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Ruby Tuesday: Vivi Andrews

Hear ye, hear ye! It’s time for another edition of Ruby Tuesday, that day when we sit down with one of the Rubies and rake her over the coals get to know her a little better. Today we welcome paranormal romance author Vivi Andrews! Take it away, Vivi!

Name: Vivi Andrews

2009 GH Category & Title: Easy Money, Single Title Contemporary

What Happened to That Book: It’s still sitting on a shelf, waiting for its turn.

Website: www.viviandrews.com

 

What subgenre(s) do you write?  I’m published in paranormal romance, but next year I’ll also be returning to my contemporary roots with a new pen name (woot!).  I’ve tried my hand at the occasional YA manuscript as well and used to play around in fantasy, but nothing has come of those yet.

When did you start writing? (And why?) I began writing when I was thirteen – a fantasy story with wizards and princes. I wrote then for the same reason I write now – because I’ve got to get the stories out of my head somehow.

How many books have you written?
Published: 5 novels, 15 novellas
Scheduled to release: 4 novels, 1 novella
On the shelf: 9 (ish) novels, 1 novella – several of which will NEVER see the light of day, though some have definite potential

Vivi’s Upcoming Lone Pine Pride Release

What are you working on now? I’m currently working on the 5th book in my Lone Pine Pride shape-shifter romance series (Tangling with the Tiger, Fall 2015). The second book in the series, Taming the Lioncomes out in two weeks. (Squee!)

Where do you get your best ideas? In the car or the shower. Anywhere I can’t immediately write them down, it seems.

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read? Paranormal, YA, Contemporary, and Historical.  I’m a junkie for all things Nalini Singh, Kristan Higgins, Jennifer Crusie, Sarah MacLean, Victoria Dahl and Scott Westerfeld.

What was the first romance you ever read? I think it was called Secret Fire. A Johanna Lindsey about an English noblewoman falling in love with the Russian prince who abducted her off the street and drugged her with aphrodisiacs because he just decided he had to have her. Can you say Old Skool?

What’s your day job? Writer! And I seriously love being able to say that!

What was the first job you ever had? Grocery bagger. I was awesome at it.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Renting motor homes to tourists. I was awful at it.

College? I graduated from Northwestern University (Go Cats!) with wonderfully useless degrees in theatre and theoretical mathematics.

Marital status? Kids?  I sometimes feel like I am the only old maid romance writer on the planet. But I am a deeply kickass aunt. My sister’s kids are my favorite people on the planet.

Where are you from? Alaska! I travel a lot and am currently (temporarily) living in Manhattan, but I will always be a west coast girl. My family hails from Hawaii, but my folks moved to Alaska for an adventure when they were first married and it stuck.

Vivi at a Tiger Sanctuary in Thailand doing "research" for her shape-shifter series

Vivi at a Tiger Sanctuary in Thailand doing “research” for her shape-shifter series

Where would you build your dream house? My dream house would be a boat – going with me wherever impulse took me.

If money were no object, where would you go on your dream vacation? Antarctica! I want to go so badly.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to? I LOVE travel, so this is a hard one. I adored Cambodia, and it was incredible to see Egypt, and pretty much all of Europe rocked, so… yeah, I’m not sure I could pick just one place.  It’s like picking a favorite star.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Wanderer, adaptable, and… um… nerdy?  I love geeking out over stuff.

What piece of random trivia would you use to entertain a new acquaintance at a cocktail party? My grandfather was the obstetrician who delivered Barack Obama. No joke.

What’s your astrological sign?  Leo.  Rrrawr.  (No wonder I write about lions.)

Vivi’s Upcoming Print Release in her Karmic Consultants Paranormal Rom-Com Series

What is your Myers-Briggs designation?  I’m right on the line between INTJ (the Mastermind) and INTP (the Architect).

What is your favorite movie of all time? The Philadelphia Story. I’ve been addicted to it since I was twelve. (Though The Princess Bride occasionally fights for dominance and Midnight in Paris came close.)

Do you like sports? What team(s) do you follow? I’m a total baseball junkie. GO MARINERS!!!!

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?  Give yourself permission to suck. It’s always easier to edit later than to try to perfect everything as it comes out. The best work happens when we aren’t trying to finesse everything. Just let it fly.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? So many things! But probably “Write the book you want to read.” I’m a big fan of pleasing yourself first.

Thank you, Vivi!

Ruby Tuesday: Elizabeth Langston

Welcome to another edition of Ruby Tuesday, when we get to know one of our Rubies a bit better.  Today we head to North Carolina to interrogate one of our YA scribes, the fabulous Elizabeth Langston.  Welcome, Beth!

LangstonName: Elizabeth Langston

2009 GH Category & Title: YA – I Wish

What Happened to That Book: I Wish releases on November 18!

Website: http://www.elizabethLangston.net

 

What subgenre(s) do you write? YA, NA

When did you start writing? I started writing 14 years ago. I’ve always been a math geek and had my first career in computer software. But around the year 2000, I decided to try writing fiction and loved it! I’m glad I didn’t know in advance how hard it was

Beth's Golden Heart Book - Coming This Fall!

Beth’s Golden Heart Book – Coming This Fall!

How many books have you written? 11 (1 adult, 5 YA, 5 YA/MG novellas)

  • 5 are published/contracted
  • 2 must be revised extensively before I could consider publishing
  • the rest will remain forevermore “under the bed, gathering dust”

What are you working on now? A sequel to I Wish, a prequel to Whisper Falls, 1 New Adult contemporary, 1 New Adult Historical

Where do you get your best ideas? Listening to people talk. I love to travel (plane, train, bus—I’m not picky), and I eavesdrop. So many ideas spring up just by hearing people talk about their problems. I’ve just returned from a vacation to Ireland, and my head is crammed full of ideas from there. The mythology and history from Ireland are rich. Their current job market is bad for young adults, who often have to emigrate elsewhere to find work.

Irish Inspiration

Irish Inspiration

I’d love to explore what that must feel like—to pull up roots and reinvent yourself in another country far from your family.

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read? Adult Contemporary Romance, Historicals, Murder Mysteries.

What was the first romance you ever read? A category romance by Anne Mather. Although I don’t remember the title, I do remember the feeling I had after finishing. It was like a good dessert—sweet, satisfying, and left me eager for more.

What’s your day job? Software quality engineer; I train software developers and facilitate their conversations.

What was the first job you ever had? Selling popcorn at a movie theatre

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? I’ve never had a job that I would want to call “worst”—although being an Air Force officer was the most challenging

College? Major? Post-grad work? I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Computer Science

Marital status? I’m married with 2 college-age daughters.

Where are you from? I was born in Memphis and raised in Mississippi. I moved to the Raleigh area more than half a lifetime ago, so I like to say that I’m from North Carolina.

Antarctica!

Antarctica!

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to? Antarctica. It is beautiful, amazing, harsh, scary, and sacred.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Approachable, resolved, curious.

What piece of random trivia would you use to entertain a new acquaintance at a cocktail party? I can talk like Donald Duck.

What’s your astrological sign? Capricorn.

What is your Myers-Briggs designation? INTJ. (Heavy emphasis on the I; I am severely introverted. Whenever I’m around people for too long, it takes a lot of effort for me to hold it all together until I can escape.)

Beth's Latest Release

Beth’s Latest Release

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now? I love shows about true justice: Person of Interest, Elementary, Sherlock, Castle. But they’ve all concluded for the season, so I’m about to get addicted to So You Think You Can Dance.

What is your favorite movie of all time? Love Actually

What hobby takes up the most of your time? Travel; I’m either travelling somewhere—or planning where we’ll be going next

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out? Practice so much that your voice becomes second nature.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? If it works, do it. If it doesn’t, don’t. (I’ll attribute this quote to the wonderful Virginia Kantra.)

Thank you, Beth!

Ruby Tuesday: Diana Layne

It’s Ruby Tuesday, folks!  Time to sit down with another of our delightful Rubies and get to know her a little better.  Today we are joined by the lovely and talented Diana Layne, one of our tenacious Texan ladies.  Take it away, Di!

Name: Diana Layne

2009 GH Category & Title: Romantic Suspense: Trust No One

What Happened to That Book: published at Amazon

Website: www.dianalayne.com

What subgenre(s) do you write?  I write historical romances and contemporary romantic suspense, although they are heavy on the suspense.

When did you start writing? (And why?)  Growing up as an only child and an only grandchild in the days before cable and Internet (and when I had to walk to school five miles—uphill—both ways, ha) I had imaginary friends. Often I’d entertain myself by writing their stories. I guess I got into the habit of writing and making up stories and never stopped.

How many books have you written?  Ten, but two of them were practice books and have gone on to book heaven. The others have either been published or I am in various stages of rewriting or thinking about how to rewrite.

trustnooneebookflat

Diana’s Golden Heart Book

What are you working on now?  Currently I’m working on editing EDGE OF TRUST, the next book in the Vista Security Series after TRUST NO ONE, which was killing me until I figured out what I was doing wrong (I might write a blog post on this). Now, the edits are flowing a little better. I actually expected it to be published by now, but best laid plans and all that . . . . This is one of my shortest books and yet it has been my most difficult.

What was the first romance you ever read? I grew up reading Barbara Cartland and the old Harlequins where all the heroines were secretaries or nurses, also throw in a few gothics like Rebecca. And then The Flame and The Flower burst on the scene. I was really too young to read it, had to sneak it out of my mom’s room and as for Avon opening the bedroom door, I had barely a grasp of what was going on (remember no cable or Internet, only child in a small Texas town in the 70s) but it was so much MORE. More emotion, more romance, more adventure. I was hooked.

What’s your day job?  Homeschooling Mom and Writer, both chosen, in part, because I’m not a big one for following rules (see answer about worst job ever below).

Mustang

The famous Mustang

What was the first job you ever had?  I worked for my parents in their auto parts store they opened when I turned 14. I started out helping my mom in the office with the filing and some light accounting, and then at 15, I got a hardship driver’s license so I could deliver auto parts. (It helped that my mom used to work for the judge who approved my hardship-yes, in a small Texas town, it helps to know people.) Delivering parts to the mechanics around town was a blast; usually I got to take my little yellow ’67 Mustang. Loved that car.

I answered this question so I could tell a tidbit about my Mustang and TRUST NO ONE: Originally the color of my yellow Mustang was Playboy Pink, but when I bought it from a used car lot, the pink had faded so they had painted it yellow (I know this about the pink because years later the yellow paint started flaking off. At that time I wanted to paint it back pink, but my first husband was horrified by the idea.)

In honor of my little car, I had my heroine in TRUST NO ONE, MJ Thornberg, who is a retired spy turned mechanic, rebuild a ’67 Mustang and paint it Playboy Pink. I smile every time I think of that. And one day I hope to buy another ’67 Mustang, have my son rebuild it and I’ll paint it Playboy Pink.

Mario4

Lego Marios

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Any job that restricts me to routine and a schedule (and they expect me to be on time!!) I hate. Therefore, I have never lasted long in jobs where I work for someone else (even my parents, I quit almost every day, lol until I started delivering parts, then that broke up the monotonous office routine). I do better working for myself and I’ve run housecleaning and lawnmowing businesses, I’ve had a home childcare business and I’ve taught piano. By far, writing has been the most fun of them all. Except for EDGE OF TRUST; this book is trying to kill me. Although my characters have straightened up quite a bit since I got mad and warned them that NO ONE was indispensible.

Kids? Grandkids? Because I hated that lonely only thing so much I had six children. I also have three grandchildren. I homeschooled all six kids, and I’m still homeschooling the last two. At the end of 2012, my youngest son, who I call Lego Boy on Facebook because he’s amazing with Lego’s, was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, and the doctor said he doubted Lego Boy would ever read, the most we could hope was for him to memorize a list of commonly used words. I didn’t like that answer, did a bunch of research on my own and Lego Boy and I went to work. He’s now reading, and he’s even starting to spell words on his own. This is just one of several reasons EDGE OF TRUST has been delayed, but it was a necessary delay because he was getting old enough that he was feeling really down on himself for not being able to read. Sometimes we just have to make choices.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?  It’s cliché’: Write the story. Then learn the craft and rewrite. And rewrite again, each time learning something new. M. NightI saw this post on Facebook from The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards: “It wasn’t until about the fifth draft of SIXTH SENSE that I really began to figure it out. It was then I realized he’s dead. It took me five more drafts to execute it right.” ~ M. Night Shyamalan

What is the best writing advice you ever received?  It wasn’t so much advice as it was a question: “What is your character’s goal.” Goal? Huh? He needs a goal . . .?

And now if you’ve stuck with me this long, I need help! And I’m willing to pay <insert mad cackle>. EDGE OF TRUST, the next book in the Vista Security series is set mostly in Russia and Siberia and I need Russian names! First and last names. I’ve named a few characters already, and here are the last names I’ve used: Volkov, Orlov and Bogomolov.

I need names for the following men, these are the handles I use in the book for now:

Texas Rancher Dude: he lives in Texas but is a Russian immigrant and is a really bad guy
Russian Mafia Dude: he’s a criminal and a gun runner, but polite and suave
Driver Dude: He works for Russian Mafia dude and he’s a tough, blond guy

I will award one random commenter a $10 Amazon or BN egift card, winner’s choice. And if I use one of your names, I’ll mention you in the acknowledgements of EDGE OF TRUST.

I’m also having a contest on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/dianalaynebooks now through June 1 if you want more chances to win! It’s broken into three different posts for $5 Amazon ecards each, you might have to scroll around and hunt, they will be labeled #1 #2 #3.

Happy Naming! And if you want to be notified for the Cover Reveal and release date of EDGE OF TRUST (It WILL be released, I promise!) please sign up for my newsletter at www.dianalayne.com.

Thank you, Diana!

Ruby Tuesday: Rita Henuber

Welcome to our first May edition of Ruby Tuesday, the day when we put one of our Rubies on the hot seat and get to know her a little better.  Today’s victim volunteer is our Floridian scribe of thrilling romantic suspense, Rita Henuber!  Take it away, Rita!

Name: Rita Henuber

2009 GH Category & Title: Romantic Suspense  – Guardian Angel

What Happened to That Book: Was published with a new title Under Fire.

Website: http://www.ritahenuber.com/

What subgenre(s) do you write? Romantic Suspense

When did you start writing? (And why?) October of 2007. Therapy

How many books have you written? Four and near completion on the fifth.

What are you working on now? Almost finished with a real romance, Hunter’s Heart. When I say real I mean romance drives the story. A first for me. Before this, the suspense/thriller aspect has driven the story.  As is the case of the next book I’m plotting. It’s very complicated for me.  Three layers of bad guys. Multiple characters and based on actual events an experience.

Rita’s Golden Heart Book

Where do you get your best ideas? Ripped from the headlines and my own experiences.

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read? Now it’s thrillers and contemporary romance.

What was the first romance you ever read? I honestly can’t remember. I know it would have been a historical. They were all I read for years.  Then I switched to SiFi and Stephen King.

What’s your day job? Rassling gators. No…I write

What was the first job you ever had? Working as a tour guide at the Fountain of Youth.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? I don’t think there was a worst job. I’m not a best, worst person.  There were jobs I didn’t care for so I moved on.

Where are you from? Florida

If money were no object, where would you go on your dream vacation?  I’d go from place to place and never stop vacationing.

What’s your astrological sign? Libra

Rita’s Latest Release

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now? I don’t watch much TV. Now I’m watching the PBS series Call the Midwife set in 50s London. Also the AMC series TURN, about this countries first spy ring. The BBC thriller series Orphan Black.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out? You are unique.  DO NOT compare yourself or career to others.  Learn your craft and do your best.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? Just Write.

Thank you, Rita!

Ruby Tuesday: Anne Marie Becker

Welcome to another edition of Ruby Tuesday, when we interrogate one of our Rubies and uncover her deep dark secrets (or, you know, not-so-deep, dark, or secret personal data).  Today’s subject is no stranger to written interrogation as the author of thrilling romantic suspense, Anne Marie Becker.  Take it away, Anne Marie!

AnneMarieBeckerName:  Anne Marie Becker

2009 GH Category & Title:   Romantic Suspense, Only Fear

What Happened to That Book: It was published by Carina Press in digital form in September 2011, and released in print by Harlequin (to their DTC book club and limited print run) in June 2012.

Website:  www.AnneMarieBecker.com

What subgenre(s) do you write?   Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Single Title Romance

When did you start writing? (And why?)  Right around the turn of the millennium, I woke up from a dream with a scene in my head. I dabbled with writing that scene and more until 2002, when I began to take writing seriously. Soon after, I had my first two kids and hunting killers and creating romance in my head became a much-needed escape. It’s amazing how the monotony of dishes, laundry, and diaper changes can encourage daydreaming.

Anne Marie's Golden Heart book

Anne Marie’s Golden Heart book

How many books have you written?  About a dozen full manuscripts, and pieces of about a half dozen others. Only Fear was my fifth manuscript.

What are you working on now?   My Mindhunters series has been underway for several years (Only Fear was the first) and I’m starting the final installment (End Game, Book 6) as I finish up final edits for Acceptable Risk (Book 5), due out May 5th.

If you could grow up to be one writer, who would you want to be?  Stephen King or Agatha Christie.

Where do you get your best ideas? When I wake up in the morning – usually on Saturdays, especially if I can lie around for a few minutes and mull the idea over. I’ve also found walks or doing dishes is especially helpful for figuring out a scene (and there are plenty of dishes to be done around my house).

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read?  Always romance, but everything from contemporary to historical, and sometimes paranormal. I have a particular weakness for Highlanders. 😉

What was the first romance you ever read?   I picked up a few Harlequins at a garage sale when I was in middle school. I had no clue what they were, but I was hooked like a junkie after that. I wish I could recall the titles of those first books! The earliest book I remember the title of was The Wyndham Legacy by Catherine Coulter. The first conference I attended was because she was a speaker there, and I was able to chat with her one-on-one for a good fifteen minutes. It was amazing.

What’s your day job? Mom, Wife, Domestic goddess, Author, Taxicab driver, Starbucks customer. (In no particular order.)

What was the first job you ever had?  I was the first stop in a Mexican food buffet line at Pancho’s in San Antonio. I filled the drink requests and iced the beers. At the same time, I worked as a Games Hostess at the brand new Sea World of San Antonio.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  Selling chicken. I can’t remember the name of the fast food chain – it’s a bit obscure – but I only lasted about a week there. At fifteen, I didn’t understand what was dark or white meat. On the plus side, they had the best cinnamon rolls.

College? Major? Post-grad work?  I attended undergrad at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio Texas where I was premed and double-majored in biology & psychology with a minor in chemistry (why not, right?). But I chose not to go into medical school and instead pursued a Masters degree in Counselor Education at Arizona State University.

Marital status?  Kids?  Grandkids?  Auntie? Married to 1, Mother to 3, Auntie to 8.

Where are you from? All over. Born in Hawaii, lived in Mississippi, Indiana, and Germany before I was eight. After that, we stayed put in Texas. (Can you say Air Force brat? 🙂 )

Anne Marie's latest Mind Games novel

Anne Marie’s latest Mindhunters novel

Where would you build your dream house? On a beach by the ocean. I love the sound of waves crashing on the shore.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to?  Bora Bora. Beautiful, but isolated. You really have to like the person you’re with. 😉

What three words would you use to describe yourself?  Empathetic, hard-working, flexible.

What’s your astrological sign? Capricorn

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now? Dexter, but Mad Men is about to start a new season, so it’s anyone’s guess.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out? Write every day, even if it’s just a little bit, or just notes on the story or characters. Read widely, but definitely in the genre you write. Focus on the emotional journey of the characters and you’ll suck your reader in. Never burn your bridges.

What is the best writing advice you ever received?  Be persistent and visualize yourself as a successful author.

Thank you, Anne Marie!

Ruby Tueday: Shea Berkley

Welcome, ladies and gents, to another edition of Ruby Tuesday, when we sit down and get to know one of our Rubies a little better.  Today on the hot seat we have the fabulous and talented Shea Berkley.  Take it away, Shea!

Name: Shea Berkley

2009 GH Category & Title: I was in the Romantic Elements category with the manuscript Dark Secrets

What Happened to That Book: It’s a dark, sort of crazy paranormal that hasn’t found a home, so I’ve decided to self publish it. It should be available this fall.

Website: www.sheaberkley.com

What subgenre(s) do you write?  I love to write and experiment, so I write a lot of different subgenres. I’m published in Fantasy and YA Fantasy and soon to be in Paranormal. I like my stories a bit out of the norm.

When did you start writing? (And why?)  I’m pretty sure I started writing when everyone else did, around kindergarten…wait, you don’t want the long story, huh? I can push past the early years. Let’s see, I started writing when my husband was in the military and gone like, ALL THE TIME. (no bitterness here J) It helped me relax.

How many books have you written?  Wow, let me think. Eight before I published and now I’m pushing toward fifteen.

One of Shea’s YA Adventures

What are you working on now?  I’m writing on several projects at once. A contemporary action/adventure Young Adult story and then a paranormal story about a group that slays monsters in Boston.

If you could grow up to be one writer, who would you want to be?  Jane Austen. She could rock a story like no one else.  She tackled heavy subjects with a light touch and created characters who are memorable. Plus, I love regency gowns. That is part of it, right? I get to wear one too.

Where do you get your best ideas?  Beats me. Seriously. I play “what if” a lot. I like twisting stuff around.  The unexpected is always fun.

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read?  It’s impossible to pick! I read nearly everything. I love literary as well as most genres.

What was the first romance you ever read?  This is actually funny. I’m dyslexic and I didn’t like to read. Not at all. When I was sixteen and a whole bunch of trouble, my loving, but totally frustrated mother threw a book at me and told me to read it. (Don’t worry. I dodged her lob expertly) The book was Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I loved the hero in that book. He spouted poetry and was smart and just awesome. Although it took me ages to finished, the book got me hooked and I’ve been reading ever since.

What’s your day job?  I tend to my overly large, loud family.

What was the first job you ever had?  First real job was a janitor at an air conditioning company. My duties morphed into accounting, which is frightening because I hate, hate, hate math. I fear someone did not get paid correctly back then. Sorry.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  The accounting job. Total torture.

College? Major? Post-grad work?  I went to Sacramento State University and was…wait for it…an English major. I bet that’s shocking, huh?

Marital status?  Kids?  Grandkids?  Auntie?  I have promised my family that I will not talk about them except in very generalized terms. They’re afraid I’ll say something embarrassing. They know me too well.

Where are you from?  I was raised in North Dakota. I got out! Had to hike through tons of snow, but I made it without going all Donor party on my family. Mom’s really proud of me about that.

Book 2 of Shea’s Keepers of Life YA Series

Where would you build your dream house?  I’m not sure. I’ve lived in some pretty sweet places. I like the mountains, but I also like the beach. Let’s say Ireland or Scotland. My instinct is to go back to my roots.

If money were no object, where would you go on your dream vacation?  I’d do the whole European Grand Tour thing. I’d be gone for nearly a year soaking in all the culture. As a common American, I’d have to live by the motto: Look but don’t touch. One can only have so many broken statues in ones home before you get the title of butterfingers, or destroyer of all things beautiful.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to?  England. Castles and manor houses and little quaint villages. (sigh) Makes me smile to think about them. Then I immediately think of wool. England is cold. And windy. And rainy. Cold blowing rain.  It doesn’t sound all that interesting when put like that, but it really is. Trust me.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?  I find describing myself difficult. I know what I’d like to be like, but I’m afraid I haven’t attained that kind of awesomeness yet. I’m definitely a work in progress. Ask me again right before I die.

What piece of random trivia would you use to entertain a new acquaintance at a cocktail party?  I used to live next door to the village harlot when I lived in England. Yeah. That’s usually a conversation grabber.

What’s your astrological sign?  I’m not exactly sure. I think Aquarius, but I could be wrong.

What is your Myers-Briggs designation?  I’ve taken the test a few times, but since I can skew it, it’s come out different each time. I do weird things like that on purpose. I don’t know why. I can’t help myself.

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now?  The Walking Dead. I’m in agony because I have to wait 6 months before the new season starts back up. What monster decided on that schedule? It’s cruel! I want to know where Beth is!!

What is your favorite movie of all time?  Gladiator. Hands down. Then it’s The Quiet Man.

Do you like sports?  What team(s) do you follow?  I do. I like to play them more than watch them, though. I root for whoever isn’t winning. I like an underdog.

What hobby takes up the most of your time?  This is going to sound weird, but my hobby is trying new activities. So, finding a new activity to try and then finding someone crazy enough to try it with me takes up a lot of time. My next goal is to take a class from a local automobile racetrack in how to drift.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?  Read. Read a lot. Then write. Write a lot. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Find a way to tell your story in a different way. Your way.  It’s the only way you’ll be happy in this crazy business.

What is the best writing advice you ever received?  Read. Read a lot. Then write. Write a lot. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Find a way to tell your story in a different way. Your way.

Thank you, Shea!

Ruby Tuesday: Elizabeth Essex

Welcome, ladies and gents, to another edition of Ruby Tuesday, that day when we take a moment to get to know one of our Rubies a bit better.  Today we have a special Release Day edition! (With a giveaway!!!)  Join us as we welcome 2012 RITA-nominee and historical romance maven Elizabeth Essex and celebrate her latest release, After the Scandal!  Take it away, EE!

 

Name: Elizabeth Esses

2009 GH Category & Title: Regency Historical: “Defiant”

What Happened to That Book: It became my 2010 debut novel, “The Pursuit of Pleasure”

Website: http://www.elizabethessex.com

What subgenre(s) do you write? Historical Romance

When did you start writing? (And why?) I’ve always written stories, but I turned my attention to trying to write romance seriously in 2005, after finishing writing what seemed like a very dry book about archaeology (although it did involve a shipwreck.)

How many books have you written? At the moment I’ve written eight novels, one novella, and two short stories. And that dry archaeology book.

Elizabeth’s Golden Heart Book

What are you working on now? Gracious, I LOVE the story I’m working on now. It is another historical novel, which begins with the heroine being hanged. From the neck. Until dead. Just my kind of opening.

If you could grow up to be one writer, who would you want to be? I’m having a pretty lovely time being myself, but I do very much admire Tracy Chevalier’s blend of historical fiction.

Where do you get your best ideas? Best ideas come from long road trips, when I am in my car and can’t write them down. I end up repeating the idea over and over to try and impress it upon my brain, like a song. Second best ideas come in the shower, also where I used to not be able to write them ideas down, but the eldest sprig has given me the cleverest waterproof notepad for my shower wall. Blessed girl. And my third best ideas come from reading “The English Home” magazine. It provides lovely realistic backdrops for the movies that play in my imagination.

What are your favorite subgenres to read? I adore historicals. I could live on a steady diet of the past for a very long time.

What was the first romance you ever read? The first full blown romance was “Shanna” by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which my college roommate purloined from her mother’s dresser. And then straight to “The Wolf and the Dove.” But I had been reading a steady course of Georgette Heyer for years by then, so it seemed like a very natural progression from Jane Austen to Georgette to The Wolf and the Dove to me.

What’s your day job? Full time writer and stay at home mom to a batch of very exuberant and active Essex sprigs.

The first Reckless Brides release

What was the first job you ever had? I was the soda fountain/ice cream girl at the Howard Johnson’s in my hometown. I can still scoop a mean three-decker.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Telemarketing. I think I lasted a grand total of three hours at that one. It was my version of hell.

College? Major? Post-grad work? I went to a very literary college, Hollins University in Virginia where they make Pulitzer prize winning poets, but I was reckless and headstrong, and only took one English class. Instead I devoted the rest of my time to Classical Studies and theatre arts. My degree was in Mediterranean Art & Archaeology and Art History. So naturally I had no choice but to go to grad school to get my Master’s in Nautical Archaeology, and was a Graduate fellow of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology.

Marital status?  Kids?  Grandkids?  Auntie?  I have been married to the Indispensable Mr. Essex for over twenty years, and am a proud mother to the energetic and exuberant Essex Sprigs, who are all still at home. The eldest leaves for college in the fall.

Where are you from? I grew up in a small town on the Connecticut shore, but I live far from the shore in the middle of Texas now.

Where would you build your dream house? I’m pretty sure I live in my dream house now, because this is where all the people I love live, but I would add on a beach house and a ski house if I were to really pull out all the dream stops.

If money were no object, where would you go on your dream vacation? A personal garden tour of England. With each stop followed my high tea in some cozy, comfortable place  full of deep armchairs. Aaahhh. Heaven.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to? Nepal. The Indispensable Mr. Essex and I trekked across Nepal and Northern India on our honeymoon. I remember it so vividly that I set one of my books in Northern India (SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT).

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Just slightly off.

What piece of random trivia would you use to entertain a new acquaintance at a cocktail party? I would go with a compliment instead of trivia. I am always drawn to women with fabulous shoes, and I invariably start conversations with a compliment of her shoes.

What’s your astrological sign? I am a scorpio. And also, according to my children who have done the requisite questionnaire on Pottermore, I am a Slytherin. But I will say that I never would have gone over to the Dark Lord. Never.

What is your Myers-Briggs designation? I have absolutely no idea! Never done it.

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now? The only thing I record and watch faithfully is the BBC chat show “Graham Norton.” It never fails to amuse me. And the eldest sprig has tempted me to begin watching “Black Flag” which I am beginning to like very much (Thank you Toby Stephens!). But generally, I’d rather be reading.

What is your favorite movie of all time? “The Quiet Man.” Marvelous dialog. “Here’s a stick, sir, to beat the lovely lady.”

Do you like sports?  What team(s) do you follow? I like all sports in general, most particularly whatever ones my children are doing at the moment.  I am a big track & field enthusiast as well, and I coach a middle school track team. I am the ‘high jump whisperer.”

What hobby takes up the most of your time? I love to garden. Love it. Love to make things grow and blossom and prosper.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out? Just keep writing. Keep it up. Just don’t stop.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? The late great Kate Duffy used to say, “Tend to the book.” I always feel that my energy is best spent making each book the best I possibly can.

Thank you, Elizabeth!  And now, here’s a special peek at the fabulous Ms. Essex’s latest release, After the Scandal.  FIVE (yes, FIVE!) lucky commenters today will receive a copy!

Releasing Today! Elizabeth’s Latest Reckless Brides Release

Propriety is no match for passion.

CAN AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

When Lady Claire Jellicoe agreed to a walk in the moonlight, she never imagined her titled companion might have brutal motives. Nor could she have dreamed up such a brave rescue by the most unexpected savior of all: an inscrutable nobleman with a daring plan of escape—and a deliciously tempting embrace…

LEAD TO EVERLASTING LOVE?

Timothy Evans, the Duke of Fenmore, has palmed more treasures than he can count. Even for a man who grew up thieving in London’s stews, a stolen bride should be beyond the pale. But Fenmore won’t let scandal ruin the spirited beauty’s reputation. And now that she’s stolen his heart, how can he ever let her go…?

Ruby Tuesday: Laurie Kellogg

Welcome, welcome, welcome!  It’s Ruby Tuesday time again! Time to peel back the layers and get to know one of our Rubies a little better.  Today our willing victim is the lovely Laurie Kellogg, multi-Golden Heart finalist and bold indie authoress of a host of contemporary romances.  Take it away, Laurie!

Name: Laurie Kellogg

2009 GH Category & Title:  Contemporary Series, The Great Bedroom War

What Happened to That Book: Indie-Published in 2012

Website:  http://www.LaurieKellogg.com

What subgenre(s) do you write?  Steamy, Heartwarming contemporary romances under my name  & Red-hot romantic comedies (not quite erotic) under L.L. Kellogg

When did you start writing? (And why?) I began writing in 1999 because I needed to do something creative for a living. I never thought it would take me 13 years to earn any money from it.

How many books have you written? Not sure. Somewhere around 20, but only about 15 of the stories are worth publishing, and some need a LOT of work.

What are you working on now?  The Wonder of You–A sequel to The Memory of You

If you could grow up to be one writer, who would you want to be? LaVyrle Spencer

Laurie’s Golden Heart Book

Where do you get your best ideas? I usually tell people I buy them at writer’s conferences, two for a dollar. But in truth, I get most of my ideas while I’m on vacation or doing something I don’t normally do.

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read? Contemporary and Historical Romance

What was the first romance you ever read? Other than Harlequin romances, Sweet Savage Love, by Rosemary Rogers

What’s your day job?  Writing

What was the first job you ever had? Scooping ice cream

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Scooping ice cream

College? Major? Post-grad work?  Associate’s degree

Marital status?  Kids?  Grandkids?  Married with two grown/married kids and one grandson

Where are you from? I’m originally a Jersey Girl. I moved to Pennsylvania about 15 years ago.

Where would you build your dream house? Right next door to my grandson.

If money were no object, where would you go on your dream vacation? A cruise to Antarctica

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to? Hawaii and Italy, especially Venice. We’re going to Alaska and renting a car to explore this summer.

Laurie’s Latest Release

What three words would you use to describe yourself?  Loyal, loving, perfectionist

What piece of random trivia would you use to entertain a new acquaintance at a cocktail party?  I’m a fount of useless information and interested in all things medical so it would probably be some weird fact about the human body—like a person’s nose never stops growing and eyes are as big as they’ll ever be when an individual is born.

What’s your astrological sign? Virgo

What is your Myers-Briggs designation? Probably ESFJ, but I’ve never been entirely sure where I fit.

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now?  Grey’s Anatomy and Big Bang Theory

What is your favorite movie of all time?  I love too many movies to narrow it down to just one, but if I had to choose, it would definitely be a romantic comedy.

Do you like sports?  What team(s) do you follow? I’m not a big sports fan, but if I was going to follow a sport it would be football or baseball.

What hobby takes up the most of your time? Cooking.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?  Read Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation, and Conflict before starting your first novel.

What is the best writing advice you ever received?   SHOW don’t TELL.

Thank you, Laurie!  And here’s a little peek at Laurie’s latest Return to Redemption release, Don’t Break My Heart

Remember Luke and Sabrina from A Heart Decision?

Catch up with old friends at their wedding, and join the town of Redemption celebrating!

Architect Justin Riverá recently lost his best friend and business partner to cancer. Before his widowed buddy died, Justin agreed to become his fifteen-year-old goddaughter’s legal guardian. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know a thing about raising a teenage girl or have the slightest clue how to cheer up Haley, who’s facing her first Christmas without her parents. When his brother’s family (which includes Haley’s best friend), are invited to Luke and Sabrina’s Christmas Eve destination wedding–which involves a three-day vacation at a mountain ski resort–his brother insists they should join them for the holiday. For Haley’s sake, Justin agrees, never suspecting one of the other guests is his first and only love, who, for some mysterious reason, disappeared sixteen years ago, deserting her family and all of her friends–including him.

When high school counselor Trisha Mason sees her unforgettable college boyfriend at a wedding, she’s tempted to run the other way. Much to her dismay, he’s hunkier than ever, and his goddaughter is a determined matchmaker. Consequently, when Justin attempts to resume their relationship by seducing Trisha, she can’t resist falling into bed and in love with him all over again. She’s always had a soft spot for troubled teens, and would love to be Justin’s wife and Haley’s stand-in mom. But despite being eager to spend more time with her in and out of bed, Justin still seems as anti-marriage as he was in college. Regrettably, Trisha has no choice but to end their fling after their vacation. Otherwise, she’ll be forced to confess her secret.

Ruby Tuesday: Tina Beckett

Welcome to another edition of Ruby Tuesday, the day when we put one of our Rubies on the spot, force her to drink a truth serum, and meet the woman behind the ruby slippers.  Today our brave volunteer is contemporary and romantic suspense scribe Tina Beckett!  Take it away, Tina!

 

Name: Tina Beckett

2009 GH Category & Title: THE SURROGATE/ Romantic Suspense

What Happened to That Book: Published by Carina Press in 2012 and retitled IN HIS SIGHTS

Website: www.tinabeckett.com
What subgenre(s) do you write? I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense.

When did you start writing? (And why?) Okay, so my reason for writing is a bit unconventional. I was living in Portugal with my hubby and ran out of English reading material (before digital books were available). I decided to try my hand at writing my own book and loved the process so much that I kept on going. I’ve grown to love writing as much as I love reading!

How many books have you written? Oh my gosh, I think I’ve lost count. I wrote four entire manuscripts before I even knew it was possible to do something with them. I hit the contest circuit, won a few, and received requests from editors. That’s when it hit me that maybe I should actually start submitting my work to publishers.

What are you working on now? A medical duet with another writer. It’s a New Year’s Eve story set at a ski resort during a blizzard. Since we’ve had a ton of snow in Ohio this year, it seems rather fitting.

Tina’s March Brazilian Brothers Release

If you could grow up to be one writer, who would you want to be? Easy. Stephen King. I shivered under the covers with so many of his books. They’re all kinds of wonderful.

Where do you get your best ideas? From my kids and my hubby. They’re always doing something crazy. My husband’s diy wounds have found their way into several of my books.

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read? Romantic Suspense, contemporary, YA and horror.

What was the first romance you ever read? It was a Harlequin by Violet Winspear. I snagged it from my mom’s stash of romances (without her knowledge).

What was the first job you ever had? Babysitter.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? I can’t name one. I’ve learned something important from every job I’ve had!

Marital status?  Kids?  Grandkids?  Married with three kids, a dog and a grand-kitty.

Where are you from? Nowhere. Okay, so that’s not exactly true, but my dad was in the Navy, and we traveled all over, so I don’t really have a place I consider “home.”

If money were no object, where would you go on your dream vacation? Scotland. Wait…Australia. Or maybe Fiji. There are so many places I’d like to visit.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to? Brazil. I lived there for almost ten years and loved it! The people are so kind.

The Other Half of Tina’s Brazilian Brothers Duet – This March!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I took barrel-racing lessons…in Portuguese!

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Stubborn, stubborn…and stubborn.

What piece of random trivia would you use to entertain a new acquaintance at a cocktail party? I am definitely a wallflower at cocktail parties. I’d much rather hear about other people’s adventures.

What’s your astrological sign? Scorpio

What is your Myers-Briggs designation? ISFJ (The S and F characteristics are borderline, while the I and J are strongly embedded)

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now? Revolution and Elementary

What is your favorite movie of all time? When Harry Met Sally

What hobby takes up the most of your time? Remodeling our 100 year old home. I’m currently sanding down plank floors in our upstairs bedrooms.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out? Never give up. I know it seems obvious, but it’s true. If you truly love writing, it won’t be a passing phase. It’ll be something you come back to over and over.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? Ha! The same advice I gave in the previous question: Never give up.

Great advice. Thank you, Tina!

And as a bonus today, here’s a little more about Tina’s upcoming Brazilian Brothers Duet:

Two brothers, ripped apart by fate…drawn together by a common thread.
TO PLAY WITH FIRE: Marcos Pinheiro shouldn’t be thinking about colleague Maggie Pfeiffer. But her innocent fire has him reliving their one wild, shameless night. Maggie’s heart has been buried for so long – only in Marcos’s arms has she ever felt free from her past demons. But is Marcos’s passion enough to banish the shadows for ever?
THE DANGERS OF DATING DR. CARVALHO: When Lucas Carvalho arrives at a hospital with gunshot wounds, Sophia Limeira recognizes him instantly. Lucas is now a drop-dead gorgeous plastic surgeon, but he still has the same dark, soulful eyes she remembers from their childhood orphanage. Sophia’s determined to keep her distance – Lucas is dangerous for any woman! But can she resist the lure of this bad-boy surgeon…?

Ruby Tuesday: Kate Parker

Welcome to another edition of Ruby Tuesday, that day when we dig deeper and get to know one of our Rubies a little better!  Today we head back east to interrogate the historically mysterious Kate Parker.  Take it away, Kate!

Name: Kate Parker

2009 GH Category & Title: Historical Romance with The Art of a Lady

What Happened to That Book: The Art of a Lady is being completely rewritten and will come out July 2015 as the third Victorian Bookshop Mystery – the first, The Vanishing Thief, came out December 2013

What subgenre(s) do you write? I write cozy, or traditional, mysteries
When did you start writing? (And why?) I’ve always fooled around with writing, but I finally got serious about it in 1999 when my youngest graduated from college and spread her wings, and my husband was disabled in an accident. Why? Because I needed something to focus on outside my life. It could have been running marathons or learning to fly an airplane, but I chose writing because it filled a need inside me.

Kate’s Debut Release

How many books have you written? The Vanishing Thief was number 18. Since then, along with The Counterfeit Lady coming out in August, I’ve written a ghost story that needs polishing, a 1930s spy mystery that needs finishing, and the third contracted Victorian Bookshop Mystery currently receiving its final polish. The first 17 will remain in seclusion, appearing only to be used as jumping off points for better written stories.

Where do you get your best ideas? Gossip. Eavesdropping. Misunderstanding what I see or hear. Mix with a wicked sense of humor and being slightly nuts, and I come up with some great ideas for murders.
Where are you from? I grew up and spent most of my life in the Washington DC area, where I majored in Microbiology at the University of Maryland. Now that I’ve retired, I’ve escaped to the beach.
What’s your astrological sign? I’m a Leo.

Kate’s Upcoming Release

What is your Myers-Briggs designation? I’m an INTJ, which means I’m a pantser writer and I write plot driven stories. I’ve discovered your Myers-Briggs designation affects your writing style.

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now? For some reason, I’ve begun to like thriller-paranormal shows such as Sleepy Hollow and the Stephen King show that was on last summer, both of which I started watching because they were filmed near my home. I also like British mystery shows like Broadchurch and Masterpiece Mysteries and American mysteries like Elementary and NCIS.
Thank you, Kate!
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