Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Nancy Kay talks about Romance Novel Covers


When I write there are pictures in my head, vivid pictures of characters, locations or scenes. Upon completion, I must provide information for a vital document used to help create a cover to match the story - The Cover Art Input Sheet. I want my covers to reflect what readers will find inside, a hint of what they’ll discover between the pages. Covers help readers match their personal taste to a story, or, an intriguing visual will entice them to try something new and different.

My stories take place in and around the Great Lakes, a perfect ever-changing backdrop for mystery, suspense and, most important, love and romance. A turbulent lake can evoke fear and drama, or wild passion. The setting sun creates an atmosphere of intriguing romance, or the coming of darkness.



Since I live amidst rolling grape vineyards within walking distance of Lake Erie, I find it natural to transfer my love of these surroundings onto pages, while creating characters that come to love the beauty or fear the threat I create around them.

Using the lake to provide a background on my covers puts the reader into the scene, the location where the story will take place. Then add that subtle hint, a reflection on the water coupled with a shadowy figure for Deadly Reflection, and a turbulent lake behind the outline of a weapon for Deadly Revenge.

The final book in the series, Deadly Encounter, takes place in winter. Mother Nature’s wrath will play an important role as waves crashing on the shore become ice dunes. Sculptures that are breathtakingly beautiful, while at the same time, Deadly.

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-254/Deadly-Triad-Book-Two/Detail.bok

Monday, 30 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Nancy Kay



STEPH: I don't know much about "Deadly Revenge." What's it about?

NANCY: In a few words; Rich McConnell's past catches up with him when a sniper's bullet shatters the quiet morning... and with it, his illusion of second chance love with Ada Blaine.

Rich is the laid back owner and manager of an Ace Hardware store in Pine Bluffs, Pennsylvania. Sound dull? Not so, the charming Rich is known as the “Ace Hotware Man”. Although Rich is a touch past the half century mark, the former Marine is a handsome, fit, confident man.

Ada is a successful Culinary Herb Gardener. She moved to Pine Bluffs as a young woman after losing her husband in a fiery car crash. Like Rich, Ada’s now past the Five-O threshold, yet beneath her practical, denim work clothes lies a head turning, sensuous woman.

Ada and Rich have known one another for years, a casual “hi, how are relationship.” Rich sees Ada as a respectable, hard working, lady who shops for garden supplies at his store, until the night she strolls into a mutual friend’s party looking drop dead gorgeous.

Interest spikes, prompting Rich to get better acquainted and, seizing opportunity, delivers supplies to Ada for her garden and lingers to visit. But a burst of gunfire interrupts and has Rich diving to save Ada’s life from a snipers bullet. That single shot is only the beginning. Rich left the Marine Corp years ago, but while serving his country, his unbending sense of duty led to a fellow Marine’s arrest, and the end of Rich’s marriage. He now fears his past may be responsible as threats to Ada’s life escalate.


Deadly Revenge tells how unleashed passion and desire keep Rich and Ada together as twists and turns fraught with danger threaten to drive them apart.

STEPH: "Deadly Revenge is in the Deadly Triad Series. Can you give us an overview of the series? Where it's set? The time frame?

NANCY: The series is set in and around the fictitious town of Pine Bluffs, Pennsylvania. Pine Bluffs does not exist, but all other locations close to Lake Erie – such as Erie, Pa. and North East, Pa. – provide intriguing, beautiful settings. Each story takes place in present day, approximately 2009 thru 2012.

The Deadly Triad Series is linked by location and characters. Beginning with the first book, all characters throughout the series are introduced and somehow connected to one another and to Pine Bluffs.

Cassi Burke and Nick McGraw meet and fall in love in the first book, Deadly Reflection. Cassi’s long lost aunt, Ada Blaine, and long time resident of the sleepy little town, Rich McConnell, discover one another in the second book, Deadly Revenge. Coming in September, lifelong resident TJ McGraw, Nick’s cousin, meets his match in Elaine Delocor, a close friend of Cassi’s in Deadly Encounter.

I’ve created three common threads. One, they all met in Pine Bluffs or have some connection to the town. Two, they all know, love and respect one another. Three, throughout the series each couple faces situations that are potentially Deadly.



STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

NANCY: Deadly Revenge took about a year, including revisions.

STEPH: What was the inspiration for this story?

NANCY: I wanted to do a story about, shall we say, more mature characters. Desire and passion don’t end at 50, or even 60. Sometimes they take a thrilling new direction! I wanted to spin out life’s way of unveiling unexpected gifts, while at the same time, adding a touch of suspense and danger to heighten the excitement.

STEPH: Ada is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weaknesses?

NANCY: Ada had a perfect marriage, until an accident claimed her beloved husband’s life, and changed the course of hers. Following the accident, a love of gardening, instilled in Ada by her deceased grandmother, sustains her. She moves to Pine Bluffs and finds peace in her gardening. In turn, her efforts transpire into a flourishing business, a tribute to her strength and perseverance. Yet Ada keeps to herself, getting close to only a chosen few. She loves her friends, but dismisses the idea of ever falling in love again. Ada is a strong woman outwardly, but inside, she harbors fear. She resists letting anyone capture her heart again, afraid she’d not survive another painful loss.

Rich McConnell touches her, body and soul, and unleashes unbending courage to overcome her fears, and survive the threats she faces with Rich at her side.

STEPH: What does Rich find attractive about Ada?

NANCY: Rich admires her ability to stand on her own two feet, and the life she’s built after losing so much. He likes the feisty determination she exhibits when faced with life threatening danger. But it’s the sensual, uninhibited side of Ada that takes his breath away.

STEPH: How did you come up with the title, “Deadly Revenge?”

NANCY: The definition of “revenge” is: To retaliate or get even. Rich has a checkered past, and from the onset of threats to Ada, he believes that past has come back to haunt him by harming someone he cares about. Ergo: to get revenge.

STEPH: What's your writing space like?

NANCY: The room I use was once my daughter’s bedroom. It overlooks our back yard. I love the changing seasons. The room is not large, about 10 by 12, but allows for my PC, a work table, desk and file. Nothing spurs me to write more than a cold, winter day. I can sip hot tea and let my mind create as snow drifts down, or, drives against the window panes. I like summer, too. Early mornings are best for writing in the summer. Then I can get out, go for walks or putter in our herb gardens.

STEPH: How important is setting to the story?

NANCY: Top of the list! I grew up in a small town, and I didn’t want to write about big cities where so often the stories and movies today are set. My romantic suspense is more the hearth and home variety, yet I write of threats and danger that spill over from cities and into small towns.

On my website I hint at this scenario by reminding readers.....Sometimes bad things happen in small towns. I write about are real places, beautiful places. I want readers to picture rolling vineyards, and breathtaking sunsets on the lake. I feel these settings are the key to making the stories come alive. My brand is Great Lakes Romance...where love runs deep and sometimes dangerous!

STEPH: Fun Question: Who are you rooting to win the Superbowl?

NANCY: Don’t hate me Steph, but until tonight I didn’t even know who was playing! I’ll enjoy high school, even college teams, but when it comes to pro sports....well, let’s just say I’d rather read a good book!

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-254/Deadly-Triad-Book-Two/Detail.bok

Friday, 27 January 2012

Author Spotlight - BJ Robinson talks about her love of Romance


Thanks so much for supporting BJ during her spotlight week. Leave a comment today, Saturday, or Sunday here and be entered to win a PDF copy of BJ's latest release, "Southern Superstitions." I'll pick the winner randomly and announce who it is here and on the Connections Loop.

Enjoy the weekend!
Moderator Steph

********

I grew up loving romance novels, perhaps because there never seemed to be enough romance in real life. Danielle Steel was one of my favorite romance authors. I went from fairytales to romance novels like a runaway roller coaster, getting what little romance I could out of life from the characters in my books. In years to come, a country music singer would come up with a song about a Louisiana woman and a Mississippi man, and I would always tell Mother that each and every time I heard that song, I would think about my parents. Father never got to hear that song, but Mother loved it. She was a country music lover too. I like other types of music too, but country is my favorite because I was raised on it. Conway Twitty sang Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man and Mom was a Louisiana woman and Daddy was a Mississippi man.

I loved to listen to Mom's stories about Daddy. Her stories were all I had left after his death. She had a way of making him come back to life for me, with her eyes sparkling as she told me stories about their happy times and happy life together.

She told me how Daddy always showed up loaded down with surprises for the both of us. He'd come laughing inside, glad to be home with us once again and say, "How's my two favorite girls?" He'd grab Mother and hug her until she thought he'd surely break her small bones in two, and he'd pick me up out of my crib or playpen and head for the rocking chair with me. "Got to make up for lost time and sing to my baby girl," he'd tell Mom.

He had a job at a shipyard in New Orleans, and he worked there until he became disabled. At first, we lived in a very small white house in Springfield, and I remember Daddy taking me fishing with him when we lived there. I could watch the ducks swim on the water, and the chickens followed us to the river. Daddy showed me how to bait my cane pole with a real-live worm and took me fishing at four years old.

From there, we moved to the white apartment house on South Third Street , where I would be living when I lost my daddy on Christmas Day.

The last week Daddy stayed in the city, Mom and I went to New Orleans to surprise him. I was too little to remember the trip, but I was all ears when Mom told me all about it after Daddy had passed away, and she was reminiscing about happier times.
"When we got to your daddy's room in that boarding house, I knocked on the door, but he didn't answer at first. I pounded and pounded and finally I heard him coming to open the door. He had been sleeping and had the gas heater on in that room, without a crack in the window. Landsakes child, it is a good thing we went to visit your daddy when we did, or we might have lost him sooner. I had to raise that window and let the fumes air out of the room. He was so surprised and glad to see us. There, by the side of his bed, was a big, walking doll he had bought for you. He already had his gifts for us, but he thought he'd be bringing them home and surprising us as usual. This time, we surprised him though, because we didn't wait for him. We caught a Greyhound bus and went to him."

How I loved to listen to Mother's reminiscing about the olden days, what she called the good-old days, when she was growing up as a little girl on my grandfather's strawberry farm in Springfield, Louisiana. I loved those strawberry tales about how hard my Grandma and Grandpa Threeton worked on their strawberry farm. Most of all though, I loved to listen to her tales about Daddy and how good he was to us and how happy the four of us had been, once upon a time. Just like a fairytale, there was a once upon a time, but unlike a fairytale, we had no happy ending. All we had were our happy memories.

You see, it took many years before I realized sweet Jesus was no fairytale. When Mom first quoted all those Bible verses, I often wondered why she didn't just speak in plain English, and I had no idea they came from the Good Book. Meanwhile, I read and wrote out my heart that Mom always said I wore on my sleeve. I traveled many places and explored other worlds through many a good book. Now, I write my own, and I'm happy to say God has placed some incredible people in my life to assist me with my writing journey for Him. Eva Marie Everson, my Christian Writing Guild mentor, Karen O'Connor, my Long Ridge Writing instructor, and Tim Gauthreaux, my college creative-writing teacher among them. But, I'll never forget my third grade teacher who actually started my writing journey when she submitted my pet story to the local newspaper. I've been reading and writing ever since. She gave me something to hold onto, a love for the written word, an escape from real life when it became too much, and hope to last me until years later when I found true hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Now, I promised to share more Desert Breeze favorite authors whom I've read:

Author Anne Patrick wrote Fire and Ash, and I loved it. Check out her other titles. I have several others on my reading list. She's an excellent author. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/Categories.bok

Author Michelle Sutton has many books under her belt. My favorites of hers were Danger at the Door and its sequel. She has a new one I also enjoyed, When Love Collides. Check it out. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-238/When-Love-Collides-Michelle/Detail.bok

Author Lynette Hall Hampton has several title out, and I've read and reviewed her first in this series. Loved it. Check them out. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-188/Lynette-Hall-Hampton-US/Detail.bok

Author Melanie Atkins has a series, and I've read and reviewed one set in Louisiana/Mississippi and really enjoyed it. Check her out.

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-203/Melanie-Atkins-Shield-of/Detail.bok

Author Jayne Lee wrote August in Montana, and I reviewed it on my blog. Check it out. It's a delightful read.
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-166/Jayne-Lee-August-in/Detail.bok

I've read so many DB authors and titles I'm sure I've missed some, and I do apologize if I missed you. As I said earlier, they're too many great authors at Desert Breeze to name them all. Browse the DB catalog and discover new ones for yourself. I'm sure you have a great idea about my reading tastes after checking out my favorites. Be blessed and enjoy relaxing reads with us.

Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions and says, " Southern Superstitions is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."

Read the first two chapters free at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Superstitions-ebook/dp/B006X8GAWA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326620592&sr=1-6

Author and book reviewer Dolores Ayotte says, "BJ Robinson has done it again! Her novel Southern Superstitions hits home and shows her devotion to God, her love for strawberry farming, and her appreciation for life's simple pleasures." Read the first interview for my new release here and see what else Dolores has to say about Southern Superstitions.

http://www.amazon.com/review/RTXVLYH2JV0H3 My first review for Southern Superstitions.

Read a free excerpt at my publisher's, Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and if you need a PDF file to read on your laptop or computer, here's the place to snag one. Epub files are also available here.

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-249/Southern-Superstition-BJ-Robinson/Detail.bok

Visit my author page for updates, new releases, and what's coming:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/BJRobinson/Page.bok

Visit my blog and sign to follow for an opportunity to win free novels. and discover new writers through book reviews. http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com

Visit another interview at: http://cuffesisters.com/2012/complimentary-cuffes/visiting-with-barbara-j-robinson/

Book trailer for Southern Superstitions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNoo962DbF0&feature=share

Reviewer Kathy Boswell says, "Very good! She never gives up hope that Andy will return to her someday. She puts it all in God's hands like she'd done every crisis in her life. She knows He will take care of this for her."

B. J. Robinson makes her home in Florida with her husband, a cocker spaniel named Sunflower, a character in her romantic suspense novel Last Resort, an adopted shelter cat named Frankie, and a golden retriever named Honi. She's been writing since the third grade when her story about her pet dog was published in a local newspaper and hopes people have as much fun reading her novels as she did writing them. As an animal lover and for all pet lovers, her novels contain pets, usually dogs, but sometimes cats. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Author Spotlight - BJ Robinson talks about destiny


I've always loved the beautiful white magnolia blossom that smells so sweet because Mom and Dad got married in the pretty little Mississippi town of Magnolia. I often asked her to tell me about how she met Daddy. Her hazel eyes would take on a faraway look, and she'd describ how she met him on a Greyhound bus. She was from the small town of Springfield, Louisiana, and he was from Brookhaven, Mississippi. Momma always told me it was fate that they met that day.

Momma was a strawberry farmer's daughter and Daddy was the son of a cotton planter. Destiny brought them together. They had so much in common. They both loved pretty sunshiny days, the country, and watching flowers or plants grow. Before Daddy grew sick and became disabled, he worked in New Orleans at a shipyard. He would stay in the city during the week while he worked and come home on the weekends. This was when I was a tiny baby, and we were living in Mississippi beside my Grandmother Russell, my father's mother. My father's brother, Uncle Ernie, took over the cotton farm in Mississippi. When I was only four years old, we visited his farm before Daddy died that year. He let me use a smaller sack than the other cotton pickers and told me I could help pick the cotton. I was tickled, and I was proud because I had a job and could earn my own spending money. I carefully filled my sack, and he paid me twenty-five cents for each sack I filled. I didn't make very much money because I soon played out, and I didn't fill very many sacks. I think I ended up with a dollar.

Grandma Russell let me play with whatever I wanted. I remember Mom telling me about how I got into her kitchen cabinets and tore all of the labels off from all of her canned goods. She just laughed about it and said that we would be having a surprise every time we ate for a while. Mom fussed at me and threatened to whip me, but grandma just said, "Oh Myrtle, kids will be kids. She'd done no real harm." I was spared a whipping, but Mom said, "You should be ashamed of yourself, young lady. Now grandma won't know what she's opening."

Another time I was at grandmother's house rocking in my little red rocking chair that Daddy had surprised me with on his last weekend trip home. I was rocking away as hard as I could. The next thing I knew, my rocker turned over, and my head hit the floor. Mom and grandma both came running when they heard my cries. "You're okay," Mom said. "Lucky for you, you've got a hard head." Funny, but I was to be called hardheaded many times after that, but I didn't know it yet. One day my own husband would tell me that I was one hard-headed woman.

The last thing I remember about my early Mississippi days was the way I loved to play outside in grandma's front yard with the little doodlebugs that looked liked little Volkswagon cars. I was fascinated by the way they rolled their little bodies up. Mom thought I should be lady-like and play with dolls and keep clean all of the time, but I loved the dirt and the mud, and my favorite pastime was making mud pies. If you read my novels, you'll discover how I've used my young experiences in my work. Writers draw from personal experience to create realistic fiction, and I draw from mine to create characters with a blend and mixture of qualities and traits.

Now, you probably realize why I write about strawberries so much, but Whispering Cypress that releases August 15, 2012, is not about strawberries. Last Resort and Southern Superstitions were.

Now, I promised to share more of my favorite authors with you. My writing mentor is Eva Marie Everson, and she's written wonderful novels about Cedar Key, Florida. One of her books will be made into a movie. If you're not familiar with her, be sure to check out her work. She wrote Things Left Unspoken and This Fine Life, two novels I've read and reviewed on my blog as well as her first Cedar Key novel, Chasing Sunsets. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=eva+marie+everson

Tim Gautreaux was my creative-writing teacher in college when I penned my prize-winning short story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Gautreaux.

Last, but certainly not least, I'll share more of my favorite Desert Breeze authors. Michelle Levigne wrote a novel that has stayed with me. She has a series, and you'll love her work. I loved Forgiven, read, and reviewed it on my blog.

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-162/Michelle-Levigne-A-Tabor/Detail.bok.

Sadie and Sophie Cuffe have written a beautiful book, and I'm in the process of reading and reviewing it.
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-225/The-Wainright-Trilogy-Book/Detail.bok. I love the title Faith in the Shadows.

Danielle Thorne has several titles. I love her vivid descriptions of the sea, ocean, and the way she relates those colors to her character's eyes. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/Categories.bok. I'm presently reading By Heart and Compass, and I'm about half finished and loving those descriptions.

Desert Breeze's Editor in Chief, Gail Delaney, has many wonderful novels.
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/Categories.bok Precious Things and Lighting Strikes Twice were among my favorites.

As you can see, I've read and reviewed many Desert Breeze titles, and there are more to come. So stay tuned and join us tomorrow to discover other Desert Breeze titles and authors B. J. Robinson has read and loved.

View the book trailer for Southern Superstitions here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNoo962DbF0&feature=share

Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions by B. J. Robinson. She says, " Southern Superstitions is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."

Read the first review here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RTXVLYH2JV0H3

Get a PDF file that may be read on your laptop or computer here, or ePub file. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-249/Southern-Superstition-BJ-Robinson/Detail.bok

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/StoreFront.bok Get the free companion book to Southern Superstitions here. They're side-by-side on the homepage of the publisher's.

http://www.acfw.com/blog/?p=2222 Enjoy an article on crafting a villain here.

Read the first two chapters free here and purchase for your Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Superstitions-ebook/dp/B006X8GAWA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326620592&sr=1-6

Southern Superstitions will be available at Barnes and Noble.com, Sony, Kobo, etc. but Amazon is the first to offer it.
B. J. Robinson is a member of the Christian Writers Guild (CWG), a graduate of Long Ridge Writing Institute, a friend of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and belongs to several critique groups along with Nike Chillemi, author of Burning Hearts and Goodbye Noel. Her writing mentor at CWG was Eva Marie Everson during both courses. Karen O'Connor was her writing instructor with Long Ridge, and Tim Gautreaux was her creative-writing instructor in college. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Author Spotlight - BJ Robinson shares some of her favorites from Desert Breeze


Mother raised me on Cinderella and fairytales. She read to me at an early age on a daily basis, and I developed a love for reading and books before I ever started first grade at five years old. I always loved the school and the town libraries. I'd look forward to library day at school. Over the summer months, I practically lived in the library and would always join the Summer Reading Program. Three important people in my life led me to my love of reading and writing. My mom gave me my start on fairytales; my third-grade teacher submitted my short story about my pet dog to the local newspaper, and my fifth-grade teacher read me the Little House series, which is what I most looked forward to during my fifth-grade days at school. She knew how to leave off and keep us suspended, like a soap opera, so we couldn't wait to hear what happened next.

Growing up on Fairy Tales
(an excerpt from a memoir of the author’s
childhood and schooldays)

Before I was even old enough to read, Momma had me hooked on fairytales. She bought a new one for me each month out of the small social-security check she received after my father's death. She would rock me to sleep reading my favorite fairytales each night. I loved The Glass Mountain, Cinderella, and Snow White.

I was only four years old when my father died one cold Christmas Day in a charity hospital. Four years earlier, I'd been born in a charity hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. We never had much, but I had not realized that. To me, before Daddy died, we had everything.

We lived in a small town on South Third Street in a rambling, white-apartment house. We only rented, but I didn't realize what that meant at the time. To me, we were rich; for, I was rich living in my make-believe world of fairy tales, rich in sunshine and fresh air, swinging in my board-and-rope swing underneath the giant-pecan tree in our front yard.

I was a happy little girl who had everything she could possibly want. I had a doting daddy, a loving mom, and a precious little sister, who was only four months old when our daddy died. Daddy would rock us and sing us to sleep, singing about our beautiful blue eyes, or Mother would read and rock us to sleep with fairytales. My world was rich, happy, and content. I wanted for nothing. Happy endings were all I knew then and now I write my own.

I was an outdoor's child who bounced up early to run outside into the sunshine yelling for Daddy to push me in the swing he had made for me underneath the old pecan. It didn't matter to me that it was not a store-bought swing, like Shelly across the road had. For, my daddy pushed me so high that my tiny feet nearly touched the low-hanging branches. I'd squeal with delight and scream, "Push me to the sky, Daddy!"

Daddy would laugh and say, "That's my girl. She already knows the sky is her limit."

Now, that you know how I developed my love for both reading and writing, I'll share some of my favorite authors with you. Since joining Desert Breeze Publishing, I've discovered some I'll keep on my reading list. If you haven't read any books by these DB colleagues, check them out.

Regina Andrews has a new release in her series. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-244/Sterling-Lakes-Book-Three/Detail.bok

How do I know she's good? I read and reviewed her first one on my blog and loved it. Check it out here and be sure not to miss her second one either. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-146/Regina-Andrews-Light-of/Detail.bok

Shawna K. Williams has several great books under her belt. Check them out so you can read them in order. I loved them all because they are deep. Here's a link to The Good Fight: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-223/The-Good-Fight-Shawna/Detail.bok

You simply can't miss Naomi Musch's The Green Veil and The Red Fury. I've read and reviewed both these novels on my blog, and loved them both because they are what I deem deep novels. I love the author's vivid description and details, her characterization, and the fact that the characters in these two novels remain with me long after closing the book. She'll rip your heart out. That's what I call evoking reader emotions, my type of book. Here's the link to her second novel, but by no means skip or forget the first. You really don't want to miss out on either. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-217/Empire-in-Pines-Book/Detail.bok



Nike Chillemi has two wonderful novels. I've read and reviewed Burning Hearts on my blog and loved it. Her newest is Goodbye Noel, and I'll share the link here: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-234/Sanctuary-Point-Book-Two/Detail.bok

I've read so many great Desert Breeze authors, and I don't have room to list them all here. These are my favorite and most recent reads. Check back tomorrow, and I'll key you in on a few more. I'm a Nicholas Sparks fan. Love his writing style. Love his books because they touch the heart and soul, told like true love stories Chris Fabry's Dogwood is another novel I'll always remember, as is Lynn Austin's All She Ever Wanted. I read both of these novels a few summers ago, but they remain with me and stand out in my mind. I'll always remember them. A book that stays with you after you close the covers is my goal as a writer. I don't want to write easily forgotten fluff. There's enough of it already on the market. I aspire to write more like my favorite authors and with each new book I pen, I strive to reach that goal. I want to write books like the ones I enjoy reading.

Try our Desert Breeze authors. You'll discover we also have novels that stay with you after you close the cover and characters you won't soon forget. You can't beat DB covers, and I've discovered the formatting is much better than other lines of eBooks I've read on the market. I hope you'll remember Faith and Matt from Last Resort and June and Andy from Southern Superstitions. You can look forward to meeting Hackett and Spring in Whispering Cypress, which releases August 15, 2012. Live other worlds through great novels. Adventure with Faith and Matt, June and Andy, and Spring and Hackett. Visit me at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com for an opportunity to win a free PDF of my newest release, Southern Superstitions and meet Andy and June! Be sure to check back tomorrow for a few words about other DB authors.

Book trailer for Southern Superstitions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNoo962DbF0&feature=share

Book trailer for Last Resort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juwF0dLLX6M&feature=youtu.be

Read a free excerpt for Last Resort: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-184/B-J-Robinson-Last/Detail.bok.

Free excerpt for Southern Superstitions: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-249/Southern-Superstition-BJ-Robinson/Detail.bok

Check my author page with my publisher for updates and new releases: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/BJRobinson/Page.bok

Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions and says, " Southern Superstitions is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."

Read the first two chapters free at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Superstitions-ebook/dp/B006X8GAWA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326620592&sr=1-6

Author and book reviewer Dolores Ayotte says, "BJ Robinson has done it again! Her novel Southern Superstitions hits home and shows her devotion to God, her love for strawberry farming, and her appreciation for life's simple pleasures." Read the first interview for my new release here and see what else Dolores has to say about Southern Superstitions.

http://www.amazon.com/review/RTXVLYH2JV0H3

Read a free excerpt at my publisher's, Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and if you need a PDF file to read on your laptop or computer, here's the place to snag one. Epub files are also available here.

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-249/Southern-Superstition-BJ-Robinson/Detail.bok
Visit my author page for updates, new releases, and what's coming:

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/BJRobinson/Page.bok

Visit my blog and sign to follow for an opportunity to win free novels. and discover new writers through book reviews. http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com

Visit another interview at: http://cuffesisters.com/2012/complimentary-cuffes/visiting-with-barbara-j-robinson/

B. J. Robinson makes her home in Florida with her husband, a cocker spaniel named Sunflower, a character in her romantic suspense novel Last Resort, an adopted shelter cat named Frankie, and a golden retriever named Honi. She's been writing since the third grade when her story about her pet dog was published in a local newspaper and hopes people have as much fun reading her novels as she did writing them. As an animal lover and for all pet lovers, her novels contain pets, usually dogs, but sometimes cats. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Excerpt from "Southern Superstitions"




Rod joined the search party to help investigate his dad's disappearance. It'd disbanded at nightfall and picked up the search again at daybreak, but they'd found no sign of his dad. Rod guided a canoe deep into the marshes and swamps. He'd hunted with his father many times in these wetlands so he knew where to check. No word or sign of his father made the cold, Christmas season stab like an ice pick, and his heart ached for his mother, left alone.

He slid the canoe through a wall of cypress trees, deeper and deeper into the heart of the swamp. He figured his father headed for the hills. White cranes flew from the cypress limbs. The canoe hit a cypress knee, and Rod gently eased it around a few more. The way they stuck out of the shallow water, like protruding nubs, they reminded him of his grandmother's warning finger wagging in his face. They could tear a hole in the bottom of a boat. Thank God my boat survived the lick. Maybe that's what happened to Dad.

Finally, after twelve hours of searching, Rod spotted his dad's pirogue on the side of the hill, where they'd hunted the previous year. He tied his canoe to a tree limb. "Dad!" He raced to the dome tent and unzipped the door. "Dad?" The tent looked as if his dad made camp, but hadn't yet used it. The sleeping bag was still rolled up in a corner. The butt of his dad's 30-30 stuck out from under a sleeping bag. The supplies were still there. Outside, there was no sign of a campfire. It looked as though he never got to hunt. There was no sign of him. Where was he?

Rod picked up the rifle and carried it back to his canoe. He left the other items in case his dad returned looking for them.
They searched until dark. Rod dreaded giving his mother the disappointing news. She'd worry even more, because the pirogue was in perfect condition and so was the tent. No leaking pirogue kept him from coming home. The campsite looked peaceful and serene, not like anything bad had happened, but still there was no sign of his father.

Mom's on pins and needles, yet she clings to her faith and trust in God. I hear her faithfully pray for Dad's safe return. Maybe she won't fall apart when she hears the news but oh, how I dread having to tell her.

A Favorite Line: It was faith in God that would bring her husband home. Even a lucky penny or a dime declared, In God we trust.



B. J. Robinson writes inspirational Christian fiction in the romantic suspense genre from Florida, where she lives with her husband, a cat named Frankie, a cocker spaniel named Sunflower, and a golden retriever named Honi. Sunflower is a character in her first romantic suspense, Last Resort. Her children are grown and have made her a grandmother multiple times. She won first prize for her short story in college, the one from which she developed Southern Superstitions, and it was published in the university's literary magazine. She developed her love for mystery through Nancy Drew books, her love for reading from her mother, who read fairytales to her before she began school, and her fifth grade teacher, who read the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series to the class. Her love for writing came from God and her third grade teacher who submitted her first published story about her dog to a local newspaper. She's been writing ever since, and her first college essay was published. Her prize-winning short story has been published multiple times. She promises to take her readers on a continuous journey to another world. Reading and writing are her passions, and Jesus is her best friend. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com.

View the book trailer for Southern Superstitions here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNoo962DbF0&feature=share

Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions by B. J. Robinson. She says, " Southern Superstitions is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."

Read the first review here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RTXVLYH2JV0H3

Get a PDF file that may be read on your laptop or computer here, or ePub file. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-249/Southern-Superstition-BJ-Robinson/Detail.bok

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/StoreFront.bok Get the free companion book to Southern Superstitions here. They're side-by-side on the homepage of the publisher's.

http://www.acfw.com/blog/?p=2222 Enjoy an article on crafting a villain here.

Read the first two chapters free here and purchase for your Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Superstitions-ebook/dp/B006X8GAWA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326620592&sr=1-6

Southern Superstitions will be available at Barnes and Noble.com, Sony, Kobo, etc. but Amazon is the first to offer it.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with BJ Robinson


STEPH: I don't know much about "Southern Superstitions." What's it about?

BJ: Prayer versus Southern superstitions when a woman's husband mysteriously disappears in the swamp on a deer-hunting trip. As steamy as the hot, thick, sticky heat of Louisiana, this page-turner will keep readers in suspense, as the author spins a tale of love, loss, superstition, pain, heartache, and faith in God. God and the power of prayer versus Southern superstitions.

Reviewer Kathy Boswell says, "Very good! She never gives up hope that Andy will return to her someday. She puts it all in God's hands like she's done every crisis in her life. She knows He will take care of this for her." Through belief, faith, hard work, the power of prayer, and God's help, this powerful, moving story is a thought-provoking Christian romantic suspense about a young couple who fall in love, but have to change her mother's mind in more ways than one, if their relationship is to survive. Can Andy convince June there's more to their relationship than friends? Will he win the approval of Myrtle, her mother, and can love survive strawberry season and an April flood? Will June be able to give Andy a child?



The Lord Has Something Better in Mind is the free companion to Southern Superstitions, and they are side-by-side on the publisher's homepage. I developed my new release from the short story that is the freebie. It was a first-prize winning one in fiction-writing competition in college. I had to alter the story some from its original version to develop the novel but June, Andy, and Myrtle are still the main character. The original short story was published in Southeastern Louisiana University's literary magazine and ran as a three-part serial on the front page of my hometown newspaper along with my picture for three weeks in a row. It was later published in St. Cloud in the News and an online magazine.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

BJ: It took nine months to write, and I spent another six months reworking and rewriting it. I had fun writing this novel about the South where I grew up, and I feel I grew as a writer by reworking and rewriting it.

STEPH: Did you have to do a lot of research for the novel?

BJ: I didn't have much research for this one since I lived in the area and was reared with strawberries, God's Word, and southern superstitions. I picked berries before school in the morning for a local schoolteacher and worked in them on the weekends for my aunt to earn extra spending money.

STEPH: Where did you get the inspiration for the story?

BJ: I grew up listening to Mom harp on superstitions and quote Bible verses. I thought the conflict between superstitions vs. faith and prayer would make an interesting novel, and Mom loved the idea and the rough draft that my youngest sister read to her over and over before her death. I felt like I captured part of my mother in Myrtle's character, and mother's middle name was Myrtle. As I said she had the book read to her before her death and loved it, even the character's name. Other inspiration came from watching the hard life of strawberry farmers and their plight when the season and weather didn't make earning a living easy. I wanted to illustrate the power of prayer and pen a novel that would showcase it.



STEPH:What do you hope will resonate with readers after they read the story?

BJ: Devotion to God, faith, hope, and appreciation for life's simple pleasures and nature. Our creative God gifted us with so many free gifts to make life enjoyable and worth living. People don't have to spend a lot of money on a date to have one worth remembering. The simple things in life matter most and will be remembered more. Place your trust in God, faith, and prayer instead of superstitions.

STEPH: Hollywood is calling. Cast the lead characters.

BJ: Carrie Underwood is June because she has faith, loves country music, and is hard working. Brad Paisley could be Andy, but he has the wrong coloring. I picture him more as a Kenny Chesney type as far as looks.

STEPH: June is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weakness?

BJ: June is a hard-working woman who doesn't give up easily, and her faith is much stronger than a mustard seed. It's what keeps her going. She's determined and uses her time productively. Those are her strengths. Her weaknesses are letting Myrtle bring her spirits down, and worrying about giving Andy a child. Even though she has great faith, she still worries about certain things. Her love for Andy is so strong she feels lost without him by her side, but she doesn't give up hope.

STEPH: What does Andy find attractive about June?

BJ: He loves the fact that she appreciates nature as he does, and she's not afraid of getting dirty to follow him on excursions through the woods. She's down-to-earth, honest, hardworking, and doesn't put on airs, all qualities he likes. He's also attracted to her outward beauty, but he's more interested in her interior qualities.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

BJ: I have a Nook, but I got an iPad for my birthday/Christmas present and use it now instead. I love the iPad because it has a built-in light that allows me to read after dark, unlike my Nook. I could use the Nook with a lamp though. I love eReading and no longer like to read paperbacks or hardbacks because I can read so much better and faster, and it's much easier on my eyes. I also travel much lighter with 200 books instead of a tote bag heavy with a few.

STEPH: Fun question: Do you make New Year's resolutions? Any you care to share?

BJ:I used to make them, but I don't anymore. I wonder if I ever kept them. If I had made any, they would have been to exercise more, lose weight, and write more.

Watch the book trailer for Southern Superstitions created by Michelle Sutton:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNoo962DbF0&feature=share

Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions and says, " Southern Superstitions is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."

Read the first two chapters free at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Superstitions-ebook/dp/B006X8GAWA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326620592&sr=1-6

Author and book reviewer Dolores Ayotte says, "BJ Robinson has done it again! Her novel Southern Superstitions hits home and shows her devotion to God, her love for strawberry farming, and her appreciation for life's simple pleasures." Read the first interview for my new release here and see what else Dolores has to say about Southern Superstitions.

http://www.amazon.com/review/RTXVLYH2JV0H3

Read a free excerpt at my publisher's, Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and if you need a PDF file to read on your laptop or computer, here's the place to snag one. Epub files are also available here.

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-249/Southern-Superstition-BJ-Robinson/Detail.bok

Visit my author page for updates, new releases, and what's coming:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/BJRobinson/Page.bok

Visit my blog and sign to follow for an opportunity to win free novels. and discover new writers through book reviews.
http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com

Visit another interview at: http://cuffesisters.com/2012/complimentary-cuffes/visiting-with-barbara-j-robinson/

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The "Sweet" Blogger Award



Doesn't this strawberry chantilly pie look yummy? The Desert Breeze blog was nominated by author Vijaya Schartz, who writes in a wide range of science fiction romance. Visit her blog, Romancing Sci-Fi at: http://romancingscifi.blogspot.com/ I've read Vijaya's Chronicles of Kassouk series and I love how creative and imaginative it is. I highly recomment it for all romance readers.

Since the rules for this award say that I have to nominate ten other blogs, and tell you seven things you may not know about Desert Breeze. Here goes:

I nominate the following blogs:
AR NORRIS, Adventures of a Sci-Fi Writer: http://sci-fiadventures.blogspot.com/

DANIELLE THORNE, The Balanced Writer:http://thebalancedwriter.blogspot.com

DIANE CRAVER, Diane's Blog:http://www.dianecraver.com/blog/

K DAWN BYRD: http://kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com/

MELANIE ATKINS: http://melanieatkins.wordpress.com/

NICOLE ZOLTACK, Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight: http://nicolezoltack.blogspot.com/

SUSANNE MARIE KNIGHT: http://romancewritingwithatwist.blogspot.com/

THE CUFFE SISTERS, Off the Cuffe, http://cuffesisters.com/off-the-cuffe/

BJ ROBINSON' BLOG: http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com/

CELIA YEARY: http://celiayeary.blogspot.com/


7 Things about Desert Breeze:

#1 - Opened in April 2009.

#2 - Cover Artist Jenifer Ranieri won EPIC's Quasar Award for her cover of "White Tiger" by Vijaya Schartz.

#3 - Gail Delaney's novel, "Something Better" was nominated for an EPIC award.

#4 - Cover Model Jimmy Thomas is on Anne Patrick's "Renegade Hearts."

#5 - Desert Breeze will offer print books of several titles in the summer of 2012.

#6 - Celia Yeary's "The Stars at Night" is a 5 Hearts Sweethearts of the Week" winner at The Romance Studio.

#7 - Stephanie Burkhart's "The Count's Lair" is a 2011 Silver Award Winner in the Romance: Sci-Fi/Fantasy category from Reader's Favorites.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Excerpt from "Opposites Attract"


Thanks so much for supporting Angela during her spotlight week featuring "Opposites Attract." Leave a comment on the excerpt post today, Saturday, and Sunday, and on Monday I'll pick a winner out of a hat to receive a PDF copy of Angela's story, "Opposites Attract."

Enjoy the excerpt!
Smiles
Moderator Steph

**************

THE SET UP: Holly and Brett are in Paris for the weekend courtesy of the 'Opposites Attract' agency. They've just spent the evening touring the city with their parents and are about to return to their hotel.


Brett's hand grasped her arm and pulled her back in the shadows as their parents walked towards the waiting taxi. "You're not tired, are you? I thought we might walk back to the hotel. Maybe grab a coffee on the way."

She couldn't make the excuse of having on unsuitable shoes and didn't think she could convincingly claim the awareness zinging through her was fatigue. Before she could deny him. Brett shouted over to his father.

"We'll catch you later. Don't wait for us. We're going to walk a while and see some more sights."

There was no protest from her mother. What a surprise. Good old Mum might as well have handed her to Brett on a plate.

The black car drove away, leaving them alone on the street. Brett grabbed Holly's hand and strode off, dragging her along at his fast pace.

What was with the man?

After several minutes he slowed down, stared around and headed off again in front of the Trocadero fountains. Out of the blue, he stopped at one of the pavement cafés.

"Sit."

Holly resented being dragged around like a mongrel, and she hated taking orders. She opened her mouth to complain, but something in his no-nonsense tone made her obey. She stayed quiet as he ordered two coffees in perfect French. Well, at least she couldn't tell the difference between his accent and the waiter's.

She sipped her drink while he stared down at the table and didn't speak. Finally, Holly couldn't stand it any more. "So what's your problem now? You dragged me here and now you're glaring at the coffee cup as if it contains arsenic. If you can't be better company, I'll get a taxi and leave you to your sulk."

Brett flung his head up. "You're dense, aren't you?"

She didn't answer because he plainly didn't mean her to.

"Come on. I'll walk you home." He growled the words, making her wonder if there was some kind of latent madness in him she should worry about.

He jerked her to her feet, spilling his untouched cup. Holly watched the liquid spread over the glass table and drip off the edge to the pavement beneath.

"Why? You wanted to walk and see some more of the city..."

"No, I didn't." He fixed her with an angry stare.

"Well, that's what you said. What do you really want?"

Brett gave an exasperated sigh. "You must be the most obtuse woman on the planet. This is what I want."

He seized her face with his strong hands and pulled her close. Brett's fingers pressed into her skin and his mouth covered her lips.

At first, his kisses were hard and demanding. Just when she would have pulled away, he changed tactics and nipped gently at her lips with his teeth. The wild sensations about drove Holly out of her mind and she moaned with pleasure. His tongue teased her lips until she gave way and allowed him in. She tasted whisky and passion, and she couldn't get enough. Her skin tingled everywhere Brett touched as one large hand moved down her spine.

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-248/Opposites-Attract-Angela-Britnell/Detail.bok

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Angela Britnell talks about using theme in Opposites Attract


I was thinking about why I write a certain kind of stories and it struck me that the title of my new book sums it up perfectly. At their core my novels all involve some kind of attraction of opposites from geographical to personality or lifestyle.

In 'Opposites Attract' Holly is a very correct, neatly dressed Englishwoman with an organized life. To make things interesting she had to be unwillingly matched with Brett, her complete antithesis. He's Southern to the core, relaxed in his appearance and laid-back way of life. It's fun to play around with the culture differences and I don't need to look any further for research than my own marriage! Brett's dislike of English hamburgers and Holly's revulsion of okra are easy outward signs of the much deeper differences they need to overcome. The main characters in my next book, 'It's Complicated', are both English but are still about as opposite as possible. Emily is a quietly spoken math professor with a limited social life and content to stay that way. And then there's Ash - a tattooed professional poker player with a playboy lifestyle. When they meet it's another huge clash.

But underneath that surface oppositeness deep down my characters have to have the same desires and values. They all want to love and be loved in return, to live a good productive life and raise a family together.

The getting there can't be too easy for them because after all who wants to read about two perfectly compatible people with no obstacles to their Happy Ever After.

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-248/Opposites-Attract-Angela-Britnell/Detail.bok

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Angela Britnell talks about characters & her favorites


There are always discussions about which is more important - character or plot? When I think about my favorite books and authors it's the characters I remember most. I have to care about what happens to them as the story evolves or in all probability I won't finish the book.

One of my all time favorite books is 'The Rector's Wife' by English author Joanna Trollope. Anna Bouverie is the rector's wife, a woman struggling to be what her husband needs until she realizes she's losing herself and has to make difficult choices. Joanna makes you care deeply about Anna from the very first page and I would love to possess just a small amount of her skill. I'm a big fan of good detective novels and particularly Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse - irascible, highly intelligent, and loaded with bad habits. And then there's Jamie Fraser - Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' hero. A 6' 4" Scotsman with flaming red hair - what's not to remember?

In 'Opposites Attract' Holly presents a stern façade to the world to protect herself from being hurt. I wanted to see her break down those barriers and realize how much richer her life would be if she became true to herself. Brett appears to have everything but I enjoyed watching him face up to how lonely a 'successful' life can be.

Do you think an intriguing plot makes up for less than fascinating characters or are you on the same wavelength as me? Which characters have stuck with you and why? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-248/Opposites-Attract-Angela-Britnell/Detail.bok

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Author Spotlight -Character Interview with Brett & Holly from Opposites Attract


Sally Fowke, owner of the 'Opposites Attract' dating agency, is interviewing Holly and Brett in London after their return from a weekend in Paris.

So Holly, did you enjoy Paris with the man we chose specially for you?

HOLLY. Paris was lovely and it was a pleasure to spend time with my mother.

Brett, I think the lady's being coy. How would you say the weekend went?

BRETT. Being a gentleman I'm not about to do a kiss and tell. Let's just say we had us a pretty good time didn't we sweetheart?

HOLLY. That's one way of phrasing it but how many times have I asked you to use my proper name? You wouldn't want me to revert to calling you a ..."

You two certainly have a little spark going. Are you both glad you signed up for my wonderful agency?

BRETT. It's sure been an experience. Y'all certainly know what you're doin.'

HOLLY. Oh for goodness sake -- when are you going to stop laying on the syrupy charm?

BRETT. When it stops workin' honey.

HOLLY. I've had enough I'm off.

But I haven't finished. I need a photo of you together for the newspaper.

HOLLY. I hope you're joking.

BRETT. What is it you Brits say? Don't be a spoilsport? Come here and snuggle into me.

HOLLY. Not in this lifetime.

I think we'll leave it for now. You're probably both tired.

BRETT. I sure am. She about wore me out.

HOLLY. That's it I've had quite enough. Miss. Fowke I'd appreciate you taking me off the agency's books. One weekend was more than enough.

Some women don't know when they're lucky, do they Mister Adair?

BRETT. They sure don't. But she will soon. I can promise you that.

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-248/Opposites-Attract-Angela-Britnell/Detail.bok

Monday, 16 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Angela Britnell


STEPH: I don't know much about "Opposites Attract." What's it about?

ANGELA: The 'Opposites Attract' dating agency has the theory if normal matchmaking hasn't worked for you then try it their way. They turn things around and purposely mismatch people. Holly and Brett are content with their single lives but their parents aren't and give them subscriptions to the agency. Holly, an uptight British policewoman and Brett, a laid-back Southern writer couldn't be more opposite. They're thrown together on a weekend in Paris. It turns magical but secrets, lies and sheer stubbornness threaten the romance before it hardly gets off the ground. Holly and Brett will fight love all the way and it’s a question of who’ll give in first.

STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for the story?

ANGELA: So many people these days find love in what would’ve been considered unconventional ways. I kept reading about on-line dating sites and agencies and they all stress how carefully they try to match people. It got me thinking about what would happen if they purposely did the opposite. Also I’ve been married for nearly 30 years to a wonderful man and we're opposite in many ways. I’m pretty sure no dating agency would ever have matched us.

STEPH: How long did it take to write?

ANGELA: I think about four months – it was one of those stories which flowed pretty quickly.

STEPH: Did you have to do a lot of research for the story?



ANGELA: Not too much. The three settings for the story are all places I’ve been. Plymouth in England was very familiar as it’s not that far from where I grew up and I lived near there while in the Royal Navy many years ago. I’ve been to Paris several times so just needed to do some online research to refresh my memory about certain places. As for the Smokey Mountains I’ve visited there multiple times. On one visit there I photographed a log cabin which a year later was the inspiration for Brett’s favorite home.

STEPH: Holly is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weaknesses?

ANGELA: Her strengths are that she’s very smart, determined and completely focused on her job. She’s also very loyal to the mother who’s essentially brought her up alone. The problem is that the same determination and focus are also her weaknesses at times. She doesn’t believe it’s possible to have a private life and do her job well. Holly’s seen a lot of police marriages fail because of those conflicts. Also she is wary of loving a man ‘too much’ because she saw how hard it was for her own mother to keep going after her father’s tragic death.

STEPH: What does Brett find appealing about Holly?

ANGELA: Physically he’s very attracted to her and enjoys the fact she’s intelligent and he can talk to her both in and out of the bedroom. He appreciates her witty sense of humor when she relaxes enough to show him that side of her.

STEPH: Hollywood is calling. Cast the main characters.

ANGELA: I’d try to persuade Dierks Bentley the country singer to take the part of Brett – he just looks so much like the Brett of my imagination. Emily Blunt could do Holly well – she’d just need a little time in the tanning salon to mimic Holly’s Mediterranean coloring better!

STEPH: Do you have a eBook reader? If so, which one? What do you like about it?

ANGELA: I got a Kindle about three years ago and love it although I still read plenty of print books as well. I travel back to England frequently and it saves me carrying five or six books in my carry on bag. Another bonus is the fact I can watch TV and read at the same time without my hated bi-focal glasses by adjusting the Kindle’s font size.

STEPH: What's your writing space like?

When my oldest son moved out several years ago I commandeered his bedroom and turned it into my office. I painted it peach and put up lace curtains to guarantee he wouldn’t want it back! I’ve got a lovely oak desk which belonged to my father-law, a sofa, bookcase and most important of all a tea table. Without regular doses of hot tea this writing brain doesn’t function!

STEPH: Fun question: Do you make new year's resolutions? Did you make one this year?

ANGELA: I have done in the past but not this year – it’s one less thing to fail at!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Excerpt from "Twilight Over Moldavia"



Thank you for supporting me during my spotlight week. Leave a comment on today's excerpt post today, Saturday and Sunday and on Monday I'll choose a winner to recieve a PDF copy of "Twilight Over Moldavia." Hope your new year is off to a great start.

Smiles
Moderator Steph

*********


Stefan gestured toward the door, and Caroline followed him down an empty hall. Stefan came to a secret door and opened it. It led out into the gardens near the gardenias. Gas lamps lit the walking path. He directed Caroline away from the lights of the ballroom to a small bench next to the roses and sat beside her. He took both of her hands in his and gazed into her eyes.

"I saw a man in town several days ago. He accosted me."

Concern grew on her face. "What did he want?"

"He scratched me and licked my blood."

"How awful."

"He told me I was 'pure.' The same man confronted me two years ago when we were promised to each other in Ploesti."

She crossed her arms. "What did he look like?"

"He had yellow eyes. I described his appearance to my father. He said the man is a werewolf."

"A werewolf is after you?" Her voice broke with apprehension.

"I hate to believe it, but I cannot ignore the evidence."

"What did your father say when you told him?"

"He needs more information, but he's convinced the man who attacked me is a wolf." Caroline stood and turned her face toward the sky. Stefan stepped up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders. "I sense worry and fear in you."

"Of course I'm worried."
"For me?"

She turned to face him. "Yes. I wasn't quite expecting this upon our engagement. I thought my intended would tell me how he looked forward to seeing me in person, how absence had made his heart grow fonder, not that he might be hunted by a werewolf."

He curved his fingers around her chin and met her gaze, praying he could drive away her apprehension. "I'm sorry. I wanted to be honest with you. Absence has made my heart grow fonder."

She bit her lower lip and grew silent. Stefan sensed her conflicted emotions. She truly did care for him, but concern tumbled next to her happiness at seeing him again. And he had to talk about werewolves first and not how glad he was to see her again. How clumsy of him.

"Forgive me. I am delighted to see you in person again. You're wearing my necklace."

"I am." Her cheeks reddened. "Do you still have my scarf?"

"It's in my vest pocket. I keep it close to me at all times."

"That warms my heart."

He trailed his fingers down her neck and rested them on her shoulder. Oh, how he could get lost in her sparkling blue eyes. "I'm sorry, but we must speak of the creature."

She nodded.

"He poses a real danger to me. Do you want to postpone our engagement? I can talk to our fathers."

She drew in a deep breath, turned away, and stared at the moon.

"Caroline?" he prompted.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Character Interview with Princess Caroline of Carpathia

Anna Hathaway inspiration for "Caroline"

GAEL: Hi, I'm Gael, the owner of "MUSEum" the bar where all muses hang out from the Desert Breeze Anthology, "Be Mused." The bar is a place to come and unwind and take a break. On occasion I get a celebrity in. How can I resist an interview?

With us today is Princess Caroline Moldoneavu from "Twilight Over Moldavia." It's great to have you here today, Your Highness. Tell us, how did you meet Prince Stefan?

CAROLINE: We met in the woods outside of Dragon's Keep, my ancestral home. I shot the prince with an arrow.

GAEL: Oh, you cupid! Or should I say Aphrodite?

CAROLINE: Aphrodite, I'm not. I'm much more skilled with a bow and arrow. It was an accident – how embarrassing! My father would be so disappointed. Thankfully, Stefan wasn't hurt.

GAEL: That's good he wasn't. How did he react to being shot with an arrow?

CAROLINE: He just stared at me. I'd never had a man look at me like he did. Then I noticed he had a flesh wound so I wrapped my scarf around his leg to stop the bleeding.

GAEL: Oh, I'm sure he appreciated the gesture.

CAROLINE: I did get a small smile out of him. I'd never touched a man before, but when I placed my hand on his thigh, I grew warm all over. I knew right then and there he was special.

GAEL: Did he know who you were when you shot him?

CAROLINE: No! Our parents had just formally arranged our marriage and I was too embarrassed to admit I was the Crown Princess of Carpathia and his betrothed so I lied and told him my name was Aurora. And it is – just my middle name.

GAEL: That's not very noble.

CAROLINE: He lied, too. He told me his name was Sebastian. I thought I'd never see him again. When he left, he took my scarf I'd wrapped around his leg. It was a family heirloom my mother knitted for me. She was disappointed that I'd lost it.

GAEL: When did you see Stefan next?

CAROLINE: I was waiting in the great hall with my family to be introduced to the Sigmaringens from Moldavia and meet my betrothed. Sebastian walked in wearing the uniform of Moldavian's Crown Prince. I almost fainted.

GAEL: I'm sure he was surprised as well.

CAROLINE: Both of us were stunned. My mother had to nudge me to curtsey with one of her scowls.

GAEL: I'm sure your mother was polite. She's a queen, after all.

CAROLINE: My mother is always disappointed with me and if it isn't one thing, it's another. Thankfully, Stefan saved the moment by producing my scarf, she thought I'd lost.

GAEL: I heard the prince was a real gentleman. How did the rest of your night go?

CAROLINE: Not like I expected, I assure you. If you don’t mind, I'm late meeting my grandmother. She's giving me a lesson in witchcraft.

GAEL: You're a witch, too?

CAROLINE: It's a long story.

GAEL: Congratulations on your engagement.

CAROLINE: Thank you. (dashes off)

GAEL: Sounds like their romance is off to an interesting start. I just might have to have the prince over to MUSEum some time soon. –wink--


BLURB: Would you marry a man cursed to become a werewolf?

4 Stars, Vijaya Schartz, author
In this novel full of danger and intrigue, sexy scenes, and unspeakable secrets, the werewolves are the villains, and oh how dangerous they are, and unwashed, and uncivilized. The kind of villains you love to hate.

5 Stars, Mona Risk, Author "No More Lies"
Burkhart's writing style grabs the reader from the first page. She keeps you breathless with her suspense as she transports you to exotic areas you will enjoy discovering.

Barbara Hodges, Author, "The Blue Flame"
Twilight Over Moldavia whisked me into a part of the world I knew nothing about, and gave me a wonderful love story filled with suspense too. What more could a reader desire? I will be reading the first book in this series and will be looking for the third, I can’t hardly wait.





BUY LINKS:

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbooktwotwilightovermoldavia-667833-139.html

AMAZON KINDLE:
http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B006RQ7LU8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325479348&sr=8-1

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-247/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two/Detail.bok

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

TWITTER:
http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Burkhart-Author/149938795021166

GOOD READS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Author Spotlight - The Inspiration behind "Twilight Over Moldavia"


When I was a young girl, I used to watch "Creature Double Feature" on Saturdays and became convinced that there were beings who went bump in the night like vampires, werewolves, witches, and zombies. Silly me – I thought if I covered my neck with my sheets the vampires couldn't get me. Oh, and I never did figure out what happened to all the lint under the bed so I think there was merit to my theory.

All those creatures of the night resonated with that young girl so when I grew up, I wanted to write about them. Being the optimist I am, I gravitated toward romance writing. When I discovered paranormal writing, I'd knew I'd found my niche.

In 2005, I wanted to write a paranormal romance about a werewolf. Vampires were pretty popular back then and I wanted to explore the wolf. My idea? I wanted to write a fairytale in reverse where the princess had to save the prince. Inspiration had taken root.

I threw a dash of gothic and a pinch of moonlight into the plot and wrote "Twilight Over Moldavia." Prince Stefan had been cursed to become a werewolf on his 18th birthday. Can Caroline's love save him? I wrote the first draft then tackled "The Wolf's Torment," explaining how Stefan came to be cursed. I went through several drafts of each and my self-published "The Wolf's Torment" in 2007 had more horror elements than romantic ones. In 2009, I signed contracts with Desert Breeze for the Moldavian Moon Series. The published version of "Twilight Over Moldavia" is draft #4. It's a story close to my heart because I love how Caroline and Stefan come together to face adversity. I usually don't draw inspiration from music, but for their story, I drew a lot from "Astronomy" by Blue Oyster Cult. Inspiration comes from the willingness to explore - and Blue Oyster Cult.



BLURB: Would you marry a man cursed to become a werewolf?

4 Stars, Vijaya Schartz, author
In this novel full of danger and intrigue, sexy scenes, and unspeakable secrets, the werewolves are the villains, and oh how dangerous they are, and unwashed, and uncivilized. The kind of villains you love to hate.

5 Stars, Mona Risk, Author "No More Lies"
Burkhart's writing style grabs the reader from the first page. She keeps you breathless with her suspense as she transports you to exotic areas you will enjoy discovering.

Barbara Hodges, Author, "The Blue Flame"
Twilight Over Moldavia whisked me into a part of the world I knew nothing about, and gave me a wonderful love story filled with suspense too. What more could a reader desire? I will be reading the first book in this series and will be looking for the third, I can’t hardly wait.


BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSAhxv0lTIM

BUY LINKS:

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbooktwotwilightovermoldavia-667833-139.html

AMAZON KINDLE:
http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B006RQ7LU8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325479348&sr=8-1

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-247/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two/Detail.bok

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

TWITTER:
http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Burkhart-Author/149938795021166

GOOD READS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Meet the Cast of "Twilight Over Moldavia"

Agim Kaba circa 2005

I enjoy casting my characters. For me, it helps to give my character bios added depth. I hope you enjoy my choices:

Prince Stefan Sigmaringen: Agim Kaba

I saw Agim on "As The World Turns" and I enjoyed his acting. I thought he'd be perfect for the young cursed prince.





Princess Caroline Moldoveanu: Anne Hathaway



When I started writing this story back in 2005, I think Anne's biggest role at the time was "The Princess Diaries" and I loved her as the long lost princess. She captures nobility well.











Prince Michael Bacau: Dax Griffin


Michael has gone through various casting changes, but when I saw Dax, I knew I had my Michael. He's got that fierce, intense look to him combined with rugged handsomeness.













Lady Rosa Getzi: Jessica Alba


Jessica has a very exotic look which is perfect for Rosa.













Queen Theresa Sigmaringen: Julianne Moore


Young Theresa in The Wolf's Torment was Jennifer Ferrin and I think Julianne Moore is perfect to play the older, tortured Moldavian Queen as her dynamic acting can take Theresa from pride to despair in seconds.








Countess Alina Getzi: Selma Hayek



Selma has the exotic look at Alina requires and also captures that air of mysticism that the character embodies as well.













King Mihai Sigmaringen: Jon Hensley


Hensley's aged well and so has King Mihai.














Lady Elyse Corvinus: Julie Andrews


I didn't realize it at the time of my casting selection, but Andrews played Hathaway's grandmother in "The Princess Dairies." These two are perfect to play a granddaughter/grandmother relationship.










Timon:



I'm embarrased, I can't remember his name. Help me out. Richard, I believe? He's British and a well known character actor. He's got the look for Timon, the bad wolf in the series.








BLURB: Would you marry a man cursed to become a werewolf?

4 Stars, Vijaya Schartz, author
In this novel full of danger and intrigue, sexy scenes, and unspeakable secrets, the werewolves are the villains, and oh how dangerous they are, and unwashed, and uncivilized. The kind of villains you love to hate.

5 Stars, Mona Risk, Author "No More Lies"
Burkhart's writing style grabs the reader from the first page. She keeps you breathless with her suspense as she transports you to exotic areas you will enjoy discovering.

Barbara Hodges, Author, "The Blue Flame"
Twilight Over Moldavia whisked me into a part of the world I knew nothing about, and gave me a wonderful love story filled with suspense too. What more could a reader desire? I will be reading the first book in this series and will be looking for the third, I can’t hardly wait.


BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSAhxv0lTIM

BUY LINKS:

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbooktwotwilightovermoldavia-667833-139.html

AMAZON KINDLE:
http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B006RQ7LU8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325479348&sr=8-1

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-247/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two/Detail.bok

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

TWITTER:
http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Burkhart-Author/149938795021166

GOOD READS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

Monday, 9 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Stephanie Burkhart


Question: I don't know much about "Twilight Over Moldavia." What's it about?

Steph: "Twilight Over Moldavia" is a paranormal romance set in the 1880's in Romania. Prince Stefan is cursed to become a werewolf on his 18th birthday. He learns this just as he's getting engaged to Caroline. She must make a choice to go ahead with the engagement or not. Timon, the werewolf who cursed him, hunts Stefan throughout the Romanian principalities, determined to claim Stefan for his pack.

Question: How long did it take you to write?

Steph: I wrote the first draft in 2005 and it was very different from this version. I put the draft aside and focused on other projects. From 2006-2009, I started a 2nd and 3rd draft, but didn't settle upon this draft until last summer. It took about eight weeks to write this version.

Question: Where did the inspiration for the story come from?

Steph: I love supernatural creatures, but decided I'd focus on werewolves instead of vampires because the basic premise of the wolf has a living, breathing man behind the beast. I wanted to focus on how the wolf struggles to retain his humanity. For me, witches are a natural fit for the wolf, an organic companion. Witches also have struggles, like learning to fit into the human world.

For "Twilight Over Moldavia" the premise was simple. I wanted to write a fairytale in reverse where the princess had to save the prince. The plot and characters grew from that.

Question: How did you come up with the title, "Twilight Over Moldavia?"

Steph: For Stefan's principality, Moldavia, it's truly twilight when the promise of the nation, the crown prince, is cursed to become a werewolf. By using "twilight" in the title, I hope to provide a small amount of hope that Stefan can be saved and find "happily ever after."

Question: How much research did you do?


Steph: Tons! I researched werewolf myths, witches, Romania, Romanian customs, Orthodoxy, Romanian names, Transylvania, Wallachia, Dracula, the Black Sea, and Bran Castle just to name a few.

Question: Tell us a little about the heroine, Caroline. What are her strengths?

Steph: When the story opens, Caroline has just been name the Crown Princess of Carpathia. She did not expect to have the title since she was her parents' second daughter, but her older sister, Edwina, died in a riding accident.

Caroline knows her own mind. She's the best horsewoman in Carpathia and she's skilled in archery, very non-princess traits her dancing is passable and her embroidery is abysmal. She knows she disappoints her mother, yet it's her understanding of duty that her father teaches her which drives her choices. Caroline hopes that ultimately she can make her mother proud of her.

Question: How did Stefan come to be cursed?

Steph: For that, you'll have to read "The Wolf's Torment," book 1 in the series.

Question: Do you have to read "The Wolf's Torment" before reading "Twilight Over Moldavia?"

Steph: No. I believe "Twilight Over Moldavia" can stand alone, but "The Wolf's Torment" will help the reader better understand how Stefan came to be cursed.

Question: Do you have an ebook reader?

Steph: I have a Kindle 2nd generation and a Kindle Fire. I love them both.

Question: Did you make any new year's resolutions?

Steph: To lose weight. I'm back at Weight Watchers and joined the weight loss challenge at work. If you want to follow my journey, I'm blogging about my experiences every Saturday on my blog, "Romance Under The Moonlight."

BLURB: Would you marry a man cursed to become a werewolf?

4 Stars, Vijaya Schartz, author
In this novel full of danger and intrigue, sexy scenes, and unspeakable secrets, the werewolves are the villains, and oh how dangerous they are, and unwashed, and uncivilized. The kind of villains you love to hate.

5 Stars, Mona Risk, Author "No More Lies"
Burkhart's writing style grabs the reader from the first page. She keeps you breathless with her suspense as she transports you to exotic areas you will enjoy discovering.

Barbara Hodges, Author, "The Blue Flame"
Twilight Over Moldavia whisked me into a part of the world I knew nothing about, and gave me a wonderful love story filled with suspense too. What more could a reader desire? I will be reading the first book in this series and will be looking for the third, I can’t hardly wait.


BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSAhxv0lTIM

BUY LINKS:

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbooktwotwilightovermoldavia-667833-139.html

AMAZON KINDLE:
http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B006RQ7LU8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325479348&sr=8-1

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-247/Moldavian-Moon-Book-Two/Detail.bok

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

TWITTER:
http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Burkhart-Author/149938795021166

GOOD READS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart