Friday, January 30, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Sophia Kimble

Nancy- Author Sophia Kimble stopped by to answer intimate questions, and share her book Protect Her, a Paranormal Romance that was released on October 22, 2014. It is a story of two lovers bound by fate, torn apart by evil, and reunited by perseverance. What caught my interest is that part of this book can be considered a historical romance set in the 13th century Highlands of Scotland.

Nancy- Everyone knows I love Scots, but let's talk about you. When did you start writing toward publication?

Sophia- I took the leap at the end of 2012, and finished Protect Her a year later. It is the first manuscript I had ever written.

Nancy- Why have you become a published author?

Sophia- I have always wanted to be an author, but was always afraid of failure, so I never tried. Then after I’d mentioned it to my husband for about the hundredth time, he told me to go for it. We were in a position where I didn’t have to work, and I’m not sure what changed this time when he told me to follow my dreams, but I finally bit the bullet and opened the blank document. And I’m sure glad I did.

Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Sophia- Oh boy, do I. I received 47 rejections from Agents. Wow, I know. But I never gave up, and after each one, I took a few more classes, tweaked Protect Her a little bit more, and then one day, I took a contest judges words to heart. They told me that my story really began at Chapter 3, so I cut the first two chapters, added what I needed from the first two sprinkled in throughout the manuscript, and then entered Savvy Authors pitch event. I received 7 requests, and three of those became contract offers. A big thank you to that judge wherever you are…that was the best advice I’ve ever received.

A note on rejection:
Every writer has been there, maybe not as many times as myself, but they’ve been there. It’s part of the business of writing. A sucky part, but a part none the less. But just remember…we are not alone!

*Kathryn Stockett’s, The Help, was rejected 60 times before becoming a bestseller.
* Stephen King’s, Carrie, was rejected dozens of times.
*John Grishim’s, A Time to Kill, was rejected by a dozen publishers and 16 agents.
*Margaret Mitchell’s, Gone With the Wind, was rejected 38 times.

***In case you’re interested, Savvy Authors is having their pitch event which landed me 3 contract offers, Feb 16-March 1, 2015.  I highly recommend it. You can find it HERE

Nancy- What is your writing routine like?  

Sophia- I wake up at 3am, and write until about 1 or 2pm. I jump on social media at various times throughout the day, and then after the kids get home from school, I’m pretty much done with the computer. I do this almost every day.

Nancy- Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Sophia- NEVER GIVE UP! Do not let rejection end your dreams, we all get rejected, some more than others (tee hee hee), but if you give up, that’s it, the end. Take the rejections from agents and editors, contest losses, etc, and learn from it. Figure out what you need to do to your baby to make it saleable, take more classes, tweak it, and sent it out there again, but whatever you do…DON’T GIVE UP!

Nancy- Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I’ve seen a UFO
2) I play the violin (poorly)
3) I love frozen Ho Ho’s

Nancy- What’s next for you?  

Sophia- I’ve just finished the second book in The Druid’s Curse series, Avenge Her, and have written about one third of the next, Fear Her.

Golden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.
Trying to flee her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.

Kris Pietka is done with women...he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.

A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse

But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.

FREE Excerpt Link HERE  

How can my readers buy your book?
Buy it at AMAZON 

Sophia Kimble has always wanted to be an author, but for years, life got in the way. She wouldn't change a thing about how her life turned out, though. Her family keeps her laughing and loving. Her wonderful husband and two extraordinary children stand beside her every step of the way and make this journey called life worth living. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, The Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, The Music City Romance Writers, Fantasy- Futuristic, and Paranormal Special Interest chapter, Savvy Authors, and several critique groups. Sophia has worked as a nurse for twenty years, but has put that career path aside to devote her time and imagination to writing down the stories that keep her up nights. She takes her love of the paranormal, history, and genealogy, and weaves them into tales of family, fated love, and supernatural occurrences.

You can find more information about Sophia Kimble here:
WEBSITE    BLOG    Twitter

Friday, January 23, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Alanna Lucas

Nancy: Author Alanna Lucas stopped by to talk about her writing career. Her  book, When We Dance is a Historical Romance-Regency and was released on September 30th. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Alanna: Before I start, I want to thank Nancy Lee Badger for having me as a guest today. When We Dance is the second book in the In His Arms series, which was inspired by the allure and sensuality of the waltz. There is one caveat; my heroine has two left feet.  Not to worry, the Honorable Nigel Rochefort has all the right moves. Nigel Rochefort succeeds at everything he attempts, but burying his family in scandal and breaking up a wedding while seducing the bride is not quite what he had in mind. Nor was finding true love.”

Nancy: I am glad to have you. Your plot sounds interesting! What is your writing routine like?

Alanna: I start by keeping a journal with all my thoughts, ideas, and pertinent research. I write down scene ideas, character descriptions, and songs that inspire me (my current favorite is Demons by Imagine Dragons). The journal goes everywhere with me and is the first thing I open when I sit down to write. I tend to be most productive in the afternoon. The kids are in finishing homework (did I mention that I homeschool two kids?), emails have been read, and there are few interruptions. It has taken some effort, but we have all gotten into a good routine. My youngest has even started writing his own book!

Nancy: That is a great way to pay-it-forward and keep your kids interested in your career! Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Alanna: Seeing the finished product, cover and all.

Nancy: Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Alanna: I would be lost without Romance Writers of America and the tremendous resources they provide. I am also a member of a local chapter, East Valley Authors, and several specialty online chapters- Celtic Hearts, Hearts Through History, and Beau Monde. The support, encouragement, and knowledge has been invaluable.

Nancy: I agree, writing groups help. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Alanna: Learn your craft, join a writers group, and write everyday (even if it is only 100 words).

Nancy: Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I collect recipes, but I don’t cook.
2) I have done a lap on the Nurburgring in Germany.
3) I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone.

Nancy: I would not have guessed any of those! What’s next for you?

Alanna: I am currently working on the next book in the series entitled Dancing Around the Truth.

Miss Artemisia Germayne is used to gossip. She is far from the ton’s version of an ideal beauty. Worse still, she cannot dance. But when she finds herself in the uncomfortable predicament of abandonment on her wedding day, embarrassed and humiliated she retreats to the country.

Nigel Rochefort, second son of the Earl of Monfort, has always taken his good fortune for granted, so when the woman for whom he has a secret tendre is about to marry his friend, the only logical thing to do is break up the wedding. But that scandal is only the start. The bride’s sister has also disappeared, and Nigel must first clear his name to assure Artemisia’s affections. As he gives chase, many truths are yet to be learned. This is no simple country dance or game of seduction but an unstoppable waltz of desire—and true love.

She actually struck him. Nigel could not believe what had just happened. A woman had just struck him. Not just any woman or casual acquaintance, but Artemisia. Not a delicate slap, but a hard punch full of pent up anger. That had never happened to him before. He just sat there...stunned. Did she suspect?
Before he had the opportunity to reflect further on the question, Lord Germayne made an announcement and swarms of guests brushed past him, giving him curious looks as they filed out of the chapel. His first thought was to stay put and wait for everyone to leave. He was in no mood for inquisitive gossipmongers, but he did not want to be trapped, surrounded by the same gossips in question.
Following the herd of bright dresses and fanciful hats out of the chapel, whispered theories swirled around him as to the whereabouts of Mr. Chartwick. The general consensus was that the groom had cold feet. Nigel knew otherwise.
Nigel was within earshot when Lady Lamden began to weave one of her vicious tales. “...and this is not the only scandal facing Lord and Lady Germayne. Did you notice that Miss Philippa Germayne was not in attendance?”
The pair of gossips stopped walking, and huddled together, too deep in tittle-tattle to notice that anyone was eavesdropping.
Ducking behind a large urn of flowers, Nigel strained to hear the conversation.
“I have it on the best authority that the young lady in question is not indisposed, but has disappeared altogether.”
“She has not been seen since yesterday when she was discovered alone in the park with a certain notorious rake.”
Nigel’s stomach lurched with guilt. He was the notorious rake they spoke of.

Nancy: How can my readers buy your book?

Readers can go to the publisher’s home page at Boroughs Publishing Group and The Boroughs Publishing Group Book Page as well as AMAZON and NOOK

Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California. From an early age, she took an interest in travel, incorporating those experiences into her writing. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, or going for long walks. Alanna Lucas is a member of the Romance Writers of America, East Valley Authors, The Beau Monde, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.  

WEBSITE    Twitter    Facebook    TSU

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Apple Crisp & Autographed Book GIVEAWAY!

Please join me over at Romance Recipes where I share my recipe for Quick Apple Crisp as well as a FREE Excerpt from my latest book, SHIVER, a White Mountains Thriller.

I am also giving away an autographed copy of my book and a 24/pack of Recipe cards!

Click on over to the Romance Recipes Blog and check out my simple, low-sugar recipe. Yum! While there, leave a comment.

Click HERE to Enter 
Contest ends January 21, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Alison McMahan

Author Alison McMahan stopped by to share insights into the world of writing romance. Her book, The Saffron Crocus, a Historical Mystery and Romance for Young Adults, was released December 13th.

Nancy: Please tell my readers a little bit about your book. 

Alison: The story is set in Venice in 1643, which was ten years after the Black Plague had decimated Venice. The book's protagonist, Isabella, was orphaned by the plague. It is also a time when Venice was a great musical center, with numerous opera houses and choirs in all the large churches. Claudio Monteverdi was the director and composer for the choir of San Marco's Basilica. The choir is important in the story, because Isabella wishes she could sing in it, but only males are allowed to sing in public. Her singing teacher, Margherita, tries to convince Isabella to sing opera but Margherita is murdered before they can get very far with that plan. It's also the heyday of the Ghetto Vecchio in Venice. There's a lot of singing, sleuthing, and swordfights.

Nancy: The plague? Yikes. Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  

Alison: I write historical mysteries, romances and adventures for adults and teens.

Nancy: When did you start writing toward publication?  

Alison: I was trained as a film historian, and my first two books were about film history. The first was the award-winning  Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Cinematic Visionary (Bloomsbury 2002). It's about the first woman filmmaker, who invented cinematic narrative as we know it. It's been translated to Spanish. A documentary film based on the book is in production by the PIC agency in Hollywood. The book was also the basis for a play by La Recua Teatro in Toledo, Spain, in 2012. My second book was The Films of Tim Burton: Animating Live Action in Hollywood (Bloomsbury 2005), which is an analysis of the work of Tim Burton but also a look at the transition from analog to digital film production, which makes all movies closer to animation. As a result we are closer now to how cinema was at its inception, when live-action and animation were also joined at the hip.

The Saffron Crocus is my first novel to be published. I have a prequel  to The Saffron Crocus in the works, (about Margherita's life and love before she came to Venice)as well as two other historical novels in progress or in the revision stage.

Nancy: My readers want to know what your writing routine is like.

Alison: I'm a full time writer. I get up at 5 am and write until 9 am. I try not to look at email before that. Then I have breakfast with my husband and get some exercise. Then I go back to the writing desk. In the afternoon, I write more, do promo, take care of bills, and work at sharpening my writing skills, usually by taking an online course of some kind or trying an exercise. There's always a skill to improve. I read at night after dinner. I'm also a screenwriter, so I have to keep up with the well-written TV shows and latest films. I read a lot of screenplays as well as books.

Nancy: I find I get more writing done early in the day...unless hubby is home! Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Alison: I'm a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) which really helped me transition from a wannabe novelist to a novelist. Going to RWA conferences and striving to reach PRO level helped me professionalize more than my MFA in Creative Writing did. It also made me think more about who I was writing for.  Going to my local RWA chapter meetings has made me feel less lonely, as writing full time can be very isolated. And by submitting my opening chapters to RWA chapter contests I got invaluable feedback that made me improve them to the point where when I finally started sending  a query with opening chapters to editors I got good responses.

I'm also a member of  MWA (Mystery Writers of America). Going to my MWA chapter meetings is also very helpful. They have great speakers on various subjects and I learn a lot, about weapons and legal systems as well as writing. Mysteries, like romances, have their own particular structure, and I learned that structure from other writers, as well as reading books.

I joined ITW, International Thriller Writers, as a screenwriter but I find them very helpful to me as a novelist. They have a great program called the Debut Authors program, which I'm in now.

Finally, I'm a member of the Historical Novel Society. That's a group of people really devoted to history, their conferences, which alternate between the US and the UK, are just wonderful, and I've made some great friends there, as well as finding some great books.

Nancy: Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Alison: Once you are ABSOLUTELY SURE your book could not be improved, start sending it out. You will get offers eventually. The important thing is not to settle for the first offer you get. Once you are getting published, make sure you get a good cover. A good cover is really important. I'm really grateful to Mishi Bellamy for the lovely cover on Saffron Crocus.

Nancy: Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know. 

1) I grew up in Spain while Franco was still dictator. It really colored my political perspective.
2) I took fencing lessons to help me write the sword fights in Saffron Crocus.
3) A couple months ago I went to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios and got an interactive wand. My husband was embarrassed to be seen with me at first, especially when I was in line with small children. But he got into it after some generous seven-year-olds showed us how to use the wand and make magical things happen.

Nancy: A trip to Universal's Harry Potter World is on my bucket list! What’s next for you?

Alison: I'm writing a YA Historical Adventure novel called The Circassian Slave Girl, set at sea, on the island of Rhodes and in Istanbul in 1483. I'm also working on a prequel to Saffron Crocus, and two historical novels for adults. One of my screenplays, a sci-fi mystery, has been optioned and I'm rewriting it for the director.


Venice, 1643. Isabella, fifteen, longs to sing in Monteverdi’s Choir, but only boys (and castrati) can do that. Her singing teacher, Margherita, introduces her to a new wonder: opera! Then Isabella finds Margherita murdered. Now people keep trying to kill Margherita’s handsome rogue of a son, Rafaele.

Was Margherita killed so someone could steal her saffron business? Or was it a disgruntled lover, as Margherita—unbeknownst to Isabella—was one of Venice’s wealthiest courtesans?
Or will Isabella and Rafaele find the answer deep in Margherita's past, buried in the Jewish Ghetto?

Isabella has to solve the mystery of the Saffron Crocus before Rafaele hangs for a murder he didn’t commit, though she fears the truth will drive her and the man she loves irrevocably apart.

KUDOS for Saffron Crocus:
I adored this beautifully written, passionate book. The Saffron Crocus is a glittering, thrilling opera of a novel that plucked my heartstrings and kept me reading at fever pitch. Brava, Alison McMahan! Encore!

~ Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Wicked Saga
The Saffron Crocus won the 2014 Rosemary Award for Best Historical for Young Adults, the first year that award was offered by YARWA (Young Adult Romance Writers of America).

Who knew a singing career would be this much trouble?

    “Rafaele!” She flew into the garret. “Piero, it was so wonderful, wait until I tell you!”
    The stool next to the bed was knocked over. The tray with the genepy bottle was on the floor, one of the cups broken. The fat candle that had been burning next to Rafaele’s bed had been flung to the other side of the room.. Canvases were strewn all over the floor, some of them slashed, and many of Master Strozzi’s jars of paint elements were broken.
    Did Piero and Rafaele have a fight? She quickly suppressed the thought. Who would get into a fight with a man who was already injured?
    Something else must have happened.
    She walked across the garret. “Piero? Rafaele, are you here?”
    Rafaele was not in the bed. The sheets and blankets she had piled on top of him were strewn everywhere. Blood-stained sheets spilled over the edge of the pallet. There was a pile of clothes on the floor.
    She walked around to get a closer look.
    Not clothes. It was Piero. Face down, one arm over his face, as if to defend himself.
    A puddle of blood under him.

How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can buy the book, in print or as an e-book from the publisher, Black Opal Books, on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble online, on Kobo and Smashwords. The webpage with all the buy links for the book is

MISHI BELLAMY, (Cover Artist) bio
The cover is the work of fabulous artist Mishi Bellamy. Mishi divides her time between India and France, where she has her own art gallery, the Atelier des Colombes.

Alison McMahan chased footage for her documentaries through jungles in Honduras and Cambodia, favelas in Brazil and racetracks in the U.S. She brings the same sense of adventure to her award-winning books of mystery and romantic adventure for teens and adults.

She loves hearing from readers.

You can find more information about Alison McMahan here:
WEBSITE    BLOG    Twitter  

Facebook    Tumblr    Instagram  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Julie Anne Lindsey visits with Nancy Lee Badger

Nancy: Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night, and she stopped by to share some helpful writing tips. 

Julie Anne Lindsey: About two years ago, I was in a bad place. I had a manuscript on submissions and it received wonderful compliments followed by things like: BUT we just picked up something too similar. Many. Many variations of that. It was an exhausting, infuriating time. I didn’t take it well.

Somehow my “intriguing”, “well-written,” “engaging” even “page turner” of a manuscript couldn’t find a home because I was late to the party. Well. I screamed. A lot. Eventually, I threw my hands up and quit writing. Forever. And I meant it. But it didn’t stick.

Soon, desperation took over.

I went back to the drawing board and I asked myself: What hasn’t been done a thousand times in YA? I came up with Vikings. Literally. I borrowed the term Vikings, deemed them demigods, and built a world of mythology to support them. Then, I took my hero, a boy who was mysterious because his family had mental issues circa Bates Motel and I made him a Viking instead.

Extreme. I know, but sometimes a supercharged, mega dose of creativity (or in this case a bit of a creative tantrum) helps.

Nancy: Sometimes an author needs to get out of their comfort zone.

Julie Anne LindseyI changed my “safe” storyline and went with something I loved, but had long been afraid to approach. I embraced my love of Thor and Loki, Odin and Zeus (Yeah, I like both Greek and Norse mythology) and I wrote my very first fantasy romance.

Vikings. Huzzah!

Plus there’s kissing. Always with the kissing.

Thanks to that act of writerly desperation, my debut YA fantasy, PROPHECY, arrived in September from Lyrical Press/Kensington, and I am one happy author, excited to share my enthusiasm for making mythology mainstream.

Fellow writers, I have to throw this out there: If you’re debating a crazy concept, I encourage you to go for it. Why not? What do you have to lose? Sure, writing outside your comfort zone can be scary, riddled with uncertainty and yes, intimidating, but if you’re not writing with passion and finding joy in the process, then maybe you’re doing it wrong (like I was) and maybe it’s time to start again. Then again, what do I know? I write about Vikings and sea nymphs in Ohio. It’s totally your call if you want to take advice from crazy o_0.

Nancy: Great advice! Now...please share Three things readers might not know about you:
Julie Anne Lindsey: Okay
1) I’m madly obsessed with Alice in Wonderland
2) I’m a shameless fangirl of about a zillion fandoms
3) My childhood dream was to marry the Goblin King from Labyrinth.

Prophecy, book 1, the Calypso series
On the other side of death, is destiny.
Callie Ingram is spending her senior year focused on one thing: swimming. Her skill as a competitive swimmer is going to secure a scholarship and her future, or so she hopes. She has big plans, and Liam Hale, her gorgeous new neighbor, isn’t going to affect them. But when Callie sees Liam beheading someone, she learns his family has a secret that will change everything. The Hales are Vikings, demi-gods who’ve been charged by The Fates to find their new destined leader.

Callie’s caught in the middle of a budding Norse apocalypse, in love with Liam Hale and desperate to protect her best friend—who the Hales believe is marked for transformation. Putting the clues together as fast as she can, Callie discovers she has the power to rewrite destiny, for herself and all humankind.
*Excerpt or excerpt link (optional: 300 words or less, no hotter than PG13) *optional
Readers can buy Prophecy at online retailers for $.99 through January 31st!  
     Amazon    B&N               Kensington              iTunes
*What’s next for you?
Prophecy’s sequel, Goddess, arrives in 2015. I’m extremely excited about this. Prophecy allowed me to set up the world, establish characters and dynamics as well as introduce my mythology in modern day Ohio. That done, Goddess allowed me to dive in with frost giants, epic battles and more mythological players from the very first page. It was a ton of fun and I’m giddy for readers to find it.

I’ve also contracted a new YA with Lyrical/Kensington for release in early 2016. I walked away from mythology for this one, tentatively titled, In Place of Never. This is a dark, issue driven romance about a troubled girl and a traveling side show. I love it.  (Of course, I’m somewhat biased).

Outside the YA realm, I have a three book contract with Carina Press for a set of quirky, upbeat mysteries, tentatively titled the Geek Girl Mysteries. They will release in 2015 and 2016.

I have some busy months ahead. I can’t wait!

A little bit about the author
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.

You can find more information about Julie Anne Lindsey and my book, Prophecy at: