Monday, June 25, 2012

Does Rebecca J. Clark Eat the Frog or Not?


Karen: My special guest today is Rebecca J. Clark. When she's not whipping someone into shape, she's spinning romance tales for The Wild Rose Press. Let's give her a warm welcome. Please feel free to ask her questions or leave her a comment. 

EVERYTHING BUT THE FROG by Rebecca J. Clark

In my new release, DELIVER THE MOON, my heroine, Louisa, is somewhat of a control freak. She likes everything just right, and heaven help her if something—or someone—comes along to upset the balance of her tidy little world. Like her ex-husband.

I’m not sure, but I bet Louisa is a fan of To Do lists. And unlike me, I bet she actually remembers to check her list throughout the day. And also unlike me, I bet she actually completes most every item on that list.

I am a To Do list whore. In fact, I’m list whore in general. In fact, I’m just a... Wait. I digress.

I make lists for everything. Grocery lists. Playlists for my iPod. Books I want to read. Movies I want to see. Destinations I want to visit. Recipes I want to try. Recipes I’ve already tried. My day job (personal trainer) consists of following lists each day (each client has a list of exercises we follow).

And, of course, the To Do list.

This is where everything goes very, very wrong for me. It’s not that I don’t make my To Do list. I do. Daily. Right when I get up. But then I forget to refer to it for the rest of the day. Every once in a while, I’ll get into a To Do list kick, and be really good every day about checking my list every couple of hours or so, or whenever I have a free moment. But that kick lasts about as long as my hardwood floors stay dog-hair-free.

I’ve read books about To Do lists. Chalene Johnson (of Beach Body Turbokick fame) has a fabulous new book called PUSH, that’s about changing your life in 30 days. All based on following a To Do list. It’s a great plan. If I followed it. She even has a free 30-day course on goal-setting (http://www.chalenejohnson.com/products-page/product-category/30-day-challenge/) – I watched it every day. Until about Day 17. Then I stopped. Guess I forgot to put it on Day 18’s To Do list.

I’ve read Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog. Mark Twain suggested if you eat a live frog first thing every day, nothing worse will happen to you that day. I’m sure he’s right. Tracy coined the term “eat that frog” to mean doing the toughest thing on your To Do list first, then the rest of your day will likely fall into place.

I try to eat that frog every day. Really I do. Maybe if I added a bit of hot sauce, it would be more appealing...?

What about you? Are you a list maker? Do you actually DO what’s on your To Do list? Do you eat that frog?

DELIVER THE MOON is available now:




About the Author:
Rebecca J. Clark has wanted to write romance novels since she read her first Harlequin Romance at age 11. When she’s not writing, she works as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor, where she teaches Pilates, Zumba® and yoga. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of 25 years, two kids, a German Shepherd beast who loves to chase her two cats who plot to kill the dog, two rats that come when they’re called, and a gecko. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys reading, watching Criminal Minds reruns on TV, and doing absolutely nothing.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: The Devil's Wolf #2

It's Six Sentence Sunday at my website under Karen's Shennanigans! This is the 2nd tidbit from my Historical Romance, The Devil's Wolf.

Short Blurb: When Archie Maxwell is accused falsely of killing a Johnstone, his brother, Waylon, known as the Devil's Wolf, sets out to save him. His bargaining tool is the Johnstone's daughter, Catrione. He plans to ransom her for his brother's release, but once he lays eyes on her, his plans take another turn.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Family Feud that Lasted a Century!

Before there were the Hatfields and the McCoys there were the Johnstones and the Maxwells. In the 16th century, the two families vied for control. The feud lasted nearly a century and was one of the bloodiest family feuds in British history.

Caerlaverock
Sir. James Johnstone of Dunskellie was the leader of Johnstone clan and John was Lord Maxwell, the chief of the Maxwells. He was the West Marsh Warden, which meant he was responsible for the whole March. This position could change hands between warlords. The frequent change of the Wardenship was part of the animosity between the two clan leaders.

In early 1593, Willie Johnstone stole a black horse from Lord Crichton. Once Willie was caught, Lord Crichton ordered Willie to be hanged. He was caught “red hand” the summary was written in the Border Law.

Caerlaverock
In revenge, the Johnstones of Wamphray, led by Willie Johnstone of Kirkhill, burned their way through Lord Crichton’s land. They stole household goods and they killed fifteen of Lord Crichton’s tenants.

Crichton demands The Maxwell to address the matter, but Lord Maxwell didn't want to further the hostility between the two clans. Crichton was furious and rode to Edinburgh to petition the King.

The king decided that John, Lord Maxwell should demand that Johnstone give himself up to the Warden and be brought to Edinburgh . Crichton brought the widows and mothers of all fifteen men killed. They paraded the bloodied shirts of their loved ones and gained the peoples sympathy. They wanted the Johnstones brought to justice.

The Johnstones refused to give up the men responsible for the bloodshed and the two clans prepared for war. The Johnstones had four hundred men who followed him . The Maxwells had two thousand at their disposal. The two clans met at Dryfe Sands. Lockerbie on December 1593. The Maxwells had to cross the river Annan. The Johnstones concealed themselves in the hills and when the Maxwells crossed,  they were ambushed immediately. The Maxwells couldn’t turn around or they would run into their own men. 

Lochwood Tower
In the battle, The Maxwell was struck from his horse and died. His head and hands were cut off and hung on the walls of Lochwood Tower. Vestiges remain their today.

The battle lasted only two hours with the rest of the Maxwell retreating from the disaster. The youngest Johnstone to fight and live was Robert Johnstone of Raecleuch who was only eleven years old.





The Devil's Wolf (Historical Romance)
Amazon 
Smashwords

Blurb:
     When Archie Maxwell is accused falsely of killing a Johnstone, his brother, Waylon, known as the Devil's Wolf, sets out to save him. His bargaining tool is the Johnstone's daughter, Catrione. He plans to ransom her for his brother's release, but once he lays eyes on her, his plans take another turn.

Lady Catrione Johnstone knows of the Devil’s Wolf and his ruthless exploits. Catrione vows she will fight him to the end. However, the myth is nothing like the man. In his arms, she forgets he is her enemy.

Will the magic of love finally bring peace to these two feuding clans or will it only inflame the hostility to a bloody end?

Monday, June 11, 2012

ADRIAN SCOTT'S REVENGE


Karen: Adrian Scott is a multi-published author with over sixty stories to his credit. He's here from Australia to give us the exclusive behind the scenes preview of his new chilling release, REVENGE.  
THE WRITING OF ‘REVENGE’ by Adrian Scott
Karen has kindly offered to give me the chance to tell, on her blog, the story of ‘Revenge’ – the research involved, and the creation of the story itself.
‘Revenge’ is set in Sydney, Australia, in the 1840’s, at a time before the invention of the percussion pistol and the repeating revolver, when the flintlock and the blunderbuss were the weapons of common use, a time before the telephone and the ‘horseless carriage,’ as the automobile was sometimes known.
The research was already well-known to me because, almost without exception, my novels are set in this time-period, many of them in Australia, so I was already well-acquainted with the city as it was, and society as it first came into being in a continent that was seen, by England, as a depository for its own criminal element. Times have changed, and society is different now; the city, too has changed – some of the old emporiums and shops still remain in scattered places, but most of them have given way to new buildings. The streets, however, are still there, and still just as crowded as they always were, although the traffic passing is different now.
 But the story behind ‘Revenge,’ and how it came into being is, in itself, another story altogether.
My three daughters have, for years, suggested I write my own autobiography, but I have always refused, saying it was a tale I could never tell, because of the painful memories involved.
Finally, some time ago, however, I found a way to do it: I created a work of fiction, and based it partly on my own childhood and early adulthood, on my mother’s illness and eventual passing away when she was only forty-three years old, and my father’s treatment of us both.
The character of Dr Marcus Learnaby is based on my father, although he is painted as a cold-blooded killer – that much is fiction. To my knowledge, he never broke a law.
Parkin Learnaby,his son, is based on myself, and my own life as it was then, and the character of the doctor’s wife, Alora, is my mother.
I made the principal character a doctor because my father enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at the start of World War II, and was trained as a medical orderly, and I believe that, from then onward, his one desire was to become a doctor. But in those days, university studies were reserved for those who could afford to take five years out of their lives and devote them to study, and who could afford the high cost of university education. So my father’s dream never came to be.
I also believe that the strict military discipline he lived under was partly to blame for the authoritarian figure he later became to his own family.
Neither did we have the wealth attributed to the Learnabys; my parents were working-class, and I’m grateful for that: I learned to make the best of what you have, and to help others where you can. 
Because of a childhood illness that affected the heart, I spent many years in hospital, and was never able to become the son he would have wished to have – taking part in sport, being lively and active which, I think, was another part of the jigsaw he became.
So ‘Revenge’ is a work of fiction, but it is also an autobiography. The title does not refer to any thought on my part at ‘getting even’ for the past; instead, I feel a sense of pity for my father because he couldn’t see the damage he was doing all through those early years.
‘Revenge’ refers, instead, to Detective Clive Robur’s revenge upon the fictional characters who took control of Sydney’s underworld in my novel – the ‘dark man’ and the ‘little Greek’.
Should you read ‘Revenge,’ I sincerely hope that you will pause before you speak those angry words to the ones who love you, and hesitate before you act in temper. Those simple words, those actions, can cause damage far into the future. That is my hope for ‘Revenge’ – that it might result in some good coming from a time when my life was much harsher than it is now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Restricted to a Disability Pension due to a factory accident in 1980 at the age of 35, Adrian undertook part-time university studies at Mitchell College of Advanced Education, gaining an Associate Diploma, majoring in Theatre Arts and Journalism, then a degree in Communications after moving to Queensland in 1984; followed by a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations, and a Masters in Professional Writing.
In 1984, he and his second wife, Penny, and their three daughters moved from Bathurst, NSW; to Bundaberg, Queensland. In 2008, after his daughters had left home, he and Penny sold the family home and moved to a retirement village in Caboolture, Queensland, where he cared for his wife until her death in March 2011 from pancreatic cancer.
In 2008, he switched from writing short stories in the horror genre, which he had been writing since the age of nine, several of which have been published locally, to writing novels.
The first ten novels he has written have since been published as e-books by Renaissance E-Books, California, and the first of his novels published as a paperback, ‘Revenge’, was released by Rebecca J. Vickery Publications, USA; in  April 2012. To date, he has had twenty-two of his novels published as ebooks.
Adrian has written sixty-two horror novels, and is now working on his sixty-third.
He is 67 years of age, and sees no end to his writing, putting in up to eight hours a day on his novels. He describes himself as ‘addicted to writing.’
To Purchase a copy of REVENGE: AMAZON  
WHERE YOU CAN FIND ADRIAN SCOTT:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Anne Patrick's Wounded Heroes


Karen: Anne Patrick is a multi-published author of 'romance, mayham and faith'. Her tale Kill Shot in the Wounded Heroes Series has been nominated as a finalist in the 2011 Grace Awards in Suspense/Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense category. Let's give Anne a warm welcome. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask questions. 

The inspiration behind Kill Shot and my Wounded Heroes Series by Anne Patrick

The idea for this series came from a conversation I had with a woman who had served in Iraq.  This took place about a year after her tour had ended. She told me it had taken her almost a year before she was able to go to church because of the things she had seen and taken part in during her service.  "I felt dirty," she said, and my heart broke for her. It made me think back to a time when I felt unworthy of God's love and forgiveness. We often times forget just how much He loves us and that He never forsakes us! After hearing this brave woman's story and learning of the trials many of our vets face as they return home this series was born. One of the biggest problems our veterans are dealing with is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sometimes just a loud noise, like the slamming of a door, can spawn a horrific memory from the war that paralyzes them.

As is the case with my heroine in Kill Shot. Kory was an army combat medic for twelve years. The sights and sounds of war have hardened her heart and left her with mental scares that prevent her from living a normal life. That's not her only problem though. 

Here's the blurb:

Former combat medic Kory Wagner has survived four war zones. Now she’s home and out of the Army for good and someone is trying to kill her in her own backyard. Just as disturbing is the handsome sheriff who’s on the case. Sheriff Sean Harding doesn’t quite know what to think of the decorated veteran that managed to outsmart an entire search party. What bothers him more is the body of a PI, whom she hired to find her sister's killer, was found dead in a building Kory owns. And Kory isn’t being very cooperative with helping him find the answers as to why someone would kill her sister and want her dead. Will he be able to keep her alive along enough to discover the truth? 

You can purchase the ebook from my publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
To learn more about the series please visit my website: Anne Patrick's Website 

About the Author:
Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith including the award winning and bestselling FIRE AND ASH (LRC’s 2010 Best Thriller/Suspense winner and TRR’s 2010 Best Inspirational winner), SABOTAGE (recipient of a 5 heart review from The Romance Studio as well as a Sweetheart Award winner), and KILL SHOT (A finalist in the 2011 Grace Awards ). Her books have garnered four-star reviews from Romantic Times, 'Top Pick' and 'Best Book' honors from Night Owl Reviews and Long and Short of It Reviews, and Five-Heart reviews from The Romance Studio. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Magic of the Loch Giveaway


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Magic of the Loch by Karen Michelle Nutt

Magic of the Loch

by Karen Michelle Nutt

Giveaway ends August 10, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win