Saturday, 25 April 2015
One of the most frequently questions asked of authors is, “Where do you get your ideas?” The simple answer is everywhere, but that rarely satisfies the curious reader or aspiring author…but it’s the truth.
Ideas can come from newspapers, TV shows, snippets of conversation, the author’s life experiences, their friends and family’s experiences, moral issues, books and films. The list goes on.
The inspiration for The Temptation of Laura was already established before I started writing the novel. Laura is a secondary character in the debut book of my Victorian romance series with eKensington, The Seduction of Emily. In this book, Laura is a prostitute who the hero goes to for help in the hope of imprisoning the villain. The more Laura appeared in the book, the more I learned and liked about her. I wanted to tell her story…luckily my editor suggested it first!
My Victorian books are set in and around Bath so I started thinking about famous buildings in Bath that I could use in my next book. I eventually decided on the Theatre Royal. How could I use Laura’s prostitution and the theatre?
I started trawling the Internet for accounts of famous prostitutes turned actresses – that was when inspiration struck in the form of Nell Gwynn. Nell’s story fascinated me. A prostitute, turned actress, turned mistress of Charles II....who bore him two children. What a story!
I read a couple of biographies on Nell’s life and then the novel, The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell, which I absolutely loved. Roll forward another 200 years and Laura Robinson, prostitute turned actress, was alive and very real in my imagination.
The Temptation of Laura was a joy to write and covers poverty, hope, loss, joy, success and ultimately, true love. I hope you enjoy Laura and Adam’s journey as much as I did writing it.
I’d love to hear how non-fiction and fiction based on real-life people inspires or interests you!
Posted by Rachel Brimble at 02:19
Thursday, 23 April 2015
1.) What did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher, because they got long holidays and everyone knew their job was dead easy!
2.) Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Tea. Always tea.
3.) What genre do you typically read? Why?
I love paranormals and vampire novels which is what I write, but also courtroom dramas and cop novels. At the moment I’m rereading Jonathan Kellerman and have just discovered JKRowlings Cormoran Strike novels, which, to my amazement, I really like.
4.) Share a favourite childhood memory.
On a walk with my brother and cousin when we were about seven and eight. Our fathers and grandfather were about 100 yards in front, having forgotten about us because they were gossiping, and our granddad’s Alsation, Duke, got very agitated and kept running backwards and forwards, trying to herd us together until the adults remembered us. The dog didn’t even really like us that much because we were irritating little children, but he couldn’t rest until we were all in a close group like we were supposed to be.
5.) Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
Writing – don’t feel right unless I’ve at least opened my laptop and stared at my work, even if I don’t write anything useful.
6.) What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
The first sentence.
7.) Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?
I aim for at least 500 words a day. Doesn’t mean I actually do 500 words a day!
8.) What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I love series. I love reading them, because to me it’s like getting to know a friend and hearing about their life and what’s been happening to them, so I love writing them as well. All of my books are created with the idea in mind that I’ll return to the same characters again.
Jacqueline's latest release is Sophronia & The Vampire (Wild Rose Press) - here is the blurb and buy links:
She may be fifty, English, and a professional crone, but Sophronia Sheridan is not one to turn down a chance to help others, even when it goes against her better judgment. When she is faced with young witches and vampires who have fallen under a head vampire's power, she allows herself to become beholden to him in order to help the youth gain their freedom. Along the way, she realizes there is much more to the story--rival factions in the local undead community are growing restless with the current climate. Caught in a struggle for power and territory, she has to determine who to trust and what is worth fighting for.
Here is a brief bio:
"I am 54 years old and live in the Northwest of England with my husband and two sons, aged 19 and 14. I am a teacher of French and English working with children who need to be home educated for a variety of medical reasons. I have been writing since my early twenties and have published two historical romances and co-authored a Jane Austen sequel."
Twitter : @jacquiefw1
Facebook: Jacqueline Farrell
Posted by Rachel Brimble at 01:33
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
1.) What is the strangest talent you have?
Growing up, I had a best friend who could do everything I wanted to do—sing, play the guitar, draw, paint. The boys liked her too. I was disappointed because I didn’t have any talent. Later I discovered I loved to write. I don’t know if that is a talent, because it is also a skill developed over time by writing and writing. But I think it is my talent—strange or not.
2.) What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
My mother once made me a lavender taffeta dress with a wide, floor-length skirt. When I wore it, I felt like Scarlet O’Hara sweeping down the steps of Tara. I also remember wearing it to a school function with cowboy boots. The dress still hangs in my basement. No. I can’t wear it any more.
3.) Are the titles of your books important?
I think so. I hope they are descriptive of the content. “Kentucky” in the title of my Bluegrass Reunion series indicates the setting. The rest of the title describes something about the story. Internet search engines also pick up titles, and a good one helps a book get “discovered.” For example, putting “cowboy” in a title can help readers find a romance about cowboys.
4.) If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?
Keep writing. What you write can always be revised. The important thing is to write through the block. Often the characters take over and write themselves, almost as if something outside myself is guiding my fingertips. Another trick is to look at the scene from a different character’s point of view. Sometimes that brings added insight.
5.) Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above?
Can I say both? I raised a daughter who is a veterinarian. She came by loving cats AND dogs naturally. Currently, I have three dogs—a rescued chow mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis that were also rescued, and two cats—an adopted longhaired calico, and a twenty-year-old rescued calico with half a tail.
6.) Who’s your favourite author? Why?
Anya Seton. Her book Katherine had an impact on me as a teenager. I wanted to write like her, creating a compelling story with a meaningful theme. Ms. Seton used a quote from Julian of Norwich in her novel that to me was the message of the book: “He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.” Katherine’s trials and ultimate triumph demonstrate that quote, and we all find comfort in it.
7.) Do you have a pet peeve?
Yes. People at work who don’t answer emails that you need to do your job.
8.) Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?
Not really. As I’m dreaming, I realize I’m dreaming and that it might be important. Too often, I’m being chased in a dream. I wonder what that says. Maybe I’ve seen too many scary movies or read too many thrillers.
Excerpt—Kentucky Cowboy: Bluegrass Reunion series
“Short Go” at a PBR Event in Dallas, Texas
“That’s one rank sonofabitch. Good draw you got, Romeo.”
Judd Romeo nodded. “Yep, he’s a mean ’un.” Perched on top of a six-foot deep metal chute, a leather bull rope clutched in his right hand, he acknowledged the flank man.
“Ain’t named Bad to the Bone for nuthin’,” the other man said.
Judd turned his attention to the 1900-pound Charolais-cross bull beneath him in the chute. It was good luck to draw last year’s bucking bull of the year. All he had to do was stick on this sucker for eight seconds and he’d have a win. No doubt about it.
Judd expelled a deep breath and rubbed his wet palms across his Wranglers. Pre-ride jitters. Nothing unusual. He’d gotten them before. He’d have them again. If he didn’t get ’em, he didn’t get that edge he needed to stay on one of these big, bad bulls.
Still, Judd’s gut twisted as he eyed stock contractor Tim Wilson’s bull. Other riders said this bull lived up to his name, and they talked about how Bad to the Bone threw up his head and smashed a guy’s face once. Yet the bull was allowed back into the chutes, and cowboys kept trying to ride him.
Now it was Judd’s turn. Adrenaline pumped through his veins. A thin line of sweat peppered his lip. He backhanded it off. Winning was the reason he had busted his butt on the circuit. He was a professional bull rider and a damn good one. This year he had a legitimate shot at the world title and the million dollar bonus.
Too bad his father didn’t care.
Why think about Jared Romeo now? His dad had never approved of him, let alone his desire to ride bulls for a living.
He had proven his old man wrong, hadn’t he?
Judd drew a breath. Damn, why was he was chewing on the past when he needed to focus?
He slowly put on his leather riding glove, directing his gaze toward the packed arena. How he loved this life. The noisy crowd. The blaring rock music and high-tech pyrotechnics. The earthy smells of dirt, sweat and manure. The camaraderie and danger. Eight seconds of heart-stopping thrills. Stunned silence when a competitor didn’t get up. Applause and cheers when the cowboy stood and staggered like a drunk out of the arena.
His father had never understood this excitement. The beauty of man tackling beast.
Mandy didn’t get it either. He had loved that girl in high school, but she had just seen the danger and walked away from him.
Judd looked away from the crowd. Riding bulls was all he wanted to do. All he knew how to do. It was in his blood.
He tried to swallow over the lump in his throat. His mother had appreciated his passion. She had understood.
The chute boss turned to him. “You’re up, Romeo.”
Judd’s head snapped up. “Right.”
His pulse kicked up a notch. Time to ride. This one’s for you, Mom.
Judd rubbed more rosin on his gloved riding hand and tugged his black Resistol down over his eyes. He plucked a mouthpiece out of the pocket of his protective vest and popped it into his mouth. Ready, he slipped from the railing and eased down on the bull’s flat back.
Bad to the Bone snorted and shifted in the chute. Judd slid his gloved hand into the leather handle of the bull rope, and another cowboy leaned over the railing to cinch the rope around the animal’s girth. Judd’s lips tightened.
“He usually goes out three or four big jumps,” the flank man warned, “and then spins like a sonofabitch.”
Judd jerked a nod of thanks, his total concentration now on the rope in his right hand. He sucked a deep breath and glanced at the other cowboy beside him.
“You gonna suicide it, Romeo?”
Judd knew the risks of a suicide wrap. He also knew the rewards. Expertly he wrapped the rope around his gloved hand and the bull strap. Next he split the little finger from the others with a second wrap. For good measure, he pounded his curled, leather-covered fingers with his left fist.
Then with his grip secure, he scooted up over the right hand and tightened his legs against the bull. Blood rushed in his ears. He gulped another quick breath.
The gate flew open and the bull blew out of the chute jumping high into the air. The animal lunged thirty feet in two jumps and spun to the right, kicking high. Judd gripped the bull rope. Each jerk wrenched his riding arm and shoulder socket.
Riding directly in the center of the bull’s back, he dug the blunt rowels of his spurs into the animal’s hide. His free hand snapped at a ninety-degree angle over his head. His insides churned like a cement mixer.
Bad to the Bone changed tactics and spun faster to the left. Judd went with him. Forcing air through his lungs, he concentrated on staying in the center. He didn’t want to drop down into the middle of the spin. His inner clock ticked away six seconds.
Judd opened up and began spurring the bull. His timing was good. He was making points, but his calves no longer touched the animal’s sides. Any lurch or twist could dust his butt into the dirt.
Damn, this is good. No amount of money could buy this kind of high. He was winning. Riding the rankest damn bull on the circuit and beating the socks off the competition.
Blurb and buy links
Now on Kindle Unlimited—Subscribers read for free. http://amzn.to/1bb6iPM
Professional bull rider Judd Romeo is a contender for the world title. He defies death for a living. But now he must deal with the death of his mother by settling her estate. Returning home to Kentucky, the PBR cowboy runs smack dab into the arms of his high school sweetheart, a woman he’s never forgotten.
Veterinarian Mandy Sullivan learned early on that risk-takers are trouble. Having custody of her sister’s child, she works hard to be both mother and father to the abandoned girl. When trouble shows up next door, Mandy discovers she can’t avoid her former beau. Will she take a second chance and risk her heart this time?
Books in the Bluegrass Reunion Series:
- Kentucky Cowboy—She dumped him in high school, because he was a risk-taker.
- Kentucky Woman—She loved him when she was a teenager, but they never connected.
- Kentucky Flame—She had his baby, but he left not knowing the truth.
- Kentucky Groom—She can't afford to fall in love with a lowly groom.
- Kentucky Bride—She rejected him once, but he's willing to try again.
- Kentucky Heat—She doesn't need to take on another project, but he won't take no for an answer. (Sequel to Kentucky Bride.)
- Kentucky Rain—She has responsibilities to her daughter and herself, not to the handsome guy next door. (Sequel to Kentucky Cowboy.)
- Kentucky Blue Bloods—She wants to save the family horse farm, but he has other ideas.
Author bio and links
A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan Scarbrough has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She writes paranormal Gothic romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with a touch of spice. Her favorite topics are families and second chances and if the plot allows, she adds another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.
Be sure to follow the tour, as the more posts you visit, the more chances you’ll get to enter the contest. See the tour listing here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/jan-scarbrough/
Saturday, 18 April 2015
If you read romance, any romance, the likelihood is you heard of Nora Roberts. She is the undisputed queen of romance in the States and makes a pretty good dent in the market here in the UK too.
Nora is now a huge inspiration to me - not just because of the fantastic books she writes, but also how prolifically she writes. She has written well over 100 novels and still going strong by producing at least two or three books per year.
How I found Nora is a story in itself.
In 2005 I attended the awesome Hay Literary Festival. If you haven't visited the gorgeous town of Hay on Wye in Wales - book a date this year! The festival is in May, but all year Hay is a bibliophile's paradise. I doubt you will find so many books in the same size area anywhere else. Shops, stalls and streets literally teeming with books. Heaven!
It wasn't until I got home and searched these authors that I realise they were one and the same - Nora Roberts is also J D Robb! Destiny? Me thinks so :D
I haven't stopped reading Nora/J D Robb since and estimate that I have read over 60 of her books...and still have plenty to go.
Great characters, great stories, great suspense and a lovely lady - that's why I love Nora Roberts!
Posted by Rachel Brimble at 01:49
Thursday, 16 April 2015
The Rebel’s Redemption
by Jacquie Biggar
Annie Campbell has made a good life for her and her young son in the mountain town of Tidal Falls. She’s dating the sheriff, owns a successful business, and has the support of the community. So why isn’t it quite enough?
Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth, and now, after eight years in the military, he returns a bitter, disillusioned man.
Then he finds out he’s a father.
When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew, or will it be too late?
Annie’s heart tried to leap out of her chest, one hand muffling her scream, while the other clutched the now half-empty box. Why hadn’t she made sure she locked the door behind the delivery guy this morning? Of all the asinine, irresponsible things to do
“I…I’m sorry, we’re closed right now. Can you ma…maybe come back later?”
The stranger—she was pretty sure she’d never seen him before—stayed to the shadows, denying her a clear view of his features. He wore an old-fashioned bowler hat tipped forward over his eyes, and a black greatcoat, one hand tucked into the pocket. She was probably about to star in her own horror flick. Killed with her own merchandise. She could see the headlines already. Annie kept a nervous gaze on that pocket, her imagination going into overdrive.
When the silence threatened to explode in her head, he bent and picked up one of the carving knives she’d graciously sent his way. His thumb skimmed up and down the blade. She didn’t think she’d ever been so scared in her life.
“Please, I have no money. What do you want?”
That got a reaction. His hand stilled on the blade and piercing eyes looked up and pinned her in place. “Tell Martin I here. There is nowhere he can hide.” He threw the knife. Annie gasped and recoiled as the blade flew through the air and embedded itself obscenely in the heart of her sewing mannequin. “Tell him he must pay.” Without another word, he disappeared out the door, a dark wraith.
Annie sank to the floor in a boneless heap. Now that it was over her teeth chattered, and shivers racked her frame. Who was he? What did he want? She wanted to believe it was all a misunderstanding and he’d come to the wrong door, but in her heart she knew better.
This was about Jared.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
From the time I was twelve years old, I knew I wanted to be a writer. That year I wrote a short story called Count Daffodil for my English Assignment. It garnered me an A and was read aloud through the school's loudspeaker system. Needless to say, after that I was hooked.
I grew up, got married, raised a family and left my writing urges to simmer in the background unattended.
I owned and operated a successful diner in my hometown for a number of wonderful years. Now I'm ready to take up the writing reins and see how far I can travel.
I expect it to be an exciting, new journey and would be honored to have your company along the way.
SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/2MFvX
Jacquie will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
What the Duke Wants
by Amy Quinton
England 1814: Miss Grace (ha!) Radclyffe is an oftentimes hilariously clumsy, 20-year-old orphan biding her time living with her uncle until she is old enough to come into her small inheritance. Much to her aunt’s chagrin, she isn’t: reserved (not with her shocking! tendency to befriend the servants), sophisticated (highly overrated), or graceful (she once flung her dinner into a duke’s face). But she is: practical and in love… maybe… perhaps… possibly…
The Duke of Stonebridge is an agent for the Crown with a tragic past. His father died mysteriously when he was 12 years old amid speculation that the old duke was ‘involved’ with another man. He must restore his family name, but on the eve of his engagement to the perfect debutante, he meets his betrothed’s cousin, and his world is turned inside out… No matter, he is always: logical (men who follow their hearts are foolish) and reserved (his private life is nobody’s business but his own). And he isn’t: impulsive or in love… maybe… perhaps… possibly…
Can he have what he wants and restore his name? Can she trust him to be the man she needs?
“Grace, I’m sorry.”
He paused and held her gaze. For a moment, Grace allowed herself to stand there, locked in his sights. Despite her anger over his earlier implications, she undeniably longed for things that could never be. She was attracted to this man on a basic, animal level. It didn’t matter that society frowned at their differing classes. His head drew nearer, and for a fleeting moment, she was confident he would kiss her, and oh, how she wanted it. But she was consciously aware that it would be a mistake. He was nearly betrothed to her cousin, and though her cousin and she were not friends, Grace would never betray her family that way, especially with a man she barely knew. It was wrong.
So before their lips could meet, Grace ducked under his arm and darted out the library door.
Stonebridge remained completely still. He closed his eyes as he tried to hold on to her lingering scent and the image of her staring up at him with so much intensity—with desire in her eyes. Then, ever so slowly, he leaned his head against the books where only moments before she had stood within his arms, within his reach. His heart still beat erratically.
He had nearly kissed her. And what a mess that would have been. And yet, he was completely undone, for it wasn’t he who had stopped it from happening.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Amy Quinton is an author and full time mom living in Summerville, SC. She enjoys writing (and reading!) sexy, historical romances. She lives with her English husband, two boys, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to go camping, hiking, and canoeing/kayaking… And did she mention reading? When she’s not reading, cleaning, or traveling, she likes to make jewelry, sew, knit, and crochet (Yay for Ravelry!).
Amy has lived in or around theCharleston, SC area her entire life. When she’s not home, at the beach (weather permitting), or camping in and around the Great Smoky Mountains (Check out Mile High Campground and Devils Fork State Park!), she loves to visit the United Kingdom. She loves the history, the culture, and the people – hence her love for Scottish and Regency Romances. She especially loves to visit the Isle of Skye – in the Highlands of Scotland; where the scenery is both rugged and breathtaking.
Amy graduated from the College of Charleston, a liberal arts college located in beautiful, historic Charleston, SC. She worked 10 years in the computer industry as a software designer before becoming a full time mom and now, a full time novelist.
LS Books: https://www.lsbooks.com/p986.php
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-duke-wants-amy-quinton/1121008848?ean=9781622101849
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Amy_Quinton_What_the_Duke_Wants?id=6ogVBgAAQBAJ
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-duke-wants-amy-quinton/1121008848?ean=9781503304697&itm=1&usri=what+the+duke+wants
Public Email: AmyQuintonAuthor@gmail.com
Web site: http://amyquinton.net
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RUHIXZ0
Goodreads Author Page: https:/www.goodreads.com/author/show/10912294
Amy Quinton will be awarding a heart shaped enamel, kiln fired copper charm on a leather corded necklace (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a copper fold formed quill on a leather corded necklace. (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. Host prize and commenter prize are designed and made by Keri Sereika at Pink Lemonade (http://www.pinklemonade.typepad.com/)
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Saturday, 11 April 2015
I booked tickets to visit Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey), back in November so have been looking forward to April 7th rolling around for a LONG time! Weather wise, the day couldn't have been more perfect and the sun shone all day...giving off actual heat. Woohoo!
Me, Mr. B, my youngest daughter and her friend drove the scenic route to Newbury and when we arrived, the castle looked beautiful against a clear blue sky. Excited doesn't even come close to how I was feeling about getting inside and discovering its rooms.
The rooms are a lot smaller than they seem in Downton Abbey and it took me awhile to recognise certain rooms as they are on TV. The castle is really wonderful. The downstairs rooms are very Victorian in their decor, lots of browns and deep reds with deep leather settees and lots of books.
I was pleasantly surprised by the light, airy feel to the many bedrooms and the views from these rooms were fantastic. I only wish photography was allowed inside the castle because, like myself, I can imagine many of you readers easily picturing yourself waking up here. Glorious!
After we'd been around the house, we strolled through the gardens and woodland which was just beautiful. Filled with wild flowers and daffodils, the sun brought everything alive.
It was a truly, wonderful day and one I won't forget for a long while - bring on Downton Abbey Season 6 so I can say over and over, "I've been in that room." "I walked in those gardens." "I've meandered down that staircase." Yep, going to drive my family nuts, lol!
Happy Weekend, everyone!