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Winner – Leah Braemel post

Congratulations!

The winner chosen by of a download copy of Private Property is:

MUNK

Leah has already contact Munk – congratulations.

Love Me Tomorrow – Dee Tenorio

Winner of Melissa Mayhue post

Congratulations!

Chosen via random.org the winner of

Soul of a Highlander and A Highlander of Her Own is:

THERESA W

Please e-mail me at gw12cats03 @ verizon.net (without the spaces) with your mailing address and I will forward the information to Melissa.

Leah Braemel is here today

privateproperty72lg

Leah, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog. Thanks for having me, Greta, it’s exciting to be asked to be a guest blogger. It makes me feel like “I’ve arrived.”

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? That’s right start off with the toughest question first. There’s nothing exciting to tell. I’m a Canadian who insists she does not say aboot, though I will admit I do say ‘eh’ a lot. I’m married and have two sons who now are taller than I am. I’m a former computer instructor and tech support analyst, but I originally trained as a nurse who got fed up and went to work for a psychologist, a Canadian medical organization, and a security firm where I was the only woman amongst 80 men, most of whom had served in the military. I guess you could say I like variety.

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing fantasies and science fiction since I was seven. However, my older sister was my first critic and so I stayed firmly in the ‘writers closet’ until about four or five years ago.  Then a friend who is now my critique partner encouraged me to ‘get serious’ about my writing. My 2007 New Year’s resolution was to submit something to an agent or editor, and a year later got my first contract.

What is your writing process like? I like to think I’m a plotter because every book starts out with copious notes and outlines, but within about a half page of writing the first draft, the outline gets tossed out the window.  Ideally, Mondays to Fridays, I sit down at about 8 a.m. and start writing until I complete two thousand words. If the words are flowing freely and I hit that threshold early then I keep writing, but some days I must admit every word I write is wrenched out with blood, sweat and lots of cursing. On those days, I rely upon my handy-dandy kitchen timer and work in thirty minute writing sprints.  Weekends are spent running around after my hubby and the boys, so if I do manage to open a doc, it’s usually to do some notes about editing.

Can you tell us about your newest release Private Property? Is this your first release? Private Property is about a security specialist, Jodi Tyler, who is challenged to break into a Dallas area estate in order to prove the weaknesses in its security.  Little does she know it’s a setup by her boss, Mark Rodriguez, with whom she’s having a no-strings-attached affair. A few weeks before, Mark had challenged Jodi to write a list of her sexual fantasies, and decided to surprise her with one for her birthday – a ménage with his best friend, Sam Watson. Trouble is Sam has decided to teach Mark a lesson about the importance of protecting your ‘private property’, and Mark finds himself the one tied up instead of Jodi. 

Yes, Private Property is my first release though I’m pleased that it will not be my last. What a great segue to your next question …

Do you have any other books coming out this year?  I do! I’m so excited because just before Christmas, I signed a contract with Samhain for a sequel to Private Property in which Sam, who I had a very hard time not letting take over as the main character in Private Property, finally gets his own story called Personal Protection. It takes place about four months after Private Property ends and Sam has returned to his own bodyguard company in DC. Much to his disgust, he is forced to accept his own bodyguards when a stalker targets him. He doesn’t find it so bad being stuck in the back of a limo instead of driving his Harley when smart-mouthed Rosalinda Ramos is assigned as the head of his detail. But when Rosalinda discovers Sam is a founding member of an exclusive sex club and insists on investigating it, they both have to make some serious decision about their relationship. Oh, I guess I should also mention that Personal Protection is a full length contemporary erotic romance that will be released in May 2009. 

What are you currently working on? Since I’ve sold Personal Protection as the start of a series, I’m working on a sequel involving one of the other bodyguards.  I’ve also got a couple other stories in the works: two contemporary shape-shifter stories I’m hoping to finish and submit this year, and a historical based upon the Canadian rebellion of 1838 which probably will have to be submitted to Canadian publishers. But that one is going to take a lot longer to write because of all the research involved in it.

Where do you get your ideas for your books? Everywhere. I can be inspired by something as innocuous as a road sign. Really! One of my shape-shifter stories was inspired during a trip to Banff National Park in Alberta.  My husband was driving down this mountainous road to a place called Moraine Lake and there was a sign about how the road was closed from October through May due to avalanche danger and I thought “Wow, what would I be like to be trapped down here during the winter?” Later that week, we were on a boat trip on another of Banff’s lakes and more ideas just kept bombarding me and before I knew it my shape shifter story was born.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors? I started reading at the age of three because my mother was so desperate to keep me busy. She later used to complain that she could drop a bomb beside me and I wouldn’t hear it, I was so immersed in my reading. What do I like to read? Anything, especially if there’s a love story in it. I love reading romantic suspense, I read 300 historicals back in 2006 (although I’m pretty much ‘regencied’ out – give me a good civil war story or old west cowboy romance and I’m happy.) For now, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is top of my auto-buy list at the moment, and I’m looking forward to her next Alpha & Omega release. JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is also on the list, as is Lynsay Sand’s Argeneau series, and Kathryn Smith’s Brotherhood of blood series.  It’s strange because in early 2007 I blogged that I didn’t read vampire stories, and now the top four series I’m reading involve vampires.

What books are on your keeper shelf? The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is front and center. As is John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids. And I have to admit, I have a ‘complete works of William Shakespeare’ on it as well. I loved Richard III so much in high school I was one of those geeks who asked for extra assignments. I also have a couple of non-romances such as James Clavell’s Shogun, and a non-fiction book called The Cuckoo’s Egg by Clifford Stoll which was about computer espionage back in the early days just as the net was getting started.  They’re on a five-high cabinet behind my desk, but there’s a shelf above my desk with all my romances, including my first ‘romance’  – The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, along with the first one I read as an adult, Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower. Nora Robert’s Chesapeake Bay series, and her McKade brothers series are also up there, as is Allison Brennan’s Speak No Evil and Julia Quinn’s entire Bridgerton series and Susan Elizabeth Phillips Heaven Texas. Then add all the books from my auto-buy list above, and you might be able to picture my very crowded keeper shelf.

Do you read books other than romance books? Yes, I do. If you bring a book into my house, I’ll read it. From my husband’s action adventures by authors like Tom Clancy, Stephen Coonts and Dale Brown to my eldest son’s Roman historicals to my youngest son’s Harry Potters (Oh, all right, I admit, I bought the Harry Potters claiming they were for him, but he knows to hand them over to me to read first.)

What was the first romance book you read? Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel is the first one that really made an impact on me, although I have to admit while I loved Sir Percy, I didn’t like Marguerite, she wasn’t good enough for him, in my know-it-all thirteen-year-old opinion.

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters? If Personal Protection were made into a movie, I’d have to say Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) would make an excellent Sam. And Eva Mendes would be an excellent Rosalinda. If they made Private Property into a movie, Benjamin Bratt would be the hero – who cares who the heroine is when he’s around?  Oh, okay, to draw the guys in so they won’t protest going to a romance with us? Let’s give them Cameron Diaz like she was in the Italian Job.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why? Oh, wow, I’m not sure I’d want to switch lives with one of them, I like to torture them.  Um, I guess if I could, I’d switch with the heroine I’m writing right now in my untitled sequel. She’s a very proper, cultured Brit who curses a blue streak. I can SO identify with her.

Do you have a day job? Let’s see, there’s my job as chauffeur, chef, maid, negotiator, nurse … you know all those duties a wife and mother has?  Luckily enough I’m able to stay home full time and treat my writing as my profession.

Does your work inspire story ideas? Oh, yes. From my students who gave me plenty of character studies to fielding bomb threats and bank robberies when I was an admin assistant to the Chief of Security for a security company definitely left me with a lot of fodder.

Are any of your characters based on real people? My characters are more of an amalgam of various traits of people I may have met, but I can’t point to a specific character and say “That’s … so and so.”

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?  Usually I’m working on a computer even if I’m not writing learning whatever is the latest software.  Having to promote a book has forced me to learn video software, and thankfully my sons are both trained in Final Cut.  Other than that? Depending on the weather, I love to go for long walks in a forest or along a beach and watch the birds (doesn’t that sound like a line from a dating agency?) If it’s snowing (I live in Canada, and as much as I hate the stereotype, it does snow here six months of the year), then I hibernate and embroider, specifically doing pulled-thread embroidery and specialty stitches. Unfortunately I have over a dozen pieces waiting to be framed and have run out of wall space, so that’s been on the backburner for a while now though.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?  Wow, tough question.  I guess I’d ask what they like to read – what makes them put a book on their keeper shelf. And hope that I can write something one day that’ll put my book up there with the rest.

***Leave a comment for a chance to win a download copy of Private Property***

You can visit Leah at her website:

http://www.leahbraemel.com/

 

Winner of Paty Jager post

Congratulations!

Chosen via random.org the winner of Paty Jager’s Marshall in Pettycoats is

KAREN H.

I have forwarded your e-mail information to Paty who will be in contact with you.

Please Welcome Melissa Mayhue

a-highlander-of-her-own-012609

Melissa, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I live in Colorado, so many of my books have a Colorado connection somewhere in them.  I’m married with three sons, one of whom still lives at home.  Along with raising him [and his dad!] I have my hands full with three dogs, one cat, a turtle and an always dirty fish tank filled with old fish!

How long have you been writing? 

I began writing seriously [meaning I actually started and finished a book!] in 2005.

What is your writing process like?

I start with the characters – sometimes the hero, sometimes the heroine.  Once I know whose book I’m writing, I think about the problems they have to solve [internally] and then I figure out who their match is and what that character’s set of issues will be.  After that, it’s simply a matter of seeing what adventures they’ll have!

Can you tell us about your latest release A Highlander of Her Own?

This the fourth book in my award-winning Daughters of the Glen series, and one of my personal favorites.  Caden [the hero] first appeared in Soul of a Highlander.  Once I met him there, I knew he’d need his own story!  I also wanted to begin to delve into the lives of the women alluded to in Soul – those who woke up one day with magical Fae powers and the mark of the Royal House of Fae on their chest!

Here’s the official blurb for A Highlander of Her Own

TEXAS, PRESENT DAY. Ellie Denton’s world has spiraled out of control. A strange new birthmark, animals talking to her, and her mother’s ex-husband laying claim to the family ranch have her thinking life can’t get more complicated. But Ellie doesn’t know the birthmark’s connection to her Faerie ancestors. Complicated takes on a whole new meaning with her innocent wish to find her true love.

Only the magic of the Fae can determine whether Ellie will find a Highlander of her own…

SCOTLAND, 1304. Caden MacAlister has more trouble than he can handle. With his brother held for ransom and the laird missing, the last thing he needs is another problem. But the Fae have other plans.

A mysterious woman shows up in his stables, sent by Faerie Magic to find her true love. Fighting his attraction, Caden insists she’s meant for one of his brothers. With his history, he has no desire for a woman in his life—especially a woman sent by the Fae.

Will you have any more books in this series?

Yes!  Book five  – A Highlander’s Destiny, is scheduled for release January 2010, and Book 6 [as yet unnamed] is scheduled for February 2010.

Do you have any other books coming out this year?

No… the next two will be back to backs in January and February 2010.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on Book Six – Robert’s story.  [working title: A Highlander’s Homecoming].

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Yikes!  That’s a good question, but I’m not sure I have a really good answer.  The idea for the series originated while I sat in a place in Scotland we hiked into called The Fairy Glen. [Near Rosemarkie on the Black Isle]. 

Once I got beyond that first book, the others have each built on the original story, gradually  introducing more and more of the Faerie world and its impact on the Mortal world.  Each book seems to introduce more characters – all of whom end up having stories I need to tell!

In your opinion, what are the most stressful and most exciting parts of the whole process? (From the time an idea or concept comes to you until the book can purchased in a store or on-line?Most stressful – writing to a deadline, without a doubt!  I’m a world-class procrastinator, so when that deadline approaches, woo-boy! 

Most exciting – seeing my book on a shelf at a store ties with getting an email from a reader who loves the series and has a favorite character they want to know more about!

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

Before I began to write time travel and Faeries, I was a voracious reader.  My favorites were people like:  Lynn Kurland, Karen Marie Moning, Janet Chapman, Sherrilyn Kenyon [and her alter ego, Kinley MacGregor].

Since I began writing, I don’t have as much time to read and I find that I don’t want to read books that are at all similar to mine, in part because I don’t want their writing to influence my voice and in part because it’s sort of like the plumber having to fix a leak in his own bathroom on his day off!!!

Most recently I’ve been into reading Urban Fantasy.  My favorites are Charlaine Harris [ Love the Sookie books!], Jeanne C. Stein, Yasmine Galnorn, and Kim Harrison.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

Books by all of the above mentioned authors .  Keeper Shelf is sort of a misnomer at my house.  I don’t have any place large enough for such a shelf!  I have hundreds of books I’ve read and loved… neatly stacked in plastic bins in alphabetical order by author!

Do you read books other than romance books?

Occasionally, though I don’t have as much reading time as I’d like anymore.  I’ve always loved a good fantasy series, too.  Robert Jordan is a good example.

What was the first romance book you read?

I don’t know.  I can tell you I’ve been reading romance since the summer I turned 13 and I never looked back once I started, devouring hundreds of books.  Historicals, time travels and paranormals have always been my favorites.

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

Another tough question.  Because I ‘see’ my characters as I’m writing them, it’s difficult to imagine any actor actually being those characters.  But, if anyone wants to make a movie of my books, they can feel free to cast Gerard Butler as almost any hero I’ve written simply because I like to watch him!  J

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

I think I’d choose a character I haven’t written yet… simply because her story isn’t told and all the magic is still waiting to happen!

Do you have a day job?

Writing is my day job.  [And my night job, too, when I’m near deadline!!!].

Are any of your characters based on real people?

Not really, although there are times when I’ll hear a comment or see an expression that inspires something in one of my characters.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

Ah…if only I had more spare time!  I love to travel, genealogy research [a passion I have very little time for lately], video games [love a good rpg!], needlework, and in the spring, spending time in my herb garden.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be? 

What makes you want to read more of an author’s books?

 

***Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Soul of a Highlander and A Highlander of Her Own***

Melissa would love for you to stop by her website and say hi through her shoutout box at http://www.melissamayhue.com/index.html.

Paty Jager is visiting today

Paty, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, learning to read at the age of five when my older brother was in first grade and started reading. I read anything I could get my hands on. Later, I learned the power of the written word in an English class and I was hooked on writing. I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) ten years ago. It was the best thing I could have done to hone my writing.

My husband and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. We have four children and eight grandchildren. We raise cattle on our seventy acres in Central Oregon and Hay on our 280 acres in Eastern Oregon. 

How long have you been writing?

Writing has been a part of my life since I could write. As a child I penned plays that my brother and I acted out with stuffed animals as puppets, then I wrote stories with my friends in Junior High, and progressed from there to a freelance newspaper reporter and on to a novelist.

What is your writing process like?

I get an idea of a premise or a character, then I start digging into the idea or the character and flesh the story out from there. Since I write historical westerns sometimes the research I do on one project will spark an idea for another book.  The research I do for a book plays heavily in the plot. Places and events I discover help to move the story along. For that reason I’m not a write the synopsis before you write the book author. Because sometimes the research happens as I’m writing the book and then I go off in a different direction.

outlaw-in-petticoats

Can you tell us about your latest release?

My latest release is Outlaw in Petticoats. It is the second book in my Halsey brother series. My debut book was Marshal in Petticoats the first Halsey brother book. I left a dangler about a tintype in the first book and wrote the second book to give readers closure on that and to bring my favorite Halsey brother to life. Zeke is a charming man of good humor and exceptionally patient while making prickly school teacher Maeve Loman fall in love with him. The problem is she is determined not to love any man and be left stranded like her father did her mother. To prove himself and give Maeve closure, the two set out in search of her father. Along the way they encounter outlaws and Maeve falls in with the group. Zeke is a happy-go-lucky man except when it come s to criminals. His parents and youngest brother were murdered by thieves, and he has vowed to avenge their deaths by thwarting all criminals.

miner-in-petticoats

Do you have any other books coming out this year?

The third Halsey brother book, Miner in Petticoats will be out in June. This is the tale of Ethan and the widow Miller who isn’t about to stand down from anyone, especially, when for the first time in years, she’s feeling emotions she thought had been ripped from her by an abusive husband.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished the first book of a series about a Pinkerton agent and a U.S. Marshal.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Ideas for books come from the news, the radio, music, research. At a volleyball tournament I attended with my daughter I spotted a striking looking girl and started plotting a story around a character that looked like her. I have a very active imagination and it has done me well for writing! LOL

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

I read, just about anything but horror and sci-fi. Auto-buy authors are my friends and acquaintances.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

Hummingbird- LaVyrle Spencer

Paper Tiger – Patricia Rice

Magnolia – Diana Palmer

Born in Trilogy – Nora Roberts

Agatha Christie

Do you read books other than romance books?

Yes, mysteries

What was the first romance book you read?

I don’t know the title, but it was either a Phyllis Whitney or Victoria Holt

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would you like to see as the lead characters?

This is hard…The book I would like to see hasn’t been published yet. And I’m really bad at picking actors because I watch so few movies.  So I think I’ll skip this question.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why

The character I would like to be is my current heroine. She’s a Pinkerton agent. She never gives up and always finds a silver lining even when there seems to be no way out for her.

Do you have a day job?

Not that I get a regular paycheck for. I take care of the animals, change irrigation pipes, rake and bale hay as well as other farm/ranch duties.

Does your work inspire story ideas?

Yes, I wrote a scene in my contemporary western, Perfectly Good Nanny, about a cow having problems birthing a calf and the process to pull it.

Are any of your characters based on real people?

Not anyone specific, but I think I put little snippets of people I know in characters. It’s how I make them real.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

Riding my horse, taking walks, and visiting my children and grandchildren.

If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?

Describe to me your ideal book- type of character, genre, premise.

***Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Marshall in Petticoats – Good Luck***

You can find out more about at Paty Jager at her website: http://www.patyjager.com/