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October 24th, 2012

I’ve been tagged by the talented Diane Craver for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. We’re going to hop from blog to blog to discover exciting books we might not have heard about or that are still WIPs. This is Week 18. The hop rules require me to answer 10 predetermined questions, and then at the bottom of my post, I’ve listed authors who will answer the same ten questions on their blogs next Wednesday. So, let’s get started.

What is the working title of your book?
Light of the Heart (Sterling Lakes Book One) and I am currently finishing Book Five, Reflections of the Heart.

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Growing up in a small New England town, I loved the experience of living in a community. I realized it would be interesting to share that viewpoint, and explore all it demonstrated about human nature.

What genre does your book fall under?

Light of the Heart is an Inspirational Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Reese Witherspoon would be able to play Cascade Preston. She has the strength of character and vulnerability that Cascade demonstrates. For Dan McQuay, I would have to go with Rob Lowe.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Stained-glass artist  Cascade Preston has overcome a dark childhood, deeply shadowed by domestic violence, in the town of Sterling Lakes…but when she is approached to design the new windows for the town church, she has to decide if she is going to live in the shadows of the past or if her faith will carry her to the light of tomorrow.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am happy to say it has been published by Writer’s Exchange Publishing (www.writers-exchange.com). In fact, they will be publishing all nine books in the Sterling Lakes Series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This story was waiting to get out; I completed it in 3 months. At the same time, I was basically writing the story arc for the series. The first 3 books deal with themes of the past, the next 3 deal with themes of the present and the final 3 address theme about the future. In a heartwarming, fun way.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s similar to series books by other Inspirational romance writers in that it has three main characters instead of two: the hero, the heroine and God. Janelle Burnham, Tracie Peterson, Gayle Stattler and Lena Nelson Dooley come to mind as writing similar Inspirational romances.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
When I witness struggles that people go through in their lives, some at a very tender early age, it seems that faith in God keeps them going. To explore in writing how folks find strength in adversity felt natural to me. That spirit came from the loving example of my parents, who found joy in every day, who led by an example of love and who knew the true meaning of sacrifice. They gave everything to each other, to their family, their community, their country and their God.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At some point in our lives, we each face a moment of truth, a moment that will forever change the direction of our lives. The courage to make such a profound decision, like the one facing Cascade, rests on our shoulders as individuals – but we do not make that decision alone. God is always there with us, whether we admit that or not. Do you take the leap of faith and trust God? Do you have the courage to try and love again? Do you listen to what God is telling you? Or do you hang on to what you think is the truth? Maybe Cascade’s childhood memories aren’t entirely accurate…and she has to learn the real truth now as an adult.

Also, readers will find the supporting characters interesting and fun. They’ll like the settings and I think the dialogue as well, and they’ll relate to the way the characters evolve and change, developing  throughout the course of the book. All this will be very warm and satisfying – I hope!  Most of all, the romance between Dan and Cascade is a believable, exhilirating roller-coaster ride!

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing.

Regan Taylor

Suzie Carr

Nike Chilleme

Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

Christine London

Thanks to everyone for visiting, to Diane for tagging me and my five author friends above for joining the Hop!

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Today I am so very thrilled to have Regan Taylor visiting my blog! She is the heart and soul of a romance writer…and so, so much more! Welcome, wonderful Regan Taylor!

One of the best things about writing is you get to create the ending you wish could our would happen in a real life situation.  Another is that our characters can say the things we wish we could but for whatever reason, we can’t. Know what I mean? Some of the things my characters have said are:

In WITH ALL DISPATCH Molly Tanner has woken up to find her roommate is disappeared, apparently traveled back in time:

“Not that anyone has time to pack before time traveling.” Molly laughed, just short of hysterical. “Right. Like I have so much experience with time travel. Let’s see what or who I know who’s done it? There’s Black Eagle coming here. And then there’s Black Eagle going back to his home and yup, that’s a lot of experience you have there, Molly. You’re a virtual expert. Yup, and going a little bonkers here talking to yourself.”

In WORLD IN HER HANDS Sarah Dinetti has Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous and when she confides in her friend, Jan, hears about it she says:

“Well color me relieved. Seriously, Sarah, it’s time to let that chapter end. He’s dead weight in your life. It’s not like you even really have a relationship with him. He’s just there in your life, sponging off you. Cut him loose and look for some fresh meat. And even if the brother didn’t ask for your number, why don’t you get his? Call him and ask him for coffee or sex or something.”

And, in MISTAKEN BRIDE, Kendrick says the one thing I like hearing from my own Mr. Tall and Gorgeous:

“Oh yeah, she’s the one all right. She’s definitely the one I want.”

What is the most memorable line you’ve read from a character in a favorite book?

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, visiting Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

 

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr –

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck – http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen –http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor – http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies – www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews – https://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones – lynnhones.wordpress.com

This week you can find me visiting with the fabulous Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

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It’s week two of the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour. Nine fabulous authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. It’s a chance to meet great authors and discover exciting new books. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – I’ll leave it for you to discover whose blog is featured – with more prizes to come at the end of the tour. What will the big prize be – a Kindle, a hefty gift certificate, a unique needlepoint Kindle cover? Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner! Today I am thrilled that author Corinne Davies is visiting. Welcome!

Hi everyone and welcome to the second week of the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour. I’m Corinne Davies and I first off want to give Regina a BIG thank you for hosting me here today!
 
One of the things that drew me to this blog hop is that we all write a variety of genres. Touring around the blogs on this tour you get to experience a wide variety of styles and perhaps find something new to tempt you.
 
 It’s very easy to get lodged into reading the same genre. I associate it to drinking wine, (like, I do most things in life LOL). You might love Cabernet Sauvignon and experimenting with one from a different country is fun but every once in a while it’s a nice to have a big rich Shiraz or really shake things up and go for a  Gewürztraminer. You never know when you might find a new favourite.
 
When I started writing I really didn’t have a genre in mind. I started writing and let the characters dictate where they belonged. Because of that, I have a variety of genres in my portfolio that, coincidentally, they reflect my reading habits as well. 
 
The Believing series were my first two books and they’re heavily influenced by my love of Greek mythology. I had a great time working in some of the lesser known or recognized gods and goddess from the Parthenon.
 
Then I tried my hand at a classic romance with Haunted Hearts. I originally planned that Mac and Gwen would have a third. As I started writing, I realized that they were only interested in each other. My obsession with ghosts and ghost stories heavily influenced some of the situations that they faced.
 
          Then came, Steampunked Lust. I’m not sure if you are familiar with Steampunk but think of it as all the glamour of the Regency/Victorian time period with advanced technology. This style/genre has always fascinated me and in the world I’ve been creating the skies over the Atlantic ocean are ruled by pirates and their flying ships. William Wallace was never killed and the New World battle the Old World for moral superiority.
 
          Then while hiking through Algonquin Park one day, I discovered Ecstasy Lake, a small tourist town in Northern Ontario that is home to a variety of shape shifters and other magical beings. 
I’ve loved getting to know the inhabitants of this small town who are free to live their ménage relationships. (Which is why someone keeps vandalizing the sign outside of town by painting a 3x over Ecstasy.) Ever since I was a kid, I loved the idea of being able to shape shift into an animal. Writing stories about werewolves and tigers and bears, (Oh my! ) I get to live that existence vicariously through my characters.  
 
          And that is a little peek into the genres I have found myself playing in. I’m always on the lookout for a new favourite book, to enjoy along with a new favorite wine, of course 😉 I’ve found a few with the great authors that I’m sharing this blog tour with.
 
 
Excerpt from Believing is Seeing.
 
“Pasithea…”
“That’s not my name. It’s Amy or Amaryllis.” If her dream kept going this way, she wanted to hear her own name, not that of a long gone goddess.
 “Little flower, one would never be enough for you.”
Amy stood between the two men feeling petite. At five foot ten, she hadn’t experienced such an unusual feeling before. The hands on her shoulders gently kneaded, as another pair slid over her ribs and down her back in soothing circles. Sighing she could feel the anger and sadness drain out of her. The winds calmed down and the clouds dissipated until it seemed as though the storm had never happened. Color flooded back into the world around them, seeming so much more intense after her eyes had become accustomed to the gray.
She would have commented on the weather, but when she lifted her face and opened her mouth to talk, a pair of lips gently brushed against her own. “Let us take care of you.”
“This is a dream.” The thought floated down to subdue the rising nervousness.
“If you would just believe, it could be so much more,” Hypnos gently kissed her shoulder, his words a soft caress against the sensitive skin under her ear.
“But, I don’t know where to start.”
“Then look at me, Amy.” A finger pressed gently on the underside of her chin tilting her head. She looked over her shoulder and up into Death’s warm chestnut eyes. Hypnos took advantage of her arched neck to slide his satiny lips along it.
“A life time ago, you called us Nos and Than. Why don’t you start there?
 

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It’s a joy to welcome author Ann Tracy Marr today!   I am convinced you’ll be as enthralled as I was when you hear about “To His Mistress”, one of her romances. Welcome!

Thank you to Regina Andrews for offering me this spot in her Blog-String Fest. I like meeting people and consider this a great opportunity to do so. I assume you are a mix of writers and readers (as if writers don’t read). How shall I virtually bend your ears? Would you like to know how I conceived the plot of To His Mistress, one of my books?

I started with the hero, Alexander Stanton, the Earl of Shelton. He lives in England in 1814 when women wear romantic long gowns and unromantic corsets. Gentlemen gamble, ride horses, and have mistresses, as in prostitutes, to take care of their, ahem, needs. Prostitutes are for fun, not marriage.

That is how I began. Shelton has lots of experience with women, all of the whorish persuasion. Ladies — sisters, mothers, friends’ sisters and mothers — are set on a pedestal. Shelton stays far away from them because one step wrong and you end up married to them. Ladies are strictly chaperoned. They probably haven’t been kissed; God forbid some guy has touched them other than on the hand. They are to be as pure (and as sexually ignorant) as the white dresses they wear. Shelton has a mother and a budding desire to marry Lady Clarissa, daughter of another earl. He hasn’t done anything about it yet, because Shelton doesn’t really want to get married, but Clarissa looks pretty good.

Staying at an inn (think hotel off the interstate), Shelton goes to his room and finds a female in his bed. Like the guy on that TV commercial for Caesar’s Palace, he thinks he has gotten lucky, and wakes her up. Instead of snuggling, the female (her name is Katherine) screams, bringing her uncle on the scene. Uncle makes such a fuss he wakes the house and creates a scandal.

“Have you hear the latest scandal?” Gossipy old ladies will twitter. Everyone will have a field day talking about him. Laughing at him. You don’t think Shelton will like that, do you? Especially when it turns out that screaming meemie Katherine is not a whore; Uncle is a baron, there is no money to boast of, but she is still a lady, as in a never been kissed, stay away from or else you’ll end up married to her lady.

And that is what happens. Shelton has to marry her.

This is a pretty standard setup for a Regency — the forced marriage. What I did differently is that Shelton remains convinced Katherine is the next best thing to a whore. Her background isn’t distinguished; her uncle skates on the rim of disreputable. Not Katherine, but her uncle. Katherine is a perfectly nice, should be on a pedestal girl, but not to Shelton. Her uncle made such a vulgar stink at the inn, Shelton is sure it was deliberate. Katherine set him up, took advantage, forced him to marry her. Of course, she did it for his money. He doesn’t get happy with the marriage; he doesn’t fall in love and decide they can live happily ever after.

No, he wants a divorce. Then he can have the best of all possible worlds: marry rich Lady Clarissa and make Katherine his mistress. With all the Regencies I have read, I have never seen that plot.

Part of what is unique to the plot is the way Shelton treats Katherine. Remember, ladies and mistresses are not treated the same. A hero can slap a whore without the reader batting an eye, but he can’t raise a finger to a lady. Don’t swear in front of a lady, don’t stare at her breasts. Treat her like a nun or precious Waterford crystal. Have fun with the mistress — have lots of hot, steamy sex, don’t mind your tongue, relax and enjoy.

Shelton treats Katherine like a mistress. He plays with her body, acts out fantasies, and insults her, paying her back for tricking him into marriage. For the first part of the book, he is the villain. It isn’t until Katherine begins to understand the man that the reader begins to see that Shelton can be a hero. You are cheering for Katherine to win and she insists that you include Shelton in your prayers.

The result is a Regency that veers in a different direction. If you thirst for reality in books, Shelton and Katherine fill the bill. The characters are real people in a realistic situation fueled by misconceptions that fit their personal bugaboos. To satisfy those who want a little fantasy with their story, I incorporated two magicians — Shelton’s not-so-fond Mama and her butler — wagering on the success of the marriage. No spells barred, they do what they can to influence Katherine and Shelton, but they do it so subtly, you can read the book again and again without identifying the magical twists (or misidentify twists as magical).

Through it all, Shelton stubbornly insists on divorce. Oh, yes, Shelton is stubborn. He gets that trait from my husband.

When he can no longer deny that Katherine is a dyed in the wool lady — when he has to admit that he should not have treated her like a whore — Shelton has dug a pit so deep he might never manage to crawl out. How many times has a man you know done the same?

~~~
Ann Tracy Marr writes fantasy Regency romance. To His Mistress, the third book in her Banshee Brigade series, debuted in paperback October 25. Keeper of the Grail is in the works. A computer consultant in the Midwest, Marr lives with her husband, two cats, and plots that bounce off the wall.

Visit her at http://www.anntracymarr.com
Buy her books at http://www.awe-struck.net/authors/ann_tracy_marr.html

To His Mistress Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587497209
Round Table Magician Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587496066
Thwarting Magic Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587496479
Keeper of the Grail Awaiting release


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