Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we’re never too old for a little sexy romance…

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Linda Tillis

February28

Is there a better way to close out our celebration of Seasoned Romance than with a giveaway? I don’t think so! So, today, I’m turning the blog over to author Linda Tillis, who’s got an audio book to give away to one lucky commenter. READ ON FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A FREE AUDIO BOOK!

Thanks, Nan! Folks often ask, “where do you get your stories from?”  Well, first off, I was born in Appalachia, where storytelling is bred into you. In years gone by, we would sit at the feet of our grandparents in the evening, and learn about our ancestors. These were remarkable stories that led me to dream of fantastical things.

Secondly, I’ve held only three jobs in my life, and all were filled with color, people, pathos, and adventure. And so, I write about what I know.

My first 18 years of work were spent in a sewing factory. I learned everything there was to know about the fashion industry. From designing to the shipping of the finished garment. This gave me a love of color that has never left me.

My next twenty years were spent in Crime Scene Investigation.  Quite a change, right?

So, I spent twenty years of documenting everything from the smallest burglaries, to horrific homicides.  That much raw life and death can take a toll on the body, and mind. And eventually my husband convinced me the job I loved was killing me, so I retired.

I began to photograph wildlife, which led to articles and photos for the Florida Wildlife Magazine. At that point my husband told me I needed to write a book. And so, I did.

You will find my stories are of women who overcome adversity to find the love they deserve. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll leave a comment for a chance to win an audio book version of A Heart Made for Love.

In A Heart Made For Love, you meet the Hinton family.

In rural Florida, 1903, Mae Hinton cares for her father and younger brothers, trying to fill her deceased mother’s shoes. Her life is shattered and her faith tested when her innocence is stolen by roving miscreants. Left unconscious, unable to identify her attackers, she pledges to help other victimized women. She pursues an education and learns to deal with bigoted ministers, well-to-do hypocrites, and men with higher regard for their livestock than their women.

 Edward Finch is nearly done with medical studies in England when he comes home for the holidays. Love flourishes, and Mae seems close to achieving her dreams of both true love and a haven for victims, once she can explain to him why she carries a pistol. Then her new-found happiness is upset by a murder as one of her attackers returns. 

She may settle this herself…or she may find that vengeance truly belongs to God.

Buy link:  http://amzn.to/2BPmQFR

http://lindatillisauthor.com

Twitter: @Linda34434

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Liz Flaherty

February23

I’m always delighted to welcome my bestie, Liz Flaherty, to the blog. Liz thinks one of the things that keeps you young when you quite obviously aren’t anymore is the constant chances you have to reinvent yourself. Her latest (and happiest!) professional incarnation is as a Harlequin Heartwarming author!

One of the reasons she loves writing and reading about seasoned protagonists is the most obvious one–it’s a dream she’s living. She remembers early conversations with her husband when they tried to imagine having sex at 40 and beyond. She was utterly thrilled to find out it was not only possible but even better than it had been in their 20s!

That’s as personal as it’s going to get. Liz has three grown children, the three they married and brought home to her, and the Magnificent Seven grandchildren who are, you know, magnificence. She and Duane live in the same farmhouse back a lane they’ve been sharing for 40 years and hope to share for…well, probably not another 40, but a long time more. She also hangs out with me–our 3-hour lunches are the stuff legends are made of. Liz is a multi-published author with Harlequin, The Wild Rose Press, and Carina Press.

She’d love to hear from you at lizkflaherty@gmail.com or please come and see her at http://www.facebook.com/lizkflaherty

Today Liz is sharing her thoughts on seasoned romance, a topic the two of us have taken apart and put together more times than I can count. However much we discuss romance written about and for women in their prime, we inevitably come to the same conclusion–we need it! Take it away, Liz!

Thanks to Nan for having me here yet again. This article is a re-run from a year or so ago on The Pink Heart Society but my feelings on the subject haven’t changed at all. My own seasoned romances are still among my favorites. My women’s fiction title about four girlfriends in their 50s, The Girls of Tonsil Lake, is something I’m embarrassingly proud of.

I’ve been reading romance since long before Janet Daily wrote No Quarter Asked and gave American authors a new place in a genre that belonged almost exclusively to women.

That particular revolution was only one Big Thing—romance and most of its changes have been an embarrassment of riches since its beginning. Multi-cultural romances are widely available, which wasn’t always the case. Indie-pubbing is huge, yet I remember when the very idea of it was pretty close to the f-bomb on the roster of dirty words. Romance used to be the love story of one man and one woman and now gender isn’t even an issue. The traditional Happily Ever After ending can be Happy For Now or, if some supporters have their way, Not Happy At All. Sex has gone from being a heavy-breathing suggestion near the climax of the story to multiple scenes in the same chapter. The use of any kind of swearing or other obscenity has become a non-issue because nothing is forbidden.

It must be admitted that nearly every adjustment has been accompanied by kicking and screaming from its authors, readers, or both, but the biggest blessing of all these changes is that now there is something for everybody. I write sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming with no on-the-page sex and no swearing. Inspirational publishers, lines, and imprints are alive and well. Readers don’t have to look far to find books that tell stories of LGBTQ protagonists. A reader can go from chaste kisses to multiple orgasms with the touch to the screen of her e-reader. Contemporary, historical, and paranormal romances have delighted readers waiting for them and no one’s intoning in somber voices that their chosen category is dead.

I’m old enough to be appalled at some of the alterations to the genre I love at the same time I am, as a child of the 60s, completely thrilled that the changes have been made.

Except. Did you see that term in the paragraph above, there where I said “60s.” That’s where I’m at—not the 1960s anymore, but in my 60s. Somewhere past the middle. If we want to be brutally honest or intentionally rude about it, I guess I’m old. I’m retired from a long and happy career at a day job but I still write romantic novels and work part time in a library. I’ve been married to the guy who holds my heart for going-on-47 years and we have seven pretty-much-perfect grandchildren.

Surprising as it is to me, apparently no one wants to read about romance between people who lost their skin tone and their waistlines sometime in the previous decade. Or the one before. Who aren’t necessarily falling in real, true love for the first time, who won’t be pregnant or have children in the epilogue, who answer first and foremost to such pet names as Nana and Grampy-Buttons.

My daughter and daughters-in-law are in their early to mid-40s. They’re bright, beautiful, educated women with professions they’re excellent at and proud of. They’re also great mothers and wives. They’re readers, too, just like me. But no one wants to read about people like them, either. People whose days start in the dark and end in the dark because between their jobs and their families and that little-bit-of-time-before-bed they can call their own, their lives are completely full.

We read, all four of us, but we can very seldom read about women like ourselves because we’re too old, too settled, too married, the wrong demographic all around.

It makes me sad, because as gorgeous and smart and hilarious as everyone born after 1980 is, I don’t want to read about them all the time. I’m not interested in their body art or, for that matter, their body parts. I don’t believe they invented sex or that they’re the only ones who are good at it or that they are the only ones who can experience angst in its truest, most heartbreaking forms. They’re not the only ones who know how to laugh from the deepest parts of themselves or who hide behind closed stall doors in restrooms and weep from those same places.

Do I sound a little bitter there, as if I’m protesting too much? Yeah, probably. Because those of us born before 1980 have been in all those places. What’s more interesting is that we’re still there. We still laugh, cry, and have sex. We love more than we ever have before simply because the width and depth of our lives grow every single day and the love grows right along with it.

Yet we can’t be heroines in romance novels and the men we love can’t be heroes. I mean, we can, but not often. Not many. Not usually ones published by the Big Boys in New York. We can’t have imprints with provocative or heartstring-pulling names. It’s been tried; Harlequin’s Next imprint comes to mind. Its 100 titles are some of the best women’s fiction/romance books ever published and several of them had Baby Boomer protagonists. But think of that—100 titles. Not many in the scheme of things.

When I began to stage this little protest—remember, I said I was a child of the 60s; protest is part of my personal operating system—I looked up the demographics of romance readers. On this particular website, I read that “18 percent are between the ages of 45-54, 11 percent are between the ages of 55-64…eight percent are over 75…six percent are between the ages of 65-74…” Now, the way I read that, 43 percent are 45 and older, so wouldn’t that make you think protagonists “of a certain age” might have more stories in them than are available to read?

Not all statistics read that way, of course—it depends on your source. And not everybody my age or my girls’ ages want to read (or write) about protagonists in their own age groups.

But some do, and I’d love to see statistics on how many of that 43 percent I mentioned up there would like to see more romances about mature people. I’d love to know how many writers would like to write more romances about mature people. (I must note here that using the word mature is making my teeth itch—we’re people and don’t need labels.)

I have friends who write older protagonists—Nan Reinhardt and Jan Scarbrough to name two. I’ve written a few. Many others have, too, and terms like seasoned romance, grown-up love stories, never too old, not their first rodeo populate numerous blogposts and websites. I’m glad to see it, glad to read those stories that are written from hearts scarred and made strong by surviving life’s rodeos.

But I don’t think it’s enough. Until it is realized that we are here “in numbers too big to ignore,” until stories both by and about us are published and marketed with the same respect and enthusiasm awarded virtually everyone else, we’re still going to be the writers and the readers who are left over at the end of the day.

Here are links to Liz’s other stories with characters over 40:

A Soft Place to Fall

Summer in Stringtown Proper

Because of Joe

The Gingerbread Heart

 

 

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Lina Rehal

February21

Today we’re featuring Lina Rehal, a self-published author who writes contemporary romance, nostalgia, memoirs, and slice-of-life stories. Her first book, Carousel Kisses, is a collection of nostalgic stories, personal essays and poems about growing up in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s.

She combines her passion for fiction and love of storytelling in her contemporary romance novels. Her two romance books, October In New York and Loving Daniel, Book One of her Tucker’s Landing Series, are available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle formats.

NAN: Welcome Lina. Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

LINA: Hi, Nan. Thank you for having me on your blog. I’m currently working on edits to the first draft of my contemporary romance, Lasting Impressions. It’s book two of my Tucker’s Landing Series. I’m hoping to self-publish it in late March or early April. I’m also promoting Loving Daniel, the first book in the series. Both stories are set in a coastal town in Massachusetts. It’s my first attempt at writing a series.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

LINA: Mostly, contemporary romance. I love writing fiction and romance stories with happy endings. I also write nostalgia, memoir and slice of life stories.

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

LINA: All of my books are self-published.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

LINA: Write from your heart. Get it down on paper and worry about the edits later. Go with your muse. Listen to your characters. They’ll lead you in the right direction.

NAN: Who is your favorite author and why?

LINA: Nora Roberts. Her characters are engaging and memorable. She grabs my attention from the first page and holds it through to the end. I’m never disappointed when I read one of her books.

NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?

LINA: My characters are in their mid-forties and up. If there’s a message, I’d say it’s don’t be afraid to love again. Second chances are hard to come by.

NAN: What do you like best/least about writing?

LINA: I like entertaining people through storytelling. I love creating characters and the worlds they live in and finding ways for them to interact. What I probably like the least is the time between books. After I finish a book, I miss my characters and the anticipation of what’s going to happen next. Thankfully, it goes away once I’m immersed in the next story.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

LINA: Several years ago, a local newspaper accepted one of my stories. I was asked to write for a weekly column. I wrote day trip stories for a year and then moved up to travel and feature ones. When people would come up to me and tell me they enjoyed my story, I felt like a writer.

NAN: What is the hardest thing about writing a series?

LINA: Making the next book/books stand alones. Blending the characters from a previous book in with the new ones in the current book can be difficult. You have to make sure the timeframe works and that you don’t repeat too much. I keep thinking I have to explain what they did in the last one.

NAN: What do you do in your spare time?

LINA: I like to read, of course. Other than that, I enjoy traveling with my husband to Disneyworld and short getaways to Maine and New Hampshire. I love spending time with my family and going to lunch or dinner with girlfriends.

Lina is all over social media:

http://thefuzzypinkmuse.com

Loving Daniel

Romance writer, Grace Madden stumbles across an old journal and a stack of letters from the man who shattered her dreams when he returned from Iraq, broke their engagement and left Massachusetts with no explanation. Reading his letters brings back the unanswered question of why he broke up with her. Memories she tucked away in a corner of her heart, over two decades ago, resurface. Realizing she never got over him, the well-known author tries to find closure. She writes LOVING DANIEL to tell the story she’s kept inside of her all these years.

When Aidan McRae reads it, he is convinced the story is about him and has to know why she wrote it. He learns she’s doing an author event at a bookstore near his home in Maine and plans a surprise visit. He persuades her to have lunch with him. Hoping to find her answer, she accepts his invitation to spend the next day in Ogunquit, the small coastal town they visited as kids. An innocent kiss leads to feelings neither of them can deny.

Excerpt:

When Aidan woke up, he found himself in the living room. It was dark. He could see the full moon through the open blinds. The TV was in sleep mode. Red numbers from a digital clock on the end table glared at him. 2 a.m. Must have nodded off on the sofa again, he thought.

He had been dreaming. But, this time was different. He didn’t wake up in a panic or soaked from sweat. It wasn’t one of his usual nightmares. Aidan couldn’t remember this one, but he wanted to. It was about something, or someone pleasant. He was sure of that. Yet, it left him with a sense of sadness or loss.

The dream bothered him. He closed his eyes for a few minutes, hoping it would come back to him. When it didn’t, he decided to get up and go to bed. Swinging his long legs off the sofa, Aidan stood up. The book he had been reading slid off his chest and fell to the floor. The cover gave him a jolt. Loving Daniel by Grace Madden. He picked it up, sat down and remembered.

Aidan had been dreaming about Grace Devlin, a woman he fell in love with back in the late 1980’s in Massachusetts. She was in college then, studying to be a journalist. He was working at a local garage and taking business administration courses at night. They met when her car broke down and Aidan had to tow it back to the garage. She was a petite, beautiful young girl with long, flowing hair the color of copper and eyes as green as emeralds in the right light. He gave her a ride home that day and invited her to dinner before she got out of his truck.

In the dream, she was the Grace he knew back then. She was vibrant, tenacious, impatient and crazy in love with him. It was coming back to him. He had been kissing her. Awake now, Aidan could still feel the softness of her lips on his and smell the traces of lemon shampoo in her hair. It felt real. It felt right. He wanted to go back to sleep so he could hold her and tell her he loved her.

Link to Loving Daniel on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ybfkbvd2

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Karen Ginther Graham

February19

Today featured author is Karen Ginther Graham, who hails from San Diego county but has lived in Oklahoma so long she consideres herself an Okie. These two locales are often reflected in her writing. She is married and has one wonderful son, now grown. Finding Rose Rocks is her debut novel and she is working on another one about a girl’s coming of age amid strife and beauty.

NAN: Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting. 

KAREN: I’m promoting my debut novel, Finding Rose Rocks, published May of 2016. It began as a contemporary women’s fiction about a divorced woman of 45 who embarks on a journey, internal and external, to find her emotional happy place. However, almost immediately the story became an autumnal romance between Jennifer, an owner of a failing apartment rental business, and Troy, 50, a silver fox and rugged rancher.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

KAREN: I surprised myself by writing romance because I’d always imagined being a straight fiction writer. I have an idea for another autumnal romance, and am also working on a coming-of-age tale involving a girl in a dysfunctional family.

NAN: What sets you apart from other authors in your genre?

KAREN: I’m told I have a flair for description. I love words that flow in an almost poetic fashion. This skill of mine can be a double-edged sword because readers want action and dialogue. I have to take care in my writing to stay in the scene, to keep things lively.

NAN: How do you keep sane as a writer?

KAREN: I’m a big exercise person. It helps me sleep, keeps me slim, and keeps me on an even keel. I’m a nicer person because of it. These days yoga is my favorite form of exercise, augmented by swimming laps in an indoor pool. I alternate them five days a week. I take weekends off to spend with hubby.

NAN: What do you like best/least about writing?

KAREN: The thing I love best about writing is when I become almost obsessed with the story, when my desire to sit at my computer and write overtakes me at the expense of almost everything else. Hours fly by and it’s just me and my story. I love that—being in the “zone.”  What I like least is the business side of things, the marketing. It is essential but laborious.

NAN: Did you learn anything from writing your books, and what was it?

KAREN: I learned a great deal about myself. As an older person and someone who for many years struggled with low self-esteem, I didn’t think I could write an ENTIRE book. Instead, I wrote a novella. I discovered there wasn’t much of a market for novellas so I pushed on and expanded what I’d written until I had a novel-length story. How pleased I was!

Also, during the process of writing I learned that magic can appear in a very quiet way. An owl arrived outside my window and stayed during all those late nights of writing. It promptly left when the book was done. I wrote a short story about that experience.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

KAREN: I’m not sure I do. In school, writing came easily to me. I published a poem in my high school paper. At my twenty-fifty reunion, someone came up to me and recited that poem verbatim. I think that planted a tiny seed in my mind. In college, I majored in English and loved all the papers we had to write—easy A’s all—and doing so planted another seed. After college, I didn’t write but rather raised my husband’s and my son and ran our family business. I always thought that once a person has a book published, that’s the mark of a writer. I can check that off my list, but now I feel like I need multiple published books before I can claim that status. Am I a writer? I don’t know.

NAN: Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

KAREN: Please Buy My Book!

Besides that, it means so much to writers to have readers take the time to leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other sites. We don’t ask for the full five stars and high praise if you’re not inclined, but only for a heartfelt opinion.

NAN: What would be your dream vacation?

KAREN: I’ve traveled quite a bit in the United States but very little outside of it. My dream vacation is an extensive trip to Europe. Also, I’d like to go to an uncrowded beach in Mexico that has big waves where I can body surf like when I was a kid in San Diego. No warm water. I find it unnatural.

NAN: What do you do in your spare time?

KAREN: I mentioned my exercise regimen. That takes a lot of time. The gym I go to has become sort of a social mecca for me. Beyond that I love to read, and I garden in the spring, summer, and fall. I can’t say I love it but I love the results of my labor —pretty flowering plants and shade trees on my half acre slice of solitude. I like getting together with my women friends. We have a Kaffee Tante group that meets monthly, organized by—you guessed it—a German lady in our midst.

NAN: Has reading a book ever changed your life? If yes, which one and how?

KAREN: Yes, my life has been changed by reading. There are so many really great books that have deeply affected me. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd and White Oleander by Janet Fitch made me almost hurt with longing to write like that. Their prose is the most beautiful ever. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls reassured me that I could overcome an impoverished childhood steeped in familial dysfunction. And indeed I have.

Find Karen on social media:

Website: http://karenginthergraham.blogspot.com/

Facebook

Twitter: @ginther_graham

Goodreads

Amazon

 

Finding Rose Rocks

When Jennifer Ellis’s business fails, she decides to leave Oklahoma in a cloud of red dust and return to her San Diego roots. Then Troy Stanhope comes along with a solution to her company’s woes, and she falls for his velvety voice and appealing confidence. As their relationship deepens, she is called to the west coast on a family matter and decides to stay for the summer. She meets a new man and is drawn to his irresistible charm. Her newfound self-awareness mingles with salty ocean breezes and eucalyptus-scented air to place her in his arms. Their liaison is heartfelt but brief, mid-life’s last hurrah. Jennifer realizes her heart is back on the southern prairie, but she may be one adventure too late.

EXCERPT:

Jennifer refused to let Ben’s ordeal revive her old jellyfish phobia. She changed into her swim suit and grabbed a towel. She’d be most visible in front of the lifeguard tower so it’s where she entered the surf and forded the mild current until she reached the choppy calm beyond the breakers.

Alone save for a curious seagull, she let the sea rock her in their guarded reunion. There were fellow creatures in the water with her but she’d ignore them and let them do the same.  Children’s squeals and deeper adult voices carried over the waves and reached her submerged ears in wavering echoes. She was at peace here. From time to time she drifted off course and a dozen lazy back strokes realigned her with the lifeguard tower.

Her astrological element was water, emotional and intuitive. She’d grown up with her mother’s belief in such quirky notions and she could never quite shake them. Troy was earth, strong and steady, grounded, of the land. Water and earth were compatible elements. She should have nurtured him, supplied him with life-giving sustenance rather than running off to let him face the summer’s drought without her.

Ben was air. She’d never asked him his sign, but she knew. He was a rare winged creature too elusive for her with his almost indiscernible touch and hint of scintillating breath on her bare breasts. She held herself to blame for his accident, at least in part. Before she’d come along he didn’t go into the ocean, instead content to stroll its shoreline. He’d wanted to be with her and followed her into her watery realm. She’d led him to danger like a siren. He’d mentioned bee stings in an off-handed way, making little of it. She should’ve honed in on the subject, asked what he carried in his faded blue backpack. The signs were there and she’d paid no attention.

Jennifer checked her position in the water, found all to be well, and returned to her thoughts. If she went back to the Lazy J Ranch, would she and Troy reunite or would she end up back in Oklahoma City where she’d started? Trading California for a cowboy? She’d have to be crazy, or crazy in love with a man whose only connection to an ocean were waves of flaxen wheat and a prairie’s endless sea of tall grass.

Something brushed her leg and she bolted upright. A piece of kelp bobbed beside her and she flung it away. She’d become chilly anyway, and made her way to shore.

Amazon

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Peter Perrin

February16

What a treat to welcome Peter Perrin today–honestly, it’s so cool to have a guy writing romance, particularly seasoned romance!

Peter writes sweet, seasoned romances involving larger-than-life mature characters who will make you rethink your views on older people in a positive way. His characters are mature in age but not necessarily in their behavior. They may not be in the first flush of youth but that doesn’t stop some of them from acting like hormonal teenagers.

Peter was born in Romford, in the county of Essex, near London, England. For nearly twenty years he has lived with his wife of almost forty years in a quiet suburb of Swindon, in the county of Wiltshire, in England. He is a father and grandfather. He is a former member of The Royal Air Force who has served in the UK, and in Madagascar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. He was also stationed for two years in Aden—which nowadays is part of Yemen.

After almost fifteen-years’ service in The Royal Air Force Peter worked in Engineering, Quality Control, and Procurement Management, not to mention myriad smaller jobs in between those careers.

Now retired Peter’s interests are Writing, Carp Fishing, and (despite being in his early seventies) PC and PlayStation games.

His favorite quote is “Youth passes, but with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime.”

NAN: Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

My debut novel, Grace’s Turmoil, was only published in December 2017 so I am still actively promoting that. However, Grace’s Turmoil is only Book 1 in a planned series called Not Too Old for Love, and I have made a start in pulling ideas and information together for Book 2 in the series.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

PETER: I write sweet contemporary romances. But, more than that they are about mature characters, so they fall into an evolving sub-genre—Seasoned Romance.

NAN: What sets you apart from other authors in your genre?

PETER: Well I would guess that is that I am probably one of the few men openly writing romance, using their own name or a male nom de plume. That and the fact that I am not only writing about mature characters but specifically those who are aged at least sixty.

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

PETER: I don’t have an agent as I didn’t go the traditional Agent/Print Publisher route. But, I do have a publisher—Devine Destinies. As Grace’s Turmoil is my first book I wanted to use a publisher so that I would have the satisfaction of knowing a professional team had found my work to be of a sufficient standard for them to take a chance on.

NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?

PETER: There is indeed a theme/message that totally underlines the book and that will be maintained throughout subsequent books in the series. The theme is that many older people want and have romance, relationships, and sex in their lives. That, having experienced marriage and divorce or bereavement, mature people with emotional baggage can and do find love again. Or even that someone who has been single for their whole life can find love in their twilight years.

NAN: What obstacles, if any, have you encountered in being a writer?

PETER: There were a few obstacles when I started writing Grace’s Turmoil. One of those no longer exists but the others if anything are worse. The one that no longer exists is the problem of having no previous experience of any serious writing, let alone a novel. And, while that is no longer strictly true I still have a lot to learn.

The man problem is my memory, which has never been good, and which has worsened as I’ve got into my seventies. So, I constantly have to reread and recheck things that in an ideal world I would be able to instantly recall.

NAN: What do you like best/least about writing?

PETER: I love seeing ideas that come primarily from my own brain, my imagination, and my life experiences turn into a book that hopefully people will read and enjoy.  The greatest thrill has been when I have written something and on reading it over thought ‘That wasn’t supposed to be like that’ or ‘He/she wasn’t supposed to say/do that.’ In other words to have a character or characters effectively write or do what they wanted rather than what I had planned or expected.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

PETER: That would have to be when I got the email from Devine Destinies offering me a contract to publish Grace’s Turmoil.

NAN: Would you rather read a book that is poorly written but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content, but is well written?

PETER: That’s a hard question as I would rather not read either, but I guess it would have to be the first option.  Content and a good story are crucial, and I would probably be able to read it and enjoy it even if the writing was poor. But, if I started to read a book and found the content was weak there would be no point in continuing with it. Arguably such a book couldn’t be classed as well written other than technically.

NAN: What is the hardest thing about writing a series?

PETER: I haven’t really discovered that yet as I am only just starting to scope out book 2 of the Not Too Old for Love series. But, my gut feeling is that it will be writing books that each stand alone yet are clearly part of a series and link at least some of the characters from one book to another. It will be even harder for me as all my main characters live at The Grange Retirement Village. So, from book 2 onward, I will have to find a way to let new readers know about The Grange (a 17th Century English Manor House) and the relationships between the characters that were in book 1 and are now in book 2. And, I’ll have to do that without repeating the descriptions etc. from book 1 or using great info dumps.

Find Peter all over social media and on his website:

Website: https://peterperrin.blog

Blog:  https://peterperrin.blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peterperrin44

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeterPerrin44/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/peterperrin/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/PeterPerrin

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B078J3NVHW

Grace’s Turmoil

Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.

But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.

Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?

Buy Links

https://goo.gl/XWjrCB                   Amazon USA

https://goo.gl/D8uEPD                  Amazon UK

https://goo.gl/uk7Hvr                    Amazon Canada

https://goo.gl/abTdXL                   Amazon France

https://goo.gl/DFZfW8                  Amazon Germany

https://goo.gl/g8KcDB                  Amazon Italy

https://goo.gl/ZeW72Q                 Amazon Spain

https://goo.gl/WqZ2Dz                 Amazon Japan

https://goo.gl/FN2cuC                  Devine Destinies

https://goo.gl/nD7gF9                  Barnes and Noble

https://goo.gl/T621s9                   Kobo

 

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Jennifer Theriot

February14

USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Theriot (pronounced Terrio) hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas based real estate investment firm by day and does her writing at nights and on weekends. In her limited spare time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. She’s mom to three grown children and ‘MiMi’ to five grandkids – all of whom she adores!

Jennifer took a chance that there could be an interest in romance with couples over the age of 40 who are finding themselves at a crossroads and wrote her debut novel Out of the Box Awakening, which centers on the hope of finding happiness and passion through unexpected heartache. Grownup romance from the other side of 30 is how she characterizes her books.

NAN: Tell us  what you are currently working on or promoting.

JENNIFER: My title in the Juniper Court Series, called Relationship Resuscitation. It’s a 7-book, 7-author series about 7 homes on Juniper Court. A brilliant concept brought to life by Isabelle Peterson. My book is a steamy romantic comedy. Follow all of the Juniper Court authors on the official Juniper Court website: https://www.junipercourtseries.com

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

JENNIFER: Contemporary romance and romantic comedy (both ‘seasoned’)

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

JENNIFER: Self pubbed!

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

JENNIFER:  If you aspire to write and have a story, then write it. Have a good editor lined up and above all, pay it forward! I’ve received so much help and information from the Indie Author community and every time I get the chance, I extend help to new authors. It’s what Indie Authors do!

NAN: How do you keep sane as a writer?

JENNIFER: Chardonnay….LOTS of it!

NAN: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

JENNIFER: She Dances Outside the Box

NAN: What obstacles, if any, have you encountered in being a writer?

JENNIFER: Balancing time. I have a full time job and a wonderful family, so fitting my writing in is sometimes (most times) challenging. You have to take it day by day. I just wish there were more than 24 hours in a day…

NAN: What do you like least about writing?

JENNIFER: Marketing! That, in and of itself is a full time job.

NAN: Do you think a writer should write every day?

JENNIFER: That depends on if you have a full time job, a publisher with deadlines and family obligations. For me, it’s a NO. I write when my characters speak to me and I have the time to devote to writing.  I’m a panster, so don’t do outlines. I write by the seat of my pants and go where my characters lead me. I’ve tried outlining, but find for me – it’s a futile waste of time.

NAN: What do you do in your spare time?

JENNIFER: Spend time with my amazing family. I have a wonderful husband, three grown kids (all married) and four, soon to be five grandkids. I devote every minute of my spare time to them!

NAN: What show have you recently binge-watched?

JENNIFER: Blue Bloods…I’m hopelessly ADDICTED and Blue Bloods marathons are on ION TV every Thursday night. I sleep on the couch Thursday nights, so I can watch uninterrupted. (Hubby’s not a fan.)

NAN: What five words would you use to describe yourself?

JENNIFER: Witty, sarcastic, loyal, unorganized, appreciative

Jennifer is all over social media, check her out!

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Theriot/e/B00D8SW61C/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

GOOGLE PLUS: https://plus.google.com/102404514817870981129/posts

BOOK BUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-theriot

AUTHOR FACEBOOK: Jennifer Theriot, Author: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferTheriotAuthor

TWITTER:  @ JenTheRiot https://twitter.com/JenTheRiot

WEBSITE: http://www.jennifertheriot.com

BLOG: http://www.jennifertheriot.com/jennifers-blog

GOODREADS AUTHOR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7082754.Jennifer_Theriot

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/jtheriot2000/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/jktheriot/

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-theriot-9211157

RELATIONSHIP RESUSCITATION (The Juniper Court Series):

Meet Phillip & Jayne Miller, original homeowners on Juniper Court. He’s a successful attorney; she’s a flourishing blogger. Head over heels in love and approaching 50, their relationship needs a little jump start. With the Miller’s twin girls married and moved away from Sunview, Phillip and Jayne decide it’s time to focus on resuscitating their relationship, complete with spicing up their neglected sex life. When competition between the two sets in, it becomes a full out game to see who can one-up the other trying new things. Ah, yes. Life on Juniper Court gets interesting… and sometimes embarrassing. Be careful what you wish for and where you stick your nose. Sometimes keeping up with the Joneses–or in this case, the Sullivans can have consequences.

Amazon: myBook.to/RelationResus

Kobo, Nook, iBooks: books2read.com/u/b6rqMA

Google Play: bit.ly/2GdGYAD

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Mary Cooney-Glazer

February12

I’m very pleased to welcome author Mary Cooney-Glazer today–Mary, how great you could join us! I really enjoyed the opportunity to sit down and chat with you.

MARY: Hello, Nan. Thank you for having me as a guest. As a first-time, second-career novelist, I am delighted to have completed and published the book, This Time Forever. Writing a novel about a second-time-around romance, featuring people shaped by life experience has been a wonderful and challenging adventure.

I was a Registered Nurse for many years, in clinical and management settings where business writing was part of the job. Fictional stories never saw the light of day until I joined a writers’ group, and finally gained enough confidence to do some short stories and try to write dialogue. From there, it was a quick leap to taking snatches of conversation or a meeting that I saw and start to spin stories. As friends’ lives changed, by widowhood or divorce, I started seeing that there is no expiration date on falling in love. An idea for a story related to a second time around romance came to me and there was no choice. I had to write it.

NAN: Mary, what are you currently promoting?

MARY: I am currently promoting This Time Forever. It’s my first novel, published on November 3, 2017. The story is about what happens after an over fifty couple meets unexpectedly after he broke their engagement over the telephone and without any explanation twenty-five years before. He did that while he was visiting his family in London for what was supposed to be a week’s stay.

NAN: What genre do you write in?

MARY: This is an emerging genre called “Seasoned Romance.” It includes stories about a wide age range, but main characters are at least over 30. Most romances traditionally feature twenty-somethings. However, there’s a growing audience of readers with more life experience looking for stories about people their own age. I plan to continue writing about main characters in their fifties or older. The supporting cast varies from the twenties to the eighties.

NAN: Who would I like to have a conversation with, living or dead?

MARY: There are so many fascinating people. Barbara Walters would be my choice for this question. I admire strong, successful, women who are brave enough to take some chances on unknown situations. I would love to talk to someone who has had success in the literary and entertainment worlds as well. She fits both categories.

NAN: What are you currently reading?

MARY: Right now a, lot of Catherine Bybee. I truly enjoyed Fool Me Once as well as her “Not Quite” and “Weekday Brides” series. Her books have good plots woven into the love stories. The scenes between the lovers are spicy, without being super explicit, and they fit into the story well.

NAN: What makes good writing?

MARY: I like a good story. The characters and plot need to be well developed. Characters’ actions and dialogue have to match their role in the story. I want the writing to draw me into the scene, showing me what’s happening. I want to understand the sentences without re-reading them several times. Grammatically correct isn’t absolutely necessary all the time, but stories need to be understandable. The plot needs to hold my interest. In the romance genre, a happy ending is part of the structure. But twists and turns with an element of surprise are part of the fun. I do not like to see multiple typos.

NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book that you hope comes across?

MARY: Absolutely. I want people to realize that people of all ages can have romantic adventures, with the fun, discovery, tenderness, sex, and second chances. I have one character who is a bit heavier than usual, but gorgeous. I’d like readers to see that body size is no barrier to being attractive and desirable.

NAN: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

MARY: Keep Trying Until You Figure It Out.

NAN: I love that! What did you like best/least about writing?

MARY: The best part was letting my imagination fly, then realizing that I was so into the story, that the characters were dictating it a lot of the time.

The part I liked least was the editing. It was excruciating to go back and clean up, check for missing quotes, make sure everything was tight, plot had no holes, etc. No joke, I read the story at least 30 times after the three betas pronounced it acceptable. There were still a few things that escaped notice.

NAN: Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

MARY: A heartfelt thank you for spending your time reading my book. Authors wouldn’t exist without people who read their books. As a new author, I am thrilled every time someone tells me that my book was a fun/good/interesting read. You have so many excellent choices and I feel honored that you picked my book to read.

NAN: What do you do in your spare time?

MARY: Travel to Aruba and Florida to break up the New England winter. I also garden a bit and love to drop into local coffee spots. I try to slip in much needed exercise. Going out with my husband and friends is always a treat.

You’ll find Mary on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/mary.cooneyglazer

https://www.facebook.com/Mary-Cooney-Glazer-Author

This Time Forever

Angie Martin-Wilson was convinced nothing could interfere with her pleasant existence. Widowed for three years, she owned a successful Nurse Concierge business in picturesque Rock Harbor, on the north shore of Massachusetts. A handsome, sexy, interesting man was pursuing her, and she had loyal and supportive friends.

She wasn’t prepared for expectedly running into Ben Whitcomb, the man who shattered her life twenty-four years before. They were engaged when he went on a week-long visit to his family in London. Within a few days, during a brief and cruel transatlantic call, he ended their relationship without explanation. Although Angie healed enough to find happiness again, she never stopped wondering why he left.

Several years later, Ben realized he should have told her about the London situation, instead of cutting her out of his life. However, he found out it was too late to correct his terrible mistake. Ben thought the woman he couldn’t forget was lost to him forever.

Their unexpected meeting was an opportunity for questions and explanations. Would it also bring them a second chance for happiness?

Excerpt:

The man in back of her couldn’t move fast enough to avoid a collision. He kept Angie from falling as she plowed into the middle of his chest.

“Oh my god, that was my fault. I am so sorry. Are you OK?” Angie was mortified as he held her shoulders until she was safely balanced upright. She apologized while she steadied herself, before seeing his face.

“I’m fine,” he answered, “No worries.” Then, “I knew that voice, but I couldn’t believe it!” he said. “Angela, is it really you?”

There was only one man in the world who called her by her full name and made it sound that wonderful.

She stood there, barely keeping herself composed.

I should say no, wrong person. Then I should run as fast as I can away from here. He’s still wearing the same cologne. The one that made me cry whenever I smelled it for years after we split. 

“It’s been well over twenty years, and I’d know you anywhere,” Ben told her, adding, “You’re still beautiful.”

Her thoughts raced.

That sexy British accent is still there. How can he look as good with gray hair as he did when he was blond? I felt solid muscle when I bumped into him. Why couldn’t he be fat and old looking? Oh god, did I at least remember to put on lipstick? What the hell is he doing in a linen department in Peabody? Why am I hesitating? I need to go. Now!

Red alerts flashed, and alarms were sounding in her brain. She ignored all of them.

This TIme Forever is available on Amazon.

 

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Liz Durano

February8

Today’s featured author of seasoned romance is Liz Durano–although Liz majored in Journalism in college, she discovered that she preferred writing fictional stories and poetry over news and ad copy.  She currently lives in Los Angeles and when she’s not listening to her Muses, she’s drinking coffee and stepping over her son’s Legos all over the place. But I’m going to let her tell you a little bit more about herself…

LIZ: I’ve been writing since I was about eleven or twelve, back when I played with paper dolls and then later when I fell in love with anime cartoons and wrote and drew their stories. By eighth grade, I evolved and wrote my first steamy serial in eighth grade which almost got me suspended from school. In exchange for the principal not calling my parents, I had to make amends by joining the Poetry Club after school and finding another way to channel all my teen angst. Up until then, I didn’t much care for poetry but I ended up loving it.

I’ve been writing on and off since, dabbled in self-publishing back in 2000 when self-publishing wasn’t even a word although one could have thousands of books stashed in their garage for a fee via vanity publishers. Thank goodness I was too broke then to take that route and instead, I shelved all my stories and decided to just focus on building my massage practice—which I did and while I no longer run a full-time practice, I still see long-time clients once a week (it gets me out of the house).

I started writing again in 2012 and published my first novel, Finding Sam in November 2014. Loving Ashe followed in June 2015 and then Collateral Attraction in December 2015. In October 2016, I released Everything She Ever Wanted and the rest is history. Most readers have met me through Dax and Harlow and nothing makes me happier than knowing my stories touch people.

NAN: Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

LIZ: I’m currently working on the third book of my Celebrity series. It’s the story of Gareth Roman, who started out as a secondary character but very pivotal to the growth of the main character, Riley Eames. But then I’m also working on the third novel of my Different Kind of Love series.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

LIZ: I write women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and suspense.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

LIZ: Be patient. Don’t release that first book until you have your marketing plan in place. A lot of new authors want to publish right away and wonder why no one is buying. Then they realize that they haven’t started a mailing list, a website or had any marketing and promos in place. So my advice would be, before you publish your book, set the stage with a mailing list, a website, a marketing plan and a budget.

NAN: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

LIZ: Don’t worry too much about what other people will think about your books. Just write it and publish it. You’re doing way more than they ever will, as far as doing what you love is concerned.

NAN: How do you keep sane as a writer?

LIZ: My family keeps me sane and grounded. They remind me I’m not that awesome writer I think I am. I still have to do the laundry and fold the clothes and put them away. I still have to do the dishes.

NAN: Has reading a book ever changed your life? If yes, which one and how?

LIZ: The Adventurers by Harold Robbins. This was the first book I ever read when I was about 12 or 13 that I found by accident and I couldn’t put it down. I went on to read two other books by Robbins called The Pirate and A Stone for Danny Fisher because they were part of the pile of books I came across at that time. Those three books convinced me that I wanted to write like Robbins, or at least, learn to transport people to exotic (The Adventurers and The Pirate) and not-so-exotic locations (A Stone for Danny Fisher) with words.

NAN: What obstacles, if any, have you encountered in being a writer?

LIZ: Life, in general. Most of the obstacles, however, are my self-limiting beliefs that I let rule my life  as well as that old “What will others think?” I used to suffer from Imposter Syndrome and never allowed myself to enjoy the fruits of my labors because I didn’t think I was ‘that’ good to deserve anything. It’s changing though and I have to take it one day at a time.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

LIZ: When I was in eighth grade and almost got suspended for writing this steamy taboo story that was circulated in Homeroom and the teacher got a hold of a racy page. The principal struck a deal with me then. She wouldn’t tell my parents if I agreed to leave the Drama Club and go into Poetry club so I could work out all my teen angst there.

NAN: Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?

LIZ: As a self-published author, I prefer the idea of perennial books like Shogun by James Clavell which still sells a lot twenty years after it was written. So I’d rather have a string of moderate sellers that will sell long after I’m gone so my sons, for whom I really write, can benefit.

NAN: Do you think a writer should write every day?

LIZ: Not really. Some people go by word count but I hate counting so I just go by chapters and scenes. Some days I don’t write though because the characters haven’t talked to me yet to tell their stories. But the moment they do, I don’t stop until their story is done. Usually. At the moment though, I find myself writing outlines. It still counts, though it’s not as exciting.

Find Liz all over social media:

Website: https://lizdurano.com

Newsletter: http://www.subscribepage.com/lizdurano

Facebook: https://facebook.com/lizduranobooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lizdurano

Instagram: https://instagram.com/lizdurano

Everything She Ever Wanted

She’s smart, independent, and heartbroken. He’s gorgeous, a bit rough around the edges, and too young. 

But when a scheduling mistake lands a heartbroken doctor and a cocky woodworker in the same place at the same time, can their fling turn into the real thing? 

When her husband leaves her for a younger woman, 40-year-old surgeon Harlow James finds herself without family and friends, and barely a career. So she trades the bright lights of New York for the open road and ends up at the Pearl, a sustainable Earthship outside of Taos, New Mexico where she hopes to find out where she went wrong.

For 27-year-old master woodworker, Dax Drexel, the Pearl is where he retreats from the world to design his award-winning furniture. Unfortunately, he got his dates wrong for the Pearl’s already got an occupant and she’s currently passed out on his bed, naked. He really should mind his own business but he can’t, not when there’s a gun in the living room, next to a tear-stained note that begins with, “I’m sorry I failed you…”

Join Dax and Harlow in a journey that readers have called “heartfelt,” “riveting,” and “amazingly emotional.”

EXCERPT:

I was never into fairy tales.

But discovering a real live princess in my house at three in the morning when all I want to do is crash after a long drive from Flagstaff reminds me of the story of the three bears and that blonde chick who breaks into their pad, eats all their food, and sleeps in their beds, too.  Just like the one that’s in mine right now.

At first, I was afraid she was dead, but the gentle rise and fall of her chest told me that she was just passed out, probably from the half-empty bottle of Bordeaux in the living room that she must have enjoyed all by herself for there was only one wine glass next to it.  But of all the wines she had to pick from the cellar, it had to be the 2005 Château Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux I had been saving for a special occasion.  Two grand down the drain, courtesy of Goldi-fucking-locks here, who’s not only passed out cold, but she’s also naked.

Thank her lucky stars the sheets cover her hips, though it doesn’t cover her torso, her gorgeous full breasts on full display. I have to stop and stare for a few seconds even though my mind tells me to look away.  I’m a man, after all, and not a dead one at that.  And her tits are real, not those fake ones that I see all the time just about everywhere. I adjust myself before walking out of the room and shut the bedroom door quietly behind me.  Just because I own the place doesn’t mean I can crash it anytime I want, and certainly not with Goldilocks snoring on my bed.

Once in the living room, I pull out my phone and scan my calendar. Did I agree to have the place rented out this month? My calendar app appears on my phone screen, and the next three weeks are shaded in red to indicate that Nana did rent the place out at the last minute.  I check my text messages, and sure enough, she sent me a text message yesterday telling me that the new tenant had paid in cash. She even left a message on my voicemail. Too bad I didn’t check any of my messages because that would have certainly saved me a trip. But I’d been too busy the last two days finalizing custom orders.

I exhale and sit down on the couch, picking up the bottle of Bordeaux and taking a sip. I might as well find out what two grand tastes like.  I doubt she drank it straight from the bottle, so I’m not worried about cooties at all. And even if she did, that’s no big deal. The big deal is sitting right in front of me, sharing the same space with the wine and a jar of half-eaten fudge. A gun.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2DimSU4

General link for books: https://lizdurano.com/books/

Celebrating Seasoned Romance–Why?

February6

This month, I’m featuring authors who write seasoned romance–stories with characters who are over 40 and finding a second or even a third or fourth chance at love. Way back in February 2012, as I was writing the first Women of Willow Bay novels, I wrote this blog and it feels just a relevant today as it did then. Let me know what you think.

I’m bugged. It seems that romance novels are the bailiwick of characters who are younger than 40. If 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40, then how come romance after 50 isn’t sexy anymore? Well, folks, I’ve got big news–sexy is timeless.  Excuse me, but two words, Pierce Brosnan. Sean Connery? Jeff Bridges? Denzel Washington, anyone? Richard Gere? My husband? And as far as sexy women are concerned–want to talk about Susan Sarandon? Sophia Loren? Goldie Hawn? Helen Mirren? Tina Turner? Me? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

Hollywood is beginning to get it. I thoroughly enjoyed the film Something”s Gotta Give—a love story between two people well over age 50. Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson totally rocked that delightful movie. It’s Complicated showed us Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin as grown-ups in a love story that was fun and sexy. Streep and Stanley Tucci recreated the romance between Julia and Paul Child—an older couple madly in love—in Julie and Julia.

So what’s up with the world of romance novels? Why is it that if you’re a woman of a certain age, then nobody wants to read about your love life? All of us Boomers are still falling in love, rediscovering love, renewing love, and by God, we’re still having sex and probably doing it with way more panache. So why are most romance novels about young women and men in their twenties and thirties?

A few years ago, Harlequin nailed it with their NEXT imprint, but it didn’t make it, and I’m not sure why. Maybe we weren’t ready then, but I believe we’re ready now.  I’m ready for romance with a dash of maturity, two people involved in a relationship without all the nonsense of youth. I want conversations between grown-ups who are over the drama of coming-of-age and meet on the level playing field of self-knowledge.  I’m looking for sensual sexy love scenes written with that irresistible combination of  humor, passion, and life experience.

Baby Boomers, as writers and readers,  let’s put the romance world on notice—we’re here, we’re in love, we’re making love, and our stories are worth telling. Who’s in?

We’re doing better these six years later, more authors are writing stories with seasoned characters and more readers are clamoring for them. I’m thrilled because seriously, ya think these two old folks aren’t still having the time of their lives together?

Oh, hey, if you’ve read this far, please buzz by the JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER contest and cast your vote for SAVING SARAH. I’d sure appreciate it!

Have a great day, everyone!

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Kathleen Lawless

February3

I was delighted to be able to sit down for a chat with romance author, Kathleen Lawless, who told me her earliest memories are of wanting to be a writer. To create stories that would touch the lives of others who love to read the way she does.

She said, “I’m working on my 24th novel and it’s amazing to see the changes in traditional publishing, including e-books and the opportunities writers have to interact with their readers.” She enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and stories for young adults.

Kathleen also knows firsthand about happy endings. “Can you believe I wrote A Hard Man to Love with a hero named Steele, years before I met my own hero named Steel? His proposal to me on a remote island in the Caribbean was more romantic than anything I could have written about.”

Her books have garnered numerous awards including Romantic Times K.I.S.S., a Scarlett Letter, and a Golden Quill, along with rave reviews, such as:

“…The story is fresh…The dialogue snappy and unique.” Romance Junkies

“HIGHLY ENTERTAINING… Imagine Nancy Drew meets Sex in the City!” Roundtable Reviews

“…Lawless weaves romance, intrigue, and excitement into an impressive tapestry.”

Romance Reviews Today

“An amusing, spirited, adventurous tale.” Romantic Times

I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did!

NAN: Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

KATHLEEN: Since the topic is seasoned romance, I thought I’d talk about my recent novel which is a bit of a departure for me, Fabulous at Fifty. I took the chance that I’m not the only baby boomer out there who is tired of reading about a heroine just starting her adult life and finding out who she is. Like my heroine Rachel Fontaine, women are constantly re-inventing themselves during every aspect of life. Rachel’s situation is an interesting one that I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to. I hope readers find Rachel inspiring and empowering.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

KATHLEEN: I write both historical and contemporary romance, dabble in a bit of romantic suspense, enjoy pushing the envelope into “romantica” which is very sexy romance without being erotica, and have one YA out there. I’ve also written extensively for magazines including Cosmopolitan and Teen.

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

KATHLEEN: I have worked with a wonderful agent at Curtis Brown and been fortunate to write for HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Kensington and Harlequin. I knew traditional publishers wouldn’t be interested in a fifty year old heroine, so FABULOUS AT FIFTY is self-published, along with several of my older titles that are no longer in print.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

KATHLEEN: Network, network, network. Join professional writing organizations, take courses and webinars, attend conferences and seminars. Writers are the most generous professionals when it comes to sharing and helping others; you will learn far more that way than from any how-to book or article.

NAN: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

KATHLEEN: To join RWA the second the group was formed. I heard about it from an agent and mistakenly thought it was something I should join after I was published. My biggest regret is not joining earlier. The group has changed a lot over the years, but back in the day it was life-changing for a lot of authors.

NAN: Is there an idea out there you wish you’d thought of?

KATHLEEN: Absolutely! I wish I had written Bridget Jones’s Diary. That story was fresh and funny and women around the world related to Bridget. Chick-lit might have had its day since, but Bridget Jones will never go out of style. Wait till the millennials discover her!

NAN: Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing, and if so, what are they?

KATHLEEN: I’ve seen this with a lot of other writers and it’s something I have been very careful not to do. Balance is really important to me. To be the best writer I can be I need to exercise, to get enough sleep, to have girlfriend time, family time, ‘date time’ with my love, and most importantly ‘Me’ time. Keeping that balance is far more important than a clocking a certain number of words on the page every day, and sacrificing my health in the bargain.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

KATHLEEN: As soon as I could put pencil to paper. Writers write, and I was always writing. Considering myself an author was a whole other matter. It was probably that magic day when I saw my first published novel in print at an RWA conference and joined the autograph party with the other “real writers.” I was no longer a “wannabe.”

What show have you recently binge-watched?

KATHLEEN: My fiancé and I recently inhaled the new season of Grace and Frankie. So refreshing to see an intelligent and brilliantly written, brilliantly acted show with the main characters well past middle age and still having a blast.

NAN: What question didn’t I ask that you wish I had?

KATHLEEN: Why Romance? I’m a born romantic who believes in Happy-Ever-After. I also believe romance novels fulfill a very real need of empowering women everywhere. They tackle topics that are often difficult, and not that long ago rarely talked about, let alone written about. Today’s romance heroine is strong and independent and capable, a great role-model for future generations. She doesn’t sacrifice herself for love, she doesn’t need a man to complete her, but with the support of her one true love is able to channel her powers for the betterment of society. Also, studies show that women who read romance novels have a far more satisfying love life.

Catch Kathleen on social media and her website and don’t forget to sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter to receive a free download of THE PLEASURE CLUB. 

Website: www.kathleenlawless.com

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Blog:  https://gemsintheattic.blogspot.ca/

Fabulous at Fifty

Rachel Fontaine has it all! Or so she thinks, facing down the dragon that is the big 5-0.

Then the unimaginable happens. Her job is made redundant; her role taken over by two millennial wonderkids. Seeking solace from her boyfriend, she finds him paying much-too-much attention to a young pupil at the golf course where he is the pro. Apparently it is start-over time yet again. But Rachel is a fighter. She has her daughter. She has her friends. She deals with her mother. And her ex-husband.

In the midst of her re-invention and re-evaluation she becomes a grandmother. Forced to view herself and those around her through newly-opened eyes, she works her way through a succession of lovers, while not getting emotionally attached. Eventually, beset by laughter and tears, friends and foe, betrayal and forgiveness, Rachel lets down her safe barriers as she learns to love and accept herself and those around her. Finally she is ready for her close-up.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

Previously…

Rachel sat very still in the reclining chair, trying not to flinch as the doctor inserted a needle into the ‘frown muscle’ between her eyebrows. Fifty units of Botox, her 50th birthday gift to herself. Would the tiny vial of magic really live up to its promise of eternal youth?

Rachel squinted into the mirror, then leaned closer, eyebrow pencil poised for a direct hit. How unfair the way some body hair thinned while other hairs grew fast and thick in places no one wanted them. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t freak about her birthday. It was only a number. Fifty was now the new forty, or so the advertisers would have you believe. Nothing wrong with marketing. So what if she was no longer ‘the babe’, turning heads when she walked into a room. She had a great job, a wonderful daughter and a nice boyfriend, not to mention her health. So much to be grateful for. She squinted again. Were her forehead muscles frozen, as promised?

Find Fabulous at Fifty on Amazon

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