Hi everyone! We have another voice in publishing here with us today, author Naya Jayne. She’s a member of Heartland Romance Authors with me, and I’ve had the pleasure of previewing the book she has out now, Blue Aspen. It’s an engaging, memorable read.

So, Naya, can you tell us how you started writing, and how you decided writing was “for you”?

NJ: I began writing around age eight. My first work was a children’s story about a fat cat who freed other pets and solved various problems. I wrote lots of stories in my youth, but I didn’t have much support at home. In fact the home team preferred that I stop writing. I think that has been my biggest hurtle. My husband and my best friend are my supports now, but aside from that I don’t really have much.

Blue Aspen is a paranormal story – is this your favorite genre to read? If not, what is?

NJ: Romance in all of its categories, is my favorite genre to read. Fantasy, SF, horror, and Christian are the genres I write in. As far as other pen names, I’m pleading the fifth.

For those who aren’t familiar with your work, do you have other titles available as well?

NJ: Blue Aspen is currently my only published title. I’m in the process of seeking representation for my second novel, Forbidden Forest.

Well, let’s talk about it, in depth then! (Drum Roll)


When seventeen-year-old Dulcee Elders' mother embarks on a road trip from their home in California, Dulcee knows something odd is about to happen. Her suspicions are confirmed when they arrive at Uncle Jack's house outside of Durango, Colorado. Without another word, Dulcee's mother is gone, and Dulcee faces life with her reclusive and wealthy uncle in a looming rural mansion.

Dulcee has suffered from insomnia ever since her father died more than ten years ago. But once at home at Uncle Jack's, inexplicably Dulcee now can sleep; sleep brings not only strange and intricate dreams, but a dream lover. For now, Vincent Sands is only the silhouette of a man, but when Uncle Jack leaves town for business, Dulcee's dream world and reality collide. Once she is alone, the silhouette is no longer content to remain only in her dreams.

When Dulcee is asleep, Vincent can give her anything she wants, even the ability to talk to her dead father. Inevitably, Vincent must leave when Uncle Jack returns. Dulcee experiences the high price of loving Vincent-an addiction rivaling that of any hard-core drug. Desperate to bridge the gap between them, Dulcee faces a crucial decision that carries irreversible consequences.


So, tell us -- Where did the idea come from for Blue Aspen?

NJ: I began working on Blue Aspen when I was fifteen. I would put it down and pick it up but I didn’t begin writing it seriously until I was 24. I had lots of psychology research to do before I could write the second half of the book. It surprised me to learn the importance of dreams in psychology. All of the dream sequences in Blue Aspen are filled with subtle meaning, and are far from random.

What about Vincent, your hero? Are there tidbits you can share? He’s a very intriguing man.

NJ: There is a lot you don’t learn about my hero, Vincent. The very last line of the book reveals his true identity. One thing you might not know about him is that he is a chameleon of sorts. Many, many women have loved him, but his love for my heroine, Dulcee, is the first real love he’s ever experienced.

What’s one thing about him that makes your heart go pitter-pat?

NJ: Vincent is sexy and mysterious, but the thing about him that makes my heart go pitter pat is his super natural ability to burn you up inside.

If he were to have a pet, what sort would he own?

NJ: Vincent doesn’t have a pet in the book but I can easily envision him with a sleek black wolf by his side.

Ah, yes, so could I! Very fitting.

Moving on to heroines – every great hero must have one. What would you say Dulcee’s greatest fault is?

NJ: I would say Dulcee’s greatest fault is her inability to think objectively about her future and the consequences of her decisions.

What strength does she provide to Vincent?

NJ: The strength Dulcee provides Vincent is also a great weakness because she becomes the one thing he cannot let go of. Every other woman has been dispensable.

If Dulcee were your daughter, what advice would you give her on meeting Vincent?

NJ: I’m not quite sure what advice I could give Dulcee, if she were my daughter. I might tell her to stay away from Vincent, but how do you stay away from someone who can enter your mind?

If we were to take a peek into Dulcee and Vincent’s future, where would they be 10 years from now?

NJ: I can’t tell you what you’d see in Dulcee and Vincent’s future. It would ruin the sequel.

Oh – teaser! That’s no fair! But after reading the first, I can say I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Let’s go back to you for a minute. I know writing has changed my life, and I’ve heard that from so many authors – how would you say it’s changed yours?

NJ: Writing has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I believe everyone has their “thing”. That one thing that they are meant to do, that gives them happiness and a complete feeling of rightness. That’s what writing is for me. I HAVE to have a creative outlet. I’ve tried many types of art but when I write everything clicks and I can assuage the excess of images swirling in my head.

What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

NJ: I’m currently reading Scribbler of Dreams, by Mary E. Pearson. I would say every author I read has an influence on me in one way or another, but Angela Carter, Patrick Suskind, Nora Roberts, and Meredith Ann Pierce are a few that have a strong pull over me. Strange mix, I know.

What has surprised you the most about being a published author?

NJ: The thing that has surprised me most about being a published author is the publishing industry. Being a writer is one thing. Venturing into the shark infested waters of publishing is something different. Writing and publishing have an odd love/hate relationship.

That’s sure the truth! It definitely takes a strong spirit and strong spine to succeed in the publishing industry. Great insight to share!

Thank you so much for dropping by today. Everyone, go check out Blue Aspen – it really is memorable and Vincent can make you melt.

Meanwhile, Naya, please tell everyone where they can do that? (Check out the book that is.)

NJ: Tenayajayne.com is my website and also the home of my blog. You can also follow me on twitter.

Anything else you’d like to share?

NJ: I’d like to thank all of the readers out there. And I’d like to thank Claire Ashgrove for the opportunity to be on her blog.

You’re most welcome. Come back anytime! Before we close, I’d like to share an excerpt from Blue Aspen with everyone.


Patricia Verell hadn’t cried in years. She held people at a distance and trained herself to not care much for them. For a woman, she was decidedly emotionless. But on this night, she most certainly did cry.

It was after hours at the hospital, the halls were quiet, and the mentally disturbed all tucked safely in bed. Patricia cloistered herself behind the door that bore her name and title and sat hunched over her desk, trying to heal herself. The tears running from her eyes collected at the tip of her nose before they fell onto the notebook in front of her. Everything she had been so proud of was turning into a throbbing pain inside her head.

Patricia looked around her office, trying to figure out why she suddenly hated it. It was a nice office on all accounts, the best furniture, a large window, a whole wall of bookshelves. But the walls—the walls were oppressing. Covered with large frames of degrees and awards, her name was plastered everywhere. But could theses gilded pieces of paper tell her who she really was? Could anyone? She was known to her friends as Pat, and to everyone else as Dr. Verell. Since she only had two friends, it seemed to her that she had no real first name at all.

This wasn’t why she was crying.

Down the hall and through the corridor was a long row of identical doors, heavy steel doors with little reinforced glass windows. Capsulated behind the third door on the right side was a seventeen-year-old girl, Dulcee Elders. Dulcee was crying, also. The two women were connected in ways that neither understood. Even the reason why they were both crying was connected, one cried because she had lost the other because she had found. They were both in a prison and were about to battle over the means of escape. It seemed to Dr. Verell that she had the upper hand, the power of a doctor over a patient. But Dulcee’s madness was the vehicle that she longed to climb into and go for a ride. Dr. Verell was riddled with weakness. Weak with wanting, weak with jealousy. She had found the very thing she wanted, but it already belonged to someone else.

The day Dulcee was committed, a battered notebook was confiscated from her. Every page was filled with the girl’s writing. When Dr. Verell was assigned to Dulcee’s case, the notebook had been given to her. After reading it, she asked Dulcee what it was.

“My autobiography,” Dulcee had answered plainly.

It was not an autobiography, however. It was not a diary or a journal. It was the intricate hallucinations of a schizophrenic with post-traumatic stress.

It was a love story.

Dr. Verell had been nonplused with the hurtle before her. How was she to give Dulcee the best therapy when she was a case like no other? At first Dr. Verell had been diligent, caring, but jealousy crept in, and her concern had vanished. It vanished not only for Dulcee, but for her other patients as well. The quality of her work was disintegrating. All she cared about was the notebook. Dulcee’s fantasies had fueled some of her own, but these fantasies were only giving her frustration.

Dr. Verell wiped her eyes, looking down at the notebook, now spattered with tears. On the cover, Dulcee had drawn a heart with the name Vincent written inside it. She slowly traced each letter with her fingertip…longing, such terrible longing. She sighed heavily before opening the cover, once again to be swept up into Dulcee’s fantasy.


Labels: , ,

Hi all! It's been a crazy week on this end, but I'd like to usurp my own blog and leave the summation of what all has been happening for a later post. Today I'd like to introduce you to an upcoming author who I enjoy a great deal, Ms. Kathleen Collins.

Kathleen has been a part of RWA Chapter activities with me, she's a great leader, and even better in the writing department. She has a broad background, and I've asked her to share some of the things that has led her to where she is today.

So, with that said, Kathleen, tell everyone a little about yourself – what genre you write in, how long you’ve been writing, what do you do in your non-writing time?

KC: I write in a lot of genres. The book I have out on submission is an urban fantasy, I’m also working on a romantic fantasy and a short scifi piece. I wrote my first story in kindergarten and never stopped. I can’t imagine ever not writing. When I’m not writing I’m spending time with my friends or family, reading or crafting.

As you've grown up, and life has taken you down adulthood, how did you come to the decision that you wanted to write, or maintain the hobby you started at such a young age? And, how did you determine what genre best fit you?

KC: I don’t know that I really made the decision. It’s something that I really can’t decide not to do so the only option is to do it. It is almost impossible for me to focus if I go any length of time without writing because I’m writing in my head even if it’s not going on paper. All that stuff floats around in my head and I start to run out of room. I like any genre where there is an element of the unreal – paranormal, fantasy, scifi. I like to be able to twist reality, to make my own rules.

I am so with you there, on all of what you said. I share that sickness -- writing even though I'm not technically punching keys. And the ability to craft your own version of reality is one of the most freeing things I've found in writing. So I'm with you 100%!

What steps did you take to get to where you are now, and which do you think was the most important?

KC: I’ve participated in several crit groups, edited for a small press, got an English Lit degree from ISU. I think the most important thing I did though was to socialize and connect with other writers. They’re really the only ones that are going to understand what you’re going through at every stage of the process. It’s important to have that sounding board.

Again, I concur. There are many people who support me, but sometimes it's just refreshing to have writers in your life. I think we're the only people who can share our collective madness. Laugh!

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

KC: The freedom to create worlds with the rules I want. If I want a world where JFK lived for example, all I have to do is write it.

JFK alive... the question is... did Marilyn survive with him?

What’s the most challenging thing about being an author?

KC: Finding the time to write. I work full time and have a husband and two young children. It’s a real balancing act to find the time to write, and it’s something I’m still working on. Eventually I hope to have a routine that really works.

You'll find one. Of all the things I know about you, it's your commitment to the things you believe in and hold close. I've not witnessed anything you've done half-way, and as dedicated to writing as you are, you'll find a way to make that routine work.

In three sentences or less, tell us what you’re currently working on. What makes you love this particular project?

KC: I am working on an urban fantasy called Possession. At its core it’s about a woman risking everything for the man she loves. It doesn’t get any better than that. I love this story because it’s about my heroine. It’s her journey and I love to watch her take it.

Tell us one story related to your writing endeavors. Amuse us, make us cry, make us cringe or make us smirk – your choice.

KC: When I was in eighth grade I wrote my first book. It was a horror novel in the vein of RL Stine or Christopher Pike. When I was 17 MTV was having a writing contest and the winner got their book published. Yes, I submitted my sad, sad little book. All 28,000 words of it. But I’d made the font real big and fixed the spacing so it was the right length. *head desk* I was so naïve.

Laugh! Oh my -- the things we've done before we learned the "rules". But, that's particularly inspiring that you did something like that at such a young age. I'd have been terrified. It's also indicative to your drive, and something folks should keep in mind -- never, never be afraid to go out on a limb when it comes to publication.

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received about writing, and the pursuit of publication?

KC: Don’t give up, it’s all a matter of taste and timing.

What would you advise authors who are working toward publication?

KC: Step back. From your work, from the internet, from everything if you need to. Don’t allow yourself to become so overwhelmed that you lose your focus, it’s easy to do.

Awesome advice and one I should probably listen to this week. Thank you for the reminder!

Last but not least, is there a place we can keep up with your publication endeavors?

KC: Sure! My website is www.kathleencollins.net. I am trying to get better at updating my blog, but that requires time and I’ve already mentioned how hard that is to come by. :)

Okay everyone -- bookmark that site! For those of you also traveling the publication journey, she shares her experiences on her blog too, and there's some really good stuff there.

Kathleen, thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts. I wish you the utmost of success, and hope that you'll come back to keep us updated as things go along. You're welcome any time you have a free moment to compose!



Labels: , ,

Many of you know Misunderstanding Mason was my first attempt at writing a shorter work. It's the first novella I've released, and I was really a bit nervous about how it would be received. Writing big books with larger, scoping plots is far easier for me. Or was at the time. Condensing everything into a few words -- not so much.

However, I'm super-duper pleased to share the first review that has come back on Mason.

The Romance Reviews rated it Five-Stars with a "Top Pick" label.

"I enjoyed, for a change, reading a romance that I not only wanted to be involved in, but I could actually see the love they shared as something I could have in my real life."

And for those of you reading the blog, I've decided to share another blog-only excerpt.

Mason held up one hand, the color photograph of a skateboard dangling between thumb and index finger. “Mail call.”

Doing her best to hide the trembling of her fingers, she snatched the photo and clutched it with both hands. “Thanks. Come on in, Sam wants to talk to you.”

As he passed her, the clean scent of soap filled her nose. She breathed deep, savoring the aroma, picturing the way his dark hair clung to his head, just grazing his shoulders, in the shower. God, she missed him. Even if he was a disaster to her heart.

Kirstin took the photograph to her card table and returned to the kitchen. “Can I get you some tea, Mason?”

He turned around as if her simple question surprised him. The faintest hint of a smile graced his mouth. “Sure.” His gaze lingered a heartbeat too long before he turned and greeted Sam with a hearty handshake. But it had touched her long enough to sear her from the inside out.
Maybe he wasn’t totally indifferent.

She choked the thought aside. Going there wouldn’t accomplish anything. She’d invest in him again, only to discover another year from now that he appreciated her as much as he did his old plaid recliner. He wouldn’t part with the thing, but he’d moved it into the basement when he’d become obsessed with newer, more modern furniture.

Resolved to ignore him, she filled a glass with ice and poured his tea, adding two spoonfuls of sugar to sweeten it the way he liked it. As she set the spoon back in the sugar bowl, it dawned on her what she’d done, the automatic way she knew exactly what he liked. Oddly, she couldn’t count a single time where he’d remembered to dump in the extra spoonful of sugar she preferred. Every time he brought her tea—hot or cold—he sweetened it the way he drank it.
Sighing, Kirstin picked up his glass and took it onto the back deck where Mason and Sam poured over the grill. “Here you go.”

He looked up, and those icy blue eyes connected with hers. Only this time they weren’t so glacier as they drifted down her midriff top, lingered at the waist of her low-rise shorts, touched her thighs, then jerked back up to lock on her eyes once more. A touch of white fire glinted in his eyes before he deliberately turned back to the grill.

Kirstin set the glass on the patio table and returned inside, determined to ignore his thorough perusal. The bedroom had never been their trouble. Just because Mason knew how to devour her with a single glance didn’t mean he wanted her—well, for anything other than great sex. She’d been guilty of appreciating him earlier, and it didn’t mean she wanted to crawl back home and pick up where they’d left off.

She sat back down at her table and picked up the photograph. How in the world was she ever going to accomplish this job? With Mason unwilling to help, that left one other option—hire out the work. Problem was, the going rate for app design exceeded the zero balance in her non-existent savings account.

Time passed in a vacuum as she stared at the photo, mentally going through a redundant list of options and people she knew in the graphicals design world. Before she realized she’d disappeared into a private oasis of mental solitude, a shadow dimmed her tabletop, and Mason’s warm voice was at her ear.

“I have a working prototype on the tablet at home if you want to see it.”

She blinked, certain she’d heard wrong, that his statement was a product of her wishful thinking. But his deadpan expression made it impossible to question her hearing. “You’re serious?”

He nodded. “I reconsidered.”

Elation surged through her, and Kirstin found herself fighting the overwhelming urge to throw her arms around his neck and hug the life out of him. “Oh, Mason,” she murmured. “Thank you.”
Straightening to his full six-foot two height, he gave her a shrug. “Work’s work. You know my rate.”

All the joy that had swelled inside her heart plummeted out her toes, hollowing her insides out. She stared, unable to believe his self-satisfied smirk and laughing eyes were real.

Mason set his hand on her shoulder, gave it an affectionate squeeze. “You know how to reach me.”



Labels: , ,

Welcome everyone, the talented Dyann Love Barr. I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Dyann, and working with her, for several years now. It’s always fun to bring her to my blog – she’s funny, she’s genuine, and she has a lot of knowledge to share. So today I’ve asked her to share a little about her writing approaches.

Morning, Dyann. Why don’t you start by telling everyone a little about yourself -- what genre you write in, how long you’ve been writing, what do you do in your non-writing time?

DB: My name is Dyann Love Barr and my main genres are contemporary, paranormal/urban fiction, and I’d like to branch out into Romantic Suspense. I live in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, just thirty miles south of Kansas City with my husband and our cat, Spook, who’s convinced we came with the house as the hired help. My favorite activity beyond writing is cooking and belly dancing.

She cooks and dances… bet the hubby is in heaven! (And boy, folks, can she cook!)
So you’ve been doing this for a while. You have a fantastic agent, you’ve published a contemporary, and you’ve got some excellent projects in the works. How did you come to the decision that you wanted to write?

DB: With the maiden name of Love, how could I not get sucked into writing romance? Actually, I’d never read a romance novel until my freshman year of college. One of my roommates was a Georgette Heyer fan. I had nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon. Okay, I lied. I had a bunch of reading to do for classes, but I was bored, there was nothing but football and fishing shows on television, and I couldn’t afford to go to the movies. My roommate gave me a copy of The Talisman Ring and I was hooked. I read everything of Georgette Heyer’s. I discovered a secret when I went home for break. My mother was a closet romance reader. She had bags and bags of books, everything from Harlequin’s to Rosemary Roger’s. I was in heaven.

What steps did you take to get to where you are now, and which do you think was the most important?

DB: I got started because I couldn’t find enough of the books I enjoyed. I loved Kathleen Woodiwiss. My first attempts were best forgotten. Sad, sad, little books that were filled with cliché’s, passive writing, and spunky heroines that spouted “You’re not the boss of me” every other page. It wasn’t until 1992 when my husband pointed out an article in the local paper about a new writing chapter of Romance Writers of America forming and wanted people interested in writing. I dragged my feet until he made the challenge. “Do you want to be a writer or not?” Damn, I hate it when he does that. So began my journey by hanging out with published authors, I loved the society of the people in the writing field, but my writing still hadn’t improved beyond the hair-flipping heroine.

It has now – by leaps and bounds. Your heroines still have internal strength and fire, but they certainly aren’t tatrum-throwing, make you want to strangle-them girls. They’re more of “Holy crap, watch out for that knife!”

Dyann, what would you advise authors who are working toward publication?

DB: My best advice for a writer truly interested in publishing is to find a critique group.

To be honest, I still dabbled until around 2006 when I found great critique partners, Shannon K. Butcher, Claire Ashgrove, Julie Butcher, Sherry Foley, Sara Attebury, and Liz Lafferty. Les Belle Dames sans Merci. The Beautiful Merciless Women. We drew blood, healed badly mangled sentences and really focused on craft. When that group disbanded, Claire and I formed another group. The Dreamweavers. So, I’d say finding a good critique group is a must if you want to succeed. I don’t mean one that will smile and say you’re the greatest thing since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’ve been in that group, and while it’s nice to hear, I didn’t really learn anything. I wanted people who would hold my feet to the fire when I wavered, and to tell me when I’d done a great job. I’d say the closest analogy is to a good marriage – the dynamics have to work to make it successful.

I have to whole-heartedly agree with you. While sometimes getting a “WTF?” from you is a bit sobering, the day you told me one of my heroines was schizophrenic was probably the best learning experience I had. Critique partners have to be blunt. The glue that binds everyone is understanding those hard comments aren’t made with malice, but a definite desire to see an author and friend succeed.

What’s your favorite thing about being an author? What’s the most challenging thing about being an author?

DB: I like the hours. There’s nothing like staying in my pajamas until three in the afternoon while everyone else is commuting to work and stuck in a cubicle. It makes me smile. I have the best job in the world. I can go outside anytime I want, sun bathe on a beautiful day, or just go have lunch with a friend when the mood strikes. My schedule is my own. The most challenging thing is time management. My schedule is my own. It’s tempting to go outside and have lunch. Writing is a job and I have to treat it as such. Everything that happens to my career is on me. Not only time management, but marketing, making connections with people, and living outside the world of my head. This is where the creative and real world collide and I to figure out how to make it all work for me.

So what’s for lunch today? I’ll be there in … oh wait. You’re working. Silly me! Fun when those friends distract you isn’t it? Hee!

Tell us one story related to your writing endeavors. Amuse us, make us cry, make us cringe or make us smirk – your choice.

DB: I’ve lived long enough to have fodder for more stories than I can produce. I try to put at least one real incident from my life in each book. Just look for the most outrageous thing you read and that’s probably it. For instance, Judy Butcher, one of my Les Belle Dames sans Merci critique partners asked me to participate in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2009. Understand, I hate contests, but the woman threatened to sic her six kids on me if I didn’t. I was out numbered and out maneuvered. That didn’t mean I went down easy. It was the 11:59 pm on the last day to enter that I finally hit the submit button. They cut it off at the first ten thousand entries. I smirked and hit the submit button. This way I could tell Julie that they bounced me because the slots were filled. No such notice occurred. Damn.

Then I forgot about it.

Three months later I was having lunch with Shannon K. Butcher and she asked me how it felt. At the moment I was face first in a cream puff so everything was wonderful. I asked, “How do I feel about what?”

Shannon gave me a strange look. “You don’t know do you?”

That’s when I began to suspect we weren’t talking about cream puffs. “Know what?”

“You’re in the top five hundred.”

“Of what?”

“The ABNAs. You made it to semi finals. You’re one of the top five hundred.”

It was a good thing I’d just swallowed the last of my cream puff. My mouth fell open. That couldn’t be right. Shannon got on the computer to show me the horrible truth. Now that meant I was on tenterhooks until the semi-finals came out. I came close to breaking out into hives on the day the results were announced. None of the romance category made it to the semi-finals.

I remember that day. We’d both entered. They bounced mine like a rubber ball. See folks – pay attention to Dyann. She’s going places!

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received about writing, and the pursuit of publication?

DB: Let your characters twist in the wind. Basically, when your hero or heroine thinks things can’t get any worse, take it up a notch. Make it worse. The dark moment should get even darker, more dangerous. Torture your characters but be sure there is a happy ever after.

In three sentences or less, tell us what you’re currently working on.

DB: I’m working on two different projects now. One is a paranormal, the other a romantic suspense. One is off to an editor and I keep my fingers crossed that she will want the book, the other is at the beginning stage. The first is out of my hands and the second gets the creative juices flowing.

What steps did you take to get to where you are now, and which do you think was the most important?

DB: I kept writing until I had a book I thought was ready for submission. I’m not talking about rewriting the same book twenty times, I’m saying I wrote several books and learned hard lessons from each and every mistake. Then I made myself do the research into agents and what they represented. This is the hard slog of writing, the business end no one tells you about. Then I had to pick the agents to submit to. I didn’t just send to my top three, I sent it to everyone who sold what I wrote. Perseverance is the key word here. Don’t let a rejection slow you down. It’s not personal, although it may seem that way. One day I sent out a submission and got a reply less than sixty seconds later. Not for me. How could the agent have even taken a close look at the sample chapters in that time? I had to remind myself they might have been looking for strawberry and I gave them chocolate. Nothing personal.

Last but not least, is there a place we can keep up with your publication endeavors?

DB: You can find me on the Cascade Literary Agency blog, Twitter under @writergal2007, my personal facebook is Dyann Barr and there is also a Dyann Love Barr fan page. My website is dyannbarr.com

Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your blog.

Always welcome here! Well, I’ll wrap up by reminding everyone that Christmas is coming. I hear stores are stocking things in October this year. You have a wonderful Christmas story, The Perfect Bride for Christmas. It’s a great read everyone, perfect for the holiday season!

The Perfect Bride For Christmas

Alex King wants to follow the family tradition and marry his

perfect bride on Christmas Eve. There’s one little hitch—Bianca dumps him at the altar. He wakes up in Vegas with a hangover, a ring on his finger, and in bed with his best friend, Zoe Hillman. She’s overweight and plain, nothing at all like his image of the perfect wife. So begins the shortest Vegas marriage in history.

Zoe loved Alex from the moment he walked through the law firm’s doors. He can charm the panties off any woman, but he’s never tried it with her. The chance to grab for the golden ring is within her reach until everything blows up in her face. Now, five years later she returns to Kansas City with triplets in tow and a brand new look. Catering Alex’s next wedding should prove interesting.


Labels: ,

Hi, everyone! We missed a Thursday with my vacation, but we're back today with historical romance author, Kris Tualla, who will be telling us about her historical novels, Loving the Norseman and Loving the Knight. I'm excited to bring her to you, and I think you'll love the books!

Kris, briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc?

KT: I was on vacation with my husband in 2006 and reading Diana Gabaldon's "Outlandish Companion" where she mentions that the best way to learn to write a book is to write one. I turned to my dear husband and said, "I think I'll try writing an historical romance novel." He said, "Okay." My life - and his - have not been the same since!

Laugh! I think many of us can echo that remark. Everything changes when you start writing. So, obviously you write in the historical romance genre. Is that your favorite genre to read?

KT: I cut my reading teeth on "Gone With the Wind" in eighth grade - and have loved complex historical romances ever since! Now I read a variety of genres because I feel I can learn more about writing that way.

Alrighty, tell us what titles hungry readers can find by you.

KT: Nicolas & Sydney:
"A Woman of Choice"
"A Prince of Norway"
"A Matter of Principle"

Currently Available :
Just released on September 12th are the prequels:
"Loving the Norseman" - Rydar & Grier
"Loving the Knight" - Eryndal & Andrew

Of the books you have published, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?

KT: For currently published, I would have to say A Matter of Principle because it's the culmination of a trilogy. I LOVE the man that Nicolas Hansen finally becomes.

Please tell us about anything coming down the pipe next.

KT: Coming in 2012 --
Brander & Regin:
"A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery"
"A Discreet Gentleman of Matrimony"
"A Discreet Gentleman of Consequence"

Sounds exciting! Particularly the last one. With those mentioned, let's talk about your coming releases. Tell usabout your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?

KT: You may have seen my tagline "Norway is the new Scotland." I came up with it after receiving so many rejections because my heroes are Norse, not Scots. So I wrote the prequel "Loving the Norseman" and set it on the northernmost coast of Scotland as a sop to those who didn't know what to do with an American-Norwegian setting.

Of course, the hero is Norse! This story is about the reestablishment of the Hansen family following the Black Death.

And assuming the publisher would want another Scottish setting for the next book, I took a beloved secondary character, Lord Andrew Drummond, and made him the hero in the sequel. "Loving the Knight" is the only Hansen book (so far) where the heroine is the Hansen.

I absolutely love family sagas. And that setting sounds fascinating -- lots of strife and heartache following the Plague.

What’s one thing about your hero that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book? A secret dream, an embarrassing habit, an episode from childhood.

KT: Let's talk about Rydar, from "Loving the Norseman." His father dragged the family off to Greenland when he was about ten years old. Rydar grew to be six-foot-six and he was hungry all the time; I could see him gambling for food from others in the dying Norse settlement. His mother would have killed him if she knew, but of course he shared some of his winnings with his family. He was a good guy. Just a starving adolescent male!

Aww! So very like our modern teens. I shudder to think what my two boys will do when they hit that age.

Back to heroes! All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about Ryder that makes your heart go pitter-pat?

KT: Rydar's intelligence. He's so frustrated because he doesn't speak Scots English and he sounds like an idiot in Scotland. But when he speak Norse, the heroine Grier is entranced by the fluidity and rhythm of his language. That and his pale green eyes.

If your hero doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality?

KT: No pets, just dying settlement/post-plague survival. But if he had the luxury, it would be something unusual, like a wolf. Rydar is a hunter as well.

Well no romance is complete without a heroine. Let's talk about Eryn from "Loving the Knight". She's pretty powerful! Everybody has flaws. Sometimes they are endearing, other times they are annoying. What is her greatest fault?

KT: I thought I'd met stubborn women before, but she really has it locked down. She has reasons, of course, but when those reasons fall away she just can't let go.

Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength Eryn provides to her hero, Andrew?

KT: Eryn offers Andrew the one thing SHE wants most - a family - and that salvages his.

If one of your heroines was your daughter – what advice would you give her upon meeting your hero?

KT: Let's go with Grier in "Loving the Norseman" - Don't be afraid to explore an untried path.

How very true -- very sound advice all the way around! If we peek in on your hero and heroine’s lives ten years from now, can you give us a glimpse of what we’d see?

KT: Well - Nicolas visits Rydar and Grier's graves in "A Prince of Norway" so we know how that turns out. So let's look at Eryn and Drew from "Loving the Knight": Still holding the Bell estate for William (now 19). Lands bequeathed to Andrew by the Scottish King David II provides them a steady income. 5 children. Extremely happy, of course!

Of course! It wouldn't be romance, but beyond that, two well-paired people just wouldn't drift.

Since we've talked about them so much, let's give the readers some teasers!

Loving The Knight (Cover Blurb)

Lady Eryndal Bell is a fraud. A bastard orphan, she has claimed the Bell estate in the aftermath of the Black Death. When Lord Andrew Drummond, courtier to King David II, arrives Eryn hides her treasonous deception from the knight, despite his passionate proposal. After Drew discovers her lies, will he convince the king to spare her life? And will either one move beyond their stubborn pride and painful pasts to salvage love ~ before it's too late?

Loving The Norseman(Cover Blurb)

Grier MacInnes buried three fiancés in the Black Death; soon she'll be replaced by her cousin's teen bride as Lady of Durness Castle. After two decades in Greenland, Rydar Hansen is desperate to return to Norway and reclaim his inheritance ~ if he still has one. Thrown together by a North Sea storm, they don't speak the same language. But apart from each other, they have no future.


Let me pause a moment to sigh, they sound so... romantic...

Okay. Shew! I confess a secret passion for the Norse. Shh! Let's go back to you, Kris. What’s been the greatest contributing factor to achieving the goals you’ve accomplished?

KT: I never looked back. This has been my new career since the day I started writing. I took it seriously, even if those around me thought it was "cute." So many people start and quit. I didn't quit. I'm still learning. I'm still striving.

Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

KT: I read and re-read all of Kathleen Woodiwiss's first several books. She was a brilliant plotter. Two decades later, I discovered Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. I was privileged to sit under her instruction at a conference early in my career, and we kept in touch. At the Historical Novel Society Conference this June she told me she was "so proud" of me. That's the best compliment ever!

That is an amazing compliment -- congrats! Many writers describe themselves as "character" or "plot" writers. Which are you?

KT: My characters come to me first. Once I know who they are, I have to figure out at what point in their life the story begins. Then I have to figure out the story. When I start the book - and I write from start to finish in a straight line - I know where we begin, where we end, and most of what happens in between. As we go, they reveal more of themselves.

Well, I can't wait to read more from you. In the meantime, where can we find you? (Website, blog, twitter, etc.)

KT: http://www.kristualla.com/

Links to my blog, Facebook and twitter are there. I also have location photos and story-related commentary from my trip to Norway this summer!

If you have a newsletter, how can we sign up?

KT: I don't have a newsletter, but I do have my HOT HANSENS/COOL STUFF monthly give-aways! Sign up is on my home page.

Did you hear that folks -- GIVE AWAYS! Quick, run to her website and figure out how they work!!

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us, Kris?

KT: All books in The Hansen Series are available at Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. Norway is the new Scotland!

Thank you so much for being with us here on From The Muse, Kris! Best of luck and please come back when you have new releases! We'd love to hear from you again.



Labels: , ,

"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



GoddessFish Promotions

Goddess Fish Partner

Night Owl Romance

Night Owl Romance
For The Latest In Romance Reviews

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Coffee Time Romance

Coffee Time Romance
Blogging About Romance