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Category Archives: Featured Author Friday

Featured Author Friday – Kelsey Browning

featured author friday

Welcome back to Featured Author Friday! There was a bit of a delay in getting this one launched because my next guest author has been busy gallivanting the countryside with her writer cohort in crime on a Free Little Library Book Tour” So I wanted to give her some time to get home and (hopefully) put her feet up for a little while 😉 Please welcome Kelsey Browning! I discovered Kelsey through one of my other favorite authors, Jamie Farrell, when she posted about Kelsey’s new release on her facebook. The description intrigued me and before long, I had one-clicked away and added her books to Mt TBR! Her books are described as Sassy, sexy and sweet romances set in Texas (and of course, what kind you expect from an author who wears such awesome cowboy boots!)

kelsey browningDee: What has been your favorite book to write so far?
Kelsey: That’s like asking which of my children is my fave. Oh, wait a minute, I only have one kid! 😉 Personal Assets was the first book I wrote from start to finish, and so it has a very special place in my heart. It did go through extensive content edits when it was acquired by Carina Press, and those edits taught me a ton. But as far as sheer fun, I’d have to say Designed for Love. I knew I would revisit Ashton Davenport and her wily little dog, Napoleon, in that story. Interestingly enough, the Texas Nights series was originally supposed to be only three books until I wrote Ashton into Running the Red Light. But once I wrote her as the antagonist of that story, I knew she needed one of her own! I had a ton of fun using Napoleon to torture Ashton’s love interest, Mac.

Dee: Who would you say your biggest writing influence is?
Kelsey: You ask the hard questions, don’t you? I think that’s changed over the years as I grow and change as a writer. When I started out, I probably would’ve told you I wanted to be Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Jennifer Crusie when I grew up. I kinda still do, but I read all over the place—from thrillers to nonfiction—to get inspiration these days. Especially since being an author isn’t just about writing anymore. In publishing now, you have to be an entrepreneur too. So I look to people like Dan Blank, Joanna Penn and other author-entrepreneurs for inspiration.

Dee: What is best writing advice you can give?
Kelsey: Just do it. Yeah, I know, people hate to hear that. But it’s true. Believe me, I’m one of those writers who has studied. I’m always looking for something that will make me a better writer. But at the end of the day (or in my case, at the beginning), you have to put words on the page. Fear will try to stop you (Steven Pressfield is brilliant at talking about resistance. Writers, read The Art of War for Writers stat). I’ve written well over 10 books and that fear plops down on me almost every time I sit down to write. Do it anyway.

Dee: If you could cast your book as a movie, which book would it be and who would have the starring roles?
Kelsey: Nancy Naigle and I would love, love, love to see The Granny Series books (Southern, humorous women’s fiction) made into movies. We say these gals are just like Dirty Harry, only over-50, female, and from the South. Early on, I was told my writing was too “over the top,” meaning I wrote crazy scenarios. Well, when it comes to our Granny Series characters—Lil, Maggie, Sera, and Abby Ruth—we can let our OTT freak flag fly! Hmm…so who would I cast for these roles…
Lillian – Annette Bening
Maggie – gosh, Maggie’s hard for some reason. Maybe a Sigourney Weaver/Melissa McCarthy mix
Sera – Michelle Pfeifer
Abby Ruth – a Jamie Lee Curtis/Jane Lynch combo

Dee: If you were a character from the Wizard of Oz – which one would you pick and why?
Kelsey: Well, I played the wicked stepmother in my fourth grade class’s production of Cinderella. But I was seriously typecast. 😉 That being said, I’d have a heckuva lot of fun playing the Wicked Witch of the West. I want to be one of those people who loves being nice and sweet like Glinda. But in reality, my finely honed sense of snark just won’t allow me to be that way. What can I say? It’s just too damned fun to be the bad girl. 🙂

Find Kelsey on Social Media
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

Buy Kelsey’s Books
Texas Nights
Personal Assets (Texas Nights Book 1)
Running the Red Light (Texas Nights Book 2)
Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights Book 3)
Designed for Love (Texas Nights Book 4)

By Invitation Only
Amazed by You: a contemporary holiday romance (By Invitation Only Book 1)

The Granny series (with Nancy Naigle)
IN FOR A PENNY (The Granny Series Book 1)
FIT TO BE TIED (The Granny Series Book 2)
In High Cotton (The Granny Series Book 3)
Always On My Mind: A Jenny and Teague Novella (The Granny Series Book 1)

And it wouldn’t be Featured Author Friday without a giveaway – so comment below for a chance to win a Kelsey Browning book of your choice. Entries will be open until Friday May 29th!

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Featured Author Friday

 

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Featured Author Friday – Rosalind James

featured author friday

Welcome to the second installment in Featured Author Friday. Today, I’m happy to feature Rosalind James. I’ve been reading Rosalind’s stuff for nearly three years after helping to do a cover reveal for one of her books on my blog. Her cover art caught my eye because of how simple and gorgeous it is, as well as how unique her voice was at the time. Her first series (Escape to New Zealand) was based around the All Black Rugby Team (just google them doing the Haka – a Maori traditional dance – prior to their games). She has since written another series featuring siblings based in California and her newest series will be published by Montlake Romance (one of the Amazon imprints) later on this year. On top of that, the audiobook of her first New Zealand book was just nominated for an Audie in the Romance category (for best romance audiobook of the year). I hope you like her stuff as much as I do!

RosalindInterview with Rosalind

Dee: I LOVE the titles of your books – how did you come up with them?
Rosalind: I love ironic titles. At first, my first book, JUST THIS ONCE (Escape to New Zealand) was going to be called “Rescue Me” (because Hannah keeps telling Drew she doesn’t need to be rescued), but then Rachel Gibson published a new book called…yep, “Rescue Me.” And since I’d written a sports romance and that’s what she’s known for, that ws a clear no-go zone. I had written a second book, and I knew it was going to be called JUST GOOD FRIENDS, and I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be cool if they all had “Just” titles—and were all ironic? So that’s where that one came from. And the series title, “Escape to New Zealand”—that one, I’m really proud of. My first two books were about women who escaped their lives and started over in New Zealand, and I felt like that was what the country had done for me. Beyond that, I just…don’t know. I figure it out when I’m most of the way done with the book, because the title has to fit the “feel” and mood of the book. Except NOTHING PERSONAL. I came up with that long before I even started writing. It came from that “The Godfather” thing: “It’s not personal, it’s business.” It’s a book about a business relationship, a somewhat insulting situation that’s foisted on the hero, that’s supposed to be “nothing personal.” Needless to say, it gets very personal! (Including in the conference room. Probably the steamiest scene I’ve ever written.)

Dee: How do you manage to divide your time between writing and all the other stuff you have to do to find readers and let people know about your books?
Rosalind: Man, that’s the $64,000 question! It can be hard sometimes. I got lucky early on with a free offer one week in that resulted in 2,000 books sold my first month, and another free offer four months in (plus a shout-out from the fabulous DEE—really. It gave me a big boost) that took me to the next level, with 20,000 books sold that month. And then I think word of mouth did a lot of marketing for me, so I wasn’t in the position of having to try to build from scratch. Nowadays, I admit that I don’t do as much marketing as some authors—or as much as I should, but once I’m writing a book, I just want to be doing that. I have an assistant who schedules promotions for me, thank goodness. Other than that–I generally have a really broad idea of where I want to be strategically, and then I try to follow the 80/20 rule: do the 20% of things that will give me the 80% of results. I enjoy interacting with readers on Facebook and so forth, and I’ll admit to a bias toward doing things I enjoy. But I’ve never chased Goodreads groups, spent time trying to connect with bloggers I don’t know, or the like—the really time-intensive stuff, mostly because I’m shy and hate the idea of poking around at somebody who isn’t interested. Shudder

Dee: If you weren’t writing romance, what would you write?
Rosalind: Well, I’ve started writing real-deal romantic suspense, and I’m loving that (I’ve written a couple of books with mystery/suspense elements, and now I’ve got a brand-new romantic suspense series for Montlake Romance), so perhaps thrillers? Not women’s fiction, even though I think I have quite a few readers who enjoy that genre most–I love the happy ending too much! What I love about romance is that it can deal with all kinds of love: not just lovers, but husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers, friends, even love of place and of country, which is something I write quite a bit about. It also catches people at those pivotal moments in their lives when they are making the big decisions—it’s a way to write about both two individuals’ and a couple’s journey. I love writing from the man’s point of view as well as the woman’s, too, and romance is the place where you can most easily do that. And I love to write sex, but I can’t do it until my couple is in love and knows each other well—which leaves out erotica, darn it. I guess we’d say I’m stuck!

Dee: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Rosalind: Oh, lots of stuff is real life. My first book, JUST THIS ONCE, is pretty well autobiographical. (They say “write what you know,” so…) Some people have said that Hannah is “annoying.” I never realized how annoying I am, apparently! Some people have also said that my first hero, Drew, is too good to be true, and I laugh, because I took so much of Drew straight from my husband. (Who sadly is NOT the captain of the All Blacks, however.) The opening scene, where Hannah almost drowns in a rip, is based on something that happened to me in New Zealand. My new series (Paradise, Idaho) as well as my book WELCOME TO PARADISE, are set in the Idaho town where I grew up. And everyplace I talk about in the New Zealand series is someplace I visited. It’s so much fun to write about my characters doing some of the fun things I’ve done. Emotionally, too: many of the emotional situations are either situations I’ve been in, or are heavily influenced by something I went through myself. It has to resonate with me to resonate with readers, I think. Plus, I’ve always said I don’t have that much imagination, and it’s true. You know how authors are always saying they have hundreds of ideas stuffed in a file? I’ve had 14 ideas. Well, 16. The 14 books I’ve written so far, and the next two coming up!

Dee: Dog or Cat?
Rosalind: Dog all the way. (Don’t hate me, cat people! I’m allergic.) I used to foster Labrador Retrievers, and now I just have one: the one I couldn’t give up. His name is Charlie, and he’s my writing partner and a total goof. He’s 11 years old and 85 pounds of lovable fun.

Find Rosalind on Social Media
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Buy Links for Rosalind’s Books
Escape from New Zealand
Just For You (Escape to New Zealand)
Just This Once (Escape to New Zealand Book 1) (Currently Free)
Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2)
Just For Now (Escape to New Zealand Book 3)
Just for Fun (Escape to New Zealand Book 4)
Just My Luck (Escape to New Zealand Book 5)
Just Not Mine (Escape to New Zealand Book 6)
Just Once More (Escape to New Zealand Book 7)
Escape To New Zealand Boxed Set (Books 1-3)
Sweet Talk Boxed Set (Ten NEW Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes Research plus BONUS Novel) (Currently Available for Pre-Order – Release Date – May 1, 2015)

The Kincaids
Welcome to Paradise (The Kincaids Book 1)
Nothing Personal (The Kincaids Book 2)
Asking for Trouble (The Kincaids Book 3)

Paradise, Idaho
Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho) (Currently Available for Pre-Order – Release Date – June 16, 2015)

And because it wouldn’t be an interview without a giveaway – I’m gifting one lucky commenter an ebook choice of one of Rosalind’s books (must be able to accept gifts from Amazon). Please make sure you leave your email address in the comments. The giveaway will close next Friday (the 24th of April)

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Featured Author Friday

 

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Featured Author Friday – Jamie Farrell

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I’m so excited to have Jamie Farrell as my first author for my Featured Author Friday. Over the last two years, I’ve not only had the chance to get to read all of Jamie’s books, but also gotten to know her as a friend. I found out about Jamie’s writing through my college roommate, Jen, who knew her when they were stationed together as military wives. One of the things I love the most about her writing is her wacky sense of humor (which also occurs in real-life – I mean, how many people do you know would read the world Buffaloaf as Butt-loaf in the middle of a restaurant!).

jamieInterview with Jamie

Dee: Are you a writer that likes to plan and outline or do you have more of a ‘let it flow’ style?
Jamie: My voice is most raw and true when I just let it flow, but I’m not a natural plotter, so I tend to write myself into corners from time to time. I’ll have an idea of a plot point or two, and I’ll know a few things about my characters, but they tell me things in that first draft I never dreamed would happen. This also means that I do a lot of re-writing to get all the kinks worked out (because sometimes rainbow-spouting were-dragons appear randomly in that first draft of my feel-good contemporary romances, and those need to be edited out, sadly enough).

Dee: Are you working on another book right now? What is your writing schedule like? Do you write everyday or when you feel like it?
Jamie: I’m currently working on two books. One is a novella in the Officers’ Ex-Wives Club series, which will appear in the Small Town Summer anthology coming in July. The other is The Battle of The Boyfriends, the second book in my Misfit Brides of Bliss series.

I try to get up at 4 AM to write every day before my kids are up, except for weekends, and I will also sneak away to a coffee shop for a Sunday afternoon writing session at every opportunity. With three kids between 2 and 7 years old, and with the number of snow days, sick days, and weather-induced school delays, this has been a tough winter. But I still make progress, even when it’s slow. The business side of writing takes a good bit of time too!

Dee: Do you remember the first romance novel you ever read?
Jamie: Compared to my colleagues who were sneaking their moms’ Harlequins at young ages, I came “late” to the genre. I fell in love with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series in late college, and one afternoon, browsing the book store, I stumbled across a little sign that said, “If you like Janet Evanovich, you should try Jennifer Crusie!” I think my first true romance was Getting Rid of Bradley. I discovered Susan Andersen’s Marine series soon thereafter, and I was totally hooked.

Dee: What do you do when you get stuck on a scene or a storyline?
Jamie: I sleep on it, or sometimes I’ll take a shower. Showertime is thinking cap time. I like to play the “what if?” game, imagining various possibilities for what could happen, or I’ll analyze if my characters are properly motivated and defined. I’ll often discover I don’t know my characters well enough, so I’ll dig a little deeper into who they are and what makes them tick. If those tricks don’t work, I pick up the phone and I call Maria Geraci or Kelsey Browning. They’re my critique partners, and they always bring a fresh perspective and help me see things that I can’t, either because I’m looking at the story sideways or because I’m too close to see the big picture.

Dee: Chocolate or Bacon?
Jamie: GAH! Seriously? This is the meanest question ever!!! I love them both! Can I pick chocolate-covered bacon? No? Sheesh, Dee, you drive a hard interview. 😉 Okay. If I have to pick, I’ll take bacon, but only because nutritionally speaking, it’s both protein and fat, whereas the chocolate is mostly sugar. (grumble, grumble) (Also, *sob*! I think this means I’m finally admitting to being a responsible adult.)

Find Jamie on Social Media:
Website
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter

Buy Links for Jamie’s Books:
Southern Fried Blues (The Officers’ Ex-Wives Club Book 1)
Mr. Good Enough
The Husband Games (Misfit Brides of Bliss Book 1)
Smittened (Misfit Brides of Bliss)

And because it wouldn’t be an interview without a giveaway – I’m gifting one lucky commenter an ebook choice of one of Jamie’s books (must be able to accept gifts from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble) or a print copy of Mr Good Enough. Please make sure you leave your email address in the comments. The giveaway will close next Friday (the 10th of April)

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Featured Author Friday

 

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Featured Author Friday – What Is It?

featured author friday

Featured Author Friday

One of the things I love the most about my blog is the wide variety of new authors that I have been introduced to. These new discoveries have come from friends, from Goodreads (or Amazon) and review requests. Today (November 6), I was thanked by a friend on Amazon for recommending an author to them that I had discovered (the fabulous Kelsey Browning).

So what better way to celebrate these authors that I love, than by starting a new feature about these authors. Every couple of weeks, I’ll post a new featured author on Friday, making that day Featured Author Friday. In this feature, I’ll talk about how I found the author, what I love about their writing and if they are available, a short Q&A with them.

My criteria for this feature is simple, an author that I have read at least 2 books by (no time limit on when the books were read); I need to have rated the books 3.5 stars (or higher) and I need to have recommended the author to at least 1 person recently.

I hope you enjoy the feature and find some new authors to enjoy.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Featured Author Friday