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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Texas Author Anne Greene










The thick and beautiful Bluebonnets are fading fast.  The yellow and red flowers hang on, but the beloved blues are about to vanish.  Before they completely leave us, I want to feature another author in my Texas Bluebonnet Author Series. 

Come meet Anne Green.


                                                   
ANNE GREENE writes about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement released November, 2013.  A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.

Anne’s highest hope is for her stories to transport the reader to a new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com. Visit http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com for information on writing an award-winning novel. Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. Visit Anne’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AnneWGreeneAuthor.

And now for the interview!

                Texas is a large state.  Does your book (or books) take place in east, west, north, or south Texas?

Only one of my books takes place in Texas so far. I am currently writing a book that takes place on a ranch near my home in McKinney, TX which is east of Dallas. You can find information about my books on my website:  http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.

        Were you born in Texas?

No, but I’ve lives in Texas for thirty years which makes me a Texan.

             Have you lived elsewhere?

     Yes, I’ve lived in Ohio, California, and Illinois.

      What is your favorite season in Texas?

Texas has beautiful fall weather. Fall last from early September and often extends through December. The weather is between 65 and 75 degrees.

           What would you change about Texas?

Not the people. The people who live in Texas are the most helpful, generous, kind and loving that I’ve met anywhere. I wish not so many people would move here. We have the best jobs, the best government, and the best people of anywhere I’ve ever lived.

        Do you enjoy sports or hobbies?

Yes. I love to read, of course. I love to travel and have been in thirty different countries and every state in the US including Alaska and Hawaii. I love to sail boats and participate in any type of sports, but I don’t have that much time. I don’t have time for hobbies although I love to play games and teach my children skills like sewing and swimming. I spend a good portion of my free time with my family. I sing in an excellent choir and do what I can for my neighbors.

 How did your characters come to mind for your book?

My character arise from the conflict in my books. What kind of person would walk a wing for a barnstormer? What kind of person runs a ranch? What kind of person becomes a female Coast Guard.

How do you plot your books?

 I’m not a plotter. I am what is called a seat-of-the-pants writer. My character develops as she tells me what’s going on in her life and what she needs. I gather my book ideas from places and occupations in life that I find interesting. Sometimes my ideas arrive full-blown from events that I feel people should know more about such as what occurred in Scottish history to empty the Highlands of the clans.

     How long does it take to write one?

Normally, including intensive research, my books take about nine months—just like having a baby.

What is the hardest part of writing?

 I love every aspect of writing from first draft to polishing the final chapters. I teach an online writing class at http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com.

     When did you start your writing career?

I’ve been writing seriously about ten years now.

     Has anyone ever come up to you and said, “Aren’t you that author that wrote….?”

Yes. I find that readers are interested in me as an author.  I do find it embarrassing to talk about myself face to face with a reader—just the introvert in me. But I love talking on my blog with readers.

    Do you dream about your work and can’t sleep?

Often I get good ideas from dreams.

   Out of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite?

That’s like asking which one of my children is my favorite. Each book has its own favorite spot in my heart. I love them all.

If you could speak another language what would it be?

My husband speaks five languages, so when we travel we feel at home wherever we are. I don’t feel the need to speak another language. I find using language in writing fulfills all my needs.
   
   If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you be doing?

Exactly what I am doing. God has given me a calling and I love fulfilling that calling. You can find my books on Amazon.com or http://pelicanbookgrop.com  Just go to author and type in Anne Greene.
Marriage By Arrangement is my newest. A Texas Christmas Mystery is written with a Texas setting. Have fun and enjoy reading my books. It was great visiting with you here.

  
                                  18960662                      18902608


Thanks Anne!  Enjoyed it. 



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet Texas Author Ruth Roberts



Photo by Dale Lewis 
Copyrighted 2013 
Used by permission


Photo by Dale Lewis 
Copyrighted 2013 
Used by permission

Spring is gorgeous in Texas.  The country fills itself with multiple color varieties.  The season inspired me to introduce several Texas authors.  Ruth Roberts is my guest today. 


Romance novelist Ruth Roberts lives in Dallas Texas, and many know that area of Texas as the Big D. It’s where city life abounds but the wide open spaces of Texas can be easily reached. Robert’s books transport readers to the glittering life of high-society, but she makes the characters fun and normal—the kind we would all like to have as friends. Her hobbies include reading, writing. She and her teenaged daughter love the comedy-drama series, Gilmore Girls. 
Her very own romantic hero of twenty years is her greatest inspiration and support.

She loves hearing from fans so drop her an email at ruthrobertsromance@yahoo.com



Homerun was the first book I read from Ruth Roberts. When I read the blurb, it became a must read.  I grew up in the Dallas area and love baseball.  Here’s the info.

Cynthiana, beautiful, intelligent, and by all appearances, a spoiled socialite, finds herself as chair of the Inner City Youth League Charity Gala. Her Co-Chair, Roberto Luque, is Major League Baseball’s newest playboy from the Dominican Republic. Far from being in the league of men her parents expect her to choose from, which is just fine with her, since she has sworn off playboys.

Roberto fought his way into the Majors. Now a successful pitcher for the Texas Rangers, he is living the life he always dreamed of--until he faces off with a bad-tempered, blue-eyed, redhead that is not his type. 

When her powerful father threatens to tear them apart, destroying not only their love, but also Roberto’s hard won career, will he be willing to give it all up for love?

19276129



Next came Tender Triumph. It’s a novella—only forty-one pages, but the characters are well developed, and the story captivated my imagination.  I love the excitement of New York City, so this story fit well with my romantic outlooks for that electric location.

  
After a very public divorce from her billionaire Italian husband, Natalia Montalvo returns home to New York City to lick her wounds and try to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. So why did she agree to attend a charity ball, especially when she knew her ex would be there? When he arrives with his newest love interest, she feels all the pieces she had managed to put together crumbling again. 


Jared, owner of the largest, most prestigious architectural firm in the country, rubs elbows daily with the rich and powerful. He can’t stand them. After one too many altercations with a client, his head of public relations forces him to attend the annual charity ball, to schmooze and make nice with the people whom his business depends on. His mission is simple: smile, be friendly, and bid on a few high dollar items in the auction. On the balcony, he encounters Natalia Montalvo. He can’t ignore a woman in need, especially when that woman is his best friend’s sister. But, can he convince her to give him more than one night?



And now we hear from Ruth Roberts.  She graciously answered my questions.


Texas is a large state.  Does your book take place in east, west, north, or south Texas?

Homerun, my debut novella, takes place in Dallas, so that would be north Texas. While Dallas is a big city I tried to give it a true Texas setting by making Cynthiana's home a large country estate, almost like a ranch complete with horses. So readers get a touch of city as well as country.

   Were you born in Texas?
No, I was not. I am a transplant, I've lived in Texas for ten years.

         Have you lived elsewhere?

I'm from Albuquerque New Mexico. Albuquerque and Dallas are the only two places I've ever lived. Except for a short stint in Colorado when I was eight.

        What is your favorite season in Texas? 

Spring, definitely spring.  The time when everything comes to life and the air smells sweet. We can't forget the bluebonnets that start blooming.

  What would you change about Texas?

 I'd love for Texas to have mountains.  I know there are mountains in El Paso but that is entirely too far for me to enjoy them so if I could I would move the mountains to Dallas.

        Do you enjoy sports or hobbies?

I enjoy many hobbies. Scrapbooking, sewing, jewelry making, even writing started out as a hobby. Sports not so much, although for the last couple years I've joined my family playing fantasy football and baseball. That has made me learn a bit more about each sport and I have to admit it's been fun!

      How did your characters come to mind for your book?

I was watching a TV show called Fairly Legal and I just loved the main characters fun quirkiness, she was my inspiration for Cynthiana. The male character just flowed when I put pen to paper. I decided he would be a baseball player because that is the sport my family is most obsessed with.

How do you plot your books?

I'm a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer. I come up with a basic storyline and names for my characters and then I write, I do not plan nor do I outline. When I think of a great scene I'd like to write I'll jot it down for future reference.

     How long does it take to write one?

Homerun took me four months to write and about twice that long to edit. I have a novel that will be released soon, and it took me closer to a year to write.

    What is the hardest part of writing?

Editing! I hate editing!

    Do you enjoy research?

Yes. I love to research. The only way to make a book believable is to get the finer details just right. If that's going to happen a writer must research.

    When did you start your writing career?

I started writing as a hobby in 2007. My first book was contracted by Prism Book Group in 2012 and published February 2013. It was an exciting time for me!

   Is there a new genre would you like to try next?

 I've been playing with the idea of writing historical romance. I've even written a few chapters but haven't finished it yet.


Thanks Ruth for visiting with me.  These are very good books.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bluebonnet Time in Texas. Meet Texas author: Laurie Alice Eakes


The Texas country side is filled with flowers every spring. It's a perfect time to park by a stream where colorful bouquets grow and read a good book written by a Texas author.


Photograph by Dale Lewis
Copyrighted 2012 and
used by permission

The author I introduce to you today is Laurie Alice Eakes. 



Laurie Alice Eakes is a multi-talented author whose books intrigue me. The first book I read of hers was Lady in the Mist and I was hooked. It's book number one in the mid-wife series.  Eakes is a bestselling, award-winning author of romantic novels and has a degree in English and French from Asbury University and a master’s degree from Seton Hill. With over a dozen books in print, she's under contract for more.

 After enough moves in the past four years to make U-Haul’s stock rise, she and her husband along with exotic felines, a golden retriever, and a black lab now make Houston, Texas her home.

She graciously answered my questions, and I loved her answers.

Texas is a large state. Are your book (or books) set in Texas?
 
I'm afraid not at the present time, and that doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.

Were you born in Texas?
 
I'm a Texas transplant by way of Virginia.

Have you lived elsewhere?

I have lived in seven other states: Michigan, Kentucky, New Jersey,  Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and Virginia. Looks like I'll be in  Texas for the foreseeable future.

What is your favorite season in Texas?
 
Spring when the birds are singing their hearts out and things are green.

What would you change about Texas?

The heat. The flatness, too, but mostly the heat.

Do you enjoy sports or hobbies?
 
Both. I'm not a huge sports person, and when I watch the m or go to an event, I have a good time. I sort of knit for a hobby, but I'm not very good at it.

What is a typical day like for you?
 
I wake up around 6:00, walk the dogs, then come back, make coffee and fresh orange juice, pack my hubs' lunch, make breakfast, feed the dogs and cats. Once Hubs is off to work, I sit at my desk and write in my prayer journal, have my quiet time, though sometimes I do this on the balcony. Then I work on social media marketing for an hour or two. After that, I either clean house or go to the gym. Then I get down to writing and write until around 5:30 when I get dinner started. I like to preserve the evenings for my husband and/or friends.

 How did your characters come to mind for your book?

I have no idea. I like bringing opposites together and putting people  outside their comfort zone. So a lady and a quietly renegade American?  Priceless.
 
How do you plot your books


I come up with a premise and setting, then characters. After that, I  start asking them questions to know their goals and motivations. Once  I establish conflicts, I gather my plot points and write a chapter by chapter outline.
           
How long does it take to write one?

As little as four weeks and as long as four months. This depends on  the length of the book and how much research I must do. I average two months per book.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Reminding myself that this is not about me, but about my calling from the Lord.
 
Do you enjoy research?

I love research. For each book, I know ten times more than I can possibly include.

When did you start your writing career?
 
 When I was a child I had a poem published, then some other little  things scattered throughout the years. For novel writing, it's  difficult to say because I started playing with story many years  before I actually wrote. I got serious in 2003 and sold my first book in 2005.

Has anyone ever come up to you and said, "Aren't you that author  that wrote....?"

Nope. Sometimes people who have read my books don't even put me together with the book when we meet.
 

 How did you get the idea for A Lady's Honor?  
Cornwall has always fascinated me, so I started peopling it in my head until a story finally emerged from setting and time period.

Do you dream about your work and can't sleep?

I don't think I dream about it, but it often wakes me up demanding I write.

Out of the books you've written, which one is your favorite?

I was just asked this yesterday and had a hard time saying. Probably Heart's Safe Passage, the second Midwife book. After all, how can one resist a Scottish ship captain with a wounded heart?

Is there a new genre would you like to try next?

Absolutely. I want to try contemporary romance or contemporary romantic suspense.

If you could speak another language what would it be?
 
I speak French, but living in Texas, think I'd do better to speak Spanish. After living on the border for four years when first moving here, I understand a good bit, though don't encounter it so much now that I live in a major city further north.

If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you be doing?
 
I would still write, and I'd do a lot of traveling. Many places I still want to see. Or maybe I'd get my Ph.D in history.

Thanks Laurie Alice for visiting with me today. I’m amazed at how quickly you write such remarkable stories.

Her books are available in print and eBook. You can find Laurie Alice’s books on Amazon and other online book sellers as well as retail book stores.

Her first book won the National Readers Choice Award in 2007, and her third book was a Carol Award finalist in 2010. Between December of 2008 and January of 2010, she sold thirteen books to Barbour Publishing, Avalon Books, and Baker/Revell, making her total sales fifteen. Recently, she added two novella sales to that collection, as well as having her first book with Baker/Revell, Lady in the Mist, picked up by Crossings Book Club, and six of her books chosen for large print editions by Thorndike Press.

A Lady in the Mist
(Book one in the midwives series)

8125732


A Lady's Honor coming April, 2014

19006208
  
www.lauriealiceeakes.com

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bluebonnet Time in Texas


 
 
 
Photograph copyrighted 2013 by Dale Lewis
and used by permission


The wildflowers are popping out everywhere, and they are gorgeous with thick, vibrant colors.  Mixed in with the blues are the reds, yellows and purples.  The traveler takes in extensive vistas on the highways, but the real joy comes when one leaves the thoroughfare to wind through country lanes.  You’ll find windmills, barns, fences, and a cow or two.  These treasures are a photographer’s dream.

 
I’m featuring Texas author, Jayna Morrow Aspromonte.  This beautiful and talented lady writes under the name Jayna Morrow and is an author under contract for Prism Book Group.  She lives in East Texas, where at this time of the year, the Azalea’s make a splendid show. 
Jayna Morrow
 
Jayna and Gay at a  book signing.


I recently interviewed Jayna. 

Were you born in Texas?

Yes, born and raised in the East Texas Piney Woods. I’ve also done a stint in West Texas, where my father is from. East meets west for this gal. All of my novels are set in the Lone Star State.

Have you lived elsewhere?

I’ve never lived anywhere but Texas, but it’s been a privilege to visit Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, and Tennessee. I’ve also stood in 4 states at the same time (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona) at the Four Corners Monument.

What is your favorite season in Texas?

Hello flip flops! Summer for sure is my favorite season. Hot sun, warm lake water…not to mention a two month vacation. I teach elementary school.

How do your characters come to mind for your books?

It usually starts with a quirk or gesture and grows from there. People watching can be fun, too. There have been a few times I worked in reverse, starting with a unique plot and thinking about what kind of person would fit in that scenario. I’ll admit that characterization is the most fun part for me.

How do you plot your books?

I’m a heavy plotter, and over the years I’ve developed a multi-layer plan for plotting. I use three valuable resources: “First Draft in 30 Days” by Karen Weisner (my timeline), “Story Structure Architect” by Victoria Lynn Schmidt (my plot arches), and “45 Master Characters” by Victoria Lynn Schmidt (my character arches). I’ve got it down to a science.

How long does it take to write one?

Right now, I’m logging 6 months. My goal is 4 books a year, so I’ve got some room for improvement.

What is the hardest part of writing?

The hardest part of writing is finding time….er, making time. I have two daughters, a husband, a teaching career, and hobbies. It’s a balancing act for sure.

When did you start your writing career?

My writing career began in 6th grade when I asked for an electric typewriter for Christmas….and got one! Up to that point, I use an old-fashioned sticky key typewriter with a manual return. I sent copies of my manuscript (a collection of short stories titles Tall Stories and Short Tales) to the publishers of all my favorite books. Then, I promptly collected my first round of rejection letters. I will say that several attached handwritten words of encouragement, including Knopf.

Out of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite?

In the Sweet Home series, HOLDEN is my favorite because it features a nerdy hero. I am such a nerd. He’s also ADHD with a tinkering habit. And he’s annoying. What’s not to love? As funny as this book is, it’s also has the most emotional depth.
(Holden is to be released in April, 2014)
Is there a new genre would you like to try next?

Definitely interested in romantic suspense. I already have a project in the works. I can’t wait. I love reading novels in this genre, so I’ve known for a while that I’d be writing it, too.

If you could speak another language what would it be?

Spanish. I love all the Hispanic culture we have in Texas. Overall, I’ve taken 8 years of Spanish classes and I still can’t speak it well at all. I read it almost fluently. I can understand a good bit – in context – if it’s spoken slowly. Rosetta Stone is on my bucket list. With it, I hope to completely learn Spanish. And now that I have an Italian husband, I plan on learning Italian as well.

If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you be doing?

I’d be traveling around the USA in an RV – visiting National parks, strange museums, all the restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and writing a book in every state.
 
I've read Garrett and Gabriel, they are excellent books, set in Sweet Home, Texas. Handsome brothers find romance with beautiful women.
 
Holden
The third book in the series will be released in April.

http://www.jaynamorrow.com/

Follow me on Twitter @JaynaMorrow