Wednesday, June 20, 2018

An Exotic Escape into Romance

Vacation means escape and it's time to start some fun summer reading that takes me to new destinations. I am having a great time looking for books that really hook me and new authors that I haven't read in the past. Travelling to far away places through books is always fun, which brings me to today's guest in My Writing Corner, Sophia Karlson, author of the new book, Perfect Mistake. 

Sophia has traveled around the world and lived in Europe and different parts of Africa, including Madagascar. She currently lives in South Africa. 

Tell us a little about how you became a writer.  Have you always wanted to write fiction? How did you get started in your writing career? 

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was thirteen—traveling through books and escaping everyday life by getting into a story has always been magical. I’ve never wanted to write anything but fiction, and was quite surprised to learn that only ten percent of all books written are actually fiction.

Life took many interesting turns, and I only really had a chance to get into any type of writing a good twenty years later. I studied languages after school and spent some time in Europe to master the oral side of German and French. I then applied for a post-graduate degree in journalism, but didn’t get in. I was disappointed, but ended up working in tourism instead, which was more fun and I got to travel a lot into Africa. This was where the travel bug bit me—and the safari bug, which is officially more vicious than a normal travel bug.

I did my first writing course in 2009, but it took me another four years to really get the time to start writing. I did many online courses, which allows you to learn at your own pace. I wrote two books, which both found their way into a very dark and forgotten cupboard. Then I wrote Perfect Mistake, which was then revised so much I hardly recognize the original story. Every bit of writing I’ve done has taught me something, and every book I’ve beta-read has taught me something too. Learning the craft of writing is an ongoing process and I don’t think you ever stop learning!

What are you working on right now?

I’m revising the sequel to Perfect Mistake, which is titled Perfect Addiction. It is the story about the hero’s sister and her journey to love. It takes the reader back to East Africa but on a different trip. It is much more emotional story than Perfect Mistake.

I’m also editing an erotic romance that’s coming out later this year titled The Paris Apartment. It was a project I started for the fun of it, and mostly to get the hang of writing love scenes which can be a very big challenge for me. Writing the book was a lot more fun than I anticipated and I might just be hooked on this genre!

How do you come up with characters?

My characters are inspired by people I’ve met (although they will never remember me—for example the first female pilot I ever flew with in Tanzania gave life to Simone Levin in Perfect Mistake), or by titbits I read in magazines. Real life stories are very inspirational and I find that over the years, things I’ve read about people stick together in their own makeshift puzzle to create a character. To be honest I have more of a clue when it comes to females, but I love Chris Summers in Perfect Addiction. He is a mishmash of current affairs, Good Housekeeping UK articles and Freddie Mercury! I always look back when I’ve completed a book and am quite surprised that a fictional human has found life between the pages.

What would you like to tell us about the characters in your story?

Perfect Mistake’s heroine, Simone Levin, had a very protected upbringing and escapes the cage only to find herself in dire straights as her mom had predicted. She is a pilot and I enjoyed giving her a job that’s off the beaten track for women. Being in a male dominated workspace brought on natural conflict and challenges. I loved writing Simone’s four-year-old daughter—children are fun to write and can break the tension in a scene or take the hero and heroine for an unexpected ride.

Carlo Carlevaro is half Italian, half Brittish, so really, hot as hell, tall dark and handsome, but a real gentleman. He has a very deep ingrained sense of responsibility, as he is the oldest of three siblings, and this is his biggest asset but leads to his biggest internal conflict every time.

What is your next project?

The third book in the series, titled Perfect Storm, is lurking in the dark recesses of my mind. I need to battle that one down onto paper, but I suspect it is going to be a hard write. I’d also like to get my head into writing the sequel to The Paris Apartment, which is either going to be about those main characters and their journey into deeper love, or it is going to be a spin-off story of the hero’s sister, who at some point, made it clearly known to me that she deserves her own book.

How about a blurb?

Simone Levin had a dream job as a safari pilot until an unexpected pregnancy clipped her wings. Tired of juggling motherhood with her demanding flight schedule, Simone applies for an office job, unaware that her new boss is Carlo Carlevaro, the man who’d ditched her before finding out he’d knocked her up. Carlo returns to East Africa only to kill another fire—Ivory trafficking from his lodges threatens to destroy his company. Finding Simone back on the payroll comes as a pleasant surprise. As his employee, Simone is off-limits, but she is the only one he trusts to help with his undercover investigation. With time running out, Simone and Carlo strive to expose the trafficking ring, but working together rekindles their mutual desire. When Simone is implicated as a trafficker, revealing her daughter’s existence to Carlo seems inevitable. Acting on her instincts might come too late as the syndicate retaliate and hone in their threat. Will they survive to give their love a chance?

That sounds like a fun summer read!

Here are the buy links:

Barnes and Noble


The Wild Rose Press:

Sophia says she loves hearing from readers so here is how to follow her and contact her:, 
Twitter: @SophiaKarlson
On the web at

Thank you, Sophia, for being our guest today. Any comments or questions for Sophia?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Journey into a Romantic Past

When writers mix the past and present, that always gets my attention, especially when romance is thrown into the mix. That's the premise behind a new Wild Rose Press release, Heart Healer by author Leslie Bowes and she is my guest today. Leslie is a native of Maryland, but later moved to South Carolina and fell in love with the low country. That's where she got the inspiration for her new book. 

Please tell us, Leslie, did you always want to be a writer?

No. Writing was just something I did for fun. I started going to school for movie editing but I had to take a writing class and I love it and started writing my first novel.

How did you get started in your road to publication?

I stared out trying self-publishing but Heart Healer was not getting as much notice as I would like. So, I stared looking for a publisher.  I found Wild Rose Press and have loved working with them.

Tell us about your new book and where got the idea for it.

Heart Healer started out as a historical romance called Rose Hill but it did not get published. So I stared on a contemporary romance called A Second Change At Love.  When I was in middle of writing, I noticed something was miss. So, I pulled out Rose Hill again and put parts of Rose Hill and A Second Chance at Love together and it became Heart Healer.

How did you come up with your characters for the book?

I want to write characters that were going through a hard time, but did not let hard times get them down.

What do you like best about your current hero?

Christopher isn’t your run of the mill hero.  He is all the things we have learned to love in a man. You will find no alpha here just a sweet loving, caring man who puts his family first. He was a true father and mother to his son who he loved dearly.

What about your heroine?

Catherine is a wonderful, sweet lady who gives so much of herself. Life has not treated her well since her mother’s death and her father leaving her to raise her brother.

How do you normally come up with characters?

I make a character chart and put stories I would like them to have.

How about a blurb?

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.

What are you working on now?

I am working on book 2 in the Heart Healer series called The Choices for Love.

How can readers reach you or find you online?


Buy Links:

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mail Order Romance

The idea of mail order brides  or marriages of convenience have often appealed to romance readers. I admit I've always been a fan of historical romances that include these type of premises. Don't we all want to see love bloom that seems to come out of nowhere or in unlikely situations or those where the bride and groom barely know each other?  The latest work by author Michal Scott, Better to Marry Than to Burn, caught my attention for that very reason.

Freed Man seeking woman to partner in marriage for at least two years in the black township of Douglass, Texas. Must be willing and able to help establish a legacy. Marital relations as necessary. Love neither required nor sought.
Caesar King's ad for a mail-order bride is an answer to Queen Esther Payne’s prayer. Her family expects her to adhere to society's traditional conventions of submissive wife and mother, but Queen refuses. She is not the weaker sex and will not allow herself to be used, abused or turned into a baby-making machine under the sanctity of matrimony. Grateful that love is neither required nor sought, she accepts the ex-slave's offer and heads West for marriage on her terms. Her education and breeding will see to that. However, once she meets Caesar, his unexpected allure and intriguing wit makes it hard to keep love at bay. How can she hope to remain her own woman when victory may be synonymous with surrender? 
Caesar seemed like an interesting character so I wanted to interview him and find out about why he wants a mail order bride.

Caesar, tell us a little about your current life and your family.

I’ve been living on land I leased in the Black town of Douglass, Arizona five years ago with my wife Emma, escaping the violence that followed my emancipation. Unfortunately, my Emma died in childbirth and the twin sons she bore followed. I’ve been living alone, working my land, trying to hold onto the hope I had when Emma was with me. 
What you are looking for or hoping for in your future?
When I was enslaved my master used me to impregnate women much like he used his stud and brood mares. Those women and the children they bore were sold like animals. I dreamed of the day when my body would be my own and I could father and raise children with a woman I loved and who loved me. All during Emma’s pregnancy we talked about rearing our children, loving them the way they deserved, seeing them grow and thrive and eventually have children of their own. I had that for a precious moment with her. It’s what I still want and hope to have one day. I want to leave a legacy.
Why do you want a mail-order bride?
Honestly, I didn’t want one. But for this bridal lottery, I would never have advertised for one. Mother Mabelle Jenkins helped me see this black cloud of foolishness had a silver lining. If I could have had my druthers, I’d have courted a woman so I could get to know her and she could get to know me.  Nothing can compare to seeing what someone appreciates, what affects them. Nothing can compare to hearing them speak, what they speak about.
What are you looking for in a bride?
A partner who my equal in pride, intellect and humor. A lover who sees intercourse as a pleasure, not just a duty for procreating. A sharer of my vision and values who believes as fiercely as I do that we must leave a legacy so our race can thrive. I know my advertisement contradicts this, but in my heart I never thought I’d attain this ideal, so I was willing to settle for less.
What is it about Queen Esther Payne that appeals to you?
First, the education I read in her letters. When we finally spoke face to face she displayed wit and humor that I didn’t know I was hungry for. Second, her physical appearance. Leave aside how beautiful she is. She carries herself with such pride and such – well the only word I can think of is majesty. She has such a regal bearing. Last – and most certainly not least – her boldness. When she so skillfully fondled me then left me breathless, I knew I found my ideal. How could I not find her appealing?
What about her worries or upsets you?
She looked down her nose at me when we first met and continues to act as if she’s entitled to be my boss. I didn’t throw off the shackles of actual slavery to take on the shackles of emotional slavery.  I also worry that when we have children she’ll pass on this snootiness to them. If this side of her doesn’t change, we won’t have a future. I’m worried my love may not be strong enough to conquer this negative aspect of her pride. I hope and pray it is. She’s my ideal. I can’t lose her.

Thanks, Caesar, for answering my questions. Want more? Here are the buy links for Better to Marry than to Burn:


The Wild Rose Press

Want to know more about author Michal Scott? Here is her contact info:

Thanks, Michal, for being my guest today and for introducing us to your fascinating character. Any comments or questions for Michal?

Mysterious Doings

As the  summer begins, it is time to start selecting those books we want to take on vacation or for sitting around the pool or at  the beach...