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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Meet Author Gina Conkle and her new release MEET A ROGUE AT MIDNIGHT @GinaConkle

I'm happy to have fellow Michigander Gina Conkle here today. Even though she wasn't born here, we've adopted her. We met through the Mid-Michigan RWA chapter.

Welcome, Gina. Tell us about yourself.


Hi! Thanks for hosting me, Diane. I’m Gina Conkle, writer of Viking and Georgian romance. I’m also wife to Brian and mom to Clay (in college) and Chad (in high school). I grew up in southern California, but we made a big move to Michigan in 2014. We love it here! When I’m not writing, I do a little flower gardening and when I have time for it, I like to explore cooking foods from around the world and from different eras.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

There was a crystal-clear moment in 5th grade. I was sitting at my desk at school. I remember the clothes I was wearing and thinking about what I’d read (Gone With the Wind) and a story I’d written for a creative writing assignment (The Girl Who Stopped World War III).

What does your family think of your writing?

They love it. My husband is fully supportive of my writing and my sons think it’s pretty cool that mom writes books. They also think cool how I know minutiae about Vikings and Viking history. My son Chad will tease me with, “Hey, Mom, didn’t Agnar Legbone invent that?” when we talk history.

I also read non-Mom-ish things. I get several archaeology newsletters, and I get books and periodicals from around the world about history of warfare, ancient history, and all things medieval. When we first moved to Michigan, my Medieval Warfare magazine was forwarded to my husband’s company, and the latest issue was on his desk. An employee read an article title aloud, “The Mace: Simple but Effective.” The employee thought the magazine was for a man!

Or he could've thought the mace was your husband's style of management. 😊
What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love getting lost in the story worlds. The other surprise comes from the revelations about life. I’m hungry to keep learning…as much about knowledge and the world around us as learning things that make me a wiser woman.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?

Be fearless.

Excellent advice. How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?

Ha! I don’t! My family knows to leave me alone when I’m locked away. I’m not very good at balance. I tend to be all or nothing. In 2006, I decided to set aside my writing and focus on my boys. I’d started writing late 2002/early 2003. Any writing was done after my boys had gone to bed. But, I noticed writing and RWA activities starting to take over my life. It wasn’t until early 2012 that I felt like “Okay, let’s focus on writing.” My husband points out my tendency to throw myself into projects…sometimes at the exclusion of everything else.

I'm the same way, Gina. All or nothing. What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?

I worked in biotech, specifically in Life Sciences. My biotech experience came in handy when I wrote Meet the Earl at Midnight. The hero, Lord Edward, was a man of science studying the healing properties of plants.
  
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I read a lot of non-fiction history books. What might seem dry to others is heaven to me (especially female historians writing about Viking women and Viking history). Worlds open up to me and a story plays out like a mind movie.

That is so cool, Gina. Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release, Meet a Rogue at Midnight (a novella) is the 4th installment in the Midnight Meetings series. It stays squarely in Georgian romance, no crossing over into other genres.

This story is a childhood friends-to-lovers romance, which was a first for me to write. The hero, Jonas, first appears in Meet the Earl at Midnight as man of business to Lord Edward. I didn’t originally have a story for him, but my then editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, asked for Jonas to be the hero in book 2 in the series. My agent pushed for book 2 in the Midnight Meetings series to be Cyrus and Claire’s story (The Lady Meets Her Match). Jonas got shuffled to the backburner until this year.

Fans have told me they like that Jonas is a commoner. He’s the strong silent type, and I’ve also had lots of excited, fan feedback on his first kiss in the book!

Tell us more about Meet a Rogue at Midnight. I love the cover.


A Saved Scoundrel…

Jonas Bacon Braithwaite wants to make peace with his grandfather before departing England. Once Nottinghamshire’s favorite trouble-maker, he’s since become an upstanding man of honor. But, the lushly curved thief hiding in his bedchamber makes him think twice about one last conquest.

A Stubborn Siren…

Livvy Halsey bristles at life’s rules. Always has. Sneaking into the Braithwaite house to reclaim a treasured family heirloom is one way she upends the conventional life that awaits her. Duty demands she marry. But what harm is there in having a little fun with her childhood friend before the Twelfth Night ends?

And Twilight Temptation…

Stolen kisses fan hot flames. Surprising passion intertwines with friendship…but will it be enough to last forever?


Excerpt:
Jonas stood bare-arse naked before a crackling fire, bathwater dripping down his chest. There was no time for a proper dry off. The drapes were stirring in his bed chamber though the window was closed. He snatched velvet breeches off the chair and slipped them on casual as you please—minus his smalls. All his clothes sat in a battered sea chest next to a pair of black boots peeking out beneath blue drapes.
Boots that weren’t his.
With a cautious hand, he lifted his heavy dragoon pistol off the mantel and kept an eye on the scrubby, modest-sized side boots. A lad? Who would want to ambush him here? His coming home to Plumtree should be of no consequence…not after ten years gone.
The village and his grandfather’s stone house hadn’t changed much. Humble, quaint, and cramped. He didn’t belong here. Not anymore. The sooner he took care of matters with his grandfather, the Captain, the sooner he’d be on his way.
But, his first order of business was dispatching the unskilled housebreaker.
“I know you’re hiding behind the curtains,” Jonas said, one hand buttoning his placket. “Show yourself.”
The boots didn’t move. Howls of laughter drifted up from downstairs. Christmas Eve celebrations must be going well in the parlor. The house burst with fresh pine boughs and spiked cider, the green and spicy scents floating everywhere.
“Come now. This is not a night for ill will.”
Housebreaking was a serious crime with grisly consequences. The lad needed some sense knocked into his foolish skull. Jonas padded across the room, his dragoon pistol in an easy hold at his side. Raucous guffaws exploded through the floorboards. Mr. Goodspeak, fine soul that he was, brayed the loudest. Fiddle music played a Yuletide carol in double time while the salty old sailors stomped a bad rhythm. The Captain must’ve shared his best whiskey, the kind that warmed a man as good as a woman.
Weary from a hard day’s ride, he could use a dram. And a woman.
“I’ll count to three,” he said, padding barefoot across the room. “One…two…”
The drape bulged with the business end of a pistol. Jonas froze. Air nipped him. His pulse beat in his ears as his fingers curled tighter around his pistol. At the click of a cocked weapon, instinct took over.
“…thr—” Jonas dropped low and rammed his shoulder into the lad’s mid-section.
“Umph!” The housebreaker grunted and a shiny piece clattered across the floor. A blunderbuss.
Jonas kicked the weapon backward. Fists pummeled his back as white hot pain shot up from his toes. A black boot mashed his foot. 
“Enough,” he growled, hoisting the lad over his shoulder.
His foot throbbing, Jonas spun away from the window. Cloth ripped overhead. The drapes and rod crashed down on their heads. Whoops and hollers rang through the house. The Captain and his cronies had to be deep in their cups not to hear this scuffle. Jonas knocked the wool off his face as the housebreaker kicked and…squealed. He squinted at the bottom wiggling on his shoulder, and the split second cost him. A knee jabbed his ribs.
Oomph!” His gun slipped, and the brass buttcap hammered his already aching toes. Air hissing through clenched teeth, Jonas hop-stepped to the bed. “Stop!” he bellowed and landed all his weight on the lad.
The bed frame quaked from the assault. The housebreaker sunk into the down mattress, fighting hard. Jonas drove his head into the criminal’s chest, and two mounds pressed his face. Soft, round, and jiggling. A slow smile formed against the wool. He was nose deep between sizeable breasts—a fine pair as breasts go swathed in old drapes.
“Well, bugger me.”
The housebreaker wheezed. “I’d…rather…you get off me!”
Eyes wide, Jonas rolled sideways and clamped his thigh across her thrashing legs. The woman’s mouth gaped behind wool like a caught fish. She flopped like one too. A feminine hip squirmed at the juncture of his thighs. Fingers clawed the curtain. His midnight visitor tussled fiercely with the drape, the bed ropes creaking madly beneath her.
Shhh. Let me uncover you,” he said, staying her busy hands.
“So you can shoot me?”
“No. So you can breathe easy.” He paused, his grip on her wrists full of authority. “We can stay like this all night, or you can trust me. It’s your choice.”
Yellow firelight danced across waves of mussed bed sheets. Land-locked sailors sang off-key below stairs. Music pitched fast and high from the parlor, but the storm on his mattress calmed. Tautness in the wrists he held eased a fraction. The housebreaker lay stiffly against him, smelling oddly of…vinegar.
She panted against the drape. “You call those choices?”
“Best I can do for a woman who pointed a pistol at me.”
Jonas’s blood pumped with satisfaction. His lush, midnight visitor was at his mercy. Bit by bit, her breathing slowed behind blue wool. She grumbled, but her body went lax against him. He grinned, liking her pliant, surrendered. The skirmish was over.
“Well?” she said, her hip shifting against his ballocks. “Aren’t you going to get this off me?”
Copper-hued hair shined through a tear in the cloth. The woman in his bed was a gift trussed in cloth, excitement in his otherwise dull Christmas Eve homecoming. It was time he unwrapped his present. Jonas stuck a finger in the hole and yanked. Threads snapped, showing bold brown eyes staring at him through tangled hair. With the hole wider, he ripped the drape with both hands all the way to the soles of her black boots.
A pretty mouth opened wide and sucked fresh air. “Thank you.”
His comely housebreaker lay dressed in homespun breeches and a plain shirt open at the neck. A gentleman’s faded bottle green coat flopped wide as she brushed hair off her face. Exquisite breasts free of a corset, shift, and waistcoat ruined the mannish disguise. Cambric stretched across dainty nipples at the center of curves flattened as nature would have it when a woman was on her back. The siren’s chest rose and fell with alluring rhythm, the sight striking him speechless.
“Did you get your fill?” She snapped her coat shut and laughed. “Welcome home, Jonas Bacon Braithwaite.”

That was a great first meeting, Gina. One last question before you go. Where can readers find you?

People can find me at these places:
My website where you can also sign up for my newsletter: http://ginaconkle.com/






15 comments:

  1. Nice to meet you, Gina. I enjoyed the interview. Funny, 5th grade was about the time I read Gone with the Wind as well. And, it was about the age I wrote my first romance. :) Your book souns fantastic, and the cover is stunning! Best wishes!

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  2. Thank you, Diane for hosting me on your blog.

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    1. My pleasure, Gina. I'm happy to get to know you better.

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  3. I love your advice ... Be fearless!
    Beautiful cover and your blurb and excerpt lead me to believe this is a great book.

    Good luck and God's blessings with it!
    PamT

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  4. This sounds like a wonderful read! A huge fan of Meet the Earl at Midnight, I'm off to One Click! Fabulous cover, BTW!

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  5. Congratulations, Gina! Love the premise, love the cover, love the excerpt.

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  6. I loved your Viking romances, and now I need to dig into your Georgian romances. I'm sure they'll be just as riveting! Thanks for the preview!

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  7. Hi Gina, nice to see you again. Not sure if you remember me or not, but I lived in Michigan and belong to Mid Michigan RWA before I moved to Montana two years ago. I love the book cover, and the excerpt. I'm adding to my TBR list. I wish you great sales.

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  8. "Be fearless" is excellent advice, Gina! Great excerpt!

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  9. Congratulations, Gina, and best of luck with the book!

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  10. Love the cover and excerpt - Great post Diane and Gina!!!

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  11. Wow. Loved the excerpt. It pulls you right in. Best of luck with promotion.

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  12. Sounds great! Felt the emotion through the whole thing. Good luck to you.

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