Thursday, October 18, 2018

Uncovering & Discovering New Romance


 As someone who loves to read fiction or listen to books, I love discovering new stories and new authors and learning all about them. This week my featured guest in My Writing Corner is author Ryan Jo Summers. Her biography intrigued me because it says she likes to write romances that blur the lines of subgenres. For instance she mixes contemporary with time travel, Christian, suspense, sweet, and the paranormal. She compares it to blending a fruit and yogurt smoothie. 

Tell us a little about how you became a writer.  An event happened when I was ten that was hard for me to wrap my brain around. So I wrote it out, story form, and even illustrated it. I’d been reading since I could remember so making this unconscious step over to writing was more of a coping strategy then, but it paved the way to becoming a writer.

You write fiction and non-fiction.  Yes, I was published in the non-fiction world before my debut fiction novel. 

What do you like about writing non-fiction? It usually takes less time to write non-fiction. They are both so different, but the subject matter for non-fic is usually written—to some degree—to spec, so it saves me having to supply a topic.  Plus the faster turn-around is nice.

Tell us about your writing different genres and mixing genres.  What challenges and rewards do you find in doing that? It’s a natural thing for me to do the mish-mashed genres. The challenges are believability.  For example, my sophomore novel, “Shimmers of Stardust”, is inspirational Christian and time travel. Those two don’t naturally lend themselves to being believable when combined. The reward, however, is “Shimmers of Stardust” has remained my consistent best-selling book for 4 years running. Other challenges are creating the story lines to flow together, and not have one overpower any others, or overtake the romance. “Chasing the Painted Skies” has a lot going on in it. It’s a romance, with mystery, a treasure hunt, a shape shifter, and a ghost story. There were a lot of story lines to keep in line with that story. The reward is all the positive feedback I’ve received from readers. It ended up flowing together nicely. Many people say the setting is a character all its own in “Chasing” and that makes me feel good.
  
What advice would you give beginning writers? Write for yourself first and foremost. Never write for trends or uncomfortable genres. Writing is a learning process, from the first one to the last one, whether it’s one book, two books or one hundred books. Each one has something to teach. Each one.

What is your current book? 
September’s Song is my 2nd self-published book, and first fictional one. The first was a blog to book non-fiction about my adopted dog and the challenges of the first two years with him. This is my “problem child” in that it was a very difficult book to write. It was sort of like a petulant child that demanded “Write me!” but then fought me every step along the way with how it wanted to be written. Honestly, most days I just went along for the ride as the characters dictated what was happening. It was a new experience for me. I wasn’t even sure what genre to label it until it was finished. That was tough! But it’s done, it’s live, and I could not be happier with the end result. It was worth every crank tantrum it gave me for the two-and-a-half years it took to write.


What made you want to write it? A friend sent me an email, with a series of various photos. One in particular struck a chord within me. Nothing fancy, just a child handing a Styrofoam carton to a man. But so much about the photo shouted it wanted to say something. So without any real sense of direction, I started scribbling away. Many of my original thoughts never came to fruition as the characters pushed them aside in favor of better and newer…err…suggestions.

How about a blurb?
Ivey London who lost her military husband, tried to move on with their son, her Alzheimer's mother, and a boss attracted to her. She finds him alive and amnesiac five years later. Armed with inexpiable abilities, he is pursued by a forceful group determined to reclaim him. Ivey is just as determined to keep her late husband.  Together, they uncover what happened to him, who is after him, and search for how to reclaim what they once were--husband and wife.

Now that sounds like an intriguing story! Here are the buy links if you would like to pick up a copy:

     Lulu:      http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/RyanJoSummers                          


What is your next project? 

Several! I am still working mightily on a 1719 time travel/ pirate romance that is slated to be released November 2019. I need to get it finished and to the publisher. Last month I signed with a new publisher for a series of books. Stories 1-3 are written and contracted, so edits will start soon. I’ve started writing book 4 and planning out books 5 & 6. Ultimately, I hope to see around 9 to 12 stories come out of this series over the years. I have plotlines and some fleshing out for three other novels, I just need time to work on them. I have a non-fiction inspirational novella and a young adult/ new adult novel I will either self-pub or pitch to agents, when time allows. On top of that I still have my non-fiction articles to work on. I am a regular contributor to a couple of them, so there is always topics to research and drafts to work on. No dust should be collecting on my keyboard.

 How can readers get in touch with you and learn more about your books?


     Website:  http://www.ryanjosummers.com

Thank you, Ryan Jo, for being my guest today.  Any comments or questions for Ryan Jo?



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Traveling Back In Time with A New Romance

Romance has always been one of my favorite genres to read and write, but I always like the stories even more when they contain an extra element such as suspense, fantasy or time travel.  That's why I was very excited when I learned about the new book by author Leslie Bowes, Heart Healer.

Leslie is a native of Maryland, but she moved to South Carolina as a young teenager. She tells us that she absolutely fell in love with the Low Country, its landscape and its abundant history. That countryside became the inspiration for her newest book, Heart Healer.

She has moved to Virginia recently and she says she can see the  promise of writing possibilities in that area as well as she studies the rolling landscape and the history.

But let's find out more about Heart Healer. Here's the blurb that immediately caught my attention:

Catherine Andrews is an English woman living in the 1800's. Her father sells her to Blake Von-Clyer to be his wife to pay off debts owed to Mr. Von-Clyer. Catherine soon finds out Blake is a cruel and horrible man.


On their wedding night, to escape his cruelty, she throws herself into the river. Death is better than marriage to a beast.

Christopher King is living in 2014 doing his best to raise his young son Ryan after his wife left him. One night, Christopher finds a woman in the river unconscious and barely breathing. She is also wearing old fashioned clothes. Christopher does everything in his power to help the young women. When Catherine regains consciousness, she finds herself in a strange and unbelievable situation. Terrified, she does her best to keep her guard up against Christopher. But as she gets to know him, she can't help but fall for the man who saved her life. When Catherine's dangerous past comes back to haunt her, it has Catherine and Christopher fighting for each other and their love.

Intrigued? I am! Want more? Let's get an excerpt:

"That’s true, but I don’t need a servant. I need a wife.”

Catherine dropped the spoon as her whole body shook. What was her father planning to do? Hard work? A wife? What was going on? She was not her father’s slave to trade as he wished. She was his daughter. Too nervous to turn around, Catherine prayed that she heard wrong.

“What did you say?” her father asked, shocked.

“You heard me.” Mr. Von-Clyer laughed. “You had no problem selling her to me as a servant Mr. Andrews, but now that I want her for my wife your conscience haunts you. What’s the difference? Either way your debt to me is paid.”

“Catherine, get over here now!” her father yelled drunkenly. The longer she stared at the vein in her father’s neck; she realized that she was making him angrier than Catherine had ever seen before.

She slowly walked over to the table and stood in front of her father. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she watched him drink his last bit of wine.

“You will be Mr. Von-Clyer’s wife to pay off my debt.”

“What debt?” Catherine asked angrily.

“Catherine, do not speak unless you are spoken to,” her father snarled.

“What debt?” Catherine yelled.

Her father jumped up from his chair with an angry shout, bumping the table, but James jumped in front of him.

“You cannot treat Catherine like that, Father. She is your daughter and my sister, not your slave!” James yelled.
Catherine’s father was having none of that. He lunged for James, but Catherine got in between them before her father could do anything. She knelt in front of James and wiped his tears. All the while she prayed for strength.

“Thank you, James, but I need you to go to your room.”
“But, Catherine—”
“No buts. Go to your room and stay there until I come for you.”

As soon as James was in his room, Catherine’s father grabbed her arms and shook her hard.

“Don’t you ever speak to me like that again, Catherine! Do you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” Catherine whispered, scared for her life.
“Good. Now go with Mr. Von-Clyer and pay off your debt.”
“Father, I beg of you. Tell me what my debt is?”

Want more? I do! This sounds like a wonderful book for curling up on cold winter days so here is the buy link:


The best part that I discovered when I went there is that this is the first in a series! Thank you, Leslie, for bringing us your latest book.  Any comments or questions for Leslie?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In the Mood for a Suspense Series?

As  a long-time mystery fan, I always keep a watch out for new releases by my favorite authors, but I also watch for new books by authors I haven't read before. There is nothing more fun than finding a new author who pulls me into reading a new series. That was the case with author Julie Howard, who whose latest book, Crime Times Two is just about to be released.

The book is the second installment of her Wild Crimes series, a domestic suspense series, so that gives me two new books to read! She is the guest in My Writing Corner today.

Julie is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. 

This is the second Wild Crime, a series of domestic suspense books. Here's the blurb:

Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.
While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn’t talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder.
As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…
She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?
 Want more? Here's an excerpt:
       Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.
       Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.
      Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”
The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.
       He shook his head, morose.
      "To make  a long story short," he summed up, "I think my wife is trying to kill me."

That grabbed my attention. The best thing is if you'd like to read on, there is a sale that starts this weekend on Julie's first book in the series, Crime and Paradise. It  goes on a 99-cent flash sale Friday (Oct. 5).

The story follows a young abused woman who ends up in a remote Idaho town. When her husband is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect. The local sheriff develops an interest in her beyond the investigation, and together they uncover some unsavory secrets in their small town.
  
For more on Julie, here is how to learn about her and get in touch as well as the buy links for her books:


  

Thank you, Julie, for being my guest and introducing us to a new crime series! Any comments orquestions for Julie?