Tuesday, December 27, 2016

12 Days of Christmas for Writers

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments

This post comes from Julie Jarnagin whose latest book Engaged by Friday, book # 4 in the Matched online series is available on these venues
Julie Jarnagin

Happy reading and writing everyone. See you in 2017.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
12 Days of Christmas for Writers

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

12 Fulls Requested

11 Muses Musing

10 Plots-a-Flowing

9 Bloggers Blogging

8 Hours-a-Writing

7 Editors Editing

6 Tweets Retweeted


4 Best Sellers

3 Query Letters

2 Agents Calling

And a Contract to Fill you with Glee!

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful writing friends!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Marquess and the Midwife and Alina K. Field.

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments
      Award winning author Alina K. Field writes Regency Romance. Right now, her Christmas novella, The Marquess and the Midwife is on sale for 99 cents and yes, I am going to give you an excerpt and if you like it, you can hop on over to Amazon or Kobo or Nook or Apple and pick up a copy. I will put all the different buy links after the excerpt.

Alina is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band, and a 2016 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist, Liliana’s Letter, as well as her latest release, The Marquess and the Midwife  She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
When I opened the email from the publisher and read that she wanted to buy my Christmas novella, I had all the palpitations, head-spinning, heart-thumping, and tingling that my characters experience, LOL!  

If it isn’t too nosy. How about the first time you kissed your true love?
Our first kiss (actually, kisses) came after our first date where my husband got the full experience of  my extreme awkwardness. He took me to a super-nice restaurant, the kind of place completing lacking in paper napkins--not a paper napkin to be seen, not even under the cocktail glasses. The first course was soup, which made my nose run (am I the only one who has that problem with soup?). I had no tissues, my true love had no handkerchief to offer me, and my sleeves weren’t long enough, requiring a quick trip for some TP. He kissed me anyway after that, and has kept kissing me for thirty-seven years.
But of course, every time I eat soup he rehashes that story!

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
I absolutely love the characters and stories created by Loretta Chase and Joanna Bourne.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
I think it’s a tie between receiving the Book Buyers Best award for that first story I sold, Rosalyn’s Ring, and holding my first indie published print book, Liliana’s Letter, in my hand.   

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I love watching historical dramas and British police procedurals on television.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
When I’m feeling uninspired, I find it helpful to delve into some research, do some blog post writing, or do something physical like walking the dog or even cleaning house.  

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Read, read, read, in your genre. Find and join a writers’ organization for your genre, and keep learning. Write your stories from beginning to end, as opposed to reworking the first three chapters a million times. You don’t really understand what you can accomplish until you finish a manuscript. Get feedback, but watch out for the mojo killers.  

Now to the meat of the matter. Tell us about The Marquess and the Midwife

Once upon a time, the younger brother of a marquess fell in love with his sister's companion. He was sent off to war, and she was just sent off, and they both landed in very different worlds. 

Now Virgil Radcliffe has returned from his self-imposed exile on the Continent to take up his late brother's title and discover the whereabouts of the only woman he's ever loved. 

Abandoned by her lover and dismissed by her employer, Ameline Dawes has found a respectable identity as a Waterloo widow, a new life as a midwife, and a safe, secure home for her twin girls. Called to London at Christmas to attend her benefactress's lying-in, she finds herself confronted by an unexpected house guest--a man determined to woo her anew and win her again. 

But, is loving the new Marquess of Wallingford a mistake Ameline cannot afford to repeat? 

You get two blurbs because it's Christmas, dearest reader.

Excerpt 1: (441 words)
Ye gods, but her ladyship needed more maids, and a couple more footmen with both arms and both legs, at least for this type of fetching and carrying.
Ameline chided herself for being insensitive and balanced the steaming bucket. She set down the lamp momentarily to gather her skirts, along with the lamp handle.
A pair of men’s boots moved into view and the lamp bobbled. Fine boots they were.
She sighed, gritting her teeth. Lord Hackwell’s visits had unnerved his lady, and Ameline had counseled him to leave.
Very well, she’d thrown him out, once almost literally. He would wonder what she was doing below stairs. He might send for the accoucheur he was mumbling about, and his lady would not like it.
“I’ve just popped down to the kitchen for a word with Alton, my lord,” she said. “All is going well, except he’s a bit short on staff.”
“We have noticed that.”
The skin on her back rippled and she shivered. This wasn’t Hackwell—it was him.
Panic flared in her and her hands and ankles began to tingle. He carried no light. She let her own lantern dip lower and stepped to one side. What was he doing on the servants’ staircase in the middle of the night?
If he saw her, he would remember her, but he would not want to, unless he would think to befriend her again. Heat flamed in her.
She took in a breath. “Let me pass, Lord Hackwell,” she said.
“Let me carry that bucket for you.”
“No.” She forced in another breath, willing herself to speak calmly. “That is, no thank you. I shall send a servant for you when it is time.”
Footsteps scurried on the stairs. “Mrs. Dawes?” Jenny called, breathless.
Her heart raced again. She’d tarried too long in the kitchen. “I’ll be right—”
Heat touched her hand as the bucket came out. The lantern, too, lifted higher, and she looked up into the face of Lord Virgil Radcliffe, now the latest Lord Wallenford.
Mrs. Dawes?” His eyes widened and then narrowed, and his lips curved down.
Anger spiked in her. “Lord Wallenford.”
He moved down to the step below her, putting them at eye level, and crowded her against the hand rail.
“Give me the bucket, sir. I can manage quite well without your help.” Quite, quite well.
“Can you, indeed?” he drawled, sounding just like his brother the day he’d sacked her.
Blast him. Blast the Wallenfords. Blast the Hackwells. “Alton has a bottle set out. Best go and fetch it.”
His lips quirked.
She gritted her teeth. “Give me the blasted bucket, Virgil.”

Excerpt 2: (Some sexual references, 574 words)
He released her and leaned back, and his shirt gaped around a starburst scar, corded and jagged right above his heart.
She gasped and reached to touch it, but he clasped her hand and pushed it away.
“Waterloo?” she whispered. “I’d heard you were wounded, but—”
“I survived,” he said in a tight voice.
Her lungs squeezed and her heart quickened. Had he? If so, it was just barely. He’d been stabbed or speared, or shot, and somehow, somehow, his great heart had carried on. This had been no minor wound. Virgil had suffered terribly.
“I want to see.” She pushed his hand away and grasped his collar. He grabbed for her hand, but she dodged him and ripped the fine cotton, rending the shirt down the front.
“You have a trunk full of shirts. I want to see.” She knelt before him on the sofa, yanked the shirt down his arms, and studied his chest. Small cuts marked his side and his belly, but the mottled scar was the worst. It would have taken months to fully heal a wound like this from the inside out. He should have died.
Her vision blurred so she couldn’t see. But her hands, trained to examine a babe in the womb, they could see. She flattened her palms and set a course over the ridges knots, and hard ripples.
He surely had almost died. A world without Virgil, without his laughter, and his generally kind heart. He’d used her, true, as men did. It was in a man’s animal nature, wasn’t it? And she’d used him also, hadn’t she? Both of them grieving over his sister’s death, and comforting each other. And she was left with her girls, and things had turned out all right, hadn’t they?
Her hands cupped his shoulders and slipped over to his back. No scars there that she could feel. The ball, or saber, or…what else did men use to kill each other?…had not gone clean through. It had merely dredged a hole in his front and wreaked havoc inside him.
And nearly killed him.
She’d always pictured a wounded Virgil, binding up a minor slash and heading off to the Continent to charm actresses and diplomats’ wives, maybe taking a wife there himself, and bringing her back to breed pretty, cheerful children. Virgil, rich, content and happy.
How she’d wallowed in that vision.
The feel of the scarred skin melted away her resentment. Let him have that happy life with his marchioness and heirs. And perhaps, on a rare occasion, he could come down to Longview and visit his twins.
“Ameline.” Virgil’s breath touched her cheek.
Large hands cupped both of her hips.
Warmth spurted through her. Too late, she realized her error. She’d got too close again.
She pulled the sides of his shirt up, her gaze sliding over the rip and…
Right. He was fully erect. Of course he was.
Hot need shrieked inside her, and she battered it down and found her breath. “I apologize. My infernal curiosity.” She patted his shoulders and eased away.
His eyes had gone dark and feral, his lips parted like a hungry man ready to chomp down on a long-awaited meal. Inside, she melted more.
She took in a great breath. She must keep him talking. “How did the wound happen?” she asked.
His eyes shuttered and he yanked her hard against him, smashing his lips to hers. 

What’s your current WIP?
I’m working on a really fun Regency series about a British spymaster tying up loose ends from the Napoleonic wars while getting his children married off. 

And finally, where can we find you?
Alina, thank you so much for being here. To all my readers, I wish you joy and love in this season of light.  I've already had a wonderful gift. Soul Mate has accepted my companion book to Time and Forever.  - It's a second chance romance, currently called Maybe This Time . But that will change. Too many books with that title. I will be holding a contest for a new title. Joy to you and yours and go get Alina's book - The Marquess and the Midwife

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Meet Nancy Fraser and her wonderful Time Travel Romance Eye of the Pharoah

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 3 comments
I loved Nancy Fraser's time travel novel Eye of the Pharoah.
Here's an excerpt from my Amazon review

Humor. A great Plot. Time Travel, Egypt. A Sexy intelligent hero. I'm in! As a longtime Elizabeth Peters fan, I loved the setting of 1920's Egypt. I loved all the gorgeous details about the period and the growing love story between the two protagonists. If you like love scenes, you'll find plenty of them. And having a ghost from ancient Egypt appearing to the heroine was icing on the cake. Truly delightful read. 
And now Nancy is on my blog and she's giving away three autographed copies of Eye of the Pharoah to winners in the US or Canada. International winners will receive digital copies.
Thank you, Nancy. Santa must have inspired you. That's an amazing gift.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.

It was a long time ago (1996), but I still remember the excitement. In July of that year, I’d attended the RWA conference in Dallas, TX and heard the presentation from Kensington Books about their new Precious Gems line ... a co-op effort with Wal-Mart Corporation to bring affordable romance to the masses. The day after I returned home from conference, I bundled up a book I’d just finished and shipped it off.

TWO WEEK’s later, one of my best friends and critique partners sold her first book to them. We celebrated, but part of me was dead-on jealous. The following Tuesday, I was at lunch with co-workers and when I returned, there was a message on my office phone from Kate Duffy (may she RIP) asking me to call her back asap. Hands shaking, I dialed the number. Sure enough, they wanted to buy Courting Trouble for release within 3-4 months. The book released November 1st 1996, and I haven’t looked back since. 

What genre or genres do you write?
 I’m very happy to say that I bounce around between genres with gleeful abandon! I write everything from soup to nuts. My most recent release, Eye of the Pharaoh, is an Egyptian-themed time travel. I have a book coming up later this week that’s an erotic novella with a hero in a kilt. I also love to write in the “vintage” period (post WWII through the end of the century). A road map for my zaniness can be found on my website books page. Yikes! That's my period too.

Tell us about Eye of the Pharaoh.
 The idea for Eye of the Pharaoh came about years ago after a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago. Their Egyptian exhibit was breathtaking. After reading some of the display information, I was immediately struck by the romance of the era. Of course, being a huge fan of The Mummy (both the original and the 1999 remake) didn’t hurt any.
 The book has been reviewed as a cross between Indiana Jones and The Mummy, with an archeologist hero and a career-focused heroine. Thrown into a life-altering situation, they must learn to rely on one another. 

What’s your current WIP?
 I’m currently working on a story titled, Waking Up in Oz, for The Wild Rose Press’ newest historical line, “Stranded” with stories based on the premise of stranding the hero or heroine (or both) in a unique situation.

I’ve set my story in my favorite vintage period with an attorney heroine who finds herself stranded in the small town of Oswald, KS following a tornado. She’s surrounded by an entire town devoted to the Oz myth, including a storm-chaser hero dubbed “the wizard” because of his ability to predict the tornado’s path. Need a beta reader? That sounds right up my alley.

And finally, where can we find you?
 Media Links:
 Website: www.nancyfraser.ca
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor


Book Blurb:

Publicist Teri Hunter has her hands full promoting Professor Joshua Cain and his new non-fiction book, The Pharaoh’s Mummy. She’s not convinced it’s even possible to turn this absent-minded, modern-day, Indiana Jones into a best-selling author.

Dr. Cain’s PhDs in archaeology and art history have prepared him for almost anything on the lecture circuit and among ancient ruins. He’s just not sure about a book tour...or the sexy publicist sent to monitor his every professional move.

When an odd request falls in their laps while in New Orleans, Josh and Teri find themselves transported to 1920’s Egypt where they must resolve an ancient curse in order to be sent home. Will the dangers facing them hinder their success and threaten their very lives? Or will help from an ancient guardian keep them on-track and safe?



Wake up. Kick ass. Repeat.

Teri Hunter mouthed the motivational phrase she’d chosen for her personal mantra as she stepped across the threshold into the dark and musty storeroom.

A dim light shone from a glass-enclosed workroom in the far corner. Taking a tentative step forward, she faltered when the floorboards creaked beneath her feet. Something fast and furry brushed against her ankle. A shiver ran down her back, yet she fought the urge to retreat.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

This was obviously today’s obstacle. Were it not for her professional commitments and intricately organized schedule, she’d have no doubt bolted for the door and returned to the safety and illumination of the main building.

‘Sorry, but the storage area doesn’t have overhead lighting. Preservation of the antiquities. You understand.’ The dean’s words echoed in her head. To make matters worse, what little outside light there was had become nearly non-existent due to an impending thunderstorm.

Drawing a deep breath, she took a second step and then a third, winding her way past a half-dozen crates, some open, some not. To her left she heard a rustling of paper; to her right the distinct sound of footsteps.

Her apprehension grew, the hair on her forearms stood at attention. She’d barely made it halfway across the room before bumping into something large and solid. Reaching out, she laid her hand against the oversized object. Slowly, she raised her head and came face to face with the painted mask of an Egyptian noble. The chipped finish gave the death mask a deranged look.

“You come here often, big boy?”

Do you want to continue reading? I certainly did.
Author Bio:

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. In November 2016 Nancy celebrated twenty years as a published author and will release her 25th book in mid-2017.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy splits her free time between her five grandchildren. She’s also an avid traveler with Las Vegas being her favorite destination. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Thank you for being here, Nancy and all you lucky readers can enter below.
Happy Holidays, everyone. Smile at a stranger. You never know who needs one.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Linda Bradley on Writing and Christmas #giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 5 comments
Please welcome Linda Bradley who's given me a beautiful post  and is giving you, my beloved readers, a chance to win a set of all three Maggie Books -eCopies. I love the first two books and can't wait to read the third. I just purchased my  Maggie's Montana on Amazon.

Holiday Muse

The lights are up and the tree is decorated. Solitary beauty takes my mind to a snowy forest where the sapling once stood. My mind drifts into scene, the air still, the silence broken by soft footsteps of a burly man in flannel plaid toting an ax.

Much like myself dusting off a forgotten notebook filled with words.
Shaking the branches, flecks of sparkling dust fly about and he is pleased.
Much like myself when notion becomes story.

The lights twinkle, bringing what was a box full of memories alive again. With each trimming, warm thoughts fill me up.

Much like the chapters of a captivating book.

This peace reminds me of something holy on a dark and starry night.

Much like ambitious hope penetrating dark moments impeding plot.

This harmony doesn’t need a voice.

Much like library patrons who silently discover tales of enchantment while perusing endless shelves of text.

This moment brings joy. 

Much like a satisfying read.

Trees grow from the ground up. With the seasons they bud and blossom.

Much like the stories that make us whole.

Writing is an expression of creativity and sense of self. Writing connects us on a deeper level with those we may never meet, but most certainly feel connected to. Writing illuminates, the dreams within. Writing is magic, much like Christmas.

Wishing everyone the best of seasons. May you be filled with hope, happiness and many great reads in the New Year. May warm hearts unite, cultivating peace on earth.

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall, to the old man the pleasures of youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!”   -Charles Dickens

Linda Bradley

 Thank you, Linda. That was lovely. Linda is giving away an ebook copy of the
Montana Bound series
 Here are some editorial reviews of the first book.- Please enter below them to win. Happy Reading
"Linda Bradley'sfresh voice will keep readers riveted from beginning to end. Bradley delivers aheart-warming story full of disarming honesty and beautiful drama...This one stands out!" -Jane Porter, New YorkTimes and USA Today Best Seller, Author of Flirting With Forty and It's You

-"Maggie's Way is aheart-warming tale of love and loss, fear and friendship. With charmingcharacters and a moving plot, Linda Bradley's lovely debut gently remindsus that it's never too late for second chances." -Lori Nelson Spielman,International Best Seller, Author of The Love List and Sweet Forgiveness

-The Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Awards - Summer 2016

-Greater Detroit Booksellers Best Award Finalist 2016
-"What an awesome book with characters you will fall in love with as the story unfolds. Anyone who has gone thru radiation for breast cancer will find themselves in Maggie. The romantic side of the story is beautifully written and the neighbor child is smarter than most adults. I read this book in a day and a half and can't wait for book two! The author Linda Bradley has already completed book three of the series but just needs to get them published according to her Maggie's Way Facebook page. I think we will all be reading Linda Bradley novels for a long time to come." - Net Galley Review.
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