Tag Archives: guest author

Behind the Title (Creation of a Love Story): a guest post by romance author Cynthia Roberts

Behind the Title: Creation of a Love Story

by Cynthia Roberts

 

 

Creating romantic fiction has been a passion of mine, ever since I was old enough to understand the connection between the sexes.  I think I was twelve, when I wrote my first love story and like most young minds; I truly thought it was a masterpiece.

 

There’s another masterful connection that has been going on now for centuries, and that is the one between music and literature.  There is a full alphabet of songs that have been written retelling a work of literature as far back as the 18th century.

 

“If I Die Young” by The Band Perry was based on a poem, “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. “Love Story” by Taylor Swift is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet.  The artist Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street” was based on an Anne Rice Novel, Interview With A Vampire.

 

More interesting, though, the anatomy of a song has also within its lyrics a pretty fascinating back story as well.  For more than five decades, authors have been creating fictional pieces and bringing readers deep inside the lyrics.  I grew up listening to my mom’s collection of romantic ballads from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  Those lyrics have forever been embossed into my brain; I still sing along whenever I hear them.  Lyrics like those back then told a story, and they were so strong, and emotional, their affect were everlasting.

I have a library of love songs on iTunes I listen to religiously, while I write, as a source of inspiration and a tool that gets me in the mood and mindset I need to be in.  It is from this list, I began to formulate a series of ideas, followed by cryptic notes on paper, and finally the creation of my Love Song Standards Series.  I made a list of the songs I connected with personally, whittling it down to thirty-five.  That number was quite overwhelming and I thought virtually impossible to create that many scenarios.  So, I chipped away at the songs and their lyrics, until I decided on a top ten.

 

I had made a commitment to myself to finish one book a month throughout 2016, writing a chapter every day, leaving me ample time to polish and edit each one.  I knew from the start what I wanted my covers to look like.  They had to resemble each other in a way that would tie them together, but strong enough for them to stand on their own.  My designer Covers by Ramona did an exceptional job tying all my ideas together.

After Book 6, Chances Are, was completed, my brain was fried.  I took a short reprieve and switched it up a bit with a Romantic Suspense, A Pawn for Malice.  Happily, the first two books of my series received a 5-Star Readers Favorite Award, which ended my promotion efforts.  I was forced to take an extended break due to personal issues that had set me back both physically and emotionally.  My focus now is to both promote my series and finish the final four titles All The Way, It’s Impossible, Sincerely, and Unforgettable.

 

If you’re a lover of contemporary romance, please do check out my Love Song Standards Series.  I know you’ll be pleasantly pleased.  Buy links and descriptions are available on my website at RomanceAuthorCynthiaRoberts.com.  If you subscribe to my mailing list, we can stay in touch as to when the other titles are completed PLUS you’ll receive a complimentary copy of Book 1, Unchained Melody.  All that I ask is for you to please, please share an honest review at the online retailer you use most. It will help me dramatically towards promoting my book and the series.

 

Hugs from me to you. ♥

 

Wow! Thank you, Cynthia, for that riveting take on the connection between music and books.

And I agree! I often listen to music while I’m writing. ♪♫

Those are such beautiful covers! 😀

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at one of Cynthia Roberts’ books? Sounds like a plan!:)

Nice cover!

This is the blurb for Unchained Melody:

Pamela Landers had it all, a senior partnership with a top law firm, expensive car, and a luxurious condo. What she desired most was a loving husband, children and a life filled with precious memories that would comfort her through her golden years.

Funny how fate has a way of steering you down that path where dreams really can come true. When Pamela encounters Gavin Templeton along her journey, she has some life-altering decisions to make that eventually lead her to the happily ever after she always dreamed of.

Cynthia is also offering us a fun excerpt from this inspirational romance.

What people are saying about Cynthia’s books:

” This is definitely a novel that I would read again. It is going to stay on my bookshelf for a very, very long time.”  —Readers’ Favorite

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01B8AWOM2

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unchained-melody-cynthia-roberts/1123345646

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Unchained-Melodies/Cynthia-Roberts/9781523759743?id=6842447479054

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unchained-melody-5

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6033059

♥♥♥ Interesting! It looks like quite a romantic ride! 

Don’t forget to subscribe to her mailing list, and you’ll get a copy of this book to read!

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Cynthia! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

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My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family. It wasn’t until much later in life I actually took up the pen to write my first historical romance, Wind Warrior. I really don’t fit into one specific niche.  Once a story starts to flow, it’s only then I know what genre/sub-genre it will fit under.

I have only one regret, and that is not getting to this point in my career much sooner, rather than later.  Life has a way of setting up road blocks, which for me, was supposed to work out that way.  Because of those detours, I have become a more passionate and expressive writer, allowing me to create the kind of raw human emotion I want my readership to feel.

It is my hope you walk away with not just an entertaining read, but the importance in knowing, “Without imagination & dreams, we lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities.”

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia.Roberts.Author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cynthiasromance

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Roberts/e/B001KCK0U2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3433035.Cynthia_Roberts

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/RomanceCynthia/

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/romauthorcroberts/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/100112528079816795315/posts

 

Thanks again, Cynthia! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Sepalika from SAVED IN SRI LANKA plus a conversation with author Devika Fernando!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed K.C. Sprayberry’s character on March 3rd and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Devika Fernando, the author of Saved in Sri Lanka, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Sepalika, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Devika in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Sepalika!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Sepalika.  Please have a seat.

Character Sepalika:  Hello.  Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Sepalika: Of course.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Sepalika:  (Smiles.) I work as a tour guide in Sri Lanka, and I absolutely love my job. I get to watch people while they catch a glimpse of my country. It’s fascinating witnessing all the different reactions and creating little stories about them. I do think I’m good at my job because I add some fun and spice to routine.

Marie:  That’s great!  So, what is your family like?

Sepalika: (Frowns and sighs.) I wish you hadn’t asked. My father is suffering from chronic kidney disease. The doctors have only given him a few more months to live. As for my mother, she’s devastated…and worried about me. I don’t have any siblings, and I don’t really bond with any of our relatives.

Marie:  Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s try something else.

What did your childhood home look like?

Sepalika:  I grew up in my mother’s ancestral home in a small village off Kandy amidst paddy fields, but we moved to Colombo when I was small, so after that it was modern city life for me. It was a huge change from the old, big house open to wilderness surrounding it, to the small, neat apartment surrounded by traffic and noise.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Sepalika:  I love history and reading. Actually… (blushes.) I love dancing and singing too, but I hardly ever let that side of me out.

Marie:  I love reading too!

So, what is your greatest dream, Sepalika?

Sepalika:  I’d love to visit Australia one day.

Marie:  Well, that’s certainly a worth goal! (Smiles.)

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Sepalika: I hate being such a coward. I wish I had the courage to stand up for my own happiness and really live life the way I want it. But that’s not easy if you live in Sri Lanka…and if you have a family to take care of.

Marie:  I see.  Yeah, obligations can often tear you away from what you want.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Sepalika:  I’ve never really been in love. I did have a huge crush on an English student when I went to university in London, but our relationship was doomed to fail. Now though, I think I’ve found the one… (Stares dreamily into the distance.)

Marie:  Well, that’s great that you found someone new! I’m happy for you. I won’t beg you to tell me more, though I’m dying to know…(Laughs.)

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So, Sepalika, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Sepalika:  Finding out that my father has less than a year to live because of kidney failure. I’d give anything to save him.

Marie:  How terrible! I’m sorry. I wish I could do something…😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Sepalika nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Sepalika:  I always wanted to see more of the world, and I’ve achieved that partly because I spent years studying in England. But I’m not sure I’ll ever get another chance to travel…

Marie:  I see.

So, who is your role model?

Sepalika:  All those great women in history who took life into their own hands and proved that they’re worth just as much as men, if not more.

Marie:  I agree. How inspirational!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Sepalika:  Erm, quite a lot of people, to tell you the truth. It’s the only way to stay sane in this society… There’s a certain Mrs. de Souza – no, I won’t say more, I’ll just get worked up.

Marie:  All right. I’ll let you get away with being vague. (Winks.)

So, what is your deepest desire?

Sepalika:  Finding someone who recognizes the real me and loves me for who I am.

Marie: Yes, I believe we all want that…

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Sepalika:  Living a loveless life full of pretense.

Marie:  All right.

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Sepalika.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Devika Fernando on the stage today. Hi, Devika!

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Author Devika Fernando:  Hi. Thank you so much for having the two of us over, Marie! 🙂

Marie:  My pleasure! 

As you know, we just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Sepalika. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Devika:  Sepalika is pretty modern for a Sri Lankan, you could say, almost “Western”. She’s stuck in an awful situation that makes it difficult for her to live the way she wants and deserves, but I know she’ll find a way out because she’s stronger than she thinks.

Marie:  (Nods.) I gathered some of that from talking to her. 

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Devika:  Her kindness and her intelligence.

Marie:  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, is her greatest weakness?

Devika: Her self-doubt.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

Devika:  She loves traditional Sri Lankan food like spicy vegetable curries and fish. And she’s a big fan of all the exotic fruits growing in her family’s garden, like guavas, mangoes and papayas.

Marie:  Well, I can’t blame her. I love papayas!

Let’s try something else.

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Devika:  She’s really good at explaining and teaching things.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Devika:  So far, readers really liked Sepalika because she is fighting for her own happiness but also always putting others first.

Marie:  Well, that is certainly honorable.  Now that we have a real taste of Sepalika, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Saved in Sri Lanka?

Devika:  I’ve had many people tell me they’d love to read a romance novel set in Sri Lanka because I live here and am half Sri Lankan. I immediately knew if I ever wrote a story like this, I’d want to include a hero from a European country. And I’d want to show off this island’s beauty. The story sort of wrote itself then, with Daniel as the hero from Ireland and Sepalika as the tour guide falling in love with him.

Marie:  That’s great!  It does sound lovely.

So, Devika, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Devika:  A mix of both, I guess. I do write a plot outline, plan the first few chapters and create character profiles, but I don’t go into too much detail and see where the story is taking me.

Marie:  (Nods.) I do both as well. I let the story come out naturally in scenes, then I start doing heavy plotting and character work-ups. I write more from there, but I will still let the characters interfere with my plans if they have more to say.

So…I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Saved in Sri Lanka or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Devika:  I found myself including too many descriptions, country facts and backstory. It always happens with my stories, but I cut those scenes out during my four or more rounds of editing. I’m very thankful for my awesome beta readers, they’re a big help.

Marie:  I know exactly what you mean! I don’t know what I’d do without my beta readers, critique partners and my proofreader.  🙂

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Saved in Sri Lanka appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by Devika Fernando, a very talented author!

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Here is the blurb for Saved in Sri Lanka.

Some people are destined to meet.

It sure feels that way when Sri Lankan tour guide Sepalika meets Daniel. The mysterious tourist from Ireland steals his way into her heart and makes her question everything her life is built upon. Instant attraction turns to love – but does he feel the same? And what about the secret she’s hiding from him?
Follow the two on their quest for a happy ending amid the beauty and wonders of the tropical island paradise of Sri Lanka.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00U5ZY8AI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saved-in-sri-lanka-devika-fernando/1121331845

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/524106 

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/saved-in-sri-lanka

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Devika_Fernando_Saved_in_Sri_Lanka?id=QsreBgAAQBAJ

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/saved-in-sri-lanka/id973289991

About Devika Fernando

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Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

Having always loved to read and write, Devika made her dream come true in 2014 when she became a self-published novelist. The Amazon bestselling author has published several eBooks in the genres contemporary romance, paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Her German and Sri Lankan roots influence her writing.

Devika’s Books:

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9732450

6560661

1541424

4986055

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Devika Fernando, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://www.devikafernando.com

Blog:  http://www.devikafernando.com/blog

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/devikafernandoauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Author_Devika

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Devika-Fernando/e/B00ISH0RD2/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/devikafernando1/

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/+DevikaFernando/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7980006.Devika_Fernando

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Sepalika, the female main character of Saved in Sri Lanka, and Devika Fernando, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release!  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Women's Fiction, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Keri Sunderland from LOST & SCARED plus a conversation with author K.C. Sprayberry!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. It’s also our 200th post so it’s even more exciting! Yay!

If you remember, we interviewed Celia Kennedy’s character on February 24th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting K.C. Sprayberry, the author of Lost & Scared, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Keri Sunderland, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to K.C. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Keri Sunderland!

Keri

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Keri.  Please have a seat.

Keri Sunderland:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Keri:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Keri: I’m a junior at Landry High School in Landry, Georgia, and like my twin, Shane (I call him big bro, cause he’s like ten minutes older than me), I get stellar grades. School is the best place in the world, and if I don’t get good grades El Creepo (AKA my dad) will give me grief.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your family like?

Keri: Wow. Tough one. My family is complicated, and I mean really complicated. There’s Shane and me, Kenny, Stacy, Jimmy, and baby Krissy, but there are two other kids. Something bad happened a long time ago, but I don’t like talking about it, or even thinking about it. Not even Mom talks about it. She’s cool now but for years she put up with El Creepo smacking her around. Shane and I finally did a “come to Jesus” meeting with Mom, and now the jerk is out of the house. We’re learning to get along without him, which means a lot more laughter and fun.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Keri: Our house is this sweet Craftsman style with two floors. The bottom one is normal—a couple of bedrooms (one’s a computer place for Big Bro and I), bathroom, living room, a great eat in kitchen where I love, love, love to experiment with recipes, and a playroom for the little ones. The upstairs is two huge bedrooms, one for the girls and one for the boys, and a bathroom the six of us have to share. The boys always leave that bathroom so nasty, and I have to clean it. But that’s part of being in a big family. What I love most about our house is the rest of the lot. It’s absolutely huge! Like we can invite the all the cheerleaders over for a barbecue, and the whole football team, and there’s still room for the marching band and a bunch of our friends. Oh, and the little ones can still play without getting bumped around. And there are huge, old trees back there, some tables and chairs. It’s the most totally cool place to hang out in the summer!

Marie:  That’s great!  🙂

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Keri:  I love cooking. Did I already mention that? Well, I do, and I love experimenting, to find great new dishes. There’s cheerleading, and I’m hoping with all my heart to be the head cheerleader next fall, when my senior year starts. Big Bro and I also do this thing at Christmas every year, to pay back all the people who have helped us in the past. We get local merchants to donate gifts, a local tree farm gives Christmas trees, and then most of the high school and some adults give this stuff to needy families on Christmas Eve.

Marie:  How nice!

So, what is your greatest dream, Keri?

Keri:  So much bad has happened in our house, but I wouldn’t leave that willingly for the world, because good has also happened there. My greatest dream is to have our dad out of our lives. He used to be a good person, but he’s not now and he hasn’t been in a long time. He hurts Mom all the time, physically and emotionally by bringing his girlfriends around while she’s at work. He’s always screaming at us or making the little ones cry. Then he disappears, usually taking all of our money, but then it’s good. We’re happy for a while, until he comes back.

So, yeah, getting El Creepo out of our lives is my greatest dream right now. Oh, please don’t tell Mom that I’m calling him El Creepo. She doesn’t think that’s right, but the name fits.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about your dad. That must be hard.

Let’s try a different question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Keri: I want to be a normal teenager, with a normal home, and no worries other than what I’ll wear to school, or if the guy I’m crushing on thinks I’m cute, or if my bestie wants to go shopping with me. But I can’t be that now. I have to help my mom after I get out of school and before she comes home from work. Shane tries to help too, but he has a job, to save for college.

Marie:  I see.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Keri: Axe Markson. His first name is really Gerald, but only his grandma calls him that. He’s Axe to everyone else. Sigh! He’s so cute, and sweet, and I think he more than likes me but… this is so awkward… his dad is a cop, one of the cops who always show up when El Creepo acts like a total jerk. I mean, how can a girl get a guy to like her when he knows all her horrible secrets, and his dad is always at her house? But I hope one day that Axe will get past all that and actually ask me on a date!

Marie:  Oh, I hope so too!  I love romance…;)

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So, Keri, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Keri: The night Cindy and Sam died. Shane and I know the truth, but we can’t ever tell. We just can’t. El Creepo promised to do the same thing to us if we did, and that would totally destroy Mom. But that secret is getting so hard to hold onto anymore. I think Big Bro and I might tell soon, before we absolutely bust from this horrific secret.

Marie:  How terrible! 😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Keri nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Keri: My dream is to have a house where I don’t have to worry about my dad screaming at everyone, or hitting them for messing up. All I want is a place where I don’t have to worry, where I can think about the rest of my life without being afraid of doing something wrong and having to pay his price. ‘Cause his price is always too high.

Marie:  That makes sense. Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home.

So, who is your role model?

Keri:  My bestie, Carly Jameson. She’s totally cute, adores Shane, and I can’t think of anyone better for him. She is always there when things are bad or good. Carly is the best thing in my life, unless Axe decides to ask me out, and then she’s second best, but only ‘cause she’s probably going to be hanging out with Shane.

Marie:  (Laughs.)

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Keri: Not really. People know that what they see is what they get with me. Except for the big secret, I’m probably the most open person in the world. If something bugs me, I blurt it out. Well, except for my other girlfriends, who dumped me fast once they figured out my dad was a total jerk. That hurt, but I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt. That would mean opening up about other things, and I don’t think I’m ready to do that yet.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Keri: To go on a date with Axe, to have a happy family, and to go to college. The college thing might a bit hard, since I can’t get a job, but Shane told me that he’d give me part of his money from the savings.

For the future, I’m not sure. I plan on getting a business degree and finding a job after college, but I’m kind of scared of getting married. Seeing what my dad did to my mom for so many years makes me afraid of commitment, but then there’s Axe. He’s always made me feel safe, but what if he turns out to be like El Creepo? I couldn’t handle that.

Marie: Yeah, I can understand that. I had a bad experience with my ex, and it was hard to trust again after that. Luckily, I found a very patient man and we are so happy now.

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Keri: Losing someone else from my family. I still have nightmares about the night Cindy and Sam died, and my cowardice afterward. Yeah, I was seven when it happened, but still… it’s not like I’ve ever really held back from telling people what’s on my mind about anything else. I don’t get why I’m so scared of telling now, well, I kind of know why. Thinking about what he could do to me if I ever did tell shuts my mouth on the subject forever.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about the situation you’re in, Keri. That’s tough. (Pats her hand.)

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Keri.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have K.C. Sprayberry on the stage today. Hi, K.C.!

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Author K.C. Sprayberry:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure! 

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Keri. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

K.C.: Keri is a teenager, just completing her junior year of high school. In a lot of ways, she’s an overachiever, always ready to volunteer to help out, giving more than her fair share to her community, and studying hard to get the best grades. All of this hinges on an event when she was seven that has marked her, driven Keri to fight back, but she also is still very much the frightened child, terrified that her boogeyman will hurt her too.

Marie:  I see.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

K.C.:  She’s loyal to those she knows won’t abandon her, a talented cook, and is willing to help out anyone in need. She also won’t quit, refuses to give up on someone she loves. These last two traits will serve her well when she’s faced with a situation she knew could happen, but never believed it would until it did.

Marie:  Okay.  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

K.C.:  She can’t bring herself to tell the truth about the night Cindy and Sam, twins two years younger than Keri and Shane, died. A great believer in going to church and her religion, she loses her faith during a very tough time, and almost loses the heart to keep fighting back.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

K.C.:  Keri loves Sonic’s Chicago Dogs and Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese, extra pickles, no onions, and hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream.

Marie:  (Laughs.) All healthy choices, of course.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

K.C.: Keri has never been called on to stand up to her abusive Dad directly or to go against him when she knows that he will lash out with his fists. She’s avoided that since he started using drugs and drinking. But she’s faced with a situation where she knows that she has to do the impossible, take on things she’s never done before, or possibly lose another sibling. No spoilers, but I can say that when faced with a life or death situation, she discovers an inner core of steel that allows her to do what is right instead of cowering in a corner.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

K.C.:  Readers will like her plucky attitude, her resilience despite the tragic situation she finds herself in, and how she doesn’t ever really give up. They might dislike how she loses faith in her abilities or leans on Shane’s perceived strength, discounting her own inner strength. She points out that he’s better with the physical stuff without even thinking about what she’s capable of doing.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Keri Sunderland, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Lost & Scared?

K.C.:  I had two names, Keri and Shane; they actually came to me at the same time, and they had to be twins. Then I saw a story about a child who had been taken by their non-custodial parent and I began to research the subject. Some of the information I discovered chilled me to the bone. Finally, I discovered this website for survivors of non-custodial parental kidnapping and couldn’t stop reading the stories on it.

That’s when a pivotal scene exploded into my head, of seven-year-old Shane and Keri hearing what’s happening to their younger twins, Cindy and Sam. The story evolved from there during the 2014 NaNoWriMo competition. I “finished” the book, about 51,000 words, during November and spent the next six weeks immersed in this book, as more and more information about them came out.

Marie:  That’s great! It’s interesting how research can spark more ideas.

So, K.C., what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

K.C.:  More of a panster. Stories come to me. Sometimes as a whole, other times in bits and pieces. I have stacks of paper lying around my office with ideas on them and files in my computer with half-finished stories just waiting on me to get to them.

Marie:  (Laughs.) That sounds a lot like me!

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Lost & Scared or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

K.C.:  The biggest challenge in writing Lost & Scared was in keeping it real. That can be difficult to do while also paying attention to the plot lines and crafting believable characters. Also, some of the scenes were so intense that I couldn’t stop working on them until I had finished, so that they didn’t kick me out of a sound night’s sleep.

What would I do next time? Honestly, I don’t think I’d do anything differently. All of my books are like this. They reach a point where I have to continue working, ignoring the dust bunnies, my husband and son screaming for food, even the dog whimpering at me to play with her. I’ll become immersed in the story, to the point where nothing else matters, and that’s when the layers start to come together, to make the characters three dimensional, the action intense and real, and the outcome believable.

Marie:  I hear you. I am just as determined when I am focused on a project.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Lost & Scared appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by K.C. Sprayberry, a very talented author!

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Here is the blurb for Lost & Scared.

When their younger twin siblings were murdered by their cold-blooded father, Shane and Keri’s own twin connection deepened. Their father shamed Shane and Keri into silence, and then went on to bring four more children into a house shuddering under the weight of his unpredictable temper.

Ten years later, what should have been a regular visitation turns into a horrific nightmare. Trapped in the Superstition Mountains with an addicted and dangerous father, Keri’s faith and determination wavers, but she knows she must save her brothers and sisters and return all of them to the home they love.

She now faces one insurmountable obstacle. He can’t afford to let her go.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TXJ48FC

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/lost-scared/

About K.C. Sprayberry

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Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon best sellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, Starlight, and the soon to be released Lost & Scared. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.

K.C.’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing K.C. Sprayberry, here are some of her author links:

Website:  www.kcsprayberry.com

Blog:  http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Authorgraph:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Manic Readers:  http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Keri Sunderland, the female main character of Lost & Scared, and K.C. Sprayberry, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release!  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Interview, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing, Young Adult

A Character Interview with Kathleen from KATHLEEN’S UNDRESSED plus a conversation with author Celia Kennedy!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Adrienne Davenport’s character on February 10th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Celia Kennedy, the author of Kathleen’s Undressed:  Book 2, The Accidental Enigma, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Kathleen Ehlers, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Celia in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Kathleen Ehlers!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Kathleen.  Please have a seat.

Kathleen Ehlers:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Kathleen:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Kathleen:  I love my job! I am a Business Acquisition Lawyer for L’Oreal Paris, at the main headquarters, in Clichy, France. I live in Paris, can afford to wear incredible clothes, and it is the perfect balance between the detailed and creative.

Our rate at acquiring new businesses has increased over the last few years – everything from The Body Shop to designer perfumeries. I enjoy research and number crunching. I also enjoy knowing we are putting our quality control behind all these name brands.

Am I any good at it? My goal is to be the EVP for Administrative and Finances, and I believe that it is a very achievable goal.

[Currently there is only one person between Kathleen and that title.]

Marie:  That’s great! So, what is your family like?

Kathleen:  Growing up, it was just me and my mom; no siblings. I had a great childhood though. My mother and I were very close, we still are.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Kathleen:  Great question! I grew up in Seattle, Washington (the state, not Washington D.C.). I grew up in the Ravenna Neighborhood – small bungalows on small lots – there were buckets of kids living in my neighborhood. I always had someone to play with.

My mom still lives in the house.

As for the house itself… I think it might be around 900 square feet. Small – two bedrooms, one bathroom, a tiny living room, and an even smaller kitchen.

Now that I think about it, my mom was partial to white walls and cabinets. I never asked her why. I was always partial to a lot of color, so you’d think I would have wondered about this before now. Anyway, the white didn’t stop the house from being cozy and a place where I felt happy and safe.

Marie:  Well, that’s good!

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Kathleen:  People think this is crazy, but I love remodeling apartments. It all started when I was in graduate school at Oxford – in England. The pokey little flat I rented had been painted green through-out. So, I bought some paint… and I got hooked on improving the places I lived in.

Since I’ve lived in Paris, ten years now, I have bought and remodeled a few apartments. I try to do most of the work myself; tiling, painting, woodwork – everything that doesn’t required an expert, like plumbing or electrical.

Given the hours I work, there isn’t a lot of time for hobbies beyond my on-going remodeling projects.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Kathleen?

Kathleen:  Another great question! My greatest dream… [Laughs.] After becoming EVP? I suppose my dream is to finish remodeling my current apartment. Gosh, that makes me sound dull! I suppose if I were being really honest, spending more time with friends would be fantastic.

Marie:  What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Kathleen:  I think everyone wishes they could be a little more carefree, I know I do. I read, when I was quite young, that if you write down your goals, they are more likely to come true. In graduate school, I set a list of goals for myself and I’m making great progress towards them. Achieving my goals is very important to me, but they do require long hours at work.

Marie:  That’s the truth!  😉

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Kathleen: [A wistful look quickly passes across her face, and I find her answer surprising.] Who’s to say I’ve had a first love?

Marie:  So secretive! But, I’ll let you get away with it.

Kathleen, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Kathleen:  [Stares down at her hands for quite some time, before answering.] Honestly, I cannot answer that. [The confidence and grace that Ms. Ehlers has exuded up to this point, deflates briefly.]

Marie:  All right. I won’t press.

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Kathleen nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Kathleen:  Gosh! I was such a pragmatic child. It probably came as no surprise to my mother when I announced I wanted to be a lawyer! [Here, she pauses briefly, before answering with a twinkle in her eye.] I loved to paint as a child – not walls – canvases. If there is a dreamer in me at all, I suppose I dreamt of being a painter. The pragmatist won out.

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Marie:  So, who is your role model?

Kathleen:  My mother, of course. She’s a wonderful woman, who taught me to reach for the stars. I never felt like I couldn’t do something, if I set my mind to it.

Marie:  That’s awesome!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kathleen: Des Bannerman!

[Readers might remember the scandal in the tabloids last year between The King of Romantic Comedies, with an unknown American woman. That woman, Charlotte Young-Molloy, is one of Ms. Ehlers’ closest friends.]

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Kathleen: To be fearless, to make my goals a reality – the goals I wrote down eleven years ago! To be a loving and supportive friend… maybe take up painting again someday.

Marie:  So…let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Kathleen:  Loneliness!

Marie:  Well, we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Kathleen.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Celia Kennedy on the stage today. Hi, Celia!

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Author Celia Kennedy:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure! 

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kathleen. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Celia:  Kathleen earns her enigmatic title because she is both confident but afraid – she’s reached the upper-echelons of her career ladder – but she’s unable to reveal her emotional scars. Kathleen is an independent woman, financially and emotionally, but perhaps to her detriment. She works long hours to get the career reward, but the price she pays is that she is quite lonely and unable to be vulnerable.

Marie:  So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Celia:  I think I am quite a bit like Kathleen. I have a lot of confidence in myself when it comes to trying new things; learning, making connections, being a responsible co-worker. I put a lot of work into being competent. When I am invested, I’m all in.

Marie:  Okay.  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Celia:  Kathleen’s greatest weakness is that she fears being alone. The way that she handles it is by isolating herself, before she can be left.

Marie:  I see. 

What are some of her favorite foods?

Celia: Kathleen loves to eat! That is one of my favorite things about her – she is a foodie. Highly contrasting flavors and textures delight her; hot curries with pickled chutney’s or tart cherries in a sweet dough (this is a Clafouti and makes a guest appearance in Kathleen’s Undressed).

Marie:  So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Celia: She’s fiercely loyal – when everyone else is second guessing themselves, their friendships, she is the one in the group who reminds them of their history, of their commitment as friends.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Celia: I think they will love her. When you meet her she is a little reserved, aloof. But as you read her story, you begin to understand that it is a self-protection mechanism, and then you fall in love with her, because just below the surface, she is warm and committed to those in her life.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Kathleen Ehlers, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Kathleen’s Undressed?

Celia:  When I read Book One of The Accidental Series, Charlotte’s Restrained, after it was finished, I realized that we learn very little about Kathleen. While she plays a pivotal role in that book, I didn’t explore her background, her story, as much as I did the other characters. In thinking about why I’d done this, I decided to take that lack of development and create a reason behind it.

Marie:  That’s great! I had something similar when I reread Upon Your Return. I knew there was a larger story at work, and now that I’m well into writing the third book, so much is happening.

So, Celia, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Celia: Every time I write a book, my style changes. My natural predisposition is to daydream about the characters and the plotline – mull over different options and opportunities. I have learned to write down, very vaguely, the purpose for each chapter and work from the outline. As I think of questions or try to weave the threads of all the characters’ storylines, I end up with a bunch of scribblings and loads of arrows!

While I write, it is literally as if I am watching the movie, the story unfolds in front of my eyes and I am lost in the experience.

Marie:  My notes are pretty messy too, and I hear you about being in the zone.

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Kathleen’s Undressed or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Celia:  I learned a great deal from writing Charlotte’s Restrained, my first book. I did it all backwards. I had a book, but no readers, no connections, no writing community. I didn’t have it edited or design a book cover. It’s scary how much I didn’t know. So, my advice to new writers is to develop your community while you write – don’t be afraid to ask for critiques, find beta-readers and have them give suggestions, make connections with book reviewers, bloggers and readers – but these need to be sincere relationships. You are making as big a commitment to them as you want them to make to you. Your work and your community will only benefit by it.

Marie:  What great advice! Thank you, Celia!  🙂

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Kathleen’s Undressed appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by Celia Kennedy, a very talented author!

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Here is the blurb for Kathleen’s Undressed:  Book 2, The Accidental Enigma.

The ladies from Charlotte’s Restrained are back together! Joining Kathleen in Paris, France, for Fall Fashion Week, the ladies and their men mingle with celebrities, royalty, and the fashion elite.

Kathleen’s thrilled to have her friends in town, but what should be a week of camaraderie and fun is about to take a darker turn. Because Kathleen has secrets. Dark secrets her friends would be devastated to learn.

A special someone enters Kathleen’s life who urges her to reveal what she’s kept hidden. It becomes clear she will have to make a choice when the group reunites for an unexpected wedding.

Will Kathleen continue deceiving her friends at the risk of their friendship — or reveal the truth at the risk of herself?

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Kathleens-Undressed-Accidental-Enigma-Book-ebook/dp/B00SAP05QG/

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00SAP05QG

About Celia Kennedy

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Celia Kennedy was born in Wurzburg, Germany on a military base. Her parent’s penchant for traveling has stuck with her, she’s lived in and traveled through several countries.

The imagined world has always fascinated Celia. She has studied Art History, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture. Her thirteen year career at UW in Seattle ended in 1996. Not wanting to be homeless, she left the academic world and worked as a Landscape Architect, married the love of her life, became a mom, has been PTA President, Girl Scout leader and Boy Scout leader.

The unimaginable wealth in her life is the most fascinating thing to her.

Her love of travel, the designed and natural world, friendship, self-discovery, wine, chocolate, AND love are the foundation of her books.

Celia published her first book, Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker in December 2012, Venus Rising in August of 2013, Sugar It’s Cold Outside, Cupid on the Loose Anthology, April’s Fool, Fool’s Rush In Anthology, 2015 AND Kathleen’s Undressed, The Accidental Enigma on February 23, 2015. Three other works are in progress.

Celia’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Celia Kennedy, here are some of her author links:

Website:  www.celiakennedy.weebly.com

Blog:  www.womanreinventsself.blogspot.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CMKAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KennedyCelia

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Celia-Kennedy/e/B00AW5KEZO/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/celiakennedy/

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/u/0/106475224814075459757/posts

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Kathleen Ehlers, the female main character of Kathleen’s Undressed, and Celia Kennedy, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here!

Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Women's Fiction, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Candy Frost from MIRACLES IN THE MAKING plus a conversation with author Adrienne Davenport!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Rachael Stapleton’s character on January 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Adrienne Davenport, the author of Miracles in the Making, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Candy Frost, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Adrienne in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Candy Frost!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Candy.  Please have a seat.

Candy Frost:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Candy:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Candy:  I own a candy store- in Chicago. Candy Cane Lane Sweets Shop. I decided to have some fun with the name, since I have the crazy name Candy, that is. It seems to go over pretty well. That is, all the customers I get seem to like it. Over time I’ve gained a knack for what I do. The better half of the products are homemade candies. I’m lucky enough to get to do something enjoyable. I can’t think of a time I didn’t like doing it.

Marie:  Great! So, what is your family like?

Candy:  It’s not all that big nowadays. I have two sisters, Marie and Lacy. We meet every year at our old family house a little ways out of town. Our parents died three years back in a car accident during the winter. I miss them a lot. It does help, however, getting to see my siblings. Of course, there are my two nephews to think of. Jason and Kalen are Lacy’s young boys. Other than that, I don’t see most of my relatives all too much throughout the year. It’s not so bad, what with the other four being easy to reach.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Candy:  Oh, well, my sister Lacy and her boys stay there now. It’s a little ways out of town. An old structure with faded paint, it’s pretty enough in it’s way. Centuries old though. Lacy is good at keeping the place up. That’s where our Christmas get-together will be.

Marie:  I see.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Candy:  Hobbies? Actually I like many different things. For example, often times at night when I get home from work, I will almost instantly pick up a book. I enjoy being sociable just as much though. I can’t wait for the Winter Wonderfest to pick up. I love the old-fashioned fun that the carnival has. And it’s so much more fun if you have a friend to go along with you. I’m sure you can see, I’m a flexible person.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Candy?

Candy:  You had to ask. It really is tempting just to make something up. My greatest dream is to find a prince charming a little taller than my cat. Yeah, I know it sounds silly, but as much as I like the sweet furball, the house does get a little quiet around the holidays anymore.

Marie:  Aww.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Candy:  I don’t think about it all too much, I wish my shop were a little better known. I really don’t have too much holding me back, overall it’s just taking time. Slowly the customer volume is growing in size, and variety. I’ve just had to keep patience with life, that isn’t always too easy in the long haul.

Marie:  Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Candy:  Surprise, surprise, a young boy in sixth grade. Blue eyes, brown hair, tall figure, he was everything a girl could ask for. That is, except for nice. I learned that the hard way.

Marie:  All right…this one is going to be a bit more serious.

Candy, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Candy:  Remember that car accident I mentioned a little while ago? The one that involved my parents around Christmas? That probably tops off the list. After all, I was far from the only one waiting for them. Not to mention, no one even began to expect what would happen. The holiday wasn’t quite as cheerful as it used to be after that, at least not for a good long while. This little ritual of getting together at the old house was far more refreshing then I had ever expected.

Marie:  Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I lost both of my grandparents around the holidays so I know exactly what you mean.

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

(Candy nods.)

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Candy:  I wanted to be someone that other people wouldn’t have trouble looking up to. I consider myself lucky, I did achieve my dream. These days I have many young boys and girls scurry into my shop, looking up at me with bright eyes. Some of them are simply impressed that I own such a neat shop, others genuinely need a hand getting home and they know for a fact that they’re not supposed to speak to a stranger. I try my best to make sure they are safe. Never in my life would I have expected this is where I’d end up, owning my own store I mean, but now that I have I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I love the chance I have to help all these kids just to see them smile. That alone makes a day good.

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Marie:  Well, that’s great!

So, who is your role model?

Candy:  My dad. Yeah, don’t ask, he has been dead for some time. It is what it is. Not for the life of me can I recall a time when he ever raised his voice to his kids or one time he ever gave us bad advice. He’s the reason I have any sort of patience to work with today. He taught me so much, I’ll never forget it.

Marie:  (Nods.) Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Candy:  Not really, usually if I do not like someone I’d just as well tell them. I see no reason to go out of my way. If a person wants to make their life more miserable they can go ahead. I, for one, don’t need the extra headache.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Candy:  To find the man of my dreams. Of course, I’d love to see my parents one more time. However, I try not to think about that all too much, I’m pretty sure it won’t happen for awhile. That is, far longer than the other, even if that does take quite a few years.

Marie:  So…let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Candy:  To lose the people closest to me. My sisters and nephews are more precious to me than anything else in my life. After all, we’ve gone through together, I don’t know what I would do without them.

Marie:  Well, we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Candy.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Adrienne Davenport on the stage today. Hi, Adrienne!

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Author Adrienne Davenport:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Candy. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Adrienne:  Candy lives in Chicago with her cat whom she named Peter Pan. Owner to a growing candy store, she is witty and strong-hearted. She has a variety of tastes that make life very interesting for her.

Marie:  So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Adrienne:  Her greatest strength is her kindness. This makes it easy for people to like her, whether they are younger or older.

Marie:  Great!  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Adrienne:  Her stubbornness is without a doubt. This can make it easy for her to struggle with some things in life. However, it also often makes it difficult for her to see both sides of an issue clearly. This is especially the case when she is too emotionally involved in the matter.

Marie:  I see.  What are some of her favorite foods?

Adrienne:  She loves anything sweet, especially homemade treats! Anything from homemade cookies to homemade candies, that made at home flavor is what makes it so good!

Marie:  (Laughs.) Well, I have to agree.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Adrienne:  Her soft heart, everyone around her notices the quality. However, she doesn’t really see what it is they like so much about her. She doesn’t really realize how much all these people genuinely enjoy her company.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Adrienne:  Readers will, without question, like Candy. Overall, she is kind, sociable, and understanding. This will make it easy for people to like her for who she is.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Candy Frost, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Miracles in the Making?

Adrienne:  For years I have wanted to write a romance circulating around the Christmas holiday, it was just a matter of finding an idea I connect with well enough. As with most of my ideas, this idea just basically popped into my head while I was relaxing after dinner one night. After writing the minimal details down on paper, I really liked what was coming to life so after I finished the previous novel this is what I started working with.

Marie:  That’s great!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Adrienne:  A pantster, no doubt. I get these astonishing ideas, late at night and I have to leap up and jot down the basics on paper. I keep a notebook near my laptop along with a pen so everything is on hand. Then when I need a new book, I flip through my idea list and snatch up the one that sounds good. After that, I just go with it from there.

Marie:  How exciting!

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Miracles in the Making or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Adrienne:  The hardest part of writing this was coming up with a satisfying title. I started out with one and over the course of the story, I changed it a few different times. Next time, I would probably do a little more promotion before release date as opposed to after. This can make the entire process a little easier in the long run.

Marie:  That’s true. It always helps to move things along.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Miracles in the Making appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Adrienne Davenport, a very talented author!

Miracles in the Making cover

Here is the blurb for Miracles in the Making:

Sometimes the gifts we treasure most…are the ones we don’t see coming. Owner of a charming little candy shop, near the center of Chicago, Candy Frost has no children of her own to hold dear. Still, she is loved just as dearly by the ones who visit her shop on a regular basis. It isn’t much but it keeps her going, especially around the holidays. She hates the surname she inherited from her parents but the kids think it’s very hilarious. Busy with life in general, she doesn’t make much effort to find a relationship. Kept company by her old cat, she figures she could not ask for more, even if occasionally she is a bit lonely. Life in general keeps to a smooth pace, until one night just before Christmas Eve, while sitting at home, she absently admits to her cat that she occasionally longs for company.

This year Noel Street, a young male angel, has been watching her for a few years. He trips up, admitting he momentarily lapsed in his duty. To punish him the high angel sends him to Earth for three months. When Candy discovers him outside her shop, she falls head over heels. He is the handsomest man she has seen in years. He draws children to him as though he possesses a magical flair. She can’t help but be attracted. Noel has always found her beautiful, but she was off limits. Using his duty to her for an excuse, he invites her to visit the Winter Wonderfest on Navy with him. Neither knows what awaits them or the turns life is about to take. They have no idea what questions will arise or what answers are in store.\

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Making-Adrienne-Davenport-ebook/dp/B00QUASQ7I/

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-miraclesinthemaking-1697161-149.html

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00QUASQ7I

About Adrienne Davenport

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As a novelist, I enjoy my work immensely. My first book, A Fairytale; was written when I was eleven years old for an assignment I had in sixth grade. While the rest of the class was writing one or two pages, I created a book more than ten pages long. Since I’ve loved to write from that time that I was in first grade, it seemed the logical path to take. Miracles in the Making is my first novella. Up to this point however, I have published two other novels, Dishonorable Intentions and Stranger by Morning. Right now, I am working on a fresh new romance. Almost Wonderful is due to be released in the near future. I currently live in the beautiful town of Moab, Utah.

When I am not writing, I can usually be found spending time with my young son, Julian. As a single mom, it was a challenge at first to find a happy medium, but my son always comes first! I never stop loving what I do. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for your support. I welcome any feedback. My email is adrienne_davenport@hotmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your friend,

Adrienne

Adrienne’s Books:

Miracles in the Making cover

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Adrienne Davenport, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://www.adriennedavenportbooks.com/

Blog:  https://vermillionquill.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/adriennedavenportbooks

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/A_Davenport77

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Adrienne-Davenport/e/B004SYM1GA/

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/ADavenporttrailers

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/101845334444685846415/posts

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Candy Frost, the female main character of Miracles in the Making, and Adrienne Davenport, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! 🙂

 

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Holiday, Hope, Interview, Love, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

Guest Post by Author Marie Lavender

Check out my guest post on Jems Books Blog!

Jemsbooks

Marie Lavender

Please help me welcome author Marie Lavender to my Guest Post Segment of Jemsbooks Blog.  It is a pleasure to have you here, Marie. Please share your story about your books and writing.

I started writing at the age of nine as I had a pretty big imagination. Often I could be found acting out my stories with dolls and such.  Eventually, I transitioned into writing them down.  The first book I wrote was for Mrs. Davis’ third grade English class and it was titled The Mystery of the Golden Chair.  Of course, I would never publish it at this point, but you could say I learned a lot from that attempt.

In school, I preferred English Literature or Creative Writing classes over Math and Science. With the exception of some other subjects like Choir and Psychology, I was totally obsessed with writing.  Of course, I had interests outside…

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Poetry, Romance, Writing

Radio Spot Thursday

Hi, readers!  Drop by The Cooks & Books Show on Thursday, September 4th (yes, that’s tomorrow!) at 5:00PM and you’ll catch me on the radio!  I am so excited to be interviewed by talented author Adra Young on Urban Nation Radio.  Here is the Google+ event with all of the details.  You can also visit the Urban Nation Radio website.  www.urbannationradio.com  Please feel free to drop by or call in with questions.  I’d love to hear from my fans!  🙂

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In any case, it should be a blast, and you may learn something new about Upon Your Honor.

Upon Your Honor

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Filed under Authors, Books, Fiction, Historical Romance, Interview, Romance, Writing