Monday, August 21, 2017

Interview with contemporary romance author Kristina Mathews

Welcome readers. I’m helping romance author Kristina Mathews kick off a virtual book tour for her new contemporary romance, Diving In (A Swift River Romance #3).

During her virtual book tour, Kristina will be giving away a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Welcome, Kristina. Please share a little bit about your current release.
The sweetest revenge . . .

He’s the Swift brother who got left behind, the son abandoned by his father. Now Kyle Swift is a man determined to destroy the whitewater rafting empire built by the half-brothers he never knew, the Swift sons who got the life—and the love—he was denied. Seducing Fisher Jones isn’t part of his revenge, but sharing a bed with the beautiful whitewater instructor is the one bright spot in his otherwise dark plan. That is, if he manages not to fall for the sad-eyed beauty . . .

Fearless when it comes to facing even the most daunting river rapids, Fisher never takes chances with her love life—until the night she gets swept away by a sexy stranger. But when her one-night stand unexpectedly shows up in her whitewater class, Fisher faces her greatest challenge yet: keeping her heart safe from a man determined to put an end to the family business—and the life—she holds dear. . .

What inspired you to write this book?
The first book in the series was inspired by my husband and his brother, both former raft guides. They came home from fishing one day with a story of how they had jumped in the river to save some guy who had fallen in and was struggling with the current. I changed the two married brothers to single twins, the man to a woman, and the rest of the story took off from there. The first two books feature the twins and the women they fall in love with while running their rafting business. Fisher, the heroine of this third book has had a crush on Cody, her boss, throughout the first two books, but he only sees her as a friend. I fell in love with Fisher and knew she needed her own HEA. She thinks it would be easier to quit after he’s married, but she’s promoted instead. She tries to get over her crush with a one-night stand, but finds out her anonymous lover is a student in her whitewater guide school. He also happens to be a long-lost half-brother intent on buying out the company.

Excerpt from Diving In:
When it was his turn, Kyle was determined to make a good impression. On his fellow students, but mostly on his instructor. He wouldn’t be too cautious or too cocky. He would show that he’d been paying attention, soaking in Fisher’s words of encouragement and instruction.

He gave the commands. “Forward paddle. Stop. Left back.”

His crew did exactly as he instructed. The raft was perfectly positioned. Except the current was faster than he anticipated. They were headed straight toward the rock in the middle of the rapid. He used his paddle to make a correction, but he dug in a little too deep and he managed to spin them three hundred sixty degrees around. They hit the rock dead on, and the front of the boat lifted in the air, almost vertical, and everyone went flying into the river.

Well, not everyone. Kyle felt himself being jerked backward and tossed to the floor of the boat like a fish. He scrambled to a sitting position and found Fisher was maneuvering the raft through the rapid.

“I’m sorry. I guess I screwed up.” Kyle couldn’t remember the last time he’d admitted to a mistake. He’d made plenty, but never admitted them. But for some reason, he knew Fisher already knew he was in over his head, and she’d call bullshit if he tried to deny it.

“Help pull the crew back in,” she commanded as they came alongside the swimmers. “We’ll talk about it when everyone can benefit.”

Leia was the closest and Kyle was able to get her aboard; then she helped pull Brett into the raft while Fisher grabbed Nolan.

“Well, that was interesting.” Nolan shook his head and ran his fingers through his wet hair.

“Kyle has just demonstrated the dump truck move.” Somehow, Fisher kept her cool. Made it almost seem normal. “And the important thing is that he was able to account for all the passengers.”

What a loser. Instead of impressing her, he nearly drowned his fellow students.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m heading north, to a fictional small town at the base of Mt. Shasta. There will be outdoor recreation, such as hiking, skiing, and fly-fishing. Secrets, crystals, and small-town politics. A billionaire who wants to be a handyman, a world class skier who wants to save his hometown ski resort, and a female fly-fishing guide who wants to keep her father’s memory alive while fighting off the development of the historic town.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. I used to keep journals to get me through my teen years. I started my first Romance back in 1993 but never finished it. The premise of that story is the book Miranda writes in In Too Deep (A Swift River Romance #2). I started several books after my second son was born and I quit teaching in 2002, but I didn’t really take that next step toward publication until 2010 when I joined Romance Writers of America.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I also work as a para educator (teacher’s aide) mostly working with emerging and developing readers. I do tell my students that I write Romance novels (kissing books to the younger kids) that they can read when they are older. During the school year I write in the evenings and on weekends. I post on social media before school and on my lunch break.

I’d like to say I get a lot of writing done in the summer, but not necessarily. Sometimes I am more productive when I’m busy. I find that when I have all day to work on my book, I spend too much of it revamping my website, engaging on social media, reading blogs or craft books to inspire my writing, and I tend to not get down to writing new scenes until the afternoon or evenings. But some of the other stuff is necessary, too. Even watching old romantic comedies helps me to see what works for me and what doesn’t.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I get my best ideas in the shower. Or the car. Or anywhere where I can’t get to my computer. I do often jot ideas on the notes app on my phone. If I handwrite notes to myself I usually can’t read them later. I can teach a Kindergartener how to write their name, but I can’t print worth beans when my brain is bursting with a plot twist or secret a character reveals to me unexpectedly.  

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A baseball player, musician, astronaut, teacher, Princess Leia. The great thing about being a writer is that I can be all those things. Well, maybe not Princess Leia. Except on Halloween, I usually dress as her to hand out candy to Trick-or-Treaters. This year, I went as Fisher, the heroine in Diving In. I wore the lifejacket my husband gave me for our anniversary and my board shorts, sun protective shirt and river sandals.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d just like to thank each and every one of my readers. I still get a little overwhelmed by the idea that I have fans.

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Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Interview with author Jody Summers

Author Jody Summers joins me today to talk about her supernatural thrillers, Dark Canvas and its sequel, The Mask Maker.

Born in New Orleans, Jody Summers' life has been filled with unconventionality. The adopted son of a prominent Texas restaurateur, Jody grew up in New Orleans, Memphis and then Houston, learning the restaurant business while he built a career as a competitive gymnast that propelled him to a scholarship at the University of Kansas.

After college, Jody followed in his father’s footsteps owning, at one point, three 24-hour restaurant franchises along with four tanning salons in Tulsa. Finally leaving that business, he turned his entrepreneurial skills to everything from a patent in the Pet Industry to a Single’s website.

A restaurateur, a gymnast, a stunt man, an entrepreneur, a pilot, skydiver, scuba diver, and an accomplished martial artist for twenty-five years, Jody Summers has tried it all. Now he brings all those experiences to paper in his first novel, the supernatural thriller, Dark Canvas.

Welcome, Jody. Please tell us about Dark Canvas.
When artist, Kira McGovern mixes paints with the ashes of the dead, she discovers her extraordinary gift, but it also leads her to some horrifying crimes in this psychological thriller of a novel.

It seems innocent enough at first, thought Kira McGovern---mixing her dead mother’s ashes with paint to create a tribute painting. What a way to personalize and immortalize her mom’s memory! The idea so ensnares her that she forms a new business, Canvas of Life, to do just that for others. As she begins with her first clients, something inexplicable occurs: Kira experiences segments of the dead person’s life. In dreams and visions, she begins to receive images, some are gratifying, some unpleasant and some of them are downright deadly.

Sean Easton is a Kansas farm boy with a special talent he is just beginning to understand. His father, too, has recently died, but something sinister still lingers on the farm. When he takes his father’s ashes to Kira as a pretense to meet her, he not only falls in love but makes some startling discoveries about his own life as well, and as Kira begins to paint with Sean’s father’s ashes the real terror begins….

                                    Sometimes Secrets Don’t Stay in the Grave.

The sequel, The Mask Maker picks up where Dark Canvas left off and as a result of their previous experiences; Sean and Kira find themselves involved in a deadly chase for a unique and gruesome arsonist with unpredictable results.

I have another book I am about to release which is also a thriller, however with a bit less supernatural tilt than Dark Canvas. It is called The Mayan Legacy.

I am also finishing the first draft of Mental Marauder which is the third installment in the Dark Canvas series.

What inspired you to write Dark Canvas?
A lovely lady I had a chance date with was actually painting with the ashes of the deceased, cremains, as she calls them, and it occurred to me that as much as I’ve read (and trust me that’s a lot) I had never read anything like this before, and the notion of writing something new under the sun fascinated me so that I just jumped on it.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I believe my next endeavor will be a Sci-Fi novel tentatively entitled “The Amazing Enigma of Aiden Quiver. His name is an acronym that I will share with everyone at a later date.

Stay tuned!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
LOL. Somewhere AFTER I finished Dark Canvas. Even though I’ve written hundreds of poems over the years

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am currently making a living in the oil and gas business as a permit agent. Therefore, most of my writing comes early in the morning or is dictated when I’m driving. I hope for that to change in the near future.

I also have a number of producers evaluating Dark Canvas for a movie. Fingers crossed.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to change perspective frequently, even within a paragraph. I like offering the observations from more than one person in a scene while still keeping it abundantly clear who is speaking. This little quirk gives editors fits.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had no clue as a child. Later, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.

The next thing I KNEW I wanted to be when I grew up was a writer….figured that one out at age 50.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My books are going to keep coming but as you can already tell in addition to the Dark Canvas series, I’m jumping genres, I already have a sci-fi plot that I mentioned earlier which I intend to tackle right after I finish the third book in the Dark Canvas series, which means later this year or early next year.

I already have the first draft of another novel, a religious thriller I plan to edit and finish entitled The Note from Christ.

I don’t plan to abandon the Dark Canvas series, though; I have plots in mind for at least two more in the series already.

As Robert Jordan, one of my favorite authors, said, “I intend to continue writing until they nail my coffin shut.” Which he did by the way with his brilliant Wheel of Time series.

Also, along with my hero Dean Koontz, I love to read Clive Cussler novels and would love to write a story someday to emulate his style of fast paced action and adventure comingled with a touch of history.


Thank you for being here, Jody! 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Interview with romantic comedy author Brooke Williams

Author Brooke Williams is here today and we’re chatting about her new romantic comedy The Leftover.

Brooke Williams is a former radio producer/host turned stay-at-home mom/freelance writer/author. She specializes in romantic comedy with titles like Accept this Dandelion and the upcoming The Leftover. She also writes blogs and web content for a number of clients. Brooke has been married to her husband Sean since 2002 and they have two daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.

Welcome, Brooke. Please tell us about your current release.
The Leftover places a shy, socially awkward girl on a TV show similar to Survivor, only in a local manner. She doesn’t think she’ll do well and it shows! After mishaps abound, she starts to gain confidence. It’s a fun book with lots of contests, oh, and there’s a cute medic across the beach as well.

What inspired you to write this book?
I always watch these reality type shows and wonder what it someone more like me was on it. Someone awkward who wasn’t all athletic and confident all the time. That gets the wheels spinning in my head and the characters form!

Excerpt from The Leftover:

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have another short story coming out this winter called Another Backwards Christmas. I wrote Backwards Christmas last year about a town called South Pole, Alaska in which they do all of the Christmas traditions backwards. They hang Christmas trees upside down from the ceiling and they take presents TO Santa, that sort of thing. This story takes place in that same town with different characters. IT can be read after the first story or on its own.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still pinch myself when people ask what I do and I am able to tell them I am a writer. I guess I considered myself an author when my first romantic comedy “Wrong Place, Right Time” was picked up by a publisher. I considered myself a writer (freelance writer) when I started getting paid for writing jobs.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Not quite. I’m a mom first and my girls don’t always allow me much time, but I write as much as I can and somehow manage to get in over 200 blogs a month for clients. Writing is like breathing to me. It’s something I feel like I HAVE to do. I love it and I can’t imagine a day without it. That being said, I fully plan to make it my full-time career once my girls are both in school. That’ll be another year. Until then, I get by with what time they allow me!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write about as fast as I can think. People are amazed at how fast things come out and how quickly I type!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Video Quick Stop Girl. Back then, they had movie stores to rent movies, but there was also this little phone booth sized thing outside where you could drive up and ask for a certain movie. IF they had it, you could check it out. I thought that was totally cool and wanted to work there.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Writing, to me, is an escape from everyday stresses. I hope reading what I write does the same for you! If so, I’ve done my job!


Thank you for being here today.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Interview with novelist Gerri LeClerc

Novelist Gerri LeClerc joins me today to talk about her new women’s fiction, Silent Grace.

Pennsylvania native Gerri LeClerc lives on Cape Cod with her husband Ron. The medical background Gerri gained as a Registered Nurse is reflected in her stories, which explore the complex ways in which children’s health challenges affect the lives of the adults around them. A passionate reader with a lifelong love of classic romantic suspense and contemporary women’s fiction, Gerri is the author of Missing Emily, the first book in the Knoll Cottage trilogy, which appeared in early 2016.

Welcome, Gerri. Please tell us about your current release.
Sisters Beth and Patrice Hensen have taken very different paths in life. When Patrice’s drug addiction interferes with her ability to raise her 8-year-old daughter Grace, the always-responsible Beth assumes temporary custody. Settling into Knoll Cottage, the small home on Cape Cod Beth has recently purchased, Beth and Grace struggle to adjust. Just as their lives stabilize and their bond solidifies, fate steps in with surprises that test their hearts, souls and strength yet again.

What inspired you to write this book?
The nurse in me! Deafness and the conflict in the deaf community over to treat or not, has always intrigued me. I thought about how lonely a child with hearing loss must be, how she might misconstrue communication from others. How hard it must be for Grace to build trust in people.

How a handsome doctor and a loving aunt might help her hear again. (Must have romance in my story, too.) The second issue in the book is addiction to prescription drugs, which is so prevalent today. How easy it is to relieve Patrice’s pain in her difficult life with easily obtained drugs. And the toll addiction takes on those who love her.

Excerpt from Silent Grace:
With sleet tapping at the window of her New Bedford, Massachusetts apartment, Beth Henson sat on the floor, packing a box of books. The phone rang with her sister’s unique ringtone and interrupted her off-key singing. Beth hesitated, pressing tape over the flaps of the box, and considered letting the call roll to voicemail. Instead, she wove her way through a maze of packed boxes, retrieved her phone and answered.
            It was a video call from Grace.
            “Mommy won’t wake up,” her niece said in her fragile voice, while she also signed at a frantic pace. “Scared.”
            “Is she breathing? Turn the phone so I can see Mommy,” Beth said, signing the main words. Grace understood and switched the phone’s camera to Patrice on the couch. Beth saw that she was breathing deeply.
            “I’m coming now, sweetie. Stay on the phone with me.” But the call ended. Beth must have signed wrong. She didn’t take time to call back. She grabbed her purse from the table by the front door. “Keys. Keys,” she said, dumping the contents on the floor. She scooped up the keys and left everything except her wallet where it landed. Grace had to be alarmed to use her voice. Beth was afraid she knew what it was; had seen it before.

What exciting story are you working on next?
While I work on book three in the Knoll Cottage trilogy, I’ve been busy revising another novel I wrote, A Marriage to Die For. It’s A suspense story about how an abused wife escapes her DEA Agent husband who promised to kill her if she leaves him. And how a raccoon that gets into your basement can lead to romance when the sheriff comes.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think when my friends began to read my first manuscript for me. I had such wonderful feedback and support. They saw me as a writer—and I began to believe it, too.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
My husband and I are best buds. We love to do things together—after many years of marriage! When I started writing, I became immersed in a surprisingly time-consuming effort. It’s not just writing, it’s a learning curve, it’s networking, it’s marketing. Everything takes time. So, I began to get up at 6 a.m. and work until 11 a.m. I’d sneak back to the computer if he was otherwise occupied later in the day. My husband’s on board now, and he’s learned to cook dinner—he likes to eat!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
St. Frances Cabrini. She’s my patron—it’s a long story. Her statue sits on my desk. And then Livia, my cat. She thinks she’s my muse. I think she is, too.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wore my mother’s nurse’s uniform for four consecutive years on Halloween.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for being part of Lisa’s blog on my novel, Silent Grace. I hope you read it, and I hope you love it!


Thanks for being here today!