Welcome to my virtual café romance and erotica author, Rebecca Ridge. It is so good to have you here.
Becky: Hi, Sherri. It’s great to be here. Thank you for inviting me.
Sherri: I’ve dreamed of visiting England. Have you ever traveled to the United States?
Becky: No, unfortunately not yet. It is the first place on my travel plans. I have a lot of great friends who live there.
Sherri: How long have you been a published author? I published my first book in December of 2017, and it seems I’ve been on a roller coaster of writing, publishing and marketing ever since. Do you feel as if you spend more time doing the business of writing than actually writing?
Becky: I published my first book which was a festive novella called A Sprinkle of Love. I didn’t spend much time on marketing at that time as I had some personal issues. I intend to republish it this year, with a new cover and added scenes. I plan to promote it this year. Since releasing the pre order for my new book , I have done nothing but market and feel you may be right. This looks to be the future.
Sherri: What do you find the most difficult part of being a published author?
Becky: Definitely marketing yourself.
Finding the right advertising is difficult. It’s okay being published, but if no one knows your published your not going to get sales. Also I’m a resident author for an erotica publisher called Berlinable. I need to produce atleast one story a month and have found it challenging at times to write to order as I usually write through pure inspiration alone.
Sherri: You publish a variety of genres and manuscript lengths, tell us about your markets for your work and how you came to write for them.
Becky: As I mentioned I write erotica short stories for Berlinable.com
They publish through many platforms in many countrys which is exciting. I won a competition on valentine’s day. Which is what led them to invite me to be a resident.
I also write for the legends of the Veil blog which is a fantasy blog. I voice the character of Lilith @TheDemonQueen00 on twitter.
Its a lot of fun. I’ve met some great people and the stories are fun to bring to life.
Sherri: What was your favorite story or character to write? What made them special?
Becky: My favourite character was called Jay, he was the leader singer in rock band Punk Nights out of my unpublished novel Broken.
When he started talking to me he came across like an arrogant get. But the more I got to know him, the more I unraveled his complex personality. The more I fell in love with him. Also he was the first character to ever show up in my head, that alone makes him special.
Sherri: What are you working on now?
Becky: Right now, I’m working on publishing my new book. Its book one in The Submission of Maizey Randall series. Its called Captivated it’s out for pre order now. I’m very excited for this book!
I’m also working on part 2 of The Submissive Diaries which is a Berlinable story.
Sherri: What writing or publishing advice would you give a newbie author? What do you wish someone had told you before you started this career path?
Becky: First and foremost, You can do it! It might feel like a never ending climb but the view from the top is amazing. Never compare yourself to others
I fell into this trap half way through my first book.
I realised that I am me! And my style is mine. I’m not better or worse than anyone else we are all ourselves. Being inspired by people is okay
But never compare yourself to them
Sherri: “A Sprinkle of Love” sounds like a Hallmark Story. I can’t wait to read it.
Becky: Oh, wow, thank you so much. That has been said before and it makes me so happy. I wanted to create something warm and pure. Something my children could read haha. My daughter loved the story.
I’m a massive Christmas addict so writing festive is my happy place.
I plan on publishing one festive book every year.
Sherri: You have a new book coming out soon, tell us about it.
Becky: Yes! It’s the first in a trilogy that follows the lives of Theo a serious Dominant and Maize a very vanilla girl
She comes back home after a few years away in the Hope’s ro rekindle her childhood love and regain her life
But a lot has changed. Can she get her sweetheart back Or will his brother Theo be a temptation she can not resist. You can find the pre order on amazon
Sherri: Thanks Becky for joining me at Creekside Café. If you enjoyed our chat check out Becky’s books and follow her on social media, her links are listed below.
I have new release coming soon
I should have a link for preorder in the next week.
I’m a resident author for a publisher called Berlinable, where I write Erotic short stories. berlinable.com
Hello Suzanne, welcome to my Creekside Café. I am so excited to have you here.
Suzanne: Hi Sherri! Thanks for having me at your virtual café. What’s your drink? Mine is a vanilla latte, if you please.
Sherri: In this heat, I think I’ll have an iced cinnamon cappuccino, extra cinnamon, light sugar. They freeze the coffee and cream into tiny ice cubes so it doesn’t water down the drink.
been to North Carolina before?
Suzanne: I went to school in North Carolina (Go Blue Devils) and my family and I like to explore New England. We were in Vermont last year and I fell in love with Lake Champlain. This past summer we were in Maine for a month and it was instalove. We lived in a quaint village for a month with an ice cream stand, a beach, a family owned grocery store, and a bakery that sold out by 8:30. We learned to rise early to catch the pastries!
Sherri: One of my dear friends is originally from Maine. Pastries, now that might be worth getting up early for. I am not a morning person. I am a night owl who is forced to get up and function. So we? Does that mean you are married with children?
Suzanne: Married + 3 kids and my dog, who I feature a lot on Instagram because, to be honest, I think I love my dog above all. He’s a Goldendoodle and he’s just so cuddly. Plus, when I come home from a trip, he’s the only one who doesn’t tattle on who’s been naughty and he doesn’t ask where his soccer uniform is and he doesn’t want me to go to the grocery store to buy the right crackers because Daddy doesn’t know how to buy crackers.
Sherri: Yes, I remember those days. Dad could be sitting right beside them and I be in the shower and who do they have to ask about changing the channel? I think that’s why I started writing suspense, I get my payback in black-and-white. I’ve told my sons, if they don’t behave, I’ll put them in my next novel and kill them off on page fifty. Most don’t think they’ll make it past page thirty.
Suzanne: I’m so excited to learn about your career. Romantic-suspense makes me bite my nails. Half the time I’m wincing and begging the words to move faster on the page so that my heart can slow down. And whoa, you are productive! Three books already? And six kids? And NINETEEN grandkids. Your life is FULL!
Sherri: Number twenty is due in November. I think I’m going to have to rethink Christmas. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays, even though we don’t get snow. Do you get snow for Christmas? Where are you from?
Suzanne: I’m from Oregon—that’s where I grew up (Go Sunset Apollos!) but I’ve also moved around and explored a lot of places. I adulted in the San Francisco Bay Area and then one day my husband came home and said he was done with the rat race and he was going to semi-retire.
To Oregon? I
He shook his
girl can dream)
set his heart on (drum roll please)…Jacksonville FL. I am going to tell you
now, you cannot get any farther from my reality than FL. But we packed up the
kids and off we went and here we are adventuring in the humidity (only six
months out of the year), hurricanes (only three months out of the year), sunny
(actually not as sunny as you would think), super rainy (soooo much rain),
South. There’s swamp, forest, alligators, snakes, and our local beach has tons
of shark teeth.
probably write horror instead of historical romance. Hmmm.
Sherri: Eastern North Carolina is a lot like Florida. We have a fossil museum full of sharks’ teeth.
Do you write
full time now, or hold down another job as well as write?
Suzanne: I work. I write. I take long walks. I mother. I wife. I friend. I don’t think my life is much different from any other woman’s. We are all so busy. We’re master jugglers.
Sherri: Being master jugglers is what it takes to get things done. I don’t know about you, but I can’t not write. I could continue to write for my own pleasure but taking this step to become a published author has unleashed something I’ve kept chained inside me for years. It’s a lot of work but it’s what I am compelled to do. I’m hoping to make it a career but if not, then I’ll still write because I love writing. I’ve been writing since I was a child. How about you, Suzanne, how long have you been writing?
Suzanne: Oof! I’m a little embarrassed to say. I’ve been writing probably for seven years – my first novel took years to write because I was learning to write. Then I took time off (e.g. moved to FL and met Humidity, my mortal enemy). And then the passion suddenly came back and away I went.
Sherri: The first novel in my Leeward Files Series took several years to rewrite. I’d written other things but writing for myself and writing to publish are two very different things. With each rewrite I learned more about how I wanted to tell the story.
are the books you write?
Suzanne: I write historical romance. I’m a history nerd. I love details. I love researching really weird stuff like train tables in 1869 and smallpox vaccines.
Sherri: My first love is historical romances. I started writing the suspense series after losing our house to fire. I think it was my way of getting that fear out of my system. Now, I’m enjoying it but I do want to get back to historicals.
Are you traditionally
or indie published?
Suzanne: I debut August 28 as an INDIE. I had some doubts about going INDIE because it’s a lot more work, but through the process, I have discovered how much I appreciate and enjoy the responsibility and the challenge. I love the books I’ve written and I’m so excited that I get to control the works – I have the editor of my dreams, I have the cover of my dreams, and I’m learning so much (ugh, FB ads? WHY?????).
Sherri: Don’t get me started on Facebook ads, we have a love/hate relationship, but for an Indie author, Facebook is one of the tools to get the word out about our books. Contests are another way to get your books noticed. Have you entered any competitions? Which ones? Have you won any awards?
Suzanne: Especially in my early writing career, I was a contest junkie. Romance writers have the opportunity to join RWA, which provides a huge resource for learning and also for contests. Contests give you a lot of feedback, good and bad. They also teach you to grow a thick skin.
historical romance, The Lost Chord did really well in contests,
but the two that I’ll mention are: The Catherine (historical
romance category) from Toronto RWA and it was a finalist in the Golden
Heart, which is a national award for unpublished authors. It’s
sponsored by the RWA and from the beginning of my career, it was a dream of
mine to final. And then I did in 2017.
AND AGAIN in
2018, with my second historical romance, The Art of the Scandal.
The Art of the Scandal also won the Pacific Northwest Writers Contest (Romance
Category) and the Catherine (historical romance).
wins, I decided to focus on publishing and to keep my contest addiction at bay.
It’s easy to get caught up in contests when you’re having success, but contests
generally judge only 25-50 pages of your work. It’s really important to polish
not just the beginning, but the entire darn book.
written three, so you know all about the editing, polishing, sweating over a
phrase, love-hate of the process!
Sherri: Ugh! Yes, and making lots of mistakes especially when you’re trying to do stuff in the middle of the night and getting frustrated. When that happens, walk away. Believe me. It will save you some embarrassment. I hit publish instead of proof and sent my last book out before it was ready. YUCK! I’m still trying to get it like I want. The fun times of being an indie author.
not to stretch myself as thin as I have in the past. I’m the chairperson for
the Pamlico Writers’ Group and I host a monthly writing challenge online for my
local RWA chapter. It’s difficult not to be involved with the writing
community. Even though I’m in a better place now, I still need advice and I
hope, I’m able to help others the way I have been helped.
about your latest project?
Suzanne: I’m preparing to debut with The Art of the Scandal. It releases August 28. So, I’m learning a lot about the business side, but The Art of the Scandal is a book of my heart. It brings together a lot of my nerd passions – renaissance art and their forgeries; political history; and pretty ballgowns.
particularly passionate about The Art of the Scandal because the story
is also about social challenges and societal shifts. My heroine is the daughter
of a Marques and engaged to the future prime minister. She’s at the top of the
social food chain (before she suffers a rather spectacular fall). My hero is a
foreigner and he’s Jewish. In 1849 Victorian England, he is a complete
outsider. I wove in a lot of history including the election of Lionel
Rothschild, a prominent and wealthy Jew, to the House of Commons. In The Art
of the Scandal, a character inspired by him is the hero’s cousin. Anyway,
in real life, Rothschild was elected, but barred entrance because he would not
take his oath on “the true Christian faith.” And the thing is, he was elected
more than once, and each time barred from taking his seat!
So, one of
the struggles my hero and heroine go through is learning how to throw off the
shackles of “society expectations” to create their place in the world through
trust, faith, optimism, hope, and, of course, true love.
Jilted by her fiancé, abandoned by her
father, and scorned by her friends, Lady Lydia Pierpont and her pregnant, 15
year-old sister will be homeless by midnight unless she can charm the deed of
her family’s home out of the mysterious South African who won the estate in a
Grieving over the death of his Jewish father and
English mother, Simon Cohen has no time for gallantry. He’s out to reclaim his
mother’s name from the aristocracy who humiliated her. With an art collection
worth millions and the National Gallery begging for a donation, revenge is
But when Lydia points out that Simon’s treasure
trove includes at least one forgery, they strike a deal. She’ll ferret out the
fakes and if the debut of his collection goes smoothly, she’ll win back her
home. If she fails, she will take the blame and go to jail.
Together, Lydia and Simon will feign an
engagement, delve into the world of art forgery, and navigate the narrow-minded
prejudices of London society to discover that love is forged, never faked.
Sherri: I want a copy. This sounds like all of the things I love about historical romances.
Do you plan
to write any different genres in the future?
Suzanne: I’m moving from mid-Victorians to 20th Century. I’m currently working on a love story set in WWI. And eventually I may go so bold as to hit 1947 or so. We’ll see!
Sherri: I’m working on finishing a novella set in World War II for a winter anthology. It has inspired me to return to writing historicals. I wish I could write all of the time. I have way too many ideas, but unfortunately, I need the other job to pay the bills.
Tell me what
you love about writing.
Suzanne: I love the characters who demand I write their stories. Much to my chagrin, I’m not a plotter, which means half the time, I have no idea where I’m going. But then suddenly, BOOM, a scene will come or my character will do something totally unexpected and my fingers will fly. I love those magic moments.
Sherri: I can relate, I’m a pantzer too. I love discovering the story and new characters. As a pantzer, that also makes things more challenging. What do you dread the most with your writing?
Suzanne: Plotting. Cutting my darlings—those pretty lines that don’t move the plot. Editing out my repeat words (have, face, hand, turn).
Sherri: Nods, bobs, shakes and rolls…my characters often resemble bobblehead dolls.
your writing strengths and weaknesses? What comes easy and what do you have to
work harder to get?
Suzanne: UGH, it feels like everything is hard!
part of writing is making my characters miserable. I want them to be happy. I
want sunshine and rainbows. But I have to put them through the wringer to get
Sherri: I went through that, try keeping everyone nice and happy and have a murder, it doesn’t work, AT ALL! I had to learn to let the characters be honest about who they are and how they would react. It was definitely a learning experience.
get too crazy, I’ll go in the kitchen and play with recipes. Well, that’s not
true. I watch the Food Network, then I go into the kitchen and play.
cooking and often post recipes, do you have a favorite food or restaurant?
Suzanne: I have the taste buds of a 7-year old. So, does Chick-Fill A count?
Sherri: Yes, and if you can learn their chicken recipe, I want it. I love Chick-Fill-A!
Do you have
time for any hobbies or interests besides writing? Do these show up in your
Suzanne: I walk, walk, walk. I try to hit at least 5 miles a day. Sometimes I get up to 10. I’m near the beach and I’m near a forest trail, so I get the best of both worlds.
has become a hobby. It’s where I got to meet you, so clearly Instagram is an
excellent place to be. Taking pictures to tell a story has challenged me,
because it’s only one photo and very few words. Photography (if you can call
snapping a pic with your iPhone, photography) is about the details. I think my
all-time favorite pic has been of sea foam that caught the sunlight and looked
multi-colored. Or my dog in hats. He’s very photogenic.
definitely a hobby, and that shows up in my books.
can’t stand blood, and I cry if I get a paper cut, but I admire medical
professionals and am fascinated by the history of medicine and how inventions
and techniques developed. They also make their way into my books. The book I’m
currently working on is set in an ambulance hospital in WWI and I am learning a
disturbing amount about blood transfusions.
Sherri: For my novella, I researched a mobile hospital and followed them through the war. It’s fascinating to learn what people survived. What they learned, often because they had no choice.
Who are your
some of your favorite authors or genres?
Suzanne: I actually love to read poetry the most. The word-smithing is stunning, so precise.
always going to go back to Jane Austen. Because she was so detailed, nuanced
and hilarious. Also, her heroines are both flawed and generous. A lovely combo.
If a book is
set in London between 1920-1960, I’m totally a sucker. Barbara Pym’s “Excellent
Women” is a book I love to read again and again. Also, anything buy Murial
Sherri: Who or what inspires your writing?
Suzanne: Great writing inspires me. My fellow writers inspire me. Some mornings, a bowl of Apple Jacks inspires me (mostly because if I’m having breakfast, it means I’ve had ten minutes to myself, a luxury!).
Sherri: Setting is an important part of my stories, but I believe my stories are character-driven. How would you describe your stories, the mechanics?
Suzanne: I love settings. They provide so much atmosphere and texture to a book. Historical details also add a layer. And definitely the characters. My characters are flawed in ways we all are, and I write stories not where the characters necessarily defeat their flaws, but rather where they learn how to be better people through them. Does that make sense? I don’t want to write about people who become perfect, because none of us are. Rather, I want my characters to accept who they are, warts and all, and then learn and grow and cry to become connected.
throw in some hot kissing.
Sherri: You can never go wrong with a little hot kissing, no matter where the stories are set.
Give us a
little insight into you as a person and as a writer.
Suzanne: Errr, I sort of feel like I spilled my heart out to you already, Sherri! In real life, people mistake me for an extrovert because I’m chatty, but I’m actually an introvert. I like being alone (which is hard in my household!). But I am also a compulsive hugger. So if I ever get to meet you in a real café, expect an insane bear hug.
Thank you so
much for inviting me to your café! I have had a great time!!
Sherri: Ahh, that explains it, we’re a lot alike. I love people and I enjoy talking but sometimes I just want to go into my corner and be left alone. I’m also a hugger, so, we will definitely get along just fine. Come on to North Carolina and we’ll do this in person. I’ll even take you down to the creek that inspired my virtual café.
this chat and do hope to meet in person. Best of luck with your debut novel,
and I’m going on Amazon to order mine. I can’t wait to read it.
If you have
enjoyed this interview with Suzanne Tierney as much as I have, then follow her
on social media and don’t forget her book is available for pre-order.
I’d like to welcome my new friend, author Miranda Jameson to Creekside Café. I started doing these interviews to help cross-promote my own books as well as introduce other authors to my friends and readers. Thank you for joining us here at my virtual café.
Miranda: Absolutely, Sherri! It’s all about networking. I’m Indie published. It’s not an easy choice, but for most newish authors, trad publishing isn’t an easy choice either. These days, no one does your marketing and networking for you unless you’re an established name.
Michael Anderle, a highly successful Indie author, advises Indies to ‘Patterson the s@** out of your career’ – referencing James Patterson’s excellent marketing skills! Now, I might not be Pattersoning (haha – invented a new word) but for better or worse, I have control over my own publishing journey.
Sherri: I think most of us who are indie published or as you say, traditionally published but not yet a big name, have learned to get creative to let readers know we’re here. So, what interesting things have you tried to promote and market your books? Anything you want to share with our readers?
Miranda: It isn’t easy being Indie. It’s a24/7job. I made many mistakes, learned a LOT, and became part of the awesome Indie writing community. I received a tonne of help and guidance and try to pay that forward. This year, I plan to boost my marketing beyond organic growth. I have enough books out for a better return on investment. It’s daunting, but doable.
Sherri: Miranda and I met through the New Romance Café readers and writers’ Facebook group. It’s great to have a supportive and fun online group.
Miranda: Yes, we met in the Romance Café, of course! It’s a friendly, virtual place where the virtual cake and coffee have 0 calories. Working on our joint project has been great fun.
Sherri: I’m so excited about the anthology. You and Andi have put in so much work to see this project come to fruition. What are you plans for the future?
Miranda: I have four books planned this year. The first two – Zephyr and Deimos – will complete my Empaths of Venice trilogy. The third one will loop back to before my Warriors’ Council trilogy – and hopefully lead new readers to those books. This story will be set on the Western Front during WW1, so there’s a fair bit of research to do. Its hero and heroine are the two characters in my Love in Bloom story. Henri and Ysabeau appear as supporting characters in all my books. My readers love them and wanted their story. This is another good thing about being an Indie – having direct conversations with readers.
I like mixing history into my paranormal romances; after all, if you live hundreds of years, you’ve witnessed seismic world events. The last book this year – London Symphony – will be part of my spin-off PNR series set in the 1940s. All my books can be read as standalones, but the stories, events and characters are connected. Readers love cameo appearances by their favourite characters from the other books.
Sherri: History with the paranormal, that makes sense to me and makes me want to read your books. I too, love history, something I shared with my father. What or who has influenced your writing?
Miranda: Well, I was born in England,grew up in India immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes and bejeweled princesses. Istudied in both countries, and now live permanently in England. My home is in North Yorkshire, a beautiful part of England steeped in history (which I love).
Like any writer who has read thousands of books, my writing must be an amalgam of all of them – good, and bad. I would encourage every writer to read. You always learn new ways to tell a story better.
Sherri: Have you always been a writer?
Miranda: Yes, always, but never with any serious intent. It tended to be a clandestine thing. I’m quite a private person and putting my work out there makes me feel exposed and rather vulnerable. After all, writing is a window into a writer’s head. Good reviews take me by surprise because I secretly think my writing is crap! Imposter syndrome – moi?
Sherri: We share the same affliction. It’s exciting when someone likes your work but it’s also a bit surprising and terrifying. I suffer from what if the next book isn’t as good. I try to quiet the voices in my head with creating characters who are more confident, stronger and smarter. Writing is a way for me to speak my mind. I could no more stop writing as stop breathing. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Miranda: Creating worlds. Sounds grandiose, doesn’t it, but that’s what writers do. It’s as close to magic as it’s possible to get. Writing is my solution for coping with life’s challenges. It’s also about control. My stories are one place whereIget to decide what does or doesn’t happen. Characters become real. Their stories clamour to be told. When I finish writing a novel, I get a real slump because I miss my people!
Sherri: That’s why I write sequels or if you prefer, series. I like bringing characters back for an ovation. Unfortunately, there are also the not so fun things about being a writer. When you start working towards getting something published or sending it to a contest, you are no longer writing for your own pleasure, you are writing for an audience and there are certain expectations between a reader and writer. I suffer the bobble head syndrome. I mean really, how many times can someone nod their head before it rolls off into oblivion. And I reuse the same words and phrases…
Miranda: Oooh! Those gluey glue words. ‘Just’ – why does it pop up everywhere? And what’s with the ‘really’? Delete. Delete! Repeat phrases are something I have to keep my eye on. Thankfully, they get banished during editing. I’m a loose plotter. I have a direction the story has to go and I know the end. I plan plot points and pinch points, but things may change and it’s usually for the better.
Sherri: You mentioned this earlier and I say it to beginning writers all the time, if you want to be a good writer you must first be a reader. Learning what works and what doesn’t by reading other people’s work, developing good techniques and learning the craft of writing, these are important skills that take time to build. What do you think is your greatest strength as a writer?
Miranda: As for strengths, that’s hard to say. I’ve learned to trust my gut and perhaps that’s a bonus. If my gut tells me a scene isn’t working, it isn’t. I dump it and begin again. I try to create pictures in readers’ minds without miring them in long paragraphs of description. Sight, scent, sound – all those things add layers and make the scene immersive. One reviewer said she felt she was really living in the alternate reality I’d created. Another loves the ‘feels’ in my stories. I like my romances to be romantic. My characters struggle internally, however confident they appear on the outside. Their happily ever afters come with meeting someone who makes them feel right, whatever their flaws. It’s not about feeling ‘completed’, it’s about finding a person who encourages you to be yourself, and loves you despite everything.
Sherri: Yes, anyone can love the beautiful, perfect character but show me the person who loves the recovering addict, the person who is scarred whether inside or out by life’s trials, the person no one else has bothered to really see, that’s real romance. I can’t wait to read your books.
Who are some of your favorite authors or your favorite genres?
Miranda: I prefer historical and paranormal romances. Probably because I love history, and I love the possibility of powerful, magical beings living alongside us. For historical, I’ve recently discovered Sarah McClean and, through the Romance Café, Lara Temple and Tabetha Waite. As for paranormal, I’ve read all the usual suspects – Larissa Ione, Nalini Singh, J R Ward, and recently, I.T. Lucas. And let’s not forget Anne Rice. Apart from reading romance, I’m a huge fan of mysteries, and historical whodunnits. I blame an early addiction to Agatha Christie. My list of favourite authors is unbelievably long, but if I ended up on a desert island with only two books, I’d want a poetry collection (including Keats and Elliot), and the complete works of Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
Sherri: Wow, the time has just flown by. I hate to bring this visit to an end but I should get back to work on my novel and it sounds like you have a schedule to keep. If you ever get to North Carolina, please look me up.
Miranda: I have never visited the United States. Can you believe it? It’s a big gap in my travels I hope to fill in the future. Especially since most of my current readers reside in North America. I’d love to see the famous autumn (fall) colours, and I’ve always wanted to visit San Francisco. I’m also a fan of Ina Garten’s cooking shows and enjoy her visits to California’s Napa Valley. Ideally, I’d hire one of those huge RVs and tour around.
Sherri: Now that sounds like an adventure. Let me know when you go visit Ina Garten, I’d love to tag along.
For those of you who’d like to know more about Miranda or buy her books, here are the links to do just that.
Miranda Jameson grew up in India immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes and bejewelled princesses. She firmly believes there is magic all around us if we only take a minute to look.
She now lives in North Yorkshire, England, where she translates her passion for art, history, mythology and travel, into writing action-packed paranormal romances with all the ‘feels’.
She loves honourable badass heroes with undiscovered depths, and smart dauntless heroines who can save themselves.
When not clicking away on her laptop, she runs mum’s taxi service and the bank of mum. In other words, she’s got kids. Coffee, gin, and good friends, keep her sane.
I just finished The Golden Hour, the fourth in the Nora Tierney series by M.K. Graff. I have enjoyed the progression of the main characters: Nora Tierney and Detective Inspector Declan Barnes, from antagonists to partners. The Golden Hour is a little darker than the first books in this series. It deals with the very real threat of biological terrorism but the true theme of this story is creating your own family from the people who love you. Nora’s British family, the good friends who have been there for her during her darkest days and sweetest memories, her dear friends Kate, Simon and Val, as well as the newest additions to her circle, Paul’s parents, make up the people she has chosen to care about and call family. Their loyalty to each other is tested and proved. When Declan’s case and Nora’s stalker bleed over into each other, Declan is faced with the very real possibility of losing Nora and Sean forever. When he realizes how much they both mean to him, it is a beautiful and heart rending moment of clarity and self-doubt. It is in that moment the reader can truly feel who the man Declan is, not just the detective, but the vulnerable person who loves Nora and her child. As he rushes to save his family he is torn between duty to his country and the well-being of his family. A true hero does what is right even at the risk of losing it all. Adversity changes a person. When faced with the threat of losing everything that makes life worth living, Declan and Nora show their true characters. Like all of us, they are weak but their innate goodness, strength and love pull them through the abyss and they will be better because of it. This story made me angry, made me laugh and it made me cry but in the end, the tears were those of joy. This was one of the best books I’ve read, it captured the heart and gave a little squeeze. I can hardly wait to read the next book and see what new adventures await Nora, Declan and Sean.
I purchased The Perfect Date collection after hearing Ava Stone, Marquita Valentine and Tammy Falkner speak at a HCRW meeting. I have enjoyed the other writers and will look for more of their work but as a fan of historical romance, Ms. Stone has a new follower. Right now there is no information on the price of The Perfect Date on Amazon Kindle but keep checking, it is real value.
A Scandalous Past gives us everything we’re looking for in a romance: bad boys who change for the love a good woman, intrigue, romance, heart break and hope.
When Cordie Avery’s best friend marries a rogue she decides that is the kind of man she needs. Lord Clayton doesn’t come close to fitting the bill but his kisses ignite her passion. Rogues, penniless lords and surly sea captains fall by the way as Brendan rescues her and spirits her away for a hasty marriage. But out of the frying pan and into the fire, marriage to Brendan Reece Lord Clayton is not be as safe as planned. Black mail, the ton censure and gossip threatens to ruin the happy couple’s newly wedded bliss.
When enemies become friends, unexpected alliances turn the tide and more than one rogue may become civilized.
This was a fun, sexy read of first love and the healing power of love and friendship. A wonderful story well told.
I’d read anything Sabrina Jeffries writes, she could make even a grocery list interesting. She is one of my favorite writers and a excellent person. I love to support North Carolina writers, although when I first became a fan, I did not realize I would have the honor of meeting her. I am awed by her talent and humbled by her kindness.
The Duke’s Men series has been full of intrigue, romance and adventure. I have enjoyed each book but this one was possibly my favorite. The love affair between Dominick Manton and Lady Jane Vernon is beautiful and soul searing. Their mutual loss is further compounded by the fact that nothing came about the way Dom hoped. Jane was not happier without him, his sacrifice was for naught.
As the two are once more thrown together to rescue her cousin, Dom’s sister-in-law, can they learn to work together and trust each other? Seeing them navigate the stormy waters of their past relationship to overcome misunderstanding, lies and good intentions was both heart breaking and breath taking. No one does relationships better than Ms. Jeffries. She makes us ache and hope right along with them.
If you love historical romances and you want something fresh and interesting, then check out The Duke’s Men series.
Christmas Revels: A Regency Anthology
Christmas Revels is an anthology of four Christmas novellas set in Regency England. It is the Christmas gift you give yourself. It is a wonderful, eclectic collection of holiday inspired stories that would even fill Scrooge with the Christmas spirit. Anna D. Allen, Hannah Meredith, Kate Parker and Louise Cornell made the Regency a fresh and exciting adventure.
Anna D. Allen’s “A Light in Winter or The Wicked Will” is a lovely, heartwarming story of second chances and the power of one little light in the darkness. Romance comes in different styles, this gentle, insightful story is filled with honor, strength and hope. When Connor Grayson becomes the new Viscount Roxbury he never expected to have all of his dreams come true. When his uncle provides one more obstacle as simple letter can make the difference between happiness and betrayal. Convincing Katherine Woodbridge to be his bride will take more than the promise of riches and finally having a home of her own, it will take an act of faith. This story wraps you in a warm blanket and reminds you of all the things that make this time of year so magical. You’re never too old for romance, never too old to hope.
As a fan of Hannah Meredith the person and the author I saved this story for last and she did not disappoint. “The Lord of Misrule” is a funny, poignant story of true love. Best friends compete for the love of the same woman, one has been expected to marry her since childhood and has yet to ask for her hand, the other left home when he was denied the chance to win her. Viscount Hayhurst, Martin Tate returns to England and allows his friend to convince him to be the ‘First Foot’, the first visitor after the stroke of Midnight on New Year’s, a tall man is believed to bring good luck but when Martin arrives all hell breaks loose and he is blamed. He is then given the task of being the Lord of Misrule for Twelfth Night. Unrequited love, parental expectation, honor and friendship dance through this house party filled with a kaleidoscope of personalities as in character Martin turns the house party on its head and valiantly attempts to win the heart of the fair Alice.
“A Perfectly Dreadful Christmas” by Louisa Cornell is anything but dreadful. Love expressed in so many ways, when her brother’s friends attempt to fulfill his dying wishes and protect his sister, Lizzie, she finds that the ordinary Christmas she has planned is anything but. From wounded servants to the woman heavy with child who arrives on a donkey, impassable roads and painful truths this Christmas is quickly turning into perfectly dreadful.
Can love find its way through the darkness and pain of loss? True love and the spirit of Christmas makes this the most amazing story of soul wrenching agony to heart soaring joy. Friendship, honor, grace and faith make this first published work by Louisa Cornell so amazing and definitely the first of many.
“God Rest You Murdered Gentlemen” by Kate Parker is a fun, house party mystery full of entertaining guests with a lot of reason to commit murder. Newly weds Count and Countess Hunter have little time to explore the joys of marriage with the holidays and their many obligations, add in a murder and they barely have time to sleep. This young couple makes a great sleuthing team as they use their strengths to conduct an investigation to protect their guests and the family name.
If you’re looking for a fun read during the holidays. Something to get you in the mood or give you a break from the chaos then you need to read Christmas Revels. The best gift you can give yourself.
sherrilhollister.com/Suspense She Writes Bookstore Dismiss