Friday, January 20, 2017

Naming Characters in To Tempt a Viscount

When one reads a novel, it might all seem perfectly pieced together. Easy even. That is what I thought when I started to pen my debut novel, To Tempt a Viscount, and boy was I wrong.

Naming characters was a challenge. I stole several different names from family members and friends but surnames were much more difficult. Every person, no matter how small a part, required a name. So, I brainstormed names and moved on, writing my story down on legal pads. Bunches of them. Unfortunately, some of my characters resurfaced throughout the book, so I would have to return to my stack of legal pads to remember those names and their precise spelling.

As you can see, this was a horrible system, and I learned my lesson. For my next novel, To Dodge a Duke (which will be available soon from The Wild Rose Press!), I made lists of character names and kept them handy. My new system cut down on a significant amount of wasted time, although I still had to brainstorm those surnames.

Here's a random tidbit for you. Laura and Gavin meet at the Songfeld house party. Originally, (after one of my brainstorming sessions) I named the house party the Shropshire house party. Little did I know Shropshire is actually a county in England. Once my wonderful editor informed me of this, I changed the name to Songfeld.

To Tempt a Viscount book cover


Lady Laura Rosing knows two things: first, she will marry for love, and second, she detests rakes. When she meets Lord Gavin Farris, she understands immediately that he fails both her criteria, and worse yet, he is an absolute cad who refuses to leave her be.

Lord Farris has always appreciated women and cannot understand why Lady Laura is so resistant to his charms. While pretty, she is not his usual type, but something about her intrigues him. Much to his chagrin, he finds himself desperately in love with her, but he may be too late. His adamant refusal to marry just might have planted her firmly in the arms of another.

Available on Amazon
and other online retailers
Naomi Boom

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Planting Historical Relics in a Historical Romance

Charleston antiques dealer Audrey Parrish, attends an auction preview at Wren Song plantation, hoping to find relics from her past. Instead, she snags her hand on a bedpost splintered by a musket ball and finds herself at the plantation at the exact moment the shot is fired.

A SPLINTER IN TIME came together over several years, influenced by biographies, memoires and diaries I read from the Civil War era. Reading about this time period enticed me to visit plantations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. It was like stepping back in time. Much of what I read about or learned when I visited the plantations is incorporated in the novel. Take the tea brick for example. It is not only an interesting piece of history, it also showed that Matt had connections – that he could get things – a piece of information not overlooked by Audrey, my time traveler.

Matt laid the newspaper on the table and handed Audrey the package.
“A gift?” she said, noting its heaviness and size. A book maybe?
“One you’ll be pleased with, I’m sure,” he said, smiling.
She placed it on the table, untied the string and spread open the paper wrapper. “Oh!” she said, staring at its contents with surprise—and dread. It was a black rectangle the size of a sheet of paper, an inch or more thick, stamped into squares like a giant Hershey bar.
“A tea brick! What a surprise,” she said, trying to sound excited. It would likely have come from China, and must have cost a small fortune, or a large favor. It was not unusual for tea to be exchanged as currency, even in normal times. Julianne would be elated to receive such a gift, and so would Audrey, except she knew that generally the binder used to hold the ground tea leaves together was either blood or manure.
“It’s a wonderful gift,” she said, nurturing his expectations.

Calvert’s Carbolic Tooth Paste came on the scene more than once, later playing a very important role in the story.

She used the commode, then went to the basin. Last night’s unused water still stood in it. She opened the door of the washstand and took out a white cotton washcloth, a bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste pot. The pot was made of white ceramic, about the size of a round box of face powder with a matching lid that stated in bold, black letters CALVERT’S CARBOLIC TOOTH PASTE.
She lifted the lid. The pot contained a powder that made a paste when mixed with water. Typical ingredients were soap, chalk and salt. She’d bought pots for her shop with powder still in them, but she had no idea how nasty the mixture tasted until yesterday morning when Tess had handed her the toothbrush already loaded. The texture was gritty, and she had gagged on the taste. She would ask Tess if there was any soda in the house.

Both the tea brick and the toothpaste pot were introduced into the story with a role to play. And because my time travler was also an antiques dealer, her internal dialogue could describe these articles in an unobtrusive way.

I very much enjoyed writing this novel. I hope you will enjoy reading it as well.

Linda Shelby, A Splinter in Time

Available on Amazon and all major online book retailers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Woman of Spirit by Kate loveday

This is Redwoods, the house in #Bulahdelah in #Australia that Kitty comes to as a bride. The landscape is nothing like she knew back in England... Situated on the #Myall River, and close to the Myall Lakes, it is a picturesque setting. Behind the house, the mountain looms, a benign giant watching over its realm.

The house stands slightly up a hill, above the river. Late afternoon sun through the trees dapples the shingle roof and highlights the posts on the wide verandah across the front.
The verandah continues around both sides of the house, and vines twine up the verandah posts, dripping pendulous purple flowers in summer, when flowers will also bloom in the garden at the front, forming a riot of color. A low fence surrounds it all.

The marriage is not a love match for Kitty, but she enters it with high hopes of finding security and contentment, and settles, somewhat uneasily, into a domestic lifestyle different to any she has known. She finds the food can be different, too, with roast wallaby often featuring on the menu.

But, despite her intentions of making a success of her marriage, can she forget Rufe, the dashing and charismatic colonial who has stolen her heart? How can she bear to share her marriage bed with the clumsy and self-satisfied William when all the while she wishes it was Rufe loving her?

Kate Loveday
Australian author

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Creative Inspirations by Darla Jones

When my writing juices wane I turn to painting. When I paint, I make up stories about my painting. In this oil painting of an old mill there is a tiny house in the background. Who lives there? Perhaps a family and the father owns the mill. Perhaps a lonely, grumpy old man who is the foreman at the mill. There is a great story there just waiting to come out.

Darla Jones TWRP author of romantic suspense: Opalescence and soon to be published Give Love a Chance.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tsunami Crimes Review

Disasters are Chrys Fey’s thing and she does them so well. Tsunami Crimes, the third in her disaster series, is her best yet, in my opinion.  It’s non-stop action with interludes of romance and a glimpse of an intimate wedding.

Their honeymoon in Hawaii turns deadly. After Beth and Donovan are torn apart by the surge of the Tsunami, their search for each other takes on a whole new prospective when she’s kidnapped by Jackson’s men

The writing makes you feel like you are right there with Beth in the Tsunami, being towed under, scraped up by rocks and relief at finding other survivors. You feel Donovan’s despair while searching for her but what has happened to her is so much worse than he imagines… until the phone call.

Will they live through this disaster?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.   I truly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it.

It’s a whopping FIVE stars in my book!

Tena Stetler

Thursday, January 05, 2017

A New Year with Sandra Masters


Hello Everyone:

 This year 2016  has been quite a year for authors. I’m fortunate in that The Wild Rose Press is my publisher and that I have four books in The Duke Series Available. Thought you might be interested in how I chose Barbados Island as a location for segments of my novel, THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD.


Decades ago, my then husband and I vacationed in the Caribbean and visited Barbados and Aruba. The water was blue; the winds were breezy, and the sun was HOT on the beaches. Wary of being on the other end of sun poison, I lathered my body was sunscreen, wore a caftan with a mandarin collar and long sleeves, and a turban to prevent my exposure. Sitting in a chair under a large tropical umbrella, I felt safe from nature.


Fast forward two hours and I felt my cheeks flush and the lobes of my ears stung. I gathered my sun-tanned husband, and we went back to the hotel to summon a physician. Yes, I had sun poison and could not subject myself to the outdoors.  Not wanting to spoil things for my companion, I suggested he broil in the sun and leave me and my lobster-like skin to stay in the room. Not very much fun, so I started reading a tourist version of  Barbados history from the hotel guest books. The maid would come in daily, and we’d chat. She was an Arawak Indian, and she would regale me with stories of her family and its culture.


Stuck in the room, I’d wait for her to knock on the door. Of course, she had her duties, so our time was brief. She told me about Taino descendants of an extinct elite tribe, and I was able to get to a library and read about their history.


Back to the hotel, I started writing notes on a yellow pad to use one day for a novel. Writing was my obsession, and though not published, compiling notes filled my binders.  Obviously, I did not bring a computer or any version thereof.


My editor informed me that I could write a prequel of 7,500 words or more, and so I wrote the 15,000-word prequel, THORN, SON OF A DUKE. It depicted Thorn Wick’s life on the islands as a half-breed with his mother, a descendent of a Taino King, in a dynasty that no longer existed. At age seventeen, his dying mother has him promise to visit his father in England, the renowned Duke of Althorn, who was unaware of his existence.


This prequel led to the full-length novel, THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD. Yanked from the West Indies, Thorn sails to London, England where he is considered illegitimate. Can anyone imagine the emotions that consumed him? He belonged to two opposite worlds, and in each, he had to fight for existence. Except for the noble duke’s recognition and that of the family who supports him, acceptance though difficult was made easier. Every time he thought he conquered the obstacles, another one showed its ugly head. Thorn fights against all the odds. His goal is for acceptance by aristocratic society with honor like his father.

Thus, the novel unfolds. WARNING: Contains a multi-cultural Anglo-West Indian hero, an aristocratic English heroine, a noble duke, an evil witch doctor, a Barbados chieftain intent on redemption, and an amazing Argamak Turkmen horse all within the bounds of romance, and intrigue, with an element of suspense. It released on November 4, 2016.

 Prepare to be transported from island life in Barbados to aristocratic England and then back to Barbados where stunning revelations wrack our hero’s world. Did I mention that this is a spicy Regency?


I’ve never created a duke I didn’t fall in love with, and though Thorn Wick is not one, in his heart, he is a man to honor…and worthy of love.


The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard - Release Date November 4, 2016

Once in a while
In the middle of ordinary life
LOVE gives us a FAIRY TALE.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

My Earth-Bound Angels

“For truly we are all angels temporarily hiding as humans.”
― Brian L. Weiss

I love angels, holy wars, good vs. evil – all those themes. Since I write from things close to my heart, these themes keep popping up in my work. One of the favorite heroines I’ve created is demon hunter, Elle Connor, from my Hell On Heels series. She is tough as old leather but with a vulnerability when it comes to giving and receiving love. I put this body of work away right after I wrote the series and read it again with fresh eyes. I found key parts of myself in Elle.

I spent the better part of my youth watching chick-flicks, thinking to myself how cool it was to see a group of women support, love, and respect each other through the roller coaster that is life. I had close friends but it was somehow never as magical and larger-than-life than the stories told on – screen. I grew into young womanhood, a little disappointed that I could never seem to capture that magic in a few of my own feminine friendships.
As I got older, I began to have more deep, meaningful conversations with the girls and women in my family. My friends and I drifted in different directions, as life was calling us. I started with a big group of feminine friends and, by the time I was thirty, I remained close to only a few. I was forced to look elsewhere for that vibrant, necessary connection of womanhood and sisterhood. I finally found what I needed in the root of my family of women.
My sisters were now young adults, my Mom and stepmom sought to pass along their knowledge of the world and their wisdom. The timing was perfect, as I found joy and solace in what I call my “earth-bound angels”. They are always available – for emotionally heavy conversations or just for silly laughs. Now, I never lack for honest opinions, soulful wisdom on any topic imaginable, and light-hearted giggles with glasses of wine at midnight. Being a part of this circle is supremely fulfilling – and better than the best chick-flick!

Tamela Miles