Writer Wednesday (er, Thursday): Meet Donna Dalton!

Sometimes life gets in the way, and yesterday was one of those days. My apologies to all my #WriterWednesday fans and especially to Donna Dalton, our featured author today and a fellow Virginia Romance Writers friend.

But we can celebrate a wonderful author like Donna any day of the week, right?

Donna writes novels that romance America’s past. Her newest, Magic In Her Eyes, is a historical romance with paranormal elements – right up my alley. And it debuts TOMORROW. Woot!

So settle in to learn more about Donna and her work. You’ll be glad you did – and I hope you leave greetings in the comments.

 


What inspires you to write?

I love the art of storytelling…the weaving of words into fascinating tales that keep readers coming back for more.

Which type of romance do you love most, and why?

I have always enjoyed historical romances. I love reading about the past and how the people of yesteryear lived and loved. It’s almost like reading a fantasy, except it’s real. Very fascinating.

 

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:

While researching extra-ordinary abilities for my Gifted Series, I discovered a resource on seeing auras that surround people, plants, and buildings. It said you could teach yourself to see those auras. So, I gave it a try. Not happening. My brain was too busy to slow down and focus. Guess I’ll just leave the aura seeing to my characters.

Name two things people don’t know about you:

First thing people may not know about me is that I love animals. All types. I have had countless pets over the years, dogs, cats, a horse, birds, hamsters, gerbils, and even a black and white rat named Fred. He knew lots of tricks and loved riding on my shoulder. Another thing I love is horseback riding. I enjoy long rides through the woods. The peacefulness and fresh air is quite relaxing.

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

I would recommend Joanna Bourne. She writes historicals that are packed with action and adventure and always include a strong bold heroine. Her style of writing engages the reader from the start, using simple words that deliver powerful hits.

What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?

I wish I had known that the rough draft is just that…rough. Each sentence does not have to be polished to perfection before moving on. I spent far too much effort on scenes that eventually ended up getting cut. A waste of time. So now, my first draft is just me telling myself the story, no polish, no editing.

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

My favorite novel of all time is Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale. I love stories where the heroine heals a tortured hero. Laura’s writing is exceptional. She paints such vivid pictures with her words. This book is definitely a keeper.

 


A Bit About Magic In Her Eyes:

Meredith Talbot has a secret. In fact, she has nine secrets – her own and those of the eight orphans at Seaton House, a home for children. Each of them has a special talent that if exposed would get them labeled as witches. It is her responsibility to protect the children and their secrets and keep them safe from persecution. Marauding Indians force them into a nearby fort where their safety is threatened by fanatical townspeople and a captivating army officer who try to unmask the children’s extraordinary abilities.

Lieutenant Preston Booth has one goal – to serve and protect his country. The military is the only life he has ever known. It’s the only life he wants. When a child is abducted and Preston goes after the culprit, Meredith has a vision of what will happen to him.

Does she risk everything by exposing her gift? Or keep her secret and risk losing him forever?

Find Magic In Her Eyes here:

The Wild Rose Press – http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5081-magic-in-her-eyes.html

Amazon Kindle: http://a.co/gTC5ehR

 


A Bit About Donna:

Donna lives in central Virginia with her husband, two sons, and a grandson. An avid reader of historical romances, Donna uses the rich history of the “Old Dominion” State for many of her story settings. She enjoys reading stories where characters overcome life’s challenges, where family is everything, and the power of love helps them to succeed.

Want to connect further with Donna? Find her here:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website  |  GoodReads


Thanks so much for joining us, Donna! It was a pleasure to have you here. 

Writer Wednesday: Meet Laurie Benson, Historical Romance Author!

Welcome back to Writer Wednesday! We were on hiatus last week while I launched my own Regency, The Demon Duke, but I’m thrilled to be back, especially since I get to present historical romance author Laurie Benson to you!

Laurie and I met on social media (she posts wonderful information on her blog), and we share a love of the Regency period, so I’m excited to have her here today to tell us a bit about herself and her newest release, The Unexpected Countess.

Take it away, Laurie!


What inspires you to write?

I write romances set in the early 19th century and draw most of my writing inspiration from history. I read a lot of non-fiction books and sometimes when I discover a particularly intriguing snippet of history, my mind will play the “what if” game with the facts I uncover. While I was thinking up story ideas for my latest book, An Unexpected Countess, I had read about the theft of the French crown jewels during the French Revolution and learned that there was no trace of most of them during the Regency era. I kept thinking about where they were and who had them. The plot for An Unexpected Countess was built around those musings and it became a treasure hunt romance where my hero and heroine are both after the same piece of the missing French crown jewels.

Name one interesting thing you learned researching/writing your last book.

Aside from the theft of the jewels, one fun thing I discovered while doing research for An Unexpected Countess was that in the late eighteenth century, people were fascinated by electricity. Friction machines were developed to generate mild electric shock and used to amuse spectators at public exhibitions. During the Regency era, these Electrifying Machines became hugely popular and eventually cheap enough to find their way into the homes of the gentry. Using an Electrifying Machine became an unusual way to entertain both the male and female guests during an evening at home. Just imagine going to your friend’s house for dinner and then receiving a mild shock of electricity afterwards.

Name two things people don’t know about you.

The first is that my favorite trope to write and read is enemies-to-lovers. I love the verbal sparring that happens in those books. And the second thing people don’t know about me is that my all-time favorite snack is trail mix with some kind of chocolate in it. I’m an avid hiker, and can work through problems and find my calm place while I walk for miles through the woods. I always have trail mix with me on hikes and I think I associate eating it with feeling calm. Just writing this has made me want to grab some.

What are you currently writing?

I’m in the process of writing my next three-book series for my publisher which is set in Regency era England and revolves around the life and loves of three sisters. So far, the first two books are marriages of convenience. I’ve still have yet to determine the romantic fate of the youngest sister.


A Bit About An Unexpected Countess

The Earl of Hartwick delights in scandalizing Society with his behavior. But it’s his turn to be scandalized when, leaving a liaison, he bumps into Miss Sarah Forrester—in the rain, at night, on a rooftop!

Sarah is hunting for a diamond, and the last thing she needs is the infuriating Hart distracting her. But he’s looking for the jewel, too! They may be rivals, but the sparks between them are uncontrollable. And soon Sarah finds herself longing for another treasure—becoming Hart’s American countess!

Scoop Up An Unexpected Countess here:

Amazon: getBook.at/UnexpectedAmzUni
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2kjGkIM
iBooks: http://apple.co/2jUPGHq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2jUOFiK


A Bit About Laurie:

Laurie Benson is an award-winning historical romance author who writes books about men in boots and the women who fall for them. She began her writing career as an advertising copywriter, where she learned more than you could ever want to know about hot dogs and credit score reports. When she isn’t at her laptop avoiding laundry, Laurie can be found browsing antique shops, going on ridiculously long hikes, or sitting in her car on the school pickup line. She lives with her husband and two sons in a house filled with testosterone—even her bunny is a boy. Laurie is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

Want to connect further with Laurie? Find her here:

Website: http://lauriebenson.net/
Historical Blog (The Cozy Drawing Room): https://thecozydrawingroom.com/
Twitter: @lauriebwrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurieBensonAuthor


Thank you so much for joining us today, Laurie! It was fabulous to have you here. 

Writer Wednesday: Maggie Tideswell & her new release, Goodbye My Love

Welcome to Writer Wednesday!

Today I’m delighted to bring you paranormal romance author Maggie Tideswell, who’s dropped in to share a bit about her newest release, Goodbye, My Love – including a special excerpt!

So please, grab your favorite libation, settle in, and enjoy! And of course I hope you’ll leave some love in the comments.

 


Roxanne’s Ghost Saga

Roxanne’s Ghost Saga, a new mystery series from internationally acclaimed author Maggie Tideswell, is set against the stunningly beautiful backdrop of modern-day South Africa. It is a compelling ghost story of identical twin sisters’ love for the same man, and the magical connection the women share.

And the theme?  Nothing is what it seems.

Here, we move into the realms of the mists of time that could either reveal or conceal.

Book 1, Goodbye, My Love, sets the scene. It introduces country vet, Ben, his four-year-old autistic daughter and the would-be nanny, Jessica James. Jess’ interview with Ben for the nanny position takes place on Friday the 13th. An attraction between the two is immediate, which by all accounts isn’t entirely normal.

Ben’s three oddball sisters-in-law descend on him for the anniversary of his wife Roxanne’s death. They try to convince Ben that Roxanne isn’t dead, more than likely to put an end to whatever might develop between Ben and Jessica. But Ben knows that no one could have survived what led to Roxanne’s death.

His daughter, diagnosed as autistic, only sometimes does she display the symptoms that led to her diagnosis. Autism is not a disease, it’s a condition. A condition with symptoms that can’t be turned on and off at will. So…what is the child really suffering from?

Ben’s wife’s twin sister, Millicent, is accompanied by an over-board caricature of a psychic to Ben’s home in order to help them find Roxanne. Of course, Millicent isn’t happy to find Jess already in Ben’s house—trouble is imminent. But only as far as Ben’s ancient housekeeper, will allow her to. What does the housekeeper know that will keep Millicent’s ruffled feathers under control?

More importantly…

Where is Roxanne?


An Excerpt from Goodbye, My Love:

Chapter 1

Does anyone live here?

The house looked deserted, kind of spooky. Jess couldn’t see any other houses nearby. Sally had not been kidding—this was a rather isolated place.

Dilapidated outbuildings behind the sprawling house looked as unused as the house itself. Some sort of creeper covered most of the buildings except the house—it looked far too fragile to bear the added weight.

There were what looked like turrets on each end of the house, and a domed one in between. That might be a skylight. Jess worried her bottom lip. What century was this place built?

Lightning played over the majestic mountains behind the house, silhouetting it against the darkening sky, but down here in the valley, the late sun cast long shadows over the overgrown garden.

It all fit so well with Friday the thirteenth, because this was creepy. What had she been thinking? She should have postponed the interview until Monday. One weekend surely wouldn’t have made that much of a difference.

Jess studied the map on her tablet, which she held propped up against the steering wheel. This could be the right place, but she had thought that about both the previous two places, and neither had turned out to be Weltevreden. Neither had been as eerie as this place, either.

No, this couldn’t be it. Tapping her finger against the edge of the tablet, she studied the house again. This whole thing smacked of a Friday the thirteenth Sally-prank.

Sally, her bestie since high school, ran a very successful employment agency. The professional image notwithstanding, she still loved pranks of any kind—she would never outgrow them.

Her eyes had lit up that morning when Jess sat in front of her desk, mugs of coffee steaming on the polished wood between them. The platter of doughnuts had been for Jess’ benefit. Sally and her perpetual dieting.

“Something different,” Sally mused, tapping her pen against her front teeth, then pressed a button on her laptop, and reached for the sheet of paper the printer spewed out. “This might be just the thing. It came in just now.” She’d tossed her platinum curls over her shoulder, grinning at Jess.

Another thing Sally would never outgrow, her Barbie-doll looks.

“It has my name on it, then.” Jess leaned her forearms on Sally’s desk. “Tell me, tell me, tell me.” She grinned back, barely able to contain her excitement. “Does it involve a man?”

Neither Sally nor Jess had found their Mr. Full Potential yet, although both had been ready for wedded bliss, the kids and the house in the suburbs thing, a long time ago.

“As a matter of fact it does, but he doesn’t seem to be in the market. It says here that a nanny is required for a four-year-old autistic girl. Dr. Arnold specifically requested that only older women be put forward for the position.”

“How old-fashioned. Where is this job?”

“In the Wellington area.” Sally frowned at the monitor.

“There you go. He won’t find anybody qualified to work that far from Cape Town. It is his child, I presume?”

“It is, but do you seriously want to give this a go?” Sally looked worried as only she could. It went with the Barbie look. “I’m intrigued. What kind of doctor is he?”

“A veterinary surgeon. And a widower, it says here. That is all the information I have for you, I’m afraid.” Sally sat back in her chair. “I shouldn’t disregard so specific an instruction, Jess, but just this once, I’ll make an exception. Then it’s up to you to change his mind for him. It’ll be in his own best interest in the end.” She passed an information sheet across the desk. “I’ll tell Dr. Arnold to expect you at four. I’d pack an overnight bag if I were you. Call me, okay?”

Now, sitting in front of the house that might or might not belong to Dr. Ben Arnold, Jess didn’t feel all that confident anymore. And it didn’t really sound like a prank, unless Sally had kept some information to herself.

There was only one way to find out, and that was to knock on the door and ask.

If there was anybody in the house to ask.

Switching the engine off, she consulted the rear-view mirror to apply some color to her lips and pat her shoulder length bob into place. She took a moment to admire the rich auburn color in the late afternoon sunshine and sighed.

I don’t know about this. It was a long way from Cape Town.

What did people do around here for fun?

Trying her best to ignore the goose bumps on her forearms, she opened the car door and stepped out. Her heels sank into the gravel, her shadow stretching all the way back to the gate.

Only when she turned toward the house did she see the man sitting on the top step in the shadows, his shoulder against the railing, one knee pulled up with his arm resting on top of it. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, and it looked as if his feet were bare, too.

Was he there a moment ago? Why didn’t I see him?

Smoothing her palms down her red pencil skirt, she started toward the house and the man on the steps. If he wasn’t Dr. Arnold, maybe he could give her directions.

Taking a deep breath, Jess reminded herself that she wasn’t superstitious about this Friday the thirteenth nonsense. People liked to scare themselves with the silliest things. What was supposed to happen on this day? It was a day like any other.

That certainly looked like a real man on the steps. He wasn’t going to bite her. Today being a Friday and the thirteenth meant nothing, but now that she’d thought of it, the idea would stick with her like the taste of garlic.

Leaving the car door open for a quick escape should she need it, she’d gone no more than a few steps when she heard something other than the crunch of her shoes on the gravel. It sounded suspiciously like a dog whining.

She slowly turned her head, curling her fingers into the fabric of her skirt. It couldn’t be a dog. She hadn’t seen any dogs when she drove through the gate.

I don’t do dogs!

Her breath hitched in her throat when she saw them. They were right next to her car, beside the door she’d deliberately left open, a whole pack of them. Their lips curled away from their teeth, their tongues lolling out the sides of their mouths, dripping saliva onto the gravel. Yellowish eyes watched every move she made.

Where did they come from?

How many were there?

They cut her off from the safety of the Fiesta!

Now she had only one way to go—into that house. Why hadn’t that man called them off? Why wasn’t he helping her?

Slowly, making no sudden moves, she took another step toward the porch. The dogs followed her. Her heart hammered against her ribs. Another couple of quick steps toward the house. The dogs did the same. She broke into a trot, her scream shattered the still of the afternoon.

Missing the first step, she stumbled, recovered her balance, and took the rest of the stairs two at a time. The dogs were on her heels, whining and yelping, their breaths hot on the backs of her legs.

Just as a sharp whistle rent the air, but looking at the dogs, she careened into the man before the noise had even died down. Her momentum sent them both crashing to the floorboard. She landed on top of him, but with the dogs all around them, she hid her face in his neck. Another whistle— right in her ear—made her cringe, but the dogs were gone.

He lifted his head off the floorboards to glare at her, his hands at her waist, as if he was about to lift her off him. Stubble covered his jaw, his lips pressed into a tight line. A muscle jumped in his cheek. He dragged his eyes out of her gaping blouse to meet her stare.

They had to be the greenest pair of eyes she’d ever seen, and he was clearly not amused.

Then she noticed how much leg was exposed by her skirt bunched around her hips and she quickly scrambled to her feet, pushing her skirt back down her legs.

“Sorry,” she muttered, her face on fire. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him, but from the corner of her eye, she saw the stranger slowly unfold himself from the floor. Up and up he went, until she felt him looking down at her. Even in her heels, the top of her head barely reached his nose.

With fists on his hips, he glared at her. Tucking her hair behind her ears, she lifted her chin and stared back.

Despite her bravado, she was intimidated and she had no idea if she had reason to be. She didn’t have a clue who he was. For all she knew, he was a vagrant taking advantage of an abandoned house.

She quickly looked him up and down, hoping he wouldn’t notice. A vagrant—looking like that? This man looked too strong, too well-fed, and clean, to be homeless. He smelled good too, of soap and sunshine. Wide shoulders tapered to a flat stomach and slim hips in a pair of well-washed denim cutoffs. The button was undone and the zipped half down. And he had a hard-on!

Jess swallowed with difficulty, forcing her eyes to the garden. Maybe he was the gardener or something.

If he was the gardener, he wasn’t very good at it, judging by the state of the place. The flowerbeds were overgrown with weeds, and grass seeds reached for the sky. With a bit of care, it could be a rather pleasant garden.

Her attention whipped back to the man when he spoke. “What’s wrong with you, woman? Those are lap dogs.” His voice was deep, the timbre vibrating on her skin. “They thought you were playing with them.”

She’d forgotten about the dogs. Erections did that to her, they made her forget everything else. She took another look at the animals. There were only four of them, and now that they were at a safe distance and there was a man on hand whom they seemed to obey, they didn’t look all that fierce, or even very big. By panicking, she’d unnecessarily gotten them both in a rather embarrassing situation.

The veranda was shadowed, despite the lightning dancing over the mountains, yet the peeling paint was clearly visible. She should ask this man for directions so that she could be on her way, but at that moment her nose itched and she sneezed instead. She just barely managed to get her hand across her nose. The dust from the floorboards, and she most likely had it all over her face now. She needed to freshen up before she met with Dr. Arnold. Rubbing her hands over her face was probably making matters worse.

“Bless you,” the man said, his jaw clenched. “Explain yourself.” Fists planted on his hips, his bare chest rose and fell. Jess’ fingers itched to test the contours more fully before she realized that the man was actually angry.

Who was he? And what was he so angry about? Knocking him over had been an accident, which he could have avoided it if he’d controlled the animals sooner. His annoyance didn’t stop him from giving her a thorough inspection, though.

Barely suppressing the urge to stamp her foot, Jess snapped, “Those animals should be locked up.” The hand she pointed at the dogs was streaked with dust. Dropping it, she rubbed at the smudge with her other hand.

“They were, until a few minutes ago. When the visitor I expected didn’t show up, I let them out again. Who are you and what do you want?”

“How rude!” Jess gasped. “Do you welcome all visitors half naked?” His arousal was disturbing her.

“Uninvited visitors never come into the yard,” he growled. He knew she knew about his condition. “That’s what the clinic entrance is for. And I’m not half naked, I’m shirtless because I took it off when my visitor failed to show up for her four o’clock appointment. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s hot. If you’re Jessica James, you’re way too late—”

“The directions weren’t very clear,” she interrupted. “I got lost.” Hesitating only a moment, she stuck her hand out to him. “You’re Dr. Arnold?”

He ignored her hand and question, reaching instead for the shirt draped over the railing behind him and shrugged it on. Doctor or not, the man has no manners.

Buttoning the shirt, he leaned in closer. “So, it’s my fault you can’t follow a set of simple instructions? Look, miss, you might as well go back to wherever you came from. The position has been filled. Good day.” He started to turn away.

“What? When? I had an interview for this afternoon!”

He glanced at his wristwatch. “You missed the appointment. You wouldn’t have gotten the job anyway. Sorry for the inconvenience. It was nice meeting you. Goodbye, Ms. James.”

She noticed his eyes on her lips as he dismissed her. “Just a minute. You’re going to disregard my application because I’m a few minutes late? I have excellent credentials, and the agency—”

“Had been told that only older women need to apply.”

“So you’re dismissing my application because of my age, is that it?”

“Yes. And you’re more than a few minutes late. The appointment was for four o’clock sharp, and it’s nearly six now. Take your gripes up with your agent, Ms. James. Your timekeeping actually has very little to do with it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, you’re wasting my time.”

Jess narrowed her eyes. “I pity the person you’ve employed, if that is in fact the truth. You are a very rude man,

Dr. Arnold.”

He wasn’t exactly what she’d expected—in his early to mid-thirties and attractive, in a wildly blond caveman kind of way. And hot.

If only he had some manners.

It had sounded quite romantic when Sally first told her about this position, but the reality was far from romantic. She didn’t need this man or his job, and especially not his erection. There had to be other positions available in Cape Town. Sally would find her a good job, with interesting work. She would get into her car and drive away without a backward glance.

Not being given a fair interview had nothing to do with Friday the thirteenth. A damp gust of wind blew her hair into her eyes as she turned toward the stairs. It had everything to do with him being turned on by her.

Jess remembered the dogs when they jumped to their feet, tails wagging.

She froze, clutching her skirt. They might be small, but they were dogs. They had teeth. Damn it, she was going to need his help to get back to her car. Gnawing the corner of her mouth, she glanced at him. Would he help her, or would he cross his arms and enjoy the spectacle from the veranda?

Before she could do anything, the door behind them creaked open and pale, gnarled fingers curled around the edge of the wood. Jess took an involuntary step closer to the doctor, goosebumps covering her entire body, her hand to her throat.   Oh, God.

Find Goodbye, My Love here: http://tinyurl.com/n2ko8u4

 


A Bit About Maggie:

Maggie lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with hubby Gareth. Over the years she’s worked in everything from nursing to catering, and then she started writing love stories. With three kids, a girl and two boys, and eleven cats at that time, life could become quite interesting.

The paranormal, things that happen for which there are no logical explanations and ghosts, are of particular interest to Maggie. What events in a person’s life would prevent that person from ‘resting’ after death? The ‘Old Religion’ is another special interest.

And love, of course. Why do people fall in love? What keeps them together for a lifetime when so many relationships fail?

Want to connect further with Maggie? Find her here:

Blog: https://maggietideswell.blogspot.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Tideswell/e/B005GJ3DG8


Thanks so much for joining us, Maggie! Best of luck with your new release! 

#MondayBlogs: Meet Romance Author Cate Tayler!

Romance author Cate Tayler was supposed to be my #WriterWednesday guest for last week, but, well, uh, my website had a meltdown. I’m so sorry, Cate – thank you and everyone for y’all’s patience!

But what better way to liven up your Memorial Day weekend than by bringing you an author of “sassy & sultry romance”?

So without further ado (meaning babbling from me), here’s a bit about Cate and her new novel, Love Me Now!


What inspires you to write?

Much of my inspiration comes from music, believe it or not. I hear a song, or even just partial lyrics, and it will trigger an entire story in me. What that story ends up looking like when all has been written, revised, and rewritten is normally different from what I started with. But it all begins with a lyric or two that resonates with me.

Which type of romance do you love most, and why?

Contemporary appeals to me most. I like to be able to relate to the stories I read, especially if they are set in a location I know well. Favorite tropes of mine are secret baby (but only when the baby is a secret for a good reason, not just because mom is being stupid), fake fiancé/fiancée, and enemies to lovers. But really, any romance that breaks my heart and puts it back together again by the end is at the top of my list.

Name two things people don’t know about you:

This is a tough one, because I think I’m pretty much an open book. But, the majority of people outside my family probably don’t know that I once wanted to be an astronaut, and read the entire official Space Shuttle Manual cover-to-cover in preparation. I was devastated when they retired the shuttles. There went my dream of being accidentally launched into space a la Space Camp, and piloting the shuttle home!

Another thing most people might not know about me is that I have a degree in German, and while I sometimes dream in Deutsch, it’s been so long since I’ve used it, I’ve forgotten most of it.

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

Just one? Really? Okay, then I’d have to say Kristan Higgins, because she writes in such a way, you’re crying on one page and laughing your butt off the next. No, wait… I change my mind. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, because she manages to create complex characters whom you can’t help but love and cheer for, even when they’ve done despicable things. On second thought, I’d have to say Lauren Layne, because she writes a perfect balance of sexy and sweet.

[ML says: I see what you did there, Cate. Well done.]


A Bit About Love Me Now:

A sassy good girl. A rebellious billionaire. A pretend proposal. What could possibly go wrong?

Calista Markatos is failing miserably at saving her family’s Greek diner. Without a miracle, her parents will lose everything. And it’s all the fault of a land developer whose big ideas are destroying her family’s livelihood.

Driven by guilt over his brother’s death, Miles Gardner plays the role of dutiful son. But he rebels against his father’s choice of a bride. A fake engagement can help him avoid the marriage trap. All he has to do is convince the Greek goddess to go along with his plan.

She doesn’t have to like him to pretend to love him.Thirty days later, they’ll both get exactly what they want—and maybe something they didn’t know they needed.

Love Me Now can be found at all major e-book retailers. Find buy links at https://books.pronoun.com/love-me-now/


A Bit About Cate:

Cate Tayler is a beach baby, born and raised on the Connecticut coastline. She met the love of her life while serving in the US Air Force, and after extensive overseas travel, they are now raising their four children in the wild suburbs of Maryland.

When she’s not living her own happily ever after, she’s creating them in her small-town romances. Because the world always needs more happy endings!

You can connect with her at her website: http://www.catetayler.com. Follow her on Facebook (AuthorCateTayler), and on Twitter and Instagram as @writercate.


Thanks so much for joining us, Cate! So glad to have you here. 

Writer Wednesday: Madelyn Hill on Writing a Series

Welcome to Writer Wednesday! So great to have you here for the weekly scoop on a fellow author.

This week, I’m proud to host Madelyn Hill, who writes historical romance with heart, courage, and Highlanders. She’s mixing it up today by giving us her insights on writing a series – and a handy list of mistakes to avoid! Personally, I’m thrilled to have this as I wrestle with plans for my own two series.

So grab your favorite drink and take a sip or two as you read about the rewards and challenges of writing a romance series, and learn a little about Madelyn’s latest release, Highland Faith.


Writing one book is hard. A fabulous idea pops into your head and you begin to plot or just write (if you are a pantser like me). And you continue writing, editing, researching—and then at some point in the book, (the middle for me!) you lose sight of the end, the goals and motivation of the characters and the conflict. You question yourself – is my conflict strong enough? Do the characters make sense, have chemistry? Have I just wasted hours and hours writing this drivel? But when that book is one of a series, you have just complicated your work exponentially.

Writing a series takes much more planning, plot development, and creation of characters who can carry a series. For my Wild Thistle Trilogy, the story starts with a prologue from the three heroines’ childhood. The reader has a glimpse of the personalities and responsibilities that will befall our heroines at a young age. Especially when their dying father utters the words, “Remember, through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule.” Each heroine leads one of the books in the trilogy and the reader understands how each character interprets and executes their father’s dying pledge.

TypewriterKeeping the facts and history straight throughout three books is not a task for the weary. I created several notes and as things changed through the editing process, I had to ensure I made those same changes to the other books. Also, as a writer, sometimes our muse likes to take a u-turn or detour. This can be problematic with a series because you have already established specific norms in the preceding books.

Some things to keep in mind when writing a series (adapted from NowNovel – How to write a series: 8 novice mistakes to avoid)

  • Don’t choose a story concept that can’t stretch across multiple books – could I have added another sister or brother? Sure, but then the father’s pledge would have been ridiculously long and the symbol of three was important to my trilogy.
  • Don’t keep your series going if you’ve run out of ideas – there are many series out there that are on the twentieth or more book in the series. With a talented author, this is great. But, sometimes things begin to repeat themselves and this bores the reader.
  • Don’t forget to plan ahead and know where your series might end – with a trilogy, it was easy, I knew the story had to end at three books.
  • Don’t ignore the passage of time in your series – I found that I had trouble with this. I needed to have time pass and keep the flow and pace of the story steady. Luckily I had a wonderful editor who pointed this out to me.
  • Don’t be inconsistent with your series’ details – my desk is littered with post-it notes and I put notes at the beginning of each manuscript so I can quickly look at details. Readers will notice any inconsistency.
  • Don’t be so consistent that there’s no intrigue and change – this is so true. You do not want to bore the reader. My heroines are all strong in their own way and each have different goals, motivation, and conflict even though they all wish to fulfill their father’s dying pledge.
  • Don’t abandon important multi-novel plot arcs – with a trilogy this wasn’t difficult to remember, but when you think of series such as the Stephanie Plum series, there are continuing plot arcs such as her relationship with her family and love interest that co-exist with the mystery. They make the character who she is and it needs to continue in each story.
  • Don’t make your fictional world too limited – if you do, you will limit the realistic length you can continue your series.

A Bit About Highland Faith

Huntress Lady Faith MacAlister seeks adventure. Her father’s dying pledge tethers her to Wild Thistle Keep, thwarting her desire to explore the world beyond the palisade. Solace is found while hunting and providing sustenance for her clan. When snatched from the safety of MacAlister lands by a rogue bent on securing a ransom, she finds the adventure of her life.

Disgraced Captain Graeme Ross travels the high seas in search of bounty to sell in order to secure lands seized by the Crown. He longs to regain his honor in his father’s eyes and continually risks his life on the high seas. Lacking enough funds, Graeme and his crew follow Lady Faith MacAlister as she hunts. Out of need and desire, he kidnaps her. The lady captivates him for the moment he laid eyes upon her. Bold and spirited, she fights him. When he negotiates a ransom, deception tears the burgeoning romance apart.

Now, Lady Faith and Captain Ross seek to settle those differences hindering their union, despite the stretch of land and sea—and angry Highlanders standing between them.

Find Highland Faith here!: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072HZQ8BT


A Bit About Madelyn:

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier! A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading!

Want to connect further with Madelyn? Find her here:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authormadelynhill


Thanks so much for joining us, Madelyn – it was a delight to have you here!