Getting to Know Chloe Flowers #contemporary #WomensFiction #historical #romance #author #fiction #books

I’m pleased to introduce you all to Chloe Flowers, who writes contemporary women’s fiction and historical romance. She’s also a beekeeper! But I’m jumping ahead. Let’s find out more about her and her writing process.

Chloe Flowers is an award-winning author and the recipient of the University of Akron, Wayne College 2018 Writer of the Year Award. She writes small town contemporary women’s fiction, and historical women’s action and adventure romance novels about scoundrels, pirates, and spunky, independent heroines.

Chloe keeps bees, and identifies her hives by the different flowers she paints on them. Her pets have always been named after her favorite characters or action heroes: Indiana, Luke, Gimli, Thelma, Rocket, Forrest, Severus, Mushu, Mérida, Gibbs, Jack…Dead Pool (he’s a goldfish).

Chloe has a weakness for good red wine, Calvin & Hobbes comics, pie, dark chocolate and brown-eyed guys with beards, which is probably why she digs pirates, men in uniform, and treasure hunters, and writes about action and adventure and, of course, romance, which is the greatest adventure of all.

You can learn more about her at www.chloeflowers.com, or by following her on BookBub, Goodreads, or Facebook.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Chloe: There are 5 books in the Pirates & Petticoats series. This year I released a clean and wholesome version of Pirates & Petticoats called The Hearts of Adventure Sweet Romance Series.

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

Chloe: I love reading Regency but I have a passion for United States history and action and adventure. I enjoyed learning about the War of 1812, largely because it happened during the Regency period. I read a few books about the Battle of New Orleans, and when I found out how many strange and downright crazy things went wrong for the British, I had to use it as the backdrop for my 5th book: If You Give a Spy a Scheme. Truth really is stranger than fiction!

According to Amazon, the genres are called: American Historical romance, Women’s Action and Adventure romance.

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

Chloe: The challenge of turning the villain in previous novels into the hero of book 5 intrigued me. How does a pirate-turned-French-agent have enough redeeming qualities for him to hold water as a hero? Enter the young Sauvage twins, who wreaked havoc in book 4 (to everyone’s glee) and a maimed young woman who believes she is too hideous to love. She has to learn a couple things we already know: first–there is someone for everyone, and second–the person you are inside shows your true beauty. We see them through their own eyes: He is unredeemable, she is unlovable.

Or are they?

If You Give a Spy a Scheme
He’ll Fight to be Redeemed

He steals for the French crown.
She heals for the Catholic church.
He will heal her heart.
She will steal his.

“Dramatic, engrossing, suspenseful, exciting.”

French Privateer and former pirate Captain Drago Gamponetti is given one final mission from his employer, the king of France: reclaim religious relics from a New Orleans cathedral. Trouble begins when he’s forced by a mysterious, veiled, novitiate nun to swear on the Bible to protect the very items he was instructed to steal.

Church healer Eva Trudeau hides more than her face behind the veil. The convent has been her safe haven since she crawled, beaten and bloody, to its door nine years ago. When an old enemy resurfaces and threatens to drag her back into the dark underworld, both she and her dark pirate captain stand to lose everything they’ve fought so hard to protect…including each other.

BookShow

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

Chloe: When the weather permits, I love writing on my back deck overlooking 30 acres of wooded parkland. I get frequent visits from a family of wild turkeys as well as plenty of fearless deer. When I can’t write outside, I head over to Cool Beans, my local coffee shop.

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

Chloe: I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) in 2010 and also joined my local RWA chapter as well as The Beau Monde (an online RWA chapter that is everything Regency). The conferences and workshops available through those organizations have been invaluable.

I also started the Sunshine critique group in 2011, and I couldn’t have succeeded without the fabulous ladies I befriended there. There is something uniquely solidifying about having 2–3 other writers who will be honest and tell you like it is. My writing improved because they challenged me to write better.

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

Chloe: When I read, a motion picture takes place in my mind. My subconscious is busy acting out what my conscious mind is reading. That ability becomes invaluable when I write. Characters and settings become three-dimensional. Readers “see” Spanish moss dripping in spiral ringlets from gnarled tree branches, “smell” the thick, acrid smoke from a ship’s gun, “hear” the soldiers running through the marsh grass and the wet slimy suction gripping their boots, belching as they broke free.

Can you “see” Miss Kalia in this description?

The old woman approached the wagon, swaying like seaweed with the tide, perhaps due to aching joints, but on a night like this, it was bewitching and unnerving, like an adder mesmerizing prey. The moonlight subdued her brightly patched skirt into shades of grayish-reds, greens, blues and yellows. Colorful feathers poked out in every direction from the silver hair piled high on her head. A streak of white paint trailed from one ear, ran along her jawline, across her chin, ending at her other ear like a gruesome grin.

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

Chloe: I’ve learned that I produce my best writing when I start with a well-defined, three-dimensional character. Once I know their fears, flaws, and secrets, I can put them in situations that expose their secrets, poke their flaws, and make them face their fears.

Still, there are times that “what ifs” pop into my head, like: “What would make a nun desperate enough to kidnap a pirate?” That weird question popped into my head one day and started me on the path to book 5.

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?

Chloe: In a perfect world, I have a routine. I get up, make a smoothie, check email while I drink it. Spend 30 minutes on marketing while it settles, then do my daily 30-minute workout. After I shower, I spend the rest of the day writing. My kids are all in college this year, so the distractions come from Indiana or Hobbes (dog & cat). But this is not a perfect world, is it?

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

Chloe: If the timing coincides with my writing schedule, I do. If I’m editing, I just cheer on my author friends.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Chloe: Paranormal romantic comedy: From This Fae Forward by A.E. Jones. Contemporary Romantic Comedy: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Chloe: Anything with an exciting plot! Lately, I’ve been reading romantic comedies because I’m writing a contemporary series and my writing naturally has a lot of humor in it anyway. I love good paranormal and Regency romance. I’ll read thrillers and suspense novels as well.

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

Chloe: I LOVED reading Kathleen Woodiwiss when I was younger. My favorite is A Rose in Winter, which has a bit of a Beauty and the Beast motif. More recently, I’ve enjoyed Amanda Bouchet’s Kingmaker Chronicles, mainly because we have a similar sense of humor and love of action and adventure romance.

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

Chloe: You’ve heard of actors like Jim Carrey staying “in character” during filming as well as off screen? I always read in the genre I am writing for the same reason. It keeps me in the right mindset.

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

Chloe: I spent several years working for a few different consumer products companies in marketing, I taught marketing to MBA students for 3 years, but now I write full time and couldn’t be happier.

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

Chloe: I think if readers better understood how important reviews were, they’d be sure to leave one after reading a book. Good writing takes time.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Chloe: Keep learning. You can do this many different ways.

Find your tribe. The Romance Writers of America has dozens of chapters both geographically based as well as online. Don’t ever think you have to go this alone.

Be kind. The writing community can seem huge, but in reality, it can be very small.  There is no “un-send” button.

Give. Give time, encouragement, support. It will be returned to you many times over.

Betty: Any hints of what your next writing project might be?

Chloe: I’m always working on multiple projects at the same time. If I get stuck on one, I just switch to another for a while. I have finished the first draft of a contemporary romantic comedy and am outlining the second. It features an ornery nanny goat, a young woman with a crappy driving record, the sheriff (her ex-high school crush), a quirky small town, and a jar of peanut butter…

I also have 2 more books planned for the Pirates & Petticoats series.

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?

Chloe: I’d love to take a dip into the paranormal pool someday…

Sounds like you have a lot going on, Chloe! Thanks for taking a few minutes to share with us your stories and your writing process. Wishing you all the best!

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.

Charm #2: On being a Friend #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

Continuing on this week with the enchanted charm bracelet in Charmed Against All Odds and the individual charms Roxie Golden and Leo King have to hunt for and why I chose them.

I talked about the first charm, an open book, last time. Today I’ll talk about the second charm and why I chose it as a symbol of things required in a lasting relationship, especially marriage.

One of the very familiar tropes in fiction is the friends-to-lovers story. I feel like this is the most powerful of stories in many ways. Mainly because if you can’t be friends with the person you’ll spend the vast majority of your time, your future, your old age with, then it’s going to be a difficult relationship/marriage to enjoy.

Charm #2: Gold-plate Friend

I’ve known people who tell me they love their family even if they don’t like them. Loving and liking are very different intensities of caring for another. Wanting no harm to come to family but also not wanting to spend time with them. I understand how that can be a person’s reality. I know of marriages that have stretched over decades but with little love between the husband and wife. I really don’t want to contemplate how horrible living in such a situation would make me feel.

I believe that for a marriage to last and to be a relationship cherished by the couple, there must be a friendship between them. Things they enjoy doing together. Experiences they want to share with the other first, or only. My loving hubby knows more about me than any other living soul on this planet. All the good, and all the not so good. He’s my very best friend, and I am his.

I have other friends, of course. I love and cherish our friendship, too! The difference between the friendship I share with my husband and that of my other friends comes down to just how intimately my husband knows me. Not just the physical me, but the emotional, professional, ambitious, loving, supporting me.

That will bring us to the other charms on the enchanted charm bracelet…

Two charms down, four more to go!

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

My next signing is November 2, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. I’ll bring copies of The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Fury Falls Inn Book 1) to sign and I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds (Secrets of Roseville Book 5) before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you in Albertville, AL, to support the Shades of Pemberley independent book store as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebration!

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

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

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

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

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

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

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

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

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Getting to Know Bob Boze #contemporary #romance #author #fiction #nonfiction #books #blogger

I’m pleased to introduce you all to Bob Boze, who writes contemporary romances among other kinds of books. Let’s take a peek at his official bio and then see what he has to say about his stories and his writing process, shall we?

Bob is a diverse author with five published books and two coauthored with his writing partner, Robyn Bennett, who lives in New Zealand.

Originally from New York, Bob is an avid reader, reviewer, and guest blogger on several web sites. His travels have covered most of the world and he has lived in London, England; Istanbul, Turkey; Houston and San Antonio, Texas; and Los Angeles and Paso Robles, California, before calling San Diego home. 

Bob’s education includes: Studies in Creative Writing, English Literature, and English at NYU, William and Mary, University of Maryland, and University of Delaware. He holds a dual BS degree in Electronic Systems Design and Project Management from Northrop University.

He is an active member of San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, San Diego Professional Editors Network, Romance Writers of America San Diego, and participates in local and international writers events and conferences.

You can find out more about him at his website, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or Amazon.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Bob: Five on my own. Four fiction and one non-fiction.

Two coauthored. One fiction and one non-fiction.

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

Bob: Romance/Love Stories – because I write feel good stories that fit well in romance.

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

Bob: A feel good story about life, love and family. My stories are about people helping each other, whether they’re friends or family and my latest story centers around family members helping each other over some fifteen years.

When Zach and Desi lose their mother to a tragic illness, it’s left up to their father, Josh to finish molding their children into the kind, caring and loving adults he and Christine would be proud to send out into the world.

Each of them would forever remember their mother’s last words and wish: “Zach, you’re the ribbon that surrounds our family with love and Desi, you’re the bow on top that rains love over us. You’re a wonderful package and promise me you’ll always protect, guide and watch over each other.”

Five years later, out on the beach, Josh handed fifteen-year-old Zach a ten dollar bill as he started toward the beach pool. “Go make someone’s day by buying them an ice cream cone,” he told him.

At the same time, fifteen-year-old Zoey headed for the beach pool, looking forward to a few quiet hours of reading.

Minutes later, Zach and Zoey’s worlds would collide and the simple gesture of him buying her an ice cream cone would change both of their lives – forever.

Over the next ten years, Zach, Zoey and Desi would find their worlds tangled, untangled and then tangled yet again, as they meet the challenges of growing up, protecting each other, falling in love and facing everything else that life would throw at them.

Amazon

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

Bob: At my desk on my computer. Occasionally I’ll jot down story ideas or notes if I’m in a café or out with my writing partner but my serious writing is done at my desk.

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?

Bob: I write pretty much any time of the day, when an idea strikes or the words are flowing. I typically have music playing in the background but not always.

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

Bob: Nothing. I always planned to publish what I wrote.

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

Bob: I’m a good story teller, or so I’m told. That and I love describing places I’ve traveled to and things that have happened in my life; all of which seem to work their way into my stories.

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

Bob: All of the above. I’ve had people, places and events trigger story ideas. Robyn and I travel a lot and love to people watch at airports. That, and places we’ve been, have generated at least four story ideas that are sitting in the wings waiting to be written.

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?

Bob: No, I’m pretty flexible and write when the story ideas are flowing. If I can’t get to my computer when an idea strikes, I’ll jot it down and type it up later.

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

Bob: Getting started. I had a story in mind but just couldn’t think of how to start it. The dam broke while we were at the Romance Writers Conference in New Zealand. Later that night, Robyn and several writers helped me outline it in the bar. 

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

Bob: No. I hate deadlines. I write when the ideas flow and don’t when I get stuck on something.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Bob: So Over My Head by Jenny B. Jones. She’s one of my favorite authors.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Bob: I read just about anything from romance to vampires. If a book attracts me and looks interesting, I’ll give it a go.

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

Bob: I seldom reread anything. Two exceptions are: A Katie Parker Production series by Jenny B. Jones and the Vampire Academy series by Rachel Mead. Oh, make that three: Robyn’s books, Aqua Bay and Haven River

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

Bob: I’ll read anything while I’m writing. Good writing is good writing and I’ve been inspired by good writers in almost all genres.

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

Bob: No, I’m retired. However, Robyn and my editing business and my professional blogging are a lot like a job. Edits and payed for blogs come before writing.

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

Bob: Hum, readers? How much publishing with a traditional publisher changes your story. Some genres are worse than others, like romance. Some of that’s changing though and writers are getting more flexibility since self-publishing is giving them an option and traditional publishers are beginning to recognize that.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Bob: Wow. Develop a thick skin and, no matter what, don’t give up. There is soooo much to learn, there are no secret formulas, and everyone has a different opinion on how to be a good writer. Robyn and I have learned and tell writers in our workshops that there is no right or wrong way to write. Do whatever works for you.  

Betty: Any hints of what your next writing project might be?

Bob: Thanks to a night in the bar at the New Zealand conference, with eight other writers, I’ve got two new books in work. Book two of what will be The Beach Pool series and a new romance novel about a billionairess who buys into a dolphin tour boat business in New Zealand. (Yeah, she falls in love with the bankrupt owner, of course.)

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?

Bob: I’m happy with romance but I think there may be a vampire book in me somewhere.

I wish you much success with your books and career, Bob! Thanks for stopping in to share about your writing process and available stories.

Happy reading!

Betty

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

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

Charm #1: On being an open book #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

The last three weeks I’ve talked about the elements of the membership ring for the Order of Witchery Lore in Charmed Against All Odds. Those elements include which finger to wear the ring, what color of stone, and what metal. Now I’d like to talk about the enchanted charm bracelet and more specifically the individual charms Roxie Golden and Leo King have to hunt for and why I chose them.

One lesson I’ve learned over years, or make that decades, of writing is that nothing in the story should be arbitrary. Everything should have a reason for being. So when it came time to sort out the booty my main characters were in search of, I had to determine the why before the what.

The first thing I did was to make a list of things I feel are necessary to have a successful relationship, partnership, marriage, based on my observations and my 30+ years’ experience married to my husband. Then I arranged those into an order of increasing importance.

Charm #1: Gold-plate open book

The first charm, an open book, is given to them to launch the quest spell. This is the moment in Charmed Against All Odds when Roxie realizes something is amiss, after Leo (her ex-fiancé) arrives out of the blue with a mysterious box:

“The sole reason I’m here is to give you this box.” He plunked it down on the glass display case by the register, knocking a stack of postcards advertising the open mic night across the surface. “Done. I’m out of here.”

Wait, she wanted to cry out as he glanced at her and then away. He couldn’t leave. She had questions only he could answer. If he’d stay long enough to hear them. He pivoted on one heel and marched toward the door.

“Stop.” She hurried to pick up the silver box and then hurried after him, holding it with both trembling hands. She caught up to him and momentarily laid a hand on his arm to detain his rapid departure, sensed the deep agitation inside him even as the familiar sizzle flowed through her. She stifled a gasp. He glanced at her hand and then met her eyes with a steady look. Releasing his arm, she gripped the box with both hands. “What am I supposed to do with it?”

The box vibrated in her hands and then a lyrical click sounded as the lid popped open. What had unlocked the box? She blinked at it, angling it one way and another to search for a release or some other catch she might have brushed. Nothing. Tara and Beth came around the counter and stood to one side, peeking at the tiny box. Magic must have been infused in the object, sensitive to her touch. But only after she’d touched Leo. Before then, it had remained firmly secured. She stared at the box as if it held a secret she didn’t want to know.

“Open it all the way.” Beth stretched a hand toward the box but hesitated to make contact with it. “What’s inside?”

“No idea. Not sure I want to but… Here goes.” Roxie slowly lifted the lid to reveal another gold folded note under a chunky golden bracelet. A single charm—an open book—was attached to it.

So, why an open book to begin the search? It’s not that either of the main characters, Roxie and Leo, are open books. Not at all! It’s more a symbol of knowing each other by walking in their shoes. Like when you read a story set in a different world from your everyday life, you get to experience life from a different perspective by “becoming” one of the characters.

The open book also symbolizes, to my way of thinking, being open to knowing everything about the other person in the relationship. Of attempting to understand the world through their eyes, their experiences. Do we always succeed? Of course not. But the attempt makes it easier to understand their reasoning, their reaction, their decision-making process. Ultimately to find common ground when you have a disagreement, an argument, or even an out-and-out verbal fight.

One charm down, five more to go!

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

My next signing is November 2, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. I’ll bring copies of The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Fury Falls Inn Book 1) to sign and I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you there to support the Shades of Pemberley independent book store as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebration!

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

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

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

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

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

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

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

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

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Getting to Know Christina Alexandra #romance #author #CommonElementsRomance #Georgian #Regency #historical #fiction #books

Can you believe it’s October already and yet the temps here in Alabama are still in the mid-90s! I’m ready for some cooler weather! Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner so I’m starting to crave soup and hot cider… But I digress!

Today I have a treat for you. I’d like to introduce you all to Christina Alexandra! She’s a new-to-me author of historical romance which sound delightful. Let’s find out more about her and her stories, shall we?

Christina Alexandra is a romance writer from Southern California. Always on the lookout for an adventure, she has worked many different jobs including both medical and veterinary offices, music teacher, law enforcement instructor, service dog puppy raiser, emergency grief counselor, coroner’s assistant and, currently, an emergency services operator.

Christina writes stories set in Georgian and Regency England and credits her varied experiences as the foundation from which she builds true-to-life characters and emotional stories with a unique twist on modern issues. When not researching, writing or working, Christina spends her spare time travelling, cooking – oftentimes with a historical flare – and connecting with fans and friends on social media.

An avid trivia junkie, she is constantly on the lookout for random facts in the hopes that it will help her in her never ending quest for a spot on “Jeopardy!”

You can connect with Christina online at her website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Christina: I currently have one flash fiction piece published in an anthology, and my debut book comes out later this autumn. It was a last minute addition to my Reluctant Lords series so I actually had book 2 drafted and book 3 plotted before I started this one.

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

Christina: I write historical romance set in the Georgian and Regency eras of England, so the late 18th century and early 19th century. When I first started reading romance, Regencies were what I started with. So when I started writing romance, I gravitated towards the Regencies. The more I researched the time period, the more I fell in love with it. The wealth of the upper class juxtaposed with the poverty of the lower class. The advancements in science and technology leading to industrialization and modern farming, and the detractors who fought to keep things the way they were. The long war with France. It’s not much different from today, when you think about it. It gives me a way to relate to the modern world when the modern world becomes too much to handle.

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

Christina: The Worth of a Viscount is book #1 in the Reluctant Lords series. It’s about five friends, ordinary men content with their lot in life, who suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves granted peerage titles.

It’s no accident that the book is called The Worth of a Viscount. Adam, the Hero, is trying to prove to himself and others that he is worthy of both the title and the upper class he is worthy of his title and to marry the woman he loves. Maxine, the Heroine, is trying to prove she is worthy of being wanted and loved for more than her outward appearance. They both have to come to terms and face their own insecurities to get their Happy Ever After. Their story and growth resonates with many people and the hashtag #KnowYourWorth is relevant to them as well as the readers.

This is also a story of second chances. Adam and Maxine were childhood friends and sweethearts before society came between them. As Maxine grasps at a second chance to discover herself, and Adam gets a second chance to make something of himself, they get an unexpected second chance at love.

Forced by her family to hide her high-spirited nature, Lady Maxine Pearson has spent years cultivating the facade of docile, boring perfection. After four seasons without a single offer of marriage, she realizes perfection is decidedly overrated. With her cousin’s wedding fast approaching, Maxine seizes the opportunity to travel to the event scandalously alone.

Adam Hawkins always knew Lady Maxine would one day be his wife, even though an earl’s daughter was far beyond his reach. Six years after the message was beaten into him, Adam has returned. But he is more than a mere knight’s son, now he has the wealth, influence, and the title to prove his worth.

When Maxine’s act of rebellion leaves her stranded, she has no choice but to accept help from the man who broke her heart, and gives Adam the perfect opportunity to win it back. As passion flares, they find themselves caught between obligation and desire. If they aren’t careful, they may be forced to give up everything to fight for their second chance at love.

Worth is available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Coming soon to iBooks and Kobo.

Amazon      Barnes & Noble    

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

Christina: I tend to write anywhere and everywhere outside of the house. Between two needy cats, and all the chores required in caring for a sixty-year-old house, I find writing at home too distracting. Normally, I am a coffee shop writer, but I have been known to write on planes, trains, automobiles (lol). I even wrote my first published short fiction story on my mobile phone while standing in line at Legoland when my sister and her family came to visit. I need some activity and noise around me or else my mind goes to other places other than writing and I lose focus.

Editing I have to do on paper, so wherever I go, there has to be a table for me to write on. I have a lot of downtime at the Day Job, so I tend to do a lot of editing and note taking there where I know I’ll get a solid chunk of time.

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?

Christina: I don’t really have any rituals, other than copious amounts of coffee and snacks. I can’t drink alcohol while writing as it puts me to sleep. I do have playlists for writing, mostly classical music, and movie or video game soundtracks. I’ve recently started making playlists of songs with words that inspire scenes in the story.

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

Christina: I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America and the local chapters for several years. I’ve made amazing friends who are encouraging (and pushy!) when it comes to making sure we all stay on track to pursue our writing goals and dreams. The support from my friends, family, and coworkers has been instrumental in giving me the confidence boost to go from unpublished to published author.

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

Christina: Ooh, tough one… I have to say it’s a tie between description and emotion.

I’m a visual person, and when I write I build the scene in my mind in layers starting from the big picture to the most minute detail. I think it’s a by-product of my Day Job—in the various jobs I’ve had, I always have to describe pertinent things from the top down, outside to inside, big picture to tiny details. It just flowed over into my writing.

I’ve been told by my writing partner that I have an uncanny ability to get deep into the head of my characters. I’m just a conduit and write what they think, see, and feel. It’s ecstatic and overwhelming one minute, and the soul crushing pain of love the next minute. It’s like taking a ride on a roller coaster of emotions. 

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

Christina: Usually it’s the characters. While they’re all clamoring about trying to be next, it’s the quiet one in back that gets my attention. Occasionally, I get an idea that is so fun and so unusual that I create an entire world and story around it before anything else. Oddly enough, this usually results in a non-Regency, non-historical story.

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?

Christina: My writing is flexible. Between the Day Job, family, and travel, I don’t have large chunks of time. I usually get a couple of days a week where I can write in marathon sessions, but mostly it’s short bursts of time on my mobile phone. Thank goodness for writing programs that sync across devices!

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

Christina: The dread of finishing. Once it’s done and published, it’s out there for people to read, judge, and determine if it’s (dare I say it?) worthy. That’s why I have to set hard deadlines or else I’ll fiddle and tinker with it forever, and it’ll never get done.

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

Christina: I’ve tried NaNoWriMo several times and have come to the conclusion it’s not for me. I just can’t write straight through without editing. I end up with a mess of a document and get overwhelmed trying to revise and edit it. I prefer to write slower, edit as I go, and end up with a story that needs minimal revisions and edits.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Christina: I’ve recently discovered Lisa Kleypas and have been reading her entire backlist. But only when I meet a writing goal. Otherwise I’d spend all day reading and get nothing done.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Christina: I’m a sucker for historical romance. I have to deal with enough drama and trauma of the contemporary world at work, and I need the promise of the HEA to escape modern life.

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

Christina: Oh gosh…my keeper books. For romance, I think Sherry Thomas’s Ravishing the Heiress is my #1 keeper, followed in no particular order by Elizabeth Hoyt’s Lord of Darkness, Grace Burrowes’s Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Sarah MacLean’s Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Katharine Ashe’s The Prince, and Lisa Kleypas’s Marrying Winterborne.

For non-romance books it’s Michael Crichton’s Congo, Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, the Star Wars: X-Wing Series by Michael A. Stackpole, and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

I reread them whenever I need a little something comforting and familiar, but Congo and Something Wicked This Way Comes I read at least once a year. The latter I read each October.

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

Christina: I do read the same genre because the language and flow of prose in historical romance is so different than other genres. No matter the story, the authors skilled at connecting readers to the time period and characters do so through their writing. It’s essential for me to get into the historical state of mind by reading other historical books.

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

Christina: I do have a Day Job. I work as an emergency services operator her for a busy police department in Southern California. It’s a very technical, high-stress job that does not lend itself to creative writing. Though, I will admit, after a weekend spent writing my calls get a little…purple prosey. My dispatchers and officers can always tell when I’ve spent time writing based on how I word my calls! Lol

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

Christina: Don’t give up, and don’t settle for the first thing that comes your way. There are so many options out there, so many opportunities, there’s no reason to settle for “good enough”.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Christina: A screenwriting teacher gave me the best advice once. I pass it on to every creative I meet: Get it out of your head and onto the page.

Betty: Any hints of what your next writing project might be?

Christina: The Reluctant Lords is a five-book series, so my focus is on finishing them right now. After that then I’ve got a spin-off series dealing with some relatives if the Heroes. Then comes a long anticipated project I’m calling the Scavenger Hunt for now. It’s this weird mashup I can only describe as The Amazing Race (TV show) meets Jane Austen.

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?

Christina: I have a serial story I’d love to get a start on. It’s a contemporary time-hop police procedural with a heavy dose of mystery. But it’s rather in-depth and would take so much time researching that I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it. The same with a speculative fiction series that I have on the back burner that revolves around the idea of leap year.

I’d like to try my hand at contemporary romance, and have a couple of stories plotted and outlined. My trouble with writing this is my characters tend to shun technology and speak like they lived in Regency England! lol. It’s like learning to write in a different language.

I love that your writing voice impacts your professional writing as well, Christina! That’s an interesting carryover. And that you could write standing in line, too. I also need some noise around me in order to concentrate after working in a busy office environment for years. Good luck with your new release, too!

Happy reading, all!

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.

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

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

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

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

Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple     Books2Read

Moving on to this week’s topic…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

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

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

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

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

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

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

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

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

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

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

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

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

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon      Google Play      Kobo      Barnes & Noble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Betty: What are you reading right now?

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

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Leslie, for joining me today!

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

Happy reading!

Betty

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

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