Writer Wednesday: Meet Jessica Ruddick!

JessicaRuddickIt’s the first official Wednesday of spring! Wahoo! And it’s WRITER Wednesday, so that kicks even more tushy. And what tops all of that? We have Young Adult and Romance author Jessica Ruddick with us today, spilling the beans on her writing life and her latest book, Wanting More.

I can tell you right now *I’m* wanting more chocolate, but since that ain’t happening, let’s all settle in and get inspired by Jessica, who wants us to “laugh a little, swoon some, love a lot.” Aww. I’m down with that!


What inspires you to write?

Readers. Readers inspire me to write because I was a voracious reader before I turned into a writer. Reading has always been my solace in the craziness that is life. I hope that my books can bring readers the same joy I’ve experienced through books.

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book.
I learned that when someone gets punched in the nose and it breaks, the blood actually kinda bubbles out of the nostrils rather than gushes. Gross, right? I also did research on bullet wounds, and let me tell you—if you’re squeamish at all, don’t Google that.

Halloween. Sexy vampire woman lips with bloodWhich type of romance do you love most, and why?
I really love paranormal YA, especially when the love story spans several books. A perfect example of this is the Vampire Academy series. Although the characters are generally tasked with saving the world in these books (LOL), they’re usually unencumbered with adult responsibilities, like the ones I face every day. It’s a refreshing escape.

WantingMoreAnd now, a bit about Wanting More:

Bri Welch likes to play it safe. I don’t. She’s wound tight, and I’m all about a good party. But there’s something about her that makes me want to pull those uptight layers away one-by-delicious-one. But the worst thing is she makes me want more…

Find Wanting More on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A bit about Jessica:

Jessica Ruddick lives in Virginia and is married to her college sweetheart–their first date was a fraternity toga party (and nothing inspires love like a toga, right?). When she doesn’t have her nose in a book or her hands on a keyboard, she can be found wrangling her two rambunctious sons, taming two rowdy but lovable rescue dogs, and battling the herd of dust bunnies that has taken up residence in her home. LETTING GO and WANTING MORE are Entangled Embrace releases, and she has a forthcoming romantic suspense release with St. Martin’s Swerve under her pen name, Jessica Linden. To learn more about Jessica, please visit her websites at www.jessicaruddick.comand www.jessicalinden.net.

Want to connect further with Jessica? Find her here: 


Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica! Wishing you the best of luck with Wanting More

Little Things Blog Hop – Join Me & Over 100 Authors/Bloggers!

Blog Hop Face Book Post

? Little Things Blog Hop ?

Hi, everyone! My name is Margaret Locke, and I am one of over 100 authors & bloggers on the Little Things Blog Hop! Make sure you visit each stop and enter the posted giveaway.

Be sure to enter the amazing Rafflecopter, too, which has a ton of prizes to be won!

FrontCoversBothBooks300For those of you don’t know me, I write the Matters of Love series, which includes:

  • A Man of Character, a contemporary romantic comedy in which 35-year-old bookstore owner Cat Schreiber must choose between fantasy and reality after determining the men she’s dating are living versions of fictional characters she created long ago.
  • A Matter of Time, a time-travel Regency romance in which modern-day Austenite Eliza James’ dream comes true when she lands in the arms of a Regency duke, only to discover some fantasies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when he proves less than a Prince Charming.
  • A Scandalous Matter (set to debut later this summer!).

I hope you’ll look around my page – I’ve got great #WriterWednesday and #ThrowItForward Thursday interviews to peruse, and more!

?Giveaway for this stop is a $10.00 Amazon gift card

?To Enter:

➜ Sign up for my newsletter! http://bit.ly/MLockeNewsletter

➜ Comment below with the one place in the world you most want to visit (for A Man of Character’s Cat Schreiber, it’s Florence, Italy. For A Matter of Time’s Eliza James, it’s Regency London)!

? Visit Dena Garson next: http://denagarson.net/

? Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba44e54f2/

? Join the Little Things Blog Hop Event for more fun:  https://www.facebook.com/events/562506680576207/

? Link to all the Blog Hop spots: http://theclubbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/02/LittleThingsBlogHop.html

Thank you for hopping by!

Winner (s) will be chosen by random and announced on this page and on the Little Things Event Page by April 6th.

? Good luck! ?

Writer Wednesday: Meet Kathleen Duhamel!

DuhamelPut on those party hats! It’s #WriterWednesday!

Today we get to learn about Kathleen Duhamel, writer of romance featuring older characters with youthful personalities, and fellow member of the Virginia Romance Writers. Hooray!

She gives us insights into her own writing life, and shares about her new novel, Deeper, which debuts March 20th.

Excited? I am! Here we go… 🙂

What inspires you to write?

deepblueI am motivated by the people in my life. In particular, my husband of 15 years, Tom, whose devotion and commitment to my writing career have made it possible.

I’m inspired by my BFF Diane, who makes the world a better place every day. She was the prototype for the character of Denise Hrivnak in my Deep Blue novels.

Mostly, I’m inspired by love itself.

Tom and I recently attended the wedding of a couple we know who’ve been through a long and circuitous journey to matrimony, and I was reminded once again of what a hopeful event a wedding can be. We go into marriage knowing there’s a 50 per cent chance it will fail, but we’re still winning to take an emotional risk for love.

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

I write and love contemporary romance, and my work features older characters with youthful personalities. I enjoy writing about present-day situations (and I’m far too lazy to do the research needed for historical romance).

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

FameOne of my characters works for an organization whose mission is to end childhood hunger. I learned that there are at least 16 million children who go to bed hungry every night in the United States. Personally, I find this situation inexcusable in a country that has so many resources. It’s shameful.

Name two things people don’t know about you:

I live in Virginia now, but I spent 30 years in Colorado where I hiked, biked, fished, camped and snowshoed. Someday I hope to return.

I began my career as a newspaper reporter and editor. That past work experience probably has shaped my writing style more than anything else. My writing is pretty straightforward. I try not to bury my readers with lengthy descriptions that stop the flow of the story.

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

sunset in heart handsThe same piece of advice someone recently told me: “Trust your gift.” Don’t give up, no matter what.

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

Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann.

Even though it was written about 50 years ago, the themes explored by the author are still relevant today: marriage vs. independence, the high personal cost of fame and the temptation of drugs.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00070]A Bit on Deeper, Kathleen’s novel debuting March 20th:

Secrets of the past seldom stay buried forever…

Now married to the love of her life, landscape artist Claire Martin’s peaceful world is rocked by an unexpected revelation that crushes her dreams of the future and causes her to question everything she thought she knew about her famous husband, legendary singer Robert Silver of the band Deep Blue.

Although Robert is now clean and sober, and embarking on a new opportunity with his musical partner Art Hoffman, the consequences of one night long ago fracture his family and threaten his marriage to the woman who loves him like no one else.

Will love survive, or will career pressures, family turmoil and the ever-present specter of the paparazzi destroy their new life together?

Find Deeper on Amazon

A Bit About Kathleen:

writingKathleen Duhamel wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight, and has never stopped writing. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer and owner/operator of two small businesses.

A native of Texas, she spent most of her adult life in Colorado before relocating to Virginia in 2014, where she lives with her husband, a standard poodle and a geriatric cat. She is a lifelong devotee of rock and soul music, contemporary art and pop culture. Please visit her at .

Want to connect further with Kathleen?

Website: https://kathleenduhamel.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathleen.duhamel
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kathleenduhamel

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Kathleen! We loved having you here. 

Writer Wednesday: Meet Julieann Dove!

View More: http://nataliejaynephotography.pass.us/julieThat’s right! It’s Writer Wednesday! Time to PAR-TAY!

And by party, I mean read this whole interview, because learning about authors is way cool.

The weather is stunningly gorgeous here in Virginia today – a true spring masterpiece. I hope you can say the same wherever you are. Speaking of Virginia, I’m delighted to have fellow Virginian and romance author Julieann Dove with us today, sharing about her life as a writer, and giving us a glimpse into her newest book, Waking Amy!

Welcome, Julieann! And away we go…

Business concept. keyboard and crumpled paper on table.What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?

I would’ve liked to be told that no matter what skill set I thought I had, or how I might’ve thought my imagination was good…go take at least two or three writing workshops before submitting anything to an agent. Let’s face it, you get one chance to make an impression, and although I got my fair share of requests, it always came back to a craft problem that enabled me from getting representation.

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

Wuthering Heights. I can feel the love Heathcliff had for Catherine. Right down to my bones. The way he wanted her to haunt him when she died. There was such passion between these two characters. I never tire of reading it!

MusicButterflyWhat inspires you to write?

Music. I can hear a song and write a novel around the lyrics. I wrote my first novel from listening to the song Gravity, by Sara Bareilles. I even titled it “Gravity!” I’ve since changed the title, but I won an award for it, and I have the certificate with the original title. That was neat. 🙂

And now, a bit on Waking Amy:

Waking Amy DigitalAmy Whitfield is blindsided when she comes home and finds a note on the fridge from her husband, Wesley, stating that after four years of marriage, he’s leaving her. Amy was in the midst of trying to spice things up, to bring life back to their boring marriage. It seems now that she was too late.

As Amy sits with her head between her knees, trying to figure out what to do next, a call comes from Mercer General Hospital. The ER nurse is telling Amy’s answering machine that Wesley has been in a car accident.

When Amy arrives at the hospital, she finds her husband in a coma. The doctors say there is no sign of brain damage, and Wesley will eventually wake up. Relieved, Amy sees this as her second chance: the chance to get it right this time. To channel the girl Wesley won’t leave when he regains consciousness… She just needs some help to pull it off. After all, she was voted girl most likely to die a virgin in high school.

Amy would never figure on getting that help from Mark Reilly…Wesley’s doctor! He’s a non-committer, too-cute-for-his-own-good bachelor, and completely the guy Amy begins falling for. It’s a race against time to see who wakes up first—Amy or her husband.

Find Waking Amy on Amazon!

A bit about Julieann Dove:

Passports to world travel Julieann lives in Virginia, yet longs to live everywhere else. It doesn’t come as a surprise that along with her gypsy soul, comes an active imagination. That’s why she loves to write and invent worlds and people, so that she can formulate their happily ever after. Hobbies include cooking new recipes, sewing, and spending time with her cute boyfriend/husband and five fabulous children. Vacations happen in Nantucket or the Carolina beaches—anywhere there is inspiration for her next book. One day she hopes to travel to Italy, drive one of those little cars around the countryside, and speak the language fluently!

Thanks so much for joining us, Julieann! Wishing you great success with Waking Amy!

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
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aria-Glazki/e/B00DHUXFY8

Don’t Miss the Giveaway!

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/af6a4b3c12/

Thank you so much for joining us, Aria, and we wish you great success with Mending Heartstrings