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
Tag Archives: New Release
I’m so excited! One more day until CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS releases into the book-loving ROMCOM world. Today, I’m over at Journeys with Jana, talking about my favorite scene from the book and READ YOUR WRITES BOOK REVIEW Blog as part of my Goddess Fish tour.
Stop by and leave me some love!!!
With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.
Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.
Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?
It had been a long, long time since a guy’s hands had been on me in anything resembling a carnal way. My ex had decamped to parts unknown five years ago after signing the divorce papers and I’d been so busy rebuilding my life that adding any kind of relationship to it wasn’t even a notion. Besides, with my hovering parents, one of whom worked for me while the other popped in daily to check up on their only daughter, I had enough on my plate fending off the men they wanted to introduce me to. Guys who, for the most part, had shady lifestyles, carried concealed, and owed my father innumerable favors. And by favors I mean the kind that usually get signed for in blood and paid back the same way.
Welcome to mia familia.
There are times in my life when I seriously wonder if there are angels looking out for me from above, guiding my life, and making things happen. Last night was one of those times.
Quick story: I was trolling through the internet and figured I’d check my facebook page. I see this:
Read a Joyously Sweet New Release Available Early!
With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. And she’s got no time for love between managing her business and dealing with her crazy Italian family. But when a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help, Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him. Connor Gilhooly needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser. With the reputation of his company on the line, he didn’t plan on falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with her wise-guy father and a disapproving family. Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?
I had to look at the post twice because I thought I was hallucinating.
When I realized it was real, I screamed. Really loud and really long. Thank God no one was home!!
I don’t know how this came about, but those angels I mentioned must have been busy working their magic.
So -here comes the shameless plug ( you knew it was coming!) If you have a NOOK e-reader, why not get this book 2 whole weeks before it’s released into the romance book reading world??? Do a sistah a solid, okay? You’ll be happy you did. Trust me. I know these things. Hee hee.
And if you don’t have a Nook, you can preorder the book now and get it delivered on the release date of 12.12.18 from these sites:
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!!)
- What drives you to write?
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.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why?
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.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
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!)
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?
I try to write every day. Wake up. Coffee. Write. Repeat last two steps about a bazillion times.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen?
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.
- Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds and your tunnel-vision?
Although I can work with most noises, I’m at my best when it’s quiet. The TV is the biggest offender.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?
Sometimes, I’ll start my day with a little music. Blake Shelton’s song Home is one of my favorites.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
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.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
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.
- What three words describe you, the writer? Perfectionist. Plotter. Worrier. And not necessarily in that order.
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:
- Favorite sound –my grandchildren laughing
- Least favorite sound – dentist drill
- Best song ever written – Always and Forever
- Worst song ever written – Too many to pick just one
- Favorite actor and actress – Kris Pine and Gal Gadot
- What turns you on? Great stories
- What turns you off? Physics
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date: Can we take your car?
- What is your version of a perfect day? The perfect day is knowing my family is safe and well.
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:
I’m singing Happy Book Birthday to myself in my office right now! heehee.
HOPE’S DREAM ( A Deerbourne Inn Novella) released today and I’m over the moon. This is just the second addition to the new series from The Wild Rose Press, and since I got in on the ground floor – so to speak!- I wanted to make sure I wrote a story that was true to the series bible, the Deerbourne Inn itself, and me! I’ve never written a sweet romance before so I learned a lot about myself as a writer with this one, peeps, RESTRAINT being the biggest thing. I hope you enjoy the book and that you’ll become a big Deerbourne Inn fan. There are many more books to come in the series and I’ll be profiling them and their authors in future blogs.
Just in case you haven’t seen or read the blurb yet – here it is one more time.
Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.
Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.
The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?
And just as a reminder, here’s the origination story BY RESERVATION ONLY by Barbara Edwards
And remember, when I’m not out singing Happy Book Birthday To me, you can find me here :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me
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
- What drives you to write?
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.
- What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?
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.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
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.
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?
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.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?
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.
- 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?
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.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I don’t listen to music while I write, but I often find inspiration by lyrics while I drive, cook, etc…
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.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
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.
- What 3 words describe you, the writer? Emotional, descriptive, multi-layered (Peggy Here: I think those are perfect descriptions for her as a writer!)
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.
One of the best things about being an author is the people you meet along the way who are connected to the publishing business. That includes great authors that I didn’t know before my journey began. One of those authors is Wild Rose Press sistah Jeny Heckman. Read her biography below and you’ll know why I now think of her as a sister from another mister! She’s got a new book out from TWRP, THE SEA ARCHER and it’s hoping up the charts! Read a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about it here and then stick around because Jeny recently gave me a great deal of insight into her writing, persona, and thought processes. Like I said: I think we were separated at birth! ( even though I’m oodles older than she is, hee hee!)
When opposites meet, the attraction is undeniable, but Fate has other plans.
THE SEA ARCHER
Raven Hunter, a musical prodigy, flees to the Hawaiian Islands to pick up the pieces after her marriage to her manager collapses. Instead, she experiences extraordinary and unsettling events that are beyond her understanding.
Living in paradise, marine biologist, Finn Taylor has the unconscious but effortless ability to understand the needs of the animals he cares for. His playboy lifestyle is most men’s fantasy. That is, until the night he meets the shy and elusive new island resident. Suddenly his life no longer feels like his own. The attraction is undeniable. However, vastly contrasting lives, peculiar dreams, and an unbelievable proclamation that they could be the direct descendants of Poseidon and Apollo threaten to divide them forever. Will they accept their destiny and begin the quest of a lifetime or will they remain in their comfortable yet separate existence?
“Finn, I understand it sounds crazy, really. I knew nothing about Greek mythology or who any of these people were until she told them to me.”
“And now you think Poseidon… I’m assuming you think I’m some offshoot of Poseidon, right?”
“You have a trident on your back.”
“Because I thought it was cool when I was twenty-years-old.”
“And you’ve never felt anything strange that you can’t explain?”
“And Raven,” he continued, unwilling to entertain those thoughts. “Who I just met, is Apollo? You realize, Apollo was a dude, the boy half of the twins, right?”
“God of music.”
A little about Jeny
Jeny Heckman, loves romance. She especially loves romance with a paranormal and/or historical twist. Educated as an artist, banker, sales clerk, draftsman, charity fundraiser, jewelry maker, nursing student, hospice volunteer, photographer, mother, and wife, she felt her calling lay elsewhere. While taking care of an ailing loved one, she was inspired to write her first novel entitled, The Catch, about a female Alaskan crab fisherman, and self-publish it. Wanting to try something very different she pitched an idea to a New York agent who told her to run with it. This book is the first of that seven-part endeavor. When not ignoring her family and friends by writing you will find her time exclusively on them and photography. Jeny lives in Stanwood, Washington, with her husband of over twenty-five years.
A little more about Jeny Heckman:
Where did you get the idea for the title of your book?
The Sea Archer was an easy title to come to. I needed to incorporate Apollo and Poseidon together, so decided to choose from some of the symbols they’re known for. Although Apollo is primarily known for music, he was also an archer that would shoot his arrow across the sky to bring forth the sun. As well as Raven stepping into the natural light, instead of the spotlight, so I chose the archer. And Poseidon, of course, is the ultimate god of the sea and this book is heavily grounded there, taking place primarily on Kauai and the hero being a marine biologist.
Why did you choose this genre?
I love the paranormal romance genre. It’s fun and it’s interesting. I have never written in this genre though and that was a little different. I changed from being a pantser to a plotter but all in all I loved the process. It was really fun implying the “fantasy” world within the real one. Where you get that reasonable doubt that the fantasy may be possible.
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
By far, the most difficult thing about writing a book for me is having a head full of ideas and unable to write them down because I’m busy or the day is packed full of other events or people. It’s by far the hardest part. When I write, I don’t really like to stop. I definitely lose track of time. So, invariably I need a lot of undemanding time or I’ve been known to get a little grumpy when I get interrupted.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
Writing is absolutely my first passion and then a very close second is photography. Two very creative fields I know. I love capturing moments whether in life or in my mind and showing it to people. To stand in the Scottish Highlands alone but able to show it to people like they’re standing there too, is exciting. Primarily, I shoot portraits and weddings but recently I’ve really gotten into scenery and epic landscapes. I love capturing moments, expressions and small windows of time that reveal more than what you expect.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
Well, I’m not sure they’d be surprised but I am an introvert, as many writers are. What I think is surprising is that many people don’t understand us. They think we’re hermits, and that we don’t like people or are somehow lonely and unhappy all the time. Which is unfortunate because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I gain energy and inspiration from quiet, where others might gain energy and inspiration from others or “busyness” around them. For me, I have to be in the mindset and prepare to be around a lot of people or it stresses me out.
What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?
Um, my life…Friends and family are the only real things that can take me away from my writing but I don’t think I could nor want to give them up.
What’s your favorite books of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?
I have favorite books from every genre so it’s easier to say my favorite authors. David Baldacci, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Sophie Kinsella, Liane Moriarty, Darynda Jones, Gillian Flynn, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, don Miguel Ruiz, Jane Austen, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins and Diana Gabaldon to name just a few.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
Oh, definitely a mystery! However, I do feel like really good mysteries are hard to write! If you aren’t careful your audience is solving the puzzle before they’re supposed to which can be so frustrating for a reader. I love it when you never see it coming and it was the aunt’s, boyfriend’s, sisters, cousin.
What is your favorite quote?
Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up and it will.
(Peggy, injecting herself here: I lovelovelove that movie!!!!!)
If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?
It would have to be a laptop with a huge hard drive, then uninterrupted electricity and Wi-Fi. Spoken like a true writer, right?
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have! I wrote my first novel which was self-published, entitled, “The Catch.”
Then I wrote another book, entitled, “Civility.” It was a book about a kind of second civil war in America. This was well before the last election but funny enough that was the catalyst in the book for trouble too. I was still trying to decide what to do with it when things started getting really heated in our country and decided I didn’t want to be part of the vitriol tearing everything apart, so shelved it.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
I really like this question. My life has been a very fascinating one. Most people in my life don’t know half of what has happened to me and one day I may write about it. I feel my life has appropriately set me up to write about the topics I write. Empowerment has not come easily, it’s been a very long process but as I get older I do feel stronger, and more empowered than I felt possible. That’s why I wouldn’t trade my life now for my twenties or thirties for anything. It’s also why I like that evolution to happen to my heroes and heroines.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely. I believe women are pretty powerful beings and yet can sometimes lose their way or get caught up in an inner made up story. I would love for a woman that struggles with some of the same insecurities that Raven does, to find a voice and role model in her. You must be brave in the world, and that you are entirely capable of most things. The same would be said for men. I feel like they don’t always get a fair shake. They are expected to be these strong individuals, the driving force in most things. I would hope a man might read this book and let go of some of those beliefs and feel safe to be just a little bit vulnerable, especially to a woman.
What do you like best about your hero?
Oh Finn, what is there not to like about Finn! He is perfectly flawed, as most men are. I love men, so I love writing about them and Finn is the epitome of male beauty but doesn’t always get that isn’t enough. I like his turmoil in how he handles this tsunami that’s entered his life. Just a side note. When I write, I have to have a visual on my desktop of the character and when I wrote Finn’s scenes, his visual counterpart is Ben Dahlhaus (with the short beard). So, if you are wondering my vision of him, Ben was it. Go look him up now and you’re welcome!
What do you like best about your heroine?
I love…LOVE Raven! She was such a loud voice and presence in my head. I love that we have an idea about what a celebrity might be like. We think we understand their lives, their intellect, their beliefs, when we don’t know them at all and many times they are nothing like the people you fall in love with on the stage or screen. Raven is two separate people and everyone thinks the one on the stage is the real one. However, she is just as insecure as everyone else. She doesn’t know any more or less than anyone else. Her life is primarily the same just with extra wrapping paper. Second side note, Jennifer Anistan was the visual que for Raven. The best thing is Jennifer has played many roles and I was able to get the performer and every day woman characters of Raven from Jennifer too.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
As I explained already about the visual cues I do need that when I am writing and I look at the characters often when writing movement or dialogue. Other visual cues for characters in this book were Pierce Brosnan for Donovan Fortner and Gerard Butler for Wyatt Hunter. The others were models. As for names, I stopped doing that for the most part. In The Catch almost every character was named for someone in my life but it was very hard to tell the person that the name assigned to the character in the book had nothing to do with them personally. If you’ve assigned a loved ones name to a particular asshole in a book, you don’t want that person thinking that’s how you see them. So, I had a lot of explaining to do and decided I wouldn’t be doing that again.
How did your interest in writing originate?
Wow! Well I’ll try and make this concise! I’ve always thought in stories and pictures. My imagination was always very vibrant and I loved to read and enter those “other” worlds. I never thought about writing until I was older and walking one day. My father-in-law was very ill and I was taking a break from caring for him. I had an idea for a story and the character wouldn’t stop talking in my head. When I got home, the kids were in school and I didn’t have anything going on so decided to write it down. At one point, I looked up and four hours had passed! I decided to play it out and in three days had a somewhat fleshed out story. I sat on it for a long time, just being busy with my active family and job. People read it and encouraged me to, “do something with it.” However, it wasn’t until my son (who isn’t a big reader), read it and said he wanted me to publish it. I decided to try and, “The Catch,” was created. I fell in love with the craft and started writing another book which was picked up by The Wild Rose Press and the result is or hopefully will soon be in your hands, The Sea Archer.
Your favorites…( Peggy, interjecting here: This reminds me of my favorite Bravo show, the Actor’s Studio!)
Movie: Pride & Prejudice
Music: I like all genres for different things. I play classical when I write
Place you’ve visited: Scotland
Place you’d like to visit: Greece
TV show from childhood: Fame
TV show from adulthood: The Good Doctor, ER, or Grey’s Anatomy
Dessert: Lemon meringue pie
Sports team: Seattle Seahawks
What would you most like to say to your readers?
I’d like to thank the readers for taking their time to invest in my stories. It requires time to do so and no one appreciates that time more than me so thank you!
The Deerbourne Inn. New kitchen, new owner, new future–all rooted in three hundred years of history.
I am so stoked that the first book – the origination novella – for the Deerbourne Inn series from the Wild Rose Press has been released! I’ve got the blurb and an excerpt from the writer of BY RESERVATION ONLY, Barbara Edwards, below. Sit back and read about this exciting new series that takes place in the lovely New England town of Willow Springs, VT. From now until the end of 2019 there will be additions to the series – some contemporary, some historical, some even paranormal ( yes, the Inn is haunted!) and all of them wonderful! And to celebrate the release of the series, The Wild Rose Press-powers-that-be are having a wonderful giveaway of prizes! The link to the rafflecopter is below. Click on when you’re finished reading about the Inn and enter!
Here’s book 1 BY RESERVATION ONLY
It’s the grand opening of The Deerbourne Inn! Award-winning Chef Nathan Harte has worked long and hard to restore this historic property in Willow Spring, Vermont. He’s ready to greet his guests with fine cuisine, comfortable rooms, and maybe even a ghost or two.
He’s escaping the rat-race of the city for a slower more rewarding life, but is he ready to deal with a broken arm, a quirky arsonist, and a long-ago mystery? And what might he find up in the 300-yr-old attics?
Since the inn was quiet, Emily pulled on a long t-shirt and opened the door. Her heart fluttered. She was disappointed Nate wasn’t waiting for her in the dark passage. She blew out a frustrated breath and opened one of the bedroom windows to let the fresh breeze blow in. A whip-poor-will called from the hill.
The comfortable bed beckoned her. Flowery potpourri scented the bedroom air. She lay on top of the handmade quilt and stared at the ceiling. Sleep eluded her. She lost count of the times she turned over, punched the pillow, yawned.
An owl hooted from the nearby woods. The call of the whip-poor-will sounded closer. The curtain flapped and the scent of smoke tainted the air. Her watch claimed it was only twelve thirty, not nearing dawn. She swore and rolled over again.
Someone knocked on Nate’s door and called his name. Emily pulled on her pants and sneakers before she opened her door.
“What’s happening?” Her pulse raced. Smoke, she smelled smoke.
I’m Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.
I lived in Florida for several years
You can connect with Barbara here:
*** Click the following link for a the WRP rafflectoper for By Reservation Only
Christine’s debut YA Novel, Dickensen Academy, is out and doing fabulously with readers and reviewers alike.
Today, she’s brought along two of her characters from the book, Autumn and Ben, for a sit-down to get to know them – and the book – better. Let’s eavesdrop on their interviews for some insight into these two and the mysterious Dickenson Academy…
Tell us a bit about yourself, Autumn.
My name is Autumn Mattison. I’m from Seattle, and I just started my freshman year of high school at Dickensen Academy.
Why did you choose to attend Dickensen Academy?
Who wouldn’t? Almost no one gets in the place. So when I got in, it shocked us all. And it made my dad so proud. It’s got this great writing program, which I’m really excited about. And the art classes sound fun too. And I’ve got it admit, it was great to move out of the house. My dad is a control freak and sometimes I feel like I can barely breath around him.
What do you like about boarding school so far?
It’s so amazing to be off on my own. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks, and I’ve already made four really good friends. My roommate, Aditi, is so sweet. And then there’s Hannah, this girl I run cross country with. Ben and Ryan usually hang out with us too.
What about the classes?
I’m really liking school so far. The classes are small, and the teachers are super-passionate. Especially Mr. Robbins. He teaches Creative Core which is this art class that is supposed to be the backbone of the fine arts program. To me, it just seems like drawing and art. But the faculty says it’s much more than that.
Anything you don’t like?
Well…there’s something weird about this place that sometimes gives me the creeps. It’s almost like I’ve been here before. I keep having these déjà vu moments. But it’s probably all my imagination. My dad would say I have too much of that. But there are also all these rules. Like freshmen can’t leave campus until Thanksgiving, and we can’t hang out with the upperclassmen. There’s even this huge fence hidden in the woods. It feels like we’re locked in. But the teachers say it’s because up here in the mountains there are lots of wild animals. But it seems a bit overkill to me.
Do you have any goals for the year?
I’m hoping to get good grades. I don’t think my dad believes I can hack it on my own. But I want to prove him wrong. No way will I ever do as well as my brother, Josh. But hopefully I can do well enough to get my dad off my back.
Anything you’d like to add?
Well, there’s this guy, Ben. He’s really cute. We hang out a lot, but usually in a group. Aditi thinks he likes me. He even dreamed about me before we got in. Weird, right? But I doubt he’s interested in me. I’m sure he’ll end up with someone more like Hannah, who is model gorgeous.
(Peggy here: Mmmm… something a little creepy, eh? Sounds intriguing!) Christine sent along a picture of Dickenson Academy to share.
All those tall trees surrounding it and the way the mist eerily is winding around them and the buildings…..wow!
And now, let’s listen in on the other student Christine has brought along with her…
Tell us a bit about yourself, Ben
My name is Ben Coleman. I’m a freshmen here at Dickensen and turn fifteen next month. My family lives in Seattle.
Why did you choose to attend Dickensen Academy?
This place has a great reputation for academics and fine arts. I’m a focused student and like the challenge. But I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to leave home. I’m really tight with my family, especially my mom. It was just the two of us for years until Jim came along. And then there’s my brother, Calvin. He’d just five. The kid looks up to me like crazy, and I do a lot with him, so my mom can get stuff done. I was worried about leaving them alone, especially because my brother has some medical issues. But then I had this vivid dream where my family was at Dickensen Academy, and I woke up feeling I needed to accept and that everything would work out.
What do you like about boarding school so far?
It’s great. I’ve got an awesome roommate named Ryan. He’s a bit of a goofball. But he gets me to let loose—something I couldn’t do much of at home when I always had to be responsible. Then there’s this girl, Autumn. We have the deepest conversations. But as I’ve gotten to know her, I realize she is beautiful in this I-don’t-even-try sort of way, always wearing jeans and hoodies. But I’m sure she sees me as just a friend, and I’m not really looking for a girlfriend right now.
What about your classes?
Love them. The teachers are fantastic. Most are really strict which I actually like. I’m here to learn. But then there’s Robbins. He teaches Creative Core which is this art class that is highly praised. He’s super laid back, so we get to chat with our friends while we work. It’s a nice break from the academics.
Anything you don’t like?
The rules. I’ve made some friends with some of the older guys playing sports after school. I’d like to hang out with them after practice, but supposedly we’re not allowed to “fraternize” with the upperclassman. What kind of a dumb rule is that? I’ve talked to this sophomore, Gabe. He basically said we could be friends later in the year, but not now. I feel like there’s something big they are hiding from us freshmen. Autumn gets the same vibe as me. She suggested it might be some form of hazing. But I don’t know. It feels bigger than that. Ryan tells me I’m paranoid, so I’m trying to let it go. But sometimes I really wonder if this school is more than it seems.
Do you have any goals for the year?
Good grades. Make friends. Just the normal stuff.
Anything you’d like to add?
Can’t think of anything.
(Peggy here- I can relate, Ben. I hate rules, too!)
Dickenson Academy by Christine Grabowski
This secluded high school may be her dream come true…or her worst nightmare.
Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.
Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.
When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?
“I feel like there’s something big we don’t know about. Something those students were protecting. I mean, really, why are we here?”
I thought it was just me who was confused. “Well…the recruiters said we’re creative and focused.”
“Yeah, that’s what Principal Locke said too.”
“And we have the right personality.”
Ben looked up at the sky, sighed then turned toward the forest. “What did he say…something about how it will soon become clear why we’re here, and there’s some ultimate purpose for our creativity?”
“I know. That whole creativity part was a bit bizarre.”
He shrugged. “It seems everyone is going with the flow. But I have so many questions.” Then he touched my arm to stop me, so I turned toward him. “I’m thinking they’re isolating us for some special reason,” he admitted in an embarrassed tone.
I tried not to laugh—he was acting paranoid. But I didn’t know Ben well. Maybe he was joking, trying to freak me out. Or was he hitting on me? The flutter in my chest moved to my stomach. I was already anxious about being away from home and whether or not I could hack the academics. I didn’t need to obsess about anything else. But I still had to know about Ben’s dream.
“So…I also had a dream about Dickensen before I accepted the offer.”
Ben’s head snapped toward me. “You did?”
Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.
When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.
You can visit Christine here:
* Book Trailer:
(Peggy here – Christine, thanks so much for dropping by today and bringing Autumn and Ben with you. I have to say, Dickenson Academy sounds like the kind of place I’d definitely want to visit.)