Friday, July 26, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Reese Ryan

Reese Ryan stopped by for an indepth interview. Her book, Making the First Move is a contemporary romance and was released July 22, 2013.

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Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Making the First Move is about two people who struggle with painful pasts in a way that threatens their prospects for a happy future. Melanie Gordon obsesses over her career as a way to hide from the pain of her father’s death and a devastating break-up. Raine Mason is a selfless, committed philanthropist who has a mysterious past that left him with physical and emotional wounds.  Their relationship and the obstacles it encounters provide them both with an opportunity to reassess their lives and shed learned identities that are holding them back.

Reese Ryan
Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?
For me, contemporary romance encompasses many things. The typical love-in-the-here-and-now stories we expect, but also new adult, romantic suspense, and romantic women’s fiction. This title and my December release are both contemporary romances, but both stories are very much about the heroine’s journey—as much as they are about the romance that is central to it. However, future stories in the works include a new adult trilogy and a romantic thriller.
What inspired you to write your first book?
A fellow copywriter told me about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It sounded insane, but I was also intrigued. I started my first fiction novel since high school while participating in the event the following year. Making the First Move was a NaNo project I started in maybe the first or second year I participated. A few years later I went back and finished it.
I tried NaNoWriMo last year for the 1st time! Loved it! How did you get into romance writing?
It was only within the last two years that I really came to realize, and embrace, the fact that I’m a romance writer. I was an avid YA reader in middle school and high school. Several years later, when I started reading fiction again, it was during the height of Chick Lit’s popularity—a genre I still love. So I hadn’t read very many pure romance novels and I considered myself a Chick Lit and then a women’s fiction writer. When Carina Press acquired this novel as a contemporary romance I started to really examine all of my stories. They deal with the heroine’s journey and family drama—yet a romance is always central to the story. It was one of those moments when you finally figure out what everyone else already knows.
Ha! Took me until my fifties to figure writing was my passion. Life got in the way. Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
My parents. I thank them for that in the acknowledgements of every book I’ve written.

My parents are my loudest cheerleaders! I met you at a meeting of our local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Has your membership helped?
One of the best things I did as a writer was to join RWA—even when I thought I was strictly a women’s fiction writer. Membership in my local Heart of Carolina chapter and two online chapters has brought me a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. Also, being a member of other local writing groups has introduced me to some outstanding local writers and to my current critique group.
Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
I had three completed manuscripts when Carina Press acquired Making the First Move. I’d sent queries to a few agents on two of the manuscripts—including this one.  Then I stumbled across a pitching session to another digital-first publisher. They requested the full manuscript. That opened my eyes to this medium. So I submitted to several others. Out of the five publishers I submitted to I received two contract offers and one request for a revise and resubmit. So while it has become more challenging to get published traditionally, the rapidly changing industry offers so many opportunities for new writers. So keep writing. Keep improving your craft. Learn as much as you can about available options and choose the one that’s right for you.
Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I just might be the oldest blanket baby in the history of blanket babies.
2) As a kid I hated playing outside because I didn’t like that outdoors smell my great aunt in Mississippi refers to as “fresh.”
3)I conquered my fear of heights to climb Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. Now I’m trying to work my way up to ziplining in the Costa Rican rainforest.
What’s next for you?
Jamie Charles—the best friend character in Making the First Move—gets her own story, tentatively titled Love Me Not. It will be released in December. I’m currently planning my first novella—a contemporary romance based on Leslie Morales, another character in Making the First Move and a new adult trilogy.
  Melanie Gordon has spent the past five years obsessing over her career to dull the pain of a devastating breakup and the loss of her father. Her effort pays off when she receives the promotion that could be her big break. Only it means returning to her hometown to face her past while leaving behind the man who could be her future.
Selfless (and insanely sexy) philanthropist, Raine Mason, is committed to his cause. But his passion for rescuing high-risk young males from the road to disaster is fueled by his own dark and tragic past. 
When Raine is ready to take his casual friendship with Melanie to sizzling new heights, her one-way ticket to Cleveland is already booked. But a steamy night of passion leaves them both wanting more, even if Melanie is afraid to admit it. She reluctantly agrees to a long-distance relationship with no promises and no commitments.
Melanie may finally be ready to give Raine her heart…but then she discovers startling news that causes her to question everything she knows about him. Worse, he’s harboring a dark secret from his past that threatens to shatter any hope of a future for them unless he can convince her that their love is worth the risk.
A little bit about the author
Reese Ryan writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully-sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after. 
Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides in Central North Carolina with her husband and young adult son who tolerate her propensity to sing and dance badly. A self-proclaimed Bohemian Southern Belle, she treads the line carefully between being a Northerner and a damned Yankee–despite her insistence on calling soda pop. Reese gauges her progress by the number of “bless your lil’ hearts” she gets each week. She is currently down to two.

Visit Reese online at
Follow her on Twitter @ReeseRyanWrites.
Her blog    The Reese Ryan Diaries
Amazon Author Page
Connect on Goodreads
Connect with her on Facebook.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger's Positive Quote of the Week

Scottish Highland Cow
Photo by Nancy Lee Badger
Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.
-Elinor Glyn, novelist and scriptwriter

Rural Hill Scottish Festival roadside flowers  
Photo by Nancy Lee Badger

What is more 'everyday' than the beasts and flowers of the world? Can you picture them on the cover of a romance novel, or part of the plot? Here are a few examples of the Scottish persuasion. Enjoy!

Nancy Lee (don't forget to sign-up to win fabulous prizes. 3 winners will be chosen August 15th!)

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Blacksmith Photo by Nancy Lee Badger
Please enjoy these
first few pages from
my latest release,
My Reluctant Highlander...

...then scroll down to
Wick, North Sea
Scotland 1603
Skye Gunn could not breathe. She had barely sucked in one deep breath before water covered her head, and the strong current pulled her down into the icy depths of the ocean. Since she had escaped the battlements high above with her life, her current situation was ironic in a sick sort of way.
Fleeing one danger, only to tumble into another lethal situation, is not to be borne!
With her dress wrapped around her ankles, and rope binding her wrists, death was the obvious outcome.
Too bad I always do the least obvious.
The first surprise was that she had managed to escape from the dungeon. When her spell tore the hinges from the door of her cage, the joy that spread through her body lasted but a heartbeat. Angry shouts made her run through the castle prison and up the stone stairway.
When the guards gave chase, she ran faster. The sorcerer’s displeasure, evident in his raging curses, followed her as she climbed the steps to the highest level. Guards circled her. Cornered, she glared at the hooded form.
“Helen, ye must stay and join with me,” the sorcerer said, the wind and crashing waves nearly drowning out his voice.
“Who be Helen?”she had answered.
When the sorcerer raised his magical blackthorn staff, she did not wait for an answer. Her only foreseeable option was to jump from the tower.
The sorcerer and his minions gave me no choice.
After all, she was familiar with the castle the sorcerer had overthrown and claimed as his own. Castle Barrowmann belonged to HER!
Skye expected to die on the boulder-strewn beach below. She inhaled the salty tang of the ocean on the breeze, and prayed for a quick death. The crash of the waves prompted her decision. There was a chance they would sweep her broken body away, out of the sorcerer’s control.
I believe in second chances.
As she considered plummeting toward her death on the rocks at the base of the castle, and leapt to meet it, a huge foamy wave broke, cushioning her landing. She was euphoric for a moment, but happiness evaporated as the icy water swept over her, and dragged her out to sea.
Was she up? Or down? She opened her eyes, but the swirling water gave no sense of direction.
Her left foot hit something slimy and immovable. A rock wall? A wrecked fishing boat? The bottom of the ocean? Pushing away, she prayed she headed upward, but not back toward the castle. As her head broke the surface, relief washed over her along with salty spray. Sucking in much-needed air, she kicked her feet and rode the swells further from shore. She hoped she could make safe haven out of reach of the sorcerer’s archers.
Ping! The feathers of an arrow’s fletching disappeared beneath the surface, so close that water splashed her cheek. She had to escape, but if she followed the currents, she would end up alone in the middle of the North Sea. A gray sky dotted with wisps of orange-tinted clouds heralded the approach of night. She would soon be alone. In the dark. Not a good fit for someone like her.
You’re a social butterfly,” Haven had joked with her at a recent festival. She recalled looking around at the faces that stared at her as they walked by. Dozens of the Highland’s best warriors, draped in colorful plaids, had come to the valleys surrounding Keldurach to turn the caber, throw the hammer, and down as many pints of ale as their stomachs could handle. Their scandalous smiles and slobbering wolf calls were disgusting.
Even so, Skye lived up to her title as the laird’s sister and mingled with their guests. She teased the more demanding ones, but she knew her future…her brother planned to marry her off.
Want to read more? Check out the ebook available here:
Amazon    NOOK    Allromance    KOBO    Smashwords
Also Available at
Amazon in PRINT
Barnes and Noble in PRINT

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Ruth A. Casie

Today I’m interviewing Ruth A. Casie. Her book, The Guardian’s Witch is a historic fantasy and was released on July 1.
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  
In order to save the man she loves from being executed for treason and prevent being married off to another, Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, must make a crucial decision. Dare she rely on her knight, Lord Alex Stelton, to find a way to save them both or does she trust her magic and risk exposure as a witch?
I also write heroines who use magic and potions for good. Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  
This book takes place on the English/Scottish border in 1290. It is a historic fantasy. I am undeniably a romantic and find the medieval and Renaissance periods my favorite. I am totally taken with knights and chivalry. My first book, Knight of Runes, was also a historic fantasy with a time travel element.
Time Travel & Scottish historicals are my favorite things to read & write. When did you first consider yourself a writer, and when did you start writing toward publication? 
Author Ruth A. Casie
I didn’t plan to be an author. I wrote my story without any understanding of craft. I just wrote until the end and was surprised that it was 105,000 words. I didn’t know what to do with it once it was done. I searched for a support group and found RWA. I called Texas and told this very nice lady what I had done and she led me to the NJ and NYC chapters. Then I learned how to write a story. I was relieved and excited that in many ways I had intuitively put it together correctly. Technically I had a lot to learn. Head hopping and sliced commas were a challenge.
Sounds like you jump-started your career the correct way. We all need help at one point. It is okay to ask for it! What inspired you to write your first book?
Ah, this is an interesting story. I was watching a program on television, Who Do You Think You Are. It’s about the journey a celebrity takes in finding their ancestry. It really started me thinking. Women today are independent, self-supporting, and accomplished. They run the board room and are good in the bed room. How would they be viewed by their ancestors? So I took a very alpha female who does ordinary things well and dropped her back in time (to the 17th century) and had her find the love of her life. How they deal with each other and grow is what Knight of Runes, my first book, is all about.
I LOVE strong heroines! How did you get into romance writing?
I’m very involved as a volunteer in our county’s women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence.  I’m on the executive board. At an executive meeting, the board secretary, who was a former client, told me she was writing a book. I thought it was about her experience. She laughed and said no one wants to hear about that. No, she was writing a romance novel. I’ve always had stories in my head and offered to beta read or be a critique partner if she’d like. We traded story ideas. The following week at the regular board meeting she said she had been thinking about us both writing stories and possibly putting them together as a set. To make a long story short. We outlined our stories and started writing but she had other pressing issues. While I am a sedentary empty nester, she was training for the New York Marathon and touring colleges with her daughter. She stopped writing and I continued on my own.
Why have you become a published author?  
I really didn’t plan to be a published author. I was a vice president at a large financial institution and doing well. I was in product management and did a lot of work in communication and marketing. When my friend and I started writing though, I found a new creative outlet. Once I wrote the book the next step was to get it published. Then I faced a decision. Was it the challenge of getting published that I wanted? Or, did I want a new career? I found my writing friends sparked my creativity. You can’t get too creative with a wire transfer. And I wasn’t willing to quiet the voices in my head. I loved the creative process and even working with my editor. That was like a private tutor! Once my publisher encouraged another book I ran with it.   
Okay, how about the flip-side? Do you have any rejection stories to share?
I had sent my first book out to this one editor and got a rejection. It wasn’t a form letter but rather a detailed response why it was not accepted. I went to my NJ chapter meeting. We give out Hershey hugs for bad news and Hershey kisses for good new. For the bad news I announced the rejection. For the good news I announced it wasn’t my book. I had gotten someone else’s rejection. The editor later sent me my real rejection letter but that first one still makes me smile.
I am passing along the chocolate idea to my local chapter!What is your writing routine like?
If you asked me before June 1, I would have said I write after dinner and on weekends. But, I retired from my day job on June 1 and now I’m in the process of developing a routine. I’ve spent the last month ramping up for the release of my new book, The Guardian’s Witch, this past July 1. So I am still trying to develop a routine. Please. Let me know if you have any ideas.
I retired to write full-time in 2007...still figuring it all out! Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?   
The most rewarding thing was to see the number of books that I sold and realize neither I (nor my family) had bought them all. Other people were buying and reading my stories! That is still amazing to me.
My family supports each book I publish, but it is the strangers out there that make our careers. What do you see ahead in your writing career?
I’m planning on writing two to three books a year as well as a short story to two. My friend gave me a license plate cover that says, “NY Times Best Selling Author in Training”. I would like make that more than a wish. I’d like to make that a reality.
Me too! Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I am a member of several RWA chapters. Each provides a wealth of information and friendship. One of the most exciting things I’ve found about writers is their willingness to help others and, as you do Nancy, pay-it-forward.  
Interviewing authors is my way of helping, and I appreciate your thanks. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Don’t be discouraged. I know rejection can be painful but it a gauntlet we all go through. Never stop honing your craft. Read. Read. Read. And keep your critique partners close.  
Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
    1)Paul and I love to ballroom dance. We’ve done it in every room of the house. 2)Working in international banking, I filled up my passport in two years.

    3)One of my favorite places is a bench by the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point, ME
    As a former New Englander, mine is on the rocks by the ubble Lighthouse in York, Maine. What’s next for you?For the immediate future I’ve also started a project with my critique partners. We’re writing a short story Christmas anthology that we will self-publish. I’m also working on follow up books to both Knight of Runes andThe Guardian’s Witch.  
     England, 1290
Lord Alex Stelton can't resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it's his. Desperate for land of his own, he'll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she'd never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can't get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they'll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.
Excerpt from The Guardian's Witch
His soft breath heated something deep inside her when he brought his face closer to hers. Her heart thundered with anticipation. His firm lips kissed her eyelids and advanced to her ear. Mine, he whispered. A delicious shudder pulsed through her body. He marched on to her lips and coaxed them open. His spicy scent swept over her. He captured his prize and swept in with his tongue in victory. Forever echoed in her head.

She blinked and the haze vanished. A jumble of confused thoughts and feelings assaulted her. Once again she stared into his magnetic eyes. Her lips throbbed with hunger for his. She dropped her lashes to hide her confusion. A dream? A wish? She’d never had such visions. She gave herself a shake to rid herself of the final images.

A little bit about the author
Ruth A. Casie is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of writing experience, but not necessarily writing romances. No, she’s been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation. Not too long ago, encouraged by her friends and family, she gave way to her inner muse, let her creative juices flow, and began writing a series of historical time-travel and historical fantasy romance novels. Her first release, KNIGHT OF RUNES finaled in NJRW’s Golden Heart for Best First Book. Her latest story, THE GUARDIAN’S WITCH, released July 1. Both books were published by Carina Press. When not writing you can find her home in Teaneck, New Jersey, reading, cooking, doing Sudoku and counted cross stitch.  Together with her husband Paul, they enjoy ballroom dancing and going to the theater.  Ruth and Paul have three grown children and two grandchildren.  They all thrive on spending time together.  It’s certainly a lively dinner table and they wouldn’t change it for the world. Ruth is President of the Board of Trustees of Shelter Our Sister (SOS), Bergen County’s shelter for victims of domestic violence.
How can my readers buy your book?  
Readers can find Ruth’s books at:
Carina Press HERE    
Amazon     Barnes and Noble       

You can find more information about me,
Ruth A. Casie, and my book,
The Guardian’s Witch at:
WEBSITE            BLOG           Facebook

Twitter         Goodreads    Amazon Author Page   
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger's Positive Quote of the Week

Blaze      Photo by Nancy Lee Badger
"See into life…don’t just look at it."

Anne Baxter, Actor

This has been an awesome, busy, exciting week and I fully believe in Ms. Baxter's words. Despite the rainy days and tornado warnings, the sun finally peeked out long enough for my family to enjoy a delicious 4th of July celebration barbecue, visit the North Carolina Museum of Science, and have wine while listening to light jazz at the NC Museum of Art.

What made me think of Ms. Baxter's words? I opened my eyes to how wonderful life can be when you do what you love. I am a writer.

I am patiently waiting for My Reluctant Highlander to be made available in print (the ebook came out June 14th).

I am hustling to reformat Dragon's Curse so I can upload the novella everywhere (now that my publisher has return the rights to me).

I am looking forward to attending the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta. Who knows...maybe I will meet an agent looking for someone an unique as me! Or, maybe I will pitch to a publisher willing to take a chance on one of my manuscripts!

I do not plan to sit on my arse and dream...I am heading out to be part of life. Care to join me?

Nancy Lee

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Enjoy Independance day, but Remember....


"A people... who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their 
advantages may achieve almost anything."--


Back in 1776, many of our forefathers signed a document, then fought to become a free and independent nation. Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans.

Nancy Lee Badger, a proud Army Mom