Monday, September 30, 2013

Author: Jerrica Knight-Catania

You cannot imagine how thrilled I am to introduce today's special guest.  This best selling author and I met when we were fledgling writers with stories swirling through our imaginations.  Her newest book, The Matchbaker is full of fun and spice.  Please say hello to Regency Best Selling author, Jerrica Knight-Catania. 

Jerrica, I'm so glad you're here.  What can we look forward to in your newest book?

~A Romantic Comedy with a Magical Twist and Delicious Recipes~

1C Chaos
1Tbsp Romance
3Tsp Betrayal
2C Comedy
1Pinch Magic

**Includes Cupcake Recipes from Erin Knightley, Polkadot Cupcake Shop & Sugarcain Cupcakes**

Candace Cooper is living the life she set out to live. With a posh apartment in Manhattan, a high-powered job that takes her all over the world, and designer clothes that most women would kill to have in their closet, she's definitely living the high life. But when her best friend drags her to a seedy section of Paris to meet with a crack-pot fortune teller, she hears things she doesn't want to hear. She desperately tries to ignore the unsolicited advice, but that becomes nearly impossible when her perfect life starts to unravel.


I glare at Madame. I’m so over being polite right now.
“You are angry with me,” she says.
She should get a medal for her ability to state the obvious. I say nothing.
“I understand,” she continues. “Your friend is taking advice from a stranger, and now you doubt the friendship.”
“I don’t doubt our friendship.” This woman is infuriating. “But I know Steve’s not cheating. He loves her and he would never do that to her. They’ve been together since high school, for God’s sake!”
“A person’s love for someone does not necessarily keep them from being unfaithful.” I can’t stand her all-knowing tone when she says this.
And if what she says is true, I’m never going to fall in love. I’m not about to get heartsick over someone and devote years of my life to him, only to have him cheat on me.
Lucy is in the far corner of the room now, her whispers more emphatic than before. Crap. Things aren’t sounding good. I really don’t want to have to eat my words. I’d rather eat steak tartare at the Michelin-starred restaurant in the hotel.
“You are twenty-eight, no?” Madame says.
I look up at her, shocked. “How did you know that?”
She shrugs and peers into her crystal ball. “Hmm.”
Hmm? What the hell does hmm mean? Against my will, my butt scooches forward on my seat, and I lean in to see what’s in the ball. “What are you doing?” I ask, trying to sound more perturbed than intrigued.
“You will be twenty-nine soon,” she says. Lucky guess. “And you will see some very interesting changes in the coming year.”
Oh, wow. That’s not vague at all.
“I see a career change in your very near future.”
Career change? A pit forms in my stomach, but I can’t tell if it’s from excitement or nerves. “What do you mean?” Maybe I’m going to get that promotion, after all. The one my boss promised me almost two years ago. I’m sorry, Can, I really thought it was going to be this quarter, but it’s just not going to happen. I promise in September the position will be yours. Maybe it’s finally going to happen. Maybe Celia isn’t just blowing smoke up my skirt this time.
“You enjoy baking,” she says as if it’s a fact.
I burst out laughing. “Ah, no,” I say. “Not at all, much to my parents’ chagrin.”
Madame Antoinette cocks her head to the side as she stares, confused, at the crystal ball. “But…”
We’re both distracted by the sniffles coming from the corner. I look at Lucy. Her back is to us and she still has the phone up to her ear, but her body is shaking with sobs. Crap. One for Madame Antoinette; Zero for me. Now I’m torn. Do I want to know what Madame is going to say, or do I want to hear about what a creep Steve is?
I turn back to the psychic. I’m desperate to wipe the smug smile off her face, but annoyingly, she’s sparked my interest with this comment about baking. It’s probably just a coincidence, but still…
“So,” I say, re-focusing my attention back on her. “What’s this business about baking?”
She looks into her crystal ball again, her eyes fixed on the nothingness inside. God, what is wrong with me? Am I really so desperate to know my future that I’m turning to Madame Antoinette? I’m at once irked and curious. I mean, she did call that situation with Steve.
I glance again at Lucy. She’s still on the phone, but now she’s sitting on the floor, her knees pulled tightly to her chest as she rocks in place. Gross. She’ll have to get that suit dry-cleaned.
“Yes, I am still seeing the same thing,” Madame says, and I return my focus to her and the crystal ball. “A career change will find you…baking.” She turns her hands up and shrugs.
“That’s impossible.” I peer around to see if there’s anything for a normal person to see in the ball. Nothing. Just cloudy smoke. “I mean, maybe not entirely impossible, but…no, it is. It is impossible. That’s not my path. I deliberately stayed out of the bakery growing up. I hate baking. Hate it. The kitchen is hot, it’s messy. The few times I helped my mom out I nearly broke my hand trying to pull the heavy pans out of the oven. No. No, no, no, no, no.”
“I’m sorry,” says the psychic. Ha! Some psychic. Clearly, she knows nothing about me or she would know that what she’s seeing is hogwash. “I do not make these things up. I only relay what I see.”
“Well, what you see is ridiculous,” I tell her, trying to keep my cool. I mean, seriously! Me? In the bakery? I don’t think so.
“Fine. Then I will not tell you about the handsome stranger I see in your future as well.”
Damn it, she’s tricky. I grit my teeth. I don’t want to seem interested, but Luce is still bawling over in the corner, and since we’re paying anyway…
“What handsome stranger?” I say, completely against my will.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write Regency Romance and Chick Lit. Before I started writing, these were the genres I read to help me escape from life. We were really financially strapped at the time and my acting career was in the toilet. I wasn’t in a great place, but those books provided me with the laughter and hope that I needed in those uncertain times. I wanted to do that for others, and so I started writing Regencies, and eventually Chick Lit. Getting fan mail from people who claim my books took them on much-needed mental vacations are my favorite!

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
I once had two of my lovely critique partners fight over the over-arching themes and tone of my books, which was really quite flattering. One of them said that my books were Disney-esque, light-hearted, fun, etc… to which my other critique partner said, “I disagree! Jerrica’s writing is much deeper and richer than that.” At which point Critiquer #1 replied, “Disney can be very deep and rich in theme…” And the argument went on, while I watched in delight. So I suppose everyone takes what they will from the books, but when I’m writing them, I’m aiming to provide a lot of laughter, a lot of heart and a just little drama to pull lightly at your heartstrings. But you can always, always expect a happy ending.

Sounds like the perfect blend for a best seller.  How do you balance writing with the rest of your life? 
I don’t! Ha! I do the best I can, but something always suffers no matter what. In general, I try to keep my writing to the hours while my daughter is at school. But those are also my hours to do errands, grocery shopping, etc… So when I’m on deadline, we eat out a lot and often use paper towels for toilet paper J

It sounds like you have a very understanding family.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
There are no typical days for me. If I’m working on a book, I might aim for 1-2,000 words/day, until I get too close to deadline and I have to get up at 5am in order to get in 5,000-word days. If I had my druthers, I’d write for a half hour every day of the year, but I don’t usually have my druthers J

What are you most passionate about outside of writing?
I’m really passionate about healthy, happy living. Eating well and living well so that I’m in the best physical and emotional state I can be in. And I love sharing that with others. As a matter of fact, my husband and I recently started a new venture that lets us help people achieve both health and financial goals. It’s great to wake up in the morning and know that I get to give back and help others in some small ways.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
This is really hard – it’s like asking which child is your favorite! I love all my characters the same ;) But if I have to choose one, it’s Candy from The Matchbaker. Because it was my first Chick Lit, there’s a lot of me in her. Her sarcastic inner dialog is all me. She’s not perfect – she makes tons of mistakes and bad decisions – but that doesn’t make her a bad person. It makes her human. And I love just how human she is.

Can you share a little of your current work?
I just finished my latest Regency novella – it’s going to be in a Christmas anthology, along with 5 of my Regency cohorts, Ava Stone, Jane Charles, Catherine Gayle, Aileen Fish and Julie Johnstone. The title of the story is  

All He Wants for Christmas

Olivia had been so lost in her admiration of the architecture that she’d not seen the column rise up before her. Such irony was not lost on her as she stumbled back several paces. A pair of hands grabbed onto her arms and pulled her upright before she fell over.

“Oh, bugger,” she whispered when she realized she’d not run into a column at all, but rather, a person. The very person she’d been trying to avoid, in fact.

“Are you all right, Mrs. Edwards?” Rowan stared down at her, the hint of a smirk playing at the edges of his lips.

Olivia couldn’t move. Her limbs were frozen, despite the warmth emanating from the man who held her against him.  All the memories of that one, fateful night came rushing back to her, and desire coiled itself through her belly. “I’mum” She shifted away, hoping to regain her senses by removing herself from his personage. “Yes. I’m fine. Thank you.”

“You seem flustered,” he pressed. “Are you sure I can’t be of service?”

“I justI wasn’t expecting you,” she blurted out, and then added, “to be standing there.”

Because really, she’d not been expecting him at all. Ever. Olivia had resigned herself to never seeing Rowan Findley again for as long as she lived. She’d married another man and moved to a tiny village in Kent. Who was to know he’d show up at a neighbor’s house for dinner seven years later?

“You have to be careful. People can turn up anywhere.”

Olivia stilled and finally dared to look at him, right in his dark brown eyes. “Yes,” she whispered. “I suppose they can.”

There was a beat of silence and then Rowan asked, “Who are you?”

It was the one question Olivia didn’t care to answer. “Mrs. Edwards,” she replied, evasively, smoothing her sweaty hands down her gown.

“Your married name?”

Olivia’s heart thumped loudly in her ears. She nodded.

“And your maiden name?” Rowan’s voice was so gentle, so tender, as if Olivia were a frightened animal he didn’t want to scare away.

“M–Morgan,” she finally said.

The name hung in the air for a moment. Did he recognize it? Did he remember her now?

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
The Wetherby Brides
A Gentleman Never Tells
More than a Governess
The Wary Widow
The Bedeviled Bride

The Wetherby Brides Shorts
The Perfect Kiss
Christmas Warms the Harts
Return to Dunbocan (2nd Epilogue, A Gentleman Never Tells)
Carnevale Honeymoon (2nd Epilogue, More than a Governess)

The Daring Debutantes
The Robber Bride
The Gypsy Bride
The Stage Bride

A Summons from the Duke (Regency Christmas Summons) - Loving Mr. Lockwell
The Betting Season - The Marriage Trap
A Season to Remember - A Penny for Your Thoughts
A Love for All Seasons (features all 3 anthology stories)
A Gentleman’s Pact - All He Wants for Christmas COMING SOON! 

Contemporary/Chick Lit
Cruise to Destiny (Summer Loving Novella)
Love Everlasting (Anthology)
The Matchbaker

Jerrica!  Thank you so much for visiting with us today.  Your writing has so much to offer.  I see why it's hard to choose a favorite.  I wish you all the best with your every endeavor, and hope you'll come back again.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shades of Gray 99 Cents!

To celebrate the audio release of SHADES OF GRAY (narrated by Valerie Gilbert), I am offering the kindle version of SHADES OF GRAY for 99 cents!

                                          Kindle version                                Audio version

Author: Beth Trissel

I would like to introduce Historical Romance author, Beth Trissel.

Welcome, Beth.  I'm so excited for you to share information about your latest book.

Tell us something about yourself.
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.

Author Awards
2008 Golden Heart® Finalist
2008 Winner Preditor's & Editor's Readers Poll for Best Romance Novel
Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009
2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle
Five Time Book of the Week Winner at LASR
2012 Double Epic eBook Award Finalist
2012 Reader’s Favorite Finalist
2013 Won Book of the Month at LASR

That's impressive.  For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
History, mystery, time travel, ghosts, adventure, and above all romance. The unifying element, thus far, either in my historicals, or time travels, is the past.

It sounds like you have it all covered.  How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

It’s difficult. I don’t have a job away from home, but a clamoring family, busy farm, and weedy garden all beckon to me.

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

If at all possible, I work in the morning before the craziness descends. If I’m exceedingly fortunate, it doesn’t.

I imagine a cozy writing area.  Can you describe your writing space for us?

On the couch with my laptop, coffee table crowded with books, and small bratty pom poo, Sadie Sue, at my side. Cats roam nearby and sometimes deign to sit with me.

What are you most passionate about outside of writing? Gardening, when my allergies don’t do me in.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write historicals, time travels, some paranormals, and nonfiction about gardening, country life, and herbal lore. I’m passionate about history, plants, and the beautiful Shenandoah Valley where I live, so those are the driving forces. Also fascinated with ghosts.

You have my interest.  Do your characters come to you first, or the plot, or the world of the story?  
I often dream parts of my stories and meet characters there, although I’ve conceived many ideas from historical research and family geneology. Characters do speak strongly to me and drive my stories.

What sets your books apart from other authors?
Often, my time period, and unique voice.

How do you go about developing your characters?
I do a lot of research into the time period in which they live so I’m familiar with what the expectations and possiblities are, then when I depart from it, I can justify why this character isn’t following the norm.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Wicomechee, the Shawnee warrior hero from my historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song, is based on an actual warrior I have family ties to and whose story deeply affected me.

This is all very fascinating.  Can you share a little of your current work?
I am at work on the sequel to my award-winning historical romance novel Enemy of the King, set during the American Revolution. The research is a killer. Then I plan to write the next in my Somewhere in Time series, the sequel to Sci-fi, Fantasy, time travel romance novella, Somewhere in the Highlands. Although challenging, that story was a lot of fun to do because the very unlikely hero, Fergus, is a brilliant geek.

You sound very busy.  Where can readers find more information on you?
For more on me, my blog is the happening place:
Also, catch me on: Facebook, My Website, Twitter

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Romance Titles:
The Bearwalker’s Daughter (The Native American Warrior Series)
Through the Fire (The Native American Warrior Series)
Red Bird’s Song (The Native American Warrior Series)
Kira, Daughter of the Moon (The Native American Warrior Series)
A Warrior for Christmas (Also in audio)
Somewhere My Love (Somewhere in Time Series)
Somewhere My Lass (Somewhere in Time Series)
Somewhere the Bells Ring (Somewhere in Time Series)
Somewhere in the Highlands (Somewhere in Time Series)

Nonfiction Works:

Amazon has ALL of my titles: Amazon Author Page
Barnes & Noble has some of my titles:
Other online booksellers also carry some of my books.

Would you be kind enough to share a little from your latest book?
Blurb from award-winning historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song:

Taken captive by a war party wasn’t how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather’s vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl.

George 111’s English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life.  The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts.

As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other—or be destroyed.

Excerpt from Red Bird’s Song:

Charity swiped angrily at a tear. She’d run away, if she had anyone to run to. It wasn’t right they were all dead.
On impulse, she jumped to the ground. “I’ll go anyway,” she muttered. “Eat nuts and berries and live in the woods.”
“Will you go alone?” a low voice asked.
Sucking in her breath, she whirled around. Less than twenty feet away, grasping his musket, stood a tall young brave. Stripes of red and black paint blurred his striking features. His dark brown eyes riveted her in place. This warrior was like no other and the most savagely handsome man she’d ever seen.
God help her. She should flee now, but could only stare, open-mouthed. She swept her disbelieving gaze over the loose black hair brushing an open buckskin vest that revealed his bronzed chest and shoulders molded into contours of muscle. An elkskin breechclout left a great deal of his hard thighs exposed. Despite the dread hammering in her chest, a fiery blush burned her cheeks. But it was the sheathed knife hanging on his left side and the lethal tomahawk slung on his right that snapped Charity from her near-trance.
In a rush of memories, she recalled the stories of her father’s death under the scalping knife and neighbors who’d suffered the same violent fate. No Indians had been spotted in their settlement since the Shawnee grew hostile and war had erupted nine years ago, but the warfare had ended. Hadn’t it?
Clenching ice-cold fingers, she dug her nails into her palms. “What in God’s name are you doing here?” she forced past the dry lump in her throat.
“Watching you.” ~

*Sigh*  What a great snippet. Beth, thanks so much for sharing with us today.  I can't wait to read more of your work.