Tag Archives: Author

My first #authorinterview of 2020! Meet Helen C. Johannes

My first Author Interview for 2020 is with Wild Rose Press sistah, Helen C. Johannes. Helen writes fantasy romance laden with rich characters and lush settings through the pages. She has a new book out, LORD OF DRUEMARWIN, and she’s giving you a sneak peek at the end of this interview, so stick around.

First, lets’s find out a bit about Helen’s 2 lives – the writer, and the gal:

Helen C. Johannes, The Writer 

1. What drives you to write?

Stories in my head clamoring for attention and characters who simply won’t be denied their day in print.

2. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why?

Fantasy romance. My beloved first book was a collection of fairy tales from the European tradition. Plus, I spent formative years in the heart of Europe’s castle country where all things medieval surrounded me and history fascinated me. I could have gone into historical romance but for one important trait: I really, really like playing by my own rules. Fantasy romance lets me build medieval-style worlds that deliver the kind of storylines I want, limited only by my imagination.

3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

I read across genres but my go-to genre is romantic suspense, both historical and contemporary. I found Agatha Christie and Mary Stewart early on, and the seamless blend of love and danger hooked me. That’s probably why I incorporate some kind of ‘ticking time bomb’ in my fantasy romances.

4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

As often as I can but not every day. Life has a way of setting its own schedule.

5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

I write on my laptop at the kitchen table. It’s the warmest, sunniest room in the house (I live in a northern climate) and snacks/beverages are readily available. Plus, I’ve put my comfy office chair right up to the table

6. 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?

When I’m deep into a scene and the words are flowing, I’m totally oblivious to anything else. Most days, though, I need quiet, or at least no one talking around or to me.

7. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

Sometimes I put on a little music, but it has to be instrumental or I’ll listen to the words rather than concentrate on my work. Lord of the Rings soundtrack or Enya, for example.

8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

The idea originated from unfinished business in PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE and, oddly enough, the Princess and the Pea fairy tale. Book one ends with their world on the brink of a new beginning. I had introduced a love interest for a major character near the end, and their love story just begged, nagged to be told in that context. My heroine faces the dilemma of the outsider, the princess who is tested by the proverbial pea to see if she and her love are worthy of the hero, his people, and the new alliances. I had fun writing all the complications that ensue before the happily ever after.

9. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

Kind of both, togetherI’m what I call an ‘into the mist’ writer. That means I’m a pantser with an initial, loose plan of some serious problems for my characters to solve. The way they solve those problems usually morphs as I go along and as the characters reveal more about themselves. For me, the proverbial carrot that engages me in any story is finding out where it goes and enjoying the ride.

10. What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Intuitive, creative, layered (Peggy here: I lovelovelove that description – layered!!! fabulous!)

Helen, the Gal:

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

I double-majored in German and English.

  1. Who was your first love and what age were you?

My grandmother’s neighbor’s boy; I think I was 12, he was 14.

  1. 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….

Meeting my husband; we danced the polka, badly, and talked for hours.

  1. What’s one thing you love about your significant other?

He’s my best friend and full partner.

  1. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it item, what would it be?

Milk chocolate—as long as I could still have dark chocolate

  1. What three words describe you, the person?

Reserved, problem-solver, questioner

  1. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

I don’t sing. Honestly, nobody wants me to sing.

  1. 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?

I would go to Tuscany with the leads from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Breathing Room. I’d sit down to a homemade dinner outside the little farmhouse, eat all those fabulous foods, sample the local wines, and soak up the raucous interplay of that wild and loving multi-generational family.

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

1.      Favorite sound – Ocean or lake waves

2.      Least favorite sound – Crying—babies, cats, dogs

3.      Best song every written – Bridge over Troubled Water

4.      Worst song ever written – Barking Jingle Bells

5.      Favorite actor and actress – Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn

6.      Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) – I’m pretty happy in my own skin

7.      What turns you on? – Sunshine, warm temps, and best friends

8.      What turns you off? – Lies

9.      Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) – I don’t remember words, but I remember painfully knocking knees while dancing—once—with an enthusiastic but inept partner.

10.  What’s your version of a perfect day? – Relaxing on an ocean cruise liner on a warm, sunny day at sea.

(Peggy here: I feel like we could be sistahs, Helen!! I lovelovelove Cary Grant and Kate Hepburn and grew up watching their movies and memorizing all the lines! Hee Hee)

And now, a little about LORD OF DRUEMARWIN

 PAGES FROM THE HEART Winner in Fantasy Romance

In a world of lies and betrayal, can they trust each other?

Blurb:

Lady Raell can fight, ride, and argue politics as well as her brothers. Only being mistress of her father’s household keeps her in skirts. In Naed, the new Lord of Druemarwin, she has found devotion, a kindred spirit, and a marriage promise. But when a forgotten and unwanted betrothal comes to light, she has no choice but to run.

Amidst sweeping revolution, Naed must rally his people, fend off assassination attempts, and fight against claims he’s a traitor. Then he discovers everything about his lineage and family is a lie. And his beloved belongs to another.

With lives and a kingdom at stake, Raell and Naed must find a way to protect the innocent and save their love.

Excerpt:

“Raell, now is not the time—”

Aye, it wasn’t. They stood in torchlight on an open parapet while assassins stalked them, but this might be her only chance to reach him across that precipice he’d thrown up between them, to secure the future they were meant to share.

“Does my honor mean naught? When weighed with D’nalian honor, is mine lesser because ‘tis a woman’s honor? Or because ‘tis a Tolemak’s honor? Be honest and tell me that.”

The world had gone silent; Raell could hear nothing over the rush of blood in her ears, the terrible heavy beats of her heart while she waited, dizzy with fear, breathless with longing, for the man she loved to respond with a word, a look, even a blink. Even a shift of his gaze she’d take as a sign he’d at least heard, mayhap begun to consider—

“Yes, be honest, Lord Naed,” said a voice she’d heard but once, a voice that raised all the fine hairs on her body and made her innards contract into a cold, tight knot. “Tell us both how much honor means to a bastard who’s betrayed his countrymen and his blood.”

You can get your copy here:

 Amazon // Nook // 

A little more about Helen:

Helen C. Johannes writes award-winning fantasy romance inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading and the amazing historical places she’s visited in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. She writes tales of adventure and romance in fully realized worlds sprung from pure imagination and a lifelong interest in history, culture, and literature. Warriors on horseback, women who refuse to sit idly at home, and passion that cannot be denied or outrun—that’s what readers will find in her books.

 You can connect with Helen here:

Blog // Amazon // Goodreads // Bookbub //

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#SundaySnippet 12.16.18

Since I’m currently on a blog tour for this book through Goddess Fish, it makes sense today’s little sumthin’ sumthin’ should come from Christmas and Cannolis, no?

Not everyone in the book is Italian/American. Connor’s uncle, Aiden Gilhooly, a son of Ireland, fills this scene with charm and an impish banter that is so delightful to the ears ( at least I think its! Hee Hee) that I can hear him speak every time I read his dialogue. Hope you can, too.

Our server returned with our food, cutting off what Connor was about to say. At the same time a tall, broad-shouldered and barrel-chested, well- dressed man of an age similar to my father’s sauntered over to our table. Connor slid out of the booth and was enveloped in behemoth arms and smacked on the back like a prodigal.

“It’s been too long, boyo,” the giant said. “Too long. You’re looking well. Busy?”

“Ridiculously.”

“Aye, that’s good then. Keep ya off the streets and outta trouble. And who’s this vision, now?” He stared down at our table, and I did a quick side glance to figure out who he was referring to. Vision is a word no one would apply to me. Ever.

“Regina San Valentino. She owns her own bakery and makes the most amazing things you will ever taste in your life.”

“Is that so? Well, it’s nice to meet you, young lady.” He reached a hand across the table, and mine completely disappeared in it. “Aiden Gilhooly, this young hooligan’s favorite uncle, is me name.”

“You’re my only uncle,” Connor said, shaking his head.

“And happy you should be about it, boyo.”

“Like I have a choice?”
It was impossible not to smile at the loving, playful banter between them. Aiden Gilhooly looked and sounded nothing like Connor. If he hadn’t told me they were related, I would never have guessed it. Both were tall, yes, but that’s where the similarity began and ended. Connor’s complexion was olive and swarthy, while his uncle’s was vampire pasty, as if he shunned sunlight at all costs. A mop of mostly white hair tinged with faded patches of pale red sat on a head as round as a pumpkin. Eyes so blue they were almost transparent peeked out from under wooly white eyebrows while fat freckles danced across his nose and chubby cheeks.

If I’d thought Connor’s heritage was anything other than full-blown Irish before now, meeting this uncle who had Ireland stamped across his features surely would have put an end to that thought.

“This is my place,” Aiden said, a cheek-wide smile beaming at me. “And welcome you are, Miss San Valentino.”

“Reggie,” I said, smiling back at him. “All my friends call me Reggie.”

“And it’s delighted I am to be thought one.” He brought my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles. Charm was stacked into this family’s genes by the fistful.
“Now, boyo, sit yourself back down and eat before it gets cold.” He motioned for a waiter and held up an index finger. When Connor was seated back next to me, Aiden pulled a chair from a nearby table and sat with us.

“I’ve been meaning to call,” Aiden said, “about that reservation app you set up for the place.”

“Trouble?”

“Not at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Revenue’s been up twelve percent since it went live. I’ve been meaning to call to thank ya for forcing me old keister into the twenty-first century.”

Connor’s gorgeous face split into the most devilish grin, and a shock of pure lust whipped through me making the space at the top of my thighs tingle. How was it possible that just moments before I’d been feeling depressed and miserable, but one look at this man’s mirthful face and those feelings dissipated, to be replaced by sensations I hadn’t felt in forever?

Madonna.

I was glad I was sitting, my nether regions under the table. I was sure they were visibly quivering and shaking.

“It only took me, what?” Connor cocked his head as he laughed at his uncle. “Ten years of asking?”

“Pesterin’ and harassing me nonstop, is more the truth.”

“Well, I’m glad it worked.”

“Aye. Me, too, boyo.”

I simply adore Aiden. And Connor, Hell, everyone in the book is near and dear to my heart! Now for a little extra. Have you ever wondered what the author of a story intended you to hear when she wrote a scene? I have, so I’m giving you an example of how the voices in my head ( why does that sound so wrong to say?? Hee hee) sound when they speak to me.  Click on the following link and you’ll get to my You Tube page where I narrated a bit from the book. Regina’s Independence Scene.

and if you’re ever looking for me, I’m here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

And one more little extra for you: Christmas and Cannolis trailer: 

 

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A Summer Reading Sale! #LoveIsLovelier by Donna Simonetta

One of my main writing sistahs, Donna Simonetta, is having a summer 99centsale on a book I gave 5 stars to after reading. It was one of the most charming books I’d read in a long, long time, too! Check Donna and her books, out:

Love is Lovelier 

Heather and Mick have a long history together, and Heather wants to leave it in the past where it belongs. Yet, here Mick is, very much in her present, thanks to her brother Jeff, who hired Mick to be her boss at the Retreat at Rivers Bend.

It wouldn’t be so bad, except Heather and Mick are still attracted to each other like metal to a magnet. Oh, and her brother is considering offering Mick a partnership in the Retreat, which by rights should be hers. And even if they act on their attraction, Heather is a small-town, country girl, and proud of it, whereas Mick can’t get far enough from his West Virginia coal-mining roots.

Will they be able to get a second chance at their first love and find their happy ending together in Rivers Bend?

Excerpt:

“Stick close. I’ll get you out of here.”

He used his broad shoulders as a wedge to propel himself though the crowd; Heather scurried to keep up with him so she could take advantage of the gap he created, not wanting to be so close that she could feel the warmth of his body through his elegant suit, but because she needed somehow to beat this crush of people to the Retreat to make sure that everything was in place for the post-christening party she’d planned for Bethanne – only perfection would do for her BFF.

She watched Mick’s back as she stuck close to him; he looked so strong and fit – it was hard to imagine him the way he was ten years ago, when he’d suffered his NFL career-ending injury, but the same business acumen that kept him with the Portland Pintos organization back then was the reason Jeff and Cisco hired him at the Retreat.

He’d be good for business – she’d just have to keep chanting those words in her head like a mantra, or else she’d do one of two things she’d regret – kill Mick, or kiss him, and she’d gone the kissing route with him before. It did not end well. And tempting as the killing option was at the moment, it probably wouldn’t end any better.

Buy Links:

Amazon // B*N // The Wild Rose Press // Amazon UK

Author Bio:

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Find Donna Here:

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon  // Bookbub

 

 

 

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#GoddessFishBlogTour Final Day!!!

So yesterday was a bit of a kerfuffle- the blogger who was going to host me for the day put up the post really late so I never got a chance to publicize it. Here it is now.  Brooke Blogs. But never fear – I’ve got  2 great stops today ( one of them at one of my fav websites, Long and Short Reviews!) Stop by Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books for a little discussion and then Long and Short Reviews (Yippie). And since this is the last day of my tour ( and boy, am I tired!!!) make sure you’ve visited all the other stops and clicked on the rafflecopter for a chance at that $50 Amazon gc!

Thanks to all the remarkable and wonderful hosts this past month. The reviews have been wonderful and all the stops memorable. I simply adore Goddess Fish Promotions. 

If you missed any of the stop, click here:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books
April 2: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review only
April 2: K.T. Castle
April 3: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
April 4: The Avid Reader
April 4: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
April 5: Readeropolis
April 6: Straight From the Library
April 9: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
April 9: Hearts and Scribbles
April 10: XoXo Book Blog
April 10: Joanne Guidoccio
April 11: Bookaholic – review only
April 11: Two Ends of the Pen
April 12: Brooke Blogs
April 13: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

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#GoddessFishBlogtour Day 18 !

 

Holy cow, am I tired! Exhilarated, but wicked tired too! I’ve got another 2-stop blog tour today. I’m over on Two Ends of the Pen ( love that title!) and have an amazeballs  review over on Bookaholic ( which, just saying, I am!!) Stop by and drop me a line. We’re almost at the end of the tour. If you’ve missed any of the stops so far, here’s a recap:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books
April 2: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review only
April 2: K.T. Castle
April 3: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
April 4: The Avid Reader
April 4: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
April 5: Readeropolis
April 6: Straight From the Library
April 9: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
April 9: Hearts and Scribbles
April 10: XoXo Book Blog
April 10: Joanne Guidoccio

Some of them you may ned to scroll around a little to find me because it’s been a minute since I visited with them!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Literary characters, Romance, Romance Books, The Laine Women, The Voices of Angels

#GoddessFishBlogtour Day 17…

Hey kids!! We’re still plodding along on the tour. Today I’m putting on my flying wings because I’m in two place at once again. First, I’m stopping at my dear writing friend Joanne Guidoccio’s blog. Joanne and I go waaaaaay back at the Wild Rose Press. In addition to having a great blog with timely topics and fab guests, she’s an awesome cozy mystery writer and a one-click author for me!. Then I’m hopping over to XOXO Book Blog talking about, well, the book! Stop by, leave love and take a chance in that $50 Amazon gc that’s going to be awarded at the end of the tour ( which is this friday!!!)

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#goddessfishsblogtour #week 4


It’s hard to believe this the the final week of my tour. Just a few more days, folk. Today, another 2-fer. I’m over on Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princes ( GREAT blog title!) and Hearts and Scribbles ( another good title!) Drop by and see what we’re talking about today. For the next 3 days, I’m on 2 sites per day so I’m gonna be busy – and I hope you follow along.

Here’s a recap so far if you missed any of the stops:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books
April 2: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review only
April 2: K.T. Castle
April 3: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
April 4: The Avid Reader
April 4: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
April 5: Readeropolis
April 6: Straight From the Library

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Filed under Author, Cooking, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, The Laine Women

#GoddessFishBlogTour Week 3 Ends with a bang!

I’m having a hard time realizing that this is the end of the third week of my tour already. You know what that means ( aside from I’m tired! hee hee) It means I have today and then 5 more days before this is over!! Don’t worry, though. Next week there are 3 days where I have 2-fer stops so that’s still a lot of the cyberverse bloggersphere to cover. Today I’m over at Straight from the Library. Stop by and leave me some love. And don’t forget that rafflecopter chance while you visit me.

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#goddessfishtour Day 14. #Readeropolis and me…

Have you been keeping up with the tour? Got your rafflecopter chance? Left a comment on any of the stops? YOu still have some chances for that and to “see” me. I’ve got another 7 days of stops and today I am over on Readeropolis with an excerpt from the book. Stop by. Leave me some love.

And if you missed any stops along the way, click on them here: ( you might have to scroll thru 1 02 of them to find my post because it’s been a minute, you know!

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books
April 2: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review only
April 2: K.T. Castle
April 3: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
April 4: The Avid Reader
April 4: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#goddessfishblogtour Day 13… still going strong

I am exhausted!!! Yesterday’s book birthday was the most I’ve worked in a longlonglong time!!! But it was fun, that’s for sure. So, Back to the tour, still going on. Today  I’m over on the Avid Reader talking about all stuff writing related. Stop by and leave me some  love.

And if you missed it, I was featured on USA Today’s HEA Blog yesterday. Click here to read the interview. It’s was oodles of fun to do.

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