Interview with Maggie Gilbert, Author of Riding on Air

Please welcome Maggie Gilbert to the virtual offices today!  Maggie is celebrating the release of Riding on Air, a YA romance set in the world of competitive riding.  Yeah!  One look at the cover and I knew I wanted to ask Maggie some questions, and she graciously agreed to stop by for a chat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Maggie Gilbert] Eclectic. And maybe heading for eccentric too :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Riding on Air?

[Maggie Gilbert] It’s about a teenage girl with a horse she’s devoted to and a dream she’ll do almost anything to achieve, despite some fairly significant obstacles in her way. And then a gorgeous boy she’s always ached for comes along to complicate things even further. Horses, a gorgeous boy and romance – what more could you want?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Maggie Gilbert] I’d planned on writing some horse books aimed at younger readers but then I started thinking about what it’s like to be a teenage girl besotted with your horse but also crushing madly on a boy. With the characters, once I knew Melissa had JRA then who she is evolved out of her illness; there were things she just couldn’t do and this shaped everything about her. When it came to William, I wanted a boy worthy of her courage and determination, and he had to be sweet but also strong. He had to be someone who will do the right thing even if that is going to cost him. And he had to be totally gorgeous, of course.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Melissa?

[Maggie Gilbert] Resolute, self-contained, fervent

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If William had a theme song, what would it be?

[Maggie Gilbert] What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. It sums up the way William sees Melissa, and how she makes his heart skip even though she has no idea. Not that he’d admit he’s ever even heard of that song Smile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Melissa is never without.

[Maggie Gilbert] Hope. She goes after her dreams even when it seems impossible.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in William’s pockets?

[Maggie Gilbert] Money, receipts, phone. He tends to leave everything in his ute, such a boy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Melissa’s greatest regret?

[Maggie Gilbert]  I can’t answer that without plot spoilers!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Maggie Gilbert] Stephen King would be the biggest influence. I read everything he writes and he is the master of making the ordinary interesting, and of developing utterly believable characters. And although on the surface his stories are about monsters, underneath he’s writing about themes that resonate for me, like love, loyalty, friendship and heroism. I think all the creative works you expose yourself to – art, photos, magazines, songs, movies, books, TV series – have an impact on what you write even if you don’t realise it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Maggie Gilbert] Coffee, laptop, time. Especially coffee – I can always make do with a pen and notebook Smile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Maggie Gilbert] Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Maggie Gilbert] Gosh, it’s hard to say – Mum taught me to read when I was three, so that’s a lot of books ago. An early book that sticks out though is Wild Pony by Lucy Rees. I’d read a lot of horsey books but that one blew me away. It stayed with me and I re-read it over the years.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Maggie Gilbert] It can vary depending on what the latest obsession is (gardening, learning cello, quilting). But there are some constants: I read as much as I can – sometimes when I really should be doing other things! I also like watching a movie or an episode of a favourite TV series. I love to run and I’m trying to get back into that. If I’m not inside at the laptop, there’s not much better than a sunny afternoon in the back yard with a good book and my dogs.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Maggie Gilbert] I have a website with blog and also newly established author pages on Goodreads and Amazon or you can find me on Twitter or Facebook. I’d love it for people to pop in and say ‘Hi’.

Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/MaggieGilbert

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/maggiegilbert

Twitter https://twitter.com/maggie_gilbert_

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaggieGilbert/617257878299778?ref=hl

Website/Blog www.maggiegilbert.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Riding on Air from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

For readers of Jenny Downham, John Greene and Maureen McCarthy, a poignant young adult romance about following your dreams and realising what really matters.

What can you do when your own hands are the enemy? Hold on tight, for as long as it takes.

Melissa has secrets. Sure it’s pretty obvious she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but no one knows how bad it is or how many pills she takes for the pain. She’s determined to make her horse Jinx into a champion and she dreams that her childhood friend William will one day see her, rather than her condition.

So when William asks her out and Jinx is shortlisted for selection in an elite training program, it seems Melissa’s dreams have come true. But when her secrets are exposed, all those dreams come crashing down around her. Can William ever forgive her? And can she learn about letting go in time to truly ride on air when it matters most?

 

About the author:

Maggie Gilbert can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a writer, even when she was otherwise occupied. She’s been an executive editor, an equestrian journalist and worked with horses for the Modern Pentathlon event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Currently she’s an administration officer with an Agricultural Society by day and a writer of romantic stories by night—an ideal combination. She lives on a property in country NSW with her family and dogs.

Interview with Erin Nicholas, Author of Hitched

Please give a warm welcome to Erin Nicholas! Erin is the author of Hitched, the fourth book in the Promise Harbor Wedding continuity.  Erin is the final author to stop by to chat about this Samhain series, so please enjoy, and don’t forget to check out the links after the interview so you can order a copy of all four books for yourself!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Erin Nicholas] Wife, mom, romance writer, wine lover, dark chocolate connoisseur, coffeeaholic, sarcastic, bossy Princess

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Hitched?

[Erin Nicholas] I’d love to! Hitched is the fourth book (of four) in the Promise Harbor Wedding series. The series starts at a wedding that goes all wrong and follows the members of the wedding party from that point. Book one is the jilted groom’s story, book two tells us what happens when the Maid of Honor disappears, the Best Man gets into trouble in book three and then book four is the bride’s story. The run-away bride’s story to be specific!

Gavin Montgomery is the hero of book four. He arrives in Promise Harbor just before the woman he loves says I do to someone else. He can’t let Allie get married without telling her that he’s still in love with her and the only chance he has is, well, in the middle of the ceremony.

From there they’re on a crazy adventure to see where their hearts take them and if they can make things work this time.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Erin Nicholas] Three good friends and a glass of good wine! But seriously, our editor, Lindsey Faber at Samhain, first suggested a multi-author series with the four of us. We were all really excited, but we all had lots of other things going on and it took us awhile (2 years!) to really get a solid idea and to get going.

When we started brainstorming, we knew that we wanted a central event of some kind tying our characters and our stories together. We threw out lots of ideas, but the one that stuck and really got us all excited was a wedding. From there we each took a member of the wedding party and we were off and running!

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been intrigued by that part of the wedding ceremony where they ask “does anyone know of a reason why these two should not be wed?” I’ve always thought “what if” someone stood up and actually said “because I’m in love with her.” I eagerly volunteered to write the bride’s story, knowing that I wanted to finally use that “what if”! From there I got to create this woman, the bride, by asking things like “how did she end up the star in a wedding that she doesn’t really want?” “Who is this guy who’s interrupting the wedding?” “Why aren’t they together?” “What’s their history?” “Where has he been during this whole engagement that he’s just now showing up?” And a whole bunch of other fun questions!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Allie?

[Erin Nicholas] generous, dependable, conflicted

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Gavin had a theme song, what would it be?

[Erin Nicholas] I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbNlMtqrYS0

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Allie is never without.

[Erin Nicholas] Her cell phone and planner

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Gavin’s bedroom?

[Erin Nicholas] Any other woman (or man) besides Allie, a suit and tie, anything flowery, ruffle-y or lacey

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Allie’s greatest regret?

[Erin Nicholas] Allie is a very practical person and when she makes choices the pros and cons are carefully weighed. So I don’t think she’s really aware of any regrets, until she has some new insights thanks to Gavin. Then I think she regrets not trusting the people around her to be stronger or braver or smarter than she’s given them credit for and taking everything on by herself.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Erin Nicholas] People. I am so fortunate to know and get to be around amazing people all the time. Everyone has a story and it’s so wonderful to hear about true stories of enduring love and bravery and sacrifice and triumph. I love getting to know people and asking them about their lives and their experiences.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Erin Nicholas] Coffee, a pink ballpoint pen (for notes or for longhand writing at times), and photos that act as inspiration for my characters.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Erin Nicholas] Wow, that’s hard. I love to read, but don’t always have as much time as I’d like. And depending on my own deadlines there’s sometimes a big gap between a book’s release and when I actually pick it up.

Hmm… to me this would mean a book I was anxious to get back to when I had to put it down, a book that I thought about when I wasn’t reading, and characters that I can easily conjure even long after I finish it. One book that comes to mind in recent months is High Risk, by Vivian Arend. I always love Viv’s writing and the whole premise in this novel, with the search and rescue team, was just really fun.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Erin Nicholas] LaVyrle Spencer’s Separate Beds

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Erin Nicholas] Hang out with my family, read, movies, lunch with girlfriends

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Erin Nicholas] www.ErinNicholas.com,

www.ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com,

on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ErinNicholas)

on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/erin.nicholas.90)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Hitched and all of the other books in the Promise Harbor Wedding continuity from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

 

About the book:

And she thought the bridesmaids dresses were her biggest problem…

Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 4

Allison Ralston would rather be anywhere other than this wedding. Even ifthe wedding is hers. Especially since the wedding is hers.
But Allie’s determined to restore her family’s happiness, and if tying the knot with longtime family friend Josh Brewster is the way to do it, then she’ll walk down that aisle, toss that bouquet and drink that champagne. Oh, she’ll definitely drink the champagne.

There’s only one thing that could get Gavin Montgomery back to Promise Harbor. And she’s about to say I do to another man. Now he’s back to claim what’s his—even if he has to do it in the middle of her wedding.
Allie is shocked—and okay, a little turned on—when Gavin literally sweeps her off her feet. Safe in his arms, she succumbs to fatigue, stress, and yes, the champagne, only to wake up in his bed. In Alaska.

Now that he’s put four thousand miles between Allie and all her responsibilities, Gavin’s determined to show her that they can make a life together. If he has his way, the next wedding Allie will be planning will be theirs.

Warning: Contains a guy so in love he’s willing to break up the wedding of the season, a bride who just needs to get to, well, anywhere else, and enough hot sex to take them from New England to Alaska and back again

Interview with Kelly Jamieson, Author of Jilted

Please welcome Kelly Jamieson to the virtual offices today!  She’s here to talk about her latest, Jilted, which is the first book in the Promise Harbor Wedding continuity.  If you have been reading the blog for long, you know how much I love these interconnected stories. 

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Kelly Jamieson] Wife, mother, reader, writer. I like to read and write romance with sweet heat. Rumours about my shoe obsession are greatly exaggerated.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Jilted?

[Kelly Jamieson] Jilted is the first book in The Promise Harbor Wedding stories. All four books stand alone, but have overlapping characters, and all center around a wedding in Promise Harbor, Massachusetts. Jilted is the story of the groom (I guess you can figure out from the title what happens to him!), the next book is Bolted, which is the story of the matron of honor, then Busted, the best man’s story, and finally Hitched, the bride’s story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Kelly Jamieson] My author-partners Erin Nicholas, Meg Benjamin and Sydney Somers and I spent hours in a chat room brainstorming ideas for the story. Right from the start, I think we had the idea that we wanted the stories to center on a specific event, but each story would go its own way, rather than a true “series” where one story would pick up where the other left off. We tossed around ideas like a funeral bringing some siblings back together, a restaurant idea, and a few other things, and ended up with the wedding. A wedding that goes all wrong. Then we each took a member of the wedding party and developed our own stories. We had to do more brainstorming around the things that were common in each book, like the location, details of the wedding, and some minor characters who appear in each book. Even as we were doing edits, I was emailing them questions like “Do Devon and Hayley know each other?” and “How long ago did Allie and Gavin break up?” There were a lot of little details we wanted to get right – hopefully we did!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Devon?

[Kelly Jamieson] Independent, smart, stubborn

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Josh had a theme song, what would it be?

[Kelly Jamieson] I’m Not Perfect, by Hedley

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Devon is never without.

[Kelly Jamieson] Her stiff upper lip. And nice shoes. Sorry, that’s two.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Josh’s bathroom?

[Kelly Jamieson] Josh has an awesome bathroom because he’s fixing up a big old house on the outskirts of Promise Harbor. And I’m stumped thinking of things you will never find in there, because he’s a pretty open-minded kind of guy. He prefers showers over baths, so he never had bubble bath, but since Devon likes nice long baths and smelly, girly things, he’ll buy some bubble bath and all her favorite body washes and shampoos and lotions that smell like jasmine and mandarin and sweet sugar. You might even find wine glasses in his bathroom now. Smile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Devon’s greatest regret?

[Kelly Jamieson] Not being honest about her feelings with the people she loves.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Kelly Jamieson] Wow, that’s a tough question. I think I’m influenced creatively by so many things – I’ve gotten little germs of story ideas from newspaper stories, advice columns, magazine articles, TV shows…
I’m a very visual person, so looking at romantic pictures on Pinterest sometimes inspires me. Music inspires me – in fact, the song “Someone Like You” by Adele was a major influence on Jilted — the idea of a woman coming back to see her ex-boyfriend marrying someone else. I’m also inspired by reading great romance stories by other authors.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Kelly Jamieson] Definitely my computer – I cannot write longhand! I type very fast, almost as fast as I think. ? Internet access. And quiet – I can’t write when my family is yacking at me. Especially when I’m writing sex scenes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Kelly Jamieson] Hmmm…I’m going to say Hold ‘Em by Katie Porter. I loved all those Vegas Top Guns books, but this one was really sexy. Maybe it got me because I never thought I’d like a male submissive story, but wow, I loved Mike!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Kelly Jamieson] It would be one of the Bobbsey Twins books – yes, I am that old. I devoured those books when I was about 7 or 8 years old and have been an avid reader ever since.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Kelly Jamieson] Read. Read, read, read. I also like shopping for shoes, but that’s really a rare event these days. Really.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Kelly Jamieson] I love hearing from readers! You can email me at info@kellyjamieson.com, or message me on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Nine Naughty Novelists

Pinterest

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Jilted and all of the other books in the Promise Harbor Wedding continuity from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

 

About the book:

The wedding’s off but the honeymoon is on…
The Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 1
Devon can do this. She can show up at her ex-boyfriend Josh’s wedding, even though he’s marrying her ex-best-friend. She can show everyone she’s happy with her fabulous life in Boston, her great career, her amazing shoes — and she can show everyone she’s over him.
Truth is, her life isn’t so fabulous. She’s just been downsized out of her job, her Jimmy Choos won’t pay her mortgage, and…she’s still heartbroken that Josh chose family over her. The real reason she’s enduring this wedding is that her next stop is nearby Greenbush Island, her last hope of finding a new job.
Josh knows marrying long-time friend Allie will make everyone happy after the rough time their families have been through, and since the woman he really wanted to marry chose her career and big city life over him — why not?
But the perfect wedding turns into a perfect disaster when Allie leaves him at the altar for another man. He never saw that coming! But hey, Devon’s there, offering to help him look for Allie on Greenbush Island, where he’d planned their honeymoon. Only, all they find are their old feelings for each other and a temptation to risk their hearts one more time…
Warning: This book contains a firefighter hot enough to ignite flames, a woman who doesn’t want to get burned again, a honeymoon suite but no honeymoon, and sex not on the beach (sorry)

Interview with Julie Benson, Author of The Rancher and the Vet

Please welcome Julie Benson to the virtual offices today!  Julie’s latest, The Rancher and the Vet, was recently released under the Harlequin American Romance line.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Julie Benson] I’m a mom of three boys who started writing when they were little to save my sanity. Not sure it’s done that, but I keep writing anyway.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Rancher and the Vet?

[Julie Benson] When Reed Montgomery’s brother is deployed to Afghanistan, Reed returns to Estes Park, Colorado to stay with his fourteen year old niece. Talk about a confirmed bachelor’s nightmare. When she is sentenced to community service at an animal shelter for spray painting the building, Reed has to face Avery McAlister, the woman he loved and left. But Avery’s got problems of her own trying to keep the shelter she runs open, and the last thing she needs in her life is Reed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Julie Benson] I thought about how fun it would be to write about a bachelor who was suddenly responsible for a teenage girl. Then one day I was talking to a friend about her son-in-law being in Afghanistan. That led to the idea of Reed coming home to stay with his niece because his brother’s been deployed. As to Avery’s character, when I wrote my first book for Harlequin Big City Cowboy, I knew I wanted to give Avery her own story. The idea for the shelter Avery works for being sold came from my best friend. She’s the Executive Director at the Hinsdale Humane Society. That shelter has a unique situation. They own the building, but the city owns the land. I decided to pair Avery with Reed for a lovers reunited story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Avery?

[Julie Benson] Loyal, funny, and tender hearted (Technically the last isn’t one word, but they run together like one, and it really describes Avery and what drives her in life, both in terms of her relationships with people and in her career.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Reed had a theme song, what would it be?

[Julie Benson] Reed’s theme song would be Running on Empty by Jackson Browne. Since he turned 18, Reed’s been running—from his abusive past with his father, from the fear that one day he’ll turn into his old man and from how much he loves Avery. “Honey you really tempt me. You know the way you look so kind. I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind. You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find. Running into the sun but I’m running behind.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Avery is never without.

[Julie Benson] Her smile. She had a positive attitude and is very much a caretaker in terms of her family, her friends and the animals around her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Reed’s pockets?

[Julie Benson] (1) a doggie poop bag—Dogs and Reed never got along well. Plus, having a pet is a commitment. It’s an emotional attachment and Reed avoids those any way he can. (2) a picture of his father who abused him (3) a pacifier—Reed, fearing he would repeat the cycle of violence, never wants to have children.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Avery’s greatest regret?

[Julie Benson] Avery’s greatest regret is that she never understood why Reed broke up with her after going to college. He told her he never wanted to come back to Colorado, didn’t want to get married and never wanted children—things he’d never given a hint of during their relationship. Deep inside she had the feeling there was more going on then he was telling her. Not knowing what really happened with Reed made moving on more difficult for her because she never trusted her judgment after that.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Julie Benson] I’d have to say the world around me. Often I hear or read about something that gets my creative juices going. I think what if it didn’t happen like that, or what if this happened. Doing that is how I get a lot of my story ideas.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Julie Benson] (1) The first thing I need is being at my favorite Starbucks at Custer and Renner in Richardson. That’s where I write. People find it odd that I can write there because of all the noise and distractions, but I’m very ADD. If a place is too quiet, my mind wanders. The activity in Starbucks helps me focus. Plus it keeps me connected with people. Writing can be a little isolating some times. (2) The second thing I need is a grande sweetened half green tea, half passion tea or a non fat chai latte if I’m in desperate need of caffeine. (3) The last thing I need is my laptop.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Julie Benson] There have been two books that I’ve read recently that did that. Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden is a great story about a fallen Angel of Death who’s on Earth in search of redemption. I love a tortured hero story! During Mardi Gras he comes across a woman being attacked by panther shifters. But the woman he saves isn’t a fainting flower. The book had me reading as fast as I could. The other book is The Haunting of Maddy Clare. It’s set in England after World War I. A lonely, broke woman who works for a temp agency is sent to assist a ghost hunter. The story really pulled me. The ghost is real, and out for vengeance. The heroine Sarah gets thrown right in the middle of some dangerous stuff. This story has mystery, suspense and romance and kept me on the edge of my seat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Julie Benson] When I was in grade school one of my teachers read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett to the class. That story hooked me because it had it all—the suspense, the relationship between Mary and Dickon. Even then I was hooked on romance. The budding childhood romance between Mary and Dickon was my favorite part of the story. After my teacher read the book to us, I read it over and over. From then on I started reading everything I could get my hands on. I would order books through school from Scholastics. If my teachers got free or reduced priced books based on how big their orders were, I single handedly stocked some class libraries.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Julie Benson] I like to make jewelry, and of course I love to read. I’m also a do it yourself remodeling freak. I’ve remodeled two bathrooms and part of my kitchen. I’ve got a wet saw for cutting tile and everything.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Julie Benson] My email is Julie@juliebenson.net and I love to hear from readers. I’m also on Facebook.

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can purchase The Rancher and the Vet, or any of Julie’s other titles, from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

Cowboy, Come Home

Leaving his Colorado hometown was the second hardest thing Reed Montgomery ever did—the first was breaking up with Avery McAlister, his high school sweetheart. Now his Western roots are calling the citified CEO back to his family ranch to be surrogate dad to his niece, Jess. Of course, he can’t help being pulled back into Avery’s world.

Keeping her financially strapped animal shelter open is Avery’s first priority—her second turns out to be helping Reed with his parenting skills. They may be bonding, but her former flame still has some serious explaining to do about the secret that drove him away.

The ghosts of the past and a rekindled desire bring Reed and Avery ever closer together. But will Reed embrace his future…as a cowboy, a father and as the man for Avery?

Interview with Lorna Peel, Author of Only You and Giveaway!

Please give a warm welcome to Lorna Peel to the virtual offices.  Lorna is celebrating the release of ONLY YOU, and after the interview, she has a digital copy for one of you to take home!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Lorna Peel] I am the author of ‘Only You’ due 1 April 2013 from Entranced Publishing. I’m a genealogy geek, writer, reader, and chicken butler!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Only You?

[Lorna Peel] Jane Hollinger has just turned thirty-one and teaches adult education classes. Her self confidence is at rock bottom, as she hadn’t known her ex-husband was cheating on her. Jane’s sister and best friend buy her a subscription to a dating website but little do they know that Jane’s fantasy man is waiting for her in her family history evening class!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Lorna Peel] Through Jane, I wanted to explore what it would really like to be in a relationship with someone famous but you wish they weren’t famous because you are a very private person who prefers to live a quiet life? Could you love them enough to be able to put up with all the intrusions the relationship would bring with it?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Jane?

[Lorna Peel] Private, nerdy, doubting.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Robert had a theme song, what would it be?

[Lorna Peel] A Good Heart by Fergal Sharkey

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Jane is never without.

[Lorna Peel] Her personal alarm. She bought one after her best friend was mugged on her way home from work.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Robert’s bathroom?

[Lorna Peel] 1. Hair dye, I see him doing a George Clooney and allowing himself to go gray naturally.

2. Cheap after shave, Jane notices that he only uses the expensive stuff!

3. Fancy toilet roll. Robert is a plain white, unquilted, and unscented type of guy!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Jane’s greatest regret?

[Lorna Peel] Probably ignoring her mother’s warnings and marrying her first husband, Tom, when they were both too young.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Lorna Peel] Good coffee, good books, and good TV drama.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Lorna Peel] A comfy seat, some quiet, and my laptop!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Lorna Peel] Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor. I read it about once a year. It’s my favorite book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Lorna Peel] I can’t pick just one book, but the author would be Enid Blyton, and it’s probably one of her Famous Five series. I started reading them when I was five!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Lorna Peel] I love tracing my family tree, I also I grow fruit and vegetables, and I’m a butler to my five chickens and one guinea hen!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Lorna Peel] Website: http://lornapeel.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LornaPeelAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PeelLorna

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lornapeel

Blog: http://lornapeel.com/only-you

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LornaPeel

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Giveaway Time!

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You can purchase Only You from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below

About the book:

 

Jane Hollinger is single, divorced, and the wrong side of thirty – as she puts it. Her friends are pressuring her to dive back into London’s dating pool, but she’s content with her quiet life as a genealogy teacher.

Robert Armstrong is every woman’s fantasy: handsome, charming, rich and famous. When he asks her to meet him, she convinces herself it’s because he needs her help with a mystery in his family tree. Soon she realizes he’s interested in more than her genealogical expertise. Now the paparazzi want a piece of Jane too.

Can Jane handle living – and loving – in the spotlight?

Publisher Entranced Publishing

Book trailer link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpKwxPVayPg&feature=plcp&noredirect=1

 

About the author:

Lorna Peel lives in County Sligo, Ireland, and when she’s not writing, she researches her family history. She’s had some pretty varied jobs, including Tour Guide, Professional Genealogist, Bookseller, and Census Enumerator, but she thinks she’s going to enjoy being an author best of all.

Interview with Amy Raby, Author of Assassin’s Gambit

Amy Raby is our special guest today! Amy’s here to talk about her book Assassin’s Gambit. Please give her a warm welcome!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Amy Raby] I’m a software developer turned writer with interests in science, the Roman Empire, dogs, and horses.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Assassin’s Gambit?

[Amy Raby] It’s the story of an assassin who’s spent most of her life in training to kill just one man: the emperor of the country that’s oppressing her people. But when she actually meets this man, she ends up liking him. Eventually she falls in love with him.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Amy Raby] Lucien, the emperor, had been a minor character in a book I’d written previously, and he stole every scene he was in. Lucien is a disabled but ridiculously smart tactician who’s obsessed with the war game Caturanga. In writing Lucien’s book, I struggled at first with what sort of heroine to pair him with. She couldn’t be bland–if so, she would never shine on the page when paired with charismatic Lucien.

I figured she had to be a Caturanga player too, maybe even a better player than him. And then I came up with the idea of making her an assassin sent to seduce and kill him. At first I thought the idea was hilarious. I floated it jokingly to my critique partners, and one of them even mocked up a fake cover. But the more I considered it, the more I began to think that if I gave the story a serious treatment, it would actually work. So I wrote it. And now it’s my debut novel.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Vitala?

[Amy Raby] Smart, strategic, ruthless

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Lucien had a theme song, what would it be?

[Amy Raby] Wow, this is a tough one. I don’t know of any songs about being hated by your father because you have a disability, or about loving battlefield strategy and war games. I’ll go with "Anthem" by Tommy Korberg, a song about loving your country even when your country has problems.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Vitala is never without.

[Amy Raby] Vitala is never without her deadly shards. These are her tiny hidden weapons, concealed by magic, that she can carry anywhere. They are small but armed with a lethal death spell that she releases upon impact.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Lucien’s pocket?

[Amy Raby] Another tough one! One thing Lucien will never have in his pocket is something smelling of lemon or lemon balm. Those are scents he assiduously avoids. Another thing he wouldn’t carry: a Caturanga strategy guide, because he’s an expert at the game and has reached the point where the only way he can improve is by playing against other experts. And you’ll never find his riftstone in his pocket, because that’s the source of his magic, and he wears it around his neck for safekeeping.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Lucien’s greatest regret?

[Amy Raby] Lucien’s greatest regret is that he’s a disappointment to his father. When he was a teenager, he was attacked by a group of assassins. He survived, but the lower half of his left leg had to be amputated. Lucien’s father admires physical strength and athleticism; he couldn’t cope with having a disabled son. And while Lucien has a sharp mind and is a brilliant strategist, his father has never been able to appreciate these assets.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Amy Raby] A couple of authors: Barbara Hambly, whose books I read extensively as a teenager, and Lois McMaster Bujold, whose Vorkosigan series I devoured later. Both of these authors combine romantic elements with a fully realized SFF world. Barbara Hambly wrote wonderful strong heroines, which is why I loved her books so much–not many authors did that in the 80’s. And Bujold wrote fascinating characters of both sexes, demonstrating that SFF novels didn’t need to be all about the gee-whiz technology or fantasy elements. They could be about those things but also be character pieces.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Amy Raby] Just my computer, an internet connection for quick research, and my books when more extensive research is needed. Because I write with kids in the house, and always have, I’m used to tuning out distractions.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Amy Raby] I have read so many great books! I’m going to go with Unlocked, by Courtney Milan. It’s a novella, and I found the story of a woman confronted by the man who used to bully her years ago to be both fresh and compelling.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Amy Raby] Barbara Hambly’s The Silent Tower. I read this book and its sequel over and over again as a teenager. Strong heroine, fascinating and unforgettable hero, and a fantasy world that was atypical in that it was set in the early Industrial Age, not the Middle Ages.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Amy Raby] I have kids, so I’m pretty busy with them. But what I like to do in my free time (which I sadly have very little of) is play computer games. Over the past decade, I’ve been known to frequent Warcraft III, World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Starcraft II, plus any and all tower defense games, including Plants vs. Zombies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Amy Raby] My website: http://www.amyraby.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.raby.94

Twitter: @amyraby

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order The Assassin’s Gambit from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.

Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.

About the author:

Amy Raby is literally a product of the U.S. space program, since her parents met working for NASA on the Apollo missions. After earning her Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Washington, Amy settled in the Pacific Northwest with her family, where she’s always looking for life’s next adventure, whether it’s capsizing tiny sailboats in Lake Washington or riding dressage horses. She is a 2011 Golden Heart® finalist and 2012 Daphne du Maurier winner.

Interview with Juliana Stone, Author of The Summer He Came Home and Giveaway

Please welcome the incredibly versatile Juliana Stone to the virtual offices today!   Check out what she has to say about The Summer He Come Home, the first book in her Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series.  After the interview, enter for your chance to win a copy! 

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Juliana Stone] I am a total 80’s geek with a mad love for music, movies and writing. I love Nikki Sixx, Jon Bon Jovi, the Philadelphia Flyers and The Walking Dead.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little bit about The Summer He Came Home?

[Juliana Stone] This first book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lakes series, is a straight up romance, with all the bells and whistles. It’s about friendship, family and love and the hero is pretty much my dream man! The premise, rocker Cain Black returning home for the funeral of one of his best friends sets the stage for the other ‘bad boys’ to return as well. It’s summer and even though tragedy has brought these boys back together, there is always hope!

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Juliana Stone] I was writing paranormal and wanting to branch out and try something different. Because music has always been a huge influence in my life ( I used to front an all girl rock band back in the day!) I wanted to write about a musician. Cain Black, to me, is the love child of Nikki Sixx and Jon Bon Jovi (if that were possible) and I had him in mind from the start. I’m not much of a plotter, but the idea of a group of guys coming home for a funeral of one of their own grew and I just went with it.

[Manga Maniac Café] If Cain had a theme song what would it be?

[Juliana Stone] When I first thought of this series, all the books had titles from Bon Jovi songs, and this first book was originally titled, NEVER SAY GOODBYE. So, when I hear this song it makes me think of Cain.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Maggie?

[Juliana Stone] fierce, protective, damaged.

[Manga Maniac Café] Name one thing Maggie is never without.

[Juliana Stone] Pride.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Cain’s greatest regret?

[Juliana Stone] I think Cain is at a point in his life where  he’s achieved some success and staring down even greater success. He’s on the cusp of getting everything he’s wanted—or so he thinks. He’s a good son and I think at this time in his life he’s starting to regret not spending enough time with her. I think he’s realized that success isn’t everything and that maybe he didn’t need to go so far away from home to get what he wanted.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Juliana Stone] I read a lot and I think reading really good books by amazing authors always inspire me to try and be better. I’ve a long list but someone like Susan Elizabeth Phillips has that ‘special’ quality to her voice that’s organic. It’s just there inside her. She inspires me.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Juliana Stone] I’m pretty easy to please. I need my laptop and absolute silence. That is all.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Juliana Stone] Easy. The Bronze Horseman. I saw a lot of buzz on twitter etc. about this book and I knew I had it on my kindle so I had a few days after handing in a book and decided to read it. I can’t tell you how amazing this book is because you’ll have to see for yourself. Amazing book and I downloaded the rest of the trilogy and read them all in the space of a week.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading which would it be?

[Juliana Stone] I distinctly remember borrowing a Nancy Drew mystery from the library when I was in grade 5. The Secret of Shadow Ranch. There was a ghost horse on the cover and I was so into horses that I picked it up. I was hooked and read every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on, and from there read voraciously. Eventually I moved on to my mother’s romances.

[Manga Maniac Café] What to you like to do when you’re not writing?

[Juliana Stone] I’ve got a husband and 2 kids who keep me busy, but I also enjoy baseball and golf, which I play in the summer months. Music is huge in our family and I still sing in band with my husband on guitar…we gig occasionally. Our son is an amazing guitarist and plays a lot…his band Ravyn’s Fall made it into the top 200 acts on Canada’s Got Talent last year, which was very cool!

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Juliana Stone] As most of you guys know, writing is pretty much a solitary thing but I do spent a fair bit of time online! Readers can find me on Twitter, Facebook and you can find my links at my website www.julianastone.com

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Ready for a chance to win The Summer He Came Home? Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following. US addresses only please

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Didn’t win?  You can purchase The Summer He Came Home from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

Sometimes the best place to find love is right back where you started…

Falling asleep in a different bed every night has made it easy for Cain Black to forget his past. It’s been ten years since he packed his guitar and left Crystal Lake to chase his dreams. Now tragedy has forced him home again. And though Cain relishes the freedom of the road, one stolen moment with Maggie O’Rourke makes him wonder if he’s missing out on something bigger than fame.

For Maggie—single mother and newly settled in Crystal Lake—love is a luxury she just can’t afford. Sure, she appreciates the tall, dark and handsome looks of prodigal son Cain Black. But how long can she expect the notorious hellion to stay?

The last thing either of them wants is something complicated. But sometimes love has its own plans.

Interview with Kathryn Barrett, Author of Temptation

Kathryn Barrett is our special guest today.  She’s here to chat about her new book, Temptation. Please give her a warm welcome!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Kathryn Barrett] Dog lover, chocolate eater, wine drinker, lazy gym rat, ex-pat blogger, excessive Twitterer.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Temptation?

[Kathryn Barrett] Temptation is a book about forbidden love. It’s a culture clash novel, the story of what happens when Hollywood comes to Amish country, and when a Hollywood star finds love in the least likely place. It’s also a Garden of Eden story—there’s a lot of temptation in Laura’s garden, and even a snake.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Kathryn Barrett] By accident! I wanted to write Laura’s story, after getting to know her in a previous book. I wondered what happened to her, and since that book was set in Philadelphia, I could imagine her visiting Amish country during a weekend as a tourist. That turned into a film location when I actually started writing the book, and the Amish man she met turned out to be an intriguing character on his own. He’s a furniture maker who builds beautifully crafted furniture that looks like it belongs in a museum, and eventually he must decide between his desire—for Laura as well as his creative urges—and his faith.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Laura?

[Kathryn Barrett] Jaded, but optimistic.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jacob had a theme song, what would it be?

[Kathryn Barrett] An oldie but goodie, Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”. “Loving you,

Isn’t the right thing to do”. Oh yes, that’s perfect!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Laura is never without.

[Kathryn Barrett] Her espresso maker. A girl can’t live without that!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jacob’s bedroom?

[Kathryn Barrett] Pre-fab furniture. A television. A Brooks Brothers suit.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Laura’s greatest regret?

[Kathryn Barrett] Her marriage at nineteen to Tommy the Freeloader.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Kathryn Barrett] Other books, wine bottles (what imaginative descriptions!), paint chips (same thing, very descriptive names of paint colors!) and most of all, my shower.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Kathryn Barrett] Quiet, green tea, and a keyboard.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Kathryn Barrett] I really enjoyed Loretta Chase’s Lord Perfect (I’m late to the Loretta Chase bandwagon). I also liked a charming novella written partly from a cat’s point of view, called The Girl with the Cat Tattoo.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Kathryn Barrett] I read everything as a child—Trixie Belden, the Bobbsey Twins, even my brother’s Hardy Boys—but as an adult I’d been reading only non-fiction, and then I picked up a copy of Judith McNaught’s Paradise while my husband was deployed overseas. I stayed up all night, laughing, crying, clutching myself with emotion. Then I realized that’s what I most wanted to do: write a book that gives someone that same visceral experience.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Kathryn Barrett] I love to walk! On weekends we take our dog to one of the many wooded parks in England and let him run off-lead. It’s great exercise for all of us, plus there’s something about watching a dog run free through the woods, ears flying, tongue hanging out…my favorite sight!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Kathryn Barrett] My email is authorkathrynbarrett@yahoo.co.uk, my Twitter handle is @KathrynSBarrett, and I’m also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorKathrynBarrett. My website is updated pretty regularly too: http://kathrynbarrett.com.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!

You can purchase Temptation from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

 

About the book:

Laura Hayes has been acting since she was an infant, making Hollywood the only home she has ever known. But when she moves to Pennsylvania’s Amish country to film her next movie, she discovers there’s more to life than a pair of Jimmy Choos and a Marie Claire cover. 

Intrigued by the Amish simplicity, she’s soon gardening and baking plum pies—and enjoying it. And when her neighbor turns out to be the local heartthrob and a talented furniture maker, she realizes that what’s missing from her life might be the love of a good man—not to mention the perfect heirloom tomato. 

Jacob fights the urge to question the teachings of his Amish beliefs—despite his desire to create furniture that is beautiful as well as useful—and struggles with his longing for the sexy stranger who makes him feel truly alive for the first time. As his attraction grows, so do his doubts, until he’s forced to face temptation and decide once and for all what is truly worth the fight.

Purchase from Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/temptation-kathryn-barrett/1114588027?ean=2940016371429

Add to GoodReads:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17336196-temptation


About the author:

Kathryn Barrett has been writing women’s fiction since the day her youngest daughter left for pre-school. All was going well, until she read a book called “30 Mistakes In Fiction Writing” and realized she was making all of them.

One by one, she’s overcome the mistakes and learned to make a few more along the way. “The best way to learn to write is to write,” she says. “Period.”

Kathryn lives near London in the enchanting countryside of England. When she’s not writing, she’s busy training a rescue dog, tramping around archeological ruins, and occasionally making wine runs to France. Because nothing fuels the imagination like a good Bordeaux.