Saturday, September 24, 2016

Word Wranglers - The Vacation is Over!


I'm over at Word Wranglers today with a tale of woe. I had a late summer holiday and now it's time to get back to work. I'm feeling overwhelmed! Find out why I'm feeling so stressed at http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/2016/09/vacation-is-over.html See you there!

Friday, September 23, 2016

M.S. Spencer sits down for an #AuthorInterview

My guest today is fellow Wild Rose Press author M.S. Spencer, whose latest romantic suspense Whirlwind Romance released August 17, 2016. Ms. Spencer is a very busy and prolific author, and she's going to tell us a little about past and upcoming releases. Please welcome M.S. Spencer!



Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book you’d like to share?

Paraiso, the island in Whirlwind Romance, is based on a real island in the western Caribbean that I discovered—how else?—mucking around on the internet. Called Providencia, it forms an archipelago with two other islands, San Andres and Santa Catalina, and five uninhabited atolls. Currently under the Colombian flag, it has been the ruled by an incredible variety of groups, from Henry Morgan the notorious buccaneer, to Spanish Conquistadors, Dutch traders, even English Puritans. The Puritans were the first to settle there in 1629 (native tribes only visited), eventually turning to the slave trade and smuggling for survival. I wonder how the fire and brimstone Puritan ministers dealt with that?

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

No odder than most writers, I’ll wager. I pace a lot; scratch at imaginary bits on my arms; dust way more often than I need to; and play 1000s of games of Solitaire when I should be writing. Or surf news sites.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

I’m pretty comfortable with my cozy mysteries & romantic suspense stories. I have some lovely unpublished children’s stories I’d like to find homes for someday.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Always. Started writing poems with sidewalk chalk at maybe the age of three.

Do you work on more than one book at a time?

Only if I’m waiting on an edit or galley & it’s taking awhile. Right now I have 3 books in draft. If I’m in a new setting I’m sorely tempted to start a story based on that setting. I was at a book event in Amelia Island, Florida and loved the history and culture so much I whipped off a first draft before I forgot the feel of the place. I had to set aside the Ghost Hotel, a wonderful mystery set on Longboat Key, to do it. But hey, strike while the plot is thick, eh?

When were you first published and how did that happen? Was it a long or short journey?

I wrote the first draft of my first book long-hand in I believe 2006. Since I was first an editor, I edited that darn book until it cried. I submitted it and 6 months later a Harlequin affiliate rejected it. Thank God. My second try produced an acquisitions editor who took the time to edit my book. Even though she couldn’t accept the manuscript, she gave me hope and the third try was a winner. Who knew that it would take two more years to see the book in print?

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

I wrote one full novel years ago—a murder mystery set in Yorktown, Virginia. I like to think that it was not the reason the agent who reviewed it decided to leave the profession. Although one must wonder about karma when my husband threw out the ONE copy I had of it. By mistake. Right.

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live most of the year on the Gulf Coast of Florida, on a barrier island, and the rest in a tiny village on Penobscot Bay in Maine. Yes, it is idyllic and I count myself extremely lucky, even though it means my children are far away. I began writing when I was first able to pick up a piece of chalk and haven’t stopped. My first book was published in 2009.

Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?

I have had many pets in my life—at one time counting a dog, 3 cats, a gerbil, a goldfish, and a snake as part of the household. I’m mainly a cat person, because dogs, while lovable companions, make me feel guilty. Am I walking him enough? Paying him enough attention? Training him properly? I would have a cat now, but I can’t let him outside and that, to me, is cruel and unnatural.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?

Probably in Edrigu’s castle, where Lacey & Armand hide and make love in Whirlwind Romance, my new romantic adventure. It is perched on a hill above a tiny Caribbean island far in the western Caribbean and has a rock-hewn pool. And turrets. And coral reefs.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?

I try to vary the physical characteristics of my hero and heroine from book to book, and keep a file to make sure I haven’t made them too much alike. My first draft usually has /name/ throughout until I get a real sense of who the characters are. I have a list of names I like, and check those; also I check ethnic name lists for suitable names. Each inhabitant of Paraiso in Whirlwind Romance sports 4 names—from 4 of the many cultures that passed through the island leaving progeny. I try to connect the meaning to the character—thus the farmer is named Gorka (Basque for farmer) , and the First Secretary  of Paraiso is named Edrigu (Council Commander) Boudewijn (Princely Friend) Proctor (one of the Puritans who settled Paraiso).

How can readers reach you or find you online?

Blog: http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencerromance
Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MSSpencerauthor
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/
Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor

AUTHOR PAGES:

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer

Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/M.S.-Spencer/e/B002ZOEUC8/

Romance Books 4 Us: http://romancebooks4us.com/Romance%20Author%20M.%20S.%20Spencer.html OR
http://bit.ly/1d6ehza

Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

I’m in the final draft of a murder mystery romance set on Longboat Key, Florida. Tentatively entitled The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel, it takes place on the spot where John Ringling began building a luxurious hotel in the 1920s. Left to slowly disintegrate over the decades, it inevitably came to be called the Ghost Hotel.

Here’s the blurb:
At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a splash and a scream. Eighty-five years later workmen uncover a skeleton. Who does it belong to, and how did it get to the bottom of an old elevator shaft? To find out, Charity Snow,  reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, must team up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author whose arrogance nearly exceeds his talent.

Along with a drop-dead gorgeous editor and a publisher with a dark family secret, they discover an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

Tell us about your next release.

Lapses of Memory will be released in early 2017 by The Wild Rose Press. It’s a novel in which two romances intertwine as a mother recounts her life-long love affair while her daughter juggles two lovers.

Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s on a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser when she is five and he is seven. They run into each other every few years after that, but while he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese civil war. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.

Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but this time, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?
Meanwhile, her daughter Olivia has her own dilemma—how to choose between the rich and dashing Rémy de Beaumec, who wants to take her around the world, and the steady, quiet, American-to-the-core, Benjamin Knox, who only wants to make her happy.

Here's M.S. Spencer's most recent release (she's a very busy writer!) WHIRLWIND ROMANCE:



Pirates, Puritans, propaganda, and princes—pieces of the puzzle in the whirlwind romance between a beautiful jelly maker and a mysterious castaway.

Whirlwind Romance
Wild Rose Press, 8/17/2016, Champagne Rose imprint
Contemporary romance/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames
Ebook 89,905 words; Print: 358 p.

Blurb:

In the aftermath of a hurricane, Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on an island on the Gulf coast of Florida with a mysterious man. They are immediately drawn to each other, but before Armand can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken to a tiny island in the western Caribbean. With the help of her son Crispin and a cadre of loyal followers, she and Armand must face down pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue, if they are to restore the once idyllic tropical island to its former glory.


Excerpt: 

The full moon shone through the window, illuminating Lacey’s nodding head. Armand touched her cheek. “I think it’s your bedtime.”

Stung, she shot back, “I’m taking care of you, remember?”

He held up a hand. “Sorry! I’d forgotten.” After a moment, he asked, his tone diffident, “Can you help me up?”

Lacey put an arm around his back and together they limped to Crispin’s room. She took his pants and shirt off and folded them neatly. As she turned to leave, he touched her arm. “Stay a minute?”

How could she admit she had to get out of there quickly or she wouldn’t be able to go at all? His handsome face—the strong chin covered with stubble, the pearly teeth contrasting with his tan skin, not to mention the long, graceful fingers he held out to her—all conspired to lure her closer. Her heart led the way, propelling her to his side. She sat down. “What is it?”

“Lacey…um.”

Her body tensed as desire fought to get out, and she fought just as hard to keep it in. I have to go. I have to…go. “What?”

His words came out in a rush. “Lacey, the other day—the first night—when you rescued me. When we…we…”

Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Christ.

“I…uh…want you to know I don’t do that on a regular basis.”

His air of shy ambivalence gave her courage. “I see. You don’t have sex on a regular basis?”

“No, no, it’s not that.” He stopped, flustered. “Er, I mean… I don’t sleep with women indiscriminately.”

Should she let him off the hook? Nah. “But you do sleep with a lot of women?”

“No! Lacey, you’re being difficult on purpose. I meant, that I didn’t mean to…you know. It just happened. Forgive me?”

“I—”

Armand interrupted her. “Not that it wasn’t enjoyable.” He seemed distracted, running a finger down her arm. “Wonderful. Fantastic. Too short.” He peered at her. “Lacey, you must know how beautiful you are. You have the most perfect cheekbones I’ve ever seen.”

“Cheekbones?” What the hell is he talking about?

“I’m an amateur photographer. Those cheekbones could belong to a supermodel. Perfectly sculpted. And your nose…” He tapped the tip. “A little pixie nose. It even turns up slightly. Your long, fine hair is the russet-gold of burnished copper pots I once saw piled high in a shop on Martinique. Your eyes…” He closed his. “Your eyes are the blue-green of a freshly mowed cricket field, of the emeralds that grow deep in the mountains, of the lagoon near my home on a blustery day.” He touched her hand. “Then there’s your body—as I remember it—a soft, comfortable, pillowy—”

“Hey!” Lacey shook her head to break the spell. “I think you’ve said enough. Get some sleep.”

She tried to rise, but he slipped his arms around her and drew her close. She wanted to struggle. She tried to struggle. It was no use. The long kiss filled her with a warmth that matched a fire on a cold night, a cup of cocoa, or a hot bath. When he lay back, the warmth turned to blazing passion. The power of it frightened her. I’ve got to go. She ran out of the room before he could stop her.


Buy Links:

TWRP: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4470-whirlwind-romance.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Whirlwind-Romance-M-S-Spencer-ebook/dp/B01HLSSS3Y/

AllRomanceEBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whirlwindromance-2069719-153.html

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whirlwind-romance-ms-spencer/1120206448

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/whirlwind-romance-4

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/whirlwind-romance-0

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/whirlwind-romance/id1137681038?mt=11

About the Author:



Although M. S. Spencer has lived or travelled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

Ms. Spencer has published ten romantic suspense and murder mystery novels. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Other Books by M. S. Spencer:
Whirlwind Romance

Coming 2017:
Lapses of Memory

My calendar of events can be found here:
Romance Books 4 Us: http://romancebooks4us.com/Romance%20Author%20M.%20S.%20Spencer.html OR
http://bit.ly/1d6ehza

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Amazon #1 Selling Author Elf Ahearn and A ROGUE IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING

I'm very pleased to welcome Amazon Best-Selling author Elf Ahearn to my blog today. I asked Elf to answer a few interview questions, and though she only answered one, her heart-felt and personal answer tell me exactly why her book zoomed to number one! Her book is on sale for .99 cents until the end of September. I'm going over to Amazon right now to pick up my copy and I hope you'll do the same. Please welcome Elf Ahearn!



On September 13,  my historical novel, A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing, dinged the bell at Amazon by hitting #1. It’s on sale until the end of September for a mere .99 cents, and if I do say so myself, it’s worth all 100 minus one pennies.

Instead of answering a slew of Jana’s questions about the book, I’m going to concentrate on the first one, and add it to other annotations on other blogs about the novel. So here goes: Where do you get your ideas?

The idea for A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing came directly from my family. There are four sisters in the book, and there are four girls in my family. Lord Albright, the heroine’s father, is an Egyptologist; my father was an Egyptologist; the Albrights live on an estate called Fairland, and yes, I grew up on an estate called Fairland.

My Fairland was a nineteen-room house (not including bathrooms) on eighteen sweeping acres. Every room in that massive abode was packed with books. By the time he died, my father had amassed 27,000 volumes. He built a children’s library with a tiny reading balcony, a chapel room where he housed the works of the great philosophers, and a main library that sported a magnificent fireplace and a set of gold drapes acquired from Teddy Roosevelt’s office at the American Museum of Natural History. Fairland was an extraordinary place to live, and I am the luckiest person I’ve ever met.

Elf Ahearn with a friend. Note the wild hair and untucked shirt, but who’s got the broader smile?

Like all incredible places, however, there was something not quite credible about Fairland. The fact is, we couldn’t really afford to live there. When I say my father “built” the children’s library, I mean he really did build it. The only help he got was from my uncle, my mother, and me (I passed the nails).

In winter we heated only the back of the house by running a wood burning stove in the kitchen. There were so many dogs and cats piled around that stove you had to have a gymnast’s balance to load more logs. My parents, who slept in the master suite at the front, could see their breath when they went to bed. They snuggled under an electric blanket and kept a space heater going in the bathroom for quick dashes at night. Among other issues, the brass handle on the front door didn’t work, so we opened it by yanking on a rope, and we never wore anything but secondhand clothes. My father’s favorite jacket was a torn polyester parka he patched with duct tape.

Fairland was in an immensely wealthy part of Connecticut populated by the bastions of conservatism; William F. Buckley owned the house across the street, literally. But my parents were artists—dreamers who didn’t quite fit the Connecticut mold. There was something almost feral about us, and those were qualities that were often met with either curiosity or contempt. My sisters and I tried often and hard to fit in, but our hand-me-downs, our lack of funds, and a restless inability to conform always kept us skirting the outside of the inner circles.


That tippy social balance was what I wanted to achieve in A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing and in the three subsequent novels (one for each sister) in the series. (The second book, His Lordship’s Darkest Secret, is due out in November.) Ellie longs for social acceptance, but having grown up a wild thing, she finds it too constricting. She is forever on a tightrope between getting what she wants and social ruin. That was me then, and though the edges have been smoothed, I’m still the tame-less artist darting through the social jungle.

Blurb for A ROGUE IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING:

In Lord Hugh Davenport’s opinion, women of the ton perpetually hide behind a mask of deception. That’s hard for Ellie Albright, the daughter of an earl, to swallow—especially since she’s disguised herself as a stable hand to get back the prized stallion her father sold to Hugh to pay a debt. If Hugh learns her true identity she’ll lose the horse and her family will go bankrupt. Somehow, though, losing Hugh’s affection is beginning to seem even worse. 

Already only a step away from being snagged in her own web of lies, Ellie’s deceit threatens to spin out of control when Hugh’s mother invites Ellie and her sisters to a house party. Now Ellie has to scramble to keep Hugh from knowing she’s the stable girl he wants to marry, while simultaneously trying to win his trust as herself. Can she keep her costumes straight long enough to save her family? And even if she does, will it be worth losing his love?

Excerpt:

Ellie eyed the splattered front of her gown. “Now look what you’ve done. I’m a mess.” 
The beast yanked a crumpled handkerchief from his pocket. “Use this,” he said, accidentally brushing her breast.
Ellie shied from his touch. “My Heavens, sir, cease and desist! Now, give me your handkerchief, slowly.” As she took the linen square, her hand halted in midair. The sour look she intended for her assailant melted. La, what a handsome man. And then she realized she’d seen him before, but where? Dark eyes, nearly black, met her own, a hooked curl bisected his forehead, meeting the edge of a scar that crossed the ruddy crest of his right cheek. 
I’m staring. Quickly she pretended to swab a spot of wine at her waist. Her breath went shallow and her thoughts scattered, but a smile tipped the corners of her lips. She’d had the great good fortune to be trod upon by one of Devon’s most elusive bachelors, Hugh Davenport, Earl of Bruxburton – one of the few gentlemen who’d failed to call at Fairland. A pulse of pain reminded her of her foot. “I … I think I need to sit down,” she told him. 
“Ah yes…” said Hugh, looking for an empty chair.
Putting the tiniest bit of weight down, Ellie received a powerful jolt. “I’m afraid I’ll not be dancing again this evening.”
Hugh’s back straightened and a hard look seeped into his eyes. Is he annoyed? she wondered.
“Well, there must be a chair here somewhere.” He moved off on the hunt. 
Ellie took a few limping steps after him. “I’ll need your assistance.” He came back and eyed her suspiciously. “Your arm, in fact,” she told him. 
His lips hardened, but he looped her arm through his. As they passed a row of seated grande dams, every eye watched with envy. 
At an alcove, Hugh stopped to let her pass. “In here,” he said.
“I can’t go in there alone with you.”
“Did you see a free chair on the floor?” he said. “Because what I saw was a row of plump sugar plums, and none of them likely to abandon her seat.” 
“People will say I’ve been compromised.”
“Nonsense. I couldn’t possibly compromise anyone in an alcove shielded by a simple palm tree. A young lady compromised in such a manner either wants to be or wants to pretend she was. Which one are you?”

AUTHOR BIO:

Elf Ahearn, yes that is her real name, lives in New York with her wonderful husband and a pesky cat named Sufie, who believes she’s the inspiration for all of Elf’s books. (However, she is really a charming and persuasive distraction from writing, cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry.) Learn more about Elf at elfahearn.com or on Facebook. Learn more about Sufie by subscribing to The Writer’s Cat—a very infrequent newsletter about writing and apricot tabbies.

AUTHOR CONTACT INFORMATION:
Website: Elfahearn.com
Newsletter: Sign up for The Writer’s Cat – my very infrequent newsletter – by emailing me at elfahearn@hotmail.com
Social Media Links: Facebook friend me at Elf Ahearn

A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing 
Buy Link:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My New Gig!

Today I'm starting a new venture. I was invited to join the group blog at Word Wranglers and my first post went live today. I'm looking forward to getting to know the five other romance writers in the group - Liz Flaherty, Kristina Knight, Nan Reinhardt, Margie Senechal, and Ava Cuvay.

Come over and say hello at http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-new-kid-on-block.html See you there!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Getting to Know Kim McMahill, #RomanticSuspense Author

Romantic Suspense author Kim McMahill makes a return visit today to Journeys with Jana. This time she's sitting down for an interview and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better. Please welcome Kim McMahill!



Where did you get the idea for your newest novel(s)? 

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun paying more attention to what I eat and my overall health. The more I read about nutrition and fitness the more confused I become. Available research isn’t much help since often one study appears to contradict the next. There are a myriad of products out there that make all sorts of claims, but what’s true? I’m sure the answer is very complex because there are a lot of variables that influence a product’s effectiveness, which makes the subject an excellent topic for suspense. In my Risky Research Series, I explore just how far a deadly group will go to manipulate the multi-billion dollar-a-year diet product industry and if there is anyone who can stop them.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a little of both, and the degree of each depends on the story. Shrouded In Secrets had so many complex scenarios to keep track of that I had note cards and maps pinned to a cork board and a fairly detailed chapter-by-chapter outline. I always keep a running chapter-by-chapter cheat sheet at a minimum, but if the story is flowing, I just let it go and see where it takes me.

What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?

Marked in Mexico was probably the easiest to write. It’s set mostly in places in Mexico that I’m familiar with and enjoy, and the characters just clicked. Shrouded In Secrets was the most difficult because it required the most research and it had a complex plot that took a lot of effort to keep straight, but I think the resulting suspenseful archaeological adventure thriller was worth the effort. The most fun would have to be my current Risky Research series project. The first book is A Dose of Danger, the second is A Taste of Tragedy, and the third, A Foundation of Fear, is in progress. The series has been extra rewarding because it allows so much more character development as I continue to reveal new layers to the main characters’ personalities and motivations with each novel.

What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?

I enjoying sharing stories with others and taking readers on amazing adventures all over the world. In most of my books I have ordinary people put in extraordinary situations and it’s always exciting and entertaining to see how they react and if they have what it takes to survive.

What’s your least favorite thing about being a writer?

I love to write and tell stories, but I’m not all that comfortable with the marketing aspect of being a writer. Marketing takes a special talent even if it’s a product you believe in whole-heartedly. Maybe that’s my problem; how do you market something that has become a part of you? It’s difficult to make business decisions about something so personal.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?

I travel whenever and where ever I can, which has provided me with an endless supply of settings for my stories. Probably the most fodder has come from my childhood. I grew up in the country and horses were a huge part of our family life. We recreated in the mountains as a family and had some interesting, and at times, harrowing adventures that often sneak into my stories.

What genre is your favorite to read?

I read, write, and watch adventure and suspense. I love stories of survival against the odds and being taken on adventures and journeys outside the comfort zone of my day-to-day life.

Name two authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing. 

Clive Cussler and James Rollins.

Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

I’m working on my third novel in the Risky Research series titled, A Foundation of Fear. In this novel, we get to know the criminals and those trying to bring them down much more intimately, and learn that even the most ruthless assassin may have something to fear.

What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?

How far will a deadly group go to control the multi-billion dollar-a-year diet product industry, and can anyone stop them?

I chose this line since it the common thread that ties all the novels in the Risky Research series together.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

Even though I try to construct each novel in the Risky Research series to stand alone, I would recommend reading A Dose of Danger first because it will introduce the reader to characters who show up throughout the series and provide additional background.

Tell us about your next (or current) release.

A Taste of Tragedy is the second novel in the Risky Research Series. In the first novel, A Dose of Danger, a researcher and her team believe they have discovered a miracle weight loss pill, which makes them the targets of a deadly group intent on controlling the multi-billion dollar-a-year diet product industry. In A Taste of Tragedy, a company uses and promotes a potentially deadly sweetener in its Healthy and Delicious Foods line. The product turns the company into a global powerhouse, but when their newest vice president uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she is forced to reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits.

How can readers reach you or find you online? 

Readers can find me online at http://KimMcMahill.com, on my blog at http://KimMcMahill.blogspot.com, and I love meeting new followers at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill

Thank you so much, Jana, for having me on your blog. It was a pleasure to be here.

Thank you, Kim! It's been great having you on my blog.


Here's the blurb for A Taste of Tragedy:

Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed . . . until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.


Excerpt: 

“Here, let me help you,” Morgan said as she draped Devyn’s arm around her shoulders.

Morgan tried to relieve as much weight as she could from Devyn as she helped her hobble to the waiting vehicle. Once Devyn was seated in the cramped back seat, Morgan dug out her emergency supply bag. She handed Devyn a blanket and a bottle of water. “I have a first aid kit, but I think you need something a little more than a bandage.”

“It’s just a few scratches. I’ll live.”

Morgan could see why Nick trusted Devyn with his back. As she looked at the battered and bruised woman, who had taken off into the desert in the middle of the night in bare feet to prevent a criminal from getting away, she had to admire her. Devyn had to be in extreme pain, yet not a complaint escaped her lips.

“Make room in the back,” Nick huffed.

Morgan looked up to see Nick trudging toward her with an inert Aaron slung over his shoulder. She raced to the tiny back cargo area and moved a few items around so Nick could squeeze the body in the vehicle.

“Is he dead?” Morgan whispered.

“Not quite, but we need to get him medical help A.S.A.P. The bullet didn’t hit any vital organs, but I’m not sure how much damage he suffered from the knock to the head.”

Morgan watched as Nick set the man down in the vehicle, and then she joined Devyn in the back seat. Turning around and kneeling, she was able to lean over the seat and assess Aaron’s injuries. She folded up a handkerchief and placed it over Aaron’s gunshot wound and applied pressure. She wasn’t sure which was bleeding more, the bullet hole or the bump and cut to the head, but she had to try and slow the blood loss any way she could.

“That’s all we can do for now,” Nick said. “Just keep the pressure on the best you can.”

Morgan nodded as Nick secured the back and then got behind the wheel.

“You okay?” Nick asked as he turned to face Devyn.

“I’ve had better days, but sadly, I’ve had worse.”


Buy link:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DTE29U2/

Bio: 



Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. Kim currently resides in Colorado, and when not writing, she enjoys gardening, travelling, hiking, and spending time with family.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Trevann Rogers loves her Secondary Characters

I'd like to welcome Trevann Rogers to Journeys with Jana today. I love great secondary characters and Trevann has a very interesting S.C. in Consuela. Who doesn't love a drag queen/nanny/Norwegian forest dweller? Please welcome Trevann Rogers.



I often fall in love with so-called secondary characters. Not only do they add depth to the story, but also they offer a window into some element of the protagonist or his situation that the reader wouldn’t otherwise have access to. And sometimes, they steal the show. In my book, HOUSE OF THE RISING SON, one such character is Consuela who, by the way, would take great exception to being referred to as  “secondary”.

Consuela is Huldra, a Norwegian or Scandinavian forest dweller.  She presents as a beautiful woman, but if you see her naked from behind you learn she has a hollow back and a tail. Her people are very seductive, and the females use their wiles to seduce men into marrying them and giving them children. Or they may kidnap human children. Some sources reveal that Hulderfolk have a particular affinity for music.

Her rich heritage makes Consuela perfect for Cheyenne, the hero of the story.  He’s an incubus rocker who has two children. She helps him out by babysitting for him while he works. She’s at once their Mary Poppins and their guardian/protector. She’s Cheyenne’s truth-teller and his only true friend.

But that’s not all she is. Consuela is biologically Huldu—a male. She’s a drag queen (self-identified), with a sassy mouth and a fierce right hook.  She’ll kick your ass if you hurt Cheyenne’s kids. She steals every scene she’s in.

Readers seem to be drawn to Consuela. Perhaps some because she’s hilarious, (“I know a delivery boy who’ll come in 30 minutes or less.”), or because she loves the kids so deeply. I cherish Consuela for both of those reasons, and because of her devotion to Cheyenne in spite of Cheyenne’s secretive, mistrusting nature. She recognizes that he needs her and that they share two common bonds: Their love for his children, and the wish to be more than they are.

House of the Rising Son
Living After Midnight, Book 1
Author: Trevann Rogers
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Cheyenne is a half-human incubus whose star is on the rise in the Unakite City rock scene. His father, the leader of the supernatural races, would prefer he keep a “low profile”, but screw that. Cheyenne has as much music in his veins as royal incubi blood.

Alexander's future is all set—finish law school, join the family firm, and marry someone who'd be good for business. Not that he has a say in any of it. He's barely met the woman his father expects him to marry.

As Cheyenne's musical career takes off, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel, exacerbated by an ex-lover who can't let go, a crotchety barkeeper with a dirty mind and a pure heart, a drag queen who moonlights as a nanny, and Alexander—who's not sure if he's falling for the incubus or the rocker.

Cheyenne denies who he is, while Alexander hides what he wants. Together, they learn that getting what they truly want means being who they truly are.

Warning: Contains hot were-tiger sex, a Thanksgiving celebration that makes the Inquisition look like a tea party, and an incubus who'll rock your world.
~~
Excerpt:

While waiting for their drinks, Alexander studied the deep grooves carved into the table, trying to ignore the friction of Cheyenne’s thigh rubbing against his as the musician tapped a heel to the thump of the DJ’s music. Once the drinks arrived, Alexander downed half the bottle before he realized Cheyenne’s large green eyes were staring at him.

“So where’s your girl, Prudhomme? I mean, Prune Danish. No, wait...”

“Prudish. Shit, Prudence,” Alexander sputtered.

Cheyenne’s eyes sparkled. “No, you got it right the first time. Where is she?”

He shrugged. “Home, I guess.”

Cheyenne cocked his head. “Oh, really?” He put his hand on Alexander’s leg. “What’s up? You can tell me.”

“It’s not working out.” Alexander dragged his teeth over his lower lip. “It’s my fault.” He couldn’t keep his attraction to Cheyenne out of his voice. “I don’t know what’s happening to me.”

Cheyenne put his thumb to his lip and paused. “It’s like the drink.”

Alexander tilted his head, not sure he heard correctly. “The drink?”

“Yeah, that nasty ass bourbon. I bet your father drinks it. Your uncles. All your friends. Everybody, right?”

He didn’t answer, but waited for Cheyenne to continue.

“It was just expected that you’d drink it too. So you did.” His hand moved up Alexander’s thigh. “But now, maybe it’s okay to drink what you like. A different brand, a better vintage. Because you want it. Because it tastes better.” Cheyenne licked his lips. “Because it feels right.”

Alexander cleared his throat and brushed his lap, pushing Cheyenne’s hand away. “I can’t.”

“If you change your mind, let me know.”

“You don’t understand. It’s not that easy. My whole life will change.”

“It already has.”
~~
You can find HOUSE OF THE RISING SON AT:
Samhain Publishing, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

About Trevann
Trevann Rogers writes urban fantasy and LGBT paranormal romances. Her stories incorporate an unquenchable addiction to music and her love for vampires, Weres, incubi and rock stars. Like these elusive creatures, Trevann learned long ago that sometimes being yourself means Living After Midnight.

Find Trevann at:
www.trevannrogers.com
www.facebook.com/trevannr
www.twitter.com/trevannrogers

Friday, September 9, 2016

#AuthorInterview with Miguelina Perez

Today I'm interviewing Regency romance author Miguelina Perez. Miguelina combines the traditional style of a Regency romance with a mystery that two crime-fighting women must solve. So unladylike! But I love it. Please welcome Miguelina Perez!



Where did you get the idea for your new novel?

 A friend of mine and I love Jane Austen. We worked together but sat in separate locations. So one day I started a dialogue with her pretending to be the heroine in a coastal town, early eve with a fog hanging around. So the dialogue began. She would then respond back to me in her character, and from there the novel began to take form. Later we both left our employment and moved to different areas, but I kept a close eye on what was forming on the pages.

Why did you choose this genre? 

There are several reasons. The first one of course being the Regency period. While it is called that because of the Prince, it was really a romantic period. And also because of Jane Austen. I added elements of suspense because of my love for Victoria Holt. She was the first author I discovered in high school.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book you’d like to share?

It was my first book, but what really stands out is in several scenes my fingers just kept on typing as I wrote some of them. Almost as if the book was becoming alive and taking me with it. I love those moments. Those are the moments that tell me I am meant for this.

We writers live for those moments, Miguelina. What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

I think for me it was finding a professional to edit it before I felt comfortable releasing it. For new authors budget is nearly at zero.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Bad more than unusual. I am a lazy writer. I tend to write in my bedroom which is not good because I tend to get sleepy fast. So I have to come up with ways to write…like as soon as I get up from a nap…That way I can’t blame being tired.

Try standing as you write; I find I don't feel as tired. What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?

I would like them to walk away with an appreciation of the world I created. I want them to fall in love with the characters.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

The Vicar’s Deadly Sin is a three part series. So when I am done with that I have an idea for a contemporary romance thriller.

Did you always want to be a writer?

No…I wanted to be a lawyer, but my father said no, that I was going to be a teacher. His sisters were teachers. So I prolonged that and just worked odd jobs, till one day I wrote a passage in less than 15 minutes with no errors. And that is when I knew that the voices I was hearing in my head were the stories that were dying to be born.

Do you work on more than one book at a time?

Yes, I do. As a matter of fact almost finishing the Vicar’s Deadly Sin, I began with number 2, Angel’s Lust, because the ideas at this point start pouring out. For example I am finishing book 2 and already I have 26 pages for book 3, called the Wrath of the Illuminati. All three books will be based on Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard. These are my Nancy Drew of 1815.

Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?

Don’t give up. It is hard, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Read, read, read…That is how Stephen King became a great writer. Don’t let people tell you that the industry wants this or that…That is unless you hope to publish with a big house. I met with a wonderful editor from Random House. When I was telling her what my stories were about her eyes got big and her mouth started drooling. Then she asked the dreaded question. “Where’s the sex?” I said no sex…my stories are about two young ladies from 1815, they fancy themselves detectives. Her response: Her eyes closed up and the drooling stop. She said…”Sorry, readers want sex.” She asked if I would add the sex…I said no.  I know I took a risk, a big risk, but I felt my novel was written as it should have been written. There are a lot of young girls out there that are not having sex at such a young age and hope that they would enjoy these stories more for the message about following your dreams and the importance of family and friends.

I write what I want to write. As long as the grammar is up to par, and my story has some conflict and it develops well along with the characters, I write. I also try to write something that I think readers will enjoy. I remember reading Victoria Holt in the seventies. Her stories were about mystery and eventual finding true love. No sex. At least that I can remember.

When were you first published and how did that happen? Was it a long or short journey?

The journey to publishing can be long or short. Depending on which method you use. For VDS it took me years to finish. Publishing through Createspace took days. My second book has taken several months, but I will finish it a lot faster than VDS.

What is the hardest part of being a writer for you?

I think marketing your book, especially if you are self-published. I have a friend who sold her book to a small press and she still has to do her own marketing. Even though she was under the impression of going with a publisher, she wouldn’t have to, but as it turns out a lot of those small presses are having their authors do a lot of their own marketing. The other hard part is having either no budget or a little one to get the book edited professionally, have a great book cover, etc. So you are left with becoming highly creative to get these things done.

What comes first for you – plot or character?

I think plot. And why? Characters are placed in the story to carry out your plot. Picture taking some people and throwing them in an empty and bland room. Most likely the characters will walk around and perhaps strike a conversation. This can be an endless humdrum of conversation. No purpose, no action, nothing. But if you put them in a haunted house where one by one they are being killed and only one remains. The one that remains, let say, was the killer or one of the ones that were killed earlier is the killer—as in Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am definitely a pantser. I literally sit at the computer and let my fingers do the walking.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope readers learn a little of what it was like for women during the Regency period. How women's suffrage has been around for years before it became a widely known issue in the late 1800s. My stories are about women following up on their dreams and not letting society dictate their lives and learning the importance of friendships. Also while they may be social albatrosses they find love with men that are the very social snobs they are running away from. Of course the men in my stories find that society is not always correct.

What book for you has been the easiest to write?

I have an anthology out on all of the poems, prose, and essays I have written from when I was a teenager all the way through college. The hardest and most fun has been The Vicar’s Deadly Sin.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed?

Oh, boy. I am so glad you asked this. The Vicar’s Deadly Sin was the book I was to have put under the proverbial bed. I was told by many, both newbies and established authors, to put it under the bed. But I had worked so hard on this story and felt it was my calling to get it published that I refused to give. So I worked on it, worked on it…Got a friend to hand out 15 copies of it to her book club. Met with them after they read it. I had beta readers, after beta readers look at it. I even had a woman from Germany look at it. She claimed to have been an editor in her past job. These ladies all did an amazing job, but I was still scared to put it out there. Finally a friend recommended an editor, also an author, who would read it for a reasonable price, I bit the bullet saved some money and sent it off to her. She did three editorial passes of the manuscript. I fixed all of the mistakes and viola. I finally released the final version last month.

Do you write in the same place every day or do you like to change it up?

I write anywhere and anytime I get the chance. The important thing is to write.

What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?

Maybe that I don’t like to stick to one genre. I am toying with a science fiction romance.

What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?

The power of creation.

What’s your least favorite thing about being a writer?

Not being able to write fast enough, but I am working on it.

If writing is your first passion, what is your second? 

I like knitting, but I think reading would be a second passion.

If you could get rid of something in your life that would give you more writing time, what would it be?

That is easy…my full-time job.

Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person?

I love all animals. And mostly because of allergies with cats, I am a dog person. Love yorkies. Though I have a rescue and she is a beagle mix. And quite the handful.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Knitting, reading and watching movies.

Name two authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.

Right now I just finished Loni Lynne’s Unsettled Graves. This is the third in her Crossroads at Kings Mill series. I am trying to finish Mary Behre’s Spirited.

What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?

Pride and Prejudice; and Sense and Sensibility.

What do you like best about your hero in The Vicar's Deadly Sin

That is hard, because I have two heroes and two heroines. Though one of the heroes, I have moulded after Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. The other hero I think of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

What do you like best about your heroine in The Vicar's Deadly Sin?

There is one that is very high strung and doesn’t care much for societal rules. Though she is rich and can do whatever she wants, she knows that it is only because she is rich that that can happen. Had she been poor she would have been at the mercy of society. So she considers herself fortunate.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?

I don’t base their names on real people though I have been known to take the last name of my brother’s best friend and give it to the hero in the contemporary romance thriller. As for characteristics, I make it up as soon as I learn who they are going to be.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

They can find me via my website at: www.miguelinaperezauthor.com

Tell us a little about your current work in progress. 

It is called Angel’s Lust and it is based on the second deadly sin of Lust. This one will have a touch of paranormal in it. It will continue and hopefully end with the romance of Margaret and Latham. I am hoping to have AL finished by December; including edits.

Thanks Miguelina. Best of luck with your writing!


Blurb:

A Touch of Romance…A Touch of Regency…A Touch of Murder…

Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard have been friends since the age of twelve. Together they share their dreams, hopes and a love for reading.  However, it is their wild imagination and a penchant for solving mysteries that will test their abilities when the Vicar of Dover is found murdered.

The young ladies are joined by two gentlemen, also eager to find the murderer in order to prove to the ladies that detecting is a man's job, though the gentlemen find their beauty, wit, and pride more troublesome than solving a murder.

Excerpt:

September 1815
Coast of Dover, England

At half past midnight, the moonless sky hid him as he crossed the cemetery toward the small church. Vane knew the entire town was fast asleep, except those who use the night for illicit activities were out and about. Vane smiled.

Once inside the church, he crept between the pews, closing in on the vicar. Tonight the church, with its protective comfort and arched stained-glass windows, couldn’t protect its sole occupant. That Vane’s prey was a man of God made no difference to him. Vane believed no mercy would have been shown to him had he been the one stalked. The town’s vicar had allowed greed to get the best of him. Vane had become weary of those who stood in his way.

The vicar murmured words from the book he was reading. Vane wanted to laugh at the irony of the vicar’s mission of bringing people closer to God, and now it was up to him to send the vicar to meet his Maker.

Everything he had ever wanted, he had worked hard for. He would be damned if he had to hand his dreams over on a silver platter. The vicar was a fool to think he could blackmail him and get away with it―an unfortunate and fatal error, in fact. Vane quietly crept almost upon the vicar when he noticed a small marble statue of the cross.

Sensing him, the vicar lifted his head from the Bible, and turned, relaxing a little when he realized Vane had come to discuss his terms.

“Oh, hullo. You gave me a fright. You are early, but nonetheless, I’m glad,” the vicar said. “Must be getting back to the house, and the sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can leave.”