Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rionna Morgan with Elizabeth Meyette

My friend and fellow Crimson Romance author, Elizabeth (Betty) Meyette, visits with me today.  We had a great time talking about writing and teaching and kids!  Betty is so witty and fun.  ...oh and there's a haunted winery in here too!  Come on in and let's chat!

Visit Elizabeth's Blog
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Betty:  Hi Rionna! Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I grew up in upstate New York, the youngest of nine in a wild and crazy Irish-Catholic family. Now I live peacefully in Michigan with my beloved husband Rich. I’ve always lived in the Great Lakes region and find walking the shore of a lake a time of inspiration. We have three grown children with spouses/significant others: our daughter Kate and her husband Todd, son Matt and his girlfriend Rachel, and daughter Kristin, her husband Tedd and our grandchildren Tommy and Molly. I retired from teaching early to pursue my writing career and I haven’t looked back. I say I “failed” retirement because I work hard every day. But it doesn’t feel like work because I love it so!

How did you choose the genre you write in?
Betty:  I actually began the first draft of Love’s Destiny on a bet 30 years ago. My friend wanted me to read the romance genre, but I resisted. When I finally gave in, I was hooked. Not wanting to seem too easy to cave, I laughingly said to her, “These are fun to read, but I could write one.” She said, “Then write it!” So I did. I love to write historical romance because I love learning about other places, and I am fascinated by the past. Imagine what it was like to eke out a living on the frontier or not have all the conveniences we have today. I always wonder what it was like for people back then and think of how strong they must have been. I had recently visited the Jamestown and Williamsburg Virginia area when I started writing Love’s Destiny, and I knew that was the setting I wanted. Plus the romance of the beginning of our nation…I couldn’t resist it! And I’m a sucker for a happy ending. When I finish a novel, I want to feel satisfied, sort of like justice was served, the good guys won, and the lady got her man.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
When I was writing Love’s Destiny, I just wrote and the characters took me along for the ride. In fact there was one scene that I did not want to write at all, but the characters insisted. Until I wrote it, I could not progress with the book, and the scene worked; my characters were right! What I am finding as I write Love’s Spirit, the sequel, is that the writing flows as it did before, but I get ideas about scenes that will occur later in the book and I have to write them even though the plot hasn’t reached that point yet. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love talks about divine attendant spirits, or the muse in the wall, that whispers inspiration in our ears. I totally agree with that. There are days when I write like a maniac, and when I read it aloud it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time. It’s gotta be my muse. Rich laughs when I say my d.a.m. inspiration is at work (dam=divine attendant muse). And I have found that when my muse is talking to me, I must respect and honor that and WRITE! 

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Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Betty:  Love’s Spirit is a continuation of the story of Emily and Jonathon found in Love’s Destiny. When I wrote Love’s Destiny, I wrote it as a stand-alone, not part of a series. But my readers all said I needed a sequel—they wanted to know what happened next. So Love’s Spirit was born. While it continues with the story of Emily and Jonathon, it also brings in romance for Emily’s brother Andrew. And a character my readers love to hate, Deidre Manning, plays a big part in this book.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?
Betty:  I have to laugh. My older daughter and son both told me they were not going to read a romance novel written by their mother—TMI! I told them Agatha Christie wrote murder mysteries, but she never killed anyone. They laughed and at least my daughter agreed to read it. I suppose anything an author writes has its seeds in her own experience, but I write from my imagination. The historical aspects are accurate, I research heavily as I write and the Internet makes it so much easier than when I was drafting Love’s Destiny 30 years ago. I read a whole book on ships so my description of the Destiny, Jonathon’s ship, was accurate.


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 
Betty:  One of my favorite scenes is early in the story and it is between Emily and Jonathon on the ship. She is full of contradicting emotions and is rapidly falling in love with him despite trying to hate him. During a moonlight walk on the ship’s deck, Jonathon approaches her and instantly recognizes her mix of desire, anger, and grief. He understands his responsibility toward her, but is fighting his own growing passion. He teases her into an argument and knows that her rage is the wiser path.

What project are you working on now?
Betty:  Besides Love’s Spirit, I am working on a suspense set in the Finger Lakes area in New York. On a recent visit to see family, Rich and I drove through the area on a winery tour. I wanted him to see how beautiful my home state is. The idea for this story formed in my head as we were driving to NY from Michigan, and the house plays a pivotal role in the story. On a highway en route to a winery, there was my house. No kidding! We stopped and took pictures and thus my novel took shape. Hearing that one of the wineries we visited was a haunted castle was the frosting on the cake.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Betty:  Write, write, write. No matter if it seems to be going nowhere, there is a pearl in there somewhere. And believe in yourself. Some people scoff at budding writers, but if you have been bitten by the bug, it doesn’t matter. You are a writer.

Now for the clever-silly question, if you were a t-shirt, what would you say?
Betty:  I love this question. My t-shirt would say, “Love conquers all <3”

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Betty:  The greatest compliment to me is when a reader tells me how he/she connected with my book. I love to hear what characters they liked, related to, hated, or wanted more of. Ooops I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Another word of advice, and this from a former English teacher for goodness sake, sometimes it’s ok to break the rules. 

Please be invited to follow Betty on Facebook and Twitter!!  I know she loves the company!

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Rionna. I’ve really enjoyed visiting with you.

Thank you Betty!  I have had a great time too!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rionna Morgan with Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban


Carmen is a fellow Crimson Romance author.  I have absolutely loved getting to know her.  Her books have a romance flavored with the exotic!  Come on in, find a comfy chair and see what I mean.  

Author: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban 

Drawing from the mysterious beauty of Galicia, the land of my childhood, and the tumultuous history of Spain, I’ve written three young adult novels that take place in a mythical world in which the medieval kingdoms of Spain are still fighting each other, a world of warrior kings in which girls are not supposed to speak their minds. The first Two Moon Princess was published by Tanglewood Press in 2007.

My paranormal romance Bécquer Eternal follows my adventures in search of a literary agent in a contemporary alternate world where the late Spanish poets Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and Federico García Lorca are immortals.

I have also published four non-fiction books Heroin, Ritalin, Mad Cow Disease, and Lung Cancer (Chelsea House).

Currently, I live in Pennsylvania as a freelance writer, editor and translator.

You can visit me at my blog: http://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/ or at my website: www.carmenferreiroesteban.com

For information about my writing/editing/translating services, please go to WriteEditPublish.com





Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Carmen: I was born in Galicia (northern Spain), a land of rolling hills and green valleys surrounded by the ocean, thought in medieval times to be ‘Finisterre,’ the place where the world came to an end. I moved to Castilla, the land of the castles, in central Spain to study Biology and then to California as a postdoctoral researcher.

I have lived in the States for twenty years now and work as a freelance writer, editor and translator (English<>Spanish).


How did you choose the genre you write in?
Carmen: They say your first book is always autobiographic and, in my case, it is accurate. I based my first book, Two Moon Princess (Tanglewood Press, 2007) on my experiences living between two worlds (Spain and California).

Two Moon Princess is a coming of age story, a fantasy with a little bit of romance. My following books, The King in the Stone and The Revenge of the Wolf King, currently represented by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown, are also young adult stories with a stronger romantic element.

In my latest one, Bécquer Eternal, the romantic element takes over while a new, for me, twist appears: a paranormal element.

So I suppose the answer to your question is, I didn’t choose the genre. I write the stories as they come to me and somehow, all of them, have a romantic element.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Carmen: I know the story arc before I start writing. I know the characters, the plot and the ending. Especially the ending. I do write an outline eventually but it’s pretty sketchy.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Carmen: My upcoming book is a paranormal romance called, tentatively, Bécquer Eternal. It is scheduled to be published in September by Crimson Romance. But if you know some Spanish, you don’t have to wait until the fall, because the Spanish version is already available at Amazon.com (http://goo.gl/N5c8C).

Don’t be shy and give it a try, it’s easy to read because it has lots of dialogue which is perfect if you want to brush up your conversational Spanish.

Here is the pitch I sent to Crimson Romance:

Meet Bécquer.
He's handsome, well-read, and can get you that book contract you always dreamed.
Never mind that he's also an immortal and lives on human blood.
What would that matter?
Your relationship is strictly business.
Or so you thought.
Until Bécquer's life is threatened, and you discover that walking away is not an option,
Because he was hurt while protecting your son,
Because you are the only one who can save him now,
Because you care for him.
Welcome to Bécquer's world.
Please, come inside. He's waiting for you.


Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?
Carmen: Bécquer was a Romantic Spanish poet. If you grew up in any Spanish speaking country you have studied him at School. And if you have, you have fallen in love with his poems of unrequited love.

The protagonist of my story, Carla, is a middle aged writer with two teens of her own and that much is real. Whether the part about her meeting Bécquer, who is now an immortal and working as an agent, is true or not, I’m not free to say.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Carmen: I loved getting reacquainted with Bécquer, reading again his poems and legends and everything else I found written by him or about him.

What project are you working on now?
Carmen: This spring, I translated Bécquer Eternal into Spanish and published it with a POD publisher so it would be ready on time to be included in the Exhibit about Bécquer that is taking place in Sevilla right now. 



I plan to visit the Exhibit before it closes on June 25.

I have also been busy organizing a Blog Tour, so I haven’t been writing much lately.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Carmen: Follow your heart. If you are a writer, you will write no matter what I, or anybody else, tell you.

Now for the clever-silly question, if you were a t-shirt, what would you say?
Carmen: Cool question.
I would say, Dare to Read. Not very original as it is the name of my blog.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Carmen: Thank you so much for taking the time to read my stories. Your enthusiasm makes the craziness of this profession worth it.











Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rionna Morgan with Lynn Cahoon!

Lynn Cahoon's Website
If I were to pick three words to describe my friend Lynn Cahoon, they would be talented, courageous, and witty.  Talented because she has a unique way with words.  She can gather words together in such a fashion that the reader pauses, and smiles.  Courageous because she's never quit.  Even in the face of a life threatening disease, she never gave up--she turned into the wind and kept on going.  Witty, because she can turn a phrase and tell a story in such a way that the listener leans in, waiting in pleasing anticipation.  

I can't wait for you to meet her...so without further ado...here's Lynn Cahoon, author of The Bull Rider's Brother.  


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Lynn:  Growing up in the middle of cowboy country, Lynn Cahoon was destined to fall in love with a tall, cool glass of water. Now, she enjoys writing about small town America, the cowboys who ride the range, and the women who love them.

Okay, now that we have the official stuff out there--Ten years after I wrote my first story, I’ve finished several romance manuscripts but like The Bull Rider’s Brother, they all center around one theme, my strong willed heroines finding home and family, when they least expect it.

I knit, crochet, quilt, and love to bake. I’ve thrown darts on league and tournament level, and I’ve been told I’m pretty good for a girl. Lately, you’ll find me walking my Pomeranians and lifting weights to rebuild my metabolism after winning my fight with Breast Cancer. 

How did you choose the genre you write in? 
Lynn:  Believe me, I’ve tried others. I’m great at starting things. I’ve written a middle grade time travel, a cozy mystery, and this winter, I’ll have my first paranormal romance out with Lyrical Press. Mostly I find I love writing contemporary with a twist.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Lynn:  My mentor calls it bullet pointing. I can’t outline, well, I could, but even with bullet points, once I start writing, I have no idea where my characters are taking me. So I have a loose framework and let the story flow from that. In my latest WIP, the sequel to Bull Rider’s Brother, the hero finds out a secret about the heroine that I didn’t even know until I wrote the scene.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Lynn:  Shawnee, Idaho is known for two things. Amazing salmon fishing and the first local rodeo of the summer. For four friends, growing up in Shawnee, meant one thing, making plans to get out. Five years later, that wish has been granted for all but one. What happens when they all get together again changes five lives.

When James Sullivan visits his hometown’s rodeo weekend and learns that his high school sweetheart had his child - six years ago - Lizzie’s world is thrown into turmoil. In The Bull Rider's Brother, James struggles with family and Lizzie questions the risk of love.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Lynn:  Folks around Montana may recognize fictional Shawnee sounds a lot like the real town of Riggins, Idaho. And some of it is. But as all good storytellers do, I took liberties with the area, using a lot of the mountain areas in Idaho where we loved to camp and fish for my inspiration. And I don’t think anyone can write about family relations without delving into your own experiences.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Lynn:  The last chapter always makes me cry. I love the happy ever after for two characters who have gone through so much in their lives. I guess I’m just a sucker for true love.  I also loved writing the secret baby, although JR’s not much of a baby. He’s spunky and funny, and a joy to be around. I hope my readers love him as much as I do.

What project are you working on now?
Lynn:  I’m finishing up the second book in the Shawnee Rodeo series, working title Queen of the Stampede. Barb Carico has her hands full trying to manage her clients including bull rider Jesse Sullivan, from The Bull Rider’s Brother and deal with her aging mother. But Barb doesn’t even have a clue how complicated her life will become when a fun night in Vegas with Hunter Grey, a potential sponsor, becomes something more. Queen of the Stampede is a modern marriage of convenience story.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Lynn:  My friend Joe said it so eloquently late one night while discussing our dream books in a local McDonalds. “There’s always a lake monster.” What that means is every good book has conflict. A concept I thought only pertained to thrillers or suspense novels.

Now for the clever-silly question, if you were a t-shirt, what would you say?
Lynn:  “I need a hero – one who knows reading is sexy.”

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Lynn:  After surviving breast cancer (and the treatment), I realize that time is short. Live your life for you and the ones you love. But for you, first. That’s not selfish, that’s living.

For me, my challenge reminded me of what I love to do, tell stories. I hope you all find the one thing you do better than anyone else on this world, and do that one thing. And I hope you enjoy reading my stories about characters who are traveling this journey we call life.

And slaying the lake monsters.
Buy the Bull Rider's Brother!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dana Wins a Piece of Montana!

Congratulations Dana!

I am always so pleased and surprised at the wide reach we have online. I love all the new friends I'm making. And meeting this darling of a girl is just wonderful.
Glacier National Park


Dana describes her self in the following manner:

Hey Everyone,

I'm just a 16 year old girl in high school who loves books, movies, TV show, and makeup. I love sitting on the couch or going to the theater to watch a good movie especially when it is based on a book. TV shows are another of my favorites because every week you get a new episode and you are really able to connect with the show over that period of time. I only read fictional novels but sometimes I do lapse on that but I just love the escape that books have. Whenever I am having a hard time books really take me away from that and brings me somewhere else. I also love makeup just for the confidence boost when your wearing it you could do anything.

You can contact Dana through her blog...which is awesome by the way.  What a great talent this young lady has.  I am so pleased to know her.  




Dana's Blog

Congratulations again Dana!!  Your beautiful hand blown glass piece from Aspen Hot Glass in Corvallis, Montana is on its way to you!


All the Best,
Rionna

For those interested, another drawing will be held at the end of June.  This month's featured business is again, Aspen Hot Glass.  They are an amazing family!


(Visit my Enter to Win link for more information on Aspen Hot Glass and future drawings).



Monday, June 4, 2012

Rionna Morgan with D'Ann Lindun

Wanting a book that has you turning the pages!  Wanting an entertaining, suspenseful read!  Well, then I have got one for you.  My friend and fellow Crimson romance author, D'Ann Lindun has put together some fantastic scenes!  Join me as we chat a bit about her book that will hit the cyber shelves--today!  
Buy on Amazon!
Goodreads - Reviews

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
D'Ann:  I draw inspiration from the area where I live, Western Colorado, my husband of twenty-nine years and our daughter. Composites of our small farm, herd of fourteen horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, eight ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in my stories! My road to publication was long and rocky—twenty years of dashed hopes and crushed dreams before I got the call (email)!
How did you choose the genre you write in? 
D'Ann:  I didn’t. It chose me. I love mysteries of any kind, especially murder mysteries, and they bugged me until I satisfied the urge to begin writing my own.
Do you work with an outline, or just write? 
D'Ann:  Just write. I’ll see a fully developed scene, write it, and fill in everything else later.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? 
D'Ann:  Sure! Love to. This is actually the blurb: Her family ranch outside of Payson, Arizona, is the last place Castaña Castillo thought she’d ever see again. But when her mustang activist brother goes missing, Castaña returns home to lead the search. Years of bad blood between local law enforcement and the Castillo men lead Castaña to believe the local cops won’t put out much effort to locate her brother. Especially since they think he murdered two federal wildlife agents. Disgraced FBI agent Jake Breton needs to bring in Martin Castillo to redeem himself and resurrect his career. Falling in love with someone related to the suspect is the last thing he can afford to do. The last time he followed his heart, and not his head, it nearly cost him his life.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination? 
D'Ann:  Only that I’m a huge proponent for the American mustang…for their right to live free, and not end up in slaughterhouses or holding pens. I’ve been through Payson, Arizona, many times. Hauled horses and camped out with them. 

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 
D'Ann:  The first one. It was fun introducing Castaña and Jake. And I love the setting of Northern Arizona.
What project are you working on now? 
D'Ann:  A lady sheriff on the trail of a serial killer, and the undercover DEA agent also working the case.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? 
D'Ann:  Yes! Don’t quit! This business is very hard. I got over 200 rejections before I got the email!
Now for the clever-silly question, if you were a t-shirt, what would you say? 
D'Ann:  Cowgirl Up! I think that says it all. When you get knocked down, get up, get on and move out.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? 
D'Ann:  Thank you!  My blog is my website: http://dlindunauthor.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DLindunAuthor