Friday, March 27, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Terri Brisbin

Terri Brisbin is here to share her new book with us. STOLEN BY THE HIGHLANDER is a medieval historical romance and was released on  March 17 in print. It will be available in digital April 1. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Terri- While researching another project, I discovered two clans that had carried on a feud for more than 300 years! So, I knew that there must be tons of stories there. . . I began to explore various ideas for romances and the “A Highland Feuding” was born!  STOLEN BY THE HIGHLANDER is about Arabella Cameron who must marry the heir to the Mackintosh clan to end the feud.  Unfortunately,  one of the contenders murders her brother and is outlawed. When her wedding is arranged to the other, the outlaw kidnaps her on her wedding day. But Arabella doesn’t know if he – Brodie – is her enemy or her savior. . . .

Nancy- When did you start writing toward publication?  

Terri- I’ve always written ‘something’ but I began writing romance in 1995 when I discovered the Romance Novel bulletin board on. . cough, cough. . Prodigy internet service!I also discovered the NJ Romance Writers via Prodigy and really began focusing my efforts after attending their meetings and conference and ended up selling my second complete book in 1997!

Nancy- Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

Terri- I sold my second manuscript. Yes, I sent out the first one to the four publishers who would have published it at that time – Silhouette, Harlequin, Loveswept and Precious Gems – and it was well-rejected by all! When I began writing my second book, I also began taking note of agents and so when I submitted that second book to publishers and received an offer, I contracted with an agent to help with negotiations and career plans.

Nancy- Why have you become a published author?

Terri- I wanted to be published to share my stories – and the characters who tell them to me in my head – with readers who might enjoy them.

Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Terri- My funniest story is when I received a rejection letter from a ‘big’ publisher for my time travel romance – A Love Through Time – two years after I’d sold it and a week before it was being released!

Nancy- What is your writing routine like?

Terri- I’m a deadline-binge writer so it takes me months and months to write the first 50-100 pages and then I write the rest in the 2-3 weeks leading up to the deadline. It’s not pretty, but it’s how my brain works.

Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?  

Terri- The most rewarding thing about being published is hearing from readers about my books.
Nancy- Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Terri- I belong to RWA and some local chapters – especially NJ Romance Writers, as well as Novelists Inc and some informal author groups. I credit NJRW with helping me get published – I learned so much from the members, especially the published authors, in NJRW when I first joined and since then.

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

Terri- I think the most important thing is to continue to write and improve your skills and hone your talents at every step of the writing process.  And don’t expect it to be an easy process – prepare and accept rejection but don’t let it stop you! Write and write and write somemore!

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

1) I collect stuffed dragons!  I’ve loved dragons for a long time!
2) I helped out in the dressing room of the Cover Model Contest at the RT Convention – and had to help oil up the cover models before they went on stage for the competition! Well, someone had to do it!
3) I went to Scotland ALL BY MYSELF for three weeks and drove all over the country, highlands and islands.

Nancy- What’s next for you?

Terri- I’m working on the second book of my “A Highland Feuding” series for Harlequin Historicals and then onto the third book of my “Stone Circles” series for NAL Signet. A busy writing year!

Kidnap in the Highlands!
The morn of her wedding, Arabella Cameron is filled with dread. But if marrying a man she doesn’t love will end the feud between the Cameron and Mackintosh clans, she will do her duty. That is until outlaw Brodie Mackintosh arrives in her bedchamber and steals her away to the mountains!
Brodie knows Arabella has every reason to hate him, but a forbidden kiss soon makes these sworn enemies question everything. And when Arabella’s intended reclaims her, Brodie must fight with all his strength to make her his once more!
A Highland Feuding ~ Rival clans, forbidden love!

Check out an Excerpt HERE 

How can my readers buy your book?

Buy Links….

Amazon     BN    iBooks   

In her previous lives, USA TODAY Bestselling author Terri Brisbin has lived in ancient Egypt and medieval Scotland, but in this one she’s stuck in the wilds of southern New Jersey with a hubby (wonderful one!) and kids (three adorable and finally grown sons!). When not living the life of a glamorous romance author or suffering through deadline-binges-o-writing-mania, she spends some of her time as a dental hygienist. Terri’s had more than 35 historical and paranormal romance novels, novellas and short stories published since 1998 by Berkley, Harlequin, Kensington and now NAL – in 25 languages in 20 countries! And there are a bunch more swirling around inside her brain, just waiting to be written. You can find out more than you need to know about Terri:

WEBSITE    Goodreads     

Monday, March 23, 2015

Meet David Morrell-Author of FIRST BLOOD-and Learn To Write!

Write Now! 2015, Triangle Area Freelancers’ 8th annual freelance writing conference, will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at Wake Technical Community College Northern Wake Campus in Raleigh, North Carolina– and it promises to be our best event yet!
Keynote speaker:
NYT best-selling author David Morrell
the father of Rambo.
David will also be presenting two sessions as part of our new Fiction Track: A Trap for the Unwary: The First Person Viewpoint, and Easy Ways to Improve your Description and Dialogue.
David will be joined on the Fiction Track by 2014 Piedmont Laureate Carrie Knowles, who will be presenting a session titled No Conflict, No Story, and veteran screenwriter Scott Myers, who teaches screenwriting at UNC Chapel Hill.

Other Write Now! presenters include Linda Formichelli, who will be offering an informative session on writing a killer query letter; award-winning NC author Kala Ambrose, who will discuss How to Build Your Brand, Create Your Platform and Establish Your Expert Status; and veteran freelancer Mark Cantrell, who will be offering a session on research that will appeal to both fiction and nonfiction writers. In addition, Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency and Lisa Hagan of the Paraview Literary Agency will be co-hosting a session about the writer/agent relationship and taking questions from the audience.

But that’s not all! For the first time, Write Now! will be offering a third track devoted exclusively to technical writing, in association with the Society for Technical Communication.
Sessions will include a Technical Communication Round Table, Visual Web Design, Grant Writing and Content Strategy.

Write Now! 2015 is pleased to return to Wake Technical Community College Northern Wake Campus in Raleigh. Amenities include a 250-seat amphitheater with stadium seating, additional classrooms that seat 60 each, and an atrium with tables and seating for 100, so you’ll be able to sit with friends and make new ones during lunch.

TAF has worked extremely hard to keep the cost of Write Now! 2015 affordable for all writers. Registration is just $69; $59 for seniors 65-plus and students with valid ID; and $80 at the door. Registration includes all conference activities, continental breakfast during registration, catered box lunch and all beverages. We also will be giving away some exciting door prizes.

To learn more, or to register via PayPal, please visit We look forward to seeing you there! Have a question? Contact Conference Director Donald Vaughan at or by phone at 919-873-9833.

I attended this fabulous Conference last year, and I recommend it. I will be attending again this year!
Nancy Lee

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fire's Field by Jillian Jacobs COVER REVEAL

Fire’s Field, The Elementals Series Book #2 Blurb:
Bound by a dark enchantment, only an elemental flame can light the way.

Forged in rage and sorrow, a dark witch’s spell travels down her ancestral line to Violet Levina. Enchanted with the power of the entire Electromagnetic spectrum—microwaves, gamma rays, radio waves, Violet is cursed with limitless energy and the obligation to destroy an insidious creature composed of dark matter.
For over five hundred years, Flint has served as Fire, aiding Earth’s environment and its people as one of four Elementals. Yet only once in his long existence has he been burned. A flaming redhead ignites the embers of his heart, but he finds her resistant to the heat building between them.
Knowing she must fulfill her destiny, Violet travels to her ancestral home in Ireland, accompanied by the fiery Elemental. Not fooled by his charms and brazen demeanor, Violet wishes only to shield him from the coming battle, but can’t deny the flames of desire flickering when she is at his side.
While standing together against unrelenting adversaries, false friends, family betrayals, and an underlying seed of darkness, they must burn bright or the ruthless power behind the ancient spell will turn everything to ash.

With Flint as her beacon in a field of darkness, Violet will discover that love holds the most powerful magic of all.

Fire’s Field Prologue Excerpt:

They were coming for her.
On the eve of her mother’s 25th birthday, a young witch fought back chills as the sounds of braying bloodhounds echoed through the forest. A single red stroke, mixed with the faintest purple, lit the darkening sky, as night, along with death, crept closer.
At the banks of River Nore, Sorcha rocked back and forth, tears of innocence-lost escaping down her cheeks. Heart splintering, she searched her memory for a spell to ease her mother’s torment. With her hands locked in the fabric of her mother’s woolen dress, she chanted pleas to the Goddess Isis to hear her cries and heal her mother.
To no avail.
The only answer came in the form of the demon’s sickness dripping from her mother’s mouth in a sludge of grimy gray mud.
Fear unlike anything she’d ever felt iced her heart, as once more she begged, swore her very life in exchange for the continued beat of her mother’s heart.
A piercing pain shot through her overburdened mind as the beast fought to break through her mental shields. Weakened by her angst and un-tested youth, she left a crack exposed, and the beast slipped in. Squinting her eyes closed, her entire body shaking with the will to deny the sick beast entrance, she couldn’t prevent his foul words from seeping through.
“Your mother paid for her defiance, for her inability to accept this gift only I could give her. Look at you simpering and shaking, if you weren’t so weak I’d use you, but no matter, I’ll be back.”
Drained from holding back the tempest, Sorcha let loose true sobs for the loss of the deepest love of her life, her solid fortress during every storm, the lyrical voice singing away her nightmares. Ignoring her drenched skirts, she released all her torment against her mother’s breast, barely catching the beat of her mother’s weakening heart between each aching moan torn from the depths of her soul.
No one came to her aid. No one soothed her broken spirit.

The sounds of the hounds drew closer, their howls a mad cacophony in her surreal world. The yellow-glow from fire-tipped sticks, created a mystical glow in the woods before her. Snaps and cracks of branches reverberated across the forest as the frenzied townspeople advanced to accuse and convict one of their own—a witch.

FIRE'S FIELD will be released May 19th!

More About Jillian Jacobs:  In the spring of 2013, Jillian Jacobs changed her career path and became a romance writer. After reading for years, she figured writing a romance would be quick and easy. Nope! With the guidance of the Indiana Romance Writers of America chapter, she’s learned there are many "rules" to writing a proper romance. Being re-schooled has been an interesting journey, and she hopes the best trails are yet to be traveled.
Water’s Threshold, the first in Jillian’s Elementals series, was a finalist in Chicago-North’s 2014 Fire and Ice contest in the Women’s Fiction category.
Jillian is a: Tea Guzzler, Polish Pottery Hoarder, and lover of all things Moose.
The genres she writes under are: Paranormal and Contemporary with suspenseful elements.
Social Media Links:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Kilted Singer/Songwriter Marc Gunn

Nancy- I have a special treat for y’all!. I met Marc Gunn at the Stone Mountain Highland Games near Atlanta where the Gunn Clan of North America was hosting its annual gathering. I am also a member of the Gunn clan through my husband, whose grandmother was a Robinson (a sept of the Scottish Gunn clan). Marc’s latest CD, St. Patrick's Day Songs for Kids, was released on March 1st.

Nancy- Please tell my readers a little bit about your work. 

Marc- I play the autoharp and I call my musical style Celtic Geek. That's because I do a lot of traditional Irish and Scottish folk songs, but I also fuse those with science fiction and fantasy, drinking songs and even cats. I have a fun sense of humor and I try to engage my listeners in a way that is not done with popular music.

I'm one of the most-prolific artists you'll ever meet, having released twenty full-length solo CDs in the past eight years. But my record label, which features me on all of the recordings, has over 50 albums in the catalog. I love to perform live, but I also love to record and just create!

Creating is a passion of mine. It's why in addition to recording all of these albums, I also host the award-winning Irish & Celtic Music Podcast as well as numerous other podcasts and I have a YouTube channel where I also create fun content to share, all for free.

My latest album St. Patrick's Day Songs for Kids was released on March 1st. I have a four-year old daughter, so I wanted to put together an album of songs that she would enjoy. It features all new recordings of songs I've done over the years that are also popular with all my fans. They're songs that are fun to sing. Feel good songs that will make you smile whether they be traditional songs like “I'll Tell My Ma” or “The Mermaid Song” or original songs like “Happily Ever After” (based on the children's book The Paperbag Princess), “Irish Lilting”, “Lord of the Pounce” (from my Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers series) or “The Leprechaun”. It's just a fun album!

Nancy- When did you start your musical career? 

Marc- I've played music all my life. But it was in college when I first decided to become a full-time musician and songwriter like Elvis Presley... Of course, it wasn't until much later that I realized Elvis didn't write songs. But he was still a BIG inspiration. In 1999, I was invited to perform at a Renaissance Festival outside Austin, Texas. That event changed my life. I then changed from songwriter to performer as I learned the ropes of how to put on a good stage show. That was also when I really began to learn Irish and Scottish songs. And of course, learning Celtic songs, I also learned how to write music when I got back into it seriously a few years ago.

Nancy- Did you write your own songs or musical scores?

Marc- Of course, I started off singing traditional Celtic songs, but my goal was to be a songwriter. Early on, I wrote mostly parodies of traditional songs. Over the last five years, I've gotten more into writing original songs or setting lyrics by my friend Rie Sheridan Rose
to music. My last album Sci Fi Drinking Songs had a whole lot of original song lyrics by me. I'm very proud of that album because it's the complete culmination of my songwriting combined with my love of Celtic music, combined with my love of science fiction.

Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Marc- A lot of career was defined by rejection. After I finished recording my first bands' album, Marked By Great Size, I was extremely passionate about shamelessly promoting my music. I sent the album to a bunch of magazines for review, including Dirty Linen, the biggest folk magazine out there. I hounded them for months for a review. When the review finally came, it was a paragraph long and not very flattering. They did not understand what we were doing at all. After that, I stopped submitting music to the press for the most part. I decided to go it alone. It was one of the reasons I now have a HUGE network of indie Celtic music websites online.

I also remember talking to an Irish musician in Austin. He was purist. Since our music was not traditional in any sense (I play an autoharp, afterall), he sat me down to tell me exactly what “Celtic music” was.... well, at least to him. That too was extremely pivotal to my career. Not only did I get a great satirical song out of it called “The Leprechaun”, but I also became determined to never judge other “Celtic” musicians because they didn't fit in his narrow definition of Celtic music.

Nancy- What is your professional routine like?

Marc- Music marketing is a passion of mine. I built my entire career around it. In fact, it was because of my skill that I was able to quit my day job in 2005 and never look back. Sure, it's a challenge, even more so, now that I have a wife, a four-year old and a baby on the way, but I love every minute of it.

Because of financial restraints, I basically get two full days a week to work, Monday and Tuesday. Those are the days I record my two main podcasts—Irish & Celtic Music Podcast and The Celtfather. I usually take my daughter to daycare around 7:30am. From there, I start recording The Celtfather podcast and compile shownotes which I publish in my blog. That's my main blog content for my website.

Around 10 am, I start work on the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. It takes a few hours to compile songs, write shownotes, record the show, post in the blog, and then write the weekly newsletter, Celtic Music Magazine. That is usually my Mondays. Tuesdays are left for finishing up everything else that needs doing, like responding to email, creating videos, promoting to social media, and what not.

If I'm lucky, I also get a couple evenings a week to do work. But confess, it's not a huge priority because I consider my family Extremely important. I don't get enough time with my wife as it is since I also frequently have out of town gigs, usually 2-3 weekends a month. So I like to be with her and my daughter as much as possible.

I confess, I'm a bit sloppy with my promotional efforts though. Routine has never been my friend. So I've spent most of my career bouncing back and forth between projects. When I could work 16 hour days as a single man, I got a LOT done. Over the past few years, I've learned out important routine is. It's why I have those podcasting days.
The podcasts are my main means of promotion though. I have fortunately found a few helpers with podcast promotion over the years, whenever I can find microtasks I can easily let go and delegate. It's tough for me.

Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a singer/songwriter/performer, what is the most rewarding thing?   

Marc- The things I love most about my career is creating. I love it every time I get a new album in my hands. I unwrap it and stroke the cover, brilliantly designed by one of my artist friends. It's an amazing feeling. However, the most-rewarding thing for me is to hear feedback from fans who are listening and enjoying the music that I was able to share. They do it happily. They tell their friends. They become a part of the entire creation process.

Right now, I'm already working on my next Kickstarter for an album called Dragons vs. Pirates. It's an anti-Steampunk album with lyrics by Rie Sheridan Rose. It's doing extremely well already having reached my initial goal in five days. But what's been most exciting is seeing people get involved in the story. This album is unlike previous ones in that I'm creating a fun story about dragons against pirates and how I'm caught in the middle. I'm having a blast, and judging by fan interaction, they are too.
I love stories so I'm thrilled to see this album take off.

Nancy- What’s next for you?

Marc- I have three albums currently planned for the future, Dragons vs. Pirates, an additional album of adventure and stories that is still unnamed, and Sea Shanties for Cat Lovers.  I'm also planning to release the Dragons vs. Pirates as an eBook and audiobook if I can figure out that world. And I have a bunch of music marketing articles that I hope to publish as well. From there, who knows. We'll see where my imagination takes me!

More About Marc Gunn
Cats. Irish drinking songs. Science fiction. Nowhere else but from the bright imagination of Marc Gunn would those three elements be so neatly integrated. Yet Gunn, sometimes called “the hardest working man in Celtic music” around his hometown in Austin, is an accomplished musician, podcaster, and entrepreneur . In 2014, his recording of “Rising of the Moon” won Best Roots Traditional in Celtic Radio Music Awards. He continues to turn heads with his instrument of choice, the autoharp.

Gunn’s activities are not restricted to musical performance alone. In 2005, he transformed his popular resource, the Celtic Music Magazine into a podcast. Irish & Celtic Music Podcast helped kick off the podcast revolution by “changing your world with Celtic music”. 

Gunn combines his love of travel with his love a music. He hosts Celtic Invasion Vacations which are different from standard vacation tours. Gunn believes that it is the people around you who ultimately make a vacation great. He finds one location abroad and gathers like-minded vacationers to experience his travel motto, “Good food, good drink, good company”.

In a town famous for almost every musical genre except Celtic music, Marc Gunn has raised the bar and held it high. Using the musical past and a vivid imagination bolstered with ambition and drive, he blazes trails from terra firma to cyberspace, encouraging others to follow.

You can find more information 
about Marc Gunn here:
WEBSITE    BLOG    Twitter  

Here's some videos:

Also on the CD:

Some of the songs from this live show made it on the CD

From Sci Fi Drinking Songs

Friday, March 6, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra

Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, author of The Book of Hours., stopped by to share details of her life as well as her book.  It is a romantic suspense and was released on February 12, 2015.

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

Maria- My novel, The Book of Hours, continues the interrupted-by-fate love story of illustrator Gabriela Martinez and Richard Harrison.  She, once more, finds herself the target of a maniac, who has set his sights on possessing the manuscript she reproduced and which she plans to sell at a charity auction.  Expect sparks, thrills, and suspense as her life is threatened while Richard tries to keep her safe.  

Nancy- Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

Maria- I finished The Coin first and began sending that one out while I wrote the follow-up, The Book of Hours.  Was lucky that, throughout the process of queries and was lucky to get agent representation.  However, back then, publication didn’t pan out and life interrupted.  I decided to go Indie this time.

Nancy- Why have you become a published author?

Maria- I always thought I had a good story to share and the readers seem to agree.  I am grateful.

Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Maria- Yes.  The most brutal, to me.  It simply said, “NO,” and nothing else.  Disheartening.

Nancy- What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

Maria- Any promo.  Web, word-of-mouth, sweepstakes, personal appearances, handing out bookmarks to people in the supermarket.  However, I do have someone who helps me, a lot.  My assistant and friend, Mari Christie.  She keeps me organized and sane, especially through a novel launch.  Handles all things techno, which I really am not good at, at all.

Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

Maria- Hearing from the readers that they loved or enjoyed the novel, and that they will recommend it to friends and family.  It is a great feeling.  

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

Maria- I am a member of the RWA, the Kiss of Death chapter, and Carolina Romance Writers.  Their workshops are fantastic and, even when you have already heard it all about a topic, you always wind up learning more.  I have learned a lot about self-publishing, marketing, making your novel stronger, revisions, even book cover creations. 

Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know. 
1)  I was a professional dancer.
2)  I sing in the church choir.
3)  I am a nerd when it comes to things medieval.

Nancy- What’s next for you?

Maria- Keep writing.  Keep writing.  Keep writing.

For artist Gabriela Martinez, psychopaths do strike twice. In The Coin, two star-crossed lovers were cruelly used by fate—and now, in The Book of Hours, destiny isn’t done.

Back then, Gabriela almost lost her life to a psychopath hoping to claim her artwork, her career, her body, and her love. If not for Richard, the operative sent to protect her, she would have fallen victim to his twisted vision.  The dramatic showdown pushed Gabriela and Richard together, even in the face of countless obstacles.

With someone new threatening Gabriela's life, Richard will risk everything to protect the woman he loves.  But with a new villain on the horizon, bent on possessing Gabriela's latest work no matter what it takes, she is forced to fall back on old friends, including the man who changed her life not so many years ago.

With an even more dramatic threat looming, and far more to lose, if they don't stay one step ahead of the danger, their lives, their love, and their future may very well go up in flames.

Chérie,” Jean-Louis said, keeping his voice soft, as if he were approaching a nervous fawn. “We need help, and you know the kind I’m referring to.”         
Silence answered for her, but her hands gripped the banister until her knuckles turned white.
“Gabriela, we can’t dismiss this situation with a shrug, not anymore, not after that accident.” Jean-Louis continued persuasively. “This man Wickeham is a potential psychopath—maybe not as deadly as Heinige, but still a very real threat.”
Taking her shoulders softly, he turned Gabriela to face him. Apart from Julien, his life partner, Jean-Louis admired and loved no one like the woman he held. “Ma belle. We need to get Harrison involved. Please. Call Maurice. Find him.”
Gabriela’s golden eyes locked with her friend’s. The hesitation was there. Unspoken, but there.
Frustrated, Jean-Louis threw both hands toward the sky and swore. The stubborn, stubborn woman. He grabbed the railing in lieu of knocking some sense into her and pinned her with his eyes.
“When are you going to let go of this groundless guilt? Of your fear? You can’t continue this way, mon amie. The stress level is tearing you apart.” When Gabriela remained mute, Jean-Louis thrust his face close to hers. “But that’s not the real issue here, is it?”
“Jean-Louis—” she warned.
“Forgiveness. That’s what’s really at stake here. You’ve always readily forgiven others, but when it comes to yourself, you don’t. It’s that simple. Tell me, mon amie, I’m curious. When will the self-flagellation stop? How many more years of punishment will you allow? When will enough be enough?”
Gabriela flinched and Jean-Louis knew his words had hit home. He saw the heart-wrenching vulnerability in her eyes and, for the first time, read a resignation. A capitulation?

How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the author’s HOME PAGE at  to buy direct —OR—

Buy Links
Amazon    Smashwords    Kobo

Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a full-time novelist based in North Carolina. With Cuban roots, she has lived in many countries, including France, the setting for her first novel, The Coin. She speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German, and reads Latin, Middle English, and old French. She holds a Masters in English literature, specializing in medieval romances, and is currently an active member of the Carolina Romance Writers. She loves to hear from her readers, and always hopes to open a dialogue with her fans.

You can find more information about Maria Elena here: