Mae Clair Presents: Kyra Jacobs and Flirting With Fire #romance #firefighters

I’m super jazzed to have the delightful Kyra Jacobs on my blog today. Kyra is a Lyrical Press/Kensington Books sister author who is currently celebrating her newest release, FLIRTING WITH FIRE. Energetic, super supportive and friendly, Kyra also knows how to spin an enthralling tale. Please say hello!  

Kyra, what attracts you most to your chosen genre?

The Happily Ever Afters. With as busy as my life is today, if I’m going to set aside time to dive into a book then darn it ,there’d better be a happy ending involved. LOL No tragedies or cliffhangers for me. When I write, I try to offer the same type of story resolution I prefer for my readers.

Well said! I love an HEA and can’t imagine reading a romantic novel without one. And as long as we’re talking books that intrigue us, give us the scoop on your newest release. 

Book cover for Flirting with Fire by Kyra Jacobs shows a fire truck and fireman in silhouette against a gold backgroundFlirting With Fire is my second romantic suspense novel, and it just released this month. Technically, it’s the second in my Hometown Heroes series (Armed With Steele is book 1) but can either be read as a sequel or standalone novel. And while FWF follows a new set of main characters, fans of my first book are sure to see some familiar names woven into this story as well.

I enjoy when an author writes books that connect but also serve as a stand-alone. Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene.

But I have so many! Hmm, let’s see. One of my favorites involves a hot shower, soap getting in Liz’s eyes, and her reaching around the shower stall door for a towel. That’s when a pair of shins beside the tub come into view. Naked, male shins…

LOL! I can see why that would be one of your favorite scenes. :)  How did you choose your setting?

I love to write about my hometown. We live in a terrific city, rich with history and yet with enough modern development to keep my storylines coming.

It sounds like you have an endless supply of inspiration! As a teaser, please share the first three sentences of your book. 

(Ha, I’m giving you four ;-)… )

It all began with Herb Meyer’s happy ending.
Oh, sure, I’d heard murmurings at our post office. Dismissed stares from neighboring motorists at the gas station. Gossip is, after all, what keeps things interesting in small town U.S.A.

Great beginning! (and I’m glad you went for four lines :) ). When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

Tend to my flower gardens. There’s just something about working outside pulling weeds and/or dead-heading my perennials that helps to clear my mind.

That sounds relaxing. I have a mediocre green thumb and envy the beautiful flower gardens I see others tend. If a fairy godmother suddenly appeared and gifted you with an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go?

Anywhere with a quiet, warm, white-sands beach

Favorite comic book character: Ratbert

Food you never grow tired of: Ice cream. Never. Ever.

Sunset picnic or night on the town: Sunset picnic

Pie or cake: Cake, but only if there’s plenty of tasty, buttercream frosting involved…

Yum! I’m partial to pie, but having buttercream frosting does make it tempting. And I think you’re the first person who answered my comic-book character question, LOL.  It’s been great to have you here today, Kyra. I’ve already downloaded FLIRTING WITH FIRE for my Kindle and look forward to reading it. I absolutely love the cover–it’s one of my all time favorites this year!  Wishing you the very best with your release and many sales! 

Connect with Kyra Jacobs at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads 

Author, Kyra JacobsAUTHOR BIO:
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love and mystery in the Midwest. When this Hoosier native is not pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves golf, Guitar Hero, and thinking through plot twists while out on a good run. Be sure to stop by her website www.KyraJacobs.wordpress.com for links to connect with her on social media. Kyra lives in northern Indiana with her husband and two children.

BLURB for FLIRITING WITH FIRE:

Look, touch, but don’t fall in love. 

Massage therapist Liz Williams lives by one rule: never date a client. A rule she’s never had trouble following until she lays hands on fireman playboy Torrunn MacKay. Trouble is, Liz’s sexy new client is dating her arch-rival at work…and has a strange habit of appearing just before the fire alarm sounds.

Firefighter Torrunn MacKay has got it made: killer job, downtown condo with a view, and hot blonde girlfriend with no more desire to tie the knot than he has. But the surprise attraction he feels toward his new masseuse is threatening to change all that. And what’s with the string of fires that seem to follow her everywhere?

Can Liz mind her table manners and keep Torrunn at arms’ length? Will Torrunn put his commitment fears aside to keep Liz safe? More than hearts will be in jeopardy when the two start Flirting with Fire.

CONTENT WARNING: Beware of darkened rooms, delicious firefighters, and desperate pyromaniacs.  

Purchase FLIRTING WITH FIRE FROM:
Amazon (ebook and paperback)
Barnes and Noble (paperback only) 

Mae Clair Welcomes Author Julie Kavanagh

It’s been a while since I’ve had a guest author on my blog. Today, I’d like to welcome Julie Kavanagh, who’s dropped by with her latest release, DEMON BLOOD. 

297900_10150332002933754_529123753_8027184_1163517898_nJulie, please tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.
I think I’ve always written or, at least, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As a child, I penned silly stories for my dolls to listen to (they couldn’t move, and therefore, couldn’t escape). As a teenager, I wrote a dreadful novel about a pop star and his world of drugs – something I knew nothing about then or now. I had moderate success writing sweet romance for women’s magazines and even entered a competition run by the wonderful, late Marian Zimmer Bradley who advised me not to give up writing although I didn’t win that competition.

You’ve been at it a long time and sound like you’ve made some great transitions along the way. And how lovely to have received such encouraging personal feedback from Ms. Bradley!  

When it comes to starting a new novel, I always look forward to choosing the names for my characters. How do you choose yours?
I find my characters name themselves. I rarely have trouble coming with their names. With Luca, the principal character in the Demon witch series, I knew who she was before I knew I would be writing her story and although, Luca is a boy’s name, I knew she would explain why she’d been given it.

I love when characters get assertive, LOL. Please tell us more about your newest release.
My latest release is ‘Demon Blood’, which the eighth book in the Demon Witch series.  In this novel, Luca’s life has been turned inside out by her grandsire, Lucifer. Her family doesn’t know her and she has had to painstakingly gather her loved ones to her side, and although drawn to the power she exudes, they are wary of who she is. A tragedy leaves Luca bereft and alone once more.

Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I love writing about Luca and the many difficult situations she gets herself into. I don’t want to write about a perfect character and the many wonderfully kind things they do and Luca has none of those qualities. She is half witch and half demon, and struggles to stay on the right path. She is unpredictable, sometimes mean and cruel, but great fun to watch as she battles through the many misfortunes I set her. Her relationship with Eliot, her Pack leader, is enormous fun to create.

It’s wonderful when you enjoy a character so much. How about sharing the first three sentences of your book?
I watched four of them from high up on the hill. I had a secret place I’d built, just in case, and this would seem to be the perfect ‘just in case’ occasion. I stared at them in my garden… my garden!

Hmm…I have a feeling she’s not happy about them being there! And now, switching things up a bit, when you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?
I like to listen to music, I knit, sew and crochet. I’d love to paint and play the piano but never had the knack. Spending time with my family is very important to me. We love to watch movies and do the whole thing with popcorn and ice cream … great fun.

It sounds like a great time, especially with the ice cream and popcorn J Moving away from writing, what is your:

Favorite season: My fave season with always be spring. I love watching the blue bells and daffodils appear from the dark soil. Winter can be such a claustrophobic time with its dark grey skies that the brighter days of Spring lift my spirits and promise warm summer days to come.

Favorite time of day: I’m a night owl, always have been. Even as a child, I found it difficult to sleep when I was supposed to, and would read books by the light of the street lamp outside my bedroom window. As a result of my nocturnal awakenings, I find it very hard to get up in the morning for work.

Favorite TV show: I don’t have one fave TV show but a host of several. I love anything paranormal such as Supernatural, True Blood but I am obsessed with A Game of Thrones. I’ve read the books but the show is so much better, I love it.

Favorite animal: My favorite animal is a cat. I have seven cats at home. Most of them are rescue animals or unwanted pets. Two were feral when we got them but they are the most affectionate of all our cats.

Favorite author: My fave author growing was Stephen King, I loved his books and would be found queueing outside our local bookshop for his latest release. My fave author now Is JR Ward, her Black Dagger Brotherhood Novels are fantastic reading. I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys a dark paranormal romance.

Seven cats? Wow. It’s wonderful that you’ve taken in so many rescue animals, Julie. I love the rebirth of spring too, and have been known to devour more than a few Stephen King books in my time. I’m not familiar with JR Ward but will have to look her up.

Thanks so much for being my guest today.  You’re obviously a prolific writer with the number of books you’ve written. 

Readers, check out this list:
Jessica’s Diary
Night
Sun Side
Christmas with Mr. Jeffers
Dark of Demon
Coffee Time Collection
Blue Fire
Demon Blood
Loving Lies
The Seventh Son
Christmas Kisses
Frozen Heart of Fire
Coven War
Lucifer
Shadow Sister
Demon Queen
The Bodyguard

If you would like to know more about Julie Kavanagh, you can connect with her at the following haunts:

Website
Facebook
Pinterest 

Look for Julie’s books on her AMAZON page here 

Mae Clair Welcomes Guest Blogger Brooke Williams

I’m happy to turn my blog over today to author, Brooke Williams, who shares a post about writers and one book’s journey to publication:

Why I Write Anything I Write 

Guest blogger…Brooke Williams

I often tell people that to me, writing is like breathing. It is a necessary thing that I do because I have to in order to get through my day. I write because I am awake. I write because I am so inspired by an idea or thought that I simply can’t avoid it. It is something that I HAVE to write down.

The first time that happened to me…an itch to write that was so large I could no longer avoid it…”Someone Always Loved You” resulted.
Book cover for Someone Always Loved You by Brooke Williams depicting ambulance and a close-up of clasped hands

“Someone Always Loved You” is the first full-length novel I ever wrote. The idea came from my thoughts surrounding coma patients. My grandmother was in a coma on two separate occasions. As a child, I wondered if she could hear what was going on around her and what she might be thinking. When I grew up, I always wanted to write a book based around someone in a coma.

The basic idea festered in my head for many years and then, out of the blue, the scene for the prologue came to me. Without giving too much away, the scene included an ambulance driver who, on his very first day on the job, hits a pedestrian on her way into the hospital. That pedestrian is then thrown into a coma.

The novels stems from there and once I had the prologue written out, I really had no idea what would happen next. What DID happen next was as much a surprise to me as it is to the readers I have heard from who couldn’t believe the twists and turns the book takes.

People ask how I came up with this or that in the book…was any of it based on real life? The answer is yes and no. The book is a combination of things from my life as well as completely made up items. For example, there is a couple in the book that meets on the Internet. My husband and I met on the Internet. Some of the memories the character in a coma has are similar to things that happened to me. On the other side, there are characters that I have no connection with in the real world at all.

And that’s what makes fiction so great. It can be completely you and completely not you all at the same time. “Someone Always Loved You” is a book that is so close to my heart, I could never part with it. My husband eventually put it up on Amazon in kindle format and I went on to publish it in paperback, more for family and friends and fun than anything else.

But as the years went on and I began a real career in freelance writing and eventually as an author, I realized this book deserved to be read. It caught on a bit without my doing anything at all and people were buying it. I noticed when I started getting very small royalty payments from Amazon. Each month those payments rose and I was excited that people were enjoying the book.

My goal with this book is that those who read it enjoy it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it. If that happens, I am happy. I don’t expect it to pay my bills. I simply want it to do for others what it did for me.

“Someone Always Loved You” is a book that wrote itself using me as a vessel to get out! I am thankful for it in many ways. It showed me that I could write a full novel, which I have done numerous times since then. It showed me a range of emotions I didn’t know I had. And so much more.

BLURB:
His first day on the job, ambulance driver Jay has a horrible accident. The victim of the crash is thrown into a coma and Jay keeps vigil by her side. As their lives, past and present intertwine; a story of love through time unfolds. An intricate drama including adoption, love, suspense, and plenty of questions, Someone Always Loved You is a novel that keeps the mind churning and the soul alive.

Author Brooke WilliamsAUTHOR BIO:
Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer turned freelance writer and author. She has several books under contract including “Wrong Place, Right Time,” a romantic comedy due to be released December 9th; “Accept this Dandelion,” coming February 2015, and “Mamarazzi,” slated for release in August 2015. Brooke even has a children’s book on the horizon for February 2016. Brooke is the mother to two young girls, Kaelyn and Sadie, and she has been married to her husband Sean since 2002.

Connect with Brooke at the following haunts:
Facebook
Website
Email: Authorbrookewilliams@gmail.com

Purchase SOMEONE ALWAYS LOVED YOU from
Amazon 

Mae Clair Presents: Tammy Tate and The Spirit Path #timetravel #romance

I’m delighted to welcome a new author today. Tammy Tate has just released her debut novel, THE SPIRIT PATH, a time-travel romance. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I tend to get hyper-jazzed over time travel novels. I absolutely LOVE the cover of this one. Stunning and gorgeous doesn’t begin to cover it. Be prepared to drool, but first let’s meet Tammy! 

Tammy, you’ve got an extremely cool bio and clearly have a diverse background—from Police Dispatcher, to Powder Puff racing and driving an 18-wheeler, you’ve no doubt got a plethora of ideas to use in novels. But let’s talk about your writing background. What initially got you penning stories and how long have you been at it? 

My love for writing actually started in high school with a story about a girl that ran away from home and it was clearly a ‘why you shouldn’t run away from home’ masterpiece! She stumbled across every dangerous situation you could imagine. My teacher at the time was so impressed he wanted to share it with an influential acquaintance. The problem was, I never finished it. For some reason as a senior I thought about football rallies, prom and graduation first. Go figure…

LOL! I remember being a bit “distracted” myself in high school. What attracts you most to your chosen genre?

I’m a romantic at heart. But I don’t stop there! I like to toss in a dash of humor and sprinkle it with action. I make my characters work for their roles in my books and the fun part is watching them spring to life right before my eyes. The hard part is getting it down fast enough as it pours out onto the keyboard. That’s when they make me work equally as hard to keep pace with them.

Book cover for The Spirit Path by Tammy Tate showing a couple in silhouette with a horse in the foregroundCharacters are definitely a demanding sort. Much like cats and women. ;-)  Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene from THE SPIRIT PATH.

One of my favorite scenes has to be when Nicole and Flaming Arrow camp beside a lake with a beautiful waterfall and she removes her long sleeve shirt, exposing her cami. In modern day, it’s considered appropriate attire. But in 1812… it’s a brazen choice. She doesn’t realize the impact until she looks up to find him staring as though she just stripped completely naked. Her reaction is priceless…

I like the sound of that set-up! THE SPIRIT PATH is on my TBR list and I look forward to discovering more about it. Right now I’d like you to share a single sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

His gaze latched onto the thin straps at her shoulders, down to the slight hint of cleavage of her well-rounded breasts, and then roamed lower to the bare skin just above her Wranglers.

And I wonder what Flaming Arrow’s reaction is going to be in THAT scene ;) This sounds like a fun and sexy read, Tammy. When you’re not writing what do you do to unwind?

That’s easy, I’m riding on the back of our Honda Goldwing with my husband on the front. We pick a direction and ride till noon, eat lunch and ride back. The world looks so much different on a motorcycle compared to viewing it from a car window. You see it, smell it… taste it in a whole new light.

I have a very close friend who loves motorcycle riding. She and her husband are both avid bike riders. I remember riding with my husband when we were younger and always enjoyed the experience, especially in the evening on back roads. You could feel the change in the air temperature when passing streams or dense woods, and the smells . . . just so lush and green.  

I’ll move onto pets now, because pets and writers naturally go together like peas in a pod. If you have pets, tell us about them and whether or not they shadow your writing time and space.

My heroine has a palomino horse and a rottweiller just like the palomino horse and rottweiller I owned when I lived in the country. I actually wrote a much smaller version of The Spirit Path during that time in my life for a journalism/short story class I was taking. The version you’re seeing today is an expanded piece of work. It’s also part one of a three part series. I’m excited to say my contract is for the series so the other two will follow.

That’s fantastic, Tammy! And palominos are just beautiful.  From the time I was a little girl, we had a saying in my family whenever anyone blew out the candles on a birthday cake:  “Wish for a pony!” Even today, we still say that. I think everyone wants a pony when they’re little. How wonderful that you had a horse—and a dog! I did have a few of those, LOL. 

What is your: 

Favorite season:  Summer

Favorite type of music:  Country

Favorite color: Pink

Favorite animal: Horse

Sunset picnic or night on the town: Sunset picnic

I would take a sunset picnic too. And my sister would love you. Her favorite color is pink and she’s a summer girl. :)  

Tammy, thanks for being my guest today. It was wonderful to have you visit and I wish you much success with THE SPIRIT PATH. I’m looking forward to reading it!  

You can connect with Tammy at the following haunts:
Blog

Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads 

Author Tammy TateAUTHOR BIO:
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, lived in Las Vegas for 7 years and Texas for 18 with her husband of 34 years. Her secret to a long marriage?

It’s easy when you marry your best friend. When she’s not writing and breathing life into her characters, she enjoys reading, motorcycles and thinking up ideas for her next book. Among her favorite movies are romance, science fiction, fantasy, comedy and thrillers. Before writing, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher).

She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised 3 wonderful children.  

BLURB FOR THE SPIRIT PATH:
Nicole goes horseback riding, not knowing that the events of the day would forever change her life.

After she falls off her horse and hits her head she wakes up to unfamiliar surroundings only to find she has traveled back in time to the year 1812.

She swung into the saddle, took a deep breath and then mustered the strength to ask him a question that she had been putting off.

“What year is it?” She exhaled slowly, preparing herself for his response knowing that when she woke up this morning it was 1997.

Flaming Arrow started to ride off, and then turned his horse to face her. “It is 1812″  

PURCHASE THE SPIRIT PATH  FROM:
Amazon
Books To Go Now 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Meet Author Amber Daulton with Lightning over Bennett Ranch

An ink quill with feather penIt’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for another Pen Pal visit. Today’s guest is Amber Daulton with LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. 

Before we get started don’t forget I’m hanging out with Lorraine Paton today with FIVE FUN FACTS about ECLIPSE LAKE. And the uber supportive Kitt Crescendo is giving Eclipse Lake  the spotlight treatment too!

Now it’s time to meet a lovely new Pen Pal!

Amber, are you a draft writer or someone who invests a lot of time editing and polishing as you write? Why does your method work best for you? 

I edit and polish as I write. If I don’t, I usually become confused and frustrated as to where the story is going. I tend to get a lot of ideas as I write and those ideas usually make more sense than what I originally plotted. I’m also a stickler for details. A scene has to be almost perfect before I move on.

Your method sounds much like mine. It makes the writing process longer, but editing is usually a breeze. My absolute favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it?

Deciding on character names is actually my least favorite part of starting a new novel. The name has to fit with the character I see in my mind perfectly or I can’t use it. I’m very picky (especially with the heroine and hero) and I sometimes spend hours, if not days, just scouring through baby name books and websites for the best names.

What I love most is creating a new world or researching a real town and then twisting it enough to fictionalize it. Research, in my opinion, is more fun than writing at times. I love to learn about new places, cultures and people.  Although I’d rather travel to do hands-on research, in-depth reading is second best.

I agree with you on that. I’ve taken a trip to a specific town a few states away specifically for research. I’m using the location as the setting of an upcoming novel. Of course it’s not always possible to visit the locales we choose to use, so online research and reading is a Godsend! Which do you find easier to write— description or dialogue? 

Both are easy for me. Dialogue is more fun to write, however, because I love drama and emotion-based scenes. I love to put my characters through the ringer! When I find myself tearing up as I write, I know I’m on a roll. I feel more creative, though, when I write description because I love creating new worlds and scenery. I tend to go overboard with detail sometimes and it hurts to cut back and delete as I edit.

When I find myself balking over cutting something I love, I remember Stephen King’s quote “sometimes you have to kill your babies.” But it does hurt, doesn’t it?  And I love emotion-based scenes. Your style sounds wonderful!  

Which brings me to LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. Can you share a few details?

Lightning over Bennett Ranch is book 2 of the Montana Ranch Collection published on June 9th, 2014 by Books to Go Now.  There are five individual novellas in the collection, all written by different authors, and are set in the small town of Willow Creek, Montana. Each story intertwines and shares characters from the other books to create a widespread world within a loving, close-knit community.

Lightning over Bennett Ranch

What a great concept. And, strange as it may seem, Montana has always been on my list of places to visit. So much history there! Switching things up a bit, as a reader, name a book that had a a profound effect on you.

I read my first romance books, ‘True Blue’ by Ingrid Weaver, when I was 12. It’s about an ex-convict hero and a schoolteacher heroine. After reading this book, I decided I wanted to write my own stories about two people finding adventure and falling in love. And so I did. I finished my first novel within six months and I’ve revised that book several times over the years (it’s currently not published).

I credit ‘True Blue’ with opening the door into modern romantic literature for me. Without it, I may not be writing today.

So you wrote your first novel at twelve? That’s fantastic—and equally fantastic that a single novel opened the door to a whole new world for you. When you’re creating worlds and characters, do you have pets who shadow your writing space? 

I have five cats and they always disrupt my writing time. They either lay on my lap (which I don’t mind until they pin one of my hands under their tummy), wrestle with and hiss at one another or meow for attention. I love them but they certainly are a handful!

LOL! I ADORE cats, but five definitely sounds like a handful. I can just imagine them camped out with you in your office, demanding attention as only felines can. And now for a few quick questions. What is your: 

Favorite season: Autumn

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite type of music: Hard Rock

Favorite ice cream flavor: Butter Pecan

Casual or dressy: Dressy

I think you’re the first person I’ve interviewed who answered “dressy” to the last question. YAY!  I do enjoy being casual, but I love dressing up, so it’s nice to meet a kindred soul. :) Thanks so much for visiting with me today, Amber. I wish you much success with LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. 

If you’d like to know more about Amber Daulton, connect with her at the following haunts:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Books to Go Now
Amazon Author Page

Amber  (68)About Amber:
Writing is the fruit to happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.

Author of Forever Winter, A Hero’s Heart and Lightning over Bennett Ranch, she published her first book in 2012 and plans to publish countless more in the future. She lives in the beautiful foothills of North Carolina with her punk-rocker husband and their five crazy kitties. Writing takes up most of her time, aside from her day job in the retail industry. As a fan of contemporary, paranormal and historical novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of romance and adventure, laughter and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when there are people jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Blurb for LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH:
Melody Bennett’s parents trampled on her teenage romance with a drifter ten years ago. He disappeared without a word of goodbyes on the night they had planned to run away together. Since then, she cast aside her foolish notions of happily ever after and worked hard alongside the hired help to care for the majestic horses on her family’s ranch. She refused to give love another chance and resigned to live her life alone.

Max Fortaine returned with a heart guarded by secrets and a sizable bank account that took blood, prayers and tears to fund. The cowboy disrupted Melody’s peaceful existence with stolen kisses and a promise for more. After a lifetime of running, mistakes and regrets, he vowed to reclaim the only woman he ever loved… if only her overprotective father didn’t stand in his way.

~ooOOoo~

Purchase LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH from Amazon
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Mae Clair Welcomes Mindy Hardwick with Romance for All the Seasons

There are times when you crave a good holiday romance. Other times, you’re looking for a seasonal romance, and sometimes you just want a collection of themed stories together. Well, Mindy Hardwick has taken care of that craving with her collection ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS. Please say hello and get to know Mindy!

Mindy, thanks for visiting my blog today. I’d love to know a little bit about your writing style. My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it? 

My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with the setting. I love creating a small town with interesting locations based on real places, such as the Elmheart Hotel in my sweet contemporary novellas.

I love doing that too. Small towns make the best settings for romantic tales. Elmheart Hotel sounds like a place I wouldn’t mind visiting. Tell us about your new release.  

ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS is s a collection of all six of my sweet contemporary romance stories. The stories are linked by the setting of the Elmheart Hotel in Western New York as well as the characters who are friends with each other.

Book cover of Romance for All the Seasons by Mindy Hardwick showing a couple embracingAs a reader, I enjoy when characters continue from one story to the next and they come to feel like old friends and family. How did you choose your title? 

The stories in ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS are each set in different seasons with many holiday stories included such as NEW YEAR HEART SONG, LOVE’S CHRISTMAS GIFT, and VINTAGE VALENTINE.

Fabulous! I’m especially intrigued by the New Year’s themed story. It’s a holiday that is often overlooked but is infused magic and the wonder of possibilities. Was there research involved in this novel? If so, what was the most interesting item you discovered? 

Three of the stories in ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS are set at the Elmheart Hotel. This was a real hotel along the shores of Lake Ontario during the late 1800’s. People took the trolley line from Rochester and enjoyed a day at the shore. In the early 1990’s, a boyfriend took me to see the hotel. By that point, it had fallen into disrepair and was no longer in use, but I fell in love with the possibilities of what had once been a great place for romance. The hotel burned in 1993, but by writing these stories, I hoped to return the Elmheart to all of the romance I once envisioned.

What a fantastic history. I hold a special passion for the romantic trappings of yesteryear. The allure of an old hotel, the trolley, the shore . . . it sounds like you’ve created a wonderful tribute to keep the memory of Elmheart alive.  I can imagine tucking away in a room and writing there too. If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do? 

I would run a bed and breakfast in an old hotel!

Great answer! And I’d book a room to write, LOL.  If you could take a trip anywhere you wanted (your personal fairy godmother just bestowed a dream vacation on you) where would you go? 

Two weeks in Hawaii

What is your favorite season?

Fall

Your favorite social media platform?

Blogging

Favorite author?

Susan Wiggs

Mountains or beach?

Beach

Hawaii is on my list too, and I love the beach. I could live at the beach, LOL!  

Mindy, thank you so much for visiting with me today. I love the idea behind ROMANCE FOR ALL SEASONS, especially the setting, and will be adding it to my TBR. Thanks for sharing with my readers.

If you’d like to know more about Mindy Hardwick, connect with her at the following haunts:

Website
Facebook 

Blog 
Twitter 
Goodreads 

Casual photo of author Mindy Hardwick before a fireplaceAuthor Bio
Mindy Hardwick enjoys writing first love and sweet, contemporary romance for all ages and is known for her small-town stories. Mindy enjoys teaching others about writing and she frequently talks to writers groups, book clubs and libraries.When she’s not writing, Mindy can be found art journaling, visiting flea markets dreaming of new ways to repurpose old materials and walking on the Oregon Coast beaches with her dog, Stormy. Mindy believes that a great story can warm the heart, lift the spirit, and heal the soul.

Blurb for ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS
Bestselling author, Mindy Hardwick’s sweet contemporary Sailor Series and Elmheart Hotel Series are together for the first time in this anthology, ROMANCE FOR ALL SEASONS. These six novellas will delight your heart at Valentine’s Day, sweeten hot summer days, banish Halloween ghosts and goblins and warm your soul during the holidays.

Purchase ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS from Amazon 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Meet Author Janette Harjo

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penIt’s Pen Pal day on my blog, and this time I’m interviewing Janette Harjo. Janette is going to be venturing into indie publishing with the re-release of her romantic fantasy trilogy, CONNECTIONS. As a hybrid author myself, I love supporting other indie and small press authors. Janette, I’m always curious how others branch into writing. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background, please!

I am thrilled to be here as a guest on your blog today, Mae!  Thank you so much for allowing me to be here to talk to everybody about me and my work.  I’m an overnight success after 24 years.  LOL!  About 10 years before that time, I suffered a near fatal injury in an auto accident.  The injury left me very depressed and unable to do much of anything.  After that decade; I finally decided enough is enough and I prayed for happiness.  The day after that prayer I found myself inspired to write.  I’ve been happy ever since because of my writing!  The inspiration I received was a True answer to my prayer.  :)

That’s fantastic! I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer. It sounds like you definitely found an outlet for inspiration and happiness with writing. When it comes to plotter vs. panster, I think even plotters veer from their outline to a degree during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely?

My novels end in generally the same fashion as I imagined them when I began.  Of course, they all experience their own growing pains and new events tend to happen.  :)  I’d venture to say they resemble my original concept at about 75%.

That’s a strong finish. Which do you develop first, characters or plot?

I would have to say I develop plot first because stories come to me pretty much fully developed when I’m inspired to write them.  I put them on paper/computer monitor and then they go through the 2 things I mentioned above, on their own or with some input from critiquers, and the story’s written!

Isn’t it interesting to see how our books develop? I’m a character-first writer and sometimes struggle to wrap a plot around the people who pop into my head. I need to flesh out my plots more solidly in advance like you do. Can you share the plot of your next release?

I have a romantic fantasy trilogy I am working to Indie Publish.    It involves spirits cast about through the centuries in their search for one another.  There is also the curse of medieval sorcery which follows them through time.   They must overcome the evil in order to reach their Happy-Ever-After.

Star-crossed love affairs make such great stories. This sounds like a wonderful read between the scope of time, the curse and – of course –endless love. How did you choose the title?

The title of my Trilogy is CONNECTIONS.  That title came to me because their connection is what they seek through the entire trilogy.

Since we’re talking about the past and centuries, let me pose an off-the-cuff question: If someone gave you a working time machine tomorrow, where would you visit and why?

I would go into the past and meet my ancestors to hear the stories they would tell.  :)

That’s a great answer. I love history and listening to stories of long-ago and yesteryear. I would love to meet my ancestors.

Let’s say you have a fairy godmother and – because fairy godmothers are so incredibly awesome — she’s decided to gift you with a trip anywhere you’d like to go. Where would you choose?

A trip around the world!  I toured Europe for a month once, and that was NOT enough time to see all I would have liked to!  I came home to find the travel bug bit me and I now want to be a world traveler.  :)

And a fairy godmother can make that happen. Now we just need to find one, LOL.

What is your favorite season?  My favorite season is by far and beyond summer.  I love warm weather.  :)

Favorite color?  Pink.

Favorite type/flavor of yogurt?  Greek Yogurt is my FAV type!  I like all flavors, but I have to say my FAV flavor would have to be a new yogurt I have discovered that has Chocolate Chips in it!  YUM!

Favorite ice cream flavor?  Chocolate, of course.  ;)

I’m going to have to look for that yogurt. Greek is my favorite too but I generally get the plain and add strawberries and granola. Chocolate chips sound yummy!

Thanks for being my guest today, Janette. I know your books aren’t ready yet, but I’ll be looking forward to checking them out when they are!

BLURB FOR CONNECTIONS:
A Romantic Fantasy about two cursed souls who search for each other – amidst the curse they are under – throughout time.  A child’s soul searches for his parents in the same centuries.  All three need to find each other before they can destroy the evil they are cursed under, and the evil one who torments them.

Susie, February 2013, in Red Velvet DressAUTHOR BIO:
Janette Harjo is a previously, but no longer, published romance author.  She currently has a romantic fantasy trilogy – CONNECTIONS – and will soon have it Indie Published.  Her next published work will be a Historical/Time Travel based on the Modoc War of 1872/73, followed by a Vampire romance.  Many other stories will be quick to follow those two novels.

To connect with Janette Harjo, look for her at the following haunts:
Blog
Twitter 

Facebook 
Goodreads 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Meet Author Marilyn Conner Miles

Hand writing a letter with a goose featherToday, I‘d like to welcome Pen Pal Marilyn Conner Miles to my blog. Marilyn has dropped by with HOLIDAY HEART (who doesn’t like a bit of Christmas in the summer?) and a glimpse of her upcoming release, PERFECT PAIR. Naturally, before we get to the books, I’ve got a find out a bit about Marilyn. :)

Marilyn, please tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I stated writing when I learned to print –first or second grade. I’d write stories and gave them to my family and teachers. My second grade teacher gave one back to a family friend a few years back. Then I showed a story I’d written to the librarian of our grade school and she showed the principal. I illustrated all the stories too, and made “hardbacks” out of them by using the cardboard from my dad’s new white shirt packages. I used wire to attach the story to the “cover.”  

I took creative writing classes in high school and college. But then I worked in advertising, PR and marketing and wrote TV and radio commercials and print ads for newspapers, catalogs and brochures. I kept a journal for years. It wasn’t until I “retired” that I began to think about writing stories. I’ve had two stories published and have one soon-to-be published in the past year.

What a great track record. And–wow!–you were really creative as a child, making hardback copies of your early stories. That’s so clever! I would have loved doing that with mine if I’d thought about it. Now that we know how you wrote as a kid :D please tell us about your upcoming release. 

PERFECT PAIR is the last in the series that began with ACAPULO ADVENTURE, and continued with HOLIDAY HEART. Amber, a workaholic with few real friends, gets laid off from her job with a law firm in downtown Seattle. She has to give up her apartment and hopes to move in temporarily with her parents, but that doesn’t work out. With no job and soon no place to live, she agrees to take a house-and-pet-sitting position for a while. The problem is, she’s never had a pet, and the job is at a mini-farm!

What a great set-up! How did you choose your title?

I always have a hard time coming up with a title and tend to wait till the last minute. It seems to work. I tie it in with the story after I think up an appropriate name. For this last three story series, they have all been two word titles.

They have a great ring to them. I’m frequently still fishing around for a title when I reach the end of a novel too. I don’t know why they have to be so hard (at least for me).

Let’s switch gears and talk about pets for a minute. As an avowed cat lover who always had a feline with me when I was writing, I’m constantly curious if other writers have a furred friend hanging out with them in their work space. 

My cat thinks I’m her mother and follows me everywhere. We share my home office. She sits on her cat tree and talks to the birds outside and then walks over me or across the desk or keyboard. Sometimes she stares at the computer monitor. Half the time she sleeps on my lap with her head on my arm and I have to type with one hand.

LOL! I love it!  It’s so typical of a cat, all about their comfort and timing. You can’t help but love their personalities and how they demand attention.  

And finally, the quick-silver round. Please share your favorite:

Season: Autumn
Type of music: Country-western
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate chip mint
Owl or lark: Owl
Mountains or beach: Mountains—I live next to them

I bet you have a great view. You obviously have great taste in liking chocolate chip mint ice cream. It’s my favorite too, but my husband always says it’s like eating mouthwash. 

Thanks for being my guest today, Marilyn. It was a delight to learn more about you. I wish you much success with PERFECT PAIR and your entire series. 

If you’d like to know more about Marilyn Conner Miles, connect with her at the following haunts:

Blog
Facebook
Goodreads  

photoAuthor Bio
Marilyn began writing as soon as she could print. Her first career was in the transportation industry, working for the airlines. Her second career was in advertising, marketing and promotions. Currently a freelance editor, Marilyn lives with her husband and cat in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in southwest Washington State, where she watches horses and deer and sometimes owls from her home office window.  

Holiday HEartXHOLIDAY HEART BLURB:
Christmas. It’s that time of the year again and Brenda is alone, as usual. Everyone she knows is paired up except her. And now, she has to go to a wedding and pretend to be happy. But, even worse, her ex-boyfriend will be there. It’s been six years since they broke up and she hasn’t seen or heard from him since. How will she handle seeing him again—especially if he has another woman on his arm?

Purchase HOLIDAY HEART from Amazon
Kindle 

Paperbook 

 

Mae Clair’s Book Spotlight: Closure by Angela Ford is on Sale for $1.99

From June 9th to June 11th, grab your copy of Closure for just $1.99 on Amazon  

Author, Angela Ford also has some giveaways currently underway:

Enter to win a Closure signed paperback and signed Closure beach tote by entering the amazon confirm order # within the contest. There’s also an ebook of Closure up for grabs separately as well as many other ebooks from other authors. Here’s the contest link: http://tinyurl.com/mwfnn27

CLOSURE…a gripping FBI search grounded by an as-yet-unrealized love story…Jess, a young FBI profiler is compelled to save the fourth victim from a sexual predator, only to put her life into the hands of a serial killer.

young blonde woman standing on a beach at sunsetBLURB:
An elite FBI task force tracks online predators while they hunt their prey. A series of murders in Presario Heights has forced Special Agent Jessica Resario to follow her gut instinct to save the next victim. Supervisory Special Agent Tom Erickson removes her from the case. The only place to escape the danger is her family beach home. She hadn’t been there since her parents were murdered. The level of intensity climbs higher with her discovery of postcards marked “I Crave You”. Old ghosts, secrets, imminent threats and an inevitable attraction to Tom send her on an emotional roller coaster. If that wasn’t enough, she opens the door to a man she thought was dead. Tom is stabbed and his case files go missing…high emotions put Jess at the killer’s mercy.

Suddenly reality hit her. She let no one in. Brave at work, yet in her personal life, she didn’t have the courage to confess her true feelings to Tom. The murder of her parents ten years before kept her from loving, for fear of losing again. All she had was her work, and her work put her life into the hands of a serial killer.

View the CLOSURE trailer on YouTube

AUTHOR BIO:
Angela Ford originates from Nova Scotia…Canada’s Ocean Playground! Her love of the ocean and sunsets are always in her heart and give her inspiration. Her love for words keeps her turning the page. She is never without a book, whether she’s reading or writing. Now residing in Ontario, Angela works in Finance – numbers by day – words by night. Her dedication to volunteer and involvement with cyber safety seminars gave her an Award of Distinction and sparked the idea for her first book Closure – suspense with a dash of romance that hit the best- selling Action/Adventure.

HAuthor Angela Forder newest release, Unforgettable Kiss, delivers a romance with a dash of suspense. Between two jobs, being a mom with a home always filled with teenagers and rather interesting stories; she is lucky to have one very patient and understanding man. But it is the furry family members who rule the house – a Puggle, two loveable cats and two unique Guinea Pigs. Every possible quiet moment she finds, she treasures and just writes about the moments to come. Angela is an avid reader of romance, a member of the RWA and thrilled to be part of her new family BTGN. You can follow her at BTGN www.bookstogonow.com or visit her website at www.angelaford.net or follow her blog Romantic Escapes at http://www.angelafordauthor.com to connect with her on her social network sites. She loves to hear from her readers – they keep her smiling!

Connect with Angela at the following haunts:
Blog – Romantic Escapes 

Facebook
Twitter 
Goodreads 
Amazon 

Don’t forget to grab your $1.99 copy of Closure now through June 11th on Amazon  
and enter Angela’s gvieaway at http://tinyurl.com/mwfnn27

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Margarita Felices with New Vampire Fiction

Vintage compass, spyglass, feather pen and candle on old see mapI’m happy to introduce another new Pen Pal today. Margarita Felices has stopped by with CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS, book two in her popular vampire series. Sit back, unwind, and take a moment to get to know Margarita and her intriguing undead characters.

Thanks for visiting, Margarita. Please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I live in Cardiff with my partner and three little mad dogs and I work for a well-known TV broadcasting company. I love living in Cardiff because, for all its modernisation, there are still remnants of an old Victorian city. I love writing and base my stories in Cardiff because it has such character.  When I can, I go out to the coast and take photographs, mind you, we have a lovely castle in the city centre and a fairytale one just on the outskirts, so when I feel I can’t write anything, I take a ramble to those locations and it clears my head.

I am Gothic.  I love the fashion, the architecture and the music. The club in my novel is real. When I was writing book one, I got all my club material and clientele from there, I wouldn’t have finished that section without it.

I think I was 10 years old when I first started to write stories…    <thinks back and smiles at reading her first essay in front of the class>     I’ve always loved writing stories.  My teachers weren’t so impressed though.  I remember my English teacher giving us our weekly essay assignments and always pointing at me and then saying in front of the class, “No more than 10 pages OK?”   That was sheer torture for me each time.  I had been known to fill two exercise books!    But they soon found a place for me.  I ended up writing for the school newspaper and then became its Editor, I always thought I’d end up a journalist, don’t know what happened there.   After I left school I wrote short stories for magazines and that paid my expenses while at college.  In fact my published short story The Psychic was one of the short stories sent to the magazine.   They heavily edited it so it was nice to rewrite it years later and let you all have the full story.  (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Margarita-Felices/e/B007BHDIVS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0)

That’s quite an interesting background, and what a wonderful place Cardiff must be! Do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

I have a laptop and write at home next to my bed so I can just fall in when I feel I’ve done too much!   It’s not always ideal because I find myself waking up in the night sometimes and doing an hour on it again.  I love to write at night, I think my imagination kicks in more at night.  I start around 11pm and before I realize it, it can be 3am!   I don’t start work until 11am so I can afford to lie in and my body clock seems to have adjusted for late nights.

Please tell us about your new release, CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS.

Well this new release is part two of the trilogy.  It goes back in time and starts when Rachel has already told her parents that she’s going to fix everything and find Max and the book.  But she’s a new vampire and is alone and frightened until Arun shows up to show her what to do.  They have a lot of adventures while they search for Max and the book.  Rachel makes her first mortal friend, Arun falls in love, Max gets involved with the French Revolution, Rachel meets a dashing Count and saves him from the guillotine and of course it’s the start of the vampire hunters, The Righteous. 

JOS BOOK ADS WITH BOTH PICS AND JAREDSo much going on! How did you choose your title?

I love a band called HiM and they released a song called The Sacrament.    “I hear you breathe so far from me.  I feel your touch so close to me.  And I know my church is not of silver or gold.  Its glory lied beyond Judgement of Souls.”   I just loved the song and those words stuck in my head.  When I first began to write the trilogy, the original title was Gothic Dreams, but I felt it wasn’t deep enough, so I changed it to Judgement of Souls because the missing vampire artifact in my novel, the Book of Cain, is after all about the souls that it possesses within it.  It seemed very apt.

It sounds like you must have done a good bit of research for this novel. What was the most interesting thing you discovered?

I had a lot of research to do with this novel.  Firstly I had to set up dates stretching 300 years.  Then I had to see if anything interesting happened in those years, the French Revolution for example.  It was extremely hard tying up mortals and immortals… I had to make sure that my mortals actually lived a certain amount of years while my vampires just carried on as usual through the years.   I also had to research the Fort in Malta where our characters deal with the Righteous, I decided to go to Malta and take a look around for myself.  I also went to Rome to research the Vatican Museum, Library and Vatican as well as finding out who was the pope at the time my characters visit Rome…   and a visit to Ancient Rome was also handy.

What great places to visit for research! When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I do love to take pictures. I live in Wales which is home to a great Jurassic coastline. We have castles, ancient ruins of all kinds, mountains, waterfalls and wildflowers and beaches, lots and lots of beaches (you can even find fossils on some of them).   I have three little dogs so I love to spend time with them too. Cinema, clubs, Facebook, live bands – I’m very partial to drumming and drummers…  <blushes>

LOL. My brother is a drummer and actually met his wife when his band was playing a gig. And Wales sounds phenomenal. I would so love to visit! Now for some favorites: 

Favorite color:  BLACK

Favorite type of music:  GOTHIC ROCK/ROCK

Favorite musical group or singer:  30 Seconds To Mars / Within Temptation /  Evanescence

Favorite animal:  DOG

Favorite social media platform:   FACEBOOK

Owl or lark:  OWL

Thanks for the interview, Margarita. I hope you enjoyed your visit today and I wish you much success with your series. I love the history element woven through it!

If you’d like to know more about Margarita Felices, connect with her at the following haunts:
Blog
Twitter:
 @felicm60
Facebook
Goodreads

Book cover for Judgement of Souls by Margarita Felices showing a young female vampire holding a swordBLURB
CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Rachel has a promise to keep. When Max arrived at the Elysium and started to court the young Rachel, who knew why he was really there? Who knew what he was planning?

Who knew he’d frame her parents and leave behind such misery? Who knew he’d break her heart?

Rachel should have known.

It may take time to track him down, but she will and she’ll make him sorry. In the second part of this vampire trilogy, Rachel searches for Max and the missing vampire artifact to save her parents.

Meet her new best friend who happens to be mortal, meet her handsome Count destined for the guillotine and meet the Righteous, the fierce vampire hunters.

Purchase CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS from
Amazon UK
Amazon