Silver or gold for a special ring? #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

This fall is a very busy time for me! Before I get to this week’s reveal of how I chose the materials for the membership ring for the Order of Witchery Lore, I must remind you all about my big release tomorrow!

It’s big to me because it’s my first supernatural historical fiction story ever. The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn kicks off a new 6-book planned series set in 1821 northern Alabama in a haunted roadside inn. I adore this story and the new series and am a touch anxious to hear how my readers like it. Next week, I’ll be at Second Reads Books in Decatur, Alabama, for a book signing from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. I’ll have paperback copies with me to sell and sign if you’d like to have a physical copy. Or you can order an ebook through most of the online retailers.

Cassie Fairhope longs for only one thing: to escape her mother’s tyranny. Her plan? Seduce the young man, who is acting as innkeeper while her father is away on business, into marrying her. But Flint Hamilton has his own plans and they don’t include marriage, even to the pretty temptress. He quickly learns that running a roadside inn in northern Alabama in 1821 means dealing not only with the young woman and her hostile mother but also with horse thieves and rogues. When tragedy strikes, Cassie and Flint are forced to face unforeseen challenges and dangerous decisions together in order to attempt to rid the inn of its newly arrived specter—who doesn’t have any plan to leave…

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Moving on to this week’s topic…

I have already talked about which finger to wear a special ring on and what color the stone should be for the ring designating members of the Order of Witchery Lore in Charmed Against All Odds (Book 5 of Secrets of Roseville). Let’s look again at the Wicca Spirituality site and what they have to say about The Magick of Wiccan Jewelry.

To recap, we have an indigo owl-shaped stone to be worn on the right hand pinky finger. But what metal should the setting be? Silver? Gold? Something else? According to Wicca Spirituality, Precious Metals have the following symbology:

  • Gold: Symbol of the Sun and the God, as well as purity of spirit and eternity.
  • Silver: Symbol of the Moon and the Goddess, the soul, and the beauty of the Wheel of Life.
  • White Gold: Symbol of the pure and eternal Light of the Divine, the union of Goddess and God in One, the Spirit manifest in physical form.

An aside: I realize that other sites may apply different meanings or symbology to the metals used in jewelry. But I have chosen to stick with this set of information for my purposes in my story. Also, this site didn’t assign symbology or meaning to copper, bronze, titanium, or platinum. After reviewing these three, though, I found what I was looking for.

For my purposes, then, for representing an organization dedicated to knowledge and preservation I went through these three metals above.

Silver’s association with the Wheel of Life was tempting. The Wheel as well as the Tree of Life are powerful symbols to me. And the archives surely address everything associated with the knowledge of all life. But linking to the Moon wasn’t the effect I wanted.

White Gold also tempted, mainly because I like white gold! But its link to the Light of the Divine and the Goddess and God made it more religious in tone than I wanted.

Gold wins because of its association with eternity and purity of spirit. To my mind, the archives are kept with a pure intent of preserving the knowledge base of the wiccan believers for all and eternity. And I like the idea of the sun shining on all knowledge.

So the final Order of Witchery Lore ring is a gold pinky ring with an owl-shaped indigo stone. Hmm, I wonder if my local jeweler could make me one? It’s a thought…

Charmed Against All Odds is available for pre-order now and releases on November 11. As a bonus gift, for everyone who pre-orders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order with me on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/AuthorBettyBolte) and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story! (If you’ve already read Undying Love, let me know and we’ll work out a different story as a thank you gift!)

I have book signings scheduled in both October and November, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. At my November signing, I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you at one of my signings to support the independent book stores as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebrations!

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

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Getting to know Leslie Scott #author #contemporary #cowboys #dragracing #dragracinglife #racing #romance #fiction

I’m thrilled to introduce you all to my friend and chapter mate, Leslie Scott! Leslie writes fast-paced and entertaining romances. But I’ll let her tell you more about herself and her stories. Let’s peek at her bio and then get to the good stuff!

Leslie Scott is a self-proclaimed word wizard who hails from the Rocket City (Huntsville, AL). She lives and writes at home with her four dogs, four cats, Prince Charming, and #bestkid. Her fast-paced, energetic romance style is award nominated—a fact she can’t quite comprehend.

You can learn more about Leslie at www.lesliescottromance.com, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Leslie: Written? I’m sitting around a dozen right now. Though, only three are currently released (with three more contracted and in the pipeline for release soon).

Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Leslie: They tell you to pick a sub-genre of romance and stick with it. I find that impossible. I can’t stop the ideas and if they don’t fit into one slated genre I’m not going to just NOT write it. So, I have Contemporary Westerns, New Adult Romance, Urban Fantasy, Suspense, are all in my wheelhouse and you’ll be seeing some of them all by next year.

Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?

Leslie: Family. My Arkadia Fast series gets called “a racing series” a lot, but it’s really not. At the core of Hot Lap is the heroine’s desperate desire for the family that has been denied to her and the hero’s love and acceptance—because she IS his family.

Starting a new life isn’t easy when the skeletons locked in her closet are the notorious town drunk for a father and a haunted past. But, Hadley Morgan isn’t one to shy away from second chances or giving them either.

When a young, single father wrapped up in an octane fueled package takes particular interest in her, she begins to dream. But well-known drag racer Aiden Casey is also her boss, making her hesitate to grab at her chance at happiness.

Will her secrets shatter their chance at love or will his past come back to destroy both of them?

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Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?

Leslie: I do not. I homeschool my son, so often I’m working as he is. That could be the kitchen table, around the large computer desk in the living room, on the couch, on my bed, in my office. Wherever I happen to be, I write.

Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?

Leslie: No special rituals here, unless you count writing all the time. To be honest, most of the time I’d rather be at home writing than anywhere else in the world.

Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?

Leslie: The lovely Ms. Vonnie Davis (Contemporary and Paranormal Romance Author). I went in search of a critique partner and found her. I would never have received my publishing contract without her. She took a chance on a novice writer and taught me so very much. I could never repay her for what she’s taught me, what she’s given me.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?

Leslie: Time and again readers praise me for writing characters that feel like family to them.

Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?

Leslie: I love this question. Usually it’s a situation or the characters, or perhaps a combination of both.

Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?

Leslie: Most of my writing happens late at night. I can edit/revise anywhere, anytime. But writing, drafting out an idea is easiest when I don’t have any interruptions.

Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?

Leslie: I don’t write fast enough. I have so many ideas, and not enough hours in the day to get them all out on paper.

Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?

Leslie: I do, indeed. I love Nano, it’s a great reminder for me to let the rest of the business go and just lose myself in the crafting of a new story.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Leslie: Alyssa Cole’s A Duke by Default. It’s refreshing and so much fun.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Leslie: Urban Fantasy is high on my list, for sure.

Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?

Leslie: Would you believe I’ve never reread a book? It’s just not my thing. There are just so many new stories being written, that I’d rather enjoy something fresh. I’m the same way with movies, which drives Mr. Scott insane. He’ll watch his favorites over and over and I’m a one and done kinda girl.

Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?

Leslie: Never really thought about that. I just read whatever tickles my fancy at the time.

Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?

Leslie: My day job is that I homeschool my twelve-year-old son, otherwise I write full time.

Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?

Leslie: That it is a painstakingly slow business. In the few hours/days it takes you to read a book it took that author months or years to create it.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Leslie: In the words of Queen Nora (Roberts)… ASFK … ass to seat, fingers to keys, it’s the only way you’ll ever get it done.

Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?

Leslie: Yee-haw? Kidding, but I love me some cowboys.

Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?

Leslie: I’d maybe like to try an epic fantasy sort of adventure, something my son would enjoy reading and could read with his children someday.

Thanks, Leslie, for joining me today!

If you haven’t sampled Leslie’s writing, I encourage you to do so. Her zest for life and love of family shines through her stories!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Getting to know Tabetha Waite #author #historical #Regency #Victorian #Gothic #romance #CommonElementsRomanceProject

I have a bonus interview to share with you! It’s Release Day for Tabetha Waite’s  Common Elements Romance Project historical romance, Behind A Moonlit Veil. Congratulations, Tabetha! She’ll be posting about her new release during the Wednesday, 9/25 historical romance genre day of the Facebook launch party, so please hop over and introduce yourself and find out more about her and her book! Now, let’s start off the author interview like we normally do, seeing her bio and then getting into the meat of the interview.

Tabetha Waite is the multi-award winning author of the historical romance Ways of Love Series. She is a certified PAN member of the RWA and currently holds a milestone pin for 5 published romances. She began her writing journey in 2016 and was traditionally published by a small press, before bridging over to indie in 2019.

She is a small town, Missouri girl who continues to make her home in the Midwest with her husband and two wonderful daughters. You can find her on most any social media site, and she encourages fans of her work to join her mailing list for updates.

Learn more about her at https://www.authortabethawaite.wix.com/romance, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Tabetha: To date, I have five novels and four novellas.

Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Tabetha: I normally write Regency romance, but I don’t like to box myself into one genre. In such, I decided to try something new with this story.

Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?

Tabetha: I decided that the Common Elements would fit perfect for a Victorian Gothic story centered around Jack the Ripper.

An evil lurks in the darkest corners of Victorian London…

Amaris Maxwell has lived her entire life with ill health. As the daughter of a prominent doctor, it never occurred to her to question his abilities, nor his associate’s rather unorthodox treatments. But the life of a sheltered woman has its disadvantages. She yearns to be free, to live an existence outside the same four walls. It isn’t until fate thrusts her into the path of Mr. Jackson Moreland that she begins to question everything she’s ever known. As a mysterious killer begins to terrorize the streets of London, Amaris realizes that things are not always how they may appear…

But how close is the true villain?

Jackson Moreland has lived the last two years of his life in a personal hell after the brutal murder of his wife. Released from an asylum, he struggles to come to terms with his reality. When he is engaged by Scotland Yard to assist in learning the identity of the murderer of Whitechapel, everything changes the moment he meets Amaris. He knows something isn’t right and he’s determined to find out what it is.

As things progress between them and secrets are revealed amid their growing attraction, they begin to fear that the true threat may not be the Ripper after all.

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Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?

Tabetha: Usually my couch in the living room! But I do have a desk that I use as well.

Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?

Tabetha: I prefer to write in the mornings after I get up, when my brain is fresh! And I ALWAYS write to music. Not any certain kind, it just depends on what fits the scene.

Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?

Tabetha: I wanted to write since I was nine years old. But it wasn’t until three manuscripts and 63 rejections that I finally got a contract offer. I suppose the first push I gave myself was when I was writing my second book. I joined a critique site called www.bookcountry.com. It was a great tool when it came to getting feedback.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?

Tabetha: I’d like to think that I have the ability to paint a picture for the reader, to keep them turning the pages to find out what happens to the characters.

Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?

Tabetha: It’s usually the characters. I have to find out who I’m dealing with before I can build a world around them.

Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is it more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?

Tabetha: I usually just write when I can find the time. During the summer it’s easier, as I work part time during the school year, but once school starts, it cuts that time down a lot. I couldn’t even imagine working full time. My hat truly goes off to those that juggle it all.

Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?

Tabetha: Writer’s block can be a true hurdle for me. I usually know how the beginning and the ending of a story will go, but sometimes the journey can be a bit challenging. Usually I just take a step back and read or watch a movie until inspiration strikes again.

Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?

Tabetha: I have in the past, but not always. Writing sprints do help, but I’ve found I do better if I go at my own pace.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Tabetha: I just finished The Savior by JR Ward. I love the BDB Series!

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Tabetha: Historical romance. It will always be my first love!

Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?

Tabetha: I have several authors that have a permanent place on my shelf, including Sabrina Jeffries, Lisa Kleypas, Sophie Jordan, Sarah MacLean, Julianne MacLean, Anne Mallory and many more! One of my favorite books to reread is A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.

Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?

Tabetha: I do like to read in the same genre, just to immerse myself in that specific time period.

Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?

Tabetha: There’s no easy answer. A lot of people ask me for advice and all I can really say is do your research. Find out who represents your genre. Make sure you have an editor. There’s a lot of competition, so grow your social media, your network and your brand.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Tabetha: Don’t give up! If this is a dream you have, don’t take no for an answer.

Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?

Tabetha: While I have a few more things releasing this year, I’m planning a new fantasy novel to release next year! It’s something a bit different for me, but I’m excited to share the world that’s been brewing!

Thanks for stopping in on your busy release day, Tabetha! Congrats on the new release, too!

Be sure to join the fun at the Facebook launch party where you may pick up a few new (free) books to read, or other giveaways from the many authors participating. And remember I’ll be partying on Thursday, 9/26, for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Time Travel day! See this post to find out more about the charm bracelet I’ll be giving away to one lucky partier.

Thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

What color stone for a special ring? #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

Last week I talked about which finger to wear a special ring on for members of the Order of Witchery Lore in Charmed Against All Odds (Book 5 of Secrets of Roseville. As before, I poked around at Wicca Spirituality and relied upon the information they shared about The Magick of Wiccan Jewelry.

So the next question I had was what should the ring look like? Should it be a simple oval or facet cut of some kind? Something rather innocuous which didn’t call attention to itself? Or no. It should clearly establish their membership in a special community. Quickly identify their belonging. So I went with the shape which was obvious to me. An owl. A great horned owl, to be specific. Just like the one used by the Golden Owl Books and Brews bookstore sign and logo. You can see it displayed on the cover of each of the books in the Secrets of Roseville series in the upper left-hand corner. (Note: The full meaning of the symbolism of the owl with the crossed sticks is explained in Book 2, Haunted Melody.)

But what color stone? Diamond? Ruby? Onyx? Thanks to Wicca Spirituality I was able to find exactly the right color whose meaning underscores the mission of the Order.

Some colors I could dismiss without a lot of thought because of the ambiance I hoped to create. So pink, orange, and yellow were swept aside. I wanted something darker, stronger, with an underlying support to the overall theme of my story. Nothing happens in fiction without a purpose, right? So I looked more closely at red, green, blue, indigo, purple, and black. To my mind, these colors are more powerful and significant. Keeping in mind the purpose of OWL as archiving the vast knowledge of witchcraft, I examined the qualities each color emphasizes.

According to Wicca Spirituality they have the following qualities.

  • Red: Excitement, passion, vigor, strength.
  • Green: Stability, vitality, prosperity, generosity.
  • Blue: Tranquility, sincerity, patience.
  • Indigo: Wisdom, insight, spirituality.
  • Purple: Self-esteem, spirituality, transformation, nobility, enlightenment.
  • Black: Mysterious, containing potentials, restful or fearful.

Now, I’m a huge fan of red and blue, but neither of those colors seemed to bolster the idea behind the OWL archives, that of storing knowledge for the use and betterment of others. Green doesn’t either, sadly. Purple was a close second with its spirituality and enlightenment. Black didn’t make the cut though because the archives shouldn’t be mysterious, restful or fearful.

Indigo, though, suits the bill quite nicely. It’s the ultimate winner since it combines wisdom with insight, something very useful for archivists and blends it with spirituality. There’s also something about the name of this color that is intriguing. So indigo fits the intent of the Order and makes a ring which will stand out.

Here’s a snippet from Charmed Against All Odds where Roxie first spots an OWL member following her:

She searched their surroundings with a quick skim of her gaze, until she noticed a figure standing on the porch of the visitor center. In the exact spot they’d recently stood. No other car but Leo’s occupied the parking lot. She squinted at the shadowy being. Nothing odd about jeans and tee shirt, low-heeled boots, floppy hat, and wooden hiking staff in hand. She’d guess it was a man but why was he keeping to the darkness of the porch? Something mystical pervaded her mind the longer she stared at him. Then he pressed his right hand to the center of his chest and she saw the glint of gold. She summoned her telescopic ability and zoomed in more closely on his right hand as he lifted it to press to the center of his chest. He wore only a gold pinky ring, luminous despite the shadows of the deep porch. She squinted to bring the center stone into clear focus. An indigo owl. She’d seen the symbol before. Not associated with the park, she was certain. Where then? The shadowy figure pointed toward the path beside her with a soft gleam of a smile. The niggling concern in her mind bloomed into shock.

Next week, remind me to talk about why I chose gold for the metal of the ring. It was a debate, let me tell you!

Speaking of reminders… Remember that Charmed Against All Odds is part of the Common Elements Romance Project, a group of books being released between October 2019 and January 2020. All the authors have agreed to include the same 5 elements in each romance, encompassing all subgenres of romance, too! The 5 elements are: a tall stack of books; a man named Max; a haunted or reported to be haunted house; a lightning storm; and a lost set of keys.

The Common Elements Romance Project will kick off with a week-long Facebook launch party this week, all week long! I will be giving away a special charm bracelet during my genre day—Thursday, 9/26—that has the first two charms Roxie and Leo find. The adjustable gold bracelet has the open book and Friends charms, so whoever wins it will always have a “book friends” charm bracelet from me. Good luck!

This “Book Friends” charm bracelet will be given away as part of the Common Elements Romance Project Facebook Launch Party on 9/26/2019!

And as a bonus gift, for everyone who pre-orders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story! (If you’ve already read Undying Love, let me know and we’ll work out a different story as a thank you gift!)

I’m so excited to have two releases coming soon! October 1 The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn will kick off my new supernatural historical fiction series Fury Falls Inn. Then Charmed Against All Odds will release on Veterans Day, November 11, 2019. I’ll have book signings in both October and November, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. At my November signing, I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you at one of my signings to support the independent book stores as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebrations!

Thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Getting to know Nicki Greenwood #author #contemporary #PNR #NewAdult #romance #fiction #books

I think you’re going to enjoy my guest today! Please help me welcome, Nicki Greenwood! As usual we’ll start with her official bio, and then dip into what she has to say about her books and her process.

Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources, which of course has nothing to do with writing novels. She has also worked in a bakery, an insurance agency, a flower shop, and a doctor’s office, which have nothing to do with writing, either. She did spend an awesome two years as an assistant editor for a publisher, and now does freelance editing on the side. Nicki still holds down a day job, which manages to get her out of the house once in a while. Since 2010, she has written eight novels, including the award-winning Gifted Series. Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. If you can’t find her at her computer, you can always try the local Renaissance Faire.

You can learn more about Nicki at http://www.nickigreenwood.com, or follow her on Amazon, Facebook, or Twitter.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Nicki: Eight books of novel or short story length, and counting!

Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Nicki: I began writing in the romance genre because it’s such a broad spectrum, from sweet, contemporary romance to spicy paranormals, and everything in between. There was a lot of room to play within the universal theme of a happy ending, and that appealed to me. I am now stretching my legs by writing in the New Adult genre, which is fresh and exciting. I have a planned trilogy currently in the works.

Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?

Nicki: I didn’t discover my “theme” until writing several books about it. I found that no matter what type of book I write, whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or women’s fiction, the story always centers around a character finding his or her emotional home. In FIRE, my most recent release, the hero Ethan has never felt like he belonged anywhere. He is quite literally wandering the country in search of a place to belong. For him, it’s a matter of coming to terms with who—and what—he is.

Is love worth the risk of getting burned?

Ethan Sutter is good at running, but he can’t outrun himself. Rootless and reckless, he prowls the country, able to abandon everything except his hated Fire Elemental power. Then he lands in Pickering, Vermont, out of gas and out of options, and meets New Age curio shop owner Gypsy Ronan, an even bigger misfit than he is.

Gypsy knows Ethan is trouble. However, none of her tarot cards or tea leaves could have prepared her for their undoubtedly dangerous mutual attraction. More shocking still is the discovery that he possesses an incredible power, and he wants her help getting rid of it.

Ethan needs a normal life. He’s sure a woman like Gypsy couldn’t be part of it, but she sets his blood smoldering. Gypsy knows there’s more to Ethan than he admits, even as she fears for her heart.

Amazon

Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?

Nicki: I purposely bought a laptop with a comfortable keyboard and long battery life so I can write in my office, at Starbucks, on lunch break at my day job, or wherever else I find myself. I used to write by hand, and then on a desktop computer, and finally discovered this is the best way for me to get the words down.

Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?

Nicki: Wednesday mornings are my Starbucks days, and I generally churn out the words over a green tea and breakfast sandwich with my headphones on. Something about the atmosphere encourages my muse to show up ready to work. I am a creature of habit, and these regular schedules work well for me. I write best in the mornings when I’m fresh, so unless I’m cramped for time I try to get my writing in as early as possible.

Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?

Nicki: I wouldn’t be where I am without the generous and supportive members of the Central New York Romance Writers. I owe a lot of my craft growth to them. I also have to give a shout out to The Wild Rose Press, who came on the scene when ebooks were just beginning to emerge. They have been a huge part of my success as an author, and I couldn’t ask for a nicer publisher.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?

Nicki: I love dialogue. It’s the first thing I notice in a book or television show, and one of the things I enjoy most about writing characters. The wittier the dialogue, the more fun it is!

Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?

Nicki: Generally, a character shows up first. I don’t even brainstorm them, most of the time. They just begin “talking.” (We writers are among the few who can say we “hear voices” and not get strange looks…especially when talking to other writers. *grin*)

Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?

Nicki: I do have a loose weekly “structure,” but it is sometimes undermined by family needs. Family is important, so when something comes up, I move my writing schedule. I am currently writing on a 100-words-per-day minimum, but I often surpass that. Occasionally, it’s a case of squeezing the writing in wherever I can.

Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?

Nicki: I am a hybrid pantser-plotter, somewhere between the author who outlines her story first, and the one who just sits down to write without a road map. This works for me most of the time, since I don’t like to know the end of a story before I write it.  There have been moments, however, where I get stuck. I call it “writing myself into a corner,” where I have set something up that ends in a snarl. When that happens I just keep going, and in the off hours when I’m not writing, my “passive muse” works on the problem until a solution crops up. Then I’m off writing again at a crazy pace.

Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?

Nicki: I don’t. It’s like dieting—if I call it a diet, I won’t do it. (Incidentally, I lost forty pounds over a six-month period by not calling it a diet.) Writing, like eating healthy, is a lifestyle, not a single event. I make more words by keeping at it daily than I ever would by pushing myself to do it in a standalone challenge.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Nicki: Julia Quinn is a perennial favorite, and I have recently delved into Erica Ridley’s work. I also chanced across A PRINCESS IN THEORY by Alyssa Cole, and devoured it. Cole’s voice is such fun. A DUKE BY DEFAULT is next on my list.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Nicki: Historical novels, especially romances. I may never write one, but I love to read them, whether they are Scottish, Regency, Egyptian, or something else.

Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?

Nicki: For one Valentine’s Day, I received a beautiful leather-bound copy of THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES from my husband. It is one of my favorite possessions, and I am still working through it.

Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?

Nicki: I don’t read much while I am working on a book, but I treat myself to pleasure reading when I get to the end of my own works in progress. When I do read, if it isn’t a book on the craft of writing, it’s something historical.

Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?

Nicki: I wish I could write full time, but if that doesn’t happen, it’s all right. Getting out of the house and seeing other people is fuel for a writer’s brain. I am a pharmacy technician, and I love my co-workers, so it’s all good!

Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?

Nicki: There’s room for every kind of story, with every kind of character, more now than ever. If you’re looking for a book that resonates with you, it’s out there—especially with the growth of indie publishing.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Nicki: Read, edit, learn craft, and don’t give up. There are so many books on the market, free or otherwise. In addition, you’re competing with entertainment streamers like Netflix, so you’d better learn to write a damn good book that’ll keep a reader’s attention. If you don’t polish your work, it shows. Readers recognize an amateur. You’re asking them to spend hard-earned money, so pay attention to the quality of your product. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming “good enough” is good enough, because they’ll look elsewhere for the next read…not to mention, you are doing your own craft a disservice by settling for “okay.” A thick skin is important, but remember that it grows over time. It’s all right to wallow in self-doubt for a day after a bad review, but don’t let it end your growth as a writer…because you never stop growing as a writer. It is a lifelong art.

Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?

Nicki: I don’t want to say too much until I have the books written, but I am working on a New Adult series with fresh voices and a different sort of tone. It’s been loads of fun so far, and I think readers are going to enjoy it.

Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?

Nicki: I have often wanted to try children’s books and screenplays. Perhaps when I’m certain I have a handle on writing New Adult stories, I’ll turn my attention to those genres!

Some very good advice in there, and some hints at interesting stories as well! Thanks so much for stopping by, Nicki.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Choosing which finger to wear a special ring #amwriting #reading #PNR #supernatural #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

Last week I talked about the overarching information I learned when I started digging into the world of Wiccans. In Charmed Against All Odds (Book 5 of Secrets of Roseville), an enchanted charm bracelet takes center stage, but I’ve also included a specific ring that identifies the members of the Order of Witchery Lore. Before I settled on what it is made of and the design, I needed to know more about Wiccan jewelry and the magic associated with it. So I kept poking around at the Wicca Spirituality website until I found what I was looking for: The Magick of Wiccan Jewelry.

Keep in mind that my focus is on how I can accurately portray the use of jewelry and its mystical powers in my story. I’m not trying to give every detail of the beliefs and uses of jewelry within the Wiccan realm. Feel free to poke around on the Wicca Spirituality site if you’re curious! For now, I’m going to break down my research into Wicca jewelry into three parts relevant to my story needs: which finger to wear the ring on; what color of stone; and which precious metal(s) lend meaning to the symbol of the ring in my story.

To determine which finger, I needed to understand the Power Centers, or energy centers on the body. Depending on where the jewelry is worn, different powers are activated. What a fascinating concept to me. Rather similar to the idea of pressure points and acupuncture in some vague more mystical way.

For the featured charm bracelet in my story, the power center isn’t so much an energy as a reminder “that all your actions can be offered to the Divine.” So I don’t have to worry about activating any specific energy as Roxie and Leo are assembling the bracelet with the hidden charms, and indeed Roxie’s mother tells her to “Wear the bracelet, my dear daughter, as a daily reminder of what makes you both strong, but also what makes you better together.”

The OWL members’ ring, however, is another matter. From the Wicca Spirituality site, I learned that the third finger is the heart finger (thus why relationship rings are typically worn on the third finger) and rings worn there are “especially powerful.” The index finger is also powerful as the creation finger. Judgement and restraint center on the middle finger. But aha! Communication—Roxie’s strongest power and the Order’s mission—comes from the pinky finger. Decision made: the ring will be worn on the right pinky finger.

At that point in my processing of this information, a chill swept over my shoulders as I realized that I missed wearing a certain ring on my own right pinky. I’d stopped because I’d put on some weight and it didn’t fit well, but I suddenly needed to wear it again. So I went to my jewelry box and put it on. In the picture, I’m wearing it alongside the blue and white sapphire ring I bought after I graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with an MA in English. So I’m wearing on my heart finger my love of literature and writing.

You may wonder why wearing the simple silver band would hold such meaning for me. It’s my beloved mother-in-law’s wedding band that I inherited after she died in 2009. When I wear her ring, I feel her presence close to me. I hope for her sharp wit, her insights, her determination, to strengthen my own. Knowing that wearing it on my pinky also energizes my communication power makes me want to wear it even more! Perhaps that’s why it feels so right on my little finger. Mom Bolte was an avid reader and read/critiqued my fledgling novels, encouraging me to continue writing.

Is it possible that pairing both my graduation ring and the silver band energizes my writing and storytelling powers? I like to think so…

Speaking of reminders… Remember that Charmed Against All Odds is part of the Common Elements Romance Project, a group of books being released between October 2019 and January 2020. Over 100 authors have all agreed to include the same 5 elements in each romance, encompassing all subgenres of romance, too! The 5 elements are: a tall stack of books; a man named Max; a haunted or reported to be haunted house; a lightning storm; and a lost set of keys. These elements were super easy to fit into Book 5 of the Secrets of Roseville series!

The Common Elements Romance Project will kick off with a week-long Facebook launch party September 23-27, 2019. There will be prizes and games and interacting with the authors each day of that week. Hop over to find out more and be sure to sign up for updates! And I’ve ordered a special charm bracelet to give away during my genre day—Thursday, 9/26—that has the first two charms Roxie and Leo find. The adjustable gold bracelet will have the open book and Friends charms, so whoever wins it will always have a “book friends” charm bracelet from me. And as a bonus, for everyone who pre-orders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story!

I’m so excited to have two releases coming soon! October 1 The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn will kick off my new supernatural historical fiction series Fury Falls Inn. Then Charmed Against All Odds will release on Veterans Day, November 11, 2019. I’ll have book signings in both October and November, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. I hope to see you there to support the independent book stores as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebrations!

Next week I’ll share how I chose the color of the stone and the shape of it for the OWL members’ rings. The symbolism behind the symbol… Until then, I hope you have a great week and lose yourself in a great book!

Thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Getting to know Pamela Gibson #contemporary #historical #romance #author #Regency #Western #mustread #fiction #books

Welcome to another guest author interview! Have you noticed how many authors write in more than one genre? Today I’d like to introduce you to another one who writes both contemporary and historical, Pamela Gibson. Let’s peruse her bio and then jump into the meat of the interview…

Author of eight books on California history and twelve romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who lives in the Nevada desert. Having spent several years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of her gran-cats, gran-dog, and gran-fish. Her days as a white-knuckle cruising spouse may be over, but the balm of speed-eating chocolate kisses she developed during harrowing rides on frothy water lives on.

You can learn more about Pamela at https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com, or keep up with her on Facebook  or Twitter.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Pamela: 12 romance novels

Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Pamela: I first wrote in the contemporary genre because I was always told it was better to “write what you know.” Now I also write in two subgenres of historical romance. The first is the Regency period because I love the manners, the food, the clothes, and the historical events taking place. The second is the early California rancho period because I have some expertise in that romantic time period which has some surprising parallels to Regency England.

Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?

Pamela: If I had to choose a universal theme that is important to my story it would be faith versus doubt. This is a marriage of convenience trope. Gwen needs John to escape an unwanted suitor. John needs Gwen because he’s penniless and she comes with a dowry. They marry in haste, hoping to become friends. Gwen has faith that she can make any arrangement work. If not, at least she’ll be a mother, fulfilling her fondest hope. John is a doubter, afraid if he brings a child into the world it will be like his mother who is mad. He keeps his fears a secret, making Gwen think he doesn’t desire her. Can this misunderstanding be solved with a talk? Yes, and they have it, rather early in the book. Then Gwen shifts into doubting and John begins to be hopeful. Of course, they eventually work things out. It is a romance, after all.

Lady Gwendolyn Pettigrew longs to be a mother, but refuses to marry the lecherous old fool her father has found for her. When her best friend convinces her to consider her husband’s younger brother as a suitable candidate, Gwen agrees to a marriage of convenience, hoping against hope that her dream of becoming a mother will have a chance.

The Hon. John Montague, a penniless younger son, is handsome, witty, and thrilled that a woman with a dowry has agreed to wed him. Best of all she’s a fiercely independent bluestocking, a woman who won’t want to bother with a family. Because John has a shocking secret. He’s vowed never to bring a child into the world, a child who, like his own mother, might carry the strain of madness.

As secrets unfold, tension grows, threatening the fragile bonds they’ve forged.  Worse, someone wants them to abandon their home and leave Yorkshire, and they’ll stop at nothing to make it happen.

Amazon

Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?

Pamela: I can write anywhere and had to do a lot of writing on our Nordic Tug while in port or at anchor. Now that we are land-based again, I write in a comfortable chair or on the couch in the early morning hours. Revisions are done in the same place.

Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?

Pamela: Because I am now a caregiver (sadly, my husband had a stroke and is partially disabled), I get up at dawn and write until he wakes up. Then I grab an hour or two during the day. By late afternoon, my brain turns off and I do other things.

Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?

Pamela: For many years I was a newspaper reporter, then went back to college, got a master’s degree in public administration, and began a career in city governance. Prior to retirement, I joined Romance Writers of America and began learning to write fiction. I have to say I learned the most from entering contests and getting feedback. Some judges gave excellent advice with examples. I treasure all of it.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?

Pamela: Dialogue has always been easy for me. The ability to put readers into the story is also a strength.

Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?

Pamela: I write in layers. First, I get the story on paper. Then I work on my characters and setting.

Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?

Pamela: I have to put my family first, but I’m usually the only one up at dawn, and that is my primary writing time.

Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?

Pamela: I love to write, but I hate the marketing part. Everyone has to do it, but I resist because it doesn’t come easy.

Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?

Pamela: I’ve done a few NaNoWriMos and actually made it to 50,000 words once. I edited that book and self-published it. I think NaNoWriMo is easier for pantsers and I am definitely one of those.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Pamela: I’m currently reading Rebel by Beverly Jenkins. She has a wonderful grasp of history and I always learn so much while reading her books.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Pamela: My favorite genre is the Regency period and I do like books with a little mystery to them.

Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?

Pamela: I keep Mary Balogh’s books because she hits so many emotional buttons. I am so envious. I also keep Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books because of the care she puts into her craft.

Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?

Pamela: I have an extensive TBR list and I just read the next book in line. I read about 80 books a year (according to Goodreads).

Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?

Pamela: I write full time because I am retired and because it is therapeutic to do something I really enjoy.

Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?

Pamela: With so many books available, it is very important to leave a review. Not everyone will, and that’s fine, but if you like a book, leaving a one or two sentence review helps an author get noticed. Readers’ opinions are important. I once changed one of my indie books based on consistent comments from readers who reviewed the original, but wanted it to be longer with a more developed relationship between the hero and his newly discovered son. That book was A Touch of Chardonnay.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Pamela: Before you query an agent or publisher, have that manuscript polished and professionally edited. If you decide to self-publish, you still need to at least hire a copyeditor. It’s worth it, especially when you are starting. Before I send anything to my editor I read my manuscript five or six times and always (I am not exaggerating) find a typo or dropped word. Reading aloud is also a good way to find things that need correcting.

Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?

Pamela: I’ve just completed a new novella in my Love in Wine Country series which I will self-publish in November. My second early California book, Return of the Fox, is with my Soulmate editor, and my third Regency, Scandal’s Promise, is underway. I like to keep busy.

Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?

Pamela: The novella I just finished is a mystery. I’ve never tried to do one before. I’m anxious to see how it is received. The other area I want to explore is middle grade fiction. I have a wonderful character in mind, but haven’t had time to work on it yet. There’s also a non-fiction book in my future, Confessions of a White-Knuckle Cruising Spouse. That five-thousand mile cruise my husband and I did in our 32-foot boat was a huge challenge for me. I learned so much about my own fears and my ability to cope during stressful situations. Others might enjoy my journey.

So Pamela has demonstrated she’s far braving than I am! I can’t imagine taking a 5K cruise in a boat. Write that book, Pamela! I bet you had an amazing adventure. Thanks for stopping by!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.