Please welcome my guests, Donna Michaels and Stacy Dawn.
Tell us something about yourselves both writing and not writing related.
Stacy Dawn (author of Lonesome Cowboy):
I’ve been writing for a number of years and character driven short stories are still my favorite to write. Non-writing related, I have a MAJOR sweet-tooth and love when new candy comes out to try. LOL
Donna Michaels (author of Cowboy Sexy):
Let me take a second to thank you for having me here today, Katherine. Okay, a little bit about me. I am married with four children, although my husband says including him I have five. There are times when I’d have to agree. lol I’ve always been an avid reader, and started writing when I only had one child. Then I became pregnant with twins and didn’t start writing again until my fourth child entered first grade. She’s now going to be a junior this fall. Cowboy-Sexy will be my fifteenth title with The Wild Rose Press. I have a paranormal comedy spy novel with a different publisher and several with a house that’s gone out of business that I’m thinking about self publishing.
Something about me that’s not writing related…about seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Hoshimoto Thyroiditis. I had a biopsy done on two goiters. Thankfully, they were non-cancerous, and have since shrunk to a smaller size. I’ve lost hair and gained 50 pounds despite my thyroid medication. So, last year, I made an appointment with a nutritionist and we devised a plan to wake my dead metabolism. Since then, I’ve lost a pound a week and am now 46 pounds lighter. This ‘diet’ is one I knew I’d have to adopt for the rest of my life, although it isn’t so bad. I can still eat everything I like, just in moderation. I feel so much better and am glad I made the effort. If you seem to be gaining weight without over-eating, have your thyroid checked. I went undiagnosed for years. It is very, very common in women.
Stacy, I'm bad when it come to cookies. I just can't resist homemade ones. Donna, I'm glad you were able to get treatment and are doing much better now. Do you have a writing routine? Where do you usually do your writing?
Stacy: These days most of my writing is done later in the evening or early on the weekends. I am not a night owl so more gets done on weekends. LOL
Donna: I don’t have a writing routine. With the tuff economy, my parents moved in with us so I had to give up my office. Now I write on a laptop on my bed. My household is very busy. I write whenever I can. Preferably in the morning or late at night. You’ll often find four of our cats in the room with me, offering support, and of course, a reason to take a break and pet them.
Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre you do? Any plans in the future to write in a different one?
Stacy: I guess it has a lot to do with sticking to what you know so I write mainly contemporary romance but have ventured a few stories into other genres too. I do have some ideas for both paranormal and even a couple eroticas--it’s just trying to find the time, but I would like a chance to experiment so to speak. LOL
Donna: I actually write in several romance sub-genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-fi, Suspense, Action and Fantasy. I love variety. One thing that’s always common, though, is humor. Humor helps my world go round and definitely spills into my writing. Another common occurrence is a military protagonist in the majority of my stories. My husband has been in the military for over 35 years so the military is a big part of my world.
I agree, Stacy, taking time to experiment with different sub-genres would be fun. I'm a bit jealous, Donna, that you're able to write in so many different sub-genres. I have a few military protagonists too. Most of the males in my family have served or are currently serving in the military.
How do you stay motivated when writer's block hits or your muse won't cooperate?
Stacy: I am a very artsy person so I find that when I use my creative amusements in other mediums like sketching or painting, then the writing muse comes back faster or helps me through a tough part in the manuscript.
Donna: I have several tools to combat writer’s block: Music, pictures, reading, and watching TV/Movies. If I find myself stuck I listen to music appropriate to the theme, gather photos of the H/h, and if that doesn’t work, I read. Reading always nudges me to write. Sometimes I skip those and go straight to watching TV or a movie similar to what I’m writing. That never fails to inspire.
What's the strangest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
Stacy: Hmmm, now that is an interesting question. I’m a fairly shy person so most of my research is done from books or observations, but I did once drive two hours into a major city (I’m a small town girl) just to talk to a Disney animator who was doing a exhibition at a big mall….and I stalked him until I came up with the nerve to step over and ask him questions LOL. I shook the whole time but I sure was high on accomplishment for the ride home LOL.
I'm really shy too. I hate approaching someone I don't know. What a great opportunity that must have been. I'm glad you were able to approach him. I'm not sure I would have had the courage.
What's the best writing advice you were ever given?
Stacy: Keep writing. Writing is a learning curve whether you are new or established--there is always something to learn and discover and you only get better with each manuscript finished.
Great advice. What do you like to do in your leisure time?
Stacy: I’m a romantic comedy buff so a good movie is always fun.
Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.
Stacy: I have a story coming up in the Honky Tonk Hearts series at the Wild Rose Press. Lonesome Cowboy involves Marshall Dekes, one of the main characters at the Lonesome Steer and is about that love that never dies no matter where life changed the path.
Donna: When my editor told me about the Honky Tonk Hearts series I knew it was the perfect time to write Cowboy-Sexy. This is my first story where both the H/h are in the military. The hero is a former Navy SEAL who hates the Marines, and my heroine is a former Marine his twin brother sent to help out on the dude ranch. Yes, sparks do fly
They sound great. Can you tell us a little about your next projects?
Stacy: Next up is Keira Rankin’s story to finish up the series. She’s the daughter of the owner of the Lonesome Steer.
Donna: I have several. One is Locke and Load I’m writing to submit to Crimson Rose’s Summer Heat series. There’s a possibility, Brett, Finn’s twin from Cowboy-Sexy might get his own story. I also write screenplays with a writing partner, JT Schultz. We currently have two under consideration and a few more in the works.
I'll have to be sure and check out Keira's novella. Donna, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and your writing partner.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
Stacy: Thank you so much Katherine for hosting us today. It’s always fun to get out and about and I appreciate you taking the time to let us share our stories! I also love to hear from readers and other writers. You can find me at stacydaw.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna: Please stop by my websites: www.donnamichaelsauthor.com
or friend me on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you. If you have questions about my writing or even thyroid questions, I’d be happy to answer. You can contact me at email@example.com As always, thanks for reading.
You're welcome, Stacy. Thanks ladies for letting me interview you
Check out the great blurbs and excerpts for Stacy and Donna's novellas below.
Lonesome Cowbow by Stacy Dawn (Stacy hasn't received the cover for her novella yet.)
With a title under his belt, a purse in the bank and a ring in his pocket, Marshall Dekes returned for the woman he loved...only to find her at the alter saying 'I do' to another man.
Two years later, he's stunned to find Amy sitting at the bar of the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. Anger and resentment still burning in his head, he lets her have it, sending her on her way without the forgiveness she sought. But two steps towards the door, a medical emergency has his heart overruling his head and he's by her side in an instant. Nothing could prepare him for what happens next.
But what his head can't forgive, his heart can't forget and having her staying with her cousin in nearby Redemption is too close for comfort. When events of the past start slowly coming to light, he doesn't know if his heart is strong enough to risk a second chance at the life he’d all but given up on.
Her hand had returned to the twisted napkin and she glanced around the busy honky tonk, her brows dipping before returning her gaze to him. “Is there somewhere we can talk for a minute.”
He forced his jaw to relax and leaned back against the cash register until the lip of the drawer dug into his backside. “Here’s fine.” Why should he be the only one uncomfortable?
Rose lips pressed into a thin line. “Fine. I guess I really can’t blame you for being…angry.”
She fidgeted with the straps of her floral sundress. The sweetheart neckline exposed just enough ripened breasts to make his jaw re-tense, and though the high bar blocked everything below, he was sure the skirt would be short, showing a teasing amount of those sleek and sexy legs.
God she’s still beautiful.
Other parts of his anatomy instantly tightened and he hid his further—and painfully annoying—discomfort behind a forced, casual cross of his ankles.
Marshall hoped she got to the point soon because it was taking all his effort to stand there. The gall of the woman showing up like this out of the blue. What had she expected? That he’d welcome her with open arms and catch up like old friends...as if she never destroyed him?
She winced and twisted slightly with a hand to her back. He raised a brow at the motion, but stopped himself. Just like the nervous habit of twisting the napkin that she’d never had before, he didn’t care. Wouldn’t care. Look what it got him the first time ‘round.
After a quick glance to him, Amy dipped her chin to stare at the crumpled paper. “I came to...I just wanted to...apologize.”
“Fine,” he clipped and pushed off the register.
“Wait, that’s it?” Her tone held annoyed disbelief.
“Yep. You apologized. We’re done.”
The put-out tone in her voice snapped his tightly reigned control. “What?” He spun back on her. “What do you want, Amy? Do you want me to say, ‘Hey no problem’”—he waved a hand in the air mimicking a friendly gesture—“’forgive and forget, how ‘bout we do lunch sometime?’ Well sorry, darlin’, ain’t gonna to happen.” He splayed his hands wide on the bar top, leaning in until he could feel the heat radiating off her reddened cheeks. “I came back from six months on the circuit with a buckle, a key and a ring in my pocket, only to find out you were already married. Tell me, Amy, which part of that sounds easy to forget, let alone forgive?”
He could hear the swallow drain down her delicate throat. The light peach of her shampoo filled his nostrils and he shoved himself back, away from the unwanted temptation to run the dark strands over his cheeks like he used to do.
Her gaze dropped to the bar. “I-I’m sorry.”
The low spoken words didn’t work back then with tears in her eyes, and they certainly weren’t going to work now with her brows creased over pale features.
Marshall made a quick glance around the honky tonk, thankful their little ‘chat’ wasn’t drawing too much attention. The pounding of the rockabilly, karaoke classic didn’t help his growing headache.
“Go home, Amy. You picked your bed. Go back to the pretty little life you chose over me. Go back to good ol’ Hank.” The minute the name, her slim brows dipped further and a little quiver quaked through the bow lips; telling sign if ever he’d seen one. Marshall leaned a hand back on the grooved oak and narrowed his gaze. “Or is that what this is? Did you come to find bachelor number two because Hank finally saw what a two-timer you were and kicked you to the curb?”
His lips twisted at the snap of her head, steel fire glinting in the stern eyes.
Cowboy Sexy by Donna Michaels
Blurb (in edits):
Finn Brennan was used to his brother playing practical jokes, but this time he’d gone too far--sending him a woman as a ranch hand, and not just a woman, but a Marine.
When Lt. Camilla Walker's CO asks her to help out at his family's dude ranch until he returns from deployment, she never expected to be thrust into a mistaken engagement to his sexy, cowboy twin--a former Navy SEAL who hates the Corps.
The Corps took Finn’s father, his girlfriend and threatened his naval career. He’s worked hard for another shot at getting back to active duty and won’t let his brother’s prank interfere. The last thing he needs is the temptation of a headstrong, unyielding, hot Marine getting in the way.
Excerpt (in edits):
“Tell her to go home.”
“Sorry, bro, no can do. Mom’s already expecting her, going on about how nice it’ll be to have another woman at home.”
He closed his eyes and lowered the phone, resisting the urge to hurl the device into the closest wall.
“Look, I wouldn’t have sent Cammie if I didn’t think she could handle the work,” his brother insisted. “I promise you, you’ll thank me in the end.”
Finn’s eyes shot open. “Fat chance.”
“I’ve got to go, bro. I’ll try to call next week. Cammie?”
She grabbed the phone, her knuckles unceremoniously scrapping Finn’s palm.
“My brother’s going to try to push you around. Don’t let him.”
“Like you said, sir,” she paused until their gazes locked, “He can try, but he won’t succeed.”
“Very good, Lieutenant. I’ll check in with you next week.”
“Brett, wait!” Finn reached for the phone as if that would stop his fool of a brother.
“Sorry. He hung up.”
Finn clenched his fists. “Damn, stubborn jarhead.”
He refocused on the brunette. She slapped the phone onto the bar, jammed her hands on her hips and raised both brows. She looked like a woman about to speak her mind.
They were the worst kind.
“Ms. Walker,” she supplied.
A small smile softened her expression and hardened his resolve.
“Camilla Walker, but my friends call me Cammie.”
“Look, Ms. Walker,” he said deliberately, dropping an arm around her shoulders as he ushered her toward the door. He had enough friends. “Why don’t you just walk to your car and go back wherever you came from because, despite what my brother said, you’re not coming with me.”
She stopped dead, leaving him no choice but to turn and face her. Whisky brown eyes sparkled up at him. Finn released his present and stepped back. The woman was up to something.
“You poor, misguided cowboy.” She drew close enough for him to feel her breath. “I can’t go back to my car.”
His brain warned him to move, but his stubbornness overruled and he stood still. Lt. Commander Finn Brennan never backed down from a Marine and wasn’t about to start now.
Cowboy-Sexy released date to be announced. Please check www.thewildrosepress.com or www.donnamichaelsauthor.com for Finn’s upcoming release. Thanks for reading. ~Donna
Great blurbs and excerpts. Thanks for being my guests today.