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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Frances draws on Scottish heritage for medieval

Hi Frances and welcome. Tell us a something  about your adventure

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I held a copy of my first book with Silhouette Intimate Moments in my hands. The Man for Maggie had won the Clendon Award and that was exciting because it led to publication, but holding that first baby in my hands was like a confirmation that I had made it

How many books have you written, and which is your favourite

My seventh book is just about to be released by Escape Publishing and up until now I would have said my favourite book was LOVE UNDER FIRE The hero – Rowan – appeared in almost all my Jellic Family books and even now I feel I could write him into another book without missing a beat, I know his character so well. But with THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE I began a new adventure. My first Scottish medieval romance. This is the book that took me home. The book that reminded me of who I was. Much of the history I used in the ‘Chieftain’ I learned at my grandfather’s knee, so to speak. He was very keen on local history and took me to visit many historic places, some of which I’ve used in my book.

In which genre you prefer to write and why?

Now this is a tough one. Around the time the SIM imprint changed my DH experienced a health crisis and my writing took a back seat. Once it was over I started stretching my wings, trying out new genre styles. An idea would pop into my head and I would go with it. What I didn’t take into account was that publishers have certain programs and if what you have written doesn’t fit, no matter if they like it, too bad. It’s a lesson I need to take to heart – someday. There is always that urge to follow that story idea and see where it leads. That’s what is good about Escape Publishing, they are simply looking for a damn good story. So at the moment I’m working on book two of my Scottish Medieval trilogy and I hope they like it when it’s done.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release.

THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE is set in eleventh century Scotland, two or three decades after the Normans conquered England and during the reign of Malcolm Canmore, the Scottish king who followed Macbeth – and in an aside, I have to say Shakespeare really gave Macbeth a bad name. It was a time of turmoil in Scottish history, but I guess you can say that’s not unheard of. Euan McArthur is clan chieftain and has been cursed by a witch never to have a wife give him the heir he needs to secure his clan’s safety. As the book opens his third wife and son have just died in childbirth and he has decided never to marry again until the curse can be broken. I must admit this is not your usual opening to a romance. Yet in the Chieftain’s Curse it works. The plot is full of intriguing layers, that come from characters who pull you into the heart of the story with a desire to know more.  Not the least of them is Morag Farquhar, my heroine. She is the solution and the problem of the story. I’ll be putting the prologue to the book up on my website for anyone who would like to check it out at

Have you ever travelled to a place and come a way with a story unexpectedly?

I went on a tour of the South Island with my husband and while I was in Queenstown I read in the newspaper of an exhibition of greenstone at a gallery in Greymouth. I’d actually had this story floating around my mind for a while, part of the reason for my South Island visit. I can only say the greenstone on display was magnificent and the ancient greenstone Mere had an aura about them that was unmistakable. While I was in the gallery I found his small book, really small, about two-an-a-half inches by four inches, a history of greenstone. But in that small book I found the main thrust of my story. HEARTBREAK HERO.

Who are your favourite authors?

I have to say all my New Zealand writer friends. There is something about reading of settings that are familiar that adds and extra piquancy to a story. Linda Howard stands out as one of my all time favourites in romantic suspense, Rachel Gibson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips for romantic comedy. Anna Campbell and Stephanie Laurens, not forgetting Victoria Alexander for regencies. Nalini Singh for paranormal and anything else she cares to write. My ambition is always to write well enough to join their league and like our heroines, it's a goal that moves my personal story forward.

Frances Housden THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE available from on February 1st.       

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Angela likes the happy-ever-after ending

Welcome Angela. Make yourself comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Thanks so much, Jean, for inviting me to Adventures in Authorland. 

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

My philosophy has always been write what you like to read.  If another genre is recommended to me, I’ll read it.  But at the library, bookstore and Amazon, I’m looking at the romance listing.  I like the happy ever after ending.  I’ve watched soap operas for years, so writing romance with twists and turns, but the eventual happy ever after ending just seems natural.

Can you give us some details about your current release?

Magic Moment started about four years ago.  I already had the idea for a hero who goes through life believing he has to be the type of person others want him to be, rather than the person he wants to be.  Chase Donovan is a man who grew up torn between a self-centered, unprincipled father and compassionate, selfless mother.

Then, a colleague of mine, who has children, said she wished that her family could live on just her husband’s income and that she didn’t have to work.  She said since she had to have a full-time job, she had missed out on some important milestones in her kids’ lives.  For example, her oldest daughter took her first steps in day care.  She said she didn’t need a career.  She would be happy just being a volunteer lunch mom at her daughters’ school and going to PTA meetings.      

Some of our colleagues scoffed.  I couldn’t see anything wrong with this woman’s feelings.  That’s how I thought of the character of Laura Roberts, a woman who never aspired for a high-power career, but a simple, unpretentious life as a wife and mother.

The idea of bringing the FBI into their lives, and sending the couple on the run, I needed those twists and turns.  I’ve watched television police dramas and soap operas since I was ten-years-old and the most successful romances, the most interesting storylines, were the ones littered with suspense.

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

I read.  I listen to a lot of Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi.  And, baseball.  Or more specifically, my Philadelphia Phillies.  During Baseball season, I even have the radio on, listening to a Phillies’ game, while I’m working on my writing. 

What place inspires you the most?

Places where I lived.  I live in Philadelphia, have spent summers at the New Jersey shore, and went to college in Vermont.  It’s not so much being inspired, but writing about what I know and where I’ve been.  The fictional towns of Magic Lake, where Chase docks his boat, and Sea Tower, where the couple take refuge, are blends of Cape May, New Jersey and Montpelier, Vermont where I went to college.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?

I’m not comfortable giving advice, as in saying to others “you should do this,” but I can tell you what it’s been like for me.  I always keep my mind open to whatever comments others have to make.  I love feedback.   If I think a critic’s advice makes sense, I’ll follow suggestions. 

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

I’m very sentimental.  Anything that touches my heart brings tears to my eyes – whether it’s being sad over a tragedy reported on CNN, or hearing O, Holy Night at Christmas, or even being excited for the Phillies’ Roy Halladay as he pitched his perfect game.  But as for movies…a couple of weeks ago, I caught a snippet of The Way We Were.  Although I’ve seen that movie at least a dozen times, the end where Barbara Streisand sweeps a wisp of hair from Robert Redford’s forehead then embraces him, always has me reaching for the tissues. 

When the FBI brings Laura Roberts – a quiet, reserved bookkeeper– in for questioning regarding activities at the warehouse where she works, an uneasy Laura resigns her job – only to be attacked by thugs.

Chase Donovan intends to spend a few peaceful days on his boat getting his head together – and finds a woman being assaulted by two men who say his father told them to do it.

Chase doesn’t want to believe his father could hurt anyone. Laura doesn’t understand why she’s a target. Can they learn to work together to discover the truth – before someone dies?


As she opened the cabin door, a pleasant, tangy sea breeze tickled her senses. Stiff limbs hindered her movements, but she climbed the stairs to  the deck. The sun blazed in the clear blue sky. The boat teetered, alone, in a vast mass of water. A brisk chill nipped the air, and Laura hugged herself.

“Chase,” she called. No answer. She called his name again, this time her voice having an edge.

He wasn’t in the wheelhouse. She darted back down the stairs. If he had been moving around in the bathroom or “head” as he had called it, she would have heard him.

“Chase.” Panic gripped her. “Chase.”

Her heart pounding, she ran through the narrow corridor and stopped dead in the eating area. Propped up on the stool, he was asleep at the bar with a half-filled liquor bottle and an empty glass. His head rested on folded arms, his breathing deep. A laptop was also on the bar. The monitor was dark, but the yellow light blinked. Laura hit the space bar and print appeared on the screen. Several windows had been minimized.

Clicking on one minimized window, she skimmed the on-screen print and gasped, amazed at the words she read. She clicked another window and saw a search engine page. Chase had been reading articles on women who had been assaulted. Her eyes scanned the list of titles. He had wanted to understand, wanted to know how he could help her. From what she had observed of Chase in the last three years, she never guessed he had this sensitive, compassionate side to his personality. Her perception of Chase had been that of a friendly, but overindulged, self-absorbed playboy.

Who would have guessed?

Angela Adams writes and reviews contemporary romances. Her work has appeared in Romance at Heart, Oysters and Chocolate, and The Long and Short Reviews. In December 2011, Whimsical Publications published an anthology, Winter Wonders. Ms. Adams’ short story “Burgers and Hot Chocolate,” was among the collection.

Buying Details:
Barnes and Noble
All Romance ebooks


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Journey beyond the stars with SE Gilchrist

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

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I believe this occurred when I decided to take my writing seriously but I wasn’t sure I would ‘make’ it so deep down inside, I didn’t really believe I was a real writer. In January 2009 I made a commitment to take my passion seriously so I took my first on-line course, the RWA Bootcamp 109 and followed that up by my first attendance at the RWA conference, that year held in Brisbane. Seriously, these two events changed my life.

Suddenly, I was in contact with like-minded people, some of whom were like me, on the threshold of their writing journey, others were established writers with years of experience and achievements and of course, there was everyone in between.

And what was so wonderful at that conference, was that everyone said to me: If you write, you are a writer.’

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

I’ve written about eleven books/stories but my early attempts will never see the light of day. Hard to choose my favourite as I have a tendency to fall for each hero when I am writing that particular story then when I move onto the next one, I fall for him (see how fickle I am?). But since I have to pick, it would have to be Legend Beyond the Stars. This book encompassed a lot of firsts for me. I wrote my first sex/love scene (thank you so very much to the encouragement of the ladies of Bootcamp 109). It was the first single title I’d ever attempted and finished, my first attempt at writing sci-fi (although I’ve been a sci-fi / mythology fan since I could hold a book in my hands). This book also gave me my first placement in a writing contest, it came third in 2011 RWA Emerald Contest.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I love to set my stories in worlds which I invent, futuristic, post- apocalyptic, fantasy with historical settings. The whole deal of world building is fascinating and I love researching for facts, inventions, myths, history anything that I can use or twist it around to suit is challenging, fun and exciting for me.

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

My writing journey has so far been a ride and I love it, even the ‘downs’ and challenges.  When I decided to treat my writing seriously I devoured ‘how-to’ books, attended heaps of on-line writing courses and entered contests for feedback.
Attending conferences and writers workshops have been vital to me for motivation and I’ve learned so much through doing so.  From Bootcamp 109 I not only made new friends but I found a writing buddy, Sandie Hudson, who actually lived in my area. Together we ended up forming a local f2f writing group, now called the Hunter Romance Writers (here’s our link
When one of the members of the RWA erotic loop came up with an idea for an anthology where any member, both published and unpublished could put up a short story for consideration, I joined in. The self-published anthology idea was scraped when Momentum Publishing expressed an interest and we all sent off our stories to Joel for consideration. That moment of receiving notification my story, Paying the Forfeit, had been chosen to be included in the Hot Down Under series is indescribable. A lot of squealing and yelling went on. The series was launched on 1st November and my story on 1st December.
At our 2012 conference, another two new e-publishers were announced. So on 10th September I submitted a partial and a 100 word blurb for my sci-fi single title on the new Harlequin Escape website. Kate Cuthbert requested the full on 21st September and on 12th October, I received that special email. My reaction…. Similar to my brain imploding I think. Disbelief, heart pounding, more squealing, running around the house, etc. I must have read that email a hundred times that day. And the days after.
Sometimes I think I’m still dreaming!
Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?

Legend Beyond the Stars (to be released by Escape Publishing in January) has hot and passionate romance, dangerous adventure, interesting characters, a dark and dirty secret and plenty of conflict that threatens to drive my heroine and hero apart. I fell in love with this hero and I hope my readers will too. Oh, and I mustn’t forget a crazy alien called, Norman.
Here’s a one sentence blurb :
In a world of uncertainty, where the wrong decision could mean the death of an entire race, the last thing either of these two soldiers expects, or needs, is to fall in love.
I also entered the world of self e-publishing over the holiday break with an erotic fantasy novella, Bound by Love. This story whilst it has fantasy elements is mainly set in Iron Age Britain and is a tale of vengeance being thwarted by unexpected love for the enemy. It’s available at Smashwords and Amazon.

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

Spending time with family and friends is a priority but to unwind I love bushwalking, it clears my mind and makes me feel alive. I kayak occasionally when I can find the time and also paint in a very small way. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on and a book is never far from me. The environment, climate change and the welfare of animals are very hot topics for me. I’d also love to be in a position to travel again.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

I’ll weep copiously at any animal movie. No seriously, if anyone remembers Born Free I was so upset when I saw that as a little girl, my father swore he’d never take me to another movie again. Another was the Lion King, I blubbered away at that one, Titantic (what a wonderful love story), Steel Magnolias and My Sister’s Keeper.

Excerpt for Legend Beyond the Stars © S E Gilchrist

Star Time: Darkon Year 6035 – Earth Year 2156

The best way to start a new mission was definitely not lying in an induced hiatus inside a coffin-shaped tube.
Not to mention the agonising awakening to consciousness followed by long hours spent crouched over what passed as a toilet on this alien spaceship. The entire experience made Captain Alana Knight feel as if she had just trekked through the Gobi Desert hauling an armoured tank. She repressed a groan when her stomach muscles gripped hard before releasing.
A shaky breath slipped past her lips as she continued to pace around the cabin. She did an abrupt about-face then retraced her steps, while she rubbed her stiff thigh muscles, her feet heavy like chunks of rock inside her anti-gravity boots. Finally, she stopped to stare at the viewing screen where the darkness of outer space stretched into infinity.
Something was wrong.
She concentrated on tuning out the constant, low whine of the turbines that powered the intergalactic space voyager as it cruised through the black. The background murmurs of the other women as they milled about in restless groups faded.
Yep, something definitely stank.
Ever since she had awakened, disquiet had gnawed at the edge of her mind. Awakened from a hiatus the traders had insisted was necessary to alleviate the rigours of travelling through the Vortex. She frowned. Had it been a ruse? Enclosed in her confining tube, she had been helpless. Anything could have happened to her during those weeks of sleep. She shuddered and flexed her damp hands.
Best not go there.
Not yet, anyway.
She raised a trembling hand and tugged at the shaggy ends of her short, red hair, before pressing her fingers against her temple where pressure built like an over-heated fuel tank just waiting for the moment to explode. Until now, she had refrained from speaking about her doubts but with every hour that passed they travelled further away from home.
Away from safety.
“I sure am not keen on this here meetin’,” muttered the woman at her side.
Alana spared her a quick glance, taking in the hint of fear in her brown eyes, the underlying pallor that gave the woman’s dark skin a sallow tinge. "I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Jess,” she admitted in a low tone.
Jessamine snorted. “I knew it!”
“Hush, please, Jess. I don’t want to start a panic.” Alana sighed. “But, I fear you’re right. There are too many unanswered questions. Not to mention the traders’ strange behaviour in separating us from the men. It’s made us too vulnerable.” And an action that had left her the senior officer in charge of a motley band of unknown women.
“Worse, some of us are not here of our own volition.” Jessamine produced a compu tablet from an enormous satchel slung over her shoulder and waggled it under Alana’s nose. “I’ve done a census as you suggested, Captain, and the facts sure don’t add up.”
Alana twisted her lips into a parody of a smile. “Let me take a wild guess. We’ve got no scientists, doctors, physicists, militia. No geologists, no farmers, no builders ...”
 “Could be those roles are filled by the men, but you don’t think so, do you? Some of the women do have similar qualifications but I’m missin’ a lot of names off the list you gave me. So, what does it mean?” Worry lines bracketed either side of the other woman’s mouth. 
“It means the United Earth Corporation has been duped. My gut tells me there’s no earth-like planet in the next star system for us to colonise.”

Author Bio
SE can't remember a time when she didn't have a book in her hand. Now she writes stories where her favorite words are ...'what if' and 'where'? She combines passionate romance with action and adventure set in dangerous worlds. Her heroines are valiant and know exactly what to do with their alpha heroes. SE enjoys making both of them work hard to be worthy of their 'happy ever after'.
She lives in an urban/country town in New South Wales, Australia and writes in the romance genres of futuristic/sci-fi, fantasy, historical and post-apocalyptic.
Her first release, Paying the Forfeit, a short erotic romance set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic world, was published by Momentum Books on 1st December 2012.
Her second release, a single title, Legend Beyond the Stars, a sci-fi/futuristic hot romance will be released by Escape Publishing on 10th January 2013.
SE has self e-published an erotic novella, Bound by Love, set in a fantasy / Dark Ages Britain on 28th December 2012.

Twitter - @SEGilchrist1
Like SE's facebook page -
Her f2f writing group -

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beth Barany - inspired by fairy tales

Hi Beth and welcome,, I must apologise. Blogger seems to be having problems with uploading pictures. Never mind, we'll press on regardless.

Please tell us a little about your adventure 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer at age 7, but in that unconscious confidence we have as kids. My next flash of "I can do this!" came at age 13, when a teacher required us to do a lot of creative writing for class, and I churned out things like a diary of a young girl coming West during the Gold Rush in California. And then, I really felt like a writer, for real, at 18 years old when I consciously journaled each day, and decided that just because I wrote daily I could call myself a writer. After that, my goal became getting published, and I no longer questioned if I was a writer really, but I did wonder if I was a good one. Another question entirely!

What inspired you to write your first book?

I wrote my first novel because I just wanted to prove to myself that I could actually write a novel. I was specifically inspired by a sentence pulled at random from a Virginia Wolff book for a creative writing exercise in a writing group, something about a dog hopping on three legs. That sparked my first novel set in 1850s Paris, France, that will forever remain in the closet. (Though I forever still love Paris and remain fascinated about that time in Paris when most of the grand boulevards were built.)

What books have most influenced your life most?

I would say that the stories that influenced me the most are fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk, and other Jack tales, like Jack the Giant Killer. I really liked Jack's courage and adventurous spirit, but, you see, he was a boy, and I'm not. I was upset that all the tales I read were always about Jack. What about girls doing those things? Why was it always boys going on adventures in all the folk tales that were read to me? Wondering that inspired me to start my first fantasy story, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, that started when I was 20 years old, and when I was just starting my adventures.

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

I have written three nonfiction books and four novels. Only one of those novels is published, so far. I'd have to say my favorite is always my next book. In this case, it's the one that's coming out next, the second in my YA fantasy series, Henrietta and The Dragon Stone. More on that below. My next favorite book is the first in the series, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I prefer to write fantasy and paranormal, anything with elements of magic and the fantastical. I grew up steeped in fairy tales and folk tales and have always loved these seemingly timeless stories that feel rich in symbolism and yet relevant somehow to our lives now. Anything without magic seems only half-baked somehow. I suppose I see life through a magically-tinted lens.

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

Sure! My next book out will be Henrietta and The Dragon Stone, due out in March 2013.

This story picks up where Henrietta The Dragon Slayer leaves off and continues Henrietta's adventures with her friends, up against a new scary foe.

Here's the blurb:

Henrietta the legendary ass kicking dragon slayer wants to return to her village with a hero’s welcome. But an unknown sorcerer is after her, her Dragon Stone, and everyone she cares about. Can she claim her newfound powers sparked by the Dragon Stone and keep her loved ones safe, especially her more-than-friend and her stalwart bodyguard, before the sorcerer destroys her and everything in his path?


Chapter One—Invitation
Battle-hardened and brave
Ready for the fight
Henrietta the Dragon Slayer
Swings with all her might
—From the chorus of the Song of the Dragon Slayer

Henrietta strode away from the tavern, fists clenched so hard they hurt. At two paces from the forest edge, the ground crunched in the black night behind her. Even with her ale-fogged brain, she sensed the presence of a man, smelled on him soot, leather and metal, and knew he was armed, but wore no armor.

She didn’t have time for this.

“What do you want?” Henrietta whirled to face the thrill seeker, her long sword drawn, her long red hair whipping across her chilled cheeks. Above her head, the bitter wind keened through the forest trees.

The man hovered five feet-lengths away from her, out of sword reach, his face shadowed by the light of the tavern behind him. “I heard your story back there.” His voice, thick with a foreign accent she couldn’t place, held no compliment. “I hear you’re looking for a new quest.”

“Who gave you that idea?”

“The Song of the Dragon Slayer.” The man’s tone was flat.

So he wasn’t a fan. She didn’t care. She cared that he didn’t move any closer. Empty hands at his sides, a sheathed long sword at his belt, he was broad shouldered and taller than her by half a head.

She re-sheathed her sword reluctantly. “So? What does that have to do with anything? It’s only a song.”

“A song about you. That is why you must come with me now.” He stepped toward her, his face still hidden by darkness.

“No, I must not go with you. Leave me be!” she said annoyed and angry. There was a thrill seeker in every town. Facing him, she stepped back to have room to swing her sword if necessary, her hand waiting on her sword pommel. “There’s plenty of others in that tavern to harass.”

She didn’t want to play “who’s the best warrior” just now. The drink had touched her head more than usual, without its usual lovely numbing affect. “Who are you anyway? No, I don’t want to know. Just leave me be.”

“I am a knight, doing his duty. Assessing.” He didn’t move any closer.

Like she needed to know that. Then she opened her big mouth.

“If you’re a knight, where’s your armor?” As soon as she heard herself, she knew that was a dumb question.

“I do not need armor for this.” He said the words as if she wasn’t worth a gnat on sheep’s berries. “You will come with me now,” he repeated.

He dared to order her?

“I will do no such thing. Weren’t you listening in there?” She gestured toward the tavern where she’d just told and re-enacted her tale. A thrill seeker who ordered her? What was this nonsense? “I did my quest. Now leave me to my peace.”

He didn’t budge his bulky frame. What was he waiting for? A royal invitation to depart?

Heaviness pressed against her chest like an anvil, preventing breath from fully entering her lungs.

She’d done her dragon slaying and military campaigns. Done. Finished. Fini.

“There is much coin and glory for the one who takes the Emerald Dragon’s Dracontias,” the stranger knight said, disdainfully.

How much coin? But that didn’t come out. “The what-ias?”

“Thought you knew everything there was to know about dragons.”

Politeness wasn’t this man’s strength.

“Yah, that’s me. A walking, talking dragon-spouting slayer, at your service.”

The man snorted. Very elegant.

Award-winning fantasy author, Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes to empower girls and women with her kick ass heroines who have to save the world against great odds. In her off hours, Beth enjoys walking, capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) reading and watching movies with her husband, author and singer/song writer Ezra Barany. More her novels on her site:

Beth's books are available on Amazon, Smashwords,, iBooks, and Kobo. Go here to download a sample of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer: