Thursday, February 24, 2011


Thank you for surfing to my site and I hope you enjoy it here but I'd really like to know that I got you interested in my historical romance below. Please stay a while and look around, get to know my hero because I know you'll fall in love with him and want to read his story. Look deep into his eyes and try to tell him you're not interested! *wink*

His name is Nathan...well, actually, he's Michael Nathaniel Clairmont, Duke of North Yorkshire and lives in his family's castle on the cliffs overlooking the ocean at Scarborough. Being at sea is what he loves along with breeding his horses but revenge is pulls him through the story. His heart's been broken too many times...can he endure taking a chance one more time? I hope you grab your copy and find out!
I've included an excerpt below for your enjoyment and yes, it's just a tease! On Feb 25th - Friday through Sunday, hop over and visit me at Kay Dee Royal's Blog and join in the fun conversations and a chance to win YOUR copy of No Turning Back!

Excerpt:  No Turning Back

He tasted her skin and kissed a path down the side of her neck, along her bared collar bone. The muscles low in his groin contracted as her touch ignited embers deep inside of him that had lain dormant far too long. Nathan had hoped he’d hardened his feelings, buried them deep, but this woman had unknowingly found a way to caress his soul. He never thought he’d find another female who could incite such rolling passion within him, but then – Vanessa was no ordinary woman.
Listening to her moans of pleasure, feeling her body quiver at his touch, he knew he had awakened feelings she wanted left hidden, but the fire she created with him needed to be quenched. The heaviness of his arousal, coupled with the intoxicating scent of her, intensified the sensitivity of his flesh, making the movement of her hands on his back send a tremor down his spine. He ached all over for her.
As his lips seared a path across the swell of her breast, a moan again escaped her lips. When he glanced at her face, her closed eyes more than explained the pleasure she experienced with him. He slid his fingers beneath the material of her gown at her other shoulder, slipping it down to bare her breasts. He took his time, enjoying her soft skin. Leisurely tasting a rosy peak, Nathan gathered the weight of her breast in his hand. She pressed her head back into the pillow, and bit into her lower lip. Her movements brushed against his arousal and a groan slipped from his throat as he suckled her breast.
Gripping Vanessa’s waist, he rolled over, taking her with him. Her hair swept his face. He brushed it to one side, cupped her face in his hands and their eyes met; he sought another slow, amorous kiss. Her lips burned with fire, her tongue hot against his own, swirling together, making him crazy. The passion intensified his emotions.
The weight of her body atop him drove his desire to the edge. He’d make love to her right now if they didn’t slow down. With his need for her being so strong and suppressed for too long, Nathan withdrew from the kiss. Vanessa’s breath came in ragged gasps, telling him this affected her in the same way. He’d loved her for so long now and to hope for the same feelings to be returned made his heart soar.
She rested her forehead on his chest as he held her tight. “Nathan…we have to stop. I can’t do this,” she whispered and the muscles of his body tensed upon hearing her words, knowing they couldn’t go where they both wanted at the moment.

* * * *

      I hope that caught your interest because I loved writing this story. It's also about finding love a second time and knowing your heart is finally safe. My website has the links to buy your copy and yes, it's available for your Nook at B & N or for your Kindle at Smashwords. The Kindle version is not up yet at Amazon, sorry. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work and please feel free to leave me your comments below and at Kay Dee's blog!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

7 Facts Award - Thank You!

I received this award from 
BK Walker at Immortality and Beyond!

Thank you, Brandy!

Hmmm...Seven Facts...Let's try this!

1 - I'm an optimist with a positive attitude!

2 - I'm a workaholic - Have been called the 
Energizer Bunny too many times!

3 - I'm now 55 and okay with that!

4 - I love creating stories for others to read

5 - I love breath-taking views
from the Cascade Mountains!

6 - I'm finding dark beer isn't all that bad
although I'm still a lover of White Russians!

7 - I love to hear from readers!

Now it's YOUR turn - leave a comment 
and tell me one FACT about YOU!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Author Interview with Lisa Rusczyk - General Fiction

      Thank you for joining us for Lisa's visit to my blog. She's on a virtual book tour promoting her current release, Unloved but also has a future release coming out titled Chasing the Dark for which there is a contest at the end. Lisa Rusczyk is the author of The Blue Pen, Sam the Night Person, Full Moon in December and A Dream of the Past. She lives in North Alabama with her husband and six beloved cats.

About Unloved:

      Bullying was once considered a harmless rite of passage. Some were either bullied in school or they were the bully. What was once considered an acceptable practice has now been drawn into the limelight by the national attention of highly publicized suicides due to bullying.

                                                  Bullying can take on different forms. Bullying is not just a physical act but can also be an emotional, written, or verbal act as well. Bullying can take place in the workplace, school, online, and even while we are traveling in our vehicles on the road. Bullying is a form of abuse that has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and civilized nations across the globe.

When bullying goes too far, the end result is sometimes suicide. Suicide should never become an option. One life lost to this senseless way, is one too many!

      Seven authors (Jo Davis, HD Hatcher, Omegia Keeys, Autumn Prince, Lisa Rusczyk, KJ Thompson, and Vogue) have joined forces to send one message. That message is, “You are not Unloved!” Unloved is an anthology dedicated to those who have been the victim of bullying, or know someone who has been bullied.

      All proceeds from Unloved will go to charities in support of Bully Prevention and/or Suicide Prevention.

About Chasing the Dark:

      Melanie’s a budding artist always looking for the next high. She finds it one night when Sora and Josh take her on an ambulance-chasing ride. They watch a gruesome scene as the bodies are removed from the wreckage. Melanie doesn’t know why, but she is both attracted to this new pursuit and afraid of where it will take her.

      The chasing brings Melanie closer to the mysterious Sora, his secret past, and the darker things that happen in the city at night. Along the way Melanie must face her own demons while escaping the drug dealing business.

      Join Melanie and her friends Shara, Manny, Max, Sora and Josh as they confront and chase away their own personal demons.  Visit Passionate Writer Publishing for more info.

Deanna:  Grab your favorite drink, a mug of coffee or a tall cold one and join me while I talk with Lisa. I've brought along Sinbad and Zoie, our two cats above because our guest is a cat lover herself. Lisa, thanks so much being here so my viewers can learn a bit about you and your books. Tell us a bit about you that our readers might not know.

Lisa:  I am a cat freak. I have six fuzzy ones, and one of them might be pregnant. I’ve been hoping she would get pregnant with our unneutered boy and I think it’s happened. I can’t wait to be a proud kitten petter. Spooky, the female, miscarried her last litter, so I’m hoping this one goes better. She’s the sweetest cat I’ve ever known, which is why I didn’t have her spayed. Need to carry on that gene pool. But after one litter, I’m taking her to the vet. Him too, the little rascal.

Deanna:  Kittens are so adorable and cuddly! What made you want to become a writer?

Lisa:  I always loved writing, but when I was 24, I sat down and wrote my first book. It got me out of a deep depression. Since then, I’ve found writing to help every aspect of my real life. Also, I love to read, so it seemed natural to try to write a book.

Deanna:  Do you write under a pen name?

Lisa:  I write under my maiden name. My married name is Lisa Rusczyk Hazard.

Deanna:  As authors, we love all of our characters. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Lisa:  I find it easier to write about the nutjobs. They’re really fun to write.

Deanna:  Sometimes I read outside my genres. Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Lisa:  I read and write in a variety of genres. I don’t have a favorite. Lately, I’ve enjoyed reading thrillers, so I’m trying to write one. I also enjoy reading urban fantasy, and several years ago I wrote a couple of those.

Deanna:  That's why I write in more than one genre, too. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Lisa:  I get up too late – feel guilty that I’m not off to an early start. Make coffee, talk to cats, watch Judge TV for about 30 minutes to wake up. Then I do all my emails and blog posts for the day. For money, I write content and am a freelance editor. I’ll do that all day, taking breaks so my eyes don’t pop out of my head. I chat with my husband online a couple times. When he gets home, we make dinner and watch movies or TV shows with cats on our laps. It’s a peaceful life and I love it.
      If I’m working on a book of my own, then that’s the first thing I do when I wake up. I’ll write about 2000 words before going about the rest of my day.

Deanna:  Most of us have pretty vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Where do your story ideas come from?

Lisa:  I get a lot of ideas from daydreaming. Chronic daydreamer. I also find inspiration from the Science Channel and Discovery Channel and History Channel. I love scifi – it’s my first literature love – and one of the books I’m halfway through writing came from a show I saw on the Science Channel.

Deanna:  I’ve come to love cats and we have two, but living with six? What is it like living with six cats?

Lisa:  It’s great. Now that I have a new house, they have a lot more room so there’s not as much cat drama. All my cats are friendly and social. I love seeing how the cat dynamic changes when a new cat comes along. I don’t plan on keeping any of the litter kitties, but you never know. Their company is comforting and beautiful, unless bird guts are involved. Then I wonder what they’d do to me if I were four inches tall…

Deanna:  Why do you write in so many genres?

Lisa:  Most writers are given the advice to stick with one genre. I think I probably would write in one genre if I mainly read one genre. I get bored easily, so I try to change things up with each book I write. Chasing the Dark was very experimental for me. Completely different than what I usually write. Sometimes I think it works, sometimes, not so much. But I feel that way with all the books I’ve written. Never quite sure if my experiments worked.

Deanna:  That’s exactly why I write in different genres. Tell us about the editing process for Chasing the Dark like?

Lisa:  I loved it. My editor did a great job cleaning up my usual suspects of sloppy voice. I never had an editing process like that, and it was enlightening. It also made me realize how much I wanted to be an editor.

Deanna:  Do you like writing or editing better?

Lisa:  I like them both, but right now editing has my heart. I tend to want to write when I’m unhappy, and I’ve been so happy the last couple of years that I haven’t written much other than short stories for Raven and the Writing Desk ( However, if I could make a living writing, that’s probably what I’d do.

Deanna:  I enjoy being out in my garden when I need time alone. Do you have any hobbies?

Lisa: I play guitar and keys and started painting last year. I paint…wait for it…cats! I’ve tried painting other things, but I really love painting cats. I use acrylics on canvas or wood. I still have a long way to go until I can paint a realistic cat.

Deanna:  This has been fun! I hope our readers have thought of some questions to ask you, Lisa. Again, thank you for being here.
CONTEST:  Readers, Lisa is offering to give away TWO copies of her upcoming release, Chasing The Dark. She will pick two commenters from those who leave a comment or question and the winner will be drawn on Thursday morning! Good luck to all. Above is the blurb for Chasing The Dark if you need to hop back up and read what it's about.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Author Interview - Tracy Krauss - Romance Author

Hunting Never Looked So good!

Does the title intrigue you? We hope so! In joining us here today, you're welcome to enjoy our outdoor spa at this beautiful resort. Close your eyes and breathe in the wonderful smell of the ocean scented with the flowers that are all around us. There are massage tables waiting for you to partake in a warm scented-oil massage to help you relax and look your best. When the interview is through, feel free to roam the grounds and get signed up for YOUR massage or facial mask. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful!

Today, I'm pleased to once again welcome romance suspense author Tracy Krauss who will be telling us about her new release, My Mother the Man-Eater! Her debut novel, AND THE BEAT GOES ON, also a romantic suspense, has an archeological and creationist twist and has met with very favorable reviews. She is also a playwright and has written and produced numerous plays.  She currently lives in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, and is working on several more works of fiction.

Deanna:  Tracy, thank you for joining our readers again. Let's sit and relax a bit before we get that facial. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Tracy:  I direct an amateur theater group called the ‘KodiActs’. It’s a group for teens aged 12 to 18 and I currently have thirty two kids involved. We practice two to three times a week and put on two major performances a year. It’s major work, but tons of fun. I write a lot of their material, but jut recently had one of my plays published.

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Tracy:  The cliché is actually true. I love writing and feel compelled to do so. I was encouraged by one of my high school teachers, but I think it is more the passion to create that keeps me going.

Deanna:  Do you write under a pen name?

Tracy:  No my name is mine. I thought about it at one time. It’s a scary step to put yourself ‘out there’ for all the world to see. But in the end I decided against it.

Deanna:  What type of hero do you like best?

Tracy:  I like my characters to be flawed. If he (or she) is too perfect and has it all together, it comes across as fake. ‘Sweet’ and ‘sappy’ are synonyms in my books. *smile*

Deanna:  How many plots do you include in one of your books?

Tracy:  Yikes! I worry sometimes that I try to weave too many plot lines into one story. MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER is very complex in terms of the various plots. In fact, I had to edit out an entire plot, and even then it comes in at a whopping 555 pages. This is the type of story I like to read, though. Lots of complexity, surprises and twists and turns.

Deanna:  Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Tracy:  Redemption is the common theme so far. Even though MAN-EATER and my debut novel AND THE BEAT GOES ON might seem very different on the surface, they are actually similar in that they are both Romantic Suspense, deal with flawed characters, and have this strong redemptive element.

Deanna:  What is the basic storyline of MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER?

Tracy:  It’s the story of a forty-something ‘cougar’ with a penchant for attractive younger men. Basically, she’s looking for meaning in life and thinks this will satisfy.  Unfortunately, every time she meets someone, he ends up falling for one of her grown daughters instead. We discover through the course of the story that Joleen has lived a pretty tough life. She became a mother at 16, and has a less than savory past. But with hard work and tenacity she’s put the past behind her – until her ex-husband, Harold, reappears looking for revenge. He’s out of prison and has devised an elaborate plan to slander Joleen, ruin her financially, and destroy her relationship with their daughters.
      The complex relationships and family dynamics of the book are an aspect of the story that I love. It’s not only Joleen’s story, but it is the story of her five daughters as well. Each one of them has been affected by their mother’s choices, and eventually each one has to come to terms with her own spiritual immortality.

Deanna:  Would you say this is somewhat ‘edgy’ in terms of Christian fiction?

Tracy:  Most definitely. As far as Christian fiction goes, it has a fair bit of ‘spice’ sprinkled in, if I can put it that way. I’m not one to beat around the bush, but it is not blatantly explicit either. There is definitely a lot of sexual tension, implied sexual activity, and other ‘worldly’ stuff, but I’m not ashamed for my eighty-something Dad to read it! Also, because I love suspense/thrillers, I have woven lots of action and intrigue throughout. Over all, I’m really proud of this novel.

Deanna:  Where did your inspiration for this novel come from?

Tracy: This is probably the strangest ‘inspiration’ I’ve encountered, and perhaps the most embarrassing. I was actually playing the Sims.  I had created this household of women and corresponding ‘interesting’ males. The crazy interaction that followed mushroomed into an idea, which then became an outline … and well, the rest is history, as they say.  Perhaps gaming has some value after all …

Deanna:  You mentioned a redemptive theme earlier. Can you be more specific?

Tracy:  As soon as I started writing, I realized the potential for a redemptive element. Joleen, the main character, is not saint.  I immediately thought of the prophet Hosea and God’s instructions for him to marry a prostitute. God uses unlikely people for His purposes all the time. This was the premise for my heroine’s character – a promiscuous woman whom God could use despite herself. There are lots of other Biblical examples, as well - Rahab, Mary Magdelene – the list goes on. God is a God of miracles. There is no one whose past is too stained that they can’t be washed clean by God’s redeeming blood.

Deanna:  That’s quite a title. How did you come up with it?

Tracy:  I tossed a few other ideas around for quite a long time. I wanted the title to grab people’s attention and have ‘flair’, like Joleen, the main character. Somehow nothing fit. I actually submitted the book to various agents and publishers under a different title and had no takers. Then one day MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER just popped into my head. Zap! Just like that. I resubmitted and had multiple offers. Goes to show that a good title is worth its weight.

Deanna:  Do you write in the same genre that you read?

Tracy:  Yes and no. My favorite genre for reading is Sci-fi/fantasy/thriller. I love a good twist and I actually enjoy the shock factor, as well as stories that portray some of the darker elements in life. My writing fits in that I add a fair bit of suspense and action (murder, mayhem etc. J) but I haven’t as yet, ventured into futuristic musings. As far as reading, though, I actually enjoy just about anything – classics from Jane Austen to Shakespeare – and anything in between.

Deanna:  What else are you working on?

Tracy:  I’m pitching two novels right now - One is called Wind Over Marshdale. The elevator pitch goes something like this:  “Beneath the quaint facade of a small prairie town, hidden evil resurfaces as one man pits his faith against the ancient medicine of his ancestral roots.” 
      The other is the prequel to my first book (And The Beat Goes On) and it is called Play It Again. It’s pitch: “Sparks fly when an ex-rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional complications or the danger from the past that resurfaces.” 
      Add to the mix several plays, editing my NaNo script from last November and a children’s book that I am illustrating and I’m keeping busy.

Deanna:  What does a typical writing day look like for you?

Tracy:  Typical. That is almost a paradox. Like most authors these days (unless you’re Tom Clancey or Stephen King) I work full time, so my writing is relegated to the evening, weekends, and holidays. I used to do most of it during my large chunks of time, like spring break and summer vacation. (I’m a teacher) but I’ve recently found that writing creatively, beyond the marketing, blogging, and pitching, needs to happen more consistently. Right now those other writing obligations suck up a lot of my writing time, but I am purposing to be more consistent in writing creatively on a daily basis. It doesn’t always happen, but …

Deanna:  Can you tell us a bit about My Mother the Man-Eater?

Tracy:  Let me share the book blurb with our readers:

Book Blurb:  Loaded with humor, action, intrigue and romance, My Mother the Man- Eater is the story of a woman whose search for meaning in life finds an unexpected outlet. Joleen Allen is on the hunt for a man. Unfortunately, every time the mother of five meets one, he falls for one of her daughters instead! At forty-four, Joleen has lived a tough life. She became a mother at 16, and her five daughters are now grown. Her ex-husband, Harold, is out of prison and back in the picture, looking for revenge. He’ll stop at nothing – even murder – to ruin Joleen’s reputation as well as her relationship with their daughters. My Mother the Man-Eater makes for some truly tempting and redemptive reading.

Deanna:  Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Tracy: Visit my blog, website, or Amazon links. I’m also on Facebook and twitter as well as several other social networking sites. The links are below.

Deanna: Tracy, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. I know you're busy getting the book release launched so good luck with that. You have an upcoming special running with the release of your new book on the 24th. Tell our viewers about that.

Tracy:  Thank you for inviting me to spend time with your readers again, Deanna. I hope they stay tuned for the Amazon Best Sellers Launch of MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER on Feb. 24.  Buy the book on that day and get in on all kinds of other fantastic free gifts – everything from sample chapters, free editing, critiquing, and more!

I'd also like to choose one commenter on Saturday to be the winner of the eBook version of My Mother the Man-Eater so please leave a comment or question for me along with your email addy so I can contact you if you are chosen as the winner!

Deanna:  Readers, be sure to leave a comment or question for Tracy before you run off to get your facial scheduled and be sure to stop back on Saturday to see who our winner is! Good luck to all of you! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is in the air!

Doesn't the thought of a near kiss make your toes tingle and your insides swirl? Not to mention what it makes your lips feel to be that close, knowing a warm, sensual feeling is so close your insides will melt when it finally does happen?

I hope you have a wonderful day planned with your partner and loved ones so all of you can celebrate love. My children, along with their spouses and their own children, will be sharing their love today, too. Life is happier and we smile more when love fills our life. Things seem to take on new meaning and the sun even shines more. Maybe it's because we see the good in people when we're happy in our own lives. I will be spending the day with the love of MY life and that makes me smile!

I wish all of you happiness and love and that both are plentiful for you today. Sharing pictures of love and stories that will keep you coming back for more is one of the things I do that makes me happy. The letters I receive from satisfied readers make me smile as they ask when the next book will be available. I'm working on that and hope by September that I can share with you my new story, Whispers at Ghost Point, which takes place in Wilmington North Carolina. I will be whisking you away to an abandoned light house that tingles with a love story to soothe your heart! New characters will be eager for your attention as they sneak into the story, hoping for one of their own!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! What are your plans for today?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Author Interview - Linda Boulanger - Inspirational Romance Author

Thank you for stopping in to join us. I'm pleased to introduce you to Romance Author, Linda Boulanger and her busy life as a writer, editor, publisher, wife and mother! She has her own publishing company but I'd rather let her tell you about this. Grab your cup of coffee and enjoy today's interview.

Hi Deanna!  Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog.  I’ve been here numerous times on the other side – as a reader, and have in fact, actually won in some of the giveaways.  I’m always enticed by your FaceBook invitations and am thrilled to join you now from the interview seat.
      In my current release, “Arms of an Angel”, the main character, Claire, lives in a historic downtown building called The Grange.  Its apartments are extremely hard to come by and the reader will learn something a bit shocking about the one Claire now occupies.  
      Claire’s favorite room in the apartment is a spacious corner room she calls the sunroom.  It has floor to ceiling windows that allow the light to flood into the room.  She ends up in the room after a long, tearful shower – the tears brought on by the realization that, had she not met Garrett, she would have ended her life the night before.  The room had always been a haven of sorts for her in her youth and she’d closed it off for many years because of the pain of her past that haunted her.
      While we don’t have access to a lovely sunroom in an upper story of a historic building, I’m pleased to join Deanna from a plant-filled, finely decorated, windowed seating area in the Marriot Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota.  I actually live in Bartlesville, OK (the mid-west at its finest), though we have traveled 12 plus hours North for my 16 year old daughter to have surgery at the Mayo Clinic.  I have to say, we’ve been treated as if we were residence of The Grange and it’s actually a fantastic place for an interview.  Thank you for having me, Deanna!

Deanna:  Love the window seat, Linda! Great choice for our interview! Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Linda: Not only am I an author, I also own my own publishing company ~ set up because I wanted to help other authors with a desire to get their writings into the hands of potential readers.  With the handful of new authors we are currently negotiating with new works by our current shelf of authors, we are nearing our capacity for the year already and have some great books preparing for release.  It’s an exciting profession that couples together nicely with my authoring.
      I am also the mother of 4 very busy children who are wonderful subjects for dramatic character studies.

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Linda: A common answer, I’m sure – I can’t remember a time I didn’t write in some capacity.  As a child, I told elaborate stories. My mom used to dread me going to the movies because I’d come home and retell it in such great detail.  I also used to lay in bed “writing” stories in my head (and I still do!). Over the years, I began to write down some of them and a couple of years ago when I reconnected with old High School friends, one of them asked in a conversation what my life’s dream was.  I said I wanted to write a book.  His answer: Let’s do it.  And we did.  We co-wrote and released “Time Out on a Roller Coaster” – a collection of fun and light short stories.  It was great fun and I was hooked.  A dream I’d put away for career and early motherhood was revived and I can’t imagine anything else I would rather do.

Deanna:  Do you write under a pen name?

Linda: I debated about using a pen name, however, I decided to use my own.  There may be a time in the future that I will use one should I choose to deviate from my chosen genre.  I have a friend who jokes that I already have too many identities to keep up with and, considering the entities I have connected with the publishing, I’m pretty sure he’s right!

Deanna: As authors, we love all of our characters. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Linda: I find it easier to write extremely passionate characters with depth (and I’m not talking about the bedroom type of passion).  I like to take an emotional journey when I read, and therefore, like to write that way.  If a reader doesn’t laugh, cry, sigh, and get mad at some point when reading my work then I haven’t done my job.  I want a reader to “feel” my characters.  A couple of things you will always find in my books are turmoil – an issue that requires a “save the cat” character, and the realization that the characters are going to get their happy ever after.

Deanna:  Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Linda: I write romance – currently “sweet romance” with plenty of tension without blatant expression.  I read all genres – especially as a publisher, but I love 'love' and romance will always be my genre of choice for reading and writing.

Deanna:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Linda: My typical day starts anywhere from 3:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.  Especially as I get into a story, I sleep less and less J  If I get up before 6:00, I usually set up at the kitchen table – the farthest point from the sleeping family – where I am joined by my 2 cats.  I’ll write until time to put on my mom hat to get myself and the children ready to head out.  After I get everyone to school (the husband is pretty good about getting himself off to work on his own), I put on my publisher hat, spend too long answering emails and socializing on FaceBook, and then get busy with any number of things that goes into publishing - from editing to page layout to formatting (print and/or ebook), and so on. I try to start winding things down by 5:00 p.m.  It doesn’t always work that way, but I do try – which does not mean my day ends, by any means – just the publisher part.  Unless I am in intense writing mode, I usually write only in the wee hours of the morning or in the evening during the children’s bath times and right before bed (which can often lead to midnight writing sessions!).

Deanna:  Most of us have pretty vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Where do your story ideas come from?

Linda: My story ideas seem to come from little snippets of information. It can be something someone says, the way they say it, from something I see or hear.  I’ll get a little scene flash in my head or a line that I just know is going to become a story.  From those snippets, a character will begin to form or a scene from a story will start to take place.  My current release “Arms of an Angel” began with the first sentence just popping into my head.  That sentence is “Claire wasn’t exactly the type of girl a guy would normally choose to take home to meet Mamma.”  Shortly thereafter, I could vividly see this woman sitting in the passenger seat of the guy’s car, but that’s all I got until later in the day when the dots began to connect.  I will tell you, however, that I often don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in a story.  I don’t use an outline.  The characters dictate their story as I write, though quite often I will know the ending well before I get there – sometimes I will go ahead and write the ending and then write from where I am to that.

Deanna: Love the cover for "Arms of an Angel"  - Jaimey did a fantastic job! Many authors struggle with dialogue. How well do you feel that you handle it?

Linda: Thank you and yes, Jaimey did a great job. I actually enjoy writing dialogue.  I believe it is a necessary way of giving depth and character to the characters.  The way someone says something or the explanation of body language or facial expressions used when it is said, can say so much more than merely describing it.  There’s a lot of dialogue in my books.  I’ve heard it said that the use of dialogue can bring a book to life and leave a reader feeling almost as if he/she has watched a movie.  I visualize scenes and conversations and write what I see, so perhaps that is the answer.

Deanna: Since you are a publisher as well, please give the readers a bit of insight into what goes into getting a book ready for them to read.

Linda: Editing and rewrites would come first, once it hits publishing status.  As all of this is happening, a cover is being designed, the book trim size is being chosen, paper color picked out, fonts sampled, etc. The polished manuscript is then formatted to the book trim size in a document that is sent to the printers who will print out an exact replica of the book or a proof.  We look that over very carefully and either submit changes or approve and…a hold-in-your-hand book is born!  Additional formatting or changes go into preparation for ebook publication.

Deanna: Is “Arms of an Angel” your first book?

Linda: I actually have one co-written short story collection that I mentioned above, as well as a collection of faith-based short stories, and a children’s book that have all been published.  I have two more children’s books in the illustration phase, two full-length novels in editing, one that I am writing (okay, 3, but 1 in particular that has been keeping me up at night!), and numerous others in various stages of completion.  The plan is to release “A Marriage of Necessity” and “When Love Whispers” both this year, although my current work in progress is tugging every bit as strongly as “Arms of an Angel” did.  Angel was not due for release until after the two full-length novels!

Deanna:  You mentioned “full-length” when referring to the other two.  What is “Arms of an Angel” considered?

Linda: Angel is actually a novella, weighing in at around 25,000 power-filled words.  I tormented myself over its length, but to have added more would have been to add mere fluff without needed substance.  I didn’t want that.  My mom once told me that a story should take as many words to be told as it needs…sometimes that will be 125,000.  Others will take only 25,000.  Angel is a complete and full story that, from the reviews, is captivating readers from beginning to end and, because of the length, they can indulge their inability to put it down.

Deanna: You also talked about a couple of things a reader would find in your books.  One of them was: turmoil – an issue that requires a “save the cat” character.  What is a “save the cat” character?

Linda: My “Time Out on a Roller Coaster” co-writer was working on a screenplay when we first began talking about writing.  He recommended a book by Blake Snyder called “Save the Cat” and, in the book, the author mentions that every movie needs that make-it-all-better character – the one who will fix everything by climbing into the tree to save the cat (poorly paraphrased, I’m sure).  Much of what he says about screenplays applies to story writing as well…for me, at least.  My save the cat characters are usually the male main character in the stories BUT it almost always ends up that he’s got his own cat that needs saving somehow and that job goes to the female main character.

Deanna: Do you have a desire to write screenplays then?  

Linda: I have several books that I think would make awesome movies (don’t we all?!!).  Now, do I want to write them into a screenplay?  Difficult question.  At this moment in life I don’t feel that I have the time to learn the language of screenplay writing and it is definitely something that a body would need to learn.  Now, if someone wanted to do it for me….

Deanna:  How important do you believe social media networking is to selling books?

Linda: I don’t know that I can honestly say that social media networking actually sells that many books.  It can alert potential readers that a book is available and/or allow authors to talk a bit more in depth about what’s inside the book.  I love it because it allows me to get to know my readers.  I’ve become good friends with many of them and love, love, love the input of all.  I have my author website, my blog, FaceBook: The Shelf Life of Linda Boulanger and even welcome readers to my personal page.  They’re fun ways to interact and if I do happen to interest someone in one of my books…I figure it’s a win-win for both of us.
Deanna:  I think you have info on a contest for our viewers, am I correct?

Linda:  I do. I will pick one commenter on Saturday as my winner so join me in a bit of chatter here. Let's do a copy of Arms of an Angel and Becoming (a collection of faith-based short stories) and they can have their choice of ebook or paperback.

Deanna:  Readers, please feel free to leave a comment or question for Linda and she'll be around to answer them until Saturday. Linda, our prayers go out to you and your daughter. God bless! *hugs* Please be sure to visit and bookmark Linda's websites! Good luck to all on the contest!