’m not writing, I have a book in my hand or I’m working on crafts. Even when I worked outside the home, I liked a job that required as little human contact as possible. The main reason I was drawn to writing was because I liked the idea of working alone. Being alone is essential for me as a writer.

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For me, solitude is a word that conjures up pleasant feelings.

 

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

New Release!

Daughter_of_Night (233x350) (233x350) (233x350)

Two mortals are caught up in the battle between the Titans and Olympian gods.

Buy links for Daughter of Night on author website: http://kelleyheckart.com/daughter_of_night.html

Friday, July 27, 2012

Using weather in a story

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Ominous. This was the first word that came to mind when I saw these thunderheads gathering in the distance from my backyard. I had to take a picture of the scene with tiny houses being overshadowed by the enormous storm clouds.

This sight made me think of how I use weather in some of my stories, of how the storm clouds looming on the horizon are a metaphor for impending danger.

In my Arthurian romance, White Rose of Avalon, a gentle rainstorm reminds Lancelot how the rain cleanses the earth and washes away the bloodstains on the battlefield. In Beltaine’s Song, a thunderstorm creates different scenarios for the main characters. While seeking shelter from the storm, they encounter people they wouldn’t normally be caught hanging out with. For one character this unlikely encounter leads to his downfall. And in my soon-to-be released Daughter of Night, a sudden thunderstorm sends the heroine into the stables and she comes face to face with the hero. What happens in the stables is a key turning point in the story for them. 

Weather can create different types of scenes. A gentle rainstorm can be soothing, even romantic, while a vicious storm with heavy rain and wind can create tension. Weather can be a useful tool to add an extra ingredient to the story.

I’m working on a story right now and considering a scene where, in the aftermath of a rainstorm, the river crossing rises. This river is the only way the hero can get back to the heroine who is in danger. One of the challenges I have with this hero is that due to a curse, he is immortal. I have to create dangers for him that don’t involve dying. He wouldn’t die trying to cross the raging water, but he could be swept away and pushed even further from the heroine. This type of scene also adds some tension to my story.

As with any writing tool, using weather to enhance a scene should move the story forward in some way or work with character motivations or conflicts.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Writing difficult scenes

Being a writer means I can make up stories and the fates of my characters are in my hands, but it also means writing those scenes that are hard the write. I’m talking about the scenes that go against my own beliefs or the scenes that make me squeamish. As a writer, I have to put aside my own feelings and do what is right for the story and the characters.

This is different for each writer. For me it’s difficult to write scenes that involve an animal death. I hate to see animals die. I won’t even watch a movie if I know an animal will die. But sometimes these types of scenes are important to the plot. That still doesn’t make them any easier to write. I would never kill an animal or even a person for no reason. The plot has to be moved forward in some way by the death.

I’ve had to write a couple of these scenes. In one book, a dog’s death brought the hero and heroine closer. In another soon-to-be released book, the animal death was symbolic and also true to the time period in regards to sacrifices made to the gods. This scene was really difficult to write and I almost deleted it, but then decided I had to stay true to the time period and to the story. It was a necessary scene. My editor agreed. This type of scene may upset some readers, but that’s a chance I had to take.
Writing that difficult scene isn’t always easy to do, but a writer needs to put aside his or her own feelings and stay true to the story. After all, it’s our job as writers to move the story forward, not to write what we want or to coddle the reader. Sometimes those difficult to write, heartbreaking scenes are the ones that resonate most with readers.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-189x298
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in Dark Age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.
http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Long Hair Hottie for July!

My pick for July is Judd Birza, the winner of Survivor Nicaragua. I came across a picture of him in a speedo and had to have him on my blog. I wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island with this eye-candy. His hobbies include surfing, skating and bike riding. With all that physical activity, it’s no wonder he has such tight abs.

http://bumpshack.com/2010/08/10/2010-survivor-nicaragua-young-vs-old-cast-photos-bios/jud-birza-survivor-nicaragua-cast-photos/

http://photofantasticmodel.blogspot.com/2011/05/judson-birza-photo-pic.html


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-189x298
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.
http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Friday, June 15, 2012

Living with a Muse

I’ve heard other writers talk about their Muses as if they actually exist. I never gave it much thought before, but now I’m beginning to believe in my Muse.

The ancient Greeks believed in Muses and even had names for them. The ancient Celts had Brigit, a goddess of inspiration. The Norse god Odin was considered a god of poetry and wisdom. This belief in Muses is evident in every culture so there must be some truth in it, some basis for these beliefs to grow.

The way my writing comes and goes makes me think there might be a force behind my creativity. Some days I can’t think of one word to write, while on other days, I can’t stop the flow of ideas. I think I have a Muse, one that is capricious. Somehow I need to learn to understand him—yes, I am sure that my Muse is male. I gave it some thought and this is what came to me—my Muse is a male faery named Thorndrake. He is happy when I play music and his favorite music is Icelandic or Symphonic metal like Apocalyptica, Nightwish, Sirenia and Evanescence. He prefers female singers but also likes David Cook, one of the American Idol winners.

male fairy muse_Thorndrake

I am living with a Muse. Now I can talk about him as if he really exists. Hopefully, I won’t say anything that offends him or he will give me writer’s block. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut and turn on some Nightwish.

Do any writers out there have a Muse? If so, what is he or she like?

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-245x378

A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…

All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in Dark Age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.

http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Friday, June 01, 2012

Long Hair Hottie for June!

My pick for June is actor Jack Huston. This British hottie is the nephew of actress Anjelica Huston. His most recent roles have been on Boardwalk Empire and Twilight Saga: Eclipse, but I found him in a SyFy movie called Outlander where he played Wulfric, a Viking warrior. Click on the slideshow below:

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2167848192/nm1658935


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-189x298
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.
http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Memories of Xena

We lost our female dog on 5/5/12 to Lymphoma. After her diagnosis, Xena went downhill very fast, but like her namesake, Xena: Warrior Princess, she was a fighter to the end.
I usually don’t post about anything other than writing related stuff and my collection of hunky longhaired men, but this seemed appropriate since she was an inspiration to me in many ways. We shared the same medical condition, colitis, but while I complained and felt sorry for myself, she never showed any signs of illness, always happy, enjoying the sun on her face and eager for belly rubs. She also inspired my writing. A white wolf in one of my books is based on her.
X-mas 2006_1150
Xena had a special bond with my husband. She shared my husband’s love of peanut butter and music. She was an accomplished singer. When Mike would strum his guitar, she would sit in front of him and sing along to the melody. She also had an awesome wolf howl.
Calif.August2004_0127
She loved her stuffed animals and would gather them around her.
At Christmas, she would proudly show off her latest stuffed animal.
Christmas 2008_1419
At an outside New Year’s Eve party at my parents’ house, she sampled any plates or drinks that the guests unknowingly placed on the ground by their chairs. She was so stealthy, no one noticed her but me.

When she played with her brother, she would make him do all the work. While he ran around and got tired, she would remain in one spot and lunge at him as he ran by.

I will always remember her playing with White Boy the Chihuahua, chasing him around the coffee table at a high speed at my parents’ house.

She loved belly rubs the most, well maybe after peanut butter.

When she hurt her leg and was walking on three legs for a while, she chased a rabbit on only three legs. Her nickname until her leg healed was Hippity Hop.

Sock wars. Xena and her brother would play in Mike’s pile of freshly washed white socks on the bed.

My husband would leave the bathroom door cracked open a little in the morning and she would burst in on him, eager for the treats he would give her later.

While sitting in his recliner eating something with peanut butter, Mike would see an eye staring at him from the corner of the footrest. It was Xena, hoping for a lick of peanut butter.

Xena was strong to the very end and we will never forget her. RIP, beautiful girl.
xena_1627
1998-2012

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Long Hair Hottie for May!

My pick for May is an actor named Michael Graziadei. I found him on the CW’s The Secret Circle where he plays a bad boy who likes to play with voodoo, but he is best known for his role as Daniel Romalotti on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless. This hot American actor also plays guitar and writes music.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KJkPl9pQxQQx0AQbqJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3F_adv_prop%3Dimage%26va%3Dthe%2Bsecret%2Bcircle%252C%2BMichael%2BGraziadei%26fr%3Dfp-yie9%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D13&w=258&h=387&imgurl=images.wikia.com%2Fsecretcircle%2Fimages%2F2%2F2b%2FCallum2.png&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsecretcircle.wikia.com%2Fwiki%2FCallum&size=176.1+KB&name=Callum+-+The+Secret+Circle+Wiki&p=the+secret+circle%2C+Michael+Graziadei&oid=9a0f284fc02f577ef065db0b9bd90afb&fr2=&fr=fp-yie9&tt=Callum%2B-%2BThe%2BSecret%2BCircle%2BWiki&b=0&ni=48&no=13&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=119l6877a&sigb=143nhlng1&sigi=11l8u3qce&.crumb=3.Kx7Au1.rn



http://secretcircle.wikia.com/wiki/Callum


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-189x298
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.
http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Writer’s Curse

This is something that continues to confound me and I know I’m not the only one. What I’m talking about is not being able to ‘see’ my own mistakes in my writing. Even after rounds of self-editing, I still miss some things like dangling modifiers or those pesky body parts that insist on taking action. Or the ‘ing’ words that keep popping up despite my best efforts to tame them. This became more apparent to me while working on edits for a manuscript that was contracted four years ago and is about to be published. Eek. I’d like to think that my self-editing skills have improved in that time, and they have, but it was a real eye-opener and made me appreciate my editor so much more.

The really weird part for me is that I can easily spot these things and other editing fixes in other writer’s work, but I’m blind to them in my own writing. This is what I call the writer’s curse. It’s possible that over time we writers can train our eyes to better spot errors, but I think that it is always best to have someone else take a look at our writing. This is why it’s important to have a critique partner and if you self-publish, an editor.

One thing is for sure. As long as writers are plagued by this curse—editors will never be without work.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-189x298
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.
http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Long Hair Hottie for April!

My pick for April is hunky Dustin Clare. This Australian actor is best known for his starring role as Gannicus in the Starz mini-series Spartacu: Gods of the Arena. Of Scottish and Irish blood, he is the image of a fiercely handsome Celt. Who knew gladiators could be so hot? I want one.

http://www.starz.com/originals/spartacus/cast/Gannicus/DustinClare/Pages/DustinClare.aspx

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KJkPespgxQJD0AAk2JzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3F_adv_prop%3Dimage%26va%3Dspartacus%2Bblood%2Band%2Bsand%252C%2Bdustin%2Bclare%26fr%3Dfp-yie9%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D5&w=640&h=427&imgurl=www.hotpage.ro%2Fimagini%2F2011%2Fianuarie%2Fspartacus%2Fspartacus-gods-of-the-arena-2011-08.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Ftv-bloggen.bloggo.nu%2FDustin-Clare-till-Spartacus-sasong-2%2F&size=45.5+KB&name=Dustin+Clare+till+Spartacus%3A+Blood+and+Sand+s%C3%A4song+2+-+Tv+-+bloggen&p=spartacus+blood+and+sand%2C+dustin+clare&oid=44e80ac050cc7e12bf96039368d28d72&fr2=&fr=fp-yie9&tt=Dustin%2BClare%2Btill%2BSpartacus%253A%2BBlood%2Band%2BSand%2Bs%25C3%25A4song%2B2%2B-%2BTv%2B-%2Bbloggen&b=0&ni=48&no=5&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=121ui5npr&sigb=144jde677&sigi=12men2u9h&.crumb=3.Kx7Au1.rn



Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-245x378
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Long Hair Hottie for March!

My pick for March is a New Zealand hunk. It’s no wonder this actor is a hottie—his mother was an Australian bikini model. Manu Bennett once played Marc Antony on Xena: Warrior Princess. His latest series is Spartacus: Blood and Sand, in which he appeared in full frontal nudity.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KJkIZNpwxQAHgAxgyJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dspartacus%2Bblood%2Band%2Bsand%252C%2Bmanu%2Bbennett%2Bwith%2Blong%2Bhair%26n%3D30%26ei%3Dutf-8%26y%3DSearch%26fr%3Dfp-yie9%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D25&w=413&h=600&imgurl=karapuca.com.br%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fimage-import%2F_LqjTcwHZ1O0%2FTNPZIbKZuiI%2Fcrixus-spartacus-gods-of-the-arena-i2.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fkarapuca.com.br%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fimage-import%2F_LqjTcwHZ1O0%2FTNPZIbKZuiI%2Fcrixus-spartacus-gods-of-the-arena&size=92.3+KB&name=Crixus+Spartacus+Gods+Of+The+Arena&p=spartacus+blood+and+sand%2C+manu+bennett+with+long+hair&oid=0b45a2fcce67f3c3ab3c712cc3e45159&fr2=&fr=fp-yie9&tt=Crixus%2BSpartacus%2BGods%2BOf%2BThe%2BArena&b=0&ni=48&no=25&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=13ibeafrs&sigb=14qnt93vd&sigi=13ippcceo&.crumb=3.Kx7Au1.rn


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-245x378
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book lengths—short or long?

I grew up reading books that were long—at least 500 pages. Stephen King’s books were double that length. I loved to make my book last at least a week or more. Finishing a book in a day or two disappointed me because the experience of that fictional world had ended. But that was then and things have changed.

With the rise of ebooks, I’ve noticed that readers prefer shorter novels or short stories to the long novels I grew up reading. I don’t think this is only because of ebooks, but also because of the competition for time with other forms of media like numerous television programs, video games and social media sites. I’m an avid reader and find it difficult to make time to read.

This has me thinking about my future book projects. I’m working on a new book and I’m trying to decide if I should keep it at about 60,000 words or keep going to 100,000 words. If I keep the story as a short novel, then it probably won’t be released in print due to the shorter length. I have to decide if I’m satisfied with having the story only in ebook formats. I also need to decide if the story is complete at 60,000 words without sacrificing the story quality just so I can keep it short. Staying true to my story is always my main goal.

With that being said, I would still like to know if readers like longer novels or is this the era of the short novel?

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-245x378
A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.
http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Long Hair Hottie for February!

My pick for February is actor Anson Mount. He has been around, but hasn’t been in the spot light until now. This southern hunk from a small town in Tennessee currently stars in the AMC show Hell on Wheels as an ex-Confederate soldier looking for revenge for the rape and murder of his wife. Ladies, he makes one hot cowboy.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KJkK7XpwxQEngAzc6JzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3F_adv_prop%3Dimage%26va%3Dhell%2Bon%2Bwheels%252C%2Banson%2Bmount%26fr%3Dfp-yie9%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D1&w=352&h=487&imgurl=collider.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FHell-on-Wheels-02-Anson-Mount.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcollider.com%2Fanson-mount-hell-on-wheels-interview%2F125337%2F&size=46.1+KB&name=Anson+Mount+HELL+ON+WHEELS+Interview&p=hell+on+wheels%2C+anson+mount&oid=c8f0c7db2a75e9a5043ab3f8126adfb5&fr2=&fr=fp-yie9&tt=Anson%2BMount%2BHELL%2BON%2BWHEELS%2BInterview&b=0&ni=21&no=1&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=120lkmimg&sigb=13p735m15&sigi=1219a1s3u&.crumb=3.Kx7Au1.rn
http://blogs.amctv.com/hell-on-wheels/2011/11/anson-mount-interview.php


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winners of the Friday the 13th Blog Hop

I want to thank everyone who participated in our Friday the 13th Blog Hop, all the authors and readers. I especially want to thank author Susan Claridge for putting the blog hop together and making it such a success. We had 201 entrants to win the Kindle e-reader.

Here are the winners:

The winner of the Kindle e-reader is Michelle Bledsoe.

The winner of the PDF copy of my historical fantasy romance, Cat's Curse, is Savannah.


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly



Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Blog Hop! Writing romance—Creating sexual tension

Keep reading until you get to the links to your next blog hop stop.

Most people like sexual tension, the sparks that fly when meeting that special person for the first time. For romance readers, sexual tension between the hero and heroine is necessary for an enjoyable reading experience.

As a romance writer, I have a duty to create sexual tension between my characters. It sounds easy enough, but writing those scenes can be tricky. How much is too much time to wait before the hero and heroine actually sleep together? Before erotic romance, this used to be easier to work with—usually they didn’t sleep together until almost toward the end of the book. Now a lot of romance readers expect sex to happen sooner and they want hotter sex scenes.
  
Another issue is moving the story along and having the two main characters start to fall in love much sooner than people normally would in real life. Unless, of course, you are Kim Kardashian. I had to throw that in. Dragging the story on to fit reality will bore the reader. Romance readers want romance and they don’t want to wait half the book to find it. 
So, what is a romance writer to do? It’s not rocket science—I go with my gut feeling and stay true to my characters and plot. If my characters are the type to jump into bed together, then I go for it. Sometimes it feels right to have them sleep together within the first few pages, but then pull them apart by having something get in the way of their relationship. I am working on one story with a virgin heroine. There are reasons why she can’t lose her virginity until the end of the book. To make up for it, I need to have that sexual tension and at least have them kiss to give the readers something to look forward to.
One of my favorite ways to show sexual tension is to have witty banter between the hero and heroine. I like to create heroines that have a sharp tongue. Gee, I wonder where I got that idea? My husband is familiar with my sharp tongue. Anger turns into passion and well, passion turns into love. It happens all the time, especially in romance novels. Ah, if it could only be as perfect in real life. We can only dream. And I can only do my best to create that sexual tension in my books that romance readers crave. 
************ 
Welcome to the Friday the 13th Blog Hop. For a chance to win a Kindle e-reader, please follow the links to all the author blogs to the end where you will fill out an official entry form.
I am giving away a PDF copy of Cat’s Curse, a historical fantasy romance. It’s the first book in my Dark Goddess trilogy.
Available in Print and Ebook
AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print cover
http://kelleyheckart.com/cats_curse.html
Cat's Curse, Book One: Dark Goddess Trilogy, Celtic historical romance/fantasy
Enter Dark Age Scotland—a mysterious, dangerous & exciting place…
Blurb: Cardea is cursed to live an eternity as a blood drinker. Aedan mac Gabrain, prince of Dal Riata, trusts no one after suffering a curse that keeps him from touching any females. Can two tortured souls find love while battling a dark goddess determined to destroy them?

Good luck!

Here is your next blog hop stop             
Click on the link below or on the graphic:
www.harveyle.blogspot.com (Lauren Harvey)
BlogHopNextStopComputer

Please note: In case the link to the entry form doesn't work on the next blog, here it is:
Prize Entry Form: www.authorsrclaridge.com/bloghopprizeentry.htm
BlogHopKindleEntryForm


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly