Writer Wednesday: Meet Taryn Noelle Kloeden!

Taryn Noelle KloedenOh, what a spectacular #WriterWednesday it is, for today we have Taryn Noelle Kloeden, author of epic fantasy and a fellow Flash Friday Fiction writer and critique group friend whom I’ve had the privilege of journeying with as she took her debut YA fantasy, The Fenerean Chronicles: Hex Breaker, from initial drafts to published book. WAHOO!

I’m so very excited for her and her brilliant book, which is great fun (and agony and plots twists and suffering) – especially for those who love shapeshifter stories and stories with wolves. But even if you think that’s not quite your thing, 1) you’re wrong, and 2) there’s romance, too! Yippee! Or I suppose I should wolf howl? (Apologies to y’all and Taryn – I’m nearing the end of a mad editing sprint and am giddy on chocolate.)

Anyway, sit back, dig in to the Easter candy if you haven’t already opened it (and if you don’t do Easter, eat the candy anyway – spring is a great time for chocolate. Okay, anytime is a great time for chocolate), and get ready to #JoinThePack!!


Name two things people don’t know about you.

Let’s see what two random facts jump into my mind first, shall we?

1) I think Brandy by Looking Glass is the most romantic song of all time. Although I’m not sure what that says about my definition of romance since Brandy and her sailor don’t end up together. It remains to be seen how much this penchant for unhappy endings will affect the couples in my books. Here’s hoping love still wins the day!

2) I recently marathonned the last season of the Vampire Diaries (I thought you might appreciate that, Margaret). I have to say that as sexy as Stefan and Damon are, if I had to pick a love interest from that show to be with, for me it would have to be the Indian Jones-esque professor Alaric Saltzman.

(ML says: No wonder we are friends! I LOVE Brandy, and Alaric has long been on my list, too (though, um, it’s Damon Salvatore/Ian Somerhalder who served as the inspiration for The Demon Duke. Just sayin’.)

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

I learned that if the FBI ever looks at my search history, they might be a little concerned—although that’s probably the case for most writers. For Hex Breaker I did a lot of research on the effects of altitude sickness and stomach wounds, for instance. When I was writing the rough draft of the sequel Twice Blessed (hopefully being released in 2018), I did a lot of research on the effects of various poisons. Here’s a little preview for book 2: aconite and water hemlock both make an appearance.

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

When it comes to romance novels, I’m an Austenite all the way. Of course, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite. But since that’s almost everyone’s favorite, my other go-to is actually Northanger Abbey. I relate to Catherine’s overactive imagination and love Tilney’s humor. It’s such a fun read and a good reminder that things often aren’t quite as dramatic as they might seem. Persuasion is a close-second, though, mostly because of the swoon-worthy Captain Wentworth, who—unlike poor Brandy’s sailor—does come back to Anne in the end…

Talk about the romance in Hex Breaker.

While romance doesn’t dominate the plot in Hex Breaker, it is certainly a key aspect of it. Several different kinds of romances are represented. There’s the uncertainty of first love—and the regret that comes when you let fear of change hold you back. There are strong couples, united in their love and commitment. There are pairings you root for, even though you know you shouldn’t. In short, I think there is something for everyone. It’s an epic tale, and the best epics are filled with love and what we would do to protect it.


A Bit About The Fenerean Chronicles:

Forced to decide between her happiness and her pack’s safety, Rayna Myana chooses to protect those she loves. But when shattered promises and dark magic collide, no one is safe…

For six hundred years, Fenear, a land where humans can take wolf form, has warred with Maenor, its neighboring kingdom ruled by a ruthless dynasty. The possibility of peace emerges when the Maenoren Overlord, Rhael, enters negotiations with Fenearen leaders Bayne and Silver, but their niece, Rayna, is skeptical. Yet, when Rhael proposes to her to strengthen the alliance, she agrees for the sake of her country, despite her family’s objections and a blossoming romance with her best friend. Suspicion of treachery changes Rayna’s decision, but before she can annul the agreement, powerful forces subdue her with a sinister hex. Separated from her pack with Fenear and everyone she loves in danger, Rayna must escape and travel to a distant realm to break the hex. Only then can she save her best friend and her homeland.

Lines blur between heroism and recklessness, dreams and reality, even life and death, and Rayna risks losing herself along the way.

#JoinThePack here:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/6M9tjo


A Bit About Taryn:

Taryn is a lover of nature and all things furry and feathered. As a graduate student in Anthrozoology with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Biology, she is dedicating her life to understanding and protecting animals, both human and nonhuman. This zeal for the outdoors combined with a lifelong love affair with fantasy and horror stories led her to create the YA dark fantasy series, The Fenearen Chronicles. The second installment, Twice Blessed, is due out in 2018. Taryn lives in Richmond, Virginia with her Prima donna cat, Stella, and personal piano player/boyfriend, Lorenzo.

Wanna connect further with Taryn? Find her here:

Blog/website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Pinterest   |  Instagram  |  Amazon author page  |  Goodreads


Wahoo! Thanks so much for being here, Taryn! Much love to you and the greatest success for Hex Breaker.

Writer Wednesday: Meet Jill Haymaker!

Welcome to Writer Wednesday! So glad you’re joining us for the chance to get to know a romance author better.

This week we have Jill Haymaker, who writes romance that helps you “find the warmth of love in the cold of winter.” Or, as she also says, “Haymaker to the heart – Romance that knocks you off your feet!

It may be the beginning of spring here in the northern hemisphere, but we’re always happy to let a good romance warm us up! So grab your beverage of choice and enjoy this quick interview with Ms. Haymaker.


What inspires you to write?

Making people smile and enjoy their day motivates all the actions in my life. I write romance because of the happily ever after. I believe in hope, and want to show a glimmer of hope to others. If I can make a difference in someone’s life, that’s truly inspiring.

Which type of romance do you love most and why?

I love to read and write what we are now calling seasoned romance (stories with heroes and heroines 40 years or older). I love these romances because they give us hope that it is never too late to find love. Older characters also are more interesting than their younger counterparts. They carry a lot of baggage and all have pasts to overcome. They are never one-dimensional.

Name one interesting thing you learned researching your last book:

The heroine in Colorado Wrangler becomes a foster mom to provide a home for an adorable eight year old girl. I had to do a ton of research into the foster care system. I didn’t know just how many children never get out of the foster system and the depressing statistics on their lack of success later in life. I learned how much we need many more good foster homes.


A Bit About California Wrangler:

Melanie Gentry came to Peakview, Colorado to find a father she never knew. Now she’s established a home for herself and her teenage daughter.

Hank Dalton left his past behind and settled into his life as the head wrangler at Peaktop Guest Ranch. He’s a loner and he likes it that way. That is until he runs into Melanie, who makes him want to reconsider that decision. There’s just something about her.

When Melanie adds a foster child and a rescue dog to her family, Hank decides he’s not what Melanie needs. Both must let go of their past mistakes before these two can find a way to blend their lives and create a real family.

Come home to Peakview, where everyone has a chance at love.


A Bit About Jill:

Jill Haymaker was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado in 1975. Ms. Haymaker has made her home in Fort Collins ever since except for three years in the 1990’s when she left to attend law school at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters. She also has three granddaughters.

Jill has always had a passion for writing. Colorado Sunset was her first full length romance novel in her Peakview, Colorado series. The second through fourth books in the series, Breakfast for Two, Colorado Cabin in the Pines and Colorado Wrangler are also available at Amazon.com. Colorado Cowboy Christmas is her first Christmas Novella. She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, the most recent in the book Random Acts of Kindness.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys the Colorado mountains, horseback riding, gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on the Broncos, the CSU Rams, and the Huskers. She has a passion for working with high school youth- she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a high school mock trial team and is a volunteer at cross country and track meets.

Want to connect further with Jill? Find her here:

Email | Website/blog | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads


Thanks for spending your Wednesday with us, Jill! It was a pleasure to have you. 

Writer Wednesday: Meet Marie Johnston!

Welcome to Writer Wednesday! I’m glad you’re here for our weekly mini-break for a mini-interview with a magnificent author.

Today I’m happy to bring you Marie Johnston, author of paranormal and contemporary romance, whose website insists, “Life is too short to not read romance!” I whole-heartedly agree, and am thrilled to have Marie with us today.

So grab those Girl Scout cookies (I’m my daughter’s troop’s cookie mom, so cookies are on the mind, and in the house) and a cup of something to sip on, and enjoy getting to know Marie and her work a little better!


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

Paranormal! I transitioned to romance after being a diehard fantasy reader. But when I noticed I was scouring blurbs, looking for the romance, I wondered why I didn’t just read romance. Paranormal was a natural transition and after a little Sherrilyn Kenyon and J. R. Ward, I was hooked.

 

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

I’m working on Navy short stories and it’s really, really hard to find a Sailor to interview when I live in the middle of the country. My husband’s friend recommended Carrier, a PBS miniseries that followed USS Nimitz on a deployment. It sucked me in and I binge watched all 10 episodes.

 

Name two things people don’t know about you:

I’m a veteran and a triathlete. My knees are shot, so I don’t know if I can get back to sprint triathlons, but I haven’t ruled it out. My soldier days are way past done, though.

 

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

Join RWA. Learn the craft.

I had zero knowledge about writing and publishing. But writing seemed so simple compared to self-publishing. I immersed myself in learning the business side, but my writing wasn’t where it should’ve been. I did a lot of things right but so, so many things wrong. I would’ve also loved if someone told me to become a marketing expert and handed me a list of reputable editors. All of it is a lifelong process writing and publishing, but I wish I knew more of those topics when I began.


A Bit About Ancient Ties:

Kaitlyn Savoy might’ve been raised human, but she’s fully embraced her shifter side in her role as Guardian. Protecting her species calls to her blood, but unfortunately, so does her new partner. She pretends indifference to his cutting remarks about her heritage and the inconvenient blackouts she experiences after each shift.

Chayton Eagle’s honorable bloodlines include an ancient father and full-blooded Sioux mother. When he joins the West Creek Guardians and meets Kaitlyn, he can’t believe fate chose her to be his mate. But it’s too late. He already swore himself to another female.

When the two Guardians have to partner for a mission, it brings them too close to resist their attraction. Until Chayton discovers the promise he made in the past may kill his future.

Find Ancient Ties here:

AmazonBarnes and Noble | Kobo


TypewriterA Bit About Marie:

Marie Johnston lives in the upper-Midwest with her husband, four kids, and an old cat. Deciding to trade in her lab coat for a laptop, she’s writing down all the tales she’s been making up in her head for years. An avid reader of paranormal romance, these are the stories hanging out and waiting to be told, between the demands of work, home, and the endless chauffeuring that comes with children.

Want to connect further with Marie? Find her here!

Website | Blog Twitter | Facebook Goodreads | Amazon Author Page 


Thanks so much for spending time with us today, Marie! I’m glad you could be a part of Writer Wednesday

 

Writer Wednesday: Meet Sarita Leone!

Welcome to Writer Wednesday, that lovely few moments of the week in which you can take a break from everything else and learn a bit about an author and his/her latest release!

This week I’m happy to present Sarita Leone, author of mainstream fiction, mystery and romance novels, short stories, and cookbooks. A “Jill-of-all-trades,” she calls herself on her website, and I couldn’t agree more. Today she’s here to give us a little insight into her writing life and her latest paranormal release, Regenerate.

Welcome, Sarita!


Which type of romance do you love most and why?

I like any romance that shows growth between characters. They need to develop into a romantic relationship. I like to watch the way characters evolve.

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

My recent release, Regenerate, is a paranormal romance with loads of action in it. Central to the story is a top-secret intelligence agency. I learned a lot about military terms and procedures. It was a challenge, but fun!


Gone With The Wind coverWhat’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?

I love Gone With The Wind. I have read it so many times I can recite passages!

I love it because Scarlett is such a strong heroine. She never gives up. She never gives in. She’s not always likable, but she sticks to her goals and underneath it all, she’s just a woman who wants to be loved.

 


A Bit About Regenerate

The Octopus isn’t an urban myth—and its agents are anything but ordinary. The intelligence bureau is so well-hidden most doubt its existence. A handful know its location. And fewer walk the halls in the subterranean compound.

Benjamin Sinclair didn’t ask to be a scientific miracle but every mission has its risks and one perfectly placed bullet ended his life—for a brief moment in time.

Nicole Anima battles demons every day. Life as a paranormal resources operative gives her tortured mind a rest—and keeps her from contemplating her own death.

When Anima and Sinclair partner on a globe-trotting race to eliminate the threat about to cripple humanity, all hell breaks loose. Leaping from planes, crashing into continents, dealing with voodoo priestesses, and running through jungles with zombies hot on their trail doesn’t leave much time for romance, but this duo somehow manages to sizzle.

Two agents. Telepathic mind paired with regenerated commando. One world—and a mission to save it.

Find Regenerate on Amazon!


A Bit About Sarita:

Sarita Leone lives in a remote area of upstate New York with her wonderful husband Vito. Their days are filled with laughter and their nights are spent dancing beneath the stars. When she’s not writing, Sarita enjoys hiking, boating, reading and drawing.

For as long as she can remember Sarita Leone wanted to be an author. In fact, when she signed her first book contract she shared the news with her closest childhood friend. Her friend wasn’t at all surprised, saying, “You always said you wanted to be a writer when we grew up. So does this mean we’ve finally grown up?”

That first book contract was for a novel called Snowdance, which was released with Whiskey Creek Press in August 2007. Since then, Sarita has sold several books and short stories.

With such a romantic husband for inspiration and a peaceful hideaway nestled in the hills it is easy to see how writing in the Leone household is a joy rather than a job.


Thanks so much for joining us, Sarita! It was a pleasure to host you. 🙂

Writer Wednesday: Meet Teresa LaBella!

Welcome to Writer Wednesday, that one marvelous day of the week on which you get to indulge in mini-interviews with authors and learn about them and their latest work.

Today I’m happy to bring you Teresa LaBella, author of contemporary romance and the New Life In Love trilogy. Teresa resides in my home state of Iowa, so a special shout-out from one former midwesterner to another!

Grab your favorite libation and settle in for this short but delightful interview with Teresa as she talks writing and her latest book, Belonging.


What inspires you to write?

Reading well-crafted stories written by other authors inspires me to keep writing. I’m always amazed at the power of the written word to open our imagination, take us to places we may never have been or will be, and care so deeply about the fictional characters that their story stays with us until and after we turn the last page. I write with the goal of taking my readers to that place of wonderment with the characters I imagine.

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

There’s a scene in Belonging where Marisa watches her husband Alistair dress in his formal Clan McKenzie kilt. I researched the historical significance of the tartan and function of each kilt accessory – the sporran pouch, the flashes that hold up the kilt hose, and the sheathed sgian dubh once used for cutting food as well as self-defense. Then I asked my husband to put on his kilt for me as Alistair did for Marisa for a wee bit of authentic show and tell research!

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

I just finished reading my favorite romance novel of all time and what could be the best book I’ll ever read. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover literally changed my formerly biased attitude toward women and men suffering the physical, emotional and psychological pain inflicted by domestic abuse. This first-person account of an intimate taboo is powerful storytelling at its best about a loving relationship at its worst.


A Bit About Belonging

When Marisa’s certain path to her future ends, the struggle to recover from heartbreak begins.

The daughter of Darien McKenna admires and adores her Michelin star chef father. Lessons learned at his side earn her acceptance into a prestigious school of culinary arts and an apprenticeship at the upscale mid-town Manhattan kitchen Chef Darien once commanded. Pressure to succeed in a high-stress career crushes her confidence. Devastating loss shatters her world.

Marisa’s search to find a new path leads to the land of the McKenna Clan and the arms of a heart-stopping handsome, yet lonely man. Alistair McKenzie traded his barrister career and life in Glasgow to preserve family history and honor on a farm in the Scottish Highlands. He’s tired of wearing his kilt to weddings and lifting a glass to another happy bride and groom. He yearns for everlasting love with the lass who will be his wife. Smoldering attraction and ignited passion bring them together.

Have Marisa and Alistair found forever love in their desired place of “Belonging?”


A Bit About Teresa:

Teresa LaBella published her first contemporary romance novel, Reservations, in 2013. The story continued in Heartland published in 2015 and concludes with Belonging, the final novel in the New Life in Love trilogy, published in October 2016. A freelance writer and consultant, the Iowa native resides in her hometown with her husband John and three rescued Husky kids.

Want to connect further with Teresa? Find her here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Thanks so much for joining us, Teresa! It was a pleasure having you here.