Indie Author Jennifer Jensen Joins Us Today!

Happy last week of August folks–uh…isn’t that an oxy-moron? And who coined the term oxy-moron anyway?

Welcome, indie author Jennifer Jensen!

Jennifer Jensen photo

Congrats to you on your latest release, THROUGH A SHIMMER OF TIME! What do you love best about writing?

When I speak in casual conversation, I mix words or syllables up rather frequently – I like to say I have dyslexia of the mouth. The advantage of writing is that I get to think about what I’m saying and re-write it until it’s exactly what I want. I love playing around with the way sentences flow.

Along with re-writing, I love the occasional times I get “in the zone” and lose track of time because the scene is flowing. I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish a scene/chapter/story and know it’s the best I can do. And I absolutely love when someone reads it and chuckles or gasps at just the right spots, or says they couldn’t stop thinking about the characters.

I love rewriting too, Jennifer. I love tilling groundwork that’s already been laid. And I totally get what you mean about a reader’s reaction when they ‘get it’ the way I intended. My favorite compliment is, “I was there!”

What do you like least?

Taking the full-blown scene in my head and somehow getting it down on paper so someone else sees what I see.  It’s gut-wrenching work for me and makes me wonder why I choose to do this, but it helps immensely to know that I’m not alone–countless writers out there go through the same thing. It’s a relief when my rough draft is done and I can start playing with it.

What got you started?

Besides the snake/cake/rake book of poems I wrote at age 6?  Mostly it was being a reader. I loved escaping into other worlds through the books I read.  Like binge-watching a TV series today, I would immerse myself in one time period or with one author.  I devoured every Walter Farley book about the Island Stallion, and remember spending a lot of time in a wagon train, living in colonial America, or watching Henry the Eighth’s wives try to survive.  he escapism is just as strong today, but I really don’t think you can be a writer without also being a reader.

Agreed.

I also answered one of those ads in magazines that said “We’re looking for people to write children’s books.”  Thank goodness the Institute of Children’s Literature wasn’t a scam!  I sold my first short story for Lesson #6. I wasn’t off and running, but I kept heading in the right direction.

Where do you get story and character ideas?

Most of my stories come from the great “What If.”  What if two sisters were jealous of each other?  What if the culprit in a crime was a horse?  And right now, what if a kid got zapped back in time and didn’t know how to get home?

My characters are usually created along with the plot.  I have a basic idea in my head- age, sex, and a bit of attitude. When I stick him/her in a situation, the personality and talents begin to grow to either fit or complicate the problem.  That adds plot possibilities, which further add to the character. It’s a nice spiral of building the two together.

Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’?

I’ve published a number of children’s magazine stories and done a chunk of journalism in the past. The big project right now is releasing my children’s novel, Through the Shimmer of Time.  My main characters are complete opposites:  Jim is a modern 12-year-old, bored out of his mind at a living history park. He goes in search of a haunted cabin he’s heard about.  What else would any adventurous, impetuous kid do, right?  But he ends up in 1838 and meets Hannah, an 11-year-old who is helpful, respectful and a bit timid–until she gets wrapped up in Jim’s problems.  There are mysterious thefts, angry townspeople, and a ghost who needs her name cleared, and the kids are the ones to put it all right again.  Read an excerpt here.

Final cover

Future projects?  Oh, the possibilities!  Something set in Ireland, where we lived for a few years.  Some horse-oriented stories, drawing on a lifetime of experience. More middle grade and some women’s fiction with mother/daughter/sister relationships. More time travel too! Hmm . . . what would happen if I put all of those into one book?

Try putting it all into one book and see. Keep me posted, too. I love time travel stories!

The next project is already started, though – Jim and Hannah have more adventures planned.  THROUGH THE SHIMMER OF TIME is the first of several, with #2 coming out in 2015.

Through the Shimmer of Time is available now in both print and e-book at Amazon.  Contact Jennifer directly for an autographed print copy.

Connect with Jennifer via one or all of the following:

Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your author origins with me and the wonderful folks who make themselves regulars here. I wish you all the very best with your current release and upcoming projects! I have tremendous respect for all authors, but I find the indie-crowd to be particularly special,  taking on a world of behind-the-scenes work one might not realize until one ventures into that place–and making themselves available to each other to offer invaluable assistance whenever needed. You awesome folks rock!

To my awesome, very kind and faithful readers and followers, I thank you, and ask you to SHARE via one of the buttons below on behalf of Jennifer! Thanx again and have a wonderful day and week!

Happy Labor Day weekend too!

Joanna

 

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Because You Just Never Know

Where you’ll meet your next online friend!

Happy Wednesday, friends and followers-hope all of you are doing well and finding your hearts and minds in a peaceful place during the hump of the work week!

I pick up books pretty much anywhere. That’s how Gary Chapman‘s Love Is A Verb wound up in my hands. As I read through, I came across an essay (Just Call Me Babe), which I enjoyed to the point I had to contact the author and let her know. I looked up today’s guest, reached out, heard the fun from her essay  echo through her email responses and asked her if she’d like to join me here. Voila! Post #233 was born! 🙂

A quick bio: Donna Smith, a retired secondary English teacher for Altus, Oklahoma, Public School District and for Wayland Baptist University on campus at Altus Air Force Base, now edits and publishes Victory Herald. She has also taught Sunday school classes in Tipton First Baptist Church, Tipton, Oklahoma, for 60 years. Donna (a.k.a., “Babe”) can be reached at dsmith@pldi.net.

Donna’s inspirational articles have appeared in various publications, such as Bible Advocate, Home Life, Guideposts, Mature Living, Mature Years, Journey, Open Windows, A 6th Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Good News, Education Matters, Christian Social Action….and I’m guessing…others.  

So I asked Donna the following questions:

What do you love best about writing?

It is a means of sharing inspirational messages with others.

What got you started?

A high school dropout, married at 17 and the mother of four, I spent what little spare time I had in reading book after book. One day while in the city post office, an older friend, the city newspaper editor, asked me if I liked to write.

I laughed, answered, “No! I don’t know how to write!”

She asked, “Do you like to read?”

“I read every minute I can.”

“Well,” she said, “if you can read you can write. I’m starting a writer’s group and I want you to attend.”

I attended, worked with a critique group, and shortly thereafter became a published author. That achievement and my husband’s encouragement led me to take the GED. I passed, was accepted into college, graduated with a language arts major and taught secondary grammar/comp and British literature for 23 years. For 5 years, I taught comp classes at the nearbyWaylandBaptistUniversitysite on Altus Air Force Base.

Now there was a ‘different’ way to be off and running, Donna. What keeps you writing?

The responses I receive from the publishing of my monthly ezine, Victory Herald, as do the requests I receive from so many others asking for help in editing their materials.

How has writing impacted—or significantly changed—other aspects in your life?

Over the years, I became a speaker at several seminars for English teachers. Too, I spoke at two state writers’ conferences. One of the greatest impacts, however, was that after I retired from the classroom, for several years, I served as a feature writer for five area newspapers. I was newsletter editor for the Public Oklahoma Educators association. Writing has made my life, formed my life, and now having been twice widowed and living alone, writing keeps me going.

Where do you get story and character ideas?

Personal experience, studying Scripture, and perusing lists. In fact, I’m a collector of books of lists.

Kindly elaborate on what kinds of books and lists you collect, and how they inspire you. 

 

Included in my collection of books for ideas are The New Ecyclopedia of Christian Quotations, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World, and 14,000 Quips and Quotes for Writers and Speakers.

 

Books of lists include Major Bible Themes, Meridith’s Big Book of Bible Lists, The Christian Book of Lists, The Treasury of Bible Lists, Lists to Live By (1,2,3,4).

 

I also clip and save lists that appear in magazines, newspapers, and that appear on my computer screen.

Wow, Donna. You really like lists, lol. Current, past, and future projects?

Currently, I’m under contract with Union Gospel Press for writing a testimonial feature. My work has been published in a variety of markets: Guideposts; Love Is a Verb; 6th Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul; Standard, Mature Years; Mature Living; Teacher; Teaching Today; Education Matters; Christian Social Action.

Three ways you find most effective to promote your work:

(1) editing for others;

(2) publishing Victory Herald;

(3) sharing my work and ideas with members of my Sunday school class.

So there you have it. My newest online writer-friend, who has inspired me with her energy and accomplishments! Please take a moment to share a thought with our guest and maybe even click on a SHARE button, too. 😉

Have a great day and catch y’all later this week, friends. I’ll be running a JFF (Just For Fun) post on a random topic that struck me the other day.

TTFN,

Joanna

Jersey Author Irene Peterson: Going for it Her Way!

Hi all! Getting into spring paperwork rush but I have a goal this year: get to work a little on the early side and keep as many reports as possible within the confines of the school environment (a phrase I use often when I write those kiddie updates). The other goal is to keep up with a minimum of two posts/week. Know what? With a little clarity and a little effort, this goal-setting thing really can push me in the direction I say I want to go, lol.  

Today we have a guest. Straight-from-the-hip shooter and fellow Jersey-girl/Liberty States Fiction Writer Irene Peterson. She’s gone the Amazon route with the sequel to her debut romance, Glory Days (a book I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed). Today Irene shares about her journey while writing and later editing that story, as well as the sequel it spawned—a had-to-be-written-Irene’s way recounting of Carly’s story. Today’s e-publishing opportunities provided Irene the ticket to do just that.

Here’s a little more background on Irene: Irene has lived in central New Jersey all her life, except for the time spent at Ft.McClellan inAlabama as a WAC.  She is not terribly athletic, wears glasses and yet was once Miss Industrial Arts at her college. She swears this is the truth! The Jersey shore is her favorite place to hang out with her family.  Her friends have an uncanny way of appearing in her books…after all, one must write what one knows.

Welcome, Irene! 

I just read a blog post about a woman who almost lost her baby because she was RH-.  It was against a political candidate. Then I read a blog post about a woman who fell and busted her shoulder and can’t write using her hand any more and how awful that was.

Made me think.

Would anybody want to know how cruddy my life has been?

It sure qualifies, but I don’t want that.

I don’t know if I can be uplifting, either.

But I can tell what made me want to write Glory Days and immediately afterwards, the sequel.  I was sick and tired of being told to write what I knew and be creative and follow the guidelines and play by the book.  I did all those things and got nowhere. So I sat down to write a story my way and I knew it was good from the first page.  I wrote from my heart and head.

The first words spoken by the hero were…”Ef (in full) it.”  Then he went on to talk about how hung over he was but he still had to get up to answer the door to his office/apartment.  Couldn’t have a drinker, they told me. That got changed.  The original book title was Bourbon John…had to change that; one particular outlet wouldn’t sell a story with bourbon in the title.

I had him go downstairs to get coffee with a towel wrapped around him…that got moved when the editor had me put the beginning of Ch. 21 where Ch. 1 should have been.  Had to put in more sexy scenes, so I did. On my own, I took out the word s**t 35 times, but left in some 30 more because that was how the hero talked and I felt he should talk. My editors liked the raw, edgy language, but I had too much in about the girl Carly—the hero’s daughter—that had to be taken out to make my women’s fiction a romance.

I had to make it, I had to get published; it was my goal in life at the time, so I did it. I prostituted myself for the honor and pleasure of holding my paperback book in my hand and going to signings all over the east coast.

You do amazing things to reach a goal.

Yes, Glory Days was pretty raw at first.  It had tons more heart, but not romance.  I changed it and it sold rather well. The book won the Golden Leaf award for best contemporary novel.

But I had so much more to say about the hero’s long lost daughter that he never knew existed.  So, immediately after getting my book in my hand, I started writing the sequel, Carly’s story.  She had to get all her lust for life and her daring and her new-found family out to the public, because she was just that kind of girl…just like her father.

And there was the mystery about her mother.  Who was she?  Why didn’t her father ever tell her what he had learned about the woman?  How could Carly’s very existence be the cause of so much trouble and death? Those questions needed to be answered and I did.

I don’t know what happened to the manuscript then.  I sent it to the publisher. My then agent handled that, she said.  It was rejected because they were concentrating on historicals.  I have sincere doubts.

So, Carly languished in the computer for six years, which, coincidentally, was the amount of time I had given her to grow up when I started her story.

I wrote Glory Days from my heart and soul, rewrote it while still maintaining the character of the characters, just getting rid of so much about Carly. Carly deserved to be heard, so she went Dancin’ in the Dark.

Both Glory Days and Dancin’ in the Dark are available at Amazon.com. (So is Kisses to Go.) Want to know Irene a little more? Check out her website, and LiveJournal and look for her on Facebook.

So glad you stopped in Irene! Best of luck to you as you continue on this crazy journey we writer-author folks so willingly embark on!

 Until next time, friends,

Joanna

 

 

Writing Into the Past with Author Calisa Rhose

I’m so excited to be here Joanna! I often wondered if…no, when this day would come for me. Celebrating my first book release. Thank you for hosting me on my HOME blog tour!

You’re so welcome, Calisa. Thrilled to have you. Among the things I love best about writing and social networking are the wonderful online friends I’ve made. And I guess the cyber-world has it’s ‘small’ moments too. Calisa and the very sweet Anna Kittrell (whom I hosted earlier this year—read that post here) work as critique partners so we’re all sort of friends together.

Before I get to the reason I’m here I want to wish Joanna- or rather her book, NO MATTER WHY, a happy 2nd release day anniversary!

Thanks for the reminder, Calisa. My TWRP release date was January 15, 2009, but friends started buying right about December 9, 2008. (How cool. On Donny Osmond’s birthday no less. Is there a connection, lol?)

       

OMG, I LOVE!!!! your cover. Perfect colors–it simply breathes! Congratulations on having achieved that oh-so-exciting-and-life-changing-milestone in your writing journey! Tell us how HOME came about:

There were several challenges for me while writing this story of hope and finding what’s always been right under your nose. My daddy always said sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. In HOME that was certainly true.

BLURB:  What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?

Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?

When this story presented itself to me I was stunned by the deep need to tell a story set in theVietnamera. That alone was a challenge. I typically write contemporary, whether western or paranormal romance. HOME is my first attempt at historical. Sure I lived in the 60’s but I was a tiny tot. I don’t remember much of those years past my own front step on theMojave desertin centralCalifornia.

The other challenge? I write full length novels. My typical story is upwards of 55,000 words. HOME is just 21,000. Yikes! How am I supposed to get everything about these two characters into less than half a book? And did I cut it with the historical part? I’ll let you read HOME when it comes out next Wednesday, December 28th, and judge for yourself how I did with these challenges.

For now I would like to talk about how I managed to write something I wasn’t accustomed to.  HOME is set in August,1967 ina small, fictional town inOklahoma. I don’t do a lot of research for my contemporaries, and slightly more for my paranormals. But for HOME I spent a lot of time going back to the 1960’s life styles, clothing and music.

Music. It plays a large part in my writing. I listen to what suits the story theme, whether it’s cowboys, wolves or days of war and protests. So I loaded up on popular songs from the sixties and wrote. I didn’t use the music to fit scenes exactly. I had trouble putting myself in the era. Music from the Beatles, Elvis and my heroine’s favorite, the Chiffons helped me get into that time frame mentally. There’s just something about that time and the music that draws you in. Have you watched GREASE lately? Though set a little before my story, much of the music is the same. Bonnie and Clyde debuted in fall of that year, too.

One thing I had to do, and didn’t enjoy as much, was research the main topic of those days; the Vietnam war.

Sam Callahan was sent to the front lines as a doctor. For three years he watched young boys die, and being much older than the average soldier at twenty-seven, he had to accept that he couldn’t save them all. Hard to do for a man who was raised to believe there was nothing he couldn’t do.

I read so many horror stories while learning what would impact Sam once he returned home. PTSD which was called shell shock back then was his biggest damage. He would relive those years ‘over there’ with no reprieve. Until he met Poppy.

Poppy Tippen was a treat to write. Full of pep and vinegar as my gramma called it, she wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to Sam. She loved him unconditionally. But how does a gypsy fit into the 60’s? It was a time of more wives’ tales than curses and boogeyman. So how did the curse of a doll affect these two? I’ll let you read to learn that, but I will say that my Poppy was a modern gypsy woman.

(Here’s an excerpt!)

Get HOME at The Wild Rose Press when it releases on December 28th. Consequently- I’d love for you to buy my book that day. Why? It’s my birthday! What a wonderful gift for me!

Psst: Calisa’s buy link came in early; you can buy her book here! I’m sure many of you have reader friends out there who might just love this very special debut love story!

You can find me at my website, and on my blog on the same site in the Chit-chat tab. I love to hear from you so feel free to shoot me a note in the Say Hey tab. I’d also love it if you follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook.

If you missed the official tour Kick-off post earlier this week, you can do it now at my blog, Pen of the Dreamer. I’ll wait. Back? And that’s how HOME came to be.

I had a wonderful time here, Joanna!

Always a pleasure to connect with you, Calisa! Really looking forward to this release! Remember friends, December 28, 2011 at The Wild Rose Press!

 Thanks to all of you who stopped in! Until next time,

Joanna

Two Authors to One Story: A Summer in Oakville

Welcome to Tuesday, friends! Hope all of you are back in gear after a relaxing weekend. (Guess I can never get enough time off; I’m already excited that school is closed for Rosh Hashannah tomorrow. Happy New Year to all my Jewish friends!)

So happy to have another online friend with me today: Lisa and I crossed paths when I happened across her blog–most likely via Twitter. Please welcome her and Shellie, co-authors of their first contracted release! 

 (Lisa is another friend who could easily pass for my sister! Bet you can’t guess. ;))

Thank you for having us here today, Joanna. Shellie and I met when she joined American Christian Fiction Writers and we discovered we lived close to each other…once upon a time, that is. She’s since moved, right around the time we contracted our (first?) novel together. That novel released September 1: A Summer in Oakville, yes, romance, but also a deeply intimate look at the changing family structures and values and way of life in lost rural America. The back cover reads like this:

  One Magical Summer in Oakville, WisconsinLove Finds its Way through Four Entwined Lives.

Meet Tessa, Lindsay, Art and Andy.

Tessa Hasmer Murphy has a secret. Estranged from her husband, will she let a past love and a fight to save the family farm destroy her marriage and daughter Lindsay’s happiness?

Lindsay Murphy plans to live on her grandparents’ farm until she can find a job, but developer Brandon Calloway has other plans for the property. As she wages war against him, will she lose her heart and the farm both?

Widower Arthur Hasmer’s life and that of his son, Andy, spiral out of control. Then old friend, Dana London, reenters the picture with the power to help them all back to love, joy and faith.

Andy Hasmer has the ultimate bummer life. No mom, not much of a dad, no future. When he’s sent to the farm and wrecks the truck, nothing could be worse than the lousy job he takes to pay Grampa back—except maybe putting up with the pastor’s daughter, Ella.

***

Both Shellie and I are committed to helping other authors – Shellie with the Young Adult and upcoming youth writers, and me with, ahem, adults who are getting into or restarting a writing journey. To that end, Shellie is part of NextGen Writers, which just held their first conference.

For my part, I was one of those writers who got a contract way before I was ready. I knew absolutely nothing about marketing or much about how to use the Internet. Around the years of my first two contracts in 2007 and both books releasing in 2009, I took some time away from writing to learn how to be a businesswoman. I will always be learning, but one thing hit home: build relationships, get to know people—even in cyberspace. I started a couple of group blogs for two purposes: to gather writers for networking, resources, and fun, and as a place where readers could come and learn more about us and our work.

In many ways, Lisa, I feel as you do about getting that contract before I was ready. (Have a feeling many authors do. :)) I’m so grateful for the pay-it-forward attitude of the writing world, and the generosity of writers in sharing their knowledge. How else would we all get by? Tell us about your wonderful site!

Reflections In Hindsight  is one of those places I described above. It’s also an incubator site for writers who are just learning how to blog and build their fanbase. We’re evolving, but the schedule right now is that on Mondays I feature some aspect of Marketing, on Tuesdays we feature authors and books, Wednesdays you peek into a writer’s life, Thursdays one of our authors, Ben, chats about what’s going on in his world of learning to be a writer and get published; Fridays Elaine, who writes historical novels, shares research, and Sundays we try to have book reviews. I invite guests and encourage networking in all of our areas. This way, our authors can also learn to interview and write effective reviews and we all encourage each other.

You can find out more about Shellie and me, our books and networks (including Facebook pages) and our scheduled tours for our latest books on our web sites.

Lisa: http://www.LisaLickel.com

Shellie: http://www.ShellieNeumeier.com

A Summer in Oakville Facebook page.

Read an excerpt.

Book info: A Summer in Oakville

ISBN: 978-1-934912-39-3

ASIN: B005KF6I2E

Price: $16.95 paperback
Price: $8.00 Ebook (PDF format)
Pages: 268 paperback

Purchase links: BlackLyon; Barnes and Noble; Amazon Kindle and Amazon Print

So glad to have you here, Lisa! Best wishes with your release and in all your future endeavors.  And thanks to those of you who dropped in! Please feel free to ask any questions you have. I’m so impressed with the process two authors writing a book–I have enough trouble on my own, lol!

Looking forward to catching up with all of you on Thursday (if not, Friday!) I’ll be posting my thoughts on one of my favorite new shows. Yep, you’ll have to ‘tune in’ then to find out which one it is! I know: I’m mean.  (Happens after kids! ;))

Have a great day,

Joanna


Steph Burkhart Steps into the Bloglight!

Hello everyone, 

Hope today finds you all well and revving up to deal with the day-to-day! We’ve got a visit from paranormal romance author Steph Burkhart!

STEPH: First, I’d like to thank Joanna for having me here today. I’ve been in my writing cave all summer, slaving over my projects and I’ve just now found some time to peep out. Feels good to have a little autumn chill on my cheeks. I love blogging and hanging out on the web. You can find me at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

JOANNA: What do you love best about writing?

STEPH: Writing stimulates my creativity and imagination. I enjoy researching different settings and topics. Writing is like taking an adventure without ever having to leave your seat.

JOANNA: What got you started writing?

STEPH: I remember growing up as a young girl in the 1970’s and watching a show called The Electric Company. I loved the Spiderman skit. After watching the show, I went to the kitchen table and would draw comic books of the skits. My passion for writing evolved from that.

JOANNA: Where do you get story and character ideas?

STEPH: Believe it or not, NOT from dreams. I’m a very heavy sleeper since I don’t get much, and rarely do I remember my dreams. Most of my characters and stories start with a broad concept. For “Victorian Scoundrel,” my steampunk romance, my broad concept was: heroine travels through time to stop her mischief making cousin from changing the time line. From there I built on that, creating Alice and Edmund Windsor, my royals from the future. Then I did research on Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Great Exhibition, Sir John Russell, and dirigibles. Since this was a steampunk I crafted several “fun” gadgets such as transmogrifiers, datamancers, and whuzzies. Alice needed a hero so enter Earl Swinton, Grayson Kentfield, the Prime Minister’s friend. The research was fun and allowed me to tap into my imagination. Then it was time to character build. Using bios, I fleshed out my characters, even casting them like the book was a movie.

This process usually takes 1-2 to weeks for me to flesh out before I can start writing.

JOANNA: Wow. I think I need a glossary to make sense of all the terms. I’m also impressed with your process at crafting the characters. Now, please tell our readers how you juggle, work, and being a mom.

STEPH: This is a balancing act, trust me. I am a 911 dispatcher for LAPD and I work from2 pmto10 pm. When I’m writing, the bulk of my writing is done at work during my down time, putting pen to paper. This way when I get home, all I do is type. After I get the boys off to school, I’ve got the morning to myself. I usually do my promo during that time, visiting Twitter, Facebook, and my Yahoo Groups. After that, I type. Then its off to work to write some more. The evenings are usually dedicated to the kids on my off days.

JOANNA: Talk about current, past, and future projects and upcoming releases.

STEPH: I love the romance genre because romance speaks to hope and love which are very uplifting topics. That said, I enjoy writing paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk. I also have a children’s book out called “The Giving Meadow.” I’m attracted to vintage romance as well, but while I love reading historicals, I find them quite daunting to write.

  In FEB 2011, my paranormal romance, The Count’s Lair, was released. (The novel is Book2 inmy Budapest Moon series.) Set in Budapest, Hungary, Count Anton Varga has a secret – he’s a werewolf. He’s also attracted to the beautiful and talented pianist, Lady Amelia Andrassy. Can Amelia accept him for what he is? There’s plenty of werewolves and witches in the story andBudapestserves as an exotic and believable setting for the story.

Releasing in NOV 2011, is Book 3 of the Budapest Moon Series, “Danubein Candlelight.” It’s set inBudapest, 1922 just after the end of World War I. Morgan Duma is returning home after a stay inEnglandand is reunited with her childhood friend, Adam Varga. When friendship turns to love, the couple’s resolve is tested when Morgan is transformed into a werewolf.

Releasing in DEC 2011 is my contemporary romantic suspense, “The Faberge Secret.” Elise Goodwin runs a heritage museum inBrattleboro,Vermont. When she finds a rare Faberge Egg, its up to Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov to keep her safe from his rival.

Let me share an excerpt with you from my latest release, Victorian Scoundrel.

BLURB: When Alice travels back in time to keep her cousin, Edmund, out of trouble, she has no idea the mischief she’s in for!

Check out my BOOK TEASER ON YOU TUBE 🙂

Buy on AMAZON KINDLEALL ROMANCE EBOOKSBARNES & NOBLE (NOOK BOOK)

REVIEWS: 5 Stars, Readers Favorites, Molly E:

I have never read a Steam Punk novel before, but because of (Steph Burkhart’s) fantastic writing, her engaging plot line, and fun loving characters, it will NOT be the last. I highly recommend this with highest of 5 stars, and I can’t wait until the second Windsor Diaries installment releases!

5 Stars, Tami Dee, Author of the Mists of Time Series: Stephanie Burkhart has a fresh, quick, quirky, inventive imagination and she gives the readers of Victorian Scoundrel a delightful mixture of all of the above!

Pen & The Muse, Barbara: A wonderful historical, paranormal steampunk read this was. This new series is going to be a big hit.  She has me hooked.  This is a must read.

  EXCERPT: Grayson escorted her to a door on the right, threw it open, and put his hand on her waist, guiding her inside. A gas lamp burned on a nearby table, throwing stark, deep shadows into the room.

Her determined man shut the door and pinned her against it. He plucked her glasses from her face and threw them onto the table with the gas lamp. Then he pinned her against the door, placing his hands on the door next to her arms. His breathing was erratic. The light from the lamp cast dark shadows over his chiseled features.

“Gray–”

He stepped closer and lowered his hands, placing one on her waist. Heat spiked within her and settled low in her abdomen. His hazel eyes burned with desire. He drew in a deep breath and raised his forefinger, tracing her lips.Alice closed her eyes, but only briefly, savoring the gentle touch of his finger.

“You do wild things to my heart, sweet Alice,” he finally whispered. His finger traced her cheeks, then her jaw.

She grew hot, yearning for more. Her senses spun from his sensual touch. She could hardly breathe. “Me?”

“Yes, you.”

“What do I do to your heart?”

“You make it beat hard — fast.” He ran his finger down the side of her neck and traced the ‘v’ in her throat.

Alice met the raging inferno in his eyes and nipped at her lower lip with her teeth. “Is that all I do?”

He issued a low, deep groan from his throat and leaned forward. Their lips searched for each other, teasing, until finally they meshed into a heat-searing kiss.

Alice completely lost her head. His lips were hard, firm, staking his claim. His hands went to her waist as his long, lean body pressed against her. She placed her hands on his shoulders and glided her fingertips around the nape of his neck. She wanted this man. Etiquette and propriety be damned. Victorian values wafted to the floor. She wanted to feel every inch of him that she could. His lips trailed over her jaw, kissing the side of her neck.

“Oh, Gray…” she moaned, her flesh now highly sensitized to his touch.

She had never been kissed like this.

He lifted his head; his mouth overtook hers once again. Her stomach fluttered. If it wasn’t for him leaning into her, giving her support, her knees would have buckled. Need. Want. Desire. They pulsed through her.

His tongue teased her lips, coaxing her to receive him. She gave in.

Their tongues mingled, exploring, tempting, teasing. Raging flames consumed her body. There was only Grayson and her. Here. Now.

Grayson broke free, gasping for breath, as did Alice. His hands cupped her face. “I have to stop.”

“All… all right.”

His thumbs stroked her jaw. “You fascinate me, Alice.”

A deep smile graced her lips. “Completely?”

“Totally.”

“You kiss like a demon possessed, Grayson.”

Find me on the web at: my WEBSITE; BLOG; TWITTER; FACEBOOK FAN PAGE and GOODREADS!

Awesome excerpt, Steph! Have to clear my head long enough to take this moment and thank you up front for your invitation to your ‘football season’ blogs. I’ll be visiting with Steph and talking pigskin-related stuff on October 9th! Looking forward to it!

As always I thank all of you who took the time to stop in!

Until next time,

Joanna

LSFW’s M. Kate Quinn!

Good day, friends.

School is officially in session and I will do everything I can to keep myself on a regular schedule here. For now, I’ll keep posts to two days a week, most likely alternating days on a weekly basis (i.e., Mondays and Wednesdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays–you get the idea.)

Before we get our guest’s visit underway, I’d like to ask everyone to take a moment to remember 9/11/2001 and all those who deal with the ramifications of that day every day.  My deepest gratitude to all those who sacrificed and served and to those who continue to do so relative to that day. Prayers are with all of you today and very often. 

Always a tough subject but unfortunately, now part of our history. May we all have peace believing all things work together for a greater good in the long run.  

Okay, back to our author-in-the-house, fellow Liberty States Fiction Writer, M. Kate Quinn! Thanks, M. Kate, for accepting a place in the bloglight. I understand you have wonderful news you’ll share as we go, so let’s get going:

What do love best about writing?

I love the creative process. When it’s in your blood, you crave the formation of story, the shaping of characters and their lives. It’s world building.

What do you like least?

I guess what I like least is other things getting in the way of my writing time, everyday things that have to be done, but cut into the work schedule.

What got you started?

I’ve always spun yarns, and I remember being in second grade and my teacher, Mr. Sprowl, wrote a partial sentence on the blackboard that was something like, “One day a little girl was walking down the street and…”  She asked us to finish the thought.  Something like eight pages later she told me I really had to stop writing because it was time for Social Studies….lol….

What keeps you writing?

I guess now that I’ve embraced this passion that’s always burned inside me, there’s no curtailing it.  I think about it when I’m away, jot notes on slips of paper when I’m in a restaurant, obsessive stuff like that.

How has your writing impacted –or significantly changed—other aspects of your life?

It has made me realize that determination, hard work, preparedness and belief create incredible outcome.  One example on how it has impacted other areas of my life is my physical health.  I had decided six months ago that I simply needed to improve my lifestyle and diet.  So, I used some of the principles I’ve used in my writing life.  I got educated, surrounded myself with those in the know, and then put myself into the game.  I joined Weight Watchers and have taken it very seriously.  I go to the meetings, log my daily points, and exercise regularly.  I’m down about19 lbs, with three more to go before I hit my goal.  Being an author has given me the courage to face new challenges.

Where do you get story and character ideas?

I’m a believer in writing what you know to the extent of the heart of people. You can always do research on certain aspects of life, but people are people, and you have to dig deep within yourself to find the truth and breathe that truth into your characters.

Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’?

      

I’m awaiting the release date of the third book, Brookside Daisy, in my “Perennials Series,” available through The Wild Rose Press.  The first in the series, Summer Iris, debuted last summer and the second, Moonlight and Violet, released this spring.  I named the series after perennial flowers for two reasons.  Each heroine has the name of a perennial flower and perennials are the unrelenting beauties that come back in their glory every spring no matter the harshness of the winter they’ve endured.

Each heroine in the series is a woman of “a certain age” finding herself at a crossroads in her life.  They discover things about themselves, realize their passions, and of course, find that it is never too late to find love.

Here’s the awesome news: Moonlight and Violet is currently a nominee for Best Long Contemporary Romance in the NJ Romance Writers Golden Leaf Awards. I’m thrilled!

That’s incredible news! (Not that I’m at all surprised. Please make sure to keep us in-the-know!) Please tell our readers how you juggle time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc).

It’s tough to juggle it all, but anything important is worth the effort.  I’m lucky enough to have retired early after sixteen years working in the offices of a school district.  Now I devote as much time as possible to my writing career.  However, I have a husband, three grown kids, three grown step kids, two beautiful granddaughters, my mom, extended family and friends, so I still juggle time and schedule.

Share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work:

I enjoy guest blogging, so thank you, Joanna, for having me.  I also have my own blog.

I do book signings and speaking engagements.  My next event is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at the Ocean County Library Book Fair. You can check out details: theoceancountylibrary.org  Hope those of you in the area get a chance to stop in and meet my good friend in person! She’s a lot of fun and as kind as the leading ladies she writes!

So glad to have you here, M. Kate. Looking forward to seeing you again once Brookside Daisy is out and best wishes in the Golden Leaf contest!

Have a great day, everyone.

Joanna