Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Free Book for Everyone from Brenda Whiteside

 I’m happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Brenda Whiteside, who comes bearing gifts for all. Her book AMANDA IN THE SUMMER was released August 27 exclusively on Amazon for three months before the worldwide release in December. And the Good News?? –AMANDA IN THE SUMMER is FREE on Amazon Today. 

So after you comment, click over to Amazon and help yourself to a free read. http://tinyurl.com/mb5cwly

Thank you so much for having me, Barbara. Yes, it’s FREE. Amanda in the Summer is a warm-your-heart short read.

I already have my copy and I can’t wait to read it, Brenda. Please tell us a little about the book.
AMANDA IN THE SUMMER is a story of friendship that spans fifty-seven years and is told through letters written from three generations of Amandas to their friend Tilly. The first letter is dated August 5, 1947 and is written from Amanda to her dearest friend Tilly. Amanda’s daughter and granddaughter also write letters to Tilly over the years from the family beach house. Through these letters, we come to know Tilly and in the end a secret.

Here’s the blurb:
Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens their love.

A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations. Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins in their sorrows.

But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.

This sounds like such an intriguing idea, Brenda. What drew you to this story? 

The title came first, accidentally. A folded wedding invitation formed the words, Amanda in the Summer. It sounded so whimsical and dated. Why I chose to tell the story in letterform, I must admit I’ve totally forgotten. But I love the 1940’s and it started there.

Would you share an excerpt?

I’d love to!

August 24, 1968

Dear Tilly,

A few days of bliss with no one to talk to but the seagulls. I have you to thank for this. I’m so glad you popped back after Amanda, Robert, and Mother left. The strain I put on all of us while you were here would’ve dragged on for who knows how long if you hadn’t returned. Once again, Tilly, you read the tea leaves and righted things.

My moods have been so ragged of late. Jealousy of all things. Jealous that you could talk to my daughter, get along so lovely with her, which I’ve had difficulty doing these last few months. Jealous of your longer running friendship with Robert than with me. I’m not sure if I was jealous of him or you. You’re both mine. And angry that the two of you are uncomfortable around
each other after so many years and not making sense of that. When Robert left, I tried to give him the blue swimsuit you had left behind and asked him to drop in on you to return it. He said no, I could do it when I got back. This was so unlike him and did more to unsettle me...

Oh, this gives us a big hint of some of the pain and heartache you mentioned. It must have been touching to have created such sensitive and intimate tale of friendship. What’s your next project?

I’ve just contracted with The Wild Rose Press for the first book in a three book series I call the Love and Murder series entitled THE ART OF LOVE AND MURDER. I’m working on those edits but also finishing up the next book, SOUTHWEST OF LOVE AND MURDER.

You’re doing both at once? Can you please give some pointers? LOL. Other than that major technique, what one tip would you offer writers?

Write every day, even if it’s for fifteen minutes. It doesn’t matter if it’s on your current project, a poem or disjointed notes – just write.

Great tip, Brenda. So important to commit to the craft. Thanks so much for being here today, and best of luck with the release. I hope you’ll come back and tell us about THE ART OF LOVE AND MURDER.

Thank you, Barbara. One more plug for a free download of AMANDA IN THE SUMMER!

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com.
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about prairie life and writing at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Jodi Vaughn Debuts With Paranormal

Today I’m so happy to welcome another talented debut author Jodi Vaughn, whose book VEILED SECRETS was released Oct 1. Congratulations, Jodi. It's great that you and Jaye, who was here last week, have debuts just a few months apart. And you're friends, too. How great is that. Please tell us about your VEILED SECRETS.

Love to. Let me just give the blurb.

Fate brought them together, will destiny rip them apart?
Celeste Hart yearns for a normal life, but she has never fit in because of her dark visions. She vows to let nothing stop her from discovering what she is, good, bad or evil. But she is soon distracted from her quest when sexy Eric Nordstrom charms his way into her bed. He leaves her even more confused by her intense feelings for him and discovers their one night of passion has resulted in something that will change them forever, a child.

CEO Eric Nordstrom has no interest in romance and even less in a relationship. His company has always been his focus. But he can’t stop thinking about the elusive Celeste, who has made him feel more in one night than he has in his entire life. When he learns of the pregnancy, he convinces Celeste to marry him on the pretense of keeping the company from another scandal while trying to seduce her back into his arms.

Celeste struggles to fit into Eric’s elite world and soon discovers her visions are a result of having Fae blood. When the vengeful Queen of the Fairies sends a demon army to take her unborn child, Celeste must embrace her fairy heritage and enlist Eric’s help in her life and death fight.  Suspicious of a world he doesn’t understand yet determined to protect the woman he loves, Eric joins forces with Celeste to protect their unborn child from the evil that has invaded their home.
It sounds wonderful, Jodi. What drew you to this story?
I wanted to write a story about a girl who has to find her place in the world. She wants so desperately to fit in, yet it is her destiny to stand out. She has to learn to embrace it. This is such a common theme in reality. I just put a paranormal spin on it with my fairies!

Paranormal is very popular right now. Do you plan to do another? 

I am currently writing a biker Shifter series set in the South as well as finishing the second book, Veiled Enchantment for the Veiled Secrets trilogy.
Love the Veiled trilogy concept, but a biker Shifter series? Oh, my. That's bound to be so entertaining. I can't wait. Now would you please share one tip with other writers?

Never give up! Tenacity goes a long way to getting published!

So true. How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?

I am a character-driven writer. I come up with my characters first. After getting my story plotted (very loosely, I might add) I let my characters tell me what they’re going to do next.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I usually write at my desk. There are times when I need to change the scenery if I get stuck, so I will head out to my deck or go to Starbucks.

I know what you mean, Jodi. My go-to spot is Panera. Thanks so much for being here today. I hope you’ll come back again.

Thanks, Barbara! Thanks for having me!

Here's where to find Jodi: http://www.jodivaughn.com; https://www.facebook.com/www.jodivaughn Twitter@JodiVaughn1
Here’s the buy link

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Here are the winners of three recent blogs:

Ashantay Peters won Jaye's book giveaway today.
Armenia Fox-$10 Gift Card
Selena Fulton-$10 Gift Card

More winners to come.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Free Book--Debut Author Jaye Garland is Giving Away a Copy of Her Book

Today on Writers Wednesday, please help me welcome a friend who is also a debut author. Jaye Garland's first book, THE 25th HOUR, was released on August 28 from Soul Mate Publishing. 

**She is graciously giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter, so be sure to leave your email address.

Jaye, you've had such great response to your book, a time travel to 1877 Wyoming. I've read it and it's absolutely delightful. Please tell us a little about the story.

Love to. Here's the back cover blurb:

Chased through time by her father’s murderer, Houston architect Sheridan Wells unwittingly ‘erases’ herself and hurtles back to 1877 Wyoming Territory, to the moment that changed her family’s history forever—to the source of her father’s wealth—wealth the villain swears is his.

Heart locked by guilt, widower Alexander Reed, a War of the Rebellion hero-turned-rancher, attempts to disprove the transient woman’s story, labels her a charlatan and intends to dismiss her, but his precocious daughter has already claimed Sheridan as her new mother.

When the villain renews his quest for wealth and vengeance, Sheridan and Alexander must combine forces to defeat the crazed killer. This time, and no matter the cost, Alexander vows to protect his family. Will Sheridan’s stalker claim his due, or will she find sanctity within the family of her heart…before the window of time fades forever into the 25th hour?

And the answer to that question is exciting. What drew you to this story? 
A combination of things, actually. There was an unrestored Victorian house for sale in Sheridan, Wyoming, that my real estate agent and I explored—and that house begged to be filled with a loving family, but it was way over my piddling budget. Years later, I worked as an accountant in a construction company in Houston, Texas. It was meant to be, I guess, that a spirited designer with her whole career in front of her, named Sheridan, joined the firm. Snap! 

LOL. Isn't it great, the things that inspire our stories? Would you share an excerpt? 

The fun part in writing this book was getting the current-day, architect-heroine, Sheridan Wells, into the 19th century so she could experience that original house. So, in keeping with the idea of what drew me to this story, here’s an excerpt showing Sheridan’s arrival in the original 1877 Victorian home.

“Ouch!” A lump the size of Rhode Island bulged at her hairline while a rainbow of shimmering lights blurred her vision. Squinting, she focused on the light. 

A window of leaded glass panes hung above a cozy seating area at the top of the first landing. “I must have fallen and knocked myself out coming down the stairs.” 

With trepidation, she tensed her muscles, and then pushed herself into a sitting position. “Good, nothing’s broken.” But, her bones sniveled against the fall, declaring she’d been thoroughly drummed. She felt as off kilter as a bent needle on a compass. 

She gazed at her surroundings. The staircase seemed familiar, a vague replica of the Culver mansion, only better. An odd feeling shivered up her arms. These are the same bedeviling stairs that defied sketching. She twisted around to look behind her. 

“Oh, wow.” The foyer’s completed and it’s better than I’d imagined. But, how? When did we finish the job? 

Scrunching her eyes in concentration, panic washed over her. “What else can’t I remember?”

Bits of memories flashed through her mind: Ginger escorting Gibbs Wannabe, scratching a long overdue trip to the family cemetery, tracing off the blueprints . . . “What happened next?” A ray of sparks flashed through the foyer, and her thoughts trailed after the shimmery residue.
She inhaled three quick breaths and then let them out in one, long exhale. Working on the blueprints . . . and then what? The drawing was her last memory.

 Her fists clenched and her acrylic nails dug into her palms. Nothing else. She squared her shoulders. “Well, fine. I’m at the Culver mansion but what day is this? The place is done. How much time have I lost? Months?”

She grabbed the banister and hauled her body upright. “I’ll take a couple aspirin for my headache and then figure this out. Now, where’s my dad’s old satchel?” 

On unsteady feet, she pushed opened the slotted doors between the foyer and the parlor. “My, my. They’ve never slid open so easily.” The doors barely settled against their casings when her jaw fell slack. 

The antique furniture had been cleaned and polished to a high gloss. Forcing a calm breath, she charged through the parlor and slid the kitchen doors aside. If the first two rooms had been amazing, the kitchen was astonishing. Every historical detail was accurate, right down to the red cast-iron water pump at the end of the counter. 

“Everything looks a bit too cozy, almost like it’s occupied.” Doubt scrimmaged in her brain and her headache intensified. She stepped to the door next to the hearth and pushed down on the lever-like handle. It swung on oiled hinges opening a passage to the front hall and she was back in the foyer, staring at the beguiling staircase.

That's a teaser of a stopping place, Jaye. What’s your next project? I'll bet fans are hoping for a sequel.
It is. I’m working on Book II of The Sheridan Chronicles. This next book will feature the hero’s daughter from THE 25th HOUR, but she’s now grown and is still mixing things up with everyone she meets. She’s on a mission to uncover every little secret that the townsfolk would rather keep buried. Well, it’s been said that ‘truth shall set you free’, but it can also sting. Oh my!  

Sounds great. Here's hoping to see it as soon as possible. What one tip would you offer writers?
Never quit. Yeah, it’s that simple. Even though your writing may get sidelined by real life events, which is inevitable, get back to it as soon as you can. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just keep writing and learning. The day you quit is the day you let yourself down. 

How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?

Good question! A tiny spark, like part of a song title or an image from life around me that resonates in my mind and won’t go away, is the germ of an idea for each of my stories. From there, a character is generally the first to appear, then the setting, and the story develops from there. But, I can’t control the story or it ends up reading flat and not believable. Example: In drafting THE 25th HOUR, I started writing the hero’s child as a boy. That changed when the child insisted that she was a little girl. Well, that scared me silly. I raised two sons. What did I know about five year old girls? Come to find out, I needn’t have worried because those scenes seemed to write themselves. Amazing how that works! 

Don't you love the way the characters talk to writers? She wanted to be a girl, and she made sure you understood her, so the transition was smooth. Good job.  Thanks so much for visiting today, Jaye. Best of luck with the book. I hope you'll come back soon.

Thank you for hosting me today. The questions were fun!Here's a little more about me.  

Born and raised on the Great Plains, Jaye Garland thrives on ‘what-if’ scenarios by turning ordinary ranch life events into novels steeped in adventure on the American West. Her award winning first novel, THE 25th HOUR, debuted as an eBook on Amazon.com.

 Visit Jaye here:
Website:  http://jayegarland.wordpress.com
Twitter: @jayegarland
THE 25th HOUR is available at Amazon.com:  http://tinyurl.com/mvv8h65