Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Making an Enchanted Escape

We're moving into those cold days of winter so this is a great time to start finding some fresh reading material for those long, cold days when all I want to do is curl up in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a great book. And what would be better than a tale of knights battling for honor?

My guest today is award-winning paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, whose tales of Dragon Knights never fail to capture the reader's attention. Mary lives in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows she will return some day. For now she syas she lets the worlds she once created in her mind come to life in her stories. 

Let's let Mary tell us about her latest book, A Highland Moon Enchantment:

I’ve returned home to Scotland and the Dragon Knights this holiday season.

When the O’Quinlan brothers entered the story in Dragon Knight’s AxeOrder of the Dragon Knights, Book 3, I knew each would demand their own story. Desmond O’Quinlan kept tapping my shoulder (and yelling in my ear), requesting a rematch with Dragon Knight, Alastair MacKay. Apparently, he had unfinished business with Alastair for leaving his sister, Fiona. In truth, I sensed a deeper meaning behind Desmond’s foul mood and growing anger at the Dragon Knight. However, Ailsa MacDuff will become his greatest challenge, and the real reason for his bitterness will be exposed.

The light of a Midwinter feast and the glow of a Highland full moon will weave its magic over these two warriors.  

Thanks, Mary, let's get a blurb:

Irish warrior, Desmond O’Quinlan has never surrendered his heart to any woman. He has no wish to have his soul tortured by love. Yet, the moment he locks gazes with Ailsa, his fate is destined for an adventure he never fathomed. He may have battled alongside a Dragon Knight, but his greatest challenge will come from within his own heart.

Ailsa MacDuff, a warrior among her clan, has no desire to have a man chain her to a life of obedience. However, that is before she meets Desmond. The temptation to allow this warrior inside her heart is a risk she dares to take, but one that could lead to a future of emptiness and sorrow. 

When betrayal looms from within, the battleground of love is no match for these two warriors. Can the power of a Highland full moon be strong enough to unite or destroy them?

Naturally I was so intrigued by these characters I wanted to interview them: 

Desmond, tell us what you want most out of your life?
“I reckon I have found what was missing, which was love. I did not seek it, believing I had everything I wanted back in Navan. When I encountered Ailsa, she opened a part of me that I had locked away.”

What is your biggest victory so far?
“To be accepted by the people on the isle of Ailsa Creag. One day, my wife shall rule the isle, so I worried they would not wish to have an outsider stand beside her. Yet, I was wrong. They have accepted me as one of their own and made me a leader, as well.”

What is it about Ailsa MacDuff that first drew your attention?
“Her eyes. She held me captive with one look. I deemed she could see straight into my soul.”

Ailsa, what made you become such a fighter?
“The isle of Ailsa Creag has always trained both—men and women. Some of the men are chosen to become part of the Fianna. They are a group of men who serve other chieftains in Eire and Scotland and help to maintain order on their lands. We are an ancient people—one that I am proud to serve. ’Tis in my blood.”   

What is it about Desmond that frightens you?
“There is naught that scares me about my husband. In the beginning, I feared he would not wish to remain on our island.” Desmond leans near and whispers in her ear. “Apparently, he has assured me again that he will not leave.”

What is the one thing you want to keep hidden from him?
“We have nae secrets between us.” Alisa cheeks turn a rosy glow as she quickly averts Desmond’s stare. “Though I have yet to tell him the news about a bairn…”

Would you like to know more? Here's how you can buy A Highland Moon Enchantment:


Thank you, Mary, for being my guest and introducing us to Desmond and Ailsa.  Any questions or comments for Mary?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Get Busy Writing

Normally on Wednesdays, I like to preview a new book or books that I've found interesting and talk to either the authors or the characters. This week I am doing something different. Every so often I like to address those who would like to go from being a reader to a writer. 

Today I am going to focus on the goal of writing itself. As  a writer I am constantly being told by others that they would love to write a book but they don't know what to do about it. Or they say they have so many stories in their heads but they don't know where to start. I had that conversation with someone just yesterday and my advice to him was what I say to everyone:

Just start writing.

Whatever it is you want to stay, start putting those words on paper or typing them into your computer or onto your phone or ipad. But how? Sometimes the most difficult part of writing something new can be that first line. Those blank pages staring back at you can be quite daunting. Believe me, I've been there so many times. I know what you're thinking:

How do I make a good start?
What do I say?
What will make the most sense?
What will grab the reader?
Do I want someone to even read this?

My answer to all those questions and worries is something a wise old news editor once told me:

 Don't worry about them. Just write what's in your head. 

Don't worry about making it perfect the first time. Just start. You can always fix it later. As I've heard Nora Roberts say at a number of writing conventions, "You can't edit what you haven't written." And having written so many bestsellers, she is definitely someone to take writing advice from. She also says if you want to make money at writing you have to treat it like a job. You have to constantly work at it and not just wait for the muse to strike. Again -- good advice. 

If your life story is what you want to write, if you want to tell the story of someone close to you, if you have a fiction story you've been kicking around in your head, STOP THINKING! Start writing. Just like you go to work every day, work at your writing and your book or story will get finished.

One of the things I have done at the end of nearly every year is to take stock of the things I accomplished in that year as well as make a goal list of the things I want to accomplish in the next year. Every year I look back at both lists. When something doesn't get finished, it often moves forward to the next year. One of the fun things I've discovered as I look back is how many things did eventually get accomplished -- even if they were moved forward several times. 

I have a little sign above my desk that says "Just Do It." And that sometimes gets me back on track. But if you're starting out, the point is, the books and stories will never get finished if you don't start writing them. Put those first words down on a piece of paper. Type them into your computer. Just get them down in written form. Now is as good a time as any. 

You alone can make 2018 your year for writing that book or that story. Get busy writing now and you may be calling yourself an author by 2019. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Get Away to a New Romance

December always finds me looking for new authors to read and this year was no different. Of course, I am always looking for a good romance novel and my search introduced me to both as I discovered author Larry Farmer and his newest book.  Larry is the guest in My Writing Corner this week.
He tells us he was born and raised in Harlingen, Texas, a town on the southern tip of the state near the Gulf of Mexico.   He says he grew up with old school values on a cotton farm. He attended Texas A & M and joined the Corps of Cadets there. He eventually quit in join the Marines. He also served in the Peace Corp in the Philippines. After traveling around the world he eventually settled in Switzerland where he married and raised two of his three children. He now works for Texas A&M and he says he finally has the time to reflect on his life and its meaning... and to write about it, and we're glad he does!
His newest book is Seeing Gail Again, and we can see some of that past experience come to life.

Here's the blurb:

Jericho, just out of the Marines, returns to his roots in Texas only to face the anti-war movement that demonizes all Vietnam vets. He needs to sort through his life away from all that, and in his travels he stumbles upon a Shangri-La called the Lake District of England. There is peace and serenity around those lakes. And a girl—a beautiful, soulful girl he meets while working in the restaurant of a luxury hotel.

Gail is deep and intellectual, a mother-earth type who gives him peace inside. But when the Yom Kippur War breaks out in Israel, he abruptly leaves her and goes to help the beleaguered Jewish state while seeking his Jewish identity. Yet neither Jericho nor Gail could ever forget the depth of their love… 

Will meeting again, years later, resolve the feelings that never left them?

Naturally I was curious about these two characters so I had to ask Larry to tell us more about them both. 

Why did Jericho feel the need to get away from Texas after coming home from Vietnam?

Jericho felt the ravages of combat in a controversial war. Then came home to the war at home, the Age of Aquarius vs traditional America one. Trying to settle back in to normal life, the way America had changed, the riots in the streets, the stigma of being a 'baby killer', plus the corruption of politics with Watergate going on, made Jericho feel a need to heal. To find himself. 'To find his head.'

What touches him most about the Lake District?

The serenity, remoteness, and the genteel population.

What first attracts him to Gail?

She had an air about her. Self-confidence, depth, maturity, and a soulful personality.

Why would he want to leave her?

To spend one's life as a secular Jew in a gentile world, assimilated but still a chord of difference in outlook and heritage. Even awareness of a stigma of this heritage. The Yom Kippur War broke out in Israel and suddenly an awakening of Jewish heritage and pride broke through in Jericho. A defensiveness for the underdog on top of that. And to see a people willing and able to fight for themselves, after he experienced the antagonism and shame America, especially the Aquarian Age America, seemed to feel toward those who believed in America's ideals as well as seeing the dangers lurking in the world, especially through the Communist belligerence during the Cold War.

What haunts him about her?

Her soulfulness and idealism. The passion that broke through from her relationship with Jericho.

Now let's focus on Gail. What attracts her to Jericho?

An irresistible independence in him along with self-confidence. And he truly believed in his ideals and causes. A seeker. Someone that needs to know answers to complicated aspects of life, cultures, and history. This longing to find himself. Sturdiness mixed with compassion and ideals.

How did meeting him change her  life?

Gail has spent her entire life feeling different than everyone around. Looking for her place in life, but also secretly longing for her knight in shining armor. Someone strong, but deep and sensitive. And there he stands, suddenly, from the most unlikely places. A Marine Cowboy from Texas. An irresistible allure once she got to know him. The opening to new horizons and understanding that the world wasn't as black and white as even her ideals sometimes believed. He broke the mold, but fit the dreams. She opened up to new worlds because of him. And found that her own dreams were attainable in the knight he seemed to be.

What does she want for her future?

Companionship of the soul. Nurturing of the heart. A life simple but with depth.

Doesn't that just make you want to dive into the story and not stop until you've read the whole thing? I'm ready to read! Here are the buy links:

The Wild Rose Press
Seeing Gail Again Larry Farmer (paperback) -- from the publisher The Wild Rose Press

Amazon and Kindle

Barnes and Noble
Barnes & Noble -- From Nook -- Seeing Gail Again

From Kobo --  Seeing Gail Again ebook by Larry Farmer - Rakuten Kobo

Thank you, Larry, for being my guest and introducing us to  Gail and Jericho.  Any questions or comments for Larry?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Romantic December Reading

The holiday season means I get to shop for books, both to give as gifts to friends and for my own personal pleasurable reading.  That means discovering new authors or the latest books by authors I already enjoy. Either way, I figure I am the ultimate winner as I get to go through the latest books that have just come out.

A new romance release that definitely caught my attention comes from author Donna Simonetta, who is the guest today in My Writing Corner.

Donna is a Maryland author who says she is living her dream life. She worked in business for years and got her MLS and then went to work in a library and now she has become a published author. She says her husband is her real life romantic hero so it sounds like her dreams really have come true. She writes contemporary and fantasy romance and her newest book is  A Sweeter Spot. The story sounds like good holiday romantic reading:

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff's world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

Want more? Let's get excerpt!

“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”
She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”
She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed. 
How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.
He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.
“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”
She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

If you want to read more, here are the buy links:

And here are the links if you would like to get in touch with Donna:

Thank you, Donna, for introducing us to your new romance. Any comments or questions for Donna:

Characters Lead the Way

We're in the heart of the summer and it is time to relax and enjoy a few good books by the beach or in some secluded mountain cabin. To...