Archive for the ‘Author Interview with RJ’

Interview with Wicked Designs’ Lauren Smith

January 30, 2014 By: Guestauthor Category: Author Interview with RJ, Latest News No Comments →

Q: Lauren, I am so glad you could join us here at RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?

A: Sure! I’m currently trying my hand at writing a contemporary New Adult book and have slated another Regency for my League of Rogues Series and a modern gothic romance on my to-do list. I’m a busy gal!

Q: When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

A:  I watched the movie Titanic when I was ten and after seeing Leo DiCaprio die at the end I thought…well that’s just not good. I set out pen and paper and started to re-write the entire story from scratch. I was determined to make the ending better. In other words, Leo doesn’t slip off the floating door, but he stays with Rose. A happily ever after!

Q: Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

A:  Write what you love. People say it a lot, but I think you really have to think about the answer. I kept writing love stories, but had never read any romances. When I did, it was like a lightbulb clicked on over my head. I love love stories. Writers shouldn’t try to write something they don’t like. You are passionate about the things you love and it shows in your writing when you really enjoy it.

Q: Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?

A:  Perfect heroes, good looks aside (please don’t judge me haha, but I’m a sucker for six pack abs and chiseled jawlines), need to have the ability to help the heroine become a better strong person. He can still make her feel vulnerable and delicate in the right ways, but at the end of the day she needs to feel that he’s a partner with her in life, not someone who just shows up to rescue her (even if he does save her a time or two). There must be something more, a depth to him and how he interacts with the heroine that makes her better.

Q: What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?

A: Aside from writing, I do the occasional sketch or painting. I also love to get out and exercise. I pretty much can get excited about anything.

Q: What has been your biggest adventure to date?

A: I’ve had some crazy experiences. I think the coolest thing was probably going down into a crypt in Ireland and touching a 400 year old mummy’s finger for good luck. Due to the unique environment of the crypt, she looked almost normal, not dried out like usual mummies.

Q: If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?

A:  Cambridge, England. I spent two summers there doing study abroad and I swear I left a piece of my heart there. If I had had the funds and the academic ability to transfer permanently, I might never have come home. Something about that place pulls me in, like gravity.

Q: When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?

A: I can be adventurous, but if I know a certain texture or taste doesn’t work for me, I don’t keep trying it. Erog, sushi and other fish items just never end up on my menu.

Q: What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without? What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?

A:  Hot showers. I could never go without a hot shower. Try it for a few days. Hot baths are not the same lol. My idea romantic evening is dinner out and then cuddling up on the couch watching an old black and white movie (probably a film noir). There’s nothing better than that.

Q: How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?

A: Imaginative. My family would probably say scatterbrained (they’d say this lovingly of course). I just jump from topic to topic sometimes at the speed of light.

Q: What is your favorite comfort food?

A: Pizza and chocolate ice cream. Sure it’s not original, but it’s darn good!

Q: What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?

A: Spring. I like it just before it starts to turn to summer, when the breeze is warm and the sun is hot, but not too hot. I like to lay out by the pool and just soak in the sun and listen to the chatter of birds.

Q: What project are you working on next?

A: I’m currently trying to write a contemporary New Adult book. We’ll see what happens. I’d love to write those sort of stories, but it’s a big transition from adult Regency romance.

Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

A: I have a full time day job that keeps me super busy as far as personal appearances go, but I’m hopping around the net. If you find me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LaurenDianaSmith you can see my posts about various blogs or sites I’ll be visiting and any giveaways I might be having. If you go to my site www.laurensmithbooks.com and sign up for my newsletter, I’ll be sure to announce any personal appearances or book news in the coming future.

About WICKED DESIGNS: The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much? For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

About the author: Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets—a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. ( Twitter | Facebook | Website )

Find WICKED DESIGNS on Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N!

Interview With Dani Collins ~ Giveaway

December 03, 2013 By: Guestauthor Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

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I’m so pleased to be invited to visit here on Romance Junkies.

1. What does your writing schedule look like? Do you have to plot or do you write as it comes?

My writing schedule is non-stop at the moment. I have a day job and I’ve overcommitted so I write as soon as I get home from work and write all weekend, sometimes twelve to sixteen hours at my desk. I will make changes in the New Year, but for now I’m promoting my December book (Hi!), looking at revisions on a book I turned in Nov 1st, and I have another to turn in by the end of the year. I’m sure there will be line edits in there somewhere as well.

As for plotting, that’s another thing I have on the go. I like to have a decent synopsis as part of my proposals and I’ve been putting some together. When I write, I don’t look at the synopsis much. I’m a bit of a pantser at that stage, but since I already have a pretty good idea in my head where I want to go it’s really a matter of letting it play out on the page.

2. What inspired you to be a writer? Who is your biggest support system? When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As soon as I found romance novels in high school, I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up. Twenty-five years of trying later, I sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon in London – my dream publisher. I love writing Harlequin Presents. They were the books that inspired me to want to write and here I am.

As for support, obviously my family, especially my husband, have been very understanding while I kick off my writing career. In some ways the wait to publish has worked for me as my youngest is in high school and can fend for himself. (Ramin noodles are a staple in this house.) My fellow Harlequin author, Cathryn Parry, is a deeply cherished friend who has been my emotional support on the publishing front since our American Title debut.

3. Which genre is your favorite to write? Is there a genre that you would love to write but haven’t yet? Are there any that you would stay away from?

I have to write romance! I say that, but I’m all over the map within romance so I can’t say I would never leave it if the right project came along. I’m intrigued by steampunk, but I haven’t read enough of it to feel I could write it. I’m not into horror at all, but again, never say never. I’m really driven by the characters and where their story fits best.

4. Do you use a pen name? Why or why not? If you do, does the name have a special meaning to you?

I’m Dani Collins in real life too. When I first started writing, there were cautionary tales about publishers having the right to keep your pen name if you decided to write for a different publisher. There’s still a school of thought that you should write under different names so readers know they’re getting a different kind of book.

My readers are smart enough to tell by the cover and the blurb that The Healer is a Medieval Fantasy Romance and won’t contain billionaires and yachts like my Harlequin Presents. My hope is that they’ll take a chance and find that a lot of the same elements are there in terms of alpha males, deep emotion and complex problems (with occasional humor!)

But the real reason I don’t use more than one name is, I don’t have enough time to promote more than one person!

5. Have your characters ever taken a turn on you and changed personalities? What was your most challenging character to create and why?

Hmm, that’s an interesting question. I have definitely had to dig deeper into a character to find out what they weren’t telling me and therefore know better why they’re not behaving on the page the way I want them to. I have to be careful with letting my own voice creep into some of my heroine’s behaviors. I can be very flippant and back-chatty. Sometimes that takes the story in the wrong direction so I have to rein that in.

6. What kind of research do you do for your books? Where is your favorite place to find what you need to know? What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

I love having the internet at the click of a mouse. I jump there all the time. Yesterday I wanted to know if Africans go to Saudi Arabia to work as servants and if so, which countries they migrate from the most. Ethiopia was popular. Then I wondered what their accent sounds like so I lost about thirty minutes chasing YouTube videos, but it put the cadence in my head for one pivotal character’s voice.

As far as the most interesting thing I’ve learned… I’m a lifelong learner. I love learning new things so whatever I’ve learned today is the most interesting thing for me.

7. What is the last book that you read that left a big impression on you?

Probably Hunger Games and probably because my kids urged me to read the series, which was a few years ago before the first movie came out. I think it impacted me most because I wasn’t reading any YA and it blew the boundaries off what I thought was allowable in that genre—which in turn urges me to quietly blow the boundaries off whatever I write.

Fun Questions

1. What is your favorite TV commercial? How about your least favorite?

I laughed out loud the other day at the kid giving his little brother the ‘in my day’ speech while his little brother gets a haircut. Then it swings to the big scuff that the older brother got in his hair because his dad wasn’t paying attention and the little one goes, “That’s a jacked-up haircut.” I loved it. So cute.

Least favorite? I typically HATE ads. Pick one.

2. Who was your first celebrity crush? Is he still hot?

Oooh, good question, but so hard… I had posters of Scott Baio on my wall as a teen. That dates me, doesn’t it? I have no idea what Chachi looks like today. If I had to pick a current one—you know, the one where your spouse has to give you a pass—I’d probably go with George Clooney.

3. What are your favorite TV shows? Which shows could you do without ever watching?

I don’t watch a ton of TV. No time. But I have a few that I drop everything for. Mad Men is Number One. Don Draper is such a lady killer. I should revise my answer to the above question I have such a crush on John Hamm as Don. (Not John Hamm himself, just when he wears a suit and hat and smokes and drinks.)

I’ve taken quite a shine to Downton Abbey and cannot wait until they start showing Season Four here in Canada. Then there’s Community. We went through all those on Netflix recently and now we’re panting for the next season. Finally, another crush, Don Cheadle in House Of Lies. What a crazy show!

This has been fun. Thank you so much for having me.

MoreThanConvMarriage

 

 

Blurb from More Than A Convenient Marriage?

It started with a signature…

Rich, powerful and with a beautiful wife to boot, it seems like Greek shipping magnate Gideon Vozaras has it all. But little does the world know his perfect life is all a façade…

After years of disguising her pain behind a flawless smile, untouchable heiress Adara Vozaras has reached breaking point. Her marriage, once held together by an undeniable passion, has become nothing more than a convenience.

But Gideon can’t afford the public scrutiny that a divorce would bring and if there’s one thing his harsh past has taught him, it’s how to fight dirty to keep what’s his…

Excerpt:

Gideon Vozaras used all his discipline to keep his foot light on the accelerator as he followed the rented car, forcing himself to maintain an unhurried pace along the narrow island road while he gripped the wheel in white-knuckled fists. When the other car parked outside the palatial gate of an estate, he pulled his own rental onto the shoulder a discreet distance back then stayed in his vehicle to see if the other driver noticed. As he cut the engine, the AC stopped. Heat enveloped him.

Welcome to Hell.

He hated Greece at the best of times and today was predicted to be one of the hottest on record. The air shimmered under the relentless sun and it wasn’t even ten o’clock yet. But the weather was barely worth noticing.

The gates of the estate were open. The other car could have driven straight through and up to the house, but stayed parked outside. He watched the female driver emerge and take a moment to consider the unguarded entrance. Her shoulders gave a lift and drop as though she screwed up her courage before she took action and walked in.

As she disappeared between imposing brick posts, Gideon left his own car and followed at a measured pace, gut knotting with every step. Outraged stung his veins.

He wanted to believe that wasn’t his wife, but there was no mistaking Adara Vozaras. Not for him. Maybe her tourist clothes of flip-flops, jeans chopped above the knees, a sleeveless top, and a pair of pigtails didn’t fit her usual professional élan, but he knew that backside. The tug it caused in his blood was indisputable. No other woman made an immediate sexual fire crackle awake in him like this. His relentless hunger for Adara had always been his cross to bear and today it was particularly unwelcome.

Spending the week with her mother. This ain’t Chatham, sweetheart.

He paused as he came alongside her car, glancing inside to see a map of the island on the passenger seat. A logo in its corner matched the hotel he’d been told she was booked into. And now she was advising her lover where to meet her? Walking bold as you please up his million-dollar drive to his billion-dollar house? The only clue to the estate’s ownership, the shields welded to the gate, were turned back against the brick wall that fenced the estate from the road.

Gideon’s entire body twitched with an urge to slip his reins of control. He was not a poor man. He’d got past envying other men their wealth once he’d acquired a level of his own.

Nevertheless, a niggle of his dock-rat inferiority complex wormed to life as he took in what he could see of the shoreline property that rolled into a vineyard and orange grove. The towering stone house, three stories with turrets on each corner, belonged on an English estate, not a Greek island. It was twenty bedrooms minimum. If this was the owner’s weekend retreat, he was an obscenely rich man.

Not that Adara needed a rich man. She had grown up wanting for nothing. She had a fortune in her own right plus half of Gideon’s so what was the attraction here?

Sex.

The insidious whisper formed a knot of betrayal behind his breastbone. Was this why she hadn’t shared that stacked body of hers with him for weeks? His hands curled into fists as he tried to swallow back his gall.

Dreading what he might see as he looked to the front door, he shifted for a full view. Adara had paused halfway to the house to speak with a gardener. A truck overflowing with landscaping tools was parked midway up the drive and workers were crawling like bees over the blooming gardens.

The sun seared the back of Gideon’s neck, strong enough to burn through his shirt to his shoulders, making sweat pool between his shoulder blades and tickle annoyingly down his spine.

They had arrived early this morning, Adara off the ferry, Gideon following in a power boat he was ‘test-piloting.’ She’d been driving a car she’d rented in Athens. His rental had been negotiated at the marina, but the island was small. It hadn’t surprised him when she’d driven right past the nose of his car as he had turned onto the main road.

No, the surprise had been the call thirty-six hours previously when their travel agent had dialed his mobile by mistake. Ever the survivor, Gideon had thought quickly. He’d mentioned that he’d like to surprise his wife by joining her and within seconds, Gideon had had all the details of Adara’s clandestine trip.

Well, not all. He didn’t know whom she was here to see or how she’d met her mystery man. Why was she doing this when he gave her everything she asked for?

He watched Adara’s slender neck bow in disappointment. Ha. The bastard wasn’t home. Grimly satisfied, Gideon folded his arms and waited for his wife.

 

 

Bio:

Dani Collins spent twenty-five years dreaming of writing full time and finally made her first sale to Harlequin Mills & Boon in May of 2012. She’s still dreaming of making Romance Author her day job, but for now she writes around work, family, and enough exercise to keep her out of traction. For more information about Dani, you can visit her website at www.danicollins.com, listen to her interview with Nice Girls Reading Naughty Books, or watch her interview on GFTV.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: US | Canada | UK 

Nook | Kobo | eHarlequin | Mills & Boon Aus | Mills & Boon UK 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

One lucky commenter will win print or ecopy of More Than A Convenient Marriage

Liana Brooks ~ EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES

November 19, 2013 By: Romance Junkies Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

Liana Brooks_Author Photo

 

 

 

First, can you let us know what projects you are currently working on?

 

I’m currently writing Book 3 in the Heroes and Villains series and then I have a couple of background projects that don’t have deadlines yet.

 

 

1.)         How do you fit writing into your schedule? What does your workspace look like?

 

Writing fits into the cracks in my life. I’m typing this with a fussy baby on my lap. I wrote chapters of EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES on my phone stuck in traffic and in waiting rooms. I do have a study at home that doubles as a homework room for the older kids, and it is always messy. Scarily messy. Let’s move on…

 

2.)         Do you do a lot of research for your stories? What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

 

I have entire books of research for writing. Google maps with street view is my favorite thing! I learned a lot about motorcycle laws and the movie industry writing EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES. Forgive me, I fudged things. Industry insiders are going to laugh at how easily Angela slips into the movies, but there wasn’t enough time for her to go through all the red tape.

 

 

3.)         Are you a plotter or do you write as it comes? Do your characters start with names or do they have to have personalities before they can be named?

 

I’m a Panster, which means I rewrite the book a few times before it becomes anything less than a total mess. As for the characters, it depends. Angela had a name because of EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE, Arktos had a personality long before he had a name. I knew he was going to be sort of gruff, almost intimidating to Angela, but they’d have a lot in common once they were willing to talk.

 

4.)         What do you want readers to take away after reading one of your stories? What do you want them to feel?

 

I hope readers walk away satisfied emotionally. I want them to laugh, and to feel happy. Romance is all about the Happily Ever After, about finding the sunshine after the storm. It’s a very addictive genre because a well written romance book can change your mood, your whole outlook on the day. I hope I’m able to bring something fun, and light, and sweet, and good to my reader’s lives. I want them to be happy.

 

5.)         What genre would you love to write but haven’t yet? Is there one you would shy away from?

 

Well I don’t write horror. I’ve never read enough of it to enjoy the genre and I doubt I could write it well. Midgrade is the only genre that really tempts me to leave the beautiful world of SF/UF/SFR, and that only because my kids are always begging me to write them a story they can enjoy.

 

6.)         Have you taken any classes to hone your skills? What classes/workshops would you recommend the most?

 

In college and high school I had journalism and creative writing classes, but I’ve never done anything else. My background is actually in marine biology, which is a perfect background for writing. Biology and psychology are the roots of human stories, understanding how people work, that’s even more important to me than knowing how to make a comma work. All the technical skill in the world won’t make you a good writer if you can’t tell a good story.

 

7.)         Do you have any hobbies that you do in your spare time? Is there something you would love to learn but haven’t had the chance yet?

 

Does cooking count as a hobby? I’m a bit of a foodie, not a full on food snob yet, but I love cooking budget gourmet at home. And I would love to learn a couple more languages. I can read a menu in a couple of languages, but I’d like to be a true polyglot. Just for fun!

 

8.)         What kinds of advice would you give a new writer? Is there anything that you have learned that you can pass on to someone just starting out?

 

Don’t quit. Watch your sentence structure, you need to make sure every sentence doesn’t have the same rhythm. Don’t quit. Find a critique group. Don’t quit. Start where the action is. Don’t quit. End each scene on something important, endings have weight and the most important part of a scene is not a character falling asleep. Don’t. Quit!

 

9.)         How did you meet your husband? What is the most romantic thing you have done for each other?

 

Funny story that… I met my husband in college during a fire drill late one autumn night. I thought he was the hot surfer from Trinidad I’d been flirting with all week so when I saw him lying down outside the dorm I went over and kind of kicked his foot. “Hey, are you dead?”

 

That’s not the recommended opening line for meeting your true love, but it worked for us. He proposed a year later on the beach under the stars, and that’s still the most romantic thing I can think of. It was a perfect night, balmy with a sea breeze and a million stars. Perfect.

 

 

10.)     What kinds of books will we find on your bookshelf?

 

A little bit of everything. I have a collection of Shakespeare’s works written in German that’s over 100 years old. I have Ptolemey’s GEOGRAPHY. I have everything by Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Louis McMaster Bujold and Jack Campbell – they don’t all write in the same genre but I adore them all. I have reference books and cook books and science text books. I love books.

 

1.)         Do you prefer to jump up and embrace the day or have a lazy breakfast in bed?

There’s an option? Um… I have four kids. The lazy breakfast in bed has never happened. I consider sleeping until 7 on Saturdays to be a luxury. But I’m still not a morning person.

 

2.)         What are three words you would use to describe yourself? Are they the same as family/friends would use?

 

Vivacious, extroverted, energetic… my friends usually just say I’m crazy. (They say it with love!)

 

3.)         What is your favorite TV shows? How about ones that you would stay away from?

 

I don’t have a lot of time for TV so what I watch is usually streaming on the computer and Netflix. And it’s a weird assortment. This week I’ve watching Season 2 of Buffy (and live tweeting it under the hashtag #BuffyWatch when I do), a Korean comedy, and Studio C. I think I’d like to watch Sleep Hollow, the screen caps are hilarious, but I’m a little scared to try because the Headless Horseman creeps me out.

 

4.)         What is your favorite dessert? Do you make it yourself or order it out?

 

Rich chocolate cake with raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting and a dark chocolate gauche, which is definitely a dessert you have to make at home unless you know the restaurant is going to make real cake and not something from a box. It takes a good three hours to make, so it’s a special occasion treat. When I want something quick I usually make crème brulee, vanilla or Mexican chocolate depending on my mood.

 

5.)         What is your favorite childhood memory?

 

Pick just one? Hmmm… Going to Seaport Village in San Diego. It’s my home town and that was my favorite place as a child. Take a ride on the carousel, sit in the hammocks, pick a few sea shells from the sea shell shop, visit the big candy store, lose hours in the book shop… you should go some time.

evenvillainsgotothemovies_600x900

 

Blurb for EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES:

 

When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.

 

Angela Smith has superpowers—nothing that will ever make her comic-book famous—but her ability to psychically sense and manipulate the emotions of people around her has drawn unwanted government attention. Forced to choose between her quiet life as a teacher under constant surveillance or the life of a rogue, she chooses the latter. She plans to hide out in sunny Los Angeles where being a blue-eyed blonde won’t make anyone bat a false eyelash.

 

Silver screen star by day, superhero by night, Arktos is a triple-threat. He can fly, freeze anything, and see glimpses of the future, all of which he needs to keep the city of Los Angeles safe, but which does nothing for his social life. When a frightening vision of an explosion leads him to rescue a damsel in distress, he finds himself trading Shakespearean insults with a rogue.

 

Angela knows just how dangerous well-intentioned superheroes can be: one tried to kill her family when she was young. Arktos knows he should hand the rogue over to Company justice; it’s not safe for someone like her to be in the middle of a fight.

 

But they can’t seem to stay apart. And together, they just might be able to melt all the obstacles standing between true love for a hero and a villain.

One Taste of Scandal Blog Tour: Interview with Heather Hiestand

November 18, 2013 By: Guestauthor Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger No Comments →

First, can you let us know what projects you are currently working on?

I’m busy working on my Redcakes Victorian romance series for Kensington. Book 2, One Taste of Scandal, Judah’s story, comes out on December 5th, and Book 3, His Wicked Smile, Gawain’s story, is going to copyedits. I’m drafting Book 4, which will be a holiday story.

1.)  How do you fit writing into your schedule? What does your workspace look like?

I’m the stay-at-home mom of a preschooler, and most of my work time is when he is at school. I have a home office that doubles as a store room for all the stuff that I don’t want my son getting his little fingers into. He’s a busy kid!

2.) Do you do a lot of research for your stories? What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

I do a lot of reading both in books and on the Internet. I think the most interesting thing is seeing what the history is behind the romance tropes, like Gretna Green marriages, Victorian divorces, wallflowers etc. There really were more women than men in 19th Century England.

3.)  Are you a plotter or do you write as it comes? Do your characters start with names or do they have to have personalities before they can be named?

I am a plotter for sure. I plot about sixty scenes for each book and sometimes write a synopsis before I start as well. That helps with the emotional timeline. I can’t say I’ve always plotted perfectly, but at least I have a road map, which I find invaluable since my free time is limited. My characters get names at the plot stage, but I have a tendency to change names at the end. A strange habit, I know.

4.) What do you want readers to take away after reading one of your stories? What do you want them to feel?

I chose to write romance long ago to put happy thoughts into my brain and I hope readers leave my books feeling cheerful and satisfied.

5.)  What genre would you love to write but haven’t yet? Is there one you would shy away from?

I have a proposal written for a New Adult book that I’d love to finish. Writing it scared me a little and that’s a good thing – it’s a challenge to remember what being college-aged felt like.

6.) Have you taken any classes to hone your skills? What classes/workshops would you recommend the most?

Tons of them! In fact I’m starting to take a new class tomorrow on writing the historical novel. For anyone desiring to write romantic fiction, I strongly suggest they join the Romance Writers of America. This organization has so much information available for the beginning writer.

7.) What kinds of books will we find on your bookshelf?

Way too many romance novels (because I’m never going to be able to read them all), some mystery and other genres, and lots of non-fiction and writing books. Just when I think my TBR might be getting caught up ever so slightly I go on another book-buying binge. I suppose I’ll always be a reader first.

 ◊  ◊  ◊

Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State for home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then romance has been her focus, with forays into speculative fiction. That first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas and short stories, she has achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s Romance Anthologies and Historical Romance lists and on Amazon UK’s Romance Short Stories list. At Barnes & Noble, she is a top 100 bestseller. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.

For more information, see her website. Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is heather@heatherhiestand.com. She spends too much time on Twitter @hahiestand.

Heather’s latest book is One Taste of Scandal. Here’s the blurb:

OneTasteofScandalsmallA cup of sugar…a dash of cream….and a craving for a cake decorator that won’t be denied…

When Captain Judah Shield learns he is more bastard than noble born, he goes in search of his true lineage. Determined not to lean on his family’s wealth, he accepts a job managing Redcake’s Tea Shop. Despite the flurry of excitement a single soldier creates among the staff, Judah clearly has no time for a wife. Though what man doesn’t have time for a delectable beauty like lovely Magdalene Cross?…

He has the bearing of an English gentleman and the fiery touch of a true rake. Which is precisely why Magdalene must avoid Judah if she hopes to escape her family’s reputation for scandal. Surely no good can come from a man whose kiss leaves her hungry for more. Certainly not the kind of marriage that could restore her social status. Still, Magdalene cannot help imagining what an incredible wedding night it would be—and when fate steps in, she may not have to imagine after all…

One Taste of Scandal is a delicious, multi-layered Victorian treat.” –Gina Robinson, author of The Last Honest Seamstress and the Agent Ex series

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/One-Taste-of-Scandal-ebook/dp/B00DV1ISWC

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-taste-of-scandal-heather-hiestand/1116110218?ean=9781601831125

Jodi Vaughn ~ Interview

October 07, 2013 By: Romance Junkies Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →

 

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I am so glad you could join us here at RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?

 

My first book, Veiled Secrets was just released! It’s the first in my paranormal romance trilogy.  I am currently starting the third book in this exciting trilogy.

 

When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

I’ve always had stories in my head. It wasn’t until I attended a one day writing workshop with Jodi Thomas that I actually believed I could make writing a career.

 

Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

Jodi Thomas.  She has always told me to don’t give up, keep going, keep writing.

 

Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?

I think the perfect hero is strong, both physically and mentally. He is also a protector and doesn’t give up until he gets what he wants. More than that, the perfect hero will always sacrifice himself for the heroine.

My perfect hero is my husband, Martin. He’s sexy and strong and has a wonderful sense of humor. I can’t ever stay mad at him because he’s always making me laugh.

 

What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?

I’m an avid reader. I have books stashed in my car, by my bed and stuck in my purse.

I have a streak of wanderlust. I love to travel, whether it’s internationally or within the U.S.

 

What has been your biggest adventure to date?

My biggest adventure has probably been when my husband took me to Italy a few years ago. We started in Venice and worked our way down to Rome. Italy is gorgeous and has so much history. Just talking about it makes me want to go back!

 

If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?

In my second book, my heroine has to go to Ireland. I’ve been doing internet research and the land is so beautiful. I can just picture myself sitting in a small cottage with a thatched roof with my laptop!

 

When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?

I will eat anything once, if someone else is making it. But when it comes to me cooking something, I always stick with tried and true foods. When I venture outside my cooking capabilities, bad things happen!

What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?

This is a hard question. I can’t live without my laptop. But if you asked my husband he would say I couldn’t live without my cell phone. I know I can’t live without electricity. We had an ice storm in Arkansas a few years ago and we didn’t have electricity for a week! And everyone was out of generators. We lived in the living room in front of the fireplace.

 

How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?

I am an introvert. I’ve had to learn to be more outgoing because I am so shy.

My friends/family would describe me as a good listener.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Chocolate.

What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?

I love Autumn. The colors, red, golds and oranges just inspire me! It reminds me of the first day of school and new books. It always seemed like Autumn was a new start, kind of like January 1.

 

 

What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?

 

A fantastic dinner with candlelight and a nice bottle of wine. Then top if off with a ride on the back of a Harley.

 

What project are you working on next?

 

I am currently writing an Arkansas Werewolf series. Think Sons of Anarchy meets True Blood.

Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

I just got back from a book signing at Moonlight and Magnolias in Georgia.  To find out where I’ll be next check out my blog

http://www.jodivaughn.com

Follow me on twitter@JodiVaughn1

Find me on Facebook   Jodi Vaughn, Author

 

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Veiled Secrets

Blurb

 

“When Fairies and Demons collide, all hell breaks loose.”

 

Celeste Hart has never been accepted by society because of her dark visions and has vowed to let nothing stop her from uncovering what she is, good, bad or evil. But she is distracted from her quest when sexy Eric Nordstrom charms his way into her heart and into her bed. He leaves her even more confused by her intense feelings for him and she soon realizes their one night of passion has resulted in something that will change them forever, a child.

CEO Eric Nordstrom has no interest romance and even less in a relationship. His company has always been his mistress, but he can’t stop thinking about the elusive Celeste, who has made him feel more in one night than he has in his entire lifetime. When he learns of the pregnancy, he convinces Celeste to marry him on the pretense of keeping the company from another scandal while trying to seduce her back into his arms.

While Celeste tries to fit into Eric’s elite world, she discovers her visions are a result of having Fae blood. When the vengeful Queen of the Fairies sends a demon army to take her unborn child, Celeste must embrace her fairy heritage and enlist Eric’s help in her fight. Thrust into a world he doesn’t understand yet determined to protect the woman he loves, Eric joins forces with Celeste to protect their unborn child from the evil that has invaded their home.

Fate brought them together, will destiny rip them apart?

 

Karen M Cox

October 06, 2013 By: Romance Junkies Category: Author Interview with RJ 4 Comments →

 

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Ten Questions with Billy Ray Davenport, narrator of At the Edge of the Sea:

Karen: “Thank you for joining me today, Billy Ray. I’m sure the readers at Romance Junkies will enjoy getting to know a little about you.”

Billy Ray: “Your welcome, ma’am.”

Karen: “Okay, then. First things first—what kind of an old-fashioned name is Billy Ray?”

Billy Ray: *scowls* “It’s my name. William was my mother’s father’s name, and Raymond is my father’s name. So…Billy Ray. It makes perfect sense.”

Karen: “And what brings you to the bubbling metropolis of Orchard Hill?”

Billy Ray: “I’m working with my father’s friend Dr. Alvin Miller this summer. I want to be a physician like Doc.”

Karen: “So you have a grand, well thought-out life plan, do you?”

Billy Ray: “Yes, ma’am, I do.”

Karen: “What happens after the summer ends?”

Billy Ray: “Well, I finished college last May, and after the summer’s over, in September, 1959, I’ll be heading off to medical school.”

Karen: “You’ve recently been spotted in the company of one Lizzy Quinlan…”

*Billy Ray smiles – interviewer stares for several seconds, mouth slightly open*

Billy Ray: “Ma’am?”

Karen: “Hmm?”

Billy Ray: “Did you have a question?”

Karen: “Me? Oh…yes, I did. Um…wow, that’s some smile you’ve got there.”

Billy Ray: *blushes and looks away*

Karen: “I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”

Billy Ray: “You didn’t.” *squirms in his chair* “What was the question?”

Karen: “Question? Oh, right. Hold on; I’ll think of it…yes, now I remember: tell me about Lizzy Quinlan.”

Billy Ray: *starts to smile, and then stops, looking self-consciously away from the interviewer* “Lizzy is different than anybody I’ve ever known. I wasn’t sure I liked her much at first, but she grew on me. She’s funny and smart, and she’s a good big sister. She likes to tease me about how square and proper I am. At first, her teasing made me kind of mad, but I think I’m starting to like it a little bit. And she’s very beautiful.”

Karen: “Sounds like you and she have something going on.”

Billy Ray: *grins sheepishly* “I don’t know—maybe. I mean, we’re friends, but I’m not sure my father would like it if we had something going on.”

Karen: “Why not?”

Billy Ray: “The people here in Orchard Hill say unkind things about her, but I don’t put much stock in small town gossip. My father’s a little concerned, I guess. He wants me to make friends with good people.”

Karen: “I see.”

Billy Ray: “But Lizzy is a good person, and once my father understands that, he’ll come around. He’s a fair man.”

Karen: “So you don’t care what the people of Orchard Hill think?”

Billy Ray: *frowns* “Nobody decides who my friends are but me.”

Karen: “Not even your father?”

Billy Ray: “He just doesn’t understand yet, but he will.”

Karen: “Ah, you’re a rebel then?

Billy Ray: *crosses arms* “No, ma’am. I just like to think for myself, make my own decisions about people. Judge not, lest ye be judged. That’s how I was taught.”

Karen: “How did a guy like you meet someone like Lizzy Quinlan?”

Billy Ray: *smiles again* “It’s kind of an amusing story. It all started when a bunch of us went out to help Mr. Quinlan make some barn repairs…”

*****

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(Excerpt from At the Edge of the Sea, Chapter 2)

 

We were working on the Quinlans’ barn by nine o’clock the next morning. About a dozen people showed up to help, and I noticed a fair number of stray looks toward to the house—from the young guys mostly but even from some of the men. About eleven o’clock, those looks were rewarded with a slam of the screen door and a holler.

 

“Daddy, if y’all are hungry, we got your dinner up here.”

 

“Thank you, Lizzy,” Tom replied. “We’ll be up in a minute or two.”

 

I turned my head toward the sound of the girl’s voice and promptly hit my thumb with the hammer. Somehow, I managed to squelch my yell, and as I stuck my thumb in my mouth to soothe it, I carefully took in the captivating sight of Lizzy Quinlan.

 

She was not very tall. I was probably head and shoulders above her, but her figure was—there was no other word for it—voluptuous. It was made even more so by the denim cut-offs that hugged her hips and the sleeveless red-gingham blouse that stretched and strained against the buttons across her chest. She’d left the ends of the blouse unbuttoned and tied them in a knot around her middle, showing the hourglass curve of her waist. She was barefoot, and long, lush dark curls were drawn back in a ponytail that bounced when she walked. Her lips and her toenails were painted what I’d overheard Aunt Catherine call ‘harlot red’ when she thought I wasn’t listening. Marlene Miller had called Lizzy Quinlan a slut, and I didn’t want to judge a book by its cover, but I had to admit she kind of looked the part. She took springy running steps to the barn, leaping like a gazelle over rocks and two-by-fours until she reached her father.

 

They spoke briefly, and then he turned to the rest of us and said, “We’re mighty grateful to y’all for your help, so my girls have fixed some victuals. It ain’t much, but we’ll share what we got. If you want to go into the kitchen and grab a plate, the food’s in there, and we can sit at the picnic table out back.”

 

Several men mumbled their thanks as they passed by Mr. Quinlan and Lizzy. She looked

each one straight in the eye, a smug, calculating smile on her lips. Real smiles, however,

were saved for Charles and his father. That’s when I noticed her eyes, dark and sparkling like fireworks in the night sky. She turned those fine eyes my way, and I felt my face get hot.

 

She whispered to Charlie and pointed, and I simply stared back at her. And I continued to stare as she approached me.

 

“Aren’t you a little old to be sucking your thumb?” she asked, a teasing lilt in her voice.

 

“What? Oh…” I hadn’t realized it was still in there and dropped my hand to my side quickly.

 

“I hit my thumb with the hammer.”

 

“Let me see.” She took my hand in hers and inspected it. “Can you bend it?” she asked.

 

I nodded then realized her head was bent forward so she couldn’t see me. “Yes, ma’am, I’m sure it’s fine.” My breath stirred the strands of curls that escaped her ponytail.

 

In slow motion, her face rose to meet mine, and I caught the faintest glimpse of something puzzling in her expression before she covered it with her teasing smile. “Oh, poor baby.” She rubbed the base of my thumb, kneading it with her fingers. Her lips formed a little pout, and in a throaty whisper she said, Does that feel better?”

 

I jerked my hand back. “Yes, thank you.” I started toward the house, and ran right into a stern, troubled look from my father. I kept my back to Lizzy Quinlan and walked straight into the kitchen.

 

*****

 

Karen M Cox writes novels accented with romance and history. Her first two published novels, 1932 and Find Wonder in All Things, each one Independent Publisher Book Awards for Romance, in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Find Wonder in All Things was a Next Generation Indie Book Finalist in Romance for 2013. Her third novel, At the Edge of the Sea, will be released in October, 2013 from Meryton Press.

 

 

At the Edge of the Sea

Lizzy Quinlan lives in the shadow of her past…

 

Everyone in Orchard Hill knows Lizzy’s bad reputation and won’t let her forget it. But in the summer of 1959, Billy Ray Davenport an itinerant minister’s son, arrives in town. He discovers an indomitable strength behind the allure his father says is ‘designed to lead men astray.’ Lizzy spouts quirky bursts of wisdom and exudes an effortless sensuality that calls to him like a siren’s song. Billy Ray thinks he could be the one who helps her swim against the tide of disapproval—he could free her once and for all.

 

But a stormy path awaits the unlikely pair. Lizzy’s past cannot help but shape her future, and ready or not, this beautiful, complex mystery girl is about to change Billy Ray’s life—and his heart—forever.

 

A new novel from award-winning author, Karen M Cox, At the Edge of the Sea is a realistic story told by an idealistic young man. As society’s sands shift under his feet, Billy Ray navigates the ocean of approaching adulthood—a journey as ever-changing and ancient as the sea itself.

 

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Connect with Karen through her author’s blog: www.karenmcox.merytonpress.com

 

Her facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/karenmcox1932

 

At the Edge of the Sea facebook Page: www.facebook.com/karenmcoxATEOTS

 

Or on Twitter: @karenmcox1932

 

At the Edge of the Sea Blog Tour 2013

Sep 25: Writing Secrets of Seven Scribes

Sep 27: Romance Novel News

Oct 1  More Agreeably Engaged

Oct 2: Sharon Buchbinder’s Blog

Oct 3: Nights of Passion

Oct 6: Romance Junkies

Oct 8: Love Romance Passion

Oct 10: Romance Reviews Today

Oct 16  Leatherbound Reviews

 

Oct 19: Savvy Authors

Bev Irwin ~ Interview

September 18, 2013 By: Romance Junkies Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

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    Bev Irwins bookshelf

When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

 

            I think I was writing poetry before I even knew the concept of being a writer. I started writing poetry as a young child and had a poem about daffodils published when I was eight years old. I continued to write poetry for years until an accident with a horse gave me time off work. I started my first novel, a romance, that I put away for many years and worked on many other novels, five of which have been published. That novel, CITY SLICKER, I just pulled out of a bottom drawer and finished.

Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

            Keep writing, take courses, learn your craft, join a writers group, put your heart on your sleeve and your words and emotions on the page. Write what you love. Keep that pen moving!

           

 

Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?

            Oww. Tall, dark and handsome, of course. But he would have to have a good sense of humor, independent, respect for people, love animals and another, criteria. He would have to love cooking as I don’t anymore. He must have some baggage that he must work on by the end of the book. The first book I had published, WHEN HEARTS COLLIDE, was almost accepted by Mills and Boon but they thought my hero having a broken leg made him less of a hero as he was incapacitated too long. Hey, a real hero isn’t stopped by a broken leg.

 

 

What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?

            I love reading. I have a house full of books to be read and I get pangs of anxiety when I pass by a book stand or store and don’t buy a book. But never enough time to read them and then there are new ones coming out every day. Maybe when I retire, sigh.

            I also love sewing, knitting, needlepoint. And playing with my mischievous puppy, Shayla. Any type of craft. Unfortunately with trying to find time to write and finish so many writing projects, my other crafts have to take a back seat. Retirement won’t come too soon.

 

 

 

 

What has been your biggest adventure to date?

            That would be my dream cruise to Hawaii. Even though I get seasick, I love a cruise. I got to sightsee at several islands, meet amazing people, on the ship and on the islands, enjoy amazing meals and shop too. Now, I am writing a romance, CRUISING HEARTS, about a cruise ship nurse and doctor touring the Hawaiian islands.

 

If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?

            Oh, I’d go back to Hawaii in a heartbeat but I’d also love to go to Italy, Spain, France…. Just about anywhere. My suitcase is half packed already. Has anybody seen my fairy godmother?

 

When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?

            I love trying new foods and I love to see how foods are presented. You know, a fancy drizzle on top of a dessert, or garnishes, or the placement of food on the plate. It just makes eating so much fun. I love fish but won’t try oysters or mussels. I can’t stand the thought of them slithering down my throat. Yuk.

 

 

What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?

            My laptop and my ipad.

What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?

            Going to a fancy restaurant, lingering over dessert and then going dancing.

 

 

How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?

            Outgoing, curious, interesting, kind, stubborn, messy. I think is how me and my friends would describe me.

 

What is your favorite comfort food?

            Ice cream and chocolate. And I’ve just discovered Maca chocolate bars. It feeds my craving for chocolate and gives me energy. Plus since its a ‘super food’ I don’t feel so guilty eating it.

 

 

 

What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?

            Spring. I love to see the world come to life after being hidden under a cover of snow and frost. I live in London, Ontario so we get lots of snow in the winter. Its nice to shed the heavy winter gear, put on sandals and feel the sun beating down on you. Especially when you can walk in nature and see the new leaves on the trees and the crocuses and tulips bursting out of the previously barren ground.

 

What project are you working on next?

            So many projects. I am finishing my cruise nurse romance and then a romantic suspense about a family in a witness protection plan. I am working on a book called TAKEN. My MISSING CLAYTON is about a five year old abducted from his single mother’s backyard but this one is about a teenager who finds out his mother, whose mental status is deteriorating, abducted him from his father when he was a toddler.

I like doing issue books and another book I am working on is about a teenager who attempts to commit suicide.

            Also in the works is a sequel to WITHOUT CONSENT featuring my Doctor Claire Valincourt and detective Gerry Rosko involving medical research. 

            So many projects, so little time.

Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

 

            Not sure if you get Roger’s television, but I will be on Sarah’s Book Nook. I am one of fifteen authors being featured and the series airs in September.

Thanks again for blogging with us!

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Interview with ~ Gerri Brousseau

August 20, 2013 By: Romance Junkies Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

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Romance Junkies

Thank you so much for inviting me to join you here today. I’m excited to share with your readers.

RJ: To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?

Gerri: My current novel, To Kill a Monarch, is scheduled to be released from Soul Mate Publishing on August 21, 2013. It’s an intrigue/romance which is set in London in 1811. Here’s a little blurp:

Whispers in dark allies say Napoleon’s best assassin, The Falcon, has been sent to London to kill the Monarch. The problem – The Falcon’s identity is known only to the French Emperor. Sir Walter Tinsdale’s new partner, Philip Hamilton, arrives to discover their mission is to find the elusive bird of prey before he strikes. But their nemesis is like a phantom and always one step ahead of them. Enter the lovely Miss Charlotte Winston, the object of Sir Tinsdale’s affections, as well as those of Philip Hamilton. Unlikely alliances, deception, murder, and suicide will keep you turning the pages until the identity of The Falcon is finally revealed. With all the seduction and action of a James Bond movie, To Kill a Monarch is like 007 in 1811.

RJ: When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

Gerri: I have been writing ever since I can remember, but I never thought of myself as a “writer.” When I was a kid, I would say about 8 years old, all my friends would be riding bikes and playing, but I was sitting with a spiral notebook and pack of pencils, writing. When I was in high school I was the editor of the school paper, and when I worked in the legal field, I wrote trial briefs. One would imagine I would have known I was a writer, but light didn’t dawn over marble head until 2009 when I decided to try to write a novel. That was when I first penned the words “Chapter One” and I haven’t stopped since.

RJ: Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

Gerri: I am a member of a few writers’ groups and I try to gather sage advice from all the published authors. I think the best advice is to just keep writing.

RJ: Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero or you?

Gerri: The perfect hero is flawed. He’s vulnerable. He would die for his lady love. For me personally, he’s a bad boy. I always fall for those bad boys and it’s been the bane of my existence.

RJ: What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?

Gerri: I love spending time with my 1-year old grand-daughter. When I’m not with her, or writing, I’m reading. I love a good movie, and I love to cook. Collections? Let me see. Since being published, I have started a collection of my book covers, which are framed and waiting to be hung.

RJ: what has been your biggest adventure to date?

Gerri: Other than traveling the adventurous road to publication, I would say skydiving. I’m a former skydiver with a credit of 56 jumps.

RJ: If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?

Gerri: Ireland, without doubt. It is the land of my father’s fathers and full of its own lore and magic. I hope one day to write a novel that is set on the Emerald Isle.

RJ: When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?

Gerri: I’m actually not all that adventurous. Although I am open to trying new things, I’m careful what I eat due to some food allergies.

RJ: What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without? What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?

Gerri: Electricity! Last year we had a freak storm that knocked power out for 6 days. It was difficult.

My idea of an ideal romantic evening? I had a very romantic date once. We packed a few snacks and took a blanket up to the top of a bluff. We sat wrapped in each other’s arms, and in the blanket, as we watched the sun slip into the ocean. It was quite romantic.

 RJ: How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?

Gerri: I’m a loyal friend. I’m tenacious, which I suppose is good in this line of work. How would my family and friends describe me? I guess you would have to ask them.

RJ: What is your favorite comfort food?

Gerri: Mashed potatoes or tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

RJ: What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?

Gerri: Autumn is my favorite time of year. It’s so colorful and I love the warm days and crisp cool nights. I enjoy the holidays we celebrate then also, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and although Christmas misses being in the autumn season by 4 days, it’s my favorite holiday and favorite time of year.

RJ: What project are you working on next?

Gerri: My publisher has asked me to write a sequel to “To Kill a Monarch” so I’m plotting that out right now. I’m also working on editing a book which I would like to self-publish hopefully by the end of the year.

RJ: Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

Gerri: For those of your readers who live in New England, I will be doing a book signing in the Connecticut Building at The Big E on September 19th and 28th. I will also be at the Waterbury, CT Barnes & Noble on October 16th. I will be a guest on several blog sites for the next few weeks. The best bet is for your readers to either follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/GMBfictionwrite) or join me on Facebook (facebook.com/gerri.brousseau.5) where I will announce where I am going to be daily.

To Kill a Monarch will be available on 8/21/13 in e-book from both Amazon and B&N.

If your readers have any questions, I invite them to leave a comment, and thank you again for inviting me to share with you today.

 

Monarch Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pirate’s Ransom release August 22, 2012

According to Legend release March 6, 2013
To Kill a Monarch” August 21, 2013
Soulmate Authors Group:  http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

Interview with Arlene Culiner

July 27, 2013 By: Romance Junkies Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger, Latest News 8 Comments →

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J. Arlene Culiner, born in New York, raised in Toronto, has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Holland, Turkey, France, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 300-year-old former inn in a French village of no real interest. Much to everyone’s dismay, she protects all living creatures—especially spiders—and her wild (or wildlife) garden is a classified butterfly and bird reserve.

Come visit her site and chat at : www.j-arleneculiner.com

 

 

First, can you let us know what projects you are currently working on?

My category romance, All About Charming Alice, (Crimson Romance) will be coming out on August 12th, and I’m busy contacting people about that. I’m also working on a romantic suspense, Turkish Delight, and it should be ready in a few months. Not only that, I have two other romances that are receiving finishing touches — phrases being jiggled around and polished so that they sound beautiful. One of these is Felicity’s Power, a romance published by Power of Love Publishing, Australia, in 2001. Power of Love is no more, sadly, and I have re-written the book in the hope that it will soon be available again.

 

 

1.) What does your writing schedule look like? Do you have to plot or do you write as it comes?

 

I definitely have to plot. I spend days, even months, mentally working out a story. Then, when I’m finally writing it, I spend hours each day thinking out phrases, events and conversations. For me, working on a manuscript is a full time obsession, particularly because combining stylistic beauty with believable characters is necessary for me. And I need each paragraph to have a lovely rhythm.

 

2.) What inspired you to be a writer? Who is your biggest support system? When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

 

I love stories. I love telling them, dreaming them, reading them and hearing them. Writing has always been a natural thing for me to do, even as a child. I completed my first manuscript, an autobiography, when I was twelve: my experiences in Europe during the Second World War. Of course, it was a tall tale: I was certainly born after the war and, back then, I had never left North America. I do wish I could read that manuscript now, though, but my mother threw it into the garbage when I was away at summer camp. Still, in those days, I had no intention of becoming a writer. What I really wanted to do was become a queen. If I couldn’t be a queen somewhere, I’d have accepted being a princess. Failing that, countess status was fine too. I haven’t yet accomplished any of those goals.

 

3.) Which genre is your favorite to write? Is there a genre that you would love to write but haven’t yet? Are there any that you would stay away from?

 

No, I really have no favorite genre. I love writing romances; I love writing mysteries; I love writing history books. I’ve done all three of those now, and I want to continue with all. I would, however, stay away from paranormal (I need reality) and I just can’t see sitting down and writing a treatise on, say, mathematics or physics either.

 

4.) Do you use a pen name? Why or why not? If you do does the name have a special meaning to you?

 

I do use a pen name — of sorts. For books that aren’t romances I use Jill Culiner. For romances, I make use of my middle name: J. Arlene Culiner. The only reason I use two slightly different names is so that readers can distinguish my romances from the other books. But whether I’m writing romance or history, style is, for me, the most important aspect of my work.

 

5.) Have your characters ever taken a turn on you and changed personalities? What was your most challenging character to create and why?

 

No, I haven’t had that happen to me, perhaps because I have such a clear image of my characters before I begin putting them down on paper. However, even if their personalities don’t take me by surprise, sometimes their conversations do!

Alice, the heroine in my latest book, All About Charming Alice, was somewhat of a challenge for me, though. She’s stubborn; she wants to avoid pain; she’s afraid to love Jace, my hero. And Jace? Well, he’s a lovely guy. I fell in love with him instantly, and I sometimes wished Alice would just stop fighting an attraction that was so obvious to everyone else. However, her love of all animals, her generosity, her passion, had me rooting for her all along the way.

 

6.) What kind of research do you do for your books? Where is your favorite place to find what you need to know? What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

 

Again, it depends on what I’m writing. For history, I go through the archives: my book, Finding Home, required me to comb the archives in Romania, Germany, Austria, Holland, England, Canada and the United States. For my mystery, Slanderous Tongue, I had to start reading about abusive farm practices; I had to interview the police, post office officials etc. And for, All About Charming Alice, I had to brush up on reptiles. But the best part of this last book, was being able to use my impressions of the Nevada desert. I love deserts, love being in them, love discovering their forgotten communities.

The most interesting thing I’ve learned? I think it’s the knowledge that nothing can make you feel quite so ecstatic as writing does. There’s a wonderful high when you’ve done a day’s good work. And you also know that those delightful — and sometimes cranky — characters you’ve invented will give reading pleasure to others.

 

7.) What is the last book that you read that left a big impression on you?

So many books have left an impression on me that I hate to cite only one. Therefore, I’ll mention one book that I’ve read many times, and held dear for all these years: Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. This book, written in 1932, is a classic of English literature. Not only is it wonderfully well written and perfectly ageless, it is a romance as well as a brilliant parody. I highly recommend it.

 

 

Fun Questions

 

1. and 3.) What is your favorite TV commercial? How about your least favorite?What are your favorite TV shows? Which shows could you do without ever watching

 

I’ve combined questions 1 and 3 for a good reason: some years ago, a neighbor in a village where I was then living, announced she had an old television set she was going to give me. She thought I’d be very pleased. I did my best to explain that I didn’t want a television, but I never could make her understand why. I believe she finally gave up because she thought me too primitive.

Years have passed and I’ve still never bought a television. I far prefer dreaming, walking through the countryside, playing music with others (I’m an amateur musician) and, of course, reading. I feel that nothing is better than the images we create ourselves: they belong to us; they give us incredible satisfaction and pleasure; they are a reflection of our talent. Television stunts that wonderful innate talent by overwhelming us with commercials, horrific noise, flashing colors, consumer rubbish and pure silliness.

 

2.) Who was your first celebrity crush? Is he still hot?

I’ve never had a celebrity crush. I don’t even know who is a celebrity since I have no television and never, ever, go to see movies. I could take you on a walk down the ancient sunken green lanes in this area, though. Tell you all about the forgotten history of this place. Point out edible flowers and teach you about architecture. I could also introduce you to some fascinating people who live original, intelligent lives. But they are certainly not celebrities.

All About Charming Alice4

 

Blurb:

 

Alice Treemont has given up hope of meeting the right man and falling in love. Living in depopulated Blake’s Folly, a quirky community of rusting cars, old trailers, clapboard shacks and thirsty weeds, she spends her time cooking vegetarian meals, rescuing unwanted dogs and protecting the most unloved creatures on earth: snakes. What man would share those interests? Certainly not Jace Constant whose life in Chicago includes elegant women, fine dining and contemporary art.

  Jace has come to Nevada to research the new book he’s writing, but he won’t be staying; as far as he’s concerned, Blake’s Folly is hell on earth. He’s disgusted by desert dust on his fine Italian shoes, dog hair on his cashmere sweaters and by desert bleakness. As for snakes, he doesn’t only despise them: they terrify him.

  So how is it possible that each time Alice and Jace meet, the air sizzles? That she’s as fascinated by him as he is by her? That they know their feelings go deeper than raw desire? Still, it looks like this relationship is doomed before it starts: Jace won’t be around for long, and Alice wants to avoid the heartbreak of a short fling.

  In need of some juicy romantic gossip, the other 52 residents of Blake’s Folly have decided Alice has been alone for long enough. The attraction between her and Jace is obvious to everyone, so why worry about essential differences? If you trust in love, solutions do appear. But don’t those solutions call for too many compromises, too much self-sacrifice? 

 

Interview with Kate McKeever

July 27, 2013 By: Romance Junkies Category: Author Interview with RJ, Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

pink 2

 

 

 

First, can you let us know what projects you are currently working on?

 

I’m currently working on another paranormal romantic suspense, the first of a series. The book surrounds a people that can dimensionally and temporally shift. What happens when a woman wakes up next to a dead body and doesn’t remember how she got there?

 

 

1.)         How do you fit writing into your schedule? What does your workspace look like?

I’m an evening person, so I tend to work in the evenings, after my day job is over. I strive to put in a couple of hours of writing every night. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, so I make up on the weekends as I can.

I write in my living room on a laptop, reclined. I’ve also written in my computer room, at my desk. I have all of my animals around me, competing with the laptop.

 

2.)         Do you do a lot of research for your stories? What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

I do quite a bit of research on my stories, often at the same time I’m writing. I tend to be a plotter and do the research at the same time I’m plotting, so it works out well for me. I do confess to getting carried away with research sometimes, but that’s part of the fun, right?

Gosh, I can’t think of any one thing that is the most interesting. I find something interesting every day. One of the things I do remember, though I did find some interesting facts about how people revered seers in the past, at the same time they feared them.

 

3.)         Are you a plotter or do you write as it comes? Do your characters start with names or do they have to have personalities before they can be named?

I’m definitely a plotter. I even use a story board, which drives my “pantster” friends crazy.
As for my characters, I start with personalities and then name them, usually, although I did start with my heroine’s name in my current release, Fate.

 

4.)         What do you want readers to take away after reading one of your stories? What do you want them to feel?

Wow, what a loaded question J. I always want my readers to know that love can give strength and make sacrifices worth it all. When I read a story, I usually identify with one of the main characters and that’s what I aim for when I write. I want the reader to feel the same emotions as my hero and heroine, whether it’s sexual tension and release, fear or love. Hopefully I achieve that.

 

5.)         What genre would you love to write but haven’t yet? Is there one you would shy away from?

I would love to write Steampunk. I love reading it and feel that writing it would be a blast.

As far as staying away from anything, I don’t want to write horror, ever. I have a vivid imagination and horror and I don’t mix. If I watch a horror flick or read it, I end up staying awake all night with all the lights on.

 

6.)         Have you taken any classes to hone your skills? What classes/workshops would you recommend the most?

Other than college classes, I also took a couple of classes on writing. I’m a member of RWA and a local chapter, which means I’ve been to conferences almost every year since I joined RWA in 1997. So, I guess it’s safe to say that I’ve attended a lot. I loved the GMC workshops I took, by Deb Dixon. She was able to provide clarity about a characters’ goals, motivations and conflicts, which move a story along. I’ve used the information I gleaned from her workshop and book of the same name on every project I’ve worked on since.

Another workshop I really recommend is Discovering Story Magic or Using Turning Points by Robin Perrini. Again, it’s something I’ve used ever since and helps me in plotting my stories.

 

7.)         Do you have any hobbies that you do in your spare time? Is there something you would love to learn but haven’t had the chance yet?

I read, of course. I also make jewelry from recycled junk jewelry.

I would love to learn to play the guitar and relearn the piano.

 

8.)         What kinds of advice would you give a new writer? Is there anything that you have learned that you can pass on to someone just starting out?

As a new writer, the best thing you can do is write and have others read it. I have the good luck of being in a critique group that has been in existence for several years. As a result, we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and know what to look for when we’re reading. Any writer, especially a new one, doesn’t always see their mistakes and are definitely too emotionally involved to see some of the things that need to be changed.

 

9.)         How did you meet your husband? What is the most romantic thing you have done for each other?

I’m single. Still looking!

 

10.)     What kinds of books will we find on your bookshelf?

I have some research books on subjects I may never write (medieval history, politics, etc.), biographies, a lot of fantasy and of course, romance. I have a bookcase in every room of my house, except the bathrooms. And there’s romance filling all of them.

FUN

 

1.)         Do you prefer to jump up and embrace the day or have a lazy breakfast in bed?

I’m definitely not a morning person. As a matter of fact, I have to have coffee and some time to wake up before I can even carry on a conversation.

 

2.)         What are three words you would use to describe yourself? Are they the same as family/friends would use?

Inquisitive, steady, and romantic. As for my family, probably not. I think they’d say something along the lines of Individualistic, Quirky and Reader.

 

3.)         What is your favorite TV shows? How about ones that you would stay away from?

I love the CSI type shows, Bones, NCIS, etc. I go on jags and watch them for hours on end, then turn to something else. What I don’t like are the “reality” shows that tend to make fun of people or put people in situations that may embarrass or hurt them.

 

4.)         What is your favorite dessert? Do you make it yourself or order it out?

I’ll eat anything that is chocolate! I’d rather order out for the chocolate but in a pinch, I’ll make it.

 

5.)         What is your favorite childhood memory?

When I was young, my great aunt lived across the lane. She had a book entitled St. Elmo, by Augusta J. Evans, a southern writer around the time of the civil war. St. Elmo was a gothic romance set in the 1800s, written in late 1890s. I was given the honor of reading it by my aunt, who revered the book (it was pretty delicate too). When my mother asked what I wanted for my thirteenth birthday, I couldn’t think of anything other than my own copy of that book.

She searched everywhere without any luck, then happened upon a copy in a used clothing store. My thirteenth birthday present cost thirty five cents and I still have it today.

CADENS FINAL cropped

 

Caden’s Fate

Kate McKeever

 

Blurb:

Fate Halligan is a Death Maiden, a woman who has spent her life training to help souls journey from life to the next level of existence. She finds this vocation at risk when her life is threatened and she must turn to a man she has been taught to view with caution. Caden Greene is a Soldier of Light, a man who will risk his life and more to save dying souls from being stolen and used for evil by the Obsidian Guard. When Caden and Fate join forces they must make decisions about their lives and the future of the very world they have faithfully served

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