Posts Tagged ‘Regency romance author’

Sally McKenzie at the 2013 RWA Literacy Book Signing

Today we have the wonderful treat of chatting with the delightful USA Today Bestselling Regency Historical Author Sally MacKenzie.

The Duchess of Love Series Prequel, E-novellaApril 2012

Sally MacKenzie writes funny, sexy romances set in her favorite time period (other than the present): Regency England. Her novella, The Duchess of Love, was a 2013 RITA® finalist, and two of her books–The Naked King and Bedding Lord Ned–made ALA Booklist’s (American Library

Bedding Lord Ned: The Duchess of Love Series, Book #1June 2012

Association) top ten romances for their respective years. Many of her books are available in audio format, and her stories have been translated into Czech, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Sally graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame in the first class of women. She’s a Cornell Law School dropout, former federal regulation writer, recovering parent volunteer, mother of four grown sons, and middle-of-the-lane Masters swimmer. She loves to travel, especially to England to research historic sites and hike through–and frequently get lost in–the English countryside.

A native of Washington, D. C., she lives with her husband in suburban Maryland, not far from her childhood home.

What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get? Did you think it would make the list? Were you surprised?

The Naked Earl, my third book, squeaked onto the USA Today list for one week, and, no, I wasn’t surprised—but only because I was so naive back then and completely clueless about bestseller lists!

When something awesome happens in your career how do you celebrate?

I grin and do a little happy dance. I might tell a writer friend. Then I try to settle back to work.

I have a husband and four (now grown) sons. There’s no squeeing in my house. It’s pretty much, that’s nice, but what are we doing about dinner? (Though my husband did bring home champagne when I sold my first book.)

Georgette Heyer published her first book in 1921. She wrote romances set in the Regency Era. She also wrote mysteries.

Tell us why you write historical romance and specifically Regency.

That’s where my imagination goes to play.

It’s all Georgette Heyer’s fault, actually. Many consider her the mother of the Regency genre, and if you love Regencies and don’t know her work, you must go immediately to check her out. I’ll wait, lol.

I first encountered Georgette when I was about eleven or twelve and a friendly neighborhood librarian introduced me to her books. I was hooked. Her stories are so witty and charming—though she keeps the bedroom door firmly shut. In my dreams, my books read like a Georgette Heyer—with (at least some) sex.

If you had the chance to write historicals set in a different time period–what era and place would you set your books in? How would you approach the tone of your books?

When I finished my first book, The Naked Duke, I followed conventional wisdom and immediately started a second book—a science fiction romance! So if I weren’t writing Regencies, I’d still avoid the present, but I’d move forward, not backward in time.

I only made it to chapter five of the scifi manuscript before The Naked Duke sold and I anchored myself firmly in the past, but the science fiction story was very different from my Regencies. It was more plot driven—and it wasn’t funny.

Promotion is an important part of every author’s work routine. Tell us one promotion that you did–for a new release or at a conference–that worked really well for you.

I have to say my most successful promotion wasn’t for a new release. Early on in my Naked Nobility series, I had large buttons made that said “I’m a Naked reader.” They were very fun and popular. I’m not certain that they persuaded anyone to buy my books, but they did help my series stick in people’s minds. The Naked King, the last book in that series, came out in 2011 (though the novellas were re-released as separate e-books in 2013), but even now when I introduce myself at events, if my name doesn’t ring a bell, I tell the person I’m the Naked writer and that causes the lightbulb of recognition to go off.

I’m always looking to make that magic again, but I’ve never hit on anything quite so catchy. My current giveaway is a small excerpt booklet I hand readers so they can sample my story and decide if it’s something they might enjoy. Then they can go to my website to read a bit more—and click on one of the purchase links to get the book, if they so desire.

I think it’s very hard to make a direct connection between promotional efforts and book sales.

Surprising Lord Jack – The Duchess of Love Series, Book #2March 2013

You’re a USA Today bestselling author–what are three key ways that you think an author can invest in his/her career in order to expand his or her audience?

First, write the best book you can. Second, write the next book and try to make it even better. Third, write an even better book.

I know that probably sounds like I’m evading the question, but I really believe writing the best book you can is the only way to further your career. It’s the only part of the puzzle we as writers can control.

It’s nice if you can write many good books quickly—the more you have out there, the better your chance of developing a readership. But life is a matter of balance and each writer has his/her own process and pace. I’m pretty much a one book a year writer and I’m okay with that. It’s also not a bad idea to write books in a series, if that appeals to you, and to stay in the same subgenre. I think my career would be very different if I’d finished that science fiction romance and chosen to write in both the historical and science fiction romance subgenres. Certainly it can be done—and if that’s the way your muse rolls, then that’s the path you should take. It just might be harder—or at least, looking back, I think it would have been harder for me—to develop a career writing in two subgenres. I’d definitely need to write faster!

Loving Lord Ash (The Duchess of Love Series Book 3 Released March 2014)

It also has to be said that, sadly, writing a wonderful book is not a guarantee of commercial success. There are a lot of moving parts when a book goes to market. And this business is fundamentally one of taste. What one person loves another person will hate or just find boring. For example, I loathe Gone with the Wind. (Was that an inhalation of horror I heard?) Clearly, GWTW is beloved by many. I’m just not one of them. So you might write a perfectly delightful book that only delights five people.

As to what to do after you’ve written the best books you can? I think it depends on your subgenre and your strengths and preferences. If you want to be published traditionally, finding an agent who’s a good match is a smart step. If you’ve decided to publish independently, then you need to be sure you understand all the pieces of that process—formatting, cover design, editing, marketing, etc. You probably need to do some promotion in either case, but what works for Author A might not work for you—or it might work this week but not next week. My rule on promotion is to do the things I find fun and not worry too much about the rest.

Finally, if you write romance—or perhaps even if you write any form of commercial fiction—I highly recommend joining the Romance Writers of America. The organization offers a lot of support and education, and you’re likely to find your “tribe” there—people who really get what you’re doing.

Devon England, ExmouthImage: www.bbc.co.uk

I know you love to travel–have you ever encountered any place or person on your journeys that you had to absolutely include in one of your books? Tell us about that.

Yes! Both a place and a “person” from my travels inspired my current Spinster House series.

A La Ronde, Exmouth, DevonImage: www.theguardian.com

The place: In 2013, when I was on the hunt for a new series idea, my husband and I traveled around Devon, England. In Exmouth, we came upon a quaint little house, A La Ronde. A La Ronde belonged to a pair of intrepid spinsters, Jane and Mary Parminter, and was passed down through Mary’s will to other spinsters in the family. The house itself isn’t in my series—it’s the idea of a house for spinsters that became an important part of my series concept. (The house itself is quite inspiring, but it’s too unique for my purposes.)

The White Hart Hotel

The “person”: Later on we stayed at The White Hart Hotel in Moretonhampstead. There we met Poppy, a calico cat that hung out in the lobby. One night I made the mistake of sitting in Poppy’s chair (when she wasn’t in it, of course). She gave me quite a look when she arrived to find her

“Poppy” the calico cat looking regal and imperious

place occupied, but was too well bred to take issue with me. She made such an impression, she became a rather important character in the series.

Here’s a picture of Poppy and her chair. (left)

What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

The writing. Really. I love it and I hate it at the same time. I get great satisfaction when I can make a character and a scene come to life, but it is SO hard.

Another thing I love—I became an author later in life having spent years concentrating on raising my four sons. So I love the opportunities I’ve had to make so many new friends—both writers and readers. I feel my world is ever expanding.

Another thing that drives me a little crazy, if not bonkers—Once a book goes out into the world, it’s on its own. Like my kids, actually. I’ve done the best I can, and now I have to let go and let them make their own way in the world. I keep from going absolutely bonkers by not asking my sons (the youngest is 26) questions I might not want to hear the answers to. And, in a similar fashion, I very rarely read reviews or look at my Amazon or other sales rankings.

All I can control is the writing, so I try not to waste precious mental energy on the rest. (Not that I always manage that, of course.)

Not every book can be a bestseller. Heck, some only sell a handful of copies. Tell us about one book (or author) that you’ve read recently that is a true gem waiting to be discovered.

Sally McKenzie’s go-to research books on Regency England.

Here I’m going to have to reveal a deep dark secret: I don’t read much fiction anymore. It’s sad and I do mean to work on it. As it is, with writing and life, I only seem to have time to read the newspapers. We get The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and I usually read—or skim—them cover to cover. Tuesday is my favorite day—that’s when both papers have their health/science sections. And I love spending Saturday and/or Sunday morning going through the weekend papers. Mr. M. sprawls on one couch and I sprawl on the other and we drink coffee and read interesting tidbits to each other. (Mr. M used to work all the time, and our weekends were taken up with kid events—sports and scouts and whatnot—so maybe that’s why I value our “coffee hour” so much.)

I’ve also got a huge collection of research books begging to be read. When we go to England, research books are my souvenirs. Mr. M has to constantly remind me that whatever I buy, I have to bring home in my suitcase.

Spinster House Series Prequel (Released in 2015)

What is the coolest/nicest thing a fan/reader has done for you or said to you?

Simply telling me that he/she’s enjoyed one of my books. (I especially like hearing it made him/her laugh out loud.) I’m amazed and delighted every single time I hear that.

Writing is such a crazy, solitary endeavor. My creative process is slow and painful and messy and insane, full of despair and self-doubt. (I’ve just finished edits, so I’m still recovering from that burst of creative frenzy.) It always feels like a miracle when I manage to get 90,000 odd words together into a coherent (I hope) story. And it’s equally miraculous that those words can entertain and amuse someone I’ve never met.

Spinster House Series Book 1 (released 2015)

Tell us about your latest release. And what do you have coming down the road?

I’m in the middle of my Spinster House series.. The prequel novella, In the Spinster’s Bed, came out this summer followed in late August/early September by the first book, What to Do with a Duke. I’ve just finished the copy edits for the second book, How to Manage a Marquess. It’s a May 2016 release. Now I’m turning my attention to the third book, When to Engage an Earl, which I assume will be out sometime in 2017.

Here’s the back cover copy forWhat to Do with a Duke:

Welcome to the charming, fatefully named village of Loves Bridge, where a woman destined for spinsterhood can live a life of her own choosing—or fall unexpectedly, madly in love . . .

Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting would rather be lounging in the library than circling the ballroom in search of a husband any day. So when Cat hears that the town’s infamous Spinster House is open for a new resident, she jumps at the chance to put all this marriage business behind her. But first she must make arrangements with her prospective landlord, Marcus, the Duke of Hart—the most handsome man she’s ever seen, and the only man who’s ever impressed her in the least.

With her wit, independent spirit, and not least of all her beauty, Marcus can’t help but be stirred by Cat. It’s terribly unfortunate he’s not looking to marry, given the centuries-old curse that left his family with the Spinster House to begin with: No duke shall live to see his heir’s birth. But is there a chance the curse could be broken—in true fairy-tale fashion—by an act of true love? The race to Happily Ever After is about to begin. . .

BONUS QUESTION:What was the last laugh-out-loud-fall-off-your-chair funny thing that happened to you?

I can’t think of something quite that funny, but I do have something to offer that was mildly amusing.

We live across the street from a park with a man-made pond. The pond’s main purpose is to help manage storm water runoff, but it—and the park—are also great critter habitats. There are deer (lots and lots of deer), groundhogs, foxes, rabbits, turtles, snakes, various sorts of toads, and who knows what else. It’s not unusual for me to find a bit of wildlife in my yard. I’ve had deer sampling my shrubbery, a fox having a screaming match with a cat at 2 am, and a turtle laying her eggs in my lawn. But except for the occasional cricket or spider—or, once, a gigantic praying mantis—the critters usually stay outside.

The infamous Mr. Toady?

Now here I should confess that I’m never going to win a good housekeeping award. There might not be any real animals in my house, but there’s a healthy colony of dust bunnies living under my bed, and a few can be found in other places throughout the house. Occasionally I’ll vacuum them up, but in general we co-exist.

One day I was on my way downstairs when I saw a dust bunny in the foyer hop. I blinked, not believing my eyes, but . . . it hopped again!

I was home alone, so it fell to me to deal with whatever this thing was. I approached cautiously and peered down at it from a safe distance, ready to bolt if it looked threatening—and discovered one of the little neighborhood toads had found his way inside and gotten covered in dusty bunny fluff.

How To Manage A MarquessSpinster House Series, Book #2April 26, 2016

I have no idea how the toad got in, but I couldn’t let him stay. So I carefully swept and scooped him out the door and then got a glass of water to wash him off. He seemed a bit stunned, but when I checked later he was gone, none the worse for his experience, I hope.

Thanks so much for giving me a chance to stop by and visit!

Sally MacKenzie is a USA Today bestselling author. Her forthcoming book How to Manage a Marquis (Spinster House Series, Book #2) is set for release in April 2016. You can pre-order right now. Visit her online at her website, on Twitter @Sally_Mackenzie, or on her Sally MacKenzie Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/sallymackenziebooks.

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Image: www.blogto.com

Everyone knows the expression ‘things that go bump in the night’. Things go bump 24-7-365 in my house.

In the early 1960s, my father bought an old carriage house (horse and buggy and later cars) two blocks from where we lived in a house with apartments. He kept the framework of the carriage house and built a whole house from it. I was 12 when we moved, and the house was like a palace. Two floors, 2 bathrooms, attic, cellar. But whenever I was home alone, I felt like I was being watched, and walking in the attic made me uneasy.

Decades passed. Lots of decades passed. My sister and my brother (both older) left home, and finally I left home too. My mom and dad still lived in the house with the 3rd family dog we’d had. Dusty was an overweight, hermaphrodite mini-schnauzer.

Image: breakfastwithmelvin.tumblr.com

My mom passed in 1999. One summer day, I stopped by to visit my dad. Dusty was on the enclosed back porch so I sat on the couch out there and patted him. My dad was upstairs and called out to see who it was. I answered that it was me. I never left the porch. My dad walked downstairs and, passing the first floor bathroom, asked if I had shut the bathroom door. I said no. He was irritated because he wanted the door open and insisted I had closed it. When I went home, I thought about it and realized that my mom always wanted that door closed. I knew then that my mom was still there. I called my sister and said, “Ma is still in the house.” My sister said, “I know.” Apparently something similar had happened to her. We were convinced my mom was still there. As time went on, other little things started to happen.

A few years later, Dusty the dog passed. (Guess who got stuck taking him to be put down. It was one of the saddest days of my life). When I visited my father, I pulled into the driveway and got out of the car. I heard Dusty barking. He sounded as if he was a distance away, but I knew it was him.

Image: thoughtcatalog.com

Then my father (by that time was in his late 80s) became ill. We needed 24 hour care. The overnight woman didn’t know my mother was still a presence in the house. She saw my mom walking down the stairs and then vanish. She didn’t tell us for a long time because she didn’t want us to think she was doing drugs.

My father finally passed. The house was empty except for the furniture and other stuff everyone had dumped there: my mom’s clothes, my dad’s things, my sister’s and brother’s extra free storage. Since I was getting the house, I had to clean it.

I didn’t move in right away because I wanted it painted. I also had the kitchen renovated. So the house was empty for quite some time.

That’s when things really started to go bump 24-7-365. There were the usual things: footsteps overhead as well as the pitter-patter of little dog’s feet. Yes, Dusty the dog was still there. Doors opened and closed on their own, lights on were that shouldn’t be on, sometimes voices.

I needed to put extra locks on the attic door, the cellar door, doorstops for bedroom doors upstairs. I had cats and didn’t want them to get stuck in a room.

One summer day, I stopped by with a friend. When I unlocked the front door and stepped inside, I called jokingly, “Hello!” From upstairs a voice called, “Hello!” I looked at my friend who said, “That’s your father’s voice.” I thought “Oh, crap, my father’s here too.”

image: deepsouthmag.com

Four or five ghost hunters groups came through. All the psychics who walked upstairs to the attic asked me who the little boy was. (I was being watched when I was 12). Jeremiah, the little boy, died in the carriage house decades earlier and was waiting for his sister (who had most likely died decades earlier). Jeremiah and my mom like to play pranks on me. I’ve heard the sound of a little boy running and a dog running with him.

Lachesis Publishing author Jeanine Spikes (author of The Possession) came here with her group. On the voice recorder she caught my mom and the boy whispering. She caught my father on the recorder AND heard with her own ears my father say, “pack up”. It was 1:00 am in the morning and he wanted them to leave.

It would take me a week to write out all the incidents that have happened. For example: The man who installed my new furnace told me I had a ghost in the house.

I’ll leave you with this. I recently called my sister and said, “If you die, don’t come here. There’s no room.”

Patricia Grasso is the author of eighteen historical romances including the Douglas Series which follows the love stories of the amazing Douglas sisters (Angelica, Samantha and Victoria) in Regency London and the Lords of Stratford Series, Regency historical romances with a fairy-tale twist about the aristocratic families in Stratford-on-Avon. 

Patricia Grasso‘s latest release is Enchanting the Duke. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, BN nook, or kobo.

Connect with Patricia Grasso online on her web site and on facebook

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We continue our fun and fascinating on-going series here at the Lachesis Publishing Daily Blog called The Book That Hooked You. Today’s Q and A features the triple RITA-finalist Vicky Dreiling. Vicky writes “wickedly witty historical romance”. Welcome Vicky!

Take us back to when you first discovered romance novels. When did you become a reader? How old were you? And what was the first book that hooked you? Why? How many times have you read that book?

VICKY D: I read my first romance by accident more than a decade ago. I was in the supermarket with my three year old daughter. I saw a book with a pink dress and NYT was emblazoned on it. Then my daughter climbed out of the supermarket cart and took off running. I ran after her and strapped her into the cart. I forgot about the book until I got to the counter and saw a paperback go down the conveyor belt. When I got home and put my daughter down for her nap, I opened the book. To my surprise it was a romance. I’d never read one. Two hours later, my daughter woke up and I realized I’d been so hooked I couldn’t put it down. That gateway book was Judith McNaught’s  ALMOST HEAVEN. I read all of McNaught’s books multiple times. I LOVED her books.

Who is/are the book(s) that inspired when you took those first baby steps in your writing career? The books that made you think “Wow, I want to write books like that!”

VICKY D: To be honest, I was an insatiable reader and couldn’t afford my book habit. I’m sure this is familiar to a lot of readers. Anyway, I had nothing to read and I’d spent all my book money, so I turned on the computer and started writing for fun. Then something unbelievable happened. A friend called and said she’d signed up for a class at the local branch of the university. I confessed my secret writing hobby. My friend said something that changed my life. My friend said she’d seen a sign up for how to write a romance. She gave me the phone number and I signed up! Pretty wild, right?

Tell us about the kind of romance you write and why you love to write it.

VICKY D: My first romance love has always been historical romance. I like some contemporaries such as Jill Shalvis, but historical romance remains my favorite.

What is one of your favourite Vicky Dreiling books and why?

VICKY D: I love all of my books and the characters as well. I have a special place in my heart for my first book HOW TO MARRY A DUKE. It was so much fun and it was also a Triple RITA finalist.

Tell us about a book that you’ve read recently (past year) that you love love love.

VICKY D: This is actually a Young Adult called IF I STAY by Gayle Forman. It grabs you immediately, and the writing is excellent. I highly recommend it.

Name three of your all-time favourite romance authors and why.

VICKY D: FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale – the best historical romance ever. LORD PERFECT and MR. IMPOSSIBLE by Loretta Chase. I love Loretta’s voice.

List three qualities that make a “keeper” romance novel and why.

VICKY D: A hero to die for, seemingly impossible odds, and a strong heroine.

What is the sweetest/coolest thing a reader has said to you/done for you?

VICKY D: I love talking to readers. Every time one of them tells me they loved one of my books, I’m so grateful that the reader enjoyed it.

Tell us about your latest release

VICKY D: WHAT A DEVILISH DUKE DESIRES is the story of a couple from two different worlds. She is a maid and he is a duke. It seems impossible, but Harry, the hero refuses to let the ton keep them apart. 

What’s coming down the road?

VICKY D: Well, I just turned in a new proposal, so I can’t tell you yet!

BONUS QUESTION: Sweet tooth or salty snack lover? What do you love to nosh on when writing?

VICKY D: Are you kidding me? I want both! LOL.

Author Vicky Dreiling

Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble.” When she’s not writing, Vicky enjoys reading, films, concerts, and most of all, long lunches with friends. A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.

Connect with Vicky online via her website, facebook, blog, twitter (@vickydreiling) and via email: vicky@vickydreiling.com

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Vivienne Lorret

Continuing our ongoing series featuring bestselling authors we chat with the dynamic and delightful USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret. Vivienne writes delicious Regency romance for Avon Impulse Harper Collins. She is the author of two popular series called The Wallflower Wedding Series and the Rakes of Fallow Hall Series

What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?

VL: Winning Miss Wakefield (Wallflower Weddings, book 2) hit the USA TODAY Bestsellers List at #120. I was so surprised that I didn’t really believe my editor when she called. I started to hyperventilate and I think I might have asked her “Are you kidding me?” about three or four times. The great thing was, she wasn’t kidding. WMW stayed on the list for one glorious week of ear-to-ear grins and random squeals of delight. Then, poof it went away. Shortly thereafter, Finding Miss McFarland hit the list at the same number, for one week, and then poof. Coincidence or magic fairy dust?

When something awesome happens in your career do you celebrate with food, flowers, or fun? Details please. 

Happiness in a cup

VL: Life is short, so I celebrate as often as I can. When I begin a new book, I shop for office supplies—there’s just something about a new pack of Post-it’s, pens, and pencils that adds to the excitement. And since I’m out anyway, I might stop by Starbucks for a grande chai with whip.

When I finish a particularly tough chapter, or write a scene that makes me happy, I’ll do a little victory dance—though I try to steer clear of the windows so I don’t scare the neighbors. And since I’m already in motion, I might slip on my shoes, go for a drive, and grab a grande chai with whip.

When something BIG happens, like a book release or signing a contract for a new series, I usually buy myself flowers (roses or daisies), and maybe . . .  just maybe . . . stop by Starbucks.

What advice can you give authors who really want to hit a bestseller list but haven’t yet?

VL: I don’t think there’s a secret formula for hitting a bestseller list. If there were, I would have figured out how to stay on one, or how to hit the top 100. But I think having a support-team helps. I’ve been blessed with an incredibly supportive editor and publishing house, not to mention the amazing art department. In addition, it helps to write the book you want to read. After all, if you believe in your book, chances are that other people will too. From there, good things will happen. At the very least, you’ll be proud of the pages between the covers. That means a lot.

Promotion is an important part of every author’s work routine. Tell us one promotional approach that has worked well for you.

VL: Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch with your fan base—a quick note about the writing process, a picture of your latest hero or heroine, motivational phrases that inspire you, and random/whacky posts all work to make a personal connection to the people who support your career. Hosting rafflecopter contests on your page also helps. It’s important to give back and spread the love whenever possible.

What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

VL: I love writing. The act of touching the keyboard and watching the pictures in my head transform into words is pretty cool. Of course, there are days when that doesn’t happen easily and/or the words don’t quite match the pictures in my head. But those are the days when it’s time to fill up the writer’s well, and usually that’s a fun process.

Interruptions drive me bonkers. When I’m writing a scene, and my mind is traveling back to the Regency period, it’s difficult to tune out the lawn mowers, barking dogs, and the daily screaming contests in the neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve used different methods, from wearing gun-range earmuffs to buying a noise-cancelling machine. Then, there are the interruptions that happen within the walls of my writing domain. It’s harder to ignore “I don’t mean to interrupt, but . . .” The questions could be anything from “Have you seen my glasses?” to “Can you do me a favor and . . .” For years, I would stop what I was doing, help find the glasses, fix dinner, or run errands for anyone who asked. But then, I learned to say no. Not just a hem hawing no, either. A definite I’m-working-and-my-time-is-valuable no. It’s liberating. I highly recommend it.

Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

VL: Kristan Higgins because her books make me laugh so hard that I cry. Lisa Kleypas because her books touch my soul. Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, and Candis Terry because their books are simply fabulous (and they are super nice women, too).

What is the coolest/nicest thing a fan/reader has done for you or said to you?

VL: I received a personal email from a reader one day. She’d written me after spending a night in the hospital with her child. And while reassuring me that her son was fine, she also took a moment out of her life to tell me that my book had helped her through the night. I cried instantly, amazed and awed by this woman. With everything going on in her life, she chose to reach out to me. And I’m thankful each and every day that, in some small way, my book provided the distraction she needed.

Tell us about your latest release and what do you have coming down the road?

VL: My latest release, The Maddening Lord Montwood, came out in paperback on August 18th. Yay! I’m so excited about this book! TMLM is the third and final book in The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series. In the beginning, Lucan Montwood pulled his friends into a high-stakes wager, each of them vowing to be the last bachelor standing. Then one after the other, they started to find love. To me, it seemed fitting that the charming, manipulative Lucan would ultimately fall for a strong-willed woman who could see through his tricks. I loved writing Lucan and Frances’ story.

Coming down the road… I recently finished writing a novella for Avon’s Christmas anthology, All I Want for Christmas is a Duke. The Regency anthology will be out this year on December 1st.

My novella takes place during a Christmas house party. To the Duke of Vale, science is everything. He has invited all the right people in order to reveal a formula designed to generate a suitable marriage partner without engaging in the messy procedure of courting . . . (think of it as a Match.com in the Regency era). North’s method is clean and flawless. That is, until the impulsive Ivy Sutherland crosses his path. She makes him question all of his data, forcing him to admit that he failed to catalog one vital element for a perfect match . . . love.

In your daily work routine what do you do first and why? A. write/plot/creative B. social media/promotion C. email/admin

VL: Most of the time, a. I like to start writing with a fresh brain. Umm . . . that sort of makes me sound like a zombie. Mmm . . . fresh brains! Then again, that’s usually how I feel until I’ve had my first cup of tea.

So this is where all the Post-its went.

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

VL: A lot of Post-its, pens, and papers. I’m in new-series-mode right now, so it’s kind of a mess. I have family trees, character sketches, and a calendar that serves as a ticking clock for each deadline. Beside my desk hangs a huge whiteboard full of story notes. Above my desk, I also keep a slew of notes, reminding myself to focus and to write the book I want to read, among other things. My office can be described as organized chaos.

BONUS: Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .

VL: I’m a writer because that’s the line I stood in when they were handing out souls.

Thanks for having me here today! This was fun and I loved your questions!

USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, and The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series.

Connect with Vivienne Lorret on her website, on facebook, on twitter, and on pinterest. 

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We all have a Keeper Shelf. Home to books that we have read and re-read many times over. Books that we would never part with. Books that will forever have a special place in a our hearts. Historical romance author JoMarie DeGioia shares her Top 5 favourite historical romance books – and what a list!

Rosehaven by Catherine Coulter

When heiress Hastings Trent is joined with warrior Severin Langthorne in marriage, she must uncover the mystery surrounding a secluded estate known as Rosehaven.

Come back to England in the year 1277 and meet Hastings of Trent and Severin of Langthorne, two strangers joined in marriage. Hastings is an heiress and Severin is the warrior whom the dying Earl of Oxborough has selected to assume his title, properties, possessions, and his daughter. It is Severin’s duty to sire children, to bring strong new blood to the line, and keep Oxborough powerful. Hastings thinks he’s cold-blooded, severe, merciless. Severin doesn’t smile, he looks capable of cruelty, he inspires fear. As for Hastings, Severin believes she should be obedient, submissive, malleable. She should speak softly and do whatever he wants, immediately. Both are in for a surprise. 

Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros

Gabriel Fairchild’s valor during battle earns him the reputation of hero, but costs him both his sight and his hope for the future. Abandoned by the fiancée he adored, the man who once walked like a prince among London’s elite secludes himself in his family’s mansion, cursing his way through dark days and darker nights.

Prim nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park to find her new charge behaving more like a beast than a man. Determined to do her duty, she engages the arrogant earl in a battle of both wit and wills. Although he claims she doesn’t possess an ounce of womanly softness, she can feel his heart racing at her slightest touch. As Samantha begins to let the light back into Gabriel’s life and his heart, they both discover that some secrets — and some pleasures — are best explored in the dark …

Lady Sarah’s Son by Gayle Wilson

Justin Tolbert was a war hero and the new Earl of Wynfield, but he was not the same man Lady Sarah Spense once knew . . . 

Suddenly, too vividly, Sarah remembered the night he had first asked her to dance. The London ballroom had been overcrowded, its heat stifling. Justin had been wearing his uniform, the handsome regimentals setting off the perfection of his strong body and his still-boyish face. She had thought then that there was no man more handsome in the room. She had stepped willingly into his arms, and when the music had begun, she had drifted, following his lead. They had moved together without conscious thought. As if the two of them had been created to dance together….Would they ever do that again . . . ?

Prince Charming by Julie Garwood

Only her beloved grandmother, Lady Esther, knew how devastated Taylor Stapleton had been when her fiancé eloped with Taylor’s cousin. Now dear Esther — one of London’s richest and most formidable matriarchs — lies dying. But first she was going to help Taylor pull off the scam of the season.

To escape becoming a ward of her unscrupulous uncle, Taylor would wed Lucas Ross, a rugged American rancher. Lady Esther’s money would enable Ross to return home to Montana. Taylor had her own urgent reason to go to America…a precious legacy she hadn’t revealed to Ross, for they had agreed to part ways once they reached Boston. But as her handsome new husband spoke of life in Montana, Taylor began planning a new future. To Taylor, the wide-open spaces of Montana sounded like paradise . . .

Candle in the Window by Christina Dodd

Lady Saura of Roget lives a lonely life of servitude–her fortune controlled by her cruel stepfather. Yet it is she who has been called upon to brighten the days of Sir William of Miraval, a proud and noble knight who once swore to live or perish by the sword . . . until his world was engulfed in agonizing darkness. Summoned to Sir William’s castle, the raven-haired innocent is overcome by desire and love for the magnificent, golden warrior who has laid siege to her heart.

But there is grave danger awaiting them both just beyond the castle walls . . . and a deadly price to be paid for surrendering to a fiery, all-consuming love.

To make this list I went to my keeper shelf, where real estate is pretty exclusive. It was tough picking one particular favorite by some of my favorite authors! A couple of these happen to also be the very first book I’d ever read by that author. I discovered Catherine Coulter on a pharmacy bookshelf. Gayle Wilson and Christina Dodd were new to me when I read their titles as well. As for Teresa Medieros and Julie Garwood, it was even tougher picking a favorite out of their titles on my keeper shelf. Julie Garwood takes up quite a bit of space all by herself!

The author voices are different in every one of these. The settings and situations also vary. There is one very important thing all of these titles have in common, however. These are all stories that gripped me when I first read them. When I reread them. And even now, years after I’ve read them, I can remember not only the stories but the feelings they evoked.

I hope to create emotion in my readers with my own Historical Romance series. To make readers care about my story people as much as I do as I’m writing them. And long after, just like the feelings I carry after reading my own favorites!

JoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

You can get her books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

The modern library has it all from the latest bestselling books, computer classes, to 3D imaging duplicator.

from workoutguidance.com

Here is a list of my top five favorite free things to do at a library.

Free Classes: When I first bought a computer I had no idea how to use one. I didn’t know how to use search engines or type in websites. However, my local public library offered free computer classes. All I had to do was set-up an appointment to meet with a librarian, and along with three other people, I learned how to use a computer. It was great! I checked recently and there were free Zumba dance classes, poetry, and e-book marketing courses being offered for authors.

3D Imaging Duplicator: Living in the Silicon Valley does have its advantages and one of them is technology at the library, which can be fun. The Sunnyvale library currently owns a 3D, Makerbot2 Duplicator. 

One of my son’s friends took his Boy Scout necktie in and had it replicated within two hours. Can you say, Awesome?!

E-books: Oh- yeah, baby! The book isn’t on the shelf and the waiting list is ten deep, but you still want to read that bestseller, no problem. The library has you covered. The book is available in e-book form. All you have to do is go online, type in your card number, then download the book, and voila, it’s yours to borrow.

Kids Hour: When my kids were little this free program was a life-saver. The hour long story-time, with songs, and simple crafts allowed me to looks for books and check out videos while my children were being entertained. In the summer we came and enjoyed the free magic and animal shows and took part in the summer reading program, which earned the children free books, a gift certificate to the local ice cream parlor, and bookmarkers. There was many a dull summer which was saved by these kid programs.

image from livestrong.com

Coffee Shops: Yes, they’re offering coffee and yummy snacks these days at your local public library. You can browse the books and videos, then after you’ve checked out your picks, settle into a comfortable chair and sip a hot beverage by the large window overlooking the garden, while reading the used book you just bought for a buck. Pure Bliss.

And one for the road . . .

Tax Expert: I confess I haven’t had the patience to stand in line and use one, but I think it’s great that a tax expert is available at the library during that nail biting time of the year. If I’m to judge by the line of people I saw waiting to talk to one of these kind volunteers, I’d say many people appreciate the free service.

So check out your local library you might be surprised what’s happening there!

Connect with Beverly Adam online on her blog, on facebook and on goodreads.

You can purchase Beverly’s books at Lachesis Publishing, amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo and iBooks.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

 

 

 

Today’s Q and A is with historical romance author Patricia Grasso is the author of eighteen historical romances including the Douglas Series which follows the love stories of the amazing Douglas sisters (Angelica, Samantha and Victoria) in Regency London and the Lords of Stratford Series, Regency historical romances with a fairy-tale twist about the aristocratic families in Stratford-on-Avon.

Why are you a writer?

That’s a good question. Why does anyone drop into any job/ profession? For me, I can’t not write. Yes, that’s a double negative, but a double negative equals a positive.

What do you love to read in your spare time?

That question assumes I have spare time. My reading taste is eclectic. I read both non-fiction, mainly historical or craft, and all genres of fiction.

What is your favourite first line ever from a novel?

Actually, my favorite first line comes from the mystery I’m five chapters short of finishing. The line reads: “My biggest fear is dying a formaldehyde-scented spinister.” If I had to pick another first line it would be from the only Charles Dickens book I liked, A TALE OF TWO CITIES. The line reads: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

My number one goal is to keep writing books that readers buy and enjoy. Reaching that goal would mean I could achieve my other 2 goals: make tons of money and sail the Mediterranean with my newly-acquired boy toy. I’m old, not dead.

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

I read and observe. I regularly watch the History Channel and FBI Files type of shows. (Okay, I admit I’m addicted to Revenge, Scandal, and The Walking Dead.) I’m also learning (slowly) about promotion and social media. The problem is my computer frightens me.

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing? 

Coffee, soy milk, no sugar. I also like peanut butter on crisp apple slices. My favorite foods are peanut butter and pizza, but not together.

What was a book that made you go “aha!” and why? (fiction or non fiction)

There are many books I’ve liked, but no book ever made me go “aha”. If forced to pick something I admire greatly, I’d say Shakespeare’s tragedies. I love William Shakespeare.

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

There’s a big difference between bad and nasty. “Bad” is constructive because the reviewer is telling the reason the story didn’t work for him/ her. “Nasty” is different. Nasty is a reviewer spewing hatred and anger directed at the author, making it personal. The truth is this: No author is as good as her best review or as bad as her worst review.

What do you listen to when you write? 

Silence.

Cats or dogs? 

I’m a dog person who lives with cats. Need I say more?

Patricia Grasso‘s latest release is Enchanting the Duke. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, BN nook, or kobo.

Connect with Patricia Grasso online on her web site and on facebook

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Continuing our week with JoMarie DeGioia we find out a little bit more about this saucy Regency romance author . . .  JoMarie writes historical romances with a touch of mystery for Lachesis Publishing. And her books are always on the steamy side. Her Dashing Nobles series follows the love lives of four male friends in Regency London.

Why are you a writer?

I couldn’t NOT be a writer. I love crafting a story and making my people do what I want them to do, most of the time. I’ve always been a storyteller and creating stories people might love? That’s why I’m a writer.

What do you love to read in your spare time?

No big surprise here. I love to read romance. Contemporary, historical, spicy…I love it all. I want the books I read to have a happy ending and by reading romance I’m guaranteed one!

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

Reading the genre to stay current, keeping up with social media, always looking to grow in my craft by going to conferences and participating in writers’ groups.

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

Write books people love, see the books in my series hit the bestseller lists, write 2-3 books per year.

 What is your favourite first line ever from a novel?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing?

Depends on the day, lol. Sometimes an apple. Sometimes a banana. Sometimes chocolate!

What was a book that made you go “aha!” and why? (fiction or non fiction)

Teresa Medeiros’s Yours Until Dawn. There is a surprise twist that left me gasping! And rereading to see how I could have missed it, lol. Brava! And such deep emotion is what I strive for in my own books.

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

Oh, people tell you to ignore them. How can you? When I see a horrid 1-star review, I think of them as a drive-by review meant to ruin an author. Thankfully enough of my readers have posted lovely reviews that make the bad ones fade a bit in my memory.

What do you listen to when you write?

I can’t listen to music while I write. I just can’t. I can and do have the TV on, though. In fact, I seldom write with the TV off! As for editing, however? I have to have quiet.

Cats or dogs?

Well, I have both. If forced to make a choice, I would choose “dog” since you look at their little faces and just know they love you. With cats, it’s a little more of a mystery.

JoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

You can get her books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.