• Blog

    Writers on Wednesday – A Q&A with author Sophie Barlow

    Writers on Wednesday

    Today Sophie Barlow talks about the inspiration for her Swan Harbor series.

    1. What was the inspiration for your current novel?

    A swan. I find them to be fascinating and when I created my town of Swan Harbor, I began researching. There are ‘beliefs’ behind swans that revolve around hope and communication and purity. I’ve taken that and in several books have this: 

    “Swans are symbols of purity, beauty, grace and love. Some say when they are around, they help your communication with other people. Some say they are a sign of marital fidelity. And others say they combine the elements of air and water and embody eternal life. And what is the first step to forever?”

    Hope.

    And I’ve tied the ‘hope’ of the town and whether it can survive or not to a swan, Jonesy. He is first talked about in this Kittens, Puppies & Love. And then the story of hope plays out through five books. Swan Harbor’s Hope. 

     2. Why do you write in the genre you do?

    I love to read romance and mysteries. I also love interconnected stories where couples come in/out. A what better way to combine all of those then to write small town romantic mysteries.

    3. When did you take up writing? 

    I’ve always had an active imagination but after 30+years working w/ adult strokes, it is fun to jump into something totally different. 

    4. How important is setting/place in your writing?

    Huge. I have tried to set up my small town of Swan Harbor as a character in and of itself. I want people to want to live there and to be able to picture it in their heads. And as a visual person, I have created an interactive map on my website. It’s still a work in progress but fun. Some of the spots have ‘pictures’ of the owners and I talk about which I saw stories the place in.  Interactive map.


    5. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?

    I love Captain Jack. He’s an eccentric older guy who believes he can understand a swan and who seems to know what others need before they ask. And if I had to cast him, Sean Connery fits the image in my head.  

    6. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?

    That each scene needs to push the plot. Don’t use the same words in a paragraph and/or to start each sentence. Read out loud when editing.  

    7. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    Whenever I can. If I’m in the middle of a book, I’ve been known to write all day. But I still work as a speech/language pathologist Tues/Wed/Thurs so those days, it’s a bit different. And lately, I’ve been trying to learn the marketing end, which means my writing has been limited to making notes. 

    8. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?

    Generally, I fly by the seat of my pants. I know the name of the characters and that’s about it. But if I get ‘ideas’ while writing another book, I jot notes. I also don’t write in order. In Hope, I wrote an ending scene before the beginning and then I wrote chapters 2-26 before I wrote chapter 1.

    9. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books? 

    This is hard because I am horrible at keeping track of titles. But I like just about anything by Nora Roberts. Same for Lisa Jackson. Shannon McKenna has series , The McCloud Brothers, that stand out in my mind.

    10. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?

    My next book is going to be pulling from a thread I left dangling in my first book, From Darkness into Love. And while it will have a story that has a beginning/end, inside of it there will be two other threads that lead into the next 5 books. (wish me luck)

    11. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?

    Start with fanfiction. You can get feedback and you don’t have to worry about creating the entire picture. Plus, you don’t have to worry about creating an entire story. It can be just scene or two. 

    Blurb:

    The word cloak means to cover, hide, or disguise. 
    Would you shed yours and expose your heart for love?

    Veterinarian Emma Foster arrives in Swan Harbor with her goal list in one hand and clinging to the many layers of her cloak with the other. But she didn’t anticipate the lure of the small town or the pull of a man’s magnetic blue eyes. Their potent combination threatens to derail her well-ordered plans. 

    Investigator Killian Reade has used his good looks, flirty talk, and sexy accent to layer masks over his true self. Until a flash of yellow peels off one. And the people of Swan Harbor add cracks in another. But when Emma looks through him, instead of at him, he’s forced to take a journey. One that has him searching for the man he’s meant to be. 

    As their barriers begin to fade, an off-hand comment made by Emma leads Killian to uncover disturbing behavior in their small town. When all is revealed, will they wrap the layers tighter or will they allow love in and set their hearts free?

    Buy Links Kittens, Puppies and LoveKittens Trailer  I also have a prequel novella that is free on my website as well as on StoryOrigin  Free Novella Guided by Light

    Social Links   https://sophiebartow.com/      https://linktr.ee/sophiebartow 

    Also, I’m part of an author group who just started a new FB group. We talk about books, movies, etc.  Adventures in Book Reading: Romance, Mystery & More  

    Author bio: Sophie is a married mother of four who has spent the last 30+ years as a Speech/Language Pathologist working with adult post-stroke patients. Now that her youngest (twin girls) are freshmen in college, it’s time for a new journey. I love books that have complex characters, romance, and a touch of mystery and strive to include those in all my stories.

  • Writers on Wednesday
    Blog

    Writers on Wednesday with Shail Rajan

    Writers on Wednesday

    Today for Writers on Wednesday we have a Q&A with debut author Shail Rajan

    Shail rajanShail is a contemporary women’s fiction writer and the author of The Summer Breeze, her debut novel which celebrates the role family, friendships, food, and falling in love play in our everyday lives. Shail lives in the Bay Area with her husband and three wonderful, noisy, mischievous children. When she is not writing and reading, she serves as the president of a non-profit, cooks nonstop, tackles the occasional DIY project, and obsesses over her vegetable garden. Don’t be surprised if you hear your stomach growling while reading her books because Shail is a serious foodie and often includes vivid descriptions of the food her characters are eating. If you feel the urge to cook something up, she often shares her recipes on her website and social media!

    1. Why do you write in the genre, you do?

    I’ve always been drawn to stories about strong women taking control of their lives and doing it with grace, kindness, and humour. I love stories which center around new beginnings and second chances. My writing contemporary women’s fiction is just a natural extension of what I love to read.

    1. When did you take up writing?

    I started writing as a way to pass the time back in 2003. Since then, The Summer Breeze and other partially completed manuscripts have been waiting patiently on my laptop. At the end of 2020, I finally mustered up the courage to send my first book baby out into the world!

    1. How important is setting/place in your writing?

    It’s always been very important to me for my readers to be able to vividly imagine setting/place throughout my books. What I wasn’t prepared for was how it would resonate with them. In so many reviews and so much of the feedback I’ve received, people have appreciated the visual imagery I’ve created. It’s a great feeling.

    1. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?

    Callie, the female protagonist in The Summer Breeze, is my absolute favorite. She’s kind, independent, flawed, funny, a foodie, and unstoppable. I think there’s something inherently relatable about a woman who is so multi-dimensional – like so many of us.

    1. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    I’ve always been an early bird and usually wake up a couple of hours before the rest of my family. I try to take advantage of the quite time and focus on my writing in the mornings. I’d love to be able to do more during the day, but it’s been challenging with three kids learning remotely. Once they’re back in school full-time, I think I’ll be able to dedicate even more time creating these stories and characters that I absolutely love.

    1. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?

    When I started out on my writing journey, I tried to wing it. However, I quickly realized I needed to be more of a plotter because I was writing over such a long span of time (years!) that I found myself forgetting details about certain characters and events. Now, since I have committed myself to chasing this dream, I’m writing at a much quicker pace and I’m able to wing it because I can get fully emerged in the story.

    1. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?

    I recently finished reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and Know My Name by Chanel Miller. Both books moved me in different ways, but both educated me about journeys vastly different from my own. Anyone who loves to read knows this is one of the best things about books: the ability to engender empathy for the lives of others.

    For me, American Dirt was a page turner from start to finish. Whenever I had to put it down to do something else, I was eager to get back to it to learn what was coming next. I found myself feeling the stress, anxiety, fear, and hope of the characters throughout the book.

    Know My Name literally pried my eyes open. Learning about the experience of sexual assault through the eyes of the victim – starting with the days and hours leading up to an assault, the actual assault, the response of first responders immediately after, the fear of telling family and friends, the trial and subsequent appeals, and of course, the emotional upheaval that the victim and her family face – was truly an emotional education. Did it make me feel uncomfortable? Yes, incredibly so. Will I have my children read it when they’re older? Most definitely.

    There are also two books that I always have on my nightstand. The first is Pride and Prejudice because I absolutely love everything about Jane Austen, from her writing style, to her description of setting, to her wonderful female characters. And of course, Mr. Darcy.

    The second is A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute. I came across this book years ago and loved it so much that my husband managed to find a first edition copy which I have read and re-read numerous times. There is something so magical for me in the emotional journey of the main character Jean Paget.

    Note from Monique: A Town Like Alice is also one of my favorite books!!!

    1. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?

    I’m working on two projects right now, and I’m so excited about both of them!

    The first is book #2 in The Summer Breeze series where readers will be able to catch up with all their favorite characters from The Summer Breeze Bed and Breakfast! Callie will continue her unsuccessful attempts to not meddle in her guests’ lives, eat even more mouth-watering food, and try to keep her head on straight when Nick is around. Two weddings and a catastrophe will be the backdrop to Callie’s life in the beautiful lakeside town of Seneca Springs.

    My second projects is a romantic suspense novel that I’m having a the best time researching and writing. Stay tuned for more info on how small town life takes a dark turn when a rock star comes to Sycamore Ridge!

    1. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?

    Do NOT stop. Write every chance you get and be prepared for bumps and detours along the way. I started writing The Summer Breeze in 2003. Take a minute to let that sink in! It took me 18 years to put my dream back at the top of my to-do list and make it happen. But I’m here now, and I’m having the best time ever!

    The Summer Breeze

    The Summer Breeze

    Tired of her fast-paced life in NYC, Callie Williams leaves her successful career and demanding fiancé behind and makes a life-changing decision to open a bed & breakfast in the lakeside town of Seneca Springs. Navigating the complexities of small-town life, Callie forges lifelong friendships, eats more than her fair share of delicious food, and tries not to meddle in the lives of her guests. The only thing hindering her newfound happiness is the attraction she feels for Nick, a rough-around-the-edges construction worker who is determined to get under Callie’s skin.

    Buy Links:

    https://bit.ly/TheSummerBreezebyShailRajan

    Social Links:

    Website: https://www.shailrajan.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shailrajanauthor/

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20957911.Shail_Rajan

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

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShailRajan

  • Blog

    Writers on Wednesday with Renee Dahlia author of The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose

    This week for Writers on Wednesday we have a Q&A with Renee Dahlia author of new release The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride

    Author Renee DahliaAbout Renee

    Renée Dahlia is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men. Her books reflect this, with a side note of awkward humour.

    1.What was the inspiration for your current novel, The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride?

    Our family booked a trip to Italy last year but had to cancel due to the pandemic. It was a frustrating process, as we’d saved up for a couple of years for the trip, and didn’t end up getting refunds until months after the trip was cancelled. This novella came from a need to do some travelling! I imagined an Earl on his way home from a Grand Tour getting shipwrecked on a Spanish beach, and it just fell into place from there.

    2. Why do you write in the genre you do?

    I write both historical and contemporary romances, across a range of heat levels and pairings. Why? Because I write to entertain myself and I don’t like feeling restricted to one time period or place. My ideas are often chaotic before they become books. They come from little pieces of conversations that I overhear, or non-fiction that I’m reading, and a whole bunch of other places. I keep all the ideas in a big file and let them kind of roll around for a while until they form enough of a story to become a book. All my books are listed on my website with heat levels and pairing type.

    3. When did you take up writing?

    My first book, To Charm a Bluestocking, was published in 2017. I’ve written non-fiction for about a decade prior to that, mostly magazine articles. Oddly, I didn’t want to be a writer when I left school, and studied science instead. I fell into writing almost accidentally when I was asked to write a series of articles that explained statistical results to non-mathematicians.

    4. How important is setting/place in your writing?

    Not very! Description is my least favourite part of writing. My first drafts are mostly dialogue with a few notes, and I add the descriptions later.

    5. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?

    I’m fickle! My favourite is always the one I’m writing right now! In my novella, The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride, the heroine Sofia is a Spanish fisherman’s daughter who has taught herself to read English from books washed up on their beach. Her family supplement their income with things they find from shipwrecks, and they dismiss her need for reading. Reading shows her the world, and when Rupert washes up on her beach, she takes the chance to leave. When I first started to write, I imagined her as quite aspirational, but as I wrote, she turned out to be more empathetic and unsure about the decision to leave.

    6. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?

    Read a lot. Read in the genre you want to write in, so you understand what readers love about it, and better yet, write the genre that you love to read because then that understanding comes naturally.

    7. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    Yes. I have a spreadsheet that I’ve designed that tracks both my daily word count and my writing schedule by book.

    8. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?

    Somewhere in the middle. I like to have a good idea of where I’m going, so I set out the book’s basic plot with a few one liners that indicate the emotional arc for the two characters, then I just let the dialogue go where it feels natural. Sometimes I end up in places that I didn’t intend, and have to adjust either the dialogue or the vague plot notes, but that doesn’t happen often.

    9. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?

    I’ve just finished reading Talia Hibbert’s Brown sisters series which is really adorable. My favourite historical novels are Olivia Waite’s The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics and Courtney Milan’s Duchess War. I adore Alexis Hall’s writing – the characterisation in Glitterland is outstanding. How can anyone pick just four books?

    10. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?

    I’m currently writing a medium heat contemporary lesbian romance series set in a Burlesque club in London.

    11. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on
    their journey?

    Read and write. Practice will make you better.

    The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride

    Blurb:

    LORD RUPERT STANMORE was banished to the continent for a grand tour after being caught kissing his best friend, Lord Benburgh. Two years later and life back in England has caught up to him. His father died recently and now he’s the latest Earl of Stanmore. On the way home, his ship is wrecked in a storm, and he washes up on a beach in Spain, only to be rescued by a beautiful woman. As the Earl, he has an obligation to marry. He’d rather be hung for sodomy than allow his mother to choose his bride, and who better to annoy his proper and distant mother than a poor foreigner as a bride? He plots for Sofia to fall in love with him, not expecting to fall for her.

     

    SOFIA LUCIANA RIAL is the only daughter of a fisherman in Spain. She taught herself to read English from books washed up on their beach, a skill her widowed Father sees as pointless. In his opinions, she should spend all, not most, of her time doing domestic work. When a man washes up on the beach near their cottage, she realises he might be her ticket out of poverty. She sets about to make him fall in love with her so he can take her to England where she will never again have to worry about where her next meal will come from. Only her plan fails when she falls in love with him. But how can she convince him that her love is real?

     

     

    You can learn more about Renee here: 
    Twitter
    Facebook 
    romance.com.au
    Instagram 
    BookBub

     

  • Blog

    Let’s meet the editor of the new magazine BLUSH, designed just for romance readers

    9/3/2019

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose

    blush-magazine-issue-8
    Let’s meet Jacqui Greig the editor of the new magazine BLUSH, designed just for romance readers.

    I was recently at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Melbourne where I met Jacqui at a cocktail party. She and her husband looked like glamorous super-models. I had a terrible cold and looked like death warmed up. Still lovely soul that she is we got chatting about all things romance, books and the media. It turns out we did the same degree at the same university – although I was more than a few years ahead of her.

    Naturally I started following Blush on social media and reached out to ask her about the magazine for this blog. What could be more on theme for Writers on Wednesday than writing a blog about someone who writes about writers.

    So here we go:

    1. What made you decide to start a magazine in general?
    My background is in journalism and I’ve worked on several different magazines – I actually published my own print women’s lifestyle magazine for a couple of years! I was aware of some amazing platforms that allow you to host a digital magazine (no overheads!) and I’d always thought that if there were a magazine for romance readers, I would definitely read it! Plus, I kept reading romance novels and getting to The End and wanting MORE! I wanted to know about the author and their inspiration and their thoughts and, basically, what they had for breakfast. Blush gives me an opportunity to fangirl over authors without getting slapped with a restraining order. With so many amazing blogs already dedicated to the genre, I thought a digital magazine could be fun and different.

    2. Why romance novels? What is it about them that excites you?
    I pretty much exclusively read romance. Okay, I definitely exclusively read romance. There is no other genre of book that I could imagine dedicating a whole magazine to. 12 times a year. Nope. But romance? Where do I start?! There is so. much. to. talk. about. I adore the community of romance readers and writers and just want to revel in their awesomeness, which Blush allows me to do!

    3. Who is Blush Magazine for?
    Blush Magazine is for those many, many readers of romance who want more than ‘The End’.​It is a digital magazine taking readers beyond the pages of their favourite books – to meet their favourite authors. ​This the first editorial-based magazine focused solely on the romance novel industry – interviewing authors, following trends, delving into tropes and the many intricacies specific to the romance genre.
    ​Blush Magazine provides insightful, thought-provoking, and fun editorial content on a monthly basis. The September issue just released…and guess whose book happens to get a mention?!

    You can learn more about Blush Magazine here.

    And look here’s Jacqui doing her editorial thing for the magazine and you can see Shut Up and Dance With Me right there!

     

    Blush Magazine Editors Letter

  • Blog

    Musical Monday with my fellow Oceanic Dreams author Tracy Krimmer

    6/24/2019

    Musical Monday
    Circle in the Sand - Promo Banner

    Circle in the Sand is out now – now – download your copy today and don’t forget to read the whole Oceanic Dreams series!

    1. Every book in the series is named after a song title. Why did you choose this song for your book?
    ​My book didn’t have a title. I hadn’t even considered one yet. One day while making dinner I had my Google Mini playing me an 80s playlist. “Circle in the Sand” by Belinda Carlisle came on. I had her cassette tape (yes, cassette tape) and loved that song. It just felt like the perfect title for my Oceanic Dreams book. ​

    ​​2. What song(s) are you currently listening to/loving and why?
    I am always listening to James Arthur. I love his song “Say You Won’t Let Go” and his newest, “Falling Like the Stars” is like a follow up to it. I am also obsessed with “Dynasty” by MIIA and most songs by NF. I don’t usually listen to Ariana Grande but I really like her new one “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” ​

    3. Do you have a go to karaoke song?

    Um, no. I don’t do karaoke. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I would do karaoke in my parent’s basement with only a few people around. They have a big karaoke collection. I don’t have a specific song I sing, though.

    4. If you had to choose your theme song what would it be?’

    ​Right now I would have to say “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco. I honestly have heard the song so much that I tend to change the channel now when it comes on. But I love the message and it’s very relatable.

     

     

  • Blog

    Musical Monday with Oceanic Dreams author Holly Kerr

    6/10/2019

    Musical Monday
    In the second of our Musical Monday posts with authors of the Oceanic Dreams series let’s chat with Holly Kerr, author of I Saw Him Standing There.
    I Saw Him Standing There - CoverEvery book in the series is named after a song title. Why did you choose this song for your book?

    I picked I Saw Him Standing There by Tiffany. Yes, I know it was originally a Beatles song, but Tiffany was talking about a boy and I’m an 80s girl at heart! I actually had a different song title that I was going to use but there’s a bit in my book about Siggy watching Will standing in the lounge that I like and one day the Tiffany song came up on my playlist and it just fit.

    What song(s) are you currently listening to/loving and why?

    I’m currently loving the new Shawn Mendes song, If I Can’t Have You and the Ed Sheeran/Justin Bieber I Don’t Care. But I keep going back to the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman – just love it!

     

     

     

    Do you have a go to karaoke song?

    I haven’t done karaoke in a long time, but I think I’d go with ABBA or maybe Dolly Parton. I’ve been listening to a lot of Dolly lately and I think I could pull off Here You Come Again.

    If you had to choose your theme song what would it be?

    Dancing by Myself. Because that’s what I do! Give me an empty kitchen and some loud tunes, plus a glass of wine and I’ll all set!

    I Saw Him Standing There get your copy today

    This stowaway sets sail for love! Small-time con artist Siggy needs to get out of town fast. When she’s offered tickets on the legendary Oceanic Aphrodite, Siggy jumps at the chance to get away. A week on a luxury cruise ship, with a suitcase full of clothes and all expenses paid? Yes, please! The only catch is that she has to pretend to be someone else.
    No problem. Siggy has no intention of getting close enough anyone to discover her secrets.
    But this is the Oceanic Aphrodite and love is in the air. When Siggy sees assistant cruise director Will taking tickets, Cupid’s arrow hits the target. Luckily, Will’s too busy smiling at her to check out her fake passport because he’ll toss Siggy off the ship if he finds out about the scam.
    Onboard, dolphins and cameras and runaway ferrets bring Siggy and Will together. The more time they spend together, the more Siggy wants to tell him the truth.
    Cupid’s arrow has struck deep but can Siggy stop running? This novella-length romantic comedy is the first book in the Oceanic Dreams series

    Books in series:
    I Saw Him Standing There by Holly Kerr
    Time of My Life by Laura Heffernan
    Circle in the Sand by Tracy Krimmer
    I Thought it Was You by Kirsty McManus
    I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord
    Take a Chance on Me by Delancey Stewart
    Shut Up and Dance With Me by Monique McDonell
    The Best of You by Sophie-Leigh Robbins

  • Blog

    Today I interview myself about my writing life

    3/26/2019

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose
    Today I thought I’d ask myself the Top 5 questions I get asked about my writing life.
    Something to Savour - Jewel Sisters Series - Monique McDonell - Cover
    1. How’s your writing going?
    This is the question people who know I write but don’t really know about the details ask. It’s the most common question I get.

    It’s going fine. I have another book out next month and my last release was okay although I didn’t promote it properly. It was a novella and I don’t think people really want novellas from me. My January release No Time For Temptation went well and readers are giving it great reviews which makes me happy.

    2. When is the next book out?
    This is the question from my friends who read and love my books.
    Girlfriend, I’m doing my best here. It takes a lot longer to write a book than read a book you know. I’m working really hard here and but you’ll have books in April, May, June so don’t panic. There will be lots to read. I do really appreciate that you love my books and your support makes me cry all the happy tears.

    3. Can I get it in paperback?
    Asked by lots of non e-reading friends.

    You know I used to do paperbacks and they just don’t sell unless you have a book launch or a signing but I have No Time For Temptation in paperback and it will be live on Amazon soon. I’m also ordering duets of the Upper Crust series soon, I promise.

     

     

    Here’s an example!

    Upper Crust Series Any Way You Slice It and Any Way You Dream It - Paperback Duet Example

     

    4. How do you write so fast?
    This is usually asked by other authors who don’t write as quickly as I do.

    Firstly, I have had years of practice at being quick at turning work around in my day job where I’ve basically written all day for a living. Secondly, I’m not bad at time management in general so I’m really good at using 15 minute increments to get stuff done – a Facebook post, some emails, or some behind the scenes activity. Thirdly, I know my best times of day for creativity and it’s good to work these out for yourself. (Mine are 10am -12noon , 2-4pm, and 5-6.30pm) If I can get two one hour blocks in these times I can get 2-3,000 words of a draft done. I try and do a minimum of 1,000 words a day. That adds up. Fourthly, by writing every day I can dive straight back in where I left off which saves time and backtracking. Finally, i enjoy writing (editing and promoting not so much) but I do it because I like it and that makes it easier.

    There is no correct pace to write at. It depends on a lot of things. I like to release regularly because as an indie romance author that helps me with sales, visibility and the pesky Amazon algorithms. Also I read quickly so I understand that kind of reader who wants to read a series back-to-back. That means I need to write quickly and it’s important to me so I make time for it.

    Also I don’t watch TV hardly at all (except the odd cooking show). I haven’t seen a movie since January 2018 and I don’t play sports or have a time consuming hobby. As does meal preparation (we don’t eat take-away) and planning on the home front. Oh yes, and my house isn’t company ready 95% of the time. You’d be amazed how much time that frees up.

    ​5. How do you come up with your ideas?
    Lots of people ask this.

    Ideas are not an issue for me. I have books planned out and so many things I’d love to write that I’ll never get to. The characters appear before me and then I want to tell their stories. Picking the right stories in the right order is the challenge for me as is deciding what people would like to read. I’ll have a plan and then get distracted by shiny new things. Staying focused is the challenge.

    ​If you have any question please feel free to ask me in the comments below.

  • Blog

    Today’s Writers on Wednesday Post is a Q&A with romantic suspense author Karen Botha

    1/22/2019

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose

    Down in the Well - Cover1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
    My brother in law used to be a rodeo rider and so, what a perfect sounding board to use to write my next book. Especially as he lives in Florida, so I took the trip from the UK to spend a week chatting to him about it.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    I have always written and wrote my first book when I was sixteen. It never got published and I’m willing to bet that my mom threw it away with the rest of my school stuff years ago. But, it was a start. Since then I’ve been writing my entire career. For many years it was copy in my marketing job. When I gave this up to become a therapist, I needed an outlet for my creative side and so that’s when I started writing books again. It’s almost three years ago now.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    It depends on the book. I’ve written a 6 book series about a racing car driver, so obviously with that the setting is important because this is where everything happens. But, as with all things, life moves us in different directions so usually the starting setting will end up evolving anyway. It’s a great place to get my thoughts together about the character though.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    I love Tommy. He’s such a complicated and misunderstood character with such a lot to give. This is the first book in Rodeo series and I can’t wait for the opportunity to develop him further in the second book. Down in the Well is just the start of his story and while it has a HEA and is a standalone, there’s just not enough word count to be able to understand everything that goes on in his head. And why.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    Don’t’ give up. Pure and simple.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    Sometimes, it depends on where I am. Last year I set myself the task of releasing one book a week from 3rd Sept through to Christmas. So, that was quite a hefty schedule. I made it, but it was stressful. The issue is that I thrive under pressure and during that period I produced my best work. I had to think on my feet and my characters, particularly in the Daisy series are wonderful examples of living on the edge.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    I’ve tried plotting and my work is flat. I love the winging it, just not when I’m committed to one book a week with my editor. That’s rough.

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    Right now I am working on the follow up to the Love Series. It takes some of the characters that we fell in love with in that series, (titles include Daisy, Idris, Cassius) and develops their stories. The series is called Close Protection, if that gives you a clue…

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on
    their journey?
    The same advice I received, don’t give up. Ever. Not if you love it.

    Down the Well
    When the grass isn’t greener; run.
    After leaving his home and everything he’s ever known for a new life away from a violent step father, Tommy finds himself alone with no plan. But, he’s not concerned about that, because how can whatever is around the corner be worse than what he just left?
    It can’t, unless you meet and fall in love with Hope, a sexy older black woman with a past that threatens to haunt them both. Tommy ignores the signs, loving working on her ranch and learning the ropes as a rodeo rider. Until it’s too late.

    Down in the Well is a BWWM suspense with more than a hint of romance along the way. This pair put their romantic differences to one side to pave the way towards a cowboy love like nothing you will have read before. This book by Karen Botha is full of romance, mystery and suspense while keeping it real with funny moments we can all identify with.

    This BWWM Cowboy mystery romance is the first in the Rodeo series of Romantic suspense books and is available as ebooks in the kindle store.

    Download this romantic mystery book now, and cheer Tommy on as he fights one twist after another to come out fighting for his HEA.​
    Grab your copy here:
    Amazon.com – https://amzn.to/2Mix57Y
    Amazon.co.uk – https://amzn.to/2T1KqnK

    Karen Botha
    Karen Botha was born in Lincolnshire England where her father was in the royal air force. As a young girl she always had a passion for reading and writing. Working most of her adult life in digital marketing didn’t leave her much time to pursue her passion for stories. at the age of 36 She retrained for a reflexologist and started working for herself. This helped her free up more than enough time to enjoy a re-found passion for writing.
    Her first novel was inspired by true life experiences and tales from clients. But don’t believe everything you read.
    She enjoys traveling rugby and motor sport, this gives her inspiration and ideas for her books.
    The first in the new lgbt series is a mm romance novel about a racecar driver and his mechanic.
    She currently lives in London with her Husband and rescue dog called Shadow.

     

  • Blog

    Let’s meet Lindsey Detwiler author of No Brides Club new release No Time For Promises

    1/19/2019

    To celebrate the launch of the No Brides Club series I’ll be hosting each of the authors on their release day – today let’s meet Lindsey Detwiler, author of No Time For Promises.

    No Time For Promises - No Brides Club - Promo Banner
    1. What made you want to write your No Brides Club novel?
    I loved the idea of teaming up with five other authors to create a series. I felt like creatively, it would push me and help me approach romance writing in a new way. I was also really drawn to the premise of the series as I’ve written several novels about women swearing off love in favor of careers.

    2. Is there a character in the novel you most relate to?
    I can relate with Rachel’s desire to chase her dreams, no matter the cost. I tend to be a planner who is always looking ahead to figure out what’s coming next.

    3. In the series the characters make a pledge to focus on their careers and not on dating/finding love? It’s January have you made a New Year’s resolution? Or have you ever made a group pledge or pact with friends and did you keep it?
    This year, my husband and I are both focusing on health. We have already started eating healthier, and we tossed out all of the cookies and candy in the house. I also have some financial and career goals I’m chasing.

    4. The No Brides Club series is set in New York – can you tell us a little about yourself and where you live.
    I am from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, which is a small, charming town in the central part of the state. My husband and I actually grew up here, and I now teach at the same high school we graduated from. We live a simple, quiet life. Neither of us are big on traveling, so we spend a lot of time at home with our five cats and Henry, our mastiff.

    5. The characters in the series have sworn off dating – have you ever been on a particularly memorable date – good or bad?
    I am actually married to my junior high sweetheart. We met at the age of 12 when we were seated at the same table in art class. We’ve been together ever since. My favorite date we’ve gone on was super spontaneous. We had been snowed in for about three days, and everything in town was closed. On a whim, we walked through several feet of snow to the town center. We found that the Chinese restaurant was open, so we ate Chinese food and then walked to a consignment shop that was also open despite the storm. It was simple, it was random, and it is one of my favorite memories.

    6. What was the most exciting part about writing your novel in the No Brides Club Series?
    I loved writing about Broadway and imagining how the two characters came together. I think Rachel and Zander just have a way of complementing each other, and despite their troubled pasts with love, they help each other believe in it again. I think that’s always exciting.

    Blurb for No Time for Promises
    When six friends make a pact not to let love get in the way of their careers, the No Brides Club is born. But could meeting the right man at the wrong time cause them to break their vows to each other?

    Rachel Winters has less than a year until she turns thirty, and she plans to make it big-time on broadway before she hits this particularly stressing rite of passage. So, when the opportunity to teach young, aspiring actors at a weekend workshop presents itself, she eagerly agrees, hoping that this is the first sign her luck’s about to change.

    Zander Riley once dreamed of being a star, but a badly broken heart sent his priorities spinning in an entirely different direction. Now a special education teacher, he agrees to chaperone a weekend trip to an acting workshop for the kids’ sake more than his own. If only the gorgeous instructor didn’t reignite a number of passions he’d long since cast aside.

    Could it be love at first sight, or is he simply an unneeded obstacle to Rachel’s ambition? Can Zander learn to open his heart once more, even if it means it could break worse than ever before? And will these two theater lovers ultimately set the stage for romance… or tragedy?

    Get your copy here.

    Lindsey DetwilerAbout Lindsey
    An English teacher, a romance author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she loves cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.

    Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as candid, poetic, and powerful.

    Inked Hearts, released in 2017 with Hot Tree Publishing, was named a Romance Times Top Pick. Additionally, Remember When, released in April of 2017, was named a Route One Reads Romance Pick by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book.

    Lindsay currently lives in her hometown of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, Marjorie, and Tyrion; and their Mastiff, Henry. In addition to being a huge bookworm, Lindsay’s also a fan of cruelty-free makeup, coffee, chocolate, Netflix, and shopping.

     

     

    Be sure to connect with Lindsay:

    Instagram: @lindsayanndetwiler
    Twitter: @lindsaydetwiler
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lindsayanndetwiler
    Blog: www.lindsaydetwiler.com

    To enter the No Brides Club Giveaway click here or the image below
    No Brides Club Book Teaser Promo

  • Blog

    Writers on Wednesday – A Q&A with author of Lovestruck Two Step, Mariposa Cruz

    1/15/2019

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose
    Today for Writers on Wednesday we feature a Q&A with Mariposa Cruz
    1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
    I intended to end the Rhythm & Romance series with “Wedding Tango”, but while having dinner with a friend of mine mentioned her club had a band for all of their dance events. I started thinking about a two-man band in a dive bar and by the end of the evening I knew had the final story in the series.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    I’ve been jotting down stories in notebooks since childhood. I published my first short story in the college literary magazine and wrote articles for the campus newspaper. Once I saw my writing in print, I was hooked and I’ve been alternating between writing fact and fiction ever since. I write romance as Mariposa Cruz and I write women’s fiction and freelance articles as Susan Winters.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    The stories I like most as a reader is ones that “take you there” and I strive to do that with my own writing. The Rhythm & Romance series has been a joy to write because I love dancing and it has been a blast bringing readers out with me on the dance floor.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    My hero’s Uncle Greer, co-owner of Last Chance, has a gruff exterior but a tender heart. He first appears in “Package Deal” and managed to elbow his way into “Ladies Man” and winds up sharing the stage with Carson in “Lovestruck Two Step”.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    A friend of mine who wanted to entice me into a home-based business forwarded me a recording extolling the benefits of being an entrepreneur. The speaker stressed the importance of treating the enterprise as a job, not a hobby you pursue when you feel like it. I passed on the “opportunity”, but I took a business-like approach toward writing, keeping a writing schedule and setting tangible deadlines. By having more structure in my writing life, I’ve been able to get more accomplished while still having a good time.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    I’ve always written during the morning before anyone is awake except for Bentley, the cat. He’s an ideal writing companion. Bentley doesn’t criticize my work or interrupt me except for an occasional nibble on my computer screen to get my attention.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    I tend to wing it. When I start a story, I have the ending in mind, but I’m not always sure how I’m going to get there
    .
    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
    “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” by C.S. Lewis-I love the entire Chronicles of Narnia series, but that one is my favourite.
    “Still Life With Bread Crumbs” by Anna Quindlen-A well-known photographer at the crossroads of life finds love and new life where she least expects it.
    “The Eight” by Katherine Neville-Though I’m more of a checkers girl, this novel about a mysterious chess set is absolutely riveting.

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    My current WIP is the first book in a new romantic series, Men of the Silver State. It’s in the early stages of the first draft, but I can tell you it involves a beer- imbibing knitting circle, karaoke and a horrible car accident (not caused by the knitters).

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on
    their journey?
    Believe in yourself. I know that sounds like grade school advice, but sometimes you have to hold tight to the basics when facing an incredible challenge (like finishing a novel). When you are serious about your work, eventually people will get it.

     

    Lovestruck Two Step - CoverLovestruck Two Step Excerpt:
    “You don’t have to do this,” Becca said quietly as he led her to the center of the dance floor.
    “Dance with the most beautiful woman in the room? Of course I do,” Carson replied, taking her in his arms.
    He paused for a beat, listening to the vocals, before starting to dance. Becca heard the playful undercurrent of the keyboard while Eleanor and Greer sang in harmony that they weren’t going home alone tonight. Somehow, Carson had mastered the quick, quick, slow steps integral to Two Step just from watching her teach it. He moved easily with the rhythm of the music, smoothly leading her into a turn without rushing the move.
    “You’re good,” she exclaimed.
    “I always pay attention in class with the right teacher,” Carson replied. He smiled at her, and the rest of the world disappeared. His touch was subtle, yet firm, as he led her in perfect time with the music. No words were needed. Too soon, the song drew to a close, and with his arm circled around her waist, Carson escorted her to her table. With a light kiss on the lips, he thanked her for the dance, then turned and walked back to the stage.

    Grab your copy here today!

     

     

     

    Mariposa Cruz
    About Mariposa
    Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a fulltime corporate paralegal. For her Mariposa Musings blog she has interviewed a variety of real life characters from romance authors to psychics. She works, writes and dances Salsa in Reno, Nevada.

    links:

    Blogs https://mariposacruz.blogspot.com/
    https://createontheside.wordpress.com/
    ​Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariposa.cruz.180