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. 

Meow, Woof, Purr: Animals in Romance Novels – Yes Or No?


I admit it. I’m a total Crazy Cat Lady in the making. We have two, a darling, über-friendly tuxedo named Scilla, and a gorgeous but true scaredy-cat Maine Coon mix, Presley. I’d have more, but it’s either get more cats or keep the husband, and I’m rather fond of the husband. So, our tally remains at two.

Presley, Elvis's inspiration.
Presley, Elvis’s inspiration.

However, I decided one way early on to indulge in my love for animals would be to include them in each of my novels, just for fun. They don’t and won’t necessarily play a main part or be central to any plot, but I feel most humans benefit from having a furry creature around, and how people interact with animals sheds a lot of light on a person’s character, don’t you think?

Einstein. I still miss him.

In A Man of CharacterI mention two cats. One, Elvis, is the Maine Coon-esque cat that Cat and Eliza own. He is unashamedly patterned (and named) after my own Presley. And I figured since I had one of my cats thrown in there, might as well throw in another: Einstein, my first cat from when I was younger, also a Maine Coon mix. If you’ve read A Man of Character, you’ll notice I didn’t even change the name! William Dawes mentions his childhood cat, Einstein, and yes, they are one in the same.

English Foxhound Puppy, from Aboutdogenglishfoxhound.com

When it came to A Matter of Time, it seemed only natural to move from cats to dogs, not only because household cats were somewhat rarer in that time (though I’ve seen portraits of cats, so clearly people did keep them as house pets), but because a Duke’s estate was bound to have hunting dogs, and likely lots of them. So what better to include in a story than English foxhound puppies, especially an adorable one-eyed pup named Pirate?

In my current work-in-progress, A Scandalous Matter, I’ve given our hero a cat named Ada, after Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron and one of the pioneers of computer science. Because there’s something about a man who loves a cat…

The then-boyfriend, now husband with Chazzy.
The then-boyfriend, now husband with Chazzy.

Speaking of which, for all my husband claims not to be a cat person, when we were dating and he first visited my apartment, my cat at the time, a little muted calico, Chazzy, promptly came out and sat right next to him and purred. This was a cat who didn’t come out for anybody. I decided then and there that was a vote of confidence in my boyfriend’s favor, so I married him. Okay, yeah, there were a few other elements involved, but I do love to tell that (true) story.

How about you? Do you like seeing pets or other animals included in romances? Or could you do without?