Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Writers Wednesday: BOOK GIVEAWAY Ella Quinn Celebrates Debut


FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY. Welcome Ella Quinn, who is giving away a copy of her debut Regency, THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE. The book was released on September 19 to excellent response. So don't forget to leave an email when you comment so you'll be in the drawing. I already have it, waiting right here on my Kindle, beckoning me from my duties....Muhahaha!
 I’m so glad you’re here, Ella. First books are so special, and yours has received lots of attention. Please tell us a little about it.

It’s a story of young love and redemption. Phoebe and Marcus met when they were quite young, but Marcus was already behaving badly enough that his father was banishing him to the West Indies. Here is my publisher’s blurb.

Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially when she is driving her dashing phaeton with its perfectly matched horses. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within his blue-eyed gaze…

For Lord Marcus, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control…

I also received some wonderful cover quotes.

“Lady Phoebe is a heroine Georgette Heyer would adore—plucky, pretty, and well worth the devotion of the dashing Lord Marcus. A marvelous find for Regency romance readers.” —Grace Burrowes, New York Times bestselling author

“A passionate tale full of humor, romance, and poignancy. Quinn writes classic Regency romance at its best!” —Shana Galen, author of If You Give a Rake a Ruby

Wow. Grace Burrowes and Shana Galen, two of my favorites. Fantastic words from fabulous authors. Now, what drew you to this particular story? 

LOL. I had a video of an angry Regency lady playing in my head.

Hmm. Sounds intriguing. Would you share an excerpt?

I’d love to.

Her sister-in-law frowned. “My dear, how will you ever find a husband if you are attending only
political parties?”
“It is not as if there are no unmarried gentlemen at the parties,” Phoebe retorted. “Besides, I daresay I have met every unmarried gentleman the length and breadth of England. Not one has given me the smallest desire to marry. Perhaps I shall set up a salon and become a famous bluestocking.”
Her sister-in-law’s mouth dropped open in shock. “You cannot mean that!”
Phoebe tried to hide her exasperation. “I know you’ve tried very hard to bring about a match for me. I wish you would not persist. I shall marry when I find a gentleman I can love and not before.”
“But you must marry,” Amabel said. “You are almost twenty-four, and you are much too beautiful to become a spinster.”
“I am well aware of my age,” Phoebe said as mildly as she could. “I’m not on the shelf yet.”
After taking a sip of tea, Amabel said airily, “I have invited my brother to visit us.”
Phoebe creased her brows. “Evesham? I thought he was too ill to travel.”
“No, Arthur is indeed too ill,” her sister-in-law said. “I have invited my other brother, Marcus. He shall arrive in three days time.”
“Lord Marcus?”
Amabel hesitated before continuing, “He needs to marry now, and I immediately thought of you.”
At the mention of Lord Marcus Finley, Phoebe’s stomach clenched, and the humiliation she had not felt in years burbled within her, feeding her anger.
She took a breath and calmly but firmly said, “I have met Lord Marcus, we did not suit. Amabel, pray excuse me. I have just remembered something I must do.”
Phoebe rose and left the room. Upon entering her chamber, she closed the door with a snap. The control with which she had been holding herself threatened to unravel. Lord Marcus Finley was back.
Myriad feelings of fear, hurt, and despair assailed her. It confused her to feel almost as raw as she had eight years ago when he’d shattered her childish romantic ideas. She had pushed him out of her min
She’d hoped never to hear his name again and certainly did not want to meet him. She’d learned to protect herself, but still mourned her loss of innocence he’d stolen. She would not weep over Lord Marcus. No good could come of thinking of him. Forgetting that day had been easier when he had been safely across the ocean.

Sounds super. What’s your next project?

Right now I’m writing book #5 of The Marriage Game. The Seduction of Lady Phoebe is #1, followed by The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, The Temptation of Lady Serena, Desiring Lady Caro, and the currently titled, Pursuing Miss EugĂ©nie Villaret, which I sent to my publisher not long ago.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Write like it’s a job.

Great advice. I need to follow it. How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?

Usually the characters come first. I have to have people, then they must tell me their story.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I have a great writing desk with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.

How perfect. It must be terribly inspiring.Thanks so much for being here today, Ella and best of luck with the release. I hope you’ll come back again. Where can we find you?

All my blog tour information is on www.ellaquinnauthor.com. I also post it on my blog http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com.





 Here's a bit more about Ella. Her

studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.

Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Andrea Downing

Hi Everyone. My fellow Wild Rose Andrea Downing is visiting today. Her latest Western released recently as part of an anthology.  Andrea, welcome. Are you ready to chat?

Let me just grab a cup of coffee, Barb, before I start yammering away, but first let me thank you for having me here.  The break from working on my latest is most welcome.
   
Good idea. I think I’ll have one, too. I’m so glad you're here. There’s something I’ve wanted to ask since I read your bio. You lived in England for years. I have to admit I'm a little envious. I'd love to live in England. What are some of your impressions of life there? 

You know, without giving my age away, when I first went over to England I was extremely young.  I had graduated from college two years younger than most and it was the time of the Beatles, Mary Quant, and 'anything goes.' I came from the melting pot of New York and went someplace where zucchini and eggplant (known as courgettes and aubergine) were hardly known. People might go to a Chinese or Indian restaurant and still expect to eat steak and chips (fries). I always used to get, "Oh, you're American, aren't you?" with some disdain.  But I think television has brought everyone closer, made the world much smaller and, in actual fact, served as a sort of moderator of people's opinions of other countries.  

We all have a much more universal outlook about other people's cultures and those cultures are, in turn, becoming more  blended.  Americans used to talk about the Brits' 'stiff upper lip' and have a picture of the man with the bowler hat and umbrella.  Well, the umbrella is still around but the bowler hat and the stiff upper lip are long gone, I think.  And it doesn't rain ALL the time either!

It sounds wonderful. Your experiences are so rich. Why did you choose to write historical Westerns? Do you or your family have roots there? Where do you go for research?

No family connections to the West that I know of but I'm totally convinced I had another life out there.  OK, so that sounds rather 'off the wall' but I did have regression therapy and it seems to be true.

That’s fascinating! Can you tell us about it?

Oh, I'll have to save that story for another time. It was part of research for a book I'm writing.

You absolutely must come back when that story is finished. I can’t wait to hear your experiences. So, why historical western?  

Well, I guess for whatever reason I'm drawn to the period after the Civil War when expansionism was at its height, the country was opening up and so much was going on.  When my daughter was six we started having our family vacations out west  combining dude ranches with traveling about the national parks and such.  I just got completely drawn in to the landscape and the people, felt I belonged there so it was natural to me to gravitate to write about it.  Research depends on what I'm writing--I always try to visit a place I write about, that's one thing.  Memoirs and histories and old news articles then give me further back-up.

Old news articles and memoirs—great research sources. Speaking of which: the news of the ‘demise’ of the Western seems to have been premature. It’s seeing a resurgence in popularity. Why do you think people love Westerns?

Ah, heck, who doesn't love a cowboy?! You know, there's a code of the west, or the cowboy's code.  We all know some of it, like you don't shoot a man in the back.  Now what does that tell you?  A man can be a 'bad boy' but have morals at the same time; it's appealing.  I also think that part of the love for westerns is that we hanker for a simpler time, not necessarily that we want to be stepping out to the privy or leaving our victuals in the ice house, but that we could be more concerned with our own families and our neighbours and not what's happening over in Syria or North Korea.  I think that's also part of the popularity of fantasy books & films, superheroes and so on.  Same escape.

Andrea, I’d love to chat on and on, but we’d better get to the ‘other’ heart of your visit. Please tell us about your book.

 Love to. LAWLESS LOVE. "Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives. 
Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong.  He's never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he's followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers...but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?
Here’s an excerpt.    
Lacey thought of fluttering her eyelashes, but it was such a silly thing to do. How could women act like that? She just looked up at the marshal and waited, the possibilities turning over in her mind, flitting through her head but never settling.
 “You wanna tell me what really happened now so we can try to sort this matter? All I can do is promise I’ll do everything in my power to sort it for you, but I cain’t help you less’n you tell the truth. You tell me lies and make me look a dang fool, there’s nothin’ I can do. You understand that?”
Along with the tiniest nod, she clasped her hands together. She looked up at Dylan Kane and saw kindness in that face, a face she could so easily have loved had things been different. She could sense the heat radiating from his body and knew if she touched his chest, a strength would exist where his heart beat. If she ran her hand down his arms, she would find that same strength in his muscle. How she wanted those arms around her! All her life, it seemed, she had looked after herself, cared for her brother, struggled to make a home for the two of them. What would it have been like if Morgan had not...
“Lacey?” Dylan’s soft voice brought her back from her reveries. “You ready to tell the truth?” With one gentle finger, he lifted her chin so their gazes met for a moment before they each stepped back from the brink of something neither could control. “Lacey?” he repeated.
 “Yes, I’m ready.”
Can’t wait to read it,  Andrea. It’s on my Kindle right now. Thanks so much for dropping by for a visit. Hope you’ll come back very soon.
Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. LOVELAND, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards. LAWLESS LOVE, a short story,  released Sept. 4 as part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series.   Three more books are in various stages
Visit Andrea here: WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com
Twitter:  @andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning


Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Into Romance Blog Hop and Free Gift Time

It's Finally Friday and time for The Romance Review Fall Into Romance Blog Hop. And who doesn't want to fall into a luscious romance? The Hop will run through Saturday, Sept. 21.

For the next stop on the Hop, just click on the button to the left and you'll be there!

I'm so excited to be a part of this. We have some great gifts and a look at a great new work out by a super author.

First--The gifts. I'm offering a lovely, handmade key chain. A second gift of a box of chocolates from a fantastic local candy company The Candy Shop goes to the second number drawn. And, because this is a Special Week for me, a $10 Gift Certificate. I will draw the winners of the Gift Certificate from among those who follow my blog here as a result of this Blog Hop.

I'd like introduce you to my friend Jennifer Jakes' historical Western novella, EDEN'S SIN.Here's the blurb:

A man with a bitter past……. After the Civil War, Major Sinclair Bradford fled West to escape the pain of battle and the shame of a failed marriage. Haunted by betrayal and lies, he trusts no one—especially women. The last thing he needs is the lure of a dark haired brothel madam. Not only is she beautiful enough to tempt the devil, she’s deceitful enough to shred what’s left of Sinclair’s heart. But when she asks for his help to investigate the attack of a young girl, he can’t say no to her—nor the aching desire she stirs in him.

A woman with no future… Eden Gabrielli lives by three rules: Never trust the wealthy, do whatever it takes to survive, and never again believe a decent man could love a whore. After being stabbed and left for dead, she must lie to keep her secrets and protect her sister from a life of prostitution—even if that means deceiving the handsome and determined Major Bradford, the one man who tempts her to break her rules. She might need his help, but she craves his touch, which makes him a dangerous ally. Because if the truth is revealed, more than her rules could be broken…

You can find the novella at:

http://www.amazon.com/Edens-Sin-Jennifer-Jakes/dp/1492258474/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379098025&sr=1-3

I love to settle down with a good historical at night. How about you? What kind of book do you like to cuddle up with?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Debut Author Karla Tipton

WIN: A Handmade Bookmark will be awarded to one lucky commenter.  

Today we welcome a fellow debut medieval romance author, Karla Tipton. Karla's story, however, has a special twist--it's a time travel. Hi, Karla. And congratulations on your first novel, which was just release, Aug. 22.


Please tell us a little about the book
  
“Rings of Passage” is a time travel romance, but there are other genres blended in, including fantasy and history. It’s actually in the “alternative history” genre, because I twist real events to  my own ends.

A magic ring carries actress Anise Wynford through a time vortex from 2013 to fifteenth century England, where she falls in love with King Richard III – the last Plantagenet king. With a diary containing clues to her own mysterious past, once belonging to the father she barely knew, and a copy of Shakespeare's play, "Richard III," Anise must learn to survive in a medieval world devoid of modern conveniences.

As Anise and Richard fall in love, the Welsh wizard Owain Glendower conspires with the King's enemies to cast Anise as a traitor, at the same time conjuring ancient magic to thwart the King and put the Lancastrian claimant, Welshman Henry Tudor, on England's throne.

As the moment of the Richard's death approaches in the final battle of the Wars of the Roses, Anise must find a way to defeat the political and supernatural forces seeking to destroy him, and rewrite the events of history so she can be with the man she loves.

What drew you to this story? 

I learned about Richard III many years ago when my best friend Kathie insisted I read a classic mystery story, Josephine Tey’s “A Daughter of Time.” It’s entirely based on research into Richard III’s history, done by a cop laid up in a hospital bed, but it’s very suspenseful. What I found out through reading this book is that Richard III was not the bloodthirsty tyrant who killed  his nephews, the “Princes in the Tower,” as portrayed by Shakespeare. That was all Tudor propaganda. There is only some thin circumstantial evidence that connects Richard to the crime.

Delving deeper, I found out about the Richard III Society, which was founded in the 1920s to reassess Richard’s reputation through research. Last year, the society collaborated with the University of Leicester on the excavation of Richard’s remains from underneath a parking lot.  Richard had been unceremoniously buried at a priory not far from the location of the Battle of Bosworth Field, where he died in 1485. In a total coincidence, the publication date of “Rings of Passage” was the anniversary date of Richard’s death.

Richard was an honorable king who got a bad rap. He suffered much loss in his life – the deaths of his young son, his wife, the brother he was closest to. He was a just and progressive king, passing laws that served the people. He tried to do the right thing, but got caught up in the intrigue and politics of the Wars of the Roses. Richard was also incredibly brave, a true medieval warrior. He took a great risk at that last battle by riding his horse straight for Henry to cut him down and end the challenge to his reign. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and he lost his own life. He’s a tragic hero. What’s not to like?

Put that way, one must agree. It’s interesting to see the other perspective for someone whom history was condemned. Would you share an excerpt?

Love to. Let me set it up for you. Anise is wearing a magic ring which gives her the power of empathy.  
 ~~~
Someone was following her. Her pulse quickened. She bolted up the stairs – up and up, into the darkness. Twenty steps and a landing. Another twenty-three steps and a landing. More steps. At the top, her way was blocked by a wooden door.

Her pursuer was not far behind. She held her breath and tried the door – the knob turned. She closed the door behind her.

A fire burned in the hearth. Had it been the room’s owner following her? All her fears might have stemmed from something entirely innocent. If he came in, how would she explain herself?
Anise froze at the sound of someone at the door, her blood pounding in her ears. She heard receding footsteps and she trembled with relief. She thought it best to remain here awhile before trying to find her way to the main corridor. As her eyes adjusted to the firelight, she noticed small details of the room, and realized it looked a trifle… familiar.

Oh, God! She had to get out of here. These were the king’s apartments!

She grasped the door handle and yanked – and her heart nearly stopped. Dropping into a curtsey, she lost her balance and collapsed to the floor. The king grasped her shoulders firmly and pulled her up.

Anise stared into his dark eyes, her words frozen on her tongue. “Y-Your Grace..! I-I'm...”
“You're lost,” Richard finished. “I know.” The corner of his mouth twitched.

Anise flushed when his eyes ran over her. He released her, satisfied she could stand on her own.
“Again.” She knew she must be white as a sheet, but clamped down on her fear, scarcely believing he was not angry.

He smiled tiredly.

“I wasn’t feeling well, Your Grace. And when everyone looked at me in the Great Hall…” Quit stammering, you fool! “I-I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out of there.” Anise felt the tears building. She took a breath and managed to push them back. “I heard someone following me. I was frightened, Your Grace. I ran up this stairway, into your room. If I’d known it was you…”
Richard’s expression clouded, as though he did not believe her.

“I don’t blame you for not trusting me,” she said miserably. With the back of her hand, she wiped away the one tear that had slid down her cheek. I’m not going to cry, dammit.

Her words seemed to trouble him. “You misunderstand me, m’lady. I fear what you say must be true – someone was following you. I did not come to my rooms by the stairs, but by another way.” He paused. “I am disconcerted only by this knowledge – not because I harbor any suspicions, for I do believe you speak truthfully.”

Richard stared at her so intently that Anise looked away, her heart in her throat, her face hot. Why was he so kind to her? More to the point, why did make her so breathless?

His expression softened. “You're as pale as a shade, m’lady. Sit by the fire.” It was an order, not a request. Anise found a chair by the hearth.  He left for a moment and she heard the sound of liquid being poured. The king placed a cup in her hands. “Drink this. Maman tells me ’tis a balm to the nerves.” After a moment, he added, “That you found my rooms ’twas fortunate. Many at court are not kindly disposed toward me, or my guests. It might have gone ill, should you have wandered to other parts of the castle.”

He stood very close to her now, gazing at her with an expression she could not read. When Anise met his eyes, she could barely speak, somehow managing, “Thank you, Your Grace.”

She remembered how he had gripped her shoulders before realizing who she was. He was a warrior. He could be dangerous. But the intensity she saw in his eyes now was not violence.

It was passion.

Oh, my. It sounds terrific. I can't wait to read it. What’s your next project?

The novel I’m working on now is “DANGEROUS REFLECTIONS” a time-travel-fantasy-historical-murder-mystery romance, set in 1910. There’s a magical and very hot romance at the heart of this story. It’s sort of like Harry Potter for adults. The heroine Martie learns from her dying grandmother that she’s a wizard. Martie walks through a magic mirror and straight into the arms of a wizard, Alastor, who has beastly manners and an animal magnetism to match. This couple definitely has chemistry. The hero Alastor is a beta male, who happens to be a very sexy wizard. Because of their inherently magical bloodlines, there are some, literally, out-of-this-world love scenes. Martie and Alastor clicked from day one. I’m excited about telling their story.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Trust the creative process. If you have read enough classic and pop culture literature, and you continue to improve your writing, the bubbling cauldron of influences inside you will produce good stories and plots. Don’t force it. Make an outline if you must, but don’t hesitate to veer off the path if it leads elsewhere – because the magic is in the “elsewhere.”

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

I’m a romantic minded person, so the stories I want to write are usually based on a relationship. The difficult circumstances the couple has to face to be together is what intrigues me. I love the fish-out-of-water situation of a time traveler, and matchups between a modern woman and a pre-modern era man. I enjoy writing about couples who, despite their different backgrounds, end up as a great love story. So I start with setup in mind, and usually a historical person or two. I already know my ending. The middle I figure out as I go along.

Special place you like to write?

I write on a laptop in a cushy reclining chair by the fireplace with my feet up.

Challenges with finding writing time?             

I live alone, so that’s not an issue. But I do have a full-time day job, and I play guitar in a classic rock band, and have to practice sometimes! So I have to manage my time closely. If I get caught up writing a story, though, I will go with that wave of inspiration, and all else goes by the wayside.

Now there's a story I know everyone would love to hear--playing guitar in a classic rock band. Next time you stop by, please tell us more about that.

Here's where you can find Karla online. 

Please visit me at www.karlatipton.com  and my social media sites

Facebook:
Karla's fan page

Twitter:
twitter.com/KarlaTipton

Amazon Author Page:
amazon.com/author/karlatipton

Goodreads Author Page:
www.goodreads.com/Karla_Tipton

Email:
karla.dawn @ karlatipton.com


B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rings-of-passage-karla tipton/1116818306?ean=2940148525912

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Mimi Foster and Prizes





 THREE GREAT PRIZES. WELCOME EVERYONE.
We have Exciting News Today: Guest Mimi Foster is offering a Special Giveway:  two of her books (ebook or paperback, winners' choice). In addition, she's giving away a $20 Gift Certificate to the location of the winner's choice:Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Staples, Starbucks, etc.) So leave your email address with your comment. Drawing on Saturday.
Let's welcome Mimi, whose book THUNDER SNOW was released in July of this year.

Good morning, Barbara, and thank you so much for having me here today.

What a great title. Please tell us a little about the book.

THUNDER SNOW is a hot and steamy but tender contemporary romance set in the enchanting town of Nederland, CO, which is about an hour outside of Denver. It’s a small town that is serious about its ‘live and let live’ attitude, and has been the perfect hideaway for our hero, Jack Franklin, to have escaped from the world. He’s a man with a secret who has become adept over the past few years at ignoring tourists who trek through his sanctuary.

Then hotshot young realtor Callie Weston comes to town to seek safe haven in her father’s enchanting cabin built into the hillside overlooking the water, and Jack’s peace and quiet is threatened. Trying to elude her own demons, Callie retreats, hoping to find solace in this unique, picturesque hamlet.

Soon the locals are treating this auburn-haired beauty as one of their own – except Jack. As sparks fly between them, he does his best to drive her away. She’s tired of running, and has no intention of backing down from her plans of holing up for the winter away from the rat-race of life. But the closer they get to each other, the more their pasts converge to try to keep them apart.

All the ingredients of an exciting story. What drew you to it?

I am a hopeless romantic at heart and had been writing a national real estate blog for a while. I loved sharing stories, but wanted ones that would get people emotionally involved. Someone told me about NaNoWriMo in 2011, and I thought it was such a great idea. Since it was after the first of the month and the contest had already started, I decided to write about something I knew wouldn’t take too much research, so I made my heroine a realtor and put them in a town I love. I got about 25,000 words done that November then put it on the shelf for a while. But the story kept calling to me, and late last year I made it my goal to get it done.

So many authors cite NaNoWriMo as the genesis of their books. Would you share an excerpt?

Love to. Here you are.

Was it possible she hadn’t noticed him in the booth behind her when she sat down? Dear God, how could she not notice? Jack wondered. He had thought of little else since meeting her.

“You got business here in town?” Jack was surprised when the words actually left his mouth. There was a slight hesitation before she answered. Maybe she hadn’t known he was there.

“Uh huh,” she said, opening the paper.

“Staying long?”

His peace and quiet had been disturbed since this attractive stranger walked in last night. Hair the color of well-aged cherry wood, it was tied with a ribbon of the same color. It bothered him that he noticed that detail. Met with silence, he continued to push as if he had a right to know.

“What brings you to town?”

“Alice,” she said, inclining her head toward the window.

Looking in that direction and seeing no one, he turned back to her. “Alice?”

He understood what she was doing. He had been rude with his one-word responses when they met, and it looked like she was giving as good as she got.

“Alice – my car. She and Anita take me wherever I want to go,” she said, paging through the newspaper.
           
“Ok, I’ll bite, who’s Anita?” He was beside her now, standing close enough to smell her fresh scent, wanting her to be aware of his proximity, surprised he was pressing for answers. Her spontaneous smile lit deep emerald eyes as she took a sip of coffee. She was perfection.
           
“My GPS. You know . . . Ah-Need-A address. Anita tells me where to go, Alice gets me there.” Her laugh crinkled her flawless nose. Finally looking him in the eye, he felt like he’d been sucker punched by what appeared to be her innocent sensuality.
           
“Ah, a wise ass. You still haven’t answered. How long you here for?”

“As long as it takes,” she replied cryptically, unsatisfactorily, moving ever so slightly away from him. He wondered what she was hiding.

“As long as what takes?” Did he really just fall for that? Why was he goading her? He’d only seen her once. What was wrong with him? He hadn’t let a woman get under his skin like this since Marcie. Just the thought of Marcie could make him crazy. He threw some bills on the table for the coffee that sat cold in his cup. Nodding to Sam as he left, he paused next to Callie. “It’s not important how long you’re here, as long as you’re gone soon.”

Don’t stop now. I’m waiting for Callie’s smart come-back. She’s bound to have one. LOL. You’ve set up great romantic tension just with the give-and-take of their interaction here.
What’s your next project?

I’m really excited about the next book in the Thunder on the Mountain Series. There are three stand-alone stories, all set in Nederland. I expect to have Book 2 published by November of this year. There is a teaser for it at the end of THUNDER SNOW, and the working title is THUNDER STRUCK. It’s about a young New York lawyer who inherits a Bed and Breakfast on a hillside overlooking the water. When she finds her fiancĂ© cheating on her, she decides to leave the City for a while and check out the ancestral home.

Sounds like a good concept and the series name is full of mysterious implications. Best of luck with all the titles. What one tip would you offer writers?

The best advice that helped me was ~ get the first draft done. I see so many people write a chapter, then rewrite it, then write it again. The first draft is not the time for ANY editing. It’s a time for getting your thoughts and ideas down, get the flow of the story down, get your plot established, know where the story is going, let your fingers fly over the keyboard. THEN you go back and edit, add pretty words, take out hundreds of words and add hundreds of words, then rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. The best thing I have done for myself in writing this book is to make notes in a separate file of ideas that come to mind that I will fill in – later. I don’t go back during the draft to figure out where it will fit. All of that will fall into place when the draft is done. That’s when the real story takes shape, in the editing phase. (And if you’re using Scrivener, it makes it very easy.)
Oh My Gosh, that’s such an important point—finish the draft, then work on it.

How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first – through characters, setting, storyline?

The idea for THUNDER SNOW came to me through setting and storyline. I went to college in Boulder, which is about twenty minutes outside of Nederland. It is a small mountain town built around a large reservoir and has long been a ‘hippie hangout,’ very laid back. There is a surprise ending to the book that came to me before the story was ever written, and I built the story around it in a town that I love. In my second book, there is a lot of real-life situation coupled with some mystical fantasy. I have been a Realtor for decades and specialize in Victorian homes. I have often wished that the walls could talk and tell of lives that were lived in these beautiful old homes. I’m really excited to share this story.

We have several old Victorian homes in my part of the country, too, that have a lot of history lurking in them. I can certainly see how they could prompt story ideas. Do you have a special place you like to write?

I am someone who needs total peace and quiet. No music, no talking, no distractions. Since that is often not possible in my day-to-day life, my personal niche has become that 4:30 am to 8:00 am time slot. I am getting better with noise if I already have an idea, but if I’m in a truly creative mode, I like it quiet. I have an overstuffed chair in my office, and I love to sit with a cuppa coffee and my laptop and write – unfiltered – as long as I can.

It sounds lovely. Do you have challenges with finding writing time?

For me the early morning hours really work. My biggest challenge is always – not opening my email when I open my computer J. I get hundreds of emails every day, and when I open and start filtering, I lose a lot of my writing time if I do that first. So it has taken a lot of discipline not to get sidetracked with email, and then I’m pretty consistent with carving out the time to write.
That is so true, Mimi! Once I open email, I’m lost for hours. I need to make this your writing tip to me.

It’s been great having you stop by today, Mimi. We’ll leave the comment option open for the rest of the week so more people will have the chance to sign up for the fantastic give-aways you’re offering.

Now where can we go to find THUNDER SNOW?

My book is on sale through Amazon for 99 cents, and my website (Mimi Foster Books) will also take you directly to the purchase page. I have several blog tours set up over the next month, and those dates can be found on my site as well. There will be a give-away on each blog tour, so be sure to tune in.  

And may I add here that I LOVE your website, Barbara. The colors are pleasing, there is a lot of detail without being too busy, it’s easy to maneuver, and it’s a peaceful place to be. Good job!

Thank you so much, Mimi. I love it too! I have to admit I could never have done it on my own. Kim Killion of Killion Group designed it. 

It's been great having you visit today, Mimi. Best of luck with THUNDER SNOW and the next installment in the series. I hope you'll come back soon.

**Don't forget to leave your email at the end of your comments. Winners will be drawn and announced on Saturday.