Tag Archives: women’s fiction

Author Interview with Jeanne Skartsiaris ~ New Release: Dance Like You Mean It

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jeanne Skartsiaris – Is it just me, or are you also intrigued by her book title?

 

Good morning, Jeanne. Where did you get the idea for Dance Like You Mean It  Years ago my mom was watching a news magazine show. There was a punk rocker being interviewed. This rock star was a single mom who put the kids to bed, then went out and performed. She’d spike her hair, scream into a mic, and put duct tape on her nipples – and she was making millions. Mom, who raised four kids on her own (working two jobs) looked at me and said, “If I knew that was all I had to do to support you kids I would have done it a long time ago.” Ewww mom!

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? Time. What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular? Learning the craft. The title “Dance Like You Mean It” was taken from an Irish proverb dance like no one is watching. We must learn to embrace life and not get bogged down in expectations and everyday chores. We need to step out of our comfort zones and jump into life. Sometimes we may land on our butts, but we get up, dust off and try again. It’s taken me more than 20 years to finish Dance Like You Mean It. I took a finished manuscript to NYC in 2002 through a writing class. All the agents and editors I met with loved the story but said my writing was awful. I took more classes, wrote a few more books and finally got Dance published this year.

Are there any tricks or habits you use when creating a story? I let the characters move the story forward. Sometimes they take hold of the plot and I can’t get them back to where they need to be. Really annoying! It can take some time to corral them but there was usually a reason they ran off – to make the story better.

What book(s) have you read that you wish you would have written?The Great Santini” by Pat Conroy, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris and “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. Simple but powerful writing style.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it? I’m a sonogram tech by day – so I look at babies (and other stuff). Prior to that I was a medical photographer for a plaintiff’s law firm. I saw some awful pictures of many different kinds of accidents. It inspired me to write Surviving Life, a YA story about an overprotective mom and her teenage daughter.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more time? Work, of course, though I enjoy it. I’d like to reduce my hours and spend more time writing (and taking beach vacations).

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Dance Like You Mean It? To enjoy life. Appreciate small moments. Even when the dishes and laundry are piling up – hold your babies and love the time you have.

What is your favorite quote? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. John Lennon

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie? George Clooney just so I could meet him.

 

Thank you, Jeanne. I enjoyed getting to know you. Now, please tell us about your book…

 

What if you wrote a sexy bestseller – but couldn’t tell anyone?

What if you wrote a steamy, erotic novel that was so hot bookstores couldn’t keep it on their shelves? What if you couldn’t tell anyone you wrote it? With a mundane life as a nurse, a husband who is grazing other fields, and a daughter of an impressionable age, Cassie checks her horoscope one morning just for kicks and notices an article about romance novels and how profitable publishing could be if one could spin a good tale.  She pens Wild Rose under a pseudonym and it flies to the top of the charts, is the talk of the town, and people are clamoring to know who the author is. What would her children think if they knew? Or her own mother, who ‘taught her better’, and worse, her husband who’d thought she’d turned back into a virgin since they’d not had sex in so long. How could she be thrown into the spotlight and still be a good mom. Wild Rose, Cassie’s caldron of prose, is woven through this story. Set it the 70s, it is the story of Rosemary, a beautiful photographer who wants to be recognized for her body of work, not her haunting beauty. Although, a modern woman, she is as adventurous sexually as she is with her camera and beds men like candy…until she falls in love. Both novels parallel each other as Cassie realizes Rosemary is not so different from her.

 

Bio:

When not writing Jeanne Skartsiaris works as a Sonographer. Prior to that she was a medical/legal photographer for a plaintiff’s law firm. She attended creative writing courses at Southern Methodist University and is a member of Romance Writers of America’s local chapter, Dallas Area Romance Authors. Author of Surviving Life and Snow Globe, she lives in Dallas, Texas.

Contact links: Facebook: Jeanne Skartsiaris, author, http://www.jeanneskartsiaris.com @jeanneskartsiaris

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Elaine Cantrell ~ “Why I Write Romance Novels” Plus ~ The Captain and the Cheerleader

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Elaine Cantrell:

Why I Write Romance Novels

Writing is so much fun.  If you’re thinking of writing a book, one of the first things you’ll need to do is pick a genre.  I picked romance.  Out of all the genres out there, why did I pick romance?  Plenty of people write romance so there’s a lot of competition out there. 

Well, I picked it for several reasons.   First of all, I think most folks are fighting some kind of battle in their lives.  Maybe they’re in a relationship that went bad, and they’ve lost the one they love.  Whether it was by divorce, death, or just walking away, it tears a huge hole in someone’s heart.  Maybe the battle is health-related.  It’s hard to accept limitations if they interfere with activities you love.  Have you ever dealt with unemployment?  How do you feed your children with no paycheck?  My romances always have a happy ending which gives us hope that tomorrow things will be better.  We can believe that ‘this too shall pass.’  

Remember what happened at the end of Gone With the Wind?  Scarlett lost Rhett and collapsed in tears, but then she decided to go home to Tara where she can think of a way to get Rhett back.  Human beings are designed to hope. 

I also think that romance novels possibly satisfy our craving for justice.  In the real world, things don’t always end happily.  Children are abused, the missing teen is never found, or we get our heart broken.  In the vast majority of romance novels you know the bad guys are going to get what’s coming to them.  My heroes and heroines sometimes face determined villains, but you can rest easy in the knowledge that the bad guys will never win. 

Last, I write romance because I’m a romantic at heart.  I just adore a good love story. In my latest release The Captain and the Cheerleader my characters have many obstacles to overcome before they find true love. Their romance didn’t start off like you might expect, but don’t worry. Both my hero and heroine are made of good stuff.

Readers, what about you?  Why do you read romance?  Leave a comment and tell me what you think. 

** GIVEAWAY: Readers should leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Captain and the Cheerleader. The question they have to answer is “Why do you read romance.” 

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Book Blurb:

Susan English can’t stand Robin Lanford! She’s so full of herself she irritates everyone on the faculty of Fairfield High. When Robin bets Susan fifty dollars that she can’t get a date with Kurt Deveraux, the head football coach, Susan jumps at the chance to put the little heifer in her place. She had no idea that teaching Robin a lesson would irrevocably change her life, strain treasured friendships, and throw two families into chaos.

Excerpt:

She looked at him with a sexy little smile curving her lips. “I like your kisses.”

“What do you like about them?”

She pretended to think about it. “The shape of your mouth is pleasing, for one thing.”

“Is that all?”

She shook her head. “No, I like the way your lips feel.”

Her hand had somehow come to rest on the table and was well within his reach so he took it. “How do they feel?”

“Well, they’re firm, but soft too, and they’re just the right size.”

“Is my technique any good?”

She glanced at him from under lowered lashes and seemed to promise all manner of delights. “On a scale of one to ten I’d give you a ten.”

“How does it make you feel when I kiss you?”

Heat flared in her eyes and caused him to tighten his hold on her hand.

“When you kiss me,” she said, “it gives me an empty, longing feeling down deep inside, and I know the only cure for the emptiness is more kisses.”

Kurt took a deep, steadying breath. “Do you want more than just a kiss from me? I know other ways to make the emptiness go away.”

Author Bio:

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University.  She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and Romance Writers of America.  Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest.  When she’s not writing, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments. 

Contact Links:

http://www.elainecantrell.com

http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/elainepcantrell

http://www.twitter.com/elainecantrell

http://www.pinterest.com/elainecantrell

http://www.goodreads.com/elainecantrell

http://www.amazon.com/Elaine-Cantrell/e/B001K7V90M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1411604384&sr=1-2

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

New Releases from J.M. Mauer ~ Emerging from Darkness Series Books 1 and 2 – PLUS, an Awesome Giveaway!

J.M. is giving away THREE signed copies of SEEKING LOVE. To enter, sign up for her newsletter through her website and drop her a quick ‘hello.’ http://jmmaurer.com 

Now available:

Seeking Love (Emerging From Darkness Book 1) ~  J.M. Maurer

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Blurb: 

Every day, Jessica Winters does what she does best—bury herself in patient care within the walls of the neuro intensive care unit, keeping herself busy to escape the dark sadness that controls her life. But the day she sees Matthew Moi, the intriguing man seated at her new patient’s bedside, her shattered heart begins to frantically beat once again.  

As Matthew pins his mesmerizing gaze upon her, trying to distract her with his humorous and playful banter, she does her best to ignore him. Somehow he already knows a great deal about her, breaking down Jessica’s barriers and awakening her soul, drawing her out of the darkness and into his arms.  

When her painful past resurfaces, revealing truths that threaten her future, Jessica struggles through her issues and fights to stay on a healing path . . . seeking love

Excerpt: 

   One thing I knew: I wasn’t that woman anymore. I wouldn’t be her anymore. 

   My heart was racing at the thought of being separated from Matthew by only the door, and I watched as it opened, knowing he stood mere feet away. I drew in a deep breath to calm my frantic nerves and steady my racing heart. It was the moment my eyes would see him again, and the same moment I knew all involuntary muscle movements would cease. 

As Matthew stepped in and around the door, his alluring eyes captured me. The feeling was nothing new. I’d been imprisoned by his gaze before. And locked in it again, I watched as he drifted to me, the indisputable chemistry between us palpable and absolute. His mesmerizing eyes had hypnotized my burning soul, completely bewitching me. 

   “Hello, Jessica,” he murmured, pointing to an open area of the bed. “Mind if I sit?” 

   I gave a slight shake of my head, having difficulty forming the simple word “no,” and watched as he made himself comfortable facing me. His crisp charcoal-colored trousers bunched as he scooted on the bed. My sight roamed along his classic plum-colored dress shirt and stopped searching once I focused on his face. 

Buy Links: 

Amazon US: bit.ly/SeekingLove

Amazon UK: bit.ly/SeekingLoveUK

Amazon CA: bit.ly/SeekingLoveCA

iBooks: bit.ly/SeekingLoveiBks

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/SeekingLoveBN

Kobo: bit.ly/SLKobo

Smashwords: bit.ly/SeekingLoveSW

ARe: bit.ly/SeekingLoveARe

Coming May 2, 2015:

Seeking Redemption (Emerging From Darkness Book 2) ~ J.M. Maurer

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Blurb: 

After surviving a bitter divorce and emerging from a darkness that became all too familiar, Jessica finds herself on top of the world, her soulful awakening allowing her to feel again, trust again, and even love again. Her painful past, however, is relentless, both physically and emotionally, bombarding her daily and not allowing her to overcome the lingering demons that ultimately control her life. 

As Matthew lovingly guides her toward a healthy future, his own secrets become known, threatening to destroy the trusting relationship that had quickly grown between them. But despite what life throws her way, Jessica pledges to put the past in the past, accepting that events are often out of her control. She fights for a future with the man who drew her out of the darkness, steering her onto a healing path . . . seeking redemption.  

Excerpt: 

    Grandma O flipped the light switch to what she called my office and stood just inside the door, her soft features and gentle smile inviting me in. I shivered, poised one step away, with a strange yet familiar emotion rushing through me—an awareness that the instant I entered, my life would be forever changed. Again.

Was this Matthew’s plan all along? They all seemed in on it, the thought making me feel railroaded and agitated, yet oddly aroused and enchanted too. Unsure how to deal with such conflicting emotions, I moved forward, looking to Grandma O for answers as I walked through.

    The office was spacious, slightly smaller than Matthew’s, with a mahogany desk in the far corner and in front of an expansive bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. I ran my fingertips along the colorful wall of psychology books and periodicals as I walked along, passing a leather couch on my way to the desk, my desk, and paused in front of an empty nook within the bookcase.

    It struck me as odd, the cold wooden surface needing something to spruce it up, make it mine. I had to think about that, my anxiety making it difficult to ponder the issue, my restlessness preventing me from staying in one place.

  I moved to the windows and stared out the tiny cracks between the blinds, the world outside just as complicated as the one I had chosen to live in.

     “We all read your master’s thesis,” Grandma O said, her voice pulling me out of my thoughts. “It’s obvious you have a natural gift for research and writing.”

    I turned and looked at her, questioning how they’d gotten their hands on a copy.

    Sedation in the ICU: Patient Accounts of Their Dreams, Their Pain, Their Fears; I hadn’t published it. As it was, after countless hours revisiting old charts and conducting hundreds of interviews, I’d never been more nervous or scared the instant it was pulled from my tight grip to be placed into the hands of someone who would actually read it. There was no way I’d ever publish it, opening myself up to a world filled with critics.

    “If you’re wondering, Dr. Moi is a personal friend of Professor Marienetti. The sexual fantasies accounted for and described within your research were fascinating, probably more so than Dr. Marienetti could digest. We’re baffled as to why you chose not to publish. The results, Jess, are far reaching, from ICUs to dentists’ offices. You have a special gift; embrace it.”

    She walked toward me and leaned her back against the wall, her gaze drinking in the room.

    “This office has been vacant, just waiting for you. You could do great things here.” She patted my arm, her grandmotherly smile telling me it would all be okay. “I’m next door if you need anything.”

    Embrace it, I thought, watching as she walked out the door. I’d heard that advice before—from Matthew. I sighed and looked down upon the desk, the one I knew would take me a while to start calling my own.

    My desk, my office, my couch, it all sounded quite foreign. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. 

Buy Links: 

Amazon US:  bit.ly/amznSkR

Amazon UK: bit.ly/SkRamznUK

Amazon CA:  bit.ly/SkRamznCA

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/SkReBN

iBooks: bit.ly/SkRiBks

Kobo: bit.ly/SkRKobo

Smashwords: bit.ly/SkRSW

J mauer authorpic

About the Author: 

J.M. Maurer lives with her family in Chicago. She makes it a point to never work on a full moon and cringes when a coworker uses the “Q” word—never, ever say, “It’s a quiet day today,” at her day job.

Known for being overly superstitious, she can usually be found scraping at the remnants of a Nutella container, screaming at a hockey game, or putting pen to paper, allowing the “real” crazy voices in her head to come alive. And after all this, it’s no wonder she’s an incurable romantic and loves escaping the rat race of life to immerse herself inside the world of a really good romance book . . . because, after all, what’s better than a happily-ever-after?

Find J.M. Maurer Here:

Website: http://jmmaurer.com

Blog: http://jmmaurer.com/blog.html

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JMMaurer1

Goodreads: bit.ly/GoodreadsJMMaurer

tsu: http://www.tsu.co/JMicheleMaurer

Amazon Author Page: bit.ly/AmznJMMaurer

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Filed under New Release

New Releases from The Wild Rose Press – And fun facts about the authors!

I am proud to share some of the latest releases from The Wild Rose Press… Please check out the books and follow these authors on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

Enjoy the wonderful stories AND the fun fact tidbits…

 

 

Lynn Shurr with Paradise for a Sinner, Contemporary Novel

The best cure for a lost love is a new love.  

Fun Fact: When I first thought of writing a book about a Samoan football player, I figured big, hunky guy,  hot steamy nights–until I discovered Samoans are religiously conservative and very family-oriented. My new theme became Adam Malala’s conflict with tradition ways and his life as a rich and famous athelete. Don’t worry. There are still some hot, steamy nights in the plot.  

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*****Half price sale through Wild Rose Press website – Only $2.50, regular $4.99*****

(Ebook can easily be downloaded to your Kindle or Nook)

Buy Links: The Wild Rose Press    Amazon

Find Lynn here:   Blogs: http://lynnshurr.blogspot.com and www.romancingthejock.com     Web Site: www.lynnshurr.com     FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/carla.hostetter

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J.C. McKenzie with Shift Happens, Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Novel

When an assignment goes wrong, Andy must find out why or face eternal enslavement.

Fun Fact: I got the idea for my book’s title from an earthquake awareness sticker slapped to the side of my work cabinet! 

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*****Available exclusively on Amazon at this time and ON SALE for only 99¢*****

Buy here: Amazon

Find JC here:

Website: http://www.jcmckenzie.ca

Blog: http://www.jcmckenzie.blogspot.ca

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author

Twitter Page: http://www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/jcmckenzie

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

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 Liz Flaherty with THE GIRLS OF TONSIL LAKE, Women’s Fiction Novel

Four women whose differences only deepen the friendship forged in a needy childhood…

Fun Fact: I wrote The Girls’ story because I love girlfriend books and because all four of them presented themselves to me, personalities intact. It was so much fun. Jean’s a romance author and pretty much wrote her own story, Suzanne is based on one of my best friends (who recognized herself right off the bat and still talks to me), and Andie is closely related to my sister-in-law Lynn. The fourth friend, Vin, was–and still is, to a certain degree–a woman of mystery simply because I don’t know anyone like her. But I like her. I like her a lot. 

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Buy Links: Amazon  The Wild Rose Press    Barnes & Noble  

Find Liz here: 

lizkflaherty@gmail.com

http://lizflaherty.com

http://www.facebook.com/lizkflaherty

https://twitter.com/LizFlaherty1

http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/

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Karilyn Bentley with Dragon Lover, Fantasy romance, novel,

When opposing dreams collide, will love be the victor?

Fun Fact: Dragon Lover is the third book in the Draconia Tales series and wraps up the trilogy. I enjoyed writing this story and letting the readers know the true identity of Fafnir, the hero. He’s first introduced in Magical Lover and returns in Warrior Lover. In Dragon Lover we learn who his mate is and why they spent their lives running from each other.

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Buy links: Amazon  Wild Rose Press 

Find Karilyn here:

Website: http://www.karilynbentley.com

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1

 

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Filed under Entertainment, For Writers