Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Mouse that Writes

Normally I present new fiction books in My Writing Corner, but today I am going to make an exception and introduce you to a new book on writing.  Why? Well, quite simply, because it is MY book.

Sue Viders and I have been writing, teaching writing, critiquing each other's writing and working together on one level or another for more than ten years. We've taught a number of writing classes online and given presentations together at writing conferences. 

Over the years students have often asked us about why we don't offer books or put our lectures into books so they can buy them and use them whenever they wanted or recommend them to their friends. We had one book published, Ten Steps to Creating Memorable Characters, which eventually ended up at Random House.

But now we've decided to start offering a series of booklets on our own, based on those many classes we've taught. We love to help aspiring writers and earlier this month our new book made its debut on Amazon, Let's Write a Story -- Seven Ways to Plot.

How did we come up with Dottie, our little writing/marketing mouse?  I'll let Sue tell that part of our collaborative story. As the author of dozens of marketing books for artists she knows what she is talking about!

Sue:  But before we could go “public” with our books, we had to come up with some type of not only a format but a recognizable image and name that people would come to associate with us, Sue and Becky, the writing teachers.

First the format: Taking our lectures and turning them into readable and followable text gave us several booklets of about 50 pages each. Big deal. There are a hundred how-to write books out in the marketplace.

What would make our books stand out…look different so the beginning writer would feel comfortable reading and following our advise? An image was needed. Research was needed. Finally after looking at covers for days, we decided  on a mouse. No other book cover had a mouse on it. Oh there were pencils, pens, computers, even typewriters, but no mouse. Right. A cute mouse. And of course it had to be a female…grin.

And she would be working with a really tall number 2 yellow pencil. Eventually the mouse somehow ended up with her pencil making several dots. And the dress became full of polkadots. It was then Dottie was born.

Let’s Write a Story became our overall marketing image. It along with Dottie is on the cover of all our writing books.

The first book is on our favorite subject, one that we teach all the time all over the county. No, I take that back, all over the world as we have students from every English speaking country on the planet.

So if you need help on plotting, or on creating characters, we hope you'll watch for our new books. The next one on Creating Memorable Characters is in editing right now, and Dottie will be back with that soon.

If you'd like to contact us, please do so, as we are also setting up a new blog, devoted to answering writing questions.

Contact info

Sueviders@Comcast.net
BeckygMartinez@gmail.com

And watch for our blog:

www.letswriteastorywDottie.blogspot.com





Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sealed with Romance

December is always a busy month for everyone so who has time to start a whole new book or even finish one. This is a great time to focus on reading a few short stories, just to get something fun accomplished.  And what better than reading some short romances written by a group of romance writers who have put together a series of stories based on one premise -- some form of communication. 

Sealed with Love from the Heart of Denver Romance Writers is a delightful collection of romantic stories that range in content from historical to contemporary, from paranormal to science fiction.

Okay, perhaps I am prejudiced in that judgment because the volume contains one of my own short stories, "One More Romance," the story of a woman rediscovering a lost love... while attempting to find a lost love letter.

But all the stories by the nine other writers are unique and some are just plain fun. Heroes include pirates, a cursed werewolf and even an alien musician.
How fitting for this season that the first story from former newspaper reporter and teacher, Mary Marcus, takes place during a trip home for Christmas.

From cities to small towns, these stories run the gamut of locations, but they all contain wonderful romantic tales that have the reader shedding a tear or two at times. I particularly enjoyed Joyce Mullen's story, "Thirteen Bachelors," because Joyce is well into her 90s and still writing. What an inspiration!

To be honest, I am not finished with all the stories, but every one I read just keeps getting better.  If you're looking for something to read while waiting for gifts to be wrapped or sitting at the table in a restaurant waiting with a drink for your friends to finish their shopping, you might consider taking the time to download this wonderful volume of romances.

These authors, from The Heart of Denver Romance Writers, are dedicated authors who read romance, study the genre and work hard at writing their own material. It's only natural that they should turn out such a delightful anthology. 

The editor, Helen Hardt, is a professional fiction editor who counts among her clients New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors and RITA winners. She is also an award winning author and one of her stories is included.

Sealed with Love is available now at Amazon.com.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Gift of Sexy Fairy Tales

If you're looking for books to buy your friends for Christmas (or for your own library) I have a suggestion to make. This is billed as "A Quartet of Fractured Fairy Tales" and it certainly caught my interest.  The book is Modern Magic, and one of the featured authors, Stephanie Cage, is the guest today in My Writing Corner.  Welcome Stephanie! How did you get started in publishing?

I always wanted to write, and as a teenager I had a couple of short stories published in our local newspaper.  Later I joined a writing group, and started entering competitions, and my first real success was winning a holiday in the Woman's Own magazine short story competition with a short story called 'Hide and Seek' about a young girl struggling to fit into a new step-family.  Then I discovered the Romantic Novelists' Association and began to focus on writing romance, which led to my first ebook, 'Desperate Bid' being published by The Wild Rose Press.  It started with the premise that somebody decided to put their life up for sale on an online auction site, and I thought it was pretty way out, but a few years later I read an article about someone who'd done just that!
What is your writing process? Are you a planner or one who relies on the writing spirit?
A bit of both.  When writing short stories I often just set out with a concept and see where it goes, but for longer stories I'm increasingly realising the need to plan so that I don't end up wandering down blind alleys.  I don't think I'll ever be a very detailed planner though.  I enjoy being surprised by my characters and finding that their stories take turns I hadn't expected. 

What one piece of advice would you give to new writers starting out?
The two pieces of advice I hear most often are 'read a lot' and 'write a lot' and I think both are indispensable, but I would add to the first one, 'read carefully'.  The best authors' stories carry us along, and as readers, it's great to race through a story enjoying all the twists and turns, but as authors we need to do more.  We need to stop and consider the choices the author made throughout the story, and what they add.  Why this viewpoint, this character, this scene?  This helps us to see the techniques being used to craft their stories, and add those to our own repertoires. 

Tell us about your newest work and what made you want to write it?


My latest published story is a novella in a collection of four modern fairy tales by different authors.  The book is called 'Modern Magic' and my story, "Music to her Ears" is a version of Goldilocks.  When I saw that Crimson Romance were publishing an anthology of modern fairy tales, I really wanted to take part, because I grew up admiring Angela Carter's reworkings of fairy tales, and as an adult I've enjoyed reading stories like 'Falling', my friend Imogen Howson's reworking of Rapunzel as a science fiction story.  I chose to base my submission to the anthology on Goldilocks because I'd seen a lot of versions of Cinderella and Red Riding Hood lately, and wanted to do something different, and I liked the idea of the heroine getting to choose something that was 'just right' rather than settling for the first thing (or person) who came along. 
What do you like best about your heroine and hero?
Both Mike and Hannah have a passion for music, and as he's already a well-known musician, when Hannah meets him for the first time, she feels as if she already knows him in many ways.  I enjoyed writing about their love of music because it's something I share.  As part of the Ursa Trio, Mike divides his time between the London area, where he meets Hannah, and New York, where the brothers have a flat (or should I say apartment?), but he comes from Yorkshire originally, and I loved bringing my favorite British county into the story too. 
What are you working on now?
I'm going through the editing process on another novella, Paris Proposal, which is due to be published by The Wild Rose Press next year.  It's a fun, quirky little story about a girl who goes to Paris with her boyfriend for New Year, expecting a proposal, only to find that things don't turn out at all how she expects. 
How about a blurb on Modern Magic?
What if Cinderella ditched the prince’s ball and sent her fairy godmother to find love in her place?
Suppose a streetwise hero hired to steal an all-powerful Genie (stuck in a flash driver rather than a brass lamp) for a tech company ended up running for his life with the CEO’s gorgeous, intelligent daughter?
What if the bed that a certain golden tressed girl accidentally napped in belonged to the hot and famous middle brother of a well-known boy band?
Can you envision the sparks that might fly if a bitter and downright beastly wheel chair bound woman propositioned a handsome bookseller to stay with her in exchange for her rare book collection?
This spellbinding anthology features modern and sexy spins on four classic fairy tales.
How can readers contact you:
Thanks, Stephanie, for being my guest today, and good luck with Modern Magic. I'm putting it on my Christmas list. Any comments or questions for Stephanie?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Charmed by a Rocky Mountain Love Story

We're always looking for new authors to enjoy, and it's always great to find one from my home state. Tena Stetler and her husband make Colorado their home, and she says the household includes a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a 40+ year old box turtle. Using the majestic Rocky Mountains for a backdrop, she writes paranormal romance. She says she finds stories in the strangest places--like on a camping trip, or kayaking, or hiking in the mountains. A song and the hair salon combined to create A Demon’s Witch, her debut novel release in September.

Tell us about your newest project.

Charm Me, part of A Candy Hearts Series from The Wild Rose Press, will be released January 6, 2016, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I am so excited.  I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.    
Where did you get the idea for it and what made you want to write it?

 Charm Me was a strange combination of occurrences.  I’d just finished a gun class at a really nice gun club to get my concealed carry permit.  And my husband and I were taking our dog to Agility classes where one of the other dog owner was a yoga instructor who owned her own studio.  On the drive home one evening, I combined the two situations and started to bounce idea’s off my husband. He is the best brainstormer. Is that even a word? Anyway, Charm Me was the end result.   
How did you come up with your characters for this book?

Most of my characters pop into my mind fully formed telling me their names and their stories.  I guess at that point its my job to sort it all out, tell the story.  Sounds weird I know, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  LOL
What do you like best about your current hero?

He’s strong, driven and kinda set in his ways, but grows to understand the necessity of compromise to make a relationship work.  He’s a retired Navy SEAL and that defines him.
What about your heroine?

She’s a brave, strong woman who’s moved to Colorado Springs to take a yoga instructor position, a fresh start for her and her canine companion, Piper.  Summer is an elemental witch that has very bad experiences in her past.   Yet, when Devlin storms into her life, things will never be the same. 
How about a blurb?

Summer Dawn Riley’s an extraordinary elemental witch whose troubled past haunts her. She’s created a calm life for herself teaching yoga and keeping people at a distance. Her life takes a one eighty degree turn when she enrolls in a women’s weapons class and meets ruggedly handsome Devlin Sawyer. Devlin, a former Navy Seal, has sworn off women after two long-term failed relationships, but there is no denying his attraction to Summer. She intrigues him like no other woman ever has. Despite her attempts to ignore him, Summer is drawn to Devlin. His magic signature is strong, but he’s no warlock. Will Valentine’s Day magic find them a future together?

Charm Me is available for preorder now at Amazon http://amzn.com/B018L2U904
and
The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6579

What are you working on now?
I am waiting on edits for A Witch’s Journey (A Lobster Cove series), The Wild Rose Press just contracted in November. It’s about the magic, love and dedication of a witch – wildlife rehabilitator who meets a former Navy SEAL ready, willing and able to make her dreams come true. Their journey begins with building a wildlife rescue and rehab center, her life long dream, then falling in love despite the dark secrets neither are willing to share, until….

My National Novel Writing Month project (I did make my 50,000 word goal) was a 2016 Christmas story revolving around the characters in A Witch’s Journey.  Once I finished A Witch’s Journey, I discovered the characters still had a lot more to tell, so A Wedding For The Holidays was born.
How can readers reach you or find you online?

https://www.facebook.com/TenaStetlerAuthor
https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler/
https://twitter.com/TenaStetler

Thanks, Tena, for being my guest.  Any comments or questions for Tena?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Suspenseful Sequel

As we move closer to the holiday season, people start looking for books they either want to buy for others or get for themselves once they receive that new e-reading device. We're also looking for new books to buy and new authors to try. For the next month we'll be focusing on new releases you might want to curl up with on a long winter night. Our guest today in My Writing Corner is author Sandra Dailey who has a new release that just came out.

Tell us about your latest book, Close Enemy.
Close Enemy is a sequel to my last book, Common Enemy, but can easily stand alone. It’s a twisted little romantic suspense. Murder and mayhem with a few laughs mixed in.

I love sequels, especially when we met characters in the last book we want to know more about or see in their own story. What gave you the idea for this book and what made you want to write it?
In Common Enemy, Caleb, brother to the main character, had to give an alibi. He was with a woman, but didn’t know her last name or any other personal information. I asked myself who she could have been. Ta Da, the next story was born.

How did you come up with your characters for this book?
I like to write about everyday people. My goal with Caleb and Leah was to show that appearances can be deceiving. Caleb appears to be a wealth, confident, professional, but in reality he’s been stripped of confidence and self esteem by an incident in his past. Leah feels hopeless and worthless, just another poverty class worker bee, but actually has more savvy and strength than she knows.

What do you like best about your current hero?
He shoves his pain aside to do the right thing for his family and others who depend on him.

What about your heroine?
She’s done without all her life, but she’s proud and independent.

They sound like characters we want to get to know better. How about a blurb?
Caleb McCrae is a powerful man with a broken soul. In six years, Leah was the only person to help him forget the painful memories, but only for one night. Now she seems to have disappeared. A mysterious letter arrives, and she’s in trouble… in more ways than one.
Leah Fletcher's life is complicated. To care for her drug and alcohol addicted mother she works at a sleazy men's club...until she finds out she's pregnant and is frame for a crime that lands her in jail. When a stranger visits, she learns her troubles have just begun.
Bogdan Petrov has waited eleven years to get back the money Leah's father stole from him. Despite her denials, he knows she's hiding it. He's arranged to infiltrate every part of her life until he gets what he wants, but soon realizes that an unknown person is doing the same to him.
 What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a mystery. It’s my first who-done-it. It’s about a first year patrol officer who helps a handsome lead detective solve her own mother’s murder.
Also, I’m outlining a humorous private detective story with light paranormal elements. I’m thinking about making this one a series.

I also have a series of five short stories I’m playing with. They’re vintage romance, circa late 1950s.
That sounds like you have a lot going on, and readers can look forward to much more of your work! How can readers reach you or find you online?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sandradailey.author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sdaileyauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/sandradailey
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551048.Sandra_Dailey
Or send an email to: sandradailey.author@gmail.com

Thanks, Sandra, for being my guest.  Any questions or comments for Sandra? 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A New Winter Romance

We're moving into that time of year when we are looking for new books to read on a cold snowy day or to buy for our friends for gifts. For the next few weeks I will be focusing on winter reading as I talk to authors with new books that are coming out this season. My guest today in My Writing Corner is author Jessie Clever. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes! I always say writers are born, not made, and at the very ripe age of 7, I knew I was going to be a writer.  I had just received a picture based on my current movie obsession, Dick Tracy. It was the first picture book I read all on my own.  That was the beginning of the end for me.
Where do you get story ideas?

Everywhere!  I warn people to be careful around me, because what they say could end up in a book.
I find all authors have a different way of approaching their writing. Please give us some details about how you write and your writing process. Do you plot carefully or wing it?

I am a terribly meticulous plotter.  I have an outline, character sketches, and completed research before I even begin writing!  Then when I do write, I don’t let questions interrupt me.  I highlight areas or leave notes for myself where I need to go back and improve things.  But I never stop the flow of writing.
What about characters? How do you normally come up with them?

Characters tend to show up like we had an appointment or something.  I often wonder if I had a million imaginary friends as a child, and now they’re all coming back demanding their own story.
Tell us about your latest book and what made you want to write it?

When She Knows came about when I said goodbye to my 20s and reflected on what I had learned.  There’s a lot of me in this book, and I don’t often get a chance to write about things I’ve encountered personally.  I hope some of the aspects of the heroine’s character will help other women in similar situations and going through a similar time in their life.  I believe there is a lot of pressure on young women to do it all, and I hope they find in this book that they only need to do those things that are worthy of them.
How about a blurb?

His latest problem is her newest assignment.
Shannon Wynter has it all figured it. Abandoned by her mother and left to care for her agoraphobic father, Shannon focuses on building her career as a journalist to the detriment of all else including her love life.

Ian Darke has his own problems. Battling past failures, Ian sets his eyes on launching a new factory for his father’s defense firm. But it’s the very father he failed that will do anything to sabotage Ian’s progress.
And when Shannon follows an anonymous tip that leads her to Ian’s factory door, the last thing she expects to discover is what she already knows.

Now that sounds intriguing--like a good book to curl up with on a cold day. How can readers reach you or find you online?
I love to hear from readers, so please stop by for a chat. I also do a monthly giveaway to my awesome newsletter subscribers, so stop by and sign up right on my website: jessieclever.com.

Find me on social media:
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1foelMH
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1IM6UPJ
Google+: http://bit.ly/1rpRvsU
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/KZQ4TQ
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1fge8x9

 Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/1SWpIy3

And here is where you can buy When She Knows. Purchase links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1IAMgPa
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1SWp4R9
iBooks: http://apple.co/1KM3YWs
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1M6StJw
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1DnqC4F
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1IHyZsj

Thanks, Jessie, for being my guest. As a former journalist I know that your book is one I'm going to put on my TBR list. Any  comments or questions for Jessie?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A New Romance to Heat up the Night

My guest today in My Writing Corner is Marie Tuhart, author of the new Wild Rose Press release, Bound &Teased. She calls herself a voracious reader who can't remember a time when she didn't have a book in her hand. Since you were always reading, did you always want to be a writer?

Not always.  I had a good imagination as a child and used to make up plays with my stuff animals and performed them for my family.  It wasn’t until I was older I wanted to do more writing.
How did you get started in publishing?

Well, I first joined RWA and my local chapter of RWA.  I did a lot of workshops and conferences trying to find where my books fit.  In 2009 I started checking out small presses and Wild Rose Press was at the top of my list.  It was hard to find a publisher that took erotic romance and was willing to take a chance on a newbie author.
Tell us about your latest book and where you got the idea for it.

Bound & Teased is a committed ménage story.  It is so different from any other book I’ve written.  The idea just popped into my head one day, I was writing another book and my brain went: what would happen if you had a heroine in love with two men, two men who were best friends?  And it just went from there.
We want to know more. How about a a blurb?
Eight years ago, a naive Katie Crane ran from Ry and Jed, warned their brand of love would ruin her life. Now she's all grown up and returning home with a better understanding of the BDSM lifestyle. After the betrayal she's faced at her father's hands, she worries she won't be strong enough to submit to the men she gave her heart and virginity to at eighteen. 
Jed Malloy and Ry McCade are surprised and thrilled by Katie's return to Felton's Creek. They'd been heartbroken after her departure and had turned to each other, embracing the BDSM lifestyle without her. Katie's homecoming sparks hope and worry. Ry isn’t sure he can keep his dominant side under control, and Jed fears Katie will see him as less of a man by being a switch and Ry’s submissive.
Having Katie back could mean the beginning of everything they've ever wanted or the end to the only family they've ever known.
Sounds intriguing! What is your writing process?  Do you outline or just write?
It really depends on the book.  Sometimes I outline and other times I just start writing.  It really depends on how strong the characters talk to me.

What are you working on now? 

Right now I’m working on edits for a new book called Melt My Heart it will be part of the Wild Rose Press Candy Heart series.
How can readers get in touch with you and buy your books?
Bound & Teased is available at:
The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/wildcatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=182&products_id=1059
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bound-teased-marie-tuhart/1122461300?ean=2940150885134
ARe    https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-boundteased-1869082-149.html
Find Marie on the Web:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Tuhart/230032191349
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4190063.Marie_Tuhart
Twitter @marietuhart
Thanks, Marie! Any comments or questions?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Treasure of Cowboys & Christmas Romances

Visiting in My Writing Corner today is USA Today bestselling romance author Shanna Hatfield. She describes herself as a hopeless romantic and says everyone deserves a happy ending. She has set out to make that happen one story at a time. Her stories combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real. When she isn't writing or indulging in dark and decadent chocolate she hangs out with her husband. Did you always want to be a writer?

Absolutely. I composed my first story in third grade about a raccoon. Although it wasn’t what anyone would consider a literary wonder, it did give me the bug to create stories.
How did you get started in publishing?

I spent the first ten years of my career as a newspaper journalist. When I switched gears into marketing, I continued writing freelance magazine articles. One cold, stormy February day in 2010, I decided to give novel writing a try. After I wrote that first sweet romance (Heart of Clay), I realized there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do beyond write another  book… then another. My first three novels and a short story were published in June 2011 and it’s been an amazing adventure since then.
Tell us about your latest books and where you got the idea for them.

I have two new books releasing Nov. 12.  The first book is Capturing Christmas. It’s about a rodeo photographer and a rodeo stock contractor. One the rare occasions I leave my writing cave, I dabble in photography, so the idea of a photographer as one of the main characters greatly appealed to me. The book is the third in my Rodeo Romance series, and it had to tie into the rodeo theme. The photographer’s love interest is a stock contractor who barely has time to sleep. Kash is determined to keep Celia at arm’s length, but his heart has other ideas.


The Christmas Vow. It’s the fourth book in my Victorian Hardman Holiday series, set in the 1890s. In this story, the hero, Adam, comes home for his best friend’s funeral and encounters the woman, Tia, who broke his heart when they were eighteen. She’s recently returned to town as a widow, with her young son. This story has some of my favorite themes like rekindled love, a marriage of convenience, and a cat with a huge attitude.
The second book releasing is

What do you like best about your heroine and hero?
In Capturing Christmas I like that Celia is feisty and stubborn and so independent, but she has a very girly side. She loves anything vintage or retro. Kash is also stubborn, yet he’s incredibly gentle and loyal.

The Christmas Vow characters are both determined to do what is best for her son, and I think that’s a wonderful trait. Adam is very tender-hearted, but he’ll do whatever it takes to defend the people he cares about. Despite the wounds from her past, Tia has a great sense of humor and is so generous to others.
What are you working on now?

My next book will continue the popular Grass Valley Cowboys series with Ben Morgan’s story. I had so many people request his story, who am I to tell them no. The book should be out at the end of the year. Look for The Cowboy’s Last Goodbye (Grass Valley Cowboys, Book 6)

 Book Blurbs and Buy Links:
The Christmas Vow

The Christmas Vow (Hardman Holidays, Book 4)
Adam Guthry returns home to bury his best friend and his past, never expecting to fall in love with the woman who destroyed his heart.

Capturing Christmas

Capturing Christmas (Rodeo Romance, Book 3)
Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as Celia McGraw.

Thanks, Shanna for being my guest today. You can find Shanna’s books at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

She says she loves loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:

ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

You can also sign up for her newsletter to get the latest on new releases and exclusive giveaways!

Newsletter

Any questions for or comments for Shanna?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dancing into a New Romance

Dancing into My Writing Corner today is romance author, Mariposa Cruz, to tell us about her new book, Package Deal. Did you always want to be a writer?

I’ve been writing stories in spiral bound notebooks since I can remember. My best friend and I spent an entire summer passing a notebook back and forth writing a story about our group of friends. We read the finished story at a Christmas party later that year. I’m happy to report we’re all still on speaking terms with our high school friends.
I wrote articles for my college newspaper and my first short story was published in the college literary magazine and I’ve been balancing fact and fiction ever since.   

Tell us how you got started in publishing your first book.
I felt apprehensive on New Year’s 2009 since I was facing a court date for divorce at the end of January. I sent my manuscript for “Howl” to The Wild Rose Press on New Year’s Day in hopes that maybe some good news would come after the divorce.

A couple of months later I received a response.  The editor liked “Howl”, but it wasn’t ready for publication.  Using her suggestions I re-worked the story.  I spent the next few months going back and forth with the editor and pulling my life back together. After several go rounds with a very patient editor, “Howl” was finally awarded a contract in October of 2009.  I had a much-needed celebration with my kids and a chocolate cream pie.  So even if you’re navigating a difficult time in your life, don’t stop writing!
Tell us about your latest book, Package Deal, and where you got the idea for it.


I enjoy dancing, especially the Latin dances like Bachata and Salsa.  The dance floor is the best place for characters and potential stories. Reno has a vibrant Salsa scene and I couldn’t resist making it the backdrop for” Package Deal”.
What do you like best about your heroine and hero?

Even though Liz and Patrick are in their late forties, established in their careers and were previously married to other people, falling in love for them is still exciting (and terrifying) for them.  I had so much fun with Liz and Patrick that I included them in my short story collection, “Hot Flash”.
What are you working on now?

Each dance genre and setting (nightclub, honky tonk or studio lessons) has its own ambience which will be explored in the Rhythm and Romance series. I’m working on the next story in the series.  “Ladies Man” which tells Liz’s paralegal, Julie’s story and features West Coast Swing.

How about a Blurb for Package Deal?
Widowed attorney, Liz Grant, buries her grief in a deluge of paperwork.  On whim she takes a free dance lesson at the club Eclipse where the mojitos are cold and the Salsa is hot.  She falls for Salsa’s spicy rhythms and Patrick Cavanaugh’s sexy grin.  But can Liz handle the dramatic change of tempo in her well-ordered life? 

Patrick has all the right moves, but struggles to keep his balance as his adult daughter spins out of control.  Will their love survive off the dance floor?
Thanks for being my guest today. To find out more about Package Deal, author interview and classic horror movie review check out:

http://www.amazon.com/Package-Deal-Rhythm-Romance-Book-ebook/dp/B00OVQ9AF0/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414253603&sr=1-8&keywords=package+deal

Any questions or comments for our guest?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Escape into a Western Romance

As we move deeper into the fall and get ready for winter, I am always looking for a new book to curl up with for a day of reading. That means I am always ready to hear from a new or favorite author about her latest book.  My guest today is romance writer, Danica Favorite.  
I  love to hear stories about getting the road to publication. How did you get started?
I’ve always loved writing, but I never imagined that it would be a career until I was home with my now 15-year-old, who was a baby at the time. I needed an outlet for my creativity and so I looked online for something I could do. I found the Harlequin.com online community and discovered that they were looking for authors. Thirteen years later, I sold my first book. I did not take the fast path to success, but it’s been a good journey, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

You’ve taught classes on nourishing the writer’s spirit. Can you tell us more about that?
I’ve seen a lot of friends struggle with burnout, and in, fact, when I finally sold that first book, after working so hard for so long, the strongest emotion I felt was exhaustion. As writers, we pour out so much of ourselves creatively, emotionally, and physically, but we don’t often take the time to fill ourselves up. Many writer friends often feel guilty for doing things to take care of themselves because they’re already taking time away from their families to write. But unless we take care of ourselves and nourish the spirit that makes us such great writers, we’re going to burn out. It makes me sad to think of writing friends who are no longer writing because of it. Writers have been given such a great gift, and I want to help them nurture that gift.

You’re sponsoring a writer’s retreat next month. Can we get the details?

Yes! I’m going to talk about the things I do to nurture myself that have impacted me creatively and helped my productivity, but more importantly, have really made me a lot happier in life in general. It’s going to be very hands-on, so don’t expect to sit and listen to a bunch of theory and stories. We’ll spend time talking about the things we as writers can do to nurture ourselves, and then, everyone is going to go off and put those ideas into practice. My goal is for everyone to go home with their own nurturing plan so that when they’re working on their writing, they have tools for keeping themselves in a good place, fully nourished and able to live their passion so they aren’t depleted.

Please tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is The Lawman’s Redemption, which came out in July. It’s my second book, and it takes place in Leadville, Colorado during the silver mining boom in the 1880’s. To me, it’s a great story about forgiving yourself for your past mistakes and finding redemption in the things gone wrong.

What gave you the idea for it and what made you want to write it?

Originally, when I started thinking about Mary, whose story I knew I wanted to write next, she seemed so perfect. Which got me thinking about other people we think are perfect. So many times, that perfection is a veneer hiding a deep wound or flaw. Because I am a writer, I love knowing secrets, and so I wanted to find out Mary’s. And of course, the hero had to be a man determined to find them out.

How about a blurb?
Lawman on a Mission 

Former deputy Will Lawson is fighting to regain his reputation—and Mary Stone is his only lead to the bandit who framed him. Now that he's tracked Mary to Leadville, Colorado, Will needs the proud beauty to reveal her past. Instead, his efforts spark a mighty inconvenient attraction…

Mary's only real crime is that she once believed an outlaw's lies. Still, she fears disclosing the truth to Will may land her in jail—and leave her young siblings without protection. Now she must choose between honesty and safeguarding her family. And if Will does clear his own name, can he convince the woman he loves to share it?

What are you working on now?
Wow, you caught me just as I finished and turned in one project, Shotgun Marriage, which is Emma Jane’s story, and will be out in April. And the next day, I received a call from my agent saying I’d just sold books four and five, which are Polly’s and Rose’s stories. So I’m not getting much of a break right now! I’m writing Polly’s story right now, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Basically, it’s her worst nightmare come true.

How can readers reach you or find you online?
Website: http://www.danicafavorite.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danicafavorite
Instagram: https://instagram.com/danicafavorite/

How can we sign up for your retreat?
Visit www.danicafavorite.com/retreat

Thank you for being my guest today.  I am really looking forward to the retreat next month!
Any comments or questions for Danica?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Romantic Tale from the 49th State

Today we are heading north in our search for new romance novels to read.  My guest is author Devon McKay, who hails from Alaska. She has many exciting stories to tell about life in the 49th state. She says on several occasions she was chased by a mother moose defending her young and stalked by a bear. She also had to endure temperatures of forty below and once she was even trapped in an avalanche. While that might sound like a tough time, she says she loved every minute of it.

Now, however, she making her home on a small ranch in Ohio along with her husband and teenage son. She says that while farm life in the Midwest is slightly more laid back than the perils of Alaska, she is enjoying the slower pace. The country lifestyle gives her plenty of time to follow her passion for writing. Her first novel was Cowboy on the Run, and her newest book is Staking A Claim, which was set in Alaska.

Here's the blurb:

For most people, seeing Alaska is a dream come true. For Miami Beach resident, Samantha Held, it is merely a job assignment. Creating an advertisement for vacationing in the state gets her one step closer to achieving her career goal—partnership in Kolinsky’s Advertisement Agency. 

Blake Langford is not willing to accept any exploitation of his beloved state, no matter how desirable the striking, southern blonde bombshell with fiery green eyes is, and he’s determined to sabotage Sam’s goal in every way. Falling in love with the enemy, however, was never part of the plan.

That storyline definitely caught my interest and the cover for the book is absolutely outstanding. We wanted more so  Devon has sent us an excerpt:

Fuming, Sam held his gaze as she considered his offer. She couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to be dropped into her lap. She could learn everything she needed to know about Alaska and have a handsome, but overly protective, guide of the state to show her. Not to mention what his knowledge could do for the brochure.
It would also mean more time in his temperamental company.
Sam considered her options. She had gotten lucky finding Carlton Landing, but what about locating her elusive hotel? As proven last night, it was more than evident she couldn’t even read a map correctly. So, what real choice did she have?
She pictured her new office…the view of the ocean…the partnership. She was willing to take the chance. Besides, she’d never been the kind of girl who shied away from a challenge. Hell, so far, her life had been a series of challenges.
“It’s a deal.” Her voice came off cool and professional despite the quickening of her heart beat. She offered her hand to shake on the agreement. “We haven’t officially met. Samantha Held. I go by Sam.”
“Blake Langford.” He extended his, grasping her hand and repeating the name she already knew by heart. He held onto her grasp for a minute longer than necessary. “I go by Wolf.”
Again, the breathtaking grin resurfaced, and an odd pulsation spiked through Sam, leaving her insides quivering like a bowl of gelatin as she second guessed her decision.
What kind of fool makes a deal with a man called Wolf?
Staking a Claim is available now and here is the info for purchase.
 
 
 
If you want to reach Devon, here is how to get in touch with her:
 
Thanks, Devon, for being our guest.  Any comments or questions for Devon? Please click on  Comments.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hungering for a Good Romantic Novel?

We're always looking for new books to read, and sometimes that means looking back at books we may have missed their first time around.  Our guest today is author Brenda Gayle, whose romance, The Hungry Heart, has just been re-released, and she is doing a contest as part of today's visit.  Tell us, Brenda, Did you always want to be a writer?

It’s cliché, but I can’t remember when I didn’t write. I was the geeky kid in class that was thrilled when the teacher gave us a creative writing assignment. Then, in high school, my girlfriend and I would entertain ourselves by starting with the same sentence and going off to write our own stories. It always amazed me how different they were.

How did you get started?
I have a degree in Journalism and spent 20+ years working in corporate communications so publication was something I did every day. However, at a certain point, I started to feel like my creative muse had abandoned me. I couldn’t blame her. She was probably as tired of annual reports, press releases, and magazine articles as I was. I returned to writing fiction as a way to re-ignite my creative juices. Unfortunately, with family and work responsibilities, writing for me was always last on my to-do list. Then, a friend suggested I take it seriously; treat it as a writing assignment and write for publication. I joined my local writers’ group and never looked back. I completed Soldier for Love, my first full-length contemporary romance, and was thrilled when The Wild Rose Press wanted to publish it.

Tell us about The Hungry Heart and its re-release.  
The Hungry Heart is the first book in my Heart’s Desire series, which chronicles the search for love and belonging for three cousins. The book was originally released in September 2013. I’ve always loved it; its hero, Hunter Graham, is one of my favorite characters, as is his indomitable grandmother, Libby. I was thrilled when The Wild Rose Press informed me that Amazon wanted to relaunch the book as part of its Encore program. Amazon’s Encore Publishing selects successful and well-reviewed small press and self-published books, giving them a second life by improving their exposure. 

What gave you the idea for it and what made you want to write it originally?
The heroine of the book, Nora Cross, is a dedicated association executive, who thinks she has no time for a social life. I’ve spent most of my communications career working for not-for-profit associations and have gotten to know many “Noras.” I thought it would be fun to see what happened if she met a younger man with a carefree attitude. I decided he should be a chef because what’s better than a guy who cooks for you, right?

What have readers said about the book?
It’s very interesting. Everyone loves Hunter. He’s a fun combination of sexy playboy and little boy. There is an innocence and openness about him that’s very appealing. I think of him as a ten-year-old: he doesn’t think about the ramifications of his actions, and is genuinely surprised and remorseful when he discovers he’s hurt someone.

Nora, on the other hand, seems to be a polarizing character. A lot of people don’t like her at all at the beginning of the book. She’s harsh and unbending. Fortunately, before the end, she’s redeemed herself, and everyone is rooting for Hunter and Nora to get together.
How about a blurb?

A burned out association executive spices things up with Santa Fe’s playboy celebrity chef.
Child advocate Nora Cross doesn't have time for the private cooking lesson her sister won at a charity auction. Hunter Graham, the young chef, is the last person she needs telling her she's forgotten how to have fun. So why can't she get the very hot, very eligible man off her mind?

After a stellar debut in New York City, Hunter's back in Santa Fe to open a new restaurant. He lives a charmed life and he knows it. He isn't interested in a workaholic who's glued to her smart phone. So why is he trying to convince Nora to relax and enjoy life—with him?

When Nora's apartment and office are ransacked, Hunter comes to her rescue, surprised to find himself playing knight-in-shining armor to the uptight executive. But when it becomes clear Nora is no random target, Hunter realizes he'll do anything to keep her safe.
What are you working on now?

Last March I took a family trip to Sedona, AZ. It has to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The scenery and the mystery of the place was so amazing, I was inspired to write a story set there. The result, Me + You, will be released around Valentine’s day as part of The Wild Rose Press’s Candy Hearts series.
How can readers reach you or find you online?

You can contact me via my website www.BrendaGayle.com,
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brendagayleauthor/,
Twitter https://twitter.com/Brenda_Gayle,
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/BrendaGayle
Amazon http://amazon.com/author/brendagyale


BUY LINKS for The Hungry Heart
eBook exclusively on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Hungry-Heart-Hearts-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B014RUQ6YC

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Hungry-Heart-Brenda-Gayle/dp/161217406X

Tell us about your contest.

Setting is very important in all my books.The Hungry Heart is set in Santa Fe, NM, a place I'd dearly love to visit. And, as I mentioned, a recent trip to Sedona, AZ, inspired me to write Me+You, my Valentine's novella. Let me know either some place you've always wanted to visit and why, or some place you've been that has inspired you in some way. I'll randomly select one commenter to win a digital copy of The Doubting Heart, the second book in my Heart's Desire series. I'll make the draw the end of the week.
Thanks, Brenda, for being our guest.  Click on Comments to reply to Brenda's contest or to ask her any questions or leave any comments.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Season, New Romances


As the days turn cool, this is a great time to curl up with a good book, so we're always on the lookout for new authors and new books to read. And today we've found one as we visit with author Isla Grey.  Did you always way to be a writer?
 

I remember always writing as a little girl so I guess it’s always been in my blood.  Of course, back then I was writing little rhymes for my grandmother, so it’s definitely changed a bit over the years.
How did you get started in publishing?

I had worked on one project for a couple of years.  I was writing it while I was expecting my daughter.  So, when she came along, that got put on the backburner for a year or so.  Finally, when I had a few extra moments, I dug out the manuscript and dusted it off.  It took some editing and rejection, but I finally found a publisher who wanted it.
Tell us about your latest book and where you got the idea for it.

My latest book is Asylum Harbor.  It tells the story of Devon Brown who moves to the remote Shell Island as the new bartender of the Salty Dog.  She doesn’t want—or need—trouble but she finds plenty of it, especially in the form of the island’s harbormaster, Kerr.
The fun part is that the idea came from an actual visit to Shell Island.  No one lives there, but vacationers like to visit during low tide to grab seashells and sand dollars.

What do you like best about your heroine and hero?
For Devon, I like the fact that she’s trusting and dedicated to the people she holds close.  Kerr is headstrong, no nonsense but he’s very protective of the people closest to him.

How about a blurb?

Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island.  As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster.  But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.

A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague.  Things change when Devon catches his eye.  When a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together.  As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.
What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Salty Dog Series.  There’s plenty of trouble for the people of Shell Island to get into.

That sounds great and we look forward to seeing what else happens on Shell Island. How can readers buy a copy?

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Asylum-Harbor-Salty-Dog-Book-ebook/dp/B013XZTWCK

Amazon UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asylum-Harbor-Salty-Dog-Book-ebook/dp/B013XZTWCK/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1439668954&sr=1-2

All Romance Ebooks:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-asylumharbor-1872864-153.html

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122527329?ean=2940151148269

Bookstrand:
http://www.bookstrand.com/asylum-harbor

Kobo:
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/asylum-harbor

How can readers get in touch with you?

www.islagrey.com
Thanks, Isla, for being my guest today in My Writing Corner.  Any comments or questions for Isla? Just click on the comments link.