Tag Archives: the wild rose press

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Karen Whalen ~ NEW RELEASE: Not According to Flan

I’m especially excited to introduce today’s guest. Karen is one of my authors at The Wild Rose Press, and her books are wonderful! They are a fun mix of humor, mystery, cooking, and murder. (Yeah, I said that… :))

Please help me welcome author Karen Whalen, sharing her latest release and the…

10 Moments That Changed My Life”

  • My mother pulling me in the little red wagon to the public library each week before I started kindergarten. I checked out the maximum number of books allowed each time—ten. 
  • My English teacher in high school encouraging me to join the newspaper and yearbook staff. She saw something in me that I was not aware of myself. Many people have attributed great things to teachers who made a difference in their lives. Teachers have impact.
  • Finding my soulmate, marriage and children. Nothing is more fulfilling in life.
  • Moving from Illinois to Colorado. I should have been born in the west because I am a westerner through and through.
  • Landing a paralegal job at a major law firm in Denver. This taught me analytical skills and taking care of details.
  • Joining Toastmasters. This gave me confidence in public speaking and taught the value of an elevator speech (a 30 second, concise, plug for yourself or your book).
  • Receiving a reply to a fan letter I wrote to Erma Bombeck. I have always been a huge Erma Bombeck fan, reading her column and all of her books. Her writing is both profound and humorous.
  • Teaching CLE classes for paralegals. Once I worked my way through Toastmasters, I started teaching day-long seminars for continuing legal education credits. This was an incredible career booster and confidence builder.
  • Submitting my first article to a national paralegal magazine and being asked to write a regular column. At this point I realized writing was something I wanted to do full time and started taking my efforts seriously.
  • Joining a gourmet dinner club group taught me how to host a dinner party, how to set the table and present gourmet dishes, and how to plan an event. I also learned to be daring in trying out new and complex recipes for the first time while hosting 6-8 people for dinner! This became the basis of my dinner club murder mystery series. 

Fun, Karen! Your passion and enjoyment for the dinner club really shows through in your writing. Love the little red wagon story. 🙂 Thank you so much for joining me today!

 

Blurb:

Jane Marsh wants to shake off the empty nest syndrome, plus the notoriety of the death of her first and second husbands, by starting over in a new place. She sells her family home to move to a far northern suburb of Denver. At the same time, Jane’s dinner club is undergoing a transformation, and a new man—a gourmet chef—enters her life. But, things turn sour when, on the day Jane moves into her new home, she discovers a dead body. She cannot feel at home in this town where she’s surrounded by cowboys, horse pastures, and suspects. Not to mention where a murder was committed practically on her doorstep. How can she focus on romance and dinner clubs when one of her new friends—or maybe even her old ones—might be a murderer?

Excerpt*

She slipped outside into the warmth of the early September, blue-sky, Colorado day to check on her puppies sniffing around their new territory in the backyard. Leaning over the deck railing facing the lot to the east, she gazed into the bottom of an open excavation where a basement was being poured. Someone had parked a tractor down in the dirt, and near it a white cowboy hat lay on the ground. A man’s hand stretched toward the hat’s brim. Had someone fallen into the pit?

Jane bounded down the deck stairs and out the wooden gate, only stopping for a moment to secure the latch. She rounded the corner of her new house and rushed to the adjoining lot, pausing near the edge of the concrete that formed the basement’s foundation.

A man was shoved against the corner of the foundation wall. His torso and legs were partly covered with dirt. The cowboy hat concealed the top of his head. His left hand almost touched the brim, as if he were about to take off his hat and say, “Howdy do.” A large manila envelope lay a foot or so away from his other outstretched hand.

On the envelope tall, block letters spelled out: “Jane Marsh—welcome to your new home.”

Buy link(s)

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5110-not-according-to-flan-paperback.html

https://www.amazon.com/According-Flan-Dinner-Murder-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B06ZZLBT2V/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494433693&sr=1-1&keywords=not+according+to+flan

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-according-to-flan-karen-c-whalen/1126256725?ean=2940157538422#

Bio*

Karen C. Whalen is the author of the Dinner Club Murder Mystery series. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado. Karen has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and participates in a local writing group, the Louisville Writers Workshop.

Contact links

FB: https://www.facebook.com/whalenkarenc

Website: http://www.karencwhalen.com/

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Jean M. Grant ~ NEW RELEASE: A Hundred Kisses

Please help me welcome author Jean M. Grant, sharing her latest release and the…

“10 Moments that Changed My Life”

  1. Thai food and Comedy Improv night and talking in the rain – first date with my now husband of 11 years.
  2. When I saw the tiny flicker of a heartbeat on my oldest son’s ultrasound.
  3. Not passing the Ph.D. candidacy exam in graduate school– which took me on an altered Masters path in Immunology & Microbiology instead.
  4. The mentorship of an elementary school art teacher, who nurtured my creative soul.
  5. Traveling to New Zealand for my honeymoon – my first big trip anywhere– and what an inspiring, breathtaking one! (A trip to Scotland, also equally stunning and fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine, came a few years later).
  6. The phone call – when my son’s teacher called to express a behavior concern which ultimately led down the path of tests, doctors, evaluations…and a high-functioning autism/Asperger’s diagnosis.
  7. More food –this time spicy Japanese – that triggered labor and the birth of my enigmatic, exuberant second son.
  8. My mother’s death from ovarian cancer. I was only 25 at the time.
  9. The loss of my sister a year after my mother, this time to a car accident. She was only 27.
  10. The day an editor at The Wild Rose Press emailed to say, “yes” to give this writer a chance after 19 years of writing/trying/drafting practice novels to become a published author.

Wow, Jean. Such a fascinating list. It’s funny how life-changing moments are almost always a mixture of joy and heartbreak. I’m sorry about your mother and sister, so tragic.

Thank you for sharing with us today!

 

 

Blurb:

1296

Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.

Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.

Under the façade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.

Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses… 

Excerpt:

She sensed no colors in the murky, lifeless water, and it was freeing. All breath escaped her. Muted visions passed before her eyes—her mother, her father, Gordon, and Cortland. Just a moment longer, she thought…

Suddenly, a burst of warm light invaded her thoughts as air filled her lungs. Red-hot hands burned her shoulders and ripped her from her icy grave. She breathed life into her body. She coughed, gagging on the change.

Muffled words yelled at her.

Oh, God, so hot. His fingers were like hot pokers. Her head pounded as she slowly returned to the present. Heat radiated from her rescuer. Somebody had pulled her from the water.

“Wh—?”

“Hush, lass. You nearly drowned.”

His voice was as soothing as a warm cup of goat’s milk on a winter’s day. A red-hot glow emanated from his body. Never before had she felt such a strong lifeblood, and it nearly burned her. She struggled in his arms to get free. She blinked, only seeing a blurry form before her. “Release me!”

She splashed and wriggled, and he did as told. She clambered to the shoreline. Numb and shaken, she began to dress. It wasn’t easy as she fumbled with slick fingers to put dry clothes over wet skin. She instantly regretted her naked swim. She pulled on her long-sleeved white chemise first.

She faced the forest, away from her rescuer. He quietly splashed to shore. His lifeblood burned into her back. He wasn’t far behind, but he stopped. She refused to look at him until she was fully clothed, not out of embarrassment of her nudity, but for what had just happened. He released a groan and mumbled under his breath about wet boots. His voice was not one of her father’s soldiers.

When she put the last garment on, her brown wool work kirtle, she squeezed out her sopping hair and swept her hands through the knotty mess. She fastened her belt and tied the lacings up the front of the kirtle. Blood returned to her fingertips, and she regained her composure. Belated awareness struck her, and she leaned down and searched through her bag for her dagger. She spun around.

She gasped as she saw the man sitting on the stone-covered shoreline, his wet boots off. Confusion and the hint of a scowl filled his strong-featured face. She staggered back, caught her heel on a stone, and fell, dropping the dagger. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her wet hands and feet, and she instinctively scrambled away from him.

His glower, iridescent dark blue eyes, and disheveled black hair were not unfamiliar. Staring at her was the man she had seen in her dream—it was the man from the wood.

Buy Links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Kisses-Jean-M-Grant/dp/1509214410

Links on TWRP:

E-book: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5014-a-hundred-kisses.html

Paperback: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5070-a-hundred-kisses-paperback.html

 

Bio:

Jean is a scientist, part-time education director, and a mom. She currently resides in Massachusetts and draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration. She enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines, and aspires to write children’s books while continuing to write novels. In 2008, she visited the land of her daydreams, Scotland, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Jean enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her sons, while daydreaming about the next hero to write about…

 Contact links:

Website: http://www.jeanmgrant.com

Twitter: @JeanGrant05

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeanmgrantauthor/

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April’s Featured Books – #Romantic Suspense #Paranormal Romance #Historical Romance #Kindle Worlds #Medieval Romance

Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Interview with Gary Guinn ~ New Release: Sacrificial Lam

Please help me welcome Gary Guinn who is sharing a little about himself and about his new release, a thriller mystery that sounds like my kind of read!

 

  1. Where did you get the idea for Sacrificial Lam? Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

Fairly early in my career teaching at the university, a disturbing incident occurred. Three of my colleagues at the university, who were all liberal, progressive professors like myself, received anonymous threats couched in violent terms. The university was a small, conservative, southern place, and liberal professors like ourselves were in a real minority and sometimes found teaching there an uncomfortable fit. At the same time, we felt a sense of purpose in being the source of divergent, more open, views in the areas of politics, social issues, and religion. The threats created a tense environment, and though nothing could be proved, there was a pretty strong suspicion of who was responsible. As it happens, the threats stopped, and nothing further came of them, but that situation became the kernel for developing the series of mystery/thrillers featuring English professor Lam Corso, a liberal who teaches at a small, conservative southern college. Sacrificial Lam is the first in the series. The second, which I am about halfway through, has the working title A Lam to Slaughter.

  1. Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

All my previous writing had been literary fiction, usually historical. But my writing had begun to feel stale, and I found myself doing a lot of revising of older work rather than creating new work. So I decided to break out of the mold altogether and do something totally different. I’ve always loved reading mystery/thrillers, but didn’t think I could pull one off. National Novel Writing Month was just around the corner, so I spent a couple of weeks outlining the story and then cranked out fifty-five thousand words in November. It was great fun and really seemed to open my creative juices again and let them flow. After a year of revising with my writing group and editing with my publisher, it was ready to go.

  1. What was the most difficult thing about this novel in particular?

Probably the most difficult thing about writing this particular novel was that I was using a setting that all my friends were familiar with, and I was basing some of the characters in the novel on people who would be recognizable. I had to make the place and the characters believable as fictional characters in spite of the fact that they would be recognizable to many readers. I wanted readers to read the story, not think about the biographical background and connections.

  1. What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich. When I read that novel, I fell in love—with the book and with Louise Erdrich. The sense of mystery, bordering on magical realism, and the rich characters made me want to cry half the time. And her beautiful treatment of the Native American culture in the novel was just delicious. There’s no other way to describe it. Delicious. And the novel was full of surprises. A really engaging narrative. Erdrich’s language just overwhelmed me at times, like music, like the language of love. I’ve read the book again and loved it as much the second time—a sure sign that it’s true love.

A close second in answer to this question would be The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. That is the only novel I have ever finished reading and then gone right back to page 1 and started reading again. Loved it. I think I’m seeing a pattern here—Love Medicine, The History of Love.

  1. What do you want readers to come away with after they read Sacrificial Lam?

Sacrificial Lam pits liberal, progressive, humanistic ideas against radical, fundamentalist, religious/political/social ideas. But it doesn’t preach a particular ideology. In fact, the sympathetic characters have to confront their cherished beliefs in light of the immediate threat of violence and death. The novel presents the very real complexity of what it means to believe, to have real commitments, passions, that are challenged by reality.

I want readers to come away with a sense of the problem of extremism, of radical belief that drives us to put the lives of, the dignity of, other human beings at minimal value. That puts theology of any kind above the humane treatment of people.

  1. Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

The bane of most writers is marketing and promotion. We love to write. We love our books. But we hate to spend a huge chunk of our lives marketing. But it is marketing that we have to do. And one of the most important promotional tools is the book review—lots and lots of book reviews! When I first started learning how to promote my books, like most people I thought, “Good reviews, good. Bad reviews, bad.” So I might have answered the question then as I’d rather have no reviews than a bad review. But I’ve learned that even bad reviews bring attention to your book. And more importantly, they bring balance to all those 5-Star reviews that your friends and family write. If you have fifty reviews, and they are all 5-Star, a smart reader will be a little suspicious. But if the average of your reviews is 4.5 Stars, then a reader will think that you have received a few negative responses but that the great majority of people loved the book.

  1. Your favorite…

Movie: Smoke Signals, based on a short story by Sherman Alexie titled “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” A wonderfully quirky and funny movie that will make you cry for the compassionate treatment of the main characters.

Music: Well, I love Bluegrass. And I love 1940’s Big Band. And I love Classical Guitar. But if I had to name an artist that I want to sit down and drink brandy or beer and listen to all night, it would be Norah Jones. Tom Waits would be a close second. Paul Simon a close third.

Place you’ve visited: The village of Chamonix at the base of Mont Blanc in the French Alps. My wife and I spent our 25th anniversary there, hiking in the mountains, having dinner at sidewalk cafes, watching the moon set over the mountain from bed, with a glass of wine.

Place you’d like to visit: Machu Picchu in Peru. I’ve been to some beautiful Mayan ruins in Central America, but those sky-high ruins above the clouds at Machu Picchu just seem like the ultimate Mayan experience.

TV show from childhood: Gunsmoke. Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty and Chester and Doc. What could possibly be better?

TV show from adulthood: Humans, Jack Taylor, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders.

Food: Italian Chicken Spaghetti with red wine.

Loved your answers, Gary…interesting! Very wise words on the review situations.

Blurb:

When English professor Lam Corso receives a death threat at work, he laughs it off.  A liberal activist at a small Southern conservative college, he’s used to stirring up controversy on campus.  It’s just part of the give and take of life.  Even when violently attacked, Lam is convinced it must be a mistake.  He can’t imagine anyone who would want to kill him for his beliefs.

When his home is broken into and his wife’s business vandalized, Lam is forced to face the truth. His wife—a passionate anti-gun crusader—is outraged when Lam brings a gun into the house for protection. The police can’t find a single lead. Left to their own devices, Lam and Susan are forced to examine their marriage, faith, and values in the face of a carefully targeted attack from an assailant spurred into action by his own set of beliefs.

What will it cost to survive?

Excerpt:

In the silence immediately after Susan screamed, Simon’s high wail came from upstairs. Billy’s voice broke through, “Mom? What happened, Mom?” His voiced moved to the top of the stairs. “Mama, I’m scared. Where are you?” Simon was sobbing.

Susan grabbed the flashlight and scrambled to her feet. The darkness of the room pressed in on her, weighted with threat, the silence in the downstairs smothering her voice. She shined the flashlight toward the stairway, heading that way, and yelled, “Boys, can you see the light from the flashlight?”

She flicked the light around the room, and seeing nobody, she yelled again, with less panic this time, “Nothing to be afraid of, Billy. I’m sorry I scared you. You and Simon come on downstairs right now.” She shined the light on the stairway steps, fear crawling up her spine from the darkness behind her.

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Sacrificial-Lam-Gary-Guinn/dp/1509213058/

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sacrificial-lam-gary-guinn/1125460487?ean=2940157292218

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/sacrificial-lam

TWRP http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4887-sacrificial-lam.html

 

Bio:

Gary Guinn lives in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with his wife, Mary Ann, and their lab mix, Seamus, and their Corgi mix, Peanut. He writes both literary and mystery/thriller fiction. His first novel, A Late Flooding Thaw, was published by Moon Lake Publishing in 2005. His poetry and fiction have appeared in a variety of magazines, and his short fiction has appeared in several anthologies, the latest being Yonder Mountain, from the University of Arkansas Press. His mystery/thriller novel Sacrificial Lam, released by The Wild Rose Press March 3rd, is set on a small Southern college campus. His favorite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling, and brewing beer (and of course, drinking it).

Contact Links:

Website https://garyguinn.com

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/garyguinnwriter/

Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Gary-Guinn/e/B01N4GPT7P

Goodreads author page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/585203.Gary_Guinn

Twitter https://twitter.com/@gmguinn

Email gary.guinn@gmail.com

 

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I Write. Therefore, I Review by Oliver F. Chase

Please help me welcome Oliver F. Chase with an excellent article about reviewing…

 

I Write. Therefore, I Review

Why yes, I write books. Did you fail to notice the patches on the elbows of my tweed jacket, and the vacant, yet meaningful gaze?

Nah. That ain’t me. I’m the guy in the trenches, always learning and testing, and re-learning; ever on the look out for a clever turn of phrase; and always marketing my work and myself…albeit, very delicately. Nothing’s worse than a bore who believes he’s the next Lee Child.

Writers also review. Especially those of us who are as yet “undiscovered” and thus, un-contracted by a biggie. Writing is not a competition, but more like an aftermarket team sport. We write alone but need one another in the business end of creation. Like reviewing another’s novel. This is a new truth in the age of the self help publishing world. Therefore, I thought I’d pass along a few must-do’s and must-have’s  that have helped me over the years. This is a quick list that could easily be much, much longer.

When you review for another, have these few things at your fingertips:

  • Know the plot and the theme. Don’t so gauche as to give it away. That means, of course, you need to read the book, and not use someone else’s Cliff Notes.
  • Have a ready-list of main or interesting characters. Grab your reviewing audience, just like you grab someone in your own work. A great character is a way to engage others, just like wonderful scenes. You may the character were yours, but aren’t, so give insightful due to the author. Yours will be better next time, guaranteed.
    • I suggest you only refer to one scene that you liked. Remember, no spoilers.
  • If you’re reviewing for the writer crowd, you can mention pace, grammar, arc.. that sort of thing. Don’t bother if you’re reviewing for the public. No one cares.
  • Was the storyline predictable, or were you so engrossed, you simply became lost and totally blew off your brother’s wedding. Go ahead and admit you were having too much fun to pick the story apart.
  • If you did like the story, tell the reviewing audience why. Open up a bit, let them see into your private wardrobe, floppy collars and all. The reviewing audience  is looking for something real, even if fantasy or Sci-Fi. The story either rings true, or it doesn’t.
    • Oh, and the old shirts? Toss’m. They’re not coming back.
  • Do the boring stuff, too.
    • Tell the reviewer who you think would enjoy the story. If you can, compare the writing to others.
    • Be cautious about setting the prospective reader’s expectations. Let the author rise to the occasion, not the prospective reader. Be careful not to force the issue. Your credibility is on the line, too.
    • Recommend the story to right audiences: YA, thriller adults, cozy mysteries. There’s nothing wrong with a cautionary statement, as well. I appreciate these, especially for writing that makes me squirm a bit.
    • Proofread your review. Reviewers will likely do a search on you, and may even want to see what you’ve written.
    • Be professional, friendly and helpful. Leave your various chips (on your shoulder) and axes (to grind) at home. A review is no place for personal politics…unless, of course you’re reviewing an opinion piece.
  • If you’re going to zing the story, temper the author with praise. Be cautious and be honest. Praise in public. Excoriate, or in this case criticize, person-to-person.

If you can’t figure out how to critique kindly, or gently prod the doggie story that made you cringe, thank the author and pass.  Demurring may be a bigger kindness, even though we need thick skins in this business. Be circumspect, genuine, and honest.  After all, don’t we all end up in the same place, anyway?  Life’s too short for anything else.

 

Thank you SO much, Oliver. I am not good at reviews, but I will bookmark your suggestions and work on my reviewing skills. Love this article!

Check out these books by Oliver. Don’t they look like fantastic reads?

 

 

 

Bio:

Oliver grew up on military bases throughout the country and like all boys, played good guys and bad. Coaxing him into an afternoon of baseball along Lake Erie, hiking the Southern California’s hills or paddling a canoe in the North Carolina backwater didn’t take much unless a book found him first.

His best friend and he joined the Marines and took a deferment to attend college. Herb left school finding stumbling blocks that seemed insurmountable at the time. A year after graduating, Oliver stepped onto a sweaty tarmac with a manual Smith Corona typewriter not far from where Herb died. Fate usually finds a way of putting day-to-day frustrations into a cruel perspective, especially when lost in the haze of an ugly war.

Thirty-one young men flew days and nights in the mountains trying to keep the world safe for … well, says Oliver, that’s not really true, is it? The only reason we ever went into those dark, frightening places was for friends, most of whom we’d never met before that day. That they lived, meant others died and that still haunts to this day.

He spent time wandering. Lots of young veterans did so, some on foot, some just on the rails of life. Many like Oliver made stops along the road. He never slept in the park or a bus station, although many did. Most found a way out of the maze, too many others did not. Oliver promises it was not he truly at risk, but still believes pulling the right ticket is mostly a matter of circumstance and luck.

He did a bit of teaching on the Navajo reservation, spent a few years with the cops and a couple alphabet agencies but never quit writing. The old manual typewriter became a memory when his first computer came along. A notebook travels with him now, the wanderlust never completely leaving him be. Today, he spends days on the family’s tiny farm and following the season, sometimes wondering if the old Smith Corona founds a home, too. He hopes so, wishing his old friend happy days.

 

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Author Interview with Lori Sizemore ~ New Release: Infamous

Please help me welcome Lori Sizemore with an interview and her new release…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I’m from a very small town in southern West Virginia and, after moving around the state some for college, that’s where I returned. I actually live in the home my husband helped his father build. We’ve raised our daughters here, more than anywhere else. I’ve been married for over twenty years and we have three daughters (22, 20, and 12) and one little tiny baby granddaughter. We also have two dogs (Paul and Izzy) and a cat (Farrah Pawcett).

Where did you get the idea for Infamous?

I got the idea a while back when it seemed everyone was coming out with a sex tape for the sole purpose of getting famous. I wondered what it would be like to have that happen to a person (through no consent or decision of their own) and how that person’s day-to-day life might look. For instance, it’s not as though a woman could hold down a job, say, in retail when the paparazzi are stalking her simply because her parents are famous and someone decided to cash in on that tangential fame. Justine, my heroine—who I like to consider pretty good at handling this difficult situation, grew from those questions.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written before)?

I write contemporary romance because I think life today is just as fascinating, challenging, and funny as life in any time period, if not more so. We have the world at our fingertips, but we’re still all just trying to get by the best we can and find some joy in life.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

When I do complain about the writing process, which I do occasionally (read, plenty of the time), the most difficult part is whatever part I’m in at that moment. Writing is the hardest if I’m doing a first draft. Revision is the hardest if I’m editing. Querying is always a nightmare (all that waiting) and then revisions and galleys once a book is contracted. Whatever phase I’m in makes all the others seem like they’re so much more fun.

How did you come up with the title?

I am awful at titles. I usually have to call in other writer friends to help me because I’m just trash at them. But Infamous just popped into my head one day, not long before I began the submission process, and I knew that was the perfect name. It describes the heroine and her life so far exactly.

Do you collect anything?

I collect coffee mugs. I have far too many. I’m blessed to have a fairly large kitchen and I have my most prized mugs hanging under the cabinets and even then, with about nine of those up, I’m struggling to find another way to display even more. It doesn’t hurt that I adore coffee. Actually, that’s probably the reason for my obsession.

What was your first job?

I was a typist and file clerk for a psychologist. It was fascinating work and being a small part of helping people was a big reward. It was no real surprise I found myself drawn to the field when I went to choose my major. I got my B.S. in Social and Behavioral Science and became a social worker.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Real Housewives. I’m kind of a sucker for a few of those reality shows. Even though they’re “real,” they still follow a narrative that I find really interesting. And all that drama is fodder for writing. Everything can be turned into writing ideas, really.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Infamous?

People are resilient and for those who are willing to work hard for it, happiness and love are out there for anyone. It’s just a matter of making our way through whatever life hands us.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

This is a really hard question! No one wants a bad review, but if that’s the honest opinion someone comes away from the book with then they should share that. So, I suppose I’d rather have a bad review than no review. At least from a bad review, especially if it’s constructive, I can grow as a writer.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” It’s from Dr. Seuss and it has shaped my life the last fifteen years and I think my writing as well. I believe that when someone loves us, they help us become a better us, not change who we are.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I just got a contract for a matchmaking novella called Exactly Like You to be published by After Glows Publishing in their Kismet line. I’ve also written a series of three novellas set in 1958 Las Vegas about a sister and her two brothers. I’m hoping to find a home for those next year. Finally, I have completed the next Infamous novel titled Illegitimate. It’s in revision right now and I hope to have it off to my editor this month.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

They have been incredibly supportive. My mom thinks my writing is a little risqué and advised my dad that he would probably do better to not read Infamous. When I told them both I wasn’t embarrassed by anything I’d written, my father shared this with me. “You write from your heart. I’m proud of you for writing what’s in your heart.”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Family are the people who love you and family is everything.

Nice message! Thank you, Lori…I enjoyed getting to know you! Now, Lori has a question for you…

I’m going to ask the dreaded question of book-lovers everywhere—what’s your favorite book?

 

Blurb:

Justine Montgomery, daughter of a divorced beauty queen and TV magnate, is a tabloid disaster after her infamous sex tape. She’s so desperate to help save her family’s home she turns to her deal-making dad. Can she prove to him she’s cut out for a career in television or will she lose it all?

Sawyer has his own past and a successful career is his only goal. Seeing Justine fail would mean the promotion of a lifetime, but things get complicated when he develops feelings for her. Suddenly, the lines between work, life, sex, and love are blurry.

They will have to overcome the bitterness of a rejected ex, the controlling actions of her father, and the half-truths they’re telling one another to forge a lasting partnership both on the job and off the clock.

Excerpt:

She tangled her fingers through the hair that covered her face and pushed it away. Next thing he knew, she’d wrapped her arms around his waist.

“Justine? Um… what are you doing?”

“I’m hugging you. Taking emotional comfort.”

“Like a leech.”

“Haven’t you ever hugged before?”

“I’ve never hugged anyone I wasn’t going to have sex with.”

“We’re not having sex.” She squeezed him tighter and rested her head on his shoulder. “Hug me back.”

Sawyer lifted his arms and wrapped them around her, his hands cupping her shoulders, pulling her closer. He dropped his head to rest on hers, and parts of him, so deep he couldn’t name them, pulled free and demanded his attention. Her hair smelled like fruit, the kind kids eat in the summer, juice dripping down their chins. “I’m fine with the hugging, but, just saying, I’m not responsible for any physical reaction hugging may induce.”

“Okay.” The word drifted out of her on a sigh.

He wasn’t equipped for this. There hadn’t been a lot of touching growing up, at least not the kind that didn’t end in a busted lip or a cracked rib. As an adult, there’d been lots of touching. But, not like this. The tighter he held her, the closer he wanted to be.

Buy link(s):

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Infamous-Lori-Sizemore-ebook/dp/B01MDMLPGC/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/infamous-lori-sizemore/1124933782?ean=2940156932610

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/infamous/id1164135877?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lori_Sizemore_Infamous?id=nvKoDQAAQBAJ

BooksAMillion: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Infamous/Lori-Sizemore/Q22117554?id=6903021944409

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/infamous-18

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/infamous-1

Bio:

Lori Sizemore grew up in the mountains of West Virginia and never quite managed to escape them. Lori lives at home with her husband of twenty-plus years and two of her three daughters. She also lives with two dogs, a cat, and five hermit crabs. Yes, five of them. This menagerie and her family keep her busy.

She worked in mental health as a social worker for ten years before making the choice to write full-time.

Contact links

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/lorisizemoreauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lorisizemore

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/lorisizemore

Blog: http://lorisizemore.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/loriwrites

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lori_sizemore/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loriwrites/

 

 

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The American Civil War – The Way the Brits Saw It by Linda Nightingale ~ New Release: Her General in Gray

Please help me welcome fellow AHA author, Linda Nightingale, with an intersting article & a new release!

 

The American Civil War – The Way the Brits Saw It

Brit’s Eye View:  The Northern States denied the right of secession, claiming that the union was a “federal” one, in which case the attempt at separation is rebellion. The Southern States claimed that the Union was a “confederation” from which any member is entitled to separate itself. The British Government under Henry John Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston) declined to judge between them.

Yet, popular sentiment was passionately divided. The violent feelings against slavery won many to the Union cause, but the political advocacy of the right of self-government won sympathy for the Confederacy from many another. Since the South fought against heavy odds, the sporting British people were drawn to the Confederacy.

Palmerston’s government was determined to maintain a strict neutrality. This, to most intents and purposes, it succeeded in doing though their cotton industry suffered direly. The blockades of the Southern ports cut off supplies of raw cotton upon which the Lancashire cotton industry was dependent. The cotton famine deprived many Lancashire operatives of their means of livelihood.

The Trent Affair increased sympathy with the South in England and very nearly involved Great Britain in the war. The Southerners dispatched two commissioners, one to England and one to France. The commissioners reached a neutral port and embarked on a British vessel, the Trent. A Union warship boarded The Trent and the commissioners were carried off. A declaration of war was only averted when President Lincoln gave way to the demands of the British Government and released the commissioners.

Yet, the Union had cause for complaint. Ships were built and fitted out in British docks and sailed from British ports with apparently harmless intent, to be employed as cruisers by the Confederates, having been cleverly concealed. The most notorious instance was the Alabama. The British Government flatly repudiated the charge that it did not display due diligence in preventing such action. When the war ended with the Union the victor, claims were brought for damages done by the cruisers.

If Britain had entered the war on the side of the South, how might history have been different!

Her General in Gray was inspired by the Ghost & Mrs. Muir, not by the Civil War.  Here is the blurb and a short excerpt.  See what you think of this Confederate General.

BLURB:

Autumn Hartley purchases Allen Hall at a steal, but the northern lass gets far more than a beautiful plantation in the South Carolina Low Country. The house comes complete with its own ghost, a handsome and charming Civil War General—for the Confederacy. The stage is set for another civil conflict.

John Sibley Allen died in battle from a wound in the back, the bullet fired by the turncoat, Beauregard Dudley. The traitor’s reincarnation is Autumn the Interloper’s first dinner guest. Sib bedevils her date and annoys her with fleeting, phantom touches, certain he can frighten her away as he did previous purchasers. As time marches on, her resident ghost becomes more appealing while her suitor, Beau, pales in comparison. Autumn finds her ability to love didn’t perish in the divorce that sent her south seeking a fresh start.

After over a century in the hereafter, Sib discovers he is falling for none other than the feisty Yankee girl, but what future could a modern woman and an old-fashioned ghost possibly hope for?

EXCERPT:

“Did you have slaves, General Allen?”

“I did, Miss Hartley. They were an extended part of my family. None left the plantation when the war began. Unfortunately, I was killed in battle, as were my other two brothers, and they were forced to accept freedom. My estranged brother inherited and basically sent them packing with no more than the clothes on their backs. Perhaps Hell is his new habitat.”

“Why are you still here?” She glanced around the room.  “I mean why didn’t you go wherever dead people go?”

He laughed.  “To torment you, I suppose.”

“You’re doing that grandly.” She flung a shooing gesture.  “Leave.  I’ve no need of a ghostly…whatever.”

“I’m not a whatever, Miss Hartley. This is my house, and you’re the intruder—along with the coward who murdered me.” He removed his coat, hanging it on the back of a chair. “With all due respect, I take offense to your tone and the fact that you served Beauregard on my mother’s fine china.  She loved those pieces.”

“I’m the intruder? You’re dead. You have no claim on this place.” She braced her hands on her hips, glaring at the arrogant spirit.

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Her-General-Gray-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B06W9HFMBM/

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release