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IMMORTAL CHAMPION Author Lisa Hendrix and a Giveaway!

Author photo by Mark Oxley/Studio 16
Lisa, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. It's great to have you here!
On Writing and Reading…
So, when did you start to write and how long did it take you to be published?
I started a book during one summer break from university in the mid 80’s, mostly on a lark. It was horrid, as you can imagine, but I enjoyed the process, so when I went back to school in the fall, I took some writing courses. I started another book, a historical romance, in about 1989. It was bad, too, but better (and interestingly enough, was based on the same source material that Dan Brown used for The DaVinci Code). I learned a lot from those two manuscripts, so when the right combination of idea, editor, and timing came along, I was ready. My first book, a western romance called Hostage Heart, sold in 1992 and was published in 1994.

I bet juggling jobs, relationships, and commitments gives you plenty of fodder for your books. What sparks your creativity?
While all that stuff certainly informs my writing on various levels, what I actually need to come up with stories are quiet and solitude. My best ideas come on long walks or solo drives or on the (too rare!) mornings that I get to sleep in.
I also have a hard time actually writing while my family is around, even if they’re in a different part of the house. The odd thing is, I write in coffee shops and restaurants all the time. I usually put on headphones and play a loop of a summer thunderstorm that blocks out the chatter and whatever music the shop is playing, but the real difference is that no one at the coffee shop wants anything from me. It may not be quiet, but it is solitude.
What do you love most about being a writer?
One of the great things about writing is that I can do it in my pajamas in bed, or in jeans in a coffee shop or the library. I get to set my own schedule, be my own boss, and spend big chunks of my time doing research, which I love.  But probably the best thing of all is that I have a socially acceptable way to deal with all those people who live in my head (and that’s only partly a joke <g>)
What do you like least about being a writer?
The uncertainty. The need to do all that promotion. The spreading butt.
 Do you have a favorite locale or setting for your novels? What is it and why is it your favorite?
I enjoy all kinds of settings and locales, but I’m partial to medieval England. I cut my romance teeth on English-set medievals, but even before that, I loved the great costume movies like Ivanhoe and Robin Hood. Honorable knights and their ladies have always owned my heart.
Which of the books you have written is your favorite?
The current one, IMMORTAL CHAMPION. I think it’s the strongest book I’ve written to date, and I fell totally head over heels in love with Gunnar.
What is your favorite recent title by another author?
I’ve been enjoying Delilah Marvelle’s sexy Scandal series very much.
What are your five all-time favorite books (with authors)?
The Wolf and the Dove (Kathleen Woodiwiss). This book is the reason I write romance.
Flowers from the Storm (Laura Kinsale). Poetic and sexy. I go back to it all the time, and it always inspires me to write deeper.
Dandelion Wine (Ray Bradbury) I was into speculative fiction before I discovered romance and I read them all. My favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, who wrote small, personal stories, and Isaac Asimov who wrote grand, sprawling epics like the Foundation series and I, Robot. In the end, though, I love Bradbury for his lyrical writing and selected a story that’s not at all science fiction but still has a mystical feel.
Hawaii (James Michener) I first picked up a copy of this epic when I was six and bored —and opened straight to the scene when Rafe Hoxworth introduced Whip to manhood in a Chinese brothel. I knew right away I shouldn’t be reading it, which made it all the more delicious. I still love the way Michener caught the sweep of history through the stories of individuals.
The Agony and the Ecstasy (Irving Stone) Stone’s biography of Michelangelo was one of the first grown up books I read all the way through. It’s post-medieval and it’s Italy, but it hits all the points I love: sweeping history, strong hero, strong antagonists, fabulous settings and costumes. If it had a romance, it would be perfect.
What one specific piece of advice would you give a would-be writer trying to kick-start a career?
Write. Then write some more. Then write some more. Then send it out and write some more.

On Romance...
Describe the ultimate romantic meal.
I don’t think any particular food or combination of foods is romantic. It’s what happens during the meal that counts. Undivided attention. That feeling you’re the only woman in the world. That’s romance.
What is your all-time favorite romantic movie?
I love Romeo and Juliet (1968, Franco Zeffirelli version), Roman Holiday, and 10 Things I Hate About You, but if I really have to limit it to one, I’ll have to go with Ladyhawke (and if you know anything at all about my books, you probably could have guessed that).
What is your all-time favorite romantic song or composition?
I love Sade for a relaxing evening with my husband, so I think I’ll pick “The Sweetest Taboo.”
What is the most romantic gesture or gift you have received?
A purse. I know it sounds odd, but it was an expensive one that I wanted and knew we couldn’t afford. My husband saved money from his lunches and surprised me at Christmas. It’s the only present I’ve ever received that made me cry.
What tip would you give your readers to make their lives more romantic?
Listen to your loved one, not just with your ears, but with your heart. With your entire soul.
Where is the most romantic place you’ve ever traveled?
Author photo by Mark Oxley/Studio 16
I’ve been to Paris, London, Hawaii, and Japan, but the most romantic trip I ever took was with my husband, before we were married. We headed out to the coast for a day of beachcombing, followed by dinner and a walk along the water’s edge in the moonlight. Again, it’s all a matter of undivided attention from that special someone. Without that, it doesn’t matter where you are, it’s just another place.
All About her...
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Well, I told my mom that I was going to write books when I was 8 years old, so I guess the answer is yes!
Besides writing, what other talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be able to paint well.
Who is someone you admire and why?
There are so many...but my friend and fellow writer Sheila Roberts is a true inspiration. She writes fun books, teaches women how to live like a million on a dime, helps folks in need, teaches writing classes, cooks up a storm, throws great parties...and has a ball doing all of it.
Do you have a good luck charm or superstition?
No. I don’t believe in charms or superstitions—I guess because as a writer, I realize how much rises from the imagination.
What quality do you most admire in a man?
A sense of humor.
Share one of your favourite indulgences with us.
Really good chocolate, preferably 70% cacao. Or a great batch of brownies. (It just so happens that my very funny husband makes great brownies.)
What is the one thing you've always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try?
I wanted to sky dive for years—until I found out about the compressed spinal fracture my husband got during one of his 100+ jumps. So that’s out. But I still want to float in the air, so I intend to go parasailing one of these days.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
Before I sold, I was an admin assistant. In a pinch, I’d probably go back to that. My ideal non-writing job, though? I’d be a research geneticist.
What quote or personal saying do you live by? Who said it?
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson
I love to connect up with readers. You’re invited to “Like” my Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/LisaHendrixBooks), Follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/LisaHendrix) or email me at: lisa (at) lisahendrix (dot) com

NOW TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK….
A bit about the Immortal Brotherhood series first:
Back in the early days of the Viking raids in England, a crew of warriors was sent to capture a great treasure. But a powerful sorceress guarded the treasure, and when they killed her son in the ensuing battle, she cursed the men. She turned them into were-beasts, each man taking the form of his fylgja, or spirit companion, and changing at dawn and dusk every day. And to make the punishment worse, she also made them immortal.
Five hundred years have passed since that terrible, and only two of the warriors have found their way free of the curse (Immortal Warrior and Immortal Outlaw). Now it’s Gunnar’s turn...

Immortal Champion
He faces a future of cold uncertainty, until her warm embrace…
Part of a Viking crew of warriors cursed by an evil sorceress, Gunnar the Red must toil through eternity as half-man, half-beast, living out his days as a great bull, while his nights are spent in human form. And though he keeps mostly to the wilds, his heart yearns for the simple comforts of man—and the chance to redeem a tragic past…
Seeking refuge from a bitter winter in the welcoming hall of Richmond Castle, Gunnar rescues two maidens when a blaze erupts—and his destiny is forever altered. For one of the young women is Lady Eleanor de Neville, who is immediately entranced by her rescuer. Her kiss of gratitude—the brief touch of her lips against his cheek—awakens a longing in her soul. And even when she is betrothed to another, Eleanor never forgets her courageous knight.
When Gunnar rides back into Eleanor’s life, she is consumed by undeniable passion. And though his body surrenders to her every touch, Gunnar’s heart remains imprisoned by the curse—and only the magic of the truest love can save him…
––––-
Each of the nine books of the Immortal Brotherhood takes place in a different time period, working up to the present. Book 4, Immortal Defender, will be out in early 2012.


Thanks for sharing your insights about writing and some fun facts about your life, Lisa. It's been a hoot having you here.
 And I had a last question that all aspiring writers here want to know, about Social Networking and Social Media and she had an absolute gem to deliver!

I can spend all day working on my website, keeping up with Facebook and Twitter, visiting Goodreads, and reading my favorite blogs. But if as a result, I don’t write, then I have no need for a website, Facebook, or Twitter. It’s all about finding the right balance. Sometimes that's difficult—Twitter, for instance, serves as my water cooler, and like the water cooler, it's fun to hang out—but it's absolutely necessary if you want a career.
The goodness doesn't end there though, folks. Lisa has generously decided to giveaway a copy of IMMORTAL CHAMPION to one lucky person — and since this is an international effort, it’s an international contest, open to anyone, anywhere.
After helping me in welcoming Lisa  here by commenting, all you have to do is go to her website blog (http://lisahendrix.com/blog/) and leave a comment or question on her special contest post, and you'll go into the drawing. Remember, you need to comment in BOTH places to be entered. The contest is open until midnight, March 11 (US, Pacific Standard Time)

64 comments:

  1. Ooh, am I first? Great interview, Nas, and hi Lisa. The Wolf and the Dove - yay! One of my favourite books ever. Wulfgar and Aisling were such wonderful characters. Immortal Champion looks amazing, what a fantastic idea. I'll definitely be heading over to your blog for the chance of a free copy!

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  2. @Serenity — I actually spotted you over at my place first!

    You can't imagine how excited I was when I read The Wolf and the Dove. I had never seen anything like it, and by the time I read The End, I knew my life had changed forever. I didn't realize I would one day write romance, but there was a definite shift in my universe.

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  3. Hello Serenity and Lisa!

    Wow! you gals are early! I've just finished preparing breakfast.

    Serenity, another Viking lover? Go for it!

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  4. Awesome interview. I agree about that one on one thing. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do as long as you do it together.

    Lisa B
    Modokker at yahoo dot com

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  5. lol it's almost 3 pm here in Michigan, US

    Lisa

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  6. Cool interview! I love chocolate, want to go sky diving, and the Jefferson quote was awesome. :D And what she said about social networking - so true. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Hi Lisa B,

    Great of you to come by and check Lisa Hendrix's extra special story and her amazing new release IMMORTAL CHAMPION!

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  8. Hello Madeline,

    Who doesn't love chocolates? And sky-diving is also on my list of things to do! Hope you fulfill your wish some day!

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  9. Hello Nas and Lisa: This was a superb interview. Nice to have someone mention James MItchener - I've read all his epics. Love them, and The Agony and the Ectasy, that book made a big impression on me. Lisa, you sound such a romantic soul. No wonder you write such strong romances.

    Bye Nas. I'll stop over at Lisa's now and try to win me a book.

    Denise<3

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  10. Hi Denise,

    Glad you liked the interview with Lisa Hendrix. All the best with winning the IMMORTAL CHAMPION! :)

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  11. You've just won an award! Stop by my blog to see it :)

    http://heatherhellmann.blogspot.com/2011/03/thank-you.html

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  12. Fun interview! The "spreading butt"! Love that. ;-)

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  13. Hi, Modokker, Madeline Bartos, L'Aussie, & Liz Fichera — Thanks for the kind comments. Nas's interview questions were great, and it's fun seeing how different things resonate with different people (altho chocolate seems to be a universal).

    The spreading butt is, unfortunately, a hazard of the biz. I even wrote about gaining weight while on deadline in the Author's Notes for one of my older book—but failed to learn the lesson. Once I finish Immortal Defender, I think I'd better sign up for a Zumba class!

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  14. Wow, Nas! Another great interview!

    I'm a 70% fan, too, Lisa.

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  15. Hi LP, thanks for dropping in and checking out Lisa's interview.

    I hope you also drop by her blog to ask her a question to be in the draw for her latest release IMMORTAL CHAMPION!

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  16. Hello Heather, thanks for the award. I'll swing by to pick it up!


    Hi Liz, do drop by Lisa's blog to ask her a question to be in the draw for her latest release IMMORTAL CHAMPION!

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  17. Great interview. And the book sounds fantastic too. I love that kind of thing.

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  18. Hi there Lynda,

    Glad you liked the interview. Do check out IMMORTAL CHAMPION. Vikings are real fun!

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  19. Great interview! Though, with Nas's pacific paradise and Lisa's Viking Tales, it's a ll along way from rainy Ireland...sigh

    karin

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  20. I have something for you on my blog

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  21. Hi Beth, glad you liked the interview!

    Hello Karin, Ireland sounds exotic to me!


    Hi Summer, Thanks for keeping someting for me at your blog. I'll swing by and pick it up!

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  22. Ireland sounds pretty exotic to me, too. I wrote a contemporary romantic comedy set in County Clare, Ireland, back around 2000. The research was a ball. I was able to find most of what I needed in books, but to fill in details, I'd go on Irish expat forums and say things like "If I'm in Ireland and get a headache, what do I take?" or "When my car breaks down, who do I call? And what color are the two trucks." Got immediate answers every time. (I love the internet!)

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  23. Lisa, sounds like you had fun researching about Ireland!

    How about someday we go and visit?

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  24. Butt spread!!! I love it! Well, actually I hate it... but seems inevitable with our choice in careers. :s

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  25. @Pk Hrezo - I go back and forth between Zen-like resignation to that inevitability and kicking and screaming about it like a toddler. Alas, neither does much to change it. LOL

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  26. Hi PK,

    Ha, ha...no butt spread for you, you're always running around airports, and going places!

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  27. What a fantastic interview! Alas, I too feel that the worst thing about being a writer is the uncertainty and the spreading butt.

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  28. Thank you both so much for a wonderful and inspiring interview - I had to read it twice to take it all in!

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  29. Don't forget to go over to my blog to comment or ask a question, in order to be entered in the contest.

    And that means you, @Sangu, @Margo Benson and @Pk Hrezo! LOL

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  30. Interesting interview. I can't wait for the day when I can quit my day job and write to my heart's content!

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  31. @J.L. Campbell: The key is to write a little every day NOW. That's what will get you to the dream. One page a day (about 225 words) will produce a book in a year.

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  32. Hello Sangu, MArgo and JL Campbell!

    You all are very warmly welcomed!

    Do check out IMMORTAL CHAMPION. Vikings are very romantic!

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  33. Great interview! Congratulations on all you've accomplished Lisa. I'm with you - I can't seem to write with family around; need to be in my own head space with just my characters around me [g]

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  34. @Deniz Bevan — It is tough to get into that head space with family around. And trying to write a love scene with my daughter in the room? No way! Even if she's on the far side of the room, absorbed in something else, with no chance she'll eve see the screen. Not. A. Chance.

    But I can manage in a coffee shop...provided my back's to the wall so no one peeks.

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  35. Hi Deniz,

    I agree with you, it's hard to write with family around.

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  36. Oh yes - especially the love scenes. How can I draft something like that with someone reading over my shoulder? Shucks, I don't think I even want to be in the same room while they read the final manuscript.
    Like that scene in... was it Funny Farm? Where Chevy Chase's character has written a novel, gives it to his wife to read, and then sits and waits for her to laugh and cry...

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  37. Hi Nas! Great interview as usual :)

    Welcome Lisa :) The Immortal Guardian sounds Fab! And I am really nodding my head as I was reading along... about the "hard work = luck" and the last point - I think it's an eye opener in itself. Thanks so much for helping us with your thoughts.

    Nas, I referred to this interview in my blog as well, while I have Jennifer Shirk there - talking about life before and after publication. Do drop by sometime : http://judimello.blogspot.com/

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  38. LOL about the love scenes as I read through other comments !

    And I realized I got the book title wrong in my earlier post ::slap head moment::

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  39. @Ju Dimello — LOL, I had just noticed you got the title wrong and was trying to think of a tactful way to tell you. So glad you noticed it yourself. Thanks for mention the interview on your blog, too. I appreciate it and I'm sure Nas does too.

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  40. Deniz,

    I completely get what you're saying!

    Even getting my Chapters back from my CP, I cringe and try to delay opening it even though I know it will only make my story stronger.

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  41. Hello Ju,

    You giving Lisa new ideas for another book title? lol.

    Thanks for the mention on your blog. It is deeply appreciated.

    Lisa gives some cool advice regarding social networking, don't you agree?

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  42. Hi, Nas, and Welcome, Lisa,

    That was a great interview....

    Your book sounds like a awesome read.

    Good luck.

    Michael

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  43. Hello Michael,

    IMMORTAL CHAMPION is an awesome read, You can't go wrong with Vikings in romantic roles!

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  44. What a great interview. It really makes you look at what it takes for a writer to really write. I've started severl books in the hope to complete one. But when I start looking over it, I realize that even though I love to write. I am just not ment to write books. So my second choice in life is to be a good teacher. Hopefully I am better at that then writing. I love Lisa's books and can't wait for the next one to come out.

    Bethany

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  45. Hi Bethany,

    You logged in with your FB, so I just sent a friend request.

    Here's hoping you turn out to be the very best teacher and a famous novelist!

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  46. @Bethany — I'm with Nas, hoping you achieve both of your dreams.

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  47. Hey, you guys want to know a secret?

    Immortal Guardian (Ju's "mistake") is actually the title of one of the future books . I don't want to reveal whose yet, but my editor and I agreed on all the future titles months ago and that's one of them.

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  48. Wow, Lisa and I could be kindred spirits! Ladyhawke! The Wolf and the Flame! And so many other things, wow!

    Great interview, and thanks for the intro!

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  49. @The Words Crafter — Glad to find another Ladyhawke fan. (Every time I hear (or read) the words "Kindred Spirit," I think of Anne of Green Gables.)

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  50. Wow! Ju! Your mistake a future book!

    Congratulations Lisa! Looking forward to IMMORTAL GUARDIAN!

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  51. The Word Crafter,

    Please take the time to hop over to Lisa's Blog and ask her a question for a chance in the giveaway.

    Hey Friends,

    Check out Lisa's Facebook Page, she made some fantastic Romance Trading Cards and loaded up the photos on her FB page!

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  52. Fantastic interview, ladies! I love that her most romantic trip wasn't Paris et al, but a moonlit stroll! That is indeed romantic.

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  53. Hi Talli,

    Thanks so much for checking out Lisa's interview.

    And congratulations on the print release of your debut THE HATING GAME! Wish you many many sales success!

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  54. @Talli Roland — I'm always a sucker for the beach, so walking it in the moonlight with the boyfriend (now husband) was perfect.

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  55. OK, Comments are closed for contest purposes — but I'll still pop in if anyone has any further questions.

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  56. I used the Random Number Generator to pick from the posts at my site (which are conveniently numbered!) and it picked Deniz (posting here as Deniz Bevan). I've already emailed her to let her know.

    Thanks to everyone for all the great comments and questions. And thanks to Nas for hosting me and the contest. See you all again soon!

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  57. Hi Nancy,

    You have an amazing post regarding Amazon tagging.

    I recommend all my friends to go over and read the post. Tagging of books can move it to the #1 position at Amazon!
    The links at N.R. Williams comment above.

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  58. Hello Lisa,

    Thanks for being here with us all and thanks for your words of wisdom, it's like nuggets of gold for us aspiring writers waiting for the CALL!

    Congratulations Deniz! You have one romantic Viking winging its way to you!

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  59. Congrats Deniz! I'm sure you'll enjoy her book!!!

    And LOL on my mistake being the title of the new book.. !! I have no idea why I thought "Immortal Champion" but ended up typing "Immortal Guardian" ;) Sixth sense I suppose .. hehe !

    Congrats on the new book (acceptance / release) Lisa! Can't wait for it to hit the shelves!!

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  60. Oh!!! Here is my take!
    A wonderful and informative place to roam around,LOL
    Yes, really good to be here,
    Keep us inform
    Best regards
    your new pal at blog
    i joined in
    hope you find little time to peep back lol
    Best
    phil

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