Thursday, May 24, 2012

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop May 25 thru May 31st


This blog hop is hosted by  I'm A Reader, Not a Writer.  To see the hosts and other bloggers participating, click on the link here

My giveaway will be Mira Lyn Kelly's The S Before Ex.  In a way it's a reunion romance with the twist.  They are still married.  Here's more about the book and my review



Back of the Book:

There’s one thing even the tabloid hounds haven’t managed to dig up about celebrity Ryan Brady: he is married! He may be one of America’s most desirable men, but his secret wife has just filed for divorce.

Since their separation six years ago, Claire has turned her life upside down: new business, new friends, new life. But when she sees Ryan to hash out a settlement, her body tells her one thing hasn’t changed—he’s still the only man who really does it for her. With all other guys guaranteed to be totally meh, she’s in last-chance saloon: it’s either an X-rated fling with her ex, or straight to chastitybelts.com!



To win a copy and for extra chances to win, follow Romance Author Buzz and follow Mira Lyn on Facebook.  Tell her about the contest and say hello.  Don't forget to come back here and leave your email address so that you can be contacted.  Thanks for stopping by and for entering the contest.



Mira Lyn on Facebook

My interview with Mira Lyn


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Showers of Books Giveaway Hops - April 20-25, 2012


This blog hop is hosted by One a Day YA and I'm A Reader, Not a Writer.  To see the hosts and other bloggers participating, click on the link here!


My giveaway will be Mira Lyn Kelly's The S Before Ex.  In a way it's a reunion romance with the twist.  They are still married.  Here's more about the book and my review



Back of the Book:

There’s one thing even the tabloid hounds haven’t managed to dig up about celebrity Ryan Brady: he is married! He may be one of America’s most desirable men, but his secret wife has just filed for divorce.

Since their separation six years ago, Claire has turned her life upside down: new business, new friends, new life. But when she sees Ryan to hash out a settlement, her body tells her one thing hasn’t changed—he’s still the only man who really does it for her. With all other guys guaranteed to be totally meh, she’s in last-chance saloon: it’s either an X-rated fling with her ex, or straight to chastitybelts.com!



To win a copy and for extra chances to win, follow Romance Author Buzz and follow Mira Lyn on Facebook.  Tell her about the contest and say hello.  Don't forget to come back here and leave your email address so that you can be contacted.  Thanks for stopping by and for entering the contest.



Mira Lyn on Facebook

My interview with Mira Lyn


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April is Autism Awareness Month - April 11 thru 17th - Blog Hop


Announcing the Autism Awareness Giveaway Hop


Hosted by:

Lindsay @ Just Another Book Addict:

Heather @ Fire and Ice Photo:

Pixie @ Page Turners:

Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer:


Each participating blog is hosting a giveaway. You will find lots of variety among the prizes. Some of the blogs are giving away prizes that relate to autism, other blogs are giving away gift cards or other prizes and posting information about autism to help make others aware.  The point of this giveaway hops is simply to make people more aware about the subject by sharing information and experiences.

For More Information about Austism:

Autism Speaks

Autism Society

Autism Resources

This blog hop is hosted by multiple blogs as listed above.   To see the hosts and other bloggers participating, click on the link here

My giveaway will be Mira Lyn Kelly's The S Before Ex.  In a way it's a reunion romance with the twist.  They are still married.  Here's more about the book and my review



Back of the Book:

There’s one thing even the tabloid hounds haven’t managed to dig up about celebrity Ryan Brady: he is married! He may be one of America’s most desirable men, but his secret wife has just filed for divorce.

Since their separation six years ago, Claire has turned her life upside down: new business, new friends, new life. But when she sees Ryan to hash out a settlement, her body tells her one thing hasn’t changed—he’s still the only man who really does it for her. With all other guys guaranteed to be totally meh, she’s in last-chance saloon: it’s either an X-rated fling with her ex, or straight to chastitybelts.com!



To win a copy and for extra chances to win, follow Romance Author Buzz and follow Mira Lyn on Facebook.  Tell her about the contest and say hello.  Don't forget to come back here and leave your email address so that you can be contacted.  Thanks for stopping by and for entering the contest.



Mira Lyn on Facebook

My interview with Mira Lyn


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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Blackberry Island Series - Book 1, March Release....Barefoot Island - Susan Mallery



blackberry.jpg

Susan Mallery has a new women’s fiction series coming out and I’m so looking forward to it as I’ve loved her Fools Gold Series.  Release date:  March 27th


Michelle Sanderson may appear to be a strong, independent woman, but on the inside, she’s still the wounded girl who fled home years ago. A young army vet, Michelle returns to the quaint Blackberry Island Inn to claim her inheritance and recover from the perils of war. Instead, she finds the owner’s suite occupied by the last person she wants to see.
Carly Williams and Michelle were once inseparable, until a shocking betrayal destroyed their friendship. And now Carly is implicated in the financial disaster lurking behind the inn’s cheerful veneer.

Single mother Carly has weathered rumors, lies and secrets for a lifetime, and is finally starting to move forward with love and life. But if the Blackberry Island Inn goes under, Carly and her daughter will go with it.

To save their livelihoods, Carly and Michelle will undertake a turbulent truce. It’ll take more than a successful season to move beyond their devastating past, but with a little luck and a beautiful summer, they may just rediscover the friendship of a lifetime.

 About Blackberry Island

With Seattle to the north and east and Bainbridge Island to the west, Blackberry Island is approximately six miles long and four miles wide at its widest point. Blackberry Island was discovered in 1792 by George Vancouver, a British naval captain who extensively explored the Puget Sound. He spent only two hours on the island before he reboarded his ship, which may explain why American settlers who arrived in 1848 via the Oregon Trail were unaware that the island already had a name. They called it Blackberry Island in celebration of the fruit bushes that dotted the island landscape. Vancouver’s original moniker, Feather Island, will forever remain a footnote in the history books.One of those early settlers was Benjamin Franklin Montgomery, who had grown up as one of seven sons of a lighthouse keeper in Maine. He hated lighthouses and managed to talk his fellow Islanders into outlawing the structures when they wrote the first charter in 1857. Instead, the island is encircled by floating buoys that warn ships they’re close to land. 

For book clubs, there is also a reading guide
 Susan offered readers and fans the opportunity to win an advanced copy of the book with a video entry.  The contest ended but check out all of the entries some are very creative.   Which one would you have voted for?

About the Contest


 You’ll see to the right of Susan’s PA who explained the contest to the contestants how creative the entrants were.  Some were very moving but I liked the fan with all of the authors books displayed, singing her entry along to music.

My choice  Who would you have chosen?







INTERNATIONAL CONTEST IN HONOR OF BAREFOOT SEASON




I'm offering a $15.00 Amazon card which would cover the purchase of this book SHIPPING which is being released March 27th. For chances to win do the following; the more you do, the more chances to win:

Follow this blog

Join Susan Mallery's Membership Page

Follow Susan on Facebook

Based on the YouTube two link (click on Susan's PA) check out the contestants and tell me which one you would have chosen.

Come back here and tell me  what entries you've done.


Don't forget to come back here and leave your email address. Contest will end the day of Barefoot Season's release, March 27th.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Celebratimg Presidents Day in the USA


January 21st we honor our Presidents.  It was originally George Washington's BDay but that's changed.  If you want to know more........here and for activities for kids.


Overview

Montana Hendrix has found her calling — working with therapy dogs. With a career she loves in a hometown she adores, she’s finally ready to look for her own happily ever after. Could one of her dogs help her find Mr. Right... or maybe Dr. Right?

Surgeon Simon Bradley prefers the sterility of the hospital to the messiness of real life, especially when real life includes an accident-prone mutt and a woman whose kisses make him want what he knows he can’t have. Scarred since childhood, he avoids emotional entanglement by moving from place to place to heal children who need his skillful touch. Can his growing feelings for Montana lead him to find a home in Fool’s Gold, or will he walk away, taking her broken heart with him?




PRESIDENT'S DAY CONTEST (International)

I'm offering an International contest which will end March 21st. One of Susan Mallery's Fools Gold series books, Only Yours which has been personally autographed by Susan.  I'm so loving this series and 2012 will feature cowboys!  To win a copy of Only Yours, simply join Susan's Membership page.  For an extra chance to win, follow Susan on Facebook or share a red, white and blue recipe with us.  Don't forget to leave your email address so that you can be contacted.


The Greek Gods Parfait ( my own personal fav)

I've been known to serve this before the big holiday brunch, while unwrapping pressies.  I use Greek Gods Vanilla Honey Yogurt, layered in small pedestal bowls, alternating red, white and blue.  My preference is blueberries, raspberries and I top with Partners Gourmet Granola which is low sodium and cholesterol free.





Monday, January 23, 2012

Author Marie Astor Q&A and Giveaway


Book Description:


ON THE RIM OF LOVE by Marie Astor

Maggie Robin has been dating the irresistibly good-looking, successful Jeffrey Preston for two years. But when Jeffrey proposes marriage a week after Maggie’s college graduation, she is no longer sure if she wants to marry a workaholic TV producer.

Her doubts culminate when during a ski trip to British Columbia, Maggie meets Taylor Denton, a handsome, free-spirited big mountain skier who is the complete opposite of Jeffrey. It does not take Maggie long to realize that she has fallen in love with Taylor and she decides to break off her engagement with Jeffrey. But just when she thinks she has found the love of her life, an ill-fated misunderstanding tears Maggie and Taylor apart.

A week later, Maggie is told that Taylor has died in a tragic ski accident; yet, her heart refuses to believe in Taylor’s death. When Maggie returns to Taylor’s native town, she learns that Taylor is indeed alive, but has been seriously injured. Resolved to bring her lover back to life Maggie stands by Taylor’s side, convincing him to embrace life again.

Kindle link:


About the author:

Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre. Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels, On the Rim of Love, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.




Hi Marie, welcome to Romance Author Buzz. Is there a behind the book story for On the Rim of Love?

Hi Marilyn,  thank you for inviting me to your blog and giving me the opportunity to talk about my contemporary romance, On the Rim of Love.


As far as behind the book story for On the Rim of Love… I think that there is something truly special about ski towns, and I love writing love stories, so I thought it would be interesting to combine the two. I am a skier and I used my knowledge of skiing in the novel.

What is your routine?

I try to write at least two hours a day. Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s OK too, as long as I can get back on schedule!

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Keep honing your craft – that’s the best advice I’ve ever received.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently working on my next contemporary romance – a love story about letting go of one’s inhibitions, finding true love and learning to tango. The scheduled release date is March 2012 – please stop by my website, if you’d like to sign up for book news and events.

What news would you like to share with your readers?

I’m excited to announce my upcoming blog tour for On the Rim of Love. My website has all the details . There will be contests and giveaways – I hope to see you there!

How do you build the relationship between these two characters so that it feels real?

When Maggie and Taylor first meet they feel instant attraction to each other, but they are also weary of each other: Maggie is a city girl with plans for law school and Taylor is an off-piste skier who loves his rural hometown. And Maggie is engaged to get married… Yet, the two of them cannot keep their eyes off each other – at first, they both think that their attraction is nothing but a silly infatuation and resist it with all their might. But as the chemistry between them gets too strong to resist, the magic of love takes over.

Do you identify with the characters you write about?

Yes, I absolutely do – the struggles that my characters go through are struggles that I can relate to. I would never base a character on a real person, but in each and every one of my characters that are qualities that I have seen people exhibit in real life. In each and every one of my characters, even the negative ones, there will be at least one quality that is somewhat good or at least neutral. I think that quirks make people interesting, which is why my characters are never one hundred percent perfect.

Tell us a little about your favorite “hero” type guy.

Smart, independent, strong, handsome, preferably with green eyes…


But seriously speaking, I do not really have a favorite hero type. I like to make my characters as multifaceted as possible. In real life people are never perfect – you could meet the most confident, grounded man, but I guarantee you that once you start dating him, you’ll discover that he too has some hidden fears.

In On the Rim of Love Taylor Denton is the lead character, and while he has many admirable traits, he is also struggling with some inner demons.

Would you please describe the heroines you love to write?

In On the Rim of Love Maggie is quiet and reserved - she needs to gain confidence to develop her independence. As she understands what she wants out of life, Maggie learns to come to terms with herself and finds the courage to make her own choices. I enjoyed writing her character because I think that every woman can relate to the process of growing into her own person. Maggie’s friend, Bethany, is the complete opposite of Maggie – in fact, she is a self-absorbed brat. I enjoyed writing Bethany’s character as well since I think that most women will attest to having at least one ‘friend’ like Bethany.

How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

Rewarding, hectic, busy, exciting, chaotic, wonderful, hilarious, unpredictable

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

Chocolate!

What are you reading?

I am currently reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and absolutely loving it.

Favorite author?

I can’t just stop at one! I read all kinds of genres – I love romance, but I also enjoy women’s fiction and literary fiction. Some of my favorite writers (in no particular order) are: Richard Russo, Kristin Hannah, Anita Brookner, Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jennifer Haigh, Jane Austen, Sarah Addison Allen – the list goes on, but I’ll stop now, before I run out of room.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Never give up on your dreams!

Where can readers find you?

Website:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Amazon:



MARIE ASTOR would like to offer a Valentine Contest.  To be considered for this contest, follow Marie on  her FB page…  and interact with her.....comment on her interview.  Come back here and post your comments and email address.  Marie and her Publicist will choose and contact the winner.   Contest will end February 14th at midnight PST.

Valentine’s giveaway for the following prize:


· ON THE RIM OF LOVE (Kindle Coupon)


· Marie's next novel, DANCE ME TO THE STARS (Kindle Coupon)


· Custom Jewelry piece

Meet New York Times Bestselling Author, Robyn Carr (US Giveaway)


Robyn's Story

Because I published my first novel at the age of twenty-seven, it might seem as though I fulfilled a childhood ambition, or at least pursued a career I prepared for in college, but neither was the case. I was an average high school student with greater interest in cheerleading and boys than academics and for a college endeavor I chose nursing. But then I come from the tip of the baby boomer generation; our mothers were usually more concerned with whether we'd get married than whether we'd have successful careers. Many of us chose from the Big Three - nurses, teachers, and secretaries.


Writing for me came later, but not much later.


I married my high school sweetheart four short weeks before he left for Officer's Training School in the Air Force. It was the peak of the Vietnam War and he had been assigned to pilot a helicopter. As soon as I could, I followed him from base to base where I was kept busy with wives' activities while he either worked long hours or traveled. And this is where it all really began for me - because of the instability of our lives, I didn't work in nursing. But nothing bridges the gap between loneliness and worry like a good book. Then came the children, or maybe I should say the pregnancies. Miserable and big as an ox, I was instructed to stay down and keep my feet up. My neighbor brought me ten paperbacks a week; I was reading more than one a day. With ankles the size of a normal woman's thighs, I spent my afternoons with Kathryn Swynford and John of Gaunt....with Heather and Brandon Birmingham....with Elizabeth, The King's Gray Mare. Nothing short of labor pains could snap me out of it!


I cut my teeth on Anya Seton, Kathleen Woodiweiss, Rosemary Hawley Jarmen. It made perfect sense that when I applied my own imagination to the blank page, it would be in the genre of Historical Romance. This was before the days of RWA; there was no available training program. In fact, the first conference I ever attended for writing contained no workshop on romance writing and the novelist who critiqued my manuscript boldly told me to go home and find something to do for which I had talent. That manuscript was sold to Little, Brown and Co. two years later, published in hardcover and titled Chelynne.


I spent the first decade and a half of my writing career on romance, historical and contemporary. Then, needing a change, I wrote a suspense novel, a non-fiction, and several brilliant but as yet unsold screenplays. I wrote articles and even short stories, jumping all over the place, not really aware that I was working on reinventing myself, redesigning my craft. During the course of this transition, which was by no means short, I had a great piece of good luck. I went to San Diego State University to teach a novel writing workshop and met a woman who was the editorial director for a publisher who focused on women's fiction. The range in this genre is remarkably broad - from pure romance to adventure to political intrigue to girlfriend books to small town fiction.


This was a good place for me to develop my own brand of women's fiction, a style that most closely resembles my take on real life. I want to laugh through a book, but I don't want a book that's a big laugh - and that's a tall order. As a reader I want to have a genuinely good time, but not a joke. I want real women's issues, real humor, and real teeth in the story. This is a genre with lots of room for growth.


In the meantime, with all this writing and reinventing going on, I was raising a family. My son and daughter are adults now, reading my fiction and making snide remarks about how I have used family scenarios to my advantage.


The greatest compliment I have ever received came from one of my readers who labeled me "a woman's woman." She told me I wrote as knowingly about being single as being married, about being old as young, about the happily married and someone suffering from spousal abuse. In short - my goal achieved according to one reader - I can cover all women's concerns. And my women laugh as often as they cry.

I've found my home.




Book Description:

Sick of running into her cheery ex-husband and his new wife, Leslie Petruso accepts a job at the Virgin River branch of Haggerty Construction and takes the high road right out of town. Now she’s got Paul Haggerty’s business running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, things are so busy Paul jumps at the chance to hire an extra set of hands.
Just like Leslie, Conner Danson has been burned by love. But Leslie was disappointed by her relationship going bad, Conner was decimated. He’s got no time for woman...although he spends an awful lot of time pretending not to notice Leslie. And she’s pretty busy “ignoring” the chemistry between them.

According to Conner and Leslie, they have only one thing in common—they’re done with love. But everyone in Virgin River can see that things are heating up at Haggerty Construction. And as far as Paul Haggerty can tell, the best thing he can do is hang on to his hard hat and watch the sparks fly!


Robyn, Thanks for joining us at Romance Author Buzz and participating in the Q&A.Q: Every writer has her own routines and methods. How do you spend a typical writing day?

A: All the adventure happens in my head, believe me. I wake up early, stumble to the coffee pot, then to the computer and write in my pajamas till at lease mid-morning. I fluff and buff (that’s a Robynism for primp and put on clothes), maybe do a few chores – but not too many – and write until dinner time. About ten hours a day, every day. I take breaks for appointments or the very rare lunch out. Otherwise it’s constant writing and except for my wonderful family, the best part of my life. I’m still having fun every day.

Q: What would you tell someone who wants to start writing romance or women’s fiction? I’m sure you get a lot of questions like this. Is there one piece of advice that you always share with aspiring writers?

A: This is a difficult job that more often than not doesn’t pay well. Embarking on it to become rich and famous would be a mistake. Taking on the writing profession because of a deep love of the craft is the only reason that makes sense. To me, anyway. I wrote for over 30 years before getting a bestseller – that takes either profound stubbornness or a overpowering love of the craft.

Q: Do you work with a specific ‘image’ in mind when creating your characters? Do you base them on people you’ve met or know, or are they more composites of real-life and your imagination?

A:Never a specific image – that’s cramping for me. I love to take a few dominant characteristics and build the character throughout the story. Watching them evolve is the fun. And they’re never based on people I know, but certain characteristics from people I’ve known or met are completely useful and fun to blend. Composites – alwayss.

Q: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Do you ever use real people as inspiration for your characters?

A: As inspiration—yes. But as actual characters, no. Real people don’t usually come off well in fiction. I take traits and experiences and emotional reactions from people I’ve met or read about and blend them into composite characters. But experiences and bits of dialogue from my life sneak in—happily. In Virgin River Jack’s sisters are remembering when Jack and his best friend hung their dolls by the neck—mean big brother stuff. My son and his best friend did that to my daughter’s cabbage patch dolls. Don’t worry, they’re all fine…. Well, I’m not sure about the dolls, but my son, his best friend and my daughter have persevered.

Q: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve ever gotten from a reader?

A: Oh, you can’t print it! My readers never get my titles right—they write and ask me if I’m going to write any more of those “Virginia River” books. Or they want to know where Virgin River really is—they plan to move there and get a big, studly marine. But the funniest one ever was probably a typo: “Are you going to write anymore of those ‘Vagina River’ books.” Typo or Freudian slip.

I did get an email from a reader who was furious about my bigotry against Cubans. I was stunned and confused—I’d never written about Cubans. I suggested she had me mixed up with someone else. She wrote back with the direct quote, complete with page numbers—something about Jack being unable to shower off the stench of stinky Cubans. It was cigars! Cuban cigars! I pointed that out to her, but she was absolutely determined I had been bigoted in my remarks.

On a more serious side, a man who lost a leg in the war wrote me that he was changed by Paradise Valley, the story in which Rick Sudder lost a leg in the war and came home a messed up kid. My reader said that he realized from the book that he was an ass, thought it was a miracle his wife stayed with him through it, and finally understood how badly he needed counseling, which he was going to accomplish. I wrote back and asked him how he came across the book and he said his sister gave it to him—and his sainted wife was most grateful! Bless his heart!!

Q: As a writer, what kinds of books inspire you? Do you ever find time to read when you aren't writing your own novels?

A: I read every day. I work long hours, but in the evening after dinner I read—and I am inspired by everything I read, whether it’s mainstream or non-fiction or some other genre. I have a particular taste for contemporary romance and women’s fiction. My favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Susan Andersen to name a few. For my reading pleasure I enjoy intelligent, romantic, humorous, sexy novels with strong heroines.

Q: What is the underlying message you want women to take away from this new Virgin River trilogy—Hidden Summit, Redwood Bend, and Sunrise Point?

A: As in all Virgin River novels, it’s never too late to create your own happy ending. You are the heroine of your own life and you never never never settle for less than the most optimal experience, the most perfect partner. Men and women thrive when they find positive, mutually respectful relationships.

Robyn, thanks for joining us at Romance Author Buzz.

Where can readers find you?

Robyn on Facebook:
Author Website:
Robyn  Carr on Twitter


CONTEST (US ONLY)
To win a copy of HIDDEN SUMMIT (Open to contestants from the Continental US only), follow Robyn Carr on Facebook and comment about her Q&A at Romance Author Buzz, come back here, comment and leave your email address.  The author and publicist will choose and contact the winner.  Contest will end February 14th, midnight PST.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Alexis Harrington / International Contest



Historical romance novelist Alexis Harrington didn’t realize she was at the forefront of a sea change within publishing and among traditionally published novelists when she first requested rights back and self-published her backlist titles as e-books. While she was far from alone in doing so, at the time there was very little in the way of track records regarding sales and, more importantly, very little specific to the romance genre to support her decision. In a short while Alexis re-released all nine of her popular, northwest-set novels electronically, including her first novel Homeward Hearts. Then, in December 2010, she published a brand new electronic book, HOME BY MORNING.

The response has been gratifying and Alexis has embraced epublishing, specifically the freedom to write in time periods and in the genre she prefers, regardless of trends. “Not having specific earnings expectations, high overhead and other constraints facing large publishers, I can profit from my writing past and present as I work toward my creative goals. Interestingly, I did better in 2011 than I made in ten busy years of print publishing.”

Alexis is currently working on her new book, HOME BY NIGHTFALL, to be published in July 2012. It has the same fictional setting, Powell Springs, Oregon, as HOME BY MORNING, and shares many of the same characters. Each touches upon the Great War, now more commonly known as World War I. The first is set in 1918, just before the end of the war and at the start of the world wide influenza pandemic. HOME BY NIGHTFALL occurs just a few years after that. Regarding HOME BY MORNING, Alexis says that “the war and the pandemic are the most vivid backdrops I’ve ever used, with the possible exception of my novel, Harper’s Blood.” That story was set amid the avarice, cruelty and hardships of the Yukon Gold Rush.

As with epublishing, her December 2010 publication of HOME BY MORNING, again placed Alexis in the forefront of a cultural trend. This time she was part of a shift in the arts to a focus on World War I. 2011 brought with it the Lincoln Center production of Sean O’Casey’s play The Silver Tassel, the premiere of Warhorse on Broadway, the film Warhorse, directed by Steven Spielberg, the debut of the acclaimed novel Bright’s Passage by singer and songwriter John Ritter, a Museum of Modern Art exhibit featuring the war-themed works of Otto Dix and Max Beckmann and, in Meaux, France, the opening of the Museum of the Great War.

“The song The Band Played Waltzing Matilda is one of my favorites,” says Alexis. “It’s about the blood bath on Gallipoli and the pointlessness of the war. Thank God people are finally taking notice. So much has been made of WWII—The Greatest Generation—yet I learned very little about WWI in high school. I have very strong opinions about this war after devoting almost ten years to ongoing research. There were so many lives lost to that meat grinder war of attrition.” Alexis has planted a bed of red poppies in her yard honoring those lost in that war and placed an angel statue there to watch over it. “On Veterans Day, I go out there with a glass of whiskey and raise one to the lads, ‘the forgotten heroes of a forgotten war.’”

Alexis began writing in 1980 and has entertained readers since Homeward Hearts was published in 1994. Her love of the genre comes naturally. “I like the escapism of historicals, both books and films” she says. “I miss LaVryle Spencer’s novels. She was my inspiration to start writing.” She adds, “Diana Gabaldon probably has one of the best historical voices and I love her work, as well.”

Alexis has spun tales of characters and situations that include mail order brides, the Yukon Gold Rush, seafaring, ranching, and protagonists heading west. Most of her historical romance novels are set in her home state, Oregon, though she has ventured to other parts of the northwest and has followed some characters as they emigrated to America from places such as Cork County, Ireland. It’s unlikely she’ll suddenly make a drastic change in venues for her stories as she truly enjoys writing about the place she knows best, her home in Oregon near the Columbia River. “I still live within ten miles of my old high school,” she says.

A self-employed novelist for just over twenty years, Alexis has followed her muse and her instincts regarding her own and readers’ interests, and managed to maintain her career as a full time writer. An animal lover, she lives with a cat, a finch, two dogs (Great Pyrenees!), and three chickens—all of which like to gather in her small home office. Only the chickens are not allowed. She keeps crazy hours. “I’m just not a morning person. I like to be up late while the rest of the world is sleeping and quiet. No phones, faxes or other distractions. Just ‘the kids’ and me, candles burning and elevator music coming out of my CD player.” She makes jewelry and, thanks to the tutelage of her grandmother, is a fine needlepoint artist specializing in embroidery, thread crochet and sewing. She enjoys cooking—another gift from her grandmother—reading, entertaining friends, and decorating, and is a lover of all things Victorian. Animal welfare is very important to her and she belongs to the Oregon Humane Society and the ASPCA.

Alexis is currently finishing work on HOME BY NIGHTFALL. Originally scheduled to be self-published, her vision for that book and the success of HOME BY MORNING caught the attention of editors at Amazon’s new Montlake Romance imprint, who acquired both for their fledgling line. Now, Alexis stands in the forefront again as she embarks on yet another publishing adventure, this one exploring the potential of expanding the audience for her fiction through this established e-retailer and the company’s commitment to expanding and shaping the ebook market.


HOME BY MORNING

Alexis Harrington
Montlake Romance/ Fiction/Simultaneous eBook and Paperback/Republication
On sale 12-24-11/$2.99 eBook ● $14.95 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1612182054 ● ISBN-13: 978-1612182056

Alexis website

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Alexis on Facebook

Alexis Harrington talks about her latest book, Home by Morning...




Alexis, welcome!  Readers are excited to hear that Home by Morning will be available as a reissue from Montlake Romance on Christmas Eve. How did that come about?

Modesty aside, editors from Amazon’s newly created Montlake Romance imprint got in touch with me and were very excited about the book, which I had self-published as an ebook, as well as my plans for Home by Nightfall. That book continues the story of several characters from Home by Morning. I’m excited to be part of the imprint’s start up year and to be among the first wave of writers and readers exploring their debut publishing program.

You’ve already had some terrific response from readers, especially in their comments posted on different book sites. One reader (“adventurat” on Smashwords) praised “the historical context, the sensory descriptions...the realities of medical practice and challenges in the period...really worked for me. Harrington does her research, and it shows.” Why this setting and that time period?

Setting and time period are always very important to me. The town, Powell Springs, Oregon, is fictional and it’s loosely based on a few towns around me, though I changed some of the geography. I tend to write about Oregon. It’s my home state and the place I know best. Plus, I can compare old photos to the streets as they look today, which helps me place much of the action in a book.


For Home by Morning, the time period loomed even larger than for other books.

Why was that?

This is a topic of ongoing debate. It was part of why I chose to self-publish Home by Morning. In presenting the book to editors, it seemed that, at least within the romance genre, after 1900 was “recent,” not historical. More so, perhaps, to anyone over the age of 35 or 40. An editor once told me, “no cars.” That was the guideline. Since we don’t remember men fighting duels or using swords in battle, or women strapped into corsets or washing their hair with plain soap because shampoo didn’t exist, there’s no question that a book is historical. But 1900 was 111 years ago. It just seemed to me that was enough time to be considered “historical.”

Would your plot have worked set farther back in time?

Not for me. Stories are so much more than plot. And I really wanted the challenge of setting the strength of human nature and the power of emotion against that unique background of more than four years of anxiety, mourning and hope on the home front. I also wanted to find out if I was right—that Jess and Colt’s love story could be set amid the extremes of good and bad brought out in people in these extraordinary circumstances and still grab and hold readers’ attention.


For me, writing Home by Morning was intensely connected to my desire to write about characters facing the Great War, the challenges on the home front and the ravages of the flu epidemic. I have very strong opinions on the subject of World War I, having devoted 10 years of research to it. So much has been made of WWII—The Greatest Generaton—yet I learned very little about “the war to end war” in high school. There were so many lives lost to that meat grinder war of attrition—over fifteen million deaths and twenty million wounded. It was a very complicated affair and its resolution led the way into WWII and the rise of Adolf Hitler. During the same time period, the world was gripped by the “Spanish flu,” which in 1918 and 1919 killed more people than the Great War.

Did you ever worry that the events of the time would overshadow the relationship between Jess and Colt in Home by Morning?

I didn’t worry about it, but as I mentioned, I considered it a major challenge for me as a writer to stay true to the genre, especially with how emotional I can be when talking or thinking about those horrible years. Fortunately, at its heart, the book always stayed a love story, a romance with a happy ending. The story may be shaped by the affects of events but it’s ruled by personalities, something I see as the hallmark of character driven contemporary and historical romance novels.

Please tell us more about Jess and Cole’s backgrounds.

Jess is a burn-out case. As a woman of her time, she had to fight for her medical education. She wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps, helping people, but her time working with New York City’s poor left her hopeless, believing that no matter how much she tried she’d never overcome the squalor, ignorance and poverty surrounding her patients. She lost heart, found a research position with Seattle General and headed back west. She stopped to visit her sister in Powell Springs even though it meant facing Cole, the man who she expected to marry and who broke her heart instead.


Cole and his brother Riley were very competitive in their young years, a situation fostered by their father who pitted them against each other, believing it would make them both excel. When the US entered the war Riley was the first brother to enlist—a fact that rankled Cole. Riley had a wife and the family business to run. Cole felt very keenly the stigma of the times: a man not in uniform and overseas was considered a slacker. But the horses raised on the family ranch are desperately needed for the Army. He knows he can’t leave. Riley had beat him to it.


Jess’s return simply means more pain for him, as he once again comes face to face with the only woman he has ever loved.

Can you tell us more about the book you’re working on now, Home by Nightfall?

Yes, but not too much or I’ll have to include a “this answer contains spoilers” warning. This book has been difficult. The execution is giving me fits. It has a love triangle and though I’ve written them before, this has been the most challenging. Let’s see...it’s two years after the end of the war and the flu epidemic. Cole and Jess will be back, so will Susannah, Cole’s father, and several of the townspeople. There are some surprises and I think I’d better stop right here.

How can readers reach you and find out more about your writing and what else you’ve been up to?

People should please visit my website www.alexisharrington.com to find out what’s next and when. Also, I’m available via email at Alexis@alexisharrington.com and by mail at PO Box 1229, Fairview, Oregon, 97024.

Lastly, War Horse, the Steven Spielberg directed film based on Michael Morpurgo’s children’s novel and Nick Stafford’s stage adaptation of the book opens in theaters on Christmas Day, 24-hours after Home by Morning debuts as a Montlake Romance. Considering your interest in the era, will you be among the first in line to see it?

You know, I’ve seen the trailer for War Horse and as much as I would like to discover how the story and the times are handled, I probably won’t see it at all. It’s got nothing to do with Steven Spielberg (he’s a brilliant storyteller) or the cast or anything of that sort. In fact, I’m delighted that the film will make many more people aware of this time in our history. It’s quite simply that I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it. Movies about animals in danger or otherwise injured or abused are too much for me to handle, even if there’s a happy ending. Not so surprising since I share my home and yard with two dogs, a cat, a finch and three chickens. So far.

Thank you, Alexis for joining us and best of luck with the new publication of Home by Morning and this summer’s Home by Nightfall!



Romance Author Buzz is offering a $10.00 Amazon card.  Follow this blog, leave comments and your email address so that you may be contacted.  For more chances, follow Alexis on Facebook.
Ends Feb 1th

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Meet Kaylie Newell / International Giveaway





Author Bio:

For Kaylie Newell, storytelling is in the blood. Growing up the daughter of two gifted writers, she knew eventually she’d want to follow in their footsteps. While she’s written short stories her whole life, it wasn’t until after her kids were born that she decided to shoot for the moon and write her first romance novel. She hasn’t looked back since!

Kaylie lives in Southern Oregon with her husband, two little girls, an elderly Chihuahua mix, and two indifferent cats.


Book Description - A Death That Lingers by Kaylie Newell

A wife leaves her abusive husband, but soon realizes nothing will keep him away. Not even death.

Josie Collins is the wife of a world famous rock star and the envy of nearly every woman in the country. But the horrific truth is her husband wants nothing more than to see her dead.

Josie finally summons the courage to leave her famous, abusive husband and returns to her hometown among the winter wheat of Kansas. When her husband is killed in a fiery car accident while on his way to find her, she thinks she has escaped him at last, but she’s wrong. It quickly becomes clear that even in death he has no intention of letting her go.

As Josie develops a rapport with sexy police chief, Paul Stark, trouble begins to brew. There’s something special about the tall, mysterious officer with the long jagged scar down his face. But Josie soon learns that he’s haunted by a nightmarish past.

Sparks fly in their small, Midwestern town, and as their attraction grows, so does a dead husband’s fury. In order to smother this dark, sinister spirit, and perhaps find true and lasting happiness with each other, the living must learn to let go, give in, and leave their ghosts in the past.

(Content Warning: Contains sensual sex and some explicit language; Genre(s): Romantic Suspense/Paranormal)

Kaylie,welcome to Romance Author Buzz. Is there a behind the book story for  A Death That Lingers?

Thank you for having me! A Death That Lingers is my first book, and it’s what I call “the book of my heart”. Meaning, I wrote what I love to read. The type of book I’m always browsing for at Barnes and Noble. Romantic suspense with a few ghosts thrown in here and there for good measure.

What is your routine?

I’m a morning person. I do most of my writing at Barnes and Noble when my kids are at school. It seems like the words just have a way of flowing there! I try to write every day, but it’s not always on my current WIP. Some days it will be blogging, etc. But as long as I’m writing, I’m happy as a clam.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

My favorite piece of advice is probably the most common. But I definitely think it’s the most important, too. Don’t give up! When you’re just starting out, it can seem like the odds are stacked against you. It’s hard seeing rejection slip after rejection slip. But if you love to write, believe in that. The more you love something, the more you do it. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get. It’s a natural progression. And one that’ll eventually get you published.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a spicy novella. Erotic romance wasn’t something I had planned on writing. But the idea struck one day, and it refused to leave me alone. Turns out, it’s a lot of fun. I’ll probably need a pen name for this one, though. Can’t have my mother reading it.

What news would you like to share with your readers?

My second book, a contemporary romantic suspense called Falling In Danger, was just contracted with my wonderful publisher, Beachwalk Press. It will be out in the spring of 2012. This book was fun to write. If you like hunky cop heroes, it might be right up your alley! It’s about a na├»ve, young journalist named Jessica Brady, who stumbles head first into the underground world of dog fighting in LA. Ian Cole is the undercover cop who’s assigned to bust the ring. When Ian’s cover is blown, Jessica decides to do a story about the dogs caught in the middle and the unlikely detective who ended up saving them. And stole her heart along the way.

How do you build the relationship between these two characters so that it feels real?

I think the key is to have plenty of conflict. We all know that real relationships have a lot of that. And for me, conflict makes things sexier. Things aren’t always perfect. Maybe they’re a little rough around the edges, along with the characters themselves. I like when the scenes between my hero and heroine aren’t always happy ones.


To me, there’s nothing better than angry sex. In my books, anyway

Do you identify with the characters you write about?

I’d love to be able to say that I have long, raven hair and a nice bust line. But sadly, I don’t. I guess if I could identify with them, it would be because I have a lot of passion. For writing, friends, family. All my characters love deeply. And I do, too.

Tell us a little about your favorite “hero” type guy.

I worked for years at a small police department, so my heroes tend to be cops. I like alpha males in uniform. But they also have to be very sensitive. The type who cry after wrestling the bad guy to the ground (using only one arm).

Would you please describe the heroines you love to write?

I like my heroines to be strong, but vulnerable, too. I like them to have issues that they need or want to overcome. My goal is to write women that other women identify with and will cheer for.

How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

Happy, fulfilled, busy, passionate, humorous, curious, content, blessed

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

Pizza! (And chocolate for dessert, of course)

What are you reading?

The Stand by Stephen King.

Favorite author?

Oh, dear. It’s impossible to pick just one. Stephen King and Karen Robards. And I could go on, but I think you’d get sick of me and kick me off the page.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Believe in yourself, believe in your stories.

Where can readers find you?

Kaylie's Website:

Facebook:
Twitter:


KYLIE IS OFFERING AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEST, A PDF OF HER NEW RELEASE.  FOLLOW HER ON FACEBOOK AND LEAVE A COMMENT AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO THAT YOU CAN BE CONTACTED



Meet Author Dana Marton and International Giveaway


Author Bio

Dana Marton writes fast-paced action-adventure romances that take her readers all over the globe. She is a Rita Award finalist and the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. She loves writing stories of intrigue, filled with dangerous plots that try her tough-as-nails heroes and the special women they fall in love with. Her books have been published in seven languages in eleven countries around the world.

(Okay, the above version is the glamour version for press releases. The truth is that my path to publication was nothing but unglamorous. I wrote for 13 years and completed several books before I finally received a call from a Harlequin editor. I was beginning to wonder if I was being tenacious or just too dense to know when to quit. But it all worked out at the end! )




Book Description

Special Ops soldier Mitch Mendoza is sent to South America on a delicate mission to rescue a U.S. Governor’s son from a nefarious drug lord. He is on his way back with the kid when he bumps into a lost American tourist in the jungle, the only survivor of a bandit attack, supposedly. Little does he know that nothing about Megan Cassidy as it seems. Soon she's a major threat not only to his mission, but to his heart as well, as their story unfolds in this action-packed thriller.





Dan, welcome to Romance Author Buzz and congratulations on your January 2012 release.  . Is there a back story to Last Spy Standing?

I love action movies. Indiana Jones, Mission Impossible, Bond… bring them on! So my books are usually inspired by heroes who fit that mold. Last Spy Standing was no different. My dirty little secret is that I write my books for myself. And then hope as anything that there are other people out there who share my taste.

Do you plot your stories or lead your characters lead you?

My books usually start with an intriguing idea, a plot twist that occurs to me. But once I come up with the characters, they take over the story. With Last Spy Standing, I wanted to write a book where the hero and heroine are constantly butting heads. They are both on the side of good, yet their goals are mutually exclusive. How would they solve their differences when only one can get what he/she wants, and the consequences of losing are devastating?

How long have you been writing and what was your call story?

I wrote for close to 13 years before I sold my first book. I had five completed manuscripts at that point and a dozen half-finished books. When the call came, I picked up the phone in the kitchen. I was stunned! The editor was giving me all sorts of information. I had no pen, no paper and didn’t dare interrupt her so I was just trying hard to memorize everything she said. My knees were going weak. I wished I had a chair within reach. Then, after we hung up, I realized I was on the cordless phone. LOL I could have walked around all I wanted. But my mind was just so blown, I couldn’t think beyond the fact that I finally sold a book.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on THE SPY WORE SPURS, a fast-paced thriller set in Texas. The hero is a commando soldier who’s trying to blend in as a cowboy, with the heroine’s help. I LOVE writing this book. The chemistry between the two is just unbelievable and makes my job so much easier.

Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

I really like Claire Montgomery, the heroine of WARRIOR AGENT, an ebook I just published. She has a rough past, but she won’t let it get her down. She desperately needs her job, but when her employer turns out to be a thoroughly corrupt man, she stands up for what is right, even if she has everything to lose. Some of my books had scarred heroes, men that carried the weight of the past. This is my first story where both the hero and heroine are damaged. Yet it doesn’t turn out to be an, “I have so many problems, I can’t handle anybody else’s,” type of situation. They both have such a core of honor. They end up being each other’s salvation.

What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

The most difficult thing is trying to reach readers. We are constantly bombarded with information by people who want our attention. It’s gotten to the point now that we tune most of it out. So when a new book comes out, sometimes I feel near hopeless with how my news will be heard.

The best part is my readers. I LOVE my readers and will never get tired of saying that. They’ll email me to let me know how they liked my books. They will tell their friends about it. They’ll retweet my tweets. They are a constant source of support and friendship. I have the best readers in the world.

What kind of daily schedule do you have? What types of things interrupt your writing? Describe a day in the life of Dana Marton.

I normally write 4 books a year, so that calls for a fairly tight schedule. I spend at least 8 hours writing/researching/promoting per day, and often I spend a lot more. My only rule is that I don’t work on Sundays. I love writing, so this is no burden, believe me. In fact, I’d rather write than do just about anything else.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Meryl Streep. Not that such a movie would be ever made. Watching a writer write is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I’m afraid I don’t live a life of high adventure. But my characters definitely do!

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

I’d love my readers to know how much I love and appreciate them. How much every single email, FB comment and tweet means to me. Writing is such a lonely business. Most of the time, you’re alone in a chair in front of your computer. So the contact I have with my readers is truly precious to me.

When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

I’d love for them to remember the good times we had together.

What are you currently reading?

Susan Mallery’s Only Us, a Fool’s Gold novella. I’m completely in love with that series. I want to move to Fool’s Gold, in fact. She makes it sound so much fun!

Favorite song?

Anything by U2.

Favorite color?

purple

Before I let you go though, is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

I’d love to say a big thank you for having me here!



Dana's website:
Dana on Facebook:
Dana on Twitter:





To win a box of gourmet Hot Chocolate Mocha and a free book, go to Dana's Facebook page and post 1 thing that you’re grateful for this Holiday Season.   Also tell her what you liked about her interview here and don't forget to leave your email address.  Contest ends Feb. 1st.

 

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