Getting to know Amanda Jayde #author #spicy #paranormal #romance #mustread #fiction #books

We start writing stories because we have stories to tell. Those stories can begin from a huge array of sources. Amanda Jayde is my guest today and her stories stemmed from what may be a surprising source for some. Ready to meet Amanda?

Amanda Jayde has been telling stories for years. Urged on by one of her close friends, she entered an erotic story competition sponsored by Romantic Times Magazine and much to her surprise she became a finalist and her dream of becoming published was born.

She left her hometown of The Bronx, NY, to move to a decidedly warmer climate and slower lifestyle in a small town in Florida. She usually has one story completed, one in various stages of completion, and one or two in her head, and when she’s not writing you can find her curled up with a book.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Betty: When did you become a writer?

Amanda: I started writing fan fiction waaaaay back in the early 2000’s that was when a friend told me about a contest Romantic Times was having for short stories. I had always played with the idea of trying to get published and with a little push entered the contest. I became a finalist and attended my first convention. That was 2004 or so. I continued to toil away at it and got my first book published in 2010.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Amanda: YEARS. LOL, I am still working on it.

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?

Amanda: All of the books I’ve published have been paranormal and I love Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward in that genre.

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Amanda: I loved to read as a kid, and that helped me want to tell stories. I started with fan fic because I loved the idea of what if. The feedback I received there made me want to write my own stories.

Betty: What type of writing did you start with?

Amanda: LOL, fan fiction – it was western fan fiction which is so far away from what I currently write. I may one day go back to those old stories and rewrite them maybe release them as free reads.

Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?

Amanda: I do love Paranormal, you can make your world as close to reality as you want or build a new fantastical version of it. It’s fun to take these established character types and make them your own. Plus I love making people fall in love.

Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?

Amanda: I took a class a long time ago that Barnes and Nobel offered for writing and then I bought craft books and read a LOT. I still will buy books on writing because I think you can always learn to be better.

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?

Amanda: How crazy it can make you. Trying to find that perfect blurb, the right cover, slaving over each decision you have to make on top of finding the time to write. It’s maddening, but I love it.

Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?

Amanda: Sherrilyn Kenyon was a big inspiration, I met her a few times and she was always so supportive when we spoke. There are lots of fantastic writers on Twitter that are also supportive in general – Romancelandia can be a great place to live in.

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?

Amanda: I wrote a short story for a charity anthology (which is now released as part of this series) and there was a throwaway line in there about the heroine’s cousin who’s been cursed and I thought I would reeeeeeally like to tell her story someday, so I did a quick plot and shelved it to work on my shifter books (which are currently unavailable). Then about 18 months ago a new opportunity to join a collective of authors popped up to write common elements themed stories and I thought I could use my witch idea, turns out that due to the parameters for that story I couldn’t so instead I used my common elements book to start the series and that led to this one so here we are!

Emily Caswell has secrets. Witches, curses, death–she’s lived with them all, but the one thing she’s wanted above all else is the one thing she can’t have. Love. She thought her life was just fine if a little lonely, but if this was the price to pay, she could accept it. Until the one person who held her heart, the boy she once loved, returns.

Ex-Navy SEAL Greyson Caulfield is coming home. Forced to retire after an injury, he is returning to civilian life. Back to his family, his best friends, and to face the one that got away. His one regret in life was how things ended with Emily, but now that he’s back maybe he can set things right again.

When love means courting death can these star-crossed lovers find a way to be together? And if death doesn’t drive them apart, then the secrets Emily is keeping just might.

Excerpt:

For the first time since realizing he was back, Emily allowed herself to get a good look at him. He’d always been tall, he’d grown to six-foot-four by the time he’d graduated high school, but now he seemed even bigger. Not taller, just broader, his time as a SEAL had bulked him up, the muscles outlined beneath his thin royal blue tee-shirt evidence of that. The decade away had matured him. There was a hardness to his features she’d never expected to see, but as he looked down at her, she saw a glimpse of the boy she’d loved within the man he’d become. It was there in the softness of his gaze and the slight upturn of his lips.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea.” She said quietly. Thankful that her voice didn’t quiver.

“It’s been over ten years, Em, are you still angry about what happened on prom night?”

“You broke my heart, Grey, made me feel like a complete idiot. You betrayed me. Can you blame me for not wanting to rehash the past?” She said, jumping at the chance to push him away no matter how ridiculous her reasoning was. She needed to get away until she could find some time to put all of this and what it meant into perspective.

He seemed surprised by her admission. “I see.” He stepped away from her car. “Don’t let me keep you then.”

Emily looked down the street Grey had gone. For eleven years, she’d been free from the fear that their love would cause her death, and now that he was back, what could this all mean?

Buy links: Eden BooksBooks2Read

I’ll bet there’s some fireworks about to happen in Bewitched! Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

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 Anna St. Claire #author #historical #romance #mystery #regency

My guest today is a lifetime writer and now novelist. Please help me welcome Anna St. Claire! Let’s get to know her from her bio and then see what she has to say about her inspiration for writing.

Anna St. Claire is a big believer that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. She sprinkles her stories with laughter, romance, mystery and lots of possibilities, adhering to the belief that goodness and love will win the day.

Anna is both an avid reader and author of American and British historical romance. She and her husband live in Charlotte, North Carolina with their two dogs and often, their two beautiful granddaughters, who live nearby. Daughter, sister, wife, mother, and Mimi—all life roles that Anna St. Claire relishes and feels blessed to still enjoy. And she loves her pets – dogs and cats alike.

Anna relocated from New York to the Carolinas as a child. Her mother, a retired English and History teacher, always encouraged Anna’s interest in writing, after discovering short stories she would write in her spare time.

As a child, she loved mysteries and checked out every Encyclopedia Brown story that came into the school library. Before too long, her fascination with history and reading led her to her first historical romance—Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, now a treasured, but weathered book from being read multiple times. The day she discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss’ books, Shanna and Ashes in The Wind, Anna became hooked. She read every historical romance that came her way and dreams of writing her own historical romances took seed.

Today, her focus is primarily the Regency and Civil War eras, although Anna enjoys almost any period in American and British history.

Website * BookBub * Facebook * Amazon

Betty: When did you become a writer?

Anna: I started writing as a child and majored in journalism as an undergraduate. When I owned my medical spa, I learned all about all the procedures through research and wrote a weekly column for the paper regarding skin care. After that, I decided to pursue my writing dream – to publish a book. Authoring a book had always been on my list of things I wanted to accomplish, long having had a Civil War romance in my head. (Embers of Anger, Book one in my Embattled Hearts Series). I’m pretty hooked on Regency Era books and am now writing my seventh and eighth regency stories.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Anna: I majored in writing, so it’s always been second nature to me. However, my dissertation on wellness and preventive strategies was my first publication. (Yea…not a story I spend a lot of time reading, myself.) Yet, with a background in journalism, I had to change my writing style when I decided to write a historical romance. I worked almost a year and a half on the first novel, Embers of Anger, before finally getting serious and publishing it in 2018. I am still really proud of that series. The second one is halfway finished. (There will be three in all.)

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?

Anna: I loved all of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s stories, especially Ashes in The Wind. I think I’ve read that one at least five times—however, not as much as Gone With the Wind, which I have read a dozen times. There are too many historical romance authors that I enjoy to name. They know who they are, though.

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Anna: It was kind of like the Forrest Gump story – when he started running. One day I started writing. I hope to write much longer than he ran, though. <snort> I enjoy creating characters and their stories, and find myself lost in sketching a story out or working on one.

Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?

Anna: I have several people to thank for this. I hope this doesn’t sound cheesy, but my mother was an English teacher in middle school. She more than anyone influenced my interest and skill in writing. Mom helped me learn how papers were put together, and taught me to plot, character sketch, and write from the heart. My mother still writes and has a wonderful conversational writing technique.

One other influential person was probably my English teacher in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. Yes, it was a small school of 500 students and she taught me all three years…how lucky was that? It was a good thing I liked her! One regret I have is that she didn’t live to see me actually write a book and publish it. She died of complications from Breast Cancer about ten years ago.

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?

Anna: I wish I had a better grasp and more patience for the marketing techniques. That has been my biggest hurdle. And it is a work in progress.

Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?

Anna: There was one in particular – Elizabeth Johns. She is the one who pushed me off the ledge and made me do it. She still supports and encourages my writing.  Others that have been particularly encouraging and supportive have been Madeline Martin, Meara Platt, and Laura Smith.

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today? Anna: This is one of those books that when I started writing it, it just sort of took off. The characters wrote much of it for me. I enjoyed it because it gave me license to write the historical with modern day dilemmas. I used my own puppy as a secondary character. Shep is on the cover. I love to use my beloved pets, as well as other animals like donkeys, parrots, and horses in the stories.

Maggie Winters had everything she always wished for — betrothed to the man of her dreams, a loving home, and a new puppy. But it all changes when her parents die and her new guardian sweeps Maggie from town and forces her to marry a stranger to pay his debts. When she suddenly finds herself a widow and free of an unhappy marriage, can she finally find the love she’s dreamed of?  

Lord Maxwell Wilde still loves Maggie Winters, despite his years abroad in service to the Crown. They had planned to marry until she disappeared from his life, leaving only a scribbled note in her wake. Returning home late from an assignment in the middle of a sudden storm, he finds a badly injured woman lying in the road. He saves her only to realize he has rescued the woman he had never forgotten. 

Hearts are in play as danger beckons them into a treacherous game. Do they dare grab a second chance at love?

Excerpt:

Thunder boomed above him. A second later, a sharp crack of lightning lit up the dark sky. Gripping the reins of his horse, Maxwell Wilde, Earl of Worsley, fought to stay seated as his mare reared and struggled. The lightning illuminated a woman lying in the road just ahead. Had the lightning not struck, he most certainly would not have seen her.

The scant light showed a small-framed woman curled into a fetal position, wearing a soiled blue dress. A small shaggy white dog pawed her arm, whimpering and licking her face. Large drops of rain pelted both of them but did not affect the dog’s loyal persistence.

“Whoa, Willow.” Max slid from his mount and walked over to the woman. At his approach, the dog at once became protective, giving a guttural growl. It forced Max to stop and rethink his goal.

“Easy, boy.” He lowered his hand to the dog and allowed him to sniff it. The dog stopped growling and eased himself down, curling his furry white body next to the woman’s head—protecting her—still whimpering and licking her face. Max took a deep breath, careful not to anger the dog and not wanting to injure it. The dog was unmistakably attached to the woman. Feeling more confident the dog would not attack him, he lowered himself onto his haunches to get a better look at the woman.

Gently, he swept wet, muddied blonde tresses from her face. Recognition was swift and tumultuous. “Bloody hell! Meg, what happened? Why are you out in this storm, of all places? Why are you here?” Questions flooded his brain. He fought the gut-wrenching impulse to pull her close. When she did not answer, he picked up a limp hand and noticed rope burns around her left wrist, anger registering. “You are bleeding.” He moved her damp blonde hair away from her forehead, revealing a deep gash from which blood still oozed. Fear gripped him. He stared at her motionless body until he saw her chest barely move. Good. She was breathing. “Thank goodness you are still alive.”

Her eyes opened and closed. Her throat worked, but she did not speak. She needed a doctor. Max needed to get her to safety and leave before she engaged his heart yet again.

He had washed his hands of Maggie Winters when she ran away and abruptly married the Earl of Tipton three years past—when she and Max were planning to wed. Anger churned in his gut as he thought about the day he found out, and it renewed his confusion, pain, and anger. She had disappeared without a word—merely a scribbled note delivered to him. Without thinking, he reached inside his waistcoat pocket and touched the folded missive. No one had heard from Maggie in years.

Buy links: Amazon

The Earl She Left Behind is free on KU.

There you have it! What a cool story, too. Thanks for sharing, Anna!

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 Judy Mollen Walters #author #womensfiction #amreading #books

My guest author today is a writer who tackles some difficult issues within her stories in order to help others cope or understand them. Please welcome Judy Mollen Walters! Let’s take a look at her bio and then we’ll dive in.

Judy Walters is the author of eight novels. Her latest is The Lies You Want to Hear. She writes about strong women who are struggling either with their own or a family member’s medical or difficult life issue. She is also an essayist who writes about her family, parenting, and writing in publications such as The Washington Post, Huffington Post, theweek, SheKnows, and many others. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and enjoys when her adult children come for visits.

Website * Facebook

Betty: When did you become a writer?

Judy: I’ve always been a writer, since I was a young girl. I think it all solidified in fourth grade when I overheard a teacher telling my father I was gifted in this area.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Judy: I wrote four crappy novels that I will never show ANYONE, which was my “practice”. The fifth time was the charm for me, and that became my “first” book.

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?

Judy: Jodi Picoult, Lisa Genova

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Judy: An idea came to me one day when my younger daughter was 3 and in preschool three days a week. I started using that time for writing. (That daughter is now 22.)

Betty: What type of writing did you start with?

Judy: Short stories and essays.

Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?

Judy: Novels, because I never know where the character is going to lead me. 😊

Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?

Judy: I had a really good editor who sat me down and said that my novel was only half finished and I needed to learn to write a different way. She walked me through the steps and finally, I had a good book!

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?

Judy: How hard it is to get published.

Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?

Judy: Really, it was just something I always did, so while I have authors whose work I really enjoy, none of them really were that inspiration because I was already doing it.

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?

Judy: This novel is about a mother of a six-year-old who is struggling with anorexia and bulimia. While I don’t have an eating disorder, I do have disordered eating, which means I don’t eat properly for fear of gaining weight, or I eat too much or too little or in an odd way. I was wondering what it would be like to have an actual, serious eating disorder. Most people see eating disorders as something teenage girls have, and although of course the condition is prevalent in that age group, most people don’t realize that adults can have it, too. I want people to know about those adults who are struggling.

Busy wife and mom Dani Goldberg lives in a secret world that’s threatening to collapse around her.

In THE LIES YOU WANT TO HEAR, it’s the world of eating disorders, and as much as she doesn’t want to be there, she can’t force herself to run away from it.

She’s also a volunteer coping with her role as PTO President while she tries to become pregnant with her second child. With every stressful day, she falls more deeply into her disordered eating world.

Her sister Jess wants to save her, but she doesn’t quite know how. She’s busy, too – as a lawyer and single mother. And those things need to be priorities. But so does Dani. As she watches her sister die a little more each day, she wonders how she’s going to save Dani from herself.

But in the end, it will all be up to Dani. Can she do it? Or will she fall off the cliff altogether, leaving everything she loves – her husband, daughter, sister and nephew – behind.

Excerpt:

Dani looked at the clock as the meeting wore on. School would be out in a few minutes, and Madison would be furious if Dani wasn’t there on time. She tried to listen to Mrs. Jennings.

“So you’ll be able to come set up Reading Night beforehand?” Mrs. Jennings asked. “I know that breaks into time with your family. I’m so sorry.” She looked genuinely concerned. The principal was like that. She cared about everyone, and she wanted them to be happy. Dani looked around the small office. There were a couple of plants and flowers on her desk and on the floor – gifts from parents trying to get in her good graces.  Her desk was a mess of papers, her computer, and God knows what else. Dani was lucky that Mrs. Jennings let her be in here at all.

“Okay,” Dani said. “I’ll do it.” She smiled at Mrs. Jennings and took the last bite of her cupcake. It had started out delicious, but her stomach sort of roiled when she thought about the calories in it. She couldn’t not eat it, though. Mrs. Jennings had given it to her especially.

“I have to go,” she said, jumping up, feeling her hips jiggle. “The bell is going to ring.”

“Of course,” Mrs. Jennings said. “Give Madi a hug for me, and here let me give you one, too.” She came around from her side of the desk and hugged Dani, and that made everything better.  She thought Mrs. Jennings might love her.  That would be nice, she thought as she floated out of the office. 

Buy link: Amazon

It can be difficult to know which authors influenced a writer because most writers I know read widely. It’s not a single voice so much as the collective expectations of specific genres that influences.

Thanks for stopping in today, Judy!

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.

Meet the real Audrey Harper, Music Critic #inspiration #Baltimore #WWII #historical #fiction @Baltimore_City #ReadIndie

Before I get to today’s post, I’d like to invite you to a Summer Picnic to celebrate the upcoming release of Notes of Love and War on July 28, 2020. It’ll be a virtual picnic on Zoom on Sunday afternoon, July 26 at 3:00 pm CDT, so you can set up your own snack or meal to enjoy. Prior to the picnic, I’ll send out to those who either RSVP below or Like the Facebook event an excerpt, photos, and recipes. I’ll read an excerpt from the book, and we’ll chat. You can ask me questions about the excerpt or any of my other books, if you’d like.

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/271180240782200/ 

RSVP: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/l0m5d2

I hope you’ll come help me celebrate this story that was inspired first by my parents’ correspondence courtship during and after WWII. They loved each for 41 years before my mother died of breast cancer in 1989. Come on, you know you want something fun to look forward to, right? See you there!

Now onto the inspiration for my main character. When I chose to write a story set in Baltimore, Maryland, I wanted my heroine, Audrey Harper, to be a musician of some kind. So one of the first things I did was find references to music in Maryland and to female musicians. While reading Musical Maryland: A History of Song and Performance from the Colonial Period to the Age of Radio and looking for inspiration, I read the following with relation to the musicians and music scene during WWII:

“Both music critics for the Sun, Robert Cochran and Weldon Wallace, were sent off as war correspondents. Flora Murray, a former Peabody student and Goucher College graduate assigned to cover women’s clubs, fashion, and the society columns for the Sunday Sun, took over for both men, signing her articles ‘FM.’”

Perfect! Using Flora Murray as a role model for my character seemed like a perfect fit. I did not do any research into Ms. Murray but used my imagination and my own musical background to craft the character of Audrey Harper. I echoed the college education to a point, too. Here’s a snippet from Notes of Love and War where she learns of the opportunity to become the music critic:

“Okay. I have another bit of news to share with you.” Gloria straightened to saunter to the window. “I’ve just heard that John Walker’s number was called.”

The music critic for the Daily had made quite a name for himself with his insights and connections. Audrey had read his pieces and while they were informative they lacked originality and narrative finesse.

“Who’s taking his place?” Audrey swiveled her chair to face Gloria directly.

“Maybe you?” Gloria turned her back to the window and crossed her arms over her chest. “You’re qualified.”

Audrey considered the slim possibility. Mr. Banks didn’t seem impressed by her music appreciation background. Then again that was when she was applying for the society column job. Maybe… “Do you really think he’d consider me?”

“The worst he can say is no.”

Qualifying for the role as music critic would be easy with her background, her own musical ability and experience entertaining the soldiers at the USO. Which also gave her the right connections to access the movers and shakers of the music scene in the city. Plus she spoke their language and appreciated the music styles and musicians themselves. Facing Mr. Banks still frayed her nerves. But, if nothing else, she’d learned she must ask for what she wanted if she hoped to receive it.

“You’re right.” Audrey pushed slowly to her feet and smoothed her woolen skirt with damp palms. “Wish me luck.”

I really love finding actual historical tidbits that can inform my fiction in a way to make it authentic, too. Knowing a woman filled the positions of two men while they were serving their country makes for some great storytelling fodder even if I don’t use it exactly as in real life.

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.

Now available for preorder! Notes of Love and War will release on July 28, 2020, in honor of my dad’s 100th birthday!

Audrey Harper needs more than home and hearth to satisfy her self-worth despite being raised with the idea that a woman’s place is in the home. Working as a music critic for the city newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland, during the Second World War, she’s enjoyed both financial freedom and personal satisfaction in a job well done. When she uncovers evidence of German spies working to sabotage a secret bomber plane being manufactured in her beloved city, she must choose between her sense of duty to protect her city and the urgings of her boss, her family, and her fiancé to turn over her evidence to the authorities. But when her choices lead her and her sister into danger, she is forced to risk life and limb to save her sister and bring the spies to justice.

Set against the backdrop of the flourishing musical community during the 1940s in Baltimore, Notes of Love and War weaves together the pleasure of musical performance with the dangers of espionage and spying.

Check out the free sample (3 chapters) at https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/2A18n3Gj  

Amazon     Books2Read     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple

Getting to know Linda Covella #awardwinning #author #teen #YA #romance #fiction #historical #amreading #books

Please help me welcome Linda Covella, author of children’s and young adult stories, to the interview hot seat! Let’s look at her impressive bio and then get right to the good stuff.

Linda Covella’s varied background and education (an AA degree in art, an AS degree in mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management, and a technical writing certificate) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.
Linda has published four award-winning novels for teens and a non-fiction picture book.She has been a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) since 2002. She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband, Charlie, and very spoiled dog, Ginger. No matter what new paths Linda may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * YouTube

Betty: When did you become a writer?

Linda: Even as a kid, I loved to write. But I never thought of writing as a career. Instead, I ended up with a few degrees—art, business, mechanical drafting, manufacturing management—while I decided what I wanted to do with my life. When I started writing professionally as a freelancer, I wrote about food, business, finance, just about anything that came my way. But when I wrote and published articles in some children’s magazines, that’s when I realized children’s writing is the genre for me.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Linda: I took elective creative writing classes in college. Around 2000, I became serious about professional writing and started doing freelance work while working my regular fulltime job. For the next several years, I took online writing classes and started working on my fiction writing. My freelance writing turned into some editing jobs. And I read, read, read: books on writing and novels in all genres, but particularly books for kids and teens since they were my target audience. It was a long road of learning, querying, and rejections, but I didn’t give up! I published my first novel in 2014.

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style? What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?

Linda: That’s always a tough question to answer since I read a wide variety of genres and have read hundreds (thousands?) of books since I was young. Here’s a list of some of my all-time favorite books, a mixture of children’s and adult:

  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli
  • Bell Canto by Ann Patchett
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Linda: My mother was a big influence. She was a children’s librarian, an artist, and loved music and singing. She not only gave me my love of books and reading, but taught me to embrace all things creative. So I had that creative bug. I started out in college as an art major, but turned to other pursuits; I knew making a living as an artist would be difficult! I still had art as a hobby, and later turned my creativity toward writing, another creative outlet.

Betty: What type of writing did you start with?

Linda: I was writing stories even in 2nd grade J and into high school. I liked writing fantasies and fairytales, but am not interested in that genre now. Professionally, as a freelancer, I started with articles on a wide variety of topics. I always loved historical fiction, and that was the genre I chose for my first novel, Yakimali’s Gift. I followed those with my Ghost Whisperer books and my virtual reality adventure Cryptogram Chaos.

Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?

Linda: As I mentioned above, I love being creative, and writing is one outlet for that. But, also, as a children’s author, I love sharing with kids and teens my love of books: the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?

Linda: My lifelong love of reading has definitely been a factor in my learning to write. I took creative writing classes in college, as well as online writing classes throughout my career.

I also read craft books. Some favorites are On Writing by Stephen King, On Writing Well by William Zinsser, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Take Joy by Jane Yolen, Story by Robert McKee, which is actually about screenwriting but can be applied to fiction writing.

The Emotion Thesaurus is an excellent resource on how to convey emotion without resorting to clichés. And of course the classic reference Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?

Linda: How important a critique group is. For the longest time, I was reluctant to join one, nervous and shy about sharing my work. Finally, I and another writer I met in an online children’s writing class started a critique group with four other children’s writers. That was one of the best things I’ve ever done to improve my writing. I not only learned from their critiques of my work, but also learned by critiquing theirs. We were all newbies, so we also helped each other to learn the ropes of the business side of writing, querying, etc. As well as learning to not take criticism and rejection personally, but to learn from it.

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?

Linda: Years ago, I wrote a children’s story where kids tell how their ancestors came to America throughout the history of the United States. When researching how and when different immigrants arrived in America, I discovered the Anza expedition. I was really surprised I’d never heard of it before or that it hadn’t been taught in school, especially since I grew up in California. I love and believe in our country’s diversity, and this was one of the historical events I wanted people to know about, and I wanted to focus on the children’s and women’s experience on the journey.

In 1775 Mexico, New Spain, 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, of Spanish and Pima Indian ancestry, can’t seem to fit into the limited female roles of her culture. Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves, dreaming of adventure in faraway lands. But when a tragic accident presents her with the adventure she longed for, it’s at a greater price than she could ever have imagined. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California.

On the four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda entrusts with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria’s seductive brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo—half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel’s layers of hidden feelings, she’s torn between him and Nicolas, the handsome soldier pursuing her.

But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama’s Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.

Excerpt:

Fernanda pressed her heels into the horse’s sides. “Faster, pretty one, faster. We want to feel the wind in our hair, no?”

The horse flicked its ears then galloped across the plain toward the river, kicking up stones from the hard ground. Fernanda leaned closer to the horse’s neck, her long braid slipping over her shoulder. The animal’s smell of grassy manure and sweat filled her with the thrill of riding. It had been too long.

Her body rocked forward and back with the rhythm of the pounding hooves. Water streaked from her eyes as she raced across the desert, dodging barrel cactuses and mesquite bushes. Her rebozo loosened and slipped to her shoulders; then the shawl untied completely and was gone. Fernanda glanced over her shoulder and saw it flutter to the ground. A laugh burst from her chest, and watching a hawk glide, dive, and then fly high into the sky, she thought, I feel as free as that bird!

The power of the horse flowed through her, charging her with the desire for adventure, her heart soaring beyond Tubac to worlds far away, worlds full of golden riches, handsome men, and green hills that rolled on forever. Worlds where she would ride, explore, and each day discover something new.

Before realizing how far she’d gone, she saw her family’s adobe hut. She tightened the reins, stopped the horse, and squinted toward the house. Her soaring heart dropped like the hawk diving to the ground. There, in front of the hut with her hands on her hips, stood her mother. Fernanda braced herself against the scowl she was sure to see on Mama’s face when she returned. The scolding words she was sure to hear.

Buy Links:  Amazon  *  Barnes & Noble  *  IndieBound

What a fresh idea for a story, Linda! I think young readers will really identify with Fernanda as she faces her mother’s chiding. Thanks for sharing that excerpt and telling us about your inspiration for writing.

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 Cora Lee #author #regency #historical #romance #ReadIndie #summer #stories #anthology

My guest today is someone I’ve known online for several years and I think you’re going to enjoy what she has to say as much as her stories! Let’s take a peek at Cora Lee’s bio and then find out how she became a best-selling author.

Cora Lee is a National Bestselling author of Regency romance. She went on a twelve year expedition through the blackboard jungle as a high school math teacher before publishing Save the Last Dance for Me, the first book in the Maitland Maidens series. She then followed it up with five other novels and novellas ranging from sweet and traditional to spicy and suspenseful. When she’s not walking Rotten Row at the fashionable hour or attending the entertainments of the Season, you might find her wading through her towering TBR pile or eagerly awaiting the next Marvel movie release.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * BookBub

Betty: When did you become a writer?
Cora: I started writing when was about 12 because I thought it would be fun, and even tried to write a murder mystery when I was about 15 featuring thinly disguised versions of all my friends. 🙂  I started writing seriously, with an eye toward being published, in 2012 when I was on medical leave from my day job at the time—teaching high school math—and my first book was published in 2015.

Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Cora: For me, it’s two things: doing research and creating something new.

Researching is something I do almost by accident, lol—I am the dictionary definition of a lifelong learner, and even when I’m reading or just watching TV, if something piques my interest I’ll jump online and start looking for more information about it.

Creating a brand new story with characters that didn’t previously exist in the world feels like making magic. 🙂

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Cora: I wish I had known that writing and publishing are really two full-time jobs (at least they are for self-published authors). I heard from my already-published friends about how much marketing they had to do for themselves on top of the actual writing, so I was somewhat prepared for that. But being self-published, I also have the responsibility for dealing with all the nuts and bolts of preparing the book for readers and getting it to them, and that has been a lot more work than I anticipated (though I really enjoyed learning how to do it all!).

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Cora: I’d been thinking about writing a marriage pact story for a while now—the kind where the two main characters make a pact to marry at a certain age if they’re both still single. I’d never seen that particular trope in a historical romance (if there’s one out there, let me know so I can read it!) and wondered how it would play out differently in a historical than in a contemporary romance book or movie. Once we settled on the theme for this anthology, the plot started to form in my head like it had always been there 🙂

A delightful anthology of Regency Romance Summer stories from best-selling authors! Fall in love for Summer, with these wonderful romantic reads! Seven novellas to keep you reading all through Summer, each centered around Summer.

Buy link: Amazon

The anthology includes:

The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst by Regina Jeffers

A Lady promised to a man she has never met, who yet answers his request for assistance in preparing the home they will share, a Marquess unsure what to expect, an unplanned deception, a seemingly improper affection, misperception untangled to love.

A Hero for Harriet by Victoria Hinshaw

A young woman whose family want her to marry well, a gentleman, nobly born but uninterested in society, two matchmaking aunts, assumptions and misconceptions, the intervention of a donkey, love found despite it all.

Her Absent Duke by Arietta Richmond

A Lord and a Lady promised from birth, an avaricious uncle with plans of his own, an impossible choice which leads to disaster, an unplanned compromise, a love fulfilled despite all opposition.

The Magic Garden by Janis Susan May

A beautiful young woman, shut away in the country so that her less appealing sister may shine, an Earl set upon visiting a never seen estate, simply to escape the demands of his aunt and the pursuit of unwanted young women, an accident, a garden left to run wild, a new perspective on the world, a love which defies all expectations.

Grace’s Story by Summer Hanford

Trying to save her dearest friend from heartache will unravel a web of secrets that just might get Miss Grace Birkchester killed. Doctor Andrew Carter is determined to help those in need – but doing so draws him ever deeper into a web of danger. When their worlds collide, love may be the only thing which can save them.

What if I Loved You by Cora Lee

A man who needs to marry for his career, a woman who needs a new location in life, a proposal born of friendship, a shocking family secret which could ruin them both. Will love triumph, or will all be lost?

The Masked Wicked Duke by Sandra Masters

An opera singer who is cousin to royalty, a Duke with an artist’s soul, who is yet reputed as a rake, a chance meeting, an overwhelming attraction, a masquerade, a love which burns away all past resolve.

If you love Regency Historical Romance, you’ll love these! 

Jonas Blackburn is content with his life…until he discovers he must marry for the advancement of his career. Unable to strike out on his own professionally, Jonas proposes to the only person he could envision spending his life with: his close friend Nora.

When Nora Paget learns the brother she keeps house for is ready to marry, she finds herself at a crossroads: live with her brother and his new wife or set a different course for herself? Jonas’s proposal offers a potential solution for them both. She can have a home of her own with a man she’s fond of, and solve his employment problem simultaneously.

But Nora harbors an old family secret that could ruin both of them, just as they begin their new life together. Can they take the risk knowing the potential devastation that awaits them? Or will Jonas and Nora be forced to part ways to save their reputations?

Excerpt:

“What is it you’ve been trying to decide?” he asked, his voice quiet even though the nearest other person was several yards away.

She took in a deep breath then exhaled. “Only what to do with my entire future,” she answered, matching his volume.

“What?”

“Julian is planning to marry, and I am no longer needed.”

He bumped her shoulder gently with his. “Surely he didn’t say that.”

“No, of course he didn’t.” She kicked at a long blade of grass, but there didn’t seem to be any malice behind the gesture. “It’s simply the way things are. And it actually gives me the opportunity to re-evaluate my life, maybe do something else besides keep house for my brother.”

Jonas tried to keep his voice from rising in both pitch and volume. “Any idea what you’re going to do?”

She shook her head and a few loose strands of dark brown hair swished with the motion. “Nothing definitive yet.”

He cleared his throat, following the toe of her shoe as she poked it at a rock. “Perhaps I can offer a solution.”

“What might that be?”

She looked up and smiled softly and Jonas almost lost his nerve. Not because he couldn’t imagine spending the rest of his life with Nora, but because he didn’t want to tie her to yet another man who needed her more than she needed him.

But perhaps he had something to offer her other than physical comforts.

Buy link: Amazon

What a great anthology to be part of, Cora! I can imagine all the stories are worth reading and enjoying. Thanks for sharing!

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 Shirley Penick #author #fiction #amreading #contemporary #romance #books

Are you a fan of cowboys and firefighters? If so, then you’ll love my guest today, Shirley Penick. But I’ll let her tell you more!

I am a former techy turned writer. I am writing a small town contemporary romance series based in a fictional town on Lake Chelan in eastern Washington. I have lived in Colorado, Hawaii and currently Washington. I’m a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and the local chapters GSRWA (Greater Seattle RWA) and Eastside RWA.

I am a mother of two grown children and the grandmother of two adorable grand-daughters. I started reading at a young age with the Nancy Drew mysteries and have continued to be an avid reader. I primarily read romance in most of the genres.

My favorite past-time is playing with my grand-daughters. I have been a carnation grower’s worker, a trap club puller, a Pizza Hut waitress, a software engineer, an international trainer and a business program manager. And for something really unusual I once had a raccoon as a pet.

Website * Facebook * Instagram

Betty: When did you become a writer?

Shirley: I started writing on a whim in 2011.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Shirley: 5 years

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?

Shirley: Funny you should ask. I gave the first 500 words of my very first story to an editor, who came back and said, you’re head hopping. I had no idea what that meant, so she explained and gave me lots of books to read, to teach me the craft. About a year later I realized my first writing attempt had been in the style of Nora Roberts, who can do whatever she pleases, because Nora Roberts, which includes head hopping. I also was influenced by Susan Mallery, Jill Shalvis, JoAnn Ross, and Julia Quinn.

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Shirley: Extreme boredom at my day job, I was severely underutilized for a few months. So, while I sat in front of my computer waiting for something to do, I thought I would give writing a try, with the stories I had in my head.

Betty: What type of writing did you start with?

Shirley: Fiction, romance, it is my favorite.

Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?

Shirley: I really only write romance, contemporary. Romance because it is my favorite genre, contemporary because I don’t have to do ‘as much’ research. About half my stories are about volunteer firefighters, my dad was one and we lived just a few houses from the firehouse. The other half is cowboys, lots of cowboys in my family.

Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?

Shirley: Craft books and conferences, primarily. I also submitted my first book to a small publishing house, the editor there worked with me a lot to understand scope, that was invaluable.

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?

Shirley: That even if what you write is crap, keep doing it. You can edit it into something worthwhile, but you can’t edit a blank page. I would have started about ten years earlier if I had known that. I had started a project many years ago, and decided it was garbage, so didn’t pursue it. I wish I had.

Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?

Shirley: Jill Shalvis is one of the authors I followed before I started writing. She mentioned the RWA conference she was attending. I went out and looked at the website to see what she was talking about and found some local chapters, so I went to a meeting. They were so welcoming and encouraging, it really helped to make me realize I could do it.

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?

Shirley: Well I have this whole firefighter series, but the prequel to the series was about a widowed rancher and his meddlesome eight-year-old daughter, named Alyssa. People loved that story so much, that my daughter said, “Why don’t you keep writing cowboys? Start with Alyssa.” So, I did.

A Cowboy for Alyssa is the first book in the Burlap and Barbed Wire Series, set in the mountains of Colorado. Alyssa Jefferson and her cowboy get off on the wrong foot, when Beau Kipling assumes she’s the arm candy of an older man. Beau must earn her forgiveness and trust, while he also interns her on the practices of a veterinarian on a working cattle ranch, during the busy calving season. Tempers flare, right along with desire.

Excerpt:

Alyssa interrupted, “Beau, I think you’ve mistaken me—”

“Oh, no mistake about it princess. I just don’t like women who—”

Beau’s younger brother, Chase, came into the barn, speaking before they could see him. “Beau, Drake just called and said he and Mary are running late and will be here in about a half hour.” He rounded the corner and stopped and looked at them. Then he grinned, “You must be Alyssa, I’m Chase. Welcome to the Rockin’ K, I’m glad you made it. Whatever are you doing holding every grooming tool we own?”

He started taking them from her hands and hanging them back up, while Beau stood there trying to figure out what in the hell he’d missed. Mary and Drake? Who was this Alyssa, if not Drake’s girlfriend?

“He was showing them to me,” Alyssa said simply.

Chase laughed out loud. “Like you’ve never seen them before. I’m guessing you started using them before you were out of grade school.”

“Yeah, I think I was in third grade when my father finally started letting me groom my own horse without assistance. Of course, I was probably five when I started trying, if I was old enough to ride, I was old enough to groom,” she said.

Beau frowned. Third grade? Her own horse?

“Was he giving you a test or something? What a kidder you are, Beau.” Chase slapped his brother on the back.

Beau was still confused. Who in the hell is this girl?

Buy link: Amazon

I love a good cowboy or rancher romance! Thanks for sharing the excerpt, Shirley. Looks like a great story!

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 Lynn Crandall #author #contemporary #romance #suspense #paranormal

My guest today is a writer by nature and preference. Please help me welcome Lynn Crandall to the interview chair. We’ll take a gander at her bio and then dive into the questions.

If variety is the spice of life, then Lynn Crandall has spice covered. An award-winning author of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal, she cut her writing teeth as a reporter for newspapers and radio, and feature writer for commercial and trade magazines. Now a full-time fiction author, she enjoys taking readers on emotional journeys with relatable characters who refuse to back down, and face challenges and tribulations with heart and soul. She believes every love has a story, and hers is with one handsome husband and a large, beautiful circle of family, including her cat, Winter

Website * FacebookPinterest * Amazon

Betty: When did you become a writer?

Lynn: Boy, that is a good question. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love words and stories, so I kind of think I was born a writer. But I didn’t start writing seriously until I was a young adult. I was always in search of what I wanted to be when I grew up and happened upon the book by John Garden title On Becoming a Novelist. Reading it was like going home.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Lynn: I wrote for newspapers and magazines for a number of years before one of my manuscripts in romance got accepted by Kensington. So I would have to say several years.

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?

Lynn: I’ve read many of the Dresden Files books and I like the way Jim Butcher tells a story. Also, I appreciate the writing style of Kelley Armstrong. One of the first romance novels I read was Bitten and I was hooked.

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Lynn: I had an epiphany that I connected with my love of words, sentences, and phrases with writing.

Betty: What type of writing did you start with?

Lynn: I first wrote for newspapers and commercial and trade magazines, so I began with reporting. But while doing that I tried my hand at short stories and they got published so I was encouraged to keep developing my skills in fiction.

Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?

Lynn: I have always explored ways of being creative. I first believed I would be an artist, but I gave up early on because I wasn’t satisfied with my abilities. But writing just clicked with me and I loved it from my first short story. I like the creativity of writing.

Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?

Lynn: In my first newspaper job I had an amazing editor.

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?

Lynn: Writing has really changed while I’ve been writing. I wish I had known how to effectively promote my books.

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?

Lynn: I like to write characters who have depth and deep seated woundings, so average people around me seem like heroes to me and I wanted to highlight them. They had problems and sorrows but managed to keep striving for a better, more meaningful life. I related personally to Cherish in Then There Was You because in the book she’s strong but is sort of lost in trying to make people in her life happy by suppressing her spirit. I believe strongly in people learning to unload their emotional problems and find peace because it is well worth the risk of rejection. I hope readers find Cherish an inspiration for creating a life worth living.

I liked the character of the hero in the book. Grayson loved his work as a newspaper reporter and holding public figures’ feet to the fire. But his passion got him in trouble, and he had to figure out how to build a new life. I liked his strength of character and his passion. I hope readers appreciate his sacrifices and path to freedom and true love.

Cherish Moss is well aware that most people would do anything for the life she has:
accomplished attorney, daughter of a wealthy family, and hours away from her wedding day. But on the inside, she is barely breathing and no one even notices. When she leaves her fiancé at the alter she waits for the feeling of remorse…so why as she runs out of the church and down the street does she feel like she’s reclaiming her life?

Grayson Steele is hiding out having left his dream job in Chicago as an investigative reporter. After exposing police corruption, the threats on his life came fast and furious and now he has to not only protect himself but his family too. He’s not interested in a relationship. He can’t be, because he won’t put anyone in danger. But after meeting Cherish at a local bar, his longing for
her is intense and it won’t go away.

The timing is all wrong for them both, but Grayson and Cherish must face the unwanted fate they helped create or follow their hearts to survive.

Excerpt:

Gray stepped back and gestured her in. “Come take the wheel.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“It’s easy and I’m right here.”

She bobbled her heard, but she couldn’t hide interest. “Don’t leave.”

“I won’t.”

Cherish slid past him and her hands hovered over the wheel. “Is it like driving a car? Hands at ten and two?”

“Here.” He took both her hands and gently massaged them. “Loosen up. Now put them where they feel comfortable.” His stomach clenched at the touch of her skin and whiff of her summery scent. “Remember. You’re the Queen of the World.”

“Queen of the Sea,” she corrected, grinning.

“Just keep it steady. The wind will take us to our destination, you just have to keep the boat on course.”

“I can feel the water under my feet. Not literally, of course. It’s an amazing feeling.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. That connection to the lake is what makes a sailor great.”

The wind gusted and she shrieked as she lost control of the wheel. The boat listed enough to almost topple her over, but Grayson caught her. He stopped the wheel from spinning and nodded to her. “You’re okay. See, I got you.”

“I wasn’t prepared for that.”

His breathing deepened. Her body didn’t move away from his. He stamped on his urge to nuzzle her neck; it was so tempting. “Put your hands back on the wheel. That wasn’t fatal. You’ve got this, remember.”

Buy links: Amazon * Books2Read

Having a great editor is always important for improving your writing because it’s a personal relationship between the writer and editor and the manuscript. Thanks for stopping in, Lynn!

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.

Martha Washington Slept Here #BecomingLadyWashington #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amreading #books #ReadIndie

When I was a child and traveling with my parents, it seemed a common occurrence to see small signs posted at various places that claimed “George Washington Slept Here.” So it seemed appropriate to me, with tomorrow’s release of Becoming Lady Washington, to share a “Martha Washington Slept Here” list of places gleaned from my research into her life and times.

With the pandemic-related closings, you may not be able to visit these places in person just yet, but you can virtually! Some of the buildings are no longer standing or open to the public. Still, you may find it interesting to learn more about the kinds of mansions and homes Martha spent time at, including those used as George Washington’s Headquarters during the American Revolution. Here’s the list sorted alphabetically, not by chronological order:

Alexander Macomb House
(President’s House)
39-41 Broadway
New York, NY
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Macomb_House

Chestnut Grove Plantation
(Dandridge Home)
New Kent County, VA
http://marthawashington.us/items/show/96

Elsing Green Plantation
(Aunt Unity Dandridge Home)
King William County, VA
https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/050-0022/

Eltham Plantation
(Bassett Home)
New Kent County, VA
http://www.vintagedesigns.com/architecture/ggn/eltham/

Ford Mansion
(Washington’s HQ)
30 Washington Place
Morristown, NJ
https://www.nps.gov/morr/learn/historyculture/ford-mansion-washington-s-headquarters.htm

Isaac Potts House
(Washington’s HQ – Valley Forge)
1400 North Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA
https://www.nps.gov/vafo/learn/historyculture/washingtons_headquarters.htm

Jonathan Hasbrouck’s House
(Washington’s HQ)
84 Liberty Street
Newburgh, NY
https://parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/17/details.aspx

Kenmore
(Lewis Home)
1201 Washington Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA
https://kenmore.org/

Mount Vernon
(Washington Home)
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA
www.mountvernon.org

Rippon Lodge
(Blackburn’s Home – friends)
15500 Blackburn Road
Woodbridge, VA 22191
https://www.virginia.org/Listings/HistoricSites/RipponLodgeHistoricSite/

Robert Morris House
(President’s House)
6th and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA
http://www.ushistory.org/presidentshouse/history/briefhistory.htm

Rockingham
(Washington’s HQ)
84 Laurel Avenue
Kingston, NJ
https://www.rockingham.net/

Samuel Osgood House
(First Presidential Mansion)
1 Cherry Street
New York, NY
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Osgood_House_(New_York_City)

Six Chimneys House
(Custis Home)
Williamsburg, VA
https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/learn/research-and-education/archaeology/custis-square-archaeology-project/

Vassal Craigie Longfellow House
(Washington’s HQ)
105 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
http://www.nps.gov/long/index.htm

John Wallace House
(Washington’s HQ)
71 Somerset Street
Somerville, NJ
http://www.wallacehouseassociation.org/wallacehouse.htm

White House Plantation
(Custis Home)
New Kent County, VA
http://marthawashington.us/items/show/3

These are all of the places that I can confirm where she spent the night with family and friends. Of course, it’s known that she went visiting neighbors frequently but it’s unclear whether she stayed overnight.

Don’t forget! Tomorrow Becoming Lady Washington will be available for your reading pleasure. I’m so excited about sharing Martha Washington’s story with my readers! I hope you’ll buy your own copy to read and enjoy.

If you buy a print copy, I will be happy to autograph a free bookplate and mail it to you to stick inside the front cover. Just email me your name and address (betty@bettybolte.com) and I’ll put it in the mail to you. Thanks in advance for supporting me by buying my books!

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.

Martha “Patsy” Custis manages an immense eighteenth-century plantation in the Virginia colony. But as a young widow she’s hard pressed to balance her business and to care for her two young children. They need a father and protector. She needs a husband and business partner…one she can trust, especially now as tensions rise between the motherland and the American colonies. Her experience and education have sustained her thus far but when her life veers in an unexpected direction, she realizes she has so much more to learn.

Colonel George Washington takes an interest in her and she’s surprised to find him so sociable and appealing. They form an instant bond and she is certain he’ll be a likeable and loving husband and father figure for her children. She envisions a quiet life at Mount Vernon, working together to provide for their extended family.

But when trouble in the form of British oppression, taxes, and royal arrogance leads to revolt and revolution, George must choose between duty to country and Martha. Compelled to take matters into her own hands, Martha must decide whether to remain where she belongs or go with her husband…no matter what the dangerous future may hold.

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple     Books2Read

Let’s Play! Sports and Games 18th century style #games #sports #pastimes #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

People always need ways to distract themselves and entertain themselves. People in the 18th century were no different in that regard! I’ve mentioned before some of the activities they enjoyed then, like dancing, but what else did they do for fun and socialization?

Well, they played instruments like the harpsichord and flute. Sang songs. Martha Washington received a song book from George as a gift, for example. They read novels and histories. Martha read a wide variety of books, which included her bible.

Man playing a flute.

They rode on hobby horses as children. They went for horseback rides and carriage rides, opportunities for both exercise and to visit with friends and family. I read recently where pregnant women were encourage to take a carriage ride with gentle motion as a form of exercise. Men and ladies also got together for horse races and dog races routinely up until the American Revolution when that was stopped as being to royal like, too British. Racing commenced after the war ended though.

A horse pull-toy and book.

They also played badminton and cards and dominoes, as seen in this picture I took (I believe in 2015 at the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum of Colonial Williamsburg). I can imagine them playing card games like whist sitting around a table with their friends. Maybe a glass of Madeira at their elbow.

Display of games of cards, dominoes, and badminton

How are you entertaining yourself nowadays? What board or card games do you play?

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Betty

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Available for preorders now! Releases June 2, 2020…

Martha “Patsy” Custis manages an immense eighteenth-century plantation in the Virginia colony. But as a young widow she’s hard pressed to balance her business and to care for her two young children. They need a father and protector. She needs a husband and business partner…one she can trust, especially now as tensions rise between the motherland and the American colonies. Her experience and education have sustained her thus far but when her life veers in an unexpected direction, she realizes she has so much more to learn.

Colonel George Washington takes an interest in her and she’s surprised to find him so sociable and appealing. They form an instant bond and she is certain he’ll be a likeable and loving husband and father figure for her children. She envisions a quiet life at Mount Vernon, working together to provide for their extended family.

But when trouble in the form of British oppression, taxes, and royal arrogance leads to revolt and revolution, George must choose between duty to country and Martha. Compelled to take matters into her own hands, Martha must decide whether to remain where she belongs or go with her husband…no matter what the dangerous future may hold.

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