Monday, July 30, 2012

The Summer Olympics

 Are you watching the Summer Olympic Games?  I don't usually watch sports of any kind on TV, but I always find myself watching as many of the Olympic competitions as I can.  Of course I root for the American athletes but I find myself rooting for the athletes who have overcome obstacles to just make it to the games.  I find them so inspiring.

Saturday night an Irish gymnast was profiled during the games.  He is only the second Irish male gymnast to ever go to the Olympic Games to represent his country.  He suffered numerous injuries from a concussion, torn ACLs, torn achillies tendon, a broken leg and more over the years.  He also didn't have the monetary backing that most of the athletes he was competing against have.  He had to finance his dream with bake sales, raffles, and other money raising events. Even though he knew he didn't have a chance to medal, he took to the mat and did his floor exercise to the best of his ability and was thrilled with his performance despite a few bobbles here and there.  I found myself so inspired by his drive and dedication and his attitude.

How many of us do something other than write when we have time we could devote to writing our manuscripts or working on our craft?  How dedicated and determined do we remain when we receive rejections or bad reviews? How many of us get down on ourselves because our sales aren't where we'd like them to be, or because we aren't on this or that best seller list, or don't publish with the big 6 in NYC?  Do you keep writing, keep trying day after day?

I know there are days when I'd rather do anything than sit in front of the laptop and pour my heart and soul into my characters when I'm not certain they will find readers who will love them like I do.  I know that after I've had a rough day at work, the last thing I want to do is come home and work at my second job as a writer.  Yet, when I think of that gymnast and all the setbacks he suffered and he still didn't give up on his dream of making it to the Olympics, it helps me put things into perspective and my fingers back on the keyboard.

Friday, July 27, 2012

This I know for sure...

Someone said to me this week that God doesn't always answer your prayers, no matter how hard you pray.

I'm not sure how I feel about that sentiment. I'm not an overly religious person but I do believe He is listening when you talk to Him.  Maybe He is answering your prayers but not in the way you want Him to.   Maybe He is giving you something better than what you were praying for.

But if I had a sick child or loved one and I prayed night and day for my child or loved one to recover only to have the opposite happen, I might feel the way the person I quoted above does. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Please Welcome My Guests

You may remember I interviewed three authors in the Honky Tonk Hearts series published by The Wild Rose Press a couple of weeks ago.  Well, you're in for a treat.  I have two more wonderful authors who have written a novella for the series.

 Please welcome my guests, Donna Michaels and Stacy Dawn.  
 
Hi ladies,
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 stacy@stacydawn.com

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 donna_michaels@msn.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.)
Unofficial Blurb:    
 
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.
 
Unedited Excerpt:
 
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.”
Hell no.
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.”
“Marshall, please.”
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.
Bullsey—
“Hank’s dead.”
 
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.”
Son-of-a
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?”
“Yes, sir?”
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.”
Excuse me?”
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.
“Look, Miss...?”
“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.
Katherine  :o)



Monday, July 23, 2012

You CAN be sued...

A very informative post about using photos/pictures in blogs, on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media sites and the consequences of copyright infringement was posted to one of the  loops I belong to.  

I received permission from the blogger, National Bestselling Author Roni Loren, to post an excerpt here along with a link back to her original post.  
 

Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story

So today I'm forgoing the usual Fill-Me-In Friday post to talk about something that I've been wanting to blog about for a while but couldn't until the situation was wrapped up.

For those of you who are super observant, you may have noticed some changes on my blog over the last few months. Tumblr posts went away. Fiction Groupie disappeared. I deleted most of my Pinterest boards. The Boyfriend of the Week has changed format. And all my previous posts from the past three years--all 700 of them--now have new photos on them.

Why is that? What happened?
Well, you've probably figured it out from the title, but it's because I've been involved in a case regarding a photo I used on my blog. Like most of you, I'm a casual blogger...

Please click on the title of Roni's post (underlined above) to read the rest of her experience.  I'm also including another link here in case the first one doesn't work.  Link:  http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/7/20/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-for-using-pics-on-your-blog.html

If you post pictures or photos on any of your social media sites using photos/pictures you've found on the internet, please read her entire post and the comments.  There is a lot of really good information included in the comments section.


Friday, July 20, 2012

This I know for sure...

I hate making life changing decisions. I don't mean life changing like resolving to lose weight and actually doing something about it or  that type of thing.  I'm talking life changing like moving to a new state where you know only a few people or you don't know anyone or taking a job in a completely new field where you're not sure you can excel but want the opportunity.

I'm always worried I'm going to make the wrong decision.  Sometimes when you make a decision and you realize it's the wrong decision, there's no way to go back to the way life was before.  Sometimes that decision becomes one of the biggest regrets of your life. Sometime trying to recover from that decision takes everything you have.   Is it any wonder I hate making those decisions.  The potential repercussions paralyze my decision making abilities and I agonize over what to do. And once I do make the decision, I spend days, weeks sometimes second guessing myself.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Procrastination

I'm a procrastinator.  Is that a bad thing to admit?  I don't think so.  I think everyone procrastinates in some form or another. I know I tend to put off things I know I have to do but that I hate doing. Surely, everyone does that.  :o)

Other than putting of things I hate doing but have to be done, I also procrastinate about things I think won't take long so I tend to put them off to the last minute.  My nephew has this down to an art form.  If he has a term paper due at midnight on a certain date, he doesn't even start writing the paper until 9:00pm of the night it's due.  He does do all the research before hand but none of the actual writing of the paper.  And yet, he always manages to get really good grades on them.

I'll also procrastinate if I'm not sure about something.  For example, I procrastinated about writing this post because I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about.  I had three different topics but nothing written on any of them and now it's getting near time to post so I figured this was the best topic of the three.  

When someone tells me I'm procrastinating, I usually deny it.  Why is that I wonder?  Am I worried that person will think I'm lazy or can't make a decision?  I'm not sure. I like to think I have a plan and everything will get done in time and that's the extent of the plan. 


Maybe I just want to take time to smell the roses and not just hurry through my day  I'm not sure.  Maybe that's just another excuse. 

How about you?  Do you procrastinate?  Always when it comes to certain things or just from time to time?

Friday, July 13, 2012

This I know for sure...

Some friendships withstand time and distance and some don't. I recently had dinner with a couple friends I hadn't seen in two years.  It was like no time had passed at all.  Though we had emailed each other from time to time, we didn't keep in touch on a regular basis. When we met for dinner, it was as though we'd just seen each other a few days ago.  We laughed and caught up with each other's lives and had a great time slipping back into our old friendship like a well worn pair of jeans.  We promised each other we wouldn't wait two years to get together again.  But if we don't, I know when we do get together again, it'll still seem like no time had passed at all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Please Welcome My Guests

Please welcome my guests, Brenda Whiteside, Lauri Robinson, and Sherri Thomas.  

All three of these wonderful authors have written a novella for the Honky Tonk Hearts series published through The Wild Rose Press.  I've been looking forward to conducting this interview for some time so let's get started.

Tell us something about yourselves both writing and not writing related.

Sherri Thomas (author of Lost Memories): 
First off I want to say thank you for inviting me to be on your blog today. I am honored to be in such wonderful company.  Growing up in the city I never knew what my life was missing until my husband and I moved our four children out to the country. I love waking in the morning and opening the curtains to the sight of pasture and woods, chickens and horses, dogs and cats. Living here has been a dream come true and has definitely enhanced my experiences, which I think shows in my writing. Occasionally, you will even find one of my beloved animals in my stories so watch for them. 

Laurie Robinson (author of Sing To Me Cowboy):
Thanks, Katherine for inviting us to your blog today! I was born and now live in Minnesota, but spent most of my ‘growing up’ years in Kansas, which is where I met and married my hubby. We have three sons, three granddaughters, two step grandsons and three granddogs. I write western romances, most are historicals, but when I saw the request for the Honky Tonk Hearts series, I had to try my hand at a contemporary.

 Brenda Whiteside (author of The Morning After)       
      If you look close and not so close at my manuscripts, there is a consistent theme of discovery. My heroines and heroes are discovering things about themselves. These discoveries take place during an adventure that is both within and in the physical world. I think I like this theme because it’s what I consider life to be. I am always making discoveries about myself and about what I want out of life. My husband and I recently moved to prairie country in Northern Arizona. We’re in a rambling farmhouse with my son and his wife with three dogs and a cat between us. My husband has retired but spends a good deal of time tending the orchard. I spend time in the garden and the blackberry rows. We’ve been city folk. Living with others and farming – let me tell you there are plenty of discoveries to make about ourselves!

Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

 Sherri:  Every morning after my four children went to school and hubby went to work, I sat in my favorite overstuffed chair and wrote. Now with summer vacation underway and me obtaining a day job… routine is no longer in my vocabulary. I write every second I can. 

Lauri:  I work full time so the majority of my writing takes place in the evenings and weekends, and most is done on my laptop in the living room while hubby is watching TV.  
  
      Brenda :  I have a warm weather routine and a cold weather routine. Right now, with the heat, I have to get my farm chores done early even though I prefer to write in the morning. I rise between 5:00 and 6:00. Once my coffee is brewing, I check email, Facebook and do any promo tasks needed. By 8:30, I’m in the garden. Around 10:30, I’m back in the house for yoga or some other exercise. While I eat lunch, I check email and promo stuff again. I write from 1:00 until about 4:30. After dinner and one television program, I’ll write or read for an hour before bed. 

I work full time too and try to write when in the evenings or like Sherri, every second I can. Lauri, I'm impressed you write with the TV on.  I sit in the dining room when I write but I have to be sure to sit where I can't see the television otherwise no writing gets done.  Wow, Brenda you have a very busy routine.  

Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

      Sherri: I have always loved country life, the air, the animals, and the cowboys who care for them. There is just something about the way they talk, walk, the rugged sex appeal. I have no definite plans to write in a different genre, but I am open to where ever my hero/heroine take me.
.  
Lauri:  Like so many other girls growing up during the era I did, I wanted to grow up and marry little Joe Cartwright. No, that didn’t happen, and several years ago after years of reading western romance novels, I decided to try my hand at writing one. It’s been an amazing journey I’ve enjoyed immensely. I’ve now journeyed into contemporaries as well, but my heroes still wear boots and hats.  
           Brenda:  Romance writing came naturally to me. I didn’t set out to write a romance. My stories are mostly character driven and love seems to follow. I’ve written contemporary, 1945 historical and mystery. I may settle into contemporary and mystery. We’ll see. My latest is mystery and my next two will be spin-offs so also mystery. But I’d love to write a story set in the 1930’s.

Oh I have to agree with you both Sherri and Lauri.  Love cowboys.  I had a huge crush on Little Joe.  Brenda, you must be a plotter.  I am a pantser and tried writing a mystery. I thought I did a pretty good job until my reader told me she figured out who the killer was right away. Guess I didn't do a good job layering those clues without actually plotting them out. LOL.

 How do you stay motivated when writer's block hits or your muse won't cooperate?

      Sherri:  Writer’s block … those are two evil words. On the days my hero/heroine decide to hold out on me, I do a lot of catching up on my writing groups, review notes, catch up on my favorite blogs ;)

Lauri:  I always have two or three books going at the same time, so if the muse is silent with one, I can usually coax it to the surface of another. 

      Brenda:    I have honestly never had writer’s block. I’ve been having trouble starting the next book, but the story has been brewing in my head. It finally hit me why I was reluctant to put it to the computer – I didn’t like my hero. He was a minor character in my current ms and I thought I wanted him in my next book. Nope. Got a new hero and I’m raring to tell the story now.

You all have great ways to head off writers block.  I might have to borrow a couple of them. What's the strangest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
 
     Sherri:  What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research? Well I can’t say that I have done anything too strange, but not having never been on an airplane it is kind of odd to see the world through your computer.  :o)
 
Lauri:  I wanted to know what it felt like to shoot a six-shooter, so for Christmas hubby bought me a gorgeous birds-eye handle one and a class to obtain a conceal and carry permit. I now love pistol shooting and look forward to when we go to our property up north where I practice shooting the heads off cattails growing in the swamp. 

      Brenda:   I called the department of marriage licenses in Amarillo, Texas to find out their laws. In my newest release, The Morning After, my heroine does this. In order to get the feel for how the conversation would go, well, I pretended to be her. 

What's the best writing advice you were ever given?

      Sherri:  Simple – KEEP WRITING!

Lauri:  Write what you love. 

      Brenda:    Write every day, for whatever time you have. I did that with Honey On White Bread. A good part of that book was written in fifteen minutes each morning before I left for my day job. Now, a day without writing is incomplete. 

Great advice.  What do you like to do in your leisure time?
 
      Sherri:   What do you like to do in your leisure time? My top two favorite things to do is spend time with my family and horseback riding. Reading a good romance novel and ATVing through our woods run a close second.

Lauri:  Spending time with our granddaughters. Everything from fishing to tea parties, neither Papa nor I can get enough of them! Other than when we have them overnight, then, when they go home, we take naps. 

     Brenda:   Farming isn’t exactly leisure time, but I do enjoy “playing in the dirt” as my husband calls it. I also love to ride behind him on the motorcycle. And travel. Love to travel.

Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.
 
     Sherri:  When your past is a blank, it’s hard to trust the future… A car accident leaves Darcy Brooks with amnesia, but she’s determined it won’t ruin her life and finds a job on a dude ranch—hiding her brain trauma to get it—and falls in love with her work. Now if she can just avoid falling in love with her boss. Nick Matthews values Darcy as an employee and a friend—even as the heat between them builds. But when a man claiming to be Darcy's husband shows up, Nick realizes just how much he wants to keep Darcy for himself.

Lauri:  Sing to Me Cowboy is a reunion story about the one that got away and wishing they hadn’t.

      Brenda:  Abigail’s been a bridesmaid twice but never the bride. Bobby’s been married twice but never really in love. It’s the story of love at first sight, spontaneity and misunderstandings which make for a fun romp.

They all sound wonderful.  I have a feeling my Kindle will be getting some new downloads. Can you tell us a little about your next projects?

        Sherri:  Right now I am struggling with the secondary characters from Lost Memories. It seems Nick’s brothers all want their own story. Trent is demanding his story be told first. It seems he can’t wait any longer to be with Jordan (Darcy’s best friend). 

Lauri:  In September I have two western historicals being released from Harlequin and another one from them in October. 

      Brenda:   It’s called The Art of Love and Murder and is the first of a three book series. Lacy Dahl’s research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life. When Sheriff Chance Meadowlark comes to her rescue, she begins to think their present is more important than her past…until his connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love.

 The Art of Love and Murder sounds fascinating, Brenda.  Congratulations, Lauri on your upcoming releases.  Sherri, I know exactly what you're going through. I just was struggling with the same issue.  

Anything else you'd like to share with us?
 
Sherri: Stop by The Wild Rose Press and read all the wonderful stories from the Honky Tonk Hearts series. I will be sure to post the release date for LOST MEMORIES. Follow or contact me at www.facebook.com/sherrithomasromance  www.sherrithomas.blogspot.com  and/or
http://twittter.com/sherlynromance

Lauri:  Sing to Me Cowboy was my first experience writing for a series that includes several stories by different authors, and has been a tremendous amount of fun! I’m enjoying reading the other stories as much as I enjoyed writing one.   www.laurirobinson.blogspot.com

      Brenda:  The Morning After is only one book in The Honky Tonk Hearts series from The Wild Rose Press. There’s a common thread running through all of these very unique and individual stories. I had great fun writing it and hope everyone will enjoy reading it. Thanks for having me Katherine!

You're welcome, Brenda.  Thanks ladies for letting me interview you and giving us a peek into the window on your world.  

Check out the great blurbs and excerpts for Sherri, Lauri, and Brenda's novellas below.  I have to say you won't be disappointed.

       Lost Memories by Sherri Thomas
Blurb:  When your past is a blank, it’s hard to trust the future…

A car accident leaves Darcy Brooks with amnesia, but she’s determined it won’t ruin her life. She finds a job on a dude ranch—hiding her brain trauma to get it—and falls in love with her work. Now if she can just avoid falling in love with her boss.

Nick Matthews knows his new employee is hiding something, and he’s determined to discover what. He’s failed to protect his family from disaster in the past and won’t let it happen again. Now if he can just keep his attraction to Darcy from clouding his judgment.

Nick soon comes to value Darcy as an employee and a friend—even as the heat between them builds. But when a man claiming to be Darcy's husband shows up, Nick realizes just how much he wants to keep Darcy for himself.

Unedited Excerpt:

Darcy rose onto her elbows. Yuck. Her jeans were caked with the mud and who knew what else. Anxious to get out of the stench, she placed her palm on Nick’s. Her heart skipped a beat, and she forgot to breath.
He tugged on her arm pulling her to her feet. She slammed into his chest as his arm went around her waist. The momentum made her step back into one of Horace’s holes, knocking them both off balance, and her on top of his hard chest. Air whooshed from her lips. She stared at him in horror.
Oh, God, he was sure to fire her now.
“I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you?” She moved her leg, catching her boot on the cuff of his jeans.
”No.”
Specks of mud splattered his face. She bit her lip to keep from laughing as she wiped the dirt from his cheek, making the damage ten times worse. His skin was warm and bristly under her finger. She quickly withdrew her hand.
His thump swiped a clump of sludge off her check.
She sucked in a breath. This was not right. The way her body succumbed to one touch of his hand was wrong. 
Nick moved his leg. Every hard inch of him pressed into her flesh, branding her to him. He tucked a stray curl behind her ear.
A spark ignited in her toes and heat worked through her body. His chest rose and fell in a rapid pace beneath her palms, but her own air suspended in her lungs. She fought a wild urge to rake a fingernail over his unshaved jaw and pulled her knees up in an effort to get to her feet. Large hands encased the back of her thighs in a stilling motion, and she ending up straddling him as he rose to a sitting position. A helpless gasp robbed her of speech.
His eyes strayed to her lips.
Her stomach fluttered. Ripples of anticipation churned deep inside. She forced herself to look away. His magnificent body was off limits. He's my employer for goodness sake.
She gave herself a mental shake and swallowed the moan rising in her throat.
Why don’t I feel this way around Sam, Trent, or Chris?   
“I must look quite a sight,” She commented trying to escape her own thoughts.
“We both do.” He smirked, revealing a devilish indentation in his left cheek.
When did he get a dimple? She didn’t remember seeing one before.
Muscles flexed under her, the warmth of him seeped through her jeans. She glanced away wondering how to talk her jelly filled muscles into getting up. Failing to persuade her body her sights returned to his seconds later. Green specks highlighted his brown orbs - another new finding to keep the breath from my lungs.  



 
Sing To Me Cowboy by Lauri Robinson
Blurb: 
Heather Gibson's past catches up with her one dark Texas night. 

Locked in a custody battle with an ex-husband who's looking for any excuse to take her children, Heather doesn't need any more trouble. But when a broken-down car and a dead cell phone leave her stranded at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, she comes face-to-face with the one man who could jeopardize everything—including her heart. 

Country-singing sensation Lance Dugan is back in Amarillo for his grandfather's birthday and to take care of a bit of unfinished business—apologize to Heather for leaving ten years ago. Lance has fought hard and won big the last few years, but seeing Heather again makes him wonder if he's been fighting for the right things.

Finding each other again may seem like fate, but one horrible secret, buried deep, could divide them forever.

Excerpt:

“Hey? Are you all right?”
The shiver that zipped up her spine caught in her throat with the power to strangle the life out of her. There are certain voices one never forgets—and a first love ranked very near number one.
Heather fought for air. It couldn’t possibly be him. He was in Nashville, where all the famous singers hung out.
“Excuse me, Miss?”
Her hands trembled as air finally entered her lungs. Could this night get any worse? Could her life get any worse?
Pushing off her knees, she straightened her spine, and wasn’t surprised the strangling sensation came back full force. Her heart—as if it wasn’t already racing—shifted into overdrive.
It was him.
Lance Dugan. From his George Strait-out-of-the-box-hat to his un-scuffed Justin boots.
The last person she’d ever expected to see. The last person she’d want to see in the shape she was right now.
Inhaling until her lungs threatened to burst, she squared her shoulders and wished she was back in her car, sweating to death, being eaten by wild beasts, anything but standing face to face with him.
Lance grabbed the fender of the pickup truck next to him just to stay upright. It was if the ground was rising up to meet him. Few things shocked him, but this did.
“Heather? Heather Childs?”
Her smile could still knock his socks off, even though tonight, in the muted light of the parking lot, her grin appeared strained. The rest of her on the other hand, looked just as good as if they’d graduated yesterday instead of ten years ago. Bits of light caught in her golden-brown hair, making it shine and sparkle as brightly as it had when she’d been cheering the football team on. The shorts that hugged her thighs proved her legs were as long and limber as they had been when she’d worn her tiny cheerleading skirt, which had never failed to catch his eye.
“Yes, Lance,” she answered, with the voice that still haunted him at times. “It’s me. But if you recall, it’s Heather Gibson.”
The name hit him like a cold shower. Needing to keep that reaction well-hidden, he let go of the truck and bent down to pick up the leather bag that sat by her feet. Handing it over, Lance admitted, “Yes, I do recall. How’s Matt?”

 To purchase Sing to Me, Cowboy go to:





The Morning After by Brenda Whiteside
Blurb:  Can there really be love at first sight?

Abigail Martin doesn’t think so. Unless the sexy redheaded stranger she wakes up with the morning after her best friend’s wedding is telling the truth.

Bobby Stockwood fell cowboy-hat-over-boot-heels for the brown-haired beauty, and married her in an impromptu wedding ceremony.  Now he just has to convince his new bride that the morning after can be the first day of the rest of their lives.

But just when Abigail starts believing the fairy-tale is real, she finds out exactly who Bobby is, and the walls of make-believe start crumbling down.

Excerpt:  

A moan.
The man rolled to his back, kicking off covers.
Abigail gasped. Her gentleman visitor wore only a bow tie and black socks.
She crept to the edge of the bed. His face was turned away, further hidden by red curls hanging down the nape of his neck and onto his cheek. A visual sweep of the attractive body brought a smile to her face when she paused on his more than ample endowments. A true redhead. An encounter of this magnitude should be easy to remember.
Abigail smiled in spite of her throbbing temples. Inching closer, she nudged his boots aside with her foot and leaned over to see his face. Mmm. He smelled good, like rich leather and fresh cut wood. As she bent to get a closer look, Kirby, her sixteen-pound Siamese cat, entered her room and announced his hunger.
The visitor stirred, grasped her arm, drawing her down across his hips.
He rose up on his elbows and looked at her. “So, Abby, you’re a morning person, are you?”
Abigail launched off the bed, trying not to come into contact with anymore of the warm body than she already had. Tripping over the boots, she ended up sprawled on the floor. “Who…” She gulped. “Who the hell are you?”


 What did I tell you? Great blurbs and excerpts. Not to mention the fabulous covers.