Tag Archives: books

Thursday Threads Welcomes Cathy MacRae


Here’s the blurb from:

The Highlander’s Accidental Bride

Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

Heat level: sensual

Blurb:

Chaos reigns between the Scott and Barde clans in 14th century Scotland. To end the generation’s long feud, King Robert II of Scotland decrees Eaden, Laird Scott, and Lady Miriam Barde wed with all haste. When marriage negotiations break down, King Robert threatens Eaden with the loss of his lands and title. Forced to take matters into his own hands, the laird kidnaps his bride, only to find the young woman he mistakenly drags to his marriage bed is not Laird Barde’s daughter, but her lady companion. 

 Mary Marsh fights for her freedom from the laird and the unwanted marriage, refusing to accept her new life as Lady Scott. Realizing his error, Laird Scott develops an attachment to the feisty young woman he has accidentally married. Can he win her heart and convince her she is more than just a ‘duty’ to him? Or will the bond forged between the lady’s companion and the laird be destroyed by secrets and a feud that will not be laid to rest?

Hook: Shocked to find herself married to the laird, Mary sees little to recommend her new life as Lady Scott. Until Laird Scott sets out to prove their accidental marriage was no mistake.

Excerpt:

King Robert frowned fiercely. “What have ye done?” he asked, his voice hard.

“I’d tried speaking to Barde and doing things the traditional way. He was less than enthusiastic and mentioned hell freezing over as the only possible wedding date. His daughter was equally certain she’d no’ marry into the Scott clan.” Eaden shrugged. The feud between their families was generations old. He hadn’t wanted a Barde bride, either. “So I kidnapped her, carried her back to Scott Castle, and we married the same day.”

King Robert sat bolt upright in his chair, shocked surprise clear on his slack-jawed face. “Ye kidnapped her?” He wheezed, unable to inhale a proper breath, and pointed an accusatory finger at Eaden. “Ye actually forced her to marry ye?”

“Nay, Sire. I simply saw ‘twas done in a timely manner and without bloodshed.”

“How certain are ye her father is not, this instant, standing before the walls of Scott Castle, demanding his daughter be returned to him? Are ye trying to promote peace or war?”

Eaden gave an exasperated snort. “He cannae cry foul. I have the papers ye signed. And I have men keeping an eye on Barde.” He shifted in his chair uncomfortably. “The marriage is irrevocable. She is now well and truly my wife.”

King Robert collapsed back into his chair. “Do ye no’ ken the ruinous upheaval yer actions could provoke? ‘Tis true I commanded the marriage. I know how ye dinnae favor the alliance. But kidnapping the lass is a far cry from having the marriage properly planned and executed!”

The king stewed for a moment, as if consumed in vigorous contemplation. At last he shrugged. “Scott.” His voice invoked not Eaden’s friend, but Robert II, King of Scotland. “Inasmuch as ye have followed my orders to the letter, if not their actual intent, I hereby commit yer title and land to ye and to yer descendants.”

He leaned forward and clasped Eaden’s shoulder. “I hope ye dinnae have cause to regret yer hastiness.”

Eaden winced. He already did.

* * *

Buy link: http://www.amzn.com/B00BMFPT12

Website: http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cathy.macrae.58

Twitter: @CMacRaeAuthor

  

Let’s Have Dessert First!


In the spirit of the season, we’re posting dessert first on the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop. But first, here’s a tidbit from Heather Miles!

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the rafflecopter to win those fabulous prizes!

HEATHER MILES

 

Heather miles

My web address for my blog is: www.heathermiles.net/blog

Facebook: Heather Miles
Twitter: Heather Miles (@heathermmiles) | Twitter

Heat level 8

Kasey Blakely doesn’t know that her date is anything more than incredibly hot. It’s after things have moved past friendship, that she learns her new lover is also slated to be her partner in a corporate merger. He knew it all along withholding his identity to have her.

Self-assured, future CEO, Kasey Blakely stumbles into Joshua Crawford, leaving her breathless and momentarily senseless. Taken with her, he learns she’s more than just a beautiful woman, she’s slated to be his partner in a corporate merger. Never feeling as smitten or intrigued, he’ll do anything to have her, including, not revealing his last name. After a passionate exchange and the prospect he could lose her, does he come clean with his identity. Always confident, Kasey, struggles with her growing love for a man who has claimed her heart and changed her world, but should be forbidden. She’s all in…then all out. Despite the warnings not to mix business with pleasure, Kasey and Joshua risk it all. Committing to return to California with Joshua, Kasey’s world unravels. Were her fears right, or can they manage the MERGER of their hearts and their future partnership?

Find it on Amazon! 

**************************************************************************

And now, for my posting on dessert…

Ah, dessert, elusive dessert. Dessert has always been the bane of my existence. Mostly because I love it so, so much. I love baked goods, but I never really made them. Let’s just say that I learned to cook at a young age as a survival skill,  but baking seemed beyond me (probably because, like Lemony Snicket, there was a series of unfortunate (baking) events. Though these incidents did fuel my love of firefighters. They’d all show up in their turnouts, and I would hide somewhere with a good view while someone explained about the rolls. Or the bread. Or the popcorn. Or how the back wall of the kitchen just happened to catch on fire. Twice. And I swear, by all that it good, that I wasn’t the one doing this. I have my own baking mishaps, but the fire department never came to those).

In any case, I was a box cake, buy it at the store, kind of girl.

And then I became allergic to eggs. My first baking episode post diagnosis looked like this:

My super awesome disaster

Yes, that is an actual picture of a real cake I sort of made. I keep it because it’s both funny AND sad, which always makes for a great story. Apparently, without eggs (and using a baking soda egg replacer), a box cake will turn into, at the slightest touch, chocolate dust. This was five years ago, for my son’s second birthday. And yes, I squished it together with a mixture of willpower, upper air strength, and frosting. It held together long enough to take this picture, sing Happy Birthday, and look at it sideways. And then, it was frosting-covered chocolate dust.

It was horrible (tasted OK, as I recall, but it wasn’t pretty. Boy child didn’t seem to care, but then, he’s boy child. He’s not picky, unless it’s green).

In any case, shortly thereafter, I discovered that I also have celiac disease, so welcome to a wheat-free lifestyle. At the time, I thought I’d never eat dessert again. It was depressing.

I discovered, after a while, and reading many, many blogs, that I can bake. It’s just a matter of being creative. And using pumpkin. I’m an expert on using pumpkin these days.

So,  here is my recipe (and yes, it’s pumpkin.). It’s an adapted version of one that I found in Sunset magazine. The original is a two layer cake, but it was too much, and everyone felt over-full and sugar comaed (yes, I just made up a word) afterward.

Gluten free praline pumpkin cake

1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 c butter

3 tbsp plus 3/4 c whipping cream

1 c chopped pecans (this I kept, because, well, pecans are fabulous)

2 flax eggs (to make a flax egg, combine 1 tbsp flax with 2 tbsp water. Normally, recipes call for three, but I find that with pumpkin recipes, it needs to be thicker, or you’ll never get it cooked through)

1 c granulated sugar (because this cake is so stinking sweet)

1/2 c vegetable oil

1 c canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c flour (I had a mixture of 1/2 c gluten free all purpose baking mix, and  1/2 c sorghum flour. The all purpose tends to be made with garbanzo bean flour, which in baked goods isn’t awesome unless you really overdo the sugar. Sorghum is sweet and delicious, but doesn’t rise very well without some complicated mixture involving arrowroot and tapioca and xanthan gum–all of which I have, and have made before, but it’s complicated, and I didn’t want to have to think too hard on Thanksgiving. So here you go)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or you can make your own with ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Which I did this year because I ran out on THANKSGIVING DAY, but I added ground cloves because I like cloves. If you don’t, just leave it out).

1/2 baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 c powdered sugar

So… Now that you have all the ingredients, here’s what you do with them:

Preheat over to 350 degrees

Butter one 9 inch cake pan and line with parchment.

Over low heat, mix the butter, 3 tbsp whipping cream and brown sugar together until melted and blended. Pour the mixture into the pan and sprinkle with most of the pecans (reserve some for the topping)

In a bowl, mix the flax eggs, granulated sugar and oil until well blended. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients (omit the powdered sugar; that’s for the frosting)

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet stuff (I’m being totally specific here… I harp on my students all day for using non-specific language, and here I go, doing the exact same thing). Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. At higher elevations, decrease the heat and extend the cooking time. It just works better. i’m not at a high elevation, but I cook as though I am because it just seems to work better for me. I think I live at that funky “in-between” elevation. Let it cool in the pan for a bit, then invert onto racks and remove pans and paper. Let cool completely.

For the frosting (topping), take your remaining whipping cream and the powdered sugar and mix until soft peaks form. Once the cake is completely cooled, then you can put the cream on top. Top that with the remaining pecans.

It is a pretty cake, and it tastes fantastic, even for people who are accustomed to wheat cakes with eggs (which are admittedly a whole lot easier to bake). This cake came out super moist, and sure, my cakes don’t rise like a normal cake, but it was delicious. This is very, very rich, though, so you only need a small piece to be satisfied. I’ll admit, I wondered if Husband’s blood sugar would ever be normal again.

I wish I’d taken a picture. But since I don’t Instagram my successes (only my dismal failures), I didn’t take one.

Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Hop and Giveaway!


Hi Everybody!

Starting tomorrow, December 13, 2014, we will be having our 12 Days of Christmas blog hop and giveaway. There are some fabulous prizes (including a signed copy of The Marker from me, as well as a gift set of all four of my ebooks. If you’re really lucky, and I get my copies in time, I might even give away a signed copy of my best-selling book, Highland Deception. Because, honestly, I love the feel of paper books). There are a number of really fantastic writers among this group, so make sure to check it out. Enter often!

The rafflecopter for this is:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/153622a61/

I think it is, anyway. I’m technologically challenged at the moment, so if any of you find an error, please kindly let me know. I’ve been pulling my hair out these last few weeks, and it’s left me feeling a little bit like this:

the twins 305_pe

But hey, ’tis the Christmas season, and I promise to make everything into smiles and unicorns.

Who am I kidding? That’s not me at all. I’m not happy if I’m not a little bit stressed out.

So, in the spirit of the season, I say, Welcome! Check out the ridiculously fabulous line up of authors we have going over the next few days, and sign up to win prizes from… All of us!

Check out these prizes!

$10 Starbucks card from Cynthia Gail AND a Bark Less Wag More coffee mug and author swag from Rachel Lacey

$10 Amazon card from Jennifer Faye AND Author swag from Darcy Flynn

$10 Starbucks card from Jessica Jefferson AND Autographed PB copy of Marked by Jeanne Hardt

$5 Amazon card from Maureen Bonatch AND Bag of heart-shaped pasta from Abigail Sharpe

Bodycology Moroccan shower gel & lotion and author swag from Meda White

$5 Amazon card from Sophia Kimble AND Pair of hand-painted ceramic penguin holiday mugs from Ryan Jo Summers

Paris scented shower gel/lotion/mist set from Sloane B. Collins

$5 Amazon card and ecopy of Perfectly Honest from Linda O’Connor

PB copy of Sugarwater Ranch and keychain from Stephanie Berget

Complete ebook set of Aisle Bound series from Christi Barth

$5 Amazon card from Kim Hotzon AND ebook set and signed PB of The Marker from Meggan Connors

$25 Amazon card from Ann Lacey

$15 Amazon card and giant chocolate bar from Heather Miles

$10 B&N Card from Tracey Livesay

$10 Amazon card from Rebecca Neely

$10 Amazon card and curvy-love bracelets from Aidy Award

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WInner, winner, chicken dinner!

How sweet is that? Check out all of those gifts! Woot!

Have a great Holiday Season!

Romance Weekly: Decisions, Decisions


image001

Welcome to Romance Weekly! If you’ve come from JJ Devine, then welcome. If you’re starting here with me, howdy! Let’s get to this!

1.) Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were going to become a writer? If so, what was it?

The short answer is no. I never knew I would become a writer. I’d wanted it since I was in the sixth grade, but I didn’t know if I’d be able to get published. I don’t think it was until I actually was published that I figured out I was going to become a writer. And even then, because I suffer from imposter syndrome, sometimes I still wonder if I’m going to become a writer, and that’s after four published books.

The long answer is that there was a moment when I decided I wanted to try. My son was two, and my husband decided he was going to start writing apps. And I remember looking at him and saying, out loud even, “I think I can write a romance novel.” I surprised even myself that day, because I never thought I would admit that out loud. That i wanted to be a writer, that I thought I could be a writer, and that I was actually going to try, despite my insane fear of rejection. It’s funny, because after I said the words out loud, I set out to doing just that: writing a romance novel.

2.) When you write a story do you see it unfold as one big picture, or do you add layering in subsequent drafts?

I layer in subsequent drafts. I’ve been known to change a story 70,000 words in, which is crazy, and don’t do that. I usually know where I’m going to end up, but how I get there changes with each draft.

3.) How many drafts do you usually write before you send your work to your editor?

Heh. It depends on the book. I usually edit as I go, and rewrite chapters as I write them (finish a chapter, then go back and re-read, edit a little, fix some more, etc). The bare minimum is three. The first one to get the story down, the second complete re-write to make sure that I don’t have any issues with continuity (though that happens anyway, when, in subsequent drafts, I change something and forget to fix a word. I’m still kicking myself over that one). The third draft is where I run the entire document through autocrit to catch over used words, make sure I’m not using too much passive voice (actually, my major failing is “it/there” and “that”.), and cut out all the damn sighing. Once I start looking for it, I start thinking, “OMG, my characters all have asthma or COPD!” It’s ridiculous.

Typically, the work you are reading is a third completed draft, followed by two rounds of edits, and another read through. And even then, errors get in. By that last round of edits, I don’t see them anymore. That’s what beta readers are for, I suppose, though it’s hard to ask when you’re on a deadline and you know you’ll have to tell someone, “Oh, hey, I need this back in four days. Can you do that kind of turn-around?”

**SIgh**

Why not go see what the lovely Leslie Hachtel has to say on the subject?

What to Write?


By my very nature, I’m a genre jumper.

I read everything, from Highlanders to Regency to westerns. I like sweet contemporaries, dark paranormal, and literary fiction. I like science fiction and epic fantasy. It’s all good.

So I guess it’s no surprise that I’m a genre jumper in my writing, too.

My first three books, The Marker, Wandering Heart and Jessie’s War, were all westerns. And I know it seems weird, but when I wrote my latest, it was a prequel to Wandering Heart. And a sequel, too.

In any case, Wandering Heart came first. Then came Highland Deception.

It was an experience for me. I was used to writing 1870s Nevada/California. Writing 1725 Scotland involved loads of research, changing the dialect I was used to writing, heavily debating how much dialect was needed, putting in more, taking some out, and throwing my hands up in frustration. It involved looking up words–oh, so many words–in my etymology dictionary to make sure they were in use in the time period.

And now I’m changing it up again. Or considering it, anyway. I’m writing the same period as Highland Deception, but it’s England. The story I’m writing is Ethan Standish’s, who is the Duke of Dunmoore and Isobel’s cousin.

His story–his backstory anyway–has been floating around in my head since I wrote Highland Deception. I loved Ethan. Now I think it’s time for him to get his own, as yet untitled, love story.

Hey, maybe I’ll let you guys pick. If you’ve read Highland Deception, what do you think I should call Ethan’s? And what should I name the heroine?

I’ve got two names I’m toying with for her: Elizabeth and Catherine (“Cat” for short). I’ll take other suggestions, though. Think stubborn, resourceful, and enough of a match for Ethan to force him from his estate.

🙂

>

Persistence


You know, as authors, people often disclose to us that they are writing their book. Maybe they just have a kernel of an idea, maybe they’re half way done. And they think that anyone can be a writer.

And you know what? They’re totally right.

Anyone can be a writer. If you’re putting words down on paper, you’re a writer. Trust me on this one.

There are a lot of good writers out there. There are a ton of former English majors out there (myself included!), and, for the most part, we’re all a pretty decent set of writers.

Before I ever set to write a story, before I ever thought to myself “Can this get published?” I was a good writer. I could crack out a paper in a couple of hours. I told stories to myself before I went to sleep.

Even the whole process of writing a book didn’t set me apart, in the great scheme of things. Lots of people have written books. Some of them are pretty decent, too.

Now, I’m no pillar of the publishing world. I’ve got a total of three books out, with a fourth book due out early next year, all out with small presses. Let’s be honest: most people won’t make it rich writing books and publishing them. Authors get between 7% and 35% in royalties from our publishers for the books we sell (and sure, there’s variation in there). Many people with small presses don’t get advances, and of those that do get an advance, it’s generally pretty small, so most of the money we earn comes from royalties. When you’re in competition with millions of other books, it’s pretty hard to make a decent living.

Most of us have other jobs that actually pay the bills, and if the writing supplements that, then AWESOME!

But, to all the budding writers out there, there is one thing that sets authors apart from writers.

It’s persistence.

Writing a book is hard work. So much goes into it. It takes persistence and patience to write a book, and to see it through to completion, especially when it’s a longer book. You will get stuck. Hopefully, you’ll push through it. But the real test is when you go to submit.

Writing the perfect query is hard. Shipping it off is harder, if you ask me. You will check your email a dozen times a day, hoping to see an email that says, “Congratulations! Your book is awesome!” (Because you know it is, right?)

Only, more than likely, you’ll get rejected.

The first one will sting.

The second one will sting.

The third one will sting.

Every time I’ve been rejected, it has broken my heart. Every time. The real test of your mettle as an author is whether you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.

I’ll be honest, every time, I think about quitting.

You will question: is it worth it? What kind of blows to my ego am I willing to take in order to achieve this dream? Because it’s one thing to think you’re a good writer. It’s another thing to have other people in the industry think the same thing.

I’ve gotten some really harsh rejections, ones that made me question what I was doing. And it’s when I’ve gotten those that I’ve gotten some chocolate, had a glass of wine, and told myself I will never subject myself to that again. Let’s face it, sometimes life is hard enough without adding additional blows to the ego.

If you need an ego boost, a rejection letter is not usually the place to find it.

Anyway, I think that’s where authors and writers differentiate. I don’t think it’s a matter of talent necessarily, or innate ability (because editors rock). It’s a matter of being able to take the criticisms and the rejections and try again.

And doing it again and again and again until you finally get a yes.

It’s about believing–no, knowing–the yes is out there.

Maybe this book won’t hit. Maybe it will be the next book or the book after that. Maybe you’ll write for 15 years and finally get that yes. Maybe you’ll hit on the first book. But, if you keep trying, and you keep honing your craft, you will eventually get it.

Be brave. Be persistent. Never give up.

It will happen.

THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Collette Cameron


The Viscount’s Vow by Collette Cameron
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Heat Level: Sensual
Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance sprinkled with suspense and humor.
Part Romani, part English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

“A brilliant tale combining Regency romance with exotic Romani culture.”

Excerpt

“You didn’t eat much, wife.”
They were alone on the dance floor. Ian deftly twirled Vangie around his aunt’s smallish ballroom, mindful of the interested gazes watching them.
Stealing a glance at the smiling and nodding onlookers, he suppressed a frown. He felt like a curiosity on display at Bullock’s Museum. He wished others would take to the floor, so he could dispense with the devoted bridegroom facade.
The twelve courses at dinner had been torturous. His wife hadn’t taken more than a dozen bites nor said as many words. He’d tried to eat the succulent foods Aunt Edith had gone to such efforts to have prepared, but his anger made everything dry as chalk and every bit as tasteless.
“I’d not much appetite, my lord.”
He chuckled. “Don’t you think you might address me by my given name, wife?”
“Why?” she asked pertly. “I’ve known you but four days, certainly not long enough to be so familiar with you.”
He lowered his head, breathing in her ear, very aware every eye in the room was trained on them. He’d give them something to gossip about. “Because I want you to, wife, and you did promise to obey.”
He nipped her ear.
She jumped and a tiny yelp of surprise escaped before she clamped her lips together. Her eyes were shooting sparks again; only this time they were directed at him.
“What’s my name, wife?”
“Please, don’t call me that. I too have a name, as you well know.”
Drawing her closer, her breasts pressing against the breadth of his chest and cresting the edge of her bodice, he murmured, “Indeed, but Evangeline sounds . . . angelic, and we both know you’re no such thing.”
“Pardon?” She stiffened, trying to shove away from him. “I don’t under—”
His head descended again. “Say it, or I’ll trace your ear with my tongue.”
He grinned as her breath hissed from between clenched teeth. She stumbled, her fingers digging into his shoulder and hand. A very becoming flush swept across her face.
“Will you cease?” Her worried gaze careened around the room. “We’re being watched.”
Voice husky, he said, “Say my name, sweeting.”
Giving her a gentle squeeze, he started to dip his head, caressing her elegant neck with his hot breath.
“Ian, your name is Ian,” she gasped breathlessly, twisting her head away.

Contact Collette
Website: http://collettecameron.com
Blog: http://www.blueroseromance.com
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/collettecameronauthor
Facebook Book Page: http://facebook.com/viscountsvow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Collette_Author
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13595899-collette-cameron
She can also be found on WordPress, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Google+

Buy Link
http://amzn.com/B00EZ8RBN2/

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The Release of Jessie’s War!


Today is April 1! And, I’m not joking when I say that Jessie’s War is out on Amazon. I’m starting a blog tour, and holding a contest–one lucky winner will get a cameo choker! Here’s a picture.Image

In any case, here are my tour stops. Please come join me. I’m actually off for two weeks, so you can count on me to be hanging around the various blogs–just to see what’s happening! (Because I’m nosy like that)

Blurb Blitz:
April 1:  Love Triumphs Past and Present<http://annmontclair.wordpress.com/>
April 2:  Fantasy Powered by Love <http://fantasypoweredbylove.com/>
April 3:  Straight from the
Library<http://straightfromlibrary.blogspot.com/2013/04/straight-reading-from-library-jessies.html>
April 4:  The Muse <http://claireashgrove.blogspot.com/>
April 5:  Racing To Read <http://racingtoread.blogspot.com/>

Virtual Book Tour:
April 8:  Bookgirl Knitting <http://bookgirlknitting.blogspot.com/>
April 9:  Review Must Read Faster <http://mustreadfaster.blogspot.com/>
April 10:  Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and
Interviews<http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/>
April 10:  STOP 2 Review  My Devotional
Thoughts<http://mydevotionalthoughts.com/>
April 11:  Words of Wisdom from The Scarf
Princess<http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com/>
April 12:  Simply Ali <http://www.simplyali.com/>

Blurb Blitz:
April 15:  Welcome to My World of Dreams <http://www.jhthomas.blogspot.com/>
April 16:  Krystal Shannan – Where Love and Destiny
Collide<http://www.krystalshannan.com/blog.html>
April 17:  Andi’s Book Reviews <http://andisbookreviews.blogspot.com/>
April 18:  Books and Other Spells <http://nightskydarkstar.blogspot.com/>
April 19:  Wicked Readings by
Tawania<http://www.wickedreadingsbytawania.blogspot.com/>

Virtual Book Tour:
April 22:  Long and Short Reviews <http://www.longandshortreviews.com/>
April 22:  STOP 2 review Journey of a Bookseller
<http://bkfaerie.blogspot.com/>
April 23:  It’s Raining Books <http://www.its-raining-books.blogspot.com/>
April 24:  Janna Shay’s Fair Play <http://jannashay.wordpress.com/>
April 25:  Rachel Brimble Romance <http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/>
April 26:  You Gotta Read Reviews <http://wp.me/p2oqHj-6hd>

My Next Big Thing


My friend, a wonderful story-teller, Tracy Hewett Meyer, has invited me to share details of my next big thing–or, what I’m working on now! I’m actually in first edits of Jessie’s War, and thought, hey, I’ll talk about that!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is a good question. I’d been toying with the idea of writing a steampunk for quite some time, and had the thought I’d write something western, since I’ve been enthralled with that particular genre for a while. One day, I was looking at a map of the  mines underneath Virginia City, Nevada. Suddenly, an entire scene popped into my head, and I started writing what I would eventually call my “western steampunk romance.”

Incidentally, that first kernel of an idea? It’s chapter nine. And, to this day, one of my favorite scenes in the entire book.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The actress to play Jessie would be Julia Jones, from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (a movie I’ve never seen–gasp!). i like the almost haunted way she looks at the camera in this picture; let’s face it, Jessie is pretty haunted, for a number of reasons.
As for who would play Luke? I needed someone with the gravitas to be able to pull off a secret agent during the Civil War. Someone who can play tough and menacing and brooding. Because, like Jessie, Luke has been through a lot in his years at war. And he’s missed our Jessie like crazy, but she’s having none of it!

So, while it’s  not a perfect fit, I picked Christian Bale.

 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Jessie’s War is due out from Musa Publishing in January of 2013. I have another work I’m thinking of self-publishing, a paranormal YA I’ve tentatively titled The Grey Witch. But I guess we’ll see how everything pans out! I’ve been very happy with my experience with small presses so far (Soul Mate Publishing and Musa Publishing), so while I wouldn’t say no to an agent or a New York Publisher, I’m not unhappy with where I am!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took about three months, for 120,000 words. I wrote like a crazy person. And then I tweaked that draft for another six months, and completely re-wrote the thing twice, changing from third person to first person and back again. It was an interesting experiment. You guys will have to tell me what you think of the final draft!

What other books would you compare this story to with the genre?

I’d say there are elements in it that are similar to Native Star by M.K. Hobson, other elements are similar to Alchemy of Desire by Christa McHugh, and other elements are similar to The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I think in terms of writing style and setting, it’s probably most similar to Native Star, though Jessie’s world isn’t magic based. Necessarily. 🙂

Before I tag fellow authors so they can write about their next big thing, I’d like to thank Tracy for tagging me. Her books, Wren’s Fantasy and Trust of the Heart are super fun reads! (Trust me, I’ve read them!)

And so, I’d like to tag Brooke Moss, author of The What If Guy, The Carny, and Bittersweet. I’m really hoping she’ll tell you about her YA project, which, I can tell you, is absolutely stellar!

Also, I’d like to take Roberta J. Gordon, author of Gemini WitchingElements 101.

Both ladies are talented authors!

Meggan Connors is the author of The Marker and Wandering Heart, a western novella due out from Soul Mate Publishing next month. Check them out when you get a chance!

Sunshine Award


ImageSo, I left for a few days, where I had only limited internet and cell service (OMG, it was like living in the Dark Ages… Or 1997) and when I return, I come home to the Sunshine Award. I was nominated by the super talented Roberta Gordon of Gemini Witching. I actually haven’t played this kind of game before, but I’m willing to give it a try, because, well, I’m game for just about anything (just once… after that, all bets are off). But this game seemed like a good idea (granted, the last time I said that, the hubs and I wound up with a second child. Totally kidding. Sort of), so I thought, Why not?

Honestly, it’s so nice to be recognized by people you hold in esteem. I’ve run across many talented bloggers out here in the blog-o-sphere. But me? I’m just a quirky girl who occasionally writes a quirky blog that (hopefully) will make at least one person laugh. So thank you so much Roberta for nominating me. You have no idea how much it means to me.

Here are the rules for the game:

1. Include the award logos in your post or in your blog

2. Answer 10 questions about yourself (any 10? Because, left to my own devices, I would ask–and answer–many dangerous questions about myself. It’s the consequence of having a poorly developed sense of shame. And yes, I did make up my own questions.)

3. Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers

4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know they are nominated.

5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

So, to start, I guess we’ll start with the safe questions… Yeah, these are the ones I copied from other Sunshine Award winners. My own questions about myself would be… well, you’ll see.

What is your favorite color? Delft blue. I don’t know if that’s an actual color, but it’s the blue color all over the china I found in Delft, Netherlands. Wow, and that made me sound like a pretentious snob. In any case, it’s a color between electric blue and indigo. A little deeper than cornflower, less purple than periwinkle. So yeah, I think I just made that up. (And just the question of “What’s your favorite color” somehow turned into a dissertation on my snobbery and the parsing of the color blue. I might have issues).

What’s Your Favorite Animal? In general it’s the honey badger. In real life, it’s my dog.

Do you have a nickname, and what is it? The hubs calls me the grenade, because, um, I’m the one you toss in to eliminate the possibility of a drunken hook up. On top of being obnoxious and probably the only one wearing sensible shoes (Get your mind out of the gutter), I’m also married, and, sadly, sober. Party with me, and, sure, I’ll regret the things I said the next day, but I have to remember them. You, on the other hand, will have forgotten that you barfed on my sensible shoes (hence the reason I wear them). Don’t worry, I’ll remind you. This is why I don’t get out often.

What’s your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Coffee. I’m not sure I can survive without it.

Favorite day of the week? Saturday. Hands down.

Do you have a plan for the zombiepocalypse? Sure. Doesn’t everybody?

What is it? Run around screaming until I meet the inevitable end. And no, you can’t have my stuff.

Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook? I used to say Facebook because you can post longer stuff. But I’ve found that the more words I have to work with, the sillier I am. I’ve also discovered I can be really obnoxious with just 140 characters. Who knew?

What’s your favorite TV show? Castle, because I think Joey Buchanan–I mean, Captain Mal–I mean, Nathan Fillion is awesome. I still don’t know why he won’t follow back on the Twitter. I’m cool, right? Just because I would drool all over the Nater-tot if I met him doesn’t mean I’m not totally suave. Because I am. Totally. 

What’s your favorite book? I’m not going to be interesting with this one. My favorite book is Jane Eyre. I don’t know why I love this book so much, I just do. So, yeah, on my book shelf, I have all the classics, and Shakey-baby, and some philosophy (I own an astounding amount of Henry James. I’m not sure why)… and then some trashy romances. My bookshelf looks something like this: pretentious cover, pretentious cover, twenty covers with shirtless dudes, pretentious cover, 10 books that don’t have covers anymore because the spines are broken, random German book, pretentious cover. Next to the bookshelf is a stack of books maybe twenty high that, if they have covers still, have women in various states of undress being fondled/ogled/groped by shirtless or semi-shirtless dudes. These covers may or may not have once featured Fabio.

I think I may have taken my answers too far. My apologies. I’m both chatty and obnoxious. It’s a dangerous combination, I know.

So here are my nominees:

Brooke Moss: A fabulously funny writer, and one of the best CPs a girl could ask for.

Attorney At Large: Because she’s super funny, and an amazing woman overall. And she won’t tell you any b.s., either.

Ann Montclair: Witty and entertaining, her book made me both smile and squirm

Callie Hutton: She writes heartwarming books that just ooze romance. I love that.

Casey Wyatt: An awesome paranormal writer, her books are full of humor and are just… fun. One of the best ways to spend a Sunday, in fact. Also, her blog makes me smile.

Jamie Brazil: A really cool contemporary writer.

Jolyn Palliata: Okay, dude, I am totally in love with one of her heroes. Rhys. So, yeah, I had to nominate her, because, well, she wrote my new book boyfriend.

Christine Warner: Because she’s fantastic. Some Like it in Handcuffs … the title alone cracked me up.

Louisa Bacio: Because man, that girl knows how to make you squirm.

Have a great day, and happy Sunshine Award!