I’m off the internet for a few days, but I wanted to repost a few blogs I thought were fun. Here’s one from 2017 on my…voice. My real one, not my writing one! hee hee!
I’m off the internet for a few days, but I wanted to repost a few blogs I thought were fun. Here’s one from 2017 on my…voice. My real one, not my writing one! hee hee!
I’ve got a favorite Wild Rose sistah with me today, talking about her newest book release and giving us a little insight into her writing life. Please welcome Paranormal and Urban Fantasy writer KARILYN BENTLEY.
Karilyn has been my guest before but today I asked her some indepth questions about her writing, her writing process, and her life in general. Stick around, because after the interview, she’s giving us a peek at her newest book release DEVIL FORGET ME and you won’t want to miss it!
Karilyn, the Writer:
I like to create stories that make people smile.
I write paranormal and urban fantasy because I love to explore the possibilities of extra-normal abilities. In other words, I’ve watched too many superhero movies and shows.
I read paranormal, urban fantasy, and historical. I read paranormal for the same reason I write it and historical because it transports me to a different time and place.
Right now I write every day in the evenings after I finish the day job.
At the moment I’m writing in the kitchen. I have a desk, but it is in my husband’s office in the basement and the view from the kitchen is more inspiring.
I prefer quiet but can write with noise or the TV as long as I’m not in front of it.
If I do listen, it has to be instrumental because I’ll start singing to the songs and that interrupts my writing flow.
I knew the theme was greed but one of my writing friends helped me with the plot.
Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
Usually the plot and then I “what if” the characters to go with the plot. The process is very interwoven together for me.
What 3 words describe you, the writer?
Slow and steady, a little funny, snarky (Peggy here: Lovelovelove those three descriptions!!!)
Karilyn, the Gal:
Favorite sound: Birds chirping
Least favorite sound: cars backfiring
Best song every written: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and Hotel California by The Eagles (yes, I know, that’s two, not one)
Worst song ever written: No idea
Favorite actor and actress: Harrison Ford and Sophie Turner
Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead): The Queen of England. I’d like to see how the rich and famous really live.
What turns you on? Kindness and people who really listen to you
What turns you off? Rudeness and an inability to listen to other people’s ideas
Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): I can’t remember so I guess nothing said was that bad!
What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleeping in then drinking coffee on the deck while reading a book
(Peggy here – Karilyn, you’re such a fascinating person! Thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Now, as promised, here’s a view of DEVIL FORGET ME)
DEVIL FORGET ME
What appears to be a simple crime, unmasks a chilling deception…
Gin Crawford, the world’s newest demon huntress, kills two minions who are breaking into a financial adviser’s office. But what she thinks of as another night in the life of a demon huntress leads to a cover-up of epic proportions. A demon haunts her employer, the Agency, and only she can stop it.
Aidan Smythe, her guardian mage and lover, along with her brother T, and the healer Eloise, join her search in discovering the demon’s identity. A search thwarted by a powerful spell.
Breaking the spell requires her to join forces with Zagan, the demon of deceit, the demon who marked her as his. But working together comes with a price. One Gin is not sure she can pay.
She chuckles as I sip my beer. “Not nothing. I am trying to discover the identity of the demon at theAgency.” She frowns. “It’s not going well. I know I know who the demon is, but every time I think of its identity”—her hands move in a poof motion—“it
“Yeah, I have the same problem.”
A memory pops into my mind. Two memories, actually. The first was of last night’s fight with Rahab. How the demon said he only had one demon left to kill in order to rule Hell. Mammon, the demon of greed. The second memory was from last week when Smythe and I went to the Agency. We ran into Chuck Tweedy, the Big Boss of the Agency, and my justitia couldn’t stop chanting “greedy.” I assumed the bracelet got its
words mixed up, exchanging Tweedy for greedy. But what if there was a connection?
A dull pain hammers my head. I rub my brow. What was I thinking? We were talking about the Agency demon. Who could it be?
“You do have the same problem.” Eloise touches my leg, and the headache disappears. “That’s what happened to me.”
“How did you know?” Eloise was blind, although I swear at times she sees fine. “I could feel your pain.” Her brow furrows. “Like a spell had been thrown at you that caused the headache. I wonder if the same thing happens when I get a headache from thinking on the demon’s identity.”
“Wait. You mean whenever I think about who the demon is, my thoughts trigger a spell? What does the spell do?”
Karilyn Bentley’s love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.
Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.
Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.
You can find Karilyn here:
See that little two line promo in the bottom righthand corner of this magazine cover? RISING STAR SPOTLIGHT: PEGGY JAEGER. That’s me!!! (hee hee ) Who knew at 58 years old you could be a “rising star?” One look at me and you know I’m not an ingenue, that’s for sure. In a society where ageism is so rampant and people over the age of 35 are looked on as if their lives are over and they should just step aside for the younger folks to get their shots at success, the romance industry embraces writers of any age – and I am proof of that, since my first romance book was published when I turned 55.
This is by far one of the best interviews I’ve ever given. The interviewer’s questions were so in-depth and deep, I really needed to put my thinking and memory cap on to answer most of them. I love that – I love having to dig deep into my psyche to answer something thoughtful. There are a few revelations about me in this article, so like the title of this blog asks – Think you know me? – you may find out you don’t know me as well as you thought. Here’s the link to the entire article. It uploads into a PDF that you can download on any device. InD’tale article.
InD’Tale mag was also gracious enough to review 2 of my books in late 2018, and you can read those reviews here: Dearly Beloved
If you’re a romance book lover, this entire issue is jam packed with great articles, including the one with Kendra Elliot – one of my favorite authors. But if you’re only looking for mine ( awww, thank you! Heehee) you can advance to page 32, where it starts. InD’Tale Magazine March 2019
I’ve got to tall ya, this was soooooooome ego boost for sure!
I’m so excited! I’ve got a brand new Wild Rose Press sistah to introduce you to today, and while she may be new to me, she’s certainly not new to the writing world! Lily Bly has a brand new book out TODAY! And I’m so thrilled she decided to stop by for a while and chat about writing, her life, and her new release, ENTICING THE BOSS ( PASSIONS’S PRICE BOOK 1)
So go grab a cup of the beverage of your choice, settle down, and read about this wonderful writer.
Lily, The Writer
What drives you to write? I love that I’m creating something new. The thrills and spills of the process drive me to keep writing. Starting with a blank page, creating characters, and telling their stories are all challenging and nerve-wracking highlights of the process, yet they’re extremely fulfilling, too.
What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write erotic contemporary and historical romance. I’m also working on an erotic paranormal. I’ve always liked the suspense element of a romantic buildup, no matter the heat-level, but I’ve never been good at ‘sweet.’ It always feels incomplete to me. I write erotic romance because I want to tell my characters’ complete experiences. (And come on, who doesn’t love some hot-n-heavy sex every now and then?)
What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I read all genres of romance for a couple of reasons. One, I just love the HEA, and two, I can learn about writing from everything I read. I enjoy trying to blend genres, and in order to do that, I need to read a variety.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I try to write every single day. With two kids and all the responsibilities raising a family brings, I end up juggling my schedule pretty often. I shoot for writing between breakfast and lunch and then again at night after the kids have gone to bed. I’m NOT a morning person, so sometimes, I’ll stay up late working. Unfortunately, my husband and both kids are usually up early. Ugh. More coffee, please.
Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I lost my home office spaces to each of my kids after they were born, so I now have a spot blocked off in our living room where I have most of my tech set up. I tend to move around, though. Sometimes I’ll use my desktop, sometimes my laptop or tablet in another part of the house or outside when the weather is nice. Occasionally just a notebook and pen in a comfy chair at the library are all I need.
Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision? ’m not too good at filtering out the sounds of a busy house. (The Stewie Griffin “Mom, mom, mommy, mama…” is no joke, folks.) My husband is a godsend though. He knows when I need some extra time alone to write, and he’ll take care of the kids for a while.
Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I always listen to music when I write. I build playlists specific for each of my WIPs. The music included really runs the gamut. I will listen to anything—pop, rock, rap, classical, country, alternative, folk. You name it. I was raised on country though. I love streaming Amazon music stations, Spotify playlists, and satellite radio.
How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your new release? I have always been a fan of unrequited-love situations with HEAs. I guess I think the emotional suffering by one of the characters makes the final relationship that much sweeter. I also have a soft spot for office romances, so I decided to combine the two.
Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? It’s kind of a mix. I’ll see a character in a situation and everything will spin off that, such as love interest, supporting characters, and the overall plot. I don’t have an answer as to ‘why.’ Ideas just always come to me in good and bad situations and tempers. I think it’s because I’ve always been a voracious reader.
What 3 words describe you, the writer? Dedicated – Impatient – Odd ( Peggy here: lovelovelove those descriptions!)
Lily, the Gal
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
Favorite sound Legato D note on a cello
Least favorite sound grinding teeth
Best song ever written “Ring Them Bells” by Bob Dylan
Worst song ever written “Yellow Submarine” by Lennon and McCartney
Favorite actor and actress Seth MacFarlane and Meryl Streep
Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Queen Elizabeth I because I’d like to know how she felt. We know how she acted, what she accomplished, who she interacted with. History tells us all of that, but I want to know how she felt about all of it—and any secrets she kept to herself.
What turns you on? Music
What turns you off? Tight pants
Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “My parole officer won’t mind.” ( Peggy here: I’m stealing this line for a book!)
What’s your version of a perfect day? Writing without interruption in front of a toasty fireplace during a blizzard
Jean Price has loved her boss for the last six years. Unfortunately, he’s been engaged to her treacherous stepsister. When the wedding is called off and a project puts Jean in close proximity with the sexy CEO, she jumps at the opportunity to show him how she truly feels. It’s time to start enticing the boss.
David Shep is finally seeing his father’s protégé for the stunning woman she truly is—in the office and in his bed. But when her support is conspicuously absent when he needs her most, he can’t help but wonder if he can trust her with his heart.
The smell of the scattered coffee grounds and the dawn sunlight streaming through the slats of the window blinds made me feel reckless. Seeking more of that sizzle, I eased a chair away from the table.
“These coffee grounds don’t want to come off my nylons.” I glanced over my shoulder to make sure he was looking. Then I placed a foot on the chair, edged my pinstripe pencil skirt up, rolled a thigh-high nylon down, over my knee, and eased it down over my calf. I swept my bare leg down from the chair and wadded up the nylon, tossing it into the nearby garbage can. I glanced at David, who stood rigidly next to the vacuum, gripping the power cord with white knuckles. I was pleased to see the sizzle he felt beginning to manifest against his khakis.
I pointed the toes of my other foot on the chair, flexing my calf, and took more time with the next nylon, raising my skirt a bit higher than was necessary.
“There,” I said with a sigh, tossing the second nylon into the trash. “That’s better. Back to work.”
buy links for Enticing the Boss (Book 1 of the Passion’s Price series):
(other links can be found at www.PassionsPrice.com as they become available)
Lily Bly lives in North Dakota and looks forward to winter. She prefers Marvel over DC, acoustic over electric, and tea over coffee. She thinks that love–whether sweet, sappy, or tough–is the stuff of life and likes her reading and writing to be chock-full of it. Before finally taking the plunge to write full time, she worked in various industries including funeral service, law enforcement, veterinary service, and retail health food. She writes heroines who can hold their own and heroes dying to hold them.
You can find Lily Bly here:
Peggy again – Lily thanks sososos much for stopping by in such a great day as your BOOK RELEASE DAY! I loved getting to know you and thanks for all the great insights into your life. Wishing you much success and many sales ~Peg
Today, I’ve got a really great interview over on BOOKAHOLIC all about how CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS came to be written. Stop by and discover some stuff about the book – and my weird writing process! There’s a rafflecopter!
Here’s the link to the interview :Bookaholic: Peggy Jaeger Interview https://www.ourtownbookreviews.com/p/what-made-you-want-towrite-this-book_14.html?spref=tw
And the link to the rafflecopter
and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB
A few weeks ago I was honored to be included in a podcast of TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK hosted and run by the fabulous and talented Stephen Lomer. I had sososos omuch fun doing it, even though I look wicked nervous and antsy!!! If you have a few free minutes, give it a watch. Here’s the link: TMAYDB
I am so pleased today to have one of my favorite people, favorite authors, and much-loved NHRWA chapter-mate, Gina Leuci, visiting me! She’s got a brand new book out from The Wild Rose Press and she’s here today to give us the 411 about it. CAPTIVE HEARTS is the continuation of last year’s release CAGED SOULS – a book I devoured in one afternoon because I simply could not put it down!!! I’m planning to free-up another afternoon for CAPTIVE HEARTS as soon as it downloads on my Kindle! Here’s Gina – show her some love and support, peeps!
Thank you, Peggy, for hosting me today as I celebrate the release of Captive Hearts, book two in my Well of Lies series. This story was incredibly fun to write. The characters spoke to me constantly, and there were days when I would be at my day job with the next scene forming in my head, that I would grab scraps of paper to get the proper wording down while it was fresh so I could go home and write late into the night. I got to the point where I was afraid to write anymore because the story had become so massive that I was way over my word count, but my critique group told me to keep writing and let the story out, editing would come later. They were right, of course. In the end, there was a natural place to split the book at the middle of the story.
First a quick recap: in Caged Souls, we meet Grace and her friends who decide to go on a summer internship from their hometown in Vermont to a farming community in Pennsylvania, where they believe they will be living off the grid – no phones, no internet – for a summer working farms and playing with horses. When they arrive in the town of Wellington, gates lock behind them and they are forced to wear electronic tracking braces and Grace is quick to realize she is trapped and not allowed to leave. Despite the attention and pursuit of the Town Manager’s son, Grace finds herself attracted to the Police Chief, Caleb, whose job is to keep her from going home. At the conclusion of Caged Souls, Caleb agrees to help Grace to escape the locked community.
So that brings us to Captive Hearts, which starts where we left off. Despite the promise of a return home, Grace and Caleb are very quick to discover that the members of the town council will go to any and all lengths to keep those inside the gates from leaving. Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say that security is increased and even the police chief is put onto high security watch, making escape for either of them near impossible. Being forced to live in close proximity, the two fall in love, but they both know Grace needs to go home to her family in Vermont, and Caleb has his own family behind those gates. Happily ever after seems an impossibility for them.
CAPTIVE HEARTS by Gina Leuci ( A Well of Lies, Book Two)
Grace Adams has discovered the true reason she was brought to the gated town of Wellington. Now she wants to leave more than ever. With the security level of the town raised to fortress level she is forced to marry the town’s police chief. Hoping to gain the trust of the townsfolk, they pretend to make their marriage look real. It isn’t long before their game of deceit and reality blur together.
When Police Chief Caleb Wellington returned to his hometown, he had his own reasons for increasing the town’s security. Now, he sees the town for what it is: a prison. His relationship with Grace opens feelings he hasn’t had in a while. The last thing he wants to do is say goodbye. But he made a promise to get her home and he is a man of his word.
Caleb shifted again as he reached over and took another sip of tea. “I’ve been giving that some thought. Do you remember what you said to me on your second day here?” He shook his head. “Probably not, you were stoned. Anyway, you said you needed to pretend to fit in so no one would know you planned to escape.”
I remembered making that plan with Jake, I didn’t remember spilling that to the chief.
He continued. “I think we should pretend to get along. Build trust. Act as though we are trying to make our marriage work.”
I swallowed, but had no saliva left. I grabbed my tea and gulped down the now tepid, bitter liquid. “How far are you planning on taking the farce?”
“Don’t go down that road, Grace,” he said softly. “You know I won’t disrespect you.”
Gina Leuci started reading romance at the age of thirteen and never stopped. She met her soul mate on a blind date and married him – not once, but twice: they eloped then had a church wedding, giving them two anniversaries to celebrate. They live in Southern New Hampshire with their son who makes them laugh every day, and two dogs who vie for control as queen of the residence.
And look for book 1, CAGED SOULS
Plus, here’s my review of Caged Souls. And a spoiler: it’s a 5star review!!!
Every now and again you meet a person who you know is going to be special in your life. Author JUDY KENTRUS is such a person for me. We met last year at the NECRWA conference and realized we both had a passion for telling stories about real people who weren’t in their 20’s and 30’s, but a wee bit older. We call what we like to read and write Seasoned romance and romancelandia is finally getting on board with the concept of love over the age of 40! And thank you, Jesus, for that!
Anyhoo… Judy is a prolific and talented author and she stopped by a bit ago and let me interview her about her writing and her personal life. I’m so pleased to share a little something from her latest release, A CHRISTMAS WISH, with you as well.
Judy, The Writer
There’s a little person that dances around my head with ideas; characters that demand their own story – some from my other books; it also fills a void in my life…
Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Seasoned Romance. What would a story be without comedy and mischievous kids. My characters are in their late thirties, forties and fifties. This age range opens up a world of HEA opportunities: starting over after a breakup/divorce; second chances, finding love later in life; empty nesters hoping to rekindle their love, etc. In The Wedding Gift, three ninety-year-olds, The Lemon Sisters, they formed a singing group, “borrowed” a van so they could crash the bridal shower.
I’ve an eclectic taste in books, right down to graphic novels like Captain Underpants and Dogman. Romance heads the top of the list, but a variety of books offer insight to all the genres so I don’t get bored.
I write every day, at least six to eight hours. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, boot up my laptop and write it down. If I’m not writing a book, I’m doing research. My daughter teases me about what I’ve researched, right down to how to sabotage break lines on semi, the ingredients in crystal meth, or how to give lap dance.
I have an office with a desk top computer. On the wall to the left of my writing area, is a dry erase board with my writing schedule that keeps me on track. It’s filled for 2019. Two large windows overlook my backyard. The wide windowsill is filled with a variety of houseplants. Since I live in the Poconos, my daily visitors are deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, red fox. Occasionally, black bears and their cubs meander up the driveway.
Total quiet? What’s that? My daughter and her family live with me so my two granddaughters – six and eight – keep things lively. They respect that when my office door is closed, I’m working, but… Yup, tunnel-vision.
Music? Absolutely. I love Sirius and Amazon Prime music. Depending on my mood, I listen to country, easy listening (depending on what I’m writing) old-school rock, the 70’s, 80’s. In every one of my books, I reference music. In my book Tea in Time, I had my character do a lap dance to Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night.”
My current WIP is my US Park Ranger Series. I read about the problem National Parks are experiencing with makers of Crystal Meth. I had a character shouting in my head – “Pick me! Pick me!” I also have a US Park Ranger living in my community and he agreed to be interviewed. I was blown away by what these Federal police officers have to face and decided to do a series.
I’d say it’s fifty-fifty. Plots play an important part of a book and drive the story, but it takes strong characters to move it along. My characters have a tendency to take over the storyline and take me in directions I never planned. I also like to people watch. Many times it leads to what if…
Driven, hard-working, dedicated,
Judy, my friend
(Peggy here: Can you see why I love this lady so much??!!)
Caleb Hughes Thompson, owner of Hughes Department Stores, business-driven world is shattered when he receives a letter, written by his recently deceased brother. Daniel thrived on high adventure and lived each day as if it were his last. His dying wish is to have Caleb locate his daughter, the result of a one night stand. He was to start his search in Eden Prairie, Kentucky.
Erin MacKenna is a single mom and a third grade teacher in the Abraham Lincoln primary school in Eden Prairie, Indiana. One crazy night of indiscretion resulted in the most wonderful gift she’d ever been given, her daughter Danielle. Not wanting to damage her daughter of a preacher reputation, she tells everyone she’d was artificially inseminated.
Caleb needs someone to help plan their in-store holiday promotion, Santa Traditions. A teacher in the primary school would qualify to help him It would also be the perfect place to start searching for his niece.
BONUS SHORT STORY: Danielle’s Snowy Wish
Formerly KW: Undercover Heart
Caleb Hughes Thompson looked out his wall of windows that overlooked Indianapolis. Their building was surrounded by skyscrapers, but he had a perfect view of the historic Soldier and Sailor’s Monument. In the ten years he’d lived here, he’d never taken the time to walk to the top of the monument. He had a bird’s eye view of the holiday tree lighting ceremony they had ever year, but he was too absorbed in his work.
In a little while, he had a meeting with department heads to review the holiday marketing for their two hundred department stores throughout the country. This would be their biggest push to achieve the company’s financial goal before the end of the year. Their online sales had already surpassed initial projections. He had seven weeks to prove his new marketing strategy would double their in-store sales.
As of an hour ago, his focus had changed.
He pushed his glasses to the top of his head and gently brushed his eyelids, trying to erase the burning sensation in his eyes. Crying had never come easy, but his body had sought some relief. The letter he’d just been given from his deceased brother would change his life, his priorities. His future.
He walked across the thick carpeting and settled in his high-back leather chair. With a slightly trembling hand, he picked up the letter written in his brother’s own hand six months ago.
Caleb, since you are reading this, I’m dead. Don’t cry for me. I’ve avoided responsibility, lived my life carefree, just the way I wanted. I knew there would be a high risk in this climbing adventure so I left this letter with our lawyer. You need to sit down before you read further.
I’m pretty sure I have a daughter.
Now close your mouth while I explain. About nine years ago, Ned, Paul, and I met three girls in a bar in Galveston Island. I know I slept with one of them because my pillow smelled very sweet. I also found a pair of pink panties.
Ryan worked at Marshall’s Stables before he took the bar exam and sometimes helped with the kids when they rode the horses. This little girl fell off her horse and hurt her foot. Ryan removed her boot and sock and was shocked to see the little hook in her pinky toe. He made a joke and asked her if she got her cute toe from her mother or father. She said her father because her mom had pretty toes. The little girl had a great laugh and called it her candy cane toe, the same thing we called our toes at her age. She was about six or seven and had reddish-brown hair. Unfortunately, Ryan never got her name. I haven’t lost my mind, but I plan to look for this kid when I get back – if I do.
You need to try to locate this little girl. I’d start in Eden Prairie, Indiana where Marshalls’ is located. This is just between us. No lawyers and don’t tell Mom and Dad. Don’t even know for sure if this kid really exists.
Right now you are cussing me out, calling me irresponsible, why didn’t I use protection, how the hell are you to find a kid that may or may not be your niece?
Get it, Caleb. Your niece.
She’s probably the only grandchild Mom and Dad will ever have, unless you decide to become a father at forty-two. Just make sure the kid is okay. If you can confirm she’s my daughter, get to know her. Who knows, some day you might be able to tell her about me. She’ll also be very rich.
On a personal note from brother to brother, you feed on ambition and success, but you’re choking behind that big-ass desk. Get out of that damn office. Take it from me, it’s time you changed your diet. You’ve got lots of money, but a very lonely future. Find someone to love.
No one ever took us for twins, but you were the best brother. I never said it much, but I love you Caleb. If St. Peter actually lets me in, I will keep a watch over you. If you’re doing something wrong or heading in the wrong direction, I’ll send down a message, better yet, a lightning bolt in the shape of a boot and kick you in the ass.
Caleb removed his glasses and rubbed his hands over his damp cheeks. Maybe Danny hadn’t been wrong living the vagabond life. He was always warm and giving, a little-known philanthropist, but every day had been an adventure. Was it time he took his brother’s advice and changed his diet? Would he be able to find this little girl?
A little more about Judy
I’m a romantic at heart, having married my high school sweetheart, who is still the love of my life. While raising our two children, I was a “closet” writer and managed to complete four books. With the e-book explosion, I bottled up my courage and selected my favorite book, reworked the story line, and self-published “Elusive Obsession,” November 6, 2013.
I like to create characters that the reader can relate to/with. Sometimes while writing a scene, I find myself laughing out loud at the hilarious situations I literally toss them into. They’re not perfect with beautiful bodies, they make mistakes, their not afraid to say I’m sorry, they are not afraid to compromise and they suffer all human emotions. Most important, they love with all their heart..
I like to read books with a “twist” or two in the storyline and you’ll find these OMG situations in my stories. They are stand alone books, but I bring the characters from the first book into the follow-up story. I’ve already got readers clamoring for the next book, “Maid to Order”, that centers around Russell, a character from “Elusive Obsession.”
My characters also love to spend time in the kitchen and whip up their favorite dishes and treats. You’ll find a yummy dish or sweet from the books on my website: judykentrus.com.
I hope you enjoy my books and I love to hear from my readers.
You can connect with Judy here:
Once again I have the sublime pleasure to introduce you to another one of my new WildRose Press sistahs, D.K. Deters. D.K. has a brand new book – her debut! – out on 11/12/18 just in time for the holiday season, titled CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN and she graciously agreed to sit down with me and tell a little about herself, her writing, and her new book. Sit back and learn about this new sistah of mine!
Hi Peggy. Thanks for having me on your blog. I’ve been looking forward to it! (Peggy here: as have I!!)
It started as an escape from my squabbling children and a tired husband—just kidding. I love writing, and it gives me tremendous pleasure when a stranger tells me they are a fan.
Christmas Once Again, a time travel fantasy, was a little out of my comfort zone, but the story fell into place. I’m more at home writing about western romance and hunky cowboys. My family always watched westerns on TV, and it seems natural to write about the Old West. But if I thought of another time travel plot, I’d go for it.
I’m open to most genres. However, a long time ago my daughter made me take her to the movie theater to watch Lord of the Rings because she had just read the series. Total respect for Tolkien, but it’s safe to say that after the umpteenth orc ran across the screen, this storyline wasn’t for me. (For Tolkien fans…I know…I know. My daughter has pointed out the error of my ways!)
I try to write every day. Wake up. Coffee. Write. Repeat last two steps about a bazillion times.
For many years, I wrote in the car. I was in a carpool, and it was a long commute. When my son moved out, his bedroom became my office. It also has a gigantic closet, which I jokingly refer to as the office annex.
Although I can work with most noises, I’m at my best when it’s quiet. The TV is the biggest offender.
Sometimes, I’ll start my day with a little music. Blake Shelton’s song Home is one of my favorites.
I was watching a news broadcast about a snow skiing accident. Ordinary people had pitched together to save a stranger’s life. It got me to thinking about how one selfless act could be life-changing. The rest…well…you’ll have to read the story.
That’s a tough question, but I usually decide on the plot first and build the story from there. In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking about the MC’s characteristics.
11. If you could relive one day, what would it be? Why?
I’d pick my daughter’s wedding day, which holds many of my fondest memories. Their romance had spanned from high school through college. Over two hundred friends and relatives came to celebrate the day with them. And when the couple exchanged their wedding vows, I knew they were perfect for each other.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
Thanks again for inviting me. I’ve had a great time visiting with everyone!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN, by D.K. Deters
She’s dead broke. And eviction looms. On Christmas Eve antique consultant Madison Knight takes a phone call from local rancher Zach Murdock. Through a mix-up at an estate sale, Madison’s company purchased his grandmother’s beloved painting. He offers double the money for its return.
Madison risks her job to track down the artwork, but success falls short when she’s stuck in a blizzard. Stranded, she seeks help from a frontier family. Are they living off the grid, or did she somehow travel through time?
Zach’s the only person who knows her plan. He also knows a secret about his gran’s painting. It’s up to him to rescue Madison, but maybe he’s not cut out to be a hero.
“My grandmother had an estate sale last week, and she didn’t want it sold, unfortu—”
“Oh?” She should’ve kept quiet. Run-ins with greedy family members happened in the antique business, and a judging attitude didn’t increase revenues.
“It wasn’t on purpose,” he said. “The day was chaotic, and someone had shuffled around the artwork. We didn’t realize it was missing until a couple of days ago, and it took this long to sort out the mix-up and discover your shop bought it.”
She felt guilty for jumping to the wrong conclusion. “I see how that could happen. It’s obvious the piece is treasured by your grandmother. If it becomes necessary, we have the resources to find a similar style. Is there a specific artist or significance?”
Held hostage by the slow computer response and trying not to rush him, she picked up one of the hand weights, intending to fit in a few curls.
“Keep in mind Gran’s ninety-two, and she thinks…”
“Uh-huh.” With her free hand, she grabbed the latte and took a sip.
“Gran thinks it holds a special power.”
Madison chose that moment to swallow, and the creamy espresso went down the wrong pipe. A dry, hacking cough followed, and she dropped her hand weight, which thudded on the carpet. For heaven’s sake, he didn’t hear her, did he?
D. K. Deters credits her parents, who grew up in southeastern Kansas, for inspiration to write about the Old West. From an early age, the likes of Jesse James and the Dalton Gang were often included in family lore. To this day, she’s not sure how much is true.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business, D. K. followed a profession in the telecommunications industry before turning to a writing career. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her adult children and their families.
Connect with D. K. Deters here:
Today is a real treat for me. Three years ago I attended my first NJRWA conference and met this lovely lady I’m about to introduce you to. We sat together in a Margie Lawson masterclass and just clicked! I’ve watched her writing career grow and flourish since then, and now I am proud to call her one of my dear Wild Rose Press sistahs! Mona Sedrak is a fabulous, lyrical, and emotional writer and her new book SIX MONTHS will have you crying and simultaneously cheering. I could wax on for hours about her writing style and how she treats a very emotional subject, but I think I’ll let her tell you all a little about herself and her book, instead.
Here’s my friend, Mona Sedrak, in her own words.
Mona, The Writer
Writing has always been an outlet for me––it allows me to express myself and make sense of my world. In many ways, writing is freeing. When I write, I leave the world I live in and enter a new world of my creation. I enjoy writing stories that emulate the real world and the challenges women and men encounter and overcome. I am a huge romantic and really believe love can conquer all.
I mainly write contemporary/ sweet romance. Writing about strong women, their families, and the men in their lives comes naturally. While romance is at the center of every story I write, my books are a highly emotional ride that portray the importance of family bonds and treasured friendships.
I am an avid reader and I read just about everything in the romance genre–– from historical to MC novels, to the occasional erotic romance. I love getting lost in a well-build story with fully developed characters and storylines that keep me turning the page. My favorite books are those that give readers a good laugh and a good cry.
I try to write every day, but I don’t always succeed. Some days, after I get home from my day job, my energy level only goes as far as social media and email. Other days, the words flow. Weekends are my big writing days and I usually write 5000-6000 a week.
In February I moved to a new house where I set up a writing room. The room is on the second floor, tucked in the corner of the house. I like to write in silence and this room is perfect. I have a small, antique writing desks and a rather large leather chair. The room has a large window that invites the sun in and warms the room. I bought a fabulous floor to ceiling, multi-sectional bookcase from Ikea a month ago and it stretches from wall to wall holding all my treasures. I love the room and most days I write in there. Some days, however, I write best in the family room in an oversized chair with my dog at my feet or even at Starbucks with noise-cancelling headphones.
I need silence so I can hear my characters in my head, uninterrupted by the surrounding world. If the house is noisy, I wear Bose noise-cancelling headphones and listen to white-noise.
8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
My current WIP is titled – Gravity. It is actually one of the most difficult stories I have ever written. The story is based on my middle eastern culture. It is a contemporary romance of a woman who makes a mistake and breaks cultural norms. She is shunned by her family and has to start her life anew.
Plot always comes first. I can’t imagine with just starting with a character without the guts of the story at least imagined. I don’t always know the road the characters will travel, but I know the struggles they will face.
Mona, the Gal
Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!
I was born in Cairo, Egypt and learned how to speak English by watching General Hospital and One Life to Live.
Who was your first love and what age were you?
My husband was my first and only love. I met him when I was nineteen and married when I was twenty. We have been married for 32 years. ( Peggy here: awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww)
If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….
That’s an easy one…the day I first saw my husband’s face. It was also the day I publicly broke with a man I was seeing at a family function with about 50 people. The break up was completely unplanned, and I actually had no idea my future husband was in the room. We never said a single word to each other and our eyes never even met. But looking back at it now, there are a few things I may have done differently.
Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?
Really? I’ll never tell and why must I choose? (Good point, my friend!)
If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?
Eye-brow pencil…I’m aging, and you know what happens when you age? You learn to draw them babies in!
What three words describe you, the person? Introvert, realist, romantic
If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?
Who’s Jimmy Fallon? IDK – Shakira’s – Hips Don’t Lie. Cause – why not and it’s ridiculous.
If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?
Scarlet O’Hara – I’ve always loved her character and the transition from child to adult. She was selfish and selfless, and she could definitely be a prima donna, but could also role up her sleeves and work. The girl had grit. I think we would dress in beautiful gowns, sip sweet tea, stroll around Tara, and say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
Favorite sound: waves crashing on the shore
Least favorite sound: nails on a chalkboard
Best song every written: “You Raise Me Up”
Worst song ever written: “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”
Favorite actor and actress: Robert Redford, Barbara Streisand
Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead): Okay – this may be weird, but I thought a lot about this, and there isn’t anyone I would want to be for a day. I am blessed in so many ways. I have an amazing husband of 32 years, two beautiful children and a sweet grandchild and tons of great friends. I wouldn’t want to miss even one day with the people I love. that would be one day I could never get back.
What turns you on? I’m a simple girl, quiet nights, good wine, warm cuddle with a man who loves me.
What turns you off? Pretentious, disingenuous behavior.
Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): “I live with my mother.”
What’s your version of a perfect day?
I would love to have all my family in a tropical location…an easy beach day with everyone doing whatever they like. Enjoying good food, family, friends…loving each other, counting our blessings.
For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters. Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.
With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.
Wandering from room to room, she memorized every detail of the life she and David built––the family photos lining the mantel, the hand-carved jewelry box David bought her on their honeymoon in Salzburg, and Molly’s tea set arranged on the coffee table for evening tea. A cold, hollow ache took residence in her belly where the knot of dread made its appearance that morning. The sensation expanded with alarming speed, dug in deep, and planted roots. Like an unwanted guest appearing without warning and bringing too many bags for just a brief visit, sorrow moved in, shifted, and stretched then got comfortable for the long haul.
When the house line rang, Mikala froze, and her gaze darted to the cordless on the couch. Her breath stuttered. Her heart seized. Clarity forced its way past the tentacles of sheer terror strangling, dominating, and paralyzing her. She shook her head and took a step forward, only to be hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea so tremendous, she doubled over wrapping her arms around her womb. Mikala’s entire being, inside and out, shook as her heart tumbled about in her chest without a set time, tempo, or rhythm. Her breaths grew shallow and choppy, and her legs turned to rubber. The cord tethering Molly to her and this world had been severed.
The telephone rang four times before Mikala forced her body to cooperate. God, she hadn’t wanted to answer. She hadn’t wanted to know. She’d even considered not answering, protecting herself and her beautiful family from the annihilation of their world.
People said she was strong––the strongest woman they knew. They said in time she would heal. She would build another life. And God didn’t give you more than you could handle. People were idiots. They had no idea how in her head she raged. She howled, and shrieked, and wailed…and begged, and pleaded for mercy. All day. All night. Every day. Every night.
A little more about Mona
Mona Sedrak lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and works as a university administrator and professor. Although she has co-published two academic books, she is now writing contemporary romance, mainstream fiction and women’s fiction. She is an avid reader, enjoying many different genres.
Mona lives with her husband of 32 years, a geriatric maltipoo, and an Amazon Parrot named Pretzel. She binge watches too many shows to count and she loves fine brandy.
You can connect with Mona here:
Reader’s Favorite has given the book a five-star rating.
Six Months made the shortlist for the Chatelaine Book Awards
The CHATELAINE Book Awards recognize emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genre of Romantic Fiction and Women’s Fiction.
These titles have moved forward in the judging slush rounds to the 2018 Chatelaine Book Awards SHORT LIST. These entries are now in competition for the limited 2018 Chatelaine Semi-Finalists from which the First Place Category Positions will be chosen. The Chatelaine Book Awards Semi-Finalists and First Place Positions along with Chatelaine Grand Prize Award Winner will be announced at the Awards Gala on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.