MEET THE AUTHOR


Today it is my pleasure to introduce my good friend and critique partner, Anna Markland.

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Anna has a keen interest in genealogy and writes medieval romance about family honour, ancestry, and roots. Her novels are intimate love stories full of passion and adventure.

Anna has agreed to share a little about herself with us today:

What do you write?

I write medieval romance.

What genre do you favor?

I love to read medieval romance, or any good historical romance for that matter. I studied history in grammar school in England and it has been in my blood ever since.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

It was a gradual thing, but the decision to write full time was made in May 2011.

Are you published?

Yes.

Where can you be found on social media?

Website or blog: http://www.annamarkland.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Markland-Novels/343342275682430?ref=hl

Twitter: https://Twitter.com/AnnaMarkland

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/annamarkland1/

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

For myself, I enjoy the freedom and control of being independently published.

Do your characters talk to you?

Definitely. I even dream about them. That’s when they reveal the details of their stories.

How do you approach starting a new book?

Since my stories revolve around one family and its offshoot branches, there is usually one character in the family who “speaks” to me, insisting it’s their turn.

 What is your writing process?

I aim for a minimum of 1000 words a day. Sometimes I write a lot more. When I first sit down at the keyboard, I read over just the last chapter from the day before and make a few edits, then off I go.

What was your best date ever?

Without a doubt the first date with my current husband. He suggested a drive in the country one lovely Sunday afternoon. I gussied myself up in a cute little dress and my best white shoes. He arrived looking handsome in a light blue summer suit. After a while he pulled into the driveway of a local farm and suggested we get some corn. He handed me a dozen plastic bags. We walked out into the fields. He took off his jacket, handed it to me, and disappeared into the jungle of cornstalks. Trying to keep my shoes from sinking in the rich red earth, I wondered where he’d gone. A minute later, cobs of corn were flying out of nowhere and I was running back and forth to retrieve his “harvest.” I realized then that life with this man would never be dull!

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Neither appeals. Give me a warrior knight of old any day.

Chocolate or chips?

I love chocolate, but it doesn’t agree with me. So chips. Multigrain Scoops.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Definitely restaurant. Doesn’t have to be fancy, so long as the food is great.

Beer or wine?

Wine. My basic criterion is it must be red.

Favorite author?

I don’t really have one favourite. If I read an author’s book more than once, it’s a rarity. To name some of them: Virginia Henley, Anne Stuart, Evangeline Anderson, Courtney Milan, Carrie Lofty.

Smooth or hairy?

I assume you’re asking about men? I don’t like hairy men, but I like a dusting of hair on a man’s chest.

It’s hard to choose a cover from Anna’s books I like most, but when I first set eyes on The Rover Bold, ooh, la, la

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Excerpt from The Rover Bold, my latest release.

Terror rendered Cathryn incapable of movement. She swayed, certain her heart had stopped beating. It surely would when the massive barbarian plunged his knife into her breast. One glimpse of long hair, silvery blonde in the moonlight, a full beard and animal skin clothing had been enough to tell her this was no wandering peasant intent on mischief.

She had never been touched by a man. His hand was warm on her face, and it seemed he was being careful not to hurt her. At least he hadn’t broken her neck. His hands were big enough to snap her like a twig. She decided in an instant biting him wasn’t a good idea.

The dizzying smell of male sweat filled her nostrils, but it wasn’t the acrid stink that clung to Sprig. The heat from the arm gripping her body penetrated the thick wool of her habit.

His voice was deep, but gentle. He was rocking her, which was good because her knees had buckled. Fear must have stolen her wits. How else to explain that she felt strangely safe, held firm against a male body as unyielding as a wall?

He eased her away and looked into her eyes. “No harm,” he rasped.

She had lost her wits. Something in the depths of his brown eyes held her. She quickly nodded her understanding, trusting him.

He removed his hand from her mouth and they stared at each other for what seemed like long minutes.

His frown betrayed his uncertainty as to what to do with her. An urge to beg him to take her away bubbled up in her throat. She never wanted to be parted from the security of his strong arms.

But this man was a Viking—the hair, the clothing, the foreign tongue, the sheer size of him confirmed it. Women taken by Vikings became slaves.

Better a slave to this man than to Mother Bruna.

She shivered when he let go, swaying on unsteady legs until he put his hands on her waist and touched his lips to hers. The softness of his beard surprised her.

She should have been outraged, should have protested, pushed him away, called on her patron saint. But along with the alarmingly wonderful sensations coursing through her body, and a desire to have him breathe his salty breath into her, Kaia’s boast beat a tattoo in her thoughts.

Love at first sight, love at first sight.

He broke them apart, a strange look on his face, as if he too struggled to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves. He tapped his chest. “Bryk,” he rasped.

Her breath caught in her dry throat but she managed to squeeze out, “Cathryn.”

He smiled, sending tiny winged creatures fluttering in her lower belly.

“Cath-ryn,” he repeated hoarsely.

On his lips her name was a song.

But then he put a hand on her back and pushed her gently in the direction of the abbey.

He’s letting me go. I can warn the others.

She gripped his arm, unable to speak.

Don’t let me go.

But he pushed her again, gesturing towards the wall. “Go,” he urged, untying his horse.

She staggered away from him, crying for no good reason. Nearing the wall, she turned for one last glimpse, but he’d already disappeared, swallowed up by the night.

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00MYI3E36

Kind of makes you wish you were alive back then, doesn’t it? 🙂

Anna would love to hear from you.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE FORMIDABLE


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Today marks the one week anniversary of the release of my first ever book, Tidal Falls.

THE GOOD:

When I began this journey I did it just to see if I could. It was a childhood dream to one day write a book, sell it to Harlequin, <g> and see my name up in lights.

Two out of three ain’t bad. 🙂

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Along the way I’ve met some amazingly kind and generous people, willing to help the new kid on the block figure out the ropes. I can’t tell you how grateful I am, without them I would have stumbled a lot more than I did.

THE BAD:

I wish I would have done more research into Amazon’s algorithms. Before you publish make sure you find out all you can about subject choice and keywords. They’re crucial to your books success.

Amazon has an informational page on this, which I used for my list. However, when I actually started the process and was asked to choose my subjects, virtually none of my choices were available. So I chose the obvious.

Bad move. This puts the book into the broadest categories, which means you virtually disappear into the woodwork.

Thanks to some great advice from a new writer friend, I was able to go back in, change my subjects, and achieve some visibility.

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Make sure you have a social media presence. Yes, this takes time and effort, but in the end it’s invaluable. Everything I’ve read suggests 80% social and 20% selling is the best formula, and I’d have to agree. No one likes something shoved in their faces. So if that’s your only goal for joining Facebook or Twitter, don’t bother. For myself, I like the connections I’ve made with people in the industry. New friends I would probably never met otherwise. I like the sharing of jokes to lighten the day, and the support shown when someone is going through a rough patch. Everyone needs friends, 🙂

THE FORMIDABLE:

Everyone who reads this blog knows I’m a starch defender of Amazon. I love what they’ve done for the consumer, and for the book industry in general. Coming from a small town, without them, and Harlequin’s reader subscription service, I would have missed out on untold amounts of reading pleasure.

Sure we have a library, but for me, I like to take my time with my books, savour them. I love having the world’s largest bookstore at my fingertips. Heaven.

But from a writer’s standpoint, I’ve run into a few issues that I’d like to share.

First off, I found out to my surprise each of Amazon’s global networks work independent of the other. I know, I know, I should have expected this, I just never realised the ramifications.

When publishing you’re encouraged to set up an Author page on Amazon. Okay, make’s sense. Thanks to an easy tutorial, I managed without too many difficulties, though setting up an RSS feed for my blog was a stumbling block for a while. For anyone who doesn’t know, just add feed to the end of your URL. Ex: jbiggarblog.com/feed/

The second stumbling block came when I learned I needed to do this in the other hosting countries as well. Once wasn’t enough. So for France, and Germany I had to stumble through with no idea if I was doing it right or not.

Lastly, and for me most importantly, they don’t even have an author page in Canada. This is my home, where I wish to shine, and I’m instead having the most issues.

Createspace, who did a beautiful job of producing my paperback, 🙂 doesn’t distribute to Canada. This means anyone wishing to purchase a copy of my paperback must order it through Amazon.com and have it delivered to Canada. You can see the problem with this scenario, shipping.

The funny thing about it is, the paperback is available in every other country. The U.K, France, Germany, Australia.

Just not Canada. What’s up with that?

If anyone has some advice on this matter, we’d love to hear from you.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Today I’d like to introduce you to Sylvie Grayson.

Sylvie was born in British Columbia, Canada and has lived most of her life in that province. She spent a one year sojourn in Tokyo, Japan.

She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and many other professions. She found her niche at university and completed degrees in Sociology and Law. Now she works part time as the owner of a small company, and writes when she can.

Sylvie’s new book, Suspended Animation, is available now on Amazon.com.

Be careful what you go after…

Katy Dalton worked hard to finish college, holding down two jobs, and she saved money. Then she gave the money to her friend when he convinced her to invest it with a local business. But her job disappeared and she needs her money back fast, the money her friend Bruno has already loaned to Rome Trucking.

Now Katy insists he return her money, but Bruno stops answering his phone and bad things start to happen.

Brett Rome has a career in hockey and the last thing he wants to do is leave a promising opportunity as coach to return home and run his father’s trucking company. But Paddy is sick, can’t handle the day-to-day business, and Brett has to come home.

What he discovers is not the picture of a successful business that he remembers, but one that is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. To add to the chaos, a young woman walks in demanding her money, the money his father borrowed from her.

Brett hires her. Then bad things start to happen.

Can Brett put this broken picture back together, and is Katy part of the problem or the solution?

A thrilling roller coaster of a story…

Sylvie Grayson has found her niche, you’ll love this book…

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Sylvie can be found at:

Sylvie Grayson

Facebook

Sylvie is kindly sharing an excerpt with us today:

Brett Rome stood in the dressing room of the Victoria hockey team and pulled the jersey over his head. He sat down to lace his skates as the coach gave them the talk. He listened carefully. This was a new team, the guys had only been playing together for a couple of years. And he was the newest member.

He hadn’t expected to play hockey here. He’d come to town because his father was ill. He thought he’d be in Victoria for a few weeks, do what he could to help out till Paddy got back on his feet. Two months later, angry and frustrated, Brett felt tied to this place and to his father’s company, Rome Trucking.

Tonight he was determined to get out on the ice and show some substance. Excited as always before a game, he was wired, tight and ready to play. Glancing at his friend beside him, they exchanged a grin. The fact that Jerome had been taken on to the team just made it that much better.

They filed down the tunnel and out onto the ice. The crowd looked big and they were loud, the stands full. The shouting started the minute they emerged from the dressing room and escalated with bullhorns, clappers and screaming enough to deafen them. But once play started he barely heard it.

Coach sent him out in the middle of the first period when one of their defence was winded. He climbed out of the box and skated onto the ice to take his place. It felt terrific.

Here, he knew exactly what was expected of him, for the first time since his last game with the Vancouver team which seemed like eons ago. There was no guessing, no trying to figure it out on the fly, no catching up from behind. Just get into position, always move into position and be ready when the break came. Because sooner or later the break always came. What he did with it showed what kind of hockey player he was today.

The end of the hard fought second period showed them up three goals to two over Seattle. Brett trundled back into the dressing room with the rest of the players and sat on a bench, breathing heavily, wiping sweat and listening to the pep talk.

Now Coach focussed on maintaining the lead. “Be protective,” he said. “Be proactive. Don’t let the other guys in for another goal and do your best to score once more, because a lead of two is so much better than a lead of one.” A burst of laughter erupted among the players.

“It’s early in the season, fellas, but we don’t want to give anything away. Hang onto your lead, that’s what I want you to do.”

In the third period play was faster. Seattle poured on the coals trying to tie up the game. Brett seemed to be in line to take most of the blows from one of their power forwards. When he stepped out onto the ice again, the enforcer came straight for him. Brett saw him come in low and to his side and realized he was about to get laced straight into his injured knee. He stopped short and managed to deke out of the way, going down in a controlled slide and holding his stick steady as the Seattle player’s skates came closer. He took a header straight into the boards but brought his opponent down with him. Before he could get up, the enforcer attacked.

Suddenly Brett was swamped with an overwhelming tidal wave of anger. Scrambling madly to his feet, he threw his full force into the fight. His helmet was gone, fists and bodies were flying as his team mates dove into the action. He launched himself at his opponent, the jersey clutched in a death grip, his other fist pounding.

The first hit landed to the side of his face and instantly he felt a wild rage wash over him out of all proportion to the fight he was in. That wave nearly felled him, almost knocked him to his knees. He staggered back to his feet before it swallowed him whole.

He hit back and then again, his arms and fists lashing out wildly, pumping like pistons. The feelings swelled and boiled. His girlfriend Marilyn had finished off their two-year relationship by simply bringing her new lover into their bedroom. It had knocked him flat on his face with humiliation. He seethed with resentment, he roiled with fury, he exploded with vicious power.

Wildly he hit out again, one fist then the other and exulted when one struck home with a jarring blow that he felt all the way to his shoulder.

That was for Paddy. His father had suckered him into running his company when Brett had other plans. He was running the crew and the trucks with no authority, just a lackey to pull the old man out of a tight spot. Paddy hadn’t bothered to explain why the company was operating in the red, apparently ignoring it in the hope that Brett would deal with it.

He took one to the mouth and his head snapped back. His mouth guard popped out and went flying. Roaring like an elephant, he charged back into the fray, dealing another blow that knocked his opponent reeling backward.

That was for Dancy. Paddy’s girlfriend had treated him like a piece of meat, a man without morals in his own father’s house, a man with no self-respect.

He pounded, he bellowed, something tore loose inside him and rattled around roaring to be set free, demanding to take on the whole team, needing to prove himself worthy.

Hands hauled on his uniform but the adrenaline surged. Someone grabbed his left arm and his right lashed out, until he was caught round the neck from behind. By the time it was over he was flat on his face on the ice with a referee and two of his own team members on top of him.

The ref ordered him off the ice, suspended for the rest of the game. He slogged back to the change room to shower. But not before Coach sent the medic in. He was swabbed with alcohol, stitched up here and there, then ice packs applied. By the time he was out of his uniform the adrenaline rush was over and he was shaking. Grateful to be showered and changed, he fumbled to button his shirt with unsteady fingers as the rest of the team filed in.

They’d won the game, hanging onto their one goal lead. As the noise level rose to a dull roar in the dressing room, Jerome leaned down to speak urgently in his ear. “What the hell, Brett. That isn’t your usual game.”

Brett gritted his teeth.

Then Coach sat down beside him and gave him a tight look. “So, what happened out there?”

“Uh, it was stupid.” He took a deep breath, rubbing a shaky hand down his still sweating face. “I just saw him coming and knew that he was going to hurt my bad knee. I overreacted.”

Coach nodded abruptly. “Come and see me tomorrow, call me in the morning.”

“Okay, Coach.” Some of the team eyed him guardedly as they changed but most grinned and gave him the thumbs up. He waited for Jerome and they went off with a couple of the other players to unwind over a beer.

But Brett didn’t stay long. He could feel the rage still sloshing in his gut, weaving back and forth like a sea dragon seeking to escape. It made him queasy. He was back at his father’s house by midnight, uncertain how he felt, uncertain if he could even sleep.

Ten minutes later he was out like a light. But not before he’d locked his bedroom door against Dancy.

~~~

Katherine Dalton perched on the spindly chair at her little desk under the narrow bedroom window. Organizing papers into piles, she reviewed her conclusion, the only conclusion possible. She was broke.

The bank statement was a litany of her life – rent, utilities, her car loan payment. Her credit card showed the cost of a month’s worth of gas, groceries, a pair of shoes she’d bought. And the statement from the Student Loans office detailed the amount her student loan payment was and when it would begin. That day was today.

Katy still had her part-time job in a downtown restaurant on weekends. She’d worked there since the beginning of college. In the summer she’d also been a lifeguard at one of the public pools, but this year a new head lifeguard had taken over and set a deadline for applications. Katy hadn’t known anything about it. So when she went in to find out what day she’d start work, she’d been blindsided by the fact that she hadn’t been hired. Someone else had her job.

This whole thing was dumb. She shouldn’t be in this position. A few months ago she hadn’t even been worried because she’d actually saved money.

She critically surveyed her room. She used to think of it as the broom closet. Her rent was less than her roommates because her room was so much tinier, which suited her just fine.

Eating at the restaurant where she worked on weekends helped her save money, as well. No, it wasn’t that she spent too carelessly. It was that she’d lost her savings.

Her hands shook as she shuffled the papers again. Damn Bruno. He’d been around, phoning, dropping by. He’d taken her on dates, a dinner or a movie. And he’d sounded so knowledgeable, so confident when he talked about investing her money. He thought she should get a return on her investment rather than leave it sitting in the bank, and he knew the best place to put it. He described a company called Rome Trucking with their big jobs and brand new trucks, and she’d been convinced to put her money in with his.

Now she couldn’t even get him to answer his phone.

Katy grabbed her laptop from the desk. She knew Bruno’s cell number, and she had an address for his business from the document he’d gotten her to sign. But a search of the internet showed a bakery at that address. More alarmed than ever, she realized she’d gone into this with her eyes tightly closed.

But she did know where to find Rome Trucking.

The next afternoon as she left another hopeless job interview feeling particularly dejected, she made up her mind. She’d go and see Mr. Rome. If he was the businessman that Bruno portrayed him to be, he’d know not only how to reach Bruno Morelli, but also where her sixteen thousand dollars was. At least if she told him the story, he’d have the opportunity to make it right. It was her last hope but she felt confident it would work.

She laid out her best suit. The skirt stopped just short of the knee and paired with a pale pink shell that seemed to glow under the navy jacket, it was a feminine yet businesslike outfit.

Her portfolio contained a clean copy of her resume and diploma as well as reference letters from previous employment. The change at the bottom of her tip jar would cover the gas.

~~~

Next morning Katy drove cautiously through huge metal gates hung on heavy iron hinges, a large ‘Rome Trucking’ sign wired into the right hand gate. Dusty gravel spread across the wide yard where several buildings dotted the barren landscape. Tall weeds sprouted in clumps along the fence line. An old grey stucco-clad bungalow stood to one side on what appeared to be its original foundation with eight or ten pickups parked in a staggered line near the door.

It was surprising how many vehicles were on site already. Katy checked her watch. They must start work early. Carefully parking a safe distance from the last truck, she unsnapped the seatbelt, gathered her folder and purse and stepped gingerly out onto the gravel yard. All she had to do was explain why she was there, tell Mr. Rome that the money Bruno had invested with him was partly hers, and everything would be fine.

Drawing a deep breath, she straightened her shoulders and glanced around. Bruno had talked about this marshalling yard, how enormous it was, how dusty and busy, how vital, what a great investment it would be.

It must have once been three or four city lots. Several older dump trucks were parked farther back against the fence on the other side, their behemoth shapes hulking, casting low early morning shadows across the ground. A steel-clad workshop ranged at the back of the property and the sound of hammer ringing on metal rose from its dim interior.

Katy glanced toward the house where the front door stood open to the crisp morning air, a lone fir tree, ancient and gnarled, leaning protectively over it. That must be the office. Standing straighter she took a firm grip on her folder, mentally braced herself and started forward. This shouldn’t be too difficult. She could ask for her money back, the money Bruno had loaned them.

As she climbed the wooden steps, standing out sharply new against the exterior of the old chipped and faded stucco, she heard strident masculine voices from within. She paused, her hand clutching the banister tightly as the shouting escalated in volume.

Goodness, maybe this was bad timing on her part. Should she have phoned first, made an appointment with the owner? She hovered uncertainly, one foot on the top step, her fingers seizing the hand rail in a nervous grip.

But Bruno had assured her it was a very informal place. People dropped in to talk to the owner, no one made an appointment. Surely it would be the same for her.

She moved cautiously forward across the wooden landing and peered around the cracked door frame. Gazing straight into what must have been the living room of a modest family home, the remains of a timeworn kitchen stood against one wall, the old fashioned cupboards still clinging to the walls. Dated furniture marked off that end of the large room.

The rest of the space held a couple of desks, one with a curious set of speakers on it, the other with a mishmash of papers strewn across its surface. And beyond that, a door led into what was obviously a separate office. Two figures stood in the doorway to the inner room.

That must be Mr. Rome. He was a shorter man dressed in khaki pants and shirt neatly tucked in, heavy shouldered and thick with muscle, maybe in his late fifties. He looked business-like in a rough sort of way, standing squarely in his bulky steel-toed boots. His head was thrust forward, salt and pepper hair clipped short and brushed straight back from his strong featured face.

He was speaking to a taller man in the doorway who had his back to Katy. Rome held a stub of cigar in his hand, and as he spoke he jabbed it forward for emphasis.

“We’re going to keep calm,” he said in a gravel voice. “This will work out, these things always do.” He gazed keen-eyed up at his companion. “You have to hold onto your temper or we won’t be able to pull it together. You know that.”

The second man stood even straighter if possible, his shoulders blocking the interior of the room from Katy’s gaze, his head nearly grazing the top of the door frame. He was dressed in a black tee shirt, ripped at the neck, and sagging cargo shorts. His feet were thrust into a pair of heavy leather boots, scuffed and marked, the laces dragging on the floor.

His head jerked back as if he’d been slapped and his voice started at a growl, rising steadily. “I’m going to kill him! Broke his leg, you say? I’ll break his other fucking leg. I told him, I told them all!”

Just then, Mr. Rome caught sight of Katy and turned his head toward her with a look of surprise. “What can I do for you?” His manner was deceptively mild given the tone of the conversation she’d just heard. Katy was amazed. She wouldn’t have thought he’d let one of his employees talk to him like that.

“I don’t mean to interrupt, Mr. Rome”, she said. “I’ve come to see you about a matter of business, but I can wait until you’re free”. She cast a disparaging look at his companion’s back and folded her arms to indicate she was willing to be patient.

Mr. Rome regarded her for a moment, a slight smile marking his face. “Mr. Rome?” he asked. He gestured with his cold cigar, pointing at the younger man. “This is Mr. Rome.”

The second man turned impatiently to stare at her. His face was heavily flushed, jaw tight and muscles bulged in his neck. His arms flexed as he braced his hands low on his hips and glared in her direction.

Glared with his good eye, that is. The other eye was black with a gash above it running up across his eyebrow, stitches crawling along it like a caterpillar, the plastic ends bristling. The eye itself was blood red and badly bruised. His mouth was swollen on one side, the lip split.

Katy stared. Her mouth fell open and she took an involuntary horrified step backward, steadying herself against the battered metal desk behind her. This was Mr. Rome? This was the man Bruno the rainmaker, Bruno the deal arranger had loaned all her money to?

The book sounds intriguing, Sylvie, wouldn’t you all agree? Sylvie would love to answer any questions you may have so let’s give her a warm welcome, 🙂 And again, Suspended Animation is available on Amazon.com.

CONTEST WINNERS!!


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Today’s the big day!!

Congratulations to the following winners who followed and commented from my August 2014 blog, AMAZON DOES IT AGAIN:

3rd Prize: a gift certificate of ten dollars from Amazon, and a free e-copy of my book, Tidal Falls – Dani

2nd prize– a gift certificate of twenty-five dollars from your choice of Starbucks, or Tim Horton’s,an autographed bookmark, and a free e-copy of my book, Tidal Falls – Irene Allison

And the grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite and and an e-copy of my book, Tidal Falls – Stacy Van Beek

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Winners have forty-eight hours to get in touch with me through the comment section of this blog.Thank you for participating in my first ever contest. Sign up to my newsletter at the top of the page for fun contests, recipes, excerpts, and much more in the coming months.

And we'd all be the better for it.

RELEASE DAY NEWS


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It’s here!

Release Day for my first book, Tidal Falls.

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It seemed as if the day would never come, and then it came too fast, 🙂

Some tips I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Listen to advice, but in the end trust your instincts.
  2. In my opinion it’s crucial to spend the money on a professionally done cover, and if you’re not tech savvy (hand waves in the air), it’s a good idea to pay someone to format for you, at least the first time out. I used Killion Group, and plan to return. The service is excellent, and the work is quality all the way.
  3. Join as many critique groups as you can handle, their insights are invaluable.
  4. Make friends, no really. The romance community is far-reaching, it can only help you down the line.
  5. Learn Social Media. You absolutely need this in order to succeed in todays market.
  6. Don’t forget the reason you began this journey, you love romance.
  7. Don’t give up on your dreams, only you can put a limit your capabilities.

The contest for a Kindle Paperwhite runs until midnight pacific time, check my previous blog on Amazon Does it Again for your chance to win. Announcements will be made tomorrow, Sept 16, 2014 so check you e-mail to see if you’re the lucky winner. 🙂

My Goodreads contest for a paperback copy of Tidal Falls, runs until September 22, 2014.

There’s another great contest running on Romance Books ‘4’ Us right now in celebration of Fall. Enter for a chance at an e-copy version of Tidal Falls, and many other prizes. While there check out all the lovely author pages, mine’s on the right hand side, 🙂

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Okay, that’s it for now, good luck to everyone, and see you tomorrow.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Today I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Jacqui Nelson. Jacqui shares her passion of the old west and Victorian London through her wonderful stories. She writes beautiful descriptive passages that guides the reader deep into the heart of her books.

Her new release, Between Heaven and Hell, is set on the Oregon trail.

 

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Excerpt by Jacqui Nelson:

On a trail full of danger, will he guide her to heaven or hell?

 

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – 1850

 

Paden Callahan lifted his gaze skyward. High above him, the pale blue arc didn’t even come close to rivaling the eyes of the woman standing beside him. How on earth had she made that shot? He knew only a handful of men capable of the feat she’d accomplished. Most of them were seasoned Rangers. Men from a life he’d left far behind.

 

He shook his head. A woman couldn’t be a scout. The job was chockfull of hazards. But the competition had been dangerous as well. Why had he allowed her to stand off against a brute like Dawson? Why had he behaved so impulsively?

 

Dawson looked none too pleased either. He clutched his rifle against his chest in a white-knuckled grip. “If you hire her instead of me, you’ll be sorry.” The scout’s voice was as close to a hiss as any Paden had heard. The man wasn’t going to leave quietly.

 

Paden suppressed a growl of impatience. He hadn’t shot anyone in years and meant to keep it that way. He strove for an even tone. “I’ve got a whole saddle bag full of sorrys. Adding another won’t make much difference.”

 

Dawson lowered his spent rifle until it hung by his side. His free hand twitched, inching toward the loaded pistol strapped to his hip.

 

Paden drew his revolver, cocking it on the upswing and leveling it at Dawson. The feminine gasp close beside him made him freeze. He suppressed the urge to tell her he wasn’t a killer. Why lie? He’d pulled the trigger in the past, and Dawson needed to believe he’d do it again. “Keep the supplies we advanced you. That’s more generous than I have to be. But this is the last time I’ll tell you—leave.”

 

Dawson slunk off with his two cronies dogging his heels. Paden released the hammer and shoved his revolver back into its holster. Then he spun to face the woman.

 

This time she didn’t retreat, but every bone in her slender body leaned away from him. He shouldn’t have reached for her earlier when she swayed on her feet. Being almost grabbed by a lout like himself had only added to the storm of emotions he sensed in her: caution warred with curiosity…and something more.

Available on Amazon.com

 

Jacqui’s novella, Adella’s Enemy, was inspired by the popular T.V. series, Hell on Wheels.

 

JacquiNelson_AdellasEnemy_800

Available on Amazon.com

 

And her upcoming book, Between Love and Lies, set in Dodge City, will be available this fall, 2014.

 

JacquiNelson_BetweenLoveandLies_800px

 

Now let’s get to know a little about the author, 🙂

What do you write?
Historical romantic adventures

What genre do you favor?
Historical stories with lots of action and grit.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first thought about writing in my early twenties, but then I got distracted by other careers (computer programming and then animation). It was only seven years ago that I came back to the dream of writing.

Are you published?
“Between Heaven & Hell” – my Oregon Trail story that won the 2010 Golden Heart for historical romance (published June 2014)
e-book: http://bit.ly/BHHkdp
print: http://bit.ly/BHHcsp

“Adella’s Enemy” – a standalone novella and also part of the “Passion’s Prize” anthology, inspired by the AMC TV series “Hell on Wheels” (published August 2013)
e-book: http://bit.ly/AdellasEnemyKDPS
print: http://bit.ly/AdellasEnemyCS

And coming this fall…
“Between Love & Lies” – my Dodge City novel set during the heyday of the cattle drives, a 2013 Golden Heart finalist for historical romance

Where can you be found on social media?
Website or blog: http://www.JacquiNelson.com
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/JacquiNelsonBooks
http://www.facebook.com/JacquiNelsonAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jacqui_Nelson
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JacquiAuthor
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/JacquiNelson

I’m also on…
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/JacquiNelson
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/jacquinelson

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?
I think it’d be interesting to be a hybrid author and have the best of both worlds (indie and traditional publishing).

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
Any genre with lots of emotion. When I read, I want to be swept away to another place and feel as if I’m part that world.

Do your characters talk to you?
I wish they’d talk to me more often.

How do you approach starting a new book?
I read history books. My set of Time-Life Old West books is one of my favorites for finding story sparks.

What is your writing process?
– Write, edit, give to critique partners, edit more, repeat, eventually reach the end, edit a lot more, put aside for a bit, read with (hopefully) fresh eyes, edit more, give to freelance editor, edit more, give to beta readers, edit more, try to read the story through in one go for continuity, edit more, read as much as I can aloud, edit more, finally admit that I could continue editing forever, release story to the world.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?
– “Goal, Motivation, Conflict” by Debra Dixon
– “The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines” by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Vidars
– “The First Five Pages” by Noah Lukeman
– “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King.

What was your best date ever?
– Who has time to date when there’s so much editing to do 🙂

Navy SEAL or cowboy?
– Cowboy…or frontier scout. Now you’ve got me thinking of Daniel Day Lewis in “The Last of the Mohicans.” He and Madeleine Stowe had seriously hot chemistry in that movie.

Chocolate or chips?
-Chips. My favorites are BBQ or Salt and Vinegar

Fancy restaurant or picnic?
– Picnic. After a meal, it’s only civilized to have the option lie down and gaze at the sky.

Beer or wine?
– Don’t make me choose! Confession: I’m drinking apple cider as I write this.

Favorite author?
– Oscar Wilde. Love his children’s stories: “The Happy Prince” and “The Selfish Giant.”

Smooth or hairy?
– Smooth

Thank you for sharing a little of yourself with us today, Jacqui. If anyone has questions or would like to just pop in and say hi, I’m sure she would be happy to chat with you. Jacqui is also currently running a fantastic contest for subscribers to her newsletter. On December 01, 2014 she will be rewarding one lucky person with the gift of a Kindle Paperwhite, perfect for Christmas.

Here is the link, Jacqui Nelson’s Newsletter.

 

MEET THE AUTHOR


RedeemingtheBillionaire_600x900     Today on Meet the Author I’d like to introduce you to Christina Ricci.

Christina’s new book, Redeeming the Billionaire, releases today and she was gracious enough to stop by and share a little about the story with us.

First let’s learn about the writer:

What do you write?

At the present time I write contemporary romance. I have two series, The Sherbrookes of Newport, which contains 5 books, and Love On The North Shore.

What genre do you favor?

When it comes to writing I favor contemporary romance although I want to try something else in the future.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

My dream to be an author started at the age of ten, but I never thought it would actually happen.

Are you published?

Yes, Redeeming The Billionaire, is my 6th published book.

Where can you be found on social media?

Website:  www.christinatetreault.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinatetreaultauthor

Twitter: @cgricci

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cgricci/

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

I do not think there is one best way. I think everyone needs figure out their goals and hopes and then go from there.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

When I am reading I go through phases. Sometime I read nothing but contemporary and than I will switch over to historical romance for a month or two before I jump to maybe paranormal. For the most part I read a variety of romance genres. I like that each one lets be escapes into a world or place in its own way.

Do your characters talk to you?

My characters do talk to me and sometimes they do so causing me to get distracted.  I have been known to miss an exit on the highway because my characters have started talking to me.

How do you approach starting a new book?

I sit down and do a rough background sketch of my two main characters. This sketch will include physical characteristics, their likes and dislikes, their family and some history about them. For example in my most recent release I knew that Addie Raimono had worked in her family bakery as a teenager before I even started to write the book.

When I start thinking about a new book I also consider what will bring them together and what will cause the waves in their relationship.

What is your writing process?

For me I first complete my rough character sketchs and then I get out a notebook and start writing. I write the entire book out longhand. I do not go back and do edits as I go along rather I get the whole story out first. If I get stuck somewhere I leave myself a note and keep going. Once the whole story is done I get it into the computer, print it out and start my revisions, adding in areas that need it and deleting areas that are not necessary. Then it is off to my critique partner.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

No one book or blog comes to mind.

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Seal

Chocolate or chips?

Chocolate

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Picnic

Beer or wine?

Wine

Favorite author?

Johanna Lindsey

Smooth or hairy?

Smooth

And now that we know a little more about Christina, lets meet her hero, Trent Sherbrooke:

Blurb:

Billionaire Trent Sherbrooke works hard and plays harder. He’s never once cared what the media or society says about him, until now.  Intent on making his way into the United States Senate, Trent hires campaign advisor Marty Phillips. A ruthless force in politics he’ll stop at nothing to get his candidate elected.

After a chance encounter throws local small business owner Addison Raimono in Trent’s path, Marty believes he’s found Trent’s ticket into Washington.

Ignoring his conscience that insists he leave Addison alone, Trent sets out to win her over. Soon what he assumed would be a relationship to salvage his reputation turns into so much more. But can a relationship started on a lie ever survive?

Excerpt 1:

Marty folded up the sleeves of his shirt. “It’s all a matter of importance. The who doesn’t matter. The wonderful opportunity it presents does. Now, I need to know everything. How did you meet her? How long have you known her? Have you slept with her yet?”

Trent pinched the bridge of his nose. Christ, couldn’t he have a cup of coffee with a woman without someone assuming he’d slept with her? “I met her just before we met last week. I bumped into her on the sidewalk and spilled coffee on her. When this picture was taken I had stopped in the bakery and when I saw her again I said hello. We talked for a few minutes before she left.”

As Marty chewed he jotted notes down on a legal pad. “That’s it? You didn’t ask her out to dinner? Get her phone number?”

Did the man think he asked out every attractive female he met? “More or less.”

Marty looked up at him. “More or less, I need to know everything. And when I say everything, I mean it.”

“I told her I wanted this office redecorated and asked if she might be interested. Shirley called and set up an appointment with her.” After giving Shirley the instructions, he hadn’t thought anymore about it.

“Excellent. When?”

“I’ll have to check my calendar.”

Marty tapped his pen against his pad several times before he spoke. “We might have to change our time table a little, but I’d like to keep to it if possible. A wedding at the end of next summer is ideal. That would give you a solid year of marriage before the actual election.”

Caution flags jumped up as he listened to Marty. The advisor’s original plan had been acceptable. A marriage to a wealthy socialite who viewed their relationship as a way to achieve her own goals was one thing. What Marty proposed now was entirely something else.

“Perhaps we should stick with what we originally discussed. Why don’t I go through these and pick a candidate.” Trent reached for the binders Marty had put together. “Then they’ll be no need to adjust our timeline.”

“You hired me because you want to win.” Marty pointed his pen at the picture of Addison. “She’s your ticket to the Senate.”

Trent’s eyes focused on the picture. What had she just said to him when the picture was taken? It must have been funny because he had a huge smile on his face. Come to think of it, he’d smiled through much of their conversation. She’d had an easygoing nature with a great sense of humor. There had been no awkward moments or long gaps of silence. Under different circumstances he wouldn’t mind getting to know her better.

“The women in here may help repair your reputation.” Marty pointed to the binders he’d put together of potential wife candidates. “This one though will win the hearts of voters.” He nodded toward the newspaper on the table. “I don’t understand the problem. She’s beautiful and well-educated.”

Marty had him there. Addison was attractive and, from all he could tell, intelligent. Even with that knowledge, a corner of his conscience prickled at the idea.

Across the table Marty popped a pickle in his mouth and chewed as he waited. “If it helps look at it this way. Her involvement with you will put her business on the fast track. The whole thing will still more or less be a business agreement.”

Trent nodded. Marty had a point. If he and Addison became romantically involved it would do more for her business than an ad during the Super Bowl.

“If you’re going to make it in politics you need to learn to do what’s right for your career, everything else comes second. Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know that few politicians make it with their conscience intact.” Marty pushed the paper closer to him. “So what’s it going to be?”

Addison’s face beamed up at him. “We’ll try it your way, but if it’s not working we will fall back to our original plan.” Sure, they’d had an enjoyable conversation over coffee but he was not prepared to wager the rest of his life on that. He picked up his untouched sandwich. “I’m assuming you made sure she’s not involved with anyone.”

The look Marty gave him said it all. “Unless she’s got a secret lover tucked in her closet, she’s single and has been for over a year.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know how things go. But in the meantime, keep working on who leaked this picture.”

Link to book trailer:

http://youtu.be/XPnAF-kn_Co

HTML Code for book trailer:

Available at iTunes for pre-order now: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/redeeming-the-billionaire/id901943859?mt=11

Available everywhere in September

Author Bio:

I started writing at the age of 10 on my grandmother’s manual typewriter and never stopped. When I am not driving my 3 daughters (ages 7, 5, and 5) around to their various activities or chasing around our two dogs, I am working on a story or reading a romance novel. I just finished Redeeming The Billionaire book 5 in the Sherbrookes of Newport series, and I have started book 2 in my new series Love On The North Shore. You can visit my website www.christinatetreault.com or follow me on Facebook to learn more about my characters and to track my progress on my current writing projects.

Author Links:

Website:  www.christinatetreault.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinatetreaultauthor

Twitter: @cgricci

It’s been great getting to know you Christina, and we wish you and Trent, <g>, the best of luck.

What do you think? Is Addison going to agree to this crazy plan or is the whole thing going to blow up in their faces? We’d love to hear from you, so don’t be shy, 🙂