Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Guest Author: Leanna Sain!


Welcome back, readers. Today, I'm hosting Leanna Sain, author of romantic suspense and, I suspect, a kindred spirit. Leanna's newest book, HALF-MOON LAKE, is out today! Let's take a peek inside Leanna's writing life.

1) How did you get started in writing?


I'd never written more than short stories until the Fall of 2005. We were at a friend's house for a Halloween party and after dinner, we all grabbed flashlights for a moonlit hike to a spooky graveyard on a gravel road behind their house. It was when we were walking back that my flashlight landed on a gate to the right of the trail. This was a farm, so a gate wasn't an unusual sight, but this gate had no fence. It was just the gate, sitting all by itself at the edge of a pasture, and it struck me as odd.

"What's up with your gate?" I asked my friend, Lisa.

She shrugged. "Dunno. It was here when we bought the farm."

"Dum, dum, duuuummmm." I mimicked scary music, then spoke in my most mysterious voice. "The gate to nowhere..."

"Sounds like the name of a book. Why don't you write it?"

"Hmmm. Maybe I will."

That's how it started. My mind took off with the idea and when it was complete, I had my first novel, GATE TO NOWHERE, a time-travel story where the protagonist, Emma Franklin, steps through a rusty iron gate on a farm she'd just inherited from her grandmother, and winds up in 1827, where she changes history around.  And the stories just keep coming….

2) What interests/excites you most about your genre?

I love romantic suspense with a bit of magical realism. I love the fact that I can take something that isn't real, can't possibly happen, and make it believable. Add in a love story, sprinkle liberally with mystery and suspense, and it can't get any better than that!

3) Who or what is your favorite inspiration when writing?

My latest "inspiration" is my new series: GRITS (Girls-Raised-In-The-South). It's not your typical series with the same characters showing up in subsequent books. No, each of these books are "stand-alone stories," but each one is set somewhere in the South and features strong, creative GRITS in some sort of suspenseful situation. I like to try to somehow tie the books together with one or more of the characters from others I've written, intriguing readers rather than confusing them. And for those who have read the previous books, it creates a nice little "remember?" touch.

4) Tell us about your latest book.

HALF-MOON LAKE
New from Leanna Sain

When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father's will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.

Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can't remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate's deaf-mute gardener and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so opens the proverbial Pandora's box.  As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

5) Please share with us the first paragraph of your latest work.

I awakened to the sound of my own scream. Breathless, heart pounding, pajamas drenched in sweat, I was desperate, clawing at the tangle of sheets wrapped around me.

About Leanna Sain



North Carolina native Leanna Sain earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone YA crossover.

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit the links below.

Buy HALF-MOON LAKE at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, or The Wild Rose Press

Find Leanna on the Web:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Leannasbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeannasBooks
Website and Blog: http://leannasain.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LeannaSain

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guest Author: MJ Woods!

 

Welcome to the dog days of summer, friends (finally)! Today, I welcome author M.J. Woods, who writes steamy contemporary romances. Her first book, BALANCE, debuted in 2016, and she is here to share with us her newest book, SWAY!

1) How did you get started writing?

I started writing on a typewriter when I was a kid, then graduated to the home computer for my first story. The keyboard connected magically to our old television set. My dad still quotes a line from that story – my first attempt at becoming a writer. My dilemma was always being able to see how a story should end. As an adult, I merged knowledge from working in my family's law firm for over twenty years with writing, and my first series was born. This time, I could see how the story would end. I'm still shocked that I'm completing my first trilogy and have ideas for more characters beyond these books.

2) What interests or excites you most about your genre(s)?

My chosen genre is romance. My first series also has an air of mystery and suspense, but that came unintentionally. For me, it was the characters that brought this about. At its core, The Amped Series is a love story. Most interesting to me are the diehard fans of this genre. They are amazing, supportive people that enjoy happily-ever-afters. They look for the good in all things, despite hardships - and I love this!


What fascinates me is how easily the romance genre crosses boundaries. I've witnessed fellow authors engage readers all over the world with one story. In my experience as a writer, the boundary crossed has been age. My readers range from age 20 to 75. The younger generation has come of age dating in a digital world, while elders remember mailing their sweetie a hand-written letter with stamps and waiting weeks (gasp!) for it to be received. That each of these readers enjoy my books and the romance genre in general speaks volumes.

3) Who or what is your favorite inspiration when writing?

Music is my favorite inspiration. All of my books have playlists referencing music within scenes of the book. Listening sets the mood for various scenes and settings, or just drives me to keep going after a twelve-hour marathon at the keys. Oh, and COFFEE.

4) Tell me about your latest book or work in progress.

I am currently finishing Book Three, the final book of The Amped Series. I released Book One (BALANCE) last November. Book Two of the series releases this month (!!!!). As with the first novel, Book Two is written in dual point-of-view, alternating between the hero and heroine by chapter, and is a full-length novel...with a cliffhanger. It is a continuation of Book One. I cannot wait to get the third book finished! It has surprised me, and has been a lot of fun to write. The title of Book Two is SWAY.

5) Please share with us the first paragraph of your latest work.

SWAY - The Amped Series: Book Two
New from M.J. Woods

Aidan – June 1, 2016

I know I'm lost in a nightmare, but I can't find my way out. As hard as I fight and as fast as I run, the darkness engulfs me that much faster. I'm running after Alexis, chasing her as she heads into shadows. I almost reach her when I'm pulled from behind by something painful, something stronger than me.

About SWAY


Aidan Pierce remains committed to one thing – making his childhood home a better place no matter the cost.

Yet nothing can prepare him for the complications he faces now that he wants Alexis Greene in his life.

To move forward with his charitable ambitions, he must fend offenemies while navigating the uncharted waters of falling hard and fast for the kind of woman he once believed did not exist.

As Alexis learns more about Aidan’s past and comes face to face with his demons, she must decide if she can jump headfirst into the most intense risk she’s ever taken – loving a man that ignites an insatiable craving, even as he throws her world completely off balance.

Book Two of The Amped Series takes you on one hell of a ride and will leave you amped indeed – and begging to learn the conclusion of Alexis and Aidan’s story.

Higher stakes. More danger.

And way more heat.

Get caught up in the Sway.



About M.J. Woods

M.J. Woods lives in Central New York with her husband, two daughters, and her beautiful but not-so-bright Bernese Mountain Dog. For over twenty years, her 9-to-5 days have been spent working in the legal field of a small town. She often draws from these experiences and re-imagines them to get her characters into trouble while they find love. She is a member of the Central New York Romance Writers and the Romance Writers of America.


Buy SWAY on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073VSKX7J

Find M.J. Woods on:

Amazon 
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram 
Goodreads

Sunday, July 02, 2017

EARTH Coming Soon in Audiobook!


I have exciting news for you all! EARTH has been optioned for audiobook by the extremely talented Robin Rowan, narrator of over sixty titles from publishers such as Harper Audio, Audible.com, and others. Robin's narration is wonderful, and she captures just the right voice for EARTH and its characters. I can hardly describe the thrill of hearing my characters come to life in audio. It's almost as good as a movie!

Keep watching my blog for a sound sample. I can't wait to share EARTH with you in audiobook format. Thanks, and Happy Reading (and Listening)!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Confessions of a Home Decor Junkie


I admit it: I'm a decorating fanatic. One look at my Pinterest page ought to confirm that, in case there were any doubts. Today, I had the pleasure of a look inside Inspired, a vintage home design shop located in Liverpool, New York. This refurbished barn is chock full of goodies that echo a simpler time. I'm thrilled to see a local business not only thriving, but doing so while using and improving an existing property (and a barn, at that! Swoon.).


Owner Judi Burrows became the helm of Inspired through a gradual karma of her childhood years learning sewing and frugality, through art classes in high school, a degree in fashion and retail, and then work with a builder and designer in Central New York's Parade of Homes. Four years ago, she and her husband purchased the property that would become Inspired, lovingly restoring and updating it to the shop that stands there today. (Look at the restoration of those ceiling beams!) The overall effect is like walking into a magazine I would love to read.



If you find yourself in Liverpool (after a tasty treat at Wegmans, just across the road), and you love vintage home decor as much as I do, take a look inside this store. I nearly came home with that typewriter sign, myself. Happy hunting! 💖

Monday, June 05, 2017

Exciting News: Contracts Signed for Audiobooks!


Hey, Gang! I'm super-excited to announce that I've signed contracts to offer all of my current releases as audiobooks! My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has just begun offering this option for its authors, and many of us have decided to take the leap.

What does this mean for you?

Audiobook recording is a waiting game. I have signed the contracts, but that doesn't guarantee audiobook releases anytime soon (or at all). It simply means that I have signed over the rights to this format, and my publisher will put out a call for narrators for each book. If one of my books is picked up, we then decide on the narrator, and the book will go to audio. I really, really hope they get picked up. Audiobooks would almost be as cool as having them turned into movies! 😄

What's so great about audiobooks?

If you've ever been on a long trip, you already know how great they are! An audiobook provides hours of entertainment, and playing an audiobook through your car stereo is terrific on those long vacation rides. My family travels a fair bit in the summer, and we've listened to some new authors this way. There are audiobooks for every fan of stories, so you're sure to find one you like. (And if you, like me, are a fan of your local library, Overdrive offers audiobooks as well as e-format books and periodicals to borrow for free, as long as it's in their catalog. How can you go wrong when it's free? We listened to Tui T. Sutherland's Wings of Fire, Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy on our way to Letchworth State Park this spring! My son is a fan of dragons, and we all really enjoyed it!)

I'm thrilled to be offering my books in audio, and I hope to have further news for you soon. Until then, Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BOOK SIGNING: Mystery & Romance at Solvay Public Library!

Summer's coming. Can you feel it? What better way to kick off the season than to find a new favorite beach read? On June 10th, I will join authors Diane Culver and Carol Pouliot at Solvay Public Library for an afternoon discussion, Q&A, and book signing!

Diane writes contemporary romances set in the Hamptons, while Carol pens time-travel mystery stories. I write paranormal, paranormal lite, and contemporary romances. There's sure to be something to tickle your fancy, or if you're an aspiring writer, come on down and chat with us. We'd love to meet you!

We'll also offer some fantastic freebies and giveaways. I'll be bringing this pretty summer basket to give away to one lucky recipient. The basket (a $35 value) includes a Monet seashell trinket box, scented candle, and milk chocolate Hershey's kisses:


The book signing and Q&A begins at 2:00 PM Saturday, June 10th and ends at 4:00 PM. You can contact library director Dan Golden (dgolden@onlib.org) or call Solvay Public Library at 315-468-2441 for more information.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

BOOK SIGNING: A Night of Romance at Fulton Public Library!

I'm very excited to attend my first evening book signing, this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Fulton Public Library! Local authors including myself, Leon Archer, Regina Edwards-Drumm, Barbara Witek, and MJ Woods will be onhand to sign books, offer freebies and giveaways, and discuss our favorite subject: romance!

Psst - our second favorite subject is freebies, and we'll be offering giveaways galore, including this sweet spring basket I will be giving to one lucky recipient at the end of the signing. Make sure to enter your name to win! We hope to see you there.