Author Speed Dating – Linda Bradley

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: Linda Bradley

 

15 Questions

1. Picture yourself at an amusement park. Are you the rider on the tallest roller coaster, clamoring for speed; the only adult on the spinning ride with the kids, begging for it to stop; or the bench-sitter, holding the coats and waving?

I’m on the roller coaster avoiding the spinning teacups! Just thinking about twirling makes me queasy. As a youngster, my friends and I would ride the roller coasters at Cedar Point, then get right back in line to ride them all over again. A few years back, I rode Space Mountain and loved it as much as when I was a teenager.

2. Name an author whose work you read and still think “I’m not worthy”?

LuAnn Rice. Her skill for writing stories centered around loss and tarnished relationships draws me in every time.

3. What was genre of the first piece you can remember writing, and how old were you when you penned this masterpiece?

I wrote and illustrated a picture book titled “Erie” in fourth grade. I still have it, along with the other picture books I wrote in elementary school.

4. Are you traditionally published, self-published or a “hybrid” author, and why did you choose that path?

Hybrid. I published my Montana Bound Series with Soul Mate. This year, I’m venturing outside my comfort zone and self-publishing a Christmas novella.

5. Which Star Wars character best describes your personality in regular life? What about on deadline?

Regular life – Chewbacca. People in my world know I’ve got their backs. I love the way Chewbacca speaks, and like Chewy, I don’t need words to get my point across. On deadline, I’d have to say I’m more like Han Solo. I can get a little testy when I’m focused on reaching my goal. With the hint of sarcasm and a touch of perseverance, eliminating the deadline Death Star is an obtainable goal.

6. Was there ever a time before or after you were published that you considered quitting? If so, how did you convince yourself to try one more time?

I may have been discouraged, but I never thought about quitting.

7. Celebrities aging beautifully: Mark Harmon or Sean Connery?

Sean Connery. I like his Scottish accent.

8. Since all writers are readers, name your favorite hero or heroine from a book you’ve read. Has he or she had an impact in how you write the characters in your own books?

Claire from Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells has stayed with me. Sarah Addison Allen’s sprinkle of magic makes her portrayal of flawed characters’ shine. I’d like to believe someday, my sprinkle of magic will light up the pages, too.

9. Who was the first person – besides your mom and dad – who told you that you could write?  

My high school English teacher, Mr. Hotchkiss. He was old school.  We’d written plays in class. Mine was set in a small town, and I wrote my characters with a drawl. When he returned my work, there was a sparkle in his eye when he told me I had talent. That’s a seed I’ve kept planted for most of my life.  

10. Do you own at least one purse (or twenty) from a well-known fashion designer, or are you more the bag-to-carry-my-junk-in type?

I have a smattering, but my favorite purse is a leather cross-body bag that I purchased in the Denver airport.

11. Do you belong to a critique group, and how has that membership affected your writing?

My critique group has kind of dissipated due to children and hectic schedules, but I do have a writer pal that I use as a go-to when I need input. Love you, Roni!

12. What are some of the activities you were participating in when you came up with an idea for a book? (Note: Keep it clean.)

Not to be grim, but cancer was my catalyst. Writing was a huge part of processing the unknown. I’d had critiques on manuscripts prior to my debut novel MAGGIE’S WAY, but never really knew how to fix the stories. So, I tucked them away, wiped the slate clean, and started anew. That’s when Maggie Abernathy and her gang of misfits popped into my head and never left.

13. Music: Pink or Taylor Swift?

Totally, PINK! Don’t Let Me Get Me. “Sometimes I’m a hazard to myself.”

14. Do you write the synopsis before or after you write the manuscript?

I write my synopsis after I write the manuscript. Not my favorite part of the process. Just saying.

15. What is your biggest dream for your writing career? The New York Times bestseller list? A movie deal? Your own island in the Caribbean? All of the above?

New York Times bestseller list. Movie. Beach house. Another dog.

***

 

Maggie’s Montana

By Linda Bradley

 

 

John’s breath brushed up against my neck. His lips followed. Tension oozed from my shoulders like dripping wax, my guard giving way to the heat. He whispered in my ear, “Let me love you.”

I swallowed the temptation, but it stuck in my throat and lingered at the back of my tongue like bitter sweetness. “I don’t know how.”

Afraid, I prayed again. From under my lashes, I saw a man earnest and true, his eyes fixed on me yet not demanding, something I wasn’t used to. Flecks of passion danced in his irises.

“How the hell do you know what you want?” I asked.

“Because I know,” he said.
His strong hands held my face. His thumbs stroked my cheeks like he was settling a skittish filly. “Let me ask you this, neighbor lady . . .”

“Why do you keep calling that?”

“Does there have to be a reason?” he asked.

“Isn’t there a reason for everything?”

“No. Sometimes things just feel right.” John kissed me as I took in his words, his breath in sync with mine. My stomach rolled over and I let myself kiss him back as if it were the very first time.

 

***

 

MAGGIE’S MONTANA is Book 3 in the Montana Bound Series and an October 2016 release from Soul Mate Publishing. It is available in print and e-book forms and may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

 

***

About Linda

Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction with a thread of romance highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments that make readers connect with her characters.

Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, THE HUNTER, for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA. Her debut novel, MAGGIE’S WAY, was a finalist in the 2016 Greater Detroit Booksellers Best Award and a finalist in the 2016 Summer Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award.

Linda has two grown sons and lives with her husband and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Stay in touch with Linda through her website, www.lindabradleyauthor.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

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Author Speed Dating – Liz Talley

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: Liz Talley

 

 

 

15 Questions

1. If Disney made an animated movie about you as Princess Liz, which Disney hero would you choose as your Prince?

Captain John Smith (Disney Version). Did you know that he named the opossum?

2. In which genres and subgenres have you been published, and what does your narrow or sweeping focus say about you?

I am published in romantic fiction, and my writing spans the scope from light/fun to emotional/dark. 

3. Denzel Washington or Leonardo DiCaprio?

Leonardo (I think).

4. What is one of the biggest risks you’ve taken as a writer?

I quit my job and said I could make it as a writer. Some years that’s been true. Others, not so much.

5. If you could keep only the possessions that would fit in one suitcase, and you were limited to two books – one you wrote and one by someone else – which titles would you tuck inside your bag? Explain your choices.

THE SWEETEST SEPTEMBER by me and OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. My title because it was my RITA finalist, and I love the heroine and hero. I don’t think I have to explain the other, do I? I mean, Jamie. That is all. 

6. How many rejections did you receive before you sold your first book, and what did you learn from them?

Lots upon lots. I learned I wasn’t good at writing queries, and I needed to learn more before I put my work out there as a professional.

7. For your social-media fix, do you prefer crazy cat videos or trivia quizzes on ’80s movies and Biblical characters?

Trivia quizzes. I love those!

8. Which character from one of your own books do you wish you were more like?

Kate in A LITTLE TEXAS. She’s the gal I want to be. 🙂

9. Perfect outfit: cowboy hat and boots or sundress and sandals?

Sundress and sandals.

10. Are you a pantser or a plotter in your writing, and have you always written this way, or have you changed methods throughout your career?

I’m organic. I write from an outline, but I let the plot unfold in a different direction if need be.

11. What is your most ridiculous fear, and what have you done to challenge it?

Failure. And I refuse to accept it. I’m stubborn that way.

12. What are some of the activities you’ve participated in, people you’ve interviewed or places you’ve visited to do research for one of your books?

I’ve interviewed a scientist on whooping cranes, a Mardi Gras float builder and a LSU football coach, and I’ve toured a fire station and ridden in the truck. Oh, and lots more. I love field trips!

13. Name the strangest snack or food combination you love to eat when no one is watching.

I’m not too adventurous with food. I like cheese melted on saltines. That’s boring, but it’s pretty good. 

 14. Faith Hill or Lady Gaga?

Lady Gaga.

15. In 10 words or less, give your best writing advice to aspiring authors.

It’s YOUR story, write it the way you want it.

 

***

 

All That Charm

By Liz Talley

 

 

 

The other girls cast suspicious glances toward Eden. She could feel the questions, the censure, and the incredulity that an untried ensemble member who’d shown up mere days ago might be the one to get the break they’ve all been hoping for. Eden didn’t return their regard. Instead she watched Frenchie. “I’ve been on the stage plenty of times. You saw my audition.”

Eden didn’t add that her onstage experience as Annie Oakley had come when she was a junior in high school. Hey, they’d sold out all three nights, and she’d gotten a nice write-up in the Morning Glory Herald. Not exactly chopped liver.

After long, countable seconds, Frenchie closed her eyes, opened them, and then snapped her fingers. “Get her the costume. Lisa, see if we have a wig. Make it red. Let’s get her as close as possible to Lola.”

“She’s almost a foot shorter than Sadie. No one is going to think she’s Lola LaRue. That’s ridiculous,” one of the ensemble girls said.

“Fine. She’ll be Lulu. Lola’s sister,” Frenchie said with a shrug of one thin shoulder. It seemed obvious the woman had made her decision. “Let’s make this happen. We don’t have time to think too hard. Someone give Fred the intro for Lulu. We’ll need to take a good six inches off the skirt, and someone find a padded bra. If I’m not mistaken, she’s a thirty-two with an A cup.”

“I’m a B cup,” Eden yelled, knowing full well the bra she was currently wearing was a 32 A.

But Frenchie was gone.

***

ALL THAT CHARM, A Morning Glory Novel Book 3 and a May 2, 2017, release from ARTalley Books, Inc., may be pre-ordered from Amazon.

***

About Liz

A finalist in both RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA contests, Liz Talley loves staying home in her jammies writing emotional contemporary romance. Her first book starred a spinster librarian – VEGAS TWO STEP – and debuted in June 2010. Since that time, Liz has published twenty-one more books with Harlequin, Berkeley and Montlake, reaching number one in Kindle romance with her latest series. Her stories are set in the South where the tea is sweet, the summers are hot and the men are hotter. Liz lives in Louisiana with her childhood sweetheart, two handsome children, three dogs and a mean kitty. You can visit Liz at www.liztalleybooks.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook to learn more about her upcoming books.

 

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Author Speed Dating – Pamela Hearon

Author Speed Dating(1)

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.

This week’s guest: Pamela Hearon

 

Pamela Hearon

WOMEN'S FICTION-1

15 Questions

1. Which of the Peanuts girls – Lucy, Sally, Peppermint Patty or Marcie – would be your best friend if you were added as a character on the comic strip?

Peppermint Patty.  I was such a tomboy as a kid, growing up in a neighborhood of six boys and me.  I could outrun them all … until I got older and smarter.

2. Name a genre or sub-genre you have never written in but would like to.

Oooo, suspense.  I had a suspense element in one of my books, and loved writing it.  My editor made me tone down the bad guy, though, because he gave her the creeps!

3. When did you first decide you were a writer, and when was your first book published?

My dad always talked about a story I wrote in the 5th grade, so I was writing way back in the last century, but my first book didn’t get published until 2009.

4. Jeopardy or Real Housewives of Orange County?

 Jeopardy.  I’m the only person on the planet who has never watched one of those Real Housewives shows.

5. Do you write the synopsis before or after you write the manuscript?

After.  When I try to write it before, it never matches what I actually write.

6. Sam Elliot or Robert Downey, Jr.?

Mr. Downy, please (and can he wear his Ironman suit?).

7. Describe a character from one of your books who is most like or most radically different from your significant other.

Kale Barlow from HIS KIND OF PERFECTION—a little overweight, a whole lot funny, and sexy as hell <3.

8. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” or “The Great Gatsby”? Book or movie version, your choice.

Gatsby—the movie version with Robert Redford in the starring role.

9. What has been your proudest moment as an author?

I was a RITA Finalist in 2013—wonderful validation from my peers!

10. How important is social media to you in your writing career?

Honestly?  I’m much better at just having fun on FB, Twitter, and Instagram than I am at promoting my books.

11. What kind of snacker are you? Potato chips and ice cream or kale chips and edamame?

Tortilla chips and ice cream—but not together.  I really love Sweet and Spicy Cajun Trail Mix, too.  Oh, and coconut chocolate chip cookies.  And nuts—any kind (except cashews).  But I can’t stand pretzels—blech!

12. What are the hardest and easiest part for you as you write a book?

Easiest—dialogue.  I hear the characters talking in my head, and I just write what I hear.  Hardest—ignoring the other voice in my head that says the story is crap.

13. Adele or The Rolling Stones?

Eric Church (color me Country).

14. What is the best piece of advice you can offer to a new writer, particularly one you wish someone gave to you when you were getting started?

Write for the love of writing, and count your success by how you feel about what you’ve written.

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, free of charge, where would you be booking your next vacation?

Australia.  G’day, mate! ☺

***

Pam book

 

 

 

 

Gaining Visibility

By Pamela Hearon

 

 

 

Julia eyed the steep incline, noting the weight of her carry-on and her duffel. Both pieces of luggage had wheels . . . and in a few days, she’d be conquering the Cinque Terre.

Determined, she took on the hill, schlepping her bags behind her.

Dragging the extra forty pounds up what felt like eighty degrees of cobblestone incline for two hundred yards left her questioning her fitness and her sanity, however. She stopped at intervals, filling her lungs with huge gulps of air that apparently held no oxygen as she felt little to no recoup in her body. The bags threatened to pull her arms from their sockets, and her fingers gripped the handles with terror, knowing that any slip backward meant having to retrace her excruciatingly painful progress.

By the time she reached the turnoff onto the hotel’s walkway, the twenty-two hours of travel since leaving Paducah hit her like a Mack truck. The warm fuzzies she’d started up the hill with had been abandoned along the way, replaced by hot pricklies that caused her blouse to stick to her chest and back and underarms, making the areas alternate from itch to burn.

She stomped along a walkway built on yet another incline, albeit gradual, up to the sign that indicated the office. In front of the door, two men blocked the path, discussing something that apparently had to do with the swimming pool. From their wild gesticulations and heated tones, one of them had released piranhas into the water.

If you stop, you drop, Julia reminded herself. But it was the sight in front of her more than her mantra that inched her closer.

Adonis— or whatever the Roman mythology equivalent was— had come to life. Stripped to the waist, his torso was an ocean of waves and ripples that made her mouth so dry she longed for a taste. Long legs defined with muscles bulging from the shorts he wore pivoted him gracefully toward the pool and back to the other man whom he towered over.

Julia drew close enough to appreciate the sunlight glistening on the perspiration that poured from the black curly hair onto the wide, sculpted shoulders and chest. Despite the angry undertones, his deep voice had a smoothness that glided across his tongue like caramel gelato.

This was the man, rather than Howard, who should’ve been hooking up with Miss Italy. At thirtyish, he was the perfect age— the perfect everything— and Julia released the breath she’d been holding with a sigh.

“Um . . . excuse me. I need to get through here.”

Adonis swung toward her, pinning her with a sullen gaze from eyes as dark and rich as mahogany. “Mi dispiace, signora. I did not see you.”

Julia drew another sigh and shrugged. “That doesn’t surprise me.”

***

GAINING VISIBILITY, a September 2016 release from Kensington Books, may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Kobo.

***

About Pamela

Pamela Hearon grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, a small city that infuses its inhabitants with Southern values, Southern hospitality, and a very distinct Southern accent. There she found the inspiration for her quirky characters, the perfect backdrop for the stories she wanted to tell, and the beginnings of her narrative voice.  Pamela was a 2013 RITA® Finalist and Maggie Finalist for her first Harlequin Superromance, OUT OF THE DEPTHS (August 2012).  Six more Superromances followed, including THE SUMMER PLACE (National Readers’ Choice Award Finalist), and HIS KIND OF PERFECTION (2015 Maggie Finalist).  She made her debut in women’s fiction in 2016 with GAINING VISIBILITY (Kensington Books Sept 2016).

Connect with Pamela through her website, www.pamelahearon.com, or through Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Author Speed Dating – Marianne Evans

Author Speed Dating(1)

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted to my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.

This week’s guest: Marianne Evans

13_Marianne

inspy womens fiction

 

 

15 Questions

1. If you were a My Little Pony character, what image would be tattooed on your butt?

LOL! Why, Rarity, of course. What’s not to love about a purple-haired unicorn???

2. What was genre of the first piece you can remember writing, and how old were you when you penned this masterpiece?

ROMANCE – and I was the tender age of 12!!!

3. Since all of November authors are Americans, name some dishes that are must-haves for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Mashed potatoes.

4. If you could write a novel containing any generally “off-limits” element, what would we find in your story?

Huh? Nothing’s off limits—it’s all in how you handle it!! 😉

5. Project Runway or Designated Survivor?

RUNWAY!

6. Is social media a bad habit for you, and, if so, what are your favorite time drains?

Facebook & Twitter. #MyBad #Addicted.

7. With no money limit, if you could construct the most perfect writing space, what would it look like?

Think massive English den with a fireplace crackling. Hey, go big, or go home!

8. Sushi or pepperoni pizza with extra cheese?

Pizza, please!

9. What book are you reading right now, and what is the best book you’ve read in a long time?

Currently: How to Catch a Prince – Rachel Hauck / Great Read: Redemption by Karen Kingsbury.

10. How many full and partial manuscripts remain in your never-published collection?

Three.

11. Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas?

Bob Dylan.

12. Name your favorite hero or heroine from one of your books, and share what made that character special.

Tyler Brock – completely handsome, loyal, charismatic and PERSISTENT!

13. Who was the first person – besides your mom and dad –  who told you that you could write?

My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Weiss, and we’ve kept in touch.

14. Dogs or cats? Pedigree or mutts?

I’m a kitty-mama.

15. What is your favorite point while you are writing a new story?

Dead tie between kicking it off, and typing ‘The End.’

 

***

Marianne book

 

 

 

Forgiveness

By Marianne Evans

 

 

They convened in the great room. When Amy crossed the threshold, Chase watched her run gentle fingertips against the edge of the fireplace mantle, where silver-framed photos rested. For a time she lost herself in family snapshots, formal portraits of Zach, Pyper…

And within her eyes crested an ocean of sadness that twisted his stomach, because he didn’t think they were going to like what he had to say.

“Excuse me for being torn between two sides here, but I don’t think you should have treated him so harshly. Why are you painting him with the lines of a brush that’s decades old? What right do you have to do that? It’s not fair, and it’s not worthy of the people standing in this room—the one’s I’ve come to know and care for so much.”

Pyper crossed the room, headed for her mother’s side, but she drew up short and stared at Chase. Zach stood not far away, brows furrowed, arms crossed, gaze pinging from one person to the next as he visibly attempted to sort things through.

Tyler stepped into the tense and building void. “Chase, you’re right to be loyal to him. I don’t discount the ways he helped you find your way, but I need you to hear us out on this. You need to understand that—”

“No. There’s no need for an explanation. I get it. You’re all about second chances; you’re all about redemption; you’re all about that feel-good, all-encompassing word forgiveness, right up to the point when it involves someone who’s hurt you deep. Well, I know Mark far better than you, and I respect him. He worked hard to overcome. I can relate to that struggle because life forced me to walk his same walk. He’s a troubled, flawed man who tells me he’s working hard to be what he needs to be, what he wants to be. I had my doubts about his arrival, and I know how he hurt y’all. But after his witness today, after the way he accepted his cross with grace and humility, I feel he deserves a chance. Why did you lash out at him without knowing thing-one about the demons he’s slain?”

“Demons!” Pyper rounded on him. “The demons he’s slain? Chase, that man is a wrecking ball! Any demons he faced, he brought on himself!”

“Absolutely, and those demons will lurk over you as well, Pyper—over all of you—if you storm off and refuse to give him the time of day. That kind of judgment I don’t want or need. It’s toxic, unfair, and it certainly isn’t Christian.”

“Chase!”

Pyper’s cry mixed pain and anger; the realization registered then evaporated.

Temper erupting, he pressed forward through lightning strikes and storm clouds he could taste in the air. “The man you hate so much—and don’t even try to hide from that truth—is the man who helped me, and nothing but God led Mark Samuels to Nashville. If you can’t see that, then you don’t understand all the words you use about seeing His hand in our lives, and recognizing His actions, His interventions.”

Pyper’s eyes filled, and Chase rebuked the resulting stab of pain.

“That damaged man found healing; that damaged man repented and worked hard to restore himself. I’ve learned a lot from his journey, and he pulled me scratching and clawing from a black hole. I’m sorry for what he did. Truly I am.” His gaze roved Pyper’s precious face, then moved to Amy. “What he did to you and your mama is reprehensible, but you should look at who he is now.” Chase focused on Tyler and Zach as well. “All of you need to see his redemption rather than his past. He’s covered by grace. He’s loved. He’s forgiven. Right?” His gaze landed square on Pyper’s bewildered face. “Just. Like. Me.” He invaded her space. Fire burned in his chest, stirring an all-over ache as he strove to drive home his point. “Or do you believe Jesus would leave an honestly repentant man cowering in the sand, covered by sin?”

 ***

FORGIVENESS is available for purchase from these online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book  | Pelican Book Group.

 

***

About Marianne

Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian women’s fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher’s Association. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. You can connect with Marianne at www.marianneevans.com and through these social-media channels: Blogspot, Facebook and Twitter.
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