Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Get Lost with Joan Swan and FEVER!!!

Get Lost in This Story…


When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she's in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need...

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn't, until his escape plan develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever...

I’m thrilled to host Kensington Brava author, Joan Swan, to the blog today!  Her much anticipated debut, FEVER, (what a cover!) is getting rave reviews all over the blogosphere, and I, for one, have been dying to read it!  It just came out yesterday, and Joan is here to tell us not only about it, but more about her!

Here’s a bit about Joan:



Joan Swan is a triple RWA® Golden Heart finalist and writes sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal twist.  Her debut novel with Kensington Brava, FEVER, releases February 28, 2012.  Her second novel, BLAZE, follows in October, 2012.

In her day job, she works as a sonographer for one of the top ten medical facilities in the nation and lives on the California central coast in beautiful wine country with her husband and two daughters.



Joan: Hi Heather!!  First I want to say congratulations on YOUR release this month – SWEET ENEMY!  Your cover is gorgeous and you’ve gotten awesome reviews!  As soon as I have time to breathe, I’m going to pick it up!  Can wait to sink into a good historical!

And second, thanks so much to everyone at Get Lost In A Story for having me today!

Heather:  Thanks so much, Joan!  We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the release of FEVER with you!  It seems like you and I have been waiting forever to get a hold of each other’s books.  I’m honored to share a release month with you!  Now…let’s get to the Get Lost Interview!

Heather: How often to you get lost in a story?
Joan: Not as often as I’d like.  Since I’ve started writing, my ability to lose myself in a story has been forever altered.  Even though I read often, I’m constantly searching for craft and voice and that intangible element that makes every book special.  Occasionally, something—either an author’s storytelling ability or a character or the story itself—will suck me in and I’ll get lost and forget all about searching for craft.  But not nearly as often as I wish it would.

Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Joan: I read thrillers, mainstream suspense and many subgenres of romance—contemporary, suspense, thriller, paranormal, historical and of course mixtures.  I think my favorite is either a romantic suspense or a romantic thriller.

Heather: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Joan: Actually, I remember the first book that was read to me.  Where the Red Fern Grows.  My sixth grade teacher used to read to us everyday after lunch.  She’d have us come in, put our heads down on our desks and read a scene or a chapter.  It remains the most vivid story in my mind today.

Heather: Where do you read and how often?
Joan: I read in the car, while I’m driving. J  Yes, I wrote that correctly.
I work out of town, so during my one-way 4 hour drive, I listen to audiobooks.  It has become time I look forward to, time I nearly covet.  I have two subscriptions to audiobook services – Audible and another which works much like Netflix where I rent the CD’s.  So, in my 8 hour drive, I can get through between ½ or 1 ½ books – depends on their length.

Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Joan: I didn’t used to, but more recently, I subscribed to Pandora’s upgraded service where there are no commercials.  They also have preset channels with themes or you can set up your very own channel with only your favorite artists.  Right now I listen to either Movie Tracks, Classics or Country.  When I get more time, I want to set up channels that suit particular scenes – like love scenes or action scenes.

Heather: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
Joan: Writing.  Please don’t make me tell you about the story.  I’ll do anything if you don’t make me tell you the story.  I have really been pushing myself over the last year to step up to the plate when it comes to public speaking.  I know it’s important to my career as an author.  Even more, I want to be able to share my knowledge of craft with other writers, my enthusiasm for my work and the works of others.  But the more I practice and the harder I try, the worse it gets.  I’m not sure public speaking is for me.  I think I’ll leave it to the teachers out there – they rock at public speaking!!


Heather: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Joan: I’d be an independent publicist—someone who helps authors get the word out about their books.  Set up blog tours, speaking engagements, ads, websites, social media…etc.  I have to admit, I have really enjoyed the process…I just wish it didn’t compete for my writing time.  Doing it for other writers would be a great alternative … but only if I couldn’t be a writer anymore.

Heather’s GOTTA  ASK – Joan’s GOTTA  ANSWER  J.

Heather: So, congratulations on your debut that came out yesterday!  Such an exciting time.  Can you tell us what you did to celebrate? 

Joan: Thank you!!  I had a live interview with blog talk radio very early in the morning, which was really fun.  Then my husband took me to breakfast at the place that has my favorite French toast and I hit a movie in the afternoon!  Then I got back to revising the book coming out in April.  It was a great day.

Now, Joan asks YOU:
Joan: If you couldn’t read romance (any subgenre) what would you read and why?


Comment below for chances at these great GIVEAWAYS!
·         A print copy of FEVER, US/Canada shipping.
·         All comments are eligible for tour grand prize of either a COLOR NOOK or KINDLE FIRE. Enter: http://joanswan.com/giveaways/blog-tour-ereader/

Can’t wait to get your hands on FEVER?  You can buy now:  Amazon| Barnes & Noble | Booksamillion

Want to learn more about Joan?  You can find here HEREWebsite | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HOPE & LAST CHANCE

LAST CHANCE BEAUTY QUEEN
Forever
ISBN: 0446576085
Gracious me, my beautiful daughter Rocky sure could use my help. I always knew she wasn't much interested in the local boys - but who'd have thought she'd come home with English royalty?
Trouble is, Hugh wants to buy some of our folks' land. We don't want to sell, but Rocky's job depends on her closing the deal. And though Hugh's obviously smitten, I'm not sure he's right for my Rocky. Oh, he's classy and handsome - and you should've seen the way he judged pies and fixed stock cars at our Watermelon Festival! - but what do we know about him, really? I know I sound like a nervous mother hen, but after forty happy years with my Elbert, all I want is to see my little girl find the same.

Well, time for me to quit chattering and get back to Miss Bray's wet set. Always nice talking to you, and remember: the Cut 'n Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.
See you real soon,
Ruby Rhodes

HOME AT LAST CHANCE
ISBN: 0446576107

You won’t believe what’s happened. My son Tulane has come back home! You remember Tulane? He’d set out to find fame and fortune in the big, wide world outside of Last Chance, and I’m mighty proud. But that’s not the half of it-Tulane isn’t only back, he’s brought a young lady with him.
Now Sarah-she does PR for Tulane’s stock-car team-she’s from Boston, but she’s just about the sweetest girl you could meet. I think she’s meant to keep Tulane out of trouble after that story in the papers, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Anyhow, the Ladies Auxiliary can’t wait to start matchmaking and introduce Sarah to our Reverend Ellis. But mark my words, Sarah is tired of being a good girl. And no one is better at breaking the rules and raising Cain than my son . . .
Listen to me going on and keeping customers waiting. I best get back to work, but you come round again. The Cut ‘n’ Curl’s got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.
See you real soon,
Ruby Rhodes
WELCOME TO LAST CHANCE
ISBN: 0446576093
Yes, our town is way off the beaten path but strange, wonderful miracles happen a lot around here.
I’ve owned the Cut ‘n Curl beauty shop for years, and I’ve seen folks come for a visit then stay for a lifetime. Take Jane—that pretty firecracker of a girl who just arrived in town. I would swear she’s running from something. She came with only five dollars in her pocket but she’s worked real hard to make a fresh start. She’s turned my son Clay’s life upside down without even realizing it.
And thank goodness for that! Every since Clay left his country western band, he’s played everything too safe. He needs to take a chance on Jane. Besides, the more he tries to keep his distance, the more he’ll realize that he and Jane are singing the same tune.
But I should quit ramblin’ and go check on Millie’s permanent wave. Next time you’re in Last Chance, be sure to swing by…we’ve got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.
See you soon,
Ruby Rhodes
HERE’S HOPE
Hope Ramsay was born in New York and grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina.  Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina.  Hope earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Buffalo, and has had various jobs working as a Congressional aide, a lobbyist, a public relations consultant, and a meeting planner.  She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart, and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes.  She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats.  She lives in Fairfax, Virginia where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar. 

HOPE, HOPE & MORE HOPE
In 2010, a group of ladies (& 1 lone guy) banded together with excitement building for two months while we waited to discover who might win a our industry unpublished's highest award: the RWA Golden Heart. Thank goodness we weren't both finalists in the same category, but we did have an additional bond: we'd both sold before the winners were announced. I thought I’d share a little of the Q&A with THE CREW (other Unsinkables) today. A wonderful special welcome to our Unsinkable sister, Hope Ramsay.
MAUREEN: What was your favorite book when you were 12?
HOPE: Jane Eyre.  Until I was 12, I read nothing but action adventure stories that were cast off from my older brothers.  One day my Aunt Annie decided that I needed something girly and she put Jane Eyre in my hands.  The rest is history as they say.  I had no idea there were books like Jane Eyre.  Jane Eyre remains my favorite book of all time.  I re-read it every few years. 

JILLIAN: Since the 2010 Golden Heart, what has been you're most rewarding publishing moment?
HOPE: The best moment was the day my first novel was available in stores -- March 1, 2011.  To my astonishment, a few weeks before my book came out I got an email from a Barns and Noble store manager in New Jersey inviting me up to participate in a multi-author book signing and book talk.  I felt so special when I walked into the store.  I met Judi McCoy that day and she was so sweet to me.  The memory is a little bittersweet now that we've all had the sad news about Judi. 
SIMONE: What inspires you daily?
HOPE: David Wilcox radio on Pandora.  
CAT: What has surprised you the most about being published?
HOPE: My biggest surprise (and the very best thing) about getting published is having a wonderful editor who makes my writing better with every book.
DONNEL: Complete this sentence.  When I want to relax, I. . .
HOPE: I play guitar.  I learned how to play when I was 13 and I'm much older than that now.  When I'm really stressed, I pick up the guitar and work on playing something complicated.  Or better yet I play and sing.  Singing for any length of time is better than a martini when it comes to adjusting my attitude. 

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
HOPE: I have a very vivid memory of reading Dick and Jane in first grade.  I don't know if that counts.  The first real, grown up, novel I ever read was John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Once I read that  one I was hooked but good and plowed through the other ten stories.  I think one of the things I loved the most about these stories was the enduring love between John Carter and Deja Thorus, Princess of Mars.  You can imagine how pumped I am that Hollywood is finally making a movie out of these wonderful books, it will be released in March of this year. 
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
HOPE: Hands down it's Beauty and the Beast.  I love stories about grace -- the act of being loved even when you don't deserve it.  The Beast is not deserving of love, and yet the heroine loves him and he is redeemed.  (I also love stories of redemption.) 
ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
HOPE: My playlists can get really long and involved because I use music as my emotional touchstone.  Right now I'm finishing up Last Chance Christmas, the fourth book in the Last Chance series that features a hero who has lost a wife and needs to learn how to love again.  So my playlist seems to be filled with songs about love lost.  Here is a small collection of the most important songs on the playlist:
I am a town, by Mary Chapin Carpenter (this song is on every Last Chance playlist)
Monday Moring Church by Alan Jackson (describes the hero's loss)
Saving Grace by Six wire (describes the way the hero and heroine save each other)
I TOOK A LISTEN TO THIS ONE AND ENDED UP WITH THE ENTIRE ALBUM !! ~A
The Longest Night by Peter Mayer (It's a holiday book -- here's a sad, but hopeful winter solstice song)
For Real by David Wilcox (This is a completely heart-wrenching song written by Bob Franke and covered amazingly by David.  When I want to get deep into my hero's head, I play this song. ) 
Love Will Find You Again by Pierce Pettis  (Sorry, I can't find a free link to this song.  But everyone needs a happy ending, and Pierce would appreciate a paid download.) 

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
HOPE: I usually read my Kindle on the treadmill at the gym.  The reading is the sugar that helps the exercise go down.  I don't have a lot of time to read and this is one way to make it happen. 
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
HOPE: Acoustic guitar being played by someone who really knows how to play.  Favorite guitar pickers:  James Taylor, David Wilcox, Eric Bibb and the incomparable Al Petteway. 
 
ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
HOPE: Fairy Tale -- always. 

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
HOPE: Tough one.  Probably To Kill a Mockingbird.   
ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
HOPE: Cruella De Vil.  OMG, talk about eeeee-vil.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: I love your LAST CHANCE titles. Have you played around with any that didn’t make it to the cover that you can share? Or maybe some titles that might inspire more stories?  
HOPE’S GOTTA ANSWER:  Oh boy.  Well, I have to say that the whole idea of adding Last Chance to every title was the publisher's idea.  The more books and stories I write the harder it's becoming to find titles that work.  I do have to say that the original title of Welcome to Last Chance, was "A Ticket to Last Chance." I loved that title because there are several people in the course of the story who buy bus tickets to Last Chance.  I also wanted a bus on the cover.  My publisher overruled me -- probably wisely. 
We really went round and round looking for a title for Home at Last Chance.  In fact in late 2010 I blogged about this problem at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, and asked for assistance in finding a title for the second book.  I got 50 comments on this post with some wonderful ideas.  You can read it here 
I came up with the title Last Chance Beauty Queen.  And the publisher told me even before I signed the contract that one of the books had to be Last Chance Christmas. 

WHERE’S HOPE?
Website   Facebook  Twitter  Blame it on the Muse & Ruby SlipperedSisterhood  


THERE’S MORE HOPE:
LAST CHANCE CHRISTMAS
October 2012
ASIN: B0076DD2B8

HOPE FOR A BOOK?
Leave a comment because Hope’s drawing for a copy of LAST CHANCE BEAUTY QUEEN. 
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join me Friday when I host Melissa Dark. And come back tomorrow when Heather hosts Joan Swan and let’s not forget Thursday when Kristina McMorris returns as Maureen’s guest. ~Angi

HOPE'S QUESTION
There are a lot of people writing romances set in small communities, even though most of us live in much more urban areas.  What is it that you like about stories set in small towns?  Do you live in a small town? What is it that you like about living there?  And if you don't live a small town, do you think you'd like living in one?  Let's dish about the appeal of small town settings in romance novels.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Get Lost with Shana Galen & "The Rogue Pirate's Bride"

Get Lost in This Story…


Revenge should be sweet, but it may cost him everything...
The Marquis de Valère escaped certain death in the French Revolution and is now an infamous privateer. Out to avenge the death of his mentor, Bastien discovers himself astonishingly out of his depth when confronted with a beautiful, daring young woman who is out for his blood...

Forgiveness is unthinkable, but it may be her only hope...
British Admiral's daughter Raeven Russell believes Bastien responsible for her fiancé's death. But once the fiery beauty crosses swords with Bastien, she's not so sure she really wants him to change his wicked ways...

Today, I am beyond thrilled to welcome historical romance author Shana Galen to the blog!  Shana writes fabulously emotional, adventurous stories that you will adore.  If you haven't gotten the chance to read one of her novels yet, you should stop right now and go pick one up!  Don't worry...we'll wait!

Okay, now that you're back, with a Shana Galen love story in hand, let's learn a little about her before we move on to her guest post and giveaway...


Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website at http://www.shanagalen.com/ or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.


Fathers Be Good to Your Daughters
By Shana Galen

First of all, I want to say thank you to all the authors at Get Lost in a Story for having me here today, especially Heather Snow, who so graciously invited me. I’m excited to be sharing February with her as a release month! Congrats on Sweet Enemy, Heather!

Like most authors, I’m a reflective person. I think a lot about everything, but especially about my books. Probably because I work on them for months and months and live with the characters daily. One thing that occurred to me about my writing, after I’d written two or three books, was that I tend to focus on relationships between fathers and daughters. Oh, I have the odd book here and there where the mother is more prominent than the father, but if you’ve read much of my work, you know the mother is often dead or secondary. It’s the father-daughter relationship where I put my focus.

It should be no surprise then that the father-daughter relationship is key in my new book The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. Raeven Russell’s mother died when she was born. If you’re one of my heroines, your mother had better beware! Raeven was raised by her father and has been sailing with him since the age of four. When the book opens, she’s nineteen and her father is an Admiral in the British Navy. Raeven respects her father, but she doesn’t always adhere to his rules. Understandably, this causes some friction in the relationship.

I enjoyed writing the character of George Russell because he’s one of those men who is gruff on the outside but very loving on the inside. He loves Raeven more than anything, though he’s not always sure how to show it.

I said earlier that I’m a reflective person, and I’ve asked myself why I focus so much on this father-daughter relationship. My mom is a wonderful person. She and I talk several times a week, and she was a great mom when I was growing up. My dad wasn’t a bad dad, but he wasn’t exactly present, either. I remember him working late and being gone most weekends, fishing or hunting or whatever he did. I don’t think it was until I was in college that he decided to have a meaningful conversation with me.

This isn’t to say that he didn’t love me. I knew he loved me and was proud of me, but I don’t think he knew how to show it. I don’t want to start practicing psychology without a license, but I suppose my interest in fictional father-daughter relationships stems from my real relationship with my father. The Rogue Pirate’s Bride is particularly special to me in this regard because, even though it’s dedicated to my mom and mother-in-law, I acknowledge my father in the back because he worked with me on a lot of the seafaring research needed for the book. I can’t tell you how much that time working together mean to me.

I thought I’d give a short excerpt from The Rogue Pirate’s Bride to illustrate Raeven and her father’s relationship.

“I don’t care if the rogue planned to assassinate the King!” Admiral Russell boomed, hands cutting the air in front of Raeven. “I don’t care if the blackguard plotted to kidnap the Regent—though we might all be better off if he did,” he muttered. “It’s no excuse for your reckless behavior. Your behavior is impulsive, undisciplined, unrestrained, un...” He gestured violently, face red, too angry to form the words.
Raeven pursed her lips and waited. “Unacceptable?” she ventured.
“Damn it, girl!” He slammed a fist down on the cherrywood desk in his cabin, sending a sextant crashing to the floor and several maps flying into the air like startled seagulls. From behind the admiral, Percy gave her a pained look. She knew what he was thinking—why did she try to help? Why did she not keep her mouth shut? There was no reasoning with her father when he was in this state. In her opinion, there was never any reasoning with him.
He shoved his palms down hard on the desk and leaned over until his face was level with hers. “Do you find this tedious, girl? Am I keeping you from another, more pressing, engagement?”
“No, but—”
“Good because you and Mr. Williams will be busy swabbing the decks and emptying the buckets all day.”
Percy closed his eyes and shuddered. It wasn’t the first time her actions had caused him grief. But she’d find a way to make it up to him. Just as soon as she had Cutlass.
“Fine, but—”
“Fine? Fine?” He was about to speak again, but before he could form the words, he erupted into a storm of hacking coughs. It was three or four minutes before he recovered, and then drawing the handkerchief from his purpling face, he wheezed, “You don’t feel even a moment’s remorse. Do you comprehend the trouble you might have gotten into? The pirate could have raped you, girl! Worse, he could have decided to have you keel hauled or flogged or—” He dissolved into another coughing spell.
“No, he couldn’t. He was too eager to be underway,” Raeven said, taking advantage of her father’s incapacitation.
“Oh, well that’s even better! At this moment you could be somewhere in the middle of the Channel with no one but Mr. Williams the wiser. That blackguard could sell you into slavery or take you to—”
“Sir.”
But he was still listing all the horrors that might have happened. Horrors of which she was well aware. Horrors she had escaped. Easily escaped, at that.
“Sir...Father!”
“What!” He stared at her, arms locked at his sides. “What have you to say for yourself?”
“He’s getting away.”

Do you ever wonder about what inspires an author or why he or she tends to write about certain topics? Does personal knowledge about the author ever lessen your enjoyment of a book? I’ll be checking in all day to read your comments. I’m also pleased to offer copies of The Rogue Pirate’s Bride to two readers who comment (U.S. and Canadian residents only).

Thanks, Shana, for visiting with us today!  And readers, don't forget to come back tomorrow when Angi hosts Hope Ramsay!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Get Lost with a Cat Burglar

Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.

Shelley is also a writer blessed with a very vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at http://www.shelleymunro.com and you might even find her lurking at Facebook http://www.facebook.com/shelleymunro or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/shelleymunro



Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her father's footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of London's most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.
Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasn't the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hot—and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eve...


CAT:  How often to you get lost in a story?
SHELLEY:  Every day! I have the luxury of being able to write full time, and since I tend to work office hours, I can lose myself in worlds of my own design. It’s my goal to read a little each day, and I like to immerse myself in books written by other authors too. After all, it was my love of reading that led me to become a writer.

CAT:  What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
SHELLEY:  I’m an equal opportunity reader. I’ll read just about anything, but I prefer to have at least a romantic subplot in my reads. At present I’m working on a historical romance with a mystery element. I’m reading a contemporary cowboy romance, and my latest release is a contemporary romantic mystery. Probably the common theme in all these stories is a mystery element with the odd body or two appearing without warning.

CAT:  What’s your favorite cartoon character?
SHELLEY:  My husband and I both enjoy watching Shaun the Sheep. He’s not really a cartoon character. He’s animated and made by the makers of Wallace and Gromit. Each show is five minutes long and we’ve watched and re-watched them. They’re very clever, and some are plain sweet. They always make us laugh.

CAT:  What was the first story you remember writing?
SHELLEY:  As a child I used to always write stories. I particularly remember one I wrote at about age thirteen. I entered a competition in a local farming magazine where we had to write about where we’d like to take a holiday. I wrote about taking a holiday in outer space. I think they expected everyone to write about a holiday destination in New Zealand, and my entry took them by surprise. They awarded me second prize.

The first story I wrote after deciding to chase publication was a romantic suspense called Lane’s Love Child. In fact, I sold the revised version of this story, which is currently available under the title Playing to Win.

CAT:  Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
SHELLEY:  When I first started writing I’d hunt my reviews down and read all of them. These days I’ll only read my reviews if they’re sent directly to my inbox. Take one book and give it to a dozen people to read. Each person will say something different about the book. Some readers might love it, others will like it, while a few might actively hate the story. Reviews are subjective, and I try to remember that. I do the best job I can while writing a story—that’s all I can do as an author.


CAT:  What color would you make the sky if it wasn’t going to be blue anymore and why?
SHELLEY:  I’d make the new sky a delicate lilac color. If it became stormy the sky could darken to a violent purple. It sounds rather pretty, don’t you think? I’d choose this color since it would still fit in with Earth’s current color scheme, and it’s my second favorite color after blue.


CAT:  If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
SHELLEY:  I know this is cheating because I’m mentioning more than one person, but I’d like to interview Agatha Christie and her two detective characters, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Really, they’re all the same person, but any hints on writing or solving a mystery would be most welcome.

CAT:  Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most?
SHELLEY:  I’m going to stay far, far away from Victorian fashions. Their corsets were laced so tight they were always fainting while their skirts were held wide by hoops. Fashionable hoops were so wide it was difficult to maneuver through doorways. None of what they wore sounds very comfortable, especially since I’m a girl who lives in T-shirts and jeans.

My husband and I have been watching the Darling Buds of May, an old English show starring David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones during her very young days. Her character Mariette wore the most wonderful dresses and hats. They’re very stylish and ladylike yet sexy too. The show is set during the 1950s.

CAT’S  GOTTA ASK
If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?

SHELLEY’S GOTTA ANSWER I’d be a blue t-shirt. Blue is my favorite color and it’s meant to be serene and relaxing. The color always makes me think of the sky on a sunny, summer day or the sea. I’ve read that if a person works in a room decorated in blue they’re more productive. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but I’d pick blue because I like it, and it matches my eyes.

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
Are you more likely to pick up a series book or do you prefer standalone stories and why?

Shelley will give away an ebook download from her backlist to one person who leaves a comment.