Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Shirley Raye Redmond

Book Giveaway Aug 25 – Sept 4: You have a chance to win a Regency Romance, Prudence Pursued. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. E-book: International


Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of several sweet romance novels and dozens of children’s books. Many of her titles have won national and regional awards. She is a member of numerous writing organizations including American Christian Fiction Writer, Romance Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and SCBWI. She lives in New Mexico.


Welcome back to my blog, Shirley. I understand this book is “Jane Austen approved.” How awesome is that! Please tell us about Prudence Pursued.

At the advanced age of twenty-seven, Prudence Pentyre is on the shelf. Content to occupy her time by attending meetings of Mr. Wilberforce’s Abolition Society, Prudence is resolved to see that her younger cousin Margaret, shy and plain, does not share her own unmarried fate.

Despite her best efforts, all of Prudence’s matchmaking attempts fail. Margaret proves reluctant to accept Sir James Brownell’s marriage proposal, and fears being “bovinised” if she undergoes the controversial cowpox vaccination he recommends. And the dashing baronet—with his sunburned skin, eye patch, and unfashionable attire—seems more concerned about the plight of headhunters in Borneo than Margaret’s stubborn refusal of his offer.

Prudence, on the other hand, finds herself unexpectedly smitten with the man. Can she trust that God’s plan for her life is richer and more rewarding than the one she had planned for herself?


This book sounds like a fun story. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

A three-week trip to England with friends, where we visited Bath, Jane Austen’s home in Chatsworth, and other sites associated with the Regency period gave me an abundance of ideas. Also, I’d written a biography for kids about Edward Jenner for a write-for-hire publishing company, but they killed the project. I saved all my research, determined to one day share what I knew about smallpox during the Regency period. Jenner’s vaccination was quite controversial. Many people feared they would develop cowlike physical features if they underwent the procedure because the lymph used in the vaccine came from cowpox pus!

Amazing. Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?

Yes, the riots and public demonstrations in the story (poor Pru gets knocked in the head by a protestor!) actually took place in several towns and cities in England. And the Borneo adventures experienced by my hero Sir James Brownell were inspired by the real-life adventures of James, Charles, and Vyner Brooke, who were the real White Rajahs of Sarawak in Borneo—but during the Victorian times, not the Regency period. I took a bit of literary license with that.

Also, we tend to think of the Regency period as a polite, civilized time in history. Jane Austen’s novels are often called “comedies of manners.” And yet shortly prior to that period, William Wilberforce considered the age a decadent one and even founded the Society of the Reformation of Manners in 1787. My heroine Prudence is a member of the Society and heartily embraces Wilberforce’s reforms.

You love to write inspirational romances. What intrigues you most about writing these love stories?

I am intrigued by the who, what, where, when and how people fall in love through the ages.  No one falls in love in a vacuum. We think of romance and current events as two separate categories, but really, men and women all around the world fall in love in the midst of current events—during wartime and political upheavals, during smallpox epidemics and even while collecting fossils, which was hugely popular in England during this time period.

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview, Shirley. I hope my readers will check out your new book.

Thanks for having me, Linda. I love connecting with readers via my website at www.shirleyrayeredmond.com or through my author facebook page - a fun place for readers to visit at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shirley-Raye-Redmond-Author/533496973399344.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Jeanna Ellsworth

Book Giveaway Aug 11 - 21: You have a chance to win a book based on the Pride and Prejudice characters. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Book: U.S. or E-book: International

When someone asks Jeanna what she does for a living, she asks them, “Are you asking about my day job or my night job?” Of course we all know she is as straight as can be, but she likes the shock factor of making them think she has clandestine employment at night. The truth is she is a neurological ICU nurse and works nights. Her day job for the last two years is split between being a mother of three daughters, running a mini farm on an acre lot, being a landlord, writing 6 novels, and marketing, editing and self-publishing the first three of her books (the others will follow). In the spare time that she does get, she makes valiant, yet not always successful, efforts to keep her house clean. She fully admits occasionally that one of these gets neglected, but she declines revealing which one.

Welcome to my blog, Jeanna. I love your bio. I understand you want to give more than one book away with this interview. Please tell us about it.

I am willing to give away each book including a pre-order copy of my third book, To Refine Like Silver. This is a chance to win the book before it is published and will be delivered as soon as it is released in November. So three chances to win!

Where did you get your inspiration for these books?

Although each of the first three books are inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, they each are totally separate books with entirely different plots. I surprise myself some days with where my inspiration comes from. Once it was a Walmart checker, another time it was my bishop sharing a spiritual thought, often it comes from “people watching” while I ride TRAX commuter train. Believe it or not, TRAX is where I do a lot of my best writing. It is amazing what a solid, uninterrupted hour commute to and from work three days a week can do for making progress in a book. To be honest, anything can inspire me, especially the people I am around, like my children. But I only started writing because I was introduced to the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction (JAFF) and Regency romances by my sister, KaraLynne Mackrory, who is a published author as well. I admit I became an addict and now read everything I can get my hands on. In my most recent writing project, Inspired By Grace, I step away from fan fiction and Austen’s books. It is an original Regency romance that has all new characters and plot. It is challenging, but so far, Inspired By Grace is looking like it will be a very intriguing book. I have to admit, for the first time in two and a half years, I feel like I am cheating on Mr. Darcy because I have already fallen in love with Gavin, the hero of Inspired by Grace.

What is Mr. Darcy's Promise about?

This was my very first book I wrote and was published on Amazon in July 2013. This is a forced marriage scenario where Mr. Darcy is accused by Elizabeth’s father of compromising her, when in fact, he was rescuing her from the sinister Wickham. Elizabeth always wanted to marry for love, and is distraught in the carriage on their way to Darcy’s London house after the wedding. With great compassion, Darcy tries to figure out why she is so emotional and like many men, they assume wrongly instead of just asking outright. He assumes she is worried over the wedding night, like any maiden would, so Mr. Darcy makes her a promise on his gentleman’s honor, that physical intimacy will only come when she desires it. That promise proves nearly impossible to keep, and as Elizabeth falls in love with him, it becomes rather vexing to Elizabeth.

Please tell us about Pride and Persistence.

This is the second book I wrote and was published on Amazon in March this year. Some of the character traits that we love about Jane Austen’s original Mr. Darcy is that his emotions are tightly controlled which is perceived as being prideful, yet feels deep passion for Elizabeth. Her refusal motivated him to look inside himself and evaluate the kind of man he is. He only won her hand because he was willing to admit his defects and introspect to show more of the man that Elizabeth could love.

But what if he had a temporary brain injury that made him irrational and emotional, yet at the same time, obsessive about the fact that he wanted to marry Elizabeth? What if his head injury made it so that he could not remember that he already proposed and was refused? How many proposals does it take for Elizabeth to see that she loves Darcy and to finally accept his proposals? What you end up with is a romantic comedy that could easily be described as Pride and Prejudice meets 50 First Dates (the 2004 movie with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler). Who could not laugh at a man who is so persistent in his pursuit to win Elizabeth’s hand that he proposes over and over again only to forget the next day that he was refused? Like all good romances, they eventually find their happily ever after but not until they both learn the value of persistence.

Do you feel you kept the true character of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth?

For the most part, yes, but I did make a few changes that I think added to the fun of each book. In Mr. Darcy’s Promise, Elizabeth is a little out of her element, since she was forced to marry Darcy and tends towards a sensitive and emotional woman rather than impertinent or witty, but she is also more human and real and therefore loveable. In Pride and Persistence, I enjoyed making my least favorite character, Mr. Collins, totally repulsive, more so than Jane Austen did. In To Refine Like Silver, due to be published in November, I had to ask myself why Elizabeth was such a strong, confident woman in the original Pride and Prejudice. I believe that any woman in any era that is strong and confident is only that way because they have endured and put one foot in front of the other, no matter what the obstacles in their life. (Rosa Parks, Helen Keller etc.) So in To Refine Like Silver, I gave Elizabeth a few good reasons to have earned her confidence and strength. I gave her a history that Austen never did. I think in doing so, it made Elizabeth even more of a strong female lead. I can’t wait to share it with all of you. It is my favorite book I have written.

I also have gotten a lot of feedback that all my Darcys are just so lovable. I have a hard time writing him as harsh and prideful and cruel to Elizabeth at the beginning and then have him warp into a lovable guy like I have seen many authors do. I admit I don’t know any other way to write about a man I already love but to make him lovable right from the beginning!

Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Some things that you will never catch me doing is reading the newspaper, listening to the news or watching TV sitcoms unless it is one of three shows that I DVR, and even then I force myself to sit and watch them in order to have “mommy-daughter time” with my three daughters. I do like watching movies, but I adore reading and would choose it any day. It is not unheard of to read 2 books a day when I am in “research mode” preparing for the next book I am writing. (Definition of “research mode”: I read everything I delayed reading while writing and I get caught up on my to-be-read list as if I was at an all-you-can-eat buffet to get fresh ideas and get immersed in the genre I am about to write.) I also am a frequent flier at a Thai restaurant here in Utah, so much so that when I call in a to-go order, they ask me if I am getting the usual. Yup. Love Thai food and I keep them in business.

Thanks Jeanna, for this fun interview. I hope Jane Austen fan fiction lovers will enjoy these stories set in a time long ago.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Joy Dawn King

Book Giveaway July 28 – Aug 7: You have a chance to win a Regency Romance, A Father's Sins: A Pride and Prejudice Variation. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. E-book or Audio: International.

Joy Dawn King is a native Oregonian grandmother of five-year-old twins. When the parents of the twins moved to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador several years ago, Joy and her husband of 34 years packed up and moved with them. Grandchildren have power! Two years ago, she had read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. It was love at the first sentence. Not long after Joy discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction, a story was born. She has always been a storyteller, but had not put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard until early this year. Two months later, A Father’s Sins was available.

Hello, Joy. Does this book continue on where Jane Austen left off in Pride and Prejudice? Please tell us about your novel.

A Father’s Sins is an alternate path for the central characters, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.  The premise is based on terrible decisions that the fathers make earlier in their children’s lives. It is these children that suffer the consequences. They meet by chance in London a year before tragedy strikes both families and reconnect five years later. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a quiet, taciturn man who is honorable, responsible, and gorgeous. Due to circumstances, Elizabeth Bennet is a much more independent young woman who is kind, knowledgeable, and compassionate.

In the original Pride and Prejudice, the turmoil, misunderstandings, and trouble comes between Darcy and Elizabeth as their personal imperfections and incorrect attitudes inflict emotional pain on them both. In A Father’s Sins, the couple, who are far less prideful and prejudiced, pulls together as outside events try to pull them apart. There is humor, pain, sadness, and joy and enough melodrama to satisfy the most avid adventure lover. It is a morally clean variation that can be read by young and old.

My story follows Darcy and Elizabeth as deal with the fallout from their father’s decisions and come to terms with these men that they had once adored. It is a story of compassion and forgiveness.

What kind of research did you have to do for this story?

My research for this project covered Regency fashion, transportation, weapons, disease, and travel to India, Italy, Greece, Egypt, east Africa, and Portugal by ship during this period. It fascinated me to learn so much of history as my story took shape.

Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

I absolutely fell in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy. His love and tender care for his sister, Georgiana, showed the feelings that lurked behind that stoic exterior. Even his responses to Miss Caroline Bingley (his best friend’s sister who was intent on becoming his wife), his half-brother George Wickham, and his aunt (Lady Catherine DeBourgh) showed his strength of character and his goodness. He, too, was imperfect in my story just as he was in the original. However, once he realized that he loved Elizabeth, his determination to cherish and protect her was exemplary. Sigh!

I do have to mention the Fitzwilliam family too. Darcy’s Matlock relatives on his mother’s side were delightful. His aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Matlock, epitomized family members that would go to the ends of the earth in efforts to help their beloved nephew. Darcy’s cousins (Colonel Fitzwilliam and his older brother along with Anne DeBourgh) also stepped up and provided comic relief as well as genuine support. You just loved them as they stood together as a strong family unit to help our dear couple.

Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

While I love to cook, eat, and read – I hate, no I ABHOR, Brussels sprouts, sewing machines and snakes – not necessarily in that order.

That is so funny. Thanks, Joy, for this interview. I hope Jane Austen fan fiction followers enjoy your new take on this story.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Interview with Christian Author Sharon Srock

Book Giveaway July 14 - 24: You have a chance to win a Women's Fiction, all three books from the Women of Valley View Series. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. E-book: International.

Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Twenty five years ago, she cut her writer's teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. Her books include: The Women of Valley View: Callie, The Women of Valley View: Terri, and The Women of Valley View: Pam.

Welcome back to my blog, Sharon. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

Thanks for having me Linda. Where did I get my inspiration? That’s still a bit of a mystery. If you look at the first book, CALLIE, The interaction between Callie and her three friends is very reminiscent of the church I attended for more than 40 years. I don’t think I meant it to be, but my daughters and my friends are constantly finding themselves in my books.

That’s funny. I think that might be something a lot of authors do. Please tell us about book one.

THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: CALLIE

Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her. Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities.

Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing.  And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family. For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.

I read book two and loved it. Please tell my readers what book two is about.

THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: TERRI

Despite a bustling day care center and a new foster child, Terri Hayes hungers for a family of her own. Then a plumbing mishap leaves her homeless and questioning God’s plan. Steve Evans’s gracious offer of his basement apartment as a temporary solution is an answered prayer.

Steve is a successful writer and a good father, but Terri is horrified when Steve’s book research leads him to a harsh confrontation with the parents of her foster child.  She needs to distance herself from Steve, but her efforts fall short as his two scheming daughters plot to make Terri their new stepmother. Will harsh words and sneaky plans drive Kelsey’s family further apart and put a wedge between Terri and Steve? Or does God have another plan in store?


Now tell us what the third book is about.

THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: PAM

Pam’s divorce broke her heart. The cruelty of her ex-husband broke her spirit. A bottle of sleeping pills almost took her life. Four years later the scars of Alan Archer’s emotional abuse are beginning to fade under the love of her new husband. When Alan returns to Garfield, Pam must learn that buried secrets and carefully cultivated indifference do not equal forgiveness.

Alan Archer has returned to Garfield with a new wife and a terminal heart condition. His mission? To leave a Christian legacy for his children and to gain Pam’s forgiveness for the sins of his past.
Two hearts hang in the balance waiting for the delicate touch of God’s healing hands.

Are there more books coming out in this series?

Book four, THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: SAMANTHA was just contracted. I am about 20,000 words away from putting “THE END” to book five, THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KATE. In six months I’ll begin the final story, THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KARLA. I’ve lived with this community of women in my head for six years now. I’m not sure what happens when I try to shift gears to new stories and new people.

Who is one of your favorite characters in this series and what do you love about her?

I have to say Callie. She was me when I started out, but she outgrew me pretty quickly. She is wiser and more dedicated than I am. Callie is who I want to be when I grow up.

Hahaha. I understand how you feel.  Thanks for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your books and tell the librarians to order them for the library.

To get a FREE novella, FOR MERCIE’S SAKE by Sharon Srock, click here.

Connect with Sharon at www.sharonsrock.com.

Please visit her AMAZON page to find current info on her books.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Interview with Fantasy Author Anna Del C. Dye


Anna has received many awards for her fantasy series including books she has not yet published. Anna is native from Chile and speaks both Spanish and English. She loves love songs, ruins, medieval places, and lace. She has taken medieval sword classes with her husband and enjoyed them immensely. She has a book drive every year to benefit different elementary schools close to her home, usually delivering 300 books to them.   

Welcome back to my blog, Anna. I think its awesome that you took medieval sword classes. I bet it was so interesting.

Thank you, Linda for having me back.

Please tell us about this fantasy series: The Silent Warrior Trilogy.

The Silent Warrior Trilogy is the gateway to my Elf series. The three books contain a new and completely original tale full of suspense, adventure, and medieval-style warfare. The reader joins in the continuing saga of Adren and the elfkind throughout the three books.

Book one, The Elf and the Princess
Menarm was a great and prosperous kingdom. But a bitter struggle of succession between twin brothers left the kingdom devastated, the people divided. Some stayed with Fenil, who had conquered the crown, others followed Renil to the wild lands of the north, founding a new kingdom.

Now Adren, the last princess of the vanquished realm of Menarm, finds herself alone in a world where women live in the shadows of men. Not only must she battle her enemies, but also a truth that could obliterate her last hope for happiness and bring dishonor to all those whom she hold dear. On her quest, she finds unlikely allies in a powerful prince and a defiant mercenary, only to be devastated by an ancient and wily elf. Will Adren survive this final assault?

Book two, Trouble in the Elf City
In the serene and beautiful city of the elfs, life has changed but little since Menarm was destroyed and the war ended. Three springs have passed and Adren, the last princess of Menarm, has settled into her new life. Her champion, the Silent Warrior, has not been seen since the battle at Wilapond.

Suddenly the peaceful life in her new kingdom is challenged by enemies the elfs are unable to fight. Disaster seems imminent for their whole race. Will she have to witness the destruction of this kingdom and once again find herself alone in the world? Or will the Silent Warrior come to her rescue and save them all?

Book three, Elfs in a Conquered Realm
On their visit to the vanquished Kingdom of Menarm, the elfs face many uncertainties. However, they are strong in numbers and sure of their purpose. Zyrthal, the young elf strategist, is given the task of finding the dead kingdom’s hidden treasures; but instead the elfs find ruthless mercenaries who capture the convoy and will stop at nothing to obtain the treasures for themselves.

Once again the Silent Warrior is sent to the rescue. Yet he has been battling demons of his own, and finds himself in great doubts of his performance as the champion of the last Princess of Menarm. The shadows in his heart double with the disappearance of the two half-elf princes from the dead kingdom. Will he succeed in rescuing the young boys and thwarting the mercenaries, or has the Silent Warrior fallen from Adren’s grace forever?

I love the cover to the Conquered Realm. It makes me wish I could visit this place. Where did you get your inspiration for this trilogy?

Lord of the Rings was what inspired the elf series. I started The Roilden Stones of Elf Mountain after reading Tolkien’s books. This book is the story of how the elfs came to Andoria and what happened to their race there. It explores how they define themselves and become the race they are in my series.
However, when the movies were done I wondered what kind of woman would Legolas fall for? She has to be special in many ways and Adren came to me so vividly that I had to capture her story on paper. The trip through her life was exciting, full of mysteries, war and at the end, love. That is how the Silent Warrior Trilogy came to be the beginning of my elf series.

When I finished book one I had so much more about Adren in my head that I decided to go for a book two, Trouble in the Elf City. It would be based on the revenge of the defeated Tahitans from book one. The same happened with book three, Elfs in a Conquered Realm. I couldn’t leave Menarm destroyed so it is reconstructed it at the end.

Since this is a fantasy, did you have to do any kind of research?

Not really. I like fantasy because it gives me the freedom to go beyond the medieval era and doesn’t trap me in facts. The only research I did was when I talk about elf medicine. I checked in an herbs book and it had all I needed.

Who is one of your favorite characters in this series and what do you love about him or her?

Adren would have to be the one. She grows up with elf stories though she is of mankind. She loves that race and later, through one of her mother’s stories, falls in love with the elf, Dellin, although she has never seen him. Their love is the most inspiring true-love story ever.

When her kingdom is destroyed, she has to learn much about life, customs and races outside the comfort of her own kingdom. Her life was not easy, but at the end she takes her rightful and honorable place not only next to her husband but, with the different races in Andoria including the elfs.

Thank you, Anna, for this wonderful interview. My husband is a real fan and loves your books. It's not only for teens, but adults also. I hope my readers will check them out.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Enjoy A Romantic Cozy Mystery: The Shamrock Case


There are many types of mysteries to choose from such as a cozy mystery, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or the thriller. What is the difference? A cozy is an enjoyable story with a bit of humor. It can be slow paced but not boring by any means. The sleuth is always an intelligent and likeable woman. This genre is G-rated and focuses on the characters.

A thriller has non-stop action and doesn’t let up until the climax of the story. The hard-boiled mystery has violence, plenty of action, and is R-rated. The soft-boiled mystery falls in the middle of the cozy and hard-boiled and has light humor.

The Amelia Moore Detective Series is closer to a cozy than the others but is not a “who-done-it” mystery. Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her business is flourishing.

When Amelia is hired to search for her client’s grandparents, the case takes them to Ireland. Kate must learn about her heritage. Who are her grandparents and could they still be alive after all these years? Why did her parents leave Ireland suddenly and move to America? Is there more to this case than meets the eye?

Amelia and Rick have the makings of being a lasting couple that readers will adore and root for. The Shamrock Case moves along quickly. It goes by way too fast and I’m already missing the characters.” –Socrates Book Review

Yvonne, Socrates Book Review, felt as if she had visited Ireland as she wrote: “The author paints a vivid picture of the beauty of Ireland. I feel as if I just returned from a trip to Ireland myself. I could easily see the greenery and magnificence of the country. With each book, Clarke introduces us to another exotic location.  She definitely does her homework before she writes about these places.  Clarke knows both her characters and locations well and it shines through each word she writes.”

To read a Sample Chapter, visit http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/shamrock.html

About the Author
Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the author of several historical sweet romances, a mystery/adventure series, a children’s book, and a new cozy mystery series. For more information, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

Here are the links for this cozy mystery:

Amazon  


E-books available at both Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Gianna Thomas


Gianna Thomas is an avid fan of Pride and Prejudice variations, fan fiction, what ifs. She has over 200 of these fascinating takes on Jane Austen's marvelous original work. While Gianna is an accomplished researcher and writer in the health field, this is her first variation as well as her first fiction book, and she plans on writing more in the near future. She loves a sweet, Regency romance, and Darcy and Elizabeth fit the bill quite nicely. Gianna has a wonderful daughter and lives in a small Texas town with her 5 cats.You can learn more about Gianna on her website at www.giannathomaspandp.com and her Amazon Author Central page at https://www.amazon.com/author/giannathomas.

Hello, Gianna. Pride and Prejudice has been done by various movie directors and has been changed a bit here and there. I even saw Bride and Prejudice, which was a new take on the story. It was fun to watch. I would love to hear your twist about this story.

Hi, Linda. Darcy Chooses puts several twists on the original Pride and Prejudice. One of the first twists is that the time of year is different. Bingley comes to Netherfield around the first of May instead of the autumn. This has allowed me to handle events in the book a little differently than Jane Austen did. Spring is my favorite time of the year, and I decided to make it Elizabeth's as well.  Another twist is that Elizabeth encounters Darcy before the Meryton Assembly, but I won't spoil the surprise as to the event that precipitates that meeting. Also, Darcy realizes that Elizabeth heard his rude remark, and he makes amends at the assembly.

Now this does not mean that there is no angst or misunderstandings. When you consider the personalities of our hero and heroine, and Elizabeth's temper, there will be problems. And, of course, family adds their interference as well, which stirs the pot even more.

One difference from other variations is that my book is illustrated with paintings done in the 1800's. Since one picture is worth a thousands words, and I want my readers to really get involved with this book, I felt that these paintings were appropriate. Darcy Chooses is a sweet romance that can be enjoyed by any age group.

I know your inspiration behind this book was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But what was your motivation for writing it?

Coupled with my fertile imagination of 'what if I changed this, what would happen next?' helped in working out the plot. Not just one new twist, I have added several that should make my 'what if' interesting, fun to read and to reread in the future as well. Jane Austen's characters plus a few new ones, including remnants of the original P&P plot, helped fuel my plot into what, I hope, will be an enjoyable rewrite of an old favorite. Of course, the ultimate goal is for Darcy and Elizabeth to marry and live happily ever after. Along the way, I hope that readers will laugh, shed some tears at times, and enjoy this wonderful journey.

What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

You would not believe the hours spent on research. Just reading Regency Era fiction was not enough. I downloaded pictures of paintings; went to many different websites to learn the terminology used in the early 1800's; read the original Pride and Prejudice again to get a feel for the phrasing of conversations; got information on clothing, carriages, horses, dancing, balls and etiquette and read and reread my own writings to make sure, to the best of my ability, that it feels like the Regency Era. I have even checked out the years of origins for many words in order to ensure that I don't use terms unknown to that era. With the prequels for this novel, I had originally used UK and archaic spelling to give them more of a Regency feeI; however, my Regency editor pointed out that it could be confusing and would seem to be misspellings to many of the readers. She also pointed out that they did speak using contractions back then as well, so I chose to rewrite the prequels and write the novel with that in mind.  With these changes, the novel should appeal to the Regency Romance readers as well as fans of the Pride and Prejudice variations.

Wow! It sounds like you did a lot of research. That’s great. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Although, I would not like to have lived around the 1800's, I am an avid reader of tales written in that time period. In spite of the lack of amenities, there is something special about that era. Then again, it just may be the magical quality that Jane Austen wove throughout her novels. If I can just tap into a little of her writing genius, I'll be happy. I'm a very passionate person who loves the P&P's and Darcy and Elizabeth, and I am writing about what I love. That love will show in my writings, and my desire is that my readers see that love as well.

Thank you, Gianna, for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your books.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Interview with "Young Adult Mystery" Writer, Author Iain Reading

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. He has published four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of theYukon Gold, Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost, Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.
For more information, visit Kitty Hawk World

Welcome to my blog, Iain. This book is the first in a young adult adventure/mystery series. Please tell us about your novel.

This first book in The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series lays the groundwork of the main character, a teenage pilot with her own seaplane from Vancouver Island, Canada. Her (apt) name is Kitty Hawk and being the somewhat optimistically ambitious girl that she is, she decides that she wants to go to Alaska and study humpback whales for the summer. She’s the perfect person to do it, she figures, because with her own plane outfitted with an array of video and photographic equipment she can cover a lot of area on a daily basis, recording and documenting the day-to-day lives of the hundreds of whales who spend their summers in the bountiful waters of south-east Alaska. But as the long and productive summer draws to a close she happens to notice a small boat that, for some reason, she can’t quite get out of her head. Something nags at her about it and she won’t be satisfied until she figures out what it is. And that is where her new adventure begins, leading her on an exciting rollercoaster ride across the beautiful landscape of the far north, through history and mystery, until she finally solves the case.

There are currently 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

The ultimate inspiration for the entire series comes directly from the main character herself – Kitty Hawk. She is such a strong and determined character, complete with human flaws and uncertainties, that her stories just seem to write themselves.

What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

In addition to having visited each of the locations in the book, I also had to do a bit of digging around in my brain and books to find a way to weave together a story that contained the elements of geography and history that I was already interested in.

Tell us about Kitty Hawk. What is she like?

Kitty Hawk is an amazing girl. As you know already she is a pilot (with a name like hers, how could she be anything else?) and she flies her own seaplane. But what you might not yet know is what a spark she has for seeing the world. She is the kind of person with all the normal human self-doubts and fears but her ambition and curiosity forces her to push past those and get out and experience things for herself. Whether it’s picking up the phone and calling the handsome stranger she just met for a date, or sneaking around the wilderness in the dead of night on the trail of some gold thieves, she has a way of getting herself into some amazing situations. But fortunately she’s smart enough to always figure her way out of them again.

She does sound amazing. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Not many people are aware that I am NOT a pilot. While I am familiar enough with the various operations and procedures of flying that I describe in my books, I am actually not licensed to fly. I am just an enthusiastic passenger sitting over in the co-pilot’s seat.

Hahaha. That is so funny. Hey, authors do tend to write about things they desire to do. Maybe that’s why you made Kitty a pilot. I hope my followers will give this book a chance and get it for their kids and themselves. Happy writing, Iain!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Interview with Mystery Writer G. X. Chen


G.X. Chen, author of The Mystery of Revenge, Forget Me Not: A Love Story of the East and The Mystery of Moutai, is a freelance writer who loves to travel. A graduate of Fudan University and University of New Mexico, she taught literature at Fudan as well as Shanghai Foreign Language Institute, before migrating to the U.S. with her 5-year-old daughter. She lives in Boston now with her husband.

To read an excerpt from her book, visit http://bookpublicityservices.com/mystery-moutai-chen.


Welcome to my blog, Ms. Chen. Please tell us about your novel.

It is a murder mystery; a fast paced and easy read with interesting characters in a plot of intrigue coupled with insights into the Chinese culture.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

The inspiration came about a year ago when I accidentally found out that one of my acquaintances had lied on her resume but nobody seemed to know about it. I used the raw material to expand into a 65,000-word murder mystery.

Wow! I always wonder what inspires the story of a book. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Not much. All the places I wrote about I’ve been; the lie I mentioned above is still on the web. Only things I needed to research were the dates and events as I wrote about the Cultural Revolution, which started in 1966 and went on for 10 years.

Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

I like both of my amateur detectives in the story, one is a young girl, a college student, and one is a young chemist. Ann is smart, driven and sometimes stubborn, and Fang Chen is a typical nerd but who is caring, generous and a loyal friend. In this world, everyone should at least have one loyal friend who cares about you and believes in whatever you do.

That’s so true. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

When I landed in the U.S., I had a 5-year-old daughter and less than $1,000 in my pocket. For more than a decade, I worked, sometimes two jobs, and raised my daughter all by myself. She turned out to be a great kid, graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. My friends told me I should write a non-fiction called “how to raise a successful kid without really trying”. I bet it could be a best seller.

I bet it would be, too. It sounds like you have done a great job in raising your daughter. Thank you very much for this interview, Ms. Chen. I hope my readers will enjoy getting to know a new author.