An Interview with Danyelle Ferguson

SC Ebook Final Web Large
Hello Romantics!
As I told you last week I am the proud participant of a blog tour to celebrate the release of a new book, Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson.
Let me tell you Romantics, I absolutely loved her book!  It has a little of everything. Wit, Suspense, recipes (and I’m so trying some of them), and of course ROMANCE!  I almost read the whole book in one sitting.  Let me tell you I was exhausted the next day at work.
Shhh…don’t tell my boss. 😉
Today, she is stopping by to chat with us and tell us about herself and her wonderful book.
Welcome to the blog Danyelle Ferguson!
Danyelle Ferguson - Color1
Hi, Danyelle! Thanks for stopping by today.  For those of us just getting to know you please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’m a mom to four rambunctious munchkins, who keep me hoppin’. I’ve been a reading maniac since I was a young kid. I grew up in the middle of nowhere and books were my best friend. I wrote lots of articles for newspapers and magazines, but never thought I’d become an author. So I did the next best thing – became an editor and book reviewer. Part of my job was attending writers conferences, where I gained the confidence to believe that my writing could be more than just articles and fun stories for just me. Lots of work and several years later, here I am, with my first fiction series kicking off!

My all time favorite Author is Jane Austen.  While I know I will never write like her she still inspires me to write and tell my own stories.  Who are some of your literary heroes and how have they inspired you?

I have a confession to make. I absolutely love, love, love Jane Austen’s . . . movies. I’ve never actually made it all the way through an Austen novel.  Gasp! Don’t hate me! My hubby has read several Jane Austen books and tells me all the time that I’m missing out on her greatness.

 Asking me to name one or two literary heroes is so unfair. That’s like asking what my favorite chocolate dessert is. There are many authors who saved me through my growing up years – Lurlene McDaniel was a huge influence. Then in my teen years, LaVeryle Spencer, Danielle Steel, and Stephen King. Yeah – there was a little suspense/scare-my-socks off stuff mixed in with my romance addiction. Since getting into the Mommy years, I’ve been in love with romance authors who know how to hit the laughter button – Kristan Higgins, Rachel Gibson, and Carly Phillips.

 Every book I read ignites my imagination and makes me want to write!

While I primarily indulge in romance novels, I like to mix it up with some suspense and a few other genre’s.  What is your favorite genre to write in and why?

You and I could be bosom buddies! I’m a romance junkie and love to add in bits of humor, suspense, and a dose of sass, too. My writing closely matches what I enjoy reading. I’m really just a hearts and butterfly girl disguised as a responsible mother and author.

Now for your wonderful book.  Can you give our readers a little taste of what this book is about?  You know just enough to wet their appetite and send them to the stores drooling. 😉

Combine one sassy baker, one sexy hockey player, and one obsessed stalker. Mix well, then pour into a hot pan. Sprinkle on some romance and enjoy!

 Craving more? Check out the full book blurb!

My favorite character in the story was of course Rachel Marconi, your heroine.  She’s fun, quirky, bakes and has a pretty bad habit of sticking her foot in her mouth.  I think I like her because she and I could so hang out together.  Who is your favorite character in this book and what made them special to you?

First you make me choose my favorite author, now you’re making me choose my favorite child, um, I mean, character. Sheesh! You’re a tough chick! I love my main characters, but there are a couple of side characters that I adore.

 The first is Rachel’s nephew, Stockton. He’s a five-year old boy with autism. My oldest teenage son has autism and a lot of Stockton’s personality and quirks are based on him. So Stockton is near and dear to my heart.  

The other character that I had a fabulous time writing was Graydon’s cousin, Chloe. She is, like, so totally a teenager, and like, you just never know what she’ll say next, or when she’ll even stop talking, cause she’s such a talky-talk-talk chick.

One of the things that makes a book for me is witty banter between characters.  I must say you did an excellent job with that. Tell us about one of your favorite scenes in the book that you think was one of your best witty conversations.

Oh my gosh! Rachel is so funny! What makes her fabulous is how real her inner-thoughts and self-doubts are. Sadly, she just hasn’t acquired that extra layer of protection – thinking before blurting out her thoughts. I’m glad you enjoyed her so much.

 One scene I loved writing was Graydon’s cousin’s wedding reception. Aside from some fun banter between Graydon and Chloe – this is a pivotal moment for hero and heroine. Graydon is thrilled to see Rachel again – but Rachel, not so much. In fact, she’s furious with Graydon and let’s him know it too. For those who haven’t read Sweet Confections yet, think witty comebacks, some smashed cheesecake and a surprising confrontation in the back alley.

I read the preview at the end of the book and I noticed that a secondary character from this story is the main character of the preview.  Does that mean we will be seeing all these wonderful characters in future books?(Please say yes, please say yes!)

Absolutely! The amazing Heather Tullis and I are writing two different book series with crossover characters. Her series is called In the Garden (centered around a community garden in Crystal Creek). Hello Again (the preview you read) is the first book in her series starring Piper and Reece.

 The next heroine up in the Indulgence Row series is Charlee, who I affectionately refer to as the Renovator Chick. We’ll get to see her dive into the house remodels on Indulgence Row – Rachel is one of her first clients. You’ll also meet Peter, her brother’s best friend and one of her co-workers, who has secretly had a crush on Charlee since, well, forever. But dating your best friend’s sister – well, that’s against the guy code . . . until Peter realizes he either needs to man up and go for it or lose Charlee forever.

Personality Question time!  Rachel has some very embarrassing moments when she first meets Graydon, (by the way he is one good-looking man.) What has been one of your most embarrassing foot in mouth moments you can remember?

To be honest, Graydon makes me drool, too. Shh! Don’t tell my hubby. (I’ll be sure not to send him this blog link).

 The most horrifying moment I have had was at the first Storymakers Midwest Writers Conference I organized. Award-winning YA author, Lisa Mangum, was our dinner keynote, and I had the privilege of introducing her. I had read my notes several times and was totally prepped, so I left my notes at the table. But when I stood at the podium in front of everyone – my mind totally blanked! I stammered and even had to ask her (still sitting in the audience) what the awards were she won for her books. Holy mackerel! It was humiliating. Thankfully, Lisa was very, very nice about it. Note to all your blog readers – never, ever leave your notes behind!

Danyelle, I just want to thank you again for coming by and chatting with us. Before you leave, Do you have any advice for our aspiring writers who may be visiting?

The one thing that pushed me to continue my writing career has been attending writers conferences. And network while you’re there! You’ll discover lots of writers in gobs of genres – and even a few who will stick with you for years and years as you cheer each other on to success.

Thank you so very much for interviewing me & reviewing my new book, Shineka! You are fabulous!

 ~~~~

According to Rachel Marconi chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at pictures of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge on the top of her list and dating at the bottom crossed out in red sharpie. But what’s a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out?
Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistent and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon’s protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition?

Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need more chocolate – perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil’s food cake.

Amazon Paperback: Sweet Confections (Indulgence Row) (Volume 1)

Amazon Ebook: Sweet Confections (Indulgence Row)

Goodreads Link

Also available on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBookstore.

Re-readability Rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

Great read! Enjoyed it immensely and will be happy to read this story again anytime. 🙂

Romance Rating:

So rates a 5 out of 5 stars!

Great kissing scenes, wonderful banter between characters, and a cute pr…(oops almost gave away the ending!)  Ha! well you’ll like the ending anyway just trust me. 😉

Who wants a free

book!?!

Danyelle is giving a free copy of her newest book and you can enter  by using the Rafflecopter below!

Also, for all of Danyelle’s new fans you can stalk, follow her at her

Blog: Queen of the Clan

Facebook: Danyelle’s Author Page

or

Twitter: Danyelle’s Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advertisements

Fixed in the Tempest by Charmain Brackett

Kindle Fire HDX: quick tour

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers

Happy early Thanksgiving my Dear Romantics!!!

I believe that everyday we should stop and count all of our blessings big and small! However on Thanksgiving Day as we are gathering around the table with friends and family I hope we are doubly reminded of just how wonderful our lives truly are.

Today, I have the honor of reviewing/introducing to you a new release from my friend, Charmain Brackett. The name of her newest masterpiece is called Fixed in the Tempest. You may have seen some of her other work in the Dystopian genre, a 3 book series called the Key of Elyon. This book is her first foray into Contemporary Literature.

Fixed in the Tempest is different from most of my picks in that this story highlights a couple who is already married.

Lisa and Tom have had over 20 years of what Lisa thinks is a blissful marriage. Lisa has been primarily a stay at home mom while working for the local newspaper on a part-time basis. Tom has been a wonderful provider, loving husband, and great father to their two children.  But not all is well in their little world.

As the story opens Lisa and Tom are taking their youngest to college. Lisa is now facing an empty nest and her job at the newspaper has come to an end. Tom seems to be spending more and more time at the office and she isn’t sure what to think anymore.

A few months before taking Lisa to college Tom was in a terrible accident with a teenage driver.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything he could do to help save the driver, a young girl about the same age as their daughter, Brittany. To deal with the pain and stress Tom turns to alcohol. Which opens up some very painful memories.

Instead of talking to Lisa and trying to get some help for himself, Tom ends up having an affair with a younger woman.

Will Lisa be able to forgive Tom for his infidelity? Will Tom be able to get his life back together? Can Lisa get back in touch with her first love?

You’ll have to read the book to find out!!!

Fixed in the Tempest releases November 30th at the Book Tavern located in downtown Augusta, GA for any local fans and the e-book version will be live December 1st!

image

Make sure to follow Charmain on Facebook @ Author Page, on her blog @Charmain’s Blog, and on Twitter @CZBrackett

image

Re-readability Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Will put on my short list of books I like to read several times over.

Romance Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Some nice kiss scenes. A great story of redemption.

An Interview with Linda Carroll-Bradd

Hello Romantics!

Today on the blog, I’m pleased to be interviewing author Linda Carroll-Bradd.  I was introduced to Linda and her writing through this very blog about two or three weeks ago.  After reading a manuscript she sent me I knew I definitely wanted to talk to her and get her take on life and writing in general.

Welcome to the blog Ms. Linda Carroll-Bradd!

Hi Linda! Thank you for joining us today.  So for my readers who don’t know you very well please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a native Californian who returned home last May after living 12 years in San Antonio, Texas. I write contemporary and historical sweet romance with many of my stories being set in Texas. My four children are grown and on their own, and my husband and I live in a national forest in southern California with our two dogs.

What would you say was your greatest influence in your writing?

Early in my writing, I had the good fortune to discover the Romance Writers of America and joined a local chapter. This organization of more than 10,000 members supports and guides those interested in learning how to write a romance novel. I wrote for 12 years before I received the first call that an editor wanted to buy what I’d written, which was a confession story. In 2006, I sold my first short story to The Wild Rose Press. I also learned that my writing benefits from working with a critique group.

I know you write mostly novellas and short stories. Have you ever thought of writing a full length novel?

I have written several full-length novels. One is currently being reviewed by an editor, and the other needs revisions to make the plot a bit tighter. The novel I wrote when I first started writing almost 20 years ago was my learning tool and will probably never see the light of day—although I love the story.

So the Novella I read was called Dipping in a Toe.  Can you give our readers a short synopsis of the story? You know something that will make them want to rush over to Amazon and snatch it right up. 😉

Jessa Landers has a secret crush on her teens’ swim coach. A widow for three years, she’s managing her life and enjoys her freedom—except for long, lonely evenings when she craves an attentive man.

Coach Rick Grant loves being a high school teacher and swim coach. Surrounded by families has him yearning for his own romantic connection—and his eye is on Jessa.

Will Jessa protect the balance of her family life, or take a second chance on love?

Who from this short story would you say is your favorite character and why?

Got to be Jessa, because I wanted to explore a character who takes the step of making a choice just for herself after putting her kids first for several years. I also wanted to write the story in first person and that always gets you into the thoughts and emotions of the character.

I personally, am a purveyor of strange and weird facts, the crazier the fact the easier it sticks in my brain.  Do you have any strange little personality “hiccups”?  What would you say is your strangest one?

Although I write sweet stories, I love action films and am an avid reader of thrillers by Scandinavian authors.

Thank you again Linda for joining us. Before you go, Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

The process of writing is comprised of both storytelling and lots of revision. Know that at least 50% of writing is the time spent perfecting and refining sentences and paragraphs so they are clear and concise.

So there you have it Romantics a great new novella by Linda Carroll-Bradd.

For one of you lucky Romantics Linda is giving away one of her novellas!

From those who leave a comment on this blog, I will draw a name and that person will be eligible for a title of his or her choice from Linda’s backlist. You have until Tuesday, April 23rd 11:59 pm est. to enter and a winner will be randomly chosen. Be sure to include your email address: name(at)internet(dot)com

 

Website: Linda Carroll-Bradd

My blog Linda Carroll-Bradd Blog

Facebook Linda’s Facebook Fan Page

Twitter  Linda’s Twitter Fan Link

 Can Jessa let another man into her life after being a widow for three years? Will Rick ‘s age be a problem for Jessa? Can Rick find a place in Jessa’s  very organized and settled life?

You’ll have to read to find out!

Dipping In A Toe By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Dipping In A Toe By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Dipping In A Toe Amazon Link

Re-readability Rating:

3.5 stars

I could see pulling up my kindle and coming back to read this story for a quick romance fix every so often.

Romance Rating:

3 stars

Some nice flirtation, snappy banter, and a very sweet male lead.

😉

Always the Baker, Never the Bride: An Emma Rae Creation By Sandra Bricker

Hello Romantics!

(High pitch squeal of joy) It’s here!!! The time is finally here! The Final installment of the Emma Rae Creations series was released Monday!!!! Woo hoo!!! Yippee!!! Yahoo!!!

What’s that you say? You have no clue of what I’m talking about?

Well, in that case then, I will start you guys off with the first book here in a review and while you all are off starting from the beginning, I will be in literary heaven reading the last book in the series!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride is the story of Emma Rae Travis,  an up and coming premier baker who unfortunately, can’t taste any of her sugary masterpieces because of her diabetes.

On a rainy day in Atlanta, a handsome widower comes into her bakery, Jackson Drake, new owner of a hotel/premier wedding boutique that was the dream of his deceased wife.

All Jackson wanted when he came into the bakery was a cup of black coffee and a brownie. He never expected to find a pastry chef for his new hotel or a woman whose green eyes intrigue him.

Of course, no story would be complete without a wonderful cast of friends and family to make the story fun and exciting.  Jackson’s three sisters, Georgiann, Norma Jean, and Madeline are wonderful southern belles who being the older sisters that they are feel the need to help their little brother with the setting up of the hotel. I mean he is a man who doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.

Then there is Fee, Emma’s Goth baking assistant. Miguel, Jackson’s nephew-in-law and a minister determined to help Jackson during his time of mourning and bring him back to God. Of course you have to add in Emma’s Aunt Sophie, who has a few memory issues. Last but definitely not least, there are Emma’s divorced parents, who happen to be part of the Southern Elite.

Will Jackson be able to put aside his heart ache and see that God has given him a new love? Will the Tanglewood be successful? Will Emma find her true love?

I guess you’ll have to read to find out!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride

Re-readability Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

I’ve read it about 4 times in the last year since mid summer.

Romance Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Some very romantic scenes. Don’t believe the hype that Jackson doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body. 😉

An interview with Kristy K. James

Hello Romance Enthusiasts!

Today, I am honored to be interviewing a dear friend of mine who is an example of an independent Clean Romance Writer.

I was first introduced to her by a novel that she offered for free called A Fine Mess. The story was different and full of humor and led me to believe that the writer had to be an exceptional human being all on her own.

After that first book I looked her up to see if she had any other books on Amazon and quickly downloaded two more novels. One of which was the first book in a series called The Coach’s Boys. 

On Thursday, February 14th (Valentine’s Day! How romantic!) Kristy will be releasing her third book in the series called A Harry Situation.

Welcome to the Blog Ms. Kristy K. James!

Hi Kristy! So for those readers who are unfamiliar with you and your work how would you describe your writing?

Hi, Shineka! Aww…thanks so much for the kind words. And thank you for having me today.

How would I describe my writing? First I would have to say that if my books were movies, they could all be rated G, or PG-13. I’ve always written my stories so I’d never, ever be embarrassed if my dad picked one up and started reading it. And while he died almost ten years ago, I still think of him, and I still write ‘clean.’ The only other way I’d describe it is that I’m all over the board with it. I don’t read just one genre, and I don’t like writing rules that say I have to write just one. So I have historical romance, historical fiction, a Christian romance, and just your basic, regular romance. I will also be branching out into Young Adult fantasy later this year.

Would you say that being a writer is something you’ve always wanted to do?

It has been, yes. I remember writing plays for my cousins and I to perform for our aunts and uncles when I was maybe in second or third grade. They were pretty goofy, but even then, I liked to write. But after a ninth grade creative writing class…I never wanted to do anything else (as far as a career goes).

Who would you say is your biggest influence in your writing?

As far as encouraging me, it would be the student teacher in the writing class. If she had laughed at my efforts, I likely would have given up then, but she didn’t. As for other authors…I can’t narrow it down to just one. Some have been favorites through the years, some I wound up not liking as much as I thought I did, and then there are the new ones.

If I had to choose one though, I guess it would be Debbie Macomber. Someone gave me a bunch of books maybe eight years ago, and her series, Midnight Sons, was in it. I’ve worn them out, and need to buy new copies, but it showed me, beyond a shadow, of a doubt that books could be G-rated, and be good. It also made me realize that The Daddy Pact, and A Hero For Holly, could be made into a series. Yes, they were originally standalone books.

So let’s move to the reason why you are being interviewed today.  You are releasing the third book to your Coach’s Boys Series. What inspired this series?

Well, as I mentioned above, I realized after reading Debbie Macomber’s books, that I’d really like to write my own series. And since I loved Dan and Jess, and Sam and Holly, I didn’t want to say goodbye. So I did some thinking, and started asking the ‘what if’ questions, and Jon, Cal and Chris came to life.

One of the things I like about this series is that the stories follow a close-knit group of guys. What made you want to write from the male perspective instead of the much easier female perspective?

Truthfully, I’ve always wondered about that myself. I did the same thing in Enza…and wondered about that, too. As silly as it sounds, I think it’s because the stories kind of dictate how they want to be written, If I’ve put the necessary time into the outline and character development, it’s almost like I’m just there to take the dictation.

In case there is someone who hasn’t read any of the series, can you give a short synopsis of the first three books of the series?

I can try. I’m just going to steal the short descriptions I used on one website for the first two. And then we’ll hope for the best on the third. I haven’t given that one a whole lot of thought yet.

The Daddy Pact: Jess Bentley’s husband is murdered the night they return from their honeymoon. Soon she discovers that she’s pregnant –  and married to the murderer’s brother – so they can protect the baby from her vengeful father-in-law.

A Hero For Holly: Five years ago, Holly’s husband left her pregnant, with a four-year old son-and a restaurant on the verge of bankruptcy. Now her boys are happy, and the business is flourishing, but she has no personal life. The highlight of her week is seeing sexy scout leader, Sam Jensen. But he couldn’t possibly be interested a single, workaholic mom. Could he? 

A Harry Situation: When Harry Saunders, the new employee for C & J Construction, turned out to be a woman, the only thing Chris Parker wanted was to fire her. In his opinion, there is no place for females in this business. But labor laws meant she stayed, making him nothing but miserable. Until he discovers a secret she’s been keeping from everyone. A secret that brings out every protective instinct he possesses. (Sorry, this is my first try)

What makes this book standout from the rest of the series?

Other than the fact that Chris’s name has five letters, and all the other guys names have three? This one deals with cancer, Leukemia, to be specific. And it affects a toddler. Even though I dealt with a murder in The Daddy Pact, blackmail in A Hero For Holly, and Ed Winslow’s stalker in the mystery that runs throughout the series, this one has been harder to write than the others. In fact, the publication has been delayed almost two months because of it. Why? Because I don’t like writing about cancer, but when it affects a child…it’s just hard. 

Out of this cast of characters who would you say is your favorite?

That’s easy. Dan Mulholland. You might have noticed that other than Ed, he’s the only character we hear from in the books. There was just something about him, right from the beginning that I liked. And that hasn’t changed. He’s kind of a big brother, gotta-take-care-of-everyone guy.

Now for my personality question of the day: What’s your favorite period in history and why?

Until a few years ago, I always said I was born a hundred years too late. And then I realized that I’m such a comfort-loving sissy, that I was born at exactly the right time. So, unimaginative as it sounds, this is my favorite period in history. I mean we’ve got cars, planes (yuck!), washers and dryers, indoor toilets that flush, toilet paper (as opposed to leaves or catalog pages), air conditioning, treadmills, computers, cell phones, and Kindles.

Sure there are a lot of problems, violence, selfishness, inflation, wars… That list could go on and on. But we also have freedom (at least in the United States). We can go where we want, when we want…and usually we’re safe when we do it. We also have access to doctors, hospitals and medicines. So to my way of thinking, this is a great time in history.

 Kristy, it’s been amazing talking with you today.  Before you go, Is there any advice you want to leave for any aspiring writers out there?

Thanks for having me, Shineka. It’s been a lot of fun. What advice do I have for other writers? Write. Write. Then write some more (practice makes perfect, after all). Read books on the craft. Learn how to plot, how to create ‘real’ characters, and above all, how to edit. And don’t forget to read. Read lots of books, both good and bad. As some experts in the field tell us, we can sometimes learn more from a poorly written book than we can from one that’s good.


And then once you have a story ready, consider indie publishing. While it’s still possible to find an agent and traditional publisher, it can take years. If you’re lucky. Sure there are exceptions, but the way the industry is going, they’re few and far between. So be brave, and step out on your own. Learn all you can about marketing, and building a platform…and share your work with the world.

To celebrate the release of her new book, Ms. Kristy is giving away 10 digital copies of her first book in the series:

The Daddy Pact (The Coach's Boys)

To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post telling us what inspires you. The winners will be randomly selected next Wednesday, February 20th!

 Make sure to follow Kristy’s Blog and sign up for her newsletter to receive a free copy of her short story Someday…Maybe

Kristy K. James