Please welcome my guest, Historical Romance Author Donna Dalton.
Donna lives in central Virginia with her husband, two sons, and a grandson. An avid reader of historical romances, Donna uses the rich history of the “Old Dominion” State for many of her story settings. She enjoys reading stories where characters overcome life’s challenges, where family is everything, and the power of love helps them succeed. You can visit her at www.donndalton.net or on Facebook at DonnaDaltonbooks.
Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.
I started writing at a young age, probably the same time I learned to read. I remember creating a children’s book about vegetables that had arms and legs and could walk and talk. I even illustrated it. Maybe I should dig it out of my mother’s treasure chest. It could be a best seller <grin>. Along that same vein, I love to garden. I have flower and herb beds tucked in every possible spot in my yard. Digging in the soil is very relaxing for me and is a great cure for writer’s block.
I might have to ask for advice on how you keep squirrels and rabbits out of your garden. Do you have a writing routine? Where do you usually do your writing?
I do my best writing early in the morning. My brain seems to be the most cooperative after a good night’s sleep, a hot cup of tea, and a healthy breakfast. I write at a desk in a dining room that I converted into an office. I can look out the window at my beautiful flower beds.
Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do? Any plans in the future to write in a different one?
I have always loved reading historical romances, so it’s no wonder I find that genre the most interesting to write. I have written a couple of contemporary stories, but I always go back to the historicals. With my latest book, I have woven in some paranormal elements. That was fun and I will probably continue writing stories along that line. I do have a historical fiction percolating in the back of my head. So many ideas, so little time.
I agree. I have more ideas than I can keep up with. How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?
When writer’s block hits or I have an uncooperative muse, I go out into my flower gardens and dig. Getting my hands busy seems to get my brain in gear. I can’t count the number of times an idea emerged while my hands were deep in dirt.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Ha. Not so strange to me, but it was awkward for my husband (no, not that, lol). I needed to know the placement of my hero’s hands while he was picking the heroine off the floor (she had taken a tumble on a buckled rug runner). Hubby was helpful, but I guess I weighed more than he thought. We both ended up on the floor, laughing at each other.
What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?
The best writing advice I have received was from my favorite historical author and friend, Joanna Bourne. She said the best way to improve your writing is to just keep at it. Write, write, write. Sage words from a sage woman.
Definitely good advice. What do you like to do in your leisure time?
In my leisure time, I enjoy working in my yard, talking long walks, and spending time with my wonderful grandson.
Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.
Magic In Her Eyes is a western historical that has paranormal elements. It is loosely based on the movie Father Goose with Cary Grant. I loved the interactions between the gruff military man, the tight-laced guardian, and a handful of mischievous match-makers. It was fun to write and I hope fun for my readers.
I love that movie. Can you tell us a little about your next project?
I am currently working on book two of The Gifted series. Moira Devlin was rescued from fanatical townsfolk at the end of book one. Five years later, Moira has been asked to take over as healer when the town physician dies unexpectedly. Moira realizes it is time to venture out into the world and trust people again. Unfortunately, she hits a roadblock when the handsome Dr. Anson Locke arrives to take over the practice. He considers her potions nothing more than deadly snake oils. When folks start coming into the office, complaining of unexplainable sicknesses, the two must work together to discover what is making everyone ill.
Sounds interesting. Anything else you’d like to share?
I enjoy stories about characters overcoming life’s challenges, the importance of family, and the power of love helping them to succeed. I try to incorporate these elements in my own stories.
Meredith Talbot has a secret. In fact, she has nine secrets – her own and those of the eight orphans at Seaton House, a home for children. Each of them has a special talent that if exposed would get them labeled as witches. It is her responsibility to protect the children and their secrets and keep them safe from persecution. Marauding Indians force them into a nearby fort where their safety is threatened by fanatical townspeople and a captivating army officer who try to unmask the children's extraordinary abilities.
Lieutenant Preston Booth has one goal – to serve and protect his country. The military is the only life he has ever known. It’s the only life he wants. When a child is abducted and Preston goes after the culprit, Meredith has a vision of what will happen to him.
Does she risk everything by exposing her gift? Or keep her secret and risk losing him forever?
“Do you also have an aversion to being touched?”
Meredith looked up and met his taunting gaze. It was a challenge she couldn’t ignore. She hefted her chin. “Not if I have given permission to be touched.”
One corner of his mouth twitched. Surely that wasn’t a smile. From what she’d seen, the most his lips could manage were frowns.
He held out his hand. “May I help you into the wagon, Miss Talbot? In the name of expediency?”
Straw rustled behind her. One child hummed. Another thrummed on the wagon boards. The children were getting restless. She could contain herself long enough to be lifted onto the wagon.“Very well. I give my permission.”
His hands curled around her waist. Heat seeped through her blouse and branded her skin. Her stomach started doing odd little summersaults like the ones she’d seen Chinese acrobats perform at a local fair. So much for containing herself.
His grip tightened, and he lifted her up and onto the wagon bed as if she weighed no more than a rag doll. His hands lingered a moment before he released her. Gray-brown eyes fused with hers. A strange connection churned between them like the rush crowding the air before a storm.