Friday, June 15, 2018

Donna Simonetta - #99cent #sale LOVE IS LOVELIER


Donna Simonetta is back with me today to tell us about her .99cent sale on her contemporary romance LOVE IS LOVELIER. The sale will run from June 9-22, 2018. Welcome back, Donna!


Love is Lovelier Blurb:

Heather and Mick have a long history together, and Heather wants to leave it in the past where it belongs. Yet, here Mick is, very much in her present, thanks to her brother Jeff, who hired Mick to be her boss at the Retreat at Rivers Bend.

It wouldn’t be so bad, except Heather and Mick are still attracted to each other like metal to a magnet. Oh, and her brother is considering offering Mick a partnership in the Retreat, which by rights should be hers. And even if they act on their attraction, Heather is a small-town, country girl, and proud of it, whereas Mick can’t get far enough from his West Virginia coal-mining roots.

Will they be able to get a second chance at their first love and find their happy ending together in Rivers Bend?


Excerpt:
“Stick close. I’ll get you out of here.”
He used his broad shoulders as a wedge to propel himself though the crowd; Heather scurried to keep up with him so she could take advantage of the gap he created, not wanting to be so close that she could feel the warmth of his body through his elegant suit, but because she needed somehow to beat this crush of people to the Retreat to make sure that everything was in place for the post-christening party she’d planned for Bethanne – only perfection would do for her BFF.
She watched Mick’s back as she stuck close to him; he looked so strong and fit – it was hard to imagine him the way he was ten years ago, when he’d suffered his NFL career-ending injury, but the same business acumen that kept him with the Portland Pintos organization back then was the reason Jeff and Cisco hired him at the Retreat.
He’d be good for business – she’d just have to keep chanting those words in her head like a mantra, or else she’d do one of two things she’d regret – kill Mick, or kiss him, and she’d gone the kissing route with him before. It did not end well. And tempting as the killing option was at the moment, it probably wouldn’t end any better.

Buy Links:


Author Bio:

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.
Author Links:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Blog Tour with Kat Henry Doran

I'm participating in Kat Henry Doran's blog tour today. She's promoting VENGEANCE IS MINE, three stories about going back to their high school reunion to face the bullies and the people who didn't believe in them. Kat also sits down for an interview and talks about these stories and other stuff. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below! Please welcome Kat Henry Doran! 


Vengeance Is Mine
 a contemporary romantic trilogy 
by Kat Henry Doran
Kat Henry Doran has put together an incredible list of prizes for this tour. They are just beautiful! Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Join us on an exciting tour of great blogs to read more about Vengeance Is Mine, interviews, and guest posts. Remember you may enter every day for a chance to win the prizes. You may find the list of tour location here and you will also find pictures of the prizes here too.

Where did you get the idea for your novel? 

It started out as a series featuring four guys in their late 30’s—early 40’s who return to the town where they were raised after their best friend from back in the day dies suddenly and leaves them each something in his will. When that idea failed to fly, it morphed into a high school reunion series. The “Dead Guy” remained an interesting, though unseen, secondary character in the book. The inheritance became a source of external conflict in “Mad Dog and Archangel”, the first story in Vengeance Is Mine. 

What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?

That through hard work and tenacity it is possible to overcome a dismal past [e.g.--domestic violence, morbid obesity, drug and/or alcohol abuse, societal bias] and triumph over all. Plus, getting revenge on the school bully—someone we all knew—is great fun. 

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

I am right now an it’s killing me. Kill-Ing Me!

What comes first for you – plot or character? And why?

First, last and always, characters come first. I must know who I’m writing about, right down to their favorites in food, music, TV and movies or underwear, their family background and a detailed physical description. Once I’ve finished with a multi-page character outline, I go to work on the plot. If I don’t know my characters inside and out, I won’t know how they’ll react to conflicts and motivations will I?

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

For the past 40 something years I’ve lived with my husband and 3 children in Western New York, near the shores of Lake Ontario. I’ve been writing, quite badly at the beginning, for more than 30 years. 

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

For many years I often had to work at more than one job at the same time to keep food on the table and my kids in parochial school uniforms. The hubs and I worked odd shifts so that one of us was always home for the kids. I’ve had a lot of different and interesting jobs; it’s taught me to manage my time well so being idle makes me nuts. I always have to have something to do—and writing fills up the time. Plus, those interesting jobs gave me a lot of fodder for plot lines and characters.  

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

Actually, I don’t read books any more but I do listen to audio books; in fact, I’m addicted to them. I really like John Sandford’s series featuring Virgil Flowers and Lucas Davenport. If a man can’t make me laugh out loud I don’t want to hear it. I also like Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon books. Wonderful alliterative names, fascinating locations, incredible tension and suspense. 

I'm something of an audiobook addict myself, Kat. What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?

Carnal Innocence and Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts; Envy by Sandra Brown; Mila 18 and Trinity by Leon Uris.

We have some of the same tastes in books. Those are two of my favorite Nora Roberts books. I read Trinity way back in university when I should have been reading my textbooks. What do you like best about your hero?

I have three heroes on Vengeance Is Mine. I like Rory McElroy for his dry humor; Mick Dineen because he works every day to make amends for past behaviors yet doesn’t advertise it; and Rafe Archangeli because he’s a redeemed man thanks to his [dead] best friend and works every day to help others. 

What do you like best about your heroine? 

Vengeance features three heroines: Dru Horvath never gives up in her drive to help those who are victims of political and moral abuses; Fiona Thorpe changed herself inside and out then went on to make herself a star; and Grace Dunavan has a whippy sense of humor and doesn’t hesitate to laugh at herself.


How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters?

The names I give characters come after I’ve chosen their occupations and heritage. For example, Grace Dunavan is of Irish heritage. I named her after Amazing Grace, a local nun who advocates for the homeless in our community. Druzilla Horvath is a Hungarian Gypsy by birth. I picked her first name because I wanted the nuns who raised her to mis-pronounce her name as Droo-zheela; Horvath is a common Hungarian name. Rory McElroy is named after my daughter and NOT the current golf phenomena. I hate golf but I like watching Rory on the links. He has a nice . . . swing and an interesting twinkle in his eyes. 

 



Blurb: Ever think about going back to study hall to face down the school bully? The mean girls? The brainless jocks who made your life a pure misery? For Dru Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist; Rafe Archangeli, Scourge of Summerville who now heads a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe who recreated herself into an A-list model with her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up. Will they find the vengeance they crave? Or something more valuable? 




Buy Links:

Excerpt:

“Tough way to find out about the other woman.”

“Other woman, hell,” Dru groused. “The assistant was some young stud from Tommy's gym with abs to die for.”

With that. she side-stepped him and reached for the knob on the bathroom door.

Fast on his feet, Rory's counter move brought them nose to nose. “Play much poker, Horvath?”

“I don't know what you mean.”

“Before you started trash talking the cheating ex-husband, your face lit up like the Fourth of July. That tells me you've got something stashed in the tote. Until you let me look inside, it stays out here.”

Clutching the canvas tote to her chest, she sneered, “The only thing in here is my outfit for tonight's event. If you think I'd go naked, one of us is a couple fries short of a happy meal.”

His response came in the form of another gimme motion with those thick, blunt fingers. “How about I close my eyes if I encounter any lacy unmentionables?”

“As if.”

She knew the instant he found the back-up phone. The screw-you look morphed into a smirk. “It's not smart to mess with Homeland Security, sweetie. Those guys eat small rodents for breakfast.”





Author Bio: Legal nurse consultant, victim advocate, sexual assault nurse examiner Kat Henry Doran and her alter ego, Veronica Lynch, has been there and done that--many times over. She often travels to the wilds of Northern New York State, witnessing the wonders of mother nature at her best. From the shores of Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River to the historic Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, she creates stories featuring strong women and the men who love them. When not writing, she can be found lashed to one of her sewing machines--or chauffeuring the four brightest stars in her life: Meredith and Ashlin, Owen and Kieran.

For more information on Kat and Veronica, go to:


Friday, June 8, 2018

Misty Simon Answers 5 Quick Questions

Today's guest is Misty Simon and she's my first guest to participate in a new feature on my blog called "Quick 5". Answer five quick questions and we'll learn so much more about you. She's also going to tell us about her Tallie Graver mystery GROUNDS FOR REMORSE. Welcome to my blog, Misty!


Quick 5 from Misty Simon - 

- Favorite color? Purple, so much purple!
- Coffee or tea? All the tea!
- Pie or cake? What kind? Bring me cake :) Anything with chocolate and/or peanut butter
- Party life or quiet dinner for two? Quiet dinner for two on most nights but I do like the party sometimes.
- I'm always ready for (fill in the blank). An opportunity to talk with people and make connections. I love hearing other people's stories and especially talking to random strangers.


Blurb for GROUNDS FOR REMORSE:

No more cheating . . .

Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they’re part and parcel of the family business, Graver’s Funeral Home. Even though she’s traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they’re the vessels that contain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging.

But when Gina’s new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can’t contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina’s locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she’ll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .

Excerpt: 

After taking out my phone, I texted her to let her know the Lothario was here and she should get her ass downstairs, pronto.

She texted back with one of those overly long strings of emoticons involving all kinds of hearts and little yellow faces blowing kisses, clapping hands and a cupid. God, I hoped this guy was not going to end up being a loser.

I was half tempted to walk over to his table just to block him from any other admiring female eyes when Gina burst through the swinging door at the back, cutting off that thought. She practically floated to the table with a beaming smile on her face. Her black hair was perfectly coiffed, red lipstick shone on her lips and she was dressed in her best outfit.

My hope that this guy was not a jerk, and that my intuition was off, rose exponentially. She was invested, and as her best friend, I was then invested, too.

Scooting his chair back, he stood, taking her in from head to toe in a way that spoke volumes. She was lovely, and he’d better appreciate that, along with her good heart and her generous ways. Or I’d tackle him to the ground myself.

After walking around the table to kiss her on the cheek, he moved her chair out and motioned her into it. Only then did he hand her the roses. Nicely done, in my opinion.

I deliberately let my bad feelings dissipate as I headed back to Mama Shirley and her stellar coffee-pouring skills.

“Think this one’s a keeper?” I grabbed the rag on the end of the counter and pretended to clean a spot that was already shiny. This was Gina’s fourth guy in as many months. The rest had been wrong for her in one way or another. I had my doubts that this one was any better.

He was a smooth talker, though. I was close enough to hear what Gina and Craig cooed at each other. Some of his lines were definitely swoon-worthy, I’d give him that. I wouldn’t have fallen for them, of course, but he did have good delivery and perfect timing. I’d give him that, too.

“I don’t know.” Mama Shirley interrupted my critique of Craig’s game. She scrunched up her face and my stomach clenched.

“Should I have told her to stay upstairs?” I whispered.

“I don’t know that, either. I can’t quite get a bead on this one, and I’m usually pretty good with that kind of thing. Something might be off, or I might just not be ready to lose my baby to a man.”

“Well, it’s early days, right?” I leaned back against the counter so Gina couldn’t see my face. “I’m just not sure, though.”

Mama looked at me out of the corner of her eye and barely moved her mouth when she said, “Time will tell.”

“Fair enough.” I tossed the rag into the sink and reached for the nearest napkin dispenser when the front door crashed open.

“You bitch!”

I spun around to find out who was making such an entrance and who they were directing it at.
A flurry of brown hair and flying elbows came across the polished wood floor as the woman went after Gina, tipping her chair back and going for the eyes. In a flash, I was behind my best friend and saved her from falling over completely and crashing to the floor. But it took precious seconds, and I wasn’t able to stop whoever this was from grabbing Gina by her perfectly coiffed hair.

Mama Shirley was faster than she’d probably ever been. Rolling pin in hand and the hounds of fury in her eyes, she wedged herself between the woman and Gina, practically sitting in Gina’s lap. Mama brandished her rolling pin at the woman and yelled what sounded like a war cry.

My ears hurt and I winced. Gina came by her volume honestly.

“You’d better back off,” I chimed in, trying to get the woman’s hand to loosen in Gina’s hair.

“I will bean you so hard, you’re gonna see stars,” Mama Shirley added.

That was apparently enough to get the woman to let go. She took a few steps back, her double Ds heaving and her nostrils flaring.

Who was this person?


Author bio:


Misty Simon loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter and three insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at misty@mistysimon.com

Author Links:

http://www.mistysimon.com

https://www.facebook.com/misty.simon.18


Buy links:

https://www.amazon.com/Grounds-Remorse-Tallie-Graver-Mystery/dp/1496712234

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grounds-for-remorse-misty-simon/1127062580?ean=9781496712233#/


Available wherever books are sold.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

#NewRelease from Kathy Otten: A Place In Your Heart

Kathy Otten is here with her new release from The Wild Rose Press. A PLACE IN YOUR HEART is a historical romance set during the American civil war. The hero of this novel is different from your typical romance hero. The heroes in romance novels are often very confident, sometimes to the point of cockiness. But Charles is socially awkward, especially with the heroine. And he tells really bad jokes. Welcome Kathy! 


Thanks for having me today. My new book A Place In Your Heart was just released and I appreciate being able to share a bit about it with you.

It took me years to write, partly because my job and family kept me busy, but I was also working on another project at the time. The research for this novel which takes place during the Civil War, was daunting at times, but fun. Because the hero is a surgeon, it was tough keeping his knowledge true to the period, and I spent a lot of time perusing medical books from that time. Charles was a different sort of hero because he’d spent so much of his life alone with books that he had no social skills and was at a loss when it came to dealing with his attraction to the heroine, a feisty Irish nurse named Gracie McBride.

Blurb, A Place In Your Heart:

Gracie McBride isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for respect. But in this man’s world of Civil War medicine, Gracie is expected to maintain her place changing beds and writing letters. Her biggest nemesis is the ward surgeon, Doctor Charles Ellard, who seems determined to woo her with arrogant kisses and terrible jokes.

Charles is an excellent surgeon. He assumed he would be well received by an army at war. He was not. Friendless and alone, he struggles to hide the panic attacks that plague him, while the only person who understands him is a feisty Irish nurse clearly resolved to keep him at a distance.

But, Charles is sent to the battlefield, and Gracie is left with a wounded soldier, a box of toys, and a mystery which can only be solved by the one man she wishes could love her, both as a woman and a nurse.

Excerpt: 

I wanted to pick a scene to share which showcased a glimpse of that relationship, but it was hard to find something short enough. Prior to this scene, Dr. Ellard had thought if he could make Gracie laugh she might begin to like him. So he purchased a book of jokes and jests and memorized a joke to tell her. 

Like the medical knowledge, I wanted to find jokes that would be true to the time. The closest I could find was a book called Beeton’s Book of Jokes and Jests, which actually came out many years after the war, but they seemed to capture the humor of the time, so all the jokes Dr. Ellard tells Gracie came from this book.

Leaving Micah, Robbie, and Harvey to finish up the meals, Gracie filled a basin with cold water and returned to bed twelve. Wringing out several cloths, she lay one across his forehead, slipped one behind his neck, and tucked two more inside each armpit.

“I’ll come back later with fresh water.” She adjusted his blanket then picked up the basin. Mindful of spilling the contents, she maneuvered carefully around the chair, took two steps forward, and slammed into something solid.

The enamelware basin hit the wooden floor with a clang that echoed through the ward as the basin wobbled in circles for several seconds like a spinning top about to fall on its side.

“By the saints, can ye not look where yer going?” Pinching the bib of her apron, she held it away from the bodice of her dress as she quickly pulled free the pins that secured it. Looking up she could only sigh, wondering why she was even surprised to find him there.

“I was not going,” Doctor Ellard pointed out. “I was standing.”

“Well, ye should not have been standing.” Reaching behind, she tugged free the ties of her apron. “Ye should’ve stepped aside for me to pass.”

Rolling the garment into a ball, she used the dry end to blot at the wet spots on her dress.

“I assumed you saw me.”

“How could I be doing that with me head down, making certain I’d not spill the water?”

She glared at him, expecting him to at least pick up the basin. Then with a frustrated sigh, she dropped to her knees and using her apron, mopped the puddle. As she rose she snatched up the basin and slapped the wet apron inside. When he didn’t move, she side stepped around him.

“Mrs. McBride, wait.”

She swung around and narrowed her gaze on his face. He drew a breath as if he were about to speak then said nothing.

She waited.

“A king was asked,” Doctor Ellard began. “Why in some kingdoms he could be crowned at the age of fourteen, yet not be allowed to marry until he was eighteen.”

Baffled, Gracie stared at him. Had the man gone daft? He looked perfectly serious however, as though he were carefully repeating the memorized passage of a book.

“‘Because, answered the king, it is easier to govern a kingdom than a woman.’”

Every muscle in her body stilled. She wasn’t even sure she remembered to breathe as she stared at him. A joke? Was that a joke?

She drew a deep breath. “Ye’d best thank the Heavenly Father that he made you a brilliant surgeon, Doctor Ellard. For if ye had to make yer way in this world as the writer o’ comedies, ye’d starve.”

Then taking the basin and apron, she upended them against his chest and marched straight down the center of the wide aisle.

Buy Links:

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKYZ61M
The Wild Rose Press - https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5824-a-place-in-your-heart.html

Author Bio:

Kathy Otten is the published author of multiple historical romance novels, novellas, and short stories. She is also published in contemporary romance and historical fiction. She is a Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star winner and Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist. A Place In Your Heart is her fourth full-length novel . Currently, she is putting the finishing touches on a contemporary young adult novel.

She teaches fiction writing online and at a local adult education center, and is a regular presenter at area events. Kathy is also available for manuscript assessments and editing. She lives in the rolling farmland of western New York where she can often be found walking her dog through the woods and fields. She has been married for thirty-four years and is the mother of three grown children and one grandson.

Kathy can be contacted at kathy@kathyotten.com
Web site https://www.kathyottenauthor.com

Monday, June 4, 2018

Countdown Deal - Truth and Solace

I'm holding a Countdown Deal on TRUTH AND SOLACE, Book 3 in my Love at Solace Lake Series, from June 4 to 9, 2018. It'll go something like this:

First two days of Deal - TRUTH AND SOLACE is .99 cents
Next two days - $1.99
Last two days - $2.99
End of sale - TRUTH AND SOLACE is back to its regular price of $3.99.



Series Blurb:
Love is worth the risk…

When their grandfather dies, the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie, inherit the northern Minnesota fishing lodge that had been in their family for three generations. The inheritance is bittersweet. They were raised at the lodge by their grandparents. The natural beauty of the place hasn’t changed, but the building itself is crumbling and desperately in need of repair. The lodge also reminds them of what they lost. Twenty-two years previously, their parents died there in what was ruled a murder/suicide.

 As the sisters struggle to breathe new life into the failing lodge, old fears and questions rise to the surface even as new love presents itself. Why did their father murder their mother? What truths did their grandparents keep from them? The sisters must fight to keep the wounds of the past from putting their futures, and their fledgling relationships, in jeopardy.

Blurb, Truth and Solace:
The truth could destroy them. Or set them free.

Maggie Lindquist left Solace Lake determined never to return. Circumstances have pulled her back and she’s helping to restore her family’s dilapidated fishing lodge. When she agreed to the plan she didn’t expect to have to work side by side with the man who abandoned her ten years earlier. She didn’t expect to like him, or want him ever again. But can she trust him as she once did?

Luke Carlsson rushes home to tend to his ailing mother. Her lengthy illness means he needs to stay, at least temporarily. And to stay, he needs to work. Solace Lake Lodge offers him a job and an opportunity to work with the woman he’s never stopped loving. But the restoration is unleashing secrets hidden for decades and no one is left unscathed. Especially not Maggie and Luke, whose love needs to be resilient enough to forgive, and strong enough to build a future together.


Buy Links:






Excerpt:

A memory flashed through her mind. Luke driving an ancient, mostly rusty Ford pickup to the lodge that summer. He’d worked odd jobs summers and after school for three years to buy it and keep it running. The old Ford had been his pride and joy. 


Every chance they got, they’d sneak off in the Ford and park somewhere secluded. They’d been in that truck the first time Luke had kissed her. He’d pulled her toward him and covered her mouth with his, and she’d sworn she’d heard angels singing. And then, her body had gone up in flames in a very unangel-like way. As the summer went on, they’d grown bolder in their explorations. Harper had given her ‘the lecture’ on sex, but she hadn’t prepared her for the way her body would react to Luke’s kisses, or his touch. Like the way her nipples would harden as he caressed her breasts, and the way her panties would dampen. And when he’d reached inside her panties and inserted a finger inside her—

“Are you ready?” 

Maggie stared at Luke in incomprehension. And then the present returned with forceful fury. Heat infused her cold cheeks. They were on their way to see his sick mother. Her thoughts shamed her. 
She reminded herself that Luke had left her once and would do so again. The heat and her vivid memory dissipated.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Lucy M. Loxley and HER HUMBLE ADMIRER

Regency Romance writer Lucy M. Loxley sits down today for an interview. Lucy's novella, HER HUMBLE ADMIRER, is up for a Rone award. Best of luck, Lucy!



Here's our interview:


Where did you get the idea for your HER HUMBLE ADMIRER?

I was part of a Sunday night writers group. This novel began as a writing prompt exercise our leader gave us one week, to take 20 minutes and pen a fan fiction. I’m a Jane Austen fan (Janeite) from way back, and I immediately began (curled up in my cozy chair) to scrawl a Regency-befitting protagonist I named Livia. I recall the amusement as we went around the group, reading our excerpts, and a few writers chuckled at the banter between my protagonists (that’s how I knew I was onto something). I was hooked, and although I’d never before written fan fic, I kept going with my draft for another eight months—fleshing out the story’s plot, love triangle, and supporting characters until it became the current novella.

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

Historical accuracy, especially in the most-fun-to-write scene, the dining scene at Duchess Jayne Asquith’s birthday supper in Chapter Three. Thankfully, my editor and publisher, Jude, (Uncial Press) is amazing and caught a few foibles/historical inaccuracies in my first submitted draft. She provided some wonderful resource links about what Regency-era Brits ate and the mores for who sat where at table that were fascinating to read and really fleshed out my scene. I’m most proud of the dining chapter and how it turned out, after the challenge of making sure the characters followed the Regency rules of decorum (which I was mostly unaware of as a modern American woman).

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I get my best ideas around water—while washing dishes, swimming, in the shower, picnicking at lakes. There’s just something about water and my creative process!

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

Yes, I’m always working on multiple projects at one time. So many ideas, so little time! Plus, I love variety— of settings, characters, and genres. I always have a few stories cooking at one time, and sometimes poems, too.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a certified pantser. I get an idea and run with it, 90% or more of the time. True, I end up doing a fair amount of rewriting later, but that, too, can be a part of the magical process of writing. I love that feeling of a character saying or doing something that surprises me, as I know it will also surprise the readers.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

An escape into a slower-paced landscape. Also, I hope readers find the riddles in the letters as amusing as the banter between the characters—all were great fun to write, which I think shines through in the book.

What’s your favorite time management tip?

Write when the rest of the house is quiet, either early in the morning or late at night. The fewer the distractions, the better.

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

Hands-down: photography. Both writing and photography share a fascination with imagery and resonance. If I hadn’t decided to formally study writing and literature, I would have studied photography. I’m a shutterbug for sure.

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

In a cottage by the sea. I don’t want a house that’s too big or I’d have to clean more often, taking time away from my writing. I like cozy, nook-like spaces, and then taking walks and wanders near the waves.

What did you want to be (occupation-wise) when you were a child?

A writer! Fancy that, as my protagonist, Livia, might say. Well, first I wanted to be an astronaut, but my aptitude for science is far less than what my six-year-old self thought. Happily, both occupations involve a huge amount of imagination, study, and release into the unknown.

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

Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (the first writing craft book I ever read, and I’ve read it numerous times since—it’s always great for energizing the Muse and includes fun exercises) and, from my fellow Regency author: any of Sabrina Jeffries’ historical heroines—they are amazing!

What do you like best about your hero in HER HUMBLE ADMIRER?

Sir James Dorchester is reserved yet thoughtful. He’s also a verbal wit more than a show-offy playboy, which I (and many readers) appreciate.

What do you like best about your heroine in HER HUMBLE ADMIRER

Livia Hightower is imaginative and romantic. She’s also a loyal friend, which is something everyone deserves in this lifetime.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

You can connect with me on Facebook at Lucy M. Loxley: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015885510935 

Do you have an event coming up you’d like to tell us about?

I found out two weeks ago that Her Humble Admirer was nominated for a RONE Award from In D’tale Magazine. I was thrilled with the news. I’ll find out in the future if my novella won; keep your fingers crossed for me!

Is there anything we haven’t covered here that you’d like to tell readers?

Whether you’re a Janeite, a fan of historical fiction, or enjoy a sweet and romantic story that will sweep you away, give Her Humble Admirer a whirl around the ballroom floor (yes, there is, indeed, a Welcome Ball as well)!

Best of luck with the Rone awards, Lucy!



Blurb, Her Humble Admirer:

Livia Hightower is more than a little intrigued when the morning mail brings a most unexpected delivery.

Dearest Livia,
The call of the nightingale is but a sorrowful, plaintive psalm
Next to the sterling hue of my lady’s eyes, gazing mine.
It is signed simply Your Humble Admirer.

Again and again similar notes arrive in the post. Could it be a beguiling coincidence that they coincide with the arrival in the neighborhood of handsome Mr. Framingham? Surely Livia's childhood friend, James, would never indulge in such romantic behavior, especially when he openly distrusts whoever is sending the tender missives.

With each new note, Livia becomes more convinced that her future lies with the sender. If only she could learn who he is...

Excerpt:

“Miss Jones put on a lovely concert on the pianoforte at Lord Ballymore’s party. Simply grand,” announced Miss Anne Framingham, Mr. Framingham’s younger sister.

The seventeen-year-old’s frock was as golden yellow as her hair, a chemissette at the neck was trimmed with a frothy ruffle that Livia surmised must be the fashion in Bath, from where Anne and her sisters had recently returned. While her nervous hand smoothed the napkin into her lap, Livia wondered if her own dress, a robin’s egg blue, stood her in as good a stead.

Will he notice I’ve worn the diamond combs he complimented in his letters?

“I should think the pianoforte tedious were it not for harp accompaniment,” said the duchess.

“The bird in the corner cage is assuredly a popinjay!” said the duke in a surly tone from his seat at the table’s foot.

Around the table, eyes met and then quickly deflected to their plates. Although beautifully outfitted, the room held neither birds nor cages.

“Furthermore, I have named him Eddie and will brook no resistance on this matter,” his grace continued with insistence and a louder volume.

The poor man! The rumors must be true about his gathering confusion.

“I daresay Miss Jones’ renditions of ‘The Last Rose of Summer’ and the sonata by Pleyel were most heavenly indeed,” Anne persisted, the conversation progressing forward to the relief of all others present.

At the head of table, the duchess, the guest of honor, smiled at her niece with pity at her dim intelligence. It was the sort of smile that bared her upper teeth and none of the lower.

“I dare say she does play a fine Irish Air,” offered Mr. Framingham.

Livia thought it endearing that he supported his sister’s enthusiasms. She spooned up the last of her turtle soup and took a final nibble of venison as the servants cleared the dishes for the second course.

“Which is your favorite, Miss Hightower? Thomas Moore’s airs or Pleyel’s sonatas?” Mr. Framingham’s direct address sent a tremor through Livia. His tones were dulcet. She was quite pleased to have been seated at his left.

“To play, I find Pleyel’s sonatas quite divine.” Her heart beat a staccato as she dared a peek directly into his brown eyes. “But I must admit there’s something surpassing to ‘Oft in the Stilly Night.’”

“My favorite as well.” Anne beamed as footmen brought plovers’ eggs in aspic jelly. “That composition is of the utmost beauty.”

“It seems,” said Mr. Framingham, “that this is a topic of which you and my sister are of like mind.”

It would be lovely to have his sister’s approval, Livia thought, blushing as she dipped a spoon into the delicate egg. Perhaps on the ride home she would recommend Livia as a lady with the utmost musical taste. That couldn’t be at all hurtful to her cause.

“I should like to hear you play, if that would be agreeable.”

She turned and found Mr. Framingham’s fork lying unused on the linens, as if eating were the furthest thing from his mind. His smile was altogether hopeful and most endearing. She gently lay her spoon aside, lest she draw attention to his not eating.

Had anyone heard his forward invitation? It seemed unlikely, as Anne was already chatting with Sir Ian Marvel about her cutting garden, the duke and her father were discussing the shipping forecast as her grace had declared her great preference for Sir Walter Scott over Percy Bysshe Shelley.


Emboldened by her dinner companions’ disinterest, Livia replied, “I should like that very much.”


Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Her-Humble-Admirer-Lucy-Loxley-ebook/dp/B07595W9HD

Author Bio:


Once upon a time, Lucy M. Loxley was an English major at a small liberal arts college. Her favorite classes were Brit Lit and Women Writers of the 18th and 19th Centuries, where she encountered Jane Austen and the Regency period and promptly fell in literary love at first read. Since then, she’s taught high school and college (writing and history classes), studied photography, and significantly expanded her book collection.  She lives in the Mid-Atlantic but dreams of a pilgrimage to Austen’s haunts one day soon. Her Humble Admirer is her first Regency.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Kathryn Scarborough has an Amazing Story!

My guest today is Kathryn Scarborough, and she has a story about how fiction unexpectedly turned into fact. Or rather how her fictional character turned into a flesh and blood person. I'm sure you'll enjoy her story. Welcome Kathryn!

I’m so thrilled to be asked to write a blog for Jana Richards, thanks Jana!  I have written a little story about meeting face to face with the hero of my book.

“A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Staples Office Supply”

My husband and I had been talking for some time about getting a new laptop, so one rainy afternoon a few weeks ago, we drove down to our local Staples in Brier Creek, North Carolina. The young tech my husband was speaking to had his back to me. I was looking through some of the cool office supplies, drooling over this or that, (oooo wouldn't that look nice in my office! If only I had the room!). The first time I had a chance to look at the young man was when my husband and he, brought the chosen laptop to the register. I felt my mouth open in surprise, and I think I stopped breathing. For low and behold the tech looked just like Jim O'Flannery, (as my editor Mary said, his face WAS a little fuller).

My book, The Wild Mountain Thyme had just been released from the Wild Rose Press a few days before, and Jim O'Flannery is the hero in the book. O'Flannery, is most likely a made up name, I have never heard it in all the my reading about Ireland, and I have had a real love for that island nation most of my life. But, Jim O'Flannery, just like his name, was a product of my own imagination. I haven't spoken to writers that this has happened to; that you meet face-to-face with someone you've made up, someone who is living inside your head. To find someone in the flesh, as it were, is quite a jolt to the senses. I didn't say anything at the time, but I kept thinking about this tech who looked like someone I had made up in my head more than a decade before.

Before I could change my mind, I hustled on down to the Staples and found the young man again working behind the tech counter. I went up to him with a tentative, 'please don't think I'm crazy, but you look just like the hero in my book.' I had a few postcards I had made up with the cover of the book and a blurb on the back and handed him one. He said,'wow, I'll look this up.' I told him that he was probably the only real person I'd ever seen who looked just like the person in my head.

Writers live in their heads.  A lot. To be faced with something that is three-dimensional and warm (!) and breathing, as I said, is quite a jolt.

Before I left the store, the tech came up to me and said, 'now who am I again? (in the book), I'm very flattered.' I hope he didn't think that I saw him last week and wrote the book and got it published all in that small amount of time before I told him about it. I didn't have the heart to tell him that when Jim O'Flannery first came into my mind he, the tech, had either been in grade school or hadn't been born yet.

Jim O'Flannery, in The Wild Mountain Thyme, is a flawed character. He has warts just like the rest of us and puts his foot in his mouth more often than is good for him. But he sure is a grand, beautiful man, and to see a three-dimensional speaking person just like the one I made up in my head decades before was something that still makes my jaw slide south.

You can get The Wild Mountain Thyme, from the Wild Rose Press or from Amazon. And I have it on good authority, that there will soon be an audio rendition of the book.


Blurb, The Wild Mountain Thyme:

There’s a serial killer murdering Irish-American tourists all over Ireland.  Jim O’Flannery of the Boston Globe and Megan Kennedy of the Irish Times, are teamed up to report on the killings.  They want to work together, but stay clear of each other emotionally; there was A LOT of trouble with the opposite sex in the past.  But, Jim’s guardian angel appears, as a leprechaun, to pester and cajole Jim into getting involved with Megan.  Jim can see Seamus, Megan can’t.

Jim and Megan trail the murderer to the west coast of Ireland, piecing together his motivation and where he may strike next.
 
An attempt is made on their lives, and only Jim’s quick wits saves the two.  Megan disappears.  Has the killer kidnapped her?  Can Jim, with Seamus’s help, save her from mortal danger?

Excerpt:

The elevator started again, but jarred to a stop suddenly between floors.  There was not a sound.
Jim felt as though he’d  fallen into a vacuum. He stood very still and tried not to breathe. The only sound was the rapid beat of his heart.

A puff of green smoke rose from the floorboards. It wavered through the air and wrapped itself around Jim as it hovered and shimmered. Out of the swirling vapor popped a little man about three feet tall. He wore a Kelly green waistcoat, green breeches, green knee-high stockings, and green shoes with shiny silver buckles. Jim backed against the wall of the elevator as he felt the blood rush from his face and into his feet. His jaw slid south, and his heart hammered painfully.

“I’m not trying to give you palpitations, boy-o, but  you must listen. Aye?” said the apparition.  The little man had a long, crooked nose, slightly slanted, pale blue eyes, pointy ears, and a long stemmed pipe clutched between his teeth. His bright, fiery red hair fell down around his shoulders in soft waves. He had a beard of the same fiery red shade that curled in front of his chin, like he’d used a curling iron to force it into shape. He held his hat, an elf’s pointed cap, in front of him, as he stared intently at Jim.  Jim felt the air whoosh out of him as he slid  soundlessly to the floor of the elevator. And then he forgot to breathe.  The little man walked up to him, nose to nose and in an undertone, he said very quietly, “Boo.”

Jim gasped.

“Grand. I had to get you breathing again.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Mountain-Thyme-Kathryn-Scarborough-ebook/dp/B078KB3ZHW

The Wild Rose Press:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5560-the-wild-mountain-thyme.html?search_query=Kathryn+Scarborough&results=2

Author Bio:


Kathryn Scarborough is an acclaimed author of historical thrillers, light romance, and romantic suspense. She was a musician and teacher for many years but finds herself writing now more than any of the other two endeavors. She is married and she and her husband have four grown children, two grand daughters, and two grandsons. They reside in NC.


She has a trilogy of books, 2 of which are out on Amazon, Deception, and The Locket. The stories are of one family spanning nine decades and a world war. The 3rd book is being written now.

Author Links:

Website - http://www.scarboroughbooks.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/scarboroughbooks/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/kathy60snc

Email - kathryn@scarboroughbooks.com