Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Valentine Countdown Blitz: HEART STRINGS by Donna Hatch




Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


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Fleeing an unwanted engagement, a young harpist follows her music passion to London. Becoming entangled with a handsome violinist who seems too aristocratic for a working-class musician may be more problematic than dodging her erstwhile fiancé, sleeping in the streets, or staying alive when a madman targets her for murder.



Q&A With the Author:

1.     Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing? I love to sing, ballroom dance, go for walks, try out new recipes, watch historical movies and romantic comedies, and read (for pleasure--not just for research).

2.     When did you first realize you were an author?  I have always liked to write but didn't consider myself a "real" author until I got published. Now, I wish I'd realized that I was a "real" author the moment I finished a rough draft or decided to get published someday.  

3.     Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you? My blogs get a lot of good feedback because they are primarily dedicated to sharing historical research, but the most positive thing I do is teach writers' workshops. One that I recently taught was Dressing the Regency Lady. It was a lot of fun to cover everything from the unmentionable to the hats and I had a live model that I dressed.

4.     What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it? Self-doubt is constant and I'm not sure there is a way to defeat it--mostly I fight it back each day by writing despite those doubts. Reviewing my goals and the reasons for my goals helps, as does reciting my mantra: I write because I must...because I can't NOT write. 

5.     What is the “message” of your writing? To write beautiful, inspiring stories that give readers hope for a better tomorrow and restore faith in that elusive happily ever after.

6.     Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life? The emotions and values come straight from my heart, but all the events and characters are purely fictional.
  

7.     What are your future projects? I'm working on a rough draft of book 5 of the Rogue Hearts series and plotting several others that I plan to write.





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our  Official Event Page 
  




Saturday, February 16, 2019

Saturday Snippet: She Had a New Question In Her Mind





















The  following is taken from my novel, 
Diantha 
Book 14 in the series, 
The Widows of Wildcat Ridge


          “The draperies look nice. They set this room off, especially with the tassel tiebacks you chose.”
          “Yes, they do. My late husband had them made and picked out the tiebacks. He hired a man who installed them the day before the mine disaster so we would have them for the weekend.” Diantha blinked as tears began to form. “Now both men are gone.”
          The woman bit her lip as she dropped her gaze and turned away in an effort to hide what Diantha assumed to be an expression of sorrow. “I’m sorry for your loss, Mrs. Ames. Although I’m sure you’re proud of him being brave and willingly join in the rescue attempt, I know that is small consolation now he is gone.” The woman looked up until her gaze met Diantha’s. “Mrs. Ames, I am so sorry to bother you about this now, and I wouldn’t if I was not in such dire straits myself. I’m Sarah Bellingham—Mrs. Sarah Bellingham. I’m the one who made these draperies for the dining room. Even though I told Mr. Ames I mostly sew women’s and children’s fashions, he asked if I could save him a trip to Salt Lake City or Cheyenne by taking this project on. I…um…I went to a few establishments to see how their draperies were made, then told him I would accept the job.”
          “I see.” Surprised, Diantha glanced at the draperies with a new question in her mind. If her husband had asked this woman to make the window coverings to save him a trip out of town, why had he insisted on making a business trip to Cheyenne for a week last October before the snow grew too deep for the train to run? 


Diantha is now available on preorder. You may read the book description and access the purchase link by CLICKING HERE. Diantha is scheduled for publication on April 1, 2019.



Both Nissa and Diantha are stand-alone novels. However, they also can be read like a duet--a two book mini-series within a series. Please CLICK HERE to find the book description and purchase link for Nissa

http://mybook.to/DianthaWOWR

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Valentine Countdown Blitz: CHARLIE'S CHOICE by Zina Abbott





My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen I use for my historical novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West and Western Writers of America. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”

I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history.

I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.



Prequel to the Atwell Kin series:

Charlie, it would be easier to stop the flow of the great Missouri and Kansas Rivers than to prevent the Americans from coming to Kansas. 

It is 1856, and the United States opened Kansas Territory to American settlement two years before. Land belonging to the once-powerful Kansa tribe, known to the whites as the Kaw, was sold by treaty to the Americans a generation earlier.

His Kansa mother died from smallpox while Charlie was young. He lives with his American father who owns a trading post in Bonner Springs near the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. A child of two nations, Charlie learns through harsh experience he is not always accepted, including by the father of the pretty redhead who has caught his eye. The arrival of thousands of white settlers makes matters worse.

Frustrated, Charlie visits his Kansa uncle to learn the tribal ways, travel the Kaw Trail to their buffalo hunting grounds, and become a warrior with a warrior’s name. Once he knows both worlds, he will decide which will best serve him in the future.

Meadowlark’s traditional father wishes her to marry Broken Wing, a highly-respected full-blood Kansa warrior close to his own age. Meadowlark rejects being the junior wife under a dying oldest wife and a wolverine of a second wife. Once she learns her childhood friend who left the tribe years earlier has returned to the Kansa, she seeks him out. Even if he does consider her for a wife, can she persuade her father to allow him enough time to prove himself as a warrior? Will her father accept him for her husband in spite of his mixed ancestry?

Will Charlie decide on a future with the white Americans, or will he fight the coming of the Americans by clinging to the past with the Kansa? Will he try to straddle both worlds? What will Charlie choose?



Q&A With the Author:

1.  Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I have been making lap quilts. I came across my collection of pink cancer ribbon fabric last summer and thought, I need to make a few quilts ahead for friends who end up seriously sick and need a friendship token or something they can wrap around them or look at when they are too sick to do much else. The next thing I knew, I had one friend after another develop serious health issues (a consequence of being older). I’m behind, but enjoying designing the quilts for each recipient. I have yet to use the pink cancer ribbon fabric, but will make at least one quilt using it when I get caught up.


2.  When did you first realize you were an author?
When I was in junior high school, I used to stay in my downstairs bedroom to write short stories instead of watching television with my family. Now, being a PAID author – that took a little longer.

3.  Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
When I worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural letter carrier, I also worked many years as a release-time union steward representing many offices in many counties. My ability to research, interview, organize facts, and then write up grievance files and research reports is what helped me succeed. It was more technical/legal writing rather than fiction, but I enjoyed it.

4.  What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
I struggle most with everyday life interfering. I struggle with balancing helping others with ending up being the go-fer slave of others to help them accomplish THEIR projects while mine languish.

5.  What is the “message” of your writing?
My historical romances often draw from my genealogical research regarding laws that particularly affected women—their rights, or more to the point, their lack of rights when it came to property, voting, inheritance, etc. Even in the book I’m featuring today, my hero becomes aware of his lack of inheritance rights because of the circumstances of his birth.

6.  Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
See number five, above. I get annoyed with so-called historical authors who do not do the research and write about contemporary laws, rights and attitudes in historical settings. I try to have my characters either display some of the attitudes of the day, run up against said attitudes in other characters in the story, or realize what they are up against legally. Also, most of my books include actual historical events and even real historical characters.

7.  What are your future projects?

I will be publishing Virginia’s Vocation, which is my next book in the Lockets & Lace multi-author series. It is also my next book in the Atwell Kin after Charlie’s Choice which I’m featuring today. I will be publishing Diantha which is my second book in The Widows of Wildcat Ridge multi-author series. In addition, I have two longer books I wrote two and three years ago. They both need a little fine-tuning research, some revision and copy-editing. I will be working on them, and hope to publish at least one of them before the end of the year.





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2 




Saturday, February 9, 2019

Saturday Snippet: You Didn't Have to Do That





















I'm working on Diantha, my second book in the series, 
The Widows of Wildcat Ridge.
Here is an excerpt from Nissa about Diantha.
 
            Nissa’s shoulders sagged with relief, and her face pinked with embarrassment. She knew the cookies were left over from those Diantha had baked and offered as an evening treat for her few hotel guests. She hated accepting charity. She often wondered if Diantha kept an eye on the food supplies Nissa stored on a shelf in the hotel kitchen pantry. She suspected her landlady knew Nissa struggled to provide enough for her children to not go hungry. Even then, their diet consisted of inexpensive basics. She often went without full meals herself in order for the children to have enough.
            “Thank you, Diantha, but you didn’t have to do that.”
            “I know, but I wanted to. I have so little opportunity to be around children, I enjoy spending time with yours.”
            Nissa turned away at the wistful expression that came over Diantha’s face. Although, like her, Diantha was wed young as part of an arranged marriage, Nissa knew she had never been able to have children of her own.


Both Nissa and Diantha are stand-alone novels. However, they also can be read like a duet--a two book mini-series within a series. Please CLICK HERE to find the book description and purchase link for Nissa. Diantha is scheduled for publication on April 1, 2019, and will be available on preorder soon.

To find all the other books in the series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge, please join the Facebook readers group for the series which you may find by CLICKING HERE. It will be more fun to read about some of the events mentioned in Diantha if you have already read about them in earlier books.