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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Intriguing unsolved mystery of early Colonists


Jo Grafford
Thank you for hosting me today on Adventures in Authorland – just LOVE the name of your blog, Jean.
 
Thank you Jo, and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Do you see writing as a career? Yes. Writing is a gift. It defines who I am, it’s what I spend most of my time doing, and it’s what makes me happy.

How many books have you written? Two so far but my goal is a total of four in 2014: BREAKING TIES (published last October by Astraea Press) and Trail of Crosses (under contract - coming soon!)

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release? Love to! Both books are part of the Lost Colony Series, which is based on the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island – one of the world’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries to date. BREAKING TIES reveals who wanted the Lost Colonists to disappear and why. Trail of Crosses reveals what happened next…after the last person to see them alive returned to England.

Do you belong to any non-writing organizations? Yes. I’m an Army wife and serve as co-leader of a Family Readiness Group for soldiers and their families. We hold monthly social events for our members and fundraise to send care packages to deployed soldiers and provide welcome baskets to new families joining our unit.

Who are some of your favourite authors? I read every book I can get my hands on from these authors: Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb, John Grisham, James Patterson, Catherine Coulter, Brenda Novak, Stephenie Meyer, Steven Pressfield… How much time do you have? I have an extremely long list of favorites! My third story library is wall to wall with books.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc? I run several days a week, play the piano, and serve as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

BLURB – BREAKING TIES, first book in the Lost Colony Series:

An intelligent woman ahead of her time, ROSE PAYNE'S world is shattered after a secret betrothal to the duke’s son costs her job as a clerk in his father's household. Without a letter of recommendation, Rose becomes an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Desperate for work, she signs up for a risky overseas venture and sails for the New World, vowing never again fall for a wealthy gentleman.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, CHIEF MANTEO is bewitched by the elusive, fiery-haired ship clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in BREAKING TIES.

SPECIAL NOTE:
Based on real people and real events, BREAKING TIES is the "rest of the story" of the Lost Colonists from Roanoke Island.

EXCERPT – BREAKING TIES:

    “Someone might walk in,” I hissed. “What are ye doing?”
     “Distracting you from the pain. Is it working?”
     I chuckled breathlessly. “What pain?” I glanced through the doorway, but the beach was almost vacant of colonists now. We hadn’t much time left before the ships raised anchor.
    “Rose.”
    “Mmm?”
    “I’m glad you refused to heed your brother’s warnings.”
    “Even though I brought with me such an ill run of luck?”
    “I am not complaining.” His voice was low against my neck. 
    I drew a shaky breath. “Are not ye afraid?”
    “Nay.” He reached around and laced his fingers through mine. Our scars from the blood oath rested palm to palm.
    My heartbeat quickened. “I must look like a rag doll.”
    “Your attire offends me no more than usual.”
    “Oh?”
    “English women hide beneath too many layers.”
    I choked out a laugh. “I saw the governor’s watercolors. Do your people truly wear so little?”
    “Aye.”
    “Including the ladies?” 
    “Aye.” His voice was earnest. “Thank the gods.” 
    I flushed scarlet. “I-I could not!” I twisted to look at him. “’Tis scandalous by any English standard.” 
    He tugged me back against him. “Then I pray you change your mind.” 
    My chest rose and fell rapidly. We were surrounded by danger and his thoughts were centered on seeing me naked, or nearly naked, I corrected.
    He trailed the back of his hand down my cheek.
    Tendrils of apprehension squeezed my heart. Manteo desired me, but he spoke not of love. I’d walked this path before.
    The stinging of my feet intensified. I sat up, needing space. He grunted in protest but loosened his arms. 
    “Agnes will be here any moment.”
    He moved quickly. My heartbeat quickened to see him crouched before me, whiskey eyes dark with emotion. He lifted my hand and pressed the scarred palm to his heart. The wound tingled from the heat of him.
    “There is one English custom I like very much.” He bent his head over mine until his breath stirred my lips. I stopped breathing. He took my upper lip between his in a caress as light as a bird’s feather.
    A breathy sigh escaped me. ’Twas several moments before I gathered the strength to open my eyes. He was gone.


BIO:
Jo is a mega reader of all genres and loves to indulge in marathon showings of Big Bang Theory, CSI, NCIS, and Castle. Her favorite books are full of rich history, Native Americans, and an occasional creature from the otherworld – dragons, vampires, and time travelers.
From St. Louis, Missouri, Jo moves a lot with her soldier husband. She has lived in the Midwest, the deep South, and now resides in Bavaria. Jo holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter. 
Jo writes historical and paranormal romance. She is currently writing a series published by Astraea Press, which is based on the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island – one of the world’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries.

CONTACT INFO:
Twitter: @jografford

BOOK TRAILER:
YouTube Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nBB8_qcG-9I

BUY LINKS:
Amazon ASIN: B00FYIYM7A
Barnes and Noble: 
Astraea Press: http://astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=28863116

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ella's inspiration comes from the Regency

Hi Ella and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and  tell us about your adventure.

Ella Quinn
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think this is an important question. During the first draft of the first book I wrote, I considered myself a writer. I see so many people who describe themselves as “aspiring writers.” You either are a writer or you’re not. If you’re making up stories and writing them down, you’re a writer.

I do know that it sometimes takes a bit of encouragement for people to claim being a writer. Diana Love told a funny story about being at a writers’ conference early in her career. Person after person asked her if she was an author, and she kept saying no, those other people are. Then a tall, good-looking guy asked, and she replied. “Yes, I am.”

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve written seven. Four of them, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, The Secret Life of Miss Ann Mash, and Lady Caro’s Accidental Marriage are complete and sold. They comprise the first four books of my series, The Marriage Game.  I’m editing the fifth book now.

Two are from a detour I took during Nanowrimo, and will be the first two books of my second series.

I have to say I love them all. Lady Phoebe may edge out the others just the tiniest bit, but only because she was the first.

You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point.

Although the story is long, it’s actually been pretty fast. Just over two years ago, I started out doing what most authors do. I wrote a book, then wondered how to sell it.

In May I joined a general writers’ forum, and discovered that I actually needed to revise my book. What you mean it’s not perfect now? Aren’t editors supposed to fix anything that’s wrong? Apparently not. Oh, and there was something called POVs I was supposed to get a handle on, and don’t forget craft. It took me a couple of months to actually figure out what POV was, but I digress.

The Brenda Novak Auction was in full swing, and I won a critique with an agent. She ended up telling me I needed to work on my craft (there was that pesky word again), but she thought I’d be published. Well, I can tell you that was all I needed to start sending Lady Phoebe out on queries. Imagine my surprise when I received rejections. They, however, did not deter me. By then I’d heard a lot about rejections and figured it was part of the process.  In June I’d I heard about RWA, and immediately signed up, found a couple of special interest chapters and joined them as well. I also took the rejections and parlayed them into PRO status.

I have to say that had it not been for that I would not have found a couple of wonderful critique groups that ended up helping me get my MS to the point where they were ready for submissions.

During all of this, I was writing Lady Serena and entered several of contests. In fact, if you count up the number of contests offered between July and September, that would be the number. Judges either loved my submission or hated it. There was loads of advice, some useful, most not. One published author, I wish I knew who it was, made a comment that made up for all the negative remarks.

 By September of that year I was editing Lady Serena and writing Anna Marsh. In October I attended the RWA New Jersey regional conference, met some wonderful authors, and pitched Lady Phoebe. I was thrilled to get requests for partials. In November for Nanowrimo I wrote Lady Grace’s Rendezvous (one of my detours), and in December started querying Lady Serena. That was when I started receiving requests for fulls. On February 1st I signed with my agent.

She handed me over to her lovely assistant, Claire Cavanaugh, who taught me how to edit and polish my books.  In December I received the offer from Kensington.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

I love to read, travel, and being in the water. I paddle board at least once a week. I help out with the local races on the race committee and when Rolex is down here for their international regatta. I greatly envy a friend who has taken off and is sailing the world. I just want my own sailboat, but I would like to hang out in the Med on it for a summer.

If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?

I’d love to visit the Regency era and gather up as much knowledge as I could, especially about some of the things we debate about.

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

Ever since I first saw the TV show, Bewitched, I’ve wanted to be able to wiggle my nose and get things done or be somewhere.

 EXCERPT FROM  DESIRING LADY CARO
 I’m extremely fond of two of my secondary characters, Lady Horatia, and John Whitton. So, I decided to give you an excerpt with them in it.

     “Oh!” She glanced up. Captain Whitton. Her breath caught. “Good day, Captain.” His hand seemed to burn through the thin cashmere of her gown and three petticoats. This was not good. She didn’t need a man to offer her carte blanche again. Even if he was sinfully handsome and her body responded to him as it never had to anyone. His heat soaked into her. No, she could not do this. Whatever this was. “I was just going . . .”
     Horatia’s voice faded. He stared down at her. His eyes twinkled with humor. Her gaze dropped to his lips, tilted once more into his crooked smile. The dimple made an appearance, and her lips tingled in response.
     His arm tightened, causing her breasts to brush against his coat. A shiver shot straight to the apex of her thighs, and she stopped breathing. Horatia closed her eyes, resisting the urge to rub against him like some wanton cat.
     She inhaled and opened her lips to tell him they were standing much too close together and he really shouldn’t have his arm around her. Oh Lord, he looked as if he’d like to devour her. 
     Slowly, he bent his head, kissing and nibbling his way from the edge of her lips to the center. By the time he got there, her mouth opened, wanting him, begging him to continue. His tongue ran across her teeth, teasing. When she could stand it no more, she put her hands on his face and caressed his tongue with hers. He tasted like tea and the ocean. He lifted her as he tilted his head, and she pressed into him, moaning. After several moments, her brain finally caught up with her long-starved senses. What was she doing, kissing him like this? She tried to jerk away. “Captain Whitton.”
     The indignation she’d tried to infuse into the words didn’t come out quite as she’d planned. Her voice was much too soft and breathy, as if she meant to encourage him rather than the opposite. She put her hand on his chest and pushed. He loosened his hold but didn’t move away. She could not allow this to happen, not now. She had too many duties to focus on.
     Horatia tried again. “Captain Whitton, I may be a widow, but I am a chaste widow. I do not engage in love making outside of the marital bonds.”
     “Very well.”
     As his head bent to kiss her again, she hauled back one arm and slapped him.
     Whitton’s head jerked up with a frown. “What the deuce was that for?”
     “I told you…”
     “Yes, you told me you had to be married to make love with me, and I agreed.”
     Something was terribly wrong with this conversation. She narrowed her eyes. “Agreed to what?”
     “Marry you, of course.”
     All the air rushed out of her as if her lungs were a bellows. “Marry me? Have you lost your mind? Or do you go around suggesting marriage to every lady?”

AUTHOR BIO
     Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

     She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.

     Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and Hearts Through History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington.





Saturday, March 29, 2014

Born from forbidden love and 1200-year-old promise

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog Jean. I’m excited to be here.

Welcome Angela. Please get comfortable and tell us about your writing adventure.

Angela Hayes
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have only, since my publication date, begun to consider myself a writer. I feel like it’s a vindication of my hard work. Until then I was hesitant to tell anyone I was a writer. Like I didn’t have anything to back up what I claimed to be.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I have another full manuscript waiting on edits, and three more in various stages. One lacks a few chapters from the first draft being complete and the two others still have a way to go.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?

LOVE’S BATTLE is very dear to my heart. I’d really go as far as putting it on par with my first born! The first in a trilogy, I hope to have books two and three done and submitted to my wonderful editor by the end of the year.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I love romance. But more than that I love fantasy and paranormal. Something that takes both the reader and the writer outside of their everyday life.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

I love Janet Evanovich, Patricia Briggs, and Linda Howard to name a few. I recently watched the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and thought it was awesome, so now I’m looking forward to reading Tolkien for the first time.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

I recently taught myself to knit- it’s slow going. I’ve been working on the same pattern for a month now! I hope to finish it sometime this century!!! I also crochet- this is much easier for me as it is my first love. I am also a Pinteret-er. I cannot tell you how many hours I spend on that site daily- it’s the great time suck. I sit down at the couple and two hours are gone in what seems like five minutes.

Tagline: “If love isn’t worth fighting for, what is?”

Blurb: LOVE’S BATTLE

Love Howard has more than a knack for matchmaking. Born from a forbidden passion and a twelve-hundred-year-old promise, she and her sisters can literally see true love. And while Love has no problem bringing other couples together, her own romantic life could use a little help.

Danton DeAngelo has always been well grounded in reality. So it throws him for no small loop when the woman he’s fallen for believes that she’s been reincarnated eleven times and can actually see true love.

Now Danton is faced with the biggest decision of his life. Accept Love for who she really is, or walk away from her forever.

EXCERPT:
            The hand Love pressed to her brow was visibly shaking. “There’s something I need to tell you. I just need you to keep an open mind.”
            “What is it? Are you sick?” Danton asked.
            “No, I’m not sick.” Her voice trembled on a forced laugh. “It’s something else. Something I‘ve been trying to prepare you for. This would be so much easier if you believed in magic. If you could believe that what I’m about to tell you is the honest truth.”
            Turning, Love opened the iron chest, the hinges groaning with the effort as specks of rust littered the floor. From its depths she pulled out a clear plastic bag that she held tight to her chest, eyes closed, before handing it to a confused Danton.
            “This is my tartan, my plaid. Before it faded and was dinner for the moths, it was once patterned in checks of green, gray, and brown. The purple and white stripes that ran through the hem identified the wearer as part of the royal family.” Love tapped the plastic, her finger pointing out where each color should be. “It was a gift from my father. The first and only time my sister’s and I met him, he was on his deathbed, we were eighteen. A week later our mother died in the same moment he drew his last breath.” Needing the extra air Love drew a breath of her own. “That day was the thirteenth of February, eight-hundred and fifty-eight AD. My father was Cinaed mac Alpin, crowned king of the Picts and Gaels. He was Scotland’s first king.”
            “Eight- hundred and fifty-eight?” That couldn’t be right, she was only twenty-five. “Don’t you mean Nineteen-eighty-seven?”
            “No. I was born for the first time in Scotland during the middle of the ninth century.”
BIO:
A married mother of two, I split my time between bringing characters to life by computer, and yarn to life with needle and hook. You can find me at www.authorangelahayes.blogspot.com, or email me at author_angelahayes@yahoo.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Buy link:  http://bit.ly/LovesBattle
BookTrailer: http://youtu.be/t2_eJMzk9wA  or embedded you tube link   :<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/t2_eJMzk9wA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Molly inspired by poet Keats

Hello Molly, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Molly Zenk
When did you first consider yourself a writer
 I first knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 7 years old.  I first considered myself a 'real published writer' when I was offered a publishing contract in 2007.

 What books have most influenced your life most? 
 The Romantic Poets, all of Jane Austen's books and EM Forster's A Room With A View.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? 
 I've written more books than I've published.  I've published four books.  I don't really have a favorite.  I like them all because the characters are all so alive to me.  It's like asking me to pick which one of my kids is my favorite.  I love them all.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?  
 My favorite genres to write are also my favorite genres to read – Young Adult, Historical, Romance and Mystery.
  
You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point
 I've been writing my whole life but didn't seriously pursue it as a career option till my first daughter was born.  You'd think staying home with a baby would make you have less time to write instead of more, but I finished two manuscripts within two months and started working on a third.  I run things through so many drafts.  My writing is always evolving.
  
Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?
 My most recent release, HYPERION KEATS, is a Young Adult Literary Mystery about three teens who find a long hidden diary and a secret society who will stop at nothing to make sure the secrets stay hidden.

Do you hear from readers much? What kinds of things do they say? 
Readers usually compliment my humor and ear for dialogue.  I've been told “Jane Austen would be proud” of my wit.  

What historical person would you want to meet and why?  
John Keats.  His poems and life have inspired me most of my life. 

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?  
Tell the stories you want to tell.  Don't chase trends. 

HYPERION KEATS
Published by: Highland Press
Blurb

Three modern teens, a 200-year-old diary, a literary mystery to solve.
Twelve-year-old Hyperion Frances Keats, great-great grand niece of poet John Keats, hates tip-toeing around her older sister’s “medical diagnosis”.  Why is Isabella so determined to turn her back on what makes her unique in a sea of wannabes?  Is popularity more important than the truth?

The sisters and boy-next-door Will find themselves in the middle of a mystery after discovering a 200-year-old diary written by the girl who inspired the sonnet “To A Lady Seen For A Moment At Vauxhall.”  The teens aren’t the only ones after the answers found in the pages from the past, though.  The LBT Brotherhood – a secret society dedicated to preserving the Romantic Poets three creeds of love, beauty, and truth – want the secrets contained in the diary to remain lost to time and will stop at nothing to silence Hyperion, Isabella, and Will forever.

EXCERPT:

     I barely crack the door open before Neighbor Boy launches into a spiel that may or may not be rehearsed—I can’t really tell because he’s talking too fast for me to guess one way or the other. “Hi, I’m not a stalker or anything so don’t get freaked out, okay? But I saw the historical marker in your front yard and had a couple of quick questions if you, uh, don’t mind me, uh, asking. You don’t mind me asking stuff, do you? I can go away if you do.”  He blinks nervously a ton of times in anticipation of me either saying yes and waiting for his couple of supposedly quick questions or no and slamming the door in his face. Why would I say no? He’s the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen up close. Even if boys don’t like to be called pretty, with his huge blue eyes and unruly, anime character hair, that’s the only word that comes to mind. Pretty. My heart does this funny little fluttery jump like I’ve run a mile in under five minutes and I’m positive my palms are too sweaty to shut the door. Even if I wanted to, shutting the door means he’d go away and there’s no way I’m letting that happen. Especially not on my birthday.
     “Go ahead. Ask your questions,” I whisper because I seriously doubt I can say it louder even if I wanted to right now.
     “Great.” He flashes a lopsided grin that makes my heart fluttering turn into a hammering. “Is this really the George Keats House? Like the real George Keats, brother to the poet John Keats’ house, and you actually live here-live here and not keep it up like a museum or something? Do I have to buy admission because I’m, like, standing on your yard?”
     “Um, yes, yes, no, and no,” I field his jumbled together questions in order.
     “Really? Are you like direct descendants or did you just buy the house from someone else and decided the historical marker was a cool trick to attract fan boys like me?”
     His rapid fire, excited delivery is getting easier to understand. For a second, I think about Isabella by the window seat with her natural light waiting to make her good first impression, and about how Mom always tells me not to talk to strangers because she reads way too much of Nancy Grace’s child snatching Headline News blog, but it’s like my mouth is on auto-pilot as my heart ratchets away in my chest and I answer anything Neighbor Boy asks. “Direct,” I say. “Or Dad is, which makes us too. Mom was just a Romantic Poets fan girl who lucked out by meeting Dad in some college class and marrying in. They both teach at the university. British Lit.”
     Neighbor Boy pushes his sandy blond hair out of his face with one long-fingered hand and, I think, even if I don’t like to do manual labor on my birthday, I got the better deal by agreeing to open the front door. While Isabella is hanging out in the kitchen imaging what he’s like, I don’t have to imagine. I know.

Molly Zenk was born in Minnesota, grew up in Florida, lived briefly in Tennessee, before finally settling in Colorado.  She graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL with degrees in Secondary Education, English, and Creative Writing.  She spent six years using those degrees teaching High School English, Poetry, and Creative Writing before going on “hiatus” to focus on being a stay-at-home/work-at-home Mom.  Molly is married to a Mathematician/Software Engineer who complains about there not being enough “math” or info about him in her author bio.  They live in Arvada, CO with their young daughters, one dog, and one cat.

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18816355-hyperion-keats

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Barbara fascinated by other times

 Hi Barbara, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Hi Jean. Thank you so much for allowing me to visit today.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Interesting question. I suppose I’ve thought of myself as a writer since I started writing seriously. Although I wrote for newspapers and magazines before, I considered myself a journalist for those years. I felt I could term myself an author after my book was published. Not everyone feels this way, and I understand that. This is just the way it applies to me. 

What inspired you to write your first book?

For years, I never thought I could “say enough” to write a book. During school I’d written short stories. The media material was always short, also. So I didn’t know whether I could actually produce anything lengthy enough. However, at last, an idea (or an image) kept circling in my mind, and as I thought about it, the story grew. A friend of mine was writing seriously and urged me to join her critique group, and the first story evolved from there. (That book won’t be published.  I’m afraid I threw everything in—if it hadn’t been a medieval, it would probably have had the kitchen sink. J)

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?

I started writing rather young, and I liked coming up with unusual stories. But I liked other things as well. History was one. I was fascinated by tales of earlier civilizations. For a time in college, I seriously considered going into archaeology influenced, I’m sure, by a brilliant professor who did his doctoral work on Howard Carter, one of the men involved in the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. However, when he related his experiences of actual digs, I realized I wasn’t cut out for that life. That said, I’m still fascinated by discoveries. Ironically, I always thought whatever else I did—I’d write about it.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

Not surprisingly, I write historicals, because other times fascinate me. I honestly can’t say why. Perhaps it stems from the myths I read when I was very young that led to interest in the civilizations they came from. Right now, I’m wrapping up edits on my second medieval. Perhaps later I’ll look at another historical era. Although I enjoy reading in all genres, I feel most at home in historical.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?

Does an author want to talk about her latest book, you ask?? LOL. Why, I’d love to! THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX is the story of Sir Stephen and Lady Evie, secondary characters from my debut SILVERHAWK. On the journey to love, he’s a bitter knight who must overcome treachery; she’s a spirited lady who must overcome betrayal—and that’s just from their friends. This is the first of the Brotherhood of the Phoenix series. The Brotherhood is a troop of mercenaries who fight for justice in the troubled days following the Third Crusade.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

I read—I always have a book with me. I love to spend time with my grandchildren and my friends. And I hope soon to say—I travel. J

Blurb for my current, debut, medieval, SILVERHAWK.
 
He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape.

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

RXCERPT

As he rode out, his gaze sought his little warrior-nun. Her wide eyes focused on him,
and again the invisible connection thrummed. The space between them seemed to compress along their odd connection. Was it possible she experienced it, as well? Then she shook her head.

Yes, he must be a grim sight with the injuries from the battle so fresh. His gaze lingered. He fought an urge to feel her lips again. He recalled that kiss, and his left hand brushed the cheek where her slap had landed. He winced. Damn, it hurt to smile.

A shame about her. She was too good for Langley. At least the marriage wouldn’t last long, just until he delivered the blasted missive. Then that wrinkle of uncertainty would ease from her smooth brow. She would be free to tilt her chin and defy whomever she chose.

But it wouldn’t be Sir Giles of Cambrai. He was a mercenary, a soldier for hire. Ladies were not his responsibility.

Not even maidens with eyes as bright as spring and lips as sweet as rose honey.



Buy link for Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1bQX3td

Buy link for The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1bM6ua2



Saturday, March 8, 2014

Regency and American West continue to inspire

     Hello, Callie and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Callie Hutton
     I had just finished a romance novel and thought to myself I can do this. I had been a writer of one sort or another most of my life. Magazine articles, interviews, and on one of my jobs I wrote for our department’s newsletter. Although I had come up with plots over the years for a book, it wasn’t until that day I decided to actually do it. I took apart one of my favorite books, outlining the highs and lows, the character arcs, and storyline. Then, using that I wrote my first romance novel.

Do you see writing as a career?
     Absolutely. And to me it’s a job, like any other. I have certain hours I write, certain day/hours I work on promotion. My husband always laughs when he has a day off from work, and I warn him that he might have a holiday, but for me it’s a workday. Then I shut myself into my office and work. With writing and promotion, I put in more than 40 hours every week.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
     I have written 12 books, eleven of which are already out. The next one releases March 10th, THE DUKE’S QUANDARY. I have seven more under contract, yet to be written.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
     Although I have written and published two contemporaries, I prefer historical. My two favorite time periods are Regency England and American Western. I intend to have two of my books in the Marriage Mart Mayhem series set in Scotland. Then maybe one day do a Highlander book.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?
     The Duke’s Quandary, #2 in the Marriage Mart Mayhem series from Entangled Publishing will release March 10th. The Duke is best friend to Jason, Earl of Coventry from The Elusive Wife. The next book in the series, The Lady’s Disgrace will have an October release, with The Baron’s Homecoming hitting the cyber shelves in December. The last three books of the series will release in 2015.
     

I’m also continuing my Oklahoma Lovers series with Soul Mate Publishing. The next book in that series, Anyplace But Here, will release early in 2015, followed by Anytime You’re Near, later in the year.

If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?
     Time travel has always fascinated me, and also spurred me to write a time travel story--A Tumble Through Time. If I could travel back I would pick the late 1800s in New York City. My favorite time travel book of all time <grin> is Jack Finney’s Time and Again. That was set in that time period, and I always thought I would love to be there. The first book in my Oklahoma Lovers series is set in 1889, but during the Oklahoma Land Run.

BLURB: THE DUKE’S QUANDARY
London 1814...

     Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love.
     Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn't meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She'll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she's been pretending to be a man within the scientific community.
      As Drake's family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?

Tagline:
 She’ll never belong in his world, but he cannot resist her.

EXCERPT:
            Drake bounded down the steps. It was unfortunate that Mother’s propensity for rescuing hopeless strays extended to women as well as animals.
He scanned the immediate area, and at first it appeared Miss Clayton had vanished into thin air. Then a slight movement up ahead caught his eye, and he hurried forward. “Miss Clayton, please stop.”
She came to a halt and spun around, taking in great gulps of air. “Please, Your Grace, just let me return to Devonshire. I really do not want to be here.” Her shaky fingers wiped tears from her cheeks, leaving behind a smudge of dirt.
As he grew closer, he could see her squinting, most likely in an attempt to view him since her spectacles were still on the floor in the entrance hall. She gripped her bundle close to her chest, her teeth chattering, whether from the damp night or nerves, he couldn’t tell. But the slight moon reflected her paleness, leaving him wondering if she would swoon any moment.
“We must return to the house.” He reached to grasp her elbow, but she yanked it away.
“No. I don’t belong here, and I just want to go home.” She hiccupped, her huge green eyes pleading with him. Something deep and feral in him softened. The poor girl looked scared to death. And he was sure his rudeness hadn’t helped.
“Please,” he held out his hand. “I wish to apologize for any discomfort I may have caused you. Won’t you return with me to the house? The night air is chilling, and I’m sure you could do with a cup of tea. I know I could.”
She continued to shiver as she stared at him. Apparently coming to a decision, she stiffened her spine, swiped at her tears, and gave him a slight smile. “Yes. A cup of tea would be most welcomed. Thank you.”
Amazed at her quick transformation, he held out his arm and she placed a delicate, albeit, dirty, hand on his sleeve. He tried very hard not to wince, and led her back to the house.

About Callie

            Callie Hutton always knew those stories she made up in her head would be written down one day. There was nowhere else for them to go. After years of writing articles and interviews for magazines and company newsletters, she decided to tackle writing a book. That was back in 2010. Now with twelve books under her belt, and seven more contracted, the relief at having somewhere to tell those stories is wonderful. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, adult children and three dogs.
Buy links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1cEfS2r
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1bzDebf


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Way-back sci-fi fan now writes her own

Hello Margaret and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Margaret Fieland
I kind of slid into it. I've written poetry for years, and one day I wrote one I wanted to keep. At the time, I was scribbling my poems in notebooks which would be consigned to either a heap on my bookshelf or a pile in the attic, so I wanted a better way to track this one. I found an online site and posted the poem. Then I found another site and became more active.

Anyway, I got hooked, started storing my poems online, first in Yahoo Briefcase and later in Google Docs.  Because they were available, I was able to submit one for a contest. I was a finalist. Things snowballed from there.

What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I wrote, which is due out later this year, is about a little boy who loses his mother in a fire. It was inspired by an incident in which a friend lost his wife and all four of his children in a tragic fire. I was haunted by this, and, unable to change the outcome in real life, wrote a story in which only the mother dies, but the boy and his father survive. I wrote 5000 words in a weekend, then spent the next year or two learning to really write and rewrite the thing into shape. It ended up about 11,000 words. Along the way, I took the Institute of Children's Literature course.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
I've fallen into writing science fiction. I have three sci fi novels published and am working on a fourth in the series. But I didn't plan to write science fiction.

I'm a way-back sci fi fan and have read reams of the stuff for years and years, but prior to 2010 I'd never written any. Around mid-September, I was taken with the idea of doing NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) with the idea of writing a sci fi novel.

Since the world building was the part I found intimidating, I started with that, and scribbled some notes and about a page about the plot. I planned to write (a

nd did write) a sci fi novel with a fourteen-year-old main character where he finds himself on an alien planet on which he feels strangely at home. He gets involved with terrorists and along the way discovers a number of secrets about himself.

I spent November writing, and from January through June or so revising. It was accepted for publication.

I never planned to write a series, mind. But a question about back story I'd asked myself about the original novel (it ended up as a single line in the text) ended up as another novel, and a few loose ends with respect to the bad guys ended up as another. The one I'm working on now uses a minor character from one of the books. Yup, another case where my character refused to leave me alone.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
I'm a huge theater fan -- I'm a native New Yorker, and my father was good friends with Sammy Silverman, the attorney who won Joe Papp the right to put on free Shakespeare in Central Park, so as a teen we went to all the plays every summer, and I fell in love with Shakespeare. I also love the plays of George Bernard Shaw. I took a theater course in college which required we crew on one of the plays, and I ended up as prompter on Major Barbara. I signed up on Friday, went to spend the weekend with a friend, and returned Sunday to find one of the grad students calling me.
Grad student (frantic): "Where have you been?"
Me: "Out. Why?"
Grad student: "Because Dr. Coakley wants everyone off book tomorrow and you need to be at rehearsals."
So I spent the next three weeks at nightly rehearsals. I learned the play *really well.* My classmates, who ended up at merely the five performances, had no idea -- until I told them -- what had been involved.

I also love Lewis Carroll.  As an inducement to study, I'd forgo trips to the local library during college exam time. I'd suffer from book withdrawal and reread Alice in Wonderland and Through the looking Glass - I had a copy of The Annotated Alice.
I also managed to teach myself to write backward and wiggle my ears.

I also love Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delaney, Marion Zimmer Bradley among science fiction writers, to name a few.

Poets Stephen Dunn, Rita Dove, and others.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else
I had no notion of becoming a writer until I was one, which points to a failure of imagination on my part. What I dreamed of was joining the circus. In fact, my friends and I put on a little circus to raise money for Polio for a couple of summers. We ended up with a few dollars to donate and a nice article in the local paper. It was loads of fun.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
Believe in yourself. Join writing groups. Learn your craft. Know your strengths and play to them. Learn your weaknesses and work on them. Find your own voice, and trust the inner voice with will tell you -- if you learn to listen to it -- when someone's critique is right on and when it isn't.

Blurb
When Major Brad Reynolds is assigned to head the Terran Federation base on planet Aleyne, the last thing he expects to find is love, and certainly not with one of the alien Aleyni. How can he keep his lover, in the face of political maneuvering and of Ardaval's feelings for his former partners -- and theirs for him?

Excerpt: from BROKEN BONDS
     Brad took a deep breath of cool night air, inhaling the nutmeg scent of the flowers planted around Ardaval's front door. Before Brad could knock, the door opened and Ardaval stood in the doorway. Brad hesitated before putting out his hands palm up.
      Ardaval placed his hands over Brad's. "My heart, my home, my hearth.”
     "My hearth, my home, my heart," Brad murmured in response.
     Smiling, Ardaval directed his gaze at Brad's eyes; it evoked the same curious flutter in the pit of his stomach as the last time they'd met. Ardaval held open the door and gestured for Brad to enter. "You've come to discuss Gavin."
     "I have." Brad followed Ardaval into the front hall where tiles of local stone sparkled on the floor and a padded bench stood under a window. Through a doorway on one side, a glance revealed a kitchen furnished with dark wood cabinets, clean and a bit bare.
     "Come." Ardaval gestured toward the back of the hallway where a doorway led into a center courtyard, open to the cool night air, and motioned to a small table. A red-leafed tree in the center spread its leaves overhead. Brad sat, and Ardaval sat beside him.
     Brad needed to talk about Gavin Frey's political views. Views that, as far as he could tell from the records, were the opposite of his own. A breath brought him the scent of Ardaval's skin, musky, with a hint of clove. Was it duty or cowardice keeping him from reaching for Ardaval's hand and kissing the palm?
     Ardaval clasped Brad's hand in his. "Tell me more about why you were posted to Aleyne."
     Should he remove his hand? No. He enjoyed Ardaval's touch and what was the harm, really? When he glanced up, he found Ardaval regarding him with evident amusement.
     "I recommended that a man who used psi to save his squad be given a dishonorable discharge." Brad hesitated. "Although the soldier deserved a medal rather than a court martial, he was a fool to admit he caught a thought.”
     Ardaval nodded.
    "About Gavin Frey. Is he your shan?" The thoughts slipped out.
    Ardaval stared into Brad's eyes for a second or two before he replied. "As you surmise, he is my son; my shan, because I didn't raise him."
     Might as well ask this, too. "His mother never told you about him?"
     Ardaval shook his head. "No, she didn't. He spent six months here after she died. Then we disagreed over a matter of ethical principal and he left."
     Given what he understood about Frey, Brad would have been surprised if they hadn't.
     "He married, but his wife died. He has a son who is now fourteen by Terran Standard years."
     "His mother possessed a strong psi talent."
     "She contacted you?" Brad's eyebrows rose to his hairline."
     She did. I suggest you keep an eye on the boy."
     "Do you believe he has gazal?" If the boy developed Aleyni mind speech abilities, he'd need careful watching. Brad's own family had been fairly accepting but how would Frey react if he discovered his son possessed gazal? And what about the terrorists, who might try to exploit Keth's talent?
     Ardaval nodded. "I do, though of course we've never met. Gavin doesn't, or at least if he does, he keeps his mind so locked down it's the same thing."
     Brad sighed and rose. He'd completed what he'd said he'd come to do.
     "It happens this way with us, at times." Ardaval paused for a moment. "We'll meet again."
     Brad turned to leave. He couldn't ignore this connection, wish it away, any longer. Only Ardaval's assurance kept him moving out the door.

About Margaret:


Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life. Her poems and stories have appeared in journals such as Turbulence Magazine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines, was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011. She is the author of Relocated, Geek Games, and Broken Bonds, published by MuseItUp Publishing, and of Sand in the Desert, a collection of science fiction persona poems. A chapter book is due out later this year.