Monday, February 17, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop

I was asked to take part in this blog hop by author, blogger, and book reviewer Jane Hunt. Her first book, The Dragon Legacy, is available now. I was lucky enough to be able to design the cover for her and Crimson Frost Books. 

Find out more about Jane at her blog: Jane Hunt - Writer
And be sure to pick up a copy of her sensual paranormal romance The Dragon Legacy.

You can see how Jane answered the questions about her writing process last week here:

So, here goes. Everything you ever wanted to know about my writing process but didn't know you wanted to know.

What Am I Working On At The Moment?

I'm currently working primarily on two stories. One is the start of a new series and is tentatively titled The Worth of a Kiss. The start of this novel won a contest last year and placed second in another. I plan to have it finished and polished by the end of February (despite being in the middle of packing for a cross country


This one features a debt-ridden book shop owner who will do anything to save her failing business, including accepting a "gift" of one hundred pounds to kiss a viscount in public. Her shocking actions might just be the thing to shake the cool, emotionless facade Lucien, Viscount Grimsby works so hard at keeping in place. 

I'm also working on the next title in my Whitechapel Wagers series, Dangerous Wager. I plan to have it finished, polished, and available to readers in March.

Both stories are set in Victorian London—my home away from home.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of The Genre?

I like happy endings as much as the next romance reader and writer, but I also look for grit in each character and situation. You'll find that my heroines are never the perfect beauties, nor my heroes the perfect gentlemen. Though suspension of disbelief may be necessary to accept that every dilemma can be resolved in the space of a few pages, I love the dilemma as much as the romance. I fall in love with the characters in difficult, even impossible, circumstances. Those are the characters that I want to write all the way to their happy ending. Isn't a happy ending sweeter when you've struggled for it all the way?

I hope that my romances are different because they focus on the struggle as much as the romance.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

I write romance because I love reading romance. I don't seem capable of writing a story that doesn't include that attraction and passion and vulnerability of the romantic relationship. Frankly, I wouldn't want to. Even as a reader, I am always looking for the love. 

I set my stories in Britain and the Victorian era because I am a hopeless anglophile and love history, particularly 19th century history. I've always said that I would take a time machine (if anyone ever figures that whole time-space continuum thing out) straight back to 1880's London. Since I spend so much time reading about the era, it seems only natural to see my characters in that world. 

How Does Your Writing Process Work?

I wish I could say I get up at 5am, sit down, and write 2000 words before doing anything else. That's my goal, but life often intervenes. So the reality is that I grab writing time whenever I can. I have notepads with me all the time and scribble notes about characters, scenes, even character names, in it whenever an idea strikes. 

I find that setting deadlines for myself is key. I have a publication plan for the coming year, and I am on track so far. Yay! I've also learned, through trial and error, that I am a plotter with a bit of pants-ing thrown in as I write my first draft. As long as I have a road map of scenes written and thought out, I can sit down and get thousands of words out in a couple of hours. 

And now to the lovely writers I am inviting to the next stage of the My Writing Process Blog Hop:

Annabeth Albert
Annabeth's Website
Annabeth's Blog

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Leanne Tyler

Leanne Tyler lives in the South and her writing reflects her heritage. Leanne writes sweet and sometimes sensual Southern romances whether historical or contemporary. She's a member of Romance Writers of America® and the founding member of Smoky Mountain Romance Writers. She is currently published by The Wild Rose Press.

I designed this cover for Leanne! 

Lexi Witcher

I designed this cover for Lexi!
Lexi's Website
Lexi's Blog

Lexi Witcher is a published author of young adult contemporary paranormal romances. She’s always enjoyed stories about falling in love for the first time and watching program geared toward teens like Pretty Little Liars,Ravenswood, Twisted, The Lying Game, Jane By Design, and Switched at Birth. This is her first young adult series

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day! Free Victorian romance and giveaway

Happy Valentine's Day! The Victorians loved to celebrate this holiday and were actually the ones (both in Britain and stateside) to turn it into an event for celebrating romance with gift giving, notes, and postcards decorated with cherubs, children, couples, and the requisite red heart symbolizing love.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were one of the most publicly revered couples of the era. Their public reputation as a smitten, devoted love match reflected the real attraction and passion they felt for each other. Though their relationship reputedly had its tumultuous moments, the couple were known to be companionable, supportive of one another, and managed to produce nine children during their twenty-one years of marriage. When Albert died in 1861, Victoria was so distraught that she entered a period of mourning that lasted for much of the rest of her life. She was Britain's longest reigning monarch, ruling for another forty years after Albert's death, until 1901.

Of course, Victoria and Albert weren't the only romantics of the era. Romance became a kind of fetish to the Victorians, and romantic stories and poetry, much like in our day, were perennially popular with readers. Another famous love story of the era is that between authors Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. After meeting her future husband, Barrett Browning penned the beautiful poem known as Sonnet 43, expressing her profound love and attraction for Browning.

How do I love thee? 
Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

-from Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

On this day of poetry and love, I am giving away my debut historical romance novella, Scandalous Wager. Get it free at Amazon now!

I'm also taking part in a huge giveaway at the Love Historicals site that I am a part of with thirteen other historical romance authors. Several gift cards, free books, and handmade gifts are included in the giveaway.

Happy Valentine's Day! Read some poetry, kiss your loved ones, and enjoy the celebration of romance today.