Okay so it looks like I fell off the planet. Promise - I'm still here. The last four years have been ... hard. There's no other word for it. Everything is fine. I'm fine, but I've been the caregiver of my mom who has Dementia. Between her needs, work, etc I seem to have lost control of my time. I am still writing and am trying hard to get back to my blog.

In case you weren't aware Phaze and HSWF which where under the Mundania Umbrella have closed. I was smart enough to get my titles back before all this happened. I'm happy to say the three books I sold to HSWF have been picked up by Melange Books and are available through their Satin Books imprint. I have even sold a new title to them called Magical Quest due out in 2022

I have also been lucky enough to find a publisher for my Vespian Way series. I'm now with Blushing Books under the name of Bethany Drake. I have five titles out with them right now and am close to submitting two more. There's Desire's Destiny, Desire's Duty and Desire's Promise. Then there is two in my werewolf series, Tears of the Queen and Legend of the Tears. I have just finished the rough draft of the third book in the series and have plans for a fourth one the moment I submit it.

I'll probably still be sporadic here on the blog. Unless I win the lottery and can hire someone to help me I can't avoid it, but know I'm still here still working hard in the background and am hoping to do better at keeping my blog alive.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Welcome My Latest Guest! Jannie Lund @jannielund

I want to welcome Jannie Lund! First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi, Barbara. Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog.

I’m from Denmark, and I’ve been fortunate enough to publish my work in English and Danish since 2008. When I’m not writing—and it does happen from time to time—I love reading, cooking, and exploring history in books and out in the real world with my camera and a notebook. I’m very creative, which mainly comes out in crochet, various paper arts, and needle felting.

Tell us about your latest release.

I’m releasing my Morello Cove series this year. The first book, Vintage Dreams, was released in February, the second one, Dreams of Home, will be out in August or September, while the third and last (for now anyway), Dreaming With You, is set to be released at the end of the year. In Vintage Dreams, the scene of Morello Cove is set, and two very stubborn people come to terms with the fact that they’re meant to be together when Scott comes to town with one goal—taking away the dream Danielle’s worked so hard to come true. Sparks fly! In Dreams of Home, a wounded soul is healed with the love of a good woman.

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?

Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire. I know. He’s horrible, truly horrible. And I probably only liked him at first because he’s played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the TV-series. I love the vulnerability portrayed, though. It slips through the cracks from time to time, and to be able to write a character with so many despicable actions, yet make him seem vulnerable, is amazing. George R. R. Martin does that so well.

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

In the unpublished Madigan River series I’m currently writing, one of the Madigan brothers, Julian, has captured my heart completely. He’s an angry, broken young man, who desperately needs some love. I also have a real weakness for Jake in my Morello Coves series. If you’ve read Vintage Dreams, you’ll know him already, and in the third book he’ll get his chance to shine for real. 

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

I write contemporary romance, mainly because that’s what I read. Initially, it was the dream of writing historical fiction that made me start taking my writing seriously, but I have a healthy dose of respect for writing historical, as I have a background in history and am afraid of writing against sources without intending to. I will follow the dream one day, though.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m working on a new series, currently battling the beginning of book three. It’s tentatively titled Madison River and features the dashing Madison brothers and their troubles with siblinghood, romance, and getting along in general.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I think there’s a basic need in humans to tell stories. As a child, I stuttered a lot and had a difficult time getting the words to come out of my mouth. So to tell my stories, I wrote them down. I never stopped.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere. A cliché, I know, but it’s true. I see something, hear something, feel something, and then I twist it. Ask “what if?” a lot, and out comes an idea. When an idea for a book, a scene, or even just a line of dialogue suddenly pops up unexpectedly, it’s the most exhilarating feeling.

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

That I’m Danish might surprise some. I’ve experienced it a lot, and it’s as big a compliment every time. 

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’d like to think I have a talent for juggling writing in two different languages at the same time.

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

Before I wrote my first novel-length manuscript, I read a university level book about the craft of writing fiction. I felt so smart afterward. Then I discovered that I could apply none of it to writing what I wanted. I like good advice, but what’s more important is that you find your own way and what works for you. No two authors work exactly the same way, and perfecting your own method is your life’s work. The most important piece of advice I’ve ever received is to never stop writing though. If you do, what’s the point?

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

James Joyce. We’d have a couple of pints and discuss Dublin, my home away from home.

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

I honestly can’t think of a specific one. I tend to jump from genre to genre depending on what I’m writing, and while I listen to a lot of music, most of the time I have no idea which bands or artists I’m listening to.

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

Oh dear. It always makes me unpopular when I say it, but I genuinely dislike animals. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fly, a puppy, or an elephant—I just don’t like them. I’m also allergic to the furry ones. But I guess if I had to choose one, I’d say a mountain goat. Imagine hopping around from rock to rock in the Pyrenees. I think I’d like that.

                                    VINATGE DREAMS Excerpt
Chapter One

Danielle fussed with the delicate, cream colored lace and took a step back to let her critical eyes take in the dress she’d been up half the night finishing. Not that there’d been any rush to get it done, but whenever one of the dresses she created started to take form, she felt a burning need to see it complete and on display at the boutique. Adding the turquoise and mother of pearl necklace completed the vision, and she took another step back. A smile bloomed on her face and satisfaction spread in her body. The dress looked exactly like she’d envisioned when she’d first put pen to paper, and that exact moment was her favorite in the whole process.
“Fleur. Come look at how awesome we are.”
Danielle’s best friend, business partner, and sister in all but blood came out from the back a moment later. She looked in a bit of a daze, which meant Danielle had interrupted her work. She almost felt bad, but then she looked back at the perfect vision of romance and dreams her dress and Fleur’s jewelry made. Fleur would forgive her the interruption.
“What?” Fleur was usually the picture of gentleness and patience, but she became mama bear when someone got between her and her work.
“Look,” Danielle said.
Fleur looked, and Danielle watched the sun rise after a stormy night on her friend’s face. The annoyance gave way to awe and pleasure. “Wow. We did good, Dani.”
“We did better than good, honey. We did amazing.” Danielle slung her arm around Fleur’s shoulders and kissed her cheek.
Danielle and Fleur had been fourteen the first time they’d created something together. Danielle had altered a thrift store dress with her grandmother’s old sewing machine and a few yards of lace, and Fleur had made a necklace for it out of lace scraps and pearl beads. They’d been prouder than peacocks, and from that moment their future had been decided. They had worked hard to learn and to save money, and the result was Annata, the boutique they’d opened on the boardwalk of their hometown of Morello Cove in Monterey Bay. Initially, they’d discussed if it was the right location to sell pricey vintage dresses and handmade jewelry that matched, but they had decided against moving the operation to the city. A wise decision, it had turned out. Women traveled far for the right outfit, and after two years Annata was a definitive success.
“It looks like a dream, doesn’t it? A romantic dream full of moonlight and dancing without music.” Fleur sighed happily.
Danielle squeezed her shoulder. “I’d have said that it’s a piece of art, but your description sounds better. What are you working on this morning?”
“The black garnet pieces for the burgundy satin dress. And the sunrise this morning inspired me so much that I sketched two different wedding sets. Not sure why I see them as wedding sets, but I do. I’ll show you later.”
“I can’t wait.” Danielle looked at her watch. “All right, go hide in your cave. We open in ten minutes, and Susan and Trish will be here any minute.”
“All right. Call me of you need me.”
Danielle nodded, knowing she wouldn’t. There would have to be a code red crisis of epic proportions before she called Fleur out to assist with the customers. Fleur hated it, preferring to hide in her little workshop in the back. She wasn’t even comfortable coming out to say hello to customers who wanted to meet the woman behind the stunning jewelry they bought. Fleur tolerated it, but only barely. Danielle spent as much time with the customers as she did making her dresses. She’d trained Susan and Trish, their two employees, and they were equally at ease with the customers as they were carrying out Danielle’s strict orders stitching hems or beading skirts. They were absolute gems.
When the two arrived a few moments later, Danielle spent a few minutes going over the plans for the day with them. Weekday mornings were usually pretty slow, so she sent both Susan and Trish out back. Trish was helping her with a wedding dress that had a train with an unbearable amount of glass beads, each one stitched on by hand. Danielle couldn’t wait to see it finished. Fleur had created a diadem that resembled a crown of light when its gems sparkled, and Danielle almost envied the yet unknown bride who would wear it.
Susan was asked to deal with the fabrics that had come in earlier that morning, so Danielle had the front of the boutique to herself. This meant that she fussed, corrected a lace collar here, an earring there, and made sure that every dress and every piece of jewelry shone in its own right.
The bell above the door jingling put a smile to her face. As much as she loved creating, finding the right body for her own and Fleur’s creations was exciting, too. However, when she looked up, the body in the door opening was not ever going to fit into one of her dresses, Tall, dark, and handsome came to mind, although that did not do the man justice. Tall, yes. Dark, yes. Handsome, no. More than handsome. Sexy. Devastatingly so. The short, black hair and the icy blue eyes made a stunning combination. The black slacks and white shirt was not enough to hide the muscles beneath, and when he smiled at her, a dimple emerged on the left side of his mouth. She fought the urge to sigh dreamily like Fleur so often did in the presence of real beauty.
Danielle, puzzled at the quivering sensation the stranger invoked in her, pulled herself together and smiled a welcome. If this guy was considerate enough to buy his wife or girlfriend a handmade dress and handmade jewelry, he was pretty much perfect in her opinion. And he hadn’t even opened his mouth yet.

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