Give a warm welcome to C.B. Clark, author of Bitter Legacy!
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 C.B. CLark and Bitter Legacy just released yesterday!
What inspired ‘Bitter Legacy’?
Fires in sawmills are a big concern. With clouds of highly combustible dry sawdust clogging the air, explosions and fires are not uncommon. Mill owners take precautions, but devastating fires still occur. The largest employer in the town where I live is the lumber industry. These are state of the art, multi-million dollar industrial mills that employ hundreds of skilled workers. What would happen if a mill were destroyed by a fire? What if someone deliberately set that fire? Add in a reluctant heroine and a no-holds-barred hero, and you have another kind of heat, just as explosive.
Where do your story ideas come from? Do you get up in the middle of the night and write them down?
Possibilities for story plots are everywhere. Coffee shops, shopping malls, airport waiting lounges, and people I pass on the street all provide potential for intriguing story lines. Articles in newspapers, and the want ads are also great.
The person who invented sticky notes should be knighted. As soon as an idea comes to me (usually in the middle of the night), I have to write it down on a sticky note, or I’ll forget my inspiration. I love those small, square pieces of multi-colored paper. I plaster them on the wall, the kitchen cupboard doors, and all over my writing desk.
Wow, your desk looks my writing area! If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
I love to write. It makes me who I am, but like most authors, I have other passions. I used to work as an archaeologist, and nothing catches my attention quicker than reading about a new archaeological discovery. After seven months living in a tent in northern British Columbia conducting an archaeological survey, I’d had enough, and transferred out of the freezing rain, swarms of mosquitoes, and baking sun, and into a climate-controlled writing room.
You’ve got a time machine, a cloak of invisibility, and one hour. Where would you go, and what eavesdropping would you do?
A time machine would be a fantasy come true. I’d visit the distant past, and my first stop would be 100 million years ago in the Cretaceous era when large dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Imagine the smells, the sounds, and the incredible sights. Just to breathe the air would be amazing. Of course, even with a cloak of invisibility, I probably wouldn’t last long. A hungry Tyrannosaurus would sniff me out and make me his lunch, so it would have to be a quick visit.
I love your idea! What Bitter Legacy about?
Sharla-Jean Bromley returns to her hometown after a seventeen-year absence with vengeance in her heart. From the very beginning, her plans go awry when she meets devastatingly handsome Josh Morgan, the man to whom her father left half of his multi-million dollar lumber mill.
Josh, suspicious of Sharla-Jean’s reasons for returning to town after such a long absence, vows to keep control of the company he feels is rightfully his. She is equally determined to prove she can run her father’s mill, even though it means working side-by-side with Josh, a man whose very presence evokes an attraction that is increasingly difficult for her to ignore. In the process, they must overcome a villain who’s determined to destroy both the lumber mill and their lives.
Will Sharla-Jean succeed and heal the anguish that has long filled her soul? Wills he and Josh find the passion of a lifetime?
Can we have a sneak peek between the pages of Bitter Legacy?
Even as the dreaded word reared like a monster inside her head, a thin trickle of smoke crept out of the dark storage room. Terrifying images of flame, smoke and searing heat threatened to overwhelm her. For a nightmare second, she was back in the midst of scorching heat and roaring flames.
Using all her strength of will, she tore free of the chilling memories. Instead of fleeing, she placed one wobbly step in front of the other and shuffled toward the storage room. Her nostrils flared at the acrid tang of gasoline and smoke. With a shaking hand, she gripped the door handle and opened the door.
A figure burst out of the darkness, crashing into her, knocking her back.
She yelped at the pain of the blow and the shock of falling. A jolt of agony and blinding light as her head hit something hard.
Heavy boots pounded across the tile floor. Cold air washed over her. And then darkness.
Two Tweets about Book: ***I hope these are what you mean. I’m not great at tweets***
“She only had ever wished for two things: a red dress and her father’s death.”
“Anyone who’d wear that red dress to her father’s funeral isn’t frightened of anything.”
C.B. Clark has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.
To learn more about CB, you can find her at:
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/C.-B.-Clark/e/B01BK61TQG/
It was wonderful having you with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Bitter Legacy!
Give a warm welcome to Judy Meadows, author of Escape From Behruz released on April 21, 2017!
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 Judy and Escape From Behruz.
First of all what inspired this particular story?
I love secret baby stories. A woman’s emotions revolving around childbirth—finding out she’s pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth, caring for the new baby—are about as elemental and intense as it gets. And a man’s emotions—finding out he’s going to be a father, watching his partner’s belly grow, feeling the baby move, sharing in labor and birth, getting to know his new baby–are equally intense and elemental. For a woman to intentionally withhold the information that a man is going to be or has become a father is a huge betrayal.
And it’s good material for a story.
What can ruin a secret baby story for me is if the heroine’s motivation for withholding the information is weak (which it often is: i.e. “he would be mad at me”). So…I set out to write a secret baby story that had an unimpeachable motivation for keeping the secret. No one who knows her story will fault this heroine for keeping her secret. (Of course the hero does blame her, but not for long, not when he understands what her reasons were.)
That was the germ that sparked the plot. What could happen that would make it impossible for a woman to let the man she loves know about her pregnancy?
The story is set in a fictional country in the Middle East (located between Iran and Afghanistan). The locale also strongly influenced the plot. I chose the Middle East because I traveled in Iran and Afghanistan in the 70’s and lived in Iran for a year—all before the area was besieged by political turmoil and war. I loved the area and the people. I knew what it was like to be an American woman traveling there. So I made my heroine an American woman and plopped her down in that area.
What secret do you use to blast through writer’s block?
I read! I can open my favorite book on writing, The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Maass, to just about any page, and I’ll be inspired. Good fiction writing, any genre, inspires me. Writing by Rosamunde Pilcher, C.S. Lewis, and Vanessa James all somehow infiltrate my brain with their rhythms and sentence structure and make my writing more fluid.
Did you tell friends and family that you were writing a book? Or did it take a while to come out and tell friends and family you were a writer?
“Coming out” is an apt analogy for what it’s like to tell friends you’re writing a romance novel. I started by telling peripheral people (like someone I met while vacationing in Mexico, someone I was never going to see again). But there came a time when the only explanation for my lack of availability (What was I doing with my time?) was the truth. I’d written a successful nonfiction book by then (Touching Bellies, Touching Lives, about midwives in Mexico) so that helped a little, but what helped the most was joining my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Being with women who took their craft seriously and supported each other and learned from each other was what gave me the perspective I needed to be proud of the work myself.
What do you want your readers to take away from your books?
First and foremost: intense emotional satisfaction. I want them to really care about the characters and really share in the joy the characters feel when they get their happily-ever-after ending.
Secondly (this wasn’t my intention when I started writing about Behruz but I see it as a possible bonus effect), I hope reading my stories will help readers see past stereotypes about the Middle East. The characters are real people with real puppies and real quirks, talents and dreams.
Do you find it easier to write from a male or female point of view? Why?
Female! I would write from purely the female point of view, but publishers nowadays prefer a balance between the male and female points of view, so I’ve tackled that. I find I can get to know my hero and his motivation by looking at the heroine through his eyes. Why is he attracted to her? What does he long to have happen with her? How does he experience the pain of setbacks? How does it feel to love so deeply? Starting with that, he comes to life for me.
Okay, tell us a little about the story.
Rashid will escort Olivia and the baby through the mountains to Iran in order to escape the violence in Behruz, but he won’t let Olivia near his heart. Not again. Not after the way she trampled it two years ago.
Olivia accepts his help, but she has no interest in his heart. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her when she needed him most. Still, she has to be careful. He mustn’t learn that the baby the world thinks is heir to the Behruzi throne is actually her son. And Rashid’s.
Can they make it through the trek, sharing a tent each night, without giving in to the attraction that has always drawn them together? Can Olivia hold in the secret that could destroy her?
Ohhh, sounds intriguing. Do you have a sneak peek from the book for us?
Walking toward the tent of her “husband,” Olivia felt like a bride. The mantle framed her face and fell down her back like a bride’s veil, and the long skirt swayed with every step. Rashid stood in front of the tent talking to Saddiq. He was wearing a long shirt and a wool vest like those worn by the other men. He was holding up a rifle, sighting along the barrel. He said something to Saddiq and handed him the rifle; then he turned and saw the procession of women approaching. Time stopped for several heartbeats when his eyes fell on Olivia. He seemed to straighten up, to become taller, and everything about him became very still.
She met his gaze boldly. The petticoats swished around her legs when she walked. She felt the swing of her arms, the sway of her hips, even the slight bounce of her breasts. All the women stood behind her, waiting for Rashid’s reaction.
“Spin around again like you did for us in the tent,” Fatima whispered to Olivia.
Rashid’s nomad clothes made him look primitive and very male. His eyes were intent on her, like the eyes of an animal watching its prey. He was motionless except for a slight quivering of his nostrils.
Olivia lifted her arms slowly, and the women stepped back away from her. Then she began the pirouette. She moved as if in a trance. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. But still the skirt rose, its colors blurring as she spun, and she felt dizzy and flushed when she stopped. She gave Rashid a smile that came from some new knowledge.
“You are a temptress,” he said in English. His eyes were dark pools that beckoned her to tempt and be tempted.
“The ladies are waiting to see what you think of their handiwork.”
He stepped toward her and reached his hand up to touch her face at her temple. Then he slid it down until it cupped the nape of her neck. A shiver of response rippled through her, but she didn’t move.
“She is very beautiful,” he said in Farsi. “The costume is perfect. She is perfect.” He kissed her lightly on the lips. The speculations and remarks of the nomads hushed. A crow cawed in the distance, and then it was silent too. She was mesmerized. She felt possessed.
About the Author:
I grew up and went to college in Minnesota but now live in a small town in Oregon with my husband Jim. I love to travel, read, hang out at the beach, cook, and play with grandchildren. I’ve always loved cats, but sadly find myself catless at the moment. Our 19-year-old Simba and 17-year-old Tinker Bell both died last year.
I worked as a systems analyst for IBM when I finished college. When I retired from that field, my husband and I bought a farm in northern California. We grew apples, Asian pears, and raspberries for ten years before retiring again, this time to Oregon.
When our only child was a senior in high school, we adopted a 10-year-old girl from a Russian orphanage. I spent two weeks in Moscow finalizing the adoption and then came home to start the parenting thing for a second time.
When our Russian daughter was settled into the family, I trained to become a doula and volunteered to help Spanish speaking women in labor at the hospital across the street from our home. Soon I was very busy. After a few years of doing pro bono work, I made a website and began to work as a doula professionally.
During 20 years of working as a doula, I’ve helped 460 women in labor. My second romance novel, Midwife in Behruz (sequel to Escape from Behruz) features a midwife and uses my experience with childbirth. I’ve just finished Midwife in Behruz and am beginning to plot the final book in what will be a trilogy of stories set in Behruz.
It was wonderful having you with us today. What an interesting life you’ve led Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Escape From Behruz.
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Adventures, Behruz, Contemporary, Judy Meadows, Romance by firstname.lastname@example.org with 29 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Susan V. Vaughn, author of Beyond Fate just released on March 24, 2016!
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 Susan and Beyond Fate.
Susan if you could use one line to discribe Beyond Fate, what would it be? Years of separation mean nothing when love is in the air…
What inspired this particular story?
I have a huge connection to Beyond Fate because I wrote the first chapter of it when I was still in college. I attended Central Michigan University, which is the same college my characters meet. The fraternity party they were at is based off a frat house I used to go to all the time. Years later, when I found this story, I decided it needed a proper ending. I began the story from a college perspective, which is when my characters first fall in love. I finished the story from an adult perspective, which is when my characters get their second chance at love.
What secret do you use to blast through writer’s block?
I like to write the dialogue in a scene first, then go back through and add the action. Not only does this help me break through writers block, it decreases instances of choppy dialogue. It’s also a great way to give my characters their own voice while staying true to the story line.
What inspired you to write?
I have been writing romance for five years now. I started doing it for myself because I enjoy the creative process so much. But then things changed. I watched my children grow, and develop their love of writing. All the journals around my house now are filled with my kid’s imagination. There is no paper left in our printer, no notebooks unfilled. My children are little paper thieves! They write because I write. I have opened their world to the notion that you can make a living from your imagination. My children have given my creativity a greater purpose.
Do you see yourself in your characters?
Both the main characters in Beyond Fate suffer the loss of a loved one. For Russell, the loss is his sister. For Julia, the loss is her best friend. Although Katherine Webb is dead, both Russell and Julia began experiencing signs from her. But it’s only when they start following those signs that they find their paths intertwined again. It’s almost as if Kat is playing matchmaker from beyond, which is consequently how the story got its name.
I really connected to this story and to the characters, because I know what it’s like to lose someone I love. I know so many other people know this pain as well. Loss is a part of human existence. It is something that connects us all.
What do you want your readers to take away from Beyond Fate?
This book takes you on an emotional journey. There is love, loss, heartache, and of course, laughter. Every good romance has got to have laughter! For my two main characters fate leads them in directions they never thought possible, which is what I hope readers will experience while reading it.
Sounds like a greaat book.
Tell us a little more about Beyond Fate.
Julia Diaz never wanted to fall for her friend’s older brother, especially at a college frat party. But, for some reason, her heart was stolen by Russell that night. Eight years after, she never forgot him. Now destiny has brought them together. Only this time Russell is no longer a boy. He’s a man who knows what he wants and will not be denied.
Russell Webb used to be optimistic, and fun loving until a family tragedy turned his world on its side. Putting all his focus on work, he picked himself back up, and managed to turn his grief into something resembling a life. When a woman from his past reappears, and gives him a glimpse of true happiness, he’ll do anything to secure her heart. Even face the darkness he has avoided for so long.
How about a peek into the book itself?
His heart pounded as he made up the distance between them. He’d fought the urge to hold her in his arms all week. He no longer could.
“Hey! What are you doing?” Her question was lost as he pulled her against him, and covered her lips with his own. She sank desperately into his embrace for a moment, before pushing him back. “Russ, stop.”
“Why?” He grabbed one of her hands, and kissed the soft skin of her palm. She smiled, her face flushing red, her eyes flashing hazel.
“Because we are supposed to be friends, and we’re at work.” She glanced nervously around the deserted hallway.
“Nah, work’s over,” he said lightly, refusing to address the friendship statement. “It’s time for us.” He secured her hand in his, and led them toward the parking lot with single focus. “I’m taking you to dinner.”
“Wait! I have to grab my things from the music room.”
“No time for that.” He quickened his pace through the parking lot, determined to take her to dinner, not caring who witnessed his desperation. He’d waited all week for this opportunity.
“I guess you’re not giving me a choice then?” She sounded amused, not annoyed, a good sign.
“Now you get it.” He winked back at her. “I am your boss, after all.”
She sighed loudly in exasperation, and then began to giggle. It made him grin like a man who had never been happier in his life.
About the Author:
Romance Author, Susan V. Vaughn understood the meaning of sarcasm before she could walk. Her childhood in the suburbs of Detroit was spent mainly trying to outwit her six creative siblings. When she wasn’t working on the next soul-crushing jab, she sharpened her imagination on romantic literature and day dreamed about her knight in shining armor.
It didn’t take long for this hairdresser by trade to turn her passion for reading romances into writing her own unique love stories. Susan lives her life finding laughter in all situations, and delights in marrying sarcasm with romance to create realistic falling-in-love stories in the unlikeliest of scenarios.
Susan lives on the shores of Lake Huron with her real life knight in shining armor and enjoys watching their three children learn the art of sarcasm and wit.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Susan-V.-Vaughn/e/B016H54WWI/
It was wonderful having you with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Beyond Fate.
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Beyond Fate, Contemporary, Fate, Romance, Susan V. Vaughn by email@example.com with 3 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Claire Marti, author of Second Chance In Laguna, available for pre-order Now!
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 Claire and her Second Chance In Laguna.
Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, she was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance novels and teaching yoga. Her debut, Second Chance in Laguna, releases from The Wild Rose Press on March 31, 2017 and is the first in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.
Now tell me a little about what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. I spent a lot of time alone and read prolifically. I started writing my own stories in elementary school. I dreamt of becoming a novelist, but was side-tracked with more “practical careers.” I’ve been publishing non-fiction articles for years in the wellness, yoga, and fitness industry. I also published a memoir a few years ago documenting my journey through breast cancer and how yoga helped me heal.
What do you want your readers to take away from your books?
I want readers to be inspired to always follow their dreams. I’m a big believer in manifestation. Whatever you focus on expands and whatever you remove your attention from diminishes. Life is short and there’s no time like the present to follow your deepest desires. When you are true to yourself, you’re in a position to love and be loved. Ignore the negative people who hold you back. Stop focusing on the million reasons why not. Find the one reason why and go for it!
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
Teaching and practicing yoga. When I’m passionate about something, I have to share it. When I began practicing yoga, it helped me become a softer, kinder version of myself. I began teaching and also training others to become teachers. In terms of writing romance, I’m a hopeless optimist/romantic and sharing smart, sexy happily ever afters is my way of providing a little sunshine for others. I’m a work in progress—I was a yoga teacher who wrote, now I’m a writer who teaches yoga.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to read, to spend time on the beach, to travel every chance I get, to practice and teach yoga and Pilates, to spend time with my husband and friends. I love delicious food, although I can’t cook to save my life.
You can follow Claire here:
How about a little about Second Chance In Laguna?
When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.
Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?
Can we have a sneek peek into Second Chance In Laguna?
Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.
“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.
Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.
“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.
Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”
Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.
The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital.
The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?
You can find Second Chance In Laguna at the links below:
It was wonderful having you with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Second Chance In Laguna!
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Claire Marti, Contemporary, Laguna Beach, Romance by firstname.lastname@example.org with 9 comments.