Monday, December 31, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Romancing Your E-Reader Book Bash -- 26 Romances, Two Grand Prizes


Congratulations to our winners:
1st Place Winner - Melissa S.
2nd Place Winner - Hilary



Did you receive a new e-reader as a gift this holiday season? 
If so, then have I got news for you.
22 Authors – 27 E-book Romances – Two Grand Prize Winners!
 Two lucky winners will be filling their new readers with free romance e-books. 
First prize: 15 titles
 Second prize: 12 titles

How do you win? Simple. All of the contributing authors have posted the blurb from their book at their websites (links below) and have asked a question about their blurb. Answer the question in a comment at each site. Each question answered is another entry toward one of the two grand prizes. And that’s not all. Many of the hops along the way are offering individual prizes as well. So be sure to visit as many as you can. 
 ( Grand prize winners will be announced on the 30th.)

My contribution to the book bash is my new historical romance novel, An Unexpected Gift, which is set in the Regency period.

 Blurb:
Known only as Lazarus to the band of cutthroats and thieves he leads, William Prescott will do anything to find his missing sister, even blackmail a fragile young woman into helping him. But he never plans to fall in love with this mysterious woman with a troubled past.

Haunted by the memories of war, Olivia St. Germaine wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But when her brother, a doctor, suddenly leaves town without a word, she is forced to use her medical knowledge to help an injured man who puts her life in danger. Can she keep herself safe as she tends Lazarus, or is her heart more vulnerable than she realizes?

Here's my question:  What's your favorite historical hero type?  Does a handsome Earl make you swoon, or do you prefer a Scottish Laird, or a rough and tumble cowboy?

Don’t forget to leave your answer in the comments along with contact information.  And don't forget to check out the rest of the titles being offered in the book bash. The links are listed below. Read the blurbs on each site and answer the questions for more chances to win. Good luck!

THAT DATING THING  by Mackenzie Crowne -- http://mackenziecrowne.com 

MONA LISA’S ROOM by Vonnie Davis (plus a little sweet) ~ vintagevonnie.blogspot.com

STEPPING OUT OF LINE by Linda Carroll Bradd ~ blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com

HOME  by Calisa Rhose ~ calisarhose.wordpress.com

BE STILL MY LOVER’S HEART  by Lisa Hannah Wells ~ memorymakerscreator.blogspot.com

MURDER IN THE BUFF by Maggie Toussaint ~ mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com

THE TREASURE OF COMO BLUFF by Alison Henderson ~ AliceHenderson.com

SHANGHAI CONNECTION by Carol Henry ~ http://macsmadmania.blogspot.com/

SOMEWHERE MY LOVE (A ghostly time travel romance) by Beth Trissell ~  bethtrissel.wordpress.com

FAERIE FOOL by Silver James ~ Silverjames.com

CLEAR AS DAY by Babette James ~ babettejames.com

DECEPTIONS OF THE HEART by Denise Moncrief ~ ~ denisemoncrief.blogspot.com

TAKE ME HOME, COWBOY by Krista Ames (Plus 4 Anthology titles below) ~ apassionforromance.blogspot.com

THE DOLLHOUSE (For the Love of Christmas Anthology) by Dani-Lyn Alexander~  danilynalexander.com

STUDIO RELATIONS by Georgie Lee ~ georgielee.blogspot.com

A SECOND CHANCE AT FOREVER by Joanne Stewart ~ jm-stewart.blogspot.com

MAGIC OF THE LOCH by Karen Michelle Nutt ~ kmnbooks.blogspot.com

THE BETTER MAN by Ceri Hebert ~ cerihebert.wordpress.com

THREAT TO OUR FOREVER by Em Epe ~ emeperomances.blogspot.com

CONNECT THE DOTS (For the Love of Christmas Anthology) by Jennifer Eaton ~ jennifermeaton.com

FADEOUT by Rolynn Anderson ~ blog.rolynnanderson.com

Plus four anthologies, courtesy of Krista Ames.
BELIEVE CHRISTMAS ~ BE MINE, VALENTINE ~ ALL BETS ARE ON ~ SUMMER SHORTS


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

This I know for sure...

I am so looking forward to having an extra long weekend two weeks in a row. 

This coming week, while I may have 5 days off from work including the weekend, it will be busy getting things ready for Christmas day, celebrating on Christmas day, and really only having the day after to be able to relax and just breathe. 

The following week, I'll have 4 days off including the weekend and hope to use a few hours to get some writing related things taken care of to start the new year off right.  But for the most part, I want to take the time and just be.  To not have to go anywhere (except grocery shopping) or do anything, that is what I'm looking forward to the most. To have the time to sit and read and not feel guilty for doing it instead of something else "more important."  


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Please Welcome My Guest...

Please welcome my guest, Romance Author, Georgie Lee.  A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry. Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Avalon Books. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press. When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. 

Great Classic Hollywood Christmas Films

Thank you Katherine for having me here today, and thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy holiday schedule to stop by. In honor of the holiday season and my latest release, Studio Relations, I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favorite classic Hollywood holiday films. Whether you’re done shopping and ready to coast through the rest of the holidays, or you’ve just come home from braving the mall, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate, pop some popcorn and get in the holiday mood with one of these heartwarming films. Afterwards, please consider curling up with my latest release, Studio Relations. Set in 1935 Hollywood, it is the story of Vivien Howard, a vivacious female director and Weston Holmes, a handsome studio executive who must overcome their professional differences to find love during Hollywood’s golden age. 

Christmas in Connecticut. Barbara Stanwyck plays a ladies’ magazine writer who must pretend to be the domestic goddess she portrays in her column in order to fool her publisher boss. The plot is fun, the dialogue witty and the chemistry between the hero and heroine sparkles.

The Bishops Wife. This 1947 classic stars Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young. Cary Grant is spectacular as usual as an angel who comes to help an Episcopal Bishop remember the important things in life.

A Tale of Two Cities. The 1935 version with Ronald Colman is excellent. Now, I realize it isn't  strictly a Christmas movie and it can be a bit heavy at times, but some of the story does take place at Christmas. Ronald Coleman's portrayal of Sydney Carton is very moving and well worth watching.

Miracle on 34th Street – The original 1947 version is a heartwarming classic about a man on trial for claiming to be Santa Claus and the little girl who believes in him. This is Natalie Wood’s first film role and the one that shot her to fame.

If you haven’t already seen these films, I hope you discover at least one new holiday favorite. If you have seen them, then I hope you’re inspired to watch them again. Either way, I wish you all very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Please visit  www.georgie-lee.com for more information about Georgie and her novels.  You can also find Georgie at the following links:
 
Twitter: @GeorgieLeeBooks


Studio Relations Blurb:
Vivien Howard hasn’t forgiven Weston Holmes for almost derailing her career five years ago. Female directors in 1930s Hollywood are few and far between, and a man who coasts by on his good looks and family connections can’t possibly appreciate what it took for her to get to where she is. But when the studio head puts Weston in charge of overseeing Vivien’s ambitious Civil War film, she realizes she has a choice: make nice with her charismatic new boss or watch a replacement director destroy her dream.

Weston Holmes doesn’t know much about making movies, but he knows plenty about money. And thanks to the Depression, ticket sales are dangerously low. The studio can’t afford a flop—or bad press, which is exactly what threatens to unfold when an innocent encounter between Weston and Vivien is misconstrued by the gossip rags. The only solution? A marriage of convenience that will force the bickering duo into an unlikely alliance—and guide them to their own happy Hollywood ending.

Buy Link:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Please Welcome My Guest...

Please welcome my guest, Romance Author Sarah Hoss. Sarah grew up believing she could try anything and if she set her mind to it, she would succeed. Writing was no exception.  Reading the Outlander series made her fall in love with time travels and the historical places books could take her. Always a child with a vivid imagination, she realized as an adult, she could put her imagination to good use and began writing.


Good morning, Sarah. Tell us something about yourself both writing and non-writing related.

I have been a wife now for 17 yrs. and I am the mother to three children. A girl-16 and two boys- 14 and 11. As for writing, I have been writing now for 6 years and Heaven Sent is my first release.

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

I do all of my writing in the living room of my house. I wait until the husband and the kids have left for the day and then I begin. I like to have Twizzlers nearby if I can. They help me think. The T.V. is usually on but just for noise.

Hmm. I like Twizzlers. I might have to see if they help me think while I'm writing. Why do you write in the genre or sub-genre that you do? Any plans in the future to write in another genre?

I write in historical paranormal because it is what I like to read also. I love time-travels. And, I figure I live now a day romance, why not write about the past and learn something new. HEAVEN SENT is a contemporary romance that was started for a contest and I enjoyed writing it. I would like to write more in this genre, but will concentrate fully on historical paranormal.

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

I have to take a step back. I will either work on another project or I will leave it alone for a day or two. Once, I watched Braveheart to get me back in the mood.

Taking a day break works for me too. I just have to be careful that it doesn't stretch longer than that. What is the strangest thing you have ever done in the name of research?

Most of my research has been for my novel. I went deer hunting and I have drank whiskey. Both instances were quite eye opening! LOL!

Deer hunting!  You're braver than I am. What’s the best writing advice I have ever been given?

I was advised to join Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. It is a group affiliated with RWA and they discuss everything Celtic. The information I have learned there and the friends I have made have been unbelievable. I highly recommend this group.  www.celtichearts.blogspot.com.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I love to go camping, to work in my garden or flower beds, and I like to read. My kids are in a lot of sports so I spend a lot of time watching them.

I like to garden too. Unfortunately, I don't have much of a green thumb. Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.

HEAVEN SENT is about undying love, faith, and the ability to forgive.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next project?

I have a novel coming out in January and I am currently working on the second book for that. It’s not a series, rather than there are three brothers and they each get their own book. The title of the novel coming out in January is Dreams of the Highlander and it is with Soul Mate Publishing.  

Congratulations on your second novel. Anything else you would like to share?

I want to thank you for having me here today. I hope everyone will enjoy Heaven Sent and I look forward to hearing from them. To keep up with what is coming next from me, I can be found at my website, www.sarahhoss.com.

I can also be found at:
Twitter- @SarahHoss1
I am also on Pinterest and LinkedIN. 

Thank you for being my guest.

Blurb:  
When forgiveness heals the soul, love heals the heart.
 
Flight nurse Tenlee Hawkins is used to making quick decisions, but one decision she made the Christmas day her mother died haunts her. Wrestling with the past, she spirals into depression—until the day she finds a man unconscious in her woods and saves his life.
 
When Sam awakens in the hospital with a concussion and no memory, Tenlee rescues him again. She takes him into her home and her life. But as Sam recovers and remembers who he is, he's torn. A guardian angel isn't supposed to fall in love.
 
As the promise of true love grows, Tenlee realizes that Sam has helped her much more than she ever helped him. But Sam is filled with guilt knowing he must soon leave. Will it take a Christmas miracle to find the life with Tenlee he’s always wanted
 
Heaven Sent will be available from The Wild Rose Press on Dec. 19th, 2012. 
 



Friday, December 14, 2012

This I know for sure...

The more gift shopping I do, the more I realize I still have a lot of people left to shop for and time is running out. It seems that instead of crossing people off my list, I'm adding people to buy for. 

I did manage to buy a few gifts yesterday and move those people to the "Finished" list. Hope to get more shopping done this weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Please Welcome My Guest...

Please Welcome my guest, Romance Author Linda Carroll-Bradd.  Linda has kindly allowed me to interview her and shared a great excerpt from her new release, ON WITH THE SHOW.

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

When I’m in the middle of a writing project, I need to read outside of that genre for my pleasure reading. I guess I’m worried that I’ll unconsciously pick up the author’s voice. Recently, I’ve been reading thrillers by Scandinavian authors—suspense and quasi-travel guide wrapped up in one book.

The last year we lived in Texas, my husband and I got involved with training our dogs (Shiba Inu and a terrier mix) in dog agility. Our vacation travels centered around attending a match and I even got to the point where I ran the terrier in a competition. We’re still searching for similar events close to where we live in California.

The agility competitions sound interesting. Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

For November and December, I’ve been busy with edits, cover art sheets, galleys, and promotion for the five contracts I signed in August and September. I started NaNoWriMo and wrote about 4,500 words of a new story and then my inbox started filling with edits and revisions.

When I’m writing, I like to answer email/post blog/update website for the first hour to let the coffee kick in and then switch to my work in progress—either research or writing new pages. I write at a PC in a little corner upstairs in the mountain cabin my husband of almost 34 years and I share with our two little dogs. The skylight opposite my desk faces the forest up to the ridge of the mountain peak—wonderful for inspiration.

Five contracts! Congratulations! Your writing space sounds great. I think I'm jealous. :o) Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

I first discovered romances in high school when I’d peek at my mom’s Phyllis A. Whitney or Dorothy Eden gothics. Twenty years later when I rediscovered romance books, I found Harlequin romances—the thin books—and I’d read one a day. After a couple years, I decided to write one and that’s the genre I knew best. I wrote at least four full-length novels that never got past the 3-ring binder on the bookshelf in my writing area. When a good friend and her critique partner opened The Wild Rose Press in 2006, I discovered an outlet for my short and novella length stories.

I also love writing short historical stories. My dad got me hooked on westerns when I was growing up and the appeal has never died.  I have one light paranormal published and would like to try another—because everyone needs a bit of magic in their lives.

I love that - everyone needs a bit of magic in their lives. How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?

This is a tough one. Several years ago, I was unemployed for 14 months, which would have seemed like a great time to focus on writing. But there’s something about employers not wanting to even interview you that kills the idea that someone might want to read your creative writing. I did a lot of revising and tweaking of already written stories but didn’t create new pages.

When I relocated from Texas to California this summer, I had a goal of responding to as many publisher calls for submissions as I could. These calls contained an overall or specific theme, a word count and had a due date. The first two stories I submitted were rejected, but the next five found a home. Adopting this method was great to get my creative juices flowing again.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

Three writer friends and I took a research trip to a 24-hour adult video and sex toy store in San Antonio. I’ve learned a notebook and pen are handy to have to bolster your courage in potentially intimidating situations. Surprising the things you learn about your friends as you window shop through the gadgets and accessories section.

That's funny. I don't know if I'd have the courage to do research at an adult video/sex toy store. What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?

That revision is at least 50% of writing. At the time, I may not have really believed whichever writer stated that in a presentation or workshop. But I believe it now. I have learned the process of layering in sensory details, setting description, and emotion is more enjoyable than slamming down the basic story.

Good advice. I agree I much prefer revisions over writing the first draft. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

These days I don’t feel like I have much free time. My husband and I are movie buffs and go to the budget night at a local theater. When the promotion frenzy slows a bit, I’ll start a new crochet project. I like having my fingers busy while I watch TV in the evenings.

Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.

Every Thanksgiving, Franzi Mueller returns to her hometown, Freedom Valley, to help with the musical show at the veteran’s hospital. After a decade of living in Houston, Franzi is feeling nostalgic for the sense of community in her small Texas town. Moving home wouldn't be a problem if she could stop her matchmaking mother's plans to reunite her with her ex-high school beau, Dietz Reinhardt.

Sounds interesting. Can you tell us a little about your next project?

The project I started for NaNo that I will return to is a follow-up book to a historical, Dreams of Gold, that will release in 2013. The story is set in a fictional small town in Wyoming in 1871 and involves a schoolteacher (who is a twin) making a new start after years spent aspiring to the Broadway stage in New York but only finding employment in a burlesque show. The hero is a lawyer who writes dime novels in secret about the time he spent in a short-lived stint in the wild gold fields of South Pass City.

I admire anyone who does NaNo. Your NaNo project sounds interesting too. Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d love for fans of sweet romance to follow me on my Facebook author page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-Carroll-Bradd-author/440814942635289 or subscribe to my blog http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com. Those who join either Facebook or the blog will be eligible for a drawing (pulled on 12/14/12) to win a 2013 calendar from The Wild Rose Press.

An excerpt from On With The Show
“Closing in five minutes.”

That deep voice she remembered so well. A quick glance told her not much had changed in the store's decor. A little bit of everything and not much of anything. She forced a smile and strode to the wooden counter on the platform that stood half a foot higher than the floor. The man who'd spoken had his back to the door, a broad back that stretched the black t-shirt imprinted with Reinhardt's Hardware, family owned since 1854. A fact the Reinhardt family was immensely proud of, but the crux of the reason she and Dietz had gone their separate ways. “Hello, Dietz.”

“Franziska Mueller...to what do I owe this pleasure?”

The smile on his lips didn't reach his blue eyes. A fact she knew was totally her fault. “I just came in on the westbound train for my Thanksgiving visit and nobody was there to meet me. Erich Bruno happened by and he was driving me out to the ranch when he had to respond to a call.” Again, she sounded pathetic. Inside her coat pockets, both hands drew into fists. God, facing him one-on-one was harder than she'd thought it would be. “Can I use your phone?”

“Pay phone's outside the door.”

Her body tightened. “What is with this town and pay phones?” She paced a couple steps and back. “Normally, I'd use my cell but the battery needs charging. I don't have coins for a call.” Could she sound any more unprepared for life?

“So, you're askin' for a favor?” A black eyebrow arched over crystal blue eyes and he leaned an elbow on the counter. “Is that what I'm hearing?”

TWRP buy link  http://bit.ly/Ybzi89
Amazon   http://amzn.to/WolfXF
Barnes and Noble  http://bit.ly/S3sG72

Sounds great, doesn't it.  Be sure to enter the contest.  The Wild Rose Press calendar is well done and features books by their many different authors in many different sub-genres. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wrapping Presents

Is there that one thing you hate about the December holiday season, well besides fighting the crowds looking for that perfect gift?

My one thing is wrapping presents. Actually, I hate wrapping presents any time of the year but even more so at Christmas. It could be because instead wrapping one or two gifts for a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, there are hundreds of things to wrap. Okay that's a slight exaggeration, it just seems like there are that many. :o)

My dislike of wrapping gifts led to one of my favorite holiday traditions. -- I was complaining about having so many gifts to wrap one year and my sister offered to come over and help.

I come from a large family and we buy for everyone - brothers, sisters, spouses, significant others, nieces, nephews. In my mom's case, she buys for her children, their spouses or significant others, grandchildren, great grandchildren so you can imagine how many things there are to be wrapped.

Ever since then, my mother, sister, and I get together on Christmas eve in the late afternoon and wrap presents while we talk and listen to Christmas music. We break for dinner - pizza from the local pizza place. After dinner, we turn any Christmas cartoons we can find on TV and continue wrapping until everything is done, usually about 9:00pm or so. 

We help my sister pack up the gifts she needs to take home then we put all the remaining presents under the Christmas tree as everyone converges on my mother's home the next day. We have one last cup of coffee while sitting and relaxing and admire our hard work as the packages glisten under the lights from the Christmas tree.

While this is a new tradition by most standards (we've only been doing it for about 5 years), I find myself looking forward to it every year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Next Big Thing Blog Hop



Today I'm participating in the "Next Big Thing Blog Hop" and answering questions about my "next big thing."  I was invited by Historical Romance author, Linda Carroll-Bradd.  Check out her blog here: http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com  
  
What is the title of your book?

An Unexpected Gift.  It officially releases on February 1, 2013.
 
Where did the idea come from for the book?

The hero, Lazarus,  of An Unexpected Gift is a secondary character in my novella titled The Muse. He intrigued me so much I had to write his story.
 
What genre does your book fall under?

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

Hugh Jackman to play Lazarus.  (Actually I would choose to have Hugh Jackman play any of my heroes, but I have to admit I'm biased toward him. :o) ) As for my heroine, Olivia, I think Anne Hathaway would do a great job.
 
What is the two-sentence synopsis of your book?

Desperate to learn the truth about her brother’s reputation and why he’s disappeared, Olivia St. Germaine strikes a bargain with a man trying to escape his criminal past.  Now she must choose—try to save her brother or risk losing the man who has stolen her heart.
 
Will your book be self-published or published by a publishing company?

It's being published by The Wild Rose Press
 
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Approximately 5 months, but it needed a lot of work in revisions.
 
Who or what inspired you to write this book?

 I'm not sure if any one thing or person inspired me. I've always been interested in the time period and as I mentioned above, Lazarus kept talking to me and fighting to take over my novella so I had to give him his own happy ending.
 
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My heroine, Olivia St. Germaine, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, although it wasn't recognized or labeled as such during the Regency period.

 
I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about An Unexpected Gift.  For the next few days, my publisher is offering the digital copy for free on Amazon as a pre-release promotion.  You can get your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/An-Unexpected-Gift-ebook/dp/B009Y8APVI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354828898&sr=1-1&keywords=katherine+grey


I've invited Historical and Paranormal Romance author Dawn Luedecke to be the next participate in this blog hop.  Check out her blog to learn about her "Next Big Thing" on December 10, 2013 at http://www.dawnluedecke.com/apps/blog/

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Please Welcome My Guest...

Please Welcome my guest, Nancy Jardine. An ex-primary teacher, Nancy Jardine, lives in the fabulous castle country of Aberdeenshire – Scotland. Her husband mans the kitchen, her offspring only an hour’s drive away. When time permits, ancestry research is an intermittent hobby. Neglecting her large garden in favour of writing, she now grows spectacularly giant thistles. Activity weekends with her extended family are prized since they give her great fodder for new writing.

A lover of history, it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; Monogamy Twist, an ancestral mystery; Take Me Now, a light-hearted contemporary romance mystery; and a historical novel, The Beltane Choice, that’s earning a lot of 5 star reviews

Hi Katherine,
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today. I’m really excited to be here since it’s so close to my next release, Topaz Eyes – published by Crooked Cat Publishing- which is launched in two days time on the 7th December 2012.
 
Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.

To date I’ve not settled on any particular sub-genre, mainly because my story ideas have fitted different genres and sub-genres. My first forays in local publishing were two non- fiction historical related projects some years ago.  Since August 2011, I’ve had published one historical for Crooked Cat Publishing, The Beltane Choice, which is garnering a good crop of excellent 4 and 5 star reviews. Although a romance, it also includes a good deal of historical detail. The time period is one not often written about - that of Celtic/Roman Britain of A.D. 71. The Wild Rose Press has published two of my contemporary romances. Monogamy Twist is an ancestral bequest mystery; and Take Me Now is a light-hearted contemporary mystery with a hint of danger.

I also child mind my fourteen month old granddaughter twice a week- long days i.e. 6.30am through 6/7pm  - and she’s a very active enquiring little girl. On those days writing takes a back seat, but I absolutely adore being able to be with her. Apart from some leisure reading I don’t often have much time for anything else. I squeeze in an occasional dabbling in my ancestry research and work in my large garden- though I’m definitely a fair-weather gardener. Since I live in Scotland that means not much outside gardening during the late fall and winter- which is great since I do more writing!

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

I don’t have a writing routine as such. I tend to check emails first, do promotional tasks, write blog articles, and then write with what is left of the day. My desk is in my dining room right beside the window. That can be excellent on a lovely day, but the view can also remind me of garden chores I’m ignoring!

I write in the dining room as well.  Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

My future plans include getting the time-travel novel (full length at 75k) I’ve written for older children /early teens published in 2013 (It’s been languishing far too long). I’ve plans to make that into a series of three, so I will be departing from writing novels for adults for a while, although being a time –travel series the trio of children go back to historical time periods I love to write and learn about. 

Sounds interesting! How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?

I’m sort of in a writer’s block phase just now. Not exactly because my muse won’t hit, but more because I’ve been devoting a lot of time to promoting my recently released novels. My TWRP novel, Take Me Now, was launched on the 3rd Aug 2012. I immediately went into promotions for my Crooked Cat historical, The Beltane Choice, released on 31st Aug 2012 in e-book formats and then the print version came out on the 26th October 2012. I’m now into promotions for my current release, Topaz Eyes, from Crooked Cat. That, along with the weekly breaks for child minding mean I’m finding it difficult to get in stride, and stay in stride, with my main work in progress which is a sequel to The Beltane Choice. I also needed to do a lot of new research on Roman Britain before I started it. Suffice to say it’s still only around 36 k words.

I’m also writing a Family Saga based in Scotland that starts circa 1850 through to probably the 1950s. I’ve good planning for that though little time to write it! If I come unstuck with my historical WIP I find myself adding a tiny little bit to the saga.

Wow, you are busy. It's no wonder you're in a non-writing phase right now.  What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

I’m not sure I have done anything really strange for new research. Sometimes it’s been the other way around when I’ve used interesting experiences I’ve had in my novels. My novel, Take Me Now, was spawned from a seaplane trip I took with 9 of my family.

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

Probably to back up my files regularly so as not to lose anything if my computer fails! 

Excellent advice!  I've been a victim of the dreaded computer crash myself.  Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.

Topaz Eyes is about danger, distrust, greed and death which stalks distant third cousins who are brought together in a quest to find long a lost collection of fabulous family jewels once belonging to a Mughal emperor. The romance which blossoms sparkles as much as the treasures that are uncovered.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

The sequel to my historical, The Beltane Choice, begins in Celtic/ Roman Britain of A.D. 71. The main characters find themselves under the domination of the Roman Empire, and over some years find ways of supporting the Celts of Northern Britain who resist the Roman yoke. The novel is planned to culminate in one of the bloodiest battles between Celts and Romans in Scotland A.D. 83/84. It is, however, also a romance. 

 As we coast towards Christmas, I’d like to wish everyone a fantastic holiday season whatever they may be doing!

Blurb:

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.

Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.

Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?

As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love. 

Excerpt:
 “Would you ditch the mystery, Jensen, and just enlighten me as to what you think I have that interests you? And tell me why you couldn’t have asked for it in the letter you sent to me? I came here of my own free will – granted – but I’m not hanging around any longer if you’re going to drag this out, for I’m damned sure I’ve no idea what you’re referring to.”
            Jensen’s reply lacked emotion, his face a blank screen, his gaze focused on Teun as Keira regarded the by-play.
            “Teun. It may come as a surprise to you, but you actually know more about this invitation than Keira. At least you knew from my letter I had something of family interest you might be glad to take back to the USA with you. Keira had no such suggestion made to her.”
            Tension rose in the room, which didn’t only radiate from Teun.
            Keira sat uneasy, also unwilling to be in the dark any longer. “Would you please explain why you think I may have something you want, Herr Amsel?” She found herself reluctant to use his first name, considering the antagonism now mounting.
            “All in good time, Keira. And please call me Jensen. I don’t set out to be anyone’s enemy. I believe each of you can provide access to items belonging to the collection. All the pieces are likely to vary in monetary value but, viewed as a complete entity, it will make an impressive display. It’s a historic set… and unique.”

Topaz Eyes will be available in print and e-book formats from the 7th December from www.crookedcatbooks.com and amazon.com

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Viewing Traditions


Around this time every year holiday specials are broadcast on various television channels.  Some cartoons are televised more than once on different channels.  I've heard that one channel plays "A Christmas Story" over and over again on Christmas day. I can't say for sure if this the case as that's one holiday program I try to avoid along with the various Home Alone movies. 

My family members each have their favorite Christmas movies that they make sure to watch every year.  My mother's must watch program is "White Christmas" with Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby. One sister's must watch program is the original "Miracle on 34th Street," another sister's is "Eloise at Christmastime," another sister's is "Elf" with Will Ferrell.  My oldest sister's must watch program is "It's a Wonderful Life." (Yes, I have a lot of sisters.)  I've never seen the entire movie of "It's a Wonderful Life" even though it's broadcast so often during this time of the year.  I'm going to try to watch the whole thing this year.



For me, my favorite, must watch program is "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."  It just doesn't seem like Christmas if I don't watch it. 

How about you?  Do you have a particular must watch program that you watch every year?