Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Georgie Lee


Today I’m happy to welcome Georgie Lee, whose Regency novella HERO’S REDEMPTION was released Monday (July 29) from Carina Press. Thank you so much for being here in these first exciting days.  Please tell us a little about it.

Devon, the Earl of Malton, is a hero for his deeds at the Battle of Waterloo. But he suffers terrible nightmares, and drinks himself to sleep most nights. A habit he vows to break when he awakes one morning to find a woman sharing his bed, no memory of how she got there, and her angry brother at his door.

Cathleen is mortified when her wastrel brother and his greedy wife propose a blackmail scheme involving the earl, but as a penniless war widow she's at their mercy. She goes along with the plan and sneaks into Devon's bed one night, and ends up comforting him through a night terror.

Charmed by her beauty and kindness, Devon determines that rather than pay the blackmail, he will offer his hand in marriage to Cathleen. Although she is deeply attracted to the stoic earl, Cathleen cannot understand why Devon would want to marry her. What she doesn't know is that Devon owes her a debt that can never fully be repaid…

I do love tortured heroes and the ladies who help them heal. What drew you to this story? 

I love taking real events from history and weaving fictional characters into the story. In Hero’s Redemption, I placed the hero, Devon at the Battle of Hougoumont Manor during the Battle of Waterloo. This was a real battle during which the English were barricaded in the manor. A few French soldiers broke through one of the gates and threatened to overrun the British but the British fought them back, closed the gate and held the manor. I used this historic event for my story, making Devon the hero of the battle for leading a charge to close the breeched gate. However, he doesn’t walk away from the battle unscathed and the horror of his experience haunts him through the entire story.

Regencies are favorites of mine, and this one sound wonderful. Give us an excerpt:

Love to: London 1817
Devon, Lord Malton, tossed in bed, the throbbing pain in his thigh pulling him from the oblivion of drunkenness into a semi-sleep that clung to him like tar.

"No," he moaned. The ghostlike images of old comrades and dead enemies drifted through his mind. Distant cannon fire rolled in the air, growing louder as light began to creep in along the edges of the sharpening visions. "No."

In a flash the world turned bright, the afternoon sun reflecting off the stone walls of Hougoumont Manor's courtyard. Around him, British soldiers and trapped French soldiers fought, the metallic ring of sabers carrying over the shouts of dying men and the screams of frightened horses.

"Cochon anglais!" A French soldier charged at Devon and he swung around to face him. "Je te tuerai."

They locked swords, the Frenchman's wild eyes meeting Devon's across the blade.

"Maintenant--au diable!" Devon shoved the Frenchman back. The burly soldier staggered slightly but desperation gave him strength and he hurled himself forward.

Devon was stepping back to parry when his boot rolled on the arm of a dead man and he fell, landing hard in the mud. The Frenchman lunged again. Devon swung his sword, deflecting the blow but the Frenchman's blade slid down the length of Devon's, impaling his thigh.

"Bloody hell." Devon dug the heel of his boot into the man's chest and kicked hard. A searing pain nearly blinded him as the man's blade tore free.

The Frenchman pulled himself to his feet and advanced. Devon rose up on one knee, lifting his sword to defend himself when suddenly the flash of a red coat cut across his vision. Captain Selton stood between them, his sword clanging against the Frenchman's.

"Get back to the safety of the manor," the young officer called, swinging to repel the enemy's blade.

"I'm not going anywhere." Devon stood, gritting his teeth against the pain. He limped forward, determined to fight when the sickening sound of metal slicing flesh drowned out the cannons. Captain Selton wavered a moment then slumped to the ground.

"No!" Devon yelled.

The Frenchman, his sword still lodged in Captain Selton's chest, met Devon's eyes, smug triumph dancing in their watery depths.

"Bastard!" Devon hurled himself at the man, his pain forgotten in a rush of anger. The Frenchman's triumph turned to fear as Devon impaled him, driving him backwards across the courtyard, forcing the sword in deeper and deeper until it drove itself through his body, lodging in a wooden door in the far wall. Devon pulled out the blade and the Frenchman dropped to the ground.

Devon stepped back and his wounded leg buckled. He fell hard against the wall, his palm scraping over the rough stone as he slid down into the mud. When he pressed his hand over the wound, the blood stained his breeches and covered his fingers. Out across the courtyard, heavy clouds of black powder smoke drifted through the fighting men, passing over Captain Selton, who lay with the others, his lifeless eyes watching the sky.

"No," Devon cried in anguish. "No."

"It's all right," a soft female voice carried over the crack of gunfire. "You're safe now."

"I couldn't save him." Devon choked, struggling to breathe through the acrid smoke. "I couldn't help him."

"I know." Gentle hands stroked his hair, his forehead and cheeks, their tenderness easing his tight chest and softening the pain coursing through him. "Sleep now."

Oh, this is a wonderful beginning. I can’t wait to read more.What’s your next project?  

ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE, my first novel from Harlequin Historical, will be available October 1. Currently, I’m working on my second and third books for Harlequin, both of which will be set in Regency England.

What one tip would you offer writers?  

The best tip I can offer is to keep trying and don’t give up. There were many years where I was writing and nothing was being published and then all of a sudden, one day, all the hard work began to pay off.  It’s a long term career so you can’t let setbacks make you give up.

You’ve done both historical and contemporary books. How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?
I used to be a pantser, but now that I’ve sold to Harlequin Historical, I sit down and write a summary and work on my characters before I get too far into a story. I usually start with a specific scene in mind and then build the story out from there. Having a summary really helps me make the best use of my writing time.

Is there a special place you like to write?

I love to write on my back deck in the morning, before the sun comes over the house and bakes the area. Otherwise, I have my comfy chair in my office with my little side table to hold my diet Wild Cherry Pepsi.

Challenges with finding writing time?

I’m a stay at home mom, so making time to write can be a challenge. I usually write first thing in the morning when the house is quiet and I am, for the most part, awake. I’m also an opportunistic writer and I will sneak in writing time during naps, quiet play and in the evening.

Congratulations on making those short spurts work. It’s been great having you here, Georgie. I hope you’ll come back when your Harlequin Historical is released.
Here’s a little more about Georgie.

Bio: A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
 
Her first novel, LADY’S WAGER, and her contemporary novella, ROCK ‘’N’ ROLL REUNION are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. LABOR RELASTIONS, a contemporary romance of Hollywood, and STUDIO RELATIONS, a love story set in 1935 Hollywood, are currently available from Montlake Romance. Her Regency novel ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE is available from Harlequin Historical on October 1, 2013.  
Social Media Links
Twitter: @GeorgieLeeBooks
Buy Links



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Sandra Dailey


Today I’m happy to welcome Sandra Dailey, whose book TWICE THE TROUBLE was released on May 8. Sandra, I heard so many good things about your book before I added it to my TBR virtual pile. Please tell us a little about it.

The blurb gives the best description:

Lacey Carlyle has worked for years to create the perfect blend of home, business and family. Now she risks losing everything when the land she farms is bought by the man who abandoned her thirteen years ago.

Alex has never understood why Lacey walked away from him. Now, he holds the deed to her farm and intends to make her pay. The only problem – two kids weren’t part of the plan.

Jenna and Jerrod may not see eye-to-eye but they are both determined to find happiness for their mom and keep their home safe.

Can Lacey and Alex put their pasts behind them and embrace a future together?

What drew you to this story? 

Raising my own children on a Florida farm, we faced more unusual situations than I could ever find room for in a hundred books. I thought it would be fun to let my readers see a bit of that part of our life.

My editor toned down some scenes because she didn’t believe pre-teen children could handle what I’d described, but I think it still conveys the grit and determination of kids who grow up in rural communities.

Yes, we were in rural Midwest, and kids could certainly have determination. Would you share a little with us from the novel?

In this excerpt, Alex, my hero, meets Jerrod and Jenna for the first time after being caught kissing their mother, Lacey.

“You’d better let my mom go right now, mister, or I’ll pound a hole in your head.”

Alex spun around to find a gangly young boy only three feet from his back. First, he saw the stubborn scowl under a mass of curly, sun streaked, dark auburn hair. Then he noticed the hammer the boy was bouncing in his right hand. Damn, this kid was serious. Alex said the first thing that came to mind.

“Who the hell are you?”

Lacey cleared her throat. “Alex, this is my son, Jerrod.”

Still not releasing her, Alex swung his head back to look down at Lacey. “You have a kid?”

“Well, actually…” Before she could answer, another voice came from the side of the house.

“You want me to shoot him, Jerrod?”

Alex looked to his left. There stood a skinny young girl wearing a cowboy hat. She was glaring at him from over the barrel of a shotgun. Indian Lakes had changed. It had its own little gang right here on Lacey’s farm.

“You’d better not,” Jerrod replied. “You’d get us all in your spray. You should have brought the twenty-two. Then I would’ve gladly let you plug him.”

Lacey finally succeeded in wiggling out of Alex’s grasp.

“Jenna, you put that shotgun away. Mr. Benson is my guest and you’re scaring him.
I want you both to go inside and wash up for lunch.”

Alex was awe struck. “You have two kids…and they carry weapons.”

“Well, not usually,” Lacey sighed. “You know how dangerous it can be, out in the country, snakes and gators and such.”

“I do now!”

Sounds great, Sandra. What’s your next project?

I’m currently working on a series of contemporary romance short stories, (about 25k), called Men of Daviston. It takes place in a small South Florida town and a nearby cattle ranch. My inspiration was the ranch where my husband was raised on the north boarder of the Everglades. Each story will follow the last but can also be read separately.

What one tip would you offer writers?

I think the most important thing you have to do is find a writing schedule that works for you. It doesn’t matter if you write in the predawn hours or late at night. It’s the same as any other job. You have to be devoted to it.

The next thing you have to do is make other people respect your schedule. I don’t know how many times I’ve had someone interrupt me by saying something like, “Since you’re not really doing anything…” or, “I saw you were just playing on the computer…”

You have a special gift. What you’re doing is important. Don’t let people minimize it or make you feel guilty for doing something you love.

Can you imagine walking into their workplace and saying something like that?

Turn off the phones and put a sign on the door.

What great advice. I’ve got to take that myself. Where can be find your titles?

TWICE THE TROUBLE is available at all ebook retailers including:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ The Wild Rose Press
And you may also like THE CHIEF’S PROPOSAL available at: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ The Wild Rose Press

Thanks so much for being here today, Sandra, and best of luck with the these and with your planned series. I hope you’ll come back again. 

Thank you for hosting me on your beautiful blog. I can’t wait to come back.  I’d be glad to reply to comments from your visitors or they can reach me at: http://www.sandradailey.blogspot.com http://www.facebook.com/sandradailey.author http://www.twitter.com/sdaileyauthor

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Christine Elaine Black

Today I’m happy to welcome Christine Elaine Black, whose book TAURUS was released from the Wild Rose Press, July 17, 2013. That’s today. WOOHOO. Happy Release Day.
 
Hello Barb, Thank you for hosting me on your blog. I’m very happy to be here.

Please tell us a little about the book.  

TAURUS is a romantic, historical, fiction set in ancient Roman times. It is book II of the Imperial Desire series but can be read without reading MAXIMUS first. The main characters are different but live in the same time-period.
 
Blurb: Rebellious and strong-willed, Kalliassa flees a political betrothal arranged by her brother, the emperor of Rome. She runs to the one man capable of preventing the match -- her brother's sworn enemy. Unwittingly, she throws her fortunes into the hands of a man pledged to destroy Roman rule.
Taurus, proud Governor of Panua, would do anything to provoke the emperor, even ruin an imperial sister. But Kallie is like no woman he's ever met, and she tests his strength of will and his solemn vow to end the reign of her family forever.
Can true love overcome lust, lies, and deceit?

What drew you to this story?

I’ve always loved romance in ancient historical times. It’s hard to find stories of that ilk and I resorted to writing one to satisfy my wish for an ancient Roman love story.  

I love stories of ancient Rome. Would you share an excerpt?

Excerpt: The parchment rolled out of Kallie’s hand and fell to the floor with a sharp oath directed at the author. How dare the emperor use her as a pawn in his game of politics! The love and trust she had placed in him as a small girl, watching from afar as their grandfather groomed him for greatness, shriveled in the brutal realization that he now ruled with complete disregard for his family. Marriage! To a man at least three times her age, ruler of a desert country, and with a harem of wives and concubines, no less. The only choice appeared to be swift action to avoid the imperial order. On unsteady legs she ran for the stables.
The horses stamped impatiently, and Kallie glanced around for the boy normally on duty at this time of day. “Sergius, are you in here?” A rumble of laughter greeted her.

“Should you not be dressed for dinner in fine ladylike attire?”

Kallie squealed with delight. “Uncle Atticus! You have arrived at a most propitious moment.”

“Have I indeed.” Her uncle, in truth her father’s uncle, had taught all the
 children in the Gregorian household the most efficient and effective skills of survival in the roughest conditions. “And why are you dressed as a boy?”

“I’m running away.”
Atticus eyed her with skepticism. “From what?”
 
“Our esteemed emperor has ordered me to marry, and I won’t do it.”
“Hah,” Atticus grunted. “If you wait until after I eat and refresh my water supply, I’ll go with you.”

“But why? You will incur the wrath of my brother.”

“I have my reasons.” Atticus scratched his bushy beard, a twinkle lighting his dark eyes.

“Where can we hide from the entire Roman Empire?” Kallie mused.

“I know a place, but it will require cunning, and could be dangerous.” Her uncle chuckled with his usual good humor.

Kallie’s mind glowed at the possibility of escaping her brother’s reach. The great emperor, Caius Gregorian, would not be amused.

Sounds great, Elaine. But you said that you’re moving to a different genre for your next work? That is that one?

A ROSE FOR LANCASTER. It is set in Tudor England. Henry VII has just taken the crown and imposes his will on a woman of York to marry a man of Lancaster. Will Blanche betray her husband and her king?

With all the writing you’re doing do you have challenges finding writing time?

I do what must be done and the rest can wait until a convenient time. I have a teenage daughter and luckily my husband works from home, so I’m fortunate enough to have a good balance. (Teenagers keep it real!!)

You’ve obviously found a routine that works. Good going. What one tip would you offer writers?

Network!! Meet writers online and ask questions, and answer them if you can help. Pay-it-forward — I’ve had so many writers/authors help me in my journey and they may not even know their input made a difference. I hope I’ve helped many in return.  

Excellent advice. When I started out, the kindness and helpfulness of experienced writers meant so much. Thanks again for being here and best of luck with TAURUS. I hope you’ll come back again.

Find Elaine at the following places:


Thanks so much for being here today. I hope you’ll come back again.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Zoe Forward



Today I’m happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author Zoe Forward, whose book DAWN OF A DARK KNIGHT (Scimitar Magi, Book One) was released in March.


Thank you for having me visit!



So glad you’re here, Zoe. Please tell us a little about the book.  



Dr. Kira Hardy jeopardizes her brilliant medical career to save Ashor Vlahos, Scimitar Magi commander, after a brutal daemon attack. Their attraction is instant and, for Ashor, forbidden.  As an ancient nemesis resurfaces and targets Kira, they face a crucial decision – follow the gods’ rules or follow their hearts.



This is an urban fantasy paranormal that’s got lots of action, adventure and romance.



But the real question is what makes the Scimitar Magi series different than all the other paranormals out there?



For the Scimitar Magi series I created a new type of hero. As a passionate reader of paranormals I’ve read my fair share of vampires, weres, face, shape shifters, and demons. And loved them all. But I wanted something fresh.  The Scimitar Magi are ten pseudo-immortals that live within our modern world, but struggle to remain incognito.  The guys are not exactly thrilled to discover they vowed their eternal soul eons ago to serve the Egyptian gods, and now must execute daemons for the rest of their lives.

With no past-life memory, they’ve got no clue how to wield the powers gifted to them by the gods. Man to super warrior in a five-minute induction ceremony with no instruction manual.  So, it takes each Scimitar a long time to work it out.  At first losing control at random is the norm, and irritates the bejesus out of the more experienced guys.  Incidents happen like blowing up a gas station, which is misinterpreted as an international terrorist act.   

 

Congratulations on the idea for a new kind of hero.What drew you to this particular story? 



I was initially drawn to the characters – the magi, the women and their enemies.  Once I had the world built, the story fell into place…and more stories just keep coming. The magi are so entertaining.  And most people ask: Why Egyptian?  I have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt, but had yet to find a romance that made the mythology accessible and modern.  There are so many intricacies to Egypt mythology and so much discrepancy that, honestly, it’s not possible to get all of that into a modern story. My take on the mythology is that it would get somewhat lost over time with a group of pseudo-immortals that get reincarnated every couple hundred years, although the basics would remain.  In future installments of the Scimitar Magi series story arc the mythology will take a more central role.


Your story sounds fascinating, Zoe. I’ve always been interested in the ancient Egyptian gods. Incorporating them into a modern, urban setting is unique. Could you share an excerpt?

  
    Her captor dragged Kira deep into the shadows of a recessed doorway. He clinched her chest so tight that she couldn’t breathe. A dizzy terror hazed her mind.

Keep it together.

He rolled her inwards until her face pressed tight to his chest as if he feared she would scream.

“I’ll shoot,” she murmured against his rock-solid pecs, burrowing the muzzle of her Glock into his abdomen.

“Go ahead, sweetheart. Add it to the tally for the night. It’ll sting like a bitch, but I guarantee it won’t kill me.”

He sounded disappointed about the last part. Something about that lightly accented baritone struck her as familiar. Kira reined in her escalating fear enough to do an aura screen. He had none of the inherent darkness of a Hashishin. He radiated mystical vitality and ancient power. But not evil.

With a good push, she got herself some space. Yet he didn’t release her. She cricked her neck upward. It was a good ways up since this gladiator dwarfed her by almost a foot.

“Ashor?” She shook her head and whispered, “This can’t be real.”



Tell us about your next project. That new book is due out soon, isn’t it?



The second Scimitar Magi novel is due out later this year and I’m just waiting for its release date.  In this novel…



After an unjustified two-century stint in purgatory, Scimitar Magus Dakar returns to the human realm, renewing his eons-old curse. Once again he must murder the woman he loves. To break the vicious cycle, he must kill her before she strikes her deathblow, something he's never done in the past.



 Archaeology grad student, Shay McGinnis, suffers a near-death attack in pursuit of a piece of Scimitar Magi lore.  But did the magnificent warrior who pinned her to the wall injure her or the daemon he fought?  In her search for answers, she draws the attention of both an ancient evil sorcerer and the warrior Dakar. The attraction between her and Dakar is instant, and for Shay confusing. She wants to be with him, but intuition equates him with death. Not random death. Hers. 



Will this be the lifetime they break the curse before they are murdered by an age-old enemy or worse kill each other yet again?



What a sequel, Zoe. Looking forward to that story. What one tip would you offer writers?



Read, read, read.  Keep reading those stories that inspired you to begin with. We often forget this, but I find there is no better way to stay motivated than to read a favorite author or discover a new one.



In DAWN OF A DARK KNIGHT, Ashor and Kira were destined to be together. What do you think is the appeal of knowing a man and woman are destined to be together?



I’ve always loved paranormals that bind souls. There’s something very romantic about knowing there is a perfect someone out there that is the character’s other half. This one being completes that character. In the case of the Scimitar magi, the senariai plays a much more vital role than just being the magus’ other half.  She is the key to allowing him to liver longer, by healing his soul when damaged by the corrosive evil of the daemons he must fight.



I love the idea of there being someone who is our other half. Thanks for visiting and sharing your stories today. Best of luck with your upcoming release. I’d love for you to come back when it’s out.



Connect with Zoe:




Purchase from:



Paperback or eBook - Amazon | Wild Rose Press

eBook - Nook | Kobo