Monday, December 30, 2013

Author: Jacquie Rogers

If you've never read a western but have always wanted to, you must read one of Jacquie Rogers' books.  You will be a fan for life.  I am thrilled that Jacquie has stopped by to say hello.  Please help me welcome this very talented author.


Hi Jacquie, Can you tell the reader something about yourself?
I’m a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker, but have always been a bookworm. Reading is my passion—westerns, fantasies, historicals of any era, and especially with a dash of romance and humor.  I grew up on a dairy farm outside of Homedale, Idaho, in Owyhee County and rode horseback all over the hills where her Hearts of Owyhee series is set, encountering adventures both real and imagined.

I currently live in suburbia with my IT Guy (also have a license to sleep with him), daughter, and four grandsons.  Our home is ruled by The Cat Annie, a feral rescue, who enjoys tromping on the keyboard in the midst of action or love scenes.  I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and Western Fictioneers, teaches classes in both writing craft and research topics.

That's fascinating.  For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
Romance, humor, adventure, and action—not in any particular order.  My stories are about finding love and making things all right with the world, but on the fun side.   Some are sexy, some are not—none are explicit but all are entertaining.  Just fast, fun reads.

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
Writing is my life, so no balance required.  It took me a while to figure that out.  Holiday meals and that sort of thing are blocked out in my schedule, but I’m CEO of my writing world, so that comes first.

I like your thinking.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I get up around 2pm, check messages and Facebook while consuming copious amounts of coffee, write blog posts, etc.  I try to have a scene written or at least mapped out by the time my husband gets home from work and we eat dinner.  Then, at 9pm, I start to work, and write until 3am, and usually get to bed around 6am.

Wow, you are a night owl.  What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write Traditional Western, Western Historical Romance, Fantasy Romance, and YA Fantasy—published in the first three.  Why?  I have no idea.  Westerns require less research for me because of where I grew up—someone forgot to tell people in Owyhee County that the Old West died.  Nevertheless, I still do lots of research and love every minute of it.  Traditional Westerns are fun because the adventure isn’t hampered or interrupted by the romance.  Western Historical Romances are fun because romance is our most primal need after physical sustenance.  Fantasies are fun because anything is possible—I can unleash my imagination and roll with the story.

Do your characters come to you first, or the plot, or the world of the story?
Yes.  All come in one flash, then I have to winnow out the details.  I get at least one character and a situation in the story world.  Then it’s a matter of getting to know that character, who the other players are, and why they’re in that particular situation.  And off we go on a new adventure.

It sounds great.  How do you go about developing your characters?
Actually, it’s more a matter of getting acquainted.  When I first started writing, I’d pick and choose from a list of various physical, social, and psychological traits that would suit the story I had in mind.  In the process, I buried the character that came with that first flash of an idea, then along about chapter three, things would come to a grinding halt.  That’s because I was manipulating my characters to suit my idea of how things ought to go, so the characters couldn’t tell their story.

So how do I get acquainted?  First, I figure out the year the hero (yes, the hero nearly always comes to me first) was born, because the economics and politics of his growing-up years provide a framework for his world viewpoint.  Then, with my eyes closed, I channel the character’s thoughts as if he were writing his own autobiography.  That’s how his voice comes to me, as well as a few surprises along the way that I’d never thought of.  In the refining process, I learn about his family and their attitudes toward him, and maybe a few personality-defining events.  And last, I figure out what body type would go along with all this, and sometimes that surprises me, too.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I love them all.  You can’t spend several months with a character you don’t love, and besides, it’s like asking to name the child you like best.  That said, here are some of the more memorable characters.

Hero: Kade McKinnon from Much Ado About Miners.  But I really can’t choose because Burke O’Shaughnessy from Sleight of Heart was so much fun, and drool-worthy, too.
Heroine: It’s a toss-up between Jake from Much Ado About Mavericks and Lexie from Sleight of Heart.
Animal character: Socrates from Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues.  But Duke the Cat in Much Ado About Miners is giving Socrates a run for his money.
Otherworldly character: Keely from Faery Special Romances.

Can you share a little of your current work?
My next release is a short story, yet untitled, in Hearts & Spurs, an anthology from Prairie Rose Publications, due out January 15.  Like Wishing for a Cowboy, each story will be accompanied by a recipe.  The story features Celia, who’s gone West to marry a man her father picked for her, and Ross, a retired bounty hunter.  He’s a farmer now, and wants nothing to do with his past, but Celia brings it right to his door.

I’m also working on a traditional western, Wolf Creek, Book 10: Stand Proud.  I’m writing the first chapter.  This series is incredible—each author has a character (or two) and writes one chapter from that character’s viewpoint.  Troy Smith puts the whole thing together.  Books 1-5, 7, 8, and 11 are novels, while books 6, 9, and 10 are anthologies featuring the Wolf Creek characters and giving us an opportunity to go a little more in-depth with our characters.  Some of the best western writers in the business are participating.  The series is published by Western Fictioneers.

Where can readers find more information on you?


Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
Hearts of Owyhee series (western historical romance)
Much Ado About Marshals http://amzn.com/B0058ON1LS
Much Ado About Madams http://amzn.com/B007HRTQ0O
Much Ado About Mavericks http://amzn.com/B008EDN9T4
Much Ado About Miners (available Dec. 1)


Single Titles (romance: western historical, contemporary & fantasy)
Sleight of Heart http://amzn.com/B00FMZYP5Y
Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues http://amzn.com/B002BWPCZS
Faery Special Romances http://amzn.com/B001C4QN4A

Novellas/Short Stories (trad western, whr, fantasy, futuristic)
‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas (in Wolf Creek, Book 10: A Wolf Creek Christmas)
Muleskinners: Judge Not (in Wolf Creek, Book 6: Hell on the Prairie)
A Gift for Rhoda (in Wishing for a Cowboy)
Willow, Wish For Me (single read on Amazon)
Single Girls Can’t Jump (single read on Amazon)


Much Ado About Miners (Hearts of Owyhee #4)
by Jacquie Rogers

Back cover copy:

Cupid’s bullet...
Hired gun Kade McKinnon interrupts a bank holdup and is shot by Iris Gardner, whose victims have a tendency to be the next groom in town.

Cupid’s bow...
Iris Gardner, a smart, independent bank clerk, fell in love with Kade when she was too young to know better.  So when he walks back into her life and her bank, it's only fitting that she shoots him ... by accident, of course.

Cupid’s blindfold...
Kade doesn’t know Iris’s company is the one who hired him to escort a bullion shipment, and Iris doesn’t know Kade owns the security company to guard it, but they both know robbers are on their trail.  Which is more at risk—the bullion or Kade’s heart?


Excerpt

She stood and gazed into his eyes with a passion that made him want to kiss her right there, on her engagement day.  “You know a whole lot of things I know nothing about,” she whispered.
He took a stride toward her.  “When you hit your head, you asked me if I’d kissed you.” 
“I vaguely remember.”
“Why did you ask that?”
“Be-because...”  Her mouth opened a little bit, and she licked her upper lip.  Kade had all he could do to keep from sweeping her up in his arms and making love to her the way a man should—the way she deserved to be loved.
“Do you want to kiss me?”
“No!” But she nodded, and Kade stepped closer, to within an inch of her, and it took all his willpower to stop there.
“The way you kiss Edward?”
“I, uh, don’t...” She gazed into Kade’s eyes.  “We never...”  She touched her forefinger to her lips.
“Just one kiss, then, so you know how to do it.”  He pulled her close, pressing her back so her breasts pressed into him.  “Put your arms around me, princess.”
She brushed her hands over his sides and when she caressed his back, he could barely hold back from ravishing her.  “Tilt your head back and open your lips just a little.”
As she did, she whispered, “Just this once.”
He’d make her remember “just this once” forever.




Monday, December 23, 2013

Author: J. Annas Walker


Please welcome J. Annas Walker as she shares the behind-the scenes details of a Paranormal and Fantasy Romance author.


For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
I really enjoy a good vampire adventure in my romance. I like my heroine to have skills/powers of her own. The pairings are male/female, but there’s no reason monogamous couples can’t have the hot, flinging, graphic sex other racy books have. Nothing is left to the imagination. It would be offensive to a more delicate reader. However, I do have one mainstream romance book.

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
I have notebooks stashed everywhere and digital voice recorder in my purse for those spur of the moment ideas. When I’m in the car picking up the kids at school or waiting for a practice to end, I scribble. Everything will get put into the typed document the next morning.

What a great idea.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I like to write before the rest of the day has to get started. I can transcribe my notes or write from scratch. When it’s really quiet and no one else is up is perfect. Once the kids and hubby are out of the house for the day, I can get back to writing. I do housework on my breaks. I try to get up and move around at least once per hour.

Can you describe your writing space?
I use an old drop-leaf table in front of the large living room windows to sit my laptop on in the summer. In the winter, I retreat to the basement and sit close to the furnace room. On occasion, I like to sit under a tree in the yard with my laptop. The smell of the falling leaves with the sun on my face is somehow magical.

It sounds ideal.  What you are most passionate about outside of writing.
I love to do yarn and sewing/needle crafts. I like watching movies and cooking. My most favorite thing, though, is reading. My Kindle or a book goes everywhere with me.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write paranormal and fantasy erotic romance. I like characters that don’t exist in real life. I can make up any details and any odd quirks. The backstory and mythologies are all up to me. Mundane characters can’t always do that.

Do your characters come to you first, or the plot, or the world of the story?
Can I say all of the above? It happens differently each time. Sometimes everything shows up at once. Other times only the characters introduce themselves.

I can understand that.  What sets your books apart from other authors?
I hope the romantic relationship drives the story, but I wanted the characters to have an adventure. Some romance authors write a series but focus on different characters in each one. That’s great, but I didn’t want the story to end for my characters with just one book. I have two serial storylines with some short story outtakes to come. I want to tell the other characters’ side stories we don’t get to see because they aren’t the focus of the books. I guess you might call it excessive world building.

That's very interesting.  How do you go about developing your characters?
They develop themselves most of the time. What I see in my head is more like a DVD playing. I just take notes. The notes become the story.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I really like Eleanor from Midnight’s Jewel. She’s not the story’s heroine, but she a duty-driven, honorable woman and a formidable warrior. If she loves you, there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for you. If she decides you’re her enemy, there’s nothing you can do to save yourself and no where you can hide from her. She may not be able to say she loves her niece, but her actions speak louder than words ever could.

Wow, she sounds fascinating.  Can you share a little of your current work?
I just stared the next project in the Celestial Jewels series. Sabrina and Brandon are off on another adventure. This will make book three in the series. However, I do have a December release scheduled for Scion’s Dragon. Our reluctant vampire princess, Cassy, and her Prince Charming are battleing vampire politics, werewolves, and serious glitch in their magic!

Where can readers find more information on you? 
My Website: http://jannaswalker.weebly.com
My Blog: http://jannaswalker.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jannas.walker.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jannaswalker
Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
Scion’s Freedom
Scion’s Avalon
Scion’s Dragon
The Princess’s Consort
Midnight’s Jewel
The Jewel of Darkness
Water’s Lover




Blurb:
Brandon Thorpe and Sabrina Rivers-Thorpe have enjoyed six months of wedded bliss, but Sabrina’s been keeping a secret. Her transformation into a vampire created a magical disturbance in the Underworld. Now, Death is coming for what’s his.
But is Death the only thing stalking Sabrina? Brandon and Hadrian, Sabrina’s father, bring in Delilah, a demon, to act as detective and magical keeper. But Sabrina’s bloodlines are unique, and magic responds to her in unpredictable ways. Has Brandon’s efforts to keep her safe just made her a bigger, more valuable target? Is she even a vampire at all?
To what depths will Sabrina have to go to satisfy Death’s demands? Can she do it using her own powers? Can Brandon find a way to keep the Underworld from claiming Sabrina for its own? Can they even survive, if he doesn’t? What if Death isn’t the only one looking to do her harm? In the darkness, can a single jewel save them all?


J. Annas, Thank you so much for visiting us today.  I love the way you mix genres in your books, and provide something for everyone.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

USA TODAY!!!

I made it on the USA TODAY list!!!  You have to scroll down to see the article, but I'm there!!!  I couldn't have done it without The Highwayman's Grace!



Monday, December 16, 2013

Author: Peggy L. Henderson

I meet Peggy Henderson when she was looking for a critique partner for her first novel.  I didn't have to read much of her manuscript to know I had stumbled upon a terrific storyteller and an author who sky-rocketed to the top of my favorite's list.  Once you read one of her books, you will be so glad she is a quick typist.  Her stories have a way of enveloping you with enjoyable characters and fascinating story lines.  You don't need to take my word for it, judge for yourself but I warn you, you will become a fan.



I never thought I'd be a writer, much less publish a book some day. I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I guess life just had other plans for me. When my husband and I decided to start a family, vet school pretty much went out the window. I used to work with a vet who had three children while going through vet school. To this day, she is my hero. 

I live with my husband and two teenage sons in southern California. I have a Welsh pony and a miniature horse (down-sized from a barn of six horses). A crazy Labrador retriever who is a food vacuum, three cats, two parakeets, four bearded dragons (my compromise with my sons when they wanted a snake), and a small flock of chickens complete our menagerie of critters. I can’t imagine my life without my animals. My dream is to live in Montana some day.

Four years ago, I began writing a story that, for whatever reason, was stuck in my head for almost a year. I have been an avid romance reader for a long time, and the idea took hold to - why not? - write my own! What a simple idea, right?
It has been a long and difficult journey from my first sentence to a completed, and hopefully polished, manuscript. Today, I have a completed series of 5 books and a novella in what I called The Yellowstone Romance Series, two books in my new Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, and I am currently working on the final book in a trilogy set in the Grand Tetons.



Ain't No Angel blurb:
Delaney Goodman has been running from her painful past all her life.  Dreams of working with horses have long been replaced with the reality of doing anything to make ends meet.  About to hit rock bottom, she accepts a stranger’s proposition, even if it sounds too good to be true. She figures she has nothing, not even her dignity, to lose.  She awakens in an unfamiliar setting - and century - and quickly discovers that she will need more than her charm to complete the task assigned to her.

On the surface, Tyler Monroe has everything going for him -  good looks, the respect of his friends and neighbors, and a thriving horse ranch.  However, his past holds deep wounds with thick emotional scars. When a brazen, beautiful woman arrives in town, Tyler makes an impulsive decision that will cause him to question everything he knows. 

Tyler is unlike any man Laney has ever met.  Laney is exactly the kind of woman Tyler wants to avoid. As the attraction between them grows, questions arise that stretch the boundaries of trust for both.  The secrets that threaten to tear them apart could be exactly what Tyler and Laney need to bring them together.


Ain't No Angel excerpt:
Laney stood, and glanced in the mirror again. She ran her hand along the contours of the corset. The stiff contraption gave her an unnatural hourglass shape.
“There’s no way I’m wearing this thing every day,” she mumbled, and searched for the hooks or ties that would loosen the corset from around her ribcage. She turned sideways and peered into the mirror over her shoulder. The lacings were at the back. She reached her hand over her shoulder, then under, trying to get to the strings.
“Dammit. How am I supposed to get this thing off me?”
She turned in a circle, trying to see into the mirror while at the same time reach the lacings with her fingers. Laney growled loudly in frustration. She was tired, hungry, and she desperately needed to use the bathroom.
“I bet there isn’t even a bathroom,” she said out loud.
Exasperated, she moved away from the mirror. With a loud sigh, she let herself fall backwards onto the bed, sending up a small cloud of dust. Laney stared up at the ceiling. A loud knock sent her bolting upright again. Her eyes fell to the open door to her room. Tyler filled the frame, and their eyes met. His gaze traveled up and down her body, then he quickly turned his back to her.
“Thank God you’re here.” Laney scrambled from the bed and rushed to him from across the room.
“Eddie will have supper ready in about a half an hour.”
He stepped out into the hall, and Laney grabbed his arm before he had a chance to walk away.
 “Wait. I need your help, Tyler.”
Tyler’s muscles tensed underneath her hand, and he turned his head slightly to glance back at her.
“Please, I can’t undo this corset. Could you untie the lacing for me? I really need to change my clothes.” Laney peered up at him, and her mouth went dry. Tyler’s eyes roamed her face, every muscle along his jaw tense. For a split second, it seemed as if he was going to pull away from her and keep walking. She swallowed her apprehension.
You’re in the nineteenth century, Laney. People act differently here.
Had her behavior earlier when she’d come on to him out in the yard been a mistake? Had she been wrong in her assumption that she needed to play the role of a prostitute? The reverend had specifically told her that she was required to keep Tyler satisfied. Had she misinterpreted what he meant? How was she supposed to do that and behave like a prim and proper nineteenth century wife at the same time? Come to think of it, Tyler was probably expecting a virgin bride.
“I . . . I really feel uncomfortable standing here in just my underclothes, Tyler. I’d appreciate your help so I can change.” Was that the right tactic to use? Laney held her breath, waiting for his response.
“Turn around,” Tyler said, his jaw still tense, and his words clipped. She quickly did as he asked, holding her hands up to her chest for good measure.
Tyler’s fingers grazed her back when he lifted her hair and laid the long strands over her shoulder. Her heart hammered in her chest, and a chill raced down her spine. Why did he affect her like this? There was something so sensual about his slow and gentle movement, something so unexpectedly tender that it brought tears to her eyes. She’d asked him to remove her corset and he quietly complied, without any lewd remark or stare, or even a hint that he wanted to undress her fully and take advantage of the situation.
Tyler worked the lacings loose as if he had plenty of practice with this sort of thing, and she breathed freely once the confining contraption fell away from her sides. She clutched the corset tightly to her chest, even though she still wore a chemise underneath. A breeze swept through the room from the open window, and although it wasn’t cold, goose bumps covered her arms.
Laney stood still. She leaned forward slightly and held her head down. She ground her teeth in frustration. The skin along either side of her spine tingled, anticipating, longing for his touch. Now that he’d loosened the confining corset, she imagined his palms sliding along her shoulder, his lips pressing against the back of her neck.
“That oughta do it,” he grumbled. “You’d better get dressed before you catch a chill.”
Laney held her breath. She waited, then slowly turned.
“Thank you. I really appreciate . . .” Her voice trailed off. Tyler was already halfway down the hall, and headed for the front door.


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