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 😀 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 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 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Author Pamela Moran with Blind Sight

Hand writing a letter with a goose feather

My Pen Pal guest today is Pamela Moran who writes an intriguing paranormal series about PSI Sentinels.

I originally “met” Pamela when I won the first book in her series in an online contest and quickly became a fan. Not only are the stories unique and engaging but her covers are fabulous. Look them up, as you’re in for a treat!

In the meantime, please say hello to Pam who has just released BLIND SIGHT, Book two of the PSI SENTINELS: GUARDIANS OF THE PSYCHIC REALM.

I know release time is always crazed, Pam. Thanks for swinging by for a visit. I’d love to hear all the deets about BLIND SIGHT. Can you tell us what the story is about?

Death haunts Gabe Nicholetti’s sleep with visions of dead people. People he doesn’t know, people whose murders he can’t prevent. But there’s always a connection to someone Gabe knows, a connection from Gabe to that someone who cares about the person in Gabe’s vision. He has to find it, and won’t rest until he does.

Justice is all he can offer those he sees in his visions, and one thing Gabe is good at is finding murderers.

Among the other PSI agents, Gabe Nicholetti is known as the Harbinger of Death. Even his boss, isn’t immune to that initial gut tightening reaction when he sees Gabe in his office, sitting and waiting.

Who’s going to die?

Rily Carrigan, small town cop from Eagle’s Crest, Oregon, has no patience with what she calls the woo-woo and she’s not about to bow to fate and let it run right over her, no matter what Gabe Nicholetti believes. She has the murder of a one-time friend to solve and isn’t about to let a PSI agent get in her way.

In spite of trying to keep his distance, something about Rily Carrigan gets to Gabe, makes the vision personal. He’s never been able to save a victim before, but this fight has now become one he needs to win.

Book cover for Blind Sight by Pamela Moran depicting a young attractive man and woman with trees in the backgroundHow did you choose your title?

Gabe Nicholetti has the Sight, but is Blind to who the person is, to how they die and to who kills them. But he always finds out because he won’t rest until he does. In a very real way, the dead people in his visions are his and remain so, even after he’s solved their murder.

Fascinating!  Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Rily Carrigan.

She’s a cop from a family of cops, and that family means everything to her. She’s up front, honest and authentic. She’s not afraid to let you know how she feels and she’s not afraid to show her emotions.

At least on the surface.

It’s not until you get to know her that you realize she isn’t sharing the real depths of herself, that she keeps her true fears contained and shoved into a box marked private, open at own risk.

She’s truly a complex and deep character with a fiery spirit.

How did you choose your setting?

Eagle Crest, Oregon doesn’t exist except in my mind, but is loosely based on the area around Astoria, Oregon. I been through and around there several times and the place managed to wedge itself deep inside my soul. What better place to set a story than one I love and want to visit again and again? Travel with a purpose and a definite reason to go back!

I agree with you! Share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

The beautiful blonde stretched out at the edge of some forest floor, her lifeless green eyes staring at him, through him.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do?

Travel Photographer. The landscape photos in some of the FaceBook teasers I’ve posted are from my photos. The trees in the background of the cover for BLIND SIGHT are from a photo I took near Young’s River outside of Astoria one December a few years back (while researching for STOLEN SPIRIT and BLIND SIGHT).

How wonderful you were able to use that shot. Travel photographer always appealed to me as well (though I’m hardly a good photographer, LOL). The heroine in my June release, ECLIPSE LAKE is a travel/nature photographer for a renowned magazine. I guess I always imagined it an equally adventuresome and glamorous occupation.

And now for a few questions allowing my readers to learn more about you.

What is your dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother?

An RV and several months to explore wherever the whim takes me! I’ve always had a serious case of wanderlust when it comes to travel. Doesn’t matter if it’s close by or far away, I’m always the first to say yes, let’s go – that’s if I’m not the one who came up with the trip in the first place. Have camera, will travel has been my motto for a long time.

Yes, you would definitely make a good travel photographer! 🙂 What is your favorite season?

That transition time between seasons is my favorite. The air is charged with a sense of impending transformation, all my senses are stirred and it’s like a sweet promise of change; when new leaves are just beginning to bud yet Winter hasn’t quite lost its grip; when the days are getting longer and warmer but the nights still have that hint of Spring chilliness; those last days of Summer just as leaves begin to change; those same leaves, fallen from now bare trees, laying scattered across the ground while Autumn attempts to keep the cold at bay.

And the snow. There’s something magical about that first snowfall.

Oh my! I never met anyone else who related to the transitional change between seasons like that. I LOVE THOSE TIMES! I’ve done a number of blog posts in the past relating to what I call “transitional moments” that embrace more than just season change. Switching gears again, who is your favorite musical group or singer?

Although most of BLIND SIGHT is set in Oregon, the story opens with Gabe on his sailboat in the British Virgin Islands. Kenny Chesney, especially his island music, helped set the tone of the story for me. SOUL OF A SAILOR, SPIRIT OF A STORM, FRENCH KISSING LIFE, SOMEWHERE IN THE SUN, SOMETHING SEXY ABOUT THE RAIN … all of these are part of a play list I put together while writing BLIND SIGHT.  I’d put the music on shuffle and let it play low in the background.

Owl or lark?

My husband waved me outside one evening a few years ago, just as dusk was falling. His finger to his lips, he had me look upwards. There, in our massive oak tree, on a curved branch, sat four baby owls, each no more than a few inches tall. They were all watching him with avid curiosity. Three were groomed and settled, looking like well-behaved triplets. One was ruffled and a bit scruffy (he was our favorite). Mama owl, who was only a few inches taller herself, made a few agitated flybys, but must have decided we were no threat and flew off to do whatever mama owls do while her babies perch on tree branches. We haven’t seen the owls posing like that since, although we do still hear them occasionally.

I would have loved to have witnessed that sight. Owls fascinate me. One of my earliest novels (now languishing in a drawer somewhere) involved a magical owl. Mountains or beach?

Home, at nearly 6,000 feet, is the mountain region of Southern California, and there aren’t many places I’d rather live. Oak trees, five different kinds of pine, manzanita, cool air in the summer when it’s over 100 in the valley, a small creek nearby. A different version of paradise that I love.

I’m a beach person, but I’ve been as far north as Lake Tahoe and loved it. I would really like to see Oregon someday. Thanks for sharing those lovely images…and for being by guest today! 🙂 

If you’d like to connect with Pamela Moran you can find her at the following haunts:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

Author Pamela Moran in a pensive pose with and to chinAuthor Bio
Whether painting, out on a photo shoot or writing, Pam has always had a bend toward the creative side of life. Her favorite is when she can combine any of those with travel. Places get into her blood and she loves to explore the possibilities, always with characters and a story in mind.

An astrologer for most of her adult life, Pam has been known to see auras and the occasional ghost. Considering she lives in a haunted house in the mountains of Southern California, this keeps life interesting.

BLURB for BLIND SIGHT:

Death plagues Gabe Nicholetti’s dreams, but he can’t save the people in his visions. The most he can do is bring their killers to justice. But this time, this victim makes it all personal.

Rily Carrigan is a dead woman, or she will be in a matter of days as her past rushes forward to shatter her carefully constructed world. But Rily doesn’t believe fate is absolute. How is she going to convince the man who’s seen too many die that it’s possible to save her life?

Just outside a small, Oregon town, something malevolent lurks, waiting to seize what was once promised then stolen. Together, Gabe and Rily need to find a way to deny fate and keep Rily alive.

Purchase BLIND SIGHT from:
Amazon

AmazonUK 
B&N 
Kobo

Today’s Pen Pal: Sharon Kleve with Love Crazed by Mae Clair

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penIt’s Pen Pal time, and my guest today is Sharon Kleve, a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance.  I hope you’ll take a few moments to get to know Sharon, as she shares her writing habits and latest release. 

Sharon, do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

I have a designated office. I have candles, books, and a radio going when I write. I also have three big windows where I can watch the birds play. I love to write all the time. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is.

Your office sounds lovely. Especially those large windows that allow you to watch the birds at play. What attracts you most to your chosen genre?

The Happy-Ever-After. I read for years before I ever thought about writing and if there wasn’t a happy-ever-after I never read the author again. So I stuck to the romance genre.

A girl after my own heart. I’m addicted to HEA’s! 🙂 My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it?

I have to have the name of the book picked out first. The character names don’t matter until a little later. My husband helps me pick the book title.

Wow, that’s amazing. Titles are generally tough for me. Once in a while I luck out and have the title before I start writing, but usually I’m still scrambling for one when I type “the end.” What is your most current release?

Love Crazed is the fourth book in The Corny Myers Series.

Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Corny Myers is similar to Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich’s series. But Corny can talk to animals.

Ooh, I like that idea. When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I cook. Cooking relaxes me. I love to bake bread, bagels, and sour dough. But a decadent pasta dinner is my favorite.

Now I know where to go when I’m hungry because I’m a horrible cook, LOL. Please share a few favorites:

Favorite season: Fall because of the colors it brings. WA has the most brilliant transition from summer to fall.

Favorite animal: Cat. I adore my cat Ardy. She rules the household. Everything revolves around Ardy’s schedule–food, water and snacks, and of course, play time.

Favorite social media platform: My blog is fun and easy to maintain. I think whatever an author chooses they need to maintain a regular presence for their readers.

Favorite author: Janet Evanovich. She’s what I started writing. Stephanie Plum made me laugh and want to continue reading her series.

Food you never grow tired of:  Bread. It’s a good thing I like to bake. I love every flavor, sour dough, rye, pumpernickel, and especially bagels.

Mountains or beach: Beach. I love the crashing waves and even the sand when it gets into every crevice of your body.

I love the beach too, although I’m not overly fond of the sand anywhere but on my feet. 🙂 And cats? Oh, I love cats! It sounds like Ardy is a typical phenomenal feline. Thanks so much for being a Pen Pal today, Sharon. I wish you much success and many sales with LOVE CRAZED. And BTW, pumpernickel and rye are my favorite types of bread. You have excellent taste! 🙂

KlevephotoAUTHOR BIO
Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.

Sharon is a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.

When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.  

Connect with Sharon at the following haunts: 

Email: sharon.kleve@yahoo.com

Blog: http://authorsharonkleve.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sharonrkleve

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKleve

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/srkleve/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5399389.Sharon_Kleve

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sharon-kleve/56/ab/691/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Kleve/e/B006JAH14S

Publisher: http://bookstogonow.com/

Love_CrazedLOVE CRAZED BLURB:

Corny has her work cut out for her in “Love Crazed”, Book Four in The Corny Myers Series.

Corny’s excitement over serving on jury duty is squashed when she hears news of Steve’s ex-girlfriend relocating to Seattle.

Steve’s an aggressive, tough, Seattle narcotics cop who thinks Celeste could do no wrong.

Celeste is back in town and has set her sights on rekindling her relationship with Steve. Being an FBI agent she’s used to getting what she wants, no matter what the cost.

Corny is trying to keep her relationship from falling apart, while rescuing pets, and saving her friend from a loan shark.

Can Pete, Corny’s ferret, learn how to use the phone in time to save the day?

Purchase LOVE CRAZED from Amazon

Today’s Pen Pal: Cindy Flores Martinez with Mail-Order Groom by Mae Clair

Feather and ink bottle isolated on paper backgroundPlease welcome new Pen Pal, Cindy Flores Martinez to my blog with her release, Mail-Order Groom. Isn’t that a fun title? Grab your beverage of choice (early morning for me has to be coffee), and say hello to Cindy!  

Please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I’ve been writing for many years, but for much of that time, I wrote screenplays and I helped other people with their screenplays. My novel Mail-Order Groom started out as a full length feature script, which I spent years trying to have made into a movie. After I shopped it around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world and didn’t find the success I wanted, I had to rethink my plans. I had this story to tell that I was so passionate about and that I had invested so much time in. Was I really going to let it remain untold? I decided that I couldn’t stand back and watch it end that way. That’s when I stepped into the world of writing fiction. Turning my screenplay into a novel was the best decision I could have made. I discovered an absolute love of writing fiction.

What an amazing path to publication you’ve taken . . . and re-inventing yourself as a writer of fiction. Kudos to you for not letting Mail-Order Groom fall by the wayside. Tell us which character you enjoyed writing the most and why. 

I loved the quirky Janusz, Edyta, Lisa’s parents, and of course Krzysztof, but if I had to choose only one, I would say Lisa was my favorite. I’ve always liked that she’s so flawed. I found it so easy to write that part of her because I’m so flawed myself. I also enjoyed the inner growth she experiences, and I especially loved the way her story ends. I see her life as an example of how we might think our dreams have died and that nothing can ever repair them, but if we wait and hold on, we might find that it’s really only the beginning of something better. I hope her story will be an inspiration to others.

Flawed characters are my favorite kind and your take on fulfilling our dreams is definitely inspiring. How did you choose the setting for your novel? 

Mail-Order Groom is set in a fictional small town with a picture perfect Main Street. When I was trying to have the screenplay made into a movie, a friend offered to film it for me in the small town where he lived. I adjusted the screenplay to reflect that location, but also, my fascination with Main Streets played a part in inspiring the setting in the story. I’ve visited so many Main Streets throughout the years, and I’ve always wanted to live near one. Placing my fictional characters in a location like that was an easy decision. I think it gives the story a certain charm that wouldn’t exist if they lived somewhere else. I found myself going back to that same town for the next several stories that I’m writing.

I love small town settings and frequently employ them myself . . . usually fictional, loosely based on an area I’m familiar with. Small town Main Streets are inherent with charm. Great choice of setting! Now please share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love. 

With each breath I took, I fell further and deeper into him until I lost all awareness of earth, sky, time, and space.

That’s lovely, Cindy, and so beautifully romantic. If you couldn’t write, what else would you choose to do?

If I could no longer be a writer of any kind, not even a screenwriter, I would probably become an artist. I love to paint, and I hope to do more of it in the future.

How wonderful! My father was an artist and I envy that talent in others. He gave me my love of writing, but I zeroed out on his artistic ability.

And now for some quick personal likes and dislikes. What is your:

Favorite season: I live in Southern California, so I can say with confidence that winter is my favorite season. It doesn’t snow here and it hardly ever rains. The cold temperatures are very comfortable. The combination of the cold weather and the holidays of winter are absolutely exhilarating.

Favorite time of day: I’m a night person, which isn’t easy in a world where everything happens during the day. I love the darkness and quiet of late night because it’s so peaceful. I can often be found writing during that time.

Favorite color: Aqua blue that is more blue than green. It’s such a calming color. It reminds me of the ocean, which is my favorite place to be near.

Favorite TV show: Right now I’m a big fan of “Reign”. I was originally drawn to the show because it’s about Mary, Queen of Scots, but the story and all of the characters have kept me watching.

Food you never grow tired of: Is chocolate a food? I can’t imagine ever growing tired of chocolate. I enjoy making my own chocolate using ingredients like coconut oil and natural sweeteners.

Yes, chocolate definitely qualifies! And I’m envious of your winters — being a Northern bird whose winters never seem to end. Aqua blue is my favorite color as well (with varying shades of green a close second).

And now, let’s take a look at MAIL-ORDER GROOM!

Book cover for Mail-Order Groom depicting a bride and groom from back holding hands BLURB:
Mail-Order Groom, a debut romantic comedy novel by Cindy Flores Martinez, was inspired by the author’s own Polish ancestry and is based on her screenplay and movie project of the same title, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world.

A sweet romance about an American woman who marries a stranger from Poland after her fiancé leaves her right before the wedding.

Lisa is about to marry her first real love and have the wedding of her dreams, but her world is shattered when she finds her fiancé, Jeff, in the arms of another woman. When he calls the wedding off, Lisa is heartbroken.

In a twist of fate, she meets Krzysztof Zielinski from Poland on Mail-Order-Grooms.Com. He needs to marry an American woman so that he can stay in America, and he’s willing to pay money for it. His reason for needing to stay tugs at Lisa’s heart and convinces her to say “I do” to him. After all, it’s going to be strictly a business deal. She won’t even have to live with him, and marrying another man would be the perfect revenge on Jeff.

Lisa races to the altar with her stand-in groom, but she soon learns that she actually does have to live with him. Things become even more complicated when she finds herself falling for him, and he’s not planning to stay in America forever. Will Lisa’s heart break all over again or will she find love and happiness in the end?

PURCHASE MAIL-ORDER GROOM FROM AMAZON 

AUTHOR BIO
My name is Cindy Flores Martinez. I was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles. I have an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. I have been a screenwriting instructor, screenplay consultant, script reader, and screenplay collaborator. My debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, which was inspired by my own Polish ancestry, started out as a screenplay and movie project. I spent years shopping it around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world and had two well-known actors, one of them Academy Award nominated, interested in portraying the lead character’s parents. After not finding the success I wanted, I officially canceled my film production company in November 2009 and embarked on the journey of turning my screenplay into a novel.

Connect with Cindy Flores Martinez at the following haunts:
Website
Twitter
Facebook 

Welcome Elise Cyr with Siege of the Heart

Lately, I’ve had a taste for historical novels, so I’m super excited to have Kensington Book author Elise Cyr on my blog today, with her new release, SIEGE OF THE HEART. 

Elise, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I’ve been writing since my teen years, but was always afraid to admit I wanted to be a writer. So let’s just say there were a lot of secret notebooks in my room. I majored in English in college, went to grad school, and even worked in academia for a few years. But none of that made me happy. So I pulled out an old story, reread it, and realized it wasn’t that bad. Looking back it seems so naive. But I rewrote and revised and workshopped that story and many others over the next few years, and here I am.

Good for you! As writers we encounter many obstacles along the way. I’m glad you found the dedication to stick with something you love. Now for a technique question: which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?

Dialogue. When I read novels, I tend to skip over long passages of description to get to the action sooner, and I do that when I’m writing too. I also took a screenwriting class in college, and that format requires you to leave the visuals up to the director, so your real focus is primarily the dialogue. That experience really helped me learn that aspect of the craft. I also tend to underwrite, so in subsequent passes, I’m usually expanding my description and adding character blocking to round out the story.

I really enjoy writing dialogue, but description has always been my first love. When I do rewrites, I’m normally reworking my dialogue, LOL. And now, I’d love to hear more about SIEGE OF THE HEART.

It’s a medieval romance from Kensington Books, set during the Norman Conquest of England, with a knight seeking his place in the world and a noblewoman struggling to hold on to all she holds dear. It’s the first novel I ever got to “The End” on. It has taught me so much about writing and myself, and I’m so glad to share it with the world.

siegeoftheheart_Final

You must have a fantastic sense of accomplishment, and I can’t imagine the research that must have gone into the book. Please share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

“They stood there like hunter and prey, but she would be no man’s quarry.”

Ooh, great choice! It says a lot about her character in so few words–and his.
When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I play shoot-em-up video games. It’s a great stress reliever and gives my brain a break after a day full of writing. I also try to stay active. My husband and I ride bikes or go hiking on the weekend, and every day, I walk my dog in the foothills.

Speaking of pets, furred friends and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. Tell us about yours.

My dog Sienna is an adorable border collie/Australian shepherd mix. She doesn’t let me sleep in, which is great for my writing schedule, and usually hangs out by my feet when I’m typing away in the office. She’s very affectionate, so she’s always ready for a tummy rub when I get up to take a break.

She sounds adorable. And tummy rubs are a perfect break during any author’s schedule. 🙂  Now for a few personal likes and dislikes. What’s your favorite season?

Summer. I’m happiest when I can wear sandals.

Favorite color: I’ve never found a shade of blue I didn’t like.

Casual or dressy: Casual. I’m the girl who hates getting dressed up.

Mountains or beach: Since I live in the mountain foothills these days, I’d have to say beach.

Fruit or veggies: Veggies. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love them. Broccoli and brussels sprouts are my favorite.

OMG, they’re my favorite too! I rarely meet anyone who likes one of them, let alone both. I’m not a vegetarian either, but like you, I love veggies. I was one of those weird kids whose parents never had to say “eat your vegetables.” Now when it came to beef, that’s an entirely different story 😀

Elise, it’s been a delight to have you here today and I wish you much success with SIEGE OF THE HEART.

file0001492858701 (2)AUTHOR BIO
I’ve always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. I write primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.

I live in New Mexico with my husband and the sweetest dog ever. When I’m not writing, I hike, bike, cook, and (of course) read. Siege of the Heart is my debut medieval romance. You can follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out my blog.

(Image courtesy of Clarita of Morgue File)

About Siege of the Heart:

He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.

Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.

For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.

Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?

CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.

SIEGE OF THE HEART IS AVAILABLE FROM:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kensington Books 

Welcome Gemma Brocato with Hearts in Harmony G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

My friend and sister author, Gemma Brocato, is roaming the blogosphere, celebrating the release of HEARTS IN HARMONY, her hot new contemporary romance—book two in her Five Senses series. She’s got a fab giveaway going on too, but first, I’d like to introduce you to this bubbly supportive author. This girl is a gem! 🙂 

Gemma, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

Most of the jobs I’ve had have some sort of writing involved in them. Mostly marketing and advertising types of writing. Although one job I had as a sales trainer required me to conduct a training session in a prison (for the inmates, I was not incarcerated LOL). That might be my most memorable experience. Ten convicted felons and me discussing the best ways to telemarket. I’ve dedicated myself solely to writing since 2010, when I quit my full-time job to be a writer full-time. In that time, I’ve completed three manuscripts and started work on two others. And the ideas just keep flowing.

Congrats to you on being able to step into the writing arena, full-time. I think that is every author’s ultimate dream. And wow, a training session with inmates—that definitely sounds memorable!

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?

I’d say close to 90%. Although the third book in the Five Senses Series surprised me. I didn’t expect one of the characters to develop the way he did. But during the course of writing a crotchety old man, he kept revealing his sweet loveable side. What’s a writer to do when that happens?

I love when characters surprise you like that. I’ve had several do that to me, including someone I had pegged for a villain in a series I’m working on. He Intrigued me so much he’s actually the hero of the second book, LOL. My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it?

I love crafting the opening scene. I’ll let ideas percolate in my imagination for a while, put some basic concepts on paper (inner and outer journeys, physical characteristics, settings, etc) then wrap them all into a killer opener. My journalism education won’t let me write anything that won’t grab the reader right away.

Good for you. Openings are so crucial! Please tell us about your newest release.

Hearts In Harmony is the second book in the Five Senses Series. I’ve been writing the series so you do not have to read the first one, each one can stand alone. I first mentioned the heroine, Pippa in Cooking Up Love and offered a bit of her backstory. Since then, she’d been whispering in my ear to pay attention to her. She has twin six-year olds who try very hard to steal the show. Pippa is a war widow, grounded in her family and life in Granite Pointe, unwilling to admit she is lonely. When she meets Clay Mathers, she’s attracted, but hesitant to act on it. His mother, Seeley, is her client and he is only in town until she recovers from a stroke. But he wants Pippa while he’s there and wages a military-style campaign to turn her into his temporary friend with benefits. Throw in a scoundrel hiding behind a protest group and a growing love between Clay and Pippa and you have a symphony worth reading.

I can’t wait to read it and see how it all turns out. Was there any research involved in this novel? If so, what was the most interesting item you discovered?

When I first started writing the series, I based it on the five senses; this one is sound. I’d heard so much about music therapy when Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords was recovering from a traumatic head wound that I’d decided Pippa should work in the field. I reached out to the local Association of Music Therapists and they were extremely helpful.

I’m not familiar with musical therapy, but I’m definitely intrigued. Please share a few short sentences from your book to hook us.

As days went, this one was made to order. Misty. Gloomy. A perfect day…for a funeral.

That does the trick. Great impact. When you’re not writing, do you have any guilty pleasures to distract you?

I love watches and clocks. In fact, I own around ten watches right now that need to have the batteries replaced. I have two favorites, one a 20 year-old Timex with a large, readable face and a simple black band. The other is my mother’s dressy, vintage watch. It runs on a spring you wind, and has a gorgeous mesh band. The face is almost too small to read, but it makes me feel closer to my mom when I wear it. I know she still wears her mother’s watch for the same reason.

Lovely. And I have a secret . . . I’m a clock and watch fanatic too. I’ve got oodles of watches in need of batteries, and I love walking into a clock shop, being surrounded by the soft ticking and musical chimes. Clocks in my family have a unique and somewhat strange history, especially the grandfather’s clock.  

Now, that I’ve established we both love clocks, let’s find out what else you’re fond of. 🙂 Please share your:

Favorite musical group or singer: Mumford And Sons or ColdPlay

Favorite social media platform: Facebook

Food you never grow tired of: Coffee counts as food, right?

Owl or lark: Both – I’m not sleeping much lately

Mountains or beach: Mountain

Coffee counts! How could writers live without it, LOL? Hopefully, if you’re not sleeping it’s because you’re courting characters in your head or busy at writing. Otherwise no sleep, is no fun! 🙂 It was great having you here today, Gemma. I wish you much success with HEARTS IN HARMONY. I know it will be an engaging read!

AUTHOR BIO:Gemma Brocato
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.

Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.

CONNECT WITH GEMMA AT THE FOLLOWING HAUNTS:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads 

HIH CoverBOOK DESCRIPTION:

Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love.

Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.

Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.

What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

EXCERPT:

Pippa opened her mouth to retort, when the irony of his words hit her. Yes, he did have a right to speak his mind. It was a privilege her husband had fought and died for. She just wished he wasn’t so crude about it.

Clay eyed her and crossed muscular arms over his chest, daring her to respond, waiting for a chance to chastise her again for her stupidity.

She swallowed the words she’d intended to use to put him in his place. “You’re right. Thank you for helping me.”

Shock and confusion rippled across his strong face, and laughter tickled the back of her throat. She’d managed to shut him up. The same way she might have with one of her kids when they needed to listen to reason. It was a little fun to take the wind out of his sails this way. She’d done it all her life with her brothers and had seen the same look of consternation floating on their faces.

But she’d never wanted her brothers to keep arguing with her. If this green-eyed hunk wanted to go another round with her, she’d relish it—welcome it. There was something about him…

BUY LINKS:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

GIVEAWAY ALERT:

2014-04-25 11.41.35

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a HEARTS IN HARMONY swag pack, loaded with goodies!
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Welcome Historical and Paranormal Romance Author, Daisy Banks

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penIt’s always nice when I have a Pen Pal visit. Today’s guest is Daisy Banks, one of the most supportive authors I’ve met in my short time online in the writing world. Daisy has several current releases available which you can check out on her Amazon page, plus another release on the horizon.

Today, she dropped by to share some insight on her writing techniques.

Welcome, Daisy. First question:  Do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?
I can and do write anywhere. I prefer using the computer to write but if I’ve not got it with me, ideas go down on the nearest thing I have. I write every day to some degree or other. If I’m not working on a story, I’ll be writing blog posts as a guest for someone or for my own blog. I am a morning person, I function best early. I tend to write heavily until lunchtime and then edit in the afternoons, unless the muse is on my back and then I write until I can’t do any more. I love those days.

Book cover for A Gentleman's Folly by Daisy BanksI’m with you on that. I love productive days! Please tell us about your chosen genres and what attracts you to them the most.
I write historical stories because I love them. I enjoy the research that goes into them even if it is very picky. I get very irritated with myself if I make a mistake in the historical aspect of a story. The research and confirmation of my ideas means writing a historical always takes longer than any other kind of story.

I also write paranormal stories and enjoy them. Since I was very young I have enjoyed ghost stories, werewolf and vampire stories. I like myth and magic very much.

Book Cover for Valentine Wishes by Daisy BanksFantasy stories are great fun but do demand a lot of effort in world building, pushing the reader to suspend belief and accept someone can find their landlord is and elf, that kind of thing.  I think fantasy and paranormal are very closely linked as genres, which is why I work in both. I love the freedom fantasy offers in that anything can happen. I enjoy all kinds of legends and reading about them.

I know you have a new release coming up soon. Spill the beans!
My release in July this year with Taliesin Publishing is a step into a different genre for me. The story, A Perfect Match, is a love story set in a very different world, a dystopian society with many problems.

Ooh, I’m intrigued! Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I enjoyed writing my hero Varon very much. He is a control freak whose world gets turned upside down by an enforced political marriage. His reactions to his bride and the changes in his life were great fun to write. The best bit was his inability to take any form of challenge to what he wants. No one in his world gainsays him, and to find his wife will, really blows him away.

Please share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.
“Modesty is for inside the Temple, mistress, out in the real world it can be a great disadvantage.”

Great line! When you’re not creating fantastic dialogue and writing stores, what do you do to unwind?
I enjoy antiques and going to antique fairs. I love rooting around the charity shops in the local area looking for things too.  I usually spend one or two days each month searching for something that takes my eye.

Book cover for A Matter of Some Scandal by Daisy BanksGiven your love of history and antiques, if someone gave you a working time machine tomorrow, where would you visit and why?
I’d zoom to several era’s. One would be Hastings in 1066 where I would scream, “Harold, don’t look up.”

The loss of the battle of Hastings was a close run thing and I happen to think Anglo-Saxon society had a great deal going for it. England would have had a different focus if Harold’s army had won at Hastings.

I’d love to drop in on ancient Alexandria and be first on the scene in the library as it caught fire. I’d love to put that fire out. So much knowledge was lost to us with the blaze in the library. It took centuries for some of the knowledge to be regained and the loss of some of the literary works can never be restored.

One last place I’d visit is the court of the old Bailey in the early eighteenth century. I’d want to meet the man who made the court notes for publication. I believe him to be Roger Le Strange. I owe him a debt you see, because it was his writing that truly taught me what an author’s voice means. I’d like to buy him lunch.

I want to go time traveling with you. What an experience it would be! Switching gears, please share your:

Favorite season:
I love the autumn. I find the way the leaves turn mesmeric, the softness of mists as they cloak the normal view makes me stop and stare in wonder. Silver frosted cobwebs on the hedges sometimes decorated with drops that sparkle like diamonds are almost too beautiful to be real. Yes, I love autumn.

Favorite type of music: Classical. I moved to classical music as a preference some years ago and listen to it daily as I write. I love the sound of the harpsichord it conjures so many images in my mind.

Favorite ice cream flavor:
Rum and raisin, a large scoop in a chocolate dipped cone. Heaven.

Food you never grow tired of:
Curry, I love spicy foods in general but a good Chicken Madras or Balti is a firm favorite. I enjoy making my own curries.

Pie or cake:
Pie, I prefer savory foods rather than sweet, but I do like apple pie especially when it’s served with cream. It’s a very homely dish and true comfort food.

Ah! If you ever get across the pond, we shall have a thick slice of apple pie and sip tea while listening to classical music. You would have loved the “Mozart parties” a friend of mine used to host every year.

Daisy, thanks so much for being my guest today. I look forward to your next release. In the meantime, I know eager readers can enjoy your current list of historicals and paranormals:

Book Cover for Timeless by Daisy BanksVALENTINE WISHES 
TIMELESS 
A GENTLEMAN’S FOLLY 
YOUR HEART MY SOUL 
FIONA’S WISH 
A MATTER OF SOME SCANDAL

Forth coming with Taliesin Publishing. A PERFECT MATCH

Connect with Daisy Banks at the following haunts:
Blog
Website
Twitter @DaisyBanks12
Facebook
Pinterest  

Adventure and Romance with Cd Brennan: A World Apart

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penI’m happy to have another Pen Pal on my blog today. Cd Brennan has led an adventurous life, traipsing all over the globe before settling down in Michigan.

From yacht racing in Ireland, to gutting fish in Alaska, and working on a ranch in the Australian Outback—you name it, this girl has done it! And she’s used those adventures to her benefit in creating a wonderful series of novels called “Love Where you Roam.” Please welcome Cd, as she shares the latest book in this series, A WOLRD APART.

Cd, let’s start with your background. Please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I grew up in Michigan but as soon as I was out of Uni went traveling the world and didn’t return “home” for a very long time. Married an Australian cowboy and rugby player and have two sons, two and five who are the tornado in our life in which we revolve. When we lived in Australia, a neighbor across the street, and a good friend, challenged me to write a romance for a contest through Mills & Boons New Voices. I came mid-pack in results, but it prompted me to keep going. My friend kept me motivated by setting chapter goals, and I doubt I would have finished my first book if she hadn’t. I had a toddler and was pregnant with the second, and working! But I’m proud to say I had it published and then after the first, the next ones come easier. A World Apart is the second book in the Love Where You Roam series.

It’s wonderful to have a friend who motivates you like that and believes in your talent. My previous critique partner was my cheerleader for twelve years. She passed away before I submitted and was published, but I still smile when I think of all the motivation she gave me. I’m so glad your friend did the same. Do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

I don’t! It’s called squeeze-it-in-when-I-can 🙂 With my day job and the kids, running the house and everything else, I’m pretty buggered, but I try to even get a few sentences down every night. I know that might not seem like a lot, but I force myself to commit to even that small amount of time.

Any commitment to writing is a great discipline—and that’s a lot you’re juggling! Good for you squeezing those moments in each night. I really enjoyed the first release in your Love Where You Roam series, WATERSHED, and am looking forward to losing myself in A WORLD APART. Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene.

I have a few favorites, but the one that comes to mind right now is when Hamish climbs the fire escape to try and break into the rooms where Lizzy lives above the hotel she works at. Okay, it might sound a bit Pretty Woman, but its significant to Hamish as he isn’t the impulsive type, the exact opposite and his love and adoration for this sunshine of a shiela compels him to step outside his box. It’s pissing rain (as they say over there) and he’s clumsy as heck getting up the old rickety metal escape. It’s a big humorous, a bit profound. 🙂

I love “pissing rain,” LOL. It sounds like a great scene. How did you choose your setting?

A World Apart Old Book Cover

A World Apart Old Book Cover

A World Apart is set in Bridge of Allan, Scotland, a small beautiful town just outside the University of Stirling where I attended to get my MPHIL in Publishing Studies. I actually worked and lived in the Queen’s Hotel where much of the story takes place. I utterly and completely fell in love with not only this quaint Scottish village, but all of Scotland. A bit of my heart still remains there.

I would love to see Scotland someday. It must have been phenomenal to live there. Would you like to share the first three sentences of your book?

“Pass those empties, mate.” Lizzy prodded the man with her free hand, the other balancing a stack of empty pint glasses.

“Would you shut it?” The man ignored Lizzy’s request.

A mighty roar bellowed in the room, the wallop of noise raising the hairs on Lizzy’s arms.

Nice! I wonder just what that noise is all about. 🙂 Now, let’s learn about Cd. When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

Honestly, I rarely unwind, unless I am comatose asleep at night, and that’s unless our 2-year old wakes me up :). But I think it’s important for everyone to take time for themselves. It makes them better at all the other roles they play – a better and happier mum, a more creative writer, a more dedicated employee. So, I took the first step and combined exercise and unwind time by walking our dog. I also indulge in red wine a few times a week. For a frazzled mum, it’s a godsend! And not too unhealthy 🙂

You’re so right that we all need some “me” time. I like your methods for unwinding! If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do?

Cowgirl, definitely. Or do you mean something that actually pays a wage? Helicopter pilot was one of my dreams when I was much younger, but since I have developed a fear of flying, that just won’t do anymore. LOL I guess I am stuck with writing, and I love my job as an Editor, as well.

A fear of flying would definitely impinge on being a helicopter pilot, LOL. It’s great you have writing—and a job as an editor—to keep you happy. And now for a few quick favorites:

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: Cologne, Germany for Octoberfest! My sister lives there so I get to see her and her family along with great beer in a stein and the beautiful German countryside.

Favorite season: Summer, too much Aussie in me to totally appreciate the winters in Michigan.

Favorite time of day: Morning, yep I’m one of those. I used to irritate the crap out of my housemates when I was younger.

Favorite color: Maroon – earthy and warm

Favorite type of music: Right now – classical. I have enough “noise” in my house with two wee boys and a dog. It soothes me LOL

Germany for Octoberfest would surely be an experience to remember! I love your choice of maroon—most unusual when I think of color. And I’m with you on summer and mornings (I’m still trying to figure out how I went from being a night owl when I was younger to being a morning person). It was great to have you visit today, Cd. I wish you much success and many sales for A WORLD APART. I already have my copy on my Kindle. It’s great to know there are even more books planned for this adventurous series!

~ooOOoo~

As a side note, when you go shopping for A WORLD APART, note that the book cover has had a redesign. As a result, you may find some sites still have the older cover (above) while others have the new adult book cover, below. Either way, you can be sure you’re still getting the same great tale!

Author Cd BrennanAuthor Bio
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word NO.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com

Connect with Cd at the following haunts:
Website
Blog:  Sundae With Nuts at the above address
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

A World Apart New Book Cover

A World Apart New Book Cover

BLURB FOR A WORLD APART:

She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.

Lizzy travels to Scotland to track down her roots, hoping where she comes from will help her figure out where she needs to go. An Aussie girl through and through, tough as nuts and a bit wild, she believes there’s nothing so wonderful as a world seen through wine-tinted glasses…

…until she meets Hottie Hamish, Bridge of Allan’s most eligible bachelor.

Hamish is Lizzy’s polar opposite in every way. He’s serious, driven, and motivated, focused on becoming the youngest associate professor at the Glasgow School of Art. But he’s hiding a social phobia behind his gruff exterior that makes it almost impossible to connect with people…

…until he meets Lost Lizzy, all sunshine and lightness, an Australian beauty with the proverbial heart of gold.

Where they come from may be worlds apart, but atop a Scottish Munro, they begin to realize where they’re going is best traveled side by side.

CONTENT WARNING: Graphic descriptions of haggis ingredients.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

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