Cat Dubie Author of The Queen of Paradise Valley

Give a warm welcome to Cat Dubie, author of  The Queen of Paradise Valley!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Cat Dubie and Del and Dianna from The Queen of Paradise Valley.

Thanks, Tena, for hosting me and my characters on your blog today! Del and Diana are ready for their interviews –

Great lets start with this handsome hunk sitting next to you.

The name’s Delaney Russell, Del to my friends.

Tells us about the real you—   What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you?

[short hesitation] When I was ten I watched my Pa die in a cold, lonely cave. He was sick, couldn’t work, so we packed up a wagon and headed to Colorado to see if his old partner would help us. He flat out refused. I spent a long time planning vengeance for Pa. But when I met the old partner’s daughter, everything changed. And not for the better, not for a long time.

What do you most value?

[Smiles] Well, my wife would say my property, my horses, then her.  I’d say the reverse. [another smile] But I’ll add honesty and trust, two things worth fighting for.

What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?

I once loved the sweetest, kindest, truest woman I’d ever known. We planned a life together, but she died too soon. I later discovered it was a dream, never meant to be. Now I found a new reason to live and love with an unpredictable, exciting, passionate, stubborn, ornery-at-times woman who sure lives up to her royal nickname. It was a hell of a hard road getting where we are now. She almost killed me, but she also saved my life. And yeah, she’s my forever woman.

What do you consider most important in life?

Well, it’s different for everyone. Some say family, some say wealth, some say power. These days, I say it’s most important to be alive, to wake up every morning beside someone you love.

What is your biggest secret?

Most of my secrets were revealed in the book. Read it to find out. [winks]

Thank you Del, we appreciate your time. Now Diana, it’s your turn in the barrel, so to speak.

I’m Diana Rennie, now Mrs. Russell.

Who are you really?  Who were the biggest role models in your life?

Ha! I didn’t have any growing up – when I was three my mother whisked me from the ranch where I was born to New York city. She wanted only to sit on the top rung of the Society ladder. Her frantic pace eventually killed her – liquor, morphine, belladonna. Could say my role models were my teachers, especially my piano teacher. Also the house servants, who took pity on me and were wonderfully kind. I didn’t have a real role model until I met my father again. [sighs] But he was far from perfect, as I sadly discovered.

What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with?  

You know, in New York I never had an ideal man in mind. Mother groomed me to marry a wealthy man, even a titled European one. I had other plans. And when I went to Colorado to live with my father, I had no thoughts about spending my life with a man. I was happy to live there and learn all I could about him. Then I met – you could say butted heads with  – the one man who completely changed my life. I disliked him at first, we argued about everything, and when I discovered he was my partner I was determined to get rid of him. But he saved me again and again, from outward forces, from myself! Even when I sure didn’t deserve his help. I could easily say he’s strong and handsome, but he’s so much more. And amazingly he loves me. I can’t bear to think of life without him.

What kind of man would you never choose?

I’d never choose a man whose life revolves around his belongings and riches, or who had no compassion for others.

What is most important to you in life?

At one time it was my ambition to become a world renowned pianist. Then it was my father, who I thought was the greatest man in the world until I discovered he was only human. Now it’s Del, the ranch, and the family we hope to have someday.

What is your biggest fear?

[laughs] I used to fear many things but had perfected a way of hiding it. It took some harrowing experiences and a special man to shrink those fears enough to kick them away. Now my biggest fear is probably waking up and finding the last years were only a dream. If it’s a dream, I never want to wake up.

Cat it your turn. Tell us a little about writing this story.  Was it fun or difficult?  Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?

I wrote The Queen of Paradise Valley over several years. The first draft was over 200,000 words. I put it away for years, and dusted it off every now and then to do rewrites and editing. The writing part was fun, the editing was harder, as I had much to learn about the process. My biggest problem – I started the story too early, made complex [I thought interesting] lives for each main character. Several chapters later, the actual story began. I took out those early chapters [killed my darlings!] and it finally made cohesive sense. Each edit I made whittled the word count down until I had less than 100,000 words.

The characters go in the direction I lead them, but then insist on having the final word. They say and do things that alter the plot, but I don’t mind – that’s the fun part! And as I reread my story I sometimes get surprised. Did I write that? Hmm, I don’t remember that paragraph. Maybe I was in a fugue state and someone else was dictating the story? [The joy of writing!] A plotter or a pantster? I’d have to say both. I write scenes out of order as they come to me or as the characters dictate, but then I have a big timeline of events into which I fit the scenes I’ve written, and find which scenes I still need.

Tell us a little about The Queen of Paradise Valley:

Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del.
Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana’s ranch, back to prove he isn’t the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him.
A Peek Between the Pages of The Queen of Paradise Valley:

“I don’t have much left to wager. I doubt you’d  want my saddle, and I won’t part with my horses.” He again rubbed his jaw. “My share of the mine.”

The cards slipped from her hand. “Are you mad? For forty dollars and a pretty—”

“I had higher stakes in mind.”

“What stakes?” Now his eyes were like sunshine  reflected on a rippling silver lake. She gathered the cards, and the stones skipped against her skin. Mouth dry, she repeated, “What stakes?”

“If I win, you’ll move into my bedroom, share my bed.”

Thrills snaked down her back, jumbled visions careened through her mind. She forced herself to concentrate on reshuffling the cards. Wind whistled down the chimney, and the flames flared, then sizzled and spit when sprayed by melting snow.

She met his gaze. “If I win, you’ll sign your entire share to me.” He nodded and she went on, “If you win, I’ll go to your bed, but for one night only. Is your share of the mine worth so little to you?”

“Is your pride worth so much to you?” A soft laugh. “Should we put it in writing? Deal the cards.

Maybe your luck will hold.”

You can find The Queen of Paradise Valley at most online retailers including:

The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Indigo, Kobo

About the Author:

Cat Dubie believes she was destined to write. Her love of words began early – she was making rhymes soon after learning to talk. With a crayon in hand she first drew stories, with a pencil she wrote them. As for reading, she was the girl who always had her nose in a book, the one who read with a flashlight under the covers or, when the moon was full, sat by a window for hours laughing, crying, loving characters whose adventurous lives wouldn’t let her sleep.

She has traveled the world in books. She has traveled back in time and into the future in books. Her keen interest in history determined the nature of her books, and the first Historical romance novel she read, settled the genre.

After working for various levels of government, she retired and now lives in the beautiful province of British Columbia, where she indulges in her need for creating stories about romance, adventure, passion, mystery, love …

Social media links:

My blog:    https://catdubie.blogspot.ca

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorcat.dubie.7

twitter:        https://twitter.com/catdubie

 

It was wonderful having you, Dell and Diana with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with The Queen of Paradise Valley.  

 


Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged , , , , , by with 23 comments.

Carol Henry WIth Breakfast With Santa

Happy holidays to all!  Give a big welcome to Carol Henry, author of Breakfast With Santa and other romances. Have a seat and grab an insulated mug. I’ve got hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee. Choose your pot, they’re labeled. Pick your choice of a Snicker-doodle, Chocolate Chip or Peanut butter cookie from the plate. Yep, I baked them myself. Lets see what makes Carol tick and what Breakfast With Santa is all about.  Thanks for joining us!

I’ve been writing for a very long time. Writing Romance?  Didn’t get serious until I retired in December 2000. Previous to that, while working as an Administrative Assistant to a Department Chair at Cornell University, I wrote human interest features for several local papers as I was and still am involved in many community organizations, activities, and am the town historian. As historian I’ve written several history books and tons of articles for my hometown. As a national and international traveler, I also write travel features for many cruise line in-cabin books, travel magazines, and international travel newspapers.  But I also am an avid reader.  I’ve read a ton of mysteries and romance since…forever.

I’m not sure what actually drove me to think I could write a book, but I decided to take a correspondence class, and started writing a few children’s stories, gained a bit of confidence, took a few writing classes while working at Cornell. When I signed up for a summer writing course, I had to produce a ten-page paper taking a non-fiction topic and turning it into fiction. Well, after reading it to the class, everyone wanted to know when the book was coming out.  Thus, Ribbons of Steel was hatched. Granted it wasn’t until years later that I considered doing the research and turning it into a historic novel that it was published in 2015 by The Wild Rose Press. In the meantime I joined RWA, Southern Tier Authors of Romance, and a critique group. My learning curve and confidence (should I say determination) took hold. After fits and starts, submissions, rejections, re-submissions, and more determination, my first romantic suspense novel—Amazon Connection (published in 2008, by the Wild Rose Press)—saw the light of day, and my romance writing career took off.

My story ideas come from my travels, especially for what I like to refer to as my romantic suspense ‘Connection Series’—Amazon Connection, Shanghai Connection, Rio Connection.  The culture and landscape of the countries I visit play a big part in my novels. And I’ve learned from the summer class I took at Cornell, to find something that is really happening in the country I’m placing my characters in, and build a fictional situation/conflict around it. And yes, this requires a bit of research as I go along. Of course, when I travel, I take a ton of pictures, pick up literature that is current wherever possible, and make sure I get into the depths of the interior to explore and take advantage of the adventures.

And yes, to answer the question: Do You See Yourself in Your Characters?  My heroine is a bit like me. I’ve always said I’m not a brave person (of a lot of things, especially heights and creepy-crawlies), BUT, I don’t like to be left behind. And that motto has gotten me in to situations that I’ve been able to use in my novels. Like alligator hunting at midnight and getting stuck in the middle of Amazon’s back of beyond.  My Brand Promise for my Connection Series is: Carol Henry takes you to love in Exotic Places—adventures were the heroine discovers more than the ‘wild and wonderful’ world around her—she finds her inner courage and an once-in-a-lifetime love!

My contemporary novels however, show a grittier heroine who has learned to stand up for herself, and somehow, I find that most of my novels still includes a bit of a travel location that I’ve visited. For example, without my knowing it, I’ve included Hawaii in Juelle’s Legacy, a Lobster Cove Book from the Wild Rose Press, and even the sequel Breakfast with Santa, has my heroine tripping off to Norway to catch up with her fiancée.

I love holiday romances, and besides Breakfast with Santa (loosely based on an event that is held here in town, annually), my novel ‘Nothing Short of a Miracle’ was an original start at writing that I pulled out of my bottom drawer and decided it was worth another look. And it paid off.  It was snapped up, rated #1 as an Amazon Encore Exclusive, and held that title for 21 days, along with my author rank at #7. It remained on the top 100 books for even longer, and is still doing well. Wish you see my happy dance—or maybe not J

Why do I write what I write?  The old saying: “write what you know” kind of describes me.  As you can see, I tend to be an eclectic writer, although most of my novels are contemporary. And, I still have a lot of experiences, adventures, and human interest tales to fill a few more books.

What’s next?  Cairo Connection, of course. Readers have been asking for the sequel to Ribbons of Steel, and perhaps another Lobster Cove book. And my ‘Connection Series’ has been contracted and auditioned for Audible—coming soon.

Tell us a little about Breakfast With Santa:

Six years ago Katelyn experienced heaven in Mark Logan’s arms. But when Mark joined the Special Forces, he left her with shattered dreams—and, unbeknownst to him, carrying his unborn baby. Now, he’s back in Lobster Cove, and she’s engaged to another man. But with her fiancé in Norway, Katelyn volunteers to play an elf at the annual Breakfast with Santa event.

Mark Logan-aka Santa–can’t keep his eyes off Katelyn in her sexy elf outfit, which brings back feelings better left hidden. After all, he only returned to Lobster Cove to keep his two-year-old son safe from kidnappers, not to rekindle an old romance.

Katelyn, conflicted between her renewed feelings for Mark and the secret she’s kept from him, flies to Norway to reaffirm her feelings for her fiancé. But when she arrives, she discovers a startling truth. Will unearthed secrets be the key to her happiness or heartache?

A Peek Between the Pages of Breakfast With Santa:

Mark had all he could do to keep his eyes and mind on the kids all morning. Carrying on a conversation with them while watching Katelyn Sullivan out of the corner of his eyes was driving him nuts. She was more beautiful now than she had been six years ago. And hot damn, the elf outfit was just about the sexiest getup he’d seen in a long time. On her, it was like a beacon sending out come-hither signals, like the lighthouse next to her parent’s restaurant. And he had no trouble receiving those signals—loud and clear. They had drifted apart after high school when she went off to attend college and he joined the military. Was she in a relationship now? There’d been rumors, but folks in town weren’t being very forthcoming with details. Lobster Cove’s rumor mill tended to be part myth, part truth, and all wrong sometimes, if he remembered correctly. Hell, he could only imagine what they’d been spreading about him—where he had disappeared to, and why he was back with a two-year-old son in tow. Secret missions for the military left little room for confiding in family or sharing secrets with loved ones. Not sure what his parents had told anyone, but he did know they’d kept his career and his wife’s death to themselves. Of course, they didn’t know the entire story, either.

Dammit! He was tired of guarding secrets.

Katelyn herded a pair of twin boys in his direction. His heart raced as she drew near enough for him to touch her. Instead, he lifted the two four-year-olds on to his knees.

“Ho, ho, ho, Miss Elf. Who do we have here?” He looked directly into her eyes instead of the boys’, hoping she’d recognize him.

She didn’t.

“This is Ryan and Ethan Holmes, Santa. They have a list for you to take back to the North Pole.”

Mark ignored the list and continued gazing into Katelyn’s baby blues. The boys wiggled, diverting his attention back to the main reason he was there—to play Santa. He sighed as she walked away, and vowed he’d find an opportunity to talk to her before the end of the day.

Buy Links:

Amazon Author Page, The Wild Rose Press Author Page

Barnes & Noble: Carol Henry Page

More about the Author!

Carol Henry writes Destination: Romance—Exotic Romantic Suspense Adventures for The Wild Rose Press. A world traveler, Carol writes about her visits to exotic locations for major cruise lines’ deluxe in-cabin books Porthole Cruise Magazine, and takes pleasure in weaving her own adventures with her ‘characters’ and readers in her “Connection” Series—Amazon Connection, Shanghai Connection, and Rio Connection—where the heroine finds more than the ‘wild and wonderful’ world around her—she finds her inner courage, and a once-in-a-lifetime love.

Her contemporary novels include Nothing Short of a Miracle—a holiday romance picked up by Amazon Encore and became a #1 Best Seller; and Juelle’s Legacy and Breakfast With Santa—part of the Lobster Cove Series through The Wild Rose Press.

Her books have garnered awards from Preditor’s and Editors Readers Poll’s, placing 5th in Best Book/Ebook in 2015 for Breakfast with Santa; 2014 for Juelle’s Legacy, and 2013 for Nothing Short of A Miracle. All her novels continue to garner 5 STAR Reviews.

Carol has taught middle school creative writing classes, as well as adult classes on Beyond the Basics, and has been a speaker at various venues. A member of Romance Writers of America® since 1984, she is also a member and past president of RWA’s Chapter, STAR–Southern Tier Authors of Romance, since 2001; and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She is the Co-founder and Chairman of the local Write Now Writers’ Group, is a New York State Historian for her hometown, and has written several history books on the town and village, as well as her historic fiction novel: Ribbons of Steel, an 1877 historic family saga, based on the 1877 Railroad Strike.

Carol’s books are available as Ebooks and book-in-print from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.com; ebooks are available online at all Ebook stores including Barnes & Noble. You can visit Carol’s website at http://www.carolhenry.org

Find Carol at:

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/carolannhenry

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6582676.Carol_Henry

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Please everyone enjoy Breakfast With Santa!


Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged , , , , , by with 14 comments.

Donna Simonetta Author of A Sweeter Spot

Happy holidays to all!  Give a big welcome to Donna Simonetta, author of A Sweeter Spot. Have a seat and grab an insulated mug. I’ve got hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee. Choose your pot, they’re labeled. Pick your choice of a Snicker-doodle, Chocolate Chip or Peanut butter cookie from the plate. Yep, I baked them myself. Lets talk a little with Donna then see what  A Sweeter Spot is all about.  Thanks for joining us!

Donna, tell us something no one knows about you.

I write contemporary romance with heart, humor, and a little steaminess. A native New Englander, I now live in Maryland with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. I’m kind of an open-book, so I don’t know that there’s much that NO ONE knows about me––lol!––hmm…I guess, I love to travel by train, and greatly prefer it to flying.

Speed Round (one word only answer): Yep, I know torture for a writer!<evil laugh>

Favorite movie: Bringing Up Baby
Favorite book: The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer
Last book read: Southern Spirits by Angie Fox
Favorite color: Purple
Stilettos or flipflops: Flipflops
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Ebook or audiobook or paperback: ANY book!
Pencil or pen: Pen

Favorite song: Carey by Joni Mitchell

Streak or not: Not

Favorite dessert: Cake

Favorite junk food: Potato Chips

Favorite thing to do to relax: Read

Champagne or gin: Champagne

Paranormal or Historical: Both

Wonder Woman or Top Model: Wonder Woman

Favorite TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Hot or cold: Hot

POV: 3rd person

I’d die if I don’t have: Phone

Review or Not: Review

Thanks so much for answers the questions, even though you could help yourself in using more than one word.  Curse of a writer! LOL How I love to make them try! 

You can find Donna at the social media spots below:

https://www.facebook.com/donnasimonettaauthor

https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15422407.Donna_Simonetta

https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Simonetta/e/B06X415TWW/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-simonetta

What’s A Sweeter Spot all about?

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

 

GIve us a peek between the pages of A Sweeter Spot.

An errant curl had escaped her grandmother- approved French Twist, and she tucked it behind her ear. She smiled and said, “I am. I’m Magda Horvath. Bethanne and her family are the only ones who call me Maggie. That’s how I know you are who you say you are. Even without the photo I.D.” She picked up the wallet and tossed it to him. He caught it one-handed and tucked it into the rear pocket of his shorts.

“Sorry. Do you prefer being called Magda?”

She rolled her eyes. “As long as you don’t call me Elizabeth, or any of its corresponding nicknames, I don’t really care.”

“Okay,” he drew out the word. “I don’t know why I would ever call you Elizabeth, but since it means that much to you, I’ll be sure I don’t. How about I go with Maggie? You look like a Maggie to me.”

He squatted and held out his hand to the dog. “Who’s this little cutie?”

Maggie readied herself to intervene in case Petunia snapped, as she sometimes did with strange men. “Oh! Don’t do that. She doesn’t like…” She abruptly stopped talking as Petunia walked to Jeff, sniffed his hand, and wagged.

Jeff seemed to realize the wagging was an invitation to pet her, and he scratched Petunia behind her ears. The little dog wagged so hard that Maggie was afraid her back end was going to break off, and her one eye was closed in bliss. As Magda watched her dog bask in Jeff’s attention, she had no doubt he could use those big hands to bring any woman to a state of bliss.

When he smiled up at her, his eyes crinkled, and Maggie could swear her heart stopped for a moment. He wasn’t handsome in the way Pierce was—all delicate bone structure and whippet thin. Combined with his baby-fine blond hair, Pierce was almost pretty. Jeff was all man. Tall and muscular with his messy brown hair that looked in serious need of a cut. He wore a sloppy T-shirt and olive colored cargo shorts, but the baggy clothes did nothing to hide the hard body underneath. His nose was just a little too big and a tad crooked, as though it had been broken. His tan skin stretched across strong cheekbones, but it wasn’t the kind of orange tan you got in a booth. It was the tan of a man who spent a lot of time outdoors. But it was those gray eyes, with the little laugh lines around them that really drew her to him. They were full of intelligence and kindness—now that he knew she wasn’t a trespasser.

“She doesn’t like what?”

Magda shook her head in amazement, “Men. She’d been abused before I got her, and she doesn’t usually like men.”

He grinned as the dog rolled on her back to reveal her belly for rubbing. He obliged, and winked at Magda. “Maybe she’s just been around the wrong men.”

Her and me both. Magda felt her knees go weak at his playful expression. Cold fish, indeed! Watching this man pet her dog had her hot enough to melt the zipper on her skirt.

Buy links.

Amazon, TWRP,  Barnes & Noble,  Amazon UK,  and Kobo,

 

Author Links:

https://www.facebook.com/donnasimonettaauthor

https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15422407.Donna_Simonetta

https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Simonetta/e/B06X415TWW/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-simonetta

 It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with A Sweeter Spot!  Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!


Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged , , , by with 26 comments.
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On InstagramVisit Us On Google Plus