Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Susan Mallery – ONLY YOURS Q&A and GIVEAWAY (International)

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. Publisher’s Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says, “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” While Susan appreciates the critical praise, she is most honored by the enthusiastic readers who write to tell her that her books made them laugh, made them cry, and made the world a happier place to live. Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. She’s there for the coffee, not the weather.  Susan's website

Q: ONLY YOURS was released today,  August 30. Tell us a little bit about it.

ONLY YOURS is a Beauty and the Beast story, which is one of my favorite themes, but which I never get to write because I don’t normally do dark, tortured heroes. Simon is a brilliant surgeon whose intelligence set him apart as a child, made him seem strange to everyone around him, including to his own mother. After a fire left him with scars on half of his face, he became even more convinced that he was unlovable. All his life, he has protected his heart by burying himself in his studies, then in his work. He travels from hospital to hospital to heal their toughest cases, moving on before anyone gets too close.

Montana, on the other hand, is deeply connected to her hometown, Fool’s Gold, and to her large, boisterous family. One of the Hendrix triplets, Montana has always seen herself as the screw-up. Until now. She’s finally discovered what she was meant to do – she works with therapy dogs, and the dogs play a big role in the story, which was a lot of fun. Montana has an amazing purity of heart. She’s just what Simon needs, and he will love her with a ferocity that will complete her.

Simon and Montana are one of my favorite couples. I love these two together!

September 1st, on Facebook, Harlequin is hosting a "live" interaction with Susan.  Hope to see you there!

Q: ONLY YOURS is the fifth Fool’s Gold romance novel, and the second book of the Hendrix triplets’ trilogy. Do readers have to read the other books first?

No. Each book in the Fool’s Gold series is a standalone novel, so you won’t be confused if you start with ONLY YOURS. Of course, I hope you’ll love it so much that you’ll immediately rush out and buy the previous books. In order of publication, they are: CHASING PERFECT, ALMOST PERFECT, FINDING PERFECT, ONLY MINE, ONLY YOURS… and coming soon, ONLY HIS.

Visit Fool’s Gold online at www.foolsgoldca.com. You’ll find some amazing bonus content, including excerpts, between-the-books updates and teasers, a map of the town, a calendar of events, and some fun freebies!

Q: You said the therapy dogs play a big role in the story. Did you enjoy writing dog characters?

I loved it! Plus, the research was a lot of fun. Therapy dogs are pretty amazing. Montana and her dogs visit patients at hospitals and nursing homes. They do more than brighten the patients’ day – they improve the healing process. Montana has also started a reading program with her dogs. Kids who have a tough time learning to read can benefit from practicing by reading to a dog. The dogs are trained to behave as though they’re truly listening. Dogs are 100% love, and having that nonjudgmental audience can really take the pressure off a struggling reader and give him or her the boost of confidence they need.

One of the dogs in the book, Cece, is based on my real-life dog, Nikki. That was a lot of fun! I immortalized my dog by capturing her quirks on the page. She is a sweetheart and makes my life better.

Not every dog is therapy dog material, though. As the book starts, Montana is working with Fluffy, a mixed breed bundle of love and energy. Montana so wants Fluffy to succeed, but Fluffy has a slight problem with impulse control. I laughed myself silly while writing the opening scene of the book.

Q: What’s next for you?

ONLY HIS, Nevada Hendrix’s story, will be out on September 27. Imagine – you’re the last single triplet. Your sisters recently fell in love, and now they’re planning a double wedding. Poor Nevada feels left out, to say the least. Not only is she not in love – she doesn’t even have a date for the wedding!

Her answer to that is to put her focus on her career. As an engineer, she has always worked at the family’s construction business. She wants to test herself, so she decides to apply for a job with the developers of a luxury casino/resort that will be built outside Fool’s Gold. Unfortunately for Nevada, the leader of the project is her first, unrequited love. A rule of thumb I try to live by: avoid being interviewed by a man who’s seen you naked.

I think ONLY HIS might be the funniest book I’ve ever written, and I’m both nervous and excited to see how readers react.

Romance Author Buzz is offering one resident of the United States a $10.00 Barnes and Noble card.  To win a copy follow this blog and sign up for Susan Mallery's Membership page.  Don't forget to leave your email address so that you can be contacted.  Contest will end September 30th.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Biographical Q&A with Cathy Maxwell - North America Giveaway

Book Description:

It’s never wise to blackmail a highwayman.

Lady Corinne, rebellious daughter of the duke of Banfield, refuses to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin. Yes, he’s the catch of the Season and the man her father chose for her. He’s also the most despicable male of her acquaintance. With her wedding only weeks away, she flees and finds herself a prisoner of the notorious Thorn!

Who says the devil isn’t a woman?

The rich and powerful tremble at the highwayman’s name, while England’s villagers rejoice in his bold exploits. His identity is a secret; his life a mystery— until Lady Corinne tumbles into his arms. If the Thorn wants her silence, he must hide her until her wedding day passes. It’s a devil’s bargain and one that can only lead to a hangman’s noose.

Corinne believes it the perfect plan—until her highwayman reveals a passionate lover’s heart, and she realizes that in the seduction of scandal, she may have found the hero she’s been waiting for her whole life.

Cathy, welcome to Romance Author Buzz.  What are some of the places you’ve lived?

Olathe, Kansas is my home—a picture book Midwest town where I learned I could do everything and anything.

I’ve been in Virginia off and on for over twenty-five years. So, I’m a Virginian by choice, but a Kansan by nature. I was raised outside of Kansas City, Kansas and went to school in Topeka.  I love big skies, rolling flint hills, and people who don’t stand on much ceremony.

Anything seems possible when I’m in Kansas, and, no, that isn’t Dorothy talking.

Were you an only child?

I had three sisters. The family is all girls—which makes my father a very lucky, and spoiled, man.

What sort of jobs have you held?

I was a news broadcaster my first few years out of college. Yes, I had the job everyone wants. I did news, sports, and weather, did voice over work, sent out affidavits, vacuumed, and made the coffee. It was great!
 I left the news business to go into the Navy. Yes, that is what I did. I always wanted to join the Navy and at the ripe age of twenty-three I made a list of the ten things I wanted to do with my life. Reading the news wasn’t on the list, but the Navy was and so was writing. I joined and have no regrets. My time in the service opened me up to the big world, had me making news instead of reporting on it, and led me to my husband.
 Other jobs? I worked in a watch factory and later sold clothes, electronics, tanks (the storage type not the armored ones) and now books.

Your books are filled with characters that find themselves in extraordinary situations and have to rise above them. Who are some of real-life heroes and heroines you admire?

Public service workers--firemen, police, EMTs, teachers; anyone who acts for the public good based upon his or her convictions; those who reach out to better the lives of others; those who raise thought-provoking concerns and arguments. I can admire Mother Theresa and Christopher Hitchens.

Who are some of the authors you most enjoy reading?

Florence King when I can find her. Jenny Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, I’m intrigued by Sophie Jordan, Sophia Nash, really any of the Avon authors. They have a great line up. Jennifer Blake’s classics are on my keeper shelf. Connie Brockway, Kristin Higgans, Nora, Linda Howard . . . I think romance is in a hey day. So many choices, so many wonderful reads.

Who are some of the authors whose work has influenced your writing style?

Andre Norton, Jennifer Blake, and Dick Francis, with a little Florence King thrown in for spice.

The writers, still living, you would most like to meet? Writers no longer alive that you would most like to meet?

Florence King. She’d probably bite my head off. Anne Lamott. I heard her speak locally once and I don’t think she’d bite me at all. I’m in the catbird seat here because I get to meet and friend my favorite romance writers.  Among those we’ve lost—Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Dick Francis, Andre Norton.

What are you favorite types of books? Historicals? Contemporaries? Biography?

I’m a sucker for non-fiction, especially about people. So I enjoy biographies but also all of those selfhelp
books that involve personal transformation. My kids roll their eyes every time I recommend a book.

When did you first start reading romance?

I discovered Georgette Heyer when I was thirteen and I’m a huge fan. She’s my favorite Regency writer. However, I didn’t start reading single title romance until I was in my late twenties. I came late to the game, but didn’t stop once I started.

Who are some of the people you most admire?

Connie Moslow. Connie started the Free Clinic in my county and I have incredible respect for her. I currently volunteer there around three to five hours a week. Her dedication to the clinic project has impacted
untold numbers of lives. It’s an honor to work beside her.

Ruth Fitzsimmons. Ruth started a retreat program for people in Virginia who are HIV positive. Not only is the program educational, it is also empowering. It gives folks a chance to be fully who they are and to feel
loved in spite of living in the shadow of AIDS.

Who are some of the people who have most influenced you?

My parents. They believe in making the world around them a better place. They taught me the power of
active volunteerism. My late husband. Kevin taught me to grab hold of life with both hands and never let go.

Do you have favorite charities or causes? Do you belong to any organizations?

Causes include the Free Clinic of Powhatan; Transformation Retreats, a retreat ministry for people with
HIV; the YMCA; Comfort Zone Camp, a support camp for kids dealing with the death of a loved one. I belong to Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc., Virginia Romance Writers, Washington Romance Writers.

What’s next on your personal and professional schedule?

On August 30th I’m at the launch of the K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign —a cocktail party hosted by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Then I’m in Kansas at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Later, I’m in Dallas/Fort Worth to meet readers for High Tea, French-style, sponsored by Fresh Fiction and head back to my hometown, Olathe, where I’ll be awarded a place on the Wall of Honor by the Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association on October 5th. I’ll keep posting appearances on my site, so please check there.

How many novels have you written? Have they all been published?

24ish. Every book I’ve finished, I’ve published. I’m very lucky.

If you were to travel back in time—and had to stay there—where/when would you like to settle?

I do travel back in time through books. However, I like where I am here and now. I enjoy the freedom
and creativity we all have open to us.

One copy of THE SEDUCTION OF SCANDAL ~ one copy of a backlist title from the "Scandals & Seductions" series U.S. and Canada only. Don't forget to leave your email address; contest will end Sept 30th  To win a copy, follow Cathy on Facebook and tell her what you thought about this interview.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet Carla Neggers and Saint's Gate - Giveaway (US residents only)

About Carla:

Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, with translations in 24 languages. Born and raised on the western edge of the beautiful Quabbin Reservoir in rural Massachusetts, Carla grew up with tales of her father’s life as a Dutch sailor and her mother’s childhood in northwest Florida.

At a young age, Carla began penning her own stories on a branch high up in her favorite sugar maple. Now she enjoys spending time at the family homestead (now a tree farm) with her six brothers and sisters and their families.

When she’s not writing, Carla loves to travel, hike, kayak, garden, and, of course, dive into a good book. She lives with her family in Vermont, not far from picturesque Quechee Gorge.

Book Description:

When Emma Sharpe is summoned to a convent on the Maine coast, it's partly for her art crimes work with the FBI, partly because of her past with the religious order. At issue is a mysterious painting depicting scenes of Irish lore and Viking legends, and her family's connection to the work. But when the nun who contacted her is murdered, it seems legend is becoming deadly reality.

Colin Donovan is one of the FBI's most valuable assets—a deep–cover agent who prefers to go it alone. He's back home in Maine after wrapping up his latest mission, but his friend Father Bracken presents him with an intrigue of murder, international art heists and a convent's long–held secrets that is too tempting to resist. As the danger spirals ever closer, Colin is certain of only one thing—the very intriguing Emma Sharp is at the center of it all.

A ruthless killer has Emma and Colin in the crosshairs, plunging them into a race against time and drawing them deeper into a twisted legacy of betrayal and deceit.

Carla, welcome to Romance Author Buzz.  Is there a back story to Saint’s Gate?

Emma Sharpe, the heroine of SAINT'S GATE, started to take shape while I was on one of our trips to the Maine coast. I was walking on the rocky coast in the fog and could picture an FBI agent -- a woman -- arriving at an isolated convent...and I knew something bad happens and that she has a past that involves the convent. Visualizing that initial scene helped Emma take shape. I think many of us have aspects of our past (or our present!) that we don't talk about not because we're hiding anything but because it's just complicated. That's Emma!

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

I've been writing since I was a kid. I grew up in rural western Massachsuetts with six brothers and sisters and would climb a tree with a pad and pen and sit on my favorite branch and write. I did that right through college! In fact, I've started a new blog, "Out on a Limb," that arises out of that feeling of being up on that branch! I'd also sit on a rock in the middle of the wide brook across from our house and write. The first book I sent to an agent, THE VENUS SHOE, wasn't the first book I sold, but it did eventually launch a series of romantic suspense novels published by Avon.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? Have you had other jobs along the way?

Writing was a dream for me early on but I wrote because I loved telling stories. I still do! I started out at the Boston University College of Fine Arts as a music major but switched to journalism, and I freelanced after college. I was lucky enough to sell a book early on. I submitted my first manuscript to an agent right after my daughter was born. I'd type while she was on the blotter next to me! Then she learned to roll over, and I put her on a mat on the floor. :-)

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

A little of both. It depends on the story but I've discovered there's a basic pattern to how I write. With SAINT'S GATE, I could see Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan before I knew exactly what they were up to. That's not unusual, although sometimes it's the other way around: I'll know what the characters are up to but not exactly who they are! I knew Colin would be an undercover agent with questions about Emma, and that Emma's past with the convent where she finds a murdered nun plays a role in the story. I wrote up a brief synopsis that became a jumping off point. My synopses are never precise road maps but they do give me a sense of the story as a whole. Then I started writing, to get a feel for Emma, Colin and their story, and after 50 pages or so, I came up for air and figured out what was what. That's pretty much how I write most books. I've tried different approaches, but I think as writers we're happiest and most productive when we're true to our own creative process.

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

Interesting question! Each character comes to life for me at some point in the writing process. If Emma Sharpe walked into my house, I'd recognize her. Same with any of the characters in my books. I don't see them as extensions of myself but that doesn't mean their likes, dislikes, struggles and triumphs don't resonate with me. I can identify with Emma's struggle to not let others stereotype or define her based on her past. I think many readers will be able to identify with that struggle, even if they never spent time at a convent!

What are you currently working on?

I just finished editing SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER, which is due out in February 2012. It's my return to contemporary romance! I had the idea for a long time, and I'm so passionate about this book. It's set in a fictional small town on the edge of the Quabbin Reservoir -- not all that different from where I grew up. I drew on the history of the four towns that were wiped off the map to create the reservoir in the 1930s. Olivia Frost, my graphic designer heroine, deals with betrayal, dashed dreams, new dreams, long-lost treasure and a very sexy hockey player. Such fun to write! I've just gone back to working on HERON'S COVE, the next book after SAINT'S GATE in my Sharpe & Donovan series. Emma and Colin are in a real mess this time!

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

The best thing is doing what I love, getting to work with great people who also love books and writing and talking with and meeting readers. There's nothing quite like talking with readers about a new author they've discovered, or a book they've just read and love. The hardest thing? The uncertainties, but I think most of us face uncertainties in our lives and work. Just have to focus on the present and enjoy the day!

If you were invited on a show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?

Something to do with crossroads, I think. I love to talk about SAINT'S GATE but I'm a writer not a producer! Gah. Hm. A woman caught at the crossroads of art and murder...and at a personal crossroads as an FBI agent...I like that.

Describe a day in the life of Carla Neggers.

Since I'm not particularly regimented, I don't have a lot of typical days, but I do rise early, dive into a pot of coffee, walk (provided it's above zero!) and get started on the work at hand. I love to write in the morning but I can write anytime, anywhere. I haven't climbed a tree with a pad and pen lately, though, as I did as a kid!

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

That I love to write today as much as ever. I'm bursting with stories and creative energy!

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?

Retire from writing???????

Who is your favorite author?

I don't have one favorite, but I love to read. This summer I've reread several novels by Mary Stewart, REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier and OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. I also try to keep up with books by my writer friends!

What are you currently reading?

THE ACCIDENTAL CREATIVE by Todd Henry. It's non-fiction and one of the best books I've ever read on the rhythms of a creative life. I recommend it to anyone who works in a creative field. Terrific!

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

I think we've covered the waterfront! Thank you so much!! This was fun. Great questions. I'm still thinking about that theme one... ;-)

Carla, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!


Facebook Page

To win a copy of Saint's Gate, follow Carla on Facebook and Twitter.  Tell her what you thought of her interview here.  Please leave your email so that you can be contacted.  Contest is for US residents only.  Winner will be announced September 25th.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Q&A With Rhiannon Ellis and Giveaway (International)

Author Bio:

Authors are supposed to have bios. Agents and editors ask for them, websites seem to demand them. Essentially, I'm supposed to utilize this page as a form of bragging station where I list off all my great and varied accomplishments, hoping to impress or sound important. This isn't that kind of bio.

Truth is, any list I'd conjure up would be rather short. But here are a few highlights of stuff that matters...

Chad and I married in 2003 after a short--and I mean short--courtship. What can I say? I swept the poor guy off his feet.

We remained in my hometown of Williamsburg, Virginia, for the first couple years but have since lived in Las Vegas and Wisconsin, which is where we now reside.

We are blessed with three terrific kids: Chad's daughter and my stepdaughter, Taylor. And our daughter and son, Cameron and Dane. Ages range from 3 to 13. I'd say more about these wonderful people but when I get sappy about my children...I cry.

To sum it up I'll quote my husband, because he has a way with words: "Life would suck without our kids."

My days resemble those of most stay-at-home moms with young children, except I use my limited free time to write.

My ultimate dream: To own a fabulous RV and live like gypsies.

My more practical dream: To own a secluded house in the country with no visible neighbors. Not sure where, but I want skiing in winter and the ocean in summer.

The dream I'm living now: Staying home with my precious babies and pursuing my passion for writing.

Book Description:

Family is everything …

A few missed loan payments, and a family of Brazilian vintners stands to lose the fruits of four generations of labor. To save the business, devoted daughter Eliana Menino strikes a deal of her own to work off the family debt in service to the man she calls demonio—devilishly handsome private investor Hale Forester

More than she bargained for …

Uprooted from her childhood home in exotic Brazil to work for Hale at his sprawling Napa Valley estate, Eliana soon realizes that the ruthless man who can make or break her family has a secret past … and the power to break her heart.

Rhiannon, Welcome to Romance Author Buzz.  Is there a back story to Bonded in Brazil?

I started Bonded in Brazil after completing my very emotionally-draining first novel. I found a great writers group that I wanted to join. I felt I needed the input of other writers to help me improve, but I needed something to submit. Bonded in Brazil was supposed to be a “fun practice project” but, within a few weeks, I fell in love with my characters and storyline and decided to take the manuscript seriously.

How did you start your career? Who was your first publisher?

My career started in 2008, when I finally found the determination to achieve a goal I’d had since childhood—to write a book! I fumbled my way through my first novel, managed to land an agent, but the manuscript has since collected dust.

My second novel, Bonded in Brazil, with the help of my fabulous agent, got me my first publishing contract in November of 2009 with Camel Press. I got another contract from Cobblestone Press not even two months later for Dark Wolf Protector, a paranormal romance novella.

In March of this year, I became a multi-published author.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

If you haven’t already begun writing your first book, take the time to research the genre you’ve chosen to write. Read A LOT. Take notes. Google everything. And, by all means necessary, brush up on your grammar skills.

If you’ve already written your first book, find other writers who are willing to comb through it and give you an honest, thorough critique. You’ll love them for it, I promise.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, nothing much. I have two fabulous projects I set aside for the summer. We have long winters here in Wisconsin, and I decided to take the summer off to play with my kids. Come fall, I have a mainstream project to wrap up and a women’s fiction manuscript that I’m about three chapters into. I like having a couple projects going at once…change of scenery, you know?

What news would you like to share with your readers?

I’m very excited to tell you the sequel to Bonded in Brazil has been contracted! Although Bonded in Brazil is technically a single-title romance, there were two minor characters who demanded their own spotlight. Expect to see the sequel hit the shelves next summer.

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

It isn’t easy to create authentic chemistry. I usually start off with my heroine, develop her and decide what kind of man would be her perfect match.

Do you identify with the characters you write about?

On some level, I relate to every character I write about, even the minor players. I think each character is an extension of his/her creator. We ask ourselves, “If I were in his/her shoes, what would I do?” Authors can’t help but to inject at least a tiny bit of themselves into their characters.

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

I love complex, alpha heroes. Confident but emotionally vulnerable. Tough but sensitive. I like heroes who are honest—integrity is a must! And a protective man easily wins my heart.

Would you please describe the heroines you love to write?

Heroines are where it’s at! My heroines are strong, warm-hearted, affectionate women. They might be in need of some personal growth, but they’re always self-sufficient and goal-oriented. I make it my primary goal to create relatable heroines who readers can see as their best friend.

In the sequel to Bonded in Brazil (did I mention that it’s due out next summer?) my heroine is deeply affected by her first marriage, in which her husband cheated on her. I know so many women out there will be able to relate to her on a personal level! I’m really excited to see how they respond to Ainsley. I’m sure, for a lot of women, the connection will be pretty intense. Unfortunately, infidelity is something that hits home, but a happy ending will save the day!

How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

Busy. Loving. Satisfying. Adventurous. Hopeful. Cozy. Bright. Blessed.

What is your motto?

I always say to my family, “As long as we’re safe, healthy and together, everything will be fine.”

How would you describe perfect happiness?

I’d love to own an RV and travel on a whim, wherever and whenever.

What’s your greatest fear?

As a mom, my greatest fears revolve around my family’s health and safety. I really don’t worry about much else.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

I’d choose one of two places: In Virginia, where most of my family lives, or at Disney World with my kids.

What are your most overused words or phrases?

A lot. I say a lot a lot.

What do you regret most?

There’s nothing in my past I dwell on long enough to say I regret it. So nothing, I suppose. There are things I would’ve done differently—better!—but what’s done is done!

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

Is eternal youth a talent? No? I pick public speaking, then. I’d love to be a powerful, effective orator—or, at the very least, not a terrified one.

What’s your fantasy profession?

Author, of course!

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

Fudge marble cake with chocolate frosting!

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Keep reading, keep writing, and keep dreaming!

What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

“I couldn’t put your book down!” I love to hear that my readers enjoy my work. They truly inspire me to KEEP WRITING!

Where can readers find you?


Author Rhiannon Ellis will kindly offer an Ebook.  The contest is International.  To win a copy, "Like" Rhiannon on Facebook and leave your email address so that you may be contacted.  Contest will end August 31st.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Meet Gayle Donnelly and Robyn Mackenzie and International Giveaway

Authors Gayle Donnelly and Robyn Mackenzie Bio:

Gayle Donnelly and Robyn Mackenzie both hail from the Midwest. Writing partners as well as friends (perhaps even sisters in another life), both are married and each has two wonderful children. The similarities don’t stop there. Both earned degrees in English education, both have a profound weakness for Starbucks coffee, and both are completely captivated by the ethereal beauty found in the Pacific Northwest. Their individual passions for writing and storytelling, led them to create Infinite Betrayal, the first book in their Infinity Series.

Book Description:

The existence of the Coteri has remained hidden for centuries...until now.

He would protect her with his life...

Mathias has been ordered to protect Mina Roarke at all costs while keeping her Father's secrets concealed. But from the moment he sees her, the hunger he's desperately tried to bury, roars to life. The beast within is awakened and wants only one thing...Mina.

She was just looking for answers...

Mina had always been told she was special. In what way, she never fully understood until her life and everything she thought she knew and believed in was turned completely upside down. After the unexpected death of her mother, Mina finds clues about her past that trigger more questions than answers. Her quest to find those answers thrusts Mina deep into the Black Forest of Germany and into the arms of a man who tests her control...in more ways than one.

She is wrenched from her own reality into a world filled with adrenaline-charged danger, blazing sexual heat, and the answers that have been hidden her entire life. Mina alone holds the power to change her future but when she comes face to face with ultimate betrayal, can she still trust in the one man that has captured her heart?

Gayle Donnelly and Robyn Mackenzie, I would like to congratulate on your latest release. Is there a behind the book story?

GD: Robyn and I had been avid readers for years devouring paranormal and erotic suspense whenever we could. One hot afternoon, we were laying by my pool and Robyn leaned over to me and said, “Ya know….we could do this.” It took me by surprise that she said it but the more I thought about it and the more we talked, I realized that we needed to try. Both Robyn and I are English majors and absolutely love writing. Luckily, our writing voices are so similar that sometimes even we can’t tell who wrote what.

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

GD: For Infinite Betrayal, I plotted out the entire story. During the writing process, it completely re-wrote itself! I just followed the characters and tried to write the best story possible for Mathias and Mina.

RM: I work a little differently. I have the story, plot, and characters in my head first. I’ll plot out the beginning and the end but have found that I let the characters lead me with the rest.

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

GD: I wrote tons in school but once I graduated, I stopped. Then after deciding to take on the paranormal romance field, it has been almost two years now.

RM: Like Gayle, I’ve written short stories, poems, etc. since I was young. However, only professionally now for two years.

What are you currently working on?

GD: Robyn and I take leads on our stories. I had lead on Infinite Betrayal and she has lead on Book 2, Infinite Surrender. I am currently at her mercy when she needs me for edits, story plotting, and anything else she may need. I am also finishing up the outline for Book 3, Infinite Desire.

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

GD: Mina. Hands down. She has so many of my personality traits but I definitely curse more than she does! It takes a lot for me to trust and once I make a friend, it’s for life.

RM: Chloe, with Talon as a close second. Chloe is loyal to the core and isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes in. She’s willing to take risks to prove herself in a society of warrior males who only want to shelter and protect her. Yet Chloe can still be vulnerable, especially in matters of the heart, and it’s this vulnerability that really brings this character to life for me.

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

GD: This may sound juvenile but for me, it was receiving our first book cover. That was so freakin cool and it truly made it real for me. The hardest thing is getting the edits back and realizing all of the mistakes we made!!

RM: The feedback from our readers has been the best part for me. This book has had such a positive response with readers and reviewers alike and it’s such a rewarding feeling to know that you created something that others enjoy. The hardest thing is the waiting process from finished manuscript to publishing date!

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

GD: I have a “regular job” where I am there from 8:00 to 4:30. After that, I come home, take care of the family, get dinner, start laundry, and whatever else is calling to me. Then once the kids are in bed, I fire up the laptop. Email, promo, and website come first. After that, I can indulge in some writing. Now if I’m lead, I usually write all through the weekend either in my study or at Starbucks with my iPod. It makes deadlines extremely hard and I rarely get enough sleep but if the story is good, that’s all that matters.

RM: Basically…ditto J. Like Gayle, I have a regular job and a family. I do the majority of my writing at night after the hubby and kids have gone to sleep and do a lot on the weekends. If I was in a position to write full-time, I’d be in heaven.

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

GD: I absolutely love Liv Tyler. I would never compare my looks to her but for some reason, whenever anyone asks me this question, she always pops into my mind.

RM: I have to admit, I have absolutely no idea.

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

GD: That I am a reader first. And as a reader, I want a good story. Yeah, the sex scenes are always fun to read and my husband definitely benefits from them (thank you Lora Leigh and Maya Banks) but honestly, for me, the story has to be able to stand on its own….even without the sex. The sex scenes represent really good, cream cheese icing on top. I want our readers to know that the “story” or the “cake” is important to us and if we stray from that, we need to start over.

RM: Absolutely, positively, unequivocally…ditto! This is one of the reasons Gayle and I are such good writing partners. We’re both resolute on this point, the “story” is key.

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?

GD: I don’t want to retire. I want to die with my laptop and a thesaurus.

RM: I’m just now realizing my dream by being published and doing what I love so retirement is not even a thought.

What are you currently reading?

GD: Just finished up the Lori Foster Men of Honor series (loved it!) and now I’m yearning for some alpha men. I will probably re-read the Lora Leigh Nauti series and will start Game of Thrones after that.

RM: Nothing right now, too busy writing!

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

GD: I want to thank all of the readers that have done reviews for us on the various websites and blogs. We were honored at some of the compliments and overall ratings given to the book. As it was our first manuscript, to have that type of response was extremely motivating!

RM: I also want to thank everyone who has supported us this throughout this journey. I would like to remind everyone to believe in your passions and follow your dreams and just like Gayle and I did, if you do that you can turn those dreams into reality.

Ladies, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Where yiu can find Gayle and Robyn

Giveaway: e-copy of Infinite Betrayal.   If you would like to be entered to win a copy of Infinite Betrayal, please comment here regarding the interview or you can ask us another question that maybe we didn’t comment on. We will pick a winner at random to win a copy of Infinite Betrayal.  Don't forget to leave your email.  Contest will end August 31st.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Q&A With Author Daisy Goodwin and Giveaways

Author Bio

DAISY GOODWIN, a Harkness scholar who attended Columbia University’s film school after earning a degree in history at Cambridge University, is a leading television producer in the U.K. Her poetry anthologies, including 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, have introduced many new readers to the pleasures of poetry, and she was Chair of the judging panel of the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. She and her husband, an ABC TV executive, have two daughters and live in London. The American Heiress is her first novel.

Where you can find Daisy:

Daisy's Website
Daisy on Twitter: 
Daisy on Facebook

Book Description

It is 1893, in Newport, Rhode Island, and no detail of Cora Cash’s lavish masquerade ball has been left to chance. Beautiful, spirited, and the richest heiress of her generation, Cora is the closest thing that American society has to a princess. Her debut is the carefully orchestrated prelude to a campaign in which her mother will whisk her to Europe, where Mrs. Cash wants to acquire the one thing that money can’t buy for her daughter in the States: a title.

Be careful what you wish for. Cora makes a dazzling impression on English society—followed by a brilliant match—but finds that the chill in the air of magnificent ancestral homes comes from more than the lack of central heating. As she gradually learns that old-world aristocrats are governed by obscure codes of conduct and loyalty that can betray even the most charming, accomplished outsider, Cora must grow from a spoiled young rich girl into a woman of substance.

Daisy, I would like to congratulate on your latest release. Is there a behind the book story?

I had always wanted to write a novel but didn’t know where to start. Then one day I visited Blenheim Palace and I saw the wonderful Sargent portrait of Consuelo Vanderbilt and I suddenly had an idea for a story about a Dollar Princess.

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

I tried to plot the The American Heiress in advance but my characters just took over. It is a completely novel to the story outline I originally wrote, and a better one I hope.

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

I am a television producer by day so I have always written scripts etc. But I only started writing fiction three years ago, and found that it cam much easier than I thought. The most exciting moment for me was when my American editor called me to say that she loved the book, ‘it’s like Henry James without the boring bits!’ She then told me she wanted me to change the end ( that wasn’t so great but she was right).

What are you currently working on?

It’s another historical novel set in England and Austria about Elizabeth, the last Empress of Austria and a certain Captain Middleton. It is based on a true story. I am also thinking of writing a sequel to The American Heiress

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

Well Cora is very close to my heart. She is spoiled and shallow at the beginning of the book but as the book progresses she matures as a person. And , of course, the Duke is the sort of man who used to drive me mad when I was younger. I have a soft spot too for Bertha, Cora’s maid. I think she is the moral compass of the story.

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

The best thing is sitting down to write and seeing what come out of my head, the hardest thing is finding the time to sit down and write.

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

I have a full time job running a tv production company. So my day starts getting my kids to school and then going to the office. If I am lucky I will write a bit when I come home, but otherwise it is weekends and holidays. The best time for me to write is after office hours so I am not constantly checking my emails, and the best place for me to write is somewhere with no internet connection.

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

Julia Roberts or maybe Rose Byrne. They are both gorgeous but they have a sense of humour.

what is something you definitely want readers to know about you

I love history. So getting the context of my books right is very important 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?

That my books gave them pleasure. There is nothing better than reading a book you don’t want to end.

What are you currently reading?

Gillespie and I by jane Harris

Favorite song?

Witchcraft sung by Frank sinatra

Favorite color?


Daisy, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

There will be two contests and all you have to do is comment here, leave your email and follow Daisy on Facebook.

Canadian Residents Only:  To win a copy of the book, follow author on Facebook, leave your email address.

International Contest:  A $10 Amazon gift offered by Romance Author Buzz; leave your email address.

Winners will be announced August 31st.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Meet Historical Author Cathy Maxwell - Scandal and Sedution Part One Giveaway

Meet Cathy Maxwell:

I hail from: I was raised in Olathe, KS. I am a Kansan by nature–stubborn, loyal, independent. I now consider Virginia my home and think I have adapted well to the Southern way of life (although I’ll never be a good cook!)

 My family: Children, two dogs, a cat, and two horses. They keep me busy, busy, busy.

My favorite quote: From Debbie Macomber, “Attitude is the key . . . each one of us is as successful as we make up our minds to be.”

My most embarrassing moment: I have many. I’m gullible. If you have a good practical joke, I’m the one to play it on.
A Seduction at Christmas

She never expected it would come to this

Desperation and an empty stomach forced Fiona Lachlan to agree to a plan that ended up luring the wickedly notorious Duke of Holburn into trouble. Everything went terribly wrong, and now she has found herself posing as his ward! And while she swore nothing could make her desire a scoundrel, even if he was a duke, she is now drawing ever closer to the one man she cannot have . . .
"Beware of innocence!"

The Duke of Holburn had spent years heeding this warning, and in doing so, managed to avoid the virginal young ladies who had been put in his path. But now his wild ways have gotten him into real danger. There are killers at the door and a temptingly beautiful woman in his arms. He is about to find himself seduced . . . and he isn't quite sure he wants to resist this time.

The Earl Claims His Wife

She'll be his perfect wife . . .

Preoccupied with fighting Napoleon and making love to his mistress, Brian Ranson has ignored his wife since their wedding. But now that he's become the Earl of Wright, he's ready to fetch his bride back to London. He's shocked to find she's become a bold, beautiful woman, exactly the kind he lusts after . . . and she wants nothing to do with him.

Gillian, Lady Wright, is desperate to seize the love she's been denied . . . but not with her rakish husband! So she makes a bargain—for thirty days she'll be the perfect wife, then he'll set her free. But no matter how she hardens her heart against her damnable earl, her body begs her to surrender

The Marriage Ring

The woman who will one day wear Richard Lynsted's ring will be genteel, dainty, and well-bred.

This eliminates Grace MacEachin on all three counts. A hellion of the first order, the alluring, infuriating woman would be nothing more than a passing temptation to an upstanding gentleman like Richard—if it weren't for the fact that she's trying to blackmail his father!

Or, as Grace sees it, trying to get justice—and maybe just the slightest hint of revenge on the family that tore her life asunder when she was just a girl. And as for Lynsted, well, the stuffy, humorless man wouldn't suffer for time spent in company more exciting than that of his company ledgers. Only when Richard gets Grace alone, she discovers he may know a thing or two about excitement after all . . .

His Christmas Pleasure

Anything can happen at Christmas!

When her father threatens to marry Abigail Montross off to a man twice her age (and with thirteen children!), she decides to elope instead with the irresistibly handsome BarĂ³n de Vasconia. She knows all about his notorious reputation. He is the most seductive man in all of London, but he's vowed to protect her, so she allows herself to be tempted into his bed, promising to guard her heart at all costs.

Andres believes he's entered into nothing more than a marriage of convenience with a charming and very wealthy young woman. But the days—and nights—Abigail spends in his arms soon reform this rogue. He'll do anything to gain her love—until they each discover the truth about the other and old wounds are revealed.

It's the season of miracles and passion—when love not only awakens the senses but delivers the greatest gift of all . . .

This contest is for US and Canadian Residents only.  For a chance to win one of the above books, comment, follow this blog or follow Cathy at Facebook.  Please leave your email address.  This contest ends August 28th.

Check back here for Part Two for a chance to win a copy of The Seduction of Scandal
Cathy Maxwell, whose New York Times bestsellers include Bedding the Heiress and In the Bed of a Duke, returns—for the last time—to the people and places of her Scandal and Seduction series with THE SEDUCTION OF SCANDAL, on sale Tuesday, August 30th. Come back to this website on August 30th for a chance to win The Seduction of Scandal.


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