Writer THURSDAY? Yes! Meet Andrya Bailey

HalftoneI have to tell you, when I realized I’d completely forgotten to post Andrya Bailey‘s Writer Wednesday interview last week, I felt so bad. SO BAD. I was on a crowded bus full of Girl Scouts headed to NYC when that nagging suspicion I’d forgotten something hit me. Luckily, it wasn’t my daughter, or our luggage.

But it was a blog post, and Ms. Bailey has my profound apologies. Luckily for me, she’s been incredibly gracious about the whole oops, so I am tickled to bring you this Special Edition of Writer Wednesday – on Thursday.

Come meet the ever-so-understanding Andrya Bailey, and learn a bit about her and her books!


Heart shaped book pagesWhich type of romance do you love most, and why?

I like contemporary romance, but I’m also drawn to historical romance and fairy tales. Magic and seduction fill our lives with passion!

Relief of Pluto and ProserpineName one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:

My upcoming book, the second novel in the Olympian Love trilogy, is set in Greece. While researching Greek mythology, I came across the bouquet of Persephone, which was a bouquet with the flowers Persephone was gathering when she was kidnapped by the mighty Hades. This was a nice touch to insert into one of the scenes in the romance.

What fellow romance author do you recommend reading, and why?

Sheila Kell, the writer of the HIS novels. They’re fun, sexy, with steamy scenes and interesting characters, especially the alpha Hamilton brothers.

wutheringWhat’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?

If I have to single out only one, I’ll say Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, although I have several favorites.

Even though it doesn’t have a happy ending, I find Heathcliff’s love for Catherine sickly passionate and full of devotion.


Olympian_Passion_Cover_for_KindleA Bit on Olympian Passion (book 1):

Sabrina loves everything about Greek mythology and is excited to be accepted for an internship at the Fine Arts Museum in Houston. When she meets the handsome Greek archaeologist Nikos Soulis, who will spend two months at the museum, she falls head over heels for him. But the sexy professor seems too busy and already spoken for… so why does he insist in helping her with her project? Can Sabrina avoid heartbreak when she is seduced by the hot Olympian god of her dreams?

“A great romance that does justice to the mythological theme.”

Find Olympian Passion here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble 


writingAuthor bio:

Andrya Bailey is an award-winning contemporary romance writer who lives in Texas, USA. One of her favorite things to do is travel, and when she does, she loves to visit museums and learn about art, which she usually incorporates into her stories. She loves to write love stories with strong alpha males and exciting scenarios.

Olympian Passion is the first book in the Olympian Love series and it has received the 5 star seal from Readers’ Favorite. The second book, Olympian Heartache, will be released in late summer 2016. Her short story “No Inhibition” is published in the romance/erotica anthology Waves of Passion, by the Houston Writers Guild Press.

Want to connect further with Andrya? Find her here:

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Andrya-Bailey/e/B01667R2D8
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/andryabailey/
Twitter: @andyb0810


Thanks so much for being here, Andrya! It was a pleasure having you. 

Embrace the Fire! – Interview with #YA Fantasy Author Tamara Shoemaker

Fair_MegafonWahoo! We’ve got Young Adult Fantasy author Tamara Shoemaker swooping in on the wings of dragons to share with us about her latest release, Embrace the Fire.

She’s a hoot (dragon sex, anyone?), always wildly entertaining, and so I invite you to sit back with favorite brew in hand and read all about … the chocolate preferences of her characters? Yes, and MUCH more…


Embrace the Fire is the second in your Heart of a Dragon trilogy, the follow-up to Kindle the Flame. What do you find the most challenging part about writing the middle book in a trilogy? What is the most fun?

 

KTFCoverThe most challenging part of avoiding that middle book syndrome is finding a good balance for your overall story. You have to carry a storyline that keeps flowing, doesn’t grow stagnant, maintains and builds the plot threads and the romantic chemistry and the character development and the rising action and the tone and the voice and the structure… all without tipping over the precipice into the land of “resolved” yet, because hey… there’s still another book to be written, and you have to save something for then. 😉

The most fun part is everything I just listed. Sure, it’s hard, but who said writing a book was ever easy, and if it were easy… would I enjoy it? I love the challenge of throwing myself heart and soul into a project, tearing out my hair, sometimes even crying over my inability to make plot threads meet—but, oh boy, the adrenaline rush at the end!

Some people jump from planes for the amazing feeling of accomplishment when they land on the ground. Me… I just write books. 😉

Which character from this trilogy do you most enjoy writing, and why?

 

Beautiful exotic young woman in lingerieI enjoy the wide variety of the cast; there are so many and varied tastes and textures. It’s like an artist’s palette, and I get to choose a brush and make a stroke along a canvas whenever I break out into some of the descriptions.

I just added a new character in Embrace the Fire that I didn’t have in Kindle the FlameAshleen. I’ve totally enjoyed exploring the depths of her character. She’s nearly opposite me in personality—unafraid and absolutely self-confident. She makes a nice contrast to Kinna, my female lead, who struggles with discovering who she is and becoming comfortable with what she’s meant to do. I’m widening Ashleen’s role in the third book, and am having fun seeing how elastic her character is and how far she’ll stretch.

How do you think up such intricate plots and such fantastical creatures? Because I totally want a Mirage dragon.

 

Short answer: I have no idea. 😉 Lol!
Tree BookIt starts with a seed (what if I wrote a list of all the fantastical creatures I’ve ever found in stories, and then included them all in one book?) that I faithfully water every day (and then what if I made a world where all of these creatures were separated into Clans by a tyrannical king who used them for his own ends?), and then it eventually sprouts into a full-blown tree complete with twigs, blossoms, and leaves (and then what if there’s an epic struggle between the king and the rightful heir to the throne, and the eternal poser of Might Is Right comes into heavy play throughout the entire trilogy? How epic would that be?).


This is very important: Which would each of your four main characters (Kinna, Ayden, Cedric, Sebastian) prefer: dark, milk, or white chocolate. Believe me, this reveals a lot about their personalities.

 

chocolateHaha!! I can only imagine. Shall I analyze why I think they like what they like? Here we go:

Kinna likes milk chocolate, because she’s not one to obsess over the added sugar. And it tastes better than white chocolate. She’s a bit more of a go-with-the-flow girl, and she’s at peace with that. Although she has a strict sense of right and wrong, she knows it’s silly to think that all dark things are inherently evil, and all things of the light are unmixed with the dark.

Ayden also likes milk chocolate for many of the same reasons as Kinna, but he’s seen too much of the underbelly of the world to think that he wants to spend any more time in only dark chocolate. It’s too bitter, and he’s had enough bitterness to last a lifetime.

Cedric enjoys dark chocolate, perhaps because until the age of seventeen, he’s never experienced chocolate of any kind, and doesn’t know the effects that chocolate has on the culture he discovers when he leaves the only life he’s ever known. Too much sweetness sours his stomach, and he can only handle small amounts at a time, no more than a square inch if pressed.

Sebastian has towers of his castle filled with the white chocolate gunk. He rolls in it. He stuffs his cheeks like a hamster and then gets on his political wheel and runs aimlessly for hours while he lets the sickly sweet saliva leak from his mouth and drip from his chin in drops of tyrannical drool.

So… how’d I do? 😉

(ML says: Best. Answer. Ever. And I knew that evil Sebastian was a white chocolate guy. I just knew it.)


You also just released the middle book in your Guardian of the Vale series, Shadows of Uprising. How on earth do you keep the characters and storylines straight? Have you ever mixed them up and found yourself sticking Kinna into Clayborne, or having Jayme ride a dragon?

 

shadowsuprisingYes to both. I always proofread my books after I finish writing them—multiple times—and it never fails but that I find the wrong character show up in a book.

Even when I was only writing ONE book at a time (instead of two or three as I am now), I’d still find the characters cropping up in my present story that I had wrapped up in the book I’d finished months ago.

I figure it’s just part of the process. And hopefully I always catch any stray displaced characters in a story before it goes to press and return them to their rightful homes.


Once you finish these two series, what’s next? More sci-fi/fantasy? Or might you, gasp, actually take a break?

 

sunset in heart handsHahahahahaha! Take a break, she says. 😉 I’ve learned never to lay out solid plans too far in advance, because there’s too much of a risk of breaking those plans. I hope to keep writing YA fantasy for years, but at the moment, I’m concentrating on just getting these two trilogies done.

I do have a historical romance series in my head that’s been simmering for the last few years, and I kept discarding the idea because I don’t write straight romance. I’ve finally decided to give it a shot. I have no idea if it’s a good decision or not; it might be a walk on the wild side. But I figured I may as well have fun with it. I enjoy the lightness of romances; it’ll be a nice break from the intense and deep and epic plot threads of my fantasies (I say that now—watch my romance evolve into a ridiculous creation that’s waaaay too deep to call it a simple romance). 🙂

(ML says: “Simple” romance? Methinks you and I must talk, m’dear. There are plenty of dark, twisted romances out there, as well. 🙂 )


You’re a freelance editor as well as a writer. How does editing others’ works influence your own?

 

EditorTo hone a skill, you have to practice… and practice and practice and practice, right? I practice writing all the time, as well as editing my own work all the time. But I have one basic style, and freelance editing opens up a world of other styles to me. It’s wonderful; I get to do what I love best (read and write) while helping other authors do what they love best (write), and it also helps me hone and sharpen my skills. It’s a win/win situation.


If you could give people one reason to read this trilogy, what would it be?

 

Dragons in LoveThree words: Dragonly coital habits.

That would totally be too much for my curiosity. But if you need a little more convincing, here’s my shot at it:

If you want to read a story with reminiscent touches of Martin’s or Tolkein’s fantasy action, if you want a YA romance that takes you back to the Twilight days, if you enjoy the political intrigue and mystery of TV series similar to Reign and/or the Tudors… or if you just enjoy really, really awesome dragons, then this book is most definitely for you. 🙂


Embrace the Fire

Embrace The FireWanted by King Sebastian, Kinna, the long-hidden daughter of the assassinated King Liam, flees for her life, determined to seek out her twin brother and free him from Sebastian’s dungeons. Meanwhile, the King holds Kinna’s adopted father as collateral to ensure she keeps her betrothal to a man she does not love.

Once cursed by King Sebastian to turn everything he touched to ash, Ayden suffers from new, searing pain that heats his flesh in a different way. Searching for answers, he digs into the histories of West Ashwynd’s Clans, and his discoveries lead him to the Amulet he’d thought had rid him of his curse. When he finds a rare Mirage Dragon, hope for vengeance upon Sebastian fills him again.

Captured and stripped of his power as Dragon-Master, Cedric resists using his Dragon-speak to advance Sebastian’s political aims. When he escapes the King’s clutches, he resolves to find his twin sister, Kinna. But the enemy has a long reach, and Cedric’s chains are unrelenting.

Ice and agony torment Sebastian, King of West Ashwynd. His fury rages unabated as he prepares for war. When treachery leeches into his ranks, he turns against everyone he trusts. Sebastian believes he cannot be outwitted, but…

Kingdoms rise and fall; wars transform nations—
but who can survive the fires of Dragons?


Tamara ShoemakerTamara Shoemaker lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, three children, a few jars of Nutella, and a never-ending carafe of coffee.

She authored the Amazon best-selling Shadows in the Nursery Christian mystery series and Soul Survivor, another Christian mystery. Her fantasy books include the first two books of the Heart of a Dragon trilogy: Kindle the Flame and Embrace the Fire, as well as Mark of Four and Shadows of Uprising, the first two books in the Guardian of the Vale trilogy.

In her spare time, she freelances as an editor for other works of fiction.

Follow her on social media:

Twitter: @TamaraShoemaker
Website: www.tamarashoemaker.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tshoebooks


In Depth With #YAFantasy Author Tamara Shoemaker: Talking Shadows of Uprising

Tamara ShoemakerYou know what’s fun about being friends with really cool authors? Everything.

You know what’s fun about being an author with really cool author friends? The chance to tell others about them on your blog!

We have marvelous #YAFantasy author Tamara Shoemaker in the house (virtually speaking, that is), and she gives us insight into her writing life, AND into her new release, Shadows of Uprising, Book 2 in the fantastic Guardians of the Vale trilogy (think Last Airbender meets Harry Potter).


What’s the biggest challenge in writing a trilogy?

clotheslinebooks

That ridiculous middle book. I feel like it’s the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter Sunday. It’s so easy to fall into the feeling of waiting. The beginning dilemmas are described, the characters are evolved, the ending battles have yet to be fought. I think there’s an actual term for it: “the middle book syndrome.”

I try very hard to avoid falling into the middle book syndrome. Each of my books in a trilogy has a story arc within itself. I set up the central plot conflict, create a climax, weave together some satisfying falling action, and pull together a brilliant resolution. But all of that has to be pertinent to the overarching “trilogy plot.”

One of my happiest moments was when I’d handed my manuscript of Shadows of Uprising to my editor, and we’d gone over the developmental edits. We were preparing for line edits when she sent me this note: “Middle book syndrome successfully avoided.” That absolutely made my year.

kindletheflameHow do you keep these two different worlds straight? (In other words, are you crazy for writing two YA fantasy series at once?)

Haha! It does border on insanity, it’s true. Sometimes, I have so many characters in my head that I get them mixed up on the page. Ayden from my Heart of a Dragon trilogy keeps showing up in place of Daymon in my Guardian of the Vale trilogy, and vice versa. My pinky finger constantly hovers over the backspace key. It’s inevitable that the wrong name leaves my fingers before I can blink once.

To write two different worlds simultaneously, I have to create distinctive breaks. After breakfast = Editing Guardian of the Vale. After lunch = editing Heart of the Dragon. After the kids are in bed = freelance editing for clients. Somewhere in there, I’ve got three kids to help with homework and a husband who occasionally appreciates a home-cooked meal. 😉

In spite of the breaks, it’s still a struggle to write multiple worlds at the same time. I keep telling myself—after these trilogies are out, I’m slowing down to ONE book at a time. But I doubt I’ll listen to myself. I have too many stories in my head that are desperate to come out. 🙂

mo4How do you feel when people react strongly to your characters, whether positively or especially negatively? (I know some people aren’t keen on Kyle. I name no names, though. *whistle*)

To each his own. I’m not too keen on dear Kyle, either, although I perhaps lend him a bit more grace than the average reader, mostly because he’s my own creation. But I love the fact that people react, no matter what they say. It shows they have gotten so into the story that they care what happens to my characters.

My favorite message I received just the other day from a reader: “What is Alayne DOING? And why is she DOING IT?” (Capitals included in original message). Said reader went on to vent for a while, but when she finished the book, she sent me another message telling me how much she loved it. I thoroughly enjoy hearing my readers’ reactions to the characters, both positive and negative; it makes me feel like I’ve done a great job of pulling them into the story.

Vintage TypewriterDescribe your typical process in writing a story: plotter? Pantser? Write every day? Write in fits and spurts?

I go through stages. When I’m in the book-creation stage, I write every day, occasionally giving myself a day’s break if the storyline isn’t coming as easily as I’d wish. When I’m in the editing stage, I edit every day, but I don’t spend any time writing new material (unless I’m revamping a chapter or something).

I try at all costs to avoid writing in fits and spurts. I’m notoriously undisciplined in various parts of my life (Mt. Laundry, I’m looking at you), and I refuse to allow myself to lose control of my career. So, with rigid discipline, then, I sit down nearly every day in front of my laptop, even if I can’t think of what I want to write, even if the characters refuse to cooperate. If I don’t, if I let the manuscript sit, it grows more rebellious with time. I have to tackle it every day to keep it morphing and changing into what I want it to become.

Business concept. keyboard and crumpled paper on table.Pantser or plotter? A little of both. I like to know where the story starts and where it ends and a few major happenings in the middle before I begin to write. My basic outline usually looks like this: Mega-exciting opening incident, throw in romantic interlude here, toss in suspenseful incident there, sprinkle in a climax where all characters fall apart, write a satisfying conclusion where all characters that make it through the climax pull it together. A few pages of world-building notes, and then I’m writing. Generally, the outcome of the book looks NOTHING like what I’ve jotted on paper at the beginning, but it’s the start that keeps me going.


Is there anything in the plot you wish you could change, now that you’re this far in?

With my Guardian of the Vale trilogy? No. I love all of it. I have no regrets. I love how the characters have morphed throughout, how they’ve grown and how it all comes together in the end. I absolutely would keep it the same if I could write it again tomorrow. My Heart of the Dragon trilogy has been a little more difficult to write, perhaps because I published the first book before the second one was written (all three books in the Guardian of the Vale trilogy were already written before the first one was published). So I have found a plot-snag or two that comes back to haunt me from Kindle the Flame. Thus far, I’ve been able to work my way around the snags, but if I would have written all three of the books first before publication, those plot-snags would have hit the scrap pile.

If you could have dinner with any 3 authors, whom would you choose and why?

Oh, how fun! Authors are my favorite kinds of people—worlds of imagination around a dinner table! Hmm, I imagine I’m fairly predictable with some of these answers, because most people who know me know my great literary loves. But here they are:

  • JK Rowling (None of my books would be what they are without my imagination having been lit by her brilliant wizarding world.)
  • austenJane Austen (Reading about the power of soul-deep love always stirs me to my core, and Austen not only creates the best love stories, but she mocks the foibles of society while she’s at it. I can’t get enough.)
  • David of the Bible (Anyone who writes “Deep cries to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me,” echoes the heights and depths and breadths of emotion that create the innermost part of me. I would love to talk with such a poet’s soul.)

I feel like these three authors would create a nice cross-section of what I identify with the most: fantasy, true love, and a person’s interaction with his creator.

If you could have dinner with any three of your characters, who would you choose and why?

Wow, you wore me out with the last question!

  • I think I’d have to go first with Professor Manderly Manders. The guy fascinates me. He’s a dusty, middle-aged professor of Elemental History at Clayborne Training Facility, and yet there’s an undercurrent of kick-tushie, rock-hard awesomeness about him that I can’t quite erase. I’ve posted pictures before of who I imagine when I write about them. To me, Professor Manders would be played in a screen-adaptation by Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Second, I’d go with Marysa, possibly to cover any stilted silences, because the girl’s tongue is hinged in the middle, but also, you won’t find a sweeter or a wiser friend. She’s not marshmallow fluff, either; girl’s got steel underneath somewhere. I have thoroughly enjoyed developing her character from what it was at the beginning of Mark of Four to what it is at the end of Guardian of the Vale.
  • And third, of course I have to choose Daymon,
    a) because he’s crazy hot, and
    b.) he’s not your normal person who appears on your hero-of-the-day toilet paper.
    (ML says: What? There’s Hero-Of-The-Day toilet paper? Where do I get some of THAT?)He comes from a dark past, and instead of succumbing to the pressures of what he’s had to face, he finds ways to overcome. He’s stronger than most because of his experiences.

Only three? Honestly, ALL of my characters fascinate me, and who wants to throw such a small dinner party? I’m pretty sure I’d have to rent out the largest banquet hall and invite every last one of my characters. We’ll have a great time, between the Dragons that keep scorching the walls and the Elementals that throw water and fire around like it’s no big deal.

Y’all probably want an invitation, too. I’ll get right on that. 😉


SoUShadows of Uprising

Alayne Worth possesses the Vale, an object of mysterious power coveted by other Elementals. Danger shadows her every step when this secret spreads. As she grieves the sudden death of her boyfriend at the hands of the notorious Shadow-Caster, Simeon Malachi, Alayne unravels the mysteries of the Vale and her past.

When she returns to Clayborne to pursue her Elemental training, Alayne is plagued by disturbing visions that predict a dark future. As an ominous Alliance of pure-blood Elementals spreads intolerance across the Continent, Alayne’s visions show evidence of the truth–and reveal a deadly danger to her loved ones. Alayne must conquer her fears and use her power to muster an uprising that will obliterate the only way of life she’s ever known.

Find Shadows of Uprising on Amazon!


Tamara Shoemaker lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, three children, a few jars of Nutella, and a never-ending carafe of coffee. She authored the Amazon best-selling Shadows in the Nursery Christian mystery series and Soul Survivor, another Christian mystery. Her fantasy books include the beginning of the Heart of a Dragon trilogy: Kindle the Flame, as well as Mark of Four and Shadows of Uprising, the first two books in the Guardian of the Vale trilogy. In her spare time, she freelances as an editor for other works of fiction.

Follow Tamara on social media:

Twitter: @TamaraShoemaker
Website: www.tamarashoemaker.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tshoebooks


Aria Glazki’s Mending Heartstrings is HERE! Read all about it!

Aria GlazkiSo happy to welcome Aria Glazki to the blog during her DEBUT WEEK for her new romance, Mending HeartstringsAria and I met on the flash fiction circuit and bonded as romance writers. Today, we’re shining the spotlight on her as she talks writing, the pressures of being interesting as an introverted author, and then gives us the deets on Mending Heartstrings. Wahoo! Thanks for being here, Aria!


Tell us about Mending Heartstrings:

Mending Heartstrings cover smallMending Heartstrings is really about two people who both have reasons to avoid relationships, especially spontaneous ones, who still can’t deny the connection they feel during one lovely night together. But of course, they have to reconcile that interest with obstacles like living thousands of miles away and with their own trepidation, their pasts. So they each have to make the choice—do they even try, do they put in the effort, or do they simply give in to reality, to being practical?

And this is a choice many of us have to make when we first meet someone who interests us: are they worth the effort, and the potential of ending up hurt?

When did you start writing?

In a sense, I began writing short stories and poems back in elementary school. I actually had quite a few creative writing assignments throughout my education, which I think was lucky. I really started studying writing, though, in high school, working with writing prompts and pushing my boundaries. The first time I started a novel was during an independent study writing course my senior year, and then Creative Writing became one of my majors in University.

What inspires you to continue writing when you lose your focus?

writingTaking a break and allowing my subconscious to do the hard work of filtering ideas or breaking through writer’s block often does the trick for me, bringing the persistent voices of the characters and vivid moments which beg to be written to the forefront. If that doesn’t work, my writing group encouragingly badgers me into it.

If you could choose to write from anywhere in the world, where would that be?

I would love to live and write in a flat in Paris—dashing out for fresh pastries (a.k.a. inspiration) and soaking in the creative legacy of the city, with incredible art, culture, and history from all over Europe at most a few hours away.

As a romance writer, how do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be?

sunset in heart handsThe level of heat in my books is decided by the characters—sexually confident and adventurous characters demand more explicit, unabashed heat, whereas more timid or reserved characters are likely to keep their intimacy behind closed doors.  Characters with different approaches to sexuality may bounce from one extreme to the other while finding the sweet spot for themselves as a couple. And of course, some characters’ relationships develop through their physical intimacy, in which case you’ll see those moments as that happens.

Any tips for new writers?

Take courses or workshops, and join writing groups with more experienced writers. Really pay attention to what other people are saying—but then sort through the pieces that ring true for you in your writing. After graduating with a Creative Writing degree, I was entirely demoralized with regards to writing. I sincerely thought I could never be an author, but a couple of years later, a story idea wouldn’t let me go, and now here Mending Heartstrings is. So don’t allow the opinions of even “experts” to discourage you from writing if that’s your goal, just ensure you’re learning everything you can from their perspective and advice.

Any tips for old writers?

MusicButterflyBreak out of your genre! Constantly writing in the same genre can easily become formulaic, even across story lines, and while this can be quite successful commercially, it doesn’t allow for any growth as a writer. Eventually, writing essentially the same thing with different faces must get old, so try creating something that can’t possibly follow the path you’re used to and see what you can learn from the experience.


 Impossibly Interesting At All Times

We authors may not like to admit it, but fascinating content doesn’t stream endlessly from our fingertips—not for our books, not for our social media accounts, and not for blog (or guest) posts we write.

So many writers and authors are introverts at heart, preferring to keep to themselves. Some people, of course, are naturally outgoing and engaging and truly do seem fascinating with every comment they make. They set the bar impossibly high for the rest of us.

static1.squarespaceThe pressure to be interesting at all times is perpetuated by much of the advice circulating the internet. And to that end, “fake it ’til you make it” is a pretty good motto. Projecting confidence encourages others to assume you actually know what you’re talking about. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite help you figure out what to say, which can leave you writing about the impossibility of constantly producing engaging content.

So what’s the most interesting thing about me? In my eyes, probably the characters in my books. Their lives, their relationships, their adventures and struggles and triumphs—all much more interesting than I am. Let’s face it, there’s a reason I’m not writing a memoir! Moreover, readers are quite lucky that most of an author’s content is edited and revised before being published. Believe me, you don’t want to see previously drafted options for this post.

Despite the struggle of coming up with a stream of fascinating content, and the occasional desire to pull all our hair out, authors continually return to the keyboard, reach deep down, and write something new, hoping you’ll find it interesting. Not because it’s our “job” or a requirement of book marketing, but because—introverted or not—we like engaging with all you lovely people who share one of our biggest passions: books.

One of my biggest hardships, personally, is always feeling like I’m talking at people. So let’s turn this monologue into a dialogue. Tell me, what’s the most interesting thing about you? And if you have questions for me, definitely feel free to ask in the comments!


 And now … Mending Heartstrings:

Mending Heartstrings cover smallCover design by: Christa Holland at Paper & Sage (paperandsage.com)

Publication date: February 9, 2016

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27873304-mending-heartstrings

Book blurb:
Kane’s a country singer who’s tangled with too many deceitful women. He’s learned his lesson: girls are for flirting and fun; emotions are for his music. But after spending a night with an earnest woman unlike any he’s known, he can’t force her out of his mind. So he goes in search of the woman he knows only as “Elle.”

On her last night in Nashville, the staunchly pragmatic Sabella found herself in a situation more suited to a romance novel than reality. Swept away, she ignored her rigidly self-imposed rules, succumbing to the fantasy just this once. But she knows real-world relationships have nothing in common with their fictionalized portrayals. When Kane unexpectedly shows up at her Portland apartment, she must choose between the practical truths she has learned and the desire for a passionate love she has struggled to suppress.

Despite the distance, Kane’s tour schedule, and their meddling friends, both are drawn to the chance for a romance neither quite believes is possible.

Buy Links: 
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A9PUFZ0
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01A9PUFZ0
Amazon CAN: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01A9PUFZ0
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01A9PUFZ0
B&N: barnesandnoble.com/w/mending-heartstrings-aria-glazki/1120854319
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/605278
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mending-heartstrings/id1072179639

Author bio: 
Aria’s writing story started when her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let’s just say, she was hooked!

Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, earned her degree in Creative Writing (as well as in French and Russian literatures), and been published here and there. Though her first kiss technically came from a bear cub, and no fairytale transformation followed, Aria still believes magic can happen when the right people come together—if they don’t get in their own way, that is.

Other than all things literary, Aria loves spending time with her family, including her two unbearably adorable nieces. She also dabbles in painting, dancing, playing violin, and, given the opportunity, Epicureanism.

Social media links: 
Website: http://www.AriaGlazki.com
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/AriaGlazki
Facebook: http://Facebook.com/Aria.Glazki
Goodreads: http://Goodreads.com/Aria.Glazki
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Thank you so much for joining us, Aria, and we wish you great success with Mending Heartstrings

Award-Winning author Beth Trissel Talks Her New #YA Young Adult Series!

Author Beth TrisselWow, am I excited to feature Beth Trissel today! Beth and I live in the same town (we’ve yet to meet in person, but it will happen!), and she’s been a great support to newbie me, so I’m so pleased to feature her here.

I managed to sneak in a few short questions of my own for a mini-interview of sorts, and then Beth tells us all about her NEW book, The Hunter’s Moon, the first volume in her brand-spankin’ new YA Secret Warrior series. But before you get to read about that, there’s this:

Beth says: Thank you, Margaret, for hosting me today!

What are your top three favorite romances of all time?

Katherine by Anya Seton, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I favor the classics. 🙂

Why do you write what you write?

Well, I’m all over the place with historicals, ghost stories, time travels, and YA fantasy romances. Every story has a historical basis, so that’s a constant, even if they are set in the present day. I have a strong draw to the past. I’m also a romantic, so each story is a romance, whether sweet or a bit spicier. 

What’s one piece of writing advice you’d wished you’d had earlier on?

Think in terms of series.


And now, the Secret Warrior series: 

huntersmoonAlthough The Hunter’s Moon (Book 1, Secret Warrior Series) is my first venture into the young adult genre, I’m an award-winning, multi-published author in historical, paranormal, and time travel romance. I was inspired to create this new series partly by my teenage nieces and younger daughter. We’ve watched a lot of YA movies and TV programs together and had book discussions, during which they urged me to take the plunge.

I pondered the concept behind Secret Warrior for years as it gradually took shape in my mind. My love of history, fantasy, and fascination with the mountain people and Native Americans is at the heart of the series. Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by mountains veiled in mist and mystery lends itself well to creating the characters and setting for YA fantasy romance, The Hunter’s Moon, and the stories that will follow. Some of the characters and creatures are based on lore I’ve learned. Others appeared to me, as characters have a way of doing. A great deal of research and intuition went into writing The Hunter’s Moon. Next in the series is Curse of the Moon (release date TBD). I purposefully kept these stories to novella length so they would come out faster, which means eBook format only. The Secret Warrior series is published by The Wild Rose Press.

Pre-order links for The Hunter’s Moon are up at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The official release date for the story is December 14th.


Here’s the blurb:

Seventeen year old Morgan Daniel has been in the witness protection program most of her life. But The Panteras have caught up with her and her younger brother. Her car is totaled, she’s hurt, and the street gang is closing in when wolves with glowing eyes appear out of nowhere and chase away the killers.

Then a very cute guy who handles a bow like Robin Hood emerges from the woods and takes them to safety at his fortress-like home.

And that’s just the first sign that Morgan and her brother have entered a hidden world filled with secrets.


Excerpt:

ghostmoon“Should we stay, or go while the smoke lasts?” The cloth muffled her voice.

“You can hardly walk.”

She couldn’t argue that point. Neither could they wait to be found. “The Panteras won’t give up until we’re dead.”

“Maybe they think we are,” he argued under his breath.

“Maybe.”

She suspected Mateo would demand a body, even a charred one. Make that two. She and Jimmy didn’t have much choice, though, other than to crouch in dread while the fire crackled.

“Next birthday, I want an AK-47.” He nudged her. “Look.”

She fixed her blurry gaze on what appeared to be a black wolf emerging from the trees. The creature was larger than she’d thought wolves were, and she’d understood none remained in these mountains. They were all farther north or west. Somewhere else.

Apparently, she was misinformed.

Judging by its size, she guessed this was a male. He stopped before their hideout. Eyes the color of red coals surveyed them before he turned and darted down the trail she’d spotted.

“Holy cow, Batboy. Did you see that?” she whispered.

Jimmy didn’t reply. He prodded her again.

She stared at the big brown and gray wolf that took the black one’s place. Where on earth had he come from?

The beast turned its furry head at her and Jimmy. His eyes shone with a luminous light, like fireflies…


A bit about Beth:

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. In addition to young adult fantasy romance, I also write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

For more on me, please visit my blog, One Writer’s Way: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com
Like me on Facebook: Author Beth Trissel
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BethTrissel
Visit my Amazon Author Page where all my books reside: Amazon Author Page

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