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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Like drinking hot chocolate on a cold winter's day

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

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
     It wasn't until I was a finalist in a contest in 2012. Up to that point, I had been writing and writing, but considered it more of a hobby. I still remember receiving the email telling me I had made the finals and jumping up and down with excitement and happiness. I swear I told everyone, family, friends, and strangers, that I was a finalist and I'm sure most people I told didn't care. But when I saw my name on the list with the other finalists, I knew at that point that I was a writer.

What books have most influenced your life?
     Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, anything by Nora Roberts, Rachel Gibson, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and many others. If it weren't for these authors, I wouldn't be writing romance today. While I fell in love with romance after reading Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, Nora Roberts hooked me and kept me coming back for more.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
     I write contemporary romance. While I read a wide variety of romance and other genres, I tend to come back to contemporary romance. I enjoy reading and writing about modern day heroes and heroines. It also gives me the ability to create the quirky, small town characters that I love. A good contemporary romance is like drinking a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
     I've written three books thus far - Betting Brenda, The Best Intentions, and Finding the Dream. I can't pick one as my favorite. All of them have moments and characters that I love. The Best Intentions and Finding the Dream are special to me because they are part of my Lincoln Falls series and all of the characters have become near and dear to my heart. When I sit down to work on a Lincoln Falls novel, it's like coming home.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
     Write at least 15 minutes a day and try not to edit yourself as you write. It took a long time for me to turn off the editor in my head. I found I wasted a lot of my writing time trying to get the perfect wording down. You can edit and worry about perfection later.
    
Learn to take criticism in stride. Writing is subjective -- some people will love your writing and some won't. You will have to analyze the criticism you receive to find the nuggets that will help you improve your writing. I highly recommend contests. The critiques I received through contests were invaluable.
     Make sure to read. You can learn a lot from reading books, not only in the genre you write in, but in other genres as well.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don't know.
     I would love to go up in a hot air balloon one day. It has been on my list of things to do for a long time.
     I love to prank people. I've been married to a prankster for a long time now and I think I caught the prankster bug.
     I'm extremely competitive. I go into everything with the idea that I'm going to win.

BLURB: FINDING THE DREAM
     Jessica James had her dream—a career on Broadway as a successful actress—until one night when it was taken all away. Forced to move back to Lincoln Falls and live with her parents, Jessica's only goal is to regain her career and go back to New York. She doesn't count on a honeysuckle hating man standing in her way or the town of Lincoln Falls itself. Now everything she thought she ever wanted may not be her dream at all. 
     Eric Mason and his daughter have quietly lived next door to Jessica's parents. That all changes when he meets Jessica. She is overly dramatic and the most annoying person he's ever met. Yet, he can't get her off his mind.
     Will they find a new dream together?

EXCERPT:
     Eric had heard a lot about Lorraine's daughter, the actress, but he hadn't had the opportunity to meet her since she'd come home. So far, she'd made quite the impression on him. Who knew there'd be this much drama over a honeysuckle.
      "I'm wearing slippers." She turned, anger in her brown eyes.
      "With reindeer?"
     "No. Moose."
     He laughed. God, she was easy to bother and, for some reason, he enjoyed bothering her a lot.
     "Why would you wear those?"
     "They keep my feet warm," she said it as if it should have been obvious.
     "You know they sell slippers without antlers."
     "These were a gift," she said, pointing at them.
     "You could have returned them."
     "Why would I do that? I like them. I need a cup of coffee. Goodbye." She pushed a tangle of blond hair out of her face as she turned to walk away.
     He held up his hands. "Whoa. I didn't realize you were so sensitive about them."
     "I'm not. I'm just done with this conversation. Eric, I wish I could say it was nice to meet you, but under the circumstances . . . well, you understand." She shrugged and walked toward the house.
     "Wait. You know my name, but I didn't get yours."
     "Jessica."
     "Jessica James. As in Jesse James. You're named after the infamous outlaw?" That was a good one. What had her parents been thinking?
     She flipped him the bird as she turned to go and he laughed.
     "It was a pleasure," he said, watching her as she retreated across the backyard. She had a willowy frame and, in her slippers, stood almost as tall as him.
     She glanced over her shoulder one last time with her full lips pursed and fire in her eyes. He couldn't wait to meet Jessie James again.
Buy links:
About Jennifer Britt:
     After graduating from law school, Jennifer Britt worked for a leading tax publication as a legal editor.  She then moved to an accounting firm as an associate director and legal editor.   While her day job keeps her busy, Jennifer has managed to find time to write and, most nights, she can be found in front of her laptop writing her next contemporary romance novel.
     She lives in Virginia with her husband and family.
Connect with Jennifer on her website at http://jennifer-britt.com/, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Historicals fire up Samanthya's passion

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

Jean, Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog.

You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point.
     As a child I had many desires, be a singer, be an actress, but the one thing that seemed to come natural was write. I wrote poems, short stories, and then tucked them away. When I graduated, I married a military man, we travelled the United Stated and abroad. Once I found historical romance novels, I couldn’t put a book down. I fell in love with the characters and needed to know their happy ending.
     When my children were grown, I started writing again. I wrote a story and once again life took over, so I put my MS on a shelf. A few years ago I decided I wanted to pursue writing seriously. I entered a lot of contests, workshops, and made some good friends via e-mails. I pulled my story back out and finished my historical, THE RIGHT ONE, the first of a trilogy in the One and Only Series.
     I sent my MS to editors, and finally a pitch opportunity with Savvy Authors resulted in an editor asking for a full. Now I have not one, but two books published by Soul Mate Publishing. I’m working on the historical sequels, book 2 to be released soon, and also have plans for a contemporary series, The Firemen of Station #8.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
     My main love is historical. I would have liked to live in the Regency time period. Dashing lords and pirates seem so romantic. So historical genre is the one I chose. One day I was playing around to get my mind off edits and I wrote a scene with two women bantering back and forth. The words seemed to flow. I ended up writing my first contemporary Something More. Even though historical romance is my first love, the Regency requires a lot of research and effort with language of the time period. But I learn a lot of history while I’m looking. So many amazing details which makes a good foundation for any MS. I find the more I research, the more I write down, the deeper my thoughts and the more my characters come alive.

What books have most influenced your life most?
     Historical Romance—And who has not been inspired by Kathleen Woodiwiss!! There are so many favourite authors, Shirlee Busbee, Janelle Taylor, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter, Jude Deveraux, I’m really afraid to mention names for fear of leaving someone out. I’ve found many new authors as well and I look for new authors to read.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?
     In my first historical, Katherine’s brother is missing. Find out what happened to Kat’s brother in the thrilling sequel in the One and Only series. Book 2,  Stephen’s story -  “The True One” 
     His ship in splinters and his men captured, Stephen is a broken man. Yet the torture he received by his enemies is nothing compared to the torment he bears from an angel with lavender eyes.
     Jennifer left England full of a young girl’s fantasies of romance and adventure. When she cares for a near death captain, memories emerge of the family she left behind. Will the passion they share be enough? He must choose – her or revenge.
     After that, Book 3, Giles’ story -  “The Only One”

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
     No# 1.  Join RWA. From there you learn to do a number of things. You can join chapter groups, critique groups, you’ll find friends and receive a lot of help. Take every workshop offered—GMC, POV, character interviews, etc. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did. Enter contests and keep your mind open. Take criticism as constructive. Make your writing better. Don’t expect success overnight. It is a long, hard process. If you are determined, keep trying. Don’t give up.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
     Blue is my favourite colour. Never a pink girl. Wonder if that had anything to do with the fire trucks and guns I played with as a child. Hmmm. I’m working on Firemen of Station #8 Series. I wonder if I had a deep desire even then.
     I would love to ski, jump from an airplane, all the things I should have done at a much younger age. Now, I love to go to the beach, read a book, take walks, crochet, and watch my grandkids.
     I love to make people laugh. My hubby is so silly. And his playfulness has rubbed off on me. Anything can come out of my mouth sometimes, just for fun. I’ll say things that don’t make sense, have people raising their eyebrows, or just busting out with laughter. At my age I still love rollercoasters.
     Dark lords are sexy. Every girl dreams of a strong hero and every man wants a sexy woman. The idea of mistaken identity intrigued me and I needed a hook. As I put my story to paper I created conflicts. This is the result.
 
Blurb: THE RIGHT ONE
Morgan Bartholomew Langston, Earl of Whetherford, has finally decided to accept his fate. Tired of dangerous assignments and putting his neck on the line, he has returned to his ancestral home to accept the title of his birthright and produce the required heir. But, when he arrives, he finds his home has been invaded and a female has taken off with his mother’s jewels. Morgan decides the traitorous jade will not get away, so he sets into motion a plan to bring her back. When he abducts the wrong woman, his reaction to her brings him dangerously close to breaking his vow of forbidden emotions.
Katherine Elizabeth Radbourn is a strong, independent woman, and at the age of twenty-three is still unwed. In a desperate attempt to find her brother, she is abducted which leads her on a journey to love and mistaken identity. Once she meets her captor, fear and indignation dissipates to an overwhelming awareness. Even though he tells her she is the wrong one, Kat realizes she has finally met a man that—not only she is attracted to—but has awakened her woman’s body. Does he really care for her or does he secretly yearn for the woman she is supposed to be?  Uncertainty makes her risk the very man she has given her soul.


EXCERPT:  THE RIGHT ONE
He abducts the wrong woman . . . she proves she is the right one.

Nothing else in the room existed but the two of them. His hypnotic pull seared her, sending a tingling sensation beginning in her stomach, then flowing down the back of her knees and extending through her limbs making it impossible to move.
Her throat tightened.
If those eyes could shoot fire, they would sear holes right through her. But the expression on his face . . . he looked like he’d just had a good kick in the teeth.
Morgan felt as though someone had just punched him in the gut—hard. His breath caught at the sight of the stunning creature before him. Lost in amazing green eyes—adrift in their sparkling jade and mystique sensuality. He scanned her high cheekbones with soft creamy skin, and let his gaze slide down to fasten on luscious lips. Suddenly his mouth was dry
She stood straight and tall with her chin at an angle in challenge. Even with that rod in her backbone, he sensed her vulnerability. A pang of concern struck his chest.
“You,” he whispered. What the hell is she doing here?
An explosion went off in his brain. Holy Mother of God! Those fools. They must have brought her here thinking she was Juliana.
Blood and the devil!
 Morgan’s heart kicked and landed somewhere in the bottom of his gut. Choking on the words for this unsettling circumstance, he compelled himself to speak hoping his voice would not betray him. “I owe you my profound apology. There has been a horrendous mistake, madam. And I fear that I have made it.”
Those beautiful eyes blinked. She stared at him as though someone had taken over her senses. Was this woman a simpleton?
He hurried to the sideboard. Even though she could quite possibly be in shock, he ignored the stronger spirits and poured a generous amount of sherry. He didn’t want to knock her on her bum, just bring some colour back in her face. He strode back to the unknown beauty and placed the flute in her hand.
Changes came over her face. Stupor—awe—surprise—and . . . anger. Although Morgan was not a patient man, he waited.
Her eyes flamed with fire. “Did I hear you correctly? Mistake?”
Morgan stopped the oath before it left his mouth. “Yes. I believe your being here is a mistake.”
“A mistake.” She echoed with a stupefied look, unseeing the crystal she held in her hand. “That’s what I thought you said.”
She raised the glass and downed the liquid in one swift movement. Tears came to her eyes as she tried not to cough. She marched to the side table and he feared she planned to get more. Instead she set the glass on the table top. When she faced him, her hands were fisted and the fire in her eyes burned brighter than the flames in the hearth.
“Mistake?” she snapped. “I was kidnapped! I have been a prisoner in your home. Forced to come here and forced to remain. I’ve been scared out of my mind. Every day I worried if you still lived. I agonized over what would become of me if you died. Then I walk in here and you have the audacious daring to tell me it was a mistake?”

Visit my webpage: samanthyawyatt.com 
You can also find me on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and SMP Authors.
Thank you for your interest. Tell your friends.

Buy links:
“The Right One”   http://amzn.to/1lEk2qY
“Something More”    http://amzn.to/1mhTqw4




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