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.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Interview with a Humorous Author Annie Oeth


A lifelong Mississippian, Annie Oeth is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women. She currently works as a features editor for The Clarion-Ledger, the state’s largest daily newspaper. She writes about family and fun and The Mom Zone blog. Annie is the author of Because I Said So: Life in The Mom Zone, which was published in April 2014. She is a solo mom to four, and currently resides in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Connect with Annie on Facebook and Twitter.

“Whether you’re a mama to sons who have an affection for reptiles and bottle rockets or a daughter who thinks you’re wrong… just when you’ve figured out your own mother was right, you’ll love yourself, your kids and your life more after this read. Why? Because I said so.”

Hello, Annie. This is such a classic statement. All of us mother have said, “Because I said so.” Please tell us about your book. What is it about?

Hello, Linda, and thank you for including me and "Because I Said So: Life in The Mom Zone" in your blog! And yes, I have also said, "Because I said so," many times. The book is about life in general and being a mom in particular. There are some laughs, but also some tears, in these pages. There are some stories about growing up and being a grown-up. I think parents will identify with it, but I also think there are things readers would identify with because they are part of the human experience.

What was your inspiration for this book?

The inspiration for the book comes from knowing and working with mothers, swapping stories and my own four children. I think we've all had moments when we loved a memory or a story so much we just had to write it down. These are some of the ones that were written down.

Are these your own experiences or from talking to other parents, or both?

In "Because I Said So," I drew mostly from my own experiences, although there are a cast of characters involved, but talking with others raising children also provided inspiration. They inspire me every day. Being a mom or a dad is not easy.

Will you please share with us one of the funniest things you inserted in this book?

There are quite a few of them that make me laugh, from my boys putting frogs in mailboxes to kids putting two and two together about Santa Claus. I also had to laugh about our preacher asking if I needed help with the housework (nothing is more mortifying) and about being asked by my son, after I brought home third place in my age group in a 5K, if there were only three people in my age group. If I wasn't a mom, I would have to pay for entertainment. 

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

One of the most difficult times in my life was the time from 2004 to 2006, when I lost my mother to a stroke, then my husband, and five months later my father, both to heart attacks. Coming back from that was hard, but I had to. There were four children depending on me. Raising my children is a great joy to me, but keeping my family strong and connected is, for lack of a better word, my mission in life. It's for this reason that I treasure all kinds of memories.

Wow! You have had some real challenges in life. Thank you for this wonderful interview, Annie. I’m sure my readers will enjoy this fun filled book. Below is an excerpt for all of you to read. Happy reading!

KIDS IN CHURCH


There was a time of retribution like no other in my growing-up years. It was when church let out.
Church misbehavior would get you a warm behind faster than setting fire to the school back then. It was a reflection on your parents‘ child-rearing in the public-est place in town. You didn’t challenge authority too much more than acting like a heathen in church. It was like asking for the physical motivation to stand awhile.
We would witness someone wearing out their young’uns‘ backsides beside the family‘s Chevy Malibu and be thankful that our own badness, doodling, whispering and note-passing didn’t cross the line that Sunday.
Our badness continued, though, not unlike a game of Russian roulette. We’d keep talking during the preacher’s sermon, never knowing when the bullet of getting a backseat beating had our names on it.
Of course, we all grew up, and many of us kept the habit of going to church. We had even learned to behave by the time we had children of our own. And this is when I learned the lesson my parents and all my friends‘ parents knew: Never commence to punishing your child during the sermon.
The oldest boy was somewhere between two and three at the time and was bored out of his little mind. To occupy his time, he picked up the Methodist hymnal and began flipping all gazillion pages from hard front cover to hard back cover.
Whap.
Whap.
Whap.
“Stop, baby,’’ I hissed.
Whap.
Whap.
Whap.
It was like the tide, steady and relentless, and also pretty darned loud. I started getting disapproving looks from my fellow congregants.
Whap.
Whap.
Whap.
In desperation, I folded my arms and gave him a pinch, surreptitiously, to get his attention.
Instead, he got mine. Along with the preacher’s and everyone else in the congregation that day.
“Mama!’’ he said in a nice, clear, outside voice. “Quit pinching me!’’
The preacher had to pause to get his composure back, shaking while he stifled a laugh, and the choir twittered with muffled laughter until the altar call.
The rest of the week, folks around town would tell me to stop pinching my little boy and laugh. That was the last time he got pinched by me, in church or elsewhere, by the way.
The oldest boy was lucky he was a child of his generation. In the church parking lots of my day, that would have gotten him a walloping of Biblical proportions.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Interview with Western Writer Heidi Thomas

Heidi M. Thomas grew up on a working ranch in eastern Montana. She had parents who taught her a love of books and a grandmother who rode bucking stock in rodeos. Heidi’s first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, has won an EPIC Award and the USA Book News Best Book Finalist award. Follow the Dream, a WILLA Award winner, is the second book, and Dare to Dream is the third in the Dreamseries about strong, independent Montana women. Heidi also teaches memoir and fiction writing classes in north-central Arizona.

Welcome back to my blog, Heidi. Dare to Dream is the third book of the “Dreams” trilogy. Please tell us about your new book.

This new book takes place in the 1940s when women’s participation in rough-stock rodeo was declining, partly due to the world wars and partly because the all-male Rodeo Association of America did not include women’s events in their sanctioned rodeos. Just as Nettie Moser has regained her heart and spirit, following the loss of a dear cowgirl friend in a freak rodeo accident, she is barred from riding. She is determined to “do something” about this outrage, but her fury at the discrimination can’t change things for women—yet. She begins mentoring a couple of teenage neighbor girls in trick riding, the only thing left for women. Against the backdrop of ranching and rodeoing is also the heart-rending affect of WWII on the Montana home front and for Nettie’s family.

Where did you get your inspiration for this trilogy?

My grandmother was my inspiration. She was a real Montana cowgirl who rode bucking steers in rodeos—these were the big wild range animals that were a lot bigger than the steers we see the kids ride in today’s rodeos. After she died when I was 12, my dad told me she had done that, and it stuck in my head until I was an adult and started to write books.

That’s impressive. I bet you felt close to her as you wrote this story. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I got a lot of first-hand information from my dad about growing up with cowboy parents. I also read a number of books about the old-time cowgirls who competed in the heyday of women’s rodeo, and read articles that related to the times and what Montana was like during those eras. Since I grew up on a ranch, I had first-hand knowledge of that lifestyle and could somewhat identify with the homesteaders of the early 1900s because we didn’t have electricity until I was six and no indoor bathroom until I was in high school.

I know this series is based on your grandmother’s rodeo experiences in the 1920s and I think it’s interesting when authors add real life situations to their stories. Did you follow your grandmother’s experiences perfectly or use her as an example for this book?

A little of both, actually. Although the timeline follows some family history, my Nettie character in Dare to Dream is more fictionalized than in the first two books, since she didn’t actually go on to rodeo that late in life and to my knowledge did not mentor other cowgirls (except me).

When I was eight, my grandparents bought me my first horse, a little black Welsh/Shetland cross named Money. Big mistake. That pony was a stubborn little cuss, and he knew he had the authority over that little eight-year-old girl on his back who just wanted to ride with her dad and grandma. He refused to budge, no matter how much I urged him to. Grandma jumped on his back—gonna show him who’s boss—and he proceeded to buck with her. Money immediately went back in the horse trailer and my next horse was a gentle strawberry roan who was my pal on many a roundup for many years. (Needless to say, I did not follow in my grandmother’s rodeo footsteps!)

Thank you, Heidi, for this wonderful interview. I don’t know anything about cowgirls and rodeos, so I learned something new today. When I was a kid, I watched Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and wanted to be like her. But that was all I knew about cowgirls. Haha. The next stop for Heidi's tour will be Tuesday at Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Blog.

You may read the blurb below about this awesome book.

Blurb: Montana cowgirl Nettie Brady Moser has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles on the journey toward her dream of being a professional rodeo rider. In the 1920s she struggled against her family’s expectations and social prejudice against rodeo cowgirls. During the Great Depression, marrying Jake Moser and then raising their son took priority over rodeos. And then she was devastated by the death of her friend and mentor in a rodeo accident.

In the spring of 1941, Nettie, now age 36, is regaining her heart and spirit, and she is determined to ride again at an event in Cheyenne, Wyoming. To her dismay, the male-dominated Rodeo Association of America enforces its rule barring women from riding rough stock and denies her the chance to ride. Her fury at the discrimination can’t change things for women—yet.

Based on the life of the author’s grandmother, who rode rough stock in Montana in the 1920s, this sweeping rodeo saga parallels the evolution of women’s rodeo from the golden years of the 1920s, producing many world champion riders, and shows its decline, beginning in the 1930s and ending with World War II in 1941.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Darcy Flynn


Darcy Flynn is known for her heartwarming, sweet contemporary romances. Her refreshing storylines, irritatingly handsome heroes and feisty heroines will delight and entertain you from the first page to the last. Miss Flynn’s heroes and heroines have a tangible chemistry that is entertaining, humorous and competitive. She has written Sealed With a Kiss, Keeper of My Heart, and Rogue’s Son.

Darcy lives with her husband, son, two English Setters and a menagerie of other living creatures on her horse farm in Franklin, Tennessee. She raises rare breed chickens, stargazes on warm summer nights and indulges daily in afternoon tea. 

Hello, Darcy. I absolutely love sweet love stories that involve feisty heroines. Please tell us about your novel, Rogue’s Son.

Tough and driven, Kit Kendall replaced frills and dresses with no nonsense haircuts and wranglers years ago. As owner of Sage Brush, the once thriving west Texas bed and breakfast ranch, she now struggles daily to keep her business afloat. Since McCabe Lodge reopened next door as a multi-million dollar resort, her financial difficulties compound, as she suffers one cancellation after another.

Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kit’s former neighbor and childhood nemesis, returns as the new owner of the resort that’s now putting her out of business.

Sam Dawson, cowboy turned entrepreneur, has returned to Sugar Creek after six years of exile with a secret that could destroy Kit’s happiness. He left town because of it and for the past two years has secretly tried to make it right. Having failed, he now returns to make one last attempt to undo the tangled web created by his father. Set in motion by his father’s Last Will and Testament and with the clock ticking, Sam has only weeks to convince Kit to sell him her ranch or reveal the truth that will break her heart.

This sounds like an intriguing story. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I love westerns, both historical and modern day and since I live on a Tennessee horse farm it was a natural setting for me to explore. I adore reunion stories and love to write them. A few years ago I had this kernel of an idea where the heroine’s former neighbor and childhood nemesis returns as the new owner of the hunting lodge that’s now putting her Bed and Breakfast out of business. And the story just developed from there.

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

Living on a horse farm and working around them on a daily basis translated easily to the west Texas setting I used in Rogue’s Son. My husband and I have been out west many times. We especially love to visit Texas and Arizona. I have some wonderful photos of Old Tucson that also served as inspiration. Also, Google is every writer’s friend! I found the most charming town called Turkey, Texas and posted pictures of it over my desk.
Another thing I did, which may seem strange to non-horse people - I took a daily walk while I was writing and went to our barn and “whispered” to my horse. I pressed my nose in her neck and just breathed. There’s something about the smell of a horse. They’re addictive! Their flesh is sweet and wonderful. J I told you it would sound weird!

Actually, it sounds quite wonderful. Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

I love my hero, Sam. He's strong and sensitive and completely captivating. I love that he comes back to help Kit, and does everything he can to protect her from the truth of her situation in spite of her sass and resistance. J

The hero sounds like an awesome man. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Oh, there are so many fun things I’d like to share here. But I’ll stick to one. I was a professional model for many years. I was in national TV commercials, national magazines and did runway for some of the top designers of that period.

Wow! That’s so interesting. I bet it was fun trying on all those stylish clothes. You went from the model world to the author world. Thank you, Darcy, for this wonderful interview.