Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Interview with Author, SHERRIE HANSEN



Okay – I’ll be honest. Part of the reason I write contemporary romantic suspense as opposed to historical is that I don’t have the time or inclination to do research. It’s not that I don’t enjoy history or investigating the past. And it’s not that I’m lazy – really. It’s simply that I’m already stretched so thin that I simply don’t have time. I own and operate a B&B and Tea House called the Blue Belle Inn, and I’m a pastor’s wife in a different town, 85 miles away. I play the piano at church with a traveling band of musicians, and I’m very involved in the lives of my family. I write on the run whenever I have a spare second, often with my laptop propped on the door of the glove compartment while my husband drives us between our two homes. If I had to stop and do extensive research on a specific time period or worry about maintaining historical accuracy, I’m convinced I’d never finish anything.

To keep things simple, I try to write about locations I’ve been to or lived in, and occupations or fields I’ve worked in or been trained to do. I’m less likely to make silly mistakes that way. I’ve had characters who are Realtors (I’m licensed in the state of Colorado), interior designers, quilters, farmers, pastors, home renovators, and business owners in Minnesota, Iowa, and Colorado – all things and places that are intimately familiar to me. No matter – it still takes an immense amount of time to research and validate facts, even for familiar scenarios.

Part of the problem is that my characters somehow seem to acquire minds of their own. As they go traipsing off in different directions, pulling “my” story and stretching “my” plotline to include things that I never would have thought of on my own, attempting actions and activities I’d never dare try, I’m invariably forced to follow their lead, searching for those tidbits of knowledge I’m lacking to keep the story grounded and authentic.

When I started writing Blue Belle, I had never been to Tobermory or the Isle of Mull, or even Scotland. When I finally set foot on the island, I had a strange sense of déjà vu because I was already so well acquainted with the place via the internet. One night, while I was sitting on a bench near the harbor, a woman walked by that looked exactly like I’d always envisioned Isabelle, my main character. It was eerie! I also had to change an entire scene that had Isabelle blithely scooting around Mull on her bicycle when I discovered how hilly the island is!

Scoping out a location is only the beginning. I spent almost an entire day researching European chocolates for Blue Belle. When I was in Mull, I even had to go to Tobermory Chocolates to taste their famous Rose and Violet Cream Chocolates. You know, so I could describe them accurately. Yes, we authors are forced to spend our time laboring over many such unsavory tasks. I spent a huge amount of time looking for Scottish slang, phrases, and speech idioms that would define and give depth and reality to my characters and their conversations, yet be understandable to the average American reader. I researched castles and keeps, Cromwell’s practice of slighting, and the art of building with stones in both Scotland and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

Isabelle is a journalist, so part of my research involved investigating the facts behind each of the stories she was working on in the book, from Mad Cow and hoof and mouth to puffins and vultures, a Celtic bathing pool, and the centuries-old gold some people believe is still buried on a sunken Spanish galleon in Tobermory Bay.

The thing I like least about research is that I’ve already learned some things the hard way, which, sadly, means I already know everything I need to know about them without doing a single Google search. The thing I love most about researching is that once you start looking for specific answers to certain questions, you discover amazing things that lead you in completely new directions that then become fodder for your plot, and on and on in an explosive chain reaction of knowledge. It’s fascinating!

One of the things I’ve always loved about reading books is the new worlds that are opened up to me as I see a place or situation through the eyes of each character. Being an author has stretched me even more. Research can seem like a necessary evil at times, and a thrill at others. But no matter how hectic my schedule is or how bad my attitude about having to jump out of the story and take the time to chase down facts and figures, research is a great opportunity to learn more things, broaden your perspective, and see the world in a different light.       

              

BOOK INFORMATION-

Title: Blue Belle, a Wildflowers of Scotland novel

Blue Belle Blurb:

Isabelle doesn’t want to be found. Michael doesn’t want to be found out. When Damon starts searching for the centuries-old gold he thinks is buried in Tobermory Bay, it won’t matter what walls they’re hiding behind. Rocks will fall. Castles will crumble. No secret will be safe.


Age-old castles and blue-watered bays,
White sandy beaches and quaint cottage stays.
A rainbow of colors, and chocolates, hand-dipped,
A valley of bluebells, and sheep, freshly clipped.
Legends galore, buried treasure, and more…
In Tobermory, Scotland, that’s what’s in store.



Links:

http://www.facebook.com/SherrieHansenAuthor,
http://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/,
www.BlueBelleInn.com or www.BlueBelleBooks.com,
https://twitter.com/#!/SherrieHansen,
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2870454.Sherrie_Hansen

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=24



Short excerpt:

He was gone. Isabelle grabbed for her purse, flung it open and frantically clutched her traveler’s checks, her credit cards, her cell phone. Where were the keys to the rental car? The keys to the beach house? She’d had them in her purse, hadn’t she?

A key turned in the lock, but she was so crazed she didn’t hear it.
“Looking for something?”

Her shoulders jerked taut – she looked up and felt her face growing red as she watched the realization dawning on Michael’s face.

“No,” she lied. One jolt of heat from his eyes and the snowball had started to melt.

“You thought I was gone.” His voice was accusing. His eyes looked hurt – half perturbed, half angry.

She looked at the insulated cups in his hands and sniffed. “Hot chocolate with raspberry syrup?” She tried to slide her wallet back into her purse but it caught halfway in.

“You’re shaking. You thought I’d skipped out on you.”

“I didn’t know... where you were...”

“You were checking to see if I’d stolen anything from your purse.”

Her whole body felt cold.

“You really think I could walk out on you after last night?”

“No. No, I don’t. I trust you.”



Buy Links:

Kindle http://amzn.com/B00K33ND3K

Smashwords (any e-format including Nook) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434398

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bluebelle-sherrie-hansen/1119403747?ean=9781938101533

Amazon Paperback http://amzn.com/B00K33ND3K

Second Wind Publishing http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=241


Reviews:
Having a bit of Scotch-Irish heritage but knowing I may never travel there, this book grabbed my attention and took me away! I loved the characters - lots of depth and somehow a kind of familiarity, as if I know them in real life! The author also kept a strong plot line but filling it with unusual and intriguing twists and turns. I certainly didn't except the drama at the end! I couldn't put it down!



Cottages, Castles, and Chocolates...Oh my!
Filled with intrigue, romance, beautiful descriptions, and real emotions, Blue Belle by Sherrie Hansen, has something for everyone. Sherrie's written representations of the colorful landscapes and breathtaking scenery in her novel bring the Scottish countryside to life. Her tantalizing illustrations of tasty cuisine described throughout the book place you right in the middle of the story making you hungry for more.

At the heart of the tale, I can absolutely relate to the vulnerability of Isabelle's character. Her struggle with a past regret and wanting to trust again are true feelings we have all faced at some point in our lives.

The element of suspense Sherrie conveys so eloquently kept me reading through Blue Belle as well as Wild Rose and Thistledown. I'm definitely looking forward to her next Wildflower of Scotland novel, Shy Violet.


Author Bio:
Twenty-three years ago, Sherrie Hansen rescued a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa from the bulldozer's grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Sherrie grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota and has lived in Bar Harbor, Maine, Colorado Springs, CO, and Augsburg, Germany. She attended Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. After 12 years of writing romance novels late at night when she couldn't sleep (mostly because she was so keyed up from working 12 hour days at the B&B), she met and married her real-life hero, Mark Decker, a pastor. Sherrie lives in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and writes on the run whenever she has a spare minute. With her Wildflowers of Scotland novels, "Wild Rose" and “Blue Belle”, she has seven books in print. Sherrie enjoys playing the piano with the worship team at church, needlepointing, photography, decorating historic homes, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with her nieces and nephew.



Author Pic:   




Author Links:

http://www.facebook.com/SherrieHansenAuthor
http://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/
http://www.BlueBelleInn.com or http://www.BlueBelleBooks.com

https://twitter.com/#!/SherrieHansen
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2870454.Sherrie_Hansen

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=24

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Interview with Author, COLLETTE CAMERON.

Character Interview for The Earl’s Enticement
Roark and Adaira, Lord and Lady Clarendon




BRR: Thank you so much for joining me in my Blue Rose Writing Room, Lord and Lady Clarendon. Would you care for tea or perhaps a shortbread biscuit? A Shrewsbury cake or Maid of honor tart?

Adaira settles onto the settee

Adaira: Please, call me Adaira or Addy. I’ll never get used to being a countess. I’d adore a cup of tea and a shortbread biscuit. And I’m sure Rory won’t mind you addressing him as such.

Roark takes a seat beside his wife forcing Ayva, my miniature dachshund to move. She promptly climbs into his lap and licks his chin.
Roark: By all means, feel free to use my given name, and I’d quite enjoy some tea. Two lumps please, with milk.

He pats Ayva’s head, and she promptly rolls onto her back for a belly rub.

Roark whispers to Adaira: She reminds me of Kiki.

BRR: Kiki, isn’t she the dachshund you rescued from drowning?

Adaira nods: Yes, the poor darling. It was rather scandalous of me to jump into the lake.

Roark: You were terribly brave.

Adaira: Your picnic guests didn’t think so. They were appalled by my sodden gown clinging to my every curve.

Roark winks: I quite liked the gown. .

Adaira blushes prettily and swats his arm.

BRR: I know it’s a bit of a touchy subject, but can you tell our readers how you met?

Roark raises an eyebrow.

Roark: My countess had her friend knock me over the head, and then she locked me her brother’s dungeon for several days.

Adaira takes a dainty sip of tea: That’s not entirely true. I didn’t know Brayan was going to clobber you. But, yes, I did lock him in the dungeon. I thought he was his brother, you see.

BRR: When did you first suspect you had feelings for Roark, Adaira?

Adaira grins: Oh, I had feelings for him from the moment I met him. I couldn’t stand him! Or so I kept telling myself. She gives Roark an appraising look. I think it was when I met his staff and pets. So many of them were disfigured or handicapped in some way that I knew despite his crusty exterior, he was soft as warm pudding inside.

Roark: Pudding? My dear, no man likes being compared to pudding.

Adaira giggles: For pity’s sake, Rory. You have a one-eyed dog, a three-legged cat, a blind mule, a deaf sheep, and you keep an owl in the library.

BRR: An owl? Truly?

Roark shrugs: Yes. Sophie’s feet are deformed.

BRR: Roark, when did you know you had feelings for Adaira?

Roark: When I stood in the stables at Craiglocky and watched her with the newborn colt.

Adaira: You spanked me that night!

Roark: I was rather annoyed at having been locked in the dungeon. And I’d dipped a bit too deeply in the whisky. He glances at me. I’d just learned my brother was likely responsible for our mother’s death.

Ayva sneaks near Adaira’s plate and snatches a cookie.

BRR: I’m so sorry, Adaira. She’s a rude little minx.

Adaira chuckles and rubs Ayva’s ears. She’s just like KiKi.

BRR: Adaira, you risked your life to save Roark from the burning carriage house. Was there ever a moment you thought you wouldn’t be able save him?

Adaira: I didn’t know if I could get him to the door. I only knew I loved him, and I’d die trying.

Roark takes her hand and gives it a squeeze.

BRR: Roark, can you tell me something about Adaira no one knows? Something fun or quirky?

Roark: My dear wife is terrified of bats. She also abhors fish. And she snores.

Adaira: I most certainly do not!

Roark: Yes you do, but only when you’re very tired. It’s adorable.

BRR: Adaira, something about Roark?

Adaira eyes Roark: Well, he’s completely tone deaf and the man has sweets stashed everywhere. Why just yesterday I came across a dish of bon bons atop the towels in our bathing chamber.

BRR: What does the future hold for you?

Adaira smooths a hand over her stomach: Well, we’ve a little one on the way. I’ll continue with my horse breeding of course, and I’ve much to learn about being a countess.

Roark: I intend to establish a home for men injured in the war who have nowhere else to go. He grins. And I imagine I’ll continue to drag needy animals home. By-the-by Adaira, I forgot to mention the fawn one of our gardeners found yesterday. Poor thing has a broken front leg.

BRR: Lord and Lady Clarendon, it has been my absolute honor to have had you as my guest today. Please say you’ll come back again. I know your readers would love to hear more from you.

Adaira: Thank you, Collette.

Roark: We’d be delighted to visit with you again. Do drop by Cadbury Park if you are ever in England.



Information for book-

The Earl’s Enticement Cover Blurb:

She won’t be tamed.
A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.

He can’t forget.

Haunted by his past, Roark, the Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.

Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement.

He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.



Collette Cameron Bio: 


Award winning, Amazon best-selling, and multi-published historical romance author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master's in Teaching. A Pacific Northwest Native, Collette’s been married for thirty years, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You'll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.


Connect with Collette:

Website Blue Rose Romance Blog Twitter Facebook

You can connect with Collette on Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Google+ too. Go to her website for the links, her email address, and mailing address.



BUY LINK

http://amzn.com/B00KLO64S2/



Excerpt 1:

Adaira stepped around the mare and ever-so-gently touched the foal. Was the new addition a laddie or lassie? Skimming her hands over the newborn, she bent to take a peek. A colt. The sheen of his coat glistened in the muted light. Other than a white face and leg markings, he was the color of rich Turkish coffee.

“Ooh, you’re magnificent!” she breathed in awe.

“He is, indeed,” rumbled a harmonious baritone.

She whirled around. The Earl of Clarendon leaned across the stall door. His forearms rested on the top edge. He clasped a silver flask loosely in one hand. His shirtsleeves were rolled to his elbows, and he wore no waistcoat or jacket. The top of his shirt was unfastened too.

Just perfect. She wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near the earl, and here he was, in her sanctuary. She ought to be afraid, after his parting words, but she sensed something altogether different.

No, she wouldn’t stare at the crisp dark hair on his forearms or peeking from the collar of his open shirt. Bugger it. She curled her hands into fists against the oddest urge to run her fingers through the curly hair on his chest.

A bolt of unease speared her, though whether from his disquieting presence or her awareness of him as an attractive man, she couldn’t be certain.

Clearing her throat, she asked, “What are you doing here, my lord?”













Monday, June 9, 2014

Interview with Author, CATE PARKE.

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR     Cate Parke                          

Today I’m interviewing Cate Parke. Her book, Dreams Within Dreams is a historical romance and was released on May 22nd.
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
The story takes place over a ten year period of time and is set not only in England, but also in Inveraray, Scotland but also colonial Charleston, South Carolina. The end of the book leaves my readers at the cusp of the Revolutionary War in the southern colonies—which they may not realize, began during the spring of 1780 rather than in 1776. The story opens in London and my characters are making their bows before the Queen of England. Soon they’ll leave for Inveraray Castle in Scotland. They’ll return to London before sailing back to Charlestowne where they make their home. There’s my possible solution to how King George III came to receive the Declaration of Independence and my take on one of the other tea parties. (Everyone has heard of the Boston Tea Party, but it was only one among several that took place in the major American coastal cities as England attempted to coerce their American colonists to bend their knees to English governance and rule. The hero of my story is caught up in Charleston’s version of the tea crisis. I hope to make my readers not only laugh, but also shed tears as the story unfolds. I believe the mark of a really well-told tale has the ability to grab hold of a reader and pull deep emotion from a reader.
Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?  
Dreams Within Dreams is historical romance. At the moment, it’s the only genre I write in. This book includes settings in the Scottish Highlands, Colonial Charleston, S.C. and Georgian London
How did this story come to be?
This was originally the second part of a single very, very long book. I described it to my daughter, also a romance author, and her first words of advice were “cut it.” She elaborated and told me nobody would ever, ever publish such a long book. (I’ve since learned she was oh, so right.) So I cut the story into three parts and now each part is more or less a stand-alone novel in a three-part series.
What is your writing routine like?
After taking care of breakfast and my morning chores, I sit down to answer mail from my readers and then start attending to my writing. I try to spend at least five hours daily writing. Sometimes it turns into more hours—and sometimes not.
Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
Oh, my goodness. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers of America and Celtic Rose Writers. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about the business of writing and promotion from the enormously talented authors I’ve met there. I’ve met several of them “off loop,” as we say. I’ve formed close friendships with a number of them.

What character is most like you or least like you?
None of them are like me, actually. Unlike Alexandra, I can’t sing or play a musical instrument. (Nobody would ever ask me to sing. The best that can be said of me is that I add volume to a choir.) My blog is called Tuesday’s child, but unlike the Tuesday’s child in the dear old Mother Goose tale, grace is not my middle name. So dancing is out—at least the real stuff, like waltzing. So I write. The only way I might have resembled Alexandra was with my red hair—at least it used to be! I have blue eyes, but mine are turquoise rather than sapphire…and I’m short. My, darling husband tells me that nobody is shorter than me. Not true. I’m 5’1” tall. I know several shorter people. (So, okay, most of them are children. Eyes rolling here.)
What most inspires you in life?
My wonderful husband. He’s my real-life hero.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently finishing the third book in my series, Patriot’s Dreams. This book tells the story of my character’s struggle to survive and keep their home intact during the long months of the Revolutionary War in the South. Think The Patriot (movie) or Turn (television show.
BOOK BLURB
Richard Berkeley has won his treasure, but Lord Thomas Graham is back and Richard is on his home turf now. Laughable fop or a menacing foe? No matter which, Richard will be damned if he lets himself become a Rob Roy for yet another Marquis of Montrose.
War looms—which side will he choose? If he makes the wrong choice, will it rip their love asunder?
Can Richard adhere to his firmly held principles…or must he choose those of Alexandra’s English family’s to preserve their marriage’s bliss?
Courage, Alexandra’s special gift…is also her curse. Lord Thomas Graham will stop at nothing to ruin the Campbells, Richard and Alexandra included. He’s struck at her beloved husband once…twice…three times. How long before his malignant influence knocks at Oakhurst’s great front door? It will not. Not if she can thwart it.
A little bit about the author 

I am a writer of historical romances. I’ve been an avid reader all my life and began writing seriously eight years ago. In my day job, I am a registered nurse. It has been my privilege to practice Pediatric nursing during my entire career. I’m also the wife of a retired U.S. Navy officer. I've lived and travelled with him for the twenty-six years of his career. With him I've visited England, Canada, Mexico and all but four of the United States. Thanks to him, I've dipped my toes in every body of water that washes America’s shores, including the Gulfs of Mexico and California and even the Arctic Ocean (br-r). I’ve travelled over, under and on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After many journeys across this great nation and back again, I now live, love and write among the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in lovely Northeast Tennessee.
Excerpt
“Mr. Richard Berkeley and Lady Alexandra Berkeley,” proclaimed the queen’s chamberlain in stentorian tones. Sharp pounding resounded throughout the noisy chamber when he struck his long mace against the marble floor once…twice.
Heads swiveled their way. Painted and many-patched men and their ladies, garbed in gorgeous court clothes and dripping with jewels, thronged St. James Palace on this Thursday evening for the queen’s bi-weekly Drawing Room. Word of the Berkeleys’ appearance had spread through St. James District like fire through a ramshackle barn stuffed with dry hay bales.
Richard’s and Alexandra’s sponsors, her grandmother and aunt, flanked them. Two duchesses as sponsors—such had never before been the case to everybody’s certain knowledge.
Richard led Alexandra forward through crowds that parted like the Red Sea before Moses when they passed down the center of the mammoth room. Halting before the pregnant queen, Richard swept his grey tricorn from his head, extended a foot and bowed from his waist while his wife sank into a deep curtsey.
Waves of murmurs swept through the assembly behind them, scarcely inaudible confidences, overheard by Richard’s keen ear. One of them, a girl born with every advantage, had allied herself to a mere gentleman whom nobody had ever heard of before, nobody would distinguish with an invitation anywhere, and nobody wanted to know. Yet from the number of invitations flooding in to Her Grace of Argyll’s secretary, everybody most plainly did. From the corner of Richard’s eye, he glimpsed several short men and a few women clamber onto chairs to capture a better view of them. One elderly dame even lifted a lorgnette containing pink glass to match her silk gown. Richard successfully stifled a smirk. For somebody nobody wanted to acknowledge, he’d garnered enormous attention.
“We have not enjoyed your presence in our Court for the past year and more, Lady Alexandra.”
Queen Charlotte’s gaze swept her from bright red, high-piled curls to the hem of her magnificent embroidered cloth-of-silver wedding gown, the only acceptable attire for her appearance today.
“We hear you have given birth to a son, Lady Alexandra. What did you name him?”
“Edward Thomas Rutledge Campbell Berkeley, Ma’am. He was born last December.”
“We are pleased to see you in good health, for you appear well, indeed. You give no evidence of your recent travail. And you are happy, we see, for you are aglow with it. Very well, very well,” she smiled, a rare occurrence during one of these tedious events, and waved her hand in dismissal. “Now step aside, gel, while we acquaint ourself with your gentleman.”
Richard snapped to attention and bowed his head. “Your servant, Ma’am,” he drawled. His accent, with its long, slow, in-gliding vowels brought a smile to the queen’s lips. Those near enough to witness her open appreciation gasped, their eyes widened with amazement.
The small woman before him lifted her head and gazed into his eyes. He’d come to recognize such smiles. He’d seen them since he was a boy, fighting off advances from flirtatious females.
“We are charmed by your distinctive accent, Mr. Berkeley. You are from Charlestowne of our South Carolina colony, are you not?”
“Yes, Ma’am. I am.”
“Yet you spent a number of years in England.”
“That’s true, Ma’am,” he grinned, impressed she knew anything of him. Of course, Alexandra had written her and, doubtless, explained. “I attended school in England. Lord Edward Campbell convinced my father to send me to Eton when I was eight years old. Later, I entered his alma mater, Christ Church, Oxford. Afterward, I trained in the law at London’s Inner Temple.”
“Is that when you met Lady Alexandra?”
“No, Ma’am. I didn’t have that privilege until several years later.”
From the corner of his eye, he glimpsed Alexandra slanting a glance at him while he stood at ease, with hands folded behind his back, and flashed a grin at the queen. The small brown-haired, sallow-skinned woman with striking turquoise eyes lifted her chin. He suspected nobody ever presumed to grin at her. But Her Majesty was a woman and, he supposed, from her widened eyes and the flirty grin playing on her lips, he’d surprised and stricken her, as most women had been all his life.
“How was that, Mr. Berkeley?”
“Lord Edward Campbell, Lady Alexandra’s father, was my mentor and, later, my business partner, Ma’am. He and my father planned a betrothal between us since we were children—though, they didn’t bother to share the information with either of us until the spring of 1768. Since I was soon to embark upon a voyage to England, His Lordship sent along a letter of introduction to the Duke of Argyll, in Inveraray, Scotland. After I saw to my affairs in London, I travelled north—and met my wife.”
“I see. Yet, Lady Alexandra failed to mention it to us during the following year when she served us as a Maid of Honor.”
Richard grinned again, amused. Her Majesty gasped and leaned toward him, her eyes widened further. He doubted any gentleman had ever been so audacious as to display genuine friendliness toward Her Majesty during all the years she’d sat beside her husband on his throne.
“A delicious tale, Mr. Berkeley. We have always been fond of your lady wife, and are pleased you make her happy.”
“I’ve tried, Your Majesty, but I’ve not always succeeded.”
“And why is that, sir?” By her alert posture and the crinkling of her eyes at the corner, Richard knew laughter lurked while she awaited the outcome of his anecdote.
“You see, once I refused to burn a house down for her. On another occasion, I forbade her to ride. I recall even threatening to post guards on her. She was remarkably unhappy with me on both occasions, Ma’am.”
“And why were you commanded to burn a house down, Mr. Berkeley?”
“It contained a nest of snakes, Ma’am.”
How can my readers buy your book?
  1. Readers can go to the Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore page at http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/dreams-within-dreams-by-cate-parke
  2. Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Within-Cate-Parke-ebook/dp/B00KHECBW4/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401214990&sr=1-3&keywords=cate+parke
  3. Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreams-within-dreams-cate-parke/1119589606?ean=2940149499205
  4. All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dreamswithindreams-1522009-158.html
  5. iBooks: http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B00KHECBW4
  6. Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/dreams-within-dreams-2
You can find more information about Cate Parke and my book, Dreams Within Dreams by
visiting my website, http://www.cateparkeauthor.com and click on my books, or
Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.
1)      Hotel room or Tent? Hotel room. Tents lost any glamour they ever might have held for me a long time ago. My dad took us camping every weekend of my life when I was a child.
2)      What is your favorite thing to eat? Yummy big salads—and ice cream (Sh-h. Don’t tell my husband.)
3)      What is your favorite thing to do a warm summer’s day? Sit outside on my sunny deck and read a good book.
4)      Who is your favorite author to read? My all-time favorite author is Grace Burrowes.
5)      What’s your favorite movie? The King’s Speech, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion (2007), and quite a few more. We own over 2000 of our favorite movies.
6)      If you were given one week paid vacation to anywhere, where would you go? Scotland’s Highlands. Can’t I stay longer, though, Sarah???
7)      Boxers or Briefs? Briefs
8)      What’s your favorite flavor of Starburst? I have absolutely no idea. I’ve never had one, lol. (I’ve been deprived.)
9)      What is your favorite thing to drink? Fresh sparkling cold water, my husband’s margaritas, good red wine, and great ale.
Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!

Thanks so much for hosting me on your lovely blog today, Sarah. You’re one of those very special friends I’ve made along my writer’s journey.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Check it out!

Hello everyone! I know it's been awhile since I have had an interview on here for you and I do apologize! I have been working a lot and my children are in sports, so I have been busy with that.

Do know that I am lining up interviews as we speak! I can't wait for you to see who I have coming up so stay tuned!



Let me as you this question and I will pick a random winner for a free book of mine, DREAMS OF THE HIGHLANDER!

Who is that one author that you will buy and never read the back? You just know that it will be a good read! For me, it's Diana Gabaldon and Karen Marie Moning!

Monday, April 7, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR     Dawn Marie Hamilton                          

Today I’m interviewing Dawn Marie Hamilton. Her book, Sea Panther is a paranormal romance and was released on March 18.

Thank you, Sarah, for the interview and inviting me to your blog today.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  
Sea Panther is a vampire shifter story, where Robert, the 300 year old hero, is tortured by the two beasts living within—vampire and Florida panther--yet strives to maintain honor above all else. Kimberly, the heroine, has lost everything that defines her life. She takes a crew position on Robert’s sailing yacht to escape a hit man. The attraction between the two is immediate but heartbreaking when Robert’s past stalks them both. Much to overcome, including a trip through the Bermuda triangle to the past, before they can find their happily-ever-after.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?
I write Scottish inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Sea Panther is the first book in the Crimson Storm series of genre-bending paranormal romances with vampires and shifters and a wee bit of time travel just for fun. My other series, Highland Gardens, are Scottish historical time travel romances with faeries. I like to stretch genre lines.

How did this story come to be?  
Sea Panther was supposed to be a vampire pirate romance. The hero, Robert, balked. He didn’t want to be a pirate. While researching a Scottish connection for the story, I stumbled across a bit of history about Lord Archibald Hamilton, governor of Jamaica (1711-1716), having Jacobite sympathies and gathering a group of warships and captains to create a Jacobite navy to help put James Stuart on the British throne. So Robert became a privateer, later cursed by a Voodoo priestess to become a vampire. Then while vacationing in Florida, I saw a panther crossing sign, and thought, wouldn’t it be cool if Robert was a vampire that shifted into a Florida panther. The story was on a roll after that.

What is your writing routine like?
I don’t really have a set routine. I write whenever the muse has something to say and I can squeeze in writing time. Although I would like to be more disciplined, I’m not real good with structure. Sometimes, I get up in the middle of the night and write because the muse won’t be quiet. Other times, I write early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, From the Heart Romance Writers, Fantasy Futuristic and Paranormal, and the Golden Network. Belonging to these wonderful organizations is invaluable.

What character is most like you or least like you?
Hmmm. I imagine a little bit of me is in all my characters, but I can’t say that any one in particular is like me. Thus, they are equally least like me.

What most inspires you in life?
People with positive attitudes, no matter what.

What’s next for you?
I’m currently writing the third novel and a holiday novella for the Highland Gardens series. When those are complete, I will begin work on Raven’s Revenge, the second novel in the Crimson Storm series.

BOOK BLURB

Can love mend a fractured soul?

After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crewmember and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain's crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She's lost everything, her fiancé, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly's blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther's heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.

A little bit about the author 


Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks of Southern Maryland with her husband.

Excerpt

A drunk banged into the table and broke the steamy spell holding Kimberly and Robert enthralled. She choked on a flat laugh. He cleared his throat.

The awkward moment thickened the air. Made it hard to breathe.

Kimberly twitched her nose. Now would be a good time to find a hidey-hole to crawl into. Perspiration glazed the skin between her breasts. God, her face must be the color of a ripe strawberry.

“I overheard you,” Robert said.

“Did you?” Just great.

“Aye.” His gaze dropped to the tabletop. He picked up a drink stirrer and fiddled with it.

Mesmerized, she watched large fingers nimbly tie the thin strip of plastic into a bowline knot. The naughty image of him using the same knot to tie a silk scarf around her wrists flashed in her mind. Where had that idea come from?

“What the rest of the crew has been trying hard not to tell you is I have a rare blood disease.” Her wayward thought splintered at the unemotional statement of fact.

She gazed into his eyes, searching for something empathetic to say.

“I have to take it easy until my doctors can find a donor with the right DNA makeup to help me. That is why I sleep a lot.”

“I’m sorry.” Oh, that sounded lame. Worse yet, she’d been thinking about sex. Kinky sex. My God, what had come over her lately? She’d never thought of having that kind of sex with Jason. Heat rose from toes to face. Thank God Robert couldn’t read minds. She reached for her mug, but it was empty.

“Dance with me?” He grasped her hand.

She nodded, and followed him onto the dance floor. “When they find a donor, will they be able to make you well?”

His eyes clouded. “I hope so.”

So did she.

He tucked her close, held her tight, smooth cheek against the rasp of whiskers, as they swayed with the other couples to the sweet melody of an Irish love song. She embraced hard muscle as she wrapped her arms around him.

How could a virile man like Robert be critically ill?

How can my readers buy your book?  
Readers can go to Amazon at http://amzn.to/1eu6v6f or Barnes and Noble at http://bit.ly/1la3j42

You can find more information about Dawn Marie Hamilton and my book, Sea Panther by visiting my blog at http://dawnmariehamilton.blogspot.com .


Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.

1)      Hotel room or Tent? Tent
2)      What is your favorite thing to eat? Salmon, it’s a feline thing.
3)      What is your favorite New Year tradition? Hiking with husband on New Year’s day.
4)      Who is your favorite author to read? J R Ward
5)      What’s your favorite movie? Somewhere in Time
6)      If you were given only one Christmas present but it could be anything in the world, what would you choose? A month in Scotland.
7)      What’s your favorite color? Peridot
8)      Mountains or Beach? Mountains
9)      What’s your favorite flavor of Starburst? Lemon
10)  What is your favorite thing to drink? Pinot Noir


Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!

**Dawn will be giving away an e-book copy to one lucky commenter.**


Thursday, April 3, 2014

GOLDEN CLADDAGH CONTEST is now open!

The Golden Claddagh is officially opened and we look forward to you submitting your excellent entries. It's $10 for CHRW members and $15 for all other RWA members. 

Below are the guidelines and rules for submission entry. Please feel free to forward to your respective loops. Thank you! 


*PERMISSION TO FORWARD, GRANTED*


Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddagh!
We have four categories for unpublished authors and published authors withunpublished  manuscripts.
* Historical
* Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal
* Contemporary
* Young Adult/New Adult
Our contest due date is May 10th. Finalists will be notified by June 15th and winners notified by August 1st–Winners will be announced at the CHRW Annual General Meeting at RWA National Convention in San Antonio, TX in July 2014.
Eligibility
The competition is open to RWA members ONLY.
Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. The manuscript rights must belong to the author and be available to contract, should a final judge wish to offer publication.
The GC entry must be a full-length novel (more than 40K). Novellas or Short stories will not be accepted.
Manuscripts must be completed by the time results are returned. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.
Please Note:
  • Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
  • You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
  • You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category. *Entry fee per entry: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries are not received in any category. Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category if it is eligible. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.
All Payments are Electronic through PayPal. The easy link is here:
If you wish to go directly to PayPal, please use Paypal address: treasurer@celtichearts.org
Entry fee: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
All entries will be read and scored for the first round by two trained judges and one published author, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.
Categories:
Future, Fantasy & Paranormal: Romance novel where the mains focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).
Contemporary: Includes, single title, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting set after 1945. Main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.
Historical: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.
Young Adult/New Adult:  Romance novels in which young adult or new adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. *Romance subplot not required*

Entries
Entry Composition: No Synopsis required! Your entry must have the following:
1.     An email “cover page” which includes the author’s real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category, manuscript word count and PayPal confirmation # should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript.
2.     The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed thirty (30) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
  • 1 inch margins
  • Double spaced in a standard font and size 12-point.
  • The TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right side of the entry.
  • We will not accept entries that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
3. Manuscript must be in a .doc or .rtf file format.
NOTE: Your entry must not exceed thirty (30) pages total.

SUBMIT ENTRIES TO:
Contemporary Category - contempcat@celtichearts.org
FFP Category - ffpcat@celtichearts.org
Historical Category - historicalcat@celtichearts.org
Young Adult/New Adult Category - yacat@celtichearts.org

Final Round Judges
FF&P
Angela James – Carina Press
Kerry Buckley – Carina Press
TBA
Historical
Laurie McLean – Forward Literary, Inc
Beth Miller – Writers House
Leis Pederson – Berkley Publishing
Contemporary
Julie Mianecki – Penguin Books
Alissa Davis – Carina Press
Elizabeth Bistrow – Penguin Books
Young Adult/New Adult
Nicole Fischer – Avon Press
TBA

Awards
The FIRST PLACE winners in each category will receive a $50 dollar cash prize and a commemorative pin.
The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners in each category will receive free workshops through Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

Questions
For questions please contact the contest chair, Alisa Walker at: contest@celtichearts.org