Thursday, November 21, 2013

Meet the Author - Donna Michael

All this month we have been featuring a number of my fellow authors from The Wild Rose Press.  Today my guest is Donna Michael, whose sexy cowboy heroes really caught my attention.

Donna, you write in a number of genres.  Is there any one in particular that you like better than another?   Why?

~Thanks for having me here today, Rebecca. My mind is constantly going and to pin down one genre is tough because I never know when the fancy strikes me. But I have discovered I really enjoy writing hot, humorous and heartwarming, and picked that up for my tagline. If that can be considered a genre, then that’s what I like because it can be applied to all. lol

How do you keep them all straight when you write?

~For me, it’s easy. Even though they may all have a common thread in the humor and heartwarming aspect, they all have a different tone and that is the key for me.

Where do you come up with such a wide variety of ideas for each genre?

 ~As it states on my website, it’s all my mother’s fault. Lol Actually, my parents. I was exposed to all kinds of books and movie genres, and every one of them sparked my imagination. And it just never stopped. Every day life sparks a story idea. I can remember sitting outside my son’s basketball practice watching birds sit on a wire. One bird in particular was always by itself, the others would land in different sections of the wire and stay away from him. I wondered why he was ostracized and a paranormal idea formed right there.

Yeah, it doesn’t take much. Ideas are everywhere!

Cowboys make great heroes and you include a good many in your books.  What do you think makes them so special?

~Cowboys, to me, are so male, so sexy, yet so chivalrous even when they’re frustrated with the heroine. And of course, I take great pleasure in having the heroine frustrate that man! I also enjoy writing a military hero, and when I can combine the two (cowboy and military), like in Cowboy-Sexy, it’s such a treat for me!

You mention on your blog that your mother read a lot to you.  What were your favorite stories when you were growing up?

 ~Fairy Tales with Happily-Ever-After endings, of course. J

Please tell us a little about your journey to publication.

~That which doesn’t get us published makes us stronger. lol Rejection, rejection, rejection. I have a nice drawer full, but I am proud of them. They helped me to persevere, grow and look for a publisher that publishes the type of stories I write. I had waited until my last child hit grade school, before I settled down to pen my stories. My first sale was Thanks For Giving, a midlength story published through The Wild Rose Press. This was back in 2006. Since then I have over fifteen books published through two publishers and several I self publish, with more waiting on my hard drive...and in my head. I am a big fan of going both routes in my career.

What advice would you give an aspiring writer that you wish you knew when you began writing?
 
~None. I know that sounds terrible, but in order to grow as an author, you need the ups and downs. And since the publishing world has changed so much since I first started, my advice would be obsolete. So, just write what you love, be true to your voice, and get a critique partner with a similar voice.

What is your latest book or the next book you have coming out?

~ The third book in my Harland County Series, HER UNIFORM COWBOY is due out in early December. Kade is a sheriff, part owner of a horse ranch and a First Sergeant in the Texas Army National Guard. He has some lingering issues, but so does my heroine, Brandi. She has a thyroid disease and is a designer, but used to be a violinist in the philharmonic and in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, which she keeps to herself for a bit. I like to keep my protagonists real with real issues.

HER UNIFORM COWBOY will be FREE for the first three days of release. Please keep an eye on my website to look for the download link.

How can readers get in touch with you?

I’m all over the web, and even have a newsletter signup on my website. Here are my links:
Website:  www.donnamichaelsauthor.com
FaceBook Author Page:
https://www.facebook.com/DonnaMichaelsAuthor
Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Donna-Michaels/e/B008J24XR2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Donna_Michaels
Blog:
http://donnamichaelsauthor.blogspot.com/ 
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/Donna_Michaels
Google +: https://plus.google.com/110301062410249005533/about/p/pub?hl=en
Pinterest:
http://pinterest.com/donnamichaels/
LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/donna-michaels/8/879/408

 Cowboy-Sexy Blurb:
 
Finn Brennan was used to his brother playing practical jokes, but this time he’d gone too far--sending him a woman as a ranch hand, and not just a woman, but a Marine.

When Lt. Camilla Walker's CO asks her to help out at his family's dude ranch until he returns from deployment, she never expected to be thrust into a mistaken engagement to his sexy, cowboy twin--a former Navy SEAL who hates the Corps.
The Corps took Finn’s father, his girlfriend and threatened his naval career. He’s worked hard for another shot at getting back to active duty and won’t let his brother’s prank interfere. The last thing he needs is the temptation of a headstrong, unyielding, hot Marine getting in the way.

Cowboy-Sexy is available in eBook, Audio and now in Print. Here are the buy links:
eBook:  

Cowboy Sexy -- The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Audio:
 http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Sexy/dp/B00D1YOBKC/ref=tmm_aud_title_0

Print:
 The Wild Rose Press
 Amazon

Thanks so much for joining in the fun today. Please leave a comment and one lucky commenter will win a free Print copy of COWBOY-SEXY. Make sure to check back in the comment section of this blog tomorrow for the winner’s name! And if you’re interested in the FREE download of my new release next month Her Uniform Cowboy, keep an eye on my website for the link!
Good luck, and thanks for reading!!

Thank you, Donna for being with us today and as she said, one lucky commenter will win a print copy of COWBOY-SEXY.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meet the Author - Presenting Susan Macatee

This week I am continuing a special look at some of my fellow Wild Rose Press authors. Today my special guest is Susan Macatee, who will be discussing her work and her book, Thoroughly Modern Amanda.
 
Welcome Susan. You specialize in writing historical romances, especially around the Civil War. What interested you about that time period?
 
First I'd like to say thanks for having me on your blog today, Rebecca.
 
I got drawn into the Civil War period when my husband started watching the Ken Burns series. Afterward, we took family trips to visit battlefields and museums and our ultimate Civil War location was Gettysburg. Since we live in Philadelphia, we were able to visit there more than once and we met a few reenactors. My husband was fascinated and wanted to participate, so he found a reenactment group in Philadelphia. We joined as a family and spent about ten years while our sons were growing up, camping out, dressing up and living as if we were in the 19th century during the Civil War. My husband, and later the boys as they grew older, played the part of soldiers. All the research that went into making reenacting authentic trickled down into my writing.
 

Your blog has some fascinating historical information about Victorian women writers. Is there anyone in particular who really intrigues you?
 
All the women writers I've researched fascinate me, but in particular, I loved the story of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women. She worked as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War in one of the hospitals and contracted typhoid fever. The drug they gave her to fight it gave her mercury poisoning that affected her for the rest of her life. I actually modeled part of the heroine's story in a young adult novel I had published in 2002 on Alcott. The heroine, a teen in the story, worked beside her physician father in a Washington hospital, became ill, and had to be sent home. My character didn't contract a life-long illness though, and that same character was resurrected at a later age in my American-Victorian romance, Cassidy's War. But I loved the idea of a Victorian woman novelist so much, that a few of my heroines in other books and novellas have been writers. Both Erin's Rebel and Thoroughly Modern Amanda feature women writer heroines.
 
Your blog also lists some interesting historical facts. Where do you come up with them?
 
Most I learned while reenacting and reading non-fiction books about the period. I've used a lot of that information in my romance stories.
 
 Where do you come up with the ideas for your historical stories?
 
My first full-length romance, Erin's Rebel, is partly autobiographical. When I was in college, I thought about going into journalism, but decided I liked writing fiction better. My heroine in that story is a newspaper reporter. And, since it's a time travel story, I used my own experiences as a reenactor in describing my heroine's reactions to being trapped in the 19th century in a Confederate army camp. The other stories I've had published were primarily based on real life people in non-fiction books I've read about the period. Everything I read filters down into my stories in one way or another.
 
 Historical romance has always been a favorite of some many readers. What do you think draws them in?
 
I think, like me, it's fun to be swept away by a romance and no matter how bad the twists and turns take the couple, a reader always knows they'll get that happily-ever-after. For me, and I'm sure for them, it's pure escape. Who wouldn't want to get lost in a great romance after a hard day?
 
 Tell us a little about your journey to publication?
 
It was long coming. I'd always wanted to write and took journalism and creative writing courses in school, but it wasn't until I'd been a stay-at-home mom for about eight years that I finally took a correspondence course in creative writing with the ultimate goal of seeking publication. This was years before the Internet existed. While still finishing up the course, the instructor encouraged me to submit the stories I wrote for the course. I was ultimately published in a few small magazines that paid only in copies. I then decided I wanted to write a novel and took a novel-writing course. My first novel was a children's book that was never published, although I did submit it. Just racked up a slew of rejections.
 
But I persevered and finally joined Romance Writer's of America. I took a lot of online workshops with RWA, and entered my initial work in contests to get feedback. I finally published my first romance, a time travel, with The Wild Rose Press. I now have seven books and novellas out with them and one coming out this January.
 
What do you like best about your current release? 
 
I like that the heroine in Thoroughly Modern Amanda is a Victorian writer with big ambitions and a feminist streak. And the hero, who travels through time, is a construction worker in love with Victorian houses.
 
Tell us about it and your inspiration for it?
 
Thoroughly Modern Amanda was inspired my Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel. Amanda is the daughter of the hero in Erin's Rebel, Will Montgomery, a Confederate army captain. In Thoroughly Modern Amanda, she has her own story as an adult woman working as a writer for a small town magazine. In the original book, Erin's Rebel, Amanda's step-mother, time traveling Erin Branigan, was a newspaper reporter, who finds work in the past writing for a magazine, then ultimately settles into writing novels. Amanda aspires to be a writer like her step-mother. And the hero, Jack Lawton, is a construction worker who wants to restore an old Victorian home. Research on Victorian homes for my other stories had a direct influence on the creation of this new story.
 
How can we follow you?
 
Readers can stop by my website, http://susanmacatee.com and email me at susan@susanmacatee.com
I'm also on Twitter @susanmacatee
 
I love to hear from readers and if you leave a comment, I'll enter you in a drawing to win an autographed copy of Thoroughly Modern Amanda. (US addresses only)
 
Thank you, Susan, for being my guest today. Thoroughly Modern Amanda sounds like a great story.  And please leave a comment for a chance to win her book.
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Blogging This Week

Hi All,

I am away from my blog this week, but I'll be appearing as a guest on several other blogs. I hope you'll stop by and visit.  If you leave a comment at any of them, you might win a free copy of Shadows from the Past, my novella that has just come out in print from The Wild Rose Press.

Today, I am guesting over at fellow TWRP author, Dylan Newton's blogdiscussing Shadows from the Past, among other topics, including the reasons why I love to participate in NaNoWriMo every year. It's an intensive month of writing, but I'm already on track to finish 50,000 words.


Tomorrow I will be a guest at Victorian writer, Susan McAtee's blog. I'll be talking about how I develop my many characters and what they meant to me, plus why I chose to write a gothic suspense story.

Finally, later this week, on Thursday, Stacey Moreno from Shadows will be interviewed at Donna's Dish.  Find out what she's hoping to achieve as she sets out on a journey of discovery.

Again, you could win a print copy of my novella if you leave a comment at any of those blogs. I'll be selecting a different winner every day.

I'll be back next week with a look at my visit to the Tony Hillerman Writer's Conference in Santa Fe New Mexico.