Jill Bennett had her life planned out, and then everything changed. Soon after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack two years ago, Jill’s daughter Rachel was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the very young age of 21. Widowed and scared, Jill threw herself into caring for her daughter 24/7. Now that Rachel is in remission, Jill is finding it hard to let go and give her some breathing room at home and at her new job working for a local vet named Grant Palmer. Grant has a knack for getting under Jill’s skin, especially where Rachel’s future is concerned. The last thing Jill has in mind is getting on with her own life. So why can’t she stop thinking about the handsome Dr. Palmer?
Devoted to Her Cowboy by C. J. CarmichaeL
When rodeo champion Blake Timber returns home as the star attraction of the Sheep River Rodeo Days he doesn’t expect to find his nerdy high school friend Shelby Turner so beautiful and so not nerdy. He also doesn’t expect to find his grandmother, frail and wearing a headscarf. When Grams reveals she has ovarian cancer, Blake is shocked. He’s thankful that Shelby, who works in his grandmother’s flower shop, has been there for her. But he wants to take over the reins and get his beloved Grams the best care money can buy. In spite of his best efforts, his well-intentioned plans are met with stubborn resistance from both women. Adding to his frustrations is his ex-girlfriend Kelli-Jo Calhoun, who is the Sheep River Days organizer. Unhappily married and with a son, she seems hell bent on roping him into something that could put everything he cares about at risk—especially his growing feelings for Shelby.
Her Angel by Kayla Perrin
Tasia Montgomery never thought she’d get “that” phone call from her mom. Stage four ovarian cancer. Tasia puts her job as a chef in a busy restaurant in Atlanta on hold, to go home to Miami to be there for her mother. When her mom passes away, Tasia is left with a huge burden of guilt, sadness, and loss. Now, she is tasked with the duty of packing everything up and selling the family home. She knows her mom didn’t want her to sell but what choice does she have? Her brother Andrew, who is living in Seattle with his wife and their baby, is as distant as can be. Just like their father, who up and left them when they were kids. But when Tasia meets Malcolm Robertson, the contractor her mom hired to renovate the house before she died, Tasia is drawn to him. Her mom treated him like a son and shared things with him that she never revealed to Tasia. Malcolm becomes a good friend to Tasia, but does she want something more with the handsome contractor? As Tasia, sorts through her mother’s belongings she makes a discovery about her mom that shocks her to her core, but will it make her see the truth of her own life or make her head back to Atlanta for good?
She was known as The Spinster of Brightwood Manor, and that suited Lady Beatrice O’Brien just fine.
She was happy being a spinster; happy running her father’s estates while amassing a fortune of her own; happy tending to the needs of her community; and most of all, she was happy not having a man around to tell her what to do.
But when Beatrice accidentally shoots her new neighbor, the Earl of Drennan, her life turns upside-down. Suddenly, this very arrogant gentleman, who also happens to be charming and attractive, makes himself at home at Brightwood Manor, and proceeds to court her!
Beatrice knows one thing for certain. Marriage will complicate her life. But falling in love? That’s an entirely different matter.
Faith, he really was one of the handsomest specimens of manhood she’d clapped eyes upon since the war against Boney started, despite that nasty looking scar he wore. She had to admit, even if he were a bit of a tiresome bore, he was pleasant to look upon.
Distracting herself from the sight of his almost bare chest, she nervously recited by rote her planned introductions. “Sir, I am Lady Beatrice O’Brien, mistress of this house. And this delicate beauty standing beside me is our healer, Mistress Sarah Duncan. I must add she’s the same witch who had the kindness to sew your leg up for you.”
Wise Sarah gave a deep curtsy and smiled warmly at him. Her light blue eyes, the same shade as bluebonnets, sparkled down at him in warm welcome.
“Indeed,” he said looking in astonishment at the lovely vision. She didn’t appear to be someone who’d choose to seek out the more unsavory parts of life, let alone be seen boiling a cauldron of eye of newt under a full moon.
“Mistress Sarah, you must amuse our patient here sometime with tales of how you manage to stay aloft at night on your broom,” said the lady of the house with a bemused smile. “I must tell you your patient is vastly interested in such witchery and would be delighted to be instructed about your more unusual practices.”
“Now, Lady Beatrice.” The pretty healer laughed in feigned indignation. For most of her life Wise Sarah had lived under superstitious peasant eyes. She knew the numerous wild tales concerning her adopted mother and herself.
“I’ve told ye before that we modern day hexes don’t use those uncomfortable conveyances anymore. Why they proved to be far too drafty and terribly dangerous to ourselves. What with one good gust of wind there’s been many a good hex that’s gotten herself lost over the North Sea.” She laughed and winked impishly at the lady of the house, relishing the silliness of her own tale. She and her adopted mother had never touched a broom, let alone tried to make it fly, except to clean their plain plank floor.
“Nay, dear lady and lord, we modern sorceresses ride about in smart pony carts these days like the rest o’ ye mortals. It being far saner and safer. Though ’tis true, less romantic.”
The stranger smiled at her quaint explanation, flashing a row of healthy teeth. “But all the same, ma’am, despite your being a witch. Demme, if I’m not grateful for the service you’ve rendered me by tending to my leg.”
The pretty healer blushed under the handsome English stranger’s praise. “It was nothing, sir. Truth be told, it was mostly Lady Beatrice here who did the work, putting your leg back into place and binding it tight like she did. Aye, ’tis she you ought to be looking to when giving your thanks.”
His arctic blue eyes turned themselves upon his nemesis, the lady of the house, or the “vanithee” as he’d heard the servants refer respectfully of her in whispers. She stood proudly erect wrapping her title as lady of the manor about her like a protective cloak. Her bright green eyes the same shade as new leaves, carefully watching and observing his every word and gesture, her body rigid in anticipation to what he would say. It would be quite easy for him to slight her in front of the wise woman if he wished. But he did not.
“Tell me, is there no master of the house to greet me?” he asked, wondering if the lady was married, intrigued by her apparent aloofness. It was as if she had no one but herself to answer to for bringing home a stranger. Would not someone, her guardian or husband perhaps, wish to speak to him? To assure himself that such an unknown English stranger would not bring harm or scandal to his household? Surely there was someone?
“Aye, there be one,” the lady answered. “My father, Lord Patrick O’Brien. He is the master here. He’d like to have greeted you in person, but at present himself is suffering sorely from the gout and begs that you excuse him. In his absence, he requests that you accept his daughter’s welcome.” She then gave a short bob, in lieu of a proper deep curtsy of welcome, which was normally the due she gave to guests in her father’s house.
His eyes narrowed, he’d not missed the slight. “Ah . . . yes.” He nodded with understanding, his voice liquid cool, chilling the peat-heated room. “Considering that it was a member of his household who shot me off my mount that would be the least one could expect him to do. Don’t you agree, my lady?”
She gasped, stepping towards the ungrateful English dolt. She clenched her hands at her side, ready to give him a proper show of her famous spinster temper. “If ye’d only taken the time to look before ye leaped, we wouldn’t have had to put ye in this bed. And I’d not be saddled with the obliging care of ye!”
“Please, Lady Bea—,” intervened Wise Sarah, placing herself strategically between the attacking hostess and her wounded patient. “Behave yourself! Now what will your da say when he up and learns you tried to attack this wounded gentleman? And this time in pure aggression, if you please. One would think that you truly wished him harm.”
Chastised, Beatrice obediently took a step back. The last thing she desired was to have her father’s wrath fall upon her head. He’d warned her that if another one of her notorious escapades brought any disgrace upon the family name, he’d see to her punishment himself. A dire threat she knew he would follow through with if she were not careful.
She sighed audibly, her hands were tied. She could do nothing to dislodge this ingrate. And once more she regretted her part in acting the Good Samaritan to this English pudding-headed lout. She ought to have left him in the muck and mire where she’d found him, instead of seeing to it that he was brought here and properly tended.
For a Short Time is about a young woman who goes through many changes in her life, including realizing whom she truly loves.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Keri has no idea who she really is anymore.
Raised in the Midwest, where catching frogs and shoveling manure is common practice, then spending several adult years traveling the country and hob-nobbing with celebrities and the elite, Keri returns to her roots. She now lives in her sister`s basement, wondering just who she really is anymore.
After a peculiar meeting with the Quinn cousins, Keith and Jeremy, Keri is determined to capture Keith`s attention. An actor, a tall, compelling man, elusive, even abrasive at times, Keith is particularly intriguing to a woman like Keri who is accustomed to capturing the heart of any man she`s ever wanted. Yet it was Jeremy, the humble cabinet-maker and owner of a misshapen dog named Scalawag, who leaped into a bon-fire to rescue a scrap of an old coat that had sentimental value for her.
Following two episodes with the facial disorder, Bell`s Palsy, and after Jeremy has moved out of state, possibly to run from his heartbreak over her, Keri finally realizes not only who she really is─but who she needs to become.
Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.
Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening. Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.
Phaedra is so happy she doesn’t notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.
I carefully pulled the twine and the brown paper fell off. Beneath the paper was a large, leather bound book. It looked like an old journal or recipe book. It was tied together with a red ribbon and the ribbon held numerous pieces of paper. I ran my hands over the smooth leather and read the title of the book. It simply said Spells.
I laughed and pulled the red ribbon that held the book together. The book fell open. Inside, it was like a recipe book a mother would pass on to a daughter. There were old typed pages with handwritten notes in the margins. There were pages added with handwritten spells on them and drawings.
“What the hell?” I said as I leafed through the old book. There were potions and summoning spells and candle spells. In-between pages, there were pressed flowers and herbs and some of the pages were stained with old candle wax.
I set the book down and went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. At least the kitchen was done. It looked like any other modern kitchen. It had granite counter tops and marble floors. I’d spared no expense making it look like something that belonged in an old southern mansion. I wanted the house to be perfect and I had Johnny Boy’s money to help me achieve that dream. The lights flickered when I entered. I would have to talk to Lawson about that in the morning. I took a beer out of the fridge and opened it. I had a sip and grabbed a roll of cookie dough. Armed with the cookie dough and beer, I returned to the book. It had fallen off the counter, to the floor, and was opened to a page. I laughed again. The page it had opened to was love spells. That was just what I needed.
I sat down and ate and drank and leafed through the book. I stopped at a page with an interesting picture on it. The spell was an awakening spell. It awakened you to the supernatural world. I hesitated and looked at the script around it.
Something fell upstairs and the lights went out. I fumbled around and found the nearest flashlight and switched it on just as the lights flickered back on.
“Lawson, you asshole,” I said as I turned the flashlight off. “The wiring is done in the parlor, my ass.”
A sudden wave of fatigue washed over me and I picked up my mess and carted my sorry butt upstairs. I climbed into bed with my flashlight. I still had the book of spells. It had been so long since someone had given me something that I had forgotten what it felt like. I knew the book was more than weird. It bordered on creepy. A normal woman would probably burn the damn thing, but I wasn’t a normal woman. I was a lonely divorcée living in a house known to be haunted, but I loved it the way most people love their pets. I was the daughter of a man who had made it clear that he loathed me, with a step-mother who’d bought me toilet paper for Christmas. The creepy book was wonderful to me. It meant that someone out there, even if they were a freak, cared about me, and freak love was better than no love at all.
For the next three Wednesdays, we’ll be doing a special feature with The Killion Group, a dynamic full service company that specializes in brand marketing for authors from idea to execution. Today we’re chatting with Shelly Willmann, a very talented graphic designer at Killion.
LP: Welcome Shelly!
SW: Hi Joanna! It’s a pleasure to meet you! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about The Killion Group, Inc, and a little about what I do!
LP: Tell us about your background and how you came to work with The Killion Group.
SW: My background in art began when I was a kid. I drew portraits, mostly. By the time I graduated high school I had drawn and sold a lot of portraits, and had developed a growing interest in photography as an art form. I began college on an art scholarship, and graduated with a BA in Photography at Webster University in St. Louis. My professors kept pressing the issue that technology was rapidly changing, and the photography industry was headed into the digital age. They predicted that film would soon be a thing of the past. As a photographer who lived and breathed film, so-to-speak, that was my cue to enrol in a graphic design program where I could manipulate images with my expert photography skills in a digital darkroom — Photoshop! Moving toward graphic design was one of the best decisions I ever made. That is when I met my college instructor, Kim Killion. She and Jeff Appel ran the graphic design program where they taught me everything I needed to know to work professionally in the field.
Soon after I graduated college I began working in the textbook publishing industry as an illustrator and a production artist, and in a media department that produced online textbooks. I tested software, proofread texts, and designed interfaces. During that time I began pursuing a masters degree in Media Literacy, which enhanced my ability to visually communicate through a critical perspective.
In 2012, Kim asked me to come work for her company, The Killion Group, Inc. Of course, I agreed, and have been designing for her ever since.
LP: What is your creative process – that takes you from the a blank “canvas” computer screen to the finished visual realization of a book?
SW: My creative process first involves research and understanding of each client’s specific goals. First, I read through the questionnaire that we give to each client to understand what the client envisions for the project. I visit the author’s websites and social media pages to get an idea about their online presence, which tells me a great deal about who they are, and how they relate to their readers. With that information, I am able to start designing. I search and download the images from stock photo sites, choose appropriate fonts, typographical styles, arrange it all, and then launch into the actual design in Photoshop, and that’s how it essentially comes together on the canvas.
LP: What are the necessary elements that make a really stand-out cover?
SW: In my opinion, the cover’s intended message is the key element that needs to be visually communicated, and accomplishing that involves a complex process. The possibilities are endless, but it basically requires using whatever appropriate design tools necessary to inform the reader in a flash about who the author is, the title, the genre, or for example if it’s romantic, historical, morose, hopeful, action-packed, dark, mysterious, etc…
One of the ways we designers achieve this goal is through a sophisticated use and understanding of typography.
We very carefully select fonts, keeping in mind which ones are best suited
for particular genres, and which ones are best for evoking certain emotions. Fonts often tend to convey feelings, movement or static, and when they are cleverly styled they can make a cover really pop. I could go on and on about the importance of typography, and Kim has taught entire college courses on this very subject. We do value typography as a crucial design element because it can make or break an effective design.
Another very important design element is one that is not seen. It’s that magical way we use design techniques to grab the audience’s attention, leading their eyes around the composition on a path to the main focus areas, hitting on all the important things, and in the right order. When someone is looking around, back and forth all over the cover, and searching for a way to see a cover as a whole, and not knowing where to settle their eyes, then the design didn’t work. An effective cover design should visually connect all the elements together seamlessly, and in a way similar to how information is read in a news article — by seeing the most important information first.
LP: Why are covers so important for a book?
We know the cover is the first thing someone sees when deciding to buy a book. Most people tend to judge a book by it’s cover as the saying goes. (I’m no exception either!!) A poorly designed cover will inadvertently suggest to the reader that the story inside is a reflection of the cover. That’s not an accurate representation, but it’s what people tend to believe. One of my clients told me that the cover I recently designed for her was the reason her book sold so well. Many of her 5-star reviewers said the reason they bought her book was because the attractive cover design caught their attention, which ultimately lead them to read the blurb, and buy the book. That’s exactly what you want to aim for!
LP: Who are some artists/designers that have influenced you in your career?
SW: More than anyone, it was the people I came in contact with in my life who influenced me the most. I give much credit to my teachers and professors who encouraged and supported me along the way. My high school art teacher, Victoria (Vicky) Cummings sent me to high school art workshops at St. Louis University and Washington University, which opened up my mind and world-view. She selected me for these opportunities, and I am so humbled and grateful!
Kim Killion was my graphic design instructor in college who taught me everything about graphic design and she is the reason why I am where I am today! She’s still an influence! I didn’t know where to begin teaching my 8-year old son how to use Photoshop so she told me how to teach him. He’s like a pro now! She is so talented, too. I often download her Photoshop files and turn off the layers one-by-one trying to uncover her creative process! It’s like discovering treasure!
My photography professor, Susan Hacker Stang, studied directly under photographers, Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at RISD. She explained how light and color affect a photograph—how color is light, and how it bounces around an image and scatters all over the place. During critiques she helped me to see that my photographic style had a cinematic feel running through it. I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy designing book covers so much. I apply that dramatic, cinematic look to cover designs when it’s appropriate, making them appear as if they are energetic moving images that have been frozen in time.
Art Silverblatt, my media communications professor who literally wrote the book on Media Literacy, greatly influenced how I use production values when designing covers. I’m always constantly aware of things like showing power or submissiveness through camera angles, the emotional and psychological impact of using certain colors, or considering that the top right hemisphere of an image is usually where the human eye naturally looks first. These are just a few things out of many that I consider. It’s been enlightening!
Lastly, but not least is Ali Cavanaugh who was in 6th grade with me. She loved to draw, too, but after that year I never saw her again. Years later I saw her high school art portfolio displayed at an art gallery. She had mastered color at such a young age, boldly controlling it, and using it with confidence. Seeing her work had pushed me to gain a better understanding of color.
Just a few months ago, I reconnected with her on Facebook! (She does beautiful watercolor portraits. Find her on FB, you will see!) After all these years I didn’t think she’d remember me, but I told her how she influenced me and my art career. To my astonishment, she was so happy to hear from me. She, too, had wondered about me all these years. She reminded me of my drawing of an ear that had pushed her to challenge herself more as an artist. It blesses me to think that two little girls in 6th grade passing through one another’s lives in one semester could inspire each other in such a way!
LP: What are some of YOUR favourite covers that YOU designed?
SW: These are some of my favorite covers. It was hard to decide which ones to single out. I connect with each author on some level when designing their covers, and so they feel like friends to me! Authors put so much effort and time into writing their books, and to finally have that cover is really exciting for both of us. Some authors have told me they are so excited to get the covers that it makes them want to write more books just so they can have another book cover 🙂 That makes my job so fun and rewarding when they enjoy it as much as I do.
I am proud to say that one of my first projects was designing the Killion Group logo 🙂 (see at the top of this post).
LP: Indie publishing has become very popular. Some indie authors are either creating their own covers or they may ask a friend with some design knowledge or technical ability to design one for them – what you do you think about that? And why do you think indie authors should consider a professional designer when it comes to their cover?
SW: Kim Killion is a traditionally published, award-winning author herself who designed her own book covers, but she is also a professional graphic designer with years of experience and expertise to back her up. She knows book covers. An indie author should consider hiring a professional designer who has plenty of experience designing book covers. If designers aren’t familiar with the industry they can run into a long list of unnecessary pitfalls such as titles that are hard to read in thumbnail images, or covers that just don’t convey the intended message as effectively as they should because of poor production values. That takes a special expertise to avoid these issues.
LP: What do you love best about working for The Killion Group?
SW: I love what I do! I’ve always been drawn to the book publishing industry. Working for the Killion Group gives me the opportunity to use every single talent and skill that I have. What an awesome feeling! It’s an honor that I get to help authors tell their stories in a visual sense. I am also a people-person, and enjoy communicating with authors every day. I feel like I am part of their production teams. I really enjoy working with Kim, too. I consult with her everyday about current clients. Skype has been great. We connect and share computer screens online. It’s as if she’s in my living room even though she’s actually a couple states away.
LP: What are you currently working on and what do you have coming down the road?
SW: I’m currently finishing up a cover for a military time travel romance. Down the road I’m looking forward to designing a 3-book series bundle.
LP: Your “day job” is very creative – so how do you spend your downtime?
SW: I usually work while my 3 kids are in school – ages 4, 7, and 8, then I quit working when they come home in the afternoon, but when I get a chance, I read and watch music videos 🙂 I’ve found music videos to be particularly inspiring for designing covers. The music and the moving images sort of imprint on my mind, and I pull from that as a creative resource when designing.
LP: BONUS QUESTION: What is your favourite go-to snack when you’re in “design mode”?
SW: OH! Currently, I have a bag of chile-spiced dried mango from Trader Joe’s that I snack-on sitting next to my computer!
We are starting a new feature at the Lachesis Publishing Blog – BOOK OF THE WEEK! Our first BOOK OF THE WEEK is the brand new release: THAT DETERMINED MISTER LATHAM by JoMarie DeGioia. It’s the first book in a brand new series called Shopgirls of Bond Street. We know you are going to LOVE it!
The sign above the door of Elliot’s Fineries on Bond Street states: Where you can find your heart’s desire.
Patrick Latham scoffs at that notion. He let go of those dreams five years ago when the woman he loved betrayed him. But when he meets the shop owner’s niece, Victoria Elliot, he wonders if his heart’s desire is indeed inside that very shop. Though Victoria is a “shopgirl” and certainly not a member of the ton, she is the most beguilingly beautiful and spirited young woman Patrick has ever met. He is determined to get to know the auburn-haired, silver-eyed beauty, even if it means buying every damn pair of riding gloves at Elliot’s Fineries!
Victoria went from sheltered vicar’s daughter to shopgirl in the blink of an eye. When she meets Patrick, she is immediately drawn to his darkly handsome looks and his charming appeal. But life for a shopgirl can be unfair, even cruel, and when a great danger lurks just around the corner from Elliot’s Fineries, can she trust Patrick to keep her safe?
Patrick keeps a truth from Victoria—that he’s the son of a powerful earl as well as a baron in his own right. Will his lie put Victoria at greater risk? And if so, how will he able to save her?
You’re an indie author but do you also still publish with a traditional publisher? Why did you decide to go indie? And how has that worked out for you?
I am a hybrid author—best of both worlds! I’m fortunate in that I’m able to write full time, and because of that, I usually write 4 books a year. That’s quite a load for many publishing houses, so I made the decision to both Indie publish and have a traditional contract. I have to keep to a pretty detailed schedule as a result, but it works out beautifully.
You’re a USA Today bestselling author – which book or books did you hit the list with and what did you do to celebrate or mark the occasion?
I hit the USA Today list with a really fun Christmas anthology last year. My story in that collection is titled PLAY ME (it’s now available as a stand-alone, as the anthology was a limited-time-only publication.) It’s a sexy contemporary about second chances. I was actually under the weather on the day we found out we’d made the list, so I celebrated with a nice, long nap! Not very glamourous, I know. But after I felt better, there was champagne J
You write romance and romantic suspense – what attracted you to both and what is your level of “heat” in your books?
I love the aspects of both subgenres. In my contemporary romances, I’m able to focus on my characters a bit more deeply, and in the suspense, there’s a lot of fast-paced action. I always write with emotion, though, and all of my books are fairly steamy. Romantic suspense allows me to dive into some edgier aspects. My Station Seventeen series (suspense) is a little sexier than my Cross Creek (contemporary) series, but there’s a definite intimacy level in both.
Let’s say I’m new to Kimberly Kincaid – I’ve just discovered you either through facebook or amazon or through a friend. What kind of story am I going to be getting in a Kimberly Kincaid book – and which book of yours do you recommend I read first?
I do have a handy list, broken down by series, on my website. But you’re in luck, because this year I am starting not one but two new series, so you can get in on the ground level of both! The prequel story to my Station Seventeen series is titled DEEP TROUBLE (it’s out now!), with the first full book, SKIN DEEP, coming out today – 9/20. This series revolves around a fire house, and is full of action-packed suspense and sexy characters.
For my Cross Creek series, the first book, CROSSING HEARTS, will be out on February 7, 2017. It’s up for preorder, for those folks who want to be sure not to miss a minute! That series is about three brothers who run their family farm with their father, in the foothills of the Shenandoah. If you like small town charm mixed with big time sizzle, salt-of-the-earth heroes and feisty, fun heroines, you’re in the right place with this one.
Promotion is key to every author. But you can’t always predict how well a promotion is going to work out. Tell us about one thing you do on a regular basis for each new release that has worked for you?
No matter what I do (Facebook parties, book signings, newsletter blasts), I always try to be genuine. I can’t do this job without readers! I want to make sure my interactions with them are engaging and fun.
Tell us about your latest release. And what do you have coming down the road.
I’ve got SKIN DEEP coming out today! September 20, and CROSSING HEARTS on February 7, 2017. There will be more books in each series in 2017, plus a really fun charity anthology in March 2017. I’m thrilled to be so busy!
I read that you make a mean enchilada! – tell us about that and what inspires you in the kitchen.
Oh, we are big cooks in my house! In the kitchen, it’s all about flavor and fun. My husband, kids, and I make it a team event. We do a lot of tasting and laughing as we go, and we try a lot of new things. You never know where your next favorite will come from!
If you were offered a cooking show on the Food Network –what kind of show would it be and why?
I’d want to focus on easy meals that combine comfort food and healthy living. My very favorite foods come directly from the earth. Give me a good BLT, and I am a happy camper!
Authors sit in front of their computers all day. A recipe for potential weight gain and lack of exercise. What do you do to stay healthy and energized?
I have a fitness background, so thankfully I know a lot of ways to stay active and cross-train. I do a lot of yoga, as well as making time for cardio workouts and healthy eating. It’s all part of daily routine for me. I write my workouts on my daily To Do list to remind myself that they are as much of a priority as paying bills or going to the grocery store. It’s all about balancing the chair with movement
Tell us about a great author or book that you just discovered that you absolutely love!
CM: I met the lovely romance author Kate Moore at the RWA National Conference in San Diego and I asked her to participate in a brief Q & A, which she was happy to do. Kate Moore, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about your writing career. It was such a pleasure meeting you and learning a bit about your passions.
CM: What are 5 things that you have done consistently that have contributed to your growing success as an author. (You can include both writing craft and business/promotional things.)
KM: First, I’m always writing. Whether working and raising kids, or working and caring for aging parents, or volunteering and caring for grandbabies, I’ve made daily writing a priority. It helps to be a fan of “Take-out Tuesday” and to teach your kids to do their own laundry. (Of course, they still do it at my house!) You might find Mason Currey’s book Daily Rituals inspiring. 2) Second, I connect with fellow writers at RWA Chapter meetings and local and national conferences, in a long-standing brainstorming group, and twice weekly to write and share works in progress with a group of fellow writers from all genres at our local library. 3) I study the craft of writing. Reading craft books and listening to smart writers talk about craft stirs my brain and spurs creative solutions to problems of character and plot. Ideas are never a problem. Turning ideas into compelling stories takes a playful application of craft. 4) I respect, appreciate, and thank those whose names don’t appear on the cover, but who are nonetheless necessary to a book’s existence—editors, copy editors, agents, publicists and publishers, reviewers, and, of course, readers. 5) As the publishing world continues to change, I say “Yes” to opportunities, experiment with new publishing and promotional avenues, and keep learning to use the tools of social media to reach readers.
CM: What are you currently working on?
KM: For the first time in my career, I’m writing two books at once. Yikes! What was I thinking? One book is a post-Regency, London-set, historical romance that combines Jane Austen-like issues of family and social position with spies. Can a girl find a husband while simultaneously figuring out who betrayed her father, a British agent, before his enemies get to her? The historical is the first in a trilogy from Kensington’s Lyrical line with release dates starting in 2018. Meanwhile, I’m writing the last book of a contemporary series for Boroughs Publishing Group set in the beach towns south of Los Angeles. In the “Canyon Club” series three “princes of privilege” from the same exclusive boys school, reconnect ten years later when all their fortunes have been reversed. The Loner, once a penniless outsider, is now a tech billionaire; the trust fund Golden Boy is now broke; and the powerless class nerd, is now a powerful wounded warrior. Each clashes with a woman of wit and warmth who challenges him to grow and become the man he’s meant to be. Both series are Jane Austen-inspired and fueled by unlikely but undeniable attractions.
CM: What is the best thing a reader ever said to you?
KM: “I stayed up all night with a flashlight to finish your book.” J It doesn’t get any better than that!
CM: What social media sites do you use the most and why?
KM: My go-to social media sites arefacebookandtwitter.I like Twitter for sharing and discovering sudden flashes of writing insight. I like Facebook as an avenue to connect with readers and fellow writers. I love the interactions. You never know who will post a cartoon that makes you snort your coffee out your nose, an image that inspires awe, or a video that restores your faith in humanity. Meanwhile, trading comments lets you discover other fans of the things you love most from Jane Austen’s novels to V.G.’s Donuts in Cardiff, CA.
CM: A lot of authors love to write series while others love stand alones. What do you prefer and why?
KM: I got the series bug in 2005 after publishing seven stand-alone novels. All of a sudden I had an idea in the middle of the RWA Conference in Reno. I couldn’t write it down fast enough on the back of a green envelope stuffed in my goody bag. What if a famous London courtesan had three sons by three different noble lovers, each of them shaped by her tempestuous relationships with their fathers? Then, what if the youngest was kidnapped? The “Sons of Sin” series was born. I had great fun writing the series and learned so much. It took all three novels to complete the story of the kidnapped boy. I enjoyed staying in the world of the work, fully developing the family dynamics, and using recurring characters, one of whom I’m still writing about today. Nate Wilde, the young thug from To Tempt a Saint, will soon appear in his fifth novel. Since writing that first series, I haven’t gone back, (except for one novella in an anthology of connected stories about a magic Irish ring, Ring of Truth).
CM: Please finish the sentence: I’m a Romance writer because…
KM: . . . because of Jane Austen, and because I believe love is the unfinished business of our lives. Romance is an antidote to cynicism and discouragement. One person’s love can bring us in out of the cold to a circle of warmth, love, and laughter among family and friends, as it does for Darcy, Wentworth, and Edward in Austen’s novels, and Scrooge in Dickens’ most famous story. I try to capture that story of being transformed by love in every book I write.
CM: Once again, I want to thank Kate for sharing some insight to her writing style and career.