Help me welcome my friend Madeline Martin to Writer Wednesday. Madeline is a fellow LaLaLa, and she was a guest for my Breaking All the Rules release party back in March. Her question about the appeal of nerdy guys generated a great discussion — and resulted in my brother earning the crown as king nerd.
Madeline writes Scottish historical romance, so this introduction wouldn’t be complete without a mention of my love for Highlander, the TV show. Adrian Paul was yummy, wasn’t he?
Her debut novel, Deception of a Highlander, came out in April. With a kilted hero, a sharp-witted spy, intrigue and enough hot, hot scenes to steam up the windows, it sounds like a fantastic read. And if you like highlanders, her follow-up, Possession of a Highlander, is set for release in August.
Here’s her official bio:
Madeline Martin lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (AKA OldestMinion and YoungestMinion) along with their two cats: SketchyCat who stares at walls and eats fuzz and LapCat who has a shoe fetish and enjoys Kung Pow peanuts. All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter.
Madeline graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Business Administration and works for corporate America. Her hobbies include rock climbing, running, doing crazy races (like Mud Runs and Color Runs) and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseous.
About Deception of a Highlander:
Scottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.
To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest mission for the sharp-witted and daring Mariel is to find two people in a heavily fortified castle on the Isle of Skye, a castle headed by the clan MacDonald and the powerful Kieran. Mariel is to seduce Kieran and get him to take her to Skye. If she succeeds, Aaron promises to let Mariel’s young brother go, and to free both of them from their debt. If she fails, her brother will die.
What she doesn’t count on is craving Kieran MacDonald almost immediately upon meeting him. Now Mariel must keep a secret from Kieran—one that could get them both killed—as she tries to form a plan that will save her brother, get her out from under Aaron’s thumb once and for all, and keep her in Kieran’s strong arms forever.
Now, for a round of “This or That”:
Cake or pie? Cake (really just the frosting, but that sounds a little too shameless, doesn’t it?)
Snack of choice: sweet or salty? Sweet, then salty, then sweet, then salty — continue until I’m overfull of junk and self-deprecating loathing.
Kilts or jeans? I prefer both totally off, please 🙂 But if given the choice, a kilt — especially if it comes with a six-pack (and I dinna mean beer, aye?) 😉
Urban dweller or country gal? Urban dweller all the way. I’m too Type A for the country.
Chest hair or bare? Bare or a light speckling. I’m not a bear fan. Just sayin.
Favorite writing spot: Home office or coffee shop? Home office. I make these faces when I write highly emotional scenes….yeah….
Madeline has graciously agreed to give away an e-book copy of Deception of a Highlander to one lucky commenter. To enter, pick one of the “This or That” questions and share your answer … or just tell us what you think of Adrian Paul.
He’s on Facebook, by the way. I had no idea. Naturally, I liked the page after taking this screenshot.
Good morning! I’m pulling myself out of my sick bed to bring you this week’s installment of Writer Wednesday. Monday’s trip to UrgentCare convinced me to take it easy for a couple of days—or maybe it was the fact that I had no energy to do anything BUT take it easy.
I think the antibiotics are starting to kick in, though—and just in time. Allow me to introduce Claudia Shelton. Claudia and I are both members of the greatest, most supportive writer’s group in the world, the LaLaLas. Those ladies are there to celebrate one another’s successes, offer much-needed advice and commiserate when the “Big R” hits the inbox.
You can read more about the divine secrets of the LaLaLa sisterhood. (We were featured on Barbara Vey’s blog.)
Here’s Claudia, in her own words:
Award winning romance author Claudia Shelton focuses on happily-ever-after stories featuring alpha males and the women strong enough to love them, plus there’s always a splash of suspense or intrigue. She is a two-time finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) awards for excellence in mystery and suspense. One of her Daphne finals was for what became her debut romantic suspense RISK OF A LIFETIME, which reached Amazon’s Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100. And was voted one of Ebooks Galore top reads for 2014.
Claudia has been described as “A crisp new voice in romantic suspense” and someone who writes “One part suspense, one part determined female and one part sexy alpha hero…One fast-paced read!”
And, on a personal note, she considers herself a water person and always enjoys a cool drink by warm waters. Of course hot cocoa in the falling snow is always nice, too. But most of all she likes being a writer and giving her readers an exciting read. So she hopes you have time to hop on board and spend some time in one of her hero and heroine’s worlds. Enjoy the read!
About the book:
Three years ago Marcy Bradley realized she couldn’t face JB ‘s dangerous career in law enforcement, so she kicked him out of the house. She sent divorce papers. He signed. She…let him go in her mind. Now, JB’s back in town, and all that stands between her and a grave.
Branded with his badge during the last assignment, JB questions his career choice with the FBI. Returning to wrap up his dad’s estate, JB hopes to be in and out of town before his ex-wife knows he’s around. But, from the moment he arrives unexplained accidents target Marcy. Did vengeance follow JB to her doorstep?
Forced to run for their lives, they escape to a lakeside cabin where their struggle escalates to explosions, gunshots and water. Somewhere along the way they rekindle their love, but will they be able to survive his past and live their future?
Bonus! Claudia included a short excerpt:
JB unbuttoned the sleeves on his white oxford and rolled the cuffs a couple of turns. Tugged them straight. Marcy knew his battle mode. His routine.
Once he took on an assignment, he was tenacious.
Nothing and no one got in his way. He’d get himself shot over her if they weren’t careful. Much as she didn’t want him back in her life, she couldn’t bear to think of him gone forever, either.
He scooped the bullhorn from the pavement and held his arms out to the side at shoulder level as he walked forward. When he stopped a few feet in front of her, his gaze barely scanned her face before he returned his attention to the bank building.
“How bad is it?” he asked.
“Bad. He’s all junked up on something.”
She reached for the horn. “Be careful. Please be careful.”
His fingers brushed against hers as he released the horn. “Almost sounds like you care.”
“You wish!” She forced herself not to blink. If she did, she might grab him and hold on for dear life.
His eyes zeroed in on hers. What passed between them was private and personal and unspoken.
Now, let’s get to “This or That?”
Shopping bags: paper, plastic or reusable? I use plastic bags, but always recycle them in the bin at my grocery store. Plus I’m a big believer in curbside recycling in my community. Once they offered the service, I couldn’t believe how little I have in the regular trash.
Mac or PC? PC or laptop, but never a Mac. That would mean I have to learn something new and working with my new tablet on trips is hard enough.
It’s vacation time. Do you go to the beach or the mountains? Beach! I am a water person, so I love an ocean beach, lake beach and, if there’s not a beach, there needs to be a pool. Now I must say I like to see the mountains because they are so majestic. But anything above 8,000 feet can really throw me for a loop. I also enjoy a nice city vacation with theatres and music, sightseeing and museums, good restaurants and…a fantastic pool! ;D
Do you exercise alone or in group classes? Lately I’ve been using my new treadmill, which is located in my hearth room. I have it facing out the windows which makes it so easy to watch the birds or snow or just the wind through the trees. Sometimes I even open the door to get the sounds inside. The scenery and my music make it easier to exercise.
Where do you write: Home office or favorite coffee shop? The majority of my writing is done at home. However I do like a good writer’s retreat if it concentrates on brainstorming and writing.
Get in touch with Claudia:
E-mail: [email protected]
Claudia’s Chatter (newsletter): http://www.claudiawriting.com/newsletter.html
Constance is another of my Turquoise Morning Press sisters, and I visited her blog a couple of weeks ago to talk about Breaking All the Rules.
In her own words:
Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, and four canine kids where she writes contemporary romance novels and paranormal romance novels. When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance and her husband spend the hours planning a cross-country motorcycle trip for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.
In order to save the only woman he’s every loved from self-destruction, Harry puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory’s keeper, Jaden. He gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch.
If he wants to keep his new life, he must convince Bess to give up the promise she made to Harry on his death bed and call off the séance she’s scheduled on the anniversary of his death.
Will Erich be able to help Bess over her loss and will any good come from resurrecting Harry?
The book’s buzz is good, too. Some reviews:
“ This was a very fast read for me and kept me guessing to the very end. ” M. E. Wilson
“Theirs was a love story that Ms. Phillips delves into in her novel. ” R. Trogne
“Great story, new idea. All in all. Worth a read.” The Eternal Scribe
I can’t wait to add Resurrecting Harry to my TBR queue.
Now, let’s get to know Constance better with a round of “This or That.”
Coke or Pepsi? Coke, Diet Coke to be specific.
Baseball or football? Honestly, if I’m going to watch sports, it’s hockey. Between the two, I’d say football.
Bacon or sausage? As of late, I’ve been more of a bacon girl.
iPhone or Android? Android. Mac/Apple technology confuses me.
Vacation time: Beach or mountains? Hard choice, but I’m going have to go with the beach!
Night owl or early bird? It used to be the other way around, but lately I’m a early to bed, early to rise girl.
I spent the weekend in my room in Flagstaff, sorting and packing — and still I barely made a dent. Packing up 15-plus years of accumulated crap is hard, y’all.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. I spent Saturday night and Sunday morning with trash bags and cardboard boxes. I also enjoyed a Saturday-morning gabfest/brainstorming session with my Northern Arizona RWA chapter mates. I’m telling you, knowing what awaited at home wasn’t conducive to getting my butt out of the Denny’s booth we were occupying.
I confess to being a bit of a hoarder, so paring down my stuff won’t be easy.
For example, I didn’t want to part with these …
… My first author business cards, which I designed after finaling in the Golden Heart in 2011.
They don’t take up much room. They also don’t match my redesigned website or brand, so there’s no reason to keep them … but it was so hard to just toss them in the recycling bin. I did hang onto about five of them—purely for archival purposes, of course.
Where else have I been?
JUST RIGHT was featured in the April Turquoise Morning Press newsletter, along with new releases by Bella Masters and May Williams. May’s “Playing the Piper” is another of the “and they lived Happily Ever After” tales.
That’s it. It’s been a pretty quiet week.
Soon, I’ll be ordering books for the Payson Book Festival. And—fingers crossed—moving into a new place.