Thursday, March 31, 2016

HAVE YOU HEARD A GOOD BOOK LATELY

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Hello Everyone,
Help me welcome my sweet friend Elizabeth Meyette, author of The Cavanaugh House to my blog.  Elizabeth is here to tell us a little about the process of creating and publishing The Cavanaugh House into an audiobook version. 


Elizabeth, I love having you back here. It's been so long. Why don't we start off this interview with a fun question to help my readers get to know you a little better. What are two things you would like people to know about you?
Wow, that’s an interesting question, Nancy. I’m going to by-pass the obvious about how wonderful my husband and kids and grandkids are—but they truly are! The first thing is that I am a life-long learner, and recently I learned how to self-publish the audiobook version of The Cavanaugh House. I hope your readers will celebrate with me by entering my giveaway!

Another thing I would like people to know about me is that I believe in the concept of a muse. In her TEDD talk, Elizabeth Gilbert discusses the concept of the muse or divine attendant spirit. I agree with her. Some days when I write, it’s like the words are coming from the ether, and when I read them aloud the next day, it’s like I’m reading them for the first time. I can’t take credit for all that happens when I write. I can only thank God for it.

What did it feel like to hear your words being read aloud?
I have to admit it was amazing to hear my words read by a professional actress. And the actress whom I hired, Amy McFadden, totally got the tone of my story and the personality of my heroine. She warned me that my characters’ voices would not sound like they do in my head, and she was correct. But they sounded right. She nailed it. But to hear my words converted from text to audio was amazing. In a strange way, it was affirming. I already had been affirmed by ratings, reviews and even emails from readers, but this took it to a different level. Somehow my book felt more professional. I love to listen to audiobooks, so to listen to my own was surreal—in a wonderful way.

What a wonderful experience. I would love for you take us through the process of self-publishing The Cavanaugh House.



I had already self-published The Cavanaugh House, so I knew this process would also take time and effort, not to mention a steep learning curve. I had used Amazon’s CreateSpace for self-publishing my book, so I turned to their ACX.com site to publish my audiobook. The site is full of information and guidelines that helped me through the process step by step. They also provide a contract that you and your narrator (who is called a “Producer”) agree to and list specific dates for completion of steps in the process. I like how professional and definitive the agreement was.

Fortunately, the steps for production are spelled out clearly on the ACX.com site.
1.      Confirm you own the rights
2.      Set up a profile including how you want to pay your producer
3.      Upload an audition scene
4.      Listen to auditions (such fun!)
5.      Select a narrator, sign contract
6.      Listen to the First Fifteen Minutes selection from narrator
7.      Listen to the full recording carefully
8.      Send changes to narrator (you’re allowed two revision sessions)
9.      Approve book and pay narrator (unless you choose the royalty share payment option)
10.  Wait for quality control approval from ACX and Audible
11.  Wait for ACX to upload your book to Amazon, Audible, iTunes
12.  Go viral! (I hope)

How do you decide who will narrate your audiobook? What it was like to listen to the audition tapes?
One step in the process is choosing a narrator. ACX.com has a database of over 32,000 narrators! I narrowed it down by selecting parameters such as gender, regional accent, age, etc. I posted an audition scene of about two pages. I was intentional in selecting a scene that included several characters both male and female so I could hear what each narrator did with my characters (read: babies). I was amazed at the different interpretations many of the narrators had! I was able to sort them on the site so I could go back and listen to the ones who seemed like possibilities. One narrator stood out above the rest—Amy McFadden. Amy has read over 175 books including books by Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber. She agreed to do mine and I was thrilled. When I listened to the First Fifteen Minute segment, I started to cry. I was so elated to hear my words brought to life. I think I cried through at least the first five minutes.

The process of creating and publishing my audiobook version of The Cavanaugh House has been enjoyable. Much easier than writing and publishing the book. I love listening to audiobooks, and I hope your readers will become listeners, too.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Nancy.

It was my pleasure, Elizabeth. The Cavanaugh House is a wonderful book everyone. If you haven't tried listening to a story, now is your chance. 

The Cavanaugh House audiobook is available on:

Visit Elizabeth at:






The Cavanaugh House blurb:

When Jesse Graham unlocks the door to the deserted house she inherited from her Aunt Helen, she doesn’t realize she’s unlocking secrets that had lain dormant for years. Reeling from a broken engagement to acclaimed musician Robert Cronmiller, Jesse wants to leave the city where her name is linked to his in all the society pages. Her best friend Maggie, aka Sister Angelina, convinces her to take a job at a private girls’ school in the pastoral Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Anticipating a quiet, revitalizing life in her aunt’s deserted house, Jesse is instead thrown into a maze of danger. Questions about her aunt’s death lead Jesse to investigate events surrounding it and the people involved, but she uncovers a web of deceit that reaches far beyond the occurrences of over two decades earlier. Still dejected from her broken engagement, Jesse finds it difficult to trust anyone, even her self-absorbed mother. Joe Riley is irresistible, but secrets obstruct involvement with him until Jesse can solve the secrets of the Cavanaugh House. Someone doesn’t want those secrets unearthed and will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep them hidden. 

The Cavanaugh House excerpt:

This house held secrets.  Secrets that wafted through rotting window sashes on the winter wind.  Secrets that spiders wove into webs anchored between the ceiling and walls. Secrets that scuttled on the feet of cockroaches across stained kitchen linoleum and scurried into its cracks. Secrets that peered from holes in the baseboard from glinting mouse eyes. This house held the secrets close to its bosom where they had slept for decades. No one had disturbed these secrets in all the years the house sat decaying from neglect. There was no reason to, and there was no desire.
~~~

Don't forget to enter Elizabeth's GIVEAWAY for a $25 Amazon gift card! 
   

Click to enter the GIVEAWAY

Monday, March 28, 2016

WRITING THE HISTORICAL FICTION BY BECKY LOWER, AUTHOR OF THE FORGOTTEN DEBUTANTE


 Happy Monday, Everyone!

Today, I'm turning my blog over to fellow Crimson Romance friend, Becky Lower, author of the Cotillion Ball Series.  She is revealing all that she's learned over the course of writing a huge series, mistakes and all. 

Becky, my blog is yours. Thanks so much for stopping by.



Becky Lower...


Writing The Historical Series

If I’d known when I started the Cotillion Ball Series in 2011 what I know now, I would have done things quite differently. All I knew at the time was I wanted to write about the Cotillion tradition, and I wanted a to write about a large family where each child got his or her season to find a mate. I loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, and have read and reread them multiple times. But where most novels about the Cotillion are set in England, I wanted to place mine in America. 

Those ideas led me to researching the history of the Cotillion in America. When I found out the idea of introducing young affluent ladies into society migrated to this country in 1854, I looked no further. That was my first mistake, since I hadn’t looked into the other events happening in this country in the mid 1850s. The Reluctant Debutante was born, and the book was set in New York in 1855. I named the collection of books The Cotillion Ball Series. My second mistake, since not every book focuses on a ball.

So now, with the last book in the series about to be released, I thought it would be a good time to articulate what I’ve learned, in the hopes of saving others from making the same mistakes. Here we go:

1) If your series is going to take place over a span of years as the children grow into adulthood as mine is, do some investigation of historical events first, to see if there’s a discovery, a war, a movement that you can use. I got lucky on this one, since America in the 1850s and 1860s was rife with significant events as the country was expanding to the west and also sinking into the Civil War.

2) Before you give your series a name, figure out which events you want to highlight in each book. Write a couple sentences about each book. You don’t need to be JK Rowling, with a shoebox full of notes, outlines, and research for each book. A couple of sentences–who will be the protagonist in the book, what significant event will you focus on, how will it affect the hero and heroine. I should have named my series the Fitzpatrick Family Saga instead of the Cotillion Ball Series since Book 3, Banking on Temperance, took place in St. Louis, where the second son, Basil, moved to open a branch of the family banking business. Book 7, Expressly Yours, Samantha takes place in Missouri and Kansas and centers around the Pony Express. You can’t get much further from the splendid hotel ballrooms of New York if you tried. Books 8 and 9 take place during the Civil War years, when the balls were put on hold. No Cotillions there, either.

3) Keep a Bible of names, dates, hair and eye coloring, for each character in your books. Since I’ve limited my books to basically either New York, St. Louis, and now Washington, DC, there’s some repetition in buildings, restaurants, and places, too. And, as each child marries off and starts their own families, keeping track of the children is something I could only accomplish by creating a Fitzpatrick family tree.

4) Develop strong secondary characters. I know it’s been extremely hard for me to finish this series, since I feel like I’m a part of the Fitzpatrick family. My readers have suggested I continue the stories of a couple of my characters who had cameo appearances in my early books. Julia Quinn did this with her Bridgerton series, and now the Smythe-Smith children are each getting their own story. So I may not be completely done with the series yet. 

Here’s the blurb for The Forgotten Debutante, which releases April 4.

Don’t miss the touching conclusion to the Cotillion Ball Saga!





Buy Link:AMAZON 

In 1863, America is war-weary. Fifteen-year-old Saffron Fitzpatrick, whose teenage years have been spent mourning the dead rather than dancing at her debutante ball, just wants to visit her beloved horse after being housebound due to the draft riots. A chance meeting with soldier Ezekiel Boone changes everything. 

Three years ago, Ezekiel ran away with his older brothers to join the war effort, welcoming the chance for adventure. But when all four of his brothers die at Chancellorsville, he retreats home, despondent and depending on the kindness of strangers, like Saffron, who help him on the journey. They share a wild ride and a breathless kiss, parting with fond memories. 

Fate reunites the couple three years later, and their former attraction rekindles as they discover unexpected common ground and begin to build a relationship. But though the war is over, a future together may still elude them … especially if Saffron’s older, protective brother and the U.S. Army have anything to say about it. 

Where you can find Becky Lower:

Becky Lower
Award Winning Author
Amazon Best Selling Author
Timeless Romance With Sass
www.beckylowerauthor.com
http://historyimagined.wordpress.com/

~ ~ ~

Wonderful post, Becky. Thanks again for sharing. I found similar problems with my first series. I had to come up with not only a family tree, but a 60 year timeline to keep everything straight.  I wish you the very best of sales. If anyone has a question for Becky Lower, please don't be shy. She would be honored to answer your question.

I hope everyone has a great week. Take time for yourself and read a good book. Until we meet again, be safe, and as always, be kind to one another.

Hugs to all!

Nancy C. Weeks

Monday, March 21, 2016

WELCOME INGRID HAHN, AUTHOR OF TO WIN A LADY’S HEART

 Hello Everyone!

I'm so excited to introduce to my readers a wonderful new author. Ingrid Hahn is a debut author of a Regency Historical Romance called TO WIN A LADY’S HEART. It is available today at all the best e-retailers!


Isn't Ingrid's first book cover fantastic? It makes me want to drop everything and disappear into my reading cave. Here is an excerpt of TO WIN A LADY’S HEART:

He held the bright red berries toward her. “It’s up to you to save me from my vice.”
“You don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a strawberry. A real strawberry, not preserves.”
He plucked one up by its little crown of leaves and offered it. “Well then?”
“Maybe...maybe just one.” Absently, she slid the metal base of her candle stand next to his on the shelf.
“Go on, Grace.”
“Then again.” She bit into her bottom lip. “I don’t know if I can restrain myself to only one.”
An unfortunate second interpretation of what it would be for Grace’s restraint to dissolve sent a rush of heat down to a place that needed no such coaxing.
His voice lowered, texture roughening. “I’m giving you every encouragement not to.”
“But if I start, I don’t think I can stop.”
“Funny. That’s precisely how I feel.”
~~~

Ingrid, I’m so thrilled to have you here today. To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself so my reader to get to know the person behind the writer.

This last year has been incredible! In addition to receiving my first contract with Entangled Publishing, I became a new mother in May of 2015. I have a sweet, happy, playful little boy who is the light of my life. As you can imagine, he has put a premium on my work time!

My husband (the other light of my life) and I live just outside of Washington, DC. He’s a naval architect and part of a sea shanty group—a real one, it books paying gigs. If you’re in the greater DC area and want to know more about the world of shanty singing, email me and I will give you the low down! Our life is full of joy, laughter, and fun. Oh, there are the occasional difficult moments, too. But why remember those when there are so many more good ones?

Your son is so adorable. I don't know how you can set him down long enough to write. Tell us a little bit about how you came to write TO WIN A LADY’S HEART

For quite some time I had an idea in my head about a woman who was playing, essentially, a Regency version game of hide and seek. She hides in a storeroom only to be locked inside with a man. She goes into the storeroom a single woman and walks out engaged. But I didn’t have anything more.
Also funny—I swore I’d never write a Christmas story. Looking back I have no idea why I thought I wouldn’t do one. One day, a switch flipped. I absolutely had to write a Christmas story. And it absolutely had to be my storeroom plot idea. I sat down, I wrote, I pushed myself when I got stuck, and it all came together.

The original story version was only seventeen thousand words—the length of a short story. After submitting to Entangled, they came back to me with a revise and resubmit request. They said the earl winning his reluctant fiancĂ©e’s heart was the center of the story—very true—and a great focus for a book, but that my story had too much story to be short. They asked me to make it full length and gave me one of my very favorite things in the history of my writing career to date: An absolutely wonderful revision letter. It was specific enough to be helpful and broad enough for me to still be creative and in charge of the story and characters.

The rest is history!

Check out my really cool Pinterest board full of inspiring images—but come back after you have a gander because I’m just warming up and you won’t want to miss the rest of the interview! 


I just love you story board. Since we are showing pictures, here is Ingrid's author photo. She is just adorable!


What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? In other words, what do you think drove you to complete this enormous project?

There were times I didn’t think I would make it. I was newly pregnant when I received my revise and resubmit request for Entangled—about five or six weeks. I was so painfully exhausted, I couldn’t work. In fact, I ended up being disabled by the entire first sixteen weeks. As excited as I was about my baby and about becoming a mother, it was very difficult on me psychologically not to be able to work. I slept a lot. I was very sick, but also gaining weight too quickly. My amazing husband really stepped up. He did all the household chores, cooked, cleaned—everything. Normally we share chores equally, but not in a tit for tat way—if something needs to be done, we do it and don’t keep score. I could barely fold laundry. I was in bad shape.

I hit the by-the-book first trimester mark (about fourteen weeks) and was terrified when I didn’t start immediately feeling better. Was this exhaustion and fog going to debilitate me for the rest of my life? How was I going to take care of a baby, much less ever write again?

Then I hit sixteen weeks and POOF! Like magic, I perked up. I could write again! And write I did. I buckled down and dug in. Two months later, the first draft was finished. I polished it up and sent it off.

Long story short, I was paired with an absolutely amazingly kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and savvy editor, Erin Molta. It’s been a great partnership and I can’t say enough good things about this talented and smart woman. She was an amazing guide through the editing process. Everything she suggested helped my book turn out for the better. I learned so much. I’m thrilled—thrilled!—to be working with her for two more books. I know I still have a lot to learn. I just hope I can live up to her expectations of me and make her proud to call me her author.

That is an amazing story of perseverance. I believe that is what you have to do to reach that dream just beyond your touch. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

It’s been an interesting journey.

In first grade I published a poem in my school newsletter:

Run, run.
Run like the wind.
Will you run with me?

I’m not a strong or fast reader, but I’ve always been a very devoted reader. My family prizes books and education and reading. This apple did not fall far from the tree. And what a good tree it is, too! I’m super lucky. And now that I have my own little one, I’m excited to gently guide him into reading, too. I am thrilled to be able to share with him something that has brought me such joy in my life.

In seventh grade I started keeping a diary. I haven’t for some years, maybe a decade, but I have fifty very fat volumes all filled with my own personal writing.

I probably became a writer in eighth grade. My best friend and I discovered—can you guess? Romance novels! And what was the first thing I did? Write my own stories. They might have been a little steamy. My science teacher caught me writing in class and exposed my secret to everyone. It wasn’t long before pretty much everyone in the entire school knew. At the end of the year I was voted most creative—and not because I had a knack for drawing back then!

My freshman and sophomore years in high school I would look at the class catalog every year coveting the creative writing class elective I could finally take as a junior. I studied the class book well before taking the class, imagining all the things I wanted to write.

It took a long time before really I figured out how to write fiction. Like, really figured it out. Want to know the magic formula? Sit down. Write until The End. Revise. Make writing friends. Learn to take hard critiques. Write more. My first novel was the biggest mess EVER. But it was true for me that you can’t learn to write a novel by doing anything but writing a novel!

Fun side note: my husband and I met at a bookstore where we both worked. The first floor information desk of a huge Barnes and Nobel in Seattle which, sadly, is now closed.

Ingrid, you hit the nail on the head about writing. The only thing I can add is write for yourself first. It has to bring you pleasure. I love to ask authors this next question because I love the diverse answers I receive. Do you believe writers are born or made?

We seem to have two diametrically opposite myths about writers in our culture. One group thinks writing is very easy and anyone can do it. The second thinks that you’re somehow born a special genius who has savant-like storytelling skills. Neither is true.

Writing, as well as fine arts like drawing and painting, takes study, dedication, and practice. Craft and technique can be learned. I would encourage everyone who loves to write to keep at it, even if only for themselves. Maybe you don’t need to rush to publish any more than you would take up the piano as an adult and start giving concerts if you’re not highly, highly trained and a real professional, but luckily, writing is somewhat easier than playing the piano. At least for the mortals among us.  

What is your ideal writing space? 

These days, anywhere where the baby is happily playing with the babysitter giving me the time!


This picture is of my office, where the 25% of the sweat, blood, tears, and hard work happened. Note the green walls—green is my favorite color! And I have a lot of green stuff to show for it. (Comment at my last critique group: “Two green rooms? I know you like green, but…”) Sorry for the mess, we are packing up in anticipation of staging our place for sale.

It looks like you have a little of my favorite color purple in there too. 

This second picture is where the magic happens. 


Yes, this is my shower. It’s a magic box, really. My writing routine used to be: research/do creative stuff until noon, start writing, get stuck around three in the afternoon, get in the shower and have dialogue start zipping through my mind as water pours over my head.

So funny! When I'm stuck, I brush my teeth. That mindless task helps me relax and I get the best ideas. So what moment in this journey are you most proud of?

I had a ton to learn since I first joined RWA. A ton. It sort of all came together in the last two years. I know—two years sounds like two too many. And that’s not even counting the years prior where I was absorbing information. 

Storytelling is only part of the equation. Building conflict. Sustaining conflict. Coming up with a good premise or hook. Articulating that premise or hook concisely. (It’s an art form.) Presenting oneself online to build brand. Learning the rules of craft and then learning they’re BS and breaking them. Learning about who is publishing what and why and who I might like to work with and why.

And—this is a big one for me—gaining confidence. I’m the poster child for the introverted. People routinely think I’m a snob. I’m not, I’m just shy! The first time I went to a local romance writers’ meeting, I only got as far as the door. I had so much anxiety, I had to turn around and go home again. This was after psyching myself up for months to go in the first place. After faithfully attending meetings for three years, I attend my second chapter Christmas party only to be asked by another regular meeting attendee if I was new!

So I’m proud when I can walk into a room full of writers, nerves and all, and make myself mingle. I’m proud every time I do something scary. And I don’t stop challenging myself to do things outside of my comfort zone. It’s fabulous and freeing! Still scary, but less so each time.

Now for a few giggles. There is someone you will never meet but whom you desperately need for them to know who you are. The only way to communicate with them is to send them a box with three items. What would those three items be?

That person is Jane Austen, the most brilliant writer and prose stylist to ever live (sorry Cormac McCarthy, you’re firmly in second place), and my box can travel through time. The first item I send her is a drawing of my cat—not a photograph, I don’t want to scare her. The second is a square of linen with a very faint spritz of my favorite perfume. There is nothing like scent to create and evoke memories. The last item is a box of my favorite chocolates—Fran’s—because I want her to enjoy one of my most beloved indulgences. I would love to know Jane Austen and I shared the Fran’s experience. I only hope she would enjoy it almost as much as I do.

I knew you wouldn't leave Jane Austen behind. Great answer. You’re going into battle. What are you writing, who are you fighting and what is your weapon?

I’m writing a letter to my family in case I don’t make it. However, I have a secret weapon. My voice. I start singing and bring my enemy—grammar snobs—to their knees. To get me to stop and agree never to sing again, they surrender and happily sign my peace treaty, agreeing that the purpose of language is to communicate, that grammar rules are essentially arbitrary, that not everyone needs to or should speak standard English, and that language is a living entity that changes. They put down STRUNK & WHITE and take up Steven Pinker’s SENSE OF STYLE instead.

Oh my, that is just wonderful. One more question. What is up next for you?

I’m thrilled to be continuing with the series—the Landon Sisters—that TO WIN A LADY’S HEART begins. I have a contract for two more books! Watch for TO COVET A LADY’S HEART and TO SEDUCE A LADY’S HEART, to be published with Entangled. If sales are good, there will be two more Landon Sisters books.

So give my book a try and review my book on Amazon or Goodreads! Be sure to get a legit copy—and this is true for all books—not a copy from a pirate site. Years and years of hard work goes into writing a book and most of them these days you can get for less than the price of a latte. Which one are you going to enjoy more? Hopefully, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the book! For those for whom a book is a legitimately difficult expense, use your library! I’m a huge library supporter and I hope to serve that community myself.

And if you like my book, tell your friends! Word of mouth is an extremely powerful tool for authors. I’d be over the moon and honored like you wouldn’t believe if I could continue to bring these stories and characters that I love so dearly to those who can love them as much as me.

Where can readers find out more about your book and yourself?

Book: At all fine e-retailers!


And more! Search for my name, Ingrid Hahn, or the title of my book, TO WIN A LADY’S HEART, at your favorite place to buy e-books! I’d be so honored to connect with readers on social media.

Facebook and Goodreads: Search Ingrid Hahn
Twitter: @Ingrid_Writer
Pinterest: ingridhahnwrite
Instagram: Ingrid.Hahn.Writer
~~~

It has been such a blast to finally have you on my blog, Ingrid.  I wish you the very best of sales. If anyone has a question for Ingrid Hahn, please don't be shy. She is the sweetest person and would love to answer your question.

I hope everyone has a great week. Take time for yourself and read a good book. Until we meet again, be safe, and as always, be kind to one another.

Hugs to all!

Nancy C. Weeks

Thursday, March 10, 2016

MEET ALEXIA ADAMS, AUTHOR OF HIS BILLION-DOLLAR DILEMMA

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for dropping in today. Friend and author Alexia Adams has dropped by to tell us about her sexy contemporary romance novel, His Billion-Dollar Dilemma. This charming story is on sale today--and only today. 


Welcome, Alexia! My blog is all yours...

Thank you, Nancy for hosting me on your blog today. To give you, and your readers, a little background about myself: I live near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada not too far from where I was born. Although I’ve returned to my roots, I used to travel. A lot. I’ve been around the world twice and lived in several countries, sometimes for a few months, sometimes longer. I have been in my current house for thirteen years now and it’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one spot. However, my husband is a business owner and I have four children in school so I suspect I’ll be here for a few years yet. I started to write romance novels after the birth of my fourth child when I decided to stay home rather than return to my job as a legal assistant. Writing allows me to exercise my mind and vicariously travel to all the places I’ve been before or would still like to visit. It also gives me something to think about when I sort socks and continually empty and reload the dishwasher.

I write contemporary romance novels with alpha males and the women who bring them to their knees, sometimes literally, well, as literally as fiction writing allows. I grew up reading Harlequin Presents and I guess I got hooked on the fantasy hero. But unlike those old-time Harlequin’s my heroines aren’t pretty little secretaries who stand in awe of their great bosses. The women in my novels give as good as they get. They challenge and they push for what they want, what they need, and they aren’t afraid to walk away even if it means a broken heart. Sometimes they’re wounded, as are the heroes, sometimes they’re just caught in the wrong world. But they’re always equals.

Today (and today only) my book His Billion-Dollar Dilemma is on sale for 99cents. 



This book tells the story of Simon and Helen. Simon is a corporate pirate, he buys up companies, strips them of their assets and moves on. His life is all business, until he flies to San Francisco with the intention of checking out a failing engineering company. He’s barely out of the shower before his room is invaded by a furious but oddly intriguing design engineer, Helen. She convinces him to hear a proposal to restructure the company rather than obliterate it. However their scheduled meeting goes awry and the only time they can talk is at a get-together with Helen’s friends and family. As Simon is sucked into her world and learns her secret, he has to figure out what he really wants in life—his billion-dollar company or the woman he can’t forget.





Here’s the official back cover copy:

Never judge a geek by her cover...

Simon Lamont is an ice-cold corporate pirate. He buys companies, strips them of their assets, and moves on. With money. Lots and lots of money. But when he arrives in San Francisco to acquire a floundering company and is accosted by a cute engineer with fire in her eyes, it takes all Simon has to maintain his legendary cool. 

Helen Winston has mastered hiding behind geeky clothes and an obsessive dedication to her job. So what’s with her desire for the arrogant—and sexy as sin—Simon Lamont? He may have only been wearing a towel when they met, but he’s planning to destroy her company, and Helen will do whatever it takes to change his mind. If that means becoming the sexy woman Simon didn't know he wanted, so be it. If only she wasn’t about to walk into her own trap...

And a tiny excerpt:

“Is this your latest design project?” Simon held her sketch pad in one hand, a dripping paper towel in the other.

Now would be a good time to faint, if only her body would cooperate. On the sketch pad was her doodle of a pirate, complete with eye patch and parrot on his shoulder. A pirate who bore an unmistakable likeness to Simon Lamont, minus a few teeth.

She grabbed her garbage can and relieved him of the sodden paper towel while she struggled for something to say. Thankfully, Harold had wandered across the room and was staring at a spectroscope, not listening to their conversation. “Let’s just say, that’s my new target.”

His full lips quirked upward once before he put the pad down. “I look forward to seeing how that works out.”
 ---

Thanks again for hosting me on your blog today, Nancy. And for those interested in His Billion Dollar Dilemma, it’s on sale for 99cents today (March 10) only and will go back up to $2.99 tomorrow. Here are the buy links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1X0heJi
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1TfgnpT
iBooks: http://apple.co/1VWDEL2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/HBDDKobo
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/HBDDNookBook

And if anyone would like to get in touch with me, here are my social media links, and you can sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website to get up-to-date news on sales, latest releases, contests, first look at covers and more:  

Website:  http://alexia-adams.com 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexiaAdamsAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexiaadamsauth 
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ALWAYS THE MOON: SELECTED POEMS BY LESLIE P. GARCIA


Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

Today, I'm thrilled to have back on my blog international bestselling author, Leslie P. Garcia. Here is Leslie with her two best friends.  


Leslie is one of my wonderful Crimson Romance sisters. But today, she is here to talk to us about her collection of poetry, Always the Moon. Leslie has opened herself up for us, sharing some very difficult times in her life. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

I’m so thrilled to have you here today. Leslie.  Thanks so much for stopping by. To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself so my reader to get to know the person behind the writer. 

You know, it’s one of those ironies of life that you ask me to tell about myself—because you’re highlighting my poetry collection, Always the Moon, which basically spans my life—and hopefully, talks to readers’ lives, too. A few examples:

              Remember when the shadow fell
             Along the southern edge of a pine-strewn creek,
             And made soft monsters, black-caped men?

This excerpt from “Southern Child” talks about growing up in rural Georgia, a little apart from everyone else since my father and mother were “Yankees” and not trusted much. Many of the poems are about family—some specifically inspired by my sisters or brothers, but also echoing the stories I’ve heard from other families. One of my favorite lines from the book—Children/Are always/ The universal truth—sums up why I taught for twenty plus years and why with four adult children and nine grandchildren, family is central to my life.

Tell us a little bit about how you came to write Always the Moon? By the way, that is one beautiful cover.

ON SALE February 28th through March 6th for $0.99.


Besides family, other constants in my life have been a passion for horses, trees, and the moon. Even now when I walk out and see a full moon, it stops me in my tracks. So…maybe some of my poems have the moon in them. Maybe something like this:
           
            And when the moon knifed suddenly through cloud/
            The pain made me scream, (from “Finally Unafraid”)

Completing a book is an enormous challenge. What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? In other words, what do you think drove you to complete this enormous project? 

In general, nothing has been harder than finishing books, especially since I taught until June of last year, and both my husband and I got hit by the health whammy. But most of the poems were written a long time ago—some when I was in high school. So really finding and then choosing the poems was the real challenge. I probably have a thousand, but some weren’t worthy—and some were lost. I did move numerous times, and when I was kicked out of my family for marrying someone not of my ethnicity, my father burned some. But I found most of them—the only two I hate not finding were my Lincoln poem and “Fragments are the All.”

I'm so sorry you had to go through that, Leslie. Racial prejudice, in my opinion, is one of our greatest sins. There will be no peace until we can accept each other as equals. Leslie tells us about her ordeal to be with the man she loves at the end of this interview. It made me cry. 

So, next question. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I literally always wanted to write. At six, I sold a poem to a child’s only publication and earned $1.50 (Sadly, I didn’t make any money for a looooong time after that!)  Mrs. Wheeler, my principal, posted my story “Ricky and Tricky’s Christmas” on the school board. So I actually have been a “published” writer since first grade! 

Hey, back then, $1.50 was big money in my book. I had to babysit for three hours to earn that kind of loot. :) Here's an interesting question I love asking authors. Do you believe writers are born or made? 

Born, although I believe that people can learn the craft. But a lot of the folks who “want” to write, even though they could, will never write. Born writers will write, even if it seems pointless. I used to quit writing every November for a month or two—but I couldn’t really quit for good. I also threw out my first check for a poem published nationally, because I didn’t notice at first that it was a real envelope, not a SASE, and when my first Crimson Romance editor e-mailed that Unattainable “wowed her,” I beat my desk and cursed. (I’m not a curser.) The thing is, there were attachments—and I thought she’d returned my digitally submitted manuscript. I kept asking why, if it wowed her—and then I noticed the attachments were a contract and character art sheet!

I love it! There is nothing like getting that one email that turns your world upside down and makes your dream come true. How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for a writing career? 


My family was really and truly dysfunctional. My favorite thing about being ‘weird’ is that we had an amusement park in the middle of nowhere that grew to include an African lion, jaguarondi, monkeys, snakes, and native Georgia wildlife, antique rides, and 26 horses and ponies.
Living in a collapsing antebellum with a nearby outhouse and a Civil War cemetery was…interesting, but not fun. Add being abused by the father who disowned me when my husband insisted on asking formally for my hand, losing a brother to a murderer, and hanging on to shreds of who I once was as I morphed into someone totally different, and yes—I’d say they have given me a mother lode of things to write about.

What moment in this journey are you most proud of?

There are so many moments I’m proud of, although they’re scattered through a long trajectory. (Thankfully!) Having one of my poems, “First Born,” published in McCall’s back when they took poems, then having a friend discover it on her flight to Chicago, remains very vivid.

I used to read McCall's magazine cover to cover. I bet I read First Born. 

Now for a few giggles. There is someone you will never meet but whom you desperately need for them to know who you are. The only way to communicate with them is to send them a box with three items. What would those three ideas be?  

A baseball bat, a tattered piece of poetry, and my heartfelt gratitude for giving me hope when I was a kid.

You’re going into battle. What are you writing, who are you fighting and what is your weapon? 

A horse, time to reflect about the battle, and pens. Yes, pens. Ask old William about that. I love these questions, Nancy!

And you are doing a wonderful job with them! Write a love story in eight words: 

Would you mind if I sneak in three extra words? 



From Encounters my ‘Taylor Swift’ poem, written before she was born:  “I’ve known you forever.”Yeah. Right. Tell it to the Marines.








Take all the words you need. Lovely poem. What is up next for you? 

I must start writing. I have 2 novellas planned—our Cowboy Up ‘franchise’ is another of my proudest moments, since the first 2 made me an international bestselling author. I have a romance I’d like to finish that would become the third in my Texas Heart and Soul series, a mainstream I need to move on because it’s important—a lot I need to do. I have that problem writers get hit with sometimes, where there simply isn’t a way over the wall that sprang up from nowhere. I will go on, though. I always have.

I understand that wall. I too had to take a couple months away from writing. But that is okay. One thing we both know-to-the-bone about being writers, there will be a point we have to get back to the key board because the story demands to be told. 

Where can readers find out more about your book and yourself? 

                                                               





Always the Moon is available digitally on Amazon, in print at most retailers, and goes on sale February 28th through March 6th for $0.99

And I almost forgot, I promised you the story of how I spent my wedding day, which was March 1st, 1974 in the Texas Hill Country. I met my husband when he was an illegal alien working with me on a dude ranch.  When Cruz proposed, my father and the woman who owned the ranch reported him to the Border Patrol, and my father took me to Corpus Christi where I was held for about a week on the family boat by one of my brothers and a man I found out later had been in jail for killing his own child. Anyway, after a scary escape, we married and returned to the dude ranch to find out that the border patrol had been summoned again. So the owner (who didn’t want to lose her $6.00 a week help) sent us to hide out in a large arroyo at the far end of the property. My husband chased armadillos and tried to reassure me that the BP wouldn’t really find us, but there was no romantic interlude—we were just too worried that we might literally have to head for the hills!

Wow, what an incredible story. I know it is something you could never write, but someone should. You are a very brave woman, Leslie.

Nancy, thank you so much for this entertaining chance to talk to you and your readers about Always the Moon, a book I put out there with love and hope others will find ‘life words’ that touch them in special ways. I’ve had fun!

It was wonderful getting to know you a little better. I can't thank you enough for giving us such a heartfelt interview. Your experiences throughout your life has made you into an amazing woman. I wish you all the very best in sales for Always the Moon. If anyone has a question for Leslie P. Garcia or me, please don't be shy. Ask away!!! We love interacting with our readers. You can leave a comment by clinking on the tiny pencil below. If that gives you trouble, just leave me a comment by clicking on the CONTACT ME icon at the top of my blog. 

I hope everyone has a great week. Until we meet again, be kind to one another.

Hugs to all,

Nancy C. Weeks