Monday, February 28, 2011

Kristina McMorris

Today, I'm excited to be welcoming the lovely Kristina McMorris to the blog, whose debut novel, LETTERS FROM HOME, recently hit the shelves in the US and is due in the UK in a couple of months. I was lucky enough to meet Kristina when we were finalists for the 2007 Golden Heart®, her with this very book! I'm so excited that it's now on the shelves.

ABOUT KRISTINA

Kristina McMorris lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Her foray into fiction began as a result of interviewing her grandmother for the biographical section of a self-published cookbook intended as a holiday gift for the family. Inspired by her grandparents' wartime courtship, Kristina penned her first novel, a WWII love story titled Letters from Home. This award-winning debut is scheduled for release in trade paperback from Kensington Books (2-22-11; U.S.) and Avon/HarperCollins (5-5-11; U.K.). In addition to other global rights, various book club rights have been sold to Reader's Digest and Doubleday, and the film rights are represented by the prestigious Creative Artists Agency of Los Angeles.

A weekly host of television programs since age nine, including an Emmy Award-winning program, Kristina is formerly the owner of a wedding/event planning company, contributing writer for a regional magazine, and PR director of an international conglomerate. A portion of her sales proceeds from Letters from Home will benefit United Through Reading®, a nonprofit organization that video records deployed U.S. military personnel reading bedtime stories for their children. For more, visit: www.KristinaMcMorris.com

LETTERS FROM HOME

In the midst of World War II, a Midwestern infantryman falls deeply in love through a yearlong letter exchange, unaware that the girl he's writing to isn't the one replying. Woven around this tenuous thread are three female friends whose journeys toward independence take unexpected turns as a result of romance, tragedy, and deception, their repercussions heightened by an era of the unknown. Inspired by a true account, Letters from Home is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war—and the chance encounters that change us forever.

"Ambitious and compelling…[a] sweeping debut." –Publishers Weekly

"A beautifully told story…a tough book to put down!" –RT Book Reviews, 4-star review

Read an excerpt here:


GET TO KNOW THE AUTHOR

MAUREEN: How often to you get lost in a story? Do you have a particular place or time when you love to read?
KRISTINA: I love reading in the evening, once the kids are in bed and the house is quiet. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do any "fun reading" in months, since research texts typically take priority.

MAUREEN: Hiking boots or high heels?
KRISTINA: If Pumas aren't an option, then high heels.

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
KRISTINA: "Skipper," the lead penguin from Madagascar.

MAUREEN: What turns you off like nothing else?
KRISTINA: Rudeness.

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite kind of cheese?
KRISTINA: Warm brie smothered with any kind of sweet chutney.

MAUREEN: What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?
KRISTINA: On Christmas Eve, we continue to open only one gift from under the tree, then we leave out cookies, carrots, milk, and a note for Santa and his crew. Not the most original tradition, but one that always warms my heart.

MAUREEN: What soundtrack or playlist do you recommend for your current release?
KRISTINA: Stormy Weather, Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, As Time Goes By, I'll Be Home for Christmas, and the list goes on…

MAUREEN: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
KRISTINA: Coffee: a half-caff, non-fat vanilla latte with an extra shot of caramel. (What can I say? I'm from the Northwest!)

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite kid joke?
KRISTINA: "Ten copycats were standing on a cliff. One jumped off. How many were left?
None. They were copycats, so they all jumped off."

MAUREEN’S GOTTA ASK – KRISTINA’S GOTTA ANSWER ☺

MAUREEN: Which era would you most like to have lived in, fashion-wise, and why?
KRISTINA: I'd have to say the 1950s for the poodle skirts, pedal pushers, bobby socks, and saddle shoes (all of which I actually owned in junior high….yeah, don't ask). Just think: "Pink Ladies." Was there ever a cooler group?

KRISTINA ASKS HER FANS

Now that the questions have got me thinking about my favorite cartoon character, I'm curious…who is your favorite? Is there an animated character you especially relate to, or in whom you can see yourself? Jessica Rabbit, perhaps? Elmer Fudd?

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Kristina is generously offering a signed copy of LETTERS FROM HOME to one lucky commenter!

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic copy is available, that may be substituted for winners outside of North America. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH KRISTINA HERE:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Erin Kellison

Erin Kellison Explores the Shadows

I read Erin Kellison's debut book, Shadow Bound, last year and was amazed. It's a dark paranormal about the daughter of Death, who... well, you just have to read it. The twists start early in the book and I won't give anything away. It's fresh and gritty and full of action. I invited Erin to Get Lost in a Story today to talk about how the series is continuing!

Simone: Tell us about your latest release.

Erin: My latest release (August 2010) is Shadow Fall, book two in my shadow series. The hero, Custo Santovari, is the best friend of Adam Thorne, the hero of book one, Shadow Bound. In the first book, Custo got beat up pretty bad. At one point, he made me bawl, so I had to give the poor guy his own story. Which is ironic, since when I set out to write Shadow Bound, I tried to cut the character of Custo several times. But he kept coming back, the story needed him, and finally I relented. By the time I got to the end, I understood why.

Here’s the blurb:

Sacrifice
Custo Santovari accepted pain, blood, even death, to save his best friend. But a man with all his sins just isn't cut out to be an angel.

Mystery
One moment he's fleeing Heaven; the next, he's waking up stark naked in Manhattan. In the middle of a war. Called there by a woman who's desperately afraid of the dark.

Shadow
It gathers around Annabella as she performs, filled with fantastic images of another world, bringing both a golden hero and a nightmare lover.


Wolf
He pursues her relentlessly, twisting her desires even as she gives herself to the man she loves. Because each of us has a wild side, and Annabella is about to unleash the beast.

Simone: What is the first book you ever "got lost" in?

Erin: Easy. Jane Eyre. My family was very big on the library when I was growing up, and I found a middle-grade book titled, It All Began with Jane Eyre. The girl on the cover was basically me. The title piqued my curiosity. I was in 6th grade at the time, and I asked my mom about the real Jane Eyre. She responded that it was too difficult for me. Uh-huh. I can still feel the rock-solid determination that formed within me at those words. I would read that book if it was the last thing I did. Next time I went to the library, it came home with me. I read every word. Took me months. Did some of it go over my head? I’m sure. But I was still lost in the dark, gothic romance. I loved it. I was transformed by it (for better or worse), and yeah… now I write a bit dark and gothic myself.



Simone: Where is your favorite place to read?

Erin: In bed! Usually with something to snack on so that my husband grumbles when he finally joins me and discovers all the crumbs. I love to read, and before I had kids, I could easily spend an entire weekend in jammies, lost in a book. Total heaven. I could almost weep just thinking about it. Actually tearing up here…

Simone: What's one thing readers don't know about you?

Erin: I’m searching for a hobby. I tried knitting—total failure—but produced some very interesting scarves last year. One of the scarves, my favorite, can loop around my sister’s neck maybe fifteen times. The scarf belongs in Dr. Seussland, though I didn’t intend it that way. It was an earnest effort; maybe too earnest. Then I tried puzzles. I like puzzles. But, yeah, they remain unopened in my closet. Lately, I have decided on photography. I bought a book about it last week, and I plan to adventure out into the world and take stunning pictures. Soon. After my copy edits are done and turned in.

Simone: What are some of the things that inspired the Shadow series?

Erin: The Shadow series inspiration came largely out of a writing exercise I did to uncover the origins of the heroine of Shadow Bound, Talia O’Brien. Talia is a banshee, and has one foot in the mortal world, and the other in fae Twilight. I knew that much, but I had to learn how she was conceived in the first place. I sat down and simply wrote it. As I was writing, I came to understand that the fae world exists in between the mortal world and the hereafter—it’s the place where all the stories are true, where humankind visits when dreaming. It’s seductive and frightening, full of possibility. It’s also inhabited by a magical race trapped within that realm and longing for mortality. My imagination went wild with possibilities. I’m working on book four right now, and am contracted for a fifth.





Simone: Did you do any special research for the series?

Erin: I’m always checking up on this or that detail, but the bookish/computer research keeps me in my chair. The one thing I get a big kick out of are the weapons and combat stuff. I have an expert that I get to pepper with questions. I’ll ask for a new gun, ammo, armor, and get great information. And once, when I asked for a demonstration, he happily subdued my poor husband on the ground. That technique is in my e-novella, Shadow Touch.

Simone: Tell us what's next for you?

Erin: I’ve got two releases coming up. The first is Shadow Touch, an e-novella coming out in June. Then Shadowman, book three in the series, releases in September. For more info, check out my website, http://www.erinkellison.com/.

I’ll leave you with a taste of Shadow Touch:

“Is she dangerous?” Kalamos asked.

Ellie had answered this earlier, and repeated the same. “I don’t think so.”

“Our first priority is the safety of the men and women working at Segue. Can you please clarify?”

Ellie had promised herself that she’d hold nothing back, but his sharp approach had her hesitating. “She plays tricks,” she said, though this was the lesser truth. “And, depending on her mood, she can try to scare, or disturb, or…or confront....” Another dodge.

Kalamos leaned forward. “Can she physically touch anything? Can she affect electricity or water or light or air? Can she do anything?”

“No.” The lie came out smoothly, with zero outward angst, but—oh thank God, there she is—the lie, or maybe the memory underneath, had brought her shadow. Her naked self emerged through the wall—a bare leg, arm, breast and shoulder.

“Contact!” shouted a soldier. The two moved in tandem, taking new positions to face her shadow, guns aimed, ready, and utterly useless.



Her shadow was coming slowly, carefully, a look of extreme distrust on her face as her gaze cut from soldier to soldier. She snarled at them.

Lovely.


Thanks, Erin!

Erin has confessed her darkest hobby secrets, including the infamous Dr. Seuss scarf. What is your hobby, and are you any good at it? Does it matter if you're any good at a hobby?

Erin is giving away a copy of both Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall to one lucky commenter.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Julie Anne Long

Get Lost in This Story…



For years, he’s been an object of fear, fascination…and fantasy. But of all the wicked rumors that forever dog the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he’ll seduce Ian’s innocent sister, Genevieve—the only member of the powerful and wealthy Eversea family as yet untouched by scandal. First he’ll capture her heart…and then he’ll break it.

But everything about Genevieve is unexpected: the passion simmering beneath her cool control, the sharp wit tempered by a gentleness that coaxes out his deepest secrets… And though Genevieve has heard the whispers about the duke’s dark past, and knows she trifles with him at her peril, one incendiary kiss tempts her deeper into a world of extraordinary sensuality. Until Genevieve is faced with a fateful choice…is there anything she won't do for a duke?


Today, historical author Julie Anne Long joins us! Her latest book, What I Did For a Duke just released on Tuesday and is already getting rave reviews. I can’t wait to read it J. And I’m sure YOU can’t wait to find out more about the lovely Julie, so let’s get right to it!



Heather: How often do you get lost in a story?
Julie: Every day, if only for a few minutes. And I always need to read before I go to sleep, if only for a few minutes. I think losing yourself in the world of a book is like a transition, a bridge, between real life and dreams.

Heather: What’s the first book you remember reading
Julie: Thumbelina, with riveting 3D-type illustrations of Thumbelina sleeping in a flower and riding on a dragonfly and the like. I loved that book.

Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Julie: Truthfully, anything that keeps me turning the pages. I like wit, intelligence, a unique writing voice, a wonderful way with prose, and any author who has a strong sense of place, so I can feel really transported.


Heather: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Julie: Hmmm…I have different favorites for different moods. But I’ll mention one movie most of us can relate to: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I remember, lo these many, many years ago when I first saw it, thinking it was going to be cloying, and was surprised by how layered and sophisticated it is—often dark, very funny, complex, moving. And it has the world’s most satisfying ending. Says a lot about so many things, including the stages of love, ambition, sacrifice, greed, faith, American life... I get something new out of it every time I watch it. I love older films in general.


Heather: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Julie: Hard to choose, isn’t it? I’ve noticed a vaguely of Cinderella theme in a number of my books. I’ll go with that one.

Heather: What sound or noise do you love?
Julie: I rather like flapping sounds. Sails and flags in the wind, flocks of birds taking flight, the ears and coats of dogs or cats when they shake themselves. I like the chirping sound my cat makes when I touch him and wake him up from a deep sleep.

Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Julie: Almost always. Maybe even always. And it depends. I listen to so many kinds of music that I often do a few exploratory wade-ins, sample a few songs before I commit to a direction, so to speak, to test if that’s what I need to hear. I’ll know it when I hear it, when there’s a sort of inner “click”: yes, that’s the right mood for this scene. Debussy got me through one entire book. A brilliant English band called Elbow through another. The Decemberists, and a brilliant record by Deerhunter, especially a song called Earthquake, was another. Arvo Part. Rachmanminoff. And every now and then Gary Puckett and the Union Gap or old Neil Diamond or 60’s British Invasion... Depends on the scene, the day.

Heather: What was the first story you remember writing?
Julie: My first (self) published work was a Crayola-illustrated book about a talking Rabbit named Reddy. Surprise: He was red! I think I was six years old.


Heather: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
Julie: They’re inextricable. I take a lot of pleasure in language and sentence structure, and finding the right words to tell the story fuels the pleasure in storytelling, and vice versa. It’s all of a piece.

Heather: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
Julie: You are the best-looking, most delightful, most discerning people on the planet, and you really ought to hug yourself right….well, NOW would be great.

Also, I’m so unbelievably touched by the support love and enthusiasm for WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE! Perfect Tens, Top Picks, Desert Island Keeper! I’m astonished. It’s all pretty wonderful. I hope everyone truly enjoys it.

Heather: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Julie: Staggeringly wealthy world-traveling philanthropist.

Heather: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Julie: Curl up in a fetal position and rock myself gently for a time. Then I seep for 22 hours, free my hair from its deadline ponytail and wash it, stagger out into the real world, blinking and squinting. Gradually relearn how to speak to humans.

Heather: What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were
Julie: “Thank you for your time, Julie! What time would you like us to deliver Richard Armitage to your house? He’s yours to keep for visiting our blog today!”

Heather: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Julie: I’m not positive I’ve ever been unwound. How does one tell? Although when I’m in the throes of a deadline I take a lot of long baths to sort of refresh my fevered brain.;) Reading in the bathtub is delightful. Or I run myself silly on my mini trampoline. Massages are an excellent way to relax. Long meandering conversations with friends and laughing until your ribcage feels bruised is another.



Heather: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
Julie: That every time someone buys one of my books an angel gets its wings.


Heather: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Julie: The Duke of Falconbridge from WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE. Because gazing into his eyes along from across a candlelit table—and his eyes are exceptionally beautiful, by the way, an extraordinary green—would be a heady experience. Plus he’s fiercely smart and observant, a penetrator of defenses, dryly witty and effortlessly seductive. A seasoned man. Wholly himself. We may not even get around to dinner, if I have dinner with him.


Heather: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Julie: Writing for a living is itself a dream come true. Working independently has always been a dream. It’s also an enormous challenge. But even in the most challenging times I’m hard pressed think of a career I’d prefer.


Heather: What soundtrack or playlist do you recommend for your current release?
Julie: Anything from purring cats or snoring dogs or Debussy or AC/DC. Anything that helps take you to another place entirely. Although, if I’ve done my job right as a writer, a reader wouldn’t lift their head even if someone started jackhammering the sidewalk next to them. I want people to miss their subway stops when they read my books. Just kidding! Be safe, kids. Look both ways.

Heather: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Julie: Tea. Very strong. Straight up. Green or white varieties. Earl Gray with lemon when I’m feeling naughty or coming down with a cold.


Heather: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
Julie: Arguably, I’m comprised entirely of quirks. Perhaps I’ll poll all my friends one day to see if they have a favorite.

Heather: What’s your favorite kid joke?
Julie: Q: What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?
A: A carrot!

Heather: Which era would you most like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why?
Julie: The 1930’sor 40’s. The bias cut gowns suit my body type. I love them. Although I also rather like fringe and things that lace up. I would have made an enthusiastic hippie, at least from a wardrobe perspective.

Heather: Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero/heroine but he/she wouldn’t go away?
Julie: Nearly everyone I write is eligible to be re-deployed in some future book. ;) I’m the puppet master! Hee! But I usually embark on a story knowing pretty distinctly who the hero and heroine are, and though I become very fond of (and interested in) peripheral characters, none of them has of yet wanted to take over a book. That doesn’t mean they won’t get their own book in the future. E.g., a lot of readers would love to see Lavay from I Kissed an Earl get his own book. And since I know his back story, I’d love to give him a book one day. He definitely strikes me as a hero.

Heather: What is your favorite cheese?
Julie: The minute I read that question I went into a reverie about a Stilton with lemon peel. But I like a lot of different cheeses and I love trying new ones. As long as they’re excellent quality and interesting.

Heather: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Julie: Let’s see…Greek Yogurt, wilting baby spinach, a mad variety of vinegars, a jar of Thai curry paste, brown basmati rice, some aging capers, some broccoli crowns, Smoked Gouda with black peppercorns, and quite a number of little Tupperware containers I’m a little nervous to open. I think I’ll leave them as heirlooms for my younger posterity.

Heather: Is Elvis really dead?
Julie: Don’t be silly. Everyone knows Elvis is a vampire who goes by the name of “Bubba” now and drinks the blood of cats.

Heather: Dog person or cat person?
Julie: I’m an animal person—I’m fond of or at least interested in all of them, even crocodiles, which patently freak me out— but I always have a cat for a roommate.

Heather: What would you do if you had a time machine?
Julie: Watch Season Five of Mad Men? See Led Zeppelin at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco? Take a stroll with Jane Austen? Arrange to hear the Powerball winning lottery numbers, win, and donate all the money to charity? Attend the party my darling husband Richard Armitage throws me for being #1 on the NYT list five consecutive years in a row? It’s impossible to choose.

Heather: How much money does it take to be happy?
Julie: Just enough.

Heather’s GOTTA ASK – Julie’s GOTTA ANSWER J
Heather: So, I noticed on your website that you were in a rock band and had a Bono fixation (you’re right…who didn’t?). If you could be on stage with anyone for one night, who would it be and what would you sing?

Julie: Tough question! I’m not so much a singer as a guitarist and songwriter, a band member. Maybe I want to stand up there next to Jim Morrison and smell the leather and Patchouli and harmonize with him on Love Me Two Times. Guess I’ll need the Time Machine for that.

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
Julie: I’ve heard so many wonderful things about both Alex, the duke of Falconbridge, and Genevieve Eversea, and one reviewer asked me what I thought was a good question: When you read a romance, do you identify more strongly with the hero or heroine? Do you read a romance more to identify for the heroine or to vicariously fall in love with the hero. ;)

WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS?**
Julie: We’ll be giving away a signed copy of THE PERILS OF PLEASURE today to a random commenter!

We also have a bonus trivia question for you, ladies:
Madame Marceau, a modiste, has had cameos in a number of my books. In which of my books was she first introduced?

The first person to comment with the right answer (if anyone has it!) will automatically win a signed Pennyroyal Green title of their choice!

Thanks so much for being with us today, Julie! Where can your fans learn more about you on the web?

Twitter: @JulieAnneLong (http://www.twitter.com/JulieAnneLong)


**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Come back again tomorrow, when Simone hosts Erin Kellison!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Patricia Rosemoor

BRAZEN
Harlequin Intrigue
ISBN: 0373695284

Despite their uncanny psychic connection, Siobhan McKenna had once pushed Clay Salazar away. Better to break his heart than to be responsible for his death, as her family curse threatened any man she loved. But now the feisty McKenna faces trouble on her ranch—someone's trying to drive the Double JA into the dust! Her solution: hire Clay, a Navajo-trained horse gentler, to run the place. With their special connection severed, his life should be safe.

GETTING TO KNOW PATRICIA ROSEMOOR

Feeling that justice is all too rare in real life, Patricia Rosemoor drives her characters to seek an equitable resolution, no matter the personal sacrifice. Her fascination with "dangerous love" – combining romance with danger – has led her to write various forms of romantic suspense and paranormal romantic thrillers, bringing a different mix of thrills and chills and romance to each book. She believes strongly in breaking down barriers to write crossover fiction that appeals to a large and varied audience.

Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from RT BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she teaches Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing, credit courses in the Fiction Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago. Five of her former students are now published in novel-length fiction.

TWENTY QUESTIONS
okay, it's more like ten [[GRIN]]

ANGI: How often do you get lost in a story?
PATRICIA: All stories are not equal in what I get from them or in how much they affect me, but I would say I get lost in some scenes in every story I write. Truthfully, it’s usually in the suspense scenes, but some romances touch me more than others. BRAZEN was one of those stories. Clay and Siobhan’s love story in the past called to me so strongly that I had to write it. So as the present day story progresses, the reader gets thrown back to the past, alternating in their points of view up to the point that Clay leaves town brokenhearted. Every one of those scenes sucked me in as my hero and heroine told me about their past together.

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
PATRICIA: I truly don’t remember my first book, but I remember my first significant read. I know my mother made me a “reader” before I started school. At the time, the library had 3 levels of cards–Juvenile, Senior (for 7th graders and up) and Adult. By the time I was in second grade, I had read or been read every book in the juvenile section, so I started reading senior books. I skipped a grade and so was in third grade for the last few months of that year. Still, I always finished my work in class before the other students, so I would read a library book. The nun caught me reading and took the book – DOUBLE DATE by Rosemary DuJardin – and said she was going to look at it. The next day she gave it back to me and told me I should be reading history and geography instead.

ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
PATRICIA: Reading a book in which I realize the author didn’t do enough research to suspend my disbelief. It’s probably why I’m so paranoid about “getting it right.”

ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
PATRICIA: Definitely Action Adventure. I know authors who love writing the beginning of their stories but aren’t thrilled figuring out and writing the end because it’s so difficult. I LOVE writing the big finish, the longer, more action packed, more suspense and thrill filled the better. My July book DEAL BREAKER didn’t feel as special as BRAZEN when I was writing it, but I just read the galleys last week and realized my big was the entire last fourth of the book and it sucked me in! I surprised myself.

ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
PATRICIA: Oh, dear, I don’t remember the title, but it was an historical romance with a shipwreck involved. It was never published. As a matter of fact, the first rejection letter I got was badly xeroxed telling me good luck elsewhere and signed off “The Editors” – no actual signature. I gave up, decided writing wasn’t for me. And then six months later, I started my second historical romance that didn’t get published.

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
PATRICIA: WITNESS. Hum, that might have something to do with Harrison Ford playing the hero...now if only they had ended up together at the end. Sigh.

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
PATRICIA: Oh, come now, isn’t Hannibal Lecter everyone’s favorite? He’s the perfect example of a three dimensional villain. He has so many sides to him, it’s difficult to hate him. Be scared of meeting him in a dark alley, yes, but not hate him.

ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
PATRICIA: Aren’t they the same? When I write I am telling myself a story. I love having written. But half the time (maybe more), writing is something to be avoided whenever possible until that deadline starts looming closer. It’s always great to get to those scenes where I “lose myself,” but the rest of the book usually feels like torture. My students hand in first draft. I probably rewrite a scene twenty times before I think it works.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: So, Patricia, what’s your favorite “paranormal” element to add to a story?
PATRICIA’S GOTTA ANSWER: I like playing with psychic abilities, especially when it has to do with animals–I’ve used human connection both to wolves and horses in my McKenna books. I think it’s true that we humans use only a fraction of our brain power and if we found a way to develop them, we would feel a real connection not only to each other, but to the animals around us.

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
I would love to know if/how they can suspend their disbelief when it comes to psychic abilities.

PATRICIA will be happy to send an autographed copy of BRAZEN to someone leaving a comment today.

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

HERE’s how and where you can contact Patricia: website; Facebook; Patricia Rosemoor’s Novels at Facebook; and Twitter.

DON’T FORGET to “Like” us on Facebook, “Follow” us on Twitter, and visit here Thursday when Heather interviews Historical author Julie Anne Long AND again on Friday when Simone Gets Lost with Erin Kellison. See you next Wednesday when I bring you Historical author Winnie Griggs.

~~Til then, Angi




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Judy Duarte


When this two time RITA finalist isn't

entertaining angels, she's prescribing a love cure for Dr. Fortune!





Judy Duarte always knew there was a book inside her, but since English was her least favorite subject in school, she never considered herself a writer. An avid reader who enjoys a happy ending, Judy couldn’t shake the dream of creating a book of her own.


That dream became a reality in 2002, when Silhouette released her first Special Edition. Since then, more than thirty of her books have hit the shelves, including three women’s fiction novels and two novellas.


Judy, a two-time RITA® finalist with Mulberry Park (2009) and Entertaining Angels (2010), was awarded two Maggies and a National Reader’s Choice Award for her heartwarming stories.


When she’s not cooped up in her writing cave, Judy spends time with her family near the beach in Southern California.














Healing Dr. Fortune









Is she his perfect cure?


Healing people was Jeremy Fortune’s specialty—not coming to the rescue of beautiful women with infants in their arms! The California surgeon was in Texas to locate his missing father. Instead, he might have found the woman of his dreams.


Kirsten Allen was only trying to look out for her brother’s son. And now the Red Rock accountant was worried about holding onto her heart! Jeremy had the most irresistible bedside manner, and the dedicated doc was filling her head with the sweet domestic fantasy of becoming Mrs. Dr. Fortune! But only if he planned to stick around long enough to fulfill both their dreams…



And from Entertaining Angels:


As a teen, Kristy Smith spent her nights dreaming of a college scholarship—dreams that ended abruptly when she became pregnant. Now Kristy works hard to support her young son, Jason, and her ailing grandmother, staving off regrets about the chances that slipped away. But one person will open Kristy’s eyes to the fact that she’s been selling herself short. For she has much to offer to the residents of Fairbrook, who are all about to learn that the

future can surprise and redeem us, especially when there’s courage and friendship in abundance, as well as a little help from an unexpected source…



Jillian: So, tell me Judy, how often to you get lost in a story?


Judy: I love to read, but I don’t have the opportunity to get lost in a story as often as I’d like. My critique partners are prolific, and we read over each other’s manuscripts before they’re sent to the publisher.


My critique partners are talented authors, but when I’m reading their work, I’m looking for problems or typos. (Of course, they’re such good writers that I sometimes get lost in their stories and have to go back and start over to make sure I didn’t miss anything!)


I also love to read while I travel, which is a real treat. (Hmm. I wonder if that’s why I agree to speak at so many RWA meetings and conferences… )


While flying, I don’t like to chat with the person in the seat beside me. I’d much rather disappear into another world until the plane lands again.


Jillian: What’s the first book you remember reading?


Judy: As a child, I remember reading King of the Wind. I loved horse stories and always dreamed of having one of my own. (I think that’s why I write so many cowboy heroes and often have ranch settings in my stories.)


In high school, I read Gwen Bristow and loved her work. I think that’s probably the first time I wondered if I could create stories of my own. I also read Gone with the Wind around the same time and loved it.


I had friends of mine refuse to read a 1000-page book because of its size, but I was sorry when it ended. (I also read it a second time!)


Jillian: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?


Judy: I schedule a massage! I’m usually under a tight deadline, so I spend hours each day bent over the keyboard, which leaves me with a lot of kinks and knots that need to be worked out. A massage is also a way to reward myself for staying on track and finishing the story.


Jillian: What do you do to unwind and relax?


Judy: Besides getting a massage? In the evening, I enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of wine, as well as a little television or a pay-per-view movie.


Reading is a great way to relax, but since I work at a computer and read so much during the day, I’d rather lose myself in a movie or sitcom at night.


One of my New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more often. So I think that will prove to be helpful, too. I’ll let you know how that’s working the next time I visit Get Lost in a Story.


Jillian: What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?


Judy: This isn’t my favorite tradition, but it’s one that’s unusual and fun. When my mother was a child, she and her siblings used to shred newspaper and make a nest for the Easter Bunny. Then, while they slept, the “bunny” would leave the usual pieces of candy and colored eggs. But they’d also get new hair ribbons, socks, a book, a puzzle—little goodies like that.


My mom didn’t practice that tradition for me, but when I heard about it, I decided it was something I wanted to do for my children—and they loved it. They’d make their nests the night before Easter, then they’d decorate name tags so the “bunny” would know where to leave the goodies.


Over the years, I saved money on buying baskets and that colored grass—which just made a mess all over the house anyway.


And now my daughter has started the tradition at her house.


Jillian: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?


Judy: Without a doubt, it would be Jesse, a homeless man who made his first real appearance in Entertaining Angels. He also shows up at times in the other Mulberry Park books.


Jesse has a way of asking questions that makes a person think. He also seems to know things that haven’t been revealed to him. And he sometimes shares modern day parables with the people he meets.


Rumor has it that he might be an angel, but either way, he’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve created, and I’d love to meet him.


Jillian: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?


Judy: Writing a book and holding it in my hand was a dream in itself. In fact, just seeing one of my stories in print reminds me of a very important lesson I’ve learned.


And that lesson is: God doesn’t put a dream on someone’s heart without also giving them what it takes to make it come true.


Jillian: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?


Judy: Both. I usually have 2 cups of coffee in the morning—with cream and sweetener.


I also like a cup of tea in the afternoon or evening. Green tea or chamomile used to be my first choice, but I have a new favorite now.


When I was at a hotel in Hawaii last November, I tried a cup of white ambrosia, which was the most delicious tea I’d ever tasted. It’s made of white tea leaves, toasted coconut, and pineapple.


I marveled at the taste, and the woman who’d served it to me asked if I’d used the sugar. I told her I had, and she explained that the “lavender sugar” made the tea even more special. They borrowed it from the hotel pastry chef, who used it for all his desserts.


I purchased tea from the hotel and the sugar from a lavender farm on Maui. It’s not something I have every day, but when I do, it’s a real treat.


Jillian: What’s your favorite kid joke?


Judy: How do you catch a unique rabbit? You ‘neak up on it.





NOW FOR Jillian's GOTTA ASK, Judy's GOTTA ANSWER QUESTION:


Jillian: Judy, whether the story is set in Red Rock, Texas or Mulberry Park your novels incorporate both the trials and joys of family and community. What draws you to these kinds of tales?


Judy: I’ve always loved cowboys. In fact, I really enjoy a good western, whether it’s a book, a TV show or a movie. So I often have a ranch or Texas setting in my books.


As for Mulberry Park? I created the fictitious town of Fairbrook, which could be AnyTown, USA. But there’s something special about Fairbrook. It’s a place where miracles happen.


If you like my Mulberry Park books, Christmas on Nutcracker Court will be coming out in October.


There won’t be any cowboys in that story, but you can count on some kids, a big, goofy dog, and more than a couple of people who desperately need a Christmas miracle.


WOW! Judy has got some great giveaways!

• An autographed copy of Healing Dr. Fortune • An autographed copy of Mulberry Park (RITA finalist 2009) • An autographed copy of Entertaining Angels (RITA finalist 2010) A Willow Tree angel ornament


Check out the list of books and prizes above! From the comments section Judy will draw four winners! And for those romance readers in foreign countries, an online Barnes and Noble gift certificate.***


Thanks for joining us today Judy, and we look forward to having you back in October!


Readers and fans can contact Judy at: http://www.JudyDuarte.com




***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.