Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview with Regency Romance Author Jaimey Grant

Jaimey Grant has been studying the Regency time period for nearly ten years. She is the author of five romances set in Regency England. She enjoys research and says, “My Regencies are similar to the more traditional, non-graphic Regencies from years ago.” But there is one difference with Jaimey's writing. Her romances “contain a little more controversy, a little more drama.”

Jaimey’s Website:
Jaimey’s Blog:
Deception's blog:

A lady with a dangerous secret deceives the man she loves, desperate for protection from her encroaching past.”

Hello, Jaimey. I love this cover. Tell us about your book, Deception.

Deception is the love story of Lord Levi, Earl of Greville and Miss Aurora Glendenning. He is a gambler with a title and many properties who decides to quit gambling and find a rich bride. (While this seems mercenary and a bit heartless by our standards, it was common for the Regency.) Aurora is rich but hides that fact because she wants a man to love her for herself and as she says, "Men do not tend to fall in love when there is money clouding their vision." These two meet and the attraction is instant and strong. Despite their efforts to resist, they find themselves obliged to marry.

Obliged to marry? Already this story is intriguing to me. Since your books are all connected, can I read them separately or do I need to read them in order? Also, what is the order?

The chronological order is Betrayal, Deception, Spellbound, Heartless, Redemption. They're not so connected that they can't be read alone but they have recurring characters.

You once said, “Despite all the depravity of the era there is still an element of absolute romance attached. The kissing of hands, the gentle courting, the manners and charm are all things that appeal to my shy nature. What woman would not want to be treated as a princess, her permission sought before being introduced to a gentleman, her every comfort seen to? It is in our nature to desire to be cherished and adored.” I love this quote. Can you briefly tell us what Regency Romance is?

The Regency was a time of ladies and gentlemen, manners, breeding, Society, social upheaval, and war. While this time period technically fell between the years of 1811 and 1820, the trends in fashion, architecture, literature, politics, and culture began before 1800 and extended until Queen Victoria began her reign in 1837.

As for the genre itself, it seems to imply a certain gentle type of romance novel, one that the reader can just sit back and enjoy without too much emotional turmoil involved. While I have nothing against such romances—they have their definite appeal—my Regency romances tend to contain a little more drama, a glimpse into the darker side of the Regency era. One reader made the comment that my books are "traditional historical romance with meat!" I couldn't have said it better myself. :o)

I love drama. It makes you sit on the edge of your seat, wondering what’s going to happen next. Where did you get your inspiration for your novel?

Deception came about after I wrote Betrayal. Levi first appeared in Betrayal as the heroine's cousin and the only person in her life who didn't want her fortune. He was fun-loving, jovial, a big bear of a guy, and the exact opposite of my typical heroes. As Betrayal's story developed, I came to like Levi more and more and decided he needed the chance to share his own story. Then I “met” Aurora and the seeds of Deception were planted.

Real life rarely inspires my novels. At least, not directly. As writers, we often add certain aspects to our fictional characters that we've observed in those around us. I'm just not one of those writers who meets someone and thinks, "What a great character she would make!"

On the other hand, all of my heroes have aspects of my husband in them. He's the quintessential tortured hero, misunderstood and judged. It makes marriage difficult but never boring. I laugh when he recognizes himself while reading my books.

Ha! I tend to do that, too. In fact, my husband once said, “My life is like an open book.” Why do your books focus on negative aspects of this time period?

There is something about "lost causes" that strikes a chord with me. I am a firm believer in redemption and I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. There were so many things going on in the Regency, beyond Society and even within it. I like to write about someone rising above their circumstances, learning to love, trust, and feel again. Even if those circumstances seem privileged to someone on the outside, none of us can know what goes on in another's shoes.

What a great answer! Just that alone makes me want to read your books. Tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I'm scared of frogs. I mean, TERRIFIED. Dead ones more than live ones. I scream like I'm about to be attacked if one gets near me. It's pathetic, I know, and it gets worse the older I get.

Hilarious! Now we know the real you! The author who will never create a frog for a hero! There will be no frog prince in your stories.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Interview with Suspense Author Nichole Giles

Nichole Giles has lived in various states in the Midwest. Her future aspirations include adding a tropical island to her growing list of locations. For now, she plans to travel to as many tropical locations as possible, scouting for her future home in paradise. Her early career plans was to become a rock star, but she decided to have a family instead and then become a writer, in that order.

Nichole, please tell us about your new book, The Sharp Edge of a Knife.

When Mel Petersen leaves for work on the morning of February 7, he has no idea what awaits him. A few miles from his house, Mel picks up a pair of young men who appear to be college students, hoping to prevent them from having to walk in the cold. What Mel doesn’t know is that the men are actually convicts on the run from the law who are desperate to get away by any means necessary.

When one of his passengers holds a knife to Mel’s throat, he has no choice but to submit to the demands of the criminals. Mel hopes he has what it takes to talk his captors into letting him live so he can return to his wife and children, but fears they will kill him before he has the chance.

Your book sounds intense. I understand that your story is based on a true event. Please tell us what inspired you to write this story.

You're right. It is a true story based on an experience my grandpa had in 1958. One year for Christmas, my grandma gave all the grandkids a booklet about my grandpa's life history, and there was a short two page entry about this event. When I read about it, it sparked an interest and lead me to do more research into the whole thing. I thought I'd write an article, and ended up with a book.

Oh my gosh! This really happened to your grandfather? So this story is personal, then. Wow! A reviewer wrote, "Author, Nichole Giles, weaves a gripping story that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, wishing you could read in super speed so you can find out what happens next.” Is it difficult or does it come natural to pull your reader in with this kind of suspense?

Um, yes, it's difficult. Definitely doesn't come natural. Ironically, effortless reading is the hardest kind of writing. As far as the review goes, I think I should thank that reviewer. (And probably pay whatever I promised to pay. Kidding!)

All kidding aside, what does your family think about your writing?

You know, I'm not sure. You'd be better off asking them than me. I'd imagine they think it takes way too much of my time, but then the result turns out to be pretty cool. But that could also be wishful thinking on my part.

Hey, aren’t all authors wishful thinkers? Okay, tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Writing is my passion, but I also love to travel, spend time with my family, drive in the rain with my convertible top down, and play my music at full volume while I sing along.

Okay…now we know the real you! If I ever pass a woman singing to her heart’s content in a convertible with the top down while it’s raining, I’ll definitely know it’s you. The singing author!

For those interested, Nichole's book is available as an e-book for only $6.95 at LDS Bookstore.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Interview with Romance Author Donna Hatch

During her sophomore year in high school, Donna wrote her first full-length novel, a science fiction romance. She wrote her second novel, a fantasy romance during her senior year. She writes most often late at night instead of sleeping. She is a native of Arizona, enjoys writing Regency Romance, and is the author of four novels. She has been married for 21 years and is the mother of six children. Who does she pattern her heroes after? You guessed it. After her husband “who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.”

"Believe in happy endings..."

Hello Donna. Tell us about your new Rogue Hearts Series. Anything that has to do with a “rogue” really intrigues me. What is The Guise of a Gentleman about?

It's about a proper English lady secretly longing to break free of the confines of her English Aristocratic world, and it's about the handsome rogue with secrets that will either set her free, or destroy them both.

Where did you get your inspiration for your novel?

It started as a random line that came up when I was working on book 1 of the same series where the hero mentioned he had a brother who was a pirate, and book 2 evolved from there. Whenever I sat down to write this book, it was like trying to write about a movie playing in my mind and I had to rush to keep up. I even dreamed about this hero. 

Wow! If you dreamed about him, then he must have been real. That would make him come to life, for sure. Jennifer Ashley wrote, “Combining Jane Austen with swashbuckling adventure, The Guise of a Gentleman is a fine specimen of pirate romance!” I love Jane Austen and Robin Hood stories, so this book would appeal to me. Tell me your thoughts about this review.

I really loved Jennifer Ashley's pirate trilogy (and besides she's a NYT best selling author!) so this comes as high praise from her. And even though there is a lot of swashbuckling, and a couple of intense ship battle scenes, it's first and foremost a tender Regency romance. 

I’ve always loved Regency romances. They’re usually clean, too. That’s a plus! What does your family think about your writing?

At first they found it annoying. Then they tolerated it. Now they proudly tell all their friends. My seven year old asked her teacher if she wanted to buy my books. 

Now that’s real support, if you ask me. Tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I'm snarky, disorganized, obsessive, and I have a weakness for sweets. Oh, and I'm the mother of 6 children. (Yes, I did that on purpose) 

So now we know the real you: The Candy-loving, Disorganized Author of 6 children. Hey! That sounds familiar! Oh, yeah. It sounds like me!!! (I have 6 kids, too.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview with Children's Author Cheryl Malandrinos

Little Shepherd Virtual Blog Tour Contest
November 8 - December 17: International

Cheryl Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married. Little Shepherd is Cheryl’s first children’s book. She is a freelance writer, a founding member of Musing Our Children, Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. That’s quite a list!

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

You are one busy woman, Cheryl. Please tell us about your new children’s book, Little Shepherd.

Thanks for having me here today, Linda. Little Shepherd is the story of Obed, a young shepherd boy in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. After the angels appear, Obed is hesitant to follow the others to see the newborn King. He’s afraid something might happen to his flock while he’s away. His father convinces him to go, but Obed spends much of the time anxious over his sheep. After a visit with the Holy Family and some surprises upon his return to the field, Obed discovers it is a night of miracles. This book is geared toward readers ages 4 to 8.

I love the idea that you’re teaching children about the birth of Christ. What inspired you to write about a shepherd boy?

It’s an unusual story really. I sing Christmas songs all year round, using many of them as lullabies for my children. One of my favorites is “The Little Drummer Boy”. I would often sing that song and end up thinking about a story of a young shepherd who visits the child on the night of Christ’s birth.

When God first planted that idea in my heart, however, I didn’t think this would be a children’s story. I felt drawn to write about an adult Obed who is searching for the apostles after the Resurrection of Jesus. Obed wishes to find them to ask if Jesus was the Messiah he once met as a boy.

As I was sharing this idea with my pastor one Sunday, he asked me if it was a children’s story. That got the gears in my brain moving. Why shouldn’t I tell Obed’s story from the very beginning and help young readers understand the miracles of Christmas at the same time? I moved forward and Little Shepherd was born.

Wow! I love the idea of an adult Obed who is trying to find the apostles years later. You just might have to have a sequel to this story. How did you go about the process of finding an illustrator?

My publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP), works with several artists. After I had signed my contract, I was asked to select three potential illustrators from those listed on their website. Having reviewed several titles from GAP, I was familiar with the work of many of their artists. It was a tough choice, as they all do lovely work.

When Eugene Ruble accepted the contract to illustrate Little Shepherd, I was thrilled. I sent him some suggestions for potential cover art and interior illustrations and then I stayed out of his way and let him do what he does best. He did a superb job of bringing Obed’s story to life through his artwork.

What a wonderful publisher! I found out that many authors don’t get a choice. They have to take what is given them. You were very lucky…no, that’s not the word. You were very blessed to be allowed to choose your own book covers. I, too, was able to have a choice and tell them what I wanted. To me, that’s very important. What does your family think about your writing?

All three of my kids are very supportive. My nine-year-old and I would like to work on a book together that I write and she illustrates. Our youngest has been interested in books since she was old enough to hold them. They’ve turned me into the latest local celebrity at their schools. Our son is married, and he’s always been very supportive of my dreams, reading many of my works in progress.

My husband is supportive in his own way. I’ve been spending money on marketing since the book was released in August and he keeps paying the bills without commenting too much. He takes the girls to the park or the movies when I’m on a tight deadline. While he doesn’t understand why I would want to work in an industry where my performance, no matter how good it is, may not turn a profit, he’s very proud of my accomplishments.

Your husband sounds like a very special person. You are blessed to have that kind of support. Okay, now for the last question. You notice, Cheryl, that I ask this question to all my authors. I love it because I get to know an author’s innermost feelings. So please tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I haven’t always been happy with the person I am. I lost my mother to cancer when I was only 14. That paved the way for me to make several bad choices growing up. I had to give up on college when I became pregnant at the age of 18. I was a single parent for 11 years and there were days when I wished I could crawl in a hole and never come out again.

Meeting my husband changed my life. Returning to church also changed my life. I don’t recognize that angry, frustrated young woman I used to be. I feel so blessed by my family and friends—in person and online. God has a way of working in our lives behind the scenes and it can be months or years before we realize the good work He’s done in us. I think I’m finally getting to the point where my heart, mind, and soul are more in tune with His gifts and guidance. In telling Obed’s story, I hope that kids remember God always keeps His promises. 

Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing a part of your life with us. This shows how important it is to have a loving Heavenly Father in our lives. It changes us for the better and we tend to be happier. Thanks for being my guest this week. 

To participate in Cheryl's virutal book tour, follow the directions below:

GIVEAWAY #1 (for people who comment on this blog or Cheryl’s blog. Don't forget to leave your email in case you win.)

An autographed copy of Little Shepherd
Angel figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
Little Drummer Boy 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Gift of Peace 2003 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

GIVEAWAY #2 (for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21 and December 17. Proof of purchase must be submitted to Cheryl via email, mail, or fax at

A ”Sparkling Angel” scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
A Jim Shore Nativity Star hanging ornament
A Jim Shore Holy Family hanging ornament
A $25 gift card

Little Shepherd is available at the Guardian Angel Publishing website, Amazon,, and at Good luck to all who enter!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Interview with Young Adult Romance Author Angela Morrison

(Book Give-Away November 1 - 8: for those interested in Sing Me To Sleep, leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. U.S. and Canada.)
As a child, Angela dreamed of being a veterinarian, having ten kids and a hundred cats. None of it came true. She did marry the man of her dreams from Ontario Canada, but ended up with only four children and no cats! She plays the piano and is a licensed scuba diver. Angela said, “I’m a compulsive reader and have to ration myself or I won’t do anything else, including eating, sleeping, and interacting with other humans in any way.” She claims to be a vagabond, moving from place to place such as Switzerland and Singapore, etc, and now lives in the desert lands of Arizona. 

Hello Angela. My oldest daughter is named Angela. I understand that you write Young Adult Romance. Please tell us about Sing Me To Sleep.

SING ME TO SLEEP is about Beth, who is the ugly girl at school. All the guys call her "The Beast." She's got one friend--a short nerdy boy named Scott. But Beth can sing. When she gets the solo part in the elite girls choir she belongs to, her choir friends decide she needs a massive make-over. They’re off to Switzerland for the choral Olympics and Beth gets swept off her feet by the gorgeous and talented tenor soloist from the Amabile guys choir just across the border in Canada. Derek makes her feel like she's never felt before. Loved. Cherished. Valued. When she gets home, though, Scott tells her he's always loved her. And Derek starts acting suspicious. He's got a secret he won't let Beth in on that threatens to tear them apart.

Your novel sounds like it has a bit of mystery to it. Where did you get your inspiration for your novel? Do you ever use real life experiences?

For me, writing a novel is like a tidal wave hits my life. It takes everything I've ever done, seen, read, sung, watched, imagined, dreamed, and breaks it all up into tiny little pieces. When the wave retreats, all those pieces are lying on the sand. It's my job to fashion a story out of those pieces.

When we lived in London, Ontario, my daughter sang with the Junior Amabile Singers--a competitive all girls choir. I always wanted to write a novel using that unique setting, but I didn't have a story. A few months before my editor decided Razorbill wanted me to write a new novel for my second book, something happened to one of my daughter's best friends in the world-famous Amabile Young Men's Ensemble. You should hear these guys sing. They are so amazing. You'll find them on my website.

Anyway, she was still hurting--in fact the whole Amabile family of choirs was still dealing with a heartbreaking tragedy. That inspired me to start writing. My editor loved the idea and got it approved. The young man's mother and Amabile Choirs got on board and were fantastic support. It was the most intense artistic experience I've ever had. I wrote the first draft of SING in a single month. I know I had help from unseen hands. I feel blessed to have been the tool for it's telling.

I listened to the CD on your site. It's wonderful. I encourage all my readers to go to Angela's website and listen. It's so beautiful. What does your family think about your writing?

They think I've become an insane hermit, but they are all patient and supportive. My sons think it's weird that their mom writes romances that are kind of on the steamy side. (I love to write romantic kissing scenes--what can I say? My books aren't explicit, though. Just achingly romantic.) My daughter lets me pick her brain. And my husband paid for my MFA. If that's not love, what is?

So you’re a romantic at heart! Please tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I wear pink ballet shoes instead of slippers and write all my novels on pale pink paper.

Pink? Hey, I should have known since you’re a romantic. Now we know the real you, who sits around in pink slippers and writes novels on pink paper.