FULLY COMMIT to Janie Crouch's new release!

I'm pleased to welcome Harlequin Intrigue author Janie Crouch to the blog today!  Janie's got a new release out in her OMEGA SECTOR series, and it sounds fabulous!  Let's get to the good stuff :)

Janie Crouch loves to read – almost exclusively romance – and has been doing so since middle school. She cut her teeth on Harlequin (Mills & Boon) Romances when she lived in Wales, UK as a preteen, then moved on to a passion for romantic suspense as an adult. Her favorite authors include: Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, and Elizabeth Lowell.

Janie recently relocated with her husband and four children to  Germany (due to her husband's job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years.  When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and adventure (obstacle) racing. Janie completed an Ironman Triathlon in 2014.

Most of all, she loves to laugh and smile and count her blessings. And her blessings are many.

Publisher:  Harlequin Intrigue
The Texas heat did nothing to stop an elusive criminal

Omega Sector: Critical Response agent Jon Hatton is running out of options. If he doesn't get a decent lead soon, a serial rapist will strike again. His best chances lie with the intuitive skills of forensic artist Sherry Mitchell, a beautiful woman struggling with PTSD.

In exchange for her help, Jon teaches Sherry to manage her symptoms, and soon they are unable to resist their Texas-hot attraction. With Jon as her lifeline, Sherry uncovers clues that prompt a frightening message from the attacker. Jon knows Sherry's determined to help catch this criminal, but keeping her safe is his top priority. Followed by making her his bride.

Check out an excerpt!

And now for the interview!

Lara: How often to you get lost in a story?
Janie:  Usually only when I’m drunk. Or when I’ve forgotten my directions. :-)

Lara: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
Janie: I write romantic suspense, so definitely Action Adventure. Some of my favorite movies are action, with a strong romantic element. Films such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Saint, Knight and Day — love them all! (Lara: great picks!)

Lara: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
Janie: Not really a playlist, but definitely a single song. Jon and Sherry's love song?  Ed Sheeran's Teneferie Sea. (seriously, if you haven't heard it, go listen right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fktjAlczv8)

"And should this be the last thing I see
I want you to know it's enough for me
'Cause all that you are is all that I'll ever need"

I loved this song so much, and played it so often while writing FULLY COMMITTED, it got listed as part of the dedication. :-)

Lara: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Janie: Well, the Omega Sector: Critical Response group is a six book series, which has meant a lot of back-to-back writing. So for the last few months, almost as soon as I finished one book, I’ve been starting the next. But I don’t mind. That keeps them fresh in my head!

Our family loves to travel (and we live in Europe, so that works out great), so I usually save up my “hey, I finished another book!” moments to celebrate on our holidays. 

Lara: How is it working with hot guys and sexy women all day?
Janie: Well, I’m pretty sure that social services frowns on me calling my four children hot and sexy. :-)  I have learned how to write romance around the constant noise my family makes, thankfully, or I’d never get anything written. (Lara: I feel you on that one!)

As for my characters, I’m usually deep inside their own point of view when I’m writing, so they are rarely thinking of themselves as hot or sexy. But my Pinterest boards where I keep my visual musings of all my characters says something a little different.

Lara: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Janie: I can definitely say which character in FULLY COMMITTED I’d least like to invite to dinner: the serial rapist. You know, because of the serial raping. And he might try to rape my cereal. (Lara: Groan ;)

Lara: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Janie: Coffee, always. With lots of cream and sugar. Light and sweet. I drink it throughout my entire day, probably 5-6 mugs a day. 

Lara: When you sat down to start this book, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
Janie: I write romantic suspense, so the blend and balance of romance and suspense/action is always important. For every other book I've ever written, I come from the attraction/romance angle (I see in my mind two characters who are destined to fall in love with each other) then build a mystery or danger around them.

For FULLY COMMITTED I came from the other direction. I had the idea of a serial rapist and how he's eventually caught based on some research I had done, including attendance at the WRITER'S POLICE ACADEMY in 2014 (you can read about that here). Once I had the mystery element, I had to develop characters that fit into that scenario. Although I think it worked great for FULLY COMMITTED, I have gone back to creating the romantic relationship first in my other books. The attraction is always the most important part of my books to me.

Lara: How did you come up with the title of your book?
Janie: Because of scheduling, my editor and I had to come up with the title of this book before it was completely written. I very much wanted the title to be DRAWING FIRE, since the heroine is a forensic artist and I thought it was a clever play on words (she both draws and ends up drawing the attention and fury of a serial rapist). Unfortunately, there was a book releasing with a similar title too close to mine so we had to come up with something else.

TEXAS HEAT was also a finalist as a title, because, well, every book set in Texas tends to sell, and heat was a theme used throughout the book. But she and I both agreed that might be misleading to readers, because although my book is set in Corpus Christi, TX (and the heroine is a Texan, born and bred) the book is not really about Texas.

My editor ended up choosing FULLY COMMITTED because we were both concerned that this book would end up having more mystery/adventure elements than romance. She thought FULLY COMMITTED added a nice romance edge.  But then this ended up being one of my hottest books romantically, so FULLY COMMITTED was the perfect title choice! (Lara: Very cool!)

Lara: How close did the cover come to the character’s you envisioned?
Janie: Well, I’ll let you see for yourself. Here are the pictures I sent the Harlequin Art Team [attached files: Jon Hatton Board and Sherry Mitchell Board], and then you can see the cover. I think the Art Team did a fabulous job! I love, love, love this cover!

Lara’s GOTTA ASK:  What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?

Janie’s GOTTA ANSWER:  Believe it or not, I can not publicly answer that because the next five books on my list are all books I’m judging for the preliminary round of the RITA contest (the Romance Writers of America’s annual contest. Sort of the Oscars of romance novels). I am not allowed to publicly discuss those.

Beyond that, Elizabeth Heiter’s VANISHED is at the top of my TBR pile, as well as all eight segments of the TOUGH JUSTICE series (by Carla Cassidy, Tyler Anne Snell, et al). So excited to get to both of those!

Here's where you can find Janie on the web!

Contact: janiecrouch007@gmail.com
What's next?
FULLY COMMITTED is book two of the 6-book Omega Sector: Critical Response series. Book 1 SPECIAL FORCES SAVIOR is available now. Books 3 (ARMORED ATTRACTION) and 4 (MAN OF ACTION) will be available in May and June respectively. Books 5 & 6 (titles TBD) will be available in October and November.

Also, beginning January 25, I have a free DAILY ONLINE READ on Harlequin.com entitled PROTECTOR’S PROMISE. It’s a mini-chapter each day taking place between Book 1-2 of the Omega Critical Response series. You won’t want to miss it! Available each day here, starting January 25.

Janie's question for you: What are some jobs you’d like to see a romantic suspense hero or heroine work as?

Be sure to enter the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Or on my website: http://bit.ly/CrouchContest

Thanks again for stopping by, Janie! :)


Get Lost in the Victorian Era with M.K. McClintock

Regan Walker here... My guest today is MK McClintock, author of Western and Victorian historical romances. 

MK is here to answer all my questions and to tell us about her new release, Clayton’s Honor, her eighth book and the third in her British Agent series about swashbuckling heroes, courageous heroines, buried secrets and second chances. Alaina Claiborne, book one in the series, won the 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Silver Medal Book Award. Blackwood Crossing, the second in her British Agent series was a 2015 RONE Award nominee along with her short story collection, A Home for Christmas. Her popular Gallagher Series Trilogy has won the Crowned Heart for Excellence from InD’tale Magazine. MK lives and writes in Montana.

First the interview...

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

The Scarlet Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour. Andrews plays Percy who’s perceived as moronic and flamboyant, which of course is not the real “Percy.” There’s a scene in the movie where Andrews is dramatically transformed from a fancy lord to a rugged (and handsome) man of the world who saves a child. No matter how many times I see the movie, I wait with anticipation for that one moment of transformation. I love when characters are more than we originally believed.

Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?

All the time! Characters are often more important to me than the story. When there’s a strong heroine who’s a great match for the hero, then it’s easy to fall into that fantasy. When the story has some action and adventure, it’s even easier to slip into that role because I find myself thinking, “Okay, what would I do in this situation?” I’ll go so far as to picture myself riding the horse, wielding the dagger, or sitting down to dinner with the handsome hero. When all of this happens, the author has done a great job with the characters.

If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?

1880s Scotland or Montana. I love the Victorian era because there were enough modern advancements to suit me, but not so many that it was overwhelming. Times weren’t easy (far from it), but they were simpler in a way we can’t always understand. Every little thing meant more because it took so much more effort to achieve a goal.

Scotland because I love the Highlands. Okay, that’s an understatement. The first time I stepped foot on Scotland’s soil, I felt like I’d come home. Montana because I would have liked to see this magnificent land before . . . well, before what it is today. It’s still magnificent, but I believe it’s lost something that we’ll never get back. This is why I also love to write in the 1800s.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

I did in the beginning, and I’ll admit that I took each one to heart, but after book three I stopped worrying about it so much. It’s impossible to please everyone, and so long as I feel I wrote the write story in the best way I could, then I’m happy. These days, I don’t go online looking for reviews. Readers are often kind enough to send me an email when they’ve reviewed one of my books, so I’ll read those.

What three things are, at this moment, in your heroine’s purse, satchel, reticule, weapons belt or amulet bag?

Silver dagger, pendant, and a few coins.

What is your hero’s “kryptonite” – in other words, what will bring him instantly to his knees?

The love of his woman. Of course a blow to the legs would likely fell him, but mostly love. This is true of most of my heroines. They’re all strong, capable men who could live their lives quite happily without marriage, but when they meet that one right woman, they’re lives are never the same—even when they try to fight it.

What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?

A Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott (currently reading)
Evergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne
A Mountain Man’s Redemption by Christi Corbett
To Tame the Wind by Regan Walker
Witches: Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff

So now, MK has a question for all of you:

What is your favorite time period and setting for a book?

One lucky commenter will win: a copy of Clayton’s Honor (winner can choose e-book or paperback; print is limited to US shipping). 

On the wind swept shores of Ireland, a British Agent must leave behind duty to country for the sake of his honor
Anne Doyle lost her father to a foolish war and her mother to madness. Left with debt and an ancient family home, she struggles to keep the rest of her family together even as an enemy attempts to take them away. After witnessing a brutal murder, Anne must enlist aid from the only family she has left if she is to save those she loves.

Devon Clayton had no intentions of leaving behind his life of adventure and danger, but when he is charged with protecting a witness and her family, he must choose between duty to the country he serves and a woman who tests his honor and willingness to change.

Together they will discover that nothing is what it seems and that without honor, love and life are for nothing.

"A mystery entwined with an ongoing hopeful romance between Devon and Anne, Clayton's Honor is utterly enticing and captivating!"  —InD'tale Magazine

Excerpt from Chapter One…

County Wexford, Ireland—February 4, 1892

Could they hear her? If she moved deeper into the shadows, could she sneak away? If she loosened the grip on her lungs and took the deep breath she desperately needed, would they find her? The heady stench of copper filled the air of the great hall, the dank stone walls doing little to block the scent of death. The carpets beneath her slippered feet masked her first step. Back one, and then two. She ducked behind a heavy tapestry, one of the few left in the old castle. 

Masked under a cloak of clouds and desperation, she escaped out the servants’ entrance, confident that the cook and single housemaid would not see her. Wet slush and rain combined to make her retreat difficult. She could not risk discovery by hailing someone and beseeching them for a ride. Her own two feet must carry her the miles to Brannon Cottage. 

The noise of the carriage wheels competed with that of the storm, but she did not mistake the sound of the small rocks as they ground and rolled over one another. She hurried behind a nearby copse of blackthorn and waited. Lights from the carriage lanterns broke through the darkness as the conveyance approached. The man in the driver’s seat sang “She Is Far from the Land faintly heard through the wind. After he passed, Anne set one foot in front of the other and paused. Her fear overpowered her desire for warmth. She could do this. It was only four miles. 

One worn slipper almost fell from her foot when she stepped in a small slush of wet snow. Colder now, she pressed forward. One mile. Two miles. Three. She must reach him before they realized she was gone. Anne flailed and her body lurched to the ground. Her arm scraped over a sharp stone that sliced through her cloak. The faint clatter of bottles in her satchel managed to reach her ears over the harsh howl of the winds. 

Anne rose to all fours and then stopped and knelt on the sodden road, choking back a trail of tears as they coursed down her already wet skin. She tucked soaked locks of her long hair beneath her wet bonnet. Drawing on pure need, Anne pushed up from the ground and continued down the dirt road. She did not know the Brannons well. They visited Ireland once or twice a year, and yet the only person on this earth she could hope to trust was currently on holiday and using the Brannons’ cottage. Ten years had passed since she’d last seen him.  

The tidy two-story stone structure appeared as though from the fog. Soft, white flakes fell in time with her heavy breaths but lasted only the time it took for her to reach the front door.

Keep in touch with MK via her Website, Facebook, Blog and Twitter.


Get Lost in Death of an Alchemist

In Death of an Alchemist, Bianca seeks help from an alchemist who has just discovered the elixir of immortality. The next day he’s dead and his journal with the recipe is missing. When her husband falls ill to the sweating sickness and the journal mysteriously shows up at her rent, Bianca dares to hope she might save John--but at what peril?

Not a Tudor fan?

Choosing a time period or special locale matters as much to the ‘feel’ of a story as it does to an author’s comfort zone—

Part of the reason why I’ve set my Bianca Goddard mysteries in Tudor London at the end of Henry VIII’s reign, is that I’ve been reading fiction and nonfiction set in the 1500s for over twenty-five years. I never tire learning about the period. So what draws me to Tudor England?

I like that the period is far enough in the past that it isn’t familiar. Most folks don’t have a preconceived notion of what it must have been like. It lends a mysterious feel to the time and, in my mind, makes it ripe for interjecting a little creep and superstition into the mix. The majority of books about this period are centered on politics or court machinations. But I began to wonder what it must have been like for the commoners.

The Tudor era was short, lasting just over 100 years, but during that time, the Tudor monarchs changed how England was perceived by the rest of the world. It was no longer an insignificant island raising sheep under perpetually cloudy skies. This was the beginning of the modern era. This was the start of the British Empire.

Parliament was formed and the rudiments of the secret service were instituted. Henry started the Royal Navy in response to the rebel-rousing Scots and threats from France. He heavily taxed his people and conscripted them into his army and navy.

For me, Henry VIII is the most interesting Tudor monarch. Henry broke away from the power of the Vatican and effectively made himself pope of a church that he created. He dissolved the monasteries and pocketed the sale of their considerable valuables. That takes a massive ego.

And Henry certainly had one. He stood 6’2” in a country where the average height of a man was 5’7”. Ascending the throne in his youth, he was adored by his people. He was handsome, athletic, generous, and fun-loving. But by the end of his reign in 1547, he was arguably the most hated and feared of monarchs. More than 72,000 people were sent to their death under Henry. No other British monarch executed more people.

But if Henry isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other interesting characters with big personalities whose influences are still felt 500 years later. Besides Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and Elizabeth I, the period produced important literary figures--William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson; and political players--Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, and Sir Walter Raleigh, who left their mark on modern England and Western culture.

So, if you haven’t considered reading a book set in Tudor England, give it a try. You might discover a whole ‘new’ world of fascinating characters. There is someone for everyone in Tudor England.

If you could step back in time to Tudor England, which would you most want to see? 

1. A feast with Henry VIII

2. A joust

3. Elizabeth I at court

4. A play at the Globe theatre by Shakespeare

5. A stroll through the town of London

Or maybe you'd rather experience something else in the Tudor period. Please share in comments!

Mary Lawrence is a Hoosier living in Maine. Besides writing the Bianca Goddard Mysteries, she runs a small berry farm, drinks too much coffee, and tries to make her deadlines.

Contact Mary Lawrence:  Website  | Twitter | Facebook 
Buy links: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble


Sweet, Sweet Thelma

Host Angi Morgan

It's debut week for BULLETPROOF BADGE, book one in my new Texas Rangers mini-series from Harlequin Intrigue. 

In fact, I'm putting the final touches on book four. To tell you the truth, it was my first four-book mini-series and it's a little more difficult to connect four books together without forcing the reader to read all four stories. You don't want to repeat too much information for those who have read the series, but you also don't want a new reader to feel like they've missed something. 

So each of the books has it's own story-line, complete with a villain for each. There's also an over-arching bond between the men of Company F and a threat that lasts throughout the series. Each book has a distinct hero...or "book boyfriend."

February ~ Bulletproof Badge ~ Garrison
Rides a motorcycle, has two giant Labradors, looks awesome in a tux, has a twin sister, and is named after two famous Texas Rangers. He's living his father's dream. Will it become his own?

March ~ Shotgun Justice ~ Jesse
Garrison's best friend since pre-school, looks awesome in a pair of Wranglers and a T-shirt, loyal to the death, never gives up, refuses to surrender. He was dragged into law enforcement...or was he?

July ~ Gunslinger ~ Bryce
Looks great in glasses...and a sunburn. Drives a truck, loves Bush's Fried Chicken, wants his own puppy and is the son of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer. Why the Rangers instead of a rock n roll band?

August ~Hard Core Law ~ Josh
Widower, Company commander, single-father of twins, deep-thinker. Drives a truck and a sedan, works too much, takes his kids to super-pee-wee-soccer games. Loves a great shot of whiskey. He's always been a leader...so why is he waiting to find love again?

So I'm curious, what about a book makes it a keeper? Is it the hero or heroine? the villain? the story itself? Do books make it to your keeper shelf because of the author? For me it's a special mix of everything. The vulnerability of the hero, the strength of the heroine, the way they come through adversity together and find that there's no one else in the world they could have accomplished it with. 

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Do you remember heroes or the story better?


Texas Ranger Inspiration

Texas Rangers: Elite Troop
Book 1 of the White Hat Heroes

THE OLDEST Law Enforcement Agency on record in North America:
"In May, while Austin was in Mexico City, his lieutenant, Moses Morrison, used this authority to assemble a company of men to protect the Texas coast from the Tonkawa and Karankawa Indians. After returning to Texas in August of 1823, Austin asked for additional ten men to supplement Morrison's company. He called for "ten men...to act as rangers for the common defense...The wages I will give said ten men is fifteen dollars a month payable in property." These two companies are regarded as the first ancestors of the modern Texas Rangers.

The term "Texas Ranger" did not appear officially in a piece of legislation until 1874. During Austin's day, companies of men volunteered and disbanded as needed." Mike Cox, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.

Now an investigative division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, six companies of Rangers totaling no more than 150 officers cover 268,820 square miles with administrative headquarters in Austin. "The Rangers have been called one of the most effective investigative law enforcement agencies in the world."
Frontier Battalion Co. "F" in 1882 ©2009 TRHFM
ONE OF MY favorite parts of the opening in BULLETPROOF BADGE:

Garrison Travis Inspiration
The image of the dead women fixed on the back of her eyelids. Every time she blinked she saw the blood and gore. He pulled her hair to get her to move, but she was about to be terribly sick.
With blurred vision, she leaned forward and lost what little was in her stomach. The man hopped out of her way. Hearing more fighting above her head, she continued to wretch.  Someone pulled back her hair, put an arm around her waist and helped her stand. He led her off the white gravel drive. Past the man who had yanked her hair, now unconscious on the green grass. Its cool shaded lushness registered under her bare feet.
“Water?” she squeaked out. 
“Can’t help you with that,” a deep Texas twang answered. “But if you get on the back of my bike, I can keep you alive.”
As weary as she was, that popped her head up. Petrified, she connected with a pair of jade-green eyes, sandy short brown hair, and a casual self-confident smile that didn't belong in her surreal afternoon.
Gorgeous. Absolutely the type of man she wanted to be with any other time. He dangled her shoes in front of her, and she slipped them on.
The stranger held out his hand. “We really need to go now, sweetheart. You coming?”
Yes. But she didn’t think she said it out loud. She straddled the back of the motorcycle in her short skirt and heels. Two large, strong hands grabbed her thighs, pulled her closer and placed her feet on two metal rods. Her sequined skirt was up as high as it could be without revealing anything, but now wasn’t the time to care.
The motorcycle sprang to life, and her arms shot around him. There wasn’t any give to his body when her fingers locked together across his hard abs. She closed her eyes and buried her face against his black jacket. She wanted to see nothing, especially the gruesome picture the shooting had left in her mind.
The motorcycle screeched to a halt, sliding sideways in the gravel. Her rescuer slowly took off across the field, avoiding the closed front gate.
“Hold on tight.”
She didn’t think she could hold tighter until her bottom was airborne over the first incline. Had she left the safety of the house for a dangerous daredevil? Had it been safe at the house? Absolutely not. And how did she know for certain this man wasn’t a part of the…the…
Go ahead and say it. Murders! The man dressed in black had murdered two people right in front of her, then stared open-mouthed as she’d screamed. This wasn’t the killer. His dark green eyes proved that. The man she’d fought with was just as tall, but his eyes were black with hatred.
She’d never forget those eyes.
They flew over the next small hill, landing hard on both tires.
“Slow down before your kill us!” she shouted in his ear.
“Can’t. They’re following. May start shooting.”
She turned behind them, her hair whipped across her face. Sure enough, a black SUV bounced over the rolling hills of the Texas lake country. The motorcycle skidded, and she held tighter. If the men shot at them, she’d be dead. Period.
Her rescuer turned sharply, heading toward a tree line. “Where are you going?”
“Where they can’t.”

A little more about Angi.

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Where's your favorite book location?


Highlanders Times Three

Host Angi Morgan

Enchantment, Possession and Deception... Highlanders at their best. Let's give a big welcome to Madeline Martin who's made us fall in love a little more with that enchanting land of Scotland. This is her third release. You can catch more about her on previous interviews.


Add to your Goodreads Want List

The sweeping historical romance that began with Deception of a Highlander, and continued with Possession of a Highlander, reaches its dazzling conclusion in this scorcher set on the Scottish plains.

Alec MacLean returns home after a decade to find his recently deceased father has let his inheritance fall to ruin. As the new laird, it’s Alec’s responsibility to rebuild the castle and restore the lands. He must also regain the people’s trust after having abandoned them so long ago, a feat not easily done when he fears he’s plagued with the same darkness as his father. 

Celia escaped the North Berwick witch trials at a young age, surviving because of the sacrifice of her beloved caretaker. She’s made a life for herself in the wilds of Scotland where no laird rules, a life where she heals for coin, a life without love so she can never feel the hurt of loss again.

When the new laird comes back to claim his land, his determination to restore order threatens everything Celia has worked so hard to gain, especially with the undeniable attraction sizzling between them. Together, they will face all challenges, from the tangle of their own damaged pasts to the fire-fueled witch hunts sweeping the Isle of Mull. Together, they will find that he best way to overcome darkness and war is through the undeniable light of love.

MADELINE MARTIN Madeline Martin lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (AKA Oldest Minion and Youngest Minion) along with their two cats: Sketchy Cat who stares at walls and eats fuzz and Lap Cat who has a shoe fetish and enjoys Kung Pow peanuts. All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter.

Madeline graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Business Administration and works for corporate America. Her hobbies include rock climbing, running, doing crazy races (like Mud Runs and Color Runs) and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseous. She's also a history fan (really more of a full on history dork) and loves to blog about random curiosities from her research.

After living in Europe for over a decade, Madeline enjoys traveling overseas whenever she can. Her favorite place to visit thus far: Scotland.

Read a Little, Buy the Book
Where do you write?
MADELINE: I have a desk in the living room I sit at where I can keep an eye out in case the minions need anything. I very rarely write when they are awake as they very rarely don’t need me when they are. ;)

What is your favorite writing beverage or talisman?
MADELINE: Wine! Is this a trick question? ;)

Who or what or both is your inspiration?
MADELINE: The other authors I know. There is so much talent there and so much wonderful support. Someone is always available to answer questions or help share a new release. It’s the most incredible community I’ve ever belonged to and is filled with amazing people. 

What books will you be coming out with next? What kind of stories are in your head? Spill!
MADELINE: I’m starting my next series, the Broken Dolls about English noblewomen who fall from the good graces of court and get swept up into a secret spy network of women who train in an abandoned castle in Scotland.
I’m just wrapping up the first in the series (the name of the book is still undetermined) right now and anticipate getting it to beta readers today! The hero, Connor Grant, is the trainer for the Broken Dolls and also the king’s personal assassin. The heroine, Ariana Fitzroy, was an orphaned earl’s daughter who gets caught cheating at cards. Together they fight to reclaim the land Connor lost when his father was murdered.

Has there been a real person in the historical research that you have done that you found really inspiring?
MADELINE: More than I could possibly count. I have to say Ann Boleyn – she was intelligent and shrewd and got Henry VIII to fall so hard in love with her that she brought the entire religion of England to its knees. Not saying it was a good thing of her to do, but I’m definitely saying a woman with that kind of power is one I’d love to meet!

What is your favorite wine?
MADELINE: Pinot Noir. I’d love to say some really fancy brand, but I’m not really picky. Inside me, there’s the well-traveled part that is craving the wine knowledge for a deeper appreciation, but she’s always drown out by the cheap lush who is glad to be cool drinking the stuff that costs $5 a bottle. ;)

How many books are in your head right now?
MADELINE: Nine active one with a couple lingering in the background. 

ANGI: In your first interview you admitted to getting lost in a story everyday through audio books. Is there a special narrator that you adore?
MADELINE: Nope. But I will say it’s amazing how much a narrator can make a decent book amazing and how a bad one can completely ruin a good book. Fortunately there are a lot of good narrators out there.

ANGI: Hugh Jackman or Gerard Butler?
MADELINE: Hugh Jackman

ANGI: What's your most favorite thing to do in your state?
MADELINE: Go to theme parks! J We’re two hours away from Orlando, so every year I buy annual passes for the minions. The previous year was Legoland, this year was Sea World and Aquatica – and next year is Disney World. J We go so many times through the year that it’s worth it and we always have a blast!

Also the minions are well behaved. J They earn allowance through chores (they only get paid for what they do - $1 for unloading the dishwasher, $.50 for clean rooms every night, etc), so they know when we go to the parks, I’ll pay for food, but the rest is on them. When they’re allowance is gone, so too is their spending money. They know the drill now and never complain. It makes getting to go so often way more financially feasible J (and WAY less whining and meltdowns)

ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
MADELINE: Alec is one of my favorite heroes. He’s a super alpha who is really tortured by the fear he has the same kind of darkness his father possessed. I think what I love best about him is all the good inside his fear won’t let him see.

ANGI: Sand or Snow?
MADELINE: Sand (but it all needs to come off before I get in the car LOL)

ANGI: Superman or Batman?
MADELINE: Batman. (but really, I was always more into the Xmen) J

ANGI: What drinks or snacks are always on your desk when you’re writing?
MADELINE: Wine or coffee. LOL Though I try to mix some water in there at some point….

ANGI: Are you a Star Wars fan? Favorite thing about the reboot?
MADELINE: I AM! J I love strong heroines and absolutely loved the reboot as a result. The minions found it very empowering as well.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: What’s one thing from your bucket list?
MADELINE’S GOTTA ANSWER: I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to do a lot of overseas traveling and have even stayed overnight in several castles in Europe. That said, I’d love to stay overnight in an American castle and would love to do it at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

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MADELINE is giving away a signed copy of Enchantment of a Highlander to International giveaway

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MADELINE WANTS TO KNOW: When I wrote Enchantment of a Highlander, I did extensive research on herbal healing remedies used in Scotland then and how the witch trials truly went down. I love getting into historical research.
If you had to research one thing from history, what would you love to research?