February Interview with Lexi Post

This interview was first seen on best-selling author Lexi Post’s fabulous blog found at http://www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Interview with Jennifer Taylor, author of ECHOES OF THE MOON and a Giveaway!


Today I’m interviewing historical Romance author, Jennifer Taylor, who is giving away a copy of the first in her series to one lucky commenter.

Lexi: What are you most excited about in this new release?

Jennifer: Thanks so much for having me, Lexi!Echoes of the Moon, book #3 of the Rhythm of the Moon historical romance series, features identical twins, Bethan and Elunid. Bethan is the caregiver for her sister Elunid, who suffers from mental illness. Bethan had resigned herself to living a life of duty and love without ever finding a mate, until she meets Henry. She finds herself drawn to him, despite his lowly occupation, and his courtly manners confuse and intrigue her as their attraction grows. At the heart of the story is the relationship between the twins, and the sacrifice that one must make for the other. There’s a lot of humor in the book, compliments of the antics of the townspeople and Henry and Bethan’s relationship. Music is a big part of my books, and I’m excited about the lyrics which I write on behalf of my characters.   

Lexi: What made you chose your title?

Jennifer: My heroine in book #1, Mercy of the Moon, is Maggie Wilson, a midwife in an 18th Century port town. Her life is ruled by the cycles of the moon and her delivering mothers. She lives her life solely for the women of the town, and never imagined finding a man who would understand that—until she meets the enigmatic Ian Pierce. And as we recently witnessed with the latest eclipse, the moon has been a mysterious force since time began. Midwifery continues to be an integral part of the series with Echoes of the Moon.

Lexi: Everyone has their own writing process…how they come up with ideas, how they name their characters, how they choose the setting. Can you describe your writing process?

Jennifer: I always start with the characters, usually my heroines first. I have a book journal, and I use it daily, and in that act of writing, the ideas begin to form. This prewriting is very crucial for me. I talk to myself, sometimes writing as the character. I talk to myself a lot! I don’t sit and think about the story, I think through the act of my fingers typing.  If I didn’t do that, the book would never come to fruition.

Once I get the hero and heroine fleshed out, I begin to plot. I use big pieces of butcher paper and sketch out plot ideas, drawing crazy spiderweb diagrams. I’m a global and visual learner, so this works well for me. It helps me think. Then the plot begins to form, but it changes quite a bit before the book is finished, because characters do unpredictable things and I let them. Those surprises are part of the joy of writing. I use the butcher paper a lot as the plot unfolds, sometimes with disastrous consequences, 😉 as I reveal later in the interview. Then I set to work in earnest, and generally write 6-10 hours a day, with breaks to pet my Great Dane, Bridget.

Lexi: What was the funniest thing you did wrong when you first started writing?

Jennifer:  So, regarding the butcher paper: during the writing of my second book, Heartbeat of the Moon, I had a scented candle lit, and several pieces of butcher paper on my desk that I was scribbling on as I was typing. I was so into writing a very passionate love scene, I didn’t notice I’d set my desk on fire. I put it out in an instant, knocking over my chair, and everything else on the desk. I like to say the love scene was so hot, it was on fire. Needless to say, now I keep my papers and candle far away from each other, just in case I get lost in a scene!

Lexi: What was the strangest thing that inspired a story for you?

Jennifer: I believe every good book should start in the middle of the action, with a big mess that the characters have to find their way out of. As I was dreaming up the plot for Book #1, Mercy of the Moon, I thought: what if my hero and heroine meet during the most tragic time in their lives? I happened to find a book called, Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear, by Jan Bondeson, and bingo! My hero and heroine meet over the grave of her sister. Later that night, she is returned, alive. Yes, she’d been buried alive and survived! As my hero and heroine, Maggie and Ian work together to save her life, they discover she’s greatly changed, and didn’t emerge from the grave alone. As they try to solve the mystery of who would do this horrible thing and why, their attraction grows. All three books are a mix of mystery, history, romance and supernatural, but always end with a happily ever after.

Lexi: Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite character?

Jennifer: I’d have to say my hero in book #1, Mercy of the Moon. Ian Pierce is an apothecary by trade, but a musician at heart, and sets to work wooing practical midwife, Maggie with his music and humor. He seeks to lighten her load and encourages her to care for herself,  and does whatever he can to relieve her burdens. He’s travelled the world searching for a cure for his affliction, which we now call bipolar disorder, and I so admire the bravery in his struggle to deal with it. And though he suffers from this disorder, he is still able to come to Maggie’s rescue when she needs it most. I have a weakness for musicians, and he sings a lot.

In my books, I enjoy finding love for unlikely heroes. There are many forms of heroism, and there is heroism in characters who struggle with a condition daily, and they deserve love too. Don’t we all deserve a chance at love?

Lexi: Absolutely! And everyone deserves a chance at winning your book, Mercy of the Moon. Be sure to leave a comment with contact information so you can be in the running to win!

Excerpt from Echoes of the Moon:

Through the buzzing in her ears, a voice called to her from far away, low and resonant. Strong arms cradled her, naked, and so warm. Her head lay against his chest, the hairs upon it tickling her ear. The muscles of his broad chest were hard and solid against her side, and so reassuring, rising and falling against her, encouraging her to suck in breath. But it was as if she sucked through a hollow reed.

“Bethan, you will be well soon. I’ll take care of you.”

He smelled of soap and earth. She clasped her arms tighter around his solid neck and closed her eyes. She’d not been held like this since childhood. He began to walk, carrying her as if she weighed no more than a kitten. Heat radiated from his chest, and his stomach Jennifer Taylor 56 muscles shifted and tensed as he headed toward the cottage.

She wheezed, then coughed.

“Don’t worry, Bethan. I know what to do.”

She nodded, her cheek rubbing against his chest, the curls there soft, yet pleasantly rough. His heart beat a reassuring rhythm against the uneven frantic beat of her heart.

“Georgie has the same problem. I’ve some herbs will help you. George!” he yelled. “Is there water left in the pot?”

“Aye, Da. What’s wrong with Mistress Bethan?”

“She’s having trouble breathing, much like you do.”

“Da always makes me feel better, Mistress Bethan.”

Protected. Safe.”

Echoes of the Moon Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble

Wild Rose Press

Newsletters, Aristotle and Procrastination

What do procrastination, newsletters, and Aristotle have in common?

Have you ever put something off for so long that it grows into a Mountain of Impossibility? I’ve been published since 2014, and have known perfectly well how important a newsletter is for promotion. Yet I just couldn’t seem to get out of my own way to do it, what with one thing and another.

But the upcoming release of my third book, Echoes of the Moon, in November has lit a fire under my…erm…you know, and I swallowed my dread and took the plunge. And guess what? Like many tasks that are anticipated with dread and fear, once I got going, it proved to be painless and more than a little  fun.

You know that saying, “A job well begun is half done?” It turns out the phrase was first coined by Aristotle. It got me thinking about the history of procrastination. Who was the first procrastinator in human history—-Adam? What chores did cavemen and cavewomen procrastinate? Figuring out that fire thing? Just couldn’t get around to inventing the wheel? Deboning a dinosaur? These are the kind of weighty questions I’ll ponder in my newsletter.

I’ll be sending it out on Sunday, and I hope I have more followers by then! (Hint, hint!) I’m looking forward to connecting with you in the newsletter, and doling out snippets of paranormal, humor, 18th Century history, and most of all, romance. I’ll so my best to provide fun giveaways, bonus material you’ll not receive anywhere else. I’ve got some fun things planned, and I hope you’ll join me.

Leave a comment to be in the running for an original coloring page, created by talented Florida artist, Andrea Hiotis, and inspired by book #1, Mercy of the Moon. The winner will be chosen by the International Man of Mystery on Sunday morning (10-1-17).


Makeover with Sara DelBeato

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Talented performer and singer, Sara DelBeato and I go way back.  The first time I saw her sing, she was about 8, and from the moment she opened her mouth, the audience was hers. She still brims with a contagious positive energy, and immense talent. When she hits that stage, it’s hers!

I was so happy to get reconnected with her recently, and having learned that she’s also an Aesthetician, and Younique presenter, we decided to give me a makeover with the amazing products that she uses onstage.

This isn’t just any makeover. It’s an “I Just Met My Deadline and I Look Like an Ogre and I’m Leaving My Cave Soon-Help me, Sara!” Makeover.

You see, I just sent my third book in the Rhythm of the Moon series to my editor at Wild Rose Press, which required me to hole up in my cave for 5 days minus family members, minus even the dog.  Now I have bags under my eyes the size of Montana. Will Sara be able to make me look human-er, smashing-for the Desert Dreams Conference Readers Event in Phoenix on June 3? I’ve no doubt.

While Sara was working her magic, we had a fun conversation. Sara DelBeato:

Jennifer: Thanks so much for the makeover, Sara!

Sara: Of course! It’s my pleasure! You look amazing before AND after. I love introducing people to this awesome makeup & skin care line, and seeing the incredible results.

Jennifer: When was the first time you realized you wanted to be a performer?

Sara: Oh, from the very start. Even as a kid I had that passion, and it just always felt like a given.

Jennifer: What was the first real gig you ever had?

Sara: Well, let’s see…I was already doing my own shows by the age of 10 at different venues throughout the state of Florida. I was opening for acts like the Smother Brothers, Larry Storch from “F Troop,” etc. I didn’t really discover the theatre until my teens; My first musical theatre performance was South Pacific.

 Jennifer: You’ve performed on cruise lines. What did you enjoy about that?

Sara: Everything, really! I love performing, I love traveling, and I love ship life. So, it’s a great fit for me. Also, I was able to meet a lot of very talented and wonderful people. Aside from the contracted production shows and assigned singing engagements, I was able to collaborate with other musicians on a fairly regular basis. That was really great.

Jennifer: It sounds like a blast. What’s your favorite gig so far?

Sara: That’s a tough one. I’d have to say playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, cruising the Hawaiian Islands with Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the show I’m currently working on: Raunchy Little Musical.

Jennifer: If you could sing a duet with anyone in the world, past or present, who would it be?

Sara: Ooh, great question! Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Stevie Wonder or

Paul McCartney.

Jennifer: Do you have a favorite song? What’s your favorite musical?

Sara: I do! I have many favorites, but I’d have to say my very favorite is “Beyond the Sea.” As far as musicals go, I really love Gypsy.

Jennifer: How did you get into Younique makeup?

Sara: Well, back in 2010 I took some time off from performing to pursue another interest of mine: skin care/makeup. I became a Licensed

Aesthetician…which is basically a fancy way of saying Skin Care Specialist. I found that becoming a Presenter for Younique provided me an opportunity that would allow me to gain further exposure with the emphasis on cosmetic artistry. All the while incorporating the experience I have in the performing arts. Both fields blend beautifully…pun fully intended.

Jennifer: 😊What do you love about it?

Sara: I love the fact that I’m helping to uplift and empower women. That we’re connecting. I want women to recognize their beauty and self-worth with or without makeup. But if you love lipstick, and it makes you feel good to wear it, that’s the sort of happy that will shine right outta your face. I also get very excited about sharing Younique’s beautiful, natural-based products with everyone. They’re the cosmetic and skin care line I’d want someone to tell me about! Also, every purchase that’s made through a Younique Presenter also supports The Younique Foundation, a retreat for sexually abused women where they can go to begin their healing process.

Jennifer: That’s wonderful. What was your most embarrassing moment while performing? I’ll go first with my most embarrassing moment: At Boblo Island Amusement Park in 1980, I lost my wrap-around skirt while singing and dancing in front of 800 people.

Sara: Oh no! That’s a solid embarrassing moment for sure. LOL! I’ve had quite a few myself, but I had an experience not too long ago where I just BIT IT onstage. I love prat falling, but this was a very real fall and I was in some very high heels…all the while sporting one of the shortest skirts I’ve ever worn. It was one of those falls that make you question if the person is injured. When I finally got up, I was so flustered that I just kicked off the other heel and continued the scene sans shoes.

Jennifer: Yes, the show must go on. What has been your most triumphant moment performing so far?

Sara: I had the pleasure of performing at the prestigious Colonial Theatre in Boston, and that was an awesome feeling. But, I’d honestly have to say that they’re all triumphant in one way or another. Even the smallest gig. If I can make just one person in the audience smile, then that’s good enough for me.

Jennifer: That’s impressive. Thanks so much for making me over today, Sara! It was a lot of fun.

Sara: Thank YOU! I appreciate your wanting to collaborate, and look forward to some binge-reading!

Jennifer:  I can’t wait to hear you sing again, Sara!

Performance links:
Younique links: