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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Scottish Highland Games close to Nancy's heart

Hello Nancy and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please make yourself comfortable and tell us a little about your writing adventure

What inspired you to write your first book?

I am not sure if I would call it inspiration or relief. The floodgates opened up the same week my youngest son came home on leave from the army. He was stationed in Germany, and just finished a tour in Iraq. It was like my prayers were answered, and my reward was bringing a story to life. Since that day, I would have to add that volunteering at Scottish Highland Games has given me ideas that keep me going.

Do you see writing as a career?

I do. Though I started writing in 2006, and signed my first contract in 2010, royalties do not equal success for every writer. I am still finding my niche, but we made some financial decisions and, after three decades of working outside the home, I can write fulltime. Besides, now I have time to visit various Scottish Highland Games to get more ideas.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I write what I feel. Stories pop into my head. I have enjoyed my current Highland Games Through Time series which melds present day Scottish festivals with time travel to sixteenth-century Scotland. This is my first attempt at a series. Book #1 is My Honorable Highlander. The second is titled My Banished Highlander. Both are out in both ebook and print. I am hard at work at my series ending book My Reluctant Highlander.  I also have written several contemporary romances. Again, I am not a pigeon-holed writer. Did I mention I have an idea for a regency historical romance with a Scottish hero?

 Do you belong to any non-writing organizations?

We moved from New Hampshire to North Carolina a few years ago, so I had to disconnect with some groups but I am currently Class Representative at my college, and a member of St. Andrew’s Society of NH, Gunn Clan of North America, and Clan MacBean. As the last three are Scottish heritage groups, I get tons of ideas.

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

Please ignore the nay-sayers; come out of the closet and join a writing group; read the kind of books you want to write to get the rhythm and style; ask others to read your story when you think it is complete before you send it to an agent or editor. Most of all, make time every day to sit down and write!

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

Hmm...I was born on Friday the 13th; I had a walk-on role in the soap opera Another World; I drive a 13-year-old 4-wheel-drive Jeep. Let me explain...the 1st is self-explanatory; my neighbor was Joseph Rothenberger, a producer of the show; I used to be a 9-1-1 Operator in New Hampshire and if it snowed, I could NOT call out.

BOOK BLURB of My Banished Highlander

When his clan convicts Cameron Robeson of treason in 1598 Scotland, the last thing he thought his cousin the Laird would do was banish him to the future. With a certain woman on his mind, he plans revenge while surrounded by the sights and sounds of the modern day New England Highland Games. His plans go awry when a comely redheaded lass wearing the Mackenzie plaid lands at his feet.

Iona Mackenzie is worried about her friend, Haven, and searches for answers among the tents at the games. Whom can she trust to help? Her father? The handsome blacksmith? Or, the tall, golden-haired Highlander? Romance takes a back seat because saving her friend is her priority, no matter how great Cameron can kiss.

When a magical amulet and an angry sorcerer send this unlikely couple back through time, more than one heart will be broken. Danger, intrigue, and threats surround them, and feelings between Iona and Cameron grow hot and steamy. They fight the sorcerer and search for Iona’s friend, the woman he vowed to steal from his cousin. Will the strong-willed Highlander and the present day witch stop fighting long enough to listen to their hearts? With a letter in her hand and a Highlander at her back, what could go wrong?

This book follows the story that began in My Honorable Highlander, which is available in ebook and print. Watch for the third book, My Reluctant Highlander.

Title:  My Banished Highlander
Author:  Nancy Lee Badger
Genre: Scottish Time Travel Romance
Length: 82,000 word Novel

Barnes & Nobel   
Available in PRINT!

More about the Author

Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, the Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and is a proud Army Mom.

Contact Nancy Lee Badger here:


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Marian likes to weave mystery with romance

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

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I've written my whole life but took it seriously about three years ago. I was laid-off from my job and then wound up with open-heart surgery. So I my recovery time to write the novel that had been in my head for years.

What books have most influenced your life most?

When I was moving from New York to New England my history teacher gave me The Red Badge of Courage because I loved history. The emotions that book pulled from me at sixteen and still do to this day amaze me and the ending had me reeling.  I've re-read since and still have the same reaction.

What book are you reading now?

I'm reading a proof of my next book As the World Ends and in between that I'm reading A Little Bit of Baby by RC Bonitz.

Do you see writing as a career?

I do. I love writing, though I'm still looking for a day job. To further my writing career I take various refresher courses online, such as grammar, POV, or any other class that perks my interest. I think it is important to invest in your career.
 How many books have you written?

So far I've written four books.  IF I FAIL and BURN IN HELL, Jake Carrington Mysteries and AS THE WORLD ENDS (self-published) and I'm polishing (re-writing) LOSS OF POWER at the moment, while working on the third book in the Jake Carrington series MATED FOR LIFE.

Which is your favourite?

I love them all, but BURN IN HELL, A Jake Carrington Mystery which released last week is my favorite. I worked at a cemetery/crematory for years. Inside my head I would create stories knowing someday down the road I'd write that book.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I love and read mysteries. I also love romance, so I write mysteries with romantic elements.
 Jean, I want to thank you for hosting me today. I'm excited about my newest release. It's the second book in the Jake Carrington Mystery series, BURN IN HELL. It's an exciting time for me and Jake. In September 2012 we saw the first book published and five short months later the second hit the shelves last week.


Single again after he and Mia broke up, Jake meets and starts dating a woman who runs a cemetery/crematory. Kyra's (Key-ra) job doesn't bother Jake until he finds evidence she is burning bodies for the mob along with the legitimate ones.  Here's a little taste from the beginning of the book. I hope you and your guests enjoy it.
With her head down, she sat at her machine, waiting on the supervisor to come back—to unlock the machine so she could play again. More than anything, she needed to win. A hand landed on her shoulder, startling her. Jerking away, Kyra turned to see who belonged to the hand. Crap, not the supervisor. Joe Dillon, not exactly the person I want to see right now.
“Hi, Kyra.”
“Hey, Joe.”
“How’s it going?” Her host sat down next to her.
“Not good,” she whined.
“I’m sorry to hear it. You know you have a payment due soon?”
Double crapola. “Yes, I know.”
“Why don’t you leave the machine for a while? Come have something to eat with me?”
What could he be up to, she wondered?
“Why? Kyra, let’s discuss your loan payment over dinner, explore your options.”
What options? There weren’t any. All week she racked her brain trying to find a solution to the mess. Though a quiet guy, Joe scared her. Deep inside, she understood he could destroy her. Not a person she’d want to cross.
“Kyra? Please, no one’s going to touch your machine. Maybe a break will change your luck?”
“What the hell. I could eat,” Kyra hissed. Something had to change.
“How about a steak?”
They got up at the same time, bumping into each other. Joe sat back down, let Kyra get up first. He followed her as she headed to the Trenton Steak House. Joe grabbed her arm and pointed to the private elevator that went directly to the entrance to the Whale Room. She looked at him. He smiled.
“What’s up, Joe?”
“I think you need a real break Kyra, so we’ll head up.”
Curiosity got the better of her, but she figured she’d find out what he was up to in good time. Then the fear hit her. Maybe she shouldn’t leave the floor with him. She owed the casino seventy-five thousand dollars. Behind on her payments, she spent three grand tonight trying to win her next payment. Stupid—how could I be so stupid? I should’ve made a partial payment with the three grand instead of gambling tonight. They wouldn’t beat up her up, would they? Tasting the bile as it violently pushed up from her stomach, scorching a path to her throat. Kyra couldn’t control the tears that flooded into her eyes when she started to choke.
“Are you all right, Kyra?”
“I don’t want to leave the public floor, Joe.” Kyra’s hands shook along with her entire body. Unable to control her voice as it cracked, her mind searching for an escape.
“I have a deal for you, but I can’t discuss it in an open area. We’ll discuss it upstairs, over dinner.” He smiled.
Oh yeah, she thought, the farmer leading the cow to the slaughter. “What kind of deal?”
“We’ll discuss it upstairs,” he repeated firmly.
“You’re not going to break my legs or anything like that. Are you?” she half-heartily joked.
“No such thing, Kyra. Relax.” Now’s the time too really worry, she thought. Just like the “trust me” phrase, it gave her the willies.
* * * *
Joe Dillon studied Kyra as they rode up in the elevator. To look at her, you’d never guess she’d lost control of her life. He liked her curves, her full lips, and the wild, curly red hair. Shorter than he, she stood about five feet four inches—he didn’t like looking up at a woman. Too many women today were taller than him. He looked into her green, green eyes, his mind taking off in all directions. Not now, Joe. Kyra’s not worth the trouble. He knew she had a son—her divorce a by-product of gambling. The boss told him this morning she was losing custody of her son. What woman gambles to the point of losing her child? Joe thought about the deal he’d be offering her, dragging her down even further. He pushed the guilt from his mind. Not my problem. Kyra did this to herself. If I ever caught Camile gambling, I’d break her legs. Joe saw what gambling did to families. Too much heartache for too little reward, he mused.
Joe thought of the deal he’d lay on the table for her—two choices—wondering which one she’d choose. Neither was pleasant. I’m only the messenger. That’s how he justified his work. Blinded by greed, these people put themselves in this position with their gambling addictions.

One of ten children, Marian took to writing to explore new and adventurous places. While her friends traveled on planes for vacation, Marian traveled in books. With an overactive imagination, it didn’t take long for her to start creating her own characters and stories. IF I FAIL, A Jake Carrington Mystery that released in 2012, is the first book in the series.
As an avid reader, she discovered mysteries by reading the Daily News as a youngster. Intrigued by the real life crimes, and how the police worked and eventually solved them, ignited her imagination beyond the ordinary.
An English professor marked her final paper with an A, but wrote a note that said, “Well done, though you’re not Virginia Woolf yet, so add a little action to the story.” That one line had her punching up the action in stories to come.
Marian has many plans (books) for Jake Carrington and his crew. She invites you to discover these wonderful characters and share your impressions at: or
Buy links:
Burn in Hell Book trailer:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sandy's inspired by the Greek gods

Hi Sandy, welcome to the adventure. Please tell us a little about yourself
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
At the fearless age of seven, I wrote stories. I read them to my classmates. From there I branched out to poetry and my own greeting cards.  As a teen I watched the soap, Dark Shadows. When the series ended, I continued to write the character’s stories.  I laugh now, but I think that’s what hooked me on the paranormal genre.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always read. Books in general motivated me, but what put my pen to paper was sheer boredom.  My creative muse shrieked to express herself. There was no choice but to write.
What books have influenced your life?
I’m addicted to Pride and Prejudice. I love Stephen King, J. R. Tolkien, but Diana Gabaldon is my all time favorite author. She’s a master of description. I read and re-read her Outlander series.
In which genre do you prefer to write?
Paranormal and fantasy romance.  I hope to one day write a historical romance, but the Greek gods and Vampires aren’t done with me yet.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I never thought about writing as a career when I was younger. I wanted to by a doctor or a therapist or an actor. I wrote over the years, but didn’t make it my career until I was older. 
Can you give us details about your upcoming release?
Thank you for asking. APOLLO’S GIFT is the first in my Greek gods series. It came about in an odd way, total inspiration on the fly. I was pitching another book at a conference and they asked if I had anything else. I pulled APOLLO’S GIFT out of the ether on the spot. Fantastic news, they loved the idea. Now I had to write it.
The golden god, Apollo, will pay any price to win the heart of Cassandra, reincarnated, prophetess of ancient Troy. Even his soul.
Cassie Priam is licking her wounds, following her latest romantic disaster. To hell with love, it’s fiction, and she’s done believing in myths.
A snare has been set, and Apollo stepped into it when he wagered with Hades. Gaining Cassie’s love is a herculean task. She refuses to believe he exists, despite her attraction to his chiseled perfection. He’s a dream. The kind that keeps her up at night and invades her thoughts during the day. Why can’t a man like that be real?
But Cassie’s dreams veer into reality as visions of destruction threaten and Apollo appears in the flesh.  Can Apollo and Cassie learn to love, and believe in each other before Hydra levels Athens, and they lose both their lives, and their souls to Hades?
APOLLO’S GIFT is the first novel in the Greek Gods Series. The romantic fantasy centers on Olympian deity and their efforts to gain love while they save mortals from the threat of evil in the form of Hydra.
“Bringing back the Greek hottie like no other, every woman needs a myth like this.”
Krissee Mark, author of The Dark Muse Series.
TAG LINE:  Sometimes love is a gift from the gods.
            Her mind wandered as the slight, graying figure droned. If Cassie couldn’t date Medina, at least she could admire him from a distance at Starbucks. Maybe he’d get to know her over coffee and ask her out. Cassie sat up straight and grinned at the thought. He was a student, that should be respectable enough for her parents. Of course, the idea was silly, but there was nothing wrong with using her imagination as long as her feet remained on the ground.
            “I forbid it.”
            “What?” She scanned down her row. All eyes were focused on Simmons. Was she hearing things? It had to be imagination combined with lack of sleep. Cassie focused on the professor and the way her ancient fingers wrapped around the top of the lectern. Nothing like John Medina’s hands. She’d noticed how he held his cup with nice capable hands, and she’d liked the look of them.
.           “I have decreed, and it is so.”
             The slight accent, his rich tone of voice that held a knife’s edge, and underneath an imperious command. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled. That had signaled warning since childhood, or at least, inconvenience. The last time she’d felt that tingle, she’d hiked up Mount Parnassus.
            Cassie froze in her seat. Once might be imagination, but hearing voices twice could be signs of mental instability. She glanced over her shoulder. “Did you say something?” she asked the two girls seated behind her. One continued to type on her laptop while the other stared down her nose and shook her head. Still Cassie’s neck prickled. What was it? The rumble reminded her of those wicked dreams of Apollo. A rush of heat flooded her face.
            “Cassandra,” the voice whispered into her right ear.
            “Oh no,” she murmured. The seat beside her was empty, or should be. She stared forward, afraid of what she’d see if she turned her head.
            “Look on me.”
            Heart pinging, she gathered courage and turned to face the voice and her fear. Apollo, shimmering with light from his position beside her, golden mane flowing over his brawny, nude shoulders as if blown by a breeze, his eyes blue as the Adriatic, and that smile. No man should wield such a weapon. It turned her legs to mush.
            She shook her head and rubbed her eyes. This couldn’t be happening. He had to be a dream or a figment of her imagination. She refused to acknowledge the Greek god. Had she fallen asleep in class? Cassie trained her attention on Simmons. I am not crazy. It’s sleep deprivation, that’s all.
            “Beloved.” Apollo, clad in a loincloth, his rippling muscles open to inspection, leaned closer.
            This delusion was insistent, but Cassie could be just as stubborn She stared forward. Ignore it and it will go away. It worked with stray dogs. She must have fallen asleep. That had to be the explanation. Wake up, Cassie.
            Apollo caressed her jaw with the tips of his fingers. “Must I convince you of my existence each time?”
            Her heart thumped and her mouth went dry. It’s not real. It’s not real. He pressed a kiss to that sensitive spot below her ear. She shivered. “Oh God,” she murmured. Heat trickled from her neck down to her belly.
Born and raised in Southern California, Sandy has always loved animals, nature, theatre, and learning. She attended Fullerton College and then married. After multiple moves around the western states while raising three children, they settled in Salt Lake City, Utah.
She’s worked in retail, banking, and graduated from Myotherapy College in massage therapy where she taught, before opening her own practice combined with life coaching.  Sandy’s love of reading and expressing herself through words whispered, actually screamed, until she returned to writing.
Living between the twisted red rock of Southern Utah and the granite mountains of the Wasatch, Sandy explores life with her loving husband and family.  She serves her local chapter of Romance Writers of America, and is an award-winning author of paranormal and fantasy romance.
Her coaching blog, A WRITER’S HEART, can be found on her website:
She encourages all to believe in themselves and reach for their dreams.
                                 “Love and success follow the brave.”

  •                      Ovid

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Viola’s novel explores Lucifer and redemption

Hello Viola, and welcome. Please tell us about your adventure.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I stayed home to raise my two daughters (now age 16 and 12). My husband and I had a deal. When they both were in school full-time, I’d get a year off. Then after that, I’d either go back to school or get a job. In that year, I realized I was a writer. I started taking an online class in Humanities, something I adore, and I kept getting upset at the class for taking time away from writing. A year later I offered to get a job at a local craft store. My husband said, “You already have a job. You’re a writer.”

What inspired you to write your first book?

I started writing Buffy/Angel fanfiction. A scene came to me, a vampire trying to turn a girl because he wanted to give her the greatest gift he knew and she didn’t understand and rejected him. I wrote the scene out and put it away. Four years later, I got stalled on another project (A YA fantasy) and pulled out the vampire scene. Something about it sung to me. That became my 2007 National Novel Writing Month project. 56,000 words later, I had the beginning of what several evolutions later would become THE MARK OF ABEL. In which genre do you prefer to write and why? I love paranormal. Friends have challenged me to write a contemporary romance. I can’t do it. Somewhere a faerie, elf or vampire will show up. I love playing with the paranormal universe. I am a puzzle solver and writing is the best puzzle, because you get to not only solve it, but you create all the pieces.

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

I love author Kelley Armstrong. I used to hang around her board. She mentioned she was going to Romance Writers of America’s National Conference in DC that year. That’s where I grew up and at the time I was living in Delaware. I figured if she considered herself a romance writer, then I was probably one. I didn’t want to be all alone at the conference, so I joined the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter as well as the Maryland chapter. I met some amazing authors who really helped nurture my career. Four years ago, I heard about the Muse Online Writers Conference, a free online writers conference that happens every October ( Through that I learned how to moderate online pitch chats from the wonderful Lea Schizas. I must have heard over 100 pitches through various organizations. 1 1/2 years ago, Lea and I chatted at the conference. She’d heard me pitch to agents at her conference and wanted me to submit to MuseItUp, her company. I jumped at the opportunity. Right before my release day, I came down with shingles, so I’ve had to reschedule my blog appearances.

Thanks for having me.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

Through RWA I have an amazing autograph collection. I got to meet Kelley Armstrong, and by the end of the conference, she knew my name. I was soaring. Through RWA I’ve also met, Jeri Smith-Ready, Rachel Vincent, Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole, JR Ward, and tons of others. I’ve gone to signings for Rachel Caine (I travelled two hours for that one and brought my kids), Richelle Meade and the incredible Neil Gaiman. I’d love to meet Charlaine Harris, Rebecca Zanetti, Patty Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton and Adrian Phoenix. Then my collection would be complete, for now. I’m always on the lookout for new authors.

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

I’m a big cry baby at movies. I cried during the opening of Up. I bawled my eyes out at the end of the most recent Batman. I was a blubbering mess for St. Elmo’s Fire.

Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time. I hope your readers enjoy THE MARK OF ABEL. It was a lot of fun to write. It reimagines Judeo-Christian stories to explore Lucifer and redemption. I love playing with the stories while still being true to the original source material. I’ve used not only the Bible (from Genesis to Revelations, including the Gospels), but extra-canonical work like The Book of Enoch and Alphabet of Ben Sira.

A great deal of research went into getting the heroine’s past lives accurate. If I ever make it big, I didn’t want there to be documentaries about how I messed things up, like happened with the DaVinci Code.

BLURB: Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight. Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.

Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.

BIO: A very good friend of Viola Ryan in high school said, “You don’t think outside the box. You blow the thing up.”

Sometimes boxes need exploding. That’s why she’s here. She has a whole bag of C4 and isn’t afraid to use it. She’s blessed with people who treasure her eccentricities or at least put up with them. Sometimes the box can be a cozy place. Without some sort of stability, her two daughters’ and her life would be unmanageable. That stability comes from her husband. He’s the rock holding her family together.

On the flip side, his career is anything but stable. He’s a Chief Marine Safety Technician in the US Coast Guard. They’ve lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately, the moves have all been on the east coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast. Her oldest daughter (16) was born on Cape Cod, not far from Plymouth. Massachusetts. Her youngest (12) was born in Yorktown, Virginia, down the road from Williamsburg. Viola jokes they’re doing the colonial America tour.

EXCERPT: Keeping Eve in Eden was definitely an act of justice.

In one smooth motion, he kicked up the sword, grabbed it, raised it above his head, and plunged it through God’s back into his heart. He twisted the sword, and God slid down into a crumpled heap at Lucifer’s feet.

“Now it is.” Lucifer held the sword above his head. It didn’t ignite. Who cared? Justice had been served. Little did God know the sword he’d created would be his death.

 Eve appeared next to Lucifer. He couldn’t contain his joy. Now they would fashion the universe how they wanted.

She touched the sword with one delicate finger. Blue flame consumed the hilt, and he dropped it. Before it hit the ground, it disappeared.

“You are not ready for this.” Eve/God’s thoughts held a tinge of disappointment.

Lucifer appeared outside of heaven. A high wall of the same gleaming material as the palace formed around heaven. Eve appeared behind an open gate. Its gleaming bars stretched up and down into infinity until up became down and down became up. It swung shut.

He raced for it, but was too late. The clang echoed in his soul, and he collapsed to his knees.

“You are no longer an angel. You don’t belong in heaven. You must find your way home.” God turned away.

“What am I?” Lucifer rose and sent a burst of energy at the gate. It remained shut.

 “Am I human?” His soul bled at the question and darkness surrounded him. As a human he had nothing to offer Eve. He couldn’t protect her. He couldn’t create another Eden for her. She would beget Adam’s children in pain. Lucifer cringed.

 Eve/God appeared next to him and traced three triangles above his heart, each attached to the other two at the corners of its base to form a fourth triangle in the center. They burned, and he screamed until his voice was raw. He collapsed and gulped fire.

Standing above him, God laid her hand on his shoulders. Pain shot down his back. He reached around, and his hands passed through wings of fire. God ran her hand along his arms. His skin itched, and then burned, as it morphed into swirling red, orange and yellow. With sweat pouring down his face, he allowed God to help him up.

“Your re-creation occurred in fire. This is now your true form. To maintain your angelic powers, you must feed on the intense energy of fire.” A ball of fire appeared on God’s outstretched hand. She shoved this into his heart.

A sharp pain stole his breath, but Lucifer refused to collapse again. He grit his teeth, and his entire body shook.

 “What am I?” He stared at his arms.

 “To maintain free will, you must drink the blood of humanity every three generations.”

God vanished.

 “What am I?” he shouted toward the center of heaven.

 “A vampire.”

Trailer: I made myself and my husband arranged the music.