Sunday, 1 March 2015

Celebrating Women Writing Women...

Outside the box


 (publication date February 21)


Seven authors, all with impeccable writing credentials, present their anthology called OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women.

We've each proved our worth with awards, fellowships, teaching posts and commercial success. We've all self-published to keep our hard-earned independence and our artistic identity. Now we’re teaming up for an ebook collection of our full-length fiction featuring a diverse collection of unlikely heroines. There’s no one genre.  Each novel is a character-led page-turner.

We want to prove that fine, original writers are creating work of value and quality. And we want to entertain you.

The anthology will be available for 90 days from February 21, 2015.

 Follow the tour every day to read what each of these great writers has to say about writing and so much more.


BLUE MERCY by Orna Ross

The book: Mercy stands accused of killing her elderly and tyrannical father. Now, at the end of her life, she needs Star, the daughter she fought to protect, to know what really happened that fateful night in 1989. 

The author: Orna Ross writes novels, poems and the Go Creative! book series. The Bookseller calls her "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" for her work with The Alliance of Independent Authors.

CRAZY FOR TRYING by Joni Rodgers

The book: A regional bestseller short-listed for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. In the 1970s, a troubled young woman heads west to create a new identity and shake off the burden of her mother's radical past, but love and loneliness take her life in an unexpected direction.  

The author: Joni Rogers hit the New York Times bestseller list with her cancer memoir Bald in the Land of Big Hair.  She is also ghost-writer of numerous other bestsellers and founder of the League of Extraordinary Authors. Joni lives in Houston, Texas.

MY MEMORIES OF A FUTURE LIFE by Roz Morris

The book: In this work of literary fiction, a brilliant pianist’s career is ended by injury. She turns to a mysterious healer and faces the possibility that her life is someone else's past incarnation. 

The author:  Roz Morris earned her spurs as a ghost-writer, selling more than four million books writing the novels of other people.  She is a writers' mentor and a radio show host, and she teaches writing masterclasses for The Guardian newspaper. 

THE CENTAURESS by Kathleen Jones

The book: Bereaved biographer Alex Forbes goes to war-ravaged Croatia to research the life of a celebrity artist and finds herself at the centre of a family conflict after she uncovers a mutilated photograph, stolen letters and a story of indeterminate gender, passion and betrayal. 

The author: Kathleen Jones lives in Italy and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow.  She is best known for her award-winning biographies, and has also written extensively for the BBC.

AN UNCHOREOGRAPHED LIFE by Jane Davis

The book: Alison gave up the chance to be a prima ballerina when she became pregnant and turned to prostitution to provide for her child, but the tempting hope of a better life may come at a terrible price.

The author: Jane Davis won the Daily Mail Award for her first novel, which secured her a publishing contract. She has now gone on to self-publish four other novels and isn’t afraid to tackle the trickiest of subjects.

ONE NIGHT AT THE JACARANDA by Carol Cooper

The book:  Diagnosed with cancer, Sanjay has no time to waste. Laure is a successful lawyer, Harriet is a struggling freelance writer, and Karen is a single mother of four. Before they can find a soul-mate, they each need to confront who they really are.

The author: Carol Cooper is a London-based journalist and award-winning non-fiction author.  Her debut novel was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards 2014. In her spare time she’s a doctor.

WHITE LADY by Jessica Bell

The book: Sonia, unfaithful wife of a Melbourne drug lord, yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and maths teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats. Easier said than done.

The author: Jessica Bell is an Australian novelist, poet, singer/ songwriter /guitarist who lives in Athens, Greece. She is Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and author of the bestselling Writing in a Nutshell series. 

Some of the authors have answered a couple of questions PLUS there’s an excerpt!
What would you be doing if you weren’t a fiction writer?

Kathleen Jones:
I originally studied law in order to become a barrister, so maybe that's what I would be now.  But I think I'd probably have been scribbling crime fiction on the back of my papers in court when I should have been paying attention, and my career would have been very short!  I've also lectured in Creative Writing at various universities and I'm currently at Lancaster, so there's a good bet that I'd have become an academic.  The detective aspect of research is what drew me to writing biography in the first place - it's very seductive.  







Joni Rodgers:

My career is actually a balance of writing and editing. For me, writing is like painting and editing is like sculpting—two very different art forms, but you employ the same craft skills to a certain extent. Writing is my soul, but I love helping other writers unpack their stories and discover their voices. 

Excerpt from Crazy for Trying by Joni Rodgers  - Tulsa weaved on shaky sea legs down the narrow aisle to the cramped lavatory. The door closed behind her with a hydraulic hiss. Tulsa leaned against it, not knowing where to set her bulky purse or her bulky self.
She remembered being on an airplane when she was small. Her mother had nudged her inside and closed the door, leaving Tulsa alone in the dim, steel-walled closet. She was afraid to sit down, thinking if she flushed, a trapdoor would swing away and ka-roosh her right out the bottom of the fuselage, under the sucking scream of the jet engines and into the vast, silent atmosphere. She tried to go standing up like she’d seen a man in the park do once but emerged with her pants and kneesocks damp and her chin trembling.
“Mom,” she gulped, “I was—I was—”
“You know what, Tuppy-my-guppy,” her mother said, “I have your burgundy cords in my bag, and I’m thinking they’d be a little more seasonable when we get to San Francisco. Comfort-wise. Would you mind changing?”
“I don’t mind,” the guppy gratefully shook her head.
Grown-up Tulsa closed her eyes, missing the scent of baby powder in low-heeled shoes.
Alexandra Firestein: “A woman has no reflection so pristine as her mother; no stronger ally, no greater enemy—except, perhaps, herself.”
Tulsa hitched up her dress, did what was necessary in the cramped space, and then washed her hands, trying to avoid the mirror. She wrestled her gigantic purse onto the sink, took out her Noxzema and wiped away the smudgy raccoonish remains of her mascara. She rubbed at a smear of blush above each sallow cheek and scrubbed her pudgy neck where the brocade pattern of the seat cushion had left a bold red imprint while she slept. She prodded her heavily padded bra, trying to push it back to semiroundness. Her hair looked like a bad night at the Ice Capades. Her forehead showed signs of premenstrual breakout.
She was ugly.
Tulsa savored the mouth-watering sting of it; it was her uniqueness, her red badge of courage, the only familiar thing left in her world. Someone at some time had opened some tiny puncture wound on her, and by carefully continuing to peel around the edges of it, Tulsa was able to open it wider, just enough to prevent it from healing. She had nurtured it through a spotty childhood and into raw red adolescence. It had become easier to lay the wound open during high school as others rushed to reaffirm her worst fears about herself.
She was asked out only once, and not by one of the three boys in her class who were taller than she was. Radley Baenmeier was the ill-fated short boy who waited for her after assembly the day Dr. Fursthort called her forward and gave her a certificate for getting the highest SAT score in the history of Lighton Valley Christian Academy. The good doctor was scowling because Tulsa was about to graduate with a D average and was known to cut classes early and often. What’s more, the girl was a Jew—a hell-bound, Christmas-concert-shunning Jew—and that mother of hers was a pestilence, God help us, a threat to decent people. Tulsa ran the gauntlet of spattering applause to the front of the auditorium, nicked the embossed certificate from his chubby fingers, wriggled out of a damp handshake, and dodged behind the heavy stage curtain. She hid, heart pounding, in the velveteen forest until everyone was gone.
But Radley Baenmeier waited for her.
Congratulations, he told her and did she suppose, he wondered, would she maybe want to go see a play or something sometime, because his mom would drive them on Friday, you know, if Tulsa wanted to go see Othello, which the state university theatre department was doing, and it might not suck, you know, so…you know. Would she? Did she want to go?
Tulsa wanted to go. Truly she did. Radley was a known brain and not completely unattractive. He was almost as tall as she was and smelled like he’d just taken a shower with Dial soap. Tulsa thought she could stand being driven by Radley’s gushy mother and sitting close beside him for two Dial-scented hours in the aching, artistic dark of Othello. But somewhere between Desdemona’s passion and Iago’s deceit, she became convinced that this must be an elaborate practical joke and someone was about to pour a bucket of pig’s blood on her head just like in Carrie, and then she got terribly thirsty and crept down the back stairs to make her way miserably home in the snow. Radley never spoke to her again. He just schlubbed over to the other side of the hall when he saw her, and Tulsa just quoted Alexandra Firestein on the archaic, meat-market practice of dating. It was easier that way. For a girl who looked like she did.

Excerpt from The Centauress by Kathleen Jones

In every tragedy there is the accidental moment – choosing a particular seat on a train, turning down the wrong road, deciding to take a lift from the 89th floor – the arbitrary, pivotal moment that means destruction or survival...

Afterwards they sent me a phial of ash and it goes with me everywhere.  Every night before I go to sleep I hold it in my hand and close my eyes and try to visualise a face that is gradually becoming more and more remote.  The glass is cold and hard to the touch, but it warms in my fingers and I like to think that somewhere in it there is a flake of skin, a fragment of bone, a few remaining atoms of the person I loved.  Flesh of my flesh; bone of my bone.


OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women (February 20, 2015 for 90 days) £7.99/$9.99 from Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo and more. More information on www.womenwritewomen.com.
https://www.facebook.com/womenwritewomen
FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF THE TOUR TO READ SOME FANTASTIC POSTS BY THIS SUPER GROUP OF WRITERS
Giveaway
1st Prize- brand new kindle pre-loaded with the book
10 runners up prizes – A Digital swag bag






Friday, 27 February 2015

Please welcome romance author, Maggie Adams...


 Hi Maggie, welcome to my blog! Wishing you all the best with your ongoing tour for Whistlin' Dixie...

What kind of music do you like?

I enjoy almost all types of music. As far as writing goes, when I’m doing edits or working on promotion, I listen to classical. To get ideas or work through a difficult scene, I listen to country, jazz, pop, or hard rock – whatever the scene calls for to get the creative juices flowing.

Describe your dream home.

I absolutely LOVE old homes. The large rooms, beautiful staircases and ornate woodwork have such character, such craftsmanship. My dream home is actually located in Hannibal, Missouri. It’s called Rockcliffe Mansion. It’s on the National Registry of Historic Places. Here’s a picture:

Favorite literary hero or heroine. 

 I know I should probably say Jane Eyre or something, but honestly, Sookie Stackhouse from Charlaine Harris’ “Dead” series is my all time favorite heroine. She’s smart, sassy, compassionate, kind, and deals with all sorts of characters with calm benevolence.

What are you reading now?

I’m actually proofreading Book Two of my Tempered Steel series, entitled Leather and Lace, before I send it out for formatting. It’s about brother Sam, and his soul mate, Angel. After that, my favorite authors all have books coming out soon so I think it may be eenie, meenie, minee, mo to pick a new one.

What did you do on your last birthday?

 I haven’t had my “last” birthday yet, (I hope)! Actually, we celebrate pretty quietly around here. I enjoy going out to dinner with my hubby, kids and their partners.

What comes first, plot or characters?

That depends entirely on where I’m at, what I’m doing or listening to when the inspiration strikes. For the most part, I’d say plot because I’m usually listening to music as I clean or cook and a phrase or a feeling of the music sparks an idea. Most of the time, I can’t even remember what song it was; it’s like the concept just takes control of my head and the story begins to take shape. Other times, I could be waiting at a red light and glance over to see a stranger on the street and the story hits me. When that happens, it usually takes the honking of angry car horns to bring me back to reality!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Perhaps in the broad sense. I will write a scene down, then read it and realize it’s not EXACTLY what I want to say. Then I go through the frustrating process of trying to find just the right words, with just the right actions or tone of voice to capture the scene. It makes me crazy, but it’s the only way I can do it.

Do you ever want to be someone else? Who?

 No, not really. Skinnier? Yes. Taller? Oh Yes! (I’m 5’1”) Richer? Who doesn’t? But I have been blessed with such an abundance of gifts in my family, my friends, and my career, I can’t think of anyone I would trade places with.

Tell us about your latest book.

 Each book in the series deals with a different brother, and each brother’s characteristics are different. Well, where Whistlin’ Dixie is light and humorous; Leather and Lace is a bit darker, more erotic. Sam and Angel have a past they need to overcome before they can find love. But like all the Coalson men, Sam is a stubborn pain in the butt. Angel isn’t about to give up, though. She can be as stubborn as Sam when she wants something. And she wants Sam, badly. It’s being released Today!

What’s next for you?

My Tempered Steel series consists of seven full length novels, two novellas, and a cookbook of all the wonderful food mentioned in the series. I’m going to be pretty busy with all of that. In addition, I have an erotic romance series in the works as well as a paranormal trilogy involving vampires, sorcerers, werewolves, fairies and time travel. Looks like I’m going to be busy for awhile. Now if I could only finish all this before the voices in my head start inventing more stories!




Whistlin' Dixie
by Maggie Adams

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

A man on a mission....

Mackenzie Coalson was determined to rebuild his hometown after a devastating flood left it in ruins. He has no time for a relationship and all the romantic junk that goes with it. He has a vandal to catch and no sweet smelling bundle of femininity is going to sway him.

A woman protecting her family.....

Dixie Harris charged into the county sheriff's office with a sassy sway and a smart mouth, eager to give the sheriff, and anyone else, a piece of her mind. When she locks horns with the devil himself, in the form of Mac Coalson, she quickly learns he has a temper to rival hers, even if he's the living epitome of her sexual fantasies.

When the two unite to catch a potential murderer, it's in everyone's best interest to keep it, "business only". But that's hard to do when their combined attraction is volatile enough to burn down the town.


Excerpt:

Knocking again a little more forcefully, he pleaded. “Dixie baby, please open up. You didn’t see what you thought you saw. Please. Just let me explain.”

“I may be young, but I’m not stupid. And I am most certainly not blind,” she snapped at him from the other side of the door. The man was unbelievable.

“You are the most infuriating bit of baggage I have ever encountered. If I didn’t care for you so much, I’d leave right now and never look back.”

“You call that caring?! I call it a line of crap! The only thing you cared about begins with an “F” and ends with me losing my virginity!” Oh, God! Had she really just shouted that?
Pounding on the door with his fist, he shouted, “Dixie Harris, you open the door this minute, or I’ll break it down!”

“Then I’ll just have you arrested for breaking and entering. Sort of ironic, don’t you think?” she countered sweetly. She felt like crying the Mississippi River because he broke her heart, but she was not going to let that arrogant pain-in-the-ass know just how much she was hurting. She had her pride!

“Fine. Just fine. I should’ve known better than to get involved with a little girl, anyhow. Maybe, in a few years, when you grow up and if you have apologized nicely, I might just take you back! And bring a damn soapbox to stand on. My neck’s getting sore from looking down at you!” he snarled. After giving the closed-door another good pounding, he stomped out of the house, slamming the front door.

 “Oooooh!” Dixie’s eyes narrowed to mere slits and her hands balled into fists as Mac’s last remark registered with the banging of the screen door. It was like pouring gasoline on a bonfire. She was out of her bedroom and on the front porch in seconds. Heedless of the people walking down the street, she advanced like a mad woman across the yard, screaming. “Apologize to you? When pigs fly, you Mississippi River rat.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Hi! I'm Maggie Adams. I live near St. Louis, MO, with my high school sweetheart, Ned, and my wonderful kids, Katie (Kyle) and Ross (Valerie). My life is like a walking, talking sitcom from I Love Lucy, but I love it, although people do tend to keep their distance from me!

 Writing has always been my dream, with reading my favorite hobby. When I’m not writing, I can be found singing, dancing, and cooking, often all at the same time. I try to include a little bit of my life in everything I write, so when you read my books, keep your eyes wide open - I'm in there somewhere! Happy reading!

I love to hear from readers and I can be contacted at maggieadamsbooks@gmail.com.





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Maggie will award a $20 GC to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  
Comments?? Questions?? 


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Welcome contemporary romance author, Dixie Lee Brown...



 H           Hi Dixie! So great to welcome a friend and fellow agency author to my blog :) Looking forward to         finding out more about you and your books - loving your latest cover for TEMPT THE NIGHT!
            Wishing you many sales and success...let's start the interview!


1.)       What did you want to be when you grew up?
At one point, I wanted to be a singer in a band. Lol! The world of rock and roll dodged a bullet on that one!

2.)       Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
I’ll take them all! If I have to choose, see #5 below.

3.)       What genre do you typically read? Why?
No surprise—I read romance, either contemporary, or suspense usually. I like to read a story that makes me believe in love everlasting. I don’t read books or watch movies that make me cry. There’s enough sadness in the world. Give me a happily-ever-after.

4.)       Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
Starbucks pumpkin spice latte—yes! I wish they sold them all year long!

5.)       What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
I call it molding. You’ve got your story idea, your goals, motivations, and conflict. You know who your characters are and who you want them to be. Now you have to mold them into the hero/heroine that walks off the page and into the minds of readers. It usually takes me several go-arounds to make the character on the page reflect the original idea in my head.

6.)       Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?
I do. I work full time and have a business that I run from home as well, so it takes me much longer to write a book than most. My goals are twofold: 1) Sit down to write every day whether I’ve got twenty minutes or four hours, and 2) try for at least 1,000 words a day. If I can do more on the weekends that helps.

7.)       What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Funny you should ask, because up until I wrote the Trust No One series, I’d never given it a thought at all. Juggling characters, relationships, job descriptions, and eye colors for three, four, or five books? Surely you jest! Now that the Trust No One series is coming to an end, however, I’m feeling pretty sad. It’s like part of my family is moving away, and suddenly it will take an effort and an act of God to see them again. Will I write another series? Already started!

TEMPT THE NIGHT ~ available now! Here’s a short blurb and buy links!
A fast-paced tale of a damaged hero and the sexy fugitive he can’t help falling for.
Samantha (Mac) McCallister barely believes her own tale of dirty cops and murder that landed her in the hands of the sexy Jim Brady. One minute she was enjoying a ride-along in her best friend’s cruiser, the next he’s dead, and she’s wanted for his murder. Mac never expected to be hiding out from the law, but with Brady by her side, maybe she can survive long enough to clear her name. The question is can she survive the way he makes her feel?
Former Navy SEAL Jim Brady works best under pressure. At least he used to. Now, fighting flashbacks from his time in Iraq, he has given up everything he knows in order to protect the innocent…from himself. So working with a woman on the run from the law? Not in his plans for this lifetime. Still, something about the blue-eyed beauty tells him she’s not the source of danger—she’s running from it. Deep down he knows he’ll protect her no matter what…but his heart? That’s another story.

BIO
Dixie lives, works, and plays in sunny Bend, Oregon, recently named one of the top ten places to live in the U.S. Bend also holds the title of Most Dog Friendly City. Dixie’s two small dogs appreciate that!
In her spare time, Dixie writes. If she gets a chance to take her writing to the beach, all the better.
Dixie loves to hear from her readers so please leave a comment, or click on one of these links and stay in touch:





Monday, 23 February 2015

Welcome Crimson Rose author, Ellen Butler...


Title: Planning for Love, Book 2 in the Love, California Style series

Author: Ellen Butler

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Release Date: January 26, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Amazon Canada: http://tiny.cc/rx42sx


Blurb:

Successful, California party planner, Poppy Reagan, surprises her latest boyfriend on Valentine’s Day by catching him and a twenty-something in an R-rated version of ride the cowboy. After exacting revenge, Poppy decides it’s time to quit the bad boys and take her personal life seriously. With the help of her best friend, she maps out a plan to find a good-looking, successful man to become her life partner. Stoically, she heads into the deep end of the internet dating pool only to find herself embroiled in one bad date after another. She finally draws the line on dot com dating after a pot-smoking, washout offers to takes her to Taco Bell for dinner.

Handsome doctor, Adam Patterson, who started out as Poppy’s rebound-vacation-fling-guy has become a good friend and confidant. He attempts to convince her to give up on the local dating pool and come out to Ohio to test the relationship waters. Poppy is fervently against moving or carrying on a long distance relationship, but Adam’s pull on her heart convinces her to meet on middle ground. Will Adam convince her to try out life in America’s Heartland?

Welcome Ellen! So lovely to invite one of my fellow agency authors to my blog - love the sound of your new book and have added it to my To Be Read list - let's kick off with my questions!

Hi Rachel, I just wanted to say thank you for having me on your blog. I love reaching out to readers across the pond!


1.)       What is your favourite thing about yourself?
My sense of humour always keeps me moving forward even when life seems to be going to hell in a hand basket.

2.)       What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?
How much rejection there is in this line of work. You get it from agents, publishers, editors and readers. It’s something I’ve learned to live with, but my first couple of rejections from agents…ouch. Now it’s just part of the job. It still hurts, but it’s easier to put it behind me and move on.

3.)       Share a romantic moment in your life.
I think it was our 10th Wedding Anniversary. Unbeknownst to me, my husband arranged for my mom to come to town and take care of the kids while we had a little weekend getaway that included a couples massage, romantic dinner and a stay at a lovely Bed & Breakfast.

4.)       Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?
I don’t think I’d be able to write erotica. It’s just not my thing.

5.)       Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Write what you’re passionate about. If the author is detached from their subject, or characters, or plotline it comes out in the writing.

6.)       If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?
Harry Potter! A young adult classic was created in my lifetime and it will continue through the lifetimes of my great-grandchildren and beyond. I adore the world JK Rowling created and as a mother, I love to dream about being able to wave my magic wand to clean the dinner dishes. Oh, and duh, cha-ching! That lady is rolling in it!

7.)       What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
Why nothing. I was a little angel…can’t you see my halo? LOL. Seriously, I was a pretty responsible kid. I didn’t become a trouble maker until college, and those secrets remain locked up tight between me and my cohorts in crime.

8.)       If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?

Marinated Steak. First, because you’d be coming to America, and we like our steak in the States. Second, I can really rock the grill. Oh, I’d also pick us out a great bottle of wine. And I’d probably make us some apple or cherry pie for dessert, because I can make a mean pie. So, when are you coming to visit, Rachel?

Love to! Mark me in your diary ;)


Short Bio:
Ellen Butler in 140 characters or less: author, mother, wife, shoe lover, chocoholic, fashion fan, sarcastic wit, autumn enthusiast, dancer, book worm, and good-time devotee.

Longer Bio:

Ellen Butler lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and is new to novel writing. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy, and her history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters, and windy papers on public policy. The leap to novel writing was simply a creative outlet for Ellen’s over active and romantic imagination to run wild.

Heart of Design is her third release in 9 months. You can find her first two releases, Poplar Place and Second Chance Christmas at Amazon and other major eBook retailers. Professionally, she belongs to the Virginia Writer’s Club, the Northern Virginia Writer’s Club, and is a founding member of the Tempting Romance blog. When she’s not writing, Ellen is either, running around after her children, decorating a neighbor’s house, or holed up in her favorite lounge chair reading. Ellen is an admitted chocoholic and confesses to a penchant for shoe shopping. Book club questions for Ellen’s novels can be found on her website.

Twitter: @EButlerBooks

Comments?? Questions??