Friday, July 31, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author J Hughey

Author J. Hughey stopped by to talk about her book Rhyolite Drifts: Yellowblown™ Book Two. It is a New Adult contemporary romance and was released on May 5, 2015. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

J Hughey- Rhyolite Drifts is the second book in my Yellowblown™ series in which the Yellowstone caldera erupts, causing a major interruption in the life of Violet Perch, a college sophomore enjoying the perfect semester. In book one, Eruption, she was rooming with her best friend, Mia, and finally hooking up with her freshman crush, Hotness, also known as Boone Ramer, who is everything she ever imagined and more. Then, blammo, a major part of the western U.S. is flattened, volcanic ash starts filtering down all over North American, and school is eventually closed. She and Boone get a few more weeks together in her hometown of Sycamore Springs, Indiana, but, despite his parents discouraging the trip, he realizes he has to go find his family. Violet is understandably bummed out about the separation that she thinks he intends to make permanent. And with the human race possibly facing extinction, it may not be entirely up to him, anyway.

Nancy- Wow! Tell us more!

J Hughey- In Rhyolite Drifts, Mia and her gangster little brother appear on Violet’s doorstep. We get to know them and a whole cast of small town characters as Violet and her family work to survive in a world that is slowly devolving back to one of raw survival. Of course, the gut-churning question that Violet does a great job of hiding from everyone else: will Boone come back? He’s gone silent. She doesn’t know if that is by choice or because communications are so spotty, or if he’s dead…. Should she wait, or should she get on with her life in whatever way she can?

Nancy- Describe the genre of this particular title. 

J Hughey- Oh, the genre, the genre. The Yellowblown™ series is an unexpected mix of New Adult contemporary soft-apocalyptic romance. (No zombies.) What do some of those terms mean? New Adult means the main characters are in the college-transitioning-to-adulthood phase, and soft-apocalyptic…well, a reviewer put it very well by saying that despite this global catastrophe the story is not in “shades of never-ending gray.” The characters are still leading interesting lives—and trying to plan for their futures—beneath an umbrella of impending doom. Violet and Boone’s growing romance is a steady thread throughout, but the story involves many people and how they cope—or don’t cope—in these very odd circumstances.

Nancy- Is it the only genre you write in?

J Hughey- I also write historical romance in my Evolution Series – Charlemagne’s Heroes, set in the 800s in Europe. So, a little different than the volcano thing, but I love historicals. It’s still my favorite genre to read.

Nancy- What is your writing routine like?

J Hughey- Most of the time, I write at my kitchen table, or I sit on the front porch when weather permits. In either spot, I have a nice view of our landscaping and the woods—we live in the sticks in Pennsylvania—so I can sort of stare into the greenery and think. I also prefer quiet, quiet, quiet. Any other words in the background, either in music or something on TV, jumbles up my brain. Even instrumental music is too mood-setting for me. Gotta stay in the zone! I’m very musical, but the whole concept of a song list for a particular book or tone is absolutely anathema to me.

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

J Hughey- I am a one-person operation and, like most authors, what I want to do is WRITE, so I really struggle with balancing my productive time with finding the right promotions. I like BTS eMag, so I try to be consistently active with them. I’ll run specials on some email lists like eReader News Today and Fussy Librarian. I’m in the middle of trying a review “service,” and I love visiting blogs like this. I also have my own blog and newsletter. Like most authors, I don’t have the luxury of writing as a full-time job, so sometimes it all just feels overwhelming. At those moments, I try to do a few mundane tasks, then get back to a story, because the writing work gets me out of that nervous-stress frame of mind.

Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know. 
1) I take voice lessons and sing classical soprano pieces.
2) I was Franklin County Apple Queen sometime around 1984.
3) My college degree is in geology, hence the volcano books.

What’s next for you?

J Hughey- Right now I have three projects vying for attention in my head. They are Yellowblown™ Book Three, a historical romance that will introduce the next generation of my Evolution Series, and a new concept that has me reading Bullfinch’s mythology book. All of these are in the outlining, character-building stage while I’ve been taking care of some other business with earlier books.

Rhyolite Drifts BOOK BLURB
Abandoned by Hotness.
Held hostage by the Yellowstone eruption, I’m stuck at home instead of loving life at college.

Sanity is restored when my college roommate arrives, but I’m still trapped in my hometown with a bunch of people just trying to survive. Some of them are surprisingly interesting, like the HAM radio opera singer lady. Or the pop star who crushes on me while waiting for an air filter for his tour bus.

Unfortunately there’s also my roommate’s gangster little brother who pushes Grandma to her conservative edge, and the local entrepreneurs determined to capitalize on hard times. They tick me off.

Despite all this I’m determined to find a path to the fabled land of Adulthood even if my heart is broken and all the roads are ash covered.
And where the heck did that Nebraskan cattle rancher go, anyway?

Rhyolite Drifts EXCERPT
Mia hardly stirred until the next morning. I was staring at her when her eyes finally fluttered open. My face made the memory of yesterday’s arrival click immediately into place. “Where’s Tony?” she asked.
“He slept on the couch. I think Sara might move in here so he can have her room.”
Mia blinked at me. “I can sleep on the couch,” she said. She started to sit up as if she had to go there now.
“Naw. Mom doesn’t want to do that. She’s already given up her dining room and the garage, and has her in-laws living here, and says the kitchen looks like a Girl Scout campsite. She’s kind of adamant the living room is going to stay a living room.”
Mia flopped back down on the pillow. “Well, I guess she’s the boss.”
“Oh yeah.”
She reached up to touch a Hunger Games poster on the wall above the bed, a throwback to high school I didn’t even notice was there anymore. “Where’s Hotness sleeping these days?”
Past. “He left.”
That crappy tidbit got her to sit up for real, her striking blue eyes pinning me. “When?”
“A few weeks ago. Around your birthday, actually. Why didn’t you text me back?” I definitely did not want to talk about the Nebraskan, even with my best friend.
She looked out the window at the tangled pattern of leafless tree branches not much different than they’d be any other November in spite of the ash drifting above us, high in the atmosphere. The geology department head had called it rhyolite ash because of the mineral makeup.
“My mom stole my phone. She traded it for a dime of crack, which, by the by, is a lot less crack than it used to be.” Mia traced the top of the white headboard with her black polished fingernail. “What do you guys use for money out here?”
“Well, money most of the time, though I don’t know if my dad is getting paid much anymore. Dentists aren’t exactly buying equipment and supplies like crazy. People bring us stuff sometimes ’cuz we have a spring in front of our house with good water.”
“No kidding,” Mia said. “Free water.”
“And my mom bought enough stuff to see us through the end of the world. Wait ’til you see her inventory. It’s like walking through a discount mart. I guess if they can keep paying the electric bill and the mortgage, we’ll be okay.” I tugged at the hem of my pajama pants. “How long were you on the road?”
She shrugged her thin shoulders. “Ten days or so.”
“What was it like? Out there, I mean. I haven’t been any farther than Gardenburg since they closed college.”
She shrugged again, though a pained hardness to her jaw negated the carefree attitude. “It’s weird. Some of the gas stations were out of gas, and you mostly have to show some special card to get diesel. A truck driver gave us a ride to Cincinnati. Then we hitched and walked. You know, did what we had to do.”
I thought she might be about to cry again, but she bottled up. “How did you find a truck driver?”
“Gram tricked us.” At my confused expression, she sighed. “She set it up with a guy from our church, promised we were all going, then said goodbye in the parking lot. I feel like I left her in a concentration camp. She knew what she was doing. Knew I’d be so busy convincing Tony to go I’d leave her behind. I’m never going to speak to that old bitch again.”
I wasn’t sure if she meant this in the angry way or literally, as in ‘I’m never going to see that old bitch to speak to her again.’
“Tony didn’t want to leave Camden?”
“Tony was working his way up the ladder from dealing drugs in the cafeteria at school to getting shot on the street corner. His favorite phrase right now is ‘bust a cap,’ and he’s too dumb to even realize he’s five years behind the lingo. He thinks he’s all that while the older guys, the guys higher on the ladder, laugh at him. I had to get him out of there. Things were getting out of hand.” She frowned. “I didn’t want to leave Gram though.”
“Our land line still works most of the time. You could call her.”
“Maybe. I need to get another cell. Even something old that can still be activated. Or one of those burner phones.”
“Dad might have an old phone lying around.”
She leaned forward to peer in the mug on the nightstand, then picked up the cold, coagulated hot chocolate and gulped it down.
“Hey, you’re probably starving. Let’s go downstairs for breakfast.”
Tony sprawled on the couch in the living room, still wearing the jeans loose enough to show the top of his boxer shorts, with the bottom of each leg caked in mud where they had dragged, presumably picking up dirt from Cincinnati to here. His long, skinny bare feet were propped up on the coffee table. He’d been staring at the blank TV, but now glared at Mia as she sat down next to him. Colossal fake diamonds gleamed dully from each of his lobes, and I wondered why his mom hadn’t stolen them out of his ears.
“You need to wash up and change your clothes,” Mia said.
“Why? Some hot girl be comin’ out the woods?”
“Knock it off. We’re in someone else’s house. Get cleaned up.”
He scowled. “I don’t have any privacy here. Baby sister walked through before the sun was even up,” he said, jerking his chin toward me. “What the hell?”
“Mom’s gonna rearrange things so you have a room,” I said.
“Why was Sara up so early?” Mia asked.
“She has school three days a week,” I said. Mia’s eyes lit up hopefully.
“Forget it,” Tony growled. “This bro not going to a bum-freakin’ hick school.”

Rhyolite Drifts Buy Links….


J. Hughey knows what a girl wants. Independence. One or two no-matter-what-happens friends. A smokin’ hot romance. A basic understanding of geological concepts. Huh? Okay, maybe not every girl is into geology, but J. Hughey is, and in the Yellowblown™ series she combines her passion for a timeless love story with her interest in geeky stuff to help Violet Perch get a life, despite an ongoing global catastrophe.

J. Hughey also writes historical romance as Jill Hughey. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two teenage sons and works part-time as a business administrator. For pure enjoyment, she takes voice lessons and performs locally as a classical soprano. You can find more information about Jill Hughey here:

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Irene Vartanoff

Author Irene Vartanoff stopped by to share a few intimate details of her life and her latest book. 

Captive of the Cattle Baron is a sweet ranch romance and was released on June 16, 2015.Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Irene- Captive of the Cattle Baron is an update on the old school romances we used to read years ago, in which the hero is rich and domineering and takes the law into his hands. Rancher Baron Selkirk abducts Addie Jelleff—convinced he's saving her from a sordid drug situation. Addie objects, but he won't listen. As they get to know each other on his isolated ranch, we soon see behind his bossy facade to his personal frustrations. He acts in a high-handed manner with Addie but he has his reasons. The major twist is that Addie is a modern woman who isn't intimidated by Baron's attempts to control her. She gives as good as she gets, and she won't let their growing attraction rule her. She's a genuinely strong heroine, which of course only adds to Baron's frustrations—and her own, as their feelings grow.  
Nancy- Describe the genre of this particular title. 

Irene- This is a sweet romance, which most people define as being about attraction and character rather than being hot and heavy about sex. My characters do have a very strong sexual attraction, but they are surprised and confused by it and they tend to pull back from intense moments. Addie thinks a lot about how she responds to Baron. In direct contrast, Baron acts on his impulses without examining his feelings, and that leads to trouble between them. Sweet romances usually either do not include the hero and heroine making love, or don't show any details. I like leaving some things to the reader's imagination.

Nancy- Is this the only genre you write in?

IreneI also write superhero adventure (Temporary Superheroine came out in March, 2015 and the sequel will be published this fall) and women's fiction, and I'm working on novels in several other women-oriented subgenres as well. I'm all over the map for now.

Nancy- When did you start writing toward publication?

Irene- I started trying to sell stories to the comic books as a teenager, and I sold my first stories to DC Comics when I was just out of college. Writing novels was the next step, but it was a rocky road of trying to find my voice in a sea of romances that often featured overly macho heroes I did not like. After writing a bunch of romance graphic novellas for the online comics publisher, I tried writing novels again. I found the wonderful online support of, the National Novel Writing Month nonprofit that helps people write 50,000 words in November through the "We're all in this together!" system. I wrote my second novel during the Kiwi Writers (of New Zealand) Southern Cross Challenge, a June version of writing 50,000 words in a month—and for that challenge, I wrote 105,000 words! By the time November rolled around again, I was very confident that I could write novels after all.    

Nancy- Why have you become a published author?

Irene- One major reason to become a published author is to raise my hand and say "This is me. I was here. I lived." If we don't strive to make something unique of our lives, we are the poorer. If we have talent, we have a responsibility to explore it and use it. When I was finding it so difficult to complete novels, I tried to deny my writing talent. It didn't work. The urge to tell stories was always there. I simply had to grow into the confidence to tell my stories the way I believe they should be told. All of my novels explore serious themes, but I prefer a light touch about some dark topics. That's why Captive of the Cattle Baron, despite being an abduction story, has a lot of humor in it, too.

Another, more practical reason to publish, or in my case self-publish, is to push myself to bring each story up to an acceptable level of professionalism, and then to let it go to find its audience. Between the first draft of my first novel and the final draft, I must have done fifteen to twenty revision passes, maybe more. At some point I had to decide—or let others decide—that I had achieved a viable story. I've been very gratified by the positive responses from readers so far. People like my strong heroines. I find that totally cool.

Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Irene- Captive of the Cattle Baron has won several writing contests, although some judges haven't liked the abduction scenario. The editor from a major publishing house who judged one contest finalists' entries actually went off on me in a very unprofessional manner. Naturally, I was expecting that since I'd ranked as a finalist in the contest, this editor would write something nice about the pages she'd read. Instead, she hated my story so much that she mocked a particular scene. In her opinion my secondary characters were corny, silly, and unbelievable. And more. She actually was nasty about it. Her harshly negative opinion set me back for a bit, but on balance I decided I was okay with it. I'd written a story that had induced a passionate reaction, and other readers liked that scene very much, and she'd obviously been having a very bad day. I doubt I'll ever submit a story directly to her, but no big deal. We have to shake off rejections.  

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

Irene- Respect yourself. You are the person with the talent, with the stories, with the human capital that publishers need. They can't write your stories; only you can. Don't give away your work, don't give it away for peanuts, and don't ever sign any contract you don't understand. Write the stories you believe in, even if they don't seem to be the stories other people tell you are commercial. Life is too short to waste time stifling yourself.    

Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know 
1) I have two chainsaws and I know how to use them.
2) I used to work with Stan Lee. (Yeah, that guy.)
3) I adore opera.

Nancy- What’s next for you?

Irene- My immediate goal is to get all my backlog of manuscripts published. Interspersed will be sequels that carry characters to their logical happy end points or tell the stories of interesting secondary characters. I have lots of ideas for stories, some of them "answer songs," if you've ever heard that expression. What I mean is that I've read too many romances that made me angry because the hero got away with bullying the heroine, and I want to write stories in which the woman takes back her power. Captive of the Cattle Baron is one of them, and there will be more. 

Abducted by rancher Baron Selkirk—okay, it was an accident, but now he won't let her go—former TV child star turned horse whisperer Addie Jelleff wants to return to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to defend her actor pal in court. Baron and his vast, isolated ranch appeal to Addie as a respite from the media circus, but he's awfully domineering and she can't possibly give in to their growing attraction while she's virtually his prisoner, can she?

Baron wants Addie to open up about her mysterious past and her commitment to another man. Why won't she give in to Baron, when every time they touch, they catch fire? It's a battle of wills—with neither one backing down.

 “I told you to stay away from my stable today,” he said in a gravelly tone from behind her.
She smelled horses on him, and smoke. Leather. Manly smells.  “I’m not at the stable,” she said, still watching the stallion.
He ignored the technicality. “I specifically ordered you not to come back here today.”
She finally glanced at him. “You ordered? You’re acting like a prison warden.”
“You’re a guest, but you were sick. Or so you claim,” he said, eyeing her with open suspicion.
She curbed her impatience. “Haven’t you ever taken even one pill that made you loopy against your will?”
“No. Never.” His glare was uncompromising. “I don’t do drugs and I don’t allow them on this ranch.”
“I don’t do drugs either,” she said. She glared back at him.
“Why are you here at the corral?” Baron demanded.
“I’m training your stallion, getting him used to humans.”
He frowned. “You went inside the fence?”
“I wouldn’t do that without permission.”
“Why should I give you permission?”
She blew out an exasperated breath. “Because I’m a horse trainer.”
“Pull the other one.” He looked her over, missing none of her female assets, making her want to squirm from his slow, appreciative inventory. “You’re far too beautiful.”
“You’re kidding.”
“What are you? A dancer at the casino? A swim instructor at the hotel?”
“Why would you think that?” She cocked her head at him.
“You have an air about you. Poise,” he said, his hands resting on his belt as he looked her over.
“That’s an astute observation,” she replied, impressed in spite of herself. Although she wasn’t about to tell him about her show biz past, somehow he’d made a connection. “Why is my appearance relevant to my ability to train a horse?”
“The only horse trainers I’ve ever met were wizened old things. You don’t look like a horse trainer to me,” he said.
“I can’t possibly be a horse trainer because I don’t look the part?” She started laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
“I don’t look the part.” She couldn’t stop the gales of laughter.
“You’ve been out in the hot sun far too long. Miss Betty told you to rest. I’m taking you back to the house.” He took hold of her upper arm and began to march her toward the ranch house.
“Stop,” she said, sobering up. She pulled against his strong grip. He immediately released her, but now they were face to face, almost touching. Their breaths mingled and then slowed. She stared into his chestnut eyes, seeking something, she didn’t know what. His gaze was equally intent. He answered her without words, and then he looked at her lips. She stopped breathing. He leaned in a few more inches and pressed his mouth against hers.
Buy Links….

Award-winning author Irene Vartanoff started reading romances and comic books as a teenager. Emilie Loring romances and Superman comics led to the serious stuff, Gothic novels and Lois Lane comics—and romance comics. Writing comic books and working on staff at Marvel Comics and DC Comics absorbed her early career years, aspects of which are gently spoofed in her superhero adventure novel, Temporary Superheroine. Editing for major publishers of romance Harlequin, Bantam, and Berkley inspired her next career shift to writing novels. Captive of the Cattle Baron is her first sweet contemporary romance.

You can find more information about 
Irene Vartanoff here:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Sherrie Hansen

Author Sherrie Hansen stopped by to share some intimate details, a character's interview, and the release of her new book. 

Shy Violet, is a romantic suspense released in paperback on May 1. E-versions are coming soon. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book. 

Sherrie: When a poor choice leaves school teacher Violet Johansen stranded in the car park of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, Violet wonders if she’ll ever find her way back to her comfort zone. She has two choices – to trust a piper who looks exactly like someone she dated a decade ago, or a band of nefarious pirates. Pirates. Pipers. People and mistakes from the past that threaten to haunt you forever… A castle that’s been ravaged and rebuilt… Only time will tell if Violet and Nathan’s fragile new friendship survive the storm and see love reborn.

Character Interview with Violet Johansen from Shy Violet by Sherrie Hansen

Voilet, what three things would you take to a desert island?  Is it cheating to say my backpack, because technically, it’s one thing, but it would be full of dozens of things that would come in handy… matches, my favorite almond hand cream, a book, my art supplies, a comb and toothbrush, a change of clothes, and a nice, soft nightie. For number two, I’d choose my Birkenstocks, because obviously, I’d be walking a lot, and they’re the best. And the third thing, well, you’re going to think I’m silly – because where would I spend money on a desert island? But seriously, I would bring at least a few thousand dollars in cash. Scotland is hardly a desert island, but when I ran away from Alexander in the parking lot of Eilean Donan Castle, I would have given anything to have some significant cash on me. I couldn’t use my credit card – if I had, he would have been able to track me. So, definitely cash, just in case. A person never knows. I hated having to mooch off Rose and Ian when I ran away from Nathan, too. I don’t care where in the world I am, I never want to find myself in that position again.
What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?  I’m a sucker for love. That’s my problem. I’m naïve and too trusting. My heart just goes out to people – the kids in my classroom, friends, my grandmother, men who have that certain something… I find them all so easy to love, and well, they become my life, and I hang my star on them, then they leave, or move on to the next grade, or get married and move away, or die, or turn their back on me and walk away for any number of reasons, and there I am – alone, devastated, heartbroken, left to rebuild the pieces of my life. You should see all the beautiful paintings I’ve done – at least one for each disappointment. It’s like making a mosaic out of the broken pieces of my heart.

How do you decide if you can trust someone? Hard to say. I just do, at least most of the time. I was a little nervous about Lyndsie at first, but only because she was so young, and Alexander is so charming. Thankfully, my trust was well-founded. She turned out to be the best friend ever. I knew right away I could trust Nathan, well, except that he looked so eerily familiar. Rose and Ian practically have trustworthy etched on their foreheads. The pirates – well, I should have known better than to get involved with them. And of course, I was dead wrong about Alexander. But in my defense, I adored his son, Timothy. He was such a sweetheart that I just assumed his father was cut from the same cloth. Boy, was I wrong.
When you walk into a room, what do you notice first?  When I walk I to a room. I notice the colors – the art on the walls, the pottery on the coffee table, the quilt on the bed, the splash of a brightly colored book on a bookshelf – the whole aura of the room is impacted by the colors a person surrounds themselves with. It tells me so much about a person… that’s why I was a little put off my Nathan’s flat at first. It was pretty drab. But he was in Scotland as an exchange teacher, and in temporary quarters, so I tried not to hold it against him.  

When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?  To be honest, I don’t want people to notice me. Thankfully, nothing terribly distinctive about my looks, so I can usually stay incognito as long as I choose to.  When someone finally does notice me, it’s usually my eyes that draw them in, or my hair. It’s long and curly, and I’m told it has a soft, touchable sheen to it.

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul? Music. Nathan’s a good example. When I heard that melancholy bagpipe music wafting over Eilean Donan Castle, it was almost as though it lifted me off my feet and swirled me around the mountains. It transported me – an absolutely amazing feat considering how stressed and panicked and desperate I was at the time.

What's the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn't/couldn't/wouldn't? What would happen if you did do it?  I’ve always wanted to go to a nude beach. I mean I never would, but if I ever got up the nerve, I think it would be a great way to affirm that I’m confident about the way I look, and the aura I exude, not mater how shy I might seem.

What do you consider to be your weaknesses?  I can be indecisive, and afraid to stick up for myself even when I know I’m right. Sometimes it’s easier to run away and hide instead of staying put and fighting for what I want and deserve.

What do you consider to be your strengths?  I’m very loyal, and I’d do anything for the people I love.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?  I’m happy with the way things are working out – things always do seem to come together in the end, but if I could go back in time and undo my relationship with Nathan’s father, I would do it in a heartbeat. If only I’d known then what I know now… who would have guessed how a silly school girl fling would come back to haunt me…

She had to get away from him. She didn’t care what kind of trouble she got herself into – anything would be better than being with him. She had to find a way to escape. Violet Johansen’s legs pumped under her as she raced over the drawbridge, across the moat, toward the parking lot. She tugged at one door handle after another – someone must have left their car door open. It wasn’t like she was in East St. Louis or downtown Detroit. This was small town Scotland. There had to be one person trusting enough to leave their auto unlocked.

The wind buffeted her face and the chilly air, gulp after gulp of it, tore at her lungs. Had he realized she was gone? How much time did she have to get away? Why hadn’t she done this when they were in Edinburgh, where she could have dashed into a store, ducked down an alley and disappeared into the throngs of people wandering up and down the Royal Mile?
No. She’d chosen to try to make her escape at a castle surrounded by water on three and a half sides, accessed by one east west road squeezed between a mountain and a loch. She’d opted to make a break for it where the best and only place to hide was a stupid parking lot full of locked cars.

Alexander hadn’t let her out of his sight the entire time they were in the city. The man rarely even slept. Still, she wished she’d tried to leave before it came to this. 
The wall of stone to the north of the castle taunted her. There was no way she could climb the sheer face of rock even if she’d been wearing tennis shoes or hiking boots. She had on Birkenstocks and no socks.

She never should have come to Europe with him in the first place. But it had seemed like such a dream come true at the time. The man had been knighted by the Queen. Didn’t they do background checks on people before they knighted them into an age old position of trust and honor?

She could try to shift the blame, but she knew what was happening to her was no fault of the Queen’s. She should have known things were going to end badly. They usually did when she blew off the advance plans, went off-road, and acted on impulse – which is exactly why she rarely did!

But if she hadn’t followed her instincts this time, she might have been dead by morning. She didn’t know it. She felt it. Alexander’s abuse had started out with minor things, like promising her the world, then not letting her use the ladies room unless he said it was okay. But these last few days, he’d been so crazy mean to her that...

A tour bus. Certainly the bus driver would leave the door open in case someone had to use the loo. Right? Locked. Of course. The passengers’ belongings were in their seats.
Panic laced with adrenaline surged through her veins. The tour had to be coming to an end.
The teahouse. The girl with the red hair who’d been taking their money when they went through the line had seemed nice. Intelligent, too. A bit naive. She’d giggled like a schoolgirl when Alexander had flirted with her, then given her a big tip. Hell, she probably was a schoolgirl.

She had to trust someone. She hated having to ask for help, but she couldn’t do this by herself. The only security guard she’d seen had been inside the castle. There was no place to hide.

She raced back to the teahouse, ducking from vehicle to vehicle. Still no sign of anyone exiting the castle. She made a run for it across the open expanse of grass that led to the eating area.

She was halfway there when the lilting strains of a lone bagpiper wafted across the water. Maybe he’d been playing all along, but suddenly, the sound was so clear and true she could almost see the notes floating over Loch Alsh and rising over Skye’s mountains. She wanted to turn, to see the person capable of making such a sound. Her heart, breaking, her tears, flowing, her gut, wrenching – it was all there – each note a teardrop, each pause, a sigh, each lilting change in the direction of the melody, a gasp.

But she didn’t have time. She clutched her side and kept running. She had to – get – to – safety. 

“Help.” By the time she threw open the door and located the girl, she could barely find her breath, say nothing of her voice. “It’s a long story, but I’ve no where to go. I need a place to hide. He’ll come looking for me.”

Nancy: How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the publisher’s home page HERE

Buy Links

Nancy: please share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1)  I’ve climbed Pike’s Peak, all 14,110 feet of it! 
2)  I play the piano with a praise band at church and love to rock out.
3)  I’ve lived in Austin, MN, Wheaton, IL, Bar Harbor, Maine, Augsburg, Germany, Lawton, OK, and Colorado Springs, CO.

Nancy: What’s next for you?  I’m working on my next Wildflowers of Scotland novel – Sweet William, which features Rose’s (Wild Rose) niece and Violet’s (Shy Violet) friend, Lyndsie Morris.

Twenty-four years ago, Sherrie Hansen rescued a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa from the bulldozer's grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn.  After 12 years of writing romance novels, Sherrie met and married her real-life hero, Mark Decker, a pastor. They now live in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and Sherrie writes on the run whenever she has a spare minute. Sherrie enjoys playing the piano, photography, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with her nieces and nephew. “Shy Violet” is Sherrie’s eighth book to be published by Second Wind Publishing, a mid-sized, independent press out of Kernersville, NC.

You can find more information about Sherrie Hansen here:

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews the Authors of Shades of Desire

I have a treat for y'all today! Ten authors have stepped forward to answer my interview questions as they celebrate the release of their Boxed Set titled Shades of Desire, 10 Sweet and Spicy Romances, which they released June 8th.

Hey ladies! Please tell my readers a little bit about your books inside this fabulous Boxed Set, and share how we can 'connect' with you.  

Nancy: Tell my readers a little bit about YOUR book inside the book.
Diane Escalera: Still Hot for You is about a woman who will do whatever it takes to win back the man she lovesI . It's Story One of my super caliente Latin Heat Trilogy. Website
Nancy: Why have you become a published author?   
Cindy Stark: I was desperate to get the stories out of my head. There’s nothing like seeing a character in my mind and then bringing her to life  Website   Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads
Nancy: What is your writing routine like?
Kristina Knight: I've become good at writing in 15-30 minutes stretches of time. I read over the last scene I wrote to make sure everything is fresh in my mind, and then take off on whatever comes next. Website 
Valerie Twombly: I take my laptop to work and write on my lunch and breaks. I have a word count I need to reach each day and if I don’t make that, then I write in the evenings. Website  
Emma Leigh ReedI write daily. I allot a 4-6 hour window of writing time and just sit down and write. I don’t spend time rereading what was written yesterday, I just sit and write to get the 1st draft out and then go back to edit. Web  Facebook  Twitter Amazon
Nancy: Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?  
Wendy ElyMeeting so many great readers! Many have become friends and that is the best part. Facebook
Dorothy Callahan: Honesty, it’s meeting new people and speaking with fans. Last year, I met someone who had read one of my books... in Belgium!  Website   Facebook  Twitter
Nancy: Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 
Chanta Rand: Be fearless and never be afraid to pursue your dream. In the words of Michael Jordan, “Limits just like fears are often just an illusion.” Website    Twitter 
J.A. Coffey:  If you want to be a writer, then write. Every book is a learning experience. Don’t be afraid to explore a different style or genre until you find your voice. Hone your craft and keep moving forward. It’s worth the journey!  Website    Facebook   Twitter
Lena Hart: Don't let anyone decide when you can start your career. Improve your craft. Do your research. Self-publish wisely. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Just don't give up! Website

**Shades of Desire**
Ten titillating tales from USA Today, bestselling and award-winning authors. Step into the world of some of the freshest voices in romance. From spicy secrets to sweet second chances. Come find your perfect shade of desire.
J.A. Coffey – Bestselling Author
Divorced certified fraud examiner Jessica Barlow catches liars for a living. Sparks fly when she’s assigned to investigate a dating website owned by a man determined to guarantee she finds love—even if he has to pretend to be a client!
Wendy Ely – USA Today Bestselling Author
Sometimes good men are taught to do evil things and it takes the strength of a sheltered woman to make things right. When Gabi learns of her father, she is asked to leave for her own safety. Fine. She’ll go… but she is taking her secret love with her, even if it’s at gun-point.
Dorothy Callahan – Bestselling Author
Jess never forgot her first kiss, especially since it came from the guy who taught her everything she knows about antiques, her livelihood. But if she wins the priceless inheritance, Jess will risk losing Darius Covington all over again.
Diane Escalera – Bestselling Author
Shay LaCosta screwed up a damn good marriage. Now she's on a mission to get a little submission, and get her hunky husband back in her bed.
Lena Hart – Bestselling Author
Athena Lewis has a sharp mind and an even sharper attitude. Except when it comes to “Davie,” the only man who’s ever truly made her feel safe. Yet to protect the only family
she has left, she must embark on a mission that goes against everything she believes in—and that includes using the last trick she has left. Her body.
Chanta Rand – Bestselling Author and Debut Author of the Year
Thrown together for ninety days by a spiteful judge, womanizing attorney, Cayson Sullivan and street-smart hustler, Destiny Jackson find the only thing they can agree on is their red-hot attraction for each other.
Emma Leigh Reed
Pregnant and running from her abusive boyfriend, Chloe Wilder takes refuge in the sleepy coastal town of Arden. Police chief, Jayden Peterson, thinks the worst crime that could happen in Arden is jaywalking. Could the real danger be the two of them falling for each other?
Cindy Stark – Bestselling Author
Battle-worn soldier, Jerry returns home intending to avoid his ex-fiancée. The shrapnel that wounded him pales in comparison to the gash she left in his heart. Kimber lost everything when she broke off her engagement, and she’ll fight to win him back.
Kristina Knight – Bestselling Author
Armand has lost everything. His magic and his freedom are taken when an evil curse is placed on the Jinn, but a newcomer to town may be his savior. When evil emerges from the shadows, Makayla learns she must choose between her mortality and Armand’s freedom.
Dumped by her celebrity boyfriend, unlucky-in-love author Casey Cash needs a break. But, between the male escort trying to get into her bed and the tabloid reporter intent on getting her story, Casey might have been smarter to stay in New York...

Shades of Desire