Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nothing Makes the Best Memories


Christmas has always been a time of great celebration in our house. The whole family went all out to decorate and help with the baking and cooking.

However, there was one Christmas when things were not so bright and shiny. When my son was two years old, we moved to Alberta from northern Ontario and stayed with my brother and sister in law, with their daughter who was six months older than my son. I was newly divorced and had no job prospects in Ontario, and at that time, Alberta was the place to be.

My mother had moved to Alberta six months previously, after a painful separation from my father. She was also living with my brother, and was an enthusiastic grandmother to my niece. When my son and I arrived two weeks before Christmas, finances were tight for everyone. My mother was subsisting on her alimony from my Dad, and I had only arrived and had not secured at job as yet. My brother, just starting in the welding profession, suffered long periods of lay-offs and was still studying towards his journeyman ticket, and my sister in law was a stay at home Mom.

As we sat about with our morning coffee two days before Christmas, we pooled our money, disappointed to find there wasn’t enough to get the children any gifts. All we gathered had to go to food. It was especially heartbreaking because the two kids bustled about the house excited about the coming of Santa. They were barely able to keep still enough to help string freshly popped popcorn, all we had for decorations. We had found a small tree in the bush and stuck it in a bucket filled with sand, borrowed from my brother’s sand bags piled in the truck for weight.
Popcorn and cranberry garland

After some thought, my mother suddenly perked up. “What do kids pay most attention to at this age?” she asked us, her eyes bright.

We looked at her, puzzled. “What do you mean, Mom?” asked my sister in law.

“Boxes,” she proclaimed triumphantly. “They always end up playing with the ribbons and boxes. If there’s a box, especially big ones, they always end up crawling around in them.”

All three of us smiled in sudden inspiration. “A box fort!” my sister whispered, so the kids wouldn’t hear. “Mom, that’s brilliant!”

My mother smiled, gratified. She hated being a burden on the family, and coming up with a solution to our problem made her feel like she had contributed.

With my brother gone for the day, taking his exams for his next welding ticket, it was up to us women to bring this unorthodox Christmas to life.  

We called a neighbor in the subdivision, and she agreed to take the two kids for the afternoon. She had three kids close to their age, and her house was normally chaotic, so two more would hardly be noticed. With three acres, on this nice warm winter’s day, she would simply throw them outside and let them run wild. This was perfect; it meant they would sleep that night.

We dropped the kids off, and in my brother’s rickety pickup truck, we headed to town. Carefully scouring the back alleys behind department stores, we quickly found refrigerator and stove boxes that were broken down and piled there after the stores had set up floor models. Like thieves, we raided the dumpsters and quickly threw the boxes in the back, driving away giggling.  

The hour long drive back home from the city was spent frequently stopping and fetching a box that had flown out the back of the truck. Stupidly, we had forgotten to bring tie-downs. Finally my sister in law slowed down and drove on the shoulder while Mom and I kept a close eye out the back. We couldn’t afford to lose our precious, albeit free cargo.


We went straight to the acreage and unloaded the truck before picking up the kids. We didn’t want them to see the start of their Christmas present. Piled safely in the garage, we congratulated ourselves with tea before heading out and picking up the kids just before supper.

After the kids were in bed, we concentrated on making homemade candy and baking for stocking stuffers. It was two o’clock in the morning by the time everything had cooled, ready for wrapping in saran wrap and used ribbons we had found from last year. Then they were hidden in the garage along with the boxes.

The next day was Christmas Eve. The kids were extremely excited. My brother went out and gathered spruce boughs from the bush surrounding their house. He had the kids help tie them together and drape them all round the house, to keep them busy. They hunted for frozen rose hips and strung thread through them, tying those to the boughs to give shots of bright colour. To our dismay, they insisted on having some indoors. My sister in law sighed, resigning herself to having spruce needles all over the floor by Boxing Day.
Frozen rose hips and spruce cones.

We prepared Christmas dinner, ready for cooking the next day. We also made tourtiere, a savory traditional Xmas Eve meat pie originating from Quebec. The kids loved it, and to this day it’s one of my favorite meals.

After bedtime stories and setting out cookies and milk for Santa including a carrot for Rudolf, the children remarkably went right to sleep. We could only account it to the day spent outside with my brother, gathering the materials for decorating the house.

Peeking in to make sure they were fast asleep, my sister in law smiled as she returned to the living room. “It’s time!” she announced. We all rushed out to the garage to fetch the boxes and stocking stuffer goodies.

My brother found a box cutter and we got to work, taping the boxes back to their original shape. Then we cut out windows and a door. My Mom found paint in the utility room, and she got to work painting colourful frames about the openings and shingles on the roof. She even took the time and effort to paint dots on the house, representing lights strung in bright colours.
By the time we had finished attaching three huge boxes together to make a large house structure, the painting done and the positioning complete in the middle of the living room, it was three o’clock in the morning.

We gazed at our creation with satisfaction. Stockings hung and stuffed the homemade treats on the outside of the makeshift house with the help of wire coat hangers, we went to bed to snatch some sleep before the kids woke us up early.

The next morning, we were awakened by excited squeals echoing through the house. We got up, knowing that two kids alone, two years old, could get into trouble before you could blink, so we hurried out to the living room.

We didn’t have to worry. They were crawling around their new gift, my niece already taking control over the game, babbling instructions to my son on his role.

Their makeshift gift was a huge hit. For days, we never had to wonder where they were. They both had naps inside the boxes, clutching their blankets, my son’s thumb stuck in his mouth. Their only disappointment was when we refused allowing them to take it outside and invite all the kids in the neighbourhood to play in it. We knew the snow would quickly render it useless and soggy. So, inside it stayed. We did, however, suffer about ten more kids from the surrounding acreages in the house for an afternoon.

Within a week, the poor cardboard fort was looking bedraggled and rough. We attempted to gain more life from it by taping tears and bends. By New Years Day, we were forced to admit defeat.

We shoveled the snow away from the fire pit in the back yard, put the poor old fort, all the spruce bough decorations and the bare tree that had dropped all its needles on our living room floor. After supper, we lit the pile. The kids were excited to have a bonfire, dancing a path all around it, laughing and singing like tiny pagans.

For years afterwards, no matter how expensive and elaborate the gifts got, they always mentioned that one Christmas when they got the coolest gift and had the most fun ever! We were reminded how simple and accepting children were. We tried to incorporate some aspect of that Christmas, my favorite being the spruce boughs, with its greenery and the scent that pervades the whole house, bringing back the memories.

Perhaps, we should just leave celebration ideas to children, for innately they understand the true meaning of Christmas far more than us cynical adults ever could.


Do you have any aspect of Christmas that was brought about by necessity, but endured because of the memories they invoked? 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog Tours: Do They Work?

Blog Tours: Do They Work?
My co-author and I are currently involved in an extensive blog tour to market our newly released debut novel. I should mention that it is under our pen names, not the name under this blog.
I was curious about whether they work or not. It is certainly taking precious time away from our next book in the series. We had to put it on hold while preparing for this month-long tour.

What is a Blog Tour?
Basically, it’s when an author arranges to go from blog to blog, the online equivalent to going from book store to book store, sit at a lonely table with copies of the book displayed, the author hoping someone will notice them sitting with an insipid smile on their face, hoping to sell a copy or two. 

The benefit of the blog tour is that no one can see the moronic look on your face as you attend, hoping for a favourable comment.

A blog promoting your title (and your name brand) can range from an interview, a review, or an essay type guest blog entry with links to your book and where to buy it. Often, a reward to your readers is involved, from prizes of some material item to gift certificates that hopefully the blog attendee will use to purchase your book. These tours will involve a number of stops ranging anywhere from 10, 20, or even 30 blogs spreading out from a few days to a month. If an author hired a promotional blog tour company, it can also cost a few dollars to over a hundred bucks.
On talking to a few writers and readers that I trusted would not be offended by my questions about blog tours, I have found a range of responses that go from fervent approval to equally fervent disapproval of the process, as well as all variations of colour in between.

The results were interesting, to say the least. I can’t pronounce an expert, since I’m a debut author myself and have little experience save for the current one we are participating in. However, the writers and readers who responded to this rather casual survey are old hands at it, so I had some data to come to my conclusions.

The Pros:
If done right, there is a definite gain in brand and name recognition, which after all is what most new authors aspire towards. This is vital to any new author who needs that recognition to increase interest and sales. The more “hits” you get on a search, the more places your name and title are exposed, the more curious readers become about your book. Name recognition is the bread and butter of writers, so this is a definite plus.

What do I mean by “doing it right”? Well, first of all, pick the right blogs. What good does it do to blog on a writer’s space if the only followers they have are other writers? Yes, writer’s and authors also read (if they’re any good), but it’s also a limited audience and not your main client. Find a blog that specifically targets readers as opposed to other writers. If there’s a lot of “how to” articles pertaining to writing, chances are their followers are there to avail themselves of the information. And who wants that information? Other writers.

But if the blog has information that book readers would be interested in, chances are they will have followers who are looking for books to read. If they have a large following and a long history, chances are that blog is gold for a guest blog opportunity. Readers want books to read, and writers want readers to buy their book. It’s an ideal relationship for everyone. It could also result in more reviews on your book, which research reveals, and most authors acknowledge, is the real tool that results in sales.

If a blog host gets an increase in traffic to their site because of hosting you, chances are very good they will want to host you again when you finish your next book.

And yes, it’s essential you finish another book. On an off-side, if you only have one book, I doubt very much if you’ll gain much name recognition, no matter how many blogs you are on. There may be a flurry of activity that reflects lots of sales at first (and only if you have the success of J.K. Rowling, which is extremely rare, I’m sad to say), but sales will soon taper off, and with no other material on offer, you will soon fade away to obscurity. (Again, see J.K. Rowling, who had a series of books in the same theme, which resulted in her being the spotlight for such an extended period of time. Can you imagine what would have happened if she only had that one book?) The release of a new book also sparks sales of any previous books by the same author that may have languished in the book stores or on Amazon. The more books, the more your name is more and more recognizable. So get writing!

The other pro is the chance to engage with your readers, or any new people who are looking for new and exciting books. If you can converse with these new people in a way that inspires curiosity, you may garner a new fan or two.

The Cons:

And there are many, unfortunately.

Unlike the old style of book tours in person, where the reader can connect with you one on one in conversation, or get their book signed (not at all like the computer generated signing they offer…it’s just not the same), online tours are removed, detached in many ways, and hard to make that connection.

There is also the expenditure of time and money; it takes hours out of a writer’s day to attend these blogs and reply to comments, sometimes arranged by professional tour companies that you paid big bucks for, and some comments from attendees of which are brief and of no real value. Many people come in to comment simply to get their names into the entries for the offered prizes and have little to no interest in your book, and doubtful they would even read it. In other words, Time + Expenditure =  Minimal Results, in most cases.

As I mentioned, if your promotional company does not have the right blogs, these problems are exaggerated. It’s critical that if you’re going to extend the time and effort, the readers have to be attracted. Aside from networking, other writers attending and commenting doesn’t do you a whole lot of good.

If you expect blog tours to increase sales, you’re going to be bitterly disappointed. It’s been proven, even by those greatly in favour of blog tours, that it doesn’t sell books. Yes, one or two in a large blog with lots of response may be intrigued enough to make a purchase (though it hardly ever happens), but that miniscule amount of sales hardly justifies the time and effort it takes. It’s been proven, by both writers and readers, that reviews are what sways a potential customer to buy your book, and certainly not on blogs.

Conclusions:

The benefits of blog tours are mostly for name and brand recognition, and perhaps conversing with your potential fans and readers. It’s also a great way to interact with your readers, and even get a hint of what they’re looking for from you as an author, and you become more “human” to them, especially if you can find that rare blog that has that rare combination of interesting topics, tons of followers and readership who are not just other writers, and engaging hosts who get involved with their guest bloggers to draw people in.

The drawbacks of blog tours are numerous. Time, expenditure, and disappointing futility are the basic reasons to perhaps either cut down on the amount of blogs you sign up for, or to cut them out entirely. A much better way to garner readership is to compose interesting blogs on your own and post them for your fans, or guest post on blogs that encompass your area of interest or work. Engaging articles pertaining to your area of literary expertise, information on how you researched or imagined your world you write about, and any other topic sure to grab the attention of others who share your curiosity and love of that particular subject. I have been fortunate of late of finding that particular ilk of blog, and only by months of careful research and refining my searches, and relying on myself instead of blog tour promotional companies.

I am an e-book published author, and unfortunately book signings are impossible for our kind. It drastically cuts down on the old fashioned but tried and true method of connecting with a reader. 

Also unfortunately, blog tours aren’t much more effective either. I can only speak, on reflection, as a reader, since my first novel was only published a few months ago. As a reader, I browsed for my books, got to know the author somewhat briefly through the odd article that inspired me to look up their own blogs/author sites, but mostly through good writing and interesting stories.

All I can say is, if you want to sell books, it’s more important to write them, and to keep on writing. The more a good book holds my attention and wants me to read more of that author’s work, the more I will be sure to buy their next book. So write…and keep on writing. And do not become so involved in blog tours that you forget to write that next book!

But if you decide to give a blog tour a go-round, here are some hints on how to make it a relative success:

1.  Thank your hosts. They took time out of their busy lives to promote you and your titles. They deserve your gratitude.

2.  Be there. Don’t book a blog tour and then not show up. That just shows you don’t find the reader important, which is arrogant and the biggest mistake you can make. The reader is the one putting bread on your table; don’t take them for granted.

3.  Get involved in the conversations. Readers are far more sophisticated than they ever were, and they demand more from the stories and their authors. Besides, it’s the best way to connect with these wonderful, creative people, and yes…readers ARE creative.

4.  Choose blogs that have a variety of styles built into it, with interesting topics to draw readers in. The same old format with the same old things being said soon becomes boring. That also refers to you as the guest blogger or person being interviewed; make sure you have some new and interesting tidbits to add to the conversation.

5.  Instead of blogs, research and join various sites to promote, with huge readership followings like The Romance Review, World Lit Café, Goodreads, BookBub, E-Reader News Today, and various others you can find by minimal searching.


Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts, based on whether you’re a writer or a book addicted reader? I’d love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A blog to visit for mundane but important historical facts

A note to anyone who is looking for hard to find facts about Colonial life, or everyday activities in the 1700's in general. Sometimes these parts of life can be very hard to find, such as did they make their own jewelry or did they have them imported? How did they manage it when the blockades took effect, the English ships being denied port when the siege was on? What did they eat then? Did they even have sugar, or baked goods? Did they make their own shampoo or soap, and what was it like? Did they even bathe, or were they as dirty as they want us to believe?

Go here, and find out.
Lynette Willows, Author

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Release of the long anticipated "No Gentleman Is He"


★`*´¨`*´•.¸♥¸¸.´ !! AVAILABLE NOW !! `.¸¸♥¸.•`*´¨`*´★
NO GENTLEMAN IS HE
by Carley Bauer and Lynette Willows



★ Available from Smashwords and Kindle for just $4.99! ★

But wait!!! No Gentleman Is He can be yours for just 99c on our Kindle sale through this Sunday, the 10th!

Young, adventurous and widowed in a new land, Cassandra Courtney Brooks finds her dream of raising a superior breed of saddle horse slipping away with the death of her husband. Left with four horses, living in a tavern attic, and her scant savings depleting, she resolves to see her vision through to fruition by accepting the scandalous position of steward at Varina Farms.

Born in the image of his native ancestry, Colton Rolfe’s savage blood runs through his veins. Scorned by his father, Colt grew into a man of ill temperament whose only interest is the wild equine beasts on his plantation. His desire to breed his horses with the superior Thoroughbreds of the newly widowed Cassandra Brooks leads him to abandon societal rules. Colt’s growing resentment toward the Crown and his assistance to Sons of Liberty missions is complicated by the discovery that Cassandra’s father is a titled English nobleman.

Cassandra is soon forced to question the wisdom of her decision when she finds herself enamored with her employer. As fiery passion grows between them, Cassandra realizes her own spirit of independence, love of the land, and the savage man who is so much a part of it.

As the threat of war comes ever closer, wills are tested through gunfire, treachery, danger, and kidnapping. Does Colt dare trust Casandra with Sons of Liberty secrets? More importantly, can he trust her with his heart? And will Colt ever trust Cassandra enough to love her as she longs to be loved?

★`*´¨`*´•.¸♥¸¸.´ !! AVAILABLE NOW !! `.¸¸♥¸.•`*´¨`*´★



*Lynette Willows is my pen name in Romance*

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Staying Focused as a Writer Printout page



*Feel free to copy and paste into a Word document to print out for use in your writers group for discussion purposes. Just please keep my copyright in place. Thank you.*


Staying Focused as a Writer
S.L. Bartlett’s Writers Group Discussion Printout
©2013 S.L. Bartlett

This is the greatest issue with most writers. Not only do you work on your own, but you have no one to answer to but yourself, and that can be a problem because most people, not only writers, do not put themselves on a high priority.

But this particular discipline is not an option; you have to conquer it. It is an essential skill if you’re serious about doing great work. Most writers are like magpies, always chasing the shiny bits that are more interesting than what’s in your own head. But staying focused is the only way to get it done.

The most essential thing is to just sit down and do it. But yes, that is easier said than done. So I’ve come up with a few ideas that may help. Some will work, others will not. The important thing to find what DOES work, and tweaking your requirements so that you can concentrate on what you want to accomplish. Let’s take a look at a few suggestions, and see if we can come up with more through discussion:

Be Accountable to Someone: The problem is, no one is going to take you to task if you don’t get done what you outlined. Only you, and you probably find it easy to discount what you expect from yourself. I know I do. Sure, you’re going to feel vaguely guilty, but we live that emotion every day of our lives, and frankly, it’s easy to live with. So…we procrastinate, we waffle, and in the end, nothing gets done. My advice is to find someone to be accountable to, whether it be a friend, a relative, even the family dog who is good at making you feeling guilty…anyone! Give them a goal you want to reach, and make sure they are willing to remind you, frequently, that you have an obligation to meet. Treat it like a job…you have a boss and co-workers relying on you to get your part of the job done. I am fortunate with my current project, because I now have a co-author and a publisher who have me under contract, so now it’s a career, and if I don’t get my part of the manuscript done, I’m screwing everyone, including me, out of royalties. But previous to this, I didn’t have that obligation, so I had to find other ways, and I wasn’t always successful.

Notes:





Set a Goal: Humans are goal orientated creatures. If we see the end of a journey, we tend to pick up the pace to get there. The hardest is to start. Every time I start a new book, it’s incredibly daunting to see a blank document staring at you, as if taunting you. I suggest you start with a concrete outline of your story and at least a partial list of your characters. If you don’t have that, there’s a place to start right there. I’m sure you have at least a general idea of both; if you don’t, think one up quick. Most writers have an idea, at least, of what the book is about before they even boot up the computer. As you start your outline, or your (what I like to call) Rogue’s Gallery, which is a character’s sheet, you will find as you get in the zone, that it will expand and practically write itself. But you need to get started with something. If you already have those, then start to write. It may not meet your expectations, it may not even make sense, but you’re writing, and even a simple phrase or partial sentence will spark ideas. It’s very surprising, actually, how it works, but you have to start to have the magic kick in. John Grisham actually writes one page a day, at least. Sometimes it comes easy and he just keeps going, but some days he barely scraped by and later threw out the whole thing. But he wrote…and he reached his daily goal. It doesn’t have to be a page…it can be three paragraphs, or 300 words (surprisingly short), or even 100 words. Anything to start. Hopefully, and gradually, you can increase your daily goals as time goes by and you get into a habit, but at least it’s a start. As Stephen King says, “Amateurs wait for inspiration; Professionals just sit and get it done.”

Notes:




Designate a Time for Writing: Carefully go over your day, and write down the times that you are relaxing or doing nothing. Is there a time you would be willing to give up going for a coffee everyday outside the house. Is there any time of the day that you can sacrifice part of your routine and fill that time slot with writing? If not, then maybe you just need to get up an hour early, or go to bed an hour later. It’s up to you, but if everything in your life is taking precedence over your writing, maybe you need to rethink this career…because believe it or not, this is a career if you want to take it more serious. And when you finally pick your time, stick to the schedule, without fail, every day. It will become an easy habit to keep if you have the same time everyday, and soon it will be so automatic that you won’t even feel the sacrifice. Besides, if you love writing, it’s barely a sacrifice or a chore, is it? For most writers, it’s a compulsion we can’t ignore, and the sacrifices are nothing compared to what we love the most. I have given up trips to the city to see my son or my Mom for the weekends only (unless it’s an emergency, needless to say), and coffee with friends, and I cut down on my volunteer duties, only having one or two obligations now. Learn to say “No”. It’s a powerful word…be prepared for some people, who aren’t used to you not being available, not taking that “No” seriously. You may have to repeat it frequently, even if it’s kids in the house. Just tell them, “Give Mommy one hour to myself while you do your homework, or while you watch TV”, etc. Or, if desperate, you may have to write while they are sleeping or grabbing 15 minutes while they’re out of the house, but you have to make the time, or it just won’t work.

Notes:





To Have Music, or Not? Most writers find certain music an inspiration, and have it playing in the background the whole time they’re writing as white noise. Now, I can’t do that; I end up bopping out to the music and lose all concentration on what I’m doing as I enjoy the distraction. Instead, I put on headphones and listen to the natural sounds of wildlife as I tune into the Africam live feeds, or Pete’s Pond live streaming feed, or any of these from African watering holes…I find the bird song and crickets and distant calls from hyenas not only soothing, but actually helps with concentration. Must be my country roots. Most writers need white noise in the background, but then some need absolute quiet. Whatever works, do it. Anything that helps is good.

Notes:







Find a Designated Space: Have a consistent location you do your writing. If you do, you will find after a surprisingly short time that when you sit there, your thoughts will instantly focus on the task at hand. It’s like Pavlov’s Response…ring a bell, and you drool in anticipation. It’s also a signal to anyone who knows you, “Oh, she’s gone there; time to leave her alone.” They can also be trained.

Notes:





Avoid Distractions: Good one! We all have them. What’s yours? List them, then avoid them…methodically and mercilessly assassinate them.

Notes:






Prioritize: Make a list of what’s most important to you, and get them done. If your writing is not in the top five on your list, again, rethink your priorities. Writing is a hard taskmaster; it demands attention, and if you love it, you won’t begrudge its need for it. If bills are due or mortgage needs paid, then get it done right away. Then worry is not distracting you. Of course family is tops, that goes without saying. However, there is a time even for them…if you make time for them, they can return the favour and make time for you too, and that means leaving you alone to write.

Notes:








Reward Yourself: This is important. If you reach a goal, have a cookie! Now, of course I’m joking…kind of. What I mean is, when you meet or exceed your goals or expectations, it’s important you reward yourself, since writing is a greedy creature, always niggling you and poking you. Take a break, watch a favorite special on TV or a favorite program you have sacrificed to make time. Order a pizza, or go out and take an extra long walk. Heck, even take out your significant other, because they probably had a part in your daily success. They left you alone, or took over a chore than would normally fall to you to allow you that extra time. If you constantly work and never celebrate these little successes, you will soon resent the very thing you love….writing!

Notes:







Keep a Close Eye on Results: When you see results, when you see a finish line, you will feel so great! You finally got that short story done and edited. You got your book halfway done. You queried and got a reply requesting your article or the first three chapters of your novel…anything can be regarded as a result. All your hard work was worth it. Yes, keep an eye on all your results, because it will spur you to greater and greater things.

Notes:



















©2013 S.L. Bartlett

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Colonial Romance Character's Favorite Recipe

Lynette Willows' Colonial Romance Character's Favorite Recipe

In Colonial America, cooking was often a matter of “making do” when it came to ingredients. They were both expensive to buy and hard to find. Most did not have access to them, though often the more prosperous got limited quantities. Many shop keepers also kept a supply, and competition was fierce when the ships finally make port, if the shipment survived the passage. Many ingredients came from Europe, and most of the spices from the Caribbean. The great immigration of Pennsylvania Germans and the Dutch were great influences in the early 1700’s, resulting in many great recipes spreading across the Americas, the most prevalent being apples, rum, nutmeg and cinnamon, used for flavoring and sweetness.
One of the interesting side characters in our book “No Gentleman Is He”, due for release March 7 is Jackson Lee, the practical joking friend of our main character, Colton Rolfe and avid member of the Sons of Liberty, of which this series of books is all about.
Jackson Lee, by the way, will be the main character in Book 2 of the Sons of Liberty series, so you will see more of this fascinating character.
Jackson is constantly trying to recruit, though Colton would say “steal”, our hero’s cook, Martha in “No Gentleman Is He”. This pie is one of the reasons.

To get the recipe, go to Lynette's blog. And if you try it out, be sure to let her know how it turned out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Interview with author Lynette Willows

Due to be released February 21, 2013, courtesy Tirgearr Publishing
See excerpts and details at Lynette Willows, author

I invite everyone to see Lynette's first book in the Sons of Liberty series, "No Gentleman Is He". Today, you will see the interview she posted, and the interesting insights into the making of this novel. 
A few days ago, she also posted an excerpt of a chapter, and an outline of the story. I hope you enjoy the experience, and get to know this new author.


Also, keep an eye out for the link to Lynette's co-author, Carley Bauer at the end of the interview and read her own interview on this Blog Hop. She will be posting it later this evening or tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Introducing "No Gentleman Is He"


"No Gentleman Is He" by Carley Bauer & Lynette Willows
Book #1 of Sons of Liberty Series
Release date: February 21, 2013

Young, adventurous and widowed in a new land, Cassandra Courtney Brooks and her deceased husband dreamt of raising a superior breed of saddle horse. Now she found herself left with four horses, living in a tavern attic and her scant savings depleted when her husband perished. With a resolve to see her vision to fruition, the young widow accepts the scandalous position of steward at Varina Farms rather than return to the aristocracy she left behind in England.  Cassandra is soon forced to question the wisdom of her decision when she finds herself enamored with the lusty and dangerous owner.

Born in the image of his dark skinned great-grandmother, Pocahontas, it was rumored Colton Rolfe carried the savagery of his Indian ancestor. Scorned by his father, Colt grew into a man of ill temperament who's only true love was the wild equine beasts on his plantation. His desire to breed his horses with the superior Saddlebreds of the newly widowed Cassandra Brooks left him defying all societal rules when he offered her a position at Varina Farms.

Cassandra needed a place to house her horses and earn income. Colton wanted a steward for his tobacco plantation and breeding rights to her horses. Both fought the attraction growing between them. Their story unfolds with Colt's growing resentment toward the crown's proposed taxes and his assistance to Sons of Liberty missions, complicated by the discovery that Cassandra's father is a titled Englishman. How can he trust the daughter of an English aristocrat?

A fiery passion grows between them through gunfire, treachery, and danger culminating in a kidnapping. Cassandra begins to realize her own spirit of independence and love of the land, and the savage man who is so much a part of it. But will he ever trust her enough to love her as she longed to be loved?

Lynette Willows page:  https://authorlynettewillows.wordpress.com/