Friday, 22 February 2019

Valentine Countdown Day 15




Sally Britton is a bestselling indie author, with four historical romance novels. She contributes to the Historical Hussies blog and teaches a young writer’s class at her local library. Sally received her BA in English from Brigham Young University. She’s always read voraciously and eclectically. 

Sally started her writing journey at the tender age of fourteen on an electric typewriter and she’s never looked back. Sally lives in Arizona with her crime-fighting husband, four children, and their dog. She loves researching, hiking, and geeking out over her favorite books and movies.




A scarred and lonely viscount and an independent young woman are forced into an arranged marriage. What hope do they have for a happily ever after?

Rebecca Devon lives under the severe eye of her aunt and the iron will of her father. Though she wears what she is told and befriends the people they choose for her, she spends every moment longing to do as she wishes. Knowing freedom will only come through marriage, her hopes for a happy union are stolen away when her father arranges her marriage to a complete stranger.

Christian Hundley, Lord Easton, has learned the hard way that English society won't accept a person who looks or behaves differently than their ideal. He has hidden himself away from scornful eyes for years, until his aging grandfather takes matters in hand and finds Christian a bride. Knowing he must agree to the marriage, Christian shields his heart. If the whole of society cannot accept him, why should his bride?

Rebecca knows she must have love in her life, but Christian is convinced there is nothing so fraught with danger and pain as entrusting one’s heart to another. Rebecca does everything she can to change his mind, but Christian is determined to remain aloof. Can an arranged marriage ever be anything other than a business partnership?

While this is the fifth book in the Regency romance series, Branches of Love, it can be read as a stand-alone romance.



Top Ten List:

10 fun facts about yourself:

1.     I'm sixth generation Texan on one side, fifth on another
2.     I wrote my college senior-level thesis on the book The Princess Bride (and NAILED IT!)
3.     My favorite dessert is raw cookie dough. I ignore the warnings about eating it. Therefore, I live dangerously
4.     I learned how to type on a typewriter my mom used in college
5.     I've got almost no sense of rhythm, which anyone who's seen me dance can attest to
6.     I have four of the sweetest children in the world
7.     I've read Anne of Green Gables more times than I can count
8.     The best compliment I've ever received about my books is that someone lost sleep to stay up and read them
9.     I dedicate all my books to my husband, and always will
10.At least one character in every book is based on a member of my extended family





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Thursday, 21 February 2019

Valentine Countdown Day 14









Award-winning author, wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer girl.






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As the eighth earl of Kellworth, Gareth is accustomed to getting what he wants. Then he encounters a woman he suspects is from the future--a utopian future that he feels compelled to see. He intends to get what he wants, but it will involve dealing with fae magic. And that could lead to disaster--for his heart.



Dr. Catherine Ryan is drawn to the handsome guest at Twickenham Manor, with his odd combination of childish excitement and old eyes that have seen too much pain. She loses her heart to him before she discovers the truth of when he’s from. Now she faces the biggest decision of her life!






Q&A With the Author: 

Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?

Besides spending time with my family, I love to read. I like to do the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Last year I read 165 books. Now, most of those were audiobooks because I don't have time to sit and read. Another thing I love to do is play League of Legends, an online video game. It's so fun to play with my family members.

When did you first realize you were an author?

This may be arbitrary, but I'd classify being a writer as someone who writes. I became an author when I became published. So with that definition, I became an author in June 2013.

Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?

I write a mean set of city council minutes. I did that for over twenty years.

What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

I guess distractions are the biggest conflict. I can be writing along, and I need to open my browser for research. *squirrel* When I'm really struggling, I have software called Anti-social that helps. I turn it on and it keeps me from opening social media.

What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)

Probably the biggest theme I hear reviewers comment on the "family." Frequently, it's about people who create their own "families" from friends.

Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?

I draw a lot on my own experiences or those of people I know or have read about. It's a lot of taking an experience and asking a bunch of "what if" questions. I don't tend to write about real people, but I've had a couple of characters that were inspired by real people. More that they were fodder for "what if" questions.
What are your future projects?

This is going to be a busy year for me.
* I have another book in my Billionaires of REKD series coming out on St. Patrick's Day. It's called The Luck of the Billionaire, and it includes a trip to Ireland. Appropriate, right? There will be another two of them that will come out by the fall. 

* The next Twickenham Time Travel romance--For the Magic--will come out in the summer. 

* I have a romance that's a follow-up to my Christmas novella that should come out later this year. 

*This fall I'll begin releasing a new western novella series set in Wyoming in 1905.
  
* I'm also working on a young adult/new adult portal fantasy I'm excited about.

Hmmm . . . looking at all that I think I may need to clone myself.




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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Valentine Countdown Day 13







Stan published his first book at age 5, when he managed to win a local writing contest for the library.
He's matured (slightly) since then, and has switched from writing about a boy and his dog, to clean contemporary romance, murder mysteries, and light fantasy/sci-fi.
Along with his wife,  9 (and counting) children, and a ninja cat, he inhabits a place with a pair of national parks in his backyard.
He considers himself really rather blessed.

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Jim Sharp is the only widower in the senior class of Mendon State University. Still reeling from the tragedy that claimed the love of his life, he struggles to pick up the pieces and close his heart forever to love. 

When an otherworldly encounter places him squarely in the path of new love, Alex sees no way to give his crushed heart away a second time. 

His wife, however, has other plans.











Q&A With the Author:

1.     Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
o Along with my wife and children, I love taking advantage of the two national parks in my backyard, camping, hiking, and taking in scenery people come from all over the world to see. I also enjoy playing games with my kids, reading books (aloud) with my wife, sketching, building models, and (very occasionally) woodworking.
2.     When did you first realize you were an author?
o The first time I consciously decided I wanted to publish was in 2008. After writing various short stories (largely fan fiction for a game), I began listening to a number of audiobooks during my daily commute. When I realized that I was on par with a number of the authors whose books I was listening to, I decided it was time to work on getting myself published. Four years later, my first novel The Cinderella Project was put in print by Breezy Reads Publishing.
3.     Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
o During a college course on technical writing, the former head of the school's English department pulled me aside and complimented me highly for my writing. He was so impressed that he wrote a glowing recommendation for use in my upcoming post-graduation job hunt. While I already knew I enjoyed writing, it hadn't occurred to me that I was particularly good at it until the professor in question (who I had never met before the course) pointed it out to me. That one event bolstered my confidence tremendously, and was a motivational stepping stone toward publishing.
4.     What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
o Moving forward and finding motivations amidst the busy-ness of any given day is probably my biggest struggle. Once I "get off the ground," so to speak, I can lay down a few thousand words (on a good day) without breaking a sweat. It's getting past the inertia of not writing that I find most difficult.
I've used several techniques to deal with this problem. The first is a daily word count goal (I keep it very modest). This gives me a measurable target that keeps me moving forward (even if not very quickly), while still fitting into my oft-taxing daily schedule. A more recent technique is simply "Writing to write," where I push myself to put words on a page, even if they're not well polished, and I know I'll have to go back and edit them. When I do this, I still make progress, and I find it's much easier to fix poor wording than to fix a completely blank page.
5.     What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
o I feel that writing has long had a variety of purposes, among which education and entertainment are two of the most common. I can't bring myself to write pure "fluff" pieces, most of the time. While I don't intend to be didactic or to push any specific views or agenda, I do aim to provide opportunities for readers to evaluate the way people face challenges using a solid, moral core and personal determination. In other words, "Good guys don't necessarily finish last."
I write clean romance because I know that both my wife and my oldest daughter read my books; I'd rather not have to explain to my teenage daughter why I wrote something racy.
6.     Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
o Absolutely. My first two published novels, The Cinderella Project and Love Spell were based heavily on real-life events and people. The Cinderella Project features a scene in which the main characters are having a discussion about love. The male lead tells the story of a girl he once loved. That story is, in fact, my own story from my freshman year of college.
Similarly, my novel Love Spell is (in large measure) an apology to a girl I was unfortunately cruel to when I was still in high school (thankfully, I've grown past that).
My novel Autumn Wings is set on a campus based heavily my university's campus and its surroundings. The story also involves events that parallel my college career.
7.     What are your future projects?
o Several projects are currently in the works. My most active one is a yet-to-be-titled tale that blends dragons and the Old West, and may yet become serialized. When two immigrants from opposite ends of the social spectrum find themselves transformed into dragons, and tasked with bringing the species back from the brink of extinction, they struggle to come to terms with their hastily arranged marriage, and the tremendous change of their very beings. Set against the backdrop of the San Francisco Gold Rush, the two of them must learn to love one another before they end up killing each other, and still manage to save the world as they know it.
o An on-going back burner project is a middle-grade sci-fi fantasy blend series. In the first book, a boy with literally no imagination is thrust into a world created by his father's flights of boyhood fancy. Desperate to prevent his parents from divorcing, he sets out on a quest across his dad's imaginary world to find the one person who may be able to convince his father not to leave the family. Who he finds, however, is nothing like the person he was looking for. Further books follow the boy, his family, and inter-planar friend through adventures that risk breaking the fate of two worlds, three planes, and Creation itself.
o I have numerous other story idea covering several genres, but they will need to wait their turn.









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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Valentine Countdown Day 12




Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


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Fleeing an unwanted engagement, a young harpist follows her music passion to London. Becoming entangled with a handsome violinist who seems too aristocratic for a working-class musician may be more problematic than dodging her erstwhile fiancé, sleeping in the streets, or staying alive when a madman targets her for murder.



Top Ten List:

1.     I adore cats–kittens are even more fun.
2.     Claustrophia is one of my biggest challenges.
3.     My favorite sports are water sports. I love swimming, boating, wake surfing, rowing around on a canoe, and simply walking along the beach of an ocean or lake.
4.     I enjoy horseback riding and hope someday to take lessons so I can learn how to do it well. I'd also love to learn how to ride side saddle.
5.     One of my favorite ways to have a good time with friends is having a tea party. I also love to play board games and card games.
6.     Due to moves in my childhood, I attended 9 different schools including 3 junior high schools. Being the new kid isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
7.     I love chocolate. Chocolate has seen me through many brutal revisions. But please hold the dark chocolate--in most cases, it's too chalky and bitter. I love MILK chocolate, with or without caramel, and with or without nuts. Mmmmm. Salted caramel is a very close second.
8.     My favorite color is blue scruffy shade of blue is beautiful. I also adore pink but there are a lot of ugly shades of pink so I'm pickier on that one.
9.     Though I'm not a real gardener, I love flowers, and I find it rewarding to plan and then carry out ways to add color to my yard.
10.I love to dance--any kind--but most especially ballet and ballroom. I would dance every day if I could.





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Monday, 18 February 2019

Valentine Countdown Day 11





J. L. Petersen lives in Denver with her husband. She finds inspiration in her adopted state of Colorado and her belief love is the most powerful positive emotion we can experience.











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Logan, the eldest of the MacBride clan, is thrilled at his brother Clay's pending nuptials to Sandy. But when Sandy's sister RJ arrives at the family's ranch, Logan's world is turned upside down. 

However, the sisters' shared past has created scars and barriers against love testing Logan's ability to push aside his need and patience to win RJ's trust and ultimately her unwavering love.











Authors Favorite Things:

I love, love, love reading. The ability to store so many books on my iPad was like Christmas and reading magic rolled together.

Of course, my family is among my top favorite things. I love it when my kids are all home and we play games all day. Although, my eldest favorite game, Monopoly, is now a banned game. He so competitive!

This one is slightly odd, but I actually like planning and researching trips for either my husband and myself or for a girl’s trip.

Golfing with my girlfriends. I’ve tried the whole league thing and it’s not for me. But with just my friends..well we have a blast.

Babysitting the grandkids. I’m really getting into this “sure let me have them..spoiling them..them giving them back” thing.  hehehe

I’ve really gotten into doing jigsaw puzzles. Drives my husband nuts but there is always on in progress on our dining room table.

Starbucks Mocha with Almond Milk.  ‘nough said.






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