Tag Archives: Lisa Olech

Leaving on a jet plane….

If you get the John Denver reference, you know where I’m heading today. A week of workshops, friendship renewals, motivation, and hopefully some book sales and new readers. Hee hee – I had to put that one in!

Any hoo….

I’m sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight to leave and thought I’d check in and let you know that the rest of my posts this week will be coming to you livelivelive from Denver, CO and the #RWA2018 conference. Stay tuned for daily updates – sometimes more than 1! and for tidbits from the conference.

This year, the event is even more special because my dear writing friend and NHRWA sistah, LISA OLECH, is a Rita Award nominee. I can’t wait to cheer her on and scream with glee when she wins!!!

SO, wish me safe travels and I’ll check in soon! Be well and look for me here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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An #interview with #RITA AWARD Nominee Lisa Olech

Today is one of the happiest days I’ve ever written for this blog. One of the dearest, funniest, and most talented authors I know, Lisa Olech, is visiting me and we’re discussing her recent RITA AWARD NOMINATION. Can  I just tell you how cool it is that I know, personally, a RITA NOMINEE?!! Fan girl moment here, folks, so bear with me. Lisa and I are NHRWA chaptermates and she was the very first person I met when I joined the chapter in 2014. At that time she’d just heard that her very first book was going to be published and even though I didn’t know her well at the time, her joy was infectious and palpable. I knew she was going to sore in the publishing world….and I was right!

When I heard Lisa was a 2018 nominee I simply had to have her on my blog to tell us about the book, her thoughts on being nominated, and her journey to publication. So sit back and relax and enjoy this little tete-a-tete.

1.What year did you first get published in the romance genre?

My first book, PICTURE ME NAKED was published in November, 2013. Somehow, I knew this book would be my “foot in the door” so to speak. It was the start of my Stoddard School of Art series and was published with The Wild Rose Press. There are two more books in that series, and I’m seriously contemplating a fourth!

2.What was that process like, i.e. how long had you been trying to get a story into print?

Years!! I’ve been writing novel length works for more than a dozen years, and had been seeking publication and agent representation for about seven. I happened to enter and win the RWA-ETC Southern Heat Contest in 2012, and one of the final judges was Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press. She asked for a rewrite to make the book a bit more steamy, and I signed with them soon after. I signed on with my agent the very next day.

  1.  What was your first book about? Give us a little taste.

 Picture Me Naked is about a portrait artist and her nude model. He’s an outrageous, free-spirit who’s more comfortable out of his clothes than in. She is a rather uptight, self conscious artist who learns to love herself, as she comes to love him and see herself through his eyes.

  

  1. How many books have you had published to date?

I have eight books currently. Three in my art school series, and another five with Kensington, Lyrical. This series is historical rather than contemporary, and is set during the Golden Age of Piracy. Love my pirates!

5.What do you remember about the call from the RWA board member telling you you were a RITA NOMINEE? What did you feel? Do? Say?

Of course, I knew the calls were being made that morning, and I was trying very hard to be positive and at the same time not get my hopes up. This was the fourth time I’d entered, and I knew the disappointment that happened when the minutes ticked by and the phone didn’t ring. But this time, I filled my morning to overflowing so I would be too busy to watch the clock. Maybe I’d get so busy I’d forget and the day would pass… I was at work at my “day job.” And as luck would have it, I was being shadowed by a lovely young woman, named Heidi, who was learning the new software we recently implemented.

            Then my cell phone rang. It was earlier than I expected. I was sure it couldn’t be RWA, but my hands shook as I tried six times to swipe the screen and answer the call. The woman on the other end said, “Hi, Lisa? This is Donna Alward. I’m calling from the RWA. Congratulations.” I think my brain shut off at that point. I know somehow I leaped over poor Heidi like she was track-and-field hurdle, and rushed into the hallway where the only words I could keep repeating were, “Oh, my God!” and “Are you sure?” I even forgot Donna’s name and had to ask, “Who are you again?” By this time I was shaking and crying and my boss was out of her office cheering!

  1. For what book and RITA category have you been nominated?

I’m nominated in the Short Historical category for WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL.

  1. Tell us a little about the book. (How about a lot?)

WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL is the fifth and last book of my Captains of the Scarlet Night Series. If I could pick a favorite, I believe this would be the one (thus far!). It has been a special book for me from the beginning which makes this Rita nomination even more amazing. For one, it almost didn’t happen. I tried to kill my hero off in an earlier book!

I mean a pirates life is a hard one, and as they are known to say, there are only a few ways off a ship. Feet first with cannon balls lashed to your ankles is one of them! But this character, William “Bump” Quinn was first introduced in book two when he came aboard the Scarlet Night as a child. A Jamaican street urchin. A deaf Jamaican street urchin. Not being able to hear he was always where he shouldn’t be when something fell or got swinging, and his first few days, he got knocked around a bit…hence the nickname “Bump.” Bump was clever, however, and soon learned the ways of life aboard ship and grew into a fine sailor, and a fierce pirate. Tall, strapping…gorgeous…

            Well, as I said, I tried to kill him off, but the uproar this caused with my critique partners and plotting group was overwhelmingly “NO! You can’t kill Bump!” They had come to love him as I had. So, I saved him from my savage pen, and he became the obvious hero of the last book and final act.

            Being deaf, William used a form of sign language, but being non-verbal, all his communication needed to be physical—sign, body language, touch. Writing his book was quite a test for me as a writer. I need to thank the wonderful people from the deaf community who helped me make William “Bump” Quinn one of those characters an author (and hopefully, a reader) will never forget.

            Let’s not overlook my heroine, Jin Jun. Jun’s character was based on the real-life female pirate, Ching Shih. Ching Shih was one of the most ferocious and successful pirates of all time. She was a pirate queen.

            Bringing these two incredible characters together was a unique challenge, but made for an amazing story.

             

8.. Everyone says it’s wonderful to be nominated, and it is, but what do you think winning would do for you professionally? Personally? What has being nominated done for you? More sales? More name recognition?

Well, it’s only been a few days since the “fateful call.” So I can’t speak to the effects of that yet. And, honestly, I have no idea what happens from here. All I do know is I am honored and thrilled beyond words, and I plan to wrap myself in this feeling for quite a while.

9. What’s next for you career-wise?     

Good question! I have several proposals in the works. Time will tell. I have two series that splinter off my pirate captains. I also have a series set during the 1900’s that I’m playing with. Or I may head back into a contemporary story. I’m one of those writers that needs to follow her heart. Who knows where it will lead!

10. Will you be attending RWA18?

You better believe it!!!

 (Peggy here: and I will be, too, cheering her on with other NHRWA chapermates who love her and are so proud of her!)

A little about Lisa:

Lisa A. Olech is a multi-published, twin-genre author. Her quirky, artist contemporaries pair well with her historical, swash-buckling, cutlass swinging pirates—or at least they play well in her head. Of course one of these days she may cross streams and write about an artist with an eye patch, or a pirate with a flair for color.

Living in New Hampshire surrounded by lakes and “On Golden Pond” references, Lisa’s been writing for more than a dozen years and has been an RWA member since 2008.

You can reach her at all the social media hot spots and on her website www.lisaolech.com. Or you can email her at lisa@lisaolech.com.

 

EXCERPT from WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL

Chapter 1

Madagascar, 1717

William Quinn hated the dark. His companion had taken the lantern when she left. He could still smell the spiced honey of her skin and the musk of their sex in the rumpled sheets. She’d been a tiger in bed. His flesh still burned where her nails had raked his back. He’d lost himself for an hour or two between her smooth dark thighs. He only wished he’d learned her name.

Will lay in the bed and closed his eyes to the darkness. It was easier to visualize the layout of the room from memory this way. The door was to starboard. A three-drawer chest sat a foot to port. His pants were another matter. Where had she tossed them? She’d been in a terrible hurry to put her mouth on him. When she’d stripped him and seen his engorged cock, a smile spread across her shining face as if she’d discovered some long lost treasure. After that, she was driven by a single-minded desire. She’d been a most eager partner.

He rose and found his pants along with the wide blood-red sash he wore about his waist. And one boot. All the while, his limited sense was still on high alert. In this darkness, it would be easy to hide and ambush him. It wasn’t as if he’d hear anyone approaching, but having lost his hearing at such a young age, over his lifetime, he’d honed his other senses to razor sharp. Will lifted his nose and gave another sniff. No, he was alone.

The heat along this stretch of the world limited his choice of clothing. Bare chested, he slipped into a tooled leather vest. He patted the breast pocket. His lusty partner wasn’t interested in his winnings from tonight’s poker tables. As the daughter of one of the local pepper merchants, money was not what she longed for. Madagascar pepper was considered black gold along this great treasure route. Her father was one of the wealthiest men in the city.

Will found his other boot, and sat on the edge of the bed to slip them on his feet. He sat there for a long moment. The hollow beating of his heart echoed in his chest. Even after hours of pleasure, the only thing sated was his body.

This girl, whoever she was, hadn’t been interested in his newfound wealth or even knowing who he was. She’d only been interested in lying with him. It was the same wherever he went these days. He’d become a novelty.

Sex with the silent man.

It wasn’t as if he could brag about his conquests. Tell tales of your night in his bed. He wouldn’t bore you with long stories, or shout demands. He was deaf and never learned the basic fundamentals of speech. For some reason that made women eager to spread their legs for him. At least for one meaningless night.

Making his way to the door, Will wasn’t surprised to find the public rooms below still doing a brisk business. Time held no meaning to these establishments. Glancing toward the back corner, the poker game still wore on. He was tempted to add to his already bulging purse. Tonight’s profits had come too easy, but then it had always been a talent of his to read faces. Call it a lucrative byproduct of being deaf. Whether bluffing at cards or dealing with his crew, he could spot a liar at fifty yards.

Will’s long legs carried him quickly through the dangerous dark streets. At more than six and a half feet tall, he made an imposing figure. The three-pistol baldric and side cutlass helped. As did his permanent scowl. He pulled a short knife from a leather sheath and carried it at his side. For two reasons. A handy weapon was never a bad idea, and the high polish on the blade gave him the perfect view of anyone trying to approach him from behind.

Will reached the docks without incident and was finally able to breathe easy when he dropped down upon the polished decks of the Scarlet Night. The gentle tip of the boards shifting beneath his feet, the smell of tarred rigging, and the sight of her three thick masts brought a smile to his face. He was home.

Peggy here: KIds, you gotta get these books. If you like swashbuckling, steamy, sexy heroes and heroines, stories that are chockful of intrigue, adventure, and romance, Lisa’s pirate books are right up your alley. If you like stories of talented, moody, and (again) sexy characters willing to sacrifice all for love, The Stoddard  School  of Art series is  for you, too. Oh Hell! Any of Lisa’s books are for you!! 

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A Visit from Writer Lisa Olech

Today I am so pleased to have  talented writer Lisa Olech as my guest blogger. I met Lisa last year at my first NHRWA meeting, just as her first book PICTURE ME NAKED was being launched. She is a funny, sassy, quick witted gal and writer and it has been my pleasure to get to know her and the characters in her books. Her second novel ROCK SOLID, debuts this month and you can read an excerpt from it at the end of her blog here, along with the links where you can purchase it – and I encourage you to!

Here’s a little about Lisa first.

Lisa A. Olech is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.
          You can find her at: www.lisaolech.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/Lisa.A.Olech.Writer, Twitter: www.twitter.com/LisaOlech

Author photo (1)

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

By Lisa A. Olech

Does standing looking over a scenic vista fill you with a deep desire to pick up a paintbrush or a camera? Does the beauty of your lover’s eyes make you long for a pen to capture your feelings in a poem? What inspires you to create?

As an artist as well as an author, I’ve been inspired by a host of things over the years. I’ve created pieces of artwork from a song lyric, a feeling I wish to convey, a lovely face. Sometimes I get an idea for one of my glass projects from just a few words. I’m a very visual person, and images will flash in my mind and take hold until I sketch them or make them a reality.

It is no different with my writing. I get story ideas from everywhere. At times I’ll see a scene in my head, or hear a line of dialogue that sticks with me. I’ve dreamt story lines. Characters speak to me. Yes, there are people in my head all the time! If I’m not insane…then I must be a writer! It’s what moves me to start my stories, to take that small seed of an idea and nurture it until it blooms.

The Stoddard Art School Series began with a smell of all things! I believe I’ve told the story of how we were taking my youngest to visit art colleges and I was brought back to my days of art classes and realized that all art schools have a uniquely distinctive smell. It’s a heady combination of oil paints, wet clay and…inspiration!

I’ve just released the second book in the Stoddard Art School Series. It’s entitled ROCK SOLID. This book was inspired by a name I came across many years ago. An amazing name…MAXIMO VEGA. With a name like that, you need your own story!

MAXIMO VEGA is a “rock” star! The media proclaimed him ‘The Sculptor for the New Generation,’ but he’s a reclusive artist ensnared by fame. Driven and intense, his isolation only adds to his mystique. Couple that with his smoldering good looks and rich Italian accent… Fans sigh his name.

EMILY BASKINS is a gifted graduate student at the Stoddard School of Art. To land an internship at the Vega Studio is her golden ticket. All she has to do is follow the rules. And stay out of trouble. Two things Emily has never been able to do.

As Max becomes trapped in the glare of the limelight, he discovers his greatest muse. He teaches Emily to breathe passion into clay and give marble a soul. But is their fiery relationship as rock solid as they believe? Or will a lie shatter the illusion?

EXCERPT FROM ROCK SOLID

RockSolid_w9150_100

Maximo Vega gathered his composure. He wore a black T-shirt, gray across the shoulders with dust, worn jeans, and heavy boots under a thick leather apron that reached to his knees. Hanging his head and bracing his hands on his hips, he was a study in frustration. The sleeves of his shirt hugged defined muscles of steely arms. And his hands…they were artist’s hands. Sculptor’s hands. Beaten by stone and scarred by tools. They spoke of years of rugged, blistering work.

He was tall. His shadowed jaw, rigid with anger, cut sharply against the tanned column of his neck. Maximo slapped the chisel on his leathered thigh. “I pay you. You find me good hands! Not idiota!”

“I’m sorry, Maximo. He’s gone. You’ll never have to work with him again.”

“Good.”

The great artist’s gaze slid over Emily. His eyes stopped at the white-knuckled hold she had on the large black portfolio.

He waved a hand toward her. “What are you?”

Emily’s throat slammed shut.

“A new intern possibly,” offered Dante. “She’s here from the Stoddard School of Art.”

Deep brown eyes the color of rich coffee, no cream, speared her beneath frowning brows. He flipped his hand toward the portfolio. “Come. Show me.”

Emily shot a look to Dante. He gave her a tiny nudge, like a parent pushing a frightened child toward Santa’s lap.

“Come, come, come.” He snatched the portfolio from her numb fingers, unzipped it and laid it open across a crowded worktable. He used the rag in his hand to wipe the sweat from his lip as he flipped through photos and sketches of her latest works.

“Nice. Hmm. No.” A nod for this one. A shake of the head for another. “Yes. This one is good. Good.”

He looked away from her sketches and gave her a hard stare before looking down the full length of her and back again in a slow appraisal. Emily released the breath she was holding.

“Let me see your hands.”

She held them out and he grasped her wrists and examined first her palms before turning them over. “Cold,” he said just loud enough for her to hear.

The smell of the heat of his body and the spice of soap drifted past her.

“Nervous.”

He lifted a quick eyebrow. “Good.”

**********

http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Solid-Stoddard-Art-School-ebook/dp/B00NQMUYI2/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411556802&sr=1-2&keywords=Rock+Solid

 

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5839

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5891

 

 

 

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Two Masters, One Passion

My chapter of the Romance Writers Of America group is having a week long challenge on what I call “get the butts in the seats and write.” Every day we are encouraged to record our writing time in minutes and then submit them at the end of the day for a chapter and individual total. Published writer and NHRWA member Lisa Olech,  author of Picture Me Naked  is our motivator and head minute counter. This is the second summer I’ve participated in this challenge and I love it. It really inspires me to find time every day to write – anything and everything.

My actual challenge with this particular writing prompt  is in the finding of spare time on the days I must go to my paying job. I’ve blogged about this time management issue for me before, but I can give actual numbers to the situation with this challenge.

This week, on  three consecutive days, these were my totals : 150 minutes, 675 minutes, 180 minutes. Can you tell which day I didn’t work at my paying job?

This inconsistency has limited me in the amount of pages I can produce on a consistent basis and it can be frustrating. But I think I’ve found a very small light at the end of my tunnel. Because I can’t write the volume I want to write on a predictable time table, what I do write must  be almost perfect the first time around. This time constraint forces me to write tight, write short, and write concise, three things every Editor wants their writers to do on a routine basis. This means that every word must count toward something valid in the scene I’m writing.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve spent this summer re-reading some of the manuals I feel have helped me be a better writer. One of those books is  How to Write Short by Roy Peter Clark. His thoughts and ideas on how to take paragraphs that are filled with superfluous words  and shorten them down to the bare bones of sentences that convey the entire thought wanted, are priceless jewels for writers and is well worth the read.

I’ve used these writing short principles in my daily life as well as my writing life. I teach for a living – no, I’m not standing up in front of a classroom inspiring young minds. As part of my nursing/contact lens job I teach patients daily how to keep their eyes healthy and I instruct them in  the proper care, wear, and cleaning of their ocular devices. I only get so much time per patient, so my instructional style has to be short, concise, and totally explanatory without needing to repeat, reiterate or revise what I’ve said in order for the patient to comprehend it without any confusion. For someone who likes to Tawk as much as I do, this has proven difficult in the past. Not any longer, thanks to Mr. Clark’s instructions.

Today I am not at my paying job but at home, typing away on the laptop. Today I will be able to devote many hours to my  writing passion. The writing loft door is closed, the cellphone is on silent and I’ve disabled all my other social media for a while. It’s my time to write.

Today I hope to set a personal writing record for the challenge. We’ll see….

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