Travelin’ Thru Time with Author Laura (Lara) Hogg

The wall of windows through which I love viewing my street. A great place to sit and write too! 🙂

Seasons’ greetings, friends! Hope everyone boggled by the major snow dump is dug out and back on the road. (Took until last night to get that second car out.) The holiday season may be winding down, but trying to keep a house in order when everyone is home and kids keep bringing friends over somehow makes one’s organizing efforts feel haphazard and futile. And somehow, there are still reports to write, vacation or not. (Guess that’s one way to keep me writing–not exactly my exercise of choice.) Feels like my brain is clogged but at least the current story idea in my head seems to be fleshing itself out. Snippets of scenes keep showing up, so I’m jottin’ ’em down as they come and filing away until I can tie together something coherent.

Fans of Diane Lang, this just in: Visit her website for information regarding the upcoming webinar (1/12/2011), Create the Life You Want in 2011. Cost is $5, payable through PayPal. Or, feel free to e-mail Diane at lifeline36@aol.com for more information!

Before I continue I want give special thanks to those of you make sure you communicate to me your support of my efforts here. (That’s you, Indie, and Vicky G, too, among others. Can’t tell you how grateful I am, especially since I can’t be as consistent with this site as I’d like. Your comments on Facebook, those moments in passing–they mean the world, as do all of you.)

Always happy to introduce to you the people who life brings me through my writing endeavors. Here’s proof that what one puts out there does reach others and will do so in its own way. Lara/Laura was searching the net and came across my blog. Lucky for me, she liked what she saw, sent me a very kind compliment via e-mail and our on-line friendship has grown from there. I’ll let her give the other details. Today, she shares her progression from pre-published to published author. As many have shared before her, there is definitely a reason to hang in there. Thank you so much, Lara, for accepting a place in the bloglight! (Due to an error on Lara’s birth certificate, legally making her a Laura, she goes by either name. To avoid any confusion, I’m going with the former.) I also need to note this is another article that I somehow managed to file and lose track of–in great part because of how life manages to get in the way.  (Sorry, Lara, and thanks so much for your patience.)

Thank you, Joanna.

What do love best about writing? I adore the research and learning new things. Exploring and discovery are so much fun, and as a musician, I find the parallels between writing and music to be exciting. The process of creation is so similar between the two arts, constantly improving and facing one’s inner strength to carry on in the face of harder times. Inspiration and personal growth come about as a result.

What do you like least? Short, curt rejections that take many months to arrive. (Amen!)

What keeps you writing? I’ve met so many lovely people in this industry, so many excellent writers who have real class and heart, but when I first started, my work was so thrashed by an experienced writer that I almost gave up writing forever. Serious prayer and meditation brought me back to it. I had taken plenty of criticism in my work and used the advice to strengthen my writing, but that one writer made me feel so bad, my writing career almost never got off the ground. My faith called me to search for answers, and I followed my heart.

Where do you get story and character ideas? Often from dreams and meditation, the same way I got ideas for songs. Occasionally, a picture will give me an idea. For example, I once saw a picture of a tattoo that said, “Courage” and I wrote a short story; from there, I wrote a novel, Romeo vs. Juliet. Sometimes a snippet from a song or a poem will give me an idea.

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

I write historical and paranormal mostly. Here are a couple of blurbs:

DESCENT INTO DARKNESS: historical romance set in 1811-1812 London and Russia; Full-length historical romance, available with Moongypsy Press, electronic, and soon to be available in print

Duncan Amberley has come back from war, fighting Napoleon’s men on a ship. Clarissa Hale is a lovely shopkeeper with a great sense of humor. A heroic heart rests inside this insecure, intelligent beauty, and she will be called to prove it. Clarissa and her love are pitted against each other for the sake of their families and some terrible accusations. She will be in constant peril as she gathers evidence to convict Duncan’s dangerous brother of a harrowing crime. Duncan’s heart breaks when he discovers something about Clarissa’s sister. Can their love survive the results of their investigations? They devise a dangerous plan to get to the truth, which brings them into the heart of Napoleon’s camp in 1812 Russia as spies. Risking everything, they must get to the truth.

ROMEO VS. JULIET: THE QUESTRIST (time-travel/spec-fic) ebook, short novel. http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/romeovsjulietii.htm

Ambrose, an Elizabethan man, his wife Josephine, and their young daughter are called to an important mission in the far future, but something goes terribly wrong. Ambrose must solve a mystery or his family will be lost to him forever. He faces a deadly enemy. The trail leads him back into the past several centuries where Josephine has interfered; changing the direction of an important battle, and therefore Elizabethan England disappears off the map of history. He walks around his home world, unable to reverse things. Could this cause Romeo to leave Juliet forever?

I have a Victorian-set novel coming out early next year called Margot and am working on more in the Romeo vs. Juliet time travel series. Living in Colorado, I also like to write Westerns and have also written post-apocalyptic stories. As for paranormal, I love time travels. I don’t write about vampires or werewolves, but rather supernatural topics such as the astral plane, karma, and angels.

From our e-mail exchanges, Lara, I’ve learned you’ve worn—and wear—many, many hats, including that of home-schooling mom. (That one impresses me tremendously. As much as I love the idea, I don’t know that I’m organized enough to put together lessons much less be patient with two boys who’d much rather do anything besides schoolwork, lol.)  Please tell our readers how you juggle work, your music, time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc).

I work in a private reading school during the day as a clinician and edit for a publisher at night online. My husband does all the cooking and much of the cleaning, including cleaning the litter boxes. (What a great guy.  Makes a huge difference when our men take on the brooms, mops and sponges, right? Mine puts away the laundry, a job I absolutely abhor.) My daughter is in college. I’m ashamed to say that my instruments have collected some dust, but I intend to remedy that. I didn’t have the guts to submit my work until I was in my thirties.

During my busiest time of life, I was also in a rock band and had practice on the weekends. I just budgeted my time. For example, I taught a French class to an elementary school class first thing in the morning then took a bus to college. My husband dropped off our daughter with me. I taught our girl how to read at a young age. She would sit quietly behind me in my classes with her little pink backpack and read the lesson plan I had written out for her. She wrote down her questions while working in her workbooks, and we’d discuss them after I got out of class. From there, the two of us got on a bus and went to the daycare where I worked, often having to eat our lunch at the bus stop. She’d play with her friends at the daycare while I worked, and she could come to my room anytime to say hello. Then we’d take the bus home. I’d give her lessons, or we’d go to the park or something. Her daddy taught her about computers, and we gave her tests and kept records.

After she went to sleep, I stayed up late writing her a new lesson plan etc., practicing piano, and doing my own homework, sometimes bringing my books into the bathtub. I was so busy. I had a lot of wet college texts, warped pages. Constantly sleep deprived…and poor, often facing eviction from our apartment—daycares don’t pay much, but I wanted my girl to have friends while I home-schooled her, and my husband was also in college.

My daughter was a little older when I was in the rock band. She got to see me play when my band did a gig at a small coffee house. Now she’s an artist, musician, and writer and does well in college.

One thing to keep in mind, I had to eat right and exercise to keep up the energy to do all that. Chasing after buses kept us both in shape. We did a heck of a lot of walking back then, sleeping on buses and on campus between classes. Keeping our bodies as healthy as we can makes such a difference when one’s work keeps one sitting much of the time. Finding a way to add movement to one’s day becomes another challenge when one is that busy. In addition to regular exercise and walks, I’m blessed enough to work with school-aged children in the area of gross motor development. That ups my fitness that much more. I make sure to be an active participant during large ball play, scooter play, etc. All the strengthening I work on with my students comes back to me—and it’s fun!

Joanna, I really appreciate being your guest. Thank you so much. Grateful to have you, Lara, and for the different ways you’ve been of help to me since we ‘met.’ Most of all, I appreciate your loyal support of my blog! Here are different ways those of you who’d like to learn more about Lara and her various creative endeavors:

Facebook Twitter Amazon MySpace Travel the Ages (blog)

I enjoy having authors at my blog and welcome enquiries in that regard. Warm regards to you and your readers.

And to you and yours, Lara. Best wishes in all that you do. Keep persevering and we’ll look for you again!

On that note, I wish a great day to all. As always, thank you for your continued support by stopping by my tiny spec of cyberspace!

Joanna

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PL Parker Parks in the Bloglight!

Good day friends! Always great to connect with all of you here! By now so many of you know how happy the US Open Tennis Championships final match made me–and I’ve added Mr. Djokovic to my list of absolute favorite players. If this comes as a surprise, scroll down to the previous post and check out the champs! Now I have to wait a whole year…good thing the Australian is coming up next! What is life without tennis? Oh to be able to write full-time, break from that by going to the tennis court for exercise…

Okay, enough wishful thinking. 🙂 Let’s get to my current guest, online friend and regular visitor to my humble blog!  Meet P.L. Parker, newly published author of unique paranormal fantasy romance novels with a twist. Her modern day heroines find themselves transported back in time to live in ancient lands where they encounter peril, romance, treachery, and ultimately, love. She enjoys creating fantasy romance stories in both the light and dark paranormal. Today she answers questions regarding her author’s journey.  

   

Welcome, P.L. Thanks for all your support–more appreciated than I can communicate! What do you love best about writing? I love the ability to create a character from the ground up.  I love being able to imagine whatever reality I want and build on that.  I love the research behind the story—all that it takes to make the story credible and I love telling the story.

We may be soul sisters who traveled from another dimension to this one! What do you like least? Oh most definitely the promo.  I just want to write, but promo goes hand in hand.  Next is the editing. I wish I was talented enough to write the perfect story the first time through, but I don’t think anyone has that ability.

What got you started? I used to tell my husband all these stories and he kept telling me I needed to write them down.  So one day, he went out and bought a computer, brought it home, hooked it up and told me to get started.  He is also my best fan.  Until I turned 50, I don’t think I had the true focus I needed to stay with a manuscript.  I actually wrote my first novel, Fiona, and truly started writing when I was 54.  I am now 58.

Okay, so now I have writer’s envy. Can’t manage more than one story at a time myself and have a ton of trouble transitioning from one manuscript to the next. What keeps you writing? All the stories inside my head just waiting to be put down on paper.  At the same time I am writing the current story, the next story is already forming in my brain cells, just waiting for its chance to break free.  I pretty much have a mental outline ready for the next book by the time I finish the last one.

How has your writing impacted –or significantly changed—other aspects of your life? My house has suffered.  I used to be a much better housekeeper, but something had to fall by the wayside, so I voted for the housekeeping.  It was a hard choice . . . .

Where do you get story and character ideas? Who or what inspires you? Amazingly enough, the Discovery Channel.  I love ancient history and the quirky little things they dig up.  I often wonder how modern man would survive back then, if they could.  Fiona was based on the Urumchi Mummies of Ancient China; Riley’s Journey is set in the last great Ice Age; Heart of the Sorcerer and Aimee’s Locket are not that far back in time, but still time travel – modern man set against the tribulations of the past.

                     

Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’? Actually, Fiona was my “dream novel.”  None of my succeeding stories have affected me like Fiona did.  I felt her pain, her fear, her desire to return home. I have also stepped out of my comfort zone (time travel) and am writing a SciFi story – but I have to admit, there is some time travel in there.  LOL.  It’s a fun story and I’m having a great time writing it. 

I understand congratulations are in order? Recently, I had two manuscripts in the submission stage,  Absolution,  a vampire story with a twist, and Into the Savage Dawn, a sequel to Riley’s Journey. Both are now under contract for publication: the former with Eternal Press and the latter with Willow Moon Publishing (my very first editor’s brand new endeavor). I’m very excited! 

As I would be!  Please tell our readers how you juggle work (other than writing, assuming you work ‘outside the home,’ as a patient aptly asked me many years ago), time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc). I write during my breaks and lunchtime at work, save the current work and on Friday afternoons, I send the latest home to be input into the main manuscript.  This actually works great for me because I live in a house full of men and they can’t seem to understand that when I’m writing, I can’t be answering a million questions, fixing dinner, ironing their T-shirts, finding lost socks, etc.  Men will be men. I’ve got a houseful of testosterone myself (minus the two female cats). Bless you, girl: you iron T-shirts?? You’re a lot more understanding than I am, lol.

Please share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work. I wish I knew what was the most effective.  The Book-A-Day Giveaways at The Romance Studio is a good choice.  I’ve given away a number of copies through them and I always seem to have a long list of entrants for whichever of my books I have donated. I also buy small notebooks from various places, print out stickers with the covers of my books and paste on them, and hand them out or use as mailers. (I’m liking the notebook idea! :)) I do try to blog as much as I can given time constraints. Currently, at my blog, I’m doing a sequence which I’ve entitled In Search of My Soulmate, and each post will be “Bachelor No. 1, 2, etc.”  I have already really input No. 1 but I called it Who Was that Basque Man.  I have so many stupid things that happened with dates, blind dates, etc., I decided telling about them would be a good romance blog.  The ending one will be my meeting with my soulmate, who just happens to be my husband. (BTW, I popped over and peeked at these; I am now hooked! Hysterical! If you get a chance, readers, check out this series. EVERYONE can relate!)

For blurbs, excerpts, etc:  www.plparker.com; or my blogspot.

Thanks again, P.L. for stopping by and sharing your stories with us! Good luck with all your current and future endeavors–as always, I am impressed by those of you who can juggle so many stories at once!

Next week, look for Diane Lang’s tips on transitioning kids between classrooms and other settings. Also, start thinking about the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you. For this one, those we know and love don’t count.

Until then, enjoy the weekend–here on the northcentral east coast, it’s a gorgeous, fresh last-of-the-summer day. Hope yours is as nice!

Joanna

Karen Michelle Nutt (finally!) Gets the Bloglight!

Hello everyone!

Rafa Nadal won Wimbledon—and we all know how happy that makes Joanna! (Okay, ecstatic is the more precise word. There I am wishing I were there to see it!) I even got the best pancakes ever (courtesy of my older son) while enjoying Breakfast at Wimbledon. (Scroll down to the next post and see for yourself!)

Other than that, it has been TOO LONG since Joanna’s felt like she has even a semblance of a clear head—the last week of June and July to date have been insanely busy with extended school year program (a.k.a. “summer school)  and all my boys being home all the time. I’m tired, frustrated and WAY behind with my writing and related ventures. I’m hanging in there, though, and hoping to feel more connected to all of you very soon! Thanks for your patience and support!

Today I own the pleasure of introducing the very kind, very patient and much tolerant Karen Michelle Nutt. (I promised her a blogspot last month then lost track of my life as I knew it, lol!)

Karen Michelle Nutt and Jack

From what I’ve learned, Karen is quite intrigued with the concept of time travel and the possibility of reaching into the past and changing it. (I can think of a few things I’d like altered easy.) Her heart also holds a special, dark place for vampires and shapeshifters. When she isn’t writing, this dynamo reviews paranormals. When she can, she travels the world, too. Check out her website for some of the stops she’s made. Maybe she can coordinate your next tour, maybe even set it in a different time and place!

Okay, Karen, here we go. Tell me about your writing roots: what got you started and what gave you the confidence to persevere?   What can I say? I love books!! I started writing plays and short stories when I was ten. I still have those notebooks, lol, however, it wasn’t until I was married and had three children that I decided I wanted to seriously write and submit my work to a publisher. I’d finish one novel and send it out to a publisher. Then I’d start my next book. If I received a rejection letter, I sent it to the next publisher on my list. Perseverance finally paid off.  In 2006, I had my first time travel novel published.

How has your writing impacted other aspects of your life?  I’m a better writer now thanks to the wonderful editors I’ve worked with through the years. Learning POV was difficult for me. I wanted to head hop all the time. I’ve learned to control my characters. They hardly ever speak out of turn now.

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

Creighton Manor: a time travel romance.

Blurb: The last thing that Gillian Metcalf remembers before she passes out is being aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, where she witnessed a dog disappearing as if it were a phantom. Now she’s aboard the riverboat, Ida Belle, traveling down the muddy Mississippi. It is 1870, where men carry guns and throw knives. It is a time where reputations mean everything. Before she can determine how she’s miraculously stepped from one world into another, she is being forced to marry Zachary Creighton. Trouble follows the man and it looks like she’s along for the ride.

Moon Shifter: Irish werewolf romance

Blurb: It is forbidden for a moon shifter of The Mac Tíre clan to change a human and save them from death. Grayson Quinn, the alpha of the pack ignores the ancient rule when Sydney Carlisle, his fiancée is ravaged by one of his own kind. Sydney believes she is a monster, a werewolf. She flees before Grayson can help her adjust, but Grayson must find her. Sydney’s body is still changing and the were-lust will drive her crazy if not sated. He has until the full moon to help her tame the wolf inside and convince her she’s his soul mate. If he fails, he loses her forever. Sydney still craves Grayson’s touch, but can her heart forgive him for making her one of the Mac Tíre?

Heart of a Warrior: Goddess romance (fantasy)

Blurb: Scáthach is the warrior goddess from the Isle of Skye. When a young boy pleads for the goddess to help his Uncle Trey, his prayers do not go unheard. However, she is surprised to find Trey Brennan, not on a battlefield but in a hospital room, hooked to monitors, his body rejecting a bone marrow transplant. She would accept the challenge and educate Trey in the art of warfare. A war was a war no matter where the battle was held. Be it on the fields of heather with an army or an illness attacking the body. Both held the enemy that needed to be defeated. Trey Brennan knew he was dying, but he awakes in another realm where the goddess Scáthach wants to teach him to be a warrior. He is sure he’s dreaming, but what did he have to lose? He would train and he would fight. Perhaps his destiny on the Isle of Skye would also change his path in his world.

Upcoming: I’m working on a fallen angel series called the Warriors for the Light. It will consist of five short stories all released as e-books then later all stories will be compiled into one print anthology. I’m very excited about this project.

Warriors for the Light: Eli’s Story is the first and is now going thought edits.

Blurb: At a very young age the Rules of Conduct for the Fallen Angels were drummed into Eli Grigori’s head. Rule number one: Do not befriend a human. Rule number two: Do not interfere in their lives. Rule number three: Do not have relations with a human. Rule number four: Under no circumstances will you ever reveal your true self. He managed to break all of the above.

Ol’ Hallow’s Eve is the day the veil between worlds are thin. It’s the only day out of the year the preternatural beings are allowed to walk among the humans as their true selves. With Eli’s wings bound and his glamour stripped, the Elders send him back in time before Ryden O’Sullivan knew the truth about him. If she is truly his soul mate, then her heart should recognize him.

There are those among the Watchers who are afraid Eli might succeed in his quest for love. If he does, everything will change within the brethren. Hashasheen demons that are assassins for hire are sent to take out Eli and Ryden. Eli is a warrior and will fight to keep Ryden safe, but time may be their biggest enemy. The Elders gave him until the end of Ol’ Hallow’s Eve. Ryden must fall in love with him by then or his life will be forfeited.

You gave so much to tantalize us—thank you! Next, please tell our readers how you juggle work (other than writing, assuming you work ‘outside the home,’ as a patient aptly asked me many years ago J), time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc). I do have a day job. I’m a financial secretary at a dental office and have been in the field for twenty-seven years. Monday is my day off and I dedicate the day for my writing. There may be a few days during the week I can manage an hour or two, but not always. It is my dream to one day write full time. (Amen! What a lovely thought for those of us so inclined…)

How do I fit in promo time? I prepare ahead for promos, having all my book covers, blurbs, excerpts, etc in a file and ready to go for when I need it.  Then all I have to do is copy and paste. It saves a lot of time.

I know it does as I’ve employed some of these tips myself. Please share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work: Join yahoo groups that feature your genre. Don’t just post your information and disappear. Try to check back to see if anyone commented or asked a question about your work. If at all possible, set up a website that is free of advertisements. You want your site to look professional. Join Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. These are places you can network with other authors. You can also post your news like upcoming events, blog dates, book releases, etc. You want to reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, your book doesn’t magically find their way to a reader’s hand. You have to let them know you wrote one, lol!  At my website (http://www.kmnbooks.com) under LINKS, I’ve listed resources for authors. All the direct links are there for easy access.

I want to thank you so much for letting me be your guest author today and letting me share my books with everyone. I’d also like to offer another opportunity to share my books: leave a comment and be entered in a drawing for an e-copy (pdf) of one of my stories! (Drawing will be held on Wednesday evening, July 21, 7 PM EST, USA).

You are most welcome, Karen, and very gracious! Thanks so much for visiting with us and letting us get to know you.

Learn more about Karen at her website and blog.

As always, I thank all of you who took time out of your daily grind to stop by!  Look for at least one awesome zucchini and chicken taco recipe I recently tossed together to be posted at my website soon. And on July 23rd look for an interview with Pamela Thidbodeux. Her newest release, In His Sight, an inspirational romance, is due to release—you guessed it: July 23rd! Join us on her launch day! We’ll make it special!

Until next time,

Joanna

Cozying up with Cate Masters!

Hi everyone! It’s been two weeks of paperwork at my end; almost  day-job-writing-free–for a little while, anyway! Nothing like reports looming over me to mess with the fun of a much-appreciated scheduled day off!  Today I’m also enjoying a semi-expected snow day!   School is closed so I get some freebie time to get caught up enough to really enjoy the extended Presidents’ Day weekend; as snowy as things look right now on the mid-north Atlantic coast, I might get almost a week out of this deal! No place more snug than cuddled with my computer and a hot cup of coffee to ride out the inclememnt weather, plugging away at the keys…

                                              

Chances are today’s guest will most be likely plugging away at yet another story very soon, but at the moment she is very excited about today’s release, only one of twelve (count ’em!) current releases–wow! 

 Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction. Among many reviewers’ descriptions you’ll find: “so compelling I did not want to put it down,” and “romantic tales that really touch your soul.”  Sounds like someone from whom I could learn a whole lot, so let’s go! 

Tell us about your writing roots, Cate. How did you start and what keeps you going? Writing grabbed me at a very young age. I started writing poetry at age 10 which, during my teen years I hoped to be song lyrics but that never panned out.  Not until my late twenties did I turn to fiction, and then I only wrote for myself. Once my kids grew, I had more time to devote to all things writing, including critique groups, workshops and classes. A few years ago, my daughter had a health crisis and I quit my full-time job to stay home with her. Writing literally saved my sanity (and continues to do so!).

                                    Liberation-via-pen.jpg      

How has your writing impacted other aspects of your life? By concentrating on my writing, I find my life to be much more centered and balanced. In the past, I’d pushed writing to the bottom of the priority list, and the rest of my life suffered because I was unhappy. Now I’m doing what I love. Nothing’s better than that. 

Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’? As the result of a submission frenzy in 2008-2009, I had twelve contracts last year: Seventh Heaven, The Duende and the Muse, Going with Gravity and Design for Life with The Wild Rose Press; One Soul for Sale, Picture This and Fever Dreams with Eternal Press; Liberation via Pen with Wild Child Publishing; Angels Sinners and Madmen, Wilderness Girl and The Lure of the Vine with Freya’s Bower; and Reflections with Shadowfire Press. It’s been a wonderfully crazy year!

                                 

Five releases are coming up: Design for Life will be released as part of The Wild Rose Press’ Flower Basket series on Feb. 10, 2010. A historical novel, Angels Sinners and Madmen, will be released by Freya’s Bower soon. Surfacing is a contemporary fantasy novel that Whiskey Creek Press will release. They also contracted a contemporary women’s fiction, The Bridge Between.. I literally have a “dream novel” – Fever Dreams, a contemporary to be released by Eternal Press in mid-2010 (though my real dream novel, my first, is as yet unpublished).

Currently, I’m waiting to hear from two publishers on three contemporary novels.  A historical novel is in revisions, and I plan to submit that soon. About a dozen other stories are in various stages, with my muse nagging at me to get to work!   

                             

Okay, I’m dizzy now and no less than amazed (again!) at how one author can dream up then keep so many stories straight in her head. I’m lucky on a day I can revise one story and work on the first draft of a second. What’s the magic, Cate? How you juggle real life, time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc)?  As my daughter’s health improved, it necessitated me finding a job again. My wonderful husband urged me to go back part-time, so after getting home from half a day’s work in the real world, I put in a full day of writing and related activities – blogging on my own blog site plus monthly at Popculturedivas and at The Susquehanna Writers, Facebook updates, loop emails (which are the real killer for me! I have a hard time keeping up with the hundreds of emails, even with many on digest).

Please share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work and get others to know you!  I’m still fairly new, so I’m not sure what’s most effective. Social networking has introduced me to a bunch of great people. By blogging regularly, I get my news out there plus I like to host other authors to help them promote their releases. My web site, www.catemasters.com, has all the latest news, links to my releases, reviews, my blogs and other Web pages. Basically, I’d advise any author to put yourself out there however you can!

Design for Life (The Wild Rose Press Flower Basket series),

Released today!

Becca Lyndon puts her dreams on hold by leaving art school to care for her ailing mom. Working full time at The Flower Basket leaves precious little time, but she squeezes in night classes at the local college. When Mike Hunter fills in as a substitute teacher, she worries about a repeat of the critical reviews he gave her work when he substituted at her high school three years earlier. His reason comes as a complete surprise, but can she trust him? Or will he disappear like her father? When that possibility looms all too real, she’s determined never to let the design for her life unravel again. Following her bliss requires work, but pays off in more ways than she ever imagined. She also learns that one door might close, but another can open—and lead to unexpected opportunities.

The homey atmosphere in the shop always unraveled Becca’s wound nerves. Walking to the counter, she reached into her handbag, oversized to double as a briefcase to carry her art supplies. Her presentation last night had gone well, but she hoped this morning’s would surpass it.

“If you have a minute, can you take a look at these designs and let me know what you think? I used them for my class project last night.”

Grace laid a hand on her arm, her face alight. “Did you wow them?”

With a grin, Becca pulled out her sketch pad. “Not exactly. But Mr. Hunter said they were good.”

Her brow furrowed, Donica stepped next to her. “Who’s Mr. Hunter?”

“A substitute teacher.” Her words came out in a sing-song tone.

Steffie clucked her tongue. “Something about the way you say that makes me think he’s kinda cute.”

Becca couldn’t help but smile. “Not kind of. Very.”

At home last night, she found herself sketching Mike Hunter. His dark hair, tapering to the top of his collar, made her want to run her fingers through its waves. She wanted to remove his black rectangular-framed glasses, peer into his dark brown eyes that sparkled when his gaze met hers. Press her lips against his and push his corduroy jacket from his shoulders. Drawing his features gave her a sense of intimacy, one she wanted to experience.

Hoping the women didn’t notice, Becca fanned the warmth from her neck.

Thank goodness they were too busy laughing. Since she’d been hired at The Flower Basket, the three co-owners had come to feel like her sisters. Warm. Supportive. On the days she had to bring Mom to her doctor appointments, all encouraged her not worry about them, even though the shop had attracted so much new business, they sometimes put in sixteen hours.

Becca hoped to give something back. Something worthwhile.

A pleasure to have you stop by, Cate! Best of luck with Design for Life,  your multitude of upcoming releases and all your works-in-progress! Having you here has been an inspiration!

Next week, multi-faceted, Golden Heart Finalist Rebecca J. Clark stops in!  Until next time, my friends: have a wonderful day!

Joanna