Getting to Know Skye Taylor #author of #contemporary #romance #timetravel #politicalintrigue #books #fiction

Please help me welcome Skye Taylor as my guest author today on Betty Bolte’s Musings. Skye has a varied and interesting background she brings to her stories, but I’ll let her tell you more about that! Take a peek at her bio and then we’ll get started.

Skye Taylor lives in the oldest city in the US where she participates in historical reenactments, walks the beach and volunteers at the USO when she’s not writing. Loving travel and adventure, she’s a skydiver and sailor, camped on tropical Islands, climbed a volcano, ridden an elephant, rafted down rivers, snorkeled over coral reefs and explored cities and castles in 15 countries on 5 continents. She spent two years in Peace Corps (2002-2004). She’s a mom and grandmother and the author of the Camerons of Tide’s Way contemporary romance series: Falling for Zoe, Loving Meg, Trusting Will, Healing a Hero, Keeping His Promise and Worry Stone, a time travel romance: Iain’s Plaid and a mainstream political intrigue: The Candidate. Her newest project is the Jesse Quinn Mystery series: Bullseye due out in February. Skye is a member of Florida Writers Association, Sisters in Crime, RWA and Women’s Fiction Writers.

You can find out more about her at www.Skye-writer.com or you can follow her on Facebook, All Author, or Instagram.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Skye: The Candidate, Falling for Zoe, Loving Meg, Trusting Will, Keeping His Promise, Healing a Hero, Worry Stone, Iain’s Plaid

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

Skye: With the exception of The Candidate, my books to date have been romance, 6 contemporary (series) and 1 time-travel. The Candidate is a mainstream and was written because the story just grew out of a combination of experiences, my own, my brother’s and others who came of age during the Vietnam War. But it’s a contemporary story of a man running for president who suddenly comes face to face with a piece of his past during the campaign. He has two formidable adversaries which makes it a suspense and an intrigue. I wrote romance to start with because I love a good love story, but have some trouble keeping my stories within the sometimes confining limits of the genre. I guess I like pushing the envelope, but I’ve had good reviews so perhaps someone else also likes the same thing. I am now working on a mystery series – I also like a challenge and have discovered mysteries are very challenging, especially since I am basically a pantser. I create characters with detailed dossiers, put them in an inciting incident and let them run with the ball. But having to know how it’s going to end is the challenge, leaving hints along the way and still having little in the way of an outline.

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

Skye: Ever heard of a “worry stone?” A small, smooth stone you can carry in your pocket. Something you can touch, rub, hold, etc. while calming your worries. My mom had dozens and I often found them on the beaches in Maine where I lived at the time, made incredibly smooth by the constant action of the waves and sand. In Worry Stone, my heroine, Sandy finds just such a stone on her first date with Cam and she presents it to him, explaining what it is for. He is doubtful about the powers of this little bit of rock, but because she gave it to him, he put it in his pocket. There were times he felt nothing but despair and came close to tossing it into the sea, but something made him return it to his pocket. As this book opens, this little worry stone is still in his pocket when he is standing at the window in the waiting room of the local hospital while Sandy is rushed into emergency surgery, her life hanging in the balance. He pulls it out, still warm from his pocket, while he’s praying for her.

Is love enough to heal a soul-wounded Marine?

Cam wasn’t planning on getting involved with anyone until he put the war firmly behind him but the hope and love Sandy brings to his troubled heart is irresistible. Will Sandy’s love be enough to bring Cam back from the edge of despair and convince him to get the help he so desperately needs? Is his love for her strong enough for him to pull his life together and be the man she believes in?

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

Skye: I converted the second bedroom in my beach bungalow to a library/office. I have bookshelves on three walls filled with books of all kinds, fiction, non-fiction and books on writing. My desk sits beneath a window that overlooks the ocean, so when I’ve hit a wall, or need to think, need inspiration, I can sit back and watch the endless parade of waves, listen to the roar of the sea, and work out where to go next with my book.

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?

Skye: My best time of day for writing is mid-afternoon to 8ish in the evening. Since I’m a widow with grown kids, I can go ahead and get immersed right through what would normally be the supper hour. But I’ve also been known to think about where my book is going after I’ve climbed into bed for the night, come up with a whole new plot point, a scene complete with dialog or something I just don’t want to disappear in the night, so I’ll get up, wake the computer up and type away until I get the ideas outlined. Then I can fall asleep knowing right where I’ll start in the morning.
Sometimes I do put music on, but it has to have no words, and the tempo has to match the scenes I’m writing. If it’s tense, urgent, dangerous, etc., maybe it’ll be Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. If it’s a romantic scene, perhaps music by André Rieu or Johann Strauss. I do have an entire collection on my laptop, a compilation of my favorite music to write by, from a dozen different composers and artists.
One other writing ritual, although not strictly a ritual, is to pick out a talisman that fits each book I write and it sits beside my monitor while I’m writing the book. My brother made me a lovely display case where all those talismans end up after the book has been published. Currently I have a pair of cufflinks while I’m writing a mystery and my heroine is a deputy detective. And, of course, while writing Worry Stone there was a whole row of smooth little stones sitting next to my keyboard.

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

Skye: Good question. You might want to ask my readers, but perhaps it’s creating complex characters that captivate my readers and make them care. I am not a plotter. I create in depth dossiers on all my main characters and somewhat less detailed for all secondary ones. Once I know these folk really well, I drop them into the middle of the inciting incident and let them tell me how the story is going to unfold. Although I usually have a very clear idea of where and how the story will end, my characters really drive the plot.

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

Skye: Well, first I have a nugget of an idea. I don’t really brainstorm to create them – they just come to me. I people watch everywhere and sometimes ideas come to me there. Sometimes it’s an experience I’ve had or someone I know has. Once when I was exploring an island off the coast of Maine with a fascinating history, I stood on an old foundation and the big stone beneath my feet wiggled. I jumped off before I could fall into the yawning, grass lined old cellar, but on my way home the thought came to me: “What if I had fallen in, hit my head and woken up again in another century. Which, of course became the start of my time travel romance, IAIN’S PLAID.

Then I brainstorm the characters who will fit into this nugget of an idea and they take over.

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?

Skye: As a retired widow with my kids all grown, I am very fortunate that I don’t have to squeeze my writing into a structured lifestyle. I live on the beach so when I’m stumped, I just go for a walk on the beach and let the story rattle around in my brain, come home and type it all up. Or, as I said before, whenever an idea hits, even in the middle of the night, I have the freedom to just sit down and write.

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

Skye: Most recent struggle was and is the learning curve for moving from writing romance to mystery. As a panster, I have never had detailed plots, but with a mystery, I needed to know all those details, how to present them and where. So learning to at least do a bare bones outline was a challenge. Also the change from romance to mystery brought a whole new feeling to the process and the story itself.

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

Skye: No. If it were any other month of the year, I’d have given it a go, but I have a big family with 12 birthdays between Oct 20 and Dec 18, plus five kids and 13 grandchildren, and 8 spouses, a sister, niece and more to prepare for Christmas. And since I almost always travel for Christmas, this means having all my gifts bought, sewn, or created, wrapped and shipped by mid-December. Thus November is an impossible month for me to commit to anything like NaNoWriMo. I wish they’d choose March instead. NOTHING happens in March except St Patrick’s day so why not that month instead of the outrageously busy month of November.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Skye: I just finished the most recent Tom Clancy book as well as a romance by a new author. I also have three books going I’ve promised a review for. My current book in progress just for pleasure is David Baldacci’s The Escape, and to enlarge my understanding of current national affairs, The Problem with Socialism by Thomas DiLorenzo.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Skye: I used to read mostly romance, but that genre has become so narrow and same old same old, I have moved on to mystery, action adventure, espionage, and military thrillers.

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

Skye: Outlander, by Dianna Gabaldon – which I first read when it came out more than 20 years ago. I also have an entire shelf of W.E.B. Griffin, all of Georgette Heyer, and a Maine author most have never heard of, Elizabeth Ogilvie. I’ve read all of them more than once and now and then I take one down and read it again. But less often these days with so many books coming out every day and a finite amount of time to read them in.

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

Skye: Never. I always read a totally different genre than what I’m writing.

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

Skye: Writing is my day job. The fruits of retirement….

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

Skye: I wish readers could fully grasp the absolute reliance any author today has on getting reviews. The number of reviews is what drives the search engines and the Amazon algorithm. Without reviews it’s hard for even the most compelling book to get noticed.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Skye: Develop a thick skin and ask for honest critique of your work. We all, even already published authors, learn from the things people tell us about our work. Believe in yourself and never give up. We all have dozens of rejections so don’t get discouraged.

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

Skye: My next book out is Bullseye, the first in my new series: The Jesse Quinn Mysteries. I’ve had a grand time with the research, joining the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy, going on ride-alongs and picking the brain of some detectives who’ve been on the job for years.

Jesse Quinn used to be a dutiful daughter and wife … until she discovered her husband was cheating on her and the promises her mother made about being a lady turned sour. Then she followed her heart and into the footsteps of her dad, her idol who had died in the line of duty when she was twelve. She’s been on the job long enough now to have risen to detective and she has a fun new partner who is a perfect foil for her style as they pursue investigations on the Major Crimes Squad of the St John’s County Sheriff’s Department.

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?

Skye: I already have one mainstream, political intrigue out, The Candidate (https://amzn.to/2C8Zg83). It was the most challenging book I’ve written to date and one day I’d like to try another mainstream novel.

You’re tempting me with the idea of a ride-along… Did they have those in the past, do you think? Anyway, thanks, Skye for stopping by and sharing with us today.

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 http://www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Getting to know #romance #author Nancy Holland #fantasy #magic #fiction #amwriting #amreading

Today I’m kicking off a series of author interviews to share some new authors and their books with you all. Please welcome Nancy Holland to the interview hot seat.

First, here’s a bit about her and then we’ll begin.

About Nancy Holland:

A college professor with over thirty years of teaching experience, Nancy Holland recently began to live her dream as a full-time writer. After being a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart© contest and publishing two short contemporary romances, she is thrilled to return to her first love and write fantasy romance for Tule Publishing.  

Despite dark pasts, heart-breaking betrayal, and a future that is always at risk, her fantasy heroes and heroines accomplish amazing feats of valor and magic to create a better world for everyone. More importantly, her characters refuse to give up on themselves, struggle to improve their lives, and learn to trust each other.

After years spent studying and writing about words written long ago and far away, she loves to travel with her husband to explore the cities where she can feel the lived experience behind the words.

You can connect with her at www.nancyhollandwriter.com, on Facebook or find her on Twitter @nancyholland5.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Nancy: Four published, three more in the pipeline, including the last book in the Witch King trilogy.

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

Nancy: Short contemporary romance, because that’s how I came into romance, and romantic fantasy, because I grew up on classic (and not so classic) fantasy books and always wanted more, better romance.

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

Nancy: One common theme in all my books is trust (my tagline is “Always trust in love”), but Felyn’s Curse is also about the negative effects of toxic masculinity on men as they grow up and the positive and negative impact of family ties.

Can love and sacrifice conquer a curse?

When Felyn was a young, defenseless witch, she was cursed to live as a shape shifter—a deadly panther. She might have been rescued and raised by a noble and powerful leader, but she lives in fear she will hurt those she loves in her animal form so each full moon she hides deep in the forest. But how can she refuse her adoptive father’s plea for an arranged marriage with a new ally? After all, it’s temporary and in name only… 

Varz agrees to an arranged marriage reluctantly because he needs the military and diplomatic alliance. He has secrets and a growing power struggle back home. He’s relieved he need only marry the young witch for a year until he meets his bride. Felyn is beautiful and intelligent and not easy to ignore, but Varz is a man of his word. His vow to leave his bride untouched will be the hardest one he has had to keep.

Amazon US    Barnes & Noble     Apple     Kobo     Google Play     Amazon UK

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

Nancy: I’ve been moving my workspace around the house lately from an ergonomically bad location to a crowded one and now to one I hope I can stick with. I also sometimes write or revise in a large recliner that is technically my husband’s.

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?

Nancy: I do my best writing in the morning, while I drink my coffee, although I can write at other times given the opportunity and enough motivation. I do have rituals, but wish I had fewer because they easily become time sucks (e.g., social media).

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

Nancy: Basically, RWA in several dimensions — my local chapter (Midwest Fiction Writers) and the critique groups that grew out of it helped me hone my craft, RWA chapter contests gradually convinced me I could do this, and finaling in the Golden Heart was a big boost. And, of course my agent, Scott Eagen of the Grayhaus Agency.

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

Nancy: Envisioning an intriguing world and situation that others want to learn more about.

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

Nancy: Always situation first, then sometimes character (usually the contemporaries), sometimes plot (the romantic fantasy books).

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?

Nancy: Now that I’m retired I can write pretty much whenever I like, but I’ve stuck with early morning from when I had to rush off to work afterwards. I do need at least an hour at a time of more or less focused time to accomplish much.

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

Nancy: My constant struggle is between keeping readers in the dark too long about things and telling them too much too early.

Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?

Nancy: I did in 2017 and won in less than the full month, which was cool (although the book never sold). Before that it just wasn’t feasible with the day job. 2018 was not a good year for me, so I sat it out. Whether I’ll participate this year depends on my health and where I am in my writing.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Nancy: I read more than one thing at a time these days. Right now it’s The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin and An Unlikely Match, a duet of two short romances by Marion Lennox, plus two scifi/post-apocalyptic books I’ve gotten stuck in and a very long classic I’ve lost my enthusiasm for.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Nancy: Contemporary romance

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

Nancy: I don’t reread very much anymore because I find great new authors. My keeper shelf is heavily tilted toward friends and chapter-mates, books I shared with my late mother and other old favorites, and recent books from AOC like Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, and Sherry Thomas.

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

Nancy: I generally don’t choose books that way unless a particular book is having a clear effect on my writing “voice,” in which case I’ll set it aside for a while.

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

Nancy: I wrote with a day job for over twenty years, but am retired now.

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

Nancy: It’s not as much of a meritocracy as they probably think, and most published authors are neither rich nor famous (but it’s still a great thing to achieve).

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Nancy: If you write romance, join RWA; if you write mystery, join Sisters in Crime; and read extensively, but not exclusively in your genre.

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

Nancy: I have two contemporary Christmas-themed romances in the pipeline at Tule publishing.

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?

Nancy: I have ideas for a romantic suspense and maybe a women’s fiction, but I don’t have the plotting skills for romantic suspense and I don’t think my voice is right for WF.

Betty: Thanks so much for stopping by, Nancy!

I hope you all enjoyed meeting Nancy as much as I enjoyed having her visit today. Happy reading, everyone!

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 my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Discovering Huntsville, AL in 1819 #amwriting #histfic #supernatural #books #Alabama200

I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last blog post. I’ve been trying to figure out a theme for a new series of posts, and finally struck upon one near and dear to my heart. I’ve been very busy the last couple of months researching and writing. I’ve written the first draft of the first book in my new Cassie Fairhope supernatural historical fiction series, which I call Cassie Fairhope and the Haunted Inn. I’m planning to release this book in October, so stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

The series is set in north Alabama in the year 1821, three years after statehood. So I’ve been digging into the history of the state, including visiting a local living museum from the 1800s, visiting the Heritage Room at the local public library, and reading. Lots and lots of reading!

So I thought in honor of Alabama’s Bicentennial celebration this year, I’ll share tidbits of the research I’ve done and how that informs my storyline (characters, setting, etc.).

To kick off this new series, let’s talk about what Huntsville, Alabama, looked like when the Alabama Territory became a state in November 1819.

The journalist Anne Royall described the city in her Letters from Alabama as consisting of 260 brick houses, a bank, courthouse, and market house. She claims there were twelve stores that faced the square. She also notes with a sense of surprise that there wasn’t a church, but services were held in the courthouse.

Image from a brochure I found in the Heritage Room map archives of Madison County, Alabama published by the Huntsville Historical Society in the 1970s

In Alabama: The History of a Deep South State the authors describe the city as a “bustling community of cotton planters” and that while the big planters who had migrated largely from Georgia dominated all the social and financial aspects, most of the landowners in Madison County, where Huntsville is located, were in fact “small famers from Tennessee.”

In my story, the Fury Falls Inn is located on the Winchester Road which connects Huntsville to Winchester, Tennessee and runs along the foothills of the lower Appalachian Mountains. My characters visit the city upon occasion and have customers that stop in for a meal on their way to wherever they’re headed. So knowing what the kinds of businesses and the layout of the town in the early years helps me ensure I have representative ventures and opportunities for my characters. Since I’m writing fiction instead of a history of the town, I’m free to include some made-up locations to suit the needs of my story. With that in mind, though, I still strive to keep to facts as much as I can when I create a new business, like the livery that is mentioned in Cassie Fairhope and the Haunted Inn.

Huntsville has grown up quite a lot from its early days, with a thriving and diverse population, high-tech industries and arts and culture for all to enjoy. It’s still growing and the leaders have said the city will be the largest in the state within the next 5 years. I believe they must be right on that point.

I’ve much more to share with you all and look forward to your questions and comments as I work through the many interesting facts I’ve unearthed about the state where I live. Until next time!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Avery Coleman from Her Snow White Christmas by #romance #author Cara Marsi #Christmas #magic #snowglobe

I have a special treat for the last Fun Friday post! Author Cara Marsi has allowed Avery Coleman from Her Snow White Christmas to stop by for a visit. Without further ado, here’s Avery…

Hi, I’m Avery Coleman. I write a style blog and sell Christmas trees for fun. The blog is fun. Selling trees in Vermont, not so much.

I grew up on a farm in Vermont. My parents, to make ends meet, ran a Christmas tree lot every year. My sister and I worked at the lot. Growing up, through the Christmas holidays I smelled like pine and couldn’t get all the sap off my hands until February.

I dreamt of escaping the small-town life for the big city. I imagined myself as an editor of a high fashion magazine. After college, I moved to Manhattan to work for a top magazine, but not as editor, as the assistant to the editor, a wicked witch of a boss. Writing my blog keeps me sane while I try to convince my boss to let me write a column or two.

Overworked and healing from a bad breakup, I agreed to help my sister at the Christmas tree lot so my parents could go on a cruise they’d won. Surprisingly, my boss gave me the time off. Sorry to leave Manhattan, which is magical at Christmastime, I trekked to Vermont, planning to work on my blog when I wasn’t selling trees. After all, nothing exciting happens in Vermont, right? Fate didn’t agree.

Mix Christmas trees, a hunky Santa, a very pregnant sister, seven extremely short male cousins, and a whimsical snow globe that may or may not be magic, and you just might believe in fairy tales.

I want to thank Betty Bolte for having me today and allowing me to tell you about my life-changing Christmas story. I also want to say I love Vermont. It’s a beautiful state.

WINNER 2016 EPPIE Award for Best Short Work.

A Christmas snow globe from a mysterious stranger swirls holiday magic for a sophisticated New York woman with a broken heart and a handsome Iraq War vet with a secret.

As a child, Avery Coleman loved Snow White and dreamed of Prince Charming. The adult Avery no longer believes in fairy tales. She’d settle for a handsome prince as ambitious for success as she is. Then an eccentric woman gives Avery a Christmas snow globe, advising her that princes come in many disguises. But when family obligations call Avery from Manhattan back to her small hometown in Vermont, she finds there aren’t many princes to be found in the forest of her family’s Christmas tree lot. At least it’s a vacation from her wicked witch of a boss.

Iraq War veteran Josh Huntsman always did what was expected of him. Believing there had to be more to life than chasing money and prestige, he’d left the corporate world for life in the Army. But his stint in the military cost him more than expected. Back from Iraq, Josh hides his past, volunteering at the homeless shelter and working at a Christmas tree lot. He isn’t ready to rejoin the rat race, and definitely has no use for a bright-lights-big-city girl like the ambitious fiancée who dumped him.

Leaving New York to spend the holidays selling Christmas trees in Vermont might sound magical to some, but for Avery, it’s a return to the place she worked hard to escape. But it’s Christmas and magic swirls in the air like glitter in a snow globe. And a single kiss might awaken a lifetime of happily ever after.

Her Frog Prince Holiday (Snow Globe Magic Book 2), is now available.
Her Red Riding Hood Valentine (Snow Globe Magic Book 3) is now available.
2015 Finalist Oklahoma Romance Writers International Digital Awards
2016 EPPIE finalist (under original title Snow Globe Tales–Avery)

Buy Her Snow White Christmas (Snow Globe Magic Book 1) here:

https://books2read.com/u/38g1O6

An award-winning and eclectic author, Cara Marsi is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She loves a good love story, and believes that everyone deserves a second chance at love. Sexy, sweet, thrilling, or magical, Cara’s stories are first and foremost about the love. Treat yourself today, with a taste of romance.

When not traveling or dreaming of traveling, Cara and her husband live on the East Coast of the United States in a house ruled by two spoiled cats who compete for attention.

Connect with Cara at:

www.facebook.com/authorcaramarsi

www.pinterest.com/caramarsi/

www.instagram.com/carolyn2829

Sign up for her newsletter and read about all her books at www.caramarsi.com

I love a good Christmas romance, especially one with a touch of magic! I hope everyone had a magical holiday season and is looking forward to a prosperous and happy New Year!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading! Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Cara di Montessori from The Devil to Pay by #romance #author K.C. Bateman #Italy #medieval #arrangedmarriage

Today we’re traveling back in time to medieval Italy to find out how Cara di Montessori from The Devil to Pay by romance author K.C. Bateman has fun! Take it away, Kate!

Hello everyone and thanks to Betty for hosting! Today I’m going to imagine what the hero and heroine of my #1 medieval romp The Devil to Pay do for fun…

The Devil to Pay is set in the early 1400s in Renaissance Italy, a time of feuding city states, uneasy political alliances, and a huge wealth of artistic creativity. Think the Borgias, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Medici.

Heiress Cara di Montessori is quite the tomboy. Educated at the monastery near her home, she loathes doing all the things a “proper” chatelaine of a castle should do, like sewing and cooking, and instead likes to dabble in alchemical experiments, especially those which contain gunpowder! Some have been less than successful; she’s infamous throughout Italy as “the girl who blew up the monastery.” In her defense, only the east wing was actually reduced to rubble…!

Cara’s determined to prove herself capable of running her own keep without a husband by her side, and she’ll do anything to gain the advantage over the sinfully sexy (but downright irritating) Alessandro del Sarto. She might need the handsome mercenary’s help to remove her murderous uncle from her childhood home, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it. We’ll probably find her in the bailey, learning hand-to-hand combat—so she can knock del Sarto on his far-too-attractive posterior.

Alessandro del Sarto, on the other hand, is a cynical, hardened mercenary. Now retired (thanks to a shoulder injury) and incredibly wealthy, he hates the political maneuvering he has to put up with at court. He’d much rather be spurring his trusty horse Saraceno into battle than dealing with the petty disputes of his subjects or fending off the not-so-subtle flirtations from the women. He longs for a challenge to relieve his boredom. Impetuous Cara di Montessori, the daughter of his old mentor, is the one woman he’s never been able to forget. She’s also the one woman in Italy guaranteed to drive him crazy.

Cara’s disobedience is utterly frustrating, but Alessandro loves thinking up ways of making her lose her temper. He finds her passion and ferocity both amusing and completely irresistible. He’s already thinking up ways he can maneuver her into a kiss…!

The Devil to Pay is a sexy, witty, romantic adventure set in Renaissance Italy.

A ruthless mercenary skilled in the art of conquest. 

An heiress who refuses to be tamed. 

The Devil’s own bargain . . . 

Cara di Montessori has a price upon her head. Her traitorous uncle has murdered her father and seized her home. Her only hope of survival, and of regaining her birthright, is an alliance with her childhood nemesis, the infamous mercenary Il Diavolo. The most irritating—and seductive—man Cara’s ever met.

Battle hardened and world-weary, Alessandro del Sarto has earned the sobriquet Il Diavolo. He needs a politically expedient marriage to secure the lasting peace he craves, but the simpering ladies of court hold little interest. More than anything, he longs for a challenge.

Headstrong beauty Cara has always been Il Diavolo’s only weakness, the one woman he’s never been able to forget. When she appears at his door begging for help, the two strike a devil’s bargain. In return for his assistance, for two weeks Cara must entertain his guests, relieve his boredom—and warm his bed. 

Cara has no intention of succumbing to del Sarto’s studied seduction, but the passion that simmers between them is more potent than her paper twists of gunpowder. Surrounded by danger and intrigue, she must choose between what she’s always thought of as her destiny, and what could be the greatest prize of all—her heart’s desire.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2AMGKSn
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2vGOq2z
Apple: https://apple.co/2vpck3l
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Oe9kxK
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2OhLp0B

Kate Bateman, (writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of Regency, Victorian, and Renaissance historical romances. All her books feature her favorite feisty, intelligent heroines (badasses in bodices!), wickedly inappropriate banter, and sexy, snarky heroes you want to strangle and kiss. 

Kate wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d “never finish the thing.” She gleefully proved him wrong. When not traveling to exotic locations “for research,” she leads a not-so-secret double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England, and writes despite three inexhaustible children/monsters and a number-loving husband who still owes her that dollar.

Author Website: http://kcbateman.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kcbatemanauthor/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/katebateman

Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/i3Rhyq

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/k-c-bateman

Goodreads Author Page: bit.ly/2v89wpk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kc_bateman/

A marriage of convenience story that sounds intriguing and loving all wrapped up together for the holidays… Thanks for sharing, Kate!

And to everyone, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

2018 Reader Survey Report

I always find the results of this reader survey enlightening and interesting. Enjoy!

A Writer of History

This year’s survey report is now available. It’s taken me quite some time to compile the results because … as you know I spent the last five weeks recovering from a plane crash.

The survey attracted 2418 participants from around the world – 84% female and 16% male.

A few highlights to whet your appetite.

  • AS IN PRIOR YEARS, THE SURVEY ATTRACTED HIGH VOLUME READERS– 72% read more than 20 books a year; 55% read more than 30
  • 49% of participants USE SOCIAL MEDIA REGULARLY TO SUPPORT THEIR READING 
  • GENDER MAKES A DIFFERENCE– among the differences—women read more than men and use social media more regularly in support of reading; men and women prefer different types of stories and different non-fiction
  • PRINT BOOKS REMAIN POPULAR– Of 2418 participants, 75% frequently or exclusively use print books
  • Not surprisingly, ENTERTAINMENT IS THE DOMINANT REASON FOR READING…

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Tasty Tuesday: Bajan Rum Punch by #historical #romance #author Sandra Masters #beverage #recipe #books #fiction

Tasty Tuesday brings you all a tempting rum punch recipe to sip in the shade on a hot summer’s afternoon while you enjoy a good book! Sandra Masters writes historical romance and enjoys sharing historical recipes much like I do. Welcome, Sandra!


We’re sure that by now you must be aware of the fact that rum has been a favorite of Barbados since the days of the British settlers. To this date, rum is still very much a favorite with both locals and visitors to the island as it is continually held in high esteem as the strongest and smoothest rum in the world.

While the modern version of this punch is best served over ice, in the 1800’s, ice was not available. However, this drink was the favorite of Thorn Wick, the hero of THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD, Book Four, THE DUKE SERIES. He favored drinking it straight in a tankard or metal cup. He particularly liked the bite of straight rum, but also drank it with lime and nutmeg. Heavy on the rum. For island parties, the punch was a favorite of the men. Thorn Wick was a man who could hold his liquor and did not over-imbibe since malicious islanders could waylay a careless half-breed.

Glass of Rum PUnchBajan Rum Punch Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup of freshly squeezed West Indian green lime

2 cups bland sugar or syrup (equal portions of white sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves)

3 cups strong, aged rum (preferably good ole Barbados rum)

4 cups water

A few dashes of bitters

A few sprinkles of grated nutmeg

Instructions
Combine the lime juice, syrup, rum, water, and bitters, and stir well in a tall pitcher. Pour into glasses with grated nutmeg to garnish and don’t forget to tell the world that the best rum punch can be found only in Barbados.

THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD — A Regency Romance with an Element of Suspense

DMB-CoverDuke_resize !After three years in England, Thorn Wick, the duke’s bastard son, perfectly flawed, still fights for acceptance in his father’s world as a renowned Argamak Turk  horse trainer. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans: on a dangerous mission to Barbados, Thorn is stunned when secrets are revealed about his mother. Will he exact revenge for the foul deed?

Alicia Montgomery, ward of the duke, is in love with Thorn. Strong willed and adventurous, she determines she can convince him to admit his feelings. But the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroys her.

Can Alicia quell Thorn’s demons and prove love can pave the way to their happiness to fulfill their destiny?

http://amzn.to/2doCr2P   Amazon US

http://bit.ly/2eYiNsK     Wild Rose Press

http://amzn.to/2d8YbhF  UK

http://bit.ly/2ozMQNc    Barnes and Noble

Of course, there’s the 15,000-word teaser prequel to Book Four, 99 cents, which depicts Thorn’s life on the island of Barbados as the half-breed until the rock-hauling malice boys suffered the fury of the young lad and gave him a wide birth.

THORN, SON OF A DUKE, BOOK THREE

http://amzn.to/2sur7tr      US

http://amzn.to/2lnzwe4   UK

http://bit.ly/2eJKwPl     Wild Rose Press

http://amzn.to/2lnzwe4     Canada

SANDRA REDONEFrom a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the boardrooms of NYC, and a fantastic career for a broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She traded boardrooms for ballrooms, left her corporate world behind and never looked back.

Nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed. She lists her occupation as Living The Dream.

I grew up as an only child where both my parents worked. In those days, it was acceptable to have your child come home from school and wait for you to return. After doing homework, I would go to the bookcase. My reading material included the book “Heidi,” and the Encyclopedia Britannica, which my mother purchased from a door-to-door salesman. You can imagine how dry it was to read the Encyclopedia. At least, it had some graphics.

Fast forward to 2015, after five years of studying the craft of writing and networking with organizations of like-minded people fevered me. In July 2015, when I was offered the first contract of my life with The Wild Rose Press, I was over the moon, danced on the ceiling, and scared my dogs with the whoops and hollers. Five books later and Book Six at my publishers, I’m still writing my fairy tales and loving every minute of it.

To me, writing is not a hobby. It is not a career. It is an obsession.

If you want to more about the themes of my novels, visit my website at  www.authorsandramasters.com. Subscribe to my newsletter which I try to publish quarterly. Read a book? Have a question or comment?  Email me at  sandramastersauthor@gmail.com.

I try to make myself available for book signings, presentations, video events, and local TV screenings.


Thanks, Sandra! That’s both tempting and easy to mix up for a refreshing adult beverage. Thanks so much for sharing both the recipe and the story!

Have you all been enjoying learning about the recipes/foods these authors’ fictional characters gravitate toward? What’s your favorite so far?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.