Welcome.

Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, and Saturday Sampler.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Meet Author Elizabeth Rose

I am so happy to introduce you all to Elizabeth Rose. I met Liz when I lived in Chicagoland for a very brief two and a half years while I was a member of Windy City RWA chapter. She had little kids at the time and was having difficulty making time to write. Her kids are a lot older now. Of course, we never age. LOL

Without further ado, welcome Elizabeth Rose.



Thanks for having me as your guest today, Diane. I am happy to be here.

Please tell us about yourself, Liz.

I have written and published 31 books. I write medieval, paranormal and contemporary romance and love writing series. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, am married and have two grown sons. I love gardening and have an herb garden that I put to good use in some of my new recipes that are actually told by my characters on my site.

Where can readers find you?

They can find me at http://elizabethrosenovels.com or on facebook under Elizabeth Rose Author. Or on twitter under ElizRoseNovels, or they can email me at elizabethrosenovels@gmail.com.

What did you learn from writing your first book?

This is a good question. My very first book written, tho not the first published, is Book 1 of my Legacy of the Blade Series, called Lord of the Blade. (Watch Book Trailer)

I learned two things. First, give yourself permission to write whatever you want and tell yourself no one else is going to see it. (Even if they will some day.) This advice is for new authors. What was happening to me was that I was freezing up at the computer and not able to write because I kept worrying about what people would think.

Next, I learned not to keep going back and revising, just keep moving forward and crank out the first draft. While writing this book, I had a hard time getting past chapter three for the longest time. That is because I kept going back and rereading what I wrote and then revising. Then I’d have people critique it and I’d revise some more. So I was moving backwards instead of forward. Now I just finish the first draft quickly and then I have something to go back and work with later.

How long does it take you to write a book?

This answer is different now than what I would have told you nearly twenty years ago. Especially after all the time I put in writing that first book. (By the way, I revised Lord of the Blade for an editor at Harlequin who wanted to buy it, and while I was doing that, the editor who happened to be pregnant ended up leaving. And then the editor who took over turned it down. Talk about disappointment.) Anyway, now I can write and revise a 60,000 word book in about two weeks. I have my system down I guess you can say. And with pushing out the first draft before revising, it helps me to feel a sense of accomplishment when I write those last words on the page.

How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I’m kind of a do or die kind of person. I can’t just write a page and stop. It’s all or nothing. So I’ll not write at all for weeks but then I’ll sit at my computer all day when I am writing a story - and for a week straight. Good luck for my family getting meals or the house getting cleaned during this time. But I’ve been known to write up to 20,000 words in a day and also spend sixteen hours a day sitting here revising the book – which by the way is my least favorite part of the process.

What do you think makes a good story?

Dialogue, a compelling plot, and interesting characters. I can’t tell you how many books I put down because the opening pages are nothing but narrative. I guess I’m the dialogue queen and could probably write screenplays if I tried because I love writing dialogue. I also think it’s important to have the first sentence hook the reader and make them want to read more. I like to put big plots in my medieval books, though my Tarnished Saints Series is more character-oriented. If a story doesn’t have interesting and believable characters, it doesn’t work for me. If I can’t care what happens to any of the characters, than I figure there is no need to keep reading. Yes, I am tough, but there are so many books out there now-a-days, that I feel there is no need to keep reading if the first page doesn’t capture my interest.

What is your favorite movie and why?

I love Ladyhawke with Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer and Matthew Broderick. It is a movie from the 80’s but is medieval and paranormal. I love it because it is a love story where the hero is cursed and shifts into a wolf during the day and the heroine shifts into a hawk at night. So they are always together but eternally apart. And Matthew Broderick – very young here - plays an excellent part and even brings a bit of humor to the movie. If you haven’t seen it, please do.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

My goal is to take the reader away from the trials and tribulations of their everyday life and bring them to a place where they can relax and disappear into a different reality. My favorite reviews from readers are the ones where they say I made them laugh and also cry. If I can evoke emotion from my reader, then I know I am on the right track. I want them to care about my characters as well as love and hate them – hate the villains, not the hero or heroine, that is. I want to keep them turning the pages whether it be because of an exciting plot or just wanting to know how a character is going to remedy the situation they are in. And I want them walking away afterwards remembering something in my story that they’ll think about and also talk about time and again even after they are done reading. (Ok, is that asking too much? Smile.)

If I was a first-time reader of your books, which one would you suggest I start with and why?

This is a tricky question since I write several genres of romance, so I will answer it in three parts.


If you like paranormal romance, I’d suggest you start with The Dragon and the DreamwalkerBook 1: Fire of my Elemental Series. (Watch Book Trailer Video) My heroine, Brynn is an elemental who can control the power of fire, but water can kill her. Drake Pendragon saves her from the dragon only because he needs her help in slaying it. This is a book with a big plot and very interesting characters and some unique paranormal twists as well.



Now, if you like straight medieval, you may want to start with Ruby – Book 1 in my
Daughters of the Dagger Series. (Watch Book Trailer) Four daughters were named after gemstones in the handle of daggers because of their late mother’s superstition. They actually also have a brother who they thought died at birth and this is Onyx – Book 1 of my Scottish MadMan MacKeefe Series. The first series deals with medieval life in a castle as well as royal bastards, wool smugglers, a pilgrimage, and the process of building a castle. And the second series I mentioned brings in things from medieval times such as the Book of Hours and the Scottish coronation stone – The Stone of Destiny. I also show medieval holidays and the things they did back then that carry over to our everyday lives now. Readers can get the Prequel of this series for free!

And last, if you are a reader who likes contemporary, you may want to start with my books set on a lake in Michigan called my Tarnished Saints Series. The Taylor Twelve are all sons of a preacher but far from saints. These men are nothing but trouble. In Doubting Thomas – Book 1, we meet Thomas Taylor, the eldest of the siblings and he is accused of murdering his wife. He is the father of six young boys and the townspeople think he is an unfit father. Angel DeMitri is a widow and also a caseworker for Child Protective Services and comes to Thunder Lake with her young daughter on a vacation. But really, she is also there on an unofficial visit to investigate Thomas. (Watch Book Trailer)

I also want to mention that in my free time I create all my own book covers as well as book trailer videos.

You are so creative, Liz. I feel like a slacker next to you. LOL

Thanks again for having me as your guest, Diane, and I hope readers will stop by my website to see what’s new!


Facebook – Elizabeth Rose – Author (Use the dash)
Twitter – User name @ElizRoseNovels

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sleuths



On the nightly news, we’re bombarded by murder stories. Senseless, accidental, or deliberate. News reporters ask the questions we want to know. How? Why? Who? Once the last question is answered, we want justice for the victim.

But sometimes, despite the best efforts of the police, the case goes unsolved. While that happens in real life, in fiction we want, no, demand that every crime be solved. On TV, it’s solved in an hour. More like forty-four minutes if you take out the commercials. In a novel, we get three hundred pages or more.

The death of actor James Garner this weekend reminded me of his show The Rockford Files. No hard-boiled detective there. While I loved him as Maverick (actually, I had a mad teenage crush on him), his easy-going persona as Jim Rockford seemed like a perfect fit for the actor. The humor made the show even more appealing. Like Castle. It’s no coincidence that both shows were created by Stephen J. Cannell.

On television, in movies and books, each sleuth has/had his own style. Sam Spade, played brilliantly by tough-guy Humphrey Bogart. Columbo, seemingly bumbling, yet sharply observant. Castle, the smart-ass yet loving father and long-suffering son. Who reads Raymond Chandler and doesn’t think of Robert Mitchum as Phillip Marlowe? Then there’s the miscast of the decade—Tom Cruise as Lee Child’s 6’5” 230 pound Jack Reacher.

Where are the women sleuths?

I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew. I under appreciated Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher because of their age. Now that I’m their age (sort of) I’ve changed my mind. While I enjoyed reading V.I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone, I love female duos like Cagney & Lacey and Rizzoli & Isles. Then there’s Stephanie Plum. ROTFLOL Actually, lying in bed reading and trying to hold in laughter so the bed shaking doesn’t wake Hubs.

A new girl will join the others next month. Alex O’Hara. Not as young as Nancy but not as old as Agatha or Jessica, Alex inherited a detective agency when her dad and his partner retired. Making it alone as a female P.I. in a small, lakeshore resort town is no easy task. Until a femme fatale straight out of a Dashiell Hammett book comes calling—no, begging for help finding her missing brother.

Here’s a look at the cover, created perfectly by Rebel Ink Designs.
 

Who's your favorite detective?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Sampler - ERIN'S GIFT by Nancy Fraser #FreeBook




Blurb:

Prohibition Era, Chicago

Caught in a raid at an illegal speakeasy, good girl Erin O'Mara loses everything: her job, her home, and her reputation. Handsome and so out of her league attorney Seth Harrison, her best friend's brother, rescues her not once, but twice. He bails her out of jail and offers her a job as nanny for his son.

Seth has no intention of falling in love after the death of his wife. But despite his better judgment, he can't help being drawn to Erin's innocence. This Christmas, letting go of the past and embracing the future may be the greatest present of all.


Excerpt:

“Well, well, well, what have we here?” The desk sergeant stared down over the huge wooden barrier, his thick Irish brogue filled with amusement. “Miss Harrison, Mr. Packard.” Glancing in Erin’s direction, he added, “Don’t tell me these two have roped another of their Hyde Park friends into skirting the law?” He shook his head and rubbed a meaty hand across his whiskers. “What’s your name, girlie?”

“Erin. Erin O’Mara.”

“Saints be, they’ve drawn a fine Irish lass such as yourself into their sordid business.” The officer turned his attention to Abby.

“I suppose you’ll be wanting to call that shyster brother of yours, now won’t you?”

Abby nodded. “Yes, Officer O’Malley, if you wouldn’t mind.”

O’Malley motioned toward the single phone on the table opposite the desk. “You can give him a call, but you’re going into the tank with the rest of lawbreakers until he gets here. No more special treatment just ‘cause your father’s a councilman. Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Abby said. She started toward the desk and then turned back to ask, “Did Mrs. O’Malley have that baby yet, Sergeant?”

“Not yet,” the man acknowledged, shaking his head. “You’d think after ten, they’d just walk out on their own.”

The “tank” as Officer O’Malley had called it was made up of three jail cells, side by side. Women were housed in the first, the middle one sat empty, and the men were placed in the third. The young officer in charge of escorting them to their cells opened the door and motioned them forward. “Miss Abby,” the man said, “I’m surprised to see you back so soon.”

Abby laid her hand against the officer’s smooth cheek. “Oh, Tommy, you know I couldn’t possibly go more than a week or two without seeing your handsome face.”

The cell door had barely shut behind them when two women of questionable virtue began whistling and making wild moaning noises. The older of the two laughed heartily, her amusement ending in a rough-edged cough. “Oh, Tommy,” she whimpered, “I missed you so much.”

“Leave it alone, Kitty,” Officer Tommy warned. “And don’t you be trying to steal anything from these two young ladies.”

The woman called Kitty shook her head. “Don’t want nothing from these swells, Tommy-boy, ‘cept maybe a ciggy if they’ve got one.”

“Not us,” Erin said, shaking her head. “We don’t smoke.”

“Well, la-de-da, aren’t you a couple a good girlies.”

ERIN'S GIFT is FREE at:



Bio:

Nancy Fraser has been writing since she was a child, most often on walls and with crayons or (heaven forbid) permanent marker.

Since first becoming published in 1996, Nancy has received numerous five star reviews for her futuristic, time travel romance.

She’s also published in short contemporary, historical romance and is contracted for a series of ten vintage historical romances set during the Golden Decade of Rock & Roll (1955-1964).

When not writing fiction, Nancy likes to spend time with her five wonderful grandchildren.



Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7206382.Nancy_Fraser



Friday, July 18, 2014

#FFBlockParty

Feature Friday Block Party Blog Hop


This is the second week of the Feature Friday Block Party Blog Hop hosted by Buy The Book Tours and co-hosted by MJ Schiller.  Last week was fun. This week will be even better.

Has your weather has been like ours here in West Michigan? It got down into the 40s at night this week.  If your summer is the same, you'll enjoy turning on the oven for this recipe.
Macaroni and Cheese

1 box of medium shell pasta
2 cans condensed cream of chicken* soup
1 soup can milk
2 lbs sliced Colby cheese
garlic salt, as desired

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Combine condensed soups and milk in a small bowl. In a large baking bowl (sprayed with No-Stick), layer pasta, soup mix, sprinkle with garlic salt, cheese. Repeat 3 times, ending with cheese. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes (or 1 hour at 350°)

*Can be made with cream of mushroom soup

 My 4-year-old grandson calls it Nana's Crunchy Mac N Cheese. If the pasta noodles aren't completely covered by the soup/milk mixture, they are crunchy.


In my romantic suspense ONE RED SHOE, Daria needs help from her brothers so she makes their favorite dinner.


Blurb:
Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

Excerpt:


Daria was sure Sam would come to his senses and figure out they belonged together. It had been five long weeks and not one word. Her curse had backfired. The curse about the long, lonely life. That appeared to be her fate. What did she know about curses anyway?
Last night, she finally gave up waiting for him to call or come to her. She was just going to have to go to DC and rescue him again. This time from himself. What good was having a fantastic bedroom if the man of her dreams wasn’t there to share it with her?
First she was going to have to eat some crow and ask for help. That night, she fixed her brothers’ favorite dinner. With gusto, they polished off the sweet succulent ham cured by their neighbor, Daria’s special macaroni and cheese, plus apple cobbler for dessert. When they sat back replete, she propped her forearms on the table and interlaced her fingers.
I need a favor, she said with more apprehension than she’d felt that long-ago Friday morning before leaving on her adventure.
Sure, whatcha need, Dar? Bill was the first to respond.
Tom nodded, but Drew, the typical lawyer who wanted all the facts before committing himself, hesitated.
What exactly do you want, Daria Jean? Jim said evenly.
Sam Jozwiak’s home address and phone number. She stared straight at the one who could get it for her.
The proverbial pin drop could have been heard in the silence that ensued. She waited. And waited.
Chairs creaked. Shoes shuffled. Throats were cleared.
Tom was the first to speak. Now, Daria, honey ...
That is not the answer I want. She didn’t take her eyes off Jim. Get me his number. I know it’s unlisted, buried under all kinds of safeguards. But you can do it.
Why keep banging your head against the wall? Drew asked. He hasn’t called. He isn’t coming back.
He will. She was surprised at how cool and confident she sounded. Sam would come, but he needed a kick in the pants first.
 

ONE RED SHOE is available at:



Be sure to check out the other authors on the blog hop.  http://buythebooktours.com/feature-friday-block-party-blog-hop