Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Heroines


Today is the 127th anniversary of Maria Mitchell’s death. Mitchell (1818-1889) was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer. Her life would make a fine (fictionalized) biography for a feisty intelligent heroine.
Born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, Mitchell was a first cousin four times removed of Benjamin Franklin. Her Quaker community was unusual for its time in insisting on the same quality of education for girls and boys. She attended local schools, and her father taught her astronomy using his personal telescope. She opened her own school in 1835 and allowed non-white children to attend, a controversial move as the local public school was still segregated.
Using a telescope, she discovered "Miss Mitchell's Comet" on October 1, 1847, winning a prize established some years previously by King Frederick VI of Denmark for comet spotters. Mitchell became the first female Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was named Professor of Astronomy at the new Vassar College in 1865. After teaching there for some time, she learned that despite her reputation and experience, her salary was less than that of many younger male professors. She insisted on a salary increase, and got it. (Go Maria!) The Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket is named for her.
Now we just need a worthy hero to match. 


Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm late! I'm late!

I went to play all weekend. With the Book Obsessed Chicks. They had a fabulous beach BBQ and I was there! But I stayed late to tour wineries and forgot to blog. Have you ever been to Long Island? It's gorgeous.

There are lavender fields!


And there's wine!



Plus lots of farm stands and of course, beaches and boating.

And romance readers. Who could ask for anything more? My thanks to the Book Obsessed Chicks for a fabulous weekend!

And as penance for being late to blog, I'll share my Sexy Fail of the week. Maybe the decade.

I read a tip that if you wrap your wet hair in little coils around your head, you'll end up with soft, sexy beach waves. I tried it and... I ended up looking like Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter. Uh-huh. Not doing that again. Fortunately, I was able to tame the waves in time.





Have you been to Long Island? Do you prefer beach or mountains? Any beauty tips to share?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Fun



When I lived by the coast, ironically I almost never went to the beach. I love to watch the water, but now that I live in the mountains, moments and meals beside the ocean have become time spent listening to the waterfall behind my house while I relax in the sunshine and read a good book.

I have become a member at the Biltmore House, and I enjoy going for walks on the beautiful grounds. The sun stays up hours after I leave my day job at the bank, so there is time to stroll in the beauty of that place and take in the scent of the flowers and the quiet shushing of the river as it slides by.



More Things I mean to do this summer:

*Yoga on my porch while the birds squawk nearby, wondering why this human has invaded their domain and what on Earth I'm up to.


*Walk in DuPont Forest and watch Triple Falls wind its way down its mountain.

*Watch the sun set from the top of Jump Off Mountain, and see the night rise up from the valleys below.

I'll report back in a couple of months and let you know how many of these things I actually did. :)

What do you love to do in the summer?


Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. Sometimes an actor, always a storyteller, Christy works happily with Sourcebooks Casablanca to bring the knife-throwing women of her novels to life. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in western North Carolina.



Only $1.99 this month on Amazon Kindle

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Be The First to Read AS RICH AS A ROGUE

Hello all!  I’m under such a deadline with getting ready for my new release, this blog is going to be pretty simple. Just leave a comment on what you’re reading now. One lucky commenter will get a signed advanced copy of AS RICH AS A ROGUE!



Coming August 2, 2016 
Third in the saucy, vibrant Rakes & Rogues Regency romance series from USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee
A most unusual wager
Mari Powel’s fiery Welsh temper is up. Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, is back in town after six years romping around India making his fortune. Mari blames him for her social downfall and has spent all this time clawing her way back into the ton’s good graces. How dare he show up on his first day back and publicly embroil her in a bet involving long-awaited apologies, illicit kisses, and Lady Illston’s unruly parakeet? Mari is outraged, and is going to show him-and everyone else-what she’s made of. Little does she know, the unrepentant Lord Whitly has been dreaming of her all this time. Now he’ll do anything to win the wager-along with Mari’s heart.
Praise for One Rogue at a Time:
“Vivid and energetic…with a delightfully dazzling edge.” –Night Owl Reviews
“Readers will enjoy every enchanting moment [of] Lee’s lively, humorous romp-may be her best book yet!” –RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!
“A magnificent romp.” –Fresh Fiction







Wednesday, June 22, 2016

And Such a Fine 4th It Is!

by M. L. Buchman

Wait, the 4th? As in July 4th?

Yep! For authors, holidays start months ahead of time. Christmas books are released in October, which means they're written over the sweltering summers. Valentine's Day stories make some sense, written in the dark of winter about the hopes of, well, not spring, but at least February.

And for my second Independence Day romance, the novel started well before that. For the fun of it, I thought I'd trace back through my notes for the origin of this one.

Huh! Okay. In a way it started three years ago when I released my first July 4th romance: Frank's Independence Day.
Now Frank Adams, head of the Presidential Protection Detail, has turned out to be one of the more popular characters in my Night Stalkers series, and not just the Night Stalkers White House series either. Of course his wife, Beatrice Ann "Beat" Belfour might have something to do with it.

Two years ago they figured prominently in the President's love life in Peter's Christmas

Then the next step happened last November while publishing the Vice President's story in Zachary's Christmas. 

That I knew I wanted to revisit the Secret Service White House Detail, but that I wanted to come at it from a new angle. All through the winter and into the spring I kept poking at the idea until I was starting to be afraid that I'd have to wait until next year to find what I was looking for.

I started the actual manuscript in March and by April I had a good start on the book, liked the characters, but I didn't have much else worked out.

Part of the problem was that I was gearing up for a massive vacation / research trip. For the last fifteen years between the recession and having a kid in college, money has been tight. And for ten of those years I've had this really cool idea for a short romance series (probably 4 books, I'm not sure yet) set in Italy. (Yeah, Italy!)




The problem was that I'd never been there and knew I couldn't write it until I'd been there. (I'm hoping to start this series next spring now that I've been there.)

The odd part about this trip was, there is only so much walking and poking around you can do. So after we'd done our 10-20,000 steps of exploring every day, we'd put our feet up. Sometimes we'd be in a tiny cafe, at other times on our balcony just watching the world go by.

And that's where my Independence Day story caught up with me. In that most unlikely of times: my spare minutes tucked away here and there in Italian B&Bs and cafes. The fact that the book was set in the White House and Paris (much to my surprise on the latter but the characters insisted). Thankfully I've been to both a couple of times so that research didn't slow me down.

I played with snipers on White House rooftops outside of Milan. I met the new National Security Advisor by the bridge in Dolceaqua Bridge painted by Claude Monet (picture above). I journeyed along the Seine on a dinner boat while lounging in the little towns of Cinque Terre (the other 2 photos above). I had a chance to walk once again with several of my characters: Frank and Beat, Peter and Zachary, and even Kee and Dilya visited along the way. I actually finished their love story on the flight home. The book just poured out of me.

And it did it in time for a June publication. Welcome to Roy's Independence Day

In many ways it was a journey of three years even though the writing occurred over a quick three months. And oddly, in some ways it was a journey of a decade as my desire to finally travel to Italy (which was amazing, I might add), ended up being the place where I wrote it.

I know that I've mentioned this before, but I love being a writer.

CIAO!

Those Autumn Nights...During Summer

Last fall, I had the chance to work on a historical romance anthology with authors Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, and Kate Noble. I’m delighted to call all these ladies my friends—but before I got to know them at all, I was a reader and fan of their work. As you can imagine, it was a lot of fun working with them. 

The result? An anthology called A Gentleman for All Seasons. We each set a novella during a different season of the year, with locations, characters, and events peeking into the different novellas to unify them.

But. Each novella can also stand on its own, and so we’ve got some choices for readers. Maybe you want the whole anthology? Great! Go for it! But if you just want one of the novellas? We’re offering that choice too. Within the next few months, we will all re-publish our novellas as stand-alone titles. The anthology will still be available, but now readers can pick and choose if they want to.

My novella, Those Autumn Nights, is the first to come out. Ok, maybe I should have waited until fall to reissue it, but the weather here is so. Hot. Right now I could use a little reminder of autumn drizzle and castles of ancient stone, heated by fire and...well, I'll let you read the rest for yourself. Those Autumn Nights is a second-chance-at-love story, and it's available now! For a short time, you can grab it at the discounted price of only 99 cents.

 kindle • nook • ibooks

Next week, Shana's novella--The Summer of Wine and Scandal--will be out. Kate's will be available soon after, and Vanessa’s holiday historical will be out in the fall. If you want to read them all, of course, the anthology is still available.

Happy reading! And wherever you are, I hope the weather is nice. :) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What's Brooklyn Ann Been Up To?




Hey all! Brooklyn Ann here. I've been busy with so many things! My second Hearts of Metal book, WITH VENGEANCE released on May 19th and hit #1 in Heavy Metal on Amazon. I love that this is a category!

I also finished my 4th Brides of Prophecy novel, Unleashing Desire! It's up for Pre-Order now. 



And I've also been busy painting squares for my Horror Movie Quilt. Here are some I've done.



Now I'm currently working on my 5th Scandals With Bite book and getting ready for the RWA National conference next month.

How have you been doing?