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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Firemen and cowboys get Calisa steamed up


Hi Calisa, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please make yourself comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Calisa Rhose
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
     When I got my first rejection. LOL In 2005 I decided to take my ‘hobby’ to the next level and wrote a “real” book targeted for Harlequin Desire line. A year later it was complete and polished, so I submitted and got a full request just a month later from the Desire senior editor and she suggested I also send a partial to the editor of Harlequin Special Edition (back then it was still known as Silhouette Special Edition). It took all of three weeks for the SE editor to reject the story. To compound that, the Desire editor lost my ms and told me to check for it with the same SE editor who had rejected it. Nice editor that I got, he asked me to email the partial to him (again-- because he’d never received the full from Desire editor. He then rejected it a second time, two years after the first rejection. With a story like that, I figured I had to be a writer! LOL

What inspired you to write your first book?
     I’ve been writing as a hobby since I was fifteen years old so it just seemed the natural progression for me to get serious about my first love (besides my hubby and three daughters, that is) and begin writing to submit. It took me until I was forty to reach that point after raising our daughters. We’re all told to write what we know and I’m a horse person married to a construction hottie. The story I chose to write is about the owner of a horse rescue ranch and a construction owner who builds a much-needed barn for her. I titled it Contract For Love and it’s a reunion story of a couple clearly meant to be together but life decides otherwise as they are torn apart time and again. Of course they get their HEA in the end. J

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
     I write contemporary romance--you know, cowboys, firemen, first responders--but find myself dabbling with contemporary paranormal, too, these days.

You've recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point.
     I wouldn't be able to answer this from a new author perspective since it’s actually been four years since my first sale, but this January I got the opportunity to sign with Kensington Publishing Corp for their new imprint line when the e-press I had sold to last year sold to KPC. On the other hand, I’ve also had two books sold before that point. So now I’m also with a BIG house and it’s a new feeling and adventure for me. Exciting? Some, yes. But my very first sale was to Wild Rose Press with a novella and nothing will ever beat that first sale euphoria. Home, that novella, has expired its contract and is no longer for sale at this time. I’m thinking of touching it up and re-releasing it with another e-press, however.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
     I love horses, as I said, so I spend time with my quarter horse, Sonny, and helping my grandchildren learn to ride their pony, Apple. I also read when I get a chance and my other creative outlet is designing and making jewelry. I love playing with polymer clay and beads! I’ve embraced this hobby a lot while on hiatus because it gives me a fun creative outlet while not writing.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
     Write, read, write, read. Be persistent and remember editors are your friend. J Oh, and beware of burnout! I’m on a hiatus this summer because life caught up to me and I couldn’t write a word of sense. I decided it was time for some much needed me time. Give yourself permission not to write. It really IS okay! Don’t write until you can’t think straight or writing is no fun, or feels like hard work. It is work if it’s your career choice, but remember to take time for you, family and other interests to refill your writing well once in a while.

Love, like life, is not without risk.
BLURB:  RISK FACTORS
     Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps. Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
     Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.
     Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play the possibilities?

EXCERPT:
     It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.
     She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six. She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.
     She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.
     “Hello.”
     With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.
     “Oh! I’m so--so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.
     “I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.
     Puzzled, Viv looked around and realized with total humiliation how it appeared she’d trapped the broom inside the closet--when in actuality, she wanted to climb through the door beside the instrument and hide.
     “Of course not. That would be silly. I didn’t expect you right now.”
     “It’s two minutes of five. I told you I’d be here for Skittles. Is it too late?”
     Right. The skunk. “No. I’m sure she’s more than ready to go home. Do you have the pet carrier to put her in?” She probably didn’t need to ask when Connor stood empty-handed before her.
     He lowered his head and she knew he’d forgotten it, fought back a smile at his forgetfulness.  “Sorry. I drove straight from work and didn’t think about it.”
     “No worry. I have one you can borrow.” Which meant he’d have to see her again. She’d definitely need to see him again.
     “Thank you. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”
     “Oh, there’s no rush. I keep a few on hand for emergencies.” She led him back to the cage where the skunk still huddled, and got a carrier while he opened the cage to retrieve his daughter’s pet. As he lifted the black fur ball out, Viv set a pink case next to him.
     He hissed under his breath and almost let the animal loose. Viv opened the cage and held it upright for him to lower the skunk down inside and shut the door. Once he stood with the pet taxi, she detected a smear of red on one finger.
     “She bit you?” Skunk bite, rabies, germs…
     “It’s fine. When she’s scared she tends to nip a warning like a cat.” Connor’s lack of care concerned Viv, however.
     “I should clean it with antiseptic before you go.”
     “I’ll tend it when I get home.”
     “But, it may have germs…get infected.”
     “It’s not the first time, and her rabies vaccination is current. Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”
     Viv stopped by a cabinet on the way to the front reception area to grab ointment and a Band-Aid.

Buy links:

Amazon- www.amazon.com/Risk-Factors-Calisa-Rhose-ebook/dp/B00IRITMD8/  
B&N- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/risk-factors-calisa-rhose/1114744098
Also, Risk Factors is on Authorgraph! Get your copy signed. http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/CalisaRhose

Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.com

About Calisa
     Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.
     She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders  and firemen, as well as the occasional ‘other’ heroes- and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.

     Thanks for inviting me over Jean! I’d love to offer an e-copy of Risk Factors to one lucky person this weekend.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tug of love sparks custody battle

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

Kathryn Daugherty
What book are you reading now?
     I’m reading three books right now on POW’s during the Vietnam War. The Passing of the Night  My Seven Years As A Prisoner of the North Vietnamese by  Colonel Robinson Risner. Colonel Risner was shot down and captured on September 16, 1965 and was a “guest” of the North Vietnamese until his release on February 12, 1973.
     I’m also reading Code to Keep: The True Story of America’s Longest-Held Civilian Prisoner of War in Vietnam by Ernest C. Brace. Ernest Brace tells the story of his captivity. Even though he was a civilian at the time of his capture he continued to live by the Military Code of Conduct.
     The third book I’m reading is S O G The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam by John L. Plaster and tells the story of volunteers from various fighting units.
     Now please don’t get the impression that I have an obsession about the Vietnam War. I’m doing research for my new novel. The novel is not about war either, but a piece of the story is a flashback to an Air Force pilot who is a POW. In order for the story to feel authentic, I want to be able to tell the truth about what these outstanding men went through for faith and country.

Can you give some details about your upcoming release? 
     I stated in the above question I’m doing research into the lives of POW’s during the Vietnam War. My story revolves around the lives of two women who accidentally meet on a flight from Los Angeles to Omaha, Nebraska. One woman is in her sixties and the other woman in her thirties. The Log Line for the new book is: Two women meet on a plane and find their lives intertwined. The past comes to haunt and preserve their future. Because the first 25 pages are entered in a contest, I’m not allowed to mention the title at this point.  After the announcement of the finalists, you will be able to find the title on my website. http://www.kathryndaugherty.com

If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?
     This is a question close to my heart. The day would be Friday, May 2, 2003. That day I was busy cleaning house, and I received a phone call that my mom, sisters, and aunt and uncle were meeting in Ames, for lunch. Could I come and join them?  Ames was a 45-minute drive from where I lived. I had not showered or put on makeup, by the time I was able to do that they would be done with lunch. I was too busy to make the trip. What I didn’t know was the following Wednesday May 7,2003. My mom would leave this earth to spend eternity with my dad who had passed away in December. If I could go back to that day, I would do anything to go have that last lunch with my MOM. Oh, what I would give to have a chance to have seen her alive one last time. That regret has taught me a lesson though. Never pass up the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends, don’t worry that your hair and make-up aren’t perfect. It is you the person they long to see, not the perfection you want to portray.  

If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?
     Actually I have two super powers I would like to possess; the first one is duplication to have the ability multiply my own body and hopefully my mind goes along with that power. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I wish I could be in several places at once. How often I want to be sitting at my desk writing and yet be able to be at my children or grandchildren’s activities, or other family activities. Maybe even be at work in one body and still be able to write my stories. I would wager there are many writers that would also choose this superpower. The second one would be invulnerability, the ability to not get hurt or feel pain from physical, mental, or spiritual influence. You know the saying about:  “sticks and stones can break your bones and words can never hurt you.” So the critics inner and outside could not make me feel defeated. The other part of this superpower is because several years ago I had a bone fusion done in my back. Since then sitting for prolonged periods is difficult. This means I need to get up often to move around and again I don’t have my seat in a chair writing. There are many super powers, but I feel these two Duplication and Invulnerability would make my life easier.     

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
     My recommendation is to find a critique partner.  There are several points to look for in this person.   1) A person who has similar goals and writing level skills.  If you are working with someone that does not take writing as seriously as you do, then you will be disappointed, if they do not have the same urgency as you.  2) A person who understands or better yet writes in the same genre.  A person who writes and reads in the same genre will be able to help you with common themes, formulas, and structures used in your particular genre. They also will give you feedback from the same outlook as a possible reader. 3) A person you can trust. In order to improve on your writing, you need to work with someone who will give honest feedback. You want the truth, but at the same time, you want to work with someone who will give you advice on improvement without destroying your ego. 4) A person who will work within consistent time constraints. When you set up your schedule of critique times make sure you are able to stick to the schedule. Not only in the meeting times but if you’ve agreed to read either a certain number of pages or chapters each time you meet. Make sure you both agree, and the commitment is real. If you are getting too many excuses about meeting or not being able to read. Find a new partner. 5). The person you are looking for is also looking for a partner. In other words to have a good critique partner you must be one. 

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
     1) When I walk or exercise, I listen to motivational speakers rather than music. The voice of some speakers will push me harder and faster than music.  2) I miss working. I know I’m old enough to retire. I loved meeting people. When I worked at the motel front desk I enjoyed meeting new people. 3) I’ve worked since I was 10, and I’ve had 32 separate jobs since then. From delivering papers to an Operation Officer at a bank. I like writing the best.

Blurb: A CASE OF HEARTS
     Carol Matthews, has experienced more than her fair share of loss. After the death of her beloved older brother, the responsibility of raising his son, Jeff, is the only thing that keeps her going. Seemingly out of nowhere, Jeff's rich and well-connected grandparents petition for Jeff's custody, leaving Carol in search of an experienced lawyer.

     For attorney Donovan Delaney, Carol’s case could be the chance he needs to repair the shambles of his career. With not only Jeff's future at stake, Carol and Donovan fight their undeniable attraction to each other to focus on what's really important. Can Carol willingly open her heart to another possible loss? Will Donovan risk the career of his dreams? If winning means success, what will be the cost?


Excerpt

Donovan swore as he snapped his phone shut.
Looking up, he saw an attractive woman standing at the door to his office. He felt the color rise in his face—to curse at the bar with a bunch of guys or on the playing field was one thing, but he knew better than to use that type of language in front of a lady. And, this was one impressive-looking woman.
“Excuse me,” she said.
“I didn’t realize you were standing there. Please accept my apology for my language.”
The woman in the doorway had riotous auburn hair, with shadows of deep gold and rich red strands. She pushed escaping curls behind her ear.
“I’m looking for a Mr. Donovan,” she said.
“I’m Donovan, Donovan Delaney.”
“I’m sorry I got the name mixed up . . . I’m somewhat muddled today. Are you moving?”
Donovan shook his head. He’d been about as amiable as he could be for one morning. “What this? Nah, I make a mess like this once a week just so I can clean it up.”
 “You don’t have to be so snarly. It was just a question.”
 “Tell me, who are you and what are you doing here?”
 He presumed she was another bill collector. Even if that was true, he wouldn’t mind negotiating with her—as long as he got to discover what was under her red T-shirt and form-fitted blue jeans.
 “I need an attorney. Ralph Overton recommended you, but it appears he must have made a mistake. I think I’d have better luck checking the yellow pages.” As Carol turned to leave, her hip connected with a packing box, sending the carton crashing to the floor.
“Now look what you’ve done!” Papers spilled from several files. Donovan thought about the hours it would take to reorganize his office, once he got things worked out with Feldon. He stormed across the room, hoping to stop more of the boxes from toppling over.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t do it on purpose.” Carol bent down to pick up the folders.
“Never mind, I’ll get it later. Why do you need an attorney? Did you say Ralph Overton recommended me?” After righting the carton he reached out to help her stand. Ignoring his outstretched hand, Carol placed a stack of papers back in the box.
“It doesn’t matter; I don’t think I can work with you.”
 Knowing he needed to get his practice back on track, and finding this woman quite

appealing, it became important to keep her here. Coming from a different angle, he shoved his hands into his pockets, like a twelve-year-old boy would do, and gave her his brightest smile.
“We really got off on the wrong foot. I apologize. Can we begin this conversation over?” He extracted his right hand from his pocket. “I’m Donovan Delaney, and you’re . . .”
She met him halfway and accepted his grasp. “I’m Carol Matthews. I need an attorney to fight a custody case. After Ralph recommended you, I tried to phone, but got a disconnect message.”
Ignoring her comment, Donovan’s hand lingered longer than necessary.
About Kathryn
Kathryn Daugherty always dreamed of writing, her first opportunity to pursue the craft came in 2005, when back surgery sidelined her from other activities. Kathryn began her writing journey by taking an online romance-writing course. Following this, she attended conferences and workshops, continuing to improve her skills. Her sister Linda inspired her first published short story, “White Lies.” The story appeared in the Secret Attic, a United Kingdom publication, in May 2007. Kathryn’s second taste of success was with another short story, “Secret Alliance.” The story placed first in the Short Story contest and was published in the November 2007 issue of Writers’ Journal. She also received honors at the All Iowa Writer’s Conference in 2012 with her short story “Consequences,” and again in 2013 with her story “Lightening and the Lake.” All short stories are available at her website. 
Her first novel, A Case of Hearts has received honors in recent months. It was honored as a finalist in The Midwest Publishing Awards, in St. Paul, Minnesota this spring. The cover received First Place in the Readers Choice Cover Awards, in the Single Title/Mainstream category. Sponsored by the Houston Area Bay Romance Writers, “Judge A Book By Its Cover Award.”
Though Kathryn did not have the opportunity to go to college, she is grateful to her father for encouraging her to learn to type. Her father always said that her typing skills would serve her well. Since she has worked at a variety of careers throughout the years, she is appreciative of her father’s advice. Typing skills not only proved to be useful in many of her previous occupations, but also allowed her to pursue her passion for writing. Kathryn lives in central Iowa with her husband, Cliff. They have a blended family of five grown children and several grandchildren. Jessie, a seventy-five pound German wirehair pointer who believes he’s a lap dog, rules the house.
Buy Links:

Amazon
This one takes you directly to the Barnes and Noble site.




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fairytale romance and Christmas bring magic to Montana



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

Alanna Lucas
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
     When I joined RWA it was with the commitment that I was going to make every effort to make writing a career. However, it wasn’t until I received my first contract that I truly felt like a writer.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
     I write historical romance. I have always enjoyed researching and learning about different time periods. It seemed only natural to write what I enjoy. There is one downside—it is far too easy to get wrapped up in research and forget what I am supposed to be writing.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?
         Coming later this year from Boroughs Publishing Group…Face to Face.

     Miss Penelope Ashurst wanted one night to shed the strict rules and proper decorum of Regency society.  While attending a forbidden masquerade, she meets the man of her dreams.  It is love at first sight.  His secret identity only adds to the excitement of the evening.  Before she discovers who the mystery lord is, a ruthless man who is only interested in her dowry kidnaps her.
      When Ranulph, The Earl of Monfort, first spies the goddess in a golden mask, something inside comes to life and stirs a deep longing.  The weight of responsibility that had been bearing down on him his whole life dissipates. But before he can profess his love to his goddess, she disappears.
      In a race against time, Ranulph searches for Penelope.  However, their ordeal does not end once Penelope is rescued.  While trying to evade the kidnappers, Penelope and Ranulph find their lives in jeopardy.  But as they escape one danger, others lurk to destroy their newfound love.  Can their love conquer all, even death?

What place inspires you the most?
     The historical richness of Europe is always inspiring to me. If I had to choose one place in Europe (that is a tough one), it would probably be Rome. The Colosseum and Roman Forum, especially at night, is one of my favorite areas to explore.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
    
Learn your craft, know your genre, and most important, join organizations. After I joined RWA and discovered my local chapter, everything seemed to fall into place. The support and encouragement from my fellow chapter mates has been an amazing part of this journey.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
     I love to drive and recently did a lap on the Nurburgring in Germany. It was quite thrilling!
     I am stubborn and very competitive (which has rubbed off onto my husband).
     We have game night in our household. My kid’s favorite game is Sorry!, followed by Apples to Apples.

BLURB: ONCE UPON A MONTANA CHRISTMAS
    Miss Eva Kenward does not want to spend another Christmas alone. Leaving Queen Victoria’s England, she journeys to America in search of an uncle but finds herself on the rugged frontier of Montana. And with no money and no acquaintances, the rudest man she has ever met is the one she must engage. Especially considering the precious bundle in her arms.
     “Hunt” Strauss has been fooled before by beauty. So when the ravishing young woman arrives on his doorstep, he suspects her of ulterior motives. But perhaps the baby she holds truly is his kin...and when Miss Kenward finds herself stranded after a hotel fire, he reluctantly agrees to help. Bringing her to his sprawling ranch, Hunt tries to keep his distance. But the enticing woman and her enthusiasm for the season soon prove that fairy tale love stories—and holiday wishes—really can come true.

EXCERPT
“Oh! It’s here!” Eva heard Aunt Carol bellow from downstairs. She gathered Lily in her arms and went down to see what all the fuss was about.
            Eva arrived downstairs just in time to see Hunt and Mr. Walker carry a large crate into the house and place it beside another.
            Aunt Carol’s face was bright with excitement. “Oh, dearie, you are just in time.”
            “Just in time for what?” Eva said as she edged closer to the crate.
            “Christmas decorations, tinsel, and treats from my brother in Germany!” As Aunt Carol explained about the contents of the crates, Hunt and Mr. Walker pried them open, revealing wrapped packages and tins full of fragrant spices.
            Eva sat down on the floor with a very curious Lily on her lap. When she opened a tin with the embossment of a German landscape, the scent of cloves filled the air. The next package Eva pulled contained a smooth wood block engraving of a Christmas tree. “This is beautiful,” she said as she admired the engraving.
            Eva was surprised when Hunt began to explain the significance of the wood engraving. “It’s a cookie mold. We use the molds to make decorative Lebkuchen, a type of spiced cookie, and ornaments for the Christmas tree. It has been a tradition in my family for many generations. My Oma taught my siblings and I how to make them.”
            She could hear the pride in his voice. Despite his tough exterior, underneath it all was a sensitive man. Not for the first time, Eva wondered what had hardened him.
            “Did you have any family traditions, dearie?”
            Eva did not know how to answer that question without raising sympathy from Aunt Carol. Her family was not close and they would never dream of sitting on the floor, rummaging through crates. She could hear her stepmother now: “That is why we have servants. Let them get their hands dirty.” Looking away, she shook her head without a word, and continued on with unpacking their traditions, wishing desperately she had some of her own.

About Alanna
     Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California. From an early age, she took an interest in travel, incorporating those experiences into her writing. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination, Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, or going for long walks. Alanna Lucas is a member of the Romance Writers of America, East Valley Authors, The Beau Monde, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

Buy links

Boroughs Publishing Group

Amazon

BN.com

Allromanceebooks

kobo



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Love of all things historical gets Lizzie writing

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


Lizzie Tremayne in action
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
     I've always written professionally as a veterinarian, but secretly desired to write novels. In high school, a wonderful English and History teacher inspired me to write, but it was put away until long after I'd finished veterinary school and become an equine veterinarian… 25 years after. An injury offered me the home-time to take my fledgling writing seriously, and I grabbed at the opportunity, but it wasn't until I'd written about 50,000 words that I began to believe I could actually do it!  I think that's why NaNoWriMo makes such a difference to some people! Putting 50K words down on paper, not to mention doing it in 30 days, inspires huge self-belief! I definitely see writing as my new career, although I'm spoiled for choice, being qualified as both an equine veterinarian with a specialty dental practice and a high school science/bio/chem/physics teacher! My current love and next full-time career, however, is writing!

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
     I prefer to write in the historical genre. I've always felt a strong attraction to stories of the past. The Dark Ages, Elizabethan times and the Old West equally held me enraptured, even as a beginning reader. I'm told I began sounding out the words in the Prince Valiant cartoon strips as a pre-schooler, when all I could otherwise read was "The cat ran up the tree." Perhaps it was the romance of a time different from that in which I lived that hooked me, or perhaps it was my desire for a link to those in my past, or to how I fit into the world. When  I began researching and writing historicals, I found I was seeking answers to questions in my own history and present. My discoveries have helped me become more comfortable with the person I am.

     For example, several towns in the West define themselves as being part of the Pony Express Trail. As a child, the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder enhanced my understanding of the westward-moving American pioneer, the peoples and lands they encountered, and how the settlers dealt with adversity. In A Long Trail Rolling, my first novel, Aleksandra is the daughter of a Polish immigrant trapper family in 1860s USA. She must survive when she is left alone in the world, and becomes a 'boy' rider for the famed Pony Express. Her adventures offer snapshots of life in the Rocky Mountain wilderness and overland throughout Utah Territory. Although the ‘Pony’ lasted a mere eighteen months, it still captures the imaginations of thousands of people internationally. I use the 'Pony' as a vehicle to show attitudes and interactions between my hero/heroine, other settlers and the American Indians.

     In my second novel, A Sea of Green Unfolding, I show historical aspects of 1862 San Francisco Bay Area, from Redwood City, via La Honda, through to San Gregorio, and 1863 New Zealand. In it, I show why Redwood City grew so quickly and how it was named. After my characters travel by barque to New Zealand, readers are offered aspects of New Zealand history which are not taught in primary, and only rarely in secondary schools.

     As I pore over old documents, I aim to make the unearthed information palatable to someone who might never pick up a book of historical fact, search out an old battle record or travel to a remote graveyard to read the inscription on a tombstone. Can I offer readers some inkling of what happened in their own town or country to give it the unique flavour it carries today? Some idea of why a certain town emerged when it did, or shed light upon why a particular society developed the way it has? Perhaps it will provide a puzzle piece allowing someone to open previously closed doors of the past, permitting healing of hidden societal wounds that prevent peaceful cohabitation.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s? 
     I've just completed my first novel, A LONG TRAIL ROLLING, a Western historical adventure with romantic elements. It comprises a saga of the Old West with a multicultural cast of the people who made up America, and would likely interest adults or young adults who like the Old West, American history, Indians, horses, immigrants, and the Pony Express. This novel was a finalist in the HMB Great Beginnings Contest at the RWNZ Conference last year and is currently a finalist in the RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award, a full novel competition, with the winner to be announced at the annual conference in August!

     In the story, seventeen-year-old Aleksandra Lekarski, alone and running to prevent her pa's killer from obtaining a secret which could allow world domination by the Czar, conceals herself as a 'boy' Pony Express rider in 1860's Utah Territory. Her 'Californio' boss Xavier Arguello has a spirit to match her own—along with a mutually undeniable attraction—and together they overcome the evil that threatens them. I plan to self-publish as soon as the edits are completed.

     I am two-thirds of the way through my second novel, A Sea of Green Unfolding. In this sequel to A Long Trail, Aleksandra and Xavier journey to adventure from the California of 1862 to the turbulent wilderness of New Zealand.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
     The following authors have shaped my world and my writing. I hope to do justice to my favourite writers by placing A LONG TRAIL ROLLING somewhere between Phillipa Gregory, Diana Gabaldon, Jean Auel, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
     I am passionate about my teenaged boys, my partner, horses, dogs,  my hobby farm, medieval re-enacting (fencing, horseback archery, sewing kit), kayaking, carriage competition driving, gardening, singing, cooking and my other life as equine veterinarian with a specialty equine dentistry practice. Following an injury, I work part time at equine veterinary dentistry and part time at high school teaching Science/Bio/Chem/Physics. I REALLY love writing!

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
    
Just do it. Avoid listening to the naysayers… Do NaNoWriMo, join a writing group! I've found the RWNZ here in NZ to be the most positive, encouraging group of ladies and gents I've ever met! Just DOOOOOooooooo it!

Blurb: A LONG TRAIL ROLLING
     
     Seventeen year old Aleksandra Lekarski, alone and running to prevent her pa's killer from obtaining a secret which could allow world domination by the Czar, conceals herself as a boy Pony Express rider in 1860s Utah Territory. Her "Californio" boss Xavier Arguello has a spirit to match her own—along with a mutually undeniable attraction—and together they overcome the evil that threatens them.

EXCERPT

         Mr. Jackson stood waiting for her before the log cabin, holding a striking Palouse Indian pony with a pure black coat other than his white blanket patterned with black spots. His dogs circled around Aleksandra when she dismounted, the little brown bitch's lips drawn back into a toothy grimace of a grin while she quivered and wagged her whole body ingratiatingly. The station keeper took only a moment to slip the mochila onto the stallion, sign her time card and check for mail before Aleksandra was off again with a pat for the bitch and a wave.
'I call him Scout!' he called out after us, as we rode away.
Scout wasn't tall, but he was a powerhouse. He hit a long trot up that steep and rocky incline to the summit, never faltering, never looking to the side. Her heart sang. She felt blessed to have such incredible horses to ride, and actually get paid for it. 
 Lookout Pass, she reminded herself as she passed the summit, looking north to see the distant white tops of the Onaqui Mountains and thought again of her papa and the fossil he'd fossicked for her from its rocky ledges. Beginning her mile-long descent at a trot on the handy little horse, she was absentmindedly fingering the fossil inside the medicine bag hung about her neck when she felt the first arrow whizz past her head.
Aleksandra's heart stopped as she flung herself to the left side of the Palouse's neck into a Cossack hang, lying flat against his side.
'Yah! Yah! Let's go, Scout!' she shouted and threw the reins at him.
He needed little urging to run full tilt down the steep and treacherously rocky trail as the yells of Indian warriors filled the narrow valley. The arrows came hard and fast from the southwest, like a mad bunch of hornets.
Smart, she thought, with a hint of a wry grin. The Indians had placed themselves between the trail and the setting sun, so Aleksandra couldn't see her attackers in the glimpses she stole from beneath Scout's neck of the world whizzing past. With the ground only three feet from her head, the scent of sage filled her nostrils when Scout crashed through a clump of brush. Briefly considering what she knew was akin to suicide, climbing back into the saddle to pull a gun from her saddlebag, she tightened her lip in a grimace and stayed put, trusting far more in the pony's speed and handiness to save them. Knowing her full weight hanging off to one side had to put the stallion off his best, she tried to stay out of his way, keeping as still as possible, tucked down on the side of the skidding and leaping beast. Praying the cinch would hold, she sent fervent thanks to the pony selectors for their choice of horses. How I would love to have my bow and arrows, she thought, but I only need to get us through to Doc Faust at Rush
     The Palouse interrupted her musings as he threw up his head and reared, angrily trumpeting and shaking his head for a moment, nearly dropping Aleksandra, then resumed his headlong rush down the hill. When he carried on, she heard whistling sounds with every breath and turned her head forward to see where the noise was coming from.
     Then she saw the arrow.

About Lizzie
 A LONG TRAIL ROLLING my first novel, is newly completed and in the throes of final edits before it is self-published. I am halfway through my second, A Sea of Green Unfolding. They are both historical fictional adventures with romantic elements set in the 1860s, and range from the Old West of Utah Territory, via California to New Zealand. I love history and what it can teach us, and my stories involve the history, the people and the horses that shaped these places today. When I'm not writing, I can be found with my family at our hobby farm in a lovely river valley in New Zealand with our horses, dog and other assorted animals. I might, however, be playing at medieval rapiers or horseback archery, sewing, kayaking, carriage driving, singing, cooking, working part time as an equine veterinarian (veterinary dentistry specialty practice) or teaching high school science.

Mostly, though, I’m writing! I look forward to your visits to my blog and to hearing your thoughts on the above.

Links:
Blog: http://lizzitremayne.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lizzi.tremayne 
Twitter: LizziTremayne
About Me http://about.me/Lizzi_Tremayne
Justum Perficito ... Do Right and Fear Nothing

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Barbara loves to write character-driven romance


     Welcome back, Barbara. Please get comfortable and tell us about your latest adventure.

     Thank you Jean for having me back here at Adventures in Authorland!  I’m looking forward to chatting.

Barbara White Daille 
What books have influenced your life most?
      I’d have to say I was most influenced by the children’s books I read as a child, because they’re what got me hooked on reading and writing, which are the two most important passions in my life.  I started with mysteries, from The Bobbsey Twins and Encyclopedia Brown books up through the middle-grade to young-adult level Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden.  And of course, with those young adult books, there was a touch of romance thrown in, which led to my loving that genre.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
      Romance, always, because I love a happy ending and I love writing about relationships.  Because romance is so character-driven, I can delve deeply into what drives my story folks—even if much of the info about their backgrounds never makes it between the covers of a book.
      I also love romance because in the type of books I write, I can incorporate quirky secondary characters and towns that almost become characters in their own right.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?
      Oh, my gosh!  We don’t have enough space here for me to give you the list.  I’ll cry if the movie’s sad, if it’s happy, if it’s poignant….   I cry every time Dorothy taps her ruby slippers together and says, “There’s no place like home.”  And I choke up over made-for-TV movies, long-distance telephone company commercials, and Hallmark greeting cards.

If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?
     This is such a tough question, as I have so many dates I’d like to investigate! 
      But I’ll go with December 14, 1926, the day mystery great Agatha Christie (one of my idols) was discovered at a hotel in Harrogate after an eleven-day disappearance following an automobile accident.
      Her husband was having an affair, and Christie was found to have checked into the hotel using the name of her husband’s mistress.  It’s said that she suffered a type of trauma-induced amnesia due to the accident, and that from the time she was found until her death in 1976, she never spoke a word about her disappearance.  Because she’s my idol, I’ve always wondered what happened in those days she would never discuss. 

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?
      This isn’t a super-hero power but a paranormal one.  Because I’m so interested in people and what makes them tick, I’m fascinated by psychometry.  This is a psychic ability that allows a person to hold an object and, through that touch, be able to tell its history, as well as being able to pick up on the thoughts and emotions of other people who have held the same object.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?
      Yes, thank you for asking!
      THE TEXAN’S LITTLE SECRET debuts next month.  It’s the story of Carly Baron, the wild child of an influential Texas family, and Luke Nobel, a single dad and the manager of the Baron family’s ranch.  After years away from home, Carly returns and becomes involved in a search for her birth mother, who abandoned their family when Carly was a child. 
      While Carly and Luke have a shared past, she has a secret she can never share with him.  It’s a secret with a twist that has haunted her since she left home—and Luke—years ago.
      I’m also happy to share I’ll have more books out with Harlequin American Romance.  The Hitching Post Hotel is a three-book series that begins in 2015.  The series revolves around a small family-owned hotel and a matchmaking grandpa who plans to find mates for his granddaughters—whether they want them or not!

Blurb: THE TEXAN’S LITTLE SECRET:

     Coming home might be the worst decision Carly Baron has ever made. Each minute on her family's busy ranch is one minute closer to seeing him—her first love—the man who broke her heart seven years ago. While coming face-to-face with Luke Nobel again brings back painful memories, Carly quickly realizes there are other strong feelings just under the surface…. 
      Luke would be a lot better off if Carly had stayed away. Being a single dad to an adorable two-year-old girl and managing the Roughneck is tough enough, but resisting the sparks that fly whenever he and Carly are together is near impossible. But first she must tell him her secret. The truth could heal their past…or forever destroy their chances of becoming a family.

Excerpt:
     The cowboy standing in the barn doorway started toward the truck, his long legs in worn jeans eating up the space more rapidly than she'd come up the drive.  He wore a battered Stetson, the wide brim shading most of his face, but no matter how much she tried to convince herself this was just any old cowhand striding toward her, she couldn't believe the lie.
     There was no mistaking those mile-wide shoulders or that sandy-blond hair.  No mistaking the way her heart pounded.
     The last time she'd seen Luke Nobel, he had turned and stalked away from her in anger, leaving her teenaged heart crushed in the dust beneath his boots.  To this day, she hadn't healed right, and probably never would.
     She wasn't ready for this meeting.
     He wasn't giving her a choice.
     Seconds later, he halted within arm's reach of her driver's door, his eyes seeming to hold the power to pin her into her seat.
     All these weeks of worrying, and here was the one situation she had wanted to avoid.  All the years of running, and here stood the one man she'd tried so hard to leave behind.
     "Carly Baron," he said.  "At last...."

About Barbara:

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.  Barbara writes romances—usually with cowboys, kids, and a touch of humor.  Her current title is Rancher at Risk, and she’s excited that her upcoming book, THE TEXAN’S LITTLE SECRET, releases in less than a month! 

THE TEXAN’S LITTLE SECRET can be found at:
Amazon    
Amazon UK

Barbara would love to have you drop by her website:  www.barbarawhitedaille.com

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Unusual "pets" spawn futuristic novella


Hello Deryn and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure. Deryn writes as Virginnia de Parte

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Deryn Pittar
     I’d submitted my first sci.fi novella to three previous publishers and each had made suggestions, which I’d followed. The last had said it didn’t fit their stable, but they felt someone would take it. When the email arrived from the fourth publisher I presumed it would be another ‘thank you but no thank you’ with helpful attachments to soften the blow - but at the very end of the attachment list was “con…” and as I scrolled along the words “Contract with Secret Cravings Publishing” appeared. At that moment I knew I’d made it. It was a blissful moment that made all my efforts worthwhile.

What book are you reading now?
      I have an eclectic taste in books and belong to a book club. The latest novel we received is ‘A State of Wonder’ by Ann Patchett. I loved her other book, ‘Bel Canto’, and already I’m deep into this story. I’m trying to objectively understand how it is written, but the story overwhelms me and I give in and enjoy reading it instead.

Do you see writing as a career?
     Yes, I do.  It’s an ideal career and one I can do at home, without the hassle of going to work and bending to an employer’s demands. I’m lucky enough to be retired. The art of writing suits me. It allows my imagination free rein and it keeps my brain extremely active. I am constantly learning new skills both electronically and manually.  I belong to several writing groups, have had to learn to objectively edit my own work and absorb and accept critiques from other authors. I’m lucky to be in contact with other writers as the actual act of writing can be rather solitary.

Have you ever travelled to a place and come away with the idea of a story?
     Yes, this happened to me at an airport, on our way home from a holiday. I sat, quite weary, watching people hurry by and noticed the latest fashion in suitcases. They were upright with four wheels on the bottom. The owners hugged them against their sides, holding the handles firmly, as if they were children. My novellas are set in the future and it occurred to me that I could use these upright suitcases as ‘pets’ that would follow their owners. I soon worked out how. They would need to follow an electronic signal worn by the owners. From this I began a whole new novella, ensuring that somewhere in the story I had the airport scene with the suitcases.  I’ve had feedback from readers wanting me to contact suitcase makers about this idea.  All of them love the suitcases and want to know where they can get one. They just need to live long enough. Someone will make them one day, I’m sure.

Do you have advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
     It’s the old maxim write, write, and write some more. Take courses on-line, get critique partners and read lots of books.  The more you read the more your brain absorbs the flow of words and your vocabulary increases. Don’t ask your family to read your efforts. Find an outsider, a beta reader, who will give you honest feedback. Most of all – believe in you, be prepared to be wrong and be prepared to listen. Then dash off and write some more. Don’t give up.
     I can’t write for M & B. I tried years ago and my brain will not write to their formula. I didn’t write for ten years after two manuscripts were rejected; but it no longer matters that M & B don’t want my efforts. I now write for myself.

Have you ever cried in a movie? Which one and why?
      Doctor Zhivago completed undid me. I wept at the sadness of the story, the suffering of the child, the horror of her hand being let go in that crowd. (I was a young mother at the time)The scenery was magnificent and the love story tragic.  I couldn’t listen to the music for years afterward and never ever went to see the film again. Even today Lara’s Theme haunts me if I hear it. I don’t go to see a film if I know in advance that it’s a ‘weepy’. Why torture myself? I’m still getting over Dr. Zhivago!

Blurb: ROMANCING THE MEMORY COLLECTOR
     When genetically altered Thomas meets Kate, who collects memory bubbles, an unlikely romance begins. A love match may not eventuate because theirs is a roller-coaster romance.
     KATE BENTLEY, is short-sighted but too vain to wear glasses. When she is tossed backward by the up-escalator at Sydney Airport she is rescued by THOMAS WINTERS. She falls for his kindness and melted-chocolate voice and doesn’t notice his lined face or the double-chins caused by his blood-hound genes - until she puts her glasses on.

EXCERPT:
     The moment she put her foot down, she regretted it. The moving plate of the escalator pushed her backward, and she tumbled over her suitcase, arms flailing, her shoulder bag swinging around and hitting her in the face.
    God, she hated being short sighted.

     Vanity, utter vanity, stopped her from wearing her glasses in public. At least with them on she would have noticed people coming toward her. Fellow travellers now staggered around her as she waited for the ringing in her ears to stop and the sting in her cheek to ease. Some uttered apologies as they stepped over or around her. A suitcase caught her ankle, clipping it with a nasty crack before the owner apologised and lifted it clear.
     I will not cry. I will not cry.
     She sniffed back tears, before crawling out of the way. She fumbled in her handbag for her damn spectacles that looked like the bottom of two wine bottles when she put them on. They enlarged her eyes until they looked like those of a frog. She’d grown up to the taunts of “googly-eye.” Today’s experience might cure her vanity because her present position verged on the ridiculous, baggage and legs strewn about, creating a traffic hazard.
     “Sit,” a voice commanded. Surely the man couldn’t mean her?
     She wanted to shout, ‘What do you think I’m doing?’ but at that moment a firm hand rested on her shoulder and a voice, as warm as a chocolate liqueur sliding down her throat, asked, “Are you all right, miss? Here, let me help you up.” She gave up looking for her glasses.
     With one hand in her bag, and the other reaching out for the handle of her case, she couldn’t refuse the offer. The man cupped her elbow, put an arm around her waist, and lifted her slowly to her feet. He held her until she steadied. Gratitude flooded her, tears welled and she sniffed again, unable to spare a hand to find her handkerchief. A large soft white cloth appeared under her nose and she grabbed it, grateful to be able to wipe her nose and cheeks. It smelled of pine trees after the rain. Without thinking she put it in her sleeve.
     “Thank you so much,” she said. “I’m sorry I’ve caused a traffic jam, it’s just I don’t see very well.” What an understatement. She peered at his shape in front of her. Then, realising she was frowning, she straightened her back and smiled. “I really should wear my glasses.” She gestured to where she thought her suitcase might be. “If you could pass me my case I’ll be on my way. Obviously the next escalator is the down one. Silly me.”
     Chocolate Voice moved to the side and disappeared, coming back a moment later. She could hear the wonky wheel of her suitcase. “Oh you’ve found it. Great.” She reached to take the handle. It didn’t arrive.
About Deryn
     I write futuristic romances under the pen name of Virginnia De Parte with a series of five e-books published by Secret Cravings Publishing. By writing about the future I have the pleasure of watching science catch up to my imagination.
     I have an erotic novella e-book published by Totally Bound, called Memoirs of Lady Montrose.
     My first Young Adult was published under my legal name last December, called A Taste of Gold,  it was released by Evernight Teens as an e-ook and POD.
     My other love is writing poetry and I am published in this genre, both on line and in hard copy. A love of words, and changing the way they are arranged, drives my writing. I endeavour to insert poetic prose into my fiction.
     I belong to writing groups and have several critique partners, all of whom help to keep me on-track and well edited.

Buy links
Secret Cravings link:  http://bit.ly/1s3SyV6
Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1n65fqb