Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meet Cait O'Sullivan!

I've invited Cait O'Sullivan to join me today in snowy Ohio to talk about her new release, due out in  just a few days. Doesn't she look like fun? She's a blast to hang out with.

Hello, Cait, and welcome.
Hi Becky, thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I hope you’ve had a very happy Christmas and are looking forward to 2013.

Tell us about your upcoming release.
Oooh I’m just so very excited!! In 8 days – yes that’s the 7th January 2013 (I hope that’s 8  days,  maths was never my strong subject) my debut novel, ‘Romancing the Seas’ is available to order. Can I give you a blurb?

Sous-chef Pippa Renshaw thinks a change of scene will mend a bruised heart, so she swaps her job in a prestigious London restaurant to head-chef on a cruise ship sailing around New Zealand. A great plan until she meets her new CEO, the delectable Jonathon Eagleton, and discovers she has to share a suite with him.
Even though sparks fly whenever they are together, Jonathon steadfastly keeps her at arm’s length, which suits Pippa just fine because she’s still getting over the betrayal of the last time she had a relationship with the boss.
The situation is starting to feel like solitary confinement until a thunderstorm traps them in a tramper’s hut while hiking. Suddenly a different kind of storm unleashes inside the hut.
But will they be able to go back to their previous status now the line has been crossed?

What's next for you?

I’m currently writing ‘The Tango Champion’s Secret Love Child’

Ava Whittaker made it solo around the world unscathed. Until her last stop, Argentina and the fulfilment of her final dream, horseback riding through the Andes by day, camping by night. One night of passion with the panther-like Matthias de Romero was her undoing.

Fast-forward two years, she’s safely back in London, their daughter by her side. But Matthias doesn’t know of her existence. Ava had flown back to tell him, only to be stopped in her tracks by the announcement of his engagement.

Now Matthias, the twice tango champion of Argentina, is in London to judge a competition. A competition she just happens to be in…

What do you love most about writing? Least?

I love the feeling when you sit down to write and all of a sudden, the words flow. You know the way – parts of the book are in your head but it’s when you make contact via writing that it all becomes clear.

My least favourite part is when I allow myself to think that the way to get through a problem with my book is to mull it over and wait until I have the answer before writing again. Whereas the reality is the only way for me to get the answer is to sit down and write.

           Who do you credit with influencing you professionally?

The authors I read growing up – Enid Blyton, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Stephen Donaldson and anything I could get my hands on. I used to get up early on summer mornings, go and climb a tree in the garden and sit there and read. Lovely.
          Have you ever written a character based on someone you know?

Yes absolutely, there are bits and bobs of everyone in all my characters! I just mix them all up so no-one actually recognizes themselves :).

          Where did you grow up and did anything from your childhood influence your decision to become a writer?

I was lucky enough to grow up in Ireland, the land of saints and scholars :). Ireland is a wonderfully creative land, I think it may be something to do with the air that blows in from the Atlantic, keeping everything soft and green, including your imagination :). And I guess this is the answer to the second part of your question – the fact that I am from such a fertile creative land gave me the confidence to write.

Where do you rank in the family hierarchy? First child, only child, baby, somewhere in between?

Youngest! (I don’t think at my age I can say Baby :) )

If you have an entire day to devote to your writing career, how do you divvy it up?

For years (well 3 mebbe) I would only have 2 hour gaps in which to write, when one or other of my daughters attended Nursery. As a result, I can actually only write for 2 hours at a time. It’s mad, I do try to break through but it hasn’t happened yet. As a result, if I have the day to myself to write, I’ll wake up, get a coffee, turn on the laptop and sit in bed writing for 2 hours. Then I’ll get up and go out and have a coffee and write for 2 hours. Then I’ll come home again…I think you get the gist :). Generally after 3 x 2 hours, I’ve had enough. If I’m lucky enough to have the day to myself (happens mebbe 3 times a year) then I’ll fancy having a bit of fun, going out with friends or having some around. Or going out dancing, I love dancing. I’m digressing, aren’t I? It’s the thought of having a day to myself LOL.

           If you could choose two people to have dinner with, from any time period, real or fictional, who would you want at the table?

Definitely Tolkien, although I may be a tad intimidated by his immense knowledge and presence but I would love to peer into the workings of his brain to learn from him.

And the Dalai Lama. I have had the privilege of seeing and hearing him speak and again, I’d love to learn anything from him.

Is this a bit oh I dunno, too goody goody?! Hmm, who else – I know you said 2 but you know. Patrick Swayze, as he was in Dirty Dancing. Put some good music on, get a wiggle on with him– just to ensure all that learning kinda wiggles into place in my brain :).

          How can people get in touch with you?

You can find me at: – come along and like me to keep updated on all my news

Thanks! Looking forward to hosting you on my blog.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Grocery Job

A friend of mine recently labeled my job with the greeting card company my “grocery” job, since every time I mention it, I say it’s what I must do to keep groceries in the house. And, of course, Christmas is the busiest of our busy seasons, so I’ve been trekking out through fields of snow these last few days. Not going to Grandma’s house, but rather to the big-box store that demands daily attention leading up to the big day.

One would think the greeting card industry would take a well-deserved break after Christmas. After all, thousands of cards were placed in the racks, the shelves were overflowing with wrapping paper and holiday-themed tissue paper, gift bags by the score were hung with care. A few days rest after the hustle and bustle would seem to be warranted, no?

Absolutely not! For on December 26, in every store across this country, it’s Valentine’s Day! There are only 45 days to capture the attention of someone who is on a quest for the perfect card to express their feelings towards their loved ones. Never mind that Valentine’s Day is known industry-wide as the Last Minute Holiday, with most sales being made two days before the actual event. Never mind that we in the card business need a break from red. On December 26, I’ll not be saying Happy New Year, but rather, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Hey, it keeps the groceries in the house

Monday, December 17, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway

Congratulations to Shelly C of Newborn GA and Alyssa G of Vacaville, CA! You're the big winners for the autographed copies of The Reluctant Debutante. The books are on the way. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sacajawea Envy

I’ve been hard at work for the past few weeks, determined to finish my opus work—the time travel story about the early American west and the mountain men/fur trappers who inhabited the area in the early 1800s. This is the story I’ve been researching and writing for five years. It’s the one where, when I read it, I really want to be the heroine.
No, that’s not exactly correct. My heroine, Mary, is a pampered former wife of a rock star. Her life has been one of privilege, private jets and non-stop parties. When she gets dropped into 1823 in the midst of an Indian camp, she knows nothing about how to survive in the wild. She is forced to rely on the mountain men who rescue her from the frightening Indians, but who are every bit as frightening themselves. Not exactly an ideal situation.

While doing the research for this story, and for my other stories about the expansion of the American west, I read the diaries of many women who crossed the country by covered wagon. These great, strong women were responsible for taming and civilizing the west. So why do we not know their names? Most of these women were placed in secondary roles, birthing and caring for children, and keeping the home fires burning, but not warranting a place in our history books.

Only one woman bucked the trend. Sacajawea. If not for this Indian woman, the expedition of Lewis and Clark would have been a failure. Quite possibly not one person would have survived. She guided this company of men across vast wildernesses, spoke to the Indians they encountered and acted as interpreter for the company, maintained the peace, and, oh yes—she had a child while they were traveling and carried the baby with her the rest of the trip.

So now, while I’ll eventually write a story about a pony express rider, being on a wagon train or  marrying a fur trapper, the story of my heart is about this amazing woman. I’ll write her story someday. But in the meantime, I’m suffering Sacajawea envy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Ohio’s been locked in a cycle of rain for the past week. I love rain, and fog is an all-time favorite. You know, the whole creeping in on little cat’s feet and all that. Carl Sandburg created a lasting image for me with that poem.

But Ohio’s precipitation in December is supposed to be in the form of snow, not rain. As I enter my fourth winter in Ohio after boomeranging back here, I am pleased to discover that I don’t hate snow as much as I did when I was a kid. Of course, back then, when we got a heavy snow, Mom would send us kids out with a thermos of coffee and we’d share it with any stranded motorists. Every time I tell that story, people say, “That was awfully nice of your mother.” True enough, but she wasn’t the one trekking through hip-deep snow.

Nowadays, I eagerly await the first snow of the year. I love the silence of falling snow. It’s not the hard, driving sound of rain on the roof, but rather like brushing a pussy willow with your thumb. I equate it to finishing a novel. The first snow is when you type the words “The End.” The world is quiet and blanketed in a soft white glow as you take a deep breath and raise your eyes from the computer screen. Then comes the endless revisions of January and February, where you’re forced to shovel the drive countless times in order to get yourself out there.

By the end of February, you’ve about had it with snow, and pray that the work you’ve produced over the winter will catch someone’s eye. Then you can begin planting seeds on various blog sites about your work and pray that you can attract some butterflies to the flowers that are your books.

So, for now, as I try to get to “The End” on one of my novels, I am eagerly awaiting the first snow of the year in Ohio. It may happen next week. Or the week after. Maybe we’ll have a white Christmas this year. And speaking of that, it’s time for me to watch “White Christmas” again—my family’s favorite Christmas show. I can finish that novel next week. Or the week after.

For those of you who have snow in winter, please share with me your favorite, or not so favorite (remember the thermos of coffee), memories of years gone by. And remember, there's only one week left to enter my contest to win an autographed copy of my debut novel, The Reluctant Debutante.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Meet Author Robyn Corum!

I'm pleased to have as a guest today, my fellow Crimson historical author, Robyn Corum. She writes westerns, mostly, but judging from her book blurbs, getting to the west is part of the challenge for her feisty heroines. Let's find out more about Robyn, as well as the ladies in her books.

 What is your current project about?

“Ama” is the story of a young girl raised in a gritty tenement in Lower East Side New York in the late 1800’s.  It’s a horrible life, and Ama leaves it behind to become a mail-order bride to a man in the west. 

What’s next for your readers?

I've just published a book of short poetry with seventeen other women-poets.  It's called Pieces of Her Mind.  And I’m excited to say a friend and I are working on illustrating a large group of my children’s poems in order to publish them.

 What’s your favorite part about writing? Least favorite?

I love words and finding unique new ways to put them together!  My least favorite thing…would have to be when you get into a writing rhythm and the words are coming – and something interrupts you!

Have you ever written a character based on someone you know?

It’s funny, but there’s a lot of my husband in the character of Boone in Melinda Heads West.  My hubby has the most wonderfully interesting sayings and as I created Boone’s character I tried to use several of them. 

Where did you grow up, and did anything from your childhood influence your decision to become a writer? 

I grew up on a farm, in the middle of a large family, way out in the country. Many of the members of my family were storytellers. The habit came naturally.

Where do you rank in the family hierarchy? First child? Only child? Baby? Somewhere in between?

I am the first child of two.  (But I was pretty much raised by my grandmother, who had eleven kids!)

If you have an entire day to devote to your writing career, how do you divvy up the hours?

I start early in the morning – about 5:30.  First, I answer mail and other correspondence.  Then I start work on my running manuscript.  I work on it as long as I can, until I get at least 1,000-2,000 words done. Then I work on marketing for a while. 

What haven’t you done as a writer that you’d like to attempt?

I want to publish a collection of flash fiction, mine and other authors'.

What advice can you give writers who are getting started?

Work at improving your craft daily.  Spend time with other writers who know what they’re doing and listen to what they say.  Be willing to take advice.  Let other people read what you’ve written and offer criticism. Most importantly, learn to separate yourself from your writing, so that you can take in advice and make corrections without getting your back up.

Who would you like to cast as yourself in the movie about your life? 
 Oh, how about Sandra Bullock?  My hubs would love that!  *smile*

Buy Links (For Melinda) :

Amazon-Purchase Page

Kobo  - Purchase Page

Nook – Purchase Page

Book Blurb:

"What happens when a feisty young woman travels west in 1880 to pick up a family deed? If it's small-town Melinda McCorkle, you can count on luck to take a hike. Mindy is travelling with six strange men in a hard-riding stagecoach. When the coach breaks down, they're forced to walk the thirty-five miles remaining to her destination. That would be enough to try anyone's patience, but then the company is set upon by thieves and murderers in the form of the evil Byler brothers, and the stakes are raised.

Fortunately, Mindy makes the close acquaintance of two “gentlemen,” Luke Wilhite and Gary Boone, who try to help her through these dangers.

Luke is tall and fair, while Boone is taller and dark. Mindy feels an immediate attraction to Boone, but he's married! Or is he? Who will finally win Mindy's affection?"

  You can contact Robyn here:

Robyn’s Blog: