Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alternate Plans and a Giveaway Contest

You know how, no matter how thoroughly you plan, things don't work out quite according to plan? I'd been planning on a guest blog to publicize my giveaway of THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE on The Romance Review's Fall Into Love Party, but plans fell through.
Rather than let my preparatory work go to waste, I'm putting up two of the questions I wrote answers to because I think they're good questions.
Tell me why you wrote THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE.
THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE is the book of my heart. I conceived the storyline and characters the summer before I began college. I’d been reading THE FOUNTAINHEAD, GONE WITH THE WIND, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The world was full of turmoil in the Middle East (no change there) and racism in the US (not much change there either). I wanted to tell a story about a broken country and the characters that would stitch it back together again. They would have to overcome class and ethnic divisions to do so.
While thematically that was the premise, the heart of the story was the against-all-odds love that grows between my warrior prince hero and my displaced healer heroine. While everything is stacked against them, what binds them together is honor. They can—and do—trust each other with their lives.
You’re multi-published. Which of your heroes is your favorite and why?
That’s a hard one. I love my heroes, never more than when I’m writing their individual books, but they are very different people.
Prince Arn is a swashbuckler, a charismatic leader of men who puts his life on the line—recklessly, some would say—to single-mindedly pursue the lost Crown and restore the Kingdom. Having survived the assassination of his family at age 12, he loves no one, trusts but a few, and gambles daily to achieve what’s rightfully his.
Durren Drakkonwehr of BLOODSTONE was once a warrior, descendant of a long line of dragon-keepers, but his personal failure has led to his land’s collapse and the curse that makes his life a living hell. He lives in isolation, determined to protect his people from his cursed appearance and too proud to die at the hand of subhuman beings.
Flip sides of the warrior coin, one could say—success versus failure—but both scarred inside and out, with stone walls around their hearts that have to be chipped away by the heroines.
My heroes are two stubborn, prideful men whose emotional journeys are equally satisfying, but I think I had more fun torturing Durren. Still, if I had to choose, I have to go with my ‘firstborn’ Prince Arn because he’s been with me so long.
As to the giveaway, it's one day only! On Thursday, Sept. 25, pop over to TRR's Fall Into Love Party and correctly answer the trivia question for THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE for a chance to win an e-copy. (Hint: Click here for the answer in the excerpt.) 

Friday, September 12, 2014


I'm celebrating this week because BLOODSTONE has finally garnered a professional review, and it's 4.5 stars!

Check out what the LASR reviewer has to say: BLOODSTONE review
"A man whose face can kill, a woman bound to him by a promise, and both haunted by mysterious, intimate dreams of each other. Bloodstones story is rich and layered, nuanced and engrossing..."

I'm also celebrating because as of June, yours truly is a member of PAN, the Romance Writers of America's Published Author Network. That's thanks to strong sales of BLOODSTONE.

When I joined WisRWA, Wisconsin Romance Writers, and RWA years ago, I had a goal of eventually being published in novel-length romance by a royalty paying publisher. It took a lot of rejections to get there in 2009 with THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE.

That was the beginning of the e-book boom, and it was harder than I thought to garner professional reviews and even harder to get the sales required to move from PRO status to PAN status in RWA. I have to say I despaired of getting there. But I put my head down and worked on my second book.

And now, voila! Quite a summer, I have to say.

To close it out, check out The Romance Reviews'month-long Fall Into Love contest. My entry appears on Sept. 25th: Fall Into Love.