Interview with Angela Scavone

Please join me in welcoming Angela Scavone. Her novel, Love by the Book, is now available from Soul Mate Publishing. Why don’t you tell us a little something about yourself?

I’m a lighthearted people person, who likes to laugh every chance I can get. When my three little dogs aren’t keeping me busy they are keeping my feet warm while I’m writing.

Tell us about your latest book.

Love by the Book is about a couple, Jack and Jenn, and the spark in their marriage has gone out.  They have four children and between kids and work there is minimal time for Jack and Jenn. Jenn, with the help of her friends, comes up with a plan to spark up their marriage by recreating love scenes from various romance novels. Unlike the romance novels where the scenes play out with ease, unfortunately in Jenn’s world the recreation of the scenes turn out horribly and hilariously

What a delightful story. I can’t wait to read it. Why do you write?

I love to write stories that will make people laugh and keep them entertained, even if just for a little while.

Have you always dreamed of writing?

Always! I was writing little stories for my parents to read when I was very young, then when I got to school I couldn’t wait to read stories I had written for my class. I have always had a love of telling a good story. 

Sounds like it’s in your blood. What drew you to write contemporary?

It’s what I’m drawn to. I love reading contemporary stories so I when I write it just flows easily.

When you’re working on a manuscript, what motivates you?

The characters motivate me. I love letting the characters play out the story themselves. I especially love when a character writes themselves into a particular situation, I keep writing because I can’t wait to see how they are going to get themselves out of that situation.

Yes, I often wonder how my characters are going to extricate themselves from the situations they create. What are you working on now?

My latest project is a story about a woman officer in the military whose sole job is to go overseas to pick up the bodies of military men and women. The trips start to become dangerous and she is forced to have a partner go with her on the missions to pick up the bodies. Much to her regret she is partnered with her ex husband. There are funny parts to the story as well as parts that make you think about life and what’s really important. 

What a compelling story, and very timely. What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Keep writing, set realistic goals and whatever you do keep trying. Goals cannot be accomplished and dreams cannot be realized if you don’t try. 

I couldn’t agree more. What do you like to read?

I’m currently working my way through the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I have read everything Jane Austen ever wrote and I absolutely love Shakespeare. How is that for a diverse reading repertoire? Also, I love vampire/witch/paranormal books as long as they have humor.

If you could, what deceased author would you most like to meet, and why?

Jane Austen because she was a woman light-years ahead of her time and I would just like to know how she got her idea’s and what kind of a person she really was.

A true Austenite like myself. Thank you for joining me today. You can visit Angela on the web at: Love by the Book is available at Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Interview with B.J. Scott

I’m excited to have B.J. Scott here with me today. Her novel, Highland Legacy, is now available from Soul Mate Publishing. Welcome, B.J. Why don’t you tell us a little something about yourself?

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, I always have an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, I also write contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated my imagination in the fourth grade, and my desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, I married my knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked me away to his castle by the sea. In reality, we share our century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When I’m not working at my childcare job, on my small business, or writing, you’ll find me reading, camping, or antique hunting.

Tell us about your latest book.

Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.

Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?

That sounds like a fast-paced, Scottish thrill ride. Why do you write?

 Being a true Gemini, I was blessed or cursed LOL, depending on who you talk to, with the gift of gab and the need to be a storyteller.  My mind is constantly working and I see a story in so many daily events and personal experiences. I write to forget about the day to day grind and stressor of everyday life. Getting lost in a story with my characters is the greatest form of relaxation. A completed story that might brighten someone’s day is my greatest reward.

Have you always dreamed of writing?

For as long as I can remember, but never dreamed I would ever be a published author.

It is a pretty awesome feeling. Congratulations! What drew you to write historical romance?

I’ve actually have written contemporary, paranormal, time travel and romantic suspense, but historical is my passion. I love whisking my readers to faraway lands and time periods. I have always had an interest in history, especially anything Celtic (Scottish or Irish) Perhaps because of my Scottish/Irish/English ancestry.

We have something in common there – I’m of Irish/English/Welsh descent. Maybe we’re 8th cousins 5 times removed.

When you’re working on a manuscript, what motivates you? What frustrates you?

Motivation comes from the desire to finish one story so I can work on another. I have so many ideas and stories planned. The most frustrating things are finding the time to write with a very hectic schedule and difficulty concentrating on one story at a time. So often there is more than one needing to be written. Writers block is another major frustration for all writers.

I think many of us know that feeling. Too many stories to tell, not enough time. What are you working on now?

I have several new story outlines completed, three completed manuscripts that I wrote several years ago and are in need of revamping. However I am currently working on another Scottish historical…Bedded by the Enemy, a civil war paranormal/historical/ time travel…Forever and Beyond and a sequel to Highland Legacy…yet to be named. As I said, my mind works on overload most of the time.  ;)

You are a busy brain. What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Write…write…write. While they are part of every writer’s life and their biggest fear, try not to let rejection notices discourage you. Remember every story has its place and if you are patient and use the comments to your advantage, you will find success in writing. Even if it is for your own pleasure.

What do you like to read?

I usually read historical romances and historical fiction, but do enjoy a well written paranormal and romantic suspense.

Before we leave, one last question: Describe your perfect Sunday.

A quiet day with nothing pressing to do so I can write to my heart’s content would be high on my list. But on a personal note, a sunny day, not too hot, a beautiful setting and spending time with my husband and our dogs.

That does sound perfect. Here’s wishing you a perfect Sunday every week. Thanks for joining me today. Check out B.J.’s release, Highland Legacy, available now from Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Check out her website and her book trailer.


Five Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues

The holidays are over. The parties, the anticipation, the cheerful music, not to mention the time off work, are behind us. Now it’s back to the old routine. I don’t know about you, but after all the holiday hype I get a good case of the post-holiday blues. The absence of the cheerful holiday clutter can make your home seem empty, and the dearth of parties can leave you feeling lonely. So if you get a little bluesy in January and February, here are five tips to lift your spirits and carry you through to spring.

  1. Add some color to your life. A vase of fresh cut flowers; a blooming plant like a cozy African violet, a brilliant Amaryllis, or a snowy Paper White; even a green plant, can brighten your day and add color to your environment. Whether it’s home, or office, or both.  
  2. See a movie. The holidays bring a flood of new releases to theatres, streaming video services, and DVD. Treat yourself to a good, lighthearted chick-flick or a sappy love story, either on the big screen, or from the comfort of your own sofa. And don’t forget the popcorn.  
  3. Do lunch. Meet up with a girlfriend at your favorite lunch spot for a little girl talk, a glass of wine, and a decadent dessert. If you’re on a post-holiday diet (and really, who isn’t), split the dessert, and cut the calories in half!
  4. Take some me time. Curl up with a good book, or light some candles and indulge in your favorite bubblebath. A glass of wine can’t hurt either.
  5. Give back. The holidays aren’t the only time of year to give back. Perform a random act of kindness. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line. Visit an elderly neighbor. Secretly spring for a returning soldier’s lunch or dinner. Doing something for someone else will leave you feeling good all day long.

What do you do to lift your spirits after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? I’d love to hear from you.