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Interview with Louise Lyndon

**Giveaway!**  Chance for a randomly drawn  winner to snag an autographed copy of Of Love and Vengeance.  Keep reading to find out how to enter.                                                                                                                             

Hello, everyone! Meet Louise Lyndon:

Louise grew up in rural Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.

In 2013, Louise won first prize in the historical romance category of the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled and is now known as, Of Love & Vengeance. Her second novel, Of Love & Betrayal is available now.

When not writing, Louise can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!

I’m so happy to have fellow Wild Rose Press author Louise Lyndon with me today. Louise has published two medieval romance novels, Of Love and Vengeance, and Of Love and Betrayal. Here’s the back cover blurb for Of Love and Betrayal:

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Aveline de Bondeville is on the run. Determined to keep out of the hands of the cruel Raimbaut de Blois she will do whatever it takes to stay alive. And so when she finds herself in the company of Troy de Gysborne she must quickly decide if she can trust him. But can she confess to murder knowing it would mean her certain death?

Troy de Gysborne did the unthinkable; he tore the bonds of brotherhood and left a path of destruction in his wake. And now Troy must face those he betrayed, including the father who long ago renounced him. But to confess to the crime he committed will cost him everything. Including Aveline. But can he remain silent if it means losing the woman he loves?

 Louise, thanks for being here.

Louise:  Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here.

 I’ve read both your books, and love your strong female heroines. And your heroes are powerful, kind, and stubborn, an irresistible combination. And you manage to weave in rich historical detail of the Norman Conquest (11th Century). What a great escape! I love how you sweep me away to the medieval time period, and there’s something very satisfying in being able to witness tenderness in that hard scrabble world, like finding a flower in the desert.

 Louise, when did you become interested in writing romance set in the medieval period?

 Louise: Surprisingly it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve wanted to write a medieval romance. I’ve been writing romance for as long as I can remember, but not set in that time period. It was while I was on a weekend trip to York, UK (I lived in England for 16 years and surrounded by history everywhere!) did I get the idea for, Of Love and Vengeance (the first book). I’ve since written two books in that time period – a third is in the planning stages. At the moment it’s called, Of Love and Honor.

 You must have done an amazing amount of research for these books. What’s the most bizarre bit of research you’ve found?

 Louise: I have a degree in history (medieval) – so I knew a bit about that time period before I started to write. But, the medieval period is HUGE, so I still needed to do research for that particular part of the medieval period.

I wouldn’t say this was bizarre – eye opening more like it… For, Of Love and Betrayal, there is a lot of reference and a few flash backs to torture. So, I had to research medieval torture and what was used. And while I found lots of information on the actual equipment, I didn’t know how, for example, it felt to have my back flogged. So, people being people, regardless of which period they’re from, are the same – in the sense we all feel pain, etc, no matter what century we live in.

I found an article by a guy who’d been held captive and was tortured (by having his back flogged among other things) and he went in to detail about how it felt. While it gave me a great insight on how to write that scene, it also gave me goose bumps because this happened to a real live person – which is a common reaction for me. No matter when something happened, I always remember it happened to real, live people.

Let’s play a game called “The Moment When.”  Where were you the moment when you decided to write medieval romance? Tell us how you got started on that quest.

Louise: I was on a weekend trip in York, England. I was roaming around some medieval ruins – and as I often do, I was running my hand over a medieval wall thinking, “I’m touching the same stone someone touched all the way back in the eleven hundreds”. Being from Australia, we just don’t have that much white history in our country – so, despite being in the UK for 16 years, it always amazed me I was standing/touching something more than a thousand years old.

Then suddenly voices popped in to my head. And that was it. They wouldn’t leave me for the rest of the trip. I got back to the B&B and quickly wrote the first chapter. There was no going back. These people needed me to tell their story – Of Love and Vengeance.

 Where were you the moment when you got the idea for Of Love and Betrayal?

 Louise: I was in bed actively avoiding doing housework! Not going to lie, I hate housework and will do anything to avoid it – even drawing up a family tree of Aymon and Laila (the hero and heroine from Of Love and Vengeance) long after the book had been accepted for publication.  I had listed all of their children and grandchildren – and one name kept popping out at me. Troy. And I knew his story needed to be told. At that point in time I didn’t know what his story was, but he was definitely being louder than the others so I knew it’d be his story I’d be writing next.

 Where were you the moment when you got your first contract?

Louise: I was on my way to work. I was about one minute from walking in to the building I work in and I thought I’d quickly check my email before I got in to the office. There was an email from Allison Byers and I thought, “Damn, a rejection, I won’t bother reading it…” Anyway, it turned out not to be a rejection and I had to re-read the email several times making sure I was reading it correctly. I called one of my sisters and squealed down the phone. I ended up being about twenty minutes late for work – but I didn’t care!

 Now on to music. I use music to inspire and energize me. Do you listen to music when you write? What music gets your creative juices going?

Louise: I have to say I can’t listen to music while I write. I find it too distracting. I can, however, have the TV on in the background (volume on low) – I can’t write when it’s too quiet. I don’t really get inspired by music. I love music, but it doesn’t tend to inspire me. I constantly have ideas pop in to my head at random times and from there dialogue will form in my mind, then characters, and so forth.

 If you could go on a date with any historical figure, who would it be?

Louise: How far back in history are we talking? I think I’d have to be with someone of wealth. Not because I’m shallow, but because I know enough about history to know the less well off did not have a good life – I wouldn’t be able to survive such a harsh lifestyle.

 What’s in the works for you?

Louise: Hopefully it won’t be long before my contemporary romance is out. It’s called, Nowhere To Hide – any more detail than that I can’t say just yet.

I’m in the planning stages of, Of Love and Honor – which, just like Of Love and Betrayal, will feature the grandchild of the hero and heroine from, Of Love and Vengeance.

Thanks so much for joining me today. The winner of Louise’s giveaway is in for a treat. Enjoy!

**Giveaway!**  To enter the giveaway, answer this question: Who is the most famous person Louise has met, and what did she say to them?  The answer can be found on her website:

http://www.LouiseLyndon.com  

Then, leave your answer in the comment section, and you’re in the running. I will put the names in a hat and pick one tomorrow at 5:00 EST.

Louise’s Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Louise-Lyndon/1472910852955051

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005458125421

https://twitter.com/LouiseLyndon1

https://www.instagram.com/louise_lyndon/

https://au.pinterest.com/llyndon3513/

 

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Interview with Novelist Ronnie Allen

I’m delighted to have the brilliant and prolific Ronnie Allen keeping company with me today. She is the author of a unique psychological thriller series called, The Sign Behind the Crime.

**Special Treat! Ronnie will be available at 3:00 p.m. on my Author Page to give two minute Tarot Card Readings.**

Ronnie’s first two books in this series, Gemini and Aries, have released already, and she’s hard at work on Scorpio, book #3.

Here’s the back cover blurb of 

I really enjoyed Gemini, Book #1.

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Here’s the back cover blurb of Gemini:

“His life is exactly the way he wants it to be—until he meets her…
Both psychic and clairvoyant, Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who has a wife he worships and a position as a department head at a hospital for the criminally insane in Manhattan. His patients—young adult men, who are some of the most psychotic and psychopathic criminals in NYC—enable him to live his life on the edge, just the way he likes it. Then he meets a woman who changes everything.

She is two days from accomplishing the revenge she lives for—until she meets him…

Stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Gemini obsessed Barbara Montgomery, makes a critical mistake and is committed for seventy-two hours of observation, where she risks it all in an unnerving escape. Furious with Dr. Trenton for interfering in her life, she is now determined to kill his wife and unborn child, along with everyone else who has ever caused her pain—real or imagined.

As the killing spree continues, John is forced to use all his ESP, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to interpret this psychopath’s Gemini obsession and unravel her dark and murderous past. But can he track her down and bring her to justice—before she destroys his world completely?”

Ronnie, you take your readers on a gripping, edge-of-the-seat adventure, and I really enjoyed the experience of slipping into the mind of your antagonist. Would you call her a sociopath or a psychopath?

In Gemini, Barbara Montgomery is definitely a psychopath. There’s been so much research on the difference between sociopaths and psychopaths and to delve into it now, could take hours to do the conversation justice. For the sake of clarifying for the novel, this character exhibits personality traits such as killing without remorse, thinking she’s invincible, continuous lying where she actually believes her lies, very little emotionality in her daily life and that includes a very impersonal sex life to the point that she wouldn’t even feel any sexual energy thus everything is faked.

What has enabled you to delve so deeply into your characters?

I think a good portion of this comes from my psychology background. I’m a New York State licensed school psychologist and in my 33 year teaching career with the New York City Department of Education, I’ve worked with children and their families during the worst possible times. That meaning, children who had emotional issues, disabilities, children living in homes with drug addicted parents, abuse. I went through this firsthand trying to rescue and protect these children, and this actually led to my dedication of Gemini which is to all the teachers out there who protect and rescue children from the horrors of abuse they endure  in their lives.

Tell us about the moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer.

This actually goes back to childhood for me. Because I suffered from severe asthma, my parents were very overprotective, so therefore I stayed home a lot instead of doing childhood activities such as bike riding rollerskating,  getting together with other kids. I remember writing stories in my journals and I always had it in the back of my mind I think since I was about nine or 10 that I wanted to write a novel. Interestingly, in the late 1970’s I began a career in film and screenwriting as well as dabbling in some acting. I had been teaching since 1970 and being the hyper person that I am I wanted something to do after school so I went to screen writing and acting school in Manhattan. In the 90’s I began my journey into holistic health and I wrote and was published in nonfiction. It wasn’t until 2011 that the idea to write a novel hit again. I started Gemini in October 2011, received my contract in May 2014 and it was released in June 2015.

When did you realize you wanted to write a series?

I started writing Aries before I received the contract on Gemini. Therefore I used different characters because why continue the characters without a contract? Aries had gone through several title changes as I was working on my first draft. First I started a novel entitled Operation Destiny, and I actually got 50,000 words into it, which is quite a lot. I decided I had what we call in the writing industry and what publishers do not like is that ‘too stupid to live heroine.’ It was a DEA story. When Gemini got the contract I took a serious look at that manuscript. I reinvented the main character to be another forensic psychiatrist, used some of the scenes but not exactly (not even 2k of the word count) and a new novel, Khaos Rules, was born. Khaos for one of the main character in Aries,  Frank Khaos. My tagline is the ‘mind behind the crime,’ since I write psychological thrillers. In writing Khaos Rules a lot of Aries symbolism and references came through. That became an “ah ha” moment. How about this series being called the Sign Behind The Crime? I approach my publisher when Gemini was still in edits and they loved the idea and we went with it.

Where were you when you realized you were going to be published?

This is a side note. Because I listened to my critique partners and beta readers, Gemini was accepted by my publisher Black Opal Books after a relatively few number of submissions in the scheme of what the publishing industry could be. I was in my office, actually doing the household bills and I received an email at 9:06 PM on May 13, 2014 from my publisher saying they want to publish Gemini. My first response was to yell and scream so loudly that I’m sure my neighbors who are not that close heard me. Then I ran into my husband who was relaxing on his recliner in the den and he had a hard time calming me down. I still think I’m not down from that high.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned in your author journey?

It’s more stressful after publication with marketing, worrying about reader reception, than it was during the entire writing process and obtaining a publisher.

What was your most embarrassing moment as an author?

In all honesty, Jennifer, I haven’t had one yet. I don’t think I have a shy bone in my body and I’ve learned to become bullet proof which is an expression I learned from another business that I have.

I love that about you, Ronnie! What do you do when you’re not writing?

Taking care of my health and nutrition is primary to me and I’ve recently gotten into gluten-free baking, though I don’t eat the starchy carbs much anyway. Cooking is a passion and always has been. That was a good thing I got from my mom, so I’ve been posting a lot of my meals that I create on Instagram and I created a Pinterest board: My Gourmet Meals.

I also do a lot of my writing at the pool, where I do water aerobics.

What are you working on now?

I recently finished Scorpio which is now with my critique partners. The fourth book in the series, which I will tell you is called Libra, is writing itself in my brain and it’s a continuation of Scorpio.

Thank you so much Jennifer for having me today.

It’s been a treat, Ronnie. Thanks for sharing your author story.

Ronnie’s links:

Http://www.ronnieallennovel.com

Twitter @ronnieanovelist

IG @ronnieanovelist

Pinterest @ronnieanovelist

Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00YSLGOSY

LinkedIn Ronnie Allen, PhD

 

 

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Interview with Author Lexi Post

Good afternoon! I’m delighted to have NYT and USA Today best-selling author Lexi Post here with me today. The characters in her books heat up the pages, and the plot draws you in from the beginning.

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of sensuous romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the literature she loved while reading her favorite romance authors. It wasn’t long before she decided to marry her two first loves. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a steamy read with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

You can find Lexi at lexipostbooks.com and sign up for her monthly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/D3MqT

Greetings, Lexi! Thanks for joining me today.
Thank you for having me, Jennifer. It’s great to chat with a fellow writer.
Back to Masque: You write, as you describe on your wonderful website, “romance inspired by the classics.” My husband and I are reading Masque, which is a romance based on the Edgar Allan Poe story, Masque of the Red Death. Lexi, would you like to add to that?
I’d be happy to. I use the word “inspired” because I don’t re-tell the classic story, I am inspired by it. So with Masque I was inspired by Poe’s Red Death character, the abbey and its 7 colored rooms and the fact that everyone died. I took Red Death and made him a well-meaning hero who had wanted to open the mind of his friend the Prince, but then everything went wrong. His guilt drives him and makes him willing to do anything to help the ghosts cross over.
With my most recent release, Eden Discovered (The Eden Series Book #3), I chose an Emily Dickinson poem. Actually, the whole series is inspired by Dickinson’s poems, and she was the first High Poetess of Eden, or at least in my stories she was😉 I chose Dickinson’s poem “The Goal” as my inspiration and it applies to the heroine, whose goal was to find love, the hero who loved a woman he couldn’t have, another hero who wanted to hold onto the past, and a hero who was ready for a new relationship. I know, a lot of goals, but with three men and one woman involved, there tends to be a lot going on both inside and outside the bedroom😉
And that’s how I am inspired by the classics. I read the story, poem, novel, whatever, and my mind goes off, taking a few elements from the original to spin a whole new tale. While the original tends to end badly, I guarantee a happy ending to my stories. I joke that classic literature drove me to read and write romance, so I could enjoy a happy ending😉
Here’s the back cover blurb for Masque:
Rena Mills plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove she can be successful without her ex-fiancé. What she finds inside is Synn MacAllistair, the distinguished, self-proclaimed Ghost Keeper. Her dreams soon fill with sexual cravings for him. But are they dreams?

Synn, born in 1828, is determined to free the souls of the resident spirits, blaming himself for bringing the Red Death that killed them. When Rena steps into the old Pleasure Palace, he’s sure he can take her through the after-midnight Pleasure Rooms and stoke her passion to complete the Masque so the souls can cross over. Her innocent fire makes him crave more, but it’s far too late for him.

As Rena begins her erotic journey, her heart becomes more involved with every sensual caress until she discovers by completing the Masque she would lose her ghosts. Synn’s betrayal wars with her compassion for her ghostly friends. Torn, she must make a choice between her financial security and freeing seventy-three trapped souls. Either way, she could lose her Synn.
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We have something in common: we both love to dance. Tell me about your love of dance. Favorite music to dance to? What kinds of dance do you enjoy?
I’ve been dancing since I was six years old. I took ballet for nineteen years, and of course, added tap and jazz to the mix. After finishing up my classes in grad school, I continued to be on the lookout for other types of dance from Ballroom to Scottish Country Dance to Hip Hop. I took every class I could, just for fun. Now I’m currently into line dancing. It’s great exercise, so lately I’ve been listening to Alan Jackson, Trace Atkins, Laura Bell Bundy, etc. But I love all kinds of music from Classical to Rock and Roll as long as I can dance to it.

Let’s play a game called “the Moment When…
Where were you and what were you doing the moment when …you decided to write steamy romance?
I had already decided to try my hand at steamy but wasn’t sure how to make my books unique from all the rest out there. I was sitting in my secretary’s office chatting when I told her my idea of possibly using classic literature as my inspiration. They say “write what you know” and I know the classics :-} She thought it was a great idea, but I was seriously concerned about Nathaniel Hawthorne rolling over in his grave. I mean, seriously, because I had so much respect for the classic authors, having come from a background of studying them. By the time I got home from work though, my mind was set on it and Passion’s Poison was written inspired by Hawthorne’s story “Rappaccini’s Daughter.”

Tell us about the moment when… you got your first contract.
You never forget your first😉 I was living on St. Croix, a Caribbean island in the Atlantic time zone, and it was early morning when the email came in with the offer for Masque. My husband was already at the Coast Guard station and he had told me they were doing an offshore inspection, which meant calling him was out of the question. So I called my long time critique partner. The only problem was, in my excitement I forgot about the four hour time zone difference between us. Luckily, she gets up early to write before going to work, but her husband doesn’t. She thought something terrible had happened, but once I explained, she understood and celebrated quietly with me😉

The moment when you hit the NYT Bestseller List.
That was just amazing! And so much fun. Actually, I wasn’t expecting it because I had heard rumors that the New York Times wasn’t including boxed sets on its lists anymore. The news actually came from Kathryn Falk of Romantic Times who gave us the heads-up because as an industry professional, she gets the inside scoop early. I hit the list in a boxed set with 11 other romance authors, so it was one big online party! We were celebrating together virtually, sharing copies of the list and planning how to celebrate at home. It was awesome! And then we got to do it again with the next boxed set!

How do you celebrate your milestones?

With ice cream, what else? Then again, I celebrate Sundays with ice cream too :-} Oh, and I dance. Not just the happy dance, but put on the music and really dance. I have to because I need to release all that excited, happy energy!

Let’s say you have to write a steamy scene. If the writer part of your brain says, “not tonight, I have a headache,” how do you turn your mood around to write those hot scenes we all love?

I don’t. A forced steamy scene just doesn’t work. I will go back and read about 10 pages leading up to the scene and if my brain still isn’t willing, then I don’t write the scene and work on other things. There’s plenty to do between advertising, reader relations, research, etc. My steamy scenes take me 3 times longer to write than my other scenes, so it’s important they come out right. Of course, my hubby is always willing to get me in the mood in the name of “research”😉

Yes, they’re handy for that! Do you ever listen to music to inspire and move you?

No. I need complete silence. I relate to music only through dance. That may be hard for most people to understand, but unless I’m dancing, I won’t listen to it. I don’t even turn on the radio in my truck when I’m driving. I come up with solutions to story problems when I’m driving.

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

I like everything about being an author: the joy of the first draft, the challenge of revisions, the final read-through, the marketing, the social media, etc. But my favorite part is chatting with readers in person or online. It’s so fun to meet readers and find out what they like, where they are from, and what their lives are like.

What’s your latest news?

My latest book just released yesterday! It’s Eden Discovered which I mentioned earlier and it’s the 3rd book in the Eden series (Crusie into Eden and Unexpected Eden). I just love returning to this world, which is the planet Eden and is inhabited by naked hunks with special abilities depending on which Kindred they are born into. Every Earth woman who is “chosen” must become the beloved of at least two men. In this book, Jaelene has three men interested, which is a surprise to her. She tends to ask a lot of questions and has a real soft spot for animals, which leads her into trouble on Eden.

Here’s the blurb:
Animal lover Jaelene Upton doesn’t expect to lose sight of her sister when she follows her through a bizarre travel portal, but that’s exactly what happens when she’s distracted by a cute baby porcupine. Lost, she asks for directions, only to be nearly assaulted by one naked man before being saved by another. Her best guess is she’s landed among a native tribe in the middle of a jungle…but odd reflections and energy sources have her questioning even that assumption.
Theron misses his home in Loraleaf and the brothers of his heart, Konala and Rekah. His new home, a lonely cave, is his escape from seeing the woman he loves happily bonded to Loraleaf’s leaders. When he saves Jaelene from lawbreakers, he finds himself drawn to her intoxicating curiosity and despite his best efforts, he falls for her. But no matter what his heart wants, he can’t offer her anything but safety and a reunion with her sister. Unless…
If Theron can interest Konala in Jaelene as well, then he would only have two more obstacles to conquer, Rekah and Jaelene herself. But Rekah, hurt by Theron’s betrayal, wants nothing to do with Jaelene, and when she discovers Theron’s past love, she refuses to be his consolation price. As the battle with the lawbreakers grows near, Theron realizes this time, he may well lose more than his heart.
Buy links here: http://www.lexipostbooks.com/eden-discovered/

To celebrate my release of Eden Discovered, I’m giving away a Venetian mask of a black cat with gold. Since Masque I’ve always given away these beautiful masks made in Italy and since Theron’s tigran, Talia plays an important role in Eden Discovered, this mask seemed fitting😉 Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

Cat mask

Thanks so much for joining me today, Lexi.

Thank you for having me! We’ll have to do lunch again sometime and this time we can talk about you!😉

It was a great conversation, and I always get so inspired after I talk to you. Congrats on your new release!

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Ian Sings to Maggie: Mercy of the Moon

Maggie Wilson is a serious woman. She’s a midwife in the 18th Century, and all she’s ever known is Work and Duty. The first time she meets Ian, he’s singing. When they work together to save her sister, he’s singing. When she’s angry, he tries to calm her with his music, and makes her feel things she’s never felt before: Longing. Desire. And he makes her laugh. So to celebrate his ability to charm and uplift her, I give you a passage from Mercy of the Moon, book 1 in the Rhythm of the Moon seriesShe is extremely angry, and he is accompanying her on a walk:

“She felt like an instrument of the devil, full of poison and a heartbeat away from screaming like a harpy and clawing her way through town.

He held her upper arm firmly, and she felt his fingers through her cloak, cool, calm. A deep rumbling arose from his chest, and he began humming, then louder, to match the ferocity of the wind. That was the preamble, apparently, for suddenly he released her arm, leaped in front of her and began to sing.

‘”My woman, when she’s angry, puts Medusa’s hair to shame.

She rouses all my senses and sets my soul to flame.

When she unleashes fury, a virago gone insane,

I’m only very thankful I am not the one to blame.'”

                                                 COPYRIGHT ©2014 Jennifer Taylor

The song has the desired effect on Maggie. More on that tomorrow, when I talk about passion.