Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Please Welcome My Guest...


Please welcome my guest, Romance author Savannah Young. Savannah grew up in rural northwest New Jersey in a place very similar to the fictional Old Town, which is featured in her books. When she's not at her computer creating spicy stories, Savannah is traveling to exotic locales or spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.

Savannah has graciously allowed me to interview her today.

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

I’m the author of 24 books. In addition to writing novels and non-fiction books, I’m also an optioned screenwriter and produced playwright.

I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 years!

My siblings claim I'm a vegetarian because I don't eat any meat except bacon and pepperoni. (You know the really healthy stuff. LOL) Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

I like to get up between 4:30 and 5:00 am every morning and write for a few hours before I go to work. I can write anywhere but I like to write on my laptop in bed the best.

I get up at 5:00 every morning too, but it's to get ready for work. Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

I’ve written everything from kid’s books to biographies and everything in between. I enjoy writing contemporary romance the most. I enjoy writing about relationships and I like making readers feel something.

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

I don’t get writer’s block. I have the opposite problem. I have too much to write and not enough time to write it all.

I know the feeling. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

I don’t think I’ve done anything too strange. I did have to befriend a man who uses a wheelchair to find out some details about sexuality for disabled men.

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

Don’t be afraid to write crap. Just get words on the page. You can always rewrite later.

Great advice. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I’m not sure what the term “leisure time” means. :o)  I work full-time and also write a new novel every 4-6 weeks. I don’t have a lot of free time.

A new novel every 4 to 6 weeks, that's impressive. Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.

The Wilde One is the second book in the OLD TOWN COUNTRY ROMANCE series about four Wilde brothers, their local bar and their country band. This story focuses on Tucker, who served and was injured in Iraq. 

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

A Wilde Night is the third book in the OLD TOWN COUNTRY ROMANCE series.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog!

You're welcome. :o)

Blurb:
FOUR WILDE BROTHERS...ONE WILDE COUNTRY BAND

WILDE RIDERS is the first novel in a spicy new contemporary romance series about four sexy brothers, their small-town bar and their local country band. WILDE RIDERS can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as part of the SERIES.

Cooper Wilde spent his entire adolescence counting the days until he could escape rural northwest New Jersey. Now at 26, he can't believe he's coming back. But his late father's bar, Haymakers, is in financial trouble and his older brother, Jake, has asked for Cooper's help.

Riley Smith, 25, is fresh out of her Ivy League MBA program and wants to make an impression on her employer, H & C Bank. Her first solo assignment is a fraud investigation on a business loan they made to Haymakers.

Even though Old Town is less than 90 minutes from New York City, Riley feels like she's stepped into another world in this remote, one-bar town. Riley can't wait to do her business and get back to the city as quickly as her sports car will take her...until she meets Cooper Wilde. He's not like the other guys in this rural town and Riley feels inexplicably attracted to him.

If you like your trucks loud, your beer cold and your men hot...you'll love WILDE RIDERS.

Wilde Riders Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Wilde-Riders-Town-Country-Romance-ebook/dp/B00IDWDWJ8/

You can contact Savannah at any of the links below:

Friday, April 25, 2014

This I know for sure...


I love doing research for a work in progress, but sometimes I find something so interesting that it takes me off on a tangent researching something that has nothing to do with the current manuscript I'm writing. I find myself looking for more information on this tidbit that's aroused my curiosity even though I know I won't be able to use it. I do sometimes find myself trying to find ways to work the information into the storyline. I've even made notes on some of those interesting items that I hope to be able to use as a basis for a story some day.

The piece of information that I found this week that has me wanting to find a way to use it in a manuscript -- A monk in the 17th century dug his own grave anticipating God's wrath for a sin he committed while trying to help a young woman escape an abusive situation. Sounds fascinating, doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Please Welcome My Guest...


Please welcome my guest, Romance Author Terri Rochenski. Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling. 

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open. 

Interviewing your characters

I’m a true planner and couldn’t be a panster for any story but flash fiction. Every novel I write starts out as files, notebooks full of notes, and binders with sheet protectors. Notecards. Timelines. Outlines.
Yes. I’m extreme.

The best part of being so organized? The character interviews. With a premade sheet (three actually) of questions, I imagine myself in a comfy chair across from each of the main characters of a story.
I’ve been surprised more than once by a side of a character I never expected to see. Secrets that make them who they are. Often these instances bring about sub-plot ideas, conflict and tension beneath the surface of what would have otherwise been a shallow story. 

We banter back and forth, and along with their answers, I make sure to jot down every mannerism and reaction. Every telling twitch I can use to flesh them out on paper, and make them seem real for my readers.

I’m a firm believer in that if you’re going to commit to telling a character’s story and getting their arc right, then you need to know them like you do your best buds. Even if their favorite color or most embarrassing moment has no impact on the story, knowing such things brings a closeness between us and our characters. This makes it easier to hear their voice and be consistent.

Am I nuts, or do you interview the voices in your head?


Blurb:
Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.

Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow's unrelenting waves of grief.


Purchase Links:
 Print
Createspace (Best Option)
Amazon

eBook
Amazon
Bookstrand
Smashwords

Link for Love’s Sorrow on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21455386-love-s-sorrow

Ms. Rochenski’s Links:

Follow Terri on the rest of her blog tour --


Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating

For everyone who celebrates Easter... Happy Easter Monday!




Friday, April 18, 2014

This I know for sure...

Like pretty much everyone else who's suffered through the harsh winter, I'm anxiously awaiting spring. Monday we had 80 degree temperatures. On Tuesday, it was in the low 30's and it snowed. I've been feeling a bit blue and have been blaming it on the fact that winter keeps hanging on.

Yesterday after work I went out to bring in the mail and noticed something that made my day.  I have crocuses blooming in spite of the snow and cold weather we had on Tuesday and Wednesday. Our grass hasn't fully come back yet, but I have flowers!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Sorry with quarterly taxes due at work and the deadline looming, I've been working crazy hours and not doing much reading. Instead I thought I'd share our Easter brunch recipe. My mom has made this every Easter for as long as I can remember.

Breakfast Quiche

One Single Pie Crust (Recipe below or you can buy a ready made one)
4 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half (you can also use whole milk)
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Dash ground nutmeg
3/4 cup chopped cooked ham (I've also used chopped chicken and bacon)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheese of your choice (I've used Cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack at different times. All of them work well.)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Prepare and roll out the pastry for the single pie crust. Line a 9 inch pie pan with the crust. Line the unpricked crust with double thickness of aluminum foil. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes more or until the pie crust is set and dry. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven setting to 325 degrees.

While the pie crust is baking, stir together the eggs, half and half, onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the chopped ham. In a separate bowl mix the cheese and flour together. Add this to the egg mixture and mix well.

Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 wedge size servings.

Single Pie Crust Recipe

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter (also called a pastry blender) to cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles pea size pieces. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over the pieces and gently toss with a fork. Push the moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat this step using one tablespoon of water at a time until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the dough. Roll it from the center outward to form a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to your prepared pie pan, fold under extra dough, and crimp the edges of the pie crust as desired.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blatant Promo

Hi Everyone --
My debut novel, Impetuous, is being featured on Sunday April 13, 2014 at eBookSoda, a new readers' site where they'll send you ebook recommendations tailored to your taste. The link to their site is www.ebooksoda.com. I realize this is a day late, but you can still get a copy of the book at the sale price of $2.99 for a limited time at any of the links below:
The Wild Rose Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Thanks.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Favorite Hero

I'm visiting JM Stewart's blog today as part of her Favorite Hero Friday series. I'm talking about one of my favorite heroes from one of my favorite books.  I was also asked to talk a bit about one of a favorite hero from one of my own books. I hope you'll stop by and see who these heroes are and share one or two of your own favorite novel heroes. Link: http://jm-stewart.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week's review is Addie and the Gunslinger by Celia Yeary.

Blurb:  Ex-gunslinger Jude Morgan lands in jail in a far-flung West Texas town. On the fourth day, the sheriff ushers in a beautiful woman dressed in men’s pants and toting her own six-shooter. Adriana Jones claims he is her worthless husband who married her, but never came home.

The young woman makes a bargain with Jude in front of the sheriff. Jude is to come home where he belongs, and she will have him released. Once they’re alone, she explains his job is to pose as her husband to thwart the marriage advances of her neighbor, wealthy rancher Horace Caruthers. The older man wants her ranch to join with his; the Pecos River runs through her property.

To seal the bargain, Jude wants a kiss. During the next few weeks, however, Jude and Addie learn that the kiss meant more than they intended. Then, when Addie's life is in danger, will Jude rescue his Addie? Or will Addie save herself and her gunslinger?

ReviewPlease note this is a novella with approximately 78 pages. I point this out because some readers buy a book and don't realize that it's of short length and then give a terrible review because it wasn't a full-length novel.

As I mentioned above this is a novella so the reader should expect things to develop between the hero and heroine pretty rapidly as was the case here. However, I never felt like I got to know Jude or Addie other than in the most superficial way. There are things I wished the author had explained - Why does Addie call her father by his given name, Caleb? Why does Jude, who was was brought up by a violent father who killed one of his sons, decide to become a gunslinger and perpetuate more violence?

There were other things in the story that seemed inconsistent to me as well. One of the bigger ones was the neighboring rancher, Caruthers, threatening to kill Addie's father and/or blowing up part of the river that runs through Addie's family's ranch to divert the water to his own land.Throughout most of the story he comes across as someone who will do anything to get what he wants but as soon as Jude goes and sees him, he's more than willing to sit down with Caleb and work out a way for both ranches to have the water usage they need. It seems as if a simple conversation between Caleb and Caruthers would have solved the issue without any need for Jude at all.

There were also some other things that bothered me. For example in one place, the writer states Jude socked Sonny in his right jaw and then he hits Sonny in his other jaw. You only have one jaw.

Overall it's not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, but I wish the writer had fleshed out the characters more.

Rating3 Stars

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rejection - It's Inevitable

As any writer who has submitted his or her work for publication knows, rejection is a huge part of the process. Most of us have received more rejections from agents and/or publishers than we care to admit.

The first thing I share with someone who's contemplating submitting their manuscript for consideration for publication is to develop a thick skin. This can be hard because, in my experience, most writers are sensitive souls and being told your manuscript doesn't measure up can lead to days of self-doubt and despair. If you aren't able to develop that thick skin, it can destroy any pleasure you get from writing. I had one friend who would be depressed for days after receiving a rejection letter. She finally stopped writing all together which is too bad because she had a way with words that was almost lyrical.

The next thing I share is that there is a lot of luck involved. I do believe that a lot of getting published is having your manuscript land on the right desk at the right time. Of course, you have to have written the very best book that you can to start with. Throwing a story together and sending it out is all but guaranteeing rejection.

Another thing I always try to share is to remember reading is so very subjective that while one agent or editor may not like the story, another may love it. When you get a rejection, try to remember that it's only one person's opinion on any given day. Don't get discouraged.

The final thing I share is that there are different types of rejections. There's the form rejection which most authors hate the most. (I know I do.) There's the "Sorry your work doesn't meet our needs at this time" which isn't necessarily a bad rejection, it just means they've either already contracted a number of similar stories or they've stopped accepting your specific genre or sub-genre for a time.  One of the better types of rejection is where they reject the story you've submitted, but ask you to submit something else you've written. This means they like your voice or style or sense of humor. There's something in your writing that they're interested in seeing more of. The best type of rejection is where they ask for revisions and have you resubmit the manuscript.

Don't let rejection letters keep you from reaching for your dreams no matter how many you may receive. Some of the most well-known authors were rejected hundreds of times. 


Friday, April 4, 2014

This I know for sure...

While I'm happy to see winter come to an end and spring start, I hate this time of year because everything is so muddy, brown, and dirty looking. The picture below has been circulating the internet, on Facebook particularly. I wish this is how winter changed to spring - to have it go from cold and snowy to everything being lush and green and warm without the ugliness of the transition in between would be wonderful.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week's review is Trouble in Mudbug by Jana DeLeon.

Blurb: Scientist Maryse Robicheaux thought that a lot of her problems had gone away with her mother-in-law’s death. The woman was rude, pushy, manipulative and used her considerable wealth to run herd over the entire town of Mudbug, Louisiana.

Unfortunately, death doesn’t slow down Helena one bit.

DEA Agent Luc LeJeune is wondering what his undercover assignment investigating the sexy scientist has gotten him into – especially as it seems someone wants her dead. Keeping his secrets while protecting Maryse proves to be easier than fighting his attraction for the brainy beauty.

Review:  I read this book on the recommendation of my sister. This is the first book that I've read by Jana DeLeon. The book is a fun mystery with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, though it wasn't beyond comprehension to figure out who the killer was.

Maryse considered her mother in law, Helena, the devil's spawn and while she wasn't happy that Helena died, she wasn't shedding any tears either. Helena comes back as a ghost and enlists Maryse's help in finding out who killed her. My favorite parts of the book are those dealing with Maryse and Helena. Some of the scenes are laugh out loud funny and Helena's wardrobe issues are some of best scenes in the book.

I felt the interplay and romance between Maryse and Luc detracted from the story. She's funny and smart, and then when Luc comes around, she turns into a mindless female who can't get her mind off his butt and how well he fills out his jeans. One other thing that bothered me between Maryse and Luc is that nearly every time Maryse speaks about or thinks about Luc, she calls him by his first and last name. I found it really annoying after a while especially as they grew closer.

Overall, the story was enjoyable, but there are a few things left hanging at the end of the book that I assume are taken care of in the next installment.

Rating4 Stars