My Writing Process

(I think this went live too early, earlier. Sorry folks)

My Writing Process – Blog Tour 
Step one: Acknowledge the person & site that involved you in the blog tour (that’s me).
Thanks, Helena Fairfax for tagging me in this process. Helena Fairfax is a contemporary romance writer and author of The Silk Romance and The Antique Love. You can find out more about Helena’s books and her writing process on her post at http://helenafairfax.com/2014/04/18/my-writing-process-blog-tour/

Step two: Answer these 4 questions about your writing process, at whatever length you wish.
 
1) What am I working on?
I’m about to release my next title, Changeling’s Crown. It’s a lighthearted paranormal romance, revolving around a disgraced faery godmother. :) For fans of my paranormal fantasies,  I’ve been working (slowly) on two follow-ups to Drawing Down the Shades. What with the “slowly” part I can’t say when they’ll be out. I hope to have one of them in my beta readers’ hands by Halloween. *knock on wood* Stay tuned.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to take chances, be somewhat different from what readers might expect. For instance, my disgraced faery godmother. :) I mean we all know faery godmothers from the fairy tales. Do you ever remember them fouling up an assignment? Neither do I. Until now, that is. For the Antique Magic series well, my heroine starts out a skeptic, and really gets into what she does. I’ve only read one other book like that.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always written tales with a magical bent, though I couldn’t really tell you why. I think it’s because I like the work involved in building a world outside the norm. Just setting something in a world that we all instantly recognizes has always seemed boring to me. Tweaking reality is just so much fun!

4) How does my writing process work?

Oh, I get an idea and–depending on the idea–I’ll do a little research or I’ll just start scribbling, I have a good friend (writer Jolene Dawe), who I bounce ideas off when I get stuck (and she bounces stuff off me!), then if necessary, I’ll do more research to fill in the blanks. I build off that until the end, then I’ll let the story or book sit for a week or so, then go back and do my first revision. Fix all the stupid mistakes, fill in with more research if possible.

Thanks for being with me on this journey and thanks, Helena, for including me in the hop.

Three other writers to visit:
Catherine McMaster
Helena Fairfax, of course.
A fine writer S.G. Rogers
and paranormal enthusiast and budding writing Renae Rude.

Redeeming and releasing a rebel with author Cynthia Woolf

Romance author Cynthia Woolf recently released a new historical romance. I asked her to tell us a little about it.

 

Redeemed by a RebelBlurb:
Jake Anderson killed a man defending his fiancée from a brutal attack, but lost her and his freedom in the process. Now he’s on the run, hunted by one of her murderers and tormented by the need for vengeance.Becky Finnegan will do anything to escape her drunken father’s fists, including slave away at their mine. Her only hope is to strike gold and make a new life for herself somewhere far, far away from Deadwood. But then Jake arrives and does the unthinkable…forces her to feel, to hope…and to love.

Jake would give his life to protect Becky, but all he can offer her is a broken heart, a criminal’s life, and a past haunted by failure. How can he save her when he’s already lost himself? When the devil catches up to him, will he destroy everything, or can the beautiful rebel redeem Jake’s lost soul?

CHAPTER 1

 

August 1876

He’d been dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Becky Finnegan remembered finding Horace Sutter splayed across the rocks like the annual sacrifice to some unknown god. Heck, that wasn’t something she was likely to ever forget. She’d had to leave him to collect her no good, drunkard father, Billy, from The Gem where he spent all the gold she worked her butt off to get.

She’d lied to Billy once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all of it, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, since Becky killed her Ma by getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.

Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from The Gem, after he’d spent another night drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.

She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. Some said they were rebels because West Virginia was in the south during the War of Northern Aggression. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Becky barely remembered the place anymore. She supposed the only reason she didn’t forget it altogether was because she’d lived there with Grandma Bess. Those were the memories she liked to remember. Grandma Bess was so good to her, but then she had to go and die. Then there was just Billy and new place after new place

Every time she hoped this might be the spot, the one where they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the goodwill from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on.

She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and speak so she was able to get better jobs as time went on. But not good enough to keep Billy supplied which was why she spent all day in the cold river panning for whatever gold, flake or nugget, she could find.

She went into The Gem and saw Billy, face down on one of the tables next to the door.

“Hi, just came to get Billy,” she said to the man behind the bar.

“Ah, if it isn’t Miss Finnegan. Where are your bruises Becky? Guess Billy’s been keeping his fists to himself lately.” Al Swearengen, owner of The Gem and procurer of flesh, said from in front of his second floor office.

“No thanks to you and all the whiskey he downs here,” she said. There was a running dialogue that she had with Al, every time she picked up Billy.

“Thanks for that. I love the gold Billy spends here every night. He almost single-handedly keeps me in business.”

She rolled her eyes and looked over at Billy, wondering if she really could be related to the reprobate. She’d get the barkeep to load him on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. Totally ignorant of the whole situation, he blissfully slept off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor.

There’d been just as many times she left him at The Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass..

Dan, the barkeep said, “you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim. Wouldn’t you like that Becky? No more standing in the cold river. You’d be flat on your back, but you’d be warm.”

He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway. The small porch like structure went along the whole back of the building, all of the doors to the whores rooms were off of it and visible from the bar where the barkeep could keep track of the comings and goings of the men from the rooms.

“Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.” She hoped the sarcasm came through in her voice.

Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Help her load Billy on to her mule,” he said to the barkeep then he turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky,” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let any man with a dollar in his pocket touch her in that way.

Redeemed by a Rebel is available at: Amazon -
Barnes & NobleKoboAppleGoogle Play

Author Cynthia Woolf

Author Cynthia Woolf

Bio:

Cynthia Woolf is the author of six historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similiarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

 

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

 

TITLES AVAILABLE

REDEEMED BY A REBEL

TAME A WILD HEART

TAME A WILD WIND

TAME A WILD BRIDE

TAME A SUMMER HEART

CAPITAL BRIDE

HEIRESS BRIDE

FIERY BRIDE

LOVE AND MISERY, a very short story

 

Find out more about Cynthia and her works on her website: www.cynthiawoolf.com

Cynthia on Twitter @CynthiaWoolf

The Romance Reviews Third Anniversary

Oh!! And before I forget, I’m taking part in the Romance Reviews 3 year Anniversary party today–that is, March 30.
Romance Reviews 3rd anniversary

There are more than 450 authors participating with giveaways and the grand prize is  a $100 Gift Certificate! You need to be registered and log in to participate in the giveaways so head on over there now to do that.

cover art for Passion's Sacred Dance. Cover art by Kim Mendoza

Cover art by Kim Mendoza

And I’m giving away an e-copy of my paranormal romance novel Passion’s Sacred Dance to one lucky winner. My Q and A contribution is up here. Good luck!

Summer romance by Mia Hoddell–free

I’ve been so sick this last couple weeks, and in a fog because of it, I wanted to make sure not to miss this. Miss Mia Hoddel has a brand new YA romance out and it’s FREEEE this week. Here’s a little more about it:

Summer Demons

by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA Romance

Release Date: 26th February 2014

Length: Novella

Blurb:

Jenna Shaw ran away to escape her past. In fact, she jumped on a plane and flew to Portugal to try and forget it. However, it turns out leaving everything behind isn’t as easy as it sounds.

She thought she could move on and break free of her fears—that if she had some space the pain would stop. But as memories resurface due to an ill-timed joke, the past crashes into her present once more and she didn’t see it coming.

Jenna’s plans for normality are derailed by the charismatic Ethan Brooks. She sees him as an annoyance; he sees her as a challenge. But as he tries every trick known to him to impress her, they only serve to push her further away. He’s never faced this problem before and Ethan has to work harder than he ever has if he wants to win over and help his mysterious girl.

 
Download it now for FREE!
Only free 1st & 2nd of March
Excerpt
She saw red. Seeping into the crystal clear water it spread, bleeding and merging as the ripples around her pushed it closer towards her feet. The deep crimson only
grew darker as it surrounded her.
She could feel her breathing quicken, coming in short, sharp rasps as she started to panic. Her chest constricted, an unbearable pressure tightening like a boa constrictor refusing to release her from its clutches. Her throat felt dry, her increased breathing doing nothing to help the situation as she forced herself to swallow in the hope of dislodging the lump that had formed there.
This isn’t happening. This isn’t real. I came here to escape this, she told herself repeatedly as she laid there, her turquoise bikini embellished with golden sequins shining in the sun as her back tanned slowly. Bringing up an arm to adjust her chestnut-brown hair that was dangling in the water, she tried to pull away before the colour reached her and tainted the beautiful locks. The damage done
would be irreparable if it touched her.
Moving it just in time, she threw it over her shoulder so it rested between her shoulder blades, the damp tips feeling nice as they cooled her back by trailing droplets of water down either side. She tried not to flinch as her gaze returned to the bloodied water that lapped at the li-lo beneath her chin. With every wave it seemed to grow closer, making its way further up the yellow plastic to try and
touch her. The tapping that was normally so soothing tormented her now, like a crowd clapping and cheering her sanity on as it fled for safety.
Rather than listen to the logical side of her brain, her body had other ideas. Shuffling back, she put a bigger distance between her face and the abnormal pool beneath her. As her toes dipped into the cool water behind her though, she flinched, automatically drawing herself up so that no part of her body was near the edge. No matter how disgusted she was, she couldn’t stop staring; her eyes
were hypnotised by the gentle movements that swirled the colour into the water even more. The red had become so thick that not one tile beneath the surface was visible.
The more she stared, the more she remembered.
The more she remembered, the more she was pulled into her memory.
It might not have been real at that moment in time, but it had been, and Jenna was once again pulled into the unbearable memory.
 
About the Author
 
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.
 
With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Elemental Killers is her second series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them.
Connect with Mia:
 
 
**Giveaway**
 
Prize: x3 Amazon gift cards ($5 or UK equivalent)
 
Rules: 
Winners must be able to accept Amazon gift cards.
Open to US and UK residents only.Winners have 48hrs to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Release week: Braedric’s Bane, Book IV in The Golden Key Chronicles!

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13th MARKS THE RELEASE OF

Braedric’s Bane, Book IV in The Golden Key Chronicles!

 

Find out more about the final installment in this epic fantasy romance!

Advance praise for Braedric’s Bane:

5 STARS from Comet Babes Books! Amazing 4th book. What more can you ask from a fantasy series–time travelling, costumes and even a fight. Add the sexy hero and it has everything you could want in a book!

5 STARS from Follow the Yellow Book Road! An epic fantasy, adventure and romance with a dash of comedy rolled into one fabulous book. I literally read it in one sitting.

Braedric's Bane by AJ NuestTo escape the clutches of the evil Wizard Gaelleod, Rowena and Caedmon flee to the future. With her memories intact and the help of her dear friends, Rowena is confident they can uncover the clues behind her connection to the key.

Yet Violet’s dire prophecy does more than detail their history. Caedmon’s worst fears are confirmed. Though they must return to his realm, everything he loves stands to be ripped from his grasp.

Join Caedmon and Rowena as they embark on an epic battle to protect the Austiere Kingdom and fight to safeguard their love in Braedric’s Bane, Book IV of The Golden Key Chronicles. 

Available February 13th on AMAZON and AMAZONUK!

Praise for The Golden Key Chronicles:

57 FIVE STAR REVIEWS on Goodreads

42 FIVE STAR REVIEWS on Amazon US/UK

 

Like the best fairy tales, Rowena’s Key captures the imagination and the heart with a bonus undercurrent of spicy romance. 5 Stars on Amazon

AJ, why do you have to write the most wonderful heroes? Aaaahhhh!!! Now I’m hooked and begrudgingly wait for Book 2. I can’t believe this is happening! 5 Stars on Amazon

Crazy good! A total fan of the first book, the second did not disappoint at all. I swear I could smell leather while reading this book I was sooooo into it. 5 Stars on Amazon

I liked Rowena in Rowena’s Key. Candra’s Freedom just made me fall in love with her! Fierce and headstrong, she is everything a heroine should be. 5 Stars on Goodreads

I absolutely adored the first two in this series, with Rowena’s Key being one of my favorite romance reads of 2013, so I had high hopes (read: desperate cravings) for Caedmon’s Curse – it did not disappoint! 5 Stars on Goodreads

Honestly, if there were more than 5 stars, I would give them to Caedmon’s Curse and the whole Golden Key Chronicles. So well written, the story flows seamlessly from one danger to the next. The romance between Caedmon and Rowena is sexy, honest, and fresh. 5 Stars on Goodreads

ajnuest_copyAJ is a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. Her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate her lunacy. While she spend most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed her the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.

WEBSITE / BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTERPINTEREST

Winner

I hope y’all had a great Valentine’s Day. Me, I spent it laid up sick. Ain’t that great? I’m telling ya, the fates have an impressive sense of humor. Valentine’s day, the day of love? No, let’s have a day in bed, afraid to move, eat, or anything thing else. *gag* Oversharing, sorry.

Anyway, that fun has put off me doing much this week, including picking the winner to my giveaway in the Love is in the Air hop. But that’s to be remedied now. Drum roll please?

Love is in the air hop winner
The winner is… Mary.

I’ll be in touch with you soon to send you the pen and ebook. Congratulations! And thank you to everyone for coming by and participating! I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s day.