Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Writing Down the Bones: Ten Things You Need to Know about Writers #writingtips

Ten things you need to know about writers (whether published or not) continued.

This is the next installment of the handout by Debbie Macomber. Once again I have put it into my own words. Enjoy!

6.) Writers are readers. We are our own audience.

7.) Writer's would rather have their books already written than to have to write them. They joy felt when the book is done is something that can't be explained.

8.) Our publishers (editors and cover artists as well) want our books to sell.

9.) Writers are always learning. Everything fascinates us. Research happens everyday and everywhere.

10.) When we're not being neurotic we're depressed. But don't worry we're always looking for optimism in every corner.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Welcome my Latest Guest Rebel Miller!@RebelMillerBoox

I want to welcome Rebel Miller. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi! I’m a romance author with two books under my belt, Awakening and Promising, both part of my New Adult romance trilogy. I was born in Jamaica, but have lived in Canada for most of my life. I reside in the outskirts of Toronto with my two boys and hubby, and am enjoying an unexpectedly warm winter up here in the North!

Tell us about your latest release.

Promising is the second novel in my futuristic New Adult romance trilogy, which tells the story of Kira Metallurgist, a young woman starting out on her own at the age of twenty-one. This novel places Kira in even more complex and so challenging situations, in particular, the love triangle she finds herself in with Gannon and Tai, navigating the politics around her career ambitions and coming to terms with her family’s many secrets. Promising is an angst-filled romance set against a dramatic backdrop that resonates with readers – whether lovers of stories in contemporary or futuristic settings.



Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Ooh. Good question! I love movies as much as I love books, so let’s start with my movie choice. I adore Joan Crawford played by Faye Dunaway in the movie Mommie Dearest. It’s becoming a tradition for my mother and I to watch it with a glass of wine and a good laugh on Mother’s Day.

As for books, I love Layla Sovereign, one of Kira’s adversaries in my books Awakening and Promising. She’s enigmatic, complicated and unpredictable. I enjoy a villain or adversary who’s unexpected in every way!

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

I’m pretty keen on Kira Metallurgist. I guess I would have to be to write three books focused on her and the challenges she faces! Kira’s dauntless in her efforts to protect those she loves. Despite her young age, she’s ambitious, very strong and confident. Growing up, I was always drawn to girls who thumbed their noses at authority and what others thought about them. Kira is that type of girlfriend but who still shows those moments of vulnerability that are expected for someone starting out in a new career and falling in love.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I write romance, currently in the futuristic setting, but I plan on writing contemporary as well. I chose romance because that’s what I have loved reading ever since I was a little girl. (Shh! I stole my mother’s romance novels and read them in the closet. Don’t tell her!)

I decided to write a futuristic romance for my first novel and series because I wanted to develop a whole new world and culture where I could really push the boundaries of a lot of belief systems and create high-stakes political drama between the main characters and those around them.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m working on the final book in the trilogy. It’s going to be one where Kira faces all her demons and has to make decisions on what type of path she wants to take – not only in terms of her love interest, but her career as well. After that, I’ll head right into writing a standalone contemporary romance.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Hmm. I have to say, I always knew that I would write a novel, but I had assumed that writing would be a career I took on maybe in another ten years or so. When I considered whether to become a writer in 2014, I had two kids under the age of seven and was well-underway establishing myself as a corporate communicator. I couldn’t really envision starting a writing career.

Then it occurred to me that I had always been a writer. As a communications professional, that’s what you do – write! It’s a different sort of writing, but the profession flexes your creative skills all the same. I had an idea for this story bouncing around in my head for months and said to myself, Why not? Why wait any longer? Write that darn book, Rebel!

I’m so glad I did. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it – even those moments of panic when I wonder how in the world I’m going to get that scene out the right way!

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I love the idea of going against the status quo. The truth is, despite my name, I’m probably one of the most diplomatic, practical and orderly people you would ever meet, so the chance to challenge systems and beliefs is very appealing to me, and is a recurring theme in my writing. In my trilogy, I take on the idea of being able to love more than one person and the idea of pre-determined social position. I simply think of what’s considered the mainstream and challenge myself to create a story that goes against it, but will still resonate with readers today.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I was a beauty queen contestant in my former life *bashful face*. I won one cultural competition representing Jamaica and entered another to win Most Photogenic and Best Talent.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I studied modern languages for my undergraduate degree, so I speak a little (very little!) Japanese, reasonable Spanish and a dash of French. I can cook a mean Jamaican jerk chicken and will challenge any do-it-yourself home decorator to a mosaic tile competition any day of the week ;).

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Don’t over think it. As an author, you delve deep into the world of your characters and sometimes, for me at least, it’s hard to pull yourself out and see the bigger picture. I love sub-plot and adding conflict at every turn. When I get panicky over the tangled web I’m weaving, I tell myself not to overthink it. That usually means focusing the scene on one particular goal or plot point. Works like a charm ever time!

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I have to say, I have a thing for TV writer and producer, Shonda Rhimes. I would be over the moon if I could sit down to talk to her about her creative process, her journey to success and advice on next steps in my writing career.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

There are too many to list here! The song totally depends on the mood I’m in and what’s going on in my life at the moment. I’m feeling pretty darned good at the moment, so the song that comes to mind is “Happy” by Pharell.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?


Goodness! Hmm. How about a fox. They’re so stealth, smart and unexpected! 





Promising: Book Two of Kira’s Story

PROMISING, the riveting follow-up to AWAKENING by Rebel Miller.

Faced with diverging loyalties — between those she loves and her responsibility to the Realm — Kira has to make heartrending and strategic decisions that threaten to jeopardize her future.

As her connection to Tai deepens and turmoil in the Realm builds, so does Gannon’s frustration at being unable to call Kira his own.

Worlds at War ... A Heart in Conflict

While the Realm stands defiant amidst rising unrest, Kira is thrust into a role that puts her at the forefront of her system’s governance and law, supporting a landmark position. Following a devastating turn of events, she turns to Tai for a shoulder to lean on after making a painful choice to ensure Gannon fulfils the role he was meant for.

As she becomes a reluctant - yet inspiring - voice for her caste, Kira learns about one of the Realm’s most well-kept secrets and how far leadership will go to prevent it from being revealed. What she doesn’t know is how much the decisions of her past have the power to bring enemies into her path, threatening to destroy everyone she holds close to her heart.

This novel is for mature audiences (18+) and includes committed relationships with multiple partners.

Available Now




Giveaway

Enter to win an eBook version of Promising: Book Two of Kira’s Story, a Rebel Miller Books tote and magnet, and a signed poster.


Tweets

Worlds at War… A Heart in Conflict. Kira’s Story continues. #romance #newadult #TheRealmSeries http://bit.ly/rebelmiller

The Hunger Games meets the Crossfire Series in Promising. #romance #newadult #TheRealmSeries http://bit.ly/rebelmiller


Excerpt

“How is it that with all our system’s technology I can’t make love to you from thousands of light years away?”

I snorted, but my lips tilted up at the corners nevertheless. “I’m sure the Protectorate has some sort of virtual reality device that could be refashioned just for that purpose,” I offered, rearranging the wool blanket on my lap.

I was curled up in bed, facing my monitor and resting against a pile of pillows. It had become a familiar position over the last few weeks, one from which I would relay the day’s activities during my nightly call with Gannon. Well, it was a nightly call for me. The sun had already risen where Gannon lived, on Dignitas One.

Suddenly, Gannon seemed to be deep in concentration. “No, on second thought, there’s no technology that could ever measure up to the real thing.” He grinned.

I smiled, heat rising to my cheeks.

“There’s the smile I was looking for,” Gannon said, leaning closer to his monitor, and so closer to me.

He was sitting in his office. He had been holding our calls from there more frequently over the last month. From what I could see, his office was a large, well-lit space. A wall of floor-to-ceiling glass ran its expanse directly behind him. Through it, I could see citizens of every caste striding by in obvious haste to get things done, more than likely at Gannon’s bidding. During these nighttime conversations with Gannon, and within the intimate surroundings of my bedroom, it was easy to forget who he was and his status. As chancellor, he surely had, every day, a checklist as long as my arm, filled with tasks.

I frowned as I noted the time. “I should let you go,” I said, sitting up.

“Why?”

I glanced pointedly behind him, fiddling with the thin strap of my top. “Your office looks incredibly busy.”

He blinked then swiveled in his chair to look at the steady stream of people behind him.

“Oh, my support always look like that,” he said, mischief glittering in his clear blue eyes as he turned back to me. “They think it’ll prevent me asking them to do anything else.” He winked, and I laughed, loving his cheekiness.

About Rebel Miller

Rebel Miller is an author who overindulges in Pinot Grigio, caramel popcorn and an eclectic mix of movies, music and angst-filled romance novels.

Rebel earned a graduate degree in Communications and Culture from Ryerson University and an undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies.

Rebel lives in the outskirts of Toronto, Canada with her husband and two sons.

Connect with Rebel








Thursday, March 24, 2016

Shameless Promoting: I've been Nominated!!!

Can I squeal a little? I’ve been nominated for the Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards. Hidden Desire and Timeless Desire are both up for the award. Please go vote – here’s the link to Timeless Desire -http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=21063 

We're about halfway done and I'm about halfway there. You're vote would really be appreciated.

I need at least 50 votes to make it to the next round.

Thanks,
 
BarbJ

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Please Welcome my Latest Guest Chuck Bowie! @BowieChuck #interview

I want to welcome Chuck Bowie. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m a Canadian Maritimer, so I’m from the east coast. I have two adult boys who are musicians, and music is also one of my hobbies. People-watching in places like restaurants is also high on my list of activities, and have gotten several amazing lines from this, which I’ve stolen shamelessly and incorporated into my novels. I’ve been reading and writing creatively for as long as I can remember, and am now writing full-time.

Tell us about your latest release.

My most recent novel is a suspense-thriller, third in the series, called Steal It All. My man Donovan is a contract thief, and although he’s seeking redemption and trying to retire, events keep dragging him back into the thick of things. Although he’s a lone wolf, in this third novel, Donovan must work with an RCMP detective and a gangs specialist from Scotland Yard. This makes him very uncomfortable, especially since he’s also taken on a freelance theft job to retrieve an art object on behalf of a millionaire.

In one extended scene, someone has been taken captive and must find their way out of a black hole without any outside help. I think this scene challenged me to ‘up my game’, as a writer.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Life is complicated; seldom black or white. When I read, I prefer my villains to be complex as well. Any time I am reading and the bad guy (or gal) isn’t completely evil, the story becomes a lot more interesting to me. For example, a friend of mine, Corey Redekop wrote a novel: Husk, about a gay zombie who retained his intellect throughout his zombie existence. He was so fun to read, since he needed to eat brains, yet, he felt all of the requisite emotions. Great writing.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

My favorite character? In the forties and fifties, Rex Stout wrote an extended detective series about a genius detective and his ‘legman’, Archie. Nero Wolfe, all 1/7th of a ton of him, was so clever, so witty, and so imaginative, he’s become my favorite written hero from fiction.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

These days, I write international suspense-thrillers. I was in the midst of writing a speculative fiction novel when, on business, I found myself in Bucharest, Romania. I woke up in this four star hotel, with dogs and orphans playing outside my window, and I asked myself: ‘What sort of mischief could a person who was alone in a foreign country get into, if he didn’t have much of a conscience?’ That very day, I started writing Donovan: Thief For Hire, a series about a contract thief who travels the world, grabbing things that don’t belong to him, and getting paid very well for them.

4.) What are you working on now?

At the moment, I’m working on Book 4 in the series. It’s called The Body On The Underwater Road, and the ‘conceit’ is when families move, it’s not just the furniture they bring with them. They also carry family secrets. (And yes, in my part of the country, there really is a road that magically appears with every low tide! Thus the ‘Underwater Road’).

5.) What got you to start writing?

When I was young—in grade school—I wrote an essay as a school assignment. It was so good, I actually asked myself if I had actually written it! Anyway, my teacher gave me a ‘B’. When I challenged the grade, she replied that, as good as it was, she didn’t believe in granting ‘As’. I’ve been trying, with every effort, to earn that elusive ‘A’.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

There is no formula. One writer said ideas come when you sit at your desk and stare at the screen until beads of blood form on your forehead. This is absolutely NOT my approach! I mentioned Three Wrongs began with a business trip. Book 2: AMACAT came from the notion that a perfect summer beach vacation can be spoiled in the nastiest way. In Book 3: Steal It All, my son and I were having a casual conversation about reasons behind the incredible success of the 1980s gangs that ruled Manchester, England. Steal It All came from that chat. Oftentimes, my essays come from a snippet of conversation I’ll overhear in a crowd, at a restaurant, etc.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I think they’d be surprised to find how curious I am about the universe. Every second book I read is non-fiction, and one of my favorites is Bill Bryson’s A Brief History of Nearly Everything. It’s brilliant, and the thought of learning things gets my curious mind excited!

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I love to cook things like arancini risotto balls and lemon drizzle cheesecake, I’ve become an acceptable home reno guy and just tiled my bathroom floor, and I can play a bit of blues guitar: 8-bar or 12-bar; your call. I’m not brilliant at anything, merely pretty good, which is surprising to me, as I never thought of myself as having a talent for anything. I’d like to think my writing is a talent…

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

My buddy Victor told me when I was starting out as a novelist: ‘Never a day without a line.’ He’s right; writing builds muscles, so the more you do, the better you get.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I guess it would be pretty cool to have a conversation, over dinner, with Sir Winston Churchill. He was so clever with words, he was a painter, writer, world leader, and led such an interesting life. And his lines were hilarious!

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

I’ll say Penny Lane. It’s a nostalgic song in which not a lot happens, yet it tells the life of a neighborhood. A former Prime Minister once suggested there are no national jobs except that of Prime Minister/President. The converse of that is most of us have local jobs, and we live them in local neighborhoods. Penny Lane tells the story of most of us. The bonus is it runs on descending chord structures, so it is great to make one forget about that annoying song you heard two days ago that won’t go away!

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

If I have to come back as an animal, I’d prefer it was an amoeba. Being an animal would be awful: no words, few demonstrable emotions, unavoidable pain. Nope. Better to be reincarnated as a non-sentient, single-celled animal. Or perhaps those microscopic bugs that live in library books! Yeah, that would be okay.






Excerpt:
Chapter One
London, England
It was easy enough to enter Canada House, the embassy on Grosvenor Street just down from Trafalgar Square. He followed two young women carrying backpacks through the side door and into the main lobby. Once inside the stately building, he noted the security guard standing near the office across from the open concept desks. He and the guard watched the women read the information panel. A moment later, the taller woman moved over to a resource desk and began conversing with a communications officer. The second woman, shorter and darker haired, dropped her backpack to the floor, and used a free-standing computer to gain access to Internet.
His eyes wandered over to the trio of elevator doors. He located another self-service computer and pretended to use it, all the while keeping an eye on the elevators. Every few minutes, staff from Canada House would enter or emerge from one of the elevators. He waited until a lone, female staff member headed toward the elevator and followed her in.
The moment the door closed, the man pulled out a Glock 19 Gen 4, pushing the barrel tight against the silk blouse that covered the xiphoid cartilage of her chest.
She gasped, eyes wide, holding the breath in. Her gaze didn’t leave the man’s trigger finger, even when he snapped the lanyard holding her security ID card from her neck. He touched it to the reader on the wall by the elevator numbers.
“I’m going to press three. Once we’re there, you exit and go right. I will follow you into the women’s washroom, ten feet from there. I’ll tape your mouth and leave you unharmed. Any deviation from this and you are dead. Nod if you prefer to live.”
She nodded. Keeping the muzzle of the pistol firmly against her breast, he pressed three, and they waited for the elevator car to react, taking them to the third floor.
Her eyes flitted upward, for just a second, causing him to offer a grim smile.
“Security camera, I know. Yes, it will present an image of me after I’m gone. But I have no identity. Try finding someone who never existed, not that I really care.” A half-moan escaped from her, and he saw a fine bead of sweat appear on her upper lip.
“I have a new baby.”
“Then you have all the reason in the world to follow my simple instructions. By the way, I do not intend to blow up the building, so, no need for you to try anything desperate. Okay. Show time. Your life depends upon the next seven seconds. As we leave the elevator, talk to me in a low voice about tomorrow’s weather.”
The third floor was comprised of a hallway leading to several private offices used by consular staff. Most of the office doors were closed, so no one heard the elevator door ‘ping’ or saw its doors open, and no one witnessed their arrival. A moment later, they entered the washroom.
The man quickly went to work. “What’s your first name?” He pulled out a set of handcuffs, clicking one manacle onto her left wrist.
“Brenda.”
“Okay, Brenda, sit on the toilet in the far cubicle.” He produced two feet of wire cable and attached one end to the chain between the wristlets. Placing them on her wrists behind her back, he moved in closer to run the cable behind the toilet reservoir. He leaned in, straddled above her, in order to complete the wire attachment. Her knee came up, hard, making contact with his inner thigh.
“Ungh!” He didn’t go down. Instead, he sat down on her lap and one hand closed off her windpipe. Squeezing hard enough to send a message, but not enough to break anything, he breathed out a terse statement. “That wasn’t in our script. Bravery will make your child an orphan, Brenda.” He released his grip and covered her mouth with duct tape, completing the task of securing her wrists behind the reservoir, and then stepped away. He used the tape to secure her feet at the ankles and then wrapped it around the toilet seat, effectively imprisoning her. “I’m sorry,” he said, double checking the tape on her mouth, and then he left.
Once outside the washroom, the man continued down the hall, turned right and walked all the way to the back corner of the floor. He approached the door marked Director, Trade, opened it and walked in.
The corner office of Ian Gross, Director in charge of International Trade, was a study in cherry wood. The built-in bookcases surrounding the two windows were made from red cherry, as were the desk, the meeting table and all of the wood trim.
The door, very solid, closed behind the intruder and the discreet click alerted the director to the presence of a guest. He swiveled around in time to receive a slug between the eyes. The man fired a second shot through the director’s heart, but he was already dead.
Outside the office, the man could hear doors slamming and footsteps heading away from him, toward the stairwell. I have at least twenty seconds. A minute, at the outside. He went to a cabinet, sought a specific folder, pulled a file from it, and then smoothed the distance between folders so it appeared as if nothing was disturbed. Closing the drawer and returning to the desk, he lit the thin document, letting it burn to light gray ash on the surface of the cherry wood desk.
As soon as he heard footsteps drawing near, he placed the barrel of the Gen 4 in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Twitter: @BowieChuck
Three Wrongs:
AMACAT:
Steal It All:
Book Trailer for Three Wrongs:




Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Writing Down the Bones - 10 Things you should know about Writers @barbbradley

I found another great handout in my cleaning. There is no name on it (wait I found it as I went through this - Debbie Macomber wrote this gem) and it says that it would be published in a future issue of Writer's Digest. Since the handout is from one of my binders I'm assuming this has already been published.

We're dealing with the 10 things you need to know about writers (Whether published or not).

I'm going to do 5 this week and 5 next week then in two weeks I'll do the other half of the hand out - 10 things you need to know about editors and since I'm both this should be fun.

As usual I'm going to try to put this into my own words. I love each of these by the way.

1.) We writers are neurotic and don't think it's unreasonable to look for hourly updates on the status of our babies (manuscripts).  I'm just as bad as my authors - when I'm on the author side I figure out how long it should take them to edit and start haunting my e-mail to see if it's there yet...

2.) We need a source of comfort while waiting to hear on those babies. Whether it is our mom holding our hand or our favorite bottle of alcohol doesn't really matter. Both will do in a pinch.

3.) We are experts at looking busy. When my husband asks I tell him I'm writing...he doesn't need to know it could be on twitter or FB. Hmm, I got a minute to check out Pinterest.

4.) We love it when you show the love - fan mail, happy b-day wishes on FB, a free meal...

5.) Here Debbie talks about gossip and how our creative minds can fill in the blanks - and I want to add this little bit - ANYTHING you tell a writer whether it is gossip or not can and probably will end up in a book. Especially if it's funny. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Welcome My Latest Guesr Caroline Clemmons! @CarolinClemmons #interviews

I want to welcome Caroline Clemmons.  First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thank you, Barbara, for having me as your guest today. I live in North Central Texas with my husband and our menagerie of rescued cats and a dog. Our two daughters are grown but live near us. I’m an Amazon bestselling and award winning author who has given seminars and classes on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel. When not indulging my passion for writing, I enjoy family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find me on my blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest. Subscribe to my newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of Happy Is The Bride.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is Amanda’s Rancher, part of Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World. Here’s the blurb:

One desperate young woman.
A chance meeting.
A life-changing outcome.

Growing up in a brothel, Mara O'Sullivan battled public disdain and contempt, but always remained kind-hearted and virtuous. After testifying against vicious bank robbers, her life is threatened and Mara must find sanctuary far from everything she knows.

One train ride changes her life as she fatefully meets a half-sister and a niece she never knew existed. But when circumstances end her sister Amanda's life, Mara makes a promise that she'll raise her niece Iris as her own and take her sister's place as Preston Kincaid's mail-order-bride. As Mara and Preston grow closer, their marriage no longer seems like a ruse, but a relationship of love, passion, and desire.

Mara's past comes back to haunt her and she finds herself in danger—will her new husband forgive Mara's deceit and protect her as his own?

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

From my book The Most Unsuitable Wife, the assistant villains Burris and Willard Ainsley. They caused terrible problems for the heroine but I couldn’t help liking them. They were simple-minded and meant well, but were forced to help the main villain through intimidation and fear.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

That’s hard because I love all of my characters. If I have to choose just one, I suppose it would be Zach Stone from High Stakes Bride. He had terrible things happen to him, but he persevered. He’d done so many courageous things even before he helped the heroine. The heroine, Mary Alice Price, is another of my favorite characters. No matter what she tried, odd things happened to her.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Western romance, both historical and contemporary. Most of my books are historical. I love history, especially Texas history. When I was a little girl, my dad (who was old enough to be my great-grandfather) talked about his ancestors coming to Texas from Georgia in 1876 and all their adventures. I guess you could say I grew up loving history.

4.) What are you working on now?

Right now I’m completing a novella for a contemporary western anthology titled Come Love A Cowboy.  This will be released around the first of April. Usually I’m ready early, but this novella is the last one ready for the anthology. First I was writing another book which I completed on time, but then life interfered with my plans.  I’ve almost completed the story, though. Mine is set in West Texas near Post and is titled Grant Me the Moon. The hero is a rancher, but that makes him a cowboy, doesn’t it?

I just released book two in the Bride Brigade series, Angeline, on March 1. With so many mail-order bride books (and I’ve written several), I decided to go a different route and have a wealthy young widow go east and bring back several young women to marry and settle in the town of Tarnation, Texas to prevent the town’s men from moving away to find wives. Angeline is one of seven young women who accompany the widow to Tarnation.

5.) What got you to start writing?

As a child, I wrote little stories and illustrated them. The heroine was always blonde with blue eyes and wore beautiful dresses, usually blue. I patterned her after a slightly older relative I wanted to be like. Then later in school, I drifted toward journalism and was the newspaper editor. From there, I just wrote stories for whatever church or club I was in and turned them into the local newspaper. That’s how I acquired a job working for a newspaper. The editor liked my stories and I always had a captioned photo to go with them. One day she asked me to replace a columnist they’d just let go. That was a fun job and I met so many interesting people.  Then, my mother-in-law brought me a grocery bag of romance books and told me I could write them. I read some and decided I wanted to try. Several years passed before I was published by Kensington. Now I am self-published and loving the control I have.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I have a friend who answers that question by saying she buys them from a small factory in Ohio. Actually, the answer is EVERYWHERE. When I first began writing fiction, I worried that I would run out of ideas. I kept a notebook of ideas as they occurred to me. Things I see from the car window or I hear on the news might spark an idea. Sometimes just sitting in my office, these characters pop into my head and want me to tell their story. I have so many ideas for books that I’ll have to live to be two hundred to write them all. Thanks heavens!

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

Maybe that I’m basically shy (although I can fake being outgoing for short bursts of time) and that I don’t like writing sex scenes. There are only so many ways to insert tab A into slot B so it’s difficult to find a fresh way to write a sex scene. And remember, the characters are real people to me, so I feel like a voyeur. Yes, I know that’s crazy.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

My mother-in-law asked me to put together a book about her family for her grandchildren and I did. Then we had to order more printed because her nieces and nephews wanted copies. Naturally I had to do one for my mother to keep from hurting her feelings and print enough for her nieces and nephews. Now my brother and I have just finished a larger family history for our father’s family. I don’t know if that’s a talent or a curse.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

The usual things made an impression but something you might not expect was to do enough research that I didn’t use anachronisms. I always do more research than absolutely necessary to be certain I understand the history of the time and location. Even in fiction, I believe an author owes her readers a story truly representative of the time and place. When I read a book that has something out of time or context, I don’t enjoy the book as much because the error takes me out of the story.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

There are so many that come to mind so choosing is hard. Maybe Mother Theresa. She made such a vivid impression on me when I saw her interviewed on television. I’m a Protestant, but I have great respect for most other religions. Mother Theresa was from a wealthy family and gave up everything to serve. She must have been a remarkable woman.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

“I Will Survive”. So far, that’s true. ;-)

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A house cat. Our three certainly lead a luxurious and pampered life.




Excerpt of Amanda’s Rancher:

They reached the church and Preston jumped down from the wagon and came around to help her alight. With a smile, he lifted Iris high over his head before he set her on the ground. Her giggle brought tears to Amanda’s eyes.

That was the first time she’d ever heard her daughter make the girlish sound. Iris had smiled, spoken, but never laughed until she met Preston Kincaid. For that alone, Amanda would be the best wife she knew how to be.

Inside the church, Mrs. Norton handed Amanda a bouquet of daisies secured with a white ribbon. The interior was plain with wooden benches and an altar raised one step above the rest of the floor. Although there were several windows, none had stained-glass as did the churches she’d seen in Georgia.

The minister was waiting at the front of the church and wore a black frock coat and matching string tie. His brown hair and beard were thickly streaked with gray. He stood at a simple lectern with what looked like a Bible in one hand while he conversed with another man.

Amanda was surprised only one other person besides Reverend and Mrs. Norton were in the sanctuary. She’d supposed Preston had many friends in the area and thought at least his ranch hands would attend. The second man turned and proved to be an older version of her groom who came forward to greet her.

Preston cupped her elbow. “Amanda and Iris, this is my father. Most folks call him Tom, but I call him Papa.”

Amanda smiled at the handsome man who must be around fifty. He was tall, but maybe an inch shorter than his son. Silver sprinkled the same dark hair. “May I call you Papa, too?”

He beamed his pleasure and his blue eyes crinkled at the corners. “I’d be honored. And in the absence of your father, may I walk you down the aisle?”

“Would you? I’d be ever so grateful.” She laid her hand on his arm. Nerves had set in and she needed his support or her knees might give way.

Preston said, “Iris, why don’t you stand with me while my papa walks Mama to meet us?”

Iris shook her head. “Mommy, not my old mama?”

Preston frowned. “Old mama?”

Panic sent bile into her throat that threatened to choke her. Don’t throw up on your wedding dress. “Perhaps you remember my mother recently died.”

Sympathy shone from his blue eyes. “Of course.” He took Iris’ hand in his and strode to the front.

Mrs. Norton began playing the piano. She nodded toward Amanda. Papa Kincaid gently led her up the aisle.

Walking toward her husband, Amanda was conscious of Preston’s stare, as if he could see into her mind and knew her for an impostor. Although he held Iris’ hand, the intensity of his blue gaze unnerved her. She wondered if he was disappointed or if he were as numb as she.

Thankful for the presence of her future father-in-law beside her, she tightened her hold on Mr. Kincaid’s arm.

In response, he patted her hand her where it laid on his sleeve. Without looking at her, he whispered. “Steady as you go. We’re almost there.”

Iris gave a tiny wave and Amanda couldn’t resist smiling at the child. The little girl truly was a blessing. Focusing on Iris gave Amanda a target she could face.

When they reached the front, Mrs. Norton ceased playing. Preston took the bouquet from Amanda’s hands. “Iris, would you hold this for Mommy so she and I can be married?”

Iris looked at him adoringly and reached to receive the flowers. Reverend Norton opened his Bible and began the ceremony. Preston took Amanda’s hands in his. She was conscious of his calluses, but also of the size and strength of his palms dwarfing hers.

When the minister indicated, Preston slipped a ring onto her finger. This new one belongs to me, even if my groom doesn’t know my true name.

After the ceremony, Preston brushed his lips gently against hers.

Iris clapped a hand across her mouth in surprise then said, “Mommy? That man kissed you.”

Preston knelt eye-to-eye with her. “I’m your new Daddy, remember? Mommy and I were just married and now I can kiss her whenever she says it’s okay. Do you think you can call me Daddy?”

Iris nodded. “Are you gonna kiss me too?”

He smiled broadly. “I certainly am.” He leaned forward and gave her a loud smack on the cheek.

The child giggled. Twice in one day this kind man had made Iris happy. Amanda owed Preston all her wifely devotion.



She hopes you’ll give AMANDA’S RANCHER a try and let her know how you like it. If you like it, please leave a review on Amazon! Positive reviews are so helpful to authors. Many venues won’t let anyone promote unless they have a certain number of 4 and 5 star reviews.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I've been thinking,,,

I just realized that Tuesday has come and gone and I haven't posted in a while. I know, I was the caregiver of my mother-in-law and she has moved on so I deserve to grieve. Take the time I need to work my way through this.

I also know it's so easy to get out of a habit of doing something. They say it takes 21 days for something to become habit, yet I've worked hard to do something good for me like exercise everyday just to drop it months later. I must push myself. It's to easy to backslide if you don't so I started writing this post.

I read the letter that Samhain sent to their authors, letting them know they were closing their doors. This saddens me. I've heard of a couple of publishers closing recently. There are so many reasons for this but when they mentioned that the cost of having books at some of the third party sellers was something that effected their bottom line that struck a cord with me.

I wrote my books, yet a good chunk goes to to these sellers before we (me and my publisher) see any of it. It's one of the reasons I always put my publisher as my buy link when I'm visiting other blogs. I make more if my books are bought directly from the publisher, but I sell more when I put the large sellers.

I wish there was a way to educate our readers. Let them know that to support the author they love they should buy from our publishers when they can.