Four GoodReads Giveaways – Don’t Miss ‘Em

Trick or Treat!

I’m giving away an autographed paperback of each of my four novels this week on GoodReads! Don’t miss your chance to win – enter now through October 20th.

(US only; I’m sorry, international readers, but postage costs have me limiting this one.)


A Man of Character Cover Margaret Locke

A Man of Character

A Matter of Time

Cover to A Scandalous Matter

A Scandalous Matter

The Demon Duke


Good luck! 

Where In The World is Margaret Locke?

You may have noticed I’ve been relatively absent from social media and certainly absent from my blog. Or maybe you haven’t. No biggie.

Where have I been?

Mourning the loss of my mom. Much of my summer I was helping my stepdad and sister in caring for her as cancer robbed her of so much. On August 23rd, it robbed her and us of her life.

I was blessed to be very close to my mom. I know not all people are so fortunate. It’s made this all the much harder. I intentionally took the first month after her death to mourn. That month is now leaching into the next, but I can’t seem to keep the author hat on for any great length of time – the winds of grief blow it off when I’m least expecting it.

Thank you to all who’ve stuck with me and continue to stick with me. I’m determined to write for National Novel Writing Month in November. Whatever I produce may not be anything worth salvaging, but I *am* going to write.

Now the question: What?

Which would you rather read:

Sophie Mattersley‘s story, the fourth in the Magic of Love series, tentatively titled A Delicate Matter? Sophie was a rather surprise character in A Scandalous Matter. A number of you have asked for more about her – which of course makes me happy!

 

Or The Legendary Duke, the second in the Put Up Your Dukes series, featuring Gavin Knight, the Duke of Cortleon? He got about one sentence in The Demon Duke, but he’s familiar to several of that tale’s characters. His own story takes its inspiration from Gawain and the Green Knight. (And for fellow Merlin fans, yes, you’ll recognize Gwaine/Eoin Macken above, who’s serving as physical inspiration for Gavin!)

Vote in the comments! 

 

Books At The Beach #Giveaway & Book Fair! June 19-30

A Romance Reader’s Dream Summer Giveaway

 How many books do you read over the average summer? Could you read 80? Because that’s how many ebooks one lucky winner will walk away with in the Books at the Beach Giveaway, including the latest titles from Nora Roberts, Catherine Bybee, Debbie Macomber, and Gena Showalter, plus dozens more. You could also win one of two runner-up $25 Amazon gift cards.

Books at the Beach Giveaway & Book Fair – June 19-30

(Sponsored by the 54 authors listed below)

Alina K. Field • Allyson Lindt • Amy L Gale • Anna Durand • Astrid Arditi • Barbara Lohe • Beverley Oakley • Bianca D’Arc • C. A. King • C.E. Wilson • Carmen Fox • Casi McLean • Catherine Kean • Chloe Flowers • Christa Paige • Constance Phillips • Cynthia Clement • Danica Favorite • Debbie White • Denise Jaden • Dianne Venetta • Elizabeth Rose • Gayle Parness • Helen Scott • Jacqueline Diamond • Jina Bacarr • Josie Riviera • Judith Keim • Karen • Michelle Nutt • Katherine Lowry Logan • Kris Michaels • Kristina Knight • Kristy Tate • Margaret Locke • Mari Carr • Naomi Bellina • PG Forte • Quinn • Raine English • Regan Walker • Sheila Seabrook • Shelique Lize • Soraya Naomi • Stacy Gold • Stella Marie Alden • Stephanie Julian • Stephanie Queen • Sydney Aaliyah Michelle • Sylvia Hubbard • Tamara Ferguson • Tena Stetler • Traci Douglass • Vicki Crum

Enter the Giveaway Here

http://booksatthebeachfair.blogspot.com

And while you’re at it, shop our awesome summer book fair
with over 50 fantastic romance titles for you to choose from:

http://booksatthebeachfair.blogspot.com/p/find-your-favorite-summer-read-at-our.html

Writer Wednesday: Catching Up With Tamara Shoemaker

Welcome to Writer Wednesday! I love Wednesdays, for they let me connect great authors with fantastic readers. Matches made in heaven, I tell you.

Today we welcome my dear friend and YA fantasy writer Tamara Shoemaker back to the hot seat – but we’ve served up different questions, since we’ve been blessed to have her on Writer Wednesday before.

So read on to find out more about Tamara’s writing process and her latest release, Unleash The Inferno, Book 3 in the Heart of a Dragon trilogy.


What’s it feel like to have finished TWO young adult fantasy trilogies (Guardian of the Vale and Heart of a Dragon) in short order?

I know in the grand scheme of things, publishing two completed trilogies between 2014 and 2017 feels like a short time, particularly when those trilogies are fantasy trilogies… but I can’t believe it’s only been three years. I feel like I’ve been working on those for years, and when at last I crawl back into bed, take out my teeth and lay my bifocals and cane beside the bed, I look back over the eons and eons of time that I worked on those trilogies, and I drift off into an exhausted sleep. 😉

How do you write so fast?

I don’t feel like I do. The fact that I get books done at all is pure, unadulterated, sheer stubbornness. All my spare time is spent in front of my laptop in various stages of writing, editing, planning, outlining, or marketing. Like any job, I love parts of it and hate parts of it, but apparently the enjoyment outweighs any dislike, because I keep doing it. 😉

Do you ever confuse characters in your head?

The names, I do, and it drives me insane. Particularly when I’m switching from one book to another, I’ll use the names interchangeably. Kinna has appeared in my Guardian of the Vale trilogy, and Alayne in my Heart of a Dragon trilogy. Ayden and Daymon also switched places.

That said, I don’t think I’ve ever confused the actual characters. Each of them has such a vivid connection with parts of the world in which I’ve placed them that switching someone else out for that character calls my attention immediately. They’re all so different and unique. But name-switching? Happens all the time.

Do you plot your stories out completely from start to finish or let characters surprise you along the way?

My style has morphed over the years. I used to be such a pantser. I hated the detail-work of planning out the whole book. I looked forward to writing each day to see what my characters would do next.

Once I began to realize the importance of story structure, though, I had to give up my tenacity to pantsing only. I had to have a solid foundation, a riveting conflict, a great story arc. When I pantsed my books, I had a vague sense of how to set that up, but once I started outlining, those things became much more intentional, honed, and focused. I believe I’ve become a better writer as a result of the switch (not that I don’t make room for some pantsing; my characters still sometimes refuse to adhere to my outline).

What if people haven’t read any of your earlier stories? Will this third one make sense?

It would be a lot like coming into the room where your spouse has just put in Return of the King, and the story picks up right after the battle at Helms Deep. You’d get a sense of the hobbits, Shelob, the orcs, Mt. Doom, Sauron, Minis Tirith, and Aragorn the King, but you’d have a hard time making sense of why everyone was where they were.

That’s not to say that the epic battles and some of the cinematic panorama wouldn’t be amazing and great to watch. I’ve included both of those in this book, so hopefully that will bring enjoyment to anyone who picks up the book, but quite honestly, these characters have grown a lifetime in the first two books. It would be much better to read book one and two first. It’s well-worth it; the trilogy has such a satisfying ending! 🙂

What’s next for you?

My plans (whether or not I end up fulfilling those plans or not is another question) are to finish some editing projects for clients, and then begin a brand new YA Fantasy novel that has been simmering in my head for several months. I’d love to get that written this summer. I’ve just completed two co-writes with my friend and editor, Emily June Street: River Running and The Eighth Octave. We’re hoping to take both of those through the traditional publishing route. In August, I’m attending a writers’ pitch conference, and then have plans for several more books/editing projects. I suppose I have no plans to quit anytime soon. 🙂


A Bit About Unleash The Inferno:

After the Battle at ClarenVale, Kinna Andrachen unites those who spurn King Sebastian’s tyrannical reign, mustering a rag-tag army of soldiers and creatures to face Sebastian’s far larger Lismarian army. Victory is elusive and allies are scarce, but Kinna’s tenacious spirit cannot succumb to injustice. Her fiery heart must learn to lead.

At last mastering control of the four Touches of the powerful Amulet, Ayden finds himself at the center of an epic struggle to destroy the corruption that has tainted the throne of Lismaria for centuries. As time runs out, his options for survival fade, surrendering him to a dark destiny.

Tied to a fate he does not want, Cedric Andrachen resists his inheritance, fleeing the lust for power it sparks in him. As war looms, Cedric faces his choices: will he turn his back on his throne and his kingdom? Or will he enter the struggle against tyranny, bringing the freedom his people have so long sought?

Sebastian sits, at last, on the Lismarian throne, stolen from him twenty years prior. But now the Rebellion, led against him by his niece and nephew, threatens his security from across the Channel, and the Amulet’s promise of power tempts him into even darker shadows. Ghosts of the past brutalize Sebastian’s present until the lines of reality blur with nightmare.

Flames of war ignite between nations. Peril threatens the Andrachen line.
Who will survive the inferno?

Find Unleash The Inferno here: http://amzn.to/2nqHy6G


TypewriterA Bit About Tamara:

Tamara Shoemaker authored the Amazon best-selling Shadows in the Nursery Christian mystery series and Soul Survivor, a stand-alone Christian mystery. Her fantasy books include the Heart of a Dragon trilogy: Kindle the Flame, Embrace the Fire, and Unleash the Inferno, as well her Guardian of the Vale trilogy: Mark of Four, Shadows of Uprising, and Guardian of the Vale. In her spare time, she freelances as an editor for other works of fiction, chases three children hither and yon, and tries hard to ignore the brownie mixes that inevitably show up in her cabinets.

Want to connect further with Tamara? Follow her on social media:

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Instagram


Woot! Thanks, Tamara, for hanging with us today! Always a pleasure, friend. 

Photo Journey: The University of Virginia’s Rotunda (pt 2 of a series)

Taking a much-needed break from editing The Demon Duke to bring you an image-heavy post about the stunning interior of the University of Virginia’s Rotunda.

This is the second in a series photo-documenting my visit to UVA on a delightful but cold February day, 2017. I hope you enjoy!

Have you been there? Share your experiences in the comments!

The basement entrance (from the south looking north). Perhaps not the most glamorous place to start, but it’s where I’ve always gone in, and it seems fitting to begin at the bottom, as the building only gets more glorious as you go up. Plus that bell is cool.
The basement room on the right (east) houses a display about the Rotunda, giving you information on its uses and adventures over the years.

Continue reading Photo Journey: The University of Virginia’s Rotunda (pt 2 of a series)