Monday, March 30, 2015

Interview with Children’s Author John Briggs

Book Giveaway Mar 30 – Apr 7: You have a chance to win a Children’s Biography, Judy Garland: Little Woman, Big Talent. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail to enter the contest. Book: U.S. and Canada. E-book: International.

John Briggs is a former nationally syndicated children’s TV critic who enjoys sharing old movies and music with his two children. He is the author of several middle-grade biographies, including Judy Garland: Little Woman, Big Talent and Mary Dyer, Friend of Freedom. He is also the author of an upcoming picture book, Leaping Lemmings, from Sterling Publishing. A native of Pennsylvania, he currently calls New York’s Capital District home, where he makes his living as a freelance book editor. In addition to writing, John likes baseball, tea, and lecturing his preteen son on just about everything.

Welcome to my blog, John. This children’s biography, Judy Garland: Little Woman, Big Talent, tells the story of Judy’s struggles in landing the role that most children absolutely adore: The Wizard of Oz. Please tell us about your book.

The book covers Judy’s life from her time as a little girl in Minnesota singing Jingle Bells in her parents’ theater to her time as a superstar in movies and on stage. Most of the book focuses on her rise to fame in Hollywood, from her first movie at the age of seven until she landed the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Of course, The Wizard of Oz gets its own chapter because, after all, it is the most watched movie of all time.

I am a Judy Garland fan. I have seen so many of her films. One of my favorite movies is In the Good Old Summer Time, which has little Liza Minnelli at the very end of the movie. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I was hired to write a children’s article about any celebrity from Hollywood’s Golden Age (my choice), and the one celebrity from that era kids still know is Judy Garland. At a time when they’ve largely forgotten Mickey Rooney or think of Shirley Temple as a drink, they still know Judy thanks to The Wizard of Oz. Of course, like most writers, I way over-researched the topic and realized I had enough for a book. I talked to my publisher, and they loved the idea, particularly after we realized there had never been – and this is amazing to me – a kid-friendly book about Judy Garland. But we didn’t forget about Liza. There’s a great picture in the book of Judy holding up Liza as a baby, and I tell the story of Judy reading the script for Liza’s first starring role in a film, even though Judy never got to see the movie. Talk about a talented family! 

I learned that Judy was 17 when she got the role of Dorothy. What kind of research did you have to do?

Tons. I read several books, and utilized great websites like the Judy Garland Database and others. I watched several TV interviews with her from Barbara Walters and Mike Douglas to get stories directly from Judy. I also watched old footage of Judy from the Oscars and movie premiers to add flavor to some of the stories in the book. Then there was research on the three dozen photos we used, and so on. It was a lot of work, but getting Judy’s life right for young readers – so that they realize just how talented and driven she was – was absolutely worth it. I wanted her to be as real as possible to kids and not just ‘the girl who played Dorothy.’

Now since you have learned so much about Judy Garland, please tell us your thoughts about her.

I am absolutely amazed at her determination to keep going after suffering one failed audition after another. She just didn’t give up. She came so close so many times only to have a door slammed in her face. I think kids can learn a lot from her. Judy was told she was too short, too heavy, not pretty enough, etc., but she had talent and she knew it. We talk a lot these days about helping kids with their self-esteem, and Judy is proof that you have to believe in yourself first and foremost. Work hard, keep trying, and eventually you’re going to succeed. I tried to bring that out in this book because it seemed to be an underlying theme to her life.

Judy Garland sounds like a great example for everyone. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania in a place so remote we couldn’t get TV reception. I actually didn’t see The Wizard of Oz until I was twenty-eight. To this day I don’t watch a lot of TV, but boy, do I love to read. I have no doubt that led to my life as a writer and editor, and I’m sure glad it did. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have written Judy Garland: Little Woman, Big Talent!

No TV? So you didn’t watch cartoons on a Saturday morning? Haha. Thank you for this interview, John. Visit John at http://johnbriggsbooks.net. Remember to stop by each week and read a new interview with a book giveaway. Here is a bit of trivia from John's website.

A few facts about the 1939 movie: The Wizard of Oz:
  1. It’s the most watched movie of all time.
  2. Over the Rainbow is ranked as the number one movie song of all time.
  3. MGM wanted Over the Rainbow cut from the film.
  4. Judy Garland wasn’t the first choice to play Dorothy. She wasn’t even second. She was third.






Enter more book giveaways here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Jewel Adams

Book Giveaway March 23 - 30: You have a chance to win a Romance, Til You Come Back To Me Again. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Ebook: 3 copies

J. Adams has written books in different genres, but her main focus is inspirational interracial romance. She is a motivational speaker to both youth and adult audiences. In her spare time (when she has any) you can find her curled up with a good book and a healthy stash of orange Tic Tacs. She and her family reside in Utah.

Welcome back to my blog, Jewel. Please tell us about your new romance.

Til You Come Back to Me is about an attractive and affluent young man who finds himself alone in the world and finally finds love for the first time. When he thinks life can be no better, he experienced some painful trials before experiencing one that is so great, he wonders if he will make it through it. It is a love story that is both tragic and beautiful – a love that spans the ages.

I love your book cover. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

This is a story I dreamed about a few years ago and it kept coming back to me (no pun intended), and it is the first story I have ever written from the hero’s point of view. I had to sort of put myself inside a guy’s head, which was interesting as far as emotion.

Yes, that is very true. I often times talk to my husband about a man’s emotions or personal feelings and that helps me in my writing. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Not much. I used to live in Winter Park, Florida, the setting for the story, and Angelo is Italian, and of course, I love everything Italian.

You love to write sweet romances. What intrigues you most about writing this genre?

I just love being able to create a story that is emotional and passionate without all the unnecessary content so many mainstream romance writers add to their stories. Some scenes are better left behind closed doors.

I totally agree. Where can my readers find you online?

I created a fun website for Til You Come Back to Me Again: www.Angelospromise.weebly.com
All my books are available at Amazon.com

Thank you, Jewel, for this awesome interview. I hope my readers will check out your book.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Interview with Humorous Author Kersten Campbell


Book Giveaway Mar 16 - 29: You have a chance to win a humorous book, Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Book: U.S. and Canada

Kersten Campbell is the author of two motherhood humor books, “Confessions of a Completely Insane Mother” and “Don’t put lipstick on the Cat.” She lives in Washington with her husband, five children, a wary cat, and a dog who is smarter than all of them. She also enjoys writing freelance articles supporting motherhood and families.

Welcome back to my blog, Kersten. Please tell us about your new book.

Thank you! “Don’t Put Lipstick on the Cat” is a compilation of humorous essays about motherhood and raising a family. From finding underwear in the freezer, to cleaning spaghetti off your pets, life is full of interesting moments. As a mother, there are times when life just doesn’t go the way you expect, and sometimes you just have to laugh and enjoy the wild ride of being a parent.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

The idea began years ago, when I noticed many mothers feeling inferior and comparing themselves to each other. I thought: someone needs to write a book about what it’s “really” like in a perfect home. I thought humor would be the best way to do this.

You are right. Listing humorous situations can make a mother feel as if her child is no different from others. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Well, they are all stories based on true happenings within my own family, so I guess you can say my children were the research. But I also researched how to write humor, which is not as easy or as intuitive as you think. There is a real science to it.

You love to write humorous stories. What intrigues you most about writing this genre?

I like to make people laugh. I think it’s healing. It brings life into the proper perspective. Life is stressful when you take yourself too seriously. If you can laugh about life’s ups and downs, your life will be a lot richer.

I love to laugh and this book sounds like a fun one to read. Thank you so much for this wonderful interview, Kersten. Where can my readers find you online?

I have a humor blog called, “Life on the Funny Farm,” and a more serious parenting blog called, “A Passion for Parenting.” My author website is www.authorkerstencampbell.com.

Don't forget to stop by often because I have a new interview and book giveaway every week.



 Enter more giveaways here.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Marie Higgins

Book Giveaway March 9 - 16: You have a chance to win a Victorian Romantic Suspense, Secrets and Lies. To enter this contest, you must tell us why you like to read romance books. Don’t forget to leave your e-mail. E-book: International.

Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of Christian and sweet romance novels; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. She’s been with a Christian publisher since 2010. Between those and her others, she’s published 30 heartwarming, on-the-edge-of-your-seat stories and broadened her readership by writing mystery/suspense, humor, time-travel, paranormal, along with her love for historical romances. Her readers have dubbed her "Queen of Tease", because of all her twists, turns, and unexpected endings. 


Welcome back to my blog, Marie. This book sounds like it has mystery, suspense, and romance all tied into one. How intriguing! Please tell us about your new book.

Nicole Bastian is a Secret Agent—as her father and brother—working for President Grant in 1875. She loves her job, and she’s great at hiding secrets. When a string of train robberies occur, she and her family are placed on the assignment, eager to catch the thief stealing money the government is sending to help repair the old South. But when the man of her dreams, Ashton Lee, turns out to be their top suspect, she’s devastated. Desperate to remain cool and impartial, Nicole strives to keep her suspicions quiet until she learns what he’s keeping from her. At the same time, she’s determined to keep her own secrets from being exposed.

See my book trailer - http://youtu.be/2S-lIHgKTzM

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

The inspiration for this story is quite comical, I think. I’ll start out the tale by confessing that I have an addiction. I LOVE historical romance book covers, especially the ones my cover artist Sheri McGathy creates. One day I was looking at her premade covers (big mistake!) and I saw one I knew I had to buy…even though I didn’t have a story for it. So I bought it anyway and put the cover on Facebook. I asked my FB friends to tell me what they thought the story behind the cover was about. I turned it into a contest. I told my FB friends that if I liked their ideas, I would make them characters in my book. I had a handful of comments, and some I really liked. Just reading what people were thinking started my creative juices flowing, and pretty soon a story idea popped into my head.

A guy I’ve known since junior high—Lee Parry—made a great comment, which eventually became my tagline. Her love for the man of her dreams wasn’t the only thing she was hiding… Because I loved the tagline so much, I told Lee that he could pick the first name of my hero and the last name would be Lee. He picked the name Ashton. Another online friend of mine, Nicole Laverdure, gave me several suggestions, so I made her my heroine, Nicole. Another lady I’ve known since she was a teenager is also a character in my book, and I used her full maiden name Emily Thornock (I even used Emily’s parents as the character’s parents). A guy I’ve known since I was 17, Steve Larson, is also one of my characters, as well as my coworker, Glen Nickerson. The more I write the story, the more the plot thickens. I’m loving it!

That is so interesting to find out that the motivation of this story was from a book cover. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I love doing research for my historical stories. For this one, I researched the train lines that ran through New York going South to Georgia. That’s why I used Conrail Railroad. I also researched the history of Secret Agents and discovered the organization was started in Washington D.C., 1865. Another little bit of research I did was about gunshot wounds and what the doctors back in those days used to stop the bleeding. In my research, I learned that the name Lee was not used as a first name, which is why that’s the hero’s last name. And my coworker Glen…I had to change the spelling for his name to Glynn because Glen was not used, either.

Wow! You did some great research. You love to write clean sweet romances. What intrigues you most about writing this genre?

Writing sensual romance takes away the reader’s imagination, in my opinion. When I write a romance, I write just enough to tease the reader, but still leave the rest to their imagination. Not only that, but when people read my stories, they know they are going to get an interesting plot with twists and turns, but without swear words or sex scenes. Readers tell me all the time how refreshing it is to read a story for the plot – and not the sex.

That’s exactly how I feel, too. It’s refreshing to find authors who write “sweet romances.” Where can my readers find you online?

Facebook – facebook.com/marie.higgins.7543
Twitter – @mariehigginsxox

Remember, to enter this contest, you must tell us why you like to read romance books. Don’t forget to leave your email. Thank you for visiting my blog, Marie.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Interview with Author Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Book Giveaway Mar 2 - 9: You have a chance to win a non-fiction book, Marketing Your Book on a Budget for 2015. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. E-book: International

Kathryn Elizabeth Jones has been a reader even before she could read. She has always loved books and would pretend to read even before the skill to read sunk in. She has loved to write for almost the same amount of time. Kathryn has published 7 books to date. Two mysteries, two Christian fiction books, two nonfiction books and one middle reader. She has also published short stories and articles for newspapers and magazines throughout her 20+ years as an author.

Welcome back to my blog, Kathryn. You have a book that helps authors market their books. Please tell us about Marketing Your Book on a Budget and give us some examples.

Marketing Your Book on a Budget is an easy guide to use in navigating the marketing world. And because I update the book every year (usually in January) the writer receives the most up-to-date information on reviews, blog interviews, book trailers, contests, and more. For example, book trailers using Animoto.com are easy and pretty pain free. Any video under 30 seconds will not cost the writer a penny, and anything above that will cost them very little. I pay $30 for an entire year of use. And this use includes video, photos, music and text. After your trailer is created you can share it on your blog, on YouTube, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Each and every idea in the book has been tried out and tested in the "Kathryn Jones Factory" of market testing. That means I won't include something in my book that hasn't worked for me. If it doesn't work, if I see no results, the idea gets booted. You will notice that there's not a chapter on creating a news release or getting your books in libraries, and that's because I have found little to no success in these arenas. What I have found successful is found in the book along with direct links to places to market your book for free. Most of these ways are found online, but some of them are 'old school' and still very effective.

It sounds like a perfect book for authors. What kind of research did you have to do before writing this book?

My first book was published in 2002. Since that time I have done all of my own marketing, and have weeded and pruned. The research came about as I was trying things out. Once I could see success, whether that success was new readers or new sales, I counted the idea a success and included it in the book.

At the end of every year I go through the book and take out links, sites, and so forth that no longer produce results for me. And I add new things that I have since discovered that have increased interest.

It is good to know that you update your book. Here is a question that I love asking authors on my blog. It’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

The real me... hmmmm... I love chocolate and will eat it along with every meal of the day if it's in the house. The good news is that I exercise every morning doing Wii Dance to ward off the pounds. :)

What a perfect routine for eating sweets! Thank you, Kathryn, for visiting my blog. I think it’s time for all authors to consider this book because it may help you spread the word about your novels.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Interview with Suspense Romance Author Charissa Stastny

Book Giveaway Feb 22 – Mar 6: You have a chance to win a book of your choice from the Bending Willow Trilogy. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Ebook: International.

Charissa Stastny hails from Las Vegas, Nevada, but has never pulled the handle of a slot machine and can’t shuffle cards to save her life. She envisioned herself as an author since 4th grade when she wrote the creative work, The Creature from McGool, and went on in shame to pen some cheesy romance scenes as a teenager. Now she has matured somewhat and is a member of the Idaho Writer’s Guild and tries hard not to spread too much cheese around in her writing. She resides in Idaho’s Treasure Valley with her family, where shuffling isn’t required. Thank goodness!


Welcome to my blog, Charissa. Where did you get your inspiration for the Bending Willow Trilogy?

My muse for this story started with a creative writing assignment and a door-to-door art salesperson. An Israeli girl named Suvi with a nose ring and a vivacious personality knocked, charmed me into buying one of her oil paintings, and then talked to my daughters and me for an hour. After she left, an idea for my short story began to form. As I wrote my imagined story for Suvi, I hoped to make my daughters aware of hidden secrets people carry so that they would be more merciful in their judgment of others. We never know what awful circumstances and experiences have led someone to act in certain ways. There are religious undertones in this story, but it’s not preachy because I knew my daughters would toss it aside if they thought mom was trying to get one over on them. 


What is book one about: Eyes of Light?

This series follows three characters through several harrowing years. In Vol. 1, Suvi Goldstein tries to escape her past, but falls for a man with secrets as deadly as her own. Torn between violent men in one world and a forgiving man in another, she must fight her way out of darkness to find redemption. James Hinton is Suvi’s opposite—a clean-cut, returned missionary who seems like the classic Boy Scout. Austan Sandoval is an ex-NCS operative who Suvi believes died when she was in high school. He’s gone deep undercover, but still secretly watches over and protects her from brutal forces bent on her destruction. 

Tell us about book two: Secret Keepers.

This book delves deeper into Suvi’s horrific past and exposes damaging secrets she has locked away for years. Though she has begun healing, she still struggles with self-worth after what she has endured. As the past clashes with the present, she flees to Israel to lead danger away from the man she loves. There she seeks her estranged father’s help. But when she disappears without a trace, Austan and James will do anything to find the woman they both love. From Idaho to Israel, and with madmen, ruthless drug cartels, and Mossad assassins as key forces, the fight for light continues in a battle where lives, love and freedom are at stake.

When you fall in love with your characters, it is hard to leave a series as you write the last book. Please tell us what the third book, Hands of Mercy, is about.

This is hard to do without giving away too much. Let me just say that two of our characters are finally married in this book, but marriage doesn’t automatically mean happily ever after…no matter what fairy tales portray. As our celebrated couple struggle with the mundane in their marriage, malevolent forces beyond their control cause hell to erupt. Suvi, Austan, and James must struggle to survive as separation, death, guilt, and revenge rip them apart and scatter their broken hearts and bodies over the battlefield of life until unseen Hands of Mercy save them. Whew! How’s that? 

Very good description, Charissa. Who is one of your favorite characters in this series and what do you love about him or her?

I adore all my characters, but Austan’s probably my favorite to write. He makes me run the gamut of emotions—one minute he has me laughing so hard my side hurts; the next I want to weep for all his troubles; but then I turn the page and want to smack him for being such an arrogant pig. If you’d like to read an interview with him, go HERE

Haha! That is such a great way of describing your own character. Love it! Here are a few links to visit Charissa and her sites.

·        Website – http://www.charissastastny.com
·        Facebook 
·       You may purchase these books here: Eyes of Light, Secret Keepers, Hands of Mercy


Monday, February 16, 2015

Interview with Romance Author Paige Timothy

Paige Timothy is the author of soon-to-be five romance novels in the Main Street Merchants series as part of the Sweet and Clean Romance Collection by Trifecta Books. Under another name, she’s written twenty-five other books in every genre from historical fiction to cozy mystery. She lives along the Wasatch Front with her husband, four children, and very spoiled little dog.

Welcome to my blog, Paige. Writing romance is a new genre for you. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

Romance is new to me, definitely, although my other books have elements of romance in them. I just wanted to give something new a try, and to see about catching the wave that is sweet romance. It’s been a lot of fun. I get to do a lot of bantering between my characters, which is one of my favorite things to write.

Please give us a short synopsis of book one: And Something Blue.

Each of the books in this series takes place in one of the businesses along Main Street in the fictional town of Aspen Ridge, Colorado. In And Something Blue, we meet Laurie, who works at the bridal shop. She deals with temperamental brides and their equally temperamental mothers all day long, but in this story, it’s the brother she has to deal with. Sparks do fly.

Tell us about book two: For Love or Money.

Laurie’s roommate Morgan works at the bank, and hangs out with her best friend and fellow bank teller, Rory. When Rory’s grandmother falls ill, he goes home to South Dakota to be there for his family, and Morgan realizes that maybe he’s just a little bit more than a friend.

Now we want to learn about book three: Five Golden Rings.

Cara is the third roommate in this apartment, and she works at the jewelry store. She’s always loved singing and writing her own music, but she’s crippled by insecurity. She believes that she’ll never be good enough to perform for anyone but herself, but her life takes some amazing and unexpected twists and turns, and she learns that she’s so much more than she ever thought.

Please tell us about book four: Just Desserts.

Now we go across Main Street to D’Angelo’s Bakery, which is managed by Quinn. Mr. D’Angelo’s health has been poor for years, and Quinn spends all her time taking care of the bakery. So much time, in fact, that she doesn’t have much time for anything else. When a construction worker shows up to take her cake decorating class, she has to learn to put her critical nature aside and see past the scruffy beard and steel-toed boots to the person inside.

The fifth book in this series is now available. Please tell us about Between the Lines.

Between the Lines is about Regan, the fourth roommate in Laurie’s apartment. She works at the bookstore, and she’s decided that the only good romances are the ones that take place in fiction. She’s never had a real romance of her own, and while she’s happy that all her roommates have found love, she doesn’t think it will ever happen to her. But then she gets swept off her feet and up a mountain, where she learns in a moment of crisis that heroes are actually real.

Thank you for being a guest on my blog, Paige. I hope you visit again. You can learn more about her at www.paigetimothy.com.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Interview with Romantic/Comedy Author Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer turned stay at home mom/freelance writer/author. She has two daughters and has been married since 2002. Brooke has written numerous novels including “Someone Always Loved You,” “Beyond the Bars,” and the recent romantic comedy “Wrong Place, Right Time.” She looks forward to releasing “Mamarazzi” in August and her first children’s book “Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut” in February 2016.

Accept This Dandelion is a humorous romance, full of amusing and witty narratives. The author not only wrote a sweet love story, but the humor she added made this story delightful. I was chuckling and even laughing out loud at times because it was hard to keep quiet. When Renee decides to be on a dating show, everything seems to go wrong in each interview, but Ben thinks she’s fun and charming despite her foibles. The author has developed the characters so well that I fell in love with them. This is a story that would be fun to read over again.” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke


Welcome to my blog, Brooke. Please tell us about your novel, Accept This Dandelion.

Thanks so much for having me today! It’s an honor! This book is about a radio announcer named Renee Lockhart. She wants to move up at work and get a position on the Morning Show, but her boss doesn’t think her public image is large enough. Her co-worker signs her up to try out for the localized version of “The Bachelor” TV show…in part to help her heighten her public image and also to help her get a date! When Renee lands on the show, she has low expectations for the outcome…and let me tell you, nothing goes right for this girl! Talk about a date gone bad! Again and again! We get to see all of her dating disasters and groan right alongside her as they turn from bad to worse…on TV, no less!

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I enjoy “The Bachelor” TV show and I have to say, my favorite part are the bloopers and outtakes they show at the end sometimes. The show, to me, is an escape from everyday life. It puts a smile on my face and it’s the only show I follow on a regular basis. So it really inspired the book because the book is about a localized version of the dating show. Probably some of my own bad dates inspired it as well, but I never did anything quite the way Renee does! I also gave Renee a job very similar to what I used to do in radio. I’ve heard it’s best to write what you know and I was in radio for a decade so I know how that world works. Most of all, the story came to me and I was inspired by the idea itself!

That is hilarious. I love hearing how a story comes about. What kind of research did you have to do?

Just watching TV and going on bad dates! Ha. I don’t often research. I prefer to make things up. Hence the reason I’m a fiction author and not a journalist. I had enough of a background in both radio and TV to pull this book off without any research. That isn’t the case for ALL of my books. Mamarazzi, for example, is based largely in and around LA, a place I’ve only ever visited once. Some books take more and some, I just make it up! J

Hey! If it works, that’s all that matters. Haha. Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about him or her.

Renee Lockhart is a hot mess, but she’s a real girl and someone I felt like I could really relate to. She’s not a size 0. She’s a normal, average American woman! She doesn’t care about hair and make-up or what she’s wearing either. She wants people to see her for who she is. She is ambitious and wants to work her way to the top in her job, but her reason for wanting to be on top is sweet…she simply wants to be able to help more people with her station at the top of the totem pole. But she’s also pretty set in her ways and stubborn. She has her ideas about people and her opinions on how things should be, whether she’s right or not! She also seems to be a natural born klutz…at least when it comes to dates! The things that happen to this poor girl on the local TV show…!!

I absolutely loved Renee. She had me laughing quite a bit. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I only cut my hair once every two years. IT used to be once a year, but I’ve cut back. Ha. I like my hair longer in the summer and shorter in the winter, strangely enough. In the summer, long is good because you can put it up in a variety of ways. In the winter, I don’t want it up so down is best! But the real reason I grow it and cut it is to donate what is cut for a wig for someone who has cancer. I’ve probably cut it 5-6 times by now.

That’s so interesting. I love learning things like this about the authors I interview. Thank you very much for this wonderful interview.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Young Adult Fantasy Medieval Romance by Anna Del C. Dye

Anna Del C. Dye was born in the extreme South along some famous beaches. She grew up with four other siblings, being placed in the middle. Anna moved to the USA to marry her husband Rodney, and has resided in Utah since then. Her husband, a native of Idaho, met her in her hometown. They fell in love and she came to Utah on Christmas Eve to be married two weeks later. They are the parents of three princes and a princess.

Early on in her life she showed an affinity for sewing and took classes that have rewarded her with the opportunities of doing the costuming for the cast of four musicals, and Utah’s own Fantasy Con, which she enjoyed immensely. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.

Have you ever wondered who your “soul mate” is or if you even had one? Anna’s book is exactly about that. This is what her new fantasy is about.

Freedom to Choose is Paramount for any human. An arrangement made when Elizabeth was just a babe ties her to someone she has never met, never spoken to, never loved. Now she desires freedom—a way to choose her own path—her own husband. The moment Elizabeth meets Patrick she knows he is her soul mate. But when you are bound to a crown how is any choice your own?

Here is a snippet from Once Upon Two Kingdoms for you to read:

“People should be free to choose, once they are old enough to know what they want, and can take responsibility for their choices,” I whispered, watching my little baby, asleep so peaceful in contrast to the rage that brewed in me.

“How could your father condemn you this way while forcing me to stand by, unable to do anything but despair? I know he felt wretched. That doesn’t help the pain in my soul. I begged him on my knees, but it was no use. Your path in life was sealed and no human could break it asunder. All I could do was leave the sad scene, crying miserably with you in my arms. Still, I am not alone in my misery. Oh, Elizabeth, I tried my child, I tried to protect you and I have failed you…”

If this excerpt hasn’t intrigued you, I would be surprised. You can find out more about Anna and her books at http://www.annadelc.com.

Some of Anna’s writing recognitions:
She received the Editor’s Choice Award from the International Library of Poetry and had her article entitled A New American Mother published by Desert Saints Magazine. Her short story entitled Amerine—Fairy Princess won an award in a League of Utah Writers contest later to be published by Kalkion Magazine. (Now it has been published as an e-book.) Other articles about family and relationship have been published frequently in the MOMS CLUB of Salt Lake Valley-West. She has published 7 books on her Elf series. Rodney’s and her love story was published by Deseret book in the anthology entitled Angels Round About compiled by July C. Olsen. Another of her articles was included in the Anthology Mother’s Message in a Bottle, edited by Tyler Hayden and published by Nimbus Publishing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Interview with Historical and Regency Romance Author Regina Scott

Regina Scott is the award-winning author of more than 25 historical romances, most set in the Regency period. Her stories have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese. She and her husband of over 25 years reside in Washington State with their overactive Irish terrier. Regina Scott is a decent fencer, owns a historical costume collection that takes up over a third of her large closet, and serves as the chief organizer for her family and friends.

The Bride Ship is such a charming story. The hero, Clay, is a man among men. He’s a rough and tough man who knows what he wants but underneath he has a heart of gold. Allegra was married to his brother but is now a widow. Clay is completely opposite from his brother who was a refined gentleman. Clay lived a life of adventure panning for gold in California and shipping lumber from the forests of Oregon Territory. Now Clay wants to help Allegra because of his devotion to his brother. But that is not the real reason. His love for Allegra shines through.” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Welcome to my blog, Regina. The Bride Ship is your first venture outside the Regency era. Please tell us about your novel.

The Bride Ship is the first in a new series that chronicles the real-life story of a group of women who left the East Coast after the Civil War to start new lives in frontier Washington Territory. Though my heroine, Allegra Banks Howard, and her friends are fictional, the challenges they face are real to that fateful journey and time period. Some of the women came hoping to be brides. Others merely wanted a chance at a future away from sad memories of husbands and brothers lost to that bloody war. None expected the trip and the destination to be so ripe for adventure, and love.

I have never heard of this before. That’s so interesting. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I first learned about the Mercer Belles (one of the kinder names given to this stalwart group of ladies) when I was a girl growing up in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, and I’ve wanted to write a story about them ever since. What would make a woman willing to travel thousands of miles, to leave family and friends behind, most likely forever? To attempt life on the frontier with nothing but the clothes on her back and the faith in her heart? How did that woman react when she saw fledgling Seattle, which wasn’t nearly as civilized as she had been led to believe from the materials given her by the group’s recruiter and organizer, Asa Mercer? I could imagine dozens of ways the stories might have played out, all depending on the lady herself.

I bet the trip was very hard to endure. What kind of research did you have to do?

I read every account of the Mercer party I could locate, including journals of the ladies in the group. I studied in the state Historical Society archives to learn what befell the others once they reached their hallowed shores. I owe a lot of my material to the journal of Roger Conant, which has been published as Mercer’s Belles: The Journal of a Reporter. He was a New York Times reporter embedded in the Mercer party, who not only described their adventures but shared the stories with the newspaper to the delight of his many readers. He had a rather patronizing attitude toward the ladies, calling them “fair virgins” and emphasizing every time any of them so much as batted her eyes at a gentlemen. But the stories he tells, of exploring the wonders of Rio de Janeiro, navigating the desolate Straits of Magellan, being chased by a Spanish man-o-war in Chile, and visiting the Galapagos Islands, are amazing!

Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about her.

What I love about Allegra is that she is trying her wings for the first time. A pampered Boston socialite, she went through life as the dutiful daughter, doing everything her parents required, including marrying the son of family friends when his brother, the man she loved, headed West. Now her husband and parents have died, and she can see how her mother-in-law is determined to shape Allegra’s young daughter into the same mold. Isn’t there more to life? Shouldn’t Allegra be the one guiding her daughter’s footsteps? Shouldn’t Allegra have the right to choose who she’ll marry, if she’ll marry again? She may make some mistakes along the way, but she picks herself up and keeps on trying, knowing that it’s not only her own future she’s championing, but her daughter’s. When Clay Howard, the man she once loved, shows up to “rescue” her, she’s not so sure she wants rescuing. And then it’s his turn to learn a few things.

Wow! Your story sounds so intriguing. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I believe in living the history I write about. I’ve sailed on a tall ship, driven a carriage four-in-hand, sipped the waters in Bath, and strolled the shops on Bond Street in London. If you need a fourth for an English country dance, I’m your girl. But don’t be surprised if I step on your toes. We have many women named Grace in my family. I am not one of them. J

Haha! Now I know the real you! Thanks for this wonderful interview, Regina. This has been a real pleasure getting to know you.