Friday, September 19, 2014

LOOKING FORWARD TO FALL & GIVEAWAY


Since I LOVE fall and often feature the season in my stories, I thought “fall traditions” would be an appropriate  topic for a first post at Romance Traditions – but there’s more. Check out my post about my favorite fall tradition in the mountains of North Georgia; the blurb about my latest release from Liquid Silver Books (The Caretaker’s Lady); and the giveaway of my paranormal shapeshifter (Finding Eve)—both of which are set in North Georgia. More also on the Southern Magic luncheon and Kindle Fire HD  Grand Prize giveaway.


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Fall is approaching and, being from the Gulf Coast, I’m amazed at the change of color in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Georgia. In South Alabama we’re lucky to see an occasional popcorn tree change color. Over a weekend, green leaves clinging tenaciously to trees morph into crumpled detritus lying pathetically on the ground in desperate need of raking. Not so in Georgia.

A half-dozen years ago, the extent of my knowledge about Georgia was that it was mostly covered in red clay. Not being a fan of red clay, I pretty much crossed the state off the list of places I would live, even temporarily. When our only child moved to Atlanta after college to work, we re-evaluated and bought a second home nearby to visit her without disturbing anyone’s peace.

Recently, we find ourselves spending more of our time here, especially during the fall. Who would have thought that North Georgia boasts mountain vistas, apple orchards and pumpkin patches, and a short border with North Carolina?

Every year when the fall colors are at their best, my mother, my daughter, and I drive up Georgia 400 into the mountains. We leave the highway to travel a two-lane road that meanders through quaint villages onto the top of the mountain. The road follows the mountain ridge for miles with steep drop-offs on either side and incredible views of mountain color. Finally, we reach Amicalola Falls State Park. After a succession of heart-stopping switchbacks, we arrive at the chalet-style resort which features banks of windows overlooking several valleys and mountains. In the restaurant, we always request a table by the windows to enjoy the spectacular view while dining on incredible area specialties from a buffet prepared by local cooks. We take the short way home driving by farms with orchards, herds, and pumpkin patches that cater to urban tourists. A good time is had by all.

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Amicalola Falls State Park is the inspiration for The Caretaker’s Lady, a contemporary erotic from Liquid Silver Books.

http://www.lsbooks.com/the-caretaker-s-lady-p944.phpPass the grits and call me y’all. Jasmine Bloom, queen of the bodice rippers for three decades, never thought she would become a victim of writer’s block. When family stress causes Cathy Morrow, who writes as Jasmine Bloom, to miss a deadline, Blaylock Publishing accepts a mysterious invitation for Cathy to visit The Mountain Ridge Resort to revive her muse.

Divorced for two decades with three grown children and two grandsons living in her home, Cathy can’t find the inspiration she needs to write the sizzling-hot romances that gained her fame and fortune. At the resort, Cathy meets a hot maintenance worker who warms the cool nights. Will she be content to role-play his favorite scorching-hot love scenes from her novels then return home to her dull routine?

The caretaker’s job at the resort allows billionaire John Murdock to live the life he loves in the Blue Ridge Mountains and keep a centuries-old family vow. When Cathy Morrow arrives at the resort, she lights a fire he’d banked years ago. Will she look beyond his white hair and menial job to appreciate what he offers—passion with the prospect for love?

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http://champagnebooks.com/store/index.php?id_product=19&controller=product&search_query=Finding+Eve&results=17 Amicalola Falls State Park is also the setting for a few scenes of Finding Eve, my shapeshifter romance from Champagne Book Group. To enter a drawing for an ebook copy of Finding Eve, share your favorite fall tradition in a comment (Be sure to leave an email address.) That will also get you entered into a drawing for the Kindle Fire HD Grand Prize on September 30th. REGISTER for the Southern Magic luncheon to  snag a bag of swag and books, dine with published authors hosting your table, and enjoy an evening with the marvelous international best-selling author Sylvia Day as the keynote speaker and our own Naima Simone as welcome speaker.

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Rita Bay – WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST / AMAZON

Rita Bay happily writes sizzling contemporary stories (Secret Cravings Publishers, Liquid Silver Books); historical romance sagas (Siren BookStrand); and shapeshifter and vampire tales, and humorous mythology-based erotic romps (Champagne Book Group). Her stories are set near her home in Atlanta, along the Gulf Coast, and in picturesque locales across Europe. Her webpage/blog offers more info about Rita and her stories, as well as risqué, macabre, and extraordinary posts about the history and culture of Western Europe and the United States. Visit Rita's website

 

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Title Inspiration Can Be Found Anywhere


Hey there, Jillian Chantal here. I write under a couple of names and this week, as Sherry Fowler Chancellor, I have a book coming out from Black Opal Books called Senior Assassin. It’s based on the Orient Express, the train that traveled across Europe from Paris to Istanbul from 1883. It ran continuously for many years but stopped going to Istanbul in the 1970s and stopped altogether in 2009. It’s back now but run by a different company – it still uses the rail cars from the 1920s and 1930s- which is super cool.

As a writer, I take in all the things around me and save them either in my head or in a lot of notebooks and journals. I actually have a folder called titles where I have a list of things I’ve heard that might make a good one. When my son was a senior in high school, they played this very dangerous game (which I was not really on-board for, by the way) called senior assassin. In this game, the kids were teamed up into twos and each paid $5.00 to play. They all had water guns and when their prey was hit by the water, they were considered dead and out of the game. Last man standing was the winner of the whole pot of money. It took a couple of months for it to be over. We’d sometimes get calls that someone was on the way to try to get my son and so he would hide out.

My son ended up as the second to last man – his former partner got him- since they were the last two, they then had to go after each other.

The scariest parts of this game were the dog chases, the jumping off roofs and all the crazy situations they found themselves in- this was why I was not happy about the thing. BUT, it gave me a great title for some future story. A story I wrote last year in August.

When I got the contract for this story, I told my son about it and he said, “You completely stole that from the game we played in high school.”

I said I did but my story had Nazis and spies in it not high school kids.

He said, “Same thing. Some of the ones I had to take down were spies and some were Nazis.”

Now, of course, he didn’t mean that literally since we all know the Nazis were much worse than any high school student. LOL

My motto is to always be alert. There may be a story idea lurking. or maybe even a super title that can inspire a tale.  

I will give away an ebook copy of this book to one commenter and a ebook copy of any of Jillian Chantal’s back list to another commenter. My website is www.jillianchantal.com and the winner can choose the book from there.  Winner announced on September 30, 2014.

Here is the blurb for the story:

Her dreams of a trip across Europe on a luxury train hadn’t included murder…

In 1937, with the clouds of war looming on the horizon, librarian Fiona Vancleave dreams of luxury train trips involving exotic places and romantic interludes. But when she wins a trip on the Orient Express, she quickly discovers that things aren’t quite as she envisioned them. While romance might be a possibility with fellow passenger, the enigmatic Winchester Barrington, IV, Fiona doesn’t know if she can trust him, especially when she finds herself suspected of murder. Alone in a foreign country, facing possible jail time or even execution is certainly not what she had in mind when she booked her trip.

He’s a spy, searching for an assassin, but he hadn’t expected to find romance…

Winchester Barrington, IV, scion of a wealthy Connecticut family, boards the Orient Express, ostensibly for a pleasure trip from Paris to Istanbul. In reality, he’s a spy for the United States War Department on the trail of a master assassin. His mission: to find and capture this elusive executioner. Among a growing list of suspects, including an Oxford Don, an American entrepreneur, a Chicago gangster, and two mysterious Turkish men, Win finds himself attracted to Fiona, a shy librarian who may actually be his quarry.




For the month of September, Southern Magic celebrates their Readers Luncheon being held November 1 in Birmingham, AL. NYT bestselling author Sylvia Day is the keynote speaker.  Come back and visit every day. Each post will be giving away a book or gift card! At the end of the blogfest, a grand prize winner of a Kindle Fire HD will be picked from everyone who comment during the month and be announced September 30.

To register for the luncheon, go to 
http://southernmagic.org/luncheon.html. Each attendee will receive a bag of books and author swag, sit at a table with one or two published authors, and opportunities to win baskets full of goodies.


Jillian Chantal lives on the Florida Gulf Coast which she calls her little piece of paradise. She writes Romantic Adventures with an International Flair.

Sherry Fowler Chancellor writes sweeter romances than Jillian.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to you and your books!

Today is my birthday and I had planned this post so that I could sip my morning coffee on my front porch and wax on about writerly things. Well....wax OFF!  I had a day of sun and reading and writing to look forward to, invariably followed by dinner with loved ones at a restaurant requiring me to wear a broad hat of some sort and drink from a cactus.  What's the phrase, "the best laid plans?" (No, none of that by the way, either).

Instead I find myself posting late on my assigned day, after getting called to a remote town, far from family, in a DRY county and working a 14 hour day. But, my husband texted me a picture of him drinking a pleasure beverage in my honor, so, um, thanks for that, dear.

But, the day is not a total loss. I'm writing. And I'm definitely reading before bed. Traditions I plan to keep every year, along with some of the other ones I mentioned. I am also looking forward to things like Book Birthdays, which I see authors celebrating. Having book birthdays seems like a very writerly thing to do.

So, tell me about your birthday traditions. Best birthdays you've had? If you are published, do you celebrate Book Birthdays?  And how cool would it be to release a book ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!?

Tell it!  And one commenter will receive an awesome read. In honor of all birthdays, I would like to give away a copy of Meda White's fabulous novella, Winter Formal. It is one of my favorite stories, and I want you to have the same joy I experienced reading it. Like, BIRTHDAY JOY! I'll pick a winner on Friday morning to make up for my tardiness in posting. And don't forget, all commenters are eligible for the September drawing for a KINDLE FIRE HD! Winning that would be BIRTHDAY JOY too.

Winter Formal: A Southern College Novella.
Life is going according to plan for Sibba Douglas until she gets blackmailed. Her future dream of being a doctor is threatened unless she can help a spoiled fraternity boy do well on the MCAT.
Nash Lincoln knows he needs to settle down and focus on his studies, but academics have taken a back seat to social events and he’s coasting by on little sleep and lots of pills. The distraction of a tutor he’s admired from afar isn’t helping matters.
Substance abuse leads to tragedy and draws Sibba and Nash closer together. But it may also be the thing that tears them apart.



For the month of September, Southern Magic celebrates their Readers Luncheon being held November 1 in Birmingham, AL. NYT bestselling author Sylvia Day is the keynote speaker.  Come back and visit every day. Each post will be giving away a book or gift card! At the end of the blogfest, a grand prize winner of a Kindle Fire HD will be picked from everyone who comment during the month and be announced September 30. 

To register for the luncheon, go to http://southernmagic.org/luncheon.html. Each attendee will receive a bag of books and author swag, sit at a table with one or two published authors, and opportunities to win baskets full of goodies.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ten Things You Should Know If You Want To Be A Writer

Let me say right off the bat that this is my personal take on what you should know if you want to be a writer . I originally put this post of Facebook when I had a bad day and just wanted to vent, and I was so surprised with the response I got. I never expected it to touch a note with other people, but it did. I have had many people email me to tell me that they really needed to read what I said that day, so I thought I would post it here and expand a bit. I think sometimes we don't discuss enough the hardships of being a writer and new writers can doubt themselves and question why their experience is not as wonderful as everyone else's.

The day after I posted my original post on Facebook the sales of the book that had gotten me down, took off, and it was with poignant clarity that I realized how true number 3 on my list really was.

Here is my advice if you want to be a writer:

1. Be prepared to feel elated one moment and despairing the next. 
2. Be prepared to be told you are a creative genius in one moment and then the next that you don't have the amount of talent in your body to equal a grain of salt.
3. Be prepared for great sales days and days where you wonder if you will ever sell another book again.
4. Be prepared to work relentlessly, but love almost every single moment of it.
5. Be prepared to fight for your dream because I promise you someone will come along and suggest you get a real job.
6. Be prepared to get a second job to keep your dream alive
7. Be prepared to be your own worst enemy and somehow find the strength to send your book out to people despite the fear.
8. Be prepared to have someone write you and tell you that you got them through the hardest time in their life. (I promise it will happen) Then carry the utter joy and weight of that with you from that day forward every time you write.
9. Be prepared to be strong and resilient for only those two things can sustain you.
10. Be prepared to stay true to your vision or don't bother writing.

This list, as I said, is my opinion. Are you a writer or do you want to be a writer? If so, do you have things you would add to my list? Or if you are not a writer, maybe you have a list like this for you job or something important in your life. I'd love to hear about it! I'm giving away an ecopy of my September 29 release My Fair Duchess. And I'm also giving away an ecopy of my September 16 release From the Ballroom and Beyond. Two people will be chosen at random as winners. All you have to do is comment and leave your name and email. This giveaway will run through September 30!



For the month of September, Southern Magic celebrates their Readers Luncheon being held November 1 in Birmingham, AL. NYT bestselling author Sylvia Day is the keynote speaker.  Come back and visit every day. Each post will be giving away a book or gift card! At the end of the blogfest, a grand prize winner of a Kindle Fire HD will be picked from everyone who comment during the month and be announced September 30.

To register for the luncheon, go to http://southernmagic.org/luncheon.html. Each attendee will receive a bag of books and author swag, sit at a table with one or two published authors, and opportunities to win baskets full of goodies.

Julie Johnstone is a best-selling author of Regency Romance and the author of a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance book. She’s been a voracious reader of books since she was a young girl. Her mother would tell you that as a child Julie had a rich fantasy life made up of many different make believe friends. As an adult, Julie is one of the lucky few who can say she is living the dream by working with her passion of creating worlds from her imagination. When Julie is not writing she is chasing her two precocious children around, cooking, reading or exercising. Julie loves to hear from her readers. You can send her an email at juliejohnstoneauthor@gmail.com or find her at www.juliejohnstoneauthor.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorjuliejohnstone or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/juliejohnstoneauthor or at twitter @juliejohnstone.