Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Hop

Come join ‘we happy few, we band of sisters’ in celebrating our first year as published authors under the Crimson Romance banner. What sets us apart from other romance writers? The diversity of story, the quality of writing and the amazingly original concepts of our writers are unlike any found in usual formula romance. We are unique, as people, as storytellers, as women. So Blog Hop with us, share a comment, sign up to win free book giveaways and prizes, and read an excerpt from my latest book,
Banking On Temperance
  We’ll have a Blog Hopping Blast together!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It All Starts Here—But Where Exactly Is Here?

Today, I'm welcoming debut author Collette Cameron, whose book, Highlander's Hope, is releasing this month through Soul Mate Publishing.
She's addressing the question--

Where do you write?

The writing cave, the home office or den, on the couch or kitchen table with family chaos all around? Perhaps you commute by train or bus, or you trot off to the local library, writer’s room, or café. I so admire those writers who can tap into their muse regardless of their surroundings. I have a friend that writes at Starbucks. I don’t know how she does it.

I can write my blogs at work—on lunch and breaks—and I’m not bothered at all. My novels are a different story. I get so deep into them; any outside noise is a distraction. I can’t have the T.V. on or even music with lyrics playing. No location is off limits to me for scribbling notes, but my really creative writing takes place in my shabby chic writing room.

I haven’t always had my writing room.

For the first year and a half I wrote, I sequestered myself in the den. . . . Otherwise known as my hubby’s man cave. That’s where Highlander’s Hope  (May 2013 from Soul Mate Publishing) and The Viscount’s Vow (SMP Fall 2013) made it from my imagination to the page. His gun cabinet is in there, as are four mounted deer and a stuffed pheasant. Trust me when I tell you, five pairs of mournful eyes staring at me didn’t do a whole lot for inducing romantic creativity! The room is decorated in an outdoorsman theme and “manly” colors. It was supposed to be hubby’s personal space, but I commandeered it.

That changed last fall. With two empty bedrooms upstairs, I decided to create my own space. I let go with every creative thing I’ve ever wanted to do in a room. There was no holding back—no holds barred. I made it totally feminine, romantic, pink and white, roses, teacups, candles, doilies, lace, Regency and Victoriana everywhere. I have a floral patterned overstuffed armchair where I can curl up and read by the light of an antique floor lamp. On the floor is a blue and pink hand-hooked, seventy-five year old rug. The pattern? Roses, of course.

I even have a plush, pink doggy bed for the doxies. My writing room over-the-top obnoxious, and I love it!

My twenty-one year old son wanted to take a gander at his old bedroom. He walked in, stood speechless for a moment, then shook his head and said, “I hate it—but it’s absolutely you.”

I wasn’t sure how to take his comment until he clarified that the room was much too girly for him, but my new writing room reflected my frou frou tendencies to a tee. And it does. I shed all my other roles when I’m in there. I’m Collette Cameron author, and somehow in the environment of my fantasy writing room, I take myself more seriously at a writer.

What about you? Do you have your own special writing spot or do the creative juices flow wherever you’re at?

Well, it’s time to get to  the WIP, The Earl’s Enticement. Or maybe I’ll find something shabby chic to put on the one bare space left on the walls—

Here's a taste of Highlander's Hope for your reading pleasure while we await The Earl's Enticement. 

Highlander’s Hope Blurb:
She was the heiress determined to never marry.

Shipping heiress Yvette Stapleton is wary of fortune hunting men and their false declarations of love. She’d rather become a spinster than imprisoned in the bonds of marriage. At first, she doesn’t recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks, but her reaction to Lord Sethwick’s passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony.

He was the nobleman who vowed to make her his own.

Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, Lord Sethwick and Laird of Craiglocky, hasn’t dreamed of the sensual beauty he danced with two years ago; he’s determined to win her heart. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, he unwittingly draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish Canon law to declare her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, “I do.”

Amidst murder and betrayal, Ewan attempts to win Yvette’s forgiveness. But is it too late? Has his manipulation cost him her love?

Interesting, no? How about an excerpt?

A sharp rap echoed at the door. Yvette breathed a sigh. Thank Goodness. Lord Sethwick wouldn’t have to answer the question after all. She raised her head and forced her gaze from the document in his hand.

He stared at her intently, then called, “Enter.”

“Lord Sethwick, please excuse the interruption,” a deep voice greeted. “‘Tis urgent I speak with you.”
Half-turning to look at the newcomer, Yvette could not contain her frightened gasp. She shot halfway out of her chair before Lord Sethwick’s hand snaked across the table and grasped hers, restraining her.

“Ewan!” In her panic, she addressed him by his given name.

“Miss Stapleton, Mrs. Pettigrove, may I introduce my associate, Trenton Carmichael?” said Ewan. “You know him as Nigel Collingsworth.”

Yvette sat down so hard her bottom smacked the chair with a stinging thud. Despite the day’s promise to be quite warm, she shivered, chilled to the bone. Searching the viscount’s face she repeated, stunned, “Your associate? I don’t understand. He was chasing me yesterday.”

Mrs. Pettigrove’s gooseberry eyes were round as the moon watching the exchange. “Mr. Collings, er, Carmichael was chasing you, Miss Stapleton?”

No one responded to her probing.

Holding Yvette’s hand, Lord Sethwick explained, “He wasn’t chasing you. Trent was trying to protect you by catching the man who was chasing you.”

“A different man was also chasing you? Whatever for?” Mrs. Pettigrove sounded envious.

Everyone ignored her.

Mr. Carmichael addressed Yvette. “I regret frightening you yesterday. It wasn’t my intent.”

Another knock sounded.

“Come in.” Lord Sethwick was less gracious this time.

Yvette managed not to gawk at the two men who entered the chamber. At least she thought she did. Faith, what handsome men. They must be friends of Lord Sethwick’s. Nobility no doubt.

“Sethwick, you rogue, keeping the arrival of your lovely bride-to-be a secret,” teased a tall gentleman dressed in black from toe to top.

Buy Link:

Book URL: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/meet-collette-cameron/highlanders-hope-by-collette-cameron/ This is not a "buy" link.

ISBN 9781619351974

My Links:
Web site: http://collettecameron.com/
Blog: http://www.blueroseromance.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/collettecameronauthor
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/collette.cameron.5
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Collette_Author
Google+: https://plus.google.com/s/collette%20cameron
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/collette-cameron
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/colletteauthor/
Soul Mate Publishing Author's Blog: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13595899-collette-cameron

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Woodpile That Is My Backlist

I was using my chain saw to cut up some downed branches last Monday, when the third book in my historical series, Banking On Temperance, made its debut. It occurred to me that I had been in this same position last July, when my first book, The Reluctant Debutante, was released. What is it with release dates and chain saws, anyway?

I thought on this subject for several days before I found the answer. My woodpile takes time to build each spring and summer. Unlike most rational folks who buy firewood by the pre-cut cord, I collect branches from both my yard with its old trees that don't bend in the wind like they used to, and from my sister's 22-acres of trees. I use my little chain saw to cut these branches up, and build my pile slowly.  And before you get the wrong impression, I'm not a muscle-bound, gas-powered chain-saw toting woman with tats and a cigarette hanging from my mouth. My saw has only a 16-inch blade and is powered by electricity. It should be painted pink, it's such a girlie saw. Every time I take it in for sharpening, I have to listen to the comments: "Let's see if we can get this bad boy fixed up for you," or "You sure you can handle that saw?" That's when the guys in the chain-saw sharpening place aren't snickering.

But, I digress. The comparison I'm trying to make is this: my woodpile is like my backlist. It's taken me a while to build one. Last week I celebrated the release of Book #4--three historical and one contemporary. A fourth historical is set for release in the fall, and I've just finished my second contemporary, which I'll start shopping around next week. Slowly, over the past year, the woodpile that is my backlist has been building. So on a day like today, when I see sales of books one, two and four, I can get a warm and fuzzy feeling that my hard work is beginning to pay off.

Kind of like the warm and fuzzy feeling I get each cold winter night when I light a fire using the wood I've spent the previous spring and summer cutting up and stockpiling. My father had a slogan that "When you chop your own wood, it warms you twice." For me, since I'm usually stacking and hauling it from my sister's house and then unstacking it from my car and stacking it onto the woodpile, it's more like three or four times...kind of like editing a manuscript.Wait--I'm sensing another metaphor...

So what do you equate your backlist to?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Traci Douglass is in the hot seat today

The talented Traci Douglass joins me today to answer some questions about her new book, Seal Of Surrender. In case anyone missed it, her hero, Chago, won the very first round of the Hot Heroes Face Off just a week ago. Way to go, Chago! My money was on him all the way. Traci's book releases tomorrow, May 6, same time my latest is available. I'm happy to share the spotlight with her today. Without further delay, here's Traci!

            What is your current project about?
Seal Of Surrender is the story of Chago, an immortal Scion warrior, who longs only for the peace and quiet of his Montana ranch. Unfortunately, he’s summoned to protect a woman who holds the genetic key to the apocalyptic Seal of War. After years of carnage as the Scion’s combat expert, he works a deal with Divinity. He’ll complete this one last job in exchange for permanent retirement.  He never expects to fall in love or risk compromising his mission because of her.

What’s next for your readers?
I’m working on revisions for the third Seal book now and have the fourth book outlined and ready to write. I’m also working on a contemporary romantic comedy that I hope to find a home for soon.

Why do you write romances?
 I’ve been a voracious romance reader since my teens. It’s the genre I love.

Have you ever written in any other genre?
No, but as I’ve stated above, I’m trying my hand at some different areas within the genre, outside of paranormal romance. Namely contemporary and romantic suspense. 

Have you ever written a character based on someone you know?
Hasn’t everyone? ***wink*** 

Where did you grow up, and did anything from your childhood influence your decision to become a writer? I grew up in the Midwest. I’m an only child, so yes. I think that influenced me more than anything else. There weren’t a lot of other kids my age in the neighborhood, so it forced me to use my own imagination and come up with stories to entertain myself. 

What advice can you give writers who are getting started?
Read as much as you can, inside and outside your genre. To see what’s good and what’s out there in the marketplace. And write. Every day. No excuses.

And now, for three fast questions:  
Are you a dog or cat person? Dog
Would you rather vacation at the beach or the mountains? Beach. 
Sun or fog? Fog. So mysterious and romantic. 

Seal Of Surrender Book Blurb:

War has shaped every aspect of Irena Soldan’s life—her childhood, her work, her DNA. Unaware she is the genetic host of the second Seal of the Apocalypse, Irena battles for those who cannot fight for themselves as a top human-rights operative for The Omega Consortium, whose charismatic, publicity-loving boss holds a deadly personal agenda.

Chago has always been the quiet one among his warrior Scion brethren—the brooding, combat expert with a hidden soft side. A member of Divinity’s covert special forces, he’s protected humanity for more than a millennium and now his goal is retirement. In exchange for his freedom, Chago agrees to protect Irena against his ancient enemy as his final mission. Expecting a cauldron of female whoop-ass, he instead discovers a harbinger of peace amidst a world of ever-increasing violence.
Despite the cataclysmic circumstances, an undeniable attraction ignites between Chago and Irena. Together, they must unravel the ancient puzzle of the Seals and discover a way to defeat an unstoppable evil before they both become casualties of War.
 Buy Links:
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