Archive for the ‘historical romance’ Tag

Monday’s Friend: Maxine Douglas

Today I am pleased to have romance writer Maxine Douglas as my guest. Welcome, Maxine!

SJT: When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?

MD: I think in high school when I took creative writing and had several poems published.

SJT: Who would you cite as your influences?

MD: I’ve always loved Heather Graham, but I would have to say it was Jessica Barkley who really got me to start writing. She is the sister of a good friend of mine.

SJT: What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

MD: Finish the book! Don’t stop. Keep writing. Join your local writing group and attend as many workshops, classes, meetings, conferences as you can.  Learn your craft and grow a thick skin.

SJT: Have you ever been inspired to put people you know in real life in your books?

MD: Hmmmm….I plead the 5th! LOL

SJT: When it comes to your writing projects, would you describe yourself as a meticulous planner, or a ‘seat-of-the-pantser’?

MD: I think I’m a bit of both really. I get a good sketch of my characters and then let them develop the story. Sometimes, not always mind you, I come to know the ending before I even get to the dreaded middle. It gives me something to shoot for.

SJT: Tell us about your latest release.

MD: Roseanne “Rose” Duncan, witnesses her employer push his sickly wife down the staircase. Fearing she’ll have to testify against a prominent man in town, she’s given ad for a mail order bride in Dodge City. Believing this is a way for her to escape the possible danger of her employer, she travels to Dodge City and marries under the name of Abigail Johnson.

Logan Granger, is a Pinkerton Detective assigned to Dodge City area as an undercover bartender. When his mail order bride, “Aggie,” steps off the train she doesn’t fit the description of a matronly woman who has agreed to his marriage contract of no emotional attachments. There’s no time to reconsider the preacher is waiting to marry them.

Rose hadn’t expected the handsome man waiting for her to be an undercover bartender with a six shooter on his hip and a badge on his chest. Logan hadn’t expected his soon to be wife to be young, beautiful, and a runaway murder witness.

The Reluctant Bride is available both domestic and internationally through Amazon, Google Books/Play, Kobo, B&N, most German outlets. As well as in the four book boxset Wanted: One Bride with Callie Hutton, Peggy McKenzie, and Heidi Vanlandingham.

The Reluctant Bride is the first in a three book series, Brides Along the Chisholm Trail in honour of the 150the Anniversary of The Chisholm Trail. The idea was presented to me last fall by Mark Rathe who is the President of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce. I wasn’t sure how I’d like writing in the western genre, but once I found I rather enjoyed it The Marshal’s Bride (due to come out this Spring) and The Cattlemen’s Bride (late summer) were born. As were two others outside the series.

Buy THE RELUCTANT BRIDE from Google Books, Google Play and Amazon now.

SJT: Your website bio says you’ve rekindled your love for Western heroes. What’s the story behind that?

MD: My good friend, and mentor, Callie Hutton invited me to join the Wanted: One Bride boxset and I jumped at it. Problem was I was just finishing up a cozy mystery and would have about 2-3 months to write the project. It made me delve back into the Western genre by watching the old black and white movies I grew up with.

SJT: Any new projects in the works?

MD: Several, as it happens:

The Marshal’s Bride

Heroine, Abigale “Abby” Johnson, comes to Dodge City to see her friend remarry Logan Granger, the man who Abby was originally supposed to marry. Abby hadn’t expected that a lawman of the Wild West would ignite something in her she’d thought died along with her husband. Abby never thought she’d leave the life of a servant until she met Gabe Hawkins. Now he wants to marry her and take her into the Indian Territory.

Hero, Gabe Hawkins, deputy marshal in Dodge City, never expected to fall in love until he laid his eyes on Abigale Johnson. There’s a fire deep inside the matronly woman and Gabe aims to find what lies further beneath Abby’s facade. When an opportunity for a piece of land in Oklahoma presents itself, Gabe grabs it and Abby to start a new life away from law enforcement.

 The Cattlemen’s Bride

Hero, Cyrus Kennedy drove his herd into Dodge City, dirt and trail dust coating him from head to toe. He needed a bath, shave, and a good meal after he visited the Pinkerton agent assigned to his case.

Heroine, Montana Sue grew feverish watching the cattle bawling and stomping their way through the middle of Dodge. It wasn’t the longhorns making her insides on fire, it was the cowboy covered in dried mud and layers of dust sitting tall in the saddle.

 Red River Crossing

The Midwife’s Husband

 And I sold that cozy mystery, Simply to Die For, in February which is the first of a 3-4 book series called Black Horse Canyon. The series is contemporary romance and I have the books in that series to write next year.

I keep a spreadsheet of ideas that is a few pages long, so I won’t be running out of stories for a while. 🙂

SJT: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

MD: Clear my head usually by just vegging. I watch tv, read, babysit by youngest grand-daughter sometimes, and of course spend time with my husband. We have horses, but our schedules are so crazy that they are enjoying being pasture ornaments at the moment. I hope to get out there and ride sometime before the heat of summer hits Oklahoma.

AUTHOR BIO:

An avid horse lover and reader, Maxine Douglas loves spending time in the saddle, curled up with a good book, catching up with her oldest grand-daughter, or chasing her youngest grand-daughter around the house. Wisconsin natives and high school friends, Maxine and her husband now reside in Oklahoma, where she has rekindled her love for western heroesLearn more about Maxine and her books at Goodreads, her Author Blog, on Facebook and  Twitter. You can also sign up for her Newsletter and Mailing List.

 

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Monday’s Friend: Susan A Royal

Fellow Muse author Susan A Royal and I are having a reciprocal blog swap today – she’s on my blog talking about the endlessly fascinating topic of time travel, and I’m on hers talking about the many hats that I wear, in and out of my writing life.

Welcome, Susan! Good to have you back.

Not long ago (2)Time Travel
By Susan A Royal

The idea of being able to travel through time has always fascinated me. In a way I guess you could say I am a time traveller. Every book I read transports me into another world. Some of them actually exist and some are only fantasy, but that doesn’t matter.

When I’m immersed in a good story, it becomes as real as anything around me. I can cross the sands of ancient Egypt, attend a jousting tournament in England in the Middle Ages, take in the countryside in 17th century Scotland (get a load of those kilts!!), see what it’s like to live during World War II, live in the south during the Civil War era or ride a stagecoach across the American west. I can travel to another world and see dragons, trolls, dwarves, fairies and other beasts or other dimensions where magic is real. I can visit alternate realities and see what my life might be like if history had been different.

One of my favorite time travel stories of all times is OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. Claire Randall is a 20th century woman sent back through time to 17th century Scotland. She must learn to cope in a world far different from her own. Ultimately she chooses it over her own time, because of the man she loves and cannot forget. After wishing someone would make a movie of it for years, the series finally debuted on STARZ, and I dearly love the words that flash across the screen on the trailer: What if your future…was the past.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to talk to someone like Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain in the flesh? Get up close and personal with them. Find out what they were really like. To have the chance to meet them or even listen to them speak, instead of seeing them through someone else’s eyes. Form your own opinions.

FromNowOn_200x300 (2)Or what if you could go back and see your parents or grandparents when they were your age. Look at them from a totally different viewpoint. What would they be like? Would you find things in common with them?  What if you had the chance to visit a younger you? A you that hasn’t made the mistakes or learned the lessons you’ve learned. Would you try to change your past?

You have to admit the idea is intriguing. How would you cope? Could you live without electronics or indoor plumbing? What would society be like? It’s fascinating to think of what it would be like. And who knows?  You might decide you actually prefer it to living in the present.  It’s a thought…

AUTHOR BIO

Born in west Texas and raised in south Texas, Susan makes her home in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town. She shares it with a ghost who likes to harmonize with her son when he plays guitar.

She is married and the mother of six (she counts her children’s spouses as her own) and five grandchildren who are all unique and very special. Her family is rich with characters, both past and present. Her grandmother shared stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory with three sisters and three brothers and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. Her father told her about growing up in San Antonio in the depression, and she experienced being a teenager during WWII through her mother’s eyes.

inmyownshadow200x300[1] (2)When Susan isn’t writing, she works as a secretary in education and does her best to keep up with her grandchildren. Music and painting are two of her passions. She is a firm believer in getting what you want without breaking the bank. She loves to bargain shop anywhere there’s a sale and began repurposing long before it was popular. She paints, crafts and sews. Her office/craft/sewing room is littered with her latest projects.

Susan loves to take her readers through all kinds of adventures with liberal doses of romance. So far, she’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On. They are time travel adventures with romance about two people who fall in love despite the fact they come from very different worlds. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy adventure/romance. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N. You can also find Odin’s Spear, one of her short stories featured in a Quests, Curses, and Vengeance anthology, Martinus Publishing, available on Amazon.

Want to know more? Visit susanaroyal.wordpress.com or susanaroyal.moonfruit.com for a peek inside this writer’s mind and see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.

Susan Royal photoSusan’s Books

Xander’s Tangled Web (fantasy, mystery)
(Due out in Fall, 2015)

In My Own Shadow (fantasy, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago book trailer (http://youtu.be/vOIQVdWUigU/)

All books available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

Monday’s Friend: Rosemary Morris

 

Today I am pleased to welcome Rosemary Morris back to the blog as this week’s guest.

SJT: When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?

Rosemary Morris - Small photo (2)RM: Before I could write, I had a powerful imagination, which swelled as soon as I could set pencil to paper. I always had stories in my head and lived in a fantasy world peopled by incredible characters. I scribbled short stories and, eventually, wrote my first historical novel.

SJT: Who would you cite as your influences?

RM: There are too many to mention all of them. At grammar school my English literature and history teachers fostered my passion for both subjects. As a pre-teenager I read children’s historical and fantasy fiction, particular favourites were The Wide Wide World, Heidi, The Little White Horse and the novels of Geoffrey Trease and Jeffrey Farnol. In my teens I was wrapped up in the Regency world of Georgette Heyer, the diverse settings of Elizabeth Goudge’s and Anya Seton’s novels, plus every historical novel I could get my hands on including Tess of the d’Urbevilles and Sergeanne Golon’s Angelique series.

SJT: Describe your writing routine. Any rituals or processes that are important to you as you sit down to write?

RM: On most days I am awake by 6 a.m. or occasionally, at the latest, 7 a.m. I make a hot drink with a thick slice of unwaxed lemon and two teaspoons of organic honey, then switch on the laptop. After a break at 8.30 a.m. for a breakfast of porridge made with almond milk and three portions of fruit, I write until 10 or 11 a.m.

When my daily chores are finished I often work for an hour after lunch, and from about 4 or 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Some of this time is used to promote my novels, answer e-mails, blog, and read non-fiction for research.

If I had a pound for everyone who told me they can write a book I would be rich. My daily ritual, if I may call it that, is self-discipline without which my novels would not be written.

SJT: Your novels are all historical, covering various periods of history. Do you have a favourite era that you like to write about?

RM: It’s more a question of which periods of history have not inspired me to use as a setting for my historical novels. For example, I have not had a compulsive urge to set a novel in the Victorian era, but at the moment, I am revising the first book in a trilogy set in the reign of Edward II of England.

I don’t have a favourite era which I write about, but I am keen to introduce readers to Queen Anne Stuart life and times – 1702-1714. For one thing, if the Duke of Marlborough had lost the Wars of Spanish Succession the course of history would have been altered. When writing my three published novels set then, Tangled Love, Far Beyond Rubies and The Captain and The Countess, I enjoyed working out appropriate plots and themes and describing the economic and social history and the clothes, food etc.

SJT: Tell us about your latest release.

The Captain and The Countess 200x300 (2)RM: The Captain and The Countess explores the position of women completely at the mercy of their husband’s and, in the case of the heroine, the wealthy widow, Kate, Countess of Sinclair, her decision never to marry again. However, Captain Howard, some years her junior, a naval officer and a talented artist, is the only man to see the pain behind her fashionable façade and is determined to help her. While writing this romantic tale I wept for Kate and admired her courage. I also fell a little in love with Captain Howard. Although he is battle-hardened, he is generous, kind and efficient and very mature for his age. Throughout the novel I urged Kate not to reject his devotion.

SJT: Last time we talked, you were working on a sequel to ‘Sunday’s Child’. How is this going?

RM: I have finished Monday’s Child, a traditional Regency Romance, which is set in Brussels prior to The Battle of Waterloo and submitted it to my publisher. The novel took longer than I anticipated to write due to the amount of research required.

SJT: You’ve lived in many places, and now you’re back in the UK. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

RM: I’m pleased to say I am content living in England near four of my children and grandchildren. I would like to travel overseas to see a bit more of the world but I would not swap my house and organic garden, in which I grow herbs, fruit and vegetables for one in any other country.

SJT: Thank you for being my guest once again, Rosemary!

Learn more about Rosemary from her website and her blog:

www.rosemarymorris.co.uk
http://rosemarymorris.blogspot.com

Her books are available from MuseItUp, Amazon Kindle, itunes, Nook and all reputable vendors.

Monday’s Friend: Rosemary Morris

Today I am pleased to welcome fellow MuseItUp author Rosemary Morris to the blog.

 Rosemary Morris - Small photo (2)RM: Thank you for inviting me to be your guest.

SJT: You have travelled widely, and are now settled back in the UK. Any stories about cultural differences picked up on your travels that you’d like to share?

RM: With regard to marriage there are distinct cultural differences in the East and West. In the U.K., even if a couple decide to be partners instead of marrying, women their priority is their relationship often to the exclusion of everyone else. In Hindu communities with a modern outlook arranged marriages in which the husband-to-be and prospective wife have not met are uncommon – although, I am told, this is still usual in India. Duty to family is very important and it is usual for couples live in a joint family.

SJT: I was interested to learn you’ve spent time in an ashram in France. What did you take away from that experience?

RM: First of all – according to the teaching of The Bhagavadgita, otherwise known as The Song of God, my belief in reincarnation strengthened. To put it simply, for every action there is a reaction. For example, I do not believe Adolf Hitler is condemned to eternal hell, but he will suffer throughout many, many, births before he has even the slightest chance to redeem himself. However, someone such as Mother Teresa – if she has not gone to heaven – will reap the reward of her piety.

Something else which I took away is the power of daily meditation, which brings peace and the ability to deal with whatever life throws at me.

SJT: Most of your books seem to be set in the past. Do you enjoy the research, or is it an attraction to a simpler time that draws you to bygone eras?

RM: I enjoy the research but do not think that time was simpler in bygone eras. The majority of people were ‘dirt poor’ and lived in appalling conditions and slaved for the basic necessities of life.

However, I enjoy writing about the upper classes, their customs, clothes, the food they ate and their religious and political beliefs. (Perhaps I should add that I am planning a novel about a young girl from a humble background who the heroine of Sunday’s Child has ‘taken under her wing.’ Three of my novels are set in the reign of Queen Anne Stuart – 1702-1714 a period of political and economic change which affects the modern day United Kingdom. The Act of Union between England and Scotland was passed in 1706. To this day, many Scots resent it and say they were not consulted about the Act, and now there will be a referendum to decide whether Scotland will choose to separate from the rest of the U.K. It is also interesting to note that if Marlborough had not won the War of Spanish Succession the history of Europe would be very different.

SJT: What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

RM: Obviously, to write historical fiction a novelist needs a good imagination, which is something that cannot be taught. However, when I wrote my first novel, compelled to write the story of my imaginary characters, I knew little about the craft of writing. I wish that I had known about books on How to Write and courses on writing. Of course, in the past there was less help to the aspiring novelist. Nevertheless, I wish someone had pointed me in the right direction.

SJT: Tell us about your latest release.

The Captain and The Countess 200x300 (2)RM: THE CAPTAIN AND THE COUNTESS set in the reign of Queen Anne Stuart is more than a love story between a younger man and an older woman. It is the story of a widow cruelly treated by her late husband in an age when men had complete authority over women.

The following is a *5 review, on http://www.amazon.com, which covers the subject matter of THE CAPTAIN AND THE COUNTESS.

“I’ve really become a fan of Rosemary Morris’s books because I feel she sets out to write much more than a romance. Her new historical did not disappoint me with its hero who is a young Captain in Queen Anne’s navy, marooned at the time of the story on half-pay, and the widow nine years his senior. It is set in the time of Queen Anne, 1702-1714, so quite a bit earlier than the Regency offerings we get so used to.

I particularly enjoyed the way the politics, lifestyle and beliefs of the age were woven in quite seamlessly, and loved the tender manly hero and the somewhat damaged heroine. Though he is the younger, his naval service has brought him maturity. Though she is older, she has been very badly used by the men in her life and has a shocking secret.

The research is truly immaculate but I felt as though I were in Kate’s drawing room rather than reading a history book. Rosemary has explored some of the folk customs and superstitions current in this period and also written a great love story.

Suitable for those who enjoy a well-written, well-researched historical novel; a sensual love story with no explicit sex and a happy ending. This book is downloadable to kindle and other e-readers and is therefore suitable for many with a visual disability.

Well done,

J Pitman”

SJT: Have you ever been inspired to put people you know in real life in your books?

RM: Neither real life historical characters nor people I know feature in my historical fiction. However, like all novelists I am a people watcher and my mind buzzes with eccentricities, accents and the people’s faces. Sometimes, while I’m out and about I see a face that inspires me.

SJT: When it comes to your writing projects, would you describe yourself as a meticulous planner, or a ‘seat-of-the-pantser’?

RM: I am neither. Before I begin a novel I need a working title, which might change later. I also need to name my main characters and fill in detailed profiles. Much of the information might not be used in the novel but it serves to make them real in my imagination. When I write the first paragraph I know what the plot and theme will be and how the novel will end, but I don’t plan every detail. Although I like my characters to surprise me but I let them know I am in charge.

SJT: What’s next for you, writing-wise?

sundays-child-200x300 (2)RM: At the moment, I am writing Monday’s Child, the sequel to Sunday’s Child, a traditional Regency novel set in the Regency era, and am planning to continue the series.

SJT: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

RM: Most important of all I enjoy spending time with friends and family. Apart from this, I am a keen organic gardener. I grow 50 or 60 percent of my own herbs, soft fruit, stone fruit and vegetables. I am a vegetarian so my garden produce is very important. At the moment, I’m planning to write a book about my garden that begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st and incorporates recipes. When I have time I enjoy knitting, patchwork and other crafts. However, whatever I’m doing I never switch off completely from writing. I like reading historical fiction and non-fiction and visiting places of historical interest.

 SJT: Thank you for being my guest today, Rosemary.

To find out more about Rosemary Morris, see her book covers and read extracts from her novels please visit her website. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk.

E-books by Rosemary Morris published by MuseItUp Publishing:

Sunday’s Child
False Pretences
Tangled Love
Far Beyond Rubies (also available as a print book)
The Captain and The Countess