WisRWA Write Touch Conference special

Well, I’ll be off tomorrow for the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Write Touch Conference for a weekend of hobnobbing with my fellow writing wizards. You can find out all about it here: http://www.wisrwa.org/conference.html

I am so looking forward to it.

At last year’s conference I gave away a copy of There’s No Such Thing As Werewolves to everyone that attended. This year I’m giving away a copy of the sequel, The Forsaken Templar, to everyone that attends…and to everyone who can’t attend.

small Templar cover

That’s right. Even if you can’t attend the conference you can get your free copy of The Forsaken Templar. I’ve put the Kindle version on sale today through Monday for $.00. Free! Go get yours now, before they run out. (Okay, they won’t run out. It’s an ebook.) You can get it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0081S8LPO

Now, I have to go pack.

Until next time,

Steve

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Getting off the hamster wheel and finding my bliss again.

I haven’t been blogging as much. (You might have noticed.) I haven’t been tweeting as much, or spending as much time on Facebook. In short, I haven’t been trying so hard to be a ‘professional author.’

Since the publication of Son of Thunder, I’ve been on a roller coaster ride of publicity, trying to do everything ‘right.’ Then about three weeks ago it hit me. I don’t have to be like other authors. I’m not hungry for fame or fortune (though I wouldn’t turn it down if it found me). I don’t need to be on this hamster wheel.

Hamster wheel

I’m in the unique situation of not having to make anything from my writing. It’s not the reason I started writing, but somewhere along the way I got caught up in the whole I-need-to-make-money-to-be-successful thing.

I used to write because it made me happy. Stories bubbled up inside me, begging to be put on paper (well, in the computer). I would lose myself for hours in other worlds, exploring characters and the crazy things they did. At some point I lost that bliss. I started regular writing sessions (where many times I would stare at a blank page for hours), scheduling what I was going to write (instead of letting the story draw me in), and avoiding writing by pretending social media was actually part of the writing process. In short, I turned my hobby into my job.

I’ve read a number of articles that state the best way to publicize your published work is by writing your next book. I think that’s a good piece of advice and that’s what I’m going to start doing, losing myself in my writing and finding that bliss again.

So I’ll be blogging less, tweeting less…being less ‘social.’ I was never very good at it anyway.

Oh, I’ll still post here occasionally, but only when I really have something to say, not because I have to maintain my ‘platform.’

So, thanks for stopping by, but I have to go. There are characters screaming in my head that I need to go socialize with.

Until next time,

Steve

An interview with author Becky Lower.

Today on a Writer’s Haven, we’re interviewing author and Soul Mate sister, Becky Lower, whose new Contemporary romance Blame it on the Brontes has just released form Soul Mate Publishing.

Becky Lower photo

Becky, thank you for stopping by.
Tell us a little about yourself. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been a writer since I could hold a crayon. When I was 12, I submitted a screenplay to the Bonanza television show, resulting in my very first rejection letter. But, they were kind, and I kept at it. I had to kind of shelve any kind of serious writing while I was in the work force, so I didn’t begin to think of myself as an author until five years ago.

It does look like writing has been in your blood for quite a while. Tell us, how long did it take you to write your first novel?
My first novel, which is still under the bed, took me about six months to write. I pulled it out a few months ago and re-read the first chapter. My initial reaction was to shove it back under the bed. It may never come out again.

Yeah, I’ve got my first one hidden away also, so I certainly understand that. When you write, are you a plotter, a pantser, or something in between?
I like what one of your earlier interviewers called herself–a linear pantser. I’m that way, too. I know the beginning and the end, but I don’t know all the twists and turns in between. Blake Snyder’s book, Save The Cat, taught me about beats, and I try to have a climactic event in all the right places. But most of the time, even when I start out with a rough outline, my characters hijack the manuscript, ball up my outline and toss it out the window, because it’s not what they want to happen. I’ve learned to not force my characters to conform to what I think should happen, and let them have their heads.

They do have minds of their own, don’t they? Well, let’s talk a little about Becky Lower the person. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work part-time for a greeting card company, stocking the stores with merchandise. It’s flexible, and I like the work. Plus the income I receive from it assures me of having food on my table.

I hear you. I’ll take food on the table over ‘starving artist’ any day. So, what inspired you to write Blame it on the Brontes?
This novel came about when my sister insisted I join her for a class in making jewelry from sea-glass, or beach-glass, as it’s referred to in Ohio. While we were learning how to wrap wire around little shards of glass, the instructor gave us some history of sea glass and how it appeared on the shorelines of the world, and then related a story about how she and her husband found two pieces from the same plate at different times. I left the class inspired to tell her story, but not to make another necklace!

Becky, I’ve done a little snooping and it appears that Blame it on the Brontes is not your only work. Tell us a bit about your other books.
I have my third historical romance, Banking On Temperance, that just released on Monday, with a different publisher. It’s available here: http://www.amazon.com/Banking-Temperance-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00CA9DEX4/
I set my historicals in America in the decade leading up to the Civil War. This one is about Basil Fitzpatrick, one of three males in this family of nine children. It’s set in St. Louis, and characters from the first book re-emerge in this one as secondary characters.

Two releases in such a short time. That’s exciting. So what’s up next?
My current WIP is another contemporary, about a woman who decides on a whim to take a cross-country trip and ends up in Tornado Alley with a man named Cyclone! It’s fun, sexy, and poignant. I hope to have it finished by the end of May and start shopping it around.

Blame it on the Brontes

Becky Lower cover

Blurb:
Sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronson, each in her forties, are in Puffin Bay, ME for their mother’s funeral and to sink their claws into the fortune each expects to inherit. But their mother has other plans. Her substantial fortune won’t be divided until the trio return to their childhood home and live together for a year.

It’s a request that pits sister against sister but could unite them in a common goal to find the friendship they shared as children, to create a family jewelry business and to win over the men of Puffin Bay. They have a year to figure it all out.

Available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blame-Brontes-ebook/dp/B00CLVACYA/

BIO:
Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day coastal Maine or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty.

Becky is a member of RWA, NEORWA and Savvy Authors. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beckylowerauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeckyLower1
Blog: http://beckylowerauthor.blogspot.com
Website: http://www.beckylowerauthor.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6159227.Becky_Lower

A Writer’s haven Author spotlight: Dawn Ireland

Today I’m featuring romance author Dawn Ireland and her wonderful new release, The Perfect Duke. I’d like to thank Dawn for stopping by to talk about her new… Hey, wait a minute, who are you? (A group of seven short, stout little men have appeared out of nowhere.)

 

Grumpy: “My brothers and I have some questions for this writer, and she’d better be quick about it.”

 

Doc: “Grumpy, put that pick axe down!”  (Doc turns to Steven.) “Sorry, about that.  But since Dawn patterned some of her characters on us, we have a few questions for her.”

 

Well Dawn, do you have any objections?

 

Dawn: Of course not, although characters don’t usually ask ME questions.

 

Grumpy: (wiggles his overlong eyebrows and leans forward.) “So what took you so long to write us? We’ve been cooped up in that manuscript forever.”

 

Dawn: You haven’t been cooped up anywhere, and it took me less than a year to write The Perfect Duke. The revisions are what took the time. Besides, Cara comes across a grouping of folks like you. They aren’t even dwarfs.  Though now that I think of it, one of them does have your temperament.

Grumpy: “Humph.” (Grumpy sits, hugging his axe and glaring. Happy steps in front of him.)

 

Happy: “I’m glad she put us in this book. I LOVE Cara. It’s not fair that she marries that Duke. He’s not nice at all.”

 

Dawn: “Now Happy, you shouldn’t say that. Cara understood that Garret had good in him right from the start.  He has to learn how to treat the people around him. Not everyone has your ability to make the world a special place every day. Besides, don’t you think Garret makes Cara happy?

 

Happy: “Well, I guess. But if he ever mistreats her, I’m right there.” (Doc pats Happy’s shoulder, looks up at Dawn and winks.)

 

Doc: “So what now? Are you going to forsake your fairy tale friends for other kinds of books?”

 

Dawn: Don’t worry Doc, fairy tales are a part of all our lives, and mine more than most. One of my favorite TV shows is “Once Upon a Time.” So you see, no matter what I write, I’ll always look for that touch of whimsy and a “Happily Ever After.”

 

(Bashful inches forward, his cap crushed in his hand.)

Bashful: “I’d like to know, that is, well…What do you do when you aren’t writing? You don’t have to tell me. Only if you want to.” (He turns, his chin tucked against one shoulder.)

Dawn: Thank you for asking Bashful. It’s kind of you to be interested in who I am. Aside from writing, I love to sing, (I know dwarfs do as well.) dig in my garden, work on my Victorian home, attempt to play my harp and help out our local historical society. I’m even trying my hand at Gepetto’s craft-woodcarving. Though I don’t think I’ll be carving Pinocchio any time soon.

 

Okay my little friends, I think that’s enough questions for today. I do have a blog to write, you know. Dawn, thank you for visiting with us today. I’m going to give you the last word. Tell us a little more about The Perfect Duke.

 

Dawn: The Perfect Duke is a story for women who sigh over Alpha males. Garret may seem arrogant and selfish, but he’s tamed by Cara, an innocent that is pure of heart. I hope my readers enjoy the magic they create.

 

(PS, can you name the dwarfs that didn’t ask me questions?)  ANSWER at the very bottom.

 

Well, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled spotlight:

 

“The ability of words to create pictures and convey emotion has always fascinated me.” – Dawn Ireland 

Dawn Ireland Picture

First a little about Dawn Ireland:

Dawn has always been a little “different.”  That was made perfectly clear when she was the only one in the audience taking notes at Harlequin’s Male Model search. She came away with two things that day: a list of male attributes and her discovery of RWA. Her association with RWA made her painfully aware she needed writing classes – lots of them.  She’s taken classes at Writer’s and Books, RWA National & Regional Conferences and online – as well as developing an extensive library of books on the writing craft. This education propelled her from being nearly dead last in the Four Season’s Writing Contest, to placing first a couple of years ago. She’s currently writing her third novel, Morgan’s Folly, and hoping Morgan will be the one to keep the readers up at night.

Dawn’s Latest release is titled The Perfect Duke, available now from Soul Mate Publishing:

Dawn Ireland - ThePerfectDuke2_850

Blurb:

Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke.  Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.

Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart, that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?    

Purchase Links

Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/the-perfect-duke/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Perfect-Duke-ebook/dp/B00BT0NGOC/ref=sr_sp-atf_image_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366645040&sr=8-1&keywords=dawn+ireland

Dawn Ireland is also the author of Love’s Guardian:

 

Love's Guardian Cover

 

Blurb:

 

Declan Deveraux, the Earl of Worthington, is a man who knows one thing for certain – he will never marry for love. With that aim, he pursues only the most vain, and spoiled, women of the Ton. Fate has other plans for him, however, and he’s made guardian to Alex Kendrick, a female he likes – God forbid. Now Declan has to get her suitably married, before he succumbs to the temptation to make this fiery temptress his own.

Alex, a rapier-wielding countess in her own right, doesn’t welcome a guardian and crosses swords with him at every opportunity. In spite of their less than auspicious beginning, she soon discovers Declan’s quick wit and Black-Irish looks inspire an emotion she can’t ignore, love. Now the battle is for Declan’s heart, because Alex will accept nothing less.

Purchase Links:

 

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Guardian-Dawn-Ireland/dp/1619351048/ref=la_B006QZ7IMQ_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366646278&sr=1-1

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Guardian-ebook/dp/B005VH9IPK/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1366646278&sr=1-1

Dawn’s story, Bane’s Belief is featured in the anthology Highland Sons:

 Highland Sons

 

BANE’S BELIEF – Dawn Ireland

Kenzie McCleod thought the witch-hunting frenzy would never find her in the Highlands. Her un-natural connection to animals and her bothersome beauty could be hidden, as long as she and her mother kept to themselves. So what had prompted her to accept the invitation of the compelling, and wickedly handsome, Laird of the Mackays?

Laird Bane Mackay knows he should marry a woman of his clan, but none have sparked his curiosity like the black-haired lass with the winning smile. Why can’t he ignore his attraction to this unsuitable stranger whose haunting violet eyes and strange abilities make him rethink magic in the world? In following his heart, he may very well bring the wrath of the Witch Pricker (hunter) down on them all.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AEG7G84/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=soulmatepubl-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B00AEG7G84&adid=1ZM6XN42ERTQDBD7F6F3&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.soulmatepublishing.com%2Fhighland-sons-the-mackay-saga%2F

I’d like to thank Dawn for sharing with us today and for bringing along her little friends. I know I’m looking forward to your next book: Morgan’s Folly.

Did you guess the dwarfs that didn’t ask me questions?  ANSWER:Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy