Let’s Go on a 1940s Summer Picnic #inspiration #NotesofLove&War #Baltimore #WWII #historical #fiction @Baltimore_City #ReadIndie

In my latest release, Notes of Love and War, there is a picnic scene. There’s a really good reason for why, too! I honestly love to go on picnics, a love fostered by my parents when I was a child. Since this story was originally inspired by my parents’ correspondence, it seemed fitting to include a picnic scene. As my husband and I raised our children, we would occasionally take them to a park and have a picnic. Sometimes we’d take the hibachi grill and grill burgers and hot dogs, or bratwurst, or even chicken at times.

Now that the kids are grown and on their own, we’ve been known to do more impromptu picnic fare. For example, we packed a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and drinks during this pandemic and drove down to a picnic table by a lake to eat. We didn’t stop anywhere on the way; didn’t interact with anyone closer to us than about 50 feet (other than a precocious goose); and then drove straight back home. But it was great to get out of the house and behind the steering wheel again!

In order to depict the accoutrements of the fictional picnic, I needed some visual aids. I found a 1940s picnic basket with plates, cups, utensils along with what the picnic menus might include. Some of those menus were quite fancy, in my opinion. I was rather surprised to find that they would have had a vacuum box to keep items hot or cold, the precursor to a cooler like we use today.

So what’s for lunch at Notes of Love and War’s picnic? Here’s a snippet:


Audrey picked her way across the uneven ground. Frisk seemed chastened by her firm grip on the leash and walked sedately at her side. Victor’s rigid back hinted at his opinion of Audrey and her dog. Retrieving the basket, she lugged it to the shaded table. She tied Frisk’s leash to the table leg, then started putting their lunch out on the covered table.

“Is Frisk okay?” Rae handed Audrey a plastic plate from the woven picnic basket opened on the table.

“He’s fine.” She lifted the lid on the other vacuum box. “What’s he grilling?”

Rae leaned closer to inspect the contents of the cold container. “Looks like chicken legs.”

“We’ve got baked beans, too. Along with the fruit and cookies, we’ve quite a spread.” Audrey reached down to pet Frisk where he sat observing the proceedings. “I’m impressed.”

Rae put out a plate on the table for Victor, arranging utensils on either side. She glanced at the man in question with a grin. “He’s amazing.”

“Hmm.” Audrey kept her mouth closed and her hands busy. Better to keep a wait-and-see attitude until she knew him better.

Victor carried the covered plate of chicken to the grill, fragrant smoke drifting on the light breeze. He situated the meat on the rack over the flickering flames and then brought the plate back to the table. His movements were precise and efficient, no wasted effort. He paused to wipe his hands on a towel as he watched the girls putting the finishing touches on the table.

Audrey placed her palms on her hips and surveyed the layout. “Are we missing anything?”

Rae scanned the table and then nodded, satisfied. “I think we’re ready when you are, Vic.”


Audrey really would rather be anywhere but chaperoning her younger sister, but she also will do anything she must to protect Rae. She’s a protective older sister.

Do you enjoy going on picnics? What kinds of foods do you take to enjoy?

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.

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 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.

Visit Audrey’s real Home Sweet Home #inspiration #NotesofLove&War #Baltimore #WWII #historical #fiction @Baltimore_City #ReadIndie

Before I get to my topic for today, I want to remind you that Notes of Love and War releases tomorrow! But you can download the first 3 chapters for free now! See below for a description and links where you can buy your complete copy, too.

Now on to the rest of my story…

I believe that your opinion of your life and personal world is directly affected by where you live. All of the factors as to your comfort, location, conveniences play a role in your overall sense of wellbeing and contentment. Which is why I thought I’d share with you the house I had in mind when I was writing Notes of Love and War, the home where Audrey lives with her family.

It’s not a big home, but it is based on my memory of my grandmother’s house outside of Baltimore. I used to visit her for a week each summer, helping her in the garden, hanging laundry on the lines out back, and being very quiet while she listened to Dialing for Dollars. She taught me to crochet and let me read her books which she housed in a glass doored bookcase. When I was young, she kept a box of toys close by that I could play with, too. Grandmom was the only grandparent I ever knew. She died from breast cancer when I was 12 years old.

The house had a single floor with a walkup attic and a basement. When you walked in the front door you entered the living room with a fireplace on the far right wall. Straight ahead was the dining room and off the dining room the kitchen. The steps to the basement were between the dining room and kitchen. To the left near the front door was a short hall, where the bookcase stood on one wall, that led to the single bathroom with a bedroom flanking each side. Grandmom slept in the bedroom on the left, at the front of the house. I would sleep in the bedroom on the right, at the back.

I’ve mentioned that my personal history and my dad’s correspondence with my mom inspired the events in Notes of Love and War. In this instance, my memory of my grandmother’s house became the setting for Audrey’s home. However, it’s not the same house where my mother was living when my father was writing to her during and after the war. Grandmom moved from that house sometime after my grandfather died and I was born 14 years after my parents married. I used the house I knew because I have never been inside of the previous house where my mother would have grown up. (That house no longer stands, by the way. An apartment building is there as of today.)

I’m super excited to have Notes of Love and War available for you all to read! Early reviews have been 4-5 stars, so it’s a good story and entertaining, too.

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 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.

Meet the real WWII German Spies #inspiration #Baltimore #WWII #historical #fiction @Baltimore_City #ReadIndie

I always like to reflect true history in my historical fiction, especially when it’s a little known or surprising event. Like the inspiration for the pair of spies in Notes of Love and War. The story is set in Baltimore, Maryland, during WWII and was inspired by my parents’ war correspondence a subsequent courtship. (I so can’t wait to have that story available for all my readers!)

Which reminds me to remind you that you’re invited 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 Sunday, July 26, at 3:00 p.m. CDT on Zoom, 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, a few family recipes, etc. 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. Just an hour or so to hang out with others who enjoy historical fiction.

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

RSVP group in MailerLite: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/l0m5d2

Come on, you know you want something fun to look forward to, right? So Like or RSVP and I’ll see you there!

Now onto the inspiration for the spies.

You may be aware of the German submarines that patrolled the Atlantic coast during WWII. In reading my dad’s correspondence I even learned that one of his sister’s served as a sub spotter in Florida. I wanted to include the subs in my story in some way so I went looking for actual historic events that included them. I found Nazi Spies Come Ashore by Richard Sassaman, an article about two Nazi spies, Erich Gimpel and William Colepaugh, who landed in Bar Harbor, Maine. Merely knowing that German spies had invaded America more than once gave me fodder as well as authenticity for my story.

In Notes of Love and War, I used a few of the details from that article to create the situation Audrey faces. Obviously, my spies land not off the shores of Maine but of Maryland, and then they make their way to Baltimore. Like Colepaugh, Peter Mercer is American with German ancestry who turns against his country. That’s the only similarity in their personality or background, however.

In the article, Gimpel, the German, discovers the money wrapper with the name of the German bank still on the bundled money. I have my character, Peter, the American, buy a new coat and leave the money wrapper in the pocket. Which then becomes a clue in the story.

It’s fun to weave the actual facts into fiction in order to create a realistic situation. I hope you enjoy the story and please come to the picnic if you have an hour to spare on Sunday.

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 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.

Life in Baltimore during WWII #Baltimore #WWII #historical #fiction #books #amwriting #amreading @Baltimore_City #ReadIndie

When I decided to write Notes of Love and War, a story set in my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, during World War Two, I knew I needed to learn more about what the city looked like during the 1940s. Imagine how delighted I was to come across Home Front Baltimore: An Album of Stories from World War II by Gilbert Sandler. For my purposes, this book is a researcher’s gold mine!

The cover of Home Front Baltimore showing dancing at a USO Club.

Not only did Sandler compile an array of historical photos of the people and the city, which was perfect for me to refer to when describing the place and the clothing. But he also included anecdotes and memories of people who had been living and working in Baltimore during the war. There really was a lot going on, too. Life, work, and play didn’t stop at home because of the war “over there.” Sure, there were concerns, with armed men patrolling the streets in fear of an invasion, for instance. There were all manner of drives, too: rubber; grease; nylons; metal. But some of the more minor details have found their way into my historical fiction.

Two street scenes in Home Front Baltimore.

Details like mention of a couple of guys stopping at Attman’s Deli for a sandwich on their way home from work also prompted me to search for the restaurant. Lo and behold, it’s still in operation today. In fact, my husband and I met dear friends there for lunch one afternoon in 2019 as part of my favorite thing: research.

Menu from Attman’s Deli

Another anecdote Sandler shared was that of the arabbers who sold produce and other foods from their wagons. They’d walk beside their horse and wander through the city streets calling out what they had to offer that day and residents and workers would flock out to buy apples or crabs or flowers from them. In fact, they still do. There aren’t nearly as many today as then, but there are a few. My brother, who is now retired from being a plumber, has seen them when he was working around the city.

If you are interested in a nonfiction collection of facts and images of Baltimore during the war years, I highly recommend Sandler’s book. And know that his work informed my fictional account in Notes of Love and War.

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 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.