Monday, December 15, 2014

Kathy Bennett, A Deadly Denial – Book 3 in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series

AUTHOR: Kathy Bennett           
BOOK TITLE: A Deadly Denial – Book 3 in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
PUBLISHER: Kathy Bennett

Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Southern California and, after high school, went to work for the LAPD as a civilian employee. Years later I became a sworn police officer and served twenty-one years as an officer. While most of my time was spent working patrol, I was also a firearms instructor at the LAPD Academy, a crime analyst in the 'War Room', a Field Training Officer, a Senior Lead Officer, and I worked undercover in various assignments. In 1997 I was honored to be named Officer of the Year. I retired about 3 ½ years ago and my husband (who was also an LAPD officer) retired earlier this year.

I've been writing all my life, but seriously sat down to write a novel eighteen years ago. My first novel will never see the light of day, but I self-published my second novel, a stand alone Romantic Suspense titled, A Dozen Deadly Roses. That book and my second book, A Deadly Blessing, became bestselling e-books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In fact, A Deadly Blessing was selected by Barnes & Noble as a Best Book of 2012. I released my third book, A Deadly Justice about a year ago.

Please tell us your latest news.

A Deadly Blessing was the first book in the LAPD Maddie Divine series, and in August of this year I released the third book in the series, A Deadly Denial. All the Maddie Divine books are selling well, and my fans are anxiously awaiting the next Maddie story.

In my personal life, two weeks ago, my husband and I moved to Idaho. I think we can open a box store in our garage!

What was the toughest criticism given to you?

A reviewer said (about A Deadly Blessing): Probably the worst written book I have ever read. I only kept reading because I had nothing else to read and didn't want to waste my money…

What was the biggest compliment?

A reviewer said (about A Deadly Denial): WOW! I couldn't put this book down! All of her books have been great, but she knocked this one out of the ballpark. This book had a non-stop onslaught of twists and turns and startling events. I particularly appreciate that she kept all the characters on the reader's radar screen; not once did I have to turn back the pages to be reminded of who a particular character was. Then, just when I thought the book was about over, POW - another startling event!...Her skills, creativity, and LAPD experience has served to elevate her to the absolute top of my list of favorite authors.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

Actually, it wasn't either of those reviews that had me change things. It was a different reviewer who pointed out a weakness in A Deadly Blessing. He was right. I took care of the situation in the next book, A Deadly Justice. Sadly, the reader probably doesn't realize it, because he indicated he'd never read any of my books again.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

Lots of wine? Just kidding! When I get into a story and I'm writing at a fast and furious pace, I don't usually suffer from writer's block. However, if I do hit a snag, I take a day or two off and just think about the story and how I can fix whatever is wrong.  

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

I've self-published all my books, however, A Deadly Blessing attracted one of the best agents in the business, Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. He's been extremely helpful to me.

What are your current projects?

I'm currently working on book 4 of the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. I started before we moved, and I can't wait to get back to it.

I've also agreed to write a short story in an anthology where all the proceeds will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. This is a new project and the details are still being worked out.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

Twitter: @KathywritesLAPD

Pinterest: You can find me at Kathy Bennett Author
Any other news you’d like to share?
My agent brokered a deal with German publisher Verlag Berlin and they picked up the German rights to the first two books in the series, A Deadly Blessing and A Deadly Justice. They will be publishing them as paperbacks in the German language…pretty darn cool!

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

A Deadly Denial is the third book in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. This story is very true-to-life. Someone is murdering LAPD officers and Maddie is assigned as part of a large task force find the killer. With dead cops turning up every couple of days, the pressure is on. As the investigation continues Maddie realizes there are a lot of secrets, deceptions, and lies in the LAPD, and the killer she's looking for might wear an LAPD uniform.

What gave you the idea for this particular book?

This initial idea for this book came from a recent manhunt that ensued after a former LAPD officer went on a rampage killing cops in several jurisdictions in Southern California.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

Each book I've written has come about differently. However, one thing that is pretty consistent is that I come up with the title and an idea for the cover very early in the process. Then I write the story to go with them.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Because I write suspense, I know the main crime and usually I know who did it. I may not know much more than that, and sometimes the characters surprise me and the person I've pegged as being the guilty party isn't the bad guy (or gal).
How did you decide how your characters should look?

As I write, I see each scene like a movie. My character's looks are usually a figment of my imagination. Except for Maddie. She kind of resembles a younger me…only taller. Some of the more memorable characters I've created are Harley in A Deadly Justice, and Edison in A Deadly Denial. Those two characters were a hoot to write.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?

I write authentic crime while telling arresting stories. As an LAPD officer I had to know that I'd be willing to take someone's life if their actions dictated I do so. The world is a violent place. Many people never have to face that violence, but they certainly should be aware it exists and think about 'what if'…

I don't consider my sex scenes highly sexual. I give the reader clues as to what is going on, but tend to leave it to their imagination what exactly takes place.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process?

Generally, it takes me a year to write a book. My novels are generally about 270 – 300 pages…or about 95,000 words. I'm trying to cut the time down to produce a book, my readers are anxious to see what mess Maddie gets into next. However, I won't sacrifice speed for quality of story.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

I have four books published. My first book, A Dozen Deadly Roses is a Romantic Suspense and was written as a stand-alone book. However, readers begged for me to bring back the main character, Jade Donovan, and she appears at the end of A Deadly Blessing, and partners with Maddie in A Deadly Justice. My fourth book is my latest release, A Deadly Denial.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?

Wife, Mother, Grandmother, kind, detail-oriented, responsible, honest.

Describe your writing space.

Ha ha! My husband and I just moved from Southern California to Idaho. I have a lovely room for my office…filled with cardboard boxes. When I get it set up properly it's going to be the best office ever!

Thank you, Penny for allowing me to be part of your blog. These questions were a lot of fun! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ryan Hartung, Lightning World’s Divide: Book 1

AUTHOR: Ryan Hartung
BOOK TITLE:  Lightning  World’s Divide:  Book 1
GENRE:  Science Fiction

Please tell us about yourself.  I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska where I was pretty much raised for most of my childhood.  I went to the University of Nebraska where I graduated in 2000 with a B.S. of Science.  I then moved to Columbus, OH where I pursued a Ph.D. in Organic chemistry.  In 2005 my wife and I moved to N.J. for three years and then transferred with my company to Tucson, Arizona and we’ve been here ever since.  We have two little girls, a dog and a highly untamed hamster.

Please tell us your latest news.  I just finished putting up my novel Spurious on all major ebook platforms and have finished World’s Divide Book 4 –Strength and I’m maybe halfway through writing Book 5.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?  I am a part time writer.  As of now my main job is paying the bills, but hopefully that’ll not always be so.  I try to write a portion in the morning and the afternoon during the week, but on the weekend I’m a little more relaxed.  I normally get some writing in on the weekends, but definitely not as much during the week.

When and why did you begin writing?   I just feel like I have a bunch of good stories that I want to tell.  I wrote a book around 2006, but it was horrible.  I tried finding it again to maybe redo it, but it seems to have vanished with my transfer from N.J. to A.Z.  So seriously I began writing two years ago and I haven’t looked back.

What inspired you to write your first book?  I know it might sound a bit cliché, but I really had a dream one night that I thought would make a fantastic series.  The first book is complete and I’m halfway done with the next one, but I really feel this series is the crown jewel of what I have right now and I’m sitting on it for the time being.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?  When I’m not writing, with two little girls that really consumes a large part of my time, but I enjoy working out and riding my bike to work.  I’ve been fiddling around with the guitar for the past 4 months and I lead a few songs here and there in church.  I’m also trying to finish a hutch I started before the Tucson summer began, but that won’t be finished until we get out of the 90’s.

What are your thoughts about promotion? Great question.  That’s exactly where I am now.  Some books are lucky enough to thrive on word of mouth alone or are just excellent stories, but not enough can be said about promoting your works.  Even if a small to medium publisher agrees to publish your book, you have to do a tremendous amount of promoting.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?  Writer’s block is really something people say when they aren’t fully inspired.  If you find writing at the moment to be hard, take a break for an hour or so, but you have to eventually just sit down and start typing.  Eventually it’ll start flowing again.  You can’t write if you don’t write.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?  The first unreleased book that I wrote, I wrote with a friend who has a professional job writing for a technical magazine.  I learned more about him from grammar and sentence structure than I would have ever imagined.

What are your current projects?  Like I said above, I’m still working through the World’s Divide series, which is getting more and more complicated as more characters and subplots are being added.  The second project is The Purger Chronicles, which is a series of YA books following Kara Calderon as she finds herself marooned on a planet her very people doomed (I’m really excited about this one!)

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?  I’m on twitter and Facebook, but my main website is  Pretty easy to remember and all of my other accounts can be reached through there.  Plus there are free chapters of every book to preview. 

What genre do you write in and why? I write general and science fiction stories.  I grew up reading Stephen King and Fred Saberhagen and most of those are completely SciFi, but there are also so many good stories that are out there that take place in the real world.  So for both of those reasons I like to dabble in both genres to an extent.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.  The book series I’m currently promoting is my World’s Divide series of novellas.  Each one is around 25k words, so they are longer novellas than many others.  The series takes place in the present and follows three different teams set up by their governments to try and find ancient relics from the Greek gods of lore.  An American team of archeologists unwittingly finds Zeus’ Lightning Staff, which leads to clues to finding many more of these powerful artifacts.  At the same time, certain countries are preparing to go to war against other countries, with each set wanting to possess as many of the powerful artifacts as possible.  I’ve made the first book (Lightning) available for free while putting the others out there for 99 cents.  First of all I think they’re great for the price I’m offering them at and each book builds towards the next!

What gave you the idea for this particular book? I was actually inspired somewhat by a few Clive Cussler books I was reading at the time.  I absolutely love the intro to all of his books, where in the past some random event hundreds of years ago is the basis for the story.  Although I’ve taken a different approach to this series of books that was where my initial inspiration came from.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?   Outlining is a must!  I feel that if I don’t outline later on I want to introduce something and then I have to go back and rewrite portions of the books that would otherwise be good to go.  I still add parts in here and there, but outlining really gives me a sense of direction of where I want to go when I’m writing my chapters.

What comes first: the plot or characters? For me it’s always plot.  The how’s and the why’s are what really intrigue me.  Then I start to find characters that can bring those thoughts to fruition.  I’ve always loved plot-driven stories so that’s probably why I like to write that way.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Well, I ride my bike to and work at least three times a week to keep in shape.  I’ve been trying to teach myself guitar lately, which has been taking more time than I thought it would and I make rustic furniture as a hobby.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?  Endings, it’s always the endings.  Like TV shows; you invest so much time into them and then the ending is absolutely horrible.  There’s nothing worse than when a writer ends the story in some funky way maybe only five percent of their readership will enjoy.  I could go on about that for a long time.

Describe your writing space. My writing space is either my desk at work, where I can have some quiet time on the weekends or is usually on a pad of paper.  I don’t mind writing on the computer, but a lot of my writing is by the pen with either Daft Punk or some other music playing in the background that allows me to focus.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
My favorite thing about being an author is getting to write what I want to write about.  It’s great to have a story and want to share it with other people.  I’m not sure what my least favorite is, but it’s hard putting yourself and your work out there and trying to drum up support.  Sometime it can seem so daunting you wonder if it’s worth it.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Joan Curtis, The Clock Strikes Midnight

AUTHOR: Joan C. Curtis
BOOK TITLE: The Clock Strikes Midnight
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

NOTE:  If you're interested in doing a review on The Clock Strikes Midnight, please leave a comment with your contact information and Joan will arrange to send an electronic copy to you.

Please tell us about yourself. I’m a communications consultant turned mystery writer. I’ve spent the last 20+ years working with businesses helping them develop better interpersonal relations within their organizations. I have a doctorate in Adult Education. In my capacity as a communications consultant, I pubished 4 business books. Those included information about hiring and keeping talent as well as communication issues.

Now I’ve turned to the much more rewarding world of fiction writing. I say more rewarding because the fiction enables me to tap into my creativity. That’s been great fun! I’m sure you know all about that, Penny. Your creativity amazes me.

Please tell us your latest news. My latest news is that The Clock Strikes Midnight was released just a week ago. I’m excited to have my very first work of fiction available for readers.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I would have to say I’m a part-time writer who wants to be a full-time writer. I do spend as much of my time writing as I can. I’m still doing seminars and workshops related to communication in the business world. I’m still a wife and a mom as well as the caretaker of 5 four-legged creatures. All that pulls me from full-time writing.

What I try to do is write 500 new words every day. If I’m working on a novel, those have to be new words in the novel. If I’m in between, then my 500 words can be blogs, short stories or flash fiction.

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing seriously in my 30’s. I sent a story for a Reader’s Digest competition (national). It won second place and the editor contacted me. That story was about the summer following my father’s death. I was 8 years old. It was something that had been inside me for a long time. Once I wrote that and had it published, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I suppose I always had the writing passion, but that story gave me the confidence to move forward.

What inspired you to write your first book? The first book I wrote will never be published. I call it my “practice” novel. I wanted to see if I could write a novel. The task seemed daunting to me. I really didn’t know that much about the craft of writing, but I quickly learned. Writing that first book enabled me to learn and to improve and finally to begin a new project with a new goal: publish.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I’m speaking Italian! I am half-Italian. My father was born in Caserta Italy. Unfortunately he died when I was 8-years-old. Nonetheless, he left me with the Italian bug. I love everything about the country and have spent the last ten years learning what I can, including the language.

What are your thoughts about promotion? The first thought that came to my mind, Penny, was YUCK! It is so hard. When I set about writing a novel, I just wanted to see if I could do it. Then, I set about getting a novel published. Yippee! That happened. Now, the hardest part of all is getting the word out about it so people will buy my book. Naively I suppose I thought if I wrote a good book, people would buy it… Ha! The market is full of good books. The challenge to all writers is to figure out how to tell readers about their books. Recently I did a webinar for Southern New Hampshire University for their creative writing students. The title was What Does It Take to Write, Publish and SELL a novel. Clearly it’s a three-prong process.

What is your marketing plan? I’m putting my book on all the major sites that recognize mysteries. One thing I want to do is get people to read and review my book. I’m seeking reviews from mystery bloggers. I currently have several, but want more. I’m also appearing on writer’s blogs with guests post opportunities. These focus on writing tips and strategies. My blog also has a number of posts that relate to tips for writers as well as book reviews of other books I’ve read and interviews with authors. My goal in marketing is to create a name for myself in the fiction/writing world without constantly pumping my book.

What are your current projects? I am currently working on a cozy mystery series. The first one is under contract with MuseItUp. It’s title is The e-Murderer. It’s all about a young woman who gets dangerous, sinister e-mails, which are later linked to a series of murders. The story heats us when the main character becomes the target of the e-murderer. I’m now working on the second book in that series.

What genre do you write in and why? I write mystery/suspense. I chose this genre because this is what I like to read. I also love woman’s fiction but that was too broad a genre. The Clock Strikes Midnight started out in the woman’s fiction category in its early drafts. As the book evolved, it clearly became more of a suspense book with a strong mystery component. I turned to the cozy mystery genre with my second and third book because it was easier to place in a genre. I selected cozy because I wanted an amateur sleuth character.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. Here is the blurb from The Clock Strikes Midnight: The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.

What comes first: the plot or characters? For me, the characters come first. Although The Clock Strikes Midnight has a strong plot, the characters pave the way for action and they are the ones making decisions. I tried to use an outline for The e-Murderer, but it soon fell by the wayside. The characters had their own ideas and they are usually better than mine!

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? The character I disliked (I wouldn’t say hate) the most was Eloise, Marlene and Janie’s mom. I’ve read a lot about child neglect. Eloise was a neglectful mom who cared more about herself than her children. She was very spoiled and some might even say narcissistic. I’d love to hear from my readers, though. Which character did they dislike the most?

As for Ralph… well, he was pitiful. He made a mistake when he married Eloise. That mistake cost him a lot. I don’t condone his behavior, but I do pity him.

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? Most people think if you don’t write historical fiction, there is no need for research in writing fiction. That is a huge myth. I spend a lot of time researching many things, including: 1) The weather at the particular time of year where I’m writing 2) The place I’m writing about, even if it’s nearby 3) The people I’m writing about. Their likes and dislikes, common to people in that region 4) The professions my characters choose. Lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, business people 5) The language—dialogue. How people speak whether they are “redneck” southerners or adolescents or from Great Britain. 6) The events at the time of writing 7) The list is endless…

What advice would you give a new writer starting out? Keep writing and don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes. Listen to criticism. Don’t let rejection stop you, learn from it and move forward. There is a craft to writing. Not everyone has the talent. If you have the passion, learn the craft and keep learning.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? Strong characters and good writing. If there’s even one point-of-view error, I stop reading.

What book are you currently reading? Just finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. Great book.

What do you like or not like about it? Okay, so you caught me. I found one point-of-view error, but I like her books so much, I kept on going. I like that she writes from 3-4 points-of-view. There’s a mystery involved and each person has a little bit of the puzzle. She also wraps things up nicely in the end. There are no pieces hanging.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself? Enthusiastic, disciplined, a people-person

Describe your writing space. OMG a mess, but I keep trying to clean it up. My cat sits on my desk on a cat blanket net to my computer.

Excerpt from The Clock Strikes Midnight…

“Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.
The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.

“Mama, tell Janie to—”

“Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.

“Malcolm, look out—!” Mom screamed.

Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.

Then, everything went black.

When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.

“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.

Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.
Marlene stood on the side of the road.

“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.

Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.

“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.

Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.

Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.

“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.

They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.

It was too late for all of them.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Susan Blackaby, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oregon

Photo credit Jone MacCulloch

AUTHOR:  Susan Blackaby
ILLUSTRATOR: Carolyn Conahan
BOOK TITLE: The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oregon
Tell me a little about your book.

It is part of the Twelve Days of Christmas in America series.  The text in part follows the structure of the traditional song but features landmarks from all around the state.
What gave you the idea for this particular story?
The format is the same for all the books in the series. The premise is that a cousin has invited an out-of-state cousin to visit Oregon for the holidays. Each day the cousin receives a gift, starting with the state bird in the state tree, and writes a letter home to tell his parents about his experiences.
Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
I spent my childhood criss-crossing Oregon on car rides and camping trips. When I had to sit down with a map and create a day-by-day tour, I revisited a lot of familiar places. In addition, I featured one of our neighbors in the role of the main character, and it was fun to incorporate him and his family into the text—and a crazy big treat when I finally could hand him the book.
Why did you choose to write a story with a Christmas or winter theme?
Sterling selects an author-illustrator team from each state to create the books. I was pleased to be asked to take this on and delighted to collaborate with Carolyn. She is a close friend and a brilliant artist—her work appears monthly in Cricket magazine.
Do you see special challenges to marketing a book with a seasonal theme?  If so, what are they?
It is a short and busy season with a small window of opportunity that one needs to squeeze through, competing with lots of other events and outings that keep people preoccupied when it comes to attending book signings. And this particular book has an even narrower audience because of its provincial appeal.
How long before December did you submit to your publisher?
My first deadline was in October 2012 with final manuscript due in the spring of 2013. Carolyn had about 8 months to do sketches and complete the final art, so a quick turnaround for her.
How and why did you choose this publisher?
I have worked with Meredith Mundy, my editor at Sterling, for a number of years on other projects, including Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox and Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise. She and the art director approached us to do this project and we were happy to oblige.
What about your book makes it special?
The rompy song features local fare that Oregonians of all ages can appreciate—barking sea lions, Portland food carts, windsurfers, bucking broncos, and thunder eggs (to name just a few of the gifts). The letters include a lot of interesting and surprising information about Oregon’s geography, history, folklore, and natural history that will appeal to older kids. And Carolyn’s exquisite artwork is masterful—filled with beauty and whimsy and many, many hidden charms that perfectly capture the ring of the season.
What does Christmas and/or winter mean to you?
As a writer, I look forward to quiet, distraction-free winter afternoons to work once the new year rolls in. And in the rush and crush of the holiday season, I think recalibration is imperative—slow down to linger around the table or around the fire with family and friends to rekindle and share traditions.
What is your favorite Christmas or winter memory?
In January 1961 it snowed in Palo Alto, where I grew up. Pretty memorable!
What was your favorite stocking stuffer?
A blue music box that plays a little tune by Handel. I got it when I was about 3 years old.
What was your favorite Christmas present?
One year as Christmas day hit that changeover from festive to frazzled, my dad gave my mom a strand of pearls. It had all the very best elements of pure surprise.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My website is currently under construction:
But I am easily reachable in the meantime:

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oregon pairs amazing and amusing artwork with a happy blast of geography, history, science, folklore, and—of course—snowboarding as cousins take a holiday tour of the Beaver state. Epistolary, entertaining, and lyrical to boot!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rosemary Morris, The Captain and The Countess


First of all, thank you for inviting me to be your guest.


AUTHOR: Rosemary Morris
BOOK TITLE:The Captain and The Countess
GENRE: Traditional Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
BUY LINK: Amazon kindle and all reputable vendors.

Q. Please tell us about yourself.

A. I am the author of Sunday’s Child & False Pretences set in the Regency era, Tangled Love, Far Beyond Rubies and The Captain and The Countess which are set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign – 1702-1714. My love of historical fiction & non-fiction led to writing novels. To research, I read non-fiction, visit museums  and other places of historical interest. To view book trailers and read extracts from my novels visit I would be happy to hear from you.

Q. Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

A. I write full time. I begin writing at 6 a.m. and continue until 10 a.m. or later, with time out for breakfast and cups of herbal tea. If I am not going out or socializing I work for an hour or two after lunch and for several hours in the late afternoon and early evening.

Q. When and why did you begin writing?

A. From earliest childhood my world was peopled by imaginary characters. I can’t remember a time when I did not compose stories. As soon as I learned to write I wrote stories.

Q. What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

A. I am as passionate about my organic garden, in which I grow fruit, herbs and vegetables, which are put to good use in my vegetarian cuisine, as I am about writing, reading historical fiction and non-fiction and visiting places of historical interest. I also enjoy knitting and dabbling in various crafts. Above all I treasure time spent with my family and friends.

Q. What are your thoughts about promotion?

A, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I have met so many people through promotion and, of course I enjoy hearing from and replying to my wonderful readers; on the other hand, promotion is very time consuming and eats into the time at which I would prefer to be writing a novel.

Q. Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

A. My publisher is MuseItUp publishing an excellent Canadian small press publisher that I connected to through networking.

Q. What are your current projects?

A. I am writing Monday’s Child which is a follow on book from my traditional Regency novel. I am also revising the first novel of a trilogy set in the reign of Edward II.

Q. What do you plan for the future?

A. At the moment, I am making notes on Tuesdays Child, a follow on novel from Monday’s Child, which I have nearly finished. I’m also playing with the idea of writing a follow on novel to Far Beyond Rubies. I would also like to write a novel about Vikings, with a very strong hero and heroine who are not stereotyped.

Q. How can we find you? Website, Facebook?

A. You can find me on my website where you can view my book trailers, read the first three chapters of each of my novels and some of the reviews.

Q. What genre do you write in and why?

A. I write traditional historical romance, by which I mean I do not open the bedroom door wide.

There is a gigantic canvas to select from. I chose England in the reign of Queen Anne Stuart, 1702-1714, the ever popular Regency, and (for an as yet unpublished novel) the reign of Edward II when it is said that ‘the flower of English chivalry was lost at the Battle of Bannockburn.’

I chose these periods to set my novels in because each of them affected the course of history. If the Duke of Marlborough had not won The War of Spanish Succession and The Duke of Wellington had not defeated Napoleon at The Battle of Waterloo the history of Britain and that of Europe would have been very different, and also had far-reaching consequences for other countries. If Edward II had won the Battle of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce would have probably been killed. It is feasible that the king would most likely have conquered Scotland and, perhaps, as it is claimed, he would not have been murdered.

Q. Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

A. I am promoting the Captain and The Countess set in the reign of Queen Anne Stuart 1702 – 1714. The novel is romantic but also, in the words of one of my reviewers: “the book describes well the lack of power women had in those times, showing the distress and frustration Kate (the heroine) suffers when, as a woman, she is denied by a man's ignorance and another's greed, that which she most ardently desires and should have by right."

Q. Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

A. I don’t write a detailed outline but once I have an idea for the plot and theme I spend a long time considering them. Before I begin writing I know what the beginning, middle and end of the novel will be.

Q. What comes first: the plot or characters?

A. Before I begin the novel I complete detailed character profiles for the main characters. By the time I write the first word I know them as well as I know members of my family.

Q. Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?

A. Yes, it did. My overcrowded bookshelves and the library from which I order innumerable non-fiction bear testament to that.

I study the period which I am writing about in order to capture the attitudes, beliefs, class distinctions, fashion, meals, and superstitions which divide the age in which I live from times past.

Q. What advice would you give a new writer starting out?

A. First of all, unless you are fortunate enough to have a submission snapped up, regardless of how many rejections you receive don’t give up. As well as writing, take some courses, participate in a face to face writer’s groups and online critique groups which offer constructive comments; and read books on how to write.

Q. What do you do when you’re not writing?

A. I enjoy visiting the local leisure center to swim and enjoy the sauna, steam room and the Jacuzzi.

Something else I enjoy is visiting charity shops and car boots to see if I can find items for my home. Over the years I’ve collected blue and white china which I display in my dining room. None of it was expensive but all of it is attractive, and one of my granddaughters is fascinated by a tiny teapot.

Q. What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

A. Something interesting that compels me to read on even regardless of what I should be doing.

* * * *

The Captain and The Countess

Why does heart-rending pain lurk in the back of the wealthy Countess of Sinclair’s eyes? 

Captain Howard’s life changes forever from the moment he meets Kate, the intriguing Countess and resolves to banish her pain.

Although the air sizzles when widowed Kate, victim of an abusive marriage meets Edward Howard, a captain in Queen Anne’s navy, she has no intention of ever marrying again.

However, when Kate becomes better acquainted with the Captain she realises he is the only man who understands her grief and can help her to untangle her past.